Sri Uddharana dasa Thakura tirobhava tithi [disappearance day]

December 31, 2016 in Articles, Damaghosa Dasa, Yasoda nandana Dasa by Laksman dasa

Monday, December 26, 2016
Mayapura, West Bengal, India time
Sri Uddharana dasa Thakura tirobhava tithi [disappearance day]
Sri Mahesha Pandita tirobhava tithi
compiled by Damaghosa dasa and Yasoda nandana dasa
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mahā-bhāgavata-śreṣṭha datta uddhāraṇa
sarva-bhāve seve nityānandera caraṇa
Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura, the eleventh among the twelve cowherd boys, was an exalted devotee of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu. He worshiped the lotus feet of Lord Nityānanda in all respects
Purport
The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 129, states that Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura was formerly the cowherd boy of Vṛndāvana named Subāhu. Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura, previously known as Śrī Uddhāraṇa Datta, was a resident of Saptagrāma, which is situated on the bank of the Sarasvatī River near the Triśabighā railway station in the district of Hugalī. At the time of Uddhāraṇa Ṭhākura, Saptagrāma was a very big town, encompassing many other places such as Vāsudevapura, Bāṅśabeḍiyā, Kṛṣṇapura, Nityānandapura, Śivapura, Śaṅkhanagara and Saptagrāma.
Calcutta was developed under British rule by the influential mercantile community, and especially by the suvarṇavaṇik community who came down from Saptagrāma to establish their businesses and homes all over Calcutta. They were known as the Saptagrāmī mercantile community of Calcutta, and most of them belonged to the Mullik and Sil families. More than half of Calcutta belonged to this community, as did Śrīla Uddhāraṇa Ṭhākura. Our paternal family also came from this district and belonged to the same community. The Mulliks of Calcutta are divided into two families, namely, the Sil family and De family. All the Mulliks of the De family originally belong to the same family and gotra. We also formerly belonged to the branch of the De family whose members, intimately connected with the Muslim rulers, received the title Mullik.

In the Caitanyabhāgavata, Antyakhaṇḍa, Chapter Five, it is said that Uddhāraṇa Datta was an extremely elevated and liberal Vaiṣṇava. He was born with the right to worship Nityānanda Prabhu. It is also stated that Nityānanda Prabhu, after staying for some time in Khaḍadaha, came to Saptagrāma and stayed in the house of Uddhāraṇa Datta. The suvarṇavaṇik community to which Uddhāraṇa Datta belonged was actually a Vaiṣṇava community. Its members were bankers and gold merchants (suvarṇa means “gold,” and vaṇik means “merchant”). Long ago there was a misunderstanding between Balla Sena and the suvarṇavaṇik community because of the great banker Gaurī Sena. Balla Sena was taking loans from Gaurī Sena and spending money extravagantly, and therefore Gaurī Sena stopped supplying money. Balla Sena took revenge by instigating a social conspiracy to make the suvarṇa-vaṇiks outcastes, and since then they have been ostracized from the higher castes, namely, the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas. But by the grace of Śrīla Nityānanda Prabhu, the suvarṇavaṇik community was again elevated. It is said in the Caitanyabhāgavata, yateka vaṇikkula uddhāraṇa haite pavitra haila dvidhā nāhika ihāte: there is no doubt that all the community members of the suvarṇavaṇik society were again purified by Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu.

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The most intelligent people

December 19, 2016 in Haripada dasa by Laksman dasa

The most intelligent people, by Javier Figuerola or Haripada dasa
At the end of Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that this era of kali, the age of hypocrisy, quarrels, sinful activities, arguments, where you will see defects and errors, 80 percent of the population are bad people, people They live full of doubts, anxieties, fears, fanaticisms, envy and selfishness, and the most intelligent people of this age will be those who will always be chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama , Rama Rama, Hare Hare, the meaning of this Maha – Mantra is very simple, the word Hare is the way to address the energy of God or Krishna, and the words Krishna and Rama Are ways of addressing the Lord in Person, both Krishna and Rama signify the Supreme Pleasure, chanting is a spiritual call to the Lord and His inner energy, Hare, to protect the conditioned soul, in other words, it is a prayer to God or Krishna and His energy asking them to engage us in His service. In this song there are three stages, the offensive stage, there are ten offenses against the Holy Name, the stage in which offenses are purified and the pure stage.
In a magazine of the Hare Krishna Movement the devotees put a caricature or joke, there was a lady sitting in front of her husband, and the lady said to her husband Hare Krishna sings and be happy, and the husband answered, I can not, no I can, I can not … Srila Prabhupada always said that people are very unfortunate, they could sing Hare Krishna and obey the laws of God, but they do not want to, they like to suffer and be deceived.
Thought to meditate:
“My friend, those who do good will never be overcome by evil.”

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s Disappearance

December 16, 2016 in Padmapani Dasa by Laksman dasa

Saturday, December 17, 2016 [Mayapura, West Bengal, India time]
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada Tirobhava Tithi [disappearance day]
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THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
compiled by Padmapani dasa
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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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(Delivered on December 9, 1968, Los Angeles)

So today is the Disappearance Day of my guru maharaj. As I told you, that sadhava jiva ma maro va. There was a nice story, the other day I told you that a sage is giving different kinds of blessings to different types of persons. So to a king’s son, a prince, he blesses: raja putra ciran jiva. You are a king’s son, a prince. You live forever. And muni putra. A son of a saintly person, he blesses him: ma jiva ma jiva. You don’t live. Raja putra ciran jiva muni putra ma jiva. And sadhu, devotee, he blessed him: jivo va maro va. Either you live or you die, as you like. And there was a butcher, he blessed him: ma jiva, ma mara. you don’t die, you don’t live.
 
These words are very significant. That I have already explained, and still I am explaining. The prince is enjoying sense, that is all. He has got enough facility for sense enjoyment. So his next life is hellish because if you indulge in sex life then Krsna will give you facility to have sex life three times in the hour. Just like the pigeons, the monkeys, the sparrows, they are very sexually strong. You have seen it, so that facility is given. So, the princely order are after sense enjoyment; so his blessing is that better you live forever because after your death you do not know what is going to happen to you — you are going to get a hellish life. Better you live for some time. Go on with your enjoyment.
 
And muni putra ma jivabrahmacari working under strict disciplinary guidance of his spiritual master, he is blessed: ma jiva. You better die because you are so trained to enter into the kingdom of God, so why should you take so much trouble? Better you die and go back to Godhead.

Respecting Srila Prabhupada

December 15, 2016 in Articles by Laksman dasa

srila_prabhupada__butler_eagle__1965__small_

(Srila Prabhupada holding a copy of his original Srimad-Bhagavatam in the Butler Eagle, 1965.)
 
Over the years I’ve come across various articles, statements and websites which have been critical or even downright offensive towards Srila Prabhupada. As a disciple — or should I say an aspiring disciple since being a true disciple is no easy thing — I find these writings to be intolerable and I’ll tell you why.
 
At great personal inconvenience, Srila Prabhupada left the peaceful and holy village of Vrindavan at the advanced age of 69 (almost 70) to travel by steamship across the Atlantic Ocean to fulfill the order of his beloved spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, to preach Krishna consciousness in the Western world. He suffered two heart attacks on board the freighter (not airplane or cruise ship) and arrived in New York City with less than seven dollars in his pocket, completely dependent on the mercy of the Supreme Lord Krishna for the success of his great mission.
 
Prabhupada wasted no time. After more than 30 days at sea, Srila Prabhupada began his preaching work almost immediately by lecturing at the YMCA in Butler, Pennsylvania. The local newspaper, the Butler Eagle, published an article along with the above photo on September 22, 1965, only five days after Prabhupada arrived in Boston and wrote his famous poem, “Markine Bhagavata-Dharma.”
 
Rather than focus on preaching to the wealthy or privileged class of society, Srila Prabhupada, an educated scholar of Vedic wisdom, chose to deliver his message to the poorest of the poor in the Bowery and Lower East Side of New York. In spite of his exalted position as an authorized representative of the highly esteemed Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Vaisnava Sampradaya in direct disciplic succession from Krishna Himself, Srila Prabhupada always remained humble and respectful to everyone.
 
“A Krishna Consciousness person thinks always about himself as the lowest creature in the world, and the more one thinks like that he becomes elevated more and more. A Krishna Conscious person is never falsely puffed-up; he is satisfied with his humble position as the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna.”
 
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 1, 1968)
 
Despite his humility, Srila Prabhupada set the standard by his impeccable Vaisnava behavior. Prabhupada always practiced what he preached. There was never any discrepancy between what he instructed and how he lived his life. That is the meaning of acarya, or one who teaches by example. Srila Prabhupada was the first to rise in the morning, and no one could keep up with his incessant devotion and service — day after day, month after month and year after year. In all his dealings with thousands of devotees and members of the public during his numerous preaching tours around the world, there was never a hint of scandal or controversy surrounding Srila Prabhupada or his personal behavior.
 
