vyasa puja lecture by Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja

Haridas.bts - March 2, 2005 6:48 pm

dandavats to all!


here is a transcribed lecture given by my Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Tirtha Maharaja

just before his vyasa puja.

Although stricken by cancer and just having recieved a prosthesis he got up and

danced for half an hour during kirtan.


I hope you like it


hari das


His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami

Maha Vyasa Puja, Gita Nagari Dhama

Opening Address, February 24, 2005



ISKCON-Founder Acarya Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jaya!


So you’re ready to go to war? So I don’t think devotees informed you. Gita Nagari is a war camp. You know you have boot camp, or you’re trained, or if you go into sports. So we see how the demigods assisted us. You’re all snowed in; you’re all prisoners. (laughter) It’s not easy getting in and out of here. So you somehow have to adjust, at least for a few days.

I don’t look like someone who is about to die, do I? (laughter) I lost a little weight, gained a little weight. We’re all about to die. It’s just a matter of how soon and how fast. And if we’re sick, we don’t necessarily have to look sick. The body itself is a sickness, so it’s nothing new. The body is a disease. The material world is a very complex place, full of heterogeneous types of diseases.

And before I speak something briefly, we may need a few translators. I think the Croatian devotees are all speaking some English. I need a Russian translator. Let’s see, is Mahima Mayi here? Yes...Yuga Dharma and Vrsni, is she here, Vrnda? Yes, you can just come over there and you can do simultaneous translation. Any of the Spanish-speaking devotees need translation? We don’t want you hearing only 5% of what’s being discussed. Any Spanish – Darsan? Any devotees here from Chile, Argentina. Okay, we’re expecting tomorrow evening maybe 300 devotees. Some devotees are stuck in the airport. Some planes were canceled, and I think a lot of devotees, especially Russian devotees, weren’t able to get visas. Perhaps the Argentina devotees weren’t able to. I see several of my godbrothers and Jaya Sri, my godsister, thank you so much for coming to take care of your nieces and nephews. That’s very kind of you. We hope you will assist us as much as possible as you already do by your wonderful examples. Sankarsana.

So I want to speak briefly because we have a lot of things happening in the next couple of days. The schedules should be posted and maybe many of you have been given one, or you will be given one later.

We have to remind ourselves that our major book is the Bhagavad-gita, Song of God. This world is padam padam yad vipadam, there’s danger at every step. Abrahma-bhuvanal lokah, from the highest to the lowest, the material planets are places of confusion, bewilderment, places of constant duality, birth, death, disease, and of course, old age. And we understand this maithunya-ägära, this is prison, the shackles of sex life, lust, and greed that binds the living entities to this world and in these bodies. We also understand that with the same body, with the same senses, we have full opportunity to use them to escape. Prabhupada said that this human birth is really designed to have a victorious death like Bhismadeva. And so Bhismadeva died on the battlefield, just as our Srila Prabhupada.

Tamal Krsna Maharaja explained Prabhupada kept speaking about that he wanted to retire, but that he didn’t really retire until about the last 2 hours before he left the planet. And what was the reason? It’s that practically to the last moments of his existence in the particular body that he used, he was thinking about all of us. He was constantly thinking about how to help and share and benedict, facilitate as many jivas as possible. So this is the mission that we’re all connected with. It’s beyond our own secure, safe zones. We are to have compassion for all living entities. We are to constantly be greedy for the mercy, laulyam. We are to cry for the lord out of extreme greed.

No one transcends the bodily platform without intense greed. And it’s hard to have intense greed when we’re too mechanical in our devotional activities, when our sraddha, faith, is weak. It’s practically impossible to develop strong greed without strong, healthy sanga. We’re all so much products of heredity and environment from previous lives and especially of this life. And so we want to be eager to seek out good association. Tadiya vaisnava sevana – to get the dust, the shelter, the mercy, the prasada or the feet of the devotees. Krsna comes through his devotees.

I was mentioning to some of the devotees earlier how Sudhama Vipra, in the early years, within Prabhupada’s first couple of years preaching in the West, Sudhama inquired, “What do we do when you leave?” How do we follow you, how do we think of you, how does the society go on? And Prabhupada explains how you should see me through my devotees. That means that he’s calling on us to be proper devotees, to be carriers of bhakti, to be high devotees, so more and more we can perceive Prabhupada through each other.

Just as Krsna is in all of our hearts, but in some cases he may seem to be more active because we are eager to search him out. In other cases, Krsna is also there, but someone is a mayavadi, someone is an atheist, someone is a raksasa. The same Krsna is there, but maybe a little harder to find. So just as Krsna is everyone’s heart, Krsna’s words are there, His guidance is there, and His devotees are there. Because the devotees are aspects of Krsna’s mercy, they are carriers of that mercy.

So sometimes we come together and we take each other for granted, or we come together and we make Krsna consciousness more like a religion than a war for annihilating our own lust and greed, kama, lobha, and we minimize the fact that in a war, there are emergencies constantly. There is no arena more sensitive than a battlefield. A battlefield is designed for defeat and for victory. It’s designed for annihilation. It’s designed for rescue. There’s no environment that brings out the worst and the best of people than that of a war.

Arjuna is inquiring on the battlefield and Krsna is speaking. Why would Krsna choose such an arena? Out of so many ways and so many different environments that He could speak in, why would he choose this? It seems bewildering to those who are only dharmic or pious, mode of goodness, because they often get confused and think, “Why should a religion, a philosophy, a theology be so associated with war?” So they give all kinds of allegorical considerations of what the battlefield of Kuruksetra was. But it was a war. And it’s a reminder to us that as we take to devotional service, we are declaring war on maya. And maya is declaring war on us.

In a war you have casualties, you have traitors, you have spies, you have survivors, you have victims, and you have high achievers. And in war you depend on association, you depend on strategy, you depend on mentorship, but each person is held responsible for certain duties. And one person’s failure can often bring disaster to many, and one person’s success can often bring victory to many. So we’re very connected. We’re very locked in as members of the Saraswata family. We’re very locked in under the umbrella of Nityananda.

So our devotion so much depends on how we interact everyday. It’s not what we do at the festivals, what we do at the temple. That’s important, but as or more important is what you do all during the other hours of the day. How much are we keeping Krsna forefront in our homes, in our jobs? How much are we keeping Krsna forefront when we are not around devotees? How much are we longing for their association when we do not have it? How much when we do have it that we take full advantage of it?

So many of us would give anything to have had more time with Srila Prabhupada. But he constantly let us know, “I am an old man and I may die any day,” Prabhupada would say. He set up his institution in such a way that we could allow him to live through carrying out his mission. And to the degree that we understand that is the degree to which Prabhupada is constantly alive in our lives.

I feel extremely that I can be confronted with life or death any week, any month, because it’s an opportunity to be more mindful, it’s an opportunity to live the Bhagavad-gita, live the Mahabharata, live the Bhagavatam. And I feel that you are all very fortunate, those of you who are my diksa, siksa disciples, etc., because we have a little time to prepare. We have time to accept and prepare that yes, one day perhaps soon, my guru will not physically be with us. So we have a chance now to ask certain questions. We have a chance now to prepare ourselves for accepting more of the vani than the vapu. And we have a chance to look closer at what are our particular services and duties and how much we are being responsible in carrying out our role in the mission of Srila Prabhupada.

Spiritual masters, we are like coaches in helping to remind you to be loyal to what our founder-acarya has given his life and has died for, and what kind of legacy that he has left that he expects us to maintain. So he has his own reasons for calling some of us to other locations, other stations, but obviously no one wants to start something and start something somewhere else and what they’ve previously started falls apart. You can’t construct a business, you can’t construct an institution, and you’re surely cannot construct a worldwide movement for transformation if the seeds that you plant are not sufficiently nourished and watered.

So we all have this amazing connection with Srila Prabhupada as our siksa and some as diksa guru. And many of you, even though you haven’t met Srila Prabhupada, you have dreamt of him, he’s come into your consciousness, he’s come into your life. And practically all of us have been inspired by his books and our reaping some of the benefits of his institution.


