For the Disappearance Day of Srila Jiva Gosvami

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[This year, 2016, Srila Jiva Gosvami’s disappearance day is December 31. Below is a lecture Srila Gurudeva gave in the 1990s: Movie 1998]

Srila Jiva Gosvami’s father, Anupama, was the brother of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. His exalted father and uncles were employed by the Muslim ruler, Srila Sanatana Gosvami as prime minister, Srila Rupa Gosvami as the private secretary, and Anupama as treasurer. All three of them met Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He came to Ramakeli where they lived.

As the only son of the three brothers, Jiva received abundant affection. Srila Rupa Gosvami was always especially affectionate towards him and treated him as if he were his own son. When Jiva was still very young, Srila Rupa Gosvami took him to Mahaprabhu, who blessed him by placing His hand on his head.

During childhood, Jiva studied and soon learned all logic, Sanskrit grammar, and theistic philosophy from the books in his father’s home. Before Srila Rupa Gosvami and Anupama left household life to retire in Vrndavana, they divided all the family’s wealth and property, allocating sufficient funds for Jiva to continue his studies. All three brothers realized that he was the only son in their dynasty, so they nurtured him with great affection and ensured he had whatever material facility he required.

Jiva had a very soft nature, and as he grew, he gradually began worshipping Deities of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Making garlands for Them and offering puja to Them, he would become immersed in meditation, preferring these activities to playing with other children. When he was about fourteen years old, he went to Navadvipa. By then, Mahaprabhu had returned to the spiritual world and all the devotees of Navadvipa had left and gone elsewhere. Because Navadvipa now brought them all great sadness, Srivasa Pandita, Advaita Acarya, and everyone else had left, and Navadvipa was deserted.

A few days before Jiva’s arrival, Nityananda Prabhu had arrived at Srivasangana from Khardaha. When Jiva Gosvami arrived, Nityananda Prabhu was very pleased to meet him. Nityananda prabhu placed His feet on Jiva’s head and said, “I came here just to meet with you; otherwise I would have stayed in Khardaha.” He showed Jiva all the places of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in Navadvipa, and then showed him great mercy by ordering him to go stay with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami in Vrndavana.

On the way to Vrndavana, Jiva stopped in Varanasi, where he met a disciple of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya named Madhusudana Vacaspati who was teaching Vedanta, but not the commentary of Sankaracarya, which was famous at that time. Mahaprabhu had refuted that commentary when Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya tried to teach it to Him. Madhusudana Vacaspati was a great scholar and, having studied and understood everything which Mahaprabhu had taught to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, was teaching it there. Jiva Gosvami went to his home and learned all bhakti-vedanta from him. He also learned Sankaracarya’s commentary, because without learning it, he would have been unable to refute it. After studying all of this and fully understanding it, he proceeded to Vrndavana. There in Vrndavana, Sanatana Gosvami placed him in the care of Rupa Gosvami, and he stayed near Rupa Gosvami’s hut at the Radha-Damodara temple.

Rupa Gosvami would read everything he was writing to Jiva Gosvami. One day while they were in the midst of reading together, an effulgent, elderly brahmana arrived there. This was most likely, judging from his age and his scholarship, Sri Vallabhacarya, who knew Rupa Gosvami from the time Mahaprabhu was in Prayaga. He was approximately the same age as Advaita Acarya, so Rupa Gosvami would have been the appropriate age to have been his son. He asked, “Rupa, what are you writing these days?”

Hesitating a little, Srila Rupa Gosvami replied, “I am writing a book entitled Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.” Vallabhacarya then picked up the book and, turning the pages, said, “Very good, I will look through it and correct any errors.”

At that time Jiva Gosvami was fanning Rupa Gosvami with a leaf from the tala tree, but when he heard Vallabhacarya say this, he felt disturbed; according to him, his Gurudeva was being criticized. Later when he went to the river to fetch water, he met Vallabhacarya, who was just finishing his midday bath. Jiva Gosvami said, “Gosai, you said before that you would proofread the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu which Rupa Gosvami is writing. If you have found any errors, precisely where are they?”

Vallabhacarya replied, “How can you understand, child? Have you studied Sanskrit grammar?”

“Yes, a little.”

“Then what could you possibly understand?”

“Still, please just show me any errors you have detected.” When Vallabhacarya showed him an apparent error, a fierce debate commenced between them. Eventually Jiva Gosvami established the point so convincingly that Vallabhacarya could neither refute it nor give any answer.

When Vallabhacarya returned to Rupa Gosvami’s hut, he asked, “Who was that boy who was fanning you? He is very intelligent and extremely learned in the scriptures.”

Very humbly and with folded hands Rupa Gosvami replied, “He is the son of my younger brother and is also my disciple. He does not know how to behave.”

“No, he is a genius, and in the future he will be very famous.”

Soon afterwards, Vallabhacarya left. When Jiva Gosvami arrived with the water, Srila Rupa Gosvami said to him, “You are so intolerant that you quarrel with an elderly, scholarly brahmana who kindly proofread something for my own good? Your behavior is unacceptable; leave now.”

Being obliged to obey his guru, Jiva Gosvami left Vrndavana. He went to the village of Bhayagaon to live in a cave infested with crocodiles. There, for some days, he remained in the cave doing bhajana and crying, feeling bereft of his guru’s affection. He stopped eating and taking water, and within a short time he became emaciated. After some time, Sanatana Gosvami happened to visit that village as he was wandering around Vraja. The local people said to him, “Baba, we always considered you to be a great bhajananandi (one who is absorbed in bhajana), but a young boy who is even more of a bhajananandi than you has come to our village. Day and night he calls out the names of Radha-Krsna and weeps. We take him food but he refuses it, and he never sleeps either. Day and night he remains immersed in bhajana; we have never seen anything like it.”

Srila Sanatana Gosvami could understand that this was Jiva, and immediately went to him. Reunited, they both wept. Sanatana Gosvami then took him back to Vrndavana, where he said to Rupa Gosvami, “The duty of Vaisnavas is to be compassionate to others, yet you renounced this young disciple of yours who is adorned with so many extraordinary qualities. You should be merciful to Jiva, but instead you banished him. This was a mistake and you should correct it. I am ordering you to quickly call him back.”

Hearing this, Rupa Gosvami began crying for Jiva, whom he loved so much. When Sanatana Gosvami brought Jiva there and placed him in the lap of Rupa Gosvami, both guru and disciple wept. Rupa Gosvami arranged for Jiva to be treated by the best doctors from Mathura, and gradually Jiva became strong again. From then on, their former practice resumed with Rupa Gosvami giving whatever he wrote to Jiva to proofread.

Later, Srila Jiva Gosvami expanded upon and enhanced the writing of other acaryas. One such acarya, Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, had heard hari-katha directly from Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, who he considered to be his siksa-gurus. While studying the writings of ancient Vaisnava acaryas such as Madhva and Ramanuja, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami selected different points in relation to sambandha (establishing one’s relationship with Krsna), abhidheya (acting in the dealings of that relationship), and prayojana (achieving life’s ultimate goal), and compiled everything in a notebook.

Srila Jiva Gosvami learned all of this tattva from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Then, he took the volume which contained all the information on sambandha and enlarged it. He also took from the conceptions given in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani, Brhad-bhagavatamrta, and the other books composed by Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, and composed the first sandarbha.

The word sandarbha means ‘a chest of valuable jewels.’ Of the Six Sandarbhas, the first four – Tattva-sandarbha, Bhagavat-sandarbha, Paramatma-sandarbha, and Krsna-sandarbha – all expound sambandha-jnana. They include knowledge of the jiva, the illusory energy, and the objective of the jiva; all of this was explained in the first four sandarbhas.

In the Tattva-sandarbha, the conception of pramana (the body of evidence) and prameya (evidence) is given. What is the meaning of pramana? In any issue, whose words will we accept as authoritative? Suppose a young boy reports that a large fire has ravaged a holy place and everything has been burned. An elderly gentleman, however, reports that a small fire started in a tea shop there, but was easily contained. From these conflicting stories, whose words will we accept as authoritative? Certainly, the man’s words are more authoritative because he is older and more mature than the boy.

This conception of pramana relates to many things. Different people may assert their beliefs that this world is real, their status as human beings or brahmanas is real, or that they are masters of their property. All this false identification and proprietorship causes so much fighting and quarreling. Another man will say, “These things are all temporary, so do not bother fighting over them. Instead, do something for your soul and for the Supreme Personality of Godhead; they are permanent.” Which of these two opinions will we accept? Analyzing the relationships between the Supreme Lord, the jiva, and material existence, Srila Jiva Gosvami explained where we should place our faith. He wrote that the Vedas are the sole authority, and that any other, so-called authority lacks credibility. That which we perceive with our limited senses and mind may be defective, but the words of the Vedas cannot be so.

In his Bhagavat-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Gosvami writes that everything we see has the same source. The Absolute Truth is one, and He is naturally endowed with inconceivable potency. By the power of this potency, He exists within four forms: svarupa (His original form), tad-rupa-vaibhava (all incarnations, beginning with Baladeva Prabhu), jiva (the living entity), and pradhana (the illusory energy). He is like the sun which also exists in four forms: its original form, the sun disc, its rays, and its reflected light which is compared to maya.

Jiva Gosvami took parts from Brahma-sandarbha and wrote his own Bhagavat-sandarbha, in which he analyzes brahma-tattva (the established truth about the Supreme Spirit Whole) and refutes the opinions of Sankaracarya. The jiva is not brahma (an impersonal God). If brahma is the Absolute Truth, which is full in knowledge as some say, then how did it separate into billions of living entities and become bound within material existence? Sankaracarya states that it was covered over by maya, but then where did this separate entity he calls maya come from? If there is no separate entity known as maya and all is the one brahma, where could this other object known as ignorance have come from? Refuting all of Sankaracarya’s concepts, Srila Jiva Gosvami proved that Krsna is Parabrahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of brahma.

He also analyzed paramatma-tattva, and in the Krsna-sandarbha he explained how Krsna alone is the original Personality of Godhead. He explained how Krsna is all-powerful (sarva-saktiman), how He is an ocean of rasa, how from Him the jivas and all else emerge, and how the jivas can achieve His eternal association. He refuted the concept that Krsna is an incarnation of Narayana. Using evidence from the Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas, he established that Krsna is the original Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that all other incarnations are His plenary or partial expansions. On the basis of scriptural evidence, he reinforced Mahaprabhu’s conception, which had been established in the literatures of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. In doing so, he established our sampradaya upon a firm philosophical foundation. He protected the flowing river of rasa by placing large rocks of siddhanta on both its banks; in that way no contaminated water of misconceptions could ever enter it.

In his Bhakti-sandarbha, he explained many subtle aspects of bhakti. He delineated the sixty-four types of bhakti, and he expertly explained guru-tattva. He also described guru-padasraya, the process of taking exclusive shelter of the guru, how it should be done, what are its rules and regulations, and so on. If the guru carefully evaluates the prospective disciple and the disciple carefully considers the guru, then a circumstance will never arise where the disciple will have to abandon his guru. He taught that one should not accept a guru whimsically; one should accept a guru in whom he will never lose faith, otherwise there will be a problem. One should make sure that he only accepts a sad-guru, who is detached from sense enjoyment, who is conversant with all tattva and siddhanta, who is rasika, who is spiritually realized, and who is affectionate towards him. One should examine the guru carefully, even if this process takes as long as a year,

Srila Jiva Gosvami also explained that all bhakti is not the same, just as all varieties of water are not one and the same – there is clean water, purified water, contaminated water, sewage water, and so forth. Jiva Gosvami examined all these issues in depth in his sandarbhas, which one must read in order to understand the true nature of bhakti. Thus, by regularly hearing the knowledge delineated in these books and by associating with advanced Vaisnavas, one’s bhakti will gradually become uttama-bhakti. Srila Jiva Gosvami described at length the five types of prema (santa (neutrality), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental love), and madhurya (amorous love), especially emphasizing gopi-prema and explaining the sadhana for achieving it.

Much of this came in his Gopala-campu, which is a very philosophical book. Srila Jiva Gosvami wrote that book in Goloka Vrndavana and then gave it to this world. He composed so many literatures that we could spend this entire birth immersed in reading them. Moreover, in practicing the sadhana prescribed by them, who knows how many lives we could spend?

If we endeavor to enter into these books, and if we examine both the personal conduct and conceptions of Jiva Gosvami and try to personally follow them, our spiritual lives will certainly be successful. May Srila Jiva Gosvami be merciful upon us so we can learn all the instructions he gave, in order to perform bhajana purely.

The Appearance day festival of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

06 January 1994

The Appearance day festival of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

[The following transcription is a translation of Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Srila Gurudeva’s hari-katha in Hindi.]

Srila Gurudeva: First of all, I offer my prostrated obeisance to my spiritual master, Paramaradhya Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I also offer my prostrated obeisance at the lotus feet of Guru-presta, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, whose appearance day we are honoring today. I also offer my obeisance to all the assembled Sannyasis, Vaisnavas, and Vaisnavis. I offer my obeisance to everyone. Today, we are celebrating the Vyasa-puja Mahotsava. What is a mahotsava? A mahotsava is a festival where everyone is so blissful. An ordinary person feels happy by eating and drinking. But, the Gaudiya Vaisnavas celebrate the festival of hari-katha. Now it has become late. All of you have been listening to hari-katha from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon.

Today, I feel very fortunate to have heard many wonderful explanations on Guru-tattva. I also heard many instructions and pastimes of Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. All of us took part in listening to the glories of Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. I am also very happy to see that all the Vaisnavas of the line of Srila Prabhupada i.e. the Saraswat Gaudiya Vaisnavas have assembled here and are taking part in this festival. After Prabhupada, many scholarly, most powerful disciples like Pujyapada Nemi Maharaja, Pujyapada Bon Maharaja, Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaja, our Gurudeva—Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara Sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja, Pujyapada Yayavara Maharaja, Pujyapada Shrauti Maharaja, and Pujyapada Gosvami Maharaja, would assemble at hari-katha festivals. When they would assemble, we would sit in the corner of the assembly. Today, we consider ourselves very senior Vaisnavas. But if we look at these disciples of Srila Prabhupada, we will see how their transcendental qualities, Guru-nista, and divine preaching all over the world has made such a powerful impact on this world. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was also one such disciple. Just see the number of places he has preached in! He has preached all over the world. When I look at myself after seeing the disciples of Srila Prabhupada, I feel very sad.

pracenanaa bhajanamatulaa dunkaraacaevato me
nairyacyena jvalatihadayaa bhakti-lecalasasya
vinvadrecem agha-haratavakareyakarueya-vecem
aca-binduknitamidamupaityantare hanta caityam

[“I am too weak and too lazy to do even the smallest devotional service, so when I hear of the peerless and difficult-to-perform services performed by great devotees in ancient times, my heart burns with despair. O Lord! O killer of Aghäsura! When I hear that the waves of Your mercy splash everyone from the demigod Brahmä down to the most insignificant creature, my heart is sprinkled with a cooling drop of hope.”]

They were so qualified and where are we? But we are hopeful. All of you just heard Pujyapada Bhakti Prasad Puri Maharaja and others speak. We are hopeful that:

brahmanda tarite sakti dhare jane jane

[“Each and every one of the devotees of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu can deliver the entire universe.”]

I also wanted to offer my puspanjali at the lotus feet of Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. But my flowers are not worthy of being called as a puspanjali. Yet, I want to speak some words. In the evening, there will be another assembly. I especially want to speak on the character and Guru-nista of Pujyapada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja. I will try to state some glories of Vamana Maharaja’s qualities because I have been under the shelter of the lotus feet of these personalities for more than fifty five years. When I came to the Matha, Vamana Maharaja was the first person to receive me. He saw me at the station and said, “Are you Tiwariji?” Finding me at the station, he brought me to the asrama. He would give me everything I needed. Except for Guru Maharaja, Vamana Maharaja, and Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, there was no one else in the Matha. Vamana Maharaja joined the Matha when he was only eight years old. His mother was a disciple of Srila Prabhupada. She offered him at the lotus feet of her Gurudeva. Since then, he has been residing in the Matha. Guru Maharaja admitted Vamana Maharaja in the Thakura Bhaktivinoda institute. If Vamana Maharaja would remember one sloka, Guru Maharaja would give him a glass of lemon juice. Vamana Maharaja would remember more than ten slokas every day. He is a great Srutidhara. He would remember a sloka just by listening to it once. We try so hard to learn one sloka. Vamana Maharaja is the sabdha-kosa (an encyclopedia) of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. He knows and remembers so much! I think no one knows as much as him because I have not met with other Vaisnavas. But, I have the association of Vamana Maharaja. He remembers everything. He will recite all the slokas from the beginning to the end of Bhagavad Gita. He will not even stop for a moment. He knows all the slokas of the Srimad Bhagavatam as well. The sutras of the Vedanta Sutra correspond to the slokas of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

The sutra, “Athato brahma jijnasa,” corresponds to the sloka, “Janmadyasyayato ‘nvayaditaratas ca.” I have marked one very special quality of Srila Vamana Maharaja. If we do something even a little, then we will be quick to praise ourselves in one way or another. But, up until this day, I have never seen Vamana Maharaja praise himself in a direct or in an indirect manner. This is a very special quality. We praise ourselves in one form or another. But this quality is not found in Vamana Maharaja. His Guru-nista is of this caliber. When some problems came in the Gaudiya Matha, the Matha residents started returning to their homes. Court cases were filed in the Gaudiya Matha. At that time, Vamana Maharaja would cook while chanting harinama and he would take the Prasad to Guru Maharaja and all the devotees. He would also meet the lawyer at the same time. He did not have a minute to spare. If we were there during that time, then we would have returned to our homes. When Vamana Maharaja was studying at school, his name was Santosh. When he joined the Matha, Guru Maharaja named him as, “Sajjana-sevaka.”Sajjana-Sevaka would collect banana leaves and serve prasadam to all the Vaisnavas before going to school. He would arrange asans for all the Vaisnavas. He would serve banana leaves, salt, pieces of lemon, and water to all the Vaisnavas. After the Vaisnavas had finished honoring prasada, he would sweep and clean the floor. This was his service. He would do all the services. An express train doesn’t stop at any place; similarly, Vamana Maharaja would speak hari-katha from four in the afternoon to eleven in the night. We cannot speak for more than an hour. But, Vamana Maharaja explains one tattva after another in very simple language. His command of the Bengali language is brilliant. He explains many philosophical principles in a simple manner.

Vamana Maharaja defeats the false conceptions of others in a very unique manner. He doesn’t defeat a person’s arguments in a way that is apparent. We cannot understand how he does this. He corrects a person in a very polite, humble manner. He will completely break the person’s arguments; but the person will not realize that he has been soundly corrected. He does this in a very simple and perfect way. He is a very simple and tolerant person. He embodies all the qualities of a Vaisnava. Vamana Maharaja has four brothers. Druva was the eldest son after Vamana Maharaja. Nimai Pandit was the next brother. He used to work in a bank in Delhi. Subala and Nitai were the other brothers. All of them used to come and visit Vamana Maharaja. When Vamana Maharaja left home, they faced some problems. But, Vamana Maharaja did not have any mamata towards them. He treated them like ordinary people. Many devotees become subservient to their relatives. But Vamana Maharaja was not like this.

purvaitihasa, bhulinusakala, seva-sukhape’ye mane
ami to’ tomara, tumi to’ amara, kikajaaparadhane

–Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Atma Nivedana

[Since I have become absorbed in happily serving You, I have completely forgotten all my past history. All I know is that I am Yours, and You are mine. What else is of any value?]

He is always engaged in the service of Guru Maharaja. What is Guru-tattva? I remember so much about this topic. Tomorrow, I will speak on this subject during the morning. I wish to speak on Guru-tattva. What is Vyasa-puja? The day of the full moon during the month of Asada (June-July) is called Guru Purnima. This is the appearance day of Vyasadeva where everyone offers their puspanjali at his lotus feet. This is the general observance of this day. But a devotee who is the representative of Vyasa and who preaches Krsna’s glories everywhere is called an Acarya. When an Acarya worships his Gurudeva and the Guru Parampara on the day of his appearance, then that day is called Vyasa-puja. The Guru doesn’t accept the worship of his disciples. On his appearance day, a Guru or an Acarya worships his Gurudeva, Guru-parampara, Vaisnavas, Sri Radha-Krsna, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is called Vyasa-puja. You can see this in the Vyasa-puja of Nityananda Prabhu. We can also see this in the life of Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja. Not many years have passed since his disappearance. On his appearance day, Maharaja would honor all the Vaisnavas and Vrajavasis who came. He would apply tilak and garland them. He would give them clothes and worship them in all ways. He would also honor the disciples of his Godbrothers who were like his own disciples. He would garland us and honor us so much. He would worship the Guru-parampara. He would worship Radha-Krsna. If the Acaryas don’t show by their own example, then many people will think that Guru-puja means the day when the Guru is opulently worshiped by his disciples. This worship is not bona fide. Yes, the disciples should learn to worship their Gurudeva; this is imperative or else everything will be spoiled. The disciples should worship their Gurudeva. But if the Guru doesn’t worship his Gurudeva or the Guru-parampara, then how will the disciples ever learn to worship him?

Krsna has said in the Srimad Bhagavatham that “You must consider your Gurudeva to be My svarupa.”

acaryah mamvijaniyan
navamanyetakarhicit
namartya-buddhyasuyeta
sarva-deva-mayo guru

–SrimadBhagavatham 11.17.27

[One should know the acarya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.]

Krsna is Himself saying this. In his commentary to this verse, Srila Jiva Gosvami has said that if this verse implies to a spiritual master of the karmis, who consider him to be Bhagavat-svarupa; then what to speak of the Suddha-Vaisnavas?

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

–Sri Gurvastakam 7

[All the scriptures proclaim Sri Gurudeva is saksathari, the direct potency of Sri Hari, and is thus considered by saintly authorities to be His non-different representative. Because Sri Gurudeva is so dear to the Lord, being His confidential servitor (acintya-bhedabheda-prakasa-vigraha, the inconceivable different and non-different worshipable manifestation of the Lord), I offer prayers unto his lotus feet.]

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasya prasadan na gatih kuto’pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyah
vande guroh sri caranaravindam

–Sri Gurvastakam 8

[Only by the mercy of Sri Gurudeva can one receive the mercy of Krsna; without his grace the living entities cannot make any advancement nor be delivered. Meditating three times a day on the glories of Sri Gurudeva and reciting stava-stuti, I offer prayers unto his lotus feet.]

Gurudeva is asraya-vigraha. He is the servitor Personality of Godhead. The root of asraya-vigrahas are two-Baladeva Prabhu and Srimati Radhika. Both of them have expanded from Krsna. Srimati Radhika is Krsna’s hladini-sakti and Baladeva Prabhu is Krsna’s sandhini-sakti. Krsna is the predominating deity of cit-sakti. One line of devotion flows from Baladeva Prabhu and another line of devotion flows from Srimati Radhika. One who is under the guidance of Baladeva Prabhu and Srimati Radhika and who teaches other Their service is called an Acarya. Our brahmacari spoke very beautifully on this. A Guru who doesn’t teach his disciples on proper devotion is not a bona fide Guru. Our Brahma-Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya has a specialty.

nikunja-yunorati-keli-siddhyai
yayalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tatrati-daksyadati-vallabhasya
vande guroh sri caranaravindam

–Sri Gurvastakam 6

[Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kisora’s amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Sri Radha and Krsna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva.]

In the other sampradayas, these pastimes of Sri Radha-Krsna are not served as much. The qualification of being a Guru largely rests on this quality.

mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita-
vaditra-madyan-manasorasena
romanca-kampasru-taranga-bhajo
vande guroh sri caranaravindam

–Sri Gurvastakam 7

[Sri Gurudeva is inspired by Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana and is always dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments. Because he is tasting Mahaprabhu’s prema-rasa in his heart, like a madman he sometimes exhibits ecstatic symptoms—his hairs stand on end, he shivers, and waves of tears flow from his eyes. I offer prayers unto Sri Gurudeva’s lotus feet.]

All these slokas tell us the qualities of a bona fide Guru. A Guru worships Thakuraji by himself. He does the arcana-pujana. And, he is also making arrangements for:

nikunja-yunorati-keli-siddhyai

[Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kisora’s amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana.]

This is the quality of a Guru; this is his Gurutva. If a guru cannot give this siksa, then he cannot be called a Rupanuga Acarya. Who is a Rupanuga? We call our Guru-varga, “Rupanuga.” What is the meaning of Rupanuga? By the inspiration and mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Gosvami wrote Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-Nilamani, Lalita Madhava, Vidagdha Madhava, and many other books. One doesn’t become a Rupanuga by following Vraja-bhakti because he maybe a Raganuga as well. A devotee is following a Ragatmika associate of Krsna but this Ragatmika associate may belong to either dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, or madhurya-rasa. But what is the specialty of being a Rupanuga? What was Rupa Gosvami’s identity in Krsna-lila? As an associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he is Rupa Gosvami. As the associate of Sri Radha-Krsna, he is Srimati Rupa Manjari. What is Rupa Manjari’s seva? She is a prana-sakhi of Srimati Radhika; she is Her manjari. She serves the Divine Couple while being Radha-paksiya (having a strong inclination towards the service of SrimatiRadhika). She serves the Divine Couple, but where does Rupa Manjari’s tendency to serve lie in? She is always absorbed in the service of Srimati Radhika.

Krsna will call her or Srimati Radhika may also call her at the same time. But where will Rupa Manjari go? She will reject Krsna’s advances and go straight to Srimati Radhika. This is Rupa Manjari. If Krsna loses to Srimati Radhika, then the first sakhi who will clap her hands will be Rupa Manjari. And she also teases Krsna while engaging in the service of the Divine Couple. Therefore, Raghunatha das Gosvami has glorified Rupa Manjari by speaking this sloka:

tvam rupa-manjari sakhi prathita pure’smin
pumsah parasya vadanam na hi pasyasiti
bimbadhare ksatam anagata-bhartrkaya
yat te vayadhayi kim u tac chuka-pungavena

–Sri Vilapa Kusumanjali 1

[O dear friend Rupa Manjari, you are famous in Vraja as a very chaste girl. You never so much as look at the face of any other man. Your husband has been away at another village for the past few days, and yet your lips are freshly cut. Can it be that some excellent parrot has bitten them, having mistaken them for a bimba fruit?]

Who is a Rupanuga? A devotee who only follows the acara-vicara of Rupa Gosvami and who following his svarupagat-seva (the inherent service), gives this seed of the desire to serve in the hearts of his disciples, is a Rupanuga Vaisnava. Our sampradaya is the Rupanuga sampradaya. Narada Gosvami came and preached dasya-rasa in this world. Later, many Acaryas and the expansions of Krsna came as well. Yet, they could not give what Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave. What they gave is not even close to what Mahaprabhu gave. And, Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspired everything in the heart of Rupa Gosvami. Where did He do this? In Prayaga and Jagannatha Puri. Mahaprabhu inspired everything within Rupa Gosvami’s heart. A Guru who has these moods and who can give them to his disciple as well is a Rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnava Acarya. Mahaprabhu is “Namomaha-vadanyaya,” but Srila Prabhupada said that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is also Namomaha-vadanyaya. Why? Bhaktivinoda Thakura distributed what Mahaprabhu came to give on a golden plate in a new manner. Therefore, Bhaktivinoda Thakura is maha-maha-vadanyaya. And what Srila Prabhupada do? He manifested the glories of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Also, he manifested the Guru-parampara that stems from Radha-Krsna and Mahaprabhu. Those, who manifested Srila Prabhupada to this world are very auspicious personalities. We are so inconceivably fortunate because we came near such associates of Srila Prabhupada. We are not far away from them. But, I am unfortunate to not have obtained their moods. But these Mahapurusas have these moods.

Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja is one such eternal associate of Srila Prabhupada. We are very fortunate to have the association of such Mahapurusas. If we can accept their teachings and gain entrance into the realm of devotion, then we will have realized our inconceivably great fortune. Today, I will stop here because time is over now. Offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas should not be committed. All of you should be merciful to me.

Devotees: Haribol!

Srila Gurudeva: Now arati should be done.

[End of Part 1. To be continued in Part 2]

[Break of audio]

[The transcription of Part 2]

Srila Gurudeva: What is Vyasa-puja? A person who is the representative of Vyasadeva i.e. who follows the instructions of Bhagavat-katha, is an Acarya or a Guru. You must understand him to be Bhagavan’s svarupa. It is said:

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri caranaravindam

–Sri Gurvastakam 7

[All the scriptures proclaim Sri Gurudeva is saksathari, the direct potency of Sri Hari, and is thus considered by saintly authorities to be His non-different representative. Because Sri Gurudeva is so dear to the Lord, being His confidential servitor (acintya-bhedabheda-prakasa-vigraha, the inconceivable different and non-different worshipable manifestation of the Lord), I offer prayers unto his lotus feet.]

The sastras state that a bona fide Guru should be seen as non-different from Krsna. Guru is very dear to Krsna. Hence, he is regarded as non-different from Krsna. Sankaraji is also considered non-different from Bhagavan because of this reason i.e. he is very dear to Bhagavan. In the tattva-sandharba and the bhakti-sandharba, Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained Guru-tattva. Firstly, he has described the characteristics of a bona fide Guru. Karmis, jnanis, yogis, and tapasvis have gurus. But, what are the qualities of a Guru? I had spoken something about this during the morning class.

Rupanugatva is Gurutva (the quality of being a guru is parallel to being a follower of Rupa Gosvami). If a madhyama-adhikari gives siksa and is a simple, non-duplicitous Vaisnava, then he is a guru. Even if he doesn’t have a clear understanding of the sastras there is no harm. He need only possess bhakti towards Bhagavan. A person maybe conversant with all the sastras; yet, if he doesn’t have realization of Krsna, then he is not a guru. A guru must have realization of Krsna. How can a person who doesn’t have Radha-Krsna in his heart, give Them to the hearts of his disciples? Therefore, the most prominent quality of a guru is that he has realization of Bhagavan. The knowledge of the sastras is a secondary quality. Many people have an inclination towards collecting knowledge of the scriptures. They don’t pay attention to realizing Krsna in their hearts. Therefore, the guru and the disciple don’t benefit themselves. Hence, the realization of Krsna is the most prominent quality of a guru. The specialty of our sampradaya is that a Guru is fully conversant with the teachings of Rupa Gosvami. Thus, being fully realized, such a Guru belongs to our sampradaya. A conditioned soul has lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride, and envy in his heart. Yet, the conditioned soul has not committed any dhama-aparadha or seva-aparadha. To dispel these anarthas, a special potency is needed. To accumulate this potency is very difficult.

In the Gita, it is said:

kama esa krodha esa
rajo-guna-samudbhavah
mahasano maha-papma
viddhy enam iha vairinam

–Bhagavad Gita 3.37

[This desire to enjoy sense objects, which indeed transforms into wrath, is born of passion. It is all-devouring and extremely formidable. Know it to be the primary enemy of the jivas in this world.]

Lust and anger destroy a person. You must rid yourself of these anarthas. But how can you rid yourself of anger? Firstly, the mind focuses itself on sense objects. Then the conditioned soul develops desires for sense-gratification. If the conditioned soul is unable to enjoy the sense objects, then the unfulfilled desires make way for anger. When there is anger, the conditioned soul’s intelligence becomes bewildered. The conditioned soul thinks, “What should I do? What should I not do?” Thus, the conditioned soul’s intelligence is destroyed. Therefore, you should not have any desires in the first place. So how can you not have any material desires? Why will you not have any material desires? The mind is meant to have material desires. Therefore, it is very difficult to rid yourself of these material desires. Hence, lust, anger, greed, and the other anarthas don’t leave the conditioned soul. How can they go away? Don’t let your mind wander towards any material desires. Therefore, it is forbidden to even look at sense objects. But this is also impossible. This is a very difficult solution; yet, it doesn’t guarantee freedom from these anarthas.

But, by serving one bona fide guru, all the aparadhas and anarthas like lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness, and envy will be dispelled. This will be achieved by serving one Guru. Thus, the Guru must be of this caliber.

guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete koriya aikya,
ara na koriho mane asa

–Sri Guru-carana-padma 2

[Embrace within your heart the words emanating from Sri Gurudeva’s lotus mouth, desiring nothing else.]

What is the meaning of aikya? There are two meanings. You must consider the words and instructions of your Gurudeva to be everything. You must follow his every word. The other meaning is that you must reconcile the words of Sastra, Vaisnava, and Guru. Srila Narottama das Thakura has also said:

sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, hrdaye kariya aikya
satata bhasiba prema-majhe

–Sri Prema-bhakti-candrika by Srila Narottama das Thakura

[Making the words of the saints, the scriptures, and çré guru one with my heart, I will float forever in divine love.]

Therefore, you must reconcile their words. You will have to consider the words of Sastras, Vaisnavas, and Guru to be one. If there is any difference between their words, then you must consider the two sources that correspond to each other. And then, you must deeply consider. If Sastras, Vaisnavas, and Guru have the same understanding, then it is all right. There is no room for doubt then. But if the words of Sastras and Guru are different, then there is something wrong. It may be that the words have a specific meaning. There is difficulty in understanding. For instance, the assertions of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada may be different. The conclusion of Bhaktivinoda Thakura is always right. Then does that mean that the words of Srila Prabhupada are wrong? Never. He is also an eternal associate of Sri Radha-Krsna. Therefore, what he says is always in the line of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. But we may be unable to reconcile. Srila Prabhupada is the Guru of the entire world. He is steeped in the conclusions of the purports of the sastras; he is a realized soul. Whatever he says is entirely correct. Therefore, in the light of his explanation of the sastras and of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s conclusions, although there may be some apparent difference—still whatever he says is correct.

krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
nindadi-sunya-hrdam-ipsita-sanga-labdhya

–Nectar of Instruction 5

[One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that Pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others.]

In his purport to this verse, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has stated that even if a person has chanted the holy name just once; yet, you must offer your obeisance to him. If he is initiated, you must offer your obeisance by your body and mind. And if a devotee is chanting the holy name continuously and never criticizes anyone, and is absorbed in serving the eight fold pastimes of Sri Radha-Krsna, then you should be ready to give your life to him and considering him to be your dear most friend of the heart, you must serve him. The sloka is one, but Srila Prabhupada gave a slightly different explanation.

He said, “If a person chants the pure holy name even once, then you must offer your obeisance to such an exalted personality by your body and mind.”

When these statements of our Acaryas were being considered, some devotees said, “What Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said is correct.”

And our Gurudeva said, “Who taught us who Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is? Did you know who Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is by yourself? Srila Prabhupada told us who he is. He is also Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s direct disciple. He has propagated his conceptions everywhere. Whatever he has heard, he has heard from him. So, he is only speaking what Bhaktivinoda Thakura has spoken. Therefore, what he has said is correct also.”

In the end, everyone agreed to what our Gurudeva said. Therefore, apparent differences must be careful deliberated on. So, Guru’s seva must be done with intimacy, visrambha guru-seva. To render intimate service, we must also ascend to that same stage where Gurudeva is. To worship Bhagavan, you must become like Him. Therefore, to render service to Guru, you must properly understand Guru’s conceptions. You must understand his desires. Just as you should not worship demigods independently; similarly, you cannot render service to Guru without understanding his conceptions. If you render intimate service to Guru, then he will be pleased and you will cross over this material existence. In the morning, some devotees spoke on how some wish to cross over this material existence to attain liberation, Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, or something else. Some do sadhana-bhajana for the anugatya, the guidance of Krsna’s friends like Subala or Sridhama. Some do sadhana-bhajana for the anugatya, the guidance of Krsna’s parents i.e. Nanda-Yasoda. Some also do sadhana-bhajana for the guidance of the sakhis. And what does our Guruvarga say?

They do sadhana-bhajana for the attainment of the service of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s foot dust. There is no higher attainment than this. What did Srila Prabhupada write?

adadanas trnam dantair idam yace punah punah
srimad rupa-padambhoja-dhulh syam janma-janmani

–Taking grass between my teeth, I pray repeatedly that I may become a speck of dust at Sri Rupa Goswami’s lotus feet, birth after birth. (Raghunath Das Goswami, Muktacarita.)

To aspire for the service of Sri Radha-Krsna is the highest and most beautiful desire of every soul. It is not possible for a higher desire than this to exist. When Srila Prabhupada came in this Guru-parampara, many of his eternal associates also came with him. In a very short time, they preached Mahaprabhu’s mission all over the world. Among them, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja is his foremost disciple. This is his identity. Many people are identified according to the families they belong to; they are also identified when their parents are identified.

Srila Vamana Maharaja’s mother was the disciple of Srila Prabhupada. His mother’s name was Bhagavati Devi. Has anyone seen her?

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: I did.

Srila Gurudeva: Where did you see her?

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: At Guru Maharaja’s math in Navadvipa.

Srila Gurudeva: So, Bhagavati Devi was Srila Prabhupada’s disciple. And who was Srila Vamana Maharaja’s father?

Devotees: Satish Candra.

Srila Gurudeva: He was a disciple of our Guru Maharaja. Except for Vamana Maharaja’s mother, all his family members were the disciples of our Guru Maharajaji. His mother was one of the first disciples of Srila Prabhupada. She offered Vamana Maharaja to our Guru Maharaja’s lotus feet when Vamana Maharaja was still a little boy. Guru Maharaja was a fatherly figure to Maharaja and looked after him in every way. And who cared like a mother?

Devotees: Narahari Prabhu.

Srila Gurudeva: He was the mother of the Gaudiya Math. He would even clean everyone’s stool. During the night arati, he would gather all the children. There was no electricity then. If he saw some children sleeping then he would gently awaken them and bring them to arati. He would teach them, feed them, and care for them in all ways. There were many devotees then. These children loved him because he loved them more than any of their family members or friends did. Hence, a Guru must be loving and affectionate like Narahari Prabhu. Then he can attract everyone to him.

So, Vamana Maharaja’s childhood name was Santosh. This was his identity then. But what is our real, topmost identity? Our identity is that we belong to one of Jagat-Guru Srila Prabhupada’s foremost disciples—Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. This is our identity in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. But another identity remains. This is our gross identity. If Guru Maharaja gives us our internal identity, then we will know our eternal identity. According to worldly vision, Vamana Maharaja belonged to one village of Bengal. But since his childhood, he has remained in the Gaudiya Math. Guru Maharaja admitted Vamana Maharaja in the Thakura Bhaktivinoda Institute. Staying in the asrama, he would study there. He had many classmates. But none of them..

[Break of audio]

Vamana Maharaja was a vidya-anuragi. He was a great vidya-anuragi. I related his glories in regard to his seva. He would distribute leaf-plates, salt, and water to everyone. He would then clean the place. This was his first service. In the Vaisnava Mathas, cutting vegetables is a very prominent service. He would cut vegetables and cook very swiftly. None could be compared to him. He would look another way and cut vegetables; such was his expertise. He would cut vegetables in one size. None would be big or small. While serving Guru Maharaja, he got a fever of 104 degrees. During that time many Vaisnavas from the other Mathas came to the Matha. And there was no one else left to cook other than Vamana Maharaja.

At that time, Guru Maharaja told Vamana Maharaja, “Are you sleeping? Do you have fever? Arise immediately and cook for everyone.”

Vamana Maharaja immediately got up and started to cook for everyone despite having a fever of 104 degrees. He did all the services. Guru Maharaja told him, “Now that you have performed all the services, you should go back to sleep.” Can anyone do like him? Can anyone cook and do all services while having a fever of 104 degrees? You cannot do or think about anything when you are sick. He did seva like this. When there was a flood in Mayapura…I heard this from Vamana Maharaja. We used to stay together during Guruji’s manifest presence. We used to also preach together. Even if no one would go along with Guru Maharaja, Vamana Maharaja and me would go along with him. Another person would also accompany us. Along with our Guru Maharaja, the three of us would go to Medinipura, 24 parganas, and to many other places. So, we had the opportunity to know many things.

Once, a flood came to Mayapura. He was swept away by the flood. Some villagers are expert boatmen; so was Vamana Maharaja. When he started to row a boat, a swift current came and carried Vamana Maharaja along. Now, Vamana Maharaja was in a dangerous position. Meanwhile, he found a tree. He caught hold of the tree and tied the boat to it. But, he saw a hissing snake above. He had no other place left to go. He took shelter of the tree while being surrounded by water from all four sides. And if the snake fell from top, then it would only make the situation worse.

Vamana Maharaja told me, “Chanting Bhagavan’s names, I caught hold of the tree for the entire night. After some time, people understood my position and rescued me.”

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: He was alone?

Srila Gurudeva: He was alone. He found shelter on some branches of the tree. He stood on one leg. Even when I came, I would stand on one leg and travel for many miles on the Calcutta carrier. There was nothing else then. We did not know what a thick dhoti was in the Matha back then. We were so renounced. Today’s devotees cannot even imagine how renounced we were. We were doing big, big jobs but after coming in the Matha, we practiced renunciation. Day and night, we were engaged in many services. Vamana Maharaja didn’t have a moment to spare. All the Matha’s responsibilities are on him. He would look after the Matha especially when Guru Maharaja would go preaching.

Later, he became the in charge of the press in Chuncura. The monthly journal, Gaudiya Patrika started sometime after I joined the Matha. Nrsingha Maharaja was the uncle of Vamana Maharaja; he was his father’s elder brother. He was a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and he took sannyasa from Sridhara Maharaja. He never left our Gurudeva. Although Narottama Prabhu and all the others left our Gurudeva, Nrsingha Maharaja said, “If I will stay then I will stay with the lion. I will not stay with goats.”

When the Bhaktivinoda Institute opened, Guru Maharaja made some changes. He told us, “In other schools, Sunday is a holiday. But I said, ‘In our school Sunday will not be a holiday. The day of Ekadasi will be a holiday.’ So, the government opposed this. They said, ‘Sunday will remain as a holiday.’ But I was determined. This is the parampara of our Sanatana-Bharatvarsa i.e. the culture of India. Hence, is this the culture of India or the foreigners? Rather than having a holiday on Sunday, we will have a holiday on Thursday, the day of Brhaspati or on Ekadasi.”

Guru Maharaja wanted the students to be first in all subject matters. In other places, the subject of dharma is optional. No one cares for dharma in these places. Guru Maharaja said, “This will be the rule in our school. If one fails in dharma then even though he has passed in all the other subjects, he will be considered a failure.” And Guru Maharaja implemented this. In the end, the Muslims and other persons wrote to the government saying, “Our son has passed in all the subjects but he has failed in the subject of dharma. So he is considered a failure.” So, this case went to the High court. But in the end, our Guru Maharaja won the case. In this way, Guru Maharaja had special conceptions. Therefore, whoever studied in the Thakura Bhaktivinoda Institute became great devotees. Although many became householders; still, they were followers of dharma.

As I mentioned earlier, Vamana Maharaja came to the Matha at a very young age. He came during the time of Srila Prabhupada. He even came before Sridhara Maharaja. Sridhara Maharaja joined the Matha in 1930. Vamana Maharaja joined earlier. And I came in 1946. So there is a difference of more than sixteen years. Vamana Maharaja came sixteen years earlier than me. And, he has been serving Guru Maharaja since. He has been listening to him since 1930. Therefore, many great devotees came after him. He took harinama from Srila Prabhupada. When there was some dissension, he had to leave the Matha. When he was told to take harinama again, he did not. Guru Maharaja then gave him initiation. After taking sannyasa, Guru Maharaja established the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in Kolkata and has always kept him close. He then gave Maharaja initiation and sannyasa as well. In 1952, the sannyasa ceremony of Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja, Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, and mine took place. The three of us took sannyasa at the same time. Before taking sannyasa the three of us told Guru Maharaja, “We are not qualified for taking sannyasa. We will not take sannyasa.” Trivikrama Maharaja was the eldest of us. Trivikrama Maharaja was more than thirty five years old and Vamana Maharaja was thirty three years old. And I was a couple of years younger than Vamana Maharaja.

When Trivikrama Maharaja was asked, he said, “Guru Maharaja I will not take sannyasa.”

“Why?”

“Srila Prabhupada was such a renowned and learned scholar. So are Nemi Maharaja, Shrauti Maharaja, and you. All these personalities are so exalted. They are most worshipable to me. So, I will not take sannyasa.”

When Vamana Maharaja was asked, he replied, “Then I will also not take sannyasa.”

When Guru Maharaja asked me, I also said, “I will not take sannyasa.”

All three of us refused to take sannyasa. Then Nrsingha Maharaja asked me, “You will not take sannyasa?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I am not qualified.”

“Who will judge your qualification? Your Gurudeva or your own self? Are you taking sannyasa for your own self or for the service of Gurudeva? Do you want to act according to the wishes of your Gurudeva or according to the wishes of your own self? Then why didn’t you remain at home?” asked Nrsingha Maharaja. He was a great logician.

His words entered my mind and I said, “All right. I will take sannyasa no matter what will happen. If Gurudeva wants to give me sannyasa, then I accept. If he wants to give me red cloth, I accept. I will do whatever Gurudeva tells me to do. I will not act according to my desires.”

When Vamana Maharaja and Trivikrama Maharaja were asked again, they refused again. Then Guru Maharaja told them, “All right. Gaura-Narayana will take sannyasa alone. No one else will take sannyasa.”

When all the preparations for the ceremony were made, Vamana Maharaja and Trivikrama Maharaja said, “Gaura-Narayana is taking sannyasa according to the desire of Gurudeva. He is acting completely according to the desires of Gurudeva without judging about one’s qualification. So, we will also take sannyasa.”

Hence, they also agreed. In this way, the three of us were the first sannyasa disciples of Guru Maharaja as well. Really, I see that the two were qualified for taking sannyasa. Nowadays, I see that the qualification for taking sannyasa has been lowered. Those, who don’t have any knowledge of the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy, and who don’t know the purports of the Srimad Bhagavatham, are taking sannyasa. But, how qualified were Vamana Maharaja and Trivikrama Maharaja. The only qualification one should have while taking sannyasa is, “I only want to serve my Guru Maharaja.” This is the only qualification needed. Vamana Maharaja served Guru Maharaja since the beginning of his life, and his service is most inspiring. Guru Maharaja would give the dictation for the Gaudiya Patrika and for his books just once and Vamana Maharaja would do everything. He would single handedly look after the Gaudiya Patrika. Guru Maharaja would dictate an essay and Vamana Maharaja would compile all the references. At that time, there were no cassette recorders. But, Vamana Maharaja would listen to every word and compile the essay of Guru Maharaja.

Vamana Maharaja was a very shy personality. He was of “Kanya-rashi.” He was very shy. He will not speak to anyone. Some people say, “Vamana Maharaja doesn’t speak to guests.” But this is not true; people don’t understand. He is of a very shy nature. He speaks only a few words. But he does speak and preach. Earlier, he would give hari-katha. I saw this during my own time.

Guru Maharaja would say, “Vamana Maharaja, speak hari-katha.”

When he would not speak, then Guru Maharaja would tell me to speak. I didn’t know Bengali, yet I would speak Bengali couplets in a broken manner. And, I would also do a little kirtan. If Guru Maharaja would become immersed in bhava, then he would tell me to sing. And I was not shy. I would stand and speak regardless of knowing anything or not. Therefore, Guru Maharaja would tell me to speak. When we were preaching in one place, Guru Maharaja told Vamana Maharaja, “You should speak hari-katha.” And Vamana Maharaja felt he was in a great dilemma.

He thought, “How can I speak?”

He then beautifully recited the slokas of the Srimad Bhagavatam and read the translation. He was of a very shy nature. Guru Maharaja thought, “How can I make him ready?” Vamana Maharaja was the in charge and publisher of the Gaudiya Patrika. One day, Guru Maharaja told him, “You should go preaching. Take Vrndavana das along with you as well.” Vamana Maharaja became very sad.

He thought, “Guru Maharaja is making me leave the Chuncura Matha. What should I do now?

He was very sad. When he returned from his preaching, he was completely changed. Now, he no longer remained in the press. After his preaching service, he made a vow and said, “I will no longer engage in press seva even if I am forced to.” This came to pass and Vamana Maharaja no longer actively participated in the press seva. He now went to preach everywhere and he would speak hari-katha for many hours.

Maharaja would sometimes go somewhere without telling anyone. No one knew where he went. His one specialty is that he will not tell anyone what he is going to do or where he is going to go. He will not tell anyone. On one night, he left Chuncura and caught a train from Kolkata to a place called Jayanagar. He got down and travelled by foot as there was no other way. He had to walk for four miles. It was night and it was 11 o’clock. The road was dilapidated. When he reached one place, he saw that at 11 o’ clock in the night, a festival was taking place on the banks of a river. A marriage ceremony was taking place. Puris were being made and everyone was dancing and making merry. Meanwhile, the father of the bride offered his obeisance to Vamana Maharaja and said, “Maharajaji, please bless my daughter and then leave.” At that time, he was still a brahmacari. He was also very thin. Now he has become broad. He would tell this to the children.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: He told it to us as well.

Srila Gurudeva: He was an expert in telling stories to children. He told the children, “When I came there, the marriage party approached me and told me to bless the bride. They surrounded me on all four sides.”

Vamana Maharaja thought, “What should I do? I am also a little scared. This is supposed to be a joyous marriage ceremony.”

After a while, he started chanting harinama. If he had listened to the requests of the marriage party then it would have been very difficult for him to have escaped with his life. He started chanting harinama and left the place. No one disturbed him anymore. He started to chant loudly. When he reached the temple, Pishima (an affectionate Bengali term for a mother) asked him, “Baba, where were you?”

Upon hearing Vamana Maharaja’s encounter, she said, “There are only ghosts in that place.”

“Ghosts? A marriage ceremony was taking place there. How can ghosts possibly be there?”

“It was not a marriage ceremony! There were only ghosts there,” said Pishima.

Vamana Maharaja thought, “Oh Baba! I shall not return to that place.”

Vamana Maharaja would speak to the children this way. When Guru Maharaja would speak, Vamana Maharaja would swiftly take down the dictation. One month has thirty days. On one such month, forty religious assemblies were organized. Whenever Guru Maharaja would speak, Vamana Maharaja would quickly write down anything and everything would be published. When Guru Maharaja left the Gaudiya Mission, he established the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti at Boshapada Lane in Kolkata. Vamana Maharaja was also there. He would cook and distribute prasad to all the assembled Vaisnavas. At that time, Sridhara Maharaja, Nrsingha Maharaja, Svami Maharaja, and Santa Maharaja was also there. The Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established there.

After proofreading a script, a correction takes place. On that day of the press seva in the Chuncura Matha, there was no one to do the correction. So, Vamana Maharaja ran the machine and obtained the proof. After correcting it, he started the press and started putting the paper in. Meanwhile, his hand was caught in the machine and his hand became completely bloodied. His fingers were also cut. Guru Maharaja was in his room and when he heard what happened, he started crying. Guru Maharaja immediately took Vamana Maharaja to Kolkata. Taking him there, he admitted him in a medical college for some days. After slowly recovering, Vamana Maharaja was discharged. Guru Maharaja was crying for him. Guru Maharaja was of a very grave nature; we would never see him cry. But I was there that day in the Matha. Guru Maharaja and me had gone preaching and we had just returned. Even when I was with Ananga Mohan Prabhu at Siddhabadi, Guru Maharaja would always weep for him. When Ananga Mohan Prabhu became sick, Guru Maharaja left all his services and took Ananga Mohan with him to Shimla. He had him admitted in a hospital there.

The foremost quality of Vamana Maharaja is his shyness. He never praises himself. He is always grave. His power of remembrance is astonishing. He is a brilliant speaker and writer. He has written Guru Maharaja’s biography and many other books. He has also published many books. He doesn’t have a tinge of arrogance. Also, he never speaks of his magnanimity. This is his special quality. If we give one paisa to anyone, we will be quick to tell everyone. But no one knows what Vamana Maharaja gives to another. He will give to another person very silently. No one knows what he gave or how much he gave. Vamana Maharaja gave one disciple of Kolkata everything. He had much faith in him. But this disciple returned home. No one knows how much he took along with him. People only speculate on how much he took. He is probably the brother of Kamalini. After Guru Maharaja’s disappearance, I was collecting donations when I was at Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. I didn’t have any money and I didn’t know anyone there. I didn’t know any of the residents of Mathura. So what could I do since I had already started preaching? When Vamana Maharaja found out, he gave me five thousand rupees without telling anyone. From that money, I slowly started the preaching mission in Mathura. I don’t know what Vamana Maharaja has given to many people because he receives donations as well. He doesn’t tell anyone what he gives to others. He gives silently—charity must be of this nature. Your other hand should not know the donation you have given from your hand. And, he is also of a “gopana” nature. This is his expertise. No one can predict his actions. This quality is very necessary for an Acarya. His love and affection for disciples is unequalled. He even speaks to disciples who have just started to tread the path of Krsna consciousness. Hence, every disciple thinks, “Guru Maharaja likes me the most.” We don’t know how to love devotees as much as he does. But Maharaja knows how to love everyone. He is also very renounced. He embodies all the qualities of a Vaisnava.

The most important quality of a Vaisnava is that he is completely realized in Vaisnava philosophy. Vamana Maharaja knows everything. And, he will not speak in a place where I am present. Isn’t it? He will refuse to speak.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: When Guru Maharaja came to speak, he immediately asked for another asana for you. He said he would leave if another asana wasn’t given.

Srila Gurudeva: He will not speak when I am there. He will say, “You should speak. You should speak.” As the audience looked on, we would spend five minutes trying to have each other speak. And, he will not say anything even if I made a mistake. Once, when we were in the Syamasundara temple, I said, “Baladeva Vidyabhusana has made this temple.” But, Syamananda Prabhuji had made the temple. After some days, Vamana Maharaja told me, “Syamananda Prabhu made this temple and not Baladeva Vidyabhusana.” He didn’t say directly. So, he is like this wherever I am. Even now, he will always tell me to speak. If there is something to be written, he will say, “You should write.” Giving respect to others is a very prominent quality of Vaisnavas.

So, today is his appearance day and not his birthday. He is not directly present here—but he is present here. How is he present? Where does Bhagavan reside? Where his glories are spoken. So, he is present here in one way or another. Hence, may he shower his mercy on all of you. And may all of you accept his blessings. If you can really do bhajan and render service to Guru and Vaisnavas, then you have really offered puspanjali at his lotus feet. And if you don’t follow his principles and conduct then no matter how many times you offer puspanjali at his lotus feet—you have not offered any puspanjali at all.

Therefore, all of you must try hard to do sadhana-bhajana. You must try to imbibe his qualities and conceptions. You should try to chant harinama. You must become lower than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree, then you can offer puspanjali at his lotus feet. We pray at his lotus feet that we may obtain the Guru-bhakti, Guru-nista, and Bhagavad-bhakti that he has. We pray that we can have nista towards the lotus feet of Guru like he does and that we may also engage in Guruseva like him. I will stop for today and we will deliberate on Vamana Maharaja’s glories on another occasion. I will stop for today.

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

[“I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees who can fulfill the desire of everyone. They are oceans of mercy and are the purifiers of the fallen souls.”]

Mahamantra should be sung.

This year, Dec. 22, 2016, is the disappearance day of our beloved Srila Gurudeva

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Dear Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!
This year, Dec. 22, 2016, is the disappearance day of our beloved Srila Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. What a compassionate acarya he is. He trained us in the mood of separation from the Lord by first having it for Gurdueva. In the excerpts from the following 7th verse from Vilap-kusumanjali (spoken in 1991 in Vrndavana/Mathura) he shares with us the secrets of that topic: (Listen)]

Text Seven

aty-utkatena nitaram virahanalena
dandahyamana-hrdaya kila kapi dasi
ha svamini ksanam iha pranayena gadham
akrandhanena vidhura vilapami padyaih

Translation

O Svamini, my mistress, Radhe! The heart of this maidservant constantly burns in a great fire of separation from You. Being thus afflicted and crying out with great love, I lament in the following verses.

Commentary

The purpose of reading and uttering the prayers of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is to develop some samskara, impressions, on the heart.  My Guru Maharaja, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, told us to only sing the songs composed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Srila Premananda dasa Thakura, Sri Govinda dasa, and other siddha-mahapurusas – perfected, great personalities in our guru-parampara. If we sing the kirtanas of such devotees who are empowered and advanced in bhakti, something of their bhava will certainly enter our hearts.

Guru Maharaja told us a story about Sripad Narahari Prabhu, a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Narahari Prabhu was not very learned, but he was a very sincere devotee and such a good servant of Srila Prabhupada that all the sannyasis and more learned devotees would bow down at his lotus feet. Even my Guru Maharaja and Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja paid respects to him. He was always chanting, never sleeping, and he would always perform any seva at any time.

Narahari Prabhu was ‘the mother of Gaudiya Matha.’ He would take the young boys on his lap, give them milk, put them to sleep, and do everything required to look after them. In the night he would take a hurricane lamp to attend the younger boys, and if one of them had passed urine, he would clean their bedding. He would give them medicines and do whatever else was needed, and everyone considered him to be like Florence Nightingale. [Florence Nightingale was a famous nurse who tended wounded soldiers, often checking on them throughout the night with a lamp in hand.]  They also addressed him as Narahari Da, meaning dada, or elder brother.

Narahari Prabhu once became so ill and unable to digest anything that he was about to die. Our Guru Maharaja, who was known as Sri Vinoda Brahmacari at that time, took him to East Bengal, near his own ancestral home, to meet a very famous ayurvedic doctor. After examining him, the doctor said, “If you had not reached here today, he may have died within two or three days. Somehow God has sent you to me. First I want to give him one spoonful of ghee daily.”

Guru Maharaja said, “He will die at once if he takes ghee. He cannot digest even water, what to speak of other things.”

“I know that he will not die,” the doctor explained. “His stomach requires ghee. I will give him ghee, knowing that it will pass through him, but some coating will remain in his stomach. I will give him one spoonful each morning and evening. This will be his treatment.” After fifteen days they obtained a good result, and in one month he was cured.

Similarly, in our present condition we have no bhakti at all, and we cannot understand or ‘digest’ the confidential topics discussed by our acaryas. Yet, when we sing their songs, something will certainly come – a coating – and that will do. It will give a good result. It will give samskara, and we will try increasingly to develop greed. We therefore practice uttering our acaryas’ prayers and songs, and always with great honor and care.

* * * * *
Separation from Guru

Although our Gurudeva has also entered his aprakata-lila, we remain in this world in a very pleasant manner. On special days, like his avirbhava (appearance day) and tirobhava (disappearance day), the occasion comes that we may remember him. At that time, however, we are involved in arranging the festival, and there is very little chance to realize our separation from him.  A tear may come to our eye while we are speaking something about him; but it may not come. If the festival is very elaborate, there will be no tears.  There is so much to manage, such as the abhiseka, guru-puja, and distribution of maha-prasadam to Vaisnavas, and consequently there is no time to remember him and weep.  For the most part we hold these festivals for the general people who have no intimate relation with him, but on that day we should do something so that a feeling of separation will come within our own heart. That is called bhajana.

Special persons, who have realized their immense obligation and indebtedness to Gurudeva for all they have received from him, and who have rendered abundant service to him with visrambha-bhava, a mood of intimacy, will feel separation. They will weep. Such devotees will not consider, “I am so low and my Gurudeva is in such a high stage.” Awe and reverence will not preside; otherwise one cannot weep.

Sastra enjoins, visrambhena guroh seva – the sevaka should perform such intimate service to Gurudeva that Gurudeva is always pleased with him. The guru will not consider even for a moment that, “He is my servant and disciple.” Instead he will feel, “He is my near and dear. He is my heart.” Sri Isvara Puripada, the disciple of Srila Madhavendra Puri, and Govinda, the disciple of Sri Isvara Puri, were servants of this caliber. Although such a relationship with Sri guru is very rare, it is absolutely necessary for raganuga-bhakti. Without a relationship like this, we cannot weep like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

When we consider how merciful Gurudeva was and how much greater he is than ourselves, we feel a certain type of sentiment. However, when we remember how near and dear he was and how much he loved us, then we will weep profusely for him.

Yasoda Ma can weep more than Nanda Baba, but the gopis can weep even more than YaSoda; their relationship with Krsna is more intimate. We require this kind of keen relationship with Sri Krsna, Srimati Radhika, and also with our Gurudeva, Sri Rupa-manjari, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and all others like them. Then we can weep for their mercy.

If we have yet to develop an intimate service relationship with our Gurudeva, then surely we cannot imagine our relationship with Sri Rupa-manjari or Srimati Radhika and Krsna. Our entire advancement depends upon on how intensely we serve our Gurudeva; all other relationships and experiences develop on that platform. If we can weep for Gurudeva, we can weep for Srimati Radhika. If we cannot weep for our Gurudeva, we cannot weep for Her. That is my experience. Whatever we know, we know from Gurudeva, and therefore we must weep in our hearts for him.

In the first verse of Vilapa-kusumanjali, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prayed to Sri Rupa-manjari.

tvam rupa-manjari sakhi prathita pure ‘smin
pumsah parasya vadanam na hi pasyasiti
bimbadhare ksatam anagata-bhartrkaya
yat te vyadhayi kim u tac chuka-puìgavena

My dear friend Rupa-manjari, you are well known in Vraja for your chastity, and you don’t even look at the faces of other men. It is therefore surprising that although your husband is not at home, your lips, which are as beautiful as red bimba fruits, have been bitten. Has this perhaps been done by the best of parrots?

Was Raghunatha dasa Gosvami weeping or laughing? It may seem that he wrote this verse in a laughing, pleasant mood, but actually, while remembering a previous pastime, he was weeping for the lotus feet of Sri Rupa-manjari. “You were so merciful to me. I remember seeing your mood after Krsna kissed you and left a mark on your lips. When will I see you in that condition again?” In the second verse, beginning, “Sthala-kamalini yuktam garvita,” he again offered pranama and wept, “Will I see this again?” These first two verses are very important.

Now, in this seventh verse he cries, “Ha svamini ksanam iha pranayena gadham – if even for a moment I can realize this, I will weep constantly.”

How should we weep? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has expressed this in the sixth verse of Sri Siksastakam:

nayanam galad-asru-dharaya, vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada, tava nama-grahane bhavisyati

O Prabhu! When will my eyes be filled with a stream of tears? When will my voice choke up? And when will the hairs of my body stand erect in ecstasy as I chant Your holy names?

Although kim, meaning ‘when?,’ is not present in this verse, we should have this mood: “When will I feel so much lamentation that I will weep while chanting the names Hare Krsna, Radha-Govinda, or Vrndavanesvari?” Weeping is our dharma, the essence of our religious principles.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says, “Aty-utkatena nitaram virahanalena – my heart is burning in the great fire of separation.” He sincerely feels this sentiment; and by his grace, and also by the grace of our Gurudeva and guru-parampara, we will also realize something of this one day. This is our real prayer. When we pray and sing that sixth verse of Sri SiksasTakam, this will be our mood: “Tava nama-grahane kim bhavisyati – when, by hearing, chanting harinama, and remembering, will I weep for You?” Those who are very fortunate can lament, weep, and realize the heart of this author.

GITA JAYANTI

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

GITA JAYANTI

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This is the original meaning of the Gita.

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

“Krsna Himself has said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘isvarah paramah krsnah
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
sarva-karana-karanam

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

“aho bhagyam aho bhagyam
nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam
yan-mitram paramanandam
purnam brahma sanatanam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


https://soundcloud.com/srila-bv-narayan-maharaja/1996-05-24-room-conversation-on-sambanda-jnana-arrival-address

23rd
May 1996

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

anyabhilasita-sunyam

jnana-karmady-anavrtam

anukulyena krsnanu-

silanam bhaktir uttama

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

Devotee: How will I find a bona
fide guru?

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

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

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji has
written this?

Devotee: Yes.

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

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

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

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

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

Is my daughter Anandini
satisfied by my answers?

Anandini dasi: Very much.

Devotee: I am also satisfied.

Srila Gurudeva: You are also
satisfied?

I want to see you all again.

[End of audio file]

The Disappearance Day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja


The temple of Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s samadhi in Vrndavana

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

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

Text Six

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

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

Translation

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

Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another sloka is also related to this point:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why are you going there, kisori?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh, how is she?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GUNDICA MANDIRA MARJANA

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jïana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam
bhaktir uttama
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cry When You Chant

23 -24 May 1996 Radlett U.K.

gurudeva sitting on wall

Cry When You Chant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

anyabhilasita-sunyam

jnana-karmady-anavrtam

anukulyena krsnanu-

silanam bhaktir uttama

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

Devotee: How will I find a bona fide guru?

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

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

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji has written this?

Devotee: Yes. 

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

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

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

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

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

Is my daughter Anandini satisfied by my answers?

Anandini dasi: Very much.

Devotee: I am also satisfied.

Srila Gurudeva: You are also satisfied? 

I want to see you all again.

[Break of audio]

24th May 1996 Radlett

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

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

Devotee: I give you my heart Gurudeva.

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

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

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

Devotee: Yes. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am very glad to have met you. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does anyone have any more questions?

Devotee 2: I have a question on receiving diksa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Will your wife agree to your decision?

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. 

When is Ekadasi?

Vrajanatha Prabhu: Ekadasi is next week Gurudeva.

Devotee 2: Please bless our marriage Gurudeva.

[Break of audio]

[Srila Gurudeva speaks to the devotee couple]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Room Conversation

18 June 1996 Los Angeles

Room Conversation

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: You should explain what he said.

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

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

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

[Break of audio.]

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

Devotee: Like a lion.

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

[Laughter]

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

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

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

[Laughter]

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

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

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

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

[Laughter]

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Where?

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

Srila Gurudeva: We go by car?

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

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

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

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

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: The morning programs are here.

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

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

Bhudara Prabhu is here.

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: So, must have arotik?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, and all the newspapers.

Brajanatha Prabhu: American newspapers, and all other newspapers.

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Definitely, we will do.

Devotee: Jaya Srila Gurudeva!

[Break of audio]

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

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

[Break of audio]

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Savai manah Krishna padaravindayoh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: What is He doing at this time?

Devotee: At this time? Udilo aruna purava bhage.

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

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Why not Madhyama-madhyama?

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

Devotee: Madhyam-kanista is after kanista?

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

Devotee: A Madhyama comes in nista?

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Madhyama-madhyama has nista?

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

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

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

Krti sadhya bhaved sadhya…

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

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

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

[Laughter]

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

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

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

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

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

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

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

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

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

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

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: What will he give?

Devotee: A kick on the head.

Sripada Shrauti Maharaja: Can you do again?

[Laughter]

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

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

[Laughter]

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

[Laughter]

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

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna..

Now we should return.

Devotee: One more question?

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

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

[Audio break]

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

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

Brajanatha Prabhu: We have to leave early.

Srila Gurudeva: Where?

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

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

I will have to chant. Have they invited all?

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

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

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

Brajanatha Prabhu: The pujari said.

Srila Gurudeva: Why eleven?

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

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

[Audio break]

Devotee: You cannot stay for more than 30 days.

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

Srila Gurudeva: 18 July is so long.

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: We can go to Mexico also?

Devotees: Yes!

[Lalit Mohan Prabhu makes some traditional Mexican sounds]

Srila Gurudeva: He is mad.

[Laughter]

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

Srila Gurudeva: I cannot take.

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

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

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

Brajanatha Prabhu: You can keep it in your house.

Srila Gurudeva: Make arrangements for my preaching in Mexico.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Yes.

Srila Gurudeva: But Mexico is in the opposite direction.

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

[Laughter]

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

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Multiple entry.

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

Devotee: Yes.

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

[Audio break]

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Extra thirty days.

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

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

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

[Laughter]

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: But, next year maybe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: When it is winter in India.

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: We will arrange the money.

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: No problem! We will arrange.

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

[Laughter]

Srila Gurudeva: He is as poor as myself.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Vicitri will go collecting in Venice Beach.

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

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

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

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

Devotee: We have to go to Jagannatha Puri.

Brajanatha Prabhu: You can go.

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Yes, you can go.

[Laughter]

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

Brajanatha Prabhu: After Kartika festival?

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

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: After Gaura Purnima?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

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

Devotee: Three hours.

Srila Gurudeva: Round?

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

Srila Gurudeva: Okay, then we will go.

Devotee: This year?

Sripada Padmanabha Maharaja: Yes, this winter.

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

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

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

Devotee: And Brajanatha.

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: I know Bali.

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

Srila Gurudeva: How many devotees are there?

Devotee: Five hundred devotees are there.

Srila Gurudeva: Then, I must go there.

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

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Anyhow, something is still there.

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

Srila Gurudeva: We have to go.

[Audio break]

Devotee: What can we do?

Srila Gurudeva: You can weep.

Devotee: We are weeping.

[Laughter]

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Gaura-priya from Vrindavana.

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

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

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. Very good. Very good.

Devotee: And they pressured him to keep this name.

Srila Gurudeva: They do wrong things.

[To Vicitra dasi]

You should read, don’t come here.

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

Srila Gurudeva: You should make a mark.

Vicitra dasi: I found the mark.

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

Vicitra dasi: Gurudeva, this translation is from Shyamalala.

Srila Gurudeva: You should read what is there.

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

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

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

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

[Vicitra dasi continues reading]

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

Srila Gurudeva: Where is the question?

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

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

Vicitra dasi: Here it says…

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

[Audio file ends]

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]