Lord Ramachandra’s Appearance Day

Lord Ramachandra

In honor of the Appearance Day of Lord Ramachandra, we are posting a Lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada from way back in 1966, when many of us here in the Western world were just hearing about Rama, and His amazing pastimes, for the very first time.

…When God comes in incarnation or He sends His representative to reclaim, they perform wonderful acts. They are not ordinary, common men. Either God or God’s representative, they act in such a way that it is not possible for any common man. That is the particular symptom of God and God’s representative. (Ramachandra’s Appearance Day Lecture, December 27, 1966 New York)

Full Lecture

Lord Ramachandra’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada
December 27, 1966 New York

tvam sila-rupa-caritaih parama-prakrstaih
sattvena sattvikataya prabalais ca sastraih
prakhyata-daiva-paramartha-vidam mattais ca
naivasura-prakrtayah prabhavanti boddhum

Naiva… Na, “never,” asura-prakrtaya, “those who are atheistic mentality, atheistic consciousness…” They have decided not to believe in God, so it is very difficult. Those who have decided atheistic conclusion, they will never come to any argument. Otherwise to understand the science of God is not very difficult. If one is simple, he can understand. Everything is there. What are there? Tvam sila-rupa-caritaih parama-prakrsthaih. When God comes in incarnation or He sends His representative to reclaim, they perform wonderful acts. They are not ordinary, common men. Either God or God’s representative, they act in such a way that it is not possible for any common man. That is the particular symptom of God and God’s representative.

So tvam sila-rupa-caritaih parama-prakrstaih. Parama means highest class superiority which is not possible for ordinary men. They take it as miracle or something, a story or allegory. But actually it is not. Just like when Lord Ramachandra appeared, He made a bridge between India and Ceylon. There is no history in the world that one has made bridge over the ocean, Indian Ocean. And how the bridge was made? Not in the present, modern way, that making concrete on the ground and then pillars and then… No. The stones were floating. The Ramachandra assistants, all the monkeys, what kind of engineers are they? They could bring, order, “Bring some stone.” They had very good health. What is that? Gorilla. So they brought big, big stones, and they began to float. Now, one may inquire or may question, “How stone can float?” Why stone cannot float? If this big, big lump of matter, earthly planet and other planets, they are floating in the air, why the stone cannot float? If God likes, it will float. That is God desire. It is God’s plan.

Now, you can see that a ship on the ocean with 50,000 tons, it is floating. And take a grass and put it, or take a, I mean to say, a small needle. Put it on the ocean; it will go at once down. It is simply question of arrangement. A small needle will go down immediately to the depth of the sea, and a ship with 50,000 tons of loading, it is floating. So if a man can make such arrangement by some way or other that he can float a 50,000 tons of ship floating on this, I mean to say, ocean, is it not possible for God to float a stone on the ocean? Is there any reason to disbelieve it? There is no reason. And we can see. By God’s energy these big, big lumps of planet, they are floating in the air. That is called omnipotency. If He likes, one thing will float. If He does not like, it will go down.

There is a very nice verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam. I cannot recite it, but the purport I can say that… Prahlada Maharaja was praying that “The parents care to the children is not sufficient to protect him. And medical help to a patient is not sufficient to cure a disease or cure a man. And the shipping arrangement on the sea is not sufficient to protect a man from going down.” In this way he has given so many list that “The counteraction which we are trying to put in our impediments of progress, that is not sufficient if there is no will of God. If there is no will of God, then it is not sufficient protection.” Perhaps you know, every one of you. It happened to your country—of course, long, long ago; I heard it from papers in India—that the Americans manufactured a ship, Titanic. (laughter) And it was considered the safest: it will never sink down. On the first voyage, with all important men, it sunk down. Is it a fact? So it is not that your arrangement is sufficient—unless there is God’s desire.

Therefore the common saying is that “Man proposes; God disposes.” Therefore a devotee, he never depends in himself. He never considers himself, “I am independent.” He simply depends on the supreme will of the Lord. That is devotion. “If God desires… If Krishna desires…” Whenever we used to ask our Guru Maharaja something, “Is it going to be happened like that?” some work, he never said, “Yes, it is going to happen. Yes, we are going to do it.” No. “Yes, if Krishna desires, it may be.” He never said like that, positively. “If Krishna desires.” Actually this is the fact. If Krishna desires, God desires, anything wonderful can be done. If He does not desire, however you may try, it will never be done. So just like we are praying to Krishna, if He desires, we’ll have a nice house. If He does not desire, we may remain here. It doesn’t matter. But we shall prosecute our business, Krishna consciousness. There is nothing to stop, in whatever condition we may be. Ahaituky apratihata. Devotional service is, I mean to say, without any impediment, apratihata. Nothing can check it—that is devotional service—in any circumstances. No material circumstances can check your Krishna consciousness. When it is, you are firmly convinced and situated in that position, that is real bhakti-yoga. Nothing can disturb you. Nobody can say, “Oh, for this condition, now I am unable to prosecute this Krishna consciousness.” That means he was never in Krishna consciousness. Nothing can check.

So tvam sila-rupa-caritaih parama-prakrstaih. So when incarnation of God comes, He performs wonderful acts. Like Krishna—He performed wonderful acts. Leaving all things aside, simply if we take the Bhagavad-gita, that wonderful philosophy… There is no history in the world, no comparison, such full information of the science of God. And other acts we hear from…, just like in childhood He played so many wonderful things. So those who are surrendered, they believe and therefore they receive the desired result. Tvam sila-rupa-caritaih parama-prakrstaih. And the activities of God and His representative are described where? In scriptures, book of authority. Vyasadeva had no business, or Sukadeva Gosvami had no business to describe some fiction, some allegory. Just like fools, they interpret shastras, “This means this. This means that,” according to their own…, as if God left for commentary of that fool, left everything for commentation for that fool. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita in the beginning it is stated, dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah [Bg. 1.1]. Now, this dharma-ksetra, kuru-ksetra, is described by some eminent politician as this body. Now, there is no dictionary in the world where it is stated that kuru-ksetra means this body, but still, he is interpreting in that way, as if Krishna left for him that “In future kuru-ksetra meaning will be disclosed by that fool.”

So these things are going on. And people are captivated by nice explanation. Oh, the theory is that “Everyone can interpret in his own way, everyone is free, everyone is God,” and everything, all nonsense. No. We should give up that nonsensical way of realizing God. We should learn from the authorized scripture. Sattvena sattvikataya prabalais ca sastraih. Sastraih, in the scriptures, they are described. Now, those scriptures are to be accepted without any argument. Just we have given the example of cow dung. The cow dung is stated as purest. In one place it is stated that “Stool of animal is impure. If anyone touches, he will have to take his bath and then purify himself.” But for cow dung it is stated, “If there is any impure place, just smear over it cow dung and it will be all nice.” Now, argument is, “How is that, that one place you say that stool of animal is impure, and again one place you say cow dung is pure?” That is not contradiction. That is actually the fact. And modern scientists have analyzed cow dung, and he has found it is full of antiseptic properties. It is God’s wish. Now, take for example cow. What cow eating? Grass, dry grass. And what it is producing? It is producing the nicest thing, milk, full of vitamins. Now, if you think, “Oh, then a dry grass and straw contains all vitamins. Let me eat,” you will die. It is God’s arrangement. The cow can produce the most vitaminous foodstuff by eating the dry grass. It is God’s desire. The cow will eat at least twenty pounds of grass, and how it can eat the grains? It is not possible. So just like elephant—it will eat hundred pounds of thing. He must eat all these branches and twigs. So everything is God’s arrangement. We have to accept that. Sattvena sattvikataya prabalais ca sastraih.

So in the authoritative shastra, the activities of God is mentioned there, and practically it is demonstrated when God is present. And prakhyata-daiva-paramartha-vidam matais ca. Mata means opinion. Just like we try to take opinion from a person who is accepted. Just like you are selling your Back to Godhead by Ginsberg’s name because he is popular. So similarly, there are popular representative, popular authors, just like Vyasadeva, Narada, Asita, Devala, Kumara, Kapila, Manu. They have accepted. Even in the modern age, Shankaracharya, he accepted Lord Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And what to speak of other acharyas. They are Vaishnavas. They will naturally. So we have to follow. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. So there are opinions of great scholars and stalwarts, and there is mention in the shastra, in the scriptures. And the activities have shown practically. So these things are there. And still, those who are atheists, they will not do it. They will not do it.

Similarly, the other part is that,

sambhavanam tava parivradhima-svabhavam
maya-balena bhavatapi nighuhyamanam
pasyanti kecid anisam tvad-ananya-bhavah

Similarly, God may hide Himself by His yogamaya, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: naham prakasah sarvasya yogamaya-samavrtah [Bg. 7.25]. Yogamaya-samavrtah. Just like the sun is covered by the glaring disk. You will find if you look into the sun disk you will find one circle is moving like that. Similarly, in the Upanishad also, we find that the Supreme Lord is hidden within the brahmajyoti. The exact verse I forget just now. It is stated that “Please remove this cover so that I can see You actually.” So within the brahmajyoti there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So ordinarily people are amazed with simply brahmajyoti. They do not go deep into the matter. So ullanhita-trividha-sima-samatisayi. God is beyond the limitation of our thinking and philosophical speculation. Sambhavanam tava parivradhima-svabhavam: “Your very grave and confidential activities, it is very difficult to understand by ordinary men.” Maya-balena bhavatapi niguhyamanam. Maya-balena: “That yogamaya, although it is covered in that way all Your activities,” pasyanti, “somebody can see You.” Pasyanty kecid anisam: “Not sometimes or accidentally, but anisam, continually, he can see You.” Pasyanti kecid anisam tvad-ananya-bhavah. Ananya-bhavah means “Those who have unflinching devotion unto You.” They can see. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. Although God is covered in that way…

There is very good instance in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. While Krishna was dancing with the vraja-gopis, He all of a sudden disappeared and all the gopis, they became mad after Him and began to search in the forest: “Where is Krishna?” So Krishna, at one place, He situated Himself as Vishnu, with four hands. Then gopis, in their search after Krishna, they saw: “Here is Vishnu sitting.” So they did not care. “Oh, He is Vishnu. We don’t want.” Now see. They are seeing Vishnu is sitting, but they do not care for Vishnu: “Oh, we don’t want this.” They do not care for even Vishnu. They are searching after Krishna. And when Radharani came, Krishna could not hide Himself with four hands. He had to become two-handed. The Radharani’s love was so forceful that Krishna could not retain His feature of Vishnu. So for other gopis He could hide Himself, but they did not care.

It is the force of ecstasy that will help you in understanding the science of Krishna, not other way. You cannot make a speculation. Because what is your power of speculating? Your senses are limited. In conditioned stage our power of acquiring knowledge through the senses, that is limited. Therefore acintya. Acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet. Acintya. It is beyond our jurisdiction of thinking, understanding. So there is no other alternative than to follow this principle, to follow the opinion of acharya. Acaryopasanam. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated, “If if you want to make progress in knowledge, then you have to follow.” Acaryopasanam: “You have to worship acharya.” In the Veda it is: acharyavan puruso veda. Veda means knowledge, one who knows. Who knows? “Who has got acharya to guide him.” Acharyavan puruso veda.

So similarly, therefore, this Vedic system always gives us injunction. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: [MU 1.2.12] “One must go to the authority.” And how to become authority? There is no question of research. Just like in the material world one becomes doctorate by research work, here there is no question of research. You simply have to accept what is stated in the Veda. That’s all. That makes you all right. Research is already done. There is no question of taking trouble yourself. You simply accept. Just like Krishna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up everything and surrender unto Me.” And if we foolishly go on seeing, “Oh, why shall I surrender?” as some very learned commentator, “Not to Krishna, but somebody else…” Not like that. Krishna says, “Surrender.” Surrender yourself and you will see how you are making progress. That is the thing. Krishna says, “You surrender.” That will make you happy. There is no question, “All right. Let me research, make research whether by surrendering to Krishna I shall be happy.” Go on. You can. If you want, you can go on researching. But you will never be successful to… Even in the Brahma-samhita it is stated, panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyah. If you make research in a speed, and the speed is stated, koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam… Just like if you want to cover a path which is very long, and how you measure its length? Now, by research. What is that research? Now, you go on by force. What is that force? The force of mind and force of velocity of the wind, velocity of the wind and velocity of the mind. And you push on in that way for ten millions or more than years in that way, still, you will find avicintya: you have not reached the goal. Research. If you make your research in such a speed and for many millions of years, still, avicintya-tattva, still it will be inconceivable.

So the best thing is that to believe it, and accept the opinion of authorities, and believe by the activities of God and His incarnation, and submit yourself to get the thing.

Thank you very much.

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