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Madhavananda Prabhu: …For those of you who don't know, Krishna Kshetra Maharaja is also a PhD scholar connected with Oxford University. He has written many different books and made some very wonderful scholarly videos about the Bhagavatam. He is a great advisor and well-wisher of our project here in Puri, called GORA, the Gaudiya Odiya Research Association. Thank you very much for coming today.

Krishna Kshetra Swami: Well thank you, Madhavananda Prabhu, for this opportunity….And I want to say I always feel inspired by you, Madhavananda Prabhu, as a representative of your Guru Maharaja. I think you are someone that he would certainly be proud of. And because I don't have stories from personal associations with him – I spoke with him perhaps a couple of times and I interviewed him once about Arjuna – I wanted to reflect on a very short section from the book When Good Fortune Arises, which you, Madhavananda Prabhu, compiled. There's a section within the chapter called Prabhupada’s Society, called Three Things.

It is in the form of a discussion in New York City in July 1994 and there is no name of who it was discussed with…

Madhavananda Prahu: It was discussed with me.

Krishna Kshetra Swami: Okay. I will just read this because it's short.

“There are three things that are very important to me. One is that I want to preach to the preachers. It causes me so much pain to see the devotees falling down and going away. The second thing is that I want to show how everything is in Prabhupada's books. Those persons who are saying that Srila Prabhupada only gave A-B-C... It causes me so much pain in my heart! I want to make them silent! And the third thing is that I want to show how everything is in ISKCON and that devotees do not have to go elsewhere for higher teachings.”

I was thinking about this and now I need to beg your forgiveness since you labeled me a scholar. I have to say something scholarly but from the mundane scholarship. I look forward to seeing how we, Vaishnavas, can make, let me call it, intellectual connections with contemporary thought. One person I have been particularly struck by is a social psychologist who has done empirical research to identify what he refers to as six moral foundations of political life.

Why do I want to mention this? First of all, scholars of religion – because I studied religion – are fond of saying that religion and politics are two sides of the same coin. You can't separate them, they're interconnected. Thus, thinking about the moral foundations of politics he through extensive empirical research (which means interviewing people about which values they consider important) came up with six. I will go through these six values briefly. The first one is care. People put value on the notion of their need to be cared for. Second is fairness, third is liberty, fourth is loyalty, fifth is authority, and the final value is sanctity.

What struck me, and what I wanted to point out, is that three of these I do identify with these three purposes, if you like, these three things that Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja was concerned about. Let’s look at the first one. He says, “I want to preach to the preachers.” Why does he want to preach to the preachers? We heard from Bhagavata Maharaja that this was Srila Prabhupada's desire, his order. Yes, the order, and – I would argue – his care. He had a genuine care for these preachers. He deeply cared for Vaishnavas, and so he wanted to help them. The best way to help them was to preach to them, which, of course, we all know he did so vigorously. In his preaching, he was bringing depth to their understanding of Krishna consciousness. Where previously there was perhaps a certain superficial understanding, he brought them a depth of understanding which allowed them to recover and clarify their faith.

Then his second concern, the second purpose: to establish that everything is in Srila Prabhupada's books. I see this in relation to the principle of sanctity. He saw Srila Prabhupada's books as sacred books, and as such, their message and their content is complete. But beyond that, by his concern to demonstrate that everything is in Prabhupadas books, he was showing the way to deeper reading, to deeper comprehension of the words in Srila Prabhupada's books, going beyond, again beyond the surface, to the depth of what Srila Prabhupada was communicating in his books. I see that as an embodiment, if you like, of this principle of a moral foundation. What to speak of transcendental, but just speaking of morality, he is showing the sanctity of Srila Prabhupada's books.

And then the third concern he had was to show how everything is in ISKCON. And here I want to link this to the principle of loyalty, but not a superficial one – just for the sake of loyalty –but something much deeper than that. He wanted to show that the sanga is the essence of the International Society for Krishna consciousness, and to show how to stay in ISKCON: by deepening the sanga, and comprehending what it means to have Vaishnava sanga.

What amazes me in Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja is that he pointed out these three purposes. His consciousness was so much bigger, so much beyond anything that practically any of us could comprehend, yet he was humbling himself to make these purposes a reality. I always had this feeling when I would see Gaura Govinda Maharaja in Mayapur, that he is in a different category. Sometimes I was involved in GBC meetings back in those days as a minister for deity worship, and I would see Maharaja, and I would feel like, “How is it that he is here? He's in a different universe.”

These are just three of these six principles, and I think other devotees, yourself not least, could fill out examples of how Gaur Govinda Maharaja demonstrated the other three principles: fairness, liberty, and authority…

—From a discussion during the online gathering on the occasion of the appearance day of HH Gaura Govinda Swami, September 9, 2021