Srila Prabhupada took sannyas for the benefit of the whole world


Venue: Pune
Srila Prabhupada ki jay!!

Srila Prabhupada did most of his classes also in English, not many knew in the audience. 50 years ago, he also on the occasion of his sannyas ceremony in Mathura, he also had spoken in English. So this is yet another reason for us to speak in English. He was concerned about his followers. They were from all over the world. So we also speak the international language, english for their benefit. And even if you don’t understand the language that Prabhupada would speak in, those persons are still benefitted. Sometimes in Juhu, he would speak in English, others some children or others and he would make those comments. “They don’t understand my language but still there is a benefit.”

There was another time he was speaking in Vrndavana in Hindi and some of his disciples they thought, ” Oh! We don’t understand this language!” Especially Gurudas, he mentioned. As he was getting ready to get up and walk away, Prabhupada said, “Sit down!” But I don’t understand!” “You will be benefited; still the transcendental vibration has purifying effect regardless”. 50 years quickly passed since Prabhupada sannyas initiation. Persons takes sannyas, he renounces everything then he is free for the benefit of the rest of the world. He gives up his small family and gains bigger family. This world Holy Name Week that has been resolved by GBCs and now being implemented all over. This year is 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada sannyas. Every year we celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in America. In 1965, Srila Prabhupada arrived in America around this time. As he arrived, he had a gift for the rest of the world. He was carrying Bhagavatam and he was carrying the Holy name of the Lord. These were the two matchless gifts that Srila Prabhupada gave to the rest of the world. So this World Holy Name Week started with the day. Earlier we had World Holy Name Day. We started also during Srila Prabhupada Centennial and we were perpetuating that event World Holy Name Day now becomes World Holy Name Week. To remind the whole world the arrival of Srila Prabhupada in America with the gift of the holy name is the connection for you to remember. The gift that Caitanya Mahaprabhu had come down to the earth, he came with the gift. And that gift Caitanya Mahaprabhu shared within India. And he said, Caitanya Mahaprabhu left this job of sharing this gift to the rest of the world to the International Society for Krsna Consciousness whose founder Acharya is Srila Prabhupada ki jay!!

“You want tea or me?” Kind of started from around that dialogue time. Srila Prabhupada had been travelling in North India. He had a business, an agency, he had goods, he had medicines. Then during those travels, he had also gone to Jhansi. Then he had some preaching opportunity there at Gita Mandir. And he liked that field. He kept coming back there to Jhansi. He was going back and forth from Jhansi to Allahabad. He still had a business in Allahabad. But during one such visit as he was visiting Allahabad, Srila Prabhupada then wife ‘Paper!kabadi’ get your newspaper on the scale weigh. Paper on one side and they weigh, five kilos, you get three rupees. So you couldn’t imagine Srila Prabhupada’s wife, she sold big, thick fat Bhagavatam. And she got some tea biscuits. Srila Prabhupada found out ‘Where is my Bhagavatam?!” He realized what blunder had taken place. Prabhupada was furious and he had asked that final question. “You want tea or me?, tell me.” His wife said in a humorous mood, ‘Of course tea.” Okay have it. You will have a tea not me.

And Prabhupada left home and then never return. He broke his family connection. Whatever little connection was there remaining, residue, he got rid of that he headed for Jhansi. So that was in early 50s, could be ’51- ’52. He spent several years in Jhansi. He was thinking of having a global institution, league of devotees. There was advertisement also that appeared on the paper. He invited youths to join from any nationality. “they will be trained into brahmacaris and made into brahmanas and exported all over, lodging boarding free of charge.” And he was placing these adds in the newspapers. Advertising in newspapers, “Brahmacari wanted. Brahmacari wanted.” There was very little or no response in fact of such adds. He was literally by himself. He had conceived his international organization. He had a place in Jhansi. He was talking a bit, planning a bit and he had one disciple, Doctor Prabhakar Mishra. Around that time also Srila Prabhupada was still making trips back and forth.

Once Srila Prabhupada got a telegram. The message was that his workers had ran away with some funds. And disciple read out the message to Srila Prabhupada and looked at Srila Prabhupada’s face thinking that Srila Prabhupada must be now really morose or miserable getting such news. But that wasn’t the case. Srila Prabhupada was smiling and Srila Prabhupada had to say,

yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad dhanam sanaih ‘ (S.B 10.88.8).

Srila Prabhupada quoted that verse and explained that to his disciple. When Lord is very merciful, He takes away that person’s wealth. So Lord is very very kind to me. And disciple was surprised and pleased also to hear such response from his Gurumaharaj. So his money was being stolen and his family connections were getting weaker and weaker. Then finally he had, ‘tea or me’, then he had left. Now he was in Jhansi. The land that he had where he was thinking of setting his society, league of devotees, from there he would preach all over the world. He lost that land.

There was a Governor called K.M Munshi, his wife Lilawati. She was thinking of setting up Mahila Sanga there in Jhansi with the help of governor, her husband is Governor, she managed to capture that place. Srila Prabhupada lost the claim over that property. That property is still there in Jhansi. Srila Prabhupada left Jhansi for Mathura, Vrndavana. Earlier he had also been going between Jhansi and Mathura. But now he had finally come to Mathura. He had become associate of Gaudiya Math in Mathura. His Godbrother Prajnana Keshav Goswami Maharaj was in charge of the Math there. Srila Prabhupada was a writer. They were publishing patrika and Srila Prabhupada would contribute to that pre editorial. So he was part of the Gaudiya Math by now. These is all part of his life time in preparation. Srila Prabhupada was preparing to go finally, to go to the West.

In 1922, he had received this order. “You preach in English language”. That was also instruction. That must be another reason why Prabhupada would always preach in English language. So Srila Prabhupada was preparing. Ealier, he was also thinking, “In order for me to preach in English language, go the West I need money.’ One of the purposes he kept doing his business. He wanted to make some money. He was also thinking. “My godbrothers, they have different Maths. They are just doing madukari, bheeksha, begging. I will not do that. I will earn money. I’ll utilize those funds to spread Krsna consciousness or go to the West.”
But Krsna had different plan. In one dialogue, Srila Prabhupada said that he was thinking that he needed money to preach, go to the West. And Krsna wanted to prove otherwise. You don’t need money! What do you need money for?! Srila Prabhupada with his conversation with Syamasundar Prabhu, Brahmananda also one time said, that he had so many opportunities to get jobs with this company, that company. But he kept making wrong moves. He kind of blew up those opportunities. He could have made very easily ten thousand per month those days, Prabhupada said. That’s lot of money. But he didn’t go for it, this bad intelligence. Krsna was giving this bad intelligence. Lord was behind that bad intelligence. Krsna was giving those directions. No no, don’t go for this. Don’t get this job. So he was without money. Finally when Srila Prabhupada went to the West, he had no money. He didn’t fly to the West. He went in a cargo boat with free passage. When he arrived, he had only 5 dollars. He could only survive for 5 minutes in New York with 5 dollars. So he had no friends, no money. Under those circumstances Srila Prabhupada was going to launch the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. A zero bank balance and Srila Prabhupada was going to launch the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. Those original 40 rupees he had, we say 5 dollars, its equivalent to 40 rupees. He kept those 40 rupees.

After some years Prabhupada had come to India. He landed in Delhi airport and then he was going to Chippiwada near Lal kila, Red Fort. That is where Srila Prabhupada used to stay before he had gone to America. He used to stay there to get his books printed. So when he arrived at Chippiwada in a taxi, there was no one to receive him. Srila Prabhupada took taxi to his own residence, one Radha Krsna temple there. So when he had to pay taxi bill, Srila Prabhupada used those 40 rupees to pay the taxi bill. So those 40 rupees were sitting all those years with him as balance. He spent those 40 rupees on taxi. Practically he had those 40 rupees but he didn’t use those 40 rupees in America for his International Society for Krsna Consciousness.

So he started from a scratch, from a zero bank balance and he had no friends. Then Krsna proves, yes! This is possible. You don’t need money. So while he was, Prabhupada in Jhansi and now coming to Mathura, he had been getting dreams. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur appearing in the dreams and asking him to take sannyas. After the dream Prabhupada gets up and remembering that dream, he would say, ‘How horrible!’ Bhishma, Bhishma, something like that. When Bhishma decided to take sannyas, the demigods exclaimed, “Bhishma! Bhishma!” These were the words of the demigods, oh! How could you do such a thing?! How could you take such a vow of not marrying? You are just a young man, prince and no marriage? How horrible?!” So those demigods were thinking like that. And this is how grandfather Bhishma got the name ‘Bhishma’. How horrible or terrible is this thought of sannyas. So Srila Prabhupada was thinking how horrible. Then after some time again the same dream. ‘How horrible, no no, I can’t do this’, Prabhupada was thinking.

Then Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur was not giving up. He was after Prabhupada. And again he appeared in the dream and even gave hint, come come come, follow me, follow me. Again he is reminded of taking sannyas. So third time as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati appeared in the dream and instructed him to take sannyas, Srila Prabhupada took this as, ” My gurumaharaj is reminding me of my mission of going to the West and preaching in English language.” So he made this connection- this sannyas is for preaching. You should be sanyasi for preaching. Then gradually now he was preparing mentally and practically taking some steps so that he could be in sannyas order of life or undergoing the formality of sannyasa. Although he was more than sanyasi himself.

“You must be sacrificing everything for Krsna. That is sannyas”, in one dialogue Srila Prabhupada had said. You sacrifice everything for Krsna. That is sannyas. This is practical definition of sannyas. “sacrifice everything for Krsna that is sannyas” and How does Krsna says that in Bhagavad Gita?

‘anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah’ (B.G 6.1)

I remember this verse very well. I will tell you in a minute why I remember this verse. Prabhupada was with the reporter and Prabhupada just defined sannyas means sacrificing everything for Krsna. Someone else said, “That means akarma?”
Prabhupada said, “No, that is more than akarma.”

