Prepare Your Consciousness to Observe Kartik
Happy Kartik Mahaotsav to all of you. May the time of Kartik month be auspicious. May all your activities become successful. And especially your devotional activities. And you are prosperous. When we talk about the word prosperous we immediately want to become rich and wealthy. But I want you all to become rich in devotional activities. Even when saints and Mahatma keep saying you are blessed! You are blessed! This means you are rich. One who has money is rich.
There is a saying that those who have more cows and crops, they are called rich. Nanda Maharaja was vaishya. He was owner of 9 lakhs cows. He was rich. Krsna used to protect those cows. When Nanda Maharaja was celebrating the Nanda Utsav, at that time there were mountains of grains, and sesame crops were grown up. So he donated that to all the Brahmanas. And also he donated cows to them. So those who have more grains are rich. As I was saying that you all are rich, so deposit the Hare Krsna Mahamantra in your bank. Earn, chant, and hear the glories of the holy name. Increase the fixed deposit of Harinam and become rich.
golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana
The treasure of divine love in Goloka Vṛndāvana has descended as the congregational chanting of Lord Hari’s holy names.
Harinam is wealth. Earn this wealth as much as possible in this Kartik Maas. We must engage in this process as this is the ultimate process to take you back to Godhead in this age of Kali. But chanting has to be attentive and offenseless. Blasphemy of pure devotees is the most powerful offense that is capable of destroying all bhakti. Lord always loves His devotees. It does not matter whoever it may be. The mother always loves her children.
Maybe one child is intelligent and the other one is foolish, but she loves both of them. This is the mother’s affection. What to say about lord then. Lord is our mother, he is our father. He is the father and mother of each being. We all belong to him.whether a person is gentle or wicked, intelligent or foolish, yet he is dear to the Lord.and if he is a devotee, then very dear to the Lord. And when we blaspheme or criticize such people who are dear to the Lord out of personal grudges, hatred, or envy then Lord is displeased. So one must try to refrain from any such mental or physical activity. So if we want to chant and hear attentively we have to restrain from these. The goal of the Bhaktivinoda Thakur is to :
aparādha-śūnya ho’ye loho kṛṣṇa-nām
kṛṣṇa mātā, kṛṣṇa pitā, kṛṣṇa dhana-prān
Being careful to remain free of offenses; just take the holy name of Lord Krsna. Krsna is your mother, Krsna is your father, and Krsna is the treasure of your life.[ Nadiya Godrume Nityananda Mahajana verse 3 by Bhaktivinoda Thakura]
In this Chaturmasya you can take a vow to restrain from Vaishnava offense. And always engage in Vaishnava Seva
Jive Doya, Nama Ruchi, Vaishnava-Seva. In this Kartik maas, you can also take a vow to do more chanting, more Parikramas. We must make the optimal use of it. We are having the great opportunity of doing Brajmandal parikrama Virtually sitting at home. Offering ghee lamp to Yashoda Damodar. There are some dos and don’ts. We must make some oaths. I will chant sincerely, I will not get up late, I will refrain from Vaishnava Aparadh. As I was saying that you have to become prosperous. So to become, you have to earn the wealth of Hari Naam. Try to please the Lord and his devotees. Become more wealthy in terms of your wealth of Bhakti. Accumulate more wealth of the Holy Name. Let these individual syllables of Hare…Krsna…Hare…Rama enter your heart. sing Kulashekhar prays…
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te
“My Lord Kṛṣṇa, I pray that the swan of my mind may immediately sink down to the stems of the lotus feet of Your Lordship and be locked in their network; otherwise at the time of my final breath, when my throat is choked up with cough, how will it be possible to think of You?”[MM 33]
O Lord, my mind is like the King of Swans which dwells in the places where there are lotuses, let it focus, and meditate upon your lotus feet. We should also make such prayers to the Lord. Srila Prabhupada used to repeat this prayer. King Kulashekhar says let so happen today, now. He doesn’t want it to be delayed.
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te
At the time of death, when my throat will be choked up with mucus, bile, and air, how will it be possible for me to remember You?”
So we must be firm that we want to do it from today itself, on this first day of the month of Kartik. Everyone knows themselves. So introspect and find out what you need to implement and what you need to stop. Decide to do it from today, practice it for one month, and then make it your daily routine. We all have to reside in Vrindavan in this month of Kartik. Wherever you may physically be, but your mind and soul should be in Vrindavan. Remembrance of Vrindavan means remembrance of the divine pastimes of Radha Krsna and Krsna Balaram. Today morning I got this thought while going to mangal arati that for the past 33+ years I have always spent this month of Kartik in Vrindavan. I was feeling unfortunate. But as I started offering the arati to Sri Radha Pandharinath I also saw Sri Giriraj Shila and realized that I am in Vrindavan.
tīrtha-bhūtāḥ svayaṁ vibho
My Lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.[ SB 1.13.10]
The scriptures say that the saints and sages make every place where they go into a holy place. So we all can make our homes into Vrindavan. It can be a home away from home.
So all of you please try to make your home into Vrindavan by sincere Bhakti.
Gaur Premamande Hari Hari Bol