10 June 2020

They are great souls (mahātmānaḥ sansiddhiṁ)

NOTE: There is an announcement regarding Vyasa puja offerings. Very few offerings have been received. A total of only 350 offerings have been received. If you need help then please contact the devotees whose email addresses are given below. You can write your offering today. There are 5000 disciples altogether. It is said in Srimad Bhagavatam that glorifying the spiritual master is more purifying than glorification of the Lord. We request all the 800+ participants on this japa conference to write and send their offerings to the respective email addressees:
shridharmadhavdas.lok@gmail.com ( Hindi/ Marathi )
vrndavanalila108@gmail.com (English)

Hare Krishna,

There is a bad news from New Vrindavan ISKCON Temple, West Virginia, USA, about our god brother, HG Venkatachalapati Prabhuji who was a brahmacari. He left his body to the heavenly abode after a tragic accident. According to US time it happened yesterday morning when he went for the morning walk where he accidentally slipped and fell into the pond and lost his life on the spot. You can see his photograph on the shared screen. He was also the head pujari of Lord Narasimha Dev. Last year when I visited West Virginia, he performed various yajnas and served me very enthusiastically. We request all the devotees to pray together for his journey to paradise.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Today 970 participants are chanting from different locations. But today we don’t have HG Venkatachalpati Prabhu. As a result it’s not a good morning. It’s a bad morning. It’s difficult to say something about such news. Venkatachalapati Prabhu ki jai!

dvatrinṣadakṣaraṁ mantraṁ nāma ṣoḍaṣakānvitaṁ |
prajapan vaiṣṇavo nityaṁ rādhākṛṣṇa sthalaṁ labhet ||

Vaisnavas who chant and chant the maha-mantra with thirty-six varnas and sixteen names – they receive the divine abode of Sriradhakrsna Goloka. [Padma-Purana]

As it is mentioned in this mantra rādhākṛṣṇa sthalaṁ labhet one will get the abode of Radha Krsna. I hope that whenever it was that Venkatachalapati left, either today or yesterday, he would have reached goloka eva nivasaty meaning Golokapati’s abode. May the Lord accept him and provide him a place where he can serve the Lord’s lotus feet.

In this mahamantra there are 32 letters ( dva – two; trinṣ – 30+2, adakṣaraṁ- letters) and 16 words or names. (nāma – names, ṣoḍaṣakānvitaṁ – 16)

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hence, this mantra is a combination of 32 letters which forms 16 names of the Lord and those who are constantly chanting this mantra attain Radha Krsna’s abode (rādhākṛṣṇa sthalaṁ labhet). They attain Vrindavan Dhama. This is the truth. There is no need to mention this. These are the Lord’s words in the scriptures and verses from the scriptures are the words of the Lord. Sastras are apaurusheya-shabda which means that these words are not simply written by any normal human being. We can say like a human being (govindam adi purusham), but it was the Lord, therefore apaurusheya. These words of the Lord are mentioned in Padma-Purana. This is also Purana avilambaṃ. Puranas or scriptures never become old exactly as the Lord’s words are also not old. His words and speech is eternal. This is the fact – satyamav jayate. Focus on these glories of the holy names. prajapan vaiṣṇavo nityaṁ – We don’t just have to hear this, but we have to chant this constantly by understanding it’s greatness. This is the instruction of the spiritual master.

I was just reading this yesterday. At the time of initiation when the spiritual master says the mantra in the ears of the disciple, then at same time the secretary of Yamaraja who is Chitragupta, and who maintains the records of each and every living entity’s deeds on earth, is there. As soon as the spiritual master chants this mantra and the disciple hears then all the records stored by him get changed.

These records get transferred from Yamaraja’s records to the Lord’s records. Whenever a disciple leaves his body, he is greeted by the Lord’s messengers who takes him to Radha-Krsna’s place. Yamaraja’s messengers are not even allowed to touch their soul, because all the data of the disciples are transferred from Yamaraja’s computer to the Lord Visnu’s computer. In same way our HG Venkatachalpati Prabhu is going to get Radha Krsna’s place.(ādhākṛṣṇa sthalaṁ labhet)

Similarly when one Vaisnava passes away then it becomes a reason for happiness as well as distress. Happiness because he is on his way to Radha Krsna and he will be engaged in Their service. He will keep on chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. In other words, devotees are also known as free souls. Distress because when we visit New Vrindavan, we will be deprived of his association. This is the reason for distress.

HG Venkatachalapati Dasa was serving padayatra. It was his latest service which he performed last month. He was a native of Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. A new Padayatra has started in Andhra Pradesh by ISKCON Tirupati on the last Vyasa Puja, just like the one we have started in Maharashtra. He was engaged in financing Andhra Pradesh Padayatra from USA. Padayatra was benefitting greatly because of his service. Padayatra will also be deprived from his beneficial service. What to do? Krsna is in command. How can we ask the Lord this question? Why did You take away his soul? What is the reason for his death? We all know the answer.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes. [Śrī brahma-saṁhitā 5.1]

We know that Radha Krsna are the cause. They have plans for every individual jiva. No questions can be asked or raised. Whatever happened we need to accept and we have to face this situation. This is difficult, but nothing can be done.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

We can chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and pray for him as well as for ourselves. Can such an incident happen with us? Yes! Very possible.

mām upetya punar janma duḥkhālayam aśhāśhvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ sansiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ

Having attained Me, the great souls are no more subject to rebirth in this world, which is transient and full of misery, because they have attained the highest perfection. [ BG 8.15]

This is an example of it. We keep on saying that the world is temporary. Who can rely on one’s life?(aśhāśhvatam) Whenever someone asks, “Is there an example of this.”
“Yes, the example is HG Venkatachalapati Dasa. This is an example. The soul never dies. The soul never takes birth. But one who has taken birth, has to die.

na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre

The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die; nor having once existed, does it ever cease to be. The soul is without birth, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. [BG 2.20]

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛityur dhruvaṁ janma mṛitasya cha
tasmād aparihārye ’rthe na tvaṁ śhochitum arhasi

Death is certain for one who has been born, and rebirth is inevitable for one who has died. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable. [BG 2.27]

We need to understand this and transform it into wisdom. The soul never takes birth so there is no death for the soul. When there is a meeting to express grievances then we hear scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Ramayan or Srimad Bhagavatam. From those lessons we learn that the Lord says that alearned person never laments. Even the brahmans who recite slokas during the mourning period teach that one should not mourn for the deceased ones.

sri-bhagavan uvaca
asocyan anvasocas tvam
prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums ca
nanusocanti panditah

The blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead. [BG 2.11]

Destruction of the body is not surprising, but surprising things are also associated with this. Yudhusthira Maharaja said this to Yaksha in Mahabharata.

ahanyahani bhūtāni gacchantīha yamālayam |
śeṣāḥ sthāvaramicchanti kimāścaryamataḥparam ||

Every day; day after day, people see others going to death’s home. Still, the rest long for immortality. Is there any bigger irony than this? [Mahabharata-Van-Asha]

Yaksha asked this question: “Do you know any surprising thing,(kim Ashcharyam)? Yudhusthira Maharaja replied that every hour, every second people are giving up their bodies and are dying. But the rest (śeṣāḥ) who are there, are saying that we are not going to die (sthāvaramicchanti) – “Let them die but I will not die” – they make such an arrangement so as to protect themselves. Even they have made arrangements like ahar, nidra, bhaya, maithun.

ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati

Persons devoid of ātma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction. [SB 2.1.4]

There are family doctors ,WHO, guards at gate – will the Yamadutas fear those guards and not enter? There is life insurance as well.People make arrangements to live and think that they won’t die. This is a wonder.

Yudhusthira Maharaja didn’t say that the Taj Mahal is one of the wonders.There are many places which are known as wonders of the world like the Niagara Falls in Canada or there is a tilted building called the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. People call them the wonders of the world. I also visited that place and even got my picture clicked. But Yudhusthira Maharaja didn’t accept these monuments as wonders, his reply to kim ashcharyam was that people think that they are eternal. This itself is a wonder.

King Kulasekhara also said this:

kṛṣṇa tvadīya-pada-paṅkaja-pañjarāntam
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ
kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te

O Lord Kṛṣṇa, at this moment let the royal swan of my mind enter the tangled stems of the lotus of Your feet. How will it be possible for me to remember You at the time of death, when my throat will be choked up with mucus, bile, and air? [Mukund-Mala – Stotra verse 33]

What has he said? You must know this by heart. Srila Prabhupada regularly recited this verse as an example. King Kulasekhara was one of the kings from South India. He was a devotee of Krsna. What he said, “Oh Krsna Your feet are like a lotus (kṛṣṇa tvadīya-pada-paṅkaja) and my mind is like a swan (mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ). Where there are lots of lotus blooms, there are swans who keep on swimming who serve the Lord. King Kulashekhara has said, “May I get the opportunity to serve the lotus feet of the Lord. When should this take place? This should take place not only today, but now (adyaiva me). Let me render devotional service to You now and get the shelter of Your lotus feet. When I get old then my throat will get choked up. (kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te) In old age (prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye) we become diseased and there are also many disturbances in the mind.Then remembrance becomes difficult. Our aim is to remember Krsna. There is a timeline to get successful and become perfect in this project.Time is Krsna. We should not procrastinate.

There was one person who would think, “I’ll perfect my sadhana from tomorrow.” He took a vow. He made sign and pasted it on a wall in his bedroom, so that whenever he got up in the morning, he could read it easily. In English there is a saying that – tomorrow never comes.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

I had to tell you other verses glorying the holy names, but we just heard one. We will read them the next time.

Venkatachalapati Prabhu ki jai!
Srila Prabhupada ki jai!
Radha Vrindavan Chandra ki Jai!
Gaura Premanande!
Hari Haribol!