ISKCON Derire Tree's Posts (13034)

Preaching in villages - a novel idea

Dear Devotees,
 
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
 
My name is Samik Rsi Dasa (ACBSP) and I have been an ISKCON devotee since 1972 when I came to the USA to practice Medicine. Since then I have tried to serve the movement in various capacities such as Temple President (1996-2010) in Towaco, New Jersey as well as other services by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and the Vaisnavas.
 
I am approaching you simply for your blessings, input, advice and direction on spreading Srila Prabhupada’s mercy to the traditionally underserved members of society such as resident of towns that do not have ISKCON temple and also smaller villages.
 
NEW PREACHING MODEL – “CABINET TEMPLE”
I would like to introduce a preaching concept to spread Srila Prabhupada’s movement to not only the large cities but also to the smaller population centers such as medium towns, college towns, and even villages. The idea is to establish a “portable ISKCON center” or Krishna mini-temple in the form of a large cabinet that serves as a small altar with pictures, offering space, chanting paraphernalia, tilak and a set of Srila Prabhupada’s books in the local language.
 
We envision many such “centers” throughout India and perhaps other places in the world as well. Since there is no need for obtaining real estate or building or maintaining temples or elaborate puja the overhead for maintaining these preaching centers will be very low.
 
These centers would be placed primarily in homes, businesses, factories etc. of people who are very supportive and favorable to the movement’s goals and would like to offer some space for this service. The active preaching work would be done at the centers either by the host or by our own ISKCON preachers who can travel to the various centers to give support, encouragement, advice and association.
 
If for any reason an established host devotee feels that the center may have become difficult to manage, then this could be moved easily to another host in that area who may want to serve in this capacity. This model may even evolve into a rotational model where a number of hosts may keep the temple for a certain number of months in the year.
 
The goal of this model is to inject the essence of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings with minimal hindrances that are typically faced in the traditional establishment of temples and go straight to the hearts of people.
 
INSPIRATION
I was inspired to pursue this mode of preaching after visiting many large temples in India and around the world and seeing that they are being visited by thousands of people. But what I felt was missing is the personal one-on-one attention and follow-up for those fortunate souls who have some desire to see the Lord in our ISKCON temples but there was not enough man-power to attend to each individual. This model takes Krishna to their homes and into their hearts via preaching from Srila Prabhupada’s books in their own environment and in their own language.  Similar models are used by successful Christian churches as well who have established “reading rooms” around the world. These reading rooms are rented or purchased real-estate, but our model will not need any real estate funding.
 
FIRST STEPS
We envision starting with a small pilot program where we would make some contacts with devotees and supporters who are willing and eager to provide some space that would remain accessible on certain times of the day, manage the “cabinet temple”, have periodic discussions/kirtans or other preaching activities to the extent that they can manage. These members will be given full support by visiting ISKCON devotees.
 
We will establish a charitable trust fund only for this specific purpose.  I will commit seed funds to get this project rolling.  If Krishna so desires, the project would be such that it could sustain and even perpetuate itself. 
 
HUMBLE REQUESTS
  •  Advice and Input: Since this is just a preliminary idea, we would appreciate some input from you with regards to any practical aspects of this endeavor including implementation, starting, local considerations etc. This will be very helpful to develop this plan and avoid unforeseen pitfalls that you may have encountered or can foresee. 
  • ISKCON preachers: We would need a team of enthusiastic ISKCON preachers who are willing to travel in local regions to encourage the hosts, give lectures, special programs like video shows, small dramas, morning street harinam sankirtan (prabhat-pheri) etc. We would like to establish a fund that can provide a stipend to these traveling preachers. These preachers will be the vibrant soul of this preaching model. We are requesting if you know of any such devotees who you feel may be interested in this service kindly ask them to contact us or provide us with their contact information.
  • Contacts of Hosts: The foundational success of this program will depend on establishing such host locations. These hosts may be initiated devotees, life members, Vaishnavas or simply favorable people interested in providing space as a service to God. We would be very appreciative if you could contact and encourage a number of potential hosts who may be interested in serving in this way. This would not only be a preaching center but also serve to purify the life, home and entire town of the host – who would get a lot of spiritual credit for very little effort.
  •  Other supportive contacts: If you could also provide us other devotees, managers and well-wishers who could help develop this idea into reality. These would be senior devotees who have management skills, vision and dedication to Srila Prabhupda and can serve as strategic advisors as well as regional managers.
In my own life, when I came to America in 1971, I could have very easily become materialistic and absorbed fully into the so-called Western lifestyle with no spiritual future. But by the immense causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada who came into our lives, we were saved and continue to receive his kind mercy. I personally feel that I can never repay back to Srila Prabhupada what he has done for us, but at least I can make some attempt to spread his transcendental teachings to as many people as possible with the resources as our disposal. We have no other motive than to please Srila Prabhupada.
 
The key advantage of this “cabinet temple” model is that it gives the greatest spiritual “bang for the buck”. So for every dollar invested we would see immediate return on investment in the form of direct preaching. To establish a traditional temple or even preaching center involves so much effort and capital to obtain the land and building. But this model by-passes that largest hurdle and goes straight to the point.
 
In this way we are hoping to bring to reality Lord Caitanya’s famous prediction of spreading Krishna Consciousness in every town and village.
 
Please pass this letter on to other Vaisnavas who you feel would be enthused by this project and would be interested in helping in any capacity.
 
Thank you again for your kindly giving your time to read this.
 
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Samik Rsi Dasa
--- 
Mailing Address:
Shyam S. Mahajan
53 Carlton Drive
Parsippany, NJ 07054
 
Tel: 973-989-9233 (US)

 

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Published: July 16, 2011 00:00 IST | Updated: July 16, 2011 04:14 IST

ISKCON releases Telugu ‘Bhagavatham'

Staff Reporter
Sacred act: TTD Executive Officer L.V. Subrahmanyam and others at the release of ‘Srimad Bhagavatham' in Telugu at the ISKCON temple in Tirupati on Friday. - Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar
 Sacred act: TTD Executive Officer L.V. Subrahmanyam and others at the release of ‘Srimad Bhagavatham' in Telugu at the ISKCON temple in Tirupati on Friday. - Photo: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

The Telugu version of ‘Srimad Bhagavatham', the great epic considered an elixir for redressal of worldly grievances, is now available in the stalls at International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

The volume was formally released on Friday by TTD Executive Officer L.V. Subrahmanyam.

According to mythology, Bhagavatha was written by sage Vyasa upon instructions from his mentor, Narada Muni. As a befitting tribute to the sage-composer, the release was slated for Friday, when Vyasa Purnima (the appearance day of Vyasa), was celebrated.

The treasure trove of spiritual knowledge was intended to provide respite to the society and help people overcome despair arising out of materialistic pleasures.

“While our founder, Srila Prabhupada, wrote the English commentary with word-by-word meaning for theBhagavatha for the benefit of the global readers, the same is available now in Telugu,” said Revati Ramandas, president of ISKCON's Tirupati unit.

Mr. Subrahmanyam said the Telugu volume should be read by one and all, irrespective of religious affiliations and spiritual inclinations, as it would open the door to eternal bliss.

Hare Krishna Satapathy, Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, former Chairman of Chittoor Zilla Parishat P. Siddarami Reddy, advocate I. Guruswamy, members of ISKCON order Bhimadas Prabhu (USA), Vaishnavanghrisevak Das (Mumbai), Satya Gopinath Das (Anantapur), Vedanta Chaitanya Das (Hyderabad), and vice-president of ISKCON-Tirupati Rupeshwara Chaitanya Das, took part.

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ISKCON-NEPAL

Iskcon Nepal is situated in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. It is near the self manifested diety of Lord Vishnu named Buddhanilkantha Narayan. The Deity installed in ISKCONNEPAL is Sri Sri Radhagovinda hari. On his service i am publishing my first post of my life in the blog. While in this post you will find brief information about Iskcon Nepal.

At the very begaining i will like to offer my humble obeisance at the lotus feet His Holiness Prabhavishnu Swami and His Holiness Mahavishnu Maharaj who is committedly looking after our ISKCON Nepal Temple. With thier Life long Contribution Nepal is getting Nector of Mission Caitanya started by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Our Deity of Iskcon Nepal, popularly known as Sri Sri Radhagovinda Hari has celebrated his 14th Birthday. We can say that Lord Krishna is in Nepal in the form of Radhagovindahari, and showering his causeless mercy all over nepal with his presence. Sri Sri Radhagovindahari is very merciful. He is also accompanied by Sri Sri Gaur Sundar and Nitai Sundar and Sri Sri Jagannath Baladev and Mother Suvadra. The whole location of the Iskconnepal looks like Baikuntha in Earth. Holy River Bishnu Mati is flowing from the Temple Premises and adding the beauty in Plenty. This river Bishnumati has been touched by the lotus feet of Lord Krishna that the reason why it is known popularly as Bhisnumati. Whosoever takes bath in bishnumati river become krishnaconciousness or bishnu Conciousness. As the name itself suggest it. Bishnu Mati means Bishnu conciousness.

We have every satarday gathering of Devotees, Satardayfeast as a weekly program. All the regular daily program is just as other temple of iskcon like stating from mangal arati, japasession etc.

Please feel free to contant me at your service if anyone once to visit our wonderful temple in nepal, Sri Sri Radhagovinda hari is waiting for you.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
Hare Krishna

Sri Sri Radhagovindahari
Budhanilkantha
Kathmandu
Nepal
Email: sribikash@gmail.com
contact in Mobile:00977-9808713583
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By Madhava Smullen for ISKCON News on 25 Jun 2011

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Prabhupada In a British Museum Book

By Tattvavit Das for ISKCON News on 30 Jun 2011

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Rathayatra


Millenniums ago there was a King named Indradyumna who was a great devoteeof Lord Krishna.
The king's priestly minister had informed the king that Lord Krishna waspresent on earth in his Deity form known as Nila Madhava.
When the King heard this news he asked his minister to find Lord NilaMadhava for him.


After a great deal of searching and endeavor the minister finally found thatLord Nila Madhava was in a cave being secretly worshiped by the leader of avillage of pig farmers.


After some intriguing endeavor, the minister finally discovered the secretlocation where Lord Nila Madhava was located.


The minister immediately went back and informed the great King Indradyumnathat he had located Lord Nila Madhava, and upon hearing this, the Kingimmediately set out with his entourage to fetch Lord Nila Madhava and bringHim back to his capitol to worship Him with great opulence.


After the very arduous journey, the traveling party finally reached thesecret cave where the Deity of Nila Madhava was located. With fullanticipation and excitement, upon entering the cave, the king was shocked todiscover that the Deity of Lord Nila Madhava was no longer there.


Lord Nila Madhava had left never to return and King Indradyumna was totallygrief stricken.


After some time, in a dream, Lord Nila Madhava came to the king telling himthat He would return and that a temple should be built for Him to reside in.
The King being absolutely delighted with this news began constructing amagnificent temple. This temple is now known as the famous temple ofJagannatha in the City of Puri in Orissa on the Bay of Bengal.


Lord Jagannatha Appears


As King Indradyumna waited for his worshipful Lord to manifest he becameanxious wondering when the Lord would appear. Then he had another dream.
In this dream Lord Krishna informed him that a huge log will float up ontothe beach. This will not be an ordinary log but very unique. No one willable to cut or even lift it except for one person. You will know that thisperson will be the one who will carve the log in the form of the Lord knownas Lord Jagannatha. Lord of the Universe.
True to the dream a large log floated up onto the beach which no one wasable to move.  After many attempts to move this curious log by the strongestof men, one elderly man came forward and with ease single handedly liftedthe log.
The King knew this was the wood carver who had been empowered to carve theform of his worship able Lord.
The old wood carver agreed to carve the Deity of the Lord but under verystrict conditions.
As long as he was working no one should interrupt or enter the room wherethe work was going on. The king agreed.
As the days passed the King's anticipation and anxiety to see the Lord grewwhen all of a sudden the tapping of the wood carvers hammer and chiselstopped.


Unable to contain his eagerness any longer King Indradyumna burst into theroom where the Deities were being carved and true to his word the woodsculptor left immediately.


When the King saw the three sculpted forms before him he was stunned. The socalled form of his worshipful Lord Krishna appeared unfinished. It had shortstubs where the arms should be and huge round eyes.


King Indradyumna began to lament uncontrollably.


Shortly after the great sage Narada Muni appeared before the king andinquired as to the reason for his intense grief.


King Indradyumna informed the sage of the episodes that took place.
Narada Muni then informed the King that the form of Lord before him wasactually Lord Krishna in a most merciful form.



The origin of Lord Jagannatha's form


Narada Muni went on to explain to Indradyumna Maharaja the origin of thisunique form of Lord Krishna known as Jagannatha.


One day while in His Capital city of Dwarka, Lord Krishna began thinking ofHis sweet gopi friend Radharani from His village days in Vrndavan.
Feeling intense separation from her, the Lord fell unconscious. The greatsage Narada Muni happened to come there with Uddava and upon seeing thecondition of Krishna, they began discussing how to revive Him.
They concluded that Narada Muni should sing the glories of Krishna's formerVrndavan village life to Him. This would certainly relieve His condition.


Like many cures for diseases there is often times a side effect and suchwould be case with this cure.
Upon hearing the tales of Vrndavan from Narada Muni certainly Lord Krishnawould awaken but at the same time He would immediately want to go toVrndavan. However upon arriving their, Krishna would see all the residentsin such a piteous condition of crying due to His having left thempreviously, He would not want to return back to Dwarka. This would not begood for the citizens of Dwarka.


After some consideration it was concluded that Krishna's sister Subadrashould go there ahead of Krishna to inform them that He is returning. Inthis way they would arrange for a nice festive welcoming and their moodwould be very joyful.
When Subadra was ready to leave, her brother Balarama decided that He wouldaccompany her on His own Chariot. Balarama would take the lead with Subadrafollowing Him, and after they left, Narada Muni would revive Lord Krishna bysinging the glories of Vrndavan and Krishna would get on His chariot andimmediately follow Balarama and Subadra to Vrndavan.
This is how the origin of the order of the carts during the Ratha-Yatrafestival. First Lord Balarama's cart, then Subadra's and finally LordKrishna's.


When Krishna's Chariot arrived in Vrndavan His feelings of such acute pangsof separation from His beloved Radharani was so intense that His bodytransformed. His hands and legs became pushed into his body like a tortoise.This is the form or Jagannatha. With big dilated eyes He was only gazing atRadharani.


When King Indradyumna heard from Narada Muni of this pastime of LordKrishna, He was relived to hear that these unique deity forms that were justcarved standing in front of him were actually completed.


His grief now gone he arranged for three huge carts to bring the Deities ofLord Jagannatha, Balarama and Subadra to Their new temple.  A grandprocession was arranged where all the citizens pulled the gigantic cartswith Their Lordships on them to Their magnificent new temple.


One for Lord Jagannatha, one for His sister Subadra and another for HisBrother Balarama.
------------------------------------------------------------------------Madhya-lila Chapter 13: The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yatra
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Sri Caitanya Caritamrta
CC Madhya 13 Summary
CC Madhya 13.1: May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna Caitanya,who danced in front of the car of Sri Jagannatha, be all glorified! Byseeing His dancing, not only was the whole universe held in wonder, but LordJagannatha Himself became very much astonished.
CC Madhya 13.2: All glories to Sri Krsna Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda! Allglories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to the devotees of Lord SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu!
CC Madhya 13.3: All glories to the listeners of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta!Please hear the description of the dancing of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu atthe Ratha-yatra festival. His dancing is very enchanting. Please hear of itwith great attention.
CC Madhya 13.4: The next day, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His personalassociates got up in the dark and attentively took their early-morningbaths.
CC Madhya 13.5: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His personal associates thenwent to see the ceremony of Pandu-vijaya. During this ceremony, LordJagannatha leaves His throne and gets up onto the car.
CC Madhya 13.6: King Prataparudra in person, as well as his entourage,allowed the Pandu-vijaya ceremony to be seen by all the associates of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu.
CC Madhya 13.7: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His prominent devotees --Advaita Acarya, Nityananda Prabhu and others -- were very happy to observehow Lord Jagannatha began the Ratha-yatra.
CC Madhya 13.8: The very strongly built dayitas [carriers of the JagannathaDeity] were as powerful as drunken elephants. They manually carried LordJagannatha from the throne to the car.
CC Madhya 13.9: While carrying the Deity of Lord Jagannatha, some of thedayitas took hold of the shoulders of the Lord, and some caught His lotusfeet.
CC Madhya 13.10: The Lord Jagannatha Deity was bound at the waist by astrong, thick rope made of silk. From two sides the dayitas caught hold ofthis rope and raised the Deity.
CC Madhya 13.11: Strong, puffed-up cotton pads called tulis were spread outfrom the throne to the car, and the heavy Deity of Lord Jagannatha wascarried from one pillowlike pad to the next by the dayitas.
CC Madhya 13.12: While the dayitas carried the heavy Jagannatha Deity fromone pad to the next, some of the pads broke, and the cotton contents floatedinto the air. When they broke, they made a heavy cracking sound.
CC Madhya 13.13: Lord Jagannatha is the maintainer of the whole universe.Who can carry Him from one place to another? The Lord moves by His personalwill just to perform His pastimes.
CC Madhya 13.14: While the Lord was transported from the throne to the car,tumultuous sounds were made on various musical instruments. Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu was chanting "Manima! Manima!" but He could not be heard.
CC Madhya 13.15: While the Lord was being carried from the throne to thecar, King Prataparudra personally engaged in the Lord's service by cleansingthe road with a broom that had a golden handle.
CC Madhya 13.16: The King sprinkled the road with sandalwood-scented water.Although he was the owner of the royal throne, he engaged in menial servicefor the sake of Lord Jagannatha.
CC Madhya 13.17: Although the King was the most exalted respectable person,still he accepted menial service for the Lord; he therefore became asuitable candidate for receiving the Lord's mercy.
CC Madhya 13.18: Upon seeing the King engaged in such menial service,Caitanya Mahaprabhu became very happy. Simply by rendering this service, theKing received the mercy of the Lord.
CC Madhya 13.19: Everyone was astonished to see the decorations on the Rathacar. The car appeared to be newly made of gold, and it was as high as MountSumeru.
CC Madhya 13.20: The decorations included bright mirrors and hundreds andhundreds of camaras [white whisks made of yak tails]. On top of the car werea neat and clean canopy and a very beautiful flag.
CC Madhya 13.21: The car was also decorated with silken cloth and variouspictures. Many brass bells, gongs and ankle bells rang.
CC Madhya 13.22: For the pastimes of the Ratha-yatra ceremony, LordJagannatha got aboard one car, and His sister, Subhadra, and elder brother,Balarama, got aboard two other cars.
CC Madhya 13.23: For fifteen days the Lord had remained in a secluded placewith the supreme goddess of fortune and had performed His pastimes with her.
CC Madhya 13.24: Having taken permission from the goddess of fortune, theLord came out to ride on the Ratha car and perform His pastimes for thepleasure of the devotees.
CC Madhya 13.25: The fine, white sand spread all over the path resembled thebank of the Yamuna, and the small gardens on both sides looked just likethose in Vrndavana.
CC Madhya 13.26: As Lord Jagannatha rode in His car and saw the beauty onboth sides, His mind was filled with pleasure.
CC Madhya 13.27: The pullers of the car were known as gaudas, and theypulled with great pleasure. However, the car sometimes went very fast andsometimes very slow.
CC Madhya 13.28: Sometimes the car would stand still and not move, eventhough it was pulled very vigorously. The chariot therefore moved by thewill of the Lord, not by the strength of any ordinary person.
CC Madhya 13.29: As the car stood still, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gatheredall His devotees and, with His own hand, decorated them with flower garlandsand sandalwood pulp.
CC Madhya 13.30: Paramananda Puri and Brahmananda Bharati were bothpersonally given garlands and sandalwood pulp from the very hands of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu. This increased their transcendental pleasure.
CC Madhya 13.31: Similarly, when Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu feltthe touch of the transcendental hand of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, They werevery pleased.
CC Madhya 13.32: The Lord also gave garlands and sandalwood pulp to theperformers of sankirtana. The two chief performers were Svarupa Damodara andSrivasa Thakura.
CC Madhya 13.33: There were altogether four parties of kirtana performers,comprising twenty-four chanters. In each party there were also two mrdangaplayers, making an additional eight persons.
CC Madhya 13.34: When the four parties were formed, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,after some consideration, divided the chanters.
CC Madhya 13.35: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda Prabhu, AdvaitaAcarya, Haridasa Thakura and Vakresvara Pandita to dance in each of the fourrespective parties.
CC Madhya 13.36: Svarupa Damodara was chosen as the leader of the firstparty and was given five assistants to respond to his chanting.
CC Madhya 13.37: The five who responded to the singing of Svarupa Damodarawere Damodara Pandita, Narayana, Govinda Datta, Raghava Pandita and SriGovindananda.
CC Madhya 13.38: Advaita Acarya Prabhu was ordered to dance in the firstgroup. The Lord then formed another group with Srivasa Thakura as the chiefman.
CC Madhya 13.39: The five singers who responded to the singing of SrivasaThakura were Gangadasa, Haridasa, Sriman, Subhananda and Sri Rama Pandita.Sri Nityananda Prabhu was appointed as a dancer.
CC Madhya 13.40: Another group was formed consisting of Vasudeva, Gopinathaand Murari. All these were responsive singers, and Mukunda was the chiefsinger.
CC Madhya 13.41: Another two persons, Srikanta and Vallabha Sena, joined asresponsive singers. In this group, the senior Haridasa [Haridasa Thakura]was the dancer.
CC Madhya 13.42: The Lord formed another group, appointing Govinda Ghosa asleader. In this group the younger Haridasa, Visnudasa and Raghava were theresponding singers.
CC Madhya 13.43: Two brothers named Madhava Ghosa and Vasudeva Ghosa alsojoined this group as responsive singers. Vakresvara Pandita was the dancer.
CC Madhya 13.44: There was a sankirtana party from the village known asKulina-grama, and Ramananda and Satyaraja were appointed the dancers in thisgroup.
CC Madhya 13.45: There was another party that came from Santipura and wasformed by Advaita Acarya. Acyutananda was the dancer, and the rest of themen were singers.
CC Madhya 13.46: Another party was formed by the people of Khanda. Thesepeople were singing in a different place. In that group, Narahari Prabhu andRaghunandana were dancing.
CC Madhya 13.47: Four parties chanted and danced in front of LordJagannatha, and on either side was another party. Yet another was at therear.
CC Madhya 13.48: There were altogether seven parties of sankirtana, and ineach party two men were beating drums. Thus fourteen drums were being playedat once. The sound was tumultuous, and all the devotees became mad.
CC Madhya 13.49: All the Vaisnavas came together like an assembly of clouds.As the devotees chanted the holy names in great ecstasy, tears fell fromtheir eyes like rain.
CC Madhya 13.50: When the sankirtana resounded, it filled the three worlds.Indeed, no one could hear any sounds or musical instruments other than thesankirtana.
CC Madhya 13.51: Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wandered through all seven groupschanting the holy name, "Hari, Hari!" Raising His arms, He shouted, "Allglories to Lord Jagannatha!"
CC Madhya 13.52: Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu then exhibited another mysticpower by performing pastimes simultaneously in all seven groups.
CC Madhya 13.53: Everyone said, "Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is present in mygroup. Indeed, He does not go anywhere else. He is bestowing His mercy uponus."
CC Madhya 13.54: Actually, no one could see the inconceivable potency of theLord. Only the most confidential devotees, those in pure, unalloyeddevotional service, could understand.
CC Madhya 13.55: Lord Jagannatha was very much pleased by the sankirtana,and He brought His car to a standstill just to see the performance.
CC Madhya 13.56: King Prataparudra was also astonished to see thesankirtana. He became inactive and was converted to ecstatic love of Krsna.
CC Madhya 13.57: When the King informed Kasi Misra of the glories of theLord, Kasi Misra replied, "O King, your fortune has no limit!"
CC Madhya 13.58: The King and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya were both aware of theLord's activities, but no one else could see the tricks of Lord CaitanyaMahaprabhu.
CC Madhya 13.59: Only a person who has received the mercy of the Lord canunderstand. Without the Lord's mercy, even the demigods, headed by LordBrahma, cannot understand.
CC Madhya 13.60: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had been very satisfied to see theKing accept the menial task of sweeping the street, and for this humilitythe King received the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He could thereforeobserve the mystery of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's activities.
CC Madhya 13.61: Although the King had been refused an interview, he wasindirectly bestowed causeless mercy. Who can understand the internal potencyof Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?
CC Madhya 13.62: When the two great personalities Sarvabhauma Bhattacaryaand Kasi Misra saw Caitanya Mahaprabhu's causeless mercy upon the King, theywere astonished.
CC Madhya 13.63: Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes forsome time in this way. He personally sang and induced His personalassociates to dance.
CC Madhya 13.64: According to His need, the Lord sometimes exhibited oneform and sometimes many. This was being executed by His internal potency.
CC Madhya 13.65: Indeed, the Personality of Godhead forgot Himself in thecourse of His transcendental pastimes, but His internal potency[lila-sakti], knowing the intentions of the Lord, made all arrangements.
CC Madhya 13.66: Just as Lord Sri Krsna formerly performed the rasa-liladance and other pastimes at Vrndavana, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhuperformed uncommon pastimes moment after moment.
CC Madhya 13.67: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's dancing before the Ratha-yatracar could be perceived only by pure devotees. Others could not understand.Descriptions of Lord Krsna's uncommon dancing can be found in the revealedscripture Srimad-Bhagavatam.
CC Madhya 13.68: In this way Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced in greatjubilation and inundated all the people with waves of ecstatic love.
CC Madhya 13.69: Thus Lord Jagannatha mounted His car, and Lord Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu inspired all His devotees to dance in front of it.
CC Madhya 13.70: Now please hear about Lord Jagannatha's going to theGundica temple while Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced before the Ratha car.
CC Madhya 13.71: The Lord performed kirtana for some time and, through Hisown endeavor, inspired all the devotees to dance.
CC Madhya 13.72: When the Lord Himself wanted to dance, all seven groupscombined together.
CC Madhya 13.73: The Lord's devotees -- including Srivasa, Ramai, Raghu,Govinda, Mukunda, Haridasa, Govindananda, Madhava and Govinda -- allcombined together.
CC Madhya 13.74: When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu desired to jump high whiledancing, He placed these nine people in the charge of Svarupa Damodara.
CC Madhya 13.75: These devotees [Svarupa Damodara and the devotees in hischarge] sang along with the Lord, and they also ran beside Him. All theother groups of men also sang.
CC Madhya 13.76: Offering obeisances to the Lord with folded hands, SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu raised His face toward Jagannatha and prayed as follows.
CC Madhya 13.77: "'Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Krsna,who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, who is the well-wisherof cows and brahmanas, and who is always benefiting the whole world. I offermy repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Krsna andGovinda.'
CC Madhya 13.78: "'All glories unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whois known as the son of Devaki! All glories to the Supreme Personality ofGodhead, who is known as the light of the dynasty of Vrsni! All glories tothe Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose bodily luster is like that of anew cloud, and whose body is as soft as a lotus flower! All glories to theSupreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared on this planet to deliver theworld from the burden of demons, and who can offer liberation to everyone!'
CC Madhya 13.79: "'Lord Sri Krsna is He who is known as jana-nivasa, theultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known asDevaki-nandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is theguide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everythinginauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence Hedestroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert.His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis ofVrndavana. May He be all-glorious and happy!'
CC Madhya 13.80: "'I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not avaisya or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a householder, a vanaprastha or asannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of theservant of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. Heis like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendentalbliss. He is always existing with brilliance.'"
CC Madhya 13.81: Having recited all these verses from scripture, the Lordagain offered His obeisances, and all the devotees, with folded hands, alsooffered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
CC Madhya 13.82: When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced and jumped high,roaring like thunder and moving in a circle like a wheel, He appeared like acircling firebrand.
CC Madhya 13.83: Wherever Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stepped while dancing, thewhole earth, with its hills and seas, appeared to tilt.
CC Madhya 13.84: When Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced, He displayed variousblissful transcendental changes in His body. Sometimes He appeared as thoughstunned. Sometimes the hairs of His body stood on end. Sometimes Heperspired, cried, trembled and changed color, and sometimes He exhibitedsymptoms of helplessness, pride, exuberance and humility.
CC Madhya 13.85: When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu fell down with a crash whiledancing, He would roll on the ground. At such times it appeared that agolden mountain was rolling on the ground.
CC Madhya 13.86: Nityananda Prabhu would stretch out His two hands and tryto catch the Lord when He was running here and there.
CC Madhya 13.87: Advaita Acarya would walk behind the Lord and loudly chant"Haribol! Haribol!" again and again.
CC Madhya 13.88: Just to check the crowds from coming too near the Lord, thedevotees formed three circles. The first circle was guided by NityanandaPrabhu, who is Balarama Himself, the possessor of great strength.
CC Madhya 13.89: All the devotees headed by Kasisvara and Govinda linkedhands and formed a second circle around the Lord.
CC Madhya 13.90: Maharaja Prataparudra and his personal assistants formed athird circle around the two inner circles just to check the crowds fromcoming too near.
CC Madhya 13.91: With his hands on the shoulders of Haricandana, KingPrataparudra could see Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu dancing, and the King feltgreat ecstasy.
CC Madhya 13.92: While the King beheld the dancing, Srivasa Thakura,standing in front of him, became ecstatic as he saw the dancing of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu.
CC Madhya 13.93: Seeing Srivasa Thakura standing before the King,Haricandana touched Srivasa with his hand and requested him to step aside.
CC Madhya 13.94: Absorbed in watching Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu dance, SrivasaThakura could not understand why he was being touched and pushed. After hewas pushed again and again, he became angry.
CC Madhya 13.95: Srivasa Thakura slapped Haricandana to stop him frompushing him. In turn, this made Haricandana angry.
CC Madhya 13.96: As the angered Haricandana was about to speak to SrivasaThakura, Prataparudra Maharaja personally stopped him.
CC Madhya 13.97: King Prataparudra said, "You are very fortunate, for youhave been graced by the touch of Srivasa Thakura. I am not so fortunate. Youshould feel obliged to him."
CC Madhya 13.98: Everyone was astonished by the dancing of CaitanyaMahaprabhu, and even Lord Jagannatha became extremely happy to see Him.
CC Madhya 13.99: The car came to a complete standstill and remained immobilewhile Lord Jagannatha, with unblinking eyes, watched the dancing of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu.
CC Madhya 13.100: The goddess of fortune, Subhadra, and Lord Balarama bothfelt great happiness and ecstasy within their hearts. Indeed, they were seensmiling at the dancing.
CC Madhya 13.101: When Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced and jumped high, eightwonderful transformations indicative of divine ecstasy were seen in Hisbody. All these symptoms were visible simultaneously.
CC Madhya 13.102: His skin erupted with goose pimples, and the hairs of Hisbody stood on end. His body resembled the simuli [silk cotton tree], allcovered with thorns.
CC Madhya 13.103: Indeed, the people became afraid just to see His teethchatter, and they even thought that His teeth would fall out.
CC Madhya 13.104: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's whole body flowed withperspiration and at the same time oozed blood. He made the sounds "jajagaga, jaja gaga" in a voice choked with ecstasy.
CC Madhya 13.105: Tears came forcefully from the eyes of the Lord, as iffrom a syringe, and all the people surrounding Him became wet.
CC Madhya 13.106: Everyone saw the complexion of His body change from whiteto pink, so that His luster resembled that of the mallika flower.
CC Madhya 13.107: Sometimes He appeared stunned, and sometimes He rolled onthe ground. Indeed, sometimes His legs and hands became as hard as dry wood,and He did not move.
CC Madhya 13.108: When the Lord fell to the ground, sometimes His breathingalmost stopped. When the devotees saw this, their lives also became veryfeeble.
CC Madhya 13.109: Water flowed from His eyes and sometimes through Hisnostrils, and foam fell from His mouth. These flowings appeared to betorrents of nectar descending from the moon.
CC Madhya 13.110: The foam that fell from the mouth of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu was taken and drunk by Subhananda because he was very fortunateand expert in relishing the mellow of ecstatic love of Krsna.
CC Madhya 13.111: After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had performed Hisdevastating dance for some time, His mind entered into a mood of ecstaticlove.
CC Madhya 13.112: After abandoning the dancing, the Lord ordered SvarupaDamodara to sing. Understanding His mind, Svarupa Damodara began to sing asfollows.
CC Madhya 13.113: "'Now I have gained the Lord of My life, in the absence ofwhom I was being burned by Cupid and was withering away.'"
CC Madhya 13.114: When this refrain was loudly sung by Svarupa Damodara, SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu again began rhythmically dancing in transcendentalbliss.
CC Madhya 13.115: The car of Lord Jagannatha began to move slowly while theson of mother Saci went ahead and danced in front.
CC Madhya 13.116: While dancing and singing, all the devotees in front ofLord Jagannatha kept their eyes on Him. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then went to theend of the procession with the sankirtana performers.
CC Madhya 13.117: His eyes and mind fully absorbed in Lord Jagannatha,Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to play the drama of the song with His two arms.
CC Madhya 13.118: When Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dramatically enacting thesong, He would sometimes fall behind in the procession. At such times, LordJagannatha would come to a standstill. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu again wentforward, Lord Jagannatha's car would slowly start again.
CC Madhya 13.119: Thus there was a sort of competition between CaitanyaMahaprabhu and Lord Jagannatha in seeing who would lead, but CaitanyaMahaprabhu was so strong that He made Lord Jagannatha wait in His car.
CC Madhya 13.120: While Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing, His ecstasychanged. Raising His two arms, He began to recite the following verse in aloud voice.
CC Madhya 13.121: "'That very personality who stole away my heart during myyouth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the monthof Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweetbreezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, Iam also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager togo back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That ismy desire.'"
CC Madhya 13.122: This verse was recited by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu againand again. But for Svarupa Damodara, no one could understand its meaning.
CC Madhya 13.123: I have already explained this verse. Now I shall simplydescribe it in brief.
CC Madhya 13.124: Formerly, all the gopis of Vrndavana were very pleasedwhen they met with Krsna in the holy place Kuruksetra.
CC Madhya 13.125: Similarly, after seeing Lord Jagannatha, Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu awoke with the ecstasy of the gopis. Being absorbed in thisecstasy, He asked Svarupa Damodara to sing the refrain.
CC Madhya 13.126: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke thus to Lord Jagannatha:"You are the same Krsna, and I am the same Radharani. We are meeting againin the same way that We met in the beginning of Our lives.
CC Madhya 13.127: "Although We are both the same, My mind is still attractedto Vrndavana-dhama. I wish that You will please again appear with Your lotusfeet in Vrndavana.
CC Madhya 13.128: "In Kuruksetra there are crowds of people, elephants andhorses, and also the rattling of chariots. But in Vrndavana there are flowergardens, and the humming of the bees and chirping of the birds can be heard.
CC Madhya 13.129: "Here at Kuruksetra You are dressed like a royal prince,accompanied by great warriors, but in Vrndavana You appeared just like anordinary cowherd boy, accompanied only by Your beautiful flute.
CC Madhya 13.130: "Here there is not even a drop of the ocean oftranscendental happiness that I enjoyed with You in Vrndavana.
CC Madhya 13.131: "I therefore request You to come to Vrndavana and enjoypastimes with Me. If You do so, My ambition will be fulfilled."
CC Madhya 13.132: I have already described in brief Srimati Radharani'sstatement from Srimad-Bhagavatam.
CC Madhya 13.133: In that ecstatic mood, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recitedmany other verses, but people in general could not understand their meaning.
CC Madhya 13.134: The meaning of those verses was known to Svarupa DamodaraGosvami, but he did not reveal it. However, Sri Rupa Gosvami has broadcastthe meaning.
CC Madhya 13.135: While dancing, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to recite thefollowing verse, which He tasted in the association of Svarupa DamodaraGosvami.
CC Madhya 13.136: "[The gopis spoke thus:] 'Dear Lord, whose navel is justlike a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who havefallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped andmeditated upon by great mystic yogis and highly learned philosophers. Wewish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, althoughwe are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.'"
CC Madhya 13.137: Speaking in the mood of Srimati Radharani, CaitanyaMahaprabhu said, "For most people, the mind and heart are one, but becauseMy mind is never separated from Vrndavana, I consider My mind and Vrndavanato be one. My mind is already Vrndavana, and since You like Vrndavana, willYou please place Your lotus feet there? I would deem that Your full mercy.
CC Madhya 13.138: "My dear Lord, kindly hear My true submission. My home isVrndavana, and I wish Your association there. But if I do not get it, thenit will be very difficult for Me to keep My life.
CC Madhya 13.139: "My dear Krsna, formerly, when You were staying inMathura, You sent Uddhava to teach Me speculative knowledge and mystic yoga.Now You Yourself are speaking the same thing, but My mind doesn't accept it.There is no place in My mind for jnana-yoga or dhyana-yoga. Although Youknow Me very well, You are still instructing Me in jnana-yoga anddhyana-yoga. It is not right for You to do so."
CC Madhya 13.140: Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "I would like to withdrawMy consciousness from You and engage it in material activities, but eventhough I try, I cannot do so. I am naturally inclined to You only. Yourinstructions for Me to meditate on You are therefore simply ludicrous. Inthis way, You are killing Me. It is not very good for You to think of Me asa candidate for Your instructions.
CC Madhya 13.141: "The gopis are not like the mystic yogis. They will neverbe satisfied simply by meditating on Your lotus feet and imitating theso-called yogis. Teaching the gopis about meditation is another kind ofduplicity. When they are instructed to undergo mystic yoga practice, theyare not at all satisfied. On the contrary, they become more and more angrywith You."
CC Madhya 13.142: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "The gopis have falleninto the great ocean of separation and are being devoured by the timingilafish of their ambition to serve You. The gopis are to be delivered from themouths of these timingila fish, for they are pure devotees. Since they haveno material conception of life, why should they aspire for liberation? Thegopis do not want that liberation desired by yogis and jnanis, for they arealready liberated from the ocean of material existence.
CC Madhya 13.143: "It is amazing that You have forgotten the land ofVrndavana. And how is it that You have forgotten Your father, mother andfriends? How have You forgotten Govardhana Hill, the bank of the Yamuna andthe forest where You enjoyed the rasa-lila dance?
CC Madhya 13.144: "Krsna, You are certainly a refined gentleman with allgood qualities. You are well-behaved, softhearted and merciful. I know thatthere is not even a tinge of fault to be found in You. Yet Your mind doesnot even remember the inhabitants of Vrndavana. This is only My misfortune,and nothing else.
CC Madhya 13.145: "I do not care for My personal unhappiness, but when I seethe morose face of mother Yasoda and the hearts of all the inhabitants ofVrndavana breaking because of You, I wonder whether You want to kill themall. Or do You want to enliven them by coming there? Why are You simplykeeping them alive in a state of suffering?
CC Madhya 13.146: "The inhabitants of Vrndavana do not want You dressed likea prince, nor do they want You to associate with great warriors in adifferent country. They cannot leave the land of Vrndavana, and without Yourpresence, they are all dying. What is their condition to be?
CC Madhya 13.147: "My dear Krsna, You are the life and soul ofVrndavana-dhama. You are especially the life of Nanda Maharaja. You are theonly opulence in the land of Vrndavana, and You are very merciful. Pleasecome and let all the residents of Vrndavana live. Kindly keep Your lotusfeet again in Vrndavana."
CC Madhya 13.148: After hearing Srimati Radharani's statements, Lord Krsna'slove for the inhabitants of Vrndavana was evoked, and His body and mindbecame very much perturbed. After hearing of their love for Him, Heimmediately thought Himself to be always indebted to the residents ofVrndavana. Then Krsna began to pacify Srimati Radharani as follows.
CC Madhya 13.149: "My dearest Srimati Radharani, please hear Me. I amspeaking the truth. I cry day and night simply upon remembering all youinhabitants of Vrndavana. No one knows how unhappy this makes Me."
CC Madhya 13.150: Sri Krsna continued: "All the inhabitants ofVrndavana-dhama -- My mother, father, cowherd boyfriends and everything else-- are like My life and soul. And among all the inhabitants of Vrndavana,the gopis are My very life and soul. And among the gopis, You, SrimatiRadharani, are the chief. Therefore You are the very life of My life.
CC Madhya 13.151: "My dear Srimati Radharani, I am always subservient to theloving affairs of all of you. I am under your control only. My separationfrom you and residence in distant places have occurred due to My strongmisfortune.
CC Madhya 13.152: "When a woman is separated from the man she loves or a manis separated from his beloved woman, neither of them can live. It is a factthat they live only for each other, for if one dies and the other hears ofit, he or she will die also.
CC Madhya 13.153: "Such a loving, chaste wife and loving husband desire allwelfare for each other in separation and do not care for personal happiness.Desiring only each other's well-being, such a pair certainly meet againwithout delay.
CC Madhya 13.154: "You are My most dear, and I know that in My absence Youcannot live for a moment. Just to keep You living, I worship Lord Narayana.By His merciful potency, I come to Vrndavana every day to enjoy pastimeswith You. I then return to Dvaraka-dhama. Thus You can always feel Mypresence there in Vrndavana.
CC Madhya 13.155: "Our love affair is more powerful because of My goodfortune in receiving Narayana's grace. This allows Me to come there unseenby others. I hope that very soon I will be visible to everyone.
CC Madhya 13.156: "I have already killed all the mischievous demons who areenemies of the Yadu dynasty, and I have also killed Kamsa and his allies.But there are two or four demons still living. I want to kill them, andafter doing so I shall very soon return to Vrndavana. Please know this forcertain.
CC Madhya 13.157: "I wish to protect the inhabitants of Vrndavana from theattacks of My enemies. That is why I remain in My kingdom; otherwise I amindifferent to My royal position. Whatever wives, sons and wealth I maintainin the kingdom are only for the satisfaction of the Yadus.
CC Madhya 13.158: "Your loving qualities always attract Me to Vrndavana.Indeed, they will bring Me back within ten or twenty days, and when I returnI shall enjoy both day and night with You and all the damsels ofVrajabhumi."
CC Madhya 13.159: While speaking to Srimati Radharani, Krsna became veryanxious to return to Vrndavana. He made Her listen to a verse which banishedall Her difficulties and which assured Her that She would again attainKrsna.
CC Madhya 13.160: Lord Sri Krsna said: "Devotional service unto Me is theonly way to attain Me. My dear gopis, whatever love and affection you haveattained for Me by good fortune is the only reason for My returning to you."
CC Madhya 13.161: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would sit in His room with SvarupaDamodara and taste the topics of these verses day and night.
CC Madhya 13.162: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced completely absorbed inecstatic emotion. While looking at the face of Lord Jagannatha, He dancedand recited these verses.
CC Madhya 13.163: No one can describe the good fortune of Svarupa DamodaraGosvami, for he is always absorbed in the service of the Lord with his body,mind and words.
CC Madhya 13.164: The senses of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were identicalwith the senses of Svarupa. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to becomefully absorbed in tasting the singing of Svarupa Damodara.
CC Madhya 13.165: In emotional ecstasy, Caitanya Mahaprabhu would sometimessit on the ground and, looking down, would write on the ground with Hisfinger.
CC Madhya 13.166: Fearing that the Lord would injure His finger by writingin this way, Svarupa Damodara checked Him with his own hand.
CC Madhya 13.167: Svarupa Damodara used to sing exactly according to theecstatic emotion of the Lord. Whenever a particular mellow was being tastedby Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara would personify it by singing.
CC Madhya 13.168: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu looked upon the beautifullotuslike face and eyes of Lord Jagannatha.
CC Madhya 13.169: Lord Jagannatha was garlanded, dressed with nice garmentsand adorned with beautiful ornaments. His face was glittering from the raysof sunshine, and the entire atmosphere was fragrant.
CC Madhya 13.170: An ocean of transcendental bliss expanded in the heart ofLord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and symptoms of madness immediatelyintensified like a hurricane.
CC Madhya 13.171: The madness of transcendental bliss created waves ofvarious emotions. The emotions appeared like opposing soldiers staging afight.
CC Madhya 13.172: There was an increase in all the natural emotionalsymptoms. Thus there were awakening emotions, peacefulness, joined, mixed,transcendental and prevalent emotions, and impetuses for emotion.
CC Madhya 13.173: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's body appeared like atranscendental Himalayan mountain bearing ecstatic emotional flower trees,all of them blooming.
CC Madhya 13.174: The sight of all these symptoms attracted everyone's mindand consciousness. Indeed, the Lord sprinkled everyone's mind with thenectar of transcendental love of Godhead.
CC Madhya 13.175: He sprinkled the minds of the servants of Lord Jagannatha,the government officers, the pilgrim visitors, the general populace and allthe residents of Jagannatha Puri.
CC Madhya 13.176: Upon seeing the dancing and ecstatic love of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu, everyone became astonished. In their hearts they becameinfatuated with love of Krsna.
CC Madhya 13.177: Everyone danced and chanted in ecstatic love, and a greatnoise resounded. Everyone was overwhelmed with transcendental bliss just tosee the dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
CC Madhya 13.178: Apart from the others, even Lord Jagannatha and LordBalarama, with great happiness, began to move very slowly upon seeing thedancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
CC Madhya 13.179: Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama sometimes stopped thecar and happily observed Lord Caitanya's dancing. Anyone who was able to seeThem stop and watch the dancing bore witness to Their pastimes.
CC Madhya 13.180: When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing andwandering in this way, He fell down in front of Maharaja Prataparudra.
CC Madhya 13.181: Maharaja Prataparudra picked the Lord up with greatrespect, but upon seeing the King, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to Hisexternal senses.
CC Madhya 13.182: After seeing the King, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu condemnedHimself, saying, "Oh, how pitiful it is that I have touched a person who isinterested in mundane affairs!"
CC Madhya 13.183: Not even Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Kasisvara or Govinda tookcare of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He fell down. Nityananda was in greatecstasy, and Kasisvara and Govinda were elsewhere.
CC Madhya 13.184: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had already been satisfied by theKing's behavior, for the King had accepted the service of a sweeper for LordJagannatha. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu actually desired to see theKing.
CC Madhya 13.185: However, just to warn His personal associates, the SupremePersonality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, externally expressedfeelings of anger.
CC Madhya 13.186: King Prataparudra became frightened when Lord Caitanyashowed external anger, but Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told the King, "Don'tworry."
CC Madhya 13.187: Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya informed the King, "The Lord isvery satisfied with you. By pointing you out, He was teaching His personalassociates how to behave with mundane people."
CC Madhya 13.188: Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya continued, "I shall submit yourpetition when there is an opportune moment. It will then be easy for you tocome and meet the Lord."
CC Madhya 13.189: After circumambulating Jagannatha, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhuwent behind the car and began pushing it with His head.
CC Madhya 13.190: As soon as He pushed, the car immediately started to move,making a rattling noise. The people all around began to chant the holy nameof the Lord, "Hari! Hari!"
CC Madhya 13.191: As the car began to move, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took Hispersonal associates in front of the cars occupied by Lord Balarama andSubhadra, the goddess of fortune. Greatly inspired, He then began to dancein front of them.
CC Madhya 13.192: After finishing the dance before Lord Baladeva andSubhadra, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came before Lord Jagannatha's car. Uponseeing Lord Jagannatha, He began to dance again.
CC Madhya 13.193: When they reached the place called Balagandi, LordJagannatha stopped His car and began to look left and right.
CC Madhya 13.194: On the left side, Lord Jagannatha saw a neighborhood ofbrahmanas and a coconut-tree grove. On the right side, He saw nice flowergardens resembling those in the holy place Vrndavana.
CC Madhya 13.195: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees were dancing infront of the car, and Lord Jagannatha, having stopped the car, watched thedancing.
CC Madhya 13.196: It was customary that food be offered to the Lord atvipra-sasana. Indeed, innumerable dishes of food were offered, and LordJagannatha tasted each one of them.
CC Madhya 13.197: All kinds of devotees of Lord Jagannatha -- from neophytesto the most advanced -- offered their best cooked food to the Lord.
CC Madhya 13.198: These devotees included the King, his queens, hisministers and friends and all other big and small residents of JagannathaPuri.
CC Madhya 13.199: All the visitors who had come from different countries toJagannatha Puri, as well as the local devotees, offered their personallycooked food to the Lord.
CC Madhya 13.200: The devotees offered their food everywhere -- in front ofthe car and behind it, on the two sides and within the flower garden.Wherever possible, they made their offering to the Lord, for there were nohard and fast rules.
CC Madhya 13.201: While the food was being offered, a large crowd of peoplegathered. At that time Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stopped His dancing and wentto a nearby garden.
CC Madhya 13.202: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered the garden and, immersedin great ecstatic emotion, fell flat on a raised platform there.
CC Madhya 13.203: The Lord was very much fatigued from the hard labor ofdancing, and there was perspiration all over His body. He therefore enjoyedthe fragrant, cool breeze of the garden.
CC Madhya 13.204: All the devotees who had been performing sankirtana camethere and took rest under each and every tree.
CC Madhya 13.205: Thus I have described the great performance ofcongregational chanting by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as He danced infront of Lord Jagannatha.
CC Madhya 13.206: In his prayer known as the Caitanyastaka, Srila RupaGosvami has given a vivid description of the Lord's dancing before the carof Jagannatha.
CC Madhya 13.207: "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced down the main road ingreat ecstasy before Lord Jagannatha, the master of Nilacala, who wassitting on His car. Overwhelmed by the transcendental bliss of dancing andsurrounded by Vaisnavas who sang the holy names, He manifested waves ofecstatic love of Godhead. When will Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu again be visibleto my vision?"
CC Madhya 13.208: Anyone who hears this description of the car festival willattain Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He will also attain the elevated state bywhich he will have firm conviction in devotional service and love ofGodhead.
CC Madhya 13.209: Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha,always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,following in their footsteps.
 Copyright (c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of theInternational Society for Krishna Consciousness

------------------------------------------------------------------------Ratha Yatra in Puri
At the height of Indian summer, right at the beginning of the Monsoon, theLord of Puri goes to his garden palace for the annual summer vacation.Originally the festival has its foundation in the residents of Vrindavanbringing back their Lords, Krishna, Balaram and Lady Subhadra fromKurukshetra.
Today in Puri He, the Lord of the Universe travels in some style from histemple in Puri, to his garden temple, located outside the town centre calledGundicha. Thousands of Hindus flock to see, and to pull the grand chariotsfrom one temple to the other. The English word "Jagannaut" comes from thegiant chariots of Lord Jagannath of Puri. The British were so stunned by thesize of the chariots, they coined a word for it!
In Puri, Lord Jagannath is worshipped with his elder brother Bala-Rama andhis sister Subhadra. Each sibling has his / her own chariot and goes to thesummer residence with great pomp. Each of the chariots is covered indistinctly coloured cloth. Various symbols and signs help pilgrimsdistinguish between the three gods. As a mark of respect, and humbleness,the king of Puri sweeps the chariots of the Gods of Puri. Festival beginswith a huge fanfare of conches, trumpets, drums and cymbals. Accompanied bymusic and dancers, the divine travellers begin their journey to the gardentemple.
In order to accommodate the three chariots, the street leading from the maintemple to the garden temple is very wide. Temples, ashrams, hotels, inns,shops and mansions of the old aristocracy line the route. All buildings arecolourfully decorated with flags, buntings and awnings of bright colours.Ladies in colourful saries crowd the balconies, doors and windows deckedwith flowers. Men and women rush to pull the chariots along this main streetof Puri. This is an exciting time in Puri. The Lord who is rarely glimpsedoutside his inner sanctum, is now easily accessible to everyone in thestreets of Puri !
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, away from the innumerabletemple servants, away from their spouses, the siblings enjoy their"Vrindavan-like" garden retreat. The temple routine in the garden temple isvery much relaxed compared to the main temple. Various festivities and funare planned for their short stay in this leafy abode. ( Depending on thelunar cycle, this festival can last anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks. )
As the Lord has only taken his brother and his sister on this holiday, thewives are left at home! Alone and brooding, Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess ofwealth), seeks help from Goddess Vimala to get their husband back.Travelling by night, in a closed palanquin, she arrives at the garden templeof the Lord. She enchants the Lord and entreats him to return.
A few days later, Lord returns to his city temple. Though delighted, goddessLakshmi orders the temple doors to be shut in His face - in the vain hope ofteaching Him a lesson! In the conversation that follows, female attendants(dev-dasi) of the Goddess blame the Lord of being inconsiderate, "Jack theLad", taking His wife for granted and being far too easily led by thein-laws (sounds familiar?).
The mood of the sevaks in Puri is that Jagannath is their friend as opposedto Him being their Master, as in other lilas. In many cases the residents ofPurushottam Sri Kshetra make many comparission with their own lives indealing with Jagannath. These intimacies reflect the overall mood, and carrythe tradition of heritage of Jagannath's original coming to Puri manythousands of years before and the wonderful pastimes of the saintlyIndradyumna maharaj vision of the Lord, Visvavasu the Sabara's attachment tothe Lord as Nila Madhav, and finally the mystical appearance of theDharu-Brahma from which the first Deities were carved by the architect ofthe devas Vishvakarma, the mystical carrying of the log by the descendant ofVisvavasu (Virabhadra) that many elephants and men could not budge. Suchwonderful depictive pastimes make one's hair stand in horipulations at theirrecitation.
Today in Puri Lord's servants explain that He really had no choice, as theybring Him back that He went against His will, He still loves Her deeply andrespects Her enormously!! Eventually, the Lord offers the femalegate-keepers bribess and enters the inner sanctum to pacify the GoddessLakshmi. Such are the dramas of a married man's life! The next day, Lord andthe Goddess once again appear in the public, reconciled and as loving asever. Lord's summer vacation is over, and life in the great temple returnsto its age old routine.
Of all the festivals, the Ratha Yatra of Jagannatha is the most famous. Thistakes place on the second day of the waxing phase of the moon of the asadhamonth. Jagannatha ordered King Indradyumna to take him to his birth place,the Gundica Mandira (symbolically Vrindavana), on this day.
Jagannatha's ratha is marked with a cakra and garuda, is yellow in color,with four white horses. The protecting deity is Nrsimha.
Baladeva's cart is blue, with a palm tree insignia, and four black horses.The protecting deity is Sesa.
Subhadra's cart is black, with lotus insignia, protected by Vanadurga.
Sudarsana is carried out first and placed on Subhadra's cart. In successionSubhadra, Baladeva, and Jagannatha are moved to their carts using silkropes. After being situated on their carts they are decorated andworshipped. Midway on the journey, the carts stop, the deities are bathed inpancamrta and cool water, and naivedyam and aratrika are offered. On arrivalat the Gundica Mandira, aratrika is offered, and then the deities enter thetemple for rest.
On the fifth day of the lunar month, called Hera (looking for) Pancami,Laksmi comes looking for Jagannatha with Siva and her maid servants. Whenthe servants of Jagannatha see her at the first gate of the Gundica Mandira,they close the door of Jagannatha's bhoga mandira so that she cannot seehim. She becomes angry and breaks a piece of Jagannatha's ratha. Aftertaking a meal she returns to the main temple.
On the ninth day of the moon, the return Ratha Yatra takes place, and Laksmiand her servants come to meet Jagannatha. Jagannatha gives her his garlandto appease her.
Several days later on dvadasi, Laksmi closes the temple doors in anger andher servants quarrel with Jagannatha's servants. After Jagannatha concedesdefeat, the doors are opened again.
Such is the reverance, the fun, the mysticism, and overall bliss ofRathyatra in Jagannath Puri.
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Kirtan Standards in ISKCON

The Kirtan Standards Committee (KSC) was established by the GBC to formulate clear standards and guidelines for kirtan within ISKCON based on the statements of Srila Prabhupada, and to present their findings for approval by the GBC body. The below are the first of such approved standards and guidelines.
Musical Instruments to be used for Kirtan and Bhajan in Temple Worship and Public Presentations in ISKCON
In our analysis of Srila Prabhupada's various instructions concerning instrument use during kirtan, we have ascertained that his instructions fall into three categories:
 Instrument use during kirtans in the temple for daily worship at deity aratis, tulasi puja, and guru puja
 Instrument use during kirtans in the temple at times other than regular daily aratis
 Instrument use outside the temple for harinam and public presentations
Herein we will reference various statements from Srila Prabhupada in each category and draw appropriate conclusions.
Instrument use During Kirtans in the Temple for Daily Worship at Deity Aratis, Tulasi Puja, and Guru Puja.
SP Letter to Hayagriva, 17 March, 1968:
Whenever I go to the class, I remember you, how joyfully you were chanting in the temple and whistling the bugle so nicely. Whenever I see the cornet lying idle because nobody can play on this particular instrument, I remember Hayagriva Brahmacari immediately.
Letter to: Aniruddha -- Los Angeles 14 November, 1968:
Throughout arati there is bell ringing, cymbals, mrdanga, gong, harmonium, etc.
The committee considered the above two quotes and others of that time frame but discounted their relevance to establishing present-day ISKCON standards, since Srila Prabhupada, in later years, gave specific instructions to the contrary, such as the following:
Letter exchange, 1975:
Rupanuga Das wrote on 30 January: The question of proper instruments for temple kirtans, particularly aratiks, has been raised. Is it that the proper instruments for temple aratiks and kirtans are only the kartals and mrdanga? Or can harmonium, tambora and tambourine also be used?
Srila Prabhupada replied on 2 February: Regarding instruments for temple kirtans, kartals and mrdanga are sufficient. There is no need of other instruments.
SP Letter to Bahudak, January 11, 1976:
The harmonium may be played during bhajan if there is someone who can play melodiously. But it is not for kirtan and aratik.
Conversation in Bombay, December 26, 1976:
Indian man: He has got one son and daughter. His family is in Bombay. One son is expired earlier. And he has got good talent of teaching Hindi, music, and tape recording. He's such work. And she knows cooking, very good cooking.
Prabhupada: Yes, if she gives cooking direction.
Indian man: She is also quite expert in cooking. (Hindi) He plays very good harmonium.
Indian man (2): All musical instruments.
Prabhupada: No, we don't want to introduce harmonium.
Indian man: No, I know. That is what he's teaching at the moment. He's doing it out of force.
Prabhupada: The other musical instrument*, if he plays his attention will be diverted in musical instrument, not to chanting. "We have to see melody, whether it is going on nicely." But that is not good. Our concentration should be hearing "Hare Krsna". That is... That is bhakti. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, simply this karatala, khol, that's all. In those days... Of course, there was no harmonium, but many stringed instruments were there. Sitar, esaraja, but these things were not used. Sometimes we do use to attract, but it is not required. (Hindi)
*The “other musical instrument" Prabhupada is referring to is most likely the harmonium, as it was the topic of the conversation. Or else Prabhupada is referring to any melodious musical instrument in general.
SP Letter to Dr. Wolf, January 29, 1976:
In India the system is that people go to see the Jagannatha Deity. The Deity is not very beautiful from the artistic point of view, but still people attend by the thousands. That sentiment is required. Similarly with our kirtan we are only using drums and kartals, but people come to the point of ecstasy. It is not the ornamentation, it is the ecstasy. This ecstasy is awakened by sravanam kirtanam by devotees.
Srila Prabhupada Nectar, "Who is Challenging My Authority?":
Palika-devi dasi also recalls that Prabhupada did not like harmoniums played during the kirtana. His comment was that it would "drag" the kirtana. Prabhupada used to say that his Guru Maharaja, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, banged the karatalas together and would only have karatalas and mrdanga played for kirtana.
HH Bhakti Charu Swami:
The instruments that Srila Prabhupada instructed for accompanying kirtana were karatal, mrdanga and jhajas (whompers). He didn't approve of harmonium for kirtana. For bhajana it is all right.
Translation of Gaura-arati song by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
Conchshells, bells, and karatalas resound, and the mrdangas play very sweetly. This kirtana music is supremely sweet and relishable to hear.
Interview with Revatinandana dasa, Memories of Srila Prabhupada DVD. Vol. 1
He [Srila Prabhupada] remarked that melodic instruments, including the harmonium, are not meant for kirtana, and he explained why. He said that the ear will automatically follow musical strains, and then our attention will be diverted from the mantra.
Thus, the Kirtan Standards Committee has concluded that only kartals and mrdanga should be played in the temple for daily worship at deity aratiks, tulasi puja, and guru puja. Whompers, gongs, and similar brass instruments may also be played, as they were often used during aratiks in Prabhupada's presence. No melodious instruments should be allowed, however, including harmonium, as Prabhupada was very clear on that point. It is permissible, however, to play harmonium during the Nrsimha-stuti, as it takes place after the arati when everyone is sitting down.
Instrument Use During Kirtans in the Temple at Times Other than Regular Daily Aratiks
This category includes:
1. Temple bhajans
2. Temple sit-down/stand-up kirtans, including 12- and 24-hour kirtans
3. Large temple festivals for the congregation and general public
SP letter to Jadurani, 26 May 1969:
Regarding your question about kirtana, practically we are not concerned with the instruments. They are used sometimes to make it sweeter, but if we divert our attention for using the instruments more, that is not good. We can accept everything for Krishna's service, but not taking the risk of diverting attention to any other thing which will hinder our Krishna Consciousness. That should be our motto, or principle.
Discussions between Srila Prabhupada and Shyamasundara dasa on Charles Darwin, undated:
You can sing also very nicely, sing also, like songs, with tamboura. It is very nice. (sings:) Cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa, like that, it is very nice.
In every temple there should be, one man should play on tamboura and chant. It requires nice pronunciation, and with the sound of tamboura it will be (indistinct).
Room Conversation in London, August 15, 1971:
Prabhupada: Electric guitar, if it is, they chant Hare Krsna only, nothing else, then it is all right. But as far as possible, simply mrdanga and kartal. But if GBC thinks that it attracts more people so they give contribution, that is a different thing. Otherwise there is no need.
SP letter to Bahudak, 10 November 75:
Regarding the instruments, stringed instruments are Vedic, but the real Vedic instrument is mrdanga and karatala. Anyway, you have to do according to the time and circumstances if you use these other instruments. So you have got my approval and you can go on.
From Vaiyasaki Das' Radha Damodara Vilasa, June 1970:
Los Angeles is a hub of activity these days as many temple presidents arrive from around the movement. Kirtanananda Swami has come from New Vrindavana and also shows his skill at playing the organ before the Wednesday evening class in the sanctuary. Prabhupada is pleased to see the devotees dovetailing their propensities in the service of Krsna and wants to have more programs with organ playing.
Hari Sauri Das:
The Vrndavana 24hrs kirtan was often a sit-down bhajan-style affair, although only the maha-mantra was sung. When I was in charge of it in 1975 devotees that knew how to play harmonium did so. Saccidananda das, a Bengali brahmacari with a very sweet voice always played the harmonium, and he was specifically requested by Srila Prabhupada to participate in the 24 hr. kirtan every afternoon.
Because Srila Prabhupada gave specific instructions about not using harmonium and other musical instruments during aratis, as cited in the first section of this proposal, the KSC has concluded that Prabhupada's allowances and recommendations in this present section refer to instruments for kirtans and bhajans in the temple at times when aratis are not being performed. Thus, at these other times, harmonium and tamboura may be added along with mrdanga and kartals. And although Prabhupada favored these aforementioned four instruments over others, at times he also gave allowance for additional non-traditional musical instruments to be used for attracting the public. Because programs for the public are not only held outside the temple but inside as well, the use of these additional non-traditional instruments can also be accepted within the temple. In addition, under the umbrella of our "public", we are including the phenomena, not existing during Prabhupada's time, of large and diverse congregations of devotees and friends of all ages, spanning several generations, and encompassing a broad range of commitment. It is important to note in the above quotes that Prabhupada was extremely conservative and cautionary regarding adding additional instruments to the four that he specifically advocated. If they are to be used, therefore, the temple president and local authorities should ensure that:
1. The additional instruments do not become the dominant sound in the bhajan/kirtan but support it, never being louder, more noticeable, or more prominent than the basic and traditional ones, or than the chanting of the holy name.
2. The musician does not play a solo without any chanting, or if he does so, they are just a few measures long.
3. If the musician is playing a wind instrument, it is better that he or she not play it continuously, but rather alternate playing and chanting, so as to receive due benefit from the holy name and not overemphasizing the sound of the instrument.
Instrument Use Outside the Temple For Harinam and Public Presentations
Note: In addition to the quotes that follow, all the quotes in the previous section are also relevant to this section.
SP letter to Hamsaduta, January 22, 1968:
Another proposal is that I want to form a sankirtana party in which two members will play mrdanga, eight will play the cymbals, two will play on tamboura, and one on harmonium. Besides that there will be the leader of the party. This party will be so trained that exhibitions of our chanting and dancing along with distribution of prasadam will be performed on a stage and for this performance we will sell tickets to the public. It will be known as a spiritual movement.
Room conversation, Mayapur, February 24, 1974:
Pancadravida: Do we use like a marching band in the Ratha-yäträ? If we used a marching band, a lot of people come, like a parade, like they use in the parades with trumpets and drums and all these things.
Prabhupada: I think you can introduce in Africa also. (laughter)
Brahmananda: We want to introduce in Mombasa. We've already been discussing it.
SP letter to Harikesa, Vrndavan, October 28, 1976
The chanting is very effective. Along with tampura and mrdanga played very rhythmically, let them chant. Perform this musical demonstration and sell books as far as possible, and feasting.
Bhakti Vikasa Swami, "Kirtana":
In the early days of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada allowed all kinds of instruments in kirtana. In the first temple at 26 2nd Avenue, guests even played on the innards of an old upright piano. There was no mrdanga, so Srila Prabhupada played a bongo drum..... At the Honolulu temple, Srila Prabhupada also participated in kirtanas where the devotees played electric guitars and bass guitars. Even later on, Srila Prabhupada allowed the use of tamboura and other instruments-not in the regular temple kirtanas, but in preaching programs, festivals, etc., as an attraction for the public.
Kurma das, "The Great Transcendental Adventure" - June 29th, 1974:
Suddenly the stirring sounds of bagpipes filled the air. On Prabhupada's advice, Madhudvisa had hired a Scottish marching band to lead the parade. The Mitcham Bagpipe Band, fully bedecked with their pipes, tartan forage caps, full kilts, sporrans, and long socks set off along the road, playing a popular Hare Krishna tune from sheet music. "Scottish band, Prabhupada," Madhudvisa announced. Srila Prabhupäda nodded, showing his approval with a broad smile.
Note: This bagpipe band was not playing along with the regular kirtana of the devotees.
Dravinaksa Dasa, Memories of Srila Prabhupada, DVD #47:
Another time in that same room there was a discussion about kirtan, the Radha Damodar kirtans that we were having on campus or on the street where we set up. Prabhupada was saying we just should use khol and karatals. At that time we had many instruments. We had harmonium, we had esraj-which was like a violin-we had ektara, and we had an instrument that had strings and you play it with little hammers. So there was a discussion where Prabhupada was saying just to use khols and karatals. And Adi-kesava said that people were attracted to the party because of the instruments, and Prabhupada didn't seem to take that very seriously. And then Adi-kesava said, "But Visnujana said..." and Prabhupada cut him off and said, "Who is Visnujana? I am your spiritual master." And also in that meeting Prabhupada
said that there shouldn't be any harmonium during the aratis. And previously you hear lot of tapes of Bharadvaj and others playing harmonium. So that was stopped during aratis. And it didn't seem like Prabhupada just wanted some expert musicians. He wanted devotees. So that was stopped, and that time the Radha Damodar party just went back to mrdanga and karatals on the public kirtans, for a while, and eventually we had a couple of instruments here and there, I had heard with Prabhupada's permission; I don't know for sure.
Bhurijana dasa, "My Glorious Master":
Bhurijana: "Prabhupada, we have been holding kirtanas using guitars. Is that all right?"
Prabhupada: "Kirtana means khol (mrdanga) and karatala. That's all."
Bhurijana: "But it is so difficult to preach in Hong Kong. And the Chinese people like kirtanas better when they are soft and with guitars. They don't like loud kirtanas with many instruments."
Prabhupada acceded to my pushing and gave us permission to also use guitars in our kirtanas along with the standard khol and karatala. Our spiritual master may sometimes agree to our requests because we present them forcefully, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is Krishna's desire. We should be careful that our own enthusiastic vision does not cover our ability to recognize our guru's actual desires.
The Kirtan Standards Committee has concluded that Srila Prabhupada gave the same basic instructions for outside kirtans as he did for non-arati temple kirtans and bhajans. Thus, for attracting the public, harmonium, tamboura, plus other non traditional instruments may be added. And as has been mentioned in the previous section, because Prabhupada was extremely conservative and cautionary regarding adding additional instruments to those he specifically advocated (mrdanga, kartals, harmonium, tamboura), if such instruments are used outside the temple, it should again be understood that the temple president and local authorities should ensure that:
1. The additional instruments do not become the dominant sound in the bhajan/kirtan but should support it, never being louder, more noticeable, or more prominent than the basic and traditional ones, or than the chanting of the holy name.
2. The musician does not play a solo without any chanting, or if he does so, they are just a few measures long.
3. If the musician is playing a wind instrument, it is better that he or she not play it continuously, but rather alternate playing and chanting, so as to receive due benefit from the holy name and not overemphasize the sound of the instrument.
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Coimbatore (India), March 11, 2011: The Bhaktivedanta Academy, the educational wing of ISKCON Coimbatore organized “ENVIRO 2011” – a Conference on Youth and Environment at GRD auditorium, PSG College of Arts & Science as a pioneering effort in bringing the attention of youth and people in general to one of the most critical issue we face today - the rapid changes in climate and itsconsequences.


The Conference had 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC Chairman Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri as Chief Guest. Bhakti Vinoda Swami, Director of Bhaktivedanta Academy & President ISKCON Coimbatore, Dr N Krishnakumar, Director and Chief Conservator of Forests IFGTB, Coimbatore, Shri Shankar Vanavarayar, National Chairman of CII Young Indians were present. Shri. G.Rangaswamy, Managing Trustee of PSG Institutions warmly welcomed Dr.Pachauri on his arrival.


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Coimbatore (India), March 11, 2011: The Bhaktivedanta Academy, the educational wing of ISKCON Coimbatore organized “ENVIRO 2011” – a Conference on Youth and Environment at GRD auditorium, PSG College of Arts & Science as a pioneering effort in bringing the attention of youth and people in general to one of the most critical issue we face today - the rapid changes in climate and itsconsequences.


The Conference had 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC Chairman Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri as Chief Guest. Bhakti Vinoda Swami, Director of Bhaktivedanta Academy & President ISKCON Coimbatore, Dr N Krishnakumar, Director and Chief Conservator of Forests IFGTB, Coimbatore, Shri Shankar Vanavarayar, National Chairman of CII Young Indians were present. Shri. G.Rangaswamy, Managing Trustee of PSG Institutions warmly welcomed Dr.Pachauri on his arrival.


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HH Prahladananda Swami

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!

Date: March 4th, 2011

Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes back to Godhead

Verse: 4.12.26-27

Speaker: HH Prahladananda Swami
anasthitam te pitrbhiranyair apy anga karhicitatistha jagatam vandyamtad visnoh paramam padam


TRANSLATION: Dear King Dhruva, neither your forefathers nor anyone else before you ever achieved such a transcendental planet. The planet known as Visnuloka, where Lord Visnu personally resides, is the highest of all. It is worshipable by the inhabitants of all other planets within the universe. Please come with us and live there eternally.


PURPORT: When Dhruva Maharaja went to perform austerities, he was very determined to achieve a post never dreamed of by his forefathers. His father was Uttanapada, his grandfather was Manu, and his great-grandfather was Lord Brahma. So Dhruva wanted a kingdom even greater than Lord Brahma could achieve, and he requested Narada Muni to give him facility for achieving it. The associates of Lord Visnu reminded him that not only his forefathers but everyone else before him was unable to attain Visnuloka, the planet where Lord Visnu resides.
This is because everyone within this material world is either a karmi, a jnani or a yogi, but there are hardly any pure devotees. The transcendental planet known as Visnuloka is especially meant for devotees, not for karmis,jnanis or yogis. Great rsis or demigods can hardly approach Brahmaloka, and as stated in Bhagavad-gita, Brahmaloka is not a permanent residence. Lord Brahma's duration of life is so long that it is difficult to estimate even the duration of one day in his life, and yet Lord Brahma also dies, as do the residents of his planet. Bhagavad-gita (8.16) says, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna: except for those who go to Visnuloka, everyone is subjected to the four principles of material life, namely birth, death, old age and disease.
The Lord says, yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama: "The planet from which, once going, no one returns, is My supreme abode." (Bg. 15.6) Dhruva Maharaja was reminded, "You are going in our company to that planet from which no one returns to this material world." Material scientists are attempting to go to the moon and other planets, but they cannot imagine going to the topmost planet, Brahmaloka, for it is beyond their imagination. By material  calculation, traveling at the speed of light it would take forty thousand light-years to reach the topmost planet. By mechanical processes we are unable to reach the topmost planet of this universe, but the process called bhakti-yoga, as executed by Maharaja Dhruva, can give one the facility not only to reach other planets within this universe, but also to reach beyond this universe to the Visnuloka planets. We have outlined this in our small booklet Easy Journey to Other Planets. [End of Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 4.12.26]


etad vimana-pravaramuttamasloka-maulinaupasthapitam ayusmannadhirodhum tvam arhasi

TRANSLATION: O immortal one, this unique airplane has been sent by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is worshiped by selected prayers and who is the chief of all living entities. You are quite worthy to board such a plane.


PURPORT: According to astronomical calculation, along with the polestar there is another star, which is called Sisumara, where Lord Visnu, who is in charge of the maintenance of this material world, resides. Sisumara or Dhruvaloka can never be reached by anyone but the Vaisnavas, as will be described by the following slokas. The associates of Lord Visnu brought the special airplane for Dhruva Maharaja and then informed him that Lord Visnu had especially sent this airplane.


The Vaikuntha airplane does not move by mechanical arrangement. There are three processes for moving in outer space. One of the processes is known to the modern scientist. It is called ka-pota-vayu. Ka means "outer space," and pota means "ship." There is a second process also called kapota-vayu. Kapota means "pigeon." One can train pigeons to carry one into outer space. The third process is very subtle. It is called akasa-patana. This akasa-patana system is also material.


Just as the mind can fly anywhere one likes without mechanical arrangement, so the akasa-patana airplane can fly at the speed of mind. Beyond his kasa-patana system is the Vaikuntha process, which is completely spiritual. The airplane sent by Lord Visnu to carry Dhruva Maharaja to Sisumara was a completely spiritual, transcendental airplane. Material scientists can neither see such vehicles nor imagine how they fly in the air. The material scientist has no information about the spiritual sky, although it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyah [Bg. 8.20]). [End of Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 4.12.27]


HH Prahladananda Swami:  We are in the forth canto right now and already it is way beyond my realization, practically speaking. Srila Prabhupada says, "Beyond even my imagination." One time I was in Dallas, Texas and Srila Prabhupada came there. I had the good fortune of carrying the umbrella over his head while he was walking. Lord Krishna's arrangement.


Then Srila Prabhupada gave a press interview. The reporters were asking Srila Prabhupada, "How did you come?" He explained there are different ways of travelling. Just like it is mentioned in this verse. He mentioned by travelling by airplane and travelling by pigeon. He said that you take a number of pigeons and you harness them together then they will enable you to fly into space. Then the reporters asked Srila Prabhupada, "So how did you come?" Srila Prabhupada said, "I came by airplane just to be one with you." 


In these two verses there are many things that are inconceivable to us and if we don't recognize that they are inconceivable to us we won't really examine them very carefully. In the Bhagavatam there are so many things that are beyond our conception, beyond our experience, but the Bhagavatam is not meant to bewilder us into thinking or dividing our faith into that which we can experience and that which seems we may never be able to experience in this body or we may be able to experience at some future time by the mercy of guru and Krishna. But one of the amazing things about Srila Prabhupada's purports is that he tries to focus and emphasize what is actually essential. What is actually essential is that we understand ultimately as Krishna says, 
yo mam evam asammudho, janati purusottamamsa sarva-vid bhajati mam, sarva-bhavena bharata [Bg 15.19]
"Anyone who knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is said to be the knower of everything and therefore engages himself in full devotional service.


iti guhyatamam sastram, idam uktam mayanaghaetad buddhva buddhiman syat, krta-krtyas ca bharata [Bg 15.20]
This is the most confidential part of all the Vedic scriptures. Whoever knows this will become wise and his endeavors will know all perfection. So whether there are vimanas flying in outer space, whether there are Vaikuntha airplanes transporting self realized souls back to Vaikuntha, these are not the most important things for us right now. What is important is that we understand theoretically and practically how to chant Hare Krishna, how to perform devotional service in such a way that we actually become conscious of Krishna.


Therefore harinam sankirtana, worshipping the deities, serving the devotees, hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, living in a holy place or creating a holy place by our preaching, by our devotional service, these five very powerful activities are what's recommended. And if we learn how to perform them in the proper mood and attitude then the result is that we will become conscious of Krishna.


So although these pastimes of Dhruva Maharaja is certainly very enlivening to hear, the essential part of it is his determination, at least the essential part of it for us is his great determination to perform the process of devotional service given to him by his spiritual master Srila Narada Muni. And because he executed the process give to him by his spiritual master with so much determination Lord Visnu appeared within his heart and ultimately appeared outside and blessed him with full knowledge and cognizance of Him and pure devotional service.


Our founder acarya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has also given us instructions. He has also given us a systematic process to realize those instructions. Part of that is how we will come to accept that not only Brahmaloka or in Dhruvaloka, in Jambudvip or wherever that there is a Krishna and Krishna is the owner of everything. If we somehow or another can meditate on that and as a result of that do something practical in Krishna's  service especially by trying to as Srila Prabhupada once wrote  to me. He said in Buffalo while New York in just two weeks I have heard that they have distributed 3000 'Back To Godheads' In Buffalo you are also distributing 'Back to Godheads' very nicely. So please continue in this way and you success in life is assured. As Krishna sees that if you are trying to help Lord Krishna's other children back to the spiritual kingdom then He will bestow all His blessings upon you. Krishna is never ungrateful of our efforts to serve Him rest assured.
In other words there are so many conditioned souls starting with myself and every one of them has an eternal relation with Krishna. Now that relationship has been forgotten by the soul because the soul is in the illusion and in the misconception that he is the body. And that conception is born out of the desire to control material nature and try to enjoy it, forgetting that actually Krishna is controlling everything. All we can do is desire and if we desire in the right way we can go back to the spiritual world. We can begin the journey and eventually make progress step by step to the spiritual world.


If we are in the wrong association we will become caught up with Kali yuga and step by step we will be degraded to the lower species of life, all simply due to what we are desiring. In the association of devotees simply by hearing that there is a Krishna and hearing that if we chant His holy name, call out to Him with some devotion hoping that we can enter into the atmosphere of spiritual love and devotion, calling out to Srimati Radharani to engage us in Krishna's service and simultaneously with that we take seriously Lord Krishna's service in this age, to perform our saddhana, calling out to Srimati Radharani and Krishna and at the same time meditating  how to use our energies beginning with our body, our minds, our words or whatever we have in our possession in the service of Krishna. In the service of meditating carefully, "Now I am in the situation. What can I do to serve Krishna? What can I do to become an instrument for Krishna that will help this jiva soul in front of me become a better servant of Krishna, awakening his relation with Krishna?


As one devotee Govinda dasi was saying Prabhupada called her over and pointed out a little slug. Everyone know what a slug is? It is a tiny insect that is very slow moving. Prabhupada pointed it out and said, "Look at this poor slug. Chant to him. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Of course this I am not recommending or saying that Prabhupada's mission was to chant to slugs but Prabhupada was demonstration what to speak of the slugs, we have so much opportunities twenty four hours a day practically speaking of meditating on this idea that before me is not my husband, is not my wife, is not my children, is not my god brother, god sister or god nephew. This is the eternal servant of Krishna. Of course these things we cannot forget. How to serve Krishna has to be done appropriately but we should not forget when we see the difference, when we discriminate between men and women, black, white, Russian, American or whatever.


Whatever our discrimination may be if we forget that actually these designations are simply external, temporary not completely unimportant but simply temporary and the real essence is the soul within the body and with the soul is the Supersoul directing him to understand what the Supersoul wants us to do within our present capacity, to serve the soul before us or souls before us to help them revive their relationship with Krishna, to help them awaken their consciousness of Krishna. It is not that by our hearing philosophy that we are not this body then suddenly we become not the body and the rest of the day we are the body. Or as explained about the Supersoul how He sanctions our desire just like when we understand the smell of a flower by being near it and then Krishna understanding what our desires are and what we deserve manifesting the entire universe to fulfill the desires according to the merits of the individual living entities.


How wonderfully amazing the Supersoul is, the expansion of Krishna, how He can perfectly create a universe and maintain it moment to moment with perfect justice, perfect execution of plan either directly give the living entities an opportunity to become more conscious of Krishna or help them remain forgetful of Krishna suffer in separation from Krishna. The intelligent realize their suffering is due to their separation from Krishna.
Here in these verses Prabhupada is explaining very important things. The whole universe is temporary. Not only is the universe temporary but every moment in our existence here is changing. Someone may give a wonderful class. Someone may give a horrible class. We may chant our rounds. We may not chant our rounds but the fact is moment to moment to moment to moment our lives are changing and as it is changing material energy we have to catch hold of the lotus feet of the guru who comes in parampara that can actually give us the intelligence, the instructions by which we contact the Supersoul and remember very simple things, remember that Krishna is the proprietor of everything, that everything here is meant for Krishna's pleasure and that pleasure is the seed that other living entities are coming back to the spiritual world.


There may be progress. There may be some entities on a very elevated platform such as the devotees in our society. Some may endeavor to chant their rounds better, to rise early in the morning, serve the devotees with more sensitivity, more cognizance of their actual needs both spiritual and material. And others may be completely in the mode of ignorance all the way down to that little slug and to that we may just have to chant Hare Krishna and give them a Tulasi leaf or a little bit of prasadam to eat. In any case with that meditation then we become nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin [Bg 11.33]


After showing the whole universe, all the horrors of the universal form and not all the horrors of the universal form but most of them Arjuna was amazed. "What is this universe? You appear to be such a nice friend of mine and then suddenly Your mood has changed. Now You are displaying this universal form but it is a side of You I have never even dreamed could be. So what is Your mission/ Why have You come here? You are manifesting from Your mouth so much fire is coming. Your eyes are glowing in anger or rage, Your scents, so many different types of perfume, unlimited forms. This universe is everywhere. What is this all about?" Then Krishna says, 
sri-bhagavan uvacakalo 'smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho, lokan samahartum iha pravrttahrte 'pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve, ye 'vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah [Bg 11.32]


"Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to engage everyone." That means ourselves also. "Except for you, the five Pandavas everyone here is going to be slain." Not very good news! So it wasn't some five thousand years ago some unfortunate soldiers on the battlefield of Kuruksetra were going to be killed but we are all devotees in Mayapur therefore our bodies are going to last forever. No. We have some bad news for you and we have some good news. The bad news is we are all going to die and the good news is that although the body is going to die the soul is going to live forever. And the souls can live forever in Krishna consciousness. And what is the formula? 


tasmat tvam uttistha yaso labhasva, jitva satrun bhunksva rajyam samrddhammayaivaite nihatah purvam eva, nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin [Bg 11.33]


"Just get up, (not right now,) but just get up and prepare to fight." You have to wait to find out what kind of fight. "Just get up and fight and as you conquer your enemies enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They have been put to death by My arrangement and you are savya-sacin, can be an instrument in the fight." Or in Srila Prabhupada's words as he was mebntioning when he was on the Jaladutta. "I am coming to this western world. People are very much covered by the modes of ignorance and passion. They have created a world where everyone is imagining they are going to be happy in this world forever but actually they are just suffering. So please make my words so potent that they can enter the hearts of these conditioned souls and enlighten them and enliven them in the realm of Krishna consciousness. Actually who am I? I am simply a humble beggar. I really have no devotion. I really have no qualification to do this. I am simply coming as a servant of my spiritual master. So please make me a puppet in your hands. Let me dance, let me dance, let me dance."


So we have to watch our progress, watch our perception. Am I am instrument right now in the hands of Srila Prabhupada and his representatives? Am I actually dancing as his instrument? Are my words actually penetrating even my own heart and enlivening and enlightening me in devotional service. Am I actually working to deliver Krishna's other children back to the spiritual kingdom. And by doing so am I realizing that I am actually Krishna's servant and nothing else other than that? Are my false perceptions of my own identity, my false conceptions to other identities, are they going away or am I re-enforcing my false ego? Am I feeling within my heart some appreciation for the devotees? Am I feeling some devotion towards Krishna and His pure devotees? Am I appreciating my position as a servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna? Am I seeing the innocent and realizing that I must somehow or the other help them as Krishna's representative, make some progress? Am I avoiding those situations and those personalities in whose association I forget Krishna and become entangled and bewildered by my false ego and become influenced by other conceptions other than pure devotional service?
This takes intelligence. This is what we have to keep in mind not only for a few moments during the day but,
cetasa sarva-karmani, mayi sannyasya mat-parahbuddhi-yogam upasritya, mac-cittah satatam bhava [Bg 18.57]
"In all activities depend upon Me." Lord Krishna said. "Work always under my protection. In such devotional service try to be fully conscious of Me." Sofar I can't claim that throughout the day I am twenty four hours conscious of Krishna. If I could become conscious of Krishna even for a small amount during the day then I consider that day to be so much successful.


It is not that maya is just some ordinary personality. She is as powerful as Krishna but by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and his representatives we can understand our helpless position, how much we have to depend upon guru and Krishna, how much we have to depend upon the instructions coming from Krishna in disciplic succession then from that moment our lives become better, becomes closer to Krishna.


If somehow or the other we become a little bewildered into thinking that, "Now I am safe, now I have made a little advancement I can relax, now is the time to have a little fun." How much difficulty we can cause in our own life and in the lives of others! Maya is not some little insignificant personality. She is empowered.
daivi hy esa guna-mayi, mama maya duratyayamam eva ye prapadyante, mayam etam taranti te
"This divine energy of mine is very difficult to overcome but those who take shelter of Me can easily cross beyond it." [Bg 7.14]


During the day if we do not take shelter of Lord Krishna sufficiently and if there is some mistake certainly we should lament but after properly lamenting then we have to realize that this was an opportunity to humble us so we can realize how helpless we are without Krishna, how much we have to read these books, assimilate Srila Prabhupada's philosophy, the philosophy coming from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that Srila Prabhupada has given us, how much we have to take shelter of the devotees within the society, how much we have to pray to the deities, the Supersoul, how we have to take shelter of Krishna in every conceivable way possible so that whatever causes us to stray can be eliminated from our heart and will not be repeated again. It is not possible to  understand the depth of our conditioning all at once but when Lord Krishna reveals something to us at least that we have to take seriously.


Pariksit Maharaj, such a great personality that Lord Krishna appeared within the womb that he was inhabiting and saved him. How great this personality isbeyond my conception but still Lord Krishna arranged that somehow or the other he put a garland of a dead snake over the head of Samika Rsi. From one point of view Prabhupada said this garlanding of Samika Rsi by Pariksit Maharaj, it is not a very important thing. He was thirsty after all. He was travelling for a long distance. He was very hungry. He entered this hermitage. As he came he expected that the rsi would at least properly greet him. He became momentarily a little disturbed and put the garland of a snake over his head.


The news spread to Srngi that his father was insulted by Pariksit Maharaj and therefore he became very angry, completely out of proportion of the reality of the situation - at least from Prabhupada's point of view in the Bhagavatam and he cursed Pariksit Maharaj to die within seven days.


Samika Rsi when he learnt about this he i he was even to embarrassed to approach Pariksit Maharaj with the news. Pariksit Maharaj thought that "I have done wrong" even after he had gone and put the snake around Samika Rsis neck. He thought, "I have done wrong. Please Lord Krishna if there is some reaction let the reaction come upon my head so that I won't commit this mistake again and please not that my relatives will have to suffer for this mistake I have made.


News came to him that due to this offense he was to die within seven days. Prabhupada said he didn't try to counteract the curse. He did not try to go and beg from Srngi or Samika Rsi. He accepted the curse - whatever Krishna wants there must be some plan behind this and again he took the opportunity to go to the Ganges and hear from Sukadev Goswami for seven days the Srimad-Bhagavatam and in this way benedicting the entire universe.
Therefore sometimes it is not possible to understand how Krishna works. All we can do is smile a little bit or cry a little bit sometimes but ultimately we have to appreciate that Krishna is a wonderful personality and that whatever He arranges is ultimately for our purification. Therefore,
tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano, bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam [SB 10.14.8]


If we can see that and at the same time use our intelligence o enter deeper into Krishna consciousness and in this way make our life more and more perfect. We may commit mistakes. We should repent for them and at the same time we should try to learn from them so we don't commit them again and whatever reaction Krishna wants for us, not that we don't use our Krishna conscious intelligence to become a better servant of Krishna even at that moment but ultimately we leave things in the hands of Krishna. In that way we won't make that mistake again. That is our main mistake. We don't think carefully enough what Krishna wants us to do under these circumstances. We are not absorbed intensely in that desire to become a better servant as Srila Prabhupada was, as Srimati Radharani is.


One time in Boston Srila Prabhupada came. This was in 1969 and the devotees greeted him at the airport. He came to the temple. They had just recentlypurchased the temple on Beacon Street. His servant came, at that time it was Purushottama and he said Prabhupada when he came and was trying to take rest he sat on the edge of his bed and he very gracefully fell onto the bed and rolled over and said, "I pray to my spiritual master and Krishna every night to please protect me from maya. So this is the platform that we have to come to just to make progress. And the more we get sincerely into that mood of taking shelter of Krishna then we gradually come from sraddha to sadhu sanga, bhajanakriya and we make progress, progress, progress. Devotional service becomes more enlivening and enlivening.


Soon as we forget that, as soon as we try to take a little credit for our own selves, as soon as we forget that it is a team effort, as soon as we forget the mercy we are receiving from Krishna and his representatives, as soon as we want to take a little independent credit then so much problems can come about for ourselves and others. And even if we sincerely try and there is some problem we have to understand that sometimes as in the case of Pariksit Maharaj who was a completely pure devotee, sometimes Krishna arranges things just for our own purification. What to speak of Pariksit Maharaj, the purification of the entire universe. Within our individual hearts we should always feel that, "I am nothing but the insignificant servant of Krishna's servant and if there is some mistake as Srila Prabhupada said,


duhkhesv anudvigna-manah, sukhesu vigata-sprhahvita-raga-bhaya-krodhah, sthita-dhir munir ucyate
"One who is not disturbed by the three fold miseries, who is not elated when here is happiness and is free from attachment, fear and anger is known to be a sage of steady intelligence." [Bg 2.56]


So when we get some difficult situation we should understand that this is due to our past activities and that instead of giving us the electric chair Krishna is simply giving us a little pinprick. If everything is going very nicely in our lives we should understand that Krishna is simply giving us the opportunity To serve Him better, to spread the sankirtana movement and become a better instrument to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His transcendental servants hands.Thank you for you kind attention. Any questions or comments?


Prabhu: You stated quite rightly so that we know if we make some mistake or some fault in our devotional service we should be thoughtful, we should pray that Krishna will help us remove it. What if we pray and it doesn't go away?


HH Prahladananda Swami: I think I mentioned that also but maybe not so clearly. Thank you. If it doesn't go away we keep on praying for the intelligence and we hope. Sometimes Krishna maybe trying to tell us something or trying to tell other people something. We may even get the message. We may be just an instrument in Krishna's hands and we have to accept that. What can we do?


We look for instance at the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There are many devotes, there is Krishnadasa. He fell a victim to i Caitanya Mahaprabhu took him by his hair, dragged him, saved him and then rejected him. Krishnadasa is one of the eternal associates of Lord Caitanya. So Lord Caitanya's arrangement that this particular pastime is for our own education - not that Krishnadasa ultimately became purified but we have to become purified.


So it is not so easy sometimes to understand Krishna's plan. In any case we should pray to Krishna and make sure we are doing the right thing and if Krishna continues on in the particular reaction or whatever it is then we don't become disappointed that Krishna hasn't helped us. We keep on praying and praying, "Yes Krishna. This is Your will. I must accept it but please make me a better servant." And ultimately Krishna will reveal everything. Prabhu: Hare Krishna Maharaj. Maharaj I have some doubts that I am hoping that you can clear up.
HH Prahladananda Swami: Just let me add one more thing. While that pastime is going on we should be very careful not to unnecessarily criticize the Vaisnavas. If we start to see a Vaisnava in a difficult situation we should understand that he is actually getting the mercy of his guru and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and with should be compassionate to him and try to assist him in his service - not think that he is simply getting a reaction. He deserves it. If we start thinking like that we may find ourselves in a very similar situation very shortly.
Prabhu: Maharaj I have some doubts. I can accept most things about devotional service and Bhagavatam that by chanting and hearing and remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead we can advance. I accept that. Sometimes I have some doubts. Like today we hear about the pigeons flying in outer space. If you go to the Himalayas you see there is less oxygen there. People have trouble breathing and we hear that in outer space there is no air at all so how can the pigeons breathe and how can they flap their wings. So I have some doubts. What is my status/ Am I okay or what's going on?


HH Prahladananda Swami: You are okay. [Laughter] I know nothing about pigeons. [Laughter] but the Bhagavatam if it says this is true I accept it but I have no realization. So when I see pigeons I don't expect them to fly into outer space. If there are pigeons that can do that, personally I have to chant my rounds. I have no interest in finding any pigeon that can fly in outer space. I just hope that I have enough money to pay for my ticket by airplane. We have to end now but these things are not very important for our devotional service. We can chant Hare Krishna happily, devotionally we will become Krishna conscious and many more important things will be revealed to us and maybe that will be revealed to us also. I can't really say. Thank you very much! Granthraj Srimad Bhagavatam Ki! Jai. Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai. Gaura-premanande! Hari-haribol! [Applause]

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HG Badrinarayan Prabhu

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!

Date: March 2nd, 2011

Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back To Godhead

Verse: 4. 12. 25

Speaker: HG Badrinarayan Prabhu

sudurjayam visnu-padam jitam tvaya

yat surayo 'prapya vicaksate parama

tistha tac candra-divakaradayo

graharksa-tarah pariyanti daksinam


TRANSLATION: To achieve Visnuloka is very difficult, but by your austerity you have conquered. Even the great rsis and demigods cannot achieve this position. Simply to see the supreme abode [the Visnu planet], the sun and moon and all the other planets, stars, lunar mansions and solar systems are circumambulating it. Now please come; you are welcome to go there.


PURPORT: Even in this material world the so-called scientists, philosophers and mental speculators strive to merge into the spiritual sky, but they can never go there. But a devotee, by executing devotional service, not only realizes what the spiritual world actually is, but factually goes there to live an eternal life of bliss and knowledge. The Krishna consciousness movement is so potent that by adopting these principles of life and developing love of God one can very easily go back home, back to Godhead.Here the practical example is the case of Dhruva Maharaja. While the scientist and philosopher go to the moon but are disappointed in their attempts to stay there and live, the devotee makes an easy journey to other planets and ultimately goes back to Godhead. Devotees have no interest in seeing other planets, but while going back to Godhead, they see all of them as passing phases, just as one who is going to a distant place passes through many small stations. [End of Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 4.12.26]


HG Badrinarayan Prabhu: So let me ask you a question: If I want to draw a straight line free hand, I have a point here and I want to draw a point here and I want to do it free hand, no marker, no ruler, nothing like that, what is the best way to draw a straight line free hand? You look at where you are going. If you look along the way you will waver but if you know where you are going it is much easier, if you know the destination. I was actually going somewhere and lost my mind just like that.


If you have a box, you have a pile of sand and you have large rocks - box; sand and lots of rocks. No we know as a i that the rocks and the sand will fit just exactly in the box. What do I put in the box first? The sand or the rocks? [Audience answer - rock.] Why? If I put the sand in first then the rocks might fit but if I put the rocks in first the sand will form around it. You follow.


Atatho brahma-jijnasa [Vedanta-sutra] Human form of life is meant for questions about Brahman. The human form of life is meant to sort into two piles - sat; asat. That which is permanent, that which is eternal, that which is true in the absolute sense and that which is ephemeral. And once we know what is permanent, what is eternal and what is true then we can sort everything else out. Everything will then fall into its natural and proper place.
We are meant to become detached from this world. You've ever seen kids on a ring step. I don't know if we have them in India. You go from one ring to another and they go in a circle like this. They have bars and you go from one bar to another. Bhagavatam gives the example that you don't pick up one foot until you know that one foot is going to be settled. You can't really let go of something if we are in that position unless we have certainty of something else. Knowing that beyond in this world there is paravyoma, there is the spiritual world.


I was on a walk with Srila Prabhupada. He was walking and chanting quietly. All of a sudden he stopped, put his cane down, sized us up and said, "I know you are all atheists but there really is Krishna." [Laughter] Right on he kept walking. So we have to become detached from this world. We all have so many important things to do. There are so many things that we are attached to that are important. Somebody told me there is a saying that, 'the graveyard is full of indispensible men.' You follow? Indispensible! I thought I was an exception to all men are mortal.


Suppose I give you a hundred dollars. It is fine with the GBC. It is worth something. That is something tangible. Thank you. Actually outside of me theGBC are very hard working sincere, saintly devotees. I know that because they tolerate me. Oh you are feeling quiet happy. So you see Naresh and you say, "Naresh Prabhu, Badri just gave me a hundred dollars." Naresh Prabhu says, "That is funny. He gave me a thousand." [Laughter] and you asked all your friends. I gave everybody else a thousand. At one moment you are thinking, "Great." And as soon as you find out I gave everyone else a thousand, if you are renounced, detached person I can understand but if in ordinary mentality you would go, "What's with this? How irradical. How do I tick him off?"


So it is all relative. This world, Srila Prabhupada said the demigods will not come and pass urine on this place. [Laughter] Malati Mataji was saying that she was on a walk with Srila Prabhupada and they heard a big roar. "What is that?" And she explained that there is a machine that comes and dumps all the trash into a big truck. Prabhupada said that whole material world should go with it! [Laughter]


If we know the higher thing we can put this world in place. Tamal Krishna Maharaj told me this personally. He had been appointed by Srila Prabhupada as a temple commander of New Dvaraka in 1969 or 1968. It was the largest temple in Iskcon and it had maybe thirty five or forty devotees. It was a big temple. Ravindra Svarup Prabhu said if you were twenty, twenty five, thirty years old you were a senior elderly sage. Ravindra Svarup Prabhu said if you looked back in history you would wonder what were they thinking.


Prabhupada wasn't only the only pure devotee with us at that time. He was probably the only adult with us but Tamal Krishna Maharaj told me this. He had been appointed by Prabhupada as the temple commander, and he was feeling, "I have this powerful position. I may become puffed up. Just like Lord Brahma was praying not to become puffed up." He said, "How do I become free from the parties that come with this powerful position?"

Prabhupada said, "You just think like this: with every exhale of Maha Visnu unlimited universes, like grains of the sand come out. And He simply inhales and it is all drawn in. Simply in one exhale and one inhale. And you think that in every exhale there is one bubble. In that bubble there is the universe. In that universe there are so many planets. There are so many planets. On each planet there are so many continents, one every continent so many countries. In every country so many states, in every state so many cities, in every city so many streets, in every street so many buildings and in one of those buildings there is Tamal Krishna Maharaj thinking, 'I am very important.'" [Laughter] Tamal told me that so I can quote it. So it is simply a matter of keeping things in perspective. And if we know that perspective, that this is not my real home. This is a temporary place and my real home is the spiritual world. Then from that we can develop a sense of detachment.


I was reading the prayers of Bhismadev, instructions of Bhismadev. This is way of track but it is kind of funny. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that if all the books (we are not into book burning) but if all the books of the world were lost and only the Bhagavatam remained nothing will be lost. Everything is in there. Bhismadev says how to get free from anger. One learns to forgive. Another thing is how to become free from unlawful desires? Stop plan making. Don't make plans! If you think about it, it is said that in Kali yuga people are lazy, unlucky, misguided and above all always disturbed.


That disturbance in the mind and a large portion of it is the anger after frustration or the Rudra principle. We are all making so many plans. I can speak for myself, so many plans how I am going to enjoy and inevitably they are frustrated we become angry, we become disturbed. Actually a bird flies in the sky according to its ability so I know that my duty here is to tell some jokes and some stories and try to connect then. So anyway in that line Bhakti Purushottama Maharaj told me a story. We are going to tell three genie stories if we have time. 

There was a man and somehow he stumbled across a genie and tripped over something, follows it off, low and behold, "Yes master? Whatever you wish is I will fulfill." And then the genie said under his breath unheard by the man, "And whatever you get your neighbor will get twice as much." So the man said, "I want to have a beautiful palatial building as my house." Poof! He got a beautiful house. And he goes outside to show all of his friends his nice position and low and behold his neighbor's house is twice as full. He got a two storey but his neighbor got four storeys. So he said to the genie, "Give me an eight storey." Poof! He got an eight storey. Next door the guy got a sixteen storey. He said, "What?!!! Give me a brand new Mercedes." Poof! He has got it. He goes outside to show his neighbor. His neighbor has got a solid gold Rolls Royce.


He figures out what is going on and he is still at it. He says, "Let me be blind in one eye."[Laughter] Sure enough his neighbor was blind in both eyes. So even though he is losing just to have some up on someone else this becomes happiness. This material world means happiness in others distress. It is not enough to succeed but you have to see others fail. Then you got the full material package. So this feverish plan making! People are trying to become comfortable in this material world without knowing what the ultimate goal is, that there is a transcendental spiritual world beyond this.


The University of San Diego, California, it is one of the top Arts/Science schools in the world. Forget IFT. MIT i. One of the fields is life extension sciences. The professor, I think he got a noble prize for all his developments in medicine. Here's an idea. You can live in this body until a hundred and twenty or hundred and forty years. You just have to eat right, do right and exercise daily. And he is working on it or was I should say! [Laughter] I think you know where this is going. He was sixty years old and he had the full strength of a forty five year old. So many different things! He was out for his morning jog at the peak time and he was hit by a bus and killed.
There was a devotee, I won't mention his name. He wanted two wives. Everybody said, "You don't have two wives!" Prabhupada's example is there. Prabhupada said you can't take care of one wife properly. Two wives are odd! Somehow he persisted. He got two wives. The two wives fell in love with each other and left his with the kids and ran off together! [Laughter] True story!


There was a farmer - this is Prabhupada's storey, the other one was life story. There was a farmer and he was working hard in the fields and he finally gets some grain. He takes it to the market and he sees the merchant. The merchant is sitting with a nice fan and he has got some nice nimbu pani. He has got a happy life. Then he sits on a abacus, counting balanced like that. So the farmer thinks, "If only I could become a merchant! I work so hard. It must be a grain merchant."


The grain merchant is working hard. He is minding his shop and the king's tax collector comes and takes half on his money." He thinks, "Gee! I am working so hard and the king comes and takes half my money. He just is just sitting on the throne with dancing girls and so many things. I would like to become a king. Let me become the king."
Now the king is sitting on the throne and all the pounding politics and the diplomacy and this and that! He looks out of his window and he sees the farmer in the peaceful sun working in the field in fresh air and things and he thinks, "If only I could become a farmer!" [Laughter] So this is the nature, typical nature of plan making in this material world.


Prahlad Maharaj says that distress comes unsought. Anyone here seeks out pain outside the sadists; any one here seeks out pain? I was walking the other day in the San Diego temple room, I was in a hurry. I was born four days early and my mother says I have been in a hurry since. So I apologize. It is my nature. So I was in a hurry and I caught my little toe of the corner of Prabhupada's vyasana. I have never awakened in the morning and been overwhelmed, "Oh my toe, my toe please titillate me." I don't get much juice out of my little toe. That is my personal experience. And yet it had unlimited misery. It really hurt. It swelled up. It has unlimited potential for pain. If you get an infection it can totally kill you.


So let's wait on hand outs, potential for pleasure and potential for pain. And if you analyze the whole world is like that. And if you want it from the rest of Bhagavatam we can just take an inventory, one by one how you are suffering right now. [Laughter] I am serious and that is only going on in the mental plane. Dwelling on the mental plane one of us can fill the rest of the hour. [Laughter] So that is the nature of this place and frankly it is the great vision, Vaisnava vision because when we understand the nature of this thing, "Aaaaag!!! What is this?!!What is the use of the whole thing? Let me become detached." That detachment eventually overtime matures into daya-bhak. One feels surrendered, whatever the Lord wants. Prabhupada said, "You think you are sitting on the floor. I am sitting on the hand of Krishna" I am going to get myself in trouble here more than I already am in.


Astrology has its place. Astrology is a bona fide Vedic science. The question is finding a good astrologer. But I heard Prabhupada say calculating the date for yajnas and samskaras. Fine! When I was the temple president I used to call three astrologers for calculating the charts for the marriage and practically every time one astrologer would say, "Made in heaven." The other astrologer would say, "Oh but lived in hell." [Laughter] And the other would say, "Nahhhh! i" I swear to you that was the general pattern if you call three astrologers.
Prabhupada said it destroys the childlike innocence of bhakti. By that I mean whatever it is, whatever fill in the blank, that destroys the childlike innocence of bhakti. You see these children come to the temple especially from South India, the little kids. The mother says, "Bow down here. Stand over here.' And the kid is just like a zombie. Whatever the mother tells them to do the kid does. Surrendered! You ever saw a mother dressing a kid, putting the socks, jacket and hat. The kid is just like, "Whatever!"[Laughter] He is surrendered because he knows, "My parent just wants the best for me. So let me just surrender."


What is all this plan making? What is this material world? Let me just surrender to what Krishna wants. Let me execute the plan of Krishna. That peaceful state in the beginning of childhood, when one comes to the stage of selfless surrender again this word daya-bhak. It means the rightful inheritor. One of the symptoms of surrender is that one becomes a rightful heir. Krishna becomes purchased by that.


It is said that once one has that realization, it is said that Dhruva Maharaja conquered Visnuloka by austerity. There are many different types of austerity but for the sake of our discussion today Prabhupada said that our austerity is to tolerate each other, frankly. Prabhupada said the measure of your love for me will be that you can co operate, if you co-operate together. Prabhupada wrote to a GBC man that was complaining and probably rightfully so about some temple president. Prabhupada had these wonderful one-liners!


Like they asked Prabhupada "Is the world flat?" He said, "He said everywhere I walk it is!" [Laughter] They asked Prabhupada, "Why is the death rate so high in India?" He said, "It is the same everywhere one hundred percent." [Laughter] So similarly Prabhupada wrote a PS to his letter. The devotee was perhaps rightly so complaining about this one temple president. Prabhupada wrote PS with his own hand, "I ask that you tolerate him just like I tolerate you." [Laughter]


For us to tolerate it is more or less allowed but you know Prabhupada is reaching down from Goloka Vrindavan in the deepest mud of Kali yuga and pulling us out. So if we calculate how much Srila Prabhupada, the senior Vaisnavas, the previous acaryas, they crossed over the river but they left the boat for us. If we think how much of mercy we will be receiving what is there to tolerate some short coming. You can't ask what you are not willing to give. If we are not willing to give, if we are not willing to tolerate - Co-operation at least in my mind is you agree with me but that is not the only meaning of co-operation. And I am thinking of the time factor. 
Prabhupada talks about great rsis and great sages, how they can't even touch the Visnuloka planet. The fact of the matter is we know (and hopefully if wehave time maybe one story) and we have conviction in the words of the Bhagavatam these materialists really do not know what they are talking about. It is one of the biggest bluffs going! It was Hitler's 'propagandaism', i He said you just have to tell a lie and if you tell a lie loud enough and long enough people will believe it. But don't tell a little lie. A little lie, they will pick apart but if you tell a big lie they will think, "They will never lie about that!" [Laughter] The big lie is that we are this body, that this material world is our all in all, it is all going on by chance although it contradicts all of our intuitive experience and intelligence. "Oh, they all say therefore it must be true."


I wanted to share just for fun, we don't have time to go into it but these are some newspaper headings - again a bird flies in the sky according to itsability so I am supposed to tell stories so here we go. These are from the great Puranas of truth in the material world! [Laughter] They are from the LA Times, New York Times, London Times. They must be true. This one says: 'Mars Probe Ventures Near Planet' - This was the one were Europe and America were working together and they shot the thing literally hundreds and millions of dollars. We can build twenty to thirty Mayapur temples with just one little probe. Europe and USA were working together and they sent the thing off, "Beep, beep, beep, beep."[Laughter] "Uh? Go on!" They traced the whole thing back. This is true. The American scientists were working in inches and yards and the Europeans were in meters! Whoooops! 'Estimated age of the Universe Changes As Knowledge Expands' [Laughter] my father once told me that the art of diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell and they look forward to the trip! [Laughter] It is all in how you word it! 'Estimated age of the Universe Changes as Knowledge Expands' This means we don't know what the hell is going on! That is what it actually means!


'Stellar Walker Puzzles Scientists'; 'Evidence of New Form of Matter Found In True Stars.' My son used to make models. Now he is an adult. You put together a model. It is supposed to be a car that moves and everything. He put the whole thing together and the car didn't move. And he would look over; there were five or six parts he had forgotten to add. "Oh that might have something to do with it."


If the whole universe is figured out by the law of physics, there is no room for God, there is no room for miracles or there is no room for spiritual energy, we are all better off on earth. It is all operating by the laws of physics. We can explain! But then what is this? All of a sudden the whole looks like a part that you didn't know about. That means that all of your laws are all suspect, all of your conclusions are suspect! That is what this means. The number of stars are usually uncounted. We are almost done.[Laughter]


'Scientists Are Astounded By Cosmic Explosion.'; 'Probe of Jupiter Jolts Science" 'Nearby Stars Don't Behave As They Should' [Laughter] 'Mysterious Force Pulling Universe Apart.' 'Space Telescope Fails Five Days After Launch.' How much of that would you catch if it all doesn't work? 'Costly Rocket Failed to Mount' 'Last Type Rocket Failure Brings Total of Three In One Year' And it cost them three billion dollars! They are like children that have a lot of money and are simply gambling it away, they are lighting it on fire and feeding us cow manure. (Glad I got that of my chest.) The point is why do we put our faith in these things?


Suppose I am Christopher Columbus ant and I am sent out by the queen for exploration. This Rodrigo de Galvan Bastidas, I don't know if you remember Rodrigo de Galvan Bastidas, Spanish or ... He crossed the isthmus. Between North America and South America there in Central America there is a small isthmus there. He crossed it. When he came to the Pacific Ocean he touched the ocean with the Spanish flag and said, "All the waters touched by this flag are now claimed by the Queen of Spain!" It was a big shock to the Chinese and Japanese. [Laughter]
So Christopher Columbus ant steps out to survey new lands. He is climbing up and over me. I am bragging on in Bhagavatam class. He returns to the queen. That's a big lot of his journey. And vast lands, forest, mountains, hills all uninhabited! You follow? He is climbing on me but his range of sense perception is so limited he can't see me. We claim, us scientist, materialist, reductionists their i as a given as an axiomatic given of truth everything openly supported to my sensory mental perception, intellectual perception. Why?


Suppose I go and meet Gopal Prabhu and we are going to meet in the corner of the main street intersection downtown Calcutta at 3pm on such and such day. And being a very responsible Vaisnava he is there half an hour earlier. I also show up same time. In fact I am half hour early, (could happen) at the same place. I don't see him. He doesn't see me. We meet the next day. I say, "Prabhu I am sure you were busy doing something but what happened?" He says, "With all due respects Prabhu I was there but where you?"


On the two dimensional plane it is fine. But suppose there is a building on that corner and suppose all of a sudden he was on the first floor and I was on the third floor. As soon as we add the other third dimension of height,length and breadth we were in the same spot. You had another dimension. We are completely independent. We don't even experience each other. If we accept as the materialists also accept, what to speak of the Bhagavatam that we live in a multi dimensional universe then the whole thing becomes mystical. Prabhupada said that the world material world is lying on the mystical potency of the Supreme. So with their limited plane of calculation they will never understand.


It says here a bit to come closer and closer you have heard it said here that they have come to take him. You are welcome to go. The whole theme of the Bhagavatam if you were to summarize it is Krishna delivering His devotees. Lila after lila, historical event we say, after historical event of Krishna in inconceivable ways delivering His devotees. Krishna is bhakta-vatsala. He is leaning favorably - when Prabhupada came to Detroit he saw Radha-Kunjabihari and Radha-Kunjabihari Isvara he looks like He is going to put His head on Radharani's shoulder. He is really leaning. Prabhupada said, "Aaaahhh! Bhakta-vatsala. Krishna is leaning favorably towards His devotees."
He is karuna -sindhu, an ocean of mercy. Prabhu told me in a darsan that if you take one step towards Krishna, Krishna will take ten to you. This Madoff guy that made off with everybody's money what was his rate of return? If I offered you one to twenty rate of return it is inconceivable! It is too good to be true. Krishna is offering a thousand rate of return, thousand percent. One step!


The simple point I am trying to make is that what is this material world?! And on the other side we have Krishna, the spiritual world we have all the great saints and sages. Common, just come this way. And what do we have to do to become detached from this world? Stop with our plan making.


The real thing is they came to him. If we just do the needful Prabhupada said, "You will not find Krishna in the bushes of Vrindavana." Dhruva Maharaja is a manager. I am not saying that you should all be managers. I am saying whatever you are doing to put your shoulder to the wheel of the sankirtana mission. That will capture the attention of Krishna. That will earn you the mercy. It says you earn the mercy. And they came to him. You don't have to chase after it.


I was in the shower the other day. A devotee got up on a milk crate, pounded on the window, "Badri, can I talk to you?" I said, "Prabhu I am in the shower." The devotee said, "Oh I don't mind." [Laughter] The idea that I had a personal life or dignity - that went out the window! To manage in Iskcon, to co-operate together.
Prabhupada said in the spiritual world you can string the garlands. If you are doing something else and you want them strung they will string themselves. Prabhupada said the sweet rice will cook itself and tell you when it is done. But in the material world it is almost the opposite. You get the material nature, tag A and tag B and stay there. It takes all of our human exertion.


So to co-operate in this world, push material matter, to do something for Krishna, this is the secret for capturing the mercy of Krishna. This is the secret for having the Visnuduttas come and take us back home, back to Godhead. It is not so hard. The Dieties, just now this kirtan will be here. What is there not to love? Now we are done with this class. Chant. Hopefully I said something useful and worthwhile, you heard something about Krishna then we go and take a fantastic feast.


My father retired at Seventy six years old. Big black-tie dinner. Everybody was wearing tuxedos, two hundred and fifty people. It was a big deal. He was speaking. He said, "I started working at twelve years old. I had a paper run. I have worked all my life. Now I am retiring at seventy six years old but my youngest son is smarter than me. He is a devotee." I am there dressed in devotee clothes. He says, "You know why? He retired at seventeen and a half. He joined the hare Krishna movement." [Laughter and applause] If you think about it we work hard for Krishna. We should work with full exertion.


There was a study done in America and they found what motivates people in the world. It was done by Harvard business review. Again a Purana of truth materially! Curiously enough they found out that after a certain point,after somebody gets their house, they get their health care taken care of, they are putting aside some money for their kids more money doesn't motivate them. And really the perks, the Executive washroom executive elevator, that is not what really motivates them. What motivates people is being appreciated and the feeling that they are doing something that matters, something that will last or something that works.
We here in the Hare Krishna Movement we are delivering conditioned souls. We are saving the planet. You could not do a more important thing than being inthe Hare Krishna Movement and deliver the sankirtan mission. So chanting, dancing and feasting and the most important work - what's there not to love? But the mind! I will give you an example, Prabhupada's example.


You are at someone's house at a home program and they cook green coconut katchoris Very tasty! Bengali specialty! If you eat too many green coconut katchoris they cause indigestion. So you have one. The mind says, "Have another." All right youi"I want this beastly thing to stop badgering me. I will have another." The mind says, "When was the last time you saw coconut katchoris? How often?" When you are eating you should take certain number. You should take three." Well so long as you have taken three. You throw caution to the wind - four. "My dear mind whatever you say. I just want you happy." When you wake up in the middle of the night, four hours later with a horrible stomach ache that same mind says, "You idiot! Why did you eat so many?"


I was travelling with a nice saintly devotee. We were travelling in a van doing book distribution. We were up for mangal arati and it kind of just looks like he has been slapped silly all night long. I said, "Prabhu, what happened?" He said, "I could sleep at all last night." I said, "Why/" He said, "The window was open. It was so cold." I said, "Well why didn't you shut it?" He said, "I was too tired to get up." [Laughter] So he tossed and turned all night rather than five minutes at the window. We are laughing but at least I know for myself this is my constant existence. He has just been cold because a servant of the mind.


This is Prabhupada story. A man encountered a genie and the genie said, "What is your wish O Master?" and for you lawyers out there you can't wish for unlimited wishes. You only got one wish. The man was blind, poverty stricken and with no children. And he only has one wish. What to do? You know what he wished for, according to Prabhupada? He wished to see his children from the roof of his palace. [Laughter] Follow? To see his children from the roof of his palace!


If you just become a devotee, just surrender to Krishna, just serve the sankirtan mission, just somehow or the other push the sankirtana mission forward. That one act and everything will be accomplished. Just as the Visnuduttas came for Dhruva Maharaja they will come for us. I do want to say this.I was in Los Angeles in 1970. Srila Prabhupada was speaking. I will give the details if we have time. Instead of Bhagavatam class Prabhupada was teaching us the mantras of Sri Isopanisad. om purnam adah purnam idam [Iso Invocation] Prabhupada would come to the temple room and greet the deities. The temple room was where the museum is now in Los Angeles. Prabhupada would come and sit on his vyasasana, we would offer obeisances and before we even came up Prabhupada's oceanic voice would be rolling out with the invocation of Sri Isopanisad. Just one of those golden moments!


This particular time we offered obeisances, no om purnam adah purnam idam. It wasn't coming. We looked and Prabhupada was sitting very straight up on the vyasasana and then we noticed that flowing from his eyes were tears - pouring from his eyes as he was looking at the little deities. We just had little deities in those days. And then we saw Srila Prabhupada physically take a breath and you could see he suppressed, pushed it all down, got it out of his way and then began chanting om purnam adah purnam idam.
That ecstasy which came spontaneously was an intrusion, was in the way of his service to his spiritual master and to his students. That ecstasy was adisturbance. He pushed it down to get on with his business of serving the society, serving his spiritual master. That is a maha-bhagavata. That is someone who is fully surcharged with the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.So chasing after it is one thing, but if we simply put our shoulders to the wheel of the sankirtana movement. We have to study and we have to chant, I am not saying give that up but it is a descending and not an ascending process.


One thing, (I am going to end on time by Krishna's grace,) there is a man (and the reason why I am telling this is that we believe so many fantastic stories. You talk to the materialists. They believe in parallel universes, grey matter, black matter or dot stars - they go on and on and on! You think we believe fantastic stories tap into the theoretical physics. It will blow your mind what they believe.)


As a faith builder in the Bhagavat view that there is Visnuloka, there are the Visnuduttas. This is not our real home. To buy into that whole view, Mr Prakash is South Indian. This is a true story. He lives in San Diego. He is a nice man. His wife is aspiring to take initiation from Jayapataka Maharaj. He is more of a smarta-brhamana. He is a nice man. And coming from a South Indian brahmana family he is reserved. He is not an emotional person.
He had a cerebral thrombosis. Blood vessel blew in his brain. The rushed him to hospital. They almost lost him four times. Somehow or the other he survived. Major operation! He was in a come through the whole thing. His wife said, "Can you please come say something." I had known the family for many years so I said, "I will come."
He looked at me. He had that gray green ghostly color in I have seen my fare share of people about to go and he really looked it. I thought, "Good luck." I did not say it. [Laughter] Don't chastise me. We chatted from Bhagavad-gita. I quoted some slokas. "You now Prakash just remember Krishna. Don't worry, just surrender to Krishna" So once a week I would stop by and see him.


Five to six weeks went by and his wife called me, "He is out of the coma. He has recovered. They have taken the tube out but he will not speak. He wantsto see you." So I went to see him. He was lying on his bed obviously drained from this whole experience. He sees me, sits up on his bed and says (the relatives were there, the doctors were there) he sits up and he says, "Badri, four times they came." The doctor chimes in, "Yes. You almost lost it four times in the operating theatre." Mr. Prakash says, "No. Four times they came.' His dear relatives said, "Oh we came to see him. We thought he was in emergency care. They moved you to this room Four times it took us to find you." "No, no." Mr Praskash said, "Four times they came."


So I thought, trying to be a devotee I thought maybe it must be the Visnuduttas. I said, "The Visnuduttas?" He said, "No. No. The bad people! The bad people!" I said, "Oh, you mean the Yamaduttas?' He was nodding his head. Everybody looked up. The relatives, the doctors, "What do these two know at this point?" he said, "Four times they came. Every time they came I told them, 'Take me or leave me I am depending on Krishna.' They went away. Then again they came back and again I told them, 'Take me or leave me. I am depending on Krishna.' Forth time they came I said, 'why are you bothering me? I have told you the same thing.' Then the good people came and when the bad people saw the good people they said, 'Oh, we cannot touch him now.' And they went away."
And Mr. Prakash came out of his comma. At that point you could hear a pin drop in the room. Prakash reaches out, grabs me by my arms and said, "Before I did not believe." He said, "Now one hundred percent!" [Haribol - Applause] There are so many stories like that. It is actually a fact. Now I could end there or tell one other joke. Because I said I will I would and I will end after this. And the point of this joke is plan making. You cannot become happy in this material world.


Prabhupada said if you try to wash coal what will happen? Get the beast ingredients, the best soap and this and that, fantastic brush, scrub for weeks, the coal will always be black because that is its intrinsic and inherent nature. This material world is temporary and it is full of miseries and it is certified by its creator, Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. You want o get the owner's manual for this material world, read Bhagavad-gita. And what does it say? Temporary and full of misery! "Oh no, no! I have a better idea." I don't think so. Please don't take offence ladies. This is a ijoke. Ladies can substitute husband instead of wife and it would work just fine. So don't stone me on the way out. It works for everybody.


A man was walking down the beach stubs his toe sticks something, (I can tell. It is after the class. It is a little informal now) He dusts it off. It is a lamp. A genie comes out and says, "O Master whatever one wish you have I will fulfill." The man said, I am living in California. All my family lives in Hawaii. I got o fly them over here; I got to fly over there. It is so expensive. Can you just make a bridge from California to Hawaii?"


The Genie says, "Come on I am a genie. You know how hard that is. Give me a break. Ask for something else." So he said, "My wife and I don't get along so well." He said, "Can you tell me how to keep my wife happy?" The genie said, "When do you want that bridge by?" [Laughter] So that point is that we cannot be happy in this material world. Just surrender to Krishna and put our shoulder behind the wheel of the sankirtana mission. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna. [Applause] And now we all get to go take Prasad. What is there not to love about the Hare Krishna movement? [Haribol]

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Appearance of Lord Nityananda

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!

Date: February 16th, 2011

Topic: Appearance of Lord Nityananda

Speaker: HH Radhanath Swami


HH Radhanath Swami: I am very grateful for this opportunity to be with all of you in the holy dham Sri Mayapur on the holy day of the appearance of SriNityananda Prabhu. It appears that there is no verse selected so with your permission I will just talk in what time is allotted.


How Lord Nityananda Prabhu revealed the glories and the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is one of the most important truths that Gaudiya Vaisnava's ardently worship. The first author of Lord Caitanya's life was Sri Vrindavan dasa Thakura. He wrote Sri Caitanya Bhagavat. He was the last disciple of Lord  Nityananda. He was given the order of Lord Nityananda Prabhu and with that order he became empowered to reveal Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the whole world.


It was Niyananda Prabhu who appeared in divine vision to order Sri Krishna dasa Kaviraja Goswami to leave his home forever and to go to Vrindavana andcompose Caitanya-caritamrta. Krishna dasa Kaviraja Goswami gives credit to Nityananda Prabhu because it is he who is speaking through Krishna dasa Kaviraj Goswami with the mercy of Rupa Goswami and Raghunath Goswami to reveal Mahaprabhu's life and teachings to the world. And Rupa and Sanatana Goswami when they went to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Ramakeli (the first meeting) they first approached Lord Nityananda Prabhu and Thakur Haridasa. It was Lord Nityananda Prabhu who personally brought them into the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.


They are our sambandha and abhideya acaryas. And our prayojana acarya Raghunatha dasa Goswami he tried to leave his home in Sri-krsnapura, Adi-saptagrama again and again to dedicate his life to Lord Caitanya but every time he was dragged back by force by his family members. Then he went to Panihati to see Lord Nityananda Prabhu offering his obeisances from a distance.


Sri Nityananda Prabhu was sitting under a beautiful banyan tree on the bank of the Ganges with His associates and he called Raghunatha, "You are a thief. You are hiding in a distant place. Your atonement is feed all of My devotees, everyone with cida dhahi, chipped rice in yogurt." Raghunatha dasa Goswami took this very seriously. He bought practically every flake of chipped rice and all the yogurt not only in Panihati but also from the villages nearby. He soaked half in milk. He soaked all in milk and then he put half in yogurt and half in a combination of condensed milk and camphor, ghee and sugar. He gave everyone two clay pots and Nityananda Prabhu was so happy to see this.


Raghunath dasa Goswami brought such happiness to all the Vaisnavas and to all the people in general. He personally called Lord Caitanya to honor that feast with Him. In a divine spiritual body Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya went throughout the crowd taking some chipped rice and yogurt from each pot. Then Nityananda Prabhu gave all His personal remnants to Raghunath dasa Goswami. The next day Raghunatha dasa Goswami fell at the feet of Nityananda Prabhu and prayed that, "One cannot achieve the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu without the Your mercy. I beg You, please liberate me from the bondage of this material existence and give me the shelter of Lord Caitanya's lotus feet.


Sri Nityananda Prabhu place His lotus feet on Raghunatha dasa Goswami's head and He said, "Because you have pleased all the devotees and Lord Caitanya came I bless you." Actually he first asked all the devotees to bless Raghunath dasa Goswami. "Because you have to render service to the devotees very soon you will be liberated from all material bondage and you will become Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's personal associate under the care of Swarup Damodara Goswami.


So our sambandha, abhideya and prayojana gurus were all brought to Lord Caitanya by Nityananda Prabhu. The two most prominent biographies of Caitanya  Mahaprabhu were inspired or ordered by Sri Nityananda Prabhu. And  our beloved Srila Prabhupada he established Lord Nityananda's deity along with Lord Caitanya all over the world because he was so much in that spirit of compassion.


Nityananda Prabhu is guru-tattva. Narottama dasa Thakura prays:
vrajendra-nandana yei, saci-suta haila sei, balarama ha-ila nitai


That the son of Nanda appeared as the son of Saci and Balaram appeared as Nityananda Prabhu. Balaram is the original guru because He serves the Lord. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead always in the mood of serving Lord Krishna. He expands Himself as the dhama to provide a beautiful place for the Lord to have His pastimes. He manifests as the Lord's shoes, the Lord's bed, the Lord's ornaments, the Lord's clothing and in all of the various rasas of relationship He is prominent. He serves the Lord in these ways in santa rasa; dasya rasa; as a gopa in sakya rasa, the Lord's friend; as His elder brother. Sometimes He takes the role of vatsalya rasa and expands Himself as Ananga Manjari, Srimati Radharanis younger sister in madhurya rasa. In this way Sri Nityananda Prabhu is enthusiastic to serve is all pervading.


As Balaram we know the pastime of Romaharsana Suta. Romaharsans Suta was sitting in a place as a spiritual leader in the presence of great sages,Naimasaranya. But when Balaram appeared Romaharsana Suta payed no attention. Lord Balaram understood that he has too much false pride. He spoke veryangrily, "Although you Romaharsana Suta are directly a disciple of Vedavyasa. You have profoundly learned the Vedas, Itihasyas, the Puranas and all these scriptures from Him. Yet all your knowledge has not annihilated your false pride. Therefore I consider your knowledge of the scripture to be completely useless like an actor playing the role without any realization. I have come to liberate the world from cheaters like you."


Then He picked up a piece of grass and touched that grass to Romaharsana Suta and Romaharsana was liberated. [Laughter from audience.] The sages said, "What are we going to do now?" [Laughter.] They said, "Just before You came we were going to bless him that he would live a long life!  [Laughter from audience.] Balaram said, "Well if you like I can bring him back." They said, "We know that You are the Supreme Lord. We can ask for You to bring him back!" Then the Lord atoned by removing Balvala who was disturbing their sacrifices and He said, "The father lives through the son." So Balaram empowered Suta Goswami to speak to the sages.


As Lord Nityananda Prabhu that grass that He liberated Romaharsana with in a similar way He too grass between His teeth and here in Navadwip he went house to house, door to door, shop to shop. Grass in His teeth is an expression of totally humbling oneself before someone else, taking the grass they step on and putting it in your mouth. He would bow down, roll on the ground and beg people, "Please take the name of Krishna." And if they refused, which most did he would kneel on His knees and beg them.


The Supreme Absolute Truth who is actually the source of Nrsimhadev; Varahadev, who is Balaram with the plough he started dragging the entire city of Hiranyakaspu [Hastinapura(?)] into the Ganges that had all the Kurus including Bhisma surrender to His Supreme power. That same Balaram is going to sinful ordinary people with straw in His teeth crying and begging them,"Take the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."
parama karuna, pahun dui jana, nitai-gauracandra


Locana dasa Thakura is saying that these two brothers are supremely merciful. They have given what nobody else has given freely. Locana dasa Thakura also wrote in another song that Nityananda Prabhu is never angry. He goes town to town, village to village giving ecstatic love for Krishna to everyone and anyone never considering their qualification or disqualification. All He asks is, "Just accept."


The place that Srila Prabhupada went, the tolerance, the compassion, the humility in which he gave such wretched, sinful people an opportunity to attain life's perfection. He truly was the embodiment of Lord Nityananda's mercy. We can always i remember him and worship Him on His appearance day. There are many stories in the Vaisnava literatures.


Not far from here is a village called Udani (?) There was a marriage close to there, where Nityananda Prabhu's wife Jahnavadevi along with Narottama dasa Thakur, Ramacandra Kaviraj and many other intimate associates of both Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya were present. iplace after Nityananda Prabhu had already departed from the world Jahnavadevi invited everyone, "Let us go to Ekacakra, Nityananda Prabhu's birthplace." She had never been there before.


They all went together. Their hearts were overflowing with happiness just at the prospect of seeing this holy place. They had heard so much about it forso long. They were going down a simple lane that was shaded by Pipal trees with singing birds. They saw from a small distance a very old brahmana who was walking with a stick. He started coming towards them but then he sat under a tree. He was looking with wonder thinking, "Where are all these Vaisnavas coming here for?"


They all approached him and spontaneously bowed down. Then they asked, "We have heard so much about Ekacakra that it is a very prosperous town but it appears to be in total ruins. Do you know anything about the history?" The old brahmana sat down with Jahnava and Narottama and all of these devotees. Then he explained the history of Ekacakra.


He said, "At one time this was such a prosperous and affluent town with great scholars, great devotees of the Lord. And there was one astrologer. He was the best of all astrologers. He came to the conclusion that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Balaram will take birth in Ekacakra but I am so unfortunate that I will not live to see that most auspicious day."


Then all the other astrologers and scholars came together and agreed that this is absolutely true. Lord Balarama will come here. Then this old brahmana said that was a very great scholar and saint of the name Bhoja. He was very influential in every way but he and his wife were very sad. Every time they would give birth to a child just after birth the child died. He performed much prayer and tapasya and ultimately a beautiful child was born to them. The named him Ojha. He became a very great scholar and a great devotee of Krishna. Because of his scholarship he was given the name Hadai Pandit. His father and mother arranged for him to marry a girl named Padmavati who was equal to him in every way.


A few days after the marriage Hadai Pandit's mother and father died. He was struck with grief. As time went on the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared within the womb of Padmavati. Then on this day, the thirteenth day of the waxing moon in the month of Marg a beautiful child was born in Ekacakra. People from all over the town were coming to see the beauty of this child. Some said, "He is so beautiful. He is so soft like butter. His complexion is like gold. Everything about Him charms our hearts."


The people of Ekacakra were coming day and night just to be with this child. Hadai Pandit was giving charity to everyone in every way he possibly could with the prayer of protecting his beloved boy.


The brahmana told Jahnavadevi that one time he was in serious distress, anxiety. So naturally he ran to the house of Hadai Pandit and Lord Nityananda Prabhu climbed up on his lap and immediately he became ecstatic. All of his distress vanished.At the time of the name giving ceremony of Lord Nityananda some called Him Nityananda and some called Him Rama. As He crawled around His name was Nitai to the people of Ekacakra.


For His mother it was unbearable to separate Nitai from her lap even for a moment. And Hadai Pandit if he wasn't looking at Nityananda Prabhu he was in great distress. As Nitai began to crawl and then began to walk His mother and father showered Him with the most intimate affection. His mother would anoint His body with oils that were very fragrant to cool Him but His body was cooler and more fragrant than the oils.


One day she put ornaments and beautiful dresses of silks on little Nitai and said, "Now play." He said, "But you keep Me with you all the time. I have nofriends to play with." So from that day onwards they invited the little children of Ekacakra to play with Nitai. And there was only one game they played - enacting the pastimes of Krishna. Nitai was the actor, the director, the script writer and it was spontaneously. Everyday Nitai would dress them up according to their parts and make all kinds of props.Everything was so authentic.


When they wanted to do the birth of Krishna he called all His friends to meet Him at midnight! [Laughter.] All the little children made a replica of the prison of Kamsa and then they brought little baby Krishna across the Yamuna. There was a river there so they went across the river and brought Him to Gokul. They played. Usually Nityananda Prabhu would play the part of Krishna. One boy would be Putana, Trnavarta, Sakatasura. Nitai would play the role of Krishna stealing butter. And they really did very authentically. He would go into the houses of the people of Ekacakra and steal the butter. [Laughter.] Then another boy would bind Him up with ropes and He would knock down the two Arjuna trees. The played the killing of Bakasura, Aghasura, Vatsasura. They played the game of stealing the gopi's clothes. He lifted Govardhan Hill. They killed Aristasura, Vyomasura ans when they played the lila of Akrura taking Krishna out of Vrindavan, Nityananda Prabhu played the part of a gopi and wept rivers and rivers of tears from His heart. Everyone watching was astonished.He played the pastimes of Lord Krishna in Mathura and Dvaraka, in other avataras, of Vamanadev. Nityananda Prabhu personally played Nrsimhadev and one of His friends was Hiranyakasipu.


And in Rama lila in one pastime Nityananda played His own role as Laksman and another boy was Ravana and threw a lotus flower at Nitai's chest representing the sakti-sila and Nityananda Prabhu fell to the ground. There was no heartbeat and no breath. The children did not know what to do. They were weeping and rying. Soon Hadai Pandit and Padmavati came running to the place. When all the other people of Ekacakra came Nityananda Prabhu appeared dead. They were all chanting God's names and trying to mentally restore him but nothing worked.
Then somebody said, "He is playing these dramas as something very real. Did He say anything to any of you what to do for Him if it becomes like this?"One little boy said, "Yes. Yes. I forgot. I was so much in trauma. [Laughter.] He said if I fall down unconscious gather around Me and cry, which we are all doing. [Laughter.] But then have the boy playing Hanuman to get the medicine for Me." [Laughter.]


One little boy said, "Yes. Yes. I am Hanuman." [Laughter.] and he came running and the other little boys who were playing demons were trying to stop him. Then Hanuman went to the Himalayan Mountain and the little boy brought some herbs back and gave it to the doctor who put it in Nityananda's nose and He opened His eyes and smiled.
He was only ever a small boy. Nobody told Him these pastimes. Somebody asked Him, "How do You know all of this?" he smiled and said, "These are My transcendental pastimes." [Laughter.] But due to His yoga maya potency nobody could understand what He was talking. In this way He spent His youth.


When He was twelve years old, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared here in Navadvip and Lord Nityananda, this little boy roared in ecstasy. The whole universe shook. Nobody understood what was happening. And he was thinking, "How am I going to leave My home? My mission is to assist Lord Gauranga in His lilas, His mission of spreading the nama- sankirtana mission in all directions. How can I leave My mother and father? How can I leave the people of Ekacakra? They are so attached to Me they can't live without a second of not seeing Me.


By His own mystic potency a sannyasi came to Ekacakra. He came right to the house of Hadai Pandit, who fed him Prasad, gave him a sitting place. And thetwo of them, Hadai Pandit and this sannyasi spoke about Krishna all night long. In the morning as the sannyasi was about to leave he said to Hadai Pandit I wanted to ask you for one thing."
Then Hadai Pandit very enthusiastically from his heart said, "Anything you want I will give you." He said, "I am travelling all over India to holy places and I have no brahmana assistant. Give me your lotus son, Nityananda Prabhu to travel with me." It was like a massive thunderbolt striking the soft heart of Hadai Pandit. In his mind he was thinking, "He has asked me to give him my very life. I cannot tolerate even a moment not seeing my son. What can we do? If I give it to him, if I give my son I will die. If I don't my whole life will be ruined for not serving a great soul."


He was thinking of King Dasaratha when asked by Visvamitra Muni if e was willing to give Rama, his own life and soul to travel with him. Hadai Pandita went to Padmavati and told her what has happened and asked her opinion. She said, "Whatever you do I accept that."


Hadai Pandit entrusted his little son to the sannyasi. And Nityananda Prabhu strangely showed total detachment as he walked away with this sannyasi. As soon as they left the house Hadai Pandit and Padmavati fell to the ground unconscious and as soon as the regained consciousness all they could do was weep and cry incessantly.
When the people of Ekacakra heard about this it was unbearable of them. They all ran looking for this sannyasi. Every person in Ekacakra decided that, "When I find this sannyasi I will fall at his feet and offer him all my sons. We will give him all the sons." Because they all wanted Nityananda Prabhu more than their own children, more than their own lives. "Just give us Nityananda back."


They went running in all directions but they could not find that sannyasi. For the next three months Hadai Pandit and Padmavati could not eat a morselof food. They cried. They only thing that kept then alive, (and they didn't even lose any weight) was their intense twenty-four hour attachment to LordNityananda Prabhu. Sometimes Hadai Pandit like a mad man would cry out, "Nitai! Nitai! Come and sit on my lap. I haven't seen you for such a long time. Nitai, please let's go to your favorite lake, Padmavati-kunda and let's take bath together."


At other times he would look around with tears in his eyes and he would cry out, "Nitai, I am seeing You again. Please let us take Prasad. Padmavati hasmade just Your favorite foods to eat. Come let's eat together. Nitai the crops are just bearing about to give fruits. Let's go walk through the fields together and see everything." Sometimes he would call out to Padmavati, "Padmavati, look! Look down the road! It is Nitai! He is returning! The sannyasi is bringing Him home again! He is bringing him home again! Look! He is coming! He is coming!" And they looked down the road weeping, crying but He never came. Crying out the names of Nityananda Prabhu, Hadai Pandit and Padmavati left this world for the spiritual abode.


The brahmana told Jahnava and all the devotees that after Hadai Pandit and Padmavati left nobody could live in Ekacakra anymore. It was too painful. Nityananda's little friends were constantly in tears and with broken hearts as were their parents. Ekacakra was practically deserted and had turned intoruins. And the brahmana said, "But I can't leave. Even though this has happened years ago every day since Nityananda Prabhu left I go to all the places where He had His pastimes just waiting for Him to return and I pray only one prayer in my life, "Let me take birth life after life after life waiting for Nitai to return to Ekacakra. In every lifetime let me give up my body crying out the name Nitaicand!"


Then the brahmana fell to the ground weeping. Jahnava, Narottama dasa Thakura, Ramacandra Kaviraj and all these great associates of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu saw him, they all fell to the ground weeping, chanting the holy names of Lord Nityananda.


[Audience chant loudly] Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare


Then the brahmana told Jahnava that he would give them a tour but as he brought her to the house of Hadai Pandit which was crumbling and in shambles he could no longer control himself. He quietly left and Jahnava told the devotees, "Let him leave."


That night it was dark. They all slept in the house. Jahnavadevi was thinking, "I never got to meet Hadai Pandit or Padmavati. I never got to be with Nityananda and His family here in Ekacakra." She started crying and she was given a spiritual vision where the house was beautifully decorated, a very opulent place and there was Nityananda Prabhu and Padmavati and Hadai Pandit showering her with so much affection. Then the dream ended and she woke up crying again. Then she had another dream where on the bank of the river in Ekacakra in a beautiful garden there was a throne and Nityananda Prabhu was sitting with Jahnava and Vasudha on either side and He was offering such intimate expressions of affection to them through His words and His glances. All her desires were fulfilled.
Nityananda Prabhu after He left Ekacakra He went on pilgrimage to so many places with this sannyasi and eventually came to Vrindavan. During the pilgrimage He met Madhavendra Puri and accepted him as His guru, Lakmipati Tirtha and accepted him as a guru. In Vrindavan He waited.


After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came back to Navadvip from Gaya He began His sankirtana movement. The Lord was calling Nityananda from His heart and Nitai came to Navadvip to the house of Nandanacarya.


One day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in ecstasy. He said, "A great personality has come here." He told Srivas Thakura and Haridasa, "Go find Him. I had adream last night. A chariot that can take anyone and everyone to the spiritual world, Goloka came right in front of My house. And on that chariot there was a very powerful personality. He had lotus eyes. He was very strong. He had blue garments. He carried a plough on His shoulder. There was a flag of a palm tree on that chariot. This person's eyes were rolling as if He was intoxicated in ecstatic love. He had an earring on His left ear and as he was swinging back and forth he said again and again, 'Is this the house of Nimai Pandit? Is this the house of Nimai Pandit?' "


Lord caitanya said, "I could understand that this was Lord Balaram Himself.I asked Him, 'Who are You and what are You doing here? And this great personality said, 'I am Your brother. Tomorrow We will get to know each other.' Go find Him! Go find Him!"


Srivas Thakura and Haridas Thakur went to every house, to every shop, toevery market place, to every bathing ghat in all of Navadvip and finally they came back and said, "We have searched everywhere for nine hours. We can't find such a person!' Lord Caitanya smiled and said, "Nityananda Prabhu is very mysterious." Then he said, "I will take you." And The Lord brought Them right to the house of Nandanacarya where Sri Nityananda Prabhu was sitting.


When Lord Caitanya and all the devotees first saw Him they bowed down. And when Lord Nityananda Prabhu saw Lord Caitanya, He became stunned. His eyescould not blink. He was drinking the beauty of Lord Gauranga with His eyes, tasting it with His tongue, smelling it with His nose, touching it with Hisarms. He was totally absorbed with Caitanya Mahprabhu like a statue. Lord Caitanya told Srivas, "Chant a verse.' Srivas chanted a beautiful verse fromSrimad-Bhagavatam describing Krishna standing in the pastoral grounds in the forest of Vrindavan. He had curly blackish hair encircling His moonlike face, beautiful lotus eyes. A blue flower over His ear! He had a wonderful flower garland on. He entered into the pastures of Vrindavan playing His flute.


When Nityananda Prabhu heard this He fell unconscious and when He finally came to consciousness He began rolling and roaring ecstatically with torrents of tears flowing from His eyes. Only Lord Caitanya could calm Him down.
Then on that historical moment Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda danced together in the ecstacy of kirtan. Sometimes They embraced. Sometimes They raised Their arms. Sometimes They touched each other's feet. They connection of these two eternal associates, Krishna and Balaram have appeared again together in the land of Navadvip dancing and chanting. All the devotees raised their arms loudly chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.
[Audience chant loudly] Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare And now HH Sripad Jayapataka Swami Maharaj who for the past forty years has been spreading the glories of Lord Nityananda Prabhu and His very dear associate Srila Prabhupada all over the world will speak. Srila Jayapataka Swami Maharaj Ki Jai! Thank you very much. [Applause.]

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INCREDIBLE PREACHING IN ORISSA

INCREDIBLE PREACHING IN ORISSA


I recently learnt through a first-hand experience how villagers in Orissa,India, are naturally seeking shelter of God and with a little training, Krishna consciousness becomes their second nature. And if Krishna consciousness doesn't reach them, there are others ready to mislead them and exploit their God consciousness.


My travels in Orrissa have been an eye opener. I first went to a remote village called Godamatori, two hours' drive from the Khurda Road station. On the bumpy roads, the car repeatedly swirled and turned while we twisted left and right, back and forth, inside the car. In a primitive setting, cut off from the modern influences, simple villagers gather daily for kirtan and katha. I was stunned to see our host Vijay Champatti prabhu have mangalarati at his home daily while his twenty odd members of the joint family, plus a few neighbours  ecstatically chant and dance. I learnt later that twenty five people come daily for morning pogramme and twenty of them chant sixteen rounds daily. Vijay is the youngest in the family and has convinced all his elders to chant and accept Krishna consciousness philosophy completely. Even his eighty years old mother is there daily at 4.30 in the morning despite her arthritis pain. Later in the evening, the villagers gather for Gaura arati and more kirtan. It was simply an unbelievable experience. The service attitude and desire to preach of this simple family left me humbled and inspired.


The most astonishing experience was when I was leaving the village, the eldest of the eight brothers and sisters, Mr atnakar, was crying tears of forgiveness from me for all the offenses that they knowingly or unknowingly committed towards me. I had heard many times about 'tears' but to actually see the family crying was a shocking experience. I was remembering thesimplicity of Ghanshyam Baba and wondering how the educated Moderns would react to this kind of display of Vaishnavaism. I also found it amusing that the youngest member of the family has preached to all the family members and they are all happily listening to him and taking Krishna consciousness guidance from him. The family has a high level of respect for each other.


Generally I'd expect such families to be sentimental and uneducated. But ironically, two of the family members' spoke to me in English and one of them is even doing MBA. They also know the hard core philosophy of Krishna consciousness and preach fearlessly. Thus I could conclude that they are not sentimental people but genuine Vaishnavas straight out of the pages ofChaitanya Charitamrita. I am wondering how it must have been during the time of the Goswamis of Vrindavan and other Vaishnava acharyas and how their exchanges must have been filled with genuine spiritual emotions, rich in Krishna consciousness substance. During my stay in this village I strongly felt that the Krishna consciousness culture as present in the Gaudiya Vaishnava literatures is a reality.


Later we travelled hundred kilometres more interior in Orrissa, and were at Khandapoda, a materially backward village bereft of many basic amenities. But interestingly and ironically even here we find there is mobile and internet connectivity. Gagan Mahapatra prabhu has taken over a small village temple called Radha Shyam Sundar temple and has a dynamic youth group whosemembers travel even two hundred kilometres further inside the villages to preach. It was again an unbelievable experience.


Sagar, a twenty five year old man in another village called Kendrapada has no connection to ISKCON but is a pucca Krishna conscious devotee. My myth was dispelled that only ISKCON devotees can be Krishna conscious. He took a vow at the age of fifteen to serve tulasi devi exclusively for fifteen years. Today he is twenty five and is contended to serve tulasi and aspires to make it a lifelong vow. He also seems to have no interest in getting married. He reminded me of a self-satisfied person that we so often speak about in our lectures but rarely get to see. Another devotee is Ranjit ptrabu who travels every week to different villages to preach Srila Prabhupada's message. His elder brother, Radha Kanta prabhu, is an IIT passout and is serving as the vice principal of the ISKCON gurukul at Vrindavan.There is unlimited demand for Krishna consciousness. Because we are not reaching out to these people and Christians are making the sacrifices topenetrate these villages deeply, it's they who are reaping the fruits. The simple and innocent faith of the villagers in Orissa is tapped by the Christians through interesting ways. At Behrampore I learnt how Christian nuns dress themselves as Brahmakumaris and take a bus all around the villages doing sankirtan, but of a different kind. The mrdangas and kartalsand kirtans attract the simple villagers and they join in the kirtans, little realizing that this is glorification of 'Mariamma' (Mother Mary) and 'Bhagwan Yesu' (Jesus Christ). Then they are told to celebrate Easter and Christmas. They even have aratis and pujas for the deities of Mother Mary and Jesus. So much for their massive propaganda against idol worship. They appear innocuous initially but within a couple of years of systematic follow up and preaching, the same simple villagers become blasphemous of Lord Jagganath and Krishna and other idols of Hinduism. I met villagers whose legal names are Vrindavan, Gurupada, Gopal, Srikant, Vasudev, and many other Krishna's names but they are losing the culture and may soon become Christians.


It is also to be noted to the credit of the Christian preachers that many of these missionaries are from affluent American or European families but in a spirit of 'saving the heathens' from 'going to hell' they sacrifice all their comforts and live in tough conditions. Usually these preachers live for the next thirty or even forty years dedicating themselves to thesevillages and trying to convert as many as possible. These people are really dedicated and serious about their conversion business. Besides, of course there is the monetary support and all other undesirable things. But the positive thing is they can teach us a lesson or two in making sacrifices for the preaching mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.


When a few of these simple Oriyans like Vijay Prabhu or Gagan Prabhu become Hare Krishna devotees we can see the impact they are making. But many others who do not know about Krishna consciousness are easily getting swayed by Christianity and then they go on to become dynamic preachers of that particular faith. It's certainly important to preach and tell people about Krishna on an emergency basis.


I thought about myself- how far away I am from having the desire to preach Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message. If Mleccha groups with shallow philosophy have so much zeal and passion, how much more we should be eager to distribute Gaura Nitai's mercy. If only I can stop doing prajalpa and getting mental about so many issues in life, I can also take exclusive shelter of Krishna and preach fearlessly the message of Krishna consciousness.


After the week long travels on the bumpy roads, I got a severe back pain diagnosed to be the result of bad roads and so much travel. Although my back was paining I felt the back bone of my Krishna consciousness was becoming stronger and my soul was definitely in bliss. That back pain is a small price to pay for the rich Krishna consciousness that I received from the hearts of these villagers.

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Tulasi Devi Cures Devotee’s Cancer

Today, at 69 years old, Chaitanya Prema Dasa is a robust, healthy devotee, visiting the Potomac, Maryland ISKCON temple every Sunday and working at the Pentagon, where he has served for twenty-five years in the Department of the Defense Inspector General. He keeps a small altar with Srila Prabhupada and a large, beautiful picture of Lord Krishna in his office, so that his boss and co-workers see the Lord every time they have meetings there.
Seeing him, you would never guess that back in 1997, at age 55, Chaitanya Prema was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma—or blood cancer—that had already reached stage four.


The disease spread to his bone marrow, liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. His white blood cell count was high.
“The only thing we could do was to pray nonstop,” says his daughter Jahnavi Dasi, who is now doing her PhD in microbiology and holds weekly Krishna conscious programs at the University of Maryland. “I was so worried, I couldn't let go of my beads. I chanted all the time because I was extremely scared.”


Chaitanya Prema’s doctors wanted him to undergo chemotherapy, but Jahnavi was apprehensive. She knew that radiation treatment not only killed the cancer cells, but also burned, scarred and damaged healthy cells in the bonemarrow and gastro-intestinal tract, and could cause tissue and organ damage. They could even destroy our immune system’s defence cells, known as Natural Killer Cells. In fact in the past, two of her family’s friends had gottenchemotherapy for their cancer, seen remission initially, and then died two years later when their cancer returned more aggressively than ever before.


Jahnavi asked the doctors if, instead of doing chemotherapy, they would let her try to boost her father’s immune system by natural means to fight the cancer. She had beeen inspired by the movie Lorenzo's Oil, a true story about parents who were determined to save their son from an incurable brain disease. She felt that there must be powerful medicines out there that had not yet been discovered or become mainstream.


“I’ll monitor his blood counts the entire time,” she said. “And we’ll always have chemo to fall back on.” All of her father’s doctors—the oncologist, the surgeon, and primary care physician—were upset with her, and told her she was making a big mistake. But Jahnavi felt sure there was a way. 


Then, on the holy night of Gaura Purnima 1998, Jahnavi dreamt that she was in the Potomac ISKCON temple, looking into a miscroscope. Through it, she saw Tulasi Devi, the personification of the famous sacred plant, telling herfather’s Natural Killer Cells to eat the cancer. When she straightened up, she saw Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, the spiritual grandfather of ISKCON’s founder Srila Prabhupada.


“Don’t take your spiritual dreams lightly,” he said. “Tulasi Devi is the cure.”


As soon as Jahnavi woke up, the tightness in her throat and the fear in the pit of her stomach that had been there for so long faded away. Now she knew what to do.


Jahnavi began to research Tulasi, also known as holy basil, or by her botanical name Ocimum sanctum. She found and read many studies from around the world explaining that Tulasi (as well as turmeric) was very powerful and rich in antioxidants that kill cancer. She also read that the sacred plant contained a phytonutrient called ursolic acid, which has been found to causethe programmed cell death of human leukemia cells. This she was excited by, since her father’s cancer, like leukemia, was blood-related.


The studies she read were done by major Universities and published in prestigious medical journals. There was a November 2006 study done at the Center for Cancer Biology in Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; a2009 study done in Texas and published in the International Journal of Oncology; an October 2009 study conducted at the College of Oriental Medicine in Seoul, South Korea; and a June 2010 study published in themedical journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.


They all showed how Tulasi causes cancer cells to self-destruct, and repairs damaged DNA by activating MGMT repair protein. They also proved how holy basil is radioprotective, and increases the activity of Natural Killer Cells.
Jahnavi contacted devotees in Hawaii, who FedExed her large boxes full of Tulasi Manjari garlands offered to the Deities. It wasn’t unusual for them to have giant Tulasi plants growing everywhere on their property, or to be making such large quantities of Manjari garlands—the same is true for many temples located in warm climates.
“I began to get my father to eat several Tulasi leaves a day, and then to munch on the Tulasi Manjari garlands,” Jahnavi says. “I also mixed the dried Tulasi leaves with honey. He loved it!”


Along with Tulasi, Jahnavi also added many natural foods and supplements to her father’s diet to help boost his immune system and Natural Killer Cells to fight the cancer.


“I started giving him carrot juice, wheatgrass or spinach green juice daily, which are all high in phytonutrients,” she says. “We switched to a low fat diet, with whole grains, unrefined sweeteners, spring water, and organic foods. We also made sure to avoid fried food, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.”
Jahnavi also gave her father ginseng, and ten grams of Vitamin C a day.


“Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling made many studies showing how vitamin C is one of the key nutrients that are needed to give the patient's body cancer-fighting ability,” she says. “He describes how when he gave one patient with an inoperable brain tumor ten grams of vitamin C every day, her tumor shrank in eight months. This daily dose of Vitamin C was also found to significantly increase the life span and enhance the quality of life in 100 terminal cancer patients.”


In addition to the Vitamin C, Jahnavi started giving her father 500 mg of Vitamin B3 three times a day and 25,000 IU daily of Beta Carotene and Vitamin E, as well as B complex, Selenium Zinc, and Coenzyme Q10.
Adding to his treatment, Chaitanya Prema also absorbed himself in chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and meditating on God.


Within only six months, he showed marked progress. Eight months after starting his new regimen, repeated CT scans and blood work demonstrated that his body no longer showed any signs of cancer. “It was all by Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada's mercy,” Jahnavi says. “Tulasi Devi is our hero!” She explains that all types of cancer grow due to deficiencies in the immune system, and that the way to defeat cancer is to strengthen the immune system.


“The immune system can be compared to the police department, and cancer cells of any kind to criminals,” she says. “If we have weak police officers that are thin and malnourished, then how will they fight the criminals? But if we have lots of strong, powerful policemen (Natural Killer Cells) that outnumber the bad guys (cancer cells), then the policemen will defeat them. No more criminals—no more cancer.”


Following Jahnavi’s footsteps, we can boost our immune systems by taking vitamins and nourishing foods such as fresh fruit like grapes, blueberries, acai berries and pomegranate, which are are loaded with phytonutrients that have anticancer properties. Eliminating toxic overload on our immune systems is also a must, including unnecessary over-the-counter drugs, chemical additives, artificial colors, and MSG in foods. Keeping away from second-hand smoke, pollution, and intoxicants also helps to relieve the burden on your “police officers” so that they can be at their optimal strength.
Keeping a positive mindset helps, too. Jahnavi believes in the therapeutic power of hope, and feels that enhanced hope has a considerable positive impact on the immune system and can contribute to a much more favorable outcome in the fight against cancer.
“Our immune system is there for a purpose,” Jahnavi says. “It's designed to kill cancer before cancer can spread. So let’s give it a boost.”


And of course, one of the biggest boost-givers is Tulasi Devi, the sacred plant and beloved servant of Lord Krishna.
“It’s been fourteen years now since my father’s cancer went into remission, and to this day, he’s still cancer-free—and he still takes his Tulasi leaves every day!” Jahnavi says. “We pray that our story can help others with cancer, too. Remember, there is hope. After all, anything is possible by the power of Lord Krishna, and his miraculous servant Tulasi Devi.”

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Christchurch Earthquake - Temple Destroyed

Dear devotees and well-wishers,


Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.


Tuesday’s devastating here in Christchurch has unfortunately destroyed the temple along with our deities Sri Sri Nitai-Gauracandra. The devotees are all safe although some have had significant damage to their houses.


The local devotees should refrain from coming to the temple as it is closed and deemed unsafe.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kind thoughts, words and prayers, they are highly appreciated.


As there have been requests from devotees far and wide wishing to help out with donations, a Paypal account has been linked to the temple:satananda@pamho.net


Thank you.


Your servant,

Ramanuja das President

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HH Prabhavisnu Swami

 

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!

Date: February 24th, 2011

Topic: Dhruva Maharaj Goes Back To Godhead

Verse: SB 4.12.18

Speaker: HH Prabhavisnu Swami


bhaktim harau bhagavati pravahann ajasram

ananda-baspa-kalaya muhur ardyamanah

viklidyamana-hrdayah pulakacitango

natmanam asmarad asav iti mukta-lingah


TRANSLATION:Because of his transcendental bliss, incessant tears flowed from his eyes, his heart melted, and there was shivering and standing of thehairs all over his body. Thus transformed, in a trance of devotional service, Dhruva Maharaja completely forgot his bodily existence, and thus heimmediately became liberated from material bondage.

 

PURPORT: Due to constant engagement in devotional service -- hearing,chanting, remembering, worshiping the Deity, etc., as prescribed in nine varieties -- there are different symptoms which appear in the body of adevotee. These eight bodily transformations, which indicate that a devotee is already liberated within himself, are called asta-sattvika-vikara [Cc.Antya 14.99]. When a devotee completely forgets his bodily existence, he should be understood to be liberated. He is no longer encaged in the body.The example is given that when a coconut becomes completely dry, the coconut pulp within the coconut shell separates from the bondage of the shell andthe outer covering. By moving the dry coconut, one can hear that the pulp within is no longer attached to the shell or to the covering. Similarly,when one is fully absorbed in devotional service, he is completely disconnected from the two material coverings, the subtle and gross bodies.Dhruva Maharaja actually attained this stage of life by constantly discharging devotional service. He has already been described as amaha-bhagavata, for unless one becomes a maha-bhagavata, or a first-class pure devotee, these symptoms are not visible. Lord Caitanya exhibited allthese symptoms. Thakura Haridasa also exhibited them, and there are many pure devotees who manifested such bodily symptoms. They are not to beimitated, but when one is actually advanced, these symptoms are exhibited. At that time it is to be understood that a devotee is materially free. Ofcourse, from the beginning of devotional service the path of liberation immediately opens, just as the coconut taken from the tree immediatelybegins to dry; it simply takes some time for the shell and pulp to separate from one another.


An important word in this verse is mukta-lingah. Mukta means "liberated," and linga means "the subtle body." When a man dies, he quits the gross body,but the subtle body of mind, intelligence and ego carries him to a new body. While existing in the present body, the same subtle body carries him fromone stage of life to another (for example, from childhood to boyhood) by mental development. The mental condition of a baby is different from that ofa boy, the mental condition of a boy is different from that of a young man, and the mental condition of a young man is different from that of an oldman. So at death the process of changing bodies takes place due to the subtle body; the mind, intelligence and ego carry the soul from one grossbody to another. This is called transmigration of the soul. But there is another stage, when one becomes liberated even from the subtle body; at thattime the living entity is competent and fully prepared to be transferred to the transcendental or spiritual world.


The description of the bodily symptoms of Sri Dhruva Maharaja makes it apparent that he became perfectly fit to be transferred to the spiritualworld. One can experience the distinction between the subtle and gross bodies even daily; in a dream, one's gross body is lying on the bed whilethe subtle body carries the soul, the living entity, to another atmosphere. But because the gross body has to be continued, the subtle body comes backand settles in the present gross body. Therefore one has to become free from the subtle body also. This freedom is known as mukta-linga. [End of SrilaPrabhupada's purport to SB 4.12.18]


HH Prabhavisnu Swami:  So this verse and the previous verse are describing the activities of Dhruva Maharaj in Badrikasrama. As we know he had a stronghankering to inherit the kingdom of his father. His mother was not the favourite wife of his father, King Uttanapada. His mother's name was Suniti.His step mother was Suruci and she wanted her son to become king, to inherit the kingdom. She liked that her son sit on the lap of the king. Since theking was very influenced by his favourite wife he pushed Dhruva Maharaj off from his lap. He didn't allow him to sit on his lap, which greatly perturbedDhruva. He wanted to get back on his father's lap but could not. His step mother was chastising him, "You are not qualified. The only way you couldpossibly inherit the kingdom is by worshipping the Supreme Lord and taking birth from my womb in your next life. Then you will get a chance."
Of course he was very much stung by these harsh words and went running to his mother who said, "Well, what can I do? I am just a poor woman. I am notthe favourite of your father and besides your step mother is right. Only by worshipping the Supreme Lord can you attain all the type of things, all theperfections." So he immediately wanted to know, "Where can I meet the Supreme Lord?" She said, "I am not sure but I heard that great sages in theforest sometimes see the Supreme Lord."


Immediately he wanted to go to the forest and just at that time Narada Muni appeared and said, "You are just a young boy. You better stay at home withyour mother." But he was very determined having strong ksatriya spirit. So finally Narada relented. He was marvelling at the determination of this boyand he gave him instructions how to worship the Lord in the forest by fashioning a deity of the Lord from natural elements such as stone and wood.He also instructed him to chant the mantra, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.


So Dhruva went to the forest and followed the instructions of Narada Muni and very soon performed many austerities by reducing his eating, sleeping,breathing, drinking etc. So much so that he reached such a stage that tremendous energy was concentrated in his body that when he pressed his toedown on the earth it sent tremors to the heavenly planets. Very powerful! So the demigods became perturbed and asked the Lord, "Please pacify thisdevotee of Yours."


The Lord obliged. He is very kind to the demigods because they are devotees even though they have material desires. They are sakama devotees, but theyare devotees and they are highly entrusted by the Lord to govern universal affairs. Therefore He obliged and appeared before Dhruva and touched Dhruvawith His conch shell, which sent thrills of ecstasy through Dhruva Maharaj's body and very being and also empowered him to speak many eloquent andbeautiful prayers full of transcendental realization in glorification of the Lord. Normally such a young boy would not have such an expansive vocabularybut he was empowered by the Lord and therefore we can read these beautiful prayers. It is so inspiring.


Then as we know the Lord asked him, "What benediction would you like?" At that point Dhruva had the realization, "I have been search for broken glassbut I found the most valuable jewel or treasure, which is Your association and the opportunity to render devotional service unto You. Therefore that isthe only benediction I seek - to be always able to be engaged in Your devotional service. This shows how he became a perfectly pure devotee. He isgiven as an example of one who approached the Lord with material desires.


catur-vidha bhajante mam, janah sukrtino 'rjunaarto jijnasur artharthi, jnani ca bharatarsabha [Bg 7.16]
"Four kinds of pious persons," Krishna said, "approach Me - those who have material desires, those who are in distress, those who are inquisitive andthose who are wise." As we know Gajendra approached the Lord in distress. The sages ofNaimisaranya approached Him because they were inquisitive. TheKumaras were wise, but Dhruva was the example of one who approached Him with material desire.


Whatever the reason is that inspires a person to approach the Lord if he serves the Lord and worships the Lord then he can gradually become purifiedof those material contaminations - distress or lamentation or material desires or whatever. This is the power of devotional service. That is whythe Bhagavatam recommends,
akamah sarva-kamo va, moksa-kama udara-dhihtivrena bhakti-yogena, yajeta purusam param [SB 2.3.10]


Whether a person is free from material desires or full of material desires or desires liberation in any case one who has got broader intelligenceworships the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


etan nirvidyamananam, icchatam akuto-bhayamyoginam nrpa nirnitam, harer namanukirtanam [SB 2.1.11]


You will also find the verse in the beginning of the second canto, "O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord is the doubtless and fearlessway of success including for those who are free from material desires, akamah sarva-kamo va, full of material desires as well as those who are selfsatisfied by dint of yogic practice. That is the power of the practice of devotional service and Dhruva Maharajais a perfect example of how that power can transform a person's heart, how the association of the Lord either directly or through the chanting of theholy name, the process of deity worship, the process of hearing the scriptures, the process of association with the devotees, how devotionalservice in its different forms can change a person dramatically, totally.


In this way Dhruva became a perfectly pure devotee and the Lord gave him that blessing that he would always be engaged in devotional service but Hesaid, "You also take this kingdom." In fact He gave him a whole planet to oversee in addition to the kingdom of his father. But eventually afterruling for a long time then Dhruva Maharaja knew it was time to wind up his worldly affairs and therefore like an exemplary devotee he went to a holyplace, to Badrikasrama to focus himself fully in devotional service.


Again he was practicing austerities, controlling his breathing, withdrawing his senses, meditating on the arca vigraha form and thus entered thecomplete trance of devotional service, As this verse describes he exhibited then all the symptoms of transcendental ecstasy and became completelyabsorbed in Krishna on the transcendental platform. Thus he became liberated from material bondage and then next verse goes on to describe then how thetranscendental aeroplane came down to take him back to the spiritual world. 


As Srila Prabhupada describes here in the purport, due to constant engagement in devotional service a devotee becomes highly advanced andgradually begins to exhibit transcendental ecstasy and there are so many examples of great devotees who experienced these symptoms. Lord CaitanyaHimself, He is the Supreme Lord but still in the role of a devotee exhibited these symptoms. Thakur Haridasa and many, many other great devotees did butone should not try to artificially imitate these transcendental symptoms or artificially try to jump to a very highly advanced platform either for one'sown gratification or trying to impress others.


Here in Bengal there are so many pseudo devotees, sahajiyas who make artificial display of transcendental ecstasies. It is quite common thatwealthy gentleman organize nama-yajnas and invite kirtan groups to perform.These nama-yajnas may run for thirty six hours or forty eight hours, thirtytwo hours or whatever and they will invite a number of these groups. Each group will perform for two hours and they will often times exhibit theseartificial symptoms of transcendental ecstasy - rolling on the ground,embracing one and another, shedding tears, embracing members of theaudience. Once a devotee said he even saw one of these performers embracing a dog. [Laughter] He was so absorbed in transcendental ecstasy. SrilaPrabhupada was very critical of this type of artificial display. He said they pretend transcendental ecstasy but after the performance they say,"Please give me one 'beadi.' My throat is very dry.

 

Here in Mayapur in 1976 devotees arranged a kirtan competition. There was a stage set up over there and different groups came from different parts ofBengal and were performing. So Jayapataka Maharaj told me he asked Srila Prabhupada, "What do you think of their kirtana?" Prabhupada said, "They aresimply chanting, "Money, money, money!" [Laughter] Prabhupada was extremely critical of this hyper professional performance, professional Bhagavatareciters and professional kirtana groups. He said if we hear Bhagavatam from such persons it is like drinking milk touched by the lips of a serpent. Itbecomes very poisonous and it becomes very dangerous actually to hear from such materialistic personalities who are just making a business out ofdevotional service.Sometimes you go to temples also and you may be accosted by so many brahmanas demanding donations.

 

Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said it islike using a saligram sila to break peanuts, using the deity for one's own benefit or using the holy name for one's own benefit or the Bhagavatam forone's own benefit. Therefore one should avoid the association of such materialistic devotees or sahajiyas. Bhaktivinode Thakura has identifiedthirteen different apasamradayas in Bengal as a warning to steer clear of such association. Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura were realwarriors on behalf of the sankirtana movement to fight against such contamination in the society of devotees, fight against those who watereddown the philosophy or who created non bona fide mantras eg nitai gaura radhe syam hare krsna hare rama or sri krsna caitanya prabhu nityananda harekrsna hare rama sri radhe govinda. They had great disputes actually. They had great dispute with Radha-Ramana Babaji because of him introducing suchnon bona fide mantras. In this way they were very strict to adhere to the proper parampara understand as was Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Himself.


He would reject any kind of non bona fide writings such as Vallabha Bhatta.He had defeated Sridhara Swami by writing new commentary on the Bhagavatam.Mahaprabhu was furious. "I consider you a prostitute." He said. Swami also means husband. Wife who is unchaste to the husband should be considered aprostitute. He completely rejected this commentary. One must follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas then one can get the proper understandingand be able to apply the process of devotional service properly in one's life.


Therefore this artificial exhibition of ecstatic symptoms is to be strictly avoided. Generally the great acaryas even though they experience suchtranscendental symptoms they didn't manifest them so that people wouldn't cheaply imitate or misunderstand. But still if a person goes on steadilyperforming the process of devotional service, gradually he would become more and more advanced until he can come to that stage of experiencing thosesymptoms.


Prabhupada has given this famous example here of the pulp of the coconut becoming detached from the shell. By constant and diligent practice ofdevotional service one become detached from the material body both gross and subtle material body. One ceases to identify with the material body and oneidentifies fully as the eternal servant of the Lord. All his activities are connected with Krishna and he doesn't use his material body or his subtlebody in any way for sense gratification but only to enhance his absorption in devotional service. Therefore even if he is living within the materialworld he is fully situated on the transcendental platform.


So this was the position of Dhruva Maharaja just as it was the position of Srila Prabhupada and the other great acaryas in our sampradaya. For a longtime he was absorbed in his service of overseeing the kingdom that he had been given to engage the citizens in the devotional service of the Lord butat the final stage just as we see in the lives of other great kings he retired and went to the holy place and cent percent absorbed himself inKrishna consciousness and thus perfectly exited this material world. The Lord then welcomed him back to the spiritual world with opened arms bysending a transcendental airplane.


Dhruva Maharaj did not want to leave without his mother. He took his mother also and he stepped on the head of death as he entered into thetranscendental airplane. In this way his life is a perfect example of pure devotional service. It is also an inspiration because he began by havingmaterial desires and material contamination but by following the instructions of a pure devotee, Narada Muni and by practicing devotionalservice then he was able to move from that conditioned stage to the stage of pure Krishna consciousness.


The Bhagavatam contains many stories of pure devotees. Narada Munis own life shows how one can come from a very lowly position to the most exaltedposition. He was previously the son of a maid servant, which is considered a low birth but because of the association of great devotees his life andconsciousness became transformed and eventually he became Narada Muni in his next life.


So the Bhagavatam contains many descriptions of the Lord and His incarnations and Their pastimes so that we can gain attraction for them butat the same time it also contains the life stories of many great devotees. We may just by reading the pastimes of the Lord think how is it possiblethat we could ever come to the stage of pure devotional service, but when we hear the examples of the lives of such personalities of Dhruva and Naradaand how they came from conditioned stage to a stage of pure devotional service, pure Krishna consciousness, that gives us hope that if we follow intheir footsteps in a humble and sincere way then one day we can also reach the topmost destination.


Srila Prabhupada has assured the devotees again and again that yes if you practice diligently, attentively, follow the process then you also can cometo that stage of going back to Godhead just as so many other great devotees have done in the past. So thank you very much. It is nine o'clock already.The deities opened very late this morning so it is late and I have to finish at this stage. Grantharaj Srimad Bhagavatam Ki!Jai! Srila Prabhupada Ki!Jai. Samavetabhakta- vrinda Ki! Jai. Nitai Gaura-premanande! Hari-haribol.[Applause]

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HG Anuttama Prabhu

 

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!

Date: February 20th, 2011

Topic: Dhruva Maharaj Goes Back To Godhead

Verse: SB 4.12.15

Speaker: HG Anuttama Prabhu

manyamana idam visvam

maya-racitam atmani

avidya-racita-svapna-

gandharva-nagaropamam


TRANSLATION: Srila Dhruva Maharaja realized that this cosmic manifestation bewilders living entities like a dream or phantasmagoria because it is acreation of the illusory, external energy of the Supreme Lord.


PURPORT: In the deep forest it sometimes appears that there are big palaces and nice cities. That is technically called gandharva-nagara. Similarly, indreams also we create many false things out of imagination. A self-realized person, or a devotee, knows well that this material cosmic manifestation isa temporary, illusory representation appearing to be truth. It is like a phantasmagoria. But behind this shadow creation there is reality -- thespiritual world. A devotee is interested in the spiritual world, not its shadow. Since he has realization of the supreme truth, a devotee is notinterested in this temporary shadow of truth. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (param drstva nivartate [Bg. 9.59]). [End of SrilaPrabhupada's purport to SB 4.12.15]


HG Anuttama Prabhu: So before I begin I would like to thank all of the Vaisnavas present and around the world for your association and your exaltedservice to our parampara. Without the presence in the world of Vaisnavas my life would be very dark, desolate and without hope. So I thank all of youfor your association.


This verse is describing the mind of Dhruva Maharaj. We have been hearing this story for many, many chapters, a very elaborately told story, one ofthe longer ones in the Bhagavat Purana. And it is helping us here understand what his thoughts are, his realizations? what is his consciousness at thiscritical stage of life. We have been hearing long stories of all of his various activities and here actually quite suddenly it is explained withinjust a few verses he ruled the world for thirty six thousand years, obviously not considered to be a particularly important part of the story.


Although it is thirty six thousand years it gets a couple of verses and then in just a very few verses he passed many, many years favorably executing hisdifferent worldly activities. Then in today's verse he realized the cosmic manifestation bewilders living entities like a dream etc because it is acreation of the external energy of the Lord. And then tomorrow's verse he renounces everything and then the verse after that he is in Badrikasrama andthen just a few verses later he describes his ecstasies, his symptoms of liberation. And then in text nineteen, we are on fifteen, it explains assoon as his symptoms of liberation was manifest his beautiful airplane appeared from Vaikunta and comes to pick him up. Very interesting, this iscoming up. Even at that point he stops, takes a bath, does all the proper things like a perfect gentleman and gets on the airplane.


I was thinking if I saw a similar airplane I think all etiquette would go out the door. I would try to scramble in like a bus in Calcutta. [Laughter]just let me hold on somehow or the other, but he was too exalted in his realizations. So here it is explaining his vision that he is understandingwhat is this cosmic manifestation and he is preparing to turn over his kingdom and renounce his family, his position as a king and it specificallydescribes that he understood - three specific things are brought out here, one - that the cosmic manifestation, he doesn't say it is bewildering but ina different way he says, "It bewilders living entities." So what is this cosmic manifestation? It bewilders living entities. That is what is does. Itbewilders living entities. Second that it is like a dream and third, very important, very, very, very important for Vaisnavas, - that it is a creationof the external energy of the Supreme Lord.


That is the part that a lot of philosophies don't get. They understand that it is a phantasmagoria, it is bewildering but they don't get the connectionwith the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So he has understood all of these points. In his purport Srila Prabhupada expands a little bit, gives otherexamples to describe the nature of this material world. He say technically called gandarva-nagara. I was thinking it is an interesting choice of words.It is not a technology, we would consider technologically speaking. Prabhupada says technically speaking. For those who know that technology ofillusion etc. is technically called gandarva-nagara or this idea of seeing big palaces and nice cities in the forest or in the sky etc. Then he alsosays that this world is like a dream that is created from ones imagination. We all have experiences of various types of dreams, especially the bad onesand then you realize, "Boy, I was just imagining this. There was no existence to this."


I remember very as a very young child, some horrible dream and just waking up all shaken and perspiring and maybe at six or seven years old my motheris trying to wake me up, "It is okay, its okay!" But I was totally overwhelmed by this dream which had no reality. So that analogy is given tous to help us understand it is a dream or again this example of the shadow.Prabhupada uses that example in the purport.


Elsewhere of course we know that other purports and lectures repeatedly Prabhupada talks about this material world is like a mirage in the desert.And in that particular analogy it gives a little more depth to understand how it affects those that are observing the illusion. And example is given,very graphic, one visual sort of tugs at our hearts or the deer, beautiful animal. Where I live they don't like them because they eat everybody'sgardens!


Generally the deer is a very nice animal, pretty etc. as long as you don't get Lyme disease from it and it doesn't eat your flowers, very prettyanimal. But it is basically a very innocent animal that in its ignorance it is looking out into the desert because it is thirsty. What a poor creature,it is thirsty just like us! We are thirsting. We are thirsting for pleasure, we are thirsting for love, we are thirsting for shelter and we are thirstingfor knowledge. So like the deer we look over the expanse of this desert, "Is there any water out there?" And the deer mistakenly thinks, "Oh, if I go farenough." And of course the deer runs further and further and deeper and deeper into the illusion, the ignorance, and the shadow and eventually dies.


So the analogy is given that this is our situation in the material world. As long as we are looking! Dhruva Maharaj realized this. As long as we arelooking only at the shadow, at the dream, at the phantasmagoria, at the mirage, at the gandarva-nagaras then we are being misled.so all these descriptions, sometimes it is interesting, I have heard visitors to temples sometimes they will say and to some extent we have totake it seriously and adjust things but to another extent, there are different ways to looking at it, sometimes they say, "I have been coming tothe temple for so many years, I always hear the same lecture." "Duh!" It is like you go to the doctor and he says, "Eat right, exercise, don't drink,don't smoke." Doctor keeps saying the same thing! "Duh!" "Eat right, exercise, don't drink, don't smoke." If you get it you get healthy. If youdon't get it you get more diseased and you die quicker than you should have.


Some might say "Every time I go to the doctor he tells me the same thing. Here I am paying the guy good money. You would think he would come up withsomething creative once in a while." But the message is the same. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This world is not our home. By the mercyof Lord Caitanya, the parampara, Srila Prabhupada and the Vaisnavas we can practice Krishna consciousness, gradually come awake and go back to Godheadand don't take the mirage as the all in all.


So these descriptions are given to us for our benefit repeatedly just like the doctor gives the same instructions again and again and again. There areso many purports that Prabhupada talks about this, in so many lectures. It is an illusion. Don't think there is any pleasure there. I can say formyself, practicing Krishna consciousness for about thirty five years and I still tend to read these purports and think, "Yeah but Prabhupada!" Youknow, "But. Maybe. Somewhere. Hope against hope.'


Therefore he keeps telling us there is no hope against hope. It is a dream. It is a shadow. It is a phantasmagoria. And Dhruva Maharaja's story is thereto help us wake up to this fact that this world is not what it appears to be, which is in a sense a place that we can enjoy independently fromKrishna. And just like when there is education, lot of devotees do education and training here, dozens of seminars going on now. Prabhupada said Iskconis meant to be a place of education.


So just like in education sometimes many, many examples are given and you look at it from this direction and part of the students get it. Then yougive another example, you look at it from that angle and then you give this reference and eventually most people say, "Oh. I got it. Now I understandwhat you mean."


In the same way these examples are given again and again and again. Sometimes like in a lot of the VTE Courses that I am able to participate inthey have what they call experiential learning. You can't just hear about it. You have to do it. So in the same way Krishna is very kind. He hascreated this huge universe of experiential learning just so that we can go through the different experiences and hopefully we are coming out of itsaying, "I can't enjoy here. Something is wrong. Isn't there another option? Isn't there another opportunity?"


And of course we know that sometimes students or children or citizens, sometimes when they really don't get it and they become disruptive to theclass or to the family or to the society or to the planet or to the species,sometimes they actually have to be punished. That is the next step. If youreally, really don't get it sometimes you have to get a harsher wake up call. But the goal of all of that, just like we say in educational the goalof feedback is to improve. The goal of parents or leaders or teachers or kings is disciplining those under their care. The reason for that is to helpthem improve and to see the truth behind what is being explained and help them make progress.


As Vaisnavas this concept of understanding the world is the illusory creation of the Lord is very important. It is significant to understand thatwe are not the only ones in the world that analyze it that way, that this is an illusory place. Sometimes we think we are a minority and in some ways weare. Spiritually mind people are a minority but at the same time although this understanding goes way against the gross materialism that is so commonaround the world, there are many traditions, many philosophies and many cultures that actually advocate much of what we do.
I was thinking in terms of analyzing this dream, Plato, the great Greek philosopher, he also gave the example of the shadow and he explained to hisstudents that everyone is living as if in a cave and there is a fire and the fire is behind us and portraying shadows on the wall and we are all lookingon the wall seeing only the shadows but not understanding that it is just a manifestation of the fire. Actually we are in a cave and there is real lightbeyond the fire and we should seek it out.


So it is not like we are the only ones speaking of these things. In most religious traditions, certainly most, if not all Vedic traditions speak interms of this - the need of getting free from the illusion. Buddhist traditions, Christian traditions and others all share this concept that thisis an inferior place and the goal of life is to try to get out of it.
Therefore it is described here that as Vaisnavas and intelligent persons we should try to be interested in the spiritual world and not its shadow. Everyday by Prabhupada's desire we are meant to come together at least once in the mornings and sit with other like-minded persons and discuss the illusionand discuss the reality because as soon as the class ends we walk out the door - of course here we are in the spiritual world, if we have the eyes.And if we have the eyes we will see everything and wherever we are from around the world connected to Krishna, but generally we step out the doorand immediately different types of images are forced into our mind, if we are not already struggling just to keep them out to hear Bhagavatam class.Throughout the day they are there.


So we strengthen ourselves by hearing these things and by understanding as Prabhupada says to the reality of the position of the Supreme Lord. And weare very fortunate. We should meditate on this because if we understand something is very valuable, you care for it very, very carefully. Althoughthere are so many different philosophies that have some understanding of the illusion by Krishna's grace and Lord Caitanya's inconceivable mercy at leastmyself, I think most of us feel we are unqualified, we have been given a glimpse into the highest understanding of the Absolute Truth. Not just thatthere is an illusion and that we have to get out of it but the way out of it, the ultimate experience is the all attractive Supreme  Personality of Godhead and that we are meant to surrender unto Him.


jivera 'svarupa' haya -- krsnera 'nitya-dasa' [Madhya 20.108-109]
sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg 18.66]


Those philosophies are there to remind us that we are meant to return back to Godhead. That is the goal of our life.So here Dhruva Maharaj's life is a very interesting one and some of the previous speakers have talked about how we can learn so much from himbecause this question remains, "If we understand the world is an illusion and the goal of my life is to go back home back to Godhead what do I do withthe illusion? How do I deal with it?"


I remember when I was first becoming a little spiritually aware I read a book by a Mayavadi philosopher and he said that the whole world is a dream,just like everyone is playing hide and seek. Actually his idea was that we are all God playing hide and seek. You now that game little children play.It has different name around the world. All the kids go and hide and one person has to find everybody. So you run around trying to find everybody. Atleast in the version I learnt if you get back to some safe place before they find you we used to say, "Alley, alley home free!" Which basically meant,"Games over. Let's stop playing and do something else".


You may think that this is quite stupid but all of us come from various interesting paths so part of my path was sitting at home reading this bookand thinking, "Okay. I am God according to him and I have just been playing games with myself and I just have to wake up." So with all the sincerity atmy command with a fully a focused mind that I could possibly put together I sat in a chair in deep meditation, "Alley, alley home free!" [Laughter]"Alley, alley home free!" "Okay let's stop this game I am tired of this one. Let's play another one." Needless to say it did not do anything. I did nothave the power by my will to overcome the illusion.


By Prabhupada's grace although I was just in this well of ignorance and foolishness, somehow by the Vaisnavas association we get this understandingthat actually there is the negative side of the number line as Prabhupada says, there are all the negatives up to zero but there is a positive. Andthat we actually can realize in all His transcendental opulence's that positive, which is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and our relationshipto Him. So then this question comes back, "Well then what do we do with this world? How do we deal with it?"


In Washington DC for about fourteen years now we have been having a two day retreat with some Christian leaders of Catholic and Protestant backgroundand two years in a row we looked at the topic, 'Spirit in The World - Renunciation Affirmation.' What do you do with the world - from our twodifferent traditions? Do you affirm it or do you renounce it? How do you deal with it? And of course it is a mixture of both. I won't get into thattoo much. But Dhruva Maharaja here is a wonderful example because we can see if by studying his life we get some glimpses how we should try to in ahumble mood follow in his footsteps whatever our particular position is.We see that he started out basically looking for some material desire. He had an especially ambitious one but it was a material desire but somehow bythe grace of his mother he was a little more enlightened that God has got something to do with it.

 

Somehow he got a little glimpse that there is a Godor there is some spiritual reality that can help me achieve my material desires.Then by the mercy of great sadhus he was directed and almost in a sense tricked but not in a negative sense, he was directed into a spiritualpractice. "Okay you want to have a kingdom. You have heard that you have to receive the mercy of God in the forest so chant this mantra. Here is thiswonderful process."

 

He did not understand what the process was. He did not understand what he was going to get. He just got some mercy to follow a process so he did andhe began to spiritualize all of his activities. He underwent spiritual practices. He gained the mercy or the darsan of the Lord. He thenunderstanding this glimpse or this vision of what his real position was, how his life was really meant to be lived, he spiritualized all of hisactivities. We have been reading about that in the last few verses. His kingdom, his family, everything he did was for the pleasure of Krishna. Hisinternal meditation was in devotion. Externally acting as he needed to. And then also interestingly he made some mistakes along the way.


He had gotten this thing that, "I am the king. They killed my brother. I have got to avenge him." And it took some universal leaders to come down andsay, "Hey! You overstepped your boundaries. Don't go too far." So it wasn't like he made a couple mistakes and that was it. Again parallels to all ofour lives he made a couple mistakes but by the mercy, the rectification of spiritual authorities he was righted again in the path. He made furtherprogress and as we were reading now he consciously disentangled himself from his material life and thus became perfectly fixed in Krishna.


So there are similarities to all of our lives and we can take heart and take direction from his example and Srila Prabhupada specifically points out inthe purport a very important factor because he had a higher taste he was not interested in the shadow reality. Prabhupada says here the temporary shadowof truth. He wasn't interested in that. He lost his interest in that and Prabhupada quotes 2.59 in Bhagavad-gita. I will just read the verse. It is ashort very succinct purport which is appropriate. The whole verse being:


"The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing ahigher taste, he is fixed in consciousness." [Bg 2.59] And Prabhupada write in the purport:


"Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from sense enjoyment. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rulesand regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions norloses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual process is recommended for less intelligent persons who have no betterknowledge. But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krishna, in the course of his advancement in Krishna consciousness, no longer has ataste for dead, material things. (Nice description - dead material things!) Therefore, restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in thespiritual advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good until one actually has a taste for Krishna consciousness. When one is actually Krishnaconscious, he automatically loses his taste for pale things." [Bg 2.59]


So as I was reading this I was thinking of my first visit to Mayapur in 1976. In those days things were a wonderful opportunity for spiritualadvancement. Particularly there was unlimited scope for austerities. I remember the first time I came I slept on the roof and no one, maybe some,but most of us had no knowledge of what a mosquito net was nor its purpose and definitely not how to get one. And as a brahmacari even if you did,forget it! You couldn't afford one.


So you had a lot of association with residents from the dhama throughout the night in the form of mosquitoes. As I remember it was very hot that year.There weren't all of the beautiful gardens that we have now. It was just the one garden here which was highly populated throughout the day and therewasn't a lot of escapes from some of the austeries that there were.


I remember for prasadam there were two lines for prasadam and it was pretty much fifty-fifty. The one line was subji, rice, dhal. I should saysubji-chilies, rice-chilies, dhal-chilies and the other line which was fifty percent as I remember, at least I can say myself I spent half the time inprasadam lines for the second line which in those days - they haven't had to do this for years. I don't know quiet why but it's we are all are doingbetter. But the second line was flat rice, bananas and dahi. There are a few chuckles over here. You remember those days? Half the line of devoteesbecause of stomach problems! It was a little difficult.


And of course it was very purifying. It was blissful and there were many wonderful experiences in the dham then as well but I mentioned that in thecontext that I remember going to the Ganga one day with the sannyasi who was giving class and in that class perhaps he read this verse, param drstvanivartate [Bg 2.59] but he started talking about how all of us are here because of a higher taste. And I was sitting there as I remember, scratchingmy mosquito bites [Laughter from audience] hoping that I could stay through the whole darsan and not having to run to the facilities and trying to covermy head because I was burned in so many places and thinking, "Higher taste?!" I remember thinking, "Where is the higher taste? I am just tryingto end my suffering. Where is this higher taste? I am glad you are talking about it. At least somebody is getting an experience of higher taste.Where?!"


So we all know that sometimes in our spiritual life austerity is required and sometimes there are difficulties. We all go through different difficulties matra-sparsas tu kaunteya [Bg 2.14] There is happiness and there is distress, there is honor and there is dishonor, there is distress and there is failure. Practically every yearwe lose people that have been in our lives in the sense that people die. That is often a painful thing especially if it is the association of aVaisnava or a friend or a family member. Disease is there, old age is there.So many different difficulties are there and the austerities that are therewithin our practices of Krishna consciousness. But as devotees we understand or we are trying to understand that these practices of controlling oursenses, regulating our lives, trying to focus our activities on Krishna consciousness are meant for our benefit and that they are good for us.


We are especially fortunate we know by the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada and all the acaryas and our spiritual masters that it is not justperform austerity to end the misery to get out of the illusion but it is to perform the practices of spiritual life to get the darsan of Sri Sri RadhaMadhava to actually reawaken what Prabhupada is reminding each and every one of us has an intimate personal relationship with the Lord.
Prabhupada writes in the first canto of the Bhagavatam that our position as the Lords servant is "The most congenial form of intimacy." It is abeautiful expression. That is the birth right of each and every one of us. That is our eternal position and that we have been given by Prabhupada'smercy a glimpse of this sublime transcendental world. Because we have so many disqualifications we have been given such a wonderful, simple andpleasant process of spiritual advancement which is chanting, singing, dancing, playing trumpet in front of the Deities and taking prasadam with areasonable amount of chilies! And studying Srila Prabhupada's books and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books, associating with devotees and we arevery blessed.


One of the wonderful things about coming to Mayapur is that we are blessed with seeing how this simple process and the simple austerities we have beenasked to perform and the guidance of great sages and devotees like Dhruva Maharaj how it bears fruit. We see over time how it is working. Just like agardener prepares the soil, puts the seeds in the ground, they water yet somebody who walks past may notice that it looks like a pile of dirt. Maybesomebody walks past and sees a little sprout coming up or somebody walks past and sees a tree with no fruit. But one who is in knowledge, he says,"Oh just see the sprout. Just see over here there is some young shoots. Look there is some green fruits coming."


They see that and they gain heart and inspiration. So all of us when we come to Mayapur, Prabhupada had transcendental vision. Just like Prabhupada sawin England that one time nobody showed up. Devotees said, "Prabhupada we are so sorry no one came. Prabhupada said, "Oh you did not see. You did not seeNarada Muni? You did not see Lord Brahma."


So in the same way Prabhupada saw Mayapur when all I saw was chilies and mosquitoes! And he saw the beauties of Lord Caitanya's place and he saw thebeauty of Vaisnavas coming from all around the world. So today we see, just like as I am sitting here and looking out the window, I never had a realaffection for construction workers but these guys are inspiring. I am like one building over which means that I am not pure enough to receive the mercyof the twenty four hour kirtana of the constructions some of you are blessed with that kirtan. Maybe in my next life but I am too addicted to sleep orsomething.


I do not get that mercy. But it is wonderful to see the temple coming up and to be able to come here and to see devotees from all around the world and towalk down the path and to hear somebody walk by and I don't know what they are saying. It is just like, "Wow. There is another language. Wonder wherethey are from." And then they will throw in a Krishna in some accent I have never heard before and I just think that is exciting. In some other cornerof the world there are devotees.


I just walked over to the brahmacari asrama. They get the Bhagavatam with Padmanaya Prabhu. There is this huge building jam packed full ofbrahmacaris. It is exciting. It is not the neatest display in the world of how to dry your towels other than that it is exciting to see hundreds ofbrahmacaris.


Just the other day I was coming out of the asrama where I am staying and I saw, two Vaisnavis drive by with their nice saris and their heads coveredand attractive in a spiritual way riding bicycles. And behind then was a little five year old kid with his funny looking shaved head and big glassesand I was thinking, "What a beautiful sight!" here is this mother and she is raising her child. One mother walks by and she was from the Far East,Eastern Asian Pacific Country, see another women of Indian origin, se a lot of these young families coming in. There is the father and the mother andthey are carrying the kids and bringing them in to darsan. It is beautiful.


I have lived long enough and I am fortunate to see some devotees that I knew as younger brahmacaris and maybe not too much senior from me and somegrhastas that dutifully perform their services in the grhasta asrama taking sannyasa. Here are people giving up everything to travel and preach and tryto share Lord Caitanya's mission. And this should bring joy to our hearts. When we see young families bring their children we should feel joyful. "Justsee Krishna consciousness is spreading." When we see young brahmacaris and when we see sannyasis we are so fortunate to see this. And to see that byPrabhupada's mercy and his vision that the world wide society for Krishna consciousness is growing and really beginning to thrive because there arealways challenges. You fix your stomach and your toe hurts. You fix your elbow, your elbow hurts.


There are always problems but at this time that we are in, this is February,2011. We are just approaching a very important milestone which is in fiveyears from now the International Society for Krishna consciousness will be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. [Audience applauds and chants Haribol]Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai! Srila Prabhupada's Iskcon Society Ki! Jai!


We all know that Prabhupada struggled in 1960 for so many years. Then he came to America in 1965. In 1966 he started Iskcon. So this is a very, veryauspicious day. Many, many organizations, institutions, religious communities, they don't live to fifty. It is very significant to have ourfiftieth anniversary. And here we are with this gorgeous temple coming up, so many books being distributed and Krishna consciousness spreading aroundthe world.
So this fiftieth anniversary is important not just to us but it is very,very important to the world because it demonstrates to the world, it willdemonstrate to the world and it is exciting to be able to be a part of it,looking forward to it. By Krishna's grace we can all be here to be part ofit. It is saying to the world that The International Society for Krishna Consciousness and you can say those crazy guys in orange bed sheets are hereto stay. It makes a very strong statement.


Fifty years! These people are serious, they are here to stay and it is giving people the opportunity to understand the depth of Vaisnava culture,the depth of Vaisnava philosophy, the depth of Vaisnava culture, the diversity, the beauty, the compassion and just the common sense of Vaisnavatradition.


Also that the movement of Lord Caitanya, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur has been brought out of India by SrilaPrabhupada and it will have a growing place on the world stage for many,many years to come by the desire, the power and the compassion of His DivineGrace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada. That is what this fiftieth anniversary tells people. Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai!


As his humble followers it is important for us to in order to keep his society intact, this verse made me remember and recall that we should try tothink and remember as Dhruva Maharaja is showing us that our potion is to remain our Guru Maharajas humble servant, servant of our founder acarya,servant of the Supreme Lord whatever our situation. Just like Dhruva Maharaja was a king. He did not forget who he was. The king was just inpassing. The real fact is that I am a servant of Krishna.


So whether we are a GBC member or guru, a sannyasi, a temple president, a sankirtana leader, a brahmacari, a grhasta, a teacher, a student, a mother,a father, pot washer - whatever our situation is we are actually one in our identity. These things are all externals. We have our proper etiquette andthat is important but at its core we all are the same which is we are servants of God, we are servants of Krishna and we are servants of SrilaPrabhupada. And we always should remember that. This is the lesson of this verse that we should always remember that and that this world is not a placeto enjoy separately from the Lord but it is a place to live simply throughout our lives, to endeavor to reawaken our love of God and to trystrenuously by the desire and the compassion of Srila Prabhupada to take as many other conditioned souls with us back to Godhead for the eternalglorification and pleasure of Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, to take as many people as we can with us back home back to Godhead. Thank you verymuch. Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai! [End of recording]

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GBC AGM Report- February 20th, 2011

GBC AGM Report- February 20th, 2011

By Sraddhadevi dasi

The 2011 Governing Body Commission (GBC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) commenced onFebruary 20th in the Society’s world headquarters, Mayapur, West Bengal. Madhusevita dasa, this year’s GBC chairman, welcomed the GBC body,appreciating that thirty-one out of thirty-three voting GBC members were present at this session.

Serving on the executive committee along with Madhusevita dasa this year were Hriday Chaitanya dasa and Bhakti Chaitanya Swami. Prayers wererequested for Bhakti Chaitanya Swami who recently fell, injuring his spine and suffering a brain hemorrhage, and therefore was unable to attend thisyear’s meetings. Ramai Swami is temporarily filling in for Bhakti Chaitanya Swami’s executive committee duties.

Following tradition, the first AGM presentation was the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s (BBT) book distribution report. Madhusevita dasa read aloud theoutstanding book scores for 2010, calculated by the number and size of books distributed by an individual or temple. Applause and appreciation was shownby the GBC for all of those who distributed Srila Prabhupada’s books. Special recognition was given to Bhakti Radhika devi dasi from Mumbai, Indiawho held the top individual score of 118,933 book points and to the New Delhi temple that held the top score for temples, with a score of 782,895book points.

Gopal Krishna Goswami then reaffirmed the importance Srila Prabhupada placed on book distribution, referencing Prabhupada’s statement that as long asbook distribution continues, “ISKCON will never die.” Gopal Krishna Goswamialso explained some of the ways they are successfully distributing books inIndia, such as receiving corporate sponsorship for books, placing books in hotel rooms, and distributing books to prisons. Books are also beingdistributed to hospitals. One hospital in India has the policy of giving Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita to every patient who has surgery.

Next, BB Govinda Swami spoke about the new Bhaktivedanta Hospice in Vrindavan, India. Bhaktivedanta Hospice is a beautiful 40,000 square foothospice facility fully equipped to professionally care for the medical,emotional, and spiritual needs of its patients. The Hospice includes eightsingle patient rooms, six double or triple occupancy rooms, a temple hall, and a portable temple that travels from room to room. Since its opening inAugust 2010, the hospice has treated 665 patients and hospice doctors have made 1850 home visits. (Those interested in supporting the BhaktivedantaHospice or who would like more information can visit www.bhaktivedantahospice.org.)

Presenting the annual report of ISKCON’s Child Protection Office (CPO) was the CPO director, Chamapakalata devi dasi. Champakalata devi dasi stronglyemphasized the need to assure that every ISKCON center has a local Child Protection Team (CPT) per GBC law. CPTs consist of two or three devotees whoare elected by the local community to act as a resource and first responder to any allegations of child abuse that may arise within the community.
Champakalata devi dasi also addressed the issue of financing the Child Protection Office. Since 2006, there has been a steep decline in financialsupport, and in 2010 the CPO functioned on less than $20,000 USD. Following the presentation, many GBC members personally pledged to increase theirfinancial support of the CPO. (Any readers who would also like to assist in this cause or would like more information on the role and function of theCPO, please visit www.childprotectionoffice.org.)

In the afternoon, an update on the construction of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (TOVP) was given to the GBC body. Ambarisa dasa was pleased toreport that construction of the TOVP is ahead of schedule and under budget. The Managing Director of the project, Sadbhuja dasa, explained how in sevenmonths, 2300 concrete piles reinforced with stainless steel rebar were driven over one-hundred feet into the footprint of the construction site.Now that the piles are in place, the superstructure of the TOVP is going up at a rapid rate.

Sadbhuja dasa was happy to report that the TOVP team in conjunction with the construction company, Gammon, is working twenty-four hours a day to insurethat every piece of the TOVP is constructed to the highest standard possible. The TOVP team employs approximately 50 devotees, including 22engineers. This is in addition to Gammon’s 30 engineers and 800 employees on the TOVP project. At the current rate, by this time next year most of themain dome will be constructed. (To learn how to contribute to the TOVP project and to view construction updates, visit www.TOVP.org.)

The evening concluded with a presentation by Balabhadra dasa on the ISKCON Cow Protection (ISCOWP) ministry. Balabhadra dasa noted how farm communitiesare on the decline in ISKCON even though the need and interest in organic and cruelty free milk products and produce is on the rise. Given thesituation, Balabhadra dasa called for a revitalization of farm community initiatives within ISKCON.

From February 21st-24th, the GBC Strategic Planning Team (SPT) will conduct meetings with GBC members and invited guests. The SPT will be publishingreports on this portion of the meetings. Regular meeting updates will continue when the formal GBC meetings resume on February 25th.
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Dear Devotees,
Please accept our most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

With great joy in our hearts we would like to announce the First Worldwide Kirtana Mela, to be held in a beautiful festival camp near Leipzig, Germany,
from August 29 through September 4 this year.

We will have

* Five days of twelve-hour kirtanas with a number of respected gurus and ISKCON's best kirtaniyas.

* A huge Ratha-yatra with hundreds of devotees singing and dancing through the historic town of Leipzig, flooding it with the Lord's holy names.

* Nectarian association.

* Invaluable inspirational talks.

* Nice accommodations in a camp surrounded by nature.

* Childcare facilities.

*Tasty prasada

This will be a week of ecstasy that will help us deepen our understanding of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's ongoing lila.Each day we will have several sets of kirtana with short inspirational talks given by the kirtana singers to help tune the devotee participants.The list of singers will be available to the devotees on a day-to-day basis.

Invited respected gurus and kirtaniyas:

H.H. B.B. Govinda Maharaja
H.H. Bhaktivaibhava Maharaja
H.H. Bhakti Vijnana Maharaja (confirmed)
H.H. Devamrta Maharaja
H.H. Indradyumna Maharaja
H.H. Kadamba Kanana Maharaja (confirmed)
H.H. Kavicandra Maharaja (confirmed)
H.H. Lokanath Maharaja (confirmed)
H.H. Niranjana Maharaja (confirmed)
H.H. Radhanatha Maharaja
H.H. Sacinandana Maharaja (confirmed)
H.G. Krsna Ksetra Prabhu
H.G. Srimati Dina Sharana devi dasi (GBC) (confirmed)
H.G. Aditi Dukhaha Prabhu (confirmed)
H.G. Badahari Prabhu
H.G. Madhava Prabhu (confirmed)
Mayapuris
H.G. Sacidevi dasi and others.

Please come and participate! Don't miss this unique opportunity!

For detailed information, please go to www.kirtana-mela.com

Hoping to see you during the Kirtana Mela,Your Kirtana Mela Team

Some words of inspiration:

As Srila Prabhupada said, chanting is our most important business. In the course of our preaching, we are swamped by so many important and urgent services. Sometimes we have no quality time for our most important activity. Festivals like this are the best chance we have to revive our taste for chanting and to invigorate our spiritual life.
(H.H. Bhakti Vijanana Gosvami)

When the Vaisnavas assemble and chant kirtan for the pleasure of Krishna,then the atmosphere becomes magical, the spiritual world manifests, and Krsna is present. As different birds fly at different heights in the sky, different devotees are on different levels of realization. Some may feel the presence of the
Lord and others may actually see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates while chanting and dancing in kirtan. When Narottama dasa Thakura performed
his kirtan festival at Kethuri after Sri Caitanya Mahprabhu had disappeared from is world, the devotees present could see Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and
His associates chanting and dancing in the greatest ecstasy. They themselves were then swept up in waves of transcendental love.When Vaisnavas gather for kirtan, it is not only a festival of temporary inspiration but an eternal benediction of lasting benefit.When Vaisnavas gather for kirtan, it is an event not to miss!
 (H.H. Kadamba Kanana Swami)

Mahaprabhu spent 24 years together with His associates and then suddenly in the middle of the night He left and decided to take sannyasa. Prior to His departure, He gave a speech to pacify and console. "No no! I will live with you in two forms! The first one, I will stay in the form of the holy name
(chanting). Even when I am gone, keep chanting". Caitanya Mahaprabhu is non-different from the holy name. So, one avatar of Mahaprabhu is the Holy Name.
"In this Age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kr?s?n?a mah?-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kr?s?n?a. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered. (CC Adi 17.22)

The Lord appears in every age. But in the Holy Name, He appears to all of us, unlimited, everywhere, everyday for each and every one of us! The Lord appears at midday (Rama), in the middle of the night (Krsna) and during dusk (Caitanya Mahaprabhu/Nrsimhadeva) and so on. But Krsna's holy name is ready to appear every day! Everywhere! And to Everyone! It is the beauty, the Lord making Himself accessible to everyone and we all, each one of us, have our very own Lord. In this form He can become our cherished property.

The second form in which Caitanya Mahaprabhu said he will stay is "Ananda" - Bliss! This Bliss comes from chanting Hare Krsna. Therefore Chant Hare Krsna
(first form) and be Happy (second form). (H.H. Lokantha Maharaja)

When we chant to please Radha and Krishna, that chanting bathes our hearts in such a way that it awakens our dormant love of God. This type of chanting
must be practiced day and night.

A family that prays together stays together.
A family that dances together advances together.
A family that sings together clings together.
(H.H. Radhanatha Maharaja)

The Kirtan Mela is a unique opportunity to receive and distribute the highest possible blessings in Krishna consciousness. At least three types of audiences will supremely benefit from our daily twelve-hour kirtans: all the participants, our movement, and the world. As Srila Prabhupada explained so succinctly, "The conclusion is that one should learn the art of chanting the holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day, and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence."
(Letter, August  29, 1973)
Please come, and invite everyone to join us!
(H.H. Sacinandana Swami)

From the Kheturi festival of Narottama dasa Thakura and Jahnava Devi to the Tompkins Square Park chanting of Srila Prabhupada and his followers to the
upcoming kirtan festival in Germany, congregational chanting of hari-nama has been and continues to be the nourishment, tonic, and the very life-blood
of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's followers. As Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung,upon witnessing the whole universe enlivened by the chanting of Narada Muni,
"And the whole universe became ecstatic. Then my desire was satisfied and I therefore pray unto the lotus feet of Rupa Gosvami that let this chanting of
hari-nama go on nicely like this." Following our acharyas' guidance and encouragement, let everyone join happily in this festival of spirit.
(H.G. Krishna Ksetra Prabhu)

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