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Preaching in the West The Beginning
The happy day has come when we are destined to spread the message of our Great Master to distant corners of the earth. The spiritual service to which we are dedicated has now passed the bud-stage and blown fully into a flower whose aroma we have to carry across the seas with that willingness which characterized Shri Hanuman when he leapt over the wide ocean with the message of Shri Rama. This extension of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s spiritual gift to foreign countries is our humble offering at His Feet.
The Words of instruction of Shri Gaursundar are verily His beautiful body; the preachers of His Word through the ages are His secondary limbs; the teaching of Shri Gaurasundar is His potent weapon; and the Grace of Shri Hari Himself established in the Word of Shri Chaitanya is His eternal associate. Therefore, for the purpose of truly presenting Shri Gaurasundar, the Lord of the Gaudiya, to the aliens, I am addressing these few words of mine to the preachers who are about to proceed to countries beyond India:
The crest-jewel of the order of the sannyasis of the triple-staff, Shrila Prabodhananda Saraswati Goswamipad, instructed those who have assumed the triple-staff of renunciation, in the following words: “I say this, by holding the straw between my teeth, by falling at your feet and uttering hundreds of the humblest entreaties: All ye good souls, by throwing off everything to a distance, practice love to the Feet of Shri Chaitanya Who is so surpassingly Beautiful.” Following in the foot-steps of all the former devotees, I am making my submission to them to pursue the identical method of propaganda.
Shri Krishna Chaitanya Deva is the Supreme Teacher of all teachers of this world and the ideal Possessor of Intelligence that is the highest of all. It should be our only duty to constantly chant those words regarding the cleansing of the mirror of the heart of which He speaks in His Eight Precepts, Shikshastakam. We are only the bearers of the Transcendental Word. We shall never in any way hesitate to offer every honor and facility, for which they are eligible, to all persons of this world. We must pray to all for the boon of aptitude for the service of Krishna. We shall come across many persons in this world, possessing an endless variety of characters, disposed or hostile to the service of Krishna. But we should not slacken in our loving service of the Lord of our hearts and should offer due honor to all persons.
Those nations to whom you are going for the propagation of the chant of Hari are mounted on the summit of proficiency in all affairs of this world. They are practiced in the exercise of their rational judgement, are endowed with the quality of good manners and are superior and glorious in many respects. Therefore, we should maintain our hope unshaken that they will prove to be worthiest recipients of the heard transcendental Voice if we unlock to them the gates of the natural exhibition of abiding argument and enduring judgement. If we unpack our baggage of the genuine discourse of Hari by relying on the qualities of forbearance it will certainly receive the garland of welcome from the hearts of nations gifted with keen intelligence.
We must not look at the world by being weighed down with the mentality that is oppressed with the sense of deficiency or otherwise, by the poverty or otherwise, of the display of worldly erudition, rank, etc. by any particular person. This is the state of forgetfulness of our real selves. All persons of this world are really superior to us in every way as far as this world is concerned. All those matters are not any commodities that are fit to be coveted by us. We are merely beggars with the triple-staff of renunciation devoted to the chanting of the Words of Shri Chaitanya. We have no more nor any higher desirable object than the Pleasure of serving Shri Hari-Guru-Vaishnava.
We are not the operators of the instrument, but we are only the instruments. We must always bear this in mind. The triple-staff Bhiksus are the living mridangas of Shri Chaitanya. We must constantly give forth our music at the lotus feet of Shri Guru. We should practice the function of the peripatetic preacher, pari-vrajaka , of carrying aloft the victorious banner of the Commands of Divine Shri Gaurasundar by constant submission to Shri Guru and the Vaishnavas, fixing our eye on the pole-star of the heard transcendental Voice. We must always bear in mind that we have been initiated in the vow of the peripatetic preacher for the sole purpose of promulgating the Heart’s Desire of Shri Guru and Gauranga. If we are constantly inspired with the duty of discoursing about the Truth under the guidance of Shrî Guru, no hankering after travelling, nor any veiled form of desire other than chanting of Hari-Nrima, will ever strike any terrors into our hearts.
The vowed service of the Name, the Transcendental Abode and the Desire of Shrî Gaurasundar, is our only eternal function. We are BhikLus of the triple-staff. The in-gathering of the smallest alms, even such as are gathered by the bees, is our only means for serving the manifestation of the Manifestive Divine Form of Shri Chaitanya Math all over the world. We are neither enjoyers nor abnegators of mundane entities. We recognize as our highest objective the desire for carrying with veneration the shoes of the order of the Paramahaµsas .
It will be our only duty, to proclaim to all the people that complete reliance on the Transcendental Absolute Truth is by far the highest form of freedom and one that is infinitely superior to the partial independent mastery over the distorted reflected entity in the shape of this mundane world. By holding the straw between our teeth in supplication we shall carry aloft the banner of that real freedom to all persons. We should be constantly engaged in chanting the exhilarating Name of Shri Hari by adopting as our fundamental enlightening principle that the highest path is the path of submission, endorsed by Shri Rupa with the further exhortation to cherish the unwavering faith that He will always protect us.
Gaudiya Math in England
My Lord Marquess,
It is with feelings of great joy that I, on behalf of the members of the Gaudiya Mission in India, do hail this opportunity of conveying our hearty and most respectful congratulations to Your Lordship for kindly accepting a prominent position in the British Cabinet as the “Secretary of State for India”. Being purely and thoroughly religious people, although we are not very conversant and very keenly concerned with political issues, we may make bold to state this much: that Your Lordship is perhaps the only person in the whole of Great Britain who enjoys the most un?inching con?dence of the vast people of this country and who can most ably guide their destinies in this critical moment, and we are sure many of their legitimate aspirations will be ful?lled so as to tighten more closely the silken tie of friendshiip and goodwill between the British and the Indians.
So far as we are concerned, Your Lordship being the most distinguished patron and President of our London Gaudiya Mission Society, it is a proud occasion of great importance and honour to us to express our most heart-felt felicitations for the signi?cant appointment. May the Supreme Lord grant Your Lordship a long life and glorious success in Your Lordship’s mission, and may He bestow His choicest blessings on Your Lordship.
With the kindest regards to Your Lordship,
In the service of the Supreme Lord,
Shri Siddhanta Saraswati
(quoted in Gaudiya, Vol. 35, No. 44)
“We had several very earnest and important discussions with His Lordship who had from the very beginning of our activities in London encouraged and hellped us in all possible ways. His Lordship has presided over several of our lectures and has very kindly become the President of the Society we have recently started in England with its headquarters in London. His Lordship has also very kindly taken a good deal of trouble in going through the manuscript of my ‘Lectures’ and has kindly consented to write a foreword to it. We have received many letters from His Lordship and in most of those letters he assured me of his perpetual sympathy, in such encouraging words as ‘I need hardly assure you, that you have my continual good wishes for your work in this country.’”
(LrRila Bhakti HÂday Ban MahRirRij, “First Year in England”, as quoted in ibid.)
“The 60th anniversary of the birth of the President of the GauÎRiya MaÊh, Calcutta, was celebrated at a reception at Grosvenor House, given by Bhakti HÂday Ban and members of his Mission in London.
“The Marquess of Zetland, offering the Mission his best wishes, commented on the fact that India had always been the home of spiritual movements and expressed the opinion that in times like the present, when the minds of men were distracted by a multiplicity of material considerations, it was a matter for congratulation that, whether from India or any other country, there should still be this great spiritual force.
“The MahRirRija of BurdwRin hoped that the advent of the Mission would result in continued goodwill and good fellowship bettween India and Britain, of which there was a very great need at present.’
(quoted from Reuters, February 2nd, 1934, in ibid.)
Bon Maharaja in Berlin
Berlin, November 10, 1934
TridaˆÎi SwRimRi B.H. Ban, Preacher-in-charge of the London GauÎRiya MaÊh, delivered a most erudite and interesting lecture on MahRiprabhu’s philosophy in German at the Berlin University in the presence of a large gathering of scholars and men of learning. It was appreciated by the audience. SwRimRiji is receiving sympathies from all quarters. British ambassador in Berlin is much impressed and has arranged for interview of SwRimRiji with high of?icial on his return from lecture tour on December 20. He starts on Monday, the 12th of November for Leipzig to deliver a lecture at Leipzig University.
THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
Thirty years after the disappearance of LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi †hRikura, his disciple LrRila Bhaktivedanta SwRimRi MahRirRija left the holy land of VrndRivana, India and sailed to New York City to introduce Krishna consciousness to the Western world. In 1966 he established ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Within ten years the name of Krishna was known internationally.
This extraordinary empowerment is unequalled and unimaginable. He attributed his success to humbly following the divine order of his gurudeva, PrabhupRida LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi †hRikura, who wanted his disciples to preach the message of LrRi Chaitanya MahRiprabhu in the West. In LrRi Chaitanya-CaritRimrta it was predicted by Chaitanya MahRiprabhu Himself:
prithivite Riche yata nagara Ridi grRima
sarvatra prachRir hoibe mora nRima
“One day My name will be sung and preached in every town and village in the world.”
In appreciation of LrRila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SwRimRi MahRirRija’s worldwide preaching success, LrRila Bhakti Rak›aka LrRidhara MahRirRija spoke the following on behalf of all of the GauÎRiya Vai›ˆavas around the world: “I consider him to be saktyRivesa avatara, and it is confirmed in his writings on his spiritual journey through the Atlantic. How he landed there in America, and the nature of his beginning the movement, his intense degree of dedication to Krishna and dependence, and how much he made himself empty of any other desire than the order of his gurudeva— so emply that Krishna came down to help him, and it is corroborated that Krishna worked on his behalf.
In his poem, Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krishna, we find him pleading with Krishna, “My dear Brother, Your good fortune will come to you only when LrRimatRi RRidhRirRiˆRi becomes pleased with You.” Seeing our gurudeva, LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi †hRikura, as RRidhRirRiˆRi’s delegation and his order as Her divine service, he humbly submitted that he did not feel himself worthy or fit to discharge his divine service, yet he dedicated himself to that purpose. He was so earnest in his prayer to Krishna to discharge the duty that he had been given by LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi †hRikura, that divine power came down to help him.
Otherwise, it is impossible. It is not a thing of the ordinary level that anyone can do. The highest thing has been taken down to the lowest position so extensively. It cannot but be divine power, embodied and in a great intensity and magnitude. So, saktyRivesa-avatRira, I cannot but take him to be so.
The Banner of Divine Love
Our Guru MahRirRija 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 LrRila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SwRimRi MahRirRija gave him those ten years, with his unparalleled success in fulfilling our Guru MahRirRija’s dream of spreading Krishna consciousness in the Western world. We are happy, we are pleased, we are proud.”
PrabhupRida LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi †hRikura wanted every man woman and child to be brought under the banner of LrRi Krishna Chaitanya MRihaprabhu. To this end, all of his sincere followers are preaching his message of divine love all over the world.