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"Den levande varelsens sanna intresse består av att ta sig ur den okunnighet som tvingar honom att utstå upprepad födelse och död. Den enda utvägen är att överlämna sig till Gudomens Högsta Personlighet genom Dennes representant. Utan att utföra hängiven tjänst till Gudomens Högsta Personlighet, Vasudeva, kan man omöjligtvis bli helt obunden av denna materiella värld, och inte heller kan man på något sätt erhålla verklig kunskap."

(Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.36-37)

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Vaisnavafilosofins hemlighet

SRI RAMACANDRA AND TURE LEADERSHIP

av Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Swami,
från chatten 17 april 2005, infö Herren Ramacandras uppenbarelsedag.

Sri Ramacandra Ki jay!
Ayodhya ki jay!
Bhakta Hanuman ki jay!
Dasaratha ki jay!
Valmiki ki jay!
Tulsidas ki jay!
Nitai Gaura Prema Nanda Haribolo!
Sri Nama sankirtana ki jay!
All glories to the assembled devotees!
All yatras ki jay!
Srila Prabhupada ki jay!
Srila Sridhar Maharaj ki jay!
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta ki jay!

Everything is always under the management of someone

Lord Ramacandra is the personification of trustworthiness in a governor. It's a very crucial issue because all of us are governors to some extent. Even within the temple the temple president governs the community. to a certain extent Even in the family the father and the mother govern the life of their children.

The mayor governs the local affairs of a village or town. The principle of government, its so obviously a crucial issue, because we are always affected by some kind of governing principles and governing people. Just like the money in this world I always going to be managed by someone. It is obvious the natural resources, the management of the prime necessities of life ...

Everything is under the management of someone always. So if we are talking about the principle of government and about the most trustworthy leader who has manifested in the personality of the supreme king of the kings, the lord of the lords, the supreme personality of godhead in his merciful incarnation as Lord Ramacandra.

And we are talking about someone who is giving us very much guidance, very much hope for our future. As a matter of fact in India even today when people dream of or speak of some kind of perfect situation for the world and for administration they immediately invoke the presence and the blessing by saying Rama Raj. Rama Raj is the kingdom of Lord Rama. When he was governing the planet the happiness of the citizens knew no boundaries.

Understanding of Ramacandra is of great importance

A sacred king, a sacred monarchy had so much to give to the world. What is the difference between monarchy in its appropriate application and democracy? Well of course thats an extensive subject and our people in this world consider nowadays democracy to be a superior system because democracy somehow or other apparently can dethrone an abusive and irresponsible leader and try to substitute him with an appropriate person.

Anyhow we will not go into the subject of political science this morning. But the matter of fact, what ever system is there, what ever type of government is there, if it is monarchy or democracy or what ever, those who do have the power, those who do have the responsibility for the wellbeing of the citizens their success and failure depends their understanding of Ram Raj.

You see if anybody in this world is depending on you that is a major challenge and it is such a task for you that you cannot under any circumstances give them up, abandon them, forsake them. That is not acceptable. And therefore the understanding of Ramacandra and his kingdom, his teachings is of great importance for you as an individual rather than focusing on the mistakes of others who govern in an appropriate way their dependants, citizens or members of a larger family.

And of course when we talk about such things we focus very strongly on temple communities, we focus very strongly on what we call our spiritual family with its respective responsibilities. Some of us have greater responsibility, some of us have smaller ones, but almost everybody has some dependants, some responsibilities. So therefore it is very very important for us to take this matter serious to the maximum extent and to become immediately blessed by Lord Ramacandra to not forsake our dependants and to do anything and everything within our possibilities so that our dependants can be proud of us and our performance.

Profound and secure relationship

For example, parents have such a great duty to their children because their children are hopelessly lost without the parents. Its obvious. But you see the main focus I am putting on here is the very natural inclination of a dependant to have a worshipping attitude toward his protectors. Just like the little children run into the arms of the parents with great affection and throwing themselves into their arms. They dont do that with every stranger. Rather they are like: "Oh, dont touch me. Dont bother me. Who are you?" If you want to win over the trust of a child it takes an effort. You have to break through the barriers of fear, to actually make the person feel comfortable and secure.

So this is a very important thing. You compare the relationship with little children you find out that those who are under your protection should always feel comfortable and secure. But that comfort and security in a deeper level can only be accomplished if what you are giving to them is connected with the supreme guardian and the supreme protector of all living entities. Otherwise without this connection with the supreme guardian, what ever protection you may offer, it is just the shallow imitation, it is not true, because in the end you are going to favour your own ego even over your children, even over your parents.

Lord Ramacandra the governor of ideals

Therefore it is so essential to understand that relationships of that kind have to be very profound and very secure. And everything in this world is secure by a connection with Lord Ramacandra. If you accept that the supreme king Lord Ramacandra is the governor of ideals of your life and everyones life you will protect those who depend upon you with very great care. You will give them the chance to come to you and to never be forsaken. Just like I invite you to come here every morning for class.

Now, why should you do that, why should you come here? Well, the only reason to come here would be to get something beneficial for your heart and for your whole life from listening to a morning class which is accomplished just by the fact that we read from the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Bhagavad Gita and such holy books, that they will certainly enliven us and enlighten us on different topics because thats what whey where written for. Nevertheless we also need somebody who is a real well-wishing speaker, who is actually taking care of our soul, just like a mother carries a baby through a dangerous position by giving shelter to the baby with her own body. If a danger comes, the mother will not put the baby to the danger. She will put her back to the danger to make herself the shelter of the baby.

True guardianship

This is the crucial way, how truly guardianship and protection is being delivered when you are ready to forsake your own wellbeing for the sake of those who you have accepted to be their guardian. This is a heavy demand. It is not cheap. Now you try to apply that to the level of a president of a temple, towards all the people who live in the temple or you try to apply that to a governor position who is governing his people. This is a very high responsibility. Truly spoken, who is going to forsake his own security to save those who are dependant on him? This is not ordinary. We see nowadays, that in great amounts the governors are simply raping and reaping everything from the country which they can get their hands on. And then they make all kinds of twisting manoeuvres that they can take large amounts of money into their private accounts.

And other things... Even international laws protect them, that they are a kind of immune and nobody can question them. Like sometimes they have laws in countries, which presidents and ministers cannot be subjected to the normal justice system unless that immunity has been removed by the congress or something like that. They are making laws which even protect them in their stealing procedures. Who can believe in anything???

But it is not our point here to point out all the deficiencies of our modern leaders. This is not the point. Our point here is quiet different. It is the point of trying to make a real union between the lords wish and our lifes execution. That is something between you and Lord Ramacandra. Forget about the others! Just think about Lord Rama and his graciousness, his nobility, his love, his sincerity in every aspect and how he showed us the way how to act in regards to our responsibility. Sri Ramacandra and his Ayodhya Lila, his time in the forest, his battle against Ravana, his acceptance of Bibishana as his loyal servant and future king of Lanka, his interaction with his devotees

Every service is important

Just when we remember the spider, who is doing the spider service by carrying a few little dust grains and helping to make the bridge to go to Lanka. And Hanuman comes by with these huge rocks and he is just about to step on the spider, who is coming with his little dust. Hanuman said:
   "Sorry, little spider. Could you just move out of the way? I am bringing big rocks. You know, this little dust you are bringing... Sorry, you know... Please get out of the way! Dont stop my service!"
So the spider goes to the side and cries:
   "My life is useless. I was trying to do some service for Rama and Hanuman, who is his real devotee, he really showed me that my little dust... Whats the use of it? Forget it ... With these rocks he is carrying..."
And the spider was just crying and crying:
   "I am not useful. I cannot do any service."
And Lord Rama came as he was supervising the construction of everything and he saw his little devotee crying there. So he said:
   "Please! Why are you crying? You should be happy when you do devotional service. Devotional service is meant to make you happy!"
The spider said:
   "Sorry, I dont want to say anything."
Rama:
   "Please tell me now, what made you unhappy! Its very serious."
The spider said:
   "Hanuman told me I am useless, I should get out of the way because I was just carrying a little dust to help. I thought some dust will be helpful also in making this bridge and ..."
   Ohhh Lord Rama said, "you were helping to make my bridge. Ohhh, I am soo happy with you. I am so grateful you were doing this."
The spider said:
   "Really??? Really??? You think that it was worth anything? My little dust I was carrying?"
   "Oh, my dear, real devotion comes from the heart."
Lord Rama said:
   "HANUMAAAN, please come here!"
And Hanuman was like "HMMMM, the Lord is calling. It sounds serious."
So he came there and said:
   "Yes, my dear Lord Rama?"
   "Hanuman, did you ignore the service of little spider brother? Did you say anything which made little spider brother unhappy?"
   "Well, I I I think so..." Hanuman said.
   "You will give your obeisances to him! And you please understand that to me everybody is equally dear doesnt matter how big the rocks are he carries!", Lord Rama said.
And then Hanuman asked for forgiveness, and the spider could understand that it was just a big misunderstanding and he said:
   "Yes, thank you. Now I can go on with my service."

Every service is important. It doesnt matter, what service it is if it is blessed or if it is coming in line of service. I mean I am not saying that a very advanced person is on the same level like someone who is only doing what ever he likes to do and calls it service. No, its not like that. But the true attempt to serve the Lord is always recoginzed by the Lord and he will not make any qualifications, so to speak to disqualify the ones service because of the excellence of another service. That concept is material. It is not spiritual.

So the sweet king, the Rama Raj, the governor of Ayodhya Lord Rama was of that type of a king that he wanted to see everybody happy. He could not tolerate that somebody was not happy in his kingdom. These are the teachings we are getting from the Ramayana. This is what is being handed down in our parampara. And this is also which we saw being practiced by Srila Prabhupada. He also could not tolerate if a devotee was unhappy. And if one devotee was making another devotee unhappy, that was very strongly disapproved by Srila Prabhupada. For example, one time a devotee came back after he had been out in maya for some time and this had happened frequently. Then they come back and get nasty comments or not a real welcoming spirit, forgiving welcoming spirit. I am sure; somebody goes away or ignores the service. But a truly soft hearted Vaishnava should always be accommodating and should be so happy to see another brother coming back, because when he comes back he may have totally realized his mistakes, repenting...

The nature of the false ego

But, you know, we all got an ego. And if we get crashed on our ego, the ego is the one which makes us run away or offend. The ego is not really so pleased when we are submissive to everyone and happily surrendered to the course of the spiritual master. Because the ego cannot grow in that situation. It is becoming like a snake of poison, but with the fangs removed. Inside the devotional atmosphere, engaged in service, these fangs are removed and you feel very nice like:" Hmm it is very nice to be a devotee in this movement, it is very nice to eat prasadam, actually it is also very nice that we are making a temple..."

Of course inside it is ego because it is "my temple", because it is "my family". The ego always tries to come up with some last minute invention of assuming proprietorship of something. So therefore the ego will say: "I am very surrendered to my Guru and my Guru is, well, my Guru... He is special. I mean, to say the truth, he is the best. I wont tell to everybody. You know, he is so extraordinary, he is sooo incredibly lucky, its just unbelievable, because you know, he got a disciple ... That disciple, I wont say much about I, you know, but that really made him the best of the Gurus. That he could save such a fallen soul like me, who was surely the most fallen of the fallen of the fallen... But because he saved me he showed that he is the greatest, with such a great saved soul..."

Thats the ego. The ego won again. You are supposed to think that you are lower than the worm in the stool and you made up the winning round by saying "Yeah, i am the best worm in the stool. Ever ..." Its true. There is one million different ways the ego acts. If it just would be one or two or three then we could memorize them and just be sure not to get caught up with it. But its not that easy. Any kinds of prejudicing, any kinds of sympathy, like "They are my people, my guys, yeahhh..." You meat a german somewhere in africa "Wow you are from Germany, from where? Its such agreat thing, you are from there." And immediately we have a full nationalistic feast of egos going on. As if the guy would be from England would be anything less... or less important, or less rejoycable...

The ego and the antipathies

And then there are antipathies. "oh, no no no, these people, they are ok, but, you know, they are just not the way we need them to be that we could really extend ourselves to them." or everything and anything we invent something to show our superiority. So prejudices, sympathy and antipathy are just snake like tricks of the ego, of wanting to assert your own superiority. Ethnic superiority, groupwise, whatever... And that mentality even sneaks into the vaishnavas. Sorry to say this. Would be better to say "Oh, we dont know whats that. We have nothing to do with this." But no.

There is one very little country in the world, called Panama. They have a national slogan, which says: "Panama, the bridge of the world and the heart of the universe." Oh, you never heard about the heart of the universe, you never have been to panama :))). The ego is a snake like mentality of asserting ones own superiority and the ego is so nasty, it even wants to assert one superiority to ones own creator. Thats how nasty the ego is.

When the Europeans went to America they staked claims. They were all a bunch of thieves, rugs, gundas. And they came heavily armed to the teeth and declared war on the local residents. From Alaska down to Argentina. They declared unilaterally war on anything which moved. And the idea was "Stake a claim". And the indians who lived in these areas were just considered to be animals. Because the red indians would not submit to slavery. Then the white men brought the black men as slaves, out in fear for their lives. They submitted. So they brought them in, by millions.

True servants of Lord Ramacandra

The false ego is a very dangerous snake. And the mind is the instrument of that snake. Only by the grace of the guru and Sri Krishna the fangs of that snake can be broken. And by Lord Ramacandra, and by accepting the responsibility of becoming a servant of those under your charge. This is our duty as devotees of Srila Prabhupada in his transcendental mission. We really have to become servants of Lord Ramacandra when it comes to take care of others.

Dont only talk about it, do it! And when you make your istagostis in your respective projects meditate about Lord Rama! How just he was, how he would give a chance to each and everyone to gain a happy participation. Gaining a happy participation is the life and soul of the devotees. Without the happy participation, how will you go on for a long time? If you feel sad, if you feel ignored ... Krishna doesnt ignore anyone of you. Such beautiful things you can do. You can grow and you can do very humble things as well. Some devotees are washing the pots every day without any complain. And they are so blessed by Krishna. Most probably their false ego is much less dangerous than the one of the temple president. Because if you washing humbly pots ...

Humility

In the Mahabharata there was a glorification made to all the great personalities. You have heard that story, I told it many times. The demigods had been worshipped, the rishis had been worshipped and Maharaj Yudishtira had been conducting the Raja Suya sacrifice. He had been told by the brahmins that when everything is perfectly executed the bell which was hanging in the middle of the arena would start ringing by itself, without anybody pulling it. After all the sacrifices had been finished everybody was looking towards the bell. "Now what? Will it ring???" Not one single sound came from the bell. "What happened? What are we going to do now? The yagya is finished. How will we go on now? " Nobody knew what was the mistake. So they approached Lord Krishna himself. Krishna said: "You worshipped everybody but you did not worship the near upadi vaishnava. The humble vaishnava, who is not interested in any position, in any distinction, who executes his service totally hidden. Nobody knows about him but he is a great vaishnava at heart. Those you have not considered." And Arjuna said:"I know outside the city there is a cottage there is one very simple person, I know he is a vaishnava because I always saw him chanting when I passed by there, and he is so humble. I will try to bring him to worship him here." So Arjuna went and got the devotee for the worship. They went back and got into the arena of the sacrifice.

So they made a big Artik to this devotee, he did not know were to hide. Drupadi was cooking a big feast for him and it was served very nicely to him. He got a big banana leaf, he put all the preparations there and made a big mix. He ate everything with great delight. After everything was finished Arjuna took him back and everybody expected the bell to ring. But not one sound occurred. So again they went to Krishna and asked him. He told them that someone must have done an offence against him. Nobody believed it but he repeated that somebody must have done an offence in the mind. Finally they came to Drupadi. She lowered her head and replied that she was making such a nice prashadam and he mixed everything together and thus is not a very cultured gentleman.

So Arjuna again went back and got the devotee again. Drupadi was making a feast ten times bigger than the one before. And he mixed everything again. And when he took the last piece the bell rang wildly. The raja suya sacrifice was successful.

We may be good collectors on sankirtan, we may be good pujaris for 10 or 20 years, we may be great learned scholars by memorizing sanskrit shlokas up and down, we may have made publications, books and gained awards in the world, but if you disregard even mentally one single simple vaishnava then your sacrifice will not be successful. That is the message we are gaining from the scriptures. Dont think please that we are just getting such messages out of any type of excessiveness of details.

Leadership in practical life

Leadership is: "I am a servant. What I have to do? Give me a list and I do it." Then you are a servant. In the practical life we may not be able to do all the service and at least not all the services in one day, not perfect from the beginning. We need training and so many things in this regard but Krishna knows your hearts approach towards anything. He is the one who makes the bell ring. He knows everything, your deficiencies, your inner struggle, sincerity. You dont have to worry that you will be misunderstood. He is perfect in every regard. We have to accommodate our friends from other countries and missions. Everybody... Thats not easy, thats a real task. Make them feel comfortable and feel home in the temples and in devotional life. So that everybody who comes in contact with you in this life at least can appreciate your sincere endeavours. Hopefully even more than that. That he may be proud of having met you, proud of being considered part of your temple, of your family, your society.

People who are being protected have a natural regard and affection towards their leaders. But if they are feeling disenchanted and abandoned they also can become very sad and discouraged, even angry. So be cautious about it. Do your best. Dont think that your best is the best. Become better. Because our process of spiritual life is how to become better and better and better...

For Vaishnavas there is no age of retiring. The elder people have to give an example in kindness. They have to listen to the younger people. Because if you dont listen, nobody feels good if he cannot say anything. Many times the generation gap is a communication gap which comes due to an inability of listening to the other. And obviously the elder people think that the younger people should shut up and listen because obviously the elder people have more experience but also obviously the elder people dont see many things the younger people see. And therefore if they do not communicate they have a communication gap which finally turns into some total distancing or separation which is the most unnatural thing. Because the ones who are young today will be old tomorrow and those who are old today were young before. Great wisdom, he? ;)

Each of us had a moment where we were supposed to take care and we will have a moment when we will be taken care of, if we deserve it. Only by gods wish you will be taken care of when you need it. Imagine, what if you faint? You immediately become dependant like a baby. And if you have a lot of money in your pocket it can easily be stolen. It can be very dangerous to faint here in this world. So, if we do not help others, care for other, do we really deserve that others care for us?

Without the grace of Krishna each of us is lost. And Lord Ramacandra is the protector and the guardian and he will take care of all of you, that you will have a happy life if you deserve it. Sri Ramacandra and true leadership ki jayyyyyyy

Always your well-wisher,
B.A. Paramadvaiti Swami

Hare Krishna  Hare Krishna  Krishna Krishna  Hare Hare   Hare Rama  Hare Rama  Rama Rama  Hare Hare