All glories to Srila Prabhupada,
My beloved devotees, I hope you are very well in your respective services.
I wanted to tell you that sending a weekly message to the whole community has been my custom for the past 15 years. However, this year we have not done it one way or another. This is a new attempt to recuperate the Sunday chat so as to connect with each of you.
There are three things you should never abandon in your spiritual practice: tapa (austerity), yagna (sacrifice) and dana (charity). Austerity is basic for the Age of Kali-yuga. Srila Prabhupada called it 'simple living and high thinking'. Sacrifice is expressed as the chanting of the holy names of the Lord, either in the form of japa or in congregational kirtan, in gatherings, or even writing about the glories of the Lord. Charity refers to creating temples with such a beautiful atmosphere that people do not want to leave them and return to the material existence of which we all came from. Places filled with sadhu sanga.
Everything that is done in the company of sadhus or devotees is a profound and beneficial purification. Sadhu-sanga is full of rasa, full of taste and appreciation for others. There may even be people in the world that we do not feel a natural appreciation for, but then they immediately become recipients of this special mercy. As the saying goes, "Lord, please give me your mercy when I least deserve it, because it is when I need it most." So we can constantly keep the desire to encourage all people in our environment, including both members of the spiritual community and those who are not.
Similarly we have to learn to see the action in the inaction. We must learn the concept of detachment in the concept of attachment. This means that while we have a material body, and devotees are seeking detachment, we are placed in constant contact with the material energy. This is inevitable. In this way devotees must maintain temples and centers open in a practical and efficient manner so that people can learn more about spirituality; they have to participate in campaigns to address adverse ecological situations that may affect the people around them; They have to care for their health and their bodies so that it is in perfect condition while sharing the message of Sri Krishna to the world; They have to keep their families healthy and happy. They have to become excellent professionals in the areas defined by Srila Prabhupada that devotees should take action in, etc.
Sometimes one feels a strong urge to give up all the material attachments and run away from them, but in that case, the real renunciation is the ability to fulfill your duties and responsibilities. For it is through this compliance that one qualifies oneself for transcendence. As soon as one abandons their independence and takes refuge under the protection of a Vaishnava, the same Vaishnava will give you responsibility to protect, which can only be executed with a mature approach and individual discernment. This responsible and careful attitude is completely healthy for the spiritual development of those who have been inspired by the Lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada.
I ask you to reflect on these issues and share them with the members of your communities and families. Jay Srila Prabhupada!
With all my affection from Ecuador.Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti