Date: February 26th, 2011
Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back To Godhead
Verse: SB 4.12.20
Speaker: HG Harivilas Prabhu
vijnaya tav uttamagaya-kinkarav abhyutthitah sadhvasa-vismrta-kramah nanama namani grnan madhudvisah parsat-pradhanav iti samhatanjalih
TRANSLATION: Dhruva Maharaja, seeing that these uncommon personalities were direct servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, immediately stood up. But, being puzzled, in hastiness he forgot how to receive them in the proper way. Therefore he simply offered obeisances with folded hands and chanted and glorified the holy names of the Lord.
PURPORT: Chanting of the holy names of the Lord is perfect in every way. When Dhruva Maharaja saw the Visnudutas, the direct associates of Lord Visnu, four-handed and nicely decorated, he could understand who they were, but for the time being he was puzzled. But simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna mantra, he could satisfy the uncommon guests who had all of a sudden arrived before him. The chanting of the holy name of the Lord is perfect; even though one does not know how to please Lord Visnu or His associates, simply by sincerely chanting the holy name of the Lord, everything becomes perfect. A devotee, therefore, either in danger or in happiness, constantly chants the Hare Krsna mantra. When he is in danger he is immediately relieved, and when he is in a position to see Lord Visnu or His associates directly, by chanting this maha-mantra he can please the Lord. This is the absolute nature of the maha-mantra. Either in danger or in happiness, it can be chanted without limitation. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.22]
HG Harivilas Prabhu: So sitting in the chair that is the chair of Vyasadeva and before our Srila Prabhupada it is very humbling because being in front of the deities, Srila Prabhupada and the sincere Vaisnavas. It is very difficult to speak because we are not qualified but by your mercy and the mercy of Srila Prabhupada we are going to say a few words today.
The whole purpose of the class is to build up enthusiasm, inspiration and to give many reasons why we love Srila Prabhupada and Radha and Krishna. Without that love we will be lost in a desert of trouble and confusion. If you ask anyone what they are looking for in life after some time they will come to the conclusion, “I am looking for peace, happiness and love but no one ever taught me how to find this.” There is no course in any school in the world ‘Love 101.’ They don’t teach it. People pick it up in pieces from their families, from Bollywood movies, from songs but that it not the way or place to learn.
One must learn from a pure devotee of Krishna how to love. This whole society Srila Prabhupada says is based on the six exchanges of love. Today I am going to read about these things from Prabhupada’s books because the best preacher I know is His Divine Grace A. C Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada explains in the ‘Nectar of Instruction’ in the verse,
dadati pratigrhnati, guhyam akhyati prcchati bhunkte bhojayate caiva, sad-vidham priti-laksanam [Upadesamrta/ NoI (4)]
“The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees. This Society was started single-handedly, but because people are coming forward and dealing with the give — and — take policy, the Society is now expanding all over the world. We are glad that people are donating very liberally to the development of the Society’s activities, and people are also eagerly accepting whatever humble contribution we are giving them in the shape of books and magazines dealing strictly with the subject matter of Krishna consciousness. We sometimes hold Hare Krishna festivals and invite life members and friends to participate in the feasting by accepting prasada. Although most of our members come from the higher rungs of society, they nonetheless come and take whatever little prasada we are able to offer them. Sometimes the members and supporters inquire very confidentially about the methods of performing devotional service, and we try to explain this. In this way our Society is successfully spreading all over the world and the intelligentsia of all countries is gradually appreciating our Krishna conscious activities. The life of the Krishna conscious society is nourished by these six types of loving exchange among the members; therefore people must be given the chance to associate with the devotees of ISKCON because simply by reciprocating in the six ways mentioned above an ordinary man can fully revive his dormant Krishna consciousness. In Bhagavad-gita (2.62) it is stated, sangat sanjayate kamah: one’s desires and ambitions develop according to the company one keeps. It is often said that a man is known by his company, and if an ordinary man associates with devotees, he will certainly develop his dormant Krishna consciousness. The understanding of Krishna consciousness is innate in every living entity, and it is already developed to some extent when the living entity takes a human body. It is said in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.107):
nitya-siddha krsna-prema ‘sadhya’ kabhu naya sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya
“Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens.” Since Krishna consciousness is inherent in every living entity, everyone should be given a chance to hear about Krishna. Simply by hearing and chanting — sravanam kirtanam [SB 7.5.23] — one’s heart is directly purified, and one’s original Krishna consciousness is immediately awakened.” [NoI: verse 4]
So when I was living in Berkley, California I would take prasadam out every day to a park named People’s Park where the strangest people of the world were living [Laughter] and on the way to the park I would pass vendors on the street. There was one Muslim vendor. H had his Muslim hat on and he had the calama written on his table. Everday I would walk by and say Hare Krishna and he would say, “Huh! Go away! Not Krishna! Allah!” As I would go I would say that and as I would come back I would say, “Hare Krishna.” He would say, “Go away.”
This went on for two years. [Laughter] to my greatest amazement one day I saw him come to the temple. When he walked into the door I happened to greet him. I said, “Hare Krishna.” He said, “Stop it. Just stop it! You are killing me with this Hare Krishna!” [Laughter] That was the first time he said Hare Krishna. [Laughter] I said, “Okay I am sorry.” I said, “I am very happy you are here. Please come in.” He said, “Yes I will come in. I have to tell you something.” I said, “What is it?” he said, “Your Hare Krishna is very powerful.” I said, “What happened?” He said, “You know I am on the street. Avenue and the bloody shatan people (shatan means satan) sometimes they come with rings in their nose and ears and in their eyes and their hair like this and they have black clothes on and tattoos. One stands here and one stand s here and one stands here and ther and one says, ‘How much is this?’ and when I look there the other one steals something.” [Laughter]
He said, “Shatan people are very bad. But then one day everything was Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna like crazy. One day I looked at them and said ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna’ and they started walking away and they went away. So this hare Krishna is very powerful.” [Applause and laughter] Now I am telling you the truth. This man started coming everyday to the temple and he would take prasadam, he would wash dishes, he would take the trash out. He became a devotee. [Haribol and applause]
Every day I would take the food out, the prasadam and I would serve at People’s Park and like I said, the strangest people in the world live there, virtually live in the park. They eat there and they pass stool. There was one boy that never waited in line and never got prasadam. He was too crazy. He couldn’t even speak. He never took a bath. So I thought, “Let me leave a plate, maybe he will take it.” Day after day I would come by and I would notice the plate empty. Then I felt happy in my heart that even though I couldn’t serve him directly he was getting some Prasad.
One day to my amazement he was in line waiting for prasadam and he came. I said, “Hare Krishna.” And he just looked at me because he couldn’t speak and he took it. Now every day he would wait in line and take prasadam and one day he said something to me. He said, “I want to live in your temple.” I said, “You can’t.” “Why not?” I said, “You are not clean. You don’t know, you will not be able to follow the rules.” “Tell me what to do.” So I gave him the address of a place where he could take a shower. I said, “You go take a shower, cut your fingernails, wash and cut your hair then we will talk some more.”
Next day he had done that. He cleaned himself up and he came and got prasadam. Then he said, “I want to live in your temple.” I said, “No you can’t.” He said, “Why not?” I said, “you are clean but you are not ready but you can come to the temple and help me bring the Prasad.” Then he used to come o the temple. I wouldn’t let him come in. He would wait outside and we would bring the Prasad and we would serve it out to the people and then he would help me take it back to the temple. Then I let him wash the dishes, pots outside. After sometime, he kept doing this regularly and he kept getting better and better then again he asked me, ‘I want to live in your temple. Why not? Why not?” I said, “Okay on one condition.” “What?” “You have to listen to everything I say.” “Okay. I do what you say.”
So he started to live in the temple. He would get up every morning and take shower. He would wash his clothes, take part in the program. He started to chant Hare Krishna. Then one day I said, “Prabhu, you have to stop getting money from the government.” He said, “Why? I give money to temple.” I said, “No, that money is not good for you.’ He said, “Okay. Anything you say.” He stopped taking the money and then he started to distribute books.
One day he said to me, “I don’t want to live here anymore.’ I said, “Why?” “I want to go Vrindavan.” [Laughter] “I want to see real Krishna.” I said, “Okay. You keep distributing books and you can keep some of the money.” He said, “That take long time.” I said, “That is all right. You just chant Hare Krishna and be patient.” He collected the money. It took him six months. He bought a ticket, came to Vrindavan and he is still there. [Haribol and applause]
So Lord Caitanya gave us two things, harinam sankirtan and mahaprasad. We do not realize how powerful these two things are but if we simply give these two things sincerely people will take and they will change. You don’t even have to preach. You preach by the way you give. I have seen people refuse prasadam from devotees because they didn’t like the attitude of the devotee when he was giving. One must give with the idea of sama-darsan, that is equal vision.
We are worshipping the deity and we should see the same deity in the heart of every person, every hand, every insect, every fish and every cow because they are all Krishnas’ prajas, all Krishna’s children. He is the Supreme father,
sarva-yonisu kaunteya, murtayah sambhavanti yah tasam brahma mahad yonir, aham bija-pradah pita [Bg 14.4]
He is the seed giving father to all living entities. That means we are all the same family. It is called the Acyuta-gotra. It is not that your father is different from my father or your God is different from my God. There is one God, one sastra and one mantra. We have to realize that,
ekam sastram devaki-putra-gitam [Bg Introduction – (Gita-mahatmya 7)]
When we have that firm conviction that is fixed in our hearts then we are ready to preach, when we see people equally. This is the basis of faith. We believe that simply with the holy name and with prasadam we can convert the whole world.
‘sraddha’-sabde — visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya [Madhya 22.62]
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya [Madhya 22.107]
This means that if a person has sraddha, because if we believe that the holy name has all potency,
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah [Siksastaka 2] or [Antya 20.16]
“O Krishna You have invested in your holy name all potencies and You have many names like Krishna and Govinda, Hare, Murari and each of these names are potent.” And Lord Caitanya says, “But I am so unfortunate that I do not have faith in these holy names.”
Lord Caitanya has great faith in the holy names but He is speaking for us. We have to build up faith in the holy names through practical experience by seeing the change in ourselves and seeing the change in others. We see the change. When you read sastra you see the change. In Jesus Christ, he sacrificed his life for others.
In Haridas Thakura because he wouldn’t stop chanting Hare Krishna in Moslem villages right here in Bengal he was beaten in twenty one market places. “Stop chanting.” They kept on beating and beating him and the more they were beating the more he chanted. They couldn’t stop him. Finally the guards that were beating him became afraid because they were told if they don’t kill him they will be killed. So they said, “Sir we are sorry to beat you but you must die otherwise we will die. Haridas Thakura said, “Well I don’t want to cause you any pain at all.” See the heart of a devotee. He said, “Therefore I will die.” And he died.
Then the Muslim leader came and looked. He said, “Is the kabir dead?” He pushed him a little bit to see if he moved at all. They said, “No, Sir he is dead.” So they took his body and threw it in the Ganga. Then later on Haridas Thakura went down the river and then he came out on the bank of the river. He had a doubt in his mind. It seemed so be hurting him but his mind was fixed in chanting Hare Krishna so he didn’t actually notice it. And he was wondering why. Later on he went to see Lord Caitanya and he saw the Lord was in ecstasy but he also saw that the Lord had things that looked like wounds on the back of His back. Then he understood the Lord protected him by taking his pain. This is real Krishna consciousness. We have to understand that by putting ourselves within the brink of Krishna conscious preaching in harm’s way how the Lord is so kind to us and merciful.
samo ‘ham sarva-bhutesu, na me dvesyo ‘sti na priyah ye bhajanti tu mam bhaktya, mayi te tesu capy aham [Bg 9.29]
The Lord is equal to everyone but He is very especially kind to His devotees and He gives special treatment to His devotees even though He is equal to everybody. He is equal to everybody because He gives everyone a chance. The Lord came out in the world on the calling of Advaita Acarya and …[End of recording! If any one has a complete recording of this nice talk please send to me, Madri dasi(Johannesburg, South Africa) for trabscribing – firstname.lastname@example.org] [To receive Mayapurlive lectures by email, write to email@example.com]