We have 246 participants today. Numbers keep changing, as some of you are not regular. They are in and out or on and off. Yesterday we had Jagannath Ratha-yatra festival here. You also should join festivals wherever you are. Festivals bring Utsaha - we have been saying this repeatedly. We get devotees’ association - Sadhu sanga. Our temple programs are also festivals. Grhastha devotees attend temple festivals. Today is Sunday festival. Prabhupada gave us so many festivals - Sunday festival, Ratha-yatra festival, Janmastami festival, Mayapur-Vrindavan festival and like that. Morning programs in Temples are also festivals. There is a feast. A feast for our eyes, a feast for our ears, a feast for our tongue and ultimately a feast for the soul.
Today is also Vasant-Panchami. Yet another big bathing day at Kumbha-mela. I am not there, but Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj is there at Kumbha-mela today leading our devotees to Triveni Sangam and they are chanting on their way to Triveni Sangam.
The Temples in our IMPM zone ar suggesting that we can conduct Bhagvatam class for all the temples conjointly. That's an idea, as many temples are joining us for Japa sessions like, Solapur, Nagpur , Sangali, Beed, Pandharpur. Devotees from there are joining with us for Japa sessions. So we can conduct a Bhagvatam class for all the temples, with one speaker.
Everyday you are taking extra special effort, not just to chant, but to attend the session. You have to drag yourself out of the bed, or stop all other business and chant with us, that's an endeavor. Certainly you should do such efforts to chant everyday at the same time with attention, chant with devotion, Chant while remembering Krishna. Effort is needed to be attentive, offenseless.
I came across one conversation of Srila Prabhupad, which is entitled, ‘This is tug of war’ referring to chanting Hare Krishna properly. There is a book about chanting consisting of Srila Prabhupada's comments and thoughts, talks,conversations and instructions. It has the glories of the holy name. One such thing I want to share with you. Visnujana asked Srila Prabhupada which is a common question,’How would it be possible for a man whose mind is crowded to constantly chant Hare Krishna?’ Man who is always thinking about family, friends, country and nation. So the mind remains clouded. Then how can it be possible for such a person?
Prabhupada replied, ‘Yes you may be thinking of family, relatives but at the same time chant. Two things will go on and this will conquer. Means chanting and remembering of Krsna will conquer. As Maya is forcing you to drag you from this Krishna consciousness, you also force Maya by chanting Hare Krishna. Maya is forcing you to think about her, but Prabhupada said you keep chanting and you force Maya to think of Krsna , remember Krsna. We know Srila Haridas Thakur had succeeded doing that. Maya was there and Krsna was there. Maya - in the form of a prostitute had her proposal and Srila Haridas Thakur had his proposal. Maya wanted him to think about her and Srila Haridas Thakur wanted Maya - that prostitute to think about Krsna, and you know who was victorious. That's what Srila Prabhupada is saying. You also force Maya by chanting Hare Krishna. There is a fight then Maya will go away. This is the 'tug of war’ he is talking about. Both are fighting, but ultimately if we keep chanting with determination and patience and enthusiasm then Maya will go away.
Here Srila Prabhupad is quoting that verse, daivi hyesham gunamayi mam maya duratyaya (B.G. 7.14) which is Krsna’s statement in Bhagavat-Gita . This Maya is very strong. She will force you, entice you to the other path, but if you don't stop, and chant loudly, your voice or Krsna's voice should be louder then Maya's voice. So you chant louder then Maya's voice, the way Haridas Thakur was chanting and Maya could not victimize him. You know what was his stand , simply chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
Maya could not be enticed, she failed. Maya became his disciple. He did not become Maya's disciple. Srila Prabhupada explained further, this is 'tug of war’. Don't be afraid of Maya. Simply enhance chanting. Simply improve your chanting. Simply chant attentively. Make extra efforts while you are chanting. Hear what you are chanting, and You will be able to conquer. That's all. narayan para sarve na kutasya na bibhyati ( S.B.6.17.28)
We are not afraid of Maya because Krsna is there. While we are chanting we are with Krsna. Maya will be afraid when you are next to Krsna. We are not afraid of Maya because Krsna is there. Krsna said, ‘kauntaya pratijanihi na me buaktaha pranashyati. ( B.G. 9.31) Krsna has declared, ‘My devotee will never be vanquished by Maya. Maya cannot do anything. Simply you have to become strong”… and what is that strength? Chant Hare Krishna loudly. So this was from Prabhupad's lecture on 23 rd December 1968.
That's the food for thought for the day. See you Chanting another day. I am going to Amaravati, for again Ratha-yatra there. Not far from there is the holy land where Rukmini was born and brought up and also eventually kidnapped in Kaudinyapur. So we will end here.