L ive from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir!
Date: February 20, 2004
Verse: Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.32
Speaker: HH Bhakti-tirtha Swami
atah param yad avyaktam avyudha-guna-brmhitam adrstasruta-vastutvat sa jivo yat punar-bhavah
Beyond this gross conception of form is another, subtle conception of form which is without formal shape and is unseen, unheard and unmanifest. The living being has his form beyond this subtlety, otherwise he could not have repeated births.
As the gross cosmic manifestation is conceived as the gigantic body of the Lord, so also there is the conception of His subtle form, which is simply realized without being seen, heard or manifested. But in fact all these gross or subtle conceptions of the body are in relation with the living beings. The living being has his spiritual form beyond this gross material or subtle psychic existence. The gross body and psychic functions cease to act as soon as the living being leaves the visible gross body. In fact, we say that the living being has gone away because he is unseen and unheard. Even when the gross body is not acting when the living being is in sound sleep, we know that he is within the body by his breathing. So the living being’s passing away from the body does not mean that there is no existence of the living soul. It is there, otherwise how can he repeat his births again and again?
The conclusion is that the Lord is eternally existent in His transcendental form, which is neither gross nor subtle like that of the living being; His body is never to be compared to the gross and subtle bodies of the living being. All such conceptions of God’s body are imaginary. The living being has his eternal spiritual form, which is conditioned only by his material contamination.
HH Bhakti-Thirtha Swami:
So we’ve been focussing a lot on form, particularly as we have been praying for the Lord to manifest in this awesome form along with His eternal associates. And we have been hearing:
ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge
That this special form, summum bonum, it is not an ordinary form. It is not just virata-rupa. Krsna in His highest expression, Radha-Madhava, not even plenary expansions, and in comparison of course to our bodies, for our bodies are full of tendencies for illusion, cheating, making mistakes, etc. And we are bombared by adhyatmik, adhidaivik, adhibhautik, etc. So it’s not a wonderful picture. But we realize that really we also are far beyond what normally is taking place with what is going on in this material arrangement where we are practically trying to constantly master the world full of limitations.
And so Srila Prabhupada–I think Badrinarayana mentioned it in class–how Prabhupada said he had a disease. Somebody remember that? And that the disease was that he could not think small.
So Prabhupada was not just giving us an ordinary religion, trying to accept dharma, ? ? ? they see ? we have a lot of trouble with that, they do adharma, upa-dharma, chala-dharma, etc. But he was giving us the most expedient, practical, careful way how to process sananata-dharma. Srila Prabhupada has said how he wanted to have Lord Caitanya, the Pancatattva in life-size forms. Something very significant there. When we hear about a great person, we think about some things: the nama, the name of this person; the rupa, how is the individual appearing, what is his form; the guna, what are the qualities associated with that particular form; and most important, what goes on, what’s the lila? And the greater that individual is, the more animated and the more exciting it is as we hear about these things.
And the greater the person is, the greater legacy they leave even after they are gone, the greater effect they have when they are present and they make(?) an impact which permeates. Prabhupada not thinking small means that we also following him are never to think small. Jai, jai, Sri Sri Radha Madhava ki jai!
Because the big danger of thinking small means that we were not fully accepting Krsna’s power and supreme dominion over all things. We may think small of our own limitations, but not small in terms of what Krsna can do and will do if we allow Him to use us and to work through us.
So there were so many devotees here during the ceremony, and still so many devotees are around, the temple is still practically full, with thousands of devotees on parikrama. And I think, I hope we will all leave here actually transformed. That by the time all of us leave here we should really be a different person than when we came to visit this Dhama. Because the Dhama obviously is the place where there’s magnified chance to advance, magnified chance to have qualities, association, magnified chance to think and to really become more integrally a part of the unfolding lilas of the great acarya, acaryavan puruso veda. . . know the acaryas and understand better what is what.
What a wonderful chance to identify with what wonderful arrangements Srila Prabhupada has made not only for this world but for us specifically. I feel that practically every devotee will go away with a certain realization. If you don’t it means you worked very hard to block them. There were so many devotees who came, who in many cases we hadn’t seen for years and years, more devotees than ever before in the history of our gathering, and we had chance to welcome the Lord in such a GRAND way.
I was having ? and I’ll share with you the realizations. My first realization was just appreciation. I was thinking, ‘Yes, this is why we have joined this movement. How exciting, what we have, what has come before us. How wonderful an opportunity that we have got somehow a chance to be a part of this great unfoldment on this planet at this time.
Second, I was feeling a symptom of overwhelming protection. Appreciation of how Prabhupada, almost surreptitiously, came to this universe, gave us something, did what he had to do and left, and now practically year after year we’re in more awe realizing, ‘Wow, this is amazing what Krsna consciousness is’. Because every year each of us, we should be accelerating, growing beyond the previous year. And if not, we’re cheated. Because the process is not stagnant. And if it doesn’t go ??? in the installation ???, unless somehow there are aparadhas and offences, and there’s illusion that we are incorporating and imbibing.
If we are not having special appreciation, our advancement will be slow, slow track. Even though we have all kinds of challenges, all kind of problems, all kind of issues, bodily, political, sociological, institutional. . . Haribol, that’s natural. We are trying to be spiritual while we are surrounded in a world that’s based on how to forget Krsna quickly. So one has to put extra effort to not be caught up in the general waves or current. And we’ve been given all that’s necessary by the acaryas. So if we are not completely appreciative it is like we’re saying ‘Hey, Krsna, You are too slow in dealing with me, You are not fair when it comes to my family, to my family, my situation. You are supposed to be bhakta-vatsala the most merciful to the devotees but somehow you have missed me. Or maybe you are not fully in control of all things. Or maybe Your representatives have not given everything’.
Lack of appreciation, it is said(?) so many negative things. . . ? Would you be eager to give someone something. . . you gave them something once and now you saw that they did not appreciate it? Or you’ve given, you’ve provided, they appreciate and you feel excited, so next time that you can try to offer more. If someone does not use properly what they have, will you be excited to give them something more? If you are the managing director of a big organization, a big firm, and if someone is not using what they have proper, they’re not creating sufficient teamship, they’re not being sufficiently mindful, or maybe they were sabotaging, you will starting taking away. So the science is very exacting. And Krsna has promised, as we surrender, He awards. And that we can’t be cheating on. The Lord is in everyone’s heart:
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
He is observing. There’s really no such thing as cheating in Krsna consciousness because any time you cheat, it means you’re just asking, yourself to be cheated, or you’re cheating yourself.
Second I was thinking of protection, last I was thinking of invitation. Let me explain that. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is standing there with HUGE arms. Isn’t it wonderful? It’s just like He is overseeing the universe, which of course He is, the universe is His. And He’s putting this sense of great protection of our ISKCON institution and how it is connected with these great great devotees: Sanatana Goswami, Jiva Goswami, Madhavendra Puri, on and on.
And then His blessings. ? ? ? protection, how Advaita and Srivasa are like standing as guards, merciful guards, giving out benediction but also in that mood of protection in a loving way. And how Gadadhara and Lord Nityananda are like inviting, they’re saying, ‘We love you, come now, come now, come quicker, come now and enter into this wonderful eternal festival of repeated romance, love and service’.
I was feeling quite overwhelmed as all of us were at what has taken place. But now I want to share a few concerns.
Prabhupada wanted life-size Deities. It’s like a message to us. He wants the real deal, he wants us to become more real, he wants us to understand the greater realities of what we are associated with. Now we say installation, that we are inviting Krsna to appear. But what does that mean? Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda, Gadadhara, Srivasa, Advaita they were already here. So what are we really talking about, reflecting on? ? Coming from all over the world and yet we spent millions of dollars, just yourself, all of us, just on transportation alone. What is this waiting and accommodating the Lord’s appearance? He was already on the altar. We already had the Pancatattva, isn’t it. So what do we mean, appear?
If you think about it, what we are really addressing is inviting ourselves to receive the Lord and upgrade ourselves in a bigger way. Because Krsna is everywhere. It’s not impersonal but we know that Krsna is everywhere. So we bring the Deities, whatever form of Deity, and now we go on in daily regimented worship, where we’re really doing, is we are trying to upgrade our own service and care and attention and realization that Krsna is Supreme. And so when we are inviting the Lord in a grand way. . . just like if you’re inviting a great person, it means preparation, and what to say if you’re inviting him to stay. It means now there are certain things about ourselves that have to adjust, that have to change, to be able to ongoing care for, serve, and facilitate the person or persons who we have invited.
So part of my last realization, part of the third, was like a door had widened. I was getting a reflection like a door that is already opened, had widened, that this festival has widened the door for us to rush back faster, a door that is to facilitate us that it is more able to accommodate ourselves and the living entities to be able to catch up and accept that krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. And that that same Krsna who has now appeared in the bhava of Srimati Radharani to be like a bounty hunter or engaging in loving pastimes with His associates in reclaiming souls and planting seeds so that some come now and others will come in the near future.
So that means every one of us, every ISKCON devotee in the world now must upgrade ourself, because we have invited Krsna in a bigger way which means we are ready to widen our own involvement with depth, profundity, to receive the great gift that we have begged and prayed in a very powerful and aggregate way to appear.
We say ‘pasyann api na pasyati’, to see and not see. That one who is not eager to know or serve the Lord can have so much availability or opportunity to do such and miss it. The atheists, the materialists, impersonalists, even when they gaze upon the darsana of the Lord, they do not really see. They do not understand it. Krsna manifested in this special form and what it means. Sometimes we’re thinking, what Gour Govinda Maharaja has mentioned about the drasta versus the drsta. That we have the darsana, we’re coming to see. Not really. What we’re really doing, we’re presenting ourselves, we are the drsta. Yes, we come for the different times, ? chant before the Lord, dress the Lord, look at the wonderful clothes, but really greater than our trying to see, because what do we really see? Are we seeing Krsna dancing, playing the flute? What is really happening more is the Lord is looking at us. Now think about that for a minute. So that means Krsna has appeared in a bigger way to also look out at us.
When we are presenting ourselves, ???? in humility but sometimes it is not in accord in our actions. The Lord is seeing, ‘Oh, you are coming before Me in reverence, with obeisances, but what were you doing two hours ago? You’re coming and you’re offering full dandavats, but what was going on last evening? You are offering great songs and prayers, but an hour after you leave Me, what will be your consciousness, your activities?’ So we also must remind ourselves that the Lord seeing us. . . He is not just seeing when we’re in the temple, but He is always seeing, because He is always with us, and He is always taking notes. Therefore again the focus of the installation is to remind us more that this wonderful Lord, whom everything is resting upon, is trying to arrange to for us to come forth in a bigger way, to receive more of His blessings.
Jayapataka Maharaja, on the second day after the curtains had closed and we put the Pancatattva to rest, so myself, him and some of the pujaris we brought out the small Deities and of course put them in the their beds. And Maharaja mentioned how each day more of the Pancattattva manifest. And I was thinking ‘Yes, and each day more of our own readiness for receiving, awareness and cognizance for the Lord to appear in this big way also is manifest’. So it is quite concomitant.
The Deity is an amazing way to create more authentic community, more pure sanga. Association is most important, so we want important, quality association. The more that every single project, that each individual devotee thinks how they are the servant of the Deity, the more the services create synergy. That means whether you’re washing the dishes, whether you’re sweeping the floor, or whether you are doing sankirtana or dressing or feeding the Deity, the more that the community can be mindful that we are the servants of the Deity and so that with quality so that one does his or her work in such a way that it encourages others also to do their quality service for the Deity. It is not theoretical because the whole of Krsna consciousness, in one sense can be simplified as ‘community in practice for being able to go back and associate in sanatana, eternal community’.
And one of the most prominent, dominant, categorical aspects of that is the arca-vigraha. Just notice how much, in so many temples, Krsna just demands the time and the minds of the devotees as they have to focus around Deity worship: ‘Time for me to do the Deity worship. Now I must go and shower. I must eat later because I have to go on the altar. I must make sure I come back on time.’ So much is focussed around such because the Deity is what, is our greatest connection with the spiritual kingdom. It is one of the greatest ways of looking at what goes on, everything centred on Krsna. And it takes healthy teamship for this to happen.
Some years ago, about 2.5 years ago I was on a 35 country world tour, and I wanted to go to Bali, I’d never been. I was thinking also of a few centres I’d never went to. And even as a child I was always excited about festival and culture and things like that. And Bali is a very cultural place. How many devotees have been there before, to Bali?
So you see how people are going to the temples all the time carrying things for the Deity, and there’s huge statues of Arjuna and the Pandavas, really as big as buildings. And they have amazing temples. And so some of the devotees asked me if I wanted to go to some of the famous temples there. And for me this was my spiritual sense gratification, ‘Yes, yes, yes. I want to taste the local food, I want to go to the big temples, and I want to see some of the krsna-lila dramas’. So we drove a while and then we had to track quite a distance up the hill, had to pay something, and we went to different levels. It was very exotic.
And then we got to the main hall, main temple, it was a total down. There was no Deity! And so we realized what is all this gorgeous building so ornate, so amazing, so difficult to get to and then when you get there there is no Deity. For us, without the Deity, it will just become a mundane culture, mundane religion. It’s not transcendent.
So we have these Deities, what Prabhupada left. We see how he installed many Deities in so many places all around the world. We see how he was so concerned that we give proper care, proper service, proper maintenance and protection and do not engage in some unhealthy changes or minimization. And so he was arranging or inviting, but actually inviting us to upgrade ourselves so that we could become more mindful of what we are supposed to do. So when we see when Krsna says:
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru
‘Always think of Me’, He arranged through His devotees ways to help us think of Him more. There is an interesting passage here in Bhagavatam, 11.34.41. Lord Krsna is speaking to Uddhava. Krsna says:
‘In My temple, one should also participate in festivals and ceremonies by singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and discussing Me with other Vaisnavas.’
Just see how this is what Prabhupada has given us, this is what has been going on these few days.
‘One should observe all the regularly celebrated annual festivals by attending ceremonies, pilgrimages and making offerings. One should also observe religious vows such as Ekadasi and take initiation by the procedures mentioned in the Vedas, Pancaratra and other, similar literatures. One should faithfully and lovingly support the installation of My Deity [Krsna says lovingly, faithfully], and individually or in cooperation with others one should work for the construction of Krsna conscious temples and cities as well as flower gardens, fruit gardens and special areas to celebrate My pastimes.’
So again Prabhupada is not thinking small. It is in accord with what Krsna Himelf is saying. Krsna didn’t say ‘Always think of Me and be in isolation’. Krsna says ‘Those who worship Me in love and devotion. . .
tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te
Those who worship Me constantly with love and devotion, I will personally do something, I will give them, I will facilitate them, I will give them the knowledge how to come unto Me.’
So here we see how Krsna is saying establishing cities. That we know our movement started with a few devotees, a few little bhajans, a little harinam, distributing a few books, getting some place to give some classes, then establishing a preaching centre, temples, farms, communities. . . but Krsna is saying here about cities. And so we see Prabhupada’s vision was ISKCON is a cultural society for re-spiritualizing the whole world.
We have to get off this small-minded reflection of just thinking sometimes only about our little problem. And we think about these little problems, and that’s where we get boxed in and the little problems become big problems and we don’t move out of a kind of box. And it means that we minimize what the Pancatattva is giving us. And how we are being invited by Gadadhara and by Lord Nityananda Himself. So we don’t want to be in that category of ‘pasyann api na pasyati’. We don’t want to be those who minimize the presence of the Deities.
A couple of weeks ago I was in New Zealand. And the devotees just built this wonderful temple, they finalised it, it is like the whole project, the whole yatra has just kind of taken off to another level, transformed. And they have made a wonderful arrangement for accommodating the Deities. Now some of us were saying, the old temple that had the Deities, now the Deities are gone, it’s just really like an abandoned building now. Even though it’s the same building, because the Deity is not there, it’s a total different situation.
Sometimes I like to mention how our temples are like embassies in the material world. We travelled to come here, and many of us had to get a visa. And it’s a feature of travelling, so many places you go with that passport or some type of travelling documents. So the embassy arranges for you to have authorized rights of passage. The embassy is not an ordinary building even though it’s in a certain street. Those who work in the embassy have certain diplomatic immunity sometimes, autonomy. And so that little building can determine whether or not you can go to that huge country. Some people couldn’t get a visa to come here, so that little building with a few attendents checks one from being able to experience this wonderful pilgrimage.
So what we are doing in our embassies, in our temples or yatras, is determining how we are genuine or not ? of being able to experience and go back to reside and serve Him? in our home. So is it not also what Srila Prabhupada gave to this world, that he gave to us, by giving us an eternal way, even though he’s gone, how we can go back, by having the Deities, having the temples, where we can prosper, we can integrate our devotion.
Let me share one or two last things. ? Last year I was in Ukraine–and again my spiritual sense gratification–the devotees had told me about a very famous monastery known all over the world. This is very brief. This monastery was a place where a few very special monks had themselves buried in caves alive. . . A group of monks who were so determined to try and meet the Lord in this lifetime, they were so much wanting not to give in to sense gratification, not to be placed into ? orthodoxy, but they just to be in seclusion to chant the names of God. So literally, it was like they were saying, we would like to have slow death as we chant the Lord’s names and ? according to their understanding. So literally they would get cemented in a cave in a cell, like a prison cell. That was so small they could barely stand, there was no light, there was no association. They made a lifetime vow, before entering, or a death vow that they would never talk to anybody again, never to associate, never to come out. So it wasn’t like ‘I made a mistake, I want out of here’, they were stuck, they were within, and they would be brought a little soup, a little bread. And if they got sick or something it didn’t matter. Nobody could come in and they weren’t going out. And so all they had was their rosary and to pray. And I guess the toilet facility they would just pass it out because there was no water facility, no toilet. . . . So it was very unusual, and of course Krsna responds to devotion and was giving these people some special mercy so even many of them after they died, their bodies didn’t deteriorate(?) and people come to them and pray. . . .
Anyway the point about this is I was thinking if sannyasis all had to do like this for renunciation. . . of course I know I would never take sannyasa. [laughter] . . . But I was also thinking how sometimes people overcompensate or ??? thinking how amazing the expedient process that was given to us by our acaryas. That we have wonderful feasts, wonderful festivals, wonderful opportunities to have very powerful association, that we don’t have to be some kind of babaji to the point that we’re more like yogis, doing all kinds of intense tapasya, increasing our big(?) desire to know the Lord. And checking everything else, nothing has any significance more than wanting to know the Lord. This is also the essence of bhakti is that the suddha-bhakta has not a tinge of anything that’s more important than srotavyah ca smartavyas ? more than hearing about the Lord, speaking about the Lord:
mac-citta mad-gata-prana bodhayantah parasparam
Coming together, and our real food is hearing about His amazing nama, rupa, guna, and lila. And not just being in a dark room, dark cave, prison, where we’re just praying and begging and crying and trying to have this big mindfulness? About everything related to the Lord and His service. ??? (unclear section.) So we are very fortunate that we have this opportunity at this time.
So in conclusion, in summary, the verse explains how Krsna’s body is not like our body. How the physical body is there and at death the subtle body goes on to another body unfortunately, if one is not successful or fully graduated. If one is fully graduated there’s no gross body, no subtle body all finished, over. And how we are experiencing adhyatmik, adhibhautik, adhidaivik, all of these difficulties. But there is something higher:
apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param
We do not have to bound by these elements of stagnation. How Prabhupada’s vision was not to just to somehow create a little model for a few people, to give little more interest to dharma, try to be politically correct. Prabhupada’s mission was to help as many people in the most tactful way but to be safe, and to be firm and to be exact. And so we come on pilgrimage and we are now having a chance to experience what we normally read about. Now we have a chance to identify more with being a part of it. And so we’re seeing, how in my case my realization was in terms of protection by Lord Caitanya, of blessings from Him, protection in terms of Advaita and Gadadhara, and being invited by Gadadhara and Lord Nityananda, of greater appreciation that yes, we are part of this wonderful mission on this planet, this universe at this particular time.
We are not really the drastas, the seers. But the darsana is really the Lord seeing us, the Lord monitoring to see are we ready to return? Every time we have darsana we should be thinking that we are being watched to see if we are ready for going back, have we become like the residents of Vrndavana? We’re not going back unless we can become like them because there’s no imperfection in the spiritual world. And so our Deities in our projects in our major centres where we have the Lord in a fixed way, they are fixed, cognizant and surveying what souls are really getting ready? What souls are getting prepared for returning to where they never have to come back to this world unless they come also to invite and to reclaim and to bring entities back.
That the installation is not so much asking Krsna to come because they are already here, especially this time because the Pancatattva were already here. But we are eager to fulfill Prabhupada’s desire of Mahaprabhu and His associates appearing in life-size forms. So it’s a wake up call for everything to become more genuine, more real.
That Jayapataka Maharaja’s comment that each day greater manifestation of the Lord, and yes, that each day greater reception should be there of the devotees, that we have invited and now we have things in motion, fixed, we’re going to invite somebody to just stay. Then we have to see what is necessary to their needs and what you need to shift to accommodate their ongoing presence. Each of us in our own way should look at what things that we need to fix, to put in place, that we have invited the Lord in His most magnanimous form, where He is even more observant because He comes in and around situations? to be with His devotees. So we don’t want to be an embarrassment by inviting and not being prepared. We know how embarrassing it is when somehow some great person comes or great person or associate who is dear to you and you’re not ready for receiving them, and what to say in Krsna’s own case.
And then last we talked about the position of the Deity having His own way if we honour Him(?) of creating authentic communities. So now we must keep the project. . . keep things neat, keep things tidy. We must be able to broadcast nicely if we think this is for the Deity. People will come wanting to see the Deity, people who are already there we want them to be reminded that they are the property of the Deity. And so the cars, the property, the cows–everthing–that we think this is the Deity’s at each one of our temples.
Then the bar of devotion just goes up higher and higher. I am totally convinced that this festival raises the bar of devotion for this institution worldwide. That there is no accident that Mahaprabhu and associates appeared at this time when there is the greatest need for genuine authentic spirituality. See everybody’s religion is now on trial with all the fanatacism and the terrorist things, everybody’s religion is being studied closer. That’s a good opportunity to be able to show and to present and to offer what really is genuine. And what is that? It will be noticed more and more by the people on this planet. Because many people are even questioning God, they are questioning. . . so many religions, so many wars, so many conflicts and these religions are now becoming one of the greatest dangers for global survival, that is people who hijack the religion. That you have devious people everywhere.
And the biggest demons, mind you, are not the gross sinners who just do sinful things for bodily compunction(?). The biggest demons like the Ravanas and the Putanas, they were involved in Vedic culture just to do what? To dismantle and try to attack Krsna and His servants. The biggest demons are those. . . the biggest warriors in warfare are those who do espionage, they enter into an environment and they pretend to be the real deal while they’re empowered for destruction. We have sometimes on our projects people who are empowered for destruction(?). Just like we can become empowered to be instruments of the higher, as we are now trying to be used, to be mindful, there is also the other polarity. Any time there is great chance for acceleration, there is also greater attack. All of our temple presidents, all of our organizers know this. You’re trying to start a big festival, you’re trying to build a temple, you’re trying to accelerate your project, you get more blessings because you’re pioneering, but you get more attacks than you ever had, sometimes when you’re trying to do and after you’re established you get another wave of attacks. Maya is thinking, ‘OK, you got around me to build that, to establish that, now I’m going to give you so many problems based on what you’ve accomplished’.
So sometimes even success, if we get comfortable, can bring failure later. Sometimes success is our worst enemy because sometimes success conditions us to doing the same thing based on what that success was, but the environment or the variables may have changed and therefore doing the same things may not necessarily always produce the same results. And this is why we have desa, kala, patra. And this is also why we have sadhu, sastra and guru, so that we will not deviate from trying to be more compassionate.
If you are compassionate, you must constantly be more mindful of the field of activity, and how to minister care due to the field of activities. Every one of our acaryas were emblems of compassion, every one of our acaryas accelerated and were spiritually dynamic and were visionaries because they cared about people and they were on a mission and they were thinking of Krsna in a big way because they were puppets of the Lord. And just as Prabhupada did not think small. And we his children, and his grandchildren, and later his great-grandchildren, we are not to think small, we are to establish cities, we are to have Krsna conscious villages and cities. And that can be done as we think small of ourselves and as we think big of the Deities.
This is the difference between low self-esteem and spiritual humility. Low self-esteem, we become paralysed as we think of ourselves, what we can do, what isn’t happening. Spiritual humility is we become energized and we’re ready for empowerment because we realize that Krsna can do so much beyond what any of us can imagine, can plan, can strategize for. So as the bar of devotion went up we have all been forced and thrust into a situation now where the bar is higher. There is a greater demand for each of us to accept the Krsna that we have invited.
It’s a little late, ??? for me were during the abhiseka. I mean wasn’t it just gorgeous, amazing, an experience that none of us will ever forget, huh? Every aspect of it. There was a little concern about who would bathe, just from logisitics and from security we couldn’t have had many people on that scaffolding, it would have been dangerous. The pujaris. . . (unclear). But it wasn’t an accident that the two most senior Governing Body leaders of our society were representing us in bathing. The pujaris who take care of the Deities every day who are more locked in to helping to remind all of us that we are to present ourselves, that they present the Lord in such a way to help us to be encouraged to present ourselves properly, that the Pancatattva had them to be able to do this while we were all were able to participate, by bringing water, by the kirtanas, by the bhajans, offering the lights, dressing the Deities. . . so this is also a reminder to us that we are to have international unity in diversity with culture. Unity in diversity with honour and ettiquette. Unity in diversity centred around the Lord.
When we bathed Srila Prabhupada, when we bathed the Deities not one or two or a few people could do that because it’s a process for community(?). So it’s like our Vrndavana and our Mayapur are major catalysts for setting the message to all of us around the world, a major catalyst for soldiers, generals coming, sometimes weak, sometimes wounded, sometimes needing to check in to sharpen our minds and our strategies ?? and then we go out and we infiltrate.
So we should all congratulate ourselves in how we have been fortunate to be involved in this worldwide transformation. We all should congratulate ourselves. That means not false ego, but healthy pride. If we don’t have sufficient appreciation we will not protect what we have. If we do not have sufficient appreciation we will not open and be available to the next. So we want to be very appreciative, that not like in the case of Bali that we have all these fantastic facilities and there’s no Deity. We have these fantastic things because the Deity is there and the Deity is there inviting us to be able to come back and to associate eternally in the spiritual kingdom.
I want to say ask one thing before I close, because today. . . it’s my appearance day so devotees had me to preach so I can preach to my own mind properly giving class on the appearance day (?)so I have Vyasa-puja. But I want to say one last thing and I hope you carry it to the devotees on parikrama and in your temples:
As we have invited the Lord in this bigger way, we can’t just be lacksadaisical. Because the more mercy the more there must be accountability and the more there is tax for chastisement if we don’t take advantage. Understand, the higher the spiritual intensity, the greater the chance for offence, the greater the chance for becoming mechanical if we’re not careful. So it’s dangerous to come to associate with the Deity, it’s dangerous to come to the holy Dham because the devotion intensifies, amplifies whatever you do, the offences amplify.
So now that our movement has been blessed by a greater inviting of the Lord, it’s important that we all find individual ways how to make ourselves upgraded, to be proper receivers, hosts of what Prabhupada has given us. I want to ask all of you along with myself, if you feel uncomfortable, if you feel imposed upon, I apologise. I am not interested in just preaching any time(?), I try to preach to convince and to transform because my feeling is we are all to be slaves of Srila Prabhupada. Not just servants, but slaves. And therefore we know Prabhupada’s mercy is huge and we don’t want to embarrass him by being mediocre, or by being stagnant or sabotaging his mercy coming through. So I would like us all to make a prayer that we carry from this festival on back to our places once we go back. Some of you have many days more in the Dham, some only a short time left, some may be going back today or tomorrow.
That we make a prayer that whatever things that we need to personally experience to be able to become a greater servant of Srila Prabhupada’s mission, that these things speed up in our lives. And the other part of the prayer, is whatever we need to have taken away in our loves in order to be a more fit servant of Srila Prabhupada at this time on the planet, that that happens. If we can just go over that again–I’m stopping now–that we would like as many of you as possible, we’re chanting the mantra and everything is there, and Krsna says ‘Always think of Me.’ and vandanam, prayer, is an essential part of the angas of bhakti. And we see Srila Narottam explains ten special kinds of prayer that Vaisnavas make.
Sometimes we minimise the potency of daily prayer. Then what about ?? at all other times? We’ve got to be mindful, chanting out loud, chanting internally, prayerful, constantly coming before the Lord in a mindful state, ‘I am presenting myself’. We would like as many of you as possible to make this prayer: ‘Whatever that’s necessary to help us to become a better servant of Prabhupada’s mission, that whatever thing that’s necessary, it doesn’t matter. . . whether we get sick, whether we die soon, whether we lose money, whether our husband leaves, our wife leaves, whether we become infamous–whatever that will help us individually to be a better servant of Srila Prabhupada we pray that that will happen and it will speed up. And whatever things that should be taken away, that we pray that it be taken away. It doesn’t matter. Whatever is genuinely going to help us individually in this lifetime to speed up our ability to receive the Lord in a fit way so that we create more and more the community that gradually becomes more and more(?) like the spiritual world.
Prabhupada has given us embassies all over the world in these temples and he is a major ambassador and he ain’t gone, but he is just physically in a different situation but he is more concerned than ever before. Isn’t it natural that when you are caretaker you are concerned even more when you’re not around about how things are dealt with?
How many are willing to make that prayer? Here we are seated in front of the Lord. [devotees raise hands] Yes, . . ? we are ready. We are accepting that at this time the bar has gone up all around the world and we are accepting that we are going to upgrade ourselves. This is wonderful because as each of us upgrades our devotion it becomes easier for every devotee, every time there is acceleration in an individual’s consciousness it creates a greater support system to enhance the bhakti. Every time a devotee deviates it creates, brings more static in the culture of devotion.
So the prayer you have just made will assist us all in becoming better servants by bettering ourselves.
ISKCON Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada ki Jai! Radha-Madhava ki Jai! Pancatattva ki Jai! Vaisnavas ki Jai! Nitai Gaur Haribol!
(Right after Maharaja ended there was a bit of a drama with a French disciple of Srila Prabhupada making a short but impassioned apeal in regards to the critical state of the French yatra. . . .)