Devotee: By celebrating the centennial [of Śrīla Prabhupāda ] what benefit do we get?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: There is benefit for the individual and benefit for the masses. All benefit is there. Śāstra says:
vaiṣṇavera guṇa-gāna karile jīvera trāṇa
suniyāchi sādhu guru mukhe
Ācārya Vandanā 18
[Singing the glories of the Vaiṣṇavas delivers the living entities.]
Sādhu-guru says that if you glorify a Vaiṣṇava, then you will be glorified. Glorify, Śrīla Prabhupāda, magnify him, spread [his teachings], inculcate [his teachings], tell others [about him], print [his] books, spread throughout the world, and the world will benefit. Individually and collectively such benefit is there. A Vaiṣṇava pure devotee should be glorified more than the Lord. The Lord will be very happy when His pure devotee is glorified.
Devotee: Many former devotees of ISKCON seem to be forgetting Prabhupāda. They have left the association of devotees. We feel that we have to bring all of these people back to celebrate Prabhupāda’s centennial. How can we accomplish this?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: The first thing we have to ask is why they left? What is the reason? Why did they leave Prabhupāda’s movement? What is the reason? If that problem is done away with they will come back isn’t it? What is the reason why they left? If I state the reason, it will be an unpalatable truth. In his Bhāgavatam purport to 5.13.11, Prabhupāda has said: “The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement aims at creating an atmosphere of non-envy. Of course, it is not possible for everyone to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, but the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy.” Prabhupāda wanted such an exemplary society where there would be no envy at all, a society of Vaiṣṇavas, sādhus. They are never envious. This is the purpose of Prabhupāda. If those who are the pillars of the society, the pillars of this house, if they will acquire all Vaiṣṇava qualities, if they will be pukka Vaiṣṇavas, sādhus, if they will be non-envious, then they can bring the others back. Those persons who left will see, “Yes, this is the ideal society, no envy at all; a Vaiṣṇava society.”
Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive. His dear devotee is all-attractive. Kṛṣṇa-kathā is all-attractive. How did Prabhupāda attract people throughout the world? He just spoke kṛṣṇa-kathā. This kṛṣṇa-kathā is non-different from Kṛṣṇa, so thereby all are attracted. Do like that and all will be attracted. And those who have left the society because of this enviousness, some wrong was done to them, if you fix that and they see that it is not there now, it’s completely gone. It is very good, a pukka Vaiṣṇava society where there is no enviousness, only love and affection is there. Then all will be attracted. If Kṛṣṇa and kṛṣṇa-kathā are there, then they’ll definitely come back. Any jīva will be attracted, why wouldn’t they be attracted? Why would they not come back? But if the same thing continues to go on, no one will come back. The same thing is going on now, understand me? You should first know the reason why they left. If that is not going on now and you can exhibit it, not just theoretically saying it, but exhibiting it practically, then they’ll come back.
Devotee: But Mahārāja, when Prabhupāda was here, some devotees left, because māyā is very strong.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Yes, māyā is very strong. They left because they couldn’t follow Prabhupada’s instruction as it is. You should follow sādhu-guru’s instruction as it is. Don’t twist it and don’t add any of your deliberation to it. Then you’ll get immense spiritual strength. If you don’t follow it, if sādhu-guru gives you some instruction, if you think, “Yes, Guru Mahārāja, sādhu Mahārāja said this thing, O, I may or may not do like that.” Then, finished. You will not get his mercy. You won’t have strength. You cannot fight against māyā. Māyā is so strong. Therefore, Prabhupāda said, “Our purpose is to inculcate Kṛṣṇa consciousness unto one and all, but of course it is not such an easy thing.” It is not such an easy thing that everybody will become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Still we form this society, and the members of the society should be such, that they will not be envious at all. This should be a society where there is no envy at all. That is Prabhupāda’s purpose. If you fulfill his purpose, then they’ll come back. It is such an ideal society. These are Prabhupāda’s words, you understand.
You may do so many things for show. So many material societies are there; political groups are there, saying so many things, big, big things. They produce so many material plans and projects, “O, this is the aim. We’ll do this thing and that thing.” What is the value? If you do like that what is the value?
Bahu-ārambha-tyāgaḥ (Renouncing excessive undertakings)
Pompous and showy enterprises or enormous festivals are called excessive undertakings (bahu-ārambha). They should be avoided under all circumstances. The purport of this is that while accepting whatever little is necessary to maintain one’s existence, one should engage in bhagavad-bhajana. By taking up grandiose enterprises one becomes so attached to them that one cannot fix the mind in bhajana. Therefore the prescription has been given to renounce excessive undertakings.
Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu, 3rd Edition (Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura)
Translation and commentary by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja
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