Krishna Janmashtami Speech
New Jersey – 19th August 2003
Crossroads High School Theater, Dayton, NJ, USA


Today is Krishna Janmashtami. I am very happy that the New Jersey devotees got the chance to celebrate it with me. It is a very important and sacred day.

Krishna’s story is fascinating and is a wonderful story. When Vyasa was unhappy after the completion of the 18 Puranas (scriptural stories), Narada suggested that Vyasa write about Lord Vishnu’s incarnations. So, Vyasa chronicled the stories of Vishnu’s incarnations. Vyasa wrote about creation, sustenance and the destructions of all that exist.

In that Bhagavatha, Krishna’s story is the most important one. Krishna was born on Ashtami day. Ashtami sounds similar like Kashtami (difficulties). Krishna in fact removed the darkness. Arjuna was one of the important beneficiaries of Krishna’s lecture. Arjuna means one who seeks. The pure sky on a sunny day was the color of Krishna. Krishna’s story is a magnificent story. I recommend that you all read and study the BHAGAVATA PURANA book. Krishna’s Bhagavad-Gita involves teaching Arjuna. It is for all those who seek. Bhagavad Gita teaches various methods of approach to the God Head - Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga.

Krishna’s teachings to his friend Uddhava are called Uddhava Gita. There is another Gita called UTTARA GITA. These Gitas constitute the great teachings for the whole of mankind. Not just for Hindus. It shows that Krishna alone is JAGADGURU. Krishna’s playing of flute reflects the Vaayu Tattva. Krishna adorns Kaashi PEETHAMBARA (silk clothe with heavy embroidery). It means the entire universe is his attire. He gave Darshan as Vishva Rupa or the showing of his giant form, which depicted all that which is perceivable. The jingle of his anklets are the sound of all the living beings.

Many wonder why Krishna had 16,000 wives. They think that if Lord Krishna had 16,000, could I not have at least two or three? If you compare yourself to Krishna, then you cannot have even one wife for your entire life cycle of your soul. It could mean millions of births. The 16,000 Gopikas are the nerves in the body. These Gopikaas are the Gosais in a previous life, who craved for the child Krishna’s affection and attention. These Gosais who had prayed for Krishna’s attention were born as Gopikas and Krishna blessed them with his attention and affection.

Gopikaas are those with desires. Those with desires are always women. Krishna is the only male, (Pumsa Mohana Ruupaaya). Because we always have desires and wishes, you are always Gopikas. Seeking Moksha is also a kind of begging and praying. That is why the great Namadev says: "I don’t want Moksha. I don’t want Vaikuntha. I want to be born again and again on this earth. I am prepared to face the challenges of life. I ask for this because I will have an opportunity to chant Your name".

Going to Vaikuntha means, no cinema, no baseball, no family, and no social life. There will be only smiles and happiness. So, you may think twice before seeking Moksha. There’s no bank balance in Vaikuntha. You don’t know life without money. So, you don’t aspire to it. The more you want Moksha, the more difficult it is to get. If you have good health and wealth, then EGO takes over. You get so busy that you do not find time to think, contemplate and pray. One day when some misfortune happens, then you look for Swamis and Gurus. Up until then you think that you are just too busy. Busy doing what? Doing things that bring you more and more desires. You even lose touch with family and friends. You know that they exist only when you get an email from them. All your affection and love is through e-greetings and emails. Internet love. So, the ease of electronic communication is causing distance and distraction.

Pray to God before you get old. Don’t delay your prayers until old age. That day may never come. No one knows how long they will live. Friends and family can accompany you only as far as the grave. Good deeds and bad deeds are our constant companions through our long journey of life and after death. Your house, Mercedes car, plasma TV and sofas will not go with you. Your wife or lover will not go. Not only that but even your body will not go. This body that you spent hours decorating, which makes you act like a monkey in front of a mirror, It too must be left behind.

I saw a movie, which shows the various facial expressions and body language an average human experiences in a day. It is so comical. Yet when confronted with spirituality, you counter question the person, suspecting his motives. As if to say: “Do you think I am a fool?”

It is a fortunate day that Swamiji is here with you for Krishna Janmashtami in this school auditorium. Once again I bless you and advise you to read Bhagavad Gita. Read one Shloka a day. Those teachings can be of great help to you and your family life. Read the Bhagavatha also. I spoke Tamil in Madras for seven days on Bhagavatha. It made me feel very happy. The laughter and tears just flow. One day may you all get the opportunity to listen to those speeches live here in USA. In Trinidad, Swamiji spoke on the great Rishis of India. Three thousand people attended every day.

Anyway, I bless you all. I know you cannot give up your life here and go to Himalayas to do Tapas. But I urge you to be compassionate and considerate to yourself and others in life.

We did Puja with Navaneetha today. Navaneetha means butter. Where does butter come from? It comes from the churning of the heated milk, which is curdled. Only then does it become butter. It is hidden in milk but it is not evident, even though it is there. Like butter in the milk, we too carry that Brahma principle within us. We have to prepare ourselves and churn our thoughts to bring out that great understanding of Brahma. Only then does the Jagadguru, Lord Krishna, remove the butter within us. He consumes the sin in us. He steals our darkness, which causes us to be ignorant. He appropriates the hearts of the people by taking away their untrue nature. Thus the butter comes out. Unwanted things, which block our vision and thoughts, are stolen from us. That is why Krishna is called as NAVANEETHA CHORA. I will sing some Bhajans. Saying so, Sri Swamiji manifests VIBHOOTI from the garland that adorned Sadgurudeva.

Sri Swamiji sings Bhajans :-

Moda Modalu Vandanamu Ganapayya

Jayati Jayathi Krishna Krishna Jananam

Achyutam Keshavam

Dharma Samsthaapaka Krishna Krishna

Govinda Kanna Gopala Kanna

Tvameva Mama Sharanam Krishna

Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardhana

Kaayena Vaacha Manasendri Yeirva

Madhava Maamava Deva

“Krishna, the only possession I have in this life is you and nothing else. I do not know anything else other than you. I don’t know how to remember you. I don’t even know how to take refuge in you. I will not sing names of anyone else. I will not contemplate on anyone else. You alone Krishna. Your name alone – Krishna.”

“I don’t know the merits of the great Homas. I may not have the discipline, I may not have compassion. I may not have compromise nature. I am foolish and stupid. I don’t know truth. I always think of lies. I do not have great literary skills. I don’t know how to do Sadhana. I don’t know about service to you. I am lazy and dumb- headed and lethargic. I am not a wise person. I don’t know meditation or contemplation. I am not sensible, smooth, clean, and descent. My abode is ugly and I am garbage. I don’t know how to clean myself. Tvameva Mama Sharanam Krishna.”

Sri Swamiji sings “Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardhana”

Sri Swamiji sings “Thumuka Thumuka Paga – Hari Aaye”