19831003 Srimad-Bhagavatam.5.7.12 @ Atlanta, USA
The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on October 3d, 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 5th Canto, Chapter 7, Text 12.
…avirata-puruṣa-paricaryayā bhagavati pravardhamānā-nurāga-bhara-druta-hṛdaya-śaithilyaḥ praharṣa-vegenātmany udbhidyamāna-roma-pulaka-kulaka autkaṇṭhya-pravṛtta-praṇaya-bāṣpa-niruddhāvaloka-nayana evaṁ nija-ramaṇāruṇa-caraṇāravindānudhyāna-paricita-bhakti-yogena paripluta-paramāhlāda-gambhīra-hṛdaya-hradāvagāḍha-dhiṣaṇas tām api kriyamāṇāṁ bhagavat-saparyāṁ na sasmāra.
Translation by His Divine Grace, Śrīla Prabhupāda:
That most exalted devotee, Mahārāja Bharata, in this way engaged constantly in the devotional service of the Lord. Naturally his love for Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, increased more and more and melted his heart. Consequently he gradually lost all attachment for regulative duties. The hairs of his body stood on end, and all the ecstatic bodily symptoms were manifest. Tears flowed from his eyes, so much so that he could not see anything. Thus he constantly meditated on the reddish lotus feet of the Lord. At that time, his heart, which was like a lake, was filled with the water of ecstatic love. When his mind was immersed in that lake, he even forgot the regulative service to the Lord.
Translation with repetition:
That most exalted devotee
Devotees: That most exalted devotee
Jayapataka Swami: Mahārāja Bharata
Devotees: Mahārāja Bharata
Jayapataka Swami: in this way
Devotees: in this way
Jayapataka Swami: engaged constantly in the devotional service
Devotees: engaged constantly in the devotional service
Jayapataka Swami: of the Lord
Devotees: of the Lord
Jayapataka Swami: Naturally his love for Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa
Devotees: Naturally his love for Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa
Jayapataka Swami: increased more and more
Devotees: increased more and more
Jayapataka Swami: and melted his heart
Devotees: and melted his heart
Jayapataka Swami: Consequently
Jayapataka Swami: he gradually lost
Devotees: he gradually lost
Jayapataka Swami: all attachment
Devotees: all attachment
Jayapataka Swami: for regulative duties
Devotees: for regulative duties
Jayapataka Swami: The hairs of his body stood on end
Devotees: The hairs of his body stood on end
Jayapataka Swami: and all the ecstatic bodily symptoms were manifest.
Devotees: and all the ecstatic bodily symptoms were manifest.
Jayapataka Swami: Tears flowed from his eyes
Devotees: Tears flowed from his eyes
Jayapataka Swami: so much so that he could not see anything.
Devotees: so much so that he could not see anything.
Jayapataka Swami: thus he constantly meditated
Devotees: thus he constantly meditated
Jayapataka Swami: on the reddish lotus feet of the Lord.
Devotees: on the reddish lotus feet of the Lord.
Jayapataka Swami: At that time, his heart,
Devotees: At that time, his heart,
Jayapataka Swami: which was like a lake
Devotees: which was like a lake
Jayapataka Swami: was filled with the water of ecstatic love.
Devotees: was filled with the water of ecstatic love.
Jayapataka Swami: When his mind was immersed in that lake,
Devotees: When his mind was immersed in that lake,
Jayapataka Swami: he even forgot the regulative service to the Lord.
Devotees: he even forgot the regulative service to the Lord.
When one is actually advanced in ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa, eight transcendental, blissful symptoms are manifest in the body. Those are the symptoms of perfection arising from loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since Mahārāja Bharata was constantly, engaged in devotional service, all the symptoms of ecstatic love were manifest in his body.
Thus end the Purport of Text 12, Chapter 7, Canto 5 of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam… Bhaktivedānta Purports in the matter of The Activities of King Bhārata.
