12 April 2020

Aim of our life is not to get free from lockdown, but from Maya.

Welcome to all of you. I’m also pleased to see all of you chanting from various places. We can see all the devotees on one screen after another. I’m also seeing you all, but you also would be seeing others. You will be experiencing that 1500 to 2000 devotees are chanting from 784 locations. This is very pleasing. This is very enlivening and inspirational news. When the Lord sees that all these devotees are chanting from these many locations and are having friendly dealings amongst each other then the Lord appears.

The same happened in the case of the Pracetās. They were 11 brothers. You all are also brothers and sisters. We are all Prabhupada’s family. They were also engaged in sadhana and absorbed in it. They were suhrd and friendly with each other.

suhrd sarva bhutanam

Suhrd means those who are good-hearted, and who love others and have a friendly nature. Seeing these friendly dealings between the Pracetas Vaikuntheshwar gave them darsana. And while giving the darsana the Lord said to them, ‘By seeing your suhrd (brotherly affection) and your absorption in sadhana, I’m giving you darsana.’

nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe
yogināṁ hṛdayeṣu vā
tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada
yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ

“My dear Nārada, actually I do not reside in My abode, Vaikuṇṭha, nor do I reside within the hearts of the yogīs, but I reside in that place where My pure devotees chant My holy name and discuss My form, pastimes, and qualities.”

Wherever my devotees are chanting, there I always reside. I might not be found in the hearts of yogis, in Vaikuntha, but wherever My devotees sing My glories there I can be found.

mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā
bodhayantaḥ parasparam
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.[ BG 10.9]

‘Wherever devotees get pleasure by getting absorbed in singing My glories at those places I stay, Oh Narada.’ So we chant together. Chanting together has the benefit that Maya can’t capture us. If we are alone she can capture us, but if we are together Visnu Maya runs away. Keep on doing kirtana and Japa on Zoom Conference. You can make your teams. You can do this in your family. The family that prays together stays together. Hare Krishna is a prayer and the effect will be that the family will stay together.

You have posted many reports in the morning. Revati Raman Prabhu from ISKCON Thane has written that they are distributing 22000 plates of prasada. The municipality is supplying the groceries. Devotees are cooking and distributing prasada packets. Solapur also distributed 1500 prasada packets. Prem Padmani chanted 64 rounds. Some devotee chanted 26 rounds, and a devotee from Gurgaon chanted 32 rounds. Kirtana is also happening every day at 5:00 p.m. Govardhan Prabhu from Delhi is doing kirtana daily. I had a zoom conference meeting with my disciples from New Jersey, America. They said that they are performing kirtana at 5 pm. It is spreading worldwide. We have taken a vow of doing Akhanda Harinam Sankirtan Yajna. Continue it daily at 5:00 p.m. Some of you are reporting that you are doing 1hour kirtana. It is welcomed – the more, the merrier. Kathas are also going on. Many ISKCON kathakars are giving kathas. I am also doing Katha. Marathi Katha is going on at 10 am. Take benefit of this. From 5.30pm to 6:30 pm we have Srimad Bhagavatam Katha in English. Many of you know English or mleccha Bhasha, language. Basu Ghosh Prabhu, the temple president of ISKCON Baroda says that English is mleccha Bhasha. For Hindi devotees, there is Katha at 8 pm. In this way there are morning sessions, then Marathi, English and Hindi Katha. Many of you reported and praised the sweetness of the Kathas. This is the mercy of Krsna. The whole world is caught is a situation where everything is down. Nothing is up. We are conditioned souls, but Hare Krishna devotees don’t want to be locked down. Our houses have become prisons. You all have been put under house arrest. We all want to get free. We just don’t have to become free from this lockdown, we have to get free from the lockdown of Maya.

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate

The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.[ BG 3.27]

The Lord is telling us how foolish lie are to think that now we are free. We can do anything and everything we like. This is not the case. We’re bound and shackled. We are bound by the three modes of material nature – sattva, raja and tama. These three modes have also been described as ropes. We have been bound by three ropes. We, the bewildered living entities are bound up.

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te

This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it. [ BG 7.14]

The Lord always speaks the truth and cares for our welfare. We are all bound by the 3 modes. To get free from these 3 modes on your own is not easy. We need help to get rid of three modes. Lord has further said that if you come to My shelter, it will save from Maya. He is saying mām eva. Carefully hear every word. ‘Those who come to My shelter will be saved from Maya.’ Those who take shelter of other demigods have been described as less intelligent. Don’t think that once locked down is over we become free. Don’t think that once lockdown is over our offices and business will reopen and we will become free. No, we are never rid of this lockdown. We will still remain locked within the three modes and dance like puppets to it. The Puppeteer is never seen, but He controls all the puppets. They are not independent.

