• What is real happiness?

    What is real happiness?

    Jayapataka Swami: Everybody wants to be happy. But it seems so elusive for many of us. So in the Vedas, it is said that there are different types of happiness. There is sensual happiness. There is happiness when you are young, especially it is a peak time to try to enjoy sensual happiness. The problem ...

  • How do I become serious in devotional life?

    How do I become serious in devotional life?

    Jayapataka Swami: It is said if you serve the pure devotee of the Lord, a Vaisnava, then you will become serious in Krsna consciousness. Because a pure devotee is very serious, you will have to become serious serving him. In one case, Prabhupada’s living quarters was being painted. Yamuna Devi Dasi was organizing all the ...

  • How to live a well-balanced life while committed to different obligations? Will it be possible to maintain it by the most-average people in a diverse society?

    How to live a well-balanced life while committed to different obligations? Will it be possible to maintain it by the most-average people in a diverse society?

    Jayapataka Swami: Well, this is why our grihasta devotees are so important because our grihasta devotees are showing this. They are doing their material duties, raising their children responsibly. We need that kind of role models; advanced devotees who do their work, maintain their families and at the same time they give the minimum time ...

  • Sometimes we are unable to tolerate unreasonable criticism, and we do retaliate with good intention. Does this happen due to our lack of faith in guru and Krishna? Does this speak of one's love of guru and Krishna?

    Sometimes we are unable to tolerate unreasonable criticism, and we do retaliate with good intention. Does this happen due to our lack of faith in guru and Krishna? Does this speak of one's love of guru and Krishna?

    Jayapataka Swami: Of course, it depends on who is making the criticism. We see some people can make it, but cannot take it. When there is criticism, sometimes the devotee becomes very depressed and allows that depression to impede his devotional service. The point is , we should not lose our enthusiasm for devotional service. ...

  • Can only human beings collect Karma?

    Can only human beings collect Karma?

    Jayapataka Swami: Only human beings can collect good and bad karma. This is time when you can score. Once you are animal, then you just suffer the karma. You don’t get to take new karma. Because animals don’t have discretion, they act according to their instinct. Therefore they are not responsible for any particular karma. ...

  • Does chanting of Hare Krishna mahamantra anytime have the same effect or not?

    Does chanting of Hare Krishna mahamantra anytime have the same effect or not?

    Jayapataka Swami: "Namnamakari bahudha nija sarva shaktis, tatrarpita niyamita smarane na kalah". There is no hard and fast rules for chanting the Holy Name. It does not say, if you chant at 4:00 AM or 10:00 PM, it has different effect. Ofcourse, our consciousness is better in the morning, more in the mode of goodness. ...

  • How can I be good to others in my life? How can I give up self-centered thinking? How can I become good for my parents? How I can become a good human being?

    How can I be good to others in my life? How can I give up self-centered thinking? How can I become good for my parents? How I can become a good human being?

    Jayapataka Swami: Well, if consider that you are a devotee of Krsna, you develop all the good qualities of the devas. So it is easier to try to be a devotee. And if you learn to serve Krsna, naturally you give up being materially self-centered. And as a service to Krsna if you learn how ...

  • How to establish healthy co-relations with family members? Most of the time, my husband and children, they  quarrel with each other for petty things. They get angry, sometimes I get very  angry. There is always fighting, so what to do?

    How to establish healthy co-relations with family members? Most of the time, my husband and children, they quarrel with each other for petty things. They get angry, sometimes I get very angry. There is always fighting, so what to do?

    Jayapataka Swami: Sometimes, they have a kirtan inside the house to sway away all the ghosts and subtle entities which are creating disharmony in the house. They also say, you study the qualities of devotee -have to be patient,have to be tolerant. not that we should be always be impatient and intolerant of things. Generally ...

  • How to practise Krsna consciousness in provoking or difficult conditions?

    How to practise Krsna consciousness in provoking or difficult conditions?

    Jayapataka Swami: I am trying to think of situations where one is not in some difficulty. Usually there is always some difficulty. Devotional service to Krsna is different from other yogas. Like Mother Yasoda, she worried about Krsna; all the stones are so sharp, Krsna’s lotus feet are so tender, I want to know if ...

  • Some people strongly believe in Lord Siva, Ganesh and Murugan. What is your view about this?

