Conference from Vrindavan.
Greetings from Sri Vrindavan Dham.
I am writing from the banks of the Yamuna, the daughter of the Sun God and sister of Yamaraj. Sri Yamuna Devi Ki Jay. My message today is intended for all devotees of the West (South America, Central America or Europe), who are entering the marathon in December.
Traditionally in the West it is believed that December is the month that will satisfy all your desires. This is due to the consumerist Christmas. For that reason, we have created the idea that December is a month of extreme consumerism. For example: the workers are given a bonus in their salary for the month, and so on. So, people do not care about how much they spend in the month of December. We can say that it is a bit more relaxed and more open to buy a Srila Prabhupada book, a conscious DVD, or to support the cause of Krishna Consciousness. I've done sankirtan for many years of my life, so I can say that this sankirtan process is a great mercy. Why? Because one does not look to people for some selfish reasons, but for the sole purpose of bringing these people to Krishna Consciousness and occupy them in service to God. In addition, one gives a product that is completely transcendental and linked to Krishna.
I'd like to leave a box of Vedic wisdom to every person in the world. That is my greatest desire, as this collection of Vedic tips has something for everyone. Vedic Culture is for everyone, there is nothing that someone can say: I do not care for this or it's not important.
On the other hand, I would also give everyone okis, okis with the invitation to see our facilities and programs and to attend our centers. Okis with conscious messages that can help all those people who do not know where they can go and say: Look, these people practice bhakti yoga, have organic farms, and are interested in the good of people, etc... This is the awareness that I want to share with people. This is the awareness that I received from Srila Prabhupada and therefore transcendental competition of the Sankirtan Marathon of this December is the opportunity to lift the spirits of our preachers in all countries.
Today I just returned from Hrisikesh to Vrindavan, where we were attending a conference of the Green Pilgrimage Network (Green Pilgrimage Network or ecological). In this lecture we talked about doing a competition between the different cities of India affiliated to this network, which awards the greenest cities in different aspects: the cleanest city, the most aware city of caring for ecological values, etc ... All based on the spirit of serving the pilgrims who come to the city. This modest proposal was accepted by our organizers and also will be performed within the cities, as a competition of the temples within a city to see which is the most environmentally friendly. This is very important because these temples are guilty of improper cleaning standards and/or pollution. A very good conclusion of this meeting was to accept that the use of plastic in the temples is almost prehistoric should be banned anyway.
This conclusion was also accepted at the last meeting of the World Vaishnava Association (WVA), where the statement was made that no plastic article should be used in the festivals of the Gaudiya Math. Thus, many efforts are being made to preserve our Bhumi Ma, or Mother Earth. Well it's now or never when we can do it. So I was very happy to see in this meeting at Hrisikesh that there were so many temples interested in changing the consciousness of the pilgrims. There was much willingness to change. This change is a shift in consciousness and we must be fully part of this shift in consciousness.
In temples we cannot accept plastic bags or offerings having plastics. That is just being accepted here and has taken a long time to be seen as a necessity. That is a very positive step.
My dear devotees, I send a big hug for this New Year and I ask you to remain enthusiastic forever. I ask that you be determined to become stars in the sky and showing enthusiasm to demonstrate how beautiful it is to preach to the souls ... keeping with the constant desire to bring the mercy of Sri Krishna and Srila Prabhupada to every corner, every house ... So we must distribute the Bhagavad Gita and books of Srila Prabhupada massively in December; and all the materials that devotees and mothers of Seva work so hard on. Because there are not random materials, they are conscious materials, deeply linked to the beautiful Vedic Culture prepared by devotees as a service. A sankirtaneer has to speak thus:
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. If you takethis book, I cannot guarantee anything, but I found the greatest beauty of life in this book. I don’t come to disturb or take money, no, that's not my job, I just want to share with you the most beautiful and wonderful thing that I received. Please read this book and see for yourselves what I speak. :)
Thus a sankirtaneer speaks with all soul, because he has a lot of fervor and believes what he is saying. I had a spiritual brother in Europe who did sankirtan and every time he spoke with someone he gave them a book and would say: Please do not reject me. It is the personal conviction that makes the sankirtaneer, since the sankirtaneer believes that every day is a new chance to proclaim everywhere the glories of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. One does sankirtan because he can preach and Krsna so mercifully manages the economy for the sankirtaneer. Thus, those who perform sankirtan are eager to give this Bhakti mission, this mission of Prabhupada, this mission of transcendental love everywhere.
When I was doing sankirtan I never felt obligated because Prabhupada said he was going to go to a temple where the most books were distributed and that was my meditation. And so, with much enthusiasm I would go do sankirtan and spent many hours distributing books outside the temple, only to taste that nectar. Sometimes you have to beg and plea but usually no one takes a book while the sankirtaneer fails to think that Krishna is the controller of everything and implores him to preach from the heart.
Please take this for your entire life and preach the glories of Sri Hari. And if this message is not convincing, then you yourselves go on the sankirtan experience and participate in the marathon in December. And make a united effort to free our spiritual family from the false ego so this mission become one of hearts without deviation, which only seeks to help others and where members of this family are known to be humble servants with the intent to please Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. And all Vaishnavas found everywhere, they are our protectors and with all their love they have enabled us to aspire to one day become His devotees.
With this message I leave today. I sincerely hope that we can share a marathon month of December full of ecstasy and preaching. This time I will not be physically with you doing sankirtan, but from Vrindavan will be working on a marathon of different projects to accompany them. Then in January we will participate in an international meeting of Yoga in Bangalore, where we introduce the Inbound Yoga System and Network of Eco Yoga Villages. After that we will travel to Puri to receive the blessings of Sri Jagannath and then participate in the Maha Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, where we will have many opportunities to preach environmental awareness and protection of Mother Earth.
A hug from the heart to all of you, fighters of Truth.
Gouranga Radha Vraja Mohan, ki jay.
Srila Prabhupada ki jay
Your always well wisher,
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti