SUNDAY FEAST LECTURE, BOSTON, USA.
What happened was that in Dvapara yuga when Krishna and Rukmini were there in Dwaraka, 5000 years ago, Krishna was hearing about the news from Vrindavan. But He asked all the queens to go out. But they all were eavesdropping. What was the news? And when they heard all the different news about Vrndavan and the whole transformation, they became very attracted. They requested Krishna that we want to have murti of You and Balaram in that mood, in Vrndavan mood, so we can worship. So He gave them a Krishna and Balaram deity, holding a stick as cow herders. And Rukmini, Satyabhama, they worshipped these deities. So when they all left the world, then somehow these deities fell into the area where the gopis were, where we take the gopichandan from. Many of them jumped in the water there and left their bodies to go back to Krishna, when He left. So somehow the deities also ended up there. So this ship captain had taken that mud and used it as a ballast in the bottom of the ship. So Madhvacharya, he could understand, he had a dream or somehow he was able to understand that the deities were in there. So he said, just give me a hunk of mud, so many tons of mud of this hard tilak, solidified chunks of dirt, very hard clay.
They said, "Take some gold, take some valuables…
[Madhvacharya said] "No I just want that." I can’t move it, it is too heavy.
He moved it by crane in the port. Madhvacharya was incarnation of Hanuman. There is Hanuman over there with Ramachandra. So he could lift a mountain even. So Madhavacharya, he said, "That's all right. I will take it out. He went and took it out and somehow they took off the mud and inside there was a Krishna and Balaram deity. So Balaram He established right there by the ocean and Krishna he took a little bit inside, into Udupi and established the worship there of the Krishna deity. So the present deity is looking out the window. Just like here you may have your altar.
There may be windows by the side of course there are no windows here. But I mean there happened to be a window by the side. So they wouldn’t allow - the caste brahmanas about a few hundred or several hundred years ago – they were restricting one devotee from coming in because he wasn’t of a higher class. He was just some… don’t know exactly what his caste was, but it was low enough that they wouldn’t let him come into the temple. But actually he was a pure devotee. And Krishna wanted he be admitted. But there was some…So this person would come every day and he would play for Krishna different tunes on his flute and chant His holy name from the side window. So one day Krishna turned around on His own and looked at His devotee from the side window. So since then you go to the front of the temple and the deity you can see only by the side. So you have to go to the window to get the darshan. They have a system where they have eight sanyasis and every two years a sanyasi – one sanyasi does the puja, they bathe Krishna with 32 coconuts, gallons of yogurt, gallons of honey every day. The puja starts from morning 3.30 – 4 until 12 noon. So many bathings and dressings and aratis, lot of puja. So every two years they switch the swami who does the puja. So this January 18th is going to be the change. So they have requested that as special guests Iskcon devotees would go. It is the biggest festival there every two years. Then the new one, who is going to be the new Acharya, he is called the Periya Swami, he has invited. So if anyone is in India at that time, that will be a… They have elephants and so many things. They will treat the Iskcon devotees as guests of honor. Allow them to speak and do kirtans and everything.
We are now doing some joint preaching with the most famous of the Madhva acharyas which is helping us in helping him because right now there is a big move in India to convert very poor people into Moslem faith. So they want Iskcon to preach in a big way in an organized way, so that… Because in Bengal now we have about 350 village groups which we have organized. So they want that to be organized in the south. So to help in that these different acharyas are requesting Iskcon to take the initiative because they feel that Lord Caitanya’s movement is the only hope. So I told him that actually you are just simply getting what you deserve. Because during Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s presence it was the Mohammedan rule but He stopped the conversion because He transcended all types of caste limitation, He transcended all type of materialistic vision, He united everybody on the common platform of Harinam sankirtan, the chanting of Hare Krishna and highest philosophical basis. Lord Caitanya has given[his teachings] but you have neglected to take His instruction, you have neglected to follow His teaching, therefore now you are having all these problems, because of the offence by not following Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instruction. So now they are coming and saying, yes please come and spread Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement because they can start to see that now there is no other hope for their preserving the culture. Everyone else has already watered it down quite a bit. Lots of people. Then of course in Thailand, there the Buddhists – it's a lot of college students– are coming forward, chanting japa. We have translated some books into Thai language. There, it is completely different mood because everyone is a Buddhist. So we have our World convention of Vaishnava Buddhism, which is catching on. Because we also believe in Buddha, but we worship Buddha under the system of Pancharaatriki vidhi and Bhaagavati vidhi and that Buddha is incarnation of Krishna, so we worship Krishna and Buddha, both. They have a slightly different concept, but they are very open right now; so, many intellectual people are coming forward. They like it very much.
It is actually possible that in the future, the whole country of 60 million could become Krishna conscious because they are very respectful to monks, to religious people, very respectful. Every morning, hundreds of thousands of monks go out and they all get fed. Each family feels that they have to give at least one son from their family to become a monk for them to have good religiosity and good fortune in their family. So there are 200 thousand monks in Thailand right now. So if every family gives one boy and one girl to be Krishna conscious in America, then how many Krishna conscious preachers will there be? It would be a real breakthrough! So we have to simply convince them that Krishna consciousness is actually the perfection of all of their aspirations and the fulfillment of Lord Buddha’s desire… They can give one child per family to be monks or nuns in our Krishna conscious monasteries there.
Prabhupada appeared to a devotee in a dream and told him to make a huge pagoda boats and build a temple on the boat and have the people come on the boats and the boats could go– they have canals and rivers throughout the main, Mekong river, which of course further goes on to Vietnam. It is the last free country (practically) left there. The whole country has a very thick network of rivers. So there the idea is to preach by boat on the river. Just like in Bengal we have our Nitai Pada Kamala boat. Here Prabhupada told this devotee to make it a very beautiful pagoda boat, with gold and so many decorations. They have such boats there, called royal yachts.
We were invited to the king’s Janamashtami festival in Nepal and we had a seminar there on Raja Vidya, education, spiritual education in the modern world, something like that. And they… We told them that they shouldn’t blindly follow the Western university system which doesn’t have any spiritual instruction because morally, it will destroy their country. But they should take the best from both worlds and make a unique perfect system for Nepal. So then the chairman of the senate was present and he spoke and said that he felt that Prabhupad was an incarnation of Krishna’s potency, that he was able to change the hearts of people all over the world and he said that he did what we should have done but we didn’t do, and the devotees are doing what we would have told them to do had we done what we should have done. And this was all published in the paper and so it was very nice.
Recently the king, just two days ago in Paris he visited… and he was garlanded by some gurukula children and possibly he met with some devotees, they were discussing with his secretary. So they want us to develop a big school there and the government would sponsor foreign aid as a government project to build a big gurukula school there. They are very interested in that educational programs.
Then in Delhi they had a Ratha Yatra and in Bombay they had people lined up half a mile outside the temple for Janamashtami for darshan. Many people drove up in their cars and saw the line to go in was half a mile long, right down to the bus stand around, if you know Bombay, practically down to the beach, beyond the beach! People just nonstop were coming and taking darshan.
Srila Harikesh Swami had a meeting in Europe finalizing some more detail or developing some more plans for the Mayapur development, the spiritual city. As you know, Lord Nityananda predicted 500 years ago, that the whole Navadweep would be flooded and covered by Ganges water for 200 years. And then the water would recede and there would be nothing there. The birthplace of Lord Caitanya would be covered up by Ganges and then, after that, He said that it would be rediscovered– Lord Caitanya’s exact birthplace would be rediscovered and there would be a big temple built in Mayapur. This temple would be so wonderful that it would popularize and establish Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message all over the world. Then He described that around that temple there would be a spiritual city which would be filled with devotees and that would be a unique city in the world, because there would only be devotees, and would have so many people coming from all over the world to visit that. So this was written 500 years ago. And of course I just only saw it in writing this year. But of course this is Srila Prabhupad’s plan all along to develop our Mayapur temple and city. Actually now we can understand that this is fulfilling the prophecy of Lord Nityananda which He made to Jiva Goswami in the 14th century. That is basically what is happening in India. As I came through I stopped in Italy–they have their own radio station– Radio Krishna Centrale on your FM dial and they have two stations. One from one mountain and one from the top of their Villa Vrndavana. So people are calling in and it seems to be a very nice program.
In Heidelberg they had a cultural centre, otherwise their temples have regular program. This morning we had a nice Radhashtami, morning program, that is the latest news. So this is 12 years – 12 years ago I was in Boston. In 1969 when we greeted Prabhupada. He went to England and to India and that time his health was a little bit poor, so many devotees were afraid he wouldn’t come back. So when he came back the whole eastern coast, all the devotees came to Boston, I came down from Montreal, Bhavananda Goswami, Vishnupad came from somewhere else, I forget, maybe New York. And everyone came here to Boston and at the airport there was such a huge kirtan, people were jumping up and down and the kirtan was so ecstatic, so wild that… I remember that one devotee was playing the kartals somehow he hit his head with a kartal and blood was coming. He did not even know that he was bleeding. So that also came in the newspaper and even in the newspaper write-up the journalist wrote that some of the women were crying and their bodies, they were shaking. They actually described some ecstatic symptoms, they were so astonished. So the whole airport, I think it was a different airport, twelve years ago, it wasn’t such a fancy airport, that I remember. You could stand on the side and then there was the Customs enclosure. And they had put up some rickety type of Masonite panels so you couldn’t see the people going through the Customs and Immigration. So the plane came down and someone went down and said Prabhupada had gotten off the plane, we saw him, he is in to Immigration, we saw him. Devotees were jumping and chanting and it was getting very intense. All of a sudden Srila Prabhupad took his hand and lifted it over the – you could just see his bead bag – over the enclosure, he lifted the hand up. HARI BOL! HARI BOL! They just jumped up and down and exploded. Jai Prabhupad! Then after about five minutes when he came around everyone hit the deck, completely paid their obeisances at the same time. The people were astonished… What’s going on?! Prabhupad, he walked up and sat down. Each of us had a garland, I mean hundreds of garlands; we all offered our garlands and the garland would come up to Prabhupad’s top, he accepted everyone’s garland, he was so magnanimous. And they would go up to his eyes and then they would take out some and there was a big pile of garlands there. But he accepted, everyone had a garland and he let them give. Then I remember that the TV, radio, they were standing with their mouths hanging, they did not know what was going on – especially in those days! Now they are a little bit used to us, but in those days it was completely new. Then Prabhupada, the first thing he said that you may be thinking why a man is getting so much worship. The spiritual master is the representative of Krishna, therefore he is respected on the level of Krishna. Then Prabhupad said that but if the spiritual master thinks that he is God, that he is Krishna, he is not God, he is not G O D, he is D O G, he is dog. It was right on the TV network.
So then we took Prabhupad and showed him a temple which was a mortuary, was the remodeled morgue, mortuary, caretaker, and they had a lift where they used to take the coffins up and down and downstairs in the basement was the Iskcon press. So Prabhupada they took him on the lift and took him down and showed him the printing press and he was very pleased. And we drove Srila Prabhupada off, as he was staying somewhere else. Like that those were a few memories as a devotee.
Before that the only other time I came to Boston was to play rugby, we played with MIT. I was on the B squad. I can’t remember much about those days. The real nectar – Prabhupad, this is the first place that he put his lotus feet on when he came to the West. So this is actually a great tirtha. Prabhupad first stepped down in America here in Boston, that means that very special and great responsibility is there for the Boston devotees. Just like one time somebody wrote to Srila Prabhupad that we want to close the Calcutta temple, he was very angry and said, you want to close the temple in my birthplace? Some years ago. It was a great disgrace. So similarly the very first place that Srila Prabhupad set his lotus foot on the shores of America, that is a great responsibility. And actually Prabhupad came here to Boston on several occasions, wrote many letters. Even the king of Nepal, he went to school at Harvard here for one year. So many people go to school here. Somehow they should have a contact also with Krishna consciousness in a favorable way and in general all the Bostonites should get the benefit. Since this is a historical place they can take pride, in the future, they can all take pride, that Prabhupad, he first stepped down here. Just like in Bombay, they have a foot print of Jesus Christ, they say that He set foot first there and then He went to Jagannath Puri and studied. They claim His body is there in Kashmir. I don’t exactly the historical correctness of it all but anyway, they worship that place. They have a foot print there with some monument. So similarly our professor Bersham from New Zealand or Australia said that they biggest thing that happened since Constantinople which brought Christianity to the western world, the most significant advent of Eastern religion into the Western world was when A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad brought Krishna consciousness, pure Vaishnavism from India to the West. This is the first place he stepped down. So this is a very important place. In India they at least have a paada pitha, they build the temple with the lotus feet print there at that place. Bhakti Siddhanta had paada pithas for Lord Caitanya all over South India. Wherever He put His foot, they built a little temple and put His foot prints in it. And every day someone comes with a few flowers and pours a little Ganges water…
GM :Srila Prabhupad ki jai!
GM : Srimati Radharani ki jai!
GM :Saama veda bhakta vrnda ki jai!
GM :Nitai Gaur Prema anande Hari Hari bol! Devotees: Hari bol!
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi 6 August 2014