Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja


[Dear Readers,
This year, 2016, Gita Jayanti (the advent of the Bhagavad-gita) is on December 10 (in America).
In 2009, on Saturday November 28th, on the auspicious day of Ekadasi, Srila Gurudeva, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja attended the International Conference on Bhagavad-gita and Sri Gita Jayanti held at the Rabindranath Tagore Institute. Inside the auditorium he was introduced to many high-profile persons including government ministers and pandits from Mauritius. After the welcome address and a speech by The Hon. Mr. Anil Bachoo (minister of infrastructure, transport, and shipping), Srila Gurudeva was invited to speak. He honored all present to hear him, received flower garlands and gifts, and then gave the following lecture. The transcription of this lecture was kindly translated from Hindi by Acyutananda dasa: Listen]

“I am experiencing great happiness that I have been invited to speak a few words in this assembly of scholars on the occasion of Gita Jayanti. I have been allotted a very short time, only fifteen minutes; regardless, I will try to speak something. Especially here, the majority of residents of Mauritius are related to the part of India known as Bhojpur (Bihar). My birth and early education took place in a village on the banks of the Ganga in this same region of Bihar. I am especially happy that although I am speaking Hindi you will all be able to understand.

“The incarnation of Bhagavan, the guru of the entire universe, Srila Krsna-dvaipayana Vedavyasa, is the propagator and composer of a large book entitled Mahabharata. In that Mahabharata, at the beginning of Bhisma-parva 42nd chapter, Bhagavad-gita is gloriously situated in eighteen chapters.

‘Why did the Gita become manifest? Gita is one of the Upanisads; in other words the essence of all the Upanisads has become this Gita.

“sarvopanisado gavo dogdha gopala nandanah
partho vatso sudhira bhokta gitamrtam mahat

“All the Upanisads are likened to cows, and the milkman of these cows is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Sri Krsna. Partha (Arjuna) has taken the form of a baby calf. To benefit the entire universe, this Gita, which is equivalent to nectar, has thus become available for the benefit and auspiciousness of the entire universe.

“One special matter: Arjuna is an eternal associate of Krsna; he can neither be enchanted by the illusory energy nor have any doubts. But Krsna, in order to give us this transcendental knowledge and to give devotional love of God, inspired Arjuna to ask questions regarding auspiciousness for the universe.

“Just now, a previous speaker explained that the first and foremost subject in spirituality is to understand that we are not the body. The body, either today, tomorrow, or the day after will eventually become old. Not even the entire world’s doctors and scientists will be able to stop this for even one minute, and in the end there will be death.

“But understand this: Death happens to whom? Not to the spirit soul. We are the spirit soul, a part and parcel of the Supreme Lord.

“mamaivamso jiva-loke
jiva-bhutah sanatanah
manah-sasthan indriyani
prakrti-sthani karsati

“‘The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 15.7)

“The living entity is the separated part of the Supreme Lord and can never become one with Him. Rather, having attained knowledge and love for Him, the jiva will eternally serve Him in Goloka Vrndavana. The jiva will go to such a place where having once gone shall never return.

“na tad bhasayate suryo
na sasanko na pavakah
yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama

“’That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 15.6)

“This is the original meaning of the Gita.

“Especially, I want to say one thing. The scriptures have proclaimed that if the Bhagavad-gita is to be understood, one must first of all become fixed in the understanding that Krsna, the speaker of this Gita, is the Supreme Lord Himself. Whatever He has said, that is the highest truth; there is not even the slightest fragment of untruth in His words. Those who follow His instructions after having heard them, and inspire others to do the same, will attain the ultimate benefit. They will obtain eternal perfection.

“Krsna Himself has said:

“mattah parataram nanyat
kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva

“’O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 7.7)

“Everything emanates from Krsna. Sri Rama, Nrsimha, Kalki, Vamana, and all other avataras emanate from Him. Evidence for this is found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:

“ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam
mrdayanti yuge yuge

“’All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.’ (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.3.28)

“Therefore, please first understand that Krsna is the Supreme Lord, and His speaking to Arjuna was the means for propagating His philosophy. The Gita is not only for one specific time period; it is for all times. It is beginningless, endless, and eternal. As many problems as are possible in the cycle of birth and death, their solutions are to be found in the Gita.

“In our land of India and outside as well, the Bhagavad-gita is very well respected. Sri Sankaracarya, Ananda Giri, and Madhusudhana Sarasvati have written famous commentaries on it. In addition, Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya, and Sridhar Svami have written commentaries.

“In the commentaries of Ananda Giri and Sankaracarya, the truth has been concealed and the monistic doctrine is prominent. Misinterpreting such Vedic statements as sarva khalvidam brahma, aham brahmasmi, and prajnanam brahma, they explain that the living entity is himself brahma, Having ripped apart the meaning of the Gita, they, as well as others from their sampradaya, have attempted to establish monism. However, Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya, and Sridhar Svami have explained that the Gita propounds devotional service.

“There is one special thing to note: Following in the footsteps of our acaryas, we accept the philosophical doctrine of acintya-bhedabheda. I am speaking from the commentaries of the acaryas in our tradition, who propounded acintya-bhedabheda tattva, such as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana.

‘This Gita, as I have previously mentioned, is spoken by Krsna Himself, who says:

‘daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

“’This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is very difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 7.14)

“Those who perform worship of Me, will be delivered.

‘a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino ‘rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

“’From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.’ (Bhavagad-gita, 8.16)

“Those who will surrender to Me will attain the highest good.

‘sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

“’Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.’ (Bhavagad-gita, 18.66)

“Why has ‘mam ekam’ been stated three times? Just as the phrases in the verse ‘harer namaiva herer kevalam, kalau nastyeva nastyeva nastyeva’ have been told three times to emphasize the point, so it is with this Gita verse. In this verse Krsna has said ‘mam ekam,’ ‘ma sucah.’ And ‘aham tvam.’ The firm absolute truth is this.

“In Gita four types of knowledge have been explained: guhya, ordinary knowledge; guhyatara-jnana, confidential knowledge; guhyatama-jnana, more confidential knowledge; and sarva-guhyatama-jnana, most confidential knowledge. Ordinary knowledge is atma-jnana – ‘I am the spirit soul. I am eternal. My birth and death never actually take place.’ Guhyatara-jnana is brahma jnana – ‘I am a brahma-jatiya vastu (an object of the same quality as brahma). But I am only partly equivalent to brahma. Guyatama-jnana refers to paramatma-jnana, which means to know the Supersoul existing in everyone’s heart. Sarva-guhyatama-jnana refers to Bhagavad-jnana, knowledge that Sri Krsna is the Supreme Lord:

‘ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam
mrdayanti yuge yuge

“’All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.’ (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.3.28)

‘isvarah paramah krsnah
anadir adir govindah

“’Krsna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes. He has no origin.’ (Brahma-samhita, 5.1)

“aho bhagyam aho bhagyam
yan-mitram paramanandam
purnam brahma sanatanam

“’How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.’ (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.32)

“Krsna is the complete brahma (Spirit Whole), as proclaimed by all the scriptures. Not only the scriptures; Devarsi Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasadeva, and Sukadeva all consider Krsna to be the Supreme Lord.

“Therefore the Gita, which is told by Krsna, gives auspiciousness of the entire universe. Having heard it, people may cross over the ocean of birth and death. Time is short, and therefore I am speaking in brief.

“Now, sarva-guhyatama-jnana, the topmost confidential knowledge, has been explained in this verse:

“man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me

“’Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 18.65)

“Man mana bhava’ means, ‘Give your mind to Me; absorb your mind in Me.’ Our commentators have given an example. In Vraja, a young cowherd girl was newly married and had come to Nandagaon. She has heard a great deal about Krsna and His wonderful pastimes, but she had not yet seen Him. She wanted to see Him up close.

One day Krsna was taking the cows and calves grazing. Because He resides in everyone’s heart, He was aware of the girl’s desire and considered, ‘This cowherd girl wants to see Me from close by. He grabbed the tail of a calf and it ran, followed by Krsna Himself, right up to where she was standing. He then touched His flute to her chin and left.

“Prior to this her in-laws were asking her, “Where are you going?” She replied, “To see Krsna.” They told her, “Don’t go, otherwise a black snake will bite you.” She replied, “Why should I not go? You yourself, your daughter, and others from here are going. Somehow I must also go there.”

She did not listen to them. She came to see Krsna, Krsna stole her heart, and she became ‘man mana bhava.’ She completely stopped thinking about herself and simply continued standing there.

“Some time passed. Her mother-in-law approached her and said, ‘Didn’t I tell you that the black snake would bite you? You did not listen, and finally He bit you.’

“Now her mother-in-law placed upon her head a clay pot, on top of that another, and on top of that one more. This is the pastime of Vraja wherein women take two or three clay pots on their head to fill them with water for their houses. In one hand the girl carried a rope to place around the clay pot for fetching water, and she was given a small baby to take along with her. She was told, ‘Go and fetch water from the well.’

“She went to the well with the pots and the rope, and the child. Her mind was not present with her, so she wrapped the rope around the neck of the child instead of the pitcher, and began to lower the child into the well. Alarmed, others standing nearby exclaimed, ‘Has a ghost stricken this girl? She has put the rope (for the pot) around the child!’ Someone said, ‘Bhuta nahi, bhuta nahi, Nanda Ji ke putra’ – No, it is not a ghost; it is the son of Nanda. He has entered her in such a way that none of her sense has remained!’ Thus, they stopped her from lowering the child in the well. This is man mana bhava.

“Further explanation will become long; therefore I have kept my presentation brief.

“’Mad yaji’ means ‘perform My worship.’ Arjuna told Krsna, ‘I cannot worship You when I have to concentrate on the war. Please make it easier for me.’ So in the end Krsna said, ‘Namaskuru’ – one time offer your obeisances to Me. What does it mean to offer obeisances? ‘Na’ means ‘without,’ ‘mas’ means ‘false ego,’ and ‘kara’ indicates ‘offer pranamas to Me.’

“Much time has passed, and for that I ask your forgiveness. Today I will end my speech here.

“vancha kalpa tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitaman pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

I offer pranamas unto the Vaisnavas, who are just like wish-fulfilling desire trees, who are an ocean of mercy, and who deliver the fallen, conditioned souls.”

When Srila Gurudeva completed his hari-katha, he presented the chairman of The Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Federation and Hindutva Movement, Mr Somduth Dulthumun, with a picture of Sri Krsna and Arjuna in Kuruksetra, which had been painted by Syamarani dasi under the guidance of Srila Gurudeva himself. All present conveyed their appreciation of Gurudeva’s lecture.

If you are not satisfied by the character of any guru, then you shouldn’t accept him as your diksa guru.

May 1996

Devotee: For many years, she
has not taken shelter of another guru to take diksa. But for many years she has
been serving and some devotees are telling her that because she hasn’t accepted
diksa from a guru, her service is worthless.

Srila Gurudeva: I cannot say
like this. I speak on the authority of the sastra like the Srimad Bhagavatham
and I follow what the disciplic acaryas have to say. We should follow in the
footsteps of the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If any guru falls, we
should give him up. Then our faith will not be broken. So, we should wait and
look for a bona fide guru. By accepting him or a siksa guru, we will advance
rapidly in our devotion. If we don’t have faith in anyone, then we should wait
and pray to Krsna that He will arrange a bona fide guru for us. If you are not
satisfied by the character of any guru, then you shouldn’t accept him as your
diksa guru. I told some devotees of ISKCON to consider Svamiji as their siksa

I told them, “Thinking of
Svamiji as your siksa guru, you should try to develop your mood. You should pray
to him and to Krsna that they will manage a bona fide guru for you. Then there
will be no need for you to repent as you did earlier, when you thought, ‘The
guru I accepted has fallen down. The second guru I accepted has also fallen

So, wait a little and see a
bona fide guru by his own mercy. Without having a bona fide diksa guru, you will
remain unqualified and you will not progress in your devotion. You will not come
in the line of devotion because of this shortcoming. Not coming in order, you
will not be able to totally follow anyone. Therefore, a diksa guru is needed.
Hence, in our disciplic order it has been told that we should give up the fallen
guru and accept a bona fide guru. But if he is chanting, his devotional services
will not go in vain. They will help him to some extent; they will help him find
a bona fide guru. Really, Krsna will manage and Krsna Himself will accept his
service. If anyone hasn’t accepted a diksa-guru or a siksa guru, but still,
chants, “Krsna Krsna,” then will his chanting go in vain? I think not because
Ajamila didn’t accept a guru. He named his son as Narayana and would always call
out to him, saying, “Narayana, Narayana.”

When he did so at the point of
his death, the messengers of Narayana came and chastised the messengers of Yama
Maharaja. They then instructed Ajamila on how he could obtain the service of
Narayana. They saved him from death and Ajamila had the good fortune of
listening to the discussion between the Yamadutas and Visnudutas. He then
realized the glories of the holy name.

He thought, “Oh the glories of
the holy name are so marvelous. To unintentionally chant or listen to the name
of Narayana even once, without having a guru, will bestow incalculable
transcendental benefit. Thus, I should go to Haridvar and accept the shelter of
a bona fide guru. From him, I will learn and engage in the service of Narayana.”

With this objective in mind,
Ajamila went to Haridvar to seek the shelter of a bona fide guru. He then
accepted the shelter of a bona fide guru and came in the line of devotion. He
chanted, worshiped, and meditated on the mantra of Narayana. Thus, he achieved
perfection. Although, he chanted nama-abhasa, a semblance of the holy name, his
chanting never went in vain. The bhakti we engage in presently is bhakti-abhasa,
a semblance of devotion; we are not practicing pure bhakti. When we perform
sadhana to attain bhava-bhakti, then the services we perform can constitute real

The definition of pure bhakti
has been given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in the following verse. We must know this



anukulyena krsnanu-

silanam bhaktir uttama

By observing the limbs of
bhakti according to this verse, we will engage in svarupa-siddha bhakti. So, you
need not worry or bother yourself. All your devotional services like chanting
the holy name will never go in vain. The semblance of the holy name will provide
something, but it will not provide entrance into Vraja. By receiving the holy
name from a bona fide guru, you will enter Vraja.

Devotee: How will I find a bona
fide guru?

Srila Gurudeva: Krsna will
manage. You cannot find a bona fide guru by yourself. If you are sincere, Krsna
will arrange for you to take the shelter of a bona fide guru. Any of the
disciples of Svamiji had never made any effort to find him. But, he went door to
door of every house and gave everyone the instructions of Krsna. So, you should
not be worried about these matters. The opposing devotees cannot tell all these
truths to you. If I speak, they will patiently hear. I know.

So, you should see me as a
friend and not otherwise. Let them do whatever propaganda they wish to make
against me. One day, they will realize their folly. But, they may not have any
time for repentance.

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

[Devotee reads Srila Svami
Maharaja’s purport of a particular verse]

Devotee: When you become
convinced that Krsna is your intimate friend and protector, how happy and
peaceful you will be. When everyone will love Krsna, the world will be filled
with tranquillity. When you are protected by Krsna, you will never be worried
about insufficiency. You will become pure and make progress in spiritual life.

Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji has
written this?

Devotee: Yes.

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. Do
you want this as a blessing from me? Or should I keep my blessings to myself?

Now I will take prasadam and
become ready for the evening class. I should be excused if I have given pain to
any devotees. My mood is to only glorify your Prabhupada. I want everyone to
know who Svamiji really was.

Devotee: Maharaja, thank you
very much for answering my questions.

Srila Gurudeva: I am also glad
to have answered your questions. I will be gladder if you believe and act
according to my answers.

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

Is my daughter Anandini
satisfied by my answers?

Anandini dasi: Very much.

Devotee: I am also satisfied.

Srila Gurudeva: You are also

I want to see you all again.

[End of audio file]

The Disappearance Day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

The temple of Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s samadhi in Vrndavana

[Dear Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

This year, 2016, the disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami is on July 19th. The lecture below, on the sixth verse of Sri Vilap-kusumanjali, was given in Vrndavana in 1991. Although it may look to you like a published book, it is actually his lecture:]

Text Six

vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasah prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpa ambudhih yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
sanatanah tam prabhum asrayami

vairagya—renunciation; yug—enriched with; bhakti—devotion; rasam—nectarean taste; prayatnaih—carefully; apayayan—made drink; mam—me; anabhipsum—unwilling; andham—blind; krpa—of mercy; ambudhih—an ocean; yah—who; para—of others; duhkha—misery; duhkhi—was sorry; sanatanah—Sanatana Gosvami; tam—him; prabhum—lord; asrayami—I take shelter.


I take shelter of my lord and master, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, who is an ocean of compassion and who always feels sorry for the suffering of others. Although I was unwilling and blinded by ignorance, he diligently made me drink the nectar of devotion laced with renunciation.


Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has prayed to his diksa-guru, Yadunandana Acarya, in a general way, and to his raganuga siksa-guru, Srila Rupa Gosvami, in a more special way. From this we may infer that there are different types of gurus. If one’s guru has not given one any instruction in raganuga, one may also have another guru, as did Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. However, if the guru has given both vaidhi and raganuga siksa, there is no question of accepting another guru. As far as I know, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami did not receive any siksa of raganuga from Yadunandana Acarya, because at that time Raghunatha dasa had no idea of raganuga bhajana. He learned from Srila Haridasa Thakura to chant “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna,” and from his diksa-guru, he understood, “I am Krsna dasa” and “We should chant harinama. We should do bhakti.” He had no opportunity to receive greed for raganuga from Yadunandana Acarya.

Still, it is a very, very important task to bring someone from the worldly side to Krsna’s side. If the guru cannot do that, then the endeavor to approach raganuga, rupanuga, and everything else will be useless. The vaidhi-bhakti guru is certainly guru. Even if someone, without giving mantra or diksa, has endeavored to put us in contact with guru or Krsna, and has given some inspiration to worship Radha and Krsna in vaidhi-bhakti, we should be so grateful to that person. It is for this reason that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has prayed to Sri Yadunandana Acarya.

In raganuga bhajana, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is especially indebted to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and also to Srila Sanatana Gosvami. He was primarily associating with Rupa Gosvami, however, and he has taken all his ideas and ideals for raganuga bhajana from him. He prayed only to Rupa Manjari in his siddhi-deha. He has not prayed to him in the same apparently external way that he prayed to Sri Sanatana Gosvami: sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami. Rupa Gosvami gave him all the conceptions needed in raganuga and rupanuga for developing manjari-bhava, and Sri Sanatana Gosvami gave him all necessary instruction in vaidhi-bhakti and sadhana-bhajana aiming for raganuga.

When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had first come from Jagannatha Puri, due to the intense pain of his separation for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu he was of a mind to give up his life. He wanted to go to Govardhana, climb upon the hill, and, by jumping from there, end his life. If he had simply wanted to commit suicide, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami could have easily done so in Puri. Why did he not do so? While passing through the Jharikhanda forest, full of tigers and other wild beasts, dense forests, and high mountains, he could have easily died without anyone interfering. Why was he intent upon leaving his body at Govardhana?

He had some thoughts: “I will have to serve Radha and Krsna, if not in this life, then in another. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given me the shelter of Govardhana, so I will go to Govardhana, and, if Govardhana allows, I will give up my life there. As Gita has said, ‘Whatever a man thinks of at his last moment, he will attain in his next birth.’ I will die at Govardhana with this ambition: ‘O Giriraja Govardhana, please grant me a birth near you. Have mercy upon me so that I may serve Radha and Krsna, and especially Srimati Radhika.’

In his Manah-siksa, sloka two, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written:

na dharman nadharmam sruti-gana-niruktam kila kuru
vraje radha-krsna-pracura-paricaryam iha tanuh
saci-sunam nandisvara-pati-sutatve guru-varam
mukunda-presthatve smara padam ajasram nanu manah

[“O my dear mind! Please do not perform either the dharma or adharma mentioned in the srutis or Vedas. Rather, you should render profuse loving service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna Yugala here in Vraja, for the srutis have ascertained Them to be the highest principle of supreme worship and the Supreme Absolute Truth. Always meditate on Sacinandana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is richly endowed with the complexion and sentiments of Srimati Radhika, as non-different from Sri Nanda-nandana. And always remember Sri Gurudeva as most dear to Sri Mukunda.”]

Now he was thinking, “To carry out the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is service to Him. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is actually Radha and Krsna. Therefore, if He is telling me to serve Radha and Krsna, that is also service to Him.”

He was considering that if he would die in this consciousness, he would at least take birth as grass at Govardhana, as Uddhava did. He determined, “Then, at the time of abhisara, when the gopis go to meet with Krsna at night, their pure foot-dust will come upon my head. In this way I will be satisfied.” He therefore wanted to die at Govardhana, especially near Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda.

As soon as he arrived in Vrndavana, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami went to Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Gosvami and offered his obeisances. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had previously told him, “Always consider Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami as your elder brothers,” and therefore he came and offered them his obeisances.

Somehow or other Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami understood that he had a wish to die at Govardhana. Sri Sanatana Gosvami was very wise in understanding a person’s heart. In this respect, he was even wiser than Sri Rupa Gosvami. He was raja-niti-jna, in knowledge of politics, whereas Rupa Gosvami was very simple. Sri Sanatana Gosvami and other Gosvamis used tarka, logic, in their writings. To make common persons understand anything, especially in vaidhi-bhakti and the methods of krsna-bhajana, some logic is very necessary. Vedanta itself is based on sound logical principles.

Rupa Gosvami writes for those eager for raganuga-bhakti, “Don’t take shelter of any logic. What I am explaining for entrance into the transcendental pastimes of Krsna does not depend upon logic. Such logic cannot help you in this realm. Only sraddha can give you entrance here.” He has not used logic anywhere in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani, Vidagdha-madhava, or Lalita- madhava. For preaching, of course, it is very essential to have logic, and for management raja-niti is essential.

If we examine Rupa Gosvami’s books, we will see that he is simply telling lila-katha (topics regarding Krsna’s pastimes), without touching upon logic or scriptural arguments at all. From the beginning of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani, he has cited references from various scriptures regarding lila-katha, rasa (the taste of relationship with Krsna), and vilasa (playful pastimes). These books contrast Jiva Gosvami’s Tattva Sandarbha, which has used all logic and sastric evidences to establish his points. Srila Rupa Gosvami has written all his books, such as Lalita-madhava, Vidagdha-madhava, and Hamsaduta, only on the basis of the pastimes of Krsna.

vana-vipina-nikunje divya-divyair vilasaih
niravadhi rasamanan radhika-krsnacandrau
bhaja sakalam upeksya tavakah sastra-yuktih
(Nikunja-rahasya-stava #31)

[“Sri Sri Radha-Krsnacandra enjoy limitless, splendid transcendental pastimes in the secluded, blissful groves of Vrndavana forest. O friend, please abandon all contrary scriptural arguments and just worship Them with pure devotion.”]

