Relationship of the soul and God:-
I thank you very much for being with us this evening, I am very much grateful for this opportunity to be in this auspicious town of Nigdi, to serve all of you. We are celebrating the ratha yatra of Lord Jagannath. This festival has been taking place since before we could trace human history by western calculations. Just five hundred years ago Lord Caitanya who is the yuga avatar of Lord Krishna for this age of Kali personally taught us the sprit in which this festival should be celebrated. In doing so he taught us how to achieve the goal of life. Jagannath means the Lord of the universe “aham béja-pradaù pitä”, in Sri Bhagvad Gita Krishna tells “I am the father of all living beings. He is not the Lord and father of any particular cast or nationality or religion or even species. The physical bodies and the mind and ego are full of differences between us, but the atma the soul is of the spiritual nature. It is sat chit ananda; it is eternal full of knowledge and full of bliss. “na hanyate hanyamäne çarére”, it is not subjected to either birth or death.
The soul is part of God. As a sun ray is qualitatively one with the sun planet we are of the same sat chit ananda spiritual substance as Bhagvan. But as tiny parts our nature is “jévera ‘svarüpa’ haya—kåñëera ‘nitya-däsa’”, we are eternally servants of the Lord. What is the quality of that service?
“nitya-siddha kåñëa-prema ‘sädhya’ kabhu naya
çravaëädi-çuddha-citte karaye udaya”,
The nature of the soul is to love, to love is our essence. Because our nature is to love Krishna and to feel the love of Krishna. That is only reality loving Krishna and being loved by Krishna, everything is illusory. Because Krishna’s love is perfect and complete. It’s absolutely satisfying forever, and to love Krishna is perfect and complete. Because every living being is a part of Krishna, one who loves Krishna must love every living being without discrimination.
Result of forgetfulness of the soul’s relation with God:-
And it’s due to the forgetfulness of that essence within us that all the problems and all the suffering of this entire world takes place. When you have a disease and your body with the boil, to treat the symptom of the boil is necessary, but it is not enough we must simultaneously treat the cause of the disease which is impurities in the blood. There is so many problems in the world we live today, and they are not getting better they are getting worst. Yes we have advanced in science and technologies and its curing some disease and its making life more comfortable for some, but the world is at a break of disaster to ecological disrespect. Natural disasters have been taking place and they are predicted by scientist to get worst and worst, due to the pollution we are putting in the environment. And it is predicted that practically 1/3rd of human population will die of cancer which is usually due to pollution in the food in the water and in the air. Aides and hepatitis are on the rise and the no. 3 cause of suffering and death is predicted to be mental illness and depression due to too much stress and frustration. According to the World Watch Institute in Washington DC, the amount of death due to war and genocide or killing innocent people was 3times more between the year 1900-1999 then it was between 1 A.D and 1899. That means in the last 100 years more death and murder of innocent people then in 1900 years. And we are led to believe that everything is getting better. What is the problem? Unless we understand the source of the problem we cannot really change. The problem is pollution of the heart, that pollution takes the form of greed, envy, anger, lust, arrogance and illusion; unless we clean our own hearts there can be no substantial change. The essence of everyone is Prema Bhakti, to love Krishna and to be compassionate to all beings. But we have forgotten that, we are so much distracted by our selfish pursuits and there is no real happiness without discovering that bhakti within ourselves.
The Sprit of celebrating Ratha Yatra, taught by Lord Chaitanya:-
So Lord inaugurated the Rath Yatra through the process of Gundicha Marjanam cleaning the Gundicha temple, in Shri Jagannath puri Ratha yatra is when Jagannath is pulled on chariots along with Baladev and Subhadra, from Jagannath’s to Gundicha temple which represents Vrindavan. What dose this mean? It means our heart is meant to be vrindavan. “éçvaraù sarva-bhütänäà håd-deçe ‘rjuna tiñöhati”, Krishna says I am seated in the heart of every living being. Wherever there is Krishna there is Vrindavan, the heart is vrindavan, the abode of Krishna, it is a temple, but now it’s such a dirty temple that we cannot even have the darshan of the lord. So Lord Chaitanya taught before we could bring Jagannath here this temple must be completely clean, He gathered together greatest devotees on earth and gave each one a broom to sweep, very symbolic. Here is the greatest scholar Sarvabhouma Bhatacharya, the greatest most renounced, learned saints like Svarup Damodar Goswami. Powerful, influential leaders of the business world like Budhi Manta Khan. The leaders of the entire Brahmin communities like Advaitacarya, and they are all blissfully sweeping like bhangis, just taking the role like bhangis just sweeping every part of the temple and courtyard of the lord. Covered with dust, sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, no high no low. No question of status, everyone was a sweeper, for the Lord. And after they completely swept the entire temple complex Lord Chaitanya commanded, “Sweep again”. Search for finer particles of dust and sand and straw. They were all on their hands and knees, just sweeping, sweeping and sweeping. The devetas, they understand that these people that these people are superior to them. And they are sweeping, and all the while as they are sweeping they are in great joy, thinking what an exulted service I have been given. And all the while they were chanting the Holy Names. And Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is the yuga avatar who is Krishna Himself with the love of Sri Radha who is the yuga avatar, who is the crest jewel of sanyasis, He is sweeping. And he told the devotees,”all of you whatever, dust, sand and particles of straws you collect put them in a pile”. And they made a pile, big pile. And Lord Sri Chaitanya made his own pile. And his was far bigger then anyone, he was sweeping with such enthusiasm it appeared He has a thousand arms. He wanted to teach us, should have this menial service attitude before the lord no matter who we are, even if an avatar, even if we are wealthy powerful. Because bhakti cannot grow in our heart if it is not simple. A simple heart is one without duplicity without arrogance it is a humble heart. After sweeping the whole temple Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ordered, “now let us wash it”. And devotees brought thousands and thousands of buckets of water and they were washing the ceiling and the walls and the floor and every part, inside and out. After it was shining emaciate clean, the lord says,” not good enough wash it again”. As they were washing and washing and washing and pouring buckets and buckets of buckets of water everywhere, everyone was so happy and everyone was united and the only sound you could hear is the chanting of the Holy Names. Then all the devotees started polishing the whole temple with their cloths, lord Chaitanya was using his own cloth for polishing. Yes! He said “now we can invite the lord into the temple of our heart when we make it clean”. The next day the procession was beginning, and at the very beginning king of Orissa Prataparudra Rai, he began the procession by taking a broom and sweeping the street in front of lord Jagannath. Previously Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would not meet the king, because as a sanyasis he wanted to uphold the standards of not associating with materialistic people. But when he saw the king sweeping the street not to get his picture put in the paper for votes, he didn’t need that. He was sweeping the streets from his heart because he honestly, earnestly felt himself the menial servant of the Lord and the devotees. How could my lord come on the road if this street is not clean? So this whole pastime is all about getting cleaned. And what is the way to clean the temple of our heart? And what is the way to clean the road to Krishna? By chanting the holy names.
apavitraù pavitro vä
sarvävasthäà gato ‘pi vä
yaù smaret puëòarékäkñaà
sa bähyäbhyantaraù çuciù
Krishna is all pure. “näma cintämaëiù kåñëaç caitanya-rasa-vigrahaù”, Krishna is non different then his name. When we chant the names of Krishna we are invoking the presence of Krishna. “Nämnäm akäri bahudhä nija-sarva-çaktis”, Bhagvan has many names, and each of his names, all of his potencies are present. Of all forms of yoga, meditation and religious rights the most powerful is Namsankitran. “kali-käle näma-rüpe kåñëa-avatära”, Krishna has descended as his name.
kaler doña-nidhe räjann
asti hy eko mahän guëaù
kértanäd eva kåñëasya
mukta-saìgaù paraà vrajet
In this age of Kali, so many problems. But there is one blessing Shrimad Bhagvatam tells, that anyone who sincerely takes the holy name of Krishna can attain the ultimate liberation. How dose this work? Because all the beauty all the sweetness all the love, all the kripa or mercy all the power and shakti of God is within the name. Chanting the holy name with the right attitude is the way to clean our heart. And very interestingly Lord Chaitanya taught the very attitude in which we should the holy names.
tåëäd api sunécena
taror api sahiñëunä
kértanéyaù sadä hariù
Please listen this is so beautiful, the chanting the holy name is like sweeping the heart clean, but like the lord and His devotees in Gundicha temple and like maharaj Prataparudra before the chariot of Lord Jadannath we have to be very humble state of mind when we sweep the heart. We have to be humbler then the straw that makes the broom that we are sweeping it, tolerant then the tree, ready to offer all respects to others and expect none in return. Then we are really humble street sweepers. And in that sprit we are sweeping chanting the holy names the heart becomes completely cleansed. And as it becomes clean the dormant love of the heart is awakens. Not only do we derive satisfaction we derive, ananda ecstasy. And we become instruments of the compassion of Krishna in everything we do in our life. And Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, during this festival of Ratha Yatra, He invites everyone in this festival of cleaning the hearts. Without discrimination even people who weren’t allowed in Jagannath’s temple he invited “come come become perfect. Whether one is man or women, whether one is from a upper cast or lower cast or another cast, these are all material designations. On the spiritual platform of truth we are part of God, we are all a loving family.
brähmaëe gavi hastini
çuni caiva çva-päke ca
Sri Bhagavad Gita tells what is the quality of a person who is of spiritual intelligence? They see ever living being with equal vision, whether one is a Brahman or an elephant or a cow or a dog or someone who eats dog. They are all designation, one who loves God, loves the soul because he is sees we are all equal. That is intelligence; real intelligence is not getting a PHD at IIT. That just means your brain is a good computer that stores a lot of data. That’s good, but the question is that what do you do with that data? Real intelligence doesn’t mean winning an election, real intelligence doesn’t mean making cores of rupees profit, real intelligence is to see every living being with equal vision and love. That is the greatest need of society today. And that is why His Devine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad, has brought this Ratha Yatra festival the festival of awakening the divine love and cleaning the heart to the whole world. It is celebrated in every major city of the planet earth. All because of one man Srila Prabhupad’s compassion. And I have been to many places through out the world, but I could honestly say the simple devotion and enthusiasm of the residence of Nigdi is the best.
Thank you very much.