SrilaPrabhupada Appearance Day Offering By H.H. Radhanath Swami
I am grateful to be here on this most auspicious occasion of SrilaPrabhupada’sVyasPuja. Yesterday we celebratedJanmastami. Krsna appears in every yuga as the yuga avatar. He has numerous incarnations that come into this world. But only once in a day of Brahma, which means his day and night, which is described as 8 million 630 million years, Krsna appeared in His original transcendental form of Goloka, which is the highest planet in the spiritual world, with his most intimate devotees, Yasoda, Nanda, the sakhis, the sakhas. The special feature descended into this world just to attract the hearts of the conditioned souls into the intimate, loving pastimes of VrindavanDham, something that no other avatar can give. And in that same day of Brahma, in the Kali Yuga that follows, Caitanya Mahaprabhu appears, with the original form of Krsna coming to taste the love of SrimatiRadharani. And through the Harinaamsankirtan, to distribute that love to the whole world. Sometimes SrilaPrabhupada would talk about Lord Caitanya and Lord Krsna’s descent as being very recent. Considering 500 years or 5000 years compared to 8 billion 630 million years – it is very recent. H.D.G A.C Bhakti Vedanta Swami SrilaPrabhupada is the first person, the empowered person… took the culture ofVrindavan as Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda revealed, as Sri Radha and Krsna manifested it, he took that to the whole world. For the first time since Krsna and Mahaprabhu, every day the sankirtan movement and the doors opening to Sri Vrindavandham, the doors open to the whole world. That is the uniqueness, the specialness that SrilaPrabhupada has done. And more than that, who SrilaPrabhupada is. SrilaPrabhupada stayed at Sri RadhaDamodartemple, his neighbors were Sri Rupa Goswami, Sri JivaGoswami. It was there that he translated the SrimadBhagavatam into the English language, for the first time in history with the authorized commentaries, coming down from the previous acaryas. It has never been done before. It is the SrimadBhagavatam that reveals Krsna’sVrindavanlila to the world. Some days before we celebrated the anniversary on which SrilaPrabhupada climbed the Jaladutta. 13th Augutst1965, SrilaPrabhupada ascended the steps of that cargo ship. There were only 5 people who came to see him off and some of them were people he was staying with. Not prominent at all. All he brought with him was a bag of cereal, an umbrella, his japa beads, 40 rupees and his boxes of books - SrimadBhagavatam. That was his mission to reveal Vrindavan to the world. Within about a week, when the ship was in the middle of the Arabian sea, he had 2 heart attacks, severe sea sickness. There was no doctor, no medical possessions, he couldn’t even write his diary. Finally after 5 days of suffering in that way, he wrote I had just crossed through a struggle between life and death. And then he writes that, “I am so far from Sri VrindavanDham. I am feeling such deep separation from Sri VrindavanDham. And my Lords Govinda, Gopinath and RadhaDamodar. But my spiritual master SrilaBhaktiSiddhantaSaraswati Thakur, has ordered me to do this, based on the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu”, and then SrilaPrabhupada writes, “I had no qualifications to carry out this order, I am completely depending upon their mercy, so far from the Sri VrindavanDham”. In those feelings of separation which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bought, Vrindavan in his heart, to the Bowery in the lower east side, to San Francisco, to London, travelled the world 14 times. This was the sacrifice for the most exalted mission in the history of humanity to take the treasure which Lord Sri Krsna and SrimatiRadharani descended to give us, to take that mission of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Prabhu descended to give us, excess to the pastimes of Vrindavan and experience the love of residents of Vrindavan. SrilaPrabhupada knew exactly how to do it and he did it. He prayed on the Jaladutta to Krsna, “Just make me a puppet, and make me dance as you want me to dance.” Parampara means a disciplic line of puppets. We are all here to be puppets. SrilaPrabhupada never took credit for anything he did, although he risked everything. He did such immense service, but he always said this is all by the mercy of Gurudev, BhaktiSiddhantaSaraswati. And in one Vyaspuja in London in 1973, the day after RadhaGokulananda was installed by SrilaPrabhupada in the Bhakti Vedanta manor. Devotees from all over the world came to celebrate that appearance day. And what is interesting was that SrilaPrabhupada was giving all credits to his disciples, to his grihasta disciples especially, he was talking about how he had just come out with Sri CaitanyaCaritamrita and all the credits goes to Pradyumna das whom he called Mahasoya. And then he started speaking about several of his disciples who did extraordinary service in carrying out BhaktiSiddhantaSaraswati’s mission. SrilaPrabhupada as BhaktiSiddhantaSaraswati Thakur has said, “He will do everything in due course. He planted the seed of pure bhakti to Sri SriRadha and Krsna in millions and millions of hearts throughout the world. He had complete faith in SrimadBhagavatam, complete faith in the holy name. He said that no one else had any confidence that he would succeed and no one else would come to his help in any way, in his old age after such severe heart crisis, his wish fulfilled and he did it and he gives all credit to his disciples and his Guru maharaj. Mahajanoyenayathasapantha.. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, that “the path of perfection is to follow in the footsteps of great souls.” SrilaPrabhupada thought us how to love in his purest, richest spiritual way. Considering the exalted, rare and unique mission of SrilaPrabhupada, we should feel ourselves so absolutely grateful and fortunate that we could help in any small way. He is the person who has come to this material existence for the first time in the history, only once in a day of Brahma to bring this Vrindavan consciousness to this world and we have a chance to assist him. It should not be taken lightly. One devotee SthokaKrsna Prabhu – he was just married and had a baby, suddenly he got cancer and he was going to die within months, he was emaciated, he was paralyzed. He never asked “Why is this happening to me? who is going to take care of my baby daughter?” His questions were – “Why? Why did I have the great fortune? I didn’t deserve it, to chant the holy names of Krsna, with SrilaPrabhupada devotees, … studying the SB with SrilaPrabhupada, why was I allowed to associate with the devotees of SrilaPrabhupada. Why I was, upon so many opportunities to assist SrilaPrabhupada, in the supremely glorious mission.” He was simply grateful. We may have problems, we may have social problems, we may have health problems, and we may have relationship problems. In material world, these problems – they are very insignificant, compared to the full glorious luminous opportunity we have, in this mission of SrilaPrabhupad to help in a small way we can, to be an instrument, in his compassion. Thank you very much!
Under Srila Prabhupada's guidance, Syamasundara takes up the service of carving Jagannath Deities in his apartment. He has not yet given up smoking and occasionally lights up while he works. When Prabhupada comes in to inspect the work one day, he notices the cigarette pack on top of Lord Jagannath. He compliments Syamasundara on how nicely the work is coming along without making a comment about the cigarettes. After a brief visit, Malati escorts him to the door. Prabhupada motions to the cigarette pack and quietly mentions, "Such a small thing that is separating us from Krsna."
- From the "Radha-Damodara Vilasa" by HG Vaiyasaki dasa
During last Sunday Bhagavatam class, one Spanish Mataji asked this question "When a devotees suffers materially, how can we take this as a mercy of Lord Krishna? How can we be convinced that Krishna has not abandoned us?"
Maharaj gave the wonderful reply, " Krishna never abandons us. Rather, those miserable conditions call us to do more intense prayers and learn how to depend more on Krishna."
Maharaj qutoed the following verse from SB 10.14.8 Prayers of Brahmaji.
"My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim."
I found this verse very appealing. Many a time, we become very impatient in our devotional life thinking that miseries have increased after coming to devotional life. This verse clearly indicates that we need to earnestly wait for Lord's causeless mercy. Prabhupad writes in the purport of this verse "Just as a legitimate son has to simply remain alive to gain an inheritance from his father, one who simply remains alive in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, following the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga, automatically becomes eligible to receive the mercy of the Personality of Godhead. In other words, he will be promoted to the kingdom of God."
Krishna in Vrindavan is like God at home, while Krishna, as Vishnu in various Vaikuntha planets, is like God at office. A person at home is most comfortable and relaxed and has intimate loving dealings with his family members, while at office he has very formal dealings with his associates. Similarly in Vrindavan, all the Vrajavasis have very intimate dealings with Krishna in sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental) or madhurya (conjugal) rasas. No one there is aware of Krishna’s supreme position as God that usually results in very formal and reverential dealings. In the Vaikuntha planets, however, all the residents are always aware of Vishnu’s supreme position as the controller and maintainer of the whole creation. Therefore, all their dealings with Him—including those of sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya are tinged with the feelings of awe and reverence.
So, from an impartial study we can see that Krishna’s pastimes are more sweet and enchanting than those of Vishnu. In that sense, Krishna is superior to Vishnu.
Krishna also has four additional unique qualities not found in Vishnu. Srila Prabhupada explains them in The Nectar of Devotion:
1.Lila-madhuri—He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes). 2.Bhakta-madhuri—He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead. 3.Venu-madhuri—He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute. 4.Rupa-madhuri—He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.”
Brahma-samhita compares Krishna to a candle from which several other candles are lit. These candles are compared to Lord Vishnu and the various incarnations. Diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya . . . . (Bs. 5.46) Although all candles have the same potency, the original candle still retains its uniqueness. Krishna is like that original candle, the source of all the incarnations.
After describing the various incarnations of the Lord, Suta Gosvami quotes the following verse (Bhag. 1.3.28):
ete camas kala pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam indrari vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge
“All the incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord but Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam also describes the pastime of Maha-vishnu stealing the sons of a brahmana in Dvaraka so that He could somehow get the darshan of Lord Krishna. This incident proves how Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead and Vishnu an expansion. You may read this pastime in the Krishna book, chapter eighty-nine, The Superexcellent Power of Krishna.
From an impartial study of Krishna’s pastimes in Dwaraka, Mathura and Vrindavana, we understand that these pastimes become more and more intimate as we go from Dwaraka to Mathura to Vrindavana. In Dwaraka, Krishna is the King, and He is worshiped in great awe and reverence. In Mathura, that mood of awe and reverence reduces. And in Vrindavana, Krishna appears as a simple cowherd boy without displaying any of His opulence. He is in His original form as Gopal tending cows, playing with cowherd boys, and dancing with the cowherd girls. Therefore, since Vrindavana Krishna represents God in His original form, He is described as the most supreme in Vrindavana.
"Those who were raksasas in previous ages, have taken birth as brahmanas in Kali-yuga to torment the physically weak saintly persons who are engaged in the culture of hearing about the Lord."
In other words, this verse shows that birth is no guarantee of pure spiritual pedigree in Kali-yuga, for even demons are born in the families of brahmanas. It is also interesting to note from this sloka that those demons in the guise of brahmanas obstruct the saintly devotees engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord.
Prabhupada also mentions in this Bahagvatam purport 1.18.47. I am just copying and pasting.
if the question is raised why the brāhmaṇa community as a whole was made responsible for allowing Kali into the world affairs, the answer is given in theVarāhaPurāṇathat the demons who acted inimically toward the Personality of Godhead but were not killed by the Lord were allowed to take birth in the families of brāhmaṇas to take advantage of the age of Kali. The all-merciful Lord gave them a chance to have their births in the families of pious brāhmaṇas so that they could progress toward salvation. But the demons, instead of utilizing the good opportunity, misused the brahminical culture due to being puffed up by vanity in becoming brāhmaṇas. The typical example is the son of Śamīka Ṛṣi, and all the foolish sons of brāhmaṇas are warned hereby not to become as foolish as Śṛńgi and be always on guard against the demoniac qualities which they had in their previous births.