H.H Lokanath Swami’s 62nd Vyasa Puja lecture


HH Lokanath Swami speaks on the occasion of his 62nd Vyasa Puja at Shri Dham, Pandharpur on 11th July, 2011.

How many Hindi speaking disciples are there? Oh! Quite a lot. How many do not know Marathi? So what should we do? (Chorus for Hindi.) Marathi disciples keep quiet?

I was thinking that today I have to only hear and not speak; and then, Ishtadev prabhu reminded me that I needed to speak as well.

What should I speak on my own birthday? There is a specific topic for you to speak…no, the topic is not Hindi. (Responding to a prabhu’s call for Hindi from the audience.)

Today’s puja is for Vyasa dev, Vyasapuja. Vyasa. When you were giving your glorifications, ‘Guru is one tattva’. This is one of the arrangements of the Lord – Vishnu Tattva, Shakti Tattva, Panca Tattva in Mayapur – similarly Guru Tattva – I won’t go into the details of all. In this world, man forgets the Lord, one wants to enjoy the external energies of the Lord, and this has been happening since time immemorial. So the lost souls are wandering in this world, trapped in various bodies. However, the Lord does not want this. Still some souls adopt this path of enjoyment. The Lord is fully independent, and we, being His minute particles, have some independence. But we misuse this independence by thinking that, “I am the Lord.” Then some small indragopa germ, Srila Prabhupada informed us about the existence of this very small germ, till Indra, everybody is trapped in this mentality to different degrees to try and enjoy. So the facility to enjoy is what this world is for – it is for both enjoyment and deliverance.

The Lord does not want us to remain entrapped. He wants us to get liberated. sarvasya c?ham? hr?di sannivis?t?o. Lord is present in every heart and knows what we desire. The Gopis were so fortunate that with each Gopi there was one Krsna. When we hear or read this, we forget that this is the arrangement, one living entity can be considered as one Krsna. As many living entities are there, there are as many Krsnas. Lord Krsna is present in everyone’s heart waiting for us to discard sense enjoyment and turn towards Him. brahmäëòa bhramite kona bhägyavän jéva, guru-kåñëa-prasäde päya bhakti-latä-béja, this is the arrangement of the Lord. This is the choice of the Lord. He keeps observing who is who and then some living entities have reached the end of their time, they desire to go back to Him or are tired of the material world. Guru Krsna kripa paye….then the Guru Tattva made by the Lord comes into the picture and he is also a person and on behalf of the Lord, those who are bhagyavanbahut sukrit jiva – manuna Vitthal avadi. If he becomes warkari, knowingly or unknowingly, if he comes into the association of devotees, and then he assimilates those qualities, then they desire to achieve Godhead, and such a person, Guru Krsna kripa paye – adau shraddha… by the mercy of Guru, who teaches the path of devotion.

Guru is not independent but acts on behalf of the Lord, as Srila Prabhupada said, “Krsna says, ‘mam ekam sharanam,’ so the Guru says, surrender to Krsna. So the message remains the same.” However, nowadays swamis become Narayan themselves, and then the tattva is different. Their disciples are sometimes asked, “This swami used to come so regularly to the temple, but we do not see him at all now-a-days. Why so?” And they reply, “Since he has realized that he himself is God, he has stopped coming to the temple. He has realized that he is God – Narayanaham brahmasmi. Then the bewilderment starts, then he stops being the representative of God and therefore he does not remain in Guru Tattva, and thus there is no Vyasa Puja also. This is the arrangement of the Lord…there is satsang, dharma.

Dharma is the arrangement of the Lord. It is not the result of household activity. If some people get together and decide what dharma is and pass a resolution that from now on we shall drive on the right, but as they start doing so, they get caught by the police, who states that their personal laws are to be kept at home, but in the world outside, law of the state has to be followed. The main dharma is dharman tu saksad bhagavad pranitamthis is what the guru teaches, by means of personal example. They become devotees themselves and show how devotional service is to be performed, and in this manner make more devotees. He has to take all his disciples back to Godhead! This is some kind of contract. (Chorus of Hari bol!)

Now don’t become a parent, friend, guru, etc, unless you can save the person from death, or from the repeated cycle of birth and death. So you can’t become a friend, a Guru if you cannot deliver them from birth and death. Hare Krsna.

So the Lord becomes Guru himself. He teaches Brahma himself…adi kavaye. We come in this parampara, Srila Prabhupada’s paramparaBrahma Madhva Gaudiya sampradya, in which Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself appeared 500 years ago, God appeared and acted in the manner of a guru. All acts of a guru were carried out by Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself. He introduced the chanting of the holy names, and delivered the yuga dharma.

Krsna lived in a few places only like Vrndavan. He also came here in Pandharpur, Krsna became Vitthal or Panduranga here. The same Krsna from Vrndavan, the cowherd Gopal, they all walk and the dust creates a cloud. This dust then settles down on earth again, and some of it settles on Krsna’s peacock feathers, his features, etc and thus He looks whitish – yellowish. That is the color of the Vrndavan’s dust, and this increases the beauty of Krsna and He is known in this form as Panduranga. Krsna went only to places like Kaundinyapur, Hastinapur, Prag Jyotishpur in Assam. There may be hardly 50 places where Krsna went, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu traveled all over, right down to the small towns and streets and all He requested was for everyone to take Krsna’s name. When He ordered Haridas Thakur and Nityanand Mahaprabhu to travel all over to preach, He himself also went. Nityanand Mahaprabhu preferred to be with Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu made him the founder acarya of West Bengal parampara.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu also went to Kerala, Orrisa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. He also came to Pandharpur. He taught the dharma for Kali Yuga – congregational chanting – very musical rendering of the holy names.

Sundara Lala….kirtan.

So Vitthal Bhagavan, Panduranga appeared 5000 years ago, and the same Krsna reappeared 500 years ago. So the latest God is Gauranga Mahaprabhu. So in this way, Krsna remains the same, there is no difference, one is Gaura Sundar and the other is Shyam Sundar. He inaugurated this yuga dharma. So the Gurus have only this work in parampara, the preaching that is there, should be of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings in this Kali Yuga. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna himself, so in that parampara, it is for every living entity in this world. There will be a time when there will be only one parampara in the world…in some years, maybe 10, 100, and 1000s of years – what will happen? Sarvatra – everywhere there shall be only this preaching of sankirtan. This is not a matter of winning or losing, but param vijayate Sri Krsna Sankirtan.

So now when I see this arrangement (points to the samadhis on stage), one is Rupa Goswami’s samadhi and the other is Bhajan Kutir, this sight is of Vrndavan’s Radha Damodar mandir. When I was Bhakta Raghunath – you have seen my family – my parents are no longer there. On 5th July, 1949, I was born; it was a Tuesday (his eldest brother agrees). Ram was also born on Tuesday, and therefore my name was kept as Raghunath. Raghunath Das, so when I was Bhakta Raghunath, I went to Vrndavan, and saw Radha Damodar mandir  for the 1st time, I saw Srila Prabhupada in  the courtyard, (and Laxmi N pr explained what was my 1st lesson).  I used to shake my legs while listening and this caught the attention of Srila Prabhupada. I was wondering why he was looking at me, his camera would stop every time he saw me, and the he ordered, “Stop It!” So I stopped, and it has stopped ever since except when I recount this as a demonstration. So Srila Prabhupada accepted this das, and it was during Kartik. So I was with Srila Prabhupada for a full month. He would give pravacans every morning and evening. He would sit between the two kutirs, and mornings would be Nectar of Devotion and Srimad Bhagavatam in the evening. There I got the chance of serving.
My life got a new direction, I was on the lookout for something, and the Lord brought me to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, my education was going on in Sangli’s Shivaji University. But I thought that if I became a Bombay university graduate, that would be good. That’s how I went to Bombay. There I saw the banners and posters of Srila Prabhupada’s pravacans, and I went. As I heard more and more, I became Srila Prabhupada’s, and my chemistry books underwent visarjan in the sea, gutters and God knows where else.

So I went from Sangli to Bombay to study, but the Lord had some other plans, if I had remained in Sangli I would not have met Srila Prabhupada, who was in Bombay then. So the Lord brought me to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. So during kartik, I went to Vrndavan and my initiation took place between the two kutirs, and from Bhakta Raghunath, I became Lokanath Das. Chant 16 rounds was the order, and I have been following ever since. So this sight on stage has taken me back to those days. So I met Srila Prabhupada in 1971, so this is the 40th anniversary, and in this way, and in that year itself, we met in April and in June he was to go to Moscow…those were different days, of communists, superpowers. So it was big news that an Indian swami was going there, so when everyone heard that Srila Prabhupada is going to Moscow, there was loud applause. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

When Srila Prabhupada was in our midst, he was traveling all over the world; all of you know his story. He went all alone in 1965 to preach Bhagavad dharma, and those kirtans that only took place in India – he wished these kirtans to resonate in New York. Now we have so many mikes etc, but Srila Prabhupada sat on the footpath and he did not even have a hand mike. He would play kartala and preach there himself.
Then he took a small place on rent, and those whom he met on the streets would come there twice a week. They did not know the basics of spirituality and would come with their girlfriends and bottles of wine in their hands. Srila Prabhupada would cook prasadam for them, preach them, and teach them the swami step. Then he would seat them down and personally serve them halava puri, which they had never eaten before. They would eat and leave and Srila Prabhupada would wash the dishes. I was hearing yesterday, that devotees of the Lord can go anywhere to preach. Srila Prabhupada also said that, “Bowery was worse than hell.”  So he was alone in 1965 and after 10-12 yrs, when he reentered the eternal lilas of the Lord, he had already preached all over the world. The astrological prediction when he was born was that he would establish more than 100 temples, and he established more than 108 temples. He was instructed by his guru to preach in English, and this he did to the full satisfaction of his guru. Temples, goshalas, etc were established. The gobhakhaks became gorakshaks and they became human beings. Those who were ridiculed by society were nurtured by Srila Prabhupada.

This was the prediction of Caitanya Mahaprabhusarvatra pracar – and this was done by Srila Prabhupada, and is being continued by ISKCON – dharma samstharpa The saints carry forward the message of the Lord. As I was explaining to the Chief Minister, the raja must protect dharma, and in turn protect the citizens. That is what the ISKCON movement is doing throughout the world. Today’s target is distribution of 16000 Bhagwat Gitas out of which 7k have already been distributed. The dindis from Dehu and Alandi started kirtans from their respective places and continued till Pandharpur. Also from Kaundinyapur. Prasad is also being distributed today. So Srila Prabhupada will be immensely happy by seeing all this.

There are many vacant places in Vaikuntha, your place can only be occupied by you. That is the desire of the Lord that we regain our original identities. Like Tukaram Maharaj’s Vaikunth agaman. ISKCON has manifested here in Pandharpur dham, and as we were planning significant expansion, there was an initiative by the authorities to provide facilities for the devotees. One should not come here as a tourist. So there are many proposals in the offing. So from Vishnupath, nearly 1.5 kms away, right till the bridge here; there shall be a ghat on both the banks of river Chandrabhaga.  So the authorities approached ISKCON and now Braj Hari prabhu informs us that a committee has been formed under which this project will be undertaken.

So we are eternally indebted to Srila Prabhupada, “without him I don’t know where we would all be.” Today we have assembled here in Pandharpur, and are discussing about returning to Godhead. So in his memory, we have proposed the name as Srila Prabhupada ghat. Is the name ok? (Haribol) So this is a big project, and we are offering this as a service to Srila Prabhupada. So today, during brahma muhurt, the bhoomi pujan took place. Some of you may have been sleeping or on the way, but do you think this is a good plan? So we all have to contribute towards the success of this plan.emstrongacarya

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