62nd Vyasa Puja of HH Lokanath Swami -11th July, 2011.
How many Hindi speaking people are there? O quite a lot! How many do not know Marathi? So what should we do? (Chorus of Hindi!) The Marathi people have kept quiet?
I was thinking that today I have to only hear and not speak, then Ishtadev prabhu reminded me that I need to speak as well.
Today is my own birthday so what should I say? For you the topic is…no the topic is not Hindi! (responding to a prabhu’s call of Hindi from the audience)
Todays puja is for Vyasa dev, Vyasapuja. Vyasa. When you were giving your glorifications, - Guru is one tattva. This is one of the arrangements of the Lord – Vishnu Tattva, Shakti Tattva, Panca Tattva in Mayapur – similarly Guru Tattva – I won’t go into the details of all. In this world, man forgets the Lord, wanting to enjoy the external energies of the Lord, and this has been happening since time immemorial. So the lost souls are wandering in this world, trapped in various bodies. However the Lord does not want this. Still some souls adopt this path – of enjoying. The Lord is fully independent, and we being minute particles of His, we have some independence. But we misuse this independence by trying to enjoying thinking that “I am the Lord”. Then some small “indragopa germ” – Srila Prabhupada informed us about the existence of this very small germ - till Indra, everybody is trapped in this mentality to different degrees to try and enjoy. So the facility to enjoy is what this world is for – it is for both enjoyment and for deliverance.
The Lord does not want us to remain entrapped – He wants us to get liberated. sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo….the Lord is situated in every heart and knows what we desire. The Gopis are so fortunate – with each Gopi there was one Krsna. When we hear or read this, we forget that this is the arrangement – one living entity one Krsna. As many living entities are there, there are that many Krsnas. He is there in the courtyard of every heart – waiting for us to look away from sense enjoyment and turn towards him. brahmäëòa bhramite kona bhägyavän jéva, guru-kåñëa-prasäde päya bhakti-latä-béja– that is the arrangement of the Lord. That is the choice of the Lord – He keeps observing who is who and then some living entities have reached the end of their time – they desire to go back to Him or are fried with the material world. Guru Krsna kripa paye….then the Guru Tattva made by the Lord comes into the picture - and he is also a person and on behalf of the Lord, those who are bhagyavan – bahut sukrit jiva – manuna Vitthal avadi. If he becomes warkari, or knowingly or unknowingly, if he comes into the association of devotees, and then he assimilates those qualities – then they desire to achieve Godhead, and such a person – Guru Krsna kripa paye – adau shraddha….by the mercy of the Guru, who teaches the path of devotion.
Guru is , not independent, but acts on behalf of the Lord…as Srila Prabhupada said “Krsna says “mam ekam sharanam”…..so the Guru says surrender to Krsna. So the message is the same”. However, nowadays swamis become Narayan themselves, then the tattva is different. They are asked sometimes – their disciples – this swami used to come so regularly to the temple, but we do not see him at all now-a-days. Why so? And they reply, “ Since he has realized that he himself is God, he has stopped coming to the temple – he has realized that he is God – Narayan – aham brahmasmi. Then the bewilderment starts…then he stops being the representative of God and therefore he does not remain in Guru Tattva, and thus there is no Vyasa Puja also. This is the arrangement of the Lord…there is satsang, dharma.
Dharma is the arrangement of the Lord…it is not the result of household activity…some people get together and decide what is dharma. They pass resolution…we shall drive on the right, and they do so, but they get caught by the police, who state that their laws are to be kept at home, but outside it is the law of the state. The main dharma is dharman tu saksad bhagavad pranitam…this is what the guru teaches, by means of personal example. They become devotees themselves and show how devotional service is to be performed, and in this manner make more devotees. He has to take all his disciples back to Godhead! This is some kind of contract. (chorus of Hari bol!)
Now don’t become a parent, friend, guru etc unless you can save the person from death, or from the repeated cycle of birth and death. So you can’t become a friend, a Guru if you cannot deliver them from birth and death. Hare Krsna.
