Written by Nandan
On Sunday morning (15 November), Maharaj led a beautiful Guru Puja in the Panca Tattva building. This was especially auspicious because it was Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance day. Afterwards, most of the devotees headed towards Srila Prabhupada’s gorgeous Samadhi building. It was a grand occasion. The whole Samadhi was decked out with green and saffron garlands. Srila Prabhupada’s deity and the mural of Srila Prabhupada’s life on the ceiling of the dome, looked outstanding. Many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and other senior devotees stood up to give their offerings to Srila Prabhupada and soon thereafter, Maharaj also gave his sweet offering to Srila Prabhupada in front of the assembled vaishnavas.
Maharaj talked about how Srila Prabhupada gave us 64 rounds to chant but the disciples found this difficult so it was reduced to 32 rounds and then with further remonstrations it was finally lowered to 16 rounds. So the fact is, due to Srila Prabhupada’s mercy we are getting the same gift but at a much lower price. By chanting 16 rounds and following the 4 regulative principles, the entire future generation will be able to obtain Srila Prabhupada’s priceless mercy. It is not that the young generation is taking over the power from the elders; they are inheriting the mercy which is flowing down from Srila Prabhupada. And of course Srila Prabhupada always stressed two important aspects: Book distribution and Sridham Mayapur.
Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!
Maharaj was sitting casually on his bed while his disciples were sitting on the floor looking up at him. He was in a pensive mood and speaking quietly and slowly on the subject of humour of all things!! And how nothing compares to the incredible humour that is present in the spiritual world. A devotee mentioned the pastime of how Rupa Goswami was meditating on Krsna pulling a tree with Radharani on it and then letting go of the tree and Radharani just went flying through the sky! Quite cartoon-like if one tries to imagine it. The devotees laughed at this pastime and then Maharaj mentioned how in the spiritual world the gopas get onto the hoods of Kaliya and race against each other!! The way Maharaj described it had all the devotees in raptures.
After a while Maharaj decided to read from ‘Srila Prabhupada Recollections’. The topic was on Srila Prabhupada going to the West and managing to accomplish what the big, big sannyasi disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur could not do. Maharaj gave the example of a person who used rejected pieces of gourd (calabash) to make a veena (an Indian string instrument). Similarly, Srila Prabhupada used the rejected youth of society to establish this movement and learning from history he told his disciples to boldly preach and not just pose in photos with some big men. Intelligent men would appreciate the message, even if they first scoffed at it, just like the Charlie Chaplin film where they initially ridiculed his attire but soon started imitating him due to his sheer boldness.
Maharaj then put his kindle down, looked at us and said to the grhastha devotees that we have to open more temples in the West and turned to the brahmacharis and instructed them to travel and preach. However Maharaj also looked at a few of his grhastha disciples and told them to stay here in Mayapur and then immediately turned to the brahmacharis again saying, “But not you, you have to be in the West and preach up a storm! You only come to the dhamas for pilgrimage, that’s all!”
Maharaj reflected on how Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to spread Krsna consciousness everywhere. Just put a sign outside a centre with Iskcon written on it, people will surely come. By now so many people have had exposure to Iskcon.
Everyone in the room fell silent and just meditated on these words whilst he started thinking out aloud his ‘to do’ list for the next Mayapur development meeting; at one point he even looked at all of us and said that after 2 or 3 months he will be looking to phase out of these managerial duties. And certainly by next year, instead of going to the summer management meeting he intends on going to the Pandava Sena retreat in Goloka Dham, Germany.
HH Kadamba Kanana Maharaj ki Jai!