25 Aug Vyas Puja Offering To Srila Prabhupada By Bhakti Charu Swami
Please accept my most humble obeisance on this most glorious day of your appearance. Let your divine glory spread all over the world for the benefit of all the living entities.
Many times you emphatically reminded us of the critical condition of Kali-yuga. In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, you said, people would become degraded and violence would prevail everywhere. And sure enough, we are seeing that prediction come true. Sinful activities have become so rampant that breaking the four regulative principles is now the normal standard of life. There is violence wherever we look. In the name of religion, adharma is gaining popularity, and violence in the form of terrorism is engulfing the world.
Recently, during Easter time, when the Christians in Lahore were celebrating that auspicious occasion, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb, killing more than hundred people and injuring over three hundred others. Less than a week earlier, two young suicide bombers sacrificed themselves to kill more than thirty people in a Brussels airport. An hour later, in the same city, another suicide bomber caused an explosion in a train station, killing more than twenty and injuring more than three hundred. Last November, gunmen and suicide bombers almost simultaneously hit a concert hall, a major stadium, and restaurants and bars in Paris, leaving 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. Since your departure from this planet, life has changed drastically, and violence, in a new shape, is terrorizing the world.
Since the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York fifteen years ago, the United States, which had been so open and liberal, has become much less so because of concerns about people’s security. But even though the governments of many nations have taken measures to curb the violence, they haven’t been successful, and terrorists are increasing enormously. A Muslim terrorist group named the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken over parts of those two countries. Its members brutal murder those opposed to them and even sell young women in the marketplace—all in the name of religion. And as the domain of these groups expands, so too do their atrocities.
Neither local governments nor the joint military efforts of Europe and America have been able to curb these terrorist groups. As a result, millions of people in the Middle East, mostly Muslims, are fleeing their homeland and taking asylum in neighboring countries and Europe.
It has become clear that the third world war will not be fought between countries with specific boundaries and by soldiers wearing uniforms. It will be a war of terror, and there will be no way to identify the terrorists until they’ve launched their deadly attacks. No political power or military or police force will be able to curb them, what to speak of defeat them.
Wondering what our role should be at a time like this, how we should deal with the situation, I think of how you acted in 1944 when Japan was about to bomb the British military base in Calcutta. When everyone was fleeing the city, you not only stayed on but went out on harināma with your servants and some trusting neighbors. You told one of your senior godbrothers, “If I chant the holy name, Kṛṣṇa will protect me, and even if He doesn’t and I leave my body chanting the holy name, my life will be successful.”
Although Calcutta faced imminent danger, for some reason Japan suddenly changed its plan and did not bomb the city. The reason may be mysterious to some, but it is clear to us that because of your chanting the holy name on saṅkīrtana, Kṛṣṇa saved that city.
This example provides us with a wonderful lesson: when the entire world is in the grip of terrorism, and pandemonium reigns— in that critical situation we, your loyal followers, must go out with mṛdaṅgas and karatālas and perform the yuga-dharma of nāmasaṅkīrtana without concern for our safety. If we take shelter of the holy name, Kṛṣṇa will protect us, and even if we die, we will achieve the ultimate perfection of our lives. Our faith in the holy name will be tested, and onlookers will see how the devotees have conquered the fear of death.
Śrīla Prabhupāda, please give us the strength and courage to be able to act with this conviction. Please bless us that we can properly follow your footsteps, mold our lives according to the examples you so mercifully set for us, and become your true followers.
Your humble servant eternally,
Bhakti Chāru Swami