Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Srila Prabhupada Glorification Part-2

We have not recognized yet the full greatness of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada is like a huge mountain but now we are very close and
do not fully realize his greatness. Only when we move away from the
mountain do we realize how great the mountain is. As time goes on we
will begin to realise Srila Prabhupads's greatness even more.
Srila Prabhupada once lamented to me, "Everyone is coming but the
Indians are not coming". In those early days there were very few
Indians. But now they have realized the greatness of Srila Prabhupada
and are coming forward.
Some exceptional souls, even though they took birth in Europe and
America, they responded Srila Prabhupada to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's
movement. That is why they are exceptionally fortunate. Many of them
were sent by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to assist Him, that is why they
took birth in the Western World. Once a devotee said to Prabupada, "I
was so degraded and you saved me". Prabhupada replied, "Your situation
was superficial because as soon as I came, you approached me." So
these devotees are very special individuals.So by the passing of time, people will become aware of Srila
Prabhupada's extraordinary activities this is just the beginning of
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's prediction: This Krishna Consciousness
movement will spread to every town and village all over
the world. One may think because you're a Hare Krishna, your trying to
blow your own trumpet. Well just wait and see! We have the implicit
faith that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu words will not go in vain. Lord
Caitanya Mahaprabhu words will be fulfilled. What does Srila
Prabhupada expect of us? I can say Srila Prabhupada's expectation was
very little and it was for our own benefit.
Srila Prabhupada use to have an oil massage before taking his bath in
the late morning. So one day while Srila Prabhupada was taking a
massage, I just took opportunity to sit next to Prabhupada and observe
him . Srila Prabhupada started to speak, "Many many lives you have
tried to enjoy but you can see you are still not satisfied. Just offer
this life to Krishna. See what happens? Its just one life, there's no
lose!" Srila Prabhupada knew if we offered this one life to Krishna
then our surrender would not be in vain. Even if nothing happens then
what is the loss. That is what Srila Prabhupada wants from us. Just
offer this one life to Krishna and see what happens. Yet we are so
badly conditioned that even despite of Srila Prabhupada's advice, we
cannot do that. Maya is so strong with so many illusions, and
attachments but all it needs is implicit faith and earnest dedication.
Let´s offer this one life and not expect anything. Just one life to
Srila Prabhupada. By offering this one life, what do we going to lose?
I can tell you that although I haven't been able to surrender, I can
see so many wonderful ways Srila Prabhupada is rewarding me. At least
some of my life has been successful. What is the secret? Try to serve
at Srila Prabhupada's feet. If you can offer yourself, you will in
return receive something inconceivable.
To end my presentation on what Srila Prabhupada is expecting of us. At
least I can say according to me that there are three instructions that
are the most important. I received many instructions but these three I
feel are the most important. They are:
1) No matter whatever happens never leave ISKCON
2) Your love for me will be shown by how you co-operate with each other.
3) The GBC is the ultimate managing authority and thereby you must
abide by the GBC.
It´s not that I haven't gone through personal difficulties yet I have
always tried to follow these three instructions. My difficulties
haven't been any less than yours probably. But these three
instructions saved me from deviating or falling. I can say this reward
has been extraordinary. Reward isn't one's fame or fortune. It is
internal. The heart has been fulfilled with something I could never
receive. So this is how Srila Prabhupada reciprocates. Once again I
request please follow these three instructions. No matter whatever
happens, never ever leave ISKCON. If you love Srila Prabhupada express
your love through cooperation with one another. Always place yourself
under the authority of GBC. And I can assure that you will never gowrong.
Please chant these names of God and your life will be sublime:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Srila Prabhupada Glorification Part-1

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur travelled all over India and
established Krishna Consciousness. Then came Srila Prabhupada to
spread it all over the world. An interesting point arises, Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur sent other disciples to go and preach
to the Western world but they fell down and they did not succeed. It
is better to become aware of this fact for our own benefit and for our
institution. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur disciples were sent to
West but they did not succeed. If Gaudya Math did not fall apart then
there would have been a different path. But we can see it was due to
the divine arrangement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu left this planet, His movement had faced an unfortunate
decline. This was the reality but does it mean Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
was a failure? No Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement wasn't a failure
but it was His divine arrangement. He is creating a setup in such a
way that Krishna Consciousness can be properly established in the
Lets go back even further. We can see what the religious history of
India was like at beginning of Kali Yuga. Dharma faced an incredible
decline. The Vedic culture was nearly lost and all kinds of abominable
activities were going on. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came and harmonised
the personalism and impersonalism. We can see this is the divine
arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to establish Vedic
culture all over world in the dark age of Kali. Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu allowed Krishna Consciousness to be covered. Bhaktivinoda
Thakura came along to remove the clouds and let the Krishna
Consciousness sunbeams shine through. Then Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakur gave the shape in the form of his preaching mission
he generated an incredible appeal to this movement. All kinds of
exemplary people took part in Krishna Consciousness. However, Gaudya
Math disintegrated, as Prabhupada said, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakur wanted the society to remain collective through a
Governing Body Council (GBC). The concept of GBC came from Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, that is to form a collective body.
Soon after he left his body, there was a split with the Gaudya Math.
One group believed in Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur wishes.
Another group wondered how a spiritual organization could be run by a
group of managers instead they needed a spiritual head. Unfortunately
one group formed an acarya but he fell down and the Gaudya Math
disintegrated. They still carry on but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu mission
is not being achieved but just maintaining their lives is not Krishna
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted us to spread Krishna Consciousness all
over the world. Therefore, Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave us the word Nama
Hatta. This mission of establishing Krishna Consciousness all over the
world is needed by Nama Hatta. The general first creates an army and
launches his attack. Similarly in order to defeat Kali, Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu needs an organization that is trained and disciplined to
defeat this evil Kali. Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave a structure Nama
Hatta is what ISKCON is today. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakur's structure of Gaudya Math was not achieved. However from the
ruins of Gaudya Math, Prabhupada revived the spirit of Bhaktivinoda
Thakura in the form of ISKCON. We must see the lineage, our heritage.
Everything is happening by the divine arrangement by Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu. If Gaudya Math didn't fall apart, everything would have
been wonderful yet there would still have been a need. Prabhupada
said, more than once, don't make the same mistakes that his
godbrothers made after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur left
this planet. The mistake was they did not understand his instruction
of a collective management in order to maintain the institution.
Through their mistakes we learnt a lesson that is the importance of
collective management.
Once when talking to Sri Chand Hinduja, the most prominent Indian in
the world, before Mittal he was considered the richest Indian. Sri
Chand was discussing Prabhupada's genius in his management skills.
Generally, spiritual institutions have management problems after their
Guru leaves his body or falls down but not in ISKCON. Actually it's a
unique thing, ISKCON survived due Prabhupada's genius as an organizer.
He organized a collective management of the GBC. So in this way we can
see what a genius Srila Prabhupada was. It was only Srila Prabhupada
who thought this way, he took it from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakur. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur took this from his
father, Bhaktivinoda Thakura. We can see a structure in Nama Hatta.
This spiritual institution stands for the propagation of Krishna
Consciousness all over the world. What is the price one pays to buy
this commodity? Shradha. Who is the sole distributor of this
commodity? Nitayanada Prabhu. There are then all kinds of individuals
selling this commodity. So there is a structure and we must recognize
The person who is creating the structure is not saying he is the Head,
he is a sweeper that keeps the marketplace clean. All kinds of
impurities are there in the marketplace. The cleaner must keep the
market clean so the Holy name can be distributed all over the world.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave the blue print, he did not create an
institution. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur took the blueprint and
gave a structure but this disintegrated. What was the need for this?
So everyone learns a lesson. That lesson is that whatever we do we
should do it collectively.
Srila Prabhupada established himself as the founder acarya. The head
of the institution must be properly established. Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakur took a humble position and he did not emphasise to
his disciples that he was the founder. But Srila Prabhupada was
emphatic that unless one is constantly reminded that he is the founder
Acarya, then the movement will not be kept together. To hold anything
today we need the Head and the management structure. Just the Head and
no management will it have any effect? No. Therefore these two things
are very important and the most important discussion.
Srila Prabhupada is the head and the GBC is management. In time manyof us will come and go but the concept of GBC will always be there.
Gaudya Math fell down from the deviation of one person who was their
acarya. ISKCON had more than one acarya and many of them deviated from
it. Yes our society suffered but it did not fall apart. The lesson
learnt was only one person should be worshipped and that is Srila
Prabhupada. The others have to recognize and become the humble servant
of Srila Prabhupada. Spiritual culture is based on shradha ? we
shouldn't create groups or clans with people. This is what I am going
to address today, now and the next session.
The leaders of ISKCON can have a group around them, this is very
possible. It is very easy for the disciples to create a group with a
Guru in the center but even if not careful, it will weaken ISKCON
structure. ISKCON will become weak. The real strength is in our unity.
It will only happen when all leaders sit at the feet of Srila
Prabhupada and it will work. What am I suppose to do as a leader and
with my disciples? I have to become a transparent via medium and
engage all my followers in the service of Srila Prabhupada. Then only
will ISKCON become strong. That is why the title Srila Prabhupada is
so important. The significance of the word Srila Prabhupada is the
master at whose feet other masters sit! Once this is complete, then
ISKCON will become strong. Anyway there is so much to say but I must
stick to time. So I will carry on discussing this in my next session.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Pada-Yatra of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

The word pada-yatra literally means to walk on foot. In early India people
used to travel by chariot, horseback, elephant, bullock-cart, or palanquin.
But saintly persons, having renounced such worldly comforts, would travel
by foot. Their main concern was to teach the glories of God to the
conditioned living entities and thereby deliver them from their miserable
materialistic lives. Walking was the best means of contacting the common
people and accomplishing that goal.
When Lord Chaitanya took sannyas  - the renounced order of life  - He
travelled throughout India on foot. First He went from Bengal to Jagannatha
Puri in Orissa and then He toured South India on foot of course.
At that South India was seriously influenced by impersonalism, and the
people in general had deviated from the path of devotion to the Lord. Love
of God is the source of real happiness, and when one abandons that loving
relationship with God, he suffers. Lord Chaitanya wanted to deliver the
conditioned souls plunged in the absolute misery of that impersonalism. In
order to reinstate them as devotees of the Lord, Sri Chaitanya went
personally to South India.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than the Supreme Personality of
God-head who appeared as a devotee to teach the science of devotion - the
only means of deliverance from material bondage. When the Lord performs
any ac-tion, its effects are wonderful; similarly, when He directs His
devotees to do anything, their result will also be wonderful. Lord
Chaitanya's deliverance of South India stands as a proof that He is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead in the guise of a devotee.
In order to understand the magnitude of Sri Chaitanya's South Indian
influence, we have to visualise the religious condition of South India at that
time. The phi-losophies of impersonalism and voidism were so prominent
that the vast major-ity of people had become atheists (impersonalism being
nothing more than cov-ered atheism). When one thinks, as the
impersonalists do, that God has no form, no qualities, no potencies and no
desires, then he effectually denies the existence of God. The voidist theory
that God is 'nothing' is an even more direct negation of His factual existence.
This kind of indirect atheism is considered to be more dangerous than atheism, because, in these system God's existence is accepted, but then
arguments are given for considering Him to be nothing. On the other hand,
in direct atheism God is considered to be non-existent. By logic and argument an atheist ca be convinced about God's existence, and converted into
a theist. When an atheist becomes a theist, then automatically he becomes a
devo-tee of the Lord by accepting as the Supreme Person. But the voidists
and imper-sonalists become God's competitors instead of becoming His
devotees. The con-cept that 'I can become God' is the most serious disease
that a living entity can suffer from. God is God under all circumstances, and
the living entities are His eternal parts and parcels, just as a king is the king
and his subjects are always his subjects. If a subject wants to take over the
throne and become king himself, then he is considered to be a rebel and that
is considered to be the most danger-ous offence. One gets the most severe
punishment for such an offence. One may say that the revolt is successful,
then the rebel becomes the king. But a living entity can never become God,
because God is always the omnipotent, omnis-cient Supreme God, so no one
can dethrone Him. He is everyone's father, and he is extremely merciful
toward all living beings. So when we make plans to take over His position,
he gives us the chance to become tiny gods. This material na-ture is the
place where we get the chance. Here we all think that we are the lords and
masters of everything, but since we are not the real lords or gods, we make a
mess out of it and suffer. The more we try to lord it over the material nature,
the more we suffer. But the Lord is our Father. He does not want us to
suffer. So He comes down to tell us to give up that futile endeavour to
become the lord and to go back to the spiritual sky by becoming His
servants. - So, South India at that time was full with people who wanted to
become God, and our Supreme Father went there as Lord Chaitanya to
deliver them from that misconception.
In South India, wherever He went, by His embrace He was empowering
who-ever He met. He asked them to chant the Holy names of the Lord, and
they in turn went to their villages and empowered others to chant the Holy
names. Thus village after village became converted to Krishna
consciousness. Then He went to a place called Kurma Ksetra and stayed in
the house of a brahmana (priest). This learned brahmana was so moved by
Lord Chaitanya that he wanted to leave home and go with Him. But the Lord
instructed him, "Don't speak like that. Better to remain at home and chant
the Holy name of Krishna always. Instruct eve-ryone to follow the orders of
Sri Krishna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
In this way become a spiritual master and try to liber-ate everyone in this
land. "If you follow this instruction, your material life will not obstruct your
spiritual advancement. Indeed, if you follow these regulative principles, we
will again meet here, or rather, you will never lose My company."
While on His tour, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would spend the night at a
tem-ple or on the roadside. Whenever He accepted food from a person, He
would give him the same advice that He had given this brahmana. Thus He
would re-main in one place at night and next morning, after bathing, start
There was a brahmana named Vasudev who was a great saintly person but
who was suffering from leprosy. He came to know about Lord Chaitanya's
arrival, and in the morning he came to see the Lord at the house of Kurma.
However Lord Chaitanya had already left. The leper then fell to the ground
unconscious. Then the Lord immediately returned to that spot and embraced
Vasudev. As soon as the Lord touched him, his leprosy disappeared and his
body became very beautiful.
When king Prataparudra of Orissa heard about this wonderful pastime of the
Lord, he told his chief advisor, Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, "There is no
doubt that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise, how can
he have so much compassion of the living entities? He cured of leper, that is
not really so surprising, because yogis can also do that. But he embraced that
leper: that no one else could do."
Thus delivering all the living entities, the Lord came to Simhachalam, where
the self-manifest deity of the half-man half-lion form of the Lord called
Nrisim-hadeva is worshipped in the temple of Jiyada Nrisimha Ksetra. Lord
Chaitanya sang and danced before the deity of Lord Nrisimhadeva in great
joy. That night Lord Chaitanya told those present with Him how that deity of
Lord Nrisim-hadeva became manifest. Sitting around the Lord, all the
devotees of Lord Nri-simhadeva heard about Lord Nrisimhadeva's pastimes
with rapt attention.
On the bank of the Godavari river the Lord met Ramananda Raya, the
governor of that place and a great devotee of Lord Krishna. Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu had heard about Ramananda Raya before, so He was very
happy to meet him. Ramananda Raya also became extremely joyful. He
openly admitted, "You must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
because such beauty and such qualities are not possible in an ordinary living
entity." He also became surprised upon witnessing another incident. There
were about one  thousand brahmanas with Him. They were very proud of
their scholarship and at first quite cynical about Lord Chaitanya's behaviour.
But soon they began to chant the Holy names of the Lord, displaying all the
ecstatic symptoms such as shedding tears, trembling, standing of hair on the body, etc. In a fraction of a moment they all became pure devotees of the
Lord. That evening the Lord had a discussion with Ramananda Raya
concerning the ultimate goal of human life. In this most exalted
philosophical discussion the Lord explained through Ramananda Raya that
unconditional love for the Su-preme Personality of Godhead in the mood of
His eternal consort Srimati Rad-harani is the highest goal of life.
In a place called "Siddhabat" the Lord met a devotee of Lord Ramachandra.
He stayed at his house for one night, discussing about spiritual topics. At the
end of the discussion, this man began to chant the holy name of Krishna.
This was quite surprising because the man was such a dedicated devotee of
Lord Ramachandra that he never used to chant another name of the Lord but
that of Lord Ramachandra. Quoting from the scriptures, he explained the
reason: "One name of Rama is equal to a thousand names of Narayana, but
the name of Krishna is equal to three names of Rama. Although I knew this
fact, since I was a devotee of Lord Rama, I used to chant His name very
earnestly. But now, just by seeing You, I started to chant the name of
'Krishna'. That indicates that You are none other than Krishna Himself."
Through this pastime the Lord explained that Krishna is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead Himself, whereas the other forms of Godhead are
His incarnations.
From Siddhabat Lord Chaitanya went to a place called Vriddha-kasi to see
one temple of Lord Shiva. Then He visited a nearby village where many
learned brahmanas used to reside. They were believers of different branches
of philoso-phy, and they were adverse to he path of devotion. These
brahmanas had a big debate with the Lord. At the end they were defeated
and voluntarily accepted devotional service to Krishna.
Then the Lord came to a city named Trimanda. The king of that place was
Bud-dhist, and he used to patronise many vastly learned Buddhist scholars.
They de-cided to challenge Lord Chaitanya and defeat Him. The Buddhists
are very fond of arguments, and their philosophy is solely based on
arguments. But they were defeated by Lord Chaitanya. They felt very
insulted and wanted to take revenge, so they sent a plate full of contaminated
food to Lord Chaitanya. But as they were about to offer it to Him, a huge
bird picked up the plate, scattered all the contaminated food on the heads of
those envious Buddhists and dropped the plate on the head of their leader,
Ramagiri, from great height. The rim of the plate struck Ramagiri on the
head, causing a deep cut, and he fell unconscious. The Buddhist followers of
Ramagiri began to cry, and begged Lord Chaitanya to forgive them and to
revive their spiritual master. Lord Chaitanya asked them to chant the holy
name of Krishna. Then Ramagiri also begged forgiveness and became a devotee of the Lord. All Ramagiri's followers also became devotees of
Then the Lord came to a place of pilgrimage called Vatesvar, and seeing the
de-ity of Lord Shiva there, began to sing and dance in ecstasy. That day he
fasted and spent the night in the temple. At that time a very rich man called
Tirtharama came there with two extremely beautiful prostitutes. When he
saw the beauty and renunciation of the Lord he wanted to test Him. He
instructed those two prostitutes to seduce the Lord. But the Lord was totally
unconcerned, and ad-dressed them as mothers. Then they realised their
mistake. Their hearts became purified by the fire of lamentation, and they
took shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. Tirtharama's heart became purified
and he fell down at the lotus feet of the Lord begging forgiveness. He said,
"I am the most sinful demon, called Tirtharama. Please deliver me by giving
me the holy name."
The Lord then consoled him and taught him the science of renunciation.
Lord Chaitanya said, "Consider material wealth as a bunch of straw, then
only you will receive the wealth of devotional service. By the mercy of the
Lord only one can receive devotional service to the Lord. One has to have
faith in the Lord's mercy. It is unconditional, therefore it cannot be proved
by any logic or reason-ing. So what is the need of discussing so many
scriptures? Simply render devo-tional service with implicit faith."
Hearing this advice, Tirtharama developed an intense feeling of detachment
from his material possessions, and discarding his costly dress and
ornaments, he put on a loin-cloth and accepted the holy name from Lord
Lord Chaitanya stayed in Vateswar for seven days and delivered everyone
there. Then He left that place and walked twenty miles through a forest
which was in-fested with ferocious wild animals. He was constantly singing
the holy names of Lord Krishna. Hearing the sweet names of the Lord, the
dormant love of God in the hearts of the wild animals awakened and they
were delivered from their mis-erable material existence.
Crossing the forest, the Lord came to a city called Munna, where He sat
down under a tree. Millions of people came to see Him there. No one had
seen such a beautiful mendicant before. The hearts of all those who saw Him
became puri-fied. Then Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to sing the glories
of Lord Krishna and dance in ecstasy. All the people gathered there also
started to sing and dance. Thus they got the taste of love of Godhead and
became devotees of the Lord. When the decided to leave, they brought
various foodstuffs, garments and ornaments. But the Lord asked them to
offer these things to a beggar who was sitting under a tree. The inhabitants of Munna became extremely surprised to see this compassion shown by the
Then the Lord went to Sri Rangam and stayed there for a while. Sri Rangam
is situated on the bank of the river Kaveri. There is a beautiful temple of
Lord Ranganath (Vishnu),and that is why this place is considered to be one
of the most important places in South India. In this holy place there was a
brahmana named Venkata Bhatta who recognised Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu as the Su-preme Personality of Godhead. Venkata Bhatta asked
Lord Chaitanya to stay at his house during the Caturmasya (the four months
of the monsoon when the saintly persons are expected to stop Travelling and
stay in one place). The Lord accepted this invitation and stayed at Sri
Rangam for four months. Every day he used to go to the Kaveri to take bath.
Then He would go to see Lord Ranganath and sing and dance before Him.
All the residents of that holy place became ex-tremely fond of the Lord and
they became devotees of Lord Krishna. Gopal Bhatta, the son of Venkata
Bhatta, was ten years old at that time. Gopal Bhatta was so fond of the Lord
that he used to stay with Him all the time. Later Gopal Bhatta became one of
he most intimate associates of the Lord.
In Ranganatha the Lord performed many pastimes. One day He saw a
brahmana who was reading the Bhagavad-gita while sitting in the temple.
The people there were laughing at him because his pronunciation of the
Sanskrit words was not correct. But that brahmana did not pay any attention
to them. He was so ab-sorbed in reading that divine literature that out of
acute joy tears were streaming from his eyes and all the divine ecstatic
symptoms were manifest in his body. When he had finished reading, the
Lord asked him what realisation of that scrip-ture made him experience this
ecstasy. The brahmana replied, "I am illiterate and therefore I do not know
the meaning of the words. Sometimes I read Bhaga-vad-gita correctly and
sometimes incorrectly, but in any case I am doing this in compliance with
the orders of my spiritual master."
"Actually I only see a picture of Lord Krishna sitting on a chariot as Arjuna's
charioteer. Taking the reins in His hands, he appears very beautiful and
blackish. When I read Bhagavad-gita I see the Lord's beautiful features, and
my mind be-comes totally absorbed."
Then Lord Chaitanya replied, "Indeed, you are an authority in the reading of
the Bhagavad-gita. Whatever you know constitutes the real purport of
Bhagavad-gita." Saying that, the Lord embraced him.
Falling down at His feet, the brahmana said, "Seeing You my happiness increased unlimitedly. Therefore I can understand that You are the same Lord
Krishna." Then travelling for many miles and delivering innumerable fallen souls, the
Lord came to Kanyakumari  - the southernmost tip of the Indian
Subcontinent and took bath there. Then Travelling north-west He reached
the Malabar Hills. In a place Betapani, a group of pseudo-spiritualists called
Bhattatharis used to live. They used to dress like renunciates, but cultivate
black magic, enjoy beauti-ful women and cheat people of their wealth.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was accompanied by His servant called Krishnadas,
who met the Bhattatharis there. They allured him with beautiful women.
Early in the morning Krishnadas went to their place. To find him, the Lord
went here and there  and asked them, "Why are you keeping my brahmana
Hearing that, the Bhattatharis attacked the Lord with weapons in their hands.
However their fell from their hands and struck their own bodies. When some
Bhattatharis were thus cut to pieces, the others ran away to save their lives.
Thus the Lord saved His fallen servant.
When the Lord reached Trivancore, the king of that state, Rudrapati, wanted
to see Him. The king sent his men to bring the Lord to the palace. Lord
Chaitanya, however, refused to go there. The king's men tried to persuade
Him in various ways. They told Him that if He went there He would get
enormous wealth and all His desires would be fulfilled. But they did not
know who they were talking to. They returned to the king and reported him
about the young mendicant who dared to defy him. But the king did not take
any offence. Instead he went to see the Lord himself. Very humbly, leaving
his chariot and elephants behind, he came to see the Lord under a tree and
surrendered at His lotus feet.
Travelling north Lord Chaitanya came to Surat. There was a Durga temple,
and the Lord saw that one brahmana was about to sacrifice a goat to Durga.
The heart of the Lord became filled with compassion for that poor animal.
He told the brahmana, "You are sacrificing this animal just for the sake of
eating its flesh, but you are not considering what would be the reaction. This
form of Durga is all-auspicious, therefore how can she eat this inedible
stuff? King Su-ratha sacrificed a hundred thousand animals, and after his
death the departed souls of all those animals attacked him to take revenge.
Did you not read this in the Scripture? There is no mention of violence like
this in the Scripture. Actually the demons, in order to eat meat, introduced
this system.
"You can force the spirit soul out of the body, but you cannot make a spirit
soul enter into a dead body. If someone, in the name of worshipping Durga,
chops your head off, then how will you feel?" "Durga is a devotee of Lord Krishna and she never eats meat or drinks wine.
If slaughtering animals is religion, then why don't you consider a murderer a
saint? Killing an animal or a human is a great sin. If you commit this sin
your suffering will increase."
Hearing this advice from Lord Chaitanya, the  brahmana refrained from
making the animal sacrifice, and worshipped the lotus feet of the Lord in
pure devotion. Many people were present there at that time, and
understanding the deep purport of the Lord's advice, they stopped animal
sacrifice from that day onwards.
Lord Chaitanya reached Dwaraka and saw the Somnath temple. From there
He went to Girna-hills, where He saw the foot-prints of Lord Krishna. Then
He went to Prabhas Tirtha where Krishna performed His disappearance
Lord Chaitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He came to
deliver the conditioned living entities. So wherever He went He delivered
innumerable living entities. How He did this will always remain a mystery,
because this wonderful act was performed by His inconceivable spiritual
energy. Therefore no material reasoning can fathom it out.
To a layman, these activities of the Lord may seem fictitious. To them, my
ear-nest request is to at least consider what 'omnipotent' actually means. If
God is all-powerful, the He can do anything according to His desire. As a
matter of fact, the appearance of the Lord as Lord Chaitanya is His most
down-to-earth appearance. In His other appearances like Lord Krishna, Lord
Rama, Lord Nri-simhadeva and others, He performed much more
supernatural and astounding pastimes.
Lord Chaitanya travelled and preached all over India and flooded the whole
country with love of Godhead. However, due to demonic influence, in
course of time people became atheistic and rejected the spiritual heritage of
India. As a result of this their suffering increased and their way to hell has
been paved. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that His teachings will
spread all over the world. At a time when much of the world looked down
on India, this prediction sounded like a poetic exaggeration. But then again,
the Lord's inconceivable po-tency can perform any wonder.
In 1965 one of the most intimate associates of the Lord, His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada went to the United States at the age
of sev-enty, without any support or shelter, to spread Lord Chaitanya's
teachings. His success is undoubtedly one of the greatest legends of today.
The spiritual movement which he started single-handedly in New York in
1966 spread all over the world in just ten years time. Thousands of people
from all over the world surrendered themselves to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and millions have become influenced by
the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Krishna which he
purely presented to the world through his books and his perfect personal
example. They also will surrender in due course of time. This world-wide
mission of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhak-tivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the
International Society for Krishna Conscious-ness, popularly known as
ISKCON, is actively propagating God consciousness all over the world. At a
time when the demoniac influence is so prevalent eve-rywhere, to preach
love of God is not so easy. But the devotees of ISKCON are pushing on with
their missionary work with absolute determination and dedica-tion. There is
no doubt that they will become successful because God is all pow-erful and
this world is His kingdom. Acting through His devotees, He will de-stroy the
demonic mentality of those who oppose His will.
This year (1986) is the year of Lord Chaitanya's 500th anniversary. To commemorate Lord Chaitanya's appearance on this earth, ISKCON has taken up
many programmes mainly intended to propagate Lord Chaitanya's mission.
One such programme is ISKCON's Padayatra.
ISKCON devotees began their Padayatra in 1984, retracing the route
travelled by Lord Chaitanya. They started from Dvaraka and have travelled
all the way to Kanyakumari. Travelling north-east, they will arrive at Sri
Mayapur Dhama, Lord Chaitanya's birthplace, during the 500th anniversary
of Lord Chaitanya's appearance which falls in March 1986. Devotees of
different countries of the world are walking 10 to 15 miles each day,
accompanied by bullock carts, prac-tically demonstrating in this troubled
age that peace and unity of people of all nations is achieved by working cooperatively in God consciousness with the common aim of pleasing the
Supreme Lord. The procession consists of hundreds of devotees, and is lead
by Lord Chaitanya and His principal associate Lord Nit-yananda in Their
deity manifestations. Thousands of local people join the pro-cession, and
thus they are reminded of Lord Chaitanya, who travelled the same path
delivering their ancestors almost 500 years ago.
Lord Chaitanya revolutionised the lives of people all over India with the
most dynamic spiritual movement. This ISKCON Padayatra is reviving that
spiritual revolution, and the people of India are responding warmly to this.
Now that many of them are utterly disillusioned by the  allurements of socalled material progress, the spiritual bliss offered by Lord Chaitanya
through his sankirtana movement is becoming their real shelter.
Everyone is hankering for joy, but nothing in the material nature can offer
that. It is for this reason that all material endeavours ultimately end in acute
frustra-tion. There is no real joy or happiness in the material nature. Actual joy is a product of the spiritual nature. It is spontaneously manifest when the
living en-tity begins to love God. Therefore, when the living entities are
reminded of this simple process, response becomes natural.
Lord Chaitanya went all over India and offered this blissful life of Krishna
con-sciousness to all He met. Following in His footsteps, the ISKCON
devotees are distributing this message all over the world, and this Padayatra
will go on until everyone on this planet is totally submerged in an ocean of
bliss of love of God.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Beautiful Project

One year went by since the inauguration the temple, but it seems just like the
other day. I remember that last year at this time I was in such anxiety because
things were not ready for the inauguration of the temple. The last few days
were very hectic. Even the night before the inauguration, the whole temple
room looked like a battlefield with scaffolding everywhere, the floor strewn
with all kinds of debris, the ceiling not done, and the twenty-seven foot
diameter painting yet to be put up. But everyone worked hard. All the people
taking care of different areas, they actually had to work whole night. By Krsna’s
mercy, in the morning, everything was complete.But one big job was to clean the temple room. Actually the temple was a
construction site. So after mangala-arti, I made an announcement that those
who wanted to clean the temple, they could come. About 2500 devotees were
there for inauguration. Practically all who were there for the mangala –arti
responded to the announcement and we all marched into the temple to start
cleaning. From 5:30 to 7:00, within one and a half hour, everything was
cleaned and the temple was ready for inauguration.
It was a wonderful experience. Not only a wonderful experience, it was an
extremely memorable experience, at least for me and those who were present
at that time.
Sometimes I wonder how I managed to build this temple in ten months time.
The only thought that comes to my mind is that it happened by Krsna’s mercy.
This actually proves that if we sincerely try to serve Krsna, Krsna helps us and
as a result of that all kinds of wonderful things happen.
This year, it is a lot more relaxed. Now the temple is built and everything is
going on nicely. People who come here admit with great admiration that the
temple atmosphere is beautiful, the deity worship standard is high, the srngara
is beautiful and on top of everything, the deities are exquisitely beautiful.
Jananivas prabhu my God brother has been the head pujari in Mayapur for last
thirty-five years, came for the temple opening. He was telling me that the
Radharani here was most beautiful than Radharani in Mayapur or Vrndavan.
When Jananivas prabhu say something like that you can be sure that he is
speaking the truth because he does not say things just to flatter somebody,
especially when it comes to talking about Radharani. He really means it.
Recently I heard that during his Vyas puja celebration in Bombay, His Holiness
Radhanatha Maharaj mentioned that the Ujjain project will become the most
important project of ISKCON. He said that it is only a matter of time and Ujjain
will become the most important and vibrant project of ISKCON. So I can see
that the devotees are feeling so positive, optimistic, and hopeful about this
project. This naturally inspires me to really do something wonderful here.
Somehow Krsna bought me here. This is an important place. It is Krsna’s and
Balarama’s place of education. Our mission is also to educate people. The Krsna consciousness movement is actually an educational movement. It is
teaching people how to become devotees of Krsna, by understanding who
Krsna is, how to develop our relationship with Him, and by establishing that
relationship with Him, how to make our life successful. The understanding of
sambandha, abhideya and prayojna is the very basis of all our activities. So,
gradually I want to make this place into a place of education for Krsna
What I am mainly concerned about is that whoever comes here get very good
treatment and gets very nice impression of our movement. Actually devotional
service, although it is focused on devotion to Krsna. Krsna consciousness
means to recognise the importance, the greatness the exalted position of the
devotees. Krsna says “Those who think that they are My devotees, they are not
My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My devotees, they are My
Devotional service is actually rendered by serving the devotees of lord. And
that is what I am trying to remind everybody here. Yes you are serving the
Supreme Personality of Godhead , but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is
manifest in this planet in the form of his devotees. So when we serve His
devotees, He is served. When His devotees are pleased Krsna is pleased.
Therefore the first and foremost consideration is to serve the devotees and
make them happy. And this service for devotees means respectful attitude
towards the senior devotees, friendship among the equal affection and
compassion towards the juniors. This is the first and foremost education we all
And then, of course, there are subsidiary branches of education also. Let us see
how far I succeed. I would very much like to set up an international school
here, where children can come from all over the world and get educated. They
will be groomed up to see the reality of world. Although they would be getting
the training to become devotees, at the same time they will have the practical
education to deal with this world.
Yesterday we also had a very wonderful celebration of the ground breaking
ceremony of a Food for Life building. The Madhya Pradesh government has
given us the assignment to cater for the Mid-Day Meal project which will feed 20,000 school children in this area. So for that we just started to build the
kitchen. It will be quite a large kitchen. It will be one hundred feet long and
seventy feet wide. So that way it will be 7500 square-feet. The kitchen will be
equipped with all kinds of automatic machines. In this area people take
chapattis so we have to serve chapattis to school children. We will have a
chapatti making machine that can produce ten thousand chapattis per hour.
There will also be a puri making machine that will make ten thousand puri per
hour. We will also have six steam jackets which will prepare about three
hundred litres of sabji in twenty minutes. So in this way we are preparing
ourselves to cater to the need of feeding 119 schools within a ten kilometres
radius of Ujjain city. And we will be catering to 20,000 school children. So this
is how we are making a head-way to have some sort of connection to the
school children in this area.
Eventually we will set up our own school as well. I am planning to start the
construction of a primary school this year. There will be a kindergarten and a
primary school adjacent to our temple. And then eventually, we will set up our
international school. I am looking for a one-hundred acre plot of land to set up
that school .It will be a first class residential school with all kinds of facilities
that the best school in the world offer. We must bring them up in the most
wonderful way, in the best possible way, because these children are going to
become the leaders of world tomorrow. Therefore we have to train in such a
way that they can become leaders. In that way, they can really guide the world
towards achieving the real goal of life. And it is not just spiritual prosperity.
Along with spiritual prosperity the material prosperity also will come. Vedic
India was the greatest nation, the greatest country in the world at that time. It
was the most opulent and powerful county. So Krsna consciousness establishes
the most opulent, the most influential and the most effective culture. That is
how we have to bring up our children.
Let us see how krsna will guide us in achieving these plans. I am simply
depending in His mercy. And in my own simple way, whatever I can do, I am
just trying to do. And things are happening. It is not that i built this temple just
to sit down here and have a nice time. No, rather everyday my responsibility
and my anxiety are increasing because this is just the beginning. This temple is
just the beginning and we want to do so many other things. I know that as the responsibility increases, anxiety will also increase. But we have to take this
anxiety for Krsna. That is how this movement is going to grow. If we just want
to eat and sleep, then who will make this movement spread all over the world
in every town and village? That is how Krsna will be pleased and that is how
Krsna will shower his mercy upon us.
Our project is already expanding. Now our guesthouse is ready. Guest who
comes to Ujjain are already staying there. This guesthouse is probably only one
of its kind in ISKCON because it is made of pure white marble from Makrana,
the best marble in India. Not only our guesthouse but our brahmachari
ashrama is made of pure, white marble. We have also developed a beautiful
garden here. It is very colourful with many varieties of flowers. So the project is
going on nicely and newer projects are developing. Whoever comes to Ujjain
appreciates it and expresses their desire that some day they would like to
come and settle down here.
I am happy that somehow we are able to do something for Srila Prabhupada.
My only lamentation is that I could not all these things when Srila Prabhupada
was present on this planet. I would so much like to just walk up to Srila
Prabhupada and tell him all that I am doing. And what would i not give to just
see him smiling with appreciation for whatever little I am trying to do for him.
But I hope that from the spiritual sky Srila Prabhupada is watching me and he is
pleased with my endeavour to serve his lotus feet.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sign of a Devotee

So, what is the symptom of a devotee? How do you recognize a devotee? Do we
recognize a devotee by his birth? By his material condition? By his material situation?
No, the sign of a devotee is through his surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
It doesn't matter from whatever category, whatever background one comes. Like
candalo'pi dvija-shrestho hari- bhakti-parayanah. One maybe a candala but hari bhakti parayanah, when he becomes a devotee of Hari, Krishna, then he is dvija shrestha, he is superior, he is greater than a brahmana.
Here also we are seeing that so many devotees, as I just mentioned like they are born in a demoniac family. By birth they are demons, Prahlada Maharaja, Bali Maharaja, but why
they have been recognized as great devotees, exemplary devotees? Because of their
devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, it has been pointed out that
vaishnavera nahi jati kuladi vicara. There is no consideration for jati, kula. Jati means
caste and creed of a Vaishnava. Vaishnava can appear in any family.
What to speak of human beings, even an animal can become a devotee of Krishna. A
wonderful example is Hanumana. In the community of monkeys
there is Hanumana and there are so many other monkeys who are great devotees. The
bird can be a devotee. Example is Garuda, example is Jatayu, example is Sampati. They
are birds, but they are great devotees of the Lord.
So the Vedic Karma Kanda section may have consideration for caste and creed but when
it comes to devotional service there is no such consideration. Because the devotional
service is the activity of the soul, soul's activity. Now, the soul can, any soul at any place
can become a devotee. But what is the criteria for becoming a devotee?When can one
become a devotee, or when does one get the opportunity to become a devotee? That is the
most important consideration. One can become a devotee only by coming in contact with
a devotee. Without the contact of a devotee it is not possible to become a devotee. That is
why the devotional consideration is not of birth or any other criteria.
Yes, to be a brahmana generally one has to be born in a brahmanas family, generally. But
that also is not sufficient. One may be born in a brahmana family but he has to practice as
a brahmana. He has to become qualified. In our scriptures we find there are
many…brahmanas, they actually were demons. Like Ravana, he is born of an exalted
brahmana father, Vishrava. Hiranyakasipu, Hiranyaksa [born of] Kashyapa, son of
Brahma. So, by birth they may be very exalted, but their activity is making them into
demons. Whereas the devotion can be practiced by…but to receive, how can one become
a devotee? The answer is only by coming in contact with a devotee. That is why it is
important that the devotees go out and preach. Preach means provide the opportunity to
others to become a devotee.
(H.H Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Guru- Upades

Let us not waste our energy in all kinds of undesirable activities but just focus
on the growth of Krsna consciousness. Then Krsna will reward us in most
wonderful ways. I can tell you from my experience. I ventured into all kinds of
project which required a lot of resources, lots of funding, and I plunged into
them with the confidence that if I do something for Krsna, Krsna will provide.
And I can tell you from my own experience, Krsna did provide, because Krsna is
there, he is the Supreme Personality if Godhead. We see that if a rich man has
a loyal servant and if servant goes to do something for the master, doesn’t the
master provide? But does the servant have to go and get everything for the
master? No, the rich man will provide for everything for the servant to serve
him. Now when we are serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is the
supreme proprietor of everything, who is the supreme controller, why
shouldn’t He provide.

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Importance of the Retreat

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.