Śrīla Gurudeva: First of all, I want to offer my entire love and affection at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja and to the lotus feet of my śikṣā-guru, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. I also want to glorify Parama Gurudeva, Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, by whose mercy the glorification of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has manifested everywhere in this world. I also offer my respects to all the assembled devotees. There was no prior program arranged to give a class here today, but I see that many devotees have come here.
So, I must speak some hari-kathā. My main objective in coming to the Western countries is to take the lotus foot dust of Svāmījī. I want to visit and take the foot dust of those places where Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja arrived, and began his preaching services. I want to take the holy foot dust of his lotus feet and offer my obeisance to all these holy places. Then I would like to speak hari-kathā. My first mission in coming to the Western countries is that I go to all the places of the world where Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja preached and imprinted the foot dust of his lotus feet. He wanted me to accompany him when he first came to the Western countries. He repeatedly requested me to accompany him everywhere. But, I requested and told him, “My holy master is here. I am serving him. So, after some time I will join your mission and try to serve and help you in every respect.”
I am realizing how Svāmījī himself has managed for me to come to all the places he preached in. He wanted that I help in his preaching services, and because he was a satya-saṅkalpa-puruṣa, his words had to come true. Do you know who a satya-saṅkalpa-puruṣa is? He never speaks lies, and what he has decided upon, must become true and factual. Kṛṣṇa is satya-saṅkalpa, all incarnations, and bona fide, realized devotees are satya-saṅkalpa. Any decision they make or any thought they give due consideration on, must become true. Svāmījī’s words can never be false. He told me at first to come and his words must become true and bear fruit. That is why, it is going to be proved that by my holy master’s grace, especially by Svāmījī’s grace, and by the wish of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa conjugal and Caitanya Mahāprabhu, I am going to many countries and engaging in my services to my Lordships.
So, my first business in coming here, is to take the lotus foot dust of Svāmījī, from all the countries he visited in the course of his preaching. By visiting all these countries, I want to see how in a very short time, Svāmījī preached the mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and his Gurudeva. If I touch the foot dust of Svāmījī, I will have so much energy to do the same and fulfill his mission. So, I have come to these places to fulfill this mission of mine. I also want to thank all the devotees who have come here to attend the festival. I wish to thank all the devotees who are going to leave soon to their own countries, to those devotees who are new; I wish to extend my gratitude to all. I want all the devotees to be as energetic as the devotees were during Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja’s time. If some devotees have lost their faith in Svāmījī or in his mission, they can outwardly chant, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa,” but their chanting will be of no use. Devotees should not be fearful of each other. They should also not try to control the other devotees.
So, I have come to give some energy to the devotees, because Svāmījī has ordered me to do so. For those devotees who don’t know of this order of Svāmījī’s, they can listen to the tape that was recorded during Svāmījī’s final days, when Svāmījī was readying himself to depart from this world and going to serve his dearest, beloved Lordships—Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. At that time, he called me and told me many confidential, deep truths. He told me to always help the leaders and devotees. I always glorify Svāmījī, but I don’t know why the leaders fear from me. In a relationship based on love and affection among devotees, fear has no place. I see in all epics, especially in the Gītā and Bhāgavata, that those who serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and chant harināma, should be fearless like Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Haridāsa Ṭhākura had no fear when he was attacked by his tormentors at 22 market places, he knew that the body was mortal and the soul was immortal. Why should you fear? Why should we fear when the hands of Kṛṣṇa and Gurudeva are on our heads? So, they should not fear, rather, they should see and understand the situation.
In this whole world, ISKCON has no bandhu like me. Do you understand?
Devotee: Friend of ISKCON.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Not friend, a bandhu means someone who is much more superior to a friend. Bandhu means a bosom friend. ISKCON has no father or mother like me. You should understand this. Whether they respect me or not, I will always have full love and affection for ISKCON. I care for them like their father and mother and as a śikṣā-guru. If a disciple abandons the beneficial path and resorts to an unbeneficial one, even though the disciple abandons the guru, the guru can never leave his disciple. So, I can never leave ISKCON, I will have to follow what Svāmījī has ordered me to do, whether the leaders like it or not. I will follow Svāmījī’s orders whether they are favorable or not. I will always think of how ISKCON can be benefited. If a child doesn’t want to take medicine, which is very bitter, a mother will not relent. For the benefit of the child, she will open the child’s mouth and make him swallow the medicine. She also makes him drink a glass of water so that he swallows it. Whether they realize how dear I am to them or not, I have realized how dear ISKCON and the devotees are to me.
Devotee: You are not a bitter medicine Gurudeva, you are very sweet.
Śrīla Gurudeva: I pray to Svāmījī that he makes a strong impression on their minds, by which they will change their attitudes. They should realize this fact that any Vaiṣṇava who has come to the stage of a madhyama-adhikārī (an intermediate devotee), cannot envy or perform acts of evil intent to anyone. He will not harm even an ant. So, we should always follow the teaching of Caitanya Mahāprabhu:
Tṛṇād api sunīcena… ***
We should not forget this verse. We are not devotees, we are not even kaniṣṭha-adhikārīs (novice devotees). You should try to understand all these truths and go on practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I haven’t come to quarrel or inhibit their preaching. I haven’t come to create any problems to them. I have only come to help them. In Holland, I saw many prominent, senior, and sincere devotees who had left ISKCON. These devotees were inspired again to take to the practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. I became so glad to see them, and I embraced them all. When I was preparing to leave Holland, all the devotees were crying and telling me to return soon. So, I want that all the devotees here, regardless of belonging to ISKCON or not, combine together and serve Prabhupāda with their combined efforts.
I pray to Kṛṣṇa and Svāmījī, that the leaders fulfill this desire of mine. I think I will be successful in uniting all devotees, if not today, then in three or four days, or in some time, my plan of uniting all devotees will be successful. If it is not successful, then those that are not following will be ruined. Some devotees think that their Gurudeva and me belong to separate lines of devotion. But we follow the same line of devotion, there is no difference at all. If any difference is perceived, it is due to the fault of the devotees who understand as such. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta, it has been stated that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the Lord of lords, possessing the six opulences—beauty, strength, knowledge, renunciation, wealth, and fame to an infinite degree. He is the primordial Lord.
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
But yet, it has also been stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that the devotee should develop his love and affection to the Lord in such a way that he forgets Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you cannot forget Kṛṣṇa’s Godhood, you cannot enter Vṛndāvana and serve Kṛṣṇa as a friend, son, or a beloved.
[End of audio file]