lunes, 15 de febrero de 2010

Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami (bis)

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Darshan arati (Deities new dresses), midnight abhishek (bathing the Deities at midnight, the time of Lord Krishna's birth), huge crowds in the temple, scenes from the temple area, road scene at night.

Sri Krishna Janmastami @ ISKCON Baroda, Gujarat, India 2009 -2

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  1. Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami
  2. GBC Meeting Report #3
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Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami

By Bhakti Vinoda Swami

Philosophical research culminates in understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After achieving this understanding, when one becomes free from the material modes of nature, he attains the stage of devotional service. Either by devotional service directly or by philosophical research, one has to find the same destination, which is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

GBC Meeting Report #3

By Sraddhadevi Dasi

Day five of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission began with presentations by the Succession and Leadership Training Committee and Devotee Care Committee. Tamohara dasa, on behalf of the Succession and Leadership Training Committee reported that replacement of GBC and Zonal Secretary positions most often occur in emergency situations and are subsequently rapid appointments, many times without thorough training. In order to better this situation, the Succession and Leadership Training Committee developed and initiated a second stage of Leadership Training Courses in North America, Europe, and India.

Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami

Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami

Date: February 14th, 2010 Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.32.31-32 Speaker: HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami

ity etat kathitam gurvi jnanam tad brahma-darsanam yenanubuddhyate tattvam prakrteh purusasya ca

TRANSLATION: My dear respectful mother, I have already described the path of understanding the Absolute Truth, by which one can come to understand the real truth of matter and spirit and their relationship.

TEXT 32 jnana-yogas ca man-nistho nairgunyo bhakti-laksanah dvayor apy eka evartho bhagavac-chabda-laksanah

TRANSLATION: Philosophical research culminates in understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After achieving this understanding, when one becomes free from the material modes of nature, he attains the stage of devotional service. Either by devotional service directly or by philosophical research, one has to find the same destination, which is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT: It is said in Bhagavad-gita that after many, many lives of philosophical research the wise man ultimately comes to the point of knowing that Vasudeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is everything, and therefore he surrenders unto Him. Such serious students in philosophical research are rare because they are very great souls. If by philosophical research one cannot come to the point of understanding the Supreme Person, then his task is not finished. His search in knowledge is still to be continued until he comes to the point of understanding the Supreme Lord in devotional service. The opportunity for direct touch with the Personality of Godhead is given in Bhagavad-gita, where it is also said that those who take to other processes, namely the processes of philosophical speculation and mystic yoga practice, have much trouble. After many, many years of much trouble, a yogi or wise philosopher may come to Him, but his path is very troublesome, whereas the path of devotional service is easy for everyone. One can achieve the result of wise philosophical speculation simply by discharging devotional service, and unless one reaches the point of understanding the Personality of Godhead by his mental speculation, all his research work is said to be simply a labor of love. The ultimate destination of the wise philosopher is to merge in the impersonal Brahman, but that Brahman is the effulgence of the Supreme Person. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (14.27), brahmano hi pratisthaham amrtasyavyayasya ca: “I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is indestructible and is the supreme bliss.” The Lord is the supreme reservoir of all pleasure, including Brahman pleasure; therefore, one who has unflinching faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead is said to be already realized in impersonal Brahman and Paramatma. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport]

His Holiness Bhaktivinode Swami: I am a stopgap arrangement today. I was just chanting my japa and the managers came and told me right now within the next two minutes I should substitute for the Bhagavatam speaker. So by this arrangement of Sri Sri Radha Madhava I am sitting here with you thought I am very disqualified to be here giving discussion to you while so many senior devotees are present here. So I take it as daiva arrangement. So here we are we have little time.

This is a very wonderful chapter as we have been hearing from many senior devotees various aspects of devotional service, its glories and here we are reading in the purport that it is very simple to execute as opposed to philosophical research and coming to a conclusion through a very long route to understanding vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah [Bg 7.19] That is another route but su-durlabhah - very rare, such people they would take this route and reach understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as being the source and everything.

So two things to discuss here: one is philosophical research getting into the Brahman platform and one is direct devotional service. So Srila Prabhupada obviously has taught us how to simply accept the essence of the Vedic literature by undergoing the process given to us by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which is open for anybody in any walk of life in any stage of life to take and achieve the topmost destination. No pre-qualification is required. On the other hand there are a lot of things - homework that you have to do to actually have a study of the jnana platform, become a jnani and then reach the understanding of the Absolute Truth - very painful process and there are so many dangers.

kleso ‘dhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam avyakta hi gatir duhkham dehavadbhir avapyate [Bg 12.5]

Krishna is saying in Bhagavad-gita, kleso ‘dhikataras tesam, avyakta hi gatir duhkham - painful to follow this track, difficult .and you may or may not reach the destination. So a wise person follows Krishna’s direction that, “You simply become my devotee.” tasyaham sulabhah partha nitya-yuktasya yoginah [Bg 8.14] sulabhah - very easy process. So people who follow these other tracks are very complicated.

I preach in Kerela in South India. It is the birthplace of Sankaracarya and we have many different types of challenges. Many times we face difficulties. When I read Prabhupada’s books before I never had experience of anybody saying that he is God what to speak of following the jnani path and reaching God. There are some who have already reached there by another short cut unbeknown to them and to us and they claim to be God. It was shocking to see many people who really think that they are Brahman - aham brahmasmi.

I remember the first time I went to Kerela to preach and we were few devotees in the temple and arati of the Lord was going on and there was a person who came - dirty cloth and maybe he didn’t even take his bath, by his head by his hand and everything - mangled, he came and stood outside at the entrance. When the devotees invited him he refused to come inside. He said, “Go on, go on with your arati.” With his hand like that. After the arati the devotees thought that lets give him mercy and took the lamp to him and said take prasad. He said, “No, no, no. ” They said, “Why.” He said, “It is already offered to the Lord.”

The devotees found him very strange so they came back and were continueing with the arati and were keep looking at him and after some time when the arati was ove we thought to give him caranamrta after darshan arati. So we gave him caranamrta and he said, “No, no, no. It has already cascaded down the Lord. It is not meant for me.” Then the devotees got so shocked. And they said that, “Whom do you think you are?” One of the devotees asked, “Who do you think you are?” Then he smiled and he said, “You won’t understand. You won’t understand.”

I was really shocked watching this. And he said, “I will show you arati in my heart. Come to my place. They show you the arati.” So they said, “Why don’t you come inside and take prasadam, take darsan, take prasadam.” They were determined to give him some mercy. He said, “Can I come in with my chapals?” Then the devotees said, “You can walk out. Get out of the temple!”

I was so incensed when I saw a person saying and thinking, feeling and willing that he is Brahman - “I am God!” So there are people like this and if you looked at him he doesn’t have food to eat, he is hungry, he is dirty, his clothes are not washed but he is thinking that, “I am Brahman! I am God” So they follow a wrong track with no guidance and out of arrogance and enviousness of the Lord they dare to say that, “I am God. I am Brahman.”

So in this path you have these types of dangers. You can get waylaid and you can completely get lost but on the contrary if you simply follow bhakti-yoga as is mentioned by Kapiladev to his mother, it is a simple process, very simple! Simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, simply by somehow or the other developing love for Krishna you become,

yan asthaya naro rajan na pramadyeta karhicit dhavan nimilya va netre na skhalen na pated iha [SB 11.2.35]

The Navayogendras, they are instructing Maharaj Nimi. My dear King yan asthaya naro rajan - one who takes shelter of this process - devotional service, na pramadyeta karhicit - he will never be bewildered. He will never think he is God, He will never think he is Brahman. He will never have any of these difficulties. dhavan nimilya va netre - dhavan - means running. And how? Running how dhavan nimilya va netre closing your eyes and running. If you can close your eyes and run na skhalen na pated iha you will not trip and fall down. You will not have any difficulty. You will continue to run with your eyes closed and you will reach your destination. This is that type of a process. You can shut you eyes and you can run. There will be no danger for you. That is bhakti-yoga. It is described by one of the Navayogendras to Maharaj Nimi.

So Prabhupada is saying in the purport here that it is a simple process to fall in love with the Lord. It is the natural process. It’s easy to actually follow this process because that is our constitutional position. We are all parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord Krishna and we can easily learn to love Krishna and if you do that and awaken you love for Krishna you will see a natural sequence following and it is easy. But somehow or the other because of modern education, because of the tendency to speculate, most education is about teaching you haw to speculate and testing you for you speculation - how good you can speculate and you get a reward for that.

There is one great scholar in Kerala. His name is M. T Vasudevan Nair. He was given the Sahitya Academy Award, a national award for rewriting the Mahabharata and proving that Karna is the real hero and Krishna is not the hero of Mahabharata. He proved it by using some rational logic and some philosophy and he got an award for that. India’s Sahitya Academy Award - one of the greatest literary awards was conferred on him for proving that Krishna is not the real hero. Very good speculation you have to do.

So he was expert at that. There now they call him, his name is N. T. Vasudevan now they call him Empty Vasudevan. He is empty. He has no stuff in him. (Laughter.) Because he is speculating and he is empty he got rewarded. So the education system is like that. We are tested for how much we can stretch our imagination beyond what is written there, beyond what is there in the book and give another view, another angle and extrapolate the conclusion, some other conclusion and project it and people think that, “Oh. Wonderful! What a wonderful explanation.”

That is why we are followers of ‘As it Is’ Srila Prabhupada. We just follow what Krishna has mentioned, what Prabhupada has told us and simply by doing that, very simply by doing that we can get Krishna’s mercy. This is the faith of every devotee in the Krishna consciousness movement.

Sometimes people wander how you think you can believe that you can achieve Krishna. So difficult! It is mentioned in the scriptures that it is very difficult to achieve spiritual realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead but that same Supreme Personality of Godhead has come as Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he has given us a very easy process of sankirtana - chanting the holy names of the Lord - Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

We are boldly propounding this that simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord we can develop love for Krishna and we can get the topmost destination. This is the process of bhakti. This is what is mentioned in the Bhagavatam The Bhagavatam is fully about sankirtana. It starts with sankirtana - om namo bhagavate vasudevaya [SB 1.1.1] The last sloka of the Bhagavatm speaks and glorifies sankirtana. In the middle it is sankirtana. Everywhere there is glorification of chanting the holy names of the Lord. In fact the Bhagavatam is synonymous with sankirtana. Sankirtanan, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavatam, sakirtnama - both are the same. Both are the same!

So this is Lord Caitanya’s prescription for us. He told us very simply to follow this. Aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam. We should worship Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaj and so also we should glorify and worship this holy dhama, Vrindavan, Mayapur. Ramya kacid upasana vrajavadhu-vargena ya kalpita and how we should worship that Supreme Lord/ In that same way that the wonderful gopis, damsels of Vraja worshipped Him. We should follow in the path of the Vrajabasis.

Srimad-bhagavatam amalam puranam prema pum-artho mahan and where is the proof of this, that you should worship Krishna and that you should worship His holy dhama, and that you should follow the gopis? The Bhagavatam is proof for that. It is the supreme spotless purana. And the goal of life is prema pum-artho mahan - love of Krishna is the goal of life - artha - beyond the four arthas. If love of God and the proof of that you will see in the Bhagavatam. How to worship the Lord who is the Supreme Lord, how we should worship Him? All this is given in the Srimad Bhagavatam. This is what Lord Caitanya taught us and we are following that. And if we simply follow that with faith we will go beyond all jnanis who are having a very complicated life trying to reach the Supreme Absolute Truth.

Many times we are challenged especially in South India where things are little more traditional. Those people who know the scriptures. There are people in Kerala who know the whole Bhagavatam by heart - eighteen thousand slokas and there are people who have done about two thousand Bhagavat saptah. They chant the slokas they do everything and challenge you but they don’t like to chant Hare Krishna and have faith in harinam sankirtana. So we can see a very big difference. It is difficult for them to have faith in the conclusions of the Bhagavatam but they can recite the Bhagavatam. They can give a philosophical explanation to the Bhagavatam but love of Krishna eludes them and they have various different explanations of what is the actual truth and how to achieve it.

There was once such an impersonalist, Brahmavadi from a society - I don’t want to name the society, very famous society, having yoga asramas everywhere. Very, very long back I was in IET Bombay with other friends who were all chanting Hare Krishna and we were called to this particular program given by this Swamiji and because one of the department heads was a follower of this Swamiji he asked the whole department and also all the students to attend much against their liking. They were forced to attend this program in a big hall and this Swamiji, the sannyasi he kept speaking about the truth, how to achieve the truth, how the truth is light and how you can realize the light.

He spoke so many dry things. He kept on speaking and these young bright students they could not take it for too long. Their feet were shuffling and they wanted to get out of the hall and they were tied down because the professor was also sitting there. So it went on and on for about forty-five minutes and at the end of about fifty minutes he stopped the lecture and then he asked, “Any questions?” So everybody just got ready to go. You know what normally happens when you are not interested in the program and when you got a chance to leave you just want to leave.

So they were getting ready to go and there was one of the students who was from Kerela. He raised his hand and said, “I have a question.” And he raised his hand and then everybody looked at him. “Who has the audacity to ask a question? Lets get out of this place.” But he asked the question and he was a very mischievous person. He asked the question, “Are you liberated, Have you seen the truth?” Because he was speaking so much about the truth, the light, about liberation, everything and he was stumped.

The Swamiji expected some other question. He looked around here and there and he said, “Yes. I am. I am liberated.” And this student said, “I am also liberated.” And they all walked out of the session laughing. (Laughter.) “I am also liberated.” And they also laughed. They left the session. Means that they simply did not believe in the fact that he was liberated after hearing him. If you are liberated, I am also liberated! That was the conclusion.

In contrast to this late when I read - that was my initial days in Iskcon. When I read Prabhupada’s biography and in many other places I read that in a public address Srila Prabhupada was asked openly in a big forum by one person, “Are you liberated?” That is what the questioner asked Srila Prabhupada. And Srila Prabhupada briefly stopped and in a few seconds he raised his head and said, “I may not be liberated but because I am following strictly a liberated person I am liberated.” This is Prabhupada’s answer and that person was very satisfied with the answer.

In great humility Prabhupada expressed that, “Yes I am liberated but I am not professing my liberation. I am not going on talking about my liberation. I am simply dependant on the mercy of my guru and simply because I am following his instructions I am liberated.” This was Prabhupada’s instruction to us. This is the way to get liberated. And what was Prabhupada’s instruction to us? Simply have faith in chanting of the holy names of the Lord.

That is the Supreme instruction of the Bhagavatam and that is what Kapiladev is speaking to Devahuti here and chant with great feeling. And that is the great gift given to us! And simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, which is the very easy prescription, but difficult for complicated people to take up but easy for simple people to take up. So those who are simple, favored by the Lord, they become intelligent, they accept this process, don’t complicate their life by trying to find out how to get liberated in this way or that way and go through a long route, a .torturous route but if you are simple, devotional life, spiritual life is very simple.

If you are complicated and you lie to speculate then the whole Vedic literature including the Bhagavatam is open to you. It is a fantastic field for speculation. There is so much of information in it. You can speculate on how to get liberated. You can do that ’til thy kingdom come and you will never have anything with you. No result, but if you are simple, humble and genuinely interested in understanding, who am I? Who is the Supreme Lord? What is my relationship with Him? Simply chant Hare Krishna follow Lord Caitanya’s order.

So we are very fortunate, very, very, fortunate that we have somehow or the other taken up this process in spite of the fact that previously we may have associated with some speculative process. We are fortunate that by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, we are able to chant Hare Krishna, get together in the association of devotees, glorify the Lord and be protected and safe and sheltered in Srila Prabhupada’s movement. It is a very great opportunity, very wonderful rare opportunity. It is our duty to give those people who are speculating outside this opportunity.

People think that they are very intelligent, that they are beyond any type of prescription of the thought. They think that they can do what they want and they can achieve the Supreme destination but they will be in for a surprise. It is our duty to do that and although we may think that we are not qualified to speak to some great speculator simply by the potency received by following the order of guru and Krishna we will be able to have the potency to do that.

There are the nice words of Kavi-karnapura, the great poet that Lord Caitanya personally blessed, Sivananda Sena’s son. He writes in words there, “All glories to Lord Caitanya’s age, all glories to this wonderful golden period when people who are not educated who will get up and defeat those who are very literate.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ki jai! Harinama sainkirtana ki jai! Nitai-Gaura-premanande hari-haribol! Hare Krishna. We have I think about a few minutes. Ask some innocent questions that I can answers. Don’t stump me. Oh so many!!!

Question: [Inaudible.] HH Bhakti Vinoda Swami: They are there to do it. A speculator needs anything, give him any matter and he can speculate on it and he can speak on it. If you have some speaking ability then you can also speak on you speculation, extensive speculation. South India is very good but this portion of Kerala where Sankaracarya was a priest, he is a great devotee but it is the followers, always the followers that give all the trouble.
(Chuckles.) Yes so that was the culture, some amount of Vedic system established but they are also involved in impersonal trend. Their opinion is from the viewpoint of their philosophy.

It is very strange. I know of people who speak Mayavad philosophy but worship Krishna’s Deity and have great love and affection. They do that for want of any other philosophy but have not been put in touch with any other philosophy. They know this philosophy that is big bash (?) but there is a good chance that they can be affected by Prabhupada’s books, that they get to know what is the real philosophy and they will change. It is our duty to preach it to them but of course some are very tough nuts. They can go to some extent but beyond that better not to venture. mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa [Cc Madhya 6.169] Otherwise if we don’t have the potency to do that we shouldn’t venture o do that. It is better we try. If it doesn’t work out chant hare Krishna and leave the place. Better to secure your own spiritual life. We need Lord Caitanya to do that by some other empowerment. Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Grantha-raj Srimad-Bhagavatam ki jai! Nitai-Gaura-premanande hari-haribol! [Applause.]

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