HG Rupa Sanantana das, disciple of HH Romapada Swami, left his body @ 7:40pm India time on Feb 28 2013, in the midst of 25 devotees chanting kirtan in the Back to Godhead Room within the Hospice, Vrindavan, India. His passing was glorious! His cremation took place @ 4pm on March 1. Our service at this time is prayer.
HG Rupa Sanantana das was a former temple president from ISKCON St. Louis. Presently 62 years of age, he had been admitted to Bhaktivedanta Hospice in Vrindavan with terminal cancer.
I asked two young men, "So, what is the meaning of life?"
They didn't want to stop, and one of them playfully threw a challenge back at me and kept walking.
I kept pace with them and said, “Let’s see if you know what is NOT the meaning of life.”
Then I rattled off: “thinking I am this body," "having friends who change with the seasons," "always looking for something else”, and then I paused, and they stopped too, and said, “running away from that which you should not run away from”.
Hare Krishna. My sister lives in the DC/Virginia area and recently (December 2012) was invited by one of her neighbors to a home program. When she told me she was planning to go to the program, I inquired who the speaker was and she replied that she did not know. I asked her to go with an open mind and let me know of her experience. She came back with glowing praise of the speaker. She said she felt calm in his presence and his countenance was not just pleasant but effused divinity. She was satisfied with the class and the Q & A session. When she went to him after the program to ask some questions, he in turn first complimented her saying she seemed very attentive in the class. When I inquired who the speaker was, my sister replied it was HH Romapada Swami!
Srila Romapada Swami was in Houston from Jan 8 to 13th 2013 for the GBC meetings. As I am reminiscing about his visit and writing this article, it's been 2.5-3 weeks since Maharaja was here and he has already finished GBC meetings, visited a few cities, attended his Vyasa Puja event in Chicago and flown abroad for an International yatra! All for giving out mercy. Mercy from the Supreme Lord coming to us via Srila Prabhupada!
Sannyasi should go on preaching, preaching, preaching, preaching. Practically, I was sitting here in Vrndavana, in Radha-Damodara temple. So at the age of seventy years, nobody goes out. At least from Vrndavana nobody goes at the age of seventy years. But Krsna asked me. I thought that I must go, Guru Maharaja wanted it, Caitanya Mahaprabhu... Let me try. So if I had not gone then this institution would not have developed. So this is practical. Mahatah nirvicaranam. Mahatma, they must move. So when there is absolute necessity they may stay. Otherwise, they must move. Move on, move on, move on, move on, move on. No staying. That is principle. No staying. I am this old age, I cannot move... My... I... So many... Still I am traveling all over the world.
Steadiness is spiritual steadiness. Spiritual steadiness arises directly from the soul, not from the modes of nature. Steadiness doesn't come from circumstance, nor is it interrupted by circumstances. That’s what real steadiness is – from the soul. It takes purity. Purity takes time. It takes purification efforts sustained over time, and lots of mercy. Steadiness will flow from purity, which will follow eagerness to receive the mercy and eagerness to undergo the prescribed method of purification.
Adapted from the a lecture given by His Holiness Romapada Swami entitled “Steadiness”, given during the Namamrta Experience in Gita Nagari during September 2012.
The essence of devotional service is choosing to subordinate oneself to love. Willingly, we subordinate ourselves to love. We become controlled by love!!
Love is on another platform besides and beyond duty. Bhaktivinoda Thakura teaches this. To engage in some activity because we are obliged to do so or because it is our duty, that is good. But it is not on the same platform of love. On the platform of love, one does so because of the dedication to the beloved – “because I want to do so”.
Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami entitled Subordinating Our Free Will (Day 6), given at Mangalgiri, Vijayawada during the South India Yatra in 2011.
Q. Recently during the Christmas holidays, it was noted that certain temples under ISKCON management were dressing the Deities with the outfits of father Christmas and so the question is if it is bona fide to do this. This kind of dressing didn't happen when His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada started the movement and the Nectar of Devotion and Deityworship.com manual outlines many important details on how deity dressing and deity worship is to be done. So is this new dress for Deities something that the headquarters in Mayapur approved?