Thursday, March 17, 2011

Krishna Talk 123 - Everything is by Mahaprabhu’s Grace

Krishna Talk 123 - Everything is by Mahaprabhu’s Grace
by Swami B.G. Narasingha

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(The Following article is from a class given by Srila B.G. Narasingha
Maharaja on Sri Gaura-purnima at Govindaji Gardens on 6th March 2004)

In the beginning of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsna Dasa Kaviraja Gosvami

vande sri krsna caitanya nityananda sahoditau
gaudadaye puspavantau citrau san-dau tamo-nudau

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees
of the Lord, the Lord’s incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies,
and the primeval Lord Himself, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I offer my respectful
obeisances unto Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun
and the moon, and they have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda
(Bengal), on the banks of the Ganges, Nadia, to dissipate the darkness of
ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.” (Cc. Adi 1.2)

This is a poetic inference. The sun and the moon cannot appear simultaneously
on the same horizon. One will come, later the other will appear. They don’t
come on the same line of the sky. That is physically impossible. It is a
poetic inference. What is the sun? The sun gives light. What is moon? The
moon gives light. Both the sun and the moon are luminaries – one in the day
and one in the night. And both of them dissipate darkness. Caitanya
Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu are compared to the sun and the moon, and
they dissipate the darkness of ignorance that has found its seat in
everyone’s heart in Kali-yuga.

It is my misfortune to have to say that even the most educated men and women
of our modern times are scarcely better than fools. Even with a series of
degrees and initials behind their names, they do not know who they are. They
think that they are this body in most cases, which is only a combination of
muscles, blood, and so many things that should be taken as rather disgusting.

For example, take a diamond studded gold watch, with a lapis or quartz
crystal face – each part of that watch has value. You smash it into pieces,
but the gold is still good, the diamonds are good, and the quartz crystal is
good. The body of the watch however is only useful if all the parts are
together. Similarly, if any piece of the body becomes detached from it –
your tooth, your fingernail, your beautiful hair, you throw it into the
wastebasket! But if it is all kept together, we think, “Oh! I am so
beautiful! I am so handsome!”

We think we are this body. Everyone in this material world is under this
basic misconception. Regardless of how great their education in this mundane
world is, scientists, philosophers, poets, musicians, and so on – all of
them are under this basic misconception of life. And if you ask, “Who are
you,” then they will just give you a name which can be found in the phone
book. They don’t know who they actually are. This is the prime origin of
all pervading ignorance in this world. They only work for this body and this
society. All ignorance begins from the concept of “I” and misidentifying
with this body. This is called ahankara.


On the other side is a world of knowledge, and beyond that acquired knowledge
is a world of activity that is unknown to them. What is that knowledge? Aham
brahma’smi – I am spirit soul. I am not this body. That is vedantika. And
Mahaprabhu gave much more clarification – jivera svarupa haye, nitya krsna
dasa. This aham brahma’smi of the Vedanta is not actually sufficient
because it is marginal. Mere marginality is a dangerous position to rest in
as it can cause one to fall into the side of Mayavada. One can fall back into
the material side. There must be positive knowledge. jivera svarupa haye,
nitya krsna dasa. Mahaprabhu said, ‘nitya krsna dasa!’ You are the
eternal servant of Krsna. ‘Eternal servant of Krsna’ means you always
have been and you always will be. You are even now the servant of Krsna, but
you are not acting on that knowledge because you don’t have it.

This is the primary defect in every civilization and in every species of life
found anywhere in the universe. People get all excited about UFOs and alien
beings. There are so many abduction theories, UFO cults and movements and
people claiming to have been abducted by spacecraft. But the primary
misconception is the same. You can be assured that the creature in the
spaceship doesn’t know who he is, and does not know that he is an eternal
servant of Krsna. Even the devas don’t know, though they have some glimpse.
Just as during early morning, there is some light but it is not sufficient to
read the newspaper, it is not sufficient to do any work, but there is some
light. So demigods have some light, but they are caught up in the world of
enjoyment and that enjoyment is always keeping the light dim. They cannot see
clearly from their position. Demigods are constantly falling into the
complications of this material world and fighting to save their position.
Sometimes they become envious if a human being is performing a yajna that
will elevate him to a higher position. Indra himself forgets his real
position and becomes inimical, fighting against that person because his fear
is that someone may come and take his chair and become king.

Fear is born from forgetfulness of Krsna. I have seen devotees forget Krsna
also. Even practicing, neck-bead wearing, tilaka-wearing, japa-chanting
devotees sometimes forget about Krsna and become fearful of a particular
situation. Be it physical, financial, or whatever, we become forgetful; we
worry or we try to do something outside of what Krsna has arranged. Generally
that fails and we come back to our senses and remember that Krsna is our
maintainer and He is arranging. What He arranges we will accept, be happy
with, and be successful with. Many types of arrangements may not be favorable
for the performance of pure devotion.

The Lord does not come here to please our senses. He does not come here to
serve us. He comes to give us an opportunity for us to serve Him. To properly
serve, surrender is necessary. Service without surrender is not actually
service. That is something we call preliminary practice, but it’s not the
real thing. There must be surrender, and then there can be service. That is
why Mahaprabhu came – to engage us in the service of the sankirtana


Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati knew that
before the sankirtana movement of Mahaprabhu could spread all over the world,
the place of His appearance must be manifest again in this world, and along
with its manifestation, a great temple must be built there. From there, the
potency would spread all over the world.

There are some people with the opinion that first sankirtana will spread all
over the world, then all the foreigners will come to India and build that
wonderful temple. There is some confusion about this. But Nityananda Prabhu
says a great temple called the Adbhuta Mandira, (wonderful temple) will be
built at the birth site of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then, from that temple,
sankirtana will go all over the world.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Sarasvati Thakura, not being conditioned souls, not
having Judeo-Christian backgrounds, not being foreigners, and not being
egotistical, knew that first the order of the Lord must be served according
to His direction and then accordingly the sankirtana mission would be
successful. There was prerequisite work to be done, but they didn’t even
know from where to begin because it was all hidden.

There is a saying, “Seek and ye shall find.” It’s an old saying. If you
try, God is there to help you. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, yoga-ksemam
vahamy aham – “I preserve what you have and I carry what you lack, and
when the need is there I will be there to help you”. So with this
fundamental understanding, they tried to locate Mahaprabhu’s birthplace.
There was a place where people insisted it was – in the greater
Navadvipa-dhama, but Bhaktivinoda did not feel confident that this was
actually the true birthplace. Even his mantra-guru said, “This is the
place,” but he did not feel confident with that, because his mantra-guru
was not a liberated soul and was part of a group who were much less than
liberated souls. Bhaktivinoda Thakura continued to search.

He looked through the available sacred texts and the first thing he
ascertained was that the ancient town of Navadvipa is on the eastern side of
the Ganges, not on the western side as it is known today. If a river was
there two hundred years ago or thereabout, you would be able to see where it
used to run without any difficulty. The riverbed would not disappear in one
or two hundred years. It takes a long, long time before a riverbed
disappears. In the district that is now known as Navadvipa, they could find
nothing to indicate that the Ganges once ran through there. He concluded that
the Ganges course originally ran in a more easterly location and found no
possibility that the river came near to the current site. He knew it must be
on the eastern side.

Firstly, scriptural evidence mentions Navadvipa and its location, and through
that Bhaktivinoda conjectured the true location of Sri Navadvipa-dhama, but
ultimately it came down to divine revelation. Bhaktivinoda Thakura had a
vision wherein he caught a glimpse of the eternal Navadvipa in a particular
direction. He saw this on more than one occasion from the rooftop of the Rani
Dharmasala in Navadvipa. He would look towards what he thought was the area
of the eternal Navadvipa, the place of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, At that time
it had become rice fields with a couple of Mohammedan villages around it. No
Hindu villages were in that area. One evening, while chanting his japa, he
got a divine glimpse of the eternal Navadvipa. The next morning he went in
that direction and while searching the area, he came to a place near a
village owned by the Muslims. A natural tulasi garden grew wild there.
Mohammedans don’t really care much about tulasi. When he entered that area,
Bhaktivinoda could feel the presence of his own homeland.

Sometimes, if you are looking for something, you may go to some place and
say, “This is not the place,” then you come out and you intuitively feel,
“Ah! This is it” – some feeling comes over you internally. Ultimately
feeling is the best way of knowing. In the beginning, you have to hear from
an authority to receive knowledge, but ultimately you have to feel the truth
in your heart and know it as such. Not because I or someone else said so –
it has to come by revelation, by feeling, by realization. So when he entered
that tulasi garden he felt, “Oh! This is a divine place.” And he
suspected that this might be the place of Mahaprabhu’s birth.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura had come to know Jagannatha Dasa Babaji as his
siksa-guru, sad-guru, his real guru. Bhaktivinoda always gave formal respect
to Vipina-vihari Gosvami, his mantra-guru, who was more or less a social icon
of the guru establishment. But his heart was one with Jagannatha Dasa Babaji.
Jagannatha Dasa Babaji was a paramahamsa, a liberated soul.

The way of the Vaisnavas is not without confirmation. You think or know
something, but you don’t let your head get as big as an elephant and think,
“Yes, yes, I know. No one can tell me.” I have seen some successful
preachers who, after getting a thousand or two thousand disciples, have this
attitude, “No one can tell me. I know what I’m doing.” But that is
never the way of a Vaisnava. Even the greatest Vaisnava yearns for some
confirmation, some association, someone to talk to about those higher,
important things.

Bhaktivinoda didn’t think, “I am a liberated soul. I know what I am
doing. No one can tell me. This is Mahaprabhu’s birth place – said and
done!” He brought Jagannatha Dasa Babaji there. At this time Jagannatha
Dasa Babaji was so old that he never walked anywhere. The community had
arranged a strong servant to carry him wherever he needed to go in a basket.
He was over hundred and ten years old or so at that time. He was also blind.
When he got there, before the man could even set down the basket, Jagannatha
jumped out of the basket and started dancing and performing kirtana. He was
at an age when he couldn’t even walk, what to speak of jump out of a
basket. He couldn’t see where he was. As far as he knew, he could have been
anywhere. But with the internal eye of devotion he could understand that he
was in the Yogapitha. He had been brought to the epicenter of caitanya-lila.
That was an ecstatic moment for the few blessed souls that were there at that

Based on Jagannatha Dasa Babaji’s experience, Bhaktivinoda concluded that
this was Yogapitha. Then he set out to prove it through historical and
archeological records, literary evidence and notations in every possible way.
But even without any of the evidence, he knew it was so due to the experience
of Jagannatha Dasa Babaji.


That is what we do. I don’t know if I am a spirit soul or not, I don’t
know if Krsna is God or not. I don’t know, but my guru knows. My guru knows
and that is good enough for me. I accept my guru’s statements, and then I
can argue and put forward scriptural evidence, show archeological records
etc. to prove that his statements are conclusive. But if I don’t know from
that original point, then how would I know? I wouldn’t know. That is the
way of Vaisnavism; you don’t know, your guru knows, and based on that you

Some people recently said, “Guru knows everything. He knows that someone is
snatching money; he knows that someone is dying; he knows that someone ate
too much sweet rice; he knows that someone is burning the sweet rice. He
knows all these things.” It must drive him crazy to know all these things!
One can’t even sit in a room with three people talking without getting
aggravated. I remember, Prabhupada would not be sitting in a room with so
many people talking and just adjust to that. He wanted some peace and quiet.
But these people say, “Guru knows everything!” Prabhupada said, “Yes,
guru knows everything means that he knows Krsna. Krsna is everything.” So
he knows – everything is Krsna. If Krsna reveals something he may know
that. If He doesn’t reveal, how he will know that?” So later on, some
people said, “Well, he told you that because you weren’t ready for the
truth.” That particular gentleman doesn’t know that we were so crazy that
if Prabhupada had told us to cut off your head, we would cut off your head.
Whatever he said, that was the truth. We were young, very committed, and very
fanatical at that time. What to speak of explaining, if Prabhupada knew
everything and said, “Yes, I know everything,” we would have jumped and
said, “Jaya!” No one would doubt it. If anyone had a doubt about it, we
would have got him by the neck and carried him out.

Because of Jagannatha Dasa Babaji’s confirmation, Bhaktivinoda felt
resolved that they had found the birthplace of Mahaprabhu. For those ordinary
people who don’t have guru-nistha, guru-bhakti or guru-sraddha, we have to
convince them by different arguments because these people try to challenge
our faith. Pure faith won’t hold up in court. You will need evidence. It
went to court and there they concluded that the birthplace of Mahaprabhu was
the Yogapitha in Mayapura.


The governor of Bengal came to Mayapura – he was the second most powerful
man in India and the third most powerful man in the world. First, there was
the King of England, then the Viceroy in Delhi, and third was the Governor of
Bengal. So the third most powerful man in the world came to Mayapura.
Sarasvati Thakura even went so far as to get the third most powerful man in
the world to verify this! Why? So that poor fools would not be misguided by
the cheaters who claimed that some false place was the birthplace of
Mahaprabhu. Still, across the river on the western side they are making
crowing sounds, “Mayapura isn’t actually the real place!” They built a
temple there long before Bhaktivinoda. But Nityananda’s prediction never
came true. After they built their temple, the Holy Name of Krsna, never
spread all over the world from there.

Srila Bhaktivinoda and Srila Sarasvati Thakura built and inaugurated the
temple at Yogapitha and not long after, Krsna Consciousness spread all over
the world. You will be hard pressed to find a place in the world, even
amongst the aboriginal cultures or even in the most isolated parts of the
world, where no one has heard of Krsna. I’ve gone to places in Africa –
“The Dark Continent” – with the thought that I was going to tell the
people about Krsna because nobody there had ever heard about Him. And as soon
as I stepped off the plane, one man just looked at us and said, “Hare
Krsna!” Already done! Of course, there were a few million there that
didn’t know about Krsna. The point is that one man knew then – but if you
go there now, more than thirty years later, many more people know about

It started there from Yogapitha. From there, devotees came to join Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta and were instructed on what to do, and they went out and did
that and it was principally one man – Srila Prabhupada. He came to the
distant western hemisphere with Krsna Consciousness. Now many descendants of
Sarasvati Thakura’s disciples and grand disciples can be found all over the
world – from Siberia to South Africa, from New York to London. They are all
over the place.


The Sahajiyas in Navadvipa and their supporters are doing nothing except
going on the Internet and complaining. They are nowhere and doing nothing to
fulfill the prophecy. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Anyone can
talk big, and everyone is – but who is actually doing anything? Who did it
and who is still doing it? Who is spreading the Holy Name? Those who have
connection with Navadvipa-dhama, Mayapura, Bhaktivinoda and Bhaktisiddhanta
– they are doing it, and the others are like the crows who come and sit on
the trees and criticize everything underneath. It is said that the dogs bark
when the caravan passes. Many elephants are walking on the road and the local
dogs come out and make noise. But the elephants continue and gradually the
sound of the dogs just dies out. These critics of Bhaktivinoda and
Bhaktisiddhanta are no more than crows or barking dogs actually.
Unfortunately, they will probably have to take birth in those species in
their next life, or possibly worse.

It’s one thing to not know about Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna, or the great
souls, but its completely another thing if you do know. You come in
connection with the truth, yet you criticize and fight against it. It would
be better to remain in ignorance for another million lifetimes – then you
would live just according to your karma, and one day you may know the truth,
act upon it, and go back to Godhead.

We have even seen people that tried to give us trouble in our asrama. They
thought that this asrama would be finished. Now they have become drunkards.
They don’t even believe in Krsna. The same people who were making so much
noise don’t even consider themselves as Hindus. And in the meantime, Krsna
Consciousness goes on. The parade goes on, the dogs bark…


Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission now has been moving forward for over five
hundred years, and it has had high points and low points. But the Holy Name
of Krsna is still out there, on every continent, in every major city, town
and practically every village in the world. It’s out there. But there’s
always somebody that doesn’t know yet. Even in India.

I see among the young people living in India, and I wonder, “How is it that
they were born in India?” They should have been born in Brooklyn, but they
were born in a certain environment, in a modern house and such. I doubt that
those people even know who Ganesa is – what to speak of Krsna and
Mahaprabhu. But they are born within a days train ride of the holy land of
Navadvipa, or within an hour or two-hour flight. It’s so close, yet they
are so far away.

To preach Mahaprabhu’s mission one doesn’t have to go to the other side
of the world. There are plenty of people just within a few hundred meters of
this gate who still do not know the importance of their life, how to perfect
it, who Krsna is, what devotion is, about the Holy Name of Krsna, or about
the grace of Mahaprabhu. And even amongst us, how clearly do we understand
that? We don’t have to be everywhere in the world to preach. You can do
that right where you are, right in your own state.

Once Tripurari Maharaja and I met an old disciple of Sarasvati Thakura at
Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Matha in Kolkata. He was very nice and cordial and was
happy to see us. Tripurari Maharaja said, “When are you going to preach in
the west?”

He said, “Well, there are almost one billion people here in India. Don’t
you think there is work here also?” We were young and thinking, “Real
work is in America. Real work is in England.” That was our young ego.

Mahaprabhu’s work is everywhere. It is right here in our own village;
it’s in our own states; in our own country, and it is in foreign countries
also. But nowadays, because Prabhupada went to the west, all of the preachers
go to the west. Hardly any of the preachers of Krsna Consciousness preach in
India. I sometimes say critically that they go to the west to make disciples
of people who struggle their whole life to follow the four regulative
principles, but they neglect to preach to the people who live here in India,
who are born followers of the four regulative principles. There are just
ordinary village people who probably are not even drinking water outside of
their own house, what to speak of eating non-vegetarian food and the like. Of
course, there is a lot of non-veg and such here, but there are also families
and traditions that have maintained a pure lifestyle and have still not heard
about Mahaprabhu.

I know this about many of the big world preachers – they spend the whole
year going to mleccha-desa for preaching because that’s where the money is.
India is rich, but very tight. Money in India is very community-oriented.
People give to their community-gurus and all that, by caste, birth, etc. But
these preachers all go outside of India – I’m talking about real devotees
of Krsna. They spend more time preaching to mlecchas, who can hardly even
follow the basic principles of sub-religion, and they neglect preaching here
in India, and now there is probably more need of preaching in India than
there is in the west.

The people of the world are interested in higher standards of living,
environmental issues, spiritual topics, and meditation. There is an
inclination this way. But these same things in India have become social
embarrassments. A great section of Indian society is embarrassed to associate
itself with its own culture. They dress, eat, think, and live like
westerners. They drive like Indians, but in every other manner they want to
be western, and maintain the attitude, “I am not an Indian.” There are
millions of them here.


I know people who have so much money, but they can’t get any service done.
They can’t even think of some service to engage in. But they have money.
Money alone does not enable us to serve Krsna. It requires blessings and
divine grace. Inspiration is necessary. When that is there, we will be able
to serve even if Laksmi hasn’t built her palace here. Money might not be
forthcoming yet, but still we will be able to do something. But without the
blessings of our acaryas, without the blessings of the Supreme Lord, even if
we are multi-millionaires, we won’t be able to do much good. The first
thing that is necessary is their blessings and then service will follow. Not
that we will get money and then we will perform service, that we will offer
it to them because they need it – No! The Lord doesn’t need it. God
doesn’t need anything we have or do.

Blessings are from Srimati Radharani, Mahaprabhu and the acaryas in our
disciplic line. They are necessary. We should try to please them with our
personal behavior, our exercises, and our service. Then we will have success.
Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Sarasvati Thakura who knew that for the
Holy Name to spread all over the world, the service of Mayapura was
essential. In those days it took two days to get there by train. Now it takes
three hours by car, but it took two days to get there by train or boat. It
makes today’s village look like a metropolis. It was just rice fields.
There was nothing material worth going out there for. And it was dangerous.
That’s why it took two days to get there, because you would reach there at
night, but you wouldn’t dare cross the Ganges at night because the river
pirates would rob you. It was a treacherous area, because Maya and her agents
had dominated that place. River pirates, dacoits, and gundas were plenty in
number. But they knew that this must first be established according to the
wish of the Supreme Lord and then accordingly, great good can be done all
over the world. They did it in that way. We should understand what is to be
done first and how to progress practically in our spiritual life, not
thinking that we should jump to the topmost position. When we have not
actually finished the first course, why should we want to jump to the final

This appearance day of Mahaprabhu is a good day to remember that everything
comes by His grace. We should sincerely pray for His grace. There are many
prayers and slokas we can recite to ask for the blessings of Mahaprabhu. Even
if we don’t do that, in our mind we should remember, “Everything is by
His grace. Any success in this world is only by His grace.”











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