Prabhupada never accepted anything for himself, nor did he ever enjoy the facilities offered to him by his disciples and followers. Those who had the good fortune to personally serve or spend time with Srila Prabhupada all attest to this fact. He was cent percent engaged in the service of Krishna 24 hours a day. It was his total surrender and dedication to the Lord’s service which inspired so much love and adoration in the hearts of his followers. Srila Prabhupada not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. Everyone respected Prabhupada, even those who didn’t agree with his philosophy. Poet Allen Ginsberg said it well:
 
“The main thing, above and beyond all our differences, was an aroma of sweetness that he had, a personal selfless sweetness like total devotion. And that was what always conquered me, whatever intellectual questions or doubts I had, or even cynical views of ego. In his presence there was a kind of personal charm, coming from dedication, that conquered all our conflicts.”
 
George Harrison, who had reached the pinnacle of material success and popularity as the lead guitarist of the world’s most famous rock band, always offered Srila Prabhupada full dandavats (falling flat on the floor) whenever he entered Prabhupada’s room or came into his presence. George spoke the following about Srila Prabhupada:
 
“The thing that always stays is his saying, ‘I am the servant of the servant of the servant.’ I like that. A lot of people say, ‘I’m it. I’m the divine incarnation. I’m here and let me hip you.’ You know what I mean? But Prabhupada was never like that. I liked Prabhupada’s humbleness. I always liked his humility and his simplicity. The servant of the servant of the servant is really what it is, you know. None of us are God — just His servants. He just made me feel so comfortable. I always felt very relaxed with him, and I felt more like a friend. I felt that he was a good friend.”
 
If one takes the time to really understand who Prabhupada is and what he is saying, there can be no mistake that he should be regarded with the highest respect and admiration. It is not blind fanaticism or sectarianism to honor the pure devotee of Krishna. Lord Krishna Himself recommends that we approach the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession (B.G. 4.34). Because he is the transparent via medium to the Lord, the spiritual master is qualified to accept service on the Lord’s behalf. Therefore it should be clearly understood that when we worship the spiritual master we are not worshiping a common ordinary man. He is the authorized representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The worship of Srila Prabhupada is therefore the worship of the entire parampara, and ultimately, the worship of the Supreme Lord Krishna. It should always be understood that the pure devotee never takes the glorification for himself, and this can easily be concluded by studying Prabhupada’s books, hearing his lectures, and reading his letters and essays. Srila Prabhupada repeatedly emphasized his status as a humble servant only.
 
“Personally I have no credit for myself, but I am trying to act as faithful servant of my predecessors and just presenting without any adulteration the message which I have received from my Spiritual Master.”
 
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 1, 1968)
 
A pure devotee of Krishna is not an ordinary man of this world. Sometimes it might appear to our limited sense perception that his behavior is on the mundane platform just like the rest of us. But we are cautioned not to make a foolish mistake in this regard. Lord Caitanya has warned us not to commit the “mad elephant offense” which can destroy the delicate garden of devotion in our hearts. The pure devotee is acting solely on behalf of the Supreme Lord for the benefit of one and all. He has no personal motivation or selfish desires.
 
“It is said, therefore, by Vaisnava authorities that even the most intelligent person cannot understand the plans and activities of a pure devotee. The exact words are vaisnavera kriya mudra vijne na bujhaya. A person who is thus always engaged in the service of the Lord or is always thinking and planning how to serve the Lord is to be considered completely liberated at present and in the future. His going back home, back to Godhead, is guaranteed. He is above all materialistic criticism, just as Krishna is above all criticism.”
 
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 9.28, Purport)
 
Srila Prabhupada has also warned against a disciple becoming “over-intelligent.” He gave the example of the mouse who requested the blessing of a sage to make him a cat in order to protect him from being harassed by a cat. Later he asked to become a dog to save him from the unwanted attacks of a dog. Finally he desired to become a tiger to avoid being chased by tigers. Upon receiving this final blessing he approached the sage who had bestowed the benedictions and boldly declared that he now wanted to eat the very benefactor who had blessed him in the first place. So the sage finally cursed him, punar muniko bhava: “Again you become a mouse.”
 
Here we learn not to bite the hand that feeds us. Almost every Vaisnava and aspiring Vaisnava in the Western world is indebted to Srila Prabhupada who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. We might not always understand everything Srila Prabhupada has said or done, but at least we can afford him the honor and dignity which Prabhupada so rightly earned for his selfless service and dedication to the spiritual upliftment of all souls. That alone is worthy of our undying respect.
 
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
 
Pd

Srila Prabhupada; The True Acarya

December 13, 2016 in Padmapani Dasa by Laksman dasa

THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
Compiled by Padmapani dasa
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The True Acarya
(Srila Prabhupada at the Family Dog auditorium, July 27, 1969)
image
“The true acarya, the spiritual master of the entire world, must be considered an incarnation of Krishna’s mercy.”   (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya 7.12, Purport)