I myself have personally given birth to 10 children: 5 boys and 5 girls. And I have to tell you, at the birth of each of my children, I personally offered them at the lotus feet of Prabhupada. And every single one of those children have helped me to surrender more to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna. Because I knew that I was totally helpless to take care of this person, I was totally helpless to give them Krishna consciousness and that I had to be totally dependent on Prabhupada and Radha Bankabihari, my istadev, to do the work for them, and caused me to surrender and always be prayerful. So, yes having children was a burden and a challenge but I wouldn't trade it for anything, because it is those children that help me now to appreciate Krishna consciousness more. It is those children that are my offering to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.
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.
In a couple of years 2016, we will be celebrating a very important event. What is that event? ISKCONâs 50th anniversary. Thatâs a very very big deal and if we all join together and make that an emphasis along with the other services we have, we are going to be getting a lot of attention from the governments, the media, from religious leaders. They are going to look at us more and more and they are going to expect more and more from us. So we should be careful to think and to look and to do everything we can, will we be up to the task of showing them an example and of representing Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya. Thatâs not a cheap thing.
So the harinama party should be such that we are attractive to people. There is whole paper written by Indradyumna Swami and Sri Prahlada Prabhu about this. Bhaktimarga Swami and I put it together. Its called the Sankirtana Manual. It was never published en mass, but you are all welcome to it. I will send you the pdf, put it on the site. It goes through all of these things: how to put on a successful harinama party. Itâs based on his experiences in Poland, and so many other places. It describes how to put on an effective harinama party so that people actually stop, listen, chant, take prasadam, take a book, and so forth.
"My devotee only asks for one thing, let me serve You! So therefore, how can I give him anything, he doesn't want? But still I must give him something. I must give him something which is valuable. Something which he'll appreciate or value. Something that will mean something for him. He doesn't want wealth. He doesn't want follower. He doesn't want beautiful women. He doesn't want anything from me. But let me give him something that he'll accept. So what do I give him. I give him My heart. My devotee has my heart. And you are asking me have a heart! And I am saying, I am sorry. I don't have one. I can't even think. My devotee has My mind, he has My heart. You want My heart, You have to go to him".
Srila Prabhupada wanted this land in Mayapur, but so many people failed to try to get anything because there was so much opposition. So he turned to Tamal Krsna Goswami, 'get me this land'! So it took a long time and when he finally came back to Calcutta with the deed, it was late at night, Srila Prabhupada did not go to sleep, he was so concerned, he was just sitting, waiting. The light was on. Tamal Krsna Goswami Maharaja came in and said "Prabhupada, you have the land!" In Mayapur dhama, here is the deed. Srila Prabhupada with tears in his eyes embraced Tamal Krsna Goswami Maharaja, thank you very much.
âYou are all born to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world..â (Haribol). Prabhupada took that way âYou are born to spread this Krishna consciousness all over the world.â And then I was talking of letters, not letter, this is a purport, in another purport Fifth Canto Prabhupada writes, âtherefore this (meaning this Mayapur) is the best among all the places in the universe (Haribol). The Krishna consciousness movement has established its center in Mayapur, birth site of Caitanya Mahaprabhu to give men the opportunity to go there and perform a constant spiritual festival of sankirtana yajna.â
Ramachandra went to the ocean. So He wanted to test, âby writing My name stone is floating. If I put a stone what is happening?â Ramachandra picked up a stone and threw it in the ocean and the stone drowned into the ocean. And Hanuman, clapping from behind, âOh My Lord, now You understand. You are testing Your power. But see, Your Holy Name is more powerful than You. You threw the stone, the stone drowned. But when we are writing Your name, the stone is floatingâ.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is called maha-vadanyavatara because although He is Sri Krsna Himself, He is even more favorably disposed to the poor fallen souls than Lord Sri Krsna. When Lord Sri Krsna Himself was personally present, He demanded that everyone surrender unto Him and promised that He would then give one all protection, but when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this earth with His associates, He simply distributed transcendental love of God without discrimination. Sri Rupa Goswami, therefore, could understand that Lord Caitanya was none other than Sri Krsna Himself, for no one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can distribute confidential love of the Supreme Person.â
Now we are going to hear how the Lord actually feels about us. Each and every one of us. The Supreme lord said: âWelcome, welcome my dear boy. I am fortunate, most fortunate to meet you here. For so long I have been eager to see you. My dear friend you have passed many lifetimes without paying any attention to me at all. So I transgressed my eternal code of conduct and arranged for you to take your current birthâ. That birth was in Govardhan.
Krishna explains in the Bhagavad Gita, as soon as there is lust there must be frustration, anger, there is no way around it because you are not the body, you are not the mind, your dedication to material desires must cause problems. So we can see that in the case of the phenomenon we are describing of the middle class being the ones who are shaking everything up, not the proletariats as Marx predicted, not the poverty stricken persons that we thought to be the constant source of trouble.
It is very challenging to be a servant, to have the mood of the servant and also adopt the mood of a leader. Sometimes we think, they are both anathema, they don't go together. In the world, people are all wanting to be leaders. They want to enjoy lordship. They want to enjoy mastership. They want to lord over people and many of them they do that for the sake of getting a subtle happy thrill of being able to control others and whatever servant leadership or whatever they may advocate, ultimately it is meant for them to enjoy leadership. But actually servant leadership as Prabhupada has mentioned here is sacrifice, is about giving yourself to others. First be a servant and leadership follows as a byproduct of it.
Prabhupada opened many temples around the world but only Mayapur that he addressed as the world headquarters. The spiritual capital of ISKCON or the Vatican of ISKCON. And Prabhupada in many of his letters highlighted the importance of Mayapur. I collected three extracts from Prabhupada's innumerable quotes that I would like to share with all of you.
Feb 25 2014 The Glories of the ToVP: HH Jayapataka Swami
Prabhupada at that time mentioned that how each previous acaraya had done something for Mayapur dhama. Then Prabhupada he mentioned that he also was trying to do something for the dhama. And he had predicted that there would be a temple here and he wanted to be sure that he started it. So actually in 1977, he laid another foundation stone for the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium. And that time he was weak and so he sent someone else, he took the Ananta Sesa in his hand and gave it to one disciple to put it into the pit. So he actually laid the stone for the foundation of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.
Feb 24 2014 The Glories of the ToVP: HH Bhakti Charu Swami
I recall one incidence when some individual was challenging Srila Prabhupada, 'Why are you building these temples?' This was soon after Vrindavana temple was opened, Krishna Balarama temple was opened. It was actually in 1977 in Hrisikesh Kumbha Mela. This person was questioning Srila Prabhupada, asking Srila Prabhupada in a rather challenging way, "Why are you building new temples when there are so many temples, old temples needing renovation?"
Feb 24 2014 The Glories of the ToVP: HH Sivarama Swami
In one morning walk, Srila Prabhupada said that our worship of Radha-Krishna is our own private business, but actually, in terms of preaching, our business is to dismantle the materialistic philosophy, such as evolution, which the material scientists have actually bewildered the whole world with. And this Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is the emblem of the instrument which is meant to achieve that.
Feb 24 2014 The Glories of the ToVP: HH Radhanath Swami
The Temple of Vedic Planetarium will show us the principles of the lower states of consciousness going up and up to the higher levels of material consciousness, to the siddhis, to the impersonal Brahman, to the Vaikunthas, and ultimately, to Goloka Vrindavana.
Bhakti is about knowing the heart of Krishna, knowing what is there in the heart of Krishna. Because this is the only thing which will please Krishna. If we do something which is against the heart or the intention of Krishna it will not be pleasing to Krishna. And bhakti as we know is anukulyena krsnanusilanam. This is the essence of bhakti, anyabhilasita sunyam.
It is with that faith that we have to begin to work. We have to stop the logical calculation. Logically we are very small, limited, logically we can only take care of our own turf, that logic doesnât apply. When we are trying to take on more, Krishna will help us and give us the strength to do it and it is on that strength that this movement will go forward and that consciousness we will have to instill and of course we have to hear that from our leaders.
In this verse we see that Krishna doesnât have to do anything, He has His energies who are happy to do all His bidding. So they manifest the material world, spiritual world, do all the things needed. So what does He do? So what does Lord Krishna do? It says He likes to personally take care of His devotees. Thatâs what He does.
