The Indestructible Fame and Glory of the Vaisnava
Vaisnava-data, the full life history, pastimes and glorification of a dear devotee of Krsna, Vaisnava Thakura, our revered spiritual master Sri Srimad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadji Maharaja. One should understand a Vaisnava never dies; a Vaisnava has no birth or death like an ordinary jiva. He is not an ordinary jiva. He has no birth, no death; he is beyond birth and death. He appears and disappears as the Supreme Lord appears and disappears, similarly his dear devotee, Vaisnava Thakura, he appears and disappears.
na karma-bandhanah janma
vaisnavanah ca vidyate
visnur anucaratvam hi
moksam ahur manisinah
“A Vaisnava does not take birth under the jurisdiction of karmic law. His birth and disappearance are transcendental. The wise have declared that the servants of Visnu are eternally engaged in the liberated service of the Lord and hence are free from the laws of material nature.”
Srila Sanatana Goswami has quoted this verse in his book the Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa. The Vaisnavas have no birth and no death and no bondage of karma. They are the dear servants of Lord Visnu, therefore they are not ordinary human beings. They never take birth and they never die as ordinary human beings. One should not think like that. If one thinks in that way he will commit a great aparadha, a great offense. They appear and disappear in the same way the Supreme Lord and His innumerable incarnations appears and disappear. The appearance and disappearance day of a Vaisnava is as auspicious as the appearance day of the Supreme Lord. These holy appearance days give us an opportunity to glorify them. A Vaisnava is always to be glorified. He has left indestructible fame and glory here. His fame is not only chanted in the material world, it is also chanted in the spiritual world. His glories are chanted everywhere. One who glorifies such a Vaisnava gets the mercy of that Vaisnava, and then his good fortune arises.
Sriman Mahaprabhu’s Desire Fulfilled
So this is the holy disappearance day of our revered spiritual master Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadji Maharaja, who is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, who fulfilled the desires of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Sriman Mahaprabhu had this desire:
prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
In every town and village of the world, the chanting of My name will be heard.
[CB. Antya 4.126]
Mahaprabhu has said, “My name will be chanted throughout the whole world, in all towns and villages, in every corner of the world.” That was the prophecy of Mahaprabhu five hundred years ago. Now it has come true, because our revered spiritual master Sri Srimad A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadji Maharaja fulfilled this desire. He is completely empowered by his Guru and the previous acaryas and Gauranga Mahaprabhu; otherwise no one could have performed such wonderful miracles. Krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana, [CC. Antya 7.11] Without the assistance of Krsna-sakti, no one can do through physical strength or by one’s own effort. One should understand this. Therefore he was completely empowered, otherwise how could he fulfill the desires of Sriman Mahaprabhu? So this day has come to glorify him.
By meeting Srila Prabhupada one can understand that the Supreme Lord is a person, not impersonal and that He is Krsna. The jiva, the living entity has a perfect eternal loving relationship with Krsna. Hence this rarely achieved human birth, durlabhah manunah janma, [SB 7.6.1], the purpose of which is to understand Krsna, to know Krsna, to see Krsna and to get Krsna. To re-establish our lost relationship with Krsna. And who can do so? How will it be done? That is the question. This can only be done by the mercy of a dear devotee of Krsna, a very dear devotee of Krsna and such a person is not easily available, he is a rare personality. One who has good fortune can meet such a person, otherwise no one can meet such a person or maybe one can meet him but cannot see him therefore one cannot get his mercy.
Seed of Bhakti Creeper
janasya krsnad vimukhasya daivad
anugrahayeha caranti nunam
bhutani bhavyani janardanasya
O my lord, great philanthropic souls travel on the earth on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to show compassion to the fallen souls who are averse to the sense of subordination to the Lord. [SB 3.5.3]
Because of our prarabdha-karma, past actions, we have forgotten Krsna and we have been moving here in this material world, undergoing lakhs of species of life and have been afflicted with the three tapas [miseries]. Such rare personalities, dear devotees of Krsna, the Vaisnava Thakura descends and wanders here in this material world to shower their mercy on us, the suffering jivas. They are very merciful. To meet them is very, very auspicious and one should understand, to meet such a person is very, very good fortune. By his mercy you can understand Who is the Lord and who am I, how can I know Him, how can I understand Him and how can I get Him. Thereby one can achieve the success of this rarely achieved human birth.
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
“According to their karma, all living entities are wondering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary system and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. By the mercy of both Krsna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.” [Cc. Madhya 19.151]
Wandering, wandering through lakhs of brahmandas and lakhs of species of life, if some jiva is very, very fortunate, he gets the seed of the bhakti creeper by the mercy of Guru and Krsna.
Jiva is an Eternal Servant of Sri Krsna
jivera ‘svarupa’ haya krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’
krsnera ‘tatastha-sakti’ ‘bhedabheda-prakasa’
It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Krsna has three varieties of energy. [Cc. Madhya 20.108]
The real identity of the jiva is an eternal servant of Krsna. He is not the inhabitant of this material universe, material brahmanda. He has abused his minute independence; therefore he has been wandering here, in the cycle of repeated birth and death for lakhs of species of life. Sometimes he becomes a man; sometimes he becomes a demigod, sometimes a demon, sometimes a tree, a creeper, a worm, a germ; lakhs of species.
When good fortune arises the jiva meets sad-guru, Sri Guru. The life in which the darsana of Sri Guru takes place is a very, very successful life. That is good fortune. Seeing Gurudeva, having the darsana of Gurudeva means to receive the mercy of Gurudeva. We may see Gurudeva with these eyes, but if Gurudeva casts his merciful glance on us then it should be understood that we are very fortunate.
The Mercy Potency of Gauranga Mahaprabhu
By Gurudeva’s mercy we can realize what is his real svarupa, how he is a maha-bhagavata. Guru means heavy not light. If someone gets the darsana of Sri Guru or sad-guru, it is to be understood that good fortune has arisen for him. We are not speaking of seeing the external body constituted of blood, flesh and bones. Darsana does not mean to see the external form of Guru. To see the Guru’s real form, his real svarupa, that is Guru darsana. To see how he is dear to Krsna. That vision is not material vision, that is transcendental vision, transcendental darsana, spiritual darsana, aprakrta-darsana. If someone can see how the gaura-karuna-sakti, the mercy potency of Gaura is moving within him then that is the darsana of Guru. One who can have this vision, he is a fortunate jiva. That is truly good fortune for him.
Mercy of Sri Guru
By nature Guru is very merciful. He is very tolerant. He always excuses our innumerable aparadhas, offenses. He is very, very merciful to all jivas. He is very dear to Krsna, a most dear and intimate associate of Krsna. He has come down here to give us Krsna. He gave us Krsna.
He gave us faith in Krsna, Krsna-sraddha, and taste in hearing the nectarean katha of Krsna, Krsna-katha-ruci, and the invaluable wealth of Krsna-prema. That is the real darsana of Guru. He is always looking at us with merciful eyes. He has taken up the resolution to deliver us from our most fallen position. Prior to the darsana of Guru we were ill-fated. We had only bad fortune. The day we met Guru, Sri Guru, sad-guru, good fortune arose. If someone gets an opportunity to meet such a Guru then his material bondage will be destroyed. When his material bondage is destroyed then he will get the opportunity to have the darsana of Sri Guru, a real mahatma, maha-bhagavata. Such a jiva is bhagyavan, really fortunate. Having already wandered through lakhs and lakhs of brahmandas, the ill-fated jiva experiences only misfortune. But now he has become fortunate, he has gotten the darsana of a maha-bhagavata, Krsna-prestha, a dear devotee of Krsna.
In this material world if one meets the president of the state, chief minister or prime minister and gets some of his material desires fulfilled, he thinks, “Oh, I am very fortunate.” No, this is not fortune. We are not speaking of this fortune. What fortune arises after meeting Guru? One can not speak, there is no language to describe. Until now he had been a karmi or jnani or bhogi or tyagi, but now he becomes Krsna dasa. This is good fortune. He will be situated in his constitutional position and become Krsna dasa. This is good fortune, this is bhagya, good fortune. This evolution of the cycle of birth and death, stops now. This is good fortune.
Real Darsana of Sri Guru
As one can see the sun only by the help of the sunshine, similarly, only by the mercy of the sadhu-guru-mahajana, the Vaisnava Thakura can one see the svarupa of Guru. Otherwise, nobody can see the svarupa of Guru with material eyes. Seeing the Guru does not mean seeing the photo of the Guru or his external body. That is not real darsana. Real darsana means to see the real form of Guru, how he is a maha-bhagavata, a very dear devotee of Krsna. The Katha Upanisad says, nayam atma pravacanena labhyo na medhaya na bahudha srutena. You cannot understand this paramatma-tattva by hearing so many lectures from so many karmis, jnanis, pandits and yogis. Who is there in the heart as caittya-guru, Paramatma, when He assumes a body and appears before us and then speaks paramatma-tattva then you’ll be able to understand. To have the darsana of such a Guru means to get a completely new life, new enlivenment comes.
Guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija. [Katha Upanisad, 1.2.23]. By the mercy of Guru and Krsna a fortunate jiva gets the seed of bhakti creeper.
Sri Krsna as the Supersoul
krsna yadi krpa kare kona bhagyavane
guru-antaryami-rupe sikhaya apane
“Krsna is situated in everyone’s heart as the caittya-guru, the spiritual master within. When He is kind to some fortunate conditioned soul, He personally gives him lessons so he can progress in devotional service, instructing the person as the Supersoul within and the spiritual master without.” [CC. Madhya 19.151]
If Krsna showers his mercy on some fortunate jiva then he appears before him as Guru and teaches. That is mercy. So Gurudeva is known as the embodiment of krsna-krpa, mercy of Krsna, krsna-krpa-sri-murti. To get Guru means to get the mercy of Krsna. That one should understand. Gurudeva is the embodiment of the mercy of Krsna. Krsna-prasada. If someone gets Guru he gets good fortune because he gets the seed of bhakti creeper.
Getting material enjoyment, liberation, gold, kamani [woman], name, fame and prestige, these are not good fortune. Do you consider all these are good fortune? Many consider these are good fortune. But they are not real good fortune. Maya-drasta-jiva, the conditioned soul thinks, “O these are good fortune.” But this is not real good fortune. What is good fortune? Good fortune means to get bhakti, the seed of bhakti creeper. What is the seed of bhakti creeper? Sraddha, faith, unflinching faith, sastriya-sraddha, faith in sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya. That is the seed of bhakti creeper. What is the seed of sraddha? The seed of sraddha is sadhu-guru-krpa, the mercy of sadhu-guru.
Eternal Perfect Love is Krsna-Prema-Bhakti
Nitya-siddhasya bhavasya prakatyam hrdi sadhyata, [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.2.2]. By the mercy of Sri Guru, sad-guru, we develop prema-bhakti, otherwise we cannot develop prema-bhakti. Sraddha, rati, ruci, priti, gradual development will be there. Nitya-siddha-bhava, eternal perfect love, that is priti, bhakti, prema-bhakti. It is there. Jivera ‘svarupa’ haya krsnera ‘nitya-dasa.’ The svarupa, the real identity of the jiva is eternal servant of Krsna. So this nitya-siddha-bhava, eternal perfect love is bhakti, but it is covered up, it is unmanifested.
The svarupa of the jiva is Krsna-bhakta, eternal servant of Krsna but it is covered up, it is unmanifested. How the covering will be lifted? How will it become manifested? If you get guru-krpa, the mercy of Guru, then the covering is lifted and bhakti becomes manifested.
So it is in the jiva, it is not that it is not in the jiva. It is in jiva but it is covered, unmanifested. Gurudeva only uncovers it. He makes it manifested, nothing else. One who does so he is Guru. He is Guru. He is a maha-bhagavata. By his mercy we get the seed of bhakti creeper. 'Up until now I was distressed, unhappy and my Guru has made me happy. He has come to deliver me.' This bhava arises in the heart upon seeing the Guru.
Sri Guru’s Wealth is Krsna-Prema
krsna se tomara, krsna dite paro,
tomara sakati ache
ami to’ kaìgala, ‘krsna’ ‘krsna’ boli’,
dhai tava pache pache
[Saranagati, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura]
He has bound up Krsna in his heart with the rope of love! Krsna belongs to him, only he can give me Krsna. So he will give me Krsna-sraddha, faith in Krsna and krsna-rati, krsna-prema. There should be unflinching faith. It is a question of faith. Seeing such a Guru, this faith automatically crops up, crops up. That is natural. Bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-sangena parijayate, [Brhan-naradiya Purana, 4.33]. Bhakti is there, but it is covered, it is hidden, it is lost. By the mercy of Guru, bhakti arises. It becomes uncovered by the mercy of sadhu-guru, bhakti arises, bhakti becomes uncovered. What is not there, how will it be? It is there!
Nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo vidyate satah, [BG. 2.16]. This bhakti-dhana is there! But Gurudeva makes it manifested, uncovers it. Gurudeva is wealthy by this bhakti-dhana, not material wealth. So he came, gave darsana but I am so unfortunate, I cannot see him! I cannot see him! This is most unfortunate. Most unfortunate! Most unfortunate! Understand my language. Try to understand what I am saying, it is very deep philosophy.
Seeing him is automatic, it is spontaneous that such bhava arises in the heart to surrender unto him to serve him. Then it is to be understood that he is a bhagyavan jiva, he is a very fortunate jiva. Hearing him, coming in touch with him, coming in association with him, hearing his katha, one who is a faithless person becomes faithful, faith arises in his heart! He gets a new life! This is a grand, great, very great incident in the life, yes. This is a revolution in the life. Great revolution in the life, yes. The channel of life is completely turned around. It is now going in a reverse way. The channel of life was flowing towards the material world or material objects of enjoyment, but now the channel flows towards Krsna. This is a great revolution, great revolution in the life, yes. To see Sri Guru and serve Guru.
Sabda-Brahman Descends Through Sri Guru
What ever you maybe, you maybe an atheist, you maybe a scientist or a philosopher whatever it maybe, but if you are fortunate to see the sad-guru, your life is completely changed! Completely changed, yes. A new flow is there. This is bhagya, this is real good fortune. If there is no good fortune one cannot see sad-guru and have darsana. Therefore it is said:
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
Gurudeva speaks Krsna-katha, so through your ear, you see Guru, not through your eyes. Through the ear, through vani he makes Krsna enter into you, enter into you. The form of Krsna comes latter, comes latter, first you have to hear. First comes His Name, the Holy Name: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. Uttering this mantra, maha-mantra, putting it into our ears, he showers his mercy upon us. First shower of mercy. This is the first shower of mercy. It is causeless mercy and this is the result. Immediately you’ll get the result. The sabda-brahman descends in the form of sabda, word, the Holy Name, in the form of mantra. Mantra means one who frees us from our mano-dharma, mental concoction. That is mantra.
Srila Prabhupada is Krsna-Data-Guru
Many Gurus are there prepared to give mantra, isn’t it? They are making a profession of giving mantra, mantra vyavasayi, they are professional mantra-gurus. They are always ready to give mantra. “Come here give me one hundred dollars, immediately I’ll give you Krsna!” This is a mantra-vyavasayi. This is the professional business man, but what mantra they give? That is not mantra baba, only words, alphabets, alphabets, not real mantra. They want money, praname and pranama, pay obeisances and give money, one hundred dollar, two hundred dollar, they want this thing, no Krsna. They cannot give you Krsna. You should understand. Srila Prabhupada is not mantra-data-guru, he is Krsna-data-guru, the Guru who came to give you Krsna, to give you shelter, asraya-data-guru. He is not mantra-data-guru. He taught us how to tread the devotional path, how to walk, how to walk on this path. He made all nice arrangements how to walk on this path leading to Vaikuntha. Yes, like a primary school teacher he catches hold of the hand of the child and teaches to write ‘A, B, C.’ He does like that. Catching hold of our hand he has taught us what other gurus cannot! Other gurus don’t know, they only want pranama and praname. Therefore they have no ability; they have no ability to take to this path of devotional service and teach us how to tread the path. They have no ability how to move there. But Srila Prabhupada made some nice arrangements, sravana, kirtan, arcana, vandana. That is his causeless mercy.
Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON is Krsna-Samsara
Only giving mantra, he sends the sisyas home? ‘Go home.’ No! He opened hundreds and hundreds of ISKCON temples, centers throughout the world. He made all arrangements for staying there, getting nice prasada. He made nice arrangements in all the ISKCON centers. Those who are grha-tyagis, those who have already left home, they will stay there, always and engage in hari-bhajan in the service of Lord Hari. But those who are grhastha, grhastha-sisyas will they stay in their grha only? No, no, no. They should come at intervals here to this ISKCON Mandir and associate with sadhu-vaisnava and hear hari-katha. Also there is the arrangement of many, many festivals, many festivals, many festivals. In every week we have a Sunday festival! In every week, in every month, every year. Many festivals are taking place, at least you should come and join during this festival time, you grhasthas. Come and join the festival, see the festival, hear Krsna-katha, accept nice prasada, very sweet Krsna-prasada, yes. If you get prasada and hear Krsna-katha then you have established your relationship with Guru. Guru-samsara means Krsna-samsara, transcendental world. Many big festivals are going on, kirtans, arati, arcana, day and night, twenty-four hours going on, going on. Come and see! You’ll get so much pleasure! So much joyfulness and blissfulness is there. Nice sri-vigraha, very beautiful sri-vigraha is here, chant, dance here before sri-vigraha, hear Krsna-katha, taste this nice, sweet, nectarean Krsna-prasada, maha-prasada and your life will be successful. All your suffering, unhappiness, anxiety will be gone, gone, no more, no more, yes.
This arrangement is there, he has made these arrangements, he has made these arrangements how we can walk on this path of devotional path. Not only that he sends the preachers to all corners of the world, towns, villagers, even to every home, yes. Thereby he attracts people, “Come here! Come to our ISKCON center, ISKCON Mandir. Stay here and get prasada, do hari-kirtan.
(‘radha) krsna’ bolo, sange calo,
ei-matra bhikha cai
(Gitavali, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
This is the only bhikha I am begging. Utter ‘Radha Krsna!’ Come with me! Come with me! Come with me!
Srila Prabhupada’s Lotus Feet is the only
Shelter for the Suffering Jivas of Kali-Yuga
You grhasthas, you cannot do service. Please utter Radha Krsna day and night, twenty-four hours, when ever you get opportunity come to our Mandir, come to our Mandir. We will take all your responsibility. Chant Hare Krsna and dance and take Krsna-prasada! He has made all these arrangements. He is not only mantra-data-guru, he is asraya-data-guru. he is not only the Guru to give mantra, he gives shelter, gives shelter, gives Krsna. He takes all the responsibility of his disciples, yes.
You are indebted, you have many debts to pay back. To demigods, to all living entities, to your father and mother, yes to all humanity, many debts, how can you pay back? Can you? You can’t. But you come and enter into Krsna-guru-samsara, Krsna-samsara, all nice arrangements are there. Develop bhakti, pure bhakti then all your debts are cleared up. I am running, running very swiftly running but you cannot keep pace with me, you cannot keep pace with me, very swift. More then the speed of the wind, yes. Such speed. Alright come slowly, come slowly, come slowly. If you cannot run speedily come slowly, come slowly. We will never spare you! We will never spare you! We will catch hold of your sikha and drag you. Yes! We have taken up this resolution, yes we have taken up that resolution. He is so merciful, supremely merciful. He never hates the grhasthas. You are grhastha, keep aside! Keep aside, push aside your maya-samsara,material samsara! Come slowly, come slowly and enter into our samsara. There maybe some delay still we won’t spare you. We will catch hold of your sikha and drag you. So merciful he is. Think of how merciful he is.
Yuga Dharma Acarya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
This is Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadji Maharaja, maha-bhagavata, bhagavata-uttama. So many festivals, so many books, so many constructions, temple constructions, nice temples, so many sannyasis and parikrama, dhama-parikrama, navadvipa-dhama-parikrama, vrndavana-dhama-parikrama; such arrangements are there. He has opened the path, opened the door for one and all. One maybe a papi or tapi most degraded, most sinful person or most elevated, whatever it maybe, the door is open for one and all. That is his causeless mercy, supreme mercy, incomparable mercy, uncommon mercy.
So he sends the preachers to all the corners of the world; towns, villages and makes the arrangement of preaching the science of Krsna consciousness. He has made many tricks, many tricks. So today is his holy disappearance day, so if we get his mercy, pray for his mercy, get his darsana, hear his katha, such nectarean katha, all auspiciousness will come to us. Our lives will be successful and we will be free from material bondage. This is the real good fortune.
He has shown his mercy, showered his mercy on one and all. Those who are very materialist persons and who are wealthy persons they cannot follow the four regulatory principles, they cannot give up smoking cigarette, beedi - flute. The white flute, blowing the white flute. Give up blowing the white flute! They cannot give up eating fish and meat, drinking liquor whatever, still you have wealth! Give something to us, we will utilize it in Krsna’s service. So he has made the arrangement of this life patron member programs, to giving opportunity for them. ‘Alright they can render some help, service, yes.’ They will get sukrti. In this very life or next life, they must get, then they will become bhakta, definitely.
So many nice arrangements are there according to your ability you may accept it. The more you accept, the more auspiciousness will come to you. Thus this day, his holy disappearance day, I offer prayer, let him shower his mercy unto one and all.
Srila Prabhupadji Maharaja ki jaya!!