Devotional Thoughts

ISKCON Mysore Ratha Yatra Address by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa

ISKCON Mysore Ratha Yatra Address by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa

o ajñāna-timirāndhasya
ur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave nama

nama o viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine


namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vāī-pracāriṇe

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-v

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

Honourable Mayor of Mysuru, Sri M J Ravi Kumar, Ex-MLC of Mysuru G. Madhusudan, Jai Chaitanya Prabhu, Stoka Krishna Prabhu, Rajiv Lochan Prabhu, and all the sponsors and devotees who have assembled here for attending the Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra.

Just now you heard Madhusudanji defining dharma as codes of living by which there can be peace, harmony and prosperity for the entire society. India’s wealth is this knowledge. Srila Prabhupada took this knowledge of Vedic dharma all over the world.

During the last few days of Srila Prabhupada in 1977, some of the very prominent citizens of India met him in his chambers and there was a conversation where Prabhupada was saying — People in the West are hungry, they want to know and they want to change their life. But, unfortunately people in this country are aware of all these things, but they are chasing after the glitter of the Western world. 

So even though it is a great credit for this country to have this knowledge of how to bring peace, harmony and prosperity to everyone in the society; still why is it that the people in this country are not valuing it as much as people who are embracing it in different parts of the world? Why is it so in terms of practicing?

In India a lot of people speak about dharma; they have a lot of knowledge about dharma. The entire Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavatam they will know; but how many of them practice?

The reason is because there is one important factor. In Kali-yuga you need spiritual strength to follow this dharma. The atmosphere is not favorable for following dharma. In the Western countries the atmosphere is even worse.  But then how did Prabhupada do it? Prabhupada followed the teachings of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He said: In Kali-yuga, you can get spiritual strength even to follow ordinary dharmic principles only by performing Sankirtana. Only by chanting God’s name.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

Srila Prabhupada introduced the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. Chanting of the names of God in the midst of the Western society and because of associating with Krishna nama, they got this spiritual strength to adopt the principles of Vedic dharma, which is becoming difficult even for modern Indians.  

Therefore the message that Prabhupada demonstrated through this Hare Krishna movement is the very effective way of chanting this Hare Krishna Maha mantra and then alone we will get the strength to follow the principles of dharma and bring about peace and harmony in the society.

Hence he called this ISKCON movement as the Hare Krishna Movement. Only by propagating this, people take into their life nama-sankirtana, nama-japa. Then they get this spiritual strength.  As Indians we know a lot of things about our dharma, but we don’t have the spiritual strength to implement it and follow. That is because we are not taking advantage of Sankirtana; chanting the names of God. Those who are associated with the ISKCON movement; the moment they are able to chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra and do the japa, you will see immediately they are able to give up tea, coffee and non-vegetarian food. They are able to give-up everything. Tea and coffee were introduced by the British. It was not in our country. These addictive things came into this country from foreign sources.

Like this there are hundreds of things and the strength to follow that is coming from Sankirtana. This is a secret that Prabhupada gave to this world and wherever we have been to as the followers of Srila Prabhupada we have implemented the chanting of the holy names of the Lord – Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. The touch of this Krishna-nama is transforming everybody. And following the principles of dharma is a cake walk.  Otherwise it is too hard in this biggest influence of Kali that is increasing day after day.

Srila Prabhupada introduced this Ratha Yatra all over the world. In San Francisco the Mayor declared the day of the Ratha Yatra as the Ratha Yatra Day of San Francisco. The same thing happened in Washington D.C. and Vancouver. In hundreds of places this Ratha Yatra is held. It is a great opportunity to dance, chant, eat nice prasadam and celebrate a big festival. 

During New Year, the youth go to Brigade Road for their celebration. What do they go and do? Go on seeing people’s faces. Walk, walk, walk, walk. Get intoxicated on something and go for some disco dance and celebration. Srila Prabhupada has given such a nice celebration. You dance, chant, sing, and feast; see the beautiful face of Krishna on the Ratha. What an opportunity has been given for devising such festivals in the city.

The whole city of Mysuru, all the youth of Mysuru should come to such festivals year after year. And they will enjoy this festival because Krishna and Balarama are riding on this Ratha. There is a spiritual vibration coming forth by the Lord’s mercy to give His love by coming out of the temple and riding on the streets of Mysuru.

I am seeing that year after year, the number of people who are participating in this Ratha Yatra is increasing. And as our Honorable Mayor said, he has ensured that in the Council, he will declare the Krishna-Balarama Ratha Yatra as an annual festival of Mysuru. We thank him for his good thought. And these are the kind of things that should be done. People will talk about this — come here and take part in these kinds of festivals instead of going to discos on the New Year Day.

Get intoxicated with the Nama instead of getting intoxicated with drinks. You intoxicate your mind with nama-sankirtana. And that happens today as you see the Ratha Yatra goes on with continuous Nama-Sankirtana — one will be completely absorbed in the sound of the holy name of the Lord, one’s mind will get intoxicated by affection for Lord Krishna. In our heart we all have love for the Lord. It has to be awakened by the chanting of the holy names of the Lord.

I again like to thank our Honorable Mayor for giving his commitment to see that the plan sanction is done so that in the next few months we can start construction of the temple. As Madhusudanji said, “A grand temple which will be a platform for promoting Mysuru’s culture, heritage – all Krishna-centered, God-centered, arts and dances, worship, everything will be happening. It will be a cultural center, part of the visiting places for all the tourists coming to Mysuru.

Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.


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