Nama Om Vishnu paadaaya..
Hari Haraya Naama Krishna …
Jaya Radha Madhava…
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Then he would tell the real inner meaning. So the stories would have short titles, so he would say a short title and everybody would know what that meant.
Shaligram diye badam bhanga. Taking a Shaligram and breaking peanuts. He told the story that there was one priest who was the son of a brahmana. So he knew the procedures how to worship, but he had no faith in God. Somebody came and gave peanuts with shells. He loved peanuts, oh he loved them! He couldn’t wait! He closed the door and took the peanuts, what to break the shell with? Shaligram shila is a stone. He took it and started breaking the peanuts. He was working as a priest for a zamindar, a big landlord and so the zamindar came up. He was wondering why the temple door was closed? He looked through the window. He saw the priest taking the holy Shaligram shila and breaking the peanuts. You demon! You paashandi! You rascal! He went in there and dragged the priest out. See that. Nice story right? What does it mean? If you use something of Krishna’s for your own sense gratification, you would called that Shaligram diye badam bhanga – breaking peanuts with your Shaligram shila. What do you think? We would never think of it. He would tell such stories and then everyone would say wow! But what does that mean? He was very advanced in a modern sense. He used everything in Krishna’s service. So when cars were a new thing in the early 1900s he bought a car, at that time, and he used that for preaching to attract people. So some sanyasis took the car to Krishna into Krishnanagar to buy some medicines or something. He said for Krishna’s service you can use the car but for your own sense gratification, your medicine or whatever, that is Shaligram diya badam bhanga it is like breaking the peanuts with the Shaligram shila.
He also told a story of kaache kattal gope tel. These are Bengali titles, you see all the Bengalis are laughing because it is very humorous. Jackfruit in the tree, oil on your mustache. What does it mean – the tile? Cryptic. There is one guy was walking by a jackfruit orchard. Jackfruit has a very sweet smell. Mmmm. I love jackfruit! I LOVE JACKFRUIT! Ami jackfruit pochanda kori! So then he thought, the jack is very sticky and it may get stuck on my mustache. So he went to the store put down some coins and said, I need some oil for my mustache. He greased up his mustache so he could eat the jack without it getting stuck in his mustache. Then he went to the jack orchard and started climbing the tree. When he was allllmost reaching, almost reaching the fruit, the branch broke and he fell down and cried aaaaaahhhhhh! So then the guard of the jackfruit orchard heard him and came and he saw that he was trying to steal the jackfruit and he took a laathi, a stick, and started beating him. He saw looking up – the jackfruit in the tree and oil on my mustache. What does that mean? Ha! Ha! eIt is a funny story but Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur would give a deep meaning. This is like the sahajiyas, they think that they will get Krishna prema but they don’t want to pay the price. They don’t want to practice sadhana bhakti. Instead just like the guy, he could have bought the jackfruit, instead he wanted to steal it and then he got by the material energy or beaten bu the guard. This is like the prakriti sahajiya thinks I can get Krishna prema very easily, but they don’t want to practice bhakti the way the goswamis recommend that we do. So that is why they are so puffed up, the man was so sure he would get the jackfruit, he greased up his mustache. He had a greased mustache but the jackfruit was on the tree. He got beaten! Want to hear one more story?
How Bhagavan was turned into a ghost by the conspiracy of ten people? Dus chakra Bhagavan Bhooth! So the king, he had a friend who was a brahmana, courtier. His name was Bhagavan pandit. So all the ministers got together, this Bhagavan Pandit, as long as he is there, we cannot steal any money from the king. He tells the king the truth and we have to suffer because of him. So now we will make a strategy. Bhagavan Pandit came to the palace of the king next day, the guard would not let him in, I have been ordered not to let you enter. But I am a friend of the king. But sorry, I have my orders you cannot enter. And then all the guards had the same instruction. So then the king inside was thinking where is my friend Bhagavan Pandit? He died suddenly! Oh! But yesterday he was here, he was healthy! Well you know how these things are maharaj! Suddenly the heart fails. So sudden death! Horrible thing maharaj, horrible thing! We are all suffering ohhhh,aaahhh. Just like our politicians say, give me your votes so that I can serve you. Someone was saying, give me your votes so I can steal from you. Any way the king said, bring my royal physician. So the royal physician came, he asked him to see what happened to Bhagavan Pandit, why did he suddenly die? The ministers took him aside and said, if you tell the truth we will kill you, but if you lie we will give you 5000 gold coins, it is your choice! So he came back and said sudden death, heart failure. Once a year the king would tour the city. Bhagavan Pandit knew where the king would go. So he tried to see the king but the ministers had prepared in advance the guards to keep him away. He climbed a tree on the path and as maharaj was approaching, he called out maharaj, maharaj! It is me, Bhagavan Pandit! The ministers turned to maharaj and said, it is the ghost of Bhagavan. Oh ghost, we should go some other way! All the ministers said, ghost, ghost! Ghost, ghost, ghost! Ok, ok, we will go some other way. So ten people came together, they made a strategy and turned Bhagavan into a ghost. What does it mean? Srila Prabhupad always told us, don’t believe everything that you read in the newspapers. Material people can tell you something and when lot of people say, they take it as true but it is not necessarily true. Like they could be cheating you, or they could have imperfect senses, or they could make mistakes, or they could be in illusion. So just as ten people turned Bhagavan into a ghost although he is alive, similarly we can get cheated by some news, they all say the same thing, we may think it is true. Prabhupad said they never went to the moon. How do we know? Just because newspaper say. I remember I was in Montreal, Canada, that time and a French magazine said that how one of the astronauts went like this, they blew up the picture and there was a fly there. How can there be a fly on the moon? They went to some desert place in Arizona or Nevada or something and shot the so called moon shot. This is what they say. I don’t know. We take what the shaastra say as absolute truth and other thing take with a grain of salt. I was in Mayapur since 1971 and I would take advantage and ask people about Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad and I had one Mohammadan assistant known as Chaku Sheikh. He was older to me much older. I was only 22 and he was like 50 something. So I asked him, did you see Srila Bhakti Saraswati Thakur? He said, he had arms that went down to his knees. He had three lines in his neck, three lines in his abdomen. He would take a bag of sweets and give out to the kids in the village. So we all went and took from his hands, sweets!
Then we heard that one time the workers were on strike and all the maharajas and brahmacharis went to Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and said what shall we do, the workers are on strike? All the rice crop was there. Where is it? Show me? Then he went out and they told him, see here. What did the workers do? Then they cut the rice like this. Then he bowed down and started cutting it. Then they all got the message. Then all the sanyasis and brahmacharis, they started cutting the rice. Then the workers said, no, no we will do it.
Similar thing happened in the Long Building, the Chakra building. The slab was half cast and we had to finish the slab, otherwise there would be a crack in the middle and the workers went on strike. They wanted more money or something. Then Prabhupad said all the sanyasis and everyone go out and cast the slab. I was the only one who knew to run the cement mixing machine. So I put the sand and cement in the mixer and stones and started mixing. So then all the sanyasis, brahmacharis, they took the steel plates, iron plates and took the cement mixed concrete put on their heads and went and threw it down just like the workers and Prabhupad was standing on the verandah and he was laughing. He turned all of us into coolies! When the workers saw that the sanyasis were doing it, they said no, we will do it! Similarly, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he had his temple in Bagh Bazar. On the day of Annakut where they make the rice mound on Govardhan puja. Maybe a ton of rice, huge thing. A dog came up and took a bite. Then everyone thought the dog has contaminated the rice. What should we do? They went to Bhakti Siddhanta and asked him what should we do? They told him, a dog came and ate from the Annakut, the mound of rice. He said show me, where, where, where here? Right here! You are sure! The dog ate there! You are sure the dog ate there? They said, sure. He kneeled down, took a handful of rice and ate. Then everyone got the message. Mahaprasade Govinde! Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he was very dynamic. And he had utmost faith in the chanting of Hare Krishna. Somebody told me today that he met Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He told him he was a freedom fighter. He was trying to get freedom from the British. I am also a freedom fighter but I am trying to save the soul, to free the soul from the material nature, and give the soul eternal life in the spiritual world. Haribol! So like this Prabhupad told us many times that how he met Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur in Ultadanga Road. Now Iskcon has bought that place. We have the historical place where Srila Prabhupad met Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur. First Prabhupad did not want to go, I have seen many sadhus. In fact, just as as I was coming out here, they showed me some video, I thought he was a comedian, playing a sadhu. He said, no, he is actually a sadhu, cheating the people. So Prabhupad like that he had a bad impression of sadhus, but his friend said just see him one time. So Prabhupad went. Then under a jackfruit tree, Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur was sitting and how Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, you are educated, you should preach in the west. In the first meeting he said this. Why I said jackfruit because Prabhupad was also born under a jackfruit tree. And then Prabhupad said, what is the use? We are poor and subjugated, paraadheen, under the control of others. Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati told him that these are all temporary things, and that the message of Mahaprabhu is more important, that will actually liberate the people So Prabhupad was very impressed that this is a real, bona fide spiritual master and from that moment he accepted him that he is my guru. It was many years later that he took initiation when he was in Allahabad with his own drug store. So anyway, I asked one of the god brothers of Prabhupad, who was the youngest sanyasi of Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he was very old when I talked to him. I asked, do you have any pastimes that you can tell me about his guru? Whenever we asked Prabhupad about Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he would get glossy eyed he would say he was a Vaikuntha man, what can I say? r That is all he would say. Then we asked this Damodar maharaj what would he say? He said one evening we were going on a walk with Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Then he stopped and he was gazing at the moon, gazing and gazing, long time. They were wondering what is he seeing in the moon? Then he turned to him and others there, and said, in the moon they are becoming materialistic, bahir mukha, we have to go there and preach to them! Ha! So he wasn’t talking about astronauts going. So he could see the subtle entitites living in the moon planet. They are in a different dimension. They are not visible to us but he could see them. He saw that they were becoming materialistic, even though they are on a higher planet, according to the Vedic definition. So like this also some conference was held in Midnapore district. Midnapore district is south of Calcutta, is south west of Calcutta on the border of Odisha. So they invited Bhakti Vinod Thakur to attend, but he was not feeling well so he sent his son Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur to attend. So he spoke that brahmanas have these 12 qualities, and the brahmanas there were very happy with this. But then he said, that a vaishnava has these 12 qualities also and one more quality, pure devotion to Hari, so they are better than brahmanas! So they were very upset with that. They also were criticizing that the six goswamis were not brahmanas, many of them. Rupa and Sanatan were originally brahmanas, but they worked for Hussain Shah as Prime Minister and Finance Minister. So like that they were criticizing the six goswamis. So Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur defeated all of that and he went back to Navadvip, to Mayapur. Later they had another debate and they were saying how Gauranga is not incarnation of Godhead. But Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur went there and defeated them again! Sadhu, shaastra, guru all the evidences show that He is Bhagavan. So these smaartha brahmanas, they were so offensive. So Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, he defeated them. Some police officer came to Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur and told him you should be very careful. Some of these people came to me and offered me money to kill you. We do such things, but not to sadhus. So like this he faced many difficulties and he gave the brahmin thread to non brahmins who were practicing vaishnavas. And in Iskcon how do we have deity worship all over th world if we did not have second initiated men and women? So like this Bhakti Vinod Thakur and Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur they laid the ground work for Srila Prabhupad to take Krishna consciousness, all over the world.
Hare Krishna! Thank you all! There is some prasadam.
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
24 February 2019