Dear devotees and friends of Goloka Dhama,
Please accept our best wishes, all glories to our founder Acharya Srila Prabhupada!
September was very inspiring month for our community. We had a beautiful and intimate celebration of Radhastami (appearance day of Radharani) followed by deep studies (Bhakti Sastri) into the Bhagavad Gita chapters 1 to 6 with Adi Purusha Prabhu.
When the great saint Narada Muni heard that Lord Krsna had recently appeared on this planet Earth, he knew that Krsna would surely not appear alone but that His divine energy of pleasure – Srimati Radharani – would have appeared as well not so far away. While walking around Vrindavana, he came upon Yavat and met Kind Vrishabhanu who had just receive a very special girl as a new born child. After serving the saint with care and respect, Kind Vrishabhanu brought Narada to see the new born girl. When Narada saw Radharani his ecstasy rose powerfully in his heart. He wanted to offer proper prayers but did not want to cause any trouble with Her father. He then asked king Vrishabhanu to quickly go and make arrangements for a special ceremony for the child. Without losing any time, Vrishabhanu Maharaja left the room, leaving Narada Muni the chance to offer his heartfelt prayers to Radharani who in turn revealed to him Her eternal spiritual form.
In the purport of CC Adi 4.71, Srila Prabhupada explains the truth of Her identity thus: Srimati Radharani is as fully spiritual as Krsna. No one should consider Her to be material. She is definitely not like conditioned souls, who have material bodies, gross and subtle, covered by material senses. She is all-spiritual, and both Her body and Her mind are of the same spiritual embodiment. Because Her body is spiritual, Her senses are also spiritual. Thus Her body, mind and senses fully shine in love of Krsna. She is the personified hladini-sakti (the pleasure-giving energy of the Lord’s internal potency), and therefore She is the only source of enjoyment for Sri Krsna.
Prabhodananda Saraswati Thakur gave us a wonderful verse to meditate on Srimati Radharani: Please meditate on the flooding golden ocean of the sweet nectar of Sri Radha´s love, which have now covered the spiritual and material world. (Sataka 9 verse 9)
The devotees were again so happy and inspired to have the association of Adi Purusha Prabhu. This time, Prabhu took us into the bottomless ocean of the Bhagavad Gita. It was a wonderful journey that revealed so many precious jewels and so many subtle points about how Krsna spoke and delivered His message to Arjuna. The students of the course dived deeply into this literary masterpiece to get a closer understanding of Krsna´s personality and His kind and soft nature. For instance, the many times Krsna told Arjuna not to worry. He repeated that so often in order to help us understand that for a person who has taken shelter of Him, there is no more need to fall into fear and anxiety. To help us understand this fantastic journey, we would like to share with you the essay that one of the students (Kamala Sita dd) had written:
In the fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna requests that Kṛṇṣa explains which is better: the renunciation of work or to work in devotional service. In Verse two Kṛṇṣa answers that of the two, work in devotional service is the best. In this essay, I will discuss three reasons why this is so based on 1) the nature of the soul, 2) the adverse effects of not working in devotion and 3) Kṛṇṣa’s promise to those who do work in devotion.
Kṛṇṣa says, “Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature, therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.” (BG 3.5) To act is an integral part of the soul and cannot be negated. We have to work even to sustain ourselves materially.
Srila Prabhupada says in the purport to BG 3.4 that abstinence from and renunciation of work thus bring nothing but problems when the heart is not purified. This purification refers to the process of giving up the desires for the fruits of our actions and offer our work to Kṛṇṣa. If we prematurely renounce our activities, we become a “disturbance to the social order.” (purport BG 3.4)
In a lecture by Hari Vilasa Prabhu, this premature renunciation is described as creating a vacuum in the mind. This vacuum, when not filled with devotional service, creates a space for Maya to rush in like a gale force wind, for it must be filled with something. The heart must beat, otherwise we are dead. This is what action is to the soul. If we renounce our work for the wrong reasons, we are inevitably tainted by sin. (BG 5.10)
Kṛṇṣa drives home this point even further when He says that if we steadily devote our actions to Him, we attain “unadulterated peace” as opposed to a greedy person who becomes entangled. (BG 5.12)
Our nature is to act, it is woven into us as inextricably as the threads in an intricate tapestry. Our work is like the beautifully unique patterns woven into this tapestry. To try and enjoy it ourselves or to give it up without connecting it to Kṛṇṣa is like ripping it apart until it is a mess of tangled threads on the floor. In this heap of tangles the mice and moths feast.
To conclude, we cannot avoid action because it is an intrinsic part of the soul. If we do try to renounce our work without connecting it as devotional service to the Supreme, we open ourselves as a channel to sin. If we, however, steadily devote our work to Kṛṇṣa, and steadily give up the desires for the fruits of our work, we attain that which we so deeply crave; unadulterated peace. Happiness.
Last Sunday, Visvadeva Prabhu was re-elected as the coordinator of the community for the up-coming 3 years. Visvadeva Prabhu has not only an outstanding experience in Management within ISKCON but also in the professional world as the leader of the Govinda sweet factory in Birkenfeld. He has a very good sense of humour and knows the art of making adjustments very well without upsetting anyone. Visvadeva Prabhu has a soft heart and is also very much inspired to serve Srila Prabhupada´s mission in making it more accessible and relevant for the outside world. His experience and expertise givie a lot of stability to the community. We look forward to following his guidance in the up-coming years.
On the 20th October, the merciful Kartic month begins and we wish all our readers and supporters loads of spiritual insights during this period. We also want to express our heart-felt gratitude to all members of the Freundeskreiss for their continual support that allows us to render this service to Srila Prabhupada and the entire Guru Disciple succession.
With gratitude and on behalf of the community,
I remain your servant, Gaurahari dasa