(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, 13th May 2012, Sydney, Australia) Lecture: Sunday Feast Bg 8.19
Let me tell you about a temple, which I like, and that is the Radha Govinda Temple in Jaipur. Somehow or other I had to spend a lot of time in Jaipur. In this temple (because I am familiar with the whole situation) before the darshan of the deities the doors are locked with a very big padlock. Then the pandit comes and gives the lecture, and every time it is the same lecture, ‘mṛtyu-saṁsāra-sāgarāt bhavāmi na cirāt pārtha’ (B.g 12.6-7) – in the ocean of saṁsāra the cycle of birth and death is continuously going on. This lecture he gives a thousand times, and even I can give it after having heard it so many times! Behind him is an old man standing there who is making gestures. So when I saw him I thought:
‘Every temple has one.’
So that was going on. After a while I found out that each time the speaker made an important point, then the old man would raise a finger to insinuate that it was an important point. At the end of the lecture two men are walking towards the door. One is carrying a key and the other one is walking next to him. Then he takes the key from the other man and opens the lock then the aarti begins. The pujaris are offering the aarti and so many people are there. Then the time comes to taking the water that has been offered to the deities, and so two pujaris come with a big pot, all filled with water, and they splash us with not just with three drops but with the whole pot full of water, and you are soaked through! Bring a raincoat and an umbrella, I recommend it!
Anyway the people opened their mouths to catch the water. Then at the side the pujari begins to hand out the tulsi and all the people are running to get the tulsi! At the back an old man is leading a fired up kirtan…The whole spirit is very enthusiastic, Some people get the maha prashadum, but they don’t take it for themselves since they distribute it to others. Then I was standing in front of the deities and an old lady came and she starts pulling my cloth:
And she starts pulling my cloth again, so I said:
‘Not at the temple. What are you doing? You are not asking for money in a temple?’
And then she gives me some binoculars and says:
‘Look at the deities.’
So I looked at the deity of Govindaji and actually He looked very nice, and He was wearing a watch… which was very nice. I saw the old people who were so enthusiastic. They were not like burned out but they were full of life, because they were full of devotion. And if you are quick then you can just make it from the Govinda Temple (if you walk down fast) where many people are going and all together we are in the Gopinath Mandir. In the Gopinath Mandir it is not old men that lead the kirtan but the old ladies. And they are old that their noses and chins are growing together! But they are dancing like gopis, and it is not difficult to see that only a short amount of time is separating them for the company of the gopis from the spiritual world. This is the nice thing because for the devotees:
‘kālo ’smi kālo ’smi loka-kṣaya-kṛt pravṛddho
lokān samāhartum iha pravṛttaḥ
ṛte ’pi tvāṁ na bhaviṣyanti sarve
ye ’vasthitāḥ pratyanīkeṣu yodhāḥ,’(Bg.11.32) – time I am. I take away everything but not for the devotees.
Because with devotees they gain the time, since all our service accrues in the spiritual bank account, more and more. So as the years are going on and on with the service to Krishna, one gains more and more. Therefore at the end of life one is not losing but one knows that:
‘I’m going to the spiritual world.’
So it’s getting better all the time!