In this episode I share my Vyasa puja offerings to Srila Prabhupada from 2012 and from 2013. I thought you might find it interesting to compare them and note the progress.
I picked up a few themes as I listened again. What did you pick up? What has changed since 2012? What has stayed the same? I am interested to hear your feedback.
Please leave a comment below, or leave a voice message through the Speakpipe button on the right.[spoiler intro=”Transcription” title=”Podcast Introduction”]
Hare Krishna and welcome back to Successful Vaisnavas.
In this episode, it’s gonna be a little bit different. Instead of having an interview, I thought I would share the Vyasa Puja offerings which are made to Srila Prabhupada. I thought it would be interesting to see how things have changed or not. See what progress have made because I’d like to share last year’s Vyasa Puja offering from 2012 as well as Vyasa Puja offering from this year.
For me, it is interesting to know that many of the themes are very similar and it is also encouraging to see some of the things I had committed to at the last Vyasa Puja are some things that I’ve actually started and I am continuing to do which is basically this Successful Vaisnavas project.
Anyway, I thought the message in the Vyasa Puja offerings is an important one as well and I hope you get some inspirations out of it – that was the intention.
So I’ll be playing those in a few moments. Just before we get on to that, I’ll share a little bit of news that’s happening with me. I haven’t checked all the statistics but the Facebook page is really growing nicely. There’s more than 1200 followers on Facebook at present. Even last week alone, I think we have about 100 people that liked the page so that’s fantastic. If you know anybody that could be interested in what we are talking about here on this podcast or in Successful Vaisnavas please let them know about it. They can go to the Facebook page or they can come straight to the website http://successfulvaisnavas.com . The more people that get to know about it, the more of an impact that we can have to inspire devotees to take some initiative to improve their own Krishna consciousness and also help our society. So basically, I have been quite busy since the last podcast. I’m working with one devotee who is starting a business which is very closely related to Krishna consciousness. And something which he’s planning to offer to the big world out there and also he’s very much interested in helping devotees within ISKCON through the things that he’s teaching. So stay tuned for that, I will reveal more as time goes by. Because of the work there and some other business trainings that I’ve done, haven’t made much progress on the online course. But once I’ve completed this podcast today, that’s the top of my priority list – it has been for a while. Anyway, we’ll keep working on it and I hope you forgive me for my imperfections. And look forward to really seeing it very soon.
Last episode, I mentioned about a Kindle book which I’ve released. I’ll let you know what that book is. That book is a fun story about a toy dinosaur and a boy. It is a rhyming story with some neat pictures which were done by one devotee’s mother. The devotee’s name is Lila-Mayi and the illustrations were done by her mother, Margeretha Carolina van Dyk. If you have any children or grandchildren that might be interested in dinosaurs, you might want to go and have a look at it. It might also give you some ideas, perhaps you have interest in producing a book and this might give you an idea of one way you can produce it. Basically preparing the whole book like physically through drawing pictures. You’re just adding the text after scanning the pictures and putting it together and it can become an ebook that can be read on Kindle. So anyway, if you are interested to check it out, you can find it easily if you go to http://kklikes.com/dinosaurtoy.
So go ahead and take a look into it and let me know what you think of it. For me, it’s really an experiment. Ultimately I would like to do Krishna conscious books whether it’s a children’s book or adults books related to Successful Vaisnavas and things like that. So this was just my first attempt just to find out how the process works so give a look at it at http://kklikes.com/dinosaurtoy and tell me what you think. Let me know how your children or grandchildren enjoy the story. So anyway, enough about that.
At this point, I will just play the Vyasa Puja recordings from 2012 and 2013. I’ll be really interested to hear your comments which you can write at http://successfulvaisnavas.com/13 . Go to that website and just let me know what you felt by hearing these offerings. And if you have any comments about the changes that you heard between the 2012 offering and the 2013 offering. Really looking forward to hearing your feedback.
[spoiler intro=”Transcription” title=”2012 Vyasa Puja Offering”]
Kalas was looking for a Brahmacharya, couldn’t find one, so I’ll just have to be the next best thing.
It’s kind of ironic, I suppose, that I mention that because when I’m standing here, I’m thinking, actually, as a father, you know, I’ve been in the Brahmacharya ashram, and now I’m a father. And I’m starting to think to myself—what does the future hold for my sons? I’ve got two sons, and I’m just reflecting like how was the movement—how is it now, and how’s it going to be for him? When I think about how things are today, things that occur to me is that this movement is very well-established.
In the early days when Prabhupada was here, it was a massive growth period. And since that time, it’s just incredible what is actually—out there in the Krishna Consciousness movement, just in terms of temples and the number of people who are being influenced by this Krishna Consciousness movement. Also, as time has gone by, devotees have matured. You know, as we were hearing in the early days, many devotees, that joined were hippies. But now, after many years of Krishna conscious practice, they’re very mature and experienced. And one of my personal realizations is that, perhaps, in the early days, there was an enthusiasm that Krishna Consciousness is a very simple process and just follow it, and it was a very high standard.
Now, today, I think there’s a real honesty for many devotees that actually practicing Krishna Consciousness is not so easy. It’s a wonderful and blissful process, but there are challenges that we have to face when we try to practice Krishna Consciousness. So, that’s one of the other things that I appreciate today is that devotees have—they’re very honest. And from your experiences, they have wisdom that we can—that they can share with other devotees, which in the early days wasn’t nearly so much. Prabhupada was the very senior devotee, and everybody else was enthusiastic to follow him, but maybe not as much wisdom that we have today.
I also look around, and coming here today, hearing about the different projects that different devotees have been involved in. Just straight off the top of my mind, I think of The Loft, The Loft preaching programs, and Bhakti yoga preaching. And this is just here in Auckland. We have Food for Life programs, restaurants, and then world-wide, there’s so many, you know, things that devotees are doing. At the same time, I feel that there’s so much potential that devotees have that’s not being tapped. And once again thinking to myself as a father when my sons are growing up, what opportunities will there be for them to contribute to Prabhupada’s movement?
There’s a famous letter from Karandhara and from that letter, I have grasped two main points. The first point is that in order to remain enthusiastic in Krishna Consciousness, we need to strictly follow sadhana, to chant 16 rounds, follow the regulative principles and to engage as much as possible in the processes that Prabhupada has given us. Prabhupada states there that if these things are followed, he will have enthusiasm to preach and speak Krishna Consciousness.
The second point that Prabhupada made in that letter is that this movement is for making people who are independently thoughtful and competent in all there is in thought and action. So, this is a very interesting point, in that I feel from talking to many devotees, that sometimes devotees have a feeling that
“I’m just a follower. It’s not for me to decide to do anything. I have to wait for my guru to tell me, or I have to wait until some great leader comes, and then, I can follow on behind that person.”
But from this letter, we can understand from Prabhupada that he wants people to take initiative, and to use their own gifts and intelligence, their own thoughts and to develop skills in order to spread the Krishna Consciousness movement.
So, with this in mind, I was thinking that when I’m raising my son, I want to encourage him to find out what talents he has and to use it in Krishna service. Last year, I spoke a similar type of thing, and I said that Srila Prabhupada, I want to do something significant. Boy, it sounds so easy to say, right? But to actually put it into practice is another story. But I would like to offer just one small step that I’ve made to fulfilling this promise to you, Srila Prabhupada. I promised that I’ll do something significant, which it’s taken a year, but at least thing I’ve started, I feel—I don’t know if it’s the right way to put it, but I feel proud to say, Prabhupada, that I’ve done one small thing to try to help. I’ve set up a website called Successful Vaisnavas.com. The idea of this website is—I’ve already interviewed several devotees who’ve achieved success in different areas in Krishna Consciousness. Maybe, they’re preachers, or they’ve done a particular project, or even they’ve just been a steady devotee for many years. And I’ve interviewed them and asked them to share some of the things that help them to achieve the success that they have in their Krishna Consciousness.
So, in my pledge to Srila Prabhupada, is to continue this website, which I’ve named Successful Vaisnavas.com so that devotees all over the world can hear about the successes in our movement. Because it’s easy to dwell on the things are not going so well and think about the shortcomings. And I’ve had the experience that I’ve looked around and seen things that I didn’t like, and, then, I try to change that other person. And all that did was give me a headache and give other people a headache as well. It wasn’t effective. So, taking the points from Prabhupada’s letter as well, instead of trying to change other people, let me try to do something within my own capability independently to try to help, and so, through this website, I hope devotees can become inspired to see that actually in the Krishna Consciousness movement, there are really amazing things happening. And I’m sure you’ve picked up that vibration today by hearing from the devotees.
And also on that website, we hope to offer some training, which can help devotees to practice that independent thoughtfulness and competence to help us learn to work together better, how to develop our mindset, so that we can actually do something significant to please Srila Prabhupada. So, here I am again. It’s been one year since I said that I would want to do something significant. So, this is my attempt to please Prabhupada through Successful Vaisnavas.com. When I come next year, I hope I can share that I’ve actually continued on this Successful Vaisnavas, and it’s made a difference for your devotees. And once again, my thinking is—I’m a father. I have children, and there are many children growing up in our society. I’m trying to do something small so that other devotees can also do something great for Srila Prabhupada, just as Prabhupada has done great things for us.
Jay Srila Prabhupada![/spoiler] [spoiler intro=”Transcription” title=”2013 Vyasa Puja Offering”]
I’ve been reflecting how you’ve come to the West and just everything you have done in your life you had to face so many challenges and obstacles. You left India and come to the West at the age of 70 and even today in our society there are very few devotees that are even age. You are still the most senior person in our society. At that late age you came to the West on a ship and had heart attacks on that ship. When you came to America you have nothing (materially speaking). You had no money and you ended up staying with drug-crazed people that even attacked you. You had to step over drunk people just to enter your apartment. These are just some of the challenges and austerities you had to face.
And as I reflect on that Srila Prabhupada, I realize whatever challenges I have to face are nothing compared to what you had to do. You basically had nothing (materially speaking) to start from. But having said that, spiritually speaking you had everything because you were fully committed to Krishna. You had 100% dedication to the mission of your spiritual master. You are a pure devotee.
So when I compare myself to you it is quite a sad situation because I can see that materially speaking I have so many opportunities. Like in the West we are not lacking in terms of money and comfortable living. And thanks to you we have this wonderful society of Krishna consciousness that provides a wonderful opportunity to do anything we want within Krishna consciousness. But I can see where I am lacking is in the Krishna consciousness.
Even though you had nothing materially because you had Krishna you had everything. And I can see for myself, that everything has been put in front of me to use for Krishna’s service, but because I don’t have the devotion, I am not able to use that properly to advance in Krishna consciousness and to help spread your movement.
So the two commitments I would like to make today are:
First of all to really focus on developing my spiritual Krishna consciousness. To really develop my sadhana and to remember that is the key most important thing.
Secondly, to take advantage as much as I can of the facilities that are available to serve you Srila Prabhupada and to help this mission.
You went through so many challenges. What we face is nothing compared to that. Therefore Srila Prabhupada, please give me the determination to do everything I can to help your mission. To not let any small difficulty overcome the determination to help you. And even though I am not very devoted. Please give me some small mercy that I can develop that devotion and actually do some service.
In order to do this I have developed a project called Successful Vaisnavas. My purpose in this is two things:
One: To highlight what is being successful in our society. It is very easy to find faults in anything, but if we can really look at examples of people who are doing inspiring things in Krishna consciousness I can only see that that will be uplifting and inspiring for myself and everybody else in our society.
Secondly: I want to do whatever I can to help any devotee who has inspiration to help serve your mission by using whatever skills I have.
So that is how I am trying to serve you Srila Prabhupada.
Hare Krishna! Jay Srila Prabhupada![/spoiler]