Srila Prabhupada Visits New Vrindaban – June 29th, 1976.

Srila Prabhupada in New Vrindaban.

Srila Prabhupada in New Vrindaban.

Srila Prabhupada Visits New Vrindaban – June 29th, 1976.

Excerpt from Hari Sauri’s Trancendental Diary.

Despite his complaint of heart strain yesterday Srila Prabhupada did go out on a walk today. He didn’t speak much and he kept it short. At the end of his walk he visited Radha-kunda. Then after greeting the Deities and receiving guru-puja he went to the large hall in the new building. Although there are no doors or windows fitted — just gaping holes — the marble floor is laid and the devotees had hung flags and festoons from the thick wooden roof beams, ready for a grand initiation ceremony.

Prabhupada’s asana was set up at one side with a fire pit in front. From there he gave a very brief class on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.16. Prahlada Maharaja criticizes those whose only goal in life is to accumulate money. In support of this Srila Prabhupada reiterated one of the sections of Bhagavad-gita we read during evening darsana. Then he told us that our philosophy is communism — but a different type than the politically-based one.

“If we become too much attached for getting money, that is the material world. There is no satiation. Idam praptah, that Bhagavad-gita word: ‘I have got so much money, now my bank balance is so much, and I shall get further money and my bank balance will be like this.’ This is the demonic mentality. We shall require money, whatever is absolutely necessary, that much money I must get. That is an order.

“We cannot take more than what is necessary. This is actually spiritual communism. If everyone thinks that ‘Everything belongs to God and I am son of God, so I have got right to enjoy the property of my Father — but as much as I require, not more than that,’ this is spiritual communism, bhagavata communism.

“So a grhastha, of course, required to accumulate some money because he’s living with family, but so far brahmacari, vanaprastha and sannyasi is concerned, they should not keep any money. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so strict that His personal servant, one day he was taking after eating a little, haritaki. So one day he was giving and Caitanya Mahaprabhu inquired, ‘Where you got this?’ So he said, ‘I kept it from yesterday.’ ‘Oh, you are stocking?’ He immediately criticized him. ‘This is not good.'”

Srila Prabhupada is not a theoretician, espousing impractical ideals. He lives according to what he speaks. “Of course, even if we do not stock, don’t think that we’ll starve. Krsna has provided. But we should be depending on Krsna. There is no anxiety. We have experienced this. I was alone for many years but not a single day I was starving. No, there was food.”

Right after his discourse, he awarded initiation to the waiting candidates grouped around the fire arena. Devotees from many temples were in attendance — St. Louis, Buffalo, Cleveland, Baltimore — and there are seven Radha-Damodara buses and vans. As the initiates began to come forward one by one to receive their japa beads, Prabhupada stopped the proceedings and wanted to know why they did not have new neck beads on. He said that they should have been put on at the beginning. Then he paused a second time and chided a boy for wearing only one strand, saying that there should ideally be three and at least two. He reproached the temple presidents for not knowing this.

* * *
Cleveland Ratha-yatra was held in the middle of last week and was a big success. The parade route took Their Lordships and Their entourage through the main business districts and many people crowded the windows of the buildings to see Them. Visakha had gone to take photos and do an article on it for BTG and the day after Prabhupada called her in for a detailed report on it.
Pradyumna’s wife Arundhati dasi and son Aniruddha arrived a day or two ago. They were en route to India from Los Angeles but will now join Srila Prabhupada’s party. Pusta Krsna Maharaja has been complaining of too great a work-load, what with his secretarial duties and tape transcribing. Because Arundhati is an expert typist and experienced in transcribing Prabhupada’s tapes, Srila Prabhupada has agreed that she should travel with us and assist her husband.
Pusta Krsna Swami appears to be having some personal problems. He half-jokes about “being in maya” and makes oblique remarks as to how difficult it is to control the senses and the mind. His sadhana has become very irregular, and he is oversleeping and still not chanting all his rounds. He had excused himself to Balarama in Melbourne that he was overworked. Now it appears that there is more to it. He has approached Pradyumna for advice and today Pradyumna prabhu discussed his situation with me. We both agreed that something practical must be done and so we decided that the best thing, rather than disturb Prabhupada, was to get Tamal Krishna Goswami to talk to him when we arrive in New York.
* * *
Giriraja prabhu wrote from Bombay. He informed Srila Prabhupada that the Gita Pratisthan meeting has been postponed until later in the year to enable Srila Prabhupada and others to attend. He reported some progress with the construction efforts. In fundraising several important men have pledged large donations for the construction of the gurukula and the library. As far as the building work itself goes, the twin towers are scheduled to be finished by December but Srila Prabhupada’s rooms on the top floor could be ready to use in August. However, he said the elevators would not be ready until February next year because they have to be custom — made and installed.
On other matters, Gopala Krsna is going to pursue having our case raised before the Parliament in Delhi.
He also enclosed a lengthy questionnaire, sent by Bhavan’s Journal, the most prestigious and popular of India’s religious magazines. They posed twenty-one questions, which they are presenting to every major guru and holy man, soliciting their opinions on the decline of religion, the current state of Hinduism, how can it be revived, etc. He said Bhavan’s is eager to receive Srila Prabhupada’s response and they will print it as the last in the series of interviews.
Prabhupada is keen for the visa problem to be dealt with and he outlined once again to Giriraja some of the arguments to use. “Concerning our proposal to be presented to the Parliament, anyone coming from ISKCON should be given permanent residence. India’s original culture and religion is being spread all over the world, and out of their religious feeling if they come to stay in Vrindaban especially, why the government should harass them.
“Our Goswamis have said: nama-gane sada rucih, pritis tad-vasatisthale. (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.25).
“A devotee is very much anxious to chant Hare Krishna and to live in that place where Krishna has His pastimes, generally Vrindaban, Mathura, Dvaraka, like that. All of our men who are coming to India for this purpose, they are properly initiated and following the regulative principles. In this connection, the certificates of the S. Indian authorities gotten by Yasodanandan Swami can be used, where in they certify that our ISKCON men are proper vaishnavas, decorated with tilaka in twelve places, etc., etc.”
As for the fundraising he stated his pleasure that Mr. Brijratan Mohatta is willing to help. Apart from his own wealth, Prabhupada said he could help us in other ways also. “Personally he may give what he wants but let him help collect funds. He is such a big man in Bombay. What I know is that if he likes he can help us, and he is favorably inclined to our movement. Rs. 25,000, he can collect from at least 100 men in Bombay. So he can collect and help raise 25 lacs very easily, although we require about 10 lacs. To pay Rs. 25,000, there are thousands and thousands of men in Bombay who can very easily do it. Bombay is the richest city in India.”
For the questionnaire, Prabhupada told Giriraja he was in the process of answering the questions and he would send it as soon as it is completed.
* * *
Prabhupada decided to present his answers to Bhavan’s Journal in the evening darsanas. He is giving it serious attention and today Pusta Krsna, taking the role of interviewer, put the first seven questions to him, in front of an audience of devotees. Prabhupada’s answers were a lengthy, critical analysis, not just of the population in general, which is the subject of most of the questions, but of the questionnaire itself. It speaks in terms of “Hinduism,” a concept of recent origin which is foreign to the Vedas. The real religion he said, is sanatana-dharma, which is for everyone, not just the so-called Hindus.

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Write a Comment

Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think. Some basic HTML is allowed for formatting.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to login.

Reader Comments

Be the first to leave a comment!