Fed up with cold response from district administration to their demand to declare Devbhoomi Dwarka as drought-hit, farmers on Tuesday knocked at the God’s door for help and submitted a memorandum to Lord Krishna seeking divine intervention to alleviate their sufferings.
Dozens of farmers led by NGO Khedut Hit Rakshak Samiti submitted the memorandum to the high priest of the famous Dwarkadhish temple in Devbhoomi Dwarka district, dedicated to Lord Krishna.
In the memorandum addressed Lord Krishna, the farmers pleaded for help and said they have come to him “as a last resort” after getting tired of approaching Government officials with their list of demands.
They listed their demands before the God, which included declaring the district as drought-affected, setting up cattle camps, providing water for drinking and irrigation and reducing power connection tariff.
Recently, the BJP Government in Gujarat declared parts of district as drought-hit.
“We have come to you as a last resort…the present government, elected from farmers’ votes, is working for the industrialists. Government invest crore of rupees to organise farmer programmes but refuses to address our problems. Leaders and government officials are corrupt, and we farmers are crying for help,” the memorandum stated.
“Government is not thinking of waiving interest on crop loan for the current year. Nothing is being done to ensure water supply for irrigation…the CM calls herself farmer’s daughter, but makes hollow promises in the name of farmer welfare,” it stated.
Prabhupada is discussing the real meaning of going to a sacred place in India.
One should go to a sacred place in order to find some intelligent scholar in spiritual knowledge living there and make association with him. Just like I … My residence is at Vrindavana. So, at Vrindavana, there are many big scholars and saintly persons living. So one should go to such holy places, not simply to take bath in the water. One must be intelligent enough to find some spiritually advanced man living there and take instruction from him and be benefited by that. If a man has no attraction for hearing from learned people there, he is considered to be an ass. (He laughs.) So, the whole civilization is moving like a civilization of cows and asses. Everyone is identifying with the body … Yes, you want to speak?
Woman: In the places known as secret places –
Prabhupada: Sacred. Yes.
Woman: Is it “sacred” places?
Woman: Isn’t it also a fact that there is more magnetism because of the meeting of saints and more advanced people?
Prabhupada: Oh yes. Certainly. Certainly. Therefore the place itself has got some magnetism.
Woman: Yes, and when –
Prabhupada: Just like at Vrindavana – that is practical. Here I am now sitting in New York, the world’s greatest city, such a magnificent city, but my heart is always hankering after that Vrindavana.
Each of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples has chosen to love him. It is a commitment that I will always honor, and I have sealed that commitment at my initiation. We have a contract of love now. Although my love for Srila Prabhupada may not yet be free of any material tinge, he is patient. And Prabhupada himself has placed conditions of his love on his disciples. He expects them to follow him. Although he will still love a disobedient disciple, his love will not reach a disciple who rebels or disobeys his order, and who blasphemes guru and Krishna. The relationship between guru and disciple is meant to be based on honor.
I have heard people say that this “condition” Prabhupada places on his love for us is not much different than the conditions some of our parents placed on us to win their love. Many people have been hurt by parents who sold their love for high grades in school, or conformity to family rules, etc. There was no chance for people who grew up in these families to develop themselves as individuals, or to feel self-worth despite their failings to meet their parents’ standards. They grew up only with conditions and have no experience of real love. Is Prabhupada’s love for us like that? Is it a lesser kind of love because he places on it the condition of our obedience?
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The fifth day of the ILS was the Appearance Day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, the spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada. ILS delegates were given a break from seminars on this holy day so that they could spend a day in prayers, meditation, hearing and chanting.
After mangala-arati, Niranjana Swami and Radhanatha Swami delivered a special class to mark the occasion.
Niranjana Swami explained that one can learn Prabhupada’s mood of humility from his diary entry on board the Jaladuta on 10thSeptember 1965, where he says, ‘Today the ship is plying very smoothly. I feel today better. But I am feeling separation from Sri Vrindaban and my Lords Sri Govinda, Gopinath, Radha Damodar. The only solace is Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita in which I am tasting the nectarine of Lord Chaitanya’s Leela. I have left Bharat Bhumi just to execute the order of Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati in pursuance of Lord Chaitanya’s order. I have no qualification, but I have taken up the risk just to carry out the order of His Divine Grace. I depend fully on Their mercy so far away from Vrindaban.’
“The criteria of the devotees’ success is not that he thinks ‘I am authorised, therefore I am qualified’. One should think, ‘I am authorised, but I need to be aware of my lack of qualifications, and will always become dependent on the Lord’. Success is always guaranteed to those who are conscious of their subordinate position,” said Niranjana Swami to the delegates, many of whom had lined up 30 minutes before the lecture to hear the two speakers. “Srila Prabhupada always gave credit to his higher authorities, his spiritual master and Lord Chaitanya, and never took credit for himself.”
Niranjana Swami recollected how Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraaswati Thakura instructed Srila Prabhupada in 1936 to push the Krishna consciousness movement to the English speaking world.
“Srila Prabhupada told us that if we strictly try to serve the spiritual master seriously, Krishna will give us all facilities,” concluded Niranjana Swami. “Therefore he requested us to please take this movement seriously. Prabhupada told us, ‘I shall go away and you will live, but you should push this movement’. The rest is dependent on ourselves – in how we keep ourselves in this humble and subordinate position.”
In the next address, Radhanatha Swami recalled Srila Prabhupada’s instructions delivered on a previous appearance day of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. “Srila Prabhupada told his followers that Lord Chaitanya had instructed all those born in India to accept this message and share it with the world. He explained that it was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thaura’s desire that people from the West and the East should accept this movement equally. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has asked: Oh, when will that day come when people from America, England, France, Germany and Russia will take up karatals and mridangas and chant Hare Krishna in their towns?”
Radhanatha Swami mentioned that Srila Prabhupada always felt the presence of his Guru Maharaja, and never felt alone. “After one year, Srila Prabhupada had only $200 left from the sale of his books. He invested everything he had in renting 26, Second Avenue. He had nothing more. In this way, Srila Prabhupada was always reminding us that our existence is fully reliant on how we humble ourselves, and how we depend on our spiritual master, and Lord Chaitanya.”
Radhanatha Swami read out a letter from Srila Prabhupada in which he ended the letter by saying, “I am trying a little bit and you are all helping me. So, I have to thank you more. You are actually the representatives of my Guru Maharaja… because you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Maharaja.”
Radhanatha Swami explained that in the recording, Prabhupada said his last words in a choked voice. He urged everyone to keep aside differences, since they were all insignificant and did not matter in light of the instructions from our spiritual masters.
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The Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA) in Radhadesh, Belgium, has just published two lusciously illustrated books for devotees to feast their eyes on: “Illuminations from the Bhagavad-gita” and “Prabhupada Meditations.”
Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita
On Sunday January 24th, MOSA Director Mahaprabhu Das presented “Illuminations…” to the murti of Srila Prabhupada at ISKCON Radhadesh. MOSA Director Mahaprabhu Das (right) presents Illuminations From the Bhagavad-gita to Srila Prabhupada
The book is in fact the fourth edition of the classic 1980 work by artist Kim Waters and Chris Murray, after the original by Harper and Row, and two in the 1990s and 2000s by Mandala.
Kim’s gorgeous, colorful, and completely charming paintings inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is and illuminated with verses from the ancient text remain, as do the original introduction by Satsvarupa Das Goswami and preface by musician Donovan.
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