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.
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?
[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.
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]