Do I Have Cancer?

According to my karma I probably would be dead and gone by now, but somehow Krsna is always interfering…. He gave me a second chance ten years ago, and now a third one……

I was in Juhu on the weekend of the 1st/2nd of April, offering the Men/Women course and joining the Rama Navami celebrations. And I thought to myself: “Since I am in Mumbai now – and who knows when I will come again – why not do a quick routine check-up at Bhaktivedanta Hospital…?”

So I did a check-up on the 4th, and they immediately saw a little tumor in the Ultrasound examination. While still in the examination, I immediately contacted Vaisnavaseva Prabhu, the Chief Surgeon of the Hospital, and we basically decided already on the spot to do another major surgery – just like ten years ago. In the same evening I returned to Juhu and gave the last session of my seminar, joined the Rama Navami celebration on 5th morning and was admitted to the hospital in the evening, and in the early morning of the 6th I found myself on the operating table.

So it all went very fast – no wasting time!

Just the way I like to do things – the “German style”….

Exactly the same thing happened ten years ago – in April 2007. I happened to visit Chowpatty for the first time, visited Bhaktivedanta Hospital and spontaneously decided to do a little check-up, and two days later I found myself in surgery!

If I had not offered this seminar now in Juhu, I would definitely not have done this check-up, but simply gone on my journey to preach in different parts of the world. And there would have been a good chance that I would have noticed things too late…..

The surgery went very smooth and I already recovered nicely within two days. Only now I realized the extend of the complications which I had to face last time ten years ago – in surgeries not always everything goes exactly according to plan. There had been some complications which made the surgery more difficult and increased the pain thereafter, and the healing process had been greatly delayed. Compared to the last surgery this one was like child’s play – a relieving surprise……

I was admitted on the same ward like ten years ago, and I even remembered some of the nurses and staff. And of course I met the ladies from the Spiritual Care Department, who happily welcomed me. Many sweet memories surfaced within my mind – last time I was hospitalized for five weeks, and Bhaktivedanta Hospital had almost become my home….

The Spiritual Care Department visits every patient with the mobile altar of Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra, and we can take darshan, offer flowers and receive some little dry maha prasadam. How sweet to receive the visit of the Lord after surgery….!

Bhaktivedanta Hospital is offering very personal care. The dietician came and agreed to prepare my prasadam according to my diet. She said: “You would not believe how many local dishes we have here in India! Sometimes I have patients where the wife says to me: ‘my husband really likes this particular dish – can you make this for him?’ And usually I try to at least make it once…!” Such personalized mood of service – I certainly would not want to be hospitalized anywhere else in the world…

Just like ten years ago, Vaisnavaseva Prabhu and his good wife Kalindi Mataji took nicely care of me, and I felt Krsna had once again put me in their safe hands. Kalindi Mataji is overseeing the Anaesthesia Department, and her husband is the Head Surgeon of the hospital – what a good team for a husband and wife. And as a wife she still maintains the subordinate position to her husband, simply creating the grounds for his work and thus serving him in his mission.

They both work with a most selfless service attitude, giving all their time and energy to taking care of their patients. He serves more than 65 hours a week – practically no free day, no weekend. Simply serving in selflessness, often until late night. Meanwhile he has become Professor and also teaches at the University in Mumbai and is a renowned surgeon, sometimes traveling to other countries to participate in medical conferences. And even though they are both so extremely busy, nevertheless once a week they go to Radha Gopinath Temple to dress Their Lordships.

And there is also a second mission in their life: the ISKCON Desire tree website, providing an amazing number of devotees worldwide with Krsna conscious inspiration of all kinds. Vaisnavaseva Prabhu employs 27 devotees full-time in order to develop the website with its popular youtube channel.

His flat is an IT office, where people come and go throughout the whole day and work. Thus he also gives employment and shelter to many young devotees, and sometimes even invites them to live in his flat as part of their family. His home is open to everyone who needs shelter. Now he is planning to create a Krsna conscious TV channel in order to expand the preaching and reach more and more conditioned souls.

I cannot even comprehend how one person is capable of doing so many things.

Almost like Lord Brahma…..

Already two days after my surgery I was released from the hospital and moved into the recording studio of the ISKCON Desire tree Team next to Vaisnavaseva Prabhu’s flat, around the corner from the hospital. I had space, peace and quietness to further recover, and the hospital staff brought me every day some prasadam. Nearby was a good fruit and vegetable wala, and also a place where I could get fresh yoghurt, so I was perfectly set up to include my raw foods again, and on top of that saved on hospital expenses.

I spent time reading, chanting, playing harmonium and writing. Every morning when the air was still fresh and cool I went for a brisk walk in front of the house in the little park. And since I stayed at the recording studio with all its equipment I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and made six little youtube videos presenting relevant topics of Krsna conscious practice in a concise way. I also had the company of some young boys who came during the day to do some editorial work on the computers, and they were always ready to help me in so many little ways. So I was well taken care off.

I felt humbled in awe and amazement how Krsna seems to always catch me at the right moment…..! How could I not recognize Krsna’s hand behind it all…..? This vision gives true shelter and peace of mind, knowing that surely Krsna will arrange everything else as well. And naturally, the second time around it is all not so frightening any more, and the diagnose of cancer is not as shattering. Indeed, it feels good to get a little reminder every ten years that time is gradually running out. After all, I am 58 now! So it’s good to put things into spiritual perspective. The next call could be the final one. And I want to get ready for it….!

To be continued….

Krsna’s sweetness

I remember, one year I was with Sacinandana Maharaj and a whole group of devotees on a boat, sailing in Danish waters. Maharaj gave this seminar about Krsna’s sweetness. It was all about Krsna being so sweet, looks so sweet… and this sweet and that sweet… and at one point, it just got too sweet for me.

Having a bad character and being not sweet myself, when things get too sweet, I cannot handle the sweetness. So, I spoke after Maharaj and I said, “Well, I very much appreciate the presentation of Sacinandana Maharaj but I have one little question. Why is it that in the Middle Ages, one third of the world population died of the Black plague? Why is that just a decade ago, in three days, five million people were killed in Rwanda? In one night in Bangladesh, five hundred thousand people drowned? Where is your sweet Krsna in the middle of all that? Is that sweet also?“

So I asked him, how is Krsna so sweet? I remember that he rolled-up the sleeves of his sweater and he even loosened his scarf. He was getting serious and philosophically explained how even this is sweet, bitter sweet! Because ultimately, the sweetness of Krsna means that Krsna will leave no stone unturned. Krsna is not a passive Lord who is just seated on a throne, accepting our offerings – another golden plate with beautiful fruits, “Bless, bless…” No. That is not Krsna. Krsna is the one who, out of his sweetness, is destroying our material life. As death he destroys everything. He acts as a destroyer – very sweet. Simply because Krsna cannot wait.

This point, that I have just reached now, is a very difficult theological point in our philosophy. Because we are the living beings who said to Krsna, “No, I want to go to the material world.” Even when Krsna wanted us to stay in spiritual world we said, “No, thank you. I want to try it, to see what it is like to be the Lord and master, to be an enjoyer.”

And here we are, trying hard but why is it that Krsna’s put sand in the sweet rice? It is not fair! Why did he put suffering in the material energy, just when we are enjoying. Why did he not give us independence to enjoy when we wanted to? Why did he have to create suffering in the material world, active suffering?

Passive suffering means the suffering of missing Krsna. That is alright; that is logical since we have left the spiritual world – so some suffering, some home sickness. But why is there active suffering if Krsna is sweet? If he is not cruel? Why does someone gets squashed under a car? I have seen it, so much suffering; I have seen with my own eyes. Wars – some people here are from Sarajevo and they can tell you stories about the dead bodies in the street. So how about that, is that sweet? Why this extra suffering? Why…

That is Krsna’s sweetness. It shows how deep Krsna’s love is. He cannot tolerate it. Krsna is like a parent who has a rebellious son that says, “It is my life! I’ll do what I want and I’m leaving home,” and he goes in the wrong direction, with the wrong friends. The parents say, “Yes, we let you free to do whatever you want,” but meanwhile, they are making all kinds of plans how to spoil his so called freedom so that he would learn a lesson and come back home soon because they are suffering.

