Lecture by Hansadutta in Śrīla Prabhupāda's Presence , Allahabad , 1971-01-30
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
This International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, is a movement completely authorised by the Vedic principle. International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness is founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swāmī Prabhupāda. Who is the present day ācārya in the Brahmā Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, or the chain of the disciplic succession which is coming down from Brahmā the first and foremost living entity, Brahmājī. Who received the Vedic knowledge directly from Kṛṣṇa and Brahmājī in turn imparted the knowledge to Nārada, Nārada to Vyāsa and in this way this disciplic succession is coming right up to the present day.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu who is the incarnation of Godhead in the Kali-yuga, according to the authority of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is stated in the eleventh Canto, inaugurated this saṅkīrtana movement 500 years ago right here in India, in Bengal. At that time Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s movement was revolutionary. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was a very learned scholar even at the age of 16 and He accepted the sannyāsa order of life at the age of 24. But unlike other sannyāsīs Caitanya Mahāprabhu took to chanting and dancing the holy names of God,
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
And therefore He was sometimes criticised for doing this. He was asked why instead of studying Vedānta and being very sober and grave He was always seen chanting and dancing with musical instruments. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied very humbly that, “My spiritual master he found Me a fool and he told Me not to touch Vedānta, he told Me not to play with Vedānta, but he told Me to simply chant this Hare Krishna mantra and it will make You all perfect.” So Caitanya Mahāprabhu is no fool because He is Kṛṣṇa himself, according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
So He presented himself as one of us, as a fool, because in this age everyone is foolish. In the age of Kali everyone is a fool, so He presented himself simply for the matter of teaching. Just like the teacher writes A, B, C, on the blackboard but the teacher is not learning ABC. The teacher is giving examples. Similarly Caitanya Mahāprabhu He taught by example how to worship Kṛṣṇa in this age and His teachings, the main teaching of Caitanya Mahāprabhu is simply by chanting and dancing, taking prasādam and hearing from scriptures like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we can achieve the perfection of human life which is to love God, love of God, Kṛṣṇa bhakti.
So in the spirit of Caitanya Mahāprabhu His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta came to the western world under the order of his Guru Mahārāja to distribute whatever he had learned from his Guru Mahārāja to the English-speaking world and he, Prabhupāda, Śrīla Prabhupāda he came in 1965 with a few rupees, 40 rupees and some karatālas and a set of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam which he had managed to, somehow or other, translate and print in India.
So he came—he used to sit in New York’s Lower East Side in a place called Thompkins Square Park and there he would chant alone, unassisted. None of his countrymen came with him, he came completely alone. Of course not alone he came with Caitanya Mahāprabhu because Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s teachings and Caitanya Mahāprabhu are one and the same—and his Guru Mahārāja’s instructions. And there he sat, he chanted, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, melodiously. And some boys and girls they would come and they would sit down with him, just out of curiosity’s sake.
Different reasons, we had never seen before such a man sitting there so humbly and chanting some strange sound. So we sat, we listened, and Prabhupāda he used to speak to us about Bhagavad-gītā and he would tell us about Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He requested us to give up our habits of meat eating, intoxication, having girlfriends, and we tried these things and we found real satisfaction, real pleasure. And more and more we became convinced about the necessity of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the world. So we lent our services in whatever capacity we had. Some of us would take notes, some of us we had tape recorders, we would record his lectures.
Others would type them, others they managed to get a small mimeograph machine and then they started this Back to Godhead magazine was started by these young boys and girls, printing up lectures that Prabhupāda would deliver. And we would go out on the street and try to distribute them to other people. We would try to inform them about what Prabhupāda was teaching us. At that time there may have been 10 or 20 young boys and girls and now six years later there are hundreds and thousands of devotees.
Kṛṣṇa devotees, chanting Hare Krishna, reading Bhagavad-gītā, managing temples in 50 cities all over the world. Including Tokyo, London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, in every major city you will find dedicated young boys and girls who are disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svāmī. And how has this happened? How is this possible? That within such a short time so many boys and girls in the western part of the world have dedicated their lives to the service of Kṛṣṇa.
For hundreds of years Swāmī’s and holy men and yogīs have been coming to our country but they have not been able to produce the effect, or create so many sincere devotees and so many branches of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa temple’s throughout the world as His Divine Grace has done.
The reason is, the answer is, that the teachings which have been presented by this International Society for Krishna Consciousness, they are authorised by the Vedic principles of guru paramparā. They are not another manufactured religion. We are not a sect, we are not a sect like Catholicism or Judaism or Mohammedanism, or Hinduism but this Krishna Consciousness Movement is simply presenting the science of loving God.
In our world we have so many sciences, as medicine, we have botany, we have astronomy, there are innumerable sciences, chemistry, history, everything is there but one science is lacking and therefore all so-called advancement of material science has total zero. Because it is not giving us the desire, peace, happiness or prosperity.
So this Krishna Consciousness Movement, this international society is teaching in every country this science of loving God. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that, that process which helps one to develop real love, the real attachment for God, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa. That is the real religion and anything else is simply a cheating process—and anything else is simply a cheating process. The goal of human life is to love God, return back to home back to Godhead.
So in our part of the world where we are so advanced in material sense enjoyment, material science, material way of life people are becoming Kṛṣṇa devotees. Why? Because it is practical. Because it gives a taste of the nectar for which everyone is hankering. Prabhupāda has published since being in America about 15 books all of them can be seen just after the program, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Nectar of Devotion, Kṛṣṇa Book, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śrī Īśopaniṣad and of course our magazine in six different languages.
So we have come to India not in order to teach Kṛṣṇa consciousness because we know that everyone here is familiar with Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We have just come to encourage everyone to continue their Vedic culture, don’t abandon Kṛṣṇa. Don’t give up Kṛṣṇa in favour of something else. If you forget Kṛṣṇa then everything will be lost. Just like, just like in Bengal so many boys and girls they are becoming Naxalites and Communists. Why?
Because there is no program for them, no Kṛṣṇa consciousness program which they can engage their energy in. They want to work, they want to love something, they want to be devoted but instead of being devoted to God they are being devoted to Naxalites or Communism. That is the defect, although there is many isms, they can't give us the real nectar, the real satisfaction, that satisfaction is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love of God.
Because everyone of us is part and parcel of God we are not this material body, this outer covering, this Hindu body or this German body or Chinese body or American body. Each and everyone of us is a pure spirit soul an eternal fragmental part of Kṛṣṇa and therefore this movement is meant for everyone. It is not another movement like communism or like socialism, or imperialism.
But it is a movement for everyone because everyone is spirit soul, everyone of us is spirit soul and Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted that in every town and village his name would be known. He predicted it, he said it would happen and now the opportunity is there for all of us to join Caitanya Mahāprabhu and make our lives successful. Because this movement is already successful by Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s arrangement, we simply have to lend our services and become glorified. Become glorious.
India the whole world looks to India for distribution of spiritual knowledge, everyone, the world is waiting for India to deliver knowledge of Kṛṣṇa but unfortunately until this time that has been neglected by your countrymen. But one of your countrymen has come and he has become a great ambassador to India, His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda. He has come and simply taught Bhagavad-gītā that which is common to all of you. You all know Bhagavad-gītā, you all know Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
You all know Caitanya Mahāprabhu but only one person has come out of millions, one! And he has taught this simple message and the result has been phenomenal. This result is transcendental. So we have come, we have come to India to gain support and to encourage everyone to distribute the message of Kṛṣṇa and to join our movement in some capacity. We have a membership program whereby which you can become associate with our society.
We have our books which are given to the members free of cost simply by coming forward and supporting us. We requested support as much as possible, everyone here should somehow come forward and support this Krishna Consciousness Movement because it is your movement. It is Vedic culture which is being distributed for the first time in the world. This is historic, this is revolutionary and it is beneficial for all mankind.
So shall I explain about our membership program, Prabhupāda?
So our membership program consists of four divisions. We have a life membership program, life membership means that the member he becomes the recipient of all these books which we have produced. Devānanda Mahārāja can you hold up the Kṛṣṇa Books?
All the books which Śrīla Prabhupāda has published to date. Two books you see right here, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Book the Personality of Godhead it is full of 84 colour illustrations. Showing the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa when He was present here on this planet. All the pages in this book are done by American boys and girls.
And... so you can see how beautiful it is. And this Kṛṣṇa Book will teach everyone who is God. What is God’s name, what He is doing. People, everyone has some idea of God but who God is, what He is doing, what is His name, what He looks like. That they have no information about. This information is being presented in Kṛṣṇa Book, the summary study of the tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Then we have our Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam being published in ten Cantos, three big volumes and the following chapters of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam which you know is 12 Cantos. We are presenting chapter by chapter with every booklet, a beautiful color illustration on the cover, on the inside Sanskrit, the original Sanskrit ślokas with English transliterations. So in this way Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam will become as popular as Reader’s Digest or Life magazine in this unique presentation.
This is we are using our modern know-how, our modern technologies for Kṛṣṇa. Not for creating enmity between nations and men and we are using technology for Kṛṣṇa. Instead of printing rubbish books, sex literature, or cigarette advertisements, we are using all these facilities which we have in our country for Kṛṣṇa. We are advertising Kṛṣṇa, we are an advertising agency, we are advertising Kṛṣṇa, we are advertising God.
Here we have Nectar of Devotion, another beautiful book which is originally Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, translation and summary study of Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
And of course we have our magazine, Back to Godhead magazine which is being printed in six languages, Hindi, Japanese, English, German, French, Bengali. So that is all these things are available for your inspection. So the life member he gets all these books, also he gets all the books which will be produced in the future by our society. And he gets a lifetime subscription to Back to Godhead magazine and as an additional attraction he is entitled to stay in any one of our branches throughout the world as an honoured guest.
There he can take rest, he can take nice prasādam, in every temple we serve capātīs and dahl and rice and so many nice things. Lugdu, kachorīs, rasgullās these things are nice and they are now available. If you come to New York and you want to have rasgullā, it is not possible but if you go to our temple you will find everything there. So this is a very— this is a nice addition. Simply that alone makes life membership worthwhile. So life membership fee is 1,111 rupees, and in this way we have enlisted already 100 members in Calcutta and Bombay and Delhi.
Very prominent personalities in the society and we want whoever can afford. They should come forward, become a life member, simply to support this movement. Even if you don’t care to read our books but just to come forward and say, “yes this movement is nice, I must support this movement.”
Then we have donor membership: a donor member receives all the books which I have just shown you. And he gets a lifetime subscription to our magazine but he does not receive the books which we produce in the future. That membership is 555 rupees.
And then there is the subscriber membership, and a lifetime subscription to our magazine which is 222 rupees.
And we have lastly common member, a year’s subscription to Back to Godhead magazine. That is 33 rupees.
So I’m just coming before you to try to be as humble as possible, I’m begging you to come forward and support the Krishna Consciousness Movement, so that it can be spread all over the world and that your country will become glorious. India is glorious, in history India is glorious. There was King Parīkṣit, there was Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, King Janmañjaya, there is Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa appeared here.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared here, Lord Buddha appeared, Śaṅkarācārya appeared, actually India is glorious—but there has to be some work and that work is distribution of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So we are prepared to do that work but we want your support. You simply come forward and you give us some support in the way of life membership. We are printing books, they are very costly, we are maintaining temples, it is very costly.
We have come to India at so many lakhs of rupees, it costs a lot of money to send, just one person by aeroplane to this country and return. We have come to Māgha-melā, we have built a nice pandal, we have done so many things but we need some support. There has to be some reciprocation, so please come forward support us, join this movement, tell others about it.
Thank you very much. [end]