My dear devotees. I send you all my affection from Vrinda Kunja where we arrived this morning at the hour of Mangala artik.
Today I want to offer my most humble obeisances to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Vraja Mohan who has given us the mercy to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Vrinda family in Vrindavan. It is very auspicious and it makes me very happy, I ask for the mercy of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Radha Vraja Mohan so that I may be able to continue serving Them . They came to this temple to accept our service and we are very grateful.
In addition, They have inspired and guided us all these years and in so many different directions, I can almost say that their Lordships have inspired me to continue traveling and preaching as a pilgrim and beggar of love, that's my profession. Sometimes I am asked at the border what do I dedicate myself to and I say : I'm a pilgrim beggar of love :)
So today begins the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Vrinda family in Vrindavan. This will be a very special year where we will project ourselves more towards our spiritual life, after 30 years a person is more than an adult, so this is the same for our spiritual family.
Mark that these 30 years is the time to mature and walk on this path on the straight and narrow. It means that the time has come that the devotees who have been accompanying me during this time have to take important responsibilities in your prabhu datadesh and settle in service somewhere so that they can care for the people who are under their protection. They must worry that the multifaceted family continues. Sure, I do not feel very qualified to do this and even so I have to push others, who also may not be so qualified to become representatives of someone as qualified and exalted as Srila Prabhupada.
- One wonders how this is possible, it is like saying that there is a math teacher who is just learning math. But, one way or another, everything will be corrected with humility and so one can do a service for which he is unprepared for. And with that we can humbly say that Srila Prabhupada by his mercy has put everything into place. And of course, when you want to deliver and delegate this responsibility to others, it becomes even more difficult.
Tonight I heard a very beautiful and exciting class in which Srila Prabhupada spoke on bhajanānandī . I became very much emotional with this class. There Prabhupada said that preachers are always risking. For in this world there is great potential to develop service. Because of that, a devout preacher takes many risks in his attempt to help others and Krsna takes into account those risks.
At the same time He gives special protection to these devotees. Well, when one is dedicated only to their personal well being they end up developing a vague mindset that will not allow them to develop further. Hopefully you have some depth so you do not crash. And of course, this is not the last line of Srila Prabhupada. On the contrary, in this class, Srila Prabhupada openly praised those devotees who dare to share with others what they have learned from their spiritual master.
In that sense, I dare you to continue encouraging others to sacrifice and also do something big for Srila Prabhupada, to trust him, read his books. Let them do all the things that our teachers have thus done and in this way they will grow spiritually and become part of this mystical transaction. Mystical and miraculous. You can not even grasp the fact that we can even be sannyasis and diffusers - communicators of the divine message of Sri Gauranga . That totally falls into the category of causeless mercy and the inexplicable.
Actually , I feel very grateful to Srila Prabhupada and to all those who took his message on all sides, and if Prabhupada had not had such devotees, neophytes in his time, who took his message, this would not have come down to us.
The fact that Prabhupada had disciples everywhere ensures that his message was expanding everywhere. Although he was not physically present everywhere, he was there through their representatives. To all of them I offer my obeisances.
I also start to think about the fact that as a person who has very little experience as one does (although a few more years have passed, but before the Supreme Truth still remains as a tiny little boy) he still continues to have the chance to serve. So I am more than convinced that every devotee, in one way or another, is a siksa -guru. There is not much to argue about it, rather it is a reality. Generally the disciple does not have such a steady partnership with the diksa -guru, that's very difficult. Usually one is with the diksa -guru for few days, or a month, more so it is something unprecedented . I myself spent a small amount of time by my Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada. I saw him about 20 times, but it was always sporadic, although I spent a month in India in the year of 76, but I barely saw him, because Srila Prabhupada was always very busy. But I feel very fortunate to have been near him.
Anyway, the fact of being next to your Spiritual Master doing some personal service for him is something very difficult, these are few moments in life and rather one has to live the rest of your life by them. Of course, I also had the chance to associate with Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Puri Maharaj. Then also with Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj and other such exalted Vaishnavas. With them I could have some closeness, touch their feet, feel their vibration, see their smile, their embrace and all that is very wonderful. So I feel very lucky and you also have the opportunity to partner with great Vaishnavas from different missions.
The main point is that the siksa -guru is the one who has the responsibility of caring for the lives of the devotees and direct their shelter. It is a major and very special service. As the most important person in the kitchen is the cook, the siksa -guru is essential in the spiritual life of the disciple.
We must be very cautious and not forget that we are dependent on the mercy of Krishna. Anything we do is always mercy, that mercy is that we survived, that we continue on the trail and can act as representatives and deliver everything our Gurudeva has given us.
So, my dear, this 30th year of the Vrinda Family will be a year of launching rockets. Launching Vaishnava rockets into your service, with lots and lots and lots of autonomy. Sure, the devotee does not want to be autonomous because by nature the devotee wants to be very dependent upon their guardians, but still remaining dependent, it is important that you take responsibility for this task to become a representative, a spiritual guide.
This is natural and should remain natural. Family means that from one family then many families will be born, if not then the family starts to die. The wonderful thing is that when a family gives rise to many families it becomes a dynasty. I hope our family becomes a dynasty of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
We receive a lot of mercy from Srila Prabhupada and that same mercy is the possibility of becoming a representative of Srila Prabhupada. Recently we had the mercy on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, to be accepted as a unifying mamo of ancestral cultures. Mamos Kogi and Mamos Arhuacos , which are the spiritual leaders of two native peoples of Colombia, together granted this responsibility to unify and spread this ancient wisdom.
I did not feel that this was something for me, rather, I felt that Srila Prabhupada was being recognized by them. It was a recognition of the spiritual realm of native cultures. To our dear Srila Prabhupada, who is undoubtedly a mamo.
This recognition that was realized in Varsana during the meeting was a plan of theirs, they even brought the mamo robe and gave it to us.
The fact of being named a Mamo I feel it is a grand acknowledgement of Srila Prabhupada and his mission in Latin America. It is in fact difficult for someone to be accepted by the native people, because they are isolated in order to protect their culture. However, Krishna and Srila Prabhhupada did so, they allowed the devotees to distribute prasadam in some important encounters with the native people of different countries.
The Native people of Colombia recognized the Vaishnavas as one of the 100 tribes from the country, demonstrating how open hearted they are in accepting all the devotees and the philosophy.
With that I say goodbye ,
Your always well wisher,
B. A. Paramadvaiti Swami