We sincerely welcome you to Sri Radha Gopinath Temple. Especially we welcome Acutya Priya Prabhu and wonderful assembly of devotees from Ukraine. And also we welcome Srutidharm Prabhu,……. and exalted devotees from bhakti Videnta Manor in the United Kingdom and to all of you.
Today many hundreds of people from Bombay and actually from various parts of India and the world have assembled to run through the streets of Mumbai. Considering the eminent fuel shortage and economic crises, they may be setting the standards for all travelling in Bombay. Certainly the most eco-friendly way of moving about. But the noble purpose of running in this marathon, if believe is, for the blind people, just to raise funds for blinds. And they are paying money which is a tapsya. To give money. And what do they get to do for paying money, perform tapsya by running through the heat of the sun. and actually this is quite symbolic. Because the greatest problem in this world is blindness. Out Bhakti Vedanta does free cataract eye cataract operations in Barsana and various other regions to prevent blindness for people who otherwise would go blind. There is a deeper type of blindness which is the greatest disease perhaps in the whole world which is the cause of all other sufferings – Spiritual blindness – wherein the people live in the darkness of ignorance, not knowing who they are, what is their real relationship with this world, with other people, with other living entities, with God.
‘om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
The great spiritual masters throughout history have come to remove the cataracts of ignorance from our eyes. To take us out of the darkness so that we can actually see everything as it is from a spiritual perspective. And in order to bring about that spiritual vision to heal that blindness we have to pay a price.
“Tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam”
The price is tapsya, accepting some inconvenience for higher purpose. So many hundreds, if not, thousands of people are running along Marine Drive and through the streets of Bombay for the sake of curing blindness . Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us to perform the greatest of all tapasyas for the sake of really curing the fundamental blindness of ignorance from the marathon of dancing and chanting of the holy name. In the presence of Radha Gopinath and all devotees we will dance for blindness and sing for blindness and then afterwards we will feast on nice prasada for blindness.
Just a day before yesterday, I visited Radha Govind Maharaja, the Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. Just last week he suffered from a stroke when he was just on his way to give a Bhagvat Katha. First he seemed quite critical, but amazingly when we visited his, he can’t move his left side but they said with physiotherapy he will be alright. But when we went to see him for about 45 minutes he was just speaking to us Bhagvat Katha. We asked his how he was and he talked about Prahalad Maharaja and how Lord Narasingha saved him under every situation. And Maharaja Rahughana and Jadabharat – how Jadabharat rescued King Rahughana from the blindness of ignorance. This is what Prabhupada did to people. And whatever situation – he is laying in a hospital there with all tubes and everything, he was on his way to Bhagvat Katha, but this stroke put him in hospital bed, but he is still doing Bhagvat Katha very nicely, no complaints, just talking about the glories of Srimad Bhagvatam, and Krishna’s love for his devotees. It is beautiful. Something like a stroke, it happens at the least expected moment, and so inundating, and so life changing to many. We wonder. An ordinary person will think ‘I am so religious, I have done so much, why is God doing this to me’. But such a devotees doesn’t ask that question. Even in that situation. Not why God is going this to me but what can I do for Krishna. He is praising Krishna, praising the love of Krishna, praising the mercy of Krishna, praising the compassion of Krishna. That is actual greatness. The great personality is not one who thinks God only for the good things that happens in life. But :
“tat te nukampam su-samiksamano
Bhunjana evatma krtam vipakam”
Yes, we should think of God for the good things. Not only thank Him but we should utilize them according to God’s will for God’s pleasure, that is Bhakti. But when even tragedies and crises come in our lives, still we can thank God. We may not intellectually understand exactly specifically the reason, but where there is love, we know that whatever Krishna does is always for our ultimate good. And whatever situation comes by the power of material nature, we know that it is the opportunity for the highest perfection and the sweetest expression of our love and we praise Krishna, when we accept it as an honor. It is an honor to enjoy in Krishna’s service and an honor to suffer in Krishna’s service. And that suffering is a greater enjoyment then anything of this material world for the heart of a devotee. So let us all sincerely fold our hands and pray for Radha Govind Maharaja that he will soon be in public doing his Bhagvat Katha.
I just came from Delhi. On the way from Airport I got a phone call from His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaha. He is asking if on Feb. 1, Sunday, he could give the Sunday feast lecture in Radha Gopinath Temple. This is another amazing experience. He also had his throat chocked by the loving hand of Krishna.
Last week one of the very senior doctors of America, specifically ……………………., he came to my room and he was speaking, and I told him about Jayapataka Swami Maharaja – how he had a stroke in his brain . This doctor is a neuron surgeon, that is his specialty – dealing with stroke patients. He said he has seen thousands of people who had stroke. Any major serious thing, either he is a doctor or he is in consultation in that area. He said in his entire career he has never seen any man or woman who had a stroke in their brain-stem, survive. Hundred percent of every patient he has seen, has died. And then he told me that on the same day as Srila Jayapataka Maharaja had, one of his very close companions, 34 years old, had a brain stem stroke. He was instantly in coma and seven days later he died. Now this man was in good health at 34 years. When he heard about Jayapataka Maharaja who was almost 60 years old, and he had high blood pressure. Sugar, thin blood count, he said this is impossible. He said that the only person he has ever heard of in his career that had stroke in the brain ……. that lived. He had tears in his eyes. He said every one of them would have been better off if they died, they would have been vegetables in their whole life. He said a man to have stroke with all these health disorders and he is still living, and he has no paralysis and he is performing kirtan, and he has a completely clear mind; he said, it is a miracle. There is no medical explanation except the power of Krishna’s mercy. He was really beside himself. He very well repeated that I may Feb. 1st giving the Sunday Feast lecture. Because he said Sunday is a free day. I told him “Maharaja, next Sunday is the Pune Yatra’, 4500 people have already registered to come. I said ‘we invite you for that too”, and he is very excited about it. He said ‘but ultimately I want to come’, it is 3 1/2hrs. drive. He said ‘but I have to get permission from the doctors’. I said “well certainly you should not do anything without the permission of the doctors. He said “but the doctors are all your students, please talk to them’. This is his enthusiasm.
Krishna teaches us through His devotees. That really is the subject matter of Srimad Bhagvatam. In Bhagvad Gita Krishna personally teaches us through His own words. In Srimad Bhagvatam Krishna teaches us the same lessons and more through the examples of the lives of His pure devotees. How to apply the Bhagvat Gita to one’s life. Srimad Bhagvatam we see living examples to the highest and the most intimate extent of how prema or love for God can help us to overcome all obstacles and attain the ultimate destination. That is Bhakti. And when we see devotees living amongst us who are applying these principles and are always enthusiastic to reciprocate with whatever the Lord’s mercy may be, it makes spiritual life so real, so tangible so doable. Obstacles must come.
Hanuman is standing, offering his blessings and actually he is so humble, with his folded hands he is offering his obeisance to all of us. This is a vaisnana “vancha kalpatarubhyas ca krpa sindhubhya eva ca”. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said “an ordinary person who is plague by false pride, keeps his head very straight up, thinking himself above others, like a tree with no fruits. The tree with no fruits stands very straight up. But a tree that is heavenly laden with ripe fruits bows very low to every one; “amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih”. To really chant the holy names in a way that Krishna will be pleased to hear us, so that Krishna will manifest Himself within our names and we experience that higher taste. Lord Caitanya said “we should offer all respect to others and not expect for oneself, to be humble like the grass, tolerant like a tree.
Hanumanji really did a marathon. He wanted to cure the blindness of the world by eliminating Ravana and his rakshasha dynasty who were spreading darkness every where, and rescued Sita the consort of the Lord in the ………….. of supreme love. And ultimately he really spread light when he set the city of Lanka on fire. The abode of darkness, made it into one big ball of fire. That is the power of Hanumanji. He wanted to do that in the service of the Lord. Great obstacles he had to pass through. It is very instructive to all of us. WE have to cross the ocean of birth and death in order to have the darshan of Sita to receive the blessings of her love which is the source of all devotion. And on the path of bhakti there will be impediments. Hanumanji first received the order from Lord Ram to perform this great mission of rescuing Sita. Giving His message to Sita.
With your permission I am going to speak a little of Hanuman and then give the parallels to our own Srila Prabhupada of how he followed in the foot-prints of Hanumanji in his mission. Hanuman is given the order and he searched and searched long time and ultimately found out, he had to go to Srilanka. He climbed a mountain and jumped to cross an ocean. The first impediment was a golden mountain named ‘Mainaka’ This Mainaka mountain – solid gold- was under water for long long time. By the inspiration of the ocean that golden mountain came to the surface very high and personified and offered Hanuman ‘please this a wonderful place, rest here’. Hanuman did not want to be in any way distracted from his mission and he did not want to waste a moment. So out of respect he touched the mountain and said ‘I accept your offering but now I have to go and he immediately left. So when we are on our journey, to love within our heart on the mission of Krishna, we will be tempted by opportunities for personal selfish enjoyment. Gold represents wealth (KANAKA), it represents any type of facility to personally enjoy, whether it be prestige or position, whether it be just sensual enjoyment or accumulation of wealth. Queen Kunti Prayed
“janmaisvarya sruta sribhir; edhamana madah puman;
naivarhaty abhidhatum vai tvam akincana gocaram”
Greatest disqualifications or impediments to cry out Krishna’s name with sincere feelings is wealth, fame, beauty, high position, birth. This is whatever one wants. But yet we find Rupa and Sanatan, they gave up all their wealth for exclusive devotional service. But then others as Pratap Rudra Maharaja, so many devotees, they were very wealthy, very powerful. Udhistra Maharaja, they had all wealth, but that was not a diversion, not an impediment, because they used it all for the service of the Lord. So we must be very careful. These four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling, and no intoxication are just basic principles. Do not subject ourselves to these materialistic addictions. We should not be addicted to these materialistic facilities. We should not be dependent emotionally on material facilities. We should experience the higher taste of devotion within our hearts and be satisfied with that. And when we are satisfied with devotion, what we long for, it is not to enjoy. We long to serve. In spiritual life, to serve is an intimately higher pleasure than to accumulate or to take and enjoy. Because it is please to the heart to give. And when we give in reference to Krishna, it gives pleasure to the soul. In the mode of goodness, giving in any way, the right thing to the right people at the right time at the right place gives pleasure to the heart. But when Krishna is in the center it really awakens the eternally the unlimited pleasure of the soul. Yes, we have so many addictions, so many habits. We are chronically inclined towards being the enjoyer. To some how or the other perform the austerity of Hanumanji. And how does Hanuman teaches how to overcome these temptations, by being completely absorbed in the service of the Lord. Hanuman did not just say ‘no’ to the mountain and then find some little…………. Sit down and say ‘ I will rest here not the golden mountain’. He was just too busy for sense gratification. Prabhupada says ‘the idle mind is the devils workshop’. When the mind the idle then all of these temptations can become very powerful to overcome us. But when we filled the mine with Krishna Conscious activities, when we are really absorbed in devotional service and absorbed in hearing about Krishna and chanting His holy names; what happens? Just the inertia of mercy that drives us forward helps us to overcome all these temptations.
As he was going the devatas wanted to test Hanumanji to see if was really fit to perform this brave mission. So they sent Surasa who is the mother of the serpents to appear. She appeared before Hanumanji in a gigantic form and she said “I have come to eat you, I received a benediction from Lord Brahma that anyone who comes in my path, I will eat them with my mouth, and nobody can pass by me otherwise”. But Hanuman was not concerned with even his own life, he was concerned with his service. He said to Surasa “I have a mission for my Lord Ramchandra, I must deliver this message to Sita, then I must tell Ram that I have done and then I promise you I will come back and you can eat me, just move aside and let me do my service “. He was not attached even to living. He was attached to serving. He was living to serve. Service was his life. He said “just bless me so I can perform my service then eat me”. She said “no, I am hungry now, I want to eat you now”. So this a challenge. She opened her mouth really wide and was about to devour him. But Hanumanji has mystic powers. He was standing there, very humble with folded palms in a very small form. Sometimes when we just come to the temple we never notice he is there, he is so humble. How many of you when you come to the temple, you offer your obeisance to Hanumanji and Garudji. How many of you offer your obeisance to Radha Gopinath.
Now Hanuman expanded himself. She opened her mouth four yojanas, he became eight yojanas; she became 16 yojanas, he became 32 yojanas. One yojana is equal to 8 miles. Her mouth became so gigantic big. Then wanted to show that in Krishna Consciousness it is not about being so great. He became small like a little…………. And he ran into her mouth and walked around, ran around for sometime, checked it out, then he came out. Her mouth was hundreds of miles wide and he was little………….. and running around, then he came out. Then with great respect and humility he folded his palms and said “I honor the benediction of Lord Brahma, you ate me so now please bless so that I can perform my service to Lord Ram. Surasa said “yes, I bless you, you will be successful go on Hanumanji”. This is the impediment we have the demon of false pride within us. Because we make spiritual advancement sometimes we think we are very great. Actually a Mahatma means a great soul. But the amazing this is that Mahatma never thinks I am a Mahatma. A mahatma always understands it is Krishna’s greatness. I am just a puppet, the puppet never thinks ‘I am great’. The puppet thinks that the puppeteer is great. Krishna is a supreme puppeteer. When we surrender to Krishna we are doing His will. Krishna tells in Gita ‘I am the intelligence of the intelligent, the strength of the strong, the ability in man. Krishna is everything. But the nature, in this material world is, people like to compete. Even during this marathon some people are really competing to see who wins, who gets the money, who is in the newspapers and on the television. You may run for the purpose of trying to win, but that should not be your purpose. Your purpose is for the blind. I don’t know, but I am wondering how many of those who are running, are thinking about the blind. That is what it is for. We have to be focused on our purpose, otherwise we could be performing all sorts of religious devotional activities, but unless we are focused on our purpose, we could be very must distracted especially by false pride. But Hanuman showed ‘you can conquer pride by taking the smallest position like a ……. ’. Just imagine that a little ……… size Hanumanji is roaming about with all of you in the audience today. Very sweet, yes or he might be – taking such a small position. By doing that we conquer our own false pride. Therefore, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told “Gopi bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah” . We should always be in this position in whatever service we may have and whatever role we are playing, to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. ‘Anu’ this is the keyword. ‘Anudas’ – ‘Anu’ what this means. Gaurang Prabhu is Sanskrit Scholar. He is an engineer from IIT. It means ‘atomic’. He thinks in terms of atomic particles. How many of you really broadcast yourself ‘my greatness is atomic’. But if you really think you are very very small, then what can you do to the darkness of illusion. To the illusion in this world, to the darkness to all the enemies of lust, envy, anger, pride and greed, when you feel yourself really atomic, then Krishna will use you like an atomic bomb, very bright coloured, and destroys all darkness of illusion and all the enemies.
Hanuman went into the sky and there was a rakshashi names ‘Simika’. She was a cruel hearted demon. She had tantric mystic powers. She was living in water. She had a power to grab a person’s shadow, catch him and pull him down, drag him down and then eat him. She represents envy, another great obstacle. Sensual enjoyment, false pride, and envy, they are all moving about into the ocean of materialistic existence. What is the nature of an envious person? Always to look for the dark side of the people. They grab on to that and try to pull them down. If any of you have ever seen that inclination in your own heart, very deep rooted. When devotees would find faults with other devotees, Srila Prabhuyada would say that it is like looking at the dark spots on the moon. Volumes and volumes of ooling, soothing, luminous rays of light are emanating from the moon but we ignore all that and look just at the spot. It is like a fly that is in the beautiful flowers garden of roses and just looks for a little piece of stool to suck and save her. A devotee should be like the honey-bee. Even in a sewage dump the honey-bee just looks for one flower to drink the nectar. But the nature of the envy is we like to find faults in others for the purpose of dragging that person down. That is a demonic tendency. It is only due to envy. A virtues persons is always looking for the good qualities in the people and by doing so trying to bring them up. And from another perspective, an envious person, even if there are no bad qualities, they see a shadow. In one sense a shadow is not really something tangible. Shishupal, there were no bad qualities in Krishna, but because Shishupal was looking for those qualities in Krishna, Krishna showed him a shadow. They did not really exist. And he saw unlimited bad qualities in Krishna and he could speak those bad qualities like anything. He was interrupting realities in a wrong way. So if we are really envious, even if there are no bad qualities, but because you want to see those bad qualities in someone, Krishna wants you to see the form, the substance of that person’s character and behavior, and shows you shadow so that you can feast on those bad qualities like a fly and try to drag that person down. That is envy.
So Hanuman looked down and saw Samika grabbing on to his shadow and she had her mouth wide open to devour him. Envy is like that. If we allow envy to rule over our lives, if we don’t check it and overcome it by spiritual principles as an austerity, then it will devour all of our good qualities and devour all of our devotional attributes. So Hanumanji saw her with an ugly horrible mouth, he took just small form, just dove right into her mouth, travelled right down to heart, and with his claws he ripped her heart open. She opened her mouth and screamed and fell into the ocean dead and Hanuman flew out of her body. He did not look back, he was too busy. He was on his way to Srilanka to carry out the order of the Lord. Again Srila Prabhupada always told us if you are fully engaged in devotional service, maya cannot capture us. We should not have time for maya. We may be doing our job, we may be doing our service, whatever. For every given moment if we are not busy, we should be praying or reading or discussing Krishna. Or in any time, in any place we can be fully engaged by absorbing our consciousness in chanting the holy names.
Hanumanji crossed the entire ocean, came to Lanka, and it is not that he was welcomed there. First person he met was Lankani who started blaspheming Hanumanm ‘what are you doing here, you nonsense, you cannot come here, this is Ravana’s Kingdom. She tried to sope him physically, violently. And Hanumanji just did not like it, with one slap knocked her down. Surprisingly she got up and was really happy. She said “lord Brahma blessed me that no one could pass me, but anyone if ever knocks me down that is the person who will destroy Srilanka and Ravana’s dynasty. She blessed Hanumanji.
Another nice example ‘the greater the impediment the greater is the blessing if you are faithful. We become blessed by the very impediment that come before us, if we just remain faithful. Then Hanumanji became very small, the size of the cat, because he just wanted to just see everything about Srilanka. Where does Ravana live, what are the palaces, what is the army, so he would know exactly what he is up against and inform Ram how to fight this battle. And ultimately he delivered the message to Sita in the Ashoka Van. Then he did extra service. He could have just gone back and no body would have that he was there. This is another quality of a devotee. It is not that we just do our duty. We want to please the Lord according to our capacity, beyond our duty. He started ripping apart the Ashoka Van because he wanted to meet Ravana face to face to tell him, with great compassion, with love. Hanuman loved the soul in Ravana but he hated that diseased mentality that was obscuring the real glory of his soul. So even at the risk of everything, right in front of Ravana Hanuman spoke the truth. He said you should give back Sita and surrender to Ram. Just what he did not want to hear, he was outraged ‘kill him’. Vibhishana said it is against kshtriya code to kill a messanger. Then light his tail on fire. Hanumanji, in every situation he saw that there is an opportunity to serve. This is a devotee. Now, if you are a monkey how would you like to behave when your tail is on fire. And he was tied up with strong ropes so he could not move and his tail was wrapped with some kind of inflammatory liquid that was soaked into cloth, when lit on fire immediately blazed. Ravana and all the rakshashs were laughing and laughing that this foolish monkey, now his tail is on fire, what he is going to do now. Hanuman just expanded hid body, broke the ropes, jumped to the top of that building, touched that flaming tail and ignited on fire. He went to the next building, touched with his tail ignited on fire. He jumped all over Srilanka and set the entire city on fire. Now this is interested from many perspectives. When you offend a vaisnava, it is like lighting the tail on fire. And the very fire that you think is going to hurt them ends up burning the whole palace of whatever devotional service you have done, to ashes. That is vaisnava aparadh. We think we are hurting the devotee, but actually whatever we have done is going to come back and burn us. Devotees are protected by Krishna, but vaisnava aparadh is very serious. And for that matter vaisnava aparadh is very serious, but an offence to any one will come back and burn you. So we should not have this ravana mentality of thinking of will hurt them by speaking or doing something against them, due to envy or pride or material desire. Because the fact is that the same fire you light to hurt them, is going to come right back to burn you. That was a major lesson for Ravana but he did not learn. The whole city was in blaze and Hanuman in a voice that everyone could hear him. He did not need a sound system. That was his power. He could speak in such a way that whole Srilanka could hear him, loud and clear. He said “you see what I have done to your whole city, I am only an insignificant messenger of my Lord Ramchandra, wait till he comes. Ravana, because of his envy, because of his greed, because of his lust, because of his arrogance, even though it was so obvious to see and to hear, he could not understand. As long as we have material attachments
samadhau na vidhiyate”
Krishna says for one who is too much attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, the resolute determination for devotional service does not take place. In fact, our attachments make it so we cannot see what is obvious around us. People see death can come at any moment, economic claps could come at any moment, crises, disaster ecologically in our own health in every possible way could happen at any moment, but yet we are living simply for these perishable things!
“yada yada hi dharmasya
Glanir bhavati bharata”
The Supreme Lord has come throughout history to establish so many religions through so many incarnations and prophets and His own sons to reestablish dharma. Why can’t we see? The real treasures of life is to love God , not these perishable things. But when we become too much attached we can’t hear, we can’t see. And even if we do hear, and even if we do see, if we are so attached we can’t change, we just carry on.
Therefore, Krishna tell us in Gita, we must control our mind and senses and at the same time we have to fix our consciousness on the absolute truth, on the highest purpose of life. Hanuman then put his tail off. Actually when his tail was flaming, amazing, he did not feel any heat. He felt a very cooling sensation. How was that possible? Hanuman knew exactly the reason, the mercy of Sita. Because he was doing seva for Sita and he pleased her so immensely, Sita prayed to Agnidev – the fire lord, please do not cause any inconvenience to Hanuman. So Agni on the tail of Hanuman while burning down the whole city, felt very delightful, soothing and cool to Hanumanji. And he returned to Ram and gave Sita’s message to Ram. And Lord Ramchandra, overwhelmed, embraced Hanumanji. He declared that Hanuman was his very life and very soul. The Lord said “I can never repay you”. As He embraced Hanumanji He wept tears. Tears of love for His devotee. For Hanuman, whatever he did was a tiny little price for that blessing.
Similarly, whatever difficulties we may endure in doing the will of the Lord in this world, whatever impediments, whatever austerities, we may have to undergo while practicing Bhakti, in the end when Lord Krishna embraces us, whatever we have done is insignificant. We have Bhagvatamrita Krishna embraces Gopakumar. I have seen all that you have endured in my service, all that you had to give up and all the while I was feeling for you. The Lord is within our heart. He is just waiting eagerly for that moment when He can embrace us. All we have to do is to purify our own hearts or allow Him to purify our hearts in such a way that there is nothing more that we want in our lives than that embrace.
Hanuman was given order by Ram ‘ go deliver this message’ and he had to go to Srilanka, a very materialistic place to deliver the message. Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati told Prabhupada on two occasions ‘deliver this message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the western world’. Hanuman had to cross an ocean. Srila Prabhupada crossed two oceans, the Arabian sea and the Atlantic ocean and all the continents in between . Hanuman first climbed up to that mountain to launch himself and Srila Prabhupada boarded the Jaladuta. And then so many impediments came while crossing that ocean. First of all Prabhupada was living in Radha-Damodar Temple. He had the greatest opulence, spiritual opulence of living in the place of Rasa-Lilla of Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan, where Radha-Damodar was smiling and dancing just 30 second walk from his room. Greatest wealth. He left it. And just as Hanuman he went before on his journey, he first went to Jambavan, Angada and every one else and humbly prayed for their blessings to do the work of the Lord. Similary, Srila Prabhupada, before getting on the Jaladuta, he went to Mayapur Dham to the Samadhi of his spiritual master and spent a day praying for blessings and power to do the service. He went to Anant Bhavan in Shantipur. One pujari, he recalled many years later how a man in white khadi cloth used to come and sit in the back of the temple, look up at the Deities, just chant the hocly names and pray for hours at a time so much absorbed. The pujari never wanted to disturb him. And that man just left. He saw regularly, every year he is doing like this. He was deeply impressed. And years went by he did not see him. And he saw a man come with shaved head in saffron robes of a sanyasi, sitting in the back of the temple in the same place and throughout the day chanting and praying. And he came forward to take the charnamrit and this man recognized ‘you are my old friend’ . and Prabhupada, for the first time talked to him. He said my spiritual master has given me an impossible order to perform, I have no power to do it. To cross the oceans to the most materialistic places on the earth, to give the message of Lord Caitanya. All these years I have been coming here to pray to Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityanand, Advait Prabhu, Gadhadhar Prabhu, Srivasa Prabhu and all the previous acharyas to bless me and empower me to perform this works. Then Prabhupada beseeched this pujari to bless him also. He said in a day or two I will be boarding a cargo ship to cross the oceans. Like Hanuman as he was crossing the oceans many impediments came but Hanuman never gave up his enthusiasm or determination. Prabhupada had severe sea-sickness . He had at least two heart attacks. Hanuman was alone. Prabhupada was also alone. But his determination, he kept moving forward. Finally he came to New York. He revealed in his prayers in Jaladuta ‘I have no power to do this work, Krishna only if You empower me it is possible’. Allow me to be just an instrument of your love. This is amazing. He had no money. He knew no one. He had just suffered two heart attacks. He wasn’t praying for followers. He wasn’t praying that someone would be there to meet him. He wasn’t praying even for good health. He was only praying only to be a puppet of God to help others. That is a purest devotee of the highest order, such compassion. Hanumanji took the form of a little ordinary cat to see what Srilanka was all about so that he could do his service. And Prabhupada just got on a bus to Butler Pennsylvania . Butler Pennsylvania is not a very prestigious place. And he lived just like an ordinary person. He is a great Mahatma. He is a paramahansa. He is a representative of the spiritual world on earth. And he is living at Sally Agarwals’s House. Actually he was only eating parasad there, he had to cook himself. He was living at the YMCA. I do not know in India if you know what Is YMCA. But you will never find the Rocker fellers staying at YMCA. It is the cheapest, poorest people who go to the YMCA. They have some little rooms. Mostly you go there for playing sports. He had to walk about almost a mile every day to get to the Agarwal’s house. He would cook prasada, not only for himself but for the whole family. They were all meat eaters. He had to share the refrigerator with them with all different types of things in it. And a walk a mile back to the YMCA, to his translations. And then he walk back one mile to cook lunch. Then he meet their friends, he would talk to them. He went to Slippery Rock College to give a class, to see what the students are like. Prof. Larsen, many years later, he is the one who invited Prabhupada, he told me that Swamiji ‘he was just such a simple unassuming man, we never thought he was something very great’. When he heart his accomplishments he was stunt. And Prabhupada told us what he was doing, why he stayed in Bulter Pennsylvania. Like Hanuman he was just observing, watching and learning to see how he was going to actually practically deliver this message to the people of America. He had to understand what they were thinking , how they lived, what were their values, in order to really reach their heart. He did not just come and say ‘this is the truth accept it………. He really got to know the people. He really checked out the fortress of America to see what it was all about. And after studying very carefully and very unassuming way then he went to New York. He lived the same way just like that for almost a year before he really establishment Krishna Consciousness and delivered the message. And what was the message. Sita is the property of the Lord and all wealth in this world is the expansion of Sita, property of the Lord. The Ravana mentality is, it is mine “ ……………………….mameti” I am enjoyer, this is mine. That is the cause of all the conflicts. The conflict between religions, the conflict between nations; the conflict between races; the conflict between family members; the conflict in our own minds. On every level, the root cause of all conflict is, I am this body, which means I am Indian, I am American or I am Pakistani, I am black or I am white, I am red, or I am yellow. I am high caste or I am low caste; I am rich or poor, educated or uneducated. And this is my country, this is my property, this is my business; and what you have, I want. And what I have, you want. This is the problem. Hatred, terrorism, war. This is all ahankar. This is all just false ego.
Krishna Consciousness is to open the eyes, the spiritual vision of people to remove them from this darkness. Krishna says in Gita
“bhoktaram yajna tapas am sarva loka mahesvaram
Suhrdam sarva bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati”
If you want peace in yourself, in your family, in your nation, in the world, these are the three principles; simply accept the reality that everything is the property of God, everything is meant to be utilized as a compassionate instrument of His will and trust that He is your supreme friend, then there is real peace. Prabhupada gave that message. He came to the west not only to deliver the message of Lord Ram, but to deliver Sita, to deliver the Bhakti within our own hearts from the Ravana of these exploited propensity that have conquered us, that have kidnapped us. Lust envy, anger, pride, greed, illusion, these enemies have taken us hostage. In our own divine spiritual qualities ………….. of captivity. Prabhupada has shown us the way to be liberated from the bondage of darkness. And let our love shine to given light to the whole world through the sincere chanting of the holy names. And like Hanuman Where ever Prabhupada went he lit that place with fire of Bhakti. He went to New York, the fire began. Like Hanuman he flew to San Frasisco, and he lit that place on fire. He went to Montreal and lit that place on Fire. People were becoming devotees wherever he went. He cross another ocean, went to London, Hare Krishna explosion. He went to Germany, Holland; he travelled around the world 13 times, wherever he landed lit the fire of Bhakti. Fiji, his plan just stopped there. He did not even get out of the Airport, he met one person the waiting longue and gave the message. That person became a devotee. There are thousand devotees in Fiji, many temples. It is like, he touched the tail of his mercy upon, lit the place on fire. And at the end he came back to Vrindavan to be embraced by Sri Radha-Shyamsundar, Krishna Balaram.
Prabhupada really did a marathon run. This is the ultimate marathon run for the sake of illuminating blindness. He did not just run from Nariman Point to Bandra and back. He circumambulated world 13 times. He didn’t stop inspite of every type of impediments……………………… fire. Om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakya” and how he has transformed so many millions of peoples’ hearts.
In Ukraine, I think we about 40 or 50 devotees from Ukraine, some are here. We were asking Achut Priya Prabhu to come to the stage.
Not long ago the Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union under communism. And so many of those devotees, some of them have come here, Bhargraj Prabju, they were put in prison, they were tortured. Some of them were put in prison 10 to 20 times. Some of them died in prison. Some were permanently handicapped in prison. A couple of weeks ago Brahmananda Prabhu was here. He was printing the books they were absolutely illegal. Communism considered the Hare Krishna movement one of the greatest threats because there was such a deep philosophy that it could convince people about devotion to God. They were arresting devotees by the hundreds, trying to instill fear in their hearts and when they caught them, they would interrogate them, sometimes torture them, give them deadly drugs and behind it all Brahmanand was printing hundreds and thousands of books in his basement. They were after him more than any one. When he could not print enough in the basement, I don’t know if you have heard this story, but he was telling me; all the paper and all the printing presses were under the total control of the communist government. How did he get the paper, how did he get the press. And several times KGB Communist agents came to his house to search it, but they never found the printing press. It is not like hiding a gun, or a diamond, or a contract, it is a printing press, and all the books you are printing, all the papers. He managed to hide it all in his basement. When he could not print enough, because there was such a massive demand for these books, he went to a communist printing press and he found two ladies who worked for the communist printing press. He really became nice to them. He said what time do you close at night. They said seven o’clock or whatever. He said what if you work all night and print these books – Bhagvat Gita. He convinced them. With his own money he bought them new cars. With his own money he bought them nice cloths, he gave them nice jewelry. He said this is what ladies like. And they were very happy. So these communist printers secretly they would bribe the guard to let them in at night. They spent the whole night printing Prabhupada’s books. Brahmanand helped them to put them put it in the vans and ship it out just before the morning shift when every one would come. They made it look like it is closed down and every one was sleeping. And then work hole day with all the other people. It is a pity serious risk. They would have killed them instantly. He was the supplier and it was so important that in the entire Soviet Union only one or two or three at the most people knew who he was and that he was printing the books. All the people who were caught and tortured they could not give information because they did not know who he was, it was kept that secret. So these innocent devotees they really had to go underground and went through hellish conditions. Achut Priya Prabhu in hellish conditions. Amala Bhakta was arrested and put in prinson. But ultimately his wife, Kirtada met with Ronald Regan the President of United States wife and said please get my husband out of prison. This is the power of ladies talk together. What could she do. She told Ronald ‘this poor lady ……………………So yes, these devotees who have come from Ukraine, the people who really established Krishna Consciousness in Ukraine, they went through massive impediments. And now perhaps it is the most Krishna Conscious country in the world. As far as success as a nation from my observance, from my subjective opinion, I have not seen a more successful yatra on a nationwide level than Ukraine in the western world especially. The government is supporting them. There have about 50 or 60 centers in that country. So many devotees. They are so happy dispite so much poverty. An example. When adversity comes, when devotees remain faithful, fixed in their compassionate mission to remove blindness from ourselves and from others, how the Lord embraces us. In Bhakti Vedanta Mannor we can speak for many hours on this subject. Shruti Dham Prabu and Pranbahdhu Prabhu, they are sitting here. So humble, never take credit for any thing, they just love to serve, that is all. But I cannot tell you how many internal and external tragedies have taken place. They are just trying to remove the blindness from society of ignorance. They established Bhakti Vedanta Mannor. Prabhupada made it his European Headquarters, donated by George Harrison of the beatles who was one of Prabhupada’s very loving devotees. He loved Krishna. The Govt. shut them down, no public assemblies allowed. He used to feed devotees. And there was a lot of internal serious problems that took place also. When all that was going on these two devotees just remained fixed in their service, fixed in their mission. Like Hanuman, they just kept moving forward not matter what impediments came before them. Whether there were allurements of gold, whether there were massive surasas trying to puff them up, devour them with pride, or whether there was Simika trying to devour them with envy, they just kept moving forward. The Government of the UK, the government that want to ruled over America, ruled over India, ruled over most of the world, was now making a decoration and law, not body allowed in Bhakti Vedanta Mannor. And these devotees, following the foot steps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with the Chand Kazi, they created civil disobedience, had marches, demonstrations, and many of them were put in jail and charged with crimes. But they kept going with more demonstrations. And it went on for 10 year. They were fixed in their mission. Sometimes we have impediments, serious impediments, and if it is not resolved within a couple of weeks, or couple of months, we think impossible and give. They fought against the British Government for 10 years and almost every case they fought, they would lose. They would lose case after case. They were totally helpless but they did not give up. And what was the result. They got huge amount, more property, their own access road, they used to have Janamasthi with …………. Now they have enough land to have Janamasthi. They have 80 thousand people coming for Janamasthi – dramas, plays, exhibitions, book distributions. It is amazing. It is like a whole civilization of Krishna they create. It is absolutely wonderful experience the people have. They have made so many friends and so many interconnections through out years of fighting, and so many realizations and so many blessings. And through it all they are just humbly serving the vaisnavas and inspiring people to keep running. There marathon was a ten year marathon, and they are still running it to remove blindness. Let us offer our sincere gratitude for the example that these men have given us all. Yes, the same principles. The neighbors were filing all these cases against them,
they hated the devotees it was through them that the government came down. They lit these men’s tails on fire. And what is the result. These devotees are invited to the Parliament to perform Dewali. They are getting the Prime Minister to light the lamps. They are meeting the queen. And even more amazing than that the leader of the village who hated them the most and launched the most court cases, now loves the devotees and comes to Bhakti Vedanta Mannor, chants Hare Krishna and eats prasada. He tried to light their tail on fire but now the fire of bhakti is raging in his heart. This is Srila Prabhupada’s compassion manifesting through these wonderful devotees.