Hare Krishna. On behalf of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we welcome you to Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple for our monthly Prerana Festival. The topic I have been given is “From fear to hope, assuring a new era of change”.
Mumbai is a sprawling city of approximately 15 million human beings, probably about the same number of rats and over population of mosquitoes, many cars, which much much exhaust fumes. Behind our ashram, not long ago was a plot of land covered with grabble that was used a garbage dump for the neighboring buildings, was sprawled with hips of trash, crows, wasps, and flies swarming about. It was a blankness place. But that plot has recently being transformed into a sanctuary of trees, plants, flowers, a pond of clear water, waterfall, singing birds, humming bees, and butterflies that flap their wings from flower to flower to drink nectar. People are averts us why? In Mumbai, in down town where we are, the price of land is excellent, why not build a building? Why a garden? A primary reason is for the quality of our life, stressed out living. Have you ever been stressed out? Stressed out congregation to give a peaceful natural place to reflect on the higher values and purposes of life. This forest is symbolic to transform our hearts which are filled with garbage of lust, envy, pride, greed, anger and illusion into the forest of Vrindavana.
It is said that Krishna never takes step out of Vrindavana andKrishnais within our hearts. “sarvasya cähaà hådi sanniviñöo mattaù småtir jïänam apohanaà ca” He is in the heart of every living beings. When we trash out of our heart can cultivate bhakti. Our heart becomes theforestofVrindavanaor we could actuallyKrishna’s eternal pastimes beyond birth and death.
One day after giving a lecture I was sitting on a wooden bench under a Kadamb tree in the forest, watching a butterfly, such a beautiful creation of god. Flapping his or her wings. Actually we do not differentiate between male or female, rich or poor, old or young. It is said,
brähmaëe gavi hastini
çuni caiva çva-päke ca
The definition of a wise person is a person who sees the spirit soul in everyone’s heart. He does not discriminate. According to one’s particular bodily condition, which is temporary. It is easy to do that with the creators other than humans.
I was looking at this butterfly, just drinking nectar from flower to flower and I was chanting my mantra. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” very softly and very peacefully. I felt a millions way from the city ofMumbai. Suddenly through the iron gates three of our brahmacharies and students ran after me. I can practically hear their hearts pounding. One of them told me that this student was just riding in a train and a bomb blasted. Two cars in front him and the tangled steel. He saw some bodies hanging with blood screaming. He was standing on the feet of people were running away. There were businessmen and laborers. There were women running with little babies screaming and crying. There were also beggars. There was no differentiation. Every one was running for their lives as polices were screaming and ordering everyone to evacuate.
As they were speaking and explaining this to me, I got a phone call. I ran upstairs and answered. He was one of the leaders ofBhaktivedantaHospital. He said, “You should see the scene here”. It is morbid and horrible. Practically every minute, bodies are being brought in by ambulances, by rickshaws, by people’s backs. All our beds are full and practically the entire floor space of the Hospital every inch is covered with whether injured or dead bodies. There are doctors are working seriously, nurses, the congregation, volunteers from all directions to help and to cook, to pray, chant the holy names, to help these people who are suffering miserably”. This was July eleventh 2006. When officially 209 people died, seven hundred injured, thousands of people lost loved ones and millions were terrorized. There were seven blasts in seven trains and a matter of eleven minutes.
A few days later I was back in the forest watching the butter flies under the Kadamba tree, when a family came to see me, very shaking. The father told me that he was just a couple cars away from a blast. He got minor wounds but he saw the drama and his wife, tears in her eyes. She chocked up looking at her two small children. Although she did not say anything but I can hear in her heart what is going to be the future of my children. Then she asked me, “In this world there is hatred, cruelty, how does bhakti help us to cooperate with it”? I reflected and remember the story that was told to me by one of my dearest friends and god brothers, His Holiness Sachinandan Swami Maharaja.
His father was an officer in the North reason, indirectly under the order of Hitler. He told me that a friend of his father, who was a higher officer well in the concentration camps. Hitler personally exterminated in his concentration twelve million people. None of them were soldiers. They were all common man, woman, and children. He especially targeted the Jew’s, who were about 6 millions. This man was bringing the people into gas chambers or into firing lines, where they are shut dead. He saw something that was very confusing to him. In a room which was holding tank just before mass of people sobbed into gas chamber to die. There were colorful pictures drawn of butter flies in colored chalks, butterflies happily flying upward. It was such a joyful peace of the art in such a morbid dismal place of death. He was very curious. What does this mean? So he asked, several of the Jew’s. Why do you people draw butter flies week after week and months after months I see? There were new pictures of them. Most people would not answer but and old man he said, “Young boy, I’ll tell you”.
“The caterpillar crawls in the dirt, subject to be eaten by birds, eating of nitrous things. That caterpillar puts in a very very painful situation, where he is rapped up in something like a kukum. It cannot move. It is very painful situation. Its whole body practically devours. But in through that painful experience, the caterpillar is transformed and comes out from that horrible situation as a colorful and beautiful butterfly. Now it is free to fly in the sky, bask in the sun, and go from sweet flower to sweet flower drinking nectar. This is the story of butterfly. We have this hope; you are keeping these caterpillars in these concentration camps of horrible imprisonment and suffering. But we have faith in god. Through our faith in god, we know for sure that we have the greatest hope because if we remember Him with devotion our death will be a transformation or our souls will be free. Free to be with god and to love god. So actually you are in total ignorance but you are our friends because you are helping us”.
When this man heard it, it completely changed his view of the world. Previously he was brainwashed by Hitler’s propaganda to think that the Jews are subhuman and they are the agents of the evil. They were evil inherently. But see how these people had such a philosophy that gave them so much hot and internal joy, even when facing cruel imminent death. These were very very deep sensitive high people. He went and told his father (Sachinandan Maharaja’s father) this story. They realized that there being the part of slaughter was in total ignorance. They realized that everything they gave their life spoil was wrong and for the rest of their lives suffered repentance and horrible nightmares.
Interestingly the next generation the children of these people ofGermany, they very much revolted against what their parents had done. One such revolutionary was Sachinandana Maharaja, who was searching for higher truth and searching for meaning. Then he come across Srila Prabhupada’s books and gave his heart to Srila Prabhupada. We are best friends. His father and relatives were exterminating the Jews by the millions.
I was born in Jew’s faith. Many of my uncle and ants were murdered by them. How it that we are best friends? That is the power of bhakti. We must raise above the past, present, mistakes in the form of ignorance, violence, hatred. We stand together with one voice and realize that we are connected. Every living being is part of god. “ahaà béja-pradaù pita”.Krishnatells in Bhagavad-Gita, “I am the seed giving father of every living being”. This is one small example of how hope can transcend all fear, all divisions.
The title of tonight’s discussion is “Form fear to hope” but interestingly misdirected hope is the cause of all fear. Hope is the cause of fear when it is wrongly situated. We put our hope in what the Srimad Bhagavatam says like the fallible soldiers of this world. We put our hope in our own abilities and abilities of others. But what our hope is there? By the power of time everything is being destroyed. Can anything or anyone in this world save anyone from death?Krishnatells us in Bhagavad-Gita
punar ävartino ‘rjuna
mäm upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate”
From the highest planet of this material creation down to the lowest, there all places of misery, why? Because by the power of time everything and everyone destroyed “janma-måtyu-jarä-vyädhi- duùkha-doñänudarçanam”. These are the problems, birth, old age, disease, and death. “duhkhalayam asasvatam” everything is temporary. Therefore within this material existence is an inharely causes misery, if we become attached to them and nothing and no one can change material nature. Terrorism and war people have these fears. Fear of economic crisis in one’s life, fear of disease, and just day to day fears. According to the statistics inIndiaaveragely two people die a day from terrorism. InIndia320 people die a day from automobile accidents. There is every reason to be afraid.
When our devotees told me today that there is an institute inWashingtonDCthe world watch institute and they have given a statistic after carefully doing their research. From the year 1900 to 1999 they were three times more deaths to human beings cause by war and genocide than from the year 1 AD till 1899. I think getting better. We like to think so. But in the last hundred years three times more violent murders than 1009 years. There was a Russian rider and he wrote that “Through science we have learned to fly in the sky like the bird. We have learned to swim under the water like a fish but we have not learned to walk on the land as human beings”. Martin Luther king, he said that “Our society has created guided – and misguided men”.
