So we’re continuing our series of broadcasts from Theistic Media Studios from Chiang Mai, Thailand
. And we’re continuing our talk with our guest Mahāyogī Mahārāj. After our recent broadcasts Ranga Devī left a comment that I would like to start this program with.
So she is saying, “We were there when all the books were published and it was the most charismatic time in our life, every day new realization were coming like lightning bolts making this an exiting part of our transcendental adventure. Bhakti Sudhīr Goswāmī
was very protective of his tapes but we had an insider connection, a mole, Bhakta Priya, who gave us all the tapes and copies of published manuscript and behind the scenes we were devouring Guru Mahārāja’s worlds with insatiable hunger and transcribing his lectures. At one point we were going to buy a house next to the temple and Mahāyogī Mahārāj said, “You can always buy a house but now is the chance to see Guru Mahārāj.” We packed out bags and went to Nabadwīp Dhām
. Let it be said it took us another twenty-five years to buy a house. If there is another wave coming like this then our bags are packed, our surfboards are ready and we’re going to wherever it is going to roll in.
P.S. Incidentally just five minutes after I listened to Mahāyogī Mahārāj I listen to a class of Guru Mahārāj, someone joined the meeting and Guru Mahārāj was asking who it is. “Mukunda Mālā,” he replied. It’s Mahāyogī’s Mahārāj previous name. Guru Mahārāj went on to explain that the meaning of Mukunda is he who can give something that makes liberation look awkward. Twenty-third minute in the recording.
P.S. 2. In regard to recent events we were first just totally thrilled to see the air getting cleared with Bhakti Sudhīr Goswāmī stating the obvious. But in addition to that on the positive side it feels like there is a breath of fresh air coming much like the one we experienced before.
P.S.3. Bhakti Sudhīr Goswāmī and Mahāyogī Mahārāj were truly formidable team with Bhakti Sudhīr Goswāmī in the lead. I love seeing Mahāyogī Mahārāj in Chiang Mai and pray for other wave that lift us up like the one before.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
Well, that’s high praise, I am sorry if you lost out on your house but you gain something by seeing his divine grace Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj
and I am very happy to hear from you, across the distance of so many years and to know that you’re still out there. So I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all the friends and followers who are taking a few minutes to check out our broadcast here, we’re broadcasting live from Chiang Mai without any commercial interruption. And also you can imagine there’s a lot of pressure, I’m trying to say something useful for the devotees.
This morning Gopa Kiśor and I were in a garden discussing Uddhava and Nanda Mahārāj and Vṛndāvan
. But before we began to talk, I was looking into the waters of the pond there we were watching us the sun ripple of it and I began to pray to Guru Mahārāj to help me say something and I am very happy if anything that comes out of my mouth is edifying or useful to any devotees.
Then again when I was at the temple in the afternoon, I looked at the photo of Govinda Mahārāj and Śrīdhar Mahārāj and asked them for some help, I said, “Listen I need some help here for me to say something valuable or useful to be able to follow in your footsteps, so please give me something.” And it would be nice if the devotees here could ask me some questions because otherwise I am just speaking it random. So if Gopa Kiśor, if you have something prepared, otherwise I would like to hear something from the other devotees too.
Yeah, we’ve just recently heard that your previous name was Mukunda Mālā, and I’ve heard the other day you were telling about your history, because like for ten years you were working with Bhakti Sudhīr Goswāmī Mahārāj and previously you were in the Krishna Consciousness movement ISKCON
, so maybe you can share some things of your early history.
Meaning of the name Mukunda Mālā
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
Okay, alright, it’s interesting that Śrīdhar Mahārāj, and when I say Śrīdhar Mahārāj I feel almost disrespectful, that’s short hand for His Divine Grace Bhagavān Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj, but it’s hard to put that in every sentence. It’s interesting that when I got the name from Prabhupād it was Mukunda Mālā and there is a book called Mukunda-mālā-stotram
, the glories of Krishna. But if you ask the devotees what does it mean Mukunda, they’ll all say, “The giver of liberation.” But Śrīdhar Mahārāj had a different take, he said, “No, this means the giver of something, that makes liberation
look poor.” So he was always come, he never deviated from that pane, every time he looked at anything in the Bhāgavatam
, the Bhagavad-gītā, it didn’t matter what it was, he always came exactly from the same place and cold give and interpretation worthy of his erudition.
Yes, I was with ISKCON until around 1982 or so and last time we talked I was discussing how we began setting up our mission in San Jose, CA
. So at the beginning it was Brahma Dās, who understood about finances and making collections and that kind of thing, who worked out enough money to where we could make a down payment on a temple. The temple in San Jose, CA, was about a hundred and seventy six thousand dollars and to buy that we had to make a down payment of ten percent. Brahma Dās put together eight thousand dollars, so we were short, but at the moment that we went to pay, they told us, “We’re in the middle of something right now, we’re negotiating a deal, we can only accept half the money, half the down payment, which came to about eight thousand dollars.” So we felt that this was the will of Krishna
. And at that time it was me, there was Goswāmī Mahārāj, Vidagdha Madhava, Yudhamanyu, who brought with him Prabala and Jivana. And Bhakta Priya. And they all helped with the fundraising and things like that. There was Ramai, who was the pūjārī
, always up every morning at five o’clock, ready to do the necessary, Syama Buddhi, was our cook.
The masterpiece of the Guardian of Devotion Press
If I can just take a look at this fine publication, published by Ananta Printing and Publishing, this is the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, which was our next book after Golden Volcano of Divine Love
and as I was looking through this today I was just astonished, really astonished, because The Search for Sri Krishna
, if you like you could say, it gives basic ideas about Krishna Consciousness, they are not really basic, but what you find there is a summary and it deals with the opposition, but the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, it doesn’t really get into the opposition so much. This is just pure nectar, for lack of the better word, from the beginning to the end. It’s just more and more concentrated, more and more sweetness, more and more divine. This is Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj at the top of his game.
Interviewer: And also while I was…
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: And it’s also the Guardian of Devotion Press, and Bhakti Sudhīr Goswāmī Mahārāj at the top of his game. So you can see the layout, the way pictures are done, the way the pictures are done, the way the pictures follow the text, it’s an intriguing book, which is such a great work of art. I was looking at it today and I couldn’t believe that we were so blessed that we had the opportunity to participate in something like that. I am sorry.
Interviewer: The other day you was telling me that Goswāmī Mahārāj benefit to the book was like the graphics was all his work.
Colour graphics design of the book
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
Yes, apart from understanding how to put together the conception and sort of escalating style, where you start with a general idea that not only are we looking for Krishna, but He is also looking for us. Gowami Mahārāj helped to define the concept of the book, so that you’re ending with the highest conception about service
and very concentrated information. But every aspect of the presentation of the book, which helps you read it was also designed personally by him. So for example there is some old paintings, photos of sculptures and especially this particular painting was commissioned by Goswāmī Mahārāj, we found an artist in Kolkata, who did this kind of style. And Goswāmī Mahārāj told him what he wanted. This is representing one of the gopa-boys in Vṛndāvan, who gets lost and he comes back and Krishna says, “Oh, where did you go? I was looking for you.”
And in the beginning of the book Śrīdhar Mahārāj explains, just as you’re looking for God, God is also looking for you. And of course in Christianity we also have that kind of concept, but Chaintya Mahāprabhu takes it to a higher plane. Anyways, I am sorry, you might have a question.
And we were talking about the preaching. Okay, so, I wanted to read the names of some other devotees. I am sorry, as I said this is a live broadcast, so, you know, bear with me it’s not easy to just do this cold. In the book it also mentions Śrutaśravā Prabhu
. And Śrutaśravā he knew Sanskrit, I am sure he still knows Sanskrit, he is out there somewhere, so. If you’re listening, Śruta, or does anybody know I am saying hello.
Audience: He disappeared.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Well, at this point I am being open and trying to remember something that took place in the past, and if anybody’s offended by my speaking, wail of somebody, there is nothing I can do about that. I decided before I came on, I don’t want to say anything bad about anybody or be critical in any way. So just as I disappeared for a long time, I took the wrong path. In the eternal course of the soul, if you’re deviated for five years or five thousand years, what is that compare to eternity? If I have to be reborn a thousand times to get to see Śrīdhar Mahārāj again it’s worth it to me. Not that I am going to tempt fate by doing something that I shouldn’t do, but we can look at it like that as well, it’s not good to demonize our former friends, because one day they can demonize us.
So I left the community of devotees, and I wanted to save that talk towards the end, but it goes with the Loving Search
. I left the community of devotees in part because our community wasn’t as stable as a good devotional community should be. And part of that had to do with the disappearance of Śrīdhar Mahārāj, because we were based on his teaching and things happened that wasn’t able to control. And perhaps as consequence of pride, anger, lust, envy, greed, all these things, I became unqualified to continue enjoying the association of devotees, and that’s something that I pay for. But I am very happy to know that Krishna is actively looking for us. You know the story, I was gonna save this for our next and last broadcast about how I came to Thailand, I’ll get into that later, but I just want to thank the people, who are mentioned here. There was Madhuranāth, Vidagdha Mādhava, Sarvabhāvana, Sulochan, Kaliyuga Pāvana, Bhakta Priya Dāsī, Anaṅga Mañjarī, who sent us a note the other day, Jayananda Prabhu, who worked really hard to kept the temple going, Yudhāmanyu, Jīvana was Yudhāmanyu’s wife, I don’t know if she is still around or what she is doing, but she is really truly great soul, always positive source of Krishna Consciousness for me, positive source of inspiration
, this is a very fine production, produced by the happy people and Ananta Printing & Publishing down on the Rodeo Gulch Rd., in Soquel, CA. So the people who are still with what was the San Jose temple or I think involved in the production of that book, but anyway.
Sannyās and preaching of Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī Mahārāj
I was given sannyās
by Śrīdhar Mahārāj and my reason for taking sannyās
was I felt that I understand how to preach this, it needs to be preached, if I don’t do it I don’t know who will. I met lots of people who I thought, they understand this a little bit, but I was on the fire. And so I used all the fire that I had to make a little fires in another place, this is story in Greek mythology of one of the original Titans, Prometheus, I don’t know if you know this story. But his business is to deal with the human class. So after all the animals have been given their gifts by the gods, the Greek gods in this case, for example the elephant has trunk, then the tiger is powerful and has a big teeth, there is nothing left to give the human being, because if you walk around naked in the jungle, you’re very vulnerable as a human being, so Prometheus thought, “What can I give them?” And he went to the heavens and he stole fire from the gods and he gave it to the humans and he thought, “Do something with this, this will help you.” But the gods were angry with Prometheus and they punished him by chaining him to a rock, where vulture picked out his entrails.
So I wasn’t exactly chained to a rock, but I did my best to spread the fire. And at some point in time devotees sometimes burn out, okay? And in my case I’ve suffered from the pretty bad case of burnout, but before I got there I was preaching, I was spreading the fire, I went to a Stockholm. And worked with devotees there with Nārāyaṇ Mahārāj, who is no longer with us. And also worked in Austria and Vienna and in Hungary in Szeged with the devotees there. Köszönöm szépen
[Hungarian: Thank you very much]. It sounds to me like kirtanam sevanam
, so, it means something like hello or thank you, I forgot, “Hogy vagy?
” [Hungarian: How are you?], that’s like hello. And it was the first time I saw a sleigh crisscrossing in the snow and in cobblestone street. And the devotees in Hungary were really enthusiastic and they did that kind of the Russian dance, it was brilliant. And I preached in South Africa, I preached in Australia, that was later, Govinda Mahārāj sent me to Australia, he said, “Try to do something there.” I was in Australia for about two months and I went from Brisbane to Surfers Paradise, the Gold Coast, (?) and did a lot of preaching there, but it just wasn’t my time perhaps. At that particular point in time the person that they needed wasn’t me. Later I preached in Columbia, Ecuador, all over the world, it’s hard for me to remember all the places that went and all the devotees that I met and all the kīrtans
that we had.
Interviewer: As you said the another broadcast sometimes you write a book that you will need to read in some time in the future.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
That’s right, so as I am reading the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, I am just knocked out. The Search for Sri Krishna
it’s pretty good, but the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, it’s stands alone, parallel to the Chaitanya-charitāmṛta
, it stands parallel to above the Bhāgavatam
. It stands above the Bhagavad-gītā
, and that’s not my accomplishment, that’s the accomplishment of the preceptor of Govinda Mahārāj.
Interviewer: And to give some regards to the publishers.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
No, it’s impossible, it’s impossible, you can’t summarize it. I tried to summarize The Search for Sri Krishna
, cause you can say, “Okay, fossilism, mind over matter.” Six philosophies of India, Buddha preaches zero, Śaṅkara
preaches the Infinite. What’s the difference between the Infinite and the zero? Zero times zero? Zero. Zero minus zero? Zero. Infinite times infinite, infinite. Wow. On some level zero and Infinite, they run along parallel lines with teaching of Buddha
and Śaṅkara, that kind of thing is easy to represent in a nutshell. But the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
I can’t touch it, I can’t possibly give you a summary. You have to read it. I’d like to read a little bit of it, but I would like questions, if there are any.
“Join the Hare Krishna movement and see the world!”
Interviewer: Actually, here we’ve got something on the Livestream, so, we’ll try to read it. Meanwhile I am searching for the question can you tell about, you were preaching so hard, so long, it’s like the known slogan, “Join Hare Krishna movement and you will see the world.”
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: That’s right. Yeah, that was a “Join the Hare Krishna movement and see the world.” We have an example of that in this room, we’ve got Russia, Hungary, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, New York, which is its own country. Do we have any questions from any of the devotees here? Because I’d really like to see if I could satisfy any doubts that anybody here has.
Preaching is a dangerous business
Interviewer: Can I ask you if you like, you were preaching for so long, so, what’s your reflection about how do you preach? And [what are] the consequences like, “This is nice, this is good. This we must do and this not.” And about preaching styles – so many things people were trying after disappearance of the big Gurus of this world, three big Gurus. What were the actions of people?
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
is a dangerous business. Because in a first place you should practice what you preach. So if you can’t practice it, don’t preach it. So right now my practice is not so good, it’s very difficult for me to really preach on the same level that I had before, because if you live, sleep, eat and breath Krishna and Krishna Consciousness
, of course, you’re more inspiring to others. The big pitfall is pride
, of course, pride often comes right before the fall. Pratistha, kanaka, kamini, pratistha, bagini
(?). These are the witches that inhabit us, hunt us. Pride. So the problem is there is a thing called āchārya-abhimān
, which means the pride of the teacher or ego
of the teacher. Just like I have enough ego that I can sit up here and talk to you. And you can think, “Who does he think he is?” But who I think I am is somebody who has been exposed to the message of Śrīdhar Mahārāj, and I think it needs to be spread and other people need to contemplate it. So I am trying to promote that.
But if a teacher thinks, “I know more than you do. You should be quiet and I am gonna teach you.” This is very bad, because it inhabits the students. Students don’t like that, they prefer to participate actively. So if you’re preaching and you become proud of yourself, that’s a very dangerous thing, because later on you will fall. That’s guarantee.
Publishing online: challenges and opportunities
Interviewer: Yes, so in this mood we have a question from our viewer Kamala, that you must remember. And she is writing, “Dandavats, Mahārāj! You were talking about these wonderful books, obviously they have a tangible and substantial nature, how do you see the challenges and opportunities of publishing online, which is something intangible and fleeting?”
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Very nice question, very eloquent. You can see Kamala is very well spoken, I haven’t seen her, I think of her as a young woman of about twenty-two or twenty-three, but I am sure she is different today. Anyway, Hare Krishna, Kamala. There are certain challenges and problems with publishing online, I think publishing online is great, because you get your message out to more people. Recently I downloaded all of the Guru Mahārāja’s books from my Nook reader, so I can study them. On the other hand, a production like this is art. So it’s hard to approach art in an electronic media. But having said that I am sitting here in the studio and the message is going out over the Internet to people in Brazil, China, Mexico, the United States, London and touching people. So I think it’s very important to understand how to put our message in a digital from. So much so that actually our production here is called a Fulldome studios. And some of the Russian devotees who are taping this are involved in creating multimedia presentations. So I am happy if they will be able to engage me in the future in writing and creating content for this media.
Interviewer: Goswāmī Mahārāj is already doing this as we see.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Goswāmī Mahārāj is a very powerful preacher and he is smart. So he knows I am a very proud person, who can preach to me? But if you put a camera in front of me and I have to preach to all these people, I am really preaching to me also. But this is by his grace and by the grace of Śrīdhar Mahārāj, Govinda Mahārāj and his representatives.
And talking about preaching
, do you really think like there is a time to do something or not the time do something? Because it’s said like, “When the spiritual flow wants to come it’s like beyond time and space.” So, maybe...
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Well, that’s a good point.
Interviewer: Maybe there are some other reasons you see for like the preaching to come up and come down, beyond the simple explanation like offences. Just like a brief explanation.
What does the success in preaching depend on?
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Wow, that’s a better question. Now you’re getting at something, see. Well, Krishna’s message is eternal, okay. But sometimes people can hear it and sometimes they can’t. It’s always there. Chaitanya Mahāprabhu kīrtan movement, it’s always there. But look even in Bengal, it’s come and gone, even in Bengal there were waves, very powerful waves, Narottam das Ṭhākur, Śrīnivās Ṭhākur, Śyāmānanda das Ṭhākur organized huge kīrtan parties and swept Bengal with the message and created a new form of poetry. And we sing their songs today.
But the tide receded for some reason, I don’t know why, it’s hard for me to explain. Perhaps it has something to do with the quality of the preachers as well. Śrīdhar Mahārāj was a vey high quality preacher, so was Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur, Śrīla Prabhupād, Govinda Mahārāj. The Western devotees, you know, we’re trying. It was certain degree I joined in a very early age, and I was very green and I am telling everybody something that I learn from the book and something that I heard from the men. But then I really eternalized that, then I learn that, perhaps I was speaking more out of pride in my own case. So sometimes the ground is very well prepared and if you throw the seed, you can just take a bag of seeds and throw it in the air and suddenly you have a beautiful garden. And sometimes the ground is not so well prepared, even if you’re trying cultivate it, it’s hard to grow something, I don’t know.
Interviewer: So I’d like to ask another question. During your life and big preaching and spiritual life experience you’ve seen that organizations come and go, you come and go from these organizations or the teachers that come. So in the Lost Servant the one thing is that we’re searching for the Lord, but the other thing is that He is also searching for us. So how do you feel what’s the important thing in being searched, because obviously not for everyone He’s searching that eager.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: I don’t know if I really follow what you’re saying. What’s the importance of being searched?
Interviewer: Yeah, like what’s your feelings about this, because organizations come and go, they can be very spiritual at the moment, then it can fade, you can be in the spiritual organization, then you can be disconnected from the teacher or from the vaiṣṇava society, but how do you like at some moments you got here back after like twenty years.
Lost and found Mahāyogī Mahārāj
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: I don’t want to say, of course, it’s popular to say, “Oh, I was in the darkness.” It was dark, okay, in the sense that Śrīdhar Mahārāj and Prahupād were like the Sun and the Moon. And you can assign Sun to one and Moon to the other according to your point of view. But the Sun and the Moon give off plenty of light. And if Govinda Mahārāj was the brightest star in the heavens after the Sun and the Moon, and Goswāmī was another bright star. For me all these stars on the firmament disappeared. They weren’t giving any more light. Govinda Mahārāj because he’s so far away in India, I had no way of communicating with him personally. I suppose I could’ve called him on the phone or put the money together to…I don’t want to make excuses. But Śrīdhar Mahārāj was gone, Prabhupād was gone. For me the devotees who were helping us, for one reason of another I can’t get in to all the personal stuff, you know. But for one reason or another our devotional community kind of dissolved, and it’s a great tragedy when something like that happens.
So as far as darkness, yes, I wondered as a blind man for many years. But as a man I learned how to be a better teacher, I learned how to be a good husband. I learned how to play the ukulele, and speak Spanish. You can write a book, Mahāyogī: The Lost Years. I don’t think anybody will read it. But how do I feel about being searched. It’s a very strange experience, because for all that I really knew it seemed to me that our devotional community in California was really not what it used to be. And I am not saying that to offend anybody, I just personally didn’t have the same degree of light on one level. On another level out of pride. If you come up to a certain standard of leadership and people expect that from you and then you can’t give that, it’s a difficult thing. So there is pride there as well.
So I’ve spend time teaching English and being a University professor in Mexico in San Miguel de Allende. I met Avadhut Mahārāja’s brother today; we were washing dishes in the kitchen. And a face appeared in the window talking to my wife Aurora and said something like, “You are from Mexico? Oh, good guacamole!” That was it, “Hey, that was a good guacamole. You are from Mexico?” And she said something like, “¿Cómo estás?” And they had a little conversation a little back and forth in Spanish and I looked at Avadhut Mahārāja’s brother, I don’t know his name.
Audience: Satya Sundar.
Krishna is real and He is looking for you
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
Satya Sundar, and I said, “Oh, you’ve been to San Miguel? Do I know you?” So there is another kind of a lost opportunity. We could’ve crossed paths. So Krishna
is always out there, Krishna is real, okay? He is real, He is out there. He is looking for you, you may not know it yet. But He is looking for you.
So one day I put a ukulele video innocently on Youtube and I discovered that…Goswāmī Mahārāj he told me, “I looked for you in Google.” And you can search my name, it’s Michael Dolan, you can look for it on Google. You’ll find a lot of Michael Dolans, it’s common name in Ireland. Not that common, but there is at least a hundred thousand Michael Dolans out there somewhere. And so he couldn’t find me. But he looked for me on Youtube and he found my Captain Panic video, where I am playing the “
Somewhere beyond the Sea”. And he liked that, because it reminded him, “Oh, you’re sons of nectar, sons of the nectarine ocean sea. Listen to me!” Where Chaitanya Mahāprabhu I think it is, He is calling His devotees. And he wrote me a note saying, “I like your beyond-the-sea conception.” And I saw that and I thought, “What? Is that Goswāmī Mahārāj
after all these years? My goodness.” And when I finally answered his message, he said, “Look, I have this thing in Thailand. It’s in Chiang Mai, it’s a small community. Would you be interested in coming to visit?” And I looked at that and I thought, “Oh, no. If I say yes, it’s gonna change my life.”
I told Aurora, I said, “Listen, I’ve got some interesting news.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“It’s gonna change your life.”
“Are you alright? You have to go to the hospital?”
“It’s not that. We’re going to Thailand.”
“We are? Well, what about me?”
“Well, I am asking your permission.”
And we go to Thailand and... “Sure, let’s do it.”
Creative relationship with Goswāmī Mahārāj
So I immediately wrote to Goswāmī back, “I’m in, let’s do it.” And we’re both Irish, which means we like a good fight, the Irish like to fight. So if he says, “Come on!” Then I’ll say, “Okay, come on! Bring it!” In a way our creative relationship is a little bit like, he always says, “Comparisons are odious.” It’s a little like Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Their relationship was very scrappy. And Lennon would have something and McCartney would say, “I don’t know, you really think we can do that?” And so John Lennon would try to do something better. And then McCartney would try to top him. So in a way the production of the Loving Search of Lost Servant
was like that, because we did The Search for Sri Krishna
, we though, “We got to do something better. We got to go deeper.” And we put out Sri Guru and His Grace
, and then we thought, “We got to top that, we’ve got to do something better.” We did Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, no, Golden Volcano
. Then the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
. “We got to top that.” And we did Subjective Evolution of Consciousness
. So we’re like that, we have the sort of competitive nature. And so if he says, “You can’t come to Thailand.” You know [imitating rooster cackle sound], checking me out (?). So then I am like, “Oh, yeah, yes, I can, I am coming.” And so I don’t know. If that’s not an example of Krishna looking for me. I mean twenty year, what are the odds. I mean, how old are you?
Interviewer: Twenty little years.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
You’re twenty. Okay. So just imagine you’re working hard for the Krishna Consciousness movement, you love it and everything is going good, you’re renounced. But say five years from now, ten years from now, fifteen from now, fifteen years from now it gets a little hard, something happens, you get angry. I was reading about the book that Govinda Mahārāj
put out called Golden Reflections
. He has told about the history of the Chaitanya Saraswat Maṭh
. He said, he had a personal relationship with every tree, every bush, every animal, every cow, every buffalo in the Maṭh, every bird, all the monkeys. He had a personal relationship. Śrīdhar Mahārāj often said, “He had a particular sort of a siddhi
with animals.” He described of how he could domesticate a buffalo. And the buffalo was a big, strong, dangerous buffalo. And Śrīdhar Mahārāj said, “Don’t go near him.” And Govinda Mahārāj said, “No, no, watch.” And he would kick the buffalo and the buffalo would make like he was going knock him over. And then sort of touch him affectionately. And then he did it again. And then Śrīdhar Mahārāj said, “Oh, okay.”
So Govinda Mahārāj said he had personal relationship with everything in the Maṭh. But one day he got angry and he wanted to leave the Maṭh, he was like unthrough (?). But he couldn’t leave the Maṭh without asking permission from the trees and the living entities in the Maṭh, and as he did that he realized he couldn’t leave. So Govinda Mahārāj has much transcendental perspective than we do, but what happens if one day you become angry, disorganized, unable to carry on. Ten years from now, fifteen years from now, twenty years from now. And the connection is lost, and I don’t mean you personally Gopa Kiśor.
Interviewer: You mean everyone in this room.
Vivid example of the loving search for the lost servant
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Everyone in this room. And you think, “That’s it. It’s all gone, it’s not there any more. I can’t go back, I burned my bridges, they hate me, they think I am a demon. They are sure I am a demon born in hell, that came to destroy the Krishna Consciousness movement with every poisonous word that comes from my tongue.” And then suddenly out of the sky, out of the blue, out of the cyber space of the Internet an innocent little message and you’re plugged out of the darkness into the light. Look at this light here, metaphorically speaking, that’s the light of all of you, the shining smiling faces of the happy devotees, who are filled with Krishna. And they look at me and say, “Mahārāj, what happened?”
So you know I am here to try to help you and try to serve and see what role I can play in the future, it’s nice that you call me Mahārāj, I like that, it’s an ego trip definitely, but it’s kind of like if you’re in an army and you’re private, and then you’re sergeant, and then you’re lieutenant, and then you make colonel or something. Even after you retire and you’re no longer in the army people still call you colonel. You’re not on active duty anymore, so when you respect somebody who’s achieved certain closeness to the higher level, that respect given helps me, it inspires me, it encourages me to think, “Yeah, you know, I am supposed to be Mahārāj, what happened?” And then (?) because you’re taking the high road. Anyways, thank you all very much for giving me an opportunity to speak. I am shocked that you want to make this broadcast with me but as I said, Goswāmī is very intelligent.
Interviewer: And I think we’ll have the next one tomorrow to get some…
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Well, I am at your service, I am at your orders to do what you like, but I really would like if there is any question from anybody I would really like to entertain that.
Interviewer: Maybe someone here.
Question: It’s not exactly a question, this is because today is a very special day, because it’s the day that Mahāprabhu leaves his house to take sannyās. I got a little touched in the morning missing the Deity we have in Brazil and I cooked something, thinking about this day, but I really want to know about you, your feelings about this special day and what this sannyās of Mahāprabhu means for all of us.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Yeah, I am not sure I understand her completely, she want to know how do I feel about Mahāprabhu taking sannyās. This is the day that Chaitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyās. Well…
Bhakti Lalita Devi Dasi: He left home, leaving, crossing the river, one day, then the next day is his sannyās day. So today he is leaving.
About Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu taking sannyās
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
Well, when Chaitanya Mahāprabhu
everybody cried. His mother cried, his wife cried, everybody was unhappy. It was a terrible day in Nabadwīp when Nimāi Paṇḍit left, he left Nabadwīp, didn’t he? When Nimāi Paṇḍit left Nabadwīp
to take sannyās
everybody was in tears, they were shocked, they were horrified. Of course, that was his way of showing the world and history that his path was a serious path, that he was going to leave behind any kind of material relationship to demonstrate the higher relationship. To show that the erotic principle of Rādhā and Krishna has nothing to do with the mundane erotic principle of this world. And how do I feel about that personally? I feel terrible, I feel very sad that Mahāprabhu had to do that, I feel sad that Nimāi Paṇḍit who showed such academic promise left the Sanskrit school, left his defeating of scholars. And all the happy times that he had chanting Hare Krishna with his friends to do such a terrible thing as take sannyās
Taking sannyās is a very difficult path. My taking sannyas followed my being a brahmachārī, I was a brahmachārī for five years and sannyāsī for ten. I couldn’t maintain it, given, I don’t know, my circumstances, but I don’t really dwell on that and try to justify myself. I did what I did, I am here now with you. But how do I feel about Nimāi Paṇḍit? God, it was a tragedy, all devotees feel like that. No devotee is happy to know that Chaitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyās. We like to see him near to, was it Viṣṇupriyā or Jāhnavī Devī? He had two wives, you know. But one of them died, anyway, I am not the expert right now in all the history of the śāstras. But how do I feel about that? Terrible. What else?¿Qué más? As we say in Mexico. Every time you go buy something in the store in Mexico, if you ask for something they go, “¿Qué más?” It means what else? So we have about seven minutes left. Let’s try to get in, somebody else must have some curiosity.
Interviewer: Another shot from the audience?
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: I know what the question is in everybody’s mind, “When are you leaving?” [laughs]. I am working on negotiating that with Amia Sindhu actually.
Amia Sindhu Prabhu: It’s negotiated already.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: We can have a big shutout (?) to Amia Sindhu for travel arrangements, Indulekha for directing the TV programs and the films, Ramakanta behind the board, Ananga Mohini for logistics, Bhakti Lalita for inspiration, the mṛdānga man for the mṛdānga, what’s your name?
Bhakti Lalita Devi Dasi: Anantadev Prabhu.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Anantadev for his inspiring performance in a harinām-kīrtan in the streets of Chiang Mai. And everyone else.
Bhakti Lalitā Devī Dāsi: We wanna know when you’re coming back.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: When am I coming back? I already came back. When am I coming back? Good question. Very good question. I don’t know. If everyone wants me to come back it will happen, if Mahāprabhu, when I say everyone I mean him, you know, I mean Krishna, Mahāprabhu, if they’re thinking, “Hmm, maybe we can use this man a little bit more, he is not completely finished.” Any more questions? No? Okay.
Interviewer: No, no. Let’s check Livestream.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Livestream, is anybody out there? I hope there is.
Interviewer: Seven people are watching us.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Yeah.
But did you overcome this anger
that took out of the Krishna Consciousness for so many years?
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī:
What does she say?
Bhakti Lalitā Devī Dāsi:
Did you overcome this anger?
Yes, that took you out of Krishna Consciousness movement and how did you do this?
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: I don’t really want to get into the causes of my own personal preoccupations. Because if something happens you don’t like to just go over again and again it makes things worse, right? But I can tell you from my personal experience that pardoning somebody or saying, “I forgive you.” Or coming to terms with your personal anger, this one of the most liberating experiences as you can possibly have. So even in the Bible it says, “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, judge not lest thee be judged.”
So while we’re busy judging other people and working up our anger and then feeding of it, we’re slowly going to hell. It’s better if you can try to forgive
people. So if there is anybody in your life that you’re angry with, you know, think about the fact that the soul is eternal. And anger is, kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ (Bg: 3.37)
, anger anchors us to the material world. Now as a preacher you can be angry with the opposition, but even at that, if you read the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, or these books, Śrīdhar Mahārāja’s position was always, “Boy, we’d really like to help you.” We’d really like to help you about you’re not getting it. Okay, you’re not getting it now, but maybe later in the future there is a chance for you too.” Instead of thinking, “You’re sinful, you’re gonna die and go to hell.”
So Guru Mahārāj occupied the aparadha-bhanjan-pat
, Kolerganj, for the reason. The Kolerganga Maṭh is there for the reason. We’re also sinful to begin with, if you really want to get into sin. That becoming angry with others is a really waste of our time, so yeah, whoever is out there that I offended, please, forgive me.
And if I ever offended any of you, try to take a long view and think, “Well, Mahāyogī is in an illusion now. But he’ll to it later on, he’ll come around.” And so tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (Śikṣāṣṭaka: 3)
, if you want to always chant Hare Krishna you have to be humbler than a blade of grass, Chaitnya Mahāprabhu puts that in his Śikṣāṣṭaka
for a good reason and that is, if you’re proud it’s hard to do that. If you can’t tolerate
what other people say or do, it’s hard to get along in spiritual life. So learn to tolerate, learn to get along with others. And surrender
. Guru Mahārāj used to say, “Hari Bol and horrible, the prospect of surrender is such.” So if you joined our broadcast, stay tuned for the next version of the Loving Search for the Lost Servant
, pick up the book if you get a chance, find it online, check our broadcast at Theistic Media Studios, TMS.
And getting back to our broadcast our viewer Kamala came up with another important question, connected with the surrender and Guru Mahārāj. She is asking, “It is always a disaster when the spiritual master
leaves the planet. Do you have any advice for people currently in this position?”
How to endure the disappearance of the spiritual teacher?
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Pray. Look within yourself, try to find where that light came from, it’s ruci, look for the ruci, try to find that. My personal way of dealing with the disappearance of Govinda Mahārāj is called denial. I just pretend that he is in India somewhere and I’ll take an airplane over there and he’ll still be there. I know that’s unrealistic, but that’s what works for me. Well, I lived for few years with Prabhupād being in India and I was in Los Angeles, or Guru Mahārāj was in India and I was in San Jose. So I just think, “Yeah, he must be there in India, he’s still doing it.” That helps me. But that’s unrealistic. You have to go through the different stages of grief. There is denial, anger, negotiation, depression and surrender. Those are the five stages of grief according to Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, the last and highest is surrender. So Guru Mahārāj says, “Hari Bol and horrible. The prospect of surrender is such.”
Interviewer: Thus ending the another broadcast with Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī Mahārāj from Theistic Media Studio, Chiang Mai, Thailand every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Śrīpād Bhakti Vidhan Mahāyogī: Dandavats.