All glories to the assembled devotees.
nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
narayanam namaskritya naram chaiva narottamam devim saraswatim vyasam dato jayam udirayet
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
Narottam Das Thakura, a Mahabhagavat Acarya, was an acarya during Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s time. In the following Bengali song he sings the glories of an acarya. Prabhupada is our acarya. Just by reading we may not understand the meaning since these songs are filled with bhava from the spiritual world.
ei-baro karuna koro vaishnava gosai patita-pavana toma bine keho nai
Vaisnava Goswami, please be merciful to me now. There is no one except you who can purify the fallen souls.
jahara nikate gele papa dure jay emona doyala prabhu keba kotha pai
When we go near the acaryas, the sins run away and if we go away from the acarya sins (papa) comes towards us.
gangara parasa hoile pascate pavan darsane pavitra koro—ei tomara gun
After bathing in the waters of the sacred Ganga many times, one becomes purified, but just by the sight of you, the fallen souls are purified. This is your great power.
hari-sthane aparadhe tare hari-nam toma sthane aparadhe nahi paritran
The holy name delivers one who has committed an offense to Lord Hari, but if one commits an offense to you, there is no means of deliverance.
tomara hridaye sada govinda-visram govinda kohena—mora vaishnava paran
Your heart is always the resting place of Lord Govinda, and Lord Govinda says, “The Vaisnavas are in My heart.”
prati-janme kori asa caranera dhuli narottame koro doya apanara boli
I desire the dust of your holy feet in every birth I may take. Please consider Narottama yours, and be kind upon him.
Oh! Acarya be merciful on me and give me divya jnana. Jai Prabhupada Jai Srila Prabhupada
mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim ,yat-kripa tam aham vande shri-gurum dina-taranam
By the mercy of guru, the dumb turn into eloquent speakers and enables the lame to cross mountains.
I offer my respectful obeisance unto my spiritual master, the deliverer of the fallen souls Lord says respect the acarya like me. Don’t think him as an ordinary person. Acaryas are not God, but they are Godly.
Vishwanath Thakur says an acrarya is sakshad Hari. All sastra explain acarya as sakshad Hari. They are empowered by the Lord so only they can make the impossible possible.
krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana- Unless one has the mercy of Lord, there can’t be a revolution in consciousness.
yatra yogesvarah krsno yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir dhruva nitir matir mama
Wherever there is Krsna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality.
vijayastu pandu-putranam yesham pakshe janardana
We see that how Prabhupada was glorified all over the world.
bhaktanam mana vardhanam Image maker of the devotee is not any PR team, but Lord Himself. He glorifies His devotees and spreads their glories in the three worlds.
Prabhupada Lilamrita has two parts. The first part of the biography covers Prabhupada’s life time preparation. With all the preparation, he established ISKCON in New York. The second part containes the execution. 80% of the time was utilized in planning and 20% in execution.
Every 11 years there is some important event taking place in Prabhupada’s life. Prabhupada met his Guru Maharaja in 1922. Then in 1933 he received initiation. In 1944 he wrote the Back to Godhead magazine. He took sannyasa in 1955 and in 1966 he established ISKCON. In 1977 he went back to Vrndavana, back to Godhead.
Prabhupada was born in Kolkata, hence for us Kolkata is a holy place. He was born on 1 Sept 1986 on the day of Nandotsava. This reinforces the strong relationship between Prabhupada and Krsna. His kundali stated that at the age of 70, he will go to the West and establish 108 temples. The Lord wanted him to do all this.
nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin
The Lord made him an instrument to preach all over the world. Abhayacaran would get up early in the morning to the sound of Guarmohan Dey blowing the conch shell and ringing the bell. He was sent to learn to play the mrdanga. He was also given small Radha Krsna Deities to worship. When there was a Ratha-yatra Abhayacaran also wanted to have a separate Ratha-yatra. His father got a small ratha and organized a Ratha-yatra. He also wanted the instruments for kirtana. So his father gave him two rupees to get all the instruments for kirtana. He could hardly lift a mrdanga, but he wanted to play it.
At that time India was under British rule and Mahatma Gandhi was active in the independence movement. Prabhupada was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s movement. He had started wearing khadi clothes. He had graduated from the Scottish Church College, but refused to accept the degree as it was from a British college. It was with these thoughts that in 1922, at the age of just 22, that his friend Malik babu wanted to take him to a sadhu. Prabhupada had seen many sadhus and did not want to go. Malik Babu assured Abhayacaran that this sadhu was different. So Prabhupada went. When they arrived Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was having his istagosti. Malik and Abhayacaran offered obeisances. They did not even sit down, but Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, “You look intelligent. Why don’t you preach in English in the West.” According to the Lilamrita, Prabhupada’s response was, “Who will listen to your Caitanya teachings? Our country is under British Rule so that’s not possible. First we should fight for freedom for our country.” Many others like Mahatma Gandhi had such thoughts. But Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, “We can’t wait. One party may rule over us or others, but that’s all temporary. Our first priority is that we are eternal servants of the Lord. You should first get liberated.” As Prabhupada was returning, he had this thought, “I have found my Guru Maharaja”. He also received the instruction to preach in the West.
So he started the preparation. In 1932 Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was doing Vraja-mandal Parikrama. At that time Prabhupada was married and settled in Allahabad,. He also had De pharmacy. His pharmacy was very famous. Even Jawaharlal Pandit would to come to his pharmacy to buy medicine. Prabhupada had also reached Vrndavana. He would go to one Gaudiya matha to play mrdanga, do kirtana and support the matha financially. At this time the Parikrama was at Kosi going to Shesasayi. An announcement was made that Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur would give a class for those not going for Parikrama. Prabhupada loved to hear his Guru Maharaja. His name was on the initiation list and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw his name and said, “ Abhayababu? I know him. He likes to hear me.” That was how his Guru knew him – he likes to hear. So in 1933 he received initiation and at the bank of Radha Kunda Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said. “If you get money, print books.” Prabhupada’s first instruction was to preach in the West and later on he had to print books. In 1944 he published Back to Godhead magazines. He wanted help to publish and distribute books.
Prabhupada wrote many books. He also wrote 8000 letters. There are certainly many amongst us who have not even written 8 letters. He wrote a letter to Dr. Rajendra Prasad. which said, “I have a clue how to go back to Godhead. I will go back home after this life but I don’t want to go alone. I want to take to all my contemporary men and women. I have published Back to head magazines. We are in streets called galis and the politicians say chalo delhi – from gali to Delhi. But Prabhupada said chalo golok. This place is not for gentlemen. He further wrote, “Don’t think of me as a mad man and don’t be surprised when I write about going back to godhead. It’s quite possible to go back home. Every jiva can go back home.”
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur changed Prabhupada’s mood. In July 1947 Prabhupada wrote a letter to his friend mahatmaji, Mahatma Gandhi. The address on the letter was Bhangi Colony, New Delhi. He wrote: “I am your unknown friend, but you did not care to reply till date. I tell you as a sincere friend that you should immediately retire from your service if you don’t desire to die an inglorious death.” He did not listen to Prabhupada’s letter and died an inglorious death. “If you want to do some welfare for the general public, we will include your policy of independence, but you should leave this rotten politics. At least retire for one month. We will discuss that which will give you enlightenment.”
Prabhupada liked to go to Jhansi and lecture there. Once when Prabhupada came to Allahabad his wife who really liked tea a lot had sold some papers to a gabadi man to buy biscuits. Prabhupada was very angry when he heard that. He said: “You want tea or me? His wife took it humorously and said, “I would prefer tea”. Thereafter when Prabhupada went to Jhansi he never returned home in Allahabad.
One day Prabhupada received a telegram from Prabhakar Mishra which stated that money from the pharmacy had been stolen. His disciple thought Prabhupada would be sad, but Prabhupada smiled and said:
yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih (SB 10.88.8)
The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another.
In Jhansi he established the League of Devotees. There were some problems and some mahila mandal group took over. Prabhupada was already publishing Back to Godhead magazines and then he started writing books and on Viswarupa mahotsava.
Prabhupada took sanyasa from Keshava Bharati Goswami. On that day Prabhupada became Bhaktivedanta Swami. He would stay at Bansidhara temple at Kesi-ghata and then he shifted to Radha Damodar temple. It was here that the six goswamis would come and discuss sastra. nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau The Goswamis are expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Prabhupada was staying at such a temple. Here he had also written some small books.
So here Prabhupada started translating Srimad-Bhagavatam . He would travel in a third class compartment train and go to Delhi for the printing of Bhagavatam. He was now prepared to go to the West, but how would he go? There was a lack of money. All his money was utilized in printing books. Once when Prabhupada was in Kurukshetra, he met Mrs. Sumati Morarjee. She was the owner of Scandia shipping. He put forth his request and she said, “Do you want to die.” But Prabhupada was determined. Somehow she agreed and gave him permission to travel in a cargo ship named the Jaladuta. From his day we see that he went via Nagpur – a Devadutta going to the West in n the Jaladuta. He faced so many health issues. He even had heart attacks on the Jaladuta. Prabhupada called to Krsna for help and Krsna became the boatman and took charge of the boat. The sea became silent. Mr. Pandya, the Captain told Prabhupada,”I have traveled this route so many years, but I have never had such a smooth journey, Swami.” Then the boat reached Boston and it had to wait. Mr. Pandya suggested that he show Prabhupada America. Prabhupada saw that everyone was busy in the rat race.
Prabhupada wrote his thoughts in form of a poem called Markine Bhagavat dharma. nacao nacao prabhu nacao se-mate kasthera puttali jatha nacao se mate
O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like. (text 14)
bhakti nai beda nai name khub daro “bhaktivedanta” nam ebe sarthak kor
I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krishna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta. You have brought me here so give me power O Lord. I don’t have much knowledge but you help make my name Bhaktivedanta as successful.
So Prabhupada reached America and he did not know whether to turn left of right. He just had 40 rupees in his pocket. It seems that he was moneyless and friendless, but he had his friend Krsna with him. As far as money was concerned he had Laxmipati (Krsna) with him. He also had golokere prema dhana harinam sankirtana. How could he be moneyless? He had Bhagavatam with him. He had taken the culture of India, the Bhagavatam, with him. He was acaryavan and dhanavan.
He arrived in 1965 and in 1966 he would establish ISKCON. 11 years thereafter he will go back to Godhead. What he did in these 11 years is mind boggling. He then returned to India and made new history. We will hear that history tomorrow – how the Lord helped him. How he had gone to America with 40 rupees and at end of 11 years, he had 40 000 crores.
Srila Prabhupada ki ……Jai!!