In this verse, Srila Rupa Gosvami recommends that one should do bhajana of Radha and Krsna, always chanting and remembering Their nikunja-lila. He says here, “There is no need to adhere to sastra-yuktih, scriptural logic. Whatever logic has been given in Vedanta or other sastra, leave that aside; don’t depend upon that. Logic is required in vaidhi-bhakti, and also for managing and preaching. For entering deeply into bhajana, however, only sraddha is of necessity.” This poetry of Rupa Gosvami contains thirty-two slokas of nikunja lila, from Radha-Krsna’s lila at the beginning of the night all the way to nisanta lila. “Leaving all logic and scriptural regulations aside, meditate on these confidential pastimes and do bhajana.” This is the specialty of Rupa Gosvami’s teachings regarding raganuga-bhakti.

By the expert employment of sastric and general logic, by politics, and by following carefully the example of our acaryas and especially Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Sanatana Gosvami convinced Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to not give up his life. He then related his personal experience. He told Raghunatha dasa, “At first, in Jagannatha Puri, I was of the same opinion as you.”

After traveling through Jharikhanda forest, Sanatana Gosvami had developed itching, oozing sores all over his body. Whenever Caitanya Mahaprabhu would see him, He would run towards him and embrace him. Sanatana Gosvami considered, “It is offensive on my part that Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being Krsna Himself, is embracing me to His chest and the moisture from these sores is touching His body. Rather than allow my offense to continue, I have made up my mind to give up my life at the time of the Ratha festival, under the wheels of the chariot.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could understand Sanatana Gosvami’s heart and said, “O Sanatana, if a person gives something to another person, does he have any right to take that property back?” Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not order him directly, but cleverly and tactfully He indicated His desire. Then He told him, “The first point is that if you have surrendered your body to Me, you no longer have the right to do what you like with it. Only I have that right. By taking what is rightfully Mine, you are committing an offense to Me. Secondly, if I had thought that by giving up My life I could attain the service of Radha and Krsna, I would give up My body millions of times. By giving up one’s life, one cannot attain Radha and Krsna’s service. Only by bhakti-yoga can a person have Their service. Try to understand this. Give up your idea of ending your life. Increase your sadhana-bhajana, and you will very soon achieve perfection.”

Sri Sanatana Gosvami continued, “By hearing the words of Caitanya Mahaprabhu I understood His desire, and I have thus tried to follow His order and serve Radha and Krsna. You should do the same. You have no right to give up your life, because you have already surrendered your soul to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, and also to us brothers. Caitanya Mahaprabhu told you to come to Vrndavana and stay in our company, and therefore we will try to protect, support, and nourish you. Don’t worry. Just stay at Radha-kunda, at Govardhana, and always chant harinama and perform bhajana.”

In this verse of Vilapa-kusumanjali, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is now remembering, “If I had left my body at that time, I would have never received instruction in raganuga and manjari-bhava. I would have never read Vidagdha Madhava, Lalita Madhava, or Dana Keli Kumudi, nor would I have written any books. I am therefore so much indebted to Sri Sanatana Gosvami.”

Anabhipsum andham. “I was unaware of raganuga-bhakti.” Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is speaking in a mood of humility. Actually, he had received instructions in raganuga-bhajana from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarupa Damodara, and he had learned so much more from Rupa Gosvami. Still, he is saying, “I was andha, blind. I did not know anything about rasamayi-bhakti, Krsna, Radha, the gopis, or Vraja-bhava. I did not even have the desire for these things.”

We also would be quite blind in these matters if we had not come to our Gurudeva. At first we had nothing, and now we reflect on how obliged and indebted we are to him. Should we advance further, we will feel even more indebted.

Anabhipsum. “I did not want that bhakti, but Sanatana Gosvami gave it by force.” If a boy requires medicine and is not willing to take it, his mother will give it to him by force. She will forcibly open his mouth. Similarly, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says, “I was not in the mood to take up this raganuga-bhakti, so he forced me.”

Prayatnair means ‘carefully.’ When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived at Radha-kunda, Sanatana Gosvami used to go there from Vrndavana to do Govardhana parikrama. Sri Sanatana Gosvami is Lavanga Manjari. Why did he do parikrama? Did he have anything to gain for himself? Yad yad acarati sresthas tat tad evetaro janah (Bhagavad-gita 3.21). People in general benefited by his example, but that was also not his real motive. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is saying, “He used to go only for me.” This is the meaning of the word prayatnair. He did it to give his association to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha dasa continues, “You come here now and then, only to see how this orphan boy is doing. You come to tell me the pastimes of Krsna and to teach me how to serve Him.”

I personally prefer to live in Vrndavana. Why, then, do I stay in Mathura? Is there some specific benefit for me to remain in Mathura? Is it for rupees, delicious food, or the affection of the residents of Mathura? Could it be that I will advance more in raganuga-bhakti and achieve the mercy of Srimati Radhika and the manjaris by being here? No, there is another reason. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a sloka:

bhavad-vidha bhagavatas tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho
tirthi-kurvanti tirthani svantah-sthena gadabhrta
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.13.10)

[“My Lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.”]

This is a very important verse, told by Yudhisthira Maharaja to Vidura. Yudhisthira Maharaja was so glad to see Vidura, who had just returned to his palace after the great Battle of Kuruksetra.

Another sloka is also related to this point:

mahad-vicalanam nrinam grihinam dina-cetasam
nihsreyasaya bhagavan kalpate nanyatha kvacit
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.4)

[“O my lord, O great devotee, persons like you move from one place to another, not for their own interests, but for the sake of poor-hearted grhastas. Otherwise, they have no interest in going from one place to another.”]

This sloka was spoken by Nanda Baba to Garga Rsi at Krsna’s name-giving ceremony. Nanda Baba said, “I know you have not come here for a donation.” Babajis and priests come to their patron only for his donations, and they remain at his home only until the donation is paid. It is certain that as soon as it is paid they return to their own residences. Here Nanda Baba is expressing, “Actually, Gargacarya, you have no personal reason to come here. You have no self-interest. You have come to my house only because I am a very wretched grhastha. You go to the homes of grhasthas only to give them krsna-bhakti. You are a bhagavata.”

Who is a bhagavata? One who has bhakti for Svayam Bhagavan Krsna is a bhagavata. The symptom of a bhagavata has been recorded in various slokas. One symptom is that the wealth of the entire universe cannot influence the heart of a bhagavata, or change his ideas, what to speak of some donation.

Nanda Baba continued, “You have not come with any self-interest, but only for the benefit of a wretched grhasta such as myself who has fallen into the dry well of householder life. You have come to give mercy.”

Sri Sanatana Gosvami’s concern for Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was displayed in the following pastime: Once, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was sitting under the open sky and performing bhajana on the banks of Syama-kunda. Two tigers approached the kunda, drank water, and then went away. Sanatana Gosvami was watching this from a distance and became concerned. He approached Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and instructed him, “O Raghunatha, you should not sit here like this. I will build a hut for you. By my special order you will have to live there and perform your bhajana there.” Raghunatha dasa Gosvami could not refuse his order. Sanatana Gosvami made a hut, and from that time onward Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived there, chanted harinama, and performed all other devotional activities.

Even though Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami – especially Sanatana Gosvami – used to see Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as their younger brother, he always saw them as his gurus. Being the direct disciples of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sanatana Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami, and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami were all god-brothers Therefore Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami saw Raghunatha dasa as their god-brother, never as their disciple. On the other hand, he never saw them as god-brothers. He always saw them as his own gurus.

“Gurur kinkara haya manya se amar. The servant of the guru is always respectable for us.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 10.142) This is a statement by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Govinda came and met Mahaprabhu in Puri, he told Him, “Our Gurudeva, Isvara Puripad, has sent me to serve You.” Mahaprabhu was thinking, “How can this be? He is my god-brother, and therefore I should respect him. But he wants to serve Me.” His guru had ordered that Govinda serve Him, and therefore He accepted his service.

The servant of the guru should be deeply respected. Understanding this, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami always saw Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami as his gurus. We should also have this behavior amongst ourselves, for that will create love between us. We may think, “I am guru. He knows nothing. He is not as good a servant of our Gurudeva as I am. He doesn’t even know any siddhanta.” If we think in this way, there will be quarrels among us, and now this is going on: “I am the only acarya and no one else is qualified.” Where there is hating and similar mentalities, that place is Kali-rajya, the kingdom of Kali.

Vairagya-yuga-bhakti. There are two types of bhakti. One is general and the other is bhakti with vairagya. Vairagya has two meanings. Visesa rupena raga. This means ‘special raga,’ or in other words, anuraga (great absorption and affection for Krsna). The distinguishing feature of vairagya is raga or anuraga. This is a most important point. When anuraga is present, attachment for sense objects cannot remain. This is the definition of vairagya.

One truly fixed in vairagya will have attachment only for bhakti and for the service of Radha and Krsna. One who has this special anuraga for Radhika’s service will automatically leave all worldly attachments. Those who have not developed real vairagya may leave their worldly attachments, but after some time they will again become immersed in those things. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has this special attachment to the service of Radha and Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he glorifies Sri Sanatana Gosvami as the one who blessed him with this vairagya-yuga-bhakti, or renunciation enriched with bhakti.

In Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s own life we see this vairagya-yuga-bhakti, and when He sees His followers performing bhakti with vairagya He is so pleased. He desires that every one of His devotees should be akincana, niskincana, thinking that their only possession is Krsna. We are not like this, and therefore we have so many problems. If we maintain any attachment for anything other than Krsna – to name and fame, wealth, women, or food – then bhakti will become very remote for us. It will be very, very remote.

It is stated in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Antya-lila 6.310:

sade sata prahara yaya kirtana-smarane
ahara-nidra cari danda seha nahe kona dine

sade sata prahara—7.5 praharas (one prahara equals three hours); yaya—is spent; kirtana-smarane—in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remembering the lotus feet of Krsna; ahara-nidra—eating and sleeping; cari danda—four dandas (one danda equals twenty-four minutes); seha—that; nahe—is not; kona dine—some days.

[“Raghunatha dasa spent more than twenty-two hours out of every twenty-four chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord. He ate and slept for less than an hour and a half, and on some days that also was impossible.”]

A complete day and night is eight prahara, and one prahara, three hours, consists of six or seven danda. Our Gosvamis spent four dandas; that is, about one and a half to two hours, on eating, drinking, and sleeping. They spent the rest of the day and night, over seven and half prahara, doing asta-kaliya-lila smarana. Moreover, there were some days when they neglected to eat or sleep at all.

We sleep from eight to nine hours daily. Then, so much time is spent in oil massage, bathing, roaming here and there, general laziness, sitting and sitting, and thinking. The rest of the day passes as we talk about things other than hari-katha. Then, sometimes we feel sick, and at that time doctors must be brought and medicine administered. Our whole time goes in vain. Certainly, this is a situation of great hopelessness!

Krpambudhir yah. Sanatana Gosvami is a great ocean of mercy, the highest extent of mercy. He can also give Radha’s mercy. He can pray, “O Srimati Radhika, please give Your mercy to this devotee.”

Lalita devi can also give this, and we can pray to her:

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih su-lalitam lalitam namami
(Sri Lalitastikam verse 6)

[“I offer my obeisances to Srimati Lalita devi, who is the embodiment of all sublime qualities. When she approaches any young maiden upon seeing her in the vicinity of Vrndavana, and finds out after some clever interrogation that she is inclined toward her mistress Radhika, immediately fulfills her desires and satisfies her completely.”]

If Lalita hears that any teenage gopi in Vraja wants to be a playa-dasi (unpaid maidservant) of Srimati Radhika, she at once fulfills the desires of that gopi. If anyone, anywhere, has in his form as a sadhaka the desire that, “I only want to be a playa-dasi of Radhika,” and if he prays to Lalita-devi, “I want to be a playa-dasi of Radhika; this is so high, but I want it. O Lalita-devi, please be merciful to me so that I may have that service,” then Lalita will manage to do this at once.

This is the mood of this sloka. Lalita will ask any kisori (teenage gopi) moving within Vraja, “O kisori, where are you going?”

The young girl may reply, “I’m going to Varsana (or Javat or Radha Kunda).

“Why are you going there, kisori?”

“I know it is very difficult to achieve, but I am going there with the hope that Srimati Radhika may keep me as Her playa-dasi.”

When Lalita knows this she at once tries to give that bhava. She will order – not pray – to Srimati Radhika, “Keep this girl as Your palya-dasi. I’m writing her name in the register of Your playa-dasis.”

Srimati Radhika cannot disobey. She is bound to obey the order of Lalita. If Lalita sees any sign at all that one wants to become a playa-dasi, she certainly arranges for it. At once she tells Radhika, and Radhika obeys her order.

This is the meaning of krpambudhir (an ocean of mercy) in this prayer by Srjila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and there is no krpa (mercy) beyond this. Sri Sanatana Gosvami, as Lavanga Manjari, is an ocean of mercy because he can distribute the mercy of Srimati Radhika.

Para duhkha-duhkhi. Sanatana Gosvami is always unhappy to see the unhappiness of any jiva. No jiva is saying to him, “Please have mercy upon me.” Rather, he sees that they are pots or vessels for mercy though they don’t want it. He will go to a person and request, “Can you give me water to drink?” Why is he asking for water? This is because he wants to give his mercy; he is creating their sukriti. He therefore travels to every village and contacts the sense enjoyers.

In the grhasta’s home he questions, “I have heard that your daughter is soon to be married.”

The grhastha may reply, “Her marriage has already been performed.”

“Oh, how is she?”

Although he has no self-interest, Sanatana Gosvami will listen to all the samacara, news, of the villagers. What is the need? He wants to give them bhakti by his association – somehow or other. He will instruct someone, “Your father is very ill. Try to chant ‘Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna’ and he will improve.”

In any way he can, Sanatana Gosvami gives his mercy. This is the symptom of para-duhkha-duhkhi. He has nothing to be gained for himself. Rather, he is simply unhappy to see the unhappiness of others.

Sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is addressing Sanatana Gosvami as Prabhu. Who is Prabhu? Mahaprabhu is Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda and Advaita Acarya are both Prabhus. A Prabhu is one who can give anything to any person. He should be master of all things. I may ask you, “I want a son. Please give me a son.” Can you fulfill my request? No, you cannot. But if I request you, “Give me five rupees,” you can give that. What you have, you can give. You cannot give what you don’t have. Because Sanatana Gosvami can give anything we may desire, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has addressed him as Prabhu: “O Prabhu, you have something in your treasury which you can supply to me. Please give me radha-pada dasya. You are the master of that. Prabhu asrayami. I am taking shelter of your lotus feet.”

The question is raised: “We hear that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays to Sri Rupa Manjari, but does he not pray to Lavanga Manjari in the same way? The answer is that he has not prayed here, but he knows that Sanatana Gosvami is Lavanga Manjari. He can pray, but not everything can be written. In his mind he always prays. He has prayed to all the sakhis, and he has prayed even to Saibya, Padma and Candravali who are Radhika’s rivals – and what to speak of Lavanga Manjari.

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has prayed to Sakhi Sthali (the abode of Candravali, Radhika’s chief rival), though in one way he should not do so. A man once brought buttermilk from there, and he became very furious; yet he prayed to Sakhi Sthali. He has also offered pranama to Jatila and Kotila (the mother-in-law and sister-in-law of Radhika, who ae always trying to prevent Radhika from meeting with Krsna). If Jatila and Kotila were not there, there would be no rasa.

So it must be that he also prays to Lavanga Manjari, Sanatana Gosvami in his form as a manjari, but not everything can be given in writing. In Çrimad-Bhagavatam we see the same thing. Only one day’s rasa has been described, and only eight days’ association of Uddhava has been given. It is stated that Uddhava stayed in Vrndavana for six or ten months, but what took place and what conversations transpired have not been written.

We should always remember all these topics, as well as the pastimes of Krsna – not only for others, but with a wish to have a relationship with Him.


Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Dear Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
July 4, 2015 (in America) is the commemoration of Gundica Mandira Marjana, the cleaning of the Gundica Temple. Please accept this lecture (Listen) excerpted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra. You can download the entire book by clicking on the following link:
Your aspiring servants,
The hari-katha team]

We should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. He is the same God for the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and all others. There are not different Gods – He is the same God, the same Allah, the same Christ. Just as there is one sun and one moon for the entire world, similarly, there are not different Gods for different people. How can God be divided? There cannot be more than one God; otherwise all the gods will quarrel over territory and position. There is only one God, but He appears according to the vision of the devotee.

An analogy can be given in relation to the moon. It appears that there are fifteen different moons. For fifteen days the moon gradually increases in size, eventually becoming a full moon. After that it decreases in size again, becoming a new moon on the last day of the month. The “moons” are not different; it is the names of the moon that are different: full moon, new moon, quarter moon, and so on. Similarly, there is only one God, but He appears to be many because people have seemingly divided Him up by their different languages and understandings.

Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has many manifestations such as Rama, Nrsimha, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Narayana, and they are all the same. Even the person Christians call “God” is the same, for He is also one of Krsna’s manifestations, as are Allah and Jehovah. These are all names of God’s manifestations. Some of these manifestations are more complete and have more power, and some have less power. The full moon, the new moon, and the stages in between all belong to the same moon, but we see differences according to our angle of vision. Actually, the moon is always full, but we consider that it is waxing or waning when it is covered to varying degrees.

In the same way, Krsna is one without a second. He has innumerable manifestations, but they are all Krsna. We are also parts and parcels of Krsna. We are not Krsna, but at the same time, we are non-different from Him. Both principles are there: difference and non-difference. We can use the analogies of the sun and its rays, and the fire and its heat; they are also different and nondifferent. This is an astonishing truth, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained thoroughly.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. Sometimes He manifests in this world personally, and sometimes He sends His associates to give pure knowledge. All the souls here in this world are eternal servants of that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the true conception, whether we accept it or not. We have forgotten Him from the beginning of the creation of this world, so He sometimes descends and performs very sweet and powerful pastimes so that all conditioned souls will be attracted to Him and engage in His service. He sometimes descends as Krsna, sometimes as Rama, and sometimes as Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra.

We cannot realize Krsna if our hearts are full of lust, worldly desires, and unwanted habits. He cannot come into our hearts under these circumstances; so these impurities must first be given up. There is no place for doubt in devotion. No one has any confusion or doubt about whether the sun exists, so why should there be any doubt about the existence of the creator of millions of suns? He can create millions and millions of worlds in a moment, and He can also destroy them. Sometimes He comes here, only to save us and to engage us all in His service. Other than serving Him, there is no way to be happy in this world or in any other world. There is only one God, and ignoring Him is the cause of our unhappiness.

We can be happy if we engage in Krsna’s service. Don’t be afraid that serving Him will be like serving someone in this world. There is immense happiness in serving Him, more so than in serving your wife, husband, children, father, and so on. There is very, very relishable love and affection in His service. There is so much love and affection in Krsna’s transcendental abode – oceans of love and affection. In this world the master gains and the servant has to lose something, but it is not like that there.

First we should know that we are Krsna’s eternal servants, but we have forgotten Him, and that is the cause of all our suffering and sorrow, birth and death. We should have very firm faith in this. Don’t have any doubt that we are spirit souls, parts and parcels of Godhead, that we are His eternal servants, and that it is due to forgetting Him that we are suffering now. We can realize His mercy if we chant His name and surrender to Him, giving up all doubts as Arjuna did.

Jagannatha-deva, Baladeva Prabhu, and Subhadra have descended to this world from their transcendental abode. We will gradually try to explain the true identity (svarupa) of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – who they are and how they came to
this world.

Today is the day of gundica-mandira-marjana, the cleansing of the Gundica Temple. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta states that the temple of Jagannatha represents Dvaraka, while the temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and represents Vrndavana. All the gopis, such as Lalita, Visakha, and Srimati Radhika, are there in Vrndavana, and so are Nanda Baba, Yaçoda, and all the other Vrajavasis. Vasudeva, Devaki, Baladeva, Subhadra, and all the other Dvarakavasis reside in Dvaraka. While Krsna resides in Dvaraka, He always remembers the Vrajavasis – His father Nanda Baba, His mother Yasoda, His cows, calves, friends, and especially His beloved gopis. He sometimes becomes so distraught in separation from them that He arranges to go to Vrndavana to meet them.

One day before the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu leads all the devotees to the Gundica Mandira to clean it. On the next day, Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira along with Baladeva, Subhadra, and His devotees for ten days, after which they all return. Just as Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira after it is cleaned, so He may come into your heart if you make it very pure and clean.

This festival of gundica-marjana has been performed every year since Satya-yuga. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta we see that previously, before the participation of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the servants of the King used to clean that temple, but they would not clean it properly because they were being paid to do it. They could not give Jagannatha much pleasure because they had no devotion. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told the King through his priest Kasi Misra, “I would like the service of cleaning the temple and the surrounding area to be given to us.” He told Kasi Misra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and others, “Please get permission from the King so that this year I Myself will serve the Gundica Mandira along with My associates. We will sweep and clean it ourselves. There is no need to send any servants of the King; no need at all. We only need some brooms and pitchers.”

Hundreds and thousands of pitchers and brooms were obtained, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates arrived. Thousands of Bengali devotees and many thousands of Orissan devotees accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu with dancing and kirtana. They had about fifteen mrdangas and many karatalas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave them all garlands and candana, and then, dancing in line formation, they all began to sing. They all went to Gundica Mandira, singing and dancing, and holding their brooms and pitchers.

The King became very happy. He wanted to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him, but although he was a very high-class devotee, he had the name and position of a king. He had great wealth and reputation and was always surrounded by armies, commanders, and so on. Following the regulations of the sannyasa order, Caitanya Mahaprabhu never wanted a sense enjoyer (visayi) such as a king to come to Him. He considered that it would be a disturbance, because He would be bound to hear mundane talk (visayi-katha). We will be alarmed and fearful if a snake comes near us, even if its poison has been removed. Similarly, a devotee fears association with a sense enjoyer because it will disturb his sadhana-bhajana. Now, however, we ourselves are like sense enjoyers, because we are hankering for wealth, reputation, and position.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan Himself. He is nondifferent from Jagannatha, but He was playing the role of a devotee, which is why He had sent a representative to tell the King, “I want to go personally and clean the entire temple.” The King had then requested Kasi Misra, who was his superintendent, minister, priest, and spiritual master, “His devotees can take whatever utensils and other paraphernalia He wants.”

Mahaprabhu had thus called His associates, such as Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Gadadhara Pandita, and others. Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu were also there, along with all the Gaudiya bhaktas. There were thousands and thousands of devotees, and on the evening before the festival, Mahaprabhu had told them all, “You should each bring a big broom made of coconut tree fibers, and each of you should also bring a clay pitcher.”

Now, on the next day, at about seven in the morning, devotees assembled from all over India and all over the world – not only one or two hundred thousand, but about one million. First Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted flower garlands and candana Himself, and then He gave them to all the devotees. They all wanted to offer pranama to Him, but instead He very humbly offered pranama to all of them. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to touch His feet, but He very humbly touched Nityananda’s feet.

He had no false ego, thinking, “I am a guru; everyone should respect me. Why should I respect others?” Actually, people who think like that are not pure devotees. A guru is one who respects others. His symptoms are:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)

He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, “Water! Water! Water!” If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, “Oh, spare me! Don’t cut me!” It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krsna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krsna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees.

The devotees with Mahaprabhu were touching each other’s feet and at the same time performing kirtana. Each holding a broom and a pitcher, they performed nagara-sankirtana the entire distance from the Jagannatha Temple to Gundica. The hundreds of thousands of devotees began to bring water from the very large pond known as Indradyumna-sarovara, and as they did so, they said, “Krsna! Krsna!” to each other as they gave and received the clay pitchers. They were filling their clay pots with water, carrying the pots on their heads or in other ways, and giving them to others, saying, “Hare Krsna!” to others on the way. Then, taking back the empty pots, they again said, “Hare Krsna!” In this way they were running back and forth very quickly. Similarly, while the devotees were sweeping, they were saying, “Krsna! Krsna!” Everything was going on only with the chanting of the names, “Krsna! Krsna!” and no other sound could be heard. If a clay pot was broken due to the haste, there would be sounds of, “O Krsna! Krsna!” and new clay pots were brought from a shop at once.

In this way, everyone was engaged in cleaning the courtyard of the Gundica Mandira. Water was thrown everywhere, and all the areas were cleared so that torrents of water flowed from the drain like the current of a river. Mahaprabhu cleaned everywhere, high and low, throwing water here and there, and thus everything became as clean as His own heart. This is known as gundica-mandira-marjana.

Your heart is like a throne (simhasana), and you will have to clean it if you want to keep Krsna and Radhika there. First clean it, and then They will come. Who will clean it? Nityananda Prabhu may do so and gurudeva may do so, but you will also have to do something. Guru will help you; he has the power to do so, and he is very merciful, but you will also have to do something. You must follow his orders. Be like Arjuna, who told Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (2.7): “sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam – I have offered myself at Your lotus feet. I will follow Your order and obey all Your instructions.” Krsna then ordered him to fight, and he was successful.

Similarly, guru can help you if you follow and obey him, but if you disobey, that is an offense and your desire to serve Krsna will disappear. Try to obey. For example, gurudeva says, “You should chant every day. You should chant not less than sixteen rounds, and chant your guru-gayatri and all other gayatri mantras daily.” A disciple may say, “Gurudeva, I’m very weak, I cannot chant gayatri-mantra. When I chant, I get a headache. I become sick and my mind becomes upset. What should I do?” Gurudeva will reply, “You should continue to chant, and your headache, sickness, and all other disturbances will go away. But you will have to do it.” Then, if you do not obey, what can he do?

Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was cleaning the temple. Merely sweeping with a broom will not do, for a broom can never touch our hearts. In order to demonstrate this, Mahaprabhu told His associates, “We should chant and remember, performing kirtana along with the sweeping. Then it will have some effect.” If you are cleaning your house in your householder life, while you sweep you can sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Whatever job you do, chant these names with your heart, and then your heart will be “swept.” It will become pure and clear, neat and clean.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere.

Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated:

sri-gundica-mandiram atma-vrndaih
sammarjayan ksalanatah sa gaurah
sva-citta-vac chitalam ujjvalam ca
krsnopavesaupayikam cakara

[“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Sri Krsna to sit.”]

sri-haste karena simhasanera marjana
prabhu age jala ani’ deya bhakta-gana

[“Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.”]

nija-vastre kaila prabhu grha sammarjana
mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana

[“The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also.”]

We should give up all our worldly positions and ego that dictates, “I am so intelligent; I have so much power; I am the superintendent; I am the monarch of all; I am guru.” Advaita Acarya was Maha-Visnu Himself, but he was very humble and polite, and he also cleaned the temple.

All the devotees were sweeping, as was Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. First they swept away very big stones, stone chips, and pieces of grass. If you want to make a seat in your heart for Radha and Krsna, your heart must be like Vrndavana, and if you do not make your heart very pure and transcendental like Vrndavana, Krsna cannot come. If you have any worldly desires, they will be like thorns pricking Krsna’s body. These thorns are lust, anger, greed, envy, attachment for worldly things, quarreling, and criticizing. If you want bhakti, don’t criticize anyone. Be tolerant and follow this verse:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)

[“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”]

If you do not have these four qualities, you will never be able to chant, because the holy name is transcendental. You cannot chant with your tongue, and you cannot see Krsna with your eyes.

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234)

[“Material senses cannot appreciate Krsna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is.”]

You should think, “I am serving Krsna by chanting – this is my service. O Krsna, please purify me.” If you surrender and offer yourself unto the lotus feet of Krsna, He will mercifully come and dance on your tongue.

There are three stages of chanting: nama-aparadha, namaabhasa, and suddha-nama. When you practice by your tongue and by your endeavor, this is nama-aparadha. When you chant with some sraddha (faith), then it will be nama-abhasa, and if your chanting is pure, then Krsna Himself will dance on your tongue. We should try to pray to Krsna, “I offer myself unto Your lotus feet, giving up all worldly desires. I have no beloved except You. You are mine.” Be like the gopis, and then Krsna may come.

When the stones were cleared away, the thousands of devotees, along with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, and Sri Svarupa Damodara, swept again. Mahaprabhu told them, “I want to see who has swept up the biggest pile of dust. Everyone should collect their pile in their cloths, and I will examine them; otherwise some may cheat the others by only pretending to sweep, but not really doing so.” In the end, everyone saw that Mahaprabhu had swept up much more than all the others combined. Sometimes Mahaprabhu would give a very sweet lesson to those who were only pretending, instead of actually sweeping. He would say to them, “Oh, you have done so much. You should teach others.” Hearing these joking words, all the devotees would laugh.

The devotees swept three times, and there is a deep meaning behind this. We have committed so many offenses, we are in so much ignorance, and we have so many unwanted habits. We should very boldly and strongly give up activities that are not favorable for krsna-bhakti, and we should very boldly reject things and people that are not favorable to bhakti. We should totally reject any wish, any desire, or any result that is not favorable for pleasing Krsna or a pure devotee and guru.

You should reject anyone who criticizes high-class devotees. You can defeat his arguments, and if you are like Hanuman, you can burn all of Lanka and also cut out his tongue. If you are not of Hanuman’s caliber, then you should block your ears and simply leave that place where criticism is going on. Always try to accept only the things, the society, and the association that are favorable for bhakti. Do not desire or expect praise for yourself. Never have any wish to be honored by others, but always give honor to all devotees according to their standard of bhakti.

The heart of a devotee who is chanting and remembering Krsna should be pure. Why should a brahmacari or sannyasi who has been worshiping, chanting, and serving his gurudeva for twenty years have the desire to marry and amass wealth? And why does he leave aside his sannyasa or brahmacari saffron cloth, and get a girlfriend or even a boyfriend? This is not advancement towards Krsna. It may be that he has neglected pure devotees and has no faith in his gurudeva’s words, and it may also be that his gurudeva is fallen.

A devotee who is chanting the holy name purely from the beginning will be like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami left everything and never again accepted worldly enjoyment. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left worldly life and his wife and children, and he never returned to them again. If brahmacaris and sannyasis accept worldly life again, it means they have no faith in Krsna’s name. Krsna has invested His whole power, His whole mercy, opulence, and so forth in His name. Brahma can create the world only by the mercy of this name – by his chanting of this name. Sankara, too, can only perform any task by chanting Krsna’s name. Neither of them can do anything without the help of the holy name.

We have no faith that Krsna’s name can maintain our lives. From the beginning, we have no taste and have committed so many offenses. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore telling us, “You must purify your hearts, if you want to be devotees and realize Krsna, and if you want Krsna to be seated in your hearts.” But you have no power to do it. You cannot purify your hearts, so who will purify them? You can do it if you are under the guidance of Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Svarupa Damodara, and Sri Raya Ramananda. Otherwise, your doubts will never go away, you will commit offenses, and you will remain attached to unwanted habits. So many desires to taste worldly enjoyment will come to you, and you will not be able to check them.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore instructing us. He Himself was sweeping, along with His devotees, in order to teach us. That is why His devotees swept a first time, then a second time, and then a third time. The first time they swept, they removed big stones, chips, and grasses; the second time, they removed very fine dust; and the third time still finer dust.

When all the dust was taken out, there still remained spots of black tar, which cannot be removed simply by sweeping. For this you will have to try much harder. You will have to use a very sharp instrument, and then you will have to wash off the spots with a cleaner like kerosene or alcohol. These spots are our offenses, and they will not disappear by sweeping alone. These spots are deceit (kutinati ) and desires for profit (labha), adoration (puja), and fame (pratistha). Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, 19.159) has explained this, and Srila Swami Maharaja has given the translation:

nisiddhacara kutinati jiva-himsana
labha-puja-pratisthadi yata upasakha-gana

[“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.”]

Nowadays, many persons have no proper respect for Vaisnavas. They tell them, “Oh, you cannot enter our temple.” Juniors are not giving proper respect to seniors, and seniors are not giving proper respect, love, and affection to juniors. This is the problem, and the root of it is offenses to the holy name. Many devotees have no regard for the holy name. They have no strong faith in chanting, and that is why so many senior devotees are going away and junior devotees are coming, becoming senior, and then also going away. These are the problems nowadays. You can easily give up your children, your wives, your husbands, your relatives, and even your wealth. But it is very hard to give up the desire for praise, and it is hard to follow this verse (Siksastaka (3):

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

[“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari.”]

This is the meaning of “sweeping the heart,” and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted this. At this stage you will honor even a creeper and a tree, what to speak of devotees. You will see Krsna in everyone and everywhere, and then you will be able to honor everyone properly. We should try to sweep in our hearts today, on this sacred day of gundica-mandira-marjana.

We should try to understand what are nisiddhacara, prohibited activities. For example, if you are a brahmacari or sannyasi be far away from lust.

asat-sanga-tyaga, – ei vaisnava-acara
‘stri-sangi’ – eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta’ ara
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.87)

[“A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krsna.”]

Try to follow this, whether you are a family man or in the renounced order. Do not associate with Mayavadis who do not believe in the personal form of Krsna or Godhead. To such persons, everything is God, which means that everything is zero.
Also, do not associate with those who are lusty – one should remain very far away from such people. Do not tell lies, do not be duplicitous, do not be politicians, and do not be hypocrites. These are basic principles.

Kutinati: ku means “evil,” ti means “the,” na means “no” or “that which is prohibited,” and it means “particular.” Kutinati means activities that are like those of Putana. The word putana means impure, and she was the first demon killed by Krsna; He killed impurity first of all. First be pure by body, mind, and soul, by chanting and remembering, and by always serving Vaisnavas and giving them proper respect.

Jiva-himsana: don’t kill anything, even a creeper. This is also a basic principle. Jiva-himsana means violence, but in this connection violence does not only mean killing by the hands or by a weapon. It also means killing by the tongue, mind, or heart. Do not be envious. If you want to be pure devotees, remove envy from your hearts and don’t criticize any Vaisnava, for this is also himsa.

These spots will not be removed merely by sweeping, nor will they disappear simply by washing them with water. Rather, they will only become stronger and more prominent. In other words, these spots are not very easy to remove. They manifest as offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas and guru, and also as neglect of guru. Among the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, the first is the offense to pure devotees. The aspiring devotee must remove all these spots quickly, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore took His own outer garment and washed everything – up, down, here, there, and
everywhere. He did not leave even one corner unclean.

Thousands and thousands of devotees continually took water from Indradyumna Sarovara, and placed the water-pots in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, and Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself. Nowadays, those who consider themselves gurus will give orders to others and do nothing themselves. They think that they should only taste delicious maha-prasada and enjoy opulent surroundings; they may even have chairs made of gold. Such false gurus do not remain; rather, they go to hell.

In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was clearing away all unwanted mentalities and behaviors. In the first and second verses of his Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami also discusses the unwanted habits to be swept away. Without such sweeping, pure bhakti cannot be attained even in millions of births. In the first verse Rupa Gosvami states:

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

[“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”]

There are six kinds of vegas (urges), and the root is the tongue, which has no backbone. If you cannot control the tongue, all the other five urges will control you; and if you do control it, everything else is controlled. The tongue has two functions, the first of which is speaking. If this function is not controlled, you may say something wrong to another person and that may create a very big problem for you – you may even be ruined forever.

Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, once said something that was actually correct, but the circumstance in which she said it was inappropriate. She told Duryodhana, “Your father is blind, and you are also blind. Like father, like son.” Duryodhana was offended, and as a result the great Mahabharata War was fought and millions of people were killed. Similarly, the Ramayana War was fought only because of Sita’s tongue. She chastised Laksmana, and this ultimately led to a war in which so many were killed. You should therefore try to control your tongue; do not speak what should not be spoken.

The second function of the tongue is eating. If you eat meat fish, and other prohibited items, or if you take drugs, they will also harm you, and you will not be able to control your mind or your heart. On the other hand, everything will be controlled if you take only maha-prasada and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna….

In the second verse of Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami states:

atyaharah prayasas ca
prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

[“One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are
not interested in Krsna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.”]

Both Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have written commentaries on how to be free from these habits, and we can clean our hearts by reading these commentaries. It is stated in Srila Swami Maharaja’s purport (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.135):

[“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kutinati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the çastra), kama (desire for material gain), and puja (hankering for popularity).The word kutinati means “duplicity.” As an example of pratisthasa, one may attempt to imitate Srila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place.”]

Some Western devotees once went to Puri. They were not allowed to take darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the temple, but they were able to go to the Tota Gopinatha Temple, Srila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, and Siddha-bakula. One of those devotees gave over a thousand dollars to an Indian pujari at Siddha-bakula and said, “Give me the mala kept here, the beads on which Haridasa Thakura was chanting.” The man took the thousand dollars, stole the mala, and gave it to that “devotee” who then thought, “Oh, when I chant on this mala, I will be liberated and I will have bhakti.”

Imitation will not do, however. That person was offensive. Nowadays many people want to have large mala weighing not less than five kilos. They cannot chant properly, but still they collect big tulasi neckbeads with “Radhe, Radhe” written on them. This will not do; rather, false ego will increase by this. Try to chant and remember purely, and associate with devotees. It is stated in the same purport:

One’s real desire may be for name and fame. In other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a holy place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation). Nowadays there are so many “incarnations” like this. They have no belief in God, but they want to be guru, and after some days they fall down. This disease of false gurus and gods is spreading like the plague, and now there are so many “gods,” both in India and the West. We have been duplicitous since our birth; but now we must become very simple, and we should always honor devotees.

Also, be free from lobha, the greed for worldly things. Be free from thinking, “I must have this thing,” or “My relatives and neighbors have very good cars, but I don’t.” Be simple like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who followed the instructions given to him by Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

gramya-katha na çunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
amani manada haïa krsna-nama sada la’be
vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 6.236–7)

[“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana.”]

Follow Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and others like them. Be simple like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Mahaprabhu personally removed all the spots from the simhasana on which Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra would sit – He did not leave it to anyone else to do. This means that we should try to make our hearts like a simhasana where Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra will sit, where Radha and Krsna will sit, and where Mahaprabhu will sit. This opportunity will not come if there are dirty thoughts and aspirations in our hearts. They will never come. Take your ears in your hands [This is an Indian expression. In India when one is expressing regret due to a sense of guilt, he holds his earlobes as he apologizes.] and promise, “From today I will practice properly.” Krsna will provide for you if you are always chanting and remembering. He will look after you, and sometimes He may come to you as a servant, bringing paraphernalia for you on His head. There are many examples as evidence of this, so do not worry about how to maintain yourselves. The only problem should be how to purify yourselves, and how to attain love and affection for Krsna.

While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning, a very young Gaudiya bhakta took a pitcher of water, poured the water on Mahaprabhu’s feet, and drank some of it. Mahaprabhu then appeared very angry and said, “What are you doing? Nonsense! Jagannatha is coming here. Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and we are cleaning here, preparing for Him to come. I am an ordinary person, a man, and yet this person is washing My feet and taking that water to drink. This offense is very bad for Me, and for him.”

If you wash the feet of an ordinary person in Krsna’s temple, it is a very big offense. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He is giving instruction to others. A bona fide guru will never proudly think, “Very good! My disciple comes and places flowers on my feet, pours water on them, washes them, sprinkles that water on others, and then drinks it.” A pure Vaisnava or guru never considers, “I am an advanced devotee.” Even Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Srimati Radhika, has said:

na prema-gandho ’sti darapi me harau
krandami saubhagya-bharam prakasitum
vamsi-vilasy-anana-lokanam vina
bibharmi yat prana-patangakan vrtha

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45)

[“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krsna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”]

“I have not even a scent of bhakti to Krsna. I am more wretched than anyone.” Radhika Herself is saying, “Oh, the forest deer are superior to me. They can go near to Krsna and beg His love and affection as a beloved, but we cannot go there. The rivers are also so much more fortunate than us gopis. Krsna goes to the Yamuna to bathe and she can embrace Krsna; she can give Him a lotus flower from her hand-like waves. She can give her whole heart to Krsna and tell Him, ‘O my beloved.’ When Krsna plays on His flute, she becomes stunned and stops flowing. She is much greater than us, for we cannot do as she does.

“And what is the condition of the calves and cows? The cows are grazing, but when they hear the sweet sound of Krsna’s flute, they raise their ears to hear and to drink in the sweet nectar of that flute. Their calves also drink the nectar of Krsna’s flute through their ears. While they drink the milk from their mothers’ udders, they hear the flute, and at that time they forget the milk altogether; they neither swallow it nor spit it out, and it simply remains in their mouths. Oh, we are not like this.”

Mahaprabhu similarly laments, “The fish are superior to me. If they are taken from water, they will die at once; but I am not dying although I have no darsana of Krsna. How wretched I am!”

Nowadays many devotees think, “Gurudeva simply gave us chanting beads, and by this we became more than God and we began to control the whole world.” The next day, however, we see that nothing is there – no tulasi beads, no chanting beads; nothing. And now they have again become mice. [*See Endnote 1]

Mahaprabhu performed this pastime in order to teach us devotional principles, so He called Svarupa Damodara and told him, “Svarupa Damodara Prabhu! Just see the behavior of your Gaudiya bhakta. He is insulting Me in front of Thakuraji. You have not instructed him how to be a pure devotee. See how he is behaving! He is in the temple of Jagannatha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and although I am an ordinary person, he is pouring water on My feet and drinking it. This is very offensive to Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and I am very upset about this.”

Svarupa Damodara then slapped the young devotee and dragged him outside – as a gesture. Actually, he was very happy with him. Outside the temple, when he was beyond Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s view, he told that devotee, “You have done very well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He wants to teach others that we should not behave like this towards ordinary persons. You have not done anything wrong. You have done the right thing. Wait here, and I will call for you again.”

Then, when he was called, that Bengali devotee told Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong.” He begged for forgiveness, and Mahaprabhu forgot the matter.

No one should tell anyone else to worship him. One should not love anyone or weep for anyone in front of the deity. You can only do pranama to your pure gurudeva, not to anyone else. Wherever the deities are present, we should not try to control anyone; that will be an offense. We can learn all the rules and regulations of deity worship by reading the book Arcana-dipika.

Nowadays, gurus are coming like kan-gurus. All are gurus but none are gurus. They are everywhere, like the germs of a plague. They are cheaters, not gurus. They are not Bhagavan. In India you can very easily find so many “Gods,” so many “Supreme Personalities of Godheads.” One thinks that he is Sankara, another thinks that he is Ganesa, and someone else thinks he is Sarasvati. Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew this day would come.

Try to enter the real process of bhakti. Hear from the proper person, take his words into your heart and try to follow him. Then you can sweep your heart and also become a pure devotee. First you will enter the stage of kanistha-adhikara, then madhyama-adhikara, and then you will be a devotee. Otherwise, you are like a shadow devotee – fallen. Krsna has given you good intelligence. You should realize whether someone is a pure devotee or not, and if he is, then you can hear from him. A sadhu is a very elevated devotee who embodies the verse:

anukulyena krsnanusilanam
bhaktir uttama
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11)

[“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”]

Such a sadhu or guru has no worldly desires. His devotion is always like a stream of sweet honey, which flows like an unbroken current when it is poured.

Similarly, you should see whether your own activities – by body, by words, by mind, and by heart or mood – are to please Krsna or not. Suppose you are taking maha prasada. Why are you taking it? Is it to please Krsna or not? If you are not taking it to please Krsna, then it is like karma. If you go to sleep for yourself, it is karma, not bhakti. However, if you go to sleep thinking, “I will take some rest, and from early morning I will serve Krsna. I will be always chanting, remembering, worshiping, and
serving here and there,” then even your sleeping is for Krsna.

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Bhagavad-gita (9.27)

[“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.”]

After some time, whatever you do will be to please Krsna and your pure gurudeva. If someone follows this principle and always acts to please Krsna, you can accept him as your guru; otherwise don’t. If, when you were ignorant, you selected as guru someone who does not perform all his activities to please Krsna, Guru, and Vaisnavas, then reject that person. Reject him totally. Choose another guru very carefully and take initiation; otherwise you cannot have pure devotion and love for Krsna.

If you were initiated by a guru who was sincere at one time, but who fell down later on, reject him at once. Then you may enter the proper line and accept the self-realized devotees who are actually following anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmadyanavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Whatever they do, they do to please Krsna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. They will be in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If a person professing to be a guru is not actually in that line, he should be rejected at once. Bali Maharaja rejected his gurudeva, Sukracarya. Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, the gopis rejected their husbands, and Vibhisana rejected his brother Ravana. There are abundant examples of this.

If the guru is chanting and is somewhat in this line but he cannot give you prema-bhakti, then request him, “Please permit me to associate with a self-realized devotee.” If he does not give permission for you to do so, he is not a pure Vaisnava and he also should be rejected. However, if he gives the order, “You should go, and I will also go,” then he is a Vaisnava. You should respect him, and also go to take the association of that high-class devotee. This is the proper process, and it was followed by Sri Syamananda Gosvami, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, Sri Srinivasa Acarya, Srila Haridasa Thakura, and so many others. If you follow sastra and your superiors, you will come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. This is actually the meaning of gundica-mandira-marjana.

It is better to honor real Vaisnavas than to only worship the deities. Worship the deity, but serve the Vaisnavas at the same time. Gradually try to come from the stage of kanistha to the stage of madhyama. We are entering kanistha, but we are not even kanistha yet, because we do not have full faith in the deity. When we realize siddhanta, the established truths of Vaisnava philosophy, in the association of pure Vaisnavas, we will gradually become madhyama-adhikari. This is the object of today’s function. By this, the seed of the bhakti-creeper that your gurudeva has given to you will sprout, and it will then develop into the shape of a creeper that will ultimately lead you to Goloka Vrndavana. This is the real process.

When all the spots are removed, your status will be of the nature of pure devotion. Whatever we do, we should do as a service to Krsna, for His pleasure, but this is not sufficient by itself. There should be no worldly desire at all in that service. If one takes initiation from a bona fide guru, and he is chanting, remembering, and reading books, but he thinks, “I want to be wealthy, I want to have a very well-qualified son, and a very beautiful home and wife,” his bhakti will not be pure. Rather, it will be completely ruined. Even the desire for liberation is not pure bhakti. It is bhakti, but not pure uttama-bhakti. It is called aropa-siddha-bhakti, or sometimes sanga-siddha bhakti. His bhakti will be mixed with karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else.

More than ninety-five percent of those who call themselves bhaktas don’t actually follow uttama-bhakti or pure bhakti. They follow only aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti. What is aropa-siddha-bhakti? Making a garden or establishing gurukulas and goçalas is not really bhakti, but it may create impressions (samskaras) in the heart if the fruits are given to Krsna. If there is a gurukula, there is an opportunity that the boys will be given impressions from childhood for later development in bhakti. We see, however, that the students very rarely get these impressions. Many are ruined and are without character, they do not obey their fathers and mothers, they are not humble, and they do not honor devotees. Many are desperate. If that impression of bhakti had come, it would have been very good for them. It is only to give this impression that high-class devotees or gurus establish such institutions.

If we make a garden, we can take the fruits to the deities and to pure devotees, but if the fruit is not given to them, the result will be very bad. Actual bhakti is that activity in which there is chanting and remembering only to please Krsna. In the past, many devotees collected vast wealth for their temples. They collected vast amounts of money in a few days, but what became of them? They left Krsna consciousness. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted them to become qualified devotees.

It is not sufficient merely to sweep, or merely to wash off all the varieties of unwanted habits such as aparadhas. Something affirmative should be there – a strong taste for harinama and for hearing hari-katha. It is not enough just to clean your heart.
What will remain if you simply do that? Nothing. There should be something positive. There is no harm if you have no taste for chanting harinama, but you should have a taste for hearing harikatha. If you do not, then hear again and again, and give proper
respect to the pure devotees from whom you are hearing.

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25)

[“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”]

The speaker should be satam, a pure devotee. Do not maintain your own false idea that an ordinary person or devotee is a maha-bhagavata. Who has the qualification to realize who is a maha-bhagavata? Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, a disciple of Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, was an exalted uttamamaha-bhagavata, but he used to pretend he was smoking marijuana. He sometimes put dry fish bones here and there around his hut so people would think that he ate fish. He considered, “Those who are materially inclined should remain far away from me so I can be alone to chant Krsna’s name and remember Him.”

Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was on friendly terms with Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura honored him so much. Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, used to take his darçana, and at that time Babaji Maharaja gave him many deep teachings. Guru Maharaja told us, “Sometimes he spoke such high philosophy that I could not understand him.” If a devotee is ignorant and not even a kanistha Vaisnava, how can he know who is actually a maha-bhagavata? He will choose an unqualified person as a “maha-bhagavata,” and the next day he will see how that person has fallen down.

You should see what is your superior’s idea regarding who is a madhyama-adhikari or who is an uttama-adhikari, and you can also realize this if you follow Krsna consciousness and establish yourself on the platform of the advanced stage of madhyama-adhikara. It is an offense at the lotus feet of the real maha-bhagavata if you do not give him proper respect, and instead give great respect to a third-class, bogus person, calling him “maha-bhagavata.”

[Endnotes 1:  There is an instructive story called “Punar Musika Bhava – Again Become a Mouse.” A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore he approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then, being blessed by the sadhu, when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. When by the grace of the saint he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, who then asked him, “What do you want?” The tiger replied, “I want to eat you.” Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, “May you again become a mouse.”]

Cry When You Chant

23 -24 May 1996 Radlett U.K.

gurudeva sitting on wall

Cry When You Chant

[Hari-katha spoken by Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja – Srila Gurudeva] 

To listen to the audio file of this transcription, please click on this link: 

Devotee: For many years, she has not taken shelter of another guru to take diksa. But for many years she has been serving and some devotees are telling her that because she hasn’t accepted diksa from a guru, her service is worthless.

Srila Gurudeva: I cannot say like this. I speak on the authority of the sastra like the Srimad Bhagavatham and I follow what the disciplic acaryas have to say. We should follow in the footsteps of the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If any guru falls, we should give him up. Then our faith will not be broken. So, we should wait and look for a bona fide guru. By accepting him or a siksa guru, we will advance rapidly in our devotion. If we don’t have faith in anyone, then we should wait and pray to Krsna that He will arrange a bona fide guru for us. If you are not satisfied by the character of any guru, then you shouldn’t accept him as your diksa guru. I told some devotees of ISKCON to consider Svamiji as their siksa guru. 

I told them, “Thinking of Svamiji as your siksa guru, you should try to develop your mood. You should pray to him and to Krsna that they will manage a bona fide guru for you. Then there will be no need for you to repent as you did earlier, when you thought, ‘The guru I accepted has fallen down. The second guru I accepted has also fallen down.’” 

So, wait a little and see a bona fide guru by his own mercy. Without having a bona fide diksa guru, you will remain unqualified and you will not progress in your devotion. You will not come in the line of devotion because of this shortcoming. Not coming in order, you will not be able to totally follow anyone. Therefore, a diksa guru is needed. Hence, in our disciplic order it has been told that we should give up the fallen guru and accept a bona fide guru. But if he is chanting, his devotional services will not go in vain. They will help him to some extent; they will help him find a bona fide guru. Really, Krsna will manage and Krsna Himself will accept his service. If anyone hasn’t accepted a diksa-guru or a siksa guru, but still, chants, “Krsna Krsna,” then will his chanting go in vain? I think not because Ajamila didn’t accept a guru. He named his son as Narayana and would always call out to him, saying, “Narayana, Narayana.”

When he did so at the point of his death, the messengers of Narayana came and chastised the messengers of Yama Maharaja. They then instructed Ajamila on how he could obtain the service of Narayana. They saved him from death and Ajamila had the good fortune of listening to the discussion between the Yamadutas and Visnudutas. He then realized the glories of the holy name.

He thought, “Oh the glories of the holy name are so marvelous. To unintentionally chant or listen to the name of Narayana even once, without having a guru, will bestow incalculable transcendental benefit. Thus, I should go to Haridvar and accept the shelter of a bona fide guru. From him, I will learn and engage in the service of Narayana.”

With this objective in mind, Ajamila went to Haridvar to seek the shelter of a bona fide guru. He then accepted the shelter of a bona fide guru and came in the line of devotion. He chanted, worshiped, and meditated on the mantra of Narayana. Thus, he achieved perfection. Although, he chanted nama-abhasa, a semblance of the holy name, his chanting never went in vain. The bhakti we engage in presently is bhakti-abhasa, a semblance of devotion; we are not practicing pure bhakti. When we perform sadhana to attain bhava-bhakti, then the services we perform can constitute real bhakti. 

The definition of pure bhakti has been given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in the following verse. We must know this verse:



anukulyena krsnanu-

silanam bhaktir uttama

By observing the limbs of bhakti according to this verse, we will engage in svarupa-siddha bhakti. So, you need not worry or bother yourself. All your devotional services like chanting the holy name will never go in vain. The semblance of the holy name will provide something, but it will not provide entrance into Vraja. By receiving the holy name from a bona fide guru, you will enter Vraja. 

Devotee: How will I find a bona fide guru?

Srila Gurudeva: Krsna will manage. You cannot find a bona fide guru by yourself. If you are sincere, Krsna will arrange for you to take the shelter of a bona fide guru. Any of the disciples of Svamiji had never made any effort to find him. But, he went door to door of every house and gave everyone the instructions of Krsna. So, you should not be worried about these matters. The opposing devotees cannot tell all these truths to you. If I speak, they will patiently hear. I know.

So, you should see me as a friend and not otherwise. Let them do whatever propaganda they wish to make against me. One day, they will realize their folly. But, they may not have any time for repentance. 

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

[Devotee reads Srila Svami Maharaja’s purport of a particular verse]

Devotee: When you become convinced that Krsna is your intimate friend and protector, how happy and peaceful you will be. When everyone will love Krsna, the world will be filled with tranquillity. When you are protected by Krsna, you will never be worried about insufficiency. You will become pure and make progress in spiritual life. 

Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji has written this?

Devotee: Yes. 

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. Do you want this as a blessing from me? Or should I keep my blessings to myself? 

Now I will take prasadam and become ready for the evening class. I should be excused if I have given pain to any devotees. My mood is to only glorify your Prabhupada. I want everyone to know who Svamiji really was. 

Devotee: Maharaja, thank you very much for answering my questions.

Srila Gurudeva: I am also glad to have answered your questions. I will be gladder if you believe and act according to my answers. 

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

Is my daughter Anandini satisfied by my answers?

Anandini dasi: Very much.

Devotee: I am also satisfied.

Srila Gurudeva: You are also satisfied? 

I want to see you all again.

[Break of audio]

24th May 1996 Radlett

Devotee: After I have returned to England from Vrndavan with Bhudara, I see many changes in myself.

Srila Gurudeva: This is the mercy of the holy Dhama. I am very glad to meet you. You are a simple person. I am glad to know that you went to Vrndavan. I want you to develop your Krsna consciousness. I will feel so happy to help you develop your Krsna consciousness.  

Devotee: I give you my heart Gurudeva.

Srila Gurudeva: You are so lucky to have come in this line of cultivating love for the Divine Couple. You will only get this chance after many births. Hence, the devotee must make use of this opportunity. He will then tread this path of devotion and become sincere. His devotion will gradually develop and Krsna will facilitate the birth of the soul in the manifest pastimes of Vraja. You must have many pious activities from your past lives to your credit. You have performed many pious activities even in this life. Moreover, you went to Vrndavan and also to Govardhana. Therefore, they have given their causeless mercy to you. This is the mercy of Giriraja Govardhana and Vrndavan.

You must know that this human life is extremely rare. Therefore, you must use this opportunity to develop your Krsna consciousness. 

Srila Gurudeva to a devotee: Perhaps your wife and you are chanting?

Devotee: Yes. 

Vrajanatha Prabhu: You can tell Gurudeva what you are doing.

Devotee: We started a company with a minimum amount of money. Now, we have seventy employees. 

Vrajanatha Prabhu: He sent a very good sponsor letter for visa. 

Devotee: We run our company explicitly with love. There is not enough love in business. People need love. In order for me to speak about love, I need to be loved and I need to have my heart in the right place. This can only result through sincerity with Krsna. If I am humble, Krsna may give me the love and strength by which I can give it to others.

Srila Gurudeva: Chant more then you will have that love.

Devotee 2: No one eats meat in the company. It is a beautiful thing to be able to love Krsna and share Krsna’s love and sweetness in different ways with people in your life.

Srila Gurudeva: If a man has no love, he will never be happy. If you have love for the Divine Couple, then you can always be happy in Their service. This is the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I explained this in the morning class. All the living entities of the entire universe should have love for Krsna. If you have love for Krsna, you can distribute it to all. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and the other religions of this world are not actual religions. They are the process by which one can develop morality and a mood of brotherhood with each other. They concern themselves on how to make the souls happily and peacefully reside in this world. These religions are worldly designations. 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: The religions of this world are only material designations and nothing else. 

Srila Gurudeva: In our sastras, it is has been stated that all the souls are the part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead—Krsna. So, the souls of this world have become conditioned by choosing to enjoy the Lord’s material creation. Their minds and hearts are enamored by the Lord’s material creation. The conditioned souls are of the opinion that only wealth, women, and wine will give them happiness in life. But, only divine love can give them eternal happiness. After attaining this divine love, you will experience the topmost bliss.

I am very glad to have met you. 

Devotee: During your stay here, I felt your presence in my heart every day.

Vrajanatha Prabhu: For the entire week, he has felt your presence in his heart increase every passing day. 

Devotee: Whenever I would chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, my eyes would fill up with tears. 

Srila Gurudeva: May you develop the moods of bhakti very soon. It is good that you chant. But if you chant in the process that Caitanya Mahaprabhu has stated, you will attain divine love. Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained this process. Have you ever heard the name of Rupa Gosvami?

Devotee: Yes. I chanted in front of Rupa Gosvami’s Samadhi in Vrndavan.

Srila Gurudeva: That is why you cry while you chant. You should pray in a heartfelt way to Rupa Gosvami and his associates. In the books of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, it has been stated that if anyone can have the association of a bona fide Vaisnava and if they visit the pastime-places of Sri Radha and Krsna under the guidance of this association, then they will surely have this divine love. So, I will explain the process by which all anarthas will be removed on chanting Krsna’s name. I will speak on how you can increase your taste for the holy name.

Does anyone have any more questions?

Devotee 2: I have a question on receiving diksa.

Srila Gurudeva: Receiving diksa depends on your discretion. I will listen to what you have to say. I don’t have any self-interest. I don’t say, “You should be my disciple.” I only want to help. If you want to have that thing, you can approach me. 

Devotee 2: I believe everything that you have to say, that is why I asked the question. In India, many sincere disciples talked to me and told me that one receives the qualification to receive diksa by the Mahat’s mercy. 

Devotee 3: He has heard from through your disciples in India and now he has met you. He has spoken to Bhudhara Prabhu about diksa and now that he has met you, he feels so serious in this matter of taking initiation.   

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. You should also see me and associate with me. Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami have explained the process of diksa. A bad reaction results from accepting an unqualified guru. You should place your trust and faith in a bona fide guru. You should develop your relationship with such a bona fide guru because this relationship is forever. So, we should accept the shelter of a bona fide guru and not change our moods every passing day.

Devotee 2: Yes. It is not that we decide something today and have a different idea tomorrow. We should very carefully decide and be of the conviction, “I want this and nobody can change my decision.”

Srila Gurudeva: Like Svamiji; our disciplic order’s love and honor for their gurus increases at every moment. If someone is not a pure devotee, but is performing the service of a guru, then he should be honored. Because Nityananda Prabhu is the root of all gurus; He is adi-guru. The gurus of the disciplic order are the prakasa, manifestation of Sri Nityananda Prabhu; they are not separate from Him. The gurus must be established in this line, otherwise they cannot help others. The disciples of an unqualified guru will not be bona fide. So, we should see and judge before we determine who we will accept our guru as.

I am not telling you to immediately act this way. I know that you are sincere and qualified. For your benefit, you should determine to see if I am bona fide or not. Otherwise, I am always helping everyone.    

Devotee 2: I have respect for what you have told me. I am satisfied by what you have said. I have been thinking about taking diksa from you Maharaja since January. So, it is not something I have only been thinking about recently, I have been thinking since January. I have read your books and I have had many discussions with Bhudara also. 

Srila Gurudeva: Will your wife agree to your decision?

Devotee 2: She will agree. But if she also wants to get initiated, then I will determine how sincere is in her desire. But ultimately it is her decision. 

[Vrajanatha Prabhu explains what the devotee said to Srila Gurudeva]

Gurudeva, his wife also wants to be encouraged. But, he wants her to make a decision by herself. 

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. She should not be influenced or controlled by anyone. You shouldn’t force her to take initiation. 

Devotee 2: She has her decision and I have my decision. We love each other and we both love Krsna.

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. 

When is Ekadasi?

Vrajanatha Prabhu: Ekadasi is next week Gurudeva.

Devotee 2: Please bless our marriage Gurudeva.

[Break of audio]

[Srila Gurudeva speaks to the devotee couple]

I wish that both of you will love each other. You should see to each other’s requirements. Thus, you should help each other advance in cultivating divine love for Krsna. Without chanting you will not attain this divine love. Generally, people think that they will be happy by the things of this world. They think wine and other forms of intoxication, wealth, and duplicity will make them happy. But these cravings only act against their well-being. 

People want happiness, but they get sorrow. Sometimes, without them desiring so, they obtain wealth, reputation, and everything. But, those who want these things never attain them and resultantly, become unhappy. We way collect many things from this world during our time of a hundred years. But, you must know that you will have to leave everything behind when you leave your body. You will not be able to take a strand of hair with you, what to speak of other things? And you will not know where your next destination will be. You don’t know where you have come from also.

None of these senses can independently function. For instance, the ears seemingly listen to many sounds, but there is a driving force behind the working of the ears. Similarly, the mind and body cannot act on their own. There is a soul in the body that is a part and parcel of Krsna. You haven’ realized your real self—the soul. The soul is the driving force of the body. We don’t want to want to become old, but we will have to become old. We think we should always remain young, but we will see old age quickly dawn on us. Your power of sight and the functioning of the other senses will weaken. Your teeth will also fall out. You will become so old that you will be unable to move without anyone’s help. You will use a stick to support yourself.

Ultimately, you will give up this body. So, we should consider about what lies in our best interest. How can the soul be happy? We should not think, “By serving our body, we will be happy.” This understanding is quite wrong.

Rather, you should think, “What should I do by which I will realize the soul and the master of all souls—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna who has created this world and sent us here?”

We should try to realize Him. Religious designations will not suffice. Therefore, we should know all these truths. Even animals are engaged in eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Should the humans behave like the animals? We should try to know the answers to questions like, “What is the atma? Who is Krsna? Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Why have we come to this world? How can we be liberated?”

You should co-operate with your husband and he should also co-operate with you. Both of you should treat each other equally. You should not try to control each other. There should be equality and love between the both of you. Then you can live peacefully for your entire lives and help each advance in Krsna consciousness. Your lives will be spoiled if both of you act against each other’s moods. 

Now I am seeing here and there that the husband and wife are not bona fide. They give each other up and accept others. They then give them up and accept someone else. This is very traumatizing, especially to the children. You should not behave like this. 

We should try to chant and always think about how we can advance in our devotion. I will help you in all respects like a friend. 

You should always think of yourself as my darling daughter and not anything else.      

Room Conversation

18 June 1996 Los Angeles

Room Conversation

[Hari-katha spoken by Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja – Srila Gurudeva]

To listen to the audio file of this class, please click on this link:

Sripad Shrauti Maharaja: Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada said something about the real preachers, they should make an uncompromising campaign against those who have malice and who are sincerely illusioned.

Srila Gurudeva: You should explain what he said.

Syamarani dasi: He quoted Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura that there should be an uncompromising campaign against malice and people who are sincerely illusioned.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, we are in that mood. Indeed, our whole Parampara is in that mood.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: In other words, he is saying there are two kinds of people. One person has so much malice in the heart, he is not acceptable. The other person is simply in illusion, he is sincere…

[Break of audio.]

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: In the pranama mantra for Kesava Maharaja, it is stated, “Namah Om Vishnupadaya Acharya Simha Rupine.”

Devotee: Like a lion.

Srila Gurudeva: I have come from him. Not all, but something is needed.


“I cannot compromise with the whole world if they are on your side,” I have told this to them many times.

Devotee: When you were at Radha Kunda this past parikrama, you were roaring like a lion.

Srila Gurudeva: My every word was like an atom bomb.


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

But, actually I don’t see any difference between ISKCON and me. But, I think that they have no intelligence. So, they should be forgiven because they are our children. We should not fight with them; they are our blind children.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

To a devotee: I will give you time at about 11 or 12. At that time you can question me and I will give you a flower.


Oh, one thing, I want to see our program schedule. I will have to give classes for seven days?

Brajanatha Prabhu: No, no. For another four or five days.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: No, no. Today is Wednesday. We will be here for five days. And on the Monday morning we arrive.

Srila Gurudeva: Where?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: We are going to this other city Bakersfield.

Srila Gurudeva: We go by car?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: By car. And it is three hours from here.

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, no harm. What will we do for these five days here? Only taking Prasadam? If there are no programs, let’s go on the streets and chant, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

If there are no programs, let us all go on Nagar-sankirtan.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: At evening time, there is a program every day at different homes.

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. In morning, the programs are here?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: The morning programs are here.

Brajanatha Prabhu: One day we should visit the beach and the ISKCON Temple.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Tomorrow is Thursday, so maybe tomorrow.

Bhudara Prabhu is here.

Srila Gurudeva: If they will not allow us to see the arati ceremony and offer flowers at the lotus feet of Svamiji during Guru-puja; then I will not go.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: So, must have arotik?

Srila Gurudeva: I will see arati, otherwise I will not go.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Then we must go at arati time.

Srila Gurudeva: If at another time, they tell us, “You are welcome,” very good. Otherwise, we will not go there. Our Prabhupada Svamiji is everywhere, we will go to the beach and take the footdust of Svamiji. I don’t want to create any problems for them. And everywhere, I will tell, “They have closed the doors for us.” No one has the right to tell anyone, “You cannot see others.” But if they persist in speaking this way, we should understand that they are more than Mohammedans and others.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Then we must come for the morning time, when they are opening the curtains of the deity?

Srila Gurudeva: If they agree, I will go. Otherwise, we will not go.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Then we will them, “We will only come at that time, or else we will not come.”

Srila Gurudeva: If I am not allowed to see the arati and Guru-puja, I will not go. We will think that Prabhupada Srila Svamiji and the deities are not there.

Syamarani dasi: When you were in Europe, you said, “If they don’t let me come, then I will the Indian newspapers.”

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, and all the newspapers.

Brajanatha Prabhu: American newspapers, and all other newspapers.

Srila Gurudeva: If they don’t allow us inside, you should write on behalf on me. My name should be there.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Definitely, we will do.

Devotee: Jaya Srila Gurudeva!

[Break of audio]

Srila Gurudeva:… Why they are fighting and we are fighting from Jagannatha temple priest and Brahmin? All Krishna devotees should go, whether ISKCON, out of ISKCON; everyone should go. We are fighting for that.

Syamarani dasi: Prabhupada used to give lectures that they wouldn’t allow Western devotees in the Jagannatha temple. And they made it very public.

[Break of audio]

Srila Gurudeva: How to control our minds? Can you tell?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Savai manah Krishna padaravindayoh.

Srila Gurudeva: That is correct but, you have so many requirements in this world that you cannot engage your mind in Krishna. So first, we should minimize our requirements.

You should tell your mind, “What you require from this world is for sense gratification only. So, my beloved mind, you should have no requirements.” By your past bad and good activities, all the things you want will come automatically and all the things you do not want will also come. So, you will have to tolerate and at the same time, when there will be no requirements; your mind will wander because it is a product of this material nature. You will have to check your mind from wandering, but how will you do this? You will have to give some food to the mind. If there are many monkeys that are disturbing us, then we will give some food to the monkeys and the monkeys will quarrel among themselves for the food. They will eat the food and they will not disturb us. So, give this monkey like mind something. But what is it that should be given to the mind? If you have no requirements, nothing, but yet, you are not giving any food to the mind; then your mind will disturb you and desires for sense gratification will arise. What is that food that should be given to the mind? Pray to Krishna and His name and say, “Save us! Save us! All bad habits should go away. No offenses and anarthas should remain or return.” You cannot save yourself by your own efforts. You have no power. You will have to pray to… To whom?

You will have to pray to those personalities who can control and subdue this impediments. Who are these personalities? They are the generals of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Who are the generals? They are Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Sanatana Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Raghunatha das Gosvami, and their followers are the generals. They can control all these obstacles from affecting you, so, try to pray to them. While praying to them, weep from the core of your hearts, your cries must not be an external show. You engage in some activities as an external show. You chant harinama and walk here and there; this is for show. But, you should sit in a solitary place, and being alone, you must chant and pray to the holy name. You must worship and serve the holy name. I see that when you are walking, you go here and there in vain, and only artificially chant. This is not chanting, it is not nama-abhasa yet. But why should you continue chanting? Because chanting is your only recourse, besides chanting, you are doing nothing; so you must chant. But, that name you chant will not do anything.

Being in a place where no one can see you, you should very deeply think and chant. But what should you think? What you think is the food that should be given to the mind. Pray to Krishna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Their associates. In Vrindavana, dried chickpeas are sold. Once you buy a certain quantity and eat, you will soon find yourself buying some more after a few minutes because you have finished eating what you bought earlier. So, something temporary should not be given to the mind, give it something that is permanent. You should make your mind remember the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

You should tell your mind, “Oh mind, go where Caitanya Mahaprabhu is.” Where is Caitanya Mahaprabhu? He is in Mayapura. Now where is He? Try to discover where He is. Can you tell? What is He doing presently?

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: He is in Sri Saci Matha’s courtyard, speaking to His associates.

Srila Gurudeva: What is He doing at this time?

Devotee: At this time? Udilo aruna purava bhage.

Srila Gurudeva: At this time, Mahaprabhu has returned from Srivasa Angana. The whole night, He was serving Krishna in the mood of Srimati Radhika. He returned with ‘Gargara mana.’ At once, Mahaprabhu will weep. Why? Because Nisanta lila had just ended. All were separated and when Mahaprabhu reaches home, all the devotees will come and pacify Him. After that, Saci Matha will come and on seeing her Nimai, she says, “Why are You so?” She will take Caitanya Mahaprabhu and wash His mouth with her hands. She tells Mahaprabhu, “Now the sun has arisen, You should go and bathe in the Ganga.” Then, Gadadhara Pandita, Svarupa Damodara, Murari Gupta, Jagadananda Pandit, Srivasa Pandit, Advaita Acharya, and all the associates of Mahaprabhu come. They all go to take bath in the waters of the Ganga who is nearby. While taking bath in the Ganga, Mahaprabhu thinks that Krishna is taking bath in Nandagaon. Mahaprabhu envisions how Krishna is taking bath. After that, Mahaprabhu thinks, “Where is Srimati Radhika?” She is also taking bath in Yavat. All the sakhis are also present with Her. So, hours and hours will pass, and the sincere sadhaka will still be chanting, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” As he chants, he will weep. This is permanent food for the mind. By this, you will be controlled and satisfied. You will continually engage in service. Try to engage your mind this way.

Do you understand something? This is an outline of how Srila Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha das Gosvami, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and other divine personalities would control their minds while being engaged in their human like pastimes. Gradually, step by step, control your mind. We cannot follow a post graduate of devotion—a Mahabhagavat, but we can follow Madhyama-adhikaris. But this Madhyama adhikari should be a Madhyama-kanista, not a Madhyama-madhyama.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Why not Madhyama-madhyama?

Srila Gurudeva: You cannot follow. You can only understand one step of devotion at a time. You can only follow those who are ahead of you. But if you meet them the pure devotees, you may commit an offense because you may consider him to be your rival. As someone did to Svamiji. Someone tries to rival his Gurudeva, thinking him to be an ordinary person.

Devotee: Madhyam-kanista is after kanista?

Srila Gurudeva: After kanista-uttama comes Madhyama-kanista.

Devotee: A Madhyama comes in nista?

Srila Gurudeva: No nista. If you are kanista, nista is lacking.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Madhyama-madhyama has nista?

Srila Gurudeva: Nista begins from the Madhyama stage. A kanista has nista, but it is not matured. A kanista hears from a Madhyama-adhikari on who a kanistha is, who a Madhyama is, and on who an uttama is. Then, he gradually develops. A kanista comes in the Madhyama-kanista stage, then he becomes a Madhyama-madhyama. He then becomes Madhyama-uttama. There are so many stages in the realm of devotion.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Asakthi comes at which point in Madhyama? Madhyama-kanista?

Srila Gurudeva: Madhyama-madhyama. And when the stage of bhava comes, the devotee is in the stage of Madhyama-uttama. Then, you can become a sadhaka. Before, you were in the stage of sadhaka-abhasa. We are all in the category of sadhaka-abhasa, not sadhaka. When we come in the platform of Bilvamangala Thakura, then we are sadhakas, otherwise we are not sadhakas. Who is called a sadhaka?

Krti sadhya bhaved sadhya…

The nitya siddha bhava of the Vrajavasis like Gopi bhava or Yasoda Maiya’s bhava constitutes the bhava of the Ragatmika Vrajavasis. For imbibing these moods, we are performing sadhana. We want Visuddha-sattva bhava, the mood of unalloyed goodness to descend within our hearts, then our efforts will be called sadhana.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: When we say kanista, Madhyama, and uttama, can we find an Uttama-adhikari in this world?

Srila Gurudeva: You cannot find, but someone can find, because Krishna has arranged for them. You will see a person committing offenses, you will also see that he has ego, lust, and other qualities. You will see all his qualities very minutely and judge. Judging him, you will say, “How stupid he is!” But you will not see how stupid you are. You are very qualified for judging people.


Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: I read the biography of Srila Vamshi das Babaji Maharaja.

Srila Gurudeva: That is why I said that you cannot understand who a Mahabhagavat is.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Vamshi das Babaji Maharaja was such a person?

Srila Gurudeva: He was a siddha purusha. What is siddha? It means he had bhava.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

If bhava will come, you will have no awareness of this body. Sometimes you will be aware.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Every Uttama is not necessarily a siddha?

Srila Gurudeva: No, they are siddha, that is why they are called Mahabhagavat. Bhava has descended in their hearts. But even among the Mahabhagavats, there are many categories. For instance, when Narada Rsi was the son of a maidservant, he belonged to the first stage of Mahabhagavat. Sukadeva Gosvami belonged to the second stage of Mahabhagavats. Narada Rsi in his full-fledged consciousness belongs to the third category of Mahabhagavats. They are all Uttama-adhikaris. The Narada Rsi of the third category is an Uttama-uttama. Sukadeva Gosvami is an Uttama-madhyama. When Narada Rsi had a glimpse of Krishna, where Krishna gave His darsana to Narada Rsi and vanished; then this stage was of Uttama-kanista. You should develop your Krishna consciousness and become a Madhyama-adhikari from the first stage, Madhyama-kanista. Understand that you have to become a Madhyama-adhikari, but don’t think, “I have become a Madhyama-adhikari.”

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: I was about to ask you, “What is the process?”

Srila Gurudeva: When any Vaisnava will come and kick you on the head, then this is the process. If any Vaisnava comes, if Svamiji comes and kicks you on the head; then you will attain perfection.

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: What will he give?

Devotee: A kick on the head.

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: Can you do again?


Srila Gurudeva: I cannot kick you. I am a kanistha-adhikari. I can kick you because of ego, anger, but it will not do. The Vaisnavas will kick you mercifully. Nityananda Prabhu placed his feet on the head of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. And He also kicked Sivananda Sena Prabhu. This is proper. Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami said, “A very exalted Vaisnava having a Vamsi, flute in his hands came to my house. He was very attached to Sri Nityananda Prabhu.” This Vaisnava is Minakatena Ramadasa. He would mercifully give some slaps and touch devotees with his Vamsi. He would also use his stick in bestowing his mercy to the devotees. He could do so because he was an Uttama-mahabhagavat. But I know that if I do so, I will do so because of anger. So it will not…

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: When you left the temple, I touched you shoes, and you said, “I should wash my hands.” I had the aspiration to do like this, and for ten minutes I felt bliss all over my body. So, if you kick me, I will feel bliss for the rest of my life.


Srila Gurudeva: If I kick you, you will abuse me. You will say, “This is a very bad person.”


What to speak of kicking you, if I will abuse you, you will be upset and at once you will return to your home with your wife. You will say, “Oh he is not a good person.”

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

Now we should return.

Devotee: One more question?

Srila Gurudeva: It is enough for today. I will answer your question later.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

[Audio break]

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Maharaja, his attitude is that he was like others, forced to take second initiation.

Srila Gurudeva: But he should follow the principles of Srimad Bhagavatham.

Brajanatha Prabhu: We have to leave early.

Srila Gurudeva: Where?

Brajanatha Prabhu: To Prana Jivan Prabhu’s house. The program is from 9:30.

Srila Gurudeva: The program is from 9:30? Then I will have to get ready.

I will have to chant. Have they invited all?

Brajanatha Prabhu: I am sure. Prana Jivan Prabhu has invited other persons. He is the elderly gentleman.

Devotee: Gurudeva, he is so much enlivened by you.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: He is a very sincere bhakta. But he wants to return here by eleven?

Brajanatha Prabhu: The pujari said.

Srila Gurudeva: Why eleven?

Brajanatha Prabhu: 9:30, we are leaving from here.

Srila Gurudeva: We should return by 10:30. But no harm, we will have to prepare Mahaprasad.

[Audio break]

Devotee: You cannot stay for more than 30 days.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Before 18 July, we have to return from Canada.

Srila Gurudeva: 18 July is so long.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: We can go to Vancouver, Canada and Mexico.

Devotee: You can go to two countries Maharaja—Canada and Mexico, provided they don’t stay for more than 30 days.

Srila Gurudeva: We can go to Mexico also?

Devotees: Yes!

[Lalit Mohan Prabhu makes some traditional Mexican sounds]

Srila Gurudeva: He is mad.


Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Pagal baba. He brought so many big…

Srila Gurudeva: I cannot take.

Lalit Mohan Prabhu: Gurudeva, we must use. It is so strong.

Srila Gurudeva: In the cars, it will be very uncomfortable.

Lalit Mohan Prabhu: Maybe you can see the brahmacaris carrying this black stick.

Brajanatha Prabhu: You can keep it in your house.

Srila Gurudeva: Make arrangements for my preaching in Mexico.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Yes.

Srila Gurudeva: But Mexico is in the opposite direction.

Brajanatha Prabhu: We can send Pundarika to Mexico, his uncle will be there and we can come later.


Srila Gurudeva: This is very good news. Then we can go back and forth?

Brajanatha Prabhu: Yes. As many times as we want.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Multiple entry.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Before thirty days, we have to return from there.

Devotee: Yes.

Srila Gurudeva: It will be very good if we can go to New York and from there, go to Toronto.

[Audio break]

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Extra thirty days.

Srila Gurudeva: I have to reach in time for Guru Purnima.

Brajanatha Prabhu: We can all pray to Yogamaya that she make some arrangements. If there was no Guru Purnima, I would have extended my stay.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: If we don’t reach there Mathura in time, all the Mathuravasis and the devotees will kick me out.


Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: But, next year maybe.

Srila Gurudeva: First, I will come to America and then, I will go to England and other places.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: By next year, Gurudeva, there will be so many invitations. So many invitations. You will not be able to return.

Srila Gurudeva: I will come here first and my final place of visit will be Holland.

Brajanatha Prabhu: First, we will go to Costa Rica and to South America. The weather is nice and warm.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Another thing. You can do twice every year because in the Southern Hemisphere of this planet…

Brajanatha Prabhu: There is no time. We cannot spend a lot of time outside India.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: When it is winter in India.

Srila Gurudeva: Will money not be required for traveling back and forth?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: We will arrange the money.

Srila Gurudeva: I can come if the funds are there.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: No problem! We will arrange.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Sridhama Prabhu is there. All the money will be arranged.


Srila Gurudeva: He is as poor as myself.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Vicitri will go collecting in Venice Beach.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: For your seva, we will become maha-dani.

Devotee : We are staying in Malaysia, so please visit us there Maharaja.

Srila Gurudeva: You should arrange in Malaysia. Can you arrange a program during December-January?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: You can do a two month to one country because you can go to Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand; all these countries have warm weather.

Devotee: We have to go to Jagannatha Puri.

Brajanatha Prabhu: You can go.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Yes, you can go.


Srila Gurudeva: Can you arrange a program in Malaysia. I want to go after the Gaura Purnima festival.

Brajanatha Prabhu: After Kartika festival?

Srila Gurudeva: I want go after Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s birthday celebrations.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: After Gaura Purnima?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

Brajanatha Prabhu: When you go to Puri in the months of December-January normally, we can go to Malaysia. It is only four hours by plane.

Devotee: Three hours.

Srila Gurudeva: Round?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: From Calcutta to Malaysia, four hours by plane.

Srila Gurudeva: Okay, then we will go.

Devotee: This year?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Yes, this winter.

Srila Gurudeva: After Kartika, we should go. But I have heard that they don’t allow red-clothed Sannyasis.

Brajanatha Prabhu: It is okay in Malaysia Maharaja, but it is different in Singapore.

Srila Gurudeva: Krishna can arrange everything. Here, Krishna is arranging everything. Gopinatha is arranging. I only know Gopinatha.

Devotee: And Brajanatha.

Srila Gurudeva: Brajanatha, Gopinatha, Prana Kisora; all are the same. I believe them. So many problems were created, but we didn’t have to go through any trouble. Yogamaya arranged everything.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: There is another country nearby Malaysia and his wife is from Bali.

Srila Gurudeva: I know Bali.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: His father in law has a very nice house there. And his Gurudeva, Gaura Govinda Maharaja used to come and stay there. And that would be a very nice place for you to stay.

Srila Gurudeva: How many devotees are there?

Devotee: Five hundred devotees are there.

Srila Gurudeva: Then, I must go there.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: And they do not like the ISKCON authorities.

Srila Gurudeva: Do you know who Vali was? He was the brother of Sugriva. He used to live there.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Some Vedic culture is still there, but it is mixed with demigod worship.

Srila Gurudeva: Anyhow, something is still there.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Now, we should take prasad. It is becoming late.

Srila Gurudeva: We have to go.

[Audio break]

Devotee: What can we do?

Srila Gurudeva: You can weep.

Devotee: We are weeping.


Srila Gurudeva: I will be back. I don’t believe in this translation.

Devotee 2: Gurudeva, I spoke with Gaura-priya.

Srila Gurudeva: Gaura-priya from Vrindavana.

Devotee 2: Yes. I spoke to her about the name, “Rukmini-Dvarakadisa,” that was given to the deities here. She has been in Los Angeles for so many years. She said that in the beginning Prabhupada gave the deities a Radha-Krishna name, they were Radha-Krishna deities. And after some time, because this place was called New Dvaraka, therefore some devotee, I think she said it was Jayatirtha who changed the name to Rukmini-Dvarakadisa.

After some time, Prabhupada came and asked, “Why have you changed the name? I never gave this name.”

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. Very good. Very good.

Devotee: And they pressured him to keep this name.

Srila Gurudeva: They do wrong things.

[To Vicitra dasi]

You should read, don’t come here.

Vicitra dasi: I can’t locate it quickly, that is the problem. Krishna is leaving from Mathura.

Srila Gurudeva: You should make a mark.

Vicitra dasi: I found the mark.

Srila Gurudeva: When Krishna is with the gopis, Baladeva Prabhu cannot come.

Vicitra dasi: Gurudeva, this translation is from Shyamalala.

Srila Gurudeva: You should read what is there.

Vicitra dasi: This is part two, chapter six. This is the 276th sloka.

Srila Gurudeva: Then, you should read the previous sloka.

Vicitra dasi reads: “Abusing Sri Nanda Raya and the gopas in the same way, being extremely distressed, they began cursing Akrura. Exiting the house, they were crying pitifully and calling out to the beloved of their lives—Sri Krishna. They began running after the chariot.

Srila Gurudeva: Baladeva Prabhu and Akrura can come, because they are weeping. So, they may come to pacify them. They cannot play.

[Vicitra dasi continues reading]

“Their bitter cries of intense anguish made Sri Nanda Raya, Sri Baladeva, Sri Krishna, Sri Akrura, and all of those sitting on the chariot also cry. Seeing this, all the Vrajavasis fainted. In an instant, Sri Krishna who is the gopis’ only ambition, composed Himself. Seeing that the gopis were on the verge of leaving their bodies, to save…

Srila Gurudeva: Where is the question?

Vicitra dasi: Here Gurudeva. “To save their lives, He descended from the chariot and unseen to anyone, led them into a kunja. Not seeing Krishna on the chariot, Kamsa’s messenger Akrura felt very morose. Then, with eloquent words he began to persuade Balarama…”

Srila Gurudeva: He was not playing. You should know that on crying, Krishna is going to pacify them. At that time…

Vicitra dasi: Here it says…

Srila Gurudeva: You should read patiently. When they were dying, Nanda-Yasoda also come at that time. What to speak of Akrura? Anyone can come. No harm. If you are not dying, I will not touch you. But when you are dying, what to speak of touching you, I will perform many services. No harm. So, when the gopis were dying, Baladeva, His father and grandfather, and all will come and they will pacify the gopis. You will have to be qualified to read and understand.

[Audio file ends]

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

Talk With Traveling Party

11 June 1996 Houston


Talk With Traveling Party


[Hari-katha spoken by Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja – Srila Gurudeva]


To listen to the audio file of this class, please click on these links:



[Srila Gurudeva addresses certain devotees after reciting the invocation prayers]


You have been travelling with me for more than a month. Everywhere I go, I tell the audience to ponder on the following questions, “Who am I? Who is Krishna? Who is God? What is illusory maya? How can you free yourself from the snare of this illusory maya and transcend this endless ocean of birth, death, sufferings, and sorrows?” So, I wanted to tell you the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that is really the mission of Srimati Radhika and Krishna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has descended to this world to only give His message and fulfill His desires. Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami has explained the various causes for Mahaprabhu’s descent in this world. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not an ordinary Brahmin of Bengal. He is Krishna Himself. He came in the disguise of an ordinary bhakta, devotee to fulfill His desires. What are those desires? I will explain them gradually.


Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami has explained four reasons that explain why Krishna adorned with the mood and complexion of Srimati Radhika came in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The first reason is characterized by this statement of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita:


Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharatha…


“Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati,” when the numbers of the demons increases in this world, the percentage of opposition to the principles of the Vedas, Upanisads, Gita, Bhagavat, and dharma, religion greatly increases. What is religion? You should know that you are not this material body. The mind, intelligence, and false ego constitute the suksma sarira, the subtle body. You are also not the subtle body. You are the soul, atma. So, the religion or the nature of the jivatma, individual soul is called Sanatana dharma, Vedic dharma, Bhagavat dharma, and Vaisnava dharma. The dharma is one, but it is called by many different names. The duty of the soul to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is to love Him. There are not many gods, there is only one God; and He is Krishna. But, He descends in many different forms. So, during the time of Krishna, kings like Duryodhana, Kamsa, Jarasandha, Duhsasana, Karna, Sakuni ruled over the earth. They were demons but they were pretending to be noble kings of the ksatriya, warrior clan. They were against dharma. Despite Krishna being personally present before their eyes, they would not consider Krishna to be God. They considered Krishna to be a very simple person, but who is their enemy. They were always absorbed in the mood of eating, drinking, and making merry. They would consider their bodies to be their true selves and all the people related to their body as their relatives. They would think, “This house is mine. I will be the master forever. I will never die!” But this mood doesn’t characterize Sanatana dharma. To serve Krishna is Sanatana dharma.


The atma, soul never takes birth or dies. But, if you neglect Krishna’s service, you will have to remain in this world of birth and death. We should realize these truths. All the kings were opposing the propagation of dharma. They were engrossed in eating, drinking, and making merry. They would fight each other for territory, wives, wine, and all other things. So, Krishna thought, “I should go and change the Yuga dharma. These demoniac kings should be killed and the principles of Sanatana dharma should be established.”


I am explaining the four reasons for Mahaprabhu’s descent, of which two are primary and two are secondary reasons for Mahaprabhu’s descent. The secondary reasons are Yuga dharma pratista (the establishment of Yuga dharma), and anarpita carit cirat karunayavatirnau kalau. Anarpita carim cirat—You should read the purport of Svamiji on this sloka. What is the meaning of this sloka?


This sloka is the fourth sloka from the third chapter of Adi lila.


[Devotee reads the translation of the verse]


May that Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost core of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has descended in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before—the most elevated mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.


Srila Gurudeva: I want to listen to the purport also.


[Devotee reads the purport]


This is a quotation from the Vidagdha-Madhava, a drama compiled and edited by Srila Rupa Gosvami.


Devotee: That’s it.


Srila Gurudeva: Srila Svamiji has left the purport for me to explain.


Devotees: Haribol!


Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji thought, “When Narayana Maharaja will come to the West, he will explain the purport.”


[Audio break]


In one day of Brahma, during Kali Yuga, Krishna comes Himself in the form of a devotee. His name is then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sacinandana Gaurahari. He has some special kind of love to give to the souls. Ramacandra has come before, all the avatars (incarnations) have come before; but They have not given prema, love and affection. They have given bhakti, there is no doubt about this. But there is a wide gulf of difference between Bhakti and Bhakti rasa, prema. Ramacandra has some friends and servants. He has also has a father and mother. But, He has no bosom friends. His wife is Sita-devi, but she is not like a friend. Sita was married to Ramacandra and she was like His dasi, maidservant. That is why, Ramacandra ordered, “Sita-devi must leave My palace forever.”


In Lanka, when Ravana was killed along with all the other demons, Sita-devi approached Ramacandra. Seeing Sita standing in front of Him, Ramacandra said, “I have not come to take you. I have come to punish Ravana and his entire dynasty. They have dishonored Me; that is why I came here. Now, My purpose is served and fulfilled. You can go anywhere you like now. I don’t want to take you with Me because you have lived here for a little more than ten months. I will not take you.”


Then, Sita told Lakshmana, “Please make a funeral pyre.”


When this was made, Sita immediately jumped into it. The god of fire, Agnideva then manifested and told to all who had assembled, “Sita is immaculately pure.” Dasaratha Maharaja also came and said, “Sita is so pure.” The wind god, Vayudeva, and all the demigods headed by Indra came and collectively said, “Sita is spotlessly pure.” Rama then took Sita and went to Ayodhya.


After 11, 000 years of ruling Ayodhya, Rama told Lakshmana, “Lakshmana, take Sita and leave her under the protection of an able sage in the forest. She cannot live with Me.” So, Ramacandra sent her to the forest forever. But, Sita cannot leave Rama. They have equal honor for each other, but they were separated from each other. So, Sita is not like Rama’s friend, she is like Rama’s dasi, maidservant.


So, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to show and give the conditioned souls Vraja-prema. What kind of prema? The prema the souls are qualified to have. There are two kinds of prema. Unnata ujjvala rasa—this is the highest kind of love and affection of the gopis towards Krishna. Especially, the moods of Srimati Radhika like sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava constitute this unnata ujjvala rasa. Krishna is controlled by this mahabhava, otherwise He cannot be controlled. So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to taste Radha’s moods and to distribute the unnata ujjvala rasa-sri, sri means the beauty of that unnata ujjvala rasa. The mood of Srila Rupa Gosvami in his manjari form as Rupa-manjari and of the other manjaris like Rati-manjari, Lavanga-manjari; these moods of the manjaris are the beauty of Srimati Radhika’s love and affection, mahabhava. The moods of Srimati Radhika cannot be distributed because they are only present in the heart of Srimati Radhika. So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to taste these moods. But, what did He distribute? He distributed the sri, beauty of that unnata ujjvala rasa. He mixed prema with naam, and gave this love imbued holy names to all the conditioned souls and He purified them.


In other Kali Yugas, only the name alone is distributed by Maha-Vishnu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not only Maha-Vishnu, He is Krishna Himself. He has not descended to preach the holy name alone and to establish Yuga dharma. It has been clearly mentioned in Sri Caitanya Caritamrita that this was a secondary reason for Mahaprabhu’s advent. This is the duty of Maha-Vishnu, Advaita Acharya. So, Mahaprabhu has not come for this alone.


What are the prominent reasons for Mahaprabhu’s advent? The first of the four reasons for Mahaprabhu’s advent is secondary. Advaita Acharya was calling for Mahaprabhu. He said, “If You will not come and give love and affection to the jivas; then I will have to destroy the whole world. And if You are coming, very good. You must come.” Determined to have Mahaprabhu advent in this world, Advaita Acharya took some Tulasi leaves with Ganges water and offered them to the Lord. He said, “O Lord! I am offering these Tulasi leaves and the water of the Ganga. You must certainly come.”


So, Krishna was thinking, “I will have to go to this world and give prema to everyone. I must realize the moods of Srimati Radhika that manifest in Her service to Me.” But the time and date was not fixed for Krishna’s descent. But now, the time was fixed. Krishna thought, “I must descend just now!” So, this is the third reason. Advaita Acharya called and beseeched Him with the aid of Tulasi leaves and Ganga water. There are many types of aradhana, worship to Krishna; but without Tulasi leaves, He never touches anything. So, Vrinda is so dear to Krishna. When Advaita Acharya worshiped Krishna with Tulasi leaves and Ganga water, Krishna was much obliged by these offerings and descended to this world at once.


Here in the fourth chapter, we are told that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and an ocean of rasa. If you mix sugar with water, and add the water of kevada, a certain rasa, juice is produced. But, people don’t drink such juices, rather, they drink Coca-Cola.




Children tell their mothers, “I will not drink milk. Bring Coca-Cola.”


The juices of this world are a kind of rasa, but Bhakti rasa is so inconceivably better! If anyone listens to the pastimes of Krishna with Srimati Radhika and the gopis, then he will not want to listen to anything else. He will also be undisturbed by hunger and thirst. For seven continuous days, Pariksita Maharaja did not take any water or food. He was never affected by any sleep or idleness because the rasa he was tasting was the supreme rasa. Please read the fourteenth verse of the fourth chapter of Adi-lila.


[Devotee reads the sloka and the translation]


Anusanga-karma ei asura-marana

Ye lagi avatara, kahi se mula karana.


“Thus the killing of the demons is but secondary work. I shall now speak of the main reason for the Lord’s incarnation.”


Srila Gurudeva: Now, Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami is explaining the main reason for Mahaprabhu’s advent.


Prema-rasa-niryasa-karite asvadana…


You should read the translation.


[Devotee reads the translation]


“The Lord’s desire to appear was born from two reasons: the Lord wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellows of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all.”


Srila Gurudeva: You should read the purport also.


[Devotee reads the purport]


“During the period of Lord Krsna’s appearance, the killing of asuras or nonbelievers such as Kamsa and Jarasandha was done by Visnu, who was within the person of Sri Krsna. Such apparent killing by Lord Sri Krsna took place as a matter of course and was an incidental activity for Him. But the real purpose of Lord Krsna’s appearance was to stage a dramatic performance of His transcendental pastimes at Vrajabhumi, thus exhibiting the highest limit of transcendental mellow in the exchanges of reciprocal love between the living entity and the Supreme Lord. These reciprocal exchanges of mellows are called raga-bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord in transcendental rapture. Lord Sri Krsna wants to make known to all the conditioned souls that He is more attracted by raga-bhakti than vidhi-bhakti, or devotional service under scheduled regulations. It is said in the Taittireya Upanisad, raso vai sah: the Absolute Truth is the reservoir for all kinds of reciprocal exchanges of loving sentiments. He is also causelessly merciful, and He wants to bestow upon us this privilege of raga-bhakti. Thus He appeared by His own internal energy. He was not forced to appear by any extraneous force.”


Srila Gurudeva: “Rasika-sekhara Krishna parama-karuna, ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama,” Mahaprabhu has come to preach this mission of Raganuga bhakti. He has not stated about anyone’s qualification to receive this opportunity. He has told this for all the conditioned souls who have a little shraddha. Without shraddha, they will not hear anything. But those who want to hear are qualified. And for them, He has descended to tell and preach Raganuga bhakti. There are two kinds of bhakti—Ragatmika and Ragunuga bhakti. The service and mood of Yasoda, Nanda Baba, Subala, Sridhama, and of all the gopis like Rupa-manjari, Rati-manjari, Lalita, and Visaka are Ragatmika. Raga-atmika, Raga in the atma, soul is called Ragatmika. They always serve Krishna with the moods of raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. These devotees are called Ragatmika. In Vrindavana, all the trees, creepers, plants, and animals like the peacocks, cuckoo birds, and deer are of a Ragatmika nature. The trees are also Ragatmika because they are satchitananda, composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. So, all the residents are Ragatmika, without being a Ragatmika jana, none can cross the realm of Vaikunta. Raga should be there. So, this form of devotion is called Ragatmika bhakti. If any resident of this world hears the pastimes between Krishna and the gopis, the pastimes between Krishna and His friends like Sridhama, Subala and the pastimes between Krishna and Nanda-Yasoda and if on hearing them, he develops a greed and thinks, “I want to serve Krishna like Subala, Sridhama, Nanda Baba, Yasoda Maiya and especially like the gopis—Lalita, Visaka, and Rupa-manjari,” then those who want to serve Krishna like this, by following in the footsteps of these eternal associates of the Lord are called Raganuga devotees. There is much difference between Ragatmika devotees and Raganuga devotees.


One day, when the Ragunuga devotee is matured in his devotion, then leaving this body, he will enter Vrindavana and become a Ragatmika jana, an associate of the Lord. But, those who follow this line of devotion in this material world are called Raganuga bhaktas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to give this Raganuga bhakti. But to whom? To the conditioned souls. There are many grades of devotion. The first stage of devotion is shraddha, Sadhana bhakti. Bhava bhakti follows sadhana bhakti. Bhava bhakti culminates in Prema bhakti. There are the three grades of devotion—sadhana bhakti, bhava bhakti, and prema bhakti. There are many grades of devotion even in sadhana bhakti. Sadhana bhakti is divided into karma-misra bhakti, jnana-misra bhakti, and suddha bhakti. The many stages of devotion are—shraddha, nista, ruci, asakti, bhava, prema, sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. Any conditioned soul who is always listening to harikatha in sadhu-sanga cannot be in one stage of devotion. His devotion will always go forward like the current of a river. So, we see that the stages of devotion of Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami when he was in his house with his wife, and when he went to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri, and when he reached Vrindavana; these stages of devotion are not of the same category.


Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to taste the mood of Srimati Radhika—Prema-rasa-niryasa-karite asvadana. Krishna thought, “How Radha becomes mad for Me! Hearing My name, She becomes mad.” Before Srimati Radhika met with Krishna, She had heard the qualities of Krishna and She had seen Krishna for a moment from a distance. This is called Purva-raga. Before meeting Krishna, the longing the gopis experience to meet Krishna is called Purva-raga. Being absorbed in Purva-raga, Srimati Radhika said, “Keba sunailo Krishna nama, kanare bitare diyar marma pasilo….”


Srimati Radhika said, “O Sakhi! Who made Me to listen to the name of Krishna? My life is now anxious. Nothing feels good for Me. How have I come to this state? Why was I made to the listen to the name Krishna? My everything has been upset.”


Srimati Radhika then says, “How sweet is Krishna-nama! What should I give you for making Me listen to this name? Krishna-nama is so sweet and charming. He has entered My heart through the ear. I have now become upset! What should I do? I want to immediately meet Krishna, and I am ready to suffer any consequences to achieve this end. I must go and see Krishna.”


So, Jarasandha and Kamsa also see Krishna, but on seeing Krishna, they become angry. Why do they become angry? Krishna and Duryodhana were related as in-laws. The daughter of Duryodhana was married to Krishna’s son. But, he was not like Kamsa, but yet, he was not so glad to see Krishna. He was always against Krishna. He had no faith that Krishna is God Himself. It is mentioned here that many kinds of people see Krishna, but not everyone sees Him with the same mood. When Mother Yasoda would see Krishna, she would take Him on her lap and breastfeed Him. Milk would flow automatically and with tears in her eyes, she would feed her beloved son. But, she didn’t become mad in separation from Him. Once, when Srimati Radhika and Krishna were sitting right beside each other, holding each other in an embrace, a bumblebee appeared and assuming Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet to be a lotus flower, he was buzzing around Srimati’s lotus feet. He wanted to taste Her feet that resembled like a lotus flower to it. Seeing the bumblebee, Srimati Radhika became anxious and waved her hands in an effort to stop the bumblebee from approaching Her lotus feet. Madhumangala then appeared with a stick and chased the bumblebee away. He returned and told the Divine Couple, “This Madhusudhana will never come again!” There are two meanings to the word “Madhusudhana”—it refers to a bumblebee and Krishna Himself is called Madhusudhana.


When Srimati Radhika heard Madhumangala saying, “Madhusudhana will never come,” She fainted on the lap of Krishna. She did not see that Krishna was next to her and that She was laying down with Her head placed on the lap of Krishna. Srimati Radhika cried out, “Oh Krishna where are You! I cannot live without You!”


Krishna thought, “Oh I am here and She is on My lap, but yet, She is weeping and has become mad on hearing that ‘Madhusudhana has been chased away.’” So, this mood is called Mahabhava.


Krishna thought, “There is no Mahabhava mood in Me. So, I should taste this mood of Mahabhava that is present only in Srimati Radhika.” Krishna wanted to taste this mood by Himself and realize how beautiful He is.


Krishna further thought, “The gopis and Srimati Radhika especially becomes mad for Me. But, I don’t become mad on seeing Srimati Radhika. So, I want to taste that mood. I want to taste the happiness Srimati Radhika feels when She tastes the four kinds of My sweetness’—Rupa madhuri, Venu madhuri, Guna madhuri, and Lila madhuri.” What Srimati Radhika relishes is the topmost love. Subala, Sridhama also taste the sweetness of Krishna, but not like how Srimati Radhika does because they don’t have Her moods of love and affection to Krishna. Therefore, Krishna appeared with the mood and complexion of Srimati Radhika and appeared in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Why did He do so? He has come to preach Raganuga bhakti, Raga marga bhakti loke korite pracaran and to taste prema rasa, prema rasa niryasa korite asvadana. Krishna can only fulfill these desires of His and taste this love by the help of the mood of Srimati Radhika. Therefore, He has to borrow or steal the moods of Srimati Radhika to taste all His latent desires. What is the meaning of Raga marga, can you tell? Which way will we have to tread to achieve that kind of Raga, the Raga that the gopis especially have? So, it is called Raga marga. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give this message to the whole world. He has not come to preach only harinama, or to kill demons. “Asura marga anusanga karya,” this has been mentioned previously.


So, Krishna is Rasik Shekara, He is an ocean of love. And He is Parama Karuna, He is supremely merciful. Only because of His mercy, has He come to give this amulya nidhi, invaluable treasure.


Hence, Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami has said, “Raga marga bhakti loke korite pracarana, Krishna Paruna Karuna,” Krishna is so merciful that He wants to give the best wealth that is stored in the bank of Vrindavana and that is especially stored in the heart of Srimati Radhika. Taking this amulya nidhi, priceless treasure, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has descended to bless the conditioned souls with these moods. Why is He engaged in such an act? Mahaprabhu is most merciful. He is unlimitedly merciful. If without any reason, a person comes here to beg something, and the householder’s wife gives the key of the safe to the beggar, which has the most valuable jewels. Then the householder will come and say, “Why are you giving these jewels? Don’t do this!”


The wife then thinks, “My husband should not see this charitable act.” Very skillfully, she takes the key and opens the safe. She empties the safe and distributes all the ornaments. To whom? To the beggar.

We are beggars. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is in the mood of Srimati Radhika and not Krishna. He is Krishna Himself but He has become Srimati Radhika by Her moods. Hence, Krishna has no power to give the mood of love and affection unto Himself. He is capable of giving His own wealth; but not the wealth of Srimati Radhika. Hence, Mahaprabhu is a combined manifestation of Srimati Radhika and Krishna. He is so merciful; Krishna is merciful; Srimati Radhika is more merciful; but when They combine together in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, They are most inconceivably and causelessly merciful. They have come to distribute Raga marga and not Raga. Raga marga is the way that we have to tread to achieve Raga. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to preach Raga marga and not Raga. He has come to taste that Raga Himself. Raga cannot be distributed.


“Ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama…” Don’t take the help of this thing, you should take this katha in your heart. This thing can cheat you. But your heart computer will never cheat you. Try to develop your consciousness. We have never used such things. If anything goes wrong, it will stop. But this heart will never cheat you. So, try to develop your Krishna consciousness. Prema cannot be understood by your own intelligence. Those who have a heart filled with devotion can realize prema. While those who depend on their mind and intelligence, will go towards philosophy. Philosophy by itself cannot do anything. Was Sabari a philosopher? Were the monkeys who helped Rama philosophers? Kakabhusandi was not a philosopher. The gopis were not philosophers but the essence of all philosophies serve their lotus feet. Indeed, they will keep their lotus feet on philosophy’s head. You should try to understand how love for Krishna transcends all material considerations.


Now, we will discuss the 17th sloka of the fourth chapter of Adi-lila.


aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita

aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita


I think that if you have read Caitanya Caritamrita, you may have read these slokas, but you may have not thought about their deep meanings. Svamiji has written everything in his books. But due to your bad luck, you have never tried to delve deep into his words. Even the prominent leaders have not thought to give these moods. For the past twenty five or thirty years, they have been thinking, “We are not qualified to hear.” Then why has Caitanya Caritamrita been written? Why has Srimad Bhagavatham been written? Have these scriptures only been written for those who are qualified to live in Vrindavana dhama? Then there is no use to write these scriptures, if they are meant for only perfected souls. Raga marga bhakti korite pracaran—Mahaprabhu advented to taste prema rasa and preach Raga bhakti. When you join school, you are gradually promoted to higher classes. Then you join college and get a degree. You are not only meant to learn a, b, c, d. Some may even say, “Don’t read any further. We are not qualified.”


Aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita.


Before Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s advent, there was bhakti in this world. Jarasandha was engaged in bhakti and Kamsa was also engaged in bhakti. All the demons were also engaged in bhakti, but what kind of bhakti were they engaged in? Their understanding was that Bhagavan Brahma has no form, quality, or anything. He is nothing. “Aham brahmasmi,” this is also one kind of bhakti, albeit of a very low nature. The practitioners of this kind of bhakti think, “We are very religious persons. We are greatly charitable.” Do you know who Karna was? He was a very religious person. He was the son of Kunti. He was defeated by Arjuna in a battle and greatly injured, was lying down on the battlefield as his death drew near. During the last moments of his life, during the night, when he still had some breaths left in him, a Brahmin came near and said, “O Karna, where are you? Where are you?” At last, the Brahmin came by his side.


The Brahmin told Karna, “I want something from you. I know that you are dying, but yet, I want a donation.”


Karna replied, “I have nothing to give. I have nothing.”


“You do have something.”


“What is it that I have?”


“Your teeth are made of gold. So, give me your teeth. By selling them, I can have my daughter married.”


Karna then immediately removed his teeth and gave them to the Brahmin.


[Audio break]


Srila Gurudeva:… You are the most dear devotees of Krishna. Karna has nothing to do with Krishna. He was not the enemy of Krishna, but he was the enemy of the devotees, who are the life and soul of Krsna. If anyone honors his Gurudeva, but if he is the enemy of a godbrother who serves his Gurudeva more than him; than he is an enemy to his Gurudeva. Do you understand? What will he be called? He will also be called a demon. Thought serving his Gurudeva, he is a demon. Karna was very charitable, he can even give his head. He had no enmity with Krishna. He used to honor Krishna, but he wanted to kill the Pandavas.


Devotee: He was a Pandava too.


Srila Gurudeva: He was not a Pandava. Pandavas are five—Yudhistira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva.


Devotee: But his mother was Kunti.


Srila Gurudeva: His mother was Kunti, but yet, he was not a Pandava. Because he was the enemy of the five Pandavas. So the Pandavas are only five. Karna was against them and fought for the benefit of Duryodhana. So, he is also called a demon.


aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita

aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita.



“The entire universe is filled with the conception of My majesty. But love weakened by that sense of majesty does not satisfy Me.


Srila Gurudeva: What is the meaning?


Devotee: Krishna isn’t satisfied when you are worshiping Him with awe and reverence.


Srila Gurudeva: Yes. Krishna has created this world. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead possessing six opulences. Krishna is not controlled by the service stunted by awe and reverence. In this world, 99.9% of the people belong to this category. Very few, very few, kotisva api mahamune—among millions of devotees, one devotee will worship Krishna one-pointedly with Vraja Bhava, the mood of the Vrajavasis. This devotee will be of the conception, “Krishna is not God Himself. He is the son of Yasoda and Nanda Baba. He is Gopikantha, the beloved of the gopis. He appears to be like an ordinary human being.” Krishna’s human like pastimes are called nara-lila. Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as an ordinary son of Saci-devi and Jagannatha Misra. He was also the husband of Vishnu-priya and Lakshmi-priya.


Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami tells us, “If you want to control Krishna, you will have to go above the mood that symbolizes Krishna’s Godhood.”


ïäne prayäsam udapäsya namanta eva

jévanti san-mukharitäà bhavadéya-värtäm

sthäne sthitäù çruti-gatäà tanu-väì-manobhir

ye präyaço ‘jita jito ‘py asi tais tri-lokyäm


—Srimad Bhagavatham 10.14.3


Don’t think that Krishna is God. In Srimad Bhagavatham, it has been stated that Krishna is not an ordinary person. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He has six opulences—wealth, fame, beauty, knowledge, renunciation, and strength. He also embodies four madhuris—Venu madhuri, Lila madhuri, Prema madhuri, and Rupa madhuri. These qualities are unique to Krishna only; they are absent in the other incarnations. But, you will have to try to forget Krishna as being God Himself. But, it is sure that you cannot forget. But, by being in the sadhu-sanga of a rasika, bhavuka bhakta like Sukadeva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Svamiji…


Devotee: Like you.


Srila Gurudeva: Like our Gurudeva, like our Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami; then by their association we can cross this mood of considering Krishna as God, and we will see how He is the friend of Subala Sakha, He is not the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is only Radhakantha, Radhanatha, Madana-Mohana, Shyamasundara, Radha-Ramana. You will consider Krishna to be your friend. So, in this whole world all are covered by aisvarya jnana; if they are devotees. Personalities like Narada, Siva, Uddhava, and all others worship Krishna with veneration. Arjuna is the sakha of Krishna, he has so much prema for Him. But, when he saw the Visvarupa (Universal form), trembling and folding his hands, he told Krishna, “I have called You sakha and other names. I have committed many offenses to You. Holding my ears by my fingers, I promise that I will never call You sakha.”




“I will also never order You and tell You to take the chariot in the midst of the battlefield. I have done wrong.”


When Krishna appeared before Devaki and Vasudeva, He appeared as a sixteen year old youth. He had long, wavy hair. Curled locks hung over His face. He was so beautiful! He wore a golden necklace and His hands bore effulgent rings. The Kaustubha mani, jewel, swung around His chest. He wore many dazzling ornaments. He wore a Pitambara. Seeing Him in this form, they prayed, “Oh You are Vasudeva Krishna. You are not Krishna, You are Narayana Himself!” Saying thus, they bowed their heads and began to pray. There is no prema bhakti here, the wall of opulence acts as an obstruction and prevents prema bhakti from entering the sadhaka’s heart.


But, let us go to Vraja and see how Yasoda reacts to Krishna’s display of the universal form. When Krishna was being breastfed, He smiled and yawned. When you have no taste (ruci) to hear harikatha, you yawn.




And she is the daughter of Nidra-devi (sleep). So, we should not try to yawn, but if anyone is tired, they automatically yawn. Krishna with His little mouth yawned enchantingly. When Krishna opened His mouth, Yasoda saw His universal form. She saw all the infinite planetary systems in His mouth and she even saw herself in His mouth. Everything was there in His mouth. She saw innumerable Vishnus in His mouth. She saw innumerable Sankarajis and she saw the entire creation. But, beholding this scene, she did not fold her hands and pray to Krishna like how Arjuna, Vasudeva, and Devaki did.


She thought, “What happened? A ghost must have cast a spell on me or on my son, Krishna.” She sprinkled water on Krishna and herself. After Krishna closed His mouth, she called Nanda Baba.


She told him, “Please come quickly. Please call Garga Rsi, Sandilya Rsi, and all other Rsis.”


Nanda Baba asked, “What happened?”


Yasoda replied, “A ghost has either possessed Krishna or me.”


When they were called for, Gargacharya and Sandilya Rsi came. They said, “Yes. Something has been done. A ghost has come. We should try to remove its influence. Bring a black cow.”


A black cow was brought. His cow dung and cow urine was mixed. The mixture was thinned and smeared on the tail of the cow. As the tail of the cow was made to touch Krishna, mantras like “Narayana rakset, Lalate Krishnaya, Kesavam rakset,” were uttered. The twelve principal names of Krishna were uttered. As the tail touched the different parts of Krishna’s body, names like Govinda, Madhava, Narayana, Vishnu, Narayana, and other names were uttered.


The priests told Nanda-Yasoda, “As a daksina (donation), you should give us lacks of cows with golden chains. Their hooves must be covered by silver. The horns must be covered by gold.”


Nanda-Yasoda joyfully replied, “Oh yes, our son has been saved! We should give you the donation now.”


This is the sweetness of Vraja. But, the world is covered by a mood of opulence, the residents say, “He is God,” testifying to His Godhood. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give these moods of Vraja.


Jnane prayasa udapasya


Don’t think that Krishna is God. But how can we cultivate spontaneous love and devotion for Krishna? By following the Raga marga that Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give.


I will end my class for today. Tomorrow, in any place we will go, we will try to go forward sloka by sloka. These are the moods and teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and our disciplic order. We have cut some trees, and despite the appearance of new trees, we will not have to stop. By taking that prema, everything will go automatically. As much as bhakti descends in our hearts, all the bogus things will go out. The mentality, “We should be qualified first and then perform bhakti,” is absurd.


We will try to continue our discussion. If you are there with me here or in Los Angeles, you will get the opportunity to hear further explanations. These explanations will strengthen your belief in Caitanya Caritamrita and in the transcendental purports of Svamiji.


Gaura Premanande! Haribol!


Madhavi and you should do kirtana.


[The class ends with Sri Nanda-Nandanaastakam and the maha-mantra being sung]


[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]



The Gift of Krsna-prema

10 June 1996 Houston


The Gift of Krsna-prema


[A translation of Hindi Hari-katha spoken by Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja – Srila Gurudeva]


To listen to the audio files of this class, please click on these links:



[Vishnu dasa introduces Srila Gurudeva to the audience in Hindi]


Vishnu dasa: We are very fortunate, that amidst us we have the presence of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja. He is from Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Math, Mathura and Sri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Math, Vrindavana. Some of you know who Maharaja is. Like I said yesterday, describing Maharaja would be like trying to describe the depth of the ocean. Maharaja is an Acharya of the Gaudiya disciplic lineage that has originated from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Eighty years back, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakuraji founded the Gaudiya Math to propagate the message of Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. After the manifestation of the Gaudiya Math, on his arrival in the West, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada established ISKCON. The parent organization is the Gaudiya Matha, and our Maharaja’s Guruji is Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharajaji who gave Srila Prabhupadaji Sannyasa-diksha. Maharajaji accepted Sannyasa at a young age. Since then, he has maintained and looked after Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Math, Mathura and Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Math of Vrindavana. He has preached the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over India.


Maharajaji is considered an authority of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. He is considered an authority of the vista of all tattva siddhanta of the Sanatana dharma of India. He has written over fifty books. Many residents of Vrindavana and Mathura have been initiated by Maharaja. To take birth in these divine abodes of the Lord, one has to be supremely fortunate; and many of these most fortunate residents have accepted initiation from Maharaja. Maharaja also has disciples all over India, and indeed, all over the world. Accepting the repeated requests of devotees, Maharaja has come to the West for the first time to shower his mercy on us. In the course of his preaching, Maharaja visited Holland and England. The people there were greatly inspired by Maharaja and decided to accompany him to America. So today, you can see many people who have followed him here to America from various countries. By seeing this, I am reminded of the scene when Krishna would play on His Venu, and all the Vrajavasis would run towards Him on hearing Him play the flute. So, Maharaja will speak on the Bhagavat today and from Wednesday to Saturday, Maharaja will lucidly explain the Bhagavat at the Gandhi center.


So, my humble request to you all is that you please come with your family and friends and listen to the nectarean katha of Srila Maharajaji.


Hare Krishna.


Assembled audience: Hare Krishna.


[Srila Gurudeva speaks his class in Hindi]


Srila Gurudeva: I live in Vrindavana, India. Mathura and Vrindavana are near each other. Not even a mile’s distance separates them; rather, only the length of two fingers separates them. A person who resides there does not wish to go to any other place. Only the unfortunate leave Mathura-Vrindavana and go to other places. People continuously perform worship and engage in austerities; just so they can become a particle of dust, or a flower, or a blade of grass in Vrindavana. This way they will be showered by the dust of Vrindavana and their lives will be successful. Personalities like Brahma and Sankara greatly perform dhyana and yearn to become a particle of dust in Vrindavana. But, I have left Vrindavana and come here. Externally, I may seem to have left Vrindavana and come here. But, I see that the transcendental beauty, opulence, and fragrance of Vrindavana should manifest in all the countries. We Indians especially have faith in and pray to Radha-Krishna, Sita-Ramacandra, and other incarnations of the Lord. We should support and help those people who are engaged in worshiping the Lord. We should never abandon the Vedic culture of India. If we abandon our culture, we will not obtain peace and happiness. Our culture has awakened the whole world. So, I gravely considered, “I must go to a place where Indians are. There are other people, who are not Indians, but they are also the servants of Krishna; they are His part and parcels. Therefore, I want to help everyone realize their relationship with Krishna.” Unless self-realization takes place…


Oh little boy, be silent. Don’t disturb.



Until self-realization takes place, and until your devotion to the Lord who creates, maintains, and preserves this world has not awakened; you cannot be happy and peaceful. You all know how Ravana had a city of gold, but because he opposed Rama, what became of him? He was destroyed. You cannot find happiness in money. Peace and happiness cannot be bought by money, if this was possible, America would have bought all the peace and happiness of this world and the poor Indians and people of other nationalities would be left ruing. So, peace and happiness transcends these material conditions. How will you obtain peace and tranquility? You will only obtain it if you surrender to that Person who has created this infinite cosmos. Surrendering to Him, beg for His mercy. He is not far away from us; He is present in all of us. There is no place in this world where He is not present. You may call for your husband, or son, but if they are far away from you, so much so, that they are even out of the telephone range, then will they hear you? Will they hear you if you call out to them from the terrace? No, they will not respond. But, Krishna is never far away from you. Pray to Him by your mind, and call out, “He Prabhu!” There is no need to even call out to Him, Krishna will understand by Himself. There is no place in this world where He is not present. Kamsa, Jarasandha, Ravana, and Hiranyakasipu thought, “I am the emperor, the controller of the entire world.” They believed in the existence of Brahma, but they thought, “Krishna is not Brahma, He is not Parabrahma.” Their conception of Brahma was like that a shapeless, attribute less, colorless entity. They thought, “Krishna is a small boy. He cannot be Brahma. He who conducts the affairs of this world must be someone else. In fact, this entity who administers the world is nirakara, formless, and niranjana. He is formless. He cannot be seen by us.”


Thus, even when Krishna was in front of these demons, they did not realize that He was Parabrahman. On seeing Krishna, they thought, “He is an ordinary boy. He is just a cowherd boy. He is a gopa-balaka.” They could not understand Krishna. People in general have the idea that, “Brahma is formless, nirakara. He is nirguna, without any qualities. He cannot be seen by these eyes. That entity, which cannot be seen by these eyes, is formless. This entity has no shape or color.” I will speak on this point of contention.


Today, I met a Bengali family from Calcutta. They questioned me, “The person who administers this world is known as Paramatma, Ishvara, or Bhagavan. He is the object of our worship. But, does He possess any form?” Christians don’t accept the form of the Lord. Buddhists don’t accept the form of the Lord, neither do the Muslims. When they see us worshiping the deities, they speak of it as idolatry. When they see us worshiping Krishna, Ramacandra, or Sankaraji, they remark, “This worship is useless. Because the Lord has no form.” Refuting this fallacious belief, I will speak on Srimad Bhagavatham and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. I know that most of the people have the belief that Bhagavan has no form. I will speak a little on this contentious topic, and the audience can decide by themselves on what the truth is.

There is a creator behind this world. This is true and no consideration can refute this fact. All the philosophers and theologians of this world, and all the people who place their trust in dharma at least a little, whoever they may be; a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu—all of them agree that this world has been created by Bhagavan. They believe that God has created this world. But what is the meaning of God? No word is meaningless. G-O-D, God; ‘G’ stands for generator, He who creates this world. ‘O’ stands for operator, He who nourishes His creation.


On hearing this, you may say, “My parents look after me. They nourish me. Why will Bhagavan nourish me?”


“You are saying the right thing. But you see externally. When you are in the womb of your mother, your mother eats rotis; but how is milk produced from her breasts? A barren woman also has breasts, but why is milk not produced from them? Only the lady who has a baby will have milk produced in her for a year. Then the supply of milk will be stopped.” Why is the production of milk stopped? When a baby is in the womb of its mother, it is automatically nourished by the food the mother consumes. Who gives the intelligence to the baby in the womb of the mother? How are the limbs of the baby formed? Can a scientist create a baby and its limbs? A scientist cannot create a leg of even a mosquito. Science is not as advanced as you think. A scientist gathers some pre-existing substances and on able combination of these substances, he will claim to have produced something by himself. When a man is dying, why can’t he take his soul and place him in another fit body? But, this is called ‘Vijnana.’ Narada Rsi and Sukracharya could do this. It is the topmost truth that whatever you see in this world has its origin in Bhagavan. Bhagavan has created this world and He has different names like Brahma, Allah, and Kuda. This is all right. But, they say, “If the form of the Lord is accepted, then the Lord may be subjected to birth and death like the conditioned souls. Brahma does not take birth nor does He die. If Brahman is subjected to this transformation, then He is prone to disease, lamentation, sadness, happiness, bewilderment, and ultimately death. So, if Brahma has a form, He has to accept these transformations. But, Bhagavan is not subjected to birth, death, happiness, sadness; so he has no form. If he possesses a form, he has to take birth and die. He has to be educated. And at the last moments of his life, he has to leave his body and depart to an unknown destination. Hence, the form of the Lord should not be considered.” This is their logic.


And I will duly answer on the authority of our scriptures and other scriptures. Firstly, it has been written in the Bible, “God created man after His own image.” What is the meaning of this statement? According to His form, God created human beings. If God is formless, then where have all these forms appeared from? If this is true, the page bearing the statement should be removed. Or else, believe in the statement. If God is formless, how did He create human beings according to His own image? The scripture of Islam, the Koran also states, “Inallah kalaka mein suratihi.” Surat, according to His surat, form, Khudat-Allah has created human beings. So, why has the Lord’s form also been mentioned in the Koran? In our sastras, the Vedas, it is written, “Sat evo samya idam agaasitah.” Sat evo samya, Yagnavalkya Rsi spoke this statement. He said, “He Saumya, the Lord has a form and according to that form, human beings have been created.” According to logic, I will prove how true these statements are. Can all of you understand my Hindi?


Audience: Yes.


Srila Gurudeva: Accha. In scientific terms, there is a theory called the cause and action theory. This means that thing, which has no underlying cause will not be present in Karma. No potency in cause will not lead to an action being performed. In a seed, there is a potency of a tree. If you sow a seed in the earth and water it, then the same innate potency of the seed will manifest, otherwise not. A neem tree will not grow from a mango seed. By tending to the seed with appropriate amount of water and mud, it will grow into a tree. On the bank of the Ganga, a mango seed, a neem seed, a jackfruit seed, and seeds of other trees may be planted and watered with the same amount of the same water. These seeds will receive the same amount of sunshine, air and they will be looked after by the same gardener. But, the only difference is that the seeds are of different trees like a mango tree or a neem tree. By being appropriately tended to, the seeds will grow into different trees bearing different fruits. Some fruits will be sweet, while some will be sour. These fruits will not be the same. What is latent in the seed will manifest as the corresponding tree.


If Bhagavan is formless, where did these various forms come from? Bhagavan is the seed giving father of everyone. He is the root of all universes. If Bhagavan had no form, there would be no platform for these multifarious forms to arise. This can only mean that Bhagavan is the repository of all forms. All kinds of human forms find their full reconciliation in the form of Bhagavan. There are many persons who can walk like the four legged animals. Personalities like Narada Rsi can even fly in the sky like birds. All the various kinds of forms find their perfection in human beings. Therefore, Krishna and Rama have a human-like form. Krishna is bigger than the biggest object you can possibly conceive of, and He is also smaller than the smallest. His form is inconceivably beautiful. All the potencies of all the forms find their place in the form of Krishna. Therefore, if Krishna is formless, what scope would be there for all these forms to arise? Something or anything cannot manifest out of nothing. This world cannot arise out of nothing! The Buddhists and many Christians also consider Bhagavan to be formless, but do not think this way. Even if there is no cause, Bhagavan is the cause of all the causes and if He is formless, where did all these forms arise from?


There is another point of consideration. Rupa, form; Guna, quality; Akara, transformation; all these are words. Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, and all other Indian languages are the daughters of Sanskrit. Do you understand? Tamil, Telugu, and all other languages… It is the opinion of erudite scholars that languages like French, English, and all the languages of the world have their roots in Sanskrit. They are all offshoots of the Sanskrit language. Languages like Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and other languages are especially related to the Sanskrit language. Sanskrit is a very simple language, but now people have declared it to be a dead language. To especially deprive India of her glorious heritage and to weaken her, some unscrupulous persons have done this. Sanskrit has such literary ornamentations that all the other languages of the world pale in comparison. So, this word ‘Rupa’ is of the Sanskrit language, it is the root word. The words like Rupa, Guna, Akara, Nama are all root words. To explain formlessness add the letter ‘A’ to Rupa and the word becomes ‘Arupa,’ this word Arupa is not an independent word; it is derived from the word ‘Rupa.’ Did you understand? If you want to describe something, which is formless you will use the word ‘Arupa.’ For instance, in geometry, you may say, “Let a, b, c be a triangle. If the two sides and adjacent angles are equal, then two triangles are certainly equal in every respect.”




In the same manner, suppose God has no form, qualities or anything else, then how has this world manifested from nothing? Will anything arise from nothing? Lakhs and lakhs of years may pass, but no new thing will be created by a mass of nothingness. It cannot be created from zero. To explain something in Hindi or Sanskrit, the word ‘upasarga’ is used. Understand in which context upasarga is used. Water is flowing from a man’s nose, he sneezes in between and his head feels heavy. His body temperature has also increased. So, what is this ailment that is affecting this man?


Devotees: Fever.


Srila Gurudeva: Why was he affected by fever? It was because of the cold weather. These are the symptoms of fever, the man wipes the drops of water being released by his nose, but they will not cease.




Even on massaging his head, his headache will not reduce. You may on the air-cooler or the fan, but his fever will not recede. Contrarily, his fever only increases. You should give him medicine to cure him of the physiological illness, then he will be all right. These symptoms like a running nose, an aching head etc., constitute an upasarga. When these symptoms are allayed and the fever itself is cured, he will regain his normal health. Similarly, in the word, ‘Arupa,’ remove the upasarga, ‘A’, then what remains? Only ‘Rupa’ remains. The same applies to the word, ‘Guna.’ ‘Nirguna,’ means having no qualities. But in this very word guna, qualities are there. If you remove guna from ‘nirguna,’ what remains? Only zero remains. So, the root words—Rupa, Guna, Akara are embodied in Brahma. He has a transcendental form, He has transcendental qualities, and possesses innumerable names. So, if Krishna didn’t possess transcendental qualities, how did this word ‘Guna’ arise? Some people may question, “Somewhere in the Vedas it is written, ‘Apani pado yavana grihitah.’” On the basis of this statement, they say, “God has no name. He has no form. He has no attributes. He has no power. He has nothing. It has been written.”


We reply, “It is written. But why? Mundane intelligence cannot comprehend His transcendental nature. By unconditionally surrendering unto Him, He will make you realize His transcendental nature. By your own intelligence, you cannot understand who He is.” An example will shed more light on this. There is water, but can you see this water or not? You can see it. How does water look like? What is its form? If you look at water and can understand that it is indeed water, then surely water must have a form. But the scientists will tell, “Water has no form.” Why do the scientists say this? But we can see the form of water and can understand that this liquid substance is water. Water assumes the form of its container, if it is placed in a glass, it assumes the form of the glass. The same applies to the other containers. So, we cannot define water. Hence, Krishna who is Brahma, can assume all the forms you can conceive of, so which form will you mention. Therefore, people say, “He has no shape or form because He cannot be defined.” But, we see that water has a form. And if you cannot explain or understand the form of water, how can you understand the form of Krishna? He has many more forms than water. So, we cannot define the transcendental nature of Krishna. Hence, it has been stated in the sastras that to describe all the forms of Krishna is an improbable task. Krishna can assume all the forms. Krishna manifested Himself in the form of a boar, Sukara; He manifested Himself in the form of a fish, Matsya. He manifested Himself in the forms of Varaha, Nrsimha, Rama; all these manifestations are some of the multifarious forms of Krishna. Therefore, Krishna cannot be defined by mundane intelligence.


When you drink water, can you realize the taste of water? When we drink water, we can understand the taste of water. Water reflects the taste of its source. If there is salt in the water, the water will be salty. If the water springs from a natural source, the taste of the water will be nice and satisfying. The taste of water changes when it is mixed with other substances. Water in its original form has a beautiful taste. Without water, we cannot live, hence, water has these qualities. Water sustains life. Without water, can anyone live? No one can live. So, water has many qualities. Without water, we will cease to live. Despite this, if a person says, “Water has no qualities.” What will we call this person? Will we consider him to be foolish or intelligent? Water has a taste and potency of its own. Electricity is produced by water. Water sustains this entire creation. The world is also dependent on electricity. Without electricity, will this light bulb work? Water is filled with many qualities, but they say, “Water has no qualities.” Water has so many qualities, so which quality will you even start describing? By the name, ‘water,’ the image of water will appear in your mind. Any entity of this world has a name, form, qualities, and activities. There is no entity in this world that is bereft of these characteristics. This void, this nothingness, lacks any distinctive name, form, qualities, and activities.


[Pointing to an object]


This object has a name, form, qualities, and activities. Wind has many names, one of which is air. Air and wind may mean to be the same, but they are not the same. When air blows with a certain degree of velocity, it becomes wind. Air mixed with water, snow, and other elements bears another name. Water is one single substance. Vapor is another form of water, so is ice. Water in its state of liquidity is justly called water, but ice cannot be called water. Ice is composed of water, but it cannot be called water. In this way, Prabhu has many names. He has also has a transcendental form, and He has innumerable transcendental qualities. He performs many pastimes. If it wasn’t for Him, this world would have never been created. Krishna is supremely merciful. His mercy is indeed, incredible. He looks after and nourishes everyone. There is no one in this world who is not looked after and nourished by Him. But, Krishna doesn’t display this quality of nourishing everyone. He is not like the mundane donors. Someone may donate one paisa and say, “Brother, take my picture!”




While garlanding someone, a person may say, “O brother, take my photograph when I garland him.” Krishna has no need of such ostentatious displays of charity. He bestows mercy on everyone while remaining concealed from everyone’s eyes. Krishna has innumerable forms and He is also present in the heart of each and every living entity. Therefore brother, understand that Krishna has a transcendental form and that His mercy is inestimable. There is no scripture in this world whether it be the Bible, Koran, or the scriptures of the Buddhists; where the form of Bhagavan is not mentioned. Bhagavan has an enchanting form. He can also manifest innumerable forms at one moment. During the Rasa-lila, each gopi danced with one form of Krishna. Can any one of you expand into two forms? Some people say, “Aham brahmasmi, I am brahma.”


“If you are brahma, manifest millions of forms.”


Once in the Mathura math, one mayavadi, brahmavadi came and started saying, “Aham brahmasmi, I am brahma. Sarvam khalidvam brahma, everyone is brahma.”


I replied, “It is my great fortune, that Brahma has come to see me while I am seated here. You are brahma, many namaskaras to you.”




I told the brahmacharis, “Children, I want to conduct a little examination, so please bring a burning log of wood. Krishna is Parabrahma, I heard that He had swallowed fire, so let’s examine the legitimacy of this person’s godhood. Please insert this burning log of wood in his mouth. If he is Brahma, then he will swallow the fire and I will be convinced that he is brahma. If he will die or he if runs or flies away from here, we will see that he is not brahma.”


Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Die or fly; but gone.




When he saw the brahmacharis bringing the burning log of wood he started to tremble in fear. I told the brahmacharis, “Hold him so that he doesn’t run away.” The brahmacharis held him. I was just scaring this person.


I asked him, “Are you brahma or not? Tell me!”


But he did not utter anything. If he claimed that he was brahma, I would have placed the burning log of wood in his mouth and checked the validity of his statement.




So, he didn’t say anything. Upon being released, he ran out of the temple. If he was the formless brahma, how did he even assume a form? So, don’t be victimized by such philosophies. Brahma indeed, has a form. What is that form? It is the form, Rupa of Krishna, Rama, and other incarnations. If you just see the beauty of these transcendental forms even once, then you will have no taste to see anything of this mundane, material world.


How can the transcendental beauty of Krishna be described? In South India, there was a great saint called Sri Bilvamangala Thakura. He was a very exalted devotee. Have all of you heard the name of Bilvamangala Thakura? No? He was a great devotee. Previously, he was attached to a prostitute. This prostitute was very beautiful and her singing was enchantingly sweet. She was well versed in all kinds of knowledge. Upon seeing her, Bilvamangaliji offered all the wealth of his house at her feet. And he became hers.


Bilvamangala was born in a very aristocratic family. He was well versed in all scriptures. He was married to a chaste woman of an equally aristocratic household. His parents were wealthy. But, by bad association, he became attached to a prostitute. One day, Bilvamangalaji was observing the shraddha ceremony of his father in his house. While the Brahmins were taking prasad, he separated all the delicious sweets from the rest of the foodstuffs. Collecting them, he went to meet the prostitute at night. When he went to meet her, there was a raging storm. The river was flooding its banks, and the rain was continuous. Seeing the fierce some river, Bilvamangala thought, “How can I cross the river? There is no boat.” At that moment, he saw what appeared to be a log of wood. He sat on it and with great difficulty crossed the river. It was very chilly and cold, but being undisturbed, Bilvamangalaji reached the house of the prostitute with great pace. But, the house was locked from inside. Looking around, he saw towering walls in all four directions. He thought, “How can I climb?” He saw what looked like a dangling rope. Holding on to it, he started to climb up. But within a few moments of his ascent, his body became limp, he lost his grip and fell to the ground. His fall created a loud thud and the prostitute’s sleep was broken. The prostitute told her maidservant, “What was that? What fell on the ground that caused this loud thud? Go and see.”


On reaching the spot, the maidservant saw that the person who had fallen to the ground was Bilvamangala. Helping him to his feet, she aided him and brought him to the house. He was dried and covered with a blanket. Upon gaining consciousness, the prostitute asked Bilvamangala, “How did you come here?”


He replied, “I cannot live without you. You are my life and soul.”


“That’s all right, but how did you come here?”


“I got hold of a rope.”


“Show me that rope.”


When Bilvamangala showed her the rope, they saw that it was no rope; it was a black snake. Being unaware, he caught hold of a snake and started to climb up.


She enquired, “How did you cross the river?”


“I used the help of a log of wood.”


“Then let’s go see it.”


But on reaching that spot, they were shocked to see that it was no log of wood, rather, it was a corpse. The corpse was decaying and foul smelling. None could bear the sight and the stench. But, having no sense, how did this lusty person use this log of wood to cross the river?


The prostitute told Bilvamangala, “Fie on you! If you had so much love and affection for Bhagavan Krishna, your life would have been successful. Fie on you! Fie on you! Leave my house at once! There is no use of having the presence of a such a lusty person in one’s house.”


These words of the prostitute pierced Bilvamangala’s heart like the sharpest of arrows. The arrow like words of a person cause far greater pain than an ordinary arrow. The wound caused by an ordinary arrow will heal, but the wound caused by the arrow like words of someone will never heal throughout one’s life. The affected person will greatly wriggle in pain being pierced by these words.


So, Bilvamangalaji left the house of the prostitute and went on his way. On the way, he felt thirsty and approached a well.


On seeing a lady, he told her, “Please give me some water.” The lady was newly married. When she drew water from the well and poured the water into Bilvamangala’s hands, he drank her beauty with unblinking eyes. When she took some water and went towards her house, Bilvamangala followed her from behind. Her husband was seated outside. The lady went inside the house and Bilvamangala stood outside.


Her husband asked Bilvamangala, “O brother, why are you standing here?”


Bilvamangala replied, “I want to speak to the lady who just entered this house.”


“Okay Mahatmaji. Please take your seat here.”


Comfortably seating Bilvamangala, the husband brought his wife. On seeing the lady, Bilvamangalaji offered her his pranama, obeisance. He told her, “Can you give me your hairpins?”


During the olden days, the hair of a woman would never be cut. Their braid was very beautiful and the braid would decorated by garlands of flowers. Even now, in South India and North India, the woman tie their hair and have garlands of flowers encircle the hair. To tie the braid a long hairpin is used, so Bilvamangala asked the lady to lend her hairpins. Upon receiving them, he immediately pierced his two eyes with the hairpins. The eyes are the root of all diseases. “Na rahe basa, na baje bansuri,” how will the flute be sounded when there is no wood for it to be made? Similarly if there are no eyes, what sense objects can be seen? So, Bilvamangala Thakura removed his two eyes.


He then cried out, “Ha Krishna! Ha Krishna!” and proceeded to Vrindavana. He met a small boy in the way. This small boy asked Bilvamangalaji, “Baba, are you going home?”


“I am going to Vrindavana.”


“Oh I am also going to Vrindavana.”


“Then please hold my stick as you walk and I will follow You from behind. Please take me to Vrindavana also.”


After a just walking for a little time, the little boy said, “Baba, we have reached Vrindavana!”


“We reached Vrindavana so early!”


“Yes Baba.”


Which part of Vrindavana did they reach? They reached Giriraja Govardhana. There, without eating, drinking, or sleeping, Bilvamangala would call out, “Krishna! Krishna!” During one evening, a small dark complexioned boy wearing a Pitambara approached Bilvamangala Thakura and said, “Baba, My mother has seen you completely abstain from food. In Vraja, no one is ever hungry. Please drink this milk My mother has sent.”


Bilvamangala paid little attention to this small boy’s statements and continued crying out, “Krishna! Krishna!” After some time, the boy went away. Bilvamangala Thakura then drank the milk. The milk was so sweet, fragrant, and ambrosial that on tasting it, Bilvamangala cried out, “Oh Krishna has cheated me! It was Krishna Himself who had gotten the milk for me.”


Bilvamangala declared, “I will not drink this milk. Until You give me Your darsana, I will not eat or drink.”


Bound by Bilvamangala’s unflinching vow, Krishna was forced to come along with Srimati Radhikaji.


He told Srimati Radhikaji, “Don’t go near this blind person, or else he will catch Your feet! They are very intelligent.”


Srimati Radhikaji replied, “Oh why will a blind person catch My feet?”


“Don’t go any further!”


As he heard Krishna speak, Bilvamangala started stretching his hands slowly. He thought, “I will catch Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet and will never leave them.”


Krishna and Srimati Radhikaji came to give Bilvamangala Thakura darsana. As soon as Srimati Radhika came near Bilvamangala Thakura, he stretched out his hands and caught hold of Srimati Radhikaji’s lotus feet.


Srimati Radhika said, “Oh he indeed has caught hold of My feet!”


Srimati Radhika wanted Bilvamangala Thakura to catch hold of Her lotus feet for who else would have the greatest fortune of clasping those lotus feet?


On having Her feet clasped, Srimati Radhika said, “Oh stop catching My feet!”


Bilvamangala replied, “I will not leave Your lotus feet!”


“When will you leave them?”


“I will leave them if you make my eyes behold Your forms.”


“This is all right.”


After having the darsana of Srimati Radhika and Krishna, Bilvamangala Thakura said, “Now that I have had Your darsana, I don’t wish to see any other form. I only want that Your transcendental forms be eternally situated in my heart.”


The Divine Couple Sri Radha and Krishna blessed him and said, “Tatastu, so be it.”


Bilvamangala Thakura then became blind like before, but his heart’s treasure was never lost. Sri Krishna never got out of his heart.


Despite Krishna being so transcendentally beautiful, some people say, “Krishna has no form. Bhagavan has no form, qualities, and attributes. He is formless, tasteless, and colorless. He is like zero.”


Never think like this. We don’t worship a statuette; we worship Krishna. To those who oppose the worship of the deity, I tell them, “Why do you worship the picture of your father?” When we worship the deity of Krishna, we honor and worship Him, and He accepts our prayers and offerings.


patram puspam phalam toyam

yo me bhaktya prayacchati

tad aham bhakty-upahrtam

asnami prayatatmanah


—Bhagavad Gita 9.26


Krishna will accept your heartfelt offerings of even water, a fruit, flower, or leaves. In our Vrindavana, there is a temple of Madana-Mohanaji. Have you heard the names—Madana-Mohana, Govinda, and Gopinatha? Five hundred years ago, He came to Mathura. How did He come there? The great-grandson of Krishna, Maharaja Vajranabhaji had established the deities of Govinda, Gopinatha, and Madan-Mohana, five thousand years ago. But, five hundred years back, some pujaris, priests had neglected His worship, so He left Vrindavana and came to Mathura. Madana-Mohana would always play in the house of a brahmani, the wife of a brahmana. The deity would always play with her son. The brahmani would always prepare khichari to feed Thakuraji-Madana Mohana and her son. How would she prepare the khicari? In India, during the earlier days, people would use twigs to clean their mouths. This way, their teeth would always remain healthy. Though my age is eighty, my teeth are still strong. We would chew on twigs of neem. Despite my advanced age, the teeth remain. But here, a neem twig cannot be obtained, so the teeth should be brushed.


So, while the brahmani would chew on a long twig of neem, one end of the twig would be placed in her mouth and the other end would be used to stir the khicari. When she would chew on the twig, the water from her mouth would fall into the khicari. She would make khicari for Madana-Mohana and her son this way. Srila Sanatana Gosvami saw how the khicari was being made, and being alarmed, he told the brahmani, “Oh mother, what are you doing? You haven’t taken a bath, nor have you cleaned your mouth. You are using the same twig to stir the khicari and to clean your mouth. And you want to feed this preparation to your son and to the deity of Krishna who resides in your house?”


The brahmani replied, “Okay Baba. I will never do like this again. From tomorrow, I will take a bath in the Yamuna, and only after observing the necessary rituals, will I feed Krishna and my son.”


From the next day, the brahmani did as she promised. Because of the delay in being fed, the two boys were crying. Even Thakuraji was crying. He has manifested the form of a small boy. The brahmani would call Madana-Mohanaji, “Madana.” And she would call her son, “Sadana.” After playing, the two boys were crying and telling their mother, “Mother! Mother! We are so hungry!” Sanatanaji came and saw how the two boys were crying. Even Krishna was crying. On seeing the brahmani, Sanatana Gosvami fell at her feet and said, “Mother. If Madana-Mohanaji wants the food that is mixed your remnants; then this is all right and is all that is needed.” Krishna always eats the remnants of His devotees. Yasoda and Nanda feed Krishna their remnants. The friends of Krishna also give Krishna the remnants of the food in their mouths. Sabari was of a lower caste. She was a tribal. She was old, ugly, and knew nothing. But, Rama was so satisfied by her offerings. He would delightfully eat the half eaten or partially eaten fruits. She would offer them to Him with so much prema! Krishna rejected the opulent offerings of Duryodhana and at Vidura’s house, he only ate the skin of the bananas and other dried foodstuffs.


Vidura’s wife offered Krishna only the skin of the bananas, while throwing the fruit away. Vidura was not at home at this time. When Vidura arrived at his house, he was shocked to see his wife feeding Krishna banana peels. Startled, he told her, “What are you doing? You are feeding Krishna the skin of bananas?”


Krishna replied, “Vidura, the taste of the skin of the bananas far exceeded that of the fruit, because your wife offered them to Me with so much love. Now that you have corrected her, she is giving Me the fruit; but the taste of this fruit has been spoiled. The fruit is not as tasteful as the peel. Even the preparations cooked by the hands of Rukmini and Satyabhama lack the taste of these banana peels that your wife offered Me. Your wife’s offerings are filled with prema.” Krishna doesn’t accept those offerings that are devoid of prema. Krishna will accept your offerings of water, fruits, flowers, and leaves; if they are offered with prema. Or else, He will not accept them. He has no lack of anything. He is atmarama and aptakama, He nourishes the entire creation, so who can possibly feed Him? There is no one who can feed Him. But, if you offer food with love for Him, prema, then He will become very hungry. He would steal butter from the gopis’ houses; He would only do so because the butter was the melted form of their love for Him. This is the svarupa, the intrinsic nature of bhakti. Therefore, bhakti to Krishna should be cultivated. Never think of Him as nirguna and nirakara! If He is devoid of all qualities, He must also be devoid of the quality of being merciful, then what need is there to worship Him? What is the need of the presence of a Bhagavan who lacks the distinctive quality of being merciful? What need is there for a Brahma who doesn’t listen to our prayers and who doesn’t appear to us despite our repeated cries? Our Krishna is not like this. If Brahma doesn’t have any potency to even manifest a form, and if he cannot walk and sit, then know that this entity is not Brahma. He has no power to do anything. He is powerless and formless.


Therefore, our Krishna can manifest not only one form, He can manifest innumerable forms. He can become the husbands of millions of wives; He can become the son of millions of parents; He can become the friend of millions of friends. This Brahma, Krishna can maintain and nourish every soul of His infinite creation. To this Krishna, we time and again offer our namaskaras. In Kali Yuga, we should engage in the bhajana-kirtana of this Krishna. Krishna is especially attained by chanting His holy names. In this context, and in relationship to His pastimes, I will speak harikatha tomorrow. I thought I should speak on some of Krishna’s pastimes today. You should all listen to these pastimes that have been mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatham. These pastimes are incomparably sweet! A person will even abandon eating and sleeping on listening to these pastimes. By being enraptured by these pastimes, his life will be successful. He in whose ear Krishna’s name has entered even once; will be amazed to see how successful his life is! For his life to be successful even repeated hearing of Krishna’s name is not necessary; only listening to His name once will suffice. So, the people of this assembly should not think that the names of Krishna they are listening to is in vain. Ajamila, in the last moment of his life, called out, “Narayana,” while intending to call out to his son. And just by uttering the Lord’s name once, just see where he went! Never be of a conception that underestimates the power of the holy name. Don’t think, “This katha is so boring and lacks any zeal.” In whosever ears this Krishna-nama is entering; the nama will surely act on the listener in some period of time. The name will surely carry one across this insurmountable ocean of birth and death, and take him to Vaikunta-dhama.


You should think, “Who am I? I am not this body. The body will be left behind in some time.” Bhagavan has loaned you this human form of life, and He has said, “You perform My bhajana. Or else, I will punish you.” How will you be punished? You will again have to enter the cycle of millions of species of lives and transmigrate from one body to another.


Punarapi jananam punarapi maranama


This will surely happen if you don’t engage in the bhajana of Bhagavan. So, if you want peace and happiness, then from today chant, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” If you are unable to recite the entire maha-mantra, then just chant Hare Krishna or Om Hari or Rama. If you cannot even chant Rama, then by chanting a couple of words, all be achieved? What are those two words? They are, “Radhe Radhe.” By chanting Radhe Radhe, Krishna will come, Hari will come, Rama will also come, the whole world will come, and everything else will come.


I will finish my discourse for today. Tomorrow, when you all come, I will speak on some beautiful pastimes and glorifications of Krishna. I will speak on how Krishna enraptured Vraja; how the gopis serve Krishna; and on how the Vrajavasis are entirely dependent on Krishna. I will speak on these topics tomorrow.


I end my class for today. Kirtana should be sung.


[Maha-mantra kirtana is sung by the devotees]



[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]


Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja


Miami, Florida: February 9, 2003 (Part 1) Listen

I want you to come with me now to Nandagaon, where Krsna has sent Uddhava on a golden chariot.  Uddhava arrived in the darkness of night, and therefore hardly anyone saw him. He went to the home of Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya, and after his discussion with them, Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya began to roll on the earth devoid of all external consciousness. He tried to console them throughout the night, but instead of being consoled and pacified, their separation mood became more and more high – so he could not help them.  Then, in the morning, he went to what is now called Krsna-kunda or Uddhava-kyari, which is very near to Nandagaon.  He took his bath there and performed his ahnik (utterance of the gayatri mantras).

A siddha (perfect) devotee like Uddhava does ahnik three times a day, and you must try to follow him.  If you do not chant and meditate on your gayatri mantra, gopal mantra, and other mantras given by your guru, how will you develop a relation with Krsna?  It is certain that you will not be able to advance.  Even Krsna, Ramacandra, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu chanted three times a day.  Early in the morning they took their baths and chanted.  Do not forget this.  Do not neglect this; otherwise you will become more and more weak.

When Uddhava finished his ahnik, the sun was about to rise.

bhagavaty udite surye
nanda-dvari vrajaukasah
drstva ratham satakaumbham
kasyayam iti cabruvan

[“When the godly sun had risen, the people of Vraja noticed the golden chariot in front of Nanda Maharaja’s doorway.  ‘Who does this belong to?’ they asked.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.46.47)]

The gopis began discussing with each other about the chariot. One gopi said, “A brilliant golden chariot is here. Who brought it?  This is very dangerous.  We saw a similar golden chariot on which Akrura came and took Krsna and Baladeva away from us, and now they live in Mathura. We heard that Kamsa was killed, so perhaps this chariot has come because of that.” In Indian Vedic culture, twelve or thirteen days after someone dies, his relatives perform a samskara and make an offering of oblations called pinda-dan. This is true especially in Gaya, where Mahaprabhu went to offer pinda to His father. Pinda is made of rice and other food substances, and it is offered to the soul who has left his body.

The sakhi continued, “Perhaps today is the twelfth day, and Kamsa’s relatives want to give him some pinda-dan. Kamsa’s relatives probably cannot manage to get that pinda in Mathura, so they have come to Vraja. They must know that we gopis will die without Krsna. They must know it will be very easy to take our hearts to be used for making some pinda-dan to offer to Kamsa’s soul. 

Another sakhi said, “You know, Krsna has now become the King of Mathura. Now He’s not a cowherd boy; He’s not raising cows. Now He’s a king and He has sent His messenger on this golden chariot. Why? He wants to give this message: ‘O mother Yasoda, O Vrajavasis, do not think that I am still a cowherd boy.  Here I am not grazing any cows like a servant. Now I am the king and monarch of all Mathurapuri.’  That is why He has sent a messenger – just to say to His mother and father and others: ‘Now see how wealthy I am. I am so wealthy that I can send even a low class messenger on a golden chariot.’  He has sent this messenger only to show off His opulence to all of us.” 

Hearing the gopis’ words, Uddhava began to think, “Oh, I have done wrong!  I have come to console them, but I have come on a golden chariot! O Earth, please divide into two. I want to go inside you. Why did I come here? I could not discriminate between what is proper and what is not. Now, what should I do?”

Uddhava repented in that forest of Kadamba-kyari or Uddhava-kyari.  Kadamba-kyari means that forest which is filled with many thousands of rows of kadamba trees.  After he heard this song of the gopis, lamenting and sometimes chastising Krsna and calling Him “black cheater” and other abusive names, this place became known as Uddhava-kyari.

sri-suka uvaca
tam viksya krsanucaram vraja-striyah
pralamba-bahum nava-kanja-locanam
pitambaram puskara-malinam lasan-
mukharavindam parimrsta-kundalam

su-vismitah ko ‘yam apivya-darsanah
kutas ca kasyacyuta-vesa-bhusanah
iti sma sarvah parivavrur utsukas
tam uttamah-sloka-padambujasrayam

[“Sukadeva Gosvami said: ‘The young women of Vraja became astonished upon seeing Lord Krsna’s servant, who had long arms, whose eyes resembled a newly grown lotus, who wore a yellow garment and a lotus garland, and whose lotuslike face glowed with brightly polished earrings. “Who is this handsome man?” the gopis asked. “Where has he come from, and whom does he serve? He’s wearing Krsna’s clothes and ornaments!” Saying this, the gopis eagerly crowded around Uddhava, whose shelter was the lotus feet of Lord Uttamahsloka, Sri Krsna.'” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47 verse 1-2)]

All the gopis saw this servant of Krsna and thought, “Perhaps His messenger has come. How very beautiful he is! Kanja locanam – his eyes are like lotuses. Pralamba bahum – and he has long arms.  Pitambaram – He is dressed in yellow cloth. Puskara-malinam –and he wears a large vanamala garland. Mukharavindam parimrsta – His lotus face glows with brilliant earrings and He Himself is very beautiful. It seems that he is a second Krsna.” 

Prema has its own ‘etiquette’.  When the gopis are mad in a mood of separation, they will embrace a tamal tree; laughing and joking and thinking, “Krsna is here.”  When they see a cloud or some darkness, they embrace it and begin to laugh and joke and perform pastimes with it. Here, in this regard, Uddhava looks like Krsna.  Krsna has given him His own pitambara and His own vanamala garland. The scent of Krsna’s body has a special kind of beautiful fragrance, and this fragrance emanated from the vanamala and pitambara. The gopis were wondering, “Who is he, and why has he come here? It seems that he may be a messenger or servant of Krsna.”

A second sakhi asked, “How do you know?”

Another sakhi replied, “Our eyes can cheat us, but our nose cannot. Our nose can smell the fragrance of Krsna’s body.  Everything that belongs to Krsna, including His pitambara, murali flute, and His vana-mala, is scented with His fragrance. Krsna’s body is more fragrant than beli, cameli, jui, and any other flower. O sakhi, I know He is syam (black), but not Syama – he is black, but not that black Krsna.  Who is he? It must be Krsna’s servant.” 

Another sakhi began to say, “Sakhi, you know, He has sent this messenger, but for what purpose? Why is that messenger coming to us?  He should go to Nanda bhavan – to the house of Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda – because they have a blood relationship with Krsna.  We have no blood relation.  Even if a son does something against his mother and father, and even if he is far away, a blood relation will not be destroyed. It is forever – for the extent of his whole life – and no one can change it.  But we have no such relationship with Krsna. From the beginning He accepted, and we accepted, that there is some relation; but if Krsna has forgotten this now, then we have also given it up.  Our relation was not a blood relation, so why is he coming here? He should go to Krsna’s parents to console them.  We are not Krsna’s and Krsna is not ours.”

anyatha go-vraje tasya
smaraniyam na caksmahe
snehanubandho bandhunam
muner api su-dustyajah

[“We see nothing else He might consider worth remembering in these cow pastures of Vraja. Indeed, the bonds of affection for one’s family members are difficult to break, even for a sage. Otherwise we are not seeing any reason that he is coming to us.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.5)]

Even if one is a muni or in the renounced order of sannyasa, when he remembers his mother, his mother will also remember him. Suppose a mother is sitting at home and her son is miles away. Still, when the waves from her heart develop, it will reach her son. Or, if the son is deeply remembering his mother or beloved, the current will touch the loved one and both will realize each other’s hearts. But we do not have this type of relation with Krsna. Our relationship with Him was such that there would be a relationship only if we would both accept it; otherwise there would be no relationship.

As the gopis spoke, their hearts melted and their eyes were full of tears – and Uddhava was listening to their conversation.

One gopi told Uddhava:

anyesv artha-krta maitri
pumbhih strisu krta yadvat
sumanahsv iva satpadaih

[“The friendship shown toward others – towards those who are not family members – is motivated by personal interest, and thus it is a pretense that lasts only until one’s purpose is fulfilled. Such friendship is just like the interest men take in women, or bees in flowers.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.6)]

“Uddhava, we want to ask you some questions, but we don’t know if you will be able to answer them. You should answer them. If love and affection is selfless and pure, it never breaks. I think that Krsna’s love was selfless, and it did not have even a scent of selfishness.  We were also selfless; we had very pure prema, and we never wanted anything from Him. He always wanted to please us and we wanted to please Him. But, Uddhava, can you tell why this pure love and affection has now broken?” 

Uddhava was simply scratching his head; he could not answer. Without the help of the gopis no one would be able to answer.  This question is very high and only those who have pure love can realize its depth.

A gopi continued, “Uddhava, why don’t you answer?  We are asking something, and you should answer. There are two kinds of love and affection.  One is pure, more so than gold, and the other is selfish. 

nihsvam tyajanti ganika
akalpam nrpatim prajah
adhita-vidya acaryam
rtvijo datta-daksinam

[“Prostitutes abandon a penniless man, subjects an incompetent king, students their teacher once they have finished their education, and priests a man who has remunerated them for a sacrifice.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.7)]

“You can take the example of a prostitute. Outwardly they show great love and affection for a wealthy person.  He may be black or very ugly, but if he is wealthy such prostitutes will show him so much love and affection – as though their love was pure. However, as soon as they take all the wealth of that rich person, they give him up at once.” At this point Uddhava was not saying anything. He wasn’t even moving his head. He was only hearing.

[To be continued in the next issue.]

Gaura premanande.