    Some people strongly believe in Lord Siva, Ganesh and Murugan. What is your view about this?

    Jayapataka Swami: We also believe in Siva, Ganesh, Murugan, Kali, Durga. We believe that they are powerful expansions, energies or servants to the Lord. Siva is an expansion of Visnu. Siva-tattva is an essential factor for the creation of the material world. It is said ‘vaisnavanam yatha shambu ‘, he is the greatest of all ...

  • Sometimes in the spiritual career we get a doubt, ‘Where am I getting to’? Is this normal or lack of faith?

    Sometimes in the spiritual career we get a doubt, ‘Where am I getting to’? Is this normal or lack of faith?

    Jayapataka Swami: This question is normal for someone who is just beginning because there are so many things, so one is not sure what they are getting into. But for one who has been already in the movement for a long time, having this doubt is very strange. I had it in the first few ...

  • We read in the Vedic literature, that the husband guides the wife in Krsna consciousness. What if the wife has to guide her husband?

    We read in the Vedic literature, that the husband guides the wife in Krsna consciousness. What if the wife has to guide her husband?

    Jayapataka Swami: It is said that the wife should be the intelligence of the husband, even if the husband is Krsna conscious. When we have couples where the wife is more advanced than the husband in Krsna consciousness, she is expert in how to make the husband feel important and at the same time she ...

  • What happens to a devotee with material desires?

    What happens to a devotee with material desires?

    Jayapataka Swami: Devotees are always headed to Krsna. But if they have material desires Krsna will fulfill those desires first. So they may go to the heavenly planets, the higher planets where they can enjoy for tens of thousands of years. Then again they get born back on this earth for another chance. The problem ...

  • What is the cause of material desires?

    What is the cause of material desires?

    Jayapataka Swami: Material desires are because we are identifying with the material body. We think we are this body and by satisfying the body’s demands, we are going to be happy. It is like George Harrison, the Beatle, he thought that if he is rich, famous and powerful, then he will have achieved the success ...

  • What is the real education? What is the goal of life?

    What is the real education? What is the goal of life?

    Jayapataka Swami: Real education is the education that we are not this body but the spirit soul that is the eternal servant of Krsna. I was in one printing house in Krishnanagar, the headquarters of the Nadia district. Here the printer was printing exam papers. So they had a question, ‘What is your identity?’ So ...

  • Why did Krsna give us free will, didn’t He know we are going to abuse it?

    Why did Krsna give us free will, didn’t He know we are going to abuse it?

    Jayapataka Swami: The thing about free will is that if there is no free will, there can be no love. Krsna wants us to love Him. He wants to have loving exchanges with us, but he doesn’t. Sometimes we see these movies or read about them, about robots and clones. So if we are all ...

  • Why do we say that the soul is eternal?

    Why do we say that the soul is eternal?

    Jayapataka Swami: Because material things are created, it has a beginning and an end. But that is the nature of material creation. We the souls, we are not created by God, we are parts of God. Krsna is there before the material world is present, and even after the material world is destroyed, He continues ...

  • Why does Krishna appear in different forms when He appears? Why does He not appear in the same form, so He can prove He is the Supreme?

    Why does Krishna appear in different forms when He appears? Why does He not appear in the same form, so He can prove He is the Supreme?

    Jayapataka Swami: One of the qualities of Krishna is that He is Ananta-rupa, He has unlimited forms. So He comes in the different forms. These forms are described in the shastras. So thus it proves that He is the Supreme, because it is all explained in the shastras that He comes in these forms. That’s ...

  • A devotee who is fully busy in office work how can he be trained for initiation?

    A devotee who is fully busy in office work how can he be trained for initiation?

    Question: A devotee who is chanting 16 rounds but following 4 regulative principles and fully busy in office work, no time to read scriptures , so how to train for initiation? (Asked by Sudevi Rani devi dasi, Dubai) Jayapataka Swami: Sudevi Rani devi dasi ....Dubai, Bangalore, Mumbai, these are cities well known for traffic jam, so ...

  • If we must be careful of bad association, how can we be merciful and friendly with all kinds of people?

    If we must be careful of bad association, how can we be merciful and friendly with all kinds of people?

    Question: If we must be careful of bad association, how can we be merciful and friendly with all kinds of people? Jayapataka Swami: You see that is why preachers take a certain amount of risk to preach Krishna consciousness, and that is why they are so dear to the Lord because they are taking that ...

