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Shravana Utsava Day 01

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Monday, February 24, 2014
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GM - SHRAVANA UTSAVA 140224 – Day 1

I was asked to speak on Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya in Caitanya Bhagavat and Caitanya Mangal.

Before Lord Caitanya came, when Krishna was still on the planet, 5000 years ago, He came to the house of Rukmini and there was a big reception for Krishna.

The brahmanas chanted mantras, there were sugarcane stalks, there were various kinds of rice, there were musicians and when Krishna came, there was this very glorious reception.

Rukmini took this opportunity to approach Krishna, she sent the children and they came up and hugged their father and so He blessed them. In this way they had a very nice reception. Then Rukmini took Krishna to His private quarters and she bathed His lotus feet but she was crying. So Krishna inquired, this is a happy moment, this is a moment to rejoice, why are you crying? When He said this, she cried all the more. Then He asked again, did some servant not listen to you? Did some servant argue back? Did the children misbehave? Why are you crying? She looked at Krishna and shook her head. You know what Lord Brahma is doing in Satyaloka and what Lord Siva is doing in Kailash. You know everything in the Ananthakoti brahmanda. You know the spiritual worlds, the material worlds, but it seems that one thing You don’t know, Radharani knows, I know but You don’t know. No devotee told Krishna that there was something that He did not know. So He was a bit surprised. What is this? What don’t I know? And Rukmini said it seems you don’t know how much and in what way we devotees love You. We know but You don’t know. You are the Lord, You are receiving the worship and the love but You don’t know how we feel. So this was very surprising to Krishna to hear these words. So He tried to comfort Rukmini and brought her up by His side. Just then Narada muni entered.

Krishna was playing the part of a kshatriya. Oh Gurudev! He jumped up to receive Narada muni. So He put Narada muni on the guru’s seat and Rukmini poured water and Krishna massaged the feet of Narada muni, playing the part of an ordinary kshatriya. But he saw that Narada muni was not peaceful – normally he was peaceful – but now he was disturbed. What a day! My guru who is always peaceful, he is disturbed. My wife says there is something I don’t know! What a day! What a day! What to do?

So he asked Narada muni, why are you disturbed? So Narada muni, trembling in his body, he revealed his mind. I see the symptoms on earth, soon Your pastimes here will come to an end, and when You leave, Kali yuga will start. How will these conditioned souls get delivered in the dark, dark, age of Kali? Kali is normally the age of irreligion, the age of quarrel, the iron age. All the piety of Satya yuga is gradually diluted. In Treta yuga, Dwapara yuga, when it reaches Kali yuga, it is completely dark, low piety. People are very attached to their material sense gratification. They don’t realize that they are eternal souls. They think that they are the body. So that is why Narada muni was anxious. How will these people get delivered, he wanted to know from Lord Krishna.

So when Krishna heard this, He said, I will come back in the age of Kali. I will come back but I won’t be black in color. I will come back in golden color. I will take the mood of Radharani. I will come back as My own devotee and I will distribute the Harinaam sankirtan. In this way, flood the world with pure love of Krishna. I will flood the world with My own love. No one else can do this, only I can do this. So that gave great relief to Narada muni. Then he went and he meditated how the Lord will come and then he heard a voice from the sky. It was Lord Jagannath. He said, I have come to Nilachal and there I am known as Daaru Brahma, the Absolute Truth in wood. So please come here now. So then he quickly went to Nilachal and there he saw the beautiful forms of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra. Then Lord Jagannath told Narada muni, you go to Goloka Vrndavan. There there is a part called Shweta Dwipa and there Lord Caitanya exists. So you go and express your thoughts to Him and He will tell you what He will do. So you can go there on My order. Then Narada muni, he left to go to the spiritual world. He crossed the Viraja river separating the material world from the spiritual world. He crossed the ocean of Brahma Jyoti and there he was greeted by the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha and there he saw the Vishnu form, the Narayana form and paid his prostrate obeisances. He was very respectful to Lord Narayana. Lord Narayana picked him up, sat him on His lap and then Lord Narayana took him to a private place. He asked him, why have you come? What is your mission? So he told Him. Then Lord Narayana advised him to go to Shweta Dwipa and there you will see Lord Caitanya.

Vaikuntha was exceedingly beautiful, you can find some descriptions in the Bhagavatam purports by Srila Prabhupada. So he was very amazed to see the beauty of Vaikuntha. Then he went to Shweta Dwipa and there saw Lord Caitanya, seated on a golden jeweled platform. On one side there were Radharani and all her sakhis and on the other side were Rukmini and all the queens. They were performing an abhishek of Lord Caitanya and they were chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.

Narada muni came and offered his prostrate obeisances and Lord Caitanya was very happy to see Narada muni. He asked him, oh, Narada muni, what brings you here? And He took him aside. Then Narada muni told Him how he was worried in the universe of the four headed Brahma, in the planet earth, after Krishna had performed His pastimes, and Kali yuga began, how would the people be delivered? And how he heard that the Lord was coming. Then Lord Caitanya, He went out and He told all the devotees that I am going to descend to deliver pure love of Myself, to deliver the chanting of My holy names. So you all come. Who would like to come? And then He said I’ll preach all over India but if there are people who escape My blessings by hiding in the western countries, in distant countries, I will send a senapati bhakta who will come and distribute the holy names all over the world. In this way, we will deliver the whole universe. Then He told Narada muni, get Balaram, He is known as Nityananda, and He should come with His consorts, Revati and Varuni. So like this, He was preparing to descend.

This reminds me how in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana all the holy rivers had approached Lord Krishna in Dwaraka and they said that they also saw the symptoms of Dwapara yuga ending and how the Kali yuga would soon begin and they said, we know that You will leave very soon and sinful people would bathe in our waters and leave all their sins and we will be overwhelmed with sins, so better we go back with You, please take us with You. So they had sent Ganga Devi as their spokesperson and Lord Krishna, He smiled at them.

He said, you tolerate for five thousand years sinful people bathing in your waters. After that, there will come My devotee who will spread the Hari naam all over the world and many vaishnavas will also descend and many vaishnavas will be created. You know that to just see a vaishnava purifies one, what to speak of touching a vaishnava. So the vaishnavas will come and bathe in your waters. You will know them because they chant the holy names and there will be a golden age in Kali yuga for ten thousand years in which all people will be devotees of Me and there will be one varna – Hari bhaktas. So you stay for those ten thousand years, after that the Kali yuga takes over and it is ghor Kali, black Kali, very heavy. At that time, you can go underground like the Saraswati and stay down out of sight until the end of Kali yuga. And then you can come up again in Satya yuga.

So like this, Lord Krishna gave His blessings to them. We heard Prabhupad say how his books would be the law books for the next ten thousand years. Why ten thousand? Krishna had predicted that there will be a golden age of ten thousand years and all the people will be devotees. So like this various predictions that all His devotees would come to distribute the holy name all over the world. Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur had predicted that a devotee will come and he will be able to go from one country to the next very easily and he will spread the message of Lord Caitanya. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he had said in one lecture on the Navadwip parikrama that someone who he had just initiated would go to the western countries and he would bring people from all over the world to perform Navadwip parikrama. And he said it will not happen in my lifetime. It will not happen now, it will take some time, but it will happen. It will happen! It will happen! Hari bol! Hari bol! Hari bol! So like this Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he wrote a letter to Srila Prabhupad that if you preach all over the world, this will be very good for you and for those who helped you.

So here, who would like to help Srila Prabhupad? I mean help him! Really help him! REALLY! So this is a very great thing We read how the devotees of the Lord, they came down and associated with Lord Caitanya and they helped Him distribute the Holy Names. This is very wonderful.

Also, Lord Caitanya for six years He travelled throughout India and during that every night He would stay in a different house. And it was a custom that the husband and wife would receive a visiting sanyasi. The wife would pour water on his feet, the husband would massage his feet. And how the wife, she would cook and the husband would serve him. How the family and neighbors would sit down and hear him speak on Krishna consciousness. So you calculate six years’ times how many days, He visited so many houses. How many of you would like to have Lord Gauranga as your house guest? So He was very accessible, He gave His mercy very freely.

I asked Radhanath Swami to tell me a pastime of Lord Caitanya when we were in Maharashtra. So he told me the pastime of Lord Caitanya meeting with a sanyasi in Pandarpur. That sanyasi said we visit the house of this brahmana in Navadwip. His name was Jagannath Mishra and his good wife was Sachi mata. They prepared prasad for us and they were such simple and wonderful brahmanas. I can never forget them. Lord Caitanya said that’s My mother and father! I was there! Then he said Your older brother, he left home. He was in South India and he came here to Pandarpur and here, he left his body in this holy place. So he showed Lord Caitanya the place where Shankararanya, the sanyas name of Vishwarupa where he left his body and where his Samadhi was. That was the whole reason why Lord Caitanya had come to South India. That was the declared reason to find out what happened to His brother. There He found out that in the holy land of Vitthala, he left his body. So it was a very wonderful way that Radhanath Swami described this meeting and how that sanyasi was glorifying Jagannath Mishra and Sachi mata.

Then Lord Caitanya, He also had visited western India. He then went to Jagannath Puri and He was there He went to Vrndavan . So Lord Caitanya, He simply gave His mercy out. He wasn’t considering who was deserving and who did not deserve. In Kali yuga, everyone has a little demoniac nature in them. We doubt Krishna’s supremacy, we doubt the process of devotional service. So simply by chanting Hare Krishna we can purify our consciousness.

Lord Caitanya is so merciful – instead of killing demons, He kills our demoniac nature. Prabhupad brought that to the west. If there were no Prabhupad, what would there be today? That is the key line. I hate to think of that, where we would be today – certainly not here in the holy dham! So we are so much indebted to His Divine Grace and to all other previous acaryas, Lord Nitai Gaur, for having come on earth and giving us this special medicine. So how fortunate we are to have this Krishna consciousness is beyond calculation. There are two activities which can only be experienced in this material world. So the Lord’s pastimes have these two.

Normally when the Lord comes and He fights against some big demon and He defeats the demon and sends the demon back to Godhead or the demon merges into the Lord. There is one other activity which the Lord can only realize in the material world – that is preaching to the conditioned souls. Why can’t He realize that in the spiritual world? Because everybody in the spiritual world is liberated. So no conditioned souls to preach to. So here we have the great opportunity to help the Lord preach to the conditioned souls. So Lord Caitanya, He wanted to deliver all these conditioned souls and this avatar is very special. When the avatar comes every yuga, thousand yugas times four in every day of Brahma. Usually when the Lord comes, He is an expansion of Lord Narayana and He gives one of the four spiritual liberations or the fifth, which is not accepted by devotees. But the Lord, when He comes as Lord Caitanya, He is Krishna Himself and He gives out love of Krishna. He is the only one who can give His love. He only comes once in a day of Brahma. In fact He doesn’t necessarily come every day of Brahma. So it is beyond memory when the Lord came. But this time He came just 500 years ago. If we don’t take advantage of His mercy, we are great fools. This is a rare opportunity. When will we get this chance again? Srila Prabhupad has given to us, has empowered us to give it out to others.

We asked Prabhupad, how can we repay you for the great gift you have given us? He said please be happy in Krishna consciousness and make others happy. So that was Srila Prabhupad’s request. Be happy and make others happy. So, he asked everyone, every human on the universe, man, woman, everyone, to take his order and distribute this mercy far and wide. So, this is the order of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupad, he was one person but he delivered Lord Caitanya’s mercy around the world. Now it is our turn to pay back Srila Prabhupad and give everybody else, all those people who are suffering, who are burning, give them the bliss of Krishna consciousness. Hari bol! So most nights I get only one hour. Tonight, I am rich! Ha! Extra time! So I thought, let us use this time at the end of my session to answer questions or take your esteemed comments. Question: So every day of Brahma Sri Sri Nitai Gaura come, so Prabhupad also comes with that group? They come with their associates, so Prabhupad also comes? GM: Every day of Brahma, Krishna comes. But Lord Caitanya does not necessarily come. So, if He comes, it is only after Lord Krishna. Now for some reason, this questions was asked to me a little before and how can I say, we are only allowed to say what is in the shaastras – shaastra, guru, sadhu. So from this we can understand that Lord Caitanya, He came and then He sent someone. Whether that person is Prabhupad or some other person, it is hard for me to say because the shaastra does not speak directly on this topic. But any way we got somehow Lord Caitanya’s mercy – we got Prabhupad’s association and we should make the best use of it and surely in the spiritual world, Prabhupad would tell us if he is the person who comes every time. But if you know or anyone who has asked Prabhupad knows these rhetorical questions. Question: Hare Krishna, maharaj, you were asking like how Srila Prabhupad has done so much for us and whenever I hear about Prabhupuad’s contribution, it is very inspiring and we feel like doing something for Srila Prabhupad. But often I find that sometimes to cooperate becomes very difficult. Sometimes to cooperate with devotees, sometimes I know what is right, but still out of ego, I may take the wrong decision, which maybe for the moment, not very good. So how sometimes we should try to – you are saying, really, who would like to help Srila Prabhupad? So desire is there but sometimes find it very difficult. Can you give some guidance? GM: What to do, sometimes if our false ego tells us to cooperate? We tell the false ego, go for a ride! And I will follow Prabhupad! But if the false ego takes us for a ride and later we realize it, then we should make amends. We should apologize and we should pay our obeisances. So like this, how many offences we make to Srila Prabhupad. That is why we do guru puja because we make so many offences and we want to get forgiven. So eventually we can stop making these offences. Question: Dear guru maharaj, Please accept my humble obeisances unto your lotus feet. All Glories to Srila Prabhupad! That day you said you went to Srila Prabhupad and said I am most insignificant and fallen soul and Prabhupad said, you are not the most anything! But we can see our previous acaryas express this mood like Srila Narottam das Thakur said, mosaama patita prabhu na paibe aara or like. So how can we understand this? Please kindly explain this. Your insignificant servant, Padmamukha Nimai das GM: I just took it that Srila Prabhupad wanted me to be very humble. And to think that I was the most anything was maybe coming in the way of my being humble. Certainly I cannot compare myself with great acaryas like Narottam das. So I just said, I am very fallen. When I think how many devotees there are, ananta koti devotees, then naturally it is very humbling. There are so many devotees, who am I? I am not even a fig. I am not even a little insect on the fig. So I just took it like that. Question: Maharaj, kindly explain the first Gaura purnima festival. Who started this? How did they celebrate it? GM: The first Gaura purnima festival, the very, very first, five hundred or four hundred and fifty years ago, that one? Narottam das, he got the idea and he asked Srinivasa acarya if he would take the responsibility to invite all the associates and he agreed. Then he realized it was a very tough assignment because all the associates, they were not going anywhere, they were all overwhelmed with separation. So he had to go. So he invited Jahnava devi and then Acyutananda and like this he went and he invited all the associates to come to Keturi and have the first Gaura purnima festival. So that is another pastime, really, very wonderful. Would you like to hear that? Okay, stay tuned in for another day. Jahnava Devi, she came and she oversaw the observance. I will tell more later. That pastime itself is at least half hour. Question: Hare Krishna. The mayawadis have a theory that as rain falls from the clouds and gives rise to many life forms like trees and plants and so, similarly God and all the living beings take form from the impersonal Brahman in the material world. But you said, that in the Shweta Dwip or in spiritual world Lord Caitanya resides. So my question is like do all forms of God eternally reside in the spiritual world? GM: Maha Vishnu, He resides in the Causal Ocean and He breathes out all the universes. And in each universe He expands into Garbodakashayi Vishnu who is in each universe and from His navel is born Lord Brahma and in each universe Garbodakashayi Vishnu, He expands to the Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, who is also staying in a place called Shweta Dwip. That is in the material world. That is a spiritual planet in each universe. So there He is the Supersoul in everyone’s heart and also He is in every atom and most of the avatars are expansions of Him. In Caitanya Lila He came as Birchandra prabhu, the son of Lord Nityananda. So these three are in the material world but they are never destroyed. So when the material world is in creation, manifestation, then He assists in the material world. Otherwise, He is there somewhere but He is called an avatar because He descends in every universe. So these three Vishnu Tattvas are termed as avatars. Last question. Question: How to develop genuine compassion for the people who we come across? Please explain. (I think this is from the internet – Tribhanga Mohan das from Pune) Dandavats maharaj! GM: You see, we feel grateful that Srila Prabhupad, his representatives, have helped us and we want to repay them. So naturally, we see some conditioned soul who is suffering in this material world and we want to help them. And the vaishnava naturally feels compassion, mercy to help such souls. So this is something that develops in the heart naturally. So thank you all very much! Hare Krishna!