5th January, Gurgaon.
The Sunday morning class was enlightening, we have a new full time preacher in Gurgaon, HG Mahaprabhu Chaitanaya prabhuji. He gave an excellent class today. After the class got over we were chatting up when HG Haridas Thakur Prabhuji informed us that HH Giriraj Maharaj is visiting Noida at 1 pm today. After the breakfast prasadam they both left for Noida. I came back home in double mind on whether to go to Noida or not. The weekly Bhagavad Gita group meeting at my home would start at 4 pm and it would inappropriate to cancel it or miss it. As I was returning home I got a mail from HH Giriraj Maharaj that he is leaving Vrindavan for Noida and would also give the morning lecture at Delhi temple. I had invited Maharaj to visit Gurgaon, he had consented but he wrote back a few days back that he was unwell and won’t be able to make it this time.
As I read maharaj’s email, I realised that if he could come to Noida to give a lecture in bad health and then what stops me to drive to Noida and take his darshan. I reached home and discussed the same with my wife, she too pushed me to go to Noida. I left home around 12noon and was at the temple sharp at 1 pm. Noida temple is right on the main road and at an excellent location, Sri Sri Radha Govinda ki jai. The temple would open officially on 12th Feb. The main hall was packed with devotees and there was wonderful kirtan going on.
Maharaj came around 2 pm and it was so good to take his darshan. He looked frail and weaker than when I last saw Maharaj at Punjabi Bagh temple 3 years ago. May Krishna give Maharaj a very healthy 2014.
Maharaj said as a new year has just started he has picked up a relevant verse from Srimad Bhagavatam.,SB 2.3.17
āyur harati vai puḿsām udyann astaḿ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta uttama-śloka-vārtayā
Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.
Like a magician Maharaj brought out different meanings and teachings from this wonderful verse.
My lessons from the lecture :
1. We should not waste a single moment of life, which can not be bought by any amount ofgold. It indeed given me new prospective of time management and my time spent in service of Srila Prabupada and ISKCON.
2. We have to just remain alive in our devotional service to go back to Godhead.
3. A devotee’s old age or disease in the present life is but an impetus to a guaranteed eternal life. He gets free from the cycle of birth, disease, old age and death.
I then met Maharaj briefly and he spoke and looked with such affection. Maharaj then got busy in signing his books for the pleasure of the devotees. I realised that it was already 3.30 pm. I rushed home but before leaving spotted Gaurav prabhu, bought a book and requested him to get Maharaj’s autograph on the same. He, always ready to help, agreed and I rushed back home.
6th January, Gurgaon.
By lord’s mercy I again made up my mind to hear Maharaj at Delhi temple and went with HG MahaPrabhu Chaitnaya prabhuji. We reached just in time for the lecture. Maharaj looked better today, he spoke on the following verse
ei-kathā śuni’ mahāntera mahā-sukha haya
caitanyera krpā yāńhe, tāńhe ki vismaya
When the personal associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu would hear of the activities of Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmīs, they would say, “What is wonderful for a person who has been granted the Lord’s mercy?” ( CC madhya 19.132)
My lessons from this lecture :
1. We should not hesitate to write and we must distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada, this is our parampara.
2. We should not try to copy six Goswamis, what they did was the external manifestation of their internal mood. This is a very very important lesson for me.
3. The last lesson I learnt is that I must always hanker to listen from pure devotees in person, it has a very different effect on my consciousness compared to when I listen to lectures over internet or recordings.
Maharaj explained that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thākura compared distributing literature to playing on a great mrdanga. A normal Mrdanga can only be heard for few blocks but Book Mrdanga goes hundred of miles. Maharaj gave examples of how people become devotees after reading Srila Prabhupada’s books in far off places.
As the lecture finished I heard the nectarean voice of HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. Jai ! Maharaj too was there so it turned out to be a double bonus for me.
Srila Prabhupada wrote in the purport of above SB verse that `a moment passed in the association of a pure devotee by hearing and chanting the transcendental messages of the Lord is a perfect guarantee for eternal life, for returning home, back to Godhead.’ What I surely felt was that each moment passed in the association of Maha Bhagavat like HH Giriraj Maharaj and HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj is guaranteed like being in the spiritual world, Vaikuntha, no anxiety, only bliss.
All glories to HH Giriraj Swami Maharaj.
All glories to HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.