Evening Address to Pandas and Scholars

Jagannatha Puri, January 26, 1977
Indian man (1): Prabhupada, who has been kind enough to grace this occasion wherein we have assembled this evening to pay our respectful homage to Jagannatha dasa Gosvami, who was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya.
Prabhupada: (Bengali) I thank you very much...
Hari-sauri: The microphone's not working.
Prabhupada: ...for kindly receiving me. So in our humble way we are trying to...
Indian man (1): Is the mike on?
Prabhupada: ...introduce the Jagannatha Swami's culture. Jagannatha svami nayana-pathagami bhavatu me. You'll be very much pleased that in the year 1967 I introduced Ratha-yatra in San Francisco. And it is going on continually for the last six or seven years, and the government, they have fixed up a holiday for Ratha-yatra. We have got 25th July as government fixed-up day, holiday, for Ratha-yatra. And people take part in the Ratha-yatra, not all my devotees, even outsiders. Ten to twelve thousand people attend, and we distribute prasadam to all of them. They feel very much obliged. And the newspaper writes that "People in general never felt such ecstasy as they are feeling in the Ratha-yatra festival." And the police said that the crowd... In the Western country, as soon as there is some big crowd, there is some disturbance. So police were surprised that "This crowd is not window-breaking crowd." And next we introduced Ratha-yatra in London, in the London, Trafalgar Square. That is the most famous square within the city. And there is a big column. It is called Nelson Column. So our ratha was so high that the Guardian paper, they criticized that "This Ratha-yatra is rival to Nelson Column." Next we introduced Ratha-yatra in Philadelphia, and this year we have introduced Ratha-yatra in New York and...
Hari-sauri: Melbourne.
Prabhupada: Melbourne, Sydney.
Hari-sauri: Paris.
Prabhupada: Paris. So in the Western countries Ratha-yatra is being introduced one after another, and Jagannatha Swami is attracting the attention of the Western people. (someone talking in background) What is that? So people will come in your Jagannatha Puri now from all parts of the world. That is beneficial from various point of view. From the point of tourist program, the government will benefit. And when they're attracted to see Jagannatha Puri, Jagannatha Swami... Unfortunately, you do not allow these foreigners to enter the temple. How it can be adjusted? This stumbling block should be dissolved. If you want Jagannatha Swami to pack up within your home, and you do not expand the mercy of Jagannatha... He is Jagannatha. He's not only this Puri-natha, or Oriya-natha; He's Jagannatha. Krsna declares in the Bhagavad-gita, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. That is the definition of Jagannatha, sarva-loka-mahesvaram. So why you should deny the inhabitants of Sarva-loka the darsana of Jagannatha? That is not... Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never approved such thing. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He said,
When that thing is being done and when they are eager to come here, why you should restrain? What is the cause? This is not very good. Arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih. It is not good.
So we are preaching Srimad-Bhagavatam all over the world. We have translated into English Bhagavad-gita, Caitanya-caritamrta, Srimad-Bhagavatam. And they are being received very nicely. In the Christmas period in a week, from 17 December to 24 December, our report is we have sold books, small and big, seventeen lakhs. And our general survey is: we are selling books to the worth of five to six lakhs daily. Daily. And our expenditure is also very heavy. We have started a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust for expanding this movement. We have got about two hundred buses to preach the Jagannatha cult all over the world, village to village, town to town... [break] ...this krsna-bhakti cult may be one (?) all over. I do not know what is the cause. Here you are all present, many learned scholars and pandits. So you consider why this restriction should be there. Of course, if you do not allow, there is no, I mean to say, loss on the part of the foreigners, because Jagannatha has already gone there, and they are worshiping. But it is an etiquette that to give samana to the Vaisnava, Vaisnava aparadha has been very much condemned by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So these Vaisnavas, when they are so much eager to come to Jagannatha Puri and see Jagannatha, you should welcome them. You should receive them well, because Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava seva, nistara payeche keba. And (in) the sastra it is said, tadiyanam aradhanam. Visnor aradhanam param, tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam aradhanam.
So I have specially come to request you to remove this restriction and be friendly to the foreign devotees. And you also come there, see how there are so many Jagannatha temples, Radha-Krsna temples, how They are being worshiped, how these foreigners, they have become pure Vaisnava. They are strictly observing the four principles of sinful life by negation: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no fish-eating, no egg-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. They are purified. And Srila Sanatana Gosvami openly says, tatha diksa-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrnam. So there is authority. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,
Krsna says personally in the Bhagavad-gita, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah..., te 'pi yanti param gatim [Bg. 9.32]. So there is ample sastra-pramana, approved by the acaryas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu converted many Pathans into Vaisnava, changed their name. So things are going according to sastra and mahajana. Why you should not receive them as Vaisnava and give them proper reception? That is my request. I hope... There are many learned scholars and devotees present here. They should endeavor to remove this, I mean to say, restriction or short-sightedness, and let us combinedly work for Jagannatha to preach the bhakti cult for the benefit of the whole world. Janma sarthaka kari kara para-upakara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. This Bharata bhumi is for para-upakara, because this knowledge, the Vedic knowledge, is here in the Srimad Bharatavarsa. So we should assimilate the bhakti cult to the right direction, and making our life successful, we should distribute this knowledge, this cult, all over the world. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. Janma sarthaka kari para-upakara. The modern civilization is very vicious civilization. Because in the human form of life there is the opportunity, athato brahma jijnasato inquire about the Supreme Truth—so if they are denied... The knowledge is there in India. If it is denied, that is not very good human society. So I shall request you all, learned scholars, pandita present here, to cooperate with this movement, Krsna consciousness, and let us conjoinedly work for Jagannatha cult.
Thank you very much.
Hari-sauri: Srila Prabhupada? There's a question. You want to answer?
Prabhupada: What is that?
Indian man (2): ...don't put question. Bhagavat-sat-sandarbha of Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: So what shall I do? So? Of course, I do not know the Oriya language, but it is said that it is Bhagavat-sat-sandarbha of Jagannatha. So it is inaugurated today. (applause) (Puri temple brahmanas chant prayers to Lord Jagannatha) So these European and American Vaisnavas, they're hankering after jagannatha svami nayana pathagami bhavatu me. Now it is through your intervention they may be able to see Jagannatha Swami. (chuckles) They are hankering like that, jagannatha svami nayana pathagami bhavatu me.
Indian man: (Bengali)
Prabhupada: Have some prasada. (end)

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