Vaishnava Welfare. 8th July, 2012, from Germany
All glories to Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Atulananda Acarya y Srila Harijan Swami
Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Vrajesvara ki, jay.
Srila Guru Maharaj is now in Kuruksetra Mandir, Berlin. He arrived 10 days ago in Europe and visited different places in Sweden. In the next days, Srila Gurudeva will go to Spain for the Mela in Mallorca, Poland, Tchec Republic, and at the end of the month, to Hungary for the big Summer Mela that happens every year in Nandafalva.
Within a month, exactly, Srila Gurudeva arrives in Bogota to celebrate Sri Krsna's Janmastami Festival together with the devotees. From Varsana Dham, in Colombia, the devotees are inviting the whole community to participate in the Sri Krsna Festival.
Today lesson is in English and will be typed in Spanish on this window.
Conference from Germany
Today I'm going to talk about something very important, the “Vaishnava welfare”.
The devotees work and then project their future through the general conception transmitted by Srila Prabhupada. Socially, we are talking about a dramatic change in life because, some way or another, we have been removed from the “average way of life”.
Materialism has been going ahead just overburing the environment with their exploiting mentality. If we all wanted to live the Hollywood way of life, our planet would not be able to provide the resources for such a lifestyle. Therefore if we want to see things with wisdom, we have to look at those who have lived life without humble their environment, an example are the Khogis in Sierra Nevada, Colombia, who have lived in the same mountain and forest for an uncounted period of time.
A sanctuary, a spiritual community, an ashram... are revolutionary place of sustainable living. What is our greatest opulence? What do we have to offer? I can give you a few points here:
1. To be satisfied with very few.
2. To be happy, positive, constructive, generous and enthusiastic at all circumstance or situation you find.
The ambition for having more money and more competence than others may persists in our innerside, like a sleeping dragon, but by chanting HARE KRISHNA and living with devotees this dragon will not have much chance to get into action.
The saint condition of life stands out by accepting everything as it comes. To improve this mentality we must propose new ways of systems; I am referring specifically at the creation of schools, health systems or other types of administrative or enterprising elements of society. Many years ago I proposed a concept called the Veda Way, which means solidarity and commitment amongst all those who follow the vedic way of life. We must improve the handmade products, and buy nothing from the plastic industry. This kind of solidarity is part of the social impact of the “Vaishnava welfare acts”.
3. To join an ashram is a revolutionary change. Your food changes, your entertainment changes, your friends change, your music most likely changes, your vestment changes, even your prescribed duties in life change. I'm talking about the first step of those who are not married and join the ashram 100%. Of course those who are married are also part of the “Vaishnava welfare act” and if they follow properly what Srila Prabhupada told to them, they also can be largely benefited by the “Vaishnava welfare act”.
An organization that well represents this, is the Conscious Doctors; we just opened a clinic in Buenos Aires, Argentina, all managed by Vaishnava doctors, combining allopathic and ayurvedic approaches to the problems and they provide free treatment for those who are dedicated souls on the welfare of others.
www.medicinaconsciente.com.ar This is the website of our clinic of Conscious Doctors in Argentina. Everyone involved in the community life of an ashram should always seek for conscious doctors to look after of your health. That is increasingly important, as we constantly hear that the secular health system provided by groups of hospitals and health insurance are collapsing within their corrupt attitudes and unnecessary managing operations.
4. Another part of the “Vaishnava welfare act” is all the Vaishnavas to organize themselves and cooperate in the production of organic food. Both for the Vaishnavas in general and to all the enterprises maintained by Vaishnavas. While we are convinced by the organic way of life, we are conscious about avoiding the contamination of the Mother Earth. It is also our duty to organize, grow and distribute the products produced by organic seeds.
All glories to Mother Earth! Don't call her dirt because she is not dirty by nature.
5. Now we come to a very important topic. The influence of Maya on the Vaishnava practice. This topic has existing since immemorial time. I refer to those devotees who have become carelesss about their practice. They know the regulating principles, they know the mantras, the philosophy but still they are driven away from the process and fail the test. This is manifested on thos who does not come to the temple. Why? Because are not practicing the Vaisnava philosophy on the right way.
6. The top most important of all this thinking is Vaishnava Aparadha. It is always very dangerous. The Vaishnava Aparadha mentality means to think “I'm better than you”. The symptoms of Vaishnava Aparadha are recognized when you are agitated, you are fault finder, you are not happy, you are envious, you see another devotee arriving to the temple with a nice car and you think “I don't even have a bicycle”. It might sound senseless but we live in a senseless world, where right things can be interpreted as nonsense sometimes. Vaishnavas are not stupid, but the minds is indeed. Srila Harijan Maharaj said “don't be surprised for the ones who leave the Krishna Consciousness, be surprised by the ones who stay year after year”.
7. In Vaishnava philosophy, any distinction a Vaishnava receives must be used to inspire him to become more kind, more humble and more inspired for service. Otherwise, it might be considered a fall and he might lose the joy of association with the devotees and doing service. When you are associated with a sadhu all these frictions disappear.
Sometimes devotees come and say: Oh Gurudeva is so wonderful when you are here, but when you go all problems appear again. So I ask you, why when I'm here the the problems don't come out? What can we understand from that? That are not really problems, but for some reason inside you, you believe that they are. For example, some people are always complaining and, can you believe they even enjoy it? and they can become sick if they can't complain about something. So there is people who always keep this mentality.
Please think about what happens to the mind of somebody who doesn't go to the temple after being initiated, after receiving the Brahma Gayatri Mantra, after accepting that they are supposed to live to make others happy. This way you are not even making your own Guru happy, so imagine to benefit others. If someone is not coming to the temple or not chanting Maha Mantra, I can guarantee your Guru will be crying.
I tried to take the people out of this Maya State, to teach them the importance of spiritual life, but many times they go back to their old ways of living, living in the hallucinations without the association of the devotees. But many of them are coming back and now we have their constant smile and enthusiastic participation. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta cried when somebody wanted to go back to the material world.
In His book you can read some of this beautiful stories. He tried to encourage these people to come back to the temple. What to say about someone who was involved with intoxication or any other nonsense thing.
Many times I heard somebody saying “I was sick and no devotees came to see me”, or simple “the devotees are not good”. But you have also thing on the other way and probably you have thought they were too few and busy. So many possibilities are there. And the devotees are never bad. They are never cruel or indifferent, is just that sometimes they may not have time and so they may forget something. Many times also happens that they have not enough funds to do everything they wanted to do; sometimes they have their limitations... but the devotees’ heart never not stop.
That I want you to remind always.
We must learn to value those devotees who are near us and cooperate with them. To act for Vaishnava welfare. Thus, we will avoid offenses.
Thank you for reading this message today.
Jay Srila Prabhupada!
Your always wellwisher,
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti