(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 15 September 2022, Vrndavana, India, Balarama Hall Program)
The nature of time is that it is constantly passing. Everything comes into being, everything grows, everything flourishes, gives some by-product, dwindles and then ceases to exist. Our meetings are also going through these stages and we are coming to the latter stages of these meetings. So many people are coming to say goodbye to me. I was calculating – say if people come in groups, 200 people come to say goodbye, with 5 minutes per person – that is 1000 minutes alone! That is over 15 hours of non-stop goodbyes. So to those who are leaving, I am saying goodbye to you now. Not because I am cold, not because I have no heart, not because I do not care, but sheer practicality.
Yesterday, I opened the doors to my apartment, and there was a flood. A flood of kindness, a flood of affection. Such exchanges are important and they are very valuable. At the same time, it is gradually coming to a transition that you carry my desires in your heart. My desire is that you really connect with Srila Prabhupada. Here in Vrndavana, Prabhupada is here on his vyasasana with his lions. They look like real lions, I really like them! There are so many nice paintings here and they say so much about Prabhupada’s meditations. So, please connect to Srila Prabhupada here. Vrndavana was one of those temples that had a full set of Srila Prabhupada’s letters before they became widely available on the Internet, Vedabase, etc. But back in the day, this was rare and they were not published anywhere. The archives in Los Angeles had some copies, and a few temples here and there also had them. But here, everyday, a different letter would be on Prabhupada’s desk. To make that connection with Srila Prabhupada and to understand Prabhupada through his letters was being done to manage his worldwide mission. It was a different time with less connectivity. But now we live in an age of connectivity – even on flights, there are airlines that offer these services.
In those days, Srila Prabhupada would send devotees, young people, to open up temples in new countries. Yes, I wish that you all would also open up temples, that would be so nice. If instead of working in an ordinary job, you would just instead go preach and say, yes, we will start and run a temple and through that temple, we will influence thousands of people. That is much more exciting! So how about being part of the great transcendental adventure? In the earlier days, it did not matter whether someone was a bramacari, sanyasi or a grihasta – none of that mattered as everyone was involved in mainstream preaching, in driving the mission. And then things changed and now we have been referred to as a congregational movement where many of the programs we are having are actually for ourselves. There are these nice gatherings with pizzas and cakes and we are meeting one another and it is enlivening for ourselves. And then we invite swamis who are revolutionary, who want to change the world and they want to see that we are somehow or other bringing more people to Krsna consciousness. Some go out on book distributions – when someone writes me a letter and they say that they are going out on book distribution, those are the letters I like to read – those are the fun letters – please send me the scores, give me updates on your sacred street parties or whatever they are called. This spirit of reaching out is great and it is very important. This was important when Srila Prabhupada was here and whatever was important when Srila Prabhupada was here is still important today – we should always understand that. Although times have changed and I appreciate that, but what was important to Srila Prabhupada is timeless and forever relevant. So this is something we should always do – turn to Srila Prabhupada. We should see what he emphasised as the work is not finished – the whole world is not Krsna conscious yet! So we can have nice prasadam and nice kirtan together, but let us also go out and preach as that is what Srila Prabhupada wants from us.
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