19850603 Caitanya Caritamrita Antya Lila.6-199-200 One Cannot Express Sufficient Gratitude Atlanta
June 3 1985 cc antya 6.199-200
tathāpi viṣayera svabhāva — kare mahā-andha sei karma karāya, yāte haya bhava-bandha
Translation: “Those who are attached to materialistic life and are blind to spiritual life must act in such a way that they are bound to repeated birth and death by the actions and reactions of their activities.
hena ‘viṣaya’ haite kṛṣṇa uddhārilā tomā’ kahana nā yāya kṛṣṇa-kṛpāra mahimā”
Translation: “By His own free will, Lord Kṛṣṇa has delivered you from such a condemned materialistic life. Therefore the glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s causeless mercy cannot be expressed.”
These two verses were spoken by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Raghunath das, when He, by the mercy of Lord Nityananda, after having the chira doya festival, then he was able to reach Lord Caitanya. So, Lord Caitanya gave these two and other advices. The first verse tells us how being attached to materialistic life and blind to spiritual life forces a person to act under the laws of karma, and thus to be bound by the repetition of birth and death. The other hand, how in the case of Raghunātha das, or anyone who is very fortunate to be performing devotional service to Krishna that by Krishna's mercy a person is actually freed from such a condemned materialistic life. One is freed from the reactions to one's karmas. This example given from the Brahma Samhita - whether one is an indra gopam (indra gopam is about the size of a flea. but it’s not how his name is indra gopa. actually in maybe it’s called aphid or something like that, but you melt it or something, and then of course indra himself he’s the very powerful living entity, higher planetary system, we find that all of them are forced to accept the results of their activities, of their material actions and reactions. When Indra committed offenses against a brahmina, then he had to make deals with people trying to get rid of the karmic reactions. That means he’s also obliged to take the karma of his actions. That means even if someone becomes a big powerful person in the material world, still their bound to the reactions of what they’re doing. So there’s no security, because the senses are so powerful they drag us in different directions, we are forced to do certain activities, and in the end the consequence is that we have to suffer or enjoy accordingly. So practically speaking for any material endeavor, no matter how powerful one becomes in a material calculation, one still is bound to this law of karma. But the wonder - by the wonderful mercy of Lord Krishna is he frees His devotees from this karma. That is what the meaning of karmani nirdhahati kintu ca bhakti bhajan. karmani means karma. nidrahati kindtu, but He said for His devotee, bhakti bhajan, one who is serving Him in devotional service, nidrahati He takes away the karma. So this is a very sublime mercy of Krishna that if someone engages in devotional service then Lord Krishna takes away the bondage of karma from them. Otherwise everyone is sva karma rupa phala bhaganam anantanoti. Everyone is bound to the reactio0ns of their own activities. Without exception. There’s no exception, unless someone is engaged in devotional service. Devotional service can be begun at any point just like bhaktivinode Thakur said grihe takeo 9:07) bone tako sadha hari bolo dhako. Whether you’re living outside the temple in your home or whether you’re living in the temple everybody should chant Hare Krishna. Immediately begin devotional service and then you'll begin getting this ah getting the shelter of Lord Krishna so He can free you from the reactions of your karmas.
