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]

Talk With Traveling Party

11 June 1996 Houston

 

Talk With Traveling Party

 

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

 

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

 

http://sbnmcd.org/all_mp3/1996/19960611HOUSTON_TALK_W_TRAVELING_PARTY_MAHAPRABHU_T15.mp3

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharatha…

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Devotee reads the translation of the verse]

 

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

 

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

 

[Devotee reads the purport]

 

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

 

Devotee: That’s it.

 

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

 

Devotees: Haribol!

 

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

 

[Audio break]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

[Devotee reads the sloka and the translation]

 

Anusanga-karma ei asura-marana

Ye lagi avatara, kahi se mula karana.

 

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

 

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

 

Prema-rasa-niryasa-karite asvadana…

 

You should read the translation.

 

[Devotee reads the translation]

 

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

 

Srila Gurudeva: You should read the purport also.

 

[Devotee reads the purport]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita

aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita

 

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

 

Aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“You do have something.”

 

“What is it that I have?”

 

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

 

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

 

[Audio break]

 

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

 

Devotee: He was a Pandava too.

 

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

 

Devotee: But his mother was Kunti.

 

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

 

aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita

aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita.

 

 

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

 

Srila Gurudeva: What is the meaning?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ïäne prayäsam udapäsya namanta eva

jévanti san-mukharitäà bhavadéya-värtäm

sthäne sthitäù çruti-gatäà tanu-väì-manobhir

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

 

—Srimad Bhagavatham 10.14.3

 

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

 

Devotee: Like you.

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Nanda Baba asked, “What happened?”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jnane prayasa udapasya

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Gaura Premanande! Haribol!

 

Madhavi and you should do kirtana.

 

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

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

 

 

The Gift of Krsna-prema

10 June 1996 Houston

 

The Gift of Krsna-prema

 

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

 

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

 

http://sbnmcd.org/all_mp3/1996/19960610HOUSTON_T14.mp3

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hare Krishna.

 

Assembled audience: Hare Krishna.

 

[Srila Gurudeva speaks his class in Hindi]

 

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

 

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

 

[Laughter]

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Audience: Yes.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

Devotees: Fever.

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Pointing to an object]

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Die or fly; but gone.

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Laughter]

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“I got hold of a rope.”

 

“Show me that rope.”

 

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

 

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

 

“I used the help of a log of wood.”

 

“Then let’s go see it.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Okay Mahatmaji. Please take your seat here.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“I am going to Vrindavana.”

 

“Oh I am also going to Vrindavana.”

 

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

 

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

 

“We reached Vrindavana so early!”

 

“Yes Baba.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Don’t go any further!”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“When will you leave them?”

 

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

 

“This is all right.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

patram puspam phalam toyam

yo me bhaktya prayacchati

tad aham bhakty-upahrtam

asnami prayatatmanah

 

—Bhagavad Gita 9.26

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Punarapi jananam punarapi maranama

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

[Maha-mantra kirtana is sung by the devotees]

 

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

COME WITH ME TO NANDAGAON

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

COME WITH ME TO NANDAGAON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One gopi told Uddhava:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[To be continued in the next issue.]

Gaura premanande.

Starting Rays of The Harmonist

03 June 1996 London

 

Starting Rays of The Harmonist

 

[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:

 

 

Srila Gurudeva: During his manifest stay in this world, Srila Prabhupada started three magazines. The first magazine that was started was the Gaudiya that was printed and circulated every month. Initially, the magazine was printed and circulated fortnightly, but after some time, it was printed every month. The Bhagavat Patrika was another magazine that was started; this magazine was printed in the Hindi language. The Harmonist was the third magazine that Srila Prabhupada started; this magazine was printed in the English language. The magazine was first called, ‘Vaisnava Tosani.’

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Vaisnava Tosani was started during the time of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura?

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. After Srila Prabhupada’s departure, the printing of all the magazines was stopped. Our Gurudeva, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, re-started the publication of these transcendental journals. He started the Gaudiya Patrika magazine that was printed in the Bengali language. He also started the Bhagavat Patrika magazine that was published in the Hindi language. The publication of the Bhagavat Patrika magazine stopped for an indefinite period of time, but now it is being published again. If you like, I want the Rays of the Harmonist magazine to be published.

 

Devotees: Rays of harmony?

 

Srila Gurudeva: Rays of the Harmonist.

 

Shyamarani dasi: Because that also connects with Prabhupada.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. We are in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.

 

Devotee: If you say Rays of the Harmonist is the name of the magazine, who is the Harmonist? You mean the original Harmonist magazine?

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes.

 

Devotee: Krishna being the Harmonist or something like that.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I have two meanings in my mind that have manifested automatically. What is the meaning of harmony?

 

Devotee 2: It means connecting or uniting things, which have different natures.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Then Krishna is the Harmonist?

 

Devotees: Yes.

 

Devotee 2: The Supreme Harmonist.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Harmonist also means prema, the love and affection of Srimati Radhika and Krishna.

 

Devotee: Harmony also means something similar.

 

Srila Gurudeva: So, following the same line of Srila Prabhupada, we can name this magazine, “Rays of the Harmonist.”

 

I saw an edition of the Harmonist magazine in the house of Subala.

 

Devotee 3: It is with me now.

 

Srila Gurudeva: You have the magazine now?

 

Devotee 3: Yes.

 

Srila Gurudeva: It should be given to him, but you can take some articles. The first article of the Harmonist magazine was penned by Prabhupada that explained what the word, “Harmonist,” means. So, to explain what Rays of the Harmonist means, you may take some excerpts from that article. This article is a very good article, it is the best of all articles. So, this article must be the first article of the book. As an editorial note, you may state, “This magazine is called the Rays of the Harmonist, an offshoot of the Vaisnava Tosani magazine, which was started by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura first.” The magazine is there, you can read it. And, you can take some articles one by one. You can also take brief articles from our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati, Nishikanta Sanyal Prabhu, who was a good writer of his time. And you may also publish my articles.

 

Devotee: Most readers are interested in your harikatha.

 

Srila Gurudeva: You may also state how the devotees have marvelously arranged for my preaching services in the West. You may also mention how many people are joining our movement. I am now in the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, as you may all know. Vamana Maharajaji is the Acharya and I am the Vice-President. I want to give a copy of the Bhagavat Patrika that was recently begun and published. The Rays of the Harmonist should be published in the same…

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Process.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Process.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: The same formula.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Colored paper should be used for the first page.

 

Devotee: I will cover it in the station.

 

Srila Gurudeva: She will help you with…

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Logo.

 

Srila Gurudeva: There should also be a good picture of Radha Govinda or Radha Gopinatha. She has also painted a picture of Caitanya Mahaprabhu dancing with His associates to the accompaniment of mridangas and karatalas. This picture should be given there.

 

[Srila Gurudeva and Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja converse in Hindi]

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: When I heard that you were here, I decided I must see you here.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. I am very happy to see you here.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I came only for your darsana. Since many days, I had the desire to listen to harikatha from you.

 

Srila Gurudeva: [Smiles] But I haven’t learned to read or write.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: There is no question of you being unread Maharaja. Due to my misfortune, I couldn’t associate much with my spiritual master, Paramahamsa Bhagavat Maharaja. On his order…

 

Srila Gurudeva: On his order, you went to preach in many places.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Yes. I went to Gaudiya Mission but he had already left. I was determined and I thought, “I must listen from you.” I especially want to listen your explanation of the janmady asya yatah verse. I also want to listen to your explanation of Catur-sloki Bhagavatham.

 

Srila Gurudeva: These sublime topics must definitely be heard.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Yes, they must be heard. But, I especially want to listen from realized souls like you.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I am not a realized soul.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: No, you definitely are. Great souls like you are very few in numbers. Recently, I attended the 98th birthday anniversary of Srila Puri Maharaja, Srila Santa Maharaja had organized the celebrations. I also spoke in glorification of Srila Puri Maharaja. But, they have become old and it is very difficult to get darsans. I couldn’t meet with my own Gurudeva because of his old age.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Many contemporaries of Srila Puri Maharaja and Srila Santa Maharaja have departed from this world. Many of their godbrothers have disappeared from this mortal vision, some of them are—Audolomi Maharajaji, our Guru Maharajaji, Shrauti Maharajaji, and Bon Maharajaji. Most of their godbrothers have left this world.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Nemi Maharajaji has also departed.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: That is why I have come to you.

 

Srila Gurudeva: We were children when they preached. It has been more than fifty years since I have joined the Math.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Haribol! I could barely stay in the Math for five years.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I have seen many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. I have also seen Audolomi Maharaja. I have had the audience of most of Srila Prabhupada’s senior disciples. I would always serve them and listen to their harikatha like a small boy. I liked Audolomi Maharaja’s discourses. Audolomi Maharaja considered my Gurudeva as his Siksha-Guru. Despite being his younger brother, my Guru Maharaja bought Audolomi Maharaja to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. He brought Audolomi Maharaja to the Math.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Oh! Srila Kesava Maharaja was the younger brother of Audolomi Maharaja?

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. Audolomi Maharaja was his elder brother. Audolomi Maharaja’s name in his previous ashrama was Pramod and my Guru Maharaja’s name was Vinod. They had two younger brothers of whom one was named, “Pulina-bihari.” They were four brothers. Pramodji was Yudhistira Maharaja, and our Guru Maharaja was Bhima.

 

[Laughter]

 

Their mother would call them by these names of the Pandavas. Guruji took the responsibility of the entire household, while he stayed at home. He was very learned.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Who?

 

Srila Gurudeva: Audolomi Maharaja. He was a head-master of his time. To became a head-master during those days, was a matter of great pride. Once, he was afflicted by Tuberculosis. Guruji took him and went to Bhuvanesvara. Guruji served Audolomi Maharaja for two, three months on his own. And then, he bought him to listen to the harikatha of Srila Prabhupada. Guruji came first to Srila Prabhupada and he was initiated within a short time. Srila Prabhupada also wanted to give sannyasa (the renounced order) to Guruji, but everyone said, “If you give Vinoda sannyasa, the management will be spoiled.” So, Srila Prabhupada didn’t give our Guruji sannyasa.

 

When we went on parikrama, the deity of Guruji would also go along with us, then Maharaja would perform the arati of Guruji, and offer Gurudeva his dandavat pranama numerous times. When Guru Maharaja was engaged in parikrama with the other devotees, Maharaja offered Guru Maharaja his sastang dandavat pranama, and Guru Maharaja would offer pranama back. This way, Audolomi Maharaja greatly respected our Guru Maharaja.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: But now, they have all left.

 

Srila Gurudeva: They have all left and we are now orphans.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: No. That is why, I am going to catch your lotus feet.

 

You are going to go straight to India now?

 

Srila Gurudeva: Tomorrow, I will go to Holland. I had already stayed there for fifteen days. Then I came here. From here, I will go to Holland.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Day after, we will go to America.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Arrangements are being made for me to preach in more than fifteen cities.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Jaya ho!

 

Srila Gurudeva: I have come to preach for a considerable time.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: As far as I have understood, because of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja’s preaching, everyone has passed matriculation, now they want to go to college.

 

Srila Gurudeva: They are returning after passing matriculation. They have no association of Vaisnavas. They think, “We have learned everything. There is no need for us to meet anyone.”

 

Svamiji told them, “Go to Narayana Maharaja and learn from him. He will help ISKCON.”

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I read in one of their books that when Srila Svami Maharaja was leaving his body, you went to see him.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I went to see him and I also placed him in samadhi. Svamiji told me, “Help my ISKCON.” Svamiji would often visit me.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Svami Maharaja took Sannyasa from your Guruji.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: He took Sannyasa in Mathura.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I was the priest of the Sannyasa ceremony.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Maharaja also taught Srila Svami Maharaja how to wear the Sannyasa apparel, like the dor-kaupin.

 

Srila Gurudeva: But now, some of Svamiji’s disciples don’t want anyone’s association. Except for themselves, they don’t consider anyone else as Vaisnavas.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: They have become arrogant.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Let’s see what the will of Bhagavan is.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: When I heard that you were here, I said, “Please take me to see Maharaja immediately.”

 

Srila Gurudeva: You are preaching very well. I don’t know English well.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Does Bhagavan know English?

 

[Laughter]

 

He only knows the bhakta and bhakti.

 

Srila Gurudeva: You are qualified.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: No Maharaja. In front of you, I am a baby. It was my desire that I spend a couple of hours with you and listen to harikatha. The hall here…

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Maharaja told most devotees to not come while he gets ready to depart for Holland. That is why no one came. Because he needs time to pack and to get ready.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Wherever I go, at least five hundred devotees come. They intently listen to my harikatha. My harikatha classes are based on Manah-siksha, Upadesamrta, Caitanya Caritamrita, Srimad Bhagavatham, and the other books of our Guruvarga. The audience listens to my classes with so much love!

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: If I would have come earlier, I could have also heard your harikatha.

 

Srila Gurudeva: The Gaudiya Mission center invited me with much love. I went with devotees, and we did kirtana and I also spoke some harikatha. I thought you were a Bengali.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: No Maharaja. I am from South India. I am from the Iyengar family.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Radha-priya dasi’s fiancé is also an iyengar.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Is Hindi your mother tongue?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I grew up speaking Hindi.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Who is the Acharya of Gaudiya Mission now?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Parivrajaka Maharaja.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Parivrajaka Maharaja? Was there any agitation on the position of Acharya?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Correct.

 

Devotee 2: There was a lot of agitation. A few blows were also exchanged here and there.

 

Srila Gurudeva: The two policemen were removed. I heard that you, Tirtha Maharajaji of Gaudiya Mission were going to be the next Acharya, but some devotees did not want you to become the next Acharya. There was some fighting.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I am not Bengali.

 

Srila Gurudeva: That you are not Bengali, and you belong to South India.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I lectured on the Bhagavatham for eight hours. They also gave me a golden shawl. Here, my clothes were torn, but Krishna arranged that I get a golden shawl. Incidents like this happen. So, I thought, “There are still two or four Mahatmas like you in this world now. So, I must offer my dandavat pranama to you and seek your blessings. By your blessings, I can speak Krishna-katha.”

 

Srila Gurudeva: This mood is commendable. You must be of this attitude.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I don’t want any prestige. Many people asked harinama from me, but I did not give. I am not a guru, I am a small Vaisnava. I tell them, “If you want harinama, then I will come to your house and speak Krishna-katha. Krishna-katha is non-different from naam. Just by giving the mala, you don’t get harinama.”

 

Srila Gurudeva: The Acharya is Parivrajaka Maharaja?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Yes.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Is he a Bengali?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Yes.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Is he elder to you by his age?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: No Maharaja, he is younger than me. Most of them are Audolomi Maharaja’s disciples, I am the only disciple of Bhagavat Maharaja. This is one problem.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Bhagavat Maharajaji changed the Gaudiya Mission. Or else, we had no relation with Gaudiya Mission. We had no relationship with them, they had even stopped chanting the maha-mantra. So, we said, “They are not Vaisnavas. They are not in Mahaprabhu’s line.” Bhagavat Maharajaji then came and changed the Gaudiya Mission. Bhagavat Maharajaji was the first Vaisnava of the Gaudiya Mission, who shook all the persons absorbed in the misconceptions that had penetrated within the Gaudiya Mission. He wanted to meet with everyone, he was very generous. When he would meet me, he would always embrace me. He would tell me, “You are the Vice-President of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and you are a very good boy. But don’t think that you are the controller. Don’t think like this. Always be humble.” He would give me many such instructions and bless me profusely. When I went to the Gaudiya Math in Calcutta, he was sick, but on seeing us, he became very happy.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: On seeing Vaisnavas, he becomes very happy.

 

Srila Gurudeva: He changed so much about the Gaudiya Mission, so much. It is very nice that you are the disciple of this Bhagavat Maharaja. He was a bona fide Vaisnava. It is your supremely good fortune to have a Guru like him. He was a very learned personality. Even when he was a brahmachari, he was so learned. So, you are very lucky to be his disciple!

 

The meaning of the “Athata Brahma jijnaso,” verse has been delineated by the “Janmady asya yato,” verse of Srimad Bhagavatham. This verse of the Srimad Bhagavatham (Janmady asya yato) is the real meaning of this sloka (Athata Brahma jijnaso) from the Vedanta-Sutra. You know the meaning of these slokas. But, Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarthi Thakuraji and Srila Jiva Gosvamiji have described this sloka in nine special ways.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I did not understand the “yatra tri-sarga ‘mrsa,” part of the verse. I did not understand the conception of land seen on water.

 

Srila Gurudeva: If you understand the rest of the sloka and the purports of our Guruvarga, then you will understand this excerpt of the sloka, otherwise not. “Janmady asya yato,” is the first line of the sloka. Janmady asya yato, is the external meaning, it is not the real meaning. From whom has birth taken place? Janma-adyasya, adyasya means Sringara-rasa. Krishna is the Akhila-Rasamrita-Sindhu of all kinds of Bhakti Rasas. He is the connoisseur of all devotional mellows. So, Adi-rasa is Sringara-rasa. Krishna is the initiator of this Sringara-rasa. This Adi-rasa originates and emanates from Him. Hence, this sloka refers to Krishna.

 

There is another meaning of this sloka. Alone, Krishna is not Akhila-Rasamrita-Sindhu. He is the reservoir of all rasas only if Srimati Radhika is by His side. Therefore, Sringara-rasa originates from Both-Sri Radha and Krishna, this rasa does not originate from Krishna alone. Therefore in Janma-ady, ady means Sringara-rasa. This rasa originated from the Divine Pair—Sri Radha and Krishna.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: In an earlier explanation of why Adi-rasa is Sringara-rasa, you said, “Syamam eva para-rupam puri madhupuri varah, vayah kaisorakam dheyam adya eva paro rasah.”

 

Srila Gurudeva: Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarthi Thakura, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and Srila Sanatana Gosvami have given many confidential, beautiful meanings to this sloka of the Srimad Bhagavatham in their Sarartha-darsini, Laghu-tosani, and Vaisnava-tosani commentaries respectively. Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarthi Thakura has especially given many meanings. The next line of this sloka states, “Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayau, tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ‘mrsa,

dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi,” we recite the Brahma gayathri, “Om bhur bhuvah svaha tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi, diyoyonah pracodayat,” tat in this mantra means deva, devasya vargaha. Who is this deva? He is Krishna-deva. Vrajendra-nandana Shyamasundara is that deva. Bhargo means teja, teja-sakti, potency. Who is the potency of Krishna, who is She? The embodiment of this potency is Srimati Radhika Herself. She is para-sakthi. “Tat savitur varenyam,” whose varenyam is this? It is Savithri-devi’s. The heat and light are the characteristics of Krishna’s potency, Srimati Radhaji. Dhimahi, but on whom do you meditate?

 

You meditate on “A-U-M.” ‘A’ denotes Krishna; ‘U’ represents Srimati Radhika; ‘M’ represents all the souls or the jivas. The combination of three has resulted in Om. And, it will be transferred to Kling. This way, the Brahma-gayatri will become the Kama-gayatri, when the Brahma-gayatri matures. Tat and Dhimahi from the Brahma-gayatri and the excerpt, “Satyam param dhimahi,” from the sloka of Srimad Bhagavatham are in one line and mood. “Tejo-mari-mrdam,” what is teja?

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Light, or prakasa.

 

Srila Gurudeva: But the light is not being stated here, rather the potency is being stated. Krishna’s para-sakti is denoted here. This is teja. This is urja; so, Srimati Radhika is called Urjesvari. Anything you desire, you can obtain from Srimati Radhika; you cannot obtain what you seek directly from Krishna. Srimati Radhika is the icca-sakti of Krishna, She is His wish fulfilling potency. Everything you see in this material creation and in the spiritual world, cit-jagat; is a manifestation of Srimati Radhika. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained this very nicely in Jaiva-dharma. We cannot engage in bhakti unless teja dawns on our hearts. This teja descends from the disciplic order, it descends from Gurudeva and Krishna. What is the seed of the creeper of devotion? We say that shraddha, faith is the seed, but faith is not the seed of the creeper of devotion. Rather, shraddha is an external symptom. The mood to serve Krishna, Krishna-seva-vasana, is the seed of the creeper of devotion. And where can this seed be obtained? It can be obtained only in sadhu-sanga, and nowhere else. But, the sadhus must be of the disciplic order. This disciplic order stems from Krishna, Brahma, Narada, Vyasa, and continues through our Guruvarga. Then, “Bharga devasya,” you will realize what teja is, and you will also realize that the embodiment of this effulgence is Srimati Radhika. But, by coming to this world, we see that the effulgence is reflected on the surface of the water and on the mirror. This is a reflection and not the real effulgence. The light we see in this world is not the real teja.

 

“Tejo-mari-mrdam,” to understand the import of this sloka, you will need a lot of time. But, I am only giving a gist of the mantra for a little time. Teja is all-pervading, but cannot be seen by the mundane eyes. There is no entity or place in this world that is devoid of teja. But there is a distinctive form of teja. Even this piece of wood has teja in it. Liquidity is the defining characteristic of water, but sometimes water becomes ice and there is also the element-earth. Our bodies are made of earth. But to see this teja, effulgence, you should churn the containers of this teja. For instance, fire is only produced by repeatedly making a circular movement on the surface of the wood with the aid of a stick. This is an example, which is used to signify what Cit-sakti is. Without engaging ourselves in sadhana-bhajana, we will not perceive or realize this Cit-sakti. We can see the external forms of wood and earth, but, by repeatedly striking or churning them, we will get fire. These substances have their origin in Brahma, hence, they have a relationship with Brahma. Therefore, without staying in and seeking the shelter of this world, we can never know the transcendental reality.

The teja is hidden from the jivas. The jivas can only perceive the reflection of this teja. How does the jiva perceive this reflection? Water becomes ice during an extremely cold weather. Your thirst would be quenched on drinking water, and by splashing water on each other, no one would be hurt. But if you would hurl a piece of ice on someone, they will be hurt. So, the intrinsic nature of water, the dharma of the water changes when it becomes ice. But this change of water from its liquid state to a solid state is its anitya dharma, a temporary acquisition of another form. The permanent nature of water is to always be in its liquid form.

 

Similarly, the jiva is always the servant of Krishna, but now, having coming to this material world, he has acquired a temporary dharma. His nature temporarily changes like how water turns to ice. He is entrapped in maya now and follows Maya-devi’s dictates. Hence, the analogy of water seen on land is used to explain the conditioned state of the jivas.

 

“Tejo-mari-mrdam,” refers to this material world. Lacks of toys can be made from earth. Many earthly utensils and toys are made of earth; but in reality, they are all made of earth. Similarly, this material world and everything you see with your eyes and except for the souls, whatever exists in Brahmaji’s creation, is a transformation of the material energy. The Catu-sloki of Srimad Bhagavatham also explains this tattva very nicely.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: I wish to listen to you explain the Catu-sloki in a concise form Maharaja.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Everything gross in this material world is a transformation of the element-earth. All objects are a transformation of earth. There is no difference between the different forms of earth. The conditioned souls’ potencies may point to apparent differences. There are many examples given to this explain is. You should carefully understand what teja is. “Satyam param dhimahi,” this tejo, beauty, varga belongs to Srimati Radhika and Krishna. In the Srimad Bhagavatham, it is said:

 

Satyam pri satyam, satasya yonir, nikuncha satye…***

 

Krishna is satya, but only if He is with Srimati Radhika. Without Srimati Radhika, He is nirvisesa brahma. In that form, He has no qualities. He is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities only if Srimati Radhika is alongside Him. “Tene brahma hrdaya adi-kavaye,” tene—this knowledge was imparted to adi-kavaye, Brahmaji. But to consider Brahmaji to be adi-kavaye is an external consideration. Adi-kavaye refers to Sukadeva Gosvami who recited the entire Srimad Bhagavatham. In his recital of the Srimad Bhagavatham, he especially recited the tenth canto. This tenth canto has Venu gita, Gopi-gita, Brahmara gita, Yugala gita, and Pranaya gita. Srimati Radhika and Krishna Both, imparted this knowledge to Sukadeva Gosvami. “Muhyanti yat surayah,” refers to personalities like Brahma and Sankara.

 

Here, Brahma means Sabda Brahma. What is this sabda brahma? It is the Srimad Bhagavatham that was imparted to the heart of Sukadeva Gosvami. Who imparted this transcendental knowledge to Sukadeva Gosvami? Sri Radha and Krishna did. Upon remembering Them, Sukadeva Gosvami had this knowledge imparted to him. Pracodayat—prakista rupena, udayet.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: “Janmady asya yato ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat,” when explaining ‘nvayad itatratas in one of your previous classes, you said that ‘nvayad means meeting and itaratas means separation. By meeting and separation, Sringara rasa is nourished.

 

Srila Gurudeva: The ordinary meaning is external. The direct meaning states that by the agency of cit-sakti, the cit-jagat (spiritual realm) was manifested. Tatasta-sakti produced jiva-jagat (the realm of the individual souls) and maya-sakti produced maya-jagat (the material world). This is the direct meaning of the sloka. The indirect meaning is that the jiva is neither material or fully conscious. He is a part and parcel of Krishna. How did the jiva enter this material world and become covered by the gross body and the subtle body? Being entrapped within these bodies, the soul thinks, “I am this body.” The soul is a minute manifestation of cit-sakti and is thus conscious. But now, he is suffering in the prison house of material existence. A conscious entity never comes under maya-devi’s influence, but by the inconceivable potency of Krishna, he falls victim to the deluding energy. This is the ordinary meaning.

 

A special meaning can also be realized here. “Nvayad itaratas ca,” refers to the meeting of Sri Radha and Krishna. When They meet, They experience Samyoga-milana rasa, the joy of meeting each other. When Krishna goes for cow herding, or goes to Mathura or Dvaraka, or when He is in maan; Vipralambha rasa in experienced. Meeting and separation are the two aspects of prema. Meeting leads to sambhoga rasa being experienced and separation leads to vipralambha rasa being experienced. Amnaya is milana, samyoga rasa and vipralambha is the mood of separation. These are the transcendental specialties of the love between Srimati Radhika and Krishna.

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: Maharaja, can you please explain what the four hundred thousand human species of life is?

 

Srila Gurudeva: This has been written in the sastras. The sloka is..

 

Sripad Bhakti Svarupa Tirtha Maharaja: The sloka is:

 

jala-ja nava-laksani sthavara…

 

“Catur-laksani manusah,” in Caitanya Caritamrita, it is written on the basis of a devotee and non-devotee.

 

Srila Gurudeva: The four lakh human forms of life have been further sub-divided. One kind of human beings don’t know anything. They only bear the appearance of human beings. They eat dog-meat, and when their father is old, they push him off a cliff. And when the father is dead or if he is still dying a most painful death, regardless of him being alive or half-dead, they light a fire, cook and eat him among themselves. Such uncivilized humans are also there. There are four lakh kinds of humans and their consciousness (cetana) has been divided into—accadita-cetana (covered consciousness), sankucita-cetana (shrunken consciousness), mukulita-cetana (budding consciousness), vikasita-cetana (developed consciousness), and purna-vikasita-cetana (fully developed consciousness). Therefore, the four lakh of human species have these different kinds of consciousness. The culmination of consciousness takes place in a devotee in whom bhava has arisen. Different devotees are in different grades of devotion. Some devotees are in the stage of shraddha, while some are in the stage of ruci and asakti. Even among the devotees who are in the stage of asakti, there are two categories. One kind of devotee has asakti (attachment) to sadhana-bhajana and the other devotee has attachment to sadhya-vastu, the object of devotion—Sri Radha and Krishna. The different kinds of devotees and the different kinds of human beings comprise the four lakh human species of life.

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

 

 

 

 

The Seed of Bhakti

23 May 1996 Bath U.K.

 

The Seed of Bhakti

 

[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:

 

 

Srila Gurudeva: We have come to the house of Sudevi and her husband. There is not sufficient place here for all the devotees to stay for a day or two, so we have to leave this place very soon. But I am so glad that I have come to Sudevi’s house. I am especially glad to see the devotees who have come from our previous preaching programs. I am very happy to see that those devotees are here. Wherever I go, I see a lot of sweet faces, hence, I think that I am in Vrndavan. (Just then a bird sings and everybody laughs)

 

Devotee: The parrot is from Vrindavana Gurudeva.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: He is telling, “Gurudeva! Gurudeva!”

 

Devotee: He is also telling, “Krishna! Krishna!”

 

[Laughter]

 

Srila Gurudeva: Is that an actual bird?

 

[Laughter]

 

Devotees: Yes Gurudeva.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I want to see the bird. Is the bird from Vrndavan or from here? He is so happy that all the Vaisnavas are here and are chanting, “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

 

I was thinking in India that when I will have to go to Holland, England, and various places, I will be out of Vrndavan and Mathura, but now, I feel that I am not out of Mathura or Vraja-mandala. There are so many devotees everywhere, so much sweet hari katha is being spoken, and sweet behaviour is being exhibited among all the devotees. There is harmony between each other, and when I think of this I become so happy. I follow the ideas and conceptions of Swamiji; he would often say, “When I was in the foreign or western countries, I never thought for a moment that I am out of Vrndavan or out of India.” I am now seeing and experiencing the same phenomenon; everywhere I go, I see that there are many sweet devotees, who patiently listen to harikatha. They are trying to develop on their devotional activities. But here, there is a lack of sadhu-sanga and that is why I have come here to the Western countries. Swamiji has planted the seeds of devotion in many hearts, but some of them are still seeds, while some of them have sprouted a little. Some seeds have sprouted and have blossomed into little plants with leaves; but now, they all want water, they all want water. If water is not given, the seeds will die and the seeds that have sprouted and grown into a creeper having leaves will also die.

 

So, Swamiji ordered me, “I am giving some water to you, go there and water the seeds, creepers, and plants who are in dire need of being nourished. Otherwise, they will dry, wither, and ultimately die.”

 

 

So, I came with the water of harikatha. What I speak is based on what I have heard from my bonafide Guruvarga, Gurudeva, and many Siksha Gurus. Some of my Siksha Gurus are—Pujyapada Sridhar Maharaj, Pujyapada Vaman Maharaj, Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaj, Pujyapada Srauti Maharaj, Pujyapada Bon Maharaja, and all the disciples of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur, who are very senior devotees. I have studied the Srimad Bhagavatham, and Sri Caitanya Caritamrta under their guidance many a times. Under their tutelage, I collected some of this transcendental water and I have also collected many gems of devotion from Swamiji, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. With a basket of invaluable jewels I have come here and I see that all the devotees are so energetic now; all are so happy and the dark color of gloom has been lifted and the color of hope and enthusiasm has set in. The seed of devotion seemed to be drying, but now, as would a normal seed, their seed is turning green, which signifies advancement of their Krishna consciousness.

 

Fresh buds of various colors have spring forth from the seeds that have now grown into little creepers of devotion. These buds are preparing to blossom, and they will yield proper, sweet fruits. Srila Rupa Gosvami says that the sadhaka should carefully water his creeper of devotion that has its roots in this world with the water of harikatha and seva, devotional services. Upon tending meticulously to this creeper of devotional service, the practitioner will see that his creeper of devotion has crossed this universe consisting of the planets—Bhu, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Janas, Tapas, Satya, Tala, Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Talatala, Mahatala, Sutala, and the 14 planets altogether. This creeper will have even crossed the Viraja, the border between the spiritual and material realms. If this creeper of bhakti is given the water of harikatha, by its proper mali, gardener, then it spirals upwards and crosses Brahma-loka, Siva-loka, the abode of Sada-Siva and enters into Vaikunta.

 

Continuing on its journey, the creeper of devotion crosses the realm of Vaikunta. Going past the holy abodes of Ayodhya, Goloka, and even past the border of Dwaraka, this bhakti-lata, creeper of bhakti enters Mathura at Visrama ghat. Here, it is nourished by fresh, new water. It is tended to by the naga-patnis, the yajna-patnis, and Uddhava. Going forward in its journey, the creeper first enters Vraja-Gokul and from Gokul, the creeper goes to Vrindavana. Flourishing in its growth, the creeper has many branches appear on it and these branches spread out to Nandagaon, Varsana, and all over Vraja-mandala. At last, it comes to Govardhana, and in Govardhana, who is the main centre of Vraja-mandala, this creeper of devotion finds its final shelter at the eyes of Govardhana, that is Syama Kunda and Radha Kunda. It takes shelter of the lotus feet of Syama Kunda, thus taking shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna Himself. And then, it takes the shelter of Radha Kunda, thus attaining shelter at Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet.

