20 Feb Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura: An Ideal Leader
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
The following lecture on Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s Appearance Day was given by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami in Māyāpura 20 February 2014.
Hare Kṛṣṇa Kīrtana
jaya oṁ viṣṇu-pada paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya aṣṭottara-śata śrī śrīmad abhaya charanaravinda bhaktivedanta swami prabhupāda ki jaya!
jaya oṁ viṣṇu-pada paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya aṣṭottara-śata śrī śrīmad bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatī goswami mahārāja ki jaya!
śrīla bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s appearance day celebration ki jaya!
śrīla bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatī Ṭhākura vyasapuja mahotsava ki jaya!
jaya oṁ viṣṇu pada ashtottara shata śrī śrīmad gaura kisor das bābājī ki jaya!
jaya oṁ nitya līlā praviṣṭa śrīla sacidananda bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura ki jaya!
jaya oṁ nitya līlā varista vaiṣṇava śrīla jagannātha das bābājī ki jaya!
ananta-kotiv vaishnava-vrinda ki jaya !
nāmācārya śrīla haridāsa Ṭhākura ki jaya !
premse kāho śrī-krishna-caitanya, prabhu nityānanda, jaya advaita, gadādhara, śrīvasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda ki jaya.
śrī-śrī-radha-krishna gopa-gopīnatha, shyāma kunda, rādhā kunda, girigovardhana ki jaya.
śrī vrindavana-dhama ki jaya.
śrī mathurā-dhāma ki jaya.
śrī māyāpura navadvīpa-dhāma ki jaya.
śrī jagannatha-puri dhāma ki jaya.
gaṅgā-mayī ki jaya
yamunā-mayī ki jaya.
bhakti-devī ki jaya.
tulasi-maharani ki jaya.
harināma saṅkīrtana ki jaya.
samaveta-bhakta-vrinda ki jaya.
gaura-premananda hari hari bol,
all glories to the assembled devotees. [Hare Kṛṣṇa] all glories to the assembled devotees. [Hare Kṛṣṇa] all glories to śrī guru and śrī gaurāṅga.
all glories to śrīla prabhupāda!
jagad guru śrīla prabhupāda ki jaya!
śrīla bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatī Ṭhākura ki jaya!
namo oṁ viṣṇu paḍaya krishna preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedanta swami iti nāmine
namaste sārasvate deve gaura vāṇī pracāriṇe
nirviśeṣa śūnyavādi pāścātya deśa tāriṇe
Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya!
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī ṬhākuraPrabhupāda ki jaya!
Today is Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s appearance day celebration and today also is the Iskcon Leadership Saṅga festival. Therefore I have been asked to give a class on Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura as an ideal leader. A leader has a few outstanding qualities. One doesn’t become a leader just by getting some position; one becomes a leader by his achievements. A leader, a great leader is a great achiever and a great leader is also endowed with some outstanding qualities and because of his achievements, because of his outstanding qualities, he naturally becomes very attractive. People become attracted to him, naturally people become attracted to him. They begin to follow and an ideal leader motivates his followers to achieve something wonderful. And he guides them and he also facilitates to achieve something wonderful.
So, let us consider how Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is an ideal leader. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura appeared as the son of Śrīla Bhakti Vinoda Ṭhākura, another extremely brilliant personality. He was not only an extremely brilliant personality, actually he was sent by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to achieve something very wonderful for Him. Within a couple of hundred years of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s disappearance, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teachings practically was lost and it was covered over by all kinds of unscrupulous presentations by some unscrupulous [unclear] those are known as apasampradāyas. In the name of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu these people were introducing some all kinds of very, very abominable practices. And as a result of that, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teachings got lost. And at that time Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu sent Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. He was an extremely brilliant personality and he actually started to revive the pure teachings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was a very high ranking government officer in British India. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was a deputy magistrate, a very important government officer and in spite of being so busy in his service which must have been extremely demanding, still Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura started to revive Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teachings. He started to write books and he started to influence many important people at that time and in this way he started to revive Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teachings, but still he felt that he didn’t have enough time to accomplish such a great mission. And at that time Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was in Jagannātha Purī. He was the custodian on behalf of the government of the temple of Jagannātha in Purī. He was taking care of Jagannātha Purī temple. The government was taking care of the temple and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was the custodian of the temple and so he naturally had a very close access to Lord Jagannātha and had an intimate relationship with Lord Jagannātha. So, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura prayed to Lord Jagannātha, that he send a qualified assistant to help him in his mission. And as a result of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s prayer, Lord Jagannātha sent him a very special personality and that is Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura named him as Bimala Prasāda, Bimala Prasāda. Bimala is the name of Mahāmāyā one of the forms of Mahāmāyā, Durgā Devī, Bimala and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura named Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura his own son as Bimala Prasāda. He didn’t name him as Jagannātha prasāda; he named him as Bimala Prasāda.
In order to understand that, we can relate one episode. Once Nārada Muni went to Vaikuṇṭha and he got little prasāda of Kṛṣṇa viṣṇu and he took the prasāda and he became ecstatic and he started to dance singing the glory of the Lord. So, when Lord Shiva saw Nārada Muni in that state, so he asked Nārada, “What happened, I know you sing and dance but this is something unusual. What’s happening to you today?” So Nārada Muni described to him: he went to Vaikuṇṭha and he got some prasāda of the Lord and as a result of that he became so ecstatic. So, Lord Śiva asked him: “O you got the prasāda of the lord, give me some.” So, Nārada Muni said, “See I just got a little bit and I took it and I didn’t keep anything for you.” So, Lord Śiva became very upset. He said: “What kind of brother are you? You got Viṣṇu prasāda and you didn’t save anything for me. See if there is something sticking.” So Nārada saw that within his finger nail there is a grain sticking to it and he gave it to Lord Śiva. Eagerly Lord Śiva took it and he started to dance in ecstasy. Seeing that Pārvatī then asked: “What happened to you my lord?” So Lord Śiva told what had happened and then she said: “You must have saved something for me.” Lord Śiva said, “Look, all that I got was a little grain that was sticking in the nail of Nārada and that’s what I got and nothing to save for you.” So, Durgā Devī became very upset, so she sat down performing severe austerity and as a result of that the Lord appeared toher and asked: “What happened to you Bimala? Why are you performing such severe austerity?” So she told the Lord what happened. So the Lord blessed her, that from now on all My prasāda will go through you. Therefore, Lord Jagannātha’s prasāda first goes to Bimala devī and Bimala Devī distributes that prasāda. Therefore, another name of Durgā Devī is Annapurna. She is full of prasāda. She has all the prasāda.
Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura named Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, his fourth son, as Bimala Prasāda, because the real prasāda of Jagannātha comes to Bimala. He was an extremely brilliant personality and he started to show from his childhood. When he was about six months old, it was a Jagannātha’s chariot festival and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s house was actually on the way to Guṇḍicā temple from Jagannātha temple and surprisingly the chariot of Lord Jagannātha came and just stopped in front of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s house and for 3 days the chariot didn’t move. They tried all kinds of, they made all kinds of efforts. You can well imagine thousands of people are pulling the chariot, Jagannātha’s chariot. Then the arrangements were made with all kinds of elephants, all kinds of … still the chariot couldn’t move. So, in the mean time Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s wife Bhagavati Devī, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s mother took the opportunity to take the six month old child to the feet of Lord Jagannātha. She was the wife of the Deputy Magistrate, so a special arrangement was made. She was taken up on to the top of the chariot of Lord Jagannātha and she raised the child at the feet of Lord Jagannātha and at that time, a garland just fell from Lord Jagannātha’s neck on the child indicating that this child is going to be something wonderful for Lord Jagannātha’s worship.
As I was telling that, a leader, a personality, a great personality is endowed with great qualities, great character. Once such incident was when he was just about four years old, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, Bimala Prasāda. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura brought the first mango, the basket, the mangoes and the little boy just took one mango and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura mildly chastised him that, the first mango of the season came to the house and even before offering it to the Lord you took it. That’s not right. And this four year child was so affected by that incident that he took a vow not to take a mango ever and throughout his life he maintained his principle. He never took mango.
