Yasya Prasadad Bhagavat-Prasado- This is the principle


yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado- This is the principle
Venue: ISKCON Pandharpur
Dated:26th July 2016

Occasion: Online address to english devotees on 67th Vyasa Puja

In the beginning we miscalculated my birthday and then finally we got it right. It was concluded that my birth 66 years ago. Now 66 years passed today. I was born on this Ekadashi day which is a very big day here in Pandharpur. There are one and half million pilgrims they have come to Pandharpur. And, of course, there are 5 -10 thousand Hare Krishna devotees assembled here for celebration of ashadi Ekadashi, they also call it Shayani Ekadashi. Today is the day, the Lord goes to bed for 4 months. Just prior to His going to sleep, pilgrims come and they like to have darsana of Lord. They come in big numbers. So, this is very big day for Pandharpur dhama today. This is the biggest day, in fact, for this dhama. So, I was mentioning that I consider myself very fortunate when in fact we found some 10-12 years ago that I was born on this day. I was very much moved emotionally and surcharged to know that Lord gave me birth on this day. 1949 that is my birth year. It was Tuesday and I was born. Tuesday is the day of Sri Rama. Lord Rama appeared on tuesday and Krishna appeared on wednesday. So because I appeared on tuesday, mangalwar, I think this could be possibly the reason why I was given the name, “Raghunatha” which is one of names of Sri Rama. So, all day there are festivities here.

I think possibly some of you watched live on Mayapur TV or and Vrindavan TV. Mostly, the offerings were in hindi, few in english and few in marathi. Possibly you may be watching. So, we had this Idea because devotees who were not present and for those who do not speak hindi or marathi. In fact, Vashughosh Prabhu, my god brother made his offering in Sanskrit. So, many of you listeners, my disciples, followers or may be some of you are friends. So, I could say something in your language, this idea came up of short broadcast which we are doing. I have no idea how many of you are there and where are you stationed. I hope many of you are able to see and hear me. I wish you were here. So you are here and you are not here.

Vyasa puja book was offered to me and your Vyasa puja offerings which you have written have reached me and which I am going to read in coming days. So honouring spiritual master on Vyasa puja day is eternal if not only an ancient or old tradition on Vyasa puja day. Spiritual master represents Srila Vyasadeva. “Vyasa” also means elaboration or expansion. And spiritual master does expands elaborates on the teachings of Vedas or sastras compiled by Srila Vyasadeva. They expand those teachings in the sense that they speak original text that are in sanskrit. So, spiritual master expand it by sharing that in original language. That’s why there is expansion. They may also write some books in pursuance of the Vedic version. So, that also makes them representative of Srila Vyasadeva. Of course between Vyasadeva and us, there are many acharyas; the disciple succession.

Yes, we represent Brahma; we represent Vyasadeva; we represent Madhavacarya and the whole parampara. Lord Himself appeared in that disciplic succession. Then, so many other Gaudiya acaryas and then for us, Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya. ISKCON Founder Acarya is one that we directly represent. In that way, we are representing all the members of the disciplic succession and Gauranga, Madhavacharya, Srila Vyasa Dev and Brahma himself. Today we were remembering how I was made fortunate by the Lord as we hear,

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru krishna prasade paya bhakti lata bija

So by grace of Krishna, I was put in touch with Srila Prabhupada. Today I remembered and shared that how I was doing my college education in a town called Sangali. But, then I had this thought, no! no! I should be graduate of Bombay University. I should go to Bombay which is now known as Mumbai because Bombay University had bigger name. So, the dictation from within brought me to Bombay. Soon after my arrival, when I was studying there, Srila Prabhupada had come with his followers from the West and holding big Hare Krishna festival downtown Bombay.

There was advertisement that there were sadhus in town. American sadhus are here! European sadhus are here! So, I had gone there and we were not sure. Indians were not sure. OK, they have advertised as sadhus but whether they were really sadhus. I too like everyone else was impressed and convinced. Srila Prabhupada’s followers wherever they were from, they were sadhus and genuine practitioners of Krishna Consciousness. So, that’s how I came in contact of Srila Prabhupada and his followers.
As it is said,

sadhu sanga sadhu sanga sarva sastre kaya
lava matra sadhu sange sarva siddhi haya

So, my life was transformed. I mean I was kind of on this path. Everything was concluded; everything was made clear and it was conclusive, as I met Srila Prabhupada. I did not personally meet. He was on the dais, addressing the gatherings. He was there on the dais and doing kirtan with his followers or the followers were doing kirtan themselves in presence of Srila Prabhupada. So, that was turning point in my life. I was reconnected or my Krishna Consciousness was revived and rekindled. I bought some books, small books in those years like “Lord in the heart”, one chapter in one booklet. I bought couple of books. I was very much impressed with kirtan performances of Hare Krishna western followers.

So after the festival, I started studying Srila Prabhupada books. Whenever my roommates were not in the room, I would close the windows and doors and just by myself use to chant and dance. And it took me another year till next Hare Krishna festival on the Hare Krishna land. Srila Prabhupada was there and I rushed to that festival. I got a kind of my life back after 1 year. In 1971, first festival was held and in 1972 the next festival was celebrated at Juhu. I had the opportunities to hear form Srila Prabhupada more and associate with his followers more. I made up my mind that this is it what I want to dedicate my life, in service of Srila Prabhupada. I had not accepted any other person as my guru in my life. So Srila Prabhupada was my first and last spiritual master.

After end of that festival, I moved into ashram at Juhu. I had gone with an application addressed to the temple president. I was inquiring where abouts of temple president of ISKCON Bombay. In fact, the person I asked where I could meet the president, he said, I am the president. So, I handed over my application and he was kind to read it right there and then he made a big declaration or announcement, “a new bhakta is here, a new bhakta is here”. Now, sadhus mostly American and European, they came running and were delighted to know that someone is wanting to join Hare Krishna movement, young man. So, I was accepted.

Then later on during that year in Kartik, I was duly initiated by Srila Prabhupada. You know these things? some of these things you have heard before. So, whatever I am, I am made by mercy of Srila Prabhupada. I am indebted to Srila Prabhupada that he showed me this path, gave me the mantra for my deliverance and gave me my life back. Life without Krishna or Krishna Consciousness is death or you are dead without Krishna or Krishna Consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada gave me Krishna and Krishna Consciousness. He gave me employment in service of Krishna. He gave me association of devotees, my god brothers and god sisters and later disciples also came in picture and became part of Srila Prabhupada family. So, I am grateful to Srila Prabhupada. I wanted to express my gratitude on this occasion, on this day. And then, we also said that I am in ISKCON as initiating spiritual master or instructing spiritual master. However, Srila Prabhupada is founder acarya of Hare Krishna Movement. He is principle siksha guru of all of you. So, I am indebted as well as you are also indebted to Srila Prabhupada for what he has done to you. So, we are indebted as I said I am indebted.

Once Srila Prabhupada was approached and his dear devotees and disciples expressed their sentiments. They said, “Prabhupada, we are indebted to you, we are very much indebted” and Srila Prabhupada agreed, “that’s true”. Devotees wanted to know anyway if they could be freed from this debt. And Srila Prabhupada’s first response was, “no, there is no way you could be freed from this debt.” Then he thought for a while and said there is one thing you can do. “What! What Srila Prabhupada we could do? He had said that time, “You do as I did.” So many things, many many things he did to establish, protect and propagate Krishna Consciousness movement. So, “you do as I did” meant we also as his followers, his direct disciples and his grand disciples have to try to do as he did. You also as disciples try to do as your spiritual master is doing. Then Srila Prabhupada will be pleased with me and pleased with you all also.

As I so much to do to propagate this Krishna Consciousness movement and that is where you all come in picture. Narottam Das thukar said,

“ekaki amaar nahi paya bala, harinam sankirtane”

I, by myself cannot propagate or spread Krishna Consciousness I need your help. And, so you are assisting us, and then we are in big parampara system. Srila Prabhupada is assisting his spiritual master like that. So, this assistance, these services are ultimately offered to Krishna and He is pleased.

“yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kutopi”

So, that is the principle. This is guru tattva. Sundarlal, one of your god brothers, was saying that guru tattva is so deep and vast that he doesn’t fully grasp or understand guru tattva. As Vishnu tattva, the other tattvas, there is guru tattva. Then guru has big role to play in lives of his disciples and followers.

So, on this occasion, I thank everyone who is helping, assisting, cooperating with our Krishna Consciousness activities or plans to propagate Krishna Consciousness. I thank as well as appeal further to continue your support. Of course wherever you are, you offer your support, stay busy with Krishna Consciousness activities. Keep chanting Hare Krishna.

Devotees were saying, happy Vyasa puja day Maharaj, happy Vyasa puja day. My response was, “yes, I also wish you happy life, happy journey. You chant Hare Krishna and you be happy.” So, let us propagate this mantra, this message. Go far and wide. There is so much suffering in this material existence. There is no end to it. So many problems but only solution is Krishna Consciousness. Somehow we have been brought in contact with Krishna Consciousness movement/Krishna Consciousness and received Krishna Consciousness. So, it is our duty or obligation to share that with as many fellow human beings as possible. Srila Prabhupada, in one letter, in fact, he wrote to President of India, “I have got a clue.” And what is that clue, “When I will leave this body, I will be going back to Godhead; I have this clue and he said that I want to bring as many fellows, as many citizens with me as possible.” And he was, of course, seeking assistance from President of India. In way back in early 1950, he wrote this letter. Srila Prabhupada had made a lot of noise of this, Go back to home, go back to Godhead as they said.

So, let us propagate this Krishna Consciousness by doing so many things. So many varieties of activities are there for you to stay busy with. And this is the topmost welfare activity. I need to stop here and go back on the stage to have 2nd session of offerings, some cultural events etc. So, I offer my best wishes.

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