Created for the disciples and aspiring disciples of His Holiness Radhanath Swami
India, The Land Of Dharma:
Hare Krishna. I am very grateful to be with you today. Our annual day of Gopal’s garden. Special gratitude to all the faculty, administration of the school, all the parents who entrust their children and all the children. Last night I was speaking to a group of a very highly connected people who are involved in an international school. They were expressing great concern over the foundational needs of their children. Socrates, he said that education is not something we acquired from without and bring in. Real knowledge is bringing out what is already within. That is the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita. The values that we give our children is the foundation. The foundation of their lives and the foundation of the world for the future. Mathematics, science, engineering, language, athletics whatever subjects are there in school is building on the foundation. But unless we put a top priority on the foundation then whatever is built upon it will have very little value to the welfare of ourselves or humanity. Real fulfilment comes by living with integrity.By actually having the pleasure of Krishna as the center of our life. And the whole basis of a happy society is that principle.so often in today’s world and especially in India, the land of dharma, the school systems are so atrociously passionate for good grades and results. There is practically no time for parents, teachers or children to really cultivate what is truly important in life. And that is our spiritual values.
According to the Srimad Bhagavatam,
gurur na sa syāt sva-jano na sa syāt
pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt
daivaṁ na tat syān na patiś ca sa syān
na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum
Whether one is a guru, a parent, a teacher, foremost responsibility is to give the child the inspiration, the faith and the knowledge by which they never have to take birth in this material world again. Dharma, true Sanātana-dharma is not about being a politician or a businessman or a swami or a mother or a father, Sanātana-dharma is about harmonizing our occupation and our duties with true values for the pleasure of Krishna in the service of God.
ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
Our Devotion Is Built Upon Our Values:
Whatever our occupation whatever our āśrama, its success is we please Krishna. Krishna is pleased by our devotion and our devotion is built upon our values. Unfortunately in the progress for wealth, in the progress for power, and the passion to pass exams, we exploit the very hearts of human society by not prioritizing the foundational values that we should build our lives upon. And the one of those values is appreciation of our mothers. Look at what is happening to the world today. Because we don’t understand the Vedic conception of the absolute necessity for a peaceful life and peaceful society to honour and respect our mothers. The earth is our mother. She is being exploited in such ways that if we keep going this way, even the greatest geologists and scientists don’t know how life can continue. Here in India, the river Yamuna, Yamuna Mai. She is one of our most sacred mothers. She nourishes hundreds of millions of people with her water. On one level, she is a goddess, the śakti of Krishna, who is personification of Krishna’s compassion in this world. On a physical level, lives depend on water. She is being dammed, she is being diverted and the river bed of Yamuna is being filled with industrial waste and sewage. And when you bathe in Vrindavan or Prayag from the Jamuma side, you are just bathing in the sewage of Delhi. This is India, the land of dharma.is this the way to honour our mother? The cow is our mother. India is one of the top countries in the world for exporting slaughtered meat of cows. And what are we doing about it? How are we going to change this?
Mother Sevā Is Supremely Sacred But It’s Very Gentle
We have to educate our children with values, not just put them in a swirl of anxiety about their exams and where they are going to go to college and our own mothers. You see whether its mother earth or the Yamuna River or the cow or the mothers of our families, a mother sevā is supremely sacred but it’s very gentle. Often times its men fight wars, run politics, bring money home and they are so much recognized. And the mother who is taking care of the children, who cares. Let them do it. What glorification, what honour do they receive? It’s become so bad that in a secular society, so many women are abandoning taking care of children for careers because that’s the way the society sees it. Otherwise they are just worthless mothers sitting home cooking, cleaning, nursing. And even within religious societies and sad to say even within our own spiritual society. How much do even the husbands or the society at large value and honour the contribution of a mother? It’s quite rare. And it’s one of the saddest deviations from Vedic culture. Because a mother who does that gentle service, whether she is just quietly flowing as a river or giving milk in a goshala or whether she is just mother earth providing quietly crops and trees and fruits and vegetables or mother at home who is washing and cleaning and loving little babies and keep staying up all night if necessary, Twenty Four Hours service a good mother. Do we appreciate? Do we honour? If the society at large does not honour, how will our children appreciate?
Krishna Is Conquered By Love of His Mother, Yaśodā
Krishna, Krishna showed us a good lesson. He was conquered by the love of His mother. Yaśodā Mayi ,she wasn’t a warrior. She wasn’t a great scholar. She was just taking care of Gopal. She didn’t even know He was God. But she just served His every need with such motherly love that the supreme absolute truth accepted being bound by her love. And Queen Kuntī, we just saw this beautiful performance about her prayers. What a mother she was? When she was praying to Krishna, she was remembering Yaśodā Mai, that Krishna ‘you are feared by fear personified.’ yet when Yaśodā Mayi had her little stick and sitting in front of you after you stole the butter, your limbs were trembling. Your lips were quivering. Tears were pouring from your eyes mixing with the black mascara and decorating your whole body. And you are pleading, pleading to be forgiven. The supreme absolute truth is showing the power of a mother’s love that He Himself. Lord Narasimha Dev, we know His powers. Lord Varahadev, the virat rupa ,the universal form in the Eleventh Chapter of Bhagavad Gita, where here is the source of all of those forms ,conquered by the love of His mother. That is Krishna Consciousness. Sri Radha is the motherly or feminine aspect of the supreme absolute truth. In the family, the mother represents Srimati Radharani. What is the exalted service that she has is that representation. For our children to be emotionally and spiritually and physically nourish properly, they require loving, devoted mothers who seriously take responsibility for that service. And for society to be stable and to spiritually flourish ,the society has to recognize and honour the loving service of a mother.
Appreciating And Honouring A Krishna Conscious mother
I saw in my own life in early years, in Krishna Consciousness where if a lady was distributing a lot of books or a lady was making a lot of money, or ladies some of them even worked construction just to be recognized as accomplishing something. But being a mother, there is no credibility of accomplishing anything because there is not something immediate results. But so many of the problems in our own society is because in the long run look what happens. Children are left without proper values and without proper love. You see in Krishna Consciousness, a mother and a father are supposed to be nourishing their children with Krishna’s love as representatives of Krishna. If we are always talking about Krishna, if we are filling our home with an atmosphere of bhakti but we are not representing Krishna’s love to them, it’s going to be a very contradictory experience. They are seeing Krishna’s everywhere by their parents but they are not experiencing Krishna’s love not through their parents. This is a great need for each one of us for our society and for the world and I am so happy, so grateful that Gopal’s Garden, by their own realization have given this emphasis of appreciating and honouring a Krishna Conscious mother and exalting their contribution, every bit as much we exalt the contribution of a sanyasi or a temple president or a GBC because even all of us, we will not be stable without the loving care of the mother sometime in our life. In Ramayana, when Ram was being exiled to the forest, He touched the feet of His mother Kausalya. And how she wept. She begged Him don’t go. But when she saw He was determined to go, Kausalya she demonstrated such courage. She did not want Ram to feel bad when He had to perform His dharma, of exile.