om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
cakshur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
sri-krishna-caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Of all the time, this particular phase, which is known as Kali-yuga, is the most degraded. This is the age when adharma becomes perfectly established. As Krishna said,
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
“When there is a decline of religious principles and irreligiosity (adharma) prevails, then in order to establish dharma, I descend Myself.”
Therefore, in this age to re-establish dharma Sri Krishna came as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Appearing as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna gave the most wonderful gift to this world, which is called sankirtana yajna. It has been mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam,
Kali-yuga is an ocean of sinful activities but in this age there is one great advantage, there is one great benediction: just by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can become free from material bondage and go back to the spiritual sky.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s gift is so wonderful, that it not only takes one back to the spiritual sky, but it takes him to the topmost region of the spiritual sky, which is known as Goloka Vrindavan. In order to pave the way for the people of this age of Kali back to Goloka Vrindavan, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came and inaugurated this sankirtana yajna. This sankirtana yajna, this process of sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
not only takes one back to the spiritual sky, but gives him the opportunity to become involved in Radha-Krishna’s most intimate pastimes in Vrindavan.
This gift of the Supreme Personality of Godhead had never been distributed before. Krishna came in various incarnations and delivered innumerable amounts of living entities, but never ever Krishna bestowed thisbenediction. Therefore this gift is considered to beanarpita, which had never been given before. And thatgift is the love of Krishna in Vrindavan in the most intimate relationship that Krishna displayed with the cowherd damsels of Vrindavan, Vraja gopis, in madhurya rasa.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distributed this only in India, but Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that it will be distributed, it will be broadcast all over the world in every town and village.
[Chaitanya-bhagavata, Antya-lila 4.126]
This prediction Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made 500 ago and about 460 years back this had been recorded by Srila Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami. This prediction was made at a time – what to speak of every town and village – when people did not even know how many continents were there. Columbus at that time had just discovered America. People were not aware of Australia. People were also not aware of Africa. At that time when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made that prediction, that in every town and village it will be distributed, it appeared to be a poetic exaggeration. But the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead never go in vain. Whatever He says becomes a reality, and in the recent past we have seen how this incredible prediction has become a reality.
It happened in an amazing way, in the most inconceivable way: a 70 year old devotee of Krishna went to America in a cargo ship and he started his journey from this very place, Calcutta, Khidirpur Dock. On thisday, 13th August, Friday, 1965, Srila Prabhupada embarked on this voyage, not in a passenger ship, but in a cargo ship that carries goods from one port to another, from one continent to another.
Srila Prabhupada persuaded the owner of ScindiaSteamship Company, Srimati Sumati Morarjee, to give him a passage to go to America. Although initially she was extremely reluctant to let Srila Prabhupada go on such a voyage, eventually she succumbed to his pressure and persuasion and she enabled him to go to America.
Srila Prabhupada arrived in America, where he did not know a single person. The person, Gopal Aggarwal, who actually sponsored his visa was the only contact he had in America and he wrote a letter to him mentioning when he was arriving. Fortunately Gopal Aggarwalarranged some travel agency to receive Srila Prabhupada in New York harbor and arranged for a bus trip to Butler, Pennsylvania, where he was living.
Srila Prabhupada not only did not know anyone there,Srila Prabhupada did not have any money. He did not have any foreign exchange whatsoever. All he had was 40 rupees, which had no value in America at that time.
So in this way Srila Prabhupada at the age of 70 goes to America in 1965 and after an enormous struggle he established an institution with a handful of young Americans, young American boys and girls who became attracted to him. With them he started this International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
This is another amazing happening: he started his movement, which he registered in 1966 as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in a small little storefront in the Lower East Side of New York City, but he named his institution the “International Society for Krishna Consciousness.” Mind you, a small little storefront where he is situated, registering his institution, and he is calling it the International Society. Well, the lawyer who was registering the organization did not mind that so much, but he had difficulty in accepting “Krishna Consciousness”, so he advised him, “Please don’t call it the ‘International Society for Krishna Consciousness’, rather call it the ‘International Society for God Consciousness’ because people do not know who Krishna is.” And even Srila Prabhupada’s followers, young Americans who were following him at that time, agreed with that and said, “Yes, Swamiji, maybe it will be better to call it the International Society for God Consciousness.”
But Prabhupada’s response was, “No, I have come here to make everybody understand that Krishna is God. People speak about God but do not have any understanding of who He is.” And Srila Prabhupada made that point, “I have come here to make everybody understand that Krishna is God.”
And that’s what he did. That was the beginning of the fulfillment of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s prediction that the Krishna Consciousness Movement would spread all over the world in every town and village. Within the short span of 11 years Srila Prabhupada not only spread this movement practically through all the countries of the world, but he established 108 temples in all the major cities of the world. This is how we can see that in order to fulfill his prediction, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu reserved the credit to one of His most intimate devotees and that is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In course of time we will see that the institution that Srila Prabhupada has established, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), is going to spread this movement all over the world, in every town and village, fulfilling the prediction of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Thank you all very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca kripa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaishnavebhyo namo namah