Dear devotees, today from Vrinda Kunja we send the Vrinda family the Sunday Chat.
We are grateful for the presence of you all. We know that to come here from South America means a huge sacrifice ... because it is not easy to get here, one spends a lot of money. And the question is why do we spend so much money? It is for tanking ... filling the tank. Why do we go to Melas, why go to temples? Why open temples? Why travel to India? We are members of a monastic order who preach simple living and high thinking.
And our most essential philosophy is called association, because if I associate with Vaisnavas high I have the chance to develop a higher consciousness. That's the point, how batteries charge us to advance spiritually. My spiritual teacher brought us to India, imagine how far ... and here in Vrindavan and other parts of India, Srila Prabhupada organized learning institutes true divine love.
Today we invite you to read a chat, a message from my heart ... That means, of what I feel, what I feel you should all know. Practically, Vrinda family, the Vaishnavas in the world, try every day in being more solid in their service offered to humanity. We want to do something to make Srila Prabhupada happy. Devotees say: trying to steal a smile from Srila Prabhupada, that is what we are trying to do within Vrinda Family. That’s what we try to do with family Vrinda. However, in the modern world, we have to adapt to so many things ... and sometimes questions will be raised about what is to be done or not done.
For example: in India a hand is not even given, they always greet with folded hands on the chest ... but today we read in Bhakti Ratnakar that devotees were giving hugs of friendship ... But, if you go to the West and someone gives you a hand and rejects it then that is something foreign. So Vaishnava culture is adapting to take this message to the world without losing its values. What are these values? To refrain from promoting or condoning illicit sex, for example ... sexual relations without the final intention of having children in a spiritual union are totally prohibited. Children require conscious parents. That's what they need and what children deserve.
Thus Srila Prabhupada left us many rules and regulations, he also gave us the instruction to adjust to the circumstances, and how things are adjusted is work of the Guru. The spiritual master is always thinking about how to occupy people in connection with Krishna. That's the Viashnava flexibility, we want to occupy people with Krishna, in any way possible ... and you who have come from so far are the best example, because you are already busy with a lot of experience of engaging people in Krishna Consciousness.
When we invite people to Srila Prabhupada's family, we always have to find new ways for the devotees to have a nice position in this society, occupying people with ideas of how to advance spiritually.
Yena tena prakarena manah krsne nivesayet
The bottom line of all things is that people become engaged in service to Sri Krishna, the other devotional details (rules and regulations) can be introduced gradually. In fact, our family has been very innovative in many ways. Although I would say, only semi-innovative ... because all the things that I have innovated are things that Prabhupada had innovated. Prabhupada did gurukulas and we're trying to do faith education. Prabhupada did GoShalas and we are trying to promote the protection of cows and animals with the Spoon Revolution. Prabhupada wanted to direct charity and we've begun working with House of Wisdom, which we plan to make many contributions to society with. Srila Prabhuapda and Sri Mahaprabhu have preached a message of nonsectarian and invested all and invited their energy into it. Srila Prabhupada often said to people: you do not have to change your religion, you just have to love God ...
And if you love God, you will be able to enter God's mercy. Srila Prabhupada also preached to scientists about the existence of God, proving that Darwin was wrong and that the soul is a substance at hand, because the materialist sees only matter and the matter ends there. So they think that matter has changed through coincidence and therefore they have nothing to be thankful for and all they end up thinking is, I have to make the most of this life. So Prabhupada was much attached to science and now with Oida we are trying to preach the same way and to clarify that the soul without faith is abandoned and lost.
So the soul and faith are elements, evidence of a spiritual existence. So, we're just trying to continue what Prabhupada began, only including some new tools. Because Darwinism, for example, never worked with psychology. Even Srila Prabhupada did many things that we have not been able to do yet, but Vrinda has also devoted much energy to present different topics with the conclusion of Krishna Consciousness in an introductory form. Then Vrinda family has been producing much introductory material for people to have a chance to get to Krsna Consciousness. So we have also tried to introduce Vaishnavism into the internet, through communication which goes beyond a tiny temple and its visitors. Today, using the Internet a temple can have followers in many parts, so there are many modern techniques through which we preach if we use them and achieve something wonderful.
So we must also engage professional people, because if there was nothing to do in these areas they would feel a little discouraged, but when they see that they can take their art to Krishna, then all can feel a little happy. The Vedic wisdom box, for example, is a product we did many years ago. Today, we have 163 titles ... and that box is perfect because you get the darshan of Radha Vrajesvara and can choose a title that interests you. No one can say that there is only one interest for him. And on one side of the brochure we are promoting our eco-villages.
Now I took a title called: The misfortunes. This explains the causes of the misfortunes in life ... the various problems and how to handle ... and how we can be happy despite the misfortunes that occur in one's life. All of that is written there. And so one can learn about different topics ... Then chose another issue: what does it mean to be a brahmana ... why are we brahmanas in the line of Sri Mahaprabhu, another issue: agro awareness, and how to grow organically. Sure, many of the titles are introductions and knowledge can be much more voluminous, but you have to start somewhere. Likewise, our life is full of surprises. And this collection of Vedic wisdom should be on every table in a house, every office, in every restaurant ... Another title I chose now is: reducing violence begins at home, another very important title because we all suffer violence. If someone does not find a guide for himself, then there is nothing. How to live healthily, and respect others ... so many things you can learn.
These sheets allow more people to enter the Vedic knowledge. The most important thing is we have the whole box and promotion is needed, it’s your turn. Sure, it may not be cheap, but it is very valuable. So, we have to work with lots of encouragement so that everyone can be benefited. I give you ideas, but now it's your turn to take these ideas and apply them. My idea was that when someone comes to the temple they are able to find a complete selection of titles on how and where to practice spiritual awareness. That's our job; it is what we are doing so that Srila Prabhupada is pleased with us. That's the message Krishna wants us to know. But the world needs access to this wisdom. If the world does not know, how it will grow on this path? So Srila Prabhupada came to teach us how to do things right.
Today is the disappearance day of Srila Narottam Das Thakur and we have heard many pastimes that melt the hard heart ... and one feels affected and think, how wonderful and I live in the world with these worries for material things. In other words, dear devotees, I'd like to present the great urgency of everything we've done, so people in different sites have access to everything that we are producing with the sweat from our brow and much sacrifice. So we all have to come together in something very valuable and just by joining together something can become powerful. Although sometimes we perceive that our work had no results, but the results are there.
For example, today I received a notice from a court case of Allahabad forbidding black water from reaching the Yamuna ... and the notice also says that we need to do an in-depth awareness because the very pilgrims are dirty. And that is a joy, a victory ... but do not forget: the struggle continues and we need all your support to make it work. And as the Vrinda family, we remain useful here. Thanks to Krishna we had some opportunities and we now have a very nice opportunity which was granted by the municipality to the family of helping hands, removing all waste buried in an illegal landfill in front of Tatiya Sthan ashram that is poisoning Vrindavan and in this way I feel benefited and I am very pleased with this. Imagine the mayor is asking this of us, this is good if ... we are just waiting for permission to start with it. We're talking about minimum 2000 tractor trips to get it all.
And we will do it because it is a wonderful service, and if we can get one save one child of Vrindavana from getting sick, this practice has been so effective. And so you can restore this sacred lake and bird sanctuary. That is Vrindavna today, meeting with the mayor has had many fruits. On the other hand we are trying to finish the Gopinath Mandir gardens as well as trying with Chandi to clean the waters of Yamuna through a sand filter. It is always a lot of work and we will see how all this is coming out. In the coming days there will be many important moments, places to visit ... we have much to do.
The cleaning service is something that makes me very happy, even though it is very hard. Although everything is still very dirty. Do not forget that we are doing this to give an example and so that in the future they may have garbage collectors ... Let's see how many posters we have distributed in schools, temples ... we have done a lot of work to get these materials ... but our devotees here are very busy, so we have to put more effort. So I need you to think with me, act with me... help me. Help me carry these messages to schools, so that children become aware, because they are the one who will create not so nice conditions tomorrow.
That is a very special program of awareness in schools here. Will is power. Those of us who are here are here to work.... And Vrindavan is a small town. You can do many things ... not talking about a big city. I have said many times, we should not feel better because we clean than the dirty ... we should be grateful to those who get dirty and give us a chance to do service :)
Everyone of Vrinda I send the message to be generous and send monthly support for our service to employ qualified people to help us. Now we'll have to get heavy excavators to clean this lake ... that is something I accept because I have years of fighting against this illegal dump, and now I have the
permission of the municipality to fix it and turn it into a park. [Many thanks to all of you who are preaching the glories of Vrindavan worldwide.]
When I came to Vrindavan I remember how nice Vrindavan is and all the work that is being done is completely wonderful. Like today we went to the temple of the original deities of Srila Narottama Das Thakur it was very beautiful. Vrindavan is moving and this movement is Krishna consciousness. Here we will see wonderful things, but it is missing many details of organization. So the government does not take into account many details ... but the solutions are going to come, after a few years, Sri Vrindavan will have many improvements. And that is where we are, because thousands and millions of people in the world are going to come here and we have to receive them in the best way. This year is 30 years of Vraja Mandala parikram and I can say that Vrindavan is my home, though I do not deserve it ... because I've spent 30 kartiks or more and want to see my house, the house of my God, totally clean. I pray to see the Yamuna totally clean. That's a big job that requires a lot of people involved.
Right now we have to review the materials that we will carry to Kumbha Mela. So I need the support of all of you. The care for the environment is practical service to the Dhama ...the Dhama needs it.
We need to act consciously. So we ask the Vrinda Mission to be generous ... and consider that each of our churches exists by the mercy of Sri Vrindavan Dhama and by the mercy of Vrinda Devi. Here we have a very responsible management team to address it all. I send my love to Bolivia to continue helping this beautiful center of Radha Ramanji. I send my love to Peru, where Lord Jagannath and Radha Damodhar bless you all. I congratulate Priya Vrata prabhu for the wonderful interview he gave to the newspaper El Comercio de Peru. I send my greetings to Varsana they are doing a very beautiful temple to Gauranga Radha Vrajesvara. I also send my love to Radha Shyamsundar in Uruguay with the pioneers who are out there preaching. (In Maldonado and Montevideo) I send my hugs to Brazil to Mahaprabhu Gandharvika Giridhari, and all centers of Brazil, to remember the sacred land of Vrindavan and preach the glories of the Dhama.
So temples only need to enthuse supportive friends. I send my greetings to Venezuela, to the Azulita where Radha and Govinda are and Gaura Nitai. Send my love to Ecuador, Radhika Gopinath and all the beautiful temples. Also in Chile, with very beautiful Chileans who have contributed their beautiful sannyasis and Radha Govindaji, Radha Vrindavan Candra and Radha Kunja Bihari. My heart to Radha Madan Mohan, in Argentina, where we have much to do with our Eco Yoga Park which was chosen as one of the most important places to visit by Lonely Planet. Also send my wishes to preach to the pioneers of Paraguay who worship Krishna and send the message of divine love.
To Radha Madhava in Mexico, the devotees in Guatemala with Rupa prabhu, who are doing pretty centers in Central America. To Brihat Vrati maharaj who is trying to break the ice in the center too. I send my love to the devotees in USA, Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Europe, the Philippines ... So, we have a few places on earth where we have devotees who identify with our desire to serve. And we hope that all of you will join us in Vraja Mandal Parikrama, a full month to be together and to continue with eagerness to get ahead. Thanks for sharing this chat today and trying to get out of Maya together. Better then to seek divine love together.
A hug from the heart to deepen and better our service
Jay Srila Prabhupada!
Jaya Radha Vraja Mohan!
Jaya Srila Narottam Das Thakur.