At the New Govardhana ISKCON Australia, Hare Krishna Easter Holy Name Festival 2016, I was clapping my hands during Maharaja’s Srimad Bhagavatam class’ introductory kirtan and was quite absorbed in the chanting when I felt some slight rub in my back. I thought: “O some devotee moving around in the crowd. Nothing to be noticed.” When the rub repeated itself, I turned around to see what was happening. His Grace Sakhi-rai Prabhu was indicating to me that I should stop the clapping and that was quite a hit. I did however stop the clapping, especially when I noticed that the message was actually coming for HH Indradyumna Maharaja himself, who was on stage, playing the harmonium.
Later on during the day, at an opportune moment, I approached His Holiness and ask the question. He was then sitting on a chair, attending the kirtan amid the crowd, a bit as on the picture above:
“So Maharaja, please tell me, what was wrong with my clapping?”
“It was too fast.” was the answer.
Coming from such a seasoned musician and kirtan leader, I had no choice but to accept the verdict.
I replied: “O you told me the very same thing some few years ago.”
We smiled and even laughed.
If my memory serves me well, it was some years ago at a Brisbane Sunday Feast at the now abandoned Elisabeth st facility that he told me the same thing. I was then playing the kartals and Maharaja was again playing the harmonium.
He gracefully added: “It’s your passion to go Back Home Back to Godhead”, which denotes the positive and Krishna conscious way to look at the situation and represents in fact a compliment.
Although I do not feel anything lacking in my relationship with HH Indradyumna Maharaja, someone may remark that this is not much of an exchange, but we should remember that in devotional service relationships are based on service to the Lord and as Srila Prabhupada’s slogan reads:”Utility is the principle.”
This principle especially applies in the relationship between disciple and spiritual master but in the realm of devotional service anyone who teaches us even one single thing properly, according to parampara, either philosophical or practical as well as unknown to us is factually acting as spiritual master, siksha guru. This is the great benefit of sadhu sanga.
In Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, 1.47, purport, Srila Prabhupada writes:
“When by learning from the self-realized spiritual master one actually engages himself in the service of Lord Vishnu, functional devotional service begins. The procedures of this devotional service are known as abhidheya, or actions one is dutybound to perform. Our only shelter is the Supreme Lord, and one who teaches how to approach Krishna is the functioning form of the Personality of Godhead. There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service.”
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to His Holiness Indradyumna Maharaja!
All glories to the assembled devotees, especially those lucky devotees who attended the ISKCON Australia Easter New Govardhana, Holy Name Festival 2016 and also those who will attend the US equivalent at Boone, North Carolina USA, on May 27th to May 30th 2016. Please see sadhusangaretreat.com for further info.