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Memories (#124)
(Srila Prabhupada playing kartalas, His Divine Grace's zonal secretary leading the welcome kirtana reception, a devotee pujari offering aratika, and the international audience of devotees chanting and dancing in ecstacy in front of Srila Prabhupada.)

I am very glad to see you again

While the devotees were waiting at the airport, the plane arrived, landing without any problem. The front door of the plane opened and Srila Prabhupada appeared at the door. His Divine Grace was as bright as the sun, arriving on the spot. His Divine Grace came down step-by-step reaching the end of the stairs. At the foot of the landing was Radha Krsna das, waiting for Srila Prabhupada and holding a beautiful fresh garland. As soon as His Divine Grace reached the last step, he offered the garland around Srila Prabhupada's neck.

At the same time, the cart intended to bring Srila Prabhupada to the temple stopped and the devotees opened the door. Srila Prabhupada and His Divine Grace's personal servant got aboard, and by the good connections of devotees, Srila Prabhupada passed over the customs and immigration formalities and was driven out from the international airport directly to the temple, escorted by the motorcycle police.

After a smooth drive, Srila Prabhupada arrived at the main outside entrance of the Temple house. A devotee opened the car door and Srila Prabhupada got off and was offered a garland followed by Nandaprana das and Mandakini devi dasi who was offering rose petals, making a soft carpet where His Divine Grace stepped on. The flower petals and the love of the devotees were flowing like a nice river of nectar were the swan-like Srila Prabhupada was swimming  across to reach the steps leading to the temple building's main entrance, while the devotees performed kirtana, some chanting, and some others raised their heads welcoming Srila Prabhupada to the temple.

When the spiritual master or a saintly person comes to a temple, it is the Vedic custom first to wash his feet with water. Sriman Hanuman das started bathing Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet. Srila Prabhupada kindly accepted the foot wash with panchamrta, meaning milk, yogurt, ghee, honey and sugar water, then warm water to remove all sticky things. Then Hanuman das sprinkled this water over the heads of the devotees.

Srila Prabhupada played kartalas, the GBC secretary for Mexico, H.H. Hridayananda Maharaja, lead the welcome kirtana reception, Adhoksaja das offered aratika, and the devotee audience chanted and danced in ecstacy in front of Srila Prabhupada. The kirtan came to an end, and then Srila Prabhupada offered obeisances to the guru-parampara. Then His Divine Grace began to speak:
Srila Prabhupada: "My dear devotees, ladies and gentlemen, I am very glad to see you again, I think, after four years? Three years. I was trying to come here again -- I like this place -- but due to various engagements and due to my old age also, I could not come earlier. But this time, by the arrangement of our Hridayananda Maharaja, I have been forced to come here." (laughter)

Escorted by the motorcycle police
"So I must thank you for your nice reception. I was received by police escort very nicely, and I remember once I traveled with the governor of UP in 1962 from Lucknow to Kanpur. So exactly we were driving in the same fashion, escorted by the police motorcycle. So anyway, I am so pleased to see you, that you are interested in Krishna consciousness movement."

It is not exactly a religious movement

"So the Krishna consciousness movement is very, very important for the human society. It is not exactly a religious movement as it is understood in the Western countries. Religion is described in the English dictionary as "a kind of faith." Faith you may accept or may not accept, but religion is the word, as we understand from Sanskrit dictionary, it cannot be rejected. Or you and your religion cannot be separated."

Two things matter and spirit

"Therefore we should understand very clearly that we are experiencing two things: one is matter, and another is spirit. Just like there is a stone, and there is a small ant. The stone, it may be very big, but it cannot move. It has no life. But the small ant, although it is very small, it has life. So there are two things, we can very easily understand: one is dead matter, and the other is living force. We are actually living force. Living force, we are covered by the matter, and according to the different types of covering, we are representing different types of living condition."

The supreme living force is God Krishna

"So this living force, being encaged by the dead matter, it is a struggle for existence. The living force trying to get out of the material encagement, that is called struggle for existence. The living force by nature is jubilant. The supreme living force is God, Krishna, and we are part and parcel of the living force. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, two kinds of energies: one material energy, one spiritual energy. The material energy is earth, water, air, fire, sky, mind, intelligence, etc., and the spiritual energy is the living force which is trying to lord it over the material energy."

We are publishing books

"So this Krishna consciousness movement is trying to help the living being to come out of the encagement of material energy. And how to become free, that information is in the Vedic literature. So what we are giving in different literatures... We are publishing books and magazines. Simply we are trying to give information how the superior living being can get out of this material encagement."

Krishna's part and parcel

"So I am very glad to see you, so many Krishna's part and parcel. You have come to understand Krishna consciousness. So stick to the principles, then your life will be successful. The principle is to purify ourself. Just like when a man becomes sick, he has to purify himself by regulative principle, by diet, by medicine, similarly, we have got this material disease, covered by the material body, and the symptom of miseries are birth, death, old age and disease."

Free from birth and death

"So one who is serious about getting out of this material bondage and free from birth, death, old age and disease, so he must take to this Krishna consciousness. It is very simple and easy. If you do not know, if you are not educated, if you have no asset, you can simply chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, and if you are educated, logician, philosopher, you can read our books, which are already in fifty in number. There will be about seventy-five books of four hundred pages to convince the philosopher, scientist, educationist what is Krishna consciousness. It is published in English as well as in other European languages."

Classes five hours

"Take advantage of it. Along with the Deity worship in this temple, hold classes at least five hours. As in the schools and colleges there are regular classes, forty-five minutes class, then five or ten minutes recess, again forty-five minutes class, in this way, so we have got enough subject matter to study, and if we study all these books, to finish them it will take at least twenty-five years."
R.G. Tridandi Swami Bhakti Prapanna Parvata Maharaja
(Rama Govinda das from Guadalajara)
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