O n 28th Feb, HH Dhira Santa Goswami gave lecture on SB 6.9.24. Below is the transcript of the lecture.
So in these instructions Lord Caitanya to Sanatana Goswami mentions that our eternal relationship with Krishna is real, jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa, that we are all eternally parts and parcels of Supreme Personality of Godhead and that is a fact.
So we have lost that eternal relationship and somehow or other we have got to revive it. And therefore it is recommended by Rupa Goswami. He defines sadhna bhakti, that sadhana bhakti means engaging the mind and the senses in devotional service we can revive that lost dormant love and relationship with Krishna.
Just like a mother she is confident in teaching or training her child to walk. She is confident that that at some point my child will walk! So Lord Caitanya, the Six Goswamis and our acaryas, they are also similarly confident that if we follow this sadhana bhakti process then we will also be able to revive this eternal relationship with Krishna.
So Krishna consciousness itself Prabhupada said is very easy, the difficulty is that we have brought into Krishna consciousness all complications. Therefore Prabhupada has given us a very nice formula that specifically that if we engage the tongue, you know both chanting and taking prasadam, then this will begin the reawakening process and revive our Krishna consciousness.
Because the tongue is the most voracious and difficult to control, it must be engaged first. Therefore these two activities, specifically these two activities, using the tongue for chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and using the tongue for taking bhagavata prasadam.
There was an incident in middle 70’s when Prabhupada was in Hyderabad. He was observing while he was there the distribution of prasadam. And he got very very very upset. He got upset because the devotees were distributing dry khichadi and it was cooked by a nondevotee. He called the leaders to his room and for at least one hour the preached to them the importance of preparing opulent prasadam. He pointed out,
“Do you think that people are coming to this temple to hear philosophy? And even if they hear the philosophy do you think they all understand the philosophy? No, they will come and they will go and be discouraged. You must attract them with kirtana and prasadam.”
And he pointed out, “This is Lord Caitanya’s program, it is not my program, I have not invented this. This is Lord Caitanya’s program. Why are you trying to disrupt what I have created? Tomorrow I want at least five opulent preparations served to the guests that come to our temple. And if you don’t have any money in the temple, then I will give you money from the BBT.”
So he was that concerned. I remembered I joined specifically because of taking the Sunday Feast. I did also not understand the philosophy, it was way above my head, the kirtana was too noisy but as soon as they placed that feast plate in front of me, I perfectly understood. (laughter)
What was on that plate? Two subji’s, kofta, puris, puspanna rice, samosa, chutney, and laddu, burfi, sweet rice, and halwa with a cup of nectar. I felt rejuvenated even after the first plate. So when the devotees encouraged me: yes you come every Sunday, I came every Sunday. After some time they said, now you come every day for lunch too. And I said, why not! So in that way for three months, three or four months I was simply coming to the temple to take prasadam. And in those three months I stopped taking drugs, stopped eating meat and all kinds of other nonsense things that I was doing.
And then one day I was going home from the temple I was traveling on a double decker bus. Double decker means top deck, bottom deck. I was on the top deck. No one else was there and something very mysterious happened. I will demonstrate.
Krishna! Krishna! Hare Krishna!
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
And I could not stop chanting. I chanted all that evening, I practically chanted myself to sleep. (applause) and the next morning I went to the temple and asked to see the temple president.
I said to him I have a problem.He said what is your problem? I keep chanting your mantra. I can’t stop. So he laughed. He said, do you realize what you have been eating the last three months? I said good food. Prasadam is Krishna, Krishna is prasadam. You have eaten so much prasadam that your tongue has now been purified and now Krishna is dancing on your tongue and forcing you to chant Hare Krishna.
So this is an example. I am sure all of you have your stories. But only from that platform would I then appreciate kirtana and philosophy and begin to understand what is this Hare Krishna movement.
So I’d like, personally I would like to see in all ISKCON centers this unique Sunday Feast revived. I am going to be reading a few examples of how when we sometimes try to add something or subtract something, or speculate or misinterpret what the acaryas have given us. . . let me first read this verse which was mentioned in Prabhupada’s purport.
“Therefore material senses cannot appreciate Krishna’s holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When conditioned souls awaken to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the holy name and to taste the remnants of food the tongue is then purified. And one gradually comes to understanding who Krishna really is.”
So it’s of paramount importance that we try to stick to the practices and principles and instructions that Prabhupada and our spiritual masters have given us, without adding anything, without subtracting anything, without some deviations, some short cuts, creating short cuts.
But I will read some of these, these are activities or pastimes of the devotees back in the early days where we tried to change things, we tried to deviate from the instructions that Prabhupada gave us. The first one was actually with regards to chanting Hare Krishna. This was in Hyderabad on a morning walk where Prabhupada that particular morning wasn’t saying anything and so he instructed the devotees as we are walking, chant Hare Krishna. So one German devotee started the kirtana but he was not chanting properly. He was singing,
bhaja Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
bhaja Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
And Prabhupada stopped him. He said, “What is this ‘bhaja’? Hare Krishna, bas! No adding no subtracting!”