Although Krishna has come Himself as lord Caitanya, Lord Caitanya has taken the role as a devotee. So He’s telling Raghunātha das it’s all by the mercy of Lord Krishna. You see Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself, so indirectly He’s saying it’s by My mercy, which it certainly was. Raghunātha das wanted to come to ah, join Lord Caitanya, but, till he got the mercy of Lord Nityananda it wasn’t possible. when he fed all the devotees chipped rice, chira, yogurt, Lord Caitanya came in a spiritual form, in this way he was able to get out of this attachment to the material world. You see Raghunātha das's parents were pious, they were giving donations to the vaisnavas, but they themselves were not pure vaisnavas. They considered that material happiness was the ultimate happiness and they were giving donations and doing charitable work and they thought that was enough to qualify them to be pure devotees. But they were not actually accepted as pure vaisnavas. Almost vaisnavas. Lord Caitanya used the word vaisnava air pry 10:54 pry means almost. Because still they, for their own personal satisfaction, their only happiness was sense gratification. That’s what they considered to be the standard of happiness. In the western world, even though people believe in god, but actually they’re devotees pry. They’re almost devotees of the Lord. Because although they believe in the lord and they give donations or sometimes to their churches and other, but actually their standard of happiness according to this very exalted vaisnava standard is material happiness. Therefore they are also subject to the laws and reactions of karma. They are not trying to develop higher love or pure devotional service for Krishna. So they’re definitely between that indra gopa bug and lord Indra. They fit within that scope. They’re not lower than the indra gopa but nor are they higher than Lord Indra, so they’re definitely within the perimeter of those two extremes. So as a result, even though some of them are pious and believe in a supreme entity but they're lacking the shelter; because Krishna says He gives his shelter to bhakti bajan - those who are worshipping Him in pure devotion. So, this pure devotional service is actually non-sectarian. And that’s what it needs to be preached and to be explained to people. of course some people, it’s also a yoga process called bhakti yoga, some people are more interested when you discuss spiritual matters in the form of yoga, some people are more interested when it is discussed as a culture, or as a religion, because it’s the most sublime it can be discussed from any angle.
I just found out last night, last night after the program, to Kolkata to ask how their Panihati festival went at the old Panihati, and they told me that there was double the attendance of last year. 100s of thousands of people. And somehow, they're able to gather together 250 kilos or about 500 pounds, 550 lbs. of yogurt to mix with the several tons of chipped rice they had. Yesterday we had to scrape the barrel to get 100 pounds out of it but they had a lot more customers. The people, they built bamboo walkways so the people would just rush to the distribution center, but there was such a crowd of people that they pushed over all the bamboo railings, and forget that. (Laughter) so what happed that one of the justices, of the supreme court of the state of Bengal was present at the festival and he saw the devotees distributing the prasad, he’s on the bench of the Supreme Court, he came and personally started to distribute the chira yogurt prasādam. He couldn’t stop; he was going the whole day, for about six hours. And till they, they said there about 25-50,000 people got a little chira doya through that center, and bhakti charu swami, our Bengali sanyasi, he also gave a nice lecture at that function, it was very well attended, so they of course were saying they feel a very close connection between the original Panihati and this temple is known as new Panihati. Just like you have York and New York or something. This is New Panihati. Orleans in France and New Orleans. So Panihati was a special festival where everyone was able to come and get the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, and so this time also, even to this day that festival is going on with a greater and greater attendance and enthusiasm.
I remember I went to ah, Panihati twice with Śrīla Praubhupada. At that time, the ah, government represented the congressman for that area was a devotee of Lord Caitanya, and he approached Praubhupada that he wanted to give that place under the care of ISKCON. Unfortunately, he was elected out of office within a year or two by the present government, the left front, who haven't been as enthusiastic to give us ah, a facility there. Praubhupada was very interested, he went there and he said that we should have a boat service. That goes Kolkata, Panihati, Mayapur. Like a type of ferry service that goes every day or every other day taking pilgrims up to Mayapur by riverboat. Panihati there is right on the bank of the Ganges River. I remember that ah, I'm feeling separation, next year I want to have the Panihati festival early so that I can go there to that festival. I want to organize a drama where we have devotees dressed up as Lord Caitanya, Nityananda, Raghunātha das, and actually do the whole drama there. People go wild because, for instance, might have told you before that in 19... maybe 77 or 76 we started, on the order of Praubhupada, to have this Panihati distribution of chira doya, and what happened the first year we brought a whole truck load of chira, just loaded, we must have had 5 tons of chira, and ah, we had a, we had also many, containers of yogurt, so we were late, the programs starts at about 9 in the morning and continues until 9 10 11 at night, just goes on. So we got there at about 11 o’clock. So at that time there were many people, and it’s very narrow roads, it’s a very old city, its, the roads are just 10 feet wide. Two cars can’t pass each other. So there were so many people, there was no way; the police said you can’t take your truck here. and we couldn’t even take the, carry, we had to carry, it’s about half a mile, to carry the loads of chira, each weighing 100 lbs., 120, on the devotees heads there, they couldn’t go through, the crowds were so ah, congested that there was no way of actually getting the half a mile through this jam of humanity to the other side of the Ganges. So at that time we also had a Lord Caitainya deity with us a little Nitai-Gaura deity, we were thinking how to get them to, how to get them to the tree and to offer, to prepare the chira doya.
At that time I'd walked down there to survey the situation and ah, there was just no way, it was utterly hopeless, how to get the, there was just, I don’t know if you've ever seen, I don’t know if there’s any comparison in America, anywhere, the type of density of humanity you get in India in some of these festivals. It took us just 20 minutes just to walk there just like this, just trying to squeezing through it, somehow getting here. All of a sudden there was a blue sky and this one little black clouds came right over the tree, and ssssssssssssssssssshh started raining. So then ah, all of the people, they just naturally they all went off the road and kind of went next to the buildings to get out of the main rain, and it left a little gap of about six feet down the middle of the road. So then the devotees running with the chira, the half a mile, and somehow or another, they got to the tree with half the load. Then the rain stopped. phwooom all the people back. (laughter) It’s kinda like the opening of the ocean or something. So they walked back to the truck. And then well, we had the other, the all the yogurt was there, we had the rice there but there was all the yogurt. Then the little black cloud came back and again rain, and the devotees ran with all of the yogurt, so, we just used the Ganges river water to make the chira, there was no other, there was no way of getting any other. So we had Ganges chira. And at that time there was so many little groups of devotees and namma hattas and different groups had come there, all chanting Hare Krishna, everyone wearing tilak. And we brought the Nitai-Gaura deities in, ah. there was one kirtaniya, one singer, one Kirtan singer who was chanting hare Krishna, he saw Lord Caitanya coming, carried by the devotees, he started to sing, Nitai Gaura aseche Nita gaura asicha panihati asiche Nitai Gauranga 21:10 He just started, made this little tune up, asiche means "they have come!" Nitai Gauranga have come they’ve come! Nitai Gauranga have arrived in Panihati!" then everybody started chanting, and the whole, thousands of people were all looking at Nitai Gaura raising their hands and chanting this little, this spontaneous little greeting for Nitai gaur. and ah, then when the rain came, that same singer that was chanting hare Krishna, he broke off and created another little rhyme, saying Nitai, gaura asiche(21:52) - what did he say? he said ah, what did he say, Prema briste, dubai ache panihati, prem briste briste means the rain" the rain of love being sent by Nitai-Gaura coming to flood our hearts!" and then, so everyone was getting all, you know, whatever happened they were all just going into ecstasies. So when it was raining I saw some people on the side they were rolling in the dust and then the dust was muddy. Get real spontaneous expressions there, nobody cares what anyone thinks, its.... and actually there was so much crowd that people were standing even in the river taking their chira doya, it was totally packed.