So Mahārāja Bhārata had given up his kingdom, he was the emperor of the world, wife, family, kingdom, power, money, fame. He was still young, not at the complete fag end of his life. But he gave everything up, it is described just as a man gives up his fresh stool, runs off, just completely gave it up. But we can see here that instead what he got was pure love for Krishna or at least ecstatic love for Krishna, bhāva. That by constantly engaging in devotional service of Krishna, he was able to advance to the point where simply by chanting the prayers to the Lord and meditating his… being engaging in devotional service he would become filled with ecstasy. So one never loses by giving one’s love, giving one’s devotion to Krishna. Rather one is a gainer so many times over. Unlimited times over.
This ecstatic loving symptoms naturally are very attractive. In India there are groups of so-called… groups of so-called Vaiṣṇavas or apa-sampradāyas, unrecognized, deviant groups and sometimes they imitate or they cultivate just manifesting these symptoms although these are not always natural. More like an actor on the stage, they are able to produce them. Once we heard that there was a sādhu giving Bhāgavatam lecture and he had one person on either side of him carrying a hankie. As he was giving the class the tears would be rolling and one would go like this, and the other, he would go like that, and the tears would just be pouring down. One of the devotees went back stage after the performance and caught him pulling the chilies out of his nose. (laughter) He must’ve been a yogi not to sneeze.
There is a story that Prabhupāda told of a Vaishnava… one pāthaka, who was giving a lecture and there was a lady sitting in the front row and every time he would make a strong point, she would start crying. He would be making, you know, so many devotional points and she’d just be crying, and he started thinking, “This is a great devotee!” So after the class was over he had one of his assistants call her as she seemed a great devotee and asked her “What was it that was making you cry every time I was making these points? What was your realization?”
“I just lost my goat and his beard was just like yours and every time I see you I remember him.”
So Prabhupāda said you have to be careful not to take it… every time somebody cries that does not mean they are in ecstatic devotion because we see something right here it mentions clearly that his heart which was like a lake filled with the water of ecstatic love, in other words his emotion, his devotional ecstasy was coming from the heart. It wasn’t a mental adjustment it was a physical prompted thing. It was something just like… the heart was just flooding, was becoming like a lake and he was taking swims in it. It was something coming right from the heart spontaneously. So much so that he would be so regulated, every morning doing sun puja, meditating how the sun is a representation of Nārāyaṇa. He would always be absorbed in various types of chanting of mantras but sometimes he would get so overwhelmed by the ecstasy that he would forget what time of day it was, what regulative thing he was supposed to do. But it was something completely spontaneous. So that should be noted that it is not an artificial imposition upon the mind as Prabhupāda in that original record… recording stated that it is something which is happening spontaneously from the heart. The key word here repeated several times “engage constantly in the devotional service.” Thus he constantly meditated. Since Mahārāja Bhārata was constantly engaged. In other words if a person wants to develop ecstatic devotional service, wants to become completely absorbed in Krishna consciousness, then he has to be constant. Ahaituki apratihata – causeless and unbroken apratihata – without any break, given a little vacation to Māyā, you see, that can interrupt one’s progress.
One time Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda, They decided to go to Śāntipura to see Advaita Gosain and on the way there was a sadhu in Godrumadvīpa side of Navadvīpa. He requested Them to please come and visit his āśrama. He offered Them a nice seat and very respectfully They were discussing. He said “Please take a little prasāda.” He brought out some food and They said “We don’t take outside food, We are brahmanas. We’ll just take some fruit.”
He brought some fruits. In the course of the conversation, he asked if They would like to have a little wine.
They said, “What!?”
“It helps the meditation.”
They realized that this is one of those imitation sādhus who was taking wine and so many other things. So immediately, They just jumped up and they felt completely polluted as they had taken food which had been touched and given by someone who wasn’t strictly following the regulative principle. They ran to the Ganges and threw Themselves in with Their whole clothes on, just like that. He was just talking, and the next second, psht… They’re up and run.
So Lord Caitanya, He respected someone who was trying to be Krishna conscious but someone who was putting on a profile of being a great devotee or sādhu, but who in fact was not even following the regulative principles, who was not constant in the devotion, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda, They didn’t accept their offerings, what to speak of higher benediction.
One time Śrīla Prabhupāda got a letter. Maybe Pañca-draviḍa Mahārāja was there when it happened.
[aside to Mahārāja]
You were… you were at Bombay at one point, weren’t you?
He had a letter from a couple, Western couple, and he read it out or described it during a class in Bombay to the Indian Life Members… It was in a darshan, private darshan, I believe. This couple wrote that “We are aspiring to be your disciples, we are very attracted to the Hare Krishna movement; however we are feeling ourselves very unqualified. We are trying to control our sex desire but we are very ashamed sometimes we are swept away and fall down. So we’re trying to chant every day 16 rounds but sometimes we are falling short. We are trying to control the desire for intoxication but sometimes due to the influence of our friends we smoke or something. We are working, we are trying to get rid of all these, we want to be completely pure. Now we are able to… We’ve give up meat and fish and eggs, we are pure vegetarians. We are very anxious for your mercy that although we are so fallen, sometime in the future we will be able to come up to the purity to become your disciples.” So Prabhupāda expressed, he was crying, “See how they are struggling, how they are struggling with Māyā, this struggle is glorious, trying to conquer over the senses for Krishna. To engage in Krishna’s service purely, constantly.” Prabhupāda was admonishing the life members, many kaniṣṭha-adhikāri devotees; they don’t try to control the senses, satisfied with doing some minimum amount of devotion which is no doubt beneficial for them. But to come to the higher platform it is actually glorious to try to conquer the impulses of the senses to try to become purified, not to be self satisfied with an inferior platform. Then one will be on the road of perfection. Śrīla Prabhupāda said to some sanyasis that you control your sex desire and fifty per cent of the battle is finished. Fifty per cent. So another fifty per cent.
In other words even after the four regulative principles are controlled completely then they still have fame, distinction, adoration, kuṭi-nāṭī – different kinds of duplicitous tendencies, so many other impurities are there in the mind. So that struggle will go on. Initially it may be a struggle just to follow a principle but the struggle goes on until finally one reaches Krishna’s lotus feet.
Even if one has the ecstasy one should not become complacent or careless because that is still a preliminary stage of pure love for Godhead. Prema, where one will actually have the realization of Krishna and transcend the material mind is the only position from where it is almost impossible or highly unlikely; I don’t know the exact adjective to use, but you, normally once you get back from the material world in which case you don’t fall down again, the only infallible position as you are actually liberated from the material consciousness, it is considered a completely liberated state. Although this is also liberated, Bhārata Mahārāja would not be getting any karma by his devotional service so in one sense he is also liberated. But if he is careless, if he is inattentive, if he forgets the words of his guru and allows again any kind of material weed or attachment to grow it could at least temporarily hold him up. Of course we know that something like that did happen. Minor delay.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His special mercy is that this ecstasy that Mahārāja Bhārata is achieving, that ecstasy he gets very quickly. Eventually Prabhupad in one of his purports in the Caitanya-Caritāmṛta described how some of these unauthorized groups just by repeatedly chanting the name of Lord Caitanya, they become ecstatic, they start to laugh or cry. Because Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His specialty is that His special nomenclature or His special uniqueness is that He is not accepting offences in chanting the Holy Name. If a person were just to chant the name
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
it takes very regulated life, great purity, considerable constant attention and then like Mahārāja Bhārata left everything and living in the forest doing his regulated worship, wearing deer skin, eating little, everything regulated, chanting constantly, worshiping all the time engaged, no material attachments. No offences to the Vaiṣṇavas, there wasn’t anybody there. Then he was able to get this love for Kṛṣṇa, preliminary love for Krishna, ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. It was given by Kṛṣṇa previously but to those who were completely nirmatsaraanaam, completely free of all enviousness, all offences.
