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A108-AI

Dipavali (The Festival of Lights)

Varsana, Vraj-mandala, India
October 12, 1996

Devotee: Why do we celebrate Dipavali, and in what mood is it celebrated by Vrajavasis?

Srila Bhativedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Dipavali means a time of happiness. When Lord Rama defeated Ravana and reached Ayodhya, a big Dipavali festival was performed there. Sri Vamanadeva wanted to cheat Bali Maharaja. He did not cheat him; rather he gave his mercy, although it seemed that he was cheating. When Bali Maharaja was offered a benediction from the Lord, he requested, "Always remain in my home." In this way the Lord Himself was cheated. Lord Vamana was very glad, and he agreed to stay there forever. Due to great happiness, Bali Maharaja then asked all his associates to hold a Dipavali festival, and that was the first Dipavali. When Krsna defeated Duryodhana and returned to Dvaraka, a Dipavali was also celebrated there.

Lord Krsna Himself, along with Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and all other Vrajavasis, came here and celebrated this festival with their own hands. In other words they themselves offered dipa (a lighted ghee wick) and rendered many other services.

Divali also means light. If there is no bhajana of Krsna there is darkness, and in Krsna Consciousness there is light. We celebrate this function in order to give up darkness and to bring the light of bhakti, pure devotion. This is the same celebration. Real happiness comes from playing karatalas and mrdangas. If one hears this, and if maya hears, maya will go away at once. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought the sankirtana movement to this world to drive out maya. Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu do this Themselves, and we should try to follow Them.

 

Manasi-Ganga-Parikrama.jpg

dipavali.jpg

A108-AI

The Pond Of The Anger Of Love

mannsarova.jpg[By the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, 2017 Vraja Mandala Parikrama is going on smoothly. Today, the parikrama party went to Maan-sarovara, therefore we are sending out what Srila Maharaja spoke there in 2003:]

You should take acamana * [See endnote 1] from this pond, thinking it to be the very svarupa (form) of Srimati Radhika – and pray for Her mercy.* [See endnote 2] During rasa-lila, Srimati Radhika saw that, "Krsna is dancing with Me, but at the same time He is dancing with all the other gopis. He tells lies like, 'I have given You My heart. You are My most beloved.' But now He is treating Me just like the others." She entered a sulky mood, a very angry mood, and at once began to weep. She left the rasa-mandala (the circle of the rasa dance) in Seva-kunja, crossed the Yamuna, and finally came to this lonely forest to hide Herself here.

Rasa stopped, because Sri Krsna began searching for Her – searching, searching, searching. When He finally found Her He saw that She was weeping, and that a large pond was created from Her tears. Thus, this place is called Maan Sarovara, the sarovara (pond) made from the maan (transcendental loving jealous anger) of Srimati Radhika.

Sri Krsna pacified Her here, although to pacify Her was very hard for Him. He took Her lotus feet upon His head, tried to appease Her in many ways, and He also took a vow: "From now onwards I will never do anything wrong. I accept that I have committed a mistake. I have offended you, but I promise that I will never do this in the future."

You can see how beautiful these forest kunjas are. There were millions of groves and kunjas here at that time. When Srimati Radhika or Sri Krsna were hiding themselves in any kunja, it was very difficult for them to discover where the other was hidden. At that time the trees were not like this. Now they are feeling separation for Srimati Radhika and Lord Krsna and are about to die. These trees know all the sweet pastimes of Srimati Radhika's hiding from Krsna, as well as all other such lilas, and now they cannot see these manifest in this world.

We have brought you all to see how beautiful these kunjas are. At that time these trees were straight and covered with lush creepers, though now they are lying down. No unauthorized person was able see through them, to see who was there or not. At that time the kunjas where so large that rasa-lila and all other related pastimes used to take place in them. Millions of gopis could fit in them. At that time Vrndavana forest was only forest. There were not many houses as there are today. According to the desire of Lord Krsna, the kunjas and land could expand and reduce in size. You are very lucky to come with me to very beautiful places like this one.

Previously we used to perform parikrama by foot. From Balevan we used to cross the Jamuna by boat, and then walk here by the shore of Jamuna in 20 – 30 minutes, and then we would return to Vrndavana. Now I cannot do so, but I want that one day you should also try to do parikrama by foot.

I brought you here to touch this place, and to touch the feet of these trees. These trees are exalted devotees. They previously saw the Lord's pastimes as trees, and now they are performing austerities in this form. One day they will have gopi forms, and at that time they will be able to enter rasa-lila and other such pastimes.

This scenery is so beautiful. If anyone has a camera he should take a picture of it. Birds are sitting here, and the water is very lovely and tasty. You are lucky to have come to this exalted holy place.

Now I request you all to take prasadam. Brahmacaris and sannyasis will sit here on one side and ladies will be on the other side. At once, without delay, please go and sit – because we do not have much time.

[* Endnote 1 – Acamana - a ritual of purification by which one takes bath by mantra and sips water three times. At the holy places one chants the acamana mantra, om kesavaya namah etc., and then prays to the particular pond or river or lake, "You have personally witnessed the pastimes of Radha and Krsna here, so you are qualified to manifest those pastimes in my heart. Please bestow your mercy upon me so that I may one day be qualified to see those pastimes. Please manifest in my heart what you have seen."

[*Endnote 2 – (We asked Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja what Srila Gurudeva may have said at any other time as to why, since both Maan Sarovara and Radha-kunda are both the svarupa of Srimati Radhika, Radha-kunda is superior. He replied, "The midday pastimes took place there at Sri Radha-kunda as well as many other pastimes which are not possible at Maan Sarovara or anywhere else. Therefore Radha-kunda is superior to any other kunda. Still, this place is so sacred and exalted, and is also the very form and identity of Srimati Radhika.

A108-AI

A Disappearance Day Lecture
October 10, 2003; Mathura, India
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Which is greater – puja (worship) or stuti (making our offerings full of love). Simply ringing bells and performing arati is not sufficient. These activities should be full of emotions, bhava, and our hearts should be attached to the object of worship. During this month, if we pray to Sri Krsna, Srimati Radharani will be pleased, and if we pray to Srimati Radharani Krsna will be pleased. This is the way to make our offerings in this month.

This month of Kartika comes after the rainy season. It is a very beautiful season and it has been described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Yamuna and other rivers, as well as all ponds and kundas, become very sweet and clean. Many flowers bloom and bumblebees hum over them. The atmosphere and weather at this time is very pleasing and Lord Krsna is in an ecstatic mood. He smiles with His flute in His hand and enters Vrndavana along with His brother. At this time there are many tulasi plants with manjaris on them, so many bumblebees humming over them, and cuckoos singing. The narration of the description of all this scenery it is so elegant and sweet, and therefore we can only imagine how beautiful the real Vraja with Krsna will be. All stimulants are present, and therefore Sri Krsna performs His rasa dance during this time.

In this month many of the advanced and rasika Vaisnavas in our line disappeared or appeared. For example, Pujyapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and Pujyapada Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja disappeared in this month. Why did they leave during this month? They entered the rasa dance.

Srila Narayana MaharajaOffering the newly published Harmonist magazine

Especially, today is the anniversary of the disappearance of our Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja Today is a most auspicious day. Srila Gurudeva disappeared from this Earth and entered into rasa, and this fact was established by Pujyapada Sri Rupa-Siddhanti Maharaja. He declared that Srila Gurudeva entered into this pastime. He gave this thought to all his disciples and he established his samadhi along with his disciples. He established that Srila Gurudeva disappeared from this world in Saradiya-purnima. Gurudeva had a desire to enter into Sri Krsna’s Saradiya-rasa dance. He disappeared in the evening time when the moon was rising, as it is described in sastra regarding the commencement of Sri Krsna's rasa-lila.

Whatever I explain from various scriptures, such as Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta and others, I received from my Gurudeva. We are enjoying his grant to us. In other words, by his endeavor we are preaching and doing bhajana. There is so much opposition, but because of him this opposition is ineffective. If the foundation of a building is very deep and strong, a good building can be erected. Similarly, because of his preaching we are now preaching very easily, without any difficulty or obstruction.

Srila Narayana Maharaja offering arati to his GurudevaSrila Narayana Maharaja

We do not understand the value of guru, and especially of siksa-guru. If diksa and siksa-guru are the same person, that is a wonderful position. The importance of siksa-guru should be realized. He teaches his disciple in visrambha-bhava, intimacy. He does not have the awe and reverence relationship with his siksa disciple. I was very open and frank with my Gurudeva. I asked him many questions from texts such as Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. For example, I’d thought that the wives of Krsna are in srngara-rasa svakiya-bhava (wedded conjugal love), but Gurudeva said they are in dasya-bhava. I asked, “Why did you say they are only in dasya-bhava?" Gurudeva replied, “You will understand it later on.” Now I realize how he was correct. He made a platform and on that platform we are creating this castle. Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by him, and it is so much indebted to him. We, his first sannyasa disciples, understood him by serving him. Srila Vamana Maharaja and I used to spend a lot of time with him, and Srila Vamana Maharaja had even more chances than I to be with him. If one wants to be a real servant, he must be like Param-pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja.

Srila Gurudeva used to be able to write a book in three days. He would speak so eloquently, and Srila Vamana Maharaja would write down his words so nicely, that no editing was required. A book would be ready without the delay of editing and proofreading.

He disappeared on this day, and that is not an ordinary thing.

From his childhood he displayed the characteristics of an elevated devotee. His mother was a very strong lady, and she showered her affection and disciplined him. When he came home late one night his mother was waiting for him with a stick in her hand – waiting to chastise him. She asked, "Why are you late?" He stared at her and didn't say anything for some time. When she asked again and again, he said softly, "My friends and I have made a club and we are making a fund. Whatever money we get, we don't spend on ourselves. We use it to help the poor, downtrodden, and diseased people. Today there was an old lady who had cholera, an infectious disease, and nobody was there to look after her. The doctor prescribed medicines, and she became a bit relieved by this medicine. I left a colleague there with her and came home, but I have come late." When Gurudeva's mother heard this, she began to weep, the stick fell from her hand, and she said, "I will never chastise you again."

Parama-gurudeva was extremely compassionate toward other living entities from his childhood, so when he accepted his Gurudeva, how much greater was his condition? I used to go here and there, preaching with him, and he walked so fast that it was not possible to keep up with him. I’d thought I was a good sportsman, a good runner and fast walker, but I used to fall behind my Gurudeva’s pace.

Srila Gurudeva was so much concerned for the living entities; he felt pain for all of them, and that is why he was able to preach so nicely. Now, we are preaching according to his teachings and because of his mercy.

A108-AI

[September 23 and 24, 2017, around the world is the Divine Appearance day of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. In 2001, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja dictated this presentation in Hindi for his disappearnce day, and it was translated by Sripad Madhava-priya brahmacari.]

PuriMahAll glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga

The following is a holy heartfelt offering (puspanjali) at the lotus feet of Parampujyapada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja in his divine remembrance:

In November of 1946, I left my home and came to Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Sri Dhama Navadvipa. After a short time, in 1947, at the end of Sri Navadvipa Dhama Parikrama, which was held on the occasion of the divine appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I took shelter at the lotus feet of my most beloved om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He made my life successful by initiating me with harinama and diksa initiations. After celebrating the holy festival of Gaura Purnima and Sri Dhama Parikrama, I accompanied Gurudeva to one of the branches of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, namely Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha in Chinchurah.

It was there, at Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha, that I had the audience of Parampujyapada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami's lotus feet for the first time. He had already accepted the renounced order on March 3, 1947 at Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Matha in Campahatti, from nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanas Maharaja, one of the prominent sannyasa disciples of jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada.

I was very impressed by my meeting with him, and my most beloved Gurudeva, Sri Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, engaged me in his service. Every day I used to go with him to take bath in the Ganges nearby, carrying his outer garment, kaupin and kamandalu (water pot). After bathing, I carried his wet clothes and kamandalu, now filled with water, back to our Matha, and then I fed him prasadam. Moreover, I obeyed the many instructions he used to kindly give me on various occasions. I submissively put so many questions before him, and he used to reply to all my inquiries with great affection.

During our discussions in those days, he used to tell me some things about his life history. His name was previously Pramoda Bhusana. His parents were religious and from the brahmana (Cakravarti) caste. He took birth on October 8, 1898 in the village of Gangananda Pura in the district of Jessore, in the present-day Bangladesa. From his very childhood he was fond of hari-kirtana, chanting the Lord's holy names. He felt so much pleasure in hearing hari-kirtana that sometimes he would become forgetful of his bodily condition.

During his student life, he met a Gaudiya Vaisnava named Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura. Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura was the first person to introduce him to the books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After receiving the books he studied them thoroughly, and then he began to read Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in the association of that Vaisnava.

After completing his B.Sc. degree at Calcutta University, he wanted to continue his education, but the burden of maintaining his family fell on his shoulders. He unwillingly left his studies and accepted employment at the Post Commission in Calcutta. It was during that period that he met jagad-guru nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada and was deeply influenced by hearing his powerful hari-katha. In 1923, on the auspicious occasion of Sri Krsna Janmastami, he received diksa from Srila Prabhupada at Ultadanga Gaudiya Matha and was given the name Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari.

Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura was immensely satisfied by his steadiness, full surrender, loving service endowed with bhava, and especially his art of writing. Therefore, he gave him the responsibility of managing sankirtana, preaching, hari-katha, publishing the Dainika Nadia Prakasa, and writing articles for Sri Gaudiya Matha's journals.

For the service of the brhad-mrdanga (book publication), Srila Puri Maharaja stayed in various places like Calcutta, Krsna Nagar, and Mayapura. For the sake of preaching gaura-vani, the message of Gaurasundara, he traveled not only throughout Bengal, but also to many places throughout India, and he met with great success. He sometimes traveled with his Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada, and sometimes with the senior intimate sannyasa disciples of Srila Prabhupada. In this way he served his Gurudeva by internal, mano'bhista seva, fulfilling his innermost cherished desires.

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja stayed for a few months with my beloved Gurupadapadma Sri Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja, and other god-brothers. I had a wonderful opportunity to serve him and hear his hari-katha during that period. He had so much affection for me that he used to consider me his disciple, and I used to respect him as I respected my Gurudeva. On numerous occasions he blessed me with abundant kindness.

Once, when we were at Chinchurah Matha, we went together for bathing in the Ganga. I was carrying his cloth and water-pot, and also my own lota (cup) that I still had from my previous home life. I put them down on the ghata and we both entered the water of Bhagavati Bhagirathi for bathing. After bathing I found that my lota was gone. It had been carried away by the waves of the Ganga, which was very near the ocean at that place. Pujyacarana Puri Maharaja smiled and said, "You left your home, family, wife, son and wealth to become a renounced Vaisnava, so what need is there to be attached to a lota?" I was also smiling. Taking his wet clothes and water-pot, we returned to the matha. As long as he was present, every time we met he used to remind me of this pastime, and I also cannot forget the mercy he showed to me throughout my life.

After a long time, Prapujya-carana Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was given the responsibility of serving the Deity of Sri Ananta Vasudeva of Kalna. The King of Vardhman was unable to serve this Deity. When he observed the pure disposition and devotion of Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja, he was immensely impressed and offered the service of Ananta Vasudeva to him. Later, Srila Puri Maharaja took charge of the temple along with his disciples. I also went to have his audience there many times at Kalna.

I always saw him busy in writing. His pen never stopped. He used to spend every moment in writing articles about pure bhakti, whenever a chance came after completing his fixed number of rounds of harinama, serving the Deity, and studying the sastras. He also used to submit many articles to the journals of different Gaudiya Mathas. Especially, he was the editor-in-chief of "Sri Caitanya Vani", the journal of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja's Matha.

sppgm and gurudevaIn the last years of his life, he stayed in Sridhama Mayapura, where he established Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha at Isodyana. In the last stage of his life he stayed at Bankim Muhana Cakratirtha in Sri Purusottama Dhama. Finally, he entered into nitya-lila on November 22, 1999, at 2.07 am.

Whenever I used to go to Sridhama Vrndavana, Sridhama Mayapura, or Calcutta, I had the good fortune to have the audience of his lotus feet. At that time I used to present to him whatever new publications we had produced from our Matha in the Hindi language, such as Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya Siksamrta, the Teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Bindu, Kirana and Kana, Upadesamrta, Manah Siksa, Raga Vartma Candrika and also some English publications.

He was delighted to receive all these books from me, and in return he inspired and instructed me to publish more books of the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy. Whenever we would meet he would ask, "What new publications are coming in Hindi?"

He was present to pacify us at the time our beloved Gurudeva entered into nitya-lila and also when the Samadhi Mandira was established at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha. During his visit, he told us with a melting heart, "Vinoda Da (Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) was very affectionate to us. Whenever we knew that Vinoda Da was not in Mayapura, we would also cancel our scheduled program to visit Mayapura." He said that there was no one as warmly affectionate as Vinoda Da.

In this way, Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was fully surrendered and one of the internal associates of Srila Prabhupada. At the time of performing kirtana and giving lectures he would close his eyes, which were brimming with tears, being incessantly immersed in the bhava of bhakti. He would express such deep realizations while discussing bhakti-tattva and rasa-tattva that his whole audience would be enchanted.

He was the embodiment of Sriman Mahaprabhu's verse, "trnad api sunicena" (more humble than a blade of grass). He was a topmost self-realized devotee and always deeply appreciative of others' merit. Until this very day, I never saw him criticize anyone, and he even used to give inspiration and respect to this insignificant person who is thoroughly bereft of bhakti.

I often saw him walking with his danda, traveling barefoot in Navadvipa Dhama and eighty-four krosa Vraja Mandala Parikrama. Even in his advanced age, I saw him doing parikrama, without eating and drinking, and always singing kirtanas and speaking hari-katha.

I went to see him almost one month and fifteen days prior to his divine disappearance. At that time he was not speaking at all and he kept his eyes closed. I caught hold of his lotus feet and said, "I am your most insignificant servant, Narayana Maharaja." Upon hearing this, he caught both of my hands in his and gave me his blessings. Then he ordered his servants to give me prasadam. I do not know if he spoke to anyone else again after that moment. He entered into nitya-lila at the age of 101 years.

He was expert in all siddhanta and a pure devotee in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, and I felt so much inspiration from his blessings and instructions. Now, after his entrance into the divine transcendental pastimes of the Lord, I am bereft of the touch of that hand which used to confer upon me profuse blessings and inspiration, and thus I feel a profound sadness in his absence.

In this way I am offering sri sri puspanjali at the lotus feet of such a parama-niskincana (topmost renunciate) mahabhagavata (most superior devotee), Sri Sri Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. May he be pleased to shower his causeless mercy upon me.

Vaisnava krpalesaprarthi, Tridandisvami Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

A108-AI

Gurudeva_bricks.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
May 25, 2001
Alachua, Flordia

[September 4 or 5, 2017, around the world, is the divine disappearance day of Srila Haridasa Thakura, the great teacher of the glories of the holy name. The following is Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture on his glorification, given on May 25, 2001 in Alachua, Florida:]

Come with me to Jagannatha Puri, near to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Haridasa Thakura. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes are more deep than the ocean, more deep than even thousands upon thousands of oceans. No ordinary person can understand the Lord's pastimes, and even most devotees cannot realize them.

One day Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "O Haridasa Thakura, in this world there are many uncultured and materialistic Mohammedans, Muslims, who want to control the world and make all people Muslims by the help of a sword or any other way. They address those who are not Muslims as 'Kafir,' meaning 'against God' (ka – fir). They tell their followers, "Somehow or other, by hook or by crook, make them Muslims."

This is still their policy. They don't honor other religions. They don't chant the name Hari, Krsna, Govinda, or any other name of God, and they don't believe in the form of God at all. They are like mayavadis (impersonalists).

Mahaprabhu inquired, "Is there any process by which they can be liberated?"

Haridasa Thakura replied, "Once there was a Mohammedan, a Muslim, who while passing through a forest felt the urge to pass stool. As he sat somewhere in the forest for passing, a very powerful boar saw him from a distance and ran to attack him from the backside. As boars run one-pointed with their eyes closed, so that boar ran to kill the person from the backside by tearing him to pieces with his sharp teeth. As soon as the man saw that the boar was going to attack him, he called out, 'Ha rama! Ha rama!' Ha rama means 'condemned' or 'abominable' or 'impure.' He condemned that boar by calling out, 'Ha rama, ha rama!'

"Hearing that man call out, 'Ha rama!' Krsna in the form of His incarnation Lord Rama considered, 'He is calling Me. I must go and help him.' Lord Rama came there at once, since He is non-different from His holy name. He gave that man liberation, and attainment of Vaikuntha-dhama. [*See endnote 1] This was all because the man had unknowingly chanted, 'O Lord Ramacandra' [ha means 'O', and Rama may refer to Lord Ramacandra]."

The holy name is very powerful. If a person does not know the glories of the holy name and yet chants with respect, or even without respect, he will certainly achieve the fruits of chanting the holy names. He will not attain prema, but he will be liberated from this world – up to this. Or, he may gain much wealth. Moreover, if someone takes proper diksa and chants with honor, with a sense of a relation to Krsna, what will become of him? If he is under the guidance of any exalted rasika tattva-jnana Vaisnava, he will gradually attain sraddha (firm faith in sadhu, guru, and Krsna), nistha (steadiness in devotional service), ruci (taste for service and bhajana), and asakti (spontaneous attachment to Krsna). After that he will become liberated [*See endnote 2], and after that he will attain the stages of prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava.

We should try to continuously chant Krsna's name in this process, like Haridasa Thakura. If a person cannot do this, still, he will achieve liberation. He will not die. [*See endnote 3] Krsna's name will save him. But try to chant the name in the approved process. First associate with a highly qualified Vaisnava who will give you diksa, at which time you will receive divya-jnana, or all transcendental knowledge. You will then become detached from worldly desires, and very soon you will develop a thick relationship with Krsna that will manifest according to your constitutional form. You will gradually develop sraddha, nistha, ruci, and asakti, and after that rati. This rati is suddha-sattva as I explained yesterday. [*See endnote 4]

This is all being explained by Srila Haridasa Thakura [in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, chapter 3].

Once, by the wish of Sri Krsna, Srila Haridasa Thakura came to see Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who was at that time at the premises of his father. Many learned persons and brahmanas had assembled there, and they were discussing the glories of the holy name. Some were telling that the holy name can give liberation, and others told that it can never give liberation; both parties were quarrelling.

Upon the arrival of Haridasa Thakura, everyone honored him, and they asked him the same question with which they were struggling: "Can one achieve liberation by the holy name, or not?" Haridasa Thakura very humbly replied, "There is no need of the pure name for achieving liberation, for even by the semblance of the holy name anyone can very easily be liberated." [*See endnote 5]

[Haridasa Thakura said, "As the sun begins to rise, even before it is visible it dissipates the darkness of night. With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts, and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord's holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Krsna. Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of the awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name. While dying, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, intending to call his son Narayana. Nevertheless, he attained the spiritual world. [*See endnote 6] What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with faith and reverence?" (Antya 3.183-187)]

Hearing the words of Haridasa Thakura, a brahmana named Gopal Cakravarti became very angry and began to challenge him. All others warned Gopal not to challenge Haridasa Thakura, because of the Thakura's elevated position in bhakti, but still he challenged, "Even the name itself cannot give liberation, and you are telling us that namabhasa (the semblance of harinama) can give liberation?! If I am speaking the truth, then your nose will fall off due to leprosy, and if I am wrong and you are right, then my nose will fall off!"

Everyone present became angry at that person, and the father of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami told him, "Get out from our assembly. I have no sympathy for you." He had been paying that person many thousands of rupees monthly for being his tax-collector, but now he said, "I have stopped all connection with you. Get out of my kingdom."

After a couple of days, that brahmana's entire body was attacked by leprosy and his nose melted away. After many days, being extremely upset, he left for Aparadha-bhanjana-pata (the place where offences are destroyed) in Navadvipa. There he prayed to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "I have done wrong. I have committed offenses to the feet of a high-class Vaisnava. Please excuse me."

Caitanya Mahaprabhu forgave this nama-aparadhi brahmana and instructed him to continuously chant the holy name. Gopala Cakravarti did so, and his leprosy soon disappeared, leaving him beautiful as before. And now, he was a devotee.

So, Haridasa Thakura was a very exalted devotee.

If you chant the holy name, a special kind of power comes to you; whatever you speak will become true. Your words will bear fruit. I have personally tested and examined this. Once I was chanting the holy name, thinking, "If I am chanting this name purely, then this must be done," and at once it was done. I have examined this so many times. If you are chanting the holy name purely and you tell someone, "Oh, you should die," then that person will die.

garudaNarada Rsi cursed the sons of Nalakuvera and Manigriva, "At once become trees," and by the power of his chanting of the holy name, they immediately began turning into trees. Once, Narada told someone, "Oh! You are now dead? Oh, Come on, Come on, Come on." That person immediately came alive and began to speak. This is the power of the holy name.

Once, the ocean swallowed up a mother bird's eggs, which she had laid by the ocean's shore. Garuda came and told the ocean, "You should return the eggs to this bird." When he did not hear a reply, he breathed in, and by the power of the holy name he drank all of the ocean's water and the ocean became dry.

You can also examine whether or not this is true. Chant for some years like Srila Haridasa Thakura, or like any pure devotee, and you will see so much power come to you. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was so powerful that in a couple of years he successfully preached everywhere. Why? He was always chanting the holy name. By the power of the holy name and his own bhakti, so many souls came under his shelter. And what I am doing? I am only chanting. I am also successful in my preaching by the power of the name.

haridasaprosSo, don't disbelieve in the holy name. You can very easily receive anything by this name – money, liberation, and all other things, and Haridasa Thakura is an example of this. He never wished ill to the person who challenged him, but that person became attacked by leprosy.

We have seen so many scriptural references about Haridasa Thakura. Last night we explained about a prostitute who was about 16 to 20 years old. Although she tried to seduce Haridasa Thakura, by his grace she became a very prominent devotee. We should try to chant the holy name like him.

Once, the very beautiful Maya-devi herself came to Haridasa Thakura on a full-moon night. He was staying in a solitary place on the side of the Ganges, where she went to him and prayed: "I see that you are the most beautiful man in the entire world, and you can see that I am also beautiful. Look at me for just a moment." But Haridasa Thakura was absorbed in chanting: "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." She spent the entire night with him, speaking so many words to allure him. In fact, she came there three nights in a row, but each night Haridasa Thakura told her, "Please wait. I have taken a vow to chant 300,000 names a day."

haridasa leavingFinally, at the end of the night of the third day she said to him with folded palms, "I am personally Maya-devi, the illusory energy of the Lord. I have cheated Sankara, Brahma the creator, Narada, Gautama, and so many others. I can cheat all others, but I am defeated by you. I am the same Maya, and now I am begging your mercy. Be pleased with me. I have received Rama-nama , but now I want to be initiated into the Krsna mantra. Please initiate me."

She continued, "Mukti-hetuka taraka haya rama-nama, krsna-nama paraka haya kare prema-dana – The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation (taraka), [*See endnote 7] but the holy name of Krsna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience (paraka) and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krsna (Vraja-prema)." Being very merciful, Haridasa Thakura initiated her into Krsna-nama.

Although both Ramacandra and Krsna are the same by tattva (philosophical truth), there is some speciality in Rama. What speciality? First, those who take shelter of Rama cannot achieve the position of Sita. And second, Rama sometimes gives up Sita for no reason.

Believing the words of a very bogus washer-man, Rama gave up Sita for His entire life. [*See endnote 8] What was the fault, or offence, of Sita-devi that Ramacandra gave Her up? She had no fault. But Rama believed in the words of a washer-man, who had indirectly convinced Him to leave her. So, if you are chaste in your service to Rama, He may reject you also. We fear this may happen.

With Krsna, on the other hand, even the hunchback prostitute Kubja can come to Him and say, "Oh, I have taken your shelter; please accept me," and He will accept her.

Do you know Narakasura? He conquered all the kings of India and then collected all the beautiful princesses for his personal enjoyment. Krsna knew about this from Narada Rsi. He went and killed that demon, and He told the sixteen-thousand princesses, "Now you are independent. You can easily go to your fathers, mothers, and others. I will arrange for your return home." But what did they say? "We don't want to return. No one will accept us now, because we have been in the house of Narakasura. So, we have taken Your shelter. Please give us the chance to serve Your queens. We will sweep and cook for them, and we will massage them. Somehow, please give us shelter." Krsna then took them all on His bird-carrier, Garuda, who expanded to a very large size and carried them all to Dvaraka. Krsna also expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, married them all, and lived with them in separate palaces as His queens.

Rama cannot do this. Can He marry with anyone except Sita? And He can also reject Sita. In fact, in the end, He also left His brother, Laksmana, forever. These scenes are all full of extreme pathos.

So, we will go to Krsna.

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah

["All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha." (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)]

Krsna has promised to reciprocate with our surrender to Him, so we can believe in Him. Sometimes Krsna becomes cruel in His form of Ramacandra in Rama-lila, but Krsna Himself is very humble and sweet to all. In her prayer to Haridasa Thakura, Maya-devi herself glorified Krsna as being more merciful than Rama

In her ecstatic love in separation for Krsna, glorifying Him indirectly in the form of rebuke, Srimati Radhika uttered these words:

mrgayur iva kapindram vivyadhe lubdha-dharma
striyam akrta-virupam stri-jitah kama-yanam
balim api balim attvavestayad dhvanksavad yas tad
alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-katharthah

["Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with lusty desires. And even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can't give up talking about Him." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.47.17)]

The gopis told Uddhava, "Go and tell Krsna, 'We have nothing more to do with Him. We don't want to have any further relation with Him. If He can give us up, we can also give Him up. But what can we do? Our hearts can never give Him up. This is the problem. How cruel He is. All black people are cruel, not only this fellow. All black fellows are cruel.

"There was another black person in Treta-yuga (Lord Ramacandra). A very beautiful lady came to Him and said, 'I love you. I want to marry you.' That black person replied, 'Oh, I will have only one wife. I cannot marry a second. It will be better for you to go to My younger brother, Laksmana. He has no wife.'

"Actually, although Laksmana's wife was not with Him in the forest, He was married; so Rama had said this only as a trick. That lady then went to Laksmana, who told her, 'Do you want to be a queen, or do you want to be a maidservant? If you marry Me, you will have to be a servant of Rama's wife, because She is My queen. I am a servant, so you will be a servant. If you want to be a queen, then marry Rama. Rama can have so many wives.'

"She again came to Rama, but again Rama said, 'Oh, I cannot do this; better that you go to my younger brother.' Rejected by Rama, she again went to Laksmana, and was again sent to Rama; and thus she became upset. She wanted to kill Sita, and Rama cut off her ears and nose to stop her.

"Why did He do so? He was lusty. Just to please his wife, He wanted to cut off that other lady's nose. He could have humbly told her, 'I cannot do this.' But He was joking with her and making fun of her. That is why she became furious. He could have humbly told her, 'Oh, I cannot do this. You should go to your husband, or anyone else.' But why did he do what He did? Because He was cruel.

"And third is Vamanadeva. What did He do? He took all the possessions of Bali Maharaja and bound him in a snake-rope. Bali Maharaja was weeping. Somehow Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma arrived, and Brahma challenged, "What are You doing?" And then He left.

There are so many deep meanings in these pastimes, but we have no time now to describe all those deep truths. Let us return to our subject.

Regarding Rama-nama: 'Rama' refers to Ramacandra, and 'Rama' also refers to Krsna Himself. In the maha-mantra, which embodies 'Hare Krsna' and 'Hare Rama,' Hare indicates Radhika and Rama indicates Radha-Ramana Krsna. Krsna is also called Rama, so Hare Rama indicates Radha-Krsna.

It is stated in scriptures like Visnu Purana that three Rama names equal one name of Krsna. Rama's name is equal to Krsna's name when Rama refers not to Ramacandra but to Radha-Ramana Krsna – and in that connection it is sometimes superior to Krsna. There are so many things to understand here.

Haridasa Thakura has four qualities:

trnad api su-nicena
taror via sahisnuna
amanina mana-dena
kirtaniyah sada harih

[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 hold name of the Lord. (Siksastakam, verse 3)]

How is Haridasa Thakura su-nicena? He used to think, "I am Muslim. I am not qualified to go to Jagannatha's temple." He never used to walk on the many streets of Jagannatha Puri, because he was trnad api su-nicena.

When he was staying with Advaita Acarya in Santipura, Advaita Acarya insisted on honoring him. All Advaita Acarya's relatives were assembled at His home, along with many brahmanas, as it was the day of their forefathers' sraddha ceremony. During this ceremony, the plate of prasadam offered to the forefathers is then offered to the best of the brahmanas in the assembly. Instead of offering the first plate to any other brahmana present, Advaita Acarya offered it to Haridasa Thakura, considering him greater than any of the foremost brahmanas. Haridasa began to weep, saying, "I am not qualified. I am a Muslim." But what did Advaita Acarya reply? "If I give you this offering, this will be the best thing in the universe. All of my forefathers will be liberated if you take this."

Seeing this, all the brahmanas present became angry at Advaita Acarya and said, "By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here! We don't like your behavior. Your actions are opposed to the principles of caste consideration." And, taking their water pots, they all stood up to leave. Advaita Acarya replied, "I don't care if you go. You can go. I want only bhakti. You are foolish persons." [*See endnote 9]

Soon afterward, those brahmanas returned and fell flat on the lotus feet of Advaita Acarya, and also to the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa Thakura is surely 'out of caste,' as they challenged, in the sense that he is superior to a paramahamsa. He is a combination of Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma.

So, we should try to follow Haridasa Thakura, always chanting the holy name and being, trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna. [To Prema-prayojana dasa] Can you prove that he is su-nicena?

Prema-prayojana dasa: Srila Haridasa Thakura was very popular. The Muslim king was thinking, "This Haridasa Thakura is giving a bad reputation to Islam. He is born in a Muslim family, so why is he chanting the name of a Hindu God?" He called him to his council and said, "You should not chant the name of Krsna anymore. You should be a very good Muslim and chant the name of Allah. If you don't do this, there will be a severe punishment for you."

Haridasa Thakura replied: "My dear sir, you can cut my body into thousands of pieces, and I may give up my life, but my tongue cannot give up the chanting of this name: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." The King then ordered that Haridasa Thakura be beaten in twenty-two marketplaces.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should hear this. Oh, my dear friend, what are you counting? You should hear this. You should give your ears to this hari-katha. What are you counting? Hear this attentively, and don't allow your mind to wander.

Prema Prayojana dasa: The soldiers took Haridasa Thakura to the marketplace, where they had very strong and powerful whips and were beating him. Usually in one marketplace one will die, because the beating is so severe. First the skin breaks, and then it is cut, and then the skin begins to come off. They were beating him in every market place until there was no skin, no flesh, and even his bones were broken. Like a miracle, he was still chanting the holy name. They couldn't believe it.

Sometimes, while they were beating him, Haridasa Thakura would look towards them and smile very compassionately. He could see they were sweating from the hard labor of thrashing him. He would say, "I hope your arms are not feeling pain from all of this beating."

He was very humble. After some time, they became afraid, thinking, "If he doesn't die, the king will kill us." They revealed to him, "The king will kill us if you don't die." Haridasa Thakura thought, "I don't want to give any trouble or inconvenience to others." At once he went into samadhi and it seemed he passed away. They took his body and threw it into the Ganges. The next moment he came out of the Ganges and his body was strong and healthy again. This is the power of harinama. Haridasa Thakura is Lord Brahma and Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada was beaten and tortured by his father, but he never complained or was disturbed.

Lord Brahma has said:

tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8)

["My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.]

It is only a matter of time until a person attains the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. What kind of person? That person who in the midst all kinds of difficulties, problems, and adverse conditions says to himself, "It is not your fault; you are not beating me. My own karma is beating me. I have done this to myself. It is my fault." One who patiently tolerates and considers himself to be the cause of all his problems, and at the same time takes shelter with body, mind, and words in Krsna, that person will easily come to Krsna's eternal service and be happy forever.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes with devotees like Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Sikhi Mahiti, Madhavi-devi, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Vakresvara Pandita, Sri Gopinatha Acarya, Kasisvara, Vaninatha Raya, Govinda, Gopala Guru; and all the Gaudiya bhaktas like Sivananda Sena, Raghava Pandita, and Kavi Karnapura as a baby and small boy. And especially, He performed pastimes with Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, and Haridasa Thakura.

Maya-devi personally told Haridasa:

caitanyavatare vahe premamrta-vanya
saba jiva preme bhase, prthivi haila dhanya

["There is now a flood of the eternal nectar of love of Godhead due to the incarnation of Lord Caitanya. All living entities are floating in that flood. The entire world is now thankful to the Lord." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.254)]

The flood of full prema, vraja-prema, was present everywhere during Mahaprabhu's pastimes. Everywhere there were waves of that flood.

e-vanyaya ye na bhase, sei jiva chara
koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara

["Anyone who does not float in this inundation is most condemned. Such a person cannot be delivered for millions of kalpas." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.255)]

Those waves are still going on today, and those who are fortunate can take bath in the flood. Those who are not taking this bath are very unfortunate. Chara means 'wretched' and 'fallen.' Koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara – if you are not taking bath in that flood of love and affection of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then millions of your births will go in vain; you'll gain nothing. In this human form, at this present time, you are very near to that flood, as only four or five hundred years have passed since Mahaprabhu's time. Still, so many waves are coming. Try to take bath in this, and thus become fortunate enough to very easily attain kr?na-prema. We are helping you.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to help you. He preached, "Give up all these bogus things that you are thinking can give you happiness. Such things can never give you happiness. Wealth cannot give you any happiness, and your relatives cannot give you anything. Your home is opulent with so many facilities. You can turn on a switch and your restroom will come, by another switch your kitchen room will come, or your dish will come, or your office will come. But give up all these facilities. They cannot help you at all."

Please chant the holy name like Haridasa Thakura:

trnad api su-nicena
taror iva sahisnuna
amanina mana-dena
kirtaniyah sada harih

Never wish for reputation. Don't try to hear your own glories. Rather, give proper honor to all Vaisnavas. This is the teaching of Haridasa Thakura. Let us try to obey him from today; not today, just now. Chant always, without any interruption, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."

One thing more: In the last days of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to him daily to give His darsana, along with all His associates, just after the morning arati of Jagannathadeva, He also used to send so much maha-prasadam for Haridasa Thakura through the hands of Govinda, His own servant. What was Govinda? Mahaprabhu's servant, or disciple, or what? [*See endnote 10]

haridasa1One day, when Govinda brought some prasada, Haridasa Thakura told him, "Today I shall fast, because I have not completed my regular number of rounds." So how can I eat? But you have brought maha-prasada, so how can I neglect it?" Haridasa then offered pranama to the prasadam and took a small morsel. Worried, Govinda returned to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and said, "I went with prasadam to serve him, but he said, 'I am feeling some sickness.' I think that he is not in good health."

The next day Mahaprabhu went to see Haridasa, with all His associates – Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, and others – and said, "How are you feeling?" Haridasa Thakura answered, "Oh, I am feeling sick." Mahaprabhu asked, "What is your sickness?" Haridasa Thakura replied, "My body is okay, but my sickness is that I have not completed my chanting of three lakhs holy names (300,000 names or 192 rounds). I cannot chant. My fingers do not move. Oh! This is my sickness."

Can you try to be like this? We should try to be like this. This is our only disease – that we have no taste in chanting the holy name, and that we are not chanting.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Haridasa, "Now you are perfect. There is no need to chant so much. As much as you can chant, that will be sufficient." But Haridasa said, "I don't want to live in this world for long. I know that very soon You will disappear from here, and I don't want to see that very pathetic scene. I want to leave my body with my head in Your lap. In that way, I will see Your golden face and chant Your holy name: Saci-nandana Gaura Hari! Gaura Hari! I want to give up this body in this way." Mahaprabhu told him, "I perform My pastimes with you. If I don't have My associates like you, then there are no pastimes. Let Me not be alone in this world. I don't want you to go." But Haridasa Thakura again and again requested, "I don't want to see this pathetic scene. Please be merciful to me."

haridasaOn the next morning, Caitanya Mahaprabhu assembled all the devotees with Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, and He returned to perform parikrama of Haridasa Thakura with kirtana and so many mrdangas and karatalas:

(hari) haraye namah krsna yadavaya namah
yadavaya madhavaya kesavaya namah
gopala govinda rama sri madhusudana
giridhari gopinatha madana-mohana
[Nama-Sankirtana Srila Narottama dasa Thakuraa (1-2)]

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Requesting His devotees to continue kirtana, He sat down near Haridasa Thakura. He took the head of Haridasa upon His lap. Haridasa was only seeing towards His lotus face and calling out, "Saci-nandana Gaurahari! Gaurahari! Gaurahari," and he left his body at once.

Mahaprabhu began to weep, and all the devotees began to weep in an intense separation mood. Then, Caitanya Mahaprabhu took Haridasa's body in His arms and placed him from His arms onto a chariot. What kind of chariot? As we see in Indian Vedic custom. The devotees made a chariot like this, and with nagara-sankirtana they proceeded toward the shore of the ocean. During the devotees' kirtana and parikrama, Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed Haridasa's divine body in the sea with His own hands, and declared that spot to have become a great pilgrimage site. He and His devotees anointed Haridasa's body with Lord Jagannatha's sandalwood. He placed Haridasa in Samadhi and personally covered his body with sand, after which all the devotees did so. A temporary samadhi mandir was established, and later on a permanent mandira was built.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu announced, "Those who were singing here, those who have done parikrama of Haridasa Thakura, those who gave even one palmful of sand, and those who are in this viraha maha-mahotsava festival will very soon achieve Krsna's favor. He also announced that He wanted to collect prasadam from all the shopkeepers. All the shopkeepers began to give all their stocks, but Svarupa Damodara told them, "We don't want everything from you. Please give only a small amount." In this way, each shopkeeper gave a small amount of his various preparations. Someone gave dahl, someone vegetables, rice, and so on, and the combined quantity became sufficient. Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat all the devotees down and personally began to distribute the prasadam along with a few others, but Svarupa Damodara and everyone else requested Him, "If You are not sitting and taking, then no one else will take."

Then, Mahaprabhu sat down and uttered the prayer to maha-prasada:

maha-prasade govinde nama-brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punyavatam rajan visvaso naiva jayate
(Prasada-Seva –from the Skanda Purana)

Maha-prasadam ki jaya!

Harinama sankirtana ki jaya!
Srila Haridasa Thakura ki jaya!
Samagata bhakta-vrnda ki jaya!
Gaura premanande! Hari hari bol!

[*Endnote 1: Liberation in this connection means that in the man's next life he entered into the proper process to begin his bhakti, and ultimately he attained Vaikuntha-dhama. (Sripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)]

[*Endnote 2: Liberation in this connection meaning that he will attain bhava-bhakti and have his first realization of his relationship with Krsna and services to Him. He sees within himself his own spiritual form and the forms of Krsna and His associates. (Sripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)]

[*Endnote 3: In this connection, 'He will not die' means that he will not be thrown by the constables of Yamaraja, the god of death, into hellish planets and lower species of life as a result of his past sins. He will get an opportunity for devotional service in his next life. "Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krsna consciousness carries a person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the loss of the body" (Bhagavad-gita 2.40 purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja).]

[*Endnote 4: When our object is to attain rati (transcendental mood), and for this, with these material senses, tongue and mind, we will perform sadhana, then it will be sadhana, otherwise not. First there should be an object that, "I want to attain rati." But, what is rati? What is that desired mood, which should be the object of our devotional activities. Then:

suddha-sattva-visesatma
prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak
rucibhis citta-masrnya-
krd asau bhava ucyate

["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krsna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava ." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 23.5)]

What is bhava? You should know. If you don't know what is bhava, or rati, then how can it be your object of attainment? If you don't know this, how can you perform sadhana (devotional practices performed with the purpose of attaining bhava)? You may be performing sadhana-abhasa (a shadow of sadhana) or lower than that; not actually bhakti. We are all in this category.

We must know the meaning of sattva and suddha-sattva. Sattva means existence, and it is of two kinds; suddha-sattva and misra-sattva. All souls who are now captured in material things are misra-sattva, and those who give up these material conceptions and adopt the transcendental conception of thinking themselves as infinitesimal parts of the Supreme Lord are called suddha-sattva.

Then, suddha-sattva visesatma: Baladeva Prabhu is the origin of all suddha-sattva jivas, as well as everything existing in this world. Baladeva Prabhu is the personification or predominating Deity of Krsna's sandhini-sakti, His existence potency; everything coming from sandhini-sakti is suddha-sattva.

Visesatma denotes Hladini-sakti (Radhika being the predominating Deity) and samvit-sakti (Krsna being the predominating Deity) of the svarupa-sakti of Krsna (Radhika being the predominating Deity of svarupa-sakti). Samvit means knowledge, and from knowledge this mood will come: all kinds of bhavas to serve Krsna that are in Radhika may come partly. Such moods are full of love and affection, with ananda (unlimited bliss). This is visesa – the essence of hladini-sakti and samvit-sakti, coming on the platform of sandini. Devotees receiving such mercy will have suddha-sattva visesatma descend in their hearts.]

[*Endnote 5: The meaning of this statement is explained in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: "In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear." It is further explained in the purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja: "Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krsna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord"]

[*Endnote 6: When Ajamila chanted the four syllables of the name Narayana, the four Visnudutas appeared to save him from the ropes of the Yamadutas, the constables of the god of death. By seeing them and hearing their words, Ajamila was inspired to leave home and perform severe austerities and engage in devotional service to the Lord. When his service became perfect he again saw those Visnudutas, and this time they took him on a celestial airplane to Vaikuntha - ed.]

[*Endnote 7 (Lord Rama easily offers the two types of Vaikuntha liberation as described here in Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of July, 2002, in France) The bhakti-creeper then goes to paravyoma (the spiritual sky), which is beyond even Siva-loka. Paravyoma, where there is no mixing in brahma, is divided into two sections. The lower of the two is like Vaikuntha, but is not actually Vaikuntha, and the jiva can also go there. It is the Vaikuntha planet within the material world, and it is called Rama-priya Vaikuntha. In that realm there is seva-sukha-uttara. There, the devotee wants to serve Lord Narayana, but he also wants the happiness accrued from the attainment of the four spiritual opulences. That desire for happiness is not like ours, for the devotees there do not have material bodies; still, that desire is not pure. In the higher section there is prema-seva-uttara; the devotee only wants to serve Narayana with love.

There is great aisvarya (opulence) in the Vaikuntha planets: one can have the same bodily features as Narayana (sarupya), he can live on the same planet with Him (salokya), he can have equal opulence (sarsti), and he can have association with the Lord. But a Vaisnava never wants these four types of liberation; he solely wants to serve.]

Narayana-loka, Nrsimha-loka, Rama-loka (Ayodhya), and many other such lokas are within the Paravyoma, and the bhakti-creeper passes beyond all of them. It crosses beyond Narayana-bhakti, Nrsimha-bhakti, and Ramacandra-bhakti. The devotee will say, "I don't want that," and that creeper then goes to Goloka.

[*Endnote 8 – Rama and Sita devi stayed together for many years, and everyone was very happy within their kingdom. Some people, however, criticized Rama for accepting Sita back after she had been staying in the palace of Ravana.

According to Vedic principles, it is unacceptable to accept one's wife after her being away for one night, what to speak of one year. One evening, the wife of a washer-man came home late. Her husband immediately told her that she could not enter the house. He threw her out saying, "I am not like Rama, who accepted His wife after she'd been with another man."

This news spread and the story got back to Rama. He was most disturbed, and realized that He had to do something to rectify the situation. How could He rule a kingdom where some of the people did not have faith in Him? He called a meeting, asking all of His brothers to come, but none of them could give Him any advice. He Himself then realized what to do. He remembered that Sita wanted to visit all the sages in the forest and shower them with gifts. He asked Laksmana to take Her to the asramas of all the sages, deliver His sorrowful message to Her, and then leave Her in the forest. Laksmana was devastated that He was called upon to do this, but He could not say anything as he was Rama's younger brother. He therefore had to accept that responsibility. (Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of April 13, 2000)]

[*Endnote 9 - Haridasa Thakura was born in a Muslim family. At the sraddha ceremony for Advaita Acarya's father, the highest seat and prasada were to be offered first to the most elevated person. Advaita Acarya was performing the ceremony when the moon was in the appropriate place in the month of Ashwina. All the high-class brahmanas were there – Bhattacarya, Trivedi, Caturvedi, Upadhyaya – and all of them were great scholars. After washing their feet, Advaita Acarya showed them to their respective seats. In front was an elevated seat, and Advaita Prabhu was standing and thinking, "Who will I seat here?"

All of the scholars were thinking, "I know so many scriptures; certainly I will be offered that seat." Silently they were all aspiring for it. Advaita Acarya then went outside the house and saw Haridasa Thakura, wearing a langoti and sitting at the door. Haridasa was thinking, "The brahmanas will take their meal here, so Advaita Acarya will certainly give us a little of their prasada." He had so much humility that he was thinking that if he were to go inside, the house would be contaminated.

At once Advaita Acarya embraced him, and Haridasa Thakura said, "Oh, you are a brahmana and I am a Muslim! Having touched me, you must now go and bathe." But grabbing him and taking him inside, Advaita Acarya sat him on the elevated seat, at which time there was a great outcry in all directions. The brahmanas said, "By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here!" Taking their water pots, they all stood up and left. They were abusing Advaita Acarya, saying, "You are opposed to the principles of dharma!"

But Advaita Acarya said, "Today my birth has become successful, and today my father has attained Vaikuntha. By giving respect to one Vaisnava, today, millions of my ancestors have crossed over maya. If Haridasa Thakura will eat here, that is greater than feeding millions of brahmanas."

Haridasa Thakura was crying, thinking, "Because of me, all these brahmanas have been insulted and are not eating." But Advaita Acarya said, "Haridasa, today you will certainly take prasada here. That will be our great good fortune." Then he said to the brahmanas, "He will stay, and none of you will get prasada. Actually, you should all leave here quickly, because just seeing your faces is a great sin. Haridasa has great regard for maha-prasada, and therefore he is included within the Vaisnava class. Anyone who doesn't accept this is an atheist, and one who judges a Vaisnava by his birth is an atheist. You can all go away from here, and then your offences will leave with you. You are offending Haridasa, and offending me as well."

All the scholars left the house, but outside, as they were going, they began speaking amongst themselves. "Advaita Acarya is no ordinary personality. He is a great scholar, he knows all of the scriptures, and he is an exalted preacher of bhakti." They continued deliberating, and after fully reconsidering, they returned, fell at Advaita Prabhu's feet, and begged forgiveness. (From Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Sri Prabhandavali, Chapter 7)]

[*Endnote 10: Both Kasisvara and Govinda were god-brothers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and thus the Lord duly honored them as soon as they arrived. But because Isvara Puri had ordered them to give Caitanya Mahaprabhu personal service, the Lord accepted their service. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10.140)]

A108-AI

The One Real Entity

Houston-2007-197.jpg[Respected Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

This year, the divine appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is September 3 and 4 around the world.

In Germany, in December of 2001, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave a course on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's book, Sri Jaiva-dharma. In that book, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura shares with his readers the essence of spiritual life from A to Z through a series of wonderful conversations rich with profound questions and unimaginable answers.

The following conversation takes place between Sannyasi Thakura and his spiritual master, Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja. Previously, Sannyasi Thakura had been an impersonalist scholar who believed that the Absolute Truth is impersonal and that individual souls are not really individual, but are one in all respects with that impersonal Supreme Being. Since surrendering to his spiritual master, who is an exalted, self-realized devotee of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, Sannyasi Thakura has given up his impersonalist ideas.

In Srila Narayana Maharaja's class, he is explaining one of the conversations between this sincere disciple and his self-realized guru. Sannyasi Thakura is asking about the nature of the soul and Reality. In his answer, Paramahamsa Babaji is explaining some important Sanskrit terms from the ancient Vedic literature.

You may find that there are a few terms that are new for you, especially vastu, meaning substance or entity or object, vastava-vastu, meaning eternal, truly abiding, real entity or object, and avastava-vastu, meaning temporary, non-abiding, entity or object. By reading Srila Narayana Maharaja's explanation, we may understand the significance of these terms in our lives.

The Harikatha Team]


The One Real Entity
December 15, 2001
Paderborn, Germany

Srila Gurudeva


Real and temporary objects

Paramahamsa Babaji is answering the question of Sannyasi Thakura regarding the meaning of vastu. What is written in Jaiva-dharma about this?

[Devotee reads from Jaiva Dharma:] Sannyasi Thakura asked his Gurudeva, "What is vastu?"

Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja said, "The Sanskrit word for ‘object' (vastu) is derived from the verbal root meaning ‘to exist' or ‘to dwell'. By adding a suffix, this root is made into a noun. Vastu therefore means ‘what has existence' or ‘what is self-evident'.

"There are two types of vastu: vastava and avastava. The term 'truly abiding substance' (vastava-vastu) refers to that which is grounded in transcendence. Temporary objects (avastava-vastu) are dravya (tangible objects), guna (qualities), and so on. Real objects have eternal existence. Unreal objects only have a semblance of existence, which appear real, although they are not."

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Here is an example: Krsna is truly vastu, the one real Entity. This microphone stand is also vastu, because it exists, but it is avastava-vastu, a temporary object. Krsna, maya (Krsna's deluding energy), and the jiva are all vastava-vastu. They exist eternally.

This microphone is an example of a tangible object, whereas a person's nature is an example of an intangible object or a quality. Suppose I am habituated in telling lies; this habit is an example of a quality. If someone is ‘virtuous' or ‘not virtuous' in this world, this is his quality, but such qualities are mundane, not transcendental. Only real existence is eternal; only transcendental existence is forever.

In the material world there is existence, but it is constantly changing; nothing remains the same for even a moment. The moment after this body took birth, it changed; and since then it has been changing at every moment. We do not realize this, but it is constantly changing. It is therefore avastava, temporary.

Vastava-vastu is not material; it does not change even after millions of years. The soul is eternal; it does not change. The Supreme Lord is eternal; He does not change. There are some vaisistya, unique characteristics or specialities, in each, but there is no change. Both have special unique qualities that are ever-unfolding but never changing.

Manini Radha

The unique qualities of Lord Krsna are ever fresh and new. If anyone sees Krsna, he or she thinks, "Oh, I have never seen Him before." Especially Srimati Radhika, who is with Him throughout the day, will see Him and exclaim with wonder, "Who is He?" Radhika's dear friend Lalita will reply, "You don't know? You have just been sitting on the lap of that very person - that tricky person!" Radhika will retort, "No, I have never seen this person before. How beautiful He is!"

Once Padma, the sakhi (cowherd girlfriend) of Candravali, came to Lalita and Visakha to glorify Candravali. She said, "Oh, my sakhi is so fortunate. Today she saw the beauty of the whole form of Krsna, top to bottom." Lalita then said, "I'm very sorry to say that my sakhi is not so fortunate. If She sees Krsna's nose, She cannot move Her sight from there. If She is looking at His cheeks, then She becomes fixed on His cheeks. My sakhi has never seen Krsna fully." Padma then became ashamed, as the consciousness of Srimati Radhika is more glorious than that of Candravali.

Unlike Lord Krsna and the spirit souls, everything in this world is constantly changing. Temporary objects last only momentarily and are ultimately unreal. They are called vastu, because they are manifestations of maya, which is vastu, but they are avastava-vastu.

What is maya? Lord Krsna's transcendental creative power is called Yogamaya. She is real, and she has two aspects: Yogamaya and Mahamaya. Mahamaya, or maya, is the shadow of Yogamaya who manifests and manages this world. Regarding Yogamaya, she personally manages Lord Krsna's eternal abodes - Goloka Vrndavana and all others.

Reality Distinguished from Illusion

[Devotee reads from Jaiva Dharma:]

"Real objects have eternal existence. Unreal objects only have a semblance of existence; they sometimes exist and sometimes do not. It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2): 'vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ. Only a truly abiding substance, that which is related to the Supreme Absolut Truth and yields supreme auspiciousness, is worthy of being known.' "

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] In this world everything seems to be real, but actually it is not. You can understand this from Srimad-Bhagavatam:

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate 'tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt
Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva in his maturity, is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.

The transcendental vastu is one without a second, and that is Sri Krsna Himself. He is the non-dual Supreme Truth. Everything comes from Him; everything is an expansion of His spiritual energy (yogamaya) and material energy (maha-maya). His personal expansions or manifestations, like Lord Ramacandra and Lord Nrsimhadeva, are non-different from Him. This world also manifests from Krsna, for without Him nothing can exist. He is the advaya-jnana para-tattva, the supreme, transcendental one-without-a-second Absolute Truth. Whatever we read about and whatever we see are only expansions of His power or of His bodily manifestations. The word sivadam in this verse means "very auspicious." It is very auspicious if a person can know Sri Krsna.

[Devotee reads from Jaiva-Dharma:] 
"Sri Bhagavan is the only real Entity (vastava-vastu). The living entity, jiva, is a distinct or individual part of that Entity, while maya, the potency that produces illusion, is the energy of that Entity. Therefore, the word vastu refers to three fundamental principles: Bhagavan (the Supreme Lord), the jiva, and maya. Knowledge of the mutual relationship between these three principles is known as pure knowledge. There are innumerable seemingly real representations of these principles, and they are all regarded as avastava vastu, The classification of phenomena into various categories such as tangible objects and qualities, which is undertaken by the Vaisesika school of philosophy, *[See endnote 1] is merely a deliberation on the nature of avastava-vastu, temporary objects. The special characteristic of any truly abiding substance is its factual nature." 
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] The sum-total of material elements is called the maha-tattva, and this is the first covering of the jiva. This mahat-tattva manifests false ego in the three modes of nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. From these modes, material intelligence develops. From material intelligence comes the mind, which is always deliberating on what it considers good and bad, painful or pleasing, this or that. The living entity then develops a particular body, and that body consists of five gross elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether. This is all a manifestation of maya-sakti . We see so many things in this world, but really nothing is as it appears. All is but the magic of phantasmagoric maya.

The Eyes to See

Everything we see by these material eyes is avastava, temporary and ultimately unreal, whereas whatever we see with our soul is vastava, reality. We shall experience transcendental existence when our anarthas (unwanted habits and thoughts) disappear and real prema manifests. Then we can see things as they are. We can have some idea of that real world when we reach the preliminary stage of love of God. At this time, at the stage of bhava-bhakti, transcendental emotions arise in our hearts.

However, in order to actually perceive that transcendental realm, one's heart must be saturated with love, or prema. At that time we will see the Supreme Reality and be able to serve Him in our transcendental form.

We cannot see the form of Sri Krsna with these eyes. In certain special cases it is possible, as in the instance of Dhruva Maharaja. Sri Narada Rsi saw the form of Narayana for a moment. He had been sincerely engaged in devotional practices, and when he came to the stage where he could not live without Sri Krsna, the Lord's expansion as four-handed Lord Narayana appeared to him for a moment. He had been chanting, "Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya," *[See endnote 2] and therefore it was Narayana who appeared to him. Narada Muni saw that Supreme Lord for a moment, and then the Lord disappeared. He then began to weep bitterly, and an aerial voice of Narayana spoke to him, "In your present stage you will not be able to see Me continually. I mercifully gave darsana to you to increase your eagerness. Continue your bhajana, traveling throughout the universe, chanting My name, and singing about My glories. In this way, always be maddened, sometimes rolling on the ground, with tears flowing your eyes and with a melted heart. When Maya leaves you, and when the time comes for you to leave your body, you will automatically attain your transcendental form."

It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.40): "By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Lord. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion."

Later, when death came, Narada fearlessly placed his feet on the head of death and attained his transcendental form.

Wait for that stage when maya will leave you; then you will be able to see. Now your vision of Thakurji (the Deity form of the Lord) is called aropa-siddha-bhakti. *[See endnote 3] Now you may be thinking, "Oh, here is Thakurji. He can fulfill all my desires." With such consciousness, you may later reject that so-called worship and all other devotional practices. So wait for that stage, and then you will be able to have an actual vision of the Deity.

A Particle of Love

The soul comes from Krsna, but not directly from Krsna. It comes from Krsna when He is only with His tatastha-sakti (marginal potency). Jivera svarupa haya, krsnera nitya dasa. And always remember the second part of this verse: Krsnera tatastha-sakti bhedabheda prakasa. We have not come directly from Goloka Vrndavana.

[Devotee reading:] 
"The special characteristic of any truly abiding substance is its factual nature."

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] As a real, eternal entity, the jiva is an infinitesimal part and parcel of Sri Krsna. The transcendental nature of both Krsna and the jiva is one - and that nature is love. Krsna is love in fullness or completeness, and the jiva is an infinitesimal particle of that love. Although the jiva is infinitesimal, if he takes shelter of Lord Krsna, his love and affection will also become endless and infinite.

[Devotee reads from Jaiva Dharma:] 
"The spirit soul is a real entity, and his eternal, constitutional identity is his true nature."

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] That nature is love - love for Krsna, the love of the part for the whole. That love is the eternal religion of every soul in the universe, whether he is liberated or not.

[*Endnote 1:
Vaisesika philosophy is the teaching of Kanada Rsi and it is the oldest of the six classical philosophical systems. Vaisesika represents an analytical process TO decifer the material objects INto atomic formulas and thus arrive at permanent conclusions, which are not necessarily denying God as a person. It basically views the world as cosmologically atomistic and ontologically pluralistic.

[*Endnote 2:
Krsna is sometimes two-handed and sometime four-handed in Dvaraka as the son of Vasudeva. But here Vasudeva refers to Narayana. It simple means "All-pervading one."]

[*Endnote 3:
Aropa-siddha-bhakti means that the words "devotion to God" are superimposed upon an activity or consciousness that is not actually imbued with devotion.-ed]

[*Endnote 4: 
On tatastha:
"All the qualities of the unalloyed soul are above the eightfold qualities such as egotism, etc., pertaining to Krsna's acit (inert material) potency. Hence the jiva potency. though very small in magnitude, is still superior to acit potency or Maya. This potency has another name, viz., tatastha or marginal potency, being located on the line demarcating the spheres of the spiritual and mundane potencies (Sri Brahma - samhita 5.21 purport)."

"When jivas, begotten of the marginal potency (tatastha-sakti), forget the service of Krsna, they are confined in the mundane prison house, the citadel of Durga. The wheel of karma is the instrument of punishment at this place (Sri Brahma - samhita 5.44 purport)."

"Just like in the seaside the shore, the beach, sometimes you see it is covered by water and sometimes it is land; similarly, when we are covered by maya, that is our jiva-bhuta stage, and when there is no more covering, that is brahma-bhuta stage (Bombay, March 30, 1971)."