So there was some cast brahmins who had kind of like, camped out on the little platform and they didn’t like it that we had come with our Nitai Gaura deities and all the chira doya cuz we were kind of encroaching on their hereditary annual place where they got a little donation so we said this time we'll give you a couple pots of chira doya we want to offer it here. So we prepared 108 containers of chira and doya that - there the clay pots are broad lip - mouth so we decorated very beautifully. And the devotees are holding cloths around the platform so that it couldn’t be seen before, while it was being offered. And then we sprinkle cardamom and scented agaru, rosewater, all over the top the tulsi and everything. We had 108 posts all decorated like here with little puris and samosas or rather, rasgullas and things like that. And then the devotees who are holding a curtain around were offered. And then when we took away the curtain and all the thousands of people who were there could see the 108 offerings they went wild. HARIBOL! HARIBOL! So then, ah, then arati, then after that we gave the 2 pots to the priests, they were very happy, decorated pots of chira doya. Mangos and, this time of the year there you get mangos, leeche nut, jackfruit, seven kinds of bananas, all kinds of fruit, ah tropical fruit in great abundance. You can buy, for 60 cents, used to be able to buy, at that time we could buy about 100 lbs. of mangos. For 60 cents. They come off the truck on the head; these people that, what they call coolies, the porters would be sweating carrying the load of the huge mangos that would go for auction - 6 rupees for one head load. Which is about 60 cents. So. There was abundance of fruit and everything. So we had all those pots and all of the, you know, devotees, the thousands of pilgrims that were there they, you know, they were waiting for the mercy. That was our first year, no one really knew what to expect. So one visiting devotee from America he thought well let me go and distribute to the crowd he just took one in his hand and he walked out into the throng of humanity to give prasad. but the people went wild, "Prasad!!" and it looked ah, you just saw him holding the pot up and there was like thousands of hands going up to get the prasad, and then suddenly he like, disappeared it was kind of like emersion, and we looked, he was gone. laughter" about 10 minutes later we crawled between the feet of two people and crawled back up "gm panting in imitation" he says "this is not the way to distribute" *laughter sot hen another devotee was trying. He climbed on top of a tree. And he was up on the tree with one pot giving the people were like birds holding their hands up and handing it down. These were all very amateurish kind of attempt of... although even to this day they build the bamboo... once the people when they see prasad, even though they just take a small quantity, a handful or two, but actually they become very excited because they know it’s very sacred food, blessed prasādam. so finally, we had, we had to, we did this for 2 years, and then they then it became so, because the crowds became so huge they’ve now given us a separate part about 100 yards from there, we build our own tent and we have our own distribution facility because it was just too pandemonium there. For those first two years it was very historical. But somehow or another we start to give out the prasādam from a vantage point. And ah, one year we took our boat there. We have a 40 foot ah, boat that Praubhupada inaugurated called the nita-pada- kamala. Lord Nitai gaur established on that boat. Right now it’s being renovated. It’s been stolen so we got it back and now we're rent-o-vating it. Renovating it. So at that time the boat was in good ah, it can go all even its gone in Bay of Bengal all the way to Orissa, it’s a sailing boat. It’s a, 12 feet wide and 40 ft. long, so it’s a nice temple room in the center of it 17x12. It’s big enough for 20 people, 30 people. 12 devotees can sleep in the temple room and on the deck. It’s very nice.
So, we were ah, we made the chira the next year on the boat and from there the devotees were handing over their head to the platform right from the river. That was a lot easier. And then we took the boat around with Nitai Gaura in a big circle in the Ganges and all the people on the river were chanting and raising their hands, chanting to Lord Caitanya. Now it’s a regular program where we have a separate pandal, a separate tent for distributing. But it’s very nice to see how the culture of Lord Caitanya is still so enthusiastically being followed by many of the people of west Bengal and ah, East Bengal as well. I remember the first time that Praubhupada took us there and he told us that we should try to do something. He said that because all these people come there under the tree, we should build our temple in such a way that the ground floor is open. And the temple is on the second floor. So the ground floor is just like a cover for the whole area. And then the temple is up and people go up by a stairway to the temple which should be above. So kind of a dynamic idea. This is the mercy of lord Caitanya that just by chanting Hare Krishna, taking simple prasādam, one can actually, spontaneously, very easily, practice this type of devotional service. But the result is actually one becomes freed from the bondage to karma. One transcends the levels of karma, Jnana, and mystic yoga. This is the very sublime. one thing I felt by going to these different festivals, or even here yesterday was very blissful with all of the devotees - the statement by Vrindavan das Thakur when he said (29:19) adyapiha lila kore gaura raya kono gono bagawan dege bade pai
Even today the pastimes of Lord Caitanya are continuing. Those who are very very fortunate are able to see. Certainly Lord Nitai Gaura were present, and they accepted the devotional service of the devotees. And those who were fortunate they were able to, if not see it at least many could feel it, and could experience a wave of transcendental bliss. Certainly some even have been able to see the presence of the Lord. So, we should certainly be very grateful to Lord Caitanya, Nityananda, we should be very grateful for Śrīla Praubhupada, to have come and brought this special mercy of Lord Caitanya, to have inaugurated theses different festivals all over the world which are able to uplift people very easily to the transcendental platform. Certainly we're very grateful, we should be very grateful to Lord Nityananda, the original spiritual master, who has shown that without the mercy of the spiritual master, one cannot approach lord Caitanya. One first has to surrender to the spiritual master, take his guidance, take his ah, shelter, and then, by the mercy of guru one gets the mercy of Krishna, by the mercy of Krishna, one gets the mercy of the spiritual master.
Just in conclusion, also in Praubhupada had made a special charitable trust called the Bhakti Vedanta Charitable Trust for preserving these holy places. so it’s very fortunate in the research work of that trust - I’m the permanent chairmen of it, to visit the birthplace of Raghunātha das Gosvāmī, which was very close to the ancestor of Śrīla Praubhupada udara dhadtva tattva - it’s a very nice place on the side of a little river, and there are some original things of Raghunātha das there. Of his place where he had sat they kept the stone, and there’s a very nice little temple. So we were very, so very fortunate that we are able to preserve these holy places, so that we are able to, so in the future the devotees from the west can go and visit all of the historical spiritual pilgrimage places throughout Gaura mandala bhumi. Praubhupada took us near there to the temple of udhara datta Thakur where Lord Nityananda had bathed in a river and lost his ankle bells, his newporas. And to this day no one has been able to find those newporas. It was predicted that some fortunate devotee will go there and recover those newporas from that pond. laughter maybe one of the devotees from here will be able to collect those newporas.
Jai Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda sri adviata gadadhar srivasadi gaura bhakta vrinda hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare hare rama rama rama hare hare
Any questions? Yes? Question: inaudible (33:00) something about Jagannātha Purī
We have secured a place, but ah, negotiating with the government on certain terms and things. There’s a tenant on the property we have to buy the tenant off and relocate the tenant. Some progress. It’s right opposite the birthplace of Harida, the Samadhi of Haridas Thakur. It’s the place where Lord.. Where Bhaktivinode Thakur performed his bajan the last two years of his life.
Q (inaudible) A- We have to build a temple the same size as the Jagannātha Purī temple. That lands a little small for that. So we build exactly the same temple and chant kirtan Jagannātha will come. At that time we had estimated it would only cost 3 million dollars to build. I think now through inflation....
Q (inaudible) A - 216 feet, 22 stories. Is that a tall building in America? 22 stories? Prabhupad’s Samadhi will be 20 stories, in Mayapur.
Q (inaudible) A - Well, Jagannātha Purī temple is made out of huge sections of solid stone. They haven't figured out how it could have been built. The top of it, there’s a section of solid stone which is about, weighs 100 or 200 tons. Its 40 feet its one solid, you know huge, 4 big pieces. No one - they can’t figure out how they got it up there. There no cranes, even the cranes you can’t. It said it was actually built by mantra. It’s, the materialists they speculate they built a huge mountain of sand and then slide it up. That itself - how would you put so much sand up? 200 feet high, sands falling. That itself would be a pretty great feat. So it’s made out of big pieces of stone, huge, like 20 feet by 15-20 feet. There are many temples like that in India that defy modern architecture and engineering. But you’re in electrical engineering so; you can study how they do. Any other questions? Ill, you write it down later. Karnika K-A-R-N-I-K-A Karnika. What? Spelled it right. Any other questions? It’s one of the thousand names of Radha. Karna-dhara means captain of the ship. One who is piloting the ship across the ocean of birth and death and ika, like sevak, sevika, is the feminine. So it seems to me that karnika means the one who guides the devotee across the ocean of birth and death o pure devotional service of Krishna or guides one in ones' devotional service. But I haven’t seen the name used, apart from its one of the 1000 names of Radha. So I couldn’t say where to study up on it. There’s a few extra prashads, anyone want? laughter