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London is a hellish planet

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Krsnavesa: After I had been a devotee for about a year, I decided I would ask a question at the end of one of Srila Prabhupada's lectures. I wasn't one of the devotees who regularly had Prabhupada's association and I wanted to get a little of it by asking a question. So when he said, "Any questions?" after the Bhagavatam class, I raised my hand and he called on me. I was surprised. In fact I was shocked.

I wanted to ask if the Bhagavad-gita was always spoken by Krishna to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra or if it was also spoken by Krishna in some other circumstances, because in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says that He speaks it many times. I didn't have much time to prepare my question and I was nervous. So all I said was, "Does Krishna speak the Bhagavad-gita on the hellish planets?" Everybody thought it was a funny question. Srila Prabhupada asked Bhagavan, "What did she say?" and Bhagavan repeated my question. Srila Prabhupada said, "Yes, this London is a hellish planet, and Krishna is speaking Bhagavad-gita here."

At first I felt disappointed because I didn't get the answer to my real question. But everything Prabhupada says is so valuable, and over the years I got so much out of his answer. In Bhagavad-gita 18.75-76, Sanjaya says, "By the mercy of Vyasa, I have heard these most confidential talks directly from the master of all mysticism, Krishna, who was speaking personally to Arjuna and as I repeatedly recall this wondrous and holy dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, I take pleasure, being thrilled at every moment." In the purport Srila Prabhupada explains that when the spiritual master is bona fide, then one can hear Bhagavad-gita directly, as Arjuna heard it. So by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, we're all hearing directly from Krishna. Also, another instruction I got from Prabhupada's answer was that, although I was thinking that London was such a great, cultural place, actually it was a hellish place.

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