12 April 2020
Aim of our life is not to get free from lockdown, but from Maya.
You are all chanting from 784 locations. Welcome to all of you. I'm also pleased to see all of you chanting from various places. We can see all the devotees on one screen after another. I'm also seeing you all, but you also would be seeing others. You will be experiencing that 1500 to 2000 devotees are chanting from 784 locations. This is very pleasing. This is very enlivening and inspirational news. When the Lord sees that all these devotees are chanting from these many locations and are having friendly dealings amongst each other then the Lord appears.
The same happened in the case of the Pracetās. They were 11 brothers. You all are also brothers and sisters. We are all Prabhupada’s family. They were also engaged in sadhana and absorbed in it. They were suhrd and friendly with each other.
suhrd sarva bhutanam
Suhrd means those who are good-hearted, and who love others and have a friendly nature. Seeing these friendly dealings between the Pracetas Vaikuntheshwar gave them darsana. And while giving the darsana the Lord said to them, ‘By seeing your suhrd (brotherly affection) and your absorption in sadhana, I'm giving you darsana.’
nāhaṁ tiṣṭhāmi vaikuṇṭhe
yogināṁ hṛdayeṣu vā
tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada
yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ
“My dear Nārada, actually I do not reside in My abode, Vaikuṇṭha, nor do I reside within the hearts of the yogīs, but I reside in that place where My pure devotees chant My holy name and discuss My form, pastimes, and qualities.”
Wherever my devotees are chanting, there I always reside. I might not be found in the hearts of yogis, in Vaikuntha, but wherever My devotees sing My glories there I can be found.
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca
The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.[ BG 10.9]
'Wherever devotees get pleasure by getting absorbed in singing My glories at those places I stay, Oh Narada.’ So we chant together. Chanting together has the benefit that Maya can't capture us. If we are alone she can capture us, but if we are together Visnu Maya runs away. Keep on doing kirtana and Japa on Zoom Conference. You can make your teams. You can do this in your family. The family that prays together stays together. Hare Krishna is a prayer and the effect will be that the family will stay together.
You have posted many reports in the morning. Revati Raman Prabhu from ISKCON Thane has written that they are distributing 22000 plates of prasada. The municipality is supplying the groceries. Devotees are cooking and distributing prasada packets. Solapur also distributed 1500 prasada packets. Prem Padmani chanted 64 rounds. Some devotee chanted 26 rounds, and a devotee from Gurgaon chanted 32 rounds. Kirtana is also happening every day at 5:00 p.m. Govardhan Prabhu from Delhi is doing kirtana daily. I had a zoom conference meeting with my disciples from New Jersey, America. They said that they are performing kirtana at 5 pm. It is spreading worldwide. We have taken a vow of doing Akhanda Harinam Sankirtan Yajna. Continue it daily at 5:00 p.m. Some of you are reporting that you are doing 1hour kirtana. It is welcomed - the more, the merrier. Kathas are also going on. Many ISKCON kathakars are giving kathas. I am also doing Katha. Marathi Katha is going on at 10 am. Take benefit of this. From 5.30pm to 6:30 pm we have Srimad Bhagavatam Katha in English. Many of you know English or mleccha Bhasha, language. Basu Ghosh Prabhu, the temple president of ISKCON Baroda says that English is mleccha Bhasha. For Hindi devotees, there is Katha at 8 pm. In this way there are morning sessions, then Marathi, English and Hindi Katha. Many of you reported and praised the sweetness of the Kathas. This is the mercy of Krsna. The whole world is caught is a situation where everything is down. Nothing is up. We are conditioned souls, but Hare Krishna devotees don't want to be locked down. Our houses have become prisons. You all have been put under house arrest. We all want to get free. We just don't have to become free from this lockdown, we have to get free from the lockdown of Maya.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.[ BG 3.27]
The Lord is telling us how foolish lie are to think that now we are free. We can do anything and everything we like. This is not the case. We're bound and shackled. We are bound by the three modes of material nature - sattva, raja and tama. These three modes have also been described as ropes. We have been bound by three ropes. We, the bewildered living entities are bound up.
daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it. [ BG 7.14]
The Lord always speaks the truth and cares for our welfare. We are all bound by the 3 modes. To get free from these 3 modes on your own is not easy. We need help to get rid of three modes. Lord has further said that if you come to My shelter, it will save from Maya. He is saying mām eva. Carefully hear every word. ‘Those who come to My shelter will be saved from Maya.’ Those who take shelter of other demigods have been described as less intelligent. Don't think that once locked down is over we become free. Don't think that once lockdown is over our offices and business will reopen and we will become free. No, we are never rid of this lockdown. We will still remain locked within the three modes and dance like puppets to it. The Puppeteer is never seen, but He controls all the puppets. They are not independent.
This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.[ BG 9.10]
The Lord has said, ‘I'm the puppeteer of this nature of the three modes.’ This nature is making us dance. We need to understand this. We need to get free from the 3 modes. If we take shelter of the Lord then we will become free. The aim of our life is not to get free from this lockdown, but from Maya. We have to transcend the 3 modes and get to pure goodness. This is Krishna Consciousness. The lockdown in India has been extended to 30 April. Take this lockdown as a blessing. All Gaudiya Vaisnavas, ISKCON followers, Prabhupadanugas should take full advantage of it. Make the best use of this bad bargain. The sadhana which you have been doing for 3 months is a little different from your so-called normal life. This is a welcome development. We are being forced to do sadhana and also share it with others. So continue. Keep on doing what you're doing. Make a plan for the next 2 weeks. You are doing good sadhana. Keep it up.