385. The demigods also respects

A nice class this morning detailing out the respects paid by 3 important personalities when they hear about the arrival of Lord Krishna to this world.

Srimad Bhagavatam Class: 10.02.25
Bhaktini Aruna Mataji
Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, North Sydney
16.07.2017

The arrival of demigods to see the birth of Lord Krishna, is like the baby shower of these days. Who better than highest of demigods to welcome Him to this world?Goloka Vrindhavana, Vaikuntha planets and this material world are all His properties. He is the Supreme. Hence, demigods like Lord Brahma & Lord Shiva are there to pay their respects.

Lord Brahma in one of his prayers at another time asks for Lord’s mercy, ask for help to not be contaminated by ego and for His sweet advice. Similarly, our mood should also be like this – always relying on Krishna. In another pastime of his cow and cowherd devotees stealing, he says that there are many people out there who knows everything about Krishna but he himself doesn’t. So, what is our status? In another pastime, Lord Brahma was amazed to know that there were so many Brahmas who had come to see Krishna, he was just another small one. Krishna tells him that he has only 4 heads because his particular universe is only 4 billion miles long!

Lord Shiva is also an important personality and is in charge of destruction in the material world. He is but a transformation of the primeval lord and considered as the highest Vaishnava. Our approach to him should be of this understanding and that he is not an independent supreme lord. Lord Shiva himself addresses Krishna as the Supreme-most being. In another instance, he praises the beauty of Sri Krishna.

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Narada muni was also there. He is always chanting, “Om Namo Narayana”. In his past life, he had heard of sweet pastimes of the Lord from the Bhaktivedantas. When he left home as a child in search of the Lord, he had a very brief glimpse of the Lord in the forest. Later the Lord tells him that this brief audience was only to increase his longing and eagerness of the Lord. The darshan of the Lord is only by His mercy. Even in our lives, we only have a brief audience of the Lord at the temple after which we leave for the material lifestyle.

Our purpose is only to long for Krishna. Everything else like beautiful home or husband or wife or job is not the primary goal. When we are in front of the Deity, we shouldn’t be asking for things but only offer prayers to please Him.

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384. Kamsa’s absorption

Srimad Bhagavatam Class Notes: 10.02.23-24

HG Abhishek Prabhu

North Sydney temple

15.07.2017

Kamsa was stricken with fear. He waited so many years for the 8th child to be born. All his moments were taken up, anticipating the arrival of Krishna. His fear had gone to that extent where he thought of killing his own sister instead of waiting. It was his natural option but he completely refrained from it. He felt the consequences would be too severe. In the pages of history, we see such carnage where one side would kill the family (children & pregnant women too) so that no lineages exist of the defeated army.

In our constant effort to push things to ourselves and pull away from things we don’t like, a living entity is in constant fear. This happens when one has turned away from Krishna. When one feels sheltered, he is satisfied. When one is absorbed in duality, he becomes covered. In BG, it’s compared to an embryo in the womb, totally covered. When one is deeply covered or in the mode of ignorance, he considers irreligious to be religious. Arjuna was very clear what he had to do on the war front due to advice of Lord Krishna. For such a person, their intelligence becomes very clear.

But Kamsa did not have this intelligence. He had no shelter of Krishna. We often find children who has had no proper parental shelter constantly look for a shelter. They feel a loss of identity and duty. In Vedic culture, there was an understanding that one’s strength (especially mental) comes from purity & dharma. Kamsa was very physically powerful and conquered many in the universe. Yet he had no mental strength.

When you are in a leadership position, one becomes isolated in someway because the decision he takes could be harmful or perceived to be harmful. This leads to people staying away from that person. Such an isolation is like death. But Krishna is such a leader that people long to name their children after Him. But, look at the case of incredibly dangerous dictators. Their name, activities and thoughts are pretty much banned from society. Think about the ill will on such people.

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Kamsa was always engaged in unfavourable thoughts of Krishna in whatever he did, whether he be sitting, walking etc. He couldn’t see but Krishna everywhere. Although he was in total mood of absorption, unfortunately it was in enmity. Pure devotees of the Lord are also always thinking of Krishna but favourably. They have the mascara of love smearing the eyes of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada would see Krishna and preaching opportunities in everything he saw around him.

If children are raised with Bhakti in their hearts, then you can be confident to let them go. Even if a devotee is now seen engaged in sense gratification, there is always a chance of  a U-turn in his consciousness where he realises his mistakes and the time he has wasted. As parents, we cannot guarantee that the child will become a devotee immediately. But what can be done is to share Krishna bhakti with them in their younger years so that they can turn towards this lifestyle & education at some stage of their lives, even if you may not live to see it.

Science tries to reduce everything to physical principles with no acceptance of God and the divine diversity of life & emotions. Such a life is a waste of human life.

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383. Liverpool Ratha Yatra

Had an awesome day yesterday!

2:30am: Wake up
4am – 5:25am: Travel to temple
5:25am – 6:50am: Deity paraphernalia service
6:50-7am: Gobble down maha-sweets as a award to myself for the morning activities
7am-7:10am: Checking out my friends iPad out
7:15am – 8:45am: Deity greeting, Guru Puja, Bhagavatam class
8:45am-9:30am: Massive breakfast prasadam (rice, zucchini curry, puri, coconut chutney, tomato chutney & halva)
9:30am – 10:45am: Bus & train travel to Liverpool where the Ratha Yatra would be held.

As i get out of the train station and look for directions to the carpark where the event would be held, someone touches me on the shoulder and says, “Hari Bol!”

I turned around and its Sri Prabhalad prabhu, the wonderful devotee and kirtaneer. I was so happy to see him there. Every time i see him, i am reminded of my early days of ISKCON where his kirtan would sustain me. Together, we make our way to the venue using Google Maps. We almost got lost before a devotee came looking for him. A short walk and we were at the venue – a car park.

The car park were full of devotees! There was s stage and an altar. Prasad and book distribution counters were being setup. Thick waft of Vrindhavana incense filled the underground park and passed into the street outside. Prabhus in dhotis, others in western wear (me included), matajis in super colourful indian attire and kids running around – the place looked, felt & sounded like a temple!!

Sri Prahalad prabhu got into action right away adorning himself with a harmonium. A prabhu held out a mic for him. Young boys on karatalas and mridangas joined in. Lord Jagannath, Baladeva and Subadra got into Their carts. The local Council members stood in front with a coconut in their hands, ready to smash them to the ground. They looked amused as they were told they would be doing this! Once that ceremony was done, the cart was signalled to move. Devotees cheered, onlookers gathered by the pavements and kirtan was in full swing.

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A devotee came running towards me and said, “Prabhu, come quickly! We need a person to carry their Lordships and Their palanquin!”. I couldn’t believe my luck! I had the same opportunity when the Ratha Yatra was opened at the St. Kilda Festival, some 6-7 years ago! There were 4 boys resting the palanquin on their shoulder but it was slightly slanted because i was short compared to the others! So after some 10 mins of walking, i was replaced by someone with the right height that matched everyone else. Yet, i was happy and thankful for the opportunity. The rest of the trip, I continued to walk with Them lest i might get an opportunity again.

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Basically, we went along the streets circling the carpark. Storekeepers and their customers spilled onto the street to watch the procession. Some smiled and some looked confused. It seemed to me that they had no idea what was going on. To them, it looked liked some Hindu festival. I wish many of them were given handouts about the significance of the event, invited to pull the ropes and perhaps ask them to join us for the lunch prasad afterwards.

Speaking about prasad, this was on the menu – big pooris, tomato chutney, green salad, rice, eggplant & paneer subji, water & cordial. It was nice – everyone were hungry! There were some stage shows but i didn’t stay back for them as i was so sleepy by now. Walked back to the bus stand, and took a 1.5 hr trip back home.

I couldn’t help thinking that as Lord Jagannath travels across the streets with the gigantic ropes, a large cart and plenty of devotees, He is actually riding on the road on our hearts. May He continue to give us this privilege year after year!

Here are the video highlights: