Loading the player ...
His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's
Appearance Day, Lecture
Los Angeles, February 7, 1969
Prabhupada: ...means a broader heart. They are not satisfied simply by his personal comfort. In political history also, you will find so many great leaders. They sacrificed their own comforts. In your country there was George Washington. He sacrificed so many. There were other leaders. In every country, in political field. Similarly, social field also. Even the political leaders, the Marx, they also, he was also compassionate by seeing the terrible condition of the Russian peasants, so he started that communist movement. That is the way. Great men, they work for the general mass of people. They are not... That is their greatness.
So Advaita Prabhu, when He found that people are simply engaged in eating, sleeping, and they are not, they have no concern with Krsna, and their life is being spoiled, so He wanted to start this Krsna consciousness movement, say, about six hundred years ago, but He considered Himself as unable to take up this movement seriously because the condition of the people was so wretched. He thought that "If Krsna Himself comes, then it can be done. Otherwise it is not possible." So Advaita Prabhu called Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by His call, He appeared, Krsna appeared. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was almost like grandson of Advaita Prabhu. But when He was young man, a very beautiful youth, so at that time nobody knew, but Advaita Prabhu knew that "He is Krsna. He has come." So He was simply... Sometimes devotees pretend to be not in knowledge. So He was praying Krsna, "This boy is very nice. If He takes up this Krsna consciousness movement, then it will be very successful. He is very intelligent, beautiful."
In this way there was, Caitanya's Mahaprabhu's time, this Krsna consciousness movement was going nicely, very. And after Him, there was six Gosvamis. They also managed. Then, as it is the rule of this material world that you start something very good but in due course of time the things deteriorate, so this Vaisnava, Krsna consciousness movement, also deteriorated in due course of time. Say, after the disappearance of the Gosvamins, about 250 years after, the things became most ridiculous. The so-called devotees... Their representatives still are continuing. They are called prakrta-sahajiya. Prakrta-sahajiya means taking things very easily. They thought that Radha-Krsna is just like a boy and girl's lusty affairs. And in this way they took it that sex life as religion. Even Vivekananda, he also criticized, "Vaisnavism is sex religion." So the things deteriorated in such a way that... And similarly, as Advaita Prabhu was afflicted, similarly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura... He was at that time a householder, government officer and magistrate. He felt very much: "Oh, Lord Caitanya's movement is so... People... As soon as one will see that he belongs to the Caitanya sampradaya, he'll deride, 'Oh, these are all rascals, simply taking sex pleasures. That's all.' " There were thirteen pseudo Vaisnavas, thirteen sects: Aula, Baula, Karttabhaja, Neda, Daravesa, Sani, Sahajiya, Sakhibheki. Sani community... You have heard that in London there is a Sani community. Sani Hindu center you have heard from Mukunda? The Sani is there still. So there are thirteen pseudo pretenders belonging to the Caitanya-sampradaya. They are called first Aula, Baula, Karttabhaja, Neda, Daravesa, Sani, Sakhibheki, Gauranga-nagari, Cudadhari, Ativadi, and Smarta, Jata-gosani. Like that, thirteen.
So if I describe these thirteen, it will take thirteen hours. So I don't describe all them. But one or two must be described. The most important is the Jata-gosani. Jati-gosani. They created a caste of gosvamins, just like they created a caste of brahmanas, a caste of gosvamins. So this gosvami will come by hereditary birth, just like brahmana. So Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very sorry to see the condition of the society. So these gosvamins... The original history of gosvami is the six Gosvamins. Now, out of the six Gosvamins, none of them were priestly class. So far Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, they were great politicians, prime minister, a finance minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. So... And similarly, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he was a big zamindar. His father is... Zamindar means landholder. During British period... No, at that time not British period, Mohammedan period. They distributed land among some, I think, in the Western countries bourgeois (pronounces "boor zhwa") they call? Bourgeois? Or in England, the landholders, what they are called?
Prabhupada: Yes. So zamindar, landholder. So he belonged to a very big landholder... His father, his father and uncle, two brothers. So he was the only son. So naturally, he was to inherit the whole property, and at that time it was twelve hundred thousands dollars' income. Just see how much he was rich man. When he used to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Nityananda in his youth-hood, when he was eighteen years', twenty years' age—he was almost of the contemporary of Lord Caitanya—he used to distribute gold to the brahmanas and Vaisnavas, gold, so much gold. What is the price of so much gold? He used to distribute. He was rich man, so he was doing like rich man. So that is the history of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. That is the history of Sanatana Gosvami. None of them were belonging to the Vaisnava sect or nothing. Caitanya Mahaprabhu turned them. This Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami were rejected from the brahmana community because at that time the brahmana society was so strict, if somebody takes service of a Musselman or anyone, oh, he is immediately exterminated: "Oh, you cannot be accepted as pure..." Brahmana, ksatriya, according to Vedic system, the brahmana, ksatriya, and vaisya, they'll not accept any service, even it is worth $200,000. No. That he will not acc... Then that is degradation. Only the sudras can accept. That was the Vedic system. To accept another's service was so abominable. In the Bhagavata also it is stated that if the brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisya, especially the brahmanas, they have no livelihood, then they can adopt the business of ksatriya and vaisya, but never accept the occupation of the dog, sudra. That is stated. You see? So to accept service of others was so abominable, even five hundred years ago. So this Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami, they were also belonged to very rich family, but because they accepted ministership in the government of a Muhammadan, they were rejected. They were exterminated from the society. What is the extermination of society? He will never be invited. Nobody will offer his daughter to their family, because according to Vedic system, daughters and sons are not loitering in the street. The father and mother must engage. So if one is exterminated, oh, it is very difficult to get his daughter married. Nobody will accept. That was their condition. Actually, they also became hopelessness. They became almost Muhammadan. They changed their name, Dabira Khasa. This is Muhammadan name. And Sakara Mallika. Caitanya Mahaprabhu made them Gosvami, this Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Haridasa Thakura, he belonged to the Muhammadan community. He was made namacarya, the principal acarya of this chanting Hare Krsna. That is the revolutionary method of Caitanya.
Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not liked by the hereditary brahmanas. They dislike. Whenever there is Caitanya movement, they pose another counter. This Rama-Krishna is a counteraction of Caitanya. Because Caitanya, the Vaisnava-sampradaya, accept Caitanya Mahaprabhu as incarnation of God, so they presented this Gadadhara Chatterjee as incarnation of Krsna, and by worshiping Kali. You see? So this competition is since a very long time between the Vaisnava and the other sect. Anyway, when these Gosvamis... My point is that originally the Gosvamis came from ordinary person. There is no caste. But they manufactured a caste of Gosvami, you see, this brahmana class. This brahmana class, the hereditary brahmana class, played so many havocs in the history of India. The Pakistan is also due to this hereditary brahmanism. You see? They hated so much the Muhammadans and the sudras. First of all they hated the sudras, and then, when the sudras, they became Muhammadans, they hated the Muhammadans. And gradually it developed that the so-called sudras and Muhammadans, politically the Britishers took advantage, agitated them. They cut up India into Pakistan and Hindustan.
So there are many histories. So it is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He accepted everyone to this movement. So my Guru Maharaja's contribution is that he defeated these caste gosvamins. He defeated this brahmanism. He created that the same way as Caitanya Mahaprabhu did, that, as Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,
"There is no consideration whether a man is a sannyasi, a brahmana, or a sudra, or a this or a grhastha, householder, or... No. Anyone who knows the science of Krsna, he is all right. He is gosvami. He is brahmana." That is the contribution, say, within hundred years. That is the contribution. And for this reason he had to face so many vehement protests from this brahmana class gosvamins. He... They conspired to kill him. Guru Maharaja told me personally. Others... Because, by his grace, when I used to meet alone, he used to talk so many things. He was so kind that he used to talk so many things with me. So he personally told me that "These people, they wanted to kill me. They collected 25,000 rupees and went to the police officer in charge of that area, that 'You take this 25,000 rupees. We shall do something against Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. You don't take any step.' " He could understand that they want to kill him. Just like in your country also, the polit..., Kennedy, was killed. You know. He wanted to kill. So the police officer frankly said, "Of course, we accept bribe, and we indulge in such things, but not for a sadhu, not for a saintly person. I cannot dare this." And the police officer refused and came to my Guru Maharaja that "You take care. This is the position." You see? So vehemently protested.
So his method of preaching is just according to the, strictly according to the rules and regulation of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And as Caitanya Mahaprabhu was called by Advaita Prabhu, similarly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, when he saw this condition of pseudo Vaisnava all over the country, he also prayed to Lord Caitanya that "You kindly send somebody from Your personal staff so that I can start this movement." You see? So by the grace of Lord Caitanya, as we pray, sri-gaura-karuna-sakti-vigrahaya namo 'stu te. Gaura... He is mercy representation of Lord Caitanya. And he appeared as the son of this Bhaktivinoda Thakura. At that time he was known as Kedaranath Datta. Ken Datta. And he appeared in 1867 as the child of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. And the house is still preserved in Jagannatha Puri. At that time Jagannatha Puri, he was magistrate in Jagannatha Puri, and he was... The system in the Jagannatha Puri, the manager, the official manager, is the district magistrate. So he was district magistrate. And in February 1867, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared. And when he appeared, his, this what is called, the intestine?
Madhudvisa: Umbilical cord?
Prabhupada: Cord, cord. What is it called?
Prabhupada: Embryo cord. That embryo cord was like this. Yes. That means brahmana from the beginning. You see? So when he was a child... He appeared in February. Then... When the Ratha-yatra takes place? In July. So February, March, April, May, June, July. So when he was six months old, the Ratha-yatra festival was held. And by chance the big cart stopped in front of that house. That is generally in the Jagannatha car stops. Just like our car also stops somewhere. And you have some difficulty to push it again? That's nice. That also happens in Jagannatha Puri. It was stopped, and some people were... Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to push with His head. So that was wonderful. So anyway the car stopped, and mother of our Guru Maharaja, the child Guru Maharaja, so she took the opportunity, and because she was manager's wife, so everyone respected with the child. So she put the child on the leg of Jagannatha. And as there are so many garlands, one garland immediately fell on the child. Yes. Automatically. So in this way Bhaktivinoda Thakura could understand that "This child is not ordinary child," and he knew that "I prayed to Gaurasundara to send me somebody. So this boy, this child, is sent by Him." So he took care of him very carefully. And in this way his name was Bimala Prasada, Bimala Prasada Datta.
So when he was three years or four years old, he took one mango from the Deity room and ate it. So Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, "Oh, you have done a great wrong thing. You have taken the mango of the Deity before offering Him? It is a great offense." The child took it very serious, and my Guru Maharaja never took mango throughout his whole life. Whenever mango was offered, he would say, "Oh, I am a offender. I cannot take that." You see? So there was a big meeting. What is this sound? Somebody's sleeping? All right. (laughter) In Midnapur district, when he was young man, he was holding meeting. He was a great astrologer, and he opened an astrological school when he was young man. And there are many big students still practicing. They are all students of my Guru Maharaja. And there was a meeting in Midnapur district. The subject matter "Brahmanas and Vaisnavas." So in that meeting Bhaktivinoda Thakura was invited. At that time he was not very in healthy condition, indisposed. So he asked Sarasvati Thakura that "You go and speak there." So he spoke on the distinction between brahmanas and Vaisnavas, and he defeated so many learned panditas. Then the whole audience began to take, touch his lotus feet and touch with water and drink it, in this way, when he was young man. That book is also available in Bengali, Brahmana-Vaisnava.
Then, after disappearance of Bhaktivinoda Thakura in 1914... Bhaktivinoda Thakura organized this Krsna Caitanya's movement in pure form from Mayapur. He published many books and papers, Sajjana-tosani. When he passed away in 1914, at that time, he entrusted the matter to Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, that "I am going, my work unfinished, about this Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement. You take charge of it." So he took very seriously the word of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. So since 1914 to '18, he was simply thinking that "How I can expand this movement?" So in 1918 he started this movement with the help of some disciples. Krsna sent him. So one of the disciples, he is now Tirtha Maharaja. Perhaps he is... He belonged to Rama Krishna Mission Society. So he is very ambitious. So he took the opportunity of starting this movement, finding out the saintly person. So apart from that point of view, with his help this Gaudiya Mission was started, and gradually it developed. So in Calcutta Guru Maharaja started in 1918. And, I think, in 1922, when I was young man, one of my friends, he took me to Guru Maharaja. That was my first meeting. And, of course, he was speaking to everyone, but he found me as something. So immediately after my meeting, he said this, that "Why don't you preach this Caitanya's cult in the Western countries?" That is a memorable day. Of course, I did not know that I will have to do it. You see? It is...
Prabhupada: Stop. Whatever you do not understand, you will ask later on, not in the middle. I could not understand that time. You see? It was... I talked with him in so many ways: "Who will hear your Caitanya's message? We are dependent country." At that time I was Gandhi's devotee. In 1920 I gave up my educational career and joined this Congress Movement. Because Gandhi's program was to boycott the university education and the British law court, so we took this opportunity and gave up education. You see? (chuckles) So then Dr. Bose, he was my father's friend. So he asked, "What this Abhaya is doing?" And my sister told him, "Oh, he has appeared in the B.A. examination, but he is not doing anything." So Dr. Bose was my father's friend. So he appointed me the manager of his laboratory. I did not know anything; still, he appointed me. So that was in 1921. In 1920 I gave up my education. Of course, I was married in 1918, and I got my first child in 1921. So in 1922, when I saw my Guru Maharaja and when I was convinced about his argument and mode of presentation, I was so much struck with wonder. I could understand that "Here is the proper person who can give real religious idea." That I appreciated at that time. And at that time I thought, "This great personality is asking me to preach. I would have immediately joined, but now I am married. It will be injustice." Of course, I thought like that, in that way. Of course, Guru Maharaja did not say anything, that "You give up your family life." No, never said. He simply gave the idea. So I thought that "It would have been better if I was not married." Anyway, then, 1923, I left Calcutta on my business, and I established my headquarter at Allahabad. So all the days I was thinking of this, "Oh, I saw a very nice saintly person. But I am now off from Calcutta." So I was thinking like that. Practically he initiated me because I was thinking of..., always.
Then, in 1928, there was a big fair which is called Kumbhamela. At that time I was doing business in Allahabad. My business was very flourishing. It was well-known drug shop. So the persons who went to organize our Gaudiya Matha's camp in that fair, somebody has told that "Here is a Bengali gentleman's business. You can go, and he is very religious man. He will help." So all the disciples of Guru Maharaja, they approached my shop, my store, drug store. And because I was thinking of them, so I thought, "Oh, here is the men." You see? You see? I was very glad—"So they have come again"—because I was separated from them in 1923, and again I saw them in 1928 after five years, and I was thinking of Guru Maharaja simply in this way, "Oh, I met a very nice saintly person. Very nice saintly person. If I can see him again?" Like that. So in this way, with my help, the Allahabad center of Gaudiya Matha was established. Then I was initiated in 1933. In 1933. And in 1936 I was, at that time, in Bombay, and Guru Maharaja was very much indisposed, and he was at Puri, Jagannatha Puri. We have got our temple there. Guru Maharaja established sixty-four temples, small and big. Just like I am increasing, he increased. So most of the temples were in Bengal. In Bengal there were about fifty out of sixty-four. And one temple was at Allahabad, one was in Madras. In this way, outside Bengal, about three, four, one Benares. And he sent Bon Maharaja also in 1933 to London for preaching, but unfortunately, some way or other, he could not do anything, so Guru Maharaja called him back in 1934. He was not satisfied and sent another Godbrother, gosvami.
In 1936, just on the 13th, December, I wrote him one letter. Not 13th. I think by the beginning of December, 1936, I wrote one letter to Guru Maharaja. I knew he was little kind upon me, so I wrote that "Guru Maharaja, you have got many disciples. I am also one of them. But they are doing direct service to you. Some of them are brahmacaris, some of them sannyasis, but I am a householder. I cannot..." Of course, I was giving sometimes some monetary help, but I could not give any direct service, so I asked him that "If there is any particular service I can do for you?" So that letter was replied in 13th December, dated 13th December, from Puri. And he passed away on the 31st December. Just a fortnight before. So the reply was the same as he wanted me to do this preaching work in 1922, when I first met him, that "You try to preach whatever you have learned from me to the English-knowing people in English. That will do good to you and to the people to whom you shall preach. That is my instruction." So I took up, direction. And then he passed away in 1936, 31st December. So I consulted some of my Godbrothers, senior Godbrothers, "Guru Maharaja has told me like this. What can I do?" So you have heard the name of Professor Sanyal, and there were other Godbrothers. They asked me to write on the Vaisnava-siddhanta in English. So perhaps in 1935 I wrote one poetry. The part of it, somebody, you have got. He was very pleased. Since then he was insisting me that "You write on, preach on in English." At that time I was thinking, "What can I do?" So anyway, after his passing away, this Back to Godhead paper was started, as late in 1944, I think, because the expenditure was three hundred, four hundred rupees per month.
So somehow or other, it has begun, the blessings of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, as he wanted me, he desired me. So because he desired, my... I am not very expert or educated or nothing extraordinary, but only thing is that I believed in his word. That is... You can say that is my qualification. I believed cent percent in his word. So whatever success is there, it is just due to my firm faith in his instruction. So I am trying to follow. And by his grace, you are helping me. So actually, the responsibility will now depend on you. I am also old man. I may pass away at any moment. This movement should go on, you see, this movement started by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then accelerated by Gosvamis, and then again Visvanatha Cakravarti. And when... Just like whenever there is... Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati [Bg. 4.7]. When there is some slowness, either Krsna Himself or some representative comes to give it a push. So you should know it, that this movement should be pushed on. This should not be neglected. And I am glad that you are catching the ideas very nicely, and try... Simple thing: you chant sincerely and follow the rules and regulation. The rules and regulation are not very strict. They are very simple. But because you are trained in a different way... But I am so pleased and obliged to you that you have adopted. I never expected. When I came first in Boston, I was thinking, "Oh, who will accept these Vaisnava rules and regulations? These people are after meat and wine and illicit sex, and how they will accept it?" I was hopeless: "How they will chant?" You see? So by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, at least, I am hopeful that this movement can be accepted by anyone. It is not so hopeless as I thought. But apart from my calculation, you are realizing. This movement should be pushed on. Just like great souls always think of the poor souls, similarly, you should also feel. That is the way. Lord Jesus Christ, he also prayed for the sinful persons. So this is very good. If we struggle hard to push this movement, then, even we, you don't get any follower, Krsna will be satisfied. And our business is to satisfy Krsna. That is bhakti. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Bhakti means one has to engage his all senses for the satisfaction. Material life means sense satisfaction for his self: "I like this. I like this. I want to do something. I want to sing something or chant something, eat something, or touch something, or taste something. This is something..." That means using the senses. That is the material life. "I want to touch such soft skin. I want to taste such, what is called, nice food. I want to smell like this. I want to walk like this." The same thing—walking, tasting, touching, or anything—should be utilized for Krsna. That's all. Instead of touching something else, if we touch the sanctified lotus feet of a devotee, that touch will be utilized. Instead of eating nonsense, if we eat Krsna prasadam, it will be all right. Instead of smelling something else, if we smell the flowers offered to Krsna... So nothing is stopped. If you want to use your sex life, yes, you can use for producing Krsna conscious children. Nothing is stopped. Simply it is purified. That's all. This is the whole program. There is no question of "Stop this." Stop cannot be. How it can be stopped? Suppose I am a human being. If somebody says, "Oh, you cannot eat," is it possible? I must eat. So there is no question of stopping. The question is purifying it. So... And the other philosophy is to, I mean to say, snub down forcibly, make it void, just like they say, "Just become desireless." They advocate. So how can I be desireless? Desire must be there. But I shall desire for Krsna.
So this is very nice process. And even others do not take it very seriously or they do not come to our philosophy, if you try for it, that is your business. Krsna will be satisfied. Our acaryas will be satisfied, Guru Maharaja will be satisfied. And yasya prasadad bhagavat... If they are satisfied, then your business is finished. You see? Not that others is satisfied or not. By your chanting some public is satisfied—no, we are not concerned with that. He may be satisfied or not satisfied. But if I chant in the proper way, then my predecessors, the acaryas, will be satisfied. That is my business, finished, if I don't invent in my own way. So I am very glad that Krsna has sent so many nice boys and girls to help me. Be blessed on this auspicious day. And there is nothing mine. I am simply a postal peon. I am delivering to you what I have heard from my Guru Maharaja. Simply you also act in the same way, and you will be happy, and the world will be happy, and Krsna will be happy, and everything will be... (end)
Previous: Lord Nityananda Prabhu's Avirbhava Appearance Day Lecture -- Bhuvanesvara, February 2, 1977 Next: His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Appearance Day, SB 6.3.24 -- Gorakhpur, February 15, 1971