H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Celebration of Srila Prabhupda’s disappearance

9th November 2010
Bhaktivedanta ashrama

We are in Bhaktivedanta ashrama, all silent and intent to celebrate the exceptional departure of Srila Prabhupada from this world, eternal source of spiritual inspiration.
Srila Gurudeva offers a heartful and deep reflection:
At the moment of our departure, we draw up all life’s experiences and understanding matured. We all must meet the moment of truth. Under these circumstances masks fall off and it appears a new unexpected reality. If life is surprise, you can imagine what the death will be. People think naively that it is possible to plan everything, being certain that the future is predictable regarding the present; actually, it isn’t so. It’s necessary to be prepared to meet every experience in life, all the more the moment of death.
Thousands of people pass away and each act of departing is unique; the being gets separated from its physical embodiment in a peculiar way and begins his journey somewhere else hard to predict. Therefore, it’s immensely important and of incalculable utility and convenience to learn from those who prepared themselves for that passage. What could we learn from others who avoided to talk about Death in their Lives, consequently not prepared for that crucial passage? We can only learn from the ones who prepared themselves for this experience in full consciousness and Devotion to God.
We can realize a treasure of Wisdom and Love, learning from Shrila Prabhupada, a pure devotee of the Lord, from the way he left this world, his level of consciousness and sentiments involved to prepare his Journey.

We read from Shrila Prabhupada Lilamrita, chapter entitled “The Final Lesson”: “Love wins over Death. The Eternal Love and Devotional Service can’t be taken away by Death”. This is the great lesson taught by Shrila Prabhupada.
“Shrila Prabhupada’s most precious and brilliant gem at his departure was his attitude of complete humbleness and his intensive affection for his disciples and all creatures.
On 14th November 1977 at 7.30 P.M., in his room at Krishna Balarama Mandir in Virndavana, Shrila Prabhupada left this world and returned to the Lord, giving us the most precious teaching. He taught how to live, he taught how to die. He taught that Life is pure Love for God and every living being.
Shrila Prabhupada taught through his books, his works, his life and through his death in the end.
The Spritual Master lives forever with his disciple, until the latter follows his teachings with fidelity and pureness.
The greatest gift is devotional service in separation, the highest ecstatic realization.

After reading, we chant “Je anilo prema dhana” and meditate on the Greatness of Shrila Prabhupada and of those who serve him in pureness and diffuse all Glories, Love and Mercy of the Lord.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Counseling based on a Bhaktivedanta approach - Interview given by Akrura Prabhu to Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu (Part III)

Akrura Prabhu: If you like, we can now speak of the help relationship for those people who have not made a certain spiritual choice yet.

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Yes, these are people who are researching for a solution of their existential problems. There are many who suffer in their family environment because of difficult relationships with their spouse, their parents or their children. The family system is actually in a critical situation and problems in this environment are the most frequent. However, there could be problems even on the work place, in the economical area or in the health area. I personally worked for six years starting in 2002 in some of the biggest Italian hospitals by holding seminars accredited by the Health Ministry in the field of Psychology of the Assistance to the terminally ill and to their family members, by giving them the Hindu Vedic Traditional teachings. These seminars were mostly for the medical personnel: doctors, nurses, social-assistance workers, but also for people affected by irreversible diseases and their family, their assistants, their friends, etc. In this environment we deal with a huge amount of suffering, anxiety, anguish, fears and a number of other ailments that can be alleviated and definitively resolved through the introduction of spiritual teachings of universal value and applied to the specific context. I wrote a book on this subject “Psychology of the Cycle of Life”. I wrote this book after my experience in the hospitals and it is also related to a subject of our Study Course of the Indian Traditional Sciences.

The trauma of death and mourning are very difficult to elaborate, especially when the sudden death is the one of a offspring or young parents or a young spouse. In these cases we must help the individual with many necessities: emotional, psychological, social, professional, economical, etc.. Mainly, through our Counseling Courses for the harmonization and the development of one’s personality we help people with solving even practical aspects, for example on the legal field or maybe by re-projecting their professional career by always stimulating them to gain a superior vision through ethical-spiritual teachings of universal value and extraordinary instruments such a meditative visualization.

In any case, I would like to emphasize that at the base of each helping relationship there is reciprocal respect and the valorization of personal freedom.

Akrura Prabhu: Freedom of choice?

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Yes, freedom to make decisions in relation to our own lives. We offer instruments and stimulus for reflections so that those who desire it can choose with a mind free from conditioners, cultural and religious prejudices, etc. Shri Krishna Himself in Bhagavad-Gita (XVIII.63) says to Arjuna: “Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do..”.

In the help relationship there are four priority objectives that I try to favor: realizing one’s uniqueness, pursuing a good social integration by respecting and valorizing all cultures, living in autonomy and freedom of thought without being phagocytized by fake models and realizing one’s deepest spiritual dimension.

Realization of freedom should be expressed on two levels: my freedom as an individual and the respect for the freedom of the other members of the society and of all creatures. We cannot experience an authentic inner satisfaction if we don’t respect and favor the wellbeing of all living beings (See Bhagavad-Gita XVIII.54).

We should be ready to sacrifice some of our so called freedom to respect other’s freedom thus reaching a higher level of freedom.

Akrura Prabhu: This represents the essence of sacrifice.

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Of course. It the concept of yajna: giving up something to obtain something higher.

If a person doesn’t realize that other’s wellbeing is not different from his own, he will never achieve real success in life. Love others as you love yourself is the teaching of the Gospel and even in Bhagavad-Gita we find the same teaching expressed particularly in chapter XII from verse 13 through verse 20.

Bhakti is the most elevated expression of spiritual consciousness which is concretized in pure Love for God and can also be realized through service to humanity. This service leads us to the comprehension of existence of a superior Self, the universal Self, the Soul of humanity, Origin of life and Sustainment of every being. It is in this manner that we can gradually realize our deepest identity of spiritual nature, not in a dogmatic or stereotypical way, but through a major conscience of ourselves on a physical, psychological and emotional level. As a result of a deep inner work we can generate consciousness, vision, serenity, joy and capability to give and receive Love.