Yadavendra Das: On June 27 2013 at 2 AM, I was awoken by the strong knocking and glaring light of the council agent telling me that my book distribution Sankirtan van was illegally standing on Council property and that council regulations gave him the option to fine me immediately AU$210.00. In a streak of common sense, he did however not fine me and advised me to go down the road and across the main road, where there was a parking that was private property. â€śIf you go and park there, I can not touch you,â€ť he advised. He also gave me a post card sized sign clearly displaying the â€śNo Campingâ€ť message and other council regulatory information with lots of red color and interdictions.
The following night, on 28 June at 11.50 PM and in a different council jurisdiction, I was awoken by the not-so-strong knocking, but still glaring light of a non-council, private security agent telling me that I was illegally standing on private property and that I had to move my Sankirtan van onto the public-property-road, so that he could carry on with his duties elsewhere. We had a tentative debate whether I was in fact standing on private or public property. The so-called debate really was along the following lines: â€ťYou have to move your van anyway, because I am right and you are wrong in any caseâ€ť, which I did. On some occasions, we have to even unjustly tolerate some personsâ€™ ignorant intolerance.
In both case, I was standing on the narrow, marginal tract of land between private property and the road, which to the best of my current knowledge and experience is council public property. The council agent himself confirmed this view by his own actions. In the second case, the difference meant a flat surface or a somewhat inclined surface, where the almost life less, sleeping body may have a constant and disturbing tendency to roll to one side. Roads are rarely flat across and generally more inclined on the sides. This relief has a more corroding action of the left hand tire(s), in left hand driving countries.
The question is whether this marginal land and how much of it, actually belongs to the respective councils or to the private owners who own the adjacent land. I shall have to verify positively the mundane answer to this question in all variants and details, so that I shall be able to make my point safely on the next occasion. From the transcendental point of view of course, this tract of land, as well as all other lands belong to God, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and as agents of the Lord we have an intrinsic right to use such facilities, not for sense gratification, but for the convenient execution of our duties on behalf of Guru and Lord Gauranga. All parties should please note these considerations!
Let us remember that the Lordâ€™s energy is one, but that for our understanding and convenience the Lord energies are divided into 3 parts: the internal and spiritual energy, the external and material energy and the marginal energy comprised of the living entities, parts and parcels of the Supreme. From this example, we can see clearly that the marginal position is a position of harassment, exactly as the conditioned living entity in the material world is harassed by the three fold miseries and fourfold trouble of birth, death, old age and disease. The better and wiser policy is to rehabilitate oneself, without any further delay by regularly chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
and under the expert direction of the Spiritual Master, fully surrender to and safely belong to the internal energy of the Supreme Lord. Param vijayate Sri Krishna Caitanya Sankirtanam!
Thinking about such similar occurrences, I can remember at least two instances from the distant past, when we were actually stormed by a great number of policepersons. In very early June 1973, after regular visits to the Paris temple, I fully joined Hari Vilas and Bhagavan Prabhusâ€™ team of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Paris and was subsequently transferred to Geneva, Switzerland. But I was also part of Hansadutta Prabhuâ€™s team in Germany for some time, before moving to Australia via India.
The first occurrence was at Schloss Rettershof, Frankfurt, Germany, Dec 1974. It should be noted that the meaning of â€śRettershofâ€ť is â€śthe court of the saviorâ€ť or the â€śSaviorscourtâ€ť, â€ścourtâ€ť in sense 3 of the Mac dictionary: 3 the establishment, retinue, and courtiers of a sovereign: the emperor is shown with his court.
â€˘ a sovereign and his or her councilors, constituting a ruling power: relations between the king and the imperial court.
â€˘ a sovereign’s residence.
In other words, Srila Prabhupadaâ€™s place!
These facts are relatively well documented in Iskcon archives. They arrived in buses during weekend breakfast with sub machine guns and dogs. I perceived them first through the black or dark wooden framed, glass door, while sitting on the floor, having breakfast prasadam. I remember that scene very well. All Sankirtan parties, up to a dozen or more, would converge from all over the previous West Germany and West Berlin and confer at Schloss Rettershof, each Saturday and Sunday. The police must have known these facts. Each weekend, we would also very much enjoy with great delight, Hansadutta Prabhuâ€™s most ecstatic and hours long kirtans and dance to our musclesâ€™ full ability and heartsâ€™ full content. Hansadutta Prabhuâ€™s weekend kirtans were in one sense the blissful highlights of our neophyteâ€™s lives of devotional service and I am eternally grateful to him for that first taste of congregational chanting nectar, which over the years has only increased exponentially.
The other instance also happened in the seventies, perhaps at 1 or 2 AM, while 5 or 6 of us book distributor, where peacefully sleeping in our small, green VW bus in the middle of a German forest, after a productive dayâ€™s Sankirtan book distribution. The forest is in the mode of goodness. The towns and villages are in the mode of passion. Places of alcohol and prostitution are in the mode of ignorance.
All of a sudden there were a big commotion and floodlights and we were unequivocally ordered to not move even an inch or face the bullets. In each case all was conducted professionally- a credit to the police force- and after routine checks and to our great relief, we were free to go as we liked. Because we hadnâ€™t done anything wrong or transgressed any laws, there were no individual charges among rank and file members, which included this humble self. At the time, the Baader Meinhof terrorist organization, also called Red Army Faction, had been active in Germany, whence the policeâ€™s watchfulness on unusual activities. Hare Krishna.