Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 14, 2000, pm)
Today is a very sacred day. The last day we were speaking of Prahlada Maharaja. How he was a very bold and strong devotee. We will discuss it later on. Today is the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, the guru of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. We observe the appearance date and disappearance date of any devotee or guru. But we have not seen anywhere written in sastra that we should observe the disappearance day of Krishna or His manifestations or avataras. Especially we observe the disappearance day of any high class devotee, more than a birth day. But for Krishna and His manifestation only birth day. Why so? If we will observe the death day of Krishna or anyone, then we will have an idea that, "Oh, Krishna was dead." So for Ramacandra, Krishna or anyone, no death.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: No disappearance, only birth day. And for vaisnavas or guru, especially disappearance day is observed because before birth we don't know anything about that vaisnava or guru, but when he disappears, whole life we can read or we can see and realize that how he developed so much and what he has given, good things for world.
So today on the auspicious day of the disappearance day of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, we want to glorify him. Who was he and what he has done for world and for us. Only two words Ramesh Prabhu may tell, discuss.
[Ramesh Prabhu speaks, then Govinda Bhakata Prabhu speaks. Then kirtana.]
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You have heard of Srila Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura from Govinda Bhakata Prabhu and others, they have told so many things. But you should know that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura was the spiritual master of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, your Prabhupada. He was the first vaisnava acarya. That he made a plan to make a preaching center in India, in Bengal, in whole India and in whole world. How the soul will be happy. For this he sent so many disciples in England, in America, here and there. He was also the first vaisnava acarya who used aeroplane and cars, and all the things which scientists had researched, printing press and so many things. At first all used to know that, "Oh, we should give up this world, material world, and to be vairagi, renounced." He told that, "No need of giving up everything. We should use all these things, material things to serve Krishna, for the benefit of Krishna." And he did so, he did so. Also he established schools, colleges, printing presses. He published so many, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta and so many books. And he was the first acarya who collected very young boys to preach over the whole world the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, so many things have been told. Now we are coming to our subject, the history of Prahlada Maharaja.
When his father, Hiranyakasipu, very strong personality, very, like immortal. He asked his son that, "Who has taught you to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare? I have given you birth, I have educated you. I am supporting and nourishing you. From where you learnt to chant Hare Krishna. Oh, this is against my wish. You should give up all these bad things, bogus things. To chant harinama is bogus. We should collect so much wealth, cheat everyone, even father and mother you should cheat. Oh, you can shoot them, no harm. Anyhow by hook or by crook you should be happy. Oh try to be, eat, drink and be merry. All ladies can change thousands of times their husbands, and boys also, they can change their wives, no harm." So many thing like this he was telling to Prahlada Maharaja to do, but Prahlada was very strong, he never obeyed him. So he's asking him, "From where you have learnt all these bogus things."
Then Prahlada Maharaja told, "Any bogus guru who is himself falling down, fallen, how he can give me this knowledge? The sons of Sukracarya, Sanda and Amarka, they are bogus gurus. They are not qualified and bona fide guru. They are all engaged in sense gratification. These bogus gurus have no idea of real happiness and any good conception for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So these gurus should be given up at once, in a moment. They are like blind persons. If a blind person goes to another blind person, and he tells that 'Show me the path,' for any important place, and he accepts that 'Oh, I will lead you to go there,' then what will happen? Oh, they will both fall down in a ditch. So now there are so much gurus in this world. You cannot imagine. All thinks that 'I am a very qualified guru,' but next moment he falls down. To whom he has accepted like daughter, like disciple. Disciple is like son and daughter. Oh, next moment he thinks that 'Oh, she is my wife.' What a bogus guru. These things are bogus."
So Prahlada Maharaja tells us, "Oh, give up all these bogus gurus and accept a very real and bona fide guru. If guru is engaged in sense gratification himself. He smokes, he has no knowledge of Krishna consciousness. How they can give help to others? Oh, they are blind. So a blind person cannot show any real path to other blind."
Then Hiranyakasipu became very, very angry. "Oh, my gurus, these Sanda-Amarka, are they very bogus gurus? My gurus are NOT bogus. They are bona fide. You cannot criticize them."
In these days a guru is like this, thinking that, "We are the only bona fide guru." So Prahlada Maharaja advised and told to his father, "A blind person cannot show any Krishna consciousness. Any bona fide guru is always serving Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they can show us the path. And if we will take their feet dust on our head, then we can serve Radha and Krishna, then we will be very qualified to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
[All devotees join with Srila Narayana Maharaja.]
Devotees: Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Then this bogus father, Hiranyakasipu became very angry, and he wanted to kill him at once. At once he poisoned, a very strong poison was given to Prahlada Maharaja, he was thrown in ocean, thrown from mountains, he was thrown out, so many poisonous snakes were, but all failed. They could not do anything to Prahlada Maharaja, because Krishna was always saving him. Krishna has promised, "Those who will take shelter of Me, I will always protect and save them." If whole world is against him, they cannot do anything if Krishna is saving him. So if we are taking shelter of Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, or any bona fide guru like Narada, Vyasa, Sukadeva Gosvami, Rupa- Santana Gosvami. If whole world is against them, they cannot do anything to harm them. Krishna is bound to save them. So Hiranyakasipu wanted to kill him, but he could not do.
He had a very beautiful strong sister. She was so expert, knowing some yoga, that even in a very big fire she cannot be burnt. She was called, she was called at once. She came, and a very big fire was there, and she took Prahlada Maharaja in her lap and entered into the fire. But a very wonderful thing became. Fire could not harm Prahlada Maharaja in any way, but that sister of Hiranyakasipu was burnt to ashes, and Prahlada Maharaja came out from that fire, chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
[All devotees join with Srila Narayana Maharaja.]
Devotees: Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: He ordered his own generals that, "At once he should be killed." Whole army was deputed to kill him, but anyone could not do anything. Then he was worried. Then his gurus, Sanda-Amarka, they came and they pacified him, "Don't fear. This is a baby. Our father will come, and he will settle all the problems. And thus the boy will be in your line, what you will tell he will obey."
Then he took the two gurus took the boy, Prahlada Maharaja, again to school. And then the gurus tried to teach him politics, duplicity, how to cheat others, how to be wealthy, how to be making merry, and how to be expert in sense gratifications. But this boy was very bold. He never obeyed them, always chanting, remembering.
One day the gurus were absorbed in any job; they told Prahlada Maharaja that, "You should be monitor and look after the boys. We are coming soon." So they went anywhere else. Prahlada Maharaja was with the boys, and Prahlada Maharaja told them, "Today we will not play. Come with us and we will discuss something very important in life." What he told you should tell very briefly.
[Aranya Maharaja begins 'om ajnana timirandasya'.]
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You should hear carefully and try to obey. By sense gratification you cannot be happy. I am especially seeing in Brazil, and especially in Rio, all are involved in sense gratifications. Even a girl of twelve years, not matured, and I see that she's traveling with her boyfriend. Everywhere like this. This will spoil everything. Be careful. Try to be. To the ladies I'm telling, try to be like these girls and lady devotees. Garments like this (covering the body), not like open. [many wearing beach wear & skimpy clothing]. Not smoking here and there. Not taking that, what makes them become mad.
[Devotees say some Brazilian word for some drug.]
Srila Narayana Maharaja: They should be careful for this. Otherwise your life will be in danger. I think that if you are doing so, then cancer may come, and anyone cannot save you. Oh, you will die very soon. Don't take eggs and fishes and everything, meat and so on. You should hear the meaning of meat. The spelling of 'meat' in English is M-E-A-T. M-E, me. E-A-T, eat. 'Those who will eat me, we will eat him.' If you are taking fish, meat, eggs, cows, all these things, they will become human body and you will become she-goat, cows, and all, eggs and everything, and they will eat you. So be careful.
Also so many things, so many rogas will come in your heart. You will be very old, very soon you will be very old, and thus heart disease will come, cancer may come, and you will die. So be careful for all these things, and then chant like Prahlada Maharaja, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Prahlada's other teachings, you should hear from him.
[Tape recording stops here. The following was typed during class, but not checked with tape.]
Aranya Maharaja: When the two teachers Sanda and Amarka went for their other business, then Prahlada Maharaja, he became the monitor of the class. At that time all the young boys they wanted to play, but Prahlada Maharaja called them, "My dear friend, please come here, I want to tell you something very important. We should not waste any time. Today we should not play we should try to understand what is real spiritual life."
His friends said, "O Prahlada, we are children. We are very young. We like to play. We have many, many years ahead of us. Today we will enjoy ourselves, and then in the future we can take to spiritual life seriously."
Prahlada Maharaja said:
kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha durlabham manusam janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam (SB 7.6.1)
["Prahlada Maharaja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life-in other words, from the tender age of childhood-to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection." (BBT)]
He told them that one should begin spiritual life from a very young age, one should begin spiritual life from the young age. It means from now we should begin spiritual life. Right now.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Don't tell that, "I will begin from tomorrow." It may be that tomorrow will never come in your life. From today, what we will do tomorrow you should begin from today, and what you are going to do today, you should begin just now. So you should all chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Devotees: Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Old age may come, so try at once. Chant from today.
Aranya Maharaja: Prahlada Maharaja said, "You want to practice spiritual life in the future when you are older, but there is no guarantee you will grow old."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Also in old age you cannot sit like this. You cannot chant. It may be that your voice will be choked. You may be mad. Oh, so many problems may come. So from just now begin Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Devotees: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Oh, and all were in wonder, "Oh, how strong this boy, Prahlada Maharaja, is." Go on.
Aranya Maharaja: Prahlada Maharaja said that there are many species of life, but out of millions and millions of species to take birth as a human being is very, very rare. And even though the human form of life is temporary like the other forms of life, still the human form of life has a special feature which is not available in other forms of life. In the human form of life one can develop his Krishna consciousness. He told them this human form of life may last up to 100 years. Of those 100 years, half you spent sleeping, so only 50 years are left. In the first 10 years of your life you are like children, baby, and have no sense to understand what is the goal of life. In the next 10 years of your life you have to do all your education and learn some skill so you can maintain your life. You have to become expert in some field, like doctor, lawyer or any kind of business. So 50 years spent sleeping, 20 years in childhood and education. Then the last 20 year of your life, from the age of 80 to 100, your body is attacked by so many diseases. As Srila Gurudeva is explaining you cannot sit and meditate because you have pain in your back, pain in your neck, pain in your head, again and again you have to go to the doctor and go to the hospital. Every five minutes you have to take another medicine, and when you are chanting [Aranya Maharaja coughs like an old person].So how can you practice Krishna consciousness? You cannot sing and dance and play mrdanga. So another 20 years of your life is wasted.
So 50 years spent sleeping, 10 years in childhood, 10 years in education, 20 years in old age, only 10 years left. In those 10 years you have thousand and thousands of material desires, and only about 10 years to fulfill them. So we become so busy in collecting houses, cars, wives, children, and dogs and cats and many things.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: If you are doing so then you are more wretched. Prahlada Maharaja told especially.
Aranya Maharaja: Because we are so absorbed in accumulating material things, therefore these things occupy our mind, and at the time of mediation Krishna is not coming in the mind. The face of one's wife will come in the mind, the voice of one's children will come in your mind, and many anxieties, such as 'who will take care of my house?'
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Always in their mind, and when they will die they will be young, like what they were thinking of.
Aranya Maharaja: So Prahlada Maharaja said, "Don't waste many times going down this path, this path leads to darkness and frustration." He told them that there is no need to work hard to get happiness in this world because one's happiness and distress is fixed by your karma. According to the laws of nature, the laws of karma, if we have done any bad things, then bad things and suffering will come to us, and if we do very good things, pious thing, then good things will come to us. In this life the happiness and distress coming to us is already fixed by our previous lives. So material happiness will come automatically, so don't waste time in this. Serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The friends of Prahlada Maharaja said, "What you have said is a very good suggestion. Please tell us how we can serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What is the process?"
Prahlada Maharaja told them that:
guru-susrusaya bhaktya sarva-labdharpanena ca sangena sadhu-bhaktanam isvararadhanena ca sraddhaya tat-kathayam ca kirtanair guna-karmanam tat-padamburuha-dhyanat tal-lingeksarhanadibhih (SB 7.7.30-31)
In this verse Prahlada Maharaja said, "First of all we should try to take shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide guru. Then we should do unconditional surrender at the lotus feet of such a guru, engaging fully all activities of body, mind, words, and sentiments of the heart. And one should keep the company of very pure vaisnavas, and by their association and guidance one can learn how to serve one's gurudeva according to his hearts desires."
Hearing all these things the friends of Prahlada Maharaja became astonished. They asked him, "Where you have learnt all these things?"
He explained that during the time when his father, Hiranyakasipu was performing austerities for thousands and thousands of celestial years. At that time his mother, Kayadhu was pregnant and Prahlada Maharaja was in the womb of Kayadhu. At that time she was staying in the asrama of Narada Muni, and Prahlada Maharaja being in the womb of his mother heard the pastimes of Krishna from the lips of Narada Muni for 60,000 years. What is the purport? Without having the association of a very high class vaisnava like Narada Muni, and without hearing the very sweet pastimes of Krishna very deeply for a very long time, no one can become such a high class devotee like Prahlada Maharaja.
So Prahlada Maharaja told his friends, "We should not waste any more time, we should do kirtana."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Then all the boys, they thought that he's a perfect guru, Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja told that, "Now we should begin sankirtana." And when they began to loudly chant. What?
[Loud kirtana performed by all devotees for some minutes.]
[Govinda Bhakata appears suddenly, shouting angrily (as if he's Hiranyakasipu).]
Govinda Bhakata Prabhu: Stop. Stop.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: What happened you should hear. [tape resumes] Hiranyakasipu came with his club and sword. "I am now killing you and who is going to save you, I will see." He told that, "Where is your Hari."
Prahlada told that, "Everywhere. In you also, in me also, in everything, in pillars and everywhere He is."
At once with his sword he crushed, he smashed the pillar and at once Nrsimhadeva came. [Govinda Bhakata roars loudly]. And it was not night nor day, it was evening not day nor night. Nor any club or anything, no weapons, no month, no year, it was out of year, it was leap year. Not on earth or in sky, Nrsimhadeva took that demon in His lap. In the middle of the door.
Pundarika Prabhu: Neither inside nor outside.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Not outside the room or inside, and He took His nails and He took his all.
[Maharaja indicates with hands the ripping action of Nrsimhadeva.]
Srila Narayana Maharaja: So at once in a moment He put death to Hiranyakasipu. All saw that Supreme Personality of Nrsimhadeva was very angry. Flames were coming from His head. Then Brahma prayed to, he told to Sankara and others, and Laksmi devi, to pacify Nrsimhadeva. But all were in fear. And then he told to Prahlada, and Prahlada at once, smiling he went in the lap of Nrsimhadeva. At once His heart was melted, tears were coming in the eyes of Nrsimhadeva, and He told that, "Oh you should have any boon from Me."
He told that, "I'm not a business person. I have not served you in a hope that I will take anything from You. You should be merciful to me. My all wishes and worldly desires should go away."
But Nrsimha told that, "Even you should ask for any boon."
Then he told that, "My father should be forgiven."
Then He told that, "Oh, if anyone comes in the dynasty of pure vaisnavas they are liberated. So your father is liberated now." Then He again told that, "Have you any boon?"
Then Prahlada Maharaja told that, "In this world all are unhappy. I want to suffer for them. And if I have done anything good to serve You, You should give them liberation. I will take their all sins and everything and they should be liberated." Then Nrsimhadeva told that, "If anyone hears this story, and they will chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: In the guidance of a very bona fide guru, then they will be liberated and given Krishna love."
I think that from today you should give up all bad things and chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: I'm very happy that you have assembled here and heard me. Now our classes are going to be finished. But I think that you should obey Prahlada Maharaja. Even I'm going from this Rio, but you should not forget to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
All devotees join with Srila Narayana Maharaja.]
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Gaura-premanande!
Srila Narayana Maharaja: I'm inviting all to be in India for Braja-mandala and Navadvip-mandala parikrama. We are going to Braja-dharma, all are invited there.