8th May 2019
I am very pleased to see you chanting. I am not hearing you but at least I can see you chanting. You are all my family and i am happy to see all family members chanting. I can’t say it’s my family; its Prabhupad's family appropriate to say Krishna’s family. Srila Prabhupada used to address his disciple as my spiritual sons and daughters also he used to write in his letters my spiritual sons. So, it’s kind of family spirit my children.
When i see more and more members joining this conference, chanting and as its said ‘seeing is believing’ when I see you chanting, I am happy. I was pleased yesterday something else gave me pleasure yesterday. And that was darshan of so many deities smeared with chandan in chandan yatra. I had darshan of Radha Govind Dev in Noida also another Radha Govind in Beed, Radha Damodar in Solapur and many more deities around the world mostly from India, that was from my preaching zone. And i was amazed to see those deities and that was very satisfying.
You are also welcomed, i think these days next 21 days beginning from yesterday, Akshay Tritiya there will be such darshan available. Thanks to the internet. So, you could also take those darshan. Lord is very kind that He appears in this world for our sake in the form of deities. Our understanding is not,
arcasiladhir gurusu naramati vaisnave jati budhi (Padma Purāṇa)
Oh! The Deity is just a rock and Guru just ordinary person and vaisnavas belong to certain caste this is not our understanding. During this month we have opportunity to serve our family deities, temple deities by taking part in this chandan yatra festival. Mother Yashoda also does this chandan yatra, maybe she does it every single day in Gokul or Goloka. The feelings, emotions of Yashoda were associated with this chandan yatra festival. She wanted Krishna to carry an umbrella so that umbrella would protect Him from sun. This is one favorite pastime that we keep hearing but then Krishna refuses- no umbrella for Me. Krishna says how could I carry umbrella for Myself when My cows have no umbrella or shelter. Krishna is expressing His affection or love for the cows.
Yashoda wants to take care of her Krishna but Krishna wants to take care of His cows. Krishna goes out in the forest without any umbrella. Yashoda could imagine the heat of the sun in the midday, so she wants to smear Krishna’s body with chandan so that it would create a cooling effect which is a property of chandan (sandalwood). So Yashoda doesn’t think that verse from Bhagavad Gita,
"nainam chindanti sastrani nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo na sosayati marutah" [BG 2.23]
That the hot wind cannot dry up the soul. We also know from another pastime there was a forest fire one day and all Krishna’s friends and cows were caught in the fire they are about to be burnt in the fire. All the friends shouted “help help” they all turned to Krishna. They were crying for help. Then Krishna thought for a while to get an idea what to do? How to help?
nimīlayata mā bhaiṣṭa locanānīty abhāṣata [SB 10.19.11]
He said you all close your eyes and do not fear. And while they all had close their eyes Krishna swallowed the fire. Okay open your eyes and they had opened their eyes and they were surprised and pleased to see there was no fire. So, what Krishna had done when everyone had closed their eyes? Instructed fire “You rascal come in here is your position within My mouth’
Vedas utter this statement, mukhad agnir ajayata
“From the mouth of the Lord fire emanates." Mouth of the Lord is source of fire. Lord instructed to the fire come in come in the mouth and nothing had happened to the body of Lord. Lips were not burned no rash. That is the form of the Lord not affected by fire, heat, weapon cannot cut. That’s the form of Lord.
Antaranga shakti of the Lord yogmaya keeps Yashoda like personalities kind of ignorant of these facts. What kind of body Lord has and they says no no He is just my son. He is my kid I have to take care of Him. I have to protect Him from sun. So, she smears His body by chandan, so these are feelings, emotions, bhava (vatsalya) of Yashoda. So this chandan yatra is opportunity for all of us to take part in and to review our emotions, devotions, bhava like Yashoda. That becomes Raganuga bhakti, we follow the footsteps of Yashoda the way she serves kind of feelings emotions bhava. Or keeping this example of Yashoda in our mind.
This way we get to serve Krishna directly. By serving the deity form of Lord who is Lord Himself in that form archa-vigraha avtara we are serving Lord directly. And when we serve the Lord we are also serving ourselves as we are serving the Lord. We are serving the Lord to please Him but while attempting to do that serving the Lord we are also served. Our soul is served, our soul is taken care of and our soul is also pleased.
It is also explained by imagining standing in front of mirror if you are decorating your body specially ladies like to spend hours to do makeup of our bodies. Then what happens that person in the mirror is also getting decorated. You are serving decorating your body simultaneously body in the mirror gets served gets decorated gets the makeup. This is one scene now you are in front of deity and you are smearing the Lord with chandan, bathing the Lord, dressing the Lord. So that form is the real form and our body is like body in the mirror you had been seeing. So, when we are serving the lord its reflection, we are kind of reflection that is also getting served.
So, as we serve the Lord we develop all the good qualities, devotional qualities, our personality is developed we begin looking beautiful. As we serve the Lord we develop good qualities and the qualities are described in Bhagavatam as,
sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ [SB 3.25.21]
You become tolerant, you become peaceful, you have no more enemies. sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ. Bhagavatam declares these qualities are abhusana, alankar. It is beauty of that vaisnava, he is beautiful not because of some other ornaments earrings no. He is beautiful due to his qualities; he has become visible due to his qualities and that is his beauty.
So, go on serving the Lord and chant Hare Krishna mahamantra. It is also service, that’s the main service or the first service. And then Krishna will reveal into us more and more.
sarvange harichandanam sulalitam kanthecha muktaavali
gopastri pariveshtito vijayate gopaala chudaamani
So that Gopal Chudamani will reveal into us more and more. In that particular prayer its said how Lords form is looking extraordinary beautiful Harichandanam sulalitam. His body is smeared with sandal wood paste.
There is pearl necklace around His neck. So, when devotee takes darshan of Lord with pearls around His neck. He thinks, oh each pearls is like swan, and one swan behind another, behind another, another one and all of them are flying and Lords form is like a cloud and that seems like swans are flying in the sky.
This is meditation so as devotee contemplates the form and beauty of the Lord and he thinks look at the pitambar- the yellow garments of Lord. That yellow color is not ordinary color it reminds him as a lightening in the thunder in rainy season. Because already sky is there, Lord’s form reminds him of a sky and pitambar reminds him of glistening of the lightening in the sky, the bright effulgent lighting like.
When meditators or devotee attention goes toward peacock feather at the top His head or in the crown that peacock feather that reminds him of rainbow. The sky is there some birds are flying across, the lightening pitambar and look there is rainbow at the top. He gets absorbed in thinking like this about the Lord.
So, while chanting Hare Krishna mahamantra is a kind of meditation so we can meditate on the beautiful form of Lord while chanting. So, here are some hints to meditate on the form of the Lord.