Love and Affection
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Odessa, Ukraine September 22, 2002
First of all I am offering my millions of dandavat pranati at the lotus feet of my spiritual guru, Nitya-lila Pravista Om Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami. I offer the same unto the lotus feet of my siksa guru Om Visnu-pada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
Today I am especially remembering my siksa guru Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and his first journey to America by boat. He passed through the Mediterranean Sea just south of here, on to the Atlantic Ocean, and finally he arrived in Boston.
On the order of his Gurudeva, he carried the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami to America. On his journey across the seas, he was so sick that he thought that he might die. He had no medicine or doctor and was completely dependent on Krsna. Despite his suffering, he was determined to go to America and preach.
I think that you have all come to Krsna consciousness only by the mercy of Swami Maharaja. Because of his preaching, people all over the world are chanting and remembering the glories of Krsna, Jagannatha Baladeva, and Subadra, and hearing the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Without the efforts of Swami Maharaja to travel and preach around the world, no one outside of India would know of these teachings.
The aim and object of the teaching of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami, is to know that Krsna is love, and love is Krsna. Radha and Krsna have combined to become Sacinandana Gaurahari, who exhibits the highest form of mercy. Caitanya Mahaprabhu traveled throughout India, from north to south, and east to west, and he preached love and affection everywhere he went. This was also the mission of Swamiji, (Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja) and of our entire guru-parampara.
We want to associate with everyone on the platform of love and affection. Our aim should not be to control others. You cannot bring someone to Krsna's service by manipulating or controlling them. If you cannot control your own mind, how can you control others?
Exhibiting His love and affection, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu caused the wild animals in the jungles of Jharikhanda, to chant together with ecstatic love, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. By His influence, the behavior of these wild animals towards each other was changed; and they lived together peacefully and even drank from the same watering places. This was the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and that is how He quickly spread love and affection throughout this planet and the entire universe. The love that He came to experience and distribute is the special prema of Srimati Radhika.
If you want to make your life successful, happy, and peaceful, then try to give all of your love and affection to Krsna, and like Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, show that love to all living beings. Don't try to control others by force or subtle manipulation. Try to give your whole being in their service. One who comes to others with love, has nothing to take, but everything to give.
If your aim and object is to preach the love and affection of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, try to give yourself to others. Your whole life should be dedicated for the welfare of others. They will reciprocate that love and give their life to serve Krsna. They will not offer love and affection if you are trying to control them. Avoid criticizing others; you should correct your own faults and bad habits instead.
If you want to exhibit love to anyone, do not cause any pain or suffering, or burden others for your personal happiness or maintenance. Your first concern should be the happiness and satisfaction of others. We want to be completely selfless in our dealings. We have the example of the tree that gives its' bark, roots, fruits, leaves, wood, and shade; everything is offered to others with no expectation of remuneration. As human beings, why can't we be as selfless?
This is why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us this verse:
trnad api sunicena
taror api suhisnuna
kirtaniyaa sada harih
[Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass which has been trampled beneath everyone's feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others based upon their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari. (Sri Siksastakam verse 3)]
Try to follow this instruction. I want my sannyasis and preachers to understand and follow this verse completely, and to teach others by their personal example. I don't want them to behave selfishly. They should try to give their hearts to others. I have to come to give my heart, not to take anything from you. Don't think that we need to ask anyone for money. If we are selflessly preaching the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, God will automatically send money from the sky, like a rain shower. We need not worry at all about that.
This is the teaching and example of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You should all listen very carefully to what I am saying here. Don't listen here and then forget what I have said. Everyone should write these instructions down and try to follow them.
I desire that you understand the object and mission of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and our guru-varga, and that you spread it broadly around the world. Begin where Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left off, and continue to preach more and more. Presently, we see that many senior Vaisnavas and sannyasis are falling down, derailed in their devotional service, and giving up sannyasa and chanting and remembering. I want our preachers to set a high example of behavior and to preach the mission of their gurudeva.
If you want to be successful in preaching, give up the desire to praise yourself; don't think "I am very glorious and talented, I can preach everywhere." Instead, glorify your diksa-guru and siksa-guru everywhere. By doing this, you will be successful in your preaching and glory will come into your pocket. I have realized this and you should also realize this fact. By glorifying your guru-varga and your guru-parampara, everyone will be so pleased with your preaching and they will praise you. Go on with your preaching, taking care that you don't seek that praise. Remember that you are a servant of your diksa and siksa gurus. Do not be ambitious to create your own disciples, but try to bring disciples to the lotus feet of your gurudeva.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never glorified Himself; Rupa Gosvami glorified Him. Rupa Gosvami never glorified himself, rather, Srila Jiva Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Narottama Thakura, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura wrote about the glories of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
sri-caitanya-mano-bhistam staphitam yena bhutale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva padantikam
[â€œWhen will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?â€]
Bhaktivinoda Thakura never wrote anything about himself. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada wrote so much about him and Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja And who wrote about our Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati? My Gurudeva and other disciples wrote extensively about him. I also wrote a very powerful and authoritative book about the life and teachings of my Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami.
I have no desire to glorify myself because I am worthless, nothing more than dried out grass. So how can I glorify myself? I can speak however, of the mercy of my Gurudeva and my guru-parampara. I am not fit or qualified; whatever I have accomplished, is their desire and they are acting through me. I am like a pen, that has no power to write on its' own, someone must use it. Whatever my Gurudeva, guru-parampara, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja want to write, I am doing that. I have fully realized that I am insignificant and no credit should be given to me.
Without chanting, without remembering, and without knowing yourself, the soul, the supersoul, and the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, you cannot be happy in any way. You may launch sputniks into space or travel to the moon or the sun; even then you cannot be happy. Whatever you accomplish in this material world cannot make you happy.
This is the mission and message we are delivering and you should all try to follow it. Don't be weak. We are here at this seminar at this very good facility on the Black Sea, to practice bhakti-yoga. While here, you should try to follow the program; in morning you should sing aratika and kirtana.
You should try to practice daily the mantra that your Gurudeva has given to you. If you have received harinama, then chant that. If you have received the harinama and gayatri mantras, then daily, without fail and without being restless of mind, you should chant and remember those mantras. You should listen to hari-katha about three or four times every day. I am requesting the managers to give time for taking prasadam and for chanting and remembering. No one should have to be called to class, but should come automatically, with love and affection, to hear Hari-katha. I will also request the managers to arrange for classes by the senior Vaisnavas that are here.