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My Lord and Master
His Divine Grace
By Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja
Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, under the inspiration of Shrila Saraswati Thakur founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1965 and subsequently established over 100 branches worldwide, publishing and distributing over 100 million books, and within 10 years made the name Krishna known in virtually every town and village in the world. Shrila Shridhara Maharaja remarked, “Our Guru Maharaja wanted to spend the next ten years of his life preaching in the West, but left this world and was unable to do so. But Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja gave him those ten years, with his unparalleled success in fulfilling our Guru Maharaja’s dream of spreading Krishna consciousness in the Western world. We are happy, we are pleased, we are proud!”
Whatever I appreciated forty years ago, the same principle is going on. We have no change. What I understood from my spiritual master I am always doing that. Practically I met my Guru Maharaja in 1922 and this poetry was written in 1936. That means fourteen years before writing this poetry, I met my Guru Maharaja. At that time I was quite a young man, twenty-five years old only, and I was posted in a very responsible position as the office manager of Dr. Bose’s laboratory. I was very fond in those days of Gandhi’s movement. In 1922 I joined Gandhi’s movement and I gave up my educational career because one of the Gandhi’s programs was to boycott the universities. That’s a very long story. Many students gave up their educational career and joined Gandhi’s movement, and I was one of them.
Dr. Bose, Kartik Chandra Bose, he’s a very important man. At that time he was managing director of Bengal Chemical Company. Now there is a street in the central Calcutta, Dr. Kartik Bose Street. So he was very important man, and he was our family physician and my father’s very intimate friend. When I gave up my education and I was joining Gandhi’s movement, at that time Dr. Kartik Chandra Bose asked me to join him. So with the permission of my father I joined. At that time I was fond of Gandhi’s noncooperation movement and when I joined Dr. Bose’s laboratory, of course, I was dressed in khadi. Dr. Bose liked that dress, khadi dress. He told me one day that “Out of your whole Gandhi’s movement, I like this khadi only.” Dr. Bose said, “And why? Because this will give impetus to industry. This hand spinning will gradually give impetus to India.” Actually that happened. He was himself an industrialist.
So in 1922 I met my Guru Maharaja through the insistence of my intimate friend, Mr. Narendranath Mullick. I did not like to go but my friend, he forced me. He told me some information, “There is a nice sadhu. Let us go and see.” I did not like very much these sadhus in those days due to my national spirit. So I said, “I have seen many sadhus. They come at my father’s house. I was not very much pleased with their behavior.” But my friend he dragged me forcibly: “No, I have heard this person is very exalted.” So I went.
My Guru Maharaja’s first opening version was that “You are educated young men. Why don’t you preach Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s gospel in the Western countries?” I did not know but this was his blessing in the first meeting. I did not know but because we belonged to a Vaishnava family we were very much worshiper of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda, our family Deity.
So I was very much pleased that “Here is a personality who is going to preach Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s gospel.” I was very much pleased. Anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated but I got the impression of preaching Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Maharaja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 because in 1923 I left Calcutta. I started my business at Allahabad. So I was always thinking of my Guru Maharaja, that “I met a very nice sadhu.” Although I was doing business, I never forgot him. Then, in 1928, these Gaudiya Math people came to Allahabad during Kumbhamela. As the Kumbhamela is going to be held this year, a similar big Kumbhamela was held in 1928. In those days they came to open their branch in Allahabad, and somebody recommended that “You go to see this Bengali gentleman.” At that time I was running on my big pharmacy and I was very well known man in Allahabad as the proprietor of the pharmacy. So somebody recommended them that, “You go to Abhaya Babu. He is a very religious man. He’ll help you.” So when they entered my shop I was very much pleased that “These men I met in 1922, and now they have come.” In this way I became reconnected. And in 1933 I was officially initiated and my only qualification was when I was introduced to my Guru Maharaja for initiation, so Guru Maharaja immediately said, “Yes, I shall initiate this boy. He is very nice. He hears me very patiently. He does not go away.” So that was my qualification. The high standard of philosophy which he was speaking at that time, practically I could not follow what was, he was speaking, but still, I liked to hear him. That was my hobby. Whenever there was chance – I was asking that “When Guru Maharaja will speak?” So he took it very seriously. And then, in 1936—it’s a long history—during this Vyasa-puja day, this Vyasa-puja day, whatever I studied about our relationship with my Guru Maharaja, I expressed in this poetry and since that day my Godbrothers used to call me “poet.”
And Guru Maharaja also very much appreciated this poetry. Now somehow or other you have found it. I thought the poetry is lost but I do not know how it was found out by some of our disciples. I think it was found out in London museum or somewhere else by Gurudasa. They had a stock of Harmonist, and from the Harmonist, my Guru Maharaja’s paper, this poetry was found. Otherwise I thought it was lost. So anyway, this poetry is “Adore adore ye all the happy day, blessed than heaven, sweeter than May.” So I heard that the month of May is very pleasing in the Western countries, so I compared the happiness of this Vyasa-puja day with the May Day.
Adore Ye All The Happy Day
Adore ye all the happy day,
Blessed than heaven, sweeter than May,
When he appeared at Puri, the holy place,
My Lord and Master, His Divine Grace.
Oh! my Master, the evangelic angel,
Give us Thy light, light up The candle.
Struggle for existence a human race
The only hope, His Divine Grace.
Misled we are all going astray,
Save us Lord, our fervent pray,
Wonder Thy ways to turn our face.
Adore Thy feet, Your Divine Grace.
Forgotten Krishna, we fallen souls,
Paying most heavy, the illusion’s toll.
Darkness around all untrace,
The only hope, His Divine Grace.
Message of service thou hast brought
A healthful life as Chaitanya wrought,
Unknown to all, it’s full of brace,
That’s your gift, Your Divine Grace.
Absolute is sentient thou hast proved,
Impersonal calamity thou hast moved,
This gives us a life — anew and fresh,
Worship Thy feet, Your Divine Grace.
Had you not come, who had told
The message of Krishna, forceful and bold,
That’s your right, you have the mace.
Save me a fallen, Your Divine Grace.
The line of service as drawn by you,
Is pleasing and healthy like morning dew,
The oldest of all but in new dress
Miracle done, Your Divine Grace
“When he appeared at Puri, the holy place, my lord and master, His Divine Grace.” Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared as the son of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, his fourth son. Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he was family man. He has several children, sons and daughters. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was known in his previous life as Bimala Prasada Datta, son of Kedaranath Datta. His father, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, his name was Kedaranath Datta. He was magistrate and he was manager of the managing board of Jagannatha Puri. The system is, the local magistrate becomes the official manager of the managing board of Jagannatha Puri. At that time Bhaktivinode Thakura was situated in Jagannatha Puri and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared at Puri.
So when the Rathayatra ceremony takes place and sometimes the big ratha stops at intervals. So the house in which Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura appeared, in front of that house the ratha stopped.
At that time Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s mother took the advantage because Bhaktivinoda Thakura was magistrate, so the son, the little baby, was brought before the ratha, and the pujaris allowed him to bring the child before the Deity and a garland was offered by Jagannatha. That was the first sign of his becoming the acarya. In this way there are many incidences. Therefore his birth place is mentioned, “the holy place, my lord and master, His Divine Grace.” “O my master, the evangelic angel, give us thy light, light up thy candle. Struggle for existence, a human race, the only hope, His Divine Grace.”
Actually we are in a very precarious condition, in the modern civilization. That is I mean to say, we are being manipulated by the Western people. It is a soul-killing civilization. By nature the chance is given after many, many evolutionary processes. Jalaja nava laksani sthavara laksa vimsati.
The evolutionary theory is there in the Padma Purana. It is not Darwin’s theory. Darwin stolen it from Padma Purana, and he presented it in a distorted way with his own imagination. Otherwise the Darwin’s theory is not the original. Actually it is not theory but fact. Jiva jatisu. The soul, it is wandering within the cycle of jiva jati, different species of life. Tatha dehantara praptih. This is Vedic knowledge, this evolutionary process. It is not Darwin’s theory. So by that process, lower animals and then the chronological order is there. First of all aquatics, jalaja. Jalaja means aquatic. Then sthavara, trees, plants. Then flies, then birds, then beasts, then human being. In this way, bahu sambhavante, after many, many millions of years we get this opportunity of human life to realize God. And this civilization is denying, refusing the opportunity to the human society to understand God, such a soul-killing civilization.
It is a fact. They are denying “What is God? There is no God. Everything is science,” Although they cannot explain science. They cannot do anything, simply talking like nonsense. Last night some girls came, so they are students of botany. So I asked them, can you manufacture a seed which can give birth to a big banyan tree? “No, sir, it is not possible.” Then what kind of botany you are studying? Actually what is their science? They talk simply something which is going on in the middle portion. Where is the beginning and where is the end of knowledge, that they do not know. They are theorizing only in the middle. They do not know janmady asya yatah, where is the beginning of this science. That is the beginning is Krishna. Krishna says, aham sarvasya prabhavo. He is the beginning. Bijo ‘ham sarva bhutanam. That seed, you scientist, you cannot manufacture. What chemicals are there that if you put in the earth and pour some water and it will grow a big tree?
These scientists, they cannot explain what is the chemical composition is there. But there is. So that is in the hand of Krishna. So this knowledge means to understand the original source. That is philosophy, find out the original source. That is knowledge, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo. Actually the knowledge terminates when you understand Krishna. He is the source of everything. There is a “struggle for existence, a human race, the only hope, His Divine Grace.” Now we got this information from His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and that knowledge is still going on. You are receiving through his servant. And in future the same knowledge will go to your students. This is called parampara system. Evam parampara prap. It is not that you have become a student and you’ll remain student. No. One day you shall become also guru and make more students, more students, more and more. That is Chaitanya Mahaprahu’s mission, not that perpetually one will remain as student.
Yes, one should remain perpetually a student, but he has to act as guru. That is the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is not that because I am acting as guru, I am no longer student. No, I am still student. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this instruction that we shall always remain a foolish student before our Guru Maharaja. That is the Vedic culture. I may be very big man, but still, I should remain a foolish student to my guru. That is the qualification. Guru more murkha dekhi karila sasana. We should be always prepared to be controlled by the guru. That is very good qualification. Yasya prasadad bhagavat prasadah. Ara na kariha mane asa. So we should become always a very obedient student to our guru. That is the qualification. That is the spiritual qualification. My Guru Maharaja wanted me to preach in the Western countries, although I was at that time a ordinary manager in a chemical firm. I never thought, but I took it seriously. So from that time in 1922 – then in 1965 it was fruitful – forty three years later.
It is better late than never. Yes. He desired me. I thought, “Now I am a family man. Let me adjust things.” I would have accepted immediately but I was not so intelligent at that time. I thought my responsibility to family is there. Let me wait.” But still, Guru Maharaja was so kind to me that when I was grhastha, I was seeing him in dreaming and I was. He asked me, “You come with me.” Then I was going, and after that, I was thinking, “Oh, I will have to take sannyasa and go with him?” So it appeared to me very horrible. I was not very much inclined to take sannyasa, but Guru Maharaja is so kind that he ultimately forced me to take sannyasa and do this work. It is all his kindness. This is the memory of his kindness. Forty three years ago I remember the same thing as it is in 1922, and still the same thing is going on. There is nothing new. We have nothing to do, new. Simply let us present, “As It Is”, it will be successful.
You see. The spirit of my writing is the same. “Misled we are, all going astray.” This soul-killing civilization is misleading us. We must know this, this is a very misleading civilization. Our real aim of life is to understand our spiritual identification and search out our relationship with God, Krishna. That is our real business. But this modern civilization is misleading us in different ways. Therefore, I wrote this, that “Misled we are, all going astray. Save us, Lord, our fervent pray. Wonder thy ways to turn our face, adore the feet, Your Divine Grace.” So this portion he very much appreciated. We have to find out ways how to turn the current. The current is sense enjoyment. Material life means the current is sense enjoyment, and this current has to be turned toward sense enjoyment of Krishna. Sense enjoyment is there, but the material civilization, the misled civilization, is that the sense gratification is taken personal.
When this sense gratification will be turned towards Krishna, then our life is successful. Just like gopis. Apparently it appears that gopis, they were attracted by young boy, Krishna, and for their sense gratification they made friendship with Krishna. No. That is not the fact. The fact is that gopis used to dress themselves nicely because by seeing them, Krishna will be satisfied, not that for their sense gratification. Generally a girl dresses also to attract the attention of the boy. So the same thing is there but it is Krishna’s sense gratification, not the gopis’. The gopis did not want anything. But Krishna will be satisfied. That is the difference between lust and love. Love is there, only possible, when it is diverted towards Krishna. That is love. And beyond that, not beyond that but below that, everything is lust. We should always remember this. The senses are not stopped but when the gratification of the senses is directed towards Krishna, that is bhakti, or love.
And when the sense gratification is directed towards personal self, that is lust. This is difference between lust and love. So Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura knew this art, how to turn our activities for the satisfaction of Krishna. This is Krishna consciousness movement. Therefore I wrote, “Wonder thy ways to turn our face, adore the feet, Your Divine Grace. Forgotten Krishna, we fallen souls.” Why we are fallen? Because we have forgotten. Our relationship with Krishna is eternal. Unless it was eternal, how you Western peoples could be devotee of Krishna? Artificially you cannot be a devotee of Krishna. The relationship is there eternally. Nitya siddha krishna bhakti. By the process it is now awakened. Sravanadi suddha citte karaye udaya. It is awakened. Love between young man and young woman, it is not artificial. It is there. But by certain circumstantially, environment, the love becomes manifest. Similarly, our love for Krishna, relationship with Krishna, is eternal.
Jivera svarupa haya nitya krishna dasa. But we have to create such situation—that eternal relation should be awakened. That is the art. That is wanted. Therefore, “Forgotten Krishna, we fallen souls, pay most heavy the illusion’s toll.” Because we have forgotten Krishna we are paying heavy, heavy toll, tax, taxation. What is that taxation? The taxation is nivartante mrtyu samsara vartmani. This human life is meant for understanding Krishna, but instead of understanding Krishna, we are understanding the so-called material science for sense gratification. This is our position. The energy which was given by nature to understand Krishna, that is being utilized how to manufacture something for sense gratification. This is going on. This is maya, illusion. Therefore it is, “Pay most heavy the illusion’s toll.” Toll tax. That we are paying because we have forgotten Krishna, therefore now we have manufactured the nuclear weapon, Russia, America, and you will have to pay heavily.
They are already paying heavily. The armament preparation is going on. More than fifty per cent of the income of the state are now being spent for this arm, heavily. Instead of other purposes, it is being spent for military strength, every state. That heavy toll we are paying. And when there is war there is no limit how much we are spending for this devastation. Why? Because we have forgotten Krishna. This is a fact. These people they have made the United Nation, unnecessarily fighting like dogs. This will not solve the problems. The problem will be solved if they pass a resolution that the whole world belongs to Krishna Not only this world. Krishna says, sarvaloka mahesvaram. Krishna is the proprietor, so why not accept? Actually He is the proprietor. Who has created this planet? We have created or father created? No. Krishna has created, but we are claiming, “This portion is American, this portion is Indian, this portion is Pakistani.”
Unnecessary. What is the value of this claim? We may claim it for fifty or sixty or a hundred years, and after that, one kick, “Get out.” Where is your claim? But they do not understand this philosophy. They are fighting. That’s all, that “This is mine. This is my land. This is my land.” They do not know. Krishna said tatha dehantara praptih. “You are American today. But tomorrow, even within America, if you become an American cow or American animal, nobody will care for you. Nobody will care for your politics.” But this art they do not know. This science they do not know. They are under illusion. They are thinking that “I shall continue to remain American, so let me waste my time for American interest,” So-called interest. There cannot be any interest. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah. Everything is being done by nature, and we are simply falsely thinking, ahankara vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate. This illusion is going on.
“Forgotten Krishna, we fallen souls, pay most heavy the illusion’s toll.” We are paying, paying. “Darkness around, all untrace. The only hope, Your Divine Grace.” This message. Simply we are in darkness.
So the same thing, it is chalked out by Krishna, and by parampara system we have understood this philosophy. Evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo viduh. So keep this parampara system. This Vyasa-puja is parampara system. Vyasa-puja means to accept this parampara system. Vyasa. Guru is the representative of Vyasadeva because he does not change anything. What Vyasadeva said, your guru will also say the same thing. Not that “So many hundreds of thousands of years have passed away. Therefore, I will give you a new formula.” No. There is no new formula. The same Vyasa-puja, the same philosophy. Simply we have to accept it. Then our life will be successful.