Feb 18 2014 HH Radhanath Swami on Devotee Care
At 26 Second Avenue, the very foundational beginning of Hare Krishna movement in the West, hippies were coming, people who werenât following the four regulative principles, didnât have any conception of God, but they were taking interest and Srila Prabhupada saw them as devotees because he saw the potential. Prabhupada was cooking for them, cleaning for them, he was taking care of their health and he was nourishing their souls with his philosophy, with his kirtans, which was like medicine administered with such compassion.
I donât know about you, but I am a card carrying member of the fault-finding club. Actually I am an honorary member I am embarrassed to say but I am trying to learn to overcome this habit and one thing I find is that if I am self-critical then there is no more steam left to be critical of others because there is plenty of work for me to do on myself.
Welcome to all of the members of the ILS festival that is taking place. This a leadership seminar and I have been asked to give class on a theme that I am not so versed on. Not that I am versed on many things but not on leadership. And this was the verse that was given to us, a very well-known verse from the Fifth Canto. I remember when the Fifth Canto came out, this Fifth Chapter was one of the ones that the devotees were very fond of learning and memorizing.
Someone said 'well! If I want to love Krishna why does it depend on Krishna? I should be able to love Him whether He gives His blessings or not. That's up to me.' But actually love of Krishna does depend upon Him, it's His causeless mercy
During HH Bhakti-tirtha Maharaja's Vyasa-puja in Mayapur the following lecture was played during the Srimad-Bhagavatam class
Prabhupada often refers to this process as 'the science of Krishna consciousness'. He would argue many times like this, it's a science, its not a theory, its not just some belief but you test it
When one is strongly fixed in devotional service and free from all material attachment, uncontaminated by the material modes of nature, he becomes fit to return home, back to Godhead
Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached Krishna consciousness and big big scholars accepted. It is very hard for common man to understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because He is covered avatara, 'channa' avatara. But by the help of this description we can understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself
This temple of the Vedic Planetarium it is not a planetarium, its not a planetarium, it is the fifth canto, its the Bhagavatam, itâs the Bhagavatam. It is actually, its not about the planetarium, its about the Bhagavatam. It is the temple which makes the Bhagavatam.
So even 5000 years ago and in fact history goes way back when this Sivaratri festival celebrations started
Why, someone please explain to me the arrogance of the modern materialist, why everything is subordinate to my perception. If I can't see it, if I can't smell it, if I can't chop it into tiny pieces, if I cannot control and manipulate it, then it doesn't exist. Why? Please tell me why there can't be higher beings
So our acaryas of course have said that though the 10th canto is actually the essence of the Bhagavatam, itâs about Krsna directly, and His pastimes and His qualities and therefore itâs ultimately the most attractive thing, still we cannot reject the subject matter of the other cantos
One should not become a father, one should not become a mother, one should not become a guru, one should not become a husband, one should not become a worshipable demigod and one should not become a father and mother unless one is prepared to deliver one's disciples or followers from the path of repeated birth and death
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told that one cannot understand the truth or the essence of the religious principles by all sorts of argumentations and discussions, even by extensive study of the Vedas or any other means, except to follow in the footsteps on the progressive path of the great souls
In Srila Prabhupada's teachings, just like in this verse and specifically Srila Prabhupada's purport again the importance is being emphasized 'to cooperate' but we have to do it! We have to learn how to do it. And it is so exciting that I think it is for the first time in history of ISKCON that leading senior members of this movement, GBC members, gurus, sannyasis, senior devotees they all came together
I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Visnu let my consciousness be absorbed in Krsna, and if you will do that, if you will pour the nectar of Krsna katha in my ears the externals of what is going on, whether it be a snake bird or whatever, I don't care
Today we are going to discuss about a person Bhagavata HDG Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. Today is his divine appearance day that's why we have selected a special verse to discuss about
One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod
We see here, as we said this is all the context of ultimately of strategic planning really, and the strategic planning endeavor of the GBC body, that we want to develop the Krishna consciousness movement in more strategic, systematic and intelligent Krishna conscious ways so that everything increases very positively including the preaching as such
And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors bestowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them