If we could become sadhus, that’s perfection of our life
Venue: Surathkal Voice
Date: 15 June 2016
Harinam Sankirtan ki…. jay!!
Janardhan Bhagavan ki…… jay!!
Udupi Krsna ki….. jay!!
Srila Prabhupada ki….. jay!!
ISKCON Youth Forum Surathkal ki…… jay!!
So this kirtan, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also travelled through Surathkal some five hundred years ago. He went to Udupi and then to Belgaum, Kolhapur, Pandharpur, Satara, Nasik and back to Jagannath Puri. This land has been blessed by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is also called God’s own country, Parasuram Ksetra. We went to very nice Parasuram temple other day.
Did you all go? So Caitanya Mahaprabhu very kindly appeared into this material existence.
“golokam ca paritya ca lokanam trayakaranath”
The scriptures say, “lokanam tranakaranath“. “lokas’, the people are afflicted, suffering in this material world, tranakaranath’. In order to give them relief from the suffering, Caitanya Mahaprabhu left His Goloka behind and entered this existence. He appeared just for you! Each one of you, each one of us. There was no other purpose of His coming into this world. He had His family, old mother also and young beautiful wife, Vishnupriya. He abandoned. He took sannyasa. So only Lord, only incarnation that took sannyas, that is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave up the comfort zone. He came to Katwa, He took sannyas. And immediately He wanted to go to Vrndavana. He took sannyas, no bondage, free. Free like a bird to fly. So the very first place He wanted to go to was Vrndavana, which is our original place also. We are all from Vrndavana.
Mahaprabhu is playing the role of a devotee and he would like to go back to home, back to Godhead, back to Vrndavana. But instead of going to Vrndavana, He changed His plans. Mother met Him at Shantipura. Advaita Acharya made the arrangement for Sacimata to meet her Nimai. And then Sacimata proposed, “Why don’t you stay in Jagannath Puri instead. Vrndavana is so far away.”
So Mahaprabhu accepted the proposal, mother’s proposal and decided to reside in Jaganntah Puri. So He had come to Puri. He was there for only two months and then He left again. He told all the devotees, “I must go. I have to find my brother Visvarupa. He had taken sannyas and he was travelling somewhere in the South. I would like to go, catch up with him.” He just gave that reason, excuse and then He started travelling. He travelled all over South India, walking not flying. Char dham air yatra (Laughter). I just recently, while Hare Krsna devotees were doing Padayatra all over India, there was an advertise in the paper that said, ” Char Dham Air Yatra“. Four dhams travel by air. So Mahaprabhu, no air yatra, no train journeys, no travelling by buses. Sometimes He would take a boat to cross rivers on the way. But mostly walking. As Rama also had walked before all over India during His vanvas. While He was in exile. And also Krsna walked all over Vrndavana forest all day taking care of His cows. So did Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is Krsna. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, proprietor of the whole universe, owner, controller, source of everything. And He is only walking. Not only on walking but dancing, meaning He was enjoying His walks, His travels. He was dancing at every step and chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And sharing this holy name with everybody that He came across. He was connecting everybody with the holy names. “Take Krsna in the form of the holy name.”
‘radha krsna bolo sange calo’
This is Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s prayer. ‘radha krsna bolo sange calo, ei matra bhikha ca’; Give me alms. ‘bhiksham dehi, bhiksham dehi’. What is bhiksha? You just chant Hare Krsna. This is bhiksha.
So Mahaprabhu was appealing to everybody to chant Hare Krsna. In the evenings, he would have big gatherings. Every night people from nowhere, somewhere, they would come in big numbers. Village of one thousand population would get hundred thousand people. So this way also He was exhibiting His opulence; showing He is the Lord. He could manage getting large gathering, getting to gather. No posters, no banners, no adds, no SMS. Sitting in their hubs, He could inspire as many as He could. And there is no limit how many can inspire instantly. That’s the Lord. And then He would perform His kirtans. Large gathering around Him and Lord is in the middle with raised arms.
‘ajanu-lambita-bhujau kanakava-datau, sankirtanaika-pitarau’
‘sundara lala saci dulala, nacata sri hari kirtan mein’ He is dancing in Hari kirtan.
The beautiful Gauranga chanting, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare and getting everyone to chant and dance. He would inspire them saying Haribol!! As if He would lift them and drop them like the puppets. It would be great if Mahaprabhu would also pick us, pick and drop, pick and drop and make us dance. It would be nice. He is doing that in fact. When you chant and dance, you do. You must be chanting and dancing, this is Mahaprabhu’s program. He did the inauguration of this program 500 years ago and that program continues to this day. And He said, “One day will come, My name will be chanted.”
‘prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama, sarvatra pracara hoibe mora nama’
My name will be chanted in every town and villages of this planet. What is the name of this village? Surathkal. My name would also be chanted in Surathkal. That was prediction. And prediction has come true, as you are chanting and dancing in this village.
So 50 years ago, Srila Prabhupada was only one chanting on the streets of New York. And then he would invite those who he met on the streets and parks to come to his satsang, storefront called ‘Matchless Gift shop’. You heard that Matchless Gift shop? So the whole movement started from that Matchless Gift shop. You have seen? You could go see sometimes in future. First time I went to New York was in ’78. And the day after I arrived in New York, I went to see that Matchless Gift and many other places and pastimes of Srila Prabhupada in New York, the Bowery and there are many, China Town. And then some of his followers were becoming serious practices. They started chanting Hare Krsna also. One day Srila Prabhupada gathered the more serious one of his students together and proposed that we could together do something. He was thinking of the Hare Krsna Movement organization or foundation of Hare Krsna.
But then he said, you have to follow, chant Hare Krsna and also follow four regulative principles. Prabhupada for the first time in a formal way, these are the four. No more meat eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling. Are you ready? And you are not ready. There were all assembled young American boys and girls were ready. Prabhupada initiated them also eventually.
They were just a handful young American boys and girls. He founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He just had a storefront. He had just one temple and maybe numbers of followers you can count on the fingers of two hands. But he named his society International Society. It was just a local. Not even regional, not national, he named it International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So Hare Krsna movement is celebrating 50th anniversary of ISKCON this year. ISKCON golden celebration jubilee ki jai!!!
Srila Prabhupada was trying to get some Indian young boys to join him but they were not joining. Prabhupada was approaching different gentlemen. He would ask, “how many children you have?” “I have eight sons.” Those days, it was common to have. Now it is ‘We two and ours two.’ That family planning. So he would say, “Please give me one son.” No one was coming forward. He was in Jhansi before going to America, he was giving ads in newspaper.
“Students wanted, youths wanted. I will train them as brahmacharis and will send them all over to propagate Krishna consciousness.” No response. One gentleman was travelling on the same train as Prabhupada in same compartment with his son. That person said, ‘Swamiji, Swamiji please bless my son, please bless my son.’ Every now and then he was appealing, ‘please bless my son, please bless my son.’ He was not leaving Prabhupada alone, ‘Please bless my son, please bless my son.’ Then Prabhupada said, ‘ Give me your son!’ (Laughter) And after hearing that, that person took his son away in another compartment where Swami ji wouldn’t never ever find them. He was hiding. ‘Oh not such blessing!!’
So after spending many years in the West, Prabhupada returned to India, 45 years ago, 1971 around this time like April, May. He was holding festivals in different parts of India. And one such festival was held in Mumbai, Cross Maidan near church gate station. That time I remember I also was a student like you are a student now. I was studying Chemistry and Physics in Mumbai. I was fortunate to attend that festival. The advertisement was, “American sadhus are here, European sadhus are in town”. We all went to see American sadhus, European sadhus. They were sadhus. I was convinced they were sadhus. It was not just gimmicks or something to catch up the imagination. They were genuine sadhus. And Prabhupada was maha sadhu or Prabhupada, at whose feet all the masters sit. He was their spiritual master.
Radhanatha Maharaj was also there. He was American but was not Hare Krsna sadhu that time. He was in the audience like I was. So later on we both ended up also becoming some thought of sadhus. So that was 45 years ago. So we are happy that you also become sadhus. Sadhu is a big post, big ‘padvi’. If we could become sadhus, that’s perfection of our life. If we could become sadhus. This life is meant to become sadhus. And you could be brahmacari sadhu or grihastha sadhu.
‘grhe thako, vane thako, sada hari bole dako,
sukhe duhkhe bhulo nako, vadane hari nam koro re’
Please keep chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And study Bhagavad Gita and become devotee of Lord Krsna. And whatever else you may do. Be engineers, be doctors, be this be that, be jawan, be kisan whatever. That is secondary. Primary is becoming ‘mad bhakta’ ‘man mana bhava mad bhakto, mad yaji mam namaskuru’ (B.g 18.65).
So all those who stay in ashram, some continue to stay in brahmacari ashram. Some also return to their family, to their parents. It’s a tradition. ‘upakurvana brahmachari, he takes vow, ‘so many years I will be in brahmacari ashram and then I will take up some job or be grihastha but devotee. Brahmacari devotee, grihastha devotee, vanaprastha devotee, sannyasi devotee. Or Brahmin devotee, kshtriya devotee, vaishya devotee or sudra devotee. You may be having different talents, different inclinations.
‘mam anusmara yudhya ca’, you could be fighter, administrator. You could be farmer, you could be this and that but to all those activities ‘mam anusmara’ while remembering Me, you perform those activities. ‘yoga sthah kuru karmani’ This is Krsna consciousness. So Hare Krsna movement is providing this opportunity for Indian youths to undergo such training, become cultured, develop their personalities, personality development, man of characters. Character is lost, everything is lost, right? This is what is lacking. So take advantage. There is no gurukul system these days. ISKCON is doing something, “brahmacari gurukule vasan danto guror hitam” (S.B 7.12.1). Some gurukul like experience, not full fledged but something, some exposure.
Okay, I am happy you are in association of good company of sadhus. And then you also will become yogi sadhu and give association to others. Attract them to Krsna, bring them to Krsna. That’s the idea. So that we become happy. Everyone wants to be happy but Hare Krsna movement is letting everyone know how to become happy. Wish you happy New Year, that’s not enough. Wishing is nice. I wish you happy New Year but we say how to be happy. We say chant Hare Krsna and be happy.
Okay Hare Krsna.