Chakra Discussions

Crows, Swans and Preaching

by Satyahit das

Posted November 23, 2011

"Become yourselves Krishna conscious and spread Krishna consciousness". This is a quote from the introduction of H.H. Mukunda Swami's book, Miracle on Second Avenue. The introduction to this book is written by Shyamasundara prabhu, and he says that Srila Prabhupada was always saying this to them in the early days of Krishna consciousness in America. "Become yourself" is an interesting way to say that in this way we should all spread Krishna consciousness. It is like saying that whoever you are, whatever you are, take up Krishna consciousness and spread it to the best of your abilities.

I have just recently watched and listened to the one-hour-and-27-minute Vimeo video (found on; enter "ps" if prompted for a password), showing Radhanath Swami speaking in the House of Commons in London, England. It seemed that a third of the members in the audience are of Indian descent — ironic if you remember that previously India was ruled by Britain.

Radhanath Swami begins his talk by closing his eyes and reciting four prayers in Sanskrit: "Om ajnana timirandasya jnananjana-salakaya, caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah"; "Nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale srimate bhaktivedanta swamin iti namine"; "Sri krishna chaitanya, prabhu nityananda, sri advaita, gadhadhar, srivas adi gaur bhakta vrinda." So he has begun by saying that his spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada has mercifully awoken him from the darkest state of ignorance. Then he said that Srila Prabhupada is his spiritual master, and that Srila Saraswati Maharaj is his spiritual master's spiritual master, and that he has defeated impersonalism. Finally, he announces glorification of Sri Krsna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Adwaita, Gadhadhar, Srivas and all the assembled Vaisnava devotees of the Lord.

In this way, eyes closed, Radhanath Swami began by announcing who is his spiritual master and his spiritual master, and then glorifying the Panca Tattva and all devotees of the Supreme Lord. He has introduced that God is the Supreme Person and that His name is Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and then he offers the Names of His associates. He has written a book about his life's journey since 19 years of age towards Krsna consciousness,which is pictured largely behind him, In this way he is being very personal with his audience.

They, for the most part, love it, and him. He is one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples who has made it to the parllament of Great Britain to present an introductory talk on Krsna consciousness. He spoke for about one hour, and then the audience asked questions for about a half hour. How nice, and how proud of his disciple must Srila Prabhupada be.

Srila Prabhupada has said that a swanlike person sees the good in people, whereas the crowlike person always sees the bad. They have little love for God, and thus have little or no love for God's parcels, the spirit souls.

Under the pen name of "Hasya Mukhi dd," someone has taken it upon herself to ridicule Radhanath Swami and others in her recent offering. This article of ridicule towards a variety of sannyasis, all having in common the same spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has sort of lumped them all together in the same pot of ridicule. Radhanath Swami's picture is shown with a quote from him saying, "If we want to attain the sea of our aspiration, we must persevere in our goal and never be discouraged by the inevitable obstacles which come in our path. All impediments are like rocks in the river of life. We should flow with them and never give up. With the Lord's mercy, there is always a way."

Did he say something wrong there? Did he say it was from scripture? No, but the author has decided to ridicule the saying, and the person who said it, as if he were pretending to present scriptural reference. I think we have found a crowlike person who likes to make fun of swamis who do their best in spreading Krsna consciousness. She has lumped in many persons who are all different in their spiritual outlooks and preaching abilities. The International Society for Krsna Consciousness used to publish and distribute a little pamphlet called Don't Lump Us In. In those days some so-called religious cults had given non-mainstream religious societies a very poor name, so we were counteracting this bad news.

Now we have Radhanath Swami speaking in the Parliament Building in England, which is a most positive sign for the spreading of Krsna consciousness, thereby pleasing to Srila Prabhupada. Also pictured behind Radhanath Swami during his talk was a picture of him smiling with U.S. President Barack Obama. How awesome if devotees could meet with, in a positive way, all the world's presidents of every country. Radhanath Swami was not directly trying to make bhaktas of the Members of Parliament, but he was making friends with them as a Hare Krsna devotee. He gave some of them a copy of his book, and they gave him a book of the most notable and inspiring speeches delivered recently in parliament, so in this way I saw that Radhanath Swami's talk will also be recorded as an esteemed event at parliament. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. All Glories to all the devotees of the Lord. All Glories to those who see the best in everyone and wish them all well.

As we drove to perform our duties for Krishna lunch, feeding a thousand persons firsts and seconds of prasadam from 11:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. at the University of Florida for a $4 donation — all you can eat of a full-course hot meal replete with salad and wonderful dressing, and loved by many — we passed a destitute-looking man on the side of the road holding a cardboard sign saying that he was a vet and that he needed help. We stopped our vehicle, Bhima, for a moment from the traffic. Chaitanya dasi made friends with the man and brought a warm smile to his lonely, distraught face. Personally, I had seen only a bum, whereas Chaitanya prabhu made and helped a friend by her warm greeting. There's the difference between the crow- and swanlike persons. Unfortunately, the crowlike persons have fostered the very bad habit of faultfinding, which is so common, whereas the swanlike persons have fostered seeing the goodness in others.

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