Dear Sriman Dayardra Nitai dasa,
Please accept my blessings and well-wishes.
I am very happy to hear you are engaging in sankirtana each week with at least one other person. You are acting as the expeditionary leader of one of our outposts in the new frontier known as Altoona, Pennsylvania. Such an adventure dictates that you first create a beachhead where you marshall men and supplies. As you gather strength you will be able to take more and more territory for the service of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga. So, first make yourself strong with perfect faith in the chanting of the Maha Mantra, avoiding the ten offenses and following the four regulative principals. As your strength and abilities increase, enlist as many as possible to help you, and gradually expand. pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma … This is our most important work. Spread the chanting of the Lord’s Holy Names to every town and villaga:
CC Madhya 16.64
prati-varṣa nīlācale tumi nā āsibā
gauḍe rahi’ mora icchā saphala karibā
Word for word:
prati-varṣa — every year; nīlācale — to Jagannātha Purī; tumi — You; nā āsibā — do not come; gauḍe rahi’ — staying in Bengal; mora icchā — My desire; sa-phala karibā — make successful.
“Do not come to Jagannātha Purī every year, but stay in Bengal and fulfill My desire.”
The mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is to spread the only medicine effective in this fallen Age of Kali — the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Following the orders of His mother, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was residing at Jagannātha Purī, and the devotees were coming to see Him. However, the Lord felt that this message must be spread very elaborately in Bengal, and in His absence there was not a second person capable of doing it. Consequently the Lord requested Nityānanda Prabhu to stay there and broadcast the message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Lord also entrusted a similar preaching responsibility to Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. Nityānanda Prabhu was requested not to come every year to Jagannātha Purī, although seeing Lord Jagannātha greatly benefits everyone. Does this mean that the Lord was refusing Nityānanda Prabhu a fortunate opportunity? No. One who is a faithful servant of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu must execute His order, even if one has to sacrifice going to Jagannātha Purī to see Lord Jagannātha there. In other words, it is a greater fortune to carry out Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s order than to satisfy one’s senses by seeing Lord Jagannātha.
Preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s cult throughout the world is more important than staying in Vṛndāvana or Jagannātha Purī for one’s own personal satisfaction. Spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission; therefore His sincere devotees must carry out His desire.
pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
The devotees of Lord Caitanya must preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness in every village and town in the world. That will satisfy the Lord. It is not that one should act whimsically for his own personal satisfaction. This order comes down through the paramparā system, and the spiritual master presents these orders to the disciple so that he can spread the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It is the duty of every disciple to carry out the order of the bona fide spiritual master and spread Lord Caitanya’s message all over the world.
If you meet anyone who is a little serious to know the Absolute Truth, take that opportunity to establish the principals of our philosophy and precepts.
CC Madhya 25.20
sarva-śāstra khaṇḍi’ prabhu ‘bhakti’ kare sāra
sayuktika vākye mana phirāya sabāra
Word for word:
sarva-śāstra khaṇḍi’ — defeating all the false conclusions of different scriptures; prabhu — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu; bhakti kare sāra — established the predominance of devotional service; sa-yuktika vākye — by talks full of pleasing logic and arguments; mana phirāya — turns the minds; sabāra — of everyone.
When people came to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to discuss the principles of various scriptures, the Lord defeated their false conclusions and established the predominance of devotional service to the Lord. With logic and argument He very politely changed their minds.
We have been spreading this saṅkīrtana movement in the Western countries, and in our recent tour of European cities like Rome, Geneva, Paris and Frankfurt, many learned Christian scholars, priests, philosophers and yogīs came to see us, and by the grace of Kṛṣṇa they agreed that the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the bhakti cult, offers the topmost conclusion. Following in the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we are trying to convince everyone that the devotional service of the Lord is enjoined in every scripture. If a person is religious, he must accept the supreme authority of the Lord, become His devotee and try to love Him. This is the real principle of religion. It does not matter whether one is Christian, Muslim or whatever. He simply must accept the sublime position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and render service unto Him. It is not a question of being Christian, Muslim or Hindu. One should be purely religious and freed from all these material designations. In this way one can learn the art of devotional service. This argument appeals to all intelligent men, and consequently the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is gaining ground throughout the world. Due to our solid logic and scientific presentation, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s prediction that Kṛṣṇa consciousness will spread to every town and village throughout the world is gradually being realized.
That means you must also be well-versed in our philosophy and precepts. I think you have some affinity for study and scholarship. Study our books and ideas carefully and explain what you have learned to others. As you do this you will meet resistance and challenges. The principal resistance will come from those who want to act whimsically and speculate ad infinitum about the Absolute Truth. This approach is never conclusive. The Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna, can never be known by mental speculation or intellectual arguments, which can never reach the transcendental realm. The Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can only be known through surrender and service to his bonafide devotees. This requires discipline and restraint. We must not fall into the trap of mental speculation and whimsical behavior. If we do, we will not have the strength to defeat those who argue in favor of such positions.
Do not be afraid of anyone’s challenges, arguments or position. The greatest men and thinkers of the material world are never a match for the simple faith of devotees of Sri Krishna. Krishna says:
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
To know Krishna is to know the Knower of everything. And Krishna comes to us in the form of Sri Gurudeva. So, Srila Sridhara Maharaja told us whenever any particularly difficult challenge came to him he thought of his guru and looked to him for the answer. That is the sure process for success.
If, at any time, we appear defeated, we should take it as a signal to redouble our efforts, seeking the shelter of Sri Guru, shastra and vaishnavas. At each such juncture we shall find we become stronger and our faith will increase. Eventually we will come to the point of firm faith, indomitable faith, and proceed even further from that point, until we have achieved perfection.
I pray this finds you well in health and spirits.
Your ever well-wisher,
Swami B.K. Giri