 

What becomes of the creeper when it finally finds shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Krishna? Very sweet, juicy fruits manifest from its branches, and these fruits are automatically let loose from their branches and on falling down, they come to Earth and settle near the mali, gardener, who has been diligently watering the creeper from the time it’s seed has been sown. We are the gardeners, Gurudeva gives the water of harikatha to us and when we take care of that creeper with great attention, the sweetest ripened fruits, which are skinless and pervaded with rasa, will make their way through and place themselves before us. How do these fruits come? A parrot pecks at the fruits and these transcendental fruits are gradually handed down by the disciplic order. The mali, the gardener takes them and on tasting them, he exclaims, “Oh so sweet!” And then he slowly ascends on the creeper. This creeper crosses all the realms of the mundane creation and does not rest even on reaching the spiritual realm. Crossing past the many spiritual realms, the creeper goes to Gokul, Vrindavana, Nandagaon, Varsana, and to Govardhan, where it finds its final shelter at Syama Kunda and Radha Kunda. There, the devotee sees that lakhs and lakhs of fruits, indeed, uncountable fruits are there. Taking all those fruits that have descended to the earth, the devotees taste them. This is the description of the creeper of devotion given by Rupa Goswami, as stated in Caitanya Caritamrta.

 

But, the unlucky person will not obtain and taste that fruit, even though lakhs and lakhs of fruits are coming from there. Such an unlucky person has no faith in bhakti, he only outwardly chants the holy name while internally, he desires that his material desires be fulfilled. He will not obtain the fruits of devotion by cheating others while being in the garb of a so-called guru or a so-called devotee. They will only have the fruits of this material world, what are those fruits? Wine, wealth, and women are the fruits of this material world that they crave for. These fruits will destroy their lives. Have a very strong faith and be grounded in the conviction that, “Krsna is always protecting us.” The six basic principles of Saranagati are the platform of bhakti. No one can save us, only Krsna can save us, none other, so why should you fear? Don’t think, “What will happen after Maharaja will go? What will happen if all are against me? If my husband, or my wife, my father, and whole world is against me, then what am I to do? Then I will have to suffer.” This is not true, we should have the firm faith that, “ Krsna will surely save us, He has the power to save us.”

 

He saved Arjuna from all the Kauravas whose numbers were in the millions. He saved Draupadi from the midst of many demons. He saved all who surrendered to His lotus feet, who accepted saranagati. He saved Dhruva maharaja, He saved Prahlada Maharaja. Do you know who Prahlada is? How was he saved? Prahlada did not at any time pray to Krsna that He should save him, but every time there was an attempt to have him killed, he was magically saved. There was one sister of Hiranyakasipu, whose name was Holika. She had a benediction from lord Brahma that if she was inside a fire, she would not be burnt. So, Hiranyakasipu ordered his sister, “Take my five year old son on your lap and enter into a raging conflagration!” So, she took Prahlada and entered into a powerful inferno. But, she was burnt to ashes whereas Prahlada emerged unscathed. In repeated attempts to kill Prahlada, Prahlada was thrown into the sea, he was thrown from mountains, he was surrounded by venomous serpents. Lions were set to attack and eat Prahlada Maharaja, but he was saved every time. Despite trying to have his son killed numerous times, Hiranyakasipu was himself killed by the hands of the Lord.

 

So, if you want to do bhajan of Krsna, then you should have solid, unflinching faith in Krsna that He will save you, and that there is nothing for you to fear. If this faith does not come in the heart of a devotee, then he cannot serve Krsna. Guru teaches all his disciples to be completely surrendered to Krishna. If a devotee like Srivas Pandit; do you know him? Srivas had nothing, he was penniless. There weren’t even any rats in his house, do you know why? Because there were no grains, there was not even the slightest particle of food for the rats to eat and that was normal for his house. If it rained, the rainwater would not flow off the roof, rather, all the rain came inside, why? Because, his house had no roof.

 

So one day, Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, “Srivasa, I know that you are a very poor man. I also know that your four brothers and yourself are always engaged in kirtana, the whole day and night. Accompanied by the chiming of big karatalas, all of you sing, ‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.’ You don’t try to earn money and manage wealth, so how will you maintain your life? You should do something to maintain your life.”

 

On listening to Mahaprabhu speak, Srivas Pandit clapped his hands thrice while counting, “One, two, three.”

 

Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, “I don’t understand what you mean to say by clapping your hands thrice.”

 

Srivas Pandit replied, “If we don’t have Mahaprasada for one day, I will bear it. I will wait the second day; I will fast, we will all fast. We will wait the third day also, and if there is no Mahaprasada for us to honor on the third and fourth day and we are made to fast, then the river Ganges is here, and we will all jump in. Why? Because, You may be criticized. The residents of this world may say, ‘Krishna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot give anything.’” Srivasa Pandit and his entire family were pure devotees, hence, if they were deprived of Mahaprasada, the sloka of the Gita wherein Krishna promises to look after His devotees will be proven false. The sloka is:

 

Ananyas cintayanto mam ye jana paryapasute…

 

In this sloka, Krishna promises to collect everything that the devotee needs to maintain his life. Krishna will even take what the devotee needs on His head, He will take all responsibility. Krishna always protects His devotees from all troubles and calamities.

He will give and protect, He promises to.

 

There was a devotee called Arjuna Misra. He would regularly read and explain the Bhagavad Gita. On one such perusal of the Bhagavad Gita, he came across the line, “Yoga-ksemam vahamy aham.” Thinking that Krishna Himself will not carry what His devotee needs, he cut the line.

 

He thought, “Krishna will Himself not carry what the devotee lacks. He can order someone else to carry what the devotee lacks. Personalities like Hanuman and Garuda can carry. Indeed, everyone is the servant of Krishna, hence, except for Him, all can carry. He will order them. So, why would He carry anything by Himself?” So, he cut that line. For several years, Arjuna Misra would diligently chant, remember, and meditate on Krishna. Yet, he was so poor that he had to beg daily. So, he cut that line and went to beg.

 

He thought, “I should try and something may come.” When he went out to beg on that day, he was unable to procure anything. He decided to return home when he saw that the sun was about to set. In the meantime, a twelve year old boy, who had the complexion of new rain clouds, and who had a Pitambara (yellow shawl) on His shoulders reached the doorstep of Arjuna Misra’s home. Carrying two big baskets on his shoulders, he knocked on the door of Arjuna Misra.

 

The wife of Arjuna Misra was there, but he had not yet returned. He was on the way to his house, but had not yet reached . The boy knocked on the door and the wife called out, “Who are You?”

 

In a very sweet voice, the boy replied, “I am a disciple of our Gurudeva.”

 

So, she opened the door and led Him in. She saw how He was profusely sweating and looked extremely tired. Making the boy sit down, she asked, “From where have You come?”

 

The boy replied, “I am coming from my Gurudeva. My Gurudeva ordered and told Me, ‘Take these things and go to my house at once! Give all these things to my wife.’ But, I feared that I could not bear the load and while I decided on how to carry it, it became a little late. Gurudeva had ordered me to go earlier, but I was late by a minute or two. I was ready to go, but to punish Me, he scratched My back with his nails. See these scratches for yourself.”

 

She saw those scratches. Blood was on the verge of coming out, the marks on the little boy’s back were reddish. Seeing the punishment meted out to this young boy by her husband, she became furious and began to think, “How beautiful, soft, and sweet this boy is! How has my husband become so cruel hearted that he has done something like this? Let him come home, I will give him a good lesson.”

 

In the meantime, she told that boy, “You should sit here, I am going to cook just now, I will offer the bhoga (unoffered foodstuffs) to Narayana, and I will feed You and You should then go.”

 

The boy replied, “Okay mother, you should cook, I am just sitting here.”

 

Meanwhile, the husband returned and knocked on the door. Being so furious, she confronted him and said, “Oh Brahmin, why did you give such a heavy load to that boy? Don’t you have any pity? You are so cruel-hearted!”

 

Arjuna Misra replied, “Which boy? Where?”

 

“Your disciple, he has come to me.”

 

“I have no disciple at all, I have not sent anything by anyone. I have just come home!”

 

“Why did you scratch Him?”

 

“I want to see who this boy is.”

 

The wife told her husband, “Come on. I will show you who the boy is.” They entered the room, but there was no boy here or there. They searched everywhere, but could not find Him. Then bitterly weeping, Arjun Misra told her, “Bring my book, the Gita.” And when it was brought in front of him, he saw that the line he had cut through with a pen, has perfectly legible again. Then he began to roll on the earth crying, “Oh Krsna, Oh Krsna, I have committed many offenses at Your lotus feet by cutting this line. I had no faith in that line. And for this reason, You have come and brought all these things. This is an example to the whole world; that Krsna Himself takes all the burdens of His followers.”

 

Then he took the dust of his wife’s feet and said, “Oh you are so lucky! Krsna Himself came to you and you saw Him. You gave water to Him and He took it, but I am so foolish and fallen that I could not see Him.” Then they both began to cry and weep. So, why should we fear and think, “What will happen tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow? All are against me, they will kill me!” But anyone cannot be killed if Krishna desires so. If Krsna wants to protect and save someone, then no one can do them harm. But, if Krsna does not like to save and protect someone, then by their own efforts these people can never save themselves. Even powerful men like Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, and Kamsa could not save themselves by their own efforts. So you should have a very firm belief in Krishna. You should be carefree and fearless. Thus, we should always proceed and develop our Krsna consciousness.

Gaura premanande! Hari Haribol!

 

Have you all heard this story before?

 

[Audio break]

 

Srila Gurudeva: This is the essence of Srimad Bhagavad Gita. This sloka is mentioned in the 18th chapter. The self-realized souls have no requirements from this world, they don’t want anything. They have nothing to lose and nothing to gain from this world. They don’t lament when they lose something. They see Brahma everywhere. There is not a single particle or an atom of this world that exists separately from Brahma.

 

[Audio break]

 

He sees Brahma in everyone. He sees Brahma in cows, elephants, ants, trees, creepers, seeds, and in every object.

 

Devotee: This is the latest technology Maharaja. People call this gadget a cell phone. While you are giving class, they sit in their homes listening.

 

Devotee 2: They can’t be here, but they want to hear you speak.

 

Srila Gurudeva: These persons who have realized Brahma are realized Brahma-jnanis. If by their good fortune, they meet a devotee who is Krishna-tattva-vit, they can become devotees themselves. The Krishna-tattva-vit devotee is one-pointed in his worship of Krishna, he is rasik and knows all the tattvas of Krishna. He is always absorbed in devotional services. He is constantly engaged in chanting and remembering. If a Brahma-jnani has the association of these rasik, maha-bhagavat Vaisnavas, then he will achieve Para-bhakti. What is para bhakti? It is the supreme form of bhakti, devotion that is characterized by the cultivation of Krishna-prema. A devotee who has this para-bhakti can tell, “Gopi-bhava, the service of the gopis to Sri Radha and Krishna Conjugal, is the highest form of love and affection.” If the brahma-jnanis associate with devotees of such calibre, they will achieve para-bhakti. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give Vraja-gopi bhava. Even Svamiji has come for the same purpose.

 

We see that jnani-bhaktas are superior to brahma-jnanis. Superior to the jnani-bhaktas are the suddha bhaktas. They are far superior to jnani-bhaktas. Prahlada Maharaja and the Four Kumaras are examples of jnani-bhaktas. The Pandavas are superior to the jnani-bhaktas. Their services are superior to that of Hanumana’s. But the Pandavas have much regard for Krishna. Krishna sits on the chariot of Arjuna and obeys his orders. They even sleep on the same bed. During the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna showed His universal form to Arjuna and said, “I am Brahma. I am Parambrahma. Everything is in Me. All the warriors who are fighting on both the sides are dead already. I have killed them all, so, you only have to be the instrument Arjuna.

 

But, when Arjuna saw this universal form, he repeatedly offered pranama to Krishna. He said, “I have called you ‘Krishna’ many times, so I have committed many offenses. On my behalf, You are seated on this chariot. I will not call You, “Sakha,” anymore. You are the root of all Isvaras (controllers) and You are the source of all emanations. You are Adi-Purusa, the beginning less person. You are the source of Brahma, Visnu, Mahesh, and all other personalities. I will never call you, ‘friend’ again. Please forgive me for committing many offenses at Your lotus feet. You are the Lord of lords while I am an ignorant person.” On seeing Krishna’s universal form, Arjuna’s friendship to Krishna was broken.

 

But, when Yasoda Maiya sees the universal form in Krishna’s mouth, she thinks, “What have I just seen! Is someone playing on a trick on my son? Or maybe, I am seeing a dream.” Yasoda then folded her palms and rubber her eyes. Yasoda saw the universal form, twice or thrice. Even Arjuna has not seen the universal form as many times as Yasoda did. Yasoda did not realize that Krishna is Parabrahma or the God of gods. After what she had seen, Yasoda immediately called for the priests and brahmanas.

 

The priests told her, “Oh there is nothing to worry about. Bring some cow dung and cow urine. Also, please bring a black cow.” With all arrangements made, they began to chant mantras. They chanted, “Om tad Visnu paramam-pada sada pasyanti dvivah….Narayanam rakset,” and they chanted many corresponding mantras.

 

The priests then bathed Krishna with the cow dung and cow urine. Yasoda never cares for any formal worship of her son. Her love and affection to Krishna never diminishes. Just so her son will grow up to be a good boy, she chastises and orders Krishna. She tells Krishna, “I will give You a good slap! I received many complaints that You are always stealing butter.”

 

Above all, we see in the gopis’ character of how they are the topmost servants of Krishna. This Brahma, Krishna plays with the gopis in the groves of Gokula-Vrindavana. He even carries the orders of the gopis. This prema controls everyone in Vraja—Radha and Krishna, the gopas, the gopis, and all the residents of Vraja. All are controlled by prema, hence, prema is prayojana. Prema is the goal of all living beings. To distribute this prema to the conditioned souls and to facilitate an easy process by which the souls can achieve this prema, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who is Krishna and Ramacandra Himself descended with all His associates to this material world.

 

Our religion is not Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, or any other religion. The aim of the practice of modern day religions is to have a good position in society and to live peacefully in this world by maintaining harmony with each other. Our ancient Rsis and sages practiced Sanatana-dharma. They established a system that combined all the masses of people and inspired them to lead good lives. The actual religion of not just human beings, but of all living beings, is to obtain this Krishna-prema. This goal has been stated everywhere in all the scriptures like the Vedas, Srimad Bhagavatham, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and Sri Caitanya Caritamrita.

 

In the Bhagavad Gita, it has been stated:

 

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

—Sri Bhagavad Gita 18.65

[Always think of Me and 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.]

 

sarva-dharman parityajya

mam ekam saranam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

moksayisyami ma sucah

 

—Bhagavad Gita 18.66

 

[“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”]

 

So, I started the discussion by describing some of the characteristics of the brahma-jnanis. I will describe a history that is as follows:

 

Maharaja Janaka while seated on the throne was giving proper respects to all the Rsis, Maharsis, Brahma-jnanis, Bhagavad-bhaktas, and everyone according to their qualifications. All the members of the assembly were involved in an ista-gosti, like how we are involved in one presently. In an ista-gosti, questions are asked by the members of the assembly and an authoritative figure answers those questions. An ista-gosti, is an assembly (gosti) for the worshipful Lord (ista) of the members. The aim of an ista-gosti is how the ista-deva (worshipful Lord) can be pleased and achieved. The members of an ista-gosti concern themselves on how they can realize their worshipful Lord. It is not an assembly of worldly friends who discuss trivial, worldly subject matters among themselves.

 

An ista-gosti was arranged in the royal palace of Janaka Maharaja and in the meantime, a saint called Astavakra Rsi arrived in the royal palace. He was a very realized yogi, have you heard his name before? He was very famous in India when India was still following Vedic culture and Vedic knowledge. His body was crooked in eight places.

 

[Srila Gurudeva points out to the different part of the body that were crooked]

 

He body was crooked in eight parts. He was black in color and had an ugly face. Most of his teeth had fallen out. When he would walk, it seemed that each of the two legs were moving in separate directions. The stick he would use the help of was also crooked. He came from a very distant place in the Himalayas. When he reached the precincts of the palace, he told the gatekeepers, “I want to meet Janaka Maharaja and I also want to attend the meeting conducted by the king. He has honourably said that there is no ban on any rishi or maharsi. So, may I be allowed inside?”

 

The gatekeepers allowed him inside sensing his saintliness. When Astavakra rsi entered the assembly, except for the king, all the members began to laugh loudly on seeing Astavaktra rsi’s physical appearance. Resting on his crooked stick, Astavakra rsi started laughing more loudly than the members of the royal assembly. Maharaja Janaka and all the rsis were surprised and they asked among themselves, “Why is he laughing?”

 

Maharaja Janaka then approached Astavakra rsi and asked, “Why are you laughing rsiji?”

 

Astavakra rsi retorted, “Why did everyone else laugh? I want to know.”

 

“All laughed on seeing your ugly body. You are ugly and crooked at eight parts because of a boon. A lot of dust has accumulated on your body. It seems that you haven’t bathed for a long time. You have not dressed yourself in good garments, it seems you don’t have anything. But, why have you dared to come here to this assembly of well-educated scholars? You are so daring!”

 

Maharaja Janaka then said, “Now can you please tell us why you laughed?”

 

Astavakra rsi replied, “I have come from a very long distance. I heard that this assembly consisted of knowledgeable, intelligent jnanis and rsis. Maharaja Janaka is also a learned, well-educated brahma jnani. He is a very saintly king, he is a rajarsi. It seemed that I was laughing, but rather, I was weeping. I thought, ‘Why did I even come here?’ Because all the members in this assembly are cobblers. Cobblers only concern themselves with leather and skin. They are always pre-occupied with the thoughts of proper and improper leather. Their knowledge is only based on skin and leather. They have no knowledge of the atma. So, I weep because all the members are cobblers.”

 

All the members of the assembly were greatly affected by Astavakra rsi’s words, and they fell at his feet and begged for forgiveness. Maharaja Janaka fell flat at the lotus feet of Astavakra rsi and taking his hand, led him to the throne and seated him there. All the members of the assembly folded their hands and requested the rsi to impart some instructions.

 

Astavakra rsi told all the members of the assembly, “Who is a brahma jnani? He is one who can see the atma, the soul everywhere. He doesn’t see the skin or the external body of a person.”

 

The platform of Gita and the first stage of devotion is to realize that you are not this body. This serves as a foundation for all kinds of knowledge. Therefore, we should try to understand these facts. To realize that you are not the body is the first stage of Vedic culture and knowledge. The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Vedas and Upanisads. You should realize that this body is like a cloth. The body may be worn and torn like a cloth, but our soul never takes birth and never dies. He is not prone to the suffering of this world. The soul is always atmarama, he always takes pleasure in his own self. The soul is brahma, but he is not Parabrahma. The soul will only be completely pleased when he realizes Parabrahma. Krishna is Parabrahma. He is more than Parabrahma, He is Svayam Bhagavan. He is an ocean of all kinds of rasas, nectarean mellows. Hence, Parabrahma can only be known by a loving relationship. Otherwise, He cannot be known. Krishna can only be known, realized, and seen by prema. The devotee must develop a relationship with Krishna that is based on spontaneous love and affection. He must love Krishna like how the Vrajavasis do. Our real and ultimate goal is to love Krishna like how the Vrajavasis do. By following in the footsteps of the Vrajavasis, Krishna will be controlled. The Vrajavasis are Krishna’s life and soul. Prema is a manifestation of Srimati Radhika’s ananda sakti and Krishna’s samvit sakti. Knowledge and ananda combined together form prema.

 

Our goal and motive is to attain this love. This is the essence of all the teachings of our Guruvarga. “Om tad Vishnu paramam padam, sada pasyanti surayah dviva caksuh..,” tad Vishnu paramam padam, Vishnu is everywhere. He is present in the heart of every being and is also present in inanimate objects. He is all-pervading. “Vyapnoti iti Vishnu,” He is everywhere. He knows everyone but none know Him. Only the devotees can know, realize, and see Him. This mantra has been stated in the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, and in many other scriptures. It is a very important mantra.

 

Parama padam, sada pasyanti—those who are self-realized see Him. How can you see a formless, quality less, non-distinctive entity? But He can be seen by the eyes of devotion. All the realized souls see Him in such a manner. In the Bible, it is stated, “God created man after His own image.” If God has no image, then how did He create man? God has created millions of forms, none can create like how He does. God alone has the potency to create innumerable life forms.

 

Therefore, Krishna-God has many attributes, forms, qualities, and potencies. So, we should try to realize Him. He can only be realized by Bhakti. The way to pure bhakti can be shown by a bona fide teacher, spiritual master. So, we should bow down to the lotus feet of our Guruvarga and pray that we can attain that prema, by which Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will be controlled.

 

Gaura Premanande! Haribol!

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

 

 

Firm Faith in the Holy Name

16 May 1996 Radlett
Firm Faith in the Holy Name

[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:

Srila Gurudeva: First of all, I want to glorify my Gurudeva, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Vishnupada Astotara satta Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, who is the Sannyasa guru of Svamiji. I also offer my heartly honor to the lotus feet of Svamiji. He was a very powerful Acharya. He came to the Western countries where there was no previous background or platform made for the cultivation of Krishna consciousness. All the people there were absorbed in eating, drinking, and making merry. But, despite his old age, Svamiji came to the Western countries having no money with him. He came by a ship. All of you know how Svamiji came to the West. I have explained Svamiji’s visit to America in a detailed way in Holland. So, I am not going to repeat the explanation.

[Srila Gurudeva speaks to a devotee from the Bhaktivedanta Manor.]

What will be a suitable time to go?

Devotee: We would like to go at 7’o clock.

Srila Gurudeva: Will it be convenient for you all to come at this time?

Devotee: Maharaja, I spoke with Brajanatha Prabhu, and he will speak to you a little later.

Srila Gurudeva: Hare Krishna.

Devotee: Thank you so much.

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Gaura Premanande! Haribol!

Srila Gurudeva: So, the Western countries had no background or even a smell of Krishna consciousness. I know that is very hard to sow the seed of devotion in the Western countries. But, Svamiji mercifully gave this seed of bhakti. If this seed is properly watered, tended to, and nourished, then leaves will gradually unfurl and this seed will take the form of a very, big tree. It may also take the form of a beautiful creeper. This tree or creeper will cross the heavenly realms and enter the spiritual sky. It will also cross the abodes of Vaikunta, Ayodhya, Dvaraka, Mathura and will finally find shelter at the lotus feet of Krishna in Vrindavana. So, it is very difficult to sow this seed of devotion in anyone, especially in someone who has a dry heart. The vairagyamana purusha, or the heart of he who has no attachment to worldly desires or anything is like a desert. No seed will germinate there. The heart of someone who is excessively attached to this world is also like a desert. The heart of someone who is excessively detached is also like a desert. The heart of an excessively attached person is like a cold desert where no seed can be sown, while the heart of an excessively detached person is like a hot desert filled with sand. Even a powerful seed sown here will not sprout.

So, Srila Svami Maharaja miraculously made these two kinds of desert like hearts, very fertile. He made them fertile by his harikatha, by his exposition on the pastimes of Krishna and by his own practice of bhakti. If you aren’t practicing bhakti and have not established yourself in the line of devotion, then you may chant harinama ten lakh times, but no change will manifest. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and all our disciplic Acharyas have practiced devotion to Krishna themselves, and then they have preached what they have practiced. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has ordered His devotees to practice and then preach.

yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa

–Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 7.128

[Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.”]

First, practice devotion in your lives. Your behavior must reflect your devotion. And then, if you have realized something; preach to others. They will also become devotees. Being trained by its master, a parrot repeats, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.” But, if a cat comes and attacks the parrot, the parrot forgets to repeat Hare Krishna, and instead, shouts for its master. So, we should not be like a parrot that only repeats what it has been told.

We just sang the bhajan, “Sri Guru carana Padma, kevala bhakti sadma,” that has the excerpt, “Divya jnana hrde prakasito.” What is the meaning of this excerpt? We should realize the import of this bhajan. If you are chanting like a parrot, you will not have prema bhakti. The chanting will create some good impressions, impressions that karmis (materialists) and yogis seek, acquiring which they will be very happy in this world. You can also get salvation by this nonchalant chanting, but you will not get Vraja prema for which Caitanya Mahaprabhu, our Guruvarga, and Svamiji came to give to the conditioned souls of this world. You will not be able to attain this prema.

“Divya jnana hrde prakasito,” what is divya jnana? You will have to try to know what divya jnana is. “Caksu dana dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei, divya jnana hrde prakasito,” chanting, chanting, and also engaging in kirtana to the accompaniment of the playing of the harmonium, mrdingas, karatalas, and dancing; but not knowing anything of this divya jnana, transcendental knowledge, then what will be the effect? You should try to know the deep underlying moods of this kirtana. “Caksu dana dilo jei,” what is caksu dana?

It is the vision by which you will realize that you are not this physical, mortal body. You may manage to have all worldly requirements and facilities like how Hiranyakasipu did, he had many boons that made him nearly invincible or like Ravana, who ruled over the city of Lanka, which was made entirely of gold. He didn’t have only son. He had one lakh sons and one hundred, twenty five thousand grandsons. Each son had a golden palace. Their kingdoms were far more advanced that any scientist could ever imagine. Scientists have made many countries like—England, France, Germany, and America very advanced, but yet, the citizens of these countries are not satisfied. Ravana could not be satisfied, he was killed with all his brothers, sons, and grandsons. The golden city of Lanka was burnt to ashes. Material facilities and advancements cannot help us. “Divya jnana hrde prakasito,” we are all the servants of Krishna, His part and parcels. We are not of this material world. We have come like refugees here for some days. We should realize this by divya caksu, transcendental eyes. We should come to the conclusion that we cannot live in this world as refugees for more than hundred years. Out of those allotted hundred years, half of the time, is spent in sleeping. And those who are not Jitendriyah, who haven’t conquered their senses, they will sleep even more. They will sleep for more than twelve hours a day.

So, one half of a person’s life is spent entirely in sleeping. And then, out of the remaining fifty years, twenty years or more will be spent during one’s childhood upbringing, and education, where the student wants to become a doctor, engineer, business man or a leader. By spending time in getting educated this way, they will be qualified to earn more and more, and thus, they will aim to fulfill their worldly requirements. So, a lot of time is spent in earning money. And in the age between eighty to hundred, you will become so old that you will not be able to move without the help of a stick. Your hair will become dry and your eyes will lose their power of sight. Your teeth will fall out. When the age of forty comes, your hair will start turning white, but being undeterred, you will have them removed. But after single strand of hair is removed, on the next day, you will see that many strands of hair have turned white. After some time, you will see that half the hair on your head has turned white. Then you will think, “What to do?” At that time, you will not be able to do anything, you cannot do anything. You will be old, and after that, you will die.

Therefore, out of hundred years; fifty years is spent in sleeping; twenty years is spent in an upbringing and on one’s education. Old age will conquer twenty years. This way, ninety years is lost. For the remaining ten years, you will plan and think, “I have to marry. I have to raise children and make them qualified. I have to earn enough money to buy a television, car, and many other things.” Sitting within your living room, by the medium of the television, you will see all that is happening around the world. Sitting and lying down in your home, you especially want to see football and cricket.

[Laughter]

So, the remaining ten years will also pass this way. When will you realize, “I should serve Krishna.” But, even if you desire to serve, you will have no time. You should try to serve Krishna from your boyhood. And to aid you in your service to Krishna, you must have the association of bona fide Guru and Vaisnavas. If you don’t follow the instructions of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas, you will not be able to proceed an inch in the realm of bhakti. “Krishna bhakti janma mula hoya sadhu sanga,” sadhu sanga is the mother of Krishna bhakti. If there is no sadhu sanga, there is no bhakti. But, sadhu sanga is rarely found in this world. Sadhu sanga is very rare indeed. There are many people who don the guise of a sadhu, they will wear red cloth and claim that they are of the renounced order. But they have no divya caksu, transcendental eyes. So, many problems come. Hence, it is stated here that a person should be in sadhu sanga from the beginning of his life and accept the shelter of a real guru. But how to accept the shelter of a real guru? You cannot manage to find a bona fide guru by yourself. If you have past samskaras, where you have rendered any service to Krishna, Krishna bhakti, the devotees, Vrindavana, Yamuna, and Ganga, then as a fruit of this service, Krishna will very easily manage a bona fide guru and sadhu sanga for you. Otherwise, it is very hard to find a bona fide guru and the association of devotees.

So, if you have performed these activities that are conducive for devotion for lakhs and lakhs of births, then sadhu sanga will be obtained. But, if you don’t have the necessary samskaras, impressions from previous lives, then on coming across a sadhu, you may associate him with a couple or more days and then leave his association. By leaving his association, your heart will be dry. I think when Svamiji returned to serve his Divine Couple, many of his disciples’ hearts became dry. The devotees having these dry hearts left ISKCON, re-married, and returned to their previous materialistic ways. Many persons in the renounced order of life re-married or without being married, they left their renounced order and went to various places. So, you will always need the association of a high class of Vaisnava. This Vaisnava should be more advanced and qualified than you. By his association, bhakti will come. But, in Caitanya Caritamrita, Sri Raya Ramananda Prabhu stated:

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate

—Sri Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 8.70

[‘Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price-that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.’]

You can have the association of a devotee by the sukriti accrued from over a thousand lifetimes. But, to have the association of a bona fide and Rasik Vaisnava who is in the line of Rupa Gosvami, is extremely rare. All our Acharyas were bona fide and Rasik Vaisnavas. By the causeless mercy of Krishna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, or the by the mercy of any rasik, tattva-vit Vaisnava, whose transcendental eye has opened and hence, is conversant with all the tattvas; by his association, you can have Krishna bhakti. Raya Ramananda Prabhu clearly explained to Caitanya Mahaprabhu in their dialog, of how important it is to seek the association of a rasik, tattva-vit Vaisnava. By this Rasik Vaisnava’s association, greed to serve Krishna in Vraja will arise. The devotee will want to serve Krishna as a friend, or as His parents-Nanda and Yasoda, or like the gopis. This is called Ragunuga bhakti.

Devotion from the beginning is characterized by two kinds of shraddha. Do you know what shraddha is?

Devotee: Faith.

Srila Gurudeva: The word, ‘faith,’ doesn’t cover all the meanings of shraddha. But there is no other word from the English language that can be used to translate this word. Do you know what the root or seed of bhakti is? Some say, “Shraddha is the seed of bhakti.” But no, shraddha is the external and internal symptoms of bhakti. The seed of bhakti is the desire to serve Krishna.

“I should serve Krishna, if my life is going to end, no harm; but I will never abandon this desire,” this conviction is called, “Krishna seva vasana,” in Sanskrit. Guru sows the seed of devotion to Krishna in the heart of the surrendered disciple. Those who don’t want anything worldly; who don’t want to go to the heavenly realms or to the Vaikunta planets; who don’t want any kind of salvation—then Gurudeva blesses this kind of disciple by firstly bestowing divya jnana. Guru tells the disciple, “You are not this body. You are a part and parcel of Krishna; a servant of Krishna. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Srimati Radhika is His hladini sakthi, His pleasure potency. You should serve Them.” Guru gives the mood of service to his disciple by the medium of his harikatha—his exposition on the pastimes of Krishna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu. Thus, the seed of devotion is sown in the pure heart of a disciple. The heart of the disciple may also be impure, but the disciple will have some faith in his Gurudeva, Vaisnavas, and in scriptures like the Srimad Bhagavatham, and the Bhagavad Gita. These are the external symptoms of shraddha.

The internal symptoms of the bhakti of a devotee is characterized by the mentality, “If any difficulties or troubles affect me, I will remain undisturbed and I will never leave Krishna bhakti.”

khanda khanda hai’ deha yadi jaya prana
tabu ami vadane na chadi harinama

–Sri Caitanya-bhagavata Adi 11.91

[Even if you cut my body into pieces, I will never give up chanting the holy name.]

Srila Haridasa Thakura had this unflinching determination in chanting harinama. He told his tormentors, “Even if my body is cut into lakhs of pieces, I will be the first person to take a stand and never leave bhakti.”

So, “Shraddha sabde visvas kohe sudrda niscaya, Krishna bhakti koile sarva karma krta hoya,” if a devotee listens to his Gurudeva saying, “You must serve Krishna. You must receive and exchange gifts with devotees.” After listening to his Gurudeva speak, the disciple will have so much faith in the words of his Gurudeva, good devotees, and in our bhakti books like Srimad Bhagavatham, Sri Bhagavad Gita, and Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. The three—Sri Guru, Vaisnavas, and scriptures, are one. If there is something that you do not understand or follow, you must carefully reconcile. Sastra may state one meaning, while Sri Guru and Vaisnavas may state another meaning. To reconcile this conflicting situation, you will have to place your faith wholeheartedly in the words of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas. If a guru speaks something else, while Sastras and Vaisnava are of one opinion; then we will have to reconcile. If a guru is unable to reconcile this apparent misunderstanding, then instead of following him, you should follow the words of Sastra and Vaisnavas. You must have the preliminary understanding that a guru will never speak something that is contradictory to the words of sastra and Vaisnavas. But you may not understand the intentions behind guru’s words, so you will have to place your faith in the Bhagavat, Bhagavad Gita, and in all the sastras written by Rupa Gosvami and our Acharyas.

A person may be very sinful, he may be a drunkard, and he may be very fallen; but if he has the desire, “I must serve Krishna, I have so much faith in Guru, Vaisnavas, and sastra,” then this person is shraddalu, faithful. Guru doesn’t initiate this person, rather, he sows the seed of devotion in this person and speaks harikatha again. By this harikatha, the seed of devotion is nourished. Harikatha is like water that propels the growth of the seed of devotion. We should nourish the seed of devotion and it will gradually sprout. But this seed of devotion will not sprout in a day or two, you will have to wait. You may sow a seed, but being impatient, if you remove the seed from the earth within a day or two to see if it has sprouted, then what will be the result? The seed will wither and dry itself out. We should have the faith that in time, the seed will sprout and grow into a very good tree that will bear many fruits and flowers. These fruits will mature and ripen, and on being eaten, they will produce a beautiful, sweet taste. But the seed will grow into a tree and produce succulent fruits at an appropriate time.

We know that Ajamila was a bad person. At first, he was a good person. He was the son of a Brahmin, and of good character. He diligently served his parents, his wife was very chaste and good. His children were educated. But despite having a good family, he fell in the trap of a prostitute and he could not change his mind. He started living with the prostitute, and bore many sons from her. He named his last son as Narayana. Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarthi Thakura tells us that the first time Ajamila called his son, “Narayana,” he got out of maya’s influence. But, he was unaware of this fact. He would often call his son and say, “Narayana, Narayana, come and sit on my lap.” By repeatedly calling for his son, Ajamila practiced chanting harinama. But, he was oblivious of this unintended chanting. When death came for Ajamila represented by Yamadutas, the messengers of Yama Maharaja, who tried to separate him from his body; then he naturally called out for his youngest son and cried out, “Narayana! Narayana!” At that moment, three effulgent personalities descended in front of him. Who were they? When you commit any sin or pious activities by your thoughts, words, or actions—tan, man, vachana…

[Break of audio]

Sita-devi was applying sindhur (vermilion) at the parting of the hair, according to Vedic custom. Do you know what sindhur is? Married Indian ladies apply this reddish vermilion at the parting of the hair. So, Sita-devi was applying this sindhur.

Seeing this sight, Hanuman asked her, “Mother, what are you doing? What is this that you apply?”

Sita-devi replied, “By applying this sindhur, Rama will never die. He will always be in good health and He will be glad and satisfied. I will be sauhagini—a chaste lady who controls her husband.” Hanuman was satisfied by this answer. As soon as Sita-devi went out of the room, Hanuman emptied the entire pot of sindhur and covered his entire body with this reddish powder. Entirely covered by this powder, Hanuman entered the royal assembly of Rama. On seeing Hanuman, all the members of the assembly started laughing and told each other, “What has Hanumana done?” Mother Janaki was also laughing.

One of the members asked Hanuman, “What have you done? Have you manifested your monkey nature?”

Hanuman replied, “I saw Mother Janaki applying this powder on the parting of her hair, so that Rama will have a long, happy life. So, mother applied this powder only on the parting of her hair, but I decided to cover my whole body with it, because Rama will then always be happy and He will never die.”

So, Hanuman’s service to Rama was incomparable, but he cannot go to Vrindavana. He cannot go. Why? If he sees Mother Yasoda disciplining her son, Krishna, Hanuman will think, “My Lord is being disciplined?” Thinking so, he will be upset. With his club, he might do something wrong. If he will see that in the groves of Vrindavana, Srimati Radhika and the gopis order Krishna and tell Him, “Come on! Come on! The colors painted on our feet has been washed away, so You should paint our feet.” Hanuman will also see Krishna praying to the gopis. Hanuman will think, “What is my Prabhu doing?” And he will again be upset. So, Hanuman never goes to Vrindavana because he is of dasya-rasa (the mood of being the servitor of the Lord). Dasya-rasa is not to be considered lowly, it is achieved only after liberation. Dasya-rasa is of two kinds. In the Vaikunta realm, there are four kinds of liberation—sarupya (having bodily features that resemble the Lord’s), samipya (equal association with the Lord), sarsti (equal possession of opulence like that of the Lord), and salokya (equal facility to live on the same planet of the Lord). Sayujya-mukti, to become one with the bodily effulgence of Krishna must be discarded. This kind of impersonalistic liberation is a great curse. But the other four kinds of liberation may be accepted by the lower class of devotees. Being four handed like Lord Vishnu or Narayana, and embellished with the conch, discus, club, and mace, they are situated in the lower half of Vaikunta. Residing there, they are liberated and experience some happiness.

But, those devotees who proceed to the higher regions of Vaikunta, can serve the Lord there like His associates—Jaya and Vijaya. This form of devotion is called prema-seva-uttara. But, the servants of Krishna like Chitraka and Patraka, whose mood of servitorship is mixed with the mood of friendliness; they are so much more superior and liberated.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is asking Raya Ramananda Prabhu questions, and He is gradually giving the devotees the culmination of the highest forms of love and affection to the Lord. After glorifying dasya-rasa (the mood of servitorship), Raya Ramananda Prabhu will speak on sakhya-rasa (the mood of friendship), and he will gradually speak on vatsalya-rasa (the mood of parenthood), and madhurya-rasa (the mood of considering Krishna as the beloved).

So, I want to stop here because I have been advised by the doctors to not speak for long. Now, harinama should be chanted and sung. You should try to have a very regular and good association of bona fide devotees. The seed of devotion has been planted in your hearts, but if you don’t water this seed of devotion with the water of harikatha; it may dry and be destroyed. You should carefully and diligently tend to this seed of devotion. You should always be in good association and you must also sincerely study scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatham, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, and all other books of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Svamiji, and our Guruvarga. Thus, we should gradually advance in our Krishna consciousness.

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

 

A Bosom Friend of ISKCON

15 May 1996 Radlett

 

A Bosom Friend of ISKCON

 

[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:

 

 

Srila Gurudeva: Sukadeva Gosvami was the most obedient disciple. He employed many means that kindled everyone’s loving devotion to Krishna. He would sometimes speak crookedly, and not openly. He would not speak in a prominent way. He would speak on a topic that would specifically apply only to the householders; the message to the householders would carry a very deep meaning.

 

Krishna told the gopis, “You should return to your homes now that you have seen the beautiful scenery of this Vrindavana forest. The moon is shining radiantly, the water of the Yamuna is sparkling. All the peacocks and parrots are making such enchanting, sweet sounds! You have seen how lovely the forest is, but now you should return and serve your husbands.”

 

“You should serve your husbands even if they are crooked, lame, and ugly. They may also be very poor and bereft of all good qualities, but still, you should serve your husbands.” Do you know what the gopis’ reply was?

 

They replied, “We are ready to follow what You say, You are our teacher. You are the best of all teachers. We will follow exactly what You have to say, but You will also have to follow what You say. Or else, sin will touch You.”

 

“You have said, ‘Sarva dharmam parityajna mam ekam saranam vraja,’ You proclaim to be the husband and brother of all. You say, ‘I am all-in-all.’ The two slokas, ‘Isvarah parama Krishna, satcitananda vigraha, anadir adir govinda sarva karana karanam,’ and, ‘Ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajam aham,’ were also spoken by You. You say, ‘Those who serve Me, I reciprocally serve them. If they serve me by only a fraction of their hearts, I also serve them by only a fraction of My heart.’”

 

The gopis continued, “Now, You are going back on Your words, You should not do so. You must follow what You have proclaimed. Now, You are our guru, and guru must be worshiped before anyone else. So, we will worship and serve You first, and You must accept our service. Otherwise, You will be guilty of committing sin and You will face difficulties. We know that You are the husband of all. Hence, You are our husband also. So, we should serve You even if you are lame, ugly, or black. We must serve You.”

 

So, Krishna was defeated by the gopis’ arguments.

 

Krishna told the yajna-patnis (the wives of the brahmanas of Mathura), “Return to your husbands,” and the yajna-patnis went away. But, the gopis did not return to their husbands.

 

So, Sukadeva Gosvami has spoken directly at times, and indirectly at other times. Only the bona fide devotees who sincerely serve their holy master and Rasik Vaisnavas, can understand and follow the import of his statements. Or else, they will be unable to understand. And for many lives, they will be in the same class of devotion and their bhakti will turn dry. Consequently, they will give up the line of devotion. Bhakti is like a current, if a dam is made and placed before this current, the current will be checked and stopped. So, our bhakti should always flow like a forceful current and this current should not be stopped by any obstacles. Svamiji and our Guruvarga embody this dynamic current of bhakti. This current originated from Krishna who passed it down to Brahma and this current culminates in the presence of our guru. If we want to control this current by many rules and regulations, then the current will be stopped. Bhakti is not bound by any artificial rules and regulations. Bhakti is bound by her own rule and regulation—love and affection. By control, everything will be spoiled. Bhakti is not controlled by any artificial rules and regulations, she is controlled by her own transcendental rules and regulations. If this current of bhakti is unchecked, it will flow and reach the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika and Krishna. We see in the pastimes of Krishna that no one could control the gopis. People think that the gopis went in the opposite direction of morality, because they left their husbands, children, and Vedic dharma. They even gave up their shame. But, no rules and regulations could control them. They were determined to meet Krishna and although the forest had no path; they found their way through and reached the spot where Krishna was present.

 

So, bhakti should never be controlled. We should only be careful to not let any water of misconceptions adulterate this pure flow of bhakti. There is nothing else there for us to control. We will only need to facilitate this flow of bhakti. What is this water of misconceptions that we should protect our bhakti from? This bad water symbolizes the misconceptions of karma, jnana, and other false ideologies. These detrimental ideologies should never be entertained by the devotees. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami have done marvelous seva. They never checked bhakti, but rather, protected her embankments. Srila Vishvnatha Cakravarthi Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvathi Thakura, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and our Guruvarga are so generous! Before he took Sannyasa, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was often residing in Mathura. There, he would sit with me, and engage in kirtana with me. We would engage in many services together.

 

He told me once, “If I go to the Western countries, I will build boarding houses. There, I will accommodate students and I will allow them to do anything, but they should engage themselves in Harinama-sankirtana also. If they want to consume eggs, meat, and wine, or anything else; they may do so, but I know surely that by the transcendental effects of harinama, after some days, very soon, after a two or three days, they will forsake these deplorable habits. They will quit these habits by their own accord; there will be no need to order them around or control them. They will join the Krishna consciousness movement and they will all be very good devotees.”

 

Svamiji was so liberal! These are some of the specialties of bona fide Acharyas. You cannot have these transcendental qualities if you try to control everyone. You try to control your divine master also. You tell your Gurudeva, “Oh don’t go there! You should be situated here and do this. You should not associate with those devotees.” These are not the services of a bona fide disciple. A pure devotee has not come to make a sectarian group, he has only come to strengthen the Krishna consciousness of the devotees that will enable them to go to Goloka Vrindavana. He has only come to help them. He has not come to impose rules and regulations over devotees and to rule over them. It has been written in Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

 

Guru sevaka hoye manya…

 

A devotee should think, “Anyone who serves Gurudeva, even if a dog serves him, I am indebted to it. I will try to serve these servants of my Gurudeva in all respects.” You have forgotten this Vaisnava etiquette and that is why many problems are coming and you are in a crisis. You should try to follow proper Vaisnava etiquette. If a person chants the names of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Radha-Krishna, and he has a little bit of shraddha, faith, to Svamiji or any Vaisnava; he should be honored so much. If you want to serve Radha-Krishna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, you must follow this Vaisnava etiquette and if you don’t want to serve Them, you should artificially follow the rules and regulations. By this, you will get money and some devotees to control over. But, you will not develop your divine love for Radha-Krishna. If you want divine love, you should certainly follow what has been written in Caitanya Caritamrita. You should follow Rupa Gosvami and our Guruvarga.

 

You should not think, “I will only follow my Gurudeva. I will only serve him and I will cut the head of all others.”

 

[Laughter]

 

These devotees will stop other devotees from entering the temple.

 

Today, I have spoken more than I ever did during my stay in Holland.

 

Devotee: It is very warm in here. Are you still feeling cold?

 

Srila Gurudeva: No. Here, I don’t want to go outside.

 

The devotees inspire me. Whenever I see any Vaisnava, I am inspired.

 

Devotee: You inspire our hearts.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: This is Govinda-bhakta.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Oh you are Govinda-bhakta? Are you a disciple of Gaura Govinda Maharaja?

 

Sripada Ashrama Maharaja: Yes.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I wanted to meet you.

 

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: And she is Anandini-devi.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, I have met her. Any order for me?

 

[Laughter]

 

We should go downstairs for ten or fifteen minutes. I am coming in some time.

 

Gaura Premanande! Haribol!

 

[Break of audio]

 

[Srila Gurudeva begins class]

 

Srila Gurudeva: First of all, I want to offer my entire love and affection at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Vishnupada Astotara sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and to the lotus feet of my Siksha Guru, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. I also want to glorify Parama Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, by whose mercy the glorification of Sri Radha and Krishna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has manifested everywhere in this world. I also offer my respects to all the assembled devotees. There was no prior program arranged to give a class here today, but I see that many devotees have come here. So, I must speak some harikatha. My main objective in coming to the Western countries is to take the lotus foot dust of Svamiji. I want to visit and take the foot dust of those places where Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja arrived, and began his preaching services. I want to take the holy foot dust of his lotus feet and offer my obeisance to all these holy places. Then I would like to speak harikatha. My first mission in coming to the Western countries is that I go to all the places of the world where Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached and imprinted the foot dust of his lotus feet. He wanted me to accompany him when he first came to the Western countries. He repeatedly requested me to accompany him everywhere. But, I requested and told him, “My holy master is here. I am serving him. So, after some time I will join your mission and try to serve and help you in every respect.”

 

I am realizing how Svamiji himself has managed for me to come to all the places he preached in. He wanted that I help in his preaching services, and because he was a satya-sankalpa purusha, his words had to come true. Do you know who a satya-sankalpa purusha is? He never speaks lies, and what he has decided upon, must become true and factual. Krishna is satya-sankalpa, all incarnations, and bona fide, realized devotees are satya-sankalpa. Any decision they make or any thought they give due consideration on, must become true. Svamiji’s words can never be false. He told me at first to come and his words must become true and bear fruit. That is why, it is going to be proved that by my holy master’s grace, especially by Svamiji’s grace, and by the wish of Radha-Krishna Conjugal and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I am going to many countries and engaging in my services to my Lordships.

 

So, my first business in coming here, is to take the lotus foot dust of Svamiji, from all the countries he visited in the course of his preaching. By visiting all these countries, I want to see how in a very short time, Svamiji preached the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and his Gurudeva. If I touch the foot dust of Svamiji, I will have so much energy to do the same and fulfill his mission. So, I have come to these places to fulfill this mission of mine. I also want to thank all the devotees who have come here to attend the festival. I wish to thank all the devotees who are going to leave soon to their own countries, to those devotees who are new; I wish to extend my gratitude to all. I want all the devotees to be as energetic as the devotees were during Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja’s time. If some devotees have lost their faith in Svamiji or in his mission, they can outwardly chant, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,” but their chanting will be of no use. Devotees should not be fearful of each other. They should also not try to control the other devotees.

 

So, I have come to give some energy to the devotees, because Svamiji has ordered me to do so. For those devotees who don’t know of this order of Svamiji’s, they can listen to the tape that was recorded during Svamiji’s final days, when Svamiji was readying himself to depart from this world and going to serve his dearest, beloved Lordships—Sri Radha and Krishna. At that time, he called me and told me many confidential, deep truths. He told me to always help the leaders and devotees. I always glorify Svamiji, but I don’t know why the leaders fear from me. In a relationship based on love and affection among devotees, fear has no place. I see in all epics, especially in the Gita and Bhagavat, that those who serve Radha and Krishna and chant harinama, should be fearless like Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa Thakura had no fear when he was attacked by his tormentors at 22 market places, he knew that the body was mortal and the soul was immortal. Why should you fear? Why should we fear when the hands of Krishna and Gurudeva are on our heads? So, they should not fear, rather, they should see and understand the situation.

 

In this whole world, ISKCON has no bandhu like me. Do you understand?

 

Devotee: Friend of ISKCON.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Not friend, a bandhu means someone who is much more superior to a friend. Bandhu means a bosom friend. ISKCON has no father or mother like me. You should understand this. Whether they respect me or not, I will always have full love and affection for ISKCON. I care for them like their father and mother and as a Siksha-Guru. If a disciple abandons the beneficial path and resorts to an unbeneficial one, even though the disciple abandons the guru, the guru can never leave his disciple. So, I can never leave ISKCON, I will have to follow what Svamiji has ordered me to do, whether the leaders like it or not. I will follow Svamiji’s orders whether they are favorable or not. I will always think of how ISKCON can be benefited. If a child doesn’t want to take medicine, which is very bitter, a mother will not relent. For the benefit of the child, she will open the child’s mouth and make him swallow the medicine. She also makes him drink a glass of water so that he swallows it. Whether they realize how dear I am to them or not, I have realized how dear ISKCON and the devotees are to me.

 

Devotee: You are not a bitter medicine Gurudeva, you are very sweet.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I pray to Svamiji that he makes a strong impression on their minds, by which they will change their attitudes. They should realize this fact that any Vaisnava who has come to the stage of a Madhyama-adhikari (an intermediate devotee), cannot envy or perform acts of evil intent to anyone. He will not harm even an ant. So, we should always follow the teaching of Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

 

Trnad api sunicena…

 

We should not forget this verse. We are not devotees, we are not even Kanistha-adhikaris (novice devotees). You should try to understand all these truths and go on practicing Krishna consciousness. I haven’t come to quarrel or inhibit their preaching. I haven’t come to create any problems to them. I have only come to help them. In Holland, I saw many prominent, senior, and sincere devotees who had left ISKCON. These devotees were inspired again to take to the practice of Krishna consciousness. I became so glad to see them, and I embraced them all. When I was preparing to leave Holland, all the devotees were crying and telling me to return soon. So, I want that all the devotees here, regardless of belonging to ISKCON or not, combine together and serve Prabhupada with their combined efforts.

 

I pray to Krishna and Svamiji, that the leaders fulfill this desire of mine. I think I will be successful in uniting all devotees, if not today, then in three or four days, or in some time, my plan of uniting all devotees will be successful. If it is not successful, then those that are not following will be ruined. Some devotees think that their Gurudeva and me belong to separate lines of devotion. But we follow the same line of devotion, there is no difference at all. If any difference is perceived, it is due to the fault of the devotees who understand as such. In Caitanya Caritamrita, it has been stated that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the Lord of lords, possessing the six opulences—beauty, strength, knowledge, renunciation, wealth, and fame to an infinite degree. He is the primordial Lord.

 

isvarah paramah krishnah
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahaha
anadir adir govindaha
sarva-karana-karanam

 

–Sri Brahma-samhita 5.1

 

[Krsna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme 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.]

 

 

 

But yet, it has also been stated in Caitanya Caritamrita and Srimad Bhagavatham, that the devotee should develop his love and affection to the Lord in such a way that he forgets Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you cannot forget Krishna’s Godhood, you cannot enter Vrindavana and serve Krishna as a friend, son, or a beloved.

 

[End of audio file]

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

I Will Always Glorify Srila Prabhupada

15 May 1996 Radlett

 

I Will Always Glorify Srila Prabhupada

 

[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:

 

 

Srila Gurudeva: Srila Narottama das Thakura prays, “When will the hair on my body stand on end upon chanting, ‘Gauranga’? When will my eyes overflow with tears upon chanting, ‘Hari Hari’?” “Gauranga bolite ha’be pulaka sarira,” there will be no consideration of offenses while chanting Mahaprabhu’s name. A person only needs to chant Mahaprabhu’s name with a pure, melting heart. A sadhaka should pray, “When will I weep and chant, ‘Ha Gauranga! Ha Gauranga!’?” Who is Gauranga? He is Krishna Himself, but whose entire being is permeated by the moods of Srimati Radhika. Krishna’s dark complexion is covered by the golden color of Srimati Radhika. The mood of Srimati Radhika is predominating in Him.

 

Srila Narottama das Thakura prays, “Gauranga bo’lite ha’be.” In this bhajan, Srila Narottama das Thakura prays, “When will call I out the name of Gauranga and roll on the ground? I will forget all my senses and I will be completely unaware of the world around me while I chant, ‘Ha Gauranga! Ha Gauranga!’ ”

 

On listening to His dear devotee Srila Narottama das Thakura sing, Gauranga manifested Himself with all His associates before Srila Narottama das Thakura and the assembled devotees who heard him sing. Moods of the highest love and affection are embodied in this bhajan. As Srila Narottama das Thakura cried and sang, “Krishna! Krishna! Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare,” all the assembled devotees saw how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu-Gaurachandra, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Haridasa Thakura, Sri Srivasa Thakura, Sri Gadadhara Pandit, and all His associates were dancing and singing with boundless joy and love.

 

Beholding this sight, Narottama Thakura gave up on playing the mridanga and ran towards Mahaprabhu and His associates. But on reaching that spot, Narottama Thakura wondered, “Oh Gauranga is not here! Where is Gauranga? Where is Nityananda Prabhu? Where is Haridasa Thakura? Where are all the associates of Mahaprabhu?” Lamenting, Narottama Thakura rolled on the ground and bitterly cried.

 

Narottama Thakura cried and said, “Oh Caitanya Mahaprabhu has left me! He has gone out of my sight because I have committed many offenses.”

 

A devotee should prayerfully regret, “I have committed so many sins that the knowledge of what the atma, soul is, and what the body is, has eluded my grasp. I am only engaged in committing sins continuously. I work hard to maintain my body and to satisfy my desire for sense gratification. But I refuse to serve my Gurudeva and Mahaprabhu.”

 

Narottama das Thakura then cries out to Nityananda Prabhu, the root of all Gurus. Without the help of a bona fide Gurudeva, we cannot reach out to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and realize who He is. We will not understand the purpose of Mahaprabhu’s advent. Mahaprabhu has only come to bestow His divine mercy, and divine love of God. Those who lack love for the Divine Couple are spiritually blind. They should die at once, if they haven’t died already. So, Nityananda Prabhu must manifest Himself and be merciful. He should send His representative, the bona fide Gurudeva.

 

Without His help or His representative’s help, no soul can reach the stage of divine love of Godhead. You have love for worldly things and for sense gratification, but you lack divine love for Krishna. This misplaced love for worldly things or people is not real love; it is a cheating form of love. This form of love will certainly cheat you. So, you should try to know who you really are. You should chant in such a way that all desires for worldly requirements will go away and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will at once appear in your heart. You should chant loudly and sincerely.

 

You should always pray for the mercy of Rupa-Raghunatha, beseeching them, pray, “When will Rupa-Raghunantha manifest themselves to me and shower me with their boundless, causeless mercy? By their mercy, I will know what Vrindavana is.” You go to Vrindavana, but you don’t realize the transcendental beauty of Vrindavana. Vrindavana is filled with pure love for Krishna. If you go to the pastime places of Vrindavana like Nidhuvana, Seva-kunja, Vamsi-vata, under the guidance of a bona fide guru, you will realize the transcendental love and beauty of Vrindavana. All worldly requirements will go away at once.

 

You cannot know what Vrindavana is without the mercy of Rupa and Raghunatha; you will only see Vrindavana as any other place. Nowadays, the population of the forest animals has decreased in Vrindavana. When Rupa-Raghunatha bestow their causeless mercy on us, we will see how sweet and fragrant Vrindavana is. We will see the most beautiful flowers blooming everywhere. In this transcendental setting of Vrindavana, the Yamuna is flowing in a crooked form, Krishna is standing in a threefold bending, crooked form. He is playing on His Vamsi, flute. He is charming all the animals like the deer, parrots, peacocks, cuckoo birds, and everyone. Everyone in Vrindavana sings, “Radhe Radhe!” This scene is so incredibly beautiful!

 

If a person goes to Vrindavana and even glances at this beauty, he will be totally amazed.

 

So, Srila Narottama das Thakura prays, “Rupa Raghunatha pade rahu mora asa, prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa.” Narottama Thakura prays, “Oh Rupa! Oh Raghunatha! You are not worldly personalities, both of you are the associates of Sri Radha and Krishna. Oh Rupa and Raghunatha, you are Rupa-manjari and Rati-manjari respectively. Both of you should be affectionate to me, by which I will realize this transcendental beauty. By your causeless mercy, I will cross this endless ocean of birth, sufferings, and death.”

 

When you are old, your teeth will weaken and fall out. Your eyes will gradually become blind, and your hair will turn white. Holding a stick to support yourself, you will pray, “Oh God, please bring death upon me for I cannot tolerate this suffering.” So, always pray to Rupa-Sanatana, Rupa-Raghunatha, Nityananda Prabhu, and Mahaprabhu with the aid of these bhajans. Knowing the meaning, sing, weep, and roll on the ground. You should think, “Who am I?” You are not this body, the body is always changing. When you have left the body, your parents or your children will take this rotten body away and either burn it, or leave it in a place where the birds and dogs will feed on it. So, you should try to develop your Krishna Consciousness and become bona fide devotees. You don’t know when death will come, so you should be devotees from the earliest. You should have been a devotee from the age of five or since the time you have had the association of a bona fide devotee. Try to become a devotee without any delay and come in the line of pure devotion, then Krishna will listen to your prayers. If you are not saranagat, surrendered, can you sweetly chant Hare Krishna in a such a way that Krishna will listen to you? Hence, chant in a surrendered, sweet way.

 

I give my heartly blessings to you all, that you become bona fide devotees and quickly find yourselves in the assembly of Radha and Krishna. You will find yourself sweetly dancing there. Now, a kirtana should be sung.

 

[Gurudeva leads the devotees in singing, “Radha Krishna prana mora Yugala Kisora.]

 

[Break of audio.]

 

Srila Gurudeva: During the final days of his manifest stay in this world, Svamiji called me. After embracing me, he wanted me to sit by his side. But I offered him pranama, obeisance and respectfully sat on a chair placed next to him. Svamiji told me many things and he specifically told me, “You should help all the devotees.”

 

When I wanted to speak to Svamiji’s disciples, Svamiji called all his sincere disciples including the GBC members and told them, “Come here and listen to what Narayana Maharaja has to say.”

 

I told Svamiji’s disciples, “You should continue to develop his mission after he goes to Goloka Vrindavana. I know of many instances where quarrels arise among disciples after their Gurudeva departs. These disciples fight for the post of their guru. All of you should not repeat these actions of quarrel and infighting. Be careful to not fight among yourselves and make every effort to collectively serve Svamiji’s mission. Otherwise, you will commit mistakes.”

 

We gave so many instructions to the assembled devotees. I told Svamiji that I will try to fulfill his order. But if the disciples don’t wish to listen from me, then nothing can be done. Svamiji told me, “You should put me in Samadhi.” But they have forgotten Svamiji’s instructions to them and me. I have heard that they have allowed me to go to the Bhaktivedanta Manor, but only under restricted conditions. They want to place me under a lock and key situation, with the key in their hands. Svamiji never placed any such restrictions. Anyhow, I will go there and pray to the lotus feet of Svamiji. I want to place his lotus feet on my head. Every particle of Svamiji’s foot dust is sacred for me. If they tell me, “Don’t enter,” I will offer my obeisance from outside and return. I see Svamiji everywhere, so there is no problem for me at all. But, these restrictions will cause some bad effect on them. Their guru will not be satisfied by such behavior. I pray that by their Gurudeva’s influence, they don’t engage in such transgressions of Vaisnava etiquette. They should be inspired to preach everywhere with renewed energy and enthusiasm. I am always there for them, helping them like I always do. They shouldn’t fear from me. They fear that I will take all their disciples away. But, I don’t want to make any disciples. I only accepted a few devotees as my disciples because a wall was made that forbid them from entering the temples. Otherwise, there was no need of me accepting them as my disciples. I would have sent them to the GBC members like Tamala Krishna and the others.

 

Devotee: I tell them that actually. I was telling some devotees this morning, of how I recorded you in Mathura only a week ago where you said that you were specifically coming to the West, only to inject life into the devotees who have left the movement. You want to re-inspire them in their Krishna Consciousness. When we hear you speak this way, we think, “That is so nice.” But when we hear a rumor or a scandal from ill-motivated people, we all become confused. They used to think that everyone was wearing sarees and practicing Raganuga bhakti.

 

[Laughter]

 

Srila Gurudeva: I never speak like this. Never listen to these rumors.

 

Devotee: This morning, a devotee told me, “You have some big misconceptions.”

 

I replied, “Is that because I am with Narayana Maharaja?”

 

I told him, “I have no time for chanting and hearing.”

 

He said, “Everything is perfect in Krishna’s management. Serve Svamiji and in the future, when Krishna thinks that you have the adhikara, you will have all of the time.”

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. But, I don’t wish that the devotee is in one stage of devotion for his whole life, or for all eternity. Bhakti is a current that cannot stagnate in one place. Otherwise, the Bhakti of a devotee will dry.

 

Devotee: And we will all leave.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. They should realize all these truths.

 

Devotee: When I was preaching vigorously from the society, we condemned Christians, because they could not go beyond the fundamental principles of Christ. They could not follow the basic teaching that guru gave them.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Yes. This ideology prevalent among certain devotees is the same as that of the Christians.

 

Devotee: But we preach against it, but yet, we follow the same thing. We preach against caste brahmanas but then, we see that all the children born in ISKCON are Vaikunta children.

 

Srila Gurudeva: It has been stated everywhere in all our epics like Srimad Bhagavatham, Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, and in the books of Srila Rupa Gosvami, that the elder godbrothers and the senior devotees must be respected. But, despite these injunctions, they are pulling the feet of senior devotees. This is very bad.

 

Brajanatha Prabhu: We can get a very nice hotel for you to stay in Gurudeva.

 

Srila Gurudeva: We can stay there?

 

Brajanatha Prabhu: Yes.

 

Srila Gurudeva: But can Mahaprasadam be cooked and distributed there?

 

Brajanatha Prabhu: We cannot cook there.

 

Srila Gurudeva: We cannot cook there? Then we should cook in devotees’ houses and honor Mahaprasadam. Is there a big room for the devotees to sleep?

 

Brajanatha Prabhu: Yes. There will be a very nice room there for the devotees.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Some devotees will be visiting, so good arrangements must be made for them. Can many devotees sleep there?

 

Devotee: It is a public hotel Maharaja. Maharaja, but in this hotel, they will be drinking wine and eating meat.

 

Srila Gurudeva: The room must be separate for the devotees.

 

Devotee: The rooms are separate, but in the hotel, they will be drinking wine..

 

Srila Gurudeva: Only twenty devotees can go with me? Are there any hotels nearby for the rest of the devotees?

 

Devotee: We should also be certain about the maximum limit inside a room. With Gurudeva, Pundarika Prabhu and a few others can stay with him. You cannot have more than three in a room.

 

Srila Gurudeva: One person can go with me. Anyhow, in Holland, the devotees are so marvelous. I want that much preaching be done there. I came to the West to take the foot dust of Svamiji. This is my most main priority in coming to the West. Secondly, I came to meet all the senior devotees who have left ISKCON. I have come to the Western countries to renew their faith. I want to tell them to never give up the guidance of Svamiji. They should again start afresh and practice Krishna Consciousness. I want all the devotees to converge and combine together in ISKCON. But, if the leaders are not allowing the devotees to enter the temples, then separately, they should all combine together. They should have a good relationship with ISKCON and they should preach. They should not go anywhere else, giving up harinama. All the senior devotees who have left ISKCON, are now dancing and preaching everywhere! This is so marvelous! I spoke in Hindi in certain places, and the Hindi speaking audience became so happy! The Mayor of Birmingham also came and listened to my discourses. I spoke on—the Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatham, the history of Prahlada Maharaja, and other pastimes.

 

Many devotees who had left ISKCON and resumed to their previous ways of eating meat, smoking cigarettes, and other habits, took an oath on meeting me that they will end these habits and continue with their practice of Krishna consciousness. Many devotees had lost faith in ISKCON and left, these devotees should be helped and inspired to serve, the same way they did during Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja’s manifest presence. Unfortunately, certain leaders are not prepared to accept my help. About ten years back, I suggested to all the ISKCON leaders like Tamala Krishna, Bhavananda, Bhagavan dasa, Jayapataka, and all others that those devotees who under certain circumstances have gone to Srila Sridhara Maharaja and to other devotees should not be considered to have left ISKCON. I told them, “Don’t consider these devotees to be false. You should consider these devotees to be younger brothers or your sons. Give them energy to follow Svamiji.” But they did not accept my advice. I think that many senior devotees and good followers of Svamiji, who have served Svamiji so much, are now out of ISKCON. There are many junior devotees and the senior devotees have left. I have come to take the dust of Svamiji’s lotus feet, but they are not calling me to their temples. Many people like Christians invite and welcome me, but not these devotees. I have served Svamiji much more than these disciples who bar me from entering the temples ever could. They cannot serve Svamiji like the way I do.

 

But anyhow, I am very pleased to see that all the senior devotees who had left the devotional line, have now resumed their practice of Krishna consciousness. They cannot tell what offense I have committed to Svamiji or to anyone else. Can anyone tell me what offense I have committed? No one can tell. I challenge them to state what offense I have committed. But they say that I initiate everyone who comes to me. Why should I initiate those devotees who consider me as a Siksha-Guru? In Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, I don’t initiate. Many devotees come to me to get initiated, but I refuse to initiate them. But now, I initiate devotees because of the wall of restriction created. Otherwise, I would not accept any disciples.

 

So, we have a program to go to Bhaktivedanta Manor, whether they will call or not. If they close the door on me, I will take the dust of the place, offer my obeisance, circumambulate Bhaktivedanta Manor, and leave.

 

After my meeting with Brajanatha Prabhu, all the devotees from Holland should meet me.

 

Devotee: For our Sunday feast class, many devotees come from outside. So maybe you can give class Maharaja.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Very good. I will glorify Prabhupada. If they don’t ask, then I will have a black patti here. Karatalas and mridangas will be there, but no sound will come from them. Because, they (the leaders) have told to not speak. If they will be like Kamsa, Jaghai-Madhai, and Hiranyaksha-Hiranyakashipu, and have a lock and key on the door of their temples, then I will play the karatalas and mridangas. We have nothing to worry.

 

Devotee: Many of the devotees in their hearts, want to meet and talk with you. But they cannot state this desire. They read your books.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I know they want to meet me. To increase their divine love, they will have to read.

 

Devotee: But the way we get chained, is that we identify so much with our institution. They are worried that they will be seen as disobedient and independent. They will be seen as not surrendered to Svamiji. They have been trained as such for ten-fifteen years, so they are afraid to do anything.

 

Srila Gurudeva: What is this devotee’s name?

 

Devotee: Chris, short for Christopher. He was in Bhuvanesvara for some time.

 

Srila Gurudeva: What is his sister’s name?

 

Devotee: Angela.

 

[Srila Gurudeva to the brother and sister devotees]: Try to develop your divine love for the Divine Couple.

 

Srila Gurudeva to a devotee: Are you okay?

 

Devotee 2: Yes Gurudeva.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I am so glad to meet you. Will you be in England for a month?

 

Devotee 2: Yes. Right before I left Vrindavana, there was a very big storm. The wind was blowing the trees down. There was so much dust and rain.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Also a political storm is going on there.

 

Devotee: The BJP party are storming.

 

Srila Gurudeva: If they will come, it will be very good for devotion.

 

Pundarika Prabhu: The devotee is saying that the BJP party wants to build nuclear weapons.

 

Srila Gurudeva: This is propaganda only.

 

[To some devotee children]: I think these flowers are like your beautiful, sweet, and small hearts.

 

Before, I used to have a devotee who I would regularly talk to in English.

 

Devotee: Pundarika Prabhu?

 

Srila Gurudeva: This was during the time that Tamala Krishna and the others wanted to hear Srimad Bhagavatham from me. Now, there is no need for me to converse in English to gain a better understanding of the language. My language may be poor, but yet, it works. There is no need of an interpreter.

 

Devotee: Also, the Western devotees like to hear from you directly. When you say such and such, there is no need for any translation.

 

Devotee 2: Gurudeva, we were talking about how we cannot understand your Hindi. So, Radhakantha Prabhu and I were joking that if Navadvipa Prabhu teaches you high, high English, then we will also not understand your English.

 

[Laughter]

 

Srila Gurudeva: I am also thinking like that. I don’t want to make my English extremely ornamental.

 

[To a devotee]: I wanted to meet you and I am so pleased to have met you now. I wanted to go to your residence.

 

Devotee: You are most welcome Maharaja.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I will come in some time.

 

[To another devotee]: How are you? Where is Prabhu? Have you lost him? They told me that you were more bona fide than me. Do you understand?

 

Devotee 3: You are more bona fide Gurudeva.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Why do you say this?

 

[To the assembled devotees]: She is so sincere and bona fide. Her desire to develop Krishna consciousness is greater than mine.

 

[To a devotee]: You should help her to develop her Krishna consciousness.

 

The devotees are worried about managing everything. Hari-katha classes should always be organized.

 

[To a devotee]: Please tell me your name.

 

Devotee : My name is Ali, Maharaja.

 

[On hearing that the audience of a festival are very receptive to the message of Krishna consciousness, Gurudeva replies]

 

Srila Gurudeva: I want to join you all. I will join. If they will call me, I will go and stay there. Is the audience Hindi speaking?

 

Devotee: I don’t think so. But, it is going to be a public rally, so there will be a lot of Indian people.

 

Srila Gurudeva: I will speak in Hindi and English.

 

What did this devotee say?

 

Devotee: He said his name is Ali and he wrote you some letters.

 

Srila Gurudeva to the devotee: When I was in Mathura, I answered your letters.

 

Devotee: You did Maharaja.

 

Devotee 2: It is good that he received them, because in India things get lost in post sometimes.

 

[Srila Gurudeva referring to some devotees]: They are also making arrangements to save cows in England. They are doing something.

 

Devotee: This ‘save the cow’ campaign is beginning to take off.

 

Srila Gurudeva: When all the senior devotees come I will be especially happy. Those who don’t show proper respect to their Gurudeva, to senior Vaisnavas, who haven’t left their anger and lust behind, who want more and more; they are not qualified to hear all these truths of devotion. But, there will be some devotees who these truths can be told to. In an assembly of one lakh sadhus, there were many Maharsis and Rsis. Where did these sadhus assemble? They assembled to listen to the recital of Srimad Bhagavatham from the lotus mouth of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Out of those assembled sadhus, very few were qualified. The rest of the audience were Brahma-jnanis, karmis, yogis, and tapasvis. But yet, very cleverly and prudently, Sukadeva Gosvami spoke on the Srimad Bhagavatham for the entire audience.

 

During the initial parts of his discourse, he imparted the same teachings as stated in the Bhagavad Gita. The dialog between Kapila Muni and Devahuti, the history of Ajamila, the history of Citraketu Maharaja and Bharatha Maharaja, and other numerous histories comprise the first nine cantos of Srimad Bhagavatham. Gradually, Sukadeva Gosvami explained the tenth canto, consisting of Krishna’s birth, Gopi-gita, Venu gita, and other spellbinding pastimes of the Lord. Thus, Sukadeva Gosvami made everyone devotees.

 

Then, Sukadeva Gosvami spoke on the five life airs of Srimad Bhagavatham—Gopi-gita, Venu gita, Brahmara gita, Yugala gita, and Pranaya gita.

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]

 

 

 

 

The Summit of Selfless Love

14 May 1996 Den Haag

 

The Summit Of Selfless Love

 

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

 

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

 

http://sbnmcd.org/all_mp3/1996/19960514DEN_HAAG_T14A.mp3

 

 

Srila Gurudeva: . . .if you promise, “I will never practice what my Gurudeva has not bought and told.” This promise signifies that that you have not completely understood your Gurudeva’s mood. Your Gurudeva has never said, “You should be strict in only chanting sixteen rounds.” This instruction is for beginners. So, in a step by step manner, you should advance in your devotion. If you are not doing so, it is niyamagraha (abandoning the rules prescribed for one’s eligibility or adopting those rules that are meant for others). By making up your mind, you may have arrived at the conclusion, “I will chant 32 rounds of harinama every day. I will offer obeisance to all the Vaisnavas and to the personalities related to Krishna, Srimati Radhika, our Guru-parampara, and to all the places where Krishna has performed His pastimes. I will offer my obeisance 1, 008 times. I will also read a chapter each of Caitanya Caritamrita and Srimad Bhagavatham.” But later, you think, “I am not completing my vows. Sometimes I do complete them and sometimes I also observe upavasa, I fast from taking food. But I do not chant harinama, while I fast. I may externally chant Hare Krishna but internally extraneous thoughts captivate me.” This is niyamagraha. You should try to complete performing all your devotional services, otherwise it will be niyamagraha. Did all of you understand what I just said?

 

Devotee: If you make a certain vow to complete a number of rounds, or to perform certain devotional services, you should duly perform them with devotion and not externally.

 

Srila Gurudeva: Sometimes you gallop past these important services, and sometimes you observe them with caution. Sometimes you worship, sometimes you neglect. Sometimes you listen to hari-katha and sometimes not. These irregularities constitute niyamagraha. So, you should not do like this. You should perform all these devotional services in a regular, chain like manner.

 

Jana sangas ca—you should not be bound by bad association. Never accept any food or water from the hands of those people who do not engage in the worship of Krishna. Don’t accept anything from them; in their association your intelligence will be destroyed. In their proximity, your bhakti should be kept confidential. Never be engaged in prolonged conversations with them, even if one of the persons happens to be your son, brother, or husband. You can meet and cheat them by speaking on worldly subject matters. But never speak on the confidential truths of bhakti. This way, you should behave accordingly. You should always be engaged in sadhu-sanga. What is the meaning of sadhu-sanga? It means associating with a high class of a devotee who is in the line of our guru, and especially in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. On finding such a sadhu, you should try to follow his association and listen to his katha. Don’t be entangled in the association of worldly people. The association of people who have no devotion must be avoided at all costs, or else your devotion will be destroyed. This applies even to a godbrother. The godbrother may be chattering here and there, so even your godbrother’s association must be avoided. Rather, you should associate with a devotee absorbed in the devotional services of Krishna. This devotee weeps while he continuously chants the holy name, and he is much more advanced than us.

 

Laulyam ca- you should have greed for the service of Krishna. Don’t be controlled by greed for acquiring worldly things. You should try to follow all these instructions. I should refrain from speaking more, as the doctors have advised me to take rest. I will feel much separation from the devotees. So, all of you should be satisfied. Maha-prasadam should be distributed to all.

 

[Break of audio]

 

[Srila Gurudeva starts his class]

 

Srila Gurudeva: First of all, I bow down at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Nitya lila pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I also bow down to the lotus feet of my siksha guru and sannyasa godbrother, Nitya lila pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. I also bow down to Jagad-guru Nitya lila pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. I am very happy to have come to Holland. I have met many devotees here. By their good association, I have become very inspired. Before going to the Western countries like Holland, and England, I thought, “My usage of the English language is not as proficient as the native languages of India. How will I speak wonderful hari-katha and converse with the devotees there?” But by the association of the devotees here, I felt very inspired. My Navadvipa Prabhu helped me so much. He is my English tutor. He has helped in so many ways. He has translated many books. His help will also continue in the future. I want that my books that are published be as authentic as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s and Srila Prabhupada’s books. But my English is poor and lame, so I will not be able to do this by myself. I cannot do this by myself. I will have to ride on his shoulders. My English is lame, but he is not blind like the person mentioned in the analogy, even so, he will take me on his shoulders. I am very happy to have come here. I think my mission in coming here, has been so successful. I become so glad to see the senior devotees of Svamiji because he had ordered me during the final days of his manifest pastimes to help his disciples. Svamiji told me, “You should help my disciples develop in their Krishna Consciousness. You should encourage and inspire them.”

 

Svamiji also used a specific word to describe certain disciples of his, which I don’t wish to say. I hope that the devotees will not misunderstand me when I repeat this word that Svamiji used. Svamiji told me, “I have collected so many monkeys. They are prone to fight with each other. In preaching my mission, they may be misguided. I need your help. The devotees must be helped and nourished, so that they can proceed on the right path. They should not be misguided.”

 

But, unfortunately, only a few devotees are following Svamiji. During my stay here, I wanted to visit a center of devotees, but unluckily, the door was closed for me. So, it was very painful. A mayavadi (an impersonalist) can come and enter the temple premises, so can a karmi (materialist). They will also be duly invited and honored, but the devotees are not allowed. How painful this is! I want these transgressions of etiquette to be done away with and they should learn to properly respect devotees. Though I am not a pure devotee, I consider myself to be a dog of Svamiji, so I should be treated well and honored because I have served him so much. I think no one has served Svamiji as much as I did from the beginning of his preaching. Perhaps some of you don’t know how I have served him but Svamiji has liked my service from the beginning even before he took the renounced order. I have served Svamiji from the early days up until the last days of his manifest stay in this world. But some devotees say that I should be avoided. Such false propaganda is not harmful for me, but it is harmful for the devotees who insinuate these baseless allegations. I pray to Prabhupada, Sri Radha-Krishna, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that they should be forgiven for this and that they learn to honor each and every Vaisnava. The Vaisnava may be a disciple of any bona fide Guru, and if he has sincerely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and the Divine Couple—Sri Radha-Krishna; we should honor him. We should try to honor the devotee even if he is not initiated. So you should not follow the devotees who are involved in these transgressions of Vaisnava etiquette. You should try to honor all Vaisnavas who are chanting harinama, regardless of them having accepted first or second initiation. Anyone, who has served Svamiji; we can give our heads for them, our lives for them. We should always try to serve them. If a dog claims, “I am related to Svamiji, and I want to continue my service,” on listening to this dog speak, I will embrace and honor the dog. If you want to progress in the chanting of harinama, and are striving to attain pure bhakti; then you will have to learn to give respect to all Vaisnavas.

 

trnad api su-nicena

taror iva sahisnuna

amanina mana-dena

kirtaniyah sada harih

 

–Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 17.31

 

[“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.”]

 

I don’t know what fault I have committed at the lotus feet of Svamiji, that certain devotees are disgruntled with me. Anyhow, I am very glad to meet you all. I wanted to give my many moods of love and devotion to you all, but lack of time made me unable to do so. I wanted to explain the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, I also wanted to explain the dialog between Sri Raya Ramananda Prabhu and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, these topics are so high class. Without knowing all these discussions on bhakti, you cannot be a bona fide Vaisnava. So if you want to be a bona fide Vaisnava and if you wish to sincerely serve the lotus feet of Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Rupa Gosvami, especially Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, and most especially the Divine Couple—Sri Radha and Krishna; you will have to know all these facets and discussions on pure, unadulterated bhakti.

 

There are those who say, “You are not qualified to listen to these discussions.” Then for whom are these discussions written? Those who propagate this notion of ineligibility are misguiding other devotees. By listening to these pastimes, a greed will manifest in you to serve like the associates of Sri Radha and Krishna. But how will greed arise in you if choose to not listen to these pastimes? How will you learn to serve? When you are young, you go to school to learn, but if you rather say, “I am not qualified to go to school and learn the different alphabets,” will your teacher relent?

 

She will say, “Write a, b, c, d.”

 

But what will you learn if you say, “I am not qualified to learn a, b, c, or d. I am not qualified.” How will you advance in your education? We should try to follow in the footsteps of Svamiji and practice what he has said. Svamiji has never said, “You should dishonor Vaisnavas.” Has Svamiji written this anywhere? Never. Svamiji was a bona fide Guru and Vaisnava. We should follow exactly what he has said. Svamiji may have spoken something that externally may appear wrong to the doubting mind, like Svamiji discouraged certain disciples of his from approaching some devotees. That is why, Svamiji told me during the last days of his physical stay that, “I only did this from the viewpoint of preaching.”

 

I replied, “You have done any wrong. You did what you were supposed to do at that time. You are a pure Vaisnava. You are a very bosom friend of my Gurudeva. Though he gave you the renounced order, the intimacy of your relationship with him only befits that of bosom friends. You are a dear friend of my Gurudeva. In my heart, you are my Siksha-guru. Moreover, you are my bosom friend.” So, try to follow Svamiji deeply and internally, not externally. I desire that the devotees who left Iskcon, because of their bad behavior, return again. They should be inspired in their services like how they were during Svamiji’s time. The assembled devotees here should broadcast my message of bringing back and helping the devotees who have left Iskcon. They should be helped to progress in their Krishna Consciousness. You should give honor and respect each other. All of you should have love and affection for each other. Those who are chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, should especially be respected. These are my instructions and the essence of my message to you all.

 

Try to know the dialog between Raya Ramananda Prabhu and Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I have many priceless treasures to give you all, but there is no time. I wanted to explain one sloka of Srimad Bhagavatham. I cannot finish my exposition of the dialog between Raya Ramananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu, so I will explain this sloka of Srimad Bhagavatham instead.

 

tasam rati-viharena
srantanam vadanani sah
pramrjat karunah premna
santamenanga panina

 

–Srimad Bhagavatam 10.33.20

 

[Seeing that the gopis were fatigued from conjugal enjoyment, my dear King, merciful K???a lovingly wiped their faces with His comforting hand.]

 

This sloka is from the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatham. The meaning is that when Krishna danced with the Gopis, He gave them much respect. He told each of the gopis, “Oh, you are so tired. Pearls of sweat are rolling down your lotus faces.” Telling this, Krishna took His Pitambara, upper cloth, and with His own hands wiped the drops of sweat that had collected on the gopis’ faces.”

 

During His entreaties to the gopis, Krishna also said, “Are you tired? May I massage your feet? I see that your ankle-bells have loosened while we danced.” Krishna then fastened the ankle-bells with His own hands. He danced with each gopi, He didn’t dance with Srimati Radhika alone. While dancing with Krishna, the gopis thought, “We are saubhagini.” What is the meaning of saubhagini? There is a special meaning to this word. When the husband is controlled by the wife, the wife is called saubhagini. Now, Krishna is controlled by all the gopis. Krishna gave immense respect to the gopis, so all the gopis are ‘saubhagini,’ they are most fortunate. Thus, each gopi began to think, “I am most dear to Krishna. I am His most beloved. None are like me.” So, the gopis became mad in their pride.

 

Every single gopi thought, “Krishna loves me so much. His love for me is unequalled and unsurpassed.” The gopis were very proud of themselves. Srimati Radhika saw this scene and thought, “Krishna is dancing with Me and also with each gopi. He is dancing with everyone. But everyone thinks that Krishna is dancing with them alone.” So, Srimati Radhika was in maan. Krishna had promised to Srimatiji, “None of the gopis are equal to You. Perfectly and solely, I only want You.” But Krishna went back on His word; He was dancing with Srimati Radhika and the gopis at the same time. So, Srimati Radhika stopped Her dance and became maanvati. The other gopis being prideful thought, “Krishna loves me more than anyone else.” They became exceedingly prideful. Srimati Radhika became maanvati and thought, “I don’t want this. I don’t want to share with anyone.” But it is a fact, that Srimati Radhika wants all the gopis to meet with Krishna. But Srimati Radhika was in maan now. After Srimati Radhika left the dance arena, Krishna thought and realized, “If Srimati Radhika doesn’t take part in this rasa-dance, there is no use of rasa-lila.”

 

“What should I do to please Srimati Radhika?”

 

After Srimati Radhika disappeared, Krishna anxiously thought, “Where is Radha? Where is Radha?”

 

Not seeing Srimati Radhika, Krishna placed the flute on His lips and called out, “Radhe! Radhe!” None of the gopis heard Krishna calling out to Srimati Radhika. None of the gopis noticed that Srimati Radhika has left the dance arena and Krishna also left the arena, intently searching for His dear most beloved. All the gopis began to search desperately for Krishna, the only thought presiding their minds was, “Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?” They began to weep bitterly and became totally mad in separation from Krishna. In their transcendental madness, they asked the trees around them, “Have you seen my beloved?” But the trees didn’t reply.

 

The gopis approached Tulasi-devi and said, “Oh you are Krishna-priya, very beloved to Krishna. You know where Krishna is present, because you are so happy by His touch! Your manjaris wave in delight and your bliss knows no bounds. Please tell us where Krishna went.”

 

On not listening to Tulasi-devi reply, the gopis said, “She is overjoyed by the touch of Krishna. In her state of transcendental madness, she is unable to reply.”

 

The gopis next approached the creepers and saw many flowers strewn on them. The gopis told one another, “Oh they are laughing because they have met Krishna. Krishna has also plucked some flowers from them.”

 

The gopis asked the flowers, “Oh Juhi! Oh Malati! Oh Mallike! All of you are so happy! You have certainly met with Krishna. So, please tell us where Krishna went. He has certainly gone past you.” The creeper and the flowers also didn’t reply.

 

The gopis said, “The creepers are not favorable.”

 

They then approached the trees like the Kadamba trees, mango trees, Bakula trees, and many other big trees. These trees were full of succulent fruits and beautiful flowers. Seeing the trees, the gopis thought, “Oh the trees are so tall! So, he must have seen which way Krishna went.” The gopis asked the trees about Krishna’s whereabouts, but the trees didn’t reply. The gopis became more and more morose. They then began to imitate Krishna’s movements. One of the gopis thought, “I am Krishna,” while another sakhi thought of herself as the demoness, Putana. The gopis enacted the pastime of Krishna sucking out Putana’s life airs by suckling on her breasts. One gopi thought, “I am killing Putana.” The sakhi who was enacting the pastimes of Putana was not a real sakhi, but rather, a manifestation of Yogamaya-devi. They continuously enacted all of Krishna’s pastimes. The pastimes performed by the gopis constitute a very high kind of mahabhava. These moods are rarely exhibited.

 

At last, the gopis saw the footprints of Krishna. They took quick notice and started to follow the footprints. After the following the footprints for a while, they saw another pair of beautiful footprints of a very gentle and good Lady. These footprints belonged to a very beautiful Lady. The gopis thought, “Whose footprints are these?”

 

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah

 

–Srimad Bhagavatam 10.30.28

 

[“Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.”]

 

“Oh this Gopi has certainly worshiped the Supreme Lord, Narayana and by His grace, She has become so near and dear to Krishna, that Krishna is following Her.” But, Lalita, Visakha, and the other gopis of Srimati Radhika’s group knew that these footprints belonged to their Mistress, Srimati Radhika. They became so glad to see these footprints, while the followers of Candravali became very distressed. They thought, “Who is this Lady?” They couldn’t determine who this Lady was. Now, their pride was dissipated.

 

The gopis thought, “This Lady who is with Krishna is certainly superior to all other gopis. What can we do as we are not fortunate as this Lady? Who is this Lady?” Lalita, Visakha, and the gopis belonging to Srimati Radhika’s group were very glad.

 

The gopis then came across some strewn flowers. They also noticed that the footprints of the gopi had disappeared. But at that spot, Krishna’s footprints were imprinted deeply on the ground. Seeing these imprinted footprints, they thought and understood, “The Lady was tired, so Krishna carried the gopi in His arms.”

 

After coming across these footprints, they came across another scene. Seeing the scattered petals of the flowers, the gopis thought, “Krishna decorated Srimati Radhika here.” This place is called Sringara-vata, a pastime place in Vrindavana. But as they treaded the path, they didn’t see anybody except for Srimati Radhika, who was rolling on the ground and crying bitterly. Piteously weeping, Srimati Radhika fainted. All the gopis rushed to Srimati Radhika and consoled Her. Assisting Srimati Radhika by the side, all the gopis collectively assembled on the banks of the Yamuna. Their cries there in separation of Krishna are known as Gopi-gita.

 

ayati te ‘dhikam janmana vrajah
srayata indira sasvad atra hi
dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas
tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate

 

–Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31.1

 

[The gopis said, “O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it exceedingly glorious, and thus Indira, the goddess of fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to us.”]

 

As the gopis sang in separation from Krishna, tears rolled down their lotus faces. Listening to their songs of intense separation, Krishna could not check Himself and He appeared in front of the gopis. On seeing Krishna, some gopis were angry, while some took Krishna’s lotus feet on their laps and gently massaged them. Some gopis placed Krishna’s hands on their shoulders and some gopis served Him in different ways. Some of the gopis who were angry with Krishna, unleashed sidelong glances from the corners of their crooked eyes. And who was the foremost of these gopis who unleashed sidelong glances of jealous pique on Krishna? She was Srimati Radhika Herself. Who was the gopi who gently massaged Krishna’s lotus feet, while placing them on her lap? She was Candravali. Srimati Radhika and Her group of gopis are of a left-wing mood (Vamya-bhava). Srimati Candravali and her group of gopis are of a right-wing mood (Dakshina-bhava). Krishna wants to especially taste the moods of the left-wing gopis. After all the gopis assembled on the banks of the Yamuna, they arranged a seat for Krishna, which was colored with kunkum. Krishna duly sat on that seat.

 

Seeking forgiveness, Krishna told the gopis, “I have done wrong.” A slight smile of shame embellished His face.

 

The gopis told Krishna, “We have some questions to ask of You. Will You reply?”

“Yes.”

 

The gopis told Krishna, “Someone has a lot of love for another person. The person to whom the love is directed will also love that person and repay him from the same coin. They love each other. Their love is based on mutual reciprocation. This is one kind of love.”

 

“The second kind of love is characterized by selflessness; a person will love another person regardless of that person accepting or rejecting their love. This person will have affection for a person even if there is no appreciation or honor from the recipient’s side.”

 

“The third kind of love is symbolized by personalities like the Four Kumaras. These personalities are indifferent to your outpour or lack, of love and affection. Whether you love or not, you will not be able to elicit a response from this person.”

 

“These are the three kinds of recipients of love and affection in this world. We request You to please tell us that in which category of love You belong to.”

 

The gopis wanted to defeat Krishna by His own words. On listening to the gopis speak, Krishna began to smile. Smiling, He told the gopis very gently, “I don’t belong to any of these categories of love. I transcend all these categories. Those who love a person and desire the repayment of their love from that person’s side—are just engaging themselves in business dealings.” For instance, you may give a dollar to a person who readily accepts it. But after this transaction of give and take, no relationship of love and affection is formed between the benefactor and beneficiary. This is banaya-giri, business exchanges. A relationship based on selfishness and not selflessness, stands between the two.

 

Defending Himself, Krishna said, “I am not of this category because it is not a religion of unrestricted love and affection.” Our love and affection should not be of this class. You should be of the unflinching mentality, “Krishna can give me up, but I cannot give Him up.” Ramachandra can forget Sita and tell her, “You should go away from here and never return.” But Sita can never give up Ramachandra. The disciples or devotees should be of this nature—they should not expect any repayment of love for their services, if they do, then they are not bona fide devotees.

 

So, Krishna tells the gopis, “I am not of this selfish class of love and affection.” He then said, “There are those people who don’t want to be repaid for their love and affection, even if they not being served or honored by anyone, but yet, they continue loving another person with all their love and affection, so who are these personalities? They are one’s father, mother, and Gurudeva. If a daughter or son are ungrateful to their parents, dishonor them, don’t render service to them, and don’t love them with all their affection, but yet, the parents will have unrequited love and affection for their children. Gurudeva will also have unbroken love and affection for his disciples. But the guru must be bona fide and the parents must be ideal parents. So, this love is very commendable, and is highly religious. This is real love and affection, but I am also not of this category.”

 

But, Krishna indicated to the gopis, “You are all of this class. You are religious minded and have much honor for Me. Your love and affection for me is unparalleled. All of you belong to this category, but I am not of this category.”

 

Krishna next spoke on the third category of love where a person is indifferent to one’s love or lack of love. Who are the personalities who belong to this category? They are the atmaramas’ (those who are self-satisfied) and aptakamis’ (those who are satisfied in their self). Guru-drohis (those who betray their guru), and ungrateful people are also of this category. You should know all these categories of the different grades of love and affection. I am explaining all these different categories of love and affection, so that you understand these categories correctly and behave accordingly. What are the symptoms of the highest class of devotees, the Mahabhagavats? You cannot even imagine the stage of the love and affection they are situated in. But, by the association of a Rasika and Tattva-jna Vaisnava, you can develop your Krishna Consciousness and by the mercy of this highest class of Vaisnava, you can realize his exalted nature. If you only pray, “Give me bread and butter Krishna!” “My son is dying, You should save him, otherwise I will throw You in the sea.” Some devotees are of this nature. They would have engaged in the worship of Krishna for ten to twenty years, and when their child is sick, they pray, “Oh Krishna, save my child.” But if the child dies, they throw the deities of Radha and Krishna, Laddu-Gopala in the sea. Along with the deities, they also throw their love and affection for the Lord, their practice of chanting, remembering, and everything else they imbibed in their devotional lives, into the sea. Thus, they become atheists. You should not be like this.

 

So, Krishna hints at how exalted the nature of the gopis’ love is. Atmarama—even if you have much love and affection for personalities like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, the Four Kumaras; they will not reciprocate with your love. They will always be absorbed in thoughts of Krishna and they will not entertain any desire of reciprocal love. They have no love and affection for anyone, except Krishna. Aptakama—these personalities have all their desires fulfilled, there is no desire of theirs that is unfulfilled. A personality of this category will never try to fulfill his desires. If a person claiming to be aptakama wants something from you, how can he be aptakama? He is not aptakama. The Four Kumaras are aptakama, all their desires are fulfilled.

 

Do you know who a guru-drohi is? A guru-drohi doesn’t respect his Gurudeva and he disobeys his Gurudeva. The persons belonging to this category have left their Gurudeva, they are not engaged in his service anymore. They only follow their Gurudeva outwardly, to fulfill their self-interests. But they don’t follow their Gurudeva deeply and internally, these duplicitous persons who only externally follow their Gurudeva are called guru-drohis.

 

What is the meaning of akratyagna? It means being ungrateful. If a person doesn’t honor his father, mother, and Gurudeva, but doesn’t do anything against them, then he is being ungrateful. Krishna told the gopis, “I am not among any of these categories. Why? If I was aptakama, then why did I weep for bread and butter from Mother Yasoda? I would even weep when she wouldn’t breast-feed Me. If I was really aptakama, why did I call the names, ‘Radhe, Lalite, Visakhe,” on My Vamsi (flute). Listening to your names being called out, all of you have assembled here. So, I am not an aptakama. I want something from you, and you can quench My thirst, so I have called you all here. Hence, I am not an atmarama or an aptakama. I have many desires to taste your moods of love and affection for Me. Without your love, I cannot live for even a moment. I can never forget you all. Therefore, I am not aptakama.”

 

In His efforts to please the gopis, Krishna further told them, “I want to dance and sing with you all. I want to be favored by you all. I have much honor for you all, and I want to serve you all. That is why, I invited you all here. During the rasa dance, I wiped the drops of sweat that had collected on your lotus faces. So, how can I be aptakama? Sometimes, in My childhood, I would be greatly angered and throw a tantrum wherein I would break many vessels. I would also engage in stealing butter. There is not a single house in Vraja where I have not stolen from. [Laughter] Hence, how can I be aptakama or atmarama? I am also not a guru-drohi or an ungrateful person. Why?” First, we should know who a guru-drohi is. A guru-drohi disobeys and even tries to kill his Gurudeva. He gives pain to his Gurudeva and to his parents.

 

Krishna told the gopis, “I am not such an abominable person. You will realize this gradually. I am not an ungrateful person, because I have come to your side now. Sitting beside you all, I joke and engage in many conversations with you all. We also dance with each other. Therefore, I am not an ungrateful person. I have appeared before you all. Why did I go away from you all? I only did this to increase your prema to Me. While all of you sang in separation from Me, I watched you all while hiding behind the trees and realized how all of you have become mad in separation from Me.”

 

[Break of audio]

 

Srila Gurudeva: … So, Krishna is instructing the entire world, “You should serve the gopis and be like them, then I can be controlled, otherwise not.”

 

Krishna tells the gopis, “Na paraye ham niravadya samyujam—I am so indebted to you all, in lakhs and lakhs of births, I will not be able to repay My debt to your spotless service. All of you have given up your husbands, and everyone else. You have all also forsaken your shame, which is the wealth of a woman. Giving up everything, you have all assembled here. I cannot requite My debt to you all. I cannot leave any of My devotees, but all of you have renounced everyone and have come to see Me alone. So, I can never repay you all.”

 

“If I tell you gopis, ‘You should have any benediction from Me,’ I will not be able to fulfill it, if you all say, ‘You should only love me, and not anyone else.’ I cannot leave Rukmini and Satyabhama; I cannot leave Arjuna; I cannot leave even an ant, what to speak of My devotees? Hence, I will always be indebted to you all.”

 

The gopis replied, “You have conquered us by admitting Your indebtedness to us. We cannot repay You.”

 

Krishna tells the gopis, “I cannot repay you.” And the gopis tell Him, “We cannot repay You.” After their conversation, rasa-lila resumed.

 

So, you should try to realize these pastimes by the strength of your bhajan and try to follow this line.

 

If anybody says, “We will not hear these pastimes,” how can they conceive of transcendental love? I have only described a little of the glories of the gopis’ love to Krishna. By explaining the glories of the gopis’ love, you will realize how marvelous and sweet their love is. If you listen to these pastimes, your heart will jump in joy. These glories of the gopis will lead you to Goloka-Vrindavana and you will find yourself serving Krishna there under the guidance of the gopis for eternity.

 

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!

 

[Transcribed by the Bhaktabandhav Team]