Following Srila Prabhupada

Following Srila Prabhupada

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
 
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine
 
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
 
sri-caitanya-mano-'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
 
jaya sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda
 
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
 
Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!
Jagadguru Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!
 
So, today is a very auspicious day The Disappearance of His Divine Grace srila Prabhupada,
Who is the founder acarya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness, so today we are remembering srila Prabhupada and discussing "Following srila Prabhupada".
 
There are many spiritual organizations in this world and there are also different scriptures and different people across the world, across the globe. srila Prabhupada was sent here by The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna.
 
So why did srila Prabhupada came to this world? Prabhupada came here just to save us. His slogan is "Going back home back to Godhead", that's Prabhupada's mission, to take us back to Godhead and for that purpose he did so many things, he gave us Bhagavad-gita, srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya Caritamrta, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction, sri Isopanisad and so many other books and in all his books all acarya's are present, even Jesus is present, Prabhupada quoted him many times in his lectures and purports. So Prabhupada is a sum-total of all religious organizations put together, he didn't come here to compete with other religious organization or religious body. He is not just a Spiritual master of the Hare Krsna movement but he is the Spiritual Master for the whole world, for all living entities. To accomplish his mission he gave us so many things, so we have daily classes, study of the scriptures, we have deities, we have prasadam, we have food-for-life, we have harinama-sankirtana, book distribution, college preaching, Bhaktivrksa, we have temples, making devotees, everything. What is srila Prabhupada looking in all these activities, in all these programs? He is looking to find one pure devotee, who can send others back home back to godhead, not just one devotee but atleast that, "I did not do much", and give one percent. So Prabhupada came to get the whole world.
 
We are following srila Prabhupada's words theoretically and artificially. In the beginning it is very good & necessary to follow srila Prabhupada's words, it is our duty to follow and not imitate. We should follow him without interpretation, without deviation and without speculation, but we should follow Prabhupada so closely that we must come to the level of following his vision and that is very much lacking. What does that mean? It means that one should look at what srila Prabhupada did.
 
First of all let us begin from the here. The foundation of this movement was laid on purity; the foundation of this International Society for Krsna Consciousness is based on purity and that is what srila Prabhupada showed us, "I established this movement without material facility". Prabhupada started this International Society, this whole big organization with only a pair of kartalas, the holy name and his purity. Nothing else but Purity!
 
His compassion, his ability to see things equally, not seeing the body, Prabhupada preached to the Indians, to the Africans, to the Europeans, to the Americans, he preached the same philosophy "I am not the body", he never changed his preaching, it's the same everywhere. He doesn't discriminate on the body; the discrimination is based on quality, Purity! So he started his movement on the foundation of purity, meaning that if you want to understand Prabhupada, if you want to appreciate srila Prabhuapda then you should try to understand this deeply, like he said "Purity is the force". Prabhupada said to devotees that there is no way a disciple can pay the Guru for his mercy, for his greatness, for everything, one can never pay! srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura cursed us, he said that we are all Caitanya Mahaprabhu's rni, rni means that we are in debt, that we cannot pay back our debt, so srila Prabhupada said, "If you appreciate what I am doing and if you want to show your appreciation then preach vigorously as I am doing". So to follow Prabhupada, preach vigorously like he did. Preach with compassion, preach with mercy, not with pride, not with false ego, preach with love. Following Prabhupada!
 
One devotee on Sankirtana, he broke one principle, so the temple president came to know and he sent him out of the temple, practically he sent him out of the movement because he also informed other presidents in America to not accept him in the temple. No matter how the devotee begged, he was denied entrance to the temple and he tried to see srila Prabhupada, they even denied him to see srila Prabhupada, they didn't allow him to see srila Prabhupada but the devotee tried and tried and tried until his determination, his eagerness, touched one of the Presidents, who allowed him to see srila Prabhupada. srila Prabhupada told him, "If they don't want you, then come and stay and travel with me". Following srila Prabhupada. srila Prabhupada did not encourage the deviation but he was concerned with devotee's Krsna Consciousness, in other words srila Prabhupada maintained devotees' Krsna Consciousness and he protected devotees from falling away from Krsna Consciousness. That is srila Prabhupada! He was so careful and so learned that he treated his disciples in such a way that Krsna Consciousness is maintained. That is our Prabhupada! He taught by his personal behavior.
 
Once in Mumbai, somebody came to see srila Prabhupada and devotees didn't want that man to see srila Prabhuapda, because that man smoked cigarettes, so Prabhupada attended to other people and when it was time for him to attend to this man, the devotees told him that there is no need for him to see that man. srila Prabhupada asked "Why?" They said to srila Prabhupada, "Oh he is a smoker, Prabhupada I have seen him, he is a smoker, let him go". So Prabhupada looked at the devotees carefully, and he told them "Please bring that man", so they called him in, he came to see srila Prabhupada and Prabhupada attended to him. After that man left, Prabhupada looked at the devotees and said "There are millions of people here in Bombay out of the millions, one person has come to see me and you didn't saw his quality to come and see me, you always saw his nonsense, you didn't see his good side, he is smoking cigarettes that is what you saw but you didn't see he is able to come all the way from his house, to come and see me". Here srila Prabhupada is not appreciating the smoking of the man nor promoting it in anyway nor appreciating it, he is seeing where he can find the man's good quality so that it will eventually overcome the bad qualities. Prabhupada attended to that man very nicely, allowed him to see him. It is said in the Bhagavatam, Yudhisthira Maharaja said when talking to Vidura, "People go to see the holy places but you are holy places personified", a moment association with a pure devotee is more purifying than taking bath in the Ganga, to be purified one has to take bath for a long time in Ganga but with just a moment's association with a pure devotee once life becomes perfect.
 
Satsvarupa Dasa: One afternoon the devotees went to see srila Prabhupada and every body began settling into the living room to listen to him speak. Just as Prabhupada was about to begin there was some commotion at the door. Yamunacarya was there and he didn't want to come inside and sit down. He was feeling very low and fallen because that morning he had snuck a cigarette. He didn't feel worthy of joining his godbrothers and sisters and just wanted to stand outside the door and listen. srila Prabhupada asked what was the cause of the commotion and somebody told him that Yamunacarya didn't want to come in because he felt unworthy and too sinful. Prabhupada laughed and called to him, saying, "Whatever you have done, I forgive you … now come inside and join us."
 
So we should follow Prabhupada's vision and not just following his words, not just following whatever it is there for us to follow, but we should follow srila Prabhupada so closely that we will be promoted to come to the level of following srila Prabhupada's vision, that is maturity. There should always be a constant progress in Krsna Consciousness, if you are stagnating at one
platform we cannot make it, we become frustrated at a point because it is a movement and we have to move. This is Prabhupada! He is not encouraging deviation, but he is careful to protect devotees from losing their Krsna Consciousness.
 
In America srila Prabhupada was checking his books from stores to stores seeing who can take some and distribute for him and there was a lady who was watching the books, so Prabhupada went to see her once, he didn't preach philosophy to her, he was simply talking about Indian food and the lady was interested in samosa's, "Aah Prabhupada I love samosas", so Prabhupada just noted that, he didn't say anything but when he was coming back to see the lady the next time he made samosas from the house and brought them for the lady. Following Prabhupada! It's wonderful!
 
Srila Prabhupada was going to give class in one society, he was chanting sitting in the hall and not on the Stage since it was not time for him to speak, then one Muslim man came in, and he went straight, he didn't know who was going to speak but he sat on a seat very close to the stage so he could hear everything clearly, fortunately for him by providence he came and sat very close to srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada was chanting and from time to time he looked at him and continued chanting, after sometime he would look and continue his chanting, then suddenly Prabhupada asked him "Are you from India?" the man said "No I am American, I am American" Prabhupada continued his chanting and again after some time he asked the man, "Are you a Hindu?" the man said, "No, I am a Muslim, I am a Muslim" and Prabhupada stopped. After sometime the program was about to begin and so he was announced and called to come on stage. Now Prabhupada had this temporary relationship with this boy, this was not so deep, Prabhupada came over to him and said "Excuse me, can you help me watch over these boxes when I am preaching there", the man thought this is the man I have come to hear, so he said "Yes yes why not!", Prabhupada didn't stopped there, he again said, "Can you also help me to sell them?" so the man said, "Yes Yes" he had already agreed that he will look over the boxes and cartons, now he is going to do more service, after he agreed, Prabhupada gave him the prices for the books and left, so he went to the Stage and gave his class. After srila Prabhupada's class was over, people thought that the Muslim man is srila Prabhupada's secretary, so they were coming to ask him questions but he couldn't answer and he requested them to go to srila Prabhupada, so
Prabhupada was speaking with them and in this way srila Prabhupada without considering the man's religion or whatever, he was engaging him in service, devotional service. Prabhupada engaged him in devotional service without preaching him any philosophy, without preaching to convince him to be a devotee, he was simply engaging him service, and that is how a man becomes purified by doing service to a pure devotee. You please a pure devotee and automatically Lord Krsna is pleased with you.
 
So Following srila Prabhupada you can see how srila Prabhupada demonstrated his Krsna consciousness by touching every single person that came to him. With his pure Krsna Consciousness, he transformed people, he changed people. Following srila Prabhupada is doesn't only mean to build a very wonderful temple, build wonderful asramas, and on srila Prabhupada's day do things completely opposite which doesn't show that we really appreciate Prabhupada, nor are we following him.
 
Something from Dhananjaya Das: "Your wife can give the class today", we have difficulties in appreciating every devotee irrespective of our bodies. Here Prabhupada is giving Bhagavad-gita class. He actually wanted Bhagavad-gita class to be held in the courtyard. There was one Indian joined, his name was Prem Yogi, and he told him that he should give class in Hindi every evening. Then there was also an Indian couple, Pranava and his wife, Vanamali, and Prabhupada told him that he should also give Hindi class and his wife should sing bhajans. Then Pranava said, "Actually my wife is more intelligent than me. Better that she gives the class, she speaks from Bhagavad-gita." Prabhupada said, "That's all right. If she can do that, she can give the class."
 
Prabhupada engaged everyone in Krsna Consciousness whoever be the person, Prabhupada appreciated everyone and engaged everyone in service, so that we can become purified.
 
Raghunath das: I was recognized as being something of a hyperactive, a little bit out of control, difficult-to-deal-with kid. My first remembrance of Prabhupada was the wave of utter and absolute thrill and excitement that I experienced seeing him, which even as a boy took me by surprise. When Prabhupada came around, it really transformed me. You took one glance at Prabhupada and you were there, and you could step right into it. It was more than tangible, you ate it, and it would last about as long as I was in Prabhupada's company. After about an hour, I would start losing it and start acting 7 or 8 years old again. It really seemed everyone was very harsh in comparison to what Prabhupada was about. So as soon as Prabhupada would come, we would get nice clothes and we would get new bedding and the prasadam was really good and the harshness of the discipline went way down, which is the opposite of if you have a military superior officer coming through. Then what happens is the discipline gets more and more severe and strict. Here it seemed to happen that when Prabhupada came around, people lightened up a little bit. They seemed to become a little bit more blissful and respectful and sweet.
 
Yes that is what Prabhupada created for us.
 
Srila Prabhupada often referred to his disciples as "boys and girls," even though many of them were in their twenties and thirties (and even older). When Prabhupada visited the Toronto temple in 1976, I saw this statement come to life.
 
After his morning class, srila Prabhupada would hand out cookies to the children. At the time, Ayodhyapati Prabhu was the head cook and he kindly prepared extra amounts. So one morning, after all the children had received prasadam from Prabhupada's own hand, there was an extra plate of cookies sitting beside his Vyasasana. srila Prabhupada saw them and then motioned to his leading disciples including visiting Sannyasis and GBC members to come forward and accept a cookie just like the children had done before them. I could see the first leader hesitate for a brief second, but then he stepped forward and we all lined up to receive the mercy one by one. Everyone was completely satisfied. srila Prabhupada, our eternal father, had once again displayed his causeless mercy to his "boys and girls."
 
So we can follow srila Prabhupada's purity, after all purity is the foundation of this movement. srila Prabhupada came here to deliver us, to take us back home back to godhead, he has not come here to pamper us or make us remain here in the material world. He has come here to take us back to our father, our original father, original home, were we originally belong and never to come back again to this material world. That is srila Prabhupada!
 
There are so many philanthropic organizations in this world that do wonderful activities, they give money, they give cloth, and they give food. srila Prabhupada did not do something just on the bodily platform, philanthropic activities are for the body, the cloth, the food and the money are for the body and he gives the example of the drowning person, someone is drowning and another person comes up and takes of the coat and comes off the shore and declares "I have saved him" and the person himself has drowned, that is philanthropic activities. The soul is suffering and we are simply taking care of the body, we build free school, build free hospital, planting trees, dig wells, or give people money, give food, clothing all these activities end with the body. Prabhupada went beyond the body; Prabhupada went directly to the soul; once a journalist was challenging him so he gave this example: Someone is suffering on the street and one man came and gave food, gave money and gave clothing. Another person came and he said "Oh! my dear boy, why do you suffer like this, you are suffering unnecessarily, I know your father, please come and I would take you to your father and the man takes the boy by the hand, "Please come" and takes the boy to the father, "This is your father", so which of them is better? The one who takes the boy to the father is better because being with the father all his problems are solved, he is not going to look for food, he is not going to look for money, not going to look for clothing, everything is made available. So Prabhupada didn't come here to do philanthropic activities nor for doing some social work, that's for the body, he did that act also by introducing food for life, but he did more than that by taking the soul back to Godhead and he gave us the institution, he gave us training to make us completely purified and qualified to go back home back to godhead. That's his slogan "back home back to godhead". That is Prabhupada's mission. He came to extinguish the fire of conditioned life, which is burning everyone in this world, came to extinguish this fire by taking us away from material life and bringing us to Spiritual life so by celebrating, remembering his disappearance day today and remembering his significance in our life we can deeply appreciate it by individually looking into our heart and see if our consciousness is fit for offering to srila Prabhupada otherwise for today we can make favourite dishes for Prabhupada, lot of kachauris, I know a lot of you are very good at making very wonderful powerful kachauris for srila Prabhupada. You can speak very wonderful perfect English with all metaphors and ornaments and with your charisma present a very wonderful program which everybody will appreciate, but beyond all this, what goes on in our consciousness, on a day to day basis is important. That would be the best offering we can offer to him. Prabhupada treated everyone with compassion, with love, not with envy, not with hatred, not with ego, he established this society by purity and he maintained this society by purity, by love and compassion.
 
That is how he started this society with a pair of kartalas, the Holy name, he simply chanted and people came, because of his purity.
 
Listening to Prabhupada's voice is an experience out of this world, yeah it is out of this world because it is not from here, it came from there!
 
Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!
 
Srila Prabhupada Disappearance Day
Date: 17/11/2012
Skype Lecture S.S Bhakti Dhira Damodara Goswami Maharaja
Transcript & Edited By: Prakash Khanchandani Pr
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