Sunday, March 11 2018, about 9 AM, day light saving. On Krishna Book Distribution Sankirtan Mission in the Byron Bay area, NSW, Australia.
Byron Bay is the most easterly land-point of Australia and perhaps also the most alternative town in Australia. There are three Krishna related restaurants in Byron Bay. By decreasing order of years of service we have
One. The longest established is The CARDAMON POD BYRON BAY, 7 Lawson st Ph: 0412491521
Two. HEART OF BYRON. TASTE OF LOVE. Currently for sale. 4 / 14 Middleton st.
Three. The latest creation is CURLY KALE in the Byron Arts and Industrial Estate, 12 / 74 Centennial Circuit. 0415912 310 &. 0423034584. Funny thing is that the owner is an old acquaintance, whom I haven’t met for perhaps twenty years. What is more is that his initiation name into the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya is Yadavendra Das. We wish him all success.
I decided to empty my bowels before accepting breakfast prasadam and was walking towards the brand new Exeloo toilets on the Byron Bay foreshore, in front on Beach Hotel Byron Bay. These toilets have welcoming message, back ground music, push button automatic doors, laser beam controlled water taps, ten minutes performance deadline indeed and many other such “modern” features. On the way, I loudly vibrated “Hare Krishna” to whom seemed to be an Indian gentleman. He replied “Radhe, Jai Radhe!” with a slight inclination of the upper part of the body. Just see how famous the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Krishna is!
When I got closer to the toilets, there was an Indian lady, taking pictures of the toilets. I assume this lady was the wife of the gentleman I just greeted. I said smilingly and a little sarcastically: “Nice toilets huh!” She smiled and shook her head approvingly.
This is material, so-called modern advancement, an illusion of advancement of a time-stealing civilisation. The toilet business i.e. discharging stool and urine remains the same for the last millions of years but the execution may change according to time, place and circumstances. We should not confuse technology-enhanced goods and services with advancement of civilisation. Real advancement of civilisation is advancement on the path of self-realization. Real advancement is to make sure that at least we shall not have to accept an animal form of life in our next life. Real advancement is at least to make sure we shall get a better existential position in the next life to execute self-realization again. “Now all your so-called rascal nationalism go to hell. You become a dog. Finish.” That is nature’s course. You have treated your life like cats and dogs. You did not take advantage of your human life. Now nature will give you, “All right, again you become cats and dogs.” Punar muusiko bhava. They do not know. They do not know the secret science of nature. You may be a very great leader, prime minister, now. Next life you are going to be a dog in Scandinavia. [laughter] You see?” 740314SB.Vrn (c) Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
Here is Srila Prabhupada’s own presentation on the dichotomy modern and ancient. This is a lecture on Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 4.15:
“ Now, in this verse three times, four times, the word has been used, puurvataram, puurvatamaih. Kuru karmaiva tasmaat tvam puurvaih puurvataram kritam. Puurva, puurvataram, puurvatama: comparative, superlative and positive. So this is the process that we have to follow the previous acaryas. That is Vedic system. In the very beginning of this chapter Krishna said, evam paramparaa-praaptam imam raajarshayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. We haven’t got to make any research, modern understanding. There is no question of modern understanding. We are all following the old, ancient understanding. Now, even from ordinary platform, the eating, sleeping, mating and defending, is that modern? It is not modern. Formerly also, all living entities were eating, they were sleeping, they were having sex intercourse and they were defending. The main business is… Nothing is modernized. You can say modernized, but the principle is the same, old system. Nobody can change. The people are dying also, janma-mmrityu-jaraa-vyaadhi [Bg. 13.9]. That is also the old system. Everyone is taking birth, everyone is growing, everyone is falling diseased and everyone is dying. Can the modern system stop this? The modern system can say, “Now you do not require to eat, you do not require to sleep,” or “You do not require to have sex,” or “You do not require to defend”? No. The same system. “The old wine in a new bottle.” Similarly, janma-mrityu-jaraa-vyaadhi, five thousand years before, Krishna said… This is real problem: janma-mrityu-jaraa-vyaadhi-duhkha-doshaanudarshanam. The same problem is still going on.
So it is useless to say that modern time, modern ways, modern things. There is nothing modern. The old thing is going on. So if we follow systematically the previous acaryas, previous system, as Krishna is advising… Krishna does not advise, “Modern.” Five thousand years ago He instructed Bhagavad-gitaa. Still, He was saying puurva puurvataraih, puurvatamaih. Evam parampara-praaptam imam raajarshayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. This is intelligence. We have to accept the real truth and follow it. It does not mean modern age or previous age, past age. That is not Vedic system. The old system is going on, everything. The sun is also the old. The sun is rising as it was doing in olden times. The moon is also rising. The years and season are changing. Everything is going on. Why we should not accept the system of Vedic knowledge, the oldest of all in the world? There is no history. That is intelligence.” 740404BG.Mum (c) Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.
Byron Bay foreshore also offers a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, along with the rest of the curved coast line, including Mt Warning, where Sri Sri Radha Govardhanadhari, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Krishna Balaram reside. The Krishna conscious person will remember Sri Krishna’ s word in the Bhagavad Gita As Is It 10.24: “sarasaam asmi saagarah” or in English language “of bodies of water I am the ocean.” Sri Krishna repeats and confirms the same in Srimad Bhagavatam 11.16.20 in His conversation with Uddhava.
The easiest, specifically times-designed and most authorized way of self-realization in this age, is the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra as much as possible as in
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
The expert sages of India, the spiritual center of this planet earth, have designed it for the people of this age. Just like government men design plans for assisting the people in general, similarly experts in self-realization design mantras and other practices to make self-realization possible for the mass of people.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is one of these experts, also called “Acaryas.” He explains the science of self-realization here www.prabhupadavani.org. For the spiritually inquisitive, it will be extremely rewarding to listen to His classes at http://www.prabhupadavani.org. One can hear the class. The class has also been transcribed, so that one can follow His words on the computer screen. The combination of these two sensory function i.e. hearing and reading the same message is didactically speaking, very effective and powerful. It also helps if one has a little difficulty to understand His English tinged by a Bengali accent. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
To follow the regulative principle of yogic life i.e.
No illicit sex
No meat no fish and no egg-eating
will greatly facilitate the process.
If we follow these six rules, we surely will promote ourselves to a much better condition of life, if not the best condition i.e. going back home back to Godhead.
This represents real advancement of life. To reclaim our lost position of eternity, knowledge and bliss represents real advancement of life. Hare Krishna!