(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 16 May 2013, Simhachalam, Germany, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.7.21)
Transcribed by Jnana-samudra das
So Christianity got rid of all these personal elements in the universe. We see how it became a vehicle of impersonalism and how impersonalism, in this way, gradually has taken over and how now, we again systematically have to begin to think in a personal way, which is difficult. Which brings us back to the topmost level of God consciousness – vaisnavism or personalism.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur states that even Christianity, in its original form, is also there in this personalist category and in that way, we can see that there is a history of personalism. There is a scholar, a devotee named Jan Olof Bengtsson who wrote a book. I forgot the exact title but the topic is the history of personalism in the Western world. He traces out exactly where personalism was existing. It’s a useful book, a little academic but useful; he’s a devotee.
So this personalism was everywhere in the world. But now, it is our business to very thoroughly appreciate it like that. Therefore we are appreciating all the great saintly personalities that have existed in the past – the demigods, the great empowered sons of Brahma, or other great personalities who existed in previous yugas – because it is by these personalities that auspiciousness has been created.
Sometimes, you get these kind of stories that a Buddhist’s stupa is broken somewhere is in the Himalayan mountains and suddenly, all these disasters start to happen in the world. Have you ever heard such stories? I have. Of course, we don’t believe so much in the benefit of Buddhist stupas but definitely we believe in the benefit of devotional service on the planet.
What if there would be no devotees on the planet? Then what would it be like right now? The influence of the devotees is felt. It’s greater than we think. Sometimes we wonder, “What happened to all those books?” I forgot the number but it’s more than 500 million books that have been distributed up to this moment – all over the world. And how many devotees do we have?
Oh no, many people have read these books. Many! There was some advertisement some years ago by Microsoft and we all had this little clip which showed a child taking birth in a hospital. And the child was shooting out of the womb – flying out of the window, flying in the sky and growing, growing! And as he was flying in the sky, there’s the whole changing of bodies diorama going on – like from a baby to a grown up to an old man and at the end, he lands in a grave – crash! That was clearly inspired by Prabhupada’s books – no doubt about it.
One day, you know I walked into a room somewhere and there was a Bhagavad-gita of Sai Baba. So okay, I had a look at it and there were whole passages that were copied from Prabhupada’s Gita – plagiarism!
Really! I mean, exactly the same you know, but, the only difference was that whenever Krsna was saying, “Surrender unto me,” then Sai Baba was saying, “Surrender unto ME!”
I could see that Sai Baba had also read Prabhupada’s books, without a doubt. So, there are a lot of people who’ve read the books and have used them for their own purposes – naturally. They did it to Krsna and they did it to Prabhupada also.
In Bombay, there was a dentist who wrote a commentary to the Bhagavad-gita where Krsna was a dentist and Arjuna was a patient. I mean… what is this… what do you call this? I call it business! That’s all it is. So, the Gita has been used. Krsna’s Gita… Krsna’s words have been used for people’s personal profit and Prabhupada’s words are also everywhere in society and used for people’s personal profit – but still these words act and they penetrate invisibly into all nooks and corners of society.
We can push it forward consciously in many ways but first, we ourselves have to overcome the contamination of impersonalism, the contamination of being Shakta’s, the contamination of being Surya’s, the contamination of being Ganapatya’s, the contamination of being impersonalists and become pure devotees of the Lord!