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sa-carācaram
hetunānena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.[ BG 9.10]

The Lord has said, ‘I’m the puppeteer of this nature of the three modes.’ This nature is making us dance. We need to understand this. We need to get free from the 3 modes. If we take shelter of the Lord then we will become free. The aim of our life is not to get free from this lockdown, but from Maya. We have to transcend the 3 modes and get to pure goodness. This is Krishna Consciousness. The lockdown in India has been extended to 30 April. Take this lockdown as a blessing. All Gaudiya Vaisnavas, ISKCON followers, Prabhupadanugas should take full advantage of it. Make the best use of this bad bargain. The sadhana which you have been doing for 3 months is a little different from your so-called normal life. This is a welcome development. We are being forced to do sadhana and also share it with others. So continue. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Make a plan for the next 2 weeks. You are doing good sadhana. Keep it up.

Hare Krishna

11 April 2020

Devotion means Devotional Service

vande śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-
nityānandau sahoditau
gauḍodaye puṣpavantau
citrau śan-dau tamo-nudau

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauḍa to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.” This material world is a dark well of ignorance. The fallen soul in this dark well must take shelter of the lotus feet of Gaura-Nitāi, for thus he can easily emerge from material existence. Without Their strength, simply attempting to get out of the clutches of matter by speculative knowledge will be insufficient.[CC Adi 1.2]

Mohanrupa Prabhu from Pandharpur is doing Rama Katha. Shyamalangi Mataji is teaching Bhagavad-Gita to new devotees. Prasada distribution is taking place in Solapur. Someone is saying that they are chanting 108 or 25 rounds. We are getting reports of kirtana, which is happening daily from 5:00 pm to 5:15 pm. I’m unable to read all the reports. Welcome to all of you. Chanting is taking place at 780 locations.

Devotees from Australia chant every Saturday. But now all days are Sundays. 7 days are Sundays. So it is a possibility that devotees from Australia are chanting daily. It might be that 1000 or 2000 devotees are chanting together. We are getting such association and also their best wishes. Thank you to all of you for such association.

I said a pranam mantra at the beginning. I offer my obeisances to Gauranga Mahaprabhu and to Nityananda Prabhu who has also risen along with Him. One is the Sun and another is the Moon. They are incredible, amazing, and wonderful and They give us peace and vanquish darkness. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Their lotus feet again and again. If we have to offer obeisances then we have to fix Their forms within our hearts and remember Their pastimes. Gaur-Nityananda always stays together, as Krsna-Balarama or Rama-Laksman always stayed together. If we visualise them, then we can offer our prayers. Our prayer is not impersonal like that of our Muslim brothers. They read the Namaz, but they don’t know to whom they are praying. They don’t know about the forms of the Lord or they don’t believe it. This is Mayavada. Mostly many religions preach impersonalism. It includes Hindus also.

jīvera nistāra lāgi’ sūtra kaila vyāsa
māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa

“Śrīla Vyāsadeva presented Vedānta philosophy for the deliverance of conditioned souls, but if one hears the commentary of Śaṅkarācārya, everything is spoiled. [ CC Madhya 6.169]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu has asked us to be cautious with Mayavadis. Be cautious of the commentary of Śaṅkarācārya such as ahaṁ brahmāsmi ( I am Brahman). If we want to offer obeisances and greet, then there should be the form of the Lord.

vande śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-
nityānandau sahoditau
gauḍodaye puṣpavantau
citrau śandau tamo-nudau

Gaur-Nityananda appeared in the Gauda region. We see the pictures of Their appearance and pastimes. As we hear Their pastimes, audio turns into the video.

Once upon a time Gaur-Nityananda were roaming and were looking at nature and appreciating the birds, their chirping and pleasant air. They were happy to see that. It was very attractive to Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Gauranga Prabhu was saying this to Nityananda Prabhu. When Brahma got to know that the creation made by him is being appreciated, he descended from Brahmaloka. He descended at vayu mandala where Gaura Nityananda were sitting on the swan. Other demigods also came.

One thing to be mentioned is that Navadvipa and other dhamas such as Vrindavana, Ayodhya, and Dvaraka were not created by Brahma. They are eternal. They are not created. All were looking at Gaura Nitai seeing this creation outside Navadvipa Mandala. This creation may be situated on the outskirts of Navadvipa. There is Gaura Mandala which is bigger than Navadvipa Mandala. When Brahma and others were looking to Gaur Nityananda, they were getting the experience that two moons had appeared. They could not understand whether they were in heaven or on earth. They were thinking that if they are in heaven, then there is only one moon. How come two moons are there. Such illusions were created by the Lord in the mind of Brahma and other demigods.

sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas. [BG 15.15]

The Lord says I am seated in everyone’s heart. Even in the hearts of demigods, I am seated. Had you ever thought of this? He gives us remembrance and He makes us forget and puts us in illusion. Yes, indeed He has put everyone in illusion. In that pastime by looking at Gaur Nityananda, Lord Brahma and others were saying that there are two moons. They were thinking that they are in Heaven. Some were saying that the one is the Sun and another is the Moon. In this pranam mantra puṣpavantau means one is the sun and another is the moon. Somewhere They are mentioned as Caitanya Chandra or Nitai Chand.

bahu-koti chandra jini’ vadana ujjvala
gala-deshe bana-mala kore jhalamala

The brilliance of Lord Chaitanya’s face conquers millions upon millions of moons, and the garland of forest flowers around His neck shines.[ Gaur Arati verse 6]

We sing in Gaura Arati – look at Their lotus faces. How brilliant and radiant it is, which is equal to the radiance millions of moon.

nitai-pada-kamala koti-chandra-susitala
ye chayaya jagata judaya
hena nitai bine bhai radha-krsna paite nai
drdha kari’ dhara nitaira paya

Nitai’s lotus feet are cooling like ten million moons: their shade soothes the whole world. O brother! It is not possible to reach Radha-Krsna without Nitai, so firmly clasp Nitai’s feet![ Nitai Pada Kamala song verse 1 by Narottama Dasa Thakura]

It’s also said that the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu are as radiant as the Lotus face of Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Many millions of moons are rising from the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu. One who is receiving the rays from these feet can experience a very soothing effect.

This is the story of that day when Gaura Nitai reached an ashram while roaming. They offered obeisances to the sannyasi of that ashram. As They sat down this sannyasi started to give benedictions for a long, happy life, to become wealthy, to get good progeny and wives. Such blessings have been described in Caitanya Bhagavat. They said that all these benedictions are temporary. All the achievements in this life are because of previous karma. All this is very fragile, just like a drop on a lotus petal. Please give Us blessings regarding Bhakti that We may get Krsna Prema and bhakti. This is the pastime played by Them. Nothing is beyond Their control. They went and then they commented on the blessings They received to teach the whole world what kind of blessings should be received? Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave blessings that…

‘namo nārāyaṇāya’ bali’ namaskāra kaila
‘kṛṣṇe matir astu’ bali’ gosāñi kahila

Offering his obeisances to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya said, “Namo nārāyaṇāya” [“I offer my obeisances to Nārāyaṇa”].” In return, Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Kṛṣṇe matir astu” [“Let your attention be on Kṛṣṇa”].”[CC Madhya 6.48]

krsne matir astu. May your consciousness get absorbed in Krsna! May your mind, body and home get engaged in service of the Lord! Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also gave the same blessings. These thoughts have been mentioned in Siksastakam by Caitanya Mahaprabhu

na dhanaḿ na janaḿ na sundarīḿ
kavitāḿ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
mama janmani janmanīśvare
bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi

O, almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth. [Sri Siksastakam verse 4]

I don’t want to enjoy wealth, beautiful woman, liberation. I don’t want name, fame and glory. It’s good that you don’t want Bhukti, then at least receive mukti.

Bhakti does not only mean devotion. Srila Prabhupada says Bhakti means devotional service, not only devotion.

atram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit a water, I will accept it.[ BG 9.26]

So with devotion, there is devotional service.

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam

O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.[ BG 9.27]

Every activity should be done with devotion. There should be devotion and service. Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is teaching us from His pastimes what kind of blessing we should wish for. In this way, Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches us the various lessons from His acaran and pastimes. This is food for thought.

Have a good day. Remain busy 24 hours a day in the service of the Lord. Our goal is to be engaged in the service of the Lord in every situation. As the lockdown is there, take full benefit of all the facilities.

Nitai Gaur Premanande
Hari Haribol

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=84377

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