This year we are celebrating 30 years of the Vrinda family, 30 years my God, who could have imagined 30 years of Vrinda and it is true, it is reality. In 1984 we launched the Vrinda family. I wanted to find a spiritual family, family means commitment of father, mother, brothers, uncles, grandparents, all that.
I wanted to have a family, but I did not want to marry. I wanted to have a real family in the family of Srila Prabhupada, because I see that institutions always have shortcomings, on the other hand I will say this again, in my life I have helped find a minimum of 20 organizations but I am not a member of any of them, I just belong to the relationship from heart to heart.
If you have a shop you have to register it and that is called legal personality, and if it is not like this no one will take it seriously, and in our service we want to be taken seriously, we want to have a family from heart to heart, we just have that and we have to defend it, that is what this life is for, and that is my message to all of the Vrinda family members chatting on this day.
In a way another chapter of my life begins in Bogota, I already had several. I had the extensive chapter of Brazil, of Sweden, of Denmark, sankirtan leader in northern Europe, and brahmacari in the Berlin temple and all those were previous chapters, but the chapter that I opened in 1984 in Colombia was very significant because it was where Harijan Maharaj and I took responsibility for a spiritual family, this is a position called mission impossible, but by the mercy of a pure devotee the mission impossible can become possible which is called causeless mercy. But for a person with a birth as low as mine that can assume a role like this, one begins to wonder:
Why can I make a mission possible if it is impossible? Because at that time and thanks to Srila Prabhupada we were already working for years in Colombia, and there at that time there was no failing of international support from other Vaishnavas because Srila Prabhupada was helping his whole mission, but failure was felt .... either you assumed responsibility or close the mission, and some devotees said:
"We want to have your guidance, no one elses ..." and I was not in Colombia I was in India, and I came to the United States and I was completely uncertain about my future and I received a call from Harijan Maharaj and other devotees who told me: come to Colombia, we want to continue working for Srila Prabhupada but with your support, but if you do not come how are we going to do it? And I was in exile like Napoleon. I was six months in exile, I could not go to Colombia on part of the authorities because they knew that I was angry with them. Devotees told me not to put care into it and that with them I would walk with the mission, and that to me was like a 3rd or 4th birth. The first was mom and dad , the second is when I took initiation. The third is when you start to worship the Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I felt that this was the fourth birth, to assume a role of spiritual responsibility, practically almost as a spiritual father.
I had seen the institutional aspect called international institution, so I wanted something that was from heart to heart, I deplored diplomacy, hypocrisy, I do not wish to have such relationships in life, I want to have relationships of the heart with people, thus this effort of Vrinda family was born, and the 30 year marks is here. And Srila Harijan Maharaja a couple years before went to be with Krsna, luckily Gurudeva Atulananda appeared to help me and lend a hand so that I would not be left without association. There was also Prabhu Kanka , Prabhu Askalita , Prabhu Mrigranath, but we were a flock of disciples of Srila Prabhupada with the charge of a large mission, and frustration because of the institution, from all sides, and we said that it was not the mission that Srila Prabhupada wanted and we looked for how he wanted it to be and from there we found inspiration from Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaja. Harijan Maharaj and I received Sannyas and took off very happy.
So today we are reflecting on the fact that after 30 years Krsna blessed us to be in the service of Prabhupada in separation, but also Krsna shows us that the maximum degree of humility is the greatest need, permanently we must never forget that we come from a world of lust, anger, envy, from very low samskaras.
We are in the land where there are no jokes but only sacrifice, a growing humanity like the Vrinda family, establishing a spiritual family and among the devotees in general things are soft and very tender, when a devotee stops being a devotee the sin is that he begins smoking marijuana or takes a beer or has illicit sex; and this in the material world ... parties and partying, the fall of a devotee is engagement in the party of this world, then it's not exactly something as shocking as crimes and all the corruption and horror of this world, but of course we want to be exemplary as devotees, we want to be followers of a pure devotee.
We want to offer to human society, good things, extraordinary things through the services you all do, everything we do in a large part is done for you, I feel very fortunate to be associated with you, to inspire you. I feel fortunate to be a member of this family. I am very grateful for Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Gauranga Radha Vrajesvara for exposing Their mercy to Colombia and the world. Imagine that the Vrinda family from Colombia has actually spread all over the planet, better said, Vrinda Family is known outside of Colombia by devotees who have also taken this sacrifice, as Paramahamsa Maharaj in India, who is very famous, he never misses any festival, he is always there and so many other wonders, I think Colombian devotees are more famous than just the Valdez cafe.
Then it's a good sign , imagine expanding the fame of Vrinda because of what the devotees do in the world. I am filled with great joy and it has been essential for the Vrinda family to create a regional family, for a devotee here there are no such distinctions as Ecuadorians, Brazilians, Panamanians, here there are only devotees. The integration and work in different countries has been very exemplary and it practically remains as such.
Venezuela is nurtured by Colombia going there to do sankirtan so that we can awaken our neighboring country, for love and rememberance of Avadhuta Maharaja, a special warrior of this country who received the sannyas order from Srila Prabhupada, and this is something very good, to maintain the spark in this fight, this memory. Then for devotees of the Vrinda family everyone around the world is family, any of you can go to Chile to do service, wherever there is family you are welcomed you just have to speak the secret formula Gauranga Radha Vrajesvara, continue within, initiation, internally, this is the key formula, then all doors open, except the door of the false ego, that is kept closed to such things but you keep fighting, you should always keep fighting forward because there is no other way. In this world and in this life you can not go back, in a car you have gears to go back, but not in life, and what happened, already happened ... you carry that charge, and you carry that with dignity, that is Bhakti yoga, the office of dignity.
We spent these days, celebrating a family that has existed now for 30 years, where virtually everyone comes from different ethnic, international, cultural backgrounds and even background and so we can report that for 30 years, it is assumed that the family has had no deaths and no one will lift their hands to another, but the devotees do not harm one another.
Now I wish I could say that in this mission of 30 years there was not a tidbit of gossip, but that would be a lie, and I will not lie, but despite the gossip, we continue living, growing, and appreciating that there is a family called Vrinda because when someone says: I do not mind the Vrinda family, I want no part of Vrinda, to me that's fiction, do not give me anything, I will become very sad that day, because Vrinda actually came as a refuge, Ashraya .
Ashraya means refuge and refuge is Radharani, She is who gives us shelter in this world and that shelter is transmitted to the last devotee who is part of the family, and when you preach you open the refuge to another person by the kindness of your heart, that is love and everyone asks why are you here and to every one you mention to them how another devotee inspired you and then they are hooked. Each one of you has a story, this is a family who become representatives, each Ashraya, a shelter and that is what we must be.
Without Srila Prabhupada nothing could have been done, the shelter given is based on him without a doubt. All glories to the various shelters that devotees provide through their work, their services, their various projects, conferences, publications, documentaries, and the sankirtan they do. Devotees of the 2nd generation must make their decision as they are there for their parents. It's very nice because those who have given us refuge are still present here.
This is practically the first official celebration of our 30 years together, we will celebrate every year course. A family that follows and establishes new centers is very special. Thanks to you projects and projects are growing. I spoke with P. Prakasananda about the yoga course by correspondence which was made in Cd -Rom format but the validity has been lost because the Cd -Room is no longer used. But so many people we met, told me the other day : you have to make all pages of Vrinda family new because they are all on Dreamweaver. Oh I had no idea what it was either, and now I have to figure it out, such as updating things. So Krishna does not let us rest, always doing, doing, take, do, run. Krsna pushes us, because one can not forget Krsna nor service to Krsna, there are many things to improve.
In the mode of passion there is creation, in the mode of goodness everything is maintained and in the mode of ignorance everything is destroyed, fortunately there are not many in ignorance, but many things will be destroyed, in fact we do not destroy, we create and that's very nice .
So we can understand that service to Sri Visnu is ultimate. We must be aware of many things, we are in the process of creating many things, we are almost finished with Oidatherapy, Yoga Inbound is not finished but it is growing and the material is being delivered.
The farms are always in development, as are the retreats, the tours, the pilgrimages, ah , I mean that we should always move toward perfection, thanks to Krsna who gave us the snow covered ground in the river Mink the traditional sector of healing, there are wells that are a specialty for healing, there in Goloka , which Sandi Pani bought when I lived in the U.S. without seeing it, and then later he gave it away without me seeing it. We have this beautiful place where one can go to stay two weeks and heal, 7 wells and a tremendous waterfall so you can imagine and Gambhira on the other hand is a special place for education, healing, there in the sierra nevada we have received a very special mercy. I want the devotees to take advantage of the tours and Goloka, where we have the ability to heal. Thank you very much mother earth for blessing the Vrinda family.
