Adityah, Jyotir-adityah, Sahishnuh, Gati-sattamah

Viṣṇu-sahasranāma 568-571 | August 8, 2017 |

English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

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Question: After procrastinating for several months, with the encouragement of Susan, I finally got myself out the door to visit our local Hindu Mandir, in London , Ontario. I looked at the Vaisnava calendar, and was reminded that it was the day for GIta Jayanti. I thought "How auspicious. What a wonderful opportunity to bring a box of Gitas… Expand>

Question:

After procrastinating for several months, with the encouragement of Susan, I finally got myself out the door to visit our local Hindu Mandir, in London , Ontario. I looked at the Vaisnava calendar, and was reminded that it was the day for GIta Jayanti. I thought "How auspicious. What a wonderful opportunity to bring a box of Gitas with me to share with the local Hindus. A most wonderful way to begin my associating with the local pious people!"

I thought perhaps I might be able to speak something about the glories of the Bhagavad Gita at the Mandir, so I Googled Gita Jayanti, and heard part of an inspiring class by HH Prahladanandana Swami where he explained,

"There are 7 billion verses in the Vedas, and the Bhagavad Gita is the essence of all of them, and of all of them , the middle 6 chapters of the Gita are the most important, and of all those chapters, the 9th is the most important , and of all the verses , Bg. 9.34 is the most important,… man mana bhava mad bhakto, "Engage your mind in always thinking of Me, worship Me offer your obeisances unto Me. Thus you will surely come to Me, because you are My very dear friend." It is such an important verse , that it is repeated in the 18th chapter as well."

When I arrived at the Hindu Mandir, I saw the central deities were Laxmi-Narayana, with Sita Rama Hanuman Laxman, Radha Krishna, Siva lingam, Siva Parvati Ganesh Durga deities as well. When Susan and I arrived, they were having a havan, with a South Indian pandit chanting many mantras, which we participated in. Several people thanked me for the way I chanted Sanskrit with the Pandit. After this, I met the temple president, Mr. AV Singh, and when I asked him if I could say a few words about Gita Jayanti, he told me that there is no way of confirming the actual date that the Bhagavad Gita was spoken and that there is no need to promote the Bhagavad Gita, because every Hindu knows about it. He told me that their center was "diversified", and they don't promote any one book, and that if they let me promote the Gita , then everyone would want to promote their own religious views.

I stood there listening to him with my mouth open, in a state of disbelief. I purposefully kept my mouth open so he could see how

shocked I was at his response. He asked me if I understood. I told him that I understood his point of view, but because the Bhagavad Gita is a universal , non-sectarian teaching, I had difficulty accepting his resistance toward promoting it. He told me that the temple was for people to come and worship, sing a few songs, and go home "happy". I quickly packed up the Gitas and left, not feeling very happy at all.

My gratitude to Srila Prabhupada increased for the ISKCON movement he has given us , representing the true universal message of Sanatana Dharma. I realized even more the necessity of starting our own programs so that people could learn about Lord Caitanya. Hindu Bindu hodge podge religion , with so called "diversity" minimizing the glorification of Bhagavad Gita won't get people very far.

What would have you said to Mr. Singh, regarding his arguments against saying a few words in glorification of the Bhagavad Gita?

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I have had a desire to become a wealthy businessman for some time and then heard a Prabhupada lecture where he said making money for Krishna is welcome so I started to think that making money for the movement could be my service. I read Prabhupada's books, attend weekly sangas most weeks and have distributed Prabhupada's books on an ad hoc basis but am now taking this service up regularly every Saturday (door to door). I chant 16 rounds daily and am starting program's once a month at my house to preach Mahaprabhu's mission. If I pray for Krishna to empower me to make money for the movement (if he pleases) through my business (as my service along with my other service's), is it OK? Can you clarify please?

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Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued.

Some time in the future I would like to organize such festivals and do mass book distributions. However, for that I would need a lot of training from Indradyumna Maharaj even though I am aspiring to serve you.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

We are all supposed to be servants of Śrīla Prabhupāda in the saṅkīrtana movement. So, if you are inspired to help with some particular service which pushes forward the saṅkīrtana movement, that’s not against what I’m doing. And if at all I’m to guide you, I’m to guide you to serve in the association of devotees the bona fide activities of the saṅkīrtana movement. 

So by all means: 
nāca, gāo, bhakta-saṅge kara saṅkīrtana
kṛṣṇa-nāma upadeśi’ tāra’ sarva-jana (CC Ādi 7.92)

[‘My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing saṅkīrtana in association with devotees. Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting kṛṣṇa-nāma, for by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls.’]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself received the order to sing and dance, perform saṅkīrtana in the association of devotees and by instructing the holy name to everyone to deliver the whole world. 

So that order is coming in the paramparā, and wherever and however you get the opportunity to help the devotees in, and join with the devotees in spreading the saṅkīrtana movement, do it. It’s not that if you become my disciple, you have to be locked into a little bubble in a little corner. Let’s all be part of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s big family.

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You have made frequent contacts with acaryas of various Vaisnava sampradayas. I feel very inspired by your preaching in this area. Gaura Keshava Prabhu (a disciple of Prabhupada, who has a home at Sri Rangam) mentioned to me: "Before coming to the West, he (Srila Prabhupada) wrote to Visvambhara Goswami(his friend, Radha Ramana Temple Goswami and former Vrndavan mayor) that he wanted to start an organization wherein Vaisnavas from all sampradayas could cooperate to push on Krsna consciousness.Of course ultimately ISKCON was born out of this desire. We do not know exactly how inclusive or exclusive of other types of Vaisnavas and their philosophies and traditions ISKCON will eventual become."

I wanted to know if you envisage any form of strategic partnership among all the Vaisnava sampradayas, since at present, we just have issue-specific or individual-level contacts.

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Question: If every devotee is satisfied in their level of service, why does Laksmi desire to join in the rasa-lila? … Expand>

Question:

If every devotee is satisfied in their level of service, why does Laksmi desire to join in the rasa-lila? 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

Well, maybe that’s an exception. But that’s the general rule.
But, then She couldn’t neither, because She is Lakṣmī.
It is not that She is dissatisfied to serve Lord Nārāyaṇa.

But, seeing the ecstasy of the gopīs, how they are serving Kṛṣṇa, then She also desired that.
But, it is not that She is dissatisfied. She is very happy to serve Lord Nārāyaṇa.

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