Sastra Dana Newsletter - March 19, 2008

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March 2008: Volume 10, Issue 5

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“My spiritual master wanted me to preach. I did not like it, but he forced me.”- His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada

Preach now!

The world needs to hear the teachings of Lord Caitanya. The message is urgent. The whirls of Kali-Yuga yanked the mankind down to the rock bottom practically since the age had begun. Now, we are being sucked-in deeper, through chasms and crevices. Where is the clean river? Pure air? We eat lettuce sprayed with the rocket-fuel, technically called perchlorate. Mind you, of allowed 30 parts-per-billion, the researchers found outrageous 121 parts-per-billion on the plant’s leaves. I wander who allowed those 30 parts in the first place. Oh, do I need to mention soil pollution… toxic release? Do I need to inform you that 126,000 women abort (read: kill) babies in their wombs daily. That is 87 homicides per minute. I will not go into the reports of perpetual wars, nuclear weapon explosions, drug and child abuse, rational imbalance and emotional denial of men. The world is being depleted materially, mentally and spiritually.

In preaching, both sides benefit

In his last letter to our Srila Prabhupada, dated 13th December 1936, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati wrote: “I think you should try to push our movement in English. That will do good to you and to the people who will help you.” The conclusion: preaching helps people, but those who preach benefit too.

In a lecture, Srila Prabhupada spoke: “Just like you are going to sell our magazine [Back To Godhead]. This magazine selling or taking some contribution is not our business. Our business is that we are spreading Krishna consciousness. People are hearing something about Krishna and because we are helping, we are also hearing. We are also benefiting.”

It is the instruction of Sri Caitanya

Srila Prabhupada endured great pains in his preaching. We know the story: after leaving his family, he lived in Vrindavana, did bhajan and wrote Back to Godhead magazine. Those were unhappy days, with little success–not many were interested to hear. But he kept on going. The mission of his gurudeva became his mission. Prabhupada translated, wrote, edited, printed, and distributed books—all by himself. He walked by the rickshaw which hauled his printing paper; in the Radha-Damodara temple he slept on the floor of the dilapidated room; he missed breakfasts…. Later on, on Jaladutta, he experienced heart failure twice, and his first steps on the American soil found him penniless. But he persisted…and prevailed.

Srila Prabhupada said: “This Krsna consciousness movement means to follow the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instruction is to preach Krsna-upadesa. This is Krsna consciousness movement. You cannot sit idly to show your gorgeousness in a secluded place, imitating Haridasa Thakura: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. No. You have to preach. That is the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa. That is really following Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”

“The devotees of Lord Caitanya must preach Krishna consciousness in every village and town in the world. That will satisfy the Lord. It is not that one should act whimsically for his own personal satisfaction. This order comes down through the parampara system, and the spiritual master presents these orders to the disciple so that he can spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”

How to be recognized by Krishna?

Preaching Krishna Consciousness attracts the Lord. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura suggested not to try to see Krishna, but work in a way that Krishna will see us. We want to be noticed by Krishna, we want to get His mercy. Prabhupada gave the example of soldiers in war facing danger, later being recognized by the country. Similarly, Prabhupada continued, those who are preachers are great soldiers for Krishna.

“I am very happy that you Europeans and Americans are helping me. Continue this process, and that is the easy way to be recognized by Krishna. I thank you very much that you have come here in Vrndavana, and you are traveling, you are preaching. Let us dedicate this life for preaching Krishna consciousness all over the world. Never mind we die by preaching. Still, it will be glorious.”

A call to action

Celebrating Gaura Purnima is also an opportunity to preach; to remember Lord Caitanya, the reason why He came, and to preach, or to support preaching. Still, millions of people have never heard of Krishna, enveloped by the darkness of the material existence with their future uncertain. It’d be shame if they missed the movement of Lord Caitanya. But, if somehow or other the book go in their hand; if they read one verse, one word, they will be benefited. Therefore Srila Prabhupada stressed again and again:
“Please distribute books, distribute books, distribute books.”

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