Result of Bhakti is pure unalloyed love for Krishna forever
Welcome to pushpa Abhiñekha, I am very grateful to all those who have come tonight. Besides those who are in those temples room there are about four times more people at least on the roof tops and the terraces, in the front court Yards, in the Garden all watching on Monitor T.V and listening. Krishna tells in Bhagavad-Gita,
Patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà
Yo me bhaktyä prayacchati
That love cannot be limited by any material consideration,
Nitya-siddha-kåñëa-prema ‘sädhya’ kabhu naya
Çravaëädi-çuddha-citte karaye udaya
That Prema or love for God is dormant within the heart of every living being, it is a very essence of who we are. But due to covering of Maya or illusory potency like a cloud covers a sun, ahaìkära the false ego, eclipses our own vision from who we really are and what is our real happiness. We try to find a replacement for that forgotten love through unlimited pursuits within this world. What is the nature of that love? Krishna explains, if one will offers me even a leaf, a little water, some fruits or a flower if it is offer with devotion I accept it. Whether one is billionaire or whether one is living in the forest with nothing with a loin cloth, whether one is in a city or a village, men, women, black, white, red or yellow, educated or uneducated these are all material considerations. The nature of the soul is to love God and in loving God every living being is included.
Krishna tell sin Bhagavad-Gita every living being is an part and parcel of the supreme Lord,
Brähmaëe gavi hastini
Çuni caiva çva-päke ca
The nature of one who had awakened that Prema, that Bhakti of the heart is that it extends to everyone. Whether one is a learned priest or whether one is an elephant or a cow or a dog or an insect. Even a cockroach or a rat in Bombay, where ever there is life is a present of spirit, the aatma. Because that aatma is a part of God, you cannot love God and not love every living being and when that love extended to the people or the creatures of this world it manifest as compassion. The first principle of every great spiritual system is to love God in everything is included and that is the test of our love for God and there no envy toward anyone, there is compassion. There is the path of Bhakti is very fascinating, in that the end result is identical to the process of attaining that result. The end result is unmotivated love for Krishna. What is the process? Offering our love to Krishna, through the process we become purified. One of the ways that the greatest Äcäryas and even the most ancient scripture has recommended is offering devotion to Archa Vigraha or the deity form of the Lord in the temple. In fact traditionally, in India every home had a deity either a Shaligram Shila or a Murti and that deity was the center of the home. The husband, the wife, the children they all recognize this is our priority, this is the proprietor, this is the enjoyer and we meant to be united in his service.
History speaks itself, that worshiping Lord in the deity form is ideal worship
Sometimes due to various conceptions, for various valid reasons people consider the worship of the form of the Lord in the temple, the deity to be superstitious or idol worship. Idol worship is when it is without the proper philosophy and without proper devotion then it is idol worship. Some people consider it sentimental but if we consider history we find something very much different. The greatest scholars who have written volumes and volumes of the deepest most philosophical books, the history of man in India they all worshiped the deity form of the Lord. Sripad Çaìkaräcärya worshiped “Badrivishal in Badrinath. Some of the most compassionate, most influential spiritual leaders whose life would just impeccable offerings of mercy and love, they worshiped the form of the Lord. In south India we have Ramanuja Acharya, the greatest the most beautiful temples in all of India to this day; almost a thousand years after his appearance in this world are still worshiped, performing the services in those temples, tens and millions of followers. Then in the western part of South India there Madhväcärya, Ramanuja Äcärya worshiped Ranganath and Balaji and Bharadwaj in Kanchipuram. A little west almost eight hundred years ago was Madhväcärya the books that he wrote so deeply philosophical, so highly scholarly and his compassion and his devotees to this day attracts tens and millions of followers. He centered his life and all of his followers on the deity form of Udipi Krishna. Vallabhäcärya who has so many millions of followers even today almost five hundred years after he left this world, he and all of his followers worship Shrinathji the Murti at Nathdwara. Lord Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who is incarnation predicted in the scriptures forty four thousand five hundred years before his appearance in puri every day he and his followers worship Lord Jagannath. So this form of worship has been since time immemorial, the question is why? If God is within our heart and God is within everyone else’s heart, God is within factually his energy material nature, why don’t we just see him everywhere. Why come to the temple and worship in this way. The great Äcäryas had taught us, Acarya means the very highly elevated spiritual teachers, and self realized soul. Because, it unites us, it unites community, unites civilization, together, together to make our offerings of love to the Lord in a very, very personal way.
Only by worshiping Bhagawan, the soul can achieve its constitutional nature
The Srimad Bhagvatam explains,
Brahmeti parmatma iti bhagawan iti sabdyate
There are three primary aspects of the absolute truth the all pervading impersonal light which Brahman is, the Parmatma the Lord who seated as the witness within every living beings heart, bhagawan the Lord who is the supreme all attractive person. Through worshiping Brahman we achieve liberation from all sufferings, through worshiping the Parmatma we achieve inner light knowledge, mystic powers and through worshiping Bhagawan the personality of Godhead we awaken prema or eternal loving relationship with the Lord. So to cultivate that experience in us the Lord is so kind that Radha and Krishna they facilitate loving exchanges. We can offer food to the Lord, in Bhakti this is a very deep profound meditation, when we bind the food, when we are cutting it, when we are cooking it, when we are offering it it’s all a concentrated meditation this is for the pleasure of the Lord. And that become so sacred because the Lord reciprocates with our devotion. Some people say if God is everywhere, why you worship deity? The logical reply would be if the god is everywhere then it is also in the deity. But in the deity we can focus our complete concentration and making an offering of love. Most of us it is hard to do that to sky or to a cloud. We make the offering and Krishna accepts it, he accepts our love because God is unlimited. In whatever way offer our love the Lord can accept, Krishna explains he is säragrähé, he is Bhävagrähi he accepts the essence of everything, he accepts our love. Srila Prabhupada wrote Krishna it is not accept the thing that you offer, he accept the purpose, the intension in which it is offered. When Krishna accepts our food it becomes Prasad, Prasad means mercy, it’s purified, sanctified and then when we eat that Prasad we become sanctified. When they do the Aarti, if you doing it for money, if you doing for prestige that’s all you get but if you really doing it as an offering of a devotion how the Lord will reciprocate and manifest himself and melt your heart, awaken your heart and awaken your compassion for all living beings.
Krishna is satisfied even with the small flower if it is offer with love
There is a beautiful story we told in Pune that took place in Ambika Kalna a great devotee name Gauridas, he had nothing, and he was very simple man. He was just living under a tree and Lord Caitanya came to him in deities Gaur Nitäi, and what did he have? But one day in the early, early morning when he woke up he was thinking I want to offer Krishna the most wonderful ornaments as a gesture of my love. But he had nothing but when he opened a door he found that the deities had dressed themselves and diamonds and rubies and emerald and Safire, gold or silver. He was absolutely shocked, just the way he was decorating them in his mind was manifested before his eyes. He wept and then the deities became regular again, all the jewels went away. The deity said actually what we really like are to be decorated in flowers. A single flowered offered with love is more priceless then the most precious diamond in the British museum, which by the way were stolen from deities from India. The most precious diamonds in the world were stolen from deities of India. In fact one of our very dear friends and God brother Shyam Sunder Prabhu who actually was the best friend of George Harrison of beetles, today he is, I just talked him yesterday he is dredging the Krishna river in South India looking for diamonds. I said, “Shyam Sunder you can offer a flower, why are you going to all those trouble? Flower is more valuable than your diamonds, he said still this is my nature I have to look for them, I can do so much if I found even one, that is the power of love. So this wonderful festival, it is a festival of devotion please don’t just see with your eyes, see through your heart. Through wisdom we receive from the Holy Scripture and the great saints. It is shower of our combined intent to please Krishna, to purify our own heart and ultimately an instrument of that love in every aspects of our life. The world is in turmoil economically, ecologically, emotionally, psychiatric. Depression, mental illness is the number three diseased according to the world health organization that causes pain and death. Why? We have so much, but internally so little. Because the great mind of jewels of divine love that is within our heart had been plundered by the thieves of greed, envy, anger, arrogance, passion, selfish passion and illusion. And driven by those thieves, those enemies within us even the pure soul creates Havoc within this world. There is a great need to understand what really is a value, character, integrity, humility, self control, a selfless spirit of compassion to other living beings which are all part and parcel of love for God; this is the greatest need within this world.
To achieve happiness in this distress world is only by doing selfless service for Krishna
Today, hundreds and hundreds of devotees have been plucking flower petals was really beautiful to see, to really appreciate you have to know the people. There are simple taxi drivers, simple waiters in restaurants, simple people who are unemployed living in little huts sitting next to multi-multi millionaire’s industrialists with international corporations and they are just plucking the petals and next to them were little children, little girl just laughing and next to her is a PhD IIT Graduate Engineer just plucking the flowers. Scholars, industrialists, little farmers, children’s, anyone could do it. People from abroad were all united in our combined effort to just offer this very, very simple service to the Lord. It is said that all people are created equal, on the spiritual level we are all created equal but as long as we think we are American, Russian or Indian or Pakistani or African or European or any of the other things we are not equal. As long as we think that we are man or women or we are young or old, there are no two snowflakes of all the snowflakes have ever fallen in the sky since beginning of that were identical. There no two dogs or cat or human beings, they are the same. We all have our Karma’s, we all have our conditionings, we all have our attributes, real equality is on the spiritual platform. In our devotion to the Lord we are equal it was beautiful seeing this people of every phase of life, through the world India is condemned because of its caste system which is pervaded conception as it is lived and understood today. On the spiritual platform we are all servants of God and we could be united in that love on a real level not just a sentimental. So we are all together plucking flowers and the result baskets and baskets, how many flowers more than one tone that means over one thousand Kilo’s, over two thousand pounds flowers all in baskets. How beautiful because how much does a flower petal weight, to get two thousand pounds of flower petals hundreds and hundreds of people plucking flowers and everyone was so happy. People go to Bollywood movies, people work so hard to get a Mercedes Benz, or Maruti whatever you can afford, people work so get nice ornaments and good dress, people go to the gyms to become very strong. Nothing against any of these things but as far as happiness none of that could compare to plucking flowers a flower petal. Why? Because it awakens such ecstasy in our hearts if we do it with the right intent and we all become really brothers and sisters united and the culmination.
How to celebrate the festival of Pushpa Abhiñekha?
There were so many people cooking, I believe there is about four thousand people in the area, yes. Devotees they cooked for over thousand in the morning and then right after they another four thousand for the evening and go down in the kitchen not one of them getting paid one paisa which is less than a penny for those of you from abroad. But they are happy because they are doing it out of love in the spirit of service. Dozens and dozens and dozens of people cooking, stirring and frying and boiling and steaming, it’s beautiful. Those who decorated those who are managing the crowds everyone united and all of you here. The culmination is we actually see all of these flower petals as you are watching please consider every single tiny flower petal is an offering of our united devotion. Our meditation by offering these flower petals we are making a prayer for a purification of our own hearts, for awaken of the love that is dormant within us. We are praying for the blessing of the Lord on all living beings, we are praying for the happiness, the spiritual prosperity of every living being that is the mood of the offering of the each one of those petals, and there happens to be millions and millions of petals. After we offer it then there will be the great festivals of al the Maha-Prasad flower petals showered upon all of us. So I am sure that all of you are extremely eager for me to end my class, once again very boring talk, so that we could actually begin the festival. But let us meditate in this mood, as the devotees are showering Radha and Krishna with the petals of our devotion, the flowers of our devotion we are together chanting the holy names,
Kali-käle näma-rüpe kåñëa-avatära
Krishna has incarnated within names,
Näma cintämaëiù kåñëaç
This means, Krishna is identical with the names of Krishna; Purna that means the full Krishna, the full Radharani is within the name. We are invoking the potencies, invoking the power of their compassion, invoking the power of their love for the welfare of the all living beings; it is another type of flower shower. As we chant with devotion in this way through our hearts, through our prayers, through our voice we are making these offerings of love for the pleasure of all the assembled devotees, for the pleasure of Krishna and for the upliftment of all living beings. Gauranga Prabhu, this festival is called Pushpa Abhiñekha; Gauranga Prabhu said to me that there is lot of people pushing. Abhiñekha means bathing, pushpa means flowers, Pauña means the month of January. So it is a flower shower in the month of January but he is a manager here, he is trying to manage this festival he said there is pushing and pushing and pushing and Abhiñekha. But somehow other most of the pushing is outside all around but my humble request is please do not push, even when the shower petals come down it should graceful festival, it should be a wild, it should not be a Kurukshetra mood. It’s not a flower battle; we offer our love to each other with flowers. I thank you very much and I pray that the shower of Radharani and Krishna blessings shower upon all of you.
Thank you very much!
Srila Prabhupada ki jai!