Lokanath Maharaj on the importance of tirthas


Venue: Los Angeles, 20/9/2003
nimajjyasmin hrade bhiru
vimanam idam aruha
idam sukla-kritam tirtham
asisam yapakam nrinam

Word for word:
nimajjya — after bathing; asmin — in this; hrade — in the lake; bhiru — O fearful one; vimanam — airplane; idam — this; aruha — ascend; idam — this; sukla-kritam — created by Lord Vishnu; tirtham — sacred lake; asisam — the desires; yapakam — bestowing; nrinam — of human beings.

Translation and purport by Srila Prabhupad, jai Srila Prabhupad, Srila Prabhupad ki jai.
Feels good, I gain some confidence. Maharaja asks devotees whether they had heard Prabhupad speaking sitting on this vyas asan, did anyone sitting here, had such a good fortune? Yourself mataji, your good name? Many times he was here for months together. Haribol! Not here, in Denver.
Sutkarma prabhu, where were you stationed those days? Where were you at that time, when Prabhpada was in Los Angeles? I was in Mumbai, Bombay. I wish he was with us giving this morning’s class but in some sense he is giving class. It is his Bhagvatam, his translations and purports, his disciples, Prabhupad’s disciples are trying to say something.
Translation: My dear Devah?ti, you look very much afraid. First bathe in the Lake Bindu Sarovara, created by Lord Vishnu Himself, which can grant all desires of a human being, and then mount this airplane.
Purport: It is still the system to go to places of pilgrimage and take a bath in the water there. In Vrindavan, the people take bath in the River Yamun?. In other places, such as Prayaga, they take bath in River Ganges. The words tirtham asisam yapakam refer to the fulfillment of desires by bathing in a place of pilgrimage. Kardama Muni advised his good wife to bathe in Lake Bindu Sarovara so that she could revive the former beauty and the luster of her body.
nimajjyasmin hrade bhiru
vimanam idam aruha
idam sukla-krita? tirtham
asisam yapakam nrinam

Translation: My dear Devahuti, you look very much afraid. First bathe in Lake Bindu Sarovara, created by Lord Vishnu Himself, which can grant all desires of a human being, and then mount this airplane.
There is one Bindu Sarovar in Bhuvaneshwar, claim to be the same Bindu Sarovar, there are some other claims also in Gujarat, there is a Bindu Sarovar. There are always more than one places, bindu; ida? ?ukla-k?ta? t?rtham, idam this one, he is pointing out, idam, this one look, look this one. His wife is right there and they are on the bank of that Bindu Sarovar, the lake that was created ?ukla-k?ta?. Lord Vishnu created that tirtha by the bindus, by the tear drops of Lord Vishnu. He had come there earlier visiting ashram of Kardam Muni. That was perfection of course, perfection of the austerities that this Kardam Muni had performed, “sujanti tasmai prabhavisnave namah,” tapasya purifies. That tapasya could drag Lord Vishnu to that person who is performing tapasya, that’s the power of tapasya. So Lord Vishnu had come. He was still there on the back of Garud. He was right there. Garud ji ki jai. He was in the air, not landed yet, he doesn’t have to land he is there, in the air, just above the kutir of Kardam Muni. Lord Vishnu is there, standing, we see that photograph, Lord is standing holding all the four symbols and as He is wathching Kardam Muni, seeing Kardam Muni and he is so much pleased with Kardam Muni and his austeries, his penance, his devotion, all his tapasya . Kardam Muni is not a dry one.
Yad karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat
Yat tapsayasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad –arpanam

He was offering his tapasya unto the Lord, for the pleasure of the Lord and Lord was highly pleased. He was there watching looking at him with great affection, so much affection that Lord started shedding tears. As mothers do, I have seen my mother shedding tears out of great affection, taking me on her lap or I just passed some exam. Two times, one in great distress one sheds tears and in great joy, jubilation also one sheds tears. So Lord was very jubilant to see his son, his Kardam Muni, my Kardam Muni, dear Kardam Muni and there were tears. How many tears? Lots of tears. So many bindus, bindu means drops, sindhu, sindhu means ocean, bindu, the drop in that ocean. So Bindu Sarovar. So many drops, droplets, crystal clear as if pearls were dropping. As if pearls were dropping from the eyes of the Lord and that formed a lake called Bindu Sarovar.
There is also Prem Sarovar in Vrindavan which is formed with the tears of Krishna as well as Radha, shedding so much, so many tears at one point, feeling great separation from each other. They were sitting next to each other .They were thinking where, where, where is Krishna? I just had him and this rascal Madhumangal came with a stick because there was one Madhu, the bhramar, the bumble bee was hovering just above Radha and Krishna were sitting. So this Madhumangal, this guy (laughs) this guy (I didn’t catch it, I didn’t say it properly) is disturbing Radha and Krishna. He came with a big stick and to get rid of this bumble bee. Hmmm…hmmm…hmmm (makes sound of bee) this is distraction. So came with a stick and then while going away. “I got rid of Madhu, I got rid of Madhu and as Radha Rani hears this, she thought he got rid of my Madhusudan. I finally had him but just see what he has done. He got rid of Madhusudan, now where I am going to find him Oh! Madhusudan, she was into tears. Madhusudan was right there looking, Oh! Oh! I am here; she doesn’t even here, what to speak of responding. She is fully convinced that he is not there. Madhumangal got rid of Madhusudan and then Krishna couldn’t, by seeing Radharani in that state of intense separation and full of tears, Krishna also starts shedding tears. And streams were flowing, not just a drop at a time like a tap in Indian taps, water taps, drop at a time, they don’t flow they have to keep the bucket for two hours to fill the bucket (laughter). So it wasn’t like that, streams were flowing, riverlets were flowing from their eyes. Those tears mixed forming another lake between Barsana and Nandagram called as Prem Sarovar, so there is another sarovar, another lake. Here this is Bindu Sarovar.
“Idam sukla-kritam tirtham.” And Kardam Muni is asking his wife, who has been described as bhiru or fearful one. Don’t be afraid, just enter this lake. “nimajjyasmin hrade bhiru.” Just throw your self into the lake, just enter the lake, jump into the lake, dive into this lake. “nimajjyasmin hrade bhiru.” and then ofcourse this lake will “asisam yapakam nrinam” you will be bestowed all benedictions, all your desires would be fulfilled, just enter this lake and once you have done that “vimanam aruham idam” board this plane, then we will take off, travel all over. Not the planet, all over all the planets, all over the universe.
There is common knowledge that the world is big and it was accessible to personalities like Kardam Muni. He had his own viman, he had his own aircraft. Wife and husband boarded the plane and this is long, long, long time ago, much prior to the Wright brothers had some bright ideas, somewhere in Europe or America? Europe and the flights were very common those days, the good old days, flying was very common, interplanetary shuttle sevices were known between higher planets and earthly planets. This always was one of the principle destinations for all the travels, this earthly planet was very very special tirtha, Bindu Sarovar is mentioned here but there are so many tirthas on this planet associated with Krishna, with Ram, with Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and few I havn’t mentioned.
In Vrindavan, people take bath in river Jamuna and Prayag and so many places. Padayatris have been tarvelling in India for past 20 yrs, they always come across another tirtha, yet another tirtha , another new tirtha after 5-10-20 kms walk, there is another tirtha, yet another tirtha. So many tirtha, all over that part of planet which is property of everybody. Why only in India? Why Lord is appearing in India? That part of the world is not in India. Vrindavan is not in India, Mathura is not in India. I was just reading last night also, Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to Vrindavan, first went to Mathura. He is at Vishram ghat, taking bath at Vishram ghat. Then he took bath at all the 24 ghats on the bank of Jamuna. So Vishram ghat is a place where vishram, resting place, Lord Krishna had taken rest, Lord Varaha took rest one time at Vishram ghat. He had just lifted the Earth and he was holding on his little tusk varaha, his little tusks. He is holding, Earth is right there, little one, tiny one. As he is holding Earth, he is called Dharnidhar. Earth is up there and he is sitting in Mathura, Mathura is not up there Mathura is not part of earth. The earth fell down but Vrindavan did not fall down, infallible. Vrindavan remained wherever it was, wherever it is. Lord Varaha comes holding the earthly planet and is sitting in Mathura, Vishram Ghat. So all these tirthas, all these holy places are not in India. So think that they are in India is one of the ten offences at the feet of the holy dham. There are ten offences against the holy name, there are ten offences against the dham and this is one of them, to think that Vrindavan is in U.P. and Mayapur is in Bengal, not correct, offence. They have there own realm.
So one goes, Prabhupad is writing, still the system to go to places of pilgrimage and take a bath in water there. In Vrindavan, people take bath in river Jamuna. In Prayagraj, there is Ganga, there is river Jamuna, there is Saraswati, there is Kaveri, there is Narmada, there is Sindhu and Godavari. Some people were there on bank of Godavari just last month, millions of them, there was Kumbha Mela on the bank of Godavari at Nashik. We had a big camp, huge camp following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupad. He used to go to kumbha melas, he went in 1971, he went there in 1977 and Prabhuapad used to say we havn’t come here to take bath. We are talking of taking bath, still that is the tradition.
Prabhupad used to say we have come here to preach the glories of devotional service, he is reminding his disciples. I also happened to be there in 1977 Kumbha Mela and we were sitting in the tent, Prabhupad’s tent in Kumbha Mela. Tent right in the river bed, the whole city comes up, crops up the river bed of Ganga , so we had our camp, so I was just reminded of Prayag when I came here. So, Prabhupad asked Brahmanandi, one follower from another sampradaya, a nice vaishnava. We padayatris had just a week earlier had visited his village, then we had invited him come, come see our Guru Maharaj, so this gentleman, a grihastha, very nice saintly grihastha so he had come. Prabhupad asked as they were talking, did you take bath at triveni sangam, the confluence. Then he said, that this person was so smart, he was carrying some water, so he moved very fast, he rushed to feet of Prabhupad, he bathed Prabhupad lotus feet, poured water with one hand and held water, he had a plate or something and then he sprinkled that water on his head. Yes, Yes, now I have taken bath, taken bath. This is the bath that I was looking forward to.
Pada jal, bhakta pada jal, bhakta pada dhuli, bhakta bhukta avasesa yei tin bala.
These three things give us spiritual strength, one of them is bhakta pada jal, water that has washed the lotus feet of great acharayas, spiritual master. Sprinkle that and you have taken bath in all the holy tirthas. And bhakta pada dhuli, the dust of there feet, bhakta bhukta avasesa, the mahaprasad left behind by pure devotees. These three things gives lots of bala, lots of spiritual strength. Srila Prabhupad always reminded us of one particular verse, it’s not doing in this purport but he always tells this, when talk comes of taking a holy dip in some tirthas in some sacred river.
“Yad tirtha budhi salinena karhicit na jane shu abhigya shu sa eva gokhara”
You remember this verse gokhara. So this is statement of Lord Krishna, Lord Krishna is in Kurukshetra. He has travelled long distance. He has come all the way from Dwaraka with hundreds and thousand of residents of Dwaraka to take holy dip in the lake at Kurukshetra, on the occasion of sun eclipse, this is tradition even to this day. 5000 yrs ago, on one such sun eclipse, Krishna had come. So, there were so many sages and rishis and munis, they found out that the Lord was in town, Lord was there, they all came in big number to see the Lord and the Lord was now addressing them. So this statement which Prabhupad always quotes, this is statement of Lord Krishna. Lord said my dear sages and saintly persons assembled here, people go to tirtha, I also have come to this holy tirtha.
Yad tirtha budhi salinena karhicit, people have so much faith in taking bath salile salilam means water, sacred waters yad tirtha budhi there mind is fixed focused on taking bath in the holy places, they have so much faith in this holy rivers, the lakes, the kunds, they come and they take bath. But they always don’t have same amount of faith in jane su abhigye su in people, perosonalities who are abhigya, those have full knowledge abhigya, gya means to know. Abhigya abhigya svarat, Krishna is also known as abhigya and svarat. Lord is independent and full of knowledge, full cognition. So those who are devoted to Him, have heard Him, they also become abhigya. So those who are knowledgeable personalities in those tirthas, residing on the banks of those tirthas, those who study sashtra, they are like spiritual masters, spiritual guides for the pilgrims coming to those places of pilgrimage. So people coming they have more faith or they have sometimes only faith in taking bath, but not having faith in those holy men, knowledgeable persons, those dham gurus and so these persons coming for only holy dip but not approaching the holy men. They are to be compared, Krishna says, go and khara
They are like cows, the bull is also ‘go,’ sometimes I feel bad to say that they are compared to the cow, I think it’s good, isn’t it? Compare someone to a cow is good. But ‘go’ also meant dull headed bull not a gentle cow. So it has both meanings, cow and the bull, they are both ‘go’ ‘go and khara,’ khara means ass, ass is ok, there is no controversy over that, so they are compared with the asses and compared to the cows, dull headed bulls. They just go and only take bath and do not approach the holy men.
When people go to Prayag, Ganga is visible, Jamuna is visible. People wonder where is Saraswati? Where is Saraswati? Where is Saraswati? She is very mysterious river, appears and disappears, goes up and down. She is also there but then devotees explain that there are hundreds and thousands sadhus are here and they are talking, Saraswati is flowing right out of their mouths. Saraswati is emanating from there mouth, so take bath in that, those words, those knowledgeable statements. Then your bath is complete Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati, you drown also in the ocean of knowledge. So of the two, after taking bath and hearing from sadhus, hearing from sadhus is considered superior and if one doesn’t do that, but only takes bath, then he is ‘gokhara.’
Caitanya Mahaprabhu appered as nimajjya after bathing. This reminded me of another statement of Prabhodananda Saraswati in Caitanya Chandaramrit, he is glorifying Caitanya Mahaprabhu saying, “yen majyanti majyanti te maha anartha sagare avatirna guar chandre vistirne prem sagare.” Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared in order to expand the ocean of knowledge, ocean of love of godhead. So everyone is appealed, please jump now, and jump right in there. Avatirne guar chandre Lord has appeared, Guar Chandra has appeared. Vistirne prem sagar. Prem sagar the ocean of love of godhead, he has come to expand it. Normally oceans are not allowed to go beyond certain limit, they were trying to cross certain borders at Kerala few days ago and something happened. Normally they have their limits, Prabhupad was on morning walk in Hawaii, he stopped suddenly, devotees gathered around to hear statement of Prabhupad, Prabhupad said Lord has ordered this ocean, you can’t go beyond this.
Mayadhiksena prakruti. Prabhupad had this thought as he was walking he wanted to share with his disciples, devotees gathered all around and yes this ocean is not allowed to expand, come forward. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu appered to pratiksana, the ocean of love of godhead is ever expanding, ever expanding. What is that?
“ceto-darpan- marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
Sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam”

And anandambudhi-vardhanam, anandambudhi, ocean of love of godhead and vardhanam, expanding ocean of love of godhead. We don’t have such experience. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to expand the ocean of love of godhead and there is appeal that you please dive deeper into this ocean and but if you don’t do this, then the only other ocean awaiting for you is maha anartha sagare. We talk of two sagar, two oceans, prem sagar and maha anartha sagar. So yen na majayanti na majayanti, those who don’t dive deeper into the ocean of love of godhead further expanded by Caitanya Mahaprabhu for them, the only choice is maha anartha sagare. So let us that ocean had been expanded on behalf of Caitnaya Mahaprabhu by Srila Prabhupad and the ocean has been expanded cutting canals sitting in that Jaldutta boat.
Just last week devotees of Boston, they gathered at pear, Boston pear and they had festival called as paschayat des tarine, they gave the name of festival paschayat des tarine. There were couple of hundred devotees, senior devotees, Prabhupad’s senior disciples went to that pear were Prabhuapad, he landed captain Pandye said swamiji, swamiji America is here lets go lets see, Prabhupad had accompanied this Pandye and Prabhupad was watching America for first time and they are all immersed in this maha anartha sagar. The sagar of anarthas and that’s the time Prabhupad went. Prabhupad oh! I came here on order of my spiritual master to deliver guarvani pracharine, guarvani message of Guaranga Mahaprabhu but how am I going to do? I have no customers everybody is so busy in rat race, running back and forth nobody is stopping and everybody is rushing, running. Such a passion, Prabhupad was wondering, God! How am I going to manage now? Then Prabhupad had sat and went back to the boat. Now the boat was between Boston and Newyork. Prabhupad sat down and wrote that famous poem.
Bhagavata dharma.
Oh ! Prabhu Oh! Caitnaya Mahaprabhu now nacao Prabhu nacao nacao se-mate ami to kashter puttli .

I am just a puppet in your hands Oh! Mahaprabhu, Oh! Krishna, Oh! Damodar, now make me dance, Oh! Lord make me dance so as you feel, make me dance. So Prabhupad came and expanded the love of godhead spread all over America, all over Europe, all over Africa like that he went fourteen times around cutting canals and distributing love of godhead. That prem, Krishna prem that Caitanya Mahaprabhu had brought with him all the way from spiritual sky. Prabhuapad was taking that all over and creating tirthas and his holy sashtras are tirthas.
We could take shelter of his tirthas, tirthas is a place that gives shelter, dham is place where you take refuge take shelter that is dham. So of all the tirthas Srila Prabhupad’s scriptures, books are the topmost holy places, places of pilgrimage, places which we should visit and as we visit these scriptures they take us all over we go with Kardam Muni all over, we go with other munis, Narada Muni all over. We go to Vaikuntha, we go to Golok we go to everywhere these, these are the windows of spiritual sky, we could see through Prabhupad’s books.
Otherwise we are blind not able to see because of the darkness of this age of kali and then Prabhuapad offered us Bhagvatam. Nasta kalu drasam esham Kalu nasta drasam. Kaliyug finished our drusti, our vision, puran arak uditaha, then Bhagvatam has appeared on the scene from horizon. Prabhupad has presented that and as Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message in there and we should take shelter of Prabhupad. Taking shelter of his instructions, his purports, he has poured his heart into his books and his books are nondifferent from Prabhupad so as we open a book, listen, read Prabhupad is right there we get to meet Prabhupad, we get to know Prabhupad. If you want to know me what is to be done? What to do? How we get Prabhupad? Read his books, read his thoughts.
Essence of what a person is, is his speech wait till he talks he may have a tie and a coat, but his mouth he is going to expose himself as a fool. Prabhupad was a wise man, wise person that we have ever met and he has contributed so much, he has given us Rukhmini Dwarkadish. He has given everything. He has given us Krishna, what more you want, he has given us holy name, given us also Vrindavan, given us Mayapur, given us Jagganathpuri, given us Mahaprasad. Mahaprasade govinde, very famous and popular prayer right? There are two prayers very famous Om namo bhagvate vasudevai and as soon as that prayer is chanted devotees (sleep), Mahaprasade govinde they wakeup (laughter). So Prabhupad has given us everything. So let us remain very greatful to Srila Prabhupad and his Hare Krishna movement was so dear to Prabhupad he always appealed everyone to understand this movement and appealed everyone to join this movement and to push on this movement. Especially American boys and girls, he used to say American boys and girls. Sometimes he used to say European boys and girls, never said Indian boys and girls (laughs). I was waiting but he never said Indian boys and girls anyway we are included in that. And he wanted his American boys and girls especially to do something wonderful, to do something wonderful otherwise give up your citizenship. What kind of Americans you are? You can’t do wonderful things. So let us all meditate get together plan cooperate with Saubas Prabhu to push on our Hare Krishna movement in this part of the world. Then druta karma will go with the boot to the scientist. Prabhupad liked the kicking scientist with the boot, so like that we have different fronts to work on just get our army together consolidated our army and shuu………….shot.
Maya is getting stronger, kaliyug forces are getting. We should unite spread this Krishna Consciousness
all over, there is nothing better to be had than this Krishna Consciousness. Only thing that is lagging in this world according to Bhaktisiddhant Saraswati. Let us take this very seriously take it to your heart practice and propagate far and wide.
Srila Prabhuapad ki jai .
Grantha Raj Srimad Bhagvatam ki jai.
Guar Premanande Hari Haribol .
His Holiness Lokanath Swami ki jai.

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  1. kritika