Srimad Bhagavatam class in Mayapur, March 12, 2019
(The recording is in two parts)
Srimad Bhagavatam 9.16.10-19
HH Radhanath Swami Maharaja
Mayapur Dham 12.03.2019
krtva nihksatriyam prabhuh
sonitodan hradan nava (SB 9.19)
Translations by Srila Prabhupada (9.16.10-19)
“Once when Paraśurāma left the āśrama for the forest with Vasumān and his other brothers, the sons of Kārtavīryārjuna took the opportunity to approach Jamadagni’s residence to seek vengeance for their grudge.
The sons of Kārtavīryārjuna were determined to commit sinful deeds. Therefore when they saw Jamadagni sitting by the side of the fire to perform yajña and meditating upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is praised by the best of selected prayers, they took the opportunity to kill him.
With pitiable prayers, Reṇukā, the mother of Paraśurāma and wife of Jamadagni, begged for the life of her husband. But the sons of Kārtavīryārjuna, being devoid of the qualities of kṣatriyas, were so cruel that despite her prayers they forcibly cut off his head and took it away.
Lamenting in grief for the death of her husband, the most chaste Reṇukā struck her own body with her hands and cried very loudly, “O Rāma, my dear son Rāma!”
Although the sons of Jamadagni, including Lord Paraśurāma, were a long distance from home, as soon as they heard Reṇukā loudly calling “O Rāma, O my son,” they hastily returned to the āśrama, where they saw their father already killed.
Virtually bewildered by grief, anger, indignation, affliction and lamentation, the sons of Jamadagni cried, “O father, most religious, saintly person, you have left us and gone to the heavenly planets!”
Thus lamenting, Lord Paraśurāma entrusted his father’s dead body to his brothers and personally took up his axe, having decided to put an end to all the kṣatriyas on the surface of the world.
O King, Lord Paraśurāma then went to Māhiṣmatī, which was already doomed by the sinful killing of a brāhmaṇa. In the midst of that city he made a mountain of heads, severed from the bodies of the sons of Kārtavīryārjuna.
With the blood of the bodies of these sons, Lord Paraśurāma created a ghastly river, which brought great fear to the kings who had no respect for brahminical culture. Because the kṣatriyas, the men of power in government, were performing sinful activities, Lord Paraśurāma, on the plea of retaliating for the murder of his father, rid all the kṣatriyas from the face of the earth twenty-one times. Indeed, in the place known as Samanta-pañcaka he created nine lakes filled with their blood.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada (3.16.19)
“Parasurama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and his eternal mission is paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam — to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants. To kill all the sinful men is one among the tasks of the incarnation of Godhead. Lord Parasurama killed all the ksatriyas twenty-one times consecutively because they were disobedient to the brahminical culture. That the ksatriyas had killed his father was only a plea; the real fact is that because the ksatriyas, the ruling class, had become polluted, their position was inauspicious. Brahminical culture is enjoined in the sastra, especially in Bhagavad-gita (catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah). According to the laws of nature, whether at the time of Parasurama or at the present, if the government becomes irresponsible and sinful, not caring for brahminical culture, there will certainly be an incarnation of God like Parasurama to create a devastation by fire, famine, pestilence or some other calamity. Whenever the government disrespects the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead and fails to protect the institution of varnasrama-dharma, it will certainly have to face such catastrophes as formerly brought about by Lord Parasurama.”
HH Radhanath Swami speaks:
I am feeling unqualified among so many great souls to speak. But I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you.
Today’s verse is Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Nine Chapter 16 Text 10 through 19. This chapter is entitled “Lord Parasurama destroys the world’s ruling class”.
Jamadagni a great brahmana was visited by a king Kartaviryarjuna who was extremely powerful and with his power he accumulated mass fame, wealth. He was very beautiful. Sukadeva Goswami tells he was so powerful that one time he was sporting with some beautiful ladies in a river and just to show how strong he was he blocked the flow of the river. And just upstream was Ravana who was on his tour of conquering all directions. And he also had a lot of false pride, as we know. So he was trying to enjoy and everything started flooding and he was very angry, so he attacked Kartaviryarjuna and Kartaviryarjuna captured him like a useless monkey and arrested him and negligently just let him go. Such a dishonour but that was his strength.
Jamadagni was so gracious. He gave such hospitality to the king and all of his soldiers, his ministers, whoever was with him. And although Jamadagni just lived in a very simple life in a hermitage, he had a kamadhenu cow and he protected that cow with great love. The cow had a little calf. He did not exploit the cow. But rather whatever was taken from the cow, the milk was made into ghee to perform yajna or sacrifices for the upliftment and well-being of all living beings to create an auspicious environment. So with the help of this kamadhenu, Jamadagni gave such wonderful hospitality to the king, literally royal, opulent food, residences, everything was given. Instead of being grateful, Kartaviryarjuna was envious. I should have that cow! And instead of thanking him and thinking this is the example that I should follow of being so kind and gracious to a guest, he had the kamadhenu helplessly stolen.
The cow and her calf were weeping and crying, being abused by this king because she knew he wanted to use her for his own egoistic, envious purposes. Such abusive power and she cried out and Parasurama, the son of Jamadagni, who was an incarnation of Krishna, he went and basically he gave them a chance just to give the kamadhenu cow back. But instead of giving the kamadhenu cow back, this king was so proud, arrogant that he sent his soldiers to attack Parasurama, to kill him. There was a good fight. Bhagavatam tells Parasurama with his axes and various weapons, he was fighting with the speed of mind. Seventeen akshauhini divisions of soldiers, hundreds and thousands in each division were sent to fight him. And singlehandedly when he got tired, he slowed down to the speed of the wind! (laughter)
And eventually Kartaviryarjuna himself came to fight him. Why didn’t he just give back the cow? This is how intoxicated he became by this ahankara, this false pride. And ultimately he was eliminated, liberated and the cow was brought back with her little calf.
Sometime later when Parasurama was not around, or his brothers, we are reading in today’s verses, Kartaviryarjuna’s sons wanted revenge! And while the father was meditating on Vishnu in front of the sacred fire, they came to kill him. And his good wife, the mother of Parasurama, Renuka she was crying helplessly, pleading for his life! Of course between these two stories Parasurama made a serious offence, I mean Jamadagni made a serious offence against Renuka but still she was pleading for his life. And right in her presence they severed his head and took it away. And she cries out, O Rama! My son! Please come!
And here in the purport Srila Prabhupada explains that the personification of the mentality of Kartaviryarjuna and his sons took the form of hurting so deeply Renuka, the wife of Jamadagni, the mother of the Lord. And killing someone who is trying to do good for the world. But Parasurama, Prabhupada describes, as Krishna has incarnated,
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham (Bg 4.7)
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge (Bg 4.8)
Out of compassion, out of mercy for all living beings, He is coming to protect. Although Parasurama was a brahmana by birth, due to extraordinary circumstances of the past he had very much the spirit of a kshatriya, which means to protect. Kshatriya doesn’t talk about attacking, it means protecting.
True leadership in this way is to understand, sarva-loka-mahesvaram suhrdam sarva-bhutanam (Bg 5.29). That everything is Krishna’s property, and every living being is beloved. Krishna is the intimate loving well-wishing friend of every living being. So to protect Krishna’s property and to protect all living beings, the kshatriyas have to fight because there are aggressors like Kartaviryarjuna who are exploiting.
Its very interesting, the same place, Samanta-pancaka where the blood was filled to fill these lakes is in Kurukshetra. And many many years later that is the place where Krishna went to perform the observance of w solar eclipse and that’s where He met the Brajabasi’s headed by Nanda, Yashoda, Sri Radharani, the gopas and the gopis. And it was there that Sri Radharani and the gopis wanted to bring Krishna back to Vrindavana and their meditation was taught by Lord Caitanya to be the spirit of the Rathyatra.
So how Krishna takes something so ghastly as lakes filled with blood and in the same place creates the sweetest most beautiful pastimes of love.
But there are many messages from this story we could learn.
And one in particular is an essential theme of so many of the great Vedic literatures. Ahankara, the danger of having this false ego.
Kuntidevi, the mother of the Pandavas, she saw what false ego does, she lived in it. More than anyone she suffered from seeing what was happening around it. From ahankara comes envy, they are inseparable. When we are proud that I am the doer, I am the proprietor, and that becomes our identity, that becomes the source of our feeling of value and pleasure, then we become arrogant toward those who have less, and envious of someone who has something we don’t.
Here is Kartaviryaruna, he is living in a magnificent palace, he has millions of soldiers, he is ruling over the earth, such fame and Jamadagni he is just living on the bank of the Narmada river. He doesn’t really have any material possessions. He is just living a completely simple life but he has a cow, a really good cow, a kamadhenu. And such envy. He could not tolerate that he had something, he didn’t. And he went through such an extent to steal it. And Parasurama when he came to get the cow back, he is a brahmana. He was just dressed in some black deer skin and matted hair. Kartaviryarjuna had the most upto date modern weapons of the times, mass militaries, they attacked. This is how the intoxication of the ego, creating envy, can bewilder people.
But it’s the same theme as the Ramayana. Ravana was the king of Sri Lanka. He had conquered Indra. His son conquered Indra, Indrajit. He was living in a kingdom where practically everything was constructed out of solid pure gold. He was unconquerable, famous. He was exploiting and enjoying limitless beautiful women, limitless wealth that he would steal from his own brother Kubera, he stole his carrier the Pushpaka. He had everything. And here was Rama living in Panchvati, forest, He had nothing. Lakshmana just built a straw hut for Rama. They were living on the bank of the Godavari river in the forest but He had Sita. And Ravana could not tolerate that somebody else had Sita. So much envy in his heart. Like Kartyavirarjuna stealing the kamadenu, he stole Sita.
And his brother Vibhisana, younger brother kept telling Ravana, I am your well-wisher! Just be happy with what you have and give Sita back to Rama! Otherwise its going to be the cause of the destruction of your entire dynasty! And everyone knows the story. Because of that arrogance that, I am the controller, I am the enjoyer and because of the envy that came from it, even his own brother he insulted him and exiled him, because he didn’t agree with him.
And Mahabharata that theme is there. Duryodhana he had everything. His father Dhritarashtra was the king, he was handsome, he was very powerful, a champion fighter with the club, he had enormous wealth and fame. But he couldn’t tolerate that Bhima was stronger, and he could not tolerate that Yudhisthira was going to be the king. It was his rightful claim! Because of his arrogance, he seethed with envy towards the Pandavas and he tried to do everything he could to destroy them.
And similarly his (Dhritarashtra) younger brother Vidura was giving all good advise to him. I am your well-wisher! Very much like Vibhishana. I love you! I want to help you! Just let the Pandavas have what they have and you have everything you need. Otherwise if you engage in this envy, in this adharma, if you are a slave to your envy, your whole dynasty will be destroyed. Vidura was speaking to his elder brother Dhritarashtra in this way. But just as Indrajit so much, the younger son of Ravana, influenced him so much. Similarly Duryodhana influenced Dhritarashtra.
And ultimately right in front of Dhritarashtra’s eyes Duryodhana totally insulted Vidura and exiled him. And ultimately Krishna Himself, Kunti herself pleaded and the great battle of Kurukshetra.
