Diary of a spiritual journey 19
March 17, 2008
What do I want to share in a diary? Something about life in Krsna consciousness, not only from a book, but our attempts to be devotee in every day practical life.
The travels continue from town to village. People often ask isn’t it tiring all this travel, it is of course, but what is not tiring in this material world, we manage to survive like everyone else, more important than tiring is that it is also inspiring to meet so many people who are encouraged to practice Krsna consciousness. We are now in Lenasia on the outskirts of Johannesburg, we are staying with Harinamananda. There are pictures of Krsna everywhere covering the walls through the entire house. Harinamanda is a devotee who has done a lot of substantial service for many years and now at age 67 he has no interest in retirement. It’s nice to be here. it’s Monday morning, time to rest and recharge. We had a Ratha Yatra in New Castle (South Africa) on Saturday, the rain was pouring down, water everywhere, fish were swimming past us during the parade. Many people dressed in yellow plastic ponchos dancing in the rain, the rain of Jagannatha’s mercy was greater than the downpour from the black clouds. As for the spiritual leaders who were present it was Jagad Guru Prabhu and myself. He is supposed to take sannyasa on Gaura Purnima, which is on this coming Friday. So he was in a very ecstatic mood and singing and dancing very happily in front of Lord Jagannatha. Jaya Jagannatha, Jaya Jagannatha!
Taking sannyasa is not a small thing! How many people in the world are taking this to asrama. In ISKCON, we are having about a hundred sannyasis at most. My dream is a thousand before I die! You may think that it is some sort of Utopian idea, but many devotees who have joined either in the sixties, seventies or eighties are now coming to the right age where sannyasa becomes a serious consideration. One might think sannyasa, giving up ones family and dear ones, what a horrible thing. But vaisnava sannyasa, Tridandi Biskshu, is not all about giving up so many things. This Tridandi Vaisnava Sannyasa is all about embracing the entire world. All about becoming the servant of Lord Caitanya who freely distributes love of God to every nook and corner of the universe. A sannyasi must equally care for everyone.
This morning I was bathing in cold water, in the transcendental sound of the Holy Name and then I picked up a book entitled Prabhupada Memories. Trivikrama Maharaja described, how he was once massaging Srila Prabhupada, and started glorifying him, about being such a wonderful preacher and such a great devotee and so on. Then Prabhupada suddenly with a very authorative voice said; “No!”. Trivikrama Mharaja’s hands froze. And Prabhupada continued with the voice of a six year old and said; “I am just a servant.” It is nice and purifying to read, another type of bath.
Last night I sat on a big vyasasana in front of a large audience with many garlands around my neck, people liked my lecture, like my kirtana. My picture is on people’s altar. Let me also speak with the simple honesty of a child and say; “I am just a servant”. Krsna, the Supreme Master is personally taking interest in the well being of all living entities, so the servant also takes interest in the well being of all and thus develops many wonderful friendships everywhere. How different is this vaisnava sannyasa from the harsh and lonely renunciation of the mayavadi sannayasi. A vaisnava sannyasi operates on love for Krsna and love for many devotees and loving compassion for the fallen conditioned souls. Yes for a vaisnava, sannyasa is a wonderful thing.
Not that this diary entry is all about sannyasa. It’s about devotees, who make commitments to give their life to Krsna. Some other devotees are getting married this coming weekend. A devotee marriage is also a heroic path, because for man and woman to live together with four regulative principles is a very exalted path. In either asrama sanyasa or grhasta one can please Krsna by remaining pure and go back to Godhead. In material life there are “winners and losers”, but in Krsna consciousness everyone wins. Devotional Service is ‘Subhada, All-auspicious’, because of three reasons:
possessing love for all entities and becoming the object of affection for all living entities
bestows all good qualities
…..Then there is e-mail………
A letter has come in:
A devotee wrote to me, that Jesus is God and thus greater than Prabhupada. My response: Your issue is not really that Jesus is greater than Prabhupada, but rather that you have become greater than Prabhupada, because he said that Jesus was the son of God….
Things like this make me tired, why worry about unnecessary things! Just follow Prabhupada, if we just dive deep in to Krsna consciousness then there is enough inspiration to nourish the soul.
Let me have another look at the “Prabhupada Memories”, this is a nice one; Guru Kripa: I wrote to Prabhupada, “Personally, I don’t think I can ever follow all these rules.” at the time I was following them, but I was being sincere. “And, therefore, I have to make one request, I have read that there are three types of people who reach perfection: the nity-siddha, the kripa-siddha and the sadhana-siddha. I cannot follow all these rules, so how will I ever become perfect? I request you to make me a kripa-siddha.” Prabhupada said, “All right, Guru Kripa, I will give you.” He can do as he likes, he is independant.
The guru/disciple relationship is like that, whether the disciple asks or not, kripa siddha is there. Both the mercy of Guru and Gauranga are there even if we are not qualified.
Time to get off the computer, soon we’ll go for a 4 hour drive to Bloemfontein, where a new temple has been opened and it’s going well. Worth paying a visit…