I 'll make a story of the most beautiful sites of Vrinda, although it is difficult because there are many and they are amazing .Varsana, the Sanctuary of water, Radha Kunda, the subtropical forests that are above Bhumi, the caves of the park, Krsna the winner of all obstacles and what to say of the temple and its devotees, after Varsana came Vrindavanita with Govardhana and this river which has healed us and refreshed us, which has been a haven for devotees of the golden age, how many devotees have left this world having a site like Vrindavanita? There are no words to appreciate and describe.
Then the sanctuary that is New Govardhana which is sustained by Krsna, a waterfall and a creek in the mountains there in Cali, then go to the coast, Gambhira , Goloka and the site of the University of Ancestral Wisdom, which has an altar of stunning water, something crisp and beautiful, some of these stones have original carvings of ancient cultures, as well as the Taironas roads, like in Gambhira and Goloka, very impressive, those are the most important sites in Colombia, until we come to the confidential womb of Mother Earth, her navel, called the shrine of Mother Earth, the Volcano Totumo, which the devotees have an Ashram of dedication beside it, natural and simple, but really where you can swim for hours between canoes and crocodiles, they are small but this site is amazing and when you leave the Ashram just 5 min is the Atlantic Ocean with clean and uncrowded beaches, very beautiful, very private, an awesome site.
Another site that Krsna has given the Vrinda family is Guatape, with a lake view and there is a cave which is another meteorite and it seems that it fell from the sky and remained stuck between two mountains, a river runs below this, and in the afternoon some lights appear in such a spectacular way that not even the best artist could have painted it, and we were there singing a song to the water, with more than 60 people, it was wonderful, amazing, and those are the shrines of our family that come to mind. In the Amazon, in Leticia, we have some special sanctuary that I've only seen pictures of, I could not go, it is by a river in which one goes to the Amazon and you can swim, and the devotees are doing very beautiful projects under the guidance of Bharati Prabhu.
Very wonderful, and we have now arrived to the Amazon, in Leticia with Krsna , all that is missing is the tip of the Guajira , although in Riohacha there is preaching being done by Prabhu Syama. Harijan Maharaj wanted 500 temples, a lot to do, these beautiful sites amaze me just like the Yamuna river passing by Govardhana Hill. I can look at it for a long time. I look at Govardhana, the Yamuna river, and I can stay there, it is an amazing beauty. We also have Vrinda Bhumi in Brazil, an estate of waterfalls, there are so many beautiful waterfalls, one more beautiful than the other, with amazing bath wells, the wind of the mother, it is also a self healing site, one can go there and stay amazed. There are such very special things like Ecuador, the Vrindavan Ecological Gardens. A very beautiful piece of rainforest where devotees have made a sanctuary. The Eco Truly Park which is internationally renowned as well as the Eco Truly Park of Argentina, although it does not have anything special in terms of visibility, but it is famous because Prabhu Thakur did a lot of volunteer work campaigning , and it was chosen in Only Planet as the best place to visit in Argentina.
So we arrive to Bolivia, Titicaca , Shanti Dwip an island in the Titicaca, very small, it has but a single tree, but there has been a mother there cultivating the vegetation. There is the beauty of Gupta Govardhana the ne farm, 60 acres of the most wonderful landscapes, crystal clear waters, wells, waterfalls, a nest in Uchumachi, the most sacred mountain of the Aymara, here the devotees have a corner of shelter, run by Colombian devotees, great devotees. Oh, I almost forgot to mention Cusco, Sradhavan in Cuzco, you can make a pilgrimage from Chaski or by America, visiting these sites to pray to mother earth, meaning devotional service (offerings) selfless service is a true offering.
Arica, the Trulys of Lluta Valley, the devotees there defending Mother Nature, very beautiful; Goura Mandal, La Serena , the Elqui Valley, Diaguitas, Jagannath Mandir between Mamayucta and Papallacta, sacred mountains of Diaguitas, very beautiful, and then there are the devotees of Chile striving and doing nice things too. The Inbound school of Yoga, Saranagati the school of leaders, creation of devotees for years, then you reach the beautiful terrain of the island Catemu of Lord Shiva. In Catemu you forget the materialistic world, it is so beautiful, there one can be with Damodar Maharaj, Tirtha Maharaj, and then you continue to the south of Chile where in Los Angeles there is a farm coming from island to a turbulent beautiful, clean, crystal river to the snow, a very nice farm, you have to visit, from there you arrive to Prema Mandal which is about south of Concepción where there is a beautiful lake, where devotees can take mud baths and it is amazing, a very nice place.
So in this world there are many sites revealed by Krsna and I am only speaking of South America, the other shrines in Hungary, Germany, India beside the dolphins of the Ganges there is Jahnavi Kunja Ashram and Saraswati Kunja where at both ends it becomes the Triveni and there are devotees waiting for you there or Vrinda Kunja which has been described as the most beautiful temple of Vrindaban. I like to that they say it but there are so many beautiful temples ...
In Yamuna Kunja we do social work and Radha Kunda the devotees are doing wonderful services, major cleaning, we are going to Govardhana for Maha cleaning, beautiful, very nice what Krsna has given us, so beautiful. And also there is Spain, Tenerife, devotees have meeting sites in Isla Palma, and there a devotee has a cave overlooking the Pacific which has been made into a temple, but it's wonderful I've seen in pictures, but it seems that in the summer I will be headed that way.
Those are the shrines that have been expand Gauranga Radha Vrajesvara. Being a pilgrim is amazing and I have been back and forth and I marvel at the beautiful things I come across, Mother Earth has been so merciful, but I ask you Why? It isn't so I could to travel, it is to provide shelter, healing, so that people can find Srila Prabhupada, Sadhu Sanga and it is amazing to see the Vaishnavas offering shelter to others, now on the coast they recently opened something of the UDSA. Prabhu Jagannath and Mother Radha Damodar are doing an organic farm, 1 hour from Barranquilla. Do not forget that Srila Bhaktisiddantha Saraswati said, I want a temple in each place and that is the bottom line, so lets dedicate ourselves to educating our children, new devotees, now comes the agro- ecological school; There is also the Guardians of Sumapaz, which is another beautiful corner on planet in Varsana .
Further up the path of the original natives, the Muiscas, and those are the sanctuaries in physical form, then there are the shrines of harinams in Bucaramanga, there is a temple with Sri Gauranga and Krsna Balaram, thanks to the efforts of Bhagavat Maharaja.
Now I have to mention the Visnupriyas and the Maharanis, that's a very important program of the Vrinda family. There is respect and we should provide support so that all can be free and give support where there is much deficiency in Kali Yuga. And there is much happiness in my association with the native people especially in the Sierra Nevada, I have special respect for the Sagas and very visionary and very loving, like mothers, then I think that the Vrinda family produce many Sagas, many Maharanis, extraordinary leaders who can support others, then for all women who are in Krsna consciousness, single mothers who preach, which provide shelter to the other women, to all of them I give them a great applause; it is amazing, I'm very happy, moreover, the Visnupriyas have given me so much support for regional work, that's the family of Vrinda over 30 years , the offices are important, full of sacrifice, with extra time for me, so they can help me do many things I could not do under any circumstances, but the mothers have helped me a lot, devotees also say, if we talk about Vrinda we must talk about the Sannyasis of Vrinda, the Maharanis of Vrinda and Pancatattva, the minister of communication of this family, this is difficult work without him, I applause him for it! And I know very well what I'm saying, he began the Sunday chat we use today to share this message, that was Pancatattva from the start and he has always kept it up even today ...
So all the work of Seva , which are very important, momentous books, literatures for the world to know who the devotees are, there are many, many things that most of the devotees of Vrinda do not even know of, you have to take the time. I create sounds that heal and I think only Mother Govinda has heard it since we and now we have reached 100 sound therapies. It is important, they are small pieces of service that Srila Prabhupada provided to the world, I want the world to fall in love with Srila Prabhupada, that is my sacred duty as a disciple, if it was not for Srila Prabhupada the Vrinda Family would not exist, that I can guarantee. A yoga move of determination, of volunteers which is increasingly present there as to reach the correct destination and not like some schools of yoga, where there are exercises only, take money and they only think of avatars as a concept of american movies.
Well, I want to keep talking about the celebration of the 30th year of the Vrinda mission which is difficult there are so many presidents, I want to applaud the Presidents that are enduring in these temples, that's just for presidents, they must endure it all, no? And they do it well, raise your hand: Who has been a president for more than 10 years of a temple ? 5 years? I sent a hug to all the presidents; Prabhupada wants to see presidents for life, it is something so beautiful to care for life, for people, I have to thank you on this day, at this moment, I can only ask for a recess to work a little, there is much more to do, we are not much for festivities, we are more for work in service, you have to work for everything so it progresses nicely!
With these words I leave you all today, Srila Prabhupada Ki Jay!
Your always well wisher,
Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti