S peaker: HG Vaisesika Prabhu
Venue: Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir
Date: 27 Feb 2016
Reading from Srimad Bhagavatam Ninth Canto, Chapter 11, Text 25.
atmanam darsayan svanam
purim aiksata sanugah
“Sukadeva Gosvami replied: After accepting the throne of the government by the fervent request of His younger brother Bharata, Lord Ramacandra ordered His younger brothers to go out and conquer the entire world, while He personally remained in the capital to give audience to all the citizens and residents of the palace and supervise the governmental affairs with His other assistants.”
My humble obeisances to all the exalted Vaisnavas. Thank you very much for this opportunity to be with you. In this purport Prabhupada comes to this military terminology, Prabhupada’s vira rasa, where he wants to fight with the world to speak Krishna consciousness is evident in the way he wrote his letters when he wrote at the top of them ‘Camp Baroda’, ‘Camp Los Angeles’ and he saw it as a war against maya. In fact he used military terminology when he talked about book distribution. He said, ‘We are fighting with maya. It’s a war. And to fight maya means to go out and drop hundreds and millions of books into the laps of conditioned souls. Just like during war time people drop bombs.’
So in this verse also which is talking about the way in which Lord Ramachandra sent out His brothers to conquer the different directions which was the custom at that time. Prabhupada immediately relates it to the sankirtana movement and how one must become dig-vijaya and that way that one becomes dig-vijaya is to take the open order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And that is about the best deal there is in the whole universe because Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s words’s are inviting us to engage in the sankirtana movement and as Prabhupada phrases it, it’s an open order. That means anybody can take it at any time to their full capacity, whatever capacity one has, one can take that order and when one takes the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, its immediate that one becomes connected to the internal energy of the Lord because as Srila Prabhupada says in the Second Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam in relationship to the catur sloki Bhagavatam, that the direct order of the Lord is a manifestation of His internal potency. It is by that potency that one comes to see the Lord face to face. So it is pretty exciting there is an open order, isn’t it?
So what is the open order. Its just a small thing that can be taken care of within a few days, right! And not much room for many people. No! Its open for the whole world, the whole universe. Anywhere and everywhere one can go and spread this sankirtana movement. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is deputising everybody as a representative who just takes the open order. In fact when Prabhupada was speaking to the devotees who were asking him about how the movement would go on, and specifically they were asking how about initiation, how would that go on? Prabhupada had a few things to say and then he interjected as an afterthought, he said that ‘One who understands the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he can become guru, or one who understands the order of his spiritual master which is the same order, he can become guru.’ And this is the prerequisite, one simply has to understand that there is an open order, that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and one has to take the order.
So leadership is defined in the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam as the ability to understand this principle that one must deliver people and I love the word Prabhupada uses in this purport, he says induce. At first it sounds like when you are inducing somebody it may be a little bit aggressive. Does it to you? Just a little bit, maybe! I looked at the word. It comes from Latin, inducere which means to lead, ducere means ‘to lead’ and in means ‘in’. So inducere means to lead someone in a particular direction. So to inducing means to bring somebody along in the right direction. Well not necessarily in the right direction but in our case following the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the spirit of the sastra, which I mentioned in Fifth Canto,
gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum (SB 5.5.18)
Didn’t get it completely perfect the second time either, but the verse says that whatever kind of leader one is attempting to become or whatever leadership roll one is taking, whether its as a diksa guru or as a mother or a father or any worshipable position. Whatever position one is either asserting oneself for or finds oneself suddenly pushed into, which often is the case, one should keep this principle in mind, na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum. One’s idea should be to induce people to become free from birth, death, old age and disease and take to Krishna consciousness. Its an inducement.
In fact the whole material world if you think about it is a huge chance for Krishna to induce the living entities to go back home, back to Godhead. It’s the srishti lila, during which in the exhalation of Maha Visnu there is unlimited opportunities for living entities to come in contact with the various incarnations of the Lord, the various representatives of the Lord, the Ganges, different sastras, and its mentioned also in the Srimad Bhagavatam that the process of destruction takes place when Anantadeva becomes a little annoyed, actually angry it says. Annoyed is a more modern word. (laughs) He becomes angry that the living entities who have being offered so much opportunity to take to Krishna consciousness and Prabhupada says in the purport – to close down their business in this material world. Everyone’s got a little business going on, they have a little chip in the game here and Krishna comes along and gives a better deal, much better deal and says you kn ow, ‘Just close your business. I’ll take care of you, go back to Godhead.’ But people keep playing in here, keep playing their little business game and they don’t close it down, they don’t listen. So Prabhupada says, Anantadeva becomes angry. And from the forehead of Sankrsana comes out the eleven Rudras. They come shooting out of His eyebrows and they begin their dance of destruction, they burn down this universe because people aren’t using it properly.
So this indicates the intention of the Lord for the world. And the open order is that one can help Him in the mission which is to induce people, to lead them, to bring them closer to Krishna. And in the Caitanya Caritamrta Antya Lila its mentioned that Haridasa Thakura was particularly dear to the Lord. Prabhupada says, he understood Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mind that He was in anxiety because the living entities are suffering in the material world. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s anxiety can be relieved by those who take the open order and go out and induce people to take to Krishna consciousness. And Srila Prabhupada says that this is how one become an intimate devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by taking this idea to induce the living entities to come back.
As far as our organisation goes, our organization meaning our ISKCON society, there is a way in which we are organised around this principle as well and it seem natural that when we keep this principle in the center, of inducing those who come, leading those who come to Krishna consciousness, to hear and chant about Krishna, to come closer to Him. And the leaders also, a leader means one who also takes this very seriously. I particularly noted the first verse in the Upadesamrta which says that one who can control all of one’s urges,
vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat (Sri Upadesamrta (1))
That one who is controlled becomes a teacher for everyone else in the universe, its says everyone becomes his sisya, his disciple. So first of all one must, one has the opportunity to carefully take up the process of Krishna conciseness and cultivate it and by that one feels inspired and then can lead others by that potency and can induce other people to take to Krishna consciousness.
So leadership means, first one must be the leader of one’s senses, which are described in another sastra to be like bad masters and one has to overcome the bad masters of the senses.
kamadinam kati na katidha palita durnidesas
tesam jata mayi na karuna na trapa nopasantih
utsrjyaitan atha yadu-pate sampratam labdha-buddhis
tvam ayatah saranam abhayam mam niyunksvatma-dasye (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (3.2.35)
The devotee who is advancing says, for how long and how many ways have I obeyed the bad masters of my senses but no longer will I obey them. They have never given me time off. They have never given me mercy and I never questioned them. But now my intelligence has awakened, labdha-buddhi, and now I am looking for personal service to Krishna, no longer serving my senses.
So this the foundational point of our Krishna consciousness movement, of our leadership, is to become the leader of one’s own senses. And to aspire for and be engaged in service to Krishna and Krishna’s devotees. And then one can go out as the dig-vijaya, as Srila Prabhupada is mentioning in this purport, Lord Ramachandra sent out His younger brothers to conquer all the world. So Prabhupada says we must also do the same thing, and this is victory. So victory over one’s senses and then one can go out…(reads from the purport of SB9.11.25)
“This is the order of the Lord, who speaks as the supreme emperor. Everyone should be induced to accept this order, for this is victory (dig-vijaya).”
And inducing people all over the world to take to Krishna consciousness. We see Caitanya Mahaprabhu did in various ways. He took sannyasa as an expedient measure to allow people to honour Him so they would make advancement in Krishna consciousness. And Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, he was very patient with Prakasananda Sarasvati, he was very humble. But his full intention was to induce them to take to Krishna consciousness. So there are various ways of inducing people.
There is a devotee of Lord Nityananda whose name was Gadadhara dasa and he was given the mission to go all over town, door to door, and induce people to chant Hare Krishna and he was angry with the Kazi because the Kazi was trying to hinder the sankirtana movement. So he went right in the Kazi’s house and he began screaming out that the Kazi had to come down, he had to take to Krishna consciousness and the Kazi came down, normally a very brutal kind of person but he was a little amused by the audacity of Gadadhara dasa and said, ‘Listen why don’t you go home! Maybe I’ll take to this Hare Krishna chanting another day!’ Gadadhara dasa began to dance in ecstacy and said, ‘Why do I have to wait for another day? You just said Hare Krishna!’ This is the prerogative of the devotees. They are always trying to induce people to chant Hare Krishna.
And it reminds me when we are going door to door, not too long ago, I think it was in San Deigo, or Laguna beach, anyway somewhere in Southern California, there are all these apartments that you can go to. There are so many, you can’t even count them all in one life time and behind them are people just sitting in there, as Prabhupada said in his poem before he came to America, looking down the road waiting to see when are Nitai and Gaura going to come and rescue me! If you are wondering what people were doing in there, thats what they are doing! They are looking out of the window, ‘When are Nitai and Gaura coming to rescue me?’ So when you knock on the door don’t be surprised if they are happy to see you.
And I knocked on one door, there was a very nicely dressed gentlemen in his early forties, he was on way to work. He managed a fast food restaurant and he was a devout Christian and a very civil person. And he talked to us for a while and declined our inducement to purchase a book. So then we tried to induce him in another way by saying, ‘Do you believe in the power of prayer?’ And he said, ‘Yes I do!’ I handed him a card and I said, ‘Then this is a beautiful prayer in Sanskrit that’s meant to wake up pure love for God in your heart. Repeat after me. Are you ready?’ Which is what I usually say, because people might say no! So I say, ‘Are you ready!’ And then he said, ‘Oh no! I can’t do that!’ And there were several devotees, maybe about seven, we were watching him and taking to him and he gave a long explanation and he said, ‘Yeah, I just cant do this!’ I said, ‘Can’t do what?’ And he goes, ‘Say Hare Krishna!’ (laughter) And all the devotees who were standing there went, ‘Haribol!’ They were so happy that he said Hare Krishna! And according to the sastra,
aho bata sva-paco ’to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te (SB 3.33.7)
Devahuti says, oh how wonderful it is, somebody if they just one time say Hare Krishna, even the tip of their tongue, even just one time, then this person is the greatest amongst all the other kinds of living entities. It is considered by sastra they have already performed so many pious works, gone to many pilgrimage places, so forth. They are qualified people, become elevated so quickly.
So in the overall, the over arching goal of the Krishna consciousness movement is to take to Krishna consciousness very seriously. One of the ways in which we can connect ourselves and induce ourselves to always think of Krishna is by everyday reading the Bhagavad Gita because Krishna is personally present there and speaking to us directly.
So to that end we started an organization called CHAD, A Chapter A Day, where everyone has the right if they would like to. No one can stop you. Even if you are put in prison you can still do this, to chant one chapter of Bhagavad Gita a day. Try it and see. If somebody tries to stop you, just say, ‘No, I won’t stop! I am going to chant Hare Krishna! And read my chapter of Bhagavad Gita every day!’
And so if you chant one chapter of the Bhagavad Gita everyday then you’ll stay close to Krishna because He is personally present in the Bhagavad Gita. And also reading Srimad Bhagavatam which is, where Prabhupada is most available in his purports. Just by staying close to the Srimad Bhagavatam everyday, everyone can be guided very properly by hearing his purports. And sometimes it seems intimidating to read the whole Srimad Bhagavatam. But if one divides it up into small segments and reads a measured amount everyday, one can finish the whole Bhagavatam within a given period of time.
So if you read just 8 pages of the Bhagavatam everyday, you’ll finish the whole Bhagavatam in five years. And you’ll be five years older in five years anyway. But if you read the whole Bhagavatam in five years then you’ll conquer maya and you’ll be directly connected to Krishna in a very profound way. And if you read 41 pages everyday of the Bhagavatam, you’ll finish in just one year.
So this is the inspirational part of this purport that I picked up about dig-vijaya, conquer the senses and take this spirit out and induce people to chant Hare Krishna and organise whatever community you have, and whatever project you are doing around this principle of guiding people to hear and chant and the spirit of going out and giving Krishna consciousness to other people.
And now I am going to take a few reflections just to see if we can pull something else out.
HH Kesava Bharati Maharaja: Thank you very much Vaisesika Prabhu for this inspirational class. (audio indistinct)
HG Vaisesika Prabhu: Kesava Bharati Maharaja says he found this to be an inspirational class. He’d like to document the last point that I made, about how important it is to read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and to continue reading them for the rest of all lives. Not just start reading other things until one has assimilated what Srila Prabhupada has given. In the Madhya lila Chaper 25, text 178, there is a wonderful purport. He is going to try to repeat it, verbatim.
“Everyone connected to the Krishna consciousness movement must read all the books that have been published. Otherwise after some time, they will simply eat and sleep and fall down and miss the opportunity for an eternal life of bliss and knowledge.”
(Applause for HH Kesava Bharati Maharaja!)
HG Vaisesika Prabhu: Yes. Just something else about inducement on my mind and that is that, living entities in this world are called tatastha. And tatastha means that they are open to suggestion. You can experiment with this but living entities everywhere, if you make a suggestion to them, they will consider it. And Krishna consciousness movement is meant to give this very strong suggestion to people that they can improve their lives, they can go back to Godhead simply by taking to Krishna consciousness. And everything we do is going towards helping the living entities do that, jive doya, krsna-nama—sarvva-dharma-sara, (Ajna-Tahal, Bhaktivinoda Thakura) The essence of our process is to show mercy to the living entities by widely distributing the holy name of Krishna.
One more? Yes?
Devotee: What about listening to Prabhupada lectures?
HH Vaisesika Prabhu: Yes, you could get all the Prabhupada lectures and you can even get them in chronological order and then you can go through each one and listen to them from the very beginning to the very end and then start over again. And in that way you can constantly hear from Srila Prabhupada.
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
vaisnavebhyo namo namah
Gaurapremanande Hari Haribol!