Driving home the point with humour

Hare Krishna.

18th December, 2013, Gurgaon.

Sumeet Prabhu always speak very highly about HG Amogh Lila Prabhu. He comes to his home twice a month for home program from Sri Radha Parthasarathi temple, Delhi. I never got the chance to listen to Prabhuji and in the past whenever invited I somehow could not make it. So when the invite came for today evening I ensured that I was there.

It was a pleasure to hear him. He has a natural talent for humour. Almost everyone was in splits listening to Prabhuji’s one liners and stories laced with humour. With each anecdote he drove his point home with ease.  Here are some examples

  • If we do our `marzi’ then no mercy’ !
  • `Samsung’ or `Sadhu Sangh’ ( when a devotee’s phone rang during the lecture)
  • LG : Life is goofed up
  • Surrender – `sir dey apna under’

From children to teenagers to adults everyone relished Prabhuji’s lecture, no doubt everyone wanted the lecture to go on and on.

He stressed a very important point during our discussion on challenges of being in management in ISKCON. He said that a Vaishnava is the one who is happy to see another Vaishnava. This is something I do not follow and I pray and hope to try to follow this instruction. He also said that when for some reason we do not get along with another devotee then we should serve that particular devotee in awe and reverence, what a wonderful solution, thank you Prabhuji.

Here is another gem by prabhuji: His formula to save ourselves from  falling down for name, fame & women,`na dhanam na janam na sundarim’,  we should always think that

Fame is for Guru, wealth is for Vishnu and women are for Krishna !

Here is another one.

Someone ask a devotee  `Prabhuji I want to become humble ?’

1. first stage of humbleness : Join ISKCON and you will become humble.

2. Second stage of humbleness : Join ISKCON and in ISKCON join the management and you will become more humble.

3. Third stage of humbleness: Join ISKCON and in ISKCON join the management and in management become the service incharge and you will become must humble.

Prabhuji quoted Radhanath Maharaj where Maharaj said that the progress of a devotee in his devotional journey could be gauged by seeing how happy that person is in his devotional journey. By that yard stick Prabhuji is miles ahead of all of us in his Sadhna Bhakti !

I am sure Srila Prabhupda is smiling in Goloka looking down and seeing what a wonderful, dedicated and intelligent set of grand children are now taking ISKCON to the next level, helping fulfill MahaPrabhu’s statement  “My holy name will be chanted in every town and village”

All glories to HG Amogh Lila Prabhuji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Austerity and Krishna Consciousness

Hare Krishna

19th December


Sumeet Prabhu sent me the below blog of HH Kadamba Kanana Swami today morning.

`Choose your suffering’

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 October 2013, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.2-7)

Through celibacy, can we get love of God? You can be celibate for a hundred lifetimes, do you think that will give you love of God? No, it is devotional service that will give us love of God!

“I am married to a devotee!” Do you think that will give you love of God? No, you yourself will have to be a devotee as well. You will have to do devotional service. It is not automatic. Even a lion has to go out and chase for breakfast. It’s not that the deer runs into the mouth of the lion… So, we have to do something in devotional service and that is what counts. Ashram issues are not so important, it’s only external. In one or the another, you are going to have to take some tapasya (austerity),

tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma saukhyam tv anantam (SB 5.5.1)

That is life in the material world, no matter what you do, there is tapasya. You decide which tapasya you like better; that’s what it is all about – the tapasya of being married or the tapasya of being alone. You decide as both have tapasya. Material life has that element of tapasya, of some austerity. Inevitably so, no one can avoid it – it is basically the design of the material world therefore Lord Rshabdev pointed this out to his one hundred sons – this human form of life is not meant for sense gratification; it is not going to work. Therefore we shouldn’t be too particular about how we live but some things have to be a little suitable.

Krsna consciousness, bhakti, is not denying us this basic comforts. That is for the impersonalists. For them, everything in this material world is only maya. There is only maya in all directions therefore whatever they use has to be minimized… but we just use it for sustaining our Krsna consciousness, so sleep well – nice and warm and cosy, so that we can do devotional service – there is nothing wrong with that. Therefore we do not have to sleep on the hardest bed that we can find and use only a bed-sheet in the winter, no blanket!

I knew a devotee who never wore a kurta in winter, in Vrindavan. It was very cold and he was only wearing a lungi. You know, he lasted for fifteen years and then he got sick. What is the benefit of these things!? Great austerities – fasting, fasting, fasting… “I fast every ekadasi and dvadasi as well, for the last twenty-four years!”

Fine, you can do it for twenty-four lifetimes more and do you think you will make any more progress towards going back to the spiritual world with all your fasting!? Not really.

So, it is not by austerity that we will attain Krsna! Although, austerity is highlighted by Lord Rshabdev in the fifth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, austerity in itself is not one of the limbs of bhakti. Renunciation and austerity are not limbs of bhakti. They don’t give you devotional service.

( Please read the full article at http://www.kksblog.com/2013/12/choose-suffering and many other gems. )

In fact I had read this a blog just a few days back, acknowledged the point Maharaj made and then  carried on as usual.

Surprisingly I was reading the below verse today morning and was contemplating on it, remembering what I had read few days back, when I received the above mail.

nāyaṁ sukhāpo bhagavān

dehināṁ gopikā-sutaḥ

jñānināṁ cātma-bhūtānāṁ

yathā bhakti-matām iha

“‘The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of mother Yaśodā, is accessible to those devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.’

This verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.9.21) is spoken by Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. It appears within a passage in which he glorifies mother Yaśodā and other devotees of Kṛṣṇa by describing how they can subjugate Him with their love.

Then as the forwarded mail came from Sumeet prabhu,  I read Maharaj’s last para with concentration, and the above verse again, praying that I get the message and, mercifully, I got it. It took a devotee to drill the message of a sanyasi in my thick and poor brain.

Guru Maharaj often says that in this kali yuga the 4 regulative principles itself are our austerity. And too many  austerities make us remain on the bodily platform. Of course, to understand it properly and then practice it in our Sadhna Bhakti at that level is not easy for us.

But the message to me was clear that it is our spontaneous love for Krishna which will make us progress in our devotional service and the austerities won’t help me much.

Thank you so much Sumeet Prabhu for helping me absorb this message by sending this timely mail from HH Kadamba Kanana Swami today morning.

All glories to the wonderful devotees in ISKCON.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.