He was the son of an outstanding father. At the age of seven, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gave him the Kūrma deity to worship. The Deity was also found in an amazing way. There actually BhaktivinodaṬhākura was building a house in Calcutta and when they were digging the foundation ( Jaya Śrī Śrī Rādhā Mādhava, Śrīman Mahāprabhu, Sakhi Vṛndā ki jaya, Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya) so, while they were digging the foundation they found this Kūrma śilā, this Kūrma Deity and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gave it to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura to worship and he maintained that worship in his childhood. In this respect we can also remember that Śrīla Prabhupāda’s father gave him a Rādhā Govinda Deity when he was six years old and Prabhupāda maintained that worship. He took the Deity that he got from his father when he sailed to America. Then at the age of thirteen, he received the Nṛsiṁha mantra from Śrīla BhaktivinodaṬhākura and also the Harinām mantra… He was extremely brilliant. He was so brilliant that at the age of fourteen he actually developed a new type of script called ‘Vikanta’ that is a script that will be understood or …. Different languages have different scripts and he found a common scripts.
When he was a young boy of about sixteen, seventeen, he started a society of young men, his friends called the August assembly and the purpose of that August assembly was to take the vow of lifelong Brahmachari, lifelong sannyāsa. Although many young men became the members at that time of that assembly but Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was the only one who maintained the vow of lifelong sannyāsī. He, after finishing his school, he was extremely brilliant, entered the college called the Sanskrit college. Although named as the Sanskrit College but it was designed according to the western education system and when he was twenty one years old, before completing his graduation, he gave up his studies. And in his biography, in his autobiography, he wrote why he gave up his studies. He wrote that if I became successful if I came out with good qualification and degree, then there will always be a pressure to take up a job and enter into household life and have a nice family. So, in order to avoid that possibility he dropped out. So in a way he was the first dropout. Although he gave up his studies, he, at the age of twenty three, he started an institution himself. It is called the institution to study Astrology and Sanskrit and he called it Sarasvatī, Sarasvatī catuspadi. The word catuspati means a school or a place of education. A place of education of the goddess of learning Sarasvatī Devī and there he was teaching and many important people became his students or many of his student s became quite eminent in course of their career. He also started to publish two magazines known as Jyotipith and Bṛhaspati. Jyotipith means an astrologer and Bṛhaspati is the guru of the demigods, famous for his learning. So you can see how brilliant he was. At the age of twenty three he not only set up a school but started to publish two magazines to promote the purpose of that school and he himself was such an outstanding astrologer, that the astrological society of India at that time awarded him the title Siddhānta Sarasvatī. Siddhānta conclusion his conclusion was of highest erudition, highest scholarship. So later when he took sannyāsa, he assumed that title: Bhaktisiddhānta. Previously he was given the title Jyotish Siddhānta, Astrological Siddhānta but now he became the Siddhānta of Bhakti- Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
He was so brilliant that at one time he was a guest in the palace of king of Coch Bihar. Coch Bihar is quite a prominent state in the northern part of Bengal, still there; the royal family is very famous. So the king of Coch Bihar, he was invited in the palace of the king of Coch Bihar. The king had an English lady as the governess to educate his son, the prince with the English etiquette and the English way of life. And this lady wrote to her members or some friends at home, that here I came across an Indian young man, Indian young man who never went to England but he is so English in his behavior that the lady who came to teach the prince with the etiquette or with the English way of life, she was surprised to see Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s. I mean his behavior was so immaculate and he was. So he must have impressed her so much with his, the way he spoke, the way he carried himself, the way he behaved, that this lady was so impressed that she wrote at home.
Another very amazing, very interesting incident that took place with another king. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was invited by the king who had a palace in Calcutta called Mahārāja Manīndra Chandra Kanti, who was, he was quite spiritually inclined, famous for his charitable and generous nature, patronizing for spiritual cause, very famous person, and he invited Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. He was a young man, so he went there, but the sahajiyās were surrounding the king in such a way that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura couldn’t get any access to the king. He was invited by the king, so he went there to impart some spiritual wisdom to the king, but he couldn’t have access to the king. So after four days he left and when he left, the king got to know that for four days he did not eat anything. The prasāda when it was taken to him, he would just take the Tulasī and sent back the prasāda, and, so Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, when he was in the station, the king actually got the news. After hearing that he was so heartbroken that his guest came to his house and did not take anything for four days. So he himself went to the station and he asked him what happened? “Why didn’t you take prasāda in my house.” He said, “Look I came with a purpose to meet you as your guest but when the purpose was not accomplished, I did not eat anything.” So this also shows the tremendous character of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
And similarly another incidental place. There was a conflict going on at that time between the brāhmaṇas and the vaiṣṇavas. The brāhmaṇas were very proud of their position and they were trying to establish their supremacy. They were caste brāhmaṇas but already Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was establishing the supremacy of the vaiṣṇavas and as a result of that an assembly was called for a debate to debate that issue: who is greater, brāhmaṇas or the vaiṣṇavas? But at that time Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura became very sick. He was very, very worried. Now he has been challenged to go there and face these opponents in a debate, but he is so sick. So, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura assured him, “Okay, I will go” But he was only a young man at that time. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was… Although he was very confident of his ability but the challenge was made to him. But finally Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura accepted and blessed him to go.
So, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura went, young Bimala Prasāda went and, so many erudite scholars and brāhmaṇas were assembled there, many… assembled there. When Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura started to speak, he just started to glorify the brāhmaṇas, the brāhmaṇas are this, the brāhmaṇas are that, according to the Vedic understanding …. The brāhmaṇas were very excited and so they were all praising him, but after glorifying and establishing the supremacy of the brāhmaṇas, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura established that the vaiṣṇavas are superior to the brāhmaṇas. So his opponent did not have any point to argue with. He established that on the material platform the brāhmaṇas in the mode of goodness are in the highest platform, but a vaiṣṇava’s situation is beyond the material nature. Brāhmaṇas are in sattva guṇa but the vaiṣṇavas are in śuddha sattva. So this is how he defeated the brāhmaṇas and his presentation is available even in English in a Gauḍīya book called: ‘The Brāhmaṇas And The Vaiṣṇavas.’
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s writing, English writing especially was very difficult to understand. He wrote very difficult English. So once I asked Śrīla Prabhupāda , why his English is so difficult whereas his Bengali writing is very lucid and very simple. His Bengali writing is so simple whereas his English writing is so scholarly and Śrīla Prabhupāda told me that, at that time India was under the British rule and the British always undermined the Indian culture and Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was, his purpose was to establish the supremacy of Vedic culture and therefore he tried to present to the English in such a way to make them understand that his English, his command over the English language was better than the Englishman’s command over the English language.
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura took initiation from Śrīla Gaura Kishor Das Bābājī Mahārāja. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākurawas the greatest scholar of that time but Gaurkisor Das Bābājī Mahārāja was apparently illiterate, but when Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura asked about taking initiation, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura guided him to take initiation from Śrīla Gaura Kisor Das Bābājī Mahārāja. Whatever his father Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura stated Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura accepted it as the Veda Mantra, the instruction of the Vedas. So he approached Gaura Kishor Das Bābājī. Gaur Kishor Das Bābājī Mahārāja said “Look I am illiterate, you are a scholar, how can I give you initiation, forget it, take initiation from someone else” and saying that Gaura Kisor Das Bābājī did not give initiation, he was so renounced, so detached and so Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura kept on insisting, no you have to give me initiation. So then finally Gaura Kishor Dasa Bābājī Mahārāja said, “Okay, let me ask Kṛṣṇa what He tells.” After a few days he went and asked Gaura Kishor Das Bābājī Mahārāja, “So did you ask Kṛṣṇa?” Gaura Kishor Das Bābājī Mahārāja said, “I forgot.” So again after a few days he again went and asked him and he said, “Well I asked Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa told me not to give initiation.” So, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākurajust went on and repeating the lines from Narottama Das Ṭhākura, he said “karuṇā na hoile, kāndiyā kāndiyā, prāṇa na rākhibo ara”, if I don’t receive your mercy shedding tears incessantly I will leave this body.” So at that moment Gaura Kishor Das Bābājī Mahārāja became quite worried because he knew how determined he was. He knew what he was saying was not just his words, he means it. So then Gaura Kishor Das Bābājī Mahārāja told him: “Okay go take bath in the Sarasvatī, Jalangi” And then he gave him initiation, he gave him the name Śrī Varsabhanavi Devī dayitayā, Varsabhanavi. The word Varsabhanavi means the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu. Who is the daughter of king Vṛṣabhānu? Śrīmati Rādhārāṇī and her dayitay, her lover. Who is the lover of Śrīmati Rādhārāṇī? Kṛṣṇa,. His servants beautiful name Śrī Varsabhanavi Devī Dayita. Śrī varsabhanavi devī dayitayā kṛpābdhaye kṛṣṇa sambandha vijñāna dāyine prabhāve namaḥ. So that is Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura before embarking onto his preaching mission, he saw, he developed a spirit from BhaktivinodaṬhākura and also we must remember the purpose of his appearance to assist Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world and so he knew his father’s intention and he was also motivated by that intention, spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness and so he wanted to prepare himself. How he wanted to prepare himself? He decided to prepare himself before embarking on that mission, to chant one billion names, sata koṭi. 10 million makes one crore, Koṭi and hundred Koṭi means thousand millions, thousand million is one billion.
He took initiation initiation in the year 1900 and in 1909 he embarked on this project of chanting one billion names and he came to Navadvīpa, Māyāpura and he stayed until 1918. It took almost 8 years to complete his vow of chanting one billion names. In this way it would actually mean he was chanting three lakhs names every day roughly. That means 192 rounds, one hundred ninety two rounds a day for ten years to complete.
Then he went to Kolkata as you all know, like, he established his first āśrama in No.1 Ultadanga Main Road and very fortunately Iskcon has now owned that building
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: So, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura went to Kolkata, got his first print and set up his āśrama and started his preaching, that was in 1920 maybe towards the end of 1919 and then in 1922 was a very outstanding year, because at time Śrīla Prabhupāda met Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and he recognized him straight away. Straight away Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura recognized him. He went with some of his friends and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura said to him before he practically even sat down. He said, “You educated young man, why don’t you take up the mission of spreading Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teachings to the English men.” And we can see a perfect follower of a perfect Master. Śrīla Prabhupāda took up that mission as his life and soul and from then onwards Śrīla Prabhupāda dedicated his life to fulfill that mission of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. He was a 26 years old man; he was married; he had a son but he quitted. He had a very nice job as the manager of the pharmaceutical institute; pharmaceutical company and he quit his job as the manager … and the rest you all know what Śrīla Prabhupāda did.
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura started to preach, when he came out and started to preach within a very short time, he started to influence the most prominent people of the Indian society. Many, many extremely prominent and extremely brilliant personalities became attracted to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and we also see that he did not really had much time to preach. If we see that he started his preaching mission in 1920 and he left his body in 1936, only about sixteen years, for only about sixteen years he preached but he established sixty three temples all over India. At that time in all the major cities and influencing prominent personalities, so much so that, can you imagine the governor of Bengal came to Māyāpur to attend one of his programs. Then Māyāpur say about 100 years ago, what was Māyāpur? And the governor, an English man, governor of British India came to attend his program. That shows his personality, what he was.
So there is how much can we speak of such a great personality in such a short time. Therefore I will request all of you, please make it a point to read the life and teachings of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. It seems that quite a few questions have been coming but it is already nine ’o clock so I won’t take any question today but there is an announcement that Gopal Bhaṭṭa Prabhu wrote, Mahārāja kindly announce that the INS planning will begin at 9.30 A.M. So, more reason for me to stop. So, 9.30 today, at 10’o clock the INS program is starting at 9.30, so whatever programs have been announced, the seminars and other programs, please and actually, today 9.30 we will meet in the tent… or venue… which is like all the INS members and all the GBC members are meant to go to the tent, to the pandal at 9.30, the main pandal at 9.30.
Thank you all very much. Jagad Guru Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākuraki jaya. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākuravyasapuja mahā mahotsava ki jaya. Gaur Premānande
Devotees:Hari Hari bol.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: All glories to the assembled devotees.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Well, just one small answer to one small question that came from the internet from the Māyāpura TV, one lady Vanesvari devi dāsī from Sandiego is asking Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura gave Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura deity to worship at a young age. Can we also give personal deities to our children? Why not? If you want your children to grow up to become like Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda then groom them up from childhood. Instead of playing with toys and computer games, teach them how to play with Kṛṣṇa from their childhood. Thank you.
Devotees: Haribol [clapping and rejoicing]
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, there is another small question, I will answer that. Where is that Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Rādhā Govinda Deity situated now? You know, with a sad heart I will announce, that Rādhā Govinda Deities were actually in Kolkata temple but one afternoon somebody stole that Deity. So, we still have one small Deity of Rādhā Govinda at the feet of Rādhā Govinda in Kolkata but the original Rādhā Govinda Deity that Prabhupāda worshipped, got stolen.
Hare Kṛṣṇa. Gaura Premānande.
Transcription : Anonymous Helper
Editing : Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa