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Russian Bhakti Vriksha Seminar

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Friday, March 14, 2014
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140314 - Russian Bhakti Vriksha Seminar @ Sri Mayapur Dham

mukam karoti vachalam pangum langhayate girim yat-kripa tam aham vande shri-gurum dina-taranam Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Iswaram

Srila Prabhupad wanted that the whole world be Krsna Conscious. He wanted that people become absorbed in Krsna’s holy name. Now is the beginning of the golden year predicted by Lord Caitanya and by Lord Krsna as well in the Brahma Vaivarta purana. So because only a small amount of people lived in a temple--this was told me by Srila Prabhupad in 1969-- Prabhupada told me how to engage all the people who are living at home. So that’s where program like the Bhakti Vriksha groups come in, that the Bhakti Vriksha trains the people to be service-oriented and to be expressive. What contentious can be realised is open ended. And HH Bhakti Ananta Goswami he is showing us how the Bhakti Vriksha devotees can be engaged in dynamic ways. Bhakti Vriksha groups help the people in their homes to take responsibility. The Gopal Bhatta Goswami said the Grhasta Ashram is very responsible ashram. So they already know about responsibility, they are responsible to their spouse, responsible to their children, to their relatives, to their work, to their text man and many other responsibilities and also responsible for their spiritual life. That’s how one makes a human being special or better than animals. So here you have hundreds or even thousands of devotees who are dedicated to Krsna Consciousness. Their regular program is cultivating and helping other devotees. But to engage in some big festival like this while inspire them further and help them to understand what the real purpose of Krsna Consciousness is. In one program there is a lot of interaction. Ice breaking, discussion instead of extended class, preaching session, wherein they make strategies to preach, sometime for the learning sadhana Bhakti, learning japa, and other aspects of spiritual life and then taking some prasadam after chanting and dancing if it is allowed in the flat. So then these kind of inspirational programs by Bhakti Ananta Krsna Goswami give Him a lots of mercy. Lord Krsna is showering mercy on him for all the people who are brought to Krsna Consciousness. So how do we, the goal is to make the world think in a different way. To see how the Supreme Personality of Godhead He is the friend of every one. He is the enjoyer of all the religious activities. There is only one Supreme Godhead but He may be called by different names by orthodox Christians, by standard Christians, by Jews, by Muslims, everyone has there is some name. And they all name each. In Russian they say Bog.

And I once was doing a program in Bangladesh which is about 70 or 80% Muslim. So I had about 15 countries people on the stage. I asked them to say the word for water in their language and the Hindi said pani, the French said eau, and the Spanish speaker said agua, and then like that each language had their own word. What’s the word for water in Russian? Voda. So then I said say what the word is for Godhead and everybody said their word. I said there is only one Godhead, just like there is only one water but the water has so many names, why not Supreme Personality of Godhead? He also can have many many names. So we use the name in Sanskrit but you can use the any name. So here we saw how people were chanting and were dancing. Whether you know or you don’t know, by chanting the names of the Lord it has effect and especially the name in Sanskrit is very specific, very personal. So in our Bhakti Vriksha groups they chant Hare Krsna. They chant japa and they chant Kirtan, sankirtan. And they go on some Harinam Sankirtan program like summer Rath yatra, winter Rath yatra, and now Bhakti Ananta Krsna Goswami is giving us a number of programs. So there are many festivals that they have to do. Someone has to eat all that cake. But the devotees they are more happy if they give out the cake. Still at the end they get a little. So this Bhakti Vriksha program is meant to be of spiritual happiness. Prabhupad said we should use our intelligence to think of unique ways to engage the people in Krsna Consciousness. So we are very happy to see this unique way of spreading Krsna Consciousness and that Bhakti Vriksha group’s members are involved, and supporting, I am very happy. In this way it is good for the preaching, good for the Bhakti Vriksha devotees, and also the new devotees, also them go in members of Bhakti Vriksha and they are all participating in the future festivals. So it is a win win program. This way Bhakti Vriksha groups take care of all these members. It’s a big family. They take care, they are friendly, they are nurturing, if someone doesn’t come one day, is gone out, he or she is asked, " Is Everything all right?",Not in an accusing way, but in a friendly, caring way. In this way, people feel that they are wanted in their group. And I am very happy to see so many devotees come to Mayapur and participate in the festival, participate in the parikrama. So thank you all very much for being a part of this Bhakti Vriksha program.

Question- Today Caitanya Chandra Saran Prabhu told us a lot about devotional service. Devotees may do dramas and it can be very effective preaching. And Sashinayan P rabhu asked how we can implement this sector in the Bhakti Vriksha? How to do it in the practice?

Answer by Guru Maharaj- It can be implemented on a smaller scale or a bigger scale. Each group could even have a leader speak to sum up the discussion of the day. For many groups chakra or maha chakra can take the best devotees who are good actors or actresses and make some drama for the next Bhakti Vriksha festival or temple festival or preaching festival by Bhakti Ananta Goswami Maharaj.

Question- Will you come to Russia this year? Answer- I would like to come twice this year but have to see how it works out. The idea is to attend the black sea festival. But since Bhakti Vriksha festival is part of my GBC assignment and minister of Congregational preaching, I am trying to also attend that. But to attend both I may have to cut down the days a little bit.