Karuna-avatar Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Online class for Vidarbha devotees
July 19, 2020
I wish and I pray that all of you are healthy. I welcome you all. I was reading today, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur said that we have to respect everybody; we should be respecting each and every living entity. You are not entities or people, you are special devotees. God has chosen you and me and made us fortunate. He has got us in connection with ISKCON, and connecting with ISKCON is connecting with Srila Prabhupada which connects us with disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and with disciples of disciples. And then this ISKCON connects us to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This movement originally belongs to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Not only Mahaprabhu’s but also Nityananda Prabhu
visvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma palau
vande jagat-priyakaro karunavatarau [Caitanya Bhagavat]
I offer my respects unto Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, whose arms extend down to Their knees, who have golden yellow complexions, and who inaugurated the congregational chanting of the Holy Names. Their eyes resemble the petals of a lotus; They are the maintainers of all living entities; They are the best of brahmanas, the protectors of religious principles for this age, the benefactors of the universe, and the most merciful of all incarnations.
Karuna-avatar, reminds me of Corona, Covid-19. This corona pandemic has put everyone into sufferings. Karuna-avatar is the one who gives us mercy.
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhuki…Jai!
This movement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu has made us fortunate. Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sent Srila Prabhupada and made him the Senapati bhakta of this movement or sankirtana army. So like this it started. Srila Bhaktisiddhant Saraswati Thakur said to Abhay Babu, “You seem to be very intelligent, go and preach about Gaudiya Vaishnava dharma in English”. So, Srila Prabhupada was in lifetime preparation, he prepared his whole life. He went to Jhashi and there more preparations and he established the ‘League of devotees’ organization [Sarva-bhauma sabha]. So preparations were going on in Jhansi but there were some obstructions and it did not work. So, devotees of Jhansi say ‘ISKCON was conceived in Jhansi and delivered in New York’. So, then all the planning of ISKCON began along with churning of thoughts, concept was prepared, it was conceived like the conception of a child and then the delivery took place, so ISKCON was delivered in New York. Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON in New York in the month of July. Last week, we were celebrating the anniversary of the same and lectures were also delivered. When ISKCON was registered, the 7 purposes of ISKCON were also registered. We were recollecting the memories of foundation day of ISKCON, many lectures were conducted out of which I also delivered one lecture.
4th purpose of ISKCON – Harinama sankirtana, teach and encourage others so that the Harinama given by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will be adopted by the world and the world will perform Harinama sankirtana this was the 4th objective. There is a department of ISKCON named SPT, they had chosen several devotees including me. ISKCON has established the Harinama kirtan ministry and the Governing Body Commission (GBC) has appointed me as the Harinama kirtana minister and told me to spread and discuss the Harinama. Anyway, all this is the history of how ISKCON was founded and how it was gradually expanded. Whatever Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said would happen, actually happened and is still happening as He said.
prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My name will propagate universally, nagaradi grama.” As I said so many fortunate souls like you; while on the other hand the other souls entangled in this kaliyuga mandah, sa manda matayo, manda bhagya [S.B. 1.1.10], upadritah, creatures of kaliyuga are mandah meaning slowest in everything, their intelligence is mandah, sumanda-matayah means he is disguised. Mandah bhagya means their fortune is also unlucky. Most of the people in Kali are unlucky and they are always stuck into some or the other disturbances just like the current disturbance of Coronavirus. So, in the mid of this, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gradually prays and encourages other living entities to join this movement, let them move ahead and pray that Lord makes them fortunate too. All this will happen only when all of us together will “jaredakho tare kaho krishna upadesha”, “amaraagya guru hoiyataraeidesh”, so we have to follow these instructions. It’s Lord’s message and instruction. We cannot think that I am a fortunate soul now, so I don’t need to preach others. If we all are devotees or in process of becoming devotees or we have a feeling of becoming a devotee, then what happens,
sadhavahsadhu-bhusanah [SB 3.25.21]
The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.
Like when we start becoming devotees during that time-period we reflect some qualities. So, in those qualities of Vaisnavas, ‘karuna’, titiksavah – tolerant, what kind of a devotee one is who is not tolerant! Devotee means tolerant, karunikah – every devotee should possess the quality of karuna, meaning merciful. If mercifulness is not getting generated in you, then what kind of a devotee are you; you cannot be a devotee. All these are qualities of none other than the Lord and these qualities of Lord are possessed by us. All the qualities that are possessed by the devotees are of the Lord. And in fact there is no one other than Lord; there is maya other than the Lord. But when we start becoming devotees, we start reflecting the qualities of the Lord. And when we become disciples of maya or kali, then likewise qualities reflect from us; those aren’t qualities, those are lower grade qualities. But as soon as our relationship is established with Krishna, the qualities of the Lord manifest in us. Amongst those qualities, the most important one is ‘karuna’. Whenever we pray to the Lord, what is the first prayer? “He Krishna Karuna-Sindhu”, karunya is the great quality of the Lord. If the Lord would not have been merciful, then the Lord would constantly reside in Goloka and we would remain suffering here.
golokam ca parityajya
lokanam trana karanat
kalau gauranga rupena
lila lavanya vigrahah [Markandeya Purana]
For the purpose of delivering the people of Kali yuga, I shall give up Goloka, appear in the sublime form of Sri Gauranga, and perform enchanting pastimes.
The Lord has the quality of mercifulness. Lord leaves Golok and comes on the earth and stays and performs His pastimes. Although prakat-lila is not there, but Lord appeared and is still residing here. Lord appeared and His pastimes are captured in the form of Chaitanya Charitamrita, Chaitanya Bhagavat, Chaitanya Mangal. So, the Lord is still there in the form of His pastimes. We can see the Lord. If we hear the pastimes of the Lord then we can see Him. When the katha (story) of Ramayana started, Luv and Kush heard the Rama-katha from Valmiki, learned, understood, memorized the katha and they started delivering the katha in a musical way. They would deliver the Rama-katha by going to different places in the forest. For hearing their katha, many rishi-munis would gather and the rishi-munis used to get engrossed and absorbed while listening to the katha. Many rishi-munis said, “Oh, Luv Kush, we are very happy with your katha and when you recite the katha, we feel that it literally in front of us, we could see that. The words and sound of your katha makes us see the form”. And it is also said, from the sound comes the form.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
By the hearing and recitation of these words also, this is shabda brahma, if we accentuate these words precisely and devoid of offenses, then these words only will take the form of Radha and Krishna. This is also called mantra-siddhi. By reciting these words, we become perfect, determinative. The Lord of this mantra gives us His darsana. So, from the recitation comes the form; if there was no form, how would the pastimes take place? If there was no form, how could we do the give and take. If there was no form, what is the need of Dhama? So, it all starts from form. If there is form, then there is existence of name, form, qualities, pastimes, dhama, etc.
So, we have to follow these instructions. Srila Prabhupada followed these instructions. I think when Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakura instructed Abhay Babu (he had not become Abhay Charanaravindra Bhaktivedanta Swami yet), so when Abhay Babu was instructed in Kolkata at that time, I think, by making Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakura a medium of instruction, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the one who instructed Abhay Babu, “Go and preach in the world”. These are the orders of Mahaprabhu Himself, Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakura became an instrument or a medium. But these orders or instructions must be of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So, Srila Prabhupada followed those instructions. He went overseas from India, this was the exhibition of Srila Prabhupada’s compassion, karuna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s is for all his followers.
We feel only Kurma Brahman got the instruction. Lord stayed at the house of Kurma Brahman (Kurma brahmin is a brahmin in Kurmashetra in Andhra Pradesh). He was fortunate to get both darshan and seva of the Lord. There is no question of whether the Lord is there or not. Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed in the house of kurma brahmin and instructed him to stay in this place and yare dakho tare kaho krsna updesha. Kurma brahmin followed the given instructions.
When we have compassion then such instructions manifest. So you all become good devotees, become compassionate devotees. What can be given to a jiva to make him happy? Jiva needs the Lord. Unless the jiva gets Lord, he can’t be satisfied. This movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, formally established by Srila Prabhupada as ISKCON in New York. He travelled 14 times around the world in old age, remember his sacrifices, we are indebted to him as we have become devotees.
We have received Harinama, we have become spiritual practitioners, reading Gita and Bhagavatam and following four regulative principles:
1. No meat eating
2. No gambling
3. No intoxication
4. No illicit-sex
Many types of diseases manifest due to such sense gratification. Bhoga brings roga. Mental speculation is also gambling, save yourself from it. We are being saved from them. Following these 4 regulative principles is establishing and protecting dharma.
Daya dharma ka mula hai
If we don’t eat meat then we become kind and follow daya dharma. We don’t take intoxicants, so we become austere. We avoid illicit-sex, therefore we are clean. We don’t gamble, therefore we are truthful. Austerity, cleanliness, truthfulness, and kindness, these are four pillars of dharma. When we don’t do all these 4 things we establish adharma.
When we follow the 4 regulative principles in ISKCON, these rules are not made by Prahupada but they are the rules of Bhagavat dharma, they are mentioned in the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. So on this basis only Prabhupada gave these four regulative principles to the world.
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah [BG 18.66]
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.
This all is sin, when one breaks these 4 rules it is a great sin. People are busy with all that. The world is suffering from Corona, this disease originated from Wuhan city of China. In the slaughterhouses of China all types of animals are slaughtered and eaten, this Coronavirus is the aftermath of slaughtering animals. If you follow these four principles, dharma will protect you, dharmo rakshati rakshitah. Srila Prabhupada gave us these four rules and by following them we are saved from so many problems, knowingly or unknowingly we are protected from so many things.
So, if we do not do all these four things then what do we do? We have our satsanga like this which is going on which is most essential. Government made now-a-days rules, most essential shops will be open like medical shops, grocery shops. I was talking to Pune temple devotees. I said that opening the temple and giving darsana of the Lord to people and satsanga is the most essential thing. But the government thinks the most essential is alcohol. Some people demand, we want liquor, we want liquor, so the government opened liquor shops not only this but home delivery also. When I heard I was shocked, is this Bharat varsha where Ganga flows? No this is India where now liquor is flowing and where consuming alcohol is most essential. Lord’s name, his pastimes, not essential, stop them.
When we join ISKCON, we develop high thinking, thinking about the Lord. And under these comes,
sarve bhavantu sukhinah
sarve santu niramayah
sarve bhadraani pasyantu
maa kaschit duhkhabhaag bhavet
These are high thoughts thoughts of Gita and Bhagavatam, thoughts of the Lord. Like father, like son. We are children, Krishna and Balaram are our father. So we also become and we have thoughts like Krishna Balaram. We become broad hearted. Lord has manifested in the heart of the devotees, why not then his heart will be broad. So like this are our ISKCON or Hare Krishna followers, so you all have to become like this. So, stay in connection and association of devotees. There are rules of social distancing, so we can’t meet like we were meeting in the past, but this social media is helping us like this is going on now.
Vidarbha region devotees for your betterment this satsanga was organized. So every Sunday such satsanga will be there that was announced. I appreciate this idea and I congratulate all of you. I announce that this forum is open. While sitting at home you are getting satsanga. Today’s my turn, I am going door to door. Do you feel like this? I am in your home, meeting you. So take advantage of this platform or satsanga and also inform others also. This is sankirtana movement, the more, the merrier. United we stand and fight with Maya, it is also said sanghe shakti kaliyuge. We become strong when we all are united in kaliyuge. ISKCON is also such a forum which provides us sanga, association.
sadhu-sanga, sadhu-sanga — sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya [CC Madhya 22.54]
The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.
Ananta Sesa Prabhu was saying, it is Catur mass also so it’s time to read and chant more. If you still have not joined japa talk, you can enquire about it. We can chant together and after chanting we talk and have a discussion. You are welcomed for it every morning at 6 am.
Balarama jayanti and Janmastami are coming. These are very big festivals, only three weeks to go. Get ready, start preparation. ISKCON Janmastami means the biggest Janmastami, lakhs of devotees join.Some places 10 lakh devotees join, in Noida 3 to 4 lakh devotees join Janmashtami festival. All information will be circulated how online you all can have abhishek and arati. So temples like Nagpur, Amravati, Yavatmal, Akola, Dhamangaon, Kaundenyapur, Chamorshi or wherever ISKCON has reached. Understand how you can take part in the festival.
Kayena manasa vacha, don’t just see, take part in the festival. ISKCON Nagpur temple construction is coming up. A Santa nivas residential quarter for brahmacharis is coming up. We have to complete it in 4 to 5 months, so you can contribute to that project. Srila Prabhupada wanted a temple in Nagpur. So to fulfill his dream, we all have to join hands. So construction is on full swing and your support is required.