So, actually, it shows that Krsna is suffering. It is not we who are suffering. No, it is Krsna who is suffering. Here, the Lord, who is the complete enjoyer, feels incomplete. When there is still one living being in the material world, even although there is an ocean of transcendental nectar which is eternally increasing, it is still incomplete.

Original article can be found here.

How come that a devotee can still feel lonely?

To the degree we forget Krsna and Srila Prabhupada, to that degree we feel lonely. Even after receiving and sustaining in our MIND the information about Their presence, our HEART may still not be satisfied due to lack of active relationship to the Supreme Lord and His pure representative. This relationship can be only reactivated by active devotional service, service to the mission of Srila Prabhupada.

As our heart is not completely filled with love of Godhead and love for His pure devotee, a vacuum so created establishes a need to be fulfilled elsewhere.

This leads even after many years of practicing “theoretical Krsna consciousness” to falldown as the feeling of loneliness becomes more and more intolerable. After all, the nature of the soul is never to be alone.

Strong association with devotees, godbrothers, is great help as much as sadhana and intense hearing from Srila Prabhupada who can be found in His books and recordings. It is also necessary to be properly situated within ones varna and asrama.

This world is a world of lonely people and no amount of pathetic proclamations of love and brotherhood will change it. Unless we don’t unite with the Supreme, we will not be united. Loneliness means artificial separation from the Supreme Lord. As proven by those who are indeed engaged in Srila Prabhupada’s mission, they have no problem to find friends engaged in the same fashion. They have no problem with loneliness. 

Deviant Vaisnava Sects Part Three: Gauranaga Nagaris – Rasabhasa bhaktas

“From the life of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, an intelligent person engaged in pure devotional service can understand that He always felt separation from Krsna within Himself.  In that separation He sometimes felt that He had found Krsna and was enjoying the meeting.  The significance of this separation and meeting is very specific.  If someone tries to understand the exalted position of Lord Caitanya without knowing this, he is sure to misunderstand it.  One must first become fully self realized.  Otherwise he may misidentify the Lord as nagara, or the enjoyer of the damsels of Vraja, thus committing the mistake of rasabhasa, or overlapping understanding.”

(CC Adi 4.106, Purport)

The gauranga-nagaris are quite prominent in Bengal and Bangladesh.  Outwardly, they appear as regular Bengali Vaisnavas, but there is a subtle sahajiya contamination in their conception of Lord Caitanya’s mood of devotion.  Thus their position is strongly refuted by the acaryas of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya, even though other aspects of this sect may seem praise­worthy: like staunch Vaisnavas, they wear tilaka and neck beads, are good kirtana performers and strictly abstain from flesh and fish.

In his Purport to Bhag.4.23.31, Srila Prabhupada focuses on the sahajiya contamination that the gauranga-nagaris represent:

“Sometimes the sahajiya class of devotees are interested only in Krsna’s personal pastimes to the exclusion of the activities of the devotees.”

But such an attitude can only baffle the attempt to com­prehend the person and activities of Sri Caitanya Mahapabhu, for CC Adi 1.14 states:

bhakti-rupa-svarupakam

bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam

namami bhakti-saktikam

“I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Krsna, who is non-different from His features as a devotee, devotional incarna­tion, devotional manifestation, pure devotee and devotional energy.”

The gauranga-nagaris are not interested in Lord Caitanya as a devotee, or in His five features as the Sri Panca-Tattva.  They desire to relate to Lord Caitanya as Krsna Himself, particularly as lampat (yatha tathava vidhadhatu lampato: “He is a debauchee, so it is His nature to do as He likes”).  They style Him as nagara, and themselves as nagari.

The gauranga-nagari doctrine is very briefly and yet very completely explained by Srila Prabhupada in several purports of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.  A few relevant quotes are as follows.

“…the gaura-nagaris, who place Lord Caitanya in the position of enjoyer and themselves as His enjoyed, are not approved by Lord Caitanya or by Lord Caitanya’s followers. Instead of being blessed, the foolish imitators are left com­pletely apart.  Their concoctions are against the principles of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  The doctrine of transcendental enjoyment by Krsna cannot be mixed up with the doctrine of

transcendental feeling of separation from Krsna in the role of Radharani.”

(CC Adi 4.41, Purport) 

“Doctrines like those of the nadiya nagaris, a class of so called devotees, are never presented by authorized persons like Svarupa Damodara or the six Gosvamis.  The ideas of the nadiya-nagaris are simply mental concoction, and they are completely on the mental platform.”

(CC Adi 4.107, Purport)

“…a so called party of devotees named nadiya nagari has sprung up and introduced the worship of Visnupriya.  This certainly indicates ignorance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes.  In the opinion of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, such worship is a product of the imagination.”

(CC Antya 14.7, Purport)

Refuting the Gauranga-nagari Doctrine

In  CC Adi 1.5, Lord Caitanya is described as radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalita, “adorned with the mood and luster of Srimati Rad­harani.”  Nowhere in any revealed scripture is He said to be krsna-bhava-dyuti-suvalita, “adorned with the mood and luster of Sri Krsna,” which would support the gauranga-nagari conception.

Spokesmen of this apasampradaya not only say that Lord Caitanya exhibited Krsna’s enjoying mood, they claim further that Visnupriya devi, the Lord’s second wife, is Srimati Radharani, and that her close female friends are gopis.  

But as Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura makes clear in ”Sri Caitanya-bhagavata, Visnupriya devi is actually Bhu-sakti, a form of Laksmi.  The wives, mothers and daughters of Lord Gauranga’s associates in Nadia attend Visnupriya in her bathing and dressing exactly as the maidservants of Lakmiji serve Her in Vaikuntha-dhama.  Their mood is different from the mood of the damsels of Vrndavana.

Sri Caitanya Bhagavata is also very clear about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s extreme gravity in His dealings with women even with His own wives, what to speak of other women.  He never so much as looked at the village girls of Nadia, let alone smile or talk to them.  But in the tradition of the sahajiyas, the gauranga-nagaris have invented offensive myths about Lord Caitanya’s supposed love affairs with a mistress named Kancana and other fictional consorts.  These stories should never be heard.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura appreciated the manifestation of Krsna’s mood in Lord Caitanya ”in His dealings with Sri Gadadhara Prabhu.  Sri Gadadhara was so meek and submissive that the Lord sometimes remarked to His confidential associates, “Gadadhara is My consort in the spiritual world.”  Indeed, Gadadhara Prabhu’s spiritual emotions for Lord Caitanya are described as suddha gadha bhava rukmini-devira (“pure, deep ecstatic love in the mood of Rukmini-devi”) in Antya 7.144 of ”Sri Caitanya caritamrta.  Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura thus worshiped Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Deities in his bhajana.  Here is an example of an internal flavor of attraction in an advanced devotee for a confidential feature of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes.  But this is not a subject matter for preaching.  Lord Caitanya’s preaching pastimes are relished in Sri Sri Gaura Nitai worship, as seen in ISKCON temples around the world.  This mode of Deity worship is performed to inspire the public at large to engage in harer-nama-sankirtana.  But in any case, the worship of Sri Gaura Gadadhara by the pure devotee has nothing to do with the rasabhasa of the gauranga nagaris.

 As Srila Prabhupada states above, the gauranga-nagaris are on the mental platform.  Their so called mood of devotion is really just eroticism, a creation of their impure minds.  Their wrong meditation upon Lord Caitanya simply arouses their lust, and they foolishly take that lust to be spiritual ecstasy.

How can we explain the need of Varanasrama dharma organization in human society?

Manidhara Prabhu

The need is self-evident, unfortunately not to many. Either in name of imaginary transcendental progress or in name of mayavada based declaration of oneness and “unity”, the conditioned soul likes not to look into the mirror and agree on ones acquired conditioning. And so we run into the risk to become grhasta-sannyasis and sannyasi-grhastas, homely brahmacaries of ugra-tapas grhastas, ending in entirely disturbed situations, causing pain to so many other living entities.

Even most intimate associates of the Lord place themselves while performing their lilas into exemplary varna and dharma designated positions in order to teach the conditioned souls how to live a disciplined life while aiming towards the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. And whenever, like at the beginning of Bhagava-gita, a devotee THINKS to serve in a self-designated position, the Lord rectifies him instantly.

