10th April 2020

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Hare Krishna!

Today we have participants from 765 locations chanting with us. We welcome the new participants. On Ekadasi we had reached 1000, but today we have a lesser number of participants. I noticed many new faces who were chanting with us.

This modern technology known as the internet, zoom conference, social media is also a gift from God. This is one of the products of the material energy but, “Utility is the principle”. We can engage everything in the Lord’s service. Hare Krishna devotees are making use of this technology. Hence, we all are chanting in this conference and are able to see and hear each other. I was wondering what would have happened if Coronavirus had spread and there was no social media. That would be a real lockdown situation. In this situation, all Hare Krishna devotees are very busy preaching. I said all, but not all are busy. You can make use of this internet facility.

The kathas are in three languages, Hindi, English and Marathi. They were telecast live yesterday. 10 am in Marathi. I had given this Bhagavat katha in Durban, South Africa, which is being released for the first time here. It is new for you. It is being telecast in English at 5:30 pm and there is a katha in Hindi at 8 pm. Take advantage of it. We are doing,

yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘krsna’-upadeśa
āmāra ājñāna guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa

Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Krsna as they are given in Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land. (CC Madhya-lila 7.128)

You also do this. The internet and social media is there. We can say that by the Lord’s mercy, there is an arrangement to do kirtana or guhyam ākhyāti prcchati – explaining and inquiring about the confidential service of the Lord.

Yesterday I saw the report sent by the devotees of the East Coast of America. They wrote that they are doing kirtana on zoom conference. The leader, mrdanga and kartala players are sitting at various places, but doing kirtana together. They are experiencing that they are together. You can take advantage and can also do the same. This lockdown has happened, but preaching must not stop – ever. The benefit of the whole world lies in this only. We have to favour them.

paropakaram vahanti nadya, paropakaram duhanti gaaya
paropakaram phalanti vriksha, paropakaram idam shareeram

Rivers flow for Paropkar (Charity), Cows give milk for Paropkar, Trees bear fruits for Paropkar, similarly this body is also meant for Paropkar.

This body is meant for the welfare of others. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manusya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra

One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India (Bhārata-varsa) should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people. (CC Adi-lila 9.41)

You are Hare Krishna devotees and hence Bharatiyas. All followers of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu were instructed by Him to do welfare of others if he wants to make his life successful. Eat, drink, enjoy and preach. Revati Raman Prabhu wrote that he delivered a seminar to 50 devotees. All reports are being published on Chant japa with Lokanath Swami Facebook and Loksanga. Please read that.

Keep chanting. Chant while facing obstacles. If “the going gets tough, the tough get going”. If going ahead is becoming difficult due to any reason like Coronavirus, devotees becomes tough and make their faith stronger. They engage themselves in chanting, kirtana and preaching with more determination. This is the work of the Lord, although we are doing it. The Lord wants preaching to take place. We are fortunate that we have been selected, employed by the Lord. Feel proud to say that we are Krsna Bhaktas, Rama Bhaktas or Gaura Bhakta Vrindas. Hanuman was a bhakta of Rama. That is something to be proud of. Becoming a government servant is not a big achievement. We must identify that we are eternal servants of Krsna.

jiv krsna-dās, e biśwās,
korlo to’ ār duhkho nāi
krsna bolbe jabe, pulak ha’be
jhorbe āńkhi, boli tāi

If you just understand that the spirit soul is the eternal servant of Krishna, you will never have any more sorrows. Chant Hare Krishna and your eyes will fill with tears and your body will feel transcendental shivering. Chant, chant “Radha-Krsna!” Everyone chant! (Gitavali, Nagara Kirtana Song 4, Radha Krsna Bol Bol, Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

śīta ātapa bāta barisana
e dina jāminī jāgi re
biphale sevinu krpana durajana
capala sukha-laba lāgi’ re

Both in the day and at night I remain sleepless, suffering the pains of the heat and cold, the wind and the rain. For a fraction of flickering happiness I have uselessly served wicked and miserly men. (verse 2, Bhaja Hu Re Mana, Govinda Dasa Kaviraja)

In this world, we become servants of someone and there is no benefit from that. If we don’t get any job then we become a servant of a dog. Then we are described as miserly as we are serving cripple minded or low class people. One is brahmana and another is krpana. We should serve brahmans, vaisnavas or jivas. Economically krpana (miserly) persons might be the richest, but they are low class or narrow minded. We don’t serve saintly people, but wicked people. This has no fruit. We have to taste the fruit of Krsna prema.

e dhana, yaubana, putra parijana
ithe ki āche paratīti re
kamala-dala-jala, jīvana talamala
bhajahū hari-pada nīti re

What assurance of real happiness is there in all of one’s wealth, youthfulness, sons, and family members? This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus petal; therefore you should always serve and worship the divine feet of Lord Hari.
(Verse 3, Bhaja Hu Re Mana, Govinda Dasa Kaviraja)

mām upetya punar janma
duhkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānah
samsiddhim paramām gatāh

After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection. (BG 8.15)

We need to always remember the uncertainty or temporary nature of this world. How is this world? It is just like a drop of water on the lotus petal. Our situation is also the same as we keep on serving some people in this world.

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

We need to chant like Srila Namacarya Haridas Thakur. We need to follow in his footsteps. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave him the title of Namacarya. He was asked to learn different aspects from different acaryas – like renunciation from Raghunath Das Goswami and the Nectar of Devotion from Rupa Goswami. He wants us to learn how to chant from Srila Haridas Thakur. He is also called Brahma Haridas Thakur as Lord Brahma appeared as Haridas Thakur. Lord Brahma is our first acarya. He is not only the generator of the universe. We come in his disciplic succession. We are known as Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnavas. He appeared as Haridas Thakur at the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He chanted 3 lakh names daily. He took birth in a Muslim family, but still he was engaged in chanting. Many obstacles came in his way, but he didn’t stop chanting. One night, a prostitute came with the desire to enjoy with Haridas Thakur, but he continued chanting and stopped that prostitute.

balavastha krida sakta, yuvavastha taruni rakta

As soon as you are a young man, you start looking for young women with the desire of lust.

In his youth Srila Haridas Thakur controlled such thoughts of sense enjoyment. Once he was imprisoned by the Kazi. He was locked in. Today we have been imprisoned in our homes. But has kirtana stopped? No! In fact, he preached to many prisoners and he started to chant with them. He increased the difficulties of the Muslim government. Then he was beaten in 22 market places. Did he stop while being beaten? No! He said, “No matter if my body gets cut into pieces, I will continue to chant.” (Even if my body becomes khand khand, I will chant akhand) Chanting is the calling of the soul. The soul is the one who chants.

nainam chindanti śastrāni
nainam dahati pāvakah
na cainam kledayanty āpo
na śosayati mārutah

The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. (BG 2.23)

Once in Phulia, he was chanting in a cave where a poisonous snake was living. His visitors were afraid to visit and hence they said they would not come again. But Srila Haridas Thakur fearlessly kept on chanting. He said, “Let’s see who goes out of the cave. Me or that snake?” Then by the next day the snake left that cave and his chanting continued without obstacles.

Then Srila Haridas Thakur was in Jagannatha Puri. It was becoming difficult for him to chant as he was getting old. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu sent Jagannatha maha-prasada to him via Govinda. He refrained from honouring the prasada as his chanting was not yet completed. Then the next day, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu came and said, “You are not supposed to complete your rounds because of old age.” But still he didn’t stop.

We need to ask you to chant more. Why only 16? Chant 32 or 64 rounds. But here Lord Caitanya is saying to Srila Haridas Thakur to chant less, but he kept on chanting. We pray at his lotus feet to get a taste to chant more after completing the prescribed 16 rounds. We can always engage ourselves in kirtaniyah sada harih.

Hare Krishna!