16 August 2020
What is the True Independence?
Hare Krishna! Chanting is taking place from 731 locations.
How was your Janmastami Utsava and Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance day celebration? Yesterday was also an Ekadashi festival. We also had Sravana Utsava. Daily we celebrate Sravana Utsava [Festival for the ears]. Festival should be there for all the senses.
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
“‘Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.’[ CC Madhya 19.170]
Our senses should be engaged in the service of the Master of all the senses. By doing so, our senses feel joyful. For our ears, there is Sravana Utsava. For our tongue, there is prasada. In this way, there is a celebration for the other senses too. Cleaning the temple is a celebration for the sense of touch. Deity worship is also a celebration for the sense of touch. Smelling the flowers or garlands offered to Krsna is a celebration for the nose. Darsana of the Deity is a celebration for the eyes. Celebrate these festivals daily.
rasa-varjam raso ‘py asya
param drstva nivartate
The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.[ BG 2.59]
Regularly celebrating such festivals will make us free from the urge that we have to gratify our senses. We will become independent of gratifying the senses. We will not depend on the so-called sense objects. Everything revolves around Krsna. No need to do so-called enjoyment of this world. If there is no need, then we are independent. When we take the shelter of Krsna then He becomes the object of our senses. He becomes the focus of our life.
I was thinking that yesterday the whole of India was celebrating Independence Day. This day is important for all Indians and the whole country celebrates it grandly. But for Vaisnavas, it is not very important. Once Srila Prabhupada was at Hare Krsna land, Juhu on 15 August. Hari Sauri Prabhu was massaging Srila Prabhupada on the terrace. We had some tenants staying on our land and they were all celebrating Independence Day by shouting praises to Mother India. Srila Prabhupada asked Hari Sauri Prabhu, ”What’s going on?”
Hari Sauri Prabhu said, “They are celebrating Independence Day”.
Srila Prabhupada was not impressed with this idea. He didn’t appreciate it. Vaisnavas are not attached to the so-called Independence Day and Republic day. Well, Srila Prabhupada was willing to participate in the struggle for freedom as a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, but then he met Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. When he had met Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura he had been determined to join the movement and make India independent. He said, “We have to become independent from the rule of the British”. Then Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura asked him to preach Krishna consciousness. He said, “The spreading of Krishna consciousness cannot wait.” In that very first meeting, Srila Prabhupada was convinced and took shelter of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He rejected the idea of joining the movement of Mahatma Gandhi. He gave up all the effort that he was making for the struggle for freedom. He started putting effort to fulfil the orders of his Guru Maharaja. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “You seem to be intelligent. You should preach Krishna consciousness.” After the first meeting, Abhay’s thoughts became like that of Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
If we say Independence, then from whom do we have to become independent? We cannot be free from the Lord. Once a man was told to introduce himself. He said, “I am not Indian. I am Bhartiya.” India became Independent and people become Indian, but India remain British. The British left, but their influence is still here. There is the Influence on dressing. The influence on drinking tea is still here. The language remains the same, English. Tea was introduced by the British. On 1 August in 1957 India gained independence, but the lifestyle, education system remains the same as the British to this day. Just the rule has changed from British rule to India rule. How much difference did it make? Very little difference. Mahatma Gandhi wanted to establish Rama Rajya.
If that had happened, then we could say that we are independent. When the rulers are themselves, materialists, they bring democracy and capitalism. Prabhupada said that democracy was actually demon crazy. All the apparent material good or bad, is bad. Prabhupada also said that if you have two options – dry stool and wet stool, what would you like to have? After all, both are stool. Both are bad. As I said, we try to become independent of the Lord, but that is not possible.
If we depend on the Lord, if we take shelter of Krsna or Sri Rama or Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then in that way we become free from Maya. That is freedom. Otherwise, we are dependent. After independence, there was a new government and a new constitution. One of the sudras who had forsaken the dharma of Rama and Krsna, formed the constitution and introduced secularism, comparing the inferior religions to be equal to Bhagavad Dharma. Some religions are false. Some are too new. If a religion has started, then it will surely end. But when we talk about Sanatana Dharma which is eternal, no beginning no end. Secularism is misguiding, providing food, clothing and shelter. This is the only duty of the government, which is limited to the body. There is no thought for the soul and forget about Paramatma. After getting independence after a long struggle, they establish a government which is not a democracy, but demon-crazy. For those who have desired to live their life like that of an animal, it is fine. Secularism is void of religions. For devotees or those who want to go back home, this is not good. We become independent when we take shelter of Krsna.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Srila Prabhupada once wrote to me that Maharashtra is the country of Saint Tukarama, but these politicians are spoiling it. Then he asked me to preach to the Marathis and make them aware of Krishna consciousness and free them from this material bondage. All these political parties are representing Maya. They are all Maya’s parties, as they promote sense gratification. India is a land of penance and sacrifice, but they are trying to make it a land of sense gratification. Indians are supposed to be cow protectors, but they are turning into cow eaters. Meat is being exported to the Middle East in exchange for petrol. Is this the culture of India? Abortion, cow killing, and all such great sinful activities are being legalised. Is this the same India? These thoughts come from western countries. Where is the freedom?
You all do something. You are free to practice Krishna consciousness. If you do so, then you are Independent.
Srila Prabhupada went to England and made many English, Vaisnavas. They and many in other countries also became independent. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission through Prabhupada is freeing many, many souls of the world. They are getting freedom from the bondage of Maya. Being busy engaging in Krsna’s services is the actual independence.
Our Krishna Conscious movement [ISKCON] is giving independence to many people of this world. This is a process – from holy name (nama) to holy abode (dhama) This name takes you to Mayapur, to Vrindavan. You are free from all material identities and all bondage. This is real Independence.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
Preach Krishna consciousness to whomsoever you see. Then people will
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.[BG 18.66]
Preach and make others independent. That independence is to be celebrated.
When you officially become a part of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, you become aware of real knowledge. You become free from the different varieties of ‘isms.’ Then you become initiated. You get a spiritual name. That is your Independence Day. Every country celebrates an Independence Day. Be it from Britain or communism or something else, but it has no value whatsoever.
The real Independence Day is your second birthday as Krsna’s devotee. Diksa is your second birth.
The description has become elongated, but it’s important to know all these things. Be free from this material world. When yogurt is churned, butter is separated from milk. Curd becomes buttermilk and butter floats on top. The essence comes up. If you try to drown that butter in the buttermilk, it never mixes. If we churn the material thoughts, we will become high thinkers and we will become Krishna conscious. We will have the same thoughts as the residents of Vaikuntha, Goloka Vrindavan have. We then float up and don’t mix with the dirt of this world.