His Divine Grace Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda's Appearance Day Lecture , Los Angeles , 1969-02-07
Prabhupāda: ...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 Kṛṣṇa, and their life is being spoiled, so He wanted to start this Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa Himself comes, then it can be done. Otherwise it is not possible." So Advaita Prabhu called Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by His call, He appeared, Kṛṣṇa appeared.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu 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 Kṛṣṇa. He has come." So He was simply... Sometimes devotees pretend to be not in knowledge. So He was praying Kṛṣṇa, "This boy is very nice. If He takes up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, then it will be very successful. He is very intelligent, beautiful."
In this way there was, Caitanya's Mahāprabhu's time, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was going nicely, very. And after Him, there was six Gosvāmīs. 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 Vaiṣṇava, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, also deteriorated in due course of time.
Say, after the disappearance of the Gosvāmīns, about 250 years after, the things became most ridiculous. The so-called devotees... Their representatives still are continuing. They are called prākṛta-sahajiyā. Prākṛta-sahajiyā means taking things very easily. They thought that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa 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, "Vaiṣṇavism is sex religion."
So the things deteriorated in such a way that... And similarly, as Advaita Prabhu was afflicted, similarly, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura... 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 sampradāya, he'll deride, 'Oh, these are all rascals, simply taking some sex pleasure. That's all.' "
There were thirteen pseudo-Vaiṣṇavas, thirteen sects: Āula, Bāula, Karttābhajā, Neḍā, Daraveṣa, Sāṅi, Sahajiyā, Sakhībhekī. Sāṅi community... You have heard that in London there is a Sāṅi community. Sāṅi Hindu center you have heard from Mukunda? The Sāṅi is there still. So there are thirteen pseudo pretenders belonging to the Caitanya-sampradāya. They are called first Āula, Bāula, Karttābhajā, Neḍā, Daraveṣa, Sāṅi, Sakhībhekī, Gaurāṅga-nagarī, Cūḍādhārī, Ativāḍī and Smārta, Jāta-gosāñi. 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 Jāta-gosāñi. Jāti-gosāñi. They created a caste of gosvāmīns, just like they created a caste of brāhmaṇas, a caste of gosvāmīns. So this gosvāmī will come by hereditary birth, just like brāhmaṇa. So Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was very sorry to see the condition of the society. So these gosvāmīns...
The original history of gosvāmī is the six Gosvāmīns. Now, out of the six Gosvāmīns, none of them were priestly class. So far Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, they were great politicians: prime minister, a finance minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. So... And similarly, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, he was a big zamindar. His father is... Zamindar means landholder. During British period—no, at that time not British period; Muhammadan period—they distributed land among some, I think, in the Western countries the bourgeois [pronounces "burg weez"] they call? Bourgeois? Or in England, the landholders, what they are called?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: There's a word for it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So zamindar, landholder. So he belonged to a very big land... 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 Mahāprabhu or Nityānanda in his youthhood, when he was eighteen years', twenty years' age—he was almost of the contemporary of Lord Caitanya—he used to distribute gold to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas, 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 Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. That is the history of Sanātana Gosvāmī. None of them were belonging to the Vaiṣṇava sect or nothing. Caitanya Mahāprabhu turned them.
This Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī were rejected from the brāhmaṇa community, because at that time the brāhmaṇa society was so strict, if somebody takes service of a Musselman or anyone, oh, he is immediately exterminated: "Oh, you cannot be accepted as a pure..." Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, according to Vedic system, the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, and vaiśya, they'll not accept any service, even it is worth 200,000-worth dollars. No. That he will not acc... Then that is degradation. Only the śūdras can accept. That was the Vedic system.
To accept another's service was so abominable. In the Bhāgavata also it is stated that if the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśya, especially the brāhmaṇas, they have no livelihood, then they can adopt the business of kṣatriya and vaiśya, but never accept the occupation of these dog, śūdra. That is stated. You see? So to accept service of others was so abominable, even five hundred years ago.
So this Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī, 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 Khāsa—this is Muhammadan name—and Sākara Mallika. Caitanya Mahāprabhu made them Gosvāmī, this Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he belonged to the Muhammadan community. He was made nāmācārya, the principal ācārya of this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is the revolutionary method of Caitanya.
Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not liked by the hereditary brāhmaṇas. They dislike. Whenever there is Caitanya movement, they pose another counter. This Ramakrishna is a counteraction of Caitanya. Because Caitanya, the Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, accept Caitanya Mahāprabhu as incarnation of God, so they presented this Gadādhara Chatterjee as incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, and by worshiping Kālī. You see? So this competition is since a very long time between the Vaiṣṇava and the other sect.
Anyway, when these Gosvāmīs... My point is that originally the Gosvāmīs came from ordinary person. There is no caste. But they manufactured a caste of Gosvāmī, you see, this brāhmaṇa class. This brāhmaṇa class, the hereditary brāhmaṇa 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 śūdras. First of all they hated the śūdras, and then, when the śūdras, they became Muhammadans, they hated the Muhammadans. And gradually it developed that the so-called śūdras 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 Mahāprabhu. He accepted everyone to this movement. So my Guru Mahārāja's contribution is that he defeated these caste gosvāmī. He defeated this brahmanism. He created that the same way as Caitanya Mahāprabhu did, that, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu said,
yei kṛṣṇa tattva vetta sei guru haya
[Cc. Madhya 8.128]
[“Whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī or a śūdra—regardless of what he is—he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa.”]
"There is no consideration whether a man is a sannyāsī, a brāhmaṇa or a śūdra or a this or a gṛhastha, householder, or... No. Anyone who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, he is all right. He is gosvāmī. He is brāhmaṇa." 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 brāhmaṇa-class gosvāmīns.
He... They conspired to kill him. Guru Mahārāja 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 rupee and went to the police officer in charge of that area, that 'You take this 25,000 rupees. We shall do something against Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī. 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 sādhu, not for a saintly person. I cannot dare this." And the police officer refused and came to my Guru Mahārāja 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 Mahāprabhu. And as Caitanya Mahāprabhu was called by Advaita Prabhu, similarly, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, when he saw this condition of pseudo Vaiṣṇava 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, śrī-gaura-karuṇā-śakti-vigrahāya namo 'stu te. Gaura...
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, the personified energy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mercy, who delivers devotional service enriched with conjugal love of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, coming exactly in the line of revelation of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.]
He is mercy representation of Lord Caitanya. And he appeared as the son of this Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. At that time he was known as Kedaranath Datta. Kena Datta. And he appeared in 1867 as the child of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. And the house is still preserved in Jagannātha Purī. At that time Jagannātha Purī, he was magistrate in Jagannātha Purī, and he was... The system in the Jagannātha Purī, the manager, the official manager, is the district magistrate. So he was district magistrate. And in February 1867, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura appeared. And when he appeared, his, this what is called, the intestine?
Madhudviṣa: Umbilical cord?
Prabhupāda: Cord, cord. What is it called?
Prabhupāda: Embryo cord. That embryo cord was like this. Yes. That means brāhmaṇa from the beginning. You see? So when he was a child... He appeared in February. Then... When the Ratha-yātrā takes place? In July. So February, March, April, May, June, July. So when he was six months old, the Ratha-yātrā festival was held. And by chance the big cart stopped in front of that house. That is generally in the Jagannātha 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 Jagannātha Purī. It was stopped, and some people were... Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to push with His head. So that was wonderful.
So anyway, the cart stopped, and mother of our Guru Mahārāja, the child Guru Mahārāja, 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 Jagannātha. And as there are so many garlands, one garland immediately fell on the child. Yes. Automatically. So in this way Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura 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 Prasāda, Bimala Prasāda Datta.
So when he was three years or four years old, he took one mango from the Deity room and ate it. So Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura 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 seriously, and my Guru Mahārāja 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.
[aside:] What is this sound? [chuckles] 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 Mahārāja. And there was a meeting in Midnapur district. The subject matter was "Brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas." So in that meeting Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was invited.
At that time he was not very in healthy condition, indisposed. So he asked Sarasvatī Ṭhākura that "You go and speak there." So he spoke the distinction between brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas, and he defeated so many learned paṇḍitas. 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, Brāhmaṇa-Vaiṣṇava.
Then, after disappearance of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in 1914... Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura organized this Kṛṣṇa Caitanya's movement in pure form from Māyāpur. He published many books and papers, Sajjana-toṣaṇī. When he passed away in 1914, at that time, he entrusted the matter to Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, that "I am going, my work unfinished, about this Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement. You take charge of it." So he took very seriously the word of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. 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. Kṛṣṇa sent him. So one of the disciples, he is now Tīrtha Mahārāja. Perhaps he is... He belonged to Ramakrishna 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 Gauḍīya Mission was started, and gradually it developed.
So in Calcutta, Guru Mahārāja started in 1918. And, I think, in 1922, when I was young man, one of my friends, he took me to Guru Mahārāja. 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. [laughter] You see? It is...
Prabhupāda: [aside:] 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?" So 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 Mahārāja 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 Mahārāja 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 Kumbha-melā. At that time I was doing business in Allahabad. My business was very flourishing. It is well-known drug shop. So the persons who went to organize our Gauḍīya Maṭha'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 Mahārāja, they approached my shop, my store, drug store.
And I was..., 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 Mahārāja 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 Gauḍīya Maṭha was established.
Then I was initiated in 1933. In 1933. And in 1936 I was, at that time, in Bombay, and Guru Mahārāja was very much indisposed, and he was at Purī, Jagannātha Purī. We have got our temple there. Guru Mahārāja 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 Mahārāja also in 1933 to London for preaching, but unfortunately, some way or other, he could not do anything, so Guru Mahārāja called him back in 1934. He was not satisfied and sent another Godbrother, gosvāmī.
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 Mahārāja. I knew he was little kind upon me, so I wrote that "Guru Mahārāja, you have got many disciples. I am also one of them. But they are doing direct service to you. There some of them are brahmacārīs, some of them sannyāsīs, 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 Purī. 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, 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 that... And then he passed away in 1936, 31st December. So I consulted some of my Godbrothers, senior Godbrothers, "Guru Mahārāja 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 Vaiṣṇava-siddhānta 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 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 Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, 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 Mahāprabhu, then accelerated by Gosvāmīs, and then again Viśvanātha Cakravartī. And when... Just like whenever there is... Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati [Bg. 4.7].
[Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion-at that time I descend Myself.]
When there is some slowness, either Kṛṣṇa 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 Vaiṣṇava rules and regulation? These people are after meat [chuckles] 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 Mahāprabhu, 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, Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. And our business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. Hṛṣīkena hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170].
[“’Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.’]
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 work like this."
The same thing—working, tasting, touching or anything—should be utilized for Kṛṣṇa. 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 Kṛṣṇa prasādam, it will be all right. Instead of smelling something else, if we smell the flowers offered to Kṛṣṇa...
So nothing is stopped. If you want to use your sex life, yes, you can use for producing Kṛṣṇa 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. 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 Kṛṣṇa.
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. Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. Our ācāryas will be satisfied, Guru Mahārāja will be satisfied. And yasya prasādād bhagavat [Śrī Gurv Aṣṭakam 4].
[By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.]
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 ācāryas, will be satisfied. That is my business, finished, if I don't invent in my own way.
So I am very glad that Kṛṣṇa 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 Mahārāja. Simply you also act in the same way and you will be happy, and the world will be happy, and Kṛṣṇa will be happy, and everything will be happy. [end]