Our Promise

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj’s address to the devotees in Australia on the last night of his visit during his first world tour.

We are going to form a society, a mission, here, but Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur cautioned us about that. It is necessary to realise and take to heart what we actually want. We need to practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We did not come to make a building, a big house, a nice flower garden, or any other expensive, enjoyable thing. We did not come to this mundane world for that. “আমরা কিছু কাঠ পাথরের মিস্ত্রী হতে আসি নাই [āmra kichhu khāṭh pātharer mistrī hate āsi nāi: We have not come here to become wood and stone craftsmen].” This is Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s comment. We have come for this:

gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ
(Padyāvali: 74)
[“I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of the gopīs’ Lord.”]

That is our feeling. We want to spread this consciousness to everyone’s heart and make everyone this way. “সেইটি হচ্ছে গিয়ে আমাদের একান্ত কর্ত্তব্য কর্ম্ম [seiṭi hachchhe giye āmāder ekānta kartavya karma: That is our sole duty].” We are not here to make a building, or a Temple, or anything like that. We want to make everyone’s heart a Temple. We want that Mahāprabhu’s Mission will be in everyone’s heart. That is spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is our duty. That is why we have come to this mundane world. “শত দুঃখ শত গঞ্জনা শত লাঞ্চনা পেলেও হরিভজন সাধন এই প্রতিজ্ঞা আজ আমাদের করার দরকার [śata duḥkha śata gañjanā śata lāñchanā peleo Hari-bhajan sādhan ei pratijñā āj āmāder karār darkār: Today we must promise we will practise devotion to the Lord even if we encounter hundreds of tribulations, insults, and abuses].” We must not leave Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We must never leave Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is the only wealth of the soul. This is our Param Gurudev’s expression. We must try to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the public for the benefit of everyone. But before we do that, we shall try to make our heart a Temple. And there we shall serve the Deity, Rādhā-Govinda. That is the main goal of our lives.

Today I am remembering another expression Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur made from his heart to his devotees, as tomorrow I am leaving. Immediately this expression has come to my remembrance, “You all have come to see me, and you all have much love for me. You are all cooperating with me to practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness as my close associates. That is the position of you all. I may go from here, or you may go elsewhere, but all of you have promised me, ‘Yes, we shall try to practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness.’ Do not forget this. That is my request.” These are Prabhupād’s words, not my words, but I am them remembering today.

I have received from you all so much love, affection, cooperation—everything. It is giving me light, and with that I can see how Mahāprabhu’s glories are spreading through the devotees throughout this mundane world. You all have these qualities, and you have promised me that you will not leave Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You have promised in front of Mahāprabhu that you will practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But many things can happen in your life. Suddenly one very good devotee lost her chanting beads. Somehow they were stolen. I was afraid that she lost her passport and other valuables and was thinking about how she could recollect them, but she was worried about how she will get her beads back. Seeing that, my heart was very joyful. I thought, “This is the mood of a devotee. She does not think about mundane wealth or disturbances. She thinks, ‘Why did Kṛṣṇa take away my beads?’”

Kṛṣṇa’s nature is like that. Kṛṣṇa is very naughty, and Kṛṣṇa always creates some disturbances for His devotees. He wants to see that devotees do not leave their mood of devotion. Prabhupād said many disturbances may come to us. Even Haridās Ṭhākur was beaten in twenty-two market places. His only fault was that He was chanting Hari-nām. He made offence to the Kazi’s religion, and the Kazi punished him in this way. But Haridās Ṭhākur said,

khaṇḍa khaṇḍa hai deha yāya yadi prāṇa
tabu āmi vadane nā chhāḍi hari-nāma
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavata: Ādi-khaṇḍa, 16.94)

You can cut my body into many pieces and take my life, but I cannot leave Kṛṣṇa-nām.”

There are many examples in Mahāprabhu’s sampradāya of tolerating disturbances, and we see that Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur had great desire for this. Today I am remembering that when the devotees would leave Māyāpur Dhām or he would leave the devotees’ association, he would pray, “You all have promised me that you will practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Please do not forget it.” Prabhupād also strongly said, “Please do not cheat me. Please do not deceive me. That is my prayer to all the devotees.” In front of the devotees Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur gave this type of lecture in Māyāpur Dhām. Today I can remember that.

You all are living so far from India, but it is very near now.

tad dūre tad v antike
(Śrī Īśopaniṣad: 5)
[“He is far, but He is near.”]

If you keep Mahāprabhu’s Deity and the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra in your heart, then you can make your body a transcendental Temple. That is very hopeful, and I am hopeful that we can all try. It is necessary to try. I cannot say, “I am fully satisfied with all.” It is impossible, that is, it is not possible to be fully satisfied in this mundane world. But we have to try to make our business with whatever we have. That is my advice to everyone. Whether you have one hundred dollars, ten dollars, or five dollars, start your business and try to expand it. “I have some faith, some mood of devotion. It may not be a mood of full devotion, but with what I have I shall try.” We have promised this. We took dīkṣā [initiation]. That means we promised to Guru that we not will leave Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is very hopeful that you all are very simple-hearted Vaiṣṇavas and you have that type of quality.

There are two kinds of Vaiṣṇavas: bhāra-vāhī and sāra-grāhī [lit. ‘load-bearers’ and ‘essence-drinkers’]. One looks outwardly. He sees the rules, the regulations, and various aims and objectives. Through that, he tries to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is a bhāra-vāhī Vaiṣṇava. If there is no sense in the heart, no consciousness, then a Mission made by such devotees will only take form outwardly. You can make a big building, a nice garden, and nice quarters for others. You can do everything, but if you do not try to practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everything will be spoiled. Actually, for the time being in this mundane world, we can make many things, but only a short time is in our hand, and we must try as much as possible to proceed to our destiny during that time. Mahāprabhu has spread Hari-nām-saṅkīrtan all over the world. Now the chance to continue that has come in front of us, and we are trying to do that. But it is necessary to surrender ourselves to the lotus feet of Hari-nām, Kṛṣṇa’s nondifferent form, as much as possible. That is my prayer.

If I can come back again, that is very good, and I have the desire to come again to associate with you all here. But if it is not possible, then that is Kṛṣṇa’s will, and you should not leave Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You should try to spread it from heart to heart.

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a transmission from heart to heart. It is not a matter of giving dīkṣā [initiation] or any other outward formation. This mantram is actually a heart to heart transmission. I have tried as much as possible, and you should also try. That is my expectation, and it is my prayer to you all who have given me so much love, affection, and respect—everything. I shall try to worship my Guru Mahārāj with that wealth. That is my desire.

Guru Mahārāj tried very hard in his old age to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and I am not so old. I have much energy, more than Śrīla Guru Mahārāj did when he was very old. So with full energy we all will try to practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is my prayer. I do not know English, but I am trying to express my heart to the devotees. Many of my godbrothers are here, many of my disciples are here, and many of my friends are here. I offer my daṇḍavat praṇam to you all. Please bless me so that I can continue my service to my Guru Mahārāj.

vāñchhā-kalpatarubhyas’ cha kṛpā-sindhubhya eva cha
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

Jay Guru Mahārāj!

Actually, we are not finished. We will start now in a new way. The wave of birth and death is moving throughout this mundane world, and souls are taking birth and dying according to their karma. But another wave, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is also moving throughout this world by the mercy of Śrīman Mahāprabhu and the devotees. If we can offer ourselves into the wave of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we must be benefitted.

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