Srila Gurudeva in Los Angeles – 17 June 1996
[Hari-katha of Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Srila Gurudeva]
Why do they chant, “Om santi, Om santi?” Om has some form, some qualification. He’s merciful. Om means A U M, three things. Then why do they just say, “Om?” A U M makes OM. And here, A denotes Krsna as told in the Upanisads. They go together, but they don’t want to use this. They are satisfied because Kali has done something. In Kali Yuga, even if a person is qualified or not; but yet, if he chants the name of Krsna, he will be benefited. But in Satya Yuga, anyone cannot chant the holy name. To chant the holy name, they will have to perform austerities for lakhs and lakhs of years. But in Kali Yuga, anyone can say Krsna’s name and Rama’s name.
When a person chants, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare,” he chants the holy names sixteen times.
Devotee: Do you reside in Mathura Maharaja?
Srila Gurudeva: No, no. I live in Vrndavana.
Devotee: I’m coming to India, hopefully next year. So, I’ll have to come and visit.
Srila Gurudeva: But at that time I was foolish, I could not do anything. But now, he said, “Yes. You have come anyhow.” He is so pleased. What is the history of this temple?
[Srila Gurudeva goes on to speak some instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave before he left his body]
He used to go there and Caitanya Mahaprabhu would also come with all His parikars, associates. Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and others would also come. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu or His parikars used to come there, He used to make an excuse that the Mohammedans are coming and they will take [unclear]. So, he would take it to that village.
So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to take darsana there. Mahaprabhu also said, “I will not go on top of Govardhana, and no one should go, because Govardhana is Krsna Himself. So, we should not climb on Govardhana hill and we will not see Gopalji.” Therefore, Gopalji Himself, used to come down in that village and everyone would take His darsana. There is a village named ‘Parso’ meaning, day after tomorrow.
The village is named as such because Krsna made a promise to the gopis and said, “I will surely come tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.” Every village in Vraja is named after a specific pastime of Krsna.
Oh you have come now. Even if these ISKCON leaders are not coming, I will always welcome them. I’m also happy to be here.
Devotee: We have been dreaming for a long time. . .
Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji and all of you have brought me here. Otherwise, I didn’t even dream that I would come to the western countries, and meet so many devotees.
Devotee: Seeing how sweet you are and so beautiful, how can they talk like this about such a great personality, what can we do?
Srila Gurudeva: You should not be angry.
Devotee: They have no eyes to see.
Srila Gurudeva: They are helping me. I could not have so much propaganda as they are doing. I have no money to do all these things. Actually, they are doing everything. They are doing everything for free. I’m indebted to them, so much indebted to them.
You know Kamsa was so kind to Krsna and to us all, because he brought Krsna from Goloka Vrndavana to this world. If there was no Kamsa, then no pastimes of Krsna would have manifested. So, Narada said, “I am indebted to Kamsa.”
Svamiji told me, “You should go and give some water, as the plants (the devotees) are drying. So you should go and give water to the plants.”
By bona fide Srimad Bhagavat kirtana, Krsna, Srimati Radhika, Uddhava, Sukadeva Gosvami, Narada Gosvami, and all will come; whether we can see them or not. When Narottama Thakur used to sing and dance with so many bhaktas, Caitanya Mahaprabhu would come with all His parikars, and they would ecstatically dance. And when the kirtana ended, Mahaprabhu and His associates would disappear. When Narottama Thakur would sing, “Gauranga bolite habe, pulaka sarira,” then Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu would descend and do kirtana. Everyone present would see and realize the presence of Mahaprabhu and His associates among them. But, when the kirtana ended, Mahaprabhu and His associates could not be seen, as I mentioned before.
Devotee: They would manifest to the general devotees or just those devotees with ….
Srila Gurudeva: Everyone could see, including the general public, because Yogamaya used to come and connect them. Where there is no Yogamaya, there is no connection with the eternal world. Now we will go to Mayapur or Vrndavana.
They have no connection with Yogamaya. There is not such a powerful person who can attract Yogamaya to come here, so we are not seeing. But Krsna and Mahaprabhu are there; They are always there. But if personalities like Narottama Thakur, and Nityananda prabhu come, then Yogamaya will come and connect us. They will sprinkle some of their mercy.
Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja :
ASTA KALIYA LILA IS THE LIFE AND WEALTH OF OUR SAMPRADAYA
In asta-kaliya-lila (Sri Krsna’s eight-fold daily Vrndavana pastimes) Krsna performs pastimes with Radhika, Lalita, Visakha and all the gopis – nighttime pastimes, early morning pastimes, late morning pastimes, noon pastimes, afternoon and evening pastimes. In these eight-fold pastimes Krsna’s birth, His killing Kamsa and His going to Mathura and Dvaraka do not occur. Similarly, in Mahaprabhu’s asta-kaliya-lila He does not go to Puri or to Godavari. There is no birth in Mayapura, and there is no deliverance of Jagai and Madhai and Cand Kazi. These are part of the naimittika-lila. The nitya-lila takes place only in Vraja, and only in Navadvipa, which is identical with Vrndavana. Asta-kaliya-lila is the life and the wealth of our sampradaya (disciplic succession), wherein nothing but the sweetest of the sweet pastimes take place. Only those who are qualified can meditate on these pastimes; unqualified people are barred. For those who are qualified, this meditation continues throughout the say and night.
If you want to enter into this meditation, you must give up envy and quarrel. If you have lust, anger, greed, violence, envy, etc. in your heart, how can you even think about these pastimes?
Please visit Navadvipa.info
Sri Navadvipa-mandala Parikrama
03 22 97 B Navadwip Hari Katha and Kirtan
19970321 A Navadwip Srila Trivikrama Maharaja
1996 NAVADVIPA DHAMA PARIKRAMA P1
Sri Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
Class by Srila Vaman Maharaja SBVM_Exapalnati on To Bhakti_glories Of Jaganatha Babaji
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of the Four Vaisnava Acaryas: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada, Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja]
gauravirbhava-bhumes tvam nirdesta sajjana-priyah
vaisnava-sarvabhauma-sri-jagannathaya te namah
I offer obeisance to Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. He indicated the pastime place of the appearance of Sri Gaurasundara, and he is very dear to the devotees.
Appearance and Introduction
In approximately 1764, Sri Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja appeared in a Sambhrant family in a Mandalakara village within the division of Tangail in the district of Mayaman Simha in present day Bangladesa. Some have the belief that he manifested his appearance pastime in the Tadasa village within the Pavana district of Bangladesa in a Varenda Kayastha family. Up until now we do not have a definite account or acquaintance of his previous asrama’s mother and father, or of the year, date and so forth of his appearance.
Whichever place or whatever family Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja may have appeared in; in reality he is Bhagavan’s eternally perfected associate and the manifested form (prakasa-vigraha) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is fully realized in the current of the conception of Sri Sri Svarupa-Rupanuga; he is the sarvabhauma (emperor) of the empire of suddha-vaisnavas; he is the eternally worshipable of Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura; he is greatly enthusiastic in preaching the message of Godhead; he is the general in the army of nama-sankirtana, and he is a Bhagavat Paramahamsa gosthanandi (one who takes delight in preaching). Sri Vraja and Sri Navadvipa Dhama are his eternal places of residence.
While staying in his previous asrama, Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja acted out the pastime of accepting pancaratriki diksa and becoming the diksa disciple of Sri Rasa Bihari Gosvami, a descendent of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and a resident in the provincial district of Puruliya. That Sri Rasa Bihari Gosvami had one other disciple—Svadhin Tripuradhipati—Svadhamagata Isanacandra Manikya Bahadura. Even today, Sri Rasa Bihari jiu, the worshipable Lordship’s of Sri Rasa Bihari Gosvami, are being served in his royal palace.
Coming to Sri Vraja Mandala
Understanding and seeing the life history of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, it is recognized that although he was a topmost devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu before coming to Sri Vraja Mandala, still, following the completely pure acara-pracara, out of greed to obtain the devotees transcendental association, he came to Sri Vraja Mandala.
Association with the Visuddha-Rupanuga-Acarya
Out of destiny, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came to Sri Vraja Mandala and received the association of the Bhagavata Srila Madhusudan dasa Babaji Maharaja, who was acting out the pastime of being acarya, taking shelter of the method of rupa and rupanuga, and preaching in this way. Obtaining the association of Srila Madhusudan dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s heart, which was burning in enthusiasm for the association of rupanuga vaisnavas, was cooled. From him, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja received the deep process and tattva of bhajana in the line of the Sri Gaudiya-Vaisnava-sampradaya.
Day and night, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja began to perform honest service to his Gurudeva, looking after everything. He stayed under the complete guidance of Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja for a long time; residing on the bank of Sri Surya-kunda and showing the perfect example of sadhana bhajana. Seeing his honest service as well as unfathomable love for Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, and his desire for the supreme auspiciousness of the residents of the world, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja gave him paramahamsa-vesa.
A Brief Life History of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s Vesa-guru, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja
When Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja was only 12 years old, one devotee gave him the sri-harinama-mahamantra along with the 18 syllable sri-krsna-mantra. Although Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja began chanting the mantras at that time, still, in his adulthood he lamented again and again, “How unfortunate I am! I do not know the method of chanting sri-harinama and sri-krsna-mantra! I don’t even know the name of my Gurudeva who gave me the mantra! I never saw him again in my life! I never got the opportunity to serve him, what to speak of receiving any instructions from him. Due to the absence of guru-seva and instructions from him, my human life will pass uselessly. What will be my destination, not knowing the purport of my mantras and guru-parampara?”
Absorbed in these thoughts, he came to Sri Vraja Mandala searching for his Gurudeva. He stayed for some time in Kamyavana, then he traveled throughout many places in Sri Vraja Mandala searching for his Gurudeva; however, not being able to fulfill his desire, he was despondent. Finally, being deprived of the acquaintance of his Gurudeva and knowledge of the process of his mantra, with the intention of taking his life, he tied a very large sila of Giriraja Govardhana around his neck and jumped into Sri Radha Kunda. However, at that time, the supreme ruler of Sri Radha Kunda, Srimati Radhika and Her beloved Sri Krsna lifted him up with Their hands and placed him on the banks of the pond. They wrote on tala leaves the name of his Gurudeva, his guru-parampara, the process of chanting his mantras, as well as many other subjects, and placing them near him, They disappeared. By the causeless mercy of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna he became aware of all these subjects: his Gurudeva was a follower in the line of sri-rupanuga-vaisnava-pravara Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusan Prabhu—Sri Uddhava dasaji, who was engaged in sri-rupanuga-bhajana following the disciplic succession and doctrine of the Sri Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Vaisnavas.
A short time after, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja began to reside at the supremely pure pastime place on the banks of Surya-kunda, in the kunja named ‘Madana-rana-vatika’ situated five miles north of Sri Radha Kunda. Once, when Srila Babaji Maharaja was sitting in his bhajana-sthali, ‘Madana-rana-vatika,’ the pastimes of holi in Vraja manifested upon the screen of his transcendental vision. While watching, Srila Babaji Maharaja entered into the pastimes with his perfected form. People nearby saw that many different colors were on his clothes as well as an unprecedented fragrance; hearing people murmuring, Srila Babaji Maharaja came back to his external senses. Since this occurrence, Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja is famous in Surya-kunda as ‘Siddha Babaji.’
There is a common saying or rumor that when Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja explained the Srimad-Bhagavata in his bhajana-kutira at Surya-kunda, a python would come daily with a fixed routine and hear his explanations. When they were completed, the python would offer dandavat-pranams and then go away.
Srila Babaji Maharaja bathed in Sri-Surya-kunda every day. One night Srimati Radharani appeared in a dream and told him, “In this kunda there is a Giridhari sila with My crown printed on it. Take this sila out and worship it.” Srila Babaji Maharaja woke and sat up from his dream, and in the morning, being extremely pleased at heart, followed the order of Srimati Radharani, and took the sila out of Surya-kunda. Even though the sila appeared to be approximately 2 to 2 ½ manas or 80-100 kilos, when Srila Babaji Maharaja lifted it, it became lighter then a flower. Since then, Srila Babaji Maharaja worshipped the sila every day.
Up to the present day, the sila worshipped by Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja, as well as the worshipable nama-brahma, or names of Bhagavana such as Sri Hare Krsna’ and ‘Sri Haribol’ written upon wood, are served in a temple on the banks of Sri Surya-kunda. Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi and his ancient worn out bhajana-kutira are also present.
At Surya-kunda, the disappearance day of Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja is followed on agrahayana suklastami.
Sri Gaura Bhakta, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
After taking paramahamsa-vesa, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja wandered in different places within Sri Vraja Mandala and Sri Gauda Mandala for the welfare of the world, increasing the beauty of those places. Babaji Maharaja perceived Sri Gauda Mandala to be non-different from Vraja Mandala. In the same way that all of Sri Krsna’s qualities are showered upon the devotees of Sri Krsna, similarly, all the qualities of Sri Gaurahari such as deep honest taste for chanting sri-nama following—‘trnad api sunicena, tarorapi sahisnu, amanina manadena’ were manifest in Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja obtained all good qualities and became the most fortunate of the fortunate.
Sri Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja’s Departure
When the time came, by the will of Bhagavan, Sri Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja performed his disappearance pastime. Along with his other godbrothers, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja placed his Gurudeva in samadhi on the banks of Surya-kunda. Although he spent most of his time at Surya-kunda, still, he would sometimes go to Sridham Navadvipa for some days and then again returned to Surya-kunda.
His Preaching Pastimes as Acarya
For those who renounce everything and take the one-pointed shelter of Sriman Mahaprabhu, taking a vow to preach His message, then Bhagavan Sri Gaursundara accepts his bhajana. By thinking, “I am a low and destitute Vaisnava; however, by making disciples, my so-called humble bhajana, which is actually full of pride, will be destroyed.” Leaving this powerful arrogance of being a great devotee aside, and taking suddha-nama with humility, both showing by one’s own personal example, as well as preaching suddha-nama and taking the responsibility of being guru, then the waves of sense enjoyment in the form of material prestige will be diminished. Srila Rupa, Srila Sanatana, Srila Jiva and Srila Raghunatha dasa, as well as other great pure devotees gave instructions by the method of composing scriptures, while Sriman Narottama, Srila Madhvacarya, Srila Ramanujacarya and others accepted many disciples. Many foolish people became offenders at the lotus feet of the actual akincana devotees by thinking that such preaching activities were obstacles to the limbs of bhakti and were merely waves of sense enjoyment. Following the above-mentioned Vaisnava-acaryas’ magnanimous and lofty moods, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja followed the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 7.128
[Tell everyone you meet the instructions of Krsna. Under My order become a guru and deliver everyone in this land.]
Thus, when any person would naturally come to Srila Babaji Maharaja, he would immediately begin to deliver visuddha-hari-katha. Seeing the incomparable anuraga of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja towards Sri Gaurasundara, and the unfathomable enthusiasm towards Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s practice and preaching, many devotees were attracted to the shelter of Srila Babaji Maharaja, and passed their lives with great renunciation in his care, thus making their lives fortunate and successful. Many householders also followed Srila Babaji Maharaja’s instructions.
Strictly Following the Method of Sri Rupanuga-bhajana
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s chastisement was nirapeksa (neutral or indifferent), his strong instructions for the welfare of the soul were poignant. Srila Babaji Maharaja stayed for a long time in the shelter of the banks of Sri Radha-kunda. Following the method of Sri Rupanuga-bhajana, he would perform Sri Radha-Govinda’s eternal service with an attentive mind through the medium of nama-bhajana. Srila Babaji Maharaja stayed in this world for 142 long years, continuously performing sri krsna kirtana and inspiring others to also perform sri harinama. Babaji Maharaja never accepted any siddhanta or conception other than the one and only method of following all other limbs of bhakti through connection with kirtanakhya-bhakti. With mind absorbed intently in moods of separation, he would perform hari kirtana himself, and he gave instruction for others to do the same. He never patronized the pretense of full absorption in nama bhajana with an enjoying mentality, or hypocritically following solitary bhajana. Apart from chanting the 16 name, 32 syllable mahamantra that emanated from Sriman Mahaprabhu’s lotus mouth, he never patronized the nama-aparadhi’s who performed speculative, imaginary modern mantras full of rasabhasa and opposed to siddhanta.
Under the guidance of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s instructions, the followers of Sri Rupanuga never performed any rasabhasa singing or any type of nama-aparadha in the place of ‘suddha nama’ and ‘sri nama kirtan.’ Frivolously performing harinama with sraddha is one thing, but not giving up nama-aparadha, yet rather thinking it to be pure ‘nama’ and protecting or maintaining one of the nama-aparadhas amongst them all with such a foolish conception, thinking, “my sri harinama kirtana is going on nicely”—such patronizing self-deception is another thing completely. Srila Babaji Maharaja never tolerated anything opposed to siddhanta or anything with the fault of rasa-abhasa.