(2nd side of tape) ... we’re lacking and they bring us through. When these great souls enter into the universes, they do not come alone. Just like there’s no pastime, lila of Krsna coming alone in any incarnation. Whether it’s Matsya avatara, Kurma avatara, whether it’s Nsrimhadeva, whether it’s Lord Rama, every time Krsna comes, whatever form He comes, or whatever disguise He takes, He comes with eternal assistants. And so His great representatives, they do not come alone. And so they do they work and some – just as when Krsna’s lilas take place we see that some come before Him, some come with Him, and some come after Him. That means when Krsna sends some before Him, He’s there but in a certain form and He comes and He manifests. Some come with Him, He’s there in a certain form and He’s manifested. And when He leaves, He’s gone but He’s in a different form manifested.

So this coming and going is a part of the spiritual commitments that we are a part of, spiritual lifestyle, it’s our history. So we should know that each of us have a short time before we have to check out. And do we want to leave realizing that we didn’t pass the test and we have to come back again. Do we want to go through more and more material bodies, especially as kali yuga becomes more complex. Do we want to get caught up in different kinds of aparadhas, different kinds of offenses? Do we want to get distracted by so much involvement in material energy and some small aspect of devotion? Or do we want to be able to have a glorious departure, realizing that we have given our best and wish we could give more to the service of guru, to sadhu and to Krsna? And that’s an inventory that we all must take.

So 2 or 3 things I’d like us to keep in mind during this couple of days that we are together. We welcome all of you. As we said, you’ve come now into this little simple environment, you are prisoners for a few days. A few of you may escape and some of you may not escape. But we want you first to be reminded about the war theme. And that means always be attentive and alert, because in a war situation you can become a casualty at any moment, any day.

[2nd]We want you also, (not being gloomy or dismal), but to look at practically every day as if it could be your last day. At the end of each day, you take inventory to look at what you did that day, what you offered to the mission of Srila Prabhupada. [Look at] what you can say to your guru, “This is what I have done today in your service.”

First we asked you to keep in mind the war theme. So wherever you are it doesn’t matter, at work, at home, at school, in the temple, that you are mindful that Krsna is here and maya is also here – whether you are on the altar or wherever. Because we carry in our minds so many enemies of the mind, even when we’re cooking for Krsna, even when we’re on the altar, whatever. So we become less casualties of such when we are aware of how their attacks take place. So we want to conquer over these vegas by first being cognizant of their existence.

As we are more time conscious and mindful - and we can force ourselves to be more like that by having to check-in with ourselves everyday. So if it’s better for you in the morning or the evening, but either in the morning or the evening you reflect what you have done the previous day or what you have done that day. The more you are personal with sastra, with sadhu, with guru, the more you are personal with Krsna, the more you are personal with involving yourself in the literatures, in the philosophy, the more you will get that kind of reciprocation. Take the converse of that, the less you are, then the less reciprocation that you’re going to get.

The 3rd thing we ask you to reflect on is our own lives as Vaisnavas have as much value as we touch the life of another. If we look at one of the main qualities of an actual high-level Vaisnava, if we look at the qualities of a sadhu and we see this titiksava, karunika, we see mercy, and we see amazing kindness and tolerance. Prabhupada was so concerned about everyone that it was just phenomenal. The Goswamis were so concerned about everyone. Do you realize they preached to the royalty, they preached to the ruffians, they assisted the village people in just basic human concerns, because they were concerned where everyone was at and were eager to reach out and try to help everyone. And so therefore people had tremendous faith and confidence in them, whether the people themselves were pukka vaisnavas or not they had tremendous faith in them.

We should have such sadacara, such good character, that people who know us - it doesn’t matter what faith, what religion, what gender, what ethnicity - should respect us and feel that we have something of value, because of who we are and how we live. They may or may not understand what our theology is. They may not have the adhikara, they may not have the sukrti to be able to grasp the philosophy. But they should be able to experience something special from every bonifide sadhu. And those who have more mercy upon them should, by seeing and hearing us, they should want to be like us and many should change their lives because of us.

We cannot get sufficient mercy if we are not merciful ourselves. We cannot make sufficient advancement if we’re not eager to get the mercy, to share it, to help due to our concern for others. We are not talking about denying our own individuality. We’re not talking about denying our own spiritual needs, because we have genuine spiritual needs – not wants, but genuine spiritual needs. But our spiritual needs should be so much based on trying to help others. And when that’s not there, then we’re just practicing, you know, just basic religion; we’re not going above dharma. We are sanatana-dharmis.

So therefore, 3rd we asked you to look at your life to see what you are doing, in terms of how you live and how you sacrifice that’s focused on trying to help and to share with others. Now we’re not saying this trying to be realistic, trying to be romantic. We know that so much of our movement has been: you work now and have samadhi later. We’re not talking about just working under an autocratic arrangement and do not think about your family, your this, your that. We’re saying, yes; we’re saying think about all of that, but think about it knowing that when Krsna is satisfied, so many things fall in place beyond and better than what we can arrange. And if it’s not true then of course we are in the wrong movement. But we have to allow ourselves to give Krsna room to work, and then the miracles will happen in our lives. So I hope we all want to see miracles – that means beyond the ordinary, beyond the orthodox. And therefore we must develop more of this compassion for others.

So those 3 things. You look at your lives and see to what degree is your life giving quality to somebody else’s life? To what degree is your existence having some affect on your environments? To what degree are you helping by how you live so that someone else, or that other devotees or people can connect more with Krsna?

Now I’m not just talking some theoretical idea of being selfless. We’re talking about being selfless is a matter of planning and strategy and attitude. It’s not just chanting Hare Krsna, doing your deity service, and reading the books, it’s not just chanting Hare Krsna and giving out Food for Life, it’s not just chanting Hare Krsna and speaking to people on Sundays or whatever preaching centers or whatever. It’s how much every day that you are realizing how much you are for Krsna and Krsna is all for you.

And as we enter into this deeper level of consciousness, there is so much of the ahankara, so much of the false ego, so much of the lust, it just falls to the side. Because all of these enemies of the mind do not want to stay in association where there is compassion and purity. See there are times that we as Vaisnavas minimize compassion, because we are so much caught up with avoiding sentimentalism, we’re so much caught up in avoiding emotionalism, and avoiding lust, because in most cases what people consider affection is just lust, self-centered efforts for personal stimulation.

So we go from one extreme to the other extreme. We go from the extreme of being materialists, just seeking out all kinds of environments for our own comfort and pleasure. Then we go to the other extreme of being yogis, sometimes bhogis and rogis, instead of devotees.

And it’s sad the way Vaisnavas so often hurt each other, deny each other, dismiss each other, when we’re supposed to be the carriers of asraya-tattva, the greatest love and the abode of love. So it’s kind of maya’s trick to get us distracted. So we have to reclaim personalism for Krsna, not for ourselves, and not be afraid to show affection, but affection from here and not from the vegas. We don’t cut off affection because then we cut off our own humanity and spirituality.

We see how the great acaryas went through tremendous efforts in trying to give Krsna consciousness, such great signs of their compassion and their mercy – even to the degree that they are willing to sacrifice their own wellbeing and stability. You’re mostly householders, so you don’t sacrifice your immediate field of activities, your immediate field of activities is your family, and therefore Krsna has given you that connection. But you take care of your family in such a way that your family is a unit, is a catalyst for being able to spread and share Krsna consciousness. And then you will get so much protection from your immediate spiritual master and from the ascended spiritual masters, etc. Because we know as we do something that’s proper, then we’re susceptible for blessings from the whole parampara line. If we do something that’s improper, we’re an embarrassment to the whole line.

So I’m not here to tell you anything new. If you go back 25 years you’ll see I’m saying the same thing. It’s just that now maybe I’m leaving you soon, so some of you may listen a little closer, but you either get it or you don’t. Prabhupada gave it to us and we either get it or we don’t. Bhaktisiddhanta explains that one normally takes – average sadhu – 3 lifetimes, because lack of faith and offenses. Nama-abhasa, 2 lifetimes. If we’re on the suddha platform, 1 lifetime. We associate and we hear, but our faith is weak and our offenses are strong. But Krsna is merciful. One doesn’t have to come back like that, because there’s still danger with every birth. And that’s why some many people leave the body and they don’t go back to the spiritual world and some few do. It doesn’t have to be that way, because we have the connection that every single devotee can go back to Godhead in this lifetime. Jivan mukta – we don’t have to wait until we leave the body to be able to access our connection to the spiritual world. If our compassion is great enough then that compassion itself, the bija, bhakti lata bija being watered to such an extent that it breaks through the duality, the maha-tattva, the modes of material nature, even though one is still in the physical body.

So we don’t have to be the people who are waiting and hoping that it’s true that there is life after death, that there is the spiritual world, and that Krsna plays an amazing flute and dances in the most amazing way. We don’t have to just wonder is this just fantasy. Just like when Bhaktivinode is engaged in his bhajan, his house turns into the spiritual world. There’s so many lilas of different acaryas that we don’t have time to talk about right now of while in this realm of duality, for us, or while coming in disguise surruptitiously, and from time to time experiencing their original connection. Well that’s home for all of us. And Krsna has no favorites. But we have to favor Him over maya. We have to favor having greed to fall back into shelter of the Divine Couple.

So we hope during the times you are here you take full advantage. Some of you are meeting each other for the first time. Some of you will be taking initiation. I think we’ll have 1 or 2 workshops because we want you to leave here with having had the association or the sanga of the festival, the experience while you’re here in Gita Nagari Dhama, but more important we want you to leave having made some transformation. So as you leave, you are more focused in what you need to do as a spiritual warrior, as a soldier. Look at your life and what you need to put more in place to be able to act in such a way that you relieve the misery of others.

How many of you can look in your lives and distinctly see that you are relieving the miseries of others. How many of you are looking most of the time and thinking most of the time about what isn’t working in your own life. That is not transcendental. Most of your thoughts and most of your arrangements is about what isn’t working in your own life, looking at your own problems – yes, the problems are there and many of them will stay there. But we are all bigger than our own little problems. We say because those problems are part of our experience, part of our challenge, part of our battlefield that we have to deal with to meet Krsna on the other side.

So when you think how much are you sacrificing, ready to sacrifice to help relieve the suffering of others, and so to do that you have to be equipped. That means we have to make ourselves stronger. We have to fortify ourselves, because when you go also into situations of disease, of wounded, you get wounded or you become infected.

So if you try to help too many people or help people and you’re not strengthening yourself, then that will be also another kind of disaster. If you don’t try to help you will also be a disaster, because you won’t get sufficient protection yourself, you won’t get sufficient strength to endure in this process. And you’ll start wondering from day to day, what am I doing and why am I not advancing. We have to look at the example of the residents of Vrndavan. We have to look at what we are trying to become and what are the qualities and attributes of those who have that, and then we start trying to see how to develop such.

We don’t see or hear of the great acaryas being so overwhelmed about their mortgage, their insurance, about the car, about this or that. Yes, these are issues but they are temporary. And there’s going to be one or another type of issue that’s going to be there. It’s all a part of our existence in this prison.

So you look at the end of the day or the beginning of the day, look a little closer. Take inventory. What have you done that day where you have focused on making an offering to the lotus feet of your spiritual master, to the lotus feet of your Founder-Acarya, the lotus feet of your ista deva, the deities at your temple or at your home. And make it personal. You come home and before the night is over you come in and you pray to the murti, to the deities and you talk to Them. They hear you. The problem is when you start thinking you are hearing Them before you really have the adhikara. But They hear you. So you pray to Them. You talk to Them. You let Them know your heart, your mind, and beg for Their help and guidance and chastisement. And I guarantee you if you do that, you will see your spiritual life take on a whole new shift where whatever happens – health, sickness, wealth, impoverishment – it just happens. It’s because Krsna is there. When our foundation is strong, yes, things happen, but they just happen. When our foundation isn’t strong, things are happening and we identify with it and we just get swept up and we go through the bhoga tyaga like anything.

So we are happy that you are all here. People will be coming in all through the night and later in the day. Try your best to tolerate the austere situations here. Sometimes we think Radha Damodara keeps us in this austere environment so that we can be desperate. You know, desperation has an interesting way to make you cry out. You can’t get too comfortable. It’s a great danger to get too comfortable while you are in prison, or while you are on the battlefield.

So you keep those 3 themes in mind as we go through the next couple of days.

1. Our battlefield example – that means a chance for you to have victory, but also adversaries as well as sorority and comradeship. Look for good association. Be that good association. Realize that what you do can bring devastation and disaster to someone else or it can protect or it can save someone else. Realize how much the teamship, the synergy is important. Therefore as a culture we have so much dependence on each other. We’re so much influenced by what has gone before us and what we’re now dealing with. And we’re leaving something for our youth and for our children.


2. Take this inventory. Little things that can make a tremendous shift in your consciousness. Just think how much if we’re thinking more and more of Krsna, how much then Krsna is receiving more of our affection, our concerns. How much we’re identifying more as being his property.


3. And then 3rd, look closer at your life to see what are you doing to help relieve the miseries of others. As you think more about that and act more in that way and plan more in that way and strategize, then you will see so many issues and problems and stagnations in your own life will be minimized or taken away. And you will also see how much more Krsna will give you facility to be able to do more of his work. There are times when we are thinking so much about ourselves that actually we’ve accepted that it’s okay, because this is just how we normally think. That’s why Krsna says one who is dear to Him is not affected by happiness or distress. It means they’ve moved themselves so much out of the center that even they don’t get overly exhilarated by happiness in terms of identifying themselves as the proprietor; nor do they get overly disturbed by some chaos, pandemonium, tragedy or whatever, because they are not seeing themselves as the center. It’s happening around them. Or they see it as an opportunity to give something back to Krsna. So if they have a lot, they give a lot to Krsna. If they have a little, they give a lot of their little back to Krsna. And therefore they purchase the Lord.


So we’re going to try our best the little time or the long time we have with you – whatever Prabhupada desires – to try to simply but profoundly whatever little messages we can leave with you so that when we do leave you, you won’t have to feel that there is anything that we should have said or we should have done that we didn’t do. I have to go before Prabhupada and I have to present what did I do as one of his generals. What did I do as a sannyasi? What did I do as a guru? I have to go before him and give a report. So I want to give a report that we did as best as we could to keep everyone as uncomfortable as possible to remind them that this material world is a prison, and to get out of here as many as possible, and as expediently as possible. And as many in this lifetime as possible, and as many in this lifetime as we can.

So I think the way that I’ve been praying and some of the things that I’ve been saying hopefully to realize more about the gravity of our commitments in this process. I’m eager and very happy to make any sacrifice I can to help as many people as I can, because I’m an opportunist. I know that the more I can sacrifice and the more I can help, then the more I’ll be able to help more and more and the wages for devotional service is more service. So whether I serve here or in some other place I know there are more opportunities to serve. And if we really believe what we are chanting, then we are asking for service, we’re asking for Radha and Krsna to bring to us whatever can facilitate our ability to be able to join them.

So just as some of you have had relatives in war and maybe some of you have even been in wars and you realize how serious it is. When you see people around you getting killed, when you realize that you can die at any moment. Most people in America, they don’t have the slightest idea about war because it’s something that happens in some other place, something that happens to other people or a few people go. If we think of spiritual life in that sense you realize, yes, one moment you can be alive, the next moment you can be wounded, the next moment you can be dead. And it all has to do with environment and association and consciousness.

So we have the schedule tomorrow. As many as possible try to attend all the programs. I’m going to try to be as available as much as I can. I’ll have to come over a little later most of the days. I’m still struggling with sugar diabetes and cancer and a whole lot of other stuff – prostate problems and high blood pressure. But that’s around me as something that’s going on. The soul is not affected by that, but still we have to try to maintain body and soul as best as possible or as long as possible.

So I’m expecting everyday to get more energized as we get more in the mood of facilitating ourselves for spiritual warfare. So we look deeper and take inventory of our lives and try to give more attention to those things that are more accelerating in our quest. And as we allow our hearts to open up – and the heart opens up as the mind gets more stimulated also. The heart genuinely opens up, as the intellect gets sharpened, as the mind gets sharpened. Because when the mind and intellect are not sufficiently sharpened, they’re going to interfere with the heart. To really open up the heart is not just a sentimental affair. It’s a very intellectual, intelligent, it’s a very strategizing affair – genuine opening of the heart.

I don’t no about you, but I don’t want to be a part of an institution or society or community of people who don’t have deep love for each other. When you are around people who don’t have deep love for each other, then you’re like assassinating or attacking each other – by enviousness, by anger. Who wants to be in an environment where people like throwing rocks at you, throwing bricks at you, throwing cans at you. When people don’t really care about each other, it’s like they’re doing that. But how wonderful to be a part of an environment where there’s just amazing amount of protection, association, facilitation, of concern. So even when you are going through whatever struggles you are, you feel at least that you are supported, or you feel that somewhere somebody else is caring, or somebody else is concerned. And then that helps each of us in whatever Battle of Kuruksetra we are individually dealing with to be able to become more inspired to be able to do that. And how hard it is when we are going through are individual struggles and we feel that nobody is really concerned, or nobody would even notice if you weren’t around, or nobody would even care, or even if we’re not around most people would be happier not to even see us. It’s hellish if that’s the situation that we have to deal with. And all of this impacts upon our own consciousness, because we internalize so much. That becomes who we are.

So each of us can make each other better by simply bettering ourselves. We want to bring a better “ourselves” into the environment, and then to strategize in seeing how we can help minimize the sufferings of others. See this is supposed to be an underlying tenet of Vaisnavas. Because it’s so underlying, we don’t talk about it so much. But it’s supposed to be an underlying tenet. We’re supposed to be ready to go through hell to let others go on to the spiritual kingdom. We’re supposed to be ready to even stay in the material world for many lifetimes if it’s the desire of guru and Krsna. We’re supposed to be ready to accept the mood of the gopis by taking the dust from our feet and giving it for Krsna’s headache, even though there may be consequences for us personally. And because of that of course Krsna defeats, because as we give, Krsna gives more. As we try to glorify Him, He will glorify us more. And that is the nature of love. Love is competitive in a selfless way.

So try a little more and see what happens in your life. You’ve tried so many other things, try a little more of trying to see how to help relieve the suffering of others. So study more so that you can help more. Be more attentive to what is in the environment to see how you can serve. Be more eager to try to reach out to devotees and non-devotees and trying to share. Be more eager to bond and share your realizations as you are chanting, as you are reading in the mood that you are facilitating others, other fellow soldiers. You are facilitating a chance to glorify Krsna and seeing Krsna in so many different sectors and so many different places. What is Krsna consciousness but seeing in Krsna in all things, at all times, in all environments. So we see Him by looking for Him. He seems to be hiding, but we are hiding. So we want to function in a way that He will see us.

So we want you to get proper rest tonight so that the next couple of days you will be fully present as we will have rather long days of discussions and activities. The activities will be variegated: spiritual, social, educational, spiritual recreational, etc. And if you want to leave you can try, but I don’t think the snow is going to allow you anyway.(laughter)


ISKCON-Founder Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jaya! Sri Sri Radha Damodara, Radha Kalachandji, Gaura-premanande Hari Hari Haribol!


His Holiness Bhakti Tirtha Swami Maharaja Ki! Jaya!!!

SashidharaDasa - March 3, 2005 12:10 am

Very Inspiring..Thanks for sharing



NrsinghaDas - March 3, 2005 12:38 am

I attended this program and it was very inspiring. Bhakti Tirtha Maharajs mood is very potent. I apprecieated all of his lectures, but unfortunatly I was recruted to the kitchen during the initiation lecture. Do you have a transcription of that lecture also? On the whole that whole weekend was very special and Bhakti Tirtha Maharaj, whom I hadnt really heard from until then was quite moving.

Karnamrita Das - March 7, 2005 4:16 pm

Thanks to Haridas for posting that lecture. Hard to convey the feeling of those 4 days....and the kirtans--so enthusiastic and some with 300+ devotess. Anyway, Nrsinghaji (and anyone else who would like), here is the web address for some MP3s you can download.




So far just the first day of offerings is available. Hopefully the other days will be available in time.