"Tata means the beach. Sometimes the beach is covered with water, and sometimes it is land. That is called tatastha (New York, July 15, 1976 )."

"The marginal line between the material manifestation and the spiritual manifestation is the Viraja River, and beyond the Viraja, which is a transcendental current flowing from the perspiration of the body of the Lord, there is the three-fourths manifestation of God's creation (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.10)."

A108-AI

The Meaning of Radhe

Radha-Aloneslide.jpgThe Hague, Holland: July 9, 2005
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[This year, 2017, Sri Radhastami, the divine appearance day of the Supreme Mistress of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Srimati Radhika, is on Sept. 29th (in India). In honor of this day [see endnote 3], we are happy to offer this ever-fresh and ever nourishing lecture given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, in The Hague, Holland, on July 9, 2005. As an invocation to the tenth annual Holland Harikatha festival, Srila Maharaja requested the devotees to sing Srila Rupa Gosvami's prayer, "Sri Sri Radhika Pada-Padme Vijnapti." He then gave an elaborate explanation of the prayer:]

radhe! jaya jaya madhava-dayite
gokula-taruni mandala-mahite (1)

damodara-rati vardhana vese!
hari-niskuta-vrndavipine se! (2)

vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe
lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (3)

karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!
sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite! (4)

Radhe – what is the meaning of Radhe? "Aradyate iti." Sri Krsna Himself worships Srimati Radhika, and Radhika worships Him. When She came from Krsna's left side in the rasa-lila She at once ran to Him to worship Him – and He ran towards Her. "Radhe Jaya Jaya – Radhe, all glories to You, all glories to You."

"Madhava Dayite – You are very near and dear to Lord Madhava."

yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-
dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani
yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano 'pi
tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise 'pi
(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 2)

["Obeisances to the direction that faces Sri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of Her garment, Lord Krsna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success."]

Once, Sri Krsna did something that offended Srimati Radhika, and She entered a sulky mood. She was sitting on one side of Radha-kunda, and Krsna was on the other side in feelings of great separation from Her. The breeze coming from Radha's side touched the beautiful fragrance of Radha-kunda and also the veil of Radhika – not Radhika, but the veil which held Her fragrance. That breeze then touched Krsna and He exclaimed, "My life is successful! My life is successful!"

So many sages and saintly kings are able to control their minds, and their minds are thus purified. Yet, even in their meditation they cannot touch the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. On the other hand, by any connection with Radhika, by even the fragrance of Her veil, that same Krsna was overwhelmed. Radhika is so glorious.

venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam
bhrasdanca pita-vasanam vraja-raja-sunoh
yasyah kadaksa-sara-ghata-vimurcchitasya
tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena
(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 39, by Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati)

["When will I delight in the service of Srimati Radharani? Struck by the arrow of Her side-long glance Krsna faints, His flute falls from His hands, the peacock feathers on His head become loosened and His yellow scarf slips from His neck."]

Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati writes: "When will I have a chance to serve Srimati Radhika with rasa – manjari-rasa – which is so high-class, even more so than the transcendental stages of sneha, maan, raga, anuraga and still more than that."

akhila-rasamrta-murtih
prasrmara-ruci-ruddha-taraka-palih
kalita-syama-lalito
radha-preyan vidhur jayati

["Let Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed the minds of Syama and Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Srimati Radharani and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.142)]

When Sri Krsna plays His flute, all the gopis are controlled. He is an ocean of rasa. By His beauty and flute playing He controls Taraka, Pali, Candravali; and others such as Bhadra and Syamala and Lalita, are also controlled by Him. He also controls all the cows with His flute. Yet, when He saw Srimati Radhika, that flute fell from His hands and His peacock feather fell down to Her lotus feet.

"Brasdanca pita vasanam – He did not know that His yellow shawl was also falling down. He became totally mad and at once fainted." Srimati Radhika is so glorious, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami sings, "Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite."

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has quoted Sri Krsna in Srimad-Bhagavatam:

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)

["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."]

Srila Jayadeva Gosvami has also quoted Krsna in Gita-govinda:

smara-garala kandanam
mama sirasi mandanam
dehi pada pallavam udharam

Sri Krsna is begging Srimati Radhika, "O Devi, I am taking My ears in My hand.*[See endnote 1] I have done something wrong. I promise that in the future I will never again commit any offense to You. Be pleased with Me. I am offering My flute and My peacock feather at Your feet. I cannot tolerate Your separation for even a moment. I will die without You. So please excuse My fault. Please excuse Me."

Sri Jayadeva Gosvami could not write this,*[See endnote 2] but our Gosvamis, like Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is Sri Rupa Manjari, could do so. How glorious is Radha. "Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite – Sri Krsna is controlled by Srimati Radhika."

"Gokula taruni mandala mahite – So many gopis live in Gokula. They are extremely beautiful, and Candravali is especially beautiful, but not like Radhika. Taruni mandala mahite – in this world no one is as near and dear to Krsna as Radhika."

"Damodara rati vardhana-vese – Damodara is controlled by His mother, but in this connection that very Damodara is now controlled by Radhika. Vardana vese – to increase Sri Krsna's love and affection, She appears in beautiful ways."

"Hari-niskuta vrndavipinese" – Hari refers to Krsna who takes the heart of everyone, especially the gopis. His garden is Vrndavana, where Yamuna is flowing, peacocks are dancing and cuckoos are singing. Everywhere there are beli, cameli, and kadamba flowers. All stimuli are fully present. There, Krsna is not Vrndavanesvara (the Lord and controller of Vrndavana). Because Vrnda has given Vrndavana to Srimati Radhika – She is Vrndavanesvari. Especially, Sri Krsna is not Rasesvara (the Lord and controller of rasa-lila); rather, Radhika is Rasesvari. Sri Krsna is one of the participants, but Radhika is all-in-all.

"Jaya Jaya – O Devi, be glorious, be glorious [meaning be victorious – "Please take victory over my lust, greed, etc., and make me Yours." (adapted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Gopi-gita verse 1 commentary)] Sprinkle a particle of Your mercy upon me."

vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe
lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (verse 3)

"You are like the moon that has arisen from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaja's love. [According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, the moon was born from the churning of the ocean.]

"Lalita sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe – You are the sakhi of Lalita." In what way?

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami
(Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)

["I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary."]

Srimati Lalita-devi is so near and dear to Srimati Radhika that sometimes she controls Radhika. "Dhurte vrajendra – Lalita says, 'Vrajendra-nandana (Sri Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja) is a high class of cheater. He is black inside and He is black outside. He is black everywhere; so don't be submissive towards Him. Always act in such way as to control Him. Don't give up Your maan (transcendental loving anger).'" Radhika wants to give up Her maan, but Lalita tells Her not to do so. "Radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim" – Lalita is guru of Radhika, and therefore She can give anyone the dasya-prema of Radhika.

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure-house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (sva-paksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)]

Visakha took birth on the same day that Radhika took birth, so her beauty and other qualities are similar to Radhika's. Her voice is so sweet, even more so than Sri Krsna's. All her qualities are like Radhika's. I pray that she will make me her disciple and give me training on how to serve Radhika and Krsna.

karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite!
sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite

In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami says that even those who are first-class brahmavadis, like Sukadeva Gosvami (when he first appeared in this would) and the four Kumaras (who are forever five years old, who are always naked, and who are the first sons of Lord Brahma) are glorifying Srimati Radhika. Nisanta-lila (the end-of-night pastimes of Radha and Krsna) and other pastimes of asta-kaliya-lila (the 24-hour daily pastimes of Radha and Krsna) were told to the four Kumaras by Lord Siva, and then they wrote about it in the Brhat-vamana Purana. So Srila Rupa Gosvami is glorifying Sanaka, Sananda, Sanat, and Sanatana Kumara.

In this connection, Sanatana means Sanatana of the four Kumaras. But Srila Sanatana Gosvami has also glorified Her, especially in Brhad-bhagavatamrta and in his Vaisnava Tosani commentary of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

And we are now also glorifying Radhika, so that this Holland festival will be successful. More than 1,000 devotees have come here from various parts of Europe, Australia, England, Russia, and various other countries. There may be some problems. No one can satisfy everyone, and especially it is not possible to satisfy a child. If some problem comes, therefore, with hosting or prasadam or anything else – it may come – please tolerate.

You have all come for hari-katha, and we will give you hari-katha. We will give that hari-katha which Srila Bhaktivedenta Svami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, has left for me. He told me, "You should give this."

Try to drink the nectar of hari-katha with the two cups of your ears. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has told about this, but not openly like I am telling. Sukadeva Gosvami has never openly told Radhika's name in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, nor did he reveal the names of Candravali or Lalita and Visakha. But Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has revealed this, and in his parampara I am also telling you so many secret names and sweet pastimes. Try to take this into your heart, and preach our mission throughout the world. Don't be weak. "Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite."

*[endnote 1 – pulling on ones own ears with both hands indicates one's admitting an offense and begging forgiveness]

*[endnote 2 – Jayadeva Gosvami was somewhat hesitant to write the entire verse, because he had a hint of an opulence mood toward Sri Krsna. So, while he was out of his house, Krsna Himself, in the form of Jayadeva, came to his house and wrote the rest of the verse in his devotee's notebook.]

*[endnote 3:

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

 

[In the early morning of September 14th, 2002, in order to commence the celebration of Sri Radhastami in the opulently decorated Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja requested the devotees to sing "Sri Krsna Virahe" by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After that he explained some of the verses as follows:]

sri krsna-virahe, radhikara dasa, ami to' sahite nari
yugala-milana, sukhera karana, jivana chadite pari

["I am absolutely unable to tolerate Sri Radhika's pitiable condition when She is suffering in separation from Sri Krsna, but I am fully prepared to immediately give up my life for the sake of Their happy reunion." (Verse 1)]

Only under the guidance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is it possible to render service to Srimati Radhika. In the mood of a maidservant of Srimati Radhika, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that he cannot tolerate Radhika's condition during the time of Her separation from Krsna. And, for Their meeting together, he is readily prepared to easily give up his life.

radhka-carana, tyajiya amara, ksaneke pralaya hoya
radhikara tare, sata-bara mari, se duhkha amar soya

["If I were ever to renounce Radhika's lotus feet for even an instant, I would be totally devastated. For Her sake I will gladly tolerate the pain and agony of death hundreds of times." (Verse 2)]

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is saying: "I can give up anything. I can even give up Krsna, but I cannot give up the lotus feet of Radhika, even for a moment. For the service of Radhika I am prepared to die hundreds and millions of times, but I could never tolerate giving up Her association for a second. When will that day come that I can render some service to Her lotus feet? How can I have attachment for this Radhika, and how can I attain the perfect service of Her lotus feet?

e heno radhara, carana yugale, paricarya pabo kabe
haha braja-jana, more doya kori, kabe vraja-vane laibe

["When will I be able to serve Radhika's two lotus feet? Alas, I beg you all, O residents of Vraja, please be merciful to me now. When will you take me into the forests of Vraja?" (Verse 3)]

vilasa manjari, ananga manjari, sri rupa manjari ara
amake tuliya, loho nija pade, deho more siddhi sara

["O Vilasa Manjari! O Ananga Manjari! O Rupa Manjari! Please lift me up and bring me close to your own lotus feet, thereby bestowing upon me the ultimate perfection." (Verse 4)] Weeping bitterly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is praying, "O Vrajavasis, please be merciful to me! Place me in the service of the Divine Couple. Especially, please place me in the service of Radhika's lotus feet. When will that day come that Sri Vilasa Manjari and others will take me to Vraja? I long to render service."

[The devotees then sang Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja's "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita," (The Song Glorifying the Life Goal of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)]

[The following is the first Bengali verse and the English translations of all the verses:]

Kothaya go premamyi radhe radhe
Radhe, radhe go, jaya radhe, radhe

Where is She who is full of prema? All glories to Sri Radha. (1)
O Radha! Please give me Your darsana and save my life. Your wretched beggar calls out to You, "Radhe, Radhe!" (2)
O Radha, You enjoy pleasure pastimes in the forest of Vrndavana, wherein You enchant the mind of Krsna. (3)
O Radha, You are the crest-jewel among Your eight principal sakhis. O Radha, daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. (4)
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always calling out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (5)
...sometimes at Kesi Ghata, sometimes at Vamsi Vata. (6)
...sometimes in Nidhuvana, sometimes at Seva Kunja. (7)
...sometimes at Radha Kunda, sometimes at Syama Kunda. (8)
...sometimes at Kusuma Sarovara, sometimes at Giriraja Govardhana. (9)
...sometimes at Talavana, sometimes at Tamalvana. (10)
Raghunatha dasa wears simple cloth which appears to be dirty because he is always rolling on the earth crying out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (11)
Calling out "Radhe! Radhe," his eyes are bursting with a flood of tears. (12)
He wanders throughout the lanes of Vrndavana crying out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (13)
He knows nothing but Radha-Govinda throughout the day and night (56 dandas: 1 danda= 24 minutes). Radhe! Radhe! (14)
He takes rest for only 4 dandas (1 hr. 36 min.) At that time he receives darsana of Radha-Govinda in his dreams. Radhe! Radhe! (15)

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has heard from Srila Svarupa Damodara, Srila Raya Ramananda, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and especially from Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and thus he is presenting this tattva. Srimati Radhika's name is Govinda-nandini (She who makes Sri Krsna happy), and there is nothing higher than this.

Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has revealed some of the names of Radhika in his Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila chapter four. One of Her names is Govinda-nandini. Govinda is the controller of everything. He is the extreme limit of the conception of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. He is full with unlimited opulence and sweetness. Who can give happiness to Him? Only one personality can do so - Krsna Himself in the form of Srimati Radhika.

She is Govinda-mohini. Krsna attracts all living entities, including animals, trees and creepers. He especially attracts all the Vraja gopis, but Radhika can attract Him. Krsna bewilders everyone in this world by His maya-sakti, and in the spiritual world He bewilders all by His beautiful form, qualities, and pastimes. He can bewilder everyone; yet Srimati Radhika can bewilder Him.

Radhika is Govinda-sarvasya. She is everything to Krsna. She is the be-all-and-end-all of Krsna; for Him, nothing remains.

Sri Radha is Sarva-kanta siramoni, the crown jewel of all Krsna's beloveds. All the gopis were searching for Krsna after His disappearance from the Rasa dance. When Her own svapaksa gopis (the gopis from Her own group) saw Her footprints along with Krsna's, they became very happy – knowing them to be Hers. However, when the other groups of gopis saw them, not knowing to whom they belonged, they could only understand that this particular gopi had served Krsna more than any other – and therefore He left the Rasa dance with Her alone.

Sri Radha Herself has become Candravali and all the other gopis. There is no other beloved of Krsna – only Srimati Radhika. She Herself has become all the Laksmis (Goddesses of Fortune), and all the queens of Dvaraka. If one thinks deeply about this, he will understand Her greatness. Sita-devi and all the Laksmis are manifestations of Radha, and she assumes these forms to fulfill Krsna's desires.

She is Krsna-mayi; She sees Krsna everywhere – inside and outside of Herself. Wherever Her mind or senses go, it is only for and about Krsna. When She sees a tamal tree She thinks, "Oh, there is Krsna." Her name is Radhika because She fulfills all the desires of Krsna and because He Himself worships Her. An example of His worshipping Her is when He took Her to a solitary place after leaving the Rasa dance, at which time even the vipaksa-gopis (rival party) also confirm this. Radhika is Para-devata, just as Krsna is: She is the most worshipable of all. Moreover, She is worshiped by Krsna Himself. Is she not therefore worshipable by everyone?

Once Radhika asked Vrnda-devi, "Where are you coming from?" Vrnda-devi replied, "I'm coming from Radha-kunda. I saw Krsna there." Radharani asked, "What was He doing?" Vrnda-devi replied that He was dancing. Radha then asked, "Oh, who was His dancing teacher?" Vrnda-devi told Her, Your reflection, Radhika, which He sees in every tree.

Whatever prema exists in this world comes from Radhika. She is the mother of everyone because she nourishes everyone by giving them prema. Krsna is the principle Deity of all jivas, and Radhika is also. This is confirmed in the Brahma Samhita:

ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis
tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih
goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

["I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency (hladini). Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa."]

Sri Radhika is Sarva-Laksmi-mayi, which means that all the various gopis emanate from Her, and She is therefore the predominating deity of all the sakhis. As many beloveds as there are, She is their controlling deity.

She is Kanti, which means that during Rasa-lila, only She could fulfill all the desires of Sri Krsna. There were hundreds of millions of gopis dancing, but when Radhika left, the Rasa dance stopped. Krsna appears as Mahaprabhu in order to taste all of Radhika's loving moods; He cannot do so in Vraja-lila.

What are Krsna's thoughts when He is in Mathura and Dvaraka and feeling separation from Radhika? He prays to Her, "O most worshipful Radha! My mind always remains with You. I'm always anxious for the dust of Your lotus feet. Somehow, in some form, I stay in Vrndavana. O Srimati Radhika, I am roaming in those forests, playing on My flute, only in search for You. O Radhika, I go to the Yamuna, not to take bath, but only to meet with You. Otherwise there is no need to go there. I sit on the bank of Yamuna only to meet with You and serve You.

"I stopped grazing cows, and I stopped all other activities. Seeing Your beauty I became so eager; My eyes moved here and there and My mind was restless. I used to wait underneath a kadamba tree, thinking, 'When will She come by this way?' I am meditating upon Your qualities, and upon Your beauty which is like the auspicious svati-naksatra (constellation). The skylark (cakora bird) won't drink any other water besides the water coming from the clouds at the time of the svati-constellation. Similarly, I am like a cakora bird, and Your beauty is like rain falling during that constellation. I am eagerly waiting for You, to have Your darsana. Your beauty and qualities steal My heart. I don't want those qualities to steal My heart, but I forget everything else in My separation from You."

Hearing this, Radhika replied, "O Prananatha, lord of My life's breath, I am Your eternal servant and You are My life and soul, the only love in My life. I surrender Myself unto Your lotus feet. You may love Me or neglect Me, in Your life or by Your mind. You can leave Me and thus bring Me suffering. Whatever You desire, Your happiness is My happiness and Your life is My life. I don't want anything other than Your happiness in my life. As You realize My happiness and sorrows, so I can realize Yours. You feel happiness by seeing Me, but by seeing You I become millions of times more happy. There is no comparison to My happiness in these worlds. I am happy only by seeing Your happiness. I am always blissful because I have no concept of the happiness of others; I only desire Your happiness. I want to see Your happiness from morning to night, and night to morning.

"By seeing Me You become happy, and therefore I decorate Myself in many ways with srngara (ornaments) and alankara (decorations). I do this for You only; I do this because by seeing Me with all these ornaments and decorations You feel great happiness. I dedicate Myself unto Your lotus feet only to increase Your satisfaction and fulfill Your desires. I become so happy when You say to Me, 'You are My beloved, My mistress, My life and soul.' No one can understand the happiness I feel; there is no comparison to it in this world.

"When You say to Me, 'O Swaminiji, O Pranesvari Radhike, O My kanta,' My heart becomes overjoyed, because You are happy when You taste the words Radha-Pranesvari, etc. I feel shy to hear this, and yet I am also very happy. Externally I feel shy, but internally I am extremely happy."

Then Krsna said to Radhika, "You are the abode of matchless love. O Vrsabhanu-nandini, (daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja), You are the abode of all rasas, and what am I? I am always moving from one forest to another to graze cows. I'm foolish and irreligious. Other than to herd cows, I have no intelligence at all. I don't know the rules and regulations of love, and only You can teach Me these principles. I am always running after cows and playing hide and seek and other games like a village boy, whereas You are the river of prema. I'm just like terribly hot sand in the summer and You, on the other hand, are the river of love. How can there be any comparison between Yourself and Myself? When You give Me the darsana of Your love, I immediately become happy –there is no comparison to my happiness. When You bestow Your mercy and look towards Me, I become indebted to You." Krsna also told the gopis during rasa-lila: "I have no qualification. I am only a beggar of Your love."

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)]

Now He confirmed this, as He told Sri Radha, "I am so indebted to You. How can I become free from this debt? Please be merciful; You are the abode of mercy. Only You can give Me love and fulfill My desires."

Hearing this, Srimati Radhika became shy and replied, "O Syamasundara, O You whose eyes are like lotus petals, O You who are the son of the king of Vraja. You steal My heart. To meet with You I shall give up all the rules and regulations of society. I will leave My in-laws house, I will give up all consideration of shyness, respect from others, religion, and irreligion. I want to come to You and keep You as My own. I want to keep You, even for a moment, but I am only a village girl. I have no quality at all and I am not beautiful. You, on the other hand, are extremely qualified and beautiful, and You are the ornament of Your dynasty. There is no rasa in me. I have no idea about rasa, whereas You are the abode of rasa. You are the ocean of mercy, so please bestow Your mercy on Me. This is My desire."

Without the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, no one would have been able to write about these topics. The conception that Radhika is the center of all is exclusively for those in our Gaudiya Sampradaya. We have the speciality that "Krsna is feeling separation from Radhika." No other acaryas can write about all the truths present herein.

Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is glorifying and praying to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in this kirtana called "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita." He says there that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always roaming, sometimes in Nidhuvana and sometimes in Vamsivata, and calling out, "Radhe! Radhe!"

Gaura premanande

A108-AI

Ravel, India: October 17, 2003 
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

By the mercy of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas, we have come to the appearance place of Sri Krsna’s svarupa-sakti, Mahabhava Svarupini Srimati Radhika. Due to differences in different kalpas (millenniums), the pastimes of Srimati Radhika’s appearance manifest in different ways.

vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe!
lalita-sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe!

[“Just as the moon was produced from the churning of the Milk Ocean, You have arisen like the new moon from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s affection for You. O dearmost friend of Lalita! O You who have captivated the heart of Your intimate sakhi Visakha with Your charming (lalita) qualities of friendship, kindness and loyalty to Krsna.” (Sri Sri Radhika Pada-Padme Vijnapti verse 3)]

Srimati Radhika is very near and dear to Sri Vrsabhanu Maharja. Therefore, most people call Her Vrsabhanu-nandini, the beloved daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Very few people call Her Kirtida-nandini. The word ravel means “great landlord”, and therefore this place is named after Vrsabhanu Maharaja. One early morning he went to the Yamuna to bathe, and there he saw a very effulgent thousand-petal lotus flower. In the middle of the lotus was a very attractive baby girl – Srimati Radhika. With great affection he took that girl to his house, gave Her to Kirtida-sundari, his beautiful wife Kirtida, and they adopted Her.

Sometimes Srimati Radhika appears directly in Varsana. There, Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja went to Vrsabhanu Kunda early in the morning and, just as here, he found Srimati Radhika there on a thousand-petal lotus.

Understanding that the Supreme Lord, sarva-saktiman (the all-powerful) Sri Krsna had already appeared on Earth, Sri Narada Muni concluded that His svarupa-sakti, His complete internal potency, Srimati Radhika, must have also appeared somewhere. He went to the house of Vrsabhanu Maharaja and, after receiving his obeisances, asked him if he had any children. Vrsabhanu Maharaja replied, “Yes, I have a son named Sridama.” Rsi Narada asked, “Do you have a daughter?” Vrsabhanu Maharaja replied, “Yes we have one daughter.” Rsi Narada said, “I want to see Her, to give Her blessings and read Her future.”

Vrsabhanu Maharaja became very happy that Sri Narada Muni wanted to see his daughter. Sri Naradaji asked him to quickly bring some paraphernalia for the worship and for Srimati Radhika’s receiving blessings. As soon as Vrsabhanu Maharaja went outside, Narada Muni began to pray to Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet, “Kada karisyasiha mam krpa-kataksa-bhajanam? – O Srimati Radhika, when will You bestow Your mercy upon me?”

Srimati Radhika then displayed Her kisori form – Her ever-present, eternal form as a thirteen and a half year-old girl – along with Lalita, Visakha and all the asta-sakhi gopis. At that time Sri Narada Muni felt very happy. That is why he is always present in Vrndavana – to get the darsana of Srimati Radhika.

Our hope is that by coming to this place, by hearing the hari-katha from the lotus mouth of Sri Guru, and by touching the dust here, this appearance place of Srimati Radhika may also appear in our hearts and give us mercy and inspiration. Our hope is that Her nearest and dearest, Sri Guru, will pray for us so that we will one day become Her maidservants

A108-AI

tn Radha 1There is one person whose name is never mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And yet Bhāgavatam’s steadfast readers constantly nurture the ardent hope of becoming that person’s devout, one-pointed servant. May that person, who means everything to Śrī Bhagavān, kindly destroy our false ego in all its various forms and bestow upon us the shelter of Her lotus feet. Today is the day of Her advent.

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A108-AI

Lalita-Devi's Appearance Day

holi1.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

September 10, 2005

[This year, 2017, Srimati Lalita-devi’s appearance day is on August 28th  (in India), one day before Radhastami. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled devotees observed the appearance day of Sri Radha's most intimate sakhi, Srimati Lalita-devi on September 10, 2005. The following is a transcription of the class given in her glorification, and it explains her significance in our personal lives:]

Lalita-devi was born in the village of Karehla, and later on her father brought her to Uccagaon, the place of her pastimes (lila-sthali). There are still many evidences of her pastimes here, like a rock containing the imprints of her lotus feet and some small utensils she used when she and the other sakhis fed Krsna there. When the sun-rays fall on the imprints of those pots and plates, they glitter and shine. All of Srimati Radhika’s sakhis used to play with Krsna and Lalita in Uccagaon, and there are many places there where you can see their footprints to this day. 

On the hill there is a slippery rock showing a specific pastime that was enacted in a marriage arena. There, the gopis arranged a special kind of marriage between Lalita and Krsna. This should not be misunderstood as a real marriage, but rather a play marriage, like the marriage that was once enacted between Srimati Radhika and Krsna. This is technically known as Gandharva marriage. 

In that pastime, Krsna had been sitting beside Lalita, and the sakhis began to play mischievously. Visakha and some of the other sakhis tied Sri Lalita's veil to Krsna's pitambara (yellow shawl). Then suddenly, on the indication of Srimati Radhika, Rangadevi and other sakhis began to sing wedding songs while Tungavidya and others uttered wedding mantras, and the remaining sakhis showered flowers on Sri Krsna and Lalita. 

When Lalita noticed that something tricky was being done to her, she tried to run away, but because her garments were tied to Krsna's pitambara, she could not do so. All the sakhis then surrounded the couple and married them. Even today, one can see the indication of the slide on the hill, as well as the markings of alta (red lac) from the gopis’ feet. Although this pastime took place 5000 years ago, you can still visualize it with your own eyes.

Lalita is 27 days elder than Radharani. [According to the tithi calculation, Lalita-devi's appearance day falls on the day before Srimati Radhika's appearance day.] She generally has the same loving mood towards both Radha and Krsna, yet she is more inclined towards Srimati Radhika.

The following is the Sanskrit song called Sri Lalita-astakam, along with its translation, and I will further explain each verse. This Lalita-astakam was composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami:

radha-mukunda-pada-sambhava-gharma-bindu
nirmanchanopakarani-krta-deha-laksam
uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[I offer my obeisance unto the outspoken Sri Lalita-devi, who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), and thus her service self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet. She is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart's desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 1)]

There are four types of sakhis: svapaksa, vipaksa, tatastha and suhrt. Svapaksa means those sakhis who are totally favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika. Vipaksa means those gopis who are totally favorably disposed towards Candravali and opposed to Radhika. Tatastha means those who are neutral towards Srimati Radhika and more favorably disposed towards Candravali. Suhrt means those who are more favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika and neutral towards Candravali. Suhrt gopis never do anything unfavorable towards Srimati Radhika. 

Lalita-devi and Visakha-devi are examples of gopis who are svapaksa to Srimati Radhika, Candravali is vipaksa, Bhadra is tatastha, and Syamala is suhrt.

The mood of Lalita is that she is always trying to favorably serve the pastimes of Radha and Krsna; she always tries to please Them. She engages in millions upon millions of endeavors to please Them. When Radha and Krsna meet and engage in amorous pastimes, Lalita wipes away the droplets of perspiration on Their lotus feet. This means that she is engaged day and night in the service of Their sweet pastimes. 

There are two types of services in madhurya-rasa (conjugal rasa). One is in the mood of the manjaris and the other in the mood of the sakhis. Lalita always serves in the mood of a sakhi. One of her qualities is that she has some controlling mentality. She can command both Radha and Krsna, but at the same time she has a friendly disposition towards both of Them. She is always immersed in the ocean of love. She is very beautiful and very sweet, but at the same time very sober and composed. Her heart is so sweet that she attracts the heart of all others, but at the same time she is pragalbha, which means she can speak harsh words, and can thus control both Radha and Krsna.

raka-sudha-kirana-mandala-kanti-dandi
vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram
radha-prasadhana-vidhana-kala-prasiddham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 2)]

This verse begins by describing Srimati Lalita-devi's beauty. She is so beautiful that her beauty surpasses the combined beauty of millions of moons, and her eyes are said to be so restless that they can defeat the restlessness of the eyes of a female deer. Her specific quality is that she is very expert in applying make-up, and especially in arranging the hair decoration of Srimati Radhika. Although all the eight principle sakhis are very famous in putting on the bodily decorations and applying the make-up of Srimati Radhika, Lalita and Visakha are the most expert. Moreover, of these two, Lalita is considered the most proficient. 

The pastime of decorating Srimati Radhika by Lalita and the other sakhis is described in "Govinda-lilamrta", written by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and in "Krsna-bhavanamrta," written by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Those who want to serve Radha and Krsna in the mood of a manjari should seriously take help from these scriptures. Sadhakas (devotional practitioners) can find pastimes such as the above-mentioned in those books, and they can try to be absorbed in them at the time of their devotional practices.

With reference to the verse above, Lalita and the other sakhis tell Srimati Radhika, "When you go to meet with Krsna, this is how You should behave with Him." They want Sri Krsna to be totally under the spell of Srimati Radhika. 

While they are applying kajal (black eyeliner), they remind Srimati Radhika or Her previous pastimes with Krsna. For example, once, when She was going out to meet Krsna, She forgot to put kajal on one of Her eyes, and Krsna Himself put it on upon Her arrival. Similar pastimes are brought to the attention of Srimati Radhika at the time of putting on Her make-up, and in that way Her mood of bringing pleasure to Krsna is enhanced. When the gopis put the tilaka mark on Her forehead, they recite the kama-yantra, which still further inspires Srimati Radhika in the mood of Her service to Krsna. 

All these pastimes are arranged by Lalita-devi, and therefore she is described as the fountainhead of various wonderful qualities.

lasyollasad-bhujaga-satru-patatra-citra
pattamsukabharana-kanculikancitangim
gorocana-ruci-vigarhana-gaurimanam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana, the bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water during the svati-naksatra constellation hits the head of a qualified cow, and she possesses innumerable good qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 3)]

This verse gives a similarity with a peacock. When the rainy season comes, the peacock becomes very happy. He has been especially gifted by God to have beautiful colors on his feathers, and he expresses his happiness on seeing the clouds by spreading his wings. In the same way, Srimati Lalita-devi's dresses are so beautifully ornamented and colored that they express the mood of a peacock showing his happiness by spreading his wings. The color of her sari, various kinds of necklaces and all her ornaments brilliantly glitter, and all this glittering combined with the luster of her own body give a profound impression.

