Taking Advantage of the Holy Places

Date: Apr 06 2014
Location: Tirupathi
Collection: Needs enhancement
Type of talk: Pandal Address

We are in the sacred place of Tirupathi. This is one of the pastime places of the Lord. This is the spiritual world on earth. There are very few places like this in the world. Srinivasa Govinda took over this place, and he knew that this was His eternal place. And here He had His pastimes; pastimes that are very attractive: how he married Padmavathi, who was Vedavathi in Ramayana, and how he found Lakshmi, how he came dressed Himself as a lady fortune-teller and how He took a loan from the devas to pay dowry. We are still paying off His loan. But the devotees are very happy to perform this seva.

In every Kali-yuga, the Lord comes as channa avatar or hidden avatar. So, in this Kali-yuga, the Lord came as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his Lila was to give out the Hari Nama sankirtan. He also came here to Tirumala and saw His form as Srinivasa Govinda. So, just as Srinivasa Govinda’s pastime is to pay back his loan, Lord Caitanya said it's His order to all the people of the universe that they should chant the holy names of Krishna, be happy and make others happy. How many of you would like to be happy? (Devotees' response : Hariiiiiiiiiiii Bol!) How many of you would like to make others happy? (Devotees' response : Hariiiiiiiiiii Bol!). So, the two works : 1) Be happy and 2)make others happy. We are happy to see the Chinese devotees chant and sing. They are happy to do it for you, but they want to know if you are happy. (Devotees' response : Hariiiiiiiiiiii Bol!). If you are happy, say Gauranga! (Devotees' loud response : Gauranga!) I know that there are some happy people here.

So, places like Tirupathi should be centers of spiritual happiness. But they have some sayings about holy places. They say, "Those who live next to the train station miss more trains." They think, "Oh I can always get the train. It's just next door. And then they end up missing the train. Like that, somebody may think, "Oh, Balaji is next door, but then they don’t see Him. They say that those who live near the Ganges bathe less in the Ganges and those who live far, they go to bathe in the Ganges. Some people may neglect to take advantage of being in holy places. But by being in holy a place, one automatically gets 100 & 1000 times the benefit. That’s why we are trying to help everybody chant Hare Krishna everyday. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

So, take advantage of being in this holy place; visit one of the temples everyday. Visit Balaji whenever possible and everyday, chant Hare Krishna (devotees : Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) everyday. In Vrindavan, they say, "Radhe!" In Mayapur, they say, "Nitāi-Gaura!" Here they say, "Govinda Govinda Govinda." We are very grateful that this safari group has tolerated us again. They visited various holy places, presented stage programs, dramas and chanted Hare Krishna. I still miss some of the dances. I think they left a impression on the public wherever you went. It is nice to see people from varying cultures working together : People from North Americans working with South Americans, Western Europeans working with Russians, and Australians and New Zealanders working with the Chinese, and so on. And everybody is working with Indians. How many of you like this? (GuruMaharaja: Govinda! Devotees' loud response : Govinda).

If this safari stays here three days, then they may never leave. Wear new T- Shirt : Tirupathi Stole My Heart. Anyway, we are going from one dhama to the next. Our next destination is Mayapur dhama. Hari Hari bol. We hope the dhamvasis of Tirumala Tirupathi sometimes come to visit us in Mayapur dhama. At this moment, we have to remember that the person who started the whole safari concept was His Divine Grace A.C. Bhakivedanta swami prabhupada. He started it in Andhra Pradesh, because in between Mayapur and Vrindavana he brought his devotees from around the world to Hyderabad and there, some land was donated. This is on the Railway station road, two blocks from the GPO (General post office). It is a very central location. On this safari, we inaugurated the Temple in Guntur, we went to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. We inaugurated a temple in Madurai, a street was named Hare Krishna road. Like that, there were various ceremonies, and here we are in Tirupathi with a heavy heart, because we don’t want to leave (devotees: Hari bol) But duty calls us. But we will always remember: Govinda Govinda Govinda…. I could go on speaking, but I should end here. Thank you all.