As He declares a faulty but honest servant to be superior to a self-designated hypocrite, a devote naturally strives for a position where he doesn’t disturb His master by illusory concepts about himself and his bodily destined situation.

And so the need to be properly situated is self evident and logical so the devotee can face the challenges served to him by contact with the material energy in most efficient manner.

To explain and test ones acquired nature is easy. It becomes most evident in times of emergency, when there is no time for pretence, but in instant way the nature of the conditioned soul becomes evident. I used always apply in public preaching, such as the Sunday Feast lectures, the example of a fire emergency.

Imagine, suddenly, in middle of this lecture somebody runs into this room and screams:”There is fire! The building is on fire!” Just watch the response of each of us here. Most of us will probably scream and call for help…. as sudras do. Some will think instantly how much it will cost to repair the damage and if the building is insured… as vaisyas may do. And maybe one person will stand up and unusually calm, call out to everybody present not to panic and follow him as he knows where the emergency exit is……. as a ksatriya would do. And then, maybe a very rare person, will also stay calm, chant Hare Krsna while admiring the precision of the arriving reaction to an action of the past not known to us. Such is a nature of a brahmana who always “sees things at their beginning” as one philosopher said.

And so in few seconds the varnasrama conditioning of each single person present can be understood. All of us will have our opportunities in this life time to understand the nature of our conditioning while facing emergencies of all sorts. Hopefully we might be situated properly so we can progress in spiritual life. If we don’t, we may roam around for years as disturbed hypocrites, trying to impose on others what they never will believe. As others may see us far more in realistic light as we do, life gets difficult once one becomes pretender. We may dress in saffron or we may dress in white, we may profess as preachers as our senses cry out for physical engagement, we may pack our minds with slokas while our heart beats heavily tormented by the desire for the opposite sex, so spiritual progress becomes difficult to such a tormented dreamer.

But, as the example demonstrates, in emergencies, above all facing the ultimate emergency, the death of our body, our nature will become revealed one way or another. Once a devotee understands the nature of his conditioning and serves Krsna and spiritual master with all his heart, his conditioning becomes an asset and not an obstacle. After all, a devotee who is whole heartily engaged truly transcends the position of his body, and not the one who declares it to be of another nature or even non-existent. Who wouldn’t be inspired by an enthusiastically serving “sudra”, enthusiastically providing “vaisya”, enthusiastically protecting “ksatriya” or enthusiastically teaching “brahmana”? In such society of enthusiastic servants, spiritual life becomes easy and pleasant. In society of hypocrites only misery prevails.

Why does Krsna immorally dance with the gopis, who are others’ daughters or wives?

In Srimad-Bhagavatam, the same question was asked by King Pariksit to Sukadeva Gosvami. Sukadeva Gosvami replied that even great persons who are free from false ego and selfish material motivations sometimes act in apparent contradiction to the laws of piety yet are not subject to sinful reactions; how, then, can the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme creator of all living beings and everything that exists, have any connection with the piety and impiety that affects His subordinate creations?

Sukadeva Gosvami further explained that even the Lord’s pure devotees are never entangled in material activities, for they find transcendental pleasure in the service of His lotus feet; how, then, can there be any question of bondage for the Lord Himself, who assumes His transcendental forms according to His own sweet will? He is the Paramatma in the hearts of the gopis and their husbands and indeed within all living beings. The Subala Upanisad says:

esa sarva-bhutantaratmapahata-papma

divyo deva eko narayanah

“There is one Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana. He is the transcendental Supersoul in the hearts of all living entities, and He is completely free from all sin.”

Lord Krsna certainly descends to demonstrate religious principles (dharma-samsthapanarthaya) and to punish the miscreants (vinasaya ca duskrtam), but above all, He comes to show mercy to His devotees by enjoying transcendental pastimes with them (paritranaya sadhunam). The Lord enjoys with His internal potency (yoga-mayam upasritah) and thus attracts all conditioned souls to come to the spiritual platform. Neither the Lord, nor His devotees, nor His pastimes are material. The rasa dance is a completely spiritual act. To demonstrate the divinity of His transcendental dance, Lord Krsna, the almighty, expanded Himself into as many forms as there were gopis: “Expanding Himself as many times as there were cowherd women to associate with, the Supreme Lord, though self-satisfied, playfully enjoyed their company.” (Bhagavatam 10.33.19) 

The gopis are eternal associates of Krsna. They are His spiritual potency, expanded into spiritual bodies. They are not ordinary women:

ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis

tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih

“The gopis are expansions of Krsna’s pleasure potency.” (Brahmasamhita 5.37)

In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.5) it is explained:

radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad

“The loving affairs of Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal, pleasure-giving potency.”

And in the Padma Purana it is said:

gopyas tu srutayo jneya rsi-ja gopa-kanyakah

deva-kanyas ca rajendra na manusyah kathancana

“It is understood that some of the gopis are personified Vedic literature, while others are reborn sages, daughters of cowherds, or demigod maidens. But by no means, my dear king, are any of them ordinary humans.”

The gopis’ love for Lord Krsna is celebrated as the expression of the highest devotion, being free from any material impurities. Thus, even other great devotees, such as Uddhava, seek their blessings:

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam

vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam

“Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet.” (Bhagavatam 10.47.61)

vande nanda-vraja-strinam pada-renum abhiksnasah

yasam hari-kathodgitam punati bhuvana-trayam

“I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja’s cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds.” (Bhagavatam 10.47.63) 

Even Lord Caitanya Himself—who, after accepting the sannyasa order of life, very strictly avoided the association of women—taught that there is no higher type of worship than that exemplified by the gopis of the Lord. Although the gopis’ attraction for Krsna appears to be lusty, it is not in the least material. Otherwise, why would great sannyasis and acaryas, after having renounced everything material, spend their time discussing Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis? Actually, because those pastimes are not material, lusty activities, discussions about them will indeed purify the participants from material lust, as confirmed by Sukadeva Gosvami:

“Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord’s playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord’s pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.” (Bhagavatam 10.33.39)

Sukadeva Gosvami continued: “Lord Krsna enjoyed with that gopi, although He enjoys only within, being self-satisfied and complete in Himself. Thus, by contrast, He showed the wretchedness of ordinary lusty men and hardhearted women.” (Bhagavatam 10.30.34)

In Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.30) Srila Sukadeva Gosvami says:

naitat samacarej jatu manasapi hy anisvarah

vinasyaty acaran maudhyad yatha rudro ’bdhijam visam

“Certainly one who is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead should never, not even within his mind, imitate the activities of the transcendental rasa-lilaof Krsna. If out of ignorance one does so, he will be destroyed, just as if he were to imitate Lord Siva, who drank poison produced from the ocean.” 

In this regard, Srila Prabhupada has further explained, “We should clearly understand that while Lord Krsna certainly descends to demonstrate religious principles, He also descends to demonstrate that He is God and we are not. That also must be demonstrated. The Lord enjoys with His internal potency and thus attracts us to the spiritual platform. We should not try to imitate Krsna, for we will suffer severely.”

The path of Krsna-bhakti, or the process of developing love for Krsna, demands that under the guidance of an authorized spiritual master a devotee practice devotional service via rules and regulations (sadhana-bhakti). When thus freed from material lust and purified from all selfish desires, one automatically rises to the liberated platform of pure devotional service. Only then will one be able to realize the absolute nature of Lord Krsna’s pastimes.

From the book Who Is Supreme?

 

 

 

All glories to Kali-yuga, sudras and women!

Here is an interesting account from the Visnu Purana regarding auspiciousness of otherwise inauspicious things.

Kali yuga is considered to be the worst of the four ages (satya, treta, dvapara and kali) for 3/4 of religious principles are abandoned, and there is a decline in all sattvic qualities of men. It is known as the age of quarrel, hypocrisy and misfortune.  “O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men almost always have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.” (SB 1.1.10). But still, in spite of all the bad qualities, by the Lord’s mercy, the process of self realization is so easy. Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta sanga param vrajet, “My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.” (SB 12.3.51)

Similarly the sudras are considered the lowest of four classes (brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras) in Vedic varnasrama system, being conditioned by the mode of ignorance and thus unfit to study Vedas. Nevertheless Lord’s mercy is not out of their reach, moreover, without taking much responsibility, as higher classes do, sudras can attain the very same merit simply by serving them (other higher three classes).

The same is applied for the women class, which is considered less auspicious by birth (papa-yonayah Bg.9.32), and thus were also deprived from the study of the Vedas, which makes it almost impossible to come out of the samsara cakra – here again the Lord’s mercy is the key of success – woman birth is glorified to be superior than that of a man, for simply by following her husband, honoring him, in act, thought, and speech – woman attain the very same destination as their husband, without much struggle and botheration with all the complexity of dharma sastras.

VISNU PURANA, CHAPTER 2

Upon this subject, Maitreya, you shall hear what the wise Vyasa has related, as it is communicated truly by me.

It was once a matter of dispute amongst the sages, at what season the least moral merit obtained the greatest reward, and by whom it was most easily displayed. In order to terminate the discussion, they went to Veda Vyasa to remove their doubts. They found the illustrious Muni, my son, half immersed in the water of the Ganges; and awaiting the close of his ablutions, the sages remained on the banks of the sacred stream, under shelter of a grove of trees. As my son plunged down into the water, and again rose up from it, the Munis heard him exclaim, “Excellent is the Kali age!” Again he dived, and again rising, said in their hearing, “Well done, well done sudra; you are happy!” Again he sank down, and as he once more emerged they heard him say, “Well done, well done, women; they are happy! who are more fortunate than they?” After this, my son finished his bathing, and the sages met him as he approached to welcome them. After he had given them seats, and they had proffered their respects, the son of Satyavati said to them, “On what account have you come to me?” They replied, “We came to you to consult you on a subject on which we entertain some doubt; but that may be at present suspended. Please explained to us something else. We heard you say, ‘Excellent is the Kali age! Well done, sudra! Well done, women!’ Now we are desirous to know why this was said, why you called them repeatedly happy. Tell us the meaning of it, if it be not a mystery. We will then propose to you the question that occupies our thoughts.”

Being thus addressed by the Munis, Vyasa smiled, and said to them, “Hear excellent sages, why I uttered the words ‘Well done, well done.’ The fruit of penance, of continence, of silent prayer, and the like, practised in the Krta age for ten years, in the Treta for one year, in the Dvapara for a month, is obtained in the Kali age in a day and night: therefore did I exclaim, ‘Excellent, excellent, is the Kali age!’ That reward which a man obtains in the Krta by abstract meditation, in the Treta by sacrifice, in the Dvapara by adoration, he receives in the Kali by merely reciting the name of Kesava. In the Kali age a man displays the most exalted virtue by every little exertion; therefore, pious sages, who know what virtue is, I was pleased with the Kali age. Formerly the Vedas were to be acquired by the twice-born through the diligent observances of self-denial; and it was their duty to celebrate sacrifices conformably to the ritual, Then idle prayers, idle feasts, and fruitless ceremonies, were practiced but to mislead the twice-born; for although observed by them devoutly, yet, in consequence of some irregularity in their celebration, sin was incurred in all their works, and what they ate, or what they drank, did not affect the fulfillment of their desires. In all their objects the twice-born enjoyed no independence, and they attained their respective spheres only with exceeding pain. The sudra, on the contrary, more fortunate than they, reaches his assigned station by rendering them service, and performing merely the sacrifice of preparing food, in which no rules determine what may or may not be eaten, what may or may not be drunk. Therefore, most excellent sages, is the sudra fortunate.

“Riches are accumulated by men in modes not incompatible with their peculiar duties, and they are then to be bestowed upon the worthy, and expended in constant sacrifice. There is great trouble in their acquisition; and great grief for their loss. Thus, eminent brahmanas, through these and other sources of anxiety, men attain their allotted spheres of Prajapati and the rest only by exceeding labor and suffering. This is not the case with women: a woman has only to honor her husband, in act, thought, and speech, to reach the same region to which he is elevated; and she thus accomplishes her object without any great exertion. This was the purport of my exclamation, ‘Well done!’ the third time. I have thus related to you what you asked. Now demand the question you came to put to me, in any way you please, and I will make you a distinct reply.”

The Munis then said to Vyasa, “The question we intended to have asked you has been already answered by you in your reply to our subsequent inquiry.” On hearing which Krsna Dvaipayana laughed, and said to the holy persons who had come to see him, whose eyes were wide open with astonishment, “I perceived, with the eye of divine knowledge, the question you intended to ask, and in allusion to it I uttered the expressions, Well done, well done.’ In truth, in the Kali age duty is discharged with very little trouble by mortals, whose faults are all washed away by the water of their individual merits; by sudras, through diligent attendance only upon the twice-born; and by women, through the slight effort of obedience to their husbands. Therefore, brahmanas, did I thrice express my admiration of their happiness; for in the Krta and other ages great were the toils of the regenerate to perform their duty. I waited not for your inquiry, but replied at once to the question you purposed to ask. Now, ye whknow what virtue is, what else do you wish me to tell you?”

The Munis then saluted and praised Vyasa, and, being freed by him from uncertainty, departed as they came. To you also, excellent Maitreya, have I imparted this secret, this one great virtue of the otherwise vicious Kali age. The dissolution of the world, and the aggregation of the elements, I will now describe to you.

***

(Visnu Purana, translated by H.H. Wilson. Edited and revised by K.L.Joshi. Published by PARIMAL PUBLICATIONS,DELHI)

CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU IS SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD

Srila Prabhupada taught us that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was the Supreme Personality of Godhead appearing as His own devotee on earth five hundred years ago. Krsna as Lord Caitanya tasted the bliss that Srimati Radharani experienced in loving Him and simultaneously distributed that prema to the jivas of the material realm. On the strength of Srila Prabhupada’s own conviction; on the strength of the several Vedic evidences he quoted; on the strength of the Gaudiya-Vaisnava acaryas’ opinions and on the realization which comes from chanting and participating in the Sankirtana Movement-some devotees have been fortunate enough to receive faith in the divinity of Lord Caitanya.

Others however, are doubtful. First there are those who doubt that someone appearing so much like an ordinary man could be God incarnate. Secondly there are those who worship their own elected “avataras” or “incarnations” as God. Thirdly there are those who simply don’t know. All of these are in trouble by not recognizing Lord Caitanya’s unique position.

In this article we shall present many astounding verses from the 5,000 year old Vedic literature which leave no doubt as to who the incarnation of God is in the age of Kali. Some of these verses are well-known because Srila Prabhupada used them repeatedly and some of these passages are new to us. We are grateful to Sriman Kusakratha Prabhu for uncovering these many scriptural jewels which de-vastate doubts as easily as a Florida hurricane knocks down trees. If you would like to delight your audience on Gaura-purnima day, read the following article to them with a loud, clear voice.

Srila Prabhupada’s most often-used reference predicting Lord Caitanya’s appearance as the Yuga-avatara or incarnation for this age is found in the eleventh canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. There, saint Narada Muni instructs the great soul Vasudeva about pure devotional service to the Lord. Included within that explanation, is the narration of an ancient discussion between Sage Kara-bhajana, son of Rsabhadeva, and the King of Videha (a famous historical city in India). Humbly seated in his ornate palace, the King inquired:

“In what colors and forms does the Supreme Personality of Godhead appear in each of the different ages, and with what names and by what types of regulative principles is the Lord worshiped in human society?” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.5.19)

Having explained in detail the characteristics of the white avatara for Satya-yuga and the red avatara for the Treta-yuga, the sage next presented a precise description of the incarnation for the Dvapara yuga as having a “dark blue complexion, wearing yellow garments” and marked with the ornament of Srivatsa. Finally, Karabhajana spoke of the incarnation for the fourth age, Kali:

krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam  sangopangastra-parsadam

yajnaih sankirtana-prayair  yajanti hi su-medhasah

“In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krsna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krsna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.5.32)

In a talk with Nanda Maharaja, the foster father of Sri Krsna, Priest Gargamuni indicated that the incarnation for Kali yuga is yellow (pita):

asan varnas trayo hy asya

grhnato ‘nuyugam tanuh

suklo raktas tatha pita

idanim krsnatam gatah

“This boy [Krsna] has three other colors-white, red and yellow-as He appears in different ages. Now He has appeared in a transcendental blackish color.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.13)

The incarnation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also described in the Sri Visnu-sahasra-nama, which appears in Chapter 189 of the Dana-dharma-parva of Mahabharata. There Sage Vaisampayana says:

suvarna-varno hemango

varangas candanangadi

sannyasa-krc chamah santo

nistha-santi-parayanah

“In His early pastimes He appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold. In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyasa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist nondevotees.”

The Mundaka Upanisad (3.1.3) further points out that the Lord appears in a golden (rukma-varnam) form:

yada pasyah pasyate rukma-varnam kartaram isam purusam

brahma-yonim

“One who sees that golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, is liberated.”

Prahlada Maharaja revealed the Lord as the covered (channa) incarnation in Kali yuga while praying to Lord Nrsimhadeva:

channah kalau yad abhavas

tri-yugo ‘tha sa tvam

“In the age of Kali, however, You do not assert Yourself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore You are known as Triyuga, or the Lord who appears in three yugas.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.38)

There are scriptural references which specifically point to Lord Caitanya as the Godhead, for example:

punya-ksetre navadvipe

bhavisyami saci-sutah.

“I shall appear in the holy land of Navadvipa as the son of Sacidevi.” (Krsna-yamala-tantra)

kalau sankirtanarambhe

bhavisyami saci-sutah.

“In the Age of Kali when the sankirtana movement is inaugurated, I shall descend as the son of Sacidevi.” (Vayu Purana)

atha vaham dharadhame

bhutva mad-bhakta-rupa-dhrk

mayayam ca bhavisyami

kalau sankirtanagame

“Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee. Specifically, I appear as the son of Saci in Kali-yuga to start the sankirtana movement.” (Brahma-yamala-tantra)

ya eva bhagavan krsno

radhika-prana-vallabhah

srsty adau sa jagan-natho

gaura asin mahesvari

“The Supreme Person, Sri Krsna Himself, who is the life of Sri Radharani and is the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance and annihilation, appears as Gaura, O Mahesvari.” (Ananta-samhita)

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given us further information regarding the above statement. The Caitanya Upanisad is a part of the Atharva Veda and the speaker is Lord Brahma replying to his son Pippalada. In these nineteen verses, the universal authority unequivocally depicts the incarnation for Kali-yuga to be Lord Caitanya and the sixteen word mantra which will be chanted as the maha-mantra; Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

atha pippaladah samit-panir bhagavatam brahmanam

upasanno bhagavan me subham kim atra caksasveti.

“Carrying firewood in his hands, Pippalada humbly approached his father, Lord Brahma, and asked: “O my Lord, please tell me how I may attain an auspicious life.” [Caitanya Upanisad 1]

sa hovaca. bhuya eva tapasa brahmacaryena sasvad ramasva mano vaseti.

Lord Brahma replied: “Be satisfied by remaining always celibate, and perform austerities. Carefully control the activities of the mind. In this way you will attain an auspicious condition of life.” [Caitanya Upanisad 2]

sa tatha bhutva bhuya enam upasadaha-bhagavan kalau papac channah prajah katham mucyerann iti.

Pippalada followed these instructions, and after having become pure in his own heart and mind, he again approached his father and asked, “O my Lord, please tell me how the sinful living entities in the Kali-yuga may be delivered.” [Caitanya Upanisad 3]

ko va devata ko va mantro bruhiti.

“Who should be the object of their worship, and what mantra should they chant in order to become delivered? Kindly inform me.” [Caitanya Upanisad 4]

sa hovaca. rahasyam te vadisyami jahnavi-tire navadvipe golokakhye dhamni govindo dvi-bhujo gaurah sarvatma maha-puruso mahatma maha-yogi tri-gunatitah sattva-rupo bhaktim loke kasyatiti. tad ete sloka bhavanti.

Lord Brahma replied: Listen carefully, for I shall give you a confidential description of what will happen in the Kali-yuga. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, the Supreme Enjoyer, whose form is transcendental, who is beyond the touch of the three modes of material nature, and who is the all-pervading Supersoul residing in the hearts of all living entities, will appear again in the Kali age. Appearing as the greatest devotee, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will assume a two-armed form of golden complexion in His abode of Goloka Vrndavana manifested on the bank of the Ganges at Navadvipa. He will disseminate pure devotional service in the world. This incarnation of the Lord is described in the following verses. [Caitanya Upanisad 5]”

eko devah sarva-rupi mahatma

gauro rakta-syamala-sveta-rupah

caitanyatma sa vai caitanya-saktir

bhaktakaro bhakti-do bhakti-vedyah

The one Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of all transcendental potencies, and who may be known only by devotional service, appears in innumerable transcendental forms. He has appeared with red, black, and white complexions, and He shall also appear in the golden form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He shall assume the role of a perfect devotee, and he will teach the conditioned souls the path of pure devotional service. [Caitanya Upanisad 6]

namo vedanta-vedyaya

krsnaya paramatmane

sarva-caitanya-rupaya

caitanyaya namo namah

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Sri Krsna, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead, who is understood by the study of Vedanta philosophy. He is the master of all transcendental potencies, and He appears as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. [Caitanya Upanisad 7]

vedanta-vedyam purusam puranam caitanyatmanam visva-yonim mahantam

tam eva viditvati-mrtyum eti

nanyah pantha vidyate ‘yanaya

One who understands that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known by the study of the Vedanta philosophy, who is the original cause of the universe, and who is the oldest, the original person, crosses beyond this world of birth and death. This is the proper understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and aside from this there is no other way for one to achieve liberation. [Caitanya Upanisad 8]

sva-nama- mula-mantrena sarvam hladayati vibhuh.

Appearing in this golden form, the all-powerful Supreme Lord will fill the entire universe with transcendental bliss by the chanting of His own holy names. [Caitanya Upanisad 9]

dve sakti parame tasya hladini samvid eva ca iti

In this way the Supreme Lord manifests two of His transcendental potencies-His hladini sakti (the potency of transcendental bliss) and samvit-sakti (the potency of transcendental knowledge). [Caitanya Upanisad 10]

sa eva mula-mantram japati harir iti krsna iti rama iti.

The Supreme Lord will chant a mantra consisting of the names Hari, Krsna, and Rama (the maha-mantra: hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare). [Caitanya Upanisad 11]

harati hrdaya-granthim vasana-rupam iti harih. krsih smarane tac ca nas tad-ubhaya-melanam iti krsnah. ramayati sarvam iti rama ananda-rupah. atra sloko bhavati

These three names of the Supreme Lord (Hari, Krsna, and Rama) may be explained in the following way: (1) “Hari” means “He who unties [harati] the knot of material desire in the hearts of the living entities”; (2) “Krsna” is divided into the two syllables “krs” and “na.” “Krs” means “He who attracts the minds of all living entities,” and “na” means “the supreme transcendental pleasure.” These two syllables combine to become the name “Krsna”; and (3) “Rama” means “He who delights [ramayati] all living entities,” and it also means “He who is full of transcendental bliss.” The maha-mantra consists of the repetition of these names of the Supreme Lord. [Caitanya Upanisad 12]

mantro guhyah paramo bhakti-vedyah

The maha-mantra (hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare) is the best of all mantras. Although it is very difficult to understand this maha-mantra, it may be understood when one engages in pure devotional service of the Supreme Lord. (Caitanya Upanisad 13]

namany astav ca sobhanani, tani nityam ye japanti dhiras te vai mayam atitaranti nanyah paramam mantram parama-rahasyam nityam avartayati

Those who seriously desire to make progress in spiritual life continually chant these sixteen splendid names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and in this way they cross beyond the bondage of continued material existence. The chanting of these holy names of the Lord is the greatest of all mantras, and it is the most confidential of all secrets. [Caitanya Upanisad 14]

caitanya eva sankarsano vasudevah para-mesthi rudrah sakro brhaspatih sarve devah sarvani bhutani sthavarani carani ca yat kincit sad-asat-karanam sarvam. tad atra slokah.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appears as Lord Sankarsana and Lord Vasudeva. He is the original father of Brahma, Siva, Indra, Brhaspati, all the demigods and all moving and non-moving living entities. He is the original cause of all that is temporary and all that is eternal. Nothing exists separately from Him, and therefore He is everything. He is described in the following verses. [Caitanya Upanisad 15]

yat kincid asad bhunkte

ksaram tat karyam ucyate

sat karanam param jivas

tad aksaram itiritam

ksaraksarabhyam paramah

sa eva purusottamah

caitanyakhyam param tattvam

sarva-karana-karanam

This material world is temporary, whereas the individual living entities who try to enjoy matter are eternal and superior to it. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is superior to both the temporary material energy and the eternal living entities. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is this Supreme Person, the Absolute Truth, the original cause of all causes. [Caitanya Upanisad 16-18]

ya enam rasayati bhajati dhyayati sa papmanam tarati sa puto bhavati, sa tattvam janati, sa tarati sokam, gatis tasyate nanyasyeti.

One who worships the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Maha-prabhu, with devotion and always remembers Him becomes free from all sins and completely pure. Easily understanding the truth about the Personality of Godhead and becoming free from all material lamentation, such a devotee attains the supreme goal of life, which is unattainable by those averse to the Supreme Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. [Caitanya Upanisad 19]

Then in the Atharva-veda Purusa-bodini Upanisad we find:

saptame gaura-varna-visnor ity anena sva-saktya caikyam etya prantepratar avatirya saha svaih sva-manum siksayati.

In the seventh manvantara, in the beginning of the Kali-yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will, accompanied by His own associates, descend in a golden form to the earth. He will teach the chanting of His own holy names.”

As if to further stun the scholars who only accept the sruti-sastras, the Supreme Personality of Godhead discloses His mission via the Sama Veda.

tathaham krta-sannyaso bhu-girbano ‘vatarisye tire ‘lakanandayah punah punar isvara-prarthitah sa-parivaro niralambo nirdhuteh kali-kalmasa-kavalita-jana-va-lambanaya.

“To deliver the people devoured by the sins of Kali-yuga, I will, accompanied by My associates, descend to the earth in a place by the Ganges shore. I will be a brahmana Avadhuta-sannyasi. Again and again I will chant the holy names of the Lord.”

“Here Bhaktivinoda Thakura interprets how the Chandogya Upanisad speaks of Lord Caitanya and His home in Mayapura.”

atra brahma-puram nama pundarikam yad ucyate tad evasta-dalam padma sannibham puram adbhutam

“In that place is a wonderful city like an eight-petal lotus flower.”

tan-madhye daharam saksat mayapuramitiryate

tatra vesma bhagavatas

caitanyasya paratmanah

tasmin yas tv ‘antarakaso

hy antar-dvipah sa ucyate

“In the middle of that lotus-city is a place called Mayapura, and in the middle of Mayapura is a place called Antardvipa. That place is the home of Lord Caitanya, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

The Krsna Upanisad delineates exactly what Lord Caitanya will teach:

sa eva bhagavan yuge turiye ‘pi brahma-kule jayamanah sarva upanisadah uddidirsuh sarvani dharma-astrani vistarayisnuh sarvan api janan santarayisnuh sarvan api vaisnavan dharman vijmbhayan sarvan api pasandan nicakhana.

“In the Kali-yuga, Lord Krsna will appear in a brahmana’s family. He will teach the message of the Upanisads and the dharma-sastras. He will defeat the atheists and offenders and He will establish the truth of Vaisnava-dharma.”

Now let us see what the smrti-sastras say about the incarnation for Kali-yuga. The Garuda Purana directly identifies the sannyasi Lord Cai-tanya as the same Krsna from Vrn-davana:

kaleh prathama-sandhyayam

laksmi-kanto bhavisyati daru-brahma-samipa-sthah sannyasi gaura-vigrahah

“In the first sandhya of Kali-yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will assume a golden form. First He will be the husband of Laksmi, and then He will be a sannyasi who stays near Lord Jagannatha at Puri.”

yad gopi-kuca-kumbha-sambhrama-bhara-ram-bhena samvardhitah yad va gopa-kumara-sara-kalaya range subhandi-krtam yad vrndavana-kanane pravilasac chridama-damadibhis tat prema-pradatam cakara bhagavan caitanya-rupah prabhuh

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enjoyed glorious pastimes with Sridama, Dama, and the other gopa boys in Vrndavana forest, and whose eyes glanced at the gopi’s breasts, will again come to this world to reveal the nature of pure spiritual love. At that time His name will be Caitanya.”

yo reme saha-ballavi ramayate vrndavane ‘har-nisam yah kamsam nijaghana kaurava-rane yah pandavanam sakha so ‘yam vainava-danda-mandita-bhuah sannyasa-vesah sva-yam nihsandedham upagatah ksiti-tale caitanya-rupah prabhuh

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enjoyed pastimes with the gopis, who day and night filled the people of Vrndavana with happiness, who killed Kamsa, and who in the war between the Kauravas made friendship with the Pandavas will come again to the earth. Of this there is no doubt. His arm decorated with a bamboo danda, He will be a sannyasi and His name will be Caitanya.”

kalina dahyamananam

paritranaya tanu-bhrtam

janma prathama-sandhyayam

karisyami dvijatisu

“To deliver the conditioned souls burning in the trouble of Kali-yuga, in the first sandhya of that age I will take birth among the brahmanas.”

aham purno bhavisyami

yuga-sandhau visesatah

mayapure navadvipe

bhavisyami saci-sutah

“In My original spiritual form, perfect and complete, I will become the son of Saci-devi in Navadvipa-Mayapura at the beginning of Kali-yuga.:”

In the Devi Purana the Kali-yuga incarnation’s full name is given:

nama-siddhanta-sampati

prakasana-parayanah

kvacit sri-krsna-caitanya

nama loke bhavisyati

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead will again appear in this world. His name will be Sri Krsna Caitanya and He will spread the chanting of the Lord’s holy names.”

The Nrsimha purana speaks about the present divya-yuga’s incarnations, including Lord Ramacandra in the Treta-yuga and Lord Caitanya in the Kali-yuga.

satye daitya-kuladhi-nasa-samaye simhor-dhva-martyakrtis trtayam dasa-kandharam paribhavan rameti namakrtih gopalan paripalayan vraja-pure bharam haran dvapare gaurangah priya-kirtanah kali-yuge caitanya-nama prabhuh

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who in the Satya-yuga appeared as a half-man half-lion to cure a terrible disease that had ravaged the daityas, and who in Treta-yuga appeared as a person named Rama, a person who defeated the ten-headed demon Ravana, and who in the Dvapara-yuga removed the earth’s burden and protected the gopa people of Vraja-pura, will appear again in the Kali-yuga. His form will be golden, He will delight in chanting the Lord’s holy names, and His name will be Caitanya.”

The eminent Padma Purana tells the mother’s name and the exact place of birth for the yuga-avatara.

kaleh prathama-sandhyayam

gaurango ‘ham mahi-tale

bhagirathi-tate ramye

bhavisyami saci-sutah

“In the first sandhya of Kali-yuga I will appear on the earth in a beautiful place by the Ganges’ shore. I will be the son of Saci-devi and My complexion will be golden.”

yatra yogesvarah saksad

yogi-cintyo janardanah

caitanya-vapur aste vai

sandranandatmakah prabhuh

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is filled with bliss, who rescues the devotees from a host of calamities, and who is the master of yoga and the object of the yogis’ meditation, will appear in His transcendental form and be known by the name Caitanya.”

In the Narada Purana, the Supreme Being rallies the demigods for the upcoming undercover sankirtana event.

aham eva kalau vipra

nityam pracchanna-vigrahah

bhagavad-bhakta-rupena

lokan raksami sarvada

“O brahmana, in the age of Kali I will appear disguised as a devotee of the Lord and I will deliver all the worlds.”

divija bhuvi jayadhvam

jayadhvam bhakta-rupinah

kalau sankirtanarambhe

bhavisyami saci-sutah

“O demigods, in the Kali-yuga please take birth as devotees on the earth. I will appear as the son of Saci in the Kali-yuga to start the sankirtana movement.”

Each millennium or age is divided into three sandhyas or periods and the Brahma Purana tells in which period of Kali the incarnation will appear.

kaleh prathama-sandhyayam

gaurango ‘ham mahi-tale

bhagirathi-tate bhumni

bhavisyami sanatanah

“In the first sandhya of the Kali-yuga I will reveal My eternal golden form by the Ganges’ shore on the earth.”

From Caitanya Caritamrta and Caitanya Bhagavata we have read eye-witness accounts describing Lord Caitanya’s tears soaking everyone nearby. Those tears are foretold in the Bhavisya Purana.

anandasru-kala-roma

harsa-purnam tapo-dhana

sarve mam eva draksyanti

kalau sannyasa-rupinam

“O sage whose wealth is austerity, in the Kali-yuga everyone will see My form as a sannyasi, a form filled with tears of bliss and bodily hairs standing erect.”

Not only is Lord Caitanya’s appearance predicted but the entire Panca-tattva as well!

aprakasyam idam guhyam

na prakasyam bahir mukhe

bhaktavataram bhatakhyam

bhaktam bhakti-pradam svayam

man-maya-mohitah kecin

na jnasyanti bahir-mukhah

jnasyanti mad-bhakti-yuktah

sadhavo hyasino ‘malah

“They who are bewildered by My illusory potency will not understand the great secret of the appearance in this world of Me in My personal form, in My form as the incarnation of a devotee, in My form bearing the name of a devotee, in My form as a devotee, and in My form as the giver of devotional service. This secret is not to be revealed to them. Only the saintly, pure, renounced devotees, diligently engaged in My devotional service, will be able to understand Me in these five forms.” (Ananta-samhita)

When the Lord goes somewhere for pastimes, like when He and Balarama journeyed to Mathura, He naturally brings along His cowherd boyfriends and sometimes the gopis. In Kali-yuga, those same cowherd boys incarnate also.

krsnavatara-kale yah

striyo ye purusah priyah

kalau te ‘vatarisyanti

sridama-subaladayah

“My dear male and female associates, headed by Sridama and Subala, who came to this world at the time of My advent as Lord Krsna, will come again during the Kali-yuga.”

catuh-sasti-mahantas te

gopa dvadasa balakah

dharma-samstapanarthaya

viharisyami tair aham

“The gopas will become the sixty-four mahantas and the twelve gopalas. To establish the truth of religion, I will enjoy many pastimes with them.” (Ananta-samhita)

But just in case any of us are confused as to who the actual incarnation for Kali-yuga is and by what names He will be known, the Vedas clarify everything.

krsnas caitanya-gaurango

gauracandrah saci-sutah

prabhur gauro gaura-harir

namani bhakti-dani me

“At this time My names will be: Krsna Caitanya, Gauranga, Gau-racandra, Sacisuta, Maha-prabhu, Gaura, and Gaurahari. Chanting these names will bring devotion to Me.” (Ananta-samhita)

(This article was originally published in Vaisnava Society Journal 1 under title “This is God?”)

Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s philosophy: enjoy with Krsna

Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught that if you want to cry for Krsna, then no more crying for this material world. Hare Krsna. If you can once learn how to cry for Krsna, then you will no more cry for this material world. That is Vedanta. Try to feel separation for Krsna, then you won’t feel separation from this nonsense material world. Everyone is suffering or hankering. Either hankering… One who hasn’t got, he is hankering, and one who has but lost it, he is lamenting. This is the activity. But Krsna consciousness means once you hanker after Krsna, there will be no more lamentation. Here the lamentation is, “I could not find Krsna,” not that “I have lost Krsna.” First of all get Krsna; then there is question of loss. But once you get, there is no more loss. That is Krsna consciousness. Once you get Krsna, there is no more loss; you get it forever, and you enjoy with Krsna in perfection. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s philosophy.

From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture, Panca-tattva Deity Installation – Hawaii, Unknown date 

What should a devotee-manager consider?

Unfortunately instruction manuals on this issue written in the past are presently not available to me, but they surely contained a lot of good advice regarding the daily realities a devotee who accepts managerial responsibility has to face.

Sometimes devotees tend to reach out into the material world for help on how to successfully manage large groups of people. Such books are of little use for a manager in Krsna consciousness as Srila Prabhupada’s movement is conducted under very different conditions compared to movements in the “ordinary” karmi world.

Srila Prabhupada would warn his disciples in managerial positions in letters to them that his movement is a movement based on preaching and on VOLUNTARY contribution of those who responded to the call of the sastras and surrendered their lives to the Supreme Lord. No karmi has to face such a responsibility as in the material world a material reward for ones contributions is always expected, either in form of money or in form of name fame and glory.

Even the greatest altruist is finally caught by maya, believing that he is the greatest friend and well wisher of human kind…just another “god”.

And so the first lesson for any manager in Krsna consciousness is that he is the SERVANT, not the master of those entrusted into his care. He must be educated enough to understand that he can protect and guide only to the degree that he is himself protected and guided, in other words to the degree that he is connected to the guru parampara.

 What follows are only a few of the qualities required for such a responsible devotee who takes upon himself the ungrateful task to help those who may not even appreciate his help. Most people have a hard time distinguishing between friends and enemies and so in their confusion they tend to imitate paramahamsas and “see everything equally”, avoiding a “managerial friend” and embrace the association of a smiling cheater.

Such is the destiny of any preacher who finally has to become a manager. As Srila Prabhupada said, management follows the preaching as we are daily followed by our shadows. Even Srila Prabhupada fought hard to delegate management so He could stay purely in a preaching position. But it was not possible. Those who try to separate preaching from management simply turn out to be speakers with no audience and those who tend to manage without preaching simply turn out to be desperate lonely manipulators of those who don’t follow.

SIMPLE AND HONEST

In the view of the above mentioned points, a manager must be simple and honest in his dealings with other devotees. Duplicity and political trickery always backfires, even it seems for a while to be the right way of action. Finally any sincere devotee will grow up in Krsna consciousness to such a degree that he realizes how far he was sincerely advised and how far he was simply manipulated into a certain course of action. Political “pragmatism” always corrupts the leader and possibly his follower as well.

Too often it was seen how devotees broke with corrupt management only to copy it elsewhere on their own. After all, they were raised in the same “school of pragmatic manipulators”. Rather a manager should learn  from the rejection and criticism of those who don’t appreciated due the manager’s corrupt ways of thinking, and stick to the truth instead of simply trying to secure his position and his livelihood by corrupt means.

To pretend to be “liberal” is another trap one may step in, as there is no such thing. As a result such a manoeuvring manager will end up being despised by all, as pleasing all means pleasing nobody.

RESOURCEFULL

Often, out of emergency, an unqualified person is put into management, causing usually more damage than his predecessors. A manager has to be a ksatriya by quality or a brahmana assisted by a ksatriya. Even if untrained, such a potential manager at least has to be open to learn and improve his quality. Sudra management ends up in sentimental corruption and bankruptcy, vaisya management ends up in financially motivated corruption and ksatriya management ,lasting longer, may also find its end if not controlled by brahminical superior power.

The real quality of a manager can be recognized in times of trouble where everybody else is plunged into despair. A real manager gets enlivened by the arriving challenge and draws from his resources. He must have the basic knowledge of varnasrama dharma as hardly anybody joins this movement on basis of pure love of Godhead, but has to be first engaged on basis of his prevailing qualities. The first devotee Srila Prabhupada met was engaged in writing and editing…and so his service turned out to be the same. Sometimes Srila Prabhupada by His amazing spiritual power empowered a devotee to do the impossible, far beyond the limits set by his varna. But finally everybody returned to the positions where he functioned best, either in perverted form in material society or in more progressive form in spiritual society. Even Arjuna wanted to be somebody he was not and was corrected by the time Bhagavad-Gita was spoken to him.

And so a manager can be seen by how many individuals he can engage in Srila Prabhupadas mission in different ways. Putting his preferences aside, (only sudras and corrupted ksatriyas collect followers in the form of “fan-clubs”), he seeks to solve the task at hand and not his personal wellbeing. His satisfaction is derived from serving the mission assigned to him, not from the ways he is perceived or treated. He sees the potential in others of becoming part of a higher cause defined by Srila Prabhupada and he is supportive and protective to those he recognizes as being “useful”, he encourages those willing to contribute in any way possible by preaching to them. This means he must be a knower of people, at least to the degree of a madhyama adhikari.

A kanistha adhikari manager is a walking disaster as he will not even recognize a madman from a potentially more sane person. In the name of “mercy” he will fill Srila Prabhupadas movement with entirely incompetent or even worse, dangerous individuals who will do nothing but discredit Srila Prabhupadas image in the eyes of the public. As one burning tree can burn down a whole forest, such a fool will facilitate a madman, not understanding the misfortune he brings upon others by his stupidity and arrogance.

KNOWS HOW TO DISCRIMINATE

It is an unfortunate task of a manager to be forced to discriminate between those who have the quality of being able to progress individually and be finally engaged in Srila Prabhupadas mission and those who simply want to use the facilities this mission offers. It is only natural that such a manager will be criticized and often has to face opposition. A lucky manager is guided, protected and corrected by a higher manager; an unlucky manager has to struggle on his own, often resigning his post due to the negligence of superior authorities. Srila Prabhupada was able to protect and correct His “big guns” as He called them, connecting and managing a seemingly impossible collection of probably the most eccentric individuals seen on this planet Earth.

HE IS A PUBLIC PERSON

Understanding that he is simply servant of others, a manager’s life must be transparent. The idea to belong to an exclusive class of devotees is deadly. Of course managers are often lonely devotees, at best accompanied by their loyal wives, or at worst divorced from their previously loyal wives 🙂

But a manager must be a grhasta.(?!) Yes, Srila Prabhupada even entrusted sannyasis and brahmacaries with managerial responsibilities at times as there was nobody else, but it is only logical that such a sannyasi or brahmacari will seek the assistance of a grhastha, as management very often involves women and money. These two “assets” can be very invigorating, for a manager in the presence of a brahminical guide (in the form of a sannyasi or an older brahmacari), in the absence of such a guardian and friend they often turn out to be destructive. Similarly involvement with these two;  money and women, often turned out to be deadly for brahmacaris and sannyasis as proven in ISKCON’s history. Therefore a grhasta and a sannyasi or brahmacari, can mutually protect each other. Sannyasis and brahmacaris can receive donations of any kind, but the direct dealings with funds can be entrusted to a grhasta only, who in return is entirely accountable to the very same public which supports the preaching. Double economy and double moral standards lead to a total loss of faith on the side of the public and it also leads to long term aversion to any kind of authority. Therefore a devotee manager doesn’t have a private life. He is a public person.

MUST BE REACHABLE AND MUST BE COMMUNICATIVE

Management is no place for introverts. As mentioned above, a manager must be reachable by those who are in need. Either in form of regulated office hours, or if inspired, day and night, a manager must be ready to answer the calls of those who seek his shelter. If not able to help instantly, he should be possibly able to guide those seeking help to those who can give it. Sometimes, by means of preaching, he must also be able to explain that there is no perfection in this world and so one must accept the given situation as Krsnas mercy. An unreachable manager is simply a farce, a relic who occupies a post which should be occupied by somebody else. No amount of titles he carries around will change that.

In this connection it could also be said that any plan or preaching idea involving others must be announced by a manager to the devotees either in the temple or in the congregation in good time BEFORE its realization. Last minute announcement and last minute scenarios lead only to frustration and chaos which consumes a lot of energy. Devotees are not mind-readers and have to be informed in good time if we expect them to follow.

MUST BE ABLE TO LISTEN SO HE CAN HELP…NOT JUST LISTEN

The term; empathetic listening, often used in connection with counsellors and managers today, is…a myth. Another term; “pathetic listening” would be more appropriate, as such a supposedly understanding fool is merely a pretender if his listening doesn’t lead to practical sastric advice on how a particular person can improve his or her life and become a useful part of the mission of the Lord. A manager who is really a good listener will find out a way to show the particular person that his needs can be automatically satisfied when the needs of the Lord are met. Today’s popular perversion of defining ones happiness first with a vague promise of future engagement in devotional service is a typical way of how spirituality turns into piety and piety into materialism. Even at the cost of being rejected, a real manager will not compromise the sastric conclusion and make a fool out of himself by catering to the needs of conditioned souls in a material way.

MUST BE ABSOLUTELY PREACHING ORIENTED

Understanding that it is not possible to please oneself without pleasing the Supreme Lord, a manager seeks all kinds of ways to connect those entrusted to his care, with the mission of His spiritual master. In Srila Prabhupadas movement services in the realm of distributing his books, prasadam distribution, Holy Name distribution and finally the establishment of varnasrama based life in farming communities, offer endless possibilities of becoming part of the mission of the Supreme Lord. Management means to seek ways of creating facilities for a maximum amount of conditioned souls to be engaged in devotional service.

Srila Prabhupada DIDN’T build a house where everybody can live, as somebody once upon a time said. Rather, He gave us a structure where those who don’t fall into the category of lazies and crazies can base their lives upon. Management means to enable others to visualize this structure, facilitate the more sober who are ready to use this facility, as “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”.

A manager who takes part in preaching activities himself will easily be inspiring to others to follow. As small men follow the bigger ones, a manager can be recognized by the quality of his followers. Focusing more on quality and not quantity, a manager should be able to readily delegate the growing responsibilities and never allow himself to be disconnected from the preaching field. Even karmis say that “the quality of a manager can be recognized more in his absence than in his presence”. This means that such a qualified manager manages from a preaching platform, delegating the various responsibilities to his trained department heads. However, ISKCON has long way to go before coming to this stage. Only locally occasionally such an atmosphere might have been achieved, but due to the continuous invasion of highly unqualified individuals who are prematurely identified as vaisnavas, due to premature and indiscriminate initiation frenzy and due to the non-communicative nature of some of its managers, those who would like to reach these standards are left often with no other option as to retreat in some sort of asylum, going underground while seeking sanity.

AN ABSOLUT PERSONALIST

Life comes from life…and not from money. A managing devotee should be broad hearted and not mediocre when it comes to investing in positively inclined people. That means not facilitating lazies and crazies, but rather  facilitation of those who although  not on the highest level of Krsna consciousness, are inclined to support those who are more advanced spiritually and inclined to make progress themselves. To invest in people is far more rewarding than to daily count loss and profit. One of Srila Prabhupada’s unique achievements was that He gave dignity and responsibility to those who lost faith so that they could regain it. He didn’t do this on humanistic or altruistic terms, but strictly within the mission of His spiritual master. Reading his letters one can get an idea how intense His concern was for “our men”. A devotee-manager, who simply sees the world around him in terms of financial priorities, will soon go bankrupt.

But a manager who even at the cost of losing a momentary arising financial opportunity takes time to speak to others and takes interest in their lives, will be rewarded by their gratefulness, at least on some occasions. People are not miserly at heart; they are just disappointed and often tormented by their own karma. It is not important what they CAN contribute, it is important what they WANT to contribute. A little can be a lot for an impoverished man and a lot can be too little for a well to do man. The attitude is important and not the instant result.

A temple or project dominated by devotees in the right consciousness is, regardless of its size far more progressive than a “pragmatically” collected group of individuals with a deranged type of minds. As birds of the same feather flock together, a lunatic instantly attracts other lunatics as much as a saner person attracts similarly humble ones. It is up to the manager with whom he wants “to flocks together”  with and turn the project entrusted to him either into modestly advancing operation or a “lunatic asylum” as Srila Prabhupada used to call it.

MUST BE WELL AWARE OF HIS NATURE

A manager must be well situated in his varna and asrama situation. The reality of his varna and asrama will anyway be soon revealed once he is under managerial pressure. And so only one who already has certain inherent qualities can be trained and not, as is today popular, training people indiscriminately. The curved tail of a dog can be bent in all kinds of ways, but it will eventually assume its original form at soonest opportunity possible. Management is not based on titles and numbers of seminars attended, but on ones inherent ability to learn what has to be learned and to teach what has to be taught. In other words, a manager has to be a “spiritual pragmatic”, always keeping the priority given to him by Srila Prabhupada in his view. He cannot be a dreaming title-carrier.

                         -to be continued-