February 13, 1999 VNN3037
Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Visits Bali (2)
BY SRIDAM SAKHA DASA
BALI, Feb 13 (VNN) Saturday December 19, 1998 Bali evening class
The next day even more people turned up for Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja's evening class, and the house was filled to overflowing.
Srila Maharaja began to describe how by chanting the holy names of God one can become liberated from the chain of birth and death. Otherwise:
jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur
dhruvam janma mrtasya ca
tasmad apariharye rthe
na tvam socitum arhasi
(For one who has taken his birth, death if certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.
Bhagavad gita 2.27)
"If anyone is taking birth, he will surely die, and if one has died, then he will surely take birth. The conditioned souls in this world are taking birth and death continually. Only if one chants the names God can one cross this endless ocean of birth and death. Otherwise no-one else can help you, and you'll be miserable for eternity.
"Once Gautama Buddha was in Vaisali city. He was preaching religious principles: 'Don't kill anyone. Always be merciful. Don't lie...' What to speak of killing another human he said, one should never kill any worm, insect, tree or creepers needlessly, otherwise one will have to suffer.
"In that place a very young boy had died and his mother was very grief stricken.
Carrying the boy's body she came weeping to Buddha saying: 'This is my son and he is dead. He was everything to me, but now he has gone. So I also want to die.' Buddha replied: 'I will bring him back to life, but to do this I need some salt from a house in which no-one has ever died.' The mother went away, thinking that she would be able to find some. But although she searched from morning to evening, at every house at which she asked a friend or relative had died. At last she was able to realize fully how death is inevitable for all beings in this world, and, by the time she had returned to Buddha, she had become free from her blinding attachment to her child.
"So we should know this. You, I and everyone will die. Every one who has taken birth will die, so we should not worry. We should realize it very strongly. This is truth.
Otherwise there is no other truth in this world. God is true, but most people have no realization of this. But death we all know. We should understand that there is a controlling power, and to be united with that power is called 'yoga.' Out of ignorance anyone may deny the existence of God or the soul, but no-one can deny the existence of death. Such ignorant persons will also have to admit that this life is miserable. As we see, there are so many problems. I think you know, in the last two or three days a war has begun and a bombardment is going on. Suffering and sorrow must come, surely.
If you want to be happy, and have calm and peace of mind and heart and you don't want to die, then chant the names of and remember the supreme personality of Godhead. He will protect you because he has promised this in Bhagavad gita:
kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati
("O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes. Bhagavad gita 9.31)
"'Those who take shelter of me will be protected from suffering.' In so many ways Krsna protected the Pandavas against their enemies time and time again. For example in the battle of Mahabharata, Bhismadeva pitamaha was fighting against the Pandavas.
Although daily he was killing lakhs of soldiers the Pandavas remained unharmed by him.
As time went by Duryodhana started to become worried because of this, and suspected that the reason for it was that Bhismadeva pitamaha was affected by his attachment to the Pandavas. Duryodhana feared that the Pandavas would be able to kill him and win the war because of this. So he went to Bhismadeva pitamaha and revealed his mind. When Bhismadeva pitamaha heard Duryodhana's fears, he pacified him by promising to give Duryodhana's wife a boon by which she would not become a widow. Duryodhana became very happy to hear this, thinking 'now I'll get the throne and become the monarch of all.' Bhismadeva pitamaha had told Duryodhana to bring his wife to see him at midnight, but when the time came to go they were unable to because of a very heavy storm. Knowing everything that was happening, Krsna used this situation to help his devotees.
Inviting Draupadi onto His chariot and sheltering her with His umbrella, He take took her to the tent where Bhismadeva pitamaha was staying. Following the direction of Krsna, Draupadi covered her face with her veil and entered the tent. Although absorbed in meditation, Bhismadeva pitamaha was able to feel someone's presence and he opened his eyes. Seeing her standing before him with folded hands, he then bestowed the blessing on her that she would not become widow as a result of the battle. After he had spoken these words, Draupadi then removed the veil from her face. 'Oh!' Bhismadeva pitamaha exclaimed, 'You're not Banamati (Duryodhana's wife) you're Draupadi. Who brought you here?'
"So if you are a devotee Krsna will always protect you. There are so many other examples of how Krsna protected the Pandavas. Krsna tells us how we can know who we are, and how God can be realized even though we have these material senses.
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti te jnanam
(Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth. Bhagavad gita 4.34)
"As a caitya guru Krsna will inspire us in our mind to go to any realized person, a tattva-darsinah who is nourishing and supporting this world, who is realized. But you must go in the mood of pariprasnena, submissive inquiry, not in a mood to defeat. Take shelter from him with a serving mood. Try to serve him. If anyone is giving you $100 a day then you must serve him or you will not get any money. So if someone is offering this most high class of wealth by which you can overcome all troubles and miseries then we should be so ready to try to serve him. What does he want? Not wealth, reputation or worldly things, but only some sraddha in the Supreme Personality Of Godhead, and then he'll easily give you his mercy and you'll be able to perform bhakti. That is why Krsna has said:
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
(Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear. Bhagavad gita 18.66)
"All jivas should try to surrender to God unconditionally, and then He'll quickly save us. He has also said:
satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
(Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion. Bhagavad gita 9.14)
"that we must do kirtan and chant the names of Krsna, especially in kali yuga.
"Before the battle of Mahabharat broke out, Krsna tried to prevent it by making a compromise between the two sides. But although He went to Duryodhana and his brothers for this purpose they refused to agree with His proposals and so war was declared.
Trying to persuade Krsna to fight on their side, both Duryodhana and Arjuna went to meet with Him early one morning. Duryodhana was so anxious to get Krsna's help that he had arrived first. Because Krsna was still sleeping, Duryodhana had taken his place next to Krsna's head waiting for Him to awaken. After some time Arjuna arrived there too, and he took his place near Krsna's feet. Both Arjuna and Duryodhana had a family relationship with Krsna. Arjuna was Krsna's cousin brother and was also married to Krsna's sister, while the daughter of Duryodhana was married to Krsna's son. When Krsna awoke, Arjuna was the first person He saw, so He greeted Arjuna and asked him what he wanted. Before Arjuna had time to reply, Duryodhana quickly said: 'I was here before him, so you should hear me first. I want You to be on our side in the war.' Arjuna was worried because of this, but Krsna, even though he never takes sides, will always help those who are his devotees. But this is not partiality. For instance, those who go outside will get sunlight, but those who stay indoors won't. But we cannot blame the sun for this. So those who are devotees of Krsna will be saved by Him. Krsna told Duryodhana that He'd promised not to take up any weapon in this war, but that His armies were available. Krsna then gave Duryodhana the option to choose between Him or His armies. Hearing this, Duryodhana thought: 'If Krsna doesn't fight, then He's no use to me. I had thought that He would use His chakra, and kill so many.' So Duryodhana chose Krsna's armies, and left, feeling very pleased. Arjuna then said to Krsna: 'I was very worried, but now I'm happy, I've been saved.' Krsna replied: 'But why are you so happy? I am not fighting for you and now you'll have to feed me as well.' Arjuna said: 'But if you sit in my chariot then I'll give you the reins to my mind and intelligence and you will guide me. I am surrendering myself to you, O Supreme Personality of Godhead.
yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama
("Wherever there is Krsna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion. Bhagavad-gita 18.78)"
"Where there is Arjuna and Krsna on chariot, there will always be victory. So if we are surrendering to the lotus feet of Krsna we can win the war with this world.
Sunday December 20, 1998
On Sunday morning Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja and the touring party were taken by Ananta prabhu to the new temple which has been built over the past year, "Ananta Gaudiya matha". It is at least an hour's drive out of Den Pasar the capital of Bali, and is situated in beautiful tropical countryside. When we arrived we were astonished to see the progress that had been made. Where last year there had been no more than a hole in the ground were now situated three fully erected buildings, the main one being a temple, and, adjacent to it living quarters for Srila Maharaja and a kitchen. The two storied temple building was about thirty feet wide, ninety feet long, and fourty five feet high. The ground floor was open, consisting mostly of a prasada hall. The rest of the building was supported by pillars. At either end of the building were staircases, one for general use, and the other for the use of the pujari for quick access to the kitchen. When we climbed the stairs to the first floor where the temple will be, Srila Maharaja said that the gap for the doors in the simhasana should be widened. The simhasana had been designed so that devotees were able to circumambulate it. As Srila Maharaja looked outside at the kitchen building, he pointed out to Ananta Krsna prabhu that it had been built too high, and somewhat blocked the otherwise picturesque view. Although Ananta Krsna prabhu immediately offered to have the building made lower, Srila Maharaja told him that it was not so important.
Srila Maharaja's quarters were situated about thirty feet away from the temple in an oval shaped building, measuring about fifty feet by thirty feet. The roof was thatched, and was supported by a great number of strip like joists, forming an attractive looking vaulted ceiling. Although the thatched roof is frequently rained upon, we were told that it would last for ten years or more. The temple site is situated on an area which is considered sacred by the local Balinese people, and their original temple is still there, which Ananta and Gokul prabhus are planning to renovate for them. The land behind Srila Maharaja's quarters sloped away quite steeply revealing an idyllic view of palm fringed terraced paddy fields embraced by a small river at the foot of the property. All of the buildings had been built according to traditional Balinese design with many examples of beautiful wooden and stone carving work. Srila Maharaja was very pleased to see how much work had been done, and said that he very much looked forward to being able to come and stay there in the near future to rest and write.
While we had been in Bali Srila Maharaja's evening programmes had transformed the once tranquil house into a bustling and surcharged arena of spiritual dynamism. Many guests attended, becoming enthused and inspired by hearing Srila Maharaja speak, witnessing the vibrant kirtan and by relishing tasty prasada. Ananta prabhu, Rangavati didi and family and friends had all worked tirelessly around the clock to facilitate this, especially the kitchen crew. Srila Maharaja now thanked them all from the bottom of his heart saying that he had become so indebted that he would never be able to repay them.
The next day, Monday December 21, Srila Maharaja and his travelling party departed Bali for Perth, Australia.
All of the tours completed to date are archived at the following site:
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