And in one beautiful lecture on the first verse of Bhagavad Gita, dharmakshetre kurukshetre, Srila Prabhupada explains that the basic principle of material entanglement is envy. And its emphasised in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, in Srimad Bhagavata and in Bhagavad Gita, that the quality of an enlightened person or of a devotee, in fact sometimes Srila Prabhupada says this is the definition of a Vaisnava not to be envious. Krishna tells Arjuna, you can understand this message because you are not envious. Krishna tried to preach to Duryodhana but he couldn’t hear it because of his envy.
That envy is born of this ego that I am the enjoyer, I am the proprietor. And Kunti was watching all of this and she offered this beautiful prayer with such realisation of what she has observed to Lord Krishna,
naivarhaty abhidhatum vai
tvam akiñcana-gocaram (SB 1.8.26)
The greatest spiritual disqualification is what people consider the greatest material qualifications. Greatest obstacles to spiritual progress, to have beauty, wealth, fame and knowledge, because in such a state one become proud and in that false ego one makes more and more and more one’s interest in the centre of one’s life. And then we become envious of others. A vaisnava is one who is a sincere well-wisher of anothers.
Srila Prabhupada in every letter he would write, almost always he would sign it – Your ever well wisher! Ever well-wisher means only wants the best for us. And what is the best – to love Krishna! To be happy! I remember I listened to a lecture of Prabhupada at a wedding ceremony. Very early in the movement, it was in the 60’s. And he said, the whole Vedic culture is about sarve sukhino bhavantu – let everyone be happy! So this is a vaisnava, he wants everyone to be happy, she wants everyone to be happy. But due to the false ego we become disconnected and it revolves around I and mine, janasya moha ’yam aham mameti (SB 5.5.8). And we become proud, the more we have in this world the more it increases the fever of our material disease of pride and envy and greed because we can never get enough.
And then we cannot with sincere feeling call out the name of the Lord. That is why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this sacred principle, trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih (Shikshashtakam). If you want to really get the taste of chanting of the holy name, Krishna must be pleased with you. And how is that possible? We must aspire to be more humble than a blade of grass, more forgiving and tolerant than a tree. Where we find happiness giving respect to others and we are detached from receiving respect for ourselves. In that spirit we can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
So we see what happened to Kartaviryarjuna. We see what happened to Duryodhana and the entire kuru dynasty. Kartaviryarjuna, his entire dynasty and we saw what happened to Ravana in his entire dynasty.
Here in Navadvipa, that same Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared in His original transcendental form as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krishna-svarupam. And Rupa Goswami prayed to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradaya te krishnaya krishna-chaitanya- namne gaura-tvishe namah. The most merciful of all incarnations, even Krishna, because He is so magnanimous. Rama killed Ravana, He liberated him. Krishna (killed) Kamsa and so many others. Parasurama (killed) so many others! How He liberated them!
But here in Navadvipa Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He cured the same disease with such a level of compassion. Let us take example of Srivasa Thakura, very great devotee. He invited Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu every night along with the devotees, behind closed doors to have hari nama sankirtana. But there was one brahmana, actually in the previous ages it was usually the kshatriyas who were so envious but in Kaliyuga brahmanas become like that. It was a brahmana that cursed Pariksit Maharaja to die in seven days. So Gopala Capala was very learned in the external Sanskrit of the Vedas and he was very famous. But he could not tolerate the mercy that Srivasa Thakura was getting, he could not tolerate that he was not in the centre. So he decide to destroy Srivasa Thakura because dishonour is worse than death. So late at night he put all this tantric puja paraphernalia in front of Srivasa’s house which shows a person in the mode of ignorance. The idea is that when the people see that they will condemn Srivasa.
Srivasa was so humble. He came out early in the morning before anyone else and he saw all this stuff that was in front of his house. He called the towns people and the brahmanas of Navadvipa and he said – I just want to show you what I do late at night when you are sleeping. He didn’t try to defend himself. But nobody believed him. So they swept the front of his house, they put cow dung, cow urine and made it purified. But Srivasa had no grudge. He was just thinking that if this is what the Lord wants then very nice.
