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680817 - Lecture Festival Appearance Day, Sri Vyasa-puja - Montreal

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

680817VP-MONTREAL - August 17, 1968 - 75:35 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)

One after another. Yes.

Pradyumna: Now we should, in turn, offer our respectful obeisances to our spiritual master.

Prabhupāda: Of this way. You offer flower. There are three flowers. Give with that mantra. Yes. Each one with that mantra. (devotees offering obeisances) . . . (indistinct) . . . Swami . . . (indistinct)

The mantra. You have chanted as mantra? I would expected, because you are the senior. You should have offered first. Anyway . . .

Devotee: . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: With that mantra. (devotee offers obeisances) So? Everything finished? Everyone has done? Oh . . . (indistinct) . . . now you can discuss amongst . . . you can speak something, what you have experienced about your spiritual master. You can speak. Anyone can speak. Aap kaha ja rahe hai? Baithiye. Prasad paiye. Baithiye. (Where are you going? Please sit. Honour prasāda. Please sit.) They may not go, but they'll take prasāda. Why you are going? Please sit down.

Indian Lady: Prabhuji aap Hindi jante hai ki nahi? (Prabhuji, do you know Hindi?)

Prabhupāda: Ha, bahut achhhi tarah. Aap rojana idhar kripa karke aiyega mai aap se Hindi khoob achi tarah se baat . . . (Yes, I know Hindi very well. You please come here daily, I will speak with you very well in Hindi . . .)

Indian Lady: Aap kitne din idhar aye hue hain? (Since when are you here?)

Prabhupāda: Idhar main abhi tin mahina se aaya hun . . . ha hai . . . oh satsang uh . . . Sombar, Budhbar or Sukurbar. (It's about three months that I am here . . . oh regarding class? . . . Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)

Indian Lady: Kitne kitne baje se? (What's the timeline?)

Prabhupāda: Shamko 7 baje se 9 baje tak. Aap kripa karke aiye. (From 7 o'clock to 9 o'clock in the evening. You please come.)

Indian Lady: Ha zaroor ayenge . . . (indistinct) . . . (Yes, I will surely come . . . (indistinct) . . .)

Prabhupāda: To abhi aap chale jayengi keya? . . . achhi baat, fir aiyega , fir aiye. Koi baat nahi . . . Ha ha, yeh to, aaplog aiyega yeh to . . . achhi baat , achhi baat. (So are you going now? Okay then, please come again, come again. Not an issue . . . yes, yes, this is . . . you people should come, this is . . . that's good, that's good.)


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Svāmī Bhaktivedanta, who is very dear to the Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter of His lotus feet.

Without the spiritual master you can't understand what 'I' am. You can't even understand about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa . . . we can't understand Kṛṣṇa, without the spiritual master. It is only by his mercy that we can get any knowledge. First we have Swamiji . . .

Prabhupāda: Speak up.

Mukunda: (indistinct) . . . just come from India and there is practically nobody in this country at all . . . and when we first met him we weren't, very approved of the philosophy in fact we didn't know anything about the vedas . . . (indistinct) . . . maybe we read a little about the Bhagavad-gītā . . . (indistinct) . . . whole way of life completely.

The only reason that he is here is because we could see that he was always there . . . we only come to the temple for one reason, every person has this feeling especially amongst the new devotees. We were only there to help out. We had no idea that I was introduced to this philosophy. (break)

Prabhupāda: That's alright . . . go on . . .

Mukunda: There was no question that he was coming here to . . . (indistinct) . . . or some philosophy. You could see immediately that he was only here to help us . . . (indistinct) . . . with him. Right away . . . (indistinct) . . . suffered . . . (indistinct) . . . because they were all alone with no money.

Knowing nobody 12 thousand miles away and you could see it . . . (indistinct) . . . but there is no question about our . . . our doubting him or not accepting his words. We could see that he was out only for our own benefit without wanting anything for himself. So we learnt subsequently that this is the nature of a pure devotee, he is completely selfless. He wants only to give, so we are extremely fortunate just like somehow or rather we've come in contact . . .

Prabhupāda: Everyone should speak two, three minutes and you can then comment.

Mukunda: But this person from the saintly order of life is a very rare thing. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.3), "Out of thousands of men one comes to Me." One . . . and does anyone know about it? And out of this . . . out of thousands of men one will know about Me. Out of thousands only one, will . . . will come to know Me. So we . . . can . . . can't estimate how fortunate we are, we can only focus and try to help Svāmī tell others more about it . . . (indistinct) . . . Spiritual Master.

There is nothing in any book or any data or anything that we can embrace we have to realise through the mercy of the spiritual master and only this way. Can we . . . be lifted us out of this ocean of birth and death so that's why we give praise every day . . . the spiritual master. And give our obeisances to him every day because it is only his mercy . . . (indistinct)


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

So in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are trying to get engaged, somehow actively, to serve Lord Kṛṣṇa. We have always been deep into activities, feeling through various objects. Affection, and more often than not all these . . . (indistinct) . . . feelings, affections are replaced. So we don't know where to place our affections so they will not be frustrated. In order to have some beginning on the swing of learning about the two objects of affection.

We must come into contact with some source of truth, feelings, true affections, true knowledge and it is only when we find some person who incorporates, who embodies all the true qualities of the human soul, manifested only do we find that the person who we place our affection. Is such a person and then by submissively following their invitations, we can also slowly remedy crippled position.

At first if we come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness we are mainly interested in solving our own sufferings. We feel that we are so frustrated, we are suffering from so many frustrations, ignorance, disease, mental wrong equilibrium. We are suffering from our wrong relationships with other people. So we want to stop these sufferings, as far as we are concerned.

And when we find some merciful person such as the spiritual master in whom we can place our trust then our life begins to become more meaningfully. So we want to stop suffering first of all from ourselves but the spiritual master shows us something that is even better than just stopping your own suffering.

He tells us that the suffering condition is due to ignorance and once this ignorance is removed there is not normally alleviation of suffering. But there is a real pure active spiritual existence. And in the spiritual existence again we can have no knowledge because we are so completely bound up in our own senses. We are so completely bound up trying to solve our own problems and these problems are petty throughout the material limited level.

That we cannot even catch a glimpse of what is spiritual existence. That is we can meet some person who is not only realised but in avoidance of material existence and also who is living in every manifested wing at the moment of spiritual existence. A proponent of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then we also can have through the mercy of the spiritual master some knowledge of this spiritual engagement.

As a matter of fact we could not abandon our own false engagements if we didn't have a better engagement. So . . . the spiritual master is . . . also fully engaged in the spiritual plane. Everyone of his activities has nothing to do with conditions of the material laws of nature of action and reaction. The merciful activity of the spiritual master is to show us by every gesture the spiritual manifestation of existence. And the spiritual manifestation of existence is such that the devotee of Kṛṣṇa having a theme he belongs to Kṛṣṇa and having a theme.

The happiness to have knowledge of Kṛṣṇa and is not satisfied only to keep it for himself. A pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa wants that everyone should have the benefit and everyone will be engaged in the true spiritual plane. Everyone should be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The pure devotee is not interested in finishing of his own sufferings. He is not really . . . (indistinct) . . . of himself. He is only interested in serving Kṛṣṇa and even more than just doing what Kṛṣṇa requires. He would like that everybody become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: That's it. Anyone else? Everyone can speak 2 or 3 minutes . . . you can go down.

Guru dāsa:

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you have got so many . . . (indistinct) . . . still everyone is? . . .

Guru dāsa: Everyone is welcome to speak for 3 minutes . . . about the teachings of their spiritual master . . .

We are studying the science of the absolute, Kṛṣṇa the Personality of Godhead. Any science we study on the material or the spiritual plane must have an authority. When we delve into the sciences and see we must learn the terminology. We must learn all the assets we must learn the material involved. When we delve into these we see the more we learn, the more we can learn. From the science of the absolute we see the more we learn, the more we don't know.

So then how are we going to know Him, Kṛṣṇa? By our speculation? No. We must take an authority. Swamiji has come, a pure devotee, likened . . . (indistinct) . . . to a tax collector. Collecting the taxes but never taking anything for himself. The only way to understand the absolute is to accept a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

There is no other way, you cannot accept someone who says: "Oh yes continue your activities. I will make it nice and palatable for you. You won't have to pay any price. So just speculate anyway and then you will come to Kṛṣṇa—hand me some money." No, we must see by an attractive, living example, someone who actually lives what he says.

Someone who combines philosophy with religion—and more. Someone who is attractive, all blissful, full of knowledge. This is the only way we can see, we were not attracted in the beginning, only by philosophy. We were not attracted in the beginning only by the chanting. We were attracted, most of us, most of us by two things.

Prasādam and by the example of our blissful spiritual father, spiritual mother, spiritual teacher, spiritual preceptor, spiritual friend and such a humble servant that he wants nothing for himself. But simply our spiritual advancement. "Oh my dear Lord you are so kind that you are my constant companion, in your name". Arjuna.

Prabhupāda: Now you can speak.


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

I offer my most humble and respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master Swami Bhaktivedanta, who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet . . .

The material world is often likened to a forest fire. To us, our spiritual master is the most austere person on this planet, or any other planets. For while we were burning in the fire, the forest fire of material existence he put, the spiritual master has put the fire out.

It is only, it is only by personal example that we can truly realise the knowledge which has been handed down from Vedic scriptur . . . vedic scriptures. It is only . . . we can read these scriptures people, a lot of people do, like Vedānta societies and so on. They read the knowledge but it is only by a personal example that we can, that we can understand how it works in practical fields and this is why our spiritual master is so important to us because . . . our . . .

We cannot spend one moment without acting. It says in the Bhagavad-gītā that, that every man has natural propensities to act and he is constantly acting. So that . . . while we act . . . while we must act, we must not have an act and therefore we would need the guidance of the spiritual master who tells us how to act and we watch him and we can see how he acts. How he acts, how he gets up, how he stands, how he moves his hands, how he talks, and most of all how he worships Kṛṣṇa Himself. Only by his guidance can we act in this way. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Now Umāpati.


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Swami Bhaktivedanta, who is very dear to Kṛṣṇa on this earth, having taken shelter of His lotus feet.

The spiritual master, the true spiritual master is somebody who gives you something that you really need. Somebody who tells you something that you didn't know before. Somebody who shows you something that you didn't see before. In this case I introduce you truly to a stranger coming from a far land with an exotic gift. Somebody who just turned up in New York one-day, out of the clear blue and brought us something that we didn't have before.

He showed us, what we didn't know but what was there which we couldn't have done by ourselves. Because people are basically stupid and have to be shown. People think that they can get to everything by themselves. That they can find out what the truth is, where the pleasure of life really is and where happiness really is. But this is not so.

We have to be shown, we have to be shown by one who already really knows. We have to be introduced to God, by one who already on very close terms with Him. And a person like this is very hard to find. But you can tell when you meet somebody like this. I don't know how you can tell if you know. The attraction which is irresistible because the spiritual master.

The true spiritual master is the personification of the grace of Kṛṣṇa and the attraction to the spiritual master is normal. It's natural because we are attracted to what the spiritual master has for us. So by his very presence and just by his being and by the things he says. Those of us who are fortunate enough to come in close contact with a true spiritual master have been attracted to him.

Prabhupāda: Alright. You can . . . (indistinct)


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

I offer my most respectful obeisances unto Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta, who is so dear to Kṛṣṇa on this earth, having taken shelter of His lotus feet.

When I first saw Swami I was in New York, when the temple first opened. And I was so foolish that I thought, "It's just an old man what could he possibly know?" And so I went away but Kṛṣṇa was so kind that a year later He frustrated every attempt at enjoying this material world, this material nature and He brought me to the temple somehow or other.

And at that time Swamiji was in California but the devotees were so . . . had so much grace that Swamiji's presence wasn't even required. That the spiritual master, Swamiji himself . . . magnanimous he is like touchstone that all the boys in New York had become so full of grace. That I myself was able to appreciate it and think, "Oh these boys are so nice and that how much nicer could the spiritual master be? He must be so wonderful."

That I simply stayed, oh this is, this is nice. I didn't have much intelligence, I didn't even know that it was God that I was looking for. I just wanted to feel nice, so all these boys were feeling so nice, so, "Let me stay here." And then as I learned, "Oh this is what" . . . just like what I learned when I was a little boy about God. It's the same thing, it's not any different. And . . .

I've, oh changed. Same old thing but by Kṛṣṇa's grace He gave me the intelligence to see that, "Yes there is no way you can go on without God." You can think that way but actually it's simply miserable. So by the grace of the spiritual master my eyes have been opened and I feel that all of us. All of our eyes have been opened and we now owe everything to Swamiji. We owe our life, our intelligence, our wealth, our strength everything and to try to innumerate or try to glorify the spiritual master in this . . .

I'm sitting here trying but it is difficult and I know, I am feeling that the only way to really glorify the spiritual master is to serve him and no amount of words can say how wonderful he is. That feeling, that blissfulness of the spiritual master that's the beauty of the spiritual master. The greatness of the spiritual master can be experienced by service.

Thank you.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: You can speak.

Devotee (1):

om ajṣāna-timirāndhasya jṣānāṣjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

(indistinct) . . . of darkness . . . give is my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master who has come to me and forced me to open my eyes.

This mantra is very nice because it shows we have no ability ourselves to obtain the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. The spiritual master comes to us. He not shows us, the Supreme Lord but he forces us to ask ourselves several questions. Those questions being—Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going?

The Christians have a holiday they call Christmas when they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and in the Bible there is a passage reading that, "the Lord so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son." And this means that Kṛṣṇa loves the fallen living entity so much that he desires nothing for the living entities except to have them back. And so the living entities may return to Kṛṣṇa, by His mercy he gives His son. He gives a pure devotee for the living entities so that the pure devotee may show the living entities the way back to Kṛṣṇa.

This is what we have to thank Kṛṣṇa for. Not for any material contamination which we may acquire. We don't thank Kṛṣṇa for this. What we have to thank Kṛṣṇa for it. There is a pureness of the spiritual master and we thank the spiritual master for his mercy. We thank the spiritual master for everything he gives us. We thank the spiritual master for our very lives.

The song we are singing, the eternal song of God is the blood rushing through our veins. I could sit here and just go on and on thanking the spiritual master for everything. But I couldn't begin to really thank him. I could start . . . I could sit and think how to thank the spiritual master but I couldn't even begin to think how to thank him. Thank you Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Gaurasundara . . . (japa)


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

I would also like to say—that I have no ability or no capacity to estimate the greatness of Guru Mahārāja. I can understand that I was saved from certain disaster in my own case and I think similar rescue was given to all of you. The Bhāgavata says that in every birth the living entities can have a father and mother who can let . . . birth means there must be father and mother but only very rarely do very fortunate living entities they have a chance to have the spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa.

So by Kṛṣṇa's arrangements all of us have been given this opportunity. It's understood that we had similar opportunities in the past and now we have been given this chance to really become serious. To really try and understand our position, understand how precarious a position we can put ourselves in by our own foolishness. Understand the defects that are inherent in the conditioned souls.

You know the four defects, the cheating propensity, imperfect senses, the tendency to be illusioned, these tendencies will cloud our mind so that if we don't have the helping hand of the spiritual master. Then we are . . . we are ready to be destroyed by this threatening material situation. Anyway I can simply say again I haven't got any a proper understanding of my own position of how much I am indebted to Guru Mahārāja but I'd like to try and offer my respects.

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) . . . you can . . . (japa)

Devotee (2):

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

Śrīla Prabhupāda tells us that, "Kṛṣṇa is our dear lost friend." Somehow or other we have fallen into this material ignorance but Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He is even present with us in our heart. But from my point of view the spiritual master is even a dearer friend because he can introduce us to Kṛṣṇa and re-establish the relationship with that eternal friend.

So the more we practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness through the grace of our spiritual master the more we realise that Kṛṣṇa is real. Kṛṣṇa is a real person, we can have a real meaningful relationship with Kṛṣṇa. It is so nice and it so attractive. So anybody who wants to test this knowledge Swamiji has brought the simple method this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa.

And by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa we are associating with Kṛṣṇa. It's real, all the devotees could . . . have had experienced this. Just like you go out on the street and you meet somebody, you speak to somebody. So there is some kind of feeling you develop with another person it has to be a real person to bring out the real feeling inside you.

Some people because they do not have any meaningful relationship, or they don't have the relationship with Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's representative. Then they are trying to find the same relationship with other people, with their families, with their friends. If they can't find it with other people then they are looking to the animals, to the cats and the dogs. You can see how people will treat their dogs very affectionately. So the feeling is there but this . . . the affection is there, the love is there.

The love is being misplaced and it is only through the grace of our spiritual master that gradually we are learning where to place our love and that we are learning gradually this love is being uncovered. So everybody has . . . all the devotees have been expressing their gratitude . . . to Śrīla Prabhupāda. So let's offer our humble prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa that we may be better able to serve the spiritual master.

Prabhupāda: You want to speak? . . . (indistinct)

You want . . . Śaradia you want to speak?

Śaradia: No Prabhupada.

Prabhupāda: Alright. Jānakī you want to speak?

Jānakī: I didn't even . . .

Prabhupāda: Ah. You? Govinda Dasi? . . . (japa)

Govinda Dasi: . . . (indistinct)

om ajṣāna-timirāndhasya jṣānāṣjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

I offer my respect . . . I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrīla Prabhupāda, who is the most dear and confidential servitor of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is always in transcendental ecstasy and always in transcendental association with Govinda and His beloved gopīs. Simply by giving loving service to the spiritual master one can gradually become a fully surrendered soul at the lotus feet of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. And our spiritual master is so kind that he accepts whatever service anyone is willing to give.

He makes no distinction as to great or small and simply by his acceptance of our services the Supreme Lord automatically accepts. We are so tiny and inconceivably limited there is really no possibility of our doing anything of value. What we are doing is simply giving value, simply because it is done in the service of His Divine Grace and because he accepts it.

It is not possible for one to lift himself, by oneself. It is possible to regain our spiritual existence only by the divine mercy of the spiritual master and so he is always teaching us constantly in his every action how to become sincere servants of the Supreme Lord. And his mercy is not even conceivable by us, it is more like an unlimited ocean.

He is protecting us and caring for us in so many ways but we are so unfortunate and so foolish that we can't realize it. We cannot realise how indebted, eternally indebted to him. His very presence here is not even barely understandable to us. He is the most valuable jewel in all the universes and therefore this day is so auspicious because on this day His Divine Grace has appeared on this planet for delivering all the fallen souls from this wretched material incarceration onto the platform of spiritual existence of loving service to the Supreme Lord.

Therefore we all offer our most humble obeisances to Śrīla Prabhupāda who has opened our shuttened eyes and dispelled our ignorance by the torchlight of knowledge and by the mercy of his lotus feet he has so kindly engaged us in His holy service. So we all thank him for appearing on this planet and bringing to us these most unworthy preachers the greatest gift, love of God.

Prabhupāda: Annapūrṇa you want to speak? . . . eh, you want to speak? Speak, go ahead . . . no? (laughs). All right he can go . . . (indistinct)

(aside) (indistinct) . . . you want to speak?


tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-śṛṅgaṁ
keśava dhṛta-narahari-rūpa jaya jagadīśa hare
(Śrī Nṛsiṁha Praṇāma)

Swamiji has taught us this prayer and it is a prayer for the health of the spiritual master. In this case it is a prayer to Lord Nṛsiṁha and we always try and pray for Swamiji's health because we want him to be with us here as long as is possible. Swamiji is so dear to us and here we are all of us sitting here trying to express this feeling that we have.

So please take it as being very serious and important. It's important because it has some benefit, everyone is looking after some perfection and the 20 of us or the 25 of us we say that we have found it. So where else can you find a room full of people that say: "Yes I have found the perfection of life."

The perfection is in our relationship with our spiritual master and in following his teachings. His main teaching to us is to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and to be happy. Everyone is looking for some mercy from others in this age of Kali it is very rare that you find it but Swamiji is all merciful. He instructs us to chant which is the recommended method for self-realization for this age and then he tells us to be happy and he is our . . . our most dear well-wisher.

As a matter of fact he is our only well-wisher. So this day is very auspicious and we all pray that Swamiji will stay with us even after his disappearance he will still be with us in his teachings and in our hearts. But it is such a glorious thing that we are having now, (getting emotional) in our eyes . . .

(whispers) Hare Kṛṣṇa, I'm crying . . .

Prabhupāda: . . . (indistinct)


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.
om ajṣāna-timirāndhasya jṣānāṣjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
(SB 1.2.7)

In devotional service, in loving service through Swamiji to Lord Kṛṣṇa is the only bliss, the only knowledge that we can attain. I am offering my respectful obeisances to our whole family of Vaiṣṇava ācāryas for handing down Swamiji to us . . .

Prabhupāda: Valmiki?


nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

I offer my respectful and humble obeisances unto Swamiji who is so kind to take me as a student. Even though I am most insincere and so fallen. I'll just tell a story that Swamiji told in San Francisco about one brāhmin who prayed to Lord Śiva. To make him rich and Lord Śiva granted him his request and he told him to go to Śukadeva Gosvāmī and that there he would find this richness. So the brāhmin went to Śukadeva Gosvāmī . . .

Prabhupāda: Sanātana Gosvāmī.

Valmiki: Soonātana Gosvāmī (laughs) yes . . . and he said: "Lord Śiva has sent me here and he said that you had something most wonderful." And Soonātana (Sanātana) Gosvāmī says, "And do you want that?" And he said, "Yes, I have come for it." So there was a pile of rubbish and he told the brāhmaṇa, "Go in there and you will find a stone, bring it."

And so the brāhmin went into the rubbish and he found this stone and he brought it. And he was told by Soonātana (Sanātana) that this stone if touched to iron would turn to gold. The iron to gold. And so the brāhmin was most happy because he thought, "Oh now I will be the richest man in the world." And then he went away with this stone. But after a while he returned and he said, "You have given me this stone but I do not think it is the most wonderful thing you have or else why would it be in the gar . . . rubbish? And why would you give it?"

And so Soonātan Gosvāmī said: "Oh, you want the most precious thing I have?" And the brāhmin said: "Yes I have come for that." "Oh, throw away the stone and come and sit down and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa."

And that is what the Swamiji has given to us. He came to the United States with perhaps an empty suitcase but he had so much that couldn't be put into a suitcase. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Anyone, more? You want?

Devotee (4):

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine.

The spiritual master is the ocean of mercy and through his infinite mercy to the divine . . . and through the grace of Kṛṣṇa who brought our spiritual master to us. He gives us the first . . . the first taste of of of (getting emotional) love for Kṛṣṇa and through his . . . and through his sincere love of Kṛṣṇa which he he is never never . . .

He never forgets Kṛṣṇa. And through his never forgetting Kṛṣṇa and always being his faithful servitor by following his example we reached to the platform of loving service unto Kṛṣṇa and this is . . . this is the highest perfection and this is my spiritual master's gift. And because of this I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Mahārāja.

Prabhupāda: You want to speak? Come on . . . all right.

Pradyumna: . . . (indistinct)

om ajṣāna-timirāndhasya jṣānāṣjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

There is probably a movie which most people have seen, it is called, "The Wizard of Oz". And in this movie there is a young girl who goes on a trip and after . . . at the end of the movie she is asked what she learned on this trip. And she says: "I was always looking for something but I never found it. And now I know why because everything I was always looking for was always right in my own backyard. And if it wasn't in my own backyard it wasn't worth looking for anyway."

So this is the condition of all living entities is that they have everything right within themselves in their own heart. That they have all the capacity for all the knowledge whatever they could acquire in all this world and right beside them is Kṛṣṇa. And they are trying to find themselves in . . . (indistinct) . . . (break)

Prabhupāda: Spiritual master is . . . not that a particular man is spiritual master. Spiritual master is a truth. So what is that truth? The truth is saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam. The whole world is in the blaze of material pangs, threefold miseries. And a person who is authorized to deliver people from that material pangs, he is called spiritual master.

The example is given in this verse, saṁsāra-dāvānala. Dāvānala is the Sanskrit word. The English equivalent is forest fire. Just like in the forest in this part of the world there are sometimes forest fire, and government has arrangement to pour water from up. There are so many arrangement. But forest fire there is, a fact. And what is this forest fire? The forest fire . . . nobody has got any interest to set fire in the forest, but it takes place automatically.

And when the forest fire is there, all the animals within the forest, they become so much disturbed. They cannot escape. They die, especially the snakes. Because snakes are always envious, so they are first up to be burned into that forest fire. They cannot go very swiftly. Others, tigers and other beasts, they go away. But the snake, they crawl. They cannot get out. Mostly they burn.

So this example is given to this materialistic life as forest fire, because nobody wants any disturbance, but disturbance is created. Actually I am seeing, since I have come to this part of the world in 1965, so many boys are chased by the government draft board. You see? They belong to the independent nation, and formerly they are independent.

And what is this nonsense independence? You see? Simply nonsense. There is no independence. But we are thinking, "I am independent." "Oh, that nation has become independent. I shall become independent." Just like one of my students said he wanted to be independent and anarchist.

So these false notions, "isms," are going on. People are being misled. You see? Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). Practical experience: In my country, India, I was also a student of Gandhi. In 1920 I joined the noncooperation movement and gave up my education, because Gandhi's program was to boycott the British educational institution. So most of the university students . . . I was also. I passed my final examination, B.A., but I gave up. I did not appear, and I joined this movement.

Fortunately, in 1922 I also met my Guru Mahārāja, and he, on my first visit, I do not know why, he told that, "You should preach this Caitanya philosophy to the outside world." I replied that "We are dependent nation. Who will hear us? In the world, nobody hears any person who is coming from dependent nation, so we must have first of all independence." A young man I was at that time, and I was also misled in so many ways. But my spiritual master saved me, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

So the spiritual master's duty is to save the living entities who are so much embarrassed by the forest fire. That is the duty of spiritual master.

Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka: The whole world is blazing, and just like in the blazing fire of the forest, the animals are going here and there, and some of them are dying, the whole world is like that. And how that blazing fire can be extinguished?

You cannot send there this fire brigade, or you cannot get some pots of water and try to extinguish that wide fire. It is not possible. Then how to extinguish it? The extinguishing is possible when there is cloud overhead and there is incessant pouring of water. Then the forest fire extinguished. No artificial means, no scientific means. Fire brigade or this fire extinguisher, we have invented so many things, but when there is forest fire all these things are nonsense; nothing can be used.

The only use, means, is when there is pouring, incessant pouring of water from the cloud. But, that is made of God. That is not in your hand. You cannot produce cloud. Some arrangement of God's arrangement, the cloud, is there. Ghanāghanatvam. The example is given, "Charitable just like the cloud." Why this example is given? When cloud pours water, it is so sufficient that there is no comparison. But if you want to pour water, a bucketful of water, how long you will do it?

The spiritual master means he must be just like the cloud. How it is possible? It is possible. It is possible in this way, provided he follows the disciplic succession of spiritual master. Then it is possible. He must inherit the power from the superior source. Then it is possible that by his teaching, by his lessons, the forest fire which is burning within our heart, it can be extinguished, and the person who receives such spiritual instruction bona-fidely, he becomes satisfied. This is the process. So:

trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam
prāptasya kalyāṇa-guṇārṇavasya
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam

Now, this spiritual master's succession is not very difficult. Of course, my students, they offer me so much respect, but all these respects are due to my spiritual master. I am nothing. I am just like peon. Just like peon delivers one letter. He is not responsible for what is written in that letter.

He simply delivers. But a peon's duty is that he must sincerely carry out the order of the postmaster and deliver the letter to the proper person. That is their duty. Similarly, this paramparā system is like that. Every one of us should become a spiritual master, because the world is in blazing fire.

(aside) You can give them prasādam.

Now, of course, time is very high.

So to understand the spiritual master . . . spiritual master is not a new invention. It is simply following the orders of the spiritual master. So all my students present here who are feeling so much obliged . . . I am also obliged to them, because they are helping me in this missionary work. At the same time, I shall request them all to become spiritual master.

Every one of you should be spiritual master next. And what is that duty? Whatever you are hearing from me, whatever you are learning from me, you have to distribute the same in toto, without any addition or alteration. Then all of you become the spiritual master. That is the science of becoming spiritual master.

Spiritual master is not very . . . to become a spiritual master is not very wonderful thing. Simply one has to become sincere soul. That's all. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that, "By disciplic succession this yoga process of Bhagavad-gītā was handed down from disciple to disciple. But in course of time that disciplic succession is now lost. Therefore, Arjuna, I am teaching you again the same philosophy."

So this is the process. Simply if we . . . therefore Vedic knowledge is called śruti. One has to hear it properly, assimilate it, and then practice it in life and preach the same thing. Then everyone becomes spiritual master. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, āmāra ājṣāya guru haṣā tāra 'sarva-deśa (CC Madhya 7.128): "O My dear disciples, I tell you that you, all of you, become spiritual master. Simply you carry out My order. That's all." "And what is Your order?" "The order is the same: yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa" (CC Madhya 7.128).

Just like Kṛṣṇa gave instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā, and if you simply place the instruction received from Bhagavad-gītā as it is . . . we are . . . I am publishing Bhagavad-gītā As It Is because in the market there were so many Bhagavad-gītā misinterpreted, but that is not the process of presenting Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā should be presented as it is.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is simply said that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But most books which you have seen in English lang . . . they are trying to make minus Kṛṣṇa. That is their attempt. So what sort of Bhagavad-gītā is that? That should not be done. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme. You should speak that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme. That is the preaching of Bhagavad-gītā.

So today is called Vyāsa-pūjā. Vyāsa-pūjā means the Vyāsadeva, Veda-vyāsa, who wrote the Vedic literature, and he is the supreme spiritual master, because he has given us the spiritual knowledge. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is . . . nārāyaṇaṁ namāskṛtya naraṁ caiva narottamam, devīṁ sarasvatīṁ vyāsam (SB 1.2.4). So Vyāsa. So this platform is called "the seat of Vyāsa." So spiritual master should be representative of Vyāsa. Then the instruction is complete, and the benefit is assured.

So I do not wish to take much of your time. We will now distribute prasādam. And one thing, coincidence, the Vyāsa-pūjā means to observe the birth date of the spiritual master. That is called Vyāsa-pūjā. And so today, this Nandotsava day, fortunately, seventy-three years ago I was born on this date. So this date, Nandotsava, is also a very fortunate occasion, because after Kṛṣṇa's birth, Mahārāja Nanda, the father of Kṛṣṇa, he celebrated an utsava, a ceremony, and this day is called Nandotsava.

So a little I shall speak about Nandotsava. Nanda Mahārāja, he was a little elderly when Kṛṣṇa was born, and some of his friends came to congratulate, "My dear friend, you have got a son in your old age," and Nanda Mahārāja said amongst the friends that "How can you say I am old? An old man cannot beget a child. I am young man."

So these things are stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And all the villagers . . . because, you know, Vṛndāvana is a village, a big village, and Nanda Mahārāja is the head of that village, Vṛndāvana, so all the people came to congratulate the child, and this is called Nandotsava.

So one brāhmin, he has spoken a nice verse in this connection. He said that śrutim apare smṛtim itare bhāratam anye bhajantu bhava-bhītāḥ (Padyāvalī 126). There are different kinds of Vedic literature: śruti, smṛti, Mahābhārata, Vedānta. So he says: "Let others read śruti, Vedic literature, Vedānta-sūtra and Upaniṣad, and so many there are in Vedic literatures. Let others read that. But I have come here . . ."

Aham iha śrī nandaṁ vande: "I have come to worship Nanda Mahārāja." Nanda Mahārāja. "Why you have left everything and you have come to worship Nanda Mahārāja?" Yasyālinde paraṁ brahma: "Because in his courtyard the Supreme Personality of Godhead is crawling." You see? "The people are searching after what is God, and God is crawling in his yard. So therefore I do not find anyone more than Nanda Mahārāja, so I offer my respect to Nanda Mahārāja."

So this is the feeling of the devotees. Generally, those who are followers of speculative process, or jnana mārga, they finally reach to understand that he is one with the Supreme Absolute Truth. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. But the devotional service is so nice that a devotee is not satisfied that "I am one with the Supreme," but by his service he becomes greater than the Supreme.

Just like Nanda Mahārāja. He is not anxious to become one with God, but he underwent so great penances that he became the father of God. That is possible. A devotee is so great that he can pray the Supreme Lord as his son. Of course, it is a very subtle science for understanding of spiritual knowledge.

So today Nanda-mahotsava is celebrated because the father of Kṛṣṇa . . . ajo 'pi sann avyayātmā bhūtānām īśvaro 'pi san (BG 4.6), in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said. Although God is unborn and He is the Supreme, still, by love, He accepts one of His devotees as His father and appears as his son. So today is very nice day, that Kṛṣṇa has appeared. The Supreme Lord has appeared as the son of Nanda Mahārāja. So there is some arrangement of prasādam on account of Nanda Mahārāja. So you can distribute and enjoy. Thank You. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)