Souls in this material world need to wake up from the lap of Maya
Thank you Gauravani Prabhu, we welcome everyone to Radha Gopinath’s temple for our weekly Sunday festival, very grateful you are all here especially to Sankarji, Minakshi Devi, Garry and all of you wonderful guest. Back in the mid 1970’s two devotees, two of my dearest friends God brother and God sister Rukmini and Bharadraj Prabhu from their heart of hearts they prayed to have child that would spread the glories of God’s name throughout the world and Gauravani was born, Haribol! They prayed, they performed Tapasya, they cried the prayed to their gurudev Srila Prabhupada and the Lord that their child would be empowered for this purpose and when baby was born they named Gauravani, which means one who had spread Vani or the message of Gaur Lord Caitanya and what is the message
Jév jägo, jév jägo, gauracända bole
Kota nidrä jäo mäyä-piçäcéra kole
Lord Caitanya’s message is very deep and profound; there are volumes and volumes and volumes describing the intricate explanation of philosophy on every aspect of life but in very principle very simple wake up wake up sleeping souls, you are sleeping in the lap of illusion. Essentially we are spiritual; we are part of God,
That we are all Sad-cit-ananda eternal full of knowledge and full of bliss, änandamayo ‘bhyäsät as part of God we are all seeking pleasure and the essence of pleasure is the pleasure of loving and being loved. Things can give pleasure to the sense and to the mind but only love can give pleasure to the soul. The origin of that tendency which is the essence of every living being is our natural love for God and in that love for God is the spontaneous love for every living being, you cannot love God and not love anyone. When love for God is manifested within this world it manifested as compassion which is the greatest need. It is the very essence and foundation of every spiritual path to be selfless instrument of compassion. That is the nature of everyone to celebrate the joy of love and compassion but somehow other sleeping we are in the dream that I am a man or I am a woman or I am black or brown or white or yellow or red or I am American or south African or Israel or Palestinian or Pakistani or Indian or I am rich or I am poor, old or young.
Väsäàsi jérëäni yathä vihäya
Krishna explains in Gita, this body is like a dress but who is it, that is seeing through the eyes, hearing through the eyes, tasting through the tongue, smelling through the nose, touching through the flesh, thinking through the brain and feeling through the heart. The driver of the vehicle of this body and mind is by nature united with all others in our origin.
So Lord Caitanya taught this simple process, wake up, wake up to who we really are and the simple method that he extracted from the Vedic literatures which is very powerful for waking up the sleeping soul in this age of Kali is God’s name,
Kaler doña-nidhe räjann
Asti hy eko mahän guëaù
Kértanäd eva kåñëasya
Mukta-saìgaù paraà vrajet
That this age of Darkness we are living in or Kali has so many faults but there is one beautiful benediction that through Kirtaan, through chanting God’s name one can attain the perfection of liberation. This in essence is Gauravani or the message of Lord Caitanya and as far I could see this essence is, Gauravani. His parents prayed and they cried and they served, for a child like this and then they gave him this name. Now he is travelling around the world bringing joy to so many people’s hearts, thank you Gauravani Prabhu we are very proud of you.
Radharani is the origin of all love
In a few days is Radhastami, the appearance day of Shri Radha. I believe you will all be in Vrindavan that day we would be stuck here but it’s nice to be stuck to the good place. Radharani is the feminine aspect of the absolute truth. In all the great spiritual paths of world we find that God is one and in the mystical esoteric aspects of all of these great paths we find both male and female aspects of that one God. Especially in the Vedic system and especially in Vrindavan we find the natural acceptance and very, very philosophical cultural understanding of the male and female aspect of the one truth. Krishna is the all attractive supreme object of love and Radha is the compassionate nature, the supreme lover or the supreme abode of love, the origin of all love.