But Caitanya Mahāprabhu, not that He is promoting that one should be offensive or anything, but He knows that everyone has got so many embarrassing mentality, so many defects, He is giving the mercy that if you chant Hare Krishna taking shelter of Him, He gives immediate mercy which normally would take a lot longer to achieve. So once one gets a taste for Lord Caitanya’s mercy, for this transcendental happiness, then one should be very careful to give up anything which could be offensive. It is the only responsible thing to do. Śrīla Prabhupāda explains like in a feast the kids are always very impatient so you give them the dessert first. Lord Caitanya is actually giving the dessert first, giving a little taste of a little ecstasy first, then you go back to the main course. You are also still have to go through the principles of devotional service, not that we neglect that, but even someone might come just in a ratha yatra festival off the street by chanting and feel some great happiness. Just like nāmābhāsa, special mercy of Lord Caitanya which normally would be highly unlikely in the ordinary circumstances without Lord Caitanya’s mercy. Once they are getting the higher taste they can get just a drop of the ocean of happiness that they will experience when they become pure, the special rain of benediction by Lord Nitai-gaura so that we can come up to the higher platform very easily:
hā hā prabhu nityānanda premānanda-sukhī kṛpāvalokaṇa koro āmi baḍo duḥkhī. “Give me Your mercy now Lord Nityānanda. Lord Nityānanda You are premananda sukhi, You are completely the personification of transcendental happiness, ecstasy and love for Godhead. Just like Miniketana Rāmdāsa, He is the devotee we find in Caitanya-Caritāmṛta, we find that even though he touched somebody with his flute he started becoming ecstatic. The fisherman when Caitanya Mahaprabhu ran into the ocean and was floating, he picked up Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, just he touched Him. And then all the associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu were looking up and down the beach looking, “Where is Lord Caitanya?” for miles, and then they saw this man completely afraid,
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare”
“What is the matter?” they asked
and he said, “I have been possessed, There is a ghost there,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna"
So then Swarup Damodar he could see that, “Where is this ghost? It must be Lord Caitanya.”
“No, no, I have seen Lord Caitanya,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Rama
I have seen Lord Caitanya. This is some terrible thing about 9 feet long, skin is all loose, bones are all hanging everything and is going chuga chug chuga chug, is making this terrible sound.” They know that Lord Caitanya in ecstasy, He stretches out, says, “Jagannātha Jagannātha” just comes out as a gargling sound. So then uh, Swarup Damodar said “I know how to cure these things.” Just whack, whack, whack, slapped him three times. “Alright, the ghost is gone.”
Just cause the guy was so hysterical you see, he was overwhelmed with love for Krishna but he was ignorant so he was all afraid. So when he slapped him three times, then said, “Now you are alright. He was still chanting and anyone possessed by a ghost, they don’t chant Hare Krishna like that.” So then… like this, so… Of course then they bathed Lord Caitanya, chanted Hare Krishna and He came back together. So like that Lord Nityananda when He would meet someone, easily give them ecstasy. Ha Ha premananda sukhi. So that is the point if we get that drop of ecstasy, if it fills our heart, when the heart is filled with a lake of Krishna prema, Krishna bhava, ecstatic love for Krishna, you see, then the room for… the room for material attachment is not there, the room for falling into illusion is not there.
So, if someone becomes complacent in that ecstasy and forgets to refer to the guru, step by step, then of course there is still some danger. But in general it is not difficult to control the senses because the heart is already full, the desires, everything are satisfied, there is no room for material desire to come in. So that’s the easiest way is if we can get the mercy of Lord Nityananda and fill our heart with ecstasy in love of Krishna. Like that we pray for Lord Nitai Gaura’s mercy.
I have some pictures (inaudible) Give us some nectar.
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: You had the ratha-yatra in Calcutta, recently?
Jayapataka Swami: Yes, I brought the slide show if anyone wants to see.
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!
Jayapataka Swami: You got a slide projector last time I was here, right? Is it still working? (devotees laugh)
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: It did? Well, I’ll play it tonight, the slide show.
Question: How many people participated?
Jayapataka Swami: More than you can count. Somewhere between one and two million. But don’t believe me, see it today! I mean, don’t take my word for it. There was a whole… Last year you know the communist government said that, “This is your last year. After this no more Ratha Yatras.” There was a Ratha Yatra this year. I had to go from here. It was such a rush. Mahavira, (inaudible). You were busy at that time, but someone raced me to the airport. Just barely got the flight, flew to London. I was 279 on the waiting list on a Air India flight. (laughing) Somehow the computer just went “tic” put my name on! (laughter) They told me, “You’re 279.” Then the guy came back, looked again and said, “No, no, its on, ok.” One of the (inaudible) a devotee. (laughter)
Devotee: (inaudible) (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Got there, just 11 evening. 12 was the Ratha Yatra. It was very nice but, I don’t wanna spoil the… very nice festival. It was a nine day festival. One day Ratha was going ten miles, six-to-eight-hour procession.
Jayapataka Swami: Ten. (laughter) It takes… Then we have one week to rest up for the return one. Seven day big festival.
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: We have a week to go ten miles.
Jayapataka Swami: A 7 day, big festival. We build the whole temple out of cloth. We have a big top, the size of a football field. Also about 15 to 20 thousand people. And we have a carnival grounds where there’s question answer booths, book tables and exhibitions.
Any questions? We’re you going to say some… is that all you were saying?
Comment: We also had ratha-yatra at (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: Jaya!
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: The seventh ratha-yatra down in the park, a chariot also came down for that one.
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: That was very nice. Acaryadeva stayed the whole day. I don’t think even heard very much of what he said. I’m sure they listened to him, but most of the time, they were just looking at him. He hadn’t… he hadn’t been in Mexico for 2 ½ years.
Devotee: Hare Krishna. (laughing)
Jayapataka Swami: They were so hungry there, he did not even have to speak. They were so absorbed in… (laughter)
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: It probably took them a few days to realize he was actually there.
Jayapataka Swami: No other questions? Are there any questions?
The Samadhi in Vrndavana, I haven’t seen it, I don’t know how much the progress is going there but I heard it’s… they’re working on it, (laughter) trying to finish it up. But in Mayapura the dome of the Samadhi is finished, and then they put up the top ring beam for the upper last cuda… what do you call that? Last uh, dome and they are doing all kinds of work around it, very… there is like four towers that come on all sides of the Samadhi in Mayapur and most… two of them are up about 70 feet now. There was Bhaktisiddhanta Das Adhikari, he has set up a factory for making bronze panels and the Deities and dioramas and they found all the raw materials that you can get in the West, they found them there and they were one half to one third the price. Latex and things like that. So they have one uh… there have a few devotees there working together from different parts of the world and they are building these beautiful panels for the Samadhi in Vrndavana now because that needs to be opened very soon.
They have Prabhupad at Tompkins Square Park, they made it. It’s about… the panel must be about ten by six or maybe twelve by eight, it is a huge thing. So they make this big panel and they take it apart piece by piece and make latex uh, moldings and then they have a whole thing, it is, they built a big shed for that operation. Then they have on the outside, a special place for foundry, for smelting the bronze material and casting it. So it is a pretty highly technical thing, they said that if one drop of water is inside that mould they whole thing would explode like about a kilo of TNT. I always ask them to tell me when they’re casting. (laughter) But they seem to be pretty expert; they are making all these things because you have to do this. They have also hired some people to help them. So they have these two big sheds and they are making all these big dioramas and murals and castings. So there is a lot of finishing work going on there now already.
All the dome now all the inside the shuttering and scaffolding has been taken down and some devotee found that the dome has got a hyperbolic effect, that if you go in one specific spot just in front of where the deity is going to be and chant
(quietly) “Hare Krishna”
(shouts) “Hare Krishna”it comes back like that (laughter)
So when no one is looking you will find devotees going there “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna” But because it is rainy season and the work is going on but gradually. In the winter normally it picks up in a fast way. I opened up the temple in Gawahati. It was constructed by the devotees there Bhavabhuti das. I think he was originally connected for some period in Florida.
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: Yeah, he was bhakta Bob. He was on the bus with…
Jayapataka Swami: So, ex-bhakta Bob, he is the regional secretary of Assam. Assam you might have read in the papers is a troubled area, always there is some disturbance there because of a lot of influx of refugees from Bangladesh has created a political turmoil. So there are demonstrations and everything by the local people who don’t want to become a minority in their own state due to refugees coming from another country. So there is lot of difficulty there and in the midst of this three year on going difficulty he married an Assamese girl but even then they wouldn’t easily let him go there. Has to only get a permit once every few months but somehow he was able to construct a three storey guest house a little bit smaller than Mayapurs, about half-size, very nice. Now he has turned it into the Bhaktivedanta Hilltop School. And then now he has constructed the temple which is unique. It has got a dome in the middle of the temple where there are no beams; it is like in the kirtan hall area. He was able to get a special design for a shell dome. It is very big, it is about 80 feet by 30 feet. It is unusual to have a shell dome that size, quite inexpensive also. He went to some of the best architects in India who had big computers in the West and they figured out how to do this dome. So then we moved the deities from the Bhaktivedanta Hilltop School, and then uh, now he’s constructed a temple which is unique. It’s got a dome in it, instead of… in the middle of the temple, so there’s no beams. In the kirtan hall area, he was able to get a special design for a shell dome, which is quite big. It’s about 80 feet by 30 feet. It’s unusual to have a shell dome that size, quite inexpensive also. He went to some… the best architect in India who had the big computers from the West and they figured out how to do this dome.
So we moved the Deities from the Bhaktivedanta Hilltop School to the temple on Janamashtami morning. Very nice program, yajnas and everything. Then, but when I went to Assam, the day before there was a Assam Bandha which means that everything is stopped, it is a strike. For 36 hours from 6 in the morning till 9 the next uh, night or 6 the next night nobody can go out on the streets, can shop, can do anything. If you do it is at the risk of your lives. When I arrived there was a Bandh, there were no buses, no taxis, nothing, no one would go out. So I had to go by an escorted military vehicle to the temple, with machine guns and everything. It was a whole… was like going in the middle of a war zone but everything worked out very nicely.
So from there we flew down to Mayapur on Janmashtami afternoon, got to Mayapur. The two ministers from the Left coalition in Mayapur were the chief guests form Janmashtami. One of them gave this fiery speech of Srila Prabhupad’s teaching was the only solution to the world‘s problems. That it had the universal vision that there would be no political system, even communism would fail without God consciousness. Now being a Left guy so he has to say, even communism. But for them you know normally he was saying that, he was promoting that there has to be some God consciousness, who knows he may be a forerunner of the future. But they were very much impressed by the whole program there.
We had a big yajna at one o’clock that night and at midnight of course we had the abhishek for the deities. So all India television came there and photographed shot the whole bathing of Radha Madhav bathing. And when I got to Madras we met the life members there and they said they have seen it all on television. So it had been broadcasted all over India in Mayapur. Prabhupad always wanted Mayapur should be known by all the Indians and by all the people in the world. So the first time that Mayapur, you know, real, I mean direct darshan of Radha Madhav abhishek all over India at the 7.30 news, (laughter) on the Vyasa Puja day especially like All India television gave the Vyasa Puja offering to Prabhupada. They prepared about a thousand preparations for Vyasa Puja.
Usually we always get about a 150 vaishnavas from all the neighboring temples in Navadvipa and Mayapur come for Prabhupad’s Vyasa Puja. About a dozen come for the lectures and a 150 just happen to show up for the arti and prasadam. But it is our tradition always to serve them sumptuously. So normally a lot of them follow various restrictions like no eggplant, no this, no that, no potal, no thin beans, you know, they have all these little rules. Caturmasya. Caturmasya upaniyams – sub rules. Normally for the preacher it is not considered very important but even then, when they bring out, we have these 12 ft tables, 12 ft by 3 tables, hundreds and hundreds of little bowls are on there. When they see that they just say, “Jaya Radhe! Jaya Gaura!”(laughter)
It is actually… that’s like Maharaja Bharata sometimes in his ecstasy he would not become attached to the regular rules like that. So… which side to face, this and that when you’re… In these months we follow the basic thing, no spinach, no dahi, no milk, and no urad dal. But you know there are so many other rules like don’t shave, and only shave on this day and many rules like that if they want to, they can follow, additional. But when… in the face of all the ecstatic offering that was made to Prabhupada and the Deities, on Nandotsava day, each one of them was having a feast so 150 are coming, so we are having a feast, something very special. Every time we have a feast on that day. So they are coming because this is a very special opulent, you know incomparable experience. And then they all request, can they take a little, they wrap up in their cloth a little pot-full. (laughter)
Then sometimes they have a program where they line up all the gurukul, 100 yard dash, whatever’s left on the plates, they put out, and psh, they just run (laughter). They stopped that because it was a lot of waste but a couple of years they were doing that. It was very enthusiastic of course. We spread out the tables, give the little kids a chance. That was the Janmashtami festival.
Things are coming up very nicely in Mayapur. We are getting a new elephant, the gardens are expanding and they now have a special aviary, cockatoo birds, mynah birds, all kinds of birds. Government wants to buy, wants us to… Zoological department, we have some rare deer, special antelopes, so they are gonna... They want to get a couple of deer from us and in exchange give us some spotted deer. That will give official recognition to our animal farm if we have official transaction with the Zoological department. So then we can go on expanding our little zoo there which is very nice actually for preaching. People come and they like to see the deers, and we haven’t got permission for the kangaroo yet from Australia. Vishnupada is trying to bring in one in, but it is their national heritage. They don’t want to give it up, although they wrote and said they shoot em on the road, they don’t care. Run over em, but they won’t let any leave the country, because if you want to see a kangaroo you have to go to Australia or to the zoo, so we will get more recognized if we get some kangaroos too. Any way if you are visiting New Orleans you can see the Indian white tiger, it is on display there. In New Orleans, in the zoo.
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: They were going to the temple. (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Many temples in South India have big, big zoos, big, big animal sanctuaries. It is very common. In South India in the temple of Guruvayur they have fifty elephants. They all… Sometimes in the big festivals they have the deities in the middle and 25-25 on each side. They go round and circumambulate the temple. In normal festivals they have six, eight, fourteen elephants. This one elephant would every day go and offer his obeisances before the temple. And when the elephant would come up and every day fan the deity, in procession, backing up and fanning. And when finally the elephant was like… it would stop eating, it was very old and they wouldn’t let him go to the Deity or something and he got angry and ripped out the chain and he came and everyone was really afraid. He came in front of the deities, he offered obeisances and died. There’s a lot of stories… they tried to take one of the temple elephants from Guruvayur to be the mascot in Delhi for the Asian Games. The elephant did not want to leave. (laughter) Didn’t want to go, had to think of another alternative. No maya service only Krishna’s service!
Pañca-draviḍa Swami: You can’t get more mundane than that. (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Anyway… A lot of things have been happening recently but I don’t want to delay any further. Hare Krishna!
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi 31 May 2015
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari