Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Play

When I started the Kids for Kids Program (Friends of GATE) in Facebook, I wondered how am I to go around collecting stationery for the school children that Srila Gurudeva started in Navadvipa. GATE stands for Golden Avatar Trust Education Initiative and by the order of my Srila Gurudeva, some of my godsisters and godbrothers are doing great service in providing free education besides incorporating kirtans and hari-katha into the school curriculum. 

The strong desire to do some service, kept me going. I told this venture to my students. At first they gave me blank stares. Then a little boy, gave his pencil. Another little girl gave her unused eraser. The ball started rolling from there. From colour pencils to sharpeners, note books and little purses. I know they cannot buy new ones. So my idea was to get them to part with anything that they don't need. Instead of throwing the stationery away, they can give it to others. But it most be in good condition. Children here are very fortunate in material terms. But if they were to help the children of the holy land in Navadvipa, then they are surely accumulating sukriti (spiritual pious activities). 

Besides children, some teacher friends and a nurse chipped in as well. But the best part of all, when the temple sevaks were cleaning the temple one day, they found a box filled with pencil cases. In each pencil case there was a ruler, an eraser, sharpener and pencils. There were 69 pencil cases! The temple sevaks knew of my project, so they gave the box to me. But I was apprehensive at first. First of all we do not know to whom the box belonged to. We asked around and nobody came to make the claim. 

After taking it, the collection of stationery was pretty complete. To make the work faster, someone threw a nice big rope at my husband's office. In fact we were looking for a rope to tie the box. We actually got a nice brown box from a grocery store nearby. When we wanted to take the ones the shop usually puts outside, a worker saw us and said he will give a nice box instead. 

Then it was to the post office. Getting a parking was highly unlikely as the post office is situated near a wet market. But once we were there, it was as though by divine arrangement there was a lot just waiting for us in front of the post office. My husband and I tied the rope tightly around the box. We were afraid the stationery might come out. So we taped and tied everything to the best of our ability. When we weighed the box it was 19.990kgs. What a relief! By sea mail, we were only allowed the maximum weight of 20kgs. The very friendly staff told us that it will take at lease 1 to 3 months to reach the designated address.

Soon I e-mailed the school to inform them about the parcel that is coming their way. It was a big surprise, that within less than a month the school contacted me and said they received the parcel. They gave some stationery to the children and the rest to be distributed during Guru Purnima, where Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja was there as well. 

From the turn of events that happened, from the rope, the box of stationery, parking etc, it was Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's big play. Everything was His doing. 

O yes, at the time the parcel was sent, GATE had about 69 to 70 students. Two students of mine gave away their pencil cases to make the number quite complete. 

My only prayer is to be an instrument and a servant in Srila Gurudeva's and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's play. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Give Respect to All and Know Your Goal & Object

(A short excerpt from Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja's class when His Holiness was in Malaysia.)

Sakhis (the beloved cowherd girls of Lord Krsna) always have competitive mood to always serve the Lord. They want Krsna for themselves as well.

But the manjaris (the dear most maid servants of Srimati Radhika) have always servitor mood - always wanting to serve their swamini Srimati Radhika.

This is our goal and object. We have to pray for the mood of the maidservants of Srimati Radhika. If we want to worship Srimati Radhika's lotus feet, then we must respect all here, in this world. We must practice and avoid all offenses.

Once a babaji from the Babaji Sampradaya did hard austerities, doing special sadhana and bhajana of asta-kaliya-lila. When he left his body, all his disciples cried bitterly.

One disciple, even after a long time, felt so much separation mood for his Gurudeva. He felt that he was embroiled in the material world and prayed he could serve his Gurudeva.

Then his Gurudeva came into his dream.

His Gurudeva said he could not enter the realm of serving Srimati Radhika. Even though he respected all scriptures like the Vedas, he neglected the scriptures of the Gosvamis. For that offense he was not admitted into the realm of servitorship of Srimati Radhika. He now had to come back and take birth to perfect his sadhana and bhajana.

Just image for someone who had done so much sadhana and bhajan, yet he cannot enter Goloka Vrindavan. What to speak of us!

Therefore, we must be very careful in avoiding offenses.

Krsna Gives Everything

On the recent passing away of Vijay Krsna prabhu's father, Sriman Kanu Priya prabhu, Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja gave a short class.

Below is the excerpt of the class:

We come to this world with our hands closed. When we die, the hands are open. We cannot take anything with us. At every step of our lives, we face difficulties. We are doing everything for our family and children when we are young.

But then old age and disease come to rob our vitality. When we are old, children may not want us anymore. They will think when will this old lady or old man will die.

Govinda - 'Go' means mother earth, the Vedas or giving pleasure to senses. Here when one dies, especially a South Indian, they will say, "Govinda! Govinda!"

In North India, it is "Rama Nama Sathia Hai" (the only truth is Lord Rama)

When we leave this body, we cannot take any of our belongings our any of our beloved.

Once, when I was in north Malaysia, a gentleman approached me. He wanted to ask me some questions. He told me that by worshipping Krsna all our wealth will be gone.

I said I will give him 2 answers, whether he wanted to hear the spiritual first or the material second.

The gentleman said he would like to hear the spiritual first.

Once Yuddhisthra Maharaja asked Krsna for some boons. Krsna said go on and ask as many as you want. Yuddhistra Maharaja said:

a) I want to marry a very beautiful girl.

b) I want to be very wealthy

c) My treasures must be very vast

d) All my brothers are qualified so it will be difficult to control them. Therefore, they should be under my control.

e) My children and grandchildren must always remember me.

f) I should not be defeated by anyone in any battle.

Krsna smiled and granted all of the boons. Krsna also asked Yuddhistra Maharaja why he is asking all of these as he is already a great devotee.

Yuddhistra Maharaja said it is for the whole world to worship Lord Krsna. Many think that Krsna will take away everything from them and make them a street beggar.

In fact, it is written in sastra:

yasyaham anugrhnami
harisye tad-dhanam sanaih
tato dhanam tyajanty asya
svajana duhkha-duhkhitam

'O King! When I favour someone, I gradually deprive him of all his wealth. In other words when a person, although desirous of giving up material sense gratification, is somehow engrossed in the sense objects present before him, he is afflicted with distress. For such a person the removal of these objects is itself a manifestation of My favour. When his wife, sons and relatives find him to be an abject failure beset with repeated misery, they reject the impoverished man."

In the same way, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada ordered Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to the west to preach. At that time all his business failed and his family rejected him. Our Srila Gurudeva was his bosom friend and encouraged Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to take sannyasa. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja told our Gurudeva how he remembered the sloka, verse.

But what happened when Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja went to the west? A miracle happened. He was so successful and established ISKCON. He had a whole family of devotees.

As for material pursuit, what is it we are hankering for. Look at the world now. So many wealthy countries in Europe are practically bankrupt. They are bankrupt spiritually and materially.

But for a Krsna conscious person he will be in tranquility and spiritually and materially wealthy as was the case of Yuddhisthra Maharaja.

There is nothing to fear.


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