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# 2nd Post
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Instructions to Businessmen Reciters of the Bhagavat
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and his one-pointed associates devoted to nama-bhajana in the family of paramahamsas were absorbed in the bliss of bhajana in Sri Vrndavana, one learned scholar of the Sanskrit language, a famous hired orator from the place of Mahaprabhu’s sannyasa pastime in Katwa, who had the occupation of reciting the Bhagavatam for a quantity of wealth, came to Vrndavan with the desire to reside in the tirtha with brahmanas. But there he started explaining the Srimad-Bhagavatam for collecting material wealth, worship, and fame. In other words, through reciting the Bhagavata, he became absorbed in filling his belly and other activities. Seeing that, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and other bhajananandi-vaisnavas were indifferent to hearing his explanations on the Srimad-Bhagavata, which is the crown jewel of all scriptures. The gentleman asked why Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was disinclined to his recitation, to which Babaji Maharaja replied, “that person who makes a business out of the Bhagavatam is a nama-aparadhi; what comes out of his mouth is not the glories of the transcendental personality Sri Krsna. Such a person who sells his kirtan or Bhagavata recital to fill his body or tongue is more contemptible than an ordinary vaisya or merchant. By hearing from such a businessman orator, rather than the jivas getting any form of auspiciousness, the jivas will become more fallen. To have faith in objects of enjoyment in the place of faith in Krsna, and to perform hypocritical bhakti instead of honest bhajana, is the cause of inauspicious destinations for the jivas.”
The fortunate orator was not displeased to hear the strong and truthful speech of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, even though it was unpleasant; rather, he realized this as the mercy of Babaji Maharaja, and from that time he renounced the tendency of making a business out of the Bhagavat, understanding it to be contemptible. Accepting the mercy of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the fortunate orator became a parama-bhagavata-vaisnava in the future. While staying in Sridhama Vrndavan he would even offer obeisance to donkeys, dogs, and dog-eaters. By the mercy of the detached devotees, his arrogance of caste, class, and learning were all dissipated.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s Deities
By the help of Sri Bihari dasa (his sevaka), the residents of Surya-kunda built a room for Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja to stay in, as well as a small temple. Seeing the temple, Srila Babaji Maharaja told Bihari dasa, “Bihari! In this temple, we should establish Thakurji. Make arrangements for Deities.”
On the order of Babaji Maharaja, with the help of one landowner, Sri Bihari Dasji brought the deities of Sri Gaura-Nitai from the place called Danihat, and delivered them into the hands of Srila Babaji Maharaja. Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja established the Deities in the new temple and held a very large festival.
The powerful Vrajavasi Sri Bihari dasa was born in a Gopa’s home. He served Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja for approximately 40 years. Sri Bihari Dasa was not highly qualified in reading and writing from the perspective of worldly people; however, by the mercy of his Guru-pada-padma, he obtained the result of real learning—the great opportunity to be absorbed in constant practice of Sri Krsna bhakti. He would take Srila Babaji Maharaja in a basket on his head, and carry him from one place to another. Because of his great strength, he would go eight to ten miles at a time without any conveniences. He sat Srila Babaji Maharaja on his head in a basket and carried him to Navadvipa-dhama. Arriving in Sri Navadvipa-dhama, he built a kutira for Srila Babaji Maharaja with his hands, a spade and so forth, and also built four walls in the four directions surrounding the kutira. He was a witness of the transcendental affection of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja towards Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura ‘Prabhupada.’ Ease, power, and simplicity were manifest in whatever he did.
One day, some thieves came to Srila Babaji Maharaja’s kutira to steal the Deities, thinking them to be made of gold. Although, by the will of Bhagavan, the thieves could not steal the Deities, nonetheless, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave his servant Bihari dasa the order to take the Deities and leave Them in Sri Vrndavan. Sri Bihari dasa did so, following the order of Babaji Maharaja. In the present times, those Gaura-Nitai deities are situated in Sri Vrndavan at Gopala-Bhaga Dhopapad, and are known by the name, ‘Sonara Gaura’ (Golden Gaura).
The Sting of One Rupee
Once, as Sri Bihari dasji was carrying Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja on a pathway, a devotee gave Babaji Maharaja one rupee and Babaji Maharaja gave it to Biharidasa to keep. Two or three miles ahead, Srila Babaji Maharaja suddenly told Bihari Dasa to return it. After arriving at his Kuti, he called that devotee and gave him back the rupee, saying, “Brother, keep your rupee, I heard that you have many rupees. I don’t know how you can tolerate the biting sting of so many rupees, I am not able to tolerate the sting of even one rupee.”
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Instructions to Those Unqualified for the Path of Raga
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja always gave instructions to perform hari-bhajana through one’s body, mind, and words. Some people among those with the desire to be his followers, taking loin cloth, or the dress of a babaji, thought that they would now not have to perform fatiguing physical work as householders do, for they were now bheka-dharis, (wearing the dress of renunciation). Consequently, they simply circulated their beads without care, trying to complete their regulated number of rounds by any means, thinking that then their daily activities would be finished. However, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja mercifully engaged all those nama-aparadhis in exhausting physical activities for the service of Krsna. Without keeping one’s senses absorbed in the service of Visnu and the Vaisnavas, Sri Krsna’s names will not manifest on the tongue, and one will not get the qualification to perform Sri Krsna’s names. For as long as one’s senses are present with the body and their sense objects, as well as those persons related to the body, until then the living entity will be attached to sense enjoyment, this is certain. “I am Bhagavan’s servant”— situated in this mood, one will have possessiveness towards the objects related to Bhagavan, thus one will engage his own body and the objects related to the body in the service of Bhagavan and the devotees, and the tendency of love and possessiveness will be towards them. Seeing the unperfected and foolish persons laziness in regards to Sri Krsna anusilana, for they were busily engaged in their own sense enjoyment, and to stop them from proceeding on the pathway to hell, Srila Babaji Maharaja engaged them in honest hari-bhajana, in such a way that finally their consciousness would be cleansed and they would obtain the qualification to perform sri-krsna-anusilana.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Meets Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
In the month of sravana 1880, when Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was staying in the kunja of Sri Rupa dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura came to the kunja of Sri Radha Ramana Vasu, with the intent of having darsana of Sridhama Vrndavana. When Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was searching for some rare scriptures, he came to the kunja of Sri Rupa dasa Babaji Maharaja, and had darsana of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja for the first time. The pastime of the eternal vrajavasi guru and disciple meeting together in the Vraja of this world was manifest. In this place, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura authored the ‘dasa sloki’ in the name of Sri Nimbaditya.
Along with hearing the powerful hari-katha of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura realized him to be a great bhajananandi-mahapurusa, and offered himself for all time at his lotus feet. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura realized that the actual result of his pilgrimage had been obtained:
“tirtha-phala sadhu sanga, sadhu sange antaranga, sri krsna bhajana manohara”
[The actual result of going to the holy places is to obtain sadhu-sanga, because in sadhu-sanga one gets ‘antaranga,’ or the opportunity of receiving confidential instructions for Sri Krsna-bhajana, which steal the mind.]
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s travel to Sridhama Vrndavana was successful. In the same way that Sriman Mahaprabhu spoke the feelings of His heart when He had darsana of Sri Isvarapuri in Gaya, saying:
prabhu bale gaya yatra saphala amara
yatra ksane dekhilan carana tomara
samsara-samudra haite uddharaha more
ei ami deha samarpilan tomare
krsna-pada-padmera amrta-rasa pana
amare karao tumi ei cahi dana
Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi 17.50-52
Receiving the darsana of Sri Isvara Puri’s lotus feet, Sri Gaursundara said, “That moment I obtained the darsana of your beautiful lotus feet, My pilgrimage to Gaya was successful. Please save Me from the ocean of material existence, I have offered My body unto you! Please make Me drink the transcendental nectar of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet; this is all I beg from you!”
In this same way, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s mind became agitated, and prayers appeared on his tongue. Seeing a person so learned and well versed in the scriptures, with such a powerful natural enthusiasm to preach sri-nama-sankirtana as practiced and preached by Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya was pleased, and encouraged Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to more widely and strongly preach sri-gaura-nama, sri-gaura-dhama and sri-gaura-kama (Gaura’s desires) throughout the world.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura returned from Sri Vrndavan and began preaching extensively to fulfill the heart’s desire of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya. If one reads the autobiography of Thakura Bhaktivinoda, one will understand from that time how he greatly preached the holy name, pure bhakti, and gave many eloquent lectures related to dharma in many places throughout Bengal.
Meeting again at Amla-Joda
After this first meeting, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had the great happiness to obtain the association and instructions of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja many times. Among these, Srila BhaktivinodaThakura wrote about some of the prominent meetings himself.
One time, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was staying in the place called Amla Joda within the district of Vardhamana, preaching the spotlessly pure sri-rupanuga-bhakti. At that time, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was going place-to-place preaching hari-katha and hari-kirtana with the plan of going to Vrndavan for sadhu-sanga and residence in the dhama. Going through the practice of this plan, when it was Ekadasi on Wednesday in the month of Phalguna, February-March on the 22nd day in 1891, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura decided to pause in Amla-Joda, where by the desire of Bhagavan he received the good fortune of the darsana of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja.
The Ideal of how to Follow Ekadasi-tithi, Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Ecstasies, and Establishing Prapannasrama
Although Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura followed every Ekadasi-tithi excellently according to the account of Sri Ambarisa Maharaja in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, still, in Amla Joda, they stayed up all night doing hari-kirtana, and showed the unprecedented example of how to follow Ekadasi to all the general people. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained the occurring’s in Amla Joda in his magazine ‘Sri SajjanaTosani’ as follows:
“After staying awake all night on Ekadasi, at eight in the morning all the devotees in the village gathered and went out on nagar-sankirtana. With Paramapujyapada Siddha Sri Jagannatha dasa babaji Mahasaya in front, everyone arrived at Prapannasrama.
(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was highly respected and the recipient of great honor from the residents of Amla Joda. By the combined efforts of the protectors of the Sri Nama Hatta, Sri Yukta Ksetranatha Bhaktinidhi, Vipanipati, (Vikreta), and Sri Yukta Vipin Vihari Bhaktiratna’s, one asrama, ‘Prapannasrama’ was constructed in the village of Amla Joda in the middle of a garden.)
At the time of kirtana, all the bhavas that manifested in Babaji Maharaja are impossible to describe. At an age beyond 100, he would dance like a lion in premananda, and sometimes in the middle he would shout out:
“nitai ki nama eneche re, nama eneche namera hate sraddhamule nama diteche re”
Sri Nityananda Prabhu appeared on this Earth with what wonderful names! He opened the marketplace of the holy names and distributed this wonderful prema nama for the price of faith.
He would sing lines of poetry like this and others, shed incessant tears, and tumble in the dust of the Earth. Such an amazing scene occurred that cannot be found anywhere else. Seeing the ecstatic emotions of Srila Babaji Mahasaya and becoming submerged in the bliss of his kirtana, almost all present wept with hairs standing on end, and all danced ecstatically in kirtana for a long time with voices choked with emotion. When kirtana was completed after a long time, there was a brief lecture on the subject of nama-hatta. Being very pleased, that day Babaji Mahasaya gave the order for ‘Prapannasrama’ to begin. Vipani Pati Mahasaya, taking the approval of Babaji Mahasaya, completed the project to establish Prapannasrama. A school and medical dispensary were established, and the leader of the society picked by Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Mahasaya was qualified for the task in all ways. In whichever villages the Prapannasrama is constructed, they should be established in this manner.”
(Sajjana Tosani 4th Year, 23rd Prstha)
Srila Babaji Maharaja Absorbed in Singing the Qualities of Sri Hari
In this village called Amla Joda, day and night Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja spoke with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura about Gaura and Krsna, explanations on kirtana, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja Coming to Reside Permanently in Sri Gaura Dhama
In the manifested lifetime of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the Viviktanandi-sadhus were propagating that Sri Vraja dhama is the place for perfected personalities and sadhakas; that Sri Vraja Dhama is superior to Sri Navadvipa-dhama, and that just by arriving by any means in Sri Vraja Dhama one will get perfection. Considering Sri Gaura Dhama and Sri Krsna Dhama to be different, these offensive conceptions were prevalent. Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja took a firm vow to uproot this offensive conception completely and throw it far away. Hence, although being an eternally perfected Vrajavasi absorbed in transcendental pastimes, he, as well as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Sri Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, went and resided in Sri Navadvipa. Showing the brilliantly pure (ujjvala) nature of Sri Gaura-Dhama, by staying there and giving the perfect example of performing hari-bhajana to their many followers. The previous Acarya Srila Narottama Thakura sang—sri gauda mandala bhumi, jeba jane cintamani, tara haya vraja bhume vasa.
Following this conclusive truth, Srila Babaji Maharaja stayed in Sri Gauda Mandala and entered into the transcendental pastimes here, performing kirtana of this siddhanta with a loud voice.
Staying in Kuliya Navadvipa
The place Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja stayed and did bhajana in Kuliya Navadvipa has become famous as ‘Bhajana-Kuti’. At the time when Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura stayed in Krsnanagara, considering him to be his dear associate, Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja told him to construct the compound called ‘Bhajana-Kuti’. Taking this order on his head, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura used his assets to have this compound made. Now, Srila Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi is present in the compound of this bhajana-kutira. Many times Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura came to this place to see Srila Babaji Maharaja and hear katha of Gaura and Krsna.
Giving the Giridhari sila to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came from Navadvipa to Calcutta, he would usually go and meet Srila Bhaktivinoda in the Bhakti Bhavan, following the advice of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, “grhe va vanete thake, ‘ha gauranga’ bale dake, narottama mange tar sanga.” At the time when Srila Bhaktivinoda was performing the pastime of a householder, he would go for his direct meeting. To establish the perfect ideal of good behavior for the family members of Paramahansa Siromani Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave them Sri Giridhari (Govardhan Sila).
In 1293 Bangabda, when Srila Babaji Maharaja came to Bhakti Bhavan, for the satisfaction of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Vipina Bihari Gosvami took the caranamrta of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. At that time, the photo taken of Srila Babaji Maharaja on the roof of Bhakti Bhavan has become worshipable in the present times for the visuddha Sri Rupanuga Vaisnavas.
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# Post 3
The Necessity of Service According to Qualification
While Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was staying in his bhajana-kutira in Kuliya Navadvipa, some household renunciants (grha-tyagis) came to him with the purpose of obtaining some instructions on bhajana. Considering their qualification, Srila Babaji Maharaja instructed them to give water to eggplant vegetables planted for serving Krsna. Having the false ego of being fully ripened in bhajana, they were displeased with this instruction of Srila Babaji Maharaja. They considered that since they had left their houses to become detached from this sort of sensual work, having come to Srila Babaji Maharaja, why should they again be made to do the materialistic work of householders? Some thought that if, after leaving material life, they had to perform this sort of work, then it would be better to return again to their homes. Srila Babaji Maharaja understood the mood of their hearts and from Daivakrama he brought all his disciples face-to-face with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After telling Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in brief about their subject matter, he said,
“You are the best deliberator, please consider the situation here.” Among those with the false ego of being detached loincloth renunciants, some had a lethargic nature and were full of anarthas, some were secretly vyabhicaris, performers of illicit activities, some kept independent desires, and some were anyabhilasis, full of ulterior desires. Considering all their different qualifications, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura advised one person among them to go on pilgrimage to the four holy places, some others he told to go back to their homes and perform authorized marriages, and he instructed other simple persons, who were nonetheless weak with the disease of anyabhilasa, to fully follow the instructions of Srila Babaji Maharaja without any consideration, and to fully surrender unto him. In this way, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave mercy to those in the grip of unwanted desires through Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s All-knowing Nature
Many people would go for the darsana of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja and give him a lot of donations at their departure. He would keep all the donations in a small jug. Every fifteen days he would have the money counted and most of it spent. If the servant of Babaji Maharaja ever took out 10 or 15 rupees and put it in another place without telling him, Babaji Maharaja would become very sober and speak in a loud voice, “Oh! Where did the 15 rupees go?” Although Babaji Maharaja kept his eyes closed in the presence of his servant, because due to advanced age his eyelids would always be falling down, and only by holding up the eyelids with his hands could he see, and even though he didn’t count the money, Babaji Maharaja still knew everything. The servant would fearfully take out all the money and put it back.
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Disdain for the Hypocritical Residents of the dhama
Whatever donations Srila Babaji Maharaja received, he would spend according to his desire. One time, Babaji Maharaja told his servant, “Go! Take 200 rupees of the collected donations and exchange them for rasagullas. I will feed rasagullas to all the cows of the dhama.” When the servant asked, “Why do you want to feed rasagullas to the cows of the dhama instead of feeding the Babaji Vaisnavas of the dhama?” Babaji Maharaja said, “You don’t know, most of the Babajis here associate with women. Taking the cloth of Babajis, they are having intercourse with women. Therefore, I am not feeding them rasagullas, but am rather giving the rasagullas to the cows.”
Sometimes Babaji Maharaja would give someone five or ten rupees. Sometimes he would give someone a shawl, blanket, or clothes; however, for those who desired their real auspiciousness, he would always give strong chastisement.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja would take prasada on a large plate. One time, while staying in Kuliya Navadvipa, a female dog from a nearby hut gave birth to five puppies. When Babaji Maharaja would sit down to take prasada, the puppies would start eating from his plate, standing on all four sides. Because his eyes were closed, he would count them with his hand to see if all of them had come or not. If the servant was upset and tried to chase one or two of them away, then Babaji Maharaja would angrily say, “Go! Take my plate. Today I will not eat. They are all dhamavasis and you are always running behind them!”
Then the servant would bring back the puppies, feeling ashamed, and left them near the plate of Babaji Maharaja. When Babaji Maharaja counted that all were present, then he would happily take prasada with them from one plate.
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja is a maha-bhagavata. If an ordinary person imitates his practices then it will be inauspicious for them. The independent maha-bhagavata is beyond all rules, regulations, logic, and thoughts. They always perceive the dhama and guru; however, if an ordinary unqualified practitioner imitates them, they can commit offenses.
Protecting the Etiquette of the Paramahamsa dress
Many dishonest people would come near Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja to accept a loincloth or the dress of a Paramahamsa from him. One time, a babaji by the name of Gaura Haridasa was very insistent on taking vesa from Babaji Maharaja. However, Srila Babaji Maharaja didn’t want to give him vesa under any circumstance. Gaura Haridasa lay three days outside Babaji Maharaja’s hut without eating or drinking. In the end, Srila Babaji Maharaja didn’t give him vesa personally, but ordered his servant Bihari dasa Vrajavasi to give him.
Being Incapable of Tolerating Rasabhasa or Anything Opposed to Siddhanta
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja could never tolerate even a drop of anything opposed to siddhanta or anything that was rasabhasa. He said, “Just by having the arrogance of being the disciple of a great personality, one can’t actually be a real disciple. Those who don’t have the same character or mindset and who don’t fully accept chastisement and authority are disciples in name only.” Those with the arrogant self-conception of following Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja could never actually preach the message of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha. Srila Babaji Maharaja would become very angry seeing their independent nature. One time, a famous so-called babaji was coming near the hut of Babaji Maharaja singing a speculative imaginary song full of the fault of rasabhasa and accompanied with his group, Babaji Maharaja took a stick in his hand and shouted, “Forbid them from coming this way!” Seeing this, someone quickly told them not to go there.
The Ideal Example of Practice
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was coming from Sri Vrndavana to stay in Navadvipa Mandala, a gentleman of Calcutta came to Babaji Maharaja and propitiated him strongly, “Please mercifully be situated in Calcutta and place your lotus feet in my home.” There he wanted to accept the holy name from Babaji Maharaja. Srila Babaji Maharaja’s instruction was that even being invited, one should never accept any grains from an enjoyer. He was always unwilling to go to Calcutta. This person stayed outside Babaji Maharaja’s hut for fifteen days praying, showing how fixed he was. Finally, it was decided that Babaji Maharaja would not go to the gentleman’s house in Calcutta but would rather go to his garden in Kasipura, and there he wouldn’t take anything. Srila Babaji Maharaja went by boat with his servant Bihari Dasji to the person’s garden, and there sat and spoke lengthy hari-katha to him, giving him the instruction to chant sri harinama. That person tried very hard to give some donation or food to Babaji Maharaja, but he wouldn’t accept anything from a sense enjoyer. Then independently Babaji Maharaja went with his servant in the afternoon time to ‘Bhakti Bhavan’ (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s place of residence in Calcutta). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was amazed to see Babaji Maharaja. Srila Babaji Maharaja begged and accepted food at the home of a pure Vaisnava. Srila Babaji Maharaja wouldn’t accept the grains of an enjoyer, even upon being begged to a thousand times by the materialistic devotee, he wouldn’t accept any object from him. In this way, Srila Babaji Maharaja showed the perfect example to protect the sadhakas’ bhajana.
Hearing of the character and practice of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, the meaning of the instruction of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta becomes apparent.
bhaktera dravya prabhu kadi-kadi khaya
abhaktera dravya prabhu ulti nahi caya
[Prabhu snatches away and eats the foodstuffs of the bhaktas, but He will never take the foodstuffs of a non-devotee.]
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada’s Preparation of the Sri Navadvipa Calendar by the Direction of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja went to ‘Bhakti Bhavan’ he showed great affection to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Babaji Maharaja would be very satisfied seeing Srila Prabhupada’s truthfulness, one-pointedness, brilliance (tejasvita), eloquence or frankness, understanding of bhakti-siddhanta, firm vow of abstinence from bad association, and his love and attachment for harinama. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada went many times with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and took darsana of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja at his Bhajana Kutira in Kuliya Navadvipa and he would hear the discourses between Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura was merely 12 years old, he was greatly accomplished in knowledge of astrology and could perfectly discourse on the subject. Hearing of this amazing transcendental talent of the boy, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja set in motion through Srila Sarasvati Thakura the Sri Caitanyabda, Navadvipa calendar, and the Visnu named months, Var and Parva, festivals and dates approved by the Vaisnava conclusions. To this day, all branches of the Rupanauga Vaisnava Bhakti line follow according to the rules of dates and parva that came about through Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is in the disciplic line of Bhagavat parampara from Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhuusana, told that the appearance of Sri Visnupriya devi was on the fifth day of the bright half of the lunar moon in the month of Magha (January/February). Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura preached this news from Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja first in the world. With great care and effort Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja compiled dates of the appearances and disappearances of other associates of Gaura and gave them to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and they were then preached throughout the world by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
Srila Babaji Maharaja Placing His Lotus Feet in Surabhi Kunja at Sri Godruma
In 1893, in the month of Magha, the best of Paramahamsas, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, went with his associates to Surabhi Kunja in Sri Godruma and accepted a seat. On Wednesday of the 27th of Magha, Srila Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura met and an unprecedented festival of hari kirtana and dancing manifested. Sri Godruma is the island of kirtana. Everyone was shook and immersed in the flood of prema by the reverberation of the festival of kirtana that arose. From then on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura would go almost daily for kirtana with the devotees, or would send devotees, showing the perfect example of following the ‘sri ajna tahal’ (Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Srila Haridas Thakura would follow the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and go to every house praying for all to sing Sri Krsna’s names, worship Sri Krsna, and follow the instructions of Sri Krsna.) Properly following this instruction of Mahaprabhu and giving the holy names to the people is called ‘sri ajna tahal.’
[Translated from Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi Publication on the Life of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, by Rasik Mohan dasa]
# Part Four
The Incarnation of Thanesvari Jagannatha
In 1642 Bangabda on the 6th of Phalguna (February-March), when Srila Prabhupada was beginning to explain the verse in Sri Gita Govinda, “meghair-madur-mamvaram,” and the verse in Sri Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, “akhila-rasamrta-murtih” he called Vaisnava Sarabhauma Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja the incarnation of “Thanesvari Jagannatha.” (Thanesvari Jagannatha was an associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because of being a resident of the place called Thanesvar, which was situated on the banks of the Sarasvati coming from the eastern flow near Kuruksetra, he was famous as Thanesvari Jagannatha.) Srila Prabhupada wrote in his commentary on Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 18.221, “Some say that when Sriman Mahaprabhu was returning from Vrndavan He went to Kuruksetra and from there to Prayaga. Even today there is a Deity of Sri Gaura in Kuruksetra in the Bhadra Kali temple.”
It is commonly believed that Sriman Mahaprabhu came and stayed three days at the place near Kuruksetra called Thanesvari at the house of His devotee Jagannatha. Although his name was Jagannatha, Mahaprabhu would call him ‘Krsna Dasa’ (Sri Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava Lexicon, 2nd Part).
Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Inspiration to Manifest the Appearance Place of Sriman Mahaprabhu
In Kuruksetra, the dhama of separation, on the banks of the ancient river Sarasvati, at the place called Thanesvara which is marked by the lotus feet of Sri Gaura and Krsna, Sri Gaurahari placed His lotus feet in the home of His associate Sri Jagannatha. Similarly, at Surabhi Kunja, Godruma, situated on the banks of the river Sarasvati, when the inspiration to manifest—radha-bhava-dhyuti suvalita-tanu—Sri Gaursundara and His dhama entered as a guest into the separation filled cottage of the heart of Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, then Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja infused this guest in the form of inspiration into the heart of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
According to the statement of Srila Prabhupada, we offer prayers to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja in the form of ‘The incarnation of Thanesvari Jagannatha’ according to the statement of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada wrote in a brief introduction of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, “Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja indicated the location of the birthplace of Sri Gaura, and was the seniormost root of the assembly of the preachers of Sridhama Navadvipa. Sri Caitanyadeva sent him to this world for the salvation of the conditioned souls and to indicate the actual place of His appearance. (The Daily Nadiya Prakasha, 27 Caitra, 1339)
Apart from this circumstance, following under the guidance of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very anxious to serve in manifesting Sridhama Mayapura, due to the inspiration of Sri Gaursundara, we can see this by reading that which was written by his own hand.
The Specification of the Birthplace of Sri Gaura through Srila Babaji Maharaja
In 1892, on the 20th of Phalguna, Thursday, Sri Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came from Kuliya Navadvipa together with many people on an auspicious sankirtan pilgrimage reaching Sridhama Mayapura Yogapitha. Simply by touching that place, Babaji Mahasaya pronounced it to be the place of the house of Jagannatha Misra. Then, in the previously specified Khola Bhanga-Danga (Srivas Angan) under Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s guidance, while the devotees performed kirtana in the ‘sankirtan-mandala,’ one large mrdanga broke.
The power of Srila Babaji Maharaja’s Presence
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura narrated the events of the above-mentioned day in his Sajjana Tosani magazine in the following manner—“On Thursday, the 20th of Phalgun, at 11 a.m., three boats of devotees crossed the western side of Navadvipa. Bhakta Pravara Mahendra Babu brought the devotees across the River Ganga. Param Bhagavat Sri Yukta Jagannatha dasa Babaji Mahasaya was brought sitting in a palanquin. At that time, the number of pilgrims present in Sri Mayapura could not be counted. Sri Yukta Bhakta Pravara Dvarika Babu was waiting with great happiness for Babaji Mahasaya’s arrival. Reaching Sri Mayapura, it was seen that Dvarika Babu had arranged a ‘Sankirtan Mandali’ and placed many varieties of banners, which were undulating in the wind. When all the devotees climbed the birthplace mound and began to dance, an amazing effulgence spread throughout all of Sri Navadvipa Mandala. It seemed as if such an effulgence had not appeared since Mahaprabhu’s disappearance 400 years before. All the Vaisnavas sat down and decided that a place for continuous service must be established on Mahaprabhu’s birthplace and also in Srivas-Angan. Finally, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja concluded that on the birthplace there would be a house built for Sri Jagannatha Misra and Sri Saci-devi, and one other building with Kisora Sriman Mahaprabhu situated in the middle and Sri Visnupriya-devi and Sri Laksmipriya-devi on His left and right respectively. Panca-tattva would be established in Srivasa-Angan.” (Sajjana Tosani 4th part, page 234-235, ‘Appearance Festival’)
Enthusiasm for Preaching in Gaura-Dhama
Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was so enthusiastic about preaching in Gaura Dhama that in the year Sriman Mahaprabhu’s Sri Vigraha was manifested in Yogapitha, Sridhama Mayapura in 1893. On the month of Phalguna, he invited many bhajananandi niskincana Vaisnavas from Sri Vraja-mandala to Sri Gauda-mandala. At that time there were no niskincana Vaisnavas equal to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja in years or as guru, and no honest bhajananandi Vaisnava Mahatmas neglected his invitation. The niskincana paramahamsa Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji who had performed bhajana in Vraja for 30 years came to Gauda-mandala on the invitation of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja and stayed there doing bhajana until the time of his disappearance understanding that Vraja and Sri Navadvip-mandala are non-different.
The Veteran General
In the same way that Jiva Gosvami wrote of Sriman Madhvacarya as a ‘veteran Vaisnava’, following in his footsteps, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura addressed Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja as ‘the Devotees’ Veteran General.’ Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja stayed manifest for a very long time preaching sri-harinama in this earthly realm. Because of his extremely old age, in the last times of his manifested presence he accepted a crippled figure. However, when he became maddened in sankirtana and began to dance, he would appear similar to Sriman Mahaprabhu with arms down to his knees, and bodily limbs slender like a young banyan tree, appearing like a seven or eight foot tall personality. In the bliss of kirtana he would dance astonishingly, leaping up many feet in the air even in his old age.
Srila Prabhupada’s Memories of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “In Yogapitha Sridham Mayapura there is a banyan tree, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came there and danced under that tree, and Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja would sit there absorbed in the bliss of bhajana, hari-katha, and the ecstacy of kirtana.
When Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja came near the banyan tree he would exclaim, “Ha Gaura! Ha Nitai!” and in ecstatic moods he would dance, leaping into the air. It seemed then as if he was trying to jump to the highest branch of the banyan tree to catch Sri Hari, Kadamba-Bihari, who was sitting there. He would leap so high! Srila Prabhupada said that Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja was Krsna’s intimate servant; therefore, he would dance on the shoulders of Adhoksaja Sri Vigraha. For this reason Srila Babaji Maharaja showed his powerful dancing under that banyan tree; for under that same banyan tree, beneath the temple of Sri Yogapitha during the time when they were excavating, the worshipful Deity of Sri Jagannatha Misra’s home, Sri Adhoksaja Visnu, appeared from the Earth. Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja danced in such ecstasy at the place where Adhoksaja Sri Visnu stayed. In the present times, at the place where Srila Babaji Maharaja danced and where Adhoksaja Sri Vigraha appeared, on top of that same place, is the beautiful temple of Sri Yogapita.
Srila Prabhupada said many times that Srila Babaji Maharaja was an intimate servant of Adhoksaja Sri Krsna. Srila Babaji Maharaja came many times to Yogapitha and in the mood of a dear friend of Krsna, he would say in the early morning, (pratah-kala 6:30-8:00) “Why are you not bringing foodstuffs to eat just now? Give quickly; have you not seen how much time has passed? It is now time to go cow grazing, Krsna and Balarama are standing waiting to go!”
Entering the Eternal Pastimes
In the year following the manifestation of Sri Gaura Dhama, the Deities at Sri Mayapura Yogapitha, and the construction of a preaching assembly in Sri Navadvip Dhama, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja performed his disappearance pastimes on the 25th of February, 1895, on Monday, the first day of the bright fortnight, at ten a.m. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote on this subject in the following manner in his Sajjana Tosani—The previous year, in the Bengali calendar year 1301, on the 14th of Phalguna (February-March), on Monday, in the morning at ten a.m., the devotees ‘Veteran General’ situated in his Bhajana-Kutir in Koladvip within Sri Navadvip Mandala, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, entered the transcendental dhama. Bereft of darsana of the perfected soul Babaji Mahasaya, the land of Gaura became filled with darkness when he entered the transcendental world. We will not be able to see his ecstatic dancing and kirtana again with our mundane vision. May he shower his mercy upon us from the transcendental world.”
(Sajjana Tosani, 2nd year, page 2)
Srila Prabhupada said that Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja had the place for his samadhi excavated himself before his disappearance.
Srila Jagannatha Dasa and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Just as Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja is the eternal worshipable object of Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, similarly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is also the dear associate of Srila Jagannatha das Babaji. Those people that judge who is dear to guru or great personalities through external reasoning cannot take this secret to heart. Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda was not the diksa disciple of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji according to the pancaratrika system. Aside from this, he did not massage the hands, feet, and limbs of Srila Babaji Maharaja, nor did he perform other activities such as cooking for him. Also, he never performed the service of carrying the very old Babaji Maharaja from one place to another on his shoulders like some other disciples did. Nor from an ordinary perspective did he continually stay nearby him. However, according to the Sri Ruganuga current of thought, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura completely fulfilled the inner heart’s desire of Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, was his dear servant, and his close associate. The reason for this is that the propensity of heart and conception of siddhanta of Srila Babaji Maharaja was non-different to that of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In that place where the heart’s propensity of guru and disciple is non-different like hari-hara, then there the dearness and intimate relation they have will become manifested. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura incarnated to fulfill the heart’s desire of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji. Giving everything he possessed, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura performed service to guru. He did not perform partial service, nor did he perform service for any remuneration such as wealth, women, and fame, or any other type of deception.
Like the crest jewel of pure gurus, Vaisnava Sarvabhauma Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja gave the responsibility to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to preach about Gaura’s holy abode, Gaura’s holy name, and Gaura’s desire, and through the medium of writing, to preach the message of Sri Gaurasundara to the learned division of society. Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s own powerful enthusiasm to preach the dharma of suddha bhakti was only manifest in his follower Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Obtaining direction from the enthusiasm of Srila Babaji Maharaja, the eternally perfected associate of Gaura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, offered his life to preach the heart’s desire of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga.
In present times, those who give their identity as the factual servants of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas under the shelter of Sri Caitanyadeva are all under the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja.
The Ideological Current of Sri Jagannatha and Sri Bhaktivinoda
Many deceitful persons with ulterior desires came near Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja for instructions on hari-bhajana and accepted loincloth and the dress of Paramahamsas. Later, they gave their identity as disciples of Srila Babaji Maharaja; however, they didn’t even slightly follow Srila Babaji Maharaja’s practice and conceptions in their own lives. Consequently, even though they gave their identity as being devotees who were well versed in and following the ideology of Srila Babaji Maharaja, actually they were very far away from the lotus feet of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Only Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura protected the current of Sri Rupanuga-bhakti flowing from Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Aside from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the disciplic succession following in the line of Bhaktivinoda-Gaura-Sarasvati, no others were able to preach. Those who preach tenets that are rasabhasa and opposed to siddhanta are not the followers of Sri Rupa-Raghunatha. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura preached without any hesitation while staying in Sri Purusottama-ksetra with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
# Post 5
The Instructions of Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji Maharaja
1) Never meet or associate with monkeys wearing the dress of renunciation who are hypocrites holding onto ulterior motives for wealth, women, and prestige.
2) Never take the food of a sense enjoyer, otherwise you will become one.
3) By the mercy of Gaura-dhama one will obtain residence in Vraja.
4) Worldly misfortune should be considered the compassion of Bhagavan.
5) One cannot be called a sannyasi simply by taking the exterior cloth of a renunciant; one is not a sannyasi until love and attraction for Sri Krsna’s service has appeared in his heart.
6) Although illnesses that give suffering to the bodies of those persons desirous of performing bhajana may be present, still, because they do not take rich, delicious foodstuffs, automatically the sicknesses will go away. Luxurious gentleman continuously take rich foodstuffs, thus illness stays with them for a long time.
7) “I did service,” thinking like this, one should not beat drums of glory for himself in his mind; such a person is not called a servant.
8) Don’t become lazy on the pretext of solitary bhajana.
9) Planting eggplants and watering them for the service of the Vaisnavas is more auspicious than carelessly chanting lakhs and lakhs of harinama. The result of service to the Vaisnavas is real sincere taste for nama.
10) Don’t imitate the Vaisnavas or you will be burnt to ashes. Pray for their honest service.
11) By enjoying the wealth meant for Hari’s service one will become the greatest of atheists.
12) An ordinary thief may at some point achieve auspiciousness; however, those who enjoy the wealth of Guru and Vaisnavas will never obtain any auspiciousness.
13) Just as Sri Krsna is the topmost amongst all bhagavad-tattva, similarly, a rupanuga-vaisnava is superior to other Vaisnavas.
14) By performing the service of Guru and Vaisnavas with ulterior desires, Guru and Vaisnavas give material gain, worship, and prestige and send those with the arrogance of being servants far away.
15) Those who serve me will never suffer from hunger unable to fill their bellies. However, those who become satisfied by getting delicious foodstuffs from me will never be able to obtain the service of Krsna.
16) The duty of all householders is to accept the shelter of the lotus feet of sad-guru and engage in the service of Giridhari.
17) The essence of the instructions of Sriman Mahaprabhu is to perform kirtana of Sri Nama without offenses.
18) Preach Gaura-nama following the guidance of pure Vaisnavas.
19) The best conduct is to follow under guidance; independence is corrupted behavior.
20) Thinking Sri Hari’s service to be merely one’s duty and being satisfied in that, actual service tendency will not manifest.
21) Service tendency will manifest when one remains unsatisfied (always wanting more service) although serving at all times, in all manners.
22) Follow Sri Ekadasi-tithi in the association of sadhus while staying awake all night.
23) Every Ekadasi one should examine himself to see whether his enthusiasm for honest hari-bhajana has increased or ulterior desires have increased. Carefully scrutinize this and offer yourself at the lotus feet of Guru and Vaisnavas.
24) Those who desire to perform hari-bhajana should be tolerant and not desire any respect from others, while giving respect to all others according to their position. One shouldn’t be troubled even in the presence of hundreds of obstacles and disturbances; rather, his enthusiasm for bhajana should only increase.
25) Do not live one moment without hari-katha, sravana, kirtana, and vaisnava-seva, otherwise maya will swallow you up.
26) Use all objects and all actions for the service of Visnu and the Vaisnavas.
27) If even the slightest amount of rasabhasa or opposition to the scriptures is present in the heart then one cannot obtain the qualification to be a Vaisnava. Understand this!
28) Rather than searching for the faults of others, endeavor to clean out the filth in your own heart.
29) Sravana and kirtana are not performed if one isn’t surrendered.
30) Without accepting a mahanta-guru and performing guru-seva one will never be free from the net of maya.
31) The method of artificial remembrance is not the path of the rupanugas.
32) Through sri nama kirtan, smarana will naturally occur, this is the gaudiya-siddhanta.
# Post Six
Sri Sri Jagannatha Astakam
rupanuganam pravaram sudantam, sri gauracandra-priyabhaktarajam
sri-radhika-madhava-cittaramam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (1)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is the best of the rupanugas, fully in control of his senses, the king of the beloved devotees of Sri Gauracandra and, the giver of pleasure to the hearts of Sri Radha-Madhava.
prestha-svarupena virajamanam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (2)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence; who resided on the banks of Sri Surya-kunda, is compassionate, the most learned, and who is the dearest of Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji Maharaja.
ekanta-namasrit-sadghapalam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (3)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He resides in Sridham Vrndavana, is the moon amidst the constellation of devotees, and is the maintainer of the devotees who take one pointed shelter of sri harinama.
sraddhayutesvadara-vrttimantam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (4)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is ¬effulgent with vairagya-vidya and hari-bhakti, he is like lightning to wicked atheists and hypocrites, and he is full of respect for the faithful.
samprerito gaura-sudhamsuna, yascakra hi taj-janma-grha-prakasam
devairnutam vaisnava-sarvabhaumam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (5)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. Being inspired by Sri Gauracandra he firmly established the house and birthplace of Sri Gaura. He is worshipable to the devatas, and is the emperor of the Vaisnavas.
sancarya sarvam nijasaktirasim, yo bhaktipurne ca vinodadeve
tene jagatyam harinamavanyam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (6)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He showered all his sakti on Sri Bhaktivinoda, bringing the flood of harinama to this world.
sri-nama-dhamnoh prabalapracare, ihaparam prema-rasabdhi-magnam
sri-yogapithe krta-nrtya-bhangam, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (7)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is absorbed in endeavors to powerfully preach the message of sri nama and Sri-Dhama. He is submerged in the ocean of transcendental love, and he is devoted to dancing in Sri Mayapura Yogapitha.
mayapure dhamani saktacittam, gaura-prakasena ca modayuktam
sri-nama-gaunair-galad-asru-netram, vande jagannatha-vibhum varenyam (8)
I offer obeisance to Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is venerable to all and is the abode of spiritual opulence. He is always attracted to Sridhama Mayapura and is filled with bliss when Sri Gaurahari’s sri murti is established, and whose eyes flow with tears at the time of sri nama kirtana.
he deva! he vaisnava-sarvabhaumam! bhaktya parabhuta mahendradhisnaya!
tvad-gotra-vistarakrtim supunyam, vande muhur-bhaktivinoda-dharam (9)
He Deva! O Emperor of the Vaisnavas! You humble the kingdom of heaven by your bhakti! Again and again I offer prayers to the bhaktivinoda dhara, which is supremely pure and enhances the family of devotees.
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
[February 25, 2017 is Siva-ratri (in India). In observance of this auspicious day, we are sending the following lecture from Holland, July 3, 1997:]
Sri Narada has gone to Sankara, Lord Siva, and is glorifying him; “You are very near and dear to Lord Krsna. Not only that, you are Krsna’s manifestation; you are non-different from Him. You can give moksa, liberation, and also krsna-prema.” Hearing Narada glorify him in numerous ways, Sankara became somewhat angry and said, “Your glorification of me is all false. I am not very dear to Krsna – not at all – but I want to be. I want to be Krsna’s beloved, but actually I am not. I’ve done so many things against Him.”
Sankara had performed a number of activities that were apparently opposed to Krsna, such as giving a benediction to Ravana, as well as other activities opposed to krsna-bhakti. He told N arada, “You know, my boy, what no one in this world can do, Krsna tells me to do.” When the demigods were churning the ocean, first came poison – maha-poison. It was very dangerous and the entire world was burning by it.” The demigods had approached Krsna, who told them to worship Sankara and request him to swallow that poison. So they worshipped Sankara and told him, “O Sankara, save us! No one else can save us.” Sankara at once took that poison and drank it. He took it in his mouth, but he didn’t want to take it in his stomach. This was because he considered, “Oh, Krsna is in my heart, and the poison will affect Him”. He therefore took it only in his throat. His throat was burned and it thus turned blue.
In kali-yuga many persons wanted to worship Krsna, God, thinking, “He should fulfill all our desires. Simply by worshipping Krsna or His incarnations, He will be pleased and satisfy our worldly, material desires.” In this way they began to worship – not to please Krsna, but only because they wished that He would very easily arrange all of their needs. Sri Krsna thought, “This is very dangerous.” He called Sankara and told him, “Tell all the false devotees that, “You yourself are Brahma. Brahma satyam jaganmitya jiva brahma evanapara. This world is false. Jiva is Siva, jiva is Brahma, all these souls are Brahma. There is no need to worship any other God. You are God Himself. You are Paramabrahma.”
Sankara told Krsna, “Can you please tell someone else to do this? I am not qualified to do this service.”
Krsna replied, “No, you will have to do it. In the entire world I see no one else qualified to do this.”
Now Sankara told Narada, “At last, I had to agree with this, and I preached everywhere, ‘You are Brahma, you are Brahma, you are Brahma. The whole world is false. ’ Now, I am so much regretting this. Why am I making all these jivas so offensive? It is an offense, I know. But yet, to carry out the orders of Lord Krsna, I am doing this. Because He sometimes orders me in this way, I am not His dear one.
“Also, you know that I always wear ashes from the burial grounds, and I always wear skulls. I have trigunas, three qualities: satya, rajas, and tamas (material goodness, passion and ignorance). All my associates are like bhutas (ghosts) and pisachis (witches). So actually I am not qualified to be Krsna’s dear one.”
Narada then said, “Prabhu, don’t cheat me. I know something. I have heard that the enemies of Krsna and the Pandavas, or the enemies of any bhaktas, worship you, and you give them some benediction. But that benediction is not totally foolproof. There is always some loophole there. Actually you cheat them to please your Lord Sri Krsna. I know that whatever you do, you do to ple ase Krsna. You are His dearest friend.”
In Mahabharata there was a king named Jayadratha who was the brother-in-law of Duryodhana. Duryodhana had given his sister, Dushala, to Jayadratha, and so he was also like the brother-in-law of the Pandavas. Once Jayadratha tried to take Draupadi as his wife, and he put her on his chariot by force. Weeping, she told him, “I am the wife of the Pandavas. If they come, they will punish and kill you.” Jayadratha was so arrogant, however, that he did not hear what she said. In the meantime, Rsi Narada came to the Pandavas and told them, “Oh, I saw Jayadratha take away Draupadi, and she is weeping!” At once Bhima and Arjuna ran after him, and Jayadratha saw that they were coming very quickly. Bhima left his chariot and began to run faster than Jayadratha’s horses. Arjuna told Bhima, “I am going to arrest and kill Jayadratha. You should take care of the rest of the Pandavas.” He thus took his bow and arrows, and by those arrows he created a fire that surrounded the chariot of Jayadratha. Jayadratha was captured in that fire and could not move. At once Arjuna and Bhima arrested him, bound him to the chariot, and took him to the place where Yudhisthira was staying with Draupadi and the others.
Bhima told Yudhisthira “I want to kill him. Please order me to kill him”. Arjuna also said, “Jayadratha has performed a heinous act; he should be killed.” Yudhisthira said, “We should take the case to Draupadi, and whatever she orders we will do”. This was because it was Draupadi whom Jayadratha had taken. They went to Draupadi and kept Jayadratha at her feet. Draupadi was now very merciful. Although Bhima repeatedly said, “I want to kill him at once”, Draupadi told them, “Don’t kill him. Forgive him, because he is our brother-in-law. If you kill him, your sister will be a widow and she will weep forever.”
Indian wives are always very chaste. They can give their lives for their husbands. Their husbands may give them up or divorce them, but these women will never give up their husbands. Rama left Sita, but Sita never left Rama. This is Indian Vedic culture, and we should try to follow this because Parama-pujyapada Srila Swami Maharaja wanted it. Both husband and wife should help each other. You should never think, “I will give up my husband.” First follow Varnasrama-dharma, and then bhakti will come. When you are matured, then you can choose to either give it up or not give it up; no harm. But now you should try to follow Varnasrama-dharma. Some of the devotees were not following, and Srila Swami Maharaja was worried. Males and females should both be like this – very chaste. You can give up your life, no harm, because your soul will never die. However, if given to anyone, be chaste like this. Otherwise you can also give up Lord Krsna . So practice here. Take a vow that, “In my life I will never divorce; I will never give up my husband (or wife).” Then you will be chaste and you will never give up Krsna. Nowadays it is very easy to give up Gurudeva and to take a new one – like western women. In a second, for nothing, they can change their husbands. Although it may be a problem for their children, they are accustomed to act in that way. We should try to change this habit.
So Draupadi said, “Your sister will be a widow, and she will weep for her entire life.” Bhima and Arjuna asked Sri Krsna, “What should we do? We have promised to kill Jayadratha, and now Draupadi is telling us that we should forgive him.” Krsna replied, “If a man is very much respected but requires punishment, then he should be dishonored; and this will be like death.” Arjuna then shaved his head, keeping five sikhas, and he shaved one side of his face while leaving the othe r side half-shaved. This system is practiced in France, and nowadays it is a very good fashion. But Jayadratha was insulted there, and he felt totally humiliated.
When Bhima and Arjuna released him, Jayadratha thought, “It was better to die than to live.” He vowed, “I will somehow take revenge.” He therefore did not go to his home. Instead he went to Kailasa and performed very severe austerities there. After some months he gave up all food, water, and everything else, and he was about to die.
At that time Sankara came and asked him, “What do you want?” Jayadratha said, “I want to take revenge against the Pandavas. I want to defeat all the Pandavas and kill them.”
Sankara told Jayadratha, “You can defeat the Pandavas once, and only Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva; but not Arjuna”
Jayadratha said, “If you cannot give me a benediction to my full satisfaction, t hen you should give me the benediction that neither Arjuna nor anyone else can kill me.”
Sankara replied, “If anyone kills you by cutting off your head, then, if it falls on the ground, that person who made your head land on the ground will die immediately. Your life will be saved and your head will be joined back to your body. However, if your head goes to your father, and your father throws it on the ground, then you will remain dead. If someone kills you hundreds and thousands of times, you will not be able to be killed, but if your father throws your head anywhere, then you will be killed.”
Jayadratha was satisfied. He thought, “My father will never do this!” Later, when the Mahabharata battle was fought, Arjuna cut off Jayadratha’s head with his arrow. It was evening and the sun was setting, and his father was doing arpana to the Sun-god (offering some water). In the meantime, Arjuna shot Jayadratha’s head into the hands of his father. Without thinking, his father tossed it on the ground, opened his eyes and said, “What is this wet thing?” But it had already gone from his hand. He now saw that this was the head of his son and began to cry, “O my son, O my son! You are now dead.” Thus, if Sankara gives any benediction to the enemies of Lord Krsna’s devotees, there is always some loophole. He is so clever, and he is always serving Krsna.
There was a very big demon named Tripurasura, who performed severe austerities to please Sankara. When Sankara came, Tripurasura told him, “I want a benediction that I can make three airplanes. They should be managed only by mind, so that when I order them to go to heaven, they will go there. They should not be like present-day machines. They should do as I wish. In summer they should be air-conditioned. If two men are seated, then there should be only two seats. And if I want to travel on the airp lanes with hundreds of thousands of persons, then that many seats should be arranged. They should never fall down due to mechanical difficulty. Never. They should be made of gold, copper, and silver, and they should be equipped with all kinds of weapons.
After attaining his benediction, Tripurasura began to fight with Lord Sankara himself. Sankara fled and took shelter of Krsna. Tripurasura also had a khupa, a well, and that well was full of nectar. If anyone would try to kill him, he could at once take that nectar and then he would not die. Sankara was very worried. Because so much warfare was going on between them, he took shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. In order to save him, Krsna, as Visnu, then took the form of a cow. That cow drank all the nectar from the well, after which Sankara was able to kill Tripurasura and the other demons. We can see here that Sankara even gives benedictions to his own enemies, knowing that Krsna will save him.
So don& rsquo;t fear. Sri Krsna will save you if you offer yourself to Him. He has promised, “Sarva dharma parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisami ma sucah.” If you give your whole responsibility – your intelligence, your senses, your everything – to Krsna, He will take all responsibility for you. Don’t fear. No sufferings or sorrows of any kind will come to you. Arjuna killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers, but he did not have to taste the fruit of that. In other words, He did not have to suffer from the results of his actions. Ajamila committed so many sinful activities, but he also did not have to taste the fruit of that. He went to Vaikuntha. So you should try to give all your responsibilities, Varnashrama-dharma and everything to Krsna – and be happy forever. Then only you can enter into bhakti.
Sankara is always serving Krsna. Narada knows this fact, but he wanted to glorify Sankara so that every one will know that he is very near and dear – and non-different from Krsna. How? “Saksad haritvena samasta sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam”. Here saksad haritvena means priyatvena haritvena. He is very near and dear. “Vaisnavanam yata sambhu – he is the greatest Vaisnava”.
Sankara-tattva is extremely complex. Brahma-tattva is not so complicated; he is always jiva-tattva. And sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu himself comes as Brahma. But Sankara is not like this. He is not jiva-tattva. Where does he live? Beyond Brahmaloka. After passing through the eight kinds of material coverings, after crossing the Viraja, Muktidhama, Mahakalapuram, and then Brahmaloka, there is the planet of Sankara. There he is known as Sadasiva, and he is Visnu-tattva.
For any reason, if something sour is put into milk, it becomes yogurt. Yogurt is nothing but milk. It has all the potencies that are in milk, like ghee and so forth, but it is not milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. Sankara is like that. He is not an ordinary jiva. Sometimes, but very rarely, there may be a reason that Sadasiva cannot come to this world – if he is engaged in his destruction of the universe, or anything like that. In that case a qualified jiva can work as Siva; temporarily, but not permanently. So you should always try to honor Lord Sankara.
I can tell some pastimes of Sankara from Srimad Bhagavatam and Skanda Purana. When Sri Ramacandra was making the bridge to go to Sri Lanka with his hundreds of thousands of soldiers, He established a Siva-linga of Ramesvara. When it was established, all the male human beings were glorifying Sankara, shouting, “Ramesvara ki jayaho! Ramesvara ki jaya! They were calling Ramesvara “Rama Isvara”. “You are isvara; you are the God of Rama.&rdq uo; Thus they used the name Ramesvara. The Demigods were not happy or satisfied by this. They said, “Ramas ca asau isvarah”. Rama is God, and Sankara is also God. Both of them are the same. Hearing this, the Sankara-sila (linga or stone) broke. Sankara came out from it and told them, “You are all foolish; you do not know my tattva, the established truths regarding my identity. Rama is my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara.”
Common people generally don’t know very much, and so they thought that Ramesvara meant that Sankara is the God of Rama, and that Rama is controlled by Sankara. The demigods were of the opinion that Rama and Sankara are the same and both are God. But Lord Siva, Sankara himself, told them, “I am not the God of Rama. Rama is my beloved and my God.” Sankara is called Ramesvara because of this. He himself told this.
We see in Srimad Bhagavatam that once Sankara went to the council of Praja pati Daksa, and everyone there was honoring Daksa. Daksa Prajapati had given his daughter in marriage to Sankara, so he thought that Lord Siva was like his son. He offered pranamas to Brahma because he was his father, but not to Sankara. All were honoring Daksa except Sankara, who was only sitting and chanting, “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. Daksa Prajapati felt insulted, cursed Lord Siva, and so many incidences took place after that. Sankara returned to Kailasa. From that time on Daksa thought Sankara his enemy, but Sankara never thought like this.
One day, in Treta-yuga, Sankara and his wife Sati came to Dandakaranya Forest. At that time Rama had been living in the forest for 14 years with Sita and Laksmana, to obey the order of his father, King Dasaratha. Now Ravana had stolen away Sita and taken her to Lanka. Rama was now weeping so much, and Laksmana was trying to pacify Him. The more Laksmana tr ied to pacify Him, however, the more He wept. He was asking the trees of Pancavati, “O Pancavati! Have you seen Sita? Where has She gone? O deer, have you seen Sita?” And He was crying – bitterly weeping – asking the Godavari River, “O Godavari, have you seen My dear Sita? Where has She gone? Why has She left me?” Rama became mad in separation.
Sankara came with Sati to the Dandakaranya Forest to see Rama’s divine pastimes and to take darsana of Him. Sankara was very moved and his heart was melting, He offered sasthang-pranama (full obeisances, with all the eight limbs of the body touching the ground) to Rama, and glorified Him, saying, “O, these pastimes are so beautiful and marvelous that anyone’s heart will melt to see them.” He then did parikrama from very far, far away, weeping, “O these pastimes are so beautiful”. When he did his final pranama and was ready to go back to Kailasa, Sati as ked, “My beloved, to whom are you doing pranama?” Sankara told Sati, “Rama is my worshipful deity. I always worship Him.” She told her husband, “Why? I see that Rama is like an ordinary man, weeping for His wife. Even I know where Sita is, and He does not know and He is weeping? He is not strong enough to bring Sita back? He is very weak; so He must be a man, not God. Why are you doing pranama to Him? Who is He?” Sankara told Sati, “You are ignorant; you do not know that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” She had no belief or trust, so Sankara told her to test Him somehow.
Sankara went from there and rested under a banyan tree. Sati changed her form to look like Sita, went to the place where Rama was searching for Sita, and came in front of Rama. Rama was weeping, “Oh Sita, where are you, where are you?” Sati thought, “If I appear before Rama as Sita, then He will look at me and He will at once come and embrace me, saying “Oh, I have received my Sita.” And He will be happy.” But Rama was ignoring Sati. Again and again she came in front of Him, yet He was looking away. Then He told her, “Mother, why are you roaming here alone? Where is Sankara?” Sati wondered how Rama knew who she really was. Now she was afraid and did pranama to Rama. Then she saw that all the trees, all the creepers, and everything else became Rama and Sita. Wherever she looked, here and there and everywhere, she only saw Sita Rama, Sita Rama, Sita Rama. Rama showed Sati that, “Sita is never separated from Me, She is always with Me. I am doing this pastime for all human beings, so they will remember My lila.”
Sati realized, “Sankara can never be ignorant. He was right and I was wrong.” After Sati offered pranama and stood up, she saw that now Rama was there alone with Laksmana, and He was still weeping. “Oh Sita, where ar e you, where are you?”
Sati then went back to the place where Sankara was waiting under the banyan tree, and he asked her, “Have you tested Him to see who He is?” Sati replied, “Prabhu, what can I do? I believed you and I didn’t test Him.” She told a lie. You should always have faith in your Guru. Sankara was the Guru of Sati, but she did not believe him when he had told her that Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If a disciple does not obey his Gurudeva, what will happen? His bhakti and spiritual life will go down. Never tell any falsehoods to your Gurudeva, otherwise you again go to hell. She lied to Sankara, saying “I have not tested Him.” But Sankara saw in his trance that she had tested Him, and he saw how she had become Sita. He considered, “She has taken the form of Sita, who is my mother. She is therefore not my wife; now she is my mother. Now I will always treat her as my mother.” When he made this vow, the demigods at once showered flowers from heaven, and they praised him, “You have made such a marvelous vow.” Sati asked her husband, “What vow have you made?” But he was silent and never said anything.
When they returned to their cottage in Kailasa, Sankara gave Sati a seat in front of him. The wife can sit on the left side of her husband, and the mother always sits in front, as a guru. In the same way, a disciple should not offer pranama to his Gurudeva while keeping his left side to him. The disciple should always sit at the front of his Gurudeva, and ask some very good questions with honor. If the disciple does not do this, he is not a disciple. He should ask some questions – not always being silent. He should serve and inquire from the Guru. “Tad vidhi pranipatena pariprasna.” Questions should be there – not with a challenging mood, but to learn. So Sankara gave Sati a seat in front.
Sa ti thought, “Sankara has left me. He is treating me like his mother because I took the form of Sita. In this body he will not accept me as his wife, so I’ll have to give up this body.” After some time, Sankara went into a trance for hundreds and thousands of years, and Sati was feeling grievous separation. She was ready to give up her body.
One day, after Sankara had returned to external consciousness, Sati saw that so many goddesses were going to the palace of her father, Daksa, because a very good sacrifice was taking place there. Daksa’s daughters were also going there, and he had invited everyone except for Sankara. Sati also wanted to go, but she asked Sankara first. He replied, “A woman can go without an invitation to see her Gurudeva, or her father and mother; but if a father thinks that her husband is his enemy, then the wife should not go to see him. You know that your father thinks I am his enemy, although I never think like this. At the same time I cannot order you to not go there. You must decide.” Sati left that place and went to her father’s house, and there she saw that Daksa Prajapati was dishonoring Sankara. At once she became furious and left her body by burning to ashes, with the help of a fire that came from her heart. Here we see that Sankara’s worshipful diety is Rama, and because Sati took the form of Sitadevi, he left her. So he is a chaste Vaisnava, and he is always serving.
Don’t have any doubt in your Gurudeva. You should test him before initiation, and after initiation you should have very firm belief in him. Don’t give him up. If he is a madhyama-adhikari, and not so much qualified, then you can go to a siksa-guru, taking your Gurudeva’s permission. He must give permission. If he does not give permission, then he is not a pure devotee. There is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru. Both are the same. Sometimes the siks a-guru may be higher, and sometimes the diksa-guru may be higher. No harm. If the guru does not know all siddhanta, conclusive philosophical truths, but he is a Vaisnava with very firm belief in Krsna, drdha-sraddha, then don’t give him up. Serving him and honoring him, you can go to a siksa-guru, but you’ll have to honor him. However, if he’s offensive to his Gurudeva, he is not following the line of bhakti, he has so much wrong attachment and he is fallen, at once give him up. That guru cannot help you, and he will create so many problems for you. So give up this guru forever, and accept a new initiation from any bona-fide Guru who can give this bhakti and take you to Krsna.
All good qualities are in Sankara.
Sri Sanatana Gosvami has written that some Vaisnavas don’t observe Siva Caturdasi, the appearance day of Lord Siva or Sankara. In Hari Bhakti Vilasa he has written that Vaisnavas should honor Sankara, and they may observe that date. I observe that date. I know Sankara, because in his form of Bankandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana he was the friend of Sanatana Gosvami. He became Bankandi Mahadeva from Gopisvara. Do you know this history?
When Sri Sanatana Gosvami became old, Sankara told him, “Now you are old. You should not come daily to see me, because you are coming from so very far away. Sanatana Gosvami replied, “I should come. I cannot change this habit.” Then Gopisvara Mahadeva said, “Then I’m going to come very near to you – as Bankandi Mahadeva.” He thus became Bankandi Mahadeva and resided very near the Madana Mohana Temple. Srila Sanatana Gosvami is also the very dear friend of Cakralesvara Mahadeva in Govardhana. He also used to be with Sankara in Kamyavan, where he is known as Kamesvara. He cannot be without Sankara.
As Nandisvara, Sankara has become the mountain of Nandagaon. He wanted that all Krsna’s pastimes be p erformed on his back. Regarding Brahma, he has become Brahma-parvata in Varsana. Because he is so near to Radhika, he is therefore our Gurudeva
These are the tattvas. We should try to honor Sankara as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. Don’t dishonor him. We don’t worship him separately, but we can observe Siva Caturdasi and glorify him in relation to his relationship with Sri Krsna. We should offer pranama to him with prayers like:
vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma maule
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namaste
[“O gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara, desiring that you bestow upon me that prema for the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dham a, I offer obeisances unto you time and again.”]
Sankara is telling Sri Narada that Prahlada Maharaja is superior to him. Why? Because he is “tricky”. He does this only to give some encouragement to worldly persons. Actually, Prahlada cannot go to Vrndavana, but Sankara, as Gopisvara, resides there. As Hanuman, Sankara is always with Rama. As Bhima, he is with Krsna. When Hanuman and Bhima combine together in Kali-yuga, they become Madvacarya, our Sampradaya-guru.
Thus, Lord Sankara serves in so many ways, and we should always honor him as our Guru. He is hundreds of thousands of times superior to Prahlada because he knows and meditates on asta-kaliya-lila. Parvati also meditates on asta-kaliya-lila. This is very secret, yet they both do it. Although Sankara is so much superior and more worshipful than Prahlada, still he says that Prahlada is superior. Why? There are some reasons which I will explain later.
Gaura Premanande ! Hari Hari Bol!
Devotee: In the Gita Krsna says, “Of all the Rudras, I am Sankara.”
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here Krsna is telling about His vibhutis. Vibhuti means opulence. Arjuna is an opulence, and Sankara also. The Pippal tree is an opulence, and gaya, cows, are also—but they are not Krsna Himself. In this way, so many things and personalities represent Krsna’s opulence—things that are very near and dear to Him.
Trindandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
This year, 2017, February 15th (in America) is the sacred appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. Please accept this lecture, given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja on his appearance day in Germany, in 2003. The pastimes described below are naturally ever-fresh and new, and therefore Srila Maharaja discusses them every year:]
Today is a very auspicious day. It is the very holy birthday of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. I want to speak something of his glory.
If this great self-realized soul had not descended in this world, no one would have known the meaning of pure bhakti. No one would have known the identity of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the book Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, or the books and glories of the Gosvamis.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave us two jewels, the first one being the holy birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He manifested Gaura-dhama. Before him, no one knew where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had taken birth. No one knew where Sridhama Mayapura was actually located.
Secondly, he gave the jewel of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who preached throughout the world and universe the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the conceptions of the disciplic line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and the glories of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Before the birth of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and after the disappearance of Srila Narottama Thakura, Sri Syamananda Prabhu, Srinivas Acarya, and especially Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyubusana, pure bhakti was covered. The sahajiyas’ ideas were spread throughout Sri Vraja-dhama and Sri Navadvipa dhama. Their influence prevailed and there were hardly any real Vaisnavas.
In the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His philosophy and His prema-dharma, the sahajiyas were degraded in character and were most sinful. To live with widows, to dance and sing with them, and to smoke cigarettes and drink wine with them – this was their idea of parakiya- and vaisnava-dharma. Because of their influence, none of the learned and aristocratic persons even wanted to hear the name ‘Gaudiya Vaisnavas’, what to speak of follow them. They hated Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
There are eleven sahajiya groups, like gaura-nagari, sakhi-bekhi, aul, baul and so on. In India, their main function was widow-bhajana, and they maintained their lives by doing professional kirtanas during funeral processions. After following a dead body and singing, they would receive a donation from the deceased relatives. True vaisnava-dharma is completely pure, but due to these practices, all aristocratic persons began to hate it, and Mahaprabhu’s message was thus in danger.
At that time, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati appeared in Sri Jagannatha-dhama as the son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He was born with many symptoms of a great soul, such as natural tilaka marks on his body and the impressions of kanti-mala on his neck. At that time Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura told his wife Bhagavati-devi, “He is not an ordinary boy. No ordinary boy can have these natural tilaka, kanti-mala and other signs. He has taken birth in Jagannatha Puri, and also I have prayed to Vimala devi, the consort of Lord Jagannatha. He has come by Her mercy.” The Thakura thus gave his boy the name Vimala Prasada. Prasada means ‘mercy’.
After six months, the baby became qualified to have his anna-prasana mahotsava (grain ceremony in which a baby is fed grains for the first time). At the same time the Jagannatha Chariot festival was taking place. The three carts carrying Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra were in procession and had stopped in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s house for three days. The Thakura was the manager of the entire festival. Therefore, without any problem or obstacle, he took his son upon the chariot and placed him in front of Jagannatha-deva. He took some prasadam from there and placed it in the mouth of Vimala Prasada, and at that time the flower garland from the neck of Lord Jagannatha dropped on the baby’s head. It is a very good sign when the Deity’s garland falls in this way, for it means the recipient is being blessed by the mercy of Lord Jagannatha, Sri Govinda-deva, Sri Gopinatha, or any other Deity. This also happened to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus, Vimala Prasada’s anna-prasana mahotsava was observed.
Gradually he began to grow up. After some time, when he became a boy of five years, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura himself gave him harinama and the arcana mantra for the worship of Lord Kurmadeva, the Deity of Sri Krsna’s Tortoise incarnation.
He began to learn many things. He was always with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, carrying his father’s Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and other books on his own head as he accompanied him to various places for preaching or giving classes. Thus, from the beginning of his life, very good samskaras came to him. This, of course, was his naravata-lila (human-like pastimes), because he was actually the eternal associate of Sri Varsabhanavi-devi dayitaya, near and dear to Varsabhanavi devi, Srimati Radhika. In his pranama mantra he is referred to as krsna-presthaya. Krsna has so much love and affection for the manjaris, so Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada is also near and dear to Him.
The words ‘gaura-vani-sri murti’ is also present in his pranama-mantra. This adjective has also been used in the pranama mantra of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and we must go deep to uncover its meaning. Gaura-vani refers to that which Gaura (Sacinandana Gaurahari) preached, and that which He inspired in the heart of Srila Rupa Gosvami – the glorification of the mood of the gopis and Srimati Radhika. Sri Gauracandra said, “O Nityananda, O Haridasa Prabhu, you should go door to door and preach ‘Bolo Krsna, bhaja Krsna, karo Krsna (chant Sri Krsna’s name, worship Him, and serve Him)”. This is gaura-vani.
It is also what Mahaprabhu discussed with Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Svarupa Damodara in the Gambira. In that regard it is especially His hidden revelation of the meaning of ceto-darpana-marjanam, yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam, and aslisya va pada-ratam. This is gaura-vani. It is also the love and affection explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nila-mani, Sri Vidagda-madhava and Sri Lalita Madhava. This is gaura-vani.
Our entire parampara descended to this world from Goloka Vrndavana, and Srila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura was one of the most prominent acaryas. If he had not come, everything would have been transferred into sahajiyaism – wherein all philosophy is asat-sampradaya (outside the parampara line of philosophy, spiritual sentiments and behavior.)
If one is not serving his Gurudeva, if he does not have strong belief in his Gurudeva, and if he is not following his line of thought, such a person must be sahajiya. This is taking place nowadays. We are preaching and therefore they are somewhat stopped, but I do not know what will happen after I leave this world. A very dangerous stage is coming.
Many Iskcon devotees left Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, their Guru, Srila Prabhupada, and they went to Radha-kunda. They wanted to remember the 24-hour daily amorous pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna (asta-kaliya-lila) as goopis – not gopis, but goopis – and for this offense they went to hell. They became ‘babajis’. Keeping two, three, or four widows with them, they began to relish their ‘parakiya-bhajana’. I know not only two or three or four, but so many. They want to jump – not to practice bhakti-yoga. They want to be gopis by paying two pennies to any bogus person who will ‘give’ them siddha-deha, their perfected personal identity, and tell them, “You are a gopi.” Such persons will give a name, and all other false information, about that ‘gopi’. Then, after some time, such ‘disciples’ imagine themselves absorbed in Sri Sri Radha and Krsna’s most confidential pastimes in the kunjas. Please do not try to be like that – do not go in that direction.
There are some ill-charactered persons who have been rejected from the Gaudiya Matha, and they also went to Radha-kunda to become babajis in that asat-sampradaya. Such characterless or unqualified persons imagine themselves to be absorbed in the asta-kaliya-lila of Radha and Krsna in Their midnight and end of the night (nisanta-lila) pastimes. At that time, Radha and Krsna are meeting in a kunja. If They are alone, half naked and kissing each other, what will that ‘meditator’ think? Material ideas will come to him. He is bound to think in this way, and this is wrong.
Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-lila is transcendental. Only a saintly person like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami who was a brahmacari from his birth, or like Sri Narada Gosvami who is a liberated soul, or like Lord Sankara who is an ideal personality, can properly think of asta-kaliya-lila.
You should offer obeisances to such pastimes and try to practice bhakti-yoga as our predecessors acaryas have taught us. Gradually begin from the root of the tree, then be qualified to climb, and then reach the top. Then you can take the fruits. Otherwise, you will have nothing but these bogus ideas. Try to follow Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravasti Prabhupada, our Gurudeva Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Otherwise, you will be like those misdirected persons and you will also go to hell.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sent his son to a Sanskrit college and, at the age of twelve perhaps, he received the degree in astrology and the title Siddhanta Sarasvati. At that time he had become the champion in astrology throughout Bengal, and therefore all the elevated scriptural scholars gave him that title. Sometimes Srila Saravasti Thakura would defeat the arguments of his teachers, and he therefore left that college. Our Gurudeva also left college. They both left because they had nothing to learn from the teachers there.
During that time, the governor of Bengal was Ashutos Mukarji. At that time the Indian government was ruled by the British, and the British had made him governor. He was very qualified. He established the Calcutta University, and there he reserved a seat for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He requested him, “Oh, please come and be the head of the department. Please oversee it. You are the most qualified for this.” Srila Sarasvati Thakura replied: “I have not come to this world to count the stars in the universe. I have not come to count the sands on the ocean beaches of the world. I cannot fulfill your desire.” As long as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati remained in this world, that post was reserved for him, but he never accepted it.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura then thought: “What should I do for this boy?” He established a medical dispensary and told his son, “Remain there, and somehow maintain it so that there are no losses. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura began to do so, but the dispensary failed, and again the father wondered what to do.
There was a king in India at that time who was the king of Kashim Bazar, and he was a bosom friend of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He told the Thakura, “I want a tutor for my son. He will be king after me, so I want a tutor for him.” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied. “Let us try; I will tell my son to teach him.” At that time the salary was very high.
Srila Sarasvati Thakura went to the king and began to teach his son that the entire world, along with all the sandhis and samas (movements of the moon) is an emanation of Krsna and non-different from Him. He taught as Mahaprabhu taught when He was a teacher in Navadvipa. After some time the boy became very learned and a scholar in Vaisnava philosophy, and the result was that he became renounced. He was not like you. Many of you have been hearing for sixteen or twenty years, but you have not become detached. On the other hand, being taught by Srila Saravati Thakura, that prince became detached from worldly enjoyment.
The boy’s mother became very disturbed, and she told her husband, the king: “You have only one son, and you want to make him a sannyasi? Your only son? I do not want this. If you continue in this way I will take poison and die.” The king became upset and asked Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, “What should I do?” Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied, “I will tell my boy to return home.” The King said, “I will continue to give you money, the same salary that I have been giving, but he should return.”
At that time the king had a very big library, and Srila Sarasvati Thakura Pabhupada studied the thousands of books there – all the Gosvami’s books, Srimad Bhagavatam, Brahma-sutra, books of the other sampradayas, and so on. Though he already knew their contents, he studied those books just to set an example for us. Quickly, in one or two years, he completed that study.After that he returned home, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura again considered what might be a good engagement for his son. He purchased land in Mayapura, beginning from Jagannatha Bhavan (the house of Sri Sacinandana), the Yogapitha, Candrasekara Bhavan and beyond. He gave the entire area to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and he himself then began to perform bhajana in Svarupa-ganja, in Godruma. He told his son, “We have discovered the birthplace of Mahaprabhu by the help and mercy of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Now you should glorify it.”
Srila Saravati Thakura then made a hut where Sri Gauracandra, Srimati Visnupriya, Srimati Laksmipriya and Pancha-tattva were established, and his father then ordered him, “You should perform arcana in the Deities’ hut, and you can maintain yourself by depending on Lord Krsna while performing His worship and service.”
As you may know, in general, a father does not believe that his boy is very intelligent and capable. Our Guru Maharaja considered us his babies and thought, “What will they do?” He told us that he had made this Gaudiya Matha with bricks, and added, “After I leave this world, if you cannot maintain yourself you should sell these bricks and somehow maintain.” Similarly, Srila Bhaktivinoda used to think, “My baby is the same as he was when he was young.”
Srila Prabhupada very quickly preached over the entirety of Bengal. He began to establish the Navadvipa-dhama parikrama and Kartika parikrama. Then, after some time he gave sannyasa to very qualified disciples – who were practically only boys. At that time Pujyapada Bon Maharaja, Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Vaikhanas Maharaja, Pujyapada Auduloumi Maharaja and many others were only about 25, 26, or 27, and they were the cream of all qualified personalities in Bengal and all of India. They were the upper-class. He brought them to himself, gave them brahmacarya and sannyasa, and established Sri Caitanya Matha.
What is the meaning of the word ‘matha’? Mathanti vasanti satrah – it is a place in which students study and learn under the guidance of their Gurudeva. It is like the gurukulas of previous times, wherein boys would study and become very qualified in all kinds of siddhanta (philosophical conclusions). Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established this. He gave brahmacarya to many beautiful boys, and thus very quickly preached all over India.
After some time he wished that this religion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would also go to the Western countries, and he inspired Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja – Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda. By his mercy Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja went abroad and preached throughout the world in just a few years. Srila Svami Maharaja established preaching centers and translated and published many books, which were in turn translated in all the prominent languages of the world. You have come by his mercy, and the root mercy is that of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura.
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
HE KEPT HIS LIFE IN HIS HANDS
[This year, 2017, the divine appearance day of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja is February 13 (in America). Please accept this lecture given by Srila Narayana Gosavmi Maharaja in 2004:]
Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of my spiritual guru-padapadma, om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I have seen with my own eyes how he used to observe Vyasa-puja on his birthday, by giving respect to all other Vaisnavas – especially to senior Vaisnavas but also to juniors.
The backbone of bhakti is guru-nistha (strong faith in ones spiritual master), and those who have no guru-nistha can never develop in Krsna consciousness. We have seen his guru-nistha. He wanted to glorify his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, but he became overwhelmed simply by beginning to utter the name “Prabhupada”. He would begin to weep loudly, and then he would call upon us (Srila Vamana Maharaja, Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, myself and others) by any signal to glorify his Gurudeva. Having heard from him about his relationship with his Gurudeva, we glorify him in connection with his absorption in his Gurudeva’s service.
This is also the way in which we glorify Lord Krsna. What is the glorification of Krsna? It is the glorification of His associates – especially the gopis, and especially Srimati Radhika. If one glorifies Srimati Radhika, Krsna is automatically glorified. Similarly, if Parama-gurudeva (Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada) is glorified, the glories of our Gurudeva will come; it is bound to come.
It may be that the liberated guru is not liberated in the eyes of his god-brothers, but in the eyes of the disciple he is the direct representative of Sri Krsna Himself. The disciple will always have strong faith that, “My Gurudeva is a special representation or manifestation of Krsna. We have heard everything from him.”
What is the symptom of a disciple who has guru-nistha? He will give proper respect even to a dog that is related to his Guru. If he does not give proper respect to everyone related to his guru whether they are initiated or not, if he has no regard and honor for them, then his honor for his guru is actually only for show. He has no real guru-nistha.
I have seen how my Gurudeva has served the mission and mood of his Gurudeva. This service is called guru mano-bhistam.
sri caitanya-mano bhistam sthapita yena bhutale
svayam rupa kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
[“When will Sri Rupa Gosvami give me the shelter of his lotus feet? Because he understood the innermost desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world and is very dear to the Lord.” (Sri Prema-bhakti-candrika, Narottama dasa Thakura)]
Always have such nistha towards your spiritual diksa-guru and siksa-guru. The diksa-guru may also be siksa-guru. If your diksa and siksa-guru are the same personality, this is very good. In some cases a separate siksa-guru is needed, as the disciple cannot always reveal his thoughts to the diksa-guru because of a mood of great awe and reverence (aisvarya-bhava). With the siksa-guru there is visvrambha-bhava (a mood of intimacy). In visvrambha-bhava, the disciple may even quarrel with Gurudeva – for Gurudeva, for his service. Sometimes we used to quarrel with our Gurudeva, for his service, and this is a symptom of guru-nistha. Another symptom is always offering respect to superiors – especially to god-brothers. Nowadays, I see that god-brothers quarrel with each other. They do not want to be together – to glorify their Guru.
Gurudeva used to observe Vyasa-puja according to the book discovered by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and edited by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In that book there is an explanation of the seven groups with five personalities in each group (the seven pancakas), to be worshiped by the acarya on his birthday. These seven groups are guru-pancaka, acarya-pancaka, krsna-pancaka, sanakadi-pancaka, vyasa-pancaka, panca-tattva pancaka and upasya-pancaka. We should try to have regard for all acaryas of the four sampradayas, the four guru-paramparas: including Ramanujya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya and the four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and Sanandana). We should have regard for Sri Panca-tattva, and especially for Sri Gaura-Gadadhara, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Gurudeva. Try to follow all the details of this worship.
Gurudeva used to say, “On my birthday I should give proper honor to all guru-parampara acaryas, god-brothers and all senior Vaisnavas. What I have and what I am preaching is not coming from me. It is not that I am so intelligent or that I am preaching – the credit belongs to my Gurudeva. By the mercy of my Gurudeva I know the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Rupa-Sanatana, Sri Rupa-Raghunatha and other guru-parampara acaryas. I was sinking in the well of worldly activities in material existence, but he took my sikha and dragged me, and he mercifully engaged me in his service – fully, not partly. He did not tell me, “You should be a householder.” He dragged me and engaged me. Sometimes desires outside the realm on pure devotion came in my mind, and I asked him, “How can I be saved?” He answered, “Don’t be worried; I will save you. If one is sincere, Guru and Krsna mercifully save him. So don’t be worried.”
When he would perform his Vyasa-puja, he would first worship his Gurudeva, and then he would give proper honor to all Vaisnavas and especially seniors. During his manifest presence there were no seniors, because he was the senior-most. He joined the movement of Srila Prabhupada and became a disciple in 1916, so he was senior to others. Only five or six had joined before him, like Narahari prabhu, Bhakti-vilasa Tirtha Maharaja and a few others like the brother of Vasudeva, Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja. At that time, when Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura would do arati, my Guru-Maharaja would ring the bell and Narahari prabhu was also there.
At that time there was no Sri Caitanya Matha. Instead there were many Muslim graves and Muslim influences.*[See Endnote 1] My Guru-Maharaja came in the night, took out all the graves and threw them away. On that same night he planted a large garden of mango trees and flowers. On the next morning, when the Muslims came to do their Namaz, they exclaimed, “Oh, Where is our place?”
Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was very happy because Guru Maharaja used to give his life and soul to fulfill Prabhupada’s desires, and this is very difficult for most disciples to do. Sometimes a disciple does not obey his guru. Guru says, “Don’t do this,” for the betterment of that very fellow, and yet that disciple rejects his guru’s order. This is not a symptom of guru-nistha. We should give our life to serve his every word. Our Gurudeva always used to “keep his life in his hands” (a Hindi expression meaning “to be prepared to give ones life”) for the purpose of Srila Prabhupada. He even went to jail for him.
Once a person tried to defame Prabhupada *[See Endnote 2] by writing, “He is a tattva-jnani (knower of philosophy) and not a rasika-bhakta (knower of Krsna’s sweet pastimes). He does not know the taste of mango; he simply sucks the seed. As there is no taste in a seed, concentrating on philosophy without absorption in Krsna’s confidential pastimes is tasteless. He is like that, and so he is a tattva-jnani. He does not know Sri Rupa-Raghunatha’s line and he does not know the krsna-prema of the gopis. He especially wrote these things. He is preaching tattva-jnana everywhere”.
They were blind. They never actually saw him. By what his disciple, my Gurudeva, preached to me and others, you can realize his position. He preached under the cover of tattva-jnana. He did not expose the confidential secrets of Krsna’s pastimes and the philosophy behind them. He preached for qualified persons, and he kept the highest truths of Krsna consciousness covered from others.
My Gurudeva wrote against those persons, and for that reason they filed a court case against him They managed to get big qualified advocates to plea that Guru Maharaja should be put in jail. Our Gurudeva then engaged an advocate from the high court in Calcutta, and those persons were made to apologize.
By the grace of our Gurudeva, when I was in Mathura, I was the editor, writer, translator and manager for his monthly magazine called Bhagavat-patrika. I published it alone. I used to translate Srila Prabhupada’s articles, Gurupada-padma’s articles, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s articles and other articles.
Someone once wrote in a publication of the Nimbarka sampradaya*[See Endnote 3] that when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with Kesava Kasmiri, Kesava Kasmiri defeated Him and gave Him the gopala-mantra. Sriman Mahaprabhu was thus the disciple of Kesava Kasmiri.
This publication came to me and I showed it to my Gurudeva. His face at once became red, he became angry and he ordered me to get a piece of paper. He then dictated to me that there was no Nimbarka in our history and no books of Nimbarka. He said that Srila Jiva Gosvami and our other Gosvamis, Sri Madhavacarya, Sri Ramanuja, Srila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami and all other previous acaryas never wrote about anyone named Nimbarka acarya. The followers of this false person used to say that Nimbarka Acarya lived at the time of Krsna. If that were true, why have none of the acaryas written about him? Sankacarya never wrote about him and Srila Jiva Gosvami never wrote about him in his Sandarbhas. Thus there was no person named Nimbarka – this false person’s followers had invented a story.
Guru Maharaja explained from the evidence in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta that Kesava Kasmiri came to Navadvipa and was defeated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then he received some teaching from the Lord. Gurudeva wrote: “The mentality ‘I will conquer the whole world’ is not the teaching of vidya, knowledge.” Our paper was sent to those persons involved in writing the misinformed article, after which they became quite furious. “Oh, there is no Nimbarka?!” They challenged, and they filed a case in court for defamation. Our Guru Maharaja replied, “I will prove my statements, so you should file a suit for one million rupees for defamation. You should go to court, and I am also coming. I am ready and will prove my points.” He proved all his points and the opponents apologized. They promised, “In the future we will never write like this.”
If one wants to have guru-nistha, he should read my Guru Maharaja’s biography and philosophy. This book has been appreciated all over the whole world. In this biography I have tried to bring all the teachings of our acaryas. If you read it, you will be able to understand what is guru-nistha and what was the greatness of my Guru Maharaja. Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja did not take sannyasa from him as a formality. He knew all the principles and philosophy of pure devotional service. Since the time he joined the temple he had so much honor for Guru Maharaja, for he saw what he was doing for Prabhupada. He did not take sannyasa from him accidentally or to complete a formality.
Our Guru Maharaja took sannyasa from Parama-pujapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja. Even though Srila Sridhara Maharaja joined the mission of their Gurudeva after him, he was an elevated philosopher and a knower of the established truths of bhakti, and his very name, Bhakti Raksaka, means “protector of devotion”. He has also extensively glorified our Gurudeva. To teach other devotees, they used to hold meetings and defeat each others arguments in philosophy. Parama-pujapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja would establish one thing and Guru Maharaja would defeat all his arguments, and then at the next moment Srila Sridhara Maharaja would defeat all the arguments of our Gurudeva. The entire audience would hear them, enjoy their discussions, and in this way learn so much philosophy.
All the sannyasis of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had great regard for our Gurudeva. When Srila Sridhara Maharaja came to Mayapura for the first time, his name was Ramananda Brahmacari. He saw a young boy of about twenty years old sitting on a chair under the shade of a jackfruit tree and keeping his feet on the table and hands joined together. Srila Sridhara Maharaja saw from a distance that the young brahmacari was wearing white cloth, not in saffron cloth, and he was sitting in a very relaxed manner. At that time senior and very qualified sannyasis would come and offer him their obeisances, and they would ask him questions. Staying in the same position, not getting up to offer obeisances, he would answer. Then, again offering him their obeisances, they would leave.
Pujyapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja told this story to me personally. He told me that he asked the devotees present there at that time, “Who is this young boy in white dress, to whom even sannyasis in saffron cloth are offering obeisances? Who is it that in the same position is answering their questions and they are leaving very satisfied?” Someone replied, “He is Vinoda-babu. He managed the complete Mayapura premise. Now there is no longer any influence of Muslims.” If you want to know more, you can read his biography and learn what an influential and great acarya he was.
At the time of parikrama I have seen that when an editorial article was needed, Parama-pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja would wait with paper and pen – to know what he wanted to write. Guru Maharaja would be surrounded by thousands of persons at that time, so at the same time he would dictate the required article and also talk with those persons. If we would write any article, we would have to look at so many books for reference, and we would have to carefully think and consider. But Guru Maharaja had no need to think. Although continually interrupted by others, he would speak and Srila Vamana Maharaja, who was qualified like Srila Vyasadeva’s divine scribe Ganesha, would take the dictation.
Read the biography and learn how to respect others and obey the bona fide and transcendental Gurudeva. Don’t wonder, “Is what my Gurudeva telling wrong or right?” You may test him before the time of initiation, not after. If he says, “Jump in the ocean” and you can do so, that is good. We have seen so many qualified devotees like Ananta Vasudeva and Sundarananda Vinoda prabhu who were vastly learned; but they left their Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, because they were thinking, “Is what he is telling right or not?” They thought that he was not qualified for raganuga-bhajana and thus offended him. They took poison and went to hell, and one of them literally took poison.
Try to think about these activities of my Guru Maharaja and be a disciple like him. If Gurudeva tells his disciple to give his life and soul to him, he should do that at once – like Hanuman, who gave himself for the service of Sri Ramacandra. The disciple thinks that Gurudeva should not tell his to do this, however. He does not understand that whatever Gurudeva says is for his benefit.
So today is his birthday and we are going to celebrate Vyasa-puja – guru-puja. We will do so in the way that was introduced in our sampradaya by Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
[The following is from the book Acarya Kesari Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami His Life and Teachings Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja:
Endnote 1 – “After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered aprakata-lila and His lilas became unmanifest, the Bhagavati Ganga changed course many times. Places that had once been in Mayapura were relocated to the relatively high ground of the west bank. The extensive town of Nadiya (Navadvipa), which had previously been on the east bank, became situated on the Ganga’s west bank, and the east bank became a deserted, desolate place. During the reign of the yavanas (Muslims), all the sacred places of the Hindus were destroyed, temples were demolished and the names of the places of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes were changed. The temples at the birthplaces of Sri Rama in Ayodhya and Sri Krsna in Mathura were razed, and mosques were erected on their foundations. Their names were changed to Phaijabad and Mominabad. Similarly, the Muslims changed the name of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace from Mayapura to Miyampur. Later, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, the birthplace of Sri Gaura, and again called it Sridhama Mayapura. In this way the name Sridhama Mayapura once more became known to the world.
“Besides changing the name of Sridhama Mayapura, the Muslims had also made a graveyard on the huge courtyard of Candrasekhara Bhavan, which was very close to Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, and this was still there when Sri Vinodabihari became manager of Sri Caitanya Matha. He could not tolerate this atrocity and acted fearlessly and boldly. One night, while all were asleep, he had all the graves in the graveyard dug up and placed elsewhere. In their place he had large, beautiful trees and foliage planted and overnight he made a beautiful park with a wall all around it for protection. The next morning everyone was astounded at what had taken place. The local Muslims reported it to the police and filed a case in court. But police officials and governmental investigators could not find any trace of the graveyard; they saw only an old garden. In this way the devotees reclaimed Candrasekhara Bhavan and no one was able to stop them. For this pious act the name of Sri Vinodabihari Brahmacari will be written in golden letters in the history of India.”
[Endnote 2 – “After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered aprakata lila and His lilas became unmanifest, the Bhagavati Ganga changed course many times. Places that had once been in Mayapura were relocated to the relatively high ground of the west bank. The extensive town of Nadiya (Navadvipa), which had previously been on the east bank, became situated on the Ganga’s west bank, and the east bank became a deserted, desolate place. During the reign of the yavanas (Muslims), all the sacred places of the Hindus were destroyed, temples were demolished and the names of the places of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes were changed. The temples at the birthplaces of Sri Rama in Ayodhya and Sri Krsna in Mathura were razed, and mosques were erected on their foundations. Their names were changed to Phaijabad and Mominabad. Similarly, the Muslims changed the name of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s birthplace from Mayapura to Miyampur. Later, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, the birthplace of Sri Gaura, and again called it Sridhama Mayapura. In this way the name Sridhama Mayapura once more became known to the world.
Besides changing the name of Sridhama Mayapura, the Muslims had also made a graveyard on the huge courtyard of Candrasekhara Bhavan, which was very close to Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, and this was still there when Sri Vinodabihari became manager of Sri Caitanya Matha. He could not tolerate this atrocity and acted fearlessly and boldly. One night, while all were asleep, he had all the graves in the graveyard dug up and placed elsewhere. In their place he had large, beautiful trees and foliage planted and overnight he made a beautiful park with a wall all around it for protection. The next morning everyone was astounded at what had taken place. The local Muslims reported it to the police and filed a case in court. But police officials and governmental investigators could not find any trace of the graveyard; they saw only an old garden. In this way the devotees reclaimed Candrasekhara Bhavan and no one was able to stop them. For this pious act the name of Sri Vinodabihari Brahmacari will be written in golden letters in the history of India.”
[Endnote 2 – “On another occasion, members of the sahajiya-sampradaya of Bengal wrote essays full of apasiddhanta, opposing Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Srila Gurudeva argued with them in a similar way, using abrasive words. The opposition party actually presented a lawsuit in court against Srila Gurudeva and other devotees, including the editor of Sri Gaudiya Patrika. However, when they were faced with Srila Gurudeva’s train of thought, they also had to bow their heads in defeat. They begged him for forgiveness in the court of law and thereafter avoided him. For these reasons, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisaranga Gosvami Maharaja, who was Srila Gurudeva’s dear Godbrother and a leader of the Gaudiya community, decorated Srila Gurupadapadma with the title ‘Pasanda-Gajaikasimha,’ the lion who vanquishes the elephants of heresy.’]
[Endnote 3 – “Some time in 1956, Srila Gurudeva came to Mathura to see Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. At that time followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya in Vrndavana used to publish a spiritual journal called Sri Sudarsana. In one issue they cast aspersions on Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, saying that He was a disciple of Kesava Kasmiri. In other editions they insolently dared to claim that Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas such as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were in the Nimbarka sampradaya. When I showed these editions to Srila Gurudeva, he became extremely angry and immediately had a short essay written for Sri Bhagavata Patrika. The headline was ‘Sri Nimbaditya and Nimbarka are not the same person.’ The purport of his headline is as follows.
“‘Nowhere in the scriptures is there any mention of a Nimbarka sampradaya. The Puranas mention a vaisnava-acarya called Sri Nimbaditya, and the Catuhsana (the four Kumaras) have accepted this Nimbaditya Acarya as their sampradaya-acarya in the age of Kali. However, Nimbarka Svami is a completely different person. Nimbaditya was a disciple of Naradaji at the end of Dvapara-yuga, but Nimbarka Acarya appeared much more recently. Great and eminent authors of scripture such as Srila Jiva Gosvami have mentioned the names of the prominent acaryas of all the other sampradayas, but they have not mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya anywhere.
“‘The Nimbarka sampradaya currently uses the Parijata-bhasya which was written, not by Nimbaditya Acarya, but rather by Srinivasa Acarya and Kesava Kasmiri. These two wrote this scripture and then preached that it had been written by their guru. The scriptures of the Six Gosvamis mention the names of acaryas such as Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva, Sri Visnu Svami, Sri Nimbaditya and Sri Vallabha Acarya. If the Nimbarka sampradaya had existed even to a slight extent at that time, then they would most certainly have mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya as well. None of the other sampradaya acaryas, such as Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva, Sri Visnu Svami and so on have mentioned Nimbarka Acarya’s name in any of the scriptures that they have written.’
“When this essay was published in Sri Bhagavata Patrika, the office directors of the Sudarsana journal announced that they were making arrangements to prosecute for slander. Srila Gurudeva replied firmly, “We will prove each and every word that we have written on the basis of evidence supported by sastra.” When the prosecution party heard about Srila Gurudeva’s immense scriptural knowledge and his profound personality, they became absolutely silent, and from that day onwards they did not dare to write any more nonsense.]
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
[This year, 2017, Nityananda Prabhus appearance day is on February 8th (in America). Movie
Gaudiya Vaisnavas observe all Visnu tattva appearance days along with special fasting. Sometimes these days come next to each other or next to an Ekadasi or Dvadasi tithi which is meant for fasting. This happens somewhere in the world for Lord Varaha Dvadasi and Lord Nityananda Trayodasi, but not at all locations due to different sunrise times.
The proper way to observe Vaisnava festivals, for example, Ekadasi, Varaha-dvadasi, and Nityananda Trayodasi is as follows:
In countries or cities where the first day is Ekadasi, the second day is the appearance of Lord Varahadeva, and the third day is the appearance day of Lord Nityananda (Nityananda Trayodasi), for both those who follow nirjala Ekadasi (full fasting, even from water) and those who follow anukalpa (respecting Ekadasi preparations) on Ekadasi tithi: on the next day they should first offer arati to Lord Varahadeva, pray for forgiveness*[see endnote 1], and then break the fast* [see endnote 2] with grains and continue to respect regular prasadam (grains and all other offerings). Then, on the third day – Sri Nityananda Trayodasi – they should observe the Ekadasi rules and regulations.
In countries or cities where Ekadasi fasting and the appearance of Lord Varahadeva are observed on same day, or in countries and cities where the appearance of Lord Varahadeva and Lord Nityananda are observed on same day, the devotees who follow nirjala Ekadasi, can break their Ekadasi fast by drinking water on the next day, and for the rest of the day respect anukalpa (regular Ekadasi preparations).
For those devotees who respect Ekadasi in the regular manner (respecting offerings of anukalpa), the next day they should first offer arati to Lord Nityananda (and Lord Varaha if those days are merged), then hear Their glories. After this they should pray for forgiveness*[see endnote 1] and then they may break their fast by taking grains. The rest of the day they may respect regular prasadam.
To know the exact time of breaking the fast for your city, please check the Vaisnava calendar. http://www.purebhakti.com/resources/vaisnava-calendar-mainmenu-71.html
To hear the soundfile: http://sbnmcd.org/all_mp3/19970220_Australia%20Nityananda%20Trayodasi.mp3 ]
We will discuss the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu: Jagai and Madhai and other pastimes, such as vyasa-puja and Mahaprabu’s sannyasa-lila. The Lord’s associates went with Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu to Jagannatha Puri. We will discuss how, in the midway, Nityananda Prabhu broke Mahaprabhu’s danda. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then left all His associates and went to Jagannatha Puri, where He took darsana of Jagannatha and prayed to that Deity, “Oh Vrajendra-nandana (the son of the King of Vraja, Nanda Maharaja), You are not a statue. You are personally Yasoda-nandana (the son of Mother Yasoda), Vrajendra-nandana.”
We will discuss how Mahaprabhu tried to reach and meet with Jagannatha-deva as soon as He saw Him, but He at once fainted. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya came and took the unconscious Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home, where he tried to teach Him Vedanta. We will discuss what occurred in that pastime.
We will discuss Nityananda’s pastimes in Puri at the Ratha-Yatra festival, how He returned to Navadvipa and Bengal, and how He used to preach over the whole of Bengal – especially to those who were very fallen and out of caste. After that, how He married with Jahnava-devi and Vasudha-devi, and how His son Virabhadra Prabhu took initiation from Jahnava-devi. There are so many qualified persons to speak.
[Srila Gurudeva called on a few devotees to speak, and then he continued:]
Nityananda is jagat-guru, guru of the universe. He is personally Baladeva Prabhu, (the first expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.) In Krsna’s pastimes Baladeva Prabhu went to Naimisaranya, where He saw that Romaharsana-suta was giving Srimad-Bhagavatam class. All the sages and saintly kings stood up and offered pranama to Baladeva Prabhu, but Romaharsana remained on the vyasasana without standing and offering pranama to Him or welcoming Him. Baladeva Prabhu thought, “He is not qualified to read Srimad-Bhagavatam or to teach Bhagavatam. He thinks that I am born in a gopa (cowherd) dynasty, and that he is a brahmana, so literate, learned, and quite qualified to explain Bhagavata.” He then told Romaharsana, “You are not qualified. Be a bhagavata (devotee of Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead) and then explain Bhagavata (The Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam.)” He took up a piece of kusa grass in His hand, and by that kusa grass He at once cut off Romaharsana’s head.
In great wonder, all the rsis exclaimed, “Oh Baladeva Prabhu, what have You done? Baladeva replied, “What do you want? Do you want me to bring him back to life?”
Now they understood the glories of Baladeva Prabhu. “No we don’t want that,” they replied, “but how will we hear Srimad-Bhagavatam?” Baladeva at once brought the son of Romaharsana, Ugrasrava, who was only eight years of age. He was not wearing clothes and he looked like an ignorant person, but Baladeva made him sit on the vyasasana (the seat of honor, as the representative of Krsna’s literary incarnation Sri Vyasadeva.) Baladeva looked towards him and inspired in his heart knowledge of all Vedic literature – all Vedas, all Srimad-Bhagavatam, all Puranas, Upanisads, Smriti, Sruti, Mahabharata, and Ramayana. Ugrasrava at once uttered hymns in glorification of Baladeva Prabhu, and then he began to explain the topics of Srimad-Bhagavatam in a wonderful way.
Do not think that Baladeva Prabhu, or Nityananda Prabhu, had not attended school and that He was illiterate. He is the complete embodiment of Gurudeva (akhanda-guru-tattva).
In Krsna’s pastimes He killed Dhenukasura, a demon who was in the form of an ass. Dhenukasura represents ignorance. What kind of ignorance? Those who do not honor Vaisnavas (devotees) and yet think themselves devotees, they are all like Dhenukasura. Nityananda Prabhu honored all devotees, even those who were not devotees but who wanted to be devotees. If anyone came in the association of a pure Vaisnava, Nityananda Prabhu respected them. He brought the message of Krsna Consciousness to all those who were neglected by society.
In India, at first, the goldsmiths, oil makers, betel-nut makers, and groups like them had no right to read the Upanisads and Vedanta; they were not allowed. But Nityananda Prabhu exclaimed that even those like Jagai and Madhai are most qualified to chant Harinama and to have Krsna-prema. And, to whomever He saw, He gave initiation: He would tell everyone, “Chant ‘Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.’ Nityananda Prabhu embraced and inspired everyone in Bengal, including all those who were fallen, the most inauspicious groups of persons.
Today, we are making some mistakes. We are dishonoring sincere and senior devotees who have served Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja throughout their lives. They have served Radha-Krsna and Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu their whole life, and from the beginning of his mission. I have also served so much, more than anyone in ISKCON. But I am not allowed to go to take darsana in any of the ISKCON temples, although it was I who gave samadhi to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in Vrndavana. The doors to his temples are now closed to me.
This is a very bad sign. By this, one goes to hell.
We should try to correct these things. We should know that we are all in Mahaprabhu’s family. Those who have not even taken initiation but are chanting Hare Krsna should be treated as the family of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And those who are senior, sincere, and serving lovingly for so many years, should be more respected. Otherwise, one who disrespects such devotees is like Ramacandra Khan.
In His later pastimes, Nityananda Prabhu went to a village in Bengal, where a very rich person lived named Ramacandra Khan (who had previously attempted to make Haridasa Thakura fall down). That rich person did not honor Nityananda Prabhu or any of the devotees of Nityananda Prabhu. Rather, he told them, “Get out from here. You cannot be hosted for the night here.”
Nityananda Prabhu began to laugh loudly, and said, “Oh, devotees are not honored here. Devotees are disrespected here. So, we should not remain here. Let us go; but, I see that tomorrow Mohammedans will come, they will slaughter cows here and prepare meals of flesh, and the whole family of Ramacandra Khan will be destroyed.” He then left that place.
The next day, this person who was not honoring Vaisnava devotees was killes along with his entire family, his cows were slaughtered, and his entire village became barren.
So, we should always remember Nityananda Prabhu and His teachings. Don’t disrespect any Vaisnava. Always try to honor Vaisnavas according to their stage of advancement in bhakti, namely kanistha-adhikari, neophyte, madhyama-adhikari, intermediate, and uttama-adhikari, advanced.
You must know all these teachings, and if you do not know them, then you are not devotees at all. You are only show-bottle devotees.
Nowadays they are not approaching those who are strong in Vaisnava philosophy. We should try to establish ourselves in all these teachings; otherwise, being a show bottle devotee and simply giving instructions to others will not do.
Come with me to Puri, where Caitanya Mahaprabhu was calling out to Lord Jagannatha, “Oh, I am meeting with the same Vrajendra-nandana. I have been burning in a separation mood for so many years and years. I have found my Vrajendra-nandana.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in the mood of Radhika, calling “Krsna, Krsna. You are the same Vrajendra-nandana,” and He fell unconscious on the ground while dancing. Nityananda Prabhu was there, but not touching Him.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to dance in Srivasa-angam and would faint in the courtyard, Nityananda Prabhu would not touch Him. He would do so after Mahaprabhu came to His external senses, otherwise not. Nowadays, we don’t know all the principles of transcendental etiquette, and thus we speak and write so many rasa-abhasa ideas (misrepresentations of the relationships among the personalities in the pastimes). We keep Nityananda Prabhu with Radha and Krsna in the same section of the altar [see endnote 1], and also Jagannatha. You should know the principles of etiquette by reading Caitanya-caritamrta in the association of superior, advanced devotees.
yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane
(Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 5.131)
[“If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”]
That is why Nityananda Prabhu ordered Jiva Gosvami to go to Vrndavana and learn all philosophical conclusions under the guidance of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Santana Gosvami. Nityananda Prabhu inspired Jiva, after which Jiva became so learned that in the whole world at that time there was no person as learned as he. He defeated so many learned persons. How? Only by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu.
We should try to follow Nityananda Prabhu, outwardly and inwardly.
Do you know the song Nitai Pada Kamala? We will sing it.
je chayaya jagat judaya
heno nitai vine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
drdha kori’ dharo nitaiyer paya (1)
[“Nitai’s lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. O brother, without a personality such as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krsna. So hold on very tightly to His lotus feet.”]
se sambandha nahi jara, vrtha janma gelo tara
sei pasu bodo duracara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara sukhe,
vidyakule ki koribe tara (2)
[“If someone does not establish his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu, his life is wasted. Such a wicked person is no better than an animal. Not taking the name of Nitai on one’s lips, he loses himself in the so-called happiness of this world. Then what is the value of one’s education and birth in a high family or great nation?”]
ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori’ mani
nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitaiyera carana du’khani (3)
[“Forgetting Nitai’s lotus feet, one becomes maddened by the false concept of bodily life and considers the illusory energy as real. If Nitai is merciful, one can attain Sri Radha and Krsna in Vraja, so firmly catch hold of His lotus feet.”]
nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asa
narottama bodo duhkhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-caranera pasa (4)
[“The feet of Nitai are real and His servants are eternal. Always hope and pray for the lotus feet of Nitai. “Narottama is very unhappy! O Nitai, please make me happy. Keep me tucked close to the reddish lotuses of Your feet.”]
One of the prayers of Vrndavana dasa Thakura is Sri Nityanandastakam.
yathestam re bhratah! kuru hari-hari-dhvanam-anisam
tato vah samsarambudhi-tarana-dayo mayi laget
idambahu-sphotair-atati ratayan yah pratigrham
bhaja nityanandambhajana-taru-kandam niravadhi
[“O brothers, simply chant incessantly the names of Sri Hari, and let the responsibility of delivering you from the ocean of repeated birth and death rest upon Me.” While traveling constantly, He approached the door of every home, declaring this with outstretched arms. I perpetually worship Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the root of the krsna-bhakti tree. (verse 5)]
He is telling to all persons, without any consideration of caste or creed, wealth or poverty, inferiority or superiority, brahmana or sudra, male or female, young or old. He calls even to animals and birds, “Come on. Come on.” Raising His arms and speaking in this way: “Yathestam re bhratah! kuru hari-hari-dhvanam-anisam – O brothers, always chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare;’ loudly, and more loudly, again and again. In this way you will cross the ocean of birth and death, suffering and sorrows. And, if you are not getting the desired result, then I am liable for this. I am telling you the truth, that if you once chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,’ I promise to take all responsibility for this – that you will certainly attain Krsna-prema.”
No one else has told anything like this.
Nityananda Prabhu used to go to each person’s door, and He would personally tell that person, “I am begging only for your devotion to Sri Krsna. I don’t want anything else.” We are now deviating from this line of Nityananda Prabhu. If you want Krsna-prema, you will have to come in this line again. Nityananda Prabhu is telling each person, “I am responsible if you are following My instructions but not getting Krsna-prema,”
In the last verse, Vrndavana dasa Thakura is telling,
rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam
rasagaram saram patita tati taram smaranatah
param nityanandastakam idam apurvam pathati yas
tad anghri dvandvabjam sphuratu nitaram tasya hrdaye
[May Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s two lotus feet brilliantly manifest in the hearts of those who recite this unprecedented and supremely potent Nityanandastakam, which is the reservoir of rasa, the treasure of exalted rasika Vaisnavas, and the abode of the essence of bhakti-rasa. It bestows liberation upon all fallen souls who simply remember it.” (verse 9)]
Don’t think that Nityananda Prabhu is merely a mad person. You should know that He is rasanam-adharam, the reservoir of all rasas. He is in dasya-rasa, in sakhya-rasa as Baladeva, vatsalya-rasa also as Baladeva, and in madhurya- rasa in the form of Ananga-manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radhika. He came to taste these five rasas. Don’t think that He is only serving Krsna in a male form, in only four rasas. He is serving also in madhurya-rasa. So, rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam – He is so rasika.
He often used to enjoy mock-fighting with Advaita Acarya. Once, when He was throwing maha-prasadam here and there, Advaita Acarya jokingly told Him, “My dear Nityananda, I invited You, and indeed I have received the results. You have no fixed caste or dynasty. By nature You are a madman. To make Me a madman like Yourself, You have thrown the remnants of Your food at Me. You did not even fear the fact that I am a brahmana.”
Nityananda Prabhu at once began to laugh, and said, “Ho, ho ho. Oh, Advaita Acarya, I’ve heard that you are a learned person, but I see that you are not. You do not know anything. You are telling Me that by taking maha-prasadam one loses His brahmanical caste and becomes impure? Such words are offensive to the lotus feet of maha-prasadam. You do not know the real power of maha-prasadam. Maha-prasadam is Krsna Himself.” [See endnotes 1-3]
maha-prasade govinde, nama brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punya-vatam rajan, visvaso naiva jayate
[“Those who have very few pious activities to their credit can never develop faith in maha-prasada, in Sri Govinda, in the holy name of the Lord, or in the Vaisnavas.”]
And sometimes They were quarreling in the large lake named Indradyumna Sarovara, splashing there in the water. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so grave. Raya Ramananda and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya were wealthy, learned persons, and also so grave. But They also began to play-quarrel like children, throwing water upon each other. During the splashing of Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acarya, Nityananda Prabhu defeated Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya told Nityananda Prabhu “I am an old person. Do you want that I should die? Would you cause Me to die?” So much good siddhanta (conclusive philosophy) was there in these quarrels.
So, Nityananda Prabhu: rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam. He was rasika vara, meaning the best of the rasika associates of the Lord. Giriraja Govardhana is also rasika-vara, but Nityananda is the root of all rasikas. Without His mercy, no one can be rasika. Those who pray to Nityananda Prabhu for His mercy will become bona fide Vaisnavas.
But always remember: don’t criticize any Vaisnava. Don’t dishonor anyone, otherwise Nityananda Prabhu will be unhappy. He will not give Krsna-prema to that offender.
Treat all who have taken shelter of Nityananda and Gauracandra as Vaisnavas. Moreover, regarding those who are not following, we should simply pray to Nityananda Prabhu, “Please bestow Your mercy upon them so that they will be reformed.” Don’t criticize. Don’t do anything against them. Always have faith in Nityananda Prabhu. Especially, I am praying for you all, and for myself also. I am praying for the whole world, that Nityananda will bestow His mercy to all, so that you will know who Mahaprabhu is and what is the identity of Krsna’s name: “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
May He give us ruci (taste) in Krsna-nama, and in Gaura-nama, the holy names of Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya. A Vaisnava has written in his prayer that Krsna and Krsna’s abode and Krsna’s name have some consideration regarding offenses. They consider whether or not a person is nama-aparadhi (offender to the holy name), but Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have nothing to do with these things. Even if an offender calls out, “O Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu,” They bestow Their mercy.
We should also be like that. If someone is doing any nonsense, we should tolerate, and also pray for him. Don’t have any enmity towards them; nothing at all. Be like Nityananda Prabhu. Follow His footsteps. Nityananda Prabhu will then unconditionally bestow His mercy upon you.
Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya!
Endnote 1 (from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.84, 85)
His Divine Grace Advaita Acarya, after hearing the statement of Nityananda Prabhu, took the opportunity presented by the joking words and spoke to Him as follows.Advaita Acarya said, “You are a reject paramahamsa, and You have accepted the renounced order of life just to fill up Your belly. I can understand that Your business is to give trouble to brahmanas.”
There is always a difference of opinion between a smarta-brahmana and a Vaisnava gosvami. There are even smarta opinions and Vaisnava gosvami opinions available in astrological and astronomical calculations. By calling Nityananda Prabhu a bhrasta avadhuta (a rejected paramahamsa), Advaita Acarya Prabhu in a sense accepted Nityananda Prabhu as a paramahamsa. In other words, Nityananda Prabhu had nothing to do with the rules governing smarta-brahmanas. Thus under pretense of condemning Him, Advaita Acarya was actually praising Him. In the avadhuta stage, the paramahamsa stage, which is the supermost stage, one may appear to be visayi, on the platform of sense gratification, but in actuality he has nothing to do with sense gratification. At that stage, a person sometimes accepts the symbols and dress of a sannyasi and sometimes does not. Sometimes he dresses like a householder. We should know, however, that these are all joking words between Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu. They are not to be taken as insults.
In Khadadaha, sometimes people misunderstood Nityananda Prabhu to belong to the sakta-sampradaya, whose philosophy is antah saktah bahih saivah sabhayam vaisnavo matah. According to the sakta-sampradaya, a person called kaulavadhuta thinks materially while externally appearing to be a great devotee of Lord Siva. When such a person is in an assembly of Vaisnavas, he appears like a Vaisnava. Actually Nityananda Prabhu did not belong to such a community. Nityananda Prabhu was always a brahmacari of a sannyasi of the vaidika order. Actually He was a paramahamsa. Sometimes He is accepted to be a disciple of Laksmipati Tirtha. If He is so accepted, Nityananda Prabhu belonged to the Madhva-sampradaya. He did not belong to the tantrika-sampradaya of Bengal.
Endnote 2 (from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.94, 96)
After saying this, Nityananda Prabhu took a handful of rice and threw it on the floor in front of Him, as if He were angry.
When the rice thrown by Nityananda Prabhu touched His body, Advaita Acarya thought Himself purified by the touch of remnants thrown by Paramahamsa Nityananda. Therefore He began dancing.
The word avadhuta refers to one above all rules and regulations. Sometimes, not observing all the rules and regulations of a sannyasi, Nityananda Prabhu exhibited the behavior of a mad avadhuta. He threw the remnants of food on the ground, and some of these remnants touched the body of Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya accepted this happily because He presented Himself as a member of the community of smarta-brahmanas. By touching the remnants of food thrown by Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya immediately felt Himself purified of all smarta contamination. The remnants of food left by a pure Vaisnava are called maha-maha-prasadam.
This is completely spiritual and is identified with Lord Visnu. Such remnants are not ordinary. The spiritual master is to be considered on the stage of paramahamsa and beyond the jurisdiction of the varnasrama institution. The remnants of food left by the spiritual master and similar paramahamsas, or pure Vaisnavas, are purifying. When an ordinary person touches such prasadam, his mind is purified, and his mind is raised to the status of a pure brahmana. The behavior and statements of Advaita Acarya are meant for the understanding of ordinary people who are unaware of the strength of spiritual values, not knowing the potency of food left by the bona fide spiritual master and pure Vaisnavas.
Endnote 3 (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.97-99)
Advaita Acarya jokingly said, “My dear Nityananda, I invited You, and indeed I have received the results. You have no fixed caste or dynasty. By nature You are a madman.
The words sahaje pagala (“by nature a madman”) indicate that Nityananda Prabhu was transcendentally situated on the paramahamsa stage. Because He always remembered Radha-Krsna and Their service, this was transcendental madness. Sri Advaita Acarya was pointing out this fact.
“To make Me a madman like Yourself, You have thrown the remnants of Your food at Me. You did not even fear the fact that I am a brahmana.”
The words apanara sama indicate that Advaita Acarya considered Himself to belong to the smarta-brahmanas, and He considered Nityananda Prabhu to be on the transcendental stage with pure Vaisnavas. Lord Nityananda gave Advaita Acarya His remnants to situate Him on the same platform and make Him a pure unalloyed Vaisnava or paramahamsa. Advaita Acarya’s statement indicates that a paramahamsa Vaisnava is transcendentally situated. A pure Vaisnava is not subject to the rules and regulations of the smarta-brahmanas. That was the reason for Advaita Acarya’s stating, apanara sama more karibara tare: “to raise Me to Your own standard.” A pure Vaisnava, or a person on the paramahamsa stage, accepts the remnants of food (maha-prasadam) as spiritual. He does not consider it to be material or sense gratificatory. He accepts maha-prasadam not as ordinary dhal and rice but as spiritual substance. To say nothing of the remnants of food left by a pure Vaisnava, prasadam is never polluted even if it is touched by the mouth of a candala. Indeed, it retains its spiritual value. Therefore by eating or touching such maha-prasadam, a brahmana is not degraded. There is no question of being polluted by touching the remnants of such food. Actually, by eating such maha-prasadam, one is freed from all the contaminations of the material condition. That is the verdict of the sastra.
Nityananda Prabhu replied, “These are the remnants of food left by Lord Krsna. If You take them to be ordinary remnants, You have committed an offense.”
In the Brhad-visnu Purana it is stated that one who considers maha-prasadam to be equal to ordinary rice and dhal certainly commits a great offense. Ordinary edibles are touchable and untouchable, but there are no such dualistic considerations where prasadam is concerned. Prasadam is transcendental, and there are no transformations or contaminations, just as there are no contaminations or transformations in the body of Lord Visnu Himself. Thus even if one is a brahmana he is certain to be attacked by leprosy and bereft of all family members if he makes such dualistic considerations. Such an offender goes to hell, never to return. This is the injunction of the Brhad-visnu Purana.