  • How to live a well-balanced life while committed to different obligations? Will it be possible to maintain it by the most-average people in a diverse society?

    How to live a well-balanced life while committed to different obligations? Will it be possible to maintain it by the most-average people in a diverse society?

    Jayapataka Swami: Well, this is why our grihasta devotees are so important because our grihasta devotees are showing this. They are doing their material duties, raising their children responsibly. We need that kind of role models; advanced devotees who do their work, maintain their families and at the same time they give the minimum time ...

  • Please instruct me what I have to do to always stay in the association of Sri Gauranga’s devotees?

    Please instruct me what I have to do to always stay in the association of Sri Gauranga’s devotees?

    Jayapataka Swami: You should try avoiding any offenses to the Vaisnavas and always look for their association. If we look for the faults we see Vaisnavas as mundane people. We should not look for faults. His Holiness Jayapataka Swami 24 February 2009 Chaitanya Bhagavat class Sridham Mayapur ...

  • When one practises devotional service for his whole life, but at the time of death is still on the kanista  level or still has many material desires in the heart, how much does he have chance to get Krsna prema?

    When one practises devotional service for his whole life, but at the time of death is still on the kanista level or still has many material desires in the heart, how much does he have chance to get Krsna prema?

    Jayapataka Swami: One may have many material desires and take birth again in the material world. He may be born in heavenly planets or somewhere depending on what desires he has. Maybe the desire may appear very strong but it may be insignificant. In any case, Prabhupada said we must be cent percent ...

  • Is there a limit to desire mercy? Sometimes we feel like I want too much mercy, but I am not doing enough to desire that mercy. So is it alright to desire so much mercy from Krsna?

    Is there a limit to desire mercy? Sometimes we feel like I want too much mercy, but I am not doing enough to desire that mercy. So is it alright to desire so much mercy from Krsna?

    It is like Raghunath Das. He presented himself in front of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ‘Even though I am not qualified, I feel like a dwarf who wants to catch the moon, but what can I do, I still want to join you!’ So he came like that and presented to Lord Caitanya humbly; I want Krsna ...

  • There is all this recent talk in the papers about scientists going to the moon. Srila Prabhupada has mentioned in the Bhagavatam that the moon is 100,000 yojanas, or 800,000 miles, above the rays of the sunshine, then how is it possible for humans to claim for having gone there?

    There is all this recent talk in the papers about scientists going to the moon. Srila Prabhupada has mentioned in the Bhagavatam that the moon is 100,000 yojanas, or 800,000 miles, above the rays of the sunshine, then how is it possible for humans to claim for having gone there?

    Question: There is all this recent talk in the papers about scientists going to the moon. Srila Prabhupada has mentioned in the Bhagavatam that the moon is 100,000 yojanas, or 800,000 miles, above the rays of the sunshine, then how is it possible for humans to claim for having gone there? Jayapataka Swami: Have you seen it? ...

An all-rounder
HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja is an all-rounder. He encourages thousands of devotees in...
Taking devotees to the holy place
Srila Prabhupada wanted Mayapur to be a center where devotees from all over the world could conglomerate and...
Serving in Mayapur
As funds were short, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja began engaging in agriculture...
An expert traveller
He flew for 48 hours in what was the “cheapest flight in history”...
Service to BBT
While in Montreal, His Holiness was engaged in the service of printing books and dispatching them to other ISKCON Centres around the world...
Prev
Next

An all-rounder

An all-rounder

HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja is an all-rounder. He encourages thousands of devotees in distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. When he organizes a festival, or namahatta again it is with the utmost dedication and happiness. There could hardly be any place in the world that he has not traveled and hardly any service that he has not tried his hand at. Accepting any service that is given to him, as the order of guru, Krishna and sadhus, His Holiness does them all with love as an offering to his eternal spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Taking devotees to the holy place

8

Srila Prabhupada wanted Mayapur to be a center where devotees from all over the world could conglomerate and be strengthened spiritually to continue their preaching. In March 1974, the first Gour Pournima festival was held. Four hundred devotees from America, England, Europe, South America, Australia, India, and other parts of the world joined in the festival.

So, for the first time in 1974, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja led groups of devotees on parikrama (pilgrimage) to local holy places. This visit to Mayapur would constitute the first half of the devotees’ Indian pilgrimage; after ten days they were scheduled to go to Vrndavana.

The Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama has been continuing ever since with the number of devotees participating increasing each year in the thousands. During these parikramas, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja takes care of not only the spiritual earnestness of all the devotees but as a perfect host, he also sees to it that they are comfortably situated.

Serving in Mayapur

Serving in Mayapur

There were 5 other devotees with HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja in Mayapur. As funds were short, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja began engaging in agriculture. He studied several books, learnt different methods and got the best crop. Local farmers were surprised and wanted to learn from him. This helped build a lasting relationship with the local people. Maharaja taught them modern techniques of agriculture and the farmers taught him Bengali. He began to give classes in Bengali where his few listeners would correct him in his language and soon he began to perfect his knowledge of the language. Jayapataka Maharaja had wanted to learn even in 1968 when he was in the West but it did not seem necessary there. His desire was fulfilled automatically when he was sent down to Bengal by Srila Prabhupada.

At Calcutta, Jayapataka Maharaja began to learn Bengali by going out to buy fruits and vegetables. Along with the other devotees, he conducted house programs, organized pandal programs, and personally went out on nagar sankirtan and book distribution though there was so much violence in the city.

An expert traveller

6

Jayapataka Maharaja’s flight to India gives already the hint of his expertise in traveling with the most mileage and least expense possible.

He flew for 48 hours in what was the “cheapest flight in history” flying Montreal – London – Brussels – Bombay – Calcutta.

Service to BBT

An all-rounder

Jayaptataka Maharaja, (then Jayapataka dasa) began to render a number of services for ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. The first most important was the service as the president of ISKCON Montreal. Srila Prabhupada wrote him in a letter, “For the present I think you cannot leave Montreal… Your service is much too valuable there.”

While in Montreal, His Holiness was engaged in the service of printing books and dispatching them to other ISKCON Centres around the world. In a letter dated 6th October 1968, Srila Prabhupada wrote him, “I am interested in starting the press, so if you can manage it will be very nice.” His service to the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust continued in India and continues until today as he is one of the trustees of the BBT.

Later, on the instruction of Srila Prabhupada, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja went to Toronto to open a center there. Later he wrote to Srila Prabhupada enquiring about his service and Srila Prabhupada told him to go to India on a long visa as “we have a great deal of work to do there”.

 

HH Jayapataka Swami said:
“My disciples expect some special instructions from me. Srila Prabhupada had instructed me to distribute 10,000 big books and 100,000 small books every month. So I need a lot of help. I don’t know how much that is now with interest because that was told in the 1970s, so with interest, maybe that is much more now. The Mayapur Sankirtan parties help me by distributing books but anyone here can help me pay my debts to Srila Prabhupada.”

Initiation

Initiation

In just two months after visiting ISKCON, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaja decided to commit himself to the principles of ISKCON. Jayananda prabhu shaved his head and everyone was surprised to see that within two months of coming in contact with ISKCON, he had shaved up and joined in. In 1968, Gordan John took first initiation in Montreal, Canada and was given the name Jayapataka dasa brahmachari and he was very soon awarded 2nd initiation in New York.

Re-awakening

Jayapataka Swami

As he was preparing to leave for India, he met the devotees of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, founder acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, doing kirtan and distributing BTGs at the park. When one devotee approached him to take a copy of the BTG, he was stunned to see the tilak on his face and experiencing some strange feelings he began to run. After running a few minutes, he stopped to contemplate on what he had seen and how he had been so much affected. It was the experience of seeing something after a long time, a re-awakening of something that had been dormant and hidden from his memory. He walked back to the park but by then the devotees were gone!

Searching for a spiritual teacher

Jayapataka Swami

When Jayapataka Maharaja was eleven years old, at the suggestion of his grandfather he cured himself of a skin disease by calling on the name of God. At 14, he graduated almost effortlessly in the very top of his class from St.John’s academy, a college preparatory school. He was offered full scholarships including tuition, books, fooding, lodging plus incidental expenses by several major universities around America. He accepted admission into Brown University. There, as a fresh enrollee, he was so much moved by a guest lecture on the life of Buddha that he lost all interest in his studies and began searching for a spiritual teacher. After some time of searching and austerity he concluded he would have to go to India to find his spiritual teacher.