Acharya: One Who Teaches By Example (Part III)



IN HONOR OF SRILA PRABHUPADA’S DISAPPEARANCE DAY, WE CONCLUDE OUR 3-PART TRANSCRIPTION OF A LECTURE GIVEN BY H.D. GOSWAMI IN WHICH PRABHUPADA’S POSITION AS THE FOUNDER-ACHARYA OF ISKCON IS POWERFULLY ANALYZED, UPHELD, AND GLORIFIED. READ PART 2 HERE.

The last point I want to make is that I personally never saw Prabhupada not trying to spread Krishna Consciousness.

He could be doing anything. He could be relaxing. And if you look at his life, it’s so dynamic. Since the moment Prabhupada met his guru and began to manifest his pastimes as a pure devotee, he was always dynamically pushing forward.

There was a time when he wanted to make a lot of money to finance widespread preaching of his guru’s movement, and he was tirelessly traveling all over India. But he wasn’t just an ordinary person, a grihastha doing business. He was inspired. He was tireless. And when Krishna showed him that is not the way for you now, then he was tirelessly writing Back to Godhead and books.

He practically had heat stroke in Delhi going out in horrible temperatures, door-to-door, not being acknowledged or respected. He never stopped; he never stopped pushing. His life was continuous endeavor, continuous exertion, continuous dynamic energy. And then, of course, Krishna revealed his real position.

My last point here is that there cannot be a movement made up of people who are not individually moving. Each one of us has to be internally, in our own life, sort of a microcosmic Hare Krishna movement. We actually have to be advancing.

Today, we should somehow or other try to chant our japa, that old nemesis of the modern practitioner. Everyday we should try to do kirtan or japa in such a way that we advance, that we are moving, that my spiritual understanding today is not the same as it was yesterday or the day before, that I am personally moving. I am moving toward Krishna.

As Prabhupada puts it, for every step I take toward Krishna, he is taking several steps toward us. So when you get a group of people who individually are advancing, who are realizing Krishna more and more, are feeling greater and greater enthusiasm, and you put them all together, you get an unstoppable irresistible force, which is the real Prabhupada Hare Krishna movement.

Right here in Los Angeles, there are so many things that Prabhupada said to me. Once he gave a class and was joking with everyone, because he knew that many of his disciples were very enthusiastically selling his books and not reading them. So Prabhupada was sitting in the temple room, actually the old temple room, he was giving class and he said, “When you’re giving books and someone says to you, “Do you read these books?” You say, “No sir, I personally do not read them. But you should read them.”

When we approach someone and ask them, “Chant Hare Krishna. Read this book. Visit our temple.” What are we asking them to do? What we are telling them is, “Your life, as it is now, is not good enough.” I mean, in a nice way, we are telling people, “Wherever you are at now, wherever your life is now, you have to move forward.”

But are we doing that? Pr are we simply in a holding pattern in our spiritual life? Did we sort of plateau and its like, “Okay, I’m not really falling down, and I may not be conquering the world, but life is good and, pass the pakoras.” [laughter]

If I, in my life, have the courage- and it is something that I am not saying I do- but if I can find the courage within myself, the determination, wherever I’m at right now, to make further advancement, to further surrender my vanity and pride, and to work a little harder for Prabhupada, by doing that I gain the moral right or the spiritual right to ask other people to do it. I’m not a hypocrite. Because I can’t really ask someone to do something that I am not doing.

The more I’m advancing and making sacrifice for Prabhupada in a mature, healthy- mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually- healthy way, the more I’m empowered to ask others. I have to be moving in order to push a movement. I have to be offering myself to Krishna to ask other people to do that.

As Prabhupada said, if you approach the sun you have to become fire. That means that as we start to approach Krishna some of our false ego starts to burn off. We may think, “That doesn’t feel good.” Nevertheless, we have to keep moving in order to push a movement. And that is the vow or dedication we should somehow find within ourselves today.