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Three Architects of Lord Chaitanya’s Movement

The following is an excerpt from Ravindra Svarupa dasa’s 1995 Vyasa Puja homage to Shrila Prabhupada.

The triumph of the modernized West binds the world more and more together by means of continually improving technologies of transport and communication. When traditional cultures and civilizations gathered within the prodigious octopus-grasp of Modernity, they began to intermingle and interpenetrate, even as Modernity engaged in dissolving and digesting their ancient substances. This event set the stage and prepared the means for the “breakout” of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement, for its setting forth into the world from its maternal home, India.

To retrofit Lord Chaitanya’s movement for its setting forth became the task of three empowered spiritual architects and renovators of three generations: Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. When finally the story of the progressive achievement of these three geniuses is fully told, it will form an epic narration, a saga of spiritual adventure to place on the shelf beside the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It will fascinate the world for centuries to come. I can only give the barest hint here.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:

He rescued Lord Chaitanya’s movement. Bhaktivinoda Thakura had the power to discriminate the genuine flowering creeper of Lord Chaitanya’s movement, which was nearly lost among the rank growths of well-established weeds of various apasampradayas. These mimics displayed perversities that had brought Lord Chaitanya’s very name into international disrepute. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura uncovered, rejuvenated, propagated, and defended the authentic teachings and practices of Lord Chaitanya.

Moreover, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura profoundly grasped both the challenge and the opportunity presented by the world-dominance of the modern West. He studied Western thinkers and confronted their ideas with the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. He envisioned the movement of Lord Caitanya acting on a global scale. In this way Bhaktivinoda Thakura effected the intellectual transfer of Lord Chaitanya’s movement into a radically new cultural context. He did this because, above all, he was possessed by an unrelenting drive to deliver pure Krishna consciousness to all people, by all means, and at any cost.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada:

He inherited from his father, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the same drive to preach. He was animated by his father’s realization of how Krishna consciousness could—and would—spread throughout the world. Therefore, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada gave concrete form to the vision of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura by creating the Gaudiya Matha as a practical instrument for active preaching in the world.

In so doing, he became a religious revolutionary. His father had uncovered the authentic Krishna consciousness movement in the shape of a religion of reclusive, maha-bhagavata babajis. Now his son transferred the elixir of this authentic Krishna consciousness into a new container. He transposed a religion on the platform of maha-bhagavatas to one on the platform of madhyama-adhikaris and thus produced an active preaching mission directed toward all people, whatever their class, caste, or cultural level. This entailed practical adjustments in sadhana and ritual. It was a transformation, but it was, as they say in philosophy, salve veritate: it preserved truth. The established groups of compromised, parochial, or merely complaisant Gaudiya Vaishnavas naturally could not see this. They criticized Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. He took them on. He challenged all the apasampradayas and defeated them.

He embraced the most practical means of spreading Krishna consciousness. Book distribution was the foremost of his endeavors to engage modern technologies, especially of transport and communications, for preaching. Modern, secular things should not be rejected if they can be used in furthering Lord Chaitanya’s mission. To drive the point home, he drove up to Radha-kunda, the holiest of holies, in a Jaguar sedan, scandalizing the scandalous babajis there.

He also had the insight to realize that for a unified preaching institution to operate effectively in the modern world, on a global scale, and in a stable and enduring manner, it needed to be managed in the modern way, by a board of directors, rather than in the more traditional manner of a sole autocratic acharya. Unfortunately, the failure of his leading disciples in the Gaudiya Matha to understand this point led to the disintegration of the Mission after Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s disappearance.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our spiritual master and founder-acharya:

All of Shrila Prabhupada’s achievements demonstrably rest on one prime quality: He fully embraced his spiritual master’s order and made it his “life and soul.” As a consequence, Shrila Prabhupada was given the confidence, courage, and stamina to take that great leap of faith. All alone he crossed the dark waters and brought Lord Chaitanya’s movement to America. In reciprocation, Krishna sent thousands of lost souls to him to save. It was hard work; it was suffering: “I have to shed my blood three tons to make one convinced in Krishna consciousness. That is my experience … especially these Europeans and Americans.” Shrila Prabhupada shed his blood endlessly.

Shrila Prabhupada was empowered with the vision, the knowledge, and the compassion to fulfill the innermost desires of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He worked only for twelve years, with crude and unmalleable material (us, his disciples), and yet the whole world heard the Hare Krishna mantra, and the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad-Bhagavatam found their way into every nook and corner of the globe. Carrying Lord Chaitanya’s mission as far as he was able, Shrila Prabhupada broke new ground practically every day; consequently, he was challenged repeatedly to make the correct decision. At stake was the vital issue: how to preserve and perpetuate unchanged the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in unprecedented circumstances. By virtue of his faithful following, Shrila Prabhupada was given the intelligence to meet these challenges.

He worked hard to set up his preaching institution, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, formed carefully after the directions of his Guru Maharaja. He set up and trained a Governing Body to continue ISKCON after him. He called ISKCON his body, and it indeed continues after him, still animated by his indwelling, ever-watchful spirit. He will remain thus with us as long as we ourselves make his order our own life and soul.

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The Miracle of a Vaishnava Part II

The following is part II of the essay, The Miracle of a Vaishnava, originally published in 1997 as part of Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu’s Vyasa Puja homage for Shrila Prabhupada. Part I can be found here.

In a lecture on Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11 given in Vrindavana on October 22, 1972, Prabhupada again refers to Visvanatha Cakravarti’s commentary on Bhagavad Gita 2.41. Prabhupada begins by telling us we should act so that we will attract Krishna’s attention. How to do that? The answer: Serve Krishna by following His representative, the spiritual master. Anyone who does that thereby becomes himself a representative of Krishna. And how is that? One simply has to transmit the message of Krishna without any adulteration. This leads Prabhupada to cite Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 7.128:

Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, amara ajnaya guru hana, “You become a spiritual master under My order.” So if you carry out the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna, then you become guru. Amara ajnaya guru hana. Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the acaryas. We manufacture our own ways. We have got practical experience how a great institution was lost by whimsical ways. Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost.

Let us reflect on this passage. Here, Prabhupada cites amara anjaya guru hana as conveying the essential qualification for becoming a spiritual master: to obey the order of the acharyas. When Prabhupada remarks, “Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the acaryas. We manufacture our own ways,” he is alluding to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.5: “A foolish person who manufactures his own ways and means through mental speculation and does not recognize the authority of the sages who lay down unimpeachable directions is simply unsuccessful again and again in his attempts.” To illustrate the failure that attends disobedience to the order of the acharya, Prabhupada then refers to the break-up of the Gaudiya Matha (“a great institution was lost”) after Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s departure.

As we have seen, in his lecture on the anniversary of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s departure, Prabhupada had invoked Visvanatha Cakravarti’s direction as the key to his success. Now, he will go on to cite the neglect of that same direction in explaining the the failure of other disciples of his Guru Maharaja:

Therefore Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura stresses very much on the words of the spiritual master. Vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. If you stick to the order of spiritual master, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect.

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah

This is the confirmation of all authorities. We have to carry out very faithfully the order of the bona fide representative of Krishna. Then our life is successful. Then we can understand Krishna in truth.

In the above passage, Prabhupada alluded to Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.18.5 itself. In his purport to that text, Shrila Prabhupada brings Visvanatha Cakravarti’s direction and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s together in a way that further elucidates the potency of strictly following the spiritual master’s order:

At the present moment it has become fashionable to disobey the unimpeachable directions given by the acaryas and liberated souls of the past. Presently people are so fallen that they cannot distinguish between a liberated soul and a conditioned soul. A conditioned soul is hampered by four defects: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to become illusioned, he has a tendency to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. Consequently we have to take direction from liberated persons.

Prabhupada is going to tell us how to discriminate between a liberated and a conditioned soul, so that we can know from whom we should take directions. In fact, he tells us that ISKCON is guided by Krishna through such liberated souls:

This Krishna consciousness movement directly receives instructions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead via persons who are strictly following His instructions.

This sentence contains two surprises. First: Prabhupada says that our movement is “directly” receiving instruction from Krishna “via” other persons. This is paradoxical on the face of it. Since Prabhupada would not state an absurdity, we have to conclude that although Krishna’s instructions may come via the medium of another agent, the instructions are nevertheless direct and unmediated. In other words, the proper medium is entirely transparent to Krishna (and the previous acharya as well) so that the intermediary is not really so. The question about how a disciple of Prabhupada’s disciple can have a relation directly with Shrila Prabhupada is answered herein.

Second: Since the previous sentence enjoins that one has to take direction from liberated souls, we are primed to expect this sentence to end “via persons who are liberated.” Prabhupada upsets that expectation by saying “via persons who are strictly following his instructions.” The next sentence addresses this subversion of our expectatons:

Although a follower may not be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the contamination of the material nature. Lord Caitanya therefore says: “By My order you may become a spiritual master.” One can immediately become a spiritual master by having full faith in the transcendental words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by following His instructions.