This Prerana Festival is for young man unmarried from 15-30 years. Just a few weeks ago during that horrible terrorist attack all of those cruel terrorists were your age. Potentially if they would have come to this Prerana Festival, history would have a very different view. All ten of them between nineteen and thirty, unmarried man. They were trained one and half years indoctrinated, in a need to murder innocent people in the name of god and expertly trained in how to do so? By tremendous amount of intelligence and energy guided by ignorance.
There is an analogy of king. He had a competition of who could create the best painting which symbolizes peace. One man made a painting; it was really peaceful scene of nice trees, rivers, and birds. It was a very very peaceful scene. The other one that was in the final of the competition was a massive storm, where the trees were shrinking, where everything was in flux, things were being destroyed and in one tree there was a little bird that was peacefully singing. The king said, “This symbolizes peace”. Because the reality of this world is there is turmoil and violence everywhere. There is not could be peace on earth, on the material platform. It is never been from the beginning of the history. But if we could find peace within ourselves and we can spread that peace to others. Then that can be real peace.
Earlier this month I was in Masco and I spoke with one man, who was the main person to breakup theSoviet Union. He was the general secretary under Yalson. He is a very very powerful man. Now he is the din of a college and he is fascinate his life is to bring the religious leaders together to try to create harmony in theory, so that they can spread that harmony to their followers. Now he is a very very intelligent man. He was really been around and done tremendous work in the world. He ask me, “Swamiji, do you really think that there could be peace and harmony in the world”. Then I gave a few philosophical principles and he said, “Philosophically you can say, what you like but I am a historian. There has never been peace on earth. Christ taught peace and he was killed. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His follower Haridas Thakur talk peace and they were persecuted. So there is all the history of the world is basically history of wars.
Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakur, when he first met our guru maharaj Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada was a very young man and he was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. At their first meeting Srila Prabhupada bow down and Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakur gave a life time order. He never met him before. Before Srila Prabhupada could even get up. He said, “You are intelligent young man you should spread the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the English language all over the world. He was the age of all of you at that time. And actually Srila Prabhupada was giving all you that order. Srila Prabhupada got up and he said, “It is nice. This religion and philosophy but as long as we are under the cruel rule of theBritish Empire, who is going to listen our message”. First swarat, we should get independence. Then the convenience of spirituality is there.
Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakur was very from, he said, “No. In this world there are always problems. There are always politics of one person ruling and another person always changing. But the eternal urgent need for everyone is to understand the peace formula of Bhagavad-Gita”.
jïätvä mäà çäntim åcchati”
To understand that there is one supreme lord. He is the proprietor of everything that exists and everything is ultimately meant for His enjoyment and he is our supremely loving well wisher. One who lives by these principles finds peace within and can spread real peace without. It is beyond all sectarian concerns. This message is foundational to real civilization.
In Bible and Srimad Bhagavatam the same analogy was shared. If you build a house on shifting sands, in the first storm your house will collapse. But if you build your house on a foundation of stone, it will stand through all storms. This is a world where there are storms inventively. Whoever we are? If we build a foundation in our lives on the basis of truth real hope in the love of god then any storm, any situation that may come upon us, we will be at peace, why? “param drstva nivartate” because we experience higher taste. All fear is based on two misconceptions. “janasya moho ‘yam ahaà mameti”. I am this body and those things relation to this body are mind because this body is temporary and will perish and all things in relationship to this body will be turn away from us.
This initial lesson of Bhagavad-Gita is who am I?
“dehino ‘smin yathä dehe
kaumäraà yauvanaà jarä
dhéras tatra na muhyati”
I am not this body. The body is always changing but the soul is the witness. The soul is unborn, undying and eternal. It cannot cut into pieces by any weapon. It cannot be moistened by water. It cannot be burnt by fire. It is not slammed when the body is slammed. To realize who I am, is the spirit soul is brahman realization. “aham brahmasmi”.
The Greek philosopher Socretis, he not only understood this but he realized it. He was in prison and he was being given poison headlock. As soon as he drinks it, in a matter of minutes he is going to be dead. They said, “Drink this”. He said to the people giving, “You cannot kill me because you cannot find me”. He was in prison and saying you cannot find me. Because he had realized that he is the eternal soul. He was fearless. “väsäàsi jérëäni yathä vihäya” Bhagavad-Gita tells that for a self realized soul death is a change of cloths.
We were discussing this morning that in the path of bhakti, it is the harmony principle. “bhajahü re mana çré-nanda-nandana abhaya-caraëäravinda re”. The poet Govinda das prayed to his mind, “Please worshipKrishnathe son of Nanda because by taking shelter of Him, you become completely fearless”. Because we experience the infallible love of god like little Prahalad Maharaja, we were discussing today. He was thrown into the ditch of serpents. He was thrown in fire. He was stabbed with sharpen trident. He was put on the water and then put mountains on top of him. He was fed deadly poison. He was only five years old. Prahalad maharaja was not a – champion. He never learned marshal art. He was a little five year old child. But he was totally fearless as he was putting into these life threatening conditions beyond any of our imagination. He was not praying to god, save me. When you afraid, then you pray god save me. He had no fear. He was simply praying “KrishnaI am yours”.
Bhaktivinoda Thakur prayed, “mänasa, deha, geha, yo kichu mora arpiluì tuyä pade nanda-kiçora!” “My lord, my body, my family, my home, my wealth, and my everything are just all Yours. I am Yours and everything I have is yours”. In that state you are fearless because you have nothing to gain and nothing to loose materially. Bhaktivinoda Thakur was so filled with God’s love. He was atmarama. He was self satisfied, testing the love ofKrishna.Krishnaeverything is yours. “märobi räkhobi-jo icchä tohärä nitya-däsa prati tuwä adhikärä”. “Krishnaif You want, You can kill me. If You want, You can protect me. I am Your servant. You can do anything”. That is fearless. If some thing way beyond, “aham brahmasmi”. I am not this body, I am the eternal soul.
We gave the example this morning, of one of my dear friends. He is a god brother named Shudanu his daughter’s name is Lakshmi. She was just a little girl may be two years old, in the temple he would through this little girl high in the air that I really frightened to see it because the temple floor was made of marbles. He would through her way way up. He was a very tall person too. If he missed catching her, she would just be “I do not know what will happen”. But as he threw her up, she was smiling and laughing. She loved it. He caught her and through her again. She was laughing, smiling, or giggling to catch her. It may be ten or fifteen times and more he was doing this. He did it almost every morning during the morning program. I was really sacred watching it. I was thinking god, “If he misses, she is dead”. I was trying to keep some hope thinking well “If she died during the brahma muhurta in front of the Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanachandra”. But he was so expert, he never missed. He always caught her.
Now if anyone else would have thrown little Lakshmi up like that, she would have been miracle in fear. Why was she fearless? She was not praying for shelter. She was laughing because she felt complete shelter in the love of her father. It is a fact with children. If children feel deeply loved they become very very fearless and empowered by that love and if they do not have that love, it is very likely they will extremely in secure and fearful to the rest of their lives. That was prahalad. When Hiranyakashipu was throwing him in the bottom of the ocean, throwing in the fire, ditch of snakes but Prahalad was feelingKrishna’s love.Krishna’s love to be found within the core of our hearts and one if found there, we see it everywhere. There is no situation in life or death with the love ofKrishnais not for everyone. The path of bhakti opens our hearts and opens our eyes to be see it, to perceive it. In that state fearless. Prahalad was like that little girl, wherever he was thrown he was feeling the shelter of the arms of his loving fatherKrishna.
I’ll give couple of other examples from our scriptures. Prahalad was just the little five year old boy. He was fearless in his total hope in every situation due to feeling the love ofKrishna. Hanuman he was a warrior. He was not just the little boy. How empowered he was by the love Lord Rama! He never claimed any power to be his own.Krishnatells in Bhagavad-Gita “I am the strength of the strong, I am the ability in man, I am intelligence of the intelligence”. Everything is coming from god. Hanuman was in
“tåëäd api sunécena
taror iva sahiñëunä
kértanéyaù sadä hariù”
He was more humble than the blade of grass, more tolerant than the tree. He was eager to offer all respect to others and expect none in return. In this way Hanuman is constantly chanting the holy names. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, KrishnaKrishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
He is standing here offering his obeisances to everyone. We are just little fallen souls and he is offering his obeisances to us. This is the evidence that humility does not make you weak and cowardly. Prahalad was not weak and cowardly. He may not have had the physical strength but Hanuman, he was willing to stand up to his bottom and tell him the truth at any cost. Hanuman ji said, “I am nothing. Rama is everything”. Rama told him to give this message to Sita. Hanuman felt so empowered by that order, when the Lord gives you the order along with it becomes power to facilitate. If we take shelter …. to cross theIndian ocean.
On the way very very formidable impediments came on his back. Shimiki and Surasa huge rakshasis try to stop him. But somehow or other by the power of Rama and in the mission of Rama, he overcame all those obstacles on crossing the ocean. Then he got to Srilanka, he gave the message to Sita and pacified her heart. But then he wanted to do more service. He started destroying the favoritegardenofRavana. Jut to call attention. Then big generals with huge armies attacked him and he destroyed all of them and like Prahalad maharaja, he wanted to speak the truth to Hiranyakashipu, Hanumanji willingly agreed to be bound up by ropes as a prisoner and brought right before Ravana. Now here is one monkey, the massive powerful and highly trained military on earth of Ravana, where every soldier has mystic powers, not like the soldier’s today. We have weapons and physical strengths but no mystic powers. These were rakshasas. They were really really evil people and he surrounded by all of them.
There in front of him was Ravana, chastising him. Then Hanumanji, just tell Ravana “Give Sita back to Rama. You have stolen another man’s wife due to your lust. If you do not give her back Rama will destroy you and destroy your entire kingdom”. Those words were equal to Prahalad telling Hiranyakashipu, “You are living in a deep dark ditch of illusion. You should surrender toKrishnaand go to Vrindavana”. Ravana was outraged, “Killed this monkey”. Bibhisana said, “No. He is a messenger. You cannot kill a messenger”. “Light his tail on fire”. So here is Hanumanji. This is an impediment being rapped up in ropes and surrounded by armies. They give tail on fire. He saw it is an opportunity for more service.
The Bible says, “Seek and you shall find. If you have hope in any situation and you are looking for service there will be an opportunity for service reveal to you. If you are looking for reason to give up your faith you will find that too. So Hanuman just expanded himself a little and broke the ropes and started jumping from building to building with his tail blazing. Each palace he jumped on caught fire. After jumping around Srilanka for a couple hours he looked back that the entire city was blazing on fire. Then with very deep powerful voice he shouted so that Ravana and everyone in Srilanka could hear. “Ravana I am just the insignificant tinny servant of Rama and look what I have done and wait till Rama comes”.
So humility does not make a person weak not in the path of bhakti. Then Hanumanji jumped across the ocean again and reported everything to the Lord Ramachandra with folded palms and Lord Rama picked Hanumanji from his prostrated position and embraced him. For Hanumanji that was the ultimate perfection of everything being embraced by Rama. Whatever he has done during that amazing historical journey of the Sudnarakanda, it was all just tinny token price for the reward he received. Rama embraced him, with such love and gratitude that the supreme personality of godhead set tears of affection and bathed Hanuman’s body with those tears. He chocked up. He got his reward but that only inspired him to do more service. Then he built a bridge out of mountain tops, 800 miles long and 100 miles wide. Then the whole, while all of his power came through his complete hope and faith in the power of the chanting of the holy names. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, KrishnaKrishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
It was about a little boy and a great warrior. Another example is Draupadi, a lady who was dragged by Dhusasana into that assembly of warriors in Hastinapur. Dhusasana was going to strip her necked and doing so strip all sense of her dignity and integrity of faith millions of times worse than death for her to be humiliated like this. She put her hope first into her husband’s ability to help. They could not help her. Then she put her hope on king. “How can you allow this injustice”? He just put his head down. She put her hope then in her own strength of trying to hold onto her sharee as Dhusasana was pulling it. She realized that she has no power in that crisis; she put her hope exclusively inKrishna. She threw her arms up and loudly cried out the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. But she chanted with deep intense feeling “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
Thank you, very much.
Krishna tells in Bhagavad-Gita that as you approach Me, I reciprocate accordingly. If you take full shelter of the Lord the Lord gives you Himself in full. If you take partial shelter of the Lord Krishna Partially helps and leaves the rest to you. She had exclusively absorption that Krishna you are my only shelter and in that she received the protection ofKrishna’s love. She was infallible.Krishnaincarnated within her sharee and doing so, He was embracing her with love. Dhusasana pulled and pulled and Draupadi was trolling around like the top within endless string with arms raised, crying outKrishna’s names, until the whole room was filled with sharee materials. Dhusasana fell to the ground with exhausted. When Draupadi took shelter, she was like that little girl. She was fearless even in the most dangerous predicament because of her complete faith and love of her father like Hanuman.
Hanuman was given an order by Rama to cross an ocean to give a message. Just like that Srila Prabhupada was given an order by his guru maharaja Srila Bhakti Siddhant Saraswati Thakur to cross the ocean to deliver a message. Like Hanuman as he was crossing the ocean there were unbelievable impediments that was put on his path. Srila Prabhupada was 70 years old. He only had forty rupees. He did not know a single person outside ofIndia. Srila Prabhupada crossed two ocean Arabian Sea and theAtlantic Oceanand everything in between. He suffered heart attacks and sea sickness at that age, no medical facilities, no doctors, and there was no one to help. He took complete shelter of the Lord’s love and he had a dream, whereKrishnawith all the incarnations was rowing the boat Jaladuta. That was like the beginning, like Hanuman after all those impediments he had a mission.
Hanumanji had to go to thelandofRavanato give the message to Sita. After someone living inVrindavana,New YorkCity is something like theLandof Ravana. Just like Hanuman was alone, Srila Prabhupada was all alone. But they have one thing in common. Hanumanji had complete faith in the power of the order of Lord Rama and the holy names of Rama. Srila Prabhupada told the devotees, “When I got up that Ship Jaladuta inNew York City, and I did not know, if anyone was going to be there to greet me and I was penniless and I was old and sick. But I had complete faith in the order of my spiritual master and in the holy name ofKrishna”.
Srila Prabhupada was fearless. When he began trying to share this message, it was very difficult. If you read his diary, he was sometimes robbed, sometime his life was threatened and he was attacked. He was in poverty. He could have left. He did his mission, he could have left. But like Hanuman, he wanted to do something extra. He was like a beggar, begging people to takeKrishna’s love. If you read his diary, how he was always full of hope. Any little sign, he wirtes, “I went to an apartment tonight and three people came. Then I played a tape of himself chanting and they seemed to be like the chanting.
Nor for any of you, if you go to program and three people come and they seemed to be like the chanting. They did not even chant but they listen and seemed to like it. You probably think, “God, I failed”. Srila Prabhupada writes in his dieary that he was in ecstasy that three people like the chanting, this is evidence that the prophecy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that the holy name will be spread through every town and village will be fulfilled. He was seeing hope in every situation. Why? Because he had taking shelter of the love of Krishna and the love in the power ofKrishnais manifested to everyone and anyone in this age of Kali through the holy names. “kali-käle näma-rüpe kåñëa-avatära”. In this age of Kali Krishna incarnates within his name. There is hope in every situation. We can be free of fear anywhere and in any condition and we can be instruments of assuring in real change of hearts within this world, if we become absorbed in accessing the love and the power of the holy name.
Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wrote, “paraà vijayate çré-kåñëa-saëkértanam”. The prime gift, the greatest benediction to all humanity is the hope by which we can transcend all the fears and vices in this world where we can experience the infallible love ofKrishna, how, by sincerely taking shelter of the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
Thank you, Very much.
Devotee: Hare Krishna. Thank you very much Maharaja for your wonderful lecture. Maharaja you said, “We should put our hope and our faith inKrishna. Now when we come in the initially we have lot of faith and lot of hope but after sometime it decreases. So how we can just revive that and how we can take more and more shelter?
Maharaja: Hare Krishna. Have anyone else had that experience? That means you are making advancement. I congratulate you. Because at the beginning you think, it is something very new, you think “I loveKrishna”. But then as you become little purified you realize, “I do not have any love forKrishna”. At that time you start crying for love forKrishna. If you really cry for love of Krishna thenKrishnagives you His love. So just cry. But at the same time we have to be very careful that we are actually following properly. We are following properly. We have proper association and we are not doing our devotional service mechanically. We are performing our devotional service with sincerity.Krishnareciprocates with our sincerity. It may be because the newness is not there anymore or not as enthusiastic or as not sincere.
Srila Prabhupada told this, “If you do not feel enthusiastic you can make tremendous advancement by acting enthusiastic”. You make more advancement than you feel enthusiastic because you are not doing it for you but you are doing it forKrishnaand for the vaisnavas. If we are hearing, Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami explains that to have a strong body to do your work, you have to eat food. To be spiritual strong we also need food as much as our body needs. If you do not eat for a long time or not eating properly, you are going to weak and defeat. Spiritually we need food to be strong and that food is “çravaëaà kértanaà viñëoù” hearing aboutKrishnaand chanting His holy names.
If we are hearing Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrita, and discussing amongst devotees, if we are sincerely trying to taking shelter of Krishna’s message, if we are sincerely trying to take shelter of the holy names, if we are sincerely trying to take shelter of the vaisnavas, of the deities, Krishna will give us unlimited hope and unlimited faith in due course. But if we do not have that hope and faith and we continue with the same sincerityKrishnasees that we are genuine for real. The Christians call it the dark night of the soul. If you are practicing and you are feeling no love, even you feel faith waning but if you carry on practicing that’s the price of prema bhakti.
A neophyte devotee, the love we feel in our heart is very external and shallow. We have to cry for that love. We have to sincerely long for that love and we have to act in such a way, no matter what that we are faithful. Then only we experienceKrishna’s love and then there is infinity hope and infinity faith and we become fearless.
So as far as I can see, you are making good progress, be happy. Not cheap. You do not get a Phd by going to a junior college for one semester and getting good grades. But you all have a chance to be Phd. In our society Phd means “Paramhamsa Das” and what is the price? To be the servant of the servant of the servant of Srila Prabhupada.
Devotee: Hare Krishna. Dandbat Maharaja. Thank you very much for nice class. Maharaja, is there any hope for those terrorist of any way we can help them?
Maharaja: Most of them are dead. There is hope for everyone. They warned as bad as Hiranaykashipu. They warned as bad as Ravana. Hiranyakashipu was a major terrorist. He was a serious terrorist. Not only he was a terrorist himself personally but he had huge camps to train other, under his order. But little Prahalad prayed for him. By the power of Prahalad’s prayer, he was delivered. We should pray for the good and we should pray for the evil form the prospective of Justice and then yes, the government must bring the criminals to justice. They must pay for their crimes. It was abominable. But for another perspective, “Every living being is a part of god that pure lover of god has just agreed by his own free will to be show totally polluted that Vrindavan forest of that heart, all the trees has been caught down, all the rivers have been totally polluted and it is just the grabble and garbage dump. But a devotee sees the potential as Nityananda Prabhu saw the potential in Jagai and Madhai, as Prahalad saw the potential in Hiranyakashipu.
People can engage in the most abominable and horrible activities by the misuse of their free will. But anyone, if they use their free will to honestly repent for what they have done. Humble ourselves before those who we have offended and sincerely taking shelter of the lord. That’s all we may have to suffer but eventually that soul will be delivered. We should hate the disease; we should not hate the diseased.
In the Christian faith, Jesus was being tortured and crucified and he was not praying “God send them to hell”. On the cross he was praying “My father, forgive them. They do not know what they do”. But the government should not forgive them. But we must do the needful to protect the innocent. But in our heart of hearts we should be praying for god’s grace to everyone, however they may be.
Devotee: Haribol. You said that the hope is the one word which is the root cause of the fear. Does it mean that one should wait for the hopeless situation to be fearless?
Maharaja: Sometimes that works really nice. Hope in the wrong thing creates fear. We may have hope in it for now but then we will see that it cannot save us. It cannot really help us. It creates fear. When we loose our hope in the illusory energy, if we loose our hope in false hopes, then we become hopeless. Then, if somehow or other byKrishna’s mercy we have the association of the vaisnavas. We learn how to repose that need, we all need hope. No matter how bad situation, if a person has a hope, a person has life, a person has meaning, a person has the spirit of joy that’s in that hope. Like those Jews in concentration camp painting the butterflies. They had hope in God beyond death. But if we do not hope in life, then we are nothing.
By the grace of god and His devotees, when we loose hope where there is no real hope. We learn how to cry out forKrishnagod. We see unlimited hope, where there is unlimited hope. But for most of us, until we are quite materially hopeless, we do not really take it very seriously. It does not have to be that way. But often it is. We can just understand with good intelligence, where our hope really is. But if we do not act accordingly then eventually we will be brought that situation, everyone is brought to that situation in due course of time whether you are reach or poor, man or woman, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Jain, Parcy, atheist, Phd or illiterate. Everyone without exception is brought to a point in life where everything material becomes hopeless. It is a time of death or before. But if we cultivate within our life with all sincerity, finding hope in the eternal love of Krishna or God and we see all are also hopeless and we will get the full shower of Krishna’s mercy.
I remember one person came to one of my god brother and said, “I am feeling hopeless”. Then he said, “Very good”. Srila Prabhupada gave an example, there was a music teacher and he would charged certain fee for people who did not know anything about music and for people who did he will charge double. Because he had to unlearn them before he can teach them the right thing. So before we could really learn, how to find hope in god, we have to realize, how everything else is hopeless. That is not a pessimistic thought. That is the most asthmatic thought.
Devotee: Hare Krishna maharaja. From today’s enlivening class we have learn that first we should have faith on protection of Lord and thus we should be fearless. But we see in generally there is a practice, whenever we board a train or bus, before getting a sit or something. At first start Narshima Arati or many devotees pray to Lord Narshimadeva for protection against impeding death. So how to be interpret or support this practice?
Maharaja: Just go on chanting. One of our devotees was telling me that he is the member of the ATS, the antiterrorist squad. He is very sincere devotee. He said for three days, “He was fighting the terrorist in the Tajmahal hotel. He was explaining the whole thing. How difficult that was? They had these hand grenades throwing and there was so much smoke and they never knew where they were. They knew where you are but he did not know where they were. Because they kept the smoke and really good guns. He said, “In one point there was so much smoke and they were shooting. They were shooting at him and two of his companions. He had a cellular phone. He had recorded on the cellular phone the prayers to Lord Narashimadeva because he realized he was helpless. It was just the cloudy smoke, he hardly knew where he was and there the bullets were coming, he did not know where to shoot. So he was playing the prayers of Lord Narashimadeva full volume of his cell phone and he was chanting and praying to Lord Narashimadeva. When the smoke cleared people were dead. But the bullets whatever comes to him there happen to be a pillar in front of him. He did not even know and all the bullets they would have to kill him, went into the pillar. Lord Narashimadeva appeared from a pillar to protect Prahalad and here He appeared as a pillar to protect this devotee.
Even if he died, if he was chanting the holy names he would have gone back home back to godhead, which is much better than being in this place where there is danger at every step. Anyway, as long as we are in this place where there is danger at every step, we should access the love of god and in our own lives. So that we can be instruments of bringing people form fear to hope through assuring a new era of change.
Devotee: Swamiji, I have a couple of questions probably.
Maharaja: Just one.
Devotee: No both are linked.
Maharaja: Gauranga Prabhu is the puppeteer and I am his puppet and he has told me one more question.
Devotee: When we enter this Bhaktivedanta itself, we have our own security check in all. So does not it probably sure – our fearful of something and then we are coming in to a place where they are very fearful. Because how far security check and all.
Maharaja: Yes. We find security. Ultimately it is not the security guards can give us shelter. At the time of death you call for the security guard. If he chants Hare Krishna in our ear, he can give us security. But it is not his guns or his metal detectors are going to help us. But at the same time we are practical.
Hanuman was fearless. But at the same time he fought. When he saw Sita in her miserable situation, he had great compassion. He fought. Why was there the battle of Kurukshetra? It was only to protect the innocent. So it is our duty to protect the devotees. If it is our duty to protect our own bodies. When their arrows being shoot at Hanuman he did not just go saying shoot and shoot. He had his club. His was dispelling all the arrows and dispatching all the shooters of the arrows. The devotees are not sentimental cowards. They are compassionate. But there also should be practical. We have to fight against evil elements. We have to willing to fight against evil elements. To protect ourselves and protect others.
So responsibility of this temple for every single person who comes here but they can be protected and they can be full spiritual experience. So the management of the temple wanted to protect all of you. They won’t protect me. So this is devotional service. To higher security guard just devotional service. It is service to the vaisnava and service to all the devotees and everyone who are coming.
Puppeteer is pulling his string to make me sing Kirtan.