Good morning to all the pilgrims present. I send my greetings from Prague.
Today we gather here at a very important meeting for the grace of Sri Sri Gopinath, sannyasis, prabhus, and matajis.Why is this a very important meeting? Because we have been brought together by vapuh and we appreciate this very much.
In the cross paths of life, sometimes we find ourselves within the incredible cosmic arrangements of the Lord. We are all individual units, moving around the planet, for our respective mission, and if for some reason we know each other and develop all the desire to remain united together, and that’s very, very special; although physically we cannot stay together for long. Children can be with their parents, but at some point they start moving in their direction.
Sometimes we meet people and feel very connected to them, as one heart, one soul. This idea of one heart and one soul means that there is something that connects you to a higher level beyond the physical association. Physical association is a beautiful thing and it is called vapuh. Oh there you are, I can touch you and can tell you I love you! There is closeness, we are very fortunate that there is this close proximity, because when we are born vapuh is there, incredible.
We can drink breast milk from our mother and we are attached to this. The son and mother are attached to each other. The child comes from the womb of the mother, and is now being fed by her; what an amazing system. However, the child is independent and wants to go his own way, because he is a pilgrim at heart.
What does it mean to be a pilgrim? He goes around the world, looking for something, but not only for food, as animals do. Vani and vapuh.
The Sunday Chat is a mela and we can take it to heart every week. We meet, we read. We wonder: What did our Guru speak of today? What is the message for life? We are connected through the heart, and thus we get the message to live life with full excitement. To do service, you need a lot of enthusiasm, to concentrate your senses and service need to be very humble. Our idea is to be humble and obedient, to be voluntarily happy through service to the Lord.
Vani is the verbal expression; the instructions given by the siksa guru. They are the directions of our life which comes from a reliable source. So when we say Gaura-vani it means instruction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And our vani-Gurudeva tells us what he is doing, and what this means to us. Maybe there are some practical instructions, maybe he says; when you're in Czech do this, when you are in South America do this because of time, place and circumstance.
The acaryas have to teach what the Vedas are offering, but the acarya applies it to a local situation. Of course many instructions can be applied to many places and some not. Some can be applied in only one place, so the Acarya is very important. He has to adjust to time, place and circumstance. This is because the acarya has great freedom in accordance with what he finds, and one thing cannot be valid for all circumstances. Preach in Communist countries, is a very different thing to preaching in New York or at a military base or even in a Muslim country. You have to find a way. Preaching is different in different cities because they are all different communities.
So wherever you go, you have to adjust things according to each site. This requires adhikari: practicing what you are teaching. For example, we are looking for a spirituality that inspires; we are not looking for a ritualistic spirituality. We are not looking for a structured spirituality, for practical purposes, although there's nothing wrong with this, if the subject is correct. We are seeking a spirituality of happiness, humility and sweetness to dedicate ourselves to God and be compassionate to the conditioned souls. This is what we seek.
We do not want to see religious dictators. In fact there are no religious dictators. Dictators are not religious; they are big ego. Religion means to love and respect everyone. Set a good example and not be unjust or violent. Like deities, they are always there and they are dancing. Krishna is always playing his flute, sometimes taking a bath, or something else, but always friendly and always giving darshan. He never changes his attitude, always ready to greet you. But if you have no desire to see Him or serve Him, you're losing the blessings to serve, to love and to represent the goal of serving your guru.
And this is what can help you to get through your life with joy with the grace of guru and the Sadhus. I have something valuable to offer to you and because of that my life has meaning. If I have nothing valuable to give and come to Prague to just try to get something from you, like your food, or just enjoy your scenery, this cannot be. And when you return from Prague and say, look I brought this from Prague, which is just like the actions of the conquerors. After coming to a place and you steal everything you come home and show all you got just like tourists stealing paintings.
Devotees are not pilgrims collecting things for themselves. Devotees are only going to the world in hopes of giving back and seek only love. Hopefully we can give some instructions that can be helpful for people. Hopefully we can give something to people to bring them closer to Krishna. That's the idea and that is the mercy we got from our Gurudeva. Going to the heavenly planets is like sightseeing like tourists. In the end they leave with empty hands, because there's nothing really here in Prague.
It is a beautiful city but it has the same misery you can find in any city. It has the same problems, the same mistakes, the same lust and greed. Then we have to understand this: how important it is to deliver something and give our lives for that. It doesn’t matter where you go, you can go to Indraloka, it is easy not easy to reach, but many people go. It is not easy for a Hindu to study in a Western university, but some are able to with hard work. They can have this opportunity. Everyone is not practicing yoga, but some Westerners have become very learned in this activity. Many speak of God, but not many take God as the most important.
This is a privilege, a special mercy, and with this special mercy, you can leave this world to the planet where you'll never go back. Hardly the tourists stay in Prague, just for a week or a month, but they all have to go back somewhere. The heavenly planets they will not stay there, they may for millions of years, but they have to return. Is it not a boring idea?
I once asked George Harrison when he was sick: What do you get by chanting Hare Krishna? And he replied: Soon I will see what I'm praying for. When you die, you really see what you obtained from chanting Hare Krishna. So if you want to live ten thousand years, then you have to wait ten thousand years to see what you got from singing.
Just imagine someone telling you that you were promoted 80 thousand years, but in the end you will get a worse position than you have now. That is very confusing. It is better to find the truth now and face the facts. And what are those facts? Everything is connected to God, and then if everything is connected with Krishna it is perfect.
We are travelers, pilgrims, we are trying to find the eternal world and the most valuable conversation is to ask: What is it that you found on the account of the eternal world? Is there a secret book? What is the secret book that says how to go back to God?
It's like this: The whole purpose of life is to ask how to find the Lord of love, and when you’re initiated it changes a little. You ask: How I can serve the Lord? You can use your talents to serve: painting, singing, drawing, all just to help spread the message of the Lord.
Devotees do not ask: Did you see Krishna? Where is Krishna? No, they ask: How can I worship Him? How can I go with him? We have to figure this out; this is what’s going make us more advanced beings.
If we can understand that the ocean of love is all around us, you could swim for your pleasure and you would not be alone if you have a spiritual master. He will teach you how to live; he will teach you how to relate to others that you come across on this journey. So this desire to serve Krishna together, this is what I ask of the sannyasis or anyone within the Vrinda mission. Take what you learned and share it with others; in addition to being internationalists we also have to be localists. Favors those of your district, those in your neighborhood, do not ignore those around you. That's a negative trend, just excuses. Clearly your mind is good for making excuses, always finding a reason to give an excuse. I think we should be very enthusiastic about our work and very generous and admire the work that others are doing for Krishna.
Work very hard for what you do and appreciate what others do for Krishna. Do not think that your work is better than others; this is what I’m asking you for, pilgrims of Mother Nature, all who have found a spiritual teacher, it is the mission of his life. And those who already found guru I pray so they can be very blessed and empowered by Krishna so He can use them as messengers.
Thank you very much, and I hope that these instructions will help
Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay!!