Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bhagavad-gita Day 2


His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Hare Krishna. Devotees : Hare Krishna His Holiness  Bhakti Caru Swami : So should we start? Is everyone in? Ok. So now I will go to the  sixth chapter and sixth chapter is known as Dhyana Yoga. I just read this summary and  then this chapter I will discuss a little more elaborately. Without meditating upon the  transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead, just by renunciation of action, one  cannot attain liberation. So what is the focal point of meditation – it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nowadays, yoga and meditation has become so popular but they
miss out the main point. They don’t meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In
that sense everyone is constantly meditating, everyone is meditating but what do they
meditate on? They meditate on money. They meditate on their sense gratification and all
that. So that is not meditation. When we say meditation – it should exclusively mean
meditating on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, one who renounces desire
for sense gratification is a yogi. When a person gives up sense gratification, he is a yogi.
However, when one who renders devotional service to the Lord with great faith, is the
best among all yogis. Now, this is what is the conclusion of this chapter, sixth chapter
and this is how it’s leading to bhakti. What is the meaning of the word yoga – yoga
means linking – to connect, plus, that is yoga and – (minus) is vi-yoga. So yoga means to
be connected, to be linked to Whom? To the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the
word itself indicates that. The purpose of yoga is to become connected to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. Now there are various ways of being connected to the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, but the most important factor for linking with the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is bhakti. What is the meaning of the word bhakti? Bhakti means
love – now is it Love, doesn’t love unite? Hatred – what does hatred do? Hatred separates
and love unites and now if we want to become united or linked or connected to Supreme
Personality of Godhead what is the process, what is the means – Love. So this love for
the lord is called bhakti and this love is expressed in a certain way. When we love
somebody, is it just limited only to the word love, love, love? Or we want to express our
love in a certain way by doing something for that person, that expression of that love is
called service or devotional service. The word bhakti literally means loving service or
                                                                                                   
loving devotional service. So in these last few chapters Krsna has explained various…  http://www.bhakticharuswamilectures.co.in
dealt with two main points – one is karma and jnana. Karma aspect dealt with various
aspects of karma like action for the sake of enjoying the fruit; action renouncing the fruits
of action and in this way it has been established that we must act without desiring the
results of our actions. Now then again without, what does it mean without desiring the
results of action – is it possible to act but not desire the result, a person must be really
foolish to just keep acting, acting and not desiring, then why act, better go to sleep. So the
action without the desire means action without desiring the results of the action for our
own enjoyment. How can that be possibly done? It can be done only when that action is
done for someone whom we love. When we love somebody don’t you want to do
something, even give up our lives for that person? That is what real action is, then action
and renunciation of action. Again how can we renounce action? Renunciation of action is
also not possible, real renunciation of action is when we act on behalf of somebody
whom we love. Here who is that object of love, the object of love is Krsna. Therefore
Krishna time and time again is pointing out to Arjuna, actually renunciation and action
both actually mean the same. Now you can see how both actually mean the same thing,
because you are acting for the sake of the person whom you love or you are renouncing
your action for the sake of the person whom you love, therefore they both mean the same.
Yogi is the person who is linked with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is the
purpose of yoga. Then Krishna is pointing out that of all the yogis : yoginam api
sarvesam mad-gatenantaratmanah sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah
Of all the yogis, one who has developed intense love for Me and as a result of that
constantly thinks of Me, he is most intimately connected to Me. If the purpose of yoga is
to be connected to Krishna, then what is the best yoga, what is the perfection of yoga –
love for Krsna and this love for Krsna is devotion or bhakti or devotional service. So in
this way Krsna is leading us to bhakti which will begin from the seventh chapter
onwards. Okay, now we can invite questions. Question~ Sankya Yoga and Karma Yoga
are not different ….. [unclear] His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : – As I just mentioned,
when both….there can be Sankhya without Krsna, understanding of the spiritual reality
and karma also can be done or you can act but not desire the result of the action, as I said,
like, that is also not suitable. But the real renunciation of the results of action is when it is
offered to Krsna. You are not doing it for yourself you are doing it for somebody whom
you love and that Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Enjoyer of all the actions, all
the sacrifices, so both are actually leading to the same point. Like sankhya is leading to
the understanding that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate object of our
love and karma also is leading to that: all our actions must be rendered for the sake of the
person whom we love, so both are coming to the same point. That is why Krsna time and
time again actually making the point that there is no difference. Actually Arjuna asked in
the beginning of the third chapter, why are you bewildering me, at one time you are
telling me that be engaged in action and now You are saying renunciation of action is
better then why are You leading me into this. Krsna is pointing out that they both mean
the same thing. So the missing link is Krsna. When the missing link is established then
everything is solved. The puzzle is solved. Question : Yes. (question)Maharaja
sometimes we just convince ourselves we are acting or renunciating for Krsna’s sake…
but at least Arjuna was able to ask Krsna, am I actually engaging in Your service or not
so what is the actual test for us in our day to day lives? His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami :
                                                                                                     http://www.bhakticharuswamilectures.co.in
Well even if is pretentious, still it is beneficial, because Krsna is omniscient. So Krsna is
very easily pleased when He feels that we are at least accepting Him, although we are not
perfect, but He will be pleased with us. Because you know, He loves us, so when
somebody loves somebody, even if he is failing, he becomes pleased, the lover becomes
pleased. So the point here is, that even if you are not perfect at the beginning at this point
in time, it doesn’t matter. Continue to serve, although you are saying that I am doing it
for Krsna and you are enjoying the results, still Krsna sees that you are admitting you are
doing it for Me, I am happy with it. So that is the most important thing, you know, like
we have to understand that Krsna loves us. We have to just reciprocate, respond to that
love. How is a love affair? Love affair is reciprocal then it becomes complete. If one
person loves and the other person doesn’t, then how does the lover feel? Now here Krsna
is that Lover,Who is hankering for our love and we are not responding to His love. Like
one person loves another person, the other person does not respond, how does the
loverboy feel? He feels so sad, dejected, heart-broken, right? And then one day he gets a
note
“I love you” how does he feel? He begins to jump with joy. Now that is the situation of
Krsna actually. When we just say “Krsna I love you” you know Krsna becomes so happy.
He loves us, now we simply have to reciprocate. And even if we say it without
understanding it, even if we say it without meaning it, “Krsna I love You” how will
Krsna feel? That expression of our love is Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare
Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami :
Yes, Santosh? Question : Maharaja, bhakti or the devotional service you mentioned, as a
selfless service to Krsna, but if someone does a selfless service to say anyone else to a
demigod, would you call it bhakti or is it an exclusive word only for Krsna? His Holiness
Bhakti Caru Swami : Bhakti ultimately is exclusively meant for Krsna, although it is used
sometimes as bhakti for this, bhakti for that, but in reality it is exclusively meant for
Krsna. His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Yes, Nilamani? Question : Maharaja, this
morning you were saying twenty five elements, could you go over that? His Holiness
Bhakti Caru Swami : Twenty four and twenty fifth. Okay, the five elements of nature:
earth, water, fire, air, ether. Five senses: eyes, ears, touch, tongue and smell, rather nose.
Then the five objects of the senses: form, taste, smell, touch and sound. Rupa, rasa,
gandha, sabdha, sparsa. Then five working senses: pada, pani, payu, udhara, upastha,
legs, hands, belly, genital and anus. Twenty, then three subtle elements: mind,
intelligence, false ego. Then twenty fourth consideration is mahatattva. Question : What
is this mahatattva? His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Mahatattva is the basic ingredient
for the entire material creation. Get it? Question : What is it? His Holiness Bhakti Caru
Swami : Mahatattva. [Laughter] Material nature has this element from which everything
becomes manifest, so that is the mahatattva. It is the origin of mind; it is also the origin of
false ego. Pradhana and mahatattva is very subtle difference. When you look at it from
one angle it is pradhana and from another perspective it is mahatattva. Question : So it is
not the aggregate of all these things, it is what underlies all these things? His Holiness
Bhakti Caru Swami : Both. [Laughter] Like say just to give an example: all the forms are
created by atoms. Isn’t atom the element of all the forms. And isn’t the atom all the
aggregate of all the forms? So that is what it actually means. Question : And Maharaja
then you explain the twenty fifth element is I, what is this I? His Holiness Bhakti Caru
Swami : The soul. You see material nature has been analysed with the twenty four  http://www.bhakticharuswamilectures.co.in
considerations, the entire material nature has been analysed but; they’re objective. If I am                                                                                    
not here, will this nature exist for me? All these twenty four elements exist for me? No. if
you are not here, will it exist for you? No. if nobody is here, will it exist? Right, so the
object is dependent upon the subject. So this I is the subject. We are, who are perceiving
this nature that is why this nature is existing. So that I, is the soul. So that I, the soul is
not the product of material nature, it came from another nature, so therefore it is the
twenty fifth consideration. And then the twenty sixth consideration is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul. Question : [unclear] Guru Maharaja, yesterday,
you were mentioning how loving Krishna is very natural, it is just a matter of being
properly exposed to Krishna. In our day to day life we see that sometimes it is a big
endeavour to even render devotional service. Is it because we are not properly exposed or
we just have to be patient because we are so conditioned. His Holiness Bhakti Caru
Swami : You see, this relationship with Krishna is natural. We don’t have to artificially
cultivate it. It’s already there. All it needs, is a little practice. So, the initial stage of
devotion therefore is sadhana-bhakti, practicing. But through that practice, when it
becomes perfect, then automatically it becomes manifest. Does it answer your question ?
I was wondering whether I understood your question. [Question] : If it’s natural, then
why is it a struggle ? His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Yes, right, because we forgot it.
We lost that ability. Because we have become conditioned, covered over by matter.
Because we have become covered over by matter, that’s why the spiritual qualities have
not become properly manifest. It is not only covered over, it is being transmitted through
matter. The soul is there but the consciousness of the soul is being projected through the
body, through the senses. Therefore, we are actually trying to experience the
characteristics of the soul through the body. And that is our problem. And as a result of
that, what is happening? We forgot Krishna. We forgot that our consciousness should be
projected onto Krishna and there lies the fulfilment of our existence. But instead of that,
what is happening, our consciousness is now projected through the senses, through the
objects of the senses and there is a tendency to exploit those objects of the senses and
gratify our senses. The ultimate object is joy, we want to enjoy. The way to enjoy is by
projecting our consciousness to Krishna. That is the real way to enjoy. But what are we
trying to do, we are trying by gratifying our senses. This is leading to suffering, it is not
giving us enjoyment. We have to undo that condition and that is why we have to practise
devotional service, sadhana bhakti . Prabhupada is giving the example : A human child
has the ability to walk. As a baby it cannot walk. But it practises and after a little practice
it begins to walk. Naturally, when the inherent ability is there, through some practise it
will become manifest. Question : [inaudible] His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Right.
As you are saying that, as you are not able to see Him, it is so difficult to love Him. The
thing is that you have lost your ability to see Him. That is your problem. We are not able
to see Him, because our perception, our ability to see, our spiritual sight has been lost.
That’s why, all we are seeing is matter. Now, what we have to do, through matter, we
have to see Him. Question : How ? His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Through the
scriptures. We have to see Him, not with our eyes, through the eyes of the Scriptures.
And it will happen. If we practise properly, it will happen. Question : [unclear] His
Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : On our part we have to be careful. But on Krishna’s part
He is taking it easy. He does not care about offense so much. An example is when
Vivishan went to surrender to Ramacandra, Sugriva saw him and he was about to kill  http://www.bhakticharuswamilectures.co.in
him. He thought, he is a raksasha, so he must have come to hurt, to harm them. So
                                                                                                   
Vivishan told him: “Look, just go and tell Lord Ramacandra that I have come to
surrender to Him.”Sugriva went and told Lord Ramacandra. So Lord Ramacandra asked
Sugriva : “What do you think?” He asked all the other monkey leaders. They all said :
“No, we should not trust a raksasha. He has come to harm us. Then Ramacandra asked
Hanuman : “Hanuman, what do you think?” Hanuman said that from the descriptions it
seems that he is honest. He came with an honest intention, so we should accept him. Then
Ramacandra admitted that yes, Hanuman is correct. And then He said something, He said
: “Actually, even if someone surrenders unto Me with an ulterior motive of hurting Me,
even one comes and pretends to surrender to Me, still I accept him. Because just that he
has come to surrender, even if he is pretends, even if he has some ulterior motive, still I
accept Him. So that is Krishna’s attitude. When we surrender, Krishna is not calculating,
Oh, so many offenses, so many credits. No, Krishna’s calculation is very simple. You
have surrendered to Me, so I will accept you. But on our part we should be careful.
Because you see, Krishna may be very willing to accept us. But we should be concerned
of being qualified. And ultimately when there is loving relationship there is no offense, if
love is there, that’s all. An example in that respect has been given. A baby lying on the
lap of the mother. The baby kicks the mother on the chest. Does the mother take any
offense ? Krishna’s attitude towards us is like that. And also the Vaishnava’s attitude is
also like that. Vaisnava’s do not calculate, Oh, you committed an offense unto me. That’s
not Vaishnava. That’s the meaning of amadena amadena, offer all the respect to others
and do not desire any respect for yourself. But at the same time, we should be careful,
that at least we become qualified. Krishna may be very merciful but we should not take
advantage of Krishna’s mercy. Vaishnavas may be very merciful but we should not take
advantage of Vaishnavas’ mercy. Rather we should develop our service attitude towards
Vaishnavas, which begins with respect. Question : [Unclear] Svalpam apy’asya
dharmasya trayate mahato bayat. Just accept the path, accept the authority of Krishna,
surrender, accept His authority, accept the process He has given, simply accept His law.
And prior to that you don’t have to worry of going to Yamaraja. Yamaraja is punishing
but for a devotee, wouldYamaraja punish him ? Rather Yamaraja will be happy and the
devotee also will be happy. Oh, Yamaraja, you are a mahajana. “Please accept my
humble obeisances” And when you offer your obeisances to Yamaraja he will say : “Oh,
you are a devotee” He will say : Finally I got the association of a devotee. That’s how
wonderful this path of Krishna-consciousness is. Therefore there is not need to make it
complicated. Keep it simple. Don’t complicate. Too much involvement with the rules and
regulations makes it rather complicated. Krishna says : svalpam apy asya dharmasya.
Dharmam tu saksad Bhagavad pranitam… That is, just accept the laws given by Krishna.
Ultimate law is to surrender unto Krishna… Ultimate law is, always remember Him and
never forget Him. Just follow that simple process and see what happens. And therefore
devotees are not interested about liberation. When a person is already liberated, why
should he worry about liberation separately? Question : [unclear] You are feeling sad
because you are obsessed with your love only. You are not considering how much
Krishna loves you. You are considering your love only. Now, I will say, focus on
Krishna’s love for you. Don’t be too obsessed with your love for Krishna. Because you
will always feel that you are failing. Now, just look around yourself, at every step try to  http://www.bhakticharuswamilectures.co.in
experience Krishna’s love. Breathing. Who made this arrangement ? That we are
breathing oxygen, taking in oxygen and given carbon dioxide? Wouldn’t the whole
                                                                                                   
atmosphere have been filled with carbon dioxide? Did it happen? Why not? Because the
trees and plants are giving out oxygen and we are breathing out carbon dioxide. Who
made this arrangement? Why? When you see how much Krishna loves you, where is the
room for sadness? All the food that you’re eating, Who gave it to you? [Unclear answer
and laughter] No room for mental speculation. You can go a step forward or a step
behind, you yourself because you paid the money. We have to go beyond all those
considerations. Look at, just a small seed falls on the ground, a tree comes out and there
are so many fruits and in each fruits there are seeds, and in each seed there is a tree and in
those trees there are innumerable fruits and in each fruit there are innumerable seeds …
Who can make an arrangement like that ? An endless supply of food [Question] His
Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : When we lose our enthusiasm, how can we render our
service enthusiastically ? Let’s consider where does our enthusiasm come from? What is
the source of our enthusiasm? Why did we get enthused? Because there is an expectation
… Devotional service should not be rendered blindly or as a superstitious act. To get up
in the morning to attain the mangal arati, our heart is not there in mangala arati, otherwise
everbody will start criticizing me.. Devotional service should not be like that. It should be
done with a clear understanding why we are doing it and what is the benefit of doing it.
Then only we will be able to maintain our enthusiasm. Another way to maintain
enthusiasm is to be in the right association. Be in the association of enthusiastic devotees,
you will feel inspired. [Question] His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : The unconditional
love for Krishna, that we are doing it for our love for Krishna. When there is some
expectation in return. Let’s put it this way. There are three types of bhakti, karma-misra
bhakti, jnana-misra bhakti and suddha-bhakti. When bhakti is motivated by a desire for
sense gratification, materialistic enjoyment, that is bhakti mixed with karma. When
bhakti is mixed with the desire of liberation, then it is jnana-misra bhakti. But when
bhakti is mixed with no desire for anything else, then that is suddha bhakti. Now, the fifth
chapter, the offering of sacrifice, there is a certain expectation … When that is given up
and … that is out of our pure love for Krishna, when we try to do something for Krishna
that is the suddha bhakti. My point, I will make a point here. We are discussing the sixth
chapter, why did you jump in the thirteenth chapter. I just mentioned maha-tattva and
pradhana there is very little difference. When you look at it from the spiritual perspective
it is maha-tattva, when you look at it from the material perspective it is pradhana.
Question : [Unclear] His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami : Then, why don’t you ask the
devotee why he is not pleased with you ? Anyway, these are the details. Again, one
qualification of a devotee is ashutos. When some devotee is very difficult to please, then I
would say, find someone who is easy to please. Render service unto him. [Laughter]
Thank you very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupada ! Gaura Premanandi ! Haribol!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bhagavad-gita Day 1 Part-1


Hare Krishna! So did everybody get the summary of the first six chapters? So today I will cover all the six chapters in one go. Are you all ready for that? With rapt attention? What is Bhagavad-Gita? Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of the Vedas. The Vedas are vast, therefore Vyasadeva considered, or Krishna actually considered, that the essence of theVedas should be given, presented for the conditioned souls, for the fallen degraded souls of the age of Kali. And that’s why He presented that in the Mahabharata, in the form of advising Arjuna. At a very critical time when the battle of Kurukshetra was about to begin, at that time Arjuna decided not to fight. He dropped his bow and arrows and he told Krishna, ‘Krishna I cannot fight in that way.’ And at that time Krishna started to advise Arjuna. And that advice that Krishna gave is the Bhagavad-Gita.Why Krishna wanted Arjuna to fight? There are two reasons. One is, this battle was Krishna’s arrangement. You remember that verse, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata? (4.7) Then what does Krishna do? Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam.(4.8) Krishna protects the sadhus, Krishna protects the devotees and he annihilates the demons. Therefore Krishna made that arrangement. During His 
Vrindavana pastimes He killed all the demons, then He left Vrindavana and went to Mathura and killed Kamsa. And then He killed many, many demons one after another. Then He made many other demons to be killed by His devotees like Bhima and Arjuna. And then finally that battle was arranged where all the demons put in one side and all devotees on the other side. And He caused a mass annihilation in order to re-establish 
dharma. Now, all this battle was arranged and now Arjuna said that he is not going to fight. That is why Krishna wanted to provoke Arjuna.Another reason is, that all the endeavours were made by so many devotees to stop the battle. So many learned, wise individuals advised them. Vyasadeva personally came to 
advise Duryodhana. Bhisma told, Vidura told, Gandhari told – but Duryodhana was adamant. Finally Krishna Himself went as a messenger with a peace proposal. But Duryodhana what to speak of listening to Him, he decided to arrest Krishna. He thought if Krishna is not there with the Pandavas, then the Pandavas will become absolutely week and to win over them will be easy for us. So he thought that he will arrest Krishna. At that time Krishna showed His universal form.All the efforts had already been made, and Duryodhana was adamant, completely adamant to fight the battle. And now when the battle is all set, after all these efforts of peace proposals, then Arjuna said that he will not fight. So Krishna started to advice 
Arjuna about Bhagavad-Gita. And the apparent objective of Bhagavad-Gita was to provoke Arjuna into the battle. But the ulterior purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to give it to us, so that we can receive that knowledge. That has been very wonderfully described in the Gita-mahatmya. ‘Sarvopanishado gavo dogdha Gopalanandanaha, vatsaha partho sudhirbhokta dugdham Gitamritam mahat. Sarvopanishado gavo. All the Upanishads are like a cow and Krishna is the cowherd boy who milks the cow, making Arjuna the object 
of that milking. The cow gives milk for the sake of the calf. Because of the calf the cow gives the milk. But the calf doesn’t drink all the milk. Who drinks the milk? Human beings drink milk. So here Arjuna is the nimitte. Arjuna is the objective through whom the Gita was presented. But who drinks this Bhagavad-gita? This nectar of BhagavadGita? Su-dhih. Those, who have very advanced intelligence. Those, who have very 
beautiful intelligence,. This word ‘su’ can indicates ‘sundara’ which is beautiful intelligence; another is advanced intelligence. People with advanced intelligence can relish Bhagavad-Gita. So that is the purpose of Bhagavad-Gita and in this way, Krishna actually derives the essence of the Vedas.The Vedas have two branches: one branch is Upanishads and the other branch is Puranas. So the essence of Upanishads is Bhagavad-gita and the essence of all the Puranas is the Srimad Bhagavatam. That is why these two scriptures are absolutely essential. If anybody wants to understand the wisdom of the Vedas, the teachings of the Vedas, then these are the two scriptures that are absolutely essential. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu established these teachings through Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. All our Acaryas have 
done that and finally Srila Prabhupada also established the Krishna Consciousness
movement on the basis of these two scriptures. You see the importance of these two
scriptures. In the morning we study Srimad Bhagavatam and in the evening we study
Bhagavad-Gita. So in this way Srila Prabhupada established the importance of these two
scriptures. Bhagavad-Gita is very, very important. Bhagavad-Gita is a preliminary study.
You begin your spiritual study with Bhagavad-gita. And then the advanced course is
Srimad-Bhagavatam. And the post graduate course is Caitanya-Caritamrita.
In the first chapter it has been described how Arjuna decided not to fight but Krishna
insisted that he must. He convinced him. Arjuna is actually telling Krishna that he is not
going to fight. Then, from the second chapter onwards Krishna’s instructions begin. So
Krishna lets Arjuna speak. …
Second chapter of Bhagavad-Gita is known as Sankhya-yoga. But Srila Prabhupada
actually titled it as ‘the summary of the Bhagavad-Gita summarized’. The second chapter
gives the summary of the Bhagavad-Gita. Now, Sankhya is the analytical study, you
analyse. We see that’s what Krishna is doing. Krishna is telling Arjuna the difference
between the body and the soul. Arjuna gives various reasons why he won’t be able to
fight this battle. Why he should not fight this battle. And it is a very difficult battle to
fight as it is. Battle is a serious business. When a warrior, when a ksatriya goes into a
battlefield he goes there only with two options open to him – either he will win the battle
or he will die. He goes to the battlefield of course with an intention to win but at the same
time he knows and his family members know, when somebody goes into a battle the
chances of his not coming back is also there. The ksatriya accordingly it seems so they
are enjoying so much, they are having a living a royal life, and so much enjoyment and so
much fun, but actually the ksatriyas lives are very, very critical and crucial. Can you
imagine, the young man goes to the battlefield, and not only the king but all his soldiers
and many of them die. And sometimes the king himself dies. And all of a sudden the
whole family lost everything. They lost their kingdom because they have been defeated
by their enemy. It is actually very painful. That is what has been pointed out in
Bhagavad-gita. What does the mode of passion lead to? Mode of passion actually leads to
suffering. The effort is there, the endeavour is there to enjoy but eventually it ends up in
suffering. Mode of passion leads to suffering. It is only in the mode of goodness that one
can be situated in happiness. The real happiness is in the mode of goodness. And the
spiritual bliss is even beyond the mode of goodness, in the mode of pure goodness,
visuddha tattva. Therefore an intelligent person becomes situated in the mode of
goodness and transcends the mode of goodness and comes to the spiritual goodness or
pure goodness.
Arjuna is there in the battlefield and he says that he can not kill his guru, his grandfather.
He is saying. He is telling Krishna, ‘how can I kill my grandfather? How could I shot
arrows – katham bhismam aham sankye dronam ca madhusudana isubhih pratiyotsyami
(2.4), isubhih means with arrows, pratiyosyami with contest. Not only that I will shot
arrows at them, they will also shot arrows at me. It’s a very difficult situation. So he said,
I’m not going to fight this battle. And Krishna heard, Krishna heard, Krishna heard
silently. Then finally when Arjuna says, ‘Krishna, I do not know what to do. I am
completely confused. Now You please tell me what I should do. I’m assuming the role of
Your disciple. I’m becoming Your disciple which means I am accepting You as my
spiritual master.’ So when Arjuna submitted himself to Krishna then only Krishna started
to advise him. So here also we learn one lesson, unless and until we surrender to Krishna,
Krishna is not going to take our responsibility. Sometimes people say, why Krishna is
doing this to me, why Krishna is not doing that to me? But the point is, are you
surrendering yourself to Krishna? If you are surrendering yourself to Krishna, Krishna
will take your responsibility. There is no doubt about that. Krishna Himself is giving that
assure. So you surrender and Krishna will take control.
When Arjuna surrendered himself to Krishna, and accepted Him as his spiritual master,
then Krishna started to advise him. And those advices are so wonderful. And that is what
constitutes Bhagavad-Gita. When Krishna started to speak, the first thing Krishna told
Arjuna, ‘Arjuna, you are speaking like a wise man but you don’t know anything.
Asocyan anvasocas tvam – you are lamenting over things that one should not lament for.
And yet prajna-vadams ca bhasase – you are speaking like a wise man. So He just
smashed him straight away. And then He started to give him the advice. ‘Arjuna, you are
lamenting that you will kill your grandfather, you will kill these kings and your friends
and relatives, but there was never a time when they were not here and there will never be
a time when they will not be here. There was never a time when you, I, all these kings
were not here and there will never be a time when they will not be here.’ Now, who is
that, that will always be here? Who has been in the past, has presented at the moment and
will continue to be there in the future? Who is that? The soul. And then Krishna made
that point also very clear. The difference between the body and the soul. That is why
Bhagavad-Gita is actually very scientific. Bhagavad-Gita is a science. It is the science of
the spiritual reality. We have different sciences, sciences of physics, science of chemistry,
science of mathematics. There are so many different sciences. Those are the sciences of
material subject matters. But this is the science of the spiritual reality. The science of the
soul. The science of the soul will lead to the spiritual nature. And eventually it will lead
to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore study this subject properly. Then
Krishna actually makes this point in very simple way. It is so simple, yet so profound.
Just see, the body and the soul. Krishna is establishing the two different elements. He is
saying that the body changes from childhood to boyhood to youth, to old age. The body
changes but the person doesn’t change. So in spite of the change of the body you are not
changing. None of us is changing. Our body is changing but we are the same persons. I at
a five year old, I at the age of fifteen, I at the age of twenty-five and I at the age of sixtyfour. I am the same person although my body changed. And so Krishna is making a
conclusion, that in spite of the changing of the body the person does not change. So when
the body will not be there, still the person will be there. In this way He is establishing the
eternity of the soul. Dehino ‘smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha dehantarapraptir. (2.13) Tatha – just as the body changes. But in spite of the change of the body the
person doesn’t change. So when the person will leave the body he will take up another
body. Dehantara-praptir. And dhiras tatra na muhyatia, a person situated in knowlage
doesn’t lament over that change of the body. And then He establishes the characteristics
of the soul. Na jayate mriyate va kadacin. (2.20) The soul is never born nor the will ever
die. The soul cannot be destroyed by anything. The body can be killed but soul cannot be
killed. The body can be killed by weapons, the body can be killed by fire, the body can be
drowned in water. In this way, the can be killed in so many ways. Nainam chindanti
sastrani nainam dahati pavakah. (2.23) The soul cannot be cut by any weapon, the soul
cannot be burned by fire, the soul cannot be drowned in water, the soul cannot be dried
by air. Avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam. (2.17) So therefore you recognize
that the soul is indestructible. The soul is eternal, first He established, then He established
that the soul is indestructible. And in this way, Krishna dealt with the initial aspect of the
differentiating the soul from the body. Unfortunately in the material nature we identified
ourselves with the body. And that is the cause of our suffering, the cause of our distress.
Because we are identified ourselves with the body we are so frustrated. Frustrated why?
Because we are actually hankering for the, our hankerings are spiritual. Our hankerings
are from the soul. We are conscious beings, we are desiring. There is another
consideration. The characteristic of the soul is consciousness. The characteristic of the
soul is to desire. And when the desire is fulfilled, there is happiness. Now the problem is
that our desires are spiritual and we are trying to achieve those desires, fulfil those desires
through this material body. So that is why our desires are never fulfilled. And we are
always ending up in disappointment and frustration. And that is the cause of our
suffering. The soul is eternal, we don’t want to die. Because we are eternal by nature. We
want to be eternal. But we are trying to attain that immortality or eternity through the
body.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

‘Prayers by the Demigods’


Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
tvayy ambujaksakhila-sattva-dhamni
samadhinavesita-cetasaike
tvat-pada-potena mahat-krtena
kurvanti govatsa-padam bhavabdhim
SYNONYMS
tvayi – in You; ambuja-aksa – O lotus-eyed Lord; akhila-sattva-dhamni – who are the
original cause of all existence, from whom everything emanates and in whom all potencies reside; samadhina- by constant meditation and complete absorption (in
thoughts of You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead); avesita – fully absorbed, fully
engaged; cetasa- but by such a mentality; eke – the one process of always thinking of
Your lotus feet; tvat-pada-potena – by boarding such a boat as Your lotus feet; mahatkrtena – by that action which is considered the most powerful original existence or which
is executed by mahajanas; kurvanti – they make; govatsa-padam – like the hoof print of a
calf; bhava-abdhim – the great ocean of nescience.
TRANSLATION
O lotus-eyed Lord, by concentrating one’s meditation on Your lotus feet, which are the
reservoir of all existence, and by accepting those lotus feet as the boat by which to cross
the ocean of nescience, one follows in the footsteps of mahajanas [great saints, sages and
devotees]. By this simple process, one can cross the ocean of nescience as easily as one
steps over the hoof print of a calf.
PURPORT
The true mission in life is to cross the ocean of nescience, of repeated birth and death.
Those in the darkness of ignorance, however, do not know this mission. Instead, being
carried away by the waves of material nature (prakriteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani
sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]), they are undergoing the tribulations of mrityu-samsara-vartmani,
repeated birth and death. But persons who have achieved knowledge by the association of
devotees follow the mahajanas (mahat-krtena). Such a person always concentrates his
mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord and executes one or more of the nine varieties of
devotional service (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]).
Simply by this process, one can cross the insurmountable ocean of nescience.
Devotional service is powerful in any form. Sri-visnoh sravane pariksid abhavad
vaiyasakih kirtane (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.265). According to this verse, Maharaja
Pariksit became liberated by fully concentrating his mind on hearing the Lord’s holy
name, attributes and pastimes. Similarly, Sukadeva Gosvami simply glorified the Lord,
and by speaking on the subject matters of Krishna that constitute the entire SrimadBhagavatam, he too was liberated. One may also be liberated simply by sakhya, friendly
behavior with the Lord. Such is the power of devotional service, as we learn from the
examples set by the Lord’s many pure devotees.
svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
We have to follow in the footsteps of such devotees, for by this one easy process one can
cross the great ocean of nescience just as one might cross a small hole created by the hoof
of a calf.
Here the Lord is described as ambujaksa, or lotus-eyed. By seeing the eyes of the Lord,
which are compared to lotus flowers, one becomes so satisfied that one does not want to turn his eyes to anything else. Simply by seeing the transcendental form of the Lord, a
devotee is at once fully absorbed in the Lord in his heart. This absorption is called
samadhi.
Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah? (Bhag. 12.13.1). A yogi is
fully absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for he has no other
business than to think of the Lord always within the heart.
It is also said:
samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the
cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the demon Mura, the ocean
of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoof print. His goal is param
padam, or Vaikuntha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where
there is danger at every step.” (Bhag. 10.14.58) This process is recommended here by
authorities like Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva (svayambhur naradah sambhuh [SB
6.3.20]), and therefore we must take to this process in order to transcend nescience. This
is very easy, but we must follow in the footsteps of great personalities, and then success
will be possible.
In regard to the word mahat-kritena, it is also significant that the process shown by great
devotees is not only for them but also for others. If things are made easy, this affords
facility for the person who has made them easy and also for others who follow the same
principles. The process recommended in this verse for crossing the ocean of nescience is
easy not only for the devotee but also for common persons who follow the devotee
(mahajano yena gatah sa panthah).
[End of Purport]
So, demigods are offering their prayers to Krishna when He was in the womb of His
mother. So the demigods came and they started to offer their prayers to Krishna in so
many wonderful ways, and this particular verse is actually pointing out what happens
when one surrenders himself to the lotus feet of the Lord. Actually, the entire spiritual
process ultimately culminates into that point, surrender to the Lord.
Sometimes there is a consideration that, what actually is initiation? Initiation actually is
the surrender, a formal surrender. Initiation has two aspects. One is getting the mantra. In
other ages mantras were kept as a secret and only through initiation the spiritual master
used to give the mantra to a candidate, to a disciple, who in turn also used to keep the
mantra as a secret. Diksha was important and through diksha spiritual life used to begin,
because then only one used to get the mantra. Otherwise one could not possibly get the mantra. Mantras were kept as a secret and without the mantra the spiritual life couldn’t
begin. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the mantra publicly. Anybody can chant.
So nowadays, in order to begin our spiritual life, we don’t have to chant mantra. We
don’t have to get initiated to get the mantra. Mantra has been already available to all of
us. As a matter of fact, in ISKCON to chant the mantra sixteen rounds is the qualification
to get initiated. You have to first chant the mantra in order to become qualified. So we
can see that nowadays, due to the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, we don’t have to
receive the mantra through the process of initiation.
Then the question is, then why initiation is still necessary? Actually, Chaitanya
Charitamrta very clearly says that this Hare Krishna Maha Mantra doesn’t depend upon
diksha and purascarya.
diksha-purascarya-vidhi apeksa na kare
jihva-sparse a-candala sabare uddhare
[CC Madhya 15.108]
This Hare Krishna Maha Mantra doesn’t depend upon diksha and purascarya, process of
purification. In other ages diksha and this purascarya were the qualifications. One had to
become qualified then only he could get the diksha and through the diksha one could get
the mantra. But Mahaprabhu is saying Hare Krishna Maha Mantra doesn’t depend upon
these formalities of diksha and purascarya, initiation.
But then the question is, why did Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura instituted this
process of initiation? And Srila Prabhupada followed. In ISKCON we have the process of
initiation. Why? This initiation is important. Initiation is important because through
initiation one makes a formal surrender. One aspect of diksha, one important aspect of
diksha, is to get mantra, and another important aspect of diksha is surrender.
diksa-kale sisya [bhakta] kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama
[CC Antya 4.192]
At the time of initiation the sisya, the disciple, surrenders himself and at that time
Krishna accepts him. Sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama, Krishna accepts him.
So surrender is the most important consideration. Those who are surrendered they’re
fortunate. Those who do not surrender they are unfortunate and they suffer the conditions
of the material existence. So ultimately we can see the surrender is the most important
consideration. It is through surrender that spiritual life begins. Just surrender unto
Krishna. Krishna Himself is broadcasting, “You surrender unto Me, then I’ll take care of
you. You surrender, I’ll take care of you.” Aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisyami ma
sucah [18.66]. You surrender, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to undergo
severe austerities and penances. You don’t have to perform so many sacrifices. Just
surrender, then I will deliver you from all your sinful reactions, meaning then you won’t have any suffering. Sufferings are caused by sinful reactions. So if you don’t have any
sin, then where is the question of suffering? So life will become full of happiness, full of
joy.
So in this way we can see that the surrender is the most important consideration. We must
surrender and then, through the surrender, our devotional life will begin and we must
execute our devotional service in a mood of surrender. It is not that in order to get
something we surrender and then we forget it. No surrender. We surrender and now that
we got it, get rid of it. No need to surrender. I am the lord and master.
Prabhupada pointed out that’s the problem with the Mayavadis. They accept a guru to get
something, but when they got something then they say, “We don’t need the guru. I don’t
need guru. I don’t need anybody. I don’t even need God. I’ll become God myself.” So
that is their mistake, that is their misfortune, whereas devotees surrender. And when we
surrender what happens? Just the simple process of surrender very easily takes us across
the ocean of material nature. We surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord. When we
surrender to the lotus feet of the Lord, then what happens? The lotus feet of the Lord, as it
has been described in this verse, the lotus feet of the Lord becomes a boat. We surrender,
immediately the lotus feet of the Lord becomes a boat and we situate ourselves in that
boat, the boat takes us across the material nature.
And how easy it becomes to travel across the ocean of material nature? Just as
insignificant as a hole made by the foot print of a calf. Does anybody make any endeavor
to go across the hoof print of a calf? No. That is how easy it becomes for a devotee to go
across the ocean of material nature. In other words, for a devotee going across the ocean
of material nature is not an issue at all. It is automatically accomplished. Just by
surrendering they have achieved it. Then why worry about it? So this is how wonderful
this process of devotional service is. So wonderful! We just surrender and Krishna takes
care of us.
Another example we can consider, [altar curtains open]
Jaya Sri Giridhari Gopala ki Jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Sita Rama
Lakshmana Hanumana ki jaya! Gaura Premanande!
Hari Haribol! Another consideration is, like, say for example, in New York there are so
many tall buildings, Empire State Building, so many other buildings. There used to be
World Trade Centre. Now, it is very difficult to climb such building, but when you go
there, is it at all difficult to climb that building? We just get into the lift! Some lifts stop
at seventieth floor, some stops at ninetieth floor. In one shot it just goes to ninetieth floor
and then it stops at ninety first, ninety second, and so forth. Now when once we get into
the lift is it all difficult to climb on top of the building? No, the lift takes us. The
surrender is something like that. Just step into the lift! We surrender to the lotus feet of
the Lord and just what do we do then? Don’t do anything. Just stay there, chanting Hare
Krishna and the lift will take us right on top of the spiritual sky.
Such a simple process, such an easy process. But unfortunately people do not understand
that. This process is so easy that’s why this process was kept as a secret. Like one had to prove himself in other ages, prove his sincerity, prove his, there were lots of difficulties
atually in order to come to the platform of devotional service. One could not get an easy
access unless and until one came across a pure devotee. It’s only by the mercy of a pure
devotee one could become a devotee. That is the condition and we found that so many
people, rather insignificant individuals, became devotees of the Lord by receiving the
mercy of a pure devotee.
Narada Muni came across this hunter, Mrigari. What happened? Such a sinful, terrible
hunter just by coming in contact with Narada Muni became a pure devotee! Ratnakara
was a bandit, was a dacoit. By coming in contact with Narada Muni he became the great
devotee of the Lord, Valmiki. So in this way we see, just by coming in contact with the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes a devotee, irrespective of his
qualification. So, in this process everyone is qualified if he surrenders.
Now, what does it take to surrender? The surrender, this expression is also used in
wrestling match, isn’t it? In wrestling match, like surrender means, okay, I’m not going to
fight anymore. I surrender. Now the fight is very struggle some, very strenuous, very
difficult. Fighting is difficult, to wrestle is difficult, but surrender is easy. Just as soon as
the wrestling [war] began, as soon as the bell rang, if we surrender [laughs], then you can
avoid all the trouble of this fighting the wrestling match. And especially when we are
fighting with Maya, struggling with Maya, trying to overpower her. That’s what we are
trying. We are trying to be the lord and master. We’re trying to become the controller. So
it is actually a struggle against Maya and in this struggle we’ll never succeed, but mam
eva ya prapadyante [Bg 7.14]. When one surrenders to Krishna, mayam etam taranti te.
One can easily go across Maya.
So, now what is the intelligent proposal? What is the intelligent man supposed to do?
Struggle hard? Sometimes we come across people they say that, “Oh, you are escaping!
You are escapist. You are escaping!” I said, “Yes, when the house is on fire and the
house is in fire, we must escape! [laughs] Only a fool will stay in the house and say, well,
I’ll get burned.” Now if you want to be that kind of fool and get burned, okay, stay in that
house that is burning. Stay in the forest fire of material existence. We’re not going to get
burned. We are just going to get out. Escape, yes! Escape from a dangerous situation.
That’s the sign of intelligence. Yes, we are escaping, but escaping from what? A very,
very difficult situation.
And escaping is so easy. Escaping from this miserable, material condition is so easy. All
we have to do is, “Krishna, Krishna! Please save me! Krishna, Krishna! I’m taking
shelter of Your lotus feet.” Then Krishna says, “Come.” That is how merciful Krishna is.
He is always there just waiting to deliver us from this miserable condition. In one hand,
yes, we have rejected Krishna, we have gone away and as a result of that we are
suffering. In one way we can see our situation in that way, but there is another way to see
also. Another way we can also see our situation, that is the father has taken the child.
Sometimes the father takes the child to the field, to the park, and lets the child play. The
child finds its friends and he plays in the park. And the father is just sitting on a bench,
watching the child, looking at him. And he is waiting for when the child will finish his play and come back to him. So the father is just waiting. And we are allowed to play in
this park of material nature. We’re playing. We’re completely absorbed in our game and
we have forgotten the father. But then, all of a sudden, when it becomes dark, all our
friends are gone, we are left alone, we become afraid, then what happens? The child calls
out, “Daddy, daddy, where are you?” And then daddy comes and picks him up. So all we
have to do is tell Krishna, “Daddy, daddy, where are you? Krishna, Krishna, please
deliver me.”
So when we surrender unto Krishna in that way- Krishna, Krishna, please deliver me,
please save me from this dangerous situation- then Krishna will come. He is waiting to
pick us up. Otherwise why should He be in our hearts? What business does He have to go
with us wherever we go, in all kinds of dirty, undesirable situations? Because He is our
extremely compassionate father. He is our dear most friend who is simply concerned
about our well being. And He is waiting. So when He is waiting to pick us up, can it be
difficult to be picked up by Him? All it needs is just one simple effort, surrender, to call
out to Krishna with all sincerity and just surrender unto Him.
But in the material nature what we are doing? What is the opposite to surrender?
Opposite to surrender is to be independent. And the norm in this material nature is to be
independent. Everyone is trying to be independent. “I want to be independent.” But it is
such a foolish thing to do, especially when you have such a rich father, why should you
be independent of Him? When you have such a rich, capable, compassionate, powerful
father, why shouldn’t we surrender unto Him? Why should you try to be independent?
That is our disease and that is the disease that we have to cure. We have to become cured
of this disease, the disease of independence, and the cure is surrender! So just surrender!
So, demigods, they’re very exalted personalities. They understood it and they’re praying
to Krishna.
Thank you very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
So did you find out the easy way out? Surrender!
Hare Krishna! Gaura Premanande! Hari Hari bol!
Does anybody have any question?
Devotee: Ajaya prabhu has been asking me
Another devotee: Maharaja already talked about it.
BCS: Yeah, we briefly discussed about it. You got the answer?
Audience member: Yes, Maharaja.
BCS: His question actually was about our being, the process I mean, our way is non
violence, then why there are so many battles, killing and all that. So I pointed out, our
way is not non violence. When violence is necessary we’ll use it. These wars are not
actually a matter of violence. It’s a matter of justice, crime and punishment. Punishment
is a violent reaction in a way, but it is actually justice. You do something wrong, you’ll
be punished. Like, when the father punishes the child is it seen as violence? Nowadays of
course in the West it is seen as violence. The child complains to the police and police
comes and arrests the poor father. [laughter] But it is actually compassion. It is concern,
because if he doesn’t correct the child, the child will be spoiled. That’s the kind of mood we find with Nanda Maharaja and also Jagannatha Mishra. Jagannatha Mishra is
chastising Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Some brahmana comes and chastises Jagannatha
Mishra; “Do you know who is this? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead!”
Jagannatha Mishra’s response is, “So what? He is my son. If I don’t chastise Him, then
He’ll be spoilt. So it’s my duty as a father to correct Him.” So, this is the duty of a father
to correct the child. It’s an expression of his compassion. It’s not violence.
Devotee: His other question was that in the scriptures, about this killing, it’s not much
described like violence to the animals and those who are subordinate to you. It’s not
specifically mentioned, so he wanted a reference to find that, that it is propagated.
BCS: Yeah, it has been described in Manu Samhita. Especially kshatriyas can kill
animals in a certain condition, but brahmanas cannot. Vaishyas cannot. Candala’s can,
because they are candala’s, those who are below the varnashrama category. But they live
in the forest, they live with the animals, kill the animals, eat them, that’s fine. Not in
cities and civilized society. Or in a yajna an animal could have been sacrificed, but that
sacrifice was to benefit that animal, to check the efficacy, the success of the sacrifice.
And the result was that the animal would be promoted. The animal either would get a
young body, an old animal would get a young body, or the animal would be elevated to
the higher planetary system. So this is how it has been pointed out. Some animals can be
killed but not cows. Cow killing is completely prohibited. Rather, the human culture is go
brahmana hitaya ca. For the benefit of the cows and the benefit of the brahmanas one
must act. Then the society will prosper.
Yes, Madhupati prabhu?
Devotee: Maharaja, you talked about this independence and we see that independence
comes from a false ego. How can we give up independence? We see in our society,
ISKCON society, many times devotees they want to be independent to do their own [?]
things. What is to be done, this concern is there.
BCS: Yeah, well, at least be surrendered to the highest authority. Okay, you can’t work
with the temple president, at least function under the GBC. You can’t work under the
GBC, function under Srila Prabhupada. But there the buck stops. And also Prabhupada,
we cannot divide the GBC and Guru. Srila Prabhupada also, because Prabhupada has said
that GBC is the ultimate managing authority, the GBC body. So there we have to stop.
And of course we have to expect that the GBC body will be just and fair. But then again,
the other thing is, even if the GBC body is wrong we should remain submissive for the
benefit of her institution. Otherwise everything will fall apart if we all start to function
independently. Generally we have seen, like when somebody is sincerely trying to serve
the mission everybody recognizes that, or at least, you know, ultimately will recognize
that. And with the passing of time it will become more and more clear. Then again
another thing is that the higher authority should not try to impose their power. You see
that is the difference between material and spiritual.
Material platform is the platform of exploitation. So there, you know those who are on
top, they actually get into a bigger position or a better situation to exploit. Like today, why are people running after political power? Because there they get the maximum
opportunity to exploit people. Whereas the spiritual platform is just the opposite to that.
Spiritual platform is just the opposite to exploitation. That’s the platform of service. So,
higher you go, bigger is your sphere of service. And ultimately, see Krishna, who is the
topmost, what is He doing? He is serving everybody! Isn’t it? He is taking care of
everyone. And when we create that spiritual atmosphere then everybody will become
happy. You see, when I come to lord over then everybody will be worried. “Oh my God,
he has come. When will he get out of here. When will he leave.” That will be the
tendency, I mean, that will be the, they may not say it, but in the back of their mind
they’ll feel that. But if I come here to serve, then who will not want me, right? So, that is
the thing. The spiritual platform is the platform of service. So, more advanced we are,
that means greater is our attitude of service.
Prabhupada actually has created an International Society for Servants! International
Society for Krishna Consciousness means an International Society of Servants. And in
this society the bigger the servant you are, the higher is your position. That’s how it
should be. Like, we have seen what Prabhupada was doing. Prabhupada was actually
serving everyone, but unfortunately after Prabhupada’s disappearance, when we failed to
recognize this underlying spirit of this Movement, instead of becoming servant when you
try to [become]lord and master, then things started to collapse. Devotees started to leave.
And, you know, today we lost so many thousand of devotees, but what is the bottom line?
Because we tried to lord over them. We didn’t really care for their spiritual welfare. As
senior devotees we didn’t really think of how we could serve them. Rather, we thought
that these are our servants and we assumed the position of a master. Now we have to
realize that. Now we have to actually assume the position of the servant, then ISKCON
will start to flour ish.
Devotee: Maharaja, aham tvam sarva papebhyo mosayisyami ma sucah, when a person is
serving Krishna out of fear to get free from the sinful reaction, is that a high level like
that of gopis who did not care about fears, happiness and suffering?
BCS: Yeah. Well, Bhagavad Gita is actually the preliminary study. Therefore in
Bhagavad Gita Krishna is giving the assurance that, “I’ll deliver you from your suffering
condition.” But then what assurance is given? Ma sucah, don’t worry about that. That
will be just the by-product of your surrender. The actual result of surrender is not the
sarvapapebhyo moksa. The actual purpose of surrender, the actual goal of surrender is to
develop Krishna prema. Therefore we find that where Bhagavad Gita ends, sarva
dharman parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja, and that is the beginning of Srimad
Bhagavatam. Dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam [SB 1.1.2]. So
anyway, but some way let us begin. [laughs] If we begin the process then someday we’ll
reach the end. If we are on the right track and if we stay on that track then some day we
will reach the ultimate goal. But important is that we get into the track. And what brings
us to the track, is surrender! Yes?
Devotee: Like, monkeys with Lord Ramachandra that we have been hearing, they have
such an exalted position. Who were they in their past lives that they got such an
BCS: The demigods.Devotees: They were all just demigods?
BCS: All the demigods came as monkeys. They’re not ordinary people. Like Sugriva,
who was Surya. And Hanumana is Vayu putra. Neela was Vishvakarma. So these are all
demigods who came as monkeys.
Devotee: There were not just thousands, there were millions of monkeys.
BCS: Yes, millions of…
Devotee: They were all demigods?
BCS: Yeah. Thank you! All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande! Hari
Haribol!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

My experiences and associations with Prabhupada Part-3



When Prabhupada was in Kartikeya Mahadevya’s house Prabhupada one day suggested that Upendra should be called. Prior to that Hari Sauri Prabhu was Prabhupada’s personal servant and Prabhupada appointed Hari Sauri Prabhu as the GBC of Australia. That’s what Prabhupada used to do, either the GBC used to be Prabhupada’s servants and secretaries or the servants used to be promoted, when at some point Prabhupada used to make them into, give them some service, important service, like make them GBC. So Hari Sauri Prabhu was serving Prabhupada and when Prabhupada was in Bombay, he made Hari Sauri Dasa GBC for Australia and so there was a need for someone to serve Srila Prabhupada and Upendra Prabhu was called in. He was probably in Fiji or some place of that kind. I don’t know where he was. I never met him before.So one day, one fine morning he just arrived. He was very efficient, very competent
servant of Srila Prabhupada. He left his body unfortunately. And he came. And so three
of us were there, Tamal Krishna Maharaj, Upendra Prabhu and myself were serving Srila
Prabhupada. I was kind of stand by. Although Prabhupada made me Secretary of Indian
Affairs but I used to do whatever.My day was something like: At 7 o’ clock I used to get all the newspapers, daily newspapers. Prabhupada wanted me to get the daily newspapers. And 7 o’ clock I would go to Srila Prabhupada with the newspapers. And I used to read the headlines. And if
Prabhupada liked some interesting news, Prabhupada wanted me to read them. And I used to read them. And sometimes Prabhupada used to make comments.Like, one day Prabhupada was telling me how degraded the Nehru family was. At that time Indira Gandhi, I think Indira Gandhi called a State of Emergency in India. So Prabhupada was telling how degraded that family was. Prabhupada knew the family from Allahabad. The Nehru family’s originally from Allahabad. Prabhupada also used to live in Allahabad. It seemed that he knew that family quite well. And that way Prabhupada pointed out that India’s situation was so bad that a person like Nehru as the leader of the nation, and then his daughter now is the leader of the nation. And at that time Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s son was making a lot of disturbance all over. And finally he died in a plane crash. Sometimes Prabhupada would make some interesting comments.
Then one day some very important people came to meet Srila Prabhupada. They were Sriman Narayan and Ram Krishna Bajraj. Sriman Narayan was the Governor of Madras and Ram Krishna Bajraj was the chairman of Bajraj Industry, a very big industry. They were brothers-in-law. And Bajraj’s sister was married to Sriman Narayan. So they were very fond of Srila Prabhupada. So one day they came to see Srila Prabhupada. When they saw that Srila Prabhupada’s health condition was not so good, they suggested that
Prabhupada went to Rishikesh, on the bank of the Ganges. And they felt that this change of climate and going to the bank of the Ganges would be good for Prabhupada. Prabhupada also appreciated that proposal. He liked it. He told that he’d never been to Rishikesh before. And he liked the idea of being on the bank of the Ganges. So Ram Krishna Bajraj and Sriman Narayan made arrangements for Srila Prabhupada. They were very well connected. It was not their house but one of their acquaintance’s house. A house called Ganga Darshan, a very beautiful two-storey building right at the bank of the Ganges. It was arranged for Srila Prabhupada.In the meantime when we were serving Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada’s cook was Palika, one of our godsisters, American godsisters. She used to cook for Srila Prabhupada. And I
used to serve Srila Prabhupada. She used to cook and then exactly at twelve o’ clock, I would take the prasadam plate to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada didn’t have much of an appetite. So he was hardly eating.
One day I saw that Prabhupada was not eating. He couldn’t eat. He was trying to eat. Actually what happened is, that day Palika was sick . So another godsister of ours was asked to cook for Srila Prabhupada. And when Prabhupada was eating, Prabhupada couldn’t eat. So I asked Srila Prabhupada, ‘Prabhupada, it was not? She didn’t cook properly? Prabhupada said, ‘No, she doesn’t know how to cook.’ And then I just spoke up. I said, ‘Srila Prabhupada, should I cook for you tomorrow?’ Prabhupada said, ‘Yes, you can try.’And the next day Srila Prabhupada taught me how to cook some preparations. He just told me how to cook. He was having his massage. Upendra Prabhhu was giving him the massage and Prabhupada just asked me to get the vegetable and mustard oil, red chilli, turmeric. And then Prabhupada told me how to cut the vegetables, how to spice them. And I cooked, then I served. And Prabhupada ate quite well.After serving Srila Prabhupada I was in the kitchen, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the pots. So Upendra just came running to me. He said, ‘Hey, Prabhupada told me to taste the food. He liked it. He asked me to taste it.’ So I gave it to Upendra.So that afternoon Tamal Krishna Maharaj when he went to Srila Prabhupada to read out the letters and take dictations from Srila Prabhupada, Prabhupada told Tamal Krishna Maharaj also how he liked my cooking. How well I cooked. So Tamal Krishna Maharaj
also came and told me ‘Prabhupada really liked your cooking.’Then the next morning I cooked. The next day I cooked. Prabhupada took a bite and he was very upset. He said, ‘You don’t have any standard. One day you cook nicely, I praise you and next day you are gone.’ So I was feeling very bad that I displeased Prabhupada. Then the next day I cooked, this time I was cooking very, very carefully not to make any
mistake because I knew that if I made a mistake that day then I would lose my service of cooking for Srila Prabhupada. I mean, I used to actually really intensely desire that maybe I could cook for Srila Prabhupada some day. When Palika used to cook I used to try out some preparation. One day I cooked some kofta and served Srila Prabhupada. I didn’t tell him that I cooked. But Palika tasted that and she told me it was very nice. So in this way I was kind of, trying some different preparations.Anyway when I cooked for Srila Prabhupada the next day and I cooked very very carefully, not to make any mistake. And then I served Srila Prabhupada. And when I saw that he was eating I got a little courage. So I asked Srila Prabhupada, ‘Prabhupada, is the cooking alright today?’ Prabhupada said, ‘Yes, today it is alright.’ That’s how I got the
service to serve Srila Prabhupada. I cooked for Prabhupada.And then Srila Prabhupada left for Rishikesh one day. We all flew from Bombay to Delhi, Tamal Krishna Maharaj, myself, Upendra Prabhu and Prabhupada. We stopped in Delhi for one night. And the next morning we drove to Rishikesh. Prabhupada stayed in Rishikesh for a few days and we used to have a lot of fun. Some other devotees were
already there to make the arrangements. Like, Trivikrama Maharaj was there and Pramana Swami, Viraha Prakash. And Pradyumna Prabhu came. Pradyumna Prabhu was Prabhupada’s Sanskrit editor. So Prabhupada used to affectionately call him Panditji. Panditji means scholar, pandit.So one day, it was an Ekadasi and we were not informed about it and some devotees broke the Ekadasi. So Prabhupada was very upset. And he said, What is the point of having Pandit with us if you can’t even tell us when is Ekadasi?’ So then Prabhupada said, ‘Okay, we broke the Ekadasi, so fast tomorrow.’ So Prabhupada told us to fast the next day.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

My experiences and associations with Prabhupada Part-2



Anyway this broadness has been very clearly indicated but at the same time Prabhupada also maintained a very strict understanding of Krishna. Like, at the beginning, when Prabhupada was establishing ISKCON, and he declared that the name of the institution will be The International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Then many actually suggested that better would be to call it The International Society for God Consciousness. But Prabhupada was adamant, ‘No, International Society for Krishna Consciousness.’ And there is reason that Srila Prabhupada did that. People may not understand Krishna, that Krishna is God. Prabhupada said, ‘I have come here to to make everybody understand that Krishna is God.’ That was Prabhupada’s mission, to make everybody understand that Krishna is God.
And many times Srila Prabhupada dealt with this issue. Sometimes especially when he
was dealing with the Christians, Prabhupada used to ask that, ‘You speak about God?
Who is God? What does He look like? Where does He stay? What does He do? So if you
do not have any information about Him but if I have some information, if I provide the
information then why shouldn’t you take it? You do not have any information. I have the
information. So you have to accept that I know better than you. You are speaking about
God but you do not have any understanding about God. You are speaking about God but
you do not have any information about God. So why don’t you accept? Why don’t you
take an honest stand? And accept that, “Okay, I don’t know about God and here is the
information about God. Let me honestly accept it.” But instead you just keep on saying
that, “My God is the only God.” But you don’t have any understanding of God. Who is
your God? You just have the three letters, God. What does He look like? What does He
do? Where does He live? No information. So if somebody comes and provides you some
information, why don’t you accept it?’
So in that respect, Srila Prabhupada was very strong. That, ‘If you want to know about
God, come to me. If you want to know about God, come to me. I can tell you what He
looks like, what His name is, where He lives, what He does and I can even give you His
phone number.’ So this is how Srila Prabhupada was very clearly and emphatically
establishing Krishna Consciousness.
Anyway so another incidence in that program I remember that somebody in a rather
challenging way he was asking, ‘Why don’t you worship Rama? Why you always
worship only Krishna?.’ Prabhupada said, ‘No, we worship Rama also. Our
understanding is Rama and Krishna is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. When
we are chanting Mahamantra, we are saying Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama.’ And
so the man was quite argumentative and Prabhupada became more and more upset the
way the man was. And Prabhupada’s voice became louder and louder. And finally
Prabhupada was screaming at him, although physically Prabhupada was quite weak at
that time.
Prabhupada’s health condition was quite weak. When he used to come, actually when
Prabhupada was in Mayapur, his health condition deteriorated considerably. Previously
Prabhupada used to walk on his own. But in Mayapur, we had to kind of, hold Srila
Prabhupada when he was walking. There was one way we used to hold Srila Prabhupada
when he was walking. Prabhupada used to have his stick. He used to hold the stick with
his right hand and we used to hold Prabhupada. With the right hand we used to hold him
around his waist and with the left hand we used to hold him on his shoulder. And this is
how we used to give him the support, when he used to go to bathroom, or any place.
When he used to go down to give class or went to attend some programs in the temple,
then Prabhupada was carried in a palanquin. There was a thing made, It was a chair made
with handles and a few devotees used to carry Srila Prabhupada down the stairs and up
the stairs.
So in Bombay other sannyasis, actually Tamal Krishna Maharaj and Bhavananda used to
go beforehand to the program and then at some point Prabhupada and I used to go to the
program. I used to assist Srila Prabhupada. So Prabhupada’s health condition was quite
weak and Prabhupada was giving the class. And he used to sit there. He used to sit there
quite hunched and weak with his physical frailty. But then as Prabhupada would start to
speak, his body would become straight. And then finally Prabhupada was practically
sitting at the edge of his seat, straight and erect as a bolt, and screaming with a pitch, at
the top of his voice, chastising. And I remember, the people also became so upset with
that man, they practically carried him and threw him out of the crowd.
So, sometimes Prabhupada in India especially, sometimes Prabhupada used to have this
kind of confrontation with the people. It’s unfortunate that such a glorious country with
such an inconceivable spiritual asset, that some people are just so adamant and unwilling
to recognise the greatness of a saintly person like Srila Prabhupada. At times I lament that
when Prabhupada was on this planet so few Indians recognised Srila Prabhupada’s
greatness. Nowadays we hear so many people come and say, ‘Oh, I met Swamiji.’ If you
met Swamiji, then why didn’t you come and help him? Why didn’t you surrender to him?
You met Swamiji but what was the use of that meeting? Some bed bugs also met Srila
Prabhupada. (Laughter) So anyway this is the misfortune that they couldn’t recognise
Srila Prabhupada’s glory, Srila Prabhupada’s greatness and take advantage of that. Srila
Prabhupada often used to have this.
Anyway I was just thinking Prabhupada used to go out in the morning walks. So in
Bombay I heard Prabhupada used to go for morning walks. And those morning walks
were very interesting. But I didn’t have the good fortune to go out with Srila Prabhupada
on the morning walk because those days when Srila Prabhupada was in Bombay, he
didn’t go out on a morning walk. That is because his health condition was so bad. But
sometimes when Srila Prabhupada would go back after the program I would go with Srila
Prabhupada and then he would lie down on his bed and I used to massage his feet.
One day Prabhupada was asking, ‘So how did you like my lecture?’ So I said,
‘Prabhupada it was very nice.’ And then Prabhupada said, ‘What was so nice about it?’
Then I related whatever I recalled. And Prabhupada was very pleased.
Then after the program was over, Prabhupada came back to Bombay temple, Juhu
temple, and Prabhupada’s apartment was complete by now. Complete in the sense, yeah,
more or less complete. Only the lift was not in full operation. The lift was used only
when Srila Prabhupada had to use it, at the beginning. When we went down, and up, we
went on foot, climbed the stairs on foot. And those days, so, just Tamal Krishna Maharaj
and myself.

Monday, 2 April 2012

My experiences and associations with Prabhupada Part-1

Hare Krsna,
So we were discussing about Srila Prabhupada, my experiences and associations with Prabhupada.
So from Mayapur Srila Prabhupada went to Bombay. The main reason for Prabhupada’s going to Bombay was a big Pandal program in Cross Maidan. In the main city of Bombay there is a large park called Cross Maidan. A program was arranged for Srila Prabhupada for three nights in Cross Maidan. When Prabhupada arrived in Bombay the devotees drove Srila Prabhupada to his quarters. In Bombay Prabhupada used to previously live, he had his quarters in one of the old buildings. Actually Bombay property had many apartment buildings and there were many tenants also. So Prabhupada used to live in one of the apartments, when he used to be in Bombay. So devotees drove Srila Prabhupada to his old apartment.
And Prabhupada asked what happened to his new apartment. And the devotees told that it was not ready at that time. Prabhupada said, ready or not he was going to stay there. And Prabhupada insisted. Now probably you have seen Prabhupada’s apartment in Bombay temple, the top floor of one of the towers is Srila Prabhupada’s apartment. Prabhupada just insisted on staying there now. The apartments were not ready. The lifts were not ready, and it was on the fifth floor. And the doors were not fixed and, it was, But Prabhupada just insisted he wanted to stay there.
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And then Tamal Krishna Maharaj actually made, Prabhupada went up there and the work was still going on. The floors were not (inaudible). Prabhupada just insisted that he wanted to stay there. And then Tamal Krishna Maharaj suggested that since the program is in the city, Cross Maidan, maybe it is better for Prabhupada to stay in the city in somebody’s house. He already phoned someone, one very important man in Bombay who had a big palatial building, I mean, not palatial building, he actually had a palace. He was like a king. His name was Bhogilal Patel. So first Tamal Krsna Maharaj contacted Bhogilal Patel but Bhogilal Patel was not in Bombay at that time. Finally it was arranged that Prabhupada will stay in Kartikeya Mahadevya’s house, another life member, who was very close to Srila Prabhupada and a very important person. He had a very beautiful apartment on the beachfront, sea-facing. It was very luxurious apartment buildings. And so arrangement was made that Prabhupada would stay there in Kartikeya Mahadevya’s house. So Prabhupada moved in there with a few of us. Three of us were there with Prabhupada, Tamal Krishna Maharaj, myself. At first NavaYogendra Maharaj, no NavaYogendra didn’t come yet. Bhavananda Maharaj joined after a few days. And so three of us moved in with Srila Prabhupada and myself, three of us, moved in that apartment. Kartikeya Mahadevya with his family moved out, he vacated the apartment for Srila Prabhupada and us. And he moved in, in the same complex in some other apartment. I think they had some relatives and the whole family moved in there. So Prabhupada stayed in Kartikeya Mahadevya’s house for a few days and every evening Srila Prabhupada used to go to the program. And this was a very successful program. There were thousands of people, used to participate, must have been about close to 10 000 people used to attend the program every night. And from that program I remember a few things, a few incidents that were very memorable.
One day, one evening Srila Prabhupada noticed that an Arab gentleman dressed up in Arabic attire, like the way the Arabs dress, long kurta, Al khanna they call it and then the head is covered with a ring on top, all white. So the man was standing there in the crowd. And Prabhupada sent one of his sannyasis to bring that man on the stage. He was a Muslim. Prabhupada brought him onto the stage. And Prabhupada started to have some exchange with him. And it turned out that that person was the Police Chief of Kuwait. He was the Chief of Police of Kuwait. He came to Bombay for some treatment and that evening was the first time he was allowed to go out of the hospital. He just came for a walk in that park, and he saw this gathering. And out of curiosity he just came there and Prabhupada just invites him onto the stage.
Prabhupada had some very sweet exchange with that person. Prabhupada noticed that that person had a set of beads in his hand. So Prabhupada asked him, ‘What is that? What do you do with that?’ So he said something like, he just fiddles around with that. And Prabhupada showed him his beads. He said, ‘I also have one.’ And then Prabhupada pointed out that these beads are meant for chanting the Holy Name of the Lord and keep count. And Prabhupada pointed out that, ‘Your beads also is meant for that. It is meant for chanting the name of Allah and keep count of that.’ And Prabhupada said that he didn’t have any bead bag or that sort of thing, it was some sort of stone kind of beads, a
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crystal. And then Prabhupada said that, ‘That is a very sacred thing and it must be kept in a sanctified way and that’s why we put it in a bead bag, so it does not become exposed to any unclean thing.’ And so in this way Prabhupada had very sweet exchange with this man.
And it was quite an impressive sight also that here is Srila Prabhupada, a big spiritual leader with his followers from all over the world spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. And next to him there is this Arab gentleman, obviously a Muslim, sitting, Prabhupada invited him to come onto the stage. I think Prabhupada even asked him to speak but that man did not want to speak. He had some reservations because he was from Kuwait and from a Muslim country and he was the Chief of Police there so he didn’t want too much publicity also.
So that shows how broadminded Srila Prabhupada is. Just as I think, yesterday or the day, before in the offerings one of the devotees mentioned about the reporters in San Francisco, when asked about conflict, possible conflict between different religions. Prabhupada’s reply was, ‘No, all the religions are speaking about God. They are propagating the teachings of God, glory of God, so why should there be anyhttp://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8579093548419299536#editor/target=post;postID=6531569416765851026 conflict?’ But the conflict is due to misunderstanding or no understanding about God and all kinds of claims that my way is the only way. Then only the trouble starts. At some point you may have to say the our way is the way, because if the others are not in the name of God consciousness, if they speak all kinds of nonsense then somebody has to go and correct them. So that way there may be some conflict. But if all the religions are speaking about the Supreme Personality of Godhead then there is no possibility of conflict. This has been very clearly indicated time and time again by Srila Prabhupada through his actions.
I also remember once Prabhupada was having some discussion with some reporters. And they actually challenged Srila Prabhupada. No, I’m sorry they were actually, they were not reporters, they were Christian priests, Catholic priests. They asked Srila Prabhupada, ‘Why are you converting the Christians into Hindus?’ Prabhupada’s response was, ‘No, I am not converting Christians into Hindus or Muslims into Jews. I am simply making better Christians out of Christians, better Jews out of Jews and better Muslims out of Muslims, better Hindus out of Hindus. Prabhupada is situating them in their perfect identity. Jesus came and spoke. Who is a Christian? A true follower of Jesus Christ is a Christian. And what did Jesus preach? Jesus simply spoke about God, the Father. Who is God the Father? Are there many Fathers? Are there many God, the Fathers? There is only one God, the Father. So that God, the Father is Krsna. Who is Allah? Is there any difference between God, Allah, Krishna, Jehovah? So we have to understand that essential truth. If that essential truth is properly understood, then there cannot be any conflict between different religions.

Friday, 30 March 2012

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RETREATS


Hare Krishna,
I was also thinking that I spoke for about one hour, but what I really wanted to say I didn’t say
that. What I really wanted to say is that I am very happy to be here with you all.
Devotees: “Haribol!” (clapping)
I had been missing you all very much. Actually it has been one of the longest absences from
England last twenty five years. I’ve been coming practically every three months or so, but this
time I have been away for about nine months. Probably you can understand my difficulties and
different responsibilities, different other areas, which didn’t allow me to or enable me to come
earlier. But often I thought of you all and I do miss it very much, especially Bhaktivedanta
Manor, and I feel very happy to be here with you all and I’m very happy to see you all.
Although I couldn’t have much of a personal exchange with most of you but I’m looking forward
to more of personal exchanges.
And in this respect I also wanted to mention that, today I was told that this year the participation
in the Malaga retreat is even lesser than last year. Whereas last year the feeling actually was that
this year there would be more devotees, because devotees were so excited after the retreat that
they felt that many more would come. So in this respect I just want to let you know that this
retreat actually has been designed simply for the sake of your association. Like, when I had the
heart problem two years back I was told by the doctor not to travel so much and I also realized
that I cannot possibly travel very much nowadays.
That’s why I thought that I would spend one week in…, just in one place, away from everything,
where the devotees come and meet me and we can spend the time together. And I also used to
tell them that, all the time, all this years I had been travelling to come to you, now you travel a
little to come to me. So, please consider the importance of this retreat. I need to spend time with
you. I have taken some responsibility for your spiritual life and I feel very guilty that I am not
able to execute it properly; guiding you personally, taking care of your spiritual life personally.
So please make it a point to come to the retreat.
Thank you.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Srila Prabhupada Realizations By Guru Maharaja Part-5


In Gaudiya Math, after Srila Bhaktisiddanta
Sarasvati Thakur’s disappearance, one Acarya fell down. And as a result of that the whole structure collapsed. In ISKCON, if you look at the history, many gurus fell down who were very powerful individuals and very charismatic personalities with many, many followers. They fell down. When they fell down, there was a massive disaster in the movement. Naturally, their disciples, their followers became
disheartened and left. They have been a massive loss. But ISKCON did not fall
apart. Why? Because this institution having a collective concept of management.
The gurus have fallen down but the GBC (Governing Body Commission) was in
place. The ISKCON was not resting on the strength of the gurus. The ISKCON was
being substantiated by the collective management of the GBC. And therefore we
have to understand where our real strength lies and we have to act according to that
understanding. We must derive our strength from where the source of our strength
is.
The source of our strength is on our unity, in our collective management. There had
been many attacks that have come to ISKCON in many, many ways. In many ways
there have been many attacks and it seemed as if the society will fall apart but it
didn’t because of this concept of collective management. As I mentioned the gurus,
many powerful gurus have fallen down. Many of you have experienced. And many
of you here, I know, have been even initiated by gurus. Like, for example
PrabhaVishnu? You are been initiated by? ‘Jayatirtha and Bhagavan.’ Okay, so
two gurus fell down. And how were they? They were very very powerful individuals,
with how many followers? Even in South Africa there were hundreds of followers,
hundreds of disciples. And what kind of damage it caused. But ISKCON did not fall
apart. Damage has been caused. A good part of ISKCON collapsed but ISKCON
remained and ISKCON continued and is still continuing. Show me or name how
many spiritual institutions are there that is still continuing, after the disappearance
of the founder, the charismatic founder that the founder is. Very few. We can name
only name a few, say, Christianity, Islam. Then we can go to the extent to say
RamaKrishna Mission. They’re doing pretty good.
Let us see why these three institutions have been successful. Those three institutions
have been successful because the founder of the institution has been recognized and
it is on the strength of the founder that the institution is thriving. Christianity is
centered on Jesus Christ. Can you imagine if Jesus Christ’s position became
obscured and some of his followers took his position, became the leader of the guru?
And Jesus’ position became obscured? Then would there be any Christianity? Same
thing applies with Islam, same thing applies also with RamaKrishna Mission. We
must give credit to Vivekananda. Although he was the main force behind that
institution, not only that, he actually is the createR of the RamaKrishna Mission.
RamaKrishna was not the creator of the RamaKrishna Mission. RamaKrishna
Mission is the creation of Vivekananda, but the thing is he put RamaKrishna in the
centre. And as a result of that, that institution is still thriving. On the other hand,
you look at some other institutions. In the recent past there have been many
institutions, for example, there has been Rajneesh, so many bhogi yogis, these babas
and that babas and so forth. Just wait till they fall apart, till they disappear. What
will happen?
One thing also, in this case I can point out, Sai Baba. Sai Baba did not establish the
institution on his own strength. He established the institution in the name of Sriddhi
Sai Baba, who was a very powerful spiritual leader. But he did not really establish a
spiritual institution. It is this Satya Sai Baba who actually made it possible. It is on
his strength that actually Sai Baba is Sai Baba. He also has some mystic power. No
doubt about that. And people are impressed with this mystic power. Most of the
institutions, after the disappearance of the leaders, fall apart. For example,
Rajneesh? Did you even hear about Rajneesh? Same way, there are so many.
Sachidananda, Balayogi. Balayogi created quite a sensation in his time. But what
happened to their institutions? They fell apart. Now, why is ISKCON still going so
strong, 32 years after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance? Although ISKCON faced
so many difficulties, so many crises, ISKCON is still going strong. Why? Because of
this collective management and ISKCON has Srila Prabhupada in the centre. And
this putting Srila Prabhupada in the centre is not just a sentimental thing in
ISKCON. Prabhupada IS the centre. How? Because the basis of ISKCON is actually
the books of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. They are presented
in books. Prabhupada himself said ‘Books are the bases. In this institution books are
the basis. And we are seeing that it is on the teachings of Srila Prabhupada that
ISKCON’s activities are going on. In the morning, we give Bhagavatam class. Based
on what? Devotees go out and preach. Based on what? On the basis of Srila
Prabhupada ‘s books. Whenever we have any discussion, what is the basis of that
discussion? Srila Prabhupada‘s books.
This is the difference between Christianity and ISKCON. Christianity is thriving,
but when we go into the bottom of it then you see it is empty. It is on some sentiment
that they are carrying on. Why is their basis empty? Because they don’t know the
teachings of Jesus. Jesus’ teachings haven’t been presented. What we got in the
form of the bible, is just the statements of the Apostles, who came much after Jesus
Christ. And that’s why Christianity is so confusing in so many ways. And they don’t
have any philosophical understanding. How can you be considered to be a bona fide
religion when they don’t even recognize that the animals have soul? Christian
understanding is that only human beings have soul, animals don’t have soul. What
does it imply? They don’t know what soul is. They say, ‘Love thy Father, Lord, thy
God.’ But who is God, the Father? No understanding. How can you love somebody
Whom you do not know. They’re saying, ‘Father, Father,’ but they’re saying His
only son is Jesus Christ. What kind of Father is He? Prabhupada once mentioned
that, ‘I had five children and God, the Father had only one child? Impossible.’ So
we can see that their spiritual aspect of it and philosophical understanding is
practically nil. They don’t have any spiritual understanding. Just some rituals and
based on that rituals, that religion is thriving. You know, at least Christianity
admits human beings have souls. You know what about the Muslims? They say only
the men have souls, women don’t have a soul. The point is that they don’t have any
information of the spiritual identity of an individual. They don’t have any
understanding about the spirit soul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Whereas in Prabhupada’s teachings and books. It is not that Jesus didn’t know
about this God, the Father and the identity of the soul. Jesus knew but Jesus’
teachings haven’t been presented properly. For that matter we see that Christianity
was not established by Jesus or even by the Apostles. Christianity was actually
established by Constantine, a king. Just consider that a king is establishing a
spiritual organization. What will you get out of that? That is why there is lots of
regal display but not spiritual understanding.
Anyway to go back to our main point, Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON in a most
perfect way, in the most solid ground on the basis of his books. Books are the basis
and purity is the force. Those who are going to propagate Srila Prabhupada’s
mission, Srila Prabhupada pointed out, they have to be pure. And that’s why
ISKCON maintained such a strict standard. No matter how exalted a personality
you may be, no matter how powerful individual you may be, you deviate from the
spiritual path, please step down. That’s why we find that in ISKCON such strict and
strong measures have been taken whenever the leaders of ISKCON, the gurus of
ISKCON deviate. And who is making these decisions? Individuals will deviate. But
this collective concept of management, the GBC is the judge. They’re judging.
They’re implementing and they are establishing the standard. And then many of
the GBC were also leaders, individually. They have gone and yes, a void has been
created but they have been replaced. One seat has been vacated, another person
came and occupied that seat. This is how collective management has protected the
movement from all kinds of crises and calamities.
Now let us go back to the importance of Srila Prabhupada’s position. Like, let us
consider some big business conglomerations, like one of the most prominent one’s
are Ford, Rockefeller, these giant of organizations. Now just consider, Ford
Motorcar Company was established by Henry Ford. And still today we can see that
who is the … When we think of Ford, when we speak Ford, who do we speak of?
Henry Ford. Ford means Henry Ford. And being the successors or being connected
to Henry Ford , the other Fords had become glorious. Now just imagine if Henry
Ford was … There are many institutions somebody sets up, then it is handed over to
his sons and grandsons, then what happens? They don’t really become that
prominent. Now why the other Ford’s are glorified? Why other Fords are so
fortunate? those who are born in that family? Because they are connected to Henry
Ford. Henry Ford created that giant of an institution. And by being connected to
Henry Ford, they became glorified. Now same thing with Rockefeller. Some
Rockefellers are born in that family. They inherited that legacy, they inherited that
wealth. Some others came, they inherited that wealth. In this same way the
personality, some very special personality creates that institution and those who
become connected, those who are somehow fortunate enough to become connected
to him, they inherit the legacy. Now in this case, let us consider, where does our real
good fortune lie? Our connection to Srila Prabhupada. That somehow or other we
are connected to Srila Prabhupada.
Will Rockefeller institution be the same if we take Rockefeller away from there?
Will the Ford institution be the same if we take Henry Ford away from there? No.
So similarly we have to understand that our main strength actually lies in Srila
Prabhupada ‘s position as THE founder Acarya of ISKCON. And if that concept is
maintained, ISKCON will become stronger and stronger. Like, as I was also
pointing out, the old concept of ashram, guru’s ashram. One guru is there. He sets it
up, then he hands it over to another person. The other person, because the structure
is so small, he can actually continue handling it. But when Srila Prabhupada came,
Srila Prabhupada created an international institution. To run that institution
effectively there has to be a personality who is almost as qualified as Srila
Prabhupada, otherwise he will not be able to handle it. Therefore there is a need for
a collective concept. This structure is so vast, so powerful that in order to manage
that it is not going to be possible to be managed by one particular individual after
Srila Prabhupada. Therefore there is a need for that collective management. And we
can see the way Srila Prabupada structured it that is perfect. What is the structure?
Just look at the ISKCON structure. The whole world has been divided into different
zones. And those zones are managed by the zonal secretaries of the GBC. And in
that zones all over the world there are many , many temples. The temples are
actually the units. Our actual units are the temples. And those temples are managed
by the temple president. Temple presidents have the sole responsibility of
management. Prabhupada made it clear. GBC’s should not interfere in the local
management. They must guide, they must help, and they must see that the standard
is being maintained, but they should not interfere too much. They should see,
interference should be there, whether the spiritual standards are being maintained,
whether enough finance is there, whether they need any manpower, and so on and
so forth. But when it comes to managing the temple is the temple president . And as
a result of that, you can see ISKCON’s development will take place through
effective establishment of the temples.
And in his way we can have hundreds of temples, thousands of temples, being
managed by qualified individuals and then the temple will be run not whimsically
by Temple President but by the Temple council which should have the Temple
President, Vice President, Secretary and other important members of the temple.
So Prabhupada gave the perfect structure. And in this structure we can grow
endlessly. Endlessly we can grow. And anyway, now again I will re-iterate the
structure. What is the structure? Srila Prabhupada is THE founder Acarya. Then
the GBC body is the managing authority of structure and then the temples are the
units from where our preaching and activities and all the spiritual programs will be
conducted. Those temples are managed by the Temple Presidents. Now, in this
structure, what is the most important consideration? Srila Prabhupada’s position. It
is not that Srila Prabhupada after his disappearance, he left. We have to recognize
that Srila Prabhupada is still present. Srila Prabhupada is still present. Srila
Prabhupada is present through his ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada is present through
his vani. Yesterday that point came up a few times. What is the meaning of vani?
Vani means Prabhupada’s books. Prabhupada is still present in his books.
Prabhupada is a spiritual personality. It is not a sentimental concept that ‘Oh
Prabhupada is present, Prabhupada is present.’ We have to see in a practical way
how Prabhupada is present. And one thing I can tell you. Line up with Srila
Prabhupada, dedicate yourself to Srila Prabhupada, surrender yourself to Srila
Prabhupada and commit yourself to the mission of Srila Prabhupada, I can
guarantee you spiritual life will become a success. That is the secret of success.
Thank you very much all GLORIES TO SRILA PRABHUPADA!!