Radhanath Swami on How Krsna Consciousness process brings change in society
I would like to first of all offer my great thankfulness to all of you who are so kindly assembling here this evening, to celebrate this wonderful occasion in which he have come together to hear and chant the glories of the Supreme Lord. Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Sukadev Gosvami explains that the path by which we can become completely fearless found in shelter at the Lotus feet of the Lord is by constantly hearing and chanting the Lord’s glories. The greatness of the culture of India is based on this principle; people coming together like this evening to hear the narrations coming from the Vedic scriptures, to chant the Holy names in the association of Sadhus and to take Krsna’s Prasad. This simple process can completely transform the quality of the entire society.
One time our beloved spiritual master His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad was meeting the commissioner in charge of police in the city of Chicago. Chicago is famous through out the entire world for its crime and corruption, The commissioner of police he was pouring his heart out to Srila Prabhupad explaining “there is so much crime, there is so much terrible activities going on in the city and the Mayor at least we have no control, we do not know what we can do to make like civilized in the city, can you give us some advice?” Srila Prabhupad with great conviction, he said: “Yes I have this solution. You give us some big hall in various parts of the city, and we will distribute free Prasad of Lord Krsna in each of these halls. And then we will have wonderful chanting and dancing in the Kirtan of the Holy names.
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
And when people become purified by chanting the Holy name in the congregation and taking Prasad they will gradually develop a taste to hear about the narration of Krsna, the philosophy of life and naturally they will give up their sinful activities, they will become God Conscious and society will be peaceful.
Harer nama, harer nama, harer namaiva kevalam, kalau nasty eva, nasty eva, nasty eva gatir anyata.
Involve yourselves in Congregational chanting – Radhanath Swami
Radhanath Swami explains In this age of Kali-yuga there is no other way of achieving peace, save and accept to the purification of the heart of that takes place by the congregational chanting of the Holy names of Lord Hari. And this is the greatness of the land of Bharatvarsha is throughout the ages, people by the thousands would come together to hear and chant the glories of the Lord. And on a daily basis Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed us come together with your family members, your friends, right in your own house, play instruments, if you don’t have instruments just clap your hands, chant the holy names and discuss Krsna’s teachings. In this way we can completely spiritualize our hearts. The original nature of every living being is that we are Krsna Consciousness or God conscious. This gross body is made of five elements – earth, water, air, fire and ether and within this gross body is subtle body which is composed of mind, intelligence and the false ego. The beginning of real knowledge is when we understand the teachings of Gita.
apareyam itas tv anyam
prakṛtiḿ viddhi me parām
yayedaḿ dhāryate jagat
That subject from the gross and subtle bodies that we have is the spiritual soul, which is part and parcel of God.
na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ‘yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire
The soul is not subjected to birth or death, soul is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. But due to its association with this material existence our consciousness has been contaminated and thus we have forgotten original nature of being the loving servant of the Lord. And thus we have given up precious invaluable treasure of our devotion to God to seek after the temporary sources of misery in the forms of material enjoyment. This human form of life is meant to experience spiritual ecstasy that comes naturally when we revive our natural consciousness through the process of the congregational chanting of the Holy names. How we have become contaminated by this envious tendency to want to separate ourselves from God is very beautifully illustrated in the particular story which is found in Valmiki’s Ramayan.
Ramayan: Birth of Lord Ram lecture by Radhanath Swami
At this time of the year we are celebrating Ramanavami and it is auspicious to hear the narration of the story of Sri Ram Chandra, the son of Dasarath. Lord Sri Ram Chandra was born from Dasarath and Kausalya in the Holy city of Ayodhya. Sri Ram Chandra is none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead “the cause of all causes”, the Absolute Truth. he is expansion of the original personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. He appeared with his three self same expansions in the form of Bharat, Laxman and Shatrugna.
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srijamy aham
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge
janma karma ca me divyam
evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
The Lord appears to annihilate the miscreants, to re-establish the principles of religion and to give pleasure to his devotees. And one who hears and understands the transcendental nature of the Lord’s appearance and activities attains the Supreme abode Vaikunta and never takes birth in this world again. Sri Ram took the hand of his eternal consort, the Goddess of fortune Sita Devi, in the Holy Dham of Mithila. They live happily in Ayodhya and all of the citizens loved them more dearly than their own lives. Dasarath was becoming old and he decided that it was the proper time to coronate Sri Ram as the King of the entire earth. Dasarath as a true noble king would not perform any important activity without consulting the great Rishis and saintly persons headed by Vashista muni.
Krsna explains in Gita: Catur-varnam maya srstam Guna Karma vibhagasah. – that the Brahmans, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, the sudras, Brahmacharis, Gruhastas, Vanaprasthas, sanyasis. This Varnashram system is the scientific way in which society could live peacefully and progress harmoniously together for the ultimate perfection of life. Actually in the Vedic literatures there is not even one time mentioned the word Hinduism. This is a title which came just recently in our history. The name of this great spiritual science or religion which is based on Vedic scriptures is Varnashram Dharma – Where everyone, all classes of men and women within society learn scientifically and systematically how to perform their particular occupation with the quality of God consciousness and work together for real peace and harmony.
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
mokshayishyami ma sucah
And the fulfillment of the Varnashram system is pure devotional service to Krsna, surrender to the Lotus feet of the Lord. So the Brahmans were pure hearted and truthful and they were the heads and leaders of the society. It was not based on what type of birth that you came into this world from but the qualities and the activities that you possessed.
Radhanath Swami on Who is a Real Brahman ?
There is a story of one Goutam Rishi, he was approached by a young boy for Diksha, Goutam rishi said: “I only initiate Brahmins. He said: Who is your mother and father”, he said: “I know my mother but I do not know who my father is?” So he went home to ask his mother, his mother said: “sorry, to tell you this son, but I was a prostitute. I was an untouchable by my activity and therefore I do not even know who my father is.” So the boy returned to Goutam Rishi and with folded hands said: “Guruji, my mother was a prostitute, so I do not know who my father is”. So Goutam Rishi replied: “You are a Brahman, so I will give you Diksha, because a Brahman and is simple and straightforward and honest”. One who has these qualities who is learned in the scriptures it does not matter how he is born, he is Brahman. And on the basis of the spiritual knowledge such Brahmans are meant to give direction to the whole society.
Ayodhya City celebrating Sri Ram’s Coronation :
When Vashista Muni heard Dasarath Maharaj’s idea he gave his blessings and then the word spread throughout Ayodhya that Sri Ram Chandra tomorrow morning at the rising of the sun will become coronated as the king of the entire world. And the whole city was celebrating in great ecstatic love. It was the happiest moments in the lives of all that the demigods understood that Sri Ram he was appearing for the purpose of killing Ravana. So they devised a wonderful plan to expediate this process.
Maya enters into Mantara and Kaikeyi asks for her boons :
Kaikeyi was one of the core wives of Dasarath a step mother of Ram and she love Ram as much as she loved her own son Bharat. And similarly, Lord Sri Ram love Kaikeyi and honored her and served her as much as his own mother Kausalya. Maya entered into the heart of Kaikeyi’s maid servant, the hunch back women Mantara. Kaikeyi was celebrating that Ram will be King and Mantara she told her: “You such a foolish women, do you not know that when Ram is King he would be envious of your son Bharat, knowing that your son is superior to him, out of fear he will banish him to the forest and banish you along with him”. Kaikeyi could not believe it, “this is not possible, Ram loves me as much as his own mother and Bharat and Ram are such loving friends they have never had a quarrel”. But the power of envy within Mantara contaminated the heart of Kaikeyi and she decided to completely turn against the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Dasarath Maharaj came to visit her, that night, she was lying on the ground and Dasarath felt great sympathy for her, because she looked like she was in such great distress. Dasarath said: “My dear loved wife, you know my love for you, I will do anything, ask whatever way I can make you happy”. She said: “Long ago, when I protected you on the battle field you promised me two boons, vow to me that at this time you will grant me my two boons”. The unexpecting Dasarath Maharaj vowed that he would fulfill her two boons. Kaikeyi like a venomous serpent she began to spit the poison of her evil words. “Banish Ram to the forest for fourteen years and coronate my son Bharat as king”. These words struck the heart of Dasarath like a thunderbolt, who fell to the ground unconscious. He tried to reason with her, but because of evil association her mind became so corrupted.
Maya enters into conditioned souls lecture by Radhanath Swami:
This is the situation of all conditioned souls within this world; originally we are all like Kaikeyi, pure, unalloyed associates of the Lord. Lord Sri Ram, Lord Sri Krsna is meant to be worshipped within the kingdom of our hearts. But however great and exalted we may be if we associate with materially minded people and believe in what they say, then all of our good qualities will be destroyed. If you associate with saintly people you will be saintly, if you associate with materialistic people, you will become envious and materialistic. Who you associate with is what you become and this is the law of God. Therefore all the Shastras and all the Acharyas have proclaimed throughout all of history that the most important principle of life is associating with Holy people. And associating with people who are too much attached to material enjoyment is more deadly than drinking poison willingly for our spiritual lives. But see how expert Maya is, to enter into our lives with this material energy to pollute our consciousness and cause us to exile God from the consciousness of our heart.
Maya appeared through Manthara, the trusting _____00.34.19 servant in the own inner chambers of Kaikeyi to contaminate her heart with evil, Contaminating propaganda. And here in this great land of India, the land of Dharma, which is meant to establish spiritual principles for the whole world to progress through, in so many ways Maya has come to give us materialistic association and force God out of our consciousness. Now we have this cable television, right in the own inner chambers of palace of your home appearing to be so innocent and a source of great pleasure and entertainment. And when you turn the switch, and the picture comes and the sound comes out and you and your children are listening, the most powerful agents of Maya, material energy, the propaganda of Western atheism is coming and that association more than anything else will destroy the very spiritual fiber of this land. And anyone can see, who wants to see that what the Islamic rule in India could not do in 800 hundred years, what the British rule could not do in India in 200 years and that is destroy the spiritual culture of this land, television coming from the West has done it within 20 years. But we want to do something, Better we come to such Satsangs to hear and chant the glories of the Lord with our families. So associating with material people and material things even if we are Lord’s personal associate it will destroy our consciousness.
Ayodhya Citizens follow Sri Ram to Dandakaranya
So Ram was exiled for fourteen years. Sita and Laxman both pleaded with the Lord that “we will give up our lives unless you allow us to accompany you”. Shortly after dressed in the bark of trees these three great personalities left on the chariot of Sumantara into the forest of Dandakaranya. It is a wonderful story but we have very little time , as the Lord left Ayodhya all the citizens left with him, they had no attachments to their homes, to their palaces, to their food, to their occupations but only attachment was to Ram. Similarly our ultimate attachment of our life should simply be to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They left everything to live in the forest with Ram but early one morning Lord Ram, left them all and entered deeper into the Dandakaranya forest and the residents of Ayodhya had to return to their kingdom.
Radhanath Swami on Guha Maharaj’s service to the Lord Sri Ram:
In the forest he met Maharaj Guha who was an outcaste by social standards, when he met Lord Ram although he was the king of Naishadas he offered his entire kingdom to Ram and accepted that during your fourteen years let me and all of my people be your menial servant and give you everything we have. With his own hands he laid nice bed of leaves for Ram and Sita and remained awake throughout the night to guard him. In this way, Guha Maharaj, although a simple dweller of the forest became a most intimate associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and achieved the ultimate perfection of life by his humble service to the Lord. Sri Ram went to Bharadwaj Muni who was living at Prayag. Bharadwaj Muni told Ram that “it is a very quite and holy place within the Dandakaranya forest it is called Chitrakoot, a beautiful mountain on the banks of Mandakini river and that place you will find great peace during your exile”, so Sri Ram went, he made his residence in little straw hut on the bank of River Ganges and the mountain called Chitrakoot.
Bharat’s devotion to Lord Sri Ram by Radhanath Swami :
In separation from Sri Ram Dasarath left this world, chanting his Holy names and returned to Vaikunta. Through this whole amazing experience Bharat was in an other kingdom visiting the palace of his uncle. He was called back by the leaders of Ayodhya, when he and Shatrugna entered into the ________0:45:21 of Ayodhya and saw all depressing inauspicious signs around them. The streets were deserted and whoever they saw they were simply weeping. The birds were not singing, even the Sarayu River was not flowing, everything looked like death personified. He went to the palace of his mother, who was very, very much rejoicing to do the series of circumstances which took place. He asked his mother, “Why, why I see all these inauspicious signs and why king Dasarath is not sitting beside you?” Kaikeyi replied that: “Your father Dasarath has died”. This was heartbreaking to Bharat, he said: “if it is that is true then surely, in the near future Lord Ram my brother would be coronated as king”. Kaikeyi replied: “I made such an idea – Ram has been exiled to the forest for fourteen years and due to that exile your father has died of separation and you will be coronated as the King of the entire world. Now my son, this kingdom needs you, enjoy the world as your kingdom”. Bharat was shocked by these words, he utterly condemned his mother. He said: “I reject you, you are no longer my mother, you are no longer my mother, you are my enemy. Ram is my life and soul. I will take the fourteen years banishment myself and put Ram as the King of the world”. He said to his mother that “I reject you and if you weren’t a woman, I will kill you on the spot”. Sri Ram Chandra Ki Jai!!!!!!!!!!. This is Bhakti.
That anyone who comes between us and our loving service to the Lord should not be accepted as our friend or relative. The mother and father are meant to cultivate loving service to the Supreme Lord never stand between we and Supreme Lord. So Bharat left that place in great anger and all night long he could not even sleep, he simply kept chanting the names of Ram. Then he went to the palace of Kausalya. Kausalya looked at him and said: “Bharat, now I hope you are happy, your plan was successful through your mother, now you have arranged for you to be the king of the world, now enjoy all the opulences of the Kingdom of Ayodhya. But what happiness you will enjoy when your brother Ram who loves you more than his own life, is living in the forest as an ascetic, with madded hair wearing the bark of trees as clothes”. These words of Kausalya struck the heart of Bharat and on a completely miserable state with folded palms he explained to Kausalya that “I have nothing to do with what my mother has done, I am going to go to the forest and accept the banish on behalf of Ram and bring him back to be King”. When Kausalya heard this she embraced Bharat with great affection. And when Bharat met with Vashista Muni, Vashista Muni said same thing, “now we will coronate you as king, we need a king, your purpose has been served, Ram has been exiled”. At that time, Sri Bharat announced to the whole kingdom of Ayodhya that: “All of the armies, all of the ministers, all of the priests, all of the citizens, we will all go to Chitrakoot and we will beg Ram to come back and I will be there in the forest for fourteen years”, when these words were spoken hope entered into the hearts of all of Ayodhya and they began to celebrate the devotion of Bharat.
Bharat and Ayodhya Citizens came to Dandakaranya by Radhanath Swami:
Radhanath Swami explains Roads were constructed and soon sixty thousand chariots, hundreds and thousands of soldiers, hundreds and thousands of citizens they were all traveling through the Dankaranya forest to fall at the feet of Lord Sri Ram and beg him to return. When they came to the Kingdom of Guha, Guha saw Bharat, coming marching with all soldiers, he got his army to fight and kill Bharat. He approached and said: “you are coming to cause harm to Ram, you have to fight us first”. Poor Bharat he was completely innocent, just see how in this world, even the pure unalloyed devotee is so misunderstood even by the greatest personalities. These words broke his heart as he tried to explain that “Lord Ram is my life and soul, the only love of my heart. At that time Maharaj Guha joined the procession and then they came to Prayag Dham and there they met Bharadwaj Muni, and Bharadwaj Muni saw Bharat and he was not at all happy. He said: “Bharat, you have already exiled him to the forest for fourteen years why you coming looking for him with your armies, what more harms you want to cause now?” Bharat heart was broken again by the words of Bharadwaj Muni. With tears in his eyes he replied: “Please do not think this of me. Ram is my love, my life, I am going to Chitrakoot to exchange my kingdom with his exilement so he will be coroneted as king”. Bharadwaj Muni embraced him and also joined the procession. As they were coming closer to Chitrakoot, such a quite forest only inhabitated by great sages, Laxman and Ram heard so much noise, the noise of armies so Laxman climbed to the top of a sultry and there he saw so many armies and a chariot with flag of Bharat and he exclaimed to Ram: “Bharat of faith that you may someday comeback to take the kingdom he has come to kill us, on this very day this evil minded rascal Bharat, I will destroy him and soak the earth with his blood”. Lord Sri Ram he said that “Laxman, Bharat loves me more than his own life; he is coming as our friend”. Bharat, Vishista, Guha and other leaders of Ayodhya, they approached the little hut of Ram on the banks of Mandakini Ganga under the Chitrakoot Mountains. When Bharat saw Sri Ram, who was meant to be the king of the entire world sitting alone in meditation with tree bark has clothing and hair scattered and mattered, he began to weep. With his heart overflowing with love and simultaneously overflowing with the pain of series of the events that took place, he ran to Sri Ram and fell at his Lotus feet. Lord Sri Ram Chandra lifted him up and embraced him. As these two great personalities embraced, their love was so deep that even stones were melting. In fact if you go to Chitrakoot even today, you will find in that very place where they embraced were ecstatic love who is so sweet that the stone that they stood on melted and the foot prints sunk deep into the stones where we can Darshan even today.
Sri Ram refuses to return to Ayodhya:
Radhanath Swami explains When Sri Ram was told that his father Dasarath died of separation from him he began to weep and he fell unconscious in the ecstasy of separation from him own devotee. We should know that this is not just the natural love between a father and a son but this is the Supreme love between the Lord and his pure unalloyed devotee. At that time, after Ram offered obeisance’s to his father along with Laxman, Bharat along with all citizens of Ayodhya pleaded with Sri Ram, “please come back to Ayodhya, we have brought the sacred water to coronate as you King”. But Sri Ram wanted to honor the vow of his departed father as well serve the higher purpose of freeing the world from Ravana. He refused to return to Ayodhya. His own mother Kausalya, as well as Vishista Muni and all of the great devotees of Ayodhya were begging him with streams of tears flowing from their hearts and eyes. And Bharat especially more than anyone was begging, begging at the Lotus feet of Sri Ram, again and again and again to take the kingdom and allow him to live in the forest for fourteen years. But Lord Sri Ram was firm and when the citizens of Ayodhya saw that there was nothing they could do to change his mind, Bharat presented a pair of wooden slippers and asked Ram to come and step upon them with his Lotus feet. Sri Ram placed those beautiful Lotus feet that could liberate all the existence upon the wooden slippers. Bharat said: “I will take these shoes and I will place them on the throne of Ayodhya and I will live in the forest and be the humble servant of you in the form of these shoes”.
Radhanath Swami on Ram Paduka on throne and self exilement of Bharat
Radhanath Swami explains Bharat took these sandals and placed them on his head and brought them back to Ayodhya. He placed the shoes of Ram on the throne and gave all honor and worship to them. And he lived in the outskirts on a place called Nandigram, wearing the bark of trees and for fourteen years he only ate raw barley soaked in the urine of cow. But everyday with the Chamara fan he would offer seva to the shoes of Ram. And for every decision that had to be made in the kingdom he would simply pray at the sandals of Ram and he received the answers. Valmiki Muni has presented the sweetest most intimate loving relationships of complete surrender between the Lord and his devotee in this wonderful narration. In the same way we should understand that as the Lord was non-different than his shoes because he is Absolute, he is also non-different in this age of Kali-yuga as his Holy name. That same Lord Sri Ram Chandra has appeared in the age of kali as Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Laxman has appeared as Sri Nityananda Prabhu. And they have taught us this simple lesson that Krsna is non-different than his name by worshipping the name of Ram the name of Krsna will get the same results as worshipping them directly. And Krsna is all pure and the name of the Lord is as pure as God. If we continuously associate with the Lord’s name, the Lord’s Lila, the Lord’s teachings and the Lord’s devotees we gradually become completely purified. And the beautiful love and bliss of the spiritual world awakens within our hearts. So whether we are living as Sanyasis, or Brahmacharis or whether we are living within a family with wife, a husband, children, parents this is not important what is important is we follow in the footsteps of the determination of Bharat to be completely dedicated and faithful to our service to Bhagavan. And to always remember him by chanting his holy name, in this way we can develop a real family of real meaning and happiness when we come together to worship the Lord and his name.