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“Lord Caitanya descended for the purpose of feeling ecstatic separation from Krishna and it is happening now in these pastimes and it is very intense—Radharani’s love for Krishna in separation. What Caitanya Mahaprabhu is experiencing in essence is what Srimati Radharani experiences in separation from Krishna and it is very extreme. But although externally it appears like agony, internally it is ecstasy and that also becomes revealed in this pastime.”
Sudama was a garland-maker who offered Krsna many nice garlands, sandalwood and other things. He used to go to Vrindavan regularly to collect flowers, so he had already met Krsna and made offerings, and was recognised by Krsna as a devotee.
Once he adorned Krsna with a beautiful garland, and Krsna and Balaram looked very nice. Then the two Lords offered the surrendered Sudama, who was bowing down before them, whatever benediction he desired.
Then Sudama asked the Lord for unshakeable devotion – devotion that could not be destroyed by anything. He also asked for friendship with the devotees and for transcendental compassion for all living entities.So we see that this garland-maker was very intelligent!
“Lord Ramachandra wanted a devotee to rule Lanka, because only a devotee can rule in proper consciousness. Unless one is God conscious, one will be overwhelmed by the influences of raja-guna and tama-guna, which are manifest in lust and greed, and one’s mood will be to exploit. Ravana’s mood was to exploit by taking the property of God and independently trying to enjoy God’s property—Sitadevi. So after giving Vibhishana, who was a devotee, the power to rule the kingdom of Lanka, Lord Ramachandra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with Sita and their confidential associates, returned to Ayodhya, where He was welcomed with great love and festivity, with many lamps (dipas).
“Our goal is to bind Krishna within our minds and in our hearts. When we chant japa we know how hard it is to bind Krishna—He keeps running away, like Krishna was running away from Mother Yasoda. Of course, He is not really running away—our minds are running away. But we have to maintain our effort. That is the difference between offensive chanting—nama aparadha—and the clearing stage of chanting. In the clearing stage one makes the effort to bring the mind back to Krishna when the mind goes elsewhere. So, that is our effort, and it can be very demanding, even excruciating. From our side we have to make our best effort, and then Krishna from His side will bestow His mercy. And He does. He may not do it immediately, but He will do it enough to encourage us by showing that He is aware of our hard labor and our sincere desire and He is reciprocating.”
ISKCON is now a worldwide movement and is comprised of more than 350 centres, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 restaurants around the globe. This day will provide a great chance to meditate on what Srila Prabhupada means to us.
Please join us for the festivities that will start at 6:00pm with arati and will continue until approximately 9:00pm. Please join us as we glorify Srila Prabhupada on this very important day.
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2009, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, Lecture)At the end of our life, our own service will be judged but more important, is the service of our spiritual master, who is requesting Krsna, “Please accept him, he didn’t do well but accept him anyway.” This is actually how it works. Thus Srila Prabhupada is praying for all of us and saying, “Please take them all back to Godhead. I know everything but still… Please take them back to Godhead.” Then what can Krsna do, because Prabhupada has done such service that Krsna has become so indebted; what can he do!? So when Srila Prabhupada is asking then, “All right, let him go.”
So mercy is a major factor and thus we must look for that mercy. Therefore, we must always turn to our spiritual master. It’s not that the spiritual master should turn to us, we should turn to him for shelter!
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Here is a quote from Srila Prabhupada that illustrates this point:
"....Practically we see that as we sincerely try to improve our chanting for the pleasure of Krishna, Krishna reciprocates and we feel our greatest pleasure which is devotional service to the Lord."
Letter to Syamasundara
November 24, 1968
Hare Krishna Maha Mantra - siddhi means chanting and chanting....some perfection, as perfection in yoga. Siddhi, perfection of chanting is attained in this month or this month is favorable for attainment of that mantra siddhi."
Meditation on Damodarastakam
Lecture from Vrindavan 2014