Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
May 7, 2006
[Because of Shrila Narayana Maharaja’s health, the opportunity was not there for each and every devotee to have an individual personal darsana with him in his quarters. Therefore, on Sunday morning, May 7th at about 10:30, Shrila Narayana Maharaja entered the beautifully decorated temple room at the Inverrary Hotel and Resort and held a darsana there for all. All the devotees present now could personally meet with him.
When Shrila Narayana Maharaja first arrived, the devotees were sitting in groups according to their respective cities. In this way, each city's group would be having their opportunity to ask their questions.
Shrila Narayana Maharaja first spoke to the entire audience:]
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] We have begun our Navadvipa project. Perhaps you know that it will be better than our Govardhana project – with a big hall, beautiful temple, library, charitable dispensary, free school and many other facilities. There will also be guest rooms where you can stay.
It is a very big project; so I want your help. If you can, please donate something to make this project successful.
I am very happy, especially that Shripad Kirtanananda prabhu has come. So many sannyasis have come, and devotees have come from remote places – like Shripad Puru Prabhu and his family. I am very happy to meet you all.
I want you to preach my mission, just as the disciples of Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja preached. His disciples preached everywhere and distributed his books. I also want you to preach everywhere through books. Distribute his books and my books. Go to airports, seaports, schools, colleges, street to street, house-to-house – and broadcast the mission of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chant harinama and be happy.
But one thing – you must give proper respect to your superiors. You must certainly do this. Don't criticize any Vaisnava. Give proper honor, even to those who are not qualified, but are chanting the holy name. Don't criticize.
In this way, try to follow:
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
["One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." (Shri Siksastaka verse, 3)]
Be humble – more so than a blade of grass. Be tolerant – more so than a tree. If you throw a stone at the tree, it will reciprocate by giving you sweet fruits. The trees don't ask for water, or anything, for themselves. They serve all others by their bark, juice, shade, fruits, flowers and leaves. Everything they have is for others.
Vaisnavas should be like that. Don't desire your own praise; rather, as others are qualified, give them honor. In this way, preach my mission as the disciples of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja preached. They preached everywhere. In a couple of years, the whole world knew: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. How wonderful this is!
He translated so many books. He established preaching centers in the midst of oceans, in the middle of forests and everywhere else. Try to do this; by this you will be happy and others will be happy.
I have come to meet you all. My blessings are always with you.
If you have any questions, you can ask.
[Paramesvari dasi:] Gurudeva, please accept my humble obeisances. Dandavats. I just wanted to ask you: Are the same sinful reactions that are in the foodstuffs on Ekadasi also there on the incarnations’ appearance days? Sometimes we break at noon.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] On Ekadasi, and on the birthdays of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Krishna and Lord Nrsimhadeva, on Rama-navami and so on, we should not take grains. Lord Shri Krishna has arranged this. If anyone does a very little effort, he will benefit so much. It is not very difficult. You can take yoghurt, milk and juice, and so many fruits, vegetables and other preparations. It is not difficult. Try to follow that.
[Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] You also mentioned that sometimes we break at mid-day. On Rama-navami we fast all day, and on days that we break at noon, we do not break with grains. We break a full fast and take Ekadasi preparations at midday.
[Brajanatha dasa:] Gurudeva, she is asking if the same sin is in the food on the appearance days of Visnu-tattva and Ekadasi.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes, the sins are also there.
[Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] Now, whoever has offerings can come with their offerings and offer them to Shrila Gurudeva.
[Many devotees stood up and formed a line that extended around the huge temple room to the hallway door, so that they could meet with him, introduce new people to him, offer him gifts and speak with him personally. As the devotees approached him, most of them wept. They begged his blessings to serve him better, to progress in Krishna consciousness, to develop taste for chanting, and some begged for initiation. Shrila Narayana Maharaja mercifully gave his blessings for the fulfillment of all their requests.
Seeing this, all the rest of the devotees, who had previously been sitting, waiting to ask questions or just wanting to have some verbal exchanges, also entered the line. You would have had to be there, to really appreciate what occurred.
We have recorded some of those exchanges herein:]
[Indulekha dasi (from New York):] I need to know: when I am with your books and going around showing them to people, what should my mood be? What should my mood be with the people who I am giving books to and talking to?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] This is welfare work. You can think, "I am doing welfare for them. They should be happy by reading these books." You are helping them.
[Indulekha dasi:] If I make some laddhu or burphy, can I give it to them?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Oh yes, yes.
[Indulekha dasi:] That is what we are starting to do now. We are going on harinama sankirtana, and distributing books and prasadam.
. . .
[Sugata dasa:] I’m Sugata dasa. It's so good to see you. I want to thank you so much for continuing to travel, despite your advanced age. You are helping us so much. You taught us about compassion by the way you treated so many devotees who were having problems. You gave us so much mercy. I appreciate your exemplary qualities of compassion and forgiveness towards others. It is hard to understand just how forgiving you are!
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I have so much affection for you. I remember you.
[Sugata dasa:] Yes, but all the devotees are seeing how you are treating them with so much compassion. It’s a great inspiration. Thank you so much.
. . .
[Devotee:] This is Bhakta Danny. He has been in Iskcon for about 20 years and never got initiated. He is feeling the desire to get initiated by you, but he feels he should read your books more first. Do you think he is ready? You know his soul inside.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You should chant Hare Krishna. Can you chant? Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Follow Vaisnava etiquette. Don't take onions or garlic, and go on with your practices.
[Bhakta Danny:] This is my wife and brother in law.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Thank you. My blessings to you.
[The next morning at 6.30 am, Bhakta Danny went with his wife to Shrila Narayana Maharaja’s quarters, and both participated in their full initiation ceremony.
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Proofreader: Krishna Kamini dasi