Story which reveals the condition of the soul in the material world
There is a beautiful story in Vrindavan which I would like to share with you. There is a place called Shivakhori where there is a very wonderful temple of Lord Shiva Rameshwar and there is small lake just close to that temple. Five thousand years ago, a jackal was drinking water from that lake. Now among animals jackals are not at all respected, many animals are glorified by humans just like there is athletics teams called the lions and the tigers and the eagles and the panthers and the hawks, even the penguins. Sometimes, if you are beautiful you dance like a peacock, you sing like a Cuckoo bird, you have Minakshi eyes like a beautiful fish, so many nice examples. But have every heard anyone glorified as being like Jackal that’s like a greatest insult. If you are a thief, a really cruel selfish you are called the Jackal, yes. I remember there was once Mafia person because I am from Chicago I know some of these things. There was big Mafia person called Jackal and that was great praise, everybody respected him because everyone was afraid of him. Anyways a Jackal is just scrawny wild dog generally very dangerous, eats dead corpses and that Jackal was drinking water. Because he was a Jackal, actually it was a she Jackal forgive me it was a girl. It was she Jackal, because Jackal are not respected at all some children saw this Jackal and started laughing at the Jackal and running after the Jackal, beating the Jackal with sticks. Would you like to beat the Jackal with sticks children? Good thank you hoping you are safe. They were beating this Jackal with stick and this Jackal was screaming and crying and they kept beating it and beating it and beating it and the Jackal somehow other rolled around on the ground and got up and ran away and children ran after it and was throwing stones on it. Jackal, Jackal, Jackal, Jackal and Jackal was weeping in pain and somehow other found hole in the ground and jumped in the hole and buried itself in the hole. Then the children laughing and playing, they really wanted to make this Jackal suffer. So they were yelling names into the hole, they got wood and straw and lit it on fire. So all around the entrance of the whole there was a burning fire and it was going deeper and deeper inside. They wanted to burn the Jackal out so they could continue to bit it. The Jackal was crying, screaming in pain just at that time Radha and her Gopi friends happen to be walking some distance, this is when Radha and Krishna were here on the earth. She felt compassion she told her friend Lalita please no one should be suffering like this, go bring that person to me. So Lalita ran saw the children all waiting at the hole with the sticks and she chase all the children away get out from here, get out from here. The she put out the fire and she reached down her hand and took the jackal out and she brought the Jackal right to Radharani. The Jackal bowed down at Radha’s feet and Radha kneel down and padded her on the head and accepted her as her own eternal servant. Gave that Jackal a perfection of liberation, prema Bhakti the ultimate perfection. Now the symbolism of this story is the jackal represents the fallen condition in illusion. Actually we are all pure spirit, we are all part of God Sad-Cid-ananda but somehow other we are identifying with these Jackal like material identity which is really embarrassing situation for the eternal soul. The children they represent three fold miseries of material existences, Adhyatmik the miseries of one’s own body and mind, Adhidaibik the miseries of nature too much heat, too much cold, earth quakes, tsunamis, rains, drought and Adhiboutik miseries caused by other living beings people, family members, enemies, insects or whoever. The hole represents material existences and the fire represents the burning fire of material existences, saàsära-dävänala-léòha-loka scriptures describe that it’s like forest fire. The Jackals cry is the humble calling out for the mercy of Shri Radha. When we chant her holy name with that sincerity then she will give us her heart. There is hope, ultimate hope, and supreme hope for everyone and this simple means by which we can access that grace is through the sincere chanting of the holy names, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare.
