Loving Renunciation. August 16, 2015. From Chile.
My dear devotees. Receive all my affection from Chile.
We are celebrating this historic moment where Gurudeva Atulananda enters the renounced order of life. The fourth ashram, stage of life, which are brahmacari, grihasta, vanaprasta and finally sannyasa.
Srila Prabhupada said at one point reaching this stage of life is required for a human being. What to say about a spiritual master who is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and has dedicated his life to preaching in Chile and the world. I am fortunate to be considered among his friends and brothers and give him the sacred order of sannyasa on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and my sannyasa guru Srila Bhakti Raskak Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaj.
It is an honor, a joy and also a formality because before Srila Prabhupada we are directly his sons, but he also wanted that we become sannyasis at some point. For Gurudeva Atulananda it is even more striking because there are several of his disciples who are sannyasis and are participating in this sacred delivery without envy, rather they are participating with all their desire and with all their soul. That allows us to experience the great joy of Krishna consciousness which up to now has been known as the Vrinda family in Chile. It is proliferating, growing prosperously and there is more service for all of you. This is one of the gifts that Krishna gives us in this life: He gives us service. Krishna Service is not mental service, it is service done wholeheartedly. Krishna Service is very essential because you can connect with the Supreme Personality of God from morning to night. It's great and glorious, life-changing.
Today we are gathered here in this sacred site Ekachakra which is also a gift that Gurudeva Atulananda offered to Srila Prabhupada, one of the many gifts which he has given in his life. Gurudeva has always been giving away his love and everything that he can give, he gifted the world with three children: Pandit, Mohan and Harijan, children of Sarvakanti Devi who Krsna shortly came to get some time ago.
This is how the Lord works, when He someone to remain here, He maintains them in this world, and as He wishes, they are taken. Gurudeva Atulananda gifts to the world are many and in essence they are gifts of Srila Prabhupada because the devotee has nothing for himself, all that the devotee has is that which belongs to Sri Guru.
This is emphasized by Srila Bhakti Raskak Sridara Maharaja, who said that to save and heal this world one must always remember three things:
1. All beautiful women in the world belong to Krishna. He has the right to claim for His gopis. If by chance you marry one then you have received the permission to take care of Krsna's gopis and you have the extraordinary license to invite little souls to this world, very beautiful souls and important souls.
2. All the money in the world without exception, all the opulence, all lands, rivers, mountains, clouds, galaxies, etc., belong to Narayan. Even what you have in your pockets that too belongs to Narayan and should be used for Narayan.
And the third recommendation for great success in spiritual life:
3. All success, all the fame, all amenities, all powers, empowerment, success in conferences, in pujas, yagnas, everything you've done successfully in your life belongs to Srila Prabhupada, to Guru.Why? Because the guru is not an individual, the guru is the representative of tattva (truth). He is representative of the entire guru parampara, a representative of the Divine Will and in this way naturally he represents Srila Prabhupada.
Today is a very special sannyasa day of our Gurudeva. I was fortunate to be associated with Chile yatra as a witnessed by Mathura Mandal and Kalpa vriksha and some other former devotees, long time ago, even before the founding of the Vrinda family, so to speak. I stay always captivated by Chile. I do not say this just to get along with you, but I was captivated by the marathon of Puento Alto, by the affection, humor, art and the banner that devotees had at the time. Even then Gurudeva Atulanda was the banner and that continues today.
It has almost been like a marriage. Krishna brought us together, Srila Prabhupada brought us together. The desire of His divine providence so that we could put our oars in the boat of our spiritual master and begin rowing together on both sides so that the ship could move forward.
Over time the ship became bigger and bigger and people were getting into it. Today we are already a lot of people paddling, no? So we continue to paddle on the boat in hopes of going very far across the ocean of repeated birth and death. When one's arms begin to tire, the other person is still rowing and saying come on, come on, do not loosen here, rather paddle harder the road is very far to come out of the illusion! We appreciate the presence of those who have paddled with us such as Prabhu Kanka, Krishna Kirtan, Vrajapriti, Kadamba, the past, present and future because there are many people who have helped.
What to say about our sannyasis who are sitting here? Chileans (well no really Chileans, sannyasis do not belong to a country) they know no limits, no borders, they are the souls of the world. That's the nicest thing we are experiencing here today. I said something this morning and I'm going to repeat it because I consider it to be essential: the example of Srila Atulananda Acharya is symbolic because it really represents the resignation of all of us, Srila Prabhupada's resignation over the world.
Representing Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself by taking sannyas and leaving Vishnupriya Devi, who was completely rendered in love for Him. However, Mahaprabhu left because He felt the internal appeal to be so strong. So He went where Keshava Bharati was and accepted the renounced order that shook the world. In that very moment a sacrifice began. the sacrifice of our mission, the sacrifice of our path, a beautiful sacrifice began. That is why we say loving resignation, here we do not say hateful resignation, here it does not say give up because this world is so bad, no. It is renunciation based on the world of Krishna because it is so beautiful that we want to give him a substantial contribution, and this substantial contribution for all of you is called Chile yatra and for the world it is called the Vrinda Mission.
Because Vrinda Mission is a service or sacrifice that Gurudeva Atulananda has done, and I also want to remember the great devotee who has been one of the great inspirations on this path, our most beloved spiritual brother Srila Bhakti Bhimala Harijan Swami Maharaja of Colombia. He is part of this trio, because there were not two, but there were three of us pushing this effort. Actually, we do not feel qualified as spiritual masters, we take this challenge, this service because we feel that Srila Prabhupada deserved to have representatives here who are dedicated wholeheartedly to the people, the Mother Earth, rivers, etc. Our thinking at the time was: "Better a blind uncle than no uncle, so it will be up to us (the blind guys) because there is no choice." That was the origin, as for how Harijan Maharaj and I spoke about this when we started this task.
To assume the role of spiritual master is a great daring challenge, becoming a representative of the connection with the Infinite, because are we really that? No, but we hope to become good representatives, but Srila Prabhupada was and he gave us his example. I invite all of you to accompany us in this resignation today for Srila Prabhupada. There is much to give up, everyone knows what he/ she has to resign and if you do not know well then you can learn it in the company of devotees. The first form of renunciation is to accept the four regulative principles, which for us is not a renunciation but rather a release. Krishna is freeing us of things that are harmful.
The resignation of our family is the renunciation of personal gain and the gain of Krishna and His devotees, and for us, all souls are devotees in potency, our service is focused on keeping the Ashram open to everyone. The proof is that we now have a new home in the Brazil neighborhood where the doors of the temple of Sri Radha Govinda are open to everyone, so that everyone in Santiago can get to.
The same in La Serena, Concepción or wherever, even in Mexico, having the doors open to the service so people can contact the Holy Name, with prasadam, the essential spiritual literature, with courses on the essence of life and they can actively participate in Krishna Consciousness. A person who likes Krishna Consciousness but is not actively involved is exactly like a bee outside the honey jar. He is perceiving that something is there but can not enter and eventually flies away because one will not be able to maintain very long just by looking and not tasting the sweet nectar.
The service that our teachers have emphasized and given us is so extraordinary that it enables us to become Gurus. One must not forget that there is no difference between diksa and siksa guru. How many of you give lectures on Krishna Consciousness? All of you are siksa guru. Who has given spiritual advice in Krishna Consciousness to a person? This is also the work of siksa guru. Giving and receiving - dadati pratigrihnati-loving exchanges means fostering love, trust, security, shelter, participation. That makes a siksa guru. What to say of the presidents of the temples that are siksa gurus from morning until night, rather the presidents of temples and sannyasis are more important than us coming to visit occasionally. However, one needs the other, work together for the same cause there is no competition. The association of devotees is what brings joy.
The joy of renunciation. Renouncing means leaving everything behind which does not produce real joy, everything that does not produce ecstasy and spirituality. That is what we must resign. That is the example that we see today. With these words of happiness I take leave of you today and ask that everyone who can make an effort to meet at the Eco Truly Park for Maha Mela in October this year come so we can continue celebrating the renunciation of our dear Gurudeva Atulananda.
Goura Premanandi, Jay Srila Prabhupada!
Your always well-wisher,
BA Paramadvaiti Swami