8 November 2019
Today devotees from 503 places are chanting with us. It looks like in Pandharpur they celebrated Ekadasi yesterday. 435 books were distributed by ISKCON Pandharpur. Keshav Prabhu from Pune distributed 1000 japa beads in Pandharpur. We hope that he would have asked those 1000 devotees to take a vow to chant at least 1 round daily. There are so many reports coming from different places. From Gurgaon Radha Chitta Hari Prabhu will perform Harinam Sankirtan in a nearby village where more than 100 devotees and new people will take part in sankirtana. They are also planning a deep daan.
Mahesh and Meera from Bangalore have managed to offer deep daan by 105 people. Hardik Patel from USA managed to perform deep daan by 30 – 40 American students at university. He is preaching in his college and spreading Krishna Consciousness there. We congratulate him for his initiative. Our Jagjivan Prabhu is in Bhandhirvan today along with Vraja-mandala Parikrama will continue from Bhanirvan today. He had darsana of Bhatrond Bihari at Bhandirvan. When
he said that he is taking darsana of Bhatrond Bihari then I was reminded that this Bhandirvan is the same place where the marriage of Radha and Krsna took place. There are so many reports. I read almost all the reports, but I can’t
remember all. These reports are not only for me, but they are for you all. You all must read these reports and get inspiration from them and preach Krishna Consciousness. You should spread this Krishna Consciousness and share Krsna
Madhavi Gopi Mataji from Thane is asking a question twhether we should focus on Sadhana or Seva and how to manage the two? There is one more question being asked – is reading sastra a service or sadhana?
First of all I would like to inform you all that you can discuss these questions with your counsellor and your devotee friends. As Krsna said in Bhagavad-gita devotees should do bodhyantah parasaparam. It means they should ask each other questions. All of you should have a counsellor and ask such questions to him/her. You can discuss these questions among each other. If you find some questions which are difficult you can ask me. These are basic questions which requires common sense.
So I would like to answer the first question – how to manage service and sadhana? We should find a balance between these two. Everyday we should perform sadhana and everyday we should perform seva. In this way we can find balance between these two. There are a few devotees who only do sadhana and will not perform any seva and on the other hand we have some devotees who will only perform seva and won’t do any sadhana . Both of them are not right. We should do both sadhana and seva. We all have 24 hous in a day and we should plan what services we need to perform in these 24 hours. You should plan your 24 hours in such a way so that you can perform both sadhana and seva simultaneously. This time is for my service and this time is for my sadhana. In this way you can plan your day. We can discuss this. I gave you the answer in short now you should contemplate on it and discuss on this with your counsellor and devotee friends.
Second question is reading scriptures a part of our sadhana or seva ? Answer to this question is that reading scriptures is both sadhana and seva. By reading scriptures we prepare ourselves for service. In sadhana we should also do preaching. If you have read the scriptures properly, if you have understood the sastras then you will be able to perform service. When you have understood the philosophy then you will be able to preach Krishna Consciousness. You will be able to answer the questions of new people as you have founded these answers in scriptures. So as we have reading and teaching that both these are services.
Pathan and paathan both are needed. Tase are the suites of a brahman – pathan paathan , yajan yaajan. They should accept charity and they should give charity. These are the duties of a brahman. So you should perform both, read and teach. In this way you will be able to perform sadhana and seva both.
yare dekho tare kaho krsna upadesa – this is service. So you should keep reading these scriptures. You should chant and read also. This is another kind of balance. There could be a few devotees who will only do reading and won’t chant and there will be few who will only chant but won’t read the scriptures. They won’t perform saravan, kirtana they won’t acquire knowledge. This is not right. So there must be a balance in the two. A balanced life is a healthy life. I
won't talk more on this. You should discuss it with others.
I would like to inform you all that today is a very auspicious Ekadasi called Utthan Ekadasi. Today is the day when the Lord wakes up. The Lord is waking up…. Do you remember 4 months before on there was another Ekadasi and the name of
that Ekadasi was Sayani Ekadasi. I hope that some of you devotees were there in Pandharpur and celebrated Sayani Ekadasi. On the same day the Lord goes to sleep and from then Caturmasa begins which is during the rainy season. The
Lord takes rest for these 4 months. The Lord is not small. He is great so he sleeps for 4 months. When the Lord takes rest all the devotees and Vaisnavs increases their sadhana and seva. During the prakat lila of Caitanya Mahaprabhu
devotees from Orrisa and Bengal would come to Jagannatha Puri and reside there under shelter of Mahaprabhu and Jagannatha Puri.
Such kind of austerities are being performed in many different places like in Pandharpur and Vrindavan also devotees reside for the entire 4 months and perform sadhana and seva. During this time traditionally the parivrajkacarya will
stay in one place, because this rainy season is tough to travel during this time.
Even Narada Muni narrated the pastime how he became a devotee there. He said that great devotees who were very scholarly came and stayed near his village and how Narada Muni got the opportunity to serve these Vaisnavas.
‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’ — sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya-lila 22.54)
Narada Muni said, “By their permission I honoured Krsna prasada. I served those Bhaktivedantas, and as a result I became Narada Muni who was a dasi putra at that time.” How was this possible ? Because of sadhu sang. This is the time of charturmasa and this time is specially reserved for more and more sadhu sang.
During Ramayan, even Lord Ram and Lakshman reached Kishkindha and they both stayed there for 4 months. When Hanuman and company went to search for Sita. Sita was in Lanka at that time and Ram and Lakshman were in Kishkindha which is called Hampi nowadays. Both the brothers spent their time there. We see in Pandharpur during Sayani Ekadasi that millions of pilgrims come to Pandharpur for the darsana of Vitthal. Tukaram Maharaja also would come, “Let’s go for His darsana. Lord is going to take rest and we won’t be able to take His darsana for the next 4 months. And today on Utthan Ekadasi again millions of pilgrims will rush towards Pandharpur to take darsana of the Lord. To have netro utsav – festival for the eyes. The Lord was taking rest for these many months, now He is waking up, and they rush to have his darsana.
Akhiyaan pyasi re … we are hungry and thirsty for His darsana. They all run towards Pandharpur and take darsana of Vitthal and become happy again.
sunder te dhyan ubhe vitewari
kar katawari thehuniya
tulasi har gala kanse pitamber
aawde nirantar techi roop
makr kundale talapti shrwani
kanti koustubhmani virajati
tuka mahne maze hechi sarv sukha
pahin shrimukh aawadine
1. Beautiful, it is, the object of my meditation / standing on a brick, hands placed on waist.
2. A garland of "tulasi" leaves adorns his neck / yellow silken cloth, wrapped around his waist. I adore this image, unceasingly.
3. Crocodile shaped earrings, shine brilliantly by his ears / a pearl called "Kaustubha" regally adorns the necklace.
4. Tuka says, this is my only happiness / I will visualize the face of this image with enthusiasm.
Tukaram Maharaja composed one abhanga in these words and shared his experience of darsana in this very famous abhanga.
tuka mahne maze hechi sarv sukha
pahin shrimukh aawadine
What else does Tukaram want? He only wants Vitthal darsana . His life is successful when he takes darsana of Vitthal.
On Utthan Ekadasi Pandarpur is celebrating this day with great joy and then take bath in Candrabhaga River. Four months before onSayani Ekadasi in Pandharpur we inaugurated Prabhupada Ghata there. Some of you were also there. Today millions of pilgrims are taking bath in same Prabhupada Ghata. Prabhupada ghata reminds whoever takes bath there about Srila Prabhupada.
There is a beautiful Candrabhaga temple also. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also took bath in Candrabhaga. He was very eager when He reached there.
There is a gate – Maha Dwara. Caitanya Mahaprabhu rushed towards Vitthal Mandir from this Maha Dwara and He entered into the darsana mandap of Vitthal Temple. We can remember this lila. We can take these two darsanas at the same time. This is the lila where Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is performing kirtan in Pandarpur and taking darsana of Vitthal. When we remember this lila we take 2 in 1 darsana of Mahaprabhu and Vitthal both.
Utthan Ekdasi ki jai!
Nitai Gaur Premanande!