Two stories which are opposite but their results are same
Gauravani sang one beautiful prayer of Lord Caitanya paraà vijayate çré-kåñëa-saìkértanam, paraà vijayate means supreme victory will come to those who take shelter of the Kirtaan of the holy name. Now we have to understand that this victory is not based on a material consideration. Sometime ago there was one famous atheist person who said, “That whether one is a saint or whether one is a criminal they both have to die so what’s the difference, everyone is going to die. So if God is going to save you then, every religious person has to die and every irreligious person has to die so what’s the difference, what is this saving, what is this saving, where is the victory? In Ramayana there are two stories of victory which seem quite contradictory to each other but if we understand the essence they are one. First there is Hanuman, Hanuman was fighting for Rama. Sita is feminine aspect of God, just as there is Radha and Krishna there is Sita Rama and there are other such manifestations. So Ravana wanted to enjoy Sita for himself, he was a person with massive false ego but sometimes people with really big false ego’s work so hard to establish them that they become really powerful and they could really terrorize others. So Ravana was from material standards the most powerful man on earth, he performed Tapasya and gained mystical powers. He could change his form, each of his arms were like tens and thousands of elephants strength. He disguised himself and kidnapped Sita when Rama was away. Now there was a great war and we read about Hanuman, Hanuman he fought valiantly with his heart, with his soul, with his everything there was no limitations for him. He was a prominent part of the great victory of Rama over Ravana and he is celebrated throughout all time. Then there was another devotee named Jatayu he was equally devoted as Hanuman. When Ravana first stole Sita he was carrying her and at that time in a forest Jatayu was very, very old. Sita cried out to him Jatayu don’t try to stop Ravana, he is so powerful and you are so old if you try to stop him you will be killed, just tell Rama who has stolen me and tell him we are heading in the southern direction. Jatayu could not just stand there and watch for him that’s worse than death then to do nothing in the face of an injustice. So Jatayu jumped up to fight with Ravana and Sita said, go back Jatayu you are too old you cannot fight. But Jatayu he attack Ravana he said, life or death I will not allow you to take Sita away and he fought with all of his power, it was a long fight. He gave his everything and ultimately he became so exhausted due to his age that and he had no weapons, Ravana had every weapon. Ravana cut off his legs and cut off his arms and his wings and Jatayu was laying there in blood. Sita ran after to him and started to cry she padded his head and said you have given your life for me and now look at your condition. She blessed Jatayu with her heart of hearts than Ravana grabbed her by the hair and took her to Srilanka. Shortly, after Rama and Laxman were searching for Sita and they see this personality lying on the ground with blood all over the place. Rama said, “This must be Rakshasa, this must be the person that stole my Sita. All this blood around must be Sita’s blood he must have killed her. Rama took his bow and arrow jumped right toward Jatayu and aimed right at Jatayu head he said I will kill this demon. It’s a thankless task, he gave his life for Rama and Rama is chastising and about to kill him. Jatayu cries out, I am your devotee Jatayu I am the friend of your father. It was Ravana that took Sita, I tried with all of my heart to stop him but I was defeated. When Rama heard those words he drops his bow and arrow felt to his knees, he said Jatayu to protect my Sita you have given your life. I was exiled from my kingdom and lost everything and then my father Dasarath and then my wife was taken from me Sita. But the greatest pain I have ever experience in my life is now to see you in this condition, my own devotee who even though you had no chance of winning you fought for me, you fought to protect my beloved and now you are about to die. The supreme absolute truth wept tears of love and gratitude profusely; he embraced that pitiful body of Jatayu that was chopped into pieces and Rama told him on this very day I send you back to the spiritual world. On this very day I grant you the ultimate liberation because you fought and you were victories because you gave everything you had. Then chanting the holy name of Rama Jatayu gave up his life and attains spiritual perfection. Just to show the whole for all time to come the gratitude of the lord for those who sincerely give what they have in service, Rama perform the last rights for Jatayu, Laxman got the logs; Rama personally lifted the body and put it and lit the fire and Rama said the Mantras and the prayers to send Jatayu to the spiritual world.
Krishna will only please by our sincerity
Krishna tells us in the Bhagavad Gita, that we should not be attached to success or failure, honor or dishonor, happiness or distress these dualities will always be there. Material existences is constituted on the principle of duality like two sides of coin, you cannot have the head side of tail of coin and say I don’t want the tail. If you are attached to happiness to that degree you will suffer when there is distress, if you are attached to honor to that degree you will suffer when there is dishonor. Health disease, life death, heat cold; it’s a world of dualities but to rise above these dualities there is a beautiful verse that teaches us how,
Atah pumbhih dwijashresthah varnashrama bibhagasah
Swanusthitsya dharmasya samsiddhir hari toshanam
Krishna tells in the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna if you simply serve sincerely you will be victories it doesn’t matter what the material result would be. If Bhagavan is pleased by the sincerity of our efforts we are victories. If we can sincerely chant the holy name like that little Jackal we can attain victory, victory over life, victory over death, victory over all sorrow and achieve,
Änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà
The happiness that we are all striving for, the endless spiritual love that is inherent within all of us. Thank you Gauravani prabhu for enlightening us for this subject matter and Jhanava Devi her parents were also crying and praying for the same thing we are so proud of you. When she plays her violin just like the strings of our hearts began to cry in devotion to Krishna, thank very much Hare Krishna. Would you like now to Kirtaan, everyone can dance, Haribol.
Thank you very much!