(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 26 April 2016, Radhadesh, Belgium, Vyasa Puja Address)
We want to manifest the spiritual world here. This is our business together. This is what we are meant to do and everyone is meant to contribute in their own individual way to bring in spiritual elements. Whatever it is, bring in Krsna according to our talents. I appreciated Parividha Prabhu´s contribution this year to the festival. I really did, because it was more than a cultural presentation. I mean, he shared something about his life in a very aesthetical, cultural way with very nice slides and so on. I also liked that play yesterday. It was a big cast, a lot of work went into it and it was serious acting going on. It was good – costumes and everything, a lot of effort! It was nice because:
sādhu-saṅga sādhu-saṅga, sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 22.54)
This verse is a fact, this verse is part of our motto. The association with devotees, all perfection comes from there and let us bring perfection, let us not wait for what the devotees give us but LET US GIVE to the community of devotees. The community of devotees is our wealth. I have mentioned in the past that in the beginning of my spiritual life, I used to think that in the service of Krsna, things had to be proper. It had to be proper, the way Krsna wanted it and it was clearly stated in the scriptures, and sometimes I steamrolled a few devotees along the way. You know what I am saying!? I burnt out a few relationships simply because I did not understand how important the community of devotees is.
You know, there is only a handful of us really in terms of worldwide. The International Society for Krsna Consciousness, and after a while you know them all. It is like a village, I mean we have a big global village. Practically speaking, you don´t know everyone by name but you know so many people by face.
We are a big village. In a way, it is a limited community. It is not the “disposable” society. I have a relationship with you for a while as long as I like it and then, okay next… After a while, a trade-in, disposable relationships! This is so far from a vaisnava community. We have to do it with the vaisnava community, not only passively saying, “Oh, yes, this association with devotees will bring us everything.” No, we must ask ourselves, “What are we bringing to the association of the devotees?” When devotees bring things in the association of others, this really brings so much life. We can appreciate like that. I appreciate that more now than I used to.
If we could somehow or other get to that stage where we no longer just think, “What am I receiving?” but instead see what you can give…
It is just like in India, we have big festivals and we have these big, big offerings to the deities, like 1008 preparations and it is all on tables, in front of the deities. And after the offerings, you see the tables go towards the prasadam hall and some tables go in another direction, into someone´s office or something like that. You see these things and you know exactly where all those tables are going.
Haven´t we all got some maha prasadam and just took it to our room, locked the door and ate it all! That is ecstatic undoubtedly, and sometimes you need to do it, I guess. But then, there comes a point when instead of locking it in your room, you turn around… like in the spirit of that Radha Govinda temple in Jaipur where the residents buy maha prasadam with their money and turn around… and start distributing it to everyone! They give to everyone and this is the tradition. This has been going on for so long now and there is so much service attitude.
I was in the temple in Jaipur and this old lady came up to me and she pulled my cloth. I go, “Hey, I’m a sannyasi! Don´t touch!” And then after a while, she gave me these little binoculars so that I could have a look at the deities. So that is her contribution, that pilgrims get these little binoculars so they can see the deity. These kinds of things – original ideas; it is her idea, it is not in some scripture, it is her idea of how to serve the vaisnavas and that is nice. And I had a close up darshan and I actually saw that Govindaji was wearing a watch because in India, if you do not have a watch you are a nobody…
It was just very nice service, so creative, spontaneous, from the heart! Make an offering to the community of vaisnavas and suddenly we start to feel very closely connected. This is it, it is what we bring in.
Transcribed by Tattvavati dd