Mukham karoti vacalam pangum langayate girim
Yat kripa tam aham vande sri gurum dina tarinam
Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Isvaram

Today is Ratha Yatra day in Jp and Kolkata. And today is the special broadcast speaking to you from the birthplace of Srila Abhay Caranaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is the gateway to Mayapur, the centre of Navadvip Dhama and centre of Gaura Mandala Bhumi. Gaura Mandala bhumi, kiba jane citamani, tar hoi braja bhumi vaas. The Chief Minister of West Bengal, the Honorable Srimati Mamata Banerjee, she was praising ISKCON and especially the Mayapur project. She said how in Mayapur they want to make it a tourist attraction, which would attract hundreds of thousands, even millions of people every year and it would make it the most attractive place in East India. So she said many other things, I cannot remember all, but she was very praising of ISKCON. I am very sure that Srila Prabhupada, and the previous acaryas were happy that she spoke about the glories of Mayapur dhama. So here we have a nine-day festival in Kolkata. Today was Ratha Yatra and also because it is very near to Jagannath Puri, so we have to have our Ratha Yatra the same day as in Puri. In other parts of India, distant from this place, they may have Ratha Yatra, on the same day or some other day, like in the West. So we also inaug two other Ratha Yatras, one near Panihati and one near Dum Dum. So I would like to give this chance if anybody has any questions to ask. Please send them other. How many are watching? 65. Today we have a special guest here from New Dwaraka, His Grace Bhagavat Kripa das. And from Detroit we have Dr. Vinaya Gaura das and his good wife.

Question: Request from Mathura Lileswari dasi from Gita Nagari: Hare Krsna Guru Maharaja, Can you tell us your experience at the San Francisco Ratha Yatra in 1968?

Guru maharaj: This was the first Ratha Yatra, with a custom made ratha. In ‘67 we had a Ratha Yatra, but it was a makeshift thing on the back of a pickup truck. But in 1968 we had a ratha which was designed to be a replica of the Puri ratha, albeit a bit smaller. So I had the great opportunity to help Jayananda prabhu in making the ratha. I decided I would try Krsna consciousness fully, and be a brahmacari for two months, and if I liked it, it was working for me, I would stay, and if not at least I would give it a good shot, and so on the day of Ratha Yatra, Jayananda prabhu shaved me up and I wore the saffron brahmacari clothes. Some people who were visiting the temple, they were shocked because I came after them and I was already a shaved up brahmacari! So they decided that if I did it, they would do it too! But the Ratha Yatra was very blissful and we had a topic, Ratha which would go lower than the San Francisco cable cars wires. San Francisco is famous for having cable cars. So the ratha went under the cable cars and then after crossing under them, would riiiiise again to its full height. So we went through the Golden Gate Park to the beach. So this was a very glorious occasion to be on the Ratha Yatra!

Q: Gaurapriya devi dasi. Gurudev, Is it necessary to put our children in gurukul when parents are initiated devotees? Or can we make them study at home? Please guide me.

Guru maharaj: You can do either one. You see if there is a nearby school you like it or not. If there is. Otherwise you can learn how to do home schooling, then you can also do that. If you send your child to an outside school, you have to monitor what the influence is of the other students. We leave it up to the parents, to decide what they want to do. You can check out the schools, see the different alternatives, and do whatever you think is the best for your child. Hare Krsna.

Question: Jayesh, Mumbai: Hare Krsna, Guru Maharaj, PAMHO, I am from Mumbai. I wanted to ask you if we should consider astrology as a guidance from Krsna for decisions related to material affairs?

Guru maharaj: Srila Prabhupada when he was told that some astrologer would give a reading, he would say, “I will take it with a grain of salt”. He would not depend purely on astrology, to make a decision. He would take it with a grain of salt. He would take it with some reservation. But he would decide based on a number of practices. Astrology was maybe the least. Also different astrologers interpret the different things differently. So one has to hear from several astrologers, and see if they all agree. In Canakya’s Arta sastra, he said that in choosing a minister, someone who is too dependent on astrology, would not make a good minister. So you can see what is the astrological influence but should decide what to do, based on whatever is better for your Krsna consciousness. Hare Krsna.

Question: Rasapriya dd, Mayapur: Hare Krsna Guru Maharaj, PAMRO: Seeing Jagannath on the Ratha Yatra one gets immense benefits. So what mood or what can we aspire from Lord Jagannath the most?

Guru Maharaj: Of course the most important thing is to develop affection and love for Lord Jagannath, for Lord Krsna, and we should appreciate the Lord’s mercy, going out and seeing all His devotees and giving His merciful glance. So Lord Caitanya would chant in front of the Ratha Yatra cart and He wanted to see if Lord Jagannath was noticing Him! So sometimes He would fall back and sometimes He would pull forward. When He was out of sight of Lord Jagannath, Lord Jagannath stopped! When He came forward Lord Jagannath moved! So Lord Caitanya wanted to have Lord Jagannath reciprocate with Him. We want to have pure devotion for Lord Jagannath, by taking Lord Jagannath from Nilacala to Vrndavana, to Gundica. So Srila Prabhupada said, we should have Radha Krsna as the destination because Lord Jagannath, He went back to Vrndavana to see the Vrajwasis, to see Radha, to see the gopis, to see Yasoda. So that is a thing that we should desire, is to help Lord Jagannath to reunite with His devotees.

Question: Dipa Das, London, UK: Dear Gurudev. In deity worship, is Lord Jagannath more forgiving of the offences than Krsna? Is Jagannath a more merciful form than Krsna?

Guru maharaj: Dipa is a councilor in London. Lord Jagannath is a very merciful aspect of Lord Krsna. And usual Jagannath Baladeva and Subhadra are merciful than, say Radha and Krsna. So that way, I was asking Srila Prabhupada that for a boat party which deity we should take – He said, take Lord Caitanya, Nityananda or take Jagannath Baladeva Subhadra – They can swim! Ha!

Question: Yadurani Kalindi dd: Kindly bless me guru maharaj, how to get rid of negative energy? If we are suffering from that, being a devotee and following brahminical culture, and still such things around us act effectively.

Guru maharaj: I am wondering if this is something imagining or something that is real? If the room you are staying in has kirtan in it, sometimes sprinkle Ganges water, chant the Purusa sukta and burn incense, frankincense at Sandhya, things like this can create a positive mood in the room. Also, having some Nrsimha mantras can clear the negative aspects. Sometimes Ganges water sprinkled – there are different ways to invoke positive signs.

Question: Dear Guru maharaj, PAMRO. Today some of us witnessed a strange incident at the Kolkata Ratha Yatra. When you were there in front of Balarama ratha, waiting to do arati, all of a sudden the ratha started rolling. Everybody started panicking and we were worried that the ratha may hit you and also the devotees. It was so scary. But we noticed that you were so calm during the whole chaos. Really wonder what was going through your mind then? Padmaksi Sri devi dasi.

Guru maharaj: I was thinking of Baladeva! But people moved me backwards quickly and they were announcing don’t pull the ratha! In the material world there is danger at every step. So we are used to facing different dangers and sometimes the danger is unavoidable, sometimes it is avoidable. So the secretary moved me quickly all the way. So at the time, I was just thinking of Lord Baladev, and see, He is holding up the whole world, through His form as Anantasesa, and it is unusual we had the Baladeva ratha broke a wheel. Similarly, in Jagannath Puri, one wheel of Baladeva broke. So that year there was the Desert Storm, the invasion of Iraq by the America and other countries. So if something happens to Balarama’s ratha, we were told that it has a worldwide implication. But in this case, nothing happened, just the Lord, He moved forward! I was trying to figure out if this had any significance and what it might be. But main thing was how Lord Balarama, the expansion of Krsna, the first expansion, He basically holds up all the spiritual and material existence. Haribol!

Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
05 June 2019