Actually that particular morning that was just the beginning of a devastation that happened. Prabhupada got so angry with us that he walked away from his class, he was like a thunderbolt. But I won’t go into the details of that particular story. Anyway subtracting, sometimes we like to subtract. Srila Prabhupada wanted the devotees to visit Mayapur and Vrindavana every year. He wanted us to come for the purpose of recharging and rejuvenating so that we could go back out and preach. But at some point one temple president came to Prabhupada and said,
“You know we have a big temple and if I send all my devotees to India each year that would be very expensive. So I have an idea that we stop the practice of sending devotees to the Mayapur and Vrindavana festivals and instead use that money for preaching.”
And Prabhupada said, “No actually there are better ideas of saving money. You stop eating! You just do your service but don’t eat!” But his point was that just as much as we need to take prasadam every day to nourish our bodies so that we can have strength to serve, we also need to come to the holy dham every year at least on a regular basis to feed the soul.
Sometimes we also try to find short cuts within Krishna consciousness. I remember when I first joined there was one devotee. He heard in a morning class from the temple president, “You should always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna.” So he was thinking, “Hmm…always remember Krishna, never forget Him.” So he had this brilliant idea. In those days there were musicians that played the guitar and at the same time played harmonica.
So anyway he bought a stand, he couldn’t buy the musical instrument, he just bought the stand and he put a picture of Radha and Krishna on that stand. This way he could do his service and ever so often look at his picture of Radha and Krishna and always remember Krishna. Haribol! Problem solved!
He lasted two weeks and then we did not see him again. We thought he was unique. He had this picture and when he was peeling potatoes he would be peeling one potato and put in in the basin and he would come back to Radha and Krishna and then peel another potato and then come back again.
There was another devotee who came to Prabhupada and said, “Prabhupada I want to go to Radha kunda and chant 64 rounds everyday.” And Prabhupada said, “No! There are already so many monkeys there.” (laughter)
So this was an instance when we try to imitate the six Goswamis or whatever, prematurely trying to do something which we cannot possibly do. You know if you go you will last one week, two weeks, one month and then you will give it up.
There was another devotee who was introduced to Prabhupada. He was the first devotee in ISKCON that had memorized the whole of Bhagavad Gita. So he was introduced to Prabhupada, “Prabhupada, this is your disciple such and such, he has learnt the whole of the Bhagavad Gita, memorized the whole thing.”
And Prabhupada didn’t even look at him. He said to the servant, “Make sure that he is engaged in some devotional service while he is here in Vrindavana.”
Which is you know, we sometimes think that academic study is more important than devotional service. This is not a process of academic study. Just like in a university, you study, study, study and to the degree that you study, to that degree you get your diploma. So we did both. We study, there is some academic study involved in devotional service but side-by-side we must perform devotional service.
“We work in such a way that everything depends on us but we pray in such a way or we serve in such a way that everything depends on Krishna.” So we are waiting, not only are we serving, not only are we practicing but we are also waiting for grace.
In another instance when Prabhupada was giving a lecture a devotee made an inquiry: “You mentioned in your lecture there are giant eagles who fly from planet to planet.” And then he said “It is very difficult to believe this.”
And Prabhupada said, “What do you know, you are just, you are still in the womb of your mother! “Don’t try to see God but act in such a way that God can see you.”
So these are just some examples of how we try to change or try to find some simpler way to achieve this perfection of our relationship with Krishna.
And I recently came across one article from his HH Giriraja Swami. In 1970 he was invited to Nellore to a convention where they were celebrating Gita Jayanti. But he was quite disturbed by the fact there was no picture of Krishna. They were actually celebrating Gita Jayanti and there was no picture of Krishna and instead they were using a candle. He said,
“Yesterday I went to Gita Jayanti. There is a lamp. Why is there a lamp instead of Krishna? Therefore I say it is being wrongly preached. Why is there a lamp? Bhagavad Gita is spoken by Krishna so why is there no picture of Krishna? That means they have not understood Krishna. Therefore their so-called Gita society is not bona fide. Therefore we are, so our position is to rectify this wrong propaganda.”
So anyway in this verse today we are trying to ascertain what is, who is Krishna and what is our eternal relationship with Krishna. But there is a process which is being offered to us and we must try to stick to that process. It is a science, it is not a mechanical process. It is said that, if one has faith in Guru and Krishna, then all the imports of the Vedas are revealed to that devotee. By regularly hearing the Bhagavatam and rendering service to the pure devotee all that is inauspicious in your heart is destroyed.
And finally just a few verses from the Bhagavad Gita.
“I shall declare unto you in full knowledge both phenomenal and nominal, knowing which there shall be remain nothing further to be known. “ (Bg 7.2)
“That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend. Therefore you can understand the transcendental mysteries of this science. (Bg 4.3)
And finally: The Supreme Lord said, “Because you are never envious of Me, O Arjuna, I shall give you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you will relieved from all miseries of material existence.”
So let us try our best to follow the guidelines which have been set, given to us, without any mental speculation or try to change in any way, add or subtract, to be in line with our acaryas. We will then transcend the modes of material nature and senses will become illuminated and our mind will become peaceful. Then Krishna will be understood.
Thank you very much!
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!