The word gorocana is also mentioned in this verse. In that connection there is a particular constellation called svati-naksatra. When rain water hits the hoof of a cow at that time, it becomes yellow, like the color of turmeric. This very special yellow color of gorocana defeats even the shimmer of gold, and the substance gorocana is also considered very costly. This is the impression Lalita-devi gives when she is serving Srimati Radhika with all her paraphernalia, ornaments and beauty.
 

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami


[I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)]

radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena
kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim
vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam namami

[I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, "You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!" (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 5)]

Srimati Radhika is controlled by the extreme love of Lalita-sakhi. When She is with Lalita-sakhi, Lalita can even chastise Her: "When Krsna comes, You should remain very unsubmissive and enter a sulky mood." Radhika may reply, "What can I do? As soon as I see Krsna in the distance, My sulky mood goes away. I cannot maintain it." Then with a raised finger, Lalita says, "Don't give up your unsubmissive mood. You should chastise Krsna, for He has so many bad qualities. He is crooked and unchaste. He is a cheater. He will come to You early in the morning – and what will He do? He will hold onto Your feet and beg forgiveness. But don't believe anything He says. Don't become submissive. Instead, You should chastise Him!" 

Sakhis are of two types and two moods: (1) daksina – right wing or submissive. This is called ghrta-sneha (like ghee), and it is a quality of Candravali's group. (2) vamya – contrary or unsubmissive. This is called madhu-sneha (like honey), and it is a quality of Radhika's group. [Ghee is wholesome, but without much taste, whereas honey is wholesome and also sweet]

Radhika's mood is called vamya (left-wing, contrary, or unsubmissive) and Candravali's mood is called daksina (right-wing, or submissive). Only those gopis in the mood of vamya can completely control Krsna. The two groups, that is, Radhika's group and Candravali's group, do not appreciate each other. Candravali criticizes Srimati Radhika and Her group, saying, "How can they dare to do maan (be in a sulky mood) towards Krsna? He is so sweet and lovely!" Srimati Radhika and Her group think, "Why does Candravali become so submissive towards Krsna!?" Srimati Radhika says, "One must apply a weapon to control Krsna. Why doesn't Candravali control Him like us? How can she serve Him if she is not like us?" Thus, both groups cannot appreciate each other's moods.

Lalita is the siksa-guru of all the gopis in Radhika's group, and also of Radhika Herself. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes: Lalita-devi sometimes chastises Radhika, saying, "Oh Kalankini, Oh unchaste one, [She will be called unchaste by Her in-laws, and for that reason She may try to be contrary, but Lalita-devi is telling Her here that no matter what others say, She should still be contrary to Krsna.] Don't become submissive to Krsna." 

In this song, Srila Rupa Gosvami repeatedly offers his prostrated obeisances to Srimati Lalita-devi. If Sri Krsna approaches Srimati Radhika and uses some clever cheating words, Lalita-devi cannot tolerate it. In nisanta-lila, Srimati Radhika has been waiting all night for Krsna to come, and yet He doesn't come. He finally comes very early in the morning, with signs on His divine body that He has been with other gopis. Lalita-devi tells Him, "Don't come here. We don't want Your service. Where is Your beloved? You should go to her." His eyes are very red and other symptoms are there. Lalita then chastises Him, saying, "Yes, I know You, Krsna. You are very chaste, simple and honest." By her sharp and harsh words, she makes Krsna ashamed and causes Him to be shy. This is described in "Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta".

Krsna sometimes challenges the gopis in the forest: "Why have you come here? Don't you know I am Vrajendra, the King of Vrndavana? By picking flowers here, you are destroying My Vrndavana!" 

At that time Lalita-devi says, "We know what kind of 'protector' You are. Actually you have never planted one seed or watered one tree. Instead, with Your hundreds of thousands of cows, it is You who destroys Vrndavana. We are the real owners of Vrndavana. We have planted every seed and watered every tree." 

Krsna then says, "Don't you know who I am? I am a very religious person and I have never told a lie." 

Then Srimati Lalita-devi says, "Yes, we know what type of religious person You are. We heard that when You were only seven days old, You killed a woman named Putana, who came as a mother to You. And which house in Vrndavana have You not stolen from? Are You the same religious person who stole all the clothing of the gopis? Are You the same religious person who performed rasa-lila with all the married gopis of Vrndavana?" Krsna then becomes ashamed.

vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah
sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam
radha-balavaraja-jivita-nirvisesam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi's parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 6)]

Without the presence of vatsalya-rasa (parental love), the glories of madhurya-rasa (conjugal love) do not manifest. One example occurs when Srimati Radhika goes with all Her sakhis to Nandagaon to cook. Mother Yasoda is there, but there is no disturbance. When Srimati Radhika goes to Nanda-bhavana with Lalita and the asta-sakhis (Radhika's eight most intimate friends), Yasoda-devi exhibits intense parental love towards Her – not less than the parental love she has towards her son Krsna. She also shows great affection to all the other sakhis and manjaris, because of their relation with Her. 

All the asta-sakhis have so many excellent qualities, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, "Of all the gopis, the asta-sakhis are the topmost." For example, Srimati Tungavidya-devi can speak with all types of birds and animals. She understands their language and can communicate with them. What can be greater than performing services to Srimati Radhika under the guidance of Lalita and Visakha and the other asta-sakhis? Lalita and Visakha are the siksa-gurus of all the gopis in the group of Srimati Radhika. 

Lalita-devi's life and soul is Srimati Radhika and Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami prays, "I offer pranama again and again unto Srimati Lalita-devi."

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)]

Lalita has many charming qualities. What is Her greatest quality – Her quality that is most favorable for the sadhakas of this world? If she sees in Vrndavana any gopi, or anyone who has even a slight touch of a scent of desire to serve Srimati Radhika, she immediately fulfills that gopi's desire and gives her the unlimited wealth of the service of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. If one has a one-pointed desire to perform service to Srimati Radhika under the direct guidance of Srimati Lalita-devi, and furthermore under the shelter of Sri Rupa Manjari, that devotee may know that Lalita-devi's shelter is the only path by which one can achieve this.

radha-vrajendra-suta-sangama-ranga-caryam
varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah
tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami


[I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 8)]

Without the mercy of Lalita-devi, Giriraja or Yamuna, it is not possible to enter rasa-lila. The first and greatest is Srimati Lalita-devi herself, the second is Giriraja Govardhana and the third is Yamuna or Visakha-devi.

Lalita is the same age as Srimati Radhika, or she is twenty-seven days older. [It may happen one way in one yuga (millennium) and one way in another.] Like Radhika, Lalita also has all the qualities of being a yuthesvari – able to control her own group of subservient gopis. Why is she qualified to be a yuthesvari? If Bhadra, Syamala or Candravali can become yuthesvaris, then what to speak of Lalita-devi? However, despite being the same age as Radhika and having the qualification of a yuthesvari, still, the only goal of her life is to serve Srimati Radhika and to facilitate the meeting of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Her only happiness is the meeting of Radha and Krsna, and to achieve that goal, she never considers any amount of discomfort or suffering. 

Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays:
padabjayos tava vina vara-dasyam eva
nanyat kadapi samaye kila devi yace
sakhyaya te mama namo 'stu namo 'stu nityam 
dasyaya te mama raso 'stu raso 'stu satyam

[O Goddess! I shall never pray to You for anything but the excellent service of Your lotus feet. I offer my constant obeisances unto the idea of becoming Your friend, but I truly relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant. (Vilap-kusumanjali text 16)]

"Oh, I offer my obeisances millions of times to the position of a sakhi of Srimati Radhika. But my only real desire, birth after birth, is to attain the service of Srimati Radhika in the mood of a manjari. I have no desire to become equal to Radhika, like the sakhis." 

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also prays, "I will never leave the feet of Radhika to go to Krsna. Even if Krsna goes to Dvaraka and calls me there, I will not go. However, if out of some madness Radhika has somehow gone to Dvaraka, I will fly even faster than Garuda to serve Her there." (Svaniyama dasakam, verses 3 and 4)

nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani
padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau
pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye
tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli

[If a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, he will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika's own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja's family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 9)]

In conclusion, Srimati Lalita-devi is the wish-fulfilling tree of the prema-seva (service in love) of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Whoever chants this Lalita-astakam will make Radha and Krsna happy. Moreover, Lalita-devi herself will be happy, and all our desires will be fulfilled.

A108-AI

Gourgovinda.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
For the Appearance Day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja

[Respected Harikatha Readers,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga. August 22, 2017 (in India) is the divine Appearance Day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja. In dedication to this auspicious day, we are sending an excerpt from Srila Gurudeva's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra, Chapter 8:]

We have already related two histories explaining Lord Jagannatha's appearance, and there is one more, a third history, which came from the heart of a very advanced devotee. This history has extraordinarily deep and secret rasa, transcendental flavor. I used to relate it in Mathura and Vrndavana, and in Jagannatha Puri as well. When I told it, everyone listened silently, and they were moved, for they had never heard such secrets before. They wondered, "Where has he discovered this?"

A few years later I saw a magazine article by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, a prominent disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. As I began to read it, I thought, "Oh, he has written the same thing here with a few small changes. How has he taken this from my heart?" I became happy and thought, "This person, Gour Govinda Maharaja, is one of the rare people in this world who are genuinely in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Gosvamis. Only a real devotee can know all these truths."

A few years ago, while I was translating some books in Jagannatha Puri, Gour Govinda Maharaja came with only one disciple to meet me. He heard my hari-katha very patiently, and

he was charmed. We became friends, and he told me, "I saw you in Vrndavana at the time of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance, when you placed him in samadhi. I was there, but at that time I was quite insignificant. You moved me very much, and I wanted to meet you and hear your classes, but I could not do so at that time. Now I have come."

He continued, "There are some problems. I cannot speak the glories of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. I am controlled by some people who don't want to hear them. They are

creating problems, and even stopping me from going to Australia, Germany, and other countries. I cannot open my heart and tell these glories," and he began to weep. I embraced him and said, "Don't worry – be strong like me. If problems come, jump over them like a lion. Be like Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and my gurudeva." I consoled him so much, and then he went away. The next year he went to Mayapura, and there he departed from this world while relating this very history. Many of his disciples came to me weeping, and I told them, "I will help you. Don't worry." His ideas were very similar to my own, and this story is therefore also related to him.

What I explained there in Jagannatha Puri and during our grand Navadvipa Chariot Festival has also been published in our monthly magazine, Bhagavata Patrika. I also searched for the scripture in which this pastime was originally written, but no one could tell me where it was. I asked many learned pandas in Jagannatha Puri, and they could only tell me, "We've read it, and we'll have to search for the original book," but they could not produce it.

Krsna returns to Vrndavana

All the Vrajavasis feel great separation when Krsna goes to Mathura and Dvaraka, especially Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and above all, Krsna's beloved gopis. Sometimes they faint and lose consciousness, appearing as if dead, and one may even think, "Oh, they have died!" Krsna also feels separation from the gopis, and especially from Radhika. Sometimes He also loses external consciousness, and He remains in that state for many days.

As we hear and discuss these elevated topics, we feel proud and think, "My gurudeva and I are in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami as rupanuga Vaisnavas." The senior devotees are especially aware that our guru-varga, the gurus in our disciplic succession, are all rupanuga Vaisnavas. We should therefore understand Srila Rupa Gosvami's mood at this Festival of the Chariots.

As discussed previously, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was reciting a verse of Sahitya-darpana over and over again, even though it was originally written in the base mood of mundane lovers and is thus against moral etiquette:

yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas
te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah
sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau
reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.78)

["That very personality who stole my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."]

One person, Svarupa Damodara, understood Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning, and there was a second person who did as well – a very young man who later became Srila Rupa Gosvami. No one other than them understood Mahaprabhu's deep meaning. Mahaprabhu had empowered Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga, and given him His full mercy, so that now he was able to write the meaning in his own sloka:

priyah so 'yam krsnah sahacari kuru-ksetra-
militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh
sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse
mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.79)

["Now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now we are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana."]

The verses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.126–31) that follow this one further explain its meaning:

avasese radha krsne kare nivedana sei tumi, sei ami, sei nava sangama

[(In the mood of Srimati Radhika, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke thus to Lord Jagannatha:) "You are the same Krsna, and I am the same Radharani. We are meeting again in the same way that we met in the beginning of our lives."]

tathapi amara mana hare vrndavana vrndavane udaya karao apana-carana

["Although we are both the same, My mind is still attracted to Vrndavana-dhama. I wish that You will please again appear with Your lotus feet in Vrndavana."]

ihan lokaranya, hati, ghoda, ratha-dhvani tahan pusparanya, bhrnga-pika-nada suni

["In Kuruksetra there are crowds of people, elephants, and horses, and also the rattling of chariots. But in Vrndavana there are flower gardens, and the humming of bees and chirping of birds can be heard."]

ihan raja-vesa, sange saba ksatriya-gana tahan gopa-vesa, sange murali-vadana

["Here at Kuruksetra You are dressed like a royal prince, and You are accompanied by great warriors, but in Vrndavana You appeared just like an ordinary cowherd boy, accompanied only by Your beautiful flute."]

vraje tomara sange yei sukha-asvadana sei sukha-samudrera ihan nahi eka kana

["Here there is not even a drop of the ocean of transcendental happiness that I enjoyed with You in Vrndavana."]

ama lana punah lila karaha vrndavane tabe amara mano-vancha haya ta' purane

["I therefore request You to come to Vrndavana and enjoy pastimes with Me. If You do so, My ambition will be fulfilled."]

Srimati Radhika is saying, "I am the same, My beloved Krsna is the same, and we are meeting now after a long time; but I am not happy here. I want to be in Vrndavana, under the shade of the very fragrant kadamba trees, where the Yamuna is flowing. We were not married at that time, and we met freely there without any messenger. Our love increased simply by our glancing at each other, and that love reached an extreme height. Now we are meeting again, here in Kuruksetra, but I am not satisfied. I want You to come to My heart, that is, Vrndavana. I want to meet You there again."

Srila Rupa Gosvami has made the meaning clear in his sloka. If one remembers and follows these ideas, he is actually a rupanuga Vaisnava, and if not, he is outside the disciplic line. Those who forbid others to think about these things are not rupanuga Vaisnavas in the line of Rupa Gosvami. Try to under¬stand this. It is egoistic to think, "My gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has not encouraged us to understand this." Your gurudeva has explained this thousands of times, but you have no eyes to see, or ears to hear. He was a rupanuga, as were all our past acaryas, down to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and my gurudeva.

When my gurudeva remembered these topics, his complexion used to become reddish, yellowish, and whitish, and then he used to become faint. And when I would tell him these pastimes, he would weep continuously. All bona fide gurus are in one line, and if you are not in this line, you are derailed. Granted, we should not explain this subject matter to unqualified people, but if we do not explain it at all, then all these ideas will be gone – washed away from this world forever. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has replied to all doubts in this regard. Try to realize this reply.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.23) states:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

["Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remember¬ing them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind, and words) – these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service."]

Those who tell us only the general or external meaning of this sloka should go to the Ramanuja or Madhvacarya sampradayas, for they only know general principles. We should add the mood of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu to these principles. For example, in the first line of this sloka, "Visnu" means Krsna with Radhika and the gopis. This is the understanding of those in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Try to understand this. If you never remember, realize, and explain this to those who are qualified, you are derailed from our guru-parampara. You must come in the proper line.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.39, 36) also states:

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah

["A sober person who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's play¬ful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly conquer lust, the disease of the heart."]

anugrahaya bhaktanam
manusam deham asthitah
bhajate tadrsih krida
yah srutva tat-paro bhavet

["When the Lord assumes a human-like body to show mercy to His devotees, He engages in such pastimes as will attract those who hear about them to become dedicated to Him."]

Tat-paro bhavet means, "You must do this; otherwise you are derailed." You should not do anukarana; that is, you should not imitate Krsna's pastimes. However, those of you who are coming gradually to the stage of madhyama-adhikara must try to hear these pastimes; otherwise you are derailed. It is essential to follow the statements of Sri Rupa Gosvami at the Chariot Festival.

Don't be confused. Have no doubt at all. You can think in this way: "The whole world may criticize and be against me – I don't care. I care for my gurudeva, for Srila Rupa Gosvami, and for our acarya-varga." Krsna has given you good intelligence. Use your own intelligence and don't run after others'. Try to judge, and see, and read the authorized sastras. If you say, "We are rupanuga-varga," you must follow Rupa Gosvami, not conceal him. Use your intelligence and see for yourself, and then you will realize what is correct and what is incorrect. If I conceal my father's name, is it right? Is it correct to conceal the name of my father?

You can read the translation of this sloka, and after that you can read the explanation of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and especially that of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

Now I am coming again to the point – the third history. When the gopis became unconscious because of being absorbed in feelings of separation from Krsna, He also became unconscious in Dvaraka, thinking, "Radhika, Radhika!" This had become a very big problem, and Narada, Uddhava, Baladeva Prabhu, and others began discussing how to bring Him back to conscious-ness. At first, they suggested that Narada should play on his vina and glorify Vraja, Mother Yasoda, the gopis, and all other Vrajavasis, but Narada objected: "Do you know what will happen when Krsna awakens? He will go to Vrndavana at once, and no one will be able to stop Him. He will stay there with the gopis and never return. You should consider this when you are decid¬ing what to do."

Now they were in a dilemma. They thought again, and decided, "Uddhava should go to Vraja and tell Mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaja, and the gopas and gopis that Krsna is coming. He will tell them, 'Now you can welcome Him.' No one can know what state the Vrajavasis are in now. Some are even lying here and there unconscious. When they hear that Krsna is coming, they will return to consciousness and make arrange¬ments to welcome Him. Then Uddhava will somehow bring Krsna to Dvaraka again by a trick. There will be no problem. Uddhava must go there. Krsna sent him previously, and therefore he should go now and tell them that Krsna is coming."

Uddhava was very unhappy when he heard this proposal. "Listen to me," he told them. "If I go to Vrndavana and say that Krsna is coming, they will not believe me because I bluffed them before. I told them, 'I am going, and very soon I will bring Krsna here. I will definitely bring Him.' After that I requested Krsna many times, but He gave all kinds of excuses, so what could I do? It's useless for me to go, because they will not believe me. They will say, 'Oh, the liar has come. The cheater has come!' Especially Mother Yasoda will say this."

Narada Muni said, "Then Baladeva Prabhu can go. He can pacify all the gopis and gopas." But Baladeva Prabhu replied in the same way: "I told Krsna so many times to go there, and He always answered, 'Yes, I will go,' but He never went. Finally I went alone and I pacified them by saying, 'I promise that I will go to Dvaraka and bring Krsna.'

"I don't know why this cruel Krsna never wants to go there. He used to be very soft and sweet, but now His heart has turned to stone. What can I say? If I go, the Vrajavasis will also say about me, 'Oh, this cheater and liar has come!' There is no use in my going because they will not believe me, either. They cannot be consoled without Krsna's direct presence. Krsna should go Himself."

While they were discussing what to do, Krsna's sister Subhadra came in and heard everything. "Don't worry," she said, "I'm going. I will go to Vrndavana and take darsana of Mother Yasoda. First I will sit on her lap, and then I will caress her and tell her, 'Mother, Krsna is coming. He was traveling with me, but on the way many kings surrounded Him and began performing arcana to Him, praying to Him, and offering Him many presen¬tations. That is why I have arrived here first. Krsna will be a bit late, but He's on His way. It may be some hours, or one or two days, but He is coming.' I will go door-to-door to the gopis' homes. I will console them and tell them, 'Oh, now be happy.

Don't feel separation. Krsna is coming!' They will become happy, and then I will tell them, 'You should all be ready to welcome Krsna.' Later, I will play a trick and tell My brother, 'Oh, You are sitting here, while Your mother Devaki, Your father Vasudeva, and all Your queens are living there in Dvaraka?' I will bring Him back to Dvaraka by some trick, so don't worry. Let me first bring a good chariot. After that Narada should sing the glory of Vraja accompanied by his vina, then Krsna will return to conscious¬ness, and after that He will come to Vrndavana, where everything will be ready."

A chariot was brought and Subhadra was ready to go. Then Baladeva said, "If my brother and sister are going, I must go. I want to meet with my mother and father, Yasoda-maiya and Nanda Baba, and I want to meet all my friends and the gopis. I cannot remain here. I must go." Subhadra said, "Yes, we will go together. Baladeva Prabhu will go first, and I will follow Him." So another chariot was brought, and Baladeva's ratha was placed in front of Subhadra's. As they were about to leave, Baladeva Prabhu told Daruka, Krsna's chariot driver, "Bring your chariot here and be ready. When Krsna returns to consciousness, take the chariot and fly to Vrndavana."

Narada Muni was then requested to glorify Vraja and, accom¬panied by his vina, he began to sing very beautifully. As Narada's sweet glorification of Vraja entered Krsna's ears, He regained consciousness and thought, "It is morning, and I am in Vraja. Where is My sweet vamsi?" He asked. "Where, where? Oh, I know. The gopis are very tricky. They have stolen it. I'll give them a good lesson." Then He stood in a beautiful threefold-bending form, as He had previously done in Vraja, and He appeared in a way that no one in Dvaraka had ever seen before.

As He began searching, He said, "Oh, Lalita has taken it! If not Lalita, then Radhika Herself has stolen it with Visakha's help." He acted as though He was searching them to see where they had kept His flute. In the meantime, He saw Uddhava and asked, "Uddhava, why are you in Vrndavana?" Then He saw Narada and asked, "Oh, you are also in Vrndavana? From where have you come?" Narada replied, "Oh my Lord, You are not in Vrndavana. You are in Dvaraka. This is not the Yamuna; it is the ocean in Dvaraka Puri. Please remember where You are."

Krsna was so absorbed that He forgot Uddhava and Narada and everyone else, and He was ready to run away to Vrndavana to quickly meet the gopas and gopis. Uddhava told Him, "Prabhu, Your chariot is ready, because we knew that You would do this. You can mount Your chariot and go to Vrndavana immediately."

Krsna wanted to ascend His chariot, but He was so mad in radha-prema that He could not walk alone. Many people began to assist Him as He walked by, holding Him and helping Him from the front and back, and from both sides. He was like a mad person, lost in Radha's love and affection. Somehow He was taken to the chariot and raised upon it, and Daruka at once drove off with great speed toward Vrndavana. Balarama and Subhadra were ahead, and Krsna followed behind.

In the meantime, in Vrndavana, Radhika was in the last stage of Her life, feeling unbearable separation. She was just about to die, not breathing in or out, and all the Vrajavasis were very worried, thinking, "She is going to leave Her body!" Everyone had lost hope that She would remain alive, and they were totally grief-stricken. They all thought, "We cannot save Her! She will certainly die!" Lalita and Visakha were trying hard to revive Her, but there were no signs of revival.

While this was going on, all the other sakhis also assembled there, and they were also extremely upset – and even Candravali came to show her sympathy. Somehow Radhika said in a very low voice, "If I die, My dead body should be placed around a tamala tree. Let the air in My body be mixed with the air of Nandagaon where Krsna takes His breaths. Let the fire in My body mix with the sun-rays at Nanda Baba's house so that it will shine there and I will touch Krsna. May the earth of My body mix with the courtyard of Nanda-bhavana, so that Krsna can walk on Me and I can touch Him." As She lamented in this way, She again became unconscious.

In the meantime, three chariots arrived in Vraja – Subhadra's and Baladeva's in front, and Krsna's following. As soon as Krsna reached there, He heard, "Radhika is going to die, and She will not remain alive for even one more moment." He ran very quickly to the spot where She was giving up Her body, and when He saw Her, He began to cry bitterly. Becoming more and more absorbed in radha-prema, His hands began melting. The lower part of His body also melted, then His face as well; and only two large round eyes remained. Just then, Baladeva Prabhu and Subhadra arrived, and when they saw this scene, they could not control themselves and they also became like Krsna.

In the meantime, Lalita spoke repeatedly in the ear of Radhika, "Radha, Radha! Krsna has come. Krsna has come to meet You! Don't die." Visakha said in the other ear, "Krsna has come to meet You!" Gradually Radhika regained Her external consciousness, opened Her eyes, and thought, "Oh, beautiful Krsna has come!" She became further absorbed in the ecstasy of love and affection. Seeing Her, Krsna's love also increased, and He lost external con¬sciousness. In that same state He began rolling on the earth.

Radhika told Visakha, "Please help Krsna; otherwise He may die. You know the mantra to revive Him. Say in His ear, 'Radha, Radha!'" When Krsna heard this sweet injection of the powerful mantra from the lips of Visakha, "Radha, Radha, Radha, Radha!" He opened His eyes and became so happy again. Gradually He revived, and They met together and everyone became happy.

Narada also arrived, and he requested Krsna, "Prabhu, please manifest these three forms that You revealed when You were absorbed and melted. In that way everyone will see and realize these truths about You. Please manifest these forms somewhere in this world." Krsna replied, "Tatha 'stu, tatha 'stu evam bhavatu! So be it. I will always remain in this shape in Nilacala, which will be like Dvaraka, and everyone will be able to come and see Me there."

I have told this very beautiful pastime in brief. This lila is in the hearts of pure devotees, and Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja has also touched it. I have also reconciled some points to clarify any doubts or misunderstandings about this lila.

You should know that there are four groups of gopis in Vraja: svapaksa (belonging to Radhika's own group), vipaksa (belong¬ing to the group of Her rivals), tatastha-paksa (belonging to the group that is neutral to Her), and suhrt-paksa (belonging to the group that is friendly to Her), and Krsna's pastimes cannot take place without them. However, there are no parties when Krsna disappears, or when He goes to Mathura or Dvaraka and a sepa¬ration mood manifests in the gopis' hearts. At that time, all the parties become one for Krsna, and they help each other. Candravali, or Bhadra, or any of the others may come and pacify Srimati Radhika, because Her separation is the highest. They are very sympathetic towards Her, because their separation mood is not as high in comparison. They tell Her, "O Radhika, You should not weep. Krsna will come." Even Candravali, who has a deep separation mood of her own, will also come and speak like this.

The interactions here are very mysterious, and I want to give you realization and entrance into these very extraordinary pas¬times, but you have to become qualified first. Try to follow regu¬lated bhakti – sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam – otherwise you will not be able to maintain your spiritual life. You will become lusty, and after some time you will think that Krsna's pastimes are the same as your pastimes of getting divorced. I have not read scriptures like Govinda-lilamrta, but I know that most of you have copies of all these books. Many of those who read these have fallen down, so you should not read them at this time, nor should you give classes on these topics. Be very, very careful. Our aim and object is to realize Krsna's pastimes, but you cannot jump to this. If you want to be situated on a tree, you must first try to climb up from the root, and from there you can go to the highest places. If you try to jump, you will fall down.

I request you to read Upadesamrta, Manah-siksa, and books like them. Try to chant more. Chanting only sixteen rounds will not suffice. Your gurudeva has given sixteen and then one, six¬teen and then one, sixteen and then one; there are four sets of sixteen.3 Has he given this without a purpose? A man may be very expert in speaking hari-katha and performing related services, but if he does not chant because he has no taste, he is a very weak devotee, and after some time he may fall down.

tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu¬
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
Upadesamrta (8)

["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize his full time – twenty-four hours a day – in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities, and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging his tongue and mind."]

Be in Vrndavana, under the guidance of a rasika-tattvajna Vaisnava guru, and always chant the names with their meaning, knowing and remembering SriRadha-Krsna's pastimes. Then you will become fully qualified for this highest object of life.

A108-AI

Baladeva's Birthday

krishna_balaram.jpgThis year, 2017, Lord Baladeva’s appearance day anniversary is August 7th  (see calendar). On Baladeva Prabhu’s divine appearance day  Srila Gurudeva Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave a discourse in His glorification in Hindi, translated by Radhika dasi of Russia. The below is a transcription of that translation.  You may also find movies  at this link.] 

Today is the appearance day of Rohini-nandana Baladeva. According to the Vedic scripture Garga-samhita, Baladeva Prabhu appeared after Janmastami, but if this is accepted, there would be confusion. Baladeva would be older than Krsna by one year, and then they would not be able to play together, wrestle on equal terms, and have Their name giving ceremony performed for both of them at the same time. Therefore, Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained, “Baladeva Prabhu appeared after Jhulana-yatra on the purnima, the full-moon day, and, seven days later, Sri Krsna appeared on bhadra-astami, the auspicious eighth day of the moon in the month of Bhadra (August/September).”

After Krsna appeared form the womb of Devaki in His four-armed form of Visnu, Vasudeva brought Him to Gokula. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all relationships, simultaneously took birth in Gokula. In this way, He appeared at both places, in Mathura and Gokula, at the same time. Then the opulent form of Krsna (vaibhava-prakasa), who had appeared in the four-armed form, merged into the original form of Krsna, the son of Yasoda.

In the same way, Baladeva Prabhu’s partial expansion first appeared in the womb of Devaki, and then, following Krsna’s order, Yogamaya transferred Him to the womb of Rohini. There, in Vraja, He manifested in His full feature. So, the partial expansion of Baladeva was transferred from Devaki’s to Rohini’s womb, where Baladeva’s full, original feature manifested. In Vrndavana, Krsna is the son of Yasoda and Baladeva is the son of Rohini, and They are the source of all other expansions.

When Krsna and Baladeva leave Vraja for Mathura or Dvaraka, at that time they are the sons of Devaki. Devaki-nandana Baladeva lives in Mathura, and then Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha manifest from him. The first of this catur-vyuha (quadruple expansion) is Sankarsana. Baladeva Prabhu Himself manifests in His partial expansion as Mula (root) Sankarsana, and in Vaikuntha he manifests as Maha Sankarsana. Then Maha Sankarsana manifests as Karanodakasayi, from him Garbhodakasayi, from him Ksirodakasayi who is present in the hearts of all jivas, and his final expansion is the infinite Ananta Sesa.

Throughout India on this day, all ladies bind rakhis on their brothers. Another name of a rakhi is ananta. People used to wear these anantas, made of either gold or silver, so that Ananta-deva would protect them. Baladeva Prabhu takes the form of Ananta Sesa, on whose coils rest Karanodakasayi, Garbhodakasayi, and Ksirodakasayi. In this way He serves them all. He arranges everything necessary for Krsna’s manifestations. He becomes Krsna’s sandals, umbrella and His seat. All that exists in Vraja is Baladeva Prabhu’s manifestation.

Krsna is sat-cit-ananda. Sat is sandhini (eternal existence, or maintenance), cit is knowledge, and ananda is hladini, pleasure. Baladeva is the presiding Deity of the first kind of energy, sat or sandhini. Krsna is the presiding Deity of cit or samvit, and Srimati Radhika, the presiding Deity of ananda or hladini. Joined together, sat, cit, and ananda is knowledge in eternal spiritual existence, which is full of bliss. This is sat-cit-ananda Sri Krsna. When Krsna is with all His energies in full, sat-cit-ananda, then His manifestations are called svamsa incarnations. When He is only with His cit energy, then He is called Brahman. When He is situated within jiva-sakti, then His sat-cit-ananda energies are present only in minute form; this manifestation of Sri Krsna is called vibhinamsa, or the jiva, the minute spiritual living entity. Or it can be said that when Sri Krsna, leaving aside all other saktis, is situated in His tatastha-sakti (jiva-sakti), He is called Karanodakasayi Visnu (Maha-Visnu), whose expansions are the innumerable, infinitesimal living entities called the jivas.

In Vraja, Baladeva prabhu is the son of Rohini, and in Mathura and Dvaraka He is the son of Devaki. He manifests in these and other forms to serve Krsna in all Krsna’s incarnations. In Krsna’s incarnation as Rama, Baladeva became Rama’s younger brother, Laksmana. Laksmana did not like to carry out some of Rama’s orders, like taking the exiled Sita to the forest, but he was compelled to follow his elder brother’s order. During the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Baladeva prabhu came as Nityananda Prabhu, the elder brother of Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu would lose consciousness due to being immersed in the mood of Srimati Radhika, Nityananda would take care of Him. Also, He is guru-tattva. He killed Dhenukasura, the personification of ignorance. He also killed Pralambha, who personified hypocrisy. Until our heart is not cleared of hypocrisy, we will attain nothing in the realm of bhakti. If we want a good job, good marriage, and good relatives; how can Krsna come into our heart when it is filled with so many material desires? Therefore, first Baladeva prabhu comes and purifies us of those material desires. He also killed Dvivida, who had offended Laksmana during Rama’s pastimes.

When Baladeva visited Naimisaranya, Roma-harsana was narrating the sastras. Everyone present stood up to greet Baladeva, but out of pride Roma-harsana did not rise from his seat and show respect. Baladeva prabhu said, “I am jagad-guru, guru of the entire universe. Thousands of sages have offered their respectful obeisances to Me, but you did not even rise from your seat. You are not qualified to be a guru and speak Bhagavatam.”

With these words, Baladeva Prabhu killed Him simply by touching him with a blade of kusa grass, and the sages cried, “Alas, alas! O Baladeva Prabhu, You have made a great mistake. Although you are Lord of the entire world, it was wrong of You to kill Roma-harsana, who was glorifying the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

“Should I bring him back to life?” Baladeva asked.

“No, no, find someone else who can narrate Bhagavatam to us,” the sages said.

Then, Baladeva prabhu put His lotus hand on the head of Roma-harsana’s son, Suta Gosvami, the disciple of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. He blessed him by saying, “May all the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Srimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures manifest in your heart. Sit on this asana and narrate all these scriptures to the sages.” Baladeva Prabhu is the original guru (adi-guru), who can give all knowledge. This pastime is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and there are many other histories as well.

When Krsna kidnapped Rukmini, He conquered all the armies of Rukmi, her brother. At that time Rukmi raised his arm and vowed to stop Krsna or never return to his kingdom. He made a violent attack on Krsna, but Krsna caught hold of him and bound him up. Krsna was ready to kill him, when Baladeva prabhu arrived there and exclaimed, “What are You doing? Leave him.” Therefore, instead of killing Rukmi, Krsna cut his hair, leaving a multitude of locks hanging down. He cut loose the ropes that bound him and let him go. Baladeva Prabhu was worried that Rukmini would suffer if her brother was killed, and that is why He advised Krsna to free him. Thus, He solved that situation in the most excellent way.

Happiness and distress are not in our hands, whereas the nature of our activities does depend on us. Whatever happens in a devotee’s life is not his karma, but the Lord’s mercy. When suffering comes, an ordinary devotee becomes hopeless and laments, “Alas, what shall I do?” Undoubtedly, such a devotee tastes the fruits of his own past activities. However, an advanced devotee thinks, “This is the Supreme Lord’s mercy. My Lord has sent me this suffering to free me from pride, and to make me humble and tolerant.” A true devotee accepts suffering with a smile, whereas a materialist accepts it with tears. There are many teachings in Baladeva Prabhu’s pastimes.

There is a pastime about a disagreement between Baladeva and Krsna, by hearing which one might ask, “This should not be so. Does Baladeva not know Krsna’s heart?” As explained earlier, Baladeva is not different from Krsna. Baladeva is Krsna’s second body. The only difference is that They carry different paraphernalia (Krsna carries the flute in Vraja, and Baladeva carries a horn/bugle made of leaves), and have slightly different appearances.

Why, then, would They have any disagreement? This question cannot be answered without knowledge of naravata-lila, Their human-like pastimes. During Their human-like pastimes, something may happen which looks like a quarrel. They are two loving brothers, but it appears that they argue. Father and son, or son and mother, may have apparent disagreement in their loving exchanges.

Baladeva prabhu wanted his sister Subhadra to marry Duryodhana. Krsna, Vasudeva, Rohini, Devaki and all other members of the Yadu family wanted her to marry Arjuna, but none dared express their wish out of fear of Baladeva. No one could bend Baladeva to accept her marriage with Arjuna. Neither Vasudeva, nor Devaki, nor Rohini could do so. They all feared to act against His desire.

Krsna wondered, “What should be done? Whatever happens, My sister must not marry that villain Duryodhana, who is the enemy of the Pandavas, the Yadus, and My enemy as well.”

So Krsna arranged a trick. He told Arjuna, “Listen, dress up as a sannyasi and come to Dvaraka. Perform your bhajana-sadhana there. My sister, Subhadra, will come to get your darsana, and then you can flee Dvaraka together with her.”

Arjuna agreed. When he saw Subhadra, he was enchanted by her beauty and felt a strong desire to marry her. In the meantime, Duryodhana was eagerly waiting for her arrival, just as Sisupala previously awaited Rukmini in his palace.

Duryodhana thought, “If I marry Subhadra, all the Yadus will be on my side and not on the side of the Pandavas.” He was a clever politician, but Arjuna disrupted his plans by coming to Dvaraka dressed as a sannyasi. He did not talk to anyone, he lived a very austere life, and he ate and slept very little, as real sannyasis do.

Yasoda-maiya loves Krsna with all her heart, but when Putana came, Yasoda thought, “Oh, this lady is so full of affection. Why should she stand outside? I should let her in.” She could not discern that Putana’s loveliness was false. Similarly, Arjuna was able to bewilder all the residents of Dvaraka. Even Baladeva prabhu came to him to offer obeisances, and Arjuna gave him blessings. In the meanwhile Krsna instructed Subhadra, “This sannyasi has come to fulfill your innermost desire. Go and worship him.”

Subhadra dressed exquisitely, decorating herself with sixteen kinds of ornaments and arrived in her chariot to see Arjuna. Arjuna was informed about her arrival and was ready for her. He seated her on his own chariot and then personally entered upon it, giving the reins to control the horses into Subhadra’s hands. While she was driving the chariot, he stood with his bow and arrows in His hands, forbidding anyone to stop them.

“Arjuna stole My sister!” cried Baladeva when He heard the news. “Come, Yadus, we should take a big army with us and punish this offender.”

When they were about to set out for the chase, Krsna checked them by inquiring, “Where are You going?”

Baladeva told Krsna, “Do you not know? Arjuna has kidnapped Our sister!”

Krsna said, “Oh, brother, don’t You know that kidnapping is within our family tradition? Did I not kidnap Rukmini? Did Samba not kidnap Duryodhana’s daughter? So what is the wrong if Arjuna does the same? You actually helped Samba in this undertaking. Don’t You remember that You led our armies against Duryodhana? What’s more, do You really see Arjuna kidnapping Subhadra? Subhadra is the one driving the chariot. O Baladeva ji, You may kill Arjuna, but if You do so, Your sister will be very distressed.”

Baladeva replied, “Why didn’t You tell Me about all this before? If you all are in favor of her marriage with Arjuna, then I shall also agree.”

We see that there was a disagreement between Krsna and Baladeva, which was not really a disagreement but a semblance of it for the purpose of the successful execution of Their pastimes together.

Also, in the final days of the battle of Kuruksetra, Bhima had a club-fight with Duryodhana. Both had learned club-fighting from Baladeva prabhu. In the beginning of the duel Baladeva arrived there. Then, in front of Baladeva, Krsna gave a signal to Bhima, and Bhima gave a heavy blow with his club on Duryodhana’s thigh. To beat someone below the waist is against the rules of club-fighting, but it was Krsna who advised Bhima to do so. In great anger, Baladeva raised his club, ready to kill Bhima

Krsna then remarked, “Today You are just in time, brother. But where were You when Duryodhana, Sakuni, and others murdered our dear nephew, Abhimanyu? When this wicked Duryodhana tried to burn the Pandavas alive in the shellac palace, where were You to save them? When he and his brothers tried to undress Draupadi in the Kaurava assembly, where were You to protect her? Where were You when Duryodhana did all this injustice to the Pandavas?

Baladeva then calmed his anger and left the scene in silence. He acted in accordance with Krsna’s desire.

Lord Baladeva’s pastimes are unlimited, His virtues are unlimited, and His love for Krsna is unlimited.

Gaura Premanande!

A108-AI

The Swing Ceremony

jhulana_lg.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
The Swing Ceremony
Srila Rupa Goswami's Disappearance Day
Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha: Vrndavana, India

[Every year there is a five day festival all over Vrndavana called Jhulana-yatra, at which time the vijaya-vigraha (small) Deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are swung by hundreds of thousands of Vrajabasis and others, in their various temples or homes, on a beautiful swing attached to long ropes. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja yearly lead this festival at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha and Sri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, at which time he would give a short talk about the significance of this festival. This year, 2014, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's Jhulan ceremony begins August 13th and 14th (see calendar) and Srila Rupa Gosvami's disappearance day is August 26th and 27th around the world. The following is a translation of both his Hindi talks, given on August 8, 2003:] Search for Jhulan audio lecture on Krsna.us

In the month of Sravana (the rainy season), the clouds in the sky begin to make a thundering sound, and extremely fine mist-like rain drizzles everywhere. The atmosphere is very beautiful and pleasant after the heat of the summer months, for at that time all the forests of Vrndavana begin to bloom. Many types of flowers on both sides of the Yamuna, such as beli, cameli, jui, and madhavi begin to bloom. The bumblebees look here and there and chant, "Radhe Radhe" and the cuckoos also call out, "Radhe Radhe."

The peacocks and peahens all call out, "Ke-ka ke-ka." Ke means: "Which male person has the ability to do a very wonderful thing? Srimati Radhika's maan (Her sulky mood of transcendental loving jealous anger), as well as Her shyness and patience, are like a very tall and immovable mountain. Which male person, 'Ke,' can crush that mountain into powder so that there is nothing left? This person is Sri Krsna." Ka means: "Which female person can do a very wonderful thing? There is a powerful, mad elephant named Sri Krsna whom no one can control. One person, however, by the goad of Her maan, can catch that elephant, bring Him under Her control, and then bind Him in the shackle of Her prema. Who is that? It is Srimati Radhika." In this way the peacocks and peahens glorify Srimati Radharani and Lord Krsna.

At the time of Sravana, the rainy season, everything becomes green. The summer was dry, but now the rain has come and all the greenery has come to life again. All the young brides are taken at this time from their mother-in-laws' homes by their brothers, and they return to their fathers' home.

Srimati Radhika was still at Her in-laws' home in Yavat, however, because Her brother, Sridama, had not come. Much time passed and finally he arrived there on the full moon day, with some clothing and ornaments to pacify Srimati Radhika's mother-in-law, Jatila.

Seeing Her brother, Srimati Radhika wept, "O My dear brother, why have you come so late? Only a few days remain of this Sravana month. Why did you come late? Did you forget Me?"

Srimati Radhika then very happily left Yavat and went to Varsana, Vrsabhanupura, with Her brother; and there She met together with all of Her sakhis, Her intimate friends, as they had also returned to their maternal homes at that time. It was a very beautiful meeting and reunion in the place of their childhood play.

The sakhis made a jhulana (swing) for Her. They always make the swing on a kadamba tree and not on a tamal tree. The significance of a kadamba tree is that it carries the complexion of Srimati Radhika and the tamal tree has a complexion of Sri Krsna. The tamal tree is not very powerful, but the kadamba tree is very strong and beautiful. This signifies the superiority of Srimati Radhika – She can control Lord Krsna by Her love.

jhula jhule radha damodara vrndavana men
kaisi cchayi hariyali ali kunjan men

["Radha-Damodara are swinging on the swing in Vrndavana. O friend, how very green the kunja is!" (Jhula Jhule Radha Damodara, verse 1)]

We sing this kirtana at the time of swinging Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. It describes how Krsna has come, and is waiting at the swing with folded palms for His beloved to come. Srimati Radhika is in maan, and Her sakhis try to persuade Her to come by saying, "Please give up your sulky mood and come at once to your beloved Krsna. He is waiting for You."

In this way, we are observing Jhulana-yatra and remembering the sweet pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.

[When Srila Gurudeva's discourse was completed, the over 200 devotees at Sri Rupa-Sanatana Mandira then accompanied him on the five minute walk to Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha, where they all performed the swing ceremony for Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha and sang the same kirtana. The assembled devotees then sat in the temple courtyard to hear Srila Gurudeva speak once again:]

Tomorrow is the disappearance day of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Even though there are many great acaryas, Srila Rupa Gosvami has been attributed with the honor of being that person who established the mano-'bhistam, the innermost heart's desire, of Sri Krsna in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sriman Mahaprabhu came to the village of Ramakeli-grama, He met with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami and told them, "Leave your homes and be with Me." After a short time they left their homes, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Vrndavana and met with Srila Rupa Gosvamipada at Prayag, the confluence of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga. Mahaprabhu told him:

parapara-sunya gabhira bhakti-rasa-sindhu
tomaya cakhaite tara kahi eka bindu

["The ocean of the transcendental mellows of devotional service is so large that no one can estimate its length and breadth. However, just to help you taste it, I am describing one drop. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.137)"]

Lord Caitanya gave one drop of the ocean of rasa to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and that one drop was sufficient to inundate millions upon millions of universes. Later, He met with Srila Sanatana Gosvami in Varanasi.

After some time, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami came here to Vrndavana and began to perform their bhajana, their hearing, chanting, and remembering about Krsna. Rupa Gosvami thought, "In order to fulfill the innermost heart's desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I will write a drama. In this drama I will explain the beauty of the meeting pastimes of Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna in Vrndavana, and also Their separation pastimes, when Lord Krsna leaves Vrndavana and goes to Mathura and Dvaraka. I will explain how, by their expansions, Srimati Radhika and all the sakhis somehow or other (by the medium of their expansions) went to Dvaraka and became Lord Krsna's 16,108 queens."

He intended to write about this, but while he was traveling towards Jagannatha Puri he came to the village of Satyabhama-pura. There, Srimati Satyabhama-devi, Lord Krsna's chief queen, appeared to him in a dream and told him, "Please don't make only one drama. Please divide it into two parts."

Then, when Srila Rupa Gosvami finally arrived at Jagannatha Puri and met with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord confirmed what he had heard from Srimati Satyabhama in his dream. Sriman Mahaprabhu told him, "Don't take Lord Krsna out of Vrndavana."

krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto yah purnah so 'sty atah parah
vrndavanam parityajya sa kvacin naiva gacchati

["The Krsna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva Krsna. He is different from the Krsna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadu-kumara Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.67)"]

"Krsna never leaves Vrndavana. He never even sets one foot outside of Vrndavana."

Srila Rupa Gosvami then divided his drama into two parts. The first part is called Vidagdha-madhava, Krsna's pastimes in Vrndavana; and in the second part, called Lalita-madhava, He goes to Dvaraka and all the gopis of Vrndavana were reunited with Him in the form of the queens of Dvaraka.

Why did Srila Rupa Gosvami do this? This is a very deep siddhanta, or conclusive philosophical truth. Srila Kavi Karnapura, a very great devotee, has composed Sri Ananda Vrndavana Campu. In this book he described the pastimes of Lord Krsna from His birth up to rasa-lila and the Divine Couple's swing pastimes, and he stopped there. He didn't go any further than this. He didn't describe about Krsna going to Mathura or Dvaraka, because this separation mood is very difficult to tolerate for the pure devotees. He was thinking, "My Mistress Radhika cannot tolerate this separation, so I will not write about it."

Srila Rupa Gosvami, however, has written about the moods of both meeting and separation – because this separation mood is a very deep transcendental ecstatic feeling. At the time of meeting, though Radharani and Krsna are together, something may be forgotten or lost in the heart. On the other hand, at the time of separation, there is complete meeting in new and fresh ways in the heart; and not only inside, but sometimes externally there are sphurtis, temporary visions in which the loved one is actually present.

Knowing all these very profound transcendental established truths, and wanting to establish the desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within the world, Srila Rupa Gosvami also glorified the mood of separation. Although this mood is very high and has many transcendental features that will not come at the time of meeting, still, it is not our goal of life.

No Gaudiya Vaisnavas want Sri Sri Radha and Krsna to be eternally separated. What kind of person would want this? No Vrajavasi would want it. However, there is a place for this separation mood, and Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained this in his book, Ujjvala Nilamani: "Na vina vipralambha sambhoga pusti masnute. Without the mood of separation, the mood of meeting will not be nourished and come to increasingly higher stages. The pastimes of separation are very important because they play the role of nourishing the sweetness of meeting."

When Srila Rupa Gosvami was in Puri with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord was dancing at the Ratha-yatra festival and uttering a verse from a book of mundane poetry called Sahitya-darpana:

yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas
te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah
sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau
reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate

["That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."]

No one could understand why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was uttering this verse and in what mood He was absorbed. There was one young boy there, however, named Rupa, who later on became that very same Rupa Gosvami. There and then, upon hearing this verse from Mahaprabhu, another verse appeared in his own heart, and he wrote it down:

priyah so 'yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas
tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham
tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse
mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati

[This is a verse spoken by Srimati Radharani: "My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.76)"]

In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami has clarified Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning and thus he revealed to the world the importance of parakiya-rasa, the mood of paramour love between Lord Krsna and the gopis. Srila Rupa Gosvami is that very person who established within this world the innermost heart's desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After Sriman Mahaprabhu disappeared from the vision of the world, the discussion of parakiya-rasa was not prominent. According to scripture, mundane rasa, this world's love between those who are unmarried is very immoral, illicit, and sinful. However, in addition to manifesting the endless varieties and wonder of vipralambha and sambhoga, the meeting and separation pastimes of Radha and Krsna, Srila Rupa Gosvami also established the superiority of parakiya-rasa. By using evidence from many different sastras, he proved that Lord Sri Krsna is not an ordinary nayaka (lover) and Radhika is not an ordinary nayika (beloved). In other words, when there is meeting between a mundane lover and beloved in the parakiya mood it is very sinful, but Sri Krsna is a transcendental personality, God Himself, and everything is possible for Him. Therefore, if He is the object of the parakiya-bhava, there is no fault or defect in this. Rather this is the topmost supremely pure manifestation of madhurya-prema, the romantic mood.

Srila Rupa Gosvami established the fact that Lord Krsna Himself came into this world to taste these mellows, and, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna experienced the parakiya-bhakti-rasa that is within the heart of Srimati Radhika:

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah

["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4)"]

sri-caitanya-mano-'bhistam
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

["I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him. When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet? (prayer by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)"]

These deliberations and philosophical conclusions are extremely deep, and very difficult to understand. It is therefore essential that one come under the guidance of a self-realized Guru and pure devotees, and give ones full time and energy, very hard labor, and enthusiastic work in the service of that Guru and in chanting holy names of Krsna and performing bhajana. One should also make a great effort to understand and realize the reason for which Srila Rupa Gosvami appeared in this world and why he wrote so many books like Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Vidagdha-madhava and Sri Lalita-madhava. Unless one comes to the lotus feet of Sri Guru and makes a very great endeavor to understand these topics, after some time he will be taken away by maya and engage in mundane activities. This is a very important point.

[Srila Gurudeva announced at the end of class that all the devotees will meet him at Sri Rupa-Sanatana Mandira on the following morning, to observe Sri Rupa Gosvami's disappearance day, at 6am. They will go together to Sri Radha Damodara Mandira, to Rupa Gosvami's Samadhi and Bhajana Kutira, and there they will have more kirtana and glorification.]

 

A108-AI

I Was Weeping For You

[Srila Narayana Maharaja had a two-day layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on his way back to India, where he spent some days in Calcutta before returning to Mathura-Vrndavana. He gave one class in Malaysia, and just after the class he held initiations. The following is a transcription of that class:]

My Gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja gave me initiation, trained me, and then said to me, "Now you should preach everywhere, and try to help devotees here and there - especially those who have become weak." In his last days, when my siksa guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was departing from this world, he placed my hands in his and, weeping, said, "I have collected so many disciples. And in Bengali he said, "I have collected so many monkeys from all over the world, but I could not complete their training. Therefore, I humbly request you to help them." I told him that I will certainly follow his orders. He told me that he will only remain here in this world for one or two more days, and he left the next day.

[At this time some devotees in the back of the room were speaking to each other. Srila Maharaja interrupted his class and said, "Don't talk. Hear me." Then he continued:]

You should know that your body is not your real self. The body is a bag of urine, blood and so many other nasty things. If you open it, you will only see these things. If a white spot appears on your nose, no one will marry you. Both men and women will hate looking at you. Don't be in the false ego of this body, thinking, "I am so qualified." In a day you may become mad. In a moment you may die.

I have heard from my Gurudeva and guru-parampara that in this rotten body there is a soul and Supersoul. We are souls and the Supersoul is looking after us like a witness - seeing what good and bad things we are doing. The Supersoul notes down our activities and gives us the reactions to those activities. He knows, better than us, everything that is in our hearts and minds. We are not any worldly thing; rather we are souls. Somehow we have forgotten the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that is why, since the beginning of time, we have been in the endless chain of birth and death.

We have experienced many previous lives before this life. Many times we were hogs, pigs, dogs and cats, and sometimes demigods like Lord Indra or Lord Brahma. We have been searching for happiness everywhere, but we never became happy. Sri Krsna then again mercifully gave us a human body, and when we were in the womb of our mother He said, "You should promise that, 'when I come out into the world I will serve you.'" We have forgotten this promise and that is why we are suffering.

In the ocean, waves rise higher and higher and then causes floods everywhere. Similarly, bundles of problems are continuously befalling us, and then we will die, and then problems again come when we take birth again - unless we are remembering Lord Krsna, chanting His name and worshipping Him. Our aim and object is to serve Him.

jivera `svarupa' haya--krsnera `nitya-dasa'
krsnera `tatastha-sakti' `bhedabheda-prakasa'
["It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 20.108)]

By our transcendental constitution we are servants of Sri Krsna - maidservants of Krsna - but we have forgotten everything about that service. Now we are very happily enjoying sense gratification like hogs and pigs, but we should remember that one day we will become old. We are bound to become old, and our beauty will leave. Then, after some time, at most around the age of 100, we will have to die.

What can you take from this world? What you have collected from this world or are still going to collect, you cannot take with you - not even one paisa, nor one farthing nor one hair. You have come with nothing and when you leave you will have nothing. So why are you doing so much hard labor from morning to night - working like donkeys and monkeys?

One thing to remember: You don't want any suffering or problems in life, but they come, as a result of your fruitive activities. You are bound to that suffering even though you do not want it. Similarly, even if you have not tried for it, still happiness will come - if you have done anything good in your past life. Whether you are endeavoring for happiness or not, it will come automatically; so why be worried for this? Why not chant and remember Krsna? Constant remembrance of Sri Krsna is the aim and object of our life.

Prince Charles was so wealthy and powerful, but still he suffered. Ravana's servants all had beautiful golden houses, but what became of them? Princess Diana was beautiful and world-famous, but in a moment she died in a car crash. She didn't want it, but it came. Try to remember this.

Try to be engaged in performing bhajana. Your wife and children may cheat you, but Krsna's name and Krsna Himself will never cheat you. Lord Krsna is very powerful. In a moment He can create millions of universes, and again, in a second, He can demolish them and again create them. He is causelessly merciful, very sweet, and very beautiful as He plays on His flute and smiles. The whole world is enchanted by His beauty - even animals and birds. He has invested all his power, beauty, mercy and all other qualities in this 16 word mantra - in three names: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Have strong faith that what you cannot accomplish by your great endeavor of making money by laboring day and night, you can accomplish in a second by chanting Hare Krsna. I never do anything for my maintenance, but you are all maintaining me. You are bound to maintain me because Krsna has given you inspiration to do this. You have heard from scriptures that if you help me and serve me, Krsna will be happy. These are the rules and regulations of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Somehow try to maintain your life. If you are grhastha (married), no harm; If you are brahmacari (celibate student), no harm; if you are a sannyasi (in the renounced order), no harm.

Remain where you are and follow this verse:

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam
["Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.3)]

From wherever position you are in, try to be in the good association of pure Vaisnavas. Sri Krsna will arrange this if you pray from the core of your heart. He will send your Gurudeva to your door. You cannot search for a Guru. You have no idea how to recognize his qualifications. In millions and millions of births you cannot know this on your own, but Krsna will mercifully send a qualified guru if you are sincerely desiring this. You have not called Padmanabha Maharaja or Nanda Kisora prabhu here. Krsna has given inspiration in my heart to send them, so I sent them. They came to please me.

I came here myself, by my mercy. I was weeping for you, and now I am very happy for you. I always remember those who are serving. I am always remembering Lalita. She may forget me, but I cannot forget her. I cannot forget Bala and his brother Vijaya, and I cannot forget my senior devotees sitting in the back in a group, like Amala Krsna, Kesava, Isvara Puri, Gauraraja and Acyutananda. There are so many seniors here - both men and women. I have come to remind you to not be weak. If you are unmarried, remain unmarried. If you are divorced, then do not remarry. Take shelter in the lotus feet of Krsna. I have given you in marriage to Krsna. Don't go again in the burning ocean. Krsna's service is the aim and object of our life. Always chant: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

My doctor has advised me that due to my age I should not travel so much. You are all serving me greatly by giving me medicines that will make me well, so it may be that I will travel for some more years. But after that you will have to come to India to meet me. I am reminding you all - never be weak. Don't lose your faith in Guru Your Guru is bona fide and very strong, and he will never fall.

A108-AI

Guru Inspires in the Heart

Murwillumbah, Australia: April 28, 2005
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Question:] Srila Prabhupada is my diksa-guru, but I don't feel close to him. When Guru is not before our eyes, how can we have a relationship with him?

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Guru is like Krsna. Krsna inspired the heart of Brahma and said, "I am the embodiment of all tattva-jnana, tattva-vijnana, and all love and affection. Only this form of mine was present before the creation, only that form exists now, and later, after the destruction of everything material, only I will exist.

[All of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, color, qualities and activities – let all be awakened within you by factual realization, out of My causeless mercy. Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead. (2.9.32-33)]

Guru is like that. If you pray to him, new understandings will come in your heart by inspiration. Don't think he is mortal. He is like Krsna and, like Krsna, his mercy is causeless. So pray, and he will inspire you. Sometimes he comes as siksa-guru, and in the form of siksa-guru he inspires you by his words and teachings.

[Question:] Is it okay to feel the same as I do for my siksa-guru as I do for my diksa-guru, Srila Prabhupada?

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes, we have the same mission, the same aim and the same goal, though sometimes we use a different choice of words. He believed in me, more than he believed in anyone else, and he told me that our relationship is transcendental.* [See Endnote 1 and 2] He therefore ordered me to give him samadhi with my own hands, and to help his Western disciples and followers. He told me, "Because they are like monkeys, I could not train them fully; so you please continue their training."

[Question (showing an oil painting):] This is a painting begun by Nilambari for your book, Gita-govinda.

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Radha's sakhi is telling Krsna, "Now you are coming. Where were you?" When Krsna tries to explain, the sakhi weeps and says, "I don't believe you." Krsna is now in a dilemma about what to say and what to answer. He is asking, "Where is Srimati Radhika? I am in anxiety to meet Her."

[Question]: Recently, when I showed you the three new posters that were printed (Venu-gita, Manini-Radha and Seva-Kunja) you commented,

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Give them to those who like them, and not to those who don't like them. Sraddha mula vikara. Sraddha is the most important aspect. Sraddha gives value to something. Without sraddha, faith, the thing has no value.

[Question:] I have no inspiration to do sadhana. My environment is not inspiring. What should I do?

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I am trying to give inspiration to all. I think that only two, three or four are not humble here. Mostly everyone here wants to be of one opinion. They are thinking, "I want that we can all work together and be of one opinion." If juniors give respect to superiors and superiors give love and affection to juniors, then everything will be alright.

[*Endnote 1 – from Srila Prabhupada's letter to Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. (Return address c/o Gopal Agarwal from Butler, Penn.) Sept. 28, 1966: "I received your letter dated September 20, 1966, on time. Our relationship is certainly based on spontaneous love. That is why there is no chance of us forgetting one another. By the mercy of guru and Gauranga, may everything be auspicious for you. This is my constant prayer. From the first time I saw you I have been your constant well-wisher. At his first sight of me, Srila Prabhupada also saw me with such love. It was in my very first darshan of Srila Prabhupada that I learned how to love. It is his boundless mercy that he has engaged an unworthy person like me in fulfilling some of his desires. It is his causeless mercy to engage me in preaching the message of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha."]

[*Endnote 2 – "Then he told me, ‘I want you to help take care of my disciples. I want them to be good and qualified devotees. If they come to you, please care for them." Many of Srila Swami Maharaja's disciples were nearby so he softly whispered in Bengali, "When I went to the West, I caught so many monkeys in my net. Really, they are very expert in quarrelling amongst themselves. They are still very young and untrained. So I request you that after my departure you will help them in every respect." Considering the implications of this order from my siksa-guru, I hesitated. Then he grasped both of my hands in his own, looked deeply into my eyes and asked me to promise to help. Therefore I agreed, saying, ‘I promise that according to my ability and my bhaktisiddhanta-tattva (understanding of the conclusive statements of bhakti) I will always be ready to help them as you request.'"
(from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's book, "My Siksa-guru and Priya-bandhu")]

A108-AI

Sanatana_Gosvami.jpg.556e94cf01e6561cc8a8fadeb4951d09.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
October 20th & 21st, 1991
Vrindavan

This year, 2017, the disappearance day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami is on July 8th and 9th (see calendar). The lecture below, on the sixth verse of Sri Vilap-kusumanjali, was given in Vrndavana in 1991. Although it may look to you like a published book, it is actually his lecture:

Text Six

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

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

Translation

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

Commentary

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

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

In raganuga-bhajana, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is especially indebted to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and also to Srila Sanatana Gosvami. He was primarily associating with Rupa Gosvami, however, and he has taken all his ideas and ideals for raganuga-bhajana from him. Here in Vilapa-kusumanjali, He prayed to him only as Rupa-manjari, not as Rupa Gosvami, whereas he has prayed to Sri Sanatana Gosvami: Sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami. Rupa Gosvami gave him all the conceptions needed in raganuga and rupanuga for developing and supporting manjari-bhava, and Sri Sanatana Gosvami gave him all necessary instruction in vaidhi-bhakti and sadhana-bhajana aiming for raganuga.

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

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

In his Manah Siksa, sloka two, he has written:

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

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

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

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

As soon as he arrived in Vrndavana, he approached Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Gosvami and offered his obeisances. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had previously told him, "Always consider Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami as your elder brothers," and therefore he came to them. Somehow or other Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami understood that he had a wish to die at Govardhana. Sri Sanatana Gosvami was especially wise in understanding a person's heart.

Sanatana Gosvami was raja-niti-jna, in knowledge of politics, whereas Rupa Gosvami was very simple. Sri Sanatana Gosvami and other Gosvamis used tarka, logic, in their writings. To help common persons to understand anything, especially in vaidhi-bhakti and the methods of krsna-bhajana, some logic is very necessary. Vedanta itself stands upon sound logical principles.

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

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

parama-rasa-rahasyannanda-nihsyandi-vrnda
vana-vipina-nikunje divya-divyair vilasaih
niravadhi rasamanan radhika-krsnacandrau
bhaja sakalam upeksya tavakah sastra-yuktih

(Nikunja-rahasya-stava #31)

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

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

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

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

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could understand Sanatana Gosvami's heart, and said, "Sanatana, if a person gives something to another person, does he have any right to take that property back?" Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not order him directly, but cleverly and tactfully indicated His desire. He told him, "The first point is that if you have surrendered your body to Me, you no longer have the right to do what you like with it. Only I have that right. By taking what is rightfully Mine, you are committing an offense to Me.

"Secondly, if I had thought that by giving up My life I could attain the service of Radha and Krsna, I would give up My life millions of times. By giving up one's life, one cannot attain Radha and Krsna's service. This can only be had by bhakti-yoga. Try to understand this. Please give up your idea of ending your life. Increase your sadhana-bhajana, and you will very soon achieve perfection.'"

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

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

The words anabhipsum andham in this sixth sloka indicates, "I was unaware of raganuga-bhakti." Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is speaking in a mood of humility. Actually, he had received instructions in raganuga-bhajana from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarupa Damodara. Still, he is saying, "I was andha, blind. I did not know anything about rasamayi-bhakti, Krsna, Radha, the gopis, or Vraja-bhava. I did not even have the desire for these things."

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

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

Prayatnair means 'carefully.' When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived at Radha-kunda, Sanatana Gosvami used to go there from Vrndavana to do Govardhana parikrama. Sri Sanatana Gosvami is Lavanga Manjari. What was the need for him to do parikrama? Did he have anything to gain for himself?

yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

(Bhagavad-gita 3.21)

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

People in general benefited by his example, but that was also not his real motive. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is saying, "He used to go only for me." This is the inference by the word prayatnair.

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

bhavad-vidha bhagavatas tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho
tirthi-kurvanti tirthani svantah-sthena gadabhrta

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.13.10)

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

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

Another sloka is also related to this point:

mahad-vicalanam nrinam grihinam dina-cetasam
nihsreyasaya bhagavan kalpate nanyatha kvacit

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.4)

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

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

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

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

Similarly, according to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami did Govardhana parikrama to give him his association. Raghunatha dasa continues, "You come here now and then, only to see how this orphan boy is doing. You come to tell me the pastimes of Krsna and to teach me how to serve Him."

Once, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was sitting under the open sky and performing bhajana on the banks of Syama-kunda. Two tigers approached the kunda, drank water, and then went away. Sanatana Gosvami was watching this from a distance and became concerned. After the tigers left, he approached Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and instructed him, "O Raghunatha, please do not sit here like this. I will build a hut for you. By my special order you will have to live there and perform your bhajana there." Raghunatha dasa Gosvami could not refuse his order. Sanatana Gosvami made a hut, and from that time onward Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived there, chanted harinama, and performed all other devotional activities.

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

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

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

Vairagya-yuga-bhakti. There are two types of bhakti; one is general and the other is bhakti with vairagya. Vairagya has two meanings; one is 'renunciation' and the other it visesa rupena raga, or anuraga, meaning 'great absorption and affection for Krsna.' The distinguishing feature of vairagya is raga or anuraga; this is a most important point. When anuraga is present, attachment for sense objects cannot remain. This is the true definition of vairagya.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lalita-devi can also so this, and therefore we can pray to her:

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih su-lalitam lalitam namami

(Sri Lalitastikam verse 6)

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

Lalita will ask any kisori moving within Vraja, "O, where are you going?" The young girl may reply, "I'm going to Varsana (or Javata, or Radha-kunda). "Why are you going there?" "I know it is very difficult to achieve, but I am going there with the hope that Srimati Radhika may keep me as Her palya dasi." When Lalita knows this, she at once tries to give that bhava. She will order – not pray, but order – Srimati Radhika, "Keep this girl as Your palya dasi. I'm writing her name in the register of Your palya dasis."

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

This is krpambudhir, the ocean of mercy, and there is no mercy beyond this. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami therefore says krpambudhir yah. Sri Sanatana Gosvami, as Lavanga Manjari, is an ocean of mercy because he can distribute the mercy of Srimati Radhika.

Para duhkha-duhkhi – Sanatana Gosvami is always unhappy to see the unhappiness of any jiva. It is not that the jivas say to him, "Please have mercy upon me." Rather, he sees that they are pots, or vessels, for mercy, though they don't want it. He may go to a person and request, "Can you give me water to drink?" Why is he asking for water? He wants to give his mercy. He is creating their sukriti, and therefore he travels to every village contacting the sense enjoyers. In the grhasta's home he questions, "I have heard that your daughter is soon to be married." The grhastha may reply, "Her marriage has already been performed." "Oh, how is she?" Although he has no self-interest, Sanatana Gosvami will listen to all the news of the villagers. What is the need? He wants to give them bhakti by his association – somehow or other. He will instruct someone, "Your father is very ill. Try to chant 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna' and he will improve."

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

Sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is addressing Sanatana Gosvami as Prabhu. Who is Prabhu? Mahaprabhu is Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda and Advaita Acarya are both Prabhus. A Prabhu is one who can give anything to any person. He should be master of all things.

I may ask you, "I want a son. Please give me a son." Can you fulfill my request? No, you cannot. But if I request you, "Give me five rupees," you can give that. What you have, you can give.

You cannot give what you don't have. Because Sanatana Gosvami can give anything we may desire, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has addressed him as Prabhu. "O Prabhu, you have something in your treasury that you can supply to me. Please give me radha-pada dasya. You are the master of that. Prabhu asrayami – I am taking shelter of your lotus feet."

The question is raised: "We hear that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays to Sri Rupa-manjari, but does he not pray to Lavanga-manjari in the same way?" He has not prayed here in Vilapa-kusumanjali, but he knows that Sanatana Gosvami is Lavanga-manjari. He prays, but not everything can be written. In his mind he always prays. In fact, he has prayed to all the sakhis. He has prayed even to Saibya, Padma and Candravali, what to speak of Lavanga-manjari.

He has prayed to Sakhi-sthali, though it is not expected that he would do so. A man once brought buttermilk from there, and he became very furious [because as a maidservant of Radhika, Rati-manjari does not want any connection with the abode of Radhika's rival, Candravali]; yet, as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami he prayed to Sakhi-sthali. He has also offered pranama to Jatila and Kotila. If Jatila and Kotila were not present, there would be no rasa.

So, it must be that he also prays to Lavanga-manjari, but not everything can be given in writing. In Srimad-Bhägavatam we see the same thing. Only one day's rasa has been described, and only eight days' association of Uddhava has been given. It is stated that Uddhava stayed in Vrndavana for several months, but what took place and what conversations transpired have not been written.

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

A108-AI

SPsanyass.jpgSrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Mathura, India
13th September 2000

July 8 & 9 , 2017 around the world (see calendar), is the first day of Caturmasya, the four month period each year from July to November, in which devotees observe certain rules and regulations in order to advance in their bhakti. Srila Gurudeva speaks about Caturmasya each year. The lecture below was given on the first day of the second half of Caturmasya at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, India, on September 13, 2000. Srila Gurudeva’s lecture was on the topics of Sri Visvarupa Mahotsava and the sannyasa ceremony of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada.

For those of you who do not have the calendar and would like to follow the austerities of this month, or some part of them, the list can be found at this link.

Caturmasya-vrata

SPsanyassToday is a very sacred day in our line. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had taken sannyasa and had begun to search for his brother, Sri Visvarupa. While searching, He found out that on this day His brother had been in Pandarapura, and there he had disappeared from this world and had taken samadhi on the bank of the river Bhima. Then, although Mahaprabhu was observing Caturmasya-vrata very strictly for four months, He shaved off His hair on this day. Before this year, He had never shaved during these four months, nor did He cut His nails. He observed all the rules and regulations of Caturmasya.a

There are many items that are not allowed during Caturmasya, such as leafy vegetables in the first month, yogurt in the second month, milk in the third month, and mustard oil in the forth month. Besides this, throughout all four months, tomatoes, eggplants, and several other foodstuffs are prohibited. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would follow all these rules very strictly, but nowadays we see that devotees don't follow. Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada were very strong in this regard. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada said, "Take my photo during the four months of Caturmasya-vrata to show that I never shave at that time. Always keep it; otherwise so many so-called disciples will say, 'Oh, Prabhupada never observed Caturmasya-vrata'."

Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja gave concessions in the Western countries, and that is the only reason he also would shave. The Westerners could not follow strictly at that time. That is why he allowed tomatoes and eggplant, and that is also why he would take them. And that is why he also allowed carrots. I am therefore also giving concessions, not here in India, but in Western countries. If the devotees there like, they can take these items, but we don't take them. We should strictly follow our proper line from Mahaprabhu to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and my diksa and siksa-gurus. In Western countries some concession should be given, but here in India we are very strict. If we cannot follow this, then how can we follow Krsna, and how can we serve Radha and Krsna? Mahaprabhu shaved – after two months – and we follow this.

Taking Sannyasa

After taking initiation, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who, in his youth was known as Abhaya Carana De, became Abhaya Carana dasa Adhikari. After some time he became penniless; then he arrived here – Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha – about one month prior to this day. I requested him, "Don't stay anywhere else. You are my siksa-guru, you are the friend of my guru, and you are a very senior devotee of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. I have known you since 1946." He accepted and said, "I will stay here."

There were two rooms here. I was in this room, and I requested him to stay in the room next to mine. When this temple room was made, however, I went to that room and I requested him to go to the room opposite that one. He stayed there, and he would write the entire night.

He would publish a magazine from here. It was from here that he established the 'League of Devotees', and later on he named it 'The International Society for Krsna Consciousness.' He published the first three volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam in Delhi, and he presented them to me. I would edit his Hindi in the magazine Bhagavata Darsana, and he also continued that magazine while he was in Jhansi.

While he was here I requested him, "You are so qualified, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada wanted you to preach, especially in English, and to go to Western countries. You served him by writing so many articles in the Harmonist and other magazines. You are very qualified. Why not try to follow the order of your Gurudeva and take sannyasa?" He replied,

"Oh, I used to fear this. When my Prabhupada initiated me, I began to read Srimad-Bhagavatam, and I saw in a sloka there:

sri-bhagavan uvaca
yasyaham anugrhnami
harisye tad-dhanam sanaih
tato 'dhanam tyajanty asya
svajana duhkha-duhkhitam
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.88.8)

["The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another."]

"'Those whom I accept, I make them street beggars.' So I feared that would be my fate. I thought, 'I have a good family – my wife, and my sons and daughters. What will become of them? Now I'm very wealthy; but if that happens, what will become of them?"

One or two months after taking initiation he became the manager of Bengal Chemical. Later he left that and came to Allahabad, where he started his own business called Prayaga Chemical.

That business failed. Then he started a very large medical shop, and after one year it also failed. Then he began to advertise medicines, as a medical representative. That failed, and he became poor like a beggar.

Then he came here to Mathura to sell his medicines, and in the meantime I requested him, "What are you doing? You have not come to this world to sell medicine. You are a representative of Krsna and Mahaprabhu. You should remember who you are, and take sannyasa. You are a friend of my Gurudeva – a very bosom friend. He is just about to come here. He will be here in about four or five days, so please be prepared to take sannyasa." Muni Maharaja was here, and at that time he was about ninety-five years of age. He told Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, "If you take the renounced order, then I must take it with you." In this way he very much inspired him.

Soon our Gurudeva came and I told him, "Why are you not compelling him? He cannot disobey you. He is your bosom friend. You must insist that he take the sannyasa order." Then, one day, Gurudeva and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja were sitting in Gurudeva's room and were joking and talking with each other. I went there and requested my Gurudeva, "Why are you not telling him to take sannyasa?" My Gurudeva said, "Oh, now it is the best time to take sannyasa. You should not fear. What was to be done has already been done. Your wife has left you, your sons have left you, and everyone else has left. Your wealth is gone and now you are like a street beggar."

He became ready and took sannyasa where you are sitting, in the middle of this room, in front of the Deities. His own Deity, Mahaprabhu, is also here with Radha-Krsna, the Deity from Jhansi.

I was the priest. I made his danda, uttariya (sannyasa upper cloth), and all other items; and I taught him how to use them. Though he was so much senior to me, though he was my siksa-guru, I also became his siksa-guru in this – how to take sannyasa and how to use all these paraphernalia.

Kirtana was performed by Srila Krsna dasa Babaji Maharaja and Sesasayi Prabhu, and so many others were chanting: "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." During the ceremony, kirtana was always going on. Krsna dasa Babaji Maharaja continually performed kirtana.

After this, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja began to preach in Agra, then he went to Delhi, and then he came to Vrndavana, to Radha-Damodara. In order to receive the blessing of Srila Rupa Gosvami, he stayed there, very near to him. At that time also he was penniless. I would go there and gave him my chadar to sit on. He had no bed, and practically no other possessions. He was very simple. Somehow he would make capatis. He would roll them and I would put them on the fire and cook them with ghee.

He knew how to make beautiful and tasteful preparations, and he would teach others. From his letters I came to know that he himself would cook and teach others how to cook delicious preparations. He would write to me from New York, "Please send very sweet pera from Mathura; not less than ten kilos."

Especially you senior devotees should remember his pastimes – how he was a very strong personality, how he preached throughout the world in a couple of years, established so many preaching centers, and wrote and published a variety of books in many languages. He did parikrama of the entire world about twelve times, and now he is ordering me, "You should do it more times than I did." He is arranging everything, and he is always calling me, "You have done it ten times, and now you should complete at least fifteen times".

Sometimes the guru wants to make his disciples look greater than himself; and then he becomes very happy. He says, "My disciple is preaching so much here and there." He is like a father. When Maharaja Dasaratha heard that Ramacandra was very strong and could defeat the entire world, he was extremely happy. When Nanda Maharaja heard that his son Krsna has lifted Govardhana for seven days on the little finger of His left hand, he became so happy and said, "Oh, how my son is victorious!" A guru becomes so happy if his disciples are qualified. My Gurudeva will also be very happy if I'm going here and there. He will shower his mercy on me, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is also like this.

In this meeting, his dear senior disciples will speak something in his glorification, and thus offer puspanjali at his lotus feet. After that we will perform arcana.

At Srila Maharaja's request, some senior disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja spoke (such as Vrndavana Vilasini dasi, Krsna Kumari dasi and Radha-kunda dasa), after which Srila Maharaja continued:

Bosom Friends

I met Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in 1946 in Calcutta, before ISKCON was established. He was apparently simply a grhastha Vaisnava. He had been a friend of my Gurudeva's since 1923. My Gurudeva was somewhat senior because he joined Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada in 1916. He left his university studies and everything else in 1918, and at that time he fully joined. Then, in 1923, Sri Abhaya Carana De was initiated by Srila Prabhupada – first harinama and then diksa initiation. In 1941 our Guru Maharaja established Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was also one of the establishers. From the beginning, therefore, as one of the founders, he was very intimate with Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti.

When I met him in 1946, there was no ISKCON. He was alone, but he was serving his Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada, in so many ways. When I saw him I was very attracted. This is my intrinsic nature – that person who is a friend of my Gurudeva, who helped my Gurudeva, who has done a little service for my Gurudeva, who glorifies my Gurudeva – I like that devotee very much and can give my life for him. I saw that although my Gurudeva was a sannyasi and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was a grhastha, Gurudeva gave him the same seat as himself. He never gave him a lower or inferior seat. The devotion of any person is the only standard of how much we should respect him. My Gurudeva was giving very much importance to this person, and therefore I also accepted him in that way. I thought, "He must be someone special; some qualification compels my Gurudeva to honor him so much." I therefore began to serve him, and he was also very attracted to me. At that time I was very young, only twenty-five years old, but he would talk with me in a friendly way.

He Was Fearless

I know him very well. He had a strong character and never feared anyone. He was like a lion, like his Prabhupada, and like our Gurudeva. He would cut all the arguments of the mayavadis, sahajiyas, and many other non-bona fide groups. He never tolerated their misconceptions and he made no compromise with them. He was very strong.

At that time Dr. Radha-Krishna was the president of India. He was one of the intellectual giants of the entire world, and a very learned person, especially in mayavada philosophy. He wrote an article about Bhagavad-gita, and there he said that Krsna's soul is Krsna, but His body is not His soul. There is some difference between the possessor and possession. In reply, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wrote a very powerful article in our Bhagavata Patrika magazine, and it was sent to that president of India. In that article he challenged all his arguments and said, "You can reply and try to defeat my arguments. I'm not writing to you as the president of India, but I'm writing to you because you are a learned person of Advaitavada philosophy (the philosophy of absolute oneness taught by Saìkaracarya, and whose conclusion is advaita-siddhanta)."

Dr. Radha-Krishna could not reply. Such persons cannot reply.

He also cut the arguments of the 'murghi' mission. Do you know the murghi mission? It is the mission whose members kill murghis, hens, and eat them. What mission is that? The Rama-Krsna mission – they are not religious persons. They are not even a welfare society because they will even eat cow flesh and other forbidden things. They don't want to honor the Gita; they simply give importance to bread and butter. They don't believe in God, who can give eternal bliss in heaven; they believe in bread and butter.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja never cared for them. He was against their philosophy and activities, and he cut all their arguments. Perhaps Vivekananda had never read scriptures like the Vedas, Upanisads, and Srimad-Bhagavatam. His followers are only social persons; they have nothing to do with religion. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was fearless like a lion, and he defeated all their arguments. He was in the line of our guru-parampara. He would follow all the doctrines, all the acaranas (practices and behavior), vaisnava-sadacara (pure habits), and Vaisnava etiquette. I've never seen him wearing so many kanti-malas around his neck, as some of his disciples do. We should totally follow him.

We should also try to be like strong lions. He was like this. He jumped the seven oceans from India and went to New York. What did he do there? He performed a miracle. He turned hippies into 'happies.' They are now happy. A gang of hippies became a high class of devotees.

He gave a lesson to this world, that even a street beggar who has very strong faith in serving his Gurudeva and Radha-Krsna, Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu, can jump anywhere – in fire, over the Alps and the Himalayas, in the ocean – anywhere. He can go anywhere and Krsna will help him. Although penniless, he 'jumped over the ocean.' Somehow he traveled on the Scindia Navigation, and simply chanted the holy names of the Panca-tattva: Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda Sri-advaita gadadhara Srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda; and the Maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. He never took note of whether anyone was looking at him or not. We think, "Oh, all are seeing me," but he was never like that. Sometimes hippies used to dance to his singing. They sometimes offered him a bottle of wine or cigarettes and addressed him, "O my friend." They were very quickly attracted to him and they gradually gave up everything else.

He never made any compromise, especially with the babajis of Radha-kunda who speak sahajiya philosophy. He was like my Gurudeva and his Prabhupada. Nowadays, however, so many are going to Radha-kunda and taking babaji-vesa from the babajis who are not actually following Mahaprabhu. So many ISKCON members are also doing this. What becomes of them? They will also become like those bogus babajis. We should try to be like Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and follow his process, line and instruction.

The Blind and the Lame

He would say that if a blind person and a lame person travel together, they can go anywhere they like. The blind person will take the lame person on his shoulders. The lame person has eyes and he will say, "You should go this way and that way." The blind person will walk and the lame person will direct. The western world is blind and India is lame. What is the meaning? India has no source of wealth to preach this mission throughout the world. It has eyes but no legs; it is so lame. America and all western countries are very wealthy, but they have no eyes. If both combine and co-operate, we can preach this mission to the entire world.

Put Me in Samadhi

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja would say, "Bombay is my office, Mayapura is my sadhana-bhumi or place of sadhana-bhajana, and my home is Vrndavana." That is why he came to Vrndavana in his final days and took samadhi there – in his home, in Vrndavana – Goloka Vrndavana.

I don't know why he was so pleased with me that he always loved me so much. He gave me so many occasions in which I was able to fully serve him. He was very much attracted to me, and it was my good fortune that he gave me so many orders to serve him. He told me, as his last service, "Put me in samadhi with your own hands." There were so many god-brothers who were very scholarly and very high-class. And there were more than a hundred very qualified GBC and others. I had never been to university or anything like that. Still he had so much faith in me, and therefore he ordered me in this way – and I followed his instructions.

Don't Quarrel

He also told me, "You should try to help my devotees. I brought them, but I could not train them fully due to their inability to fully accept my instructions." Then I called Tamala Krsna, Brahmananda, Bhagavan, Kirtanananda, and so many others, and I told them, "Don't quarrel after his departure. You should not think that he will die. A Guru like him never dies. He is always in this world. He is eternally present. So if you want to serve him, you should try to preach his mission all over the world – as he wanted. Don't quarrel for position, name and fame, wealth, or disciples. I know that after the disappearance of a high class of acarya, some quarrel, and some problems come. But I think that you are qualified persons, and you should therefore not quarrel for all these things. Try to give respect to all the disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, regardless of whether they are senior or junior. You should be very liberal to all, and then you can protect his mission. Otherwise you can destroy his whole mission. I know that you have learned something – how to make money. I know that He has trained you all how, very easily, in a moment, to make so much money. But I think that you'll have to learn more."

His Real Mission

"You will have to learn his intrinsic moods, why he descended here from the transcendental world, and what his mission was. You should try to understand this. His mission was the same as that of Mahaprabhu. And they both did it through sankirtana.

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
(Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.4)

["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love."]

"You know what kirtana is, but you do not know what real kirtana of the heart is. You do not know what the pure name is. If the pure name manifests, a man is totally changed. Love and affection comes for all, even for creepers, trees and everything else. There will be no quarreling, and then you will be:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada hari
(Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17. 31)

["One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly."]

"Then I will think that you know his intrinsic mood and you are following that."

If they will honor all devotees, I think that all will return back to Godhead. But if they are not giving honor and respect to the devotees, no one will join them. Even a dog knows. If you will call a dog, "Oh here, here, here," he will come. All can understand if you have bhakti in your heart and honor for all devotees.

As Srila Rupa Gosvami has told:

krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya
(Nectar of Instruction, Text 5)

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

We should try to honor all, according to their qualification in bhakti, and then everyone will be trained and no one will fall. Otherwise, all are going to fall down. If anyone has a strong personality like your Prabhupada, serving gurudeva and preaching like him, he will be a very high class of devotee.

So it was here, on this day that your Prabhupada took the renounced order, and he preached over the entire world in a couple of years. This miracle has not been seen before. He was one of the arms of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and they predicted his coming. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written, "I think that within a very few years, thousands of western devotees, wearing sikhas, tulasi malas and chanting Hare Krsna, will join Indian devotees. Both will chant and dance together." This is what we are now seeing everywhere.

So we should chant and remember in the proper line, and all other things will come automatically. The maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, are Radha and Krsna Themselves, and Mahaprabhu Himself. If we are chanting and remembering with sadacara, we will achieve the goal very soon. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is showering his blessings upon all those who, although having left Krsna consciousness, are now coming again to this Krsna consciousness movement.

The Real Meaning of ISKCON

What is the real meaning of ISKCON, International Society for Krishna Consciousness?

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate
(Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 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."]

If anyone is following this principle, then he is an ISKCON member in the real sense; otherwise not. So we should try to know his mood – krsna-bhakti rasa bhavita matih. If our hearts are saturated with the bhakti-rasa of Vrndavana, then we are ISKCON members in the truest sense. If anyone is falling down, he was never a real ISKCON member, because anyone who has a taste in bhakti-rasa will never fall down. A true ISKCON member can never fall down.

Gaura-premanande!

A108-AI

Rathayatra.jpgJune 29 and 30, 2017 is the celebration of the divine festival of Hera Pancami. Please accept this lecture excerpted from Srila Gurudeva's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra, chapter 7.

The difference between Vrndavana and Dvaraka

The meaning of Hera-pancami is as follows. On the fifth day of the Chariot Festival, Laksmi-devi becomes very worried and thinks, "Where has my husband gone? He told me, ‘I am going for a change of environment for some days, and I will return very soon.' It has been five days now, and still He has not come back." Unable to tolerate this, she becomes very angry and gives orders to all her associates as though they had to fight with the enemy: "Take up your weapons!" Then she becomes the commander-in-chief of her "army," and goes to "attack" her husband.

During the Ratha-yatra Festival, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to taste the mellows of Hera-pancami. In early morning He went to Sundaracala along with His associates and took darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the Gundica Mandira. Whenever He went to Jagannatha's temple, He used to see Jagannatha as Krsna, Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, with a peacock feather in His crown, a flute in His hands, with very beautiful lotus eyes, and with all the other attributes of Krsna when He is with the gopis in Vrndavana. Mahaprabhu never saw Baladeva, Subhadra, or Sudarsana cakra, because Krsna never carries Sudarsana in Vrndavana. Mahaprabhu never prayed to Baladeva or to Subhadra in the temple. He saw them both during the Chariot Festival, but otherwise He saw only Jagannatha. This was all very wonderful.

Jagannatha had gone to Sundaracala (which represents Vrndavana) from His temple in Nilacala (which represents Dvaraka) and, on the evening of the fifth day, Laksmi arrived at Sundaracala with all her associates. [See Endnote 1] She was decorated with many precious ornaments made of gold and jewels, and she wore very beautiful and opulent garments. The previous day, Kasi Misra, who was the guru of King Prataparudra, had advised the King, "Bring Laksmi-devi very valuable gold and jeweled ornaments, and decorate her with them. Make such a beautiful festival for her that everyone will be struck with wonder. They should think they have never seen anything like this before. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants to taste all the mellows of this festival." Accordingly, Laksmi was decorated with gold and jeweled ornaments, opulent garments, and other paraphernalia.

At the Simha-dvara (lion gate) in front of the Jagannatha Temple, Kasi Misra gave very beautiful seats to Mahaprabhu and His associates such as Srivasa Pandita, Sri Svarupa Damodara, and Sri Raya Ramananda. Soon after they were seated, Laksmi arrived with all her associates and opulence, as if she was coming to attack Jagannatha. First she "attacked" Jagannatha's associates, who were actually Mahaprabhu's associates, like Sikhi Mahiti, Vakresvara Pandita, and so on, and then she tied them up and bound them like prisoners. Her associates then punished them all by striking them with "whips" made of soft cloth, and she accused them, "Oh, you should admit your guilt and pay something. You have taken my husband. Where are you keeping Him? Bring Him here right now."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was extremely happy to see this pastime and, tasting its mellows, He said, "I have heard that when Satyabhama used to exhibit mana, She would remove all Her golden ornaments. Then she would enter a dark, private room, put on dirty garments, scratch the ground with her nails, and weep continually. But here I see another kind of mana in Laksmi. She is like a commander-in-chief going to attack with many soldiers. I have never seen anything like this, nor have I ever even heard of such a thing."

Svarupa Damodara then explained that there are many kinds of mana, and that this mana of Dvaraka is very different from that of the gopis in Vrndavana. Mahaprabhu told Svarupa Damodara:

yadyapi jagannatha karena dvarakaya vihara
sahaja prakata kare parama udara
tathapi vatsara-madhye haya eka-bara
vrndavana dekhite tanra utkanha apara
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.117–18)

["Although Lord Jagannatha enjoys His pastimes in Dvaraka-dhama and naturally manifests sublime liberality there, still, once a year He becomes unlimitedly eager to see Vrndavana."]

Why did Krsna leave Vrndavana? Ultimately He did so to please and pacify the gopis. It is said that He leaves Vrndavana and comes to Mathura and Dvaraka because He cannot forget the devotees there – or anywhere else. He must support and nourish them. The next question would then be: after leaving why did He not return, at least for a visit. One answer is that there is no fort in Vrndavana. If Krsna had returned to Vrndavana, and Jarasandha had come to know that He was really the son of Nanda and Yasoda rather than that of Vasudeva and Devaki, Jarasandha would have attacked Vrndavana and it would have been ruined. Nanda Baba was a cowherd, a gopa, not a warrior, and there were no soldiers in Vrndavana. Jarasandha would therefore have destroyed all of Vrndavana and then imprisoned Yasoda and Nanda Baba, as Kamsa had imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki.

This is a reason, but it is external. Someone may say, "At least Krsna should go to Vrndavana from time to time, and then He should return quickly." But Krsna has so many enemies, and all of them would come to know that He has many friends in Vrndavana. They would think, "They should be attacked, and they should be finished." This is another reason He did not return there, but it is also external.

Someone may say, "Krsna was able to take all His associates of Mathurapuri to Dvaraka in one night, in just a minute. He had abundant grand palaces built there, not only for each of His queens, but also for all His associates such as Akrura and Uddhava, as well as for Vasudeva and Devaki. There were so many thousands and millions of Mathuravasis. They went to sleep in Mathura, and in the morning they saw that they were in Dvaraka. This was very wonderful, and it shows that Krsna can do anything He likes. Similarly, in one night He can take to Dvaraka all His associates from Vrndavana, such as Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, and all the other sakhis, as well as all cowherd boys like Sridama, Stoka-krsna, Lavanga, and Arjuna. He can take His mother and father, Yasoda-maiya and Nanda Baba, and all the other Vrajavasis as well. Is there any harm in that? If all the Mathuravasis can be there, the Vrajavasis can be there as well."

But how will Vrnda-devi go there? Will Govardhana go there? This is a very confidential topic. There will be a conflict between aisvarya-bhava and madhurya-bhava. What will Krsna say? Will He say, "I am the son of Vasudeva and Devaki," or "I am the son of Nanda and Yasoda"? This contradiction of mellows would create a very difficult situation for Krsna. Will He play His flute? Will He wear His peacock feather there? Will He go cowherding with His friends in Dvaraka? Can He tell others, "I am the son of Nanda Baba and Yasoda"?

By the constitutional nature of aisvarya and madhurya, they cannot exist together. If you become an actual madhyama adhikari and hear all these topics in good association, you will realize something about the meaning of aisvarya-bhava, and of the madhurya-bhava in Vrndavana. Then you can become one-pointed in your devotion to Vrajendra-nandana. Vrndavana cannot go to Dvaraka, and Dvaraka can never go to Vrndavana. They are opposites, and the attempt to combine them is called rasa-abhasa, contradiction of mellows.

You should know what is aisvarya and what is the constitutional nature of madhurya-rasa. In Dvaraka there is always opulence, and everyone there knows that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sometimes He is four-handed and He can do anything. He can bring a dead person back to life, and He Himself has no death and no birth.

In Vrndavana, on the other hand, there is always madhurya-bhava. Krsna has taken birth from the womb of Mother Yasoda, and He is quite helpless. As a baby, He cannot turn over without His mother's help. Sometimes He becomes angry, and He is always hungry. And when hungry, He steals butter from here and there.

And Krsna may tell lies. He will say, "Mother, when have I stolen butter? I never steal. You send Me cowherding with My friends very early in the morning. I run here and there with the cows all day long, and when I return from cowherding in the evening, being very tired I take My meal and then go to sleep. So when have I stolen this butter? I have never done it." Then, when He begins to weep, Mother Yasoda says, "Certainly You have stolen the butter." Continuing to weep, Krsna replies, "Perhaps I am not your son, and that is why you are accusing Me of stealing butter. That is why. Maybe I should go away and live somewhere else." Yasoda-maiya then begins to weep and her heart melts. She takes Krsna in her lap and says, "I know You have never stolen butter. You have never done so." Krsna then tells her, "I have done it, Mother. I have done it." Then both of them weep. This is the mood of madhurya. Mother Yasoda ties Krsna to a mortar. How would she be able to do this if she knew that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

There is one point to note here. In Vrndavana, even if there is a manifestation of opulence, it does not disturb madhurya-bhava. There may be opulence, but the pastimes of Krsna still remain nara-vat, like those of a human boy. His pastimes there do not go beyond the human level. For example, Putana came and lifted Krsna in her arms and said, "My dear boy, my dear boy," although she wanted to poison Him. He closed His eyes as if He were afraid of her, and did nothing more than simply suck the milk from her breast. How could He help it if she died? He never showed any large or wondrous form. He was like a child, a boy of only three months – but still she was killed. Although killing Putana was an act of the utmost spiritual opulence, it still remains a human-like pastime.

Before this pastime took place, Kamsa was engaged in conquering the world, and at one point he engaged in a ferocious battle with Putana. Putana was just about to defeat him in the battle, but Kamsa was an expert politician, so he told her, "Now I accept you as my sister. You can help me, and I will help you." In this way they made an alliance. So Putana was very, very powerful; it would be extremely difficult to kill a demon like her, since even Kamsa could not defeat her. That is why Krsna's killing her is an example of His opulence.

Also, Krsna lifted Govardhana and held him aloft for seven days on His finger, as an elephant would lift a lotus flower with its trunk. A man cannot do this, but Krsna did it; and He was smiling and sometimes playing His flute. He was in a dancing mood, in a threefold-bending position. All the cowherd boys held up their sticks and touched Govardhana, saying, "Oh, don't fall – stay up there!" They were all thinking that they had lifted Govardhana. At the same time, Nanda Maharaja, who was a very exalted devotee of Narayana, prayed, "O Narayana, please do not allow this mountain to fall down." And what can be said of the gopis? They are the very potency of Krsna Himself. Radhika looked strongly at Govardhana with a piercing sidelong glance and told him, "If you drop down, you will be burnt to ashes. You should remain aloft within My vision." From everyone's point of view, Krsna was not doing anything.

In this way, although lifting Govardhana was a very great opulence, Krsna did not assume a large or four-armed form. Whether there is opulence or no opulence, His pastimes are called madhurya if they are human-like. In Vrndavana, Krsna is the friend of all the gopas, He is the beloved of all the young gopis, and He is the son of all the elder gopis.

This atmosphere cannot exist in Dvaraka. There is only opulence there, and sometimes Krsna may assume a four-handed form or a universal form. He is bound to say, "I am the son of Vasudeva and Devaki." He must. He will have to say, "I am a ksatriya," whereas in Vrndavana He thinks, "I am a gopa." How would He be able to reconcile this if all the gopis and gopas were to come to Dvaraka? The situation would be against the principle of rasa.

The Vrndavana mood will never come to Dvaraka. In Vrndavana, Krsna can carry His flute and wear a peacock feather, and He can manifest His beautiful threefold-bending form as manmatha-manmathah, the enchanter of Cupid. But He cannot do this in Dvaraka, nor can He perform rasa-lila there. What would all His queens think if He were to engage in rasa with the gopis on the shore of the ocean in Dvaraka? Thus, the gopis will never go to Dvaraka, and Krsna also never goes there in His original and complete feature. He goes there in another form, and that form is His manifestation. He will be Vasudeva there, for Krsna Himself cannot give up being Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. He cannot give up Vrndavana, even for a moment. Vrndavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati: Krsna never goes even a step outside Vrndavana.

Srila Jiva Gosvami and Srila Rupa Gosvami have quoted the Puranas to show that in Krsna's last days, just after He defeated and killed Dantavakra, He left Dvaraka and went to Gokula, where He met all the Vrajavasis. Weeping bitterly, He embraced them all, and then He began playing with all the gopis and gopas. Then, some days later, He went to Goloka Vrndavana and took with Him His associates such as Nanda Baba, Yasoda, all the mothers, all the sakhis, all the sakhas, and also His Vrndavana-bhumi. Vrajendranandana Syamasundara thus entered His aprakata-lila (unmanifest pastimes), while He simultaneously returned to Dvaraka in His form as Vasudeva-Krsna. These are very secret truths.

Similarly, Jagannatha-deva comes to Vrndavana once a year. His queen, Vimala-devi (i.e. Laksmi-devi), represents Satyabhama, Rukmini, and all the other queens in Dvaraka. Jagannatha lives in Dvaraka for the entire year, but once a year He wants to go to Vrndavana, and He plays a trick in order to go there.

vrndavana-sama ei upavana-gana
taha dekhibare utkanthita haya mana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.119)

["Pointing out the neighboring gardens, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘All these gardens exactly resemble Vrndavana; therefore Lord Jagannatha is very eager to see them again.'"]

bahira ha-ite kare ratha-yatra-chala
sundaracale yaya prabhu chadi' nilacala
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.120)

[‘Externally, Jagannatha gives the excuse that He wants to participate in the Ratha-yatra Festival, but actually He wants to leave Jagannatha Puri to go to Sundaracala, the Gundica Temple, a replica of Vrndavana."]

nana-puspodyane tatha khele ratri-dine
laksmidevire sange nahi laya ki karane?
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.121)

"[The Lord enjoys His pastimes day and night in various flower gardens there. But why does He not take Laksmi-devi, the goddess of fortune, with Him?"]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked Svarupa Damodara, "If Krsna is going to Sundaracala to play, why doesn't He take Laksmi-devi? He may take everyone with Him to Vrndavana. What's the harm in taking Laksmi-devi?" There is a reason behind Mahaprabhu's question: if Krsna were to take Laksmi, it would be against the principles of rasa.

Try to understand this subject, and then you will at once come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. You cannot understand these topics through deity worship alone, even if you are always absorbed in worshiping the deities day and night – to understand them you must regularly hear high-class hari-katha. Harinama is the superior process, especially in Kali-yuga: harer nama, harer nama harer nama eva kevalam / kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. There are always difficulties in deity worship. You cannot purchase paraphernalia for worship if you have no money, and if anyone steals your deities there will be a big problem. On the other hand, chanting harinama does not require any paraphernalia. Deity worship is especially essential for grhastha-bhaktas, but at the same time, you should not always remain on the level of kanistha-adhikara. Bhakti is like a current. You should gradually develop your devotion, even if you are worshiping deities, and then you may come in the proper line.

Mahaprabhu worshiped Giriraja, who was brought to Him by a devotee returning from Vrndavana. He worshiped both a gunja-mala and a govardhana-sila, but He was bathing the sila with His own tears, keeping Him sometimes on His head or heart, and sometimes on His eyes. Then, after six years, He gave them to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and told him to perform the daily worship by offering only one earthen pot full of water and eight manjaris (tulasi buds) with very soft leaves. While Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was worshiping them, he was thinking that the gunja-mala is Radhika, and Giriraja is Nandanandana, Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. He was thinking that He was serving Them personally.

We should try to come to the level of madhyama-adhikara and realize all these truths. A kanistha-adhikari will not understand, so try to enter madhyama-adhikara and keep high-class association. This is the only process. Reading books will not be sufficient. They can never help you completely because the lock and key to understanding them is in the hands of the pure, self1 realized devotees. The pure devotees can open the lock, and then you can realize these topics.

yaha bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 5.131)

["If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam, You must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."]

Mahaprabhu had asked Sri Svarupa Damodara why Krsna did not take Laksmi-devi with Him to Sundaracala; what harm would there be in that? Svarupa Damodara replied to Mahaprabhu's inquiry:

svarupa kahe – suna, prabhu, karana ihara
vrndavana-kridate laksmira nahi adhikara
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.122)

["Svarupa Damodara replied, ‘My dear Lord, please hear the reason for this. Laksmi-devi, the goddess of fortune, does not have the proper qualifications to enter the Vrndavana pleasure-pastimes.'"]

laksmi_baelvan.jpg
Laksmi-devi in Baelvana

Laksmi-devi is not qualified to enter Vrndavana. There are eight prominent queens in Dvaraka, headed by Satyabhama and Rukmini, and 16,100 others as well. These eight are special, but none of them is qualified to go to Vrndavana. First they will have to take birth from the wombs of gopis, marry gopas, and then cheat their husbands and become Krsna's paramours, as all the gopis are. They will have to give up their husbands and everything else. They will be able to serve Krsna in Vrndavana if they are under the guidance of the gopis; otherwise such service will not be possible. Laksmi-devi could not enter Vrndavana, even though she performed severe austerities in Baelvana. She wanted to cross the River Yamuna and see the rasa-lila, but she could not.

Yogamaya is greater than Laksmi, and she can control everyone. When she saw Laksmi's austerities, she approached her and said, "You are a chaste lady, a brahmani, married to Narayana. Can you give up your husband and marry somebody else – a gopa?"

Laksmi replied, "I cannot do it. How is it possible?"

Yogamaya said, "Can you make cow dung paddies?"

Laksmi replied, "Oh, I cannot do that. I don't know how."

Yogamaya asked, "Can you milk cows?"

Laksmi replied, "I have never done it before."

Then Yogamaya told her, "You cannot go to Vrndavana, because you are not qualified. First you would have to take birth from a gopi's womb, associate with the gopis, and try to follow them. You would have to marry a gopa like Durmukha, Durmada, Abhimanyu, or Govardhana Malla. Then, when you have given up that husband, you would be able to go to Krsna and make Him your beloved. This is the only process."

In one kalpa it was Yogamaya who questioned Laksmi-devi, and in another it was Krsna Himself, but both of them had to tell her the same conclusion: she is unfit for this rasa.

Svarupa Damodara continued:

vrndavana-lilaya krsnera sahaya gopi-gana
gopi-gana vina krsnera harite nare mana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.123)

["In the pastimes of Vrndavana, the only assistants are the gopis. But for the gopis, no one can attract the mind of Krsna."]

Was Svarupa Damodara telling a lie? The gopas are also there in Vrndavana, but he did not mention them. Rather, he said that no one but the gopis can control and steal away Krsna's heart, and Krsna Himself has confirmed this by His statement in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.32.22):

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjaya-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

["[When the gopis were overwhelmed with dissatisfaction due to Lord Krsna's absence from the rasa-lila, Krsna returned to them and told them:] My dear gopis, our meeting is certainly free of all material contamination. I must admit that in many lives it would be impossible for Me to repay My debt to you because you have cut off the bondage of family life just to search for Me. Consequently I am unable to repay you. Therefore please be satisfied with your honest activities in this regard."]

Krsna has said this only to the gopis; He has not said it to anyone else. It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.32):

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

["How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men, and all the other inhabitants of Vraja-bhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.

One can serve Krsna in a male form, as a gopa. Nanda Baba can serve Krsna as His father, and Gargacarya, Bhaguri Muni, or Sandilya Rsi can come to Him as guru and offer Him blessings. Others, such as Sudama, Subala, Madhumangala, and of course Baladeva Prabhu, can also serve Krsna in a male form. However, no one in a male form can serve Srimati Radhika. Especially, no male can go to that place where Krsna is engaged in pastimes with Radhika and the gopis. Some friends, such as Subala Sakha, Madhumangala, Kokila, Bhrnga, and other priya-narma-sakhas who have some mood of mahabhava, can approach and help somewhat from a little distance, but they cannot enter the kunjas. On the other hand, all the gopis can go there.

It is for this reason that Svarupa Damodara especially mentioned the gopis. He said that no one but the gopis can go there. Even Mother Yasoda cannot go there. She has some idea what Krsna is doing there [See Endnote 2] but she cannot go. Mother Rohini also knows somewhat, but she cannot go there either. She will remain very far away and, like Mother Yasoda, pretend not to know anything. Mother Yasoda does not know that Krsna meets with the gopis and engages in amorous pastimes throughout the night. In the morning, when she sees Krsna with many marks on His body, she thinks, "Oh, all these naughty boys were playing with Krsna, and they have made scratch marks on Him."

If you want to serve Krsna fully, you must follow the process given by Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. You should hear and learn all the topics discussed in Rupa-siksa, Sanatana-siksa, [See Endnote 3] especially in Ramanandasamvada, and still more than that, here in Ratha-yatra-prasanga, the topics of Ratha-yatra. Everything is very clear here. The essence of the teachings that Mahaprabhu gave to Rupa Gosvami in Prayaga, the essence of what Rupa Gosvami wrote in Ujjvalanilamani – the essence of everything – is all here.

This subject matter is like very sweet honey in a bottle, but the cork is very tight. Bees can fly around the bottle, and they can lick the glass, but they cannot taste the honey. If you follow the process, the seed of pure bhakti can be placed in your heart properly, and you will enter the line of Rupa and Raghunatha and realize something. This is our objective. Otherwise, if you do not follow the process, your chanting and remembering and your performance of the other types of the ninefold bhakti process will not take you to Vrndavana.

If you are serving Jagannatha in the mood of the residents of Dvaraka, and not following the gopis, do not be disturbed by what I am saying. First become madhyama-adhikari, otherwise you will give up the worship of Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra, and Gaura-Nityananda prematurely. Don't do anything rashly. First try to know all these truths, come to the stage of a madhyama-adhikari, and then you can be one-pointed in your devotion to Krsna. You cannot be one-pointed at your present stage. However, if you hear continually in good association, you will quickly realize what is helpful and what is not. At present you are not able to discriminate.

We should know what is bhavamayi, bhava-sambandhi, bhava-anukula, bhava-aviruddha, and bhava-pratikula You will not be able to understand this in a day, but this is our aim and objective. If you are in the line of Mahaprabhu, you should be in the line of Rupa and Raghunatha. Try to know all these established truths, and follow in their line. On the other hand, if you are not of this inclination, you can join the Ramanuja or Madhvacarya sampradayas, and chant and perform kirtana in their mood of opulence.

Again, Mahaprabhu is telling Svarupa Damodara:

prabhu kahe – yatra-chale krsnera gamana
subhadra ara baladeva, sange dui jana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.125)

["The Lord said, ‘Using the Chariot Festival as an excuse, Krsna goes there with Subhadra and Baladeva.'"]

Krsna lives with His thousands of queens in Dvaraka, but sometimes His remembrance of Vrndavana is so strong that He cannot control Himself. At that time He tells his queens, represented by Laksmi-devi, "Now I am feeling sick. I want to go somewhere for a change of climate." Jagannatha is pretending. He is actually going to Vrndavana, but He does not tell His wife, Laksmi-devi. Laksmi replies, "You can go, but return very soon, and don't go alone," and Jagannatha agrees, "I will not go alone."

Baladeva is Jagannatha's brother, and Subhadra has great affection for the gopis; so He took them with Him in the chariot and went to the Gundica Mandira, which represents Vrndavana. He went to meet the gopas and gopis, Nanda Baba, and all His other associates of Vraja. He first went to Nanda-bhavana, and after meeting with His parents He left Baladeva and Subhadra there in Nandagaon and went alone to Vrndavana to play with the gopis.

Mahaprabhu said:

gopi-sange yata lila haya upavane
nigudha krsnera bhava keha nahi jane
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.125)

["All the pastimes with the gopis that take place in the gardens are very confidential ecstasies of Lord Krsna. No one knows them. "]

Why does Krsna take Baladeva and Subhadra with Him? There is a deep meaning behind this. Baladeva and Subhadra would be staying with Yasoda-maiya. They do not understand Krsna's confidential pastimes with the gopis, and they do not know where He goes alone at night. They do not know that He is sometimes at Vamsivata, sometimes at Seva-kunja, and sometimes at Radhakunda. Krsna also goes to these places in the daytime, and He meets the gopis there. He is alone with the gopis there, sometimes playing on swings, and sometimes gambling with them, sometimes being defeated by them, and sometimes having His flute forcibly taken by them. And sometimes they play in Radhakunda or Syama-kunda, throwing water on each other.

Even Yasoda-maiya does not actually know what goes on in these confidential pastime-places. Only Yogamaya Paurnamasi, Vrnda, Dhanistha, and Kundalata know. Sometimes Subala and Madhumangala know, but even when they know, they do not go there. So Subhadra and Baladeva do not know for what purpose Krsna has gone to Vrndavana.

Only Krsna knows, and He has brought Baladeva and Subhadra only so that Laksmi-devi will not mistrust Him. She will not wonder, "Why has He gone away? Has He run away to Vrndavana?" She will believe, "If Baladeva and Subhadra are there, they will soon tell Krsna, ‘We should now return to Dvaraka.'"

ataeva krsnera prakatye nahi kichu dosa
tabe kene laksmidevi kare eta rosa?
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.126)

["Caitanya Mahaprabhu now asked the question: ‘Since there is no fault in Krsna's pastimes, why does the goddess of fortune become angry with Him?'"]

What is the deep meaning behind this question? Why is Mahaprabhu asking it? Krsna is going with Baladeva and Subhadra-devi, but they do not know why He is going, and they do not know that He will play with the gopis here and there in the nikunjas. Since no one knows, who has told Laksmi that Krsna is going to play with the gopis? No one told her. Also, Krsna's elder brother, Baladeva, is there with Krsna. Krsna cannot do anything wrong in the presence of His elder brother. Subhadra, His younger sister, is also there with Him. In their presence He cannot meet the gopis. Why, then, is Laksmi so angry?

Svarupa Damodara replied:

svarupa kahe, – prema-vatira ei ta' svabhava
kantera audasya-lese haya krodha-bhava
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.127)

["It is the nature of a girl afflicted by love to become immediately angry upon finding any neglect on the part of her lover."]

Because of Krsna's delay in returning, Laksmi considers that He is ignoring her. She thinks, "Oh, He has not returned. He is neglecting me. He is not actually sick, as He told me; He was pretending. Now He must be playing with the gopas and gopis there – and He must be very happy!" This is the reason for her anger. If a woman loves her husband, and her husband has a new lover, what will happen? An Indian lady will take a bottle of kerosene oil or petrol, pour it on her body, and set fire to herself; and only her ashes will remain. In the West there is no such problem. If one's husband keeps three, four, five, or more new lovers, no harm; the wife will also get new boyfriends. In India, however, this would create a great problem. The wife will become very angry, even if she feels a very slight neglect.

In Vrndavana there is not only one kind of mana; there are thousands. Some are without reason, some with reason, and there are so many kinds of reasons. Mana is an advanced stage of prema, and manifests when there is sthayibhava. Upon that sthayibhava, uddipana and alambana manifest, and then all the sattvika-bhavas and thirty-three kinds of vyabhicari moods become manifest. Vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, and vyabhicari 5 all mix together on the platform of sthayibhava, of which there are five kinds, and they never change. Before sthayibhava comes rati, and then, after some time, sthayibhava descends from a ragatmika-bhakta of Goloka Vrndavana, and that sthayibhava is the permanent platform of prema.

What is the nature of prema? Even when there are many strong and compelling reasons to break one's love and affection, it will increase hundreds of thousands of times instead. That is prema. There is no self-interest there. The gopis only want to please Krsna, and Krsna wants to please the gopis. It is not like the socalled love of this world, which ends in quarrel and divorce.

After prema comes sneha, the stage in which one's heart will melt if one sees Krsna, and one's eyes will be always full of tears. There are two kinds of sneha: ghrta-sneha and madhu-sneha. Srimati Radhika has madhu-sneha, and Candravali and others like her have ghrta-sneha. Madhu-sneha occurs when a gopi thinks, "Krsna is mine," whereas the mood, "I am Krsna's" is the ghrta-sneha of Candravali.

After sneha comes pranaya, which can be understood by the following example. We can take massage and bathe in front of our shadows, or in front of a mirror, without feeling any shame. We can be naked in front of the mirror because only our reflection is with us, but we will be ashamed if another person is present. Similarly, pranaya is the stage at which sneha increases to such an extent that one thinks she and Krsna are one soul in two bodies – like a person and his reflection in a mirror.

After pranaya comes mana. Sometimes mana arises before pranaya, but the general process is that intense pranaya comes first, and mana comes after that. Mana appears when one thinks, "Krsna will surely come and pacify me. He is bound to come." If this strong faith is there, that is mana. There are many kinds of mana, as mentioned earlier, some without reason, and some with reason – and there are many kinds of reasons.

Radhika has unlimited moods. The prominent ones number 360, and therefore there are 360 kinds of gopis. All the gopis have separate individual moods, and all these moods are found in Srimati Radhika. In other words, all the gopis are manifestations of Srimati Radhika. All the gopis and their different moods have manifested by Her desire, and She is a combination of them all. All moods reside in Radhika, and Her various moods are manifest in different gopis. Lalita is prakhara (outspoken), some gopis are dhira (sober), some adhira (restless), and so on. Svarupa Damodara was explaining this, and Mahaprabhu replied, "More, more, more – I want to hear more."

When those who have the mood "I am Krsna's" are in mana, they will weep. They will not protest or call Krsna ill names, and they cannot speak any harsh words to Him; they will only weep. However, those with the mood that "Krsna is mine" become very angry, and in their anger they will shoot Krsna with the arrows of their harsh words. When Krsna comes to those whose mood is in between the two aforementioned moods, they will not say very much. They may say, "You can come. Oh, now You are very tired." They will give Him a seat, and sometimes they will speak harsh, taunting words like, "Oh, You look so beautiful. You now look like Sankara Mahadeva – Nila-rohita Rudra." [Endnote 4]

While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was tasting all this katha, He said, "I have never heard anything like this before – that Laksmi has come with her whole party as a commander-in-chief, as if to attack." Laksmi began to beat Krsna's chariot, and Srivasa Pandita began clapping. He was very happy that the associates of Laksmi were chastising the associates of Vrndavana, imprisoning them, "beating" them, taking a fine from them, taking their garlands and ornaments, and punishing them.

srivasa hasiya kahe, – suna, damodara
amara laksmira dekha sampatti vistara
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 14.203

["At this time, Srivasa Thakura smiled and told Svarupa Damodara, "My dear sir, please hear! Just see how opulent my goddess of fortune is!"]

vrndavanera sampad dekha, – puspa-kisalaya
giridhatu-sikhipiccha-gunjaphala-maya
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 14.204

["As far as Vrndavana's opulence is concerned, it consists of a few flowers and twigs, some minerals from the hills, a few peacock feathers, and the plant known as gunja."]

Srivasa Pandita smiled and said, "There are no golden crowns in Vrndavana. There are only flutes made of dry bamboo, and some peacock feathers, and Krsna only wears a pitambara and flower garlands. There is nothing of any value there."

eta sampatti chadi' kene gela vrndavana
tanre hasya karite laksmi karila sajana
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.206)

Laksmi wondered, "Why did Lord Jagannatha give up so much opulence and go to Vrndavana?" To make Him a laughing-stock, the goddess of fortune made arrangements for much decoration. People in the mood of opulence may think like this. They are all on the side of Laksmi-devi. Svarupa Damodara, however, being Lalita in krsna-lila, is of her mood and therefore a pure Vrajavasi.

tomara thakura, dekha eta sampatti chadi'
patra-phala-phula-lobhe gela puspa-badi
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.207)

["Then the maidservants of the goddess of fortune said to the servants of Lord Jagannatha: ‘Why did your Lord Jagannatha abandon the great opulence of the goddess of fortune and, for the sake of a few leaves, fruits, and flowers, go see the flower garden of Srimati Radharani?"]

Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wrote these translations; I am not saying all this. He has translated the verses, and I am only reading them, so I am not "guilty." If anyone says, "Narayana Maharaja is a sahajiya and that is why he is saying all these things," then my siksa-guru, Srila Swami Maharaja, must be a greater sahajiya than me. He will be the guru of the sahajiyas, and Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, who has written Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, will be the maha-guru of all sahajiyas. If that is the case, there is no harm in being "sahajiya." If all my gurus are "sahajiya," I will also want to be "sahajiya." Actually, those who criticize may claim to be in the line of Mahaprabhu, but they are not in the line of our guru-parampara, of Rupa- Raghunatha, or of Svarupa Damodara. Others may say whatever they like, but we will remain very securely in the line of Svarupa Damodara. We follow Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and we follow his translations:

["Your master is so expert at everything. Why does He do such things? Please bring your master before the goddess of fortune." In this way, all the maidservants of the goddess of fortune arrested the servants of Jagannatha, bound them around the waist, and brought them before the goddess of fortune. When all the maidservants brought Lord Jagannatha's servants before the lotus feet of the goddess of fortune, the Lord's servants were fined and forced to submit. All the maidservants began to beat the ratha with sticks, and they treated the servants of Lord Jagannatha almost like thieves. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.208–11))"]

Here, Jagannatha's servants were the associates of Mahaprabhu, and those who were with Laksmi-devi were also the servants of Jagannatha.

saba bhrtya-gana kahe – yoda kari' hata
‘kali ani diba tomara age jagannatha'
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.212)

["Finally all of Lord Jagannatha's servants submitted to the goddess of fortune with folded hands, assuring her that they would bring Lord Jagannatha before her the very next day."]

Jagannatha's servants made this promise, and then Laksmi fined and punished them and returned to her abode. Now Srivasa Pandita asked Svarupa Damodara the following question: "Do you know that all the gopas and gopis in Vrndavana are very poor? They have no golden ornaments. They only milk cows and make butter, ghee, and similar things, and then they use it all themselves. Vrndavana is not like Mathura and Dvaraka; there are no palaces there, and the residents have only carts and kunjas. All the garlands there are made of flowers, whereas the garlands in Dvaraka are made of pearls, diamonds, and other jewels. So why does Krsna go to Vrndavana?"

Krsna goes to Vrndavana because the natural love and affection there is not found in Dvaraka, or anywhere else. In Dvaraka, love and affection is controlled by rules and regulations, just as the Vedas control by rules and regulations. In Vrndavana there is no control, for the gopis serve Krsna by their parakiya mood. This is possible only in Vrndavana, not in Mathura and Dvaraka.

svarupa kahe, – Srivasa, suna savadhane
vrndavana-sampad tomara nahi pade mane?
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.218)

Svarupa Damodara then retorted, "My dear Srivasa, please hear me with attention. You have forgotten the transcendental opulence of Vrndavana."

vrndavane sahajika ye sampat-sindhu
dvaraka-vaikuntha-sampat – tara eka bindu
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.219)

["The natural opulence of Vrndavana is just like an ocean. The opulence of Dvaraka and Vaikuntha is not even to be compared to a drop."]

One flower of Vrndavana can give millions of diamonds and other opulences, though Krsna's associates do not want that. They only make garlands for decoration, and their ankle bells are made of desire stones (cintamani) although they have no need of them. They only use them when they are dancing.

Suppose you are very wealthy and have many millions of dollars, but you are not getting any love and affection; and suppose that somewhere else there is no wealth, but there is love and affection. Where would you prefer to be? As long as there is love and affection, there is no loss in being poor. Similarly, there is no deficiency in Vrndavana because there is only love and affection. Vrndavana is the place of the most elevated love and affection.

Krsna is the Supreme Personality, and therefore He wants to taste supreme love and affection. He is not satisfied with any second-class love. Svarupa Damodara was explaining this, and Mahaprabhu responded, "More, more! I want to hear more!" The topics presented at the Hera-pancami Festival are all very secret topics from Ujjvala-nilamani. Mahaprabhu questioned, and Svarupa Damodara replied with many slokas regarding all the moods of madhya, pragalbha, dhira, adhira, mugdha, and so on. Try to be at least in madhyama-adhikara, and then try to understand all these topics. This is the aim and object of everyone in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's line.

Why Krsna did not take Laksmi

For advanced devotees, who are conversant with the truths concerning this lila, the Hera-pancami Festival is superior even to that of Jagannatha's riding to Sundaracala. Such devotees know why Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to this world. If you are not reading and hearing the Tenth Canto of Srimad- Bhagavatam, you can never know why He came, and you will be cheated. Try to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from elevated Vaisnavas, and do not listen to those who say, "Oh, we should not read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam."

Actually, there are three reasons one may say this. The first is that one has no knowledge, and the second is that one is following the order of the good devotees who know everything. These devotees are actually telling us, "You should begin from the First Canto, proceed to the Ninth Canto, and then you can finally come to the Tenth Canto." The third reason is to create an interest. For example, one may close his fist and ask, "What is in my hand? Can you tell what is in my hand?" If someone else hears this, he may become curious to know. Similarly, if anyone says, "Don't read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam," an aspiring devotee will automatically become curious and ask, "What is there? I should know."

In my village there was a devotee who used to bathe in the Ganga every day. If anyone said to him, "Rama! Rama!" he would appear very furious and hold his stick up as though he wanted to beat that person. The boys of all the nearby villages used to come to him and say, "Rama! Rama!" and he used to run after them. Why did he do this? It was just to enthuse them to say, "Rama! Rama!" It was like a game. Similarly, if anyone tells you not to read Srimad-Bhagavatam, you should be curious to know, "What is inside? There must be some jewel there."

If you do not read and hear the Tenth Canto, you will never be able to decide the aim and object of your life and devotion. For example, if you hear about Mother Yasoda, a greed for motherly love may arise. You may begin to think about how she loves Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and how she bound Him with her love and affection. A greed for friendship may arise when you hear that the cowherd boys sometimes play with Krsna, and when you hear that Krsna is their life and soul, and that they cannot remain alive unless they are playing with Krsna; they will die. If Krsna hides behind a tree for a moment, all the cowherd boys wonder anxiously, "Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?" And, if you hear the most elevated topic in Srimad- Bhagavatam, the service of the gopis to Krsna – and especially what is told in Gopi-gita, Venu-gita, Bhramara-gita, and other such chapters – you may develop a greed for this service. This is the aim and objective of the most exalted and pure devotees, and it is not possible to develop greed without reading and knowing Srimad-Bhagavatam.

The first nine cantos create a platform for the Tenth Canto by removing all your unwanted desires, offenses, and worldly requirements and attachments. After that you should read the Tenth Canto, then you should decide how to attain the goal of life, and then you should read the Eleventh Canto.

An even easier process is to follow the essence of Srimad- Bhagavatam, and that essence is Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. You will have to read Caitanya-caritamrta and the books of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama dasa Thakura, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In particular, Narottama dasa Thakura and Bhaktivinoda Thakura have explained the essence of Caitanya-caritamrta in language that can be understood easily. If you want to be pure and high-class devotees, you must know all the truths presented in their literature.

Book distribution will not suffice by itself, and neither will nagara-sankirtana. Why did Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bring nagara-sankirtana to this world? You will have to know the real reason. He did so only to give gopi-prema. And why did our acaryas bring the process of book distribution? It is so that you will discover the nectar in those books. You must first read the books yourself, have faith and realize something, and then your life will be successful. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has written about all these truths in his books, and he himself has said that book distribution alone will not do; you will have to go deep and realize the nectar within. He has produced the Krsna book, which is a summary of the Tenth Canto of Srimad- Bhagavatam, and everything is there, completely. There he has instructed us to learn about the gopis' pure service to Krsna.

You should know all these facts; otherwise you will always be lusty. You must read the Tenth Canto in order to avoid lust. Srila Swami Maharaja has vividly clarified this point in his books, and I have quoted many of his statements in this regard. You should have strong faith in this. Once he wrote a letter to a disciple who was very lusty. The disciple had asked, "I am very lusty. What should I do?" He replied, "You should read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, especially the chapters describing the rasa-lila. Then this lust will go, and real transcendental lust for Krsna will come." Actually, that transcendental lust is not lust; it is prema. Unless you read and hear, you cannot realize all these truths.

Now we are coming again to our subject: Hera-pancami. Jagannatha was not alone when He departed on His chariot. He was with Subhadra and Baladeva. But why did Laksmi become furious? Jagannatha had become indifferent to her and meeting with others. She felt neglected and became angry over this.

You should know the significance of these three places: Jagannatha Puri, Vrndavana, and Kuruksetra. First you should know the significance of Jagannatha Puri. Krsna is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki there. He never has a flute in His hand, He does not wear a peacock feather, and He cannot address Nanda Baba as "Father" or Yasoda-maiya as "Mother." He will have to forget the gopis while He is there. He can think about them in His heart, but He will not tell any of His queens, like Satyabhama, Rukmini, and others, "I love the gopis more than you." He can never say this.

Jagannatha Puri is Dvaraka. All the Yadavas are there, and Krsna sports with all His queens there. Do you know Vimala-devi in the Jagannatha Temple? Rukmini is like Vimala-devi. Laksmidevi is also there, and she represents all the queens, especially Rukmini and Satyabhama. There are no gopis in the Jagannatha Temple or Jagannatha Puri. They can never be there, and that is why it is Dvaraka Puri.

What is Kuruksetra? Krsna has come from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra, and therefore it is part of His dvaraka-lila. There is a speciality there, though, in that Nanda Baba, Yasoda-maiya, all the gopis like Radha, Lalita, Visakha, and most of the other Vrajavasis went there to meet with Krsna. Still, there is immense opulence there, whereas in Vrndavana the gopis freely play with Krsna.

Laksmi-devi thinks, "There is so much opulence here. Why should Dvarakadhisa-Krsna go to any impoverished place?" Krsna never told her, "I am going to Vrndavana." He cheated Her by saying, "I have caught a cold. Now I want to go somewhere to get some fresh air. I want to go to a forest, to get a breath of fresh air and feel rejuvenated." He played a trick so that Laksmi would not think He was going to run off to Vrndavana. To cheat Her, He took along His brother Baladeva Prabhu and His sister Subhadra. He was thinking, "Yasoda-maiya knows them, and Rohini also knows them. I will leave them with Yasoda-maiya and then I will stealthily go to Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, and Giriraja-Govardhana, where all the beautiful kunjas are situated. I will play with all the gopis there. Baladeva Prabhu and Subhadra will take their meals with Mother Yasoda and be very happy there, and I will go and play. No one will know." He did not tell anyone where He was going, and He ran at once to Vrndavana – Sundaracala. Mahaprabhu's mood has revealed that the Gundica Mandira in Sundaracala is Vrndavana. Before Mahaprabhu, no one knew all these high truths, but now everyone can know.

krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto
yah purnah so 'sty atah parah
vrndavanam parityajya
sa kvacin naiva gacchati
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.67)

["The Krsna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva-Krsna. He is different from the Krsna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadukumara Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana."]

vrndavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati

["Krsna never goes even a step from Vrndavana."]

It is because of Radhika that Krsna never leaves Vrndavana. He stays there only for Her, and both of Them do not go anywhere else. Then who went to Kuruksetra? Radhika will never go there. It was Samyogini-Radhika, who is Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika's manifestation, and not directly Radhika Herself, who went to Kuruksetra. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika will always remain at Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in Vrndavana. If Radha and Krsna are always together in Vrndavana, why does Radhika feel so much separation from Krsna, and why does She always weep for Him? Sometimes She becomes so absorbed in love and affection in separation from Krsna that even when She sees a tamala tree, She thinks, "O Krsna! O Krsna! Oh, now You are here." She quarrels with "Him," becomes angry with Him, and sometimes She embraces that tamala tree as if it were Him. How can there be a separation mood there in Vrndavana?

There is no actual separation in Vrndavana, but there is some separation mood. In Vrndavana there is the rasa-lila, and Premasarovara as well, and Radha and Krsna feel great ecstasy in meeting there. Who experiences the separation mood in Nandagaon? Who met with Uddhava? To whom did Uddhava offer his prayers?

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.63)

["Uddhava prayed: ‘I forever pray to the dust of the lotus feet of the gopis in Nandagaon. The hari-katha emanating from their lotus mouths in their separation mood purifies the entire universe.'"]

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61)

["The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons, and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet."]

In Nandagaon, Radhika is Viyogini-Radhika, another manifestation of Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika has practically no separation mood at all, for She and Krsna always meet together and embrace. Her manifestation, Viyogini-Radhika, is present in Nandagaon, and She appears as Samyogini in Kuruksetra. You cannot deeply understand these truths without being constantly in the association of pure Vaisnavas.

At the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu experiences the moods of Samyogini-Radhika in Kuruksetra, not those of Vrsabhanu-nandini. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika will never leave Vrndavana and go to Mathura or Dvaraka, even if Krsna weeps bitterly for Her there. Viyogini-Radhika will also not give up Vrndavana to go to Kuruksetra; only Samyogini-Radhika will go there. So at the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu is absorbed in the mood of Samyogini-Radhika, pulling Krsna on the chariot from the Jagannatha Temple – that is, from Dvaraka Puri – to Vrndavana. What can I say more than this? No one can say anything more.

Laksmi came with her associates, riding on a golden palanquin and profusely decorated with golden ornaments. She arrived at the Simha-dvara along with musicians beating drums, and dancing girls who were Jagannatha's deva-dasis. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting very comfortably there, and He listened to the dialogue that ensued.

Why did Krsna not take Laksmi-devi to Vrndavana? She could not go, because she was not qualified. Even Satyabhama and Rukmini were not qualified to go to Vrndavana, and that is why they never went. One may ask, "What harm would there be if Radhika and all the gopis went to Dvaraka?" There would be so much harm; they would not be satisfied there. They would see Rukmini, Satyabhama, and all Krsna's queens with Him, and He would not be able to leave their company. Sometimes Krsna's sons would come to sit on His lap, and Srimati Radhika would not be able to do anything about it. So She will never go there – never.

If Radhika does not go to Dvaraka, how can Laksmi go to Vrndavana? She cannot go. After she performed austerities in Baelvana for thousands and thousands of years, Krsna came and asked her, "Why are you doing this?" She replied, "I desire a benediction from You. I want to join the rasa-lila." Krsna said, "That is absurd – you cannot." "Why not?" she asked. "I'll tell you why," Krsna replied. "After this birth, you will have to take birth in the womb of a gopi in Vrndavana, and then you will have to marry a gopa. After that you will have to associate with nityasiddha- gopis, and only then you can join the rasa-lila, when you are sufficiently purified." Even a gopi who has come from the womb of a gopi is unqualified if she has any children by her husband. None of the gopis in the rasa-lila have had any children, and they have nothing to do with their husbands.

Krsna continued, "So how can you go? You will have to give up your brahmani body and your chastity to Narayana. You will have to cheat your gopa husband and absorb yourself in parakiya-bhava. Then, in the form of a gopi, you can join the rasa-lila." Laksmi objected, "How can I give up my husband Narayana? I cannot give Him up, I cannot give up my chastity, and I cannot marry a gopa." Then Krsna said, "Then wait, wait. You will obtain this boon from Me when you are able to do all these things." Even now Laksmi is performing austerities, but she is still not qualified.

You may want this gopi-prema, but it is so very high. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was very merciful, and He descended to the material world to give it. It is very precious – more so than anything. It is very difficult to attain even for Narada, Laksmi, Sankara, and all the other great personalities, so what to speak of lesser personalities? However, if someone has pure greed to serve Radha- Krsna Yugala, and to serve in the rasa-lila, he is very fortunate.

Let us say someone has become greedy for a rasagulla, and there is no money in his pocket. Then by grabbing it, stealing it, or by any means he will get it. In the same way, if you have that kind of high-class greed for gopi-prema, an opportunity will come to attain it. Where there is a will, there is a way; the way must come.

Krsna Himself gave the way in His form as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He also sent His devotees like Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada, our gurudeva, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I have also come, and I want to give you a little greed for this gopi-prema, which is the aim and object of our lives. I have not come to give vaidhi-bhakti, because so many people coming from India are giving that. They will tell you to serve Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and they will tell you not to read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. I have not come for this. I have come in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and in the line of Srila Prabhupada, my gurudeva, and my siksa-guru, Srila Swami Maharaja.

A person will not hear if he has no greed for the goal of life. He is sleeping now, and he will continue to sleep. If he has no greed or interest, he must sleep like the camels, dogs, hogs, pigs,and especially like the donkeys. I have only come for those who have some taste and greed for this, and I have come to give this greed to those who want it, so that they can advance in the line of Mahaprabhu.

When Srivasa Pandita heard these topics from Sri Svarupa Damodara, he began to laugh very loudly, "Hee, hee! Ho, ho!" Caitanya Mahaprabhu was deeply absorbed in the moods of the festival, and He watched silently as Srivasa Pandita continued to laugh and tell Svarupa Damodara, "You don't know anything. Don't you see the opulence of my aradhya-devi (worshipable deity) Laksmi-devi? She is decorated with golden ornaments, and she sits on a golden palanquin like a commander-in-chief with all her associates. But in Vrndavana, there is nothing. The gopis there can make some garlands, but only from flowers; there is no abundance of diamonds or gold – nothing of the kind. There are no golden palanquins. There are only bullock-carts made of wood and bamboo. There is nothing there; only flowers. There are some cows there, giving milk, and there is forest. Krsna can only graze His cows there. He has no throne to sit on, and He doesn't even have shoes or an umbrella. He goes cowherding barefoot, and if He doesn't do this, His father may chastise Him."

Srivasa Pandita continued:

vrndavana dekhibare gela jagannatha
suni' laksmi-devira mane haila asoyatha
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.205)

["When Jagannatha decided to see Vrndavana, He went there, and upon hearing this, the goddess of fortune experienced restlessness and jealousy."]

Laksmi, who represents Satyabhama and the other queens, thought angrily, "Here in Dvaraka, my husband is always sitting on a golden throne, and He has so many military commandersin- chief, and so many beautiful queens, and each queen has ten sons and a daughter. Why did Krsna go to Vrndavana?"

I have seen something like this in my boyhood. My mother would give me a slap if she was giving me something sweet and I wanted something else instead. So Laksmi was very unhappy and angry, and she tried to attack her husband to force Him to come under her control. She wanted to defeat Him and bring Him back to Dvaraka by quarreling and attacking Him.

Mahaprabhu smiled somewhat and said, "Oh, Srivasa Pandita has the nature of Narada. He always glorifies Laksmi and Narayana, and Dvarakadhisa. Svarupa Damodara is a pure Vrajavasi, and that is why he glorifies the gopis. Srivasa cannot do so."

Almost everyone in this world and universe glorifies Laksmi. Very, very few and rare people glorify the gopis and Krsna. This is true even in India. There are some groups that put forward the view that Srimad-Bhagavatam is not authentic evidence. They say that someone other than Vyasadeva compiled it; so it is bogus, and therefore the love and affection of the gopis is also bogus. There are many who reject all these topics, and only highclass devotees have a taste for them.

Svarupa Damodara then said, "O Srivasa, don't you remember that the trees in Vrndavana are kalpa-vrksa (desire trees)? They can give millions of tons of gold, and everything else. Anyone can have whatever he desires from those trees, but the gopis have no personal desires. They simply decorate their hair with the flowers of those trees.

"The ankle-bells of the gopis are made of cintamani, but the gopis never use them for fulfilling their desires; they only wear them to make sweet sounds while they dance with Krsna. The cows are kama-dhenu. What does that mean? They not only give milk, but they give the "milk" of the fulfillment of all desires. They can give anything a person wants, but the gopas and gopis don't want anything from them. They only want milk and butter. You don't know all these truths because you have not gone to Vrndavana. You don't know even the A-B-C's of Vrndavana. The flowers there are more valuable than the parijata flowers of the heavenly planets. They are always fragrant, and they never become stale. They can give anything, but you don't remember this."

He then quoted Brahma-samhita (5.56): "Sriyah kantakantah parama-purusah – in the spiritual world, all the female lovers are goddesses of fortune and the male lover is the Supreme Personality." After Srivasa Thakura heard all this from Svarupa Damodara, his mood changed. He entered the mood of Madhumangala [See Endnote 5] Krsna's intimate sakha in Vraja, and then he began to dance, remembering the glories of Vraja.

After Mahaprabhu heard Svarupa Damodara's katha, He went to a flower garden and along with the devotees took rest there. Then, after He awoke and bathed, He began singing and dancing with His devotees, absorbed in krsna-prema. Then, when they had performed kirtana throughout the day, Svarupa Damodara tricked Mahaprabhu by telling Him, "Now we are all tired, so please stop Your dancing. Jagannatha-deva has sent very beautiful and sweet prasada, like rice, dahl, puri, kacauri, chena (curd), paida (coconut), pana (fruit juice), sara-puri (a kind of puri made with cream), and many other varieties of preparations." Mahaprabhu began to distribute the prasada Himself, but Svarupa Damodara said, "Everyone is waiting for You. No one will take prasada if You don't take." Then Mahaprabhu sat down and began to taste the prasada, and everyone called out, "Hari bol!"

You can read this discussion between Srivasa Pandita and Svarupa Damodara in its entirety in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta [Madhya-lila, Chapter 14].

[Endnote 1 – In this Hera-pancami festival, a drama was enacted for the pleasure of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. In that drama, male devotees dressed themselves in saris and ornaments and portrayed Laksmi and her attendants.

Endnote 2 -Actually, both Yasoda-maiya and Rohini-maiya know that Krsna meets with the gopis and that they play together like friends. They do not think anything bad about this because they consider that both Krsna and the gopis are very young. They have been playing together since their early ages and there is no concern within the minds of Yasoda and Rohini. What they do not know is that Krsna goes out at night and meets with the gopis, but they are aware that Krsna and the gopis meet and play in the daytime. In Vedic culture it is not acceptable that boys and girls meet in the middle of the night.

Endnote 3- This refers to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions to Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, which are found in Chapters 19–23 of Madhya-lila of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.

Endnote 4 - Sankara's complexion is a mixture of blue, black, and red. This comparison is made when Krsna comes to Radhika with blackish and reddish spots on His face and limbs, and She thinks the spots are a result of His sporting with other gopis.

Endnote 5 - Srivasa Pandita is Narada Muni, and Narada Muni is a partial manifestation of Madhumangala in Vraja.]

A108-AI

The Origin of Ratha-yatra

jagasubbal.jpgThis year, 2017, June 25th and 26th around the world is the commemoration of the divine Ratha Yatra festival. Please accept this lecture excerpted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra, chapter 5. You can download the entire book by clicking this link.

Mahaprabhu's mood at Ratha-yatra

At the beginning of the Ratha-yatra Festival, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offers a prayer to Jagannatha-deva, not to His form as Lord Jagannatha or Vasudeva-Krsna, but to His form as Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna:

jayati jana-nivaso devaki-janma-vado
yadu-vara-parisat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam
sthira-cara-vrjina-ghnah su-smita-sri-mukhena
vraja-pura-vanitanam vardhayan kama-devam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.90.48)

["Sri Krsna is He who is known as jana-nivasa, the ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as Devaki-nandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of Vrndavana. May He be all-glorious and happy."]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is praying in the mood of Srimati Radhika meeting Krsna at Kuruksetra. There, by their mood, the gopis bring Krsna to Vrndavana and decorate Him with flowers. By their mood they forcibly give Him the flute He left in Vrndavana with Mother Yasoda, along with His peacock feather, and they whisper in His ear, "Don't say that Your father and mother are Vasudeva and Devaki. Don't say that You are from the Yadu dynasty and that You are a Yadava. Say only that You are a gopa." Krsna replies, "Yes, I will follow your instructions."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays, jayati jana-nivaso devakijanma- vado. This sloka, which Sri Sanatana Gosvami has quoted in his Brhad-bhagavatamrta, has many profound meanings. If Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Srila Sanatana Gosvami were to explain it, they would do so with a hundred different meanings, each deeper and more unfathomable than the previous one. It contains the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam from beginning to end.

The general meaning of jana-nivasa is, "You are always in the hearts of all as Paramatma." However, Krsna cannot live as Paramatma in the hearts of the Vrajavasis; He can only be present there in the form of Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. Jana also means nija-jana (near and dear), and therefore it means Krsna's personal associates. All the Vrajavasis are Krsna's nijajana, for He is the jivana (life-air) of Nanda, Yasoda, all His friends, and especially of the gopis. He is also radhika-jivanera jivana, the very life of Radhika's life, and He always resides in Her heart. This relationship is reciprocal; the Vrajavasis are His life, just as much as He is theirs.

Devaki-janma-vado. Only Mathuravasis and worldly people can say that Krsna took birth from the womb of Mother Devaki. General people say this, but actually He is the son of Mother Yasoda; she is His real mother.

Yadu-vara-parisat svair dorbhir. The members of the Yadu dynasty are the nija-jana of Dvarakadhisa-Krsna, for they are His associates. It seems that this sloka refers to Vasudeva-Krsna, and describes Arjuna, Bhima, and His other associates as His arms. Vasudeva-Krsna fought in the Mahabharata War and in various other battles, and He fought with Paundraka Vasudeva and other demons. The sloka seems to describe dvaraka-lila, but actually, in its deeper meaning, it glorifies Vrajendra-nandana Krsna. In Vrndavana, Krsna killed Putana and other demons with his own arms. Moreover, in Vrndavana He killed the greatest demon – the feelings of separation felt by Srimati Radhika and the gopis.

Sthira-cara-vrjina-ghnah su-smita-sri-mukhena vraja-puravanitanam. In Vrndavana, Krsna always took away all kinds of problems and suffering, simply with His smiling face and His flute. What was the suffering of the Vrajavasis? It was only their mood of separation from Him. They had no other problems at all. This verse includes the pastimes of Gokula, Vrndavana, Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, rasa-lila, and all the other Vraja pastimes as well. Vardhayan kamadevam. In this connection, Kamadeva does not mean lust, but prema. What kind of prema? Sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. The gopis tell Krsna, "You are that person – that Kamadeva." In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is offering pranama and praying, putting the whole of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and all of Krsna's pastimes as well, into this one sloka.

The meaning of gopi-bhartuh

As I have explained before, Mahaprabhu very rarely sees Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. When He does, He at once enters a mood of very intense separation and prays, "After a long time I am meeting with My most beloved, for whom I was burning in the fire of separation." He addresses Jagannatha as gopibhartuh and prays, "Pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah." The word gopi-bhartuh reveals Krsna's relationship with the gopis, for it means "the gopis' most beloved," or "He who is always controlled by the gopis." Mahaprabhu concludes, "I want to be the servant of the servant of the servant of that Krsna."

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vanastho yatir va
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.80)

["I am not a brahmana, a ksatriya, a vaisya, or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a grhastha, a vanaprastha, or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing in full brilliance."]

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays not only for Himself, but for everyone. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, gopibhartuh Himself, and He offers prayers in order to teach us how to pray. He is teaching us our actual identity; we are not Indian or American, nor are we from Great Britain or anywhere else. We are not brahmanas, administrative ksatriyas, mercantile vaisyas or sudra laborers, nor are we brahmacari students, grhastha householders, retired vanaprasthas, or sannyasis in the renounced order. We are eternally servants of Krsna.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu uses the name gopi-bhartuh for further clarification, and by this He is indicating, "We are not servants of that Krsna who lived here and there in Dvaraka without His flute. Others may be, but as for My associates and Myself, we are only gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah, the servants of the servants of the servants of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, the beloved of the gopis."

Who is gopi-bhartuh? He is Radha-kanta, Radha-ramana, and Gopinatha. The gopis must be there as the aradhya (worshipable deities) of Krsna. He must be their worshiper, and then we are His servants; otherwise not. We are not Krsna's servants if Rukmini and Satyabhama are there, or if He is four-handed and holding His Sudarsana cakra. Krsna must be with the gopis, He must be controlled by their prominence, and especially by Radha. We are servants of that Krsna. We are all transcendental, and our intrinsic, constitutional nature is to serve Krsna; but we are not servants of all His manifestations. There are very big differences in these manifestations, and to be the servant of gopi-bhartuh is very, very rare. We can consider that those who have come in the line of Mahaprabhu are radha-dasis, as gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasadasanudasah only applies to the maidservants of Radhika. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's statement therefore refers to those who are coming in His disciplic line, those who are coming in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and our entire guru-parampara. One day, if our creeper of bhakti blossoms and the fruits and flowers of prema-bhakti manifest, we will be able to realize this. This is the aim and object of our life.

Leading up to the meeting: Krsna sends Uddhava to Vraja

Mahaprabhu was so absorbed that He could not utter Jagannatha's name. He could only chant, "Jaja gaga! Jaja gaga!" Tears fell from His eyes, and His heart melted. One can realize this state only if he is a devotee of the highest standard. What was the cause of Mahaprabhu's bitter weeping? What was the reason behind it? Mahaprabhu told Svarupa Damodara to sing a song that suited His mood, and Svarupa Damodara began to sing:

sei ta parana-natha painu
yaha lagi' madana-dahane jhuri' genu

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.113)

["Now I have gained the Lord of My life, in whose absence I was being burned by Cupid and was withering away."]

You will have to consult Srimad-Bhagavatam to understand the meaning of this verse, because the history of Ratha-yatra has been indicated there. Krsna left Vraja at the age of eleven1 [Krsna is exactly ten years and eight months old when He leaves for Mathura,but His transcendental body is like that of a full-grown kaisora of fourteen orfifteen years] and went first to Mathura, and then after some time He went to Dvaraka. While He was in Mathura, He sent Uddhava to console the gopis, and later He also sent Baladeva Prabhu from Dvaraka to console them. The gopis had now been feeling separation for a long time. Everyone in Vrndavana was feeling separation from Him, and even the cows and calves were upset. The gopas and gopis were weeping continuously, and everyone, including the entire forest of Vrndavana, was drying up.

When Krsna was sending Uddhava from Mathura, He told him,"Uddhava, go to Vrndavana and pacify My father and mother, Nanda and Yasoda, and especially pacify the gopis who have given Me their life and soul and everything they possess. The gopis always remember Me, and they do nothing else. They never decorate themselves and they have even given up taking their meals. They don't bathe and they don't even sleep."

mac-citta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tusyanti ca ramanti ca
Bhagavad-gita (10.9)

["The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to serving Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me."]

The gopis' only relief from their feelings of separation came when they sometimes fainted and sometimes slept. However, even these two friends – fainting and sleeping – abandoned the gopis when Krsna took them with Him to Mathura.

In this way Krsna sent Uddhava to Vraja, and there Uddhava related His message, word by word, letter by letter. However, this only made the gopis more unhappy. Previously they had thought, "Krsna has promised that He will come;" but after hearing the message, they thought, "Krsna will never come," and they felt even more separation. Srimati Radharani began to weep:

he natha he rama-natha
vraja-natharti-nasana
magnam uddhara govinda
gokulam vrjinarnavat
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.52)

["O master of My life, O master of the goddess of fortune, O master of Vraja! O destroyer of all suffering, Govinda, please lift Your Gokula out of the ocean of distress in which it is drowning!"]

Srimati Radhika said, "I am dying without Krsna. My dear sakhis, if Krsna does not come, I will die; I will surely die. Take My body, place it at the base of a tamala tree, and place My arms around that tree so that I may feel connected to Krsna. I pray that the water in My body will mix with Pavana-sarovara where Krsna bathes, so that I may touch Him. Let the air in this body go to Nanda Baba's courtyard and touch Krsna when He is fanned. May the fire in this body become rays of sunshine in Nanda Baba's courtyard, and then My soul will be happy. Now I cannot see Krsna, or touch Him." She was in a very pitiful condition, always in a mood of deep separation.

Krsna was also feeling unbearable separation, but no one knew that. The gopis could share their suffering with each other, but Krsna could not share His feelings with anyone. He wept alone. This is why He sent Uddhava to Vrndavana; He wanted Uddhava to be admitted into the school of the gopis, so that he would learn the meaning of the two-and-a-half letters in the word prema. [Unlike English, which has only full letters, Sanskrit words can contain both full and half letters.] Krsna considered, "When Uddhava understands the love of the gopis, he will be qualified to realize My feelings of separation."

When Uddhava returned from Vraja, he told Krsna about the glories of the gopis and their one-pointed love. He said, "It is so very high that I could not touch it. I only saw that mountain of love from a great distance, but still it was so high that my hat fell off the back of my head as I looked up at it. I cannot imagine how glorious the gopis are. I wanted to take the dust of their lotus feet, but now I am hopeless. I am not qualified to touch their foot-dust, so I simply offer pranama to it from very far away. Uddhava then uttered the following prayer in glorification of the gopis:

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.63)

["I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds."]

Instead of becoming pacified by Uddhava's explanation, Krsna felt more and more separation. He wanted to go to Vraja, but for some reason He could not.

What Krsna never told before

Krsna had told Uddhava, "My father and mother are weeping bitterly. They have become blind, and they are hardly more than skeletons. Perhaps they will only live for one or two days more; in fact, they may die at any moment. Please go and pacify them. And go also to the gopis. I know that My father and mother are weeping bitterly, that they are blind, and may die... but I don't know what is the condition of the gopis. They are feeling the topmost separation for Me. I don't know whether they are alive, or if they have already died; so go at once, quickly. They always remember Me, keeping Me on the chariots of their minds, without any selfish motive. They know that nobody in Mathura knows My heart."

The gopis know that Krsna is very shy, and cannot ask anyone for something to eat when He feels hungry. Yasoda-maiya is not present in His palace; so who will pacify Him, and who will serve Him? This is why the gopis feel so much separation.

Krsna had told Uddhava, "The gopis are mat-prana, My life and soul." He had not said this about His father and mother, only about the gopis. He continued, "They have left everything for Me. For My sake, they have stopped caring for their bodies and have forgotten all their bodily duties. I am their only beloved, and they are My most beloved; indeed, they are My life and soul. They have left their shyness and their worldly responsibilities, and they have also abandoned all social etiquette for Me. For My sake, they have disobeyed their parents and left their source of maintenance. I must somehow save them and maintain them. Now they are far away, thinking, 'Krsna will surely come tomorrow. If we die now, He will also die when He finds out.' This is the reason they somehow maintain their lives without dying.

"The gopis think, 'Krsna has promised, and He cannot break His promise. He must come. He will come tomorrow.' That is why they maintain their lives. Actually, I think that they are not maintaining their own lives. Their lives rest in Me, and I am maintaining them, otherwise they would have been finished. Go at once and see whether they have died or not; and if not, please pacify them."

Krsna had only spoken like this about the gopis; never about anyone else, including Arjuna and the Pandavas, or His queens, Satyabhama and Rukmini. The gopis are unique in their boundless and causeless love and affection for Krsna. Our highest aim and object is the love for Krsna that is in the gopis, and especially in Radhika.

When Radhika was feeling separation, gopis like Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, and Rupa Manjari were serving Her and trying to pacify Her; but who could actually pacify Her? She was totally mad, with no external sense at all. The others were trying to pacify Her because their consciousness was still somewhat functional. Their love is very high, millions of times greater than that of Uddhava, Satyabhama, and Rukmini, and higher even than that of the other sakhis of Vrndavana; but it is not as high as Radhika's love.

Radhika was totally mad, as Uddhava saw when he witnessed Her talking to the bumblebee. Actually, Krsna Himself had gone to Vraja in the form of that bumblebee, and He also saw that Radhika was totally mad. She was lying on a bed of rose petals, which had become dried up by the touch of Her body, and all the candana that had been put on Her body to cool Her was also completely dried. At first, Uddhava could not understand whether She was dead or alive.

Then, he saw that Radhika was very angry with Krsna, criticizing and abusing Him, and calling Him an ungrateful cheater. No one else could have spoken to Krsna in this way, including Satyabhama and the other queens, and even Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba. Radhika told Him, "You are ungrateful, and You are like a six-legged bumblebee. Human beings have two legs and animals have four; but bumblebees have six legs, so they are more ignorant than any animal. We don't want to have any relationship with that black person whose heart is as black as a bumblebee. Rama was also black, and he cheated Surpanakha and cut off her nose and ears."

Srimad-Bhagavatam is actually an explanation of the glory of Radhika's love. Her love is supreme, and it is the goal of all living beings. We can never grasp its breadth, but we can taste a drop of it, and even that one drop can drown the entire universe. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave Srila Rupa Gosvami that drop of the endless ocean of nectar, bhakti-rasa. If we can serve the gopis, and especially Radhika, we can also have love and affection for Krsna, and then we can feel separation. Otherwise, it will never be possible. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Six Gosvamis, Srimad- Bhagavatam, and Sukadeva Gosvami have proclaimed this conclusion: our goal is krsna-prema, the prema that the gopis have for Krsna.

Previously, Uddhava had heard about how much love and affection the gopis have for Krsna, but he had no experience of it. He had heard that the gopis are Krsna's most beloved, and that Krsna is their most beloved, but even knowing this, he could not know the intensity and the ways of their love.

Uddhava also loves Krsna, and thinks, "Krsna is my master, He is also like my brother, and we have so many other relationships." However, Krsna did not say anything about Uddhava's love. Rather, He told him to go to Vraja and learn there: "Go and realize the nature of prema." He said, "There is no one in Mathura like these gopis."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has mercifully sprinkled a drop of that love on the world (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.4)):

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah

["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of amorous love.

Uddhava failed the entrance exam

Uddhava had great love and affection for Krsna, but when he arrived in Vraja, he realized that vraja-prema was totally new to him. He saw Krsna playing with all His sakhas. Millions and millions of cows were hankering after Him, and milk was flowing from their bulging udders because of their spontaneous love. The very beautiful black and white calves were jumping here and there, and Nanda Baba's big bulls were fighting with each other.

As Uddhava saw that scene, beautiful ghee lamps flickered in the gopis' rooms, and the light from these lamps was soft and fragrant – not like the dead light from electric bulbs. Varieties of flowers spread their sweet aroma in all directions, and the songs of the humming bumblebees were like the blowing of Cupid's conchshell. Cuckoos and other birds were singing everywhere, and peacocks were dancing about and calling, "Ke kaw! Ke kaw!"

All the gopis were churning yogurt and singing, "Govinda Damodara Madhaveti." They were all very beautiful, and Mother Yasoda was the most beautiful of all. How else could Krsna have become so beautiful? He would only have been black otherwise; it was because of her that His beauty was like the luster of pearls.

Uddhava saw all this, but in a moment the scene changed completely, and now he saw that all the residents of Vrndavana were weeping for Krsna: "O Krsna, where are You? Where are You?" Cows were not going out to graze. They simply wept, keeping their heads and eyes toward Mathura, and the calves were not drinking the milk from the udders of their mothers. The peacocks were not dancing; rather, they looked as if they were blind. Every person and creature was mad in separation from Krsna.

It was now evening, and Uddhava found himself in Krsna's home, where he became dumbstruck to see the love and affection of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba. He could never have imagined that such high-class love could exist, but now he was able to realize something of its elevated nature.

Early the next morning, Uddhava went to Kadamba-kyari, where, by Krsna's mercy, he was able to see the gopis, who were all mad in separation and just about to die. This is why Krsna had sent him to Vrndavana: to try to be admitted into the school of the gopis. Krsna had told him, "Be admitted into the school in which I studied. Then, when you return, we will be able to have some discussion about love and affection. First, go and become qualified."

However, Uddhava was not qualified for admittance into the school of the gopis. His entrance examination score was about 25 percent, but the gopis demanded more than 85 percent. Still, although they rejected him, he was able to enter the school and see the very high-class students there. He saw professors like Visakha and Lalita, and he saw the principal, Radhika Herself. Now he knew something of the glories of the gopis, and he realized a little of their love for Krsna. He had never seen anything like this before, and now he felt, "If I want to love Krsna, I must be admitted into this school. But I am not qualified." He therefore requested the gopis, "If you do not admit me, can you at least take me on as a servant, to bring water and clean the school?" The gopis rejected even that request, however, and they told him, "You should go back to Mathura. First become qualified, and then you can sweep our kuïjas; you cannot sweep here at the moment."

Uddhava then prayed:

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.63)

Nanda-vraja-strinam means the beloved gopis of