Kīrtana –The Glorification Of The Supreme Lord

Kīrtana –The Glorification Of The Supreme Lord

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS

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

Kīrtana –The Glorification Of Supreme Lord

Lecture Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami In Philadelphia, US, 3 May 2013

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

So, Kīrtana means the glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are various ways of glorifying the Lord and this glorification is simply based on His qualities, describing His qualities and also describing His activities, pastimes and of all the glorification of the Lord, the most attractive one or the most effective and the most prominent one is to describe His qualities that attracts everybody and this attraction is the basis of love. Relationships are based on love. When you love somebody, we want to be with that person. When we hate somebody, we want to be away from that person. So, if we want to be with the Lord, then we have to develop our love for Him. It is because of our love for Him that we want to be with Him and this loving relationship is based on loving exchange. He loves us. Now, it’s up to us to respond to His love.

So the ultimate loving exchange is the reciprocation of that love where both are appreciating each other. He loves us because we are His children. He loves us because He is the Supreme Father and sometimes the child may forget the father but the father never forgets the child. We may have forgotten Him but He never forgot us and He is always taking care of us providing for all the needs, maintaining us in the most wonderful way and He allowed us… “Okay, you want to play with your friends in the field, in the park, go play with them.” But, then, when it becomes dark, when all the friends are gone, when we are left alone and we are afraid, we are distressed; then we call out to Him: “Daddy! Daddy! Where are you [Laughter]?” Then the father comes and picks us up. So, now it’s simply up to us when we are going to stop playing this silly game that we are playing here in this field of material nature and realize how miserable we have become here, becoming separated from our father and we call out to Him, please come and take me and He will come and pick us up and now let us go home. So calling out to Him, the prayer that we call out and sincerely ask Him to deliver us from this distressful condition we are in. And that prayer is Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.

Bhājana / Chanting Of Hare Krishna Mantra

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Hare Krishna. So, I presume, first of all I want to thank you all very much for giving us this opportunity to come here and be with you all. First of all I want to express my gratitude to [Unclear] prabhu.

Devotees: Haribol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: for creating this wonderful opportunity for all of us and you have this program every Friday evening?

Devotee: First Friday of every month.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, Yeah, He is a wonderful devotee. We were just talking about him this evening. I hope he is not around.

Devotees: laughter.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I don’t want to embarrass him. I know him for almost how many years, thirty years? And being a very, very dedicated follower of Śrīla Prabhupāda. How many of you know about Śrīla Prabhupāda? Okay. Śrīla Prabhupāda is the great devotee of the Lord who came in the mid sixties alone in America and established the International Society For Kṛṣṇa consciousness that spread the profound of understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead all over the world within a short span of ten years time. He came here, alone person, did not even know anybody in America, with total uncertainty, without any funds, without any support, without any patronage, he came to America and started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a simple, you can say, a simple culture, of making everyone aware of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. People speak of God but most of them do not know who God is, but Śrīla Prabhupāda came and gave us a very clear understanding of who God is. Once in New York City some reporter was interviewing Śrīla Prabhupāda and Prabhupāda very boldly declared, “ If you want know about God, come to me. I can tell you who He is, What He looks like, what His Name is, where He stays, what He does and I can give you His telephone number [Laughter], so that you can dial the number and get connection and what’s the number?

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And the young Americans responded to his call. They came forward to help him in his mission and he supported him in most amazing way. They dedicated themselves, so many of them, about ten thousand of them committed themselves completely to his mission. And they went to different corners of the world and helped him to fulfill the instructions that he received from his spiritual master. His spiritual master during the first meeting told him that take this message and distribute all over the world in English language and Śrīla Prabhupāda did that. He received that instruction when he was only 26 years old and he committed himself to fulfill that mission and it took him almost 44 years to prepare himself for and finally he came to America at the age of 70 and he started to spread this mission. He tried everywhere and finally he started in New York. He first started in uptown New York, thinking that, established people will respond to his appeal, didn’t get any response. And finally he moved down to downtown New York, Bowery, and there, he started to get the response and his early followers got a place for him. They got a little storefront about the size of this room, 26 2nd Avenue and he started his mission there. He established his International society for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That storefront already had a sign ‘The matchless Gift’ from the previous owner. Prabhupāda kept that sign because he did come to present this world a matchless gift and then he established or registered this institution: ‘The International Society For Kṛṣṇa Consciousness. A small little storefront in Down town New York: the International Society [Laughter]. With just a handful of followers young Americans and he called it International Society for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The lawyer who came to register the company, I mean the institution, the organization he suggested that instead of calling it the international Society for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, call it, rather call it the International Society for God Consciousness. Some of his disciples also liked the idea, that who will understand what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness rather call it God consciousness. But Prabhupāda told them no, I came here to make everybody understand Who God is because they don’t know who God is. And he explained that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Kṛṣṇa the word Kṛṣṇa what does it mean the Sanskrit word all attractive. Who is all attractive? Although we may think that we are all attractive [Laughter] but in reality there is only one person who is all attractive and he is all attractive because he possesses all the features of attraction. What attracts us? What are those attractive aspects? Beauty, Strength, Wealth, Fame, Knowledge and Detachment. So these are the features, six of attraction and Kṛṣṇa means who possesses all these six features to the fullest extent, all attractive. He is the supreme beautiful, most beautiful. He is the most powerful. Don’t we say in Latin also Omnipotent, Omnipotent or all- powerful in English? Who is all powerful? Kṛṣṇa or God is all powerful. Who possesses all the wealth? Who can claim that he possesses all the wealth? He, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that’s why He is all attractive and that’s why He is Kṛṣṇa and that’s why He is the object of our love. Doesn’t attraction and love have interconnection? Aren’t they interrelated? We fall in love with somebody who is attractive. We love somebody who is attractive and these are the aspects of attraction, features of attraction – Beauty, Wealth, Fame, Power, Knowledge and Renunciation. So that’s what Prabhupāda came to remind us that God is all attractive. Now he came also to dispel another misconception: God, not God, Gods. There are concepts of Greek Gods, Hindu Gods, Muslim Gods and Christain God right? But God is one without a second, the Supreme. How many can be Supreme.

Devotee: One.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, supreme can be only one. Once I came across a story when I was young that one of the religious leaders in that community, they used to worship many Gods. So he broke all the other forms of the Gods and kept only one standing. So his father came and got very upset to see that all these forms have been broken. He said who did it? He said this form is most powerful, he got rid of everyone else [Laughter]. So that is the concept of Supreme Personality of Godhead. Prabhupāda didn’t just use the expression, just God. Prabhupāda was very precise in his expression: the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the Supreme and He is a person, He is not some light, energy and so forth. He is a form; He has a feature; He is an individual; He has his qualities and He has attributes. The Supreme Personality of Godhead and then he explained that even in the Vedic understanding there are many Gods. Yes there are many Gods. In English there is only one expression God but in Sanskrit there are two different expressions Bhagavān and devas. There are personalities who are respectively in charge of different departments of the Universal Affairs. In the Universal Affairs there is water, there is wind, there is fire, these are different departments and there are different individuals who are taking care of those departments. They are known as devas. Like, in a state, there are different departments- electric supply department, water supply department, public works department, finance department, educational department. Similarly in the Universal Affairs also, there are different departments and there are different personalities in charge of those departments. They are known as devas but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not of this material nature. He is beyond this material nature. Beyond this material nature there is a spiritual reality and He is the Supreme Controller of both the material and spiritual nature and He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He gave us all the information about Him. He informed us about our relationships with Him and he also provided the means by which we can revive our lost relationship with Him. And in simple words what’s the means of reestablishing our relationships?

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Wonderful. So what does it mean? It means I love you, I love You, I love You, my Supreme Personality of Godhead. What causes a relationship to develop? Love. So, this is that love we must develop for Him and when we develop that love then He reciprocates and He responds. As I was saying, He loves us but if one person loves the other and the other does not respond, does the love affair happen? No, it remains unfulfilled. Like a young boy is in love with a young girl. He has fallen head over heels, but she doesn’t respond, how does he feel? It’s just one sided, he loves, but she doesn’t respond. But one day he gets a note from her: “I love you too.” Then what happens? So similarly he loves us, Kṛṣṇa loves us, but we are not responding. But one day when we respond by telling: “Kṛṣṇa, I love you,” Then that relationship becomes a loving reality.

Now let us consider whether Kṛṣṇa loves us? First of al,l let us first consider, is there God, does God exist, is God there what will be the response? How many of you will respond that God is there? Wonderful. Okay, now, we will just consider if He is there at least we have to consider one thing He is omnipotent, right? He is all powerful, He is omniscient, He knows everything, He is Omnipresent, He is present everywhere. So, He is all powerful, so He can do everything and because He is our loving, caring father, He is providing us with everything we need. Our needs are being fulfilled by whose arrangement? Let us consider that. Like how He is taking care of our needs? What is our one of the most important needs? Food, right? Food is our most important need. Now let us consider how food comes to us? A small little seed falls on the ground and a tree comes out and in that tree there are fruits, our food and in the fruit there is seed. That seed falls on the ground, a tree comes out. In the tree there are innumerable fruits. In those innumerable fruits, there are innumerable seeds and in those innumerable seeds, there are innumerable trees and in those innumerable trees there are innumerable fruits. So who arranged this endless supply for our food? Who did it?

Devotees: Kṛṣṇa

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Why?

Devotees: Because He loves us.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Because He loves us.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I was coming to that. Okay, food is very important but more important than food is water. Now let us consider how our water supply is being taken care of? Like as you know that, one fourth of the earth planet is earth and three fourth is ocean. That ocean, although there is water but that water is not usable, we can’t drink that water, we can’t use that water for cultivation. And also that is far away. So see what wonderful arrangement He made. With the sun He makes the water of the ocean to evaporate. That water vapor forms the cloud. With the wind the cloud is distributed all over and then there is condensation and the water comes down if the form of rain. Who made this arrangement?

Devotees: Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Why?

Devotees: Because He loves us.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Does anybody have any doubt about that?

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Even more important than water is?

Devotees: Air,

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Air, oxygen for us, right? Now just consider we are taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide. If the process continued in this way then what would have happened? There won’t have been any oxygen left. The whole atmosphere would have been filled with carbon dioxide. Did it ever happen?

Devotee? No.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Why?

Devotee: Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Because the trees and plants are taking carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. We are taking oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide and the trees and plants are taking in carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. Isn’t it an accidental phenomenon?

Devotee: No.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, somebody made the arrangement. Who made this arrangement?

Devotee: Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Why?

Devotees: Because He loves us.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, can there be any doubt that He loves us?

Devotees: No.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Now see, He is a young boy who loves a beautiful young girl [Laughter] What does the beautiful young girl say? No response.

Devotee: No response.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And who are those beautiful young girls?

Devotees: Us. [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: All we have to do is just tell Him: “Kṛṣṇa I love You too.” And that is Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.

So, now this is what is kīrtana. To sing the glory of the Lord and tell Him, announce Him, declare with full sincerity, Kṛṣṇa I love You, Kṛṣṇa I love You, Kṛṣṇa I love You. Kṛṣṇa Himself came to remind us about this relationship and the need to develop our relationship with Him. Kṛṣṇa came as a devotee. He didn’t come as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He came many a times before as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and displayed His wonderful qualities, His wonderful abilities, but this time He didn’t come as God. He came as His devotee and that is Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Here He is: “The Founder Of The Kīrtana Movement, The Saṅkīrtana Movement.” He has been described as the Father of the saṁkīrtana movement “saṁkīrtanaika-pitarau kamalāyatākṣau”. So this is Caitanya Mahāprabhu and in the middle and on the right is His first expansion, Nityānanda Prabhu. Then next to Nityānanda prabhu is Advaitacharya Prabhu. And then on His left is Gadadhar Pandit and next to Gadadhar Pandit is Śrīvas Thakur. So He came in this five features, the Lord in His five features- “śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda”.

So, before we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, we actually chant the prayers to these five personalities. These five personalities are also the five expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself came as a devotee and then His expansion as His devotee, Nityānanda Prabhu. Then His incarnation as His devotee Advaitacharya Prabhu. Then His pleasure potency as His devotee Gadādhara Paṇḍita and His devotee as a devotee Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura

[Singing of]  “śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda”.

So this Caitanya Mahāprabhu came and started this saṅkīrtana movement. Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His early life did not really display His devotion to Kṛṣṇa as such. He was like a very intelligent, very intellectual, a brilliant personality who was more inclined towards scholarly activities and like in India there was a culture that one scholar used to challenge another scholar and defeat him. So that was His favorite sport. He used to challenge other scholars and smash them in the debate, you can say.

But then Caitanya Mahāprabhu took initiation from His spiritual Master. Even the Supreme Personality of Godhead submits Himself to His spiritual Master, why? Because in this way He sets the proper example. He establishes the importance of accepting initiation meaning the importance of becoming a student of a teacher. Can we learn something just by our own endeavor or we need the guidance of a teacher? How many of you here learnt alphabets on your own? Did anybody learn the ABCD himself or herself? Is there anybody? Not a single one. So, see even ABCD we have to learn from somebody. So what to speak of advanced science specially spiritual science which is beyond our sense perception. That subject how can we learn without the tutelage of a qualified teacher?

So He sets the example. He took initiation from a great personality named Śrīpād Ishvara Purī and after He took initiation, He started to display His devotion to Kṛṣṇa and then He started this kīrtana movement which is called Saṅkīrtana Yajña, Saṅkīrtana. Kīrtana, the Sanskrit word Kīrtana means glorification of the Lord. When you glorify somebody that is called kīrtana and when we collectively glorify the Lord, many people get together and glorify the Lord, that is called saṅkīrtana. So, He started this congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord. So this is how this movement started 500 years ago and Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to gather together with His devotees in the house of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura is on the extreme left from this side, from your side it is on the extreme right. So in his house Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to have the kīrtana and His devotees used to come and they used to chant the glories, they used to sing the glories of the Lord throughout the night. Throughout the night they used to sing and only in the morning they used to go home and they didn’t sleep, maybe just a couple of hours maybe. And then they again went out on the streets and started to chant the Holy Name of the Lord.

So this is how Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu started this saṅkīrtana movement. And you know something? Caitanya Mahāprabhu predicted something that this saṅkīrtana movement or this process of congregational, collective glorification of the Lord will spread all over the world in every town and village. Mind you 500 years ago, when people did not even know how many continents were there, right? America wasn’t discovered at that time, Columbus didn’t come here and Columbus also mistook, Columbus thought that he came to India, he didn’t think that he came to America, that’s why native Americans are called Indians because Columbus thought that he came to India. It was only later on that another explorer Amerigo Vespucci, he figured out that this is not India and after him this continent was named as America.

So anyway, 500 years ago when people didn’t even know how many continents were there, Caitanya Mahāprabhu predicted that this movement is going to spread all over the world in every town and village. It’s there in the scriptures. Do you want to hear the Bengali statement “prithvite yata āche nagarādi grāma, sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāmaPrithvite means in this planet in this planet earth, ‘yata nagarādi grāma’ as many towns and village are there, sarvatra everywhere, pracārita will spread ‘haibe mora nāma’ the holy name of the Lord will spread, the people will sing collectively My name in every town and village all over the world. Wasn’t it an impossible prediction? But today even in this remote corner of Philadelphia, we are chanting the Holy names of the Lord collectively; we have all come together. So the Lord’s words are not going to go in vain. It’s happening and it will continue to happen and it will literally happen in every town and village. So let’s become the pioneers of that movement.

Devotee: Haribol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: [Laughter] So does anybody have any question? Yes

Devotee: Mahārāja, what you were quoting, saṅkīrtana

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes “saṁkīrtanaika-pitarau kamalāyatākṣau ”. Yes

Devotee: What is the translation?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, this is from CaitanyaBhāgavata, just as… Are you familiar with Caitanya Caritāmṛta? Prabhupāda translated Caritāmṛta. It was written by Krsna Dāsa Kavirāja Goswami. Ṭhākura Dāsa and Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura before Caitanya Caritāmṛta wrote the biographical narration of Caitanya Mahāprabhu as and in CaitanyaBhāgavata, he is mentioning that. The verse goes like that

ājānu-lambita-bhujau kanakāvadātau
sa
ṁkīrtanaika-pitarau kamalāyatākṣau
visvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma-pālau
vande jagat priya-karau karu
ṇāvatārau

So, he is describing ‘ ājānu-lambita—bhujau’ he is describing Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu. ‘Bhujau’ His arms stretch upto ajanu, up to His knees. This is one of the signs of a Mahapurusha, a great personality or Supreme Personality of Godhead; ‘kanakāvadātau’, His bodily complexion is like molten gold- kanakāvadātau; ‘saṁkīrtanaika-pitarau’ They are the Fathers of the saṅkīrtana movement. ‘kamalāyatākṣau’ their eyes are like broad and wide as lotus petals; ‘yuga-dharma-pālau’– they are the maintainers of the Yuga dharma, the dharma of the age; I worship those two personalities who are the manifestation or personification and incarnation of the mercy of the Lord. Thank you. Yes

Devotee: [Unclear] Two devotees Svarūpa Damodara and Somanāth and Vṛndāvana Dāsa and Krsnadāsa Kavirāja [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, mainly Svarūpa Damodara he mainly wrote the notes, he wrote the notes, he was Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s kind of secretary, assistant and he kept a diary describing Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s activities.

Devotee: Raghunātha Dāsa

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No, that was afterwards.

Devotee: And Murāri Gupta

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, Murāri Gupta is the other one. So, I was coming to that. So Svarūpa Damodara was and Murāri Gupta also kept his notes. So, these things were based on those notes that, mainly, Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura wrote because he was not the personal witness of Mahāprabhu’s pastimes. He came afterwards and based on those descriptions he wrote and then Krsnadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī was in Vṛndāvana and Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s principal associates like Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, those who witnessed Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, they used to discuss about Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, mainly Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī. Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī used to get together in the evening and throughout the night they used to discuss about Mahāprabhu’ s activities and based on those informations Krsnadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī wrote Caitanya Caritāmṛta. There is another question. Yes?

Devotee: Voice, we cannot hear

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Oh, I am sorry. I should have asked you first.

Devotee: Volume

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Volume. You couldn’t hear anything?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Oh I see. It was better if it was louder. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Where is the?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So you have a question? Yes.

Devotee: My question is, if Kṛṣṇa is described as all attractive why it is so hard for us to see that?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Why it is so hard for us to see that? Because we cannot see Him. You see, the thing is because we are not able to see Him that’s why we cannot really, you know, perceive it. Therefore the way, because Kṛṣṇa is beyond our material perception, right? He is spiritual, right? So the spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead is not visible by our mundane senses, right? Therefore we have to seek

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It’s already too loud. Just a little loud, just a little less. Can you hear me?

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, therefore, you see, we have to see Him by hearing about Him. An example can be considered that way: did you see your great grandfather?

Devotee: No.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No. But do you know that he was? You also know how he was. Anyway let it be. So similarly although you didn’t see him but you get to know about him by hearing him from others, those who have seen him. Similarly we have to see God by hearing about Him from those who have see Him and when we properly hear, then, yes, we see Him, not through our sight but in our mind, isn’t it? In our mind we can see Him, in our mind we can appreciate Him. Okay, Hare Kṛṣṇa. So we can, should we have a little more kīrtana?

Devotees: Haribol

Bhajan / Chanting Of Hare Krishna Mantra

Gaura Premanande! Haribol!

Namo Om Vishnu Padaya Krishna Presthaya Bhutale
Srimate Bhaktivedanta Swami Iti Namine

Namaste Sarasvate Deve Gaura Vani Pracarine
Nirvisesa Sunyavadi Pascatya Desa Tarine

Śrīla Prabhupāda Ki Jaya!

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Hare Krishna. Thank you all very much for this wonderful evening…

Devotees: Haribol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami:  ..to give us this opportunity to spend this wonderful time with you all. I just thought of one thing like when I was describing about Prabhupāda’s coming to America and how the young Americans actually helped Śrīla Prabhupāda to spread this movement all over the world and I was actually thinking of speaking something about few such personalities who are present in this room. One is Caitanya Jīvana Prabhu.

Devotees: Haribol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Whom you all know, he is a wonderful devotee and he is a very old friend of mine. Caitanya Jīvana prabhu, as I say, these young Americans left everything, surrendered everything to Śrīla Prabhupāda and went to different corners of the world and Caitanya Jīvan Prabhu went to Māyāpur and Kolkata and today he is here.

Devotees: Haribol. Caitanya Jīvan Dāsa Prabhu Ki Jaya.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: He is a very quite devotee who renders all the services from the background and rarely comes to the front. Therefore sometimes we fail to recognize his greatness but he is a wonderful devotee by Prabhupāda’s divine mercy. Another such wonderful devotee is Udayananda Prabhu who is also travelling with us. Udayananda Prabhu Ki.

Devotees: Jaya!!

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: In the early days book distribution was the most important activity in Iskcon and Udayananda Prabhu was one of the stalwart book distributors from those days and he joined in Detroit in early days as a young boy, young teenager.

Devotee: Nineteen.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Nineteen. Yes, just crossed he is still in his teens. At the stage of nineteen he joined Śrīla Prabhupāda’s movement in 1972. In 1972 and since then for the last 41 years, he is just carrying on with an amazing enthusiasm and determination. When he dances, he dances like a young boy. So we can see in his heart he is still a young boy [Laughter]

Devotee: [Laughter] I have become an old man.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Who says you are an old man?

Udayananda Prabhu: My son.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: [Laughter] That’s his perception [Laughter]. His son also has been a very wonderful devotee brought up and grew up in England studied there in King’s College and did his MBA, did his Law. He did his Masters?

Devotee: Masters in Law.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Masters in Law and now he wants to be a devotee

Devotees: Haribol!! [Rejoicing]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So after qualifying in the material sphere he is showing us that the real goal is to become situated on the spiritual platform.

Devotee: By your mercy.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Another devotee who grew up, trained in a very wonderful atmosphere by his illustrious parents is Caitanya Chandra.

Devotees: Haribol! [Rejoicing and clapping].

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I remember seeing him as a little boy in Philadelphia temple and the first time I saw him, he gave an extempore speech on the ills of smoking. How did you get all those informations [Laughter]? He must have been 11 years old at that time.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Another such wonderful devotee is Caitanya who grew up in a wonderful spiritual atmosphere in Towaco temple and trained up by his very wonderful devotee parents and he was playing the mridanga so nicely.

Devotees: Haribol [Clapping and rejoicing]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: This next generation is brilliant actually. We also have here Śraddhā Devī Dāsī. Śraddhā is from MIT, no from Harvard. She did her Ph. D from Harvard actually Masters from Harvard and now she is fully committed to Kṛṣṇa and also Amitabha Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Haribol.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Another very bright young man. I was just about to say, very bright young boy but then I didn’t want to hurt his pride [Laughter] by calling him a boy and he also. These boys are completely committed simply to serving Kṛṣṇa. They are getting wonderful opportunities like I was just telling Udayananda Prabhu little while ago, that you know the CIA selects the most brilliant minds for the job and they selected him.

Devotees: Haribol [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Now I am saying it because he didn’t accept it. If he had accepted the CIA job then I couldn’t have told that to anybody but he himself couldn’t have told that to anybody but he decided to reject that offer. He was telling me that all the facilities that they are going to give him as a CIA agent [Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: But now he has become the real CIA. Caitanya’s

Devotees: Intelligence

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Intelligence

Devotees: Association,

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Association [Laughter]. Associate. So now what he has decided to do? He decided to go to India with a job of course, I mean that is even he would have preferred to drop everything and go to India and become a devotee, full time devotee. But there is a hindrance: his parents.[Laughter]

Devotees: [Laughter]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: [Laughter] His parents didn’t like the idea that he becomes a full time devotee. So he got his job in India so that he can be in India and also be close to the temple, especially Vṛndāvana. So, these are such wonderful individuals. Another boy is here, Sumon.

Devotees: Haribol [Clapping and rejoicing]

Boys and girls are coming forward and joining this movement and helping the Sankirtan movement to spread and I am sure many of you are also such wonderfully brilliant personalities who have committed yourself so nicely in spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world. This is the most important activity that one can have. Like, what is the goal of life? Can the goal of life be just earning money and maintaining a good life. How many of you think that earning money and having a good life is the goal of life? No one. Then what is the goal of life? Okay, you tell me.

Devotee: To surrender unto Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Wonderful.

Devotees: Haribol [clapping and rejoicing].

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, Vidura you agree with her?

Devotee: No.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Why? Can you tell me why?

Devotee: Because the goal of life is to love Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Because the goal of life is to love Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Haribol [clapping and rejoicing].

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Now, what happens when you love Kṛṣṇa?

Devotee: He helps me throughout troubles.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay, He helps you throughout your troubles, so you don’t have troubles anymore. When Kṛṣṇa is there to take care of you, can you possibly have any difficulty?

Devotees: No.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No. Therefore you become free from anxiety.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And that is the definition of the spiritual world, Vaikuṇṭha means no anxiety, right? Do you have anxiety? Do you want to become free from anxiety?

Devotees: Yes.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Then what’s the way?

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare. Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I didn’t understand what you meant. Can you explain this?

Devotee: I love You, I love You, I love You, Kṛṣṇa.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: [Laughter] Yes, we develop our loving relationships with our eternal father and who is that father. He is the most powerful. He is the most influential and He owns everything. So when you have a father like Him can you possibly have any anxiety? And as I just mentioned I will remind you once again. What is our situation like? Should I remind you once again or you remember already?

Devotee: [Unclear]

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No I didn’t want to be romantic. I thought of being practical. Do you remember that the child wanted to go and play with his friends? So, when the child wants to go and play with his friends, what does the father say? Okay, fine let us go. The child cannot go; the father cannot leave the child alone. So father says okay, come lets go and the child is in the park with his friends, completely forgot his father, right? But the father what did the father do at that time?

Devotee: Watch him.

His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, he sat on a bench by the side of the park and he is watching his son and the son is playing with his friends; he is really happy. Sometimes he is losing and sometimes he is winning. Game means a game of losing and winning. So, when he wins, he is very excited, when he is loses he is very morose. He is playing the game with his friends and he is so absorbed in his game that he doesn’t have any recollection of his father but then when he is in difficulty, when everyone is gone, he is all by himself, he is in a completely distressful situation then he calls out to his father, then he remembers his father, then he calls out to the father. And then what does the father do? He comes and picks him up and says now let’s go home.

So, we are now playing this game in this material, in this field of material nature. When we win, we are very happy; when we lose we are very sad and most of the time we lose in this game and finally when we are afraid, when we are in difficulties, then we call out to him and the father, where is he? How is he watching? Wherever we go, he is going with us and he is situated sitting in our hearts, He is watching us all the time and He is waiting, when we are going to turn towards Him and we are going to call out to Him. The moment we say Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Where are You? Then Kṛṣṇa comes and picks us up. So easy to get out of this distressful situation that we are in here. All we have to do is just call out to Kṛṣṇa and then say “Kṛṣṇa please save me”; “ Kṛṣṇa please protect me”; “Kṛṣṇa please take me back to You”; and He will do it because He loves us because He is our father. The son may forget the father but does the father ever forget the son or daughter. No, and the moment the son wants to come back, the father becomes happy; the daughter wants to come back the father becomes happy.

Thank you all very much. Hare Krishna. All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda!

Bhakti Charu Mahārāja Ki Jaya.

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Audio-reference : http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F02_-_ISKCON_Swamis%2FISKCON_Swamis_-_A_to_C%2FHis_Holiness_Bhakti_Charu_Swami%2FVarious

Transcription: Anonymous Helper; Editing:Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa