24 July 2020

The Deity is the Lord Himself

Hare Krishna! Many people have gathered from 820 places like Australia, Mauritius, Poland, Middle East, Ukraine, etc. Gaura premanande Hari Hari bol!

Today is the disappearance day of Vamsidas Babaji and Raghunandana Thakura. We will remember only Raghunandana Thakura due to lack of time.

je ānilo prema-dhana koruṇā pracur heno prabhu kothā gelā ācārya-ṭhākur

Translation He, who brought the treasure of divine love and who was filled with compassion and mercy--where has such a personality as Advaita Acarya gone? (Je Anilo Prema Dhana Koruna Pracura, Swa Parsada Bhagavad Viraha Janita Vilapa Song 1, Narottama Dasa Thakura)

Raghunandana Thakura was with us but where did he go? We already know the answer. Our ācāryas go back to the Lord in His Nitya-lila. It's a matter of grief that we are deprived of his association. And at the same time, it's a matter of joy that he now has the association of the Lord on this day.

Raghunandana Thakura was from Srikhanda Kśetra, not the one which we eat. This place is very famous and a mine of extraordinary devotees. During Caturmasya, many devotees of Srikhanda go to Jagannatha Puri to practice devotional service. Srikhanda is near Katva, the place where Śrī Krsna Caitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa.

Three brothers resided there, namely Mukunda Dasa, Madhava Dasa and Narahari Sarkar Dasa. Mukunda Dasa was the incarnation of Vrinda Devi and his son was Raghunandana Thakura. What to say of a father like him! He was a doctor by profession.

One time, when Raghunandana was 5 years old, his father wanted to go out of town. Before going, he informed his son, "Lord Gopinātha has been worshiped by our ancestors for a long time. Now it's our time to worship Him. I have to go somewhere today, and I am giving this responsibility to you today. Worship Him nicely. Cook and offer bhoga to the Lord to fully satisfy Him." Raghunandana Thakura was on duty that day in serving Lord Gopinātha. His mother must have cooked the bhoga as he was just 5 years old. Raghunandana innocently took the naivaidya (bhoga) to Lord Gopinātha and placed the plate in front of Him. Due to his innocence, he thought that Krsna would step out of His Deity, put His murali (flute) aside and eat the bhoga with His hands. But nothing of that sort happened. Then he pleaded, "Oh Lord! It is the time for You to eat. Why are You not eating? Please eat. My father instructed me to serve You nicely and offer You bhoga. Please accept this bhoga, Oh Lord!" Raghunandana was very innocent. Thus he kept requesting as the Lord is ahaṁ bhakta-parādhīno.

ahaṁ bhakta-parādhīno hy asvatantra iva dvija sādhubhir grasta-hṛdayo bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyaḥ

Translation The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brāhmaṇa: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me. (ŚB 9.4.63)

The Lord said that He is under the control of His devotees. Due to His compassion and love, Gopinātha ate each and every item of bhoga that was offered to Him and the bhoga plate was empty. He may also have licked His fingers. After some time, Mukunda returned and inquired from his son whether he had offered the bhoga timely. His son replied, "Yes". Because Mukunda was hungry, he asked for mahā prasāda (remnants of the bhoga). As soon as Raghunandana heard this he said, “The Lord ate everything. He didn't leave anything for me as well." Mukunda was astonished and couldn't believe it. Now Mukunda wanted to experience this personally.

The next day, he again asked Raghunandana to offer bhoga to the Lord as he pretended that he had to go out that day also. Raghunandana offered the bhoga plate to the Lord and he requested Gopinātha in the same way. The time Raghunandana was offering bhoga, Mukunda came to see whether the Lord was really accepting the bhoga from his son. He was hiding and watching. Mukunda saw that the Lord had just started eating the bhoga. He had broken half a laddu and was eating it when Gopinātha saw that Mukunda was watching Him, He stopped eating. After having this darsana, Mukunda was overwhelmed with love for the Lord. He embraced his son Raghunandana and said, "Well done! You are really a great devotee."

This is a small pastime which is enough to say about this great ācārya Raghunandana Thakura. The Lord really ate everything Raghunandana offered with love and devotion. So much affection and faith he had for the vigraha (Deity) of the Lord. Vigraha is an incarnation of the Lord.

kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra nāma haite haya sarva-jagat-nistāra

Translation In this Age of Kali, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Simply by chanting the holy name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered. (CC Ādi 17.22)

The Lord manifests Himself in the form of His name and also as a Deity. Ācāryas request the Lord to descend and take the form of a Deity and install prāna (life) in this form. On the occasion of the disappearance day of Raghunandana Thakura, we pray to him and ask for his mercy to bestow love and faith for the Deity he had. During Deity worship, we should also do kirtana. Deity worship, reciting of different mantras or glorification of the Lord is completed when performed with kirtana.

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

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo ’si me

Translation Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. (BG. 18.65)

The Lord said, "Remember Me.” We can remember the Lord's Deity also. We can become a devotee of the Deity. We see some are devotees of Shrinathji, Giriraja, Pandharinatha, Jagannatha or Sri Rama. Then the Lord said, "Worship Me". We can worship the Deity or even a photo of the Lord. We can offer our obeisances to the Deity that will directly reach the Lord, with the faith and understanding that the Deities in the temple are the Lord Himself. Śrila Prabhupāda said, "We should offer obeisances to the Deity as soon as we enter the temple and then when we go near altar. That is Krishna consciousness."

The Lord shows miracles from time to time like He showed Raghunandana Thakura. When we remember all these incidents, our faith in the Deity increases.

Sākshi Gopāla said to the Brāhmana, "I am a Deity. I can't walk." But the young Brāhmana said, "If You can speak, can't You walk?" Lord was defeated by the love of the devotee and walked. The Lord gave many other examples like this where our ācāryas reciprocated with the Lord's deity.

Raghunandana Thakura was a great ācārya. Once Caitanya Mahāprabhu inquired from Mukunda Dasa, "Who is the father and who is the son from you both?" Mukunda Dasa replied, "Raghunandana is my father and I am his son." He twisted the answer or he might be right as Raghunandana was a great devotee. Hearing this, Śrī Krsna Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very pleased.

We will stop here. Have a good day! If you have any questions or comments, you can write on the chat session. Thank you for not writing pranāms (obeisances) during japa. This has shown your mind control.

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt

Translation A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world. (Text 1, The Nectar of Instruction)

As Padmamali Prabhu has said, "Offer your pranāms, but don't write it". I am happy that you are not writing pranāms now. We need to establish this kind of culture during japa and more importantly during japa talk as the transcriber needs to transcribe the japa talk in English. We will give you some time at the end of the japa talk if you would like to write or communicate. You are welcome to share your realisations with everyone attending the japa talk. Now is the time you can write pranāms if you wish to. Your comments and realisations are published on Loksanga. Make a habit to read these realisations. You can again hear the japa talk on Youtube and read the transcription in English, Hindi, Russian or Marathi. You can also share this with your friends and relatives.

yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa

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

You can also give your association to others. Take association in morning here and then give association to others during the day. Give and take. Only taking is not a good policy.

Akincan Bhakta reported that he had organised a very big ratha yatra in his village. You can read about it. We give you the response if you write. You can read some other comments or questions or you can also give the answers to the questions asked. This way it can begin bodhayantaḥ parasparam and guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati.

mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā bodhayantaḥ parasparam kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

Translation The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me. (BG 10.9)

dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam

Translation Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another. (Text 4, The Nectar of Instruction)

You can communicate with each other on this conference or you can comment on some other comments. You can also give appreciation.

Ok see you later. Hare Krishna!