Reporter, “Sannyas is akarma?”
Yes, sannyas is akarma, that is described in Bhagavad Gita, ‘ anasritah karma phalam’. That is also karma, ‘karyam karma karoti yah sa sannyasi’ ‘ when one works with this principle he is a sannyasi. Srila Prabhupada was very proud of his grhastha disciples also. They were in this mood, sacrificing everything for Krsna. Surabhi, later on he became sannyasi, but one time he was grihastha. He was architect from Holland. He was architect of Vrndavana, Mayapur, Mumbai temples. He was sacrificing everything, renounced. And of course he was not the only one. But sometime, I remember him, Prabhupada saying he is a sannyasi. He had a wife and all. But seeing his dedication, his sacrifices, sometimes he said, he is like a sannyasi.

‘kamyanam karmanam nyasam sannyasam’ (B.G 18.2).

This is another definition of sannyas that Lord Krsna talks about in Bhagavad Gita. ‘sannyasam, nyasam’ ‘nyas’ means to renounce, to give up. What do you give up? ‘kamyanam’ You give up kama, ‘kamyanam nyasam sannyasam’. Be sannyas, give up this kama-lust of various kinds. Little philosophy behind sannyas is, that giving up this ‘kamyanam nyasam’, that is sannyas.

So everyone may not undergo sannyas in a formal way. But those who wish to go back to home, back to Godhead, they have to be in the mood of sannyas. Their consciousness has to be at the level of sannyas, otherwise there is no going back to Godhead. You cannot say, I am just a lady, I am just a vanaprastha, I am just a grihastha but I want to go back to Godhead. Fine, you may not take sannyas. It is also fault to take sannyas. In this age of Kali, five things are forbidden. One of those forbidden item is sannyas. It is a good excuse not to take sannyas. It’s forbidden. You know prabhu, it’s forbidden. So one has to become free from this kama. You wish to go back to home; you don’t have to take sannyas. You don’t have to go around, ladies going around with tridand in their hands. You don’t have to do that but there is something that makes you eligible to go back to Godhead. And that is ‘kamyanam karmanam nyasam sannyasam’. Giving up lust, ‘kama esa krodh esa’ (B.G 3.37) and mukti kami, bhukti kami and siddhi kami. These all have to be given up, ‘sakale ashant’. One who is ashant cannot go back to Godhead. Person has to be very shant, very much peaceful then he goes free from kama.

Bhakti defines us, ‘sarvopadhi vinirmuktam’ (Brs 1.1.2) that is one.

‘anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmandy-anavrtam’ (Brs 1.1.11)

You have to transcend this, go for bhakti and perform devotional service. Then it doesn’t matter which ashram you are in, which varna. You perform devotional service, you get rid of all the kama, lust.
So let’s get back to this,

‘anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah’.

So I remember the day I wanted to be sannyasi. So first time I approach Srila Prabhupada, he asked me to wait for. He didn’t say how much time. Those days there was no sannyas minister and 5 years waiting period. Srila Prabhupada was kind of all in all for us. So we would run to Prabhupada. Or he would recommend, ‘Oh, you take sannyas,you take sannyas.’ He would surprise his disciples, ‘you take sannyas.’

So one time I approached him to take sannyas. I was two and a half year in the movement (Laughter), joined in ’72 and approached Srila Prabhupada in ’74 for sannyas. Prabhupada said, ‘wait’ (Laughter). Then I was waiting. Srila Prabhupada then during one visit of Mumbai, he asked Sridhar, ‘ You take sannyas you go to Vrndavana, I am coming there very soon.’ So when the news reached me, I ran to Prabhupada, ‘Me too, me too!’ What I have done wrong? Me too, me too! Like children, father has given a toy to one son and another son runs, me too, me too (Laughter). So when I approached Srila Prabhupada like that, ‘me too, me too! I want to take sannyas. Give me sannyas’, Prabhupada was at the building at the back which doesn’t exist anymore. So there used to be BBT building on the top floor Srila Prabhupada stayed. That was his quarter. There were just me and Srila Prabhupada.

That time Prabhupada said, ‘Oh, you are already sannyasi!
‘ ‘No, no, no! (Laughter). Srila Prabhupada was tricking me. So that time Prabhupada pulled this weapon. ‘anasritah karma-phalam karyam karma karoti yah’. He was preaching to me. He quoted this verse, ‘anasritah akrma-phalam…’. You are giving your karma, everything to krsna, this and that. He was giving the verse and his purport. I was listening very carefully. But it was not convincing. So after going back and forth Srila Prabhupada said, “Oh! You want to undergo formality of sannyas?’ ‘Yes Prabhupada!’ ‘You join Sridhar. You and Sridhar go to Vrndavaana.” Haribol!!
So this talking to reporter, ‘anasritah karma phalam’ the true meaning of sannyas. The meaning is coming directly from Krsna, the spirit, the consciousness of sannyasi. So Srila Prabhupada was certainly more than a sannyasi, was born more than a sannyasi. But then he must be thinking, ‘My gurumaharaj is reminding me of my mission going to the West preaching. So I should be taking sannyas.’ So he was now settling in his mind and heart of undergoing formality of sannyas.
So those days Caitanya Math, you know what Caitanya Math is in Mayapur? Where Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur has his Samadhi. This was the headquarter of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. The Gaudiya Math later on became Caitanya Math. So Srila Prabhupada was considering taking sannyas from Maharaj incharge. There was a legal dispute over that property and one of Srila Prabhupada’s godbrother, Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj, he was heading the Caitanya Math those days. Srila Prabhupada approached him. Srila Prabhupada’s gurumaharaj was no more. Of course long back, 1936 Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur had departed. It’s now late ’50s, some 20 years after Bhaktisiddhanta departure. Srila Prabhupada now taking sannyas. He had to take sannyas from one of his sannyasi godbrother. So he had approached Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj. But Bhakti vilas Tirtha Maharaj, he said,’ We could consider your case if you join me full time. You join Gaudiya Math, Caitanya Math and we’ll give you all the facility and then we’ll certainly give you sannyas.’ But Srila Prabhupada was not in mood of joining Gaudiya Math in a formal way. He was always kind of outside. He was a grihastha. He was initiated. He was supporting Gaudiya Math but never became integral part. And his godbrothers, there were so many disputes for this property and that property. Srila Prabhupada was not simply impressed. There was so many splintered groups, no united efforts. They were basically maintaining those temples, no preaching spirit. So it was not very appealing to join.

Also another reason for Prabhupada not joining and taking sannyas from Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaj was, Srila Prabhupada wanted to get some of his books printed. He was thinking, ‘If I go to the West, I should carry some books to make my preaching substantial preaching.’ But then again they were willing to take care of his lodging and boarding but they were not in a position to print Srial Prabhupada’s books. They had no funds. So Srila Prabhupada gave up that idea of taking initiation from Caitanya Math. So this was earlier and now Srila Prabhupada was already in Mathura. Sometime had passed and Srila Prabhupada was doing some writing for Keshav, the Gaudiya Math. And dream after dream he was being reminded of sannyas. Srila Prabhupada was seeing the connection of his gurumaharajis first instruction to go to West. Preach in English language. Now he is asking him to take sannyas. ‘Take sannyas and go to the West and preach in the western world.’

So Srila Prabhupada finally made up his mind to sannyas. Now he was going to take sannyas from another of his godbrother, Prajnana Keshav Goswami Maharaj. His Math was in Mathura. Srila Prabhupada had come from Jhansi and he was staying there working for that Math. Also Srila Prabhupada when he came from Jhansi, he came with one deity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He had deity of Lord Caitanya with him in Jhansi. So he carried this deity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu to this Keshav Gaudiya Math. And that deity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu was on altar along with Radha Vinodabihari, Radha Krsna deity with Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Prabhupada’s Caitanya Mahaprabhu is still there. We used to go in the past. Now some difficulties are there.

Some 10-15 years ago, we used to go during our Vraj Mandal parikrama to that place, visit the temple where Srila Prabhupada took sannyas on this occasion. That was another reason for us to go during Vraj Mandal parikrama, visit the place of Srila Prabhupada sannyas initiation. Then we used to take darshan of that Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One hand is up like that and other hand down……. ‘ma sucah’.

When I had gone to Bankura in Bengal to get the deities for Padayatra, the murtiwala, I asked him. ‘What is the meaning of one hand up and one hand down like this?’ (gurumaharaj showing). He said, “This meant ‘ma sucah’, do not fear. And other hand, come here, come near, do not to fear. He is pointing to His lotus feet, ‘mam ekam saranam vrajah’ take shelter. Do not fear.” That murtiwala was explaining. So this is the mood of Mahaprabhu. So that Caitanya Mahaprabhu deity in that mood used to be there.

I am sure He is still there. In that temple Srila Prabhupada on this occasion 50 years ago took sannyas from his godbrother. Srila Narayana Maharaj also was present there during that ceremony. It was a very simple ceremony. Mostly the residents of the Math had attended the function. Narayana Maharaj had chanted mantras. Keshav Prajnana Goswami Maharaj had given talk. Then Visnu Pragyan goswami Maharaj, another of his godbrother. Two persons took sannyas. Another godbrother of Srila Prabhupada called Sanatan, he was 90 years old.

How old was Srila Prabhupada by that time? -63 years. Srila Prabhupada was 63 years old. This is 1959 we are talking, month of September 17. It was on 17, September 1959, two godbrothers are taking sannyas from another godbrother. So after lecture of Pragyan Keshav Goswami Maharaj, he asked Srila Prabhupada to also give a lecture. In Lilamrta it is mentioned, Srila Prabhupada would be surprised. Srila Prabhupada did give lecture. I have no account of what he said. He looked around and the audience was Hindi speaking. But he spoke in English on that occasion. So Srila Prabhupada received the name, Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj ki jai!!!! Everyone say jai!!! His Holiness Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj ki jai!! It was not so many at that time present. Also Sanatan also received his name. I think he became Muni, Muni Maharaj ki jai!! After they received their names, ‘swaha swaha’ happened. They went around the fire with kirtan. And they had the idea of taking group photograph.

The godbrother who had given sannyas is sat in the chair and the two candidates; they stood on either sides of Keshav Maharaj. And they clicked photograph. That photograph, you have seen? That was 50 years ago. That was purnima day, month of Bhadrapada, full moon day. Which also happened to be of Visvarupa taking sannyas some 500 years ago. He was getting this name Sankararanya Swami. And that time, He wasn’t very far from here. Visvarupa was just in Pandharpur. As a sannyasi, Visvarupa was in Pandharpur. That was the last station, last destination and then He had departed from there. So that was ’59 then. That was yet another milestone in Prabhupada’s life, he is taking sannyas. And yet another heading towards preparing for his travel to the West and preaching the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

As I was going through some material that I was provided this morning by Vamandev, I came across another conversation where Srila Prabhupada is talking about different stages, phases of sannyas. Kutichak, Bahudak, Parivrajakacharya and Paramhansa. So as I read that, I was also reminded of the morning walk conversation that took place in Mayapur which had again connection with me as a sannyasi. This was in ’76. As I had arrived in Mayapur, it was my first morning in Mayapur. Srila Prabhupada had already started his morning walk. And this day he was walking on the roof top of the lotus building. That was the only building those days. You know lotus building in Mayapur?. Prabhupada had his conference on the 2nd floor. GBC take their prasad on that building. Srila Prabhupada was walking on that building making rounds and rounds. Jayapataka Maharaj, his quarters are now there.

So he was walking and I climbed up the stairs. As I came on the roof, I noticed Srila Prabhupada party was coming. Srila Prabhupada in front and so many, 23 tridandis. He and his GBCs were walking, so I offered my obeisance’s. So as I was about to merge in the group, Prabhupada pointed to me, ‘Here comes paramhansa.’ Hariboll! (In the audience). That was not meant to be glory, no compliment. He rebuked me and I was wondering why Prabhupada had to address me that way- ‘Here come paramhansa’. Gradually Prabhupada made that as the topic. As he was walking, I realized.

So Prabhupada, he started talking of kuticaka sannyasi. He takes sannyas and he builds his kutir outside his hometown or home village. And he gets his tiffin from his home (Laughter). He carries on for sometime. Then he kind of, ‘Why should I get tiffin from my home?’ He stops this, then he begins going to many homes. He becomes bahudaka, bahu-many, not one but many. And as he get trained depending upon others or different sources then he thinks, ‘Why should I stick to one village, one kutir?’ Then he starts travelling, even further depending upon Krsna. He becomes parivrajakacharya. And as he makes further progress, further purified and detached, then he comes to the stage of paramhansa. He may not follow other rules and regulations. He is avadhuta, he is paramahansa.
So the reason Prabhupada called me paramhansa that morning was, my sannyasi cloths were not bright saffron cloths. In those days we didn’t have that chemical dyes that last long. After you wash or few months fading away again becoming like a whitish. So just a little tinge of saffron but mostly looking white. But I still didn’t care. The rule is saffron cloth and I was not paying attention. I was transcendental to that rule, the colour of the cloth. And Prabhupada had to get on my case, ‘Ah! Here comes paramhansa!’ He doesn’t follow the rules. Now he is already paramhansa (Laughter). I just gave him sannyas some 6 months ago and within 6 months he is paramhansa (Laughter).

Srila Prabhupada as a sannyasi moved from Mathura to Vrndavana. He was staying in one temples and then finally he had rented this Radha Damodar quarters. Now he had sannyas. He is getting seriously into writing projects. Srila Prabhupada writing, writing, writing. First Canto of Bhagavatam, commentaries, typing also editing himself. Then travelling in the train third class. That class doesn’t even exist now. There used to be first class, second class, third class. On that class Prabhupada would travel to Delhi to get his books printed and taking all the trouble. When the printer was interviewed, he had told the interviewer devotee that, ” Sometimes I would notice that he would come without any food to his printing press. Either he had no time or no money for eating.” It is also a famous fact that he would go to paper place where he would buy paper to print his books. After purchasing paper, he would carry that big bundle of paper to the printing press. The printer would be surprised. He is an author, a sannyasi and he is carrying the bundle of paper on his head. And printer would print books and again no money for paying the printing bills. So printer would give Prabhupada only, ‘ Okay you take 50 books.’ Printer would print 500 or 1000 books. He would give only 50 books.

Then Prabhupada had to go, sell those books, save the money and make more payments. ‘Okay you take another 100 books now.’ The printer would not release all those books. As and when Bhaktivedanta Swami would go around selling books to the libraries here and there and come with more money, he would get his books. So that time he was staying in Chippiwada. There is one Radha Krsna temple there. We were trying to take charge of that temple during centennial but that didn’t work. We had found Srila Prabhupada’s old typewriter, some things from Prabhupada those days. As we would visit Chippiwada, Jama masjid, that’s where Prabhupada was staying.

Like that he was preparing, Life Time Preparation, Sannyas was part of that preparation. Printing his books was part of that preparation. Then he had no money to fly. There was a Gita sammelan in Kurukshetra and Srila Prabhupada had gone to participate in Gita sammelan. Kurukshetra is the place where Gita was spoken. Prabhupada was attending that ceremony. During that ceremony, Sumati Moorarji had taken note of this sadhu, Bhaktivedanta Swami. She had some encounter. So when there was time now to go the West, as he could not fly, Krsna wanted to show, “You don’t need money. I’ll bring you to the West. You will see how I bring you to the West.” Srila Prabhupada had gone to Bombay to meet Sumati Moorarji. She was a big rich lady. She had a shipping corporation, so many ships, cargo ships. So Prabhupada was trying to get a seat. She was discouraging, “Oh no, you are an old man. You want to die?’ He was already 68, 69. But Srila Prabhupada was determined. So finally she had agreed to give a seat on cargo ship, not a passenger boat but a boat that carry goods. From Bombay he had gone to Kolkata via Nagpur. In the famous Jaladuta diary, Prabhupada made that entry. He travelled from Bombay to Kolkata, he writes via Nagpur. So devotees of Nagpur, they think Srila Prabhupada went to America via Nagpur (Laughter). But his destination was America. He was going there to catch the boat. The boat was leaving from Kolkata. So Prabhupada had his trunk. You have seen that diorama in Vrndavana. Srila Prabhupada carrying trunk, his umbrella climbing up the stairs of the Jaladuta boat. He boarded that boat there. Through Bay of Bengal his boat has came to Colombo city. Prabhupada going around Colombo. “It is a very clean city. This reminds me of Pune”, Prabhupada said. You knew that, am not making up. In one conversation, I have that conversation. Prabhupada had visited Pune during his business trip. So, ‘This reminds me, this clean city of Pune- green and hill stations during British times.’ He was reminded of Pune in Colombo. Then he continued his journey. He went to Cochin. That is where his books, the great Bhagavatams were loaded into the boat. Srila Prabhupada had spent one night in Cochin.

Some years ago Padayatra was visiting Cochin so I visited also. During that visit we went to see that very same home where Srila Prabhupada had spent the night. The same lady who was hosting and had cooked for Srila Prabhupada was there. She also showed us upstairs. She said, “Swami held satsang here.” He had only one night and he was taking opportunity to do satsang. The gentleman had gathered some of his friends. So Prabhupada did program the night before he departed.
The following day, his books were in Jaladuta boat and Prabhupada on boat and journey started. It took almost some months. Srila Prabhupada celebrated Janmasthami. Janmasthami, he was on the boat. He had done fasting, then some more cooking for midnight offering. He had gathered all the crew members and others. He had Janmashami celebration on the boat. He would take all these opportunities. What could we say? Vaikuntha man as he was. He was saying about his gurumaharaj, “Utility is the principle. Always thinking of engaging others, in their company glorifying Lord Krsna.” Then in the diary we have whole account, ‘Sea sickness and I had vomiting today. I am getting better today.’ Everyday he would make some entries. ‘I am remembering my Radha Damodara in Vrndavana.’ All his emotions, Prabhupada would write down all his feelings. Then he had heart attacks. Then he was wondering, “Oh!! but what about my mission? I have to fulfill mission of my gurumaharaj.” He is thinking of his gurumaharaj mission of how to preach. Again making entry, ‘Then Lord took charge of my boat.’ He took charge of Jaladuta. As if Krsna became boatman. It’s a huge big boat, then from that time onwards, everything was smooth journey. No turbulences, no knocking of the boat that causes sea sickness. After a few days, the 11th of this month, this year, this day that is Prabhupada arrival in Boston. Then with the captain of the boat, they had taken little tour of Boston.

This was first encounter of Srila Prabhupada with the Westerners, the American specially. And they were moving so fast, back and forth. No one ready to stop. They were so busy and absorbed. “My God, what about my mission? Who is going to listen to me here?” Prabhupada said. His very first thought. So as Prabhupada got back on the boat, and between Boston and New York, Srila Prabhupada wrote that poem, Markine Bhagavat.
He started intense prayers,

‘nachao nachao prabhu nachao se mate
kashthera puttali yatha nachao se mate’

I’m just puppet in Your hands my dear Lord. Please You make me dance as You feel. You make me dance. I’m given the name Bhaktivedanta but now it is up to You. You may prove it I am Bhaktivedanta. I don’t know how. You have to do something my dear Lord. You make me dance. You make me talk. And then he arrived in New York. He gets down from the boat. Not right there, there must be that evening. When he got down, there was no one to receive him. He didn’t know where to go. He writes down. He didn’t know whether to turn left or right. ‘Where should I go now? I don’t know. It’s New York. Where to go?’

So he had no friends, no hotel booking. He had only 40 rupees in his pocket and his luggage, his umbrella were there. Lord was with him. He started preaching with the whole amazing circumstances. Bowery and all these hippies and drunkards. He started practically on footpath of New York. When he was sitting on the bench, he was talking with somebody, ‘Temples are everywhere. Books are being distributed.’ He was seeing. He had that vision. He had that goal. What is separating? Only time is separating. Only matter of some more time and these all would be in place- temples, followers and book distributions.

And he had this Matchless Gift shop. He had a shop, he managed to get this storefront on 26 second Avenue. There are different avenues. Srila Prabhupada managed to get that on rent and then twice a week he was doing his programs there. He was meeting people on the street giving his address. “You meet me there. We have programs there on such and such time.” They were all coming. They said, “Swamiji, Swamiji there is a sign here on this shop. The previous owner, he shifted his shop but he left behind the sign. “What does sign say?” Prabhupada asked. Sign says ‘ A Matchless Gift’. He said, ‘That’s nice, keep that sign. Let’s keep that sign. Because I have the matchless gifts. I have come to your country to give the matchless gifts.’ So that place became known as, still it is very popularly known as ‘Matchless Gift’. So kind of moment started there. As the followers were coming regularly, chanting, dancing and sitting down . Srila Prabhupada was feeding them, he who was cooking, he was washing pots. Others were just guests. When chanting and dancing were over, Srila Prabhupada was teaching them the swami step. Prabhupada taught some steps and they name it ‘swami steps’. Prabhupada had a hat, then the ‘swami hat’. They were naming like that. The swami hat, swami step.

Then one day Prabhupada had this idea of doing public kirtan. So he took his followers to a place called Tomkins Square Park, not far from this 26 avenue. And he held the first public congregational chanting in the Western world. Haribol!! He did kiratn and so many people gathered around. Then Kirtanananda, Acyutananda, there were only few followers with him. After or in the middle of the kirtan, Prabhupada stood up next to the tree and he is giving his talk, explaining this Mahamantra . You remember that photograph? Prabhupada sitting and there is a tree behind. He is addressing some westerners. He is standing up. So that is Tomkins Square park. During Centennial of Srila Prabhupada in1966, we held major kirtan there to commemorate the very first ever kirtan held by Srial Prabhupada in the western world, public place.

To promote World Holy Name Week while Eklavya prabhu was in New York. He went to Tomkins Square park few months ago. He took a cameraman with him and he stood next to the same tree. The tree is still there. And he gave a five minutes talk, presentation with animated body languages and promoting this World Holy Name Week. I’m sure during these days, the New York Radha Govind Temple devotees, they also are planning. We just received a news.
New York, they are planning everyday nagar kirtan in different places. Haribol!! New Jersey is another state. New York is another state adjoining next to each other. So both states New Jersey and New York. New York is also city, New York is also state. Like New Delhi is also state, New Delhi is also city, like that. So devotees will be going to the Tomkins Square Park and holding the big nagar kirtan there during this World Holy Name Week. Holy Name is Srila Prabhupada gift to the whole world. Essence of Krsna Consciousness is chanting the holy name of the Lord. He gave gift of the holyname. This is no less than krsna. He gave the gift of the holyname. What does that mean? He gave Krsna. He gave holyname means he gave Krsna to the Western world, to whole world. So this World holy Name Week culminates in the last day, the 11th , last day is the day of Srila Prabhupada arrival in America.

For some years now we have been doing this celebration by chanting,
“Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”

So he took sannyas for the benefit of the whole world. He renounced, sacrificed everything for Krsna and taking sannyas. He went to the West and he delivered the Holy name. He gave Krsna to the whole world. So his followers continue his mission spreading the Holyname. And this World Holy Name Week is providing us, as there is book marathon making special effort. Not that other time books are not distributed, but we make some special effort to distribute some additional books And we get involve as many temple devotees, congregations, youths, man, woman even child is involved with the book distribution.

During centennial again we started ‘Feed the World Day’. We had one World Holy Name Day, Feed the World Day and World Enlightenment Day. We had these three days. Because we thought these are Prabhupada’s gifts. Prabhupada gave books, gave Holy Name and gave prasadam. So during that centennial master plan, had these three days. So the World Enlightenment Day is carrying on. Bhagavad Gita Jayanti Marathon, that is going strong. Feed the World Day, am not sure. It was going on for some years. We are not hearing so much. Mukunda Maharaj was behind that. Now we started with the centennial and we are continuing on this World Holy Name Day. But now day has expanded into week. This time, it is more than a week. In fact, it is nine days.

So we are very happy and proud of ISKCON Pune taking lead in propagating the Holyname of Lord. Ganapati Bapa moriya, I think we had enough of that now. That’s fine but ‘harer namaiva kevalam’. The recommendation is ‘harer namaiva kevalam’. Take note of this ‘harer-hari naam’, ‘harer namaiva kevalam’. People don’t know who is Hari. So they try to equalize other names with Supreme Personality of Godhead’s name, Krsna, Rama names. Or something that could be part of the religion and they think the part is everything. Part is the whole thing. For some people the part is the whole thing. So this is Hari-naam, time for spreading the Holyname for the benefit of everybody.

Things are not getting better, only getting worse day by day, year after year. So many clashes and so many differences, economy is melting down. What is melting down? The glacier, also the snow is melting down and coming down, going into the ocean. And there is a fear of the ocean levels may be rising. People of Mumbai, they don’t wish to undergo jal Samadhi. They will all have to rush to Pune, take shelter of Pune. Those are the days ahead of this world unless something is taken seriously. Whole life style is not revolutionized otherwise their present their life style, it is only a death style. People want to die in a style. That cannot go on. ‘This show cannot go on any longer’, Prabhupada said this. Last public lecture that Prabhupada delivered, then no more public function, that was in ’77 month of April.

In Azad Maidan Prabhupada delivered the talk. The topic was, ‘ The Modern Civilization is Total Failure’. So that was ’77, 32 years ago. People were wondering, ‘What is Swamiji talking about? The modern civilization is total failure?’ They still had some hope. They were thinking, the technology and the sciences are going to deliver some goods, keeping their promises. But Prabhupada, he was convinced with the total failure 32 years ago. Now it is more than obvious. Of course people are so stubborn and not honest. They may not admit this but everything is right there.

Caitanya Caran, spiritual scientist, he will tell you. He has all the statistics, all the numbers. It could be eye openers. So only solution Prabhupada was proposing, the only alternative is Krsna Consciousness. Not just for India but for the Whole world. He never thought of India only. God never thinks of India only or Hindus only or human beings only. Prabhupada’s thinking was high, thinking like God although not God. ‘saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair’. Like father like son. God, Krsna is father so he is son. Abhay Carananaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada was thinking like God, broad thinking looking into the future. He was very much concerned about the welfare of the whole world.

So push forward this Hare Krsna movement, understand this. Prabhupada always appealed, ‘Understand this Hare Krsna movement’. Today is your first day. Ganesh was in the way, He is supposed to be vignaharta. He became some kind of vigna for you propagating the Holyname. But now he is gone, he could be with us. Demigods love chanting the Holynames. They love chanting.

‘yam brahma varunendra-rudra marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair’ (S.B 12.13.1)

When there is arati of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Brahma comes. ‘arati korena brahma-adi deva-gane’. Then comes Shiva, ‘kiba siva-sukha-narada’, they all come. Only few names have been mentioned. But others also they participate. They know Krsna’s position. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, all demigods had welcomed the Lord. They were participating; in disguise they were doing kirtan.

Brahma had come again. What did he do? Exclusively he devoted his life for chanting the holynames.
“Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”

Is anybody busy like Brahma? He is most busy person. He went on the retreat 100 years and took little break and just chanted and chanted and chanted. So tell busy people the example of brahma. He took some time off.

Okay so we stop here. I have heard of your plans. I had read about it. We also wildly speculating your plans for others to read and hear, get inspired. We are getting communications now all the way from Fiji writing and different part of the world. The Moscow, one mataji last Sunday, she had set up a table. And she was getting devotees to take a vow for japaton-additional chanting. It was big success also.

Someone from New Jersey has submitted list of maybe 100 names. This prabhu, this mataji, two more rounds , everyday ten more rounds. They have already given us a report. These devotees, those many rounds. Grand total, how many additional rounds they chanted in New Jersey every year. There is account like that. We sent appeal to so many Gurus, spiritual masters for them to appeal to their followers and disciples, very good response. They all have sent communications, encouraging inspiring their followers to participate in this World Holy Name Week. This is for chanting. This year seems to be the best ever. So keep it up. Keep sending reports. You don’t have to send only final installment. As it went everyday or every other day, you provide what happen. This helps and we circulate that.
There is also internet kirtan that you should take note. Tomorrow night in Vrndavana there will be kirtan, internet kirtan. Kirtan will be lead in Vrndavana. It is also to be heard and to be followed globally. So from 6 to 7 Aindra Prabhu is going to be leading kirtan. Haribol!! From 7 to 8, they have scheduled me to lead kirtan. Haribol!! 8 to 9 is Indradyumna Maharaj, Haribol!! That much I remember now.

So these are the three kirtans to be broadcasted from Vrndavana. The technology in Pune, it exists. Eklavya is also here.
What is expected is, you hear as these kirtan are being lead. As I lead here, you hear. I’ll be in Vrndavana leading and you would be hearing here and also responding. We had done this last April. This internet kirtan, we tried once before 24 hours. I was in Bangladesh that time. So second time we are attempting this internet kirtan. So look into that, try to tune in. There are also temples doing 24 hours kirtan. I know ISKCON Aravade, Nagpur, Solapur. We were just there just there in that area. 24 hours start either from Mangala arati time till next Mangala arati time or starts at noon or evening till next noon. Taking turns, one day is one of the feature. We have nagar kirtan , public chanting, Japaton and internet. These are the broad guidelines. Within those categories you could have many ideas. In Bengal it is famous as ‘asta prahar’. You make a schedule and 4-5 devotees in a team depending what your strength is. You do one day, one night and continuous 24 hours. And others could participate. You don’t have to be here. You could be in other place also, some other temple. It could be here. It will be nice if it is done here.

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