South India Tour 2012 : Day 1, Tirupati


Day 1 – May 23, 2012

Location – Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh, India)

Venue – Iskcon auditorium

Welcome to day 1 of South India Yatra. We also have Iskcon Tirupati devotees sitting here for the class today. All you visitors who have come from all over, Iskcon Tirupati devotees are your hosts and you are their guests.  So guests and hosts are sitting together. This is one family.

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam

kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

This is the solution of all problems. If there is electircty failure, we take shelter of the holy name and depend on Krishna.

So although this is the time for Srimad-Bhagavatam class,  we shall be discussing katha of Balaji. Anything related to the katha of Bhagvan is bhagvat. The devotees of the Lord are also called bhagvatas. There is bhagavat dharma also. All this has a relation with Krishna. aham sarvasya prabhavah. And our relation is also with Krishna. We belong to Bhagavan. Please accept this. It is not just a matter of your acceptance; this is the actual absolute fact. Sri Sri Radha Govinda is actual Bhagvan. Is your heart happy to see the form? This darshan is worth all the austerities.

It was such a transcendental and grand darshan. Did something move in your heart to see the Lord? Or was it just an ordinary scene. This is feast for the eyes. Festival for the eyes. Netrotsava. This is not just feast for eyes; this is also feast for the soul. This is nourishment for the soul. This darshan is food and water for the soul. You drink the Lord through your eyes when you see the Lord.

Our dear sri sri Radha Govinda. They are OUR dear. So one who is very dear, we are very fond of him and we feel like seeing him again and again. Our heart is eager to see such a beloved person. We want to see, meet and talk to such a beloved. We call by phone again and again to our beloved.

So this chanting Hare Krishna mantra is communication with the Lord. It is like having a dialogue with the Lord. If we are sleeping can we have a dialogue with the Lord? So please wake up, jiva jago. And do what . Call out for Krishna, talk to him. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

When we make this call in the dham then it becomes local call. Lord is already residing here. So it’s going to be cheap, and also clear. If a person is calling from New Zealand, you cannot hear clearly. But if you are locally residing here and if you call Balaji, Varadraaj, Govindaraj, Ranganath, Sri Rama , Lord Siva then it will be much easier . Let the Lord notice that you have reached here.

So we were discussing that darshan of the Lord is feast for the eyes. Eyes are just instruments to see, but the person who sees is the soul. In a dead body also there are eyes, but it cannot see, cannot talk. So actual seer and talker is the soul. So let the soul see. Soul is not at all interested in the forms of the material world. But we are showing him the forms of the material world. Therefore the soul is sad. It is vomiting. Because the forms that you are showing to the soul are not spiritual whereas the soul is spiritual.

The soul hears the sound of spirituality. The soul and the Lord are very strongly related. Thus the soul vomits  at the sound, form, touch, smell of this material world. For many many lifetimes the soul has not eaten anything, nor has he drunk anything. Therefore it is sad. In order  to make this sad soul a happy soul, we have come to this tirtha yatra. And now we will do a lot of nourishment of this soul and make it healthy and strong and by the end of the yatra we will make this atma – a  mahatama. Or will you make it Parmatma? That is not possible. Parmatama is one, souls are many. This is never possible that someone becomes god.  god can never become god. He is always God. Not that once there was a soul who did lot of yatra, gave charity  and he became Parmatma. So those who do not know that the Lord is full of 6 opulences they get cheated.

This is free time for you; you are free for 24 hours. Such moments are very rare in our lives. Such moments or such days. This is a special mercy of the Lord that he pushed us out of our houses and brought us to the yatra. Are you lamenting for this deed of the Lord? Are you planning to go back? So this vairagya is good. Of course you might have come with your family also. But still lot of wordly things you have left behind. That which is not yours and you have been thinking it to be yours that is Maya. Srila Prabhupada explains this. So the Lord has liberated you from Maya.

Of course you have left Maya behind and you keep checking whether it is still there or not. Reduce these phone calls. Better to be less informed about Maya. No news is good news. It is better if you are not receiving any news.  You have brought your body; let your mind also be here. As much as you are present in the yatra, that much it will be favourable for us. Jnana and bhakti increases when vairagya in our life increases. So as much vairagyavaan we shall become, that much jananvaaan and bhaktivaan we will become.

If you want to measure how much progress one has made in bhakti, we have to see how detached he is. You might not have voluntarily thought that we are going to apply so much vairagya. But this situation in yatra is favourable to increase our vairagya and bhakti. This jnana and viaragya is to increase our bhakti. To push our bhakti.

So here our body has reached Tirupati. Let us keep our soul here as well. We will also need our intelligence. This yatra is not the task of a fool. So mostly in the yatra there will be sravanam kritanam vishnoh smaranam and within this is darshan also. Shravana is more important than darshan. There might be places which we will not be able to visit, but at least we can hear about them.

Recently in Mayapur HH Bhakti Vikas Swami had brought 1000 devotees for yatra and the theme of their yatra was sravanam kirtanam. So we have officially not thought over a theme for this yatra but srvanam kirtanam is most important. This hearing and chanting is the basis of our yatra. Simply by seeing we will not be able to understand anything. To progress in spiritual life and move ahead the strongest process is sravan bhakti and the basis of sravanam is harer naam eve kevalam.

Today and tomorrow you will be taking darshan in many temples. You have already taken darshan of Radha Govinda. Yesterday was arrival day, and this morning we wanted to take Mangla darshan of Radha Govinda. Charity begins at home. Of course Balaji is not a stranger, but there is more familiarity towards our temple deities.

One time one person asked Srila Prabhupada- We have so many temples why do we need more temples. Srila Prabhupada asked who is this  lady with you? He replied, my wife. And this boy – Srila Prabhupada asked. He replied, my son. Srila Prabhupada said, there are so many sons in this world why did you need one more son. To have my own son. Similarly I want  have my own temple.

So from here our yatra has begun this morning. Today and tomorrow also you will go and see other deities. Before darshan comes sravanam. What are we seeing, what is the glory of this place and deity?

I am also just a guest like you here. Actually Revati Raman prabhu, who is dham guru of Tirupati, he should have been narrating these pastimes to us. But he told me a few pastimes which I would like to share with you.

So the mountain you see opposite the temple is not an ordinary mountain. There are 7 different mountains here called Saptagiri. These hills are considered a part of Meru Parvat. Garudji brought these mountains here and this is also called Sheshadri – Shesh is Ananta Shesh and adri means mountain.  This is Anant Shesh on whose hoods Lord Balaji is residing.

One of these mountains is Vyenkat. And because the Lord is the master of this mountain, therefore he is called Vyenkateshwar. Vyenka means sin, and kata means cutting or burning the sins. So those who come here to Tirupati and take darshan all their sins are destroyed. But then do not commit sins again thinking that I will come again. Then it will become like kunjara shauchavat – bathing of an elephant. Do not misuse the potency of the dham.

At some distance there is a place call Kalahasthi temple of Lord Shiva. There was a man who was born in a Brahman family but he did not remain Brahman by activities. He did many sinful activities in his lifetime. One day by the grace of the Lord, he decided to go on yatra to Tirumala. When he climbed the hill and saw Balaji, he felt a burning sensation in his body. So his realisation was this burn is because my sins are getting burnt. The Lord liberated him from all sins. This is the first hand example of this cripple minded Brahman who did not remain cripple minded any more.

This is very ancient dhama and it is difficult to estimate how old this place is. Once upon a time there was a yajna that had to be performed.  Narada muni was also involved. Many Rsis were assembled and they were all discussing whom should we offer the results of the yajna to. Or rather they discussed that we should offer the results to the one who is the supreme of all. So many talks and discussions were going on but could not reach any conclusion. So they appointed Bhrigu muni. This pastime was narrated by Sukadeva Goswami to Maharaj Parikshit at the end of canto 10.

Bhrigu Muni first of all went to Kailash.  Shiva and Bhrigu are brothers. Shiva was born out of Brahma’s forehead- Rudra and Bhrigu is also Manas putra of Bramha. So when Shiva  saw Bhrigu, he stepped ahead to embrace his brother. But Bhrigu said stay away, go and take a bath, because there were ashes all over Shiva’s body. Shiva is vairagya murti so he does not pay attention to so much cleanliness. Shiva became angry and took his trident and ran behind Bhrigu. Mother Parvati had to come to protect him.  Bhrigu left but noted the behaviour.

So what was the yardstick to measure who is supreme? The tolerance level will be seen. He came to satya loka. Bhrigu did not offer obeisance to Bramha, rather he went and sat with his back towards Brahma and he became very angry. But he tried to tolerate his anger and did not let it come out.

Then Bhrigu went ahead to Svetadvipa where Laxmi was serving the feet of Narayana. He just entered without any prior notice. He entered and kicked the chest of Narayana. Laxmi had never experienced this before. She could not tolerate it. Bhrigu muni just kept standing there. Lord Vishnu started apologising; ‘my chest is so hard I hope I did not hurt you.’ Lord took the feet of Bhrigu and began massaging him.

Bhrigu Muni became satisfied with Lord Vishnu. He returned and narrated the pastime and declared that Lord Vishnu is the Supreme. Sri Sri Laxmi Narayana ki jay! Vishnu Bhagvan ki jay! vishvnu tattva ki jaya!

But Laxmi became very angry. She thought Lord Vishnu should have kicked him out, on the contrary he started massaging his feet. So much tolerance was inconceivable even for Laxmi. So Laxmi just left Narayana on svetadvipa, without giving any prior notice. She left very angrily just like Rukmini had left Dwarka and Dwarkadhish had to come looking for her to Pandharpur. She came down to find a place where she can just stay in seclusion. She came down to earth, in Maharashtra, in Kolhapur and is residing there since then. So this is the history of Kolhapur Laxmi. Just like Dwarkadhish had come to see Rukmini, lord Vishnu came to see Laxmi. He saw all over and finally came to Tirupati, losing all hopes, I have lost her forever.  He started residing in the peak of Vyenkat Parvat  in an ant hill. Mahalaxmi came to know about all this in Kolhapur. She realised there is no on to serve Him. I will not go there but I will send someone to serve Him.  So she arranged for a cow and a calf. With cow there will be milk and milk products and there can be lots of offerings for the Lord. So she asked Shiva to become calf and Bramha became cow. She sold this pair of cow and calf to one person who had thousands of cows. Mahalaxmi did a deal with the owner of these cows.

So with other cows and calves, Laxmi’s sold cow and calf were also grazing. She instructed them you should shed all your milk above that ant hill where the Lord is residing. And my prabhuji would get it.

So when all the cows would return to goshala, one particular cow would not give milk. The cowherd man thought -why she is not giving milk to us. The owner asked him to keep an eye on the cow, watching where she goes, to whom she is giving the milk. He saw that she is going to an ant hill and showering her milk there. The gaurd became very angry and threw his axe towards the cow. But suddenly Lord Vishnu came out to protect the cow. He got badly injured. The guard understood this is Bhagavan and I have harmed him.

So the guard brought his owner to the spot. The Lord became angry and cursed the owner to become a demon. He begged for forgiveness. The lord said, I have cursed you so it cannot change but after the birth as a demon you will be born as a king and you will have a girl child and I shall marry her.

So he became a demon and then became a king named Akashraja. He had a brother but none of them had a child. So both were worried. They thought of doing a Yajna and please the Lord. Before the yajna they were preparing the field by ploughing it.  When he was ploughing, his plough got stuck. He dug in that area and found a lotus flower with 1000 petals and in the middle of that lotus he found a girl child, her name was Padmavati. He brought her home. This is my daughter, he thought to himself.

She began to grow and soon grew up to a marriageable age. One time Padmavati was sitting with her friends in a park. That time Lord Vishnu went out hunting and was chasing an elephant. The elephant ran in the same garden where Padmavati was sitting with her friends. The elephant got lost, but Lord’s attention was caught by Padmavati. She was beautiful, she was not an ordinary lady. She is the alhadini shakti- pleasure giving potency of the Lord. We have also been created to give pleasure to the Lord. But we are very small potencies. But Mahalaxmi or Radharani or Sitadevi, they look like ordinary women, wearing sari etc. But they are not ordinary.  Rukmini is not an ordinary Maharashtrian lady. She was not like ladies from Nagpur or Amravati. Lord does not marry anyone from the mortal world. This is a different tattva. Laxmi, Sita devi, Radharani is not ordinary jiva atma. From Radharani, gopis are manifested and from them the queens of Dwarka and then Laxmi.

So when he returned home he started telling his mother about the beauty of Padmavati and she understood immediately. Bakula devi had told him that you married 16,108 times but I did not see even one of your marriages. I remained in Vrindavan. Vasudev and Devaki were with you. But I being your mother did not get the opportunity to witness your marriage. And he had also promised Akashraja that he will marry his daughter and this was Padmavati. Then they met formally and they liked each other.

Lord Srinivas said to his mother,  do you know that when Ravan came to kidnap Sita she had to stay in Lanka for 10 months. Then she had to undergo Agni pariksha so the Sita that stayed in the Lanka, was Chaya Sita.  So one time Sita told Rama, that Vedavati took so much trouble, remembered you so much, as if you were her husband.  She had no one in her mind, she was totally Rama conscious. What about her, what will happen to her. So here Lord Vishnu is telling to Bakula devi this Padmavati is Vedavati herself.

Bakula devi agreed and the preparations of marriage began. The Lord wanted to do such a wedding for her mother which was never performed in the past, nor will it be performed in the future. For this lot of money was needed. But here the Lord was roaming in a jungle and Laxmi was also not with Him. So he was asked to take marriage loan from Kuvera. Kuvera is the treasurer of demigods. But there has to be a guarantor and Bramha became the guarantor. There should be someone answerable. So one day this pastime happens here when Brahma is brought in front of Kuvera and Kuvera chastises him –‘ Why is it that still the debt has not been paid. Even the interest has not been paid.’

In Narayana Vanam, about 40 km from here, Lord Vishnu married Padmavati devi, in the presence of His mother. All the demigods attended this grand marriage ceremony. Now Lord started staying with Padmavati on Vyenkat Parvat. And he is still residing here.  Hare Krishna!



About the Author