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Kartik Inspirations Day 19 - Meeting Srila Prabhupada

Welcome to our Kartik inspirations, day 19.

Today we will turn our attention to Srila Prabhupada, that great, great emissary, who brought bhakti into modern times. I just recently heard from a Godbrother who once went to Oman in North Africa. When he was at the baggage belt and he watched the baggage handler, that man turned to him with a broad smile and said “Hare Krishna!” My Godbrother had thought ‘I’m bringing the Holy Name to Oman in North Africa, but Srila Prabhupada had been faster.’

For me Srila Prabhupada has, with his efforts to spread the Holy Name and Krishna Consciousness, become the North Star of my life. See, when you go in the dark night on an ocean, you need orientation. But as you look up to the various stars like Orion and the Great Bear, you think that they will provide an orientation to steer in one direction, but then you notice, “Oh, no! They change position all the time.” How can you go in one direction when your orientation point is shifting around?

But there is one star which does not shift around.  One star, which can give permanent orientation: it’s the Dhruva star, or the North Star. And when you have that, all the other constellations and stars can be understood in the proper way and the help can be taken from there. So, we need that one great star in our life who can give us the permanent orientation. And I think Prabhupada’s position is theoretically understood but practically not always accessed.

One very good way to know him is through his books and another is through his recorded lectures. You have to listen or read on three levels to really understand the whole music, the whole message. First, the information level: What is he saying? Then: What is his message behind the words , to you, the reader or listener? And final—and this is very important—What is his bhava, his own feelings for Krishna? Because feelings for Krishna can only travel from the heart of a lover to your own heart.

Today I would like to make a little exercise with all of you, where we visit Srila Prabhupada in the Radha Damodara temple in Vrindavan. Many have told me that upon visiting this temple they have received the direction they so absolutely required. Good.

Let us enter the Radha Damodara temple.                              
We pay our obeisances to the Deities on the altar and then go right.       
There is a small terrace.                                                         
We take a right hand turn and enter that small little room where there is a murti, a deity, a form of Srila Prabhupada.      
We bow down, we sit, and we start to pray.                           
Maybe we want to pray to be engaged in service.                   
Maybe we want to pray for some inspiration.                         
Maybe we want to pray for new inner strength.                      
We pray.

We feel it’s time to move on.                                                 
We get up, but we take with us the inspiration from the direct contact with that great saint, who is not bound to the laws of time, who is always there, always with us. Always just a prayer away.

Thank you very much. See you all tomorrow.



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