So the Lord becomes Guru Himself…he teaches Brahma himself…adi kavaye. We come in this parampara…Srila Prabhupada’s parampara - Brahma Madhva Gaudiya sampradya - in which Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself also appeared. 500 years ago, God appeared and acted in the manner of a guru – all acts of a guru were carried out by Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. He inaugurated the chanting of the Holy names, and delivered the yuga dharma.
Krsna lived in a few places only like Vrndavan. He also came here in Pandharpur….Krsna became Vitthal or Panduranga here. The same Krsna from Vrndavan, the cowherd Gopal, they all walk and the dust creates a cloud. This dust then settles down on earth again, and some of it settles on Krsna’s peacock feathers, his features etc and thus He looks whitish – yellowish. That is the colour of the Vrndavan dust, and this increases the beauty of Krsna and He is known in this form as Panduranga. Krsna went only here, Kaundiyapur, Hastinapur, Prag Jyotishpur in Assam – there may be hardly 50 places where Krsna went, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu travelled all over right down to small towns and streets , and all He requested was for everyone to take Krsna’s name. When He ordered Haridas Thakur and Nityanand Mahaprabhu to travel all over to preach, He Himself also went. Nityanand Mahaprabhu preferred to be with Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu made him the founder acarya of the West Bengal parampara.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself went to Kerala, Orrisa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, He also came to Pandharpur…He taught the dharma for Kali Yuga – congregational chanting – very musical rendering of the Holy Names.
So Vitthal Bhagavan, Panduranga appeared 5000 years ago, and the same Krsna reappeared 500 years ago- so the latest God is Gauranga Mahaprabhu. So in this way, the same Krsna, there is no difference – one is Gaura Sundar and the other is Shyam Sundar. He inaugurated this yuga dharma. So the Gurus have only this work in parampara – the preaching that is there, should be of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s teacings in this Kali Yuga. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, so in that parampara, it is for every living entity in this world. There will be a time when there will be only one parampara in the world…in some years, maybe 10, 100, 1000s of years – what will happen? Sarvatra – everywhere there shall be only this preaching of the sankirtan. This is not a matter of winning or losing, but param vijayate Sri Krsna Sankirtan.
So now when I see this arrangement….points to the samadhis on stage…..one is Rupa Goswami’s Samadhi and the other is Bhajan Kutir…this sight is of Vrndavan, of Radha Damodar mandir. When I was Bhakta Raghunath – you have seen my family – my parents are no longer there. On 5th July, 1949 I was born – it was a Tuesday – (Agreed by his eldest brother.) Ram was also born on Tuesday, and therefore my name was kept as Raghunath. Raghunath Das, so when I was Bhakta Raghunath, when I went to Vrndavan, and saw Radha Damodar mandir for the 1st time, I saw Srila Prabhupada in the courtyard, (and Laxmi explained what was my 1st lesson). I used to shake my legs when listening and this caught the attention of Srila Prabhupada. I was wondering why he was looking at me…his camera would stop every time he saw me, and the he said “Stop IT!”. So I stopped, and it has remained stopped since then except when I recount this as a demonstration. So Srila Prabhupada accepted this das, and it was during Kartick. So I was with Srila Prabhupada for a full month. He would give pravacans every morning and evening. He would sit between the two kutirs, and mornings would be Nectar of Devotion and Srimad Bhagavatam in the evening. There I got the chance of serving. My life got a new direction, I was on the lookout for something, and the Lord brought me to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, my education was going on in Sangli - in Shivaji university. But I thought that if I become a Bombay university graduate, that would be good. That’s’ how I came to Bombay. There I saw the banners and posters of Srila Prabhupada’s pravacans, and I went. As I heard more and more I became Srila Prabhupada’s, and my chemistry books underwent visarjan in the sea, gutters and God knows where else.
So I went from Sangli to Bombay to study, but the Lord had some other plans…if I had remained in Sangli I would not have met Srila Prabhupada, who was in Bombay then. So the Lord brought me to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. So during kartik, I went to Vrndavan and my initiation took place between the two kutirs, and from Bhakta Raghunath I became Lokanath das. Chant 16 rounds was the order, and I have been following. So this sight (on stage) has taken me back to those days. So I met SP in 71, so this is the 40th anniversary, and in this way, and in that year itself, we met in April and in June he was to go to Moscow…those were different days, of communists, superpowers. So it was big news that an Indian swami was going there, so when everyone heard that Srila Prabhupada is going to Moscow, there was loud applause. Srila Prabhupada ki jaye!
So now Srila Prabhupada when he was in our midst he was travelling all over the world – all of you know his story. He went all alone in 65 to preach Bhagavad dharma, and those kirtans that only took place in India – he wished these kirtans to resonate in New York. Now we have so many mikes etc, but Srila Prabhupada sat on the footpath and he did not even have a hand mike. He would play the kartalas and preach there itself. Then he took a small place on rent, and those who he met on the streets would come there twice a week. They did not know the basics of spirituality and would come with their girlfriends and bottles of wine in their hands. SP would cook prasdam for them, preach to them, and teach them the swami step. Then he would seat them down and personally serve them halava puri which they had never eaten before. They would eat and leave, and SP would wash the dishes etc after them. I was hearing yesterday, that devotees of the Lord can go anywhere to preach. Srila Prabhupada also said that Bowery was worse than hell. So he was alone in 65 and after 10-12 yrs, when he reentered the eternal lilas of the Lord, he had already preached all over the world. The astrological prediction when he was born was that he would establish more than 100 temples, and he established more than 108.He was instructed by his guru to preach in English, and this he did to the full satisfaction of his guru. Temples, goshalas etc were established. The gobhakhalks became gorakshaks – and they became human beings. Those who were ridiculed by society were those who were nurtured by Srila Prabhupada.
This was the prediction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu – sarvatra pracar – and this was done by Srila Prabhupada, and is being continued by ISKCON – dharma samstharpa…….the saints carry forward the message of the Lord. As I was explaining to the Chief Minister, the raja must protect dharma, and In this way protect the citizens. That is what the ISKCON movement is doing throughout the world. Todays target is distribution of 16000 BG of which 7k has already been completed. The dindis also – from Dehu and Alandi – kirtans started from the respective places and continued till Pandharpur. Also from Kaundinpur. Also Prasad is being distributed today. So Srila Prabhupaada will also be happy seeing all this.
There are many vacant places in Vaikuntha…your place can only be occupied by you. That is the desire of the Lord…that we regain our original identities. Like Tukaram Maharaj’s Vaikunth agaman. In this Pandharpur dham, ISKCON has manifested here, and as we were planning significant expansion, there was an initiative by the authorities to provide facilities for the devotees….you should not come here as a tourist. So there are many proposals in the offing. So from Vishnupath – nearly 1.5 kms away, right till the bridge here – there shall be a ghat on both banks. So they approached ISKCON and now Braj Hari prabhu informs us that a committee has been formed under whom this project will be undertaken.
So we are eternally indebted to Srila Prabhupada – without him I don’t know where we would all be. Today we have assembled here in Pandharpur, and are discussing about returning to Godhead. So in his memory, we have proposed the name as Srila Prabhupada ghat. Is the name ok? (Haribol) So this is a big project, and we are offering this as a service to Srila Prabhupada. So today during brahma murth, the bhoomi pujan also took place. Some of you may have been asleep or on the way, but do you think this is a good plan? So we all have to contribute towards the success of this project. How many are willing to do so? In this way, we keep getting opportunity for service…many have already served in the past. So this is a good pious activity, and we must utilize our laxmi in the proper way by supporting such projects. This is also a dharmic activity as it would facilitate the devotees….the same place where Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Tukaram , Sankaracarya and so many other acaryas have bathed in the holy waters of Chandrabhaga.
SP ki jaya, VR ki jaya! Gaura Premanada Hari Bol!