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The Role of Sports in the Devotional Life: Insights from Srila Prabhupada

Question: Can devotees participate in different sport activities?

adhṛta-krīḍanake—without being accustomed to sporting habits....

Prabhupada: Sometimes the demoniac arrange for so-called sports, like tennis, with the opposite sex. The purpose of such sporting is to see the bodily construction of the beautiful girl and enjoy a subtle sex mentality.

SB 3.20.35

Prabhupada: Similarly, in boyhood, engaged in sporting and playing, one passes another ten years.

SB 7.6.7 Srila Prabhupada

man picks up weight

Prabhupada: So therefore we don't allow unnecessary sporting. This is simply waste of time.

Interview -- March 9, 1968, San Francisco

Prabhupada: People are wasting time. So many sportings they have invented-sporting balls, this ball, that ball.

Initiation Lecture -- December 19, 1968, Los Angeles

Prabhupada: Surfboard? Yes."How I shall be swimming and enjoy this sport whole day and night?" then Krsna will give you the body of a fish. Yes. He is very kind. And you will very nicely live in the sea, always swimming without any difficulty. Every life. As you increase your propensity for a certain type of activities, nature is ready immediately: "Take this body. Why you are anxious? Take this body." Similarly, if you become anxious to have a body like Krsna, that is also ready. Now it is your choice. If you like, you take the body of a fish, or if you like, you take the body of sac-cid-ananda-vigraha

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.15 -- September 20, 1972, Los Angeles

Prabhupada: Simply wine, women and beach, and sporting and jumping like monkeys. We require little satisfaction of the bodily demands -- that's all right -- but not for this purpose.

July 3, 1975, Chicago

man surfing

Prabhupada: Every moment should be utilized, especially for the human being. It's so valuable. And they are finding out sporting, swimming and surfing—simply all programs of wasting time, especially in the Western countries. How much they have invented, I see only and laugh. The elderly men of your age, of course, maybe my age also, they are swimming and surfing. Fishing. Yes, all old men, they are sitting hours and hours for capturing one fish. [laughter] Just see their civilization. Whatever it may be, we see that how they have invented various ways of wasting time, which is so valuable. That is our view.

Morning Walk -- November 11, 1975, Bombay

Prabhupada: After taking the M.A., B.A. degrees, they have no employment. So what they'll do? They'll form party of anarchist and Naxalite and play football, because they must have some engagement.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.6 -- December 8, 1975, Vrndavana

Prabhupada: Surfing. Surfing or suffering? [laughter] Unnecessarily, whole day and night they are... This is also another example of maya. He is actually suffering, but he's thinking, enjoying.

Morning Walk -- June 2, 1974, Geneva

Prabhupada: As soon as you stop performing yajna -- you take pleasure in sporting, no yajna... Now big, big cities, they have got big, big Olympian sporting, but no yajna performance. So why there shall not be scarcity of rain? And as soon as there is scarcity of rain, there is scarcity of food grains.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.12.5 -- April 16, 1976, Bombay

Prabhupada: Just like these men, the business is they're wasting time by changing, wasting time at home, come to the golf club. That's all.

Morning Walk -- January 5, 1974, Los Angeles

Prabhupada: In the morning they begin fishing, this walking, and golfing, no engagement. These poor fellows, they have been not informed that there is better engagement. They do not know. This is their civilization. And here, Krsna conscious young men, they are chanting Hare Krsna. That is the difference. Morning Walk -- June 2, 1974, Geneva

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