But Lord Caitanya cannot tolerate such an offense. Within three days Gopala Capala had an advanced stage of leprosy. It was so painful. Sri Caitanya Caritamrta tells there was blood and pus oozing from every part of his body and there were millions of germs and limitless insects eating his body away. He was so suffering, he was so miserable and plus leprosy in those days especially there were not many cures. It was contagious, he had to leave his home, live under a tree on the bank of the Ganga and he was suffering.
One day Lord Caitanya came walking by, Lord Gauranga. And in his suffering Gopala became sober and he could actually recognise now now that Lord Caitanya is Krishna, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he said, “I know You are the Supreme Lord, I know that You deliver all fallen souls and I am so fallen! Please save me! I am suffering!” He wasn’t praying for the liberation of his soul. He was praying for liberation from physical suffering. And Lord Caitanya out of His mercy, He wanted to teach him a good lesson and in this process He wanted to teach each and every one of us a good lesson. Lord Caitanya appeared to be angry, like a loving mother to a naughty child. And said, “because you have committed this aparadha, this offence to Srivasa, you will suffer the same misery of leprosy for the next ten million births!” And then He walked away!
That’s pretty serious! But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is most merciful. He understood that’s the medicine he needed to take things seriously. And sometimes medicine takes some time to digest and have the effect. And everything the Lord does is with perfect timing. So He took sanyas. He went to Puri. He travelled to South India for a couple of years. He came back to Navadvipa and then He decided to go to Vrindavan. And that took a while for His devotees to give their permission for Him to go to Vrindavan. And on the way He came to Kuliya, to Navadvipa. And Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami tells that Gopala Capala now he understood that it’s not about giving up material suffering. Its about surrendering ones heart and ones life for the pleasure of the Lord. That was his mood now. But that’s what it took to bring him to that not theoretical understanding but realisation.
So in Kuliyagram which is just close to today’s Navadvipa on the western side of the Ganga, Gopala Capala he didn’t pray for relief of his misery, he prayed that he could surrender his life eternally to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. And Lord Caitanya said, “I cannot forgive you unless Srivasa Thakura forgives you! You must go to him!” And when he came to Srivasa Thakura and fell at his feet, Srivasa was his loving well-wisher. He never was even upset. He was only upset because like Ambarisa told Durvasa Muni, he was only upset because he saw him suffering so much. Srivasa lifted him up and embraced him and then when he went back to Lord Caitanya he was not only cured of his leprosy but he was cured of his ahankara, the underlying disease of the false ego. He was cured of that propensity to be envious of others. He became a great devotee. Offered beautiful prayers to the Lord which are historically inspiring to all of us.
And the same principle is there with Jagai and Madhai. When Haridasa Thakura and Nityananda Prabhu approached them first, they attacked to kill them and Haridasa and Nityananda ran away. Of course it’s a long story but one night Nityananda Prabhu just wandered to where Jagai and Madhai was, just alone and approached them to tell them to chant Krishna’s name, worship Krishna, follow Krishna’s instructions, Krishna is your father, your mother, your real wealth, your life and soul. And they were so angry. Who are you? Who are you? And Nityananda Prabhu said, My name is avadhuta! And Madhai picked up a clay pot and puff smashed it on the head of Nityananda Prabhu. It cracked open His head and blood was flowing. But still Nityananda Prabhu, akrodha paramananda nityananda raya, He was not angry. He was only concerned with them. Such an example of not being envious.
The Lord who is the source of all good qualities, He was praying for their well-being. And this made Madhai even more angry and he was about to hit Nityananda again but again the story of the brother trying to help. Jagai was transformed seeing how merciful Nityananda Prabhu was and he held his brothers arm, No! You cannot hit Him again! Do not do this! He is an avadhuta! What has He done to harm you? He is a saintly person! Spare Him! But Madhai was determined to kill Him.
Meanwhile the townspeople told Lord Caitanya and He came. Srila Prabhupada said He was angry as fire! His eyes were glowing with anger! Cakra! Cakra! And the Sudarshana Cakra appeared! And Nityananda Prabhu stood between Madhai and Lord Caitanya and prayed. Nityananda Prabhuknows the heart of Caitanya Mahaprabhu because They are, parama karuna pahu dui jana nitai gaurachandra. He said just the thing to pacify the Lord. He said actually Jagai saved My life! Madhai was going to hit Me again but Jagai stopped him! Jagai saved My life!
And Lord Caitanya is so pleased with anyone who serves His devotee nicely. Lord Caitanya’s heart melted and He turned to Jagai and said because you have so nicely served Nityananda Prabhu, I give you prema, pure unalloyed love and devotion! And as soon as He said that He actually gave it to him. And Jagai actually fell to the ground unconscious. And Lord Caitanya woke him up. He said Jagai, because you have served Nityananda and pleased Him, I give you My mercy! And then he looked up and saw Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His four armed form, was ecstatically weeping in love of God.
And seeing this happening Madhai, the combanination of seeing his brother intoxicated with ecstatic love and they really liked to be intoxicated! And also seeing Mahaprabhu standing before him with the Sudarshan cakra, he prayed to Lord Caitanya – Please save me! Don’t kill me! Give me what You just gave my brother because we all did the same things together our whole lives! And Mahaprabhu said because you have caused blood to fall from the head of Nityananda Prabhu, I cannot save you!
And then Nityananda Prabhu prayed, all of the devotional activities, all of the pious deeds I have ever done in this life, and all My previous lives, I exchange them if You just give love of God, love of Krishna to Madhai! Forgive him because actually it didn’t even hurt! And because Nityananda Prabhu prayed and begged, the person who insulted Him, the person who is intent on killing Him, Nityananda Prabhu was praying for Krishna prema to be given to him.
And Srila Prabhupada explains when these great souls pray like this, I’ll give all My previous pious activities, I’ll give You all devotion that I have ever done in exchange that You give love of Krishna to this person, they mean it. Such a person means it from the core of their heart. Its not just poetic words. That’s a standard of a vaisnava that’s being displayed.
And Lord Caitanya, He told Madhai, because you caused pain to Nityananda Prabhu fall at His feet! Only if He forgives you! And Madhai fell at the feet of Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya said to Nityananda now he is Yours. And Lord Nityananda Prabhu lifted him up and embraced him with compassion, respect. And then Lord Caitanya said, because you have surrendered to Me and you have pleased Lord Nityanada Prabhu, I relieve you of all your previous sinful activities in all your previous lives. Just do not commit such sinful activities again and be with My devotees and constantly chant the holy names. dina-hina jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo, tara sakshi jagai madhai. The power of Krishna’s holy name, the power of the association of devotees, the mercy of the devotees, even Jagai and Madhai were delivered and given prema dhana, the greatest of all treasures, eternal prema.
And Madhai was feeling so guilty about what he did after he attained ecstatic love for Krishna. He wasn’t thinking I am so great! He was thinking I have made so many offenses, I don’t even know who I offended because I was always so intoxicated. And he came and put his words before Nityananda Prabhu and Nityananda Prabhu gave the world such a sacred message. That by being the servant of the servant of the servant, Krishna will be pleased to restore our original Krishna consciousness.
But it has to be something that we apply to our life. He said, go to the bank of Ganga because the people of Navadvipa love to bathe in the Ganga, so dig with your own hands a bathing ghat. It became known as Madhai ghat and every person that comes greet them and serve them with love and devotion. Clean the ghat! So here is Madhai, now he is more humble than a blade of grass and offering all respect to others, cleaning up for everyone, doing the most menial services, welcoming them, praying for them.
And actually Jananivas Prabhu told me this story many years ago and I will end this class. When Madhai would greet people when they would come to his ghat and said if I ever knowingly or unknowingly made or caused any discomfort or pain to you I beg forgiveness. I am your servant and he meant it from the core of his heart. And people’s hearts would melt. But sometimes people were so upset because of what he had done in the past that they would pick up stone and throw at his head. And here is Madhai who was extremely powerful physically, he would bow down, he would pick up the stone, hand it back to the person and said, please purify me by throwing it again. And then even that person’s heart would melt. And even today over five hundred years later we go to Khatwa where there is the samadhi of Madhai to offer our love and respect to him.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu here in Navadvipa He manifested all the powers of Parasurama and all the powers of all other incarnations in such a loving compassionate way, to kill the demoniac tendencies within us and give us Krishna prema. enechi aushadhi maya nasibaro lagi hari nama maha mantra lao tumi magi. Mahaprabhu would say I have come with this medicine to cure your egoism, your envy and to give you the restoration of your healthy nature as a loving servant of Krishna. And that medicine is Krishna’s holy names,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
It was this medicine, this spirit of compassion, forgiveness and ever will wishing love that Srila Prabhupada our beloved founder acharya travelled the world to give. So many hardships, so many difficulties. His joy in life was simply giving us the medicine of the holy names to restore our love for Krishna. And there is a very famous well known story where Srila Prabhupada after spreading Krishna consciousness in so many parts of the world, in Atlanta, Georgia, he was sitting in front of the deities of Gaura Nitai. And for the Srimad Bhagavatam class instead of singing Radha Madhava that day, he chanted parama karuna pahu dui jana nitai gauracandra!
And Srila Prabhupada took no credit for anything he did. Now he came to Navadvipa to beg for the blessings of his Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura at the samadhi mandir before he boarded Jalduta. And now here he is in a major city in America and there’s devotees from all over America and the world who are coming and who are surrendering their lives, who are doing kirtana, who are distributing books, who are opening temples, who are distributing prasada. And Srila Prabhupada in great ecstasy he offered his gratitude to Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda and his Guru Maharaja for saving all of us.
There’s a famous lesson that was written long ago that “Gratitude is the mother of all other good qualities.” How we can show our gratitude to Srila Prabhupada will be the basis of Krishna empowering us with the qualities of a true vaisnava. But how to show our gratitude? Srila Prabhupada gave many instructions, by reading his books, he gave so much of his life to give these books for us to read. I remember in 1972 I was in Radha Govinda temple in Henry St of New York just after coming back from India and I didn’t know much about ISKCON. In fact I didn’t know anything except that we worship Krishna and I liked that. But Prabhupada was sitting on his vyasasana and I was remembering he spoke something that, in 1972, its the first lecture I heard Prabhupada give in America. And he said “when you distribute these books if somebody asks you – do you read them, you should not say I only distribute them. I don’t have time to read them. So who will take you seriously? I have written these books for you to read and distribute.” So to show our gratitude to Prabhupada means to receive what he is giving us.
When Prabhupada was asked how could we reciprocate with everything you have given, he said just receive what I have given you and share it with others. Prabhupada gave us the holy names of Krishna to chant with attentiveness with a vow. And Srila Prabhupada has given us his society, International Society for Krishna consciousness, its his life’s offering to his Guru and the parampara and he wanted us to cooperate, he wanted us to settle our differences with vaisnava qualities. Not becoming envious or becoming proud. But to settle things with the qualities of a vaisnavas.
Cooperation is a very great challenge in this age of Kali. Performing our sadhana carefully, following these principles is a great challenge in the age of Kali. But it is the way we could show our gratitude to our beloved founder acharya. And if we can please Srila Prabhupada in this way, just as Parasurama destroyed the obstacles of corrupt kshatriyas twenty one times throughout the world, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda will deliver us from the exploitative enemies of our lust and our anger and our envy and our greed and our pride and our arrogance and illusion. And just as He gave Jagai and Madhai and Gopala Capala – Give us Krishna prema!
Thank you very much!
Transcribed by Suvilasi Madhavi dd, Singapore