It is a clumsy error to interpret this passage as implying that a bona-fide spiritual master may be a conditioned soul. Rather, this passages tells us what “liberated” effectively means: it means to strictly follow the orders of the spiritual master.
Prabhupada makes this even clearer in his purport to Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.20.13, a verse that quotes the orders given to Prithu Maharaja directly by Lord Vishnu. Prabhupada remarks:

One has to execute the order of Lord Visnu, whether receiving it directly from Him or from His bona fide representative, the spiritual master. Arjuna fought the Battle of Kuruksetra under the direct order of the Supreme personality of Godhead, Krsna. Similarly, here Prthu Maharaja is also being given orders by Lord Visnu regarding the execution of his duty. We have to stick to the principles stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Vyavasayatmika buddhih: every man’s duty is to receive orders from Lord Krsna or from His bona fide representative and take these orders as his life and soul, without personal considerations. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura states that one should not care very much whether he is going to be liberated or not, but he should simply execute the direct order received from the spiritual master. If one sticks to the principle of abiding by the order of the spiritual master, he will always remain in a liberated position.

Our concern should therefore be single: stick to the order of the spiritual master. That principle is sufficient of itself to answer the questions of securing liberation and direct guidance from the Lord. Prabhupada makes this point with equal directness in his purport to Shrimad Bhagavatam 4.24.15:

This is the secret of success. After being initiated and receiving the orders of the spiritual master, the disciple should unhesitatingly think about the instructions or orders of the spiritual master and should not allow himself to be disturbed by anything else. This is also the verdict of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, who, while explaining a verse of Bhagavad-gita (vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana, Bg. 2.41), points out that the order of the spiritual master is the life substance of the disciple. The disciple should not consider whether he is going back home, back to Godhead; his first business should be to execute the order of his spiritual master. Thus a disciple should always meditate on the order of the spiritual master, and that is perfectional meditation. Not only should he meditate upon that order, but he should find out the means by which he can perfectly worship and execute it.

If we look back at Prabhupada’s various presentations of Visvanatha Cakravarti’s understanding of vyavasayatmika buddhi we find that the instruction that we should simply fix our entire attention on the spiritual master’s order and forget all personal considerations becomes explicated in greater and greater depth: “We should try to carry out the instruction, the specific instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly, without caring for our personal benefit or loss. “ And: “If you stick to the order of spiritual master, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect.” And then: “Although a follower may not be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the contamination of the material nature.” And again: “Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura states that one should not care very much whether he is going to be liberated or not, but he should simply execute the direct order received from the spiritual master. If one sticks to the principle of abiding by the order of the spiritual master, he will always remain in a liberated position.” And in the last purport: “The disciple should not consider whether he is going back home, back to Godhead; his first business should be to execute the order of his spiritual master.”

Following the order of the spiritual master is the same as attaining not only liberation but also the direct association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should therefore fix our attention exclusively on that order: all success is thereby obtained. Prabhupada makes this brilliantly clear when he explicitly discusses how the disciples should keep faith with the spiritual master after the master’s physical departure. Prabhupada says (S.Bh. 4.28.47, p.):

The disciple and spiritual master are never separated because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.

This vani-seva is further explain in the purport to S.Bh. 4.28.51:

When one becomes serious to follow the mission of the spiritual master, his resolution is tantamount to seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As explained before, this means meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the instruction of the spiritual master. This is technically called vani-seva. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura states in his Bhagavad-gita commentary on the verse vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (Bg. 2.41) that one should serve the words of the spiritual master. The disciple must stick to whatever the spiritual master orders. Simply by following on that line, one sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Prabhupada goes on to say that there may be different ways of associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. “Nonetheless,” he continues

if one sticks to the principles enunciated by the spiritual master, somehow or other he is in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since the Lord is in the heart, He can advise a sincere disciple from within. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):

tesam satata-yuktanam bhajataà priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

In conclusion, if a disciple is very serious to execute the mission of the spiritual master, he immediately associates with the Supreme Personality of Godhead by vani or vapuh. This is the only secret of success in seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Instead of being eager to see the Lord in some bush of Vrndavana while at the same time engaging in sense gratification, if one instead sticks to the principle of following the words of the spiritual master, he will see the Supreme Lord without difficulty.

Srila Bilvamangala Thakura has therefore said:

bhaktis tvayi sthiratara bhagavan yadi syad
daivena nah phalati divya-kisora-murtih
muktih svayam mukulitanjali sevate ’sman
dharmartha-kama-gatayah samaya-pratiksah

“If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think that liberation stands at my door with folded hands, waiting to serve me—and all material conveniences of dharma [religiosity], artha [economic development] and kama [sense gratification] stand with her.” (Krsna-karnamrta 107) If one is very highly advanced in devotional service, he will have no difficulty in seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one engages in the service of the spiritual master, he not only sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead but attains liberation. As far as material conveniences are concerned, they automatically come, just as the maidservants of a queen follow the queen wherever she goes. Liberation is no problem for the pure devotee, and all material conveniences are simply awaiting him at all stages of life.

In conclusion, it is our duty—we are so ordered on highest authority—to perpetuate the miracle of Shrila Prabhupada, just as Prabhupada perpetuated the miracle of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Prabhupada has given us everything we need to do that, patiently and clearly spelled out to us “the only secret of success.” Now let us resolve to take that priceless gift to heart, cherish it and nurture it. Let us make his order or life and soul, and let us live our lives solely for the sake of others. We owe this to Prabhupada for what he has done for us.

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The Miracle of a Vaishnava Part I

The following is an excerpt from Ravindra Svarupa dasa’s Vyasa Puja homage to Shrila Prabhupada in 1997.

We are all agreed that Shrila Prabhupada was a miracle: someone supernatural who entered in our mundane affairs and altered the normal course of nature. The laws of nature—our karmic destiny, and, by extension, the destiny of the world—have been broken.

It is essential to the nature of that miracle that it keep on going, perpetuate after Shrila Prabhupada’s physical departure. After all, the miracle of Prabhupada lies precisely in his supernatural ability to create similarly miraculous persons. He was a devotee who could make others into devotees, who could in turn make others into devotees and so on and on.

The archetypical Vaishnava miracle is thus beyond your ordinary wonder-working: It’s miracle is to miraculously create more miracle-creators. The Vaishnava miracle is one that perpetually grows.

Consequently, those of use who aspire to be the heirs of Shrila Prabhupada need to make this our study: How does this miracle come to be made? It is our obligation to be able to answer, scientifically, these questions : How did Shrila Prabhupada come to be a miracle-creator? And how do we do the same?

Miracles are mysterious because, according to Prabhupada, miracle means simply that “you don’t know how it is done.” So miracles are typically surrounded by secrets. Thaumaturges guard their secrets in order to bedazzle the many. But Prabhupada abhorred mystification. He kept nothing back. He gave away his secret.

In 1968, while speaking in Los Angeles on the anniversary of the disappearance of his guru-maharaja, Prabhupada looked at the rows of American faces lifted up to hear him, and he was lead to contemplate a miracle: how, by the will of Krishna—not the ordinary course of karma—the spiritual master and the disciple come together:

I was born in a different family; my Guru Maharaja was born in a different family. Who knew that I will come to his protection? Who knew that I would come in America? Who knew that you American boys will come to me? These are all Krishna’s arrangement. We cannot understand how things are taking place.

But then, Srila Prabhupada goes on to explain how, by the grace of Krishna, the miracle of his presence in Los Angeles came about. This is Prabhupada’s “course in miracles.”

In 1936—today is ninth December, 1968—that means thirty-two years ago, in Bombay, I was then doing some business: All of a sudden—perhaps on this date, sometimes between ninth or tenth of December (at that time, Guru Maharaja was indisposed little, and he was staying at Jagannatha Puri, on the seashore)—so, I wrote him a letter: “My dear master, your other disciples—brahmacari, sannyasi—they are rendering you direct service. And I am a householder: I cannot live with you, I cannot serve you nicely. So I do not know. How can I serve you?” Simply an idea: I was thinking of serving him, “How can I serve him seriously?”

So the seed of the miracle is the desire to serve. Discontent with his occupation in business, feeling himself incapacitated by the obligations of his ashrama, on an impulse (“all of a sudden”) Prabhupada wrote his guru-maharaja with a plea, a cry from the heart. He felt himself locked in a position which made proper service impossible, yet still the desire to do it was there. So he confessed his desire and his frustration to his spiritual master.

Prabhupada continues:

So the reply was dated 13 December, 1936. In that letter he wrote, “My dear such and such, I am very glad to receive your letter. I think you should try to push our movement in English.” That was his writing. “And that will do good to you and to the people who will help you.” That was his instruction. And then in 1936, on the thirty-first of December—that means just after writing this letter a fortnight before his departure—he passed away. But I took that order of my spiritual master very seriously, but I did not think that I’ll have to do such and such thing. I was at that time a householder. But this is the arrangement of Krishna. If we strictly try to serve the spiritual master, his order, then Krishna will give us all facilities. That is the secret. Although there was no possibility—I never thought—

It was a startling, an unexpected, an incongruous, an entirely improbable order. Prabhupada took it “very seriously” nonetheless, even though he could not envision any concrete circumstances in which it could be realized. He was then doing business in Bombay, entangled in household and commercial affairs, so the order seemed remote from reality. At the same time, it was the last direct communication he received from his spiritual master. That gave it even more weight. So he understood he must take it seriously, even though he was initially baffled. How in the world will it happen? As it turns out, it happened by a miraculous, divine intervention: “the arrangement of Krishna” Prabhupada says.

Yet something more is still required. For what prompts Krishna to make such an arrangement? The seriousness of the disciple. “If we strictly try to serve the spiritual master, his order, then Krishna will give us all facilities. That is the secret.”

Now Prabhupada goes to tell us how—again by Krishna’s arrangement—he learned this secret:

Although there was no possibility—I never thought—But I took it little seriously by studying a commentary by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura on the Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita there is the verse, vyavasayatmika-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana. In connection with that verse, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives his commentary that we should take up the words from the spiritual master as our life and soul. We should try to carry out the instruction, the specific instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly, without caring for our personal benefit or loss.

Here is the immediate source of Prabhupada’s inspiration. The realization he acquired from reading Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary on Bhagavad-gita 2.41 became the cornerstone of his life and achievement, the only secret of his success. Again and again, Prabhupada directly and indirectly refers to this defining moment of his life, when he was granted the realization to make the firm commitment that, come what may, he would make the order of his spiritual master his life and soul. Because of that commitment alone, Krishna has brought him to America and given him success:

So I tried a little bit in that spirit. So he has given me all facilities to serve him. Things have come to this stage, that in this old age I have come to your country, and you are also taking this movement seriously, trying to understand it. We have got some books now. So there is little foothold of this movement.

Now Prabhupada requests his followers to enact the same commitment to his order that he has evinced to that that of his guru-maharaja:

So on this occasion of my spiritual master’s departure, as I am trying to execute his will, similarly, I shall also request you to execute the same order through my will. I am an old man, I can also pass away at any moment. That is nature’s law. Nobody can check it. So that is not very astonishing, but my appeal to you on this auspicious day of the departure of my Guru Maharaja, that at least to some extent you have understood the essence of Krishna consciousness movement. You should try to push it on.

“Execute his will” is a play on words. The expression means, of course, to carry out the order of someone, but it is also the formal legal term to refer to the process by which a person’s assets legally become those of his heirs. By his commitment to execute Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s will, Shrila Prabhupada inherited from him his specific potency to spread Krishna consciousness. On this occasion Shrila Prabhupada is now making his will: “I shall also request you to execute the same order through my will. I am an old man.” By his will, Prabhupada has made us his heirs. He gives us the instructions which, if we accept them as our life and soul, will transfer to us the same potency to make people devotees of Krishna.

What specifically are those instructions? Prabhupada is very clear:

. . . . at least to some extent you have understood the essence of Krishna consciousness movement. You should try to push it on. People are suffering for want of this consciousness. As we daily pray about devotees:

vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanaà pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

A Vaishnava, or devotee of Lord, his life is dedicated for the benefit of the people. You know—most of you belong to Christian community—how Lord Jesus Christ, he said that for your sinful activities he has sacrificed himself. That is the determination of devotee of the Lord. They don’t care for personal comforts. Because they love Krishna or God, therefore they love all living entities because all living entities are in relationship with Krishna. So similarly you should learn. This Krishna consciousness movement means to become Vaishnava and feel for the suffering humanity.

And what does “feel for suffering humanity” concretely mean?

So to feel for the suffering humanity—there are different angles of vision. Somebody is thinking of the suffering of the humanity from the bodily conception of life. Somebody is trying to open a hospital to give relief to the diseased condition. Somebody is trying to distribute foodstuff in poverty-stricken countries or places. These things are certainly very nice, but actual suffering of the humanity is due to lack of Krishna consciousness. These bodily sufferings: they are temporary; neither they can be checked by the laws of nature. Suppose if you give some distribution of foodstuff in some poverty-stricken country, that does not mean that this help makes solution of the whole problem. The real beneficial work is to invoke every person to Krishna consciousness.

In short, Prabhupada’s order to all of us is: Become a Vaishnava yourself, and make other people Vaishnavas. Not all of us have received some specific, tailor-made order from our spiritual master, and we may feel that we have failed to receive the spiritual master’s gift, that we may have been left out of his will.  That is not so. Here Prabhupada very clearly delivers his order to every one of us. It has two parts. One, we should become Krishna conscious, and two, we should give Krishna consciousness to others. Our full commitment, our single-minded intelligence dedicated to this order will itself make the order achieve fructification by the will of Krishna.

—To Be Continued—

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