The human form of life is very rare and must be utilized for self realization
Oh Lord Hari! My life, I have simply spoiled. Although I have taken this rare human birth, like a miser I have not served my Lord. I have no love for You Lord Krishna! Of course His great devotees; out of their very very deep humility have feelings like this. The more we love Krishna, the more we love God, the more the Lord reveals the supreme beauty and supreme sweetness of His nature and in comparison to the ocean of the glorious qualities of Bhagwan we feel that our love is not even a part of the drop in comparison to the greatness of Krishna, how small we are. How small is the extent of our love and this feeling of longing for a deeper and deeper and deeper love is the ecstasy of soul. And Narottama DasaThakur is here exhibiting the highest platform of love and separation. At the same time he is writing this beautiful poem as a lesson to all of us.
This human form of life is so rare. It is said that out of the 8 million 400 thousand species of life how very very very special and rare is to take this human form of life. The Brahma Sutra explains “Athato Brahma Jigyasa”. Now that we have taken this human birth, it is the time for self realization. Narottama Dasa Thakur is saying “Although I have taken this rare human birth like a miser I have not served my Lord”. And the Vedanta Sutra says that ‘now that you have taken this human birth you only have one business, Self Realization’. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are available for the lower species. We should not endeavor so hard for these things. We must do the needful. Time is so precious. From the time we are born in this world, our life is ticking away. If we look at the second hand of a clock, we will find that every second we are coming that much closer to an inevitable death. When we were young we never think that we are going to grow old. We think that youth is forever. Let us just play forever. To become like our parents our grandparents is such an intangible idea that we cannot imagine that it is possible. But soon we become grandparents and we look back and we think where my life has gone. What have I done? I am youthful at heart but my body is coming closer to death.
So what we do with our precious time. This is the first and the most important question for every human being. How we utilize each second. It is explained in the Srimad Bhagvatam by Lord Kapila Deva, the son of Devahuti and Kardama muni – (S.B. 3.31.1)
striyāḥ praviṣṭa udaraḿ
This means that according to ones previous karma or actions one takes birth in the womb of the specific specie of life. Birth in this material world, it is not a very glamorous thing at all. The mother is in tremendous pain probably the most pain that she has ever experienced in her entire life and practically every mother vows she is having the child, she vows never go through this again. Of course she forgets after sometime and it is very painful and the child we have not seen, any children coming out laughing. (Hahaha) thank you very much. Thank you mataji, it was a very safe landing (laugh). Hari Bol! They cry. They just come out crying (sound like of a crying baby). It’s painful for the child, painful for the mother. Probably, most painful for the father. He is sitting waiting, would it be dead, would it be alive, would it be healthy, would it be deformed, would it be this, would it be that. In America it’s a tradition is, everybody in the family gives the father so many cigars. Anybody knows what is a cigar, you know cigar. It’s a big brown cigarette like this and they smoke them, just to forget the anxiety whether wives is having babies, very painful for everyone. And when child is born we go Happy Birthday he is aaa, mother is aaa , father is aaaa. But after the few years we forget how painful that birthday was. So then we celebrate (laugh) actually it’s a great illusion (laugh), we never want to do it again but we celebrate it (laugh). Usually we celebrate something that we want to do again. The purpose of this human form of life is to never take birth again. The animals are taking birth again and again and again (B.G 13.9) janma–mṛtyu–jarā–vyādhi–duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam.
The human life should be utilized for turning to God
But if someone takes seriously the great benediction the great fortune of this human birth then that birth and that life is worth celebrating. The greatest fortune in all of creation is to turn to God in this human form of life. And the greatest tragedy is to miss that opportunity. If someone becomes rich, billionaire, famous, lives a long healthy life of a 125 years, has so many friends, has children, grand children, great grand children, great great grand children and if that person leaves his life without understanding God, according to Garga Samhita “Yuva etar akshar ……….kripina”. This means the person is most miserly unfortunate and has died like cats and dogs, without understanding the purpose of this human gift, Krishna Consciousness. And this is the greatest lack, the greatest shortage in this world. There is no shortage of medical facilities, there is no shortage of food, there is no shortage of clothing, there is a shortage of compassion of love, that’s the only shortage in this world.
If people learned how to love, learned how to be compassionate towards other living beings in God’s service, then they will create the spiritual world on this earth. Our Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupada when there was a great flood in Bengal, he ordered his disciples that within one hundred sq. miles anywhere where you are there should not be one hungry man. The people were homeless. There was no food. There was no place to stay. And devotees were cooking thousands of liters of Prasad every day and going on boats to where the people were standing in the water. With no place to go, nothing to eat. There were tens and thousands. This is 1% who loves God. If there is no love of God, I know my own country in America, there is so many welfare agencies conducted by the government, conducted by so many philanthropic groups but most of them are most interested in their own business life. There is a little bit of compassion but mostly it’s just another business. For every dollar that goes to charity only 6 cents go to the people. And the other 94 cents go to the organization for payrolls and everything else and plus with tax deduction they actually make money. This is not helping the world. The only thing that will help the world is when people will learn how to love.
When you love God, you love God and every living being
When you love God, you love God and every living being and that is the great need. And that is the purpose and the singular purpose of this human form of life. According to all Shastras, all religions and according to all great acharyas and gurus and sadhus this is the singular exclusive purpose of this human life: -”prema punartha mahan”. To learn how to love God and to share that love with everyone you come in contact with throughout your life. So this is a beautiful song by Narottama DasaThakur and this is also, if a devotee celebrates birthdays, it is for this reason.
The birthday of a devotee is a glorious occasion because that person is utilizing his human birth for the purpose of helping others to live happy peaceful lives in union with God. And he is utilizing this most precious gift. From the physical point of view birth is nothing but pain. You come out with all kinds of terrible things all over you. It is not the nice thing. But from the spiritual point of view, human birth how wonderful! What a gift of God. We are expecting gifts on our birthday but the birth you have taken is the ultimate gift given by God himself, your Supreme Father. You should be grateful. If your father gives you a gift and you misuse it or you lose it or you throw it away, that is offensive, it shows ungratefulness to your father’s love. This human life is the ultimate gift of God and is meant to be utilizing for its purpose. And how can we show our gratitude and our love for God, by utilizing this precious gift to reciprocate our love with Him and these divine devotional qualities, they are easily awakened within our hearts through two processes; through hearing, chanting and rendering service. When we hear and chant the glories of the Lord, we become filled with God’s love and when we serve the Lord and serve our brothers and sisters we express that love and as we express that love, it grows. So let us utilize this rare human birth for this purpose and then our life will be a great celebration.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!
I do not know what else to say .Thank you very much (laugh).
Duties of Grihastashram
So, great pride and joy is when we see a devotee completely endeavoring to set good example. Hridayananda prabhu is very much dedicated in this way. We have much inspiration to gain from each other and one of the very wonderful and rare qualities is what grihastas do really deeply from his heart appreciate and take inspiration from those who renounced order of life. But the tendency of grihasta life is to try to protect ones position, not want to be less than somebody else. And therefore, to minimalize those in renounced order of life as being doing less than we are doing; they are escaping the practical responsibilities of this world but we grihastas we are really taking up the real mission of Bhagvata Gita like Arjuna and we are taking the responsibilities of family, occupation and those who are not well and who are weak hearted than us, let them take to the renounced order of life.
We can find in the scriptures Maharaj Yudhishtra,Maharaj Dashrata, they worship the lotus feet of the brahamacharies and the sanyasis and because they were like this they could do even better than the brahmacharies or sanyasis. And this is one of the very precious examples that today Hridayananda is giving to our congregations. All he really really loves our brahamacharies (Laugh). He really loves them and really feels themselves to be less than them, how much so many times he (Hridayananda Prabhu) has told me how much they are giving up and sacrificing their lives and how little we are doing in comparison to our Gurus mission. So this is a very wonderful gift that we could honor and we find in the scriptures that it is this quality that very much makes us in this grihasta ashram dear to lord Krishna and worshipable.
Sincerely and honestly glorifying devotees makes them humble
Of course people say you should not flatter devotees because they will become proud and that is true, therefore we do not flatter devotees but we do honestly express our feelings of love and being honest to in such a way that devotee actually become more humble by hearing those things (laugh). If we are thinking our praise is going to that person is going to think that yes I am very good, that’s why we don’t say anything but if we feel that our words will make them think my God I am not qualified to hear these things and actually become more humble. And it should come from the heart.
Flattering means that we want to get something from someone therefore we say things but we don’t really mean. But in Krishna Consciousness when we really really speak from our heart about the glories of the devotee, it is an expression of our love. We are not trying to get anything from that person. We simply want to share our hearts feelings with that devotee with others around. And if it’s done in that way then that devotee will become more humble even he is not. So therefore I do not mind saying nice things today (laugh).
To have a generous heart with a Krishna Consciousness vision is the most needed quality amongst all devotees
So, Hridayananda very wealthy man as we all know, has a tremendous amount of distinction within his country, within his family and so many times we go to these programs, where there are very wealthy people who are thinking that they are very prestigious and often time socially they are all trying to kind of display some high position within their life and they come to our programs and Hridayananda whose family is probably ten steps higher with any of them. He comes in carrying-up the harmonium (laugh) and setting up the sound system; the things most of the rich people will pay some cents to do this work. And in this way they say yes, there is someone that we cannot compete with. He is just a humble servant of the devotees yes a very greatest sacrifice. But he is not doing that to show off, he is doing because he honestly just want to serve. Of course just like Srila Prabhupada, he explained to us how his father was such a great devotee of the Lord and how he learnt so much about Krishna Consciousness from his father and when he met with his eternal spiritual master Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. When the combination of what his father was giving him in his life and in same way in a similar way I can’t say same way but in similar way Maithili Mataji coming from a very devotee family, very good devotee of a sadhu and very very strict in his sadhna and his devotion for the mission of his guru. So that training is something very priceless and when coming in contact with Srila Prabhupada’s movement and combination that realization is coming into the life it’s a very fortunate devotee. To have a generous heart with a Krishna Consciousness vision is the most needed quality amongst all devotees. For everything we have we should be willing to share but not foolish with Krishna Consciousness vision. Practically everyone in our congregation anything they need, first person they think of is Hridayananda (laugh) because they know he has a very generous heart and a nice Krishna Consciousness vision.
So our very humble prayer to Radha Gopinatha, Srila Praphupada this evening is that every day Hridayananda increases more and more in his devotion to brahamacharies and to all the devotees in congregation and to assist this mission in more and more wonderful ways and most of all to have deeper and deeper realizations of Guru and Krishna’s mercy in his life.
Enthusiasm to serve Krishna’s devotees is the greatest service to Krishna
Vishakha Mataji, she is very enthusiastic always to be with Krishna (laugh) in all circumstances and anybody who comes to new Vrindavan when they go back to Vrindavan. One of the lasting effects of their trip to Bombay is the enthusiasm of mother Vishakha. I remember when Barsana Maharaja was here the little girl was so anxious for Krishna. All these great sanyasis are very impress by her enthusiasm for Krishna.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati used to say “The price for Krishna Consciousness is the enthusiasm for Krishna”. My prayer to the Lord is that their enthusiasm for Krishna ever grows more and more and more and of course enthusiasm to serve Krishna’s devotees is the greatest service to Krishna. So we should all offer our prayers and blessings, actually we have no blessings, we can pray for the blessings of the previous acharyas those always be kind, our God brothers and God sisters. In the opportunity like this evening comes, we should focus these blessings on our beloved friends, God brothers, God sisters and programs like this tonight are actually very valuable, because they help us to unify all of our hearts and share love for one another which is the greatest one of the greatest needs in Hare Krishna moment.
Throughout the world in Hare Krishna moment many many devotees become dispersed because they are really trying to love Krishna so much that they don’t care about each other. And many people have left this moment because of that impersonal attendance. They are preaching the most highly personal philosophy, teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and that personalism must reach every level and every direction in our life. I will treat the devotees as I will treat Krishna. If we are dealing with the devotees in an impersonal way even if you are worshipping the personal deities of the Lord, you are actually dealing with Him impersonally. And as we are speaking today the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord really becomes attractive to Krishna when the devotees are unified with love, as they are chanting together. Tendency where devotees are performing great tapasya, austerities that they are constantly hearing a very very transcendental philosophy that this world is misery, we are not these bodies but the tendency is very much who does not care about each other. We are too busy for each other. I have so much service that I don’t have time for my God brother who is having some problem and needs to be treated to hopefully someone else will do it because I don’t have time. I have so much service to do. When my God brother and God sister is sick and need somebody and is mentally in a very depressed state. I have no time. I have so much service to render. Somebody else, somebody else will take care. If nobody else takes care, Krishna will take care. This is very much within us. Most devotees have left this Hare Krishna movement because they did not get love from other devotees. Everyone is too busy for them that is the fact. And therefore, above that support we are not able to control our senses. So we should take every opportunity we can to learn how to share our love for one another and to learn how to share our appreciation for one another. We don’t want to flatter each other but it is our duty to express our appreciation for one another that is something completely different.
Srila Prabhupada; if you read his letters there are five volumes of his letters and all of this letters practically sometimes he would chastise his devotees but the most of the times he was simply expressing his appreciation, his endeavourers for whatever his devotees were doing even a small thing he would appreciate glorify so much. The Acharya by his example he establish standard how much Srila Prabhupada appreciate. I remember in my own spiritual life in 1971 I was living in Vrindavan and I was very much liking Vrindavan and Prabhupada came to Vrindavan during that time with near about 25 devotees and they were all they wanted to be Prabhupada’s personal servant and they were telling living in Vrindavan is maya and that I was addicted potentially thinking big devotee I was in maya. I was attached with Vrindavan and in this way I although they were speaking was the truth I can say it today what they speaking was the truth the way they were speaking it sound to me so ritualistic they were just repeating the words of scriptures but they didn’t understand what they are saying this is the way I heard actually they were not speaking from their heart but they were just speaking from the books and of course Rupa Goswami advises to stay in Vrindavan. So therefore I was not very impressed by what they were saying and I was thinking these devotees are the one associated many more. And then one day Srila Prabhupada just walked right upto to me and he asked you are living in Vrindavan, yes? How long have you been 6 months! Oh very nice you are very fortunate this is very good place, Vrindavan he was appreciating. What I was doing and the fact such a great devotee like this appreciated what I was doing I felt now I am ready to leave which ever place.
Srila Prabhupada taught us how to appreciate what ever spiritual quality is in another and to express that appreciation and of course very much us to live ourselves in the same spirit. We appreciate our spiritual master and we don’t appreciate his devotee than our so called appreciation for our guru is empty. It has a form with no substance. So we want our mission here in India to be real not superficial we don’t want to have form but no substance. We want to glorify our Guru one of the most ideal way to glorifying all God brothers all God sisters appreciate and love other and express it. Another word to be humble servant of servant that should be our aspiration supreme most aspiration. Somebody else likes to say something last thing before you go to sleep. So everybody ready to go for sleep now Hridayananda are you ready for sleep.