August 24 2008

Sri Krsna Janmastami

I was up at 12.45 AM, for some reason I couldn’t sleep. So I chanted a few rounds, read about Lord Krsna’s appearance from 10th Canto Part 1, and then went to Mangala arati. The place was totally packed with villagers lining up at 4.00 AM to get in. Mayapur is catching up with Vrndavana now at Janmastami with the scale of their attendence. Inside, it was like a sauna, you got dripping wet just standing still.

I was asked to give the English Bhagavatam class at 6.30 AM until the main darsana of the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Madhava at 8.30 AM. I was wondering how I would keep talking for so long without boring everyone. But as it turned out, it went quite well. I read particularly from the 10 canto, purport to chapter 2, verse 20:

“As clearly stated in Bhagavad-gita (dehino ‘smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]), within the body is the body’s proprietor, the living force, which is more important. But human society has become so fallen that instead of understanding the living force within the body, people have become busy with external things. This is a discrepancy in human duties. Therefore Krsna has taken birth or taken shelter within the womb of the Krsna consciousness movement. Men of Kamsa’s class, therefore, are very much afraid and are busy trying to stop this movement, especially in the Western countries. One politician has remarked that the Krsna consciousness movement is spreading like an epidemic and that if not checked immediately, within ten years it may capture governmental power. There is, of course, such potency in the Krsna consciousness movement.

As stated by authorities (Cc. Adi 17.22), kali-kale nama-rupe krsna-avatara: in this age, Krsna has appeared in the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The Krsna consciousness movement is spreading like wildfire all over the world, and it will go on doing so. Men who are like Kamsa are very much afraid of the movement’s progress and acceptance by the younger generation, but as Krsna could not be killed by Kamsa, this movement cannot be checked by men of Kamsa’s class. The movement will go on increasing more and more, provided the leaders of the movement remain firmly Krsna conscious by following the regulative principles and the primary activities of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra regularly.”

The reference to the politician who compared the spread of the Movement to an epidemic caught my eye. I was with Srila Prabhupada when this report came in:

[TD 4] October 4, 1976 – Vrndavana

“Prabhupada received a double report from Balavanta prabhu, which he answered during his massage. Balavanta said that a Houston newspaper recently reported a debate on “cults” and what to do about them, and quoted a member of the State legislature who made the statement that “The Hare Krishnas are spreading like an epidemic. They are a great danger. They are spreading like wildfire and if they are not stopped, they will take over the government eventually.”

Srila Prabhupada replied very positively to this report:

“Our ultimate aim is to take part in politics, because Krishna took part in politics, we have to follow—but if people do not become Krishna conscious it won’t be possible. Actually if we can take up the government, our movement will be very easily spread and beneficial to the people. We can make happy, peaceful men, God conscious—this is our aim. The main thing is to distribute books more and more. That remark by the man in Houston is to your credit, that this movement is becoming an epidemic. Actually, everywhere envious people are against this movement, especially communists, because this movement is a threat to them. The main thing is to distribute books—the communist idea is spread practically all over the world on account of distributing huge amounts of literature, but they have no substance. Introduce Rathayatra very nicely and distribute books.”

And he used this quote a lot in his preaching in late 1976: October 6, 1976 – Bhagavatam class in Vrndavana “Casting his gaze over his dozens of young disciples, he said, “So you have taken to the vow of Krsna consciousness. Try to preach Krsna consciousness all over the world.” Recalling Balavanta prabhu’s recent report, he added, “And we have got little success. One politician in U.S.A., he has remarked that ‘This Krsna consciousness movement is increasing like an epidemic.’ He has said that. ‘And if we do not check it, one day it may take our government.’ He has opined like that. So any intelligent man can know what is the ultimate result. Because mass of people, if they take to Krsna consciousness, then government is yours. That is a fact.” To the laughter of the devotees he spelled out the consequences of what that meant. “And if the Krsna consciousness government is there — no meat-eating, no smoking, no illicit sex — so many no’s, the demons will die. That is the position. Thank you very much.”

[TD 5] October 9 1976 – Aligarh arrival

Srila Prabhupada chuckled and glanced affectionately over at Dr. V. N. Sukla, a well-known scholar and Vaisnava from the local university, who has favorably reviewed his books. “So ask anybody. Our Dr. Sukla is also . . . So ask any doctor, ‘What you are?’ ‘Huh? I am Indian,’ ‘I am brahmana.’ This answer you’ll get. ‘I’m American.’ Nobody will say aham brahmasmi.”Dr. Sukla enjoyed the attention and laughed along as Srila Prabhupada proceeded to describe the role of his movement in society. “So this Krsna consciousness movement is to save the people from this defeating position. We are trying . . . So far I have tried single handed. And now a little pressure is felt even by some American politicians. Recently one American politician has remarked that ‘This Hare Krsna movement is just like epidemic.’ ” Again he laughed. ” ‘And if we do not take any step then within ten years, they’ll take our government.’ So the Communists in India, they are trying to defeat us in so many ways.” Surendra Saigal nodded. “We have seen the articles in Blitz.”

Prabhupada tipped his head in acknowledgment. “Because they are also afraid. Because the Communist movement means godlessness. And our movement is ‘Here is God.’ There is no blind faith. ‘Here is God, Krsna! You take His name, you take His address–everything.’ Practical. So that is a great cause of fear for these Communists. So they are against us.”

October 16 1976 – Chandigarh press conference

Another asked about the number of disciples he had, and Prabhupada told him he had “not less than ten thousand” dedicated followers, with admirers running into the millions. He chuckled, “Recently one American politician has remarked in Houston that ‘This Krsna consciousness, Hare Krsna movement is spreading like epidemic. So unless we take some steps it may take our government!'” The whole room rang with laughter as Prabhupada shook slightly with amusement and pleasure at the thought.

“Was there any opposition from the church?” another reporter inquired.

Prabhupada told him no, at least not in America. “But in Europe, especially in England and Germany, they, the Christian group, they are little angry with me. But so far America, they are very liberal. They never put any impediments on my movement. Rather, government appreciates. They appreciated one point, that the American younger generation, they have become addicted to this LSD, intoxication, and they have spent millions of dollars to stop this, but they could not. They are surprised that as soon as this LSD man becomes my disciple, he gives up immediately.”

“Sir,” the reporter followed up, “apart from Catholicity of the American church, what can be the other reasons of their indifference towards your positive ideas?”

Prabhupada corrected him. “Not indifference. You see, there is a remark of a politician. They are appreciating that it is spreading like epidemic. There is no question of indifference. But the leaders, they appreciate. Some of the fathers of my disciples, they come to offer their thanks: ‘Swamiji, it is a great fortune for us that you have come to our country.’ They say like that. They appreciate that their sons were going to be hippies. Now they are devotees, God conscious. So any sane man will never object to this.”

There are other references but I think you get the picture. The fact that Srila Prabhupada included this comment in his 10th Canto Bhagavatam purport shows how significantly he took it.

Anyway, I drew a few parallels in my class with the appearance of Lord Krsna in the womb of Devaki, and His appearance in 20th century America. Lord Balarama had first appeared in the womb of Devaki just to make it a fit place for Krsna to enter. Similarly Srila Prabhupada, as the representative of Lord Nityananda Ram, made the necessary preparations for the appearance of the Lord within the womb of ISKCON. I think the class went over quite well. I had a few devotees thank me for it afterwards. [Apparently you can hear it on]

The temple was mobbed for the morning greeting of the Deities. Sri Sri Radha Madhava and the asta-sakhis, as well as Pancatattva, all had new outfits in bright red:

 Radha Madhava and astasakhis

 Radha Madhava

Now we are fasting and preparing for the rest of the day’s activities.

Rasarani-priya was busy all morning dressing her personal Deities, Sri Sri Radha Madhava, after doing Their abhishek in fresh cow’s milk (which is delivered every morning to our door–one of the many other advantages of living in Mayapur)

 Rasarani-priya with chota Radha Madhava

They are really beautiful, a gift to her from Pandey Moorti Walla in Jaipura when she was nearly five years old.

 chota Radha Madhava

 She also has Gaura Nitai and Bala Krishna.

OK, gotta go. Its 9.09 PM and the maha-abhiseka starts at 10.00 PM. Enjoy your celebration of Janmastami and Vyasapuja with chanting and feasting. More tomorrow.

For further pictures and details on the temple program please see the live broadcasts and website.

One Comment
1. jainitai
August 26th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

the point that Krishna councious leaders wuld be there. KC polititians, it would be good for mases.

ys jai nitai gora das

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