05 Aug Malaga Retreat 2014 – Introduction Talk
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Founder-Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
The following presentation is an introduction talk for the Malaga Retreat 2014 by His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami, given on Wednesday 16 June 2014 in Spain.
His Grace Priyavrata Prabhu: Please welcome His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami with three Haribols: Haribol! Haribol! Haribol! His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Mahārāja Ki Jaya!
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Is the mike working? Or rather I will ask:
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Can everybody hear me?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay. How are you are feeling being here?
Devotees: Happy, Mahārāja.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I can see that the lady side is heavy, the men’s side is weak. How many have arrived so far? Where is Priyavrata? Disappeared… Priyavrata?
Priyavrata Prabhu: Yes,Guru Mahārāja, I am coming. About sixty. Hari Narayana Prabhu is coming, Mahārāja.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: I see, How many are there including Hari Narayana?
Priyavrata Prabhu: About one hundred.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: No. How many have arrived?
Priyavrata Prabhu: About fifty five.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Oh, half of them. And is the man’s side always going to look like this?
Priyavrata Prabhu: [Unclear]
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It looks like I have more daughters than sons. So how are you are all feeling being here?
Devotees: Happy Mahārāja.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Happy? Hare Kṛṣṇa. And are you all comfortably situated? And how many of you came yesterday? Just two. But you all were in Malaga yesterday. Here you came today? Only a handful of organizers came here yesterday. And… very good. So, did you all take prasadam since you came? How many of you did not get prasadam since you came?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yasoda, you need translation? You speak English? Very good. Maybe first we have some introduction, should we do it today or should we do it tomorrow? Because all are not here. So I think it will be better tomorrow. Get to know each other. And first of all I will introduce myself. My name is Bhakti Charu Swami. I am a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. And treat me as your humble servant. And if you have any problem you can always come to me. And if you need anything then you can go Priyavrata.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: That’s what I am telling them. If they have any problem they should come to you. If they need anything they would come to you. And Gaurahari and Kamlesh Kṛṣṇa. So I am very happy to have you all here and anyway… Men’s side started to look better.
So what do we do today? Priyavrata? I thought that the introduction, you know, the first thing we do is that everybody introduces himself. But I think we better do it tomorrow. Becausse only fifty devotees came today, another fifty will come tomorrow.
Okay, now I just briefly tell you the objective of this retreat. Priyavrata, come and sit down. Gaurahari is still doing the altar?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: What is he doing there? [Laughter] Very good. Yes, they are very enthusiastically organizing everything. In 2007 I had some heart problem. And then the doctor naturally told me to cut down my travel, not to travel so much. And so I spent, I was in America three months without travelling and then I began to realize that I need to meet the devotees, especially my disciples and those who are close to me. And that’s why I need to travel but I can reduce my travel by organizing this kind of retreats where devotees would come and we will be able to spend time together for 5 to 7 days. We organized the first one in Switzerland. It was a beautiful location, on top of a mountain and it was actually a ski-resort. And people go skiing in winter, so in summer time we got a very good deal. How many of you attended that retreat? Okay. And anyway, so it was nice. Devotees came from different parts of Europe and then the next one we had, was in America, in Orlando. In this way we started to organize different retreats in different places and mainly Europe, America, South-Africa, Australia and of course India. And I began to notice also that devotees liked it. That they, especially the householders, they get an opportunity to come out of their house and live in a very enlivening spiritual atmosphere where so many of you get together and I made one point very clear, that the atmosphere should be comfortable. It should not be austere which means that the accommodation facility should be nice and we can have programs in spacious areas and that’s how this program actually started.
And then Vinod-vihari, where is Vinod-Vihari, yes, okay. Vinod-Vihari is from Malaga and his brother Ananda-Vardhana, they suggested: “Why don’t we have a retreat in Spain?” We had retreats in the mountains and now we should have one on the ocean front, beach front. And he actually contacted this hotel and… So this is the third time we are coming here. How do you like this location? Very nice, thank you. So this is the idea. We have this retreat and seven days of association of devotees. Are you looking forward to it? The program is… Mangala-arati is at what time? Six o’clock. That is good. In the American one the mangala-arati is at four thirty. Generally I do it at five thirty, six o ‘clock. Because I know you are not really fond of getting up so early. Harsharani, you want to say something?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Okay that gives [Unclear] even more grace. Like then you can, say you have been chanting your rounds in your room. And no one is going to go and… This mike is not… [Unclear] There has been a little change in the program. Kamlesh Kṛṣṇa actually just pointed out that actually the program will be: Mangala-arati at six o’clock, then Tulasi Arati and then Japa. And you can chant the whole day. Then there will be various programs. There will be Bhagavatam-class, it will be from seven thirty and we will be discussing about the prayers of Queen Kunti. And anyway you have the schedule, the rest of the day the schedule will be about the same. The purpose is association of devotees. And association of devotees in a very relaxed way. I do not deliberately want to put any pressure and please don’t feel any pressure. Like I was thinking that in the American retreat also I will tell them. If you don’t feel like attending the mangala-arati, it is optional. You don’t have to feel any pressure. If you feel like, you can come, if you don’t, it is all right. And one thing I will suggest, no late nights. Of course here the sun sets at eleven o’clock. What time does the sun set here now?
Devotee: Now it is almost like 09h45, 22h00.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: It is light till 22h30. The sun probably sets around 08h30, 09h00 and it remains light until 09h00, 09h30. You know spiritual life, if you organize your spiritual life nicely then my simple suggestion will be to go to bed early. Early to bed, early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and Kṛṣṇa conscious. So please go to bed early although it will be light. I think you can put the shuttles down. Because if you go to bed early then you will also feel like waking up early. One thing I can tell you, an ayurvedic secret. One hour sleep before midnight equals two hours sleep after midnight. Now you consider if you went to bed at nine o’clock and woke up at three o’clock, how many hours you slept? You slept for nine hours. But if you go to bed at one o’clock and slept till ten o’clock, how many hours of sleep? You got nine also hours but I tell you, you don’t feel that restful. Late night, you don’t feel restful. Early to bed, that’s one of the secrets of good health and good consciousness. Go to bed early. The materialistic life keeps you awake at night. Now in that respect you can consider: “Who stays up at night?” Who stays up at night?
Devotees: The owls.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Owls are one thing. One thing you notice, the carnivorous animals stay up at night. Does it convey some meaning? Does it send a message? Carnivorous animals stay up at night. And herbivore animals sleep at night. Those who are in the mode of goodness they work according to the movement of the sun. When the sun comes up, they are up. They are up by brahma muhurta. And when the sun goes down, they go down. Isn’t it a healthy way to live? And have you noticed the mosquitoes, did you notice when they are active? They are active at night. And they are inactive during the day. What are the mosquitoes? They are blood suckers. Now you state it even further? Who stays up at night? Who becomes stronger at night? Srimad-Bhagavatam actually mentions that. The demons become strong at night. They stay up at night and their activities are at night.
Now you look at the culture also. When people go to night clubs, bars and such activities do they indulge in those activities during the day time or night time? So much so that I heard, I have not been there, I heard that in Las Vegas, the atmosphere is such that when you go there it always looks like night. Even during the day time you go there, because of artificial lighting, you don’t realize whether it is a day or night. When the lights are on? At night. So everything is lit up as if even during the day time it is night. Now are we here to succumb to that culture? Or are we here to free ourselves from that culture? Now does it convey the message? When should stay awake and when should we fall asleep? How many of you want to fall asleep during the early hours of night? Okay. And when you go bed to early you will also wake up early.
In this respect I also want to say a few words about your health. Because recently I was in an ayurvedic clinic. I went there for the second time. And I had a long discussion with the doctors there. And I collected quite a bit of informations about ayurveda from them. And in course of our discussion, he was telling me, the main doctor, doctor Rama Kumar, that he was talking to a very wealthy family… Specially the lady of the family and they are so wealthy, they are Indians… They are so wealthy that when they go to Europe and America, they go there their private jets. I mean people make short trips in their private jets, which are one thing. But when they go on intercontinental flights, still they use their private jets. Very, very wealthy families. He was asking that lady, she is in her fourties… He asked her: “Do you fall asleep as soon as you go to bed?” So, she said no, I have to read, I have to watch TV, sometimes even I have to take sleeping pills. And then he asked: “Do you feel fresh when you wake up in the morning? And she admitted: “No…” She had to drink a few cups of coffee to wake up. And things like that. Then he asked “Do you feel hungry when you sit down to eat?” [That’s what I have been asking in the beginning whether everybody can hear me. Can everybody hear me now?] Then he asked: “Do you feel good appetite when you sit down to eat? And then also she admitted that she does not. Then he asked: “When you wake up in the morning do you clean your stomach?” Does your stomach get naturally clean? That also she admitted that it does not happen. And then he told her: “Look, these are the four signs of good health.” Good health means: “As soon as you hit the bed you fall asleep. When you wake up you feel fresh. When it is time to eat you feel appetite. And in the morning soon after you wake up you clean your stomach. I also thought that it makes so much sense. And I wanted to convey to you… Make sure about these four things. And you will notice: “Late night you don’t sleep well.” Late night, you wake up in the morning, you feel groggy as if you did not really take rest. That’s how I feel. If I go to bad after 22h30 I don’t sleep properly. But if I go to bed before 21h00 I wake up at 02h00 and I feel fresh as a daisy. And also feel good appetite and make it a point… And then to my great surprise I was told that about eighty per cent of people in the West suffer from constipation. Why? Because they eat meat… Anyway, so why people won’t become sick? Cleansing the stomach naturally is very, very important. So take care of your health nicely. And these are the signs. Make it a point to go to bed early. And try to not watch TV’s. How many of you don’t watch TV? Very good. Because that is a very damaging thing to your consciousness. Rather have a sweet dream! When you fall asleep, it is much better than watching a horror movie in the TV.
Since we are talking about health I will also give you another tip that I gathered from these discussions with these doctors. Normally what happens when in the course of our lives, in course of our day to day activities, in course of our unhealthy lifestyles we accumulate toxins in the body. And this body… The toxins keep on accumulating in the body and then eventually what happens? The toxins come out in the form of disease. Diseases are caused by toxins in the bodies. How many of you know about pancha karma? Pancha karma, pancha means five and karma means activities. Five kinds of activities or five kinds of treatments. The purpose of this treatment actually is to purify your body. Detoxify your body. The toxins have accumulated in the body in various ways. The toxins can be in the body cells, toxins can be in the blood stream, the toxins can be there in the nervous system. And ayurveda has a way of detoxifying, take out the toxins. Like one of the things of detoxifications or one of the pancha karmas is actually sneha-panam… I went through that treatment. Sneha means ghee. And panam means drink. This treatment is the treatment of drinking ghee. And these are not just ordinary ghee, this is medicated ghee. And this medicated ghee, what it does, is… Ghee actually is a very good carrier. It reaches to different recesses of your body. And when it reaches with the medicines, ayurvedic medicines, what it does, it pulls out all the toxins from those areas. This treatment goes on for seven days. They start with thirty milliliters of ghee. Thirty milli-liters, it is not that much. But the second day sixty milli-litters. Third day nine day ninety milliliters. Fourth day hundred twenty milliliters. Fifth day hundred fifty milli-liters. Sixt day hundred eighty milli-liters. Seventh day two hundred and ten milli-liters. Every day they increase it by thirty milli-liters. This ghee, as I said, the medicated ghee brings out all the toxins from the deepest parts of your body. The tissues, the body cells and then they bring it on to your stomach. Naturally it comes to the stomach. And then on the eight day they give you a very strong purgative and that purgative flushes the whole thing out of your body. And I tell you, you see the result, not immediately. After the treatment you feel very weak. Of course they did not subject me to seven days treatments. They told me: “Guru Maharaja, Guru Maharaja your body is a satvic body body. So it does not need such an elaborate treatment. They gave it to me for three day. First day fifty milliliters, second hundred milli-liters and third day hundred and fifty milli-liters. And on the third day I must admit I started to like the taste of the ghee. The first day I was sipping, drinking it with small sips. He was telling me, he was noticing… The second day I was dulping it. And the third day in one swilp I drank the whole thing. And I took it for three days and the fourth day they purged me. And yes, the body became very weak because… And that’s what they do. After the treatment they make you recuperate. They don’t let you go out straight away. They bring you back to your normal health condition. And then they let you go out. And I tell you… That treatment was very effective by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. And experiencing it myself I now started to tell the devotees that those who are above fifty should take this treatment at least once in two years. You have to invest just three weeks, take the treatment and you will see the benefit yourself. It makes you feel younger. You lose weight, extra-weight is taken out and as I was telling you…Pancha-karma, it is not that everybody is subjected to all five types of treatment. They see which treatment you need. Say for example some people need purification of blood, of toxins in the blood. And do you know how they take out that poison from the blood? Don’t get shocked. They put leeches. And there are some leeches that take out only the poison out of the blood. Not that all leeches do that. They know, there are certain leeches, they showed me those leeches. They put them, you don’t feel anything actually. And then after they have taken out the poison out of the blood, the leeches fall out automatically. That’s the indication that the poison has been cleansed out of the body. See how scientific it is! Whereas in allopathic treatment what do they do? They simply deal with the symptom. For everything they have one medicine. Antibiotics. For everything antibiotics. They put the germs in the body to fight the other germs. Whereas this is so scientific. This is how you all should be concerned about your physical well-being. Because physical well-being is important for your spiritual emancipation or spiritual advancement. If you are physically weak, how do you feel? Do you feel like doing anything? No. Are you capable of doing anything? No. Therefore it is important to be physically healthy, physically well. Please take care of your health. That’s why Prabhupāda always ended the letters: “I hope this meets you in good health or best of health.” Prabhupāda always wanted that we are in good health. Take care of your health. And do whatever is necessary. And avoid allopathic treatment as much as possible. Allopathic treatment has its benefit. Like allopathic treatment is very good for cure. But how they cure that is another story. But isn’t prevention better than cure? Prevention is better than cure. Take these simple preventive measures just as I said. Have this treatment once every two years. At least once in two years. For three weeks go and take the treatment and see what happens. And one thing I have noticed. First I started off with myself. One of my disciples in Mayapura, Prema Manjari, many of you know her, she used to insist: “Guru Mahārāja, you have to go and take this treatment, please go and take this treatment.” And I used to tell her: “Look, I don’t have three weeks. I can’t take three weeks out of my schedule. I would rather go to some place for these three weeks and preach than to go to an ayurvedic clinique.” And because of her insisting last year I went for ten days. And yes, due to these ten days of treatment, I did feel different. Then this year I was supposed to go, it was all set. I was supposed to take a flight to Cumbatoire to go to this place. In the morning when I was in Pune, I was about to leave to catch a flight. Then I got the news that Shyamlal Prabhu left his body. So I had to cancel the trip. Instead of going to Combatoire I drove to Mumbai and took a flight to go to South-Africa. Shyamlal Prabhu is a very dear Godbrother of mine. This thing got canceled. But doctor Ramkumar kept on phoning me and said: “Guru Mahārāja, I can understand that you could not come, you had to cancel this schedule but please try to come sometime. So I went in April. After the GBC meeting I had to go to America. And when I came back from America towards the end of April I went. This time I took two weeks and I went for the treatment. And I felt the difference so much so that I am promoting it to you all today. I am saying that you all please also consider this treatment. And I tell you a few cases. There was one person, one young boy, one of my disciples’ son in law. He had epilepsy. So you know they were really worried… He was about to have a very, very serious accident one day. He had the epileptic fit when he was driving the car. You can well imagine, you know. Fortunately there was no head long collision; the car actually hit the side of the road. Anyway, it was such a bad case. When I heard that, I called doctor Ramkumar of Coimbatoire. And I asked him whether there was any treatment for epilepsy? He said yes, they can cure epilepsy. This boy came for the treatment. And his condition improved remarkably. So much so that he went there again after six months. Everyone was so impressed that the disciple of mine and his wife they all went and they also did the treatment. They did not have any serious problem but they felt so much better after the treatment. This is how people are getting affected. Because when the result is there then automatically you see it for yourself. Another thing I wanted to tell you all… Recently I found out that in Vrindavana there is somebody who can cure cancer, if it is not at a very advanced stage. In Coimbatore also if it is detected at an early stage they say they can cure the cancer. But when it is in advanced stage then they admit: “No, we cannot do it.” So if there is any case of cancer you can also let us know.
There is one young devotee, young means, he is probably in his thirties. He had cancer of the brain. He took the treatment in Vrindavana. He got cured. And that’s why I got to know. And he told me that this person said that he can cure cancer. This is how effective ayurveda is. Take advantage of this. Of course we know we are not going to live forever. But at least as long as we are living, let’s live in a healthy way, in a good way. And it can be done by taking proper advantage, by taking advantage of the proper treatment. As I said, ayurveda is not so effective as a cure, but as a preventive measure it is very effective.
So thank you all very much.
Next few days we will have a lot of fun. Today… How are you going derive fun? Of course you can go to the ocean and swim. And do so many different things. But the main thing is… Be absorbed in Krishna consciousness. That is the real enjoyment. One sort of enjoyment is in gratifying the senses. But that enjoyment is on the bodily platform. Are you your body? We are not the bodies. The enjoyment in the bodily platform, are they real enjoyments? No. What is the real enjoyment? The real enjoyment is pertaining to our real identity. What is our real identity? How many of you know about your real identity? Please raise your hands. Why all your hands are not going up? Let’s see which hands did not go up? Those who did not raise your hands, please raise your hands. Okay, either you were shy or you were lazy or you were so tired that you cannot even lift your hands. Whatever is the case, I presume that you all know that you are not your body. You are all spirit souls. How many of you agree with me? Please raise your hands. Okay, that’s better. Now, if we are spirit souls then where should our real enjoyment be? How many of you want to enjoy? Let’s see. How many of you want to enjoy? That’s better. How many of you want to suffer. Okay that means you all want to enjoy. Even those who did not lift their hands. They also want to enjoy. We all want to enjoy. But what kind of enjoyment do we really want? Enjoyment of the body or the enjoyment of the soul? How many of you want to enjoy through your bodies? How many of you want to enjoy through your spirit soul? Very good. How to enjoy through the spirit soul? Is it the same sort of enjoyment? Or is it going to be a different kind of enjoyment? It is going to be a different kind of enjoyment. And what is that enjoyment? What is the different enjoyment? That enjoyment is derived by developing our relationship with Kṛṣṇa. That is the spiritual enjoyment. That enjoyment is the real enjoyment. And when you get the taste of that enjoyment, you know what you feel like doing about your sense gratification enjoyment? You feel like curling your lips in disgust and spit at the proposal. That’s what king Kulashekara mentioned.
bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca
My lips curled in disgust. Spit at the thought. Also somewhere it has been mentioned in the scriptures that the real enjoyment compared to the brahmananda, merging into the brahmajyoti, is just like an insignifican fraction of that enjoyment.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: And compared to the joy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness this Brahmananda is an insignificant fraction. Can you imagine how wonderful this enjoyment in being derived out of developing our relationship with Kṛṣṇa is? We cannot even imagine. This is how real it is. And we will experience it only when we have experienced, got the taste ourselves. It is not an intellectual thing. Intellectually we cannot understand how it is. How many of you who are here, are mothers of your children? Well, I will ask a simple question to you all. When your children were born and you looked at your children how did you feel?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: A joy which you cannot really describe. The Vedas are describing what the joy is like. You know what the joy is like? That joy which the mother derives by receiving the baby is that her breasts immediately become full with milk. It flows as a [Unclear] Her blood turns into milk. That is the affection that is the love, mothers’ love. And mind you, this is also a material relationship. Now the relationship with Kṛṣṇa we cannot even imagine what it is like. But this is one of the examples that can be given. The way the mother feels about her child. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the joy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness comes very close to that. Or that comes close to the joy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And we are here to experience that joy. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a dry insipid practice. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is here, we are here in Kṛṣṇa consciousness to experience the real joy. So open yourself up for that joy. Experience it. It will happen. The only thing you have to do is to develop your love for Kṛṣṇa. And for that if you have to wait, we will wait. Just as the mother has to wait for the child to come. It will not happen instantaneously. Similarly we also have to wait for our love for Kṛṣṇa to develop in our hearts. But in order to do that we have to follow the practice. Just as the mother by going through certain procedures conceives the child, similarly by practicing some process we will also develop our love for Kṛṣṇa. It will happen. The only thing is that we have to practice the process properly. And Śrīla Prabhupāda has given us that process. Very mercifully Śrīla Prabhupāda has given us the process. And it works. Doesn’t it work? How many of you have experience that it works? It works. Since we have accepted Kṛṣṇa consciousness we are seeing that our life is changing. We are getting some higher taste. So much so that due to getting the higher taste we are able to give up the lower taste. Many of us were not accustomed to follow the four regulative principles but today it has become so easy. Why? Because of the higher taste. Kṛṣṇa consciousness works. The bad habits which we had, we have been able to give them up so easily by practicing the process. Why? Because we got the higher taste. Today we don’t have any taste non-vegetarian food, no taste for any kind intoxicants and so forth. It works! So let’s practice the process and derive the benefit. And that’s why we all are here.
Thank you all very much!
All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda! Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Does anybody have any question?
Devotee: [Unclear] In Ujjain you are trying to set up an ayurvedic clinique?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: In conjunction, in collaboration with them we are trying to set up a small [Unclear] in Ujjain. And if it works we will set up the ayurvedic Clinique in Ujjain also.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: You see, one of the things is that when something becomes popular it becomes a good business. And one thing I can tell you. The treatment where I went they did not charge me anything. Okay. And those who were… I am coming to that. Normally what they charge is, say for the accommodation they charge 1500 rupees. 1500 rupees means 15 pounds and the treatment is also another 2000 rupees, which means, say 20 pounds. It comes to, per day, it is about 35 to 40 pounds. And anyway, that includes treatment, medicine, everything. And when we set it up in Ujjain it is going to be even cheaper. For example the way we are planning. Medicine and treatment probably will cost the same because you have to pay for that, you know. But for the accommodation we are going to charge, is 10 pounds per day, accommodation and prasadam. That way it will be something like 25 till 30 pounds per day. It is not going to be that expensive. Some people, it has become a business. Especially when they see that people are coming from the West. They think that they are all loaded, you know. The main thing is the efficacy, whether it works, effectivity. The point is, as a preventive it is a very, very good measure.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: Yes, you can go to their website www.vaidyagram.com. It is very beautiful actually. It is away from everything, very scenic. The accommodation facilities they have, they have kind of suites. One suite has two beds. A living room, a bath and toilet, the balcony.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: vaidwagram. And if you phone them, you get the phone number, you can speak to Doctor Ram Kumar. Actually Ram Kumar. Speak to Doctor Rama Dasa. And you can take my reference.
So, any other question?
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami: We can have a little kirtan then?
Guru Mahārāja sings Hare Kṛṣṇa kirtan with the devotees.
His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami:
namo om visnu padaya Kṛṣṇa presthaya bhutale
srimate bhakti vedanta swami iti namine
namaste sarasvate deve gaura vani pracarine
nirvisesa sunyavadi pascatya desa tarine
śrīla prabhupāda ki Jaya!
All glories to the assembled devotees!
End of recording.
Transcription & Editing: Rāmānanda Rāya Dāsa