19840421 Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya Lila.12.69-135 Cleansing of Gundija Mandir Atlanta
19840421-Caitanya-Caritamrita-Madhya-Lila. 12. 69-135-Cleansing-Literal-Version
The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on April 21st, 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia. The class begins with a reading from the Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter 12, Verse 69-135.
ei-mata mahāprabhu bhakta-gaṇa-saṅge
nirantara krīḍā kare saṅkīrtana-raṅge
Thus Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu acts in the society of his pure devotees performing his pastimes and spreading the sankirtana movement. Some of the prominent devotees like Advaita Ācārya used to invite Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to take His meals at their homes. The Lord accepted such invitations accompanied by His devotees. In this way the Lord passed some days with great jubilation. Then the car festival of Lord Jagannātha approached. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu first of all called for Kāśī Miśra, then for the superintendent of the temple, then for Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. When these three people came before the Lord, He begged them to wash the temple known as Guṇḍicā.
The Guṇḍicā temple is situated two miles northeast of the Jagannātha temple. At the time of the Ratha-yātrā festival, Lord Jagannātha goes to the Guṇḍicā temple from His original temple and stays there for one week. After one week, He returns to His original temple. It is understood by hearsay that the wife of Indradyumna, the King who established the Jagannātha temple, was known as Guṇḍicā. There is also mention of the name of the Guṇḍicā temple in authoritative scripture. The area of the Guṇḍicā temple is estimated to be 288 cubits by 215 cubits. The main temple inside is about 36 cubits by 30 cubits, and the meeting hall is 32 cubits by 30 cubits. Cubit’s about a foot and a half.
paḍichā kahe, — āmi-saba sevaka tomāra
ye tomāra icchā sei kartavya āmāra
Upon hearing the Lord’s request for them to wash the Guṇḍicā temple, the paḍichā, the superintendent of the temple, said, “My dear Sir, we are all Your servants. Whatever Your desire… Whatever You is our duty to perform. The King gave a special order for me to do without delay whatever Your Lordship orders. My dear Lord, washing the temple is not service befitting You. Nonetheless, if You wish to do so, it is to be accepted as one of Your pastimes. To wash the temples you need many waterpots and brooms. Therfore order me, I can immediately bring all these things to you. ” As soon as the superintendent understood the desire of the Lord, he immediately delivered a hundred new waterpots… pots and a hundred brooms for sweeping the temple.
āra dine prabhāte laṣā nija-gaṇa
śrī-haste sabāra aṅge lepilā candana
The next day early in the morning, the Lord, Caitanya mahaprabhu took his personal associates with Him and with His own hand smeared sandalwood pulp on their bodies.
śrī-haste dila sabāre eka eka mārjanī
saba-gaṇa laṣā prabhu calilā āpani
He then gave each devotee a broom with His own hand, and taking all of them personally with Him, the Lord went to Guṇḍicā.
guṇḍicā-mandire gelā karite mārjana
prathame mārjanī laṣā karila śodhana
In this way the Lord and His associates went to cleanse the Guṇḍicā temple. At first they cleansed the temple with the brooms.
bhitara mandira upara, — sakala mājila
siṁhāsana māji’ punaḥ sthāpana karila
The Lord cleansed everything inside the temple very nicely including the ceiling. He then took up the sitting place – simhasana, cleansed it and again put it in its original place.
choṭa-baḍa-mandira kaila mārjana-śodhana
pāche taiche śodhila śrī-jaganamohana
Thus the lord and his companions cleansed and swept all the temple’s buildings, big and small, and finally cleansed the area between the temple and the meeting place. Indeed, hundreds of devotees were engaged in cleansing all around the temple and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was personally carrying out the operation just to instruct others. Sri Caitanya mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the temple in great jubilation, chanting the holy name of lord Krishna all the time. Similarly, all the devotees were also chanting and at the same time performing their respective duties.
premollāse śodhena, layena kṛṣṇa-nāma
bhakta-gaṇa ‘kṛṣṇa’ kahe, kare nija-kāma
dhūli-dhūsara tanu dekhite śobhana
kāhāṅ kāhāṅ aśru-jale kare sammārjana
The entire beautiful body of the Lord was covered with dust and dirt and in this way He became transcendentally beautiful. At times when cleansing the temple the Lord shed tears and in some places he even cleansed with those tears.
After this, the place where the Deity’s food was kept [bhoga-mandira] was cleansed. Then the yard was cleansed, and then all the residential quarters, one after another.
After Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu collected all the straw, dust and grains of sand in one place, He gathered it all in His cloth and threw it outside.
ei-mata bhakta-gaṇa kari’ nija-vāse
tṛṇa, dhūli bāhire phelāya parama hariṣe
Following the example of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu all the devotees in great jubilation began to gather straws and dust with their own cloths and throw them outside the temple.
prabhu kahe, — ke kata kariyācha sammārjana
tṛṇa, dhūli dekhilei jāniba pariśrama
The Lord then told the devotees, “I can tell how much you have labored and how well you have cleansed the temple simply by seeing all the straw and dust you have collected outside. ’’ Even thou all the devotees collected dirt in one pile, the dirt collected by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was much greater. One against a hundred.
ei-mata abhyantara karila mārjana
punaḥ sabākāre dila kariyā vaṇṭana
After the inside of the temple was cleansed the Lord again allotted areas for the devotees to cleanse. The Lord then ordered all the devotees to cleanse the temple very perfectly by taking finer dust, straws and grains of sand and throwing them outside.
saba vaiṣṇava laṣā sabe dui-bāra śodhila
dekhi’ mahāprabhura mane santoṣa ha-ila
After Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all the Vaisnavas cleansed the temple for the second time, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very happy to see the cleansing work.
āra śata jana śata ghaṭe jala bhari’
prathamei laṣā āche kāla apekṣā kari’
While the temple was being swept, about a hundred men stood ready with filled water pots and they simply awaited the Lord’s orders… order to throw water from them.
‘jala āna’ bali’ yabe mahāprabhu kahila
tabe śata ghaṭa āni’ prabhu-āge dila
As soon as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu called for water, all the men immediately brought the hundred water pots which were immediately… which were completely filled and delivered them before the Lord. In this way, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu first washed the main temple and then thoroughly washed the ceiling, the walls, the floor, the sitting place and everything else within the room. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself and His devotees began to throw water onto the ceiling. When this water fell it washed the walls and the floor.
śrī-haste karena siṁhāsanera mārjana
prabhu āge jala āni’ deya bhakta-gaṇa
Then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannātha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.
bhakta-gaṇa kare gṛha-madhya prakṣālana
nija nija haste kare mandira mārjana
All the devotees within the temple began to wash. Each one had a broom in his hand and in this way they cleansed temple of the Lord.
keha jala āni’ deya mahāprabhura kare
deha… keha jala deya tāṅra caraṇa-upare
Someone brought water to pour into the hands of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and someone poured water on His lotus feet.
keha lukāṣā kare sei jala pāna
keha māgi’ laya, keha anyera kare dāna
The water that fell from the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was drunk by someone who hid himself. Someone else begged for that water, and another person was giving that water in charity. After the room was washed the water was let out through an outlet and it then flowed and filled the yard outside.
nija-vastre kaila prabhu gṛha sammārjana
mahāprabhu nija-vastre mājila siṁhāsana
The Lord mopped the room with His own cloths… clothes and He polished the throne with them also. In this way all the rooms were cleansed with a hundred waterpots. After the rooms had been cleansed, the minds of the devotees were as clean as the rooms.
nirmala, śītala, snigdha karila mandire
āpana-hṛdaya yena dharila bāhire
When the temple was cleansed, it was purified, cool and pleasing, just as if the Lord’s own pure mind had appeared. Since hundreds of men were engaged in bringing water from the lake, there was no place to stand on the banks. Consequently someone began to draw water from a well. Hundreds of devotees brought water in the pots and hundreds took the empty pots away to fill them up again.
nityānanda, advaita, svarūpa, bhāratī, purī
iṅhā vinu āra saba āne jala bhari’
With the exception of Nityānanda Prabhu, Advaita Ācārya, Svarūpa Dāmodara, Brahmānanda Bhāratī and Paramānanda Purī, everyone was engaged in filling the waterpots and bringing them there.
ghaṭe ghaṭe ṭheki’ kata ghaṭa bhāṅgi’ gela
śata śata ghaṭa loka tāhāṅ laṣā āila
Many of the waterpots were broken when people collided with one another, and hundreds of men had to bring new waterpots to fill.
jala bhare, ghara dhoya, kare hari-dhvani
‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘hari’ dhvani vinā āra nāhi śuni
Some people were filling in the pot… excuse me, were filling in the pots and others were washing the rooms, but everyone was engaged in chanting the holy name of Krishna and Hari. Chanting the holy name of Hari and Krishna is known as hari-dvani.
‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘kṛṣṇa’ kahi’ kare ghaṭera prārthana
‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘kṛṣṇa’ kahi’ kare ghaṭa samarpaṇa
One person begged for a waterpot by chanting the holy names “krsna, krsna “ and another delivered a pot while chanting “krsna, krsna’’.
yei yei kahe, sei kahe kṛṣṇa-nāme
kṛṣṇa-nāma ha-ila saṅketa saba-kāme
Whenever everyone had to speak, he did so by uttering the holy name of Krsna. Consequently, the holy name of Krsna became an indication for everyone who wanted something … It was the password to get everything done.. you say krsna krsna…
premāveśe prabhu kahe ‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘kṛṣṇa’-nāma
ekale premāveśe kare śata-janera kāma
The word for name in Sanskrit is nama. So Krsna name means Krsna nama.
As Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was vibrating the holy name of Kṛṣṇa in ecstatic love, He Himself was performing the work of hundreds of men.
śata-haste karena yena kṣālana-mārjana
pratijana-pāśe yāi’ karāna śikṣaṇa
It appeared as though Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu were cleansing and washing with hundreds of hands. He approached every devotee just to teach him how to work.
bhāla karma dekhi’ tāre kare prasaṁśana
mane nā milile kare pavitra bhartsana
When He saw someone doing nicely, the Lord praised him, but if He saw that someone was not working to His satisfaction, He immediately chastised that person, not bearing him any grudge.
tumi bhāla kariyācha, śikhāha anyere
ei-mata bhāla karma seho yena kare
The Lord would say, “You have done well. Please teach this to others so that they may act in the same way. ” As soon as they heard Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu say this, everyone became ashamed. Thus they began to work with great attention.
tabe prakṣālana kaila śrī-jagamohana
bhoga-mandira-ādi tabe kaila prakṣālana
They washed the Jagamohana area and then the place where food was kept. All other places were also washed. In this way the meeting place was washed, the entire yard, the raised sitting places, the kitchen and every other room. Mandira…
Thus all places around the temple were thoroughly washed within and without. After everything was thoroughly washed, a Vaiṣṇava from Bengal, who was very intelligent and simple, came and poured water on the lotus feet of the Lord.
sei jala laṣā āpane pāna kaila
tāhā dekhi’ prabhura mane duḥkha roṣa haila
The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava then took that water and drank it himself. Seeing that, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu felt a little unhappy and was also outwardly angry.
yadyapi gosāṣi tāre haṣāche santoṣa
dharma-saṁsthāpana lāgi’ bāhire mahā-roṣa
Although the Lord was certainly satisfied with him, He became angry externally in order to establish the etiquette of religious principles. The Lord then called for Svarūpa Dāmodara and told him, “Just see the behavior of your Bengali Vaiṣṇava!
īśvara-mandire mora pada dhoyāila
sei jala āpani laṣā pāna kaila
“This person from Bengal has washed My feet within the temple of the Personality of Godhead. Not only that, but he has drunk the water himself. I now do not know what My destination is because of this offense. Indeed, your Bengali Vaiṣṇava has greatly implicated Me.”
tabe svarūpa gosāṣi tāra ghāḍe hāta diyā
ḍhekā māri’ purīra bāhira rākhilena laṣā
At this point Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī caught the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava by the neck and, giving him a little push, ejected him from the Guṇḍicā Purī temple and made him stay outside. After Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī returned within the temple, he requested Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to excuse that innocent person.
tabe mahāprabhura mane santoṣa ha-ila
sāri kari’ dui pāśe sabāre vasāilā
After this incident, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very satisfied. He then asked all of the devotees to sit down in two lines on both sides.
āpane vasiyā mājhe, āpanāra hāte
tṛṇa, kāṅkara, kuṭā lāgilā kuḍāite
The Lord then personally sat down in the middle and picked up all kinds of straw, grains of sand and dirty things. While Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was picking up the straws and grains of sand, He said, “I shall gather everyone’s collection, and I shall ask whoever has collected less than all the others to pay a fine of sweet cakes and sweet rice. ” In this way all the quarters of the Guṇḍicā temple were completely cleansed and cleared. All quarters were cool and spotless, like one’s cleansed and pacified mind. When the water from the different rooms was finally let out through the halls, it appeared as if new rivers were rushing out to meet the waters of the ocean.
ei-mata puradvāra-āge patha yata
sakala śodhila, tāhā ke varṇibe kata
Outside the gateway of the temple, all the roads were also cleansed, and no one could tell exactly how this was done.
In commenting on the cleansing of the Guṇḍicā temple, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, as the world leader, was personally giving instructions on how one should receive Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within one’s cleansed and pacified heart. If one wants to see Kṛṣṇa seated in his heart, he must first cleanse the heart, as prescribed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in His Śikṣāṣṭaka: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. In this age, everyone’s heart is unclean, as confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi. To wash away all dirty things accumulated within the heart, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised everyone to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The first result will be that the heart is cleansed (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam). Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1. 2. 17) confirms this statement:
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti suhṛt satām
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”
In other words here, Prabhupada is explaining Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura’s explanation on how we receive Krishna with our pure and pacified heart and how our heart is cleansed, now this is also being explained: By chanting the hare Krishna maha mantra, by hearing and relishing His messages.
He goes on:
If a devotee at all wants to cleanse his heart, he must chant and hear the glories of the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa (śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ). This is a simple process. Kṛṣṇa Himself will help cleanse the heart because He is already seated there. Kṛṣṇa wants to continue living within the heart, and He wants to give directions, but one has to keep his heart as clean as Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu kept the Guṇḍicā temple. The devotee therefore has to cleanse his heart just as the Lord cleansed the Guṇḍicā temple. In this way one can be pacified and enriched in devotional service. If the heart is filled with straw, grains of sand, weeds or dust (in other words, anyābhilāṣa-pūrṇa)… anyābhilāṣa-pūrṇa means filled with so many other materialistic desires.
… one cannot enthrone the Supreme Personality of Godhead there. The heart must be cleansed of all material motives brought about through fruitive work, speculative knowledge, the mystic yoga system and so many other forms of so-called meditation. The heart must be cleansed without ulterior motive. As Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jṣāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam. In other words, there should be… not be any external motive. One should not attempt material upliftment, understanding the Supreme by speculative knowledge, fruitive activity, severe austerity and penance, and so on. All these activities are against the natural growth of spontaneous love of Godhead. As soon as these are present within the heart, the heart should be understood to be unclean and therefore unfit to serve as Kṛṣṇa’s sitting place. We cannot perceive the Lord’s presence in our hearts unless our hearts are cleansed.
Just like in the temple, before we install the Deity, we put this… the throne, we cleanse it. Then after everything is clean, we invite the Lord to sit there. Similarly we can’t expect Krishna to sit in our heart, to give us advice, to be our constant companion in the highest spiritual sense when we are keeping our heart filled with other material motives and trying to satisfy Krishna. As long as the other motives are there, the heart is unclean and as long as the heart is unclean we won’t be able to perceive Krishna sitting there. As long as we are not able to perceive Krishna sitting in our heart, we won’t feel satisfied and happy to the maximum through devotional service. So the most important thing is to keep the heart clean and bring Krishna into the heart and from there everything progresses. So the purport continues…
Just like a fog, even though Krishna may be in the heart, even though He’s in the heart… like the sun, but due to the presence of fog sometimes you can’t see the sun. Even though Krishna is there, there’s a fog and we have to cleanse that fog away, blow it away or just like Lord Caitanya gives the example – Krishna is there but you see Him in the mirror of consciousness and unless the consciousness is cleansed like th dust being wiped off the mirror, then the mirror will not act properly, you won’t be able to see things, see Krishna as He is.
In other words, a material desire is explained as a desire to enjoy the material world to its fullest extent. In modern language, this is called economic development. An inordinate desire for economic development is considered to be like straws and grains of sand within the heart. If one is overly engaged in material activity, the heart will always remain disturbed. As stated in Na… by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura:
saṁsāra viṣānale, divā-niśi hiyā jvale,
jurāite nā kainu upāya
In other words, endeavor for material opulence is against the principle of devotional service. Material enjoyment includes activities such as great sacrifices for auspicious activity, charity, austerity, elevation to the higher planetary systems, and even living happily within the material world. Endeavor for material opulence against the principle of devotional service. Material enjoyment includes activities such as great sacrifices for auspicious activity, charity, austerity, elevation to the higher planetary systems, and even living happily within the material world. These are all endeavors for material opulence against the principle of devotional service.
Some of them, people might think are actually spiritual – giving charity, elevation to higher planetary system, austerity in themselves are – even great sacrifices for auspicious activity or just living happily in the material world … someone who wants to live happily in this material world or someone who wants to do great sacrifices for uh, their religious upliftment – this is all a desire to enjoy the material world which is an obstacle to our advancement in devotional service.
Actually to advance in devotional service, we shouldn’t be concerned with living happily in the material world or not. We should be concerned with advancing in Krishna consciousness, with pleasing Krishna. Just like Sudama Vipra – his wife used to always encourage him that “You… Why don’t you go to Krishna. He is so rich. We are living in abdate poverty. You could go to Krishna and get some money from so that we could be rich and wealthy. We wouldn’t have any problem. He is your school friend, your dear friend. You always tell me how friendly you are with Krishna, you were schoolmates together. Here we’re suffering – I don’t have a new sari, and I don’t have proper bangles, we don’t go out anywhere. Nothing. We’re just practically… you just go as a brahmana and get a few alms and we’re hardly able to pull on.” Just like nagging every day, every day... well finally he said “Alright, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go.” He surrendered to his wife.
But, he had nothing, said, “I have to bring something to Krishna. What to bring?” And they had nothing. They were so poor. So then he went to the neighbors and he begged some chipped rice, some chira. Like we have here our chira dahi festival, then he went to see Krishna, his friend. But then he thought, “I can’t ask Krishna for anything, but anyway, I can’t stay in my house. My wife won’t let me live without going to see, and I won’t ask Him for anything, but at least I get the opportunity of seeing Him. So then he went of course and many of you probably know the story, how when he came, immediately all the gate guards, everyone they sent a message up and Krishna immediately had him brought in, sat him down on His own elevated seat, and uh… personally, because Krishna was playing the role as a Ksatriya and Sudama Vipra was pla… of course, as a brahmana. So the ksatriya worships the brahmanas as the spiritual masters of society.
Traditionally, the brahmanas, they live uh, very simply, very plainly being independent of so many material entanglements. So that it’s very easy for them to go back to Godhead. They don’t have all the material desires. That is why Lord Caitanya refused to see King Prataparudra. He said “He’s a king. He’s a materialist. He has so much wealth, power, politics, women etc. I won’t see him, he’s a materialist.’’ Although he was actually a devotee. But just to set a certain standard, he was very much against seeing these uh, worldly people. Of course later he did see King Prataparudra when he had to go in disguise as a devotee to see Lord Caitanya. He wouldn’t see him as an opulent materialist. He had to come as a humble Vaisnava. Many cases like that. Anyway that’s another area. So of course, here, Vipra Sudama was going to see Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead while He was here on the earth playing a pastime as a king. So that time Lord Krishna personally bathed the feet of Vipra Sudama and the Goddess of Fortune, Rukmini with her own hands, she was fanning him with a camara fan. In this way they were greeting him with sweet words, they were washing his feet. They were… He was overwhelmed. They sat him down on their own couch in their resting place and he just couldn’t believe it, and then Krishna says, “What’s this?” He saw he had a little package there. He said, “You brought something for Me?”
He said, “No, no!” He said, “How can I offer this?”
He said “No no! I know you brought this for Me. What is it?” by force He took it, “My dear friend, what you have brought Me?” Then He opened it up and saw, here is some chira. He said “Oh! For Me? So kind of you.” and He took one bite.
And he said, “No don’t take it. This is not suitable for You.”
“No no, this is wonderful!” He took another bite, and He was going to take a third bite when, (smack sound) Rukmini put her hand on his hand and said that “My Lord, If you take three bites, I’ll be in great trouble.’’ She explained that it is not his own. He had to go out and to beg it from someone.” Said, “The Goddess of Fortune, she always reciprocates to anyone who offers anything to the Lord.” Said, “By You taking the offering once, I have to give him all the opulence. By You taking it twice, I have… of the material world… By twice, I have to give him equal to Yourself. But third… If You take it the third time, then since he took it from someone else, then I have to give Him more opulence than You have, and that’s not possible.” So twice is enough. (laughter) So of course when Vipra Sudama came back to his house, it was transformed into a big palace and everything. His wife was very happy, she had all the facility, but he used it all for Krishna’s service. So sometimes Krishna gives opulence to his devotee, and sometimes he keeps the devotee in a difficult situation. That’s also a purification. Sometimes that difficult situation may be just what the devotee needs to go back to Godhead. There’re so many devotees who don’t go back to Godhead, who only get up to the heavenly planets because they were hankering for a comfortable material life, and when they die, that’s just what they get. They go to Indraloka or Satyaloka or Gandharvaloka and they stay there and again they come back down. Or if they are lucky, they can from there, gradually go up from there but it is a… Once you take birth in heavenly planet you are missing Lord Caitanya’s movement for those up there because lifetime there is thousands and thousands of years, and this movement is only for a short time: 10,000 years. So in this lifetime if we can focus our attention on getting the mercy of Lord uh, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates then we can actually finish up all of our business of this material world and go back home back to Godhead. We can get pure devotional service. Just by trying to do whatever is going to be more pleasing uh, Nitai Gaura.
So Bhaktisiddhanta continues… or Srila Prabhupad continues to quote Bhaktisiddhanta
Modernized material benefits are like the dust of material contamination. When this dust is agitated by the whirlwind of fruitive activity, it overcomes the heart. Thus the mirror of the heart is covered with dust. There are many desires to perform auspicious and inauspicious activities, but people do not know how life after life they are keeping their hearts unclean. One who cannot give up the desire for fruitive activity is understood to be covered by the dust of material contamination. Karmīs generally think that the interaction of fruitive activities can be counteracted by another karma, or fruitive activity. This is certainly a mistaken conception. If one is deluded by such a conception, he is cheated by his own activity. Such activities have been compared to an elephant’s bathing. An elephant may bathe very thoroughly, but as soon as it comes out of the river, it immediately takes some sand from the land and throws it all over its body. If one suffers due to his past fruitive activities, he cannot counteract his suffering by performing auspicious activities. The sufferings of human society cannot be counteracted by material plans. The only way suffering can be mitigated is by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord — beginning with chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord — the cleansing of the heart begins.
Very wonderful purport. You see there are many desires to perform auspicious and inauspicious activities. I guess in the West we always focus more on the inauspicious activities because they’re so prominent. Although certainly there are… But in India it’s a… it’s actually a Maya, that like it’s an auspicious activity you serve your mother and father, I guess that’s here also, but not so much… or it’s an auspicious activity to do a certain type of… fruitive type of uh, sacrifices and things. So in India you’ll find many people they think, “Well, I can’t render devotional service because I have to do this type of auspicious activity and it would be offensive for me not to do it.” They don’t realize that more important than a ritualistic auspicious activity is directly to engage in devotional service, and all over the world the inauspicious activities, those also pull people. Eating meat, fish, egg, intoxication, illicit sex, gambling and so on. So, these are of course, the distractions and they keep our hearts unclean.
Just like in India, the people, some of the big businessmen, they’ll… they I mean, the level of cheating there, of course, here it’s the same, except I haven’t been here so I don’t know all the examples, but here it is more subtle. Just like I was in Chicago at night, and I heard all these pumps running. I said, “What’s that?”
They said, “Well it’s against the law to dump the industrial waste into the… Lake Michigan, but at night, they all do it and bribe the… the inspectors, and that way, save more money than the normal legal way of filtering it, and so on. Or like in India, you buy… they found that the ghee company and the soap company were right next door to each other. So what they were doing is, to make soap you need tallow. You know what tallow is? It’s animal fat, cow, pig and so on, and of course ghee is the bonafide animal fat. But somehow when they tested the samples of ghee in the market they found that every one of them had animal fat in it. Even the vegetable ghee have… the vanaspati, especially, not in the ghee, but in this imitation ghee called vanaspati from just like hydrogenated vegetable oil that they make it to be similar to ghee, dalda or vanaspati, and it all had animal fat and it is supposed to be vegetable ghee, and they found that they were taking from the soap factory, the uh, tallow, the fat and then cutting… because that’s very cheap in India. They were cutting that in the soap.
Even in Mayapur, we had to test every sample we were buying from the market at that time. Two samples we found, before we used them, we found that they had animal fat in them. Sweet shops, sometimes we use that vegetable for the public, the Deities, we just use Australian ghee. So that type… So what these rich men do is… after they do things like that which is completely sinful, cheating, then they think, “Well, I’ll open up a hospital. I’ll open up a school. I’m just gonna counteract it.” But it doesn’t work that way. If you do a pious activity, you’ll get a pious result. If we do a sinful activity, you get a sinful result, but they don’t… they don’t negate each other – you… you have to get that many hits, you have to get that many bonus, but they don’t counteract each other.
The only way of actually counteracting sinful reactions is by Krishna Consciousness. You accrue more karma, then you are just adding more to the wheel of karma, plus or minus but the wheel is still spinning. You don’t actually reduce. All you’re doing… instead of doing something… already did something, you added a plus, but you… you get to suffer your sinful reactions after enjoying your good reactions. That’s the one benefit you are given. But sooner or later you have to suffer those. But only by devotional service is actually this uh, material suffering counteracted or mitigated. Of course mostly people, they don’t understand the difference between the ordinary fruitive charity or auspicious activity compared to devotional service. That actually awakening someone up spiritually, serving the Deity of Krishna, that that’s on a different category. That’s on a transcendental level, while just a material auspicious activity, that just being material, it only has a limited effect, so it doesn’t actually negate one’s sinful activities.
It is a very long purport. Let me just pick out some of the essential points here. Although this is one of the most… I think I just read it. Well it goes here into impersonal speculations, compares impersonal speculation, mystic yoga and meditation to grains of sand that irritate the heart. So that makes also difficult for Krishna to sit in the heart. Even sometimes the yogis and jnanis that take to chanting Hare Krishna, but because they think that they have already got liberated or something, they just stop chanting. They don’t understand that the ultimate goal is to realize Krishna.
So in the Gita it says,
tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān saṁsāreṣu narādhamān
kṣipāmy ajasram aśubhān āsurīṣv eva yoniṣu
“Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life. ” So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has shown us that all the grains of sand must be picked up thoroughly and thrown outside. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also cleansed the outside of the temple, fearing that the grains of sand would again come within.
Not only cleaning the own consciuosness but even cleaning the environment around, that you are living in so that your association otherwise is good, pure Krishna Consciousness, so that again, those dirts don’t come in. Someone may oneself be uh, cleansing the heart and advancing in Krishna Consciousness, but then again, if you intimately associate with people who are not cleansed or interested in being cleansed, then the danger is that you can also become again… that dirt can again come back inside, so we have to be very careful that… it says not to associate with non-devotees.
That means of course, not just to intimately chit-chat with non-devotees because they can’t help but uh, just talk a bunch of nonsense and that can disturb the mind. We try to keep our talks to devotional preachings, discussion or practical services, and all the gossiping, what-not, useless discussions of the material world and useless association which are tending to just, rather bring again dirt back into the mind, you avoid those as far as possible.
So then Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes a subtle desire for fruitive activity comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. But the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kuṭi-nāṭi (faultfinding) and pratiṣṭhāśā (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jīva-hiṁsā (envy of other living entities), niṣiddhācāra (accepting things forbidden in the śāstra), kāma (desires for material gain) and pūjā (hankering for popularity). The word kuṭi-nāṭi means “duplicity. ” As an example of one may attempt to imitate Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura by living in a solitary place. One’s real desire may be for name and fame — in other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridāsa Ṭhākura just because one lives in a solitary place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires: women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatāra (incarnation).
I think we have seen this many times, even someone gave up the desire for fruitive activity with some devotee but then somehow, just through the habit of acting fruitively, acting and seeing some direct profit for what you are doing, that’s a very strong attachment, especially in the West. Everyone wants to see a result of what they are doing and just doing devotional service for the pleasure of Krishna and not often seeing immediate result, it is against the nature of the Westerners. They want to see results. But of course, sometimes Krishna doesn’t give immediate results. Sometimes the results are long in coming, and sometimes Krishna gives an immediate result. It’s not always… It is up to Krishna ultimately but it is our duty to serve Krishna and it is His duty to give us the results.
We have to just continually try but that the desire for working and seeing a result for our work, that’s a very subtle fruitive desire, and of course, in devotional service, when the spiritual master or the devotees give us a certain goal to achieve through our service, a certain result as the goal, of course, we try to achieve that depending upon Krishna, but, when sometimes someone wants to leave devotional service, and engage in some kind of a business or something with the idea that “Well, I’ll do the business for X amount of time, and when I amass my fortune, then I’ll give the money to Krishna.” then what happens is of course that this can develop into misunderstanding. One starts to act in a fruitive way and then they become critical of the devotees who are rendering steady devotional service, or they fall down in one way or another or get any of these things that Prabhupada explained here. Accepting things not prescribed in the sastra – desire for material gain, hankering for popularity and so on. So it’s a very uh, delicate… delicate line… is that someone wants to uh, engage in some service, some activity which is ultimately to promote devotional service, but if that activity itself is not devotional service, if it is a post-dated check, the danger’s that contamination can set in. It’s a very practical… and we’ve seen it people say, “Well I’m going to practice outside…” and you see their devotional service goes way down, very hard for them to maintain outside the association… when they go outside especially is very difficult, and there are many other circumstances and applications.
So… of course, Prabhupada explains jivahimsa, that if you don’t preach, that if you just sit down, that’s also a type of violence. So, he says here to give us practical instructions, Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu cleansed the temple twice. His second cleansing was more thorough. The idea was to throw away all the stumbling blocks on the path of devotional service. He cleansed the temple with firm conviction, as is evident from His using His own personal garments for cleaning. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to see personally that the temple was thoroughly cleansed as clean as marble. Clean marble gives a cooling effect. Devotional service means attaining peace from all disturbances caused by material contamination. In other words, it is the process by which the mind is cooled. The mind can be peaceful and thoroughly cleansed when one no longer desires anything but devotional service. Even though all dirty things may be cleansed away, sometimes subtle desires remain in the mind for impersonalism, monism, success and the four principles of religious activity (dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa). All these are like spots on clean cloth. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also wanted to cleans… to cleanse all these away.
In other words the entire cleansing of the gundica temple is a practical example of cleansing our heart to prepare for Krishna coming. First Lord Caitanya took big branches and this is used for only seven days a year and in one year it just became overgrown. So, so many leaves, branches and twigs have blown in from the… cause it’s a beautiful garden, and then there is a temple in the garden and naturally things would blow inside. So first is to clean up all the rubbish and things that are in there just like a person in a… we have the gross desires. Breaking regulative principles, gross fruitive desires… these, just like very obvious. So first thing is to cleanse those things out. But that’s just… just… that’s just the beginning. That’s just one… then you come back. Then they swept, just like you clean your… first before you can sweep you’ve got to pick out the branches, and the twigs and the pieces of stone and you can’t sweep with all these big things there. You cl… that out. Pick it up, throw it out then you can sweep all the dust, small little pieces of sand, light leaves: Things like that.
The second cleansing is there. So that means that, alright, after you get the principal material desires out, then you have to… all the little stumbling blocks… then after that, then again Lord Caitanya took water and thoroughly washed everything a third time and it was very clean, right? Completely cleaning our even these fine desires, and then after that He came in with His nails. Then He picked out the cracks that if there is any hint, any hidden little in the crevasses, any little subtle hidden desire that hasn’t even shown it’s face yet, but it still might be ready to come up, some… He cleaned that out, and washed it. So, Prabhupada says that:
By His practical activity, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu informed us how to cleanse our hearts. Once the heart is cleansed, we should invite Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa to sit down, and we should observe the festival by distributing prasādam and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.
So how do you distribute prasadam when Krishna’s sitting in your heart? So, you have to distribute it, internally. (laughter) Only eat prasada, and chant Hare Krishna. Don’t bring in non-prasada into the… Because Krishna’s in the heart you see.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to teach every devotee by His personal behavior. Everyone who spreads the cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepts a similar responsibility.
When Prabhupada uses the word cult in India, cult’s not considered a bad word, in the dictionary it’s not a bad word, but here now it just means a religious movement.
The Lord was personally chastising and praising individuals in the course of the cleaning, and those who are engaged as ācāryas must learn from Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu how to train devotees by personal example. Actually we can see that praise and some criticism is given. This is of course, as it’s said without any grudge. Without any… what was… was… I remember… It wasn’t grudge, but without…
Reply: Without bearing a grudge.
Jayapataka Swami: Without bearing a grudge, right. In other words, it’s not like a personal… like something you’d say, you’re against someone personally and you make a criticism, that’s like… uh, it’s different, you know. It’s like a personal vendetta or something. It’s not like that. Just for the sake of doing the service. Sometimes, someone, you want to encourage them, you say, “You did a good job.” And then if someone’s… could do better, you say, “Well you’re not doing as good as you could.” And it’s not a personal thing. It’s uh… it’s the duty of the acarya and of anyone representing the acarya. In Prabhupada’s presence, he would have the GBCs and Temple Presidents praise and chastise the people in their uh, zones or temples. This was uh, their duty.
In fact, Prabhupada used to come by and… and when he was in Mayapur for two months every fall, he would inspect, and he would personally praise and chastise everybody. He would like take over as a temple president and show us how to do it for like two months practically, and then uh, he’d say, “Who’s in charge of the garden? Why is this 1 foot square unplanted? Why you are wasting Krishna’s land?” Or he’d be walking and the water would be dripping, and he said, “Who left the tap on? Who is that nonsense!?” or he’d go in and, with his cane, kick open the bathroom door and someone didn’t flush the toilet, and there was just one visiting acarya there, one visi… of course, he wasn’t acarya then, but now… later he was, but he was visiting GBC. He turned to him and he said, “How can you tolerate this?” (laughter) He was completely dumbfounded. He said, “Look at this. How are you allowing this?” It’s not his fault. He’s just visiting. He says… he says, “And you call yourself a brahmana? Brahmana means that wherever he is, around it must be clean, so if you’re a brahmana, then you will not be able to tolerate any uncleanliness, wherever you are.” I think he got him because we were getting a little bit of the mercy, and he was grinning. (laughter) So he… you have to be in the proper mood of receiving the mercy when it’s given by the guru or acarya. It’s very important to take it in a humble… and if someone else happens to be getting the mercy, you shouldn’t think it’s not meant for you also. It’s meant for everyone to take the lesson. So that was Prabhupada’s also, but also, he would praise. If someone did good, he would say, “Oh, this is very nice. Krishna has inspired.” If it was a very well cooked prasada, he’d say, “Radharani has… I think Radharani has cooked through the devotee.” So many wonderful praises would be given.
So here are the last few sentences:
The Lord was very pleased with those who could cleanse the temple by taking out undesirable things accumulated within. This is called anartha-nivṛtti, cleansing the heart of all unwanted things. Thus the cleansing of the Guṇḍicā-mandira was conducted by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to let us know how the heart should be cleansed and soothed to receive Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and enable Him to sit within the heart without disturbance.
This is the actual secret to having our heart soothed. To have the heart pacified… heart means the mind. It’s connected to the heart of course, to have the heart and mind completely soothed, pacified, satisfied, we have to have Krishna sitting there. Otherwise we can wander throughout the three worlds, even the Brahma is not satisfied unless he has Krishna sitting in his heart. Our Brahma is fortunate to have Krishna sitting in his heart most of the time. At least now, he definitely does, and after a certain point he did. But in… even to be a very powerful person, whatever, even a demigod, without being a devotee, without having Krishna in your heart, the mind, heart won’t be peaceful.
So how you can bring Krishna? Then you have to cleanse the heart, then bring in Krishna and then you’ll become pacified. That’s the only solution. There’s no other solution which is permanent, which is complete.
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
Jaya Srila Prabhupada ki,
Jayapataka Swami: Jaya Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura ki,
Jayapataka Swami: Jaya Gundica Marjana ki,
Jayapataka Swami: Any questions before the slide-show?
Bhakta John, what do you think?
Bhakta John: Relishing.
Jayapataka Swami: Some idea how to cleanse the heart?
Bhakta John: Lock the temple.
Jayapataka Swami: Actually in Mayapura, Prabhupada would tell the devotees, “Cleansing the temple, it’s just like cleansing your heart.” He told the devotees, “The temple, it doesn’t mean, just the temple room, but the grounds, the toilets, the… everything. Everything that is the property of Krishna.
Comment: So we have a lot of weeds.
Jayapataka Swami: Your lawn here is…
Question: Sometimes when I’m cleaning up, I feel like it’s um, material energy, too. You know, like I know I’m cleaning up the grounds, and the room, but is it always devotional service, and it’s always cleansing the heart, even though, I’m getting a little nit-picky.
Jayapataka Swami: The service is spiritual, but you should see it that way. If… Krishna is known as bhava grahi Janardana. He accepts the mood of the devotee. If you think, “Awe, this is… I’m cleaning some dirt…” Then you’re… Krishna’s accepting your mood of service. If you take the mood that, “I’m serving as a very menial maid-servant of Lord Krishna, cleaning His temple, and for His pleasure, and this is cleaning my heart…” You should think like that. Actually, the fact is cleaning your heart, but if you also think that way, that will make your service more effective.
Chanting Hare Krishna doesn’t require any mental adjustment. Just chant Hare Krishna, and think of the vibration. But service is more effective if you have a mental adjustment. It shouldn’t be artificial, but it should be based on knowledge and on realization. But while service… if one is serving… his service can also be in an offensive way, in a clearing way, and in an offenseless way. So if a person’s, “Oh, I’m doing this for Krishna, but I hate it, and just I…” You know, well that might be a little offensive, but still it’s good to do the service. Still it’s cleansing, no doubt, but if one does it, “Alright, I would never do this ordinarily, but I’m doing this. It’s only for you Krishna, and for your pleasure, and I hope…” You know, well then it’s, you know, in the clearing stage. Then when you’re seeing actually… or even offeseless stage.
So, like this we try in every activity of course, we should… if we can’t frame our mind, or if it’s not naturally framed in the right attitude, then we should chant as they did. Through all the work, they just chanted. So, they don’t have to worry. Just chant, “Krishna Krishna.” Is that alright?
Reply: Mhm. Thank you.
Question: Uh, generally speaking, in our ISKCON temples, we worship Lord Caitanya very very opulently, sometimes in a similar way as Radha-Krishna, you know, different types of dress and jewelry, so is it improper to think of Lord Caitanya in the worship, in His activity as sannyasa for the renounced aspect?
Jayapataka Swami: Is it improper to think of Lord Caitanya as a sannyasi?
Reply: Yeah, in the worship.
Jayapataka Swami: In the worship. Well, it’s not improper to think of Lord Caitanya as His pastime as a sannyasi, but in the worship you see, that sannyasi uh, pastime is very painful for the devotee, you see. I mean, this is a difference of course in the sentiment of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, or the pure devotees of Krishna that they’re very expert in uh, rasa, in the mellows of devotion, and their complete attitude is to give pleasure to the Lord. That’s called love: to want to serve the person you love. Offering voluntary service and opening your mind and offering foodstuff and so on. Wanting to please the other person, that’s love. Wanting to please yourself, that’s called selfishness.
So, when you’re trying to see the object of your love pleased or happy or comfortable and so on, so then the idea of Lord Caitanya shaving his head, and just wearing one cloth and doing all this type of austerity is just unbearable for His devotees. That He’s taking on an austerity. Just kind of… then compare that with… we were discussing something today about, you know, bathing in the blood, and that we can never be pure. Jesus died for our sins and everything, and just meditating on that, I mean, it’s inconcei… I mean the gopis, when they thought of Krishna walking barefoot in the forest, that maybe the little pebbles are hurting His feet, they were just crying and weeping, and they just couldn’t… any kind of inconvenience to Krishna was unbearable for them.
And for a true… I mean, that’s why Srila Prabhupada, he said, “Well, why not stress uh, Lord Jesus’ childhood?” You saw so many compassionate pastimes, I mean he’s a great preacher. I mean, how can you meditate on your… if you… someone you love… like you… like… you know, just like um, your father or something was killed in Nuremburg, would you remember the picture of him, you know like, just before the gas chamber or something? Thin… I mean… just… you know, you’d go crazy. I mean, if you actually loved them, you’d want to remember him, you know, how he was your father, and you just… you know, it’s practically… it’s like an unusual uh, situation. It’s very, uh you see, rasa-bhasa. It’s like a strange mixture of sentiments.
It’s a little bit off of tuning by the standard of… loving devotional service is expressed by uh, the uh, Brahma-Gaudiya-Vaisnava tradition, so for that reason, although, I mean there is a real and factual pastime he had, and naturally we do meditate on that, and it does make us certainly feel obliged to him, just as naturally we see that Lord Jesus, he also went through this great austerity to deliver his followers, and Haridasa Thakura went through that great austerity of being beaten in twenty-one marketplaces to preach the holy name and there are so many examples like that, even of devotees who are going out preaching now and they get arrested sometimes, tortured, insulted and so many difficulties are there just to push on the missionary work. But um, though we… we uh, discuss those things, but normally we don’t reproduce the visuals much because it’s uh, very upsetting.
I mean, we do that, if you want to rile somebody up, or something, get them very upset. Devotees are very soft-hearted, so they don’t normally worship the Lord in that kind of austere mood. They want to see the Lord in His Navadvipa pastime, when He was like a young prince. When He would go with… and He was uh, the um… he was the leader of the sankirtana movement, and He was very… hundreds of thousands of people following him, and it’s just, you know more natural mood and that he artificially took on… or it seems almost artificiall when He took on this au… this austerity for the purpose of preaching Krishna consciousness. Just hard for the uh, devotees to see that, and meditate on that. It’s… it just brings their heart into like a type of melancholy, a feeling which is… of course, in some sects, they like to produce that kind of a mood, but Lord Caitanya recommended that we should rather come in the mood of like a daily festival.
We should, you know, be in a more positive mood, where we should see the Lord in His transcendental position as the enjoyer, as the all-blissful, and that’s why we worship Lord Caitanya in His Navadvipa mood. We worship Him just in the mood that Advaitacarya and worshiped him in the maha-prakasa, when He was uh, Lord Caitanya and He revealed Himself that He was actually Krishna come as Lord Caitanya for twenty-one hours. Because otherwise, you can’t put… you couldn’t put a tulasi on Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet. He wouldn’t allow it. He’s in the mood of devotee, but that’s why we sing kiba jaya jaya gauracandera aratika sobha, when Brahma and all the demigods were doing arati, that time when on the plea of Advaita and other devotees, they more or less uh, were able to induce Him to, out of His causeless mercy to reveal His full glory, His actual position for twenty-one hours, and then after that, it was very rarely shown.
These are very high, subtle… ultimately one has to understand the mellows and flavors of devotional service to get into the higher realms, to be able to distinguish between like compatible, emotional relationship, and incompatible. Conjugal love and parental love are incompatible, while conjugal and friendship, they’re sometimes compatible. It’s like that, there are certain compatibilities, certain incompatibilities.
Any other question?
On with the show? Saturday night movies? Late Late Show?
Devotee 1: Lights
Devotee 2: Camera
Devotee 1: Action.
Jayapataka Swami: Did… Was there any…
…and went to New York? I flew to London, reached there the 10th morning, caught the flight on the 10th night, and reached Cal… or no. I was actually… I think I stayed over… anyway, it was 10th night. I reached, the 12th morning. Somehow, anyway, I reached the 12th, morning in Bombay. Then, I couldn’t get a flight out. Somehow, I missed the flight, so we had to pull every string in the book and without any reservation, fly through three different cities, and then just somehow or another, get on the connecting flight, but dropping these 20 people off their waiting list, in each place, but we just got the duty officer to give us the boarding pass ahead of everybody. You can do things like that in India because it’s not mechanized yet.
And we got, just that morning to Madras for the ratha-yatra. The 13th of January. This is in Madras, the 2d annual ratha-yatra festival. During the occasion of pungal, which is the Christmas, like uh, biggest celebration in the State of Tamil Nadu. It’s in South India on the Bay of Bengal. Lord Caitanya visited the… Madras, or the city, went by it. It’s got… ancient temple there of Krishna dating back, thousands of years, but they never had Jagannatha ratha-yatra there, which is normally a North Indian festival, so, they actually came out. Pretty good crowd. Pretty… many thousands of people were following along.
It was advertised well in advance. Everybody lined up along the street just to see, and many people came along. For them, the Madrasis, it was a new… they have a lot of caste-conscious uh, rivalry between Brahmanas and Sudras. You hear stories. One time the politicians forced the Brahmanas to leave one temple, and all the sweepers to go in the temple to do the puja. After the sweepers were doing the puja for two days, “Who can stay in this hot Deity room?” Sweaty. No ventilation. Just sitting here with the smell of camphor and incense. “We want to go out, sweep the…” You know what. So then, they put the Brahmanas back in, said, “Alright.” (imitates sweeping sound) (laughter)
Here, this festival is something where Brahmanas, Sudras, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, anybody, they can all come along and pull the ratha cart, so… Communists, Capitalists, everyone, so it’s uh, very popular. Since uh… I mean, Calcutta has that mad frenzy because everybody knows what ratha-yatra is, and they’re killing each other to try to pull the cart. Here, they have ratha-yatra of a different form. But this Jagannatha ratha-yatra, they’re not fully used to yet, so they do come up and pull the cart, but uh…
This is the Sheriff of Madras. She’s uh, bigger than the… bigger than the Mayor. She’s like the sheriff of the county of Madras. So what happened was that the Mayor… there’s no Mayor because the municipality was prorogued, whatever they call it. It was squashed by the government. She’s acting mayor, plus bigger than the mayor, both. So, she came, and she gave a very nice talk, saying how they were very appreciative of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness for bringing… That’s me actually, sitting next to her, yeah. Sitting… bringing the culture of Jagannatha, which very few Madrasis could go up to Puri to see, bringing it down to… and Krishna consciousness, the culture, bringing it down to South India, and she also praised Srila Prabhupada for taking the sanatana-dharma, all over the world, and so that everyone should feel very much indebted to Srila Prabhupada for his contribution to Indian culture around the world.
If you haven’t noticed, Madras is like a movie capital of India. (laughter) But nobody’s watching the movie posters. Their eyes are fixed on Jagannatha.
Jayapataka Swami: Pe… that’s very… there are so many panditas there. The… any… it’s very common for someone to quote five or six verses from the Bhagavad-gita and ask you to give your interpretation in a class. You better know Sanskrit. They just quote it in Sanskrit. People are looking from the buildings, throwing flowers sometimes. No one was offensive. Everyone was in a very favorable, festive mood. I found it very appreciative.
Jayapataka Swami: Dena Bank. Dena is a name of Laksmi. You put your Laksmi in Laksmi’s Bank. They gave her a garland.
Question: Who is that woman?
Jayapataka Swami: She is the Sheriff of the County of Madras. She’s bigger than the Mayor. There’s no Mayor, so she’s like the acting mayor, so she said, “I’m very fortunate, there’s no Mayor, so I could get called.” Because you see, she… I don’t know if the picture came out, but she was sweeping the road.
Jayapataka Swami: She said, “I heard that the Mayor of San Fransisco, and the Mayor of Vancouver and the Chief Justice of Calcutta, and other… they sweep the road just like the King of Puri does, so I feel very honored that I get this opportunity as the Sheriff of Madras to uh, sweep the road in front of Lord Jagannatha.
Question: Is that Prabhupada murti brass?
Jayapataka Swami: Gold.
Reply: Gold. Jaya. Solid?
Jayapataka Swami: Gold-colored. Brass, special alloy.
Reply: It’s really effulgent.
Jayapataka Swami: Special alloy. That’s Lokanatha Swami…
Jayapataka Swami: … from… different Swamijis came from different parts of India. At night, when the ratha-yatra was going on… of course Jagannatha was lit up by the generator, so it’s very beautiful, very festive at night.
Question: What sannyasi is that there?
Jayapataka Swami: That Bhakti (inaudible) Swami? Oh, Sridhara Swami maybe. Sridhara Swami came with me.
Reply: From Bombay.
Jayapataka Swami: Yes. Sridhara Swami from Bombay.
Devotee: Jaya Prabhupada!
Jayapataka Swami: A Canadian. He’s a Canadian Swami. Srila Prabhupada… and then when the ratha went for its… it’s an incredibly long route. I mean it went from 1:00, and went… it seemed like it would never e… 8:00, 9:00 at night. It was ecstatic the whole way though. You didn’t actually realize it was so long till you arrive there, we realize that so many hours had gone by. Much like in Calcutta, even though so many hours, you don’t have the time to think about how the times going by.
So, here Prabhupada was seated on the dias of the hall, the big pavilion where we’re going to be having our evening programs. These are some of the VIPs. One minister, he spoke: the Minister of Health, and he said that he felt that by chanting Hare Krishna that this created a mental and spiritual purity which was also important for good health (laughter)
He’s speaking now. There was a few doctors that came there to hear him. Lokanath Swami put him on the spot. Said that uh, I forget what he said.
Devotee: What is that uh…
Jayapataka Swami: It’s the most famous uh… it’s called the Mangal… uh, it’s like a pavilion. It’s the most famous pavilion in Madras for this type of function. We rented it. It’s got air conditioned hall upstairs and a kitchen, and opposite from this, the Jagannatha Deity… and it’s got a stage, and we did dramas and cultural shows.
That lady speaking, she’s again the Sheriff. She came again. She liked it so much that she said, “I’d like to come again, and speak at your program.” She’s actually a devotee. It’s really wonderful. She’s very… She’s also at the same level as a Minister. Now, here we’ve switched over to (laughter) Mayapur. This… this probably at the festival.
Devotee: Yeah. This is on the roof.
Jayapataka Swami: Oh, this is outside my uh, bhajana-kuti. (laughter) I’m in a penthouse kuti. (laughter)
Question: Is that this festival? Oh, that was this festival!
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah, that was this festival.
Devotee: Srila Acaryapada, and Srila Visnupada have a penthouses on top of the… (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Overlooking the holy dhama.
Transcribed by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari
Sachi Janani devi dasi contributed to this transcript