Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Unique Position

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Unique Position

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

THE FOLLOWING LECTURE ENTITLED “SRILA PRABHUPADA’S UNIQUE POSITION” WAS GIVEN BY HIS HOLINESS BHAKTI CHARU SWAMI ON 12TH DECEMBER 2012 IN SRIDHAMA MAYAPURA, INDIA
Hare Krishna!So today is the last day of your trip to Mayapura. Tomorrow morning you all will be leaving. Will you be happy to leave? It’s natural. Mayapura is so
wonderful, isn’t it? This is a very special place because this is THE dhama
for the age of Kali. In the age of Kali, how does the Supreme Personality of
Godhead come? How does He come in the age of Kali? As Sri Chaitanya
Mahaprabhu. How did He come in the age of Dvapara Yuga? As Krishna. And what is His abode? What is His dhama? Vrindavana. And He comes in the age of Kali as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And what is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s eternal spiritual abode? Sri Goloka Navadvipa. The topmost region of the spiritual sky is called Goloka. Beyond the material nature is Brahmajyoti, beyond Brahmajyoti is Vaikunthaloka and in the upper region of Vaikuntha are Ayodhya and Dvaraka and then beyond that is Mathura-Mandala. And in Mathura-Mandala there is Goloka. And Goloka has two chambers: one chamber of Goloka is Sri Vrindavana Dhama, Goloka Vrindavana, and the other chamber is Navadvipa.In Goloka, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is experiencing the most intense loving relationships with His most intimate associates. The residents of Goloka Vrindavana are the most intimate associates of Krishnaand with those intimate associates, headed by Srimati Radharani, Krishna is enjoying the loving exchange with His devotees. And what Krishna is experiencing in Vrindavana, in Navadvipa as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as Sri Krishna Chaitanya He is distributing that love. In Vrindavana He is enjoying the love and in Navadvipa He is distributing that love. What is the mood and what is the mode of this loving distribution of that love? Krishna is saying, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is saying that, “Come, what I experience in Vrindavana, you also come and experience it. Come! Experience that loving exchange.” This is how Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is creating the opportunity for everyone to come to Vrindavana and experience that loving exchange with Krishna and His devotees.And, as we mentioned many a time, this love exchange is rare for even Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. It is difficult. Yesterday that question came up, I think in the evening that question came up, that you said that it is rare for Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, but actually they got that. Yes, they got that, but how did they get it? Do you remember? They got it. In Vrindavana Lord Shiva had to give up his identity as Lord Shiva, as a male personality and he had to become a female. Lord Shiva became Gopeshwara Shiva to enter into Vraja. But in Chaitanya Lila Lord Shiva has a direct access. In Chaitanya Lila who is Lord Shiva? Advaita Acharya. Advaita Acharya is Sadashiva and Maha-Vishnu. Actually there is no difference between Sadashiva and Maha-Vishnu. It is the same personality, Advaita Acharya. Who is Lord Brahma? Haridasa Thakura. Actually, in Krishna’s Vraja Lila Lakshmi also had difficulty, in entering into Vraja Lila. But now Lakshmi Devi has appeared as Lakshmipriya Devi. So in this way, in Mahaprabhu’s Lila everyone got an opportunity. Everybody from the spiritual sky and from the material sky they are getting an opportunity to come to Krishna’s Vrindavana Lila through Sri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is creating this opportunity.
As Sankarshana Nitai prabhu was mentioning at the end of the class, I got
that part, this is His dhama and just by chanting the Holy Name you can get the benefit. In this dhama Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very magnanimous. When Krishna is involved in the loving exchange He is not so concerned about what others are going to think about it or feel about it. He is absorbed completely in enjoying it Himself, but as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu He is very magnanimous, in a broad way. With a very broad heart He is distributing this, “Come! Take it.”So this is the dhama, therefore this dhama is called Audarya Dhama.
Vrindavana is known as Madhurya Dhama; it is an abode of the Lord which is full of sweetness. The loving exchange is very sweet. Therefore that Dhama is Madhurya Dhama and that lila of Krishna is Madhurya Lila. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is very munificent, very broadminded, very magnanimous and He is trying to distribute. “Come, take it! Take it!” But what He is offering? Can you imagine what He is offering? He is offering the most precious wealth from the spiritual sky. Just one speck of dust from the spiritual sky, the entire wealth of this material nature cannot compare to that dust, just one speck of dust of the spiritual sky. You assimilate all the wealth of the material nature and you put in one side of the balance and you put a dust from the spiritual sky on the other side of the balance, which side will weigh heavier? All the wealth of the material side? How many of you think that that will be the case? Or how many of you think just one speck of dust or a piece of stone from the spiritual sky will weigh more?This had been tested actually. It was not a dust that was put. Something
even lighter than that: just one Tulasi leaf! One Tulasi leaf was placed on
one side of the balance and all the wealth of this material nature was
collected on the other side of the balance. Which side weighed heavier?
Tulasi, devotion. How is just a speck of dust or a piece of stone, a small
little stone chips is more precious than all the wealth of the material
nature? Because if you have one little piece of the dust of the spiritual
sky, what is that dust of the spiritual sky? A touchstone! Even if you look
at it that way, what does a touchstone do? By contact with a touchstone all
base metal become gold. Can you imagine if you have just one little stone
from the spiritual sky? You can collect all the scrap metal, all the base
metal, and just one touch, they all will become gold. Now, that is what the
spiritual sky is and can you imagine what is the most precious wealth of the spiritual sky? That is Krishna Prema. Therefore,namo maha-vadanyaya
krishna-prema-pradaya te
krishnaya krishna-caitanya-
namne gaura-tvise namahSo today we are going to have a very special discussion on a very special
topic. Have you been told what the topic is for today? Yes, you all know:
Srila Prabhupada’s special contribution to this world. Okay, so what did
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu give? Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the most precious wealth of the spiritual sky, right? And when He distributed, about five hundred years ago, where did He distribute it? He distributed it only
throughout India. The whole of India was inundated by Mahaprabhu’s mercy at that time, but it did not go out of India. It just remained within the Indian subcontinent. Those days there was no Bangladesha, there was no Pakistan. It was just one land and that is where Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement spread at that time. But Mahaprabhu made a wonderful prediction. He said what He was giving that will be distributed all over the world in every town and village.Five hundred years ago how many people know how many continents were there on this planet? Columbus did not discover America at that time. How many continents were there was not known to the people of that time, what to speak of Australia, New Zealand and all the other. Only they knew about the Asia part of it. Generally people used to know about Asia and Europe at the most and maybe some part of Africa, North of Africa. At that time Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made a prediction that this movement would spread all over the world. Not only all over the world; in every town and village. Now can you imagine the impossibility of that prediction? Just consider, fifty years back if somebody told you, of course most of you were not even born at that time, but people could not even imagine that this movement would spread in this way all over the world. But has it happened? It has happened. How did it happen? Through Srila Prabhupada. Not only Srila Prabhupada, if we look at the history then we see a very amazing thing happened in this world.
Soon after Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s disappearance Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings were lost. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings
were completely lost. You know that what we read in Chaitanya Charitamrita, people didn’t have any idea about that. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was famous. Some people saw that Mahaprabhu was very famous and you know what they did? Some unscrupulous people, not right after Mahaprabhu’s disappearance, say after about hundred and fifty, two hundred years after Mahaprabhu’s disappearance, they started to pass their philosophy as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings. And what was their philosophy? Gross materialistic concept or gross materialistic involvement.To give you a simple idea, like these groups are called apa-sampradaya.
Apa-sampradaya means the adverse or detrimental communities that were going on in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Now, when you came in contact with ISKCON what did you learn? What are the principles that you have to follow? The four regulative principles: no meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex and no gambling. Now these apa-sampradayas, you know what they were promoting? They were promoting these four illicit activities. Like there is a sampradaya called Baul sampradaya. To get admission to Baul sampradaya what do you have to do? Not you – what one has to do? He has to elope [with] somebody else’s wife! He has to have an affair with somebody else’s – not only affair, take her away. Their understanding is, in order to understand loving relationships between Radha Krishna you have to practice it yourself![Laughter] Meat-eating, mostly these kind of activities, I mean these sampradayas were prevalent in Bengal. And in Bengal, as you know, they all are fish eaters, most of them. So they were promoting fish-eating. No meat, meaning no non-vegetarian food, but they were indulging in non-vegetarian
food. They did not drink alcohol but they were very fond of smoking ganja, these people. Actually, there is a place called Kendubillo in the Northern part of Bengal which is famous for Jayadeva’s birthplace and every winter they have a big festival there. And that festival is the place for smoking ganja. Many people go there just to smoke ganja there. That is the main activity there. And of course, these people sing. They have developed one kind of culture, one kind of style of singing that is called Baul song. And their philosophy basically is: this body is everything. Everything is this body and you have to experience everything through this body, whereas the spiritual understanding is transcend the bodily platform and come to the spiritual platform.So you can see how distorted the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became due to, I mean, what was going on in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings at that time. This is just one sampradaya. There were thirteen sampradayas. They were known as Aul, Baul, Lera, Leri. Leras and Leris, they are the Buddhists. Now they introduced Buddhist philosophy in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Then Sain, Sahajiya, Sakhibheki, Curiadhari. Sakhibheki, this group what they do is, they say that in order to understand gopi-bhava, the mood of the gopi, you have to dress like a gopi. [Laughter] They are male, but they are dressed like a woman. [laughs] And they try to behave like a woman. So that is what was going on in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings and as a result of that Mahaprabhu’s teachings were completely lost. And when these kinds of activities were going on in the name of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, do you think any cultured, decent, civilized person will identify himself with this group? As a result of that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings were completely lost. Cultured people didn’t want to have anything to do with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.Now from that dark period came Bhaktivinode Thakura; a deputy magistrate, an extremely learned person, an erudite scholar and a brilliant eloquent speaker, a prolific writer, a poet. He came and he started to promote Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pure teachings because he came across Mahaprabhu’s teachings. He became aware of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s wonderful contribution to this world. And then, on the basis of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s authentic teachings, which is presented in the Chaitanya Charitamrita and other such scriptures, Bhaktivinode Thakura started to promote Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings. But Bhaktivinode Thakura was a very high ranking government official. He was a deputy magistrate. So he did not have so much time to preach. He wrote. He gave the foundation. He created the foundation for Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement. He was the magistrate in Jagannatha Puri and he prayed to Lord Jagannatha that He sends him a qualified assistant to help him in his mission and as a result of that Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura appeared.Now Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura started to spread this sankirtana
movement. He did it very effectively throughout India, but it is meant to
spread all over the world. Therefore, as you know, when Srila Prabhupada metBhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura for the first time, what did
Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura tell Srila Prabhupada? How many of you know?
Devotee: [Unclear]
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Very good. “You are an educated young man. Why don’t you take this message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and spread it all over the world through the English language?” So Prabhupada took up that mission and although Srila Prabhupada tried to go out of India but he could not succeed for a long time. In 1922 Srila Prabhupada met Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and he gave him the instruction, but eventually Srila Prabhupada went to America in 1965. Prabhupada was at that time seventy years old, but then Srila Prabhupada started to spread Krishna consciousness.And it seems that Krishna actually made all the arrangements for Srila
Prabhupada when Prabhupada went to America. At that time America was going through the counter culture. The youth of America became disgruntled with America’s materialistic culture. They saw money cannot buy everything. Moneycannot buy love. And they realized that actually what they need is love. What everybody needs is love. But that money cannot buy or material prosperity cannot give. Therefore they were searching for a positive alternative, somewhere where they can find that and as a result of that, when Srila Prabhupada came, some of these young boys and girls became attracted to Srila Prabhupada. And they saw that Srila Prabhupada actually has the secret where real love is. They understood from Srila Prabhupada that love is not a material phenomenon: love is spiritual. Real love is our hearts yearning for Krishna. Everybody has love in his heart, but nobody knows where to offer it. Everybody wants it, but nobody knows how to receive
it. The real love is for Krishna and when that love is offered to Krishna
then the heart becomes completely satisfied.So this is how they saw that Srila Prabhupada actually had the secret of
success in this field and as a result of that they offered themselves to
Srila Prabhupada. And they actually started to assist, the youth of America started to help Srila Prabhupada. They went to different corners of the world. Prabhupada started the movement in New York and where these young boys and girls came forward to help him. And then some of them went to San Francisco. In the Eastern part of America is New York and the other end, in the Western part, at the Western end of America is San Francisco. And San Francisco was the centre of the youth culture at that time. All the – not all, many of the boys and girls they left their homes and they just went and gathered in San Francisco. And these boys, especially one of Prabhupada’s first disciples, Mukunda Maharaja – at that time he was just Mukunda Dasa – along with his wife went to San Francisco from New York. And he got it started there and he invited Srila Prabhupada and this is how it went right in the center of the youth culture of America. The youth of America committed themselves to Srila Prabhupada’s mission. And then they started to go to different other parts of America: Boston, Denver, Chicago. In Canada, Toronto, Montreal. Actually, Montreal first and then Toronto. And then a group of them, including Mukunda Maharaja who went to San Francisco, he along with his friends and their wives, three of them, six of them, three couples went to England, London, and they started to promote this movement there. And then George Harrison, who was, you can say, the most famous,person of that time, one of the most famous persons of that time, one of the
Beatles, became attracted to Krishna consciousness, became attracted to
Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and he started to help Srila Prabhupada. He
made a song on Krishna. Can you imagine, the Beattles were the most famous group, musical group at that time. All over the world they were so famous and they made a song: My Sweet Lord. And who is that sweet Lord? Krishna. “I really want to see You, My Lord.” So that created a sensation worldwide.And in this way we can see, within a short span of ten years time this
Krishna consciousness movement spread practically all over the world. In
every country practically, except in the Communist block and in the Muslim countries where he couldn’t go. But Srila Prabhupada went to Russia and planted the seed. That was in ’75. But the seed that Srila Prabhupada planted in ’75 took about twelve years to fructify. And you know what happened in Russia? Glasnost and Perestroika. Are you familiar with that expression? Communism was finished. Russia was the centre of the Communist countries. All the East European countries were under Russia. They were known as the USSR, the Sovjet Union. And Communism was finished. Instead of Communism came democracy and Russia opened up. And today in Russia the biggest preaching is going on, in Russia, where people couldn’t even go. If you went there, some of the devotees risked their lives and went there, like Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja, he went there to preach but if he was caught then probably he would have got life sentence as an American swami. But he risked his life to spread Krishna consciousness and went there to preach, planting Srila Prabhupada’s books.And you know what they used to do in Russia? They didn’t have the books, a few books that were translated from Sweden. Harikesha Swami, our leader in Russia at that time who is the GBC for Russia but he was also in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, that was part of his own, so he got some Russian devotees to come Sweden and got the Bhagavad-gita translated into Russian language. But they couldn’t send books like that freely, because in Russia they wouldn’t allow any other literature because they were afraid that this capitalistic influence will destroy Communism, will be detrimental to Communism. But you know how they used to distribute them? Russian tourists used to come to different places. Like, they used to come to Calcutta. Calcutta was a big place for Russian book distribution. Like, when the tourists would come to Calcutta, because India had a good relationship with Russia and sometimes the tourists would come, and we would give the Russian Gita to them and tell them that, “Look, this is our book in Russian you can read it.” And through the tourists, you know, these books went. Also in Sweden sometimes some Russian ships would come in Swedish ports and they would give out these books to the sailors. And this how the books actually were smuggled into Russia. Some devotees got a book and you know how they read the books? They divided eighteen chapters, they broke the book into eighteen different chapters. It was just one book, but they would make
it in such a way that one book can be circulated to eighteen people. So
somebody read the first chapter, now he handed the first chapter to somebody else and he got the second chapter. So who got the first chapter, he, after reading it he gave it to another person, third person, and in this way, chapter by chapter they would get the book and they would read it and they would copy it. The Russian government, when they became aware of how dangerous this movement is, that the youth are becoming so involved that they wanted to smash this movement.The devotees were first taken to the psychiatric treatment. They thought
that psychologically they have to be treated to get cured but still they
wouldn’t give up Krishna consciousness. Then they were sent to labor camps in Siberia, Siberian camps. The devotees were tortured so brutally, it is unthinkable actually, but still wouldn’t give up. And then eventually what happened? When Krishna saw that His devotees are being persecuted in this way, do you think Krishna will tolerate that? Krishna didn’t tolerate. Krishna said, “Okay, to hell with your Communism.” And then in one go Communism was finished. Russia now got the Glasnost and Perestroika which brought in a new revolution, a new change in their concept. Communism was thrown out. So that’s why I was saying, the seed that Srila Prabhupada planted in ’75, in ’87 that gradually grew into a tree that destroyed Communism in Russia.So in this way this Krishna consciousness movement spread during
Prabhupada’s time. When Srila Prabhupada started to preach, after Srila
Prabhupada went to America he was on this planet only for another twelve
years. Srila Prabhupada went to America in September ’65 and Srila
Prabhupada left this planet in November ’77. Just twelve years and two
months Srila Prabhupada was on this planet. But within these twelve years, out of these twelve years, you can say take out two years. It took
Prabhupada one year to establish ISKCON. Prabhupada established ISKCON in ’66 and Prabhupada practically stopped preaching himself in ’76. And within this ten years time the Krishna consciousness movement spread all over the world.The world will recognize that this is the biggest miracle that has ever
happened. Prabhupada himself used to say. People want to see a miracle. They are so fond of seeing miracles, that somebody is making some ash and some cash. They are so impressed. Somebody created some ash from nowhere, but Prabhupada used to say, “How many of them have changed the hearts of people from gross materialists to pure devotees? Isn’t that the biggest miracle?”
Like, we were sort of civilized animals, right? A human being is a civilized
animal, but from the civilized animals what did Srila Prabhupada turned us
into? Devotees of Krishna, the most elevated spiritual position.[To be continued…]