Today, we are going to install the sri vigraha of our beloved spiritual master Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadji Maharaj. We have this opportunity, especially today, to glorify our revered and beloved spiritual master Srila Prabhupadji Maharaj, and his nectarean pastimes and preachings.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, 9th canto (9.5.15-16), it is said: “By hearing His Name the living entity becomes completely cleansed of all material contamination. That Supreme Lord is known as Tirthapada, because tirthas are there at His Lotus Feet. Those who have taken shelter of that Tirthapada Bhagavan, is there anything unattainable on their path? They have everything, because when they have the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is Purnabrahma, completely full, so is there any other thing one has to obtain? One has everything.“
So such a Vaishnava, why he comes here?
Caitanya Caritamrta says “mahanta-svabhava ei tarite pamara, nija kaya nai tabu-yan ta’ra ghara” (Mad. 8.39)
This is the nature of a mahajan, he has no business in this material world. He does not belong here; why he comes here? To deliver these most fallen souls, out of mercy, he has no other business here.
Srimad Bhagavatam says: “mahad-vicalanam nrnam, grnam dinacetasam, nihsreyasaya bhagavan-nanyatha kalpate kvacit.” (l0.8.4)
“O Lord those persons who are too much attached to their home and wealth and have forgotten completely the Supreme Lord and their own identity, the mahatmas go to their houses to do real good to them, just to remind them of their own svarup. This is the real benefit, they don’t go for any other purpose.”
What is the supreme perfection of human life? To attain Love of Godhead. Who is Godhead? Krishna. To know Him in tattva, that is the supreme perfection, isn’t it? He is known as Visaya Vigraha Bhagavan. How can you understand Him? By the mercy of Asraya Vigraha Bhagavan, or acharya. Guru or Vaishnava, what do they do? What is their business? Their only business is Hari Kirtan.
So if that guru doesn’t do Hari kirtan, if he doesn’t speak about the Name, fame, qualities, paraphernalia, nectarean pastimes of Visaya Vigraha Bhagavan, can anybody know or understand them? If that acharya doesn’t speak about Grantha avatar, Srimad Bhagavatam, can anybody understand the teachings given there, in tattva? No. The Supreme Lord is there, His Name is there, His mantra is there. They all have descended in this material world, incarnated here. Unless Acharya Avatar Gurudeva does kirtan in the ear of the sisya, disciple, it will never be effective.
So, therefore, although in all Vedic literatures the Divine Names of The Lord, mantras, everything is there, still unless we hear from the lips of that mahanta gurudeva, we can not hear it. So there is absolute necessity of accepting a bona fide acharya. The Names of The Lord, mantra, Bhagavatam, all these are visaya vigraha. We can only understand the real svarup of visaya vigraha by the mercy of acharya, when he does kirtan. Therefore Mahaprabhu has said this thing: “Kirtaniya sada Hari“.
Srila Jiva Goswamipad has said, in his sandarbhas, that in Kali Yuga, although other processes of bhakti are there, still these should be understood by “kirtanaksa bhakti“, otherwise you can not understand. Sravanam, kirtanam, Visnu smaranam. In Kali Yuga you can understand only through kirtanaksa bhakti. Unless gurudev does kirtan, you can’t understand. This kirtan is, eternal process, nitya kirtan dharma, that is business of asraya vigraha Gurudev.
What is dharma of sisya? Disciple is always humble. Guru does kirtan – disciple hears. Sravanam Kirtanam. Unless you hear, how can you do kirtan? What kirtan you’ll do? What you have heard, only that kirtan you’ll do! This is eternal process, Gurudeva’s kirtan, disciple’s humble hearing. This eternal flow is known as srauta dharma, hearing dharma, and this is mercy of the Mahanta Guru.
So, such a Mahanta Guru is our revered and beloved spiritual master, Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Out of his causeless mercy, he came here, and through his mercy, we could understand this. So, we should glorify him, today, as we are going to install his sri vigraha in this bhajan kutir. He came here in 1977. He arrived here on 18th January and stayed 17/18 days, in that very humble cottage. He refused to stay in the state guest house arranged for him, he stayed here. There-by he teaches us how to accept the arrangements of Krishna.
He told me “No, Gour Govind, in that cottage you have erected, that Krishna has arranged. I won’t stay in that guest house”.
He stayed here, for 17-18 days, with no modern amenities, only he told me to bring electricity. He was using a dictaphone for his translation, that was absolutely necessary for him. By his mercy, for the first time it was brought to this area. By his mercy he came, so everything came here, for the first time – water pipe, telephone connection, everything, because all these things would be used for Hari Kirtan, so Krishna sent.
When he was here, all of the time he was doing Hari kirtan, speaking about Krishna, Mahaprabhu. Many, many people, thousands and thousands, were coming, taking prashad. During the auspicious occasion of the appearance day of Lord Nityananda, on the 2nd of February, 1977, he laid the foundation stone of this Krishna-Balaram Mandir. He waited for that day to come. He waited, stayed for 17-18 days, otherwise he would have gone earlier. He waited for that auspicious day.
So, his bhajan kutir is there. We have kept it because that will always remind us of his staying there and working there, his dictaphone. You can also hear it from here, dictaphone. When all are asleep, he is saying on his dictaphone; at 2 a.m., at 2:30 a.m. you can hear. Still it is being heard, can you hear him? You have deaf ear, so you cannot hear it. Open your ear, hear it, that transcendental sound that will purify your whole body. It is always there, it is eternal always purifying.
In Hari Bhakti Vilas (10. 113), Srila Sanatan Goswami has quoted this verse from, Padma Puran: “na karma-bandhanam janma, vaisnavanams ca vidyate, visnor anucaratvam hi, moksam ahur manisninah” A Vaishnava has no birth, no death no karma bandhana, bondage of karma, because they have completely taken shelter at the Lotus Feet of Krishna. The Lord is eternal. He has no birth or death. Similarly, His dear devotees, those who with pure love have taken shelter of His Lotus Feet have no karma bandhana. Krishna is eternal, He is always everywhere.
Similarly such Vaishnavas are always there. Though apparently my revered, beloved spiritual master, the spiritual master of the whole world Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadji Maharaj has disappeared, but he actually has not disappeared, he is still present.
“Lord Krishna never leaves Vrindaban, even one step, but when Akrura came by the order of Kamsa “oh, He left Vrindaban and went to Mathura.” His Mathura lila is manifested, Dvarka lila manifested, but Vrindaban lila is always there, though apparently it is unmanifested, but it is there. Those who have developed such vision can see how that lila is going on. Can you see? “visaya chariya kabe sudha habe mana, kabe hama herabo sri Vrindaban.”
“When will I see Vrindaban? When will that day be mine when my heart will be cleansed of all material contamination, when will I become completely detached from material association or attachment; completely attached to the Lotus Feet of Krsna. By the mercy of such dear devotees as Rupa and Raghunnath and their followers, then I will be able to see. Otherwise it will not be possible.”
Similarly, the lilas of His pure devotees are eternal. Though, apparently, it is not manifested, it is there – if you are fortunate, you can see it. As I say, still Srila Prabhupada is speaking in his bhajan kutir. You may hear it, how he is speaking in his dictaphone at 2a.m., 2:30 a.m.. He has speaking and he is still speaking, and you can hear how he is present. I never feel his separation, I always feel his presence, how he is teaching me, how he is slapping me, how he is directing me, how he is instructing and guiding me, you understand?
When you give this “jay nitya lila…” like that, it is very painful for me. His nitya lila is going on here.
He has brought down here Krishna-Balaram, Gour-Nitai, Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra, and he is always at Their Lotus Feet, sitting there. So pray for his mercy, and through his causeless mercy you can also feel his presence.
I can clearly recall, in 1977 when he was just leaving this place, he was asked when again he will come here and he said “I will come here when the temple will open,” and he has kept his word, he has come now.
When he was here, it was jungle. Nobody was coming here, even if you asked the rickshaw-wala to come here that time at mid-day, they say “no”, they will not go there, what to speak about night, “no, that’s a very dangerous place, we won’t go there.” Nobody was coming here, such a place. But, at that time, some of his leading disciples objected to open a temple here. He said “no, I will open a temple here. This will be the middle of the city.” Now, it is the middle of the city. And he said that this will be one of the best ISKCON temples in the world. So how he had clear vision you can understand.
So, today, he is appearing, in his bhajan kutir. His vigraha is non-different from him. So you must glorify him, beg his mercy to shower on us, thereby we can understand Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead in tattva and perfect our lives. May he bless us, shower his mercy on us, such pamaras, patitas, such adhamas.
- From a discourse given by Srila Gour Govinda Swami on the occasion of the installation of Srila Prabhupada’s deity at Bhubaneswar, on 21st January, 1991.