Receive all my affection from Spain. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Ratha Yatra, ki jay.
Today Lord Jagannath goes to distribute His mercy to everyone.
Even those who are not considered fit to receive His darshan, that mercy is given to them today. And thanks to Lord Jagannath who sent Srila Prabhupada, we in the West could also receive that mercy. Srila Prabhupada was able to establish the Ratha Yatras throughout the world.
Festivals of Universal Love. And today, in our spiritual family, we also have them and they have become real festivals of joy and art for God. Thanks to the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord, service possibilities are growing in our family. That's the life of the devotee, to serve. I deeply and wholeheartedly thank all those devotees who are giving all their love and dedication to the vrinda family.
Everything in the life of the devotee depends on the love that he gives to others. A devotee is not grumpy nor unhappy. A devotee is totally loving. Anger is an atheistic quality. Sometimes anger is pedagogical. For example a parent has to show some anger at the bad things you do to educate the child. Mahaprabhu also showed anger in some of His lilas to instruct His devotees. But I do not mean this kind of "educational anger," but the self-absorbed and selfish mode of anger. That's not natural for a devotee. The devotee is naturally affectionate and expresses their love in every moment, to all beings and in all services performed.
To grow and advance one needs to learn what unconditional kindness is. To grow you must be nice. Not just kind to some, but kind to all. The affection of the heart is the only thing that will allow us to serve. And indeed, our life and soul, our main motivation is service. We have no other reason to exist than to be engaged in service. Service, service, service. And what is service? Helping others, appreciating others, being useful to others.
Service implies staying motivated, healthy and happy to continue serving. Because life, after all, is not to relax. If you are a farmer and your job is to plant and harvest the field, then you need to get up early, you work with effort and dedication, sometimes even under the sun and heat, sometimes enduring the cold or rain. You have to learn to be patient and wait for the propitious times for planting and picking. If you are a lazy farmer it is unlikely that you will produce good crops. Everything depends on the dedication with which things are done. You must realize the great responsibility that it takes to become a cultivator of your spiritual life. The grand responsibility to cultivate your service. Because you have received a great gift from God, the service given to you by your spiritual master. So it is very important that each of you find an area in which you want to dedicate and fight in order to grow. And therefore extending your arms to the spiritual community and to all the possibility of serving them..
Being present and saying, 'I'm here, I'm willing to work on what is needed for the good of all.' All souls who cross your path have been put there by God for the purpose of teaching you to love. Do not take it as unimportant. Do not take it lightly. Serving those souls means to serve Krishna ...
Just as a child is the ability that God gives to parents to teach them how to love and serve, similarly, all the people God puts in our path have such a value. Only by planting the values of love in our spiritual life can we flourish and grow. But that mentality is very lacking in today's society. Completely absent. The world teaches us to enjoy alone and without love. To have sex without thinking of children. To exploit others without caring whether they are good or not, but if we give away love and we remain in the association of devotees and our spiritual family, then we are protected.
I want to emphasize the importance of the people that Krishna has put in our way. They are our companions. Relationships should be sacred. Krishna gives us holy people. I feel enriched and indebted to the presence of each of you. Despite that, we have not been able to spend much time together or we only see each other once a year when there is a big mela or when I visit your country, but still I feel that you have the ability to do a wonderful service and offer it to the Lotus Feet of Srila Prabhupada. That comforts me. So I ask you to become leaders in your service area. Commit to it. Develop responsibilities. And put forth the effort. Never stop striving in your service. Because when you stop trying complacency comes and everything loses its magic. The importance is bringing love to every place.
Man must be carrying the seed of love. Please take care of it and sow it into the hearts of all, so that they flourish in bhakti. And for that we have a variety of areas for preaching: We have Vaishnava Academies, the UDSA, Eco Yoga Villages, Yoga Monasteries ... Because the devotees of Krishna are the servants of humanity. They are the guardians of the seed of love and the same seeds that Mother Nature gives us. They are the guardians of proper consciousness and are responsible for engaging human society in the service of God. Srila Prabhupada taught us the importance of simple living and high thinking. So fur us to be able to serve in such a way, Krishna is giving us everything we need.
Therefore we just need to put all our skillfulness, enthusiasm and great clarity in the process. And we always keep chanting the holy name of the Lord and beg for mercy. Thereby allowing us to expand our awareness that we are guardians and servants.
What the Lord has given us is pure mercy, it is completely independent of our work. It's not something that we have produced. I know devotees have worked hard and I deeply appreciate your help and service, but I know it has not been by individual efforts and powers alone that this family has managed to do something... It is only by mercy. Well, as the saying goes: "Krishna Consciousness expands despite us" Despite our unconsciousness, despite our impurities, despite our indifferences, despite our lack of affection ... Yet Krishna Consciousness expands. All I have received are gifts from Krishna and the master plan behind it all is controlled by Krishna.
The master plan is based on what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said: "pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nām" That everyone chanting the holy names of the Lord will listen. Although everything is controlled by Krishna, like He tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: "it is up to you to carry out your duty for your own growth." In other words, we are not the controllers, hopefully we can make a plan ... but, either way, we have to comply with what we need to do and appreciate how Krishna manifests in our lives. One must become an instrument, nothing more. A complete instrument. An instrument of a service that does not bring sole profit to us. And not just to our community.
We are serving all of humanity. Without seeking personal gain. Our task is to spread the Eternal Divine Consciousness to all conditioned souls in the material world. This human form of life is meant for God. Destined for God. That's what I wanted to share with you today. We are here to do good, not to waste it. So, when we come out of this world we've done something good and not just wasted our life that will only force us to come back again to this world of suffering. So we have to preach and preach ...
We have to become serious and strive with joy. Never lose joy and affection. I wish that you all become happy and loving devotees and all that you do is filled with love for others.
Jay Srila Prabhupada!
Your always well wisher,
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti.