23rd June 2019
Marriages in ISKCON are united nation of the spiritual world
I attended marriage of Harikirtan’s daughter last night, and you may be wondering, "Oh! sannyasi and attending marriage!" But this was a different kind of marriage and I want to share some experiences of attending this marriage.
Last night - marriage of Gaurangi and Tamal Govind. But I had seen Srila Prabhupada performing marriages. I did share this last night also, that in 1971, there was a big pandal, Hare Krishna festival in Mumbai and Srila Prabhupada performed marriage on a stage, right before thousands of visitors and guests, and I also was a college student those days. I also was in the audience, witnessing Prabhupada performing this marriage ceremony. So, I was following the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada. So, that time Prabhupada had declared that marriage is, "This is united nation of the spiritual world" because the husband, the groom was from Sweden, the bride was from all the way from Australia and they were getting married in Mumbai. So, Prabhupada said, "this is united nation of the spiritual world."
So, last night also, the groom was all the way from South India and the bride was from North India, Noida. So, it was something similar and wonderful thing and they were getting united, getting married in Vrindavan dhama and that was a very special feature of that marriage, last night, which I did like. And I had attended some other marriages in the past but the marriage ceremony last night was something different and welcome kind of standard were being set. There was basically lots of kirtan, talk, I spoke, some other devotees also, Sacinandana Prabhu spoke, Prasanta Mataji, Vamshidhara Prabhu, temple President of Noida temple spoke. So, there was kirtan, there was talk and then more kirtan and then prasad. That's all. So, the whole thing was a satsanga, was a festival, was a Hare Krishna festival we could call. Like that, I had witnessed, seen in Mumbai in the 1971.
So, something similar was happening last night on the stage and it was all happening here, in Vrindavan. Hari Hari!
So, Harikirtana Prabhu has set a new standard, if you all or anyone has to, or is wishing to perform marriage in future, either your own marriage or marriage of your daughter and son or relative can perform marriage like the one that took place here, in Vrindavan. Of course, I am not asking or insisting that each one of you get married. There are some brahmacaris also from Greater Noida, Rasraja Gaura and Vaikuntha Nayak is listening to me and there are some other brahmacaris. So, don't get encouraged or inspired to get married. But Prabhupada did say that all brahmacaris, all boys should stay single and all the girls should get married. This, Prabhupada said this, one time. The girls referring to the brahmacarinis in his ashram, in his institution and boys referring to the single brahmacaris. So, boys should stay single and girls all should get married. Anyway, how would that work, I am not going to talk more about this. You may be wondering, " Oh! All the boys stay single and all the girls have to get married, so, who are they going to marry?" You worry about that, I don't have any comments about that one. Hari Hari!
So, I also felt that now there is a big gathering and lot of them were ISKCON devotees, ISKCON followers attending that marriage. There is a thought that when you are, when you join Hare Krishna or Hare Krishna Movement, you leave some people behind. That I have also left my brothers, sisters behind and friends behind. But Prabhupada say, and it's true and we could all experience that we left few brothers and sisters behind but as we come to Krishna consciousness movement, we end up getting so many, ten times as many, hundreds times as many brothers and sisters. So, there is no loss in joining Hare Krishna Movement, coming to Hare Krishna Movement, there is no loss but there is a gain.
I was experiencing this last night that Hari Kirtan had joined Hare Krishna Movement and so has the bride groom, Tamal Govind, he also has joined. There are lot many bigger families that had attended the ceremony last night. And so, there is no loss.
You gain and end up getting a better quality of brothers, better quality of sisters, better quality of friends, better quality of neighbours, spiritual quality. So, and then you could also have a spiritual social life, varnasrama dharma life, which includes grihastha asrama, marriage, marriage ceremony attended by so many more devotees. I observed and said last night that many marriages take place in hotels and wherever they take place, and the attendees - those who attend the marriage - for them there is veg or nonveg, not only patram pushpam kind of food but there is a muttonam, chickenam and this and that and all sorts of drinks and fine wines and those who consume that non-veg or that drinks, I was calling them, these are rakshasas because they do this abhaksha bhakshan.
So, what kind of blessings they are going to give to the couple getting married if they are, this is their tendencies, their kind of food and drinks are this sort, mundane, non-veg and they are expected to bless the couple. What kind of blessing, what would they bless, what would they offer, what well wishes would they have if they are like that, their mentality is like that, their lifestyle is like that, their diet is like that or their drinks are like that, their association like that? Hari, Hari!
On the contrary, last night, I blessed the couple and others were coming on the stage and were blessing and at one point, I asked everyone to raise their hands, which they did. And I said, "You all repeat Hare Krishna mahamantra after me and say out loud this Hare Krishna mahamantra and this is going to be your prayer; the chanting of Hare Krishna is going to be your blessings, and you are going to offer blessings to the new couple; the Hare Krishna mahamantra chanting is your blessings", which they did. They all chanted after me, and they all chanted and we were offering our blessings. So, then, I was thinking last night, how did we bless them? Okay, we chanted Hare Krishna. What does that mean? What did we do? So, we offered Krishna. Our blessings here is Krishna, you take Krishna, we are offering you Krishna, accept this Krishna in the form of the holy name. So, that is how the new couple were blessed. They were given Krishna and that's the best blessings, matchless blessings. So, that the blessings were same as the blessings Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had given to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and others in Jagannath Puri, He had, while blessing them, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "krsne matih astu, krsne matih astu," that your matih, your intelligence be fixed in or on Krishna. In other words, may you always think of Krishna, may you always remember Krishna. So, that was krsne matih astu. Could you all say, ‘krsne matih astu’? So, this is the best blessings. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur also, if someone asked for a blessing, he also would say ‘krsne matih astu’. So, whenever you have a reason to or an opportunity to bless others, you could say krsne matih astu. Of course, we may or may not every time say krsne maih astu, but we kind of translate this into action or we demonstrate this blessing krsne matih astu, this kind of blessing by asking others to chant
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
You are not only saying but thinking krsne matih astu but you are practically translating or offering blessings by giving them holy name. And if, they hear the holy name and think, their thoughts would be Krishna conscious thoughts or there would be Krishna on their intelligence or in their mind and their heart, krsne matih astu. They'll become Krishna conscious by, they'll ask others to chant Hare Krishna to others. So, that is what we are doing, krsne matih astu, this is the kind of blessings we are offering, giving Krishna in the form of the holy name.
So, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has asked all his followers to do yare dekha tare kaha krsna upadesa. He instructed them, by instructing He blessed them, by either Krishna upadesha or Hare Krishna upadesha, talked to them about Krishna or repeat Krishna's instructions and, especially, repeat and share and give Hare Krishna Mahamantra to others.
So, take this opportunity where every now and then and whenever and wherever you have this opportunity to benedict people around, including your family members, neighbours, friends, colleagues. You give Krishna to them in the form of the Holy name, you could give them Krishna in the form of Srila Prabhupada books, you could give Krishna to them in the form of Krishna prashad, you could give Krishna in the form of festivals - you invite them to Jagannath ratha yatra festival or you could give them Krishna by showing them Krishna - come to Hare Krishna temple and take darshan of Jagannath or Radha Shyamsundar or Krishna Balarama or Gaura Nitai.
So, you are giving Krishna to them, you are blessing them with Krishna in these various manifestations, forms, features and aspects of Krishna, Krishna consciousness and doing this is the topmost welfare activity. Not only samaaj seva or serving the society but you could serve your family, family members - the obligations to serve them. This is how you serve them by giving Krishna to your family members, wife giving Krishna to husband or husband giving Krishna to wife or parents giving Krishna to their children or also giving Krishna to their neighbours and like this, to the society, to the country, to the whole world and this is then best thing you could do.
If, of course, you do not give Krishna then you going to give maya. Instead of giving nectar, you are going to feed them poison. So, do not do this anymore, I know you have stop doing this. So, just give Krishna, give nectar so that people would be happy. Okay. So, otherwise, "quote," people are, they are not sanmukh they are vimukh, they are turned against the Lord or turned their backs towards the Lord and are facing maya. So, you, us, the followers of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or followers of Srila Prabhupada, would like to see how you could turn people around from vimukh - facing away from the Lord, to the position of sanmukh - facing the Lord, and that is done by yare dekha tare kaha krsna upadesa, giving Krishna to them in different forms. They turn around, 180 degrees and now they face Krishna, they keep going towards Krishna, they'll think of Krishna. They will become Krishna Conscious and happy.
Okay. So, take this opportunity. Today is Sunday, you could also do this homework and of course, do it every day, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, all the days.
Okay, so I'll have to stop here. We are proceeding to Noida; to start from Greater Noida. Then to Noida, where we are opening Krishna Expo - we are calling it. We've added a dimension to our Noida projects - a museum, is a diorama museum and is one of the opening of the diorama project this afternoon. So, we'll be leaving Vrindavan, unfortunately or fortunately, leaving Vrindavan to proceed for Delhi, Noida.
My Radha Govind dev is waiting there, my services are expected there.