Love And Affection
Odessa, Ukraine: September 22, 2002
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[Respected Maharajas, Prabhus, and Didis, Dandavat pranama. Jaya Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. Sometimes devotees write us saying there are not enough hari-katha lectures being sent out, and sometimes other devotees write us saying there are too many lectures being sent out. Some say they cannot keep up with the lectures because they don't have enough online time to read them. For those devotees, we have a suggestion. If you download the lectures onto your hard-drive, or onto a floppy, then you will have them stored. Then you will be able to read them on a rainy day, share them with friends, and select from among them when you need them for observing holidays, preaching and giving classes, or simply for you own study. The following is an excerpt from a lecture delivered in Odessa to more than 500 devotees who came from all over the former Soviet Union some traveling for as many as ten days to get to the program. Here, Paramaradya Srila Narayana Maharaja provides beautiful insights into the natural humility of a devotee, and the qualities one must develop in order to preach successfully and understand the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers:] Invocation First of all I offer millions of dandavat pranati (obeisances) at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Nitya-lila Pravista Om Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer the same unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I am especially remembering my siksa-guru Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and his first journey to America by boat. He passed through the Mediterranean Sea near Egypt, on to the Atlantic Ocean, and finally he arrived in Boston. On the order of his Gurudeva, he carried the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami to America. On his journey across the seas, he was so sick that he thought he might die, and he had no medicine or doctor. Yet, despite his suffering, he was determined to go to America and preach. He was completely dependent on Krsna. I think that you have all come to Krsna consciousness only by the mercy Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. Because of his preaching, people all over the world are chanting and remembering the glories of Krsna, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and hearing the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Without the efforts of Srila Swami Maharaja to travel and preach around the world, no one outside of India would have known of these teachings. The aim and object of the teaching of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami is to know that Krsna is love, and love is Krsna. Radha and Krsna have combined to become Sacinandana Gaurahari, Who is more merciful than both of Them. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu traveled throughout India, from north to south, from east to west, and He preached love and affection everywhere He went. This was also the mission of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and our entire guru-parampara. We want to associate with everyone on the platform of love and affection, not by controlling others. You cannot bring someone to Krsna's service by manipulating or controlling them. You cannot even control your own mind, what to speak of others'? Exhibiting His love and affection, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu caused the wild animals in the jungles of Jharikhanda, to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra together in ecstatic love. By His influence, the behavior of these wild animals towards each other was changed; they lived together peacefully and even drank from the same watering places. This was the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu- that He quickly spread love and affection throughout this planet and the entire universe. That love that He preached is the special prema of Srimati Radhika. If you want to make your life successful, happy, and peaceful, then try to give all of your love and affection to Krsna, and sometimes partly to all living beings. Don't try to control others by your order or your mind. Try to give your whole being. Love has nothing to take, but everything to give. If your aim and objective is to preach the love and affection of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, try to give yourself to others. Your whole life should be dedicated for the welfare of others. They will reciprocate that love and give their life to serve Krsna. They will not offer their love and affection if you are trying to control them. Avoid criticizing others; criticize your own mind and bad habits instead. The first thing is that if you want to show love to others, do not cause them any pain or suffering, or burden them for your personal happiness or maintenance. Your first concern should be the happiness and satisfaction of others. We want to be completely selfless in our dealings. We have the example of the tree that gives its bark, roots, fruits, leaves, wood, and shade; they offer everything to others with no expectation of remuneration. As human beings, why can't we be as selfless? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us this verse: trnad api sunicena taror api suhisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyaa sada harih [Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass which has been trampled beneath everyone's feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others based upon their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari. (Sri Siksastakam verse 3)] Try to follow this instruction. I want my sannyasis and preachers to understand and follow this verse completely, and to teach others by their personal example. I don't want them to behave selfishly. They should try to give their hearts to others. I have come to give my heart, not to take anything from you. This is the preaching of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave his heart even to dogs, lions and tigers. Don't think that we need to ask anyone for money. If we selflessly preach the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, God will automatically send money from the sky- like a rain shower. We need not worry at all about that. This is the teaching and example of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I want you all to listen very carefully to what I am saying here. My words should not evaporate in the air. Don't listen and then forget what I have said. Everyone should hear carefully, then write these instructions down and try to follow them. I desire that you understand the object of the mission of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and our guru-varga, and that you spread it broadly around the world. Begin where Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left off, and continue to preach more and more. Presently, we see that many senior Vaisnavas and sannyasis are falling down, derailed in their devotional service, and giving up sannyasa and chanting and remembering Krsna. I want our preachers to set a high example of behavior and to preach the mission of their Gurudeva. If you want to be successful in your life, the first thing is to give up the desire to praise yourself. Don't think "I am very glorious and talented, I can preach everywhere." Instead, glorify your diksa-guru and siksa-guru everywhere. By doing this, you will be successful in your preaching and glory will come into your pocket. I have realized this, and you should also realize this fact. By glorifying your guru-varga and your guru-parampara, everyone will be pleased with your preaching and they will praise you. Go on with your preaching, taking care that you don't seek that praise. Remember that you are a servant of your diksa and siksa-gurus. Do not be ambitious to create your own disciples, but try to bring disciples to the lotus feet of your Gurudeva. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never glorified Himself; Srila Rupa Gosvami glorified Him. Srila Rupa Gosvami never glorified himself; rather, Jiva Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Narottama Thakura, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Kavi Karnapurna all glorified him. sri-caitanya-mano-bhistam staphitam yena bhutale svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva padantikam ["When will Srila Rüpa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?" (Prema Bhakti Candrika verse 2 Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)] Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura never wrote anything about himself. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada wrote so much about him and also about Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. And who wrote about our Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura? My Gurudeva and other disciples wrote extensively about him. I also wrote a very powerful and authoritative book about the life and teachings of my Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami. I have no desire to glorify myself because I am worthless- nothing more than a piece of dried up grass. So how can I glorify myself? I can speak however, of the mercy of my Gurudeva and my guru-parampara. I am not fit or qualified; whatever I have accomplished is their desire and they are acting through me. I am like a pen that has no power to write on its own; someone must use it. Whatever my Gurudeva, guru-parampara, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja want to write, I am doing that. I have fully realized that I am insignificant and no credit should be given to me. Without chanting and remembering Krsna, and without knowing yourself as soul, without knowing the Supersoul, that is, the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, you cannot be happy in any way. You may launch sputniks into space or travel to the moon or the sun, but even then you cannot be happy. Whatever you accomplish in this material world cannot make you happy. This is the mission and message we are delivering and you should all try to follow it. Don't be weak. We are here at this seminar, at this very good facility and climate, on the Black Sea, to practice bhaktiyoga. While here, you should try to follow the program. In the morning you should take darsan and also perform aratika and kirtana. Try to practice daily the mantra that your Gurudeva has given to you. If you have only received harinama, then chant that. If you have received the harinama and gayatri mantras, then daily, without a restless mind, but with a fixed mind, you should chant and remember those mantras. Listen to hari-katha three or four times every day. No one should have to be called to class; all should come automatically, with their heart- with love and affection, to hear Hari-katha. I am requesting the managers to give you time for taking prasadam and for chanting the Holy Name and remembering your mantras, and I will also request them to arrange for classes by the senior Vaisnavas present. Editorial Advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa Transcriber and Editor: Janardana dasa Editorial assitant: Syamarani dasi Important notice: Here is a wonderful way to increase the spiritual quality of your day. For your classtime, or while you are relaxing, cooking, cleaning, driving, and so on, you can hear Srila Maharaja's lectures on MP3 CDs. To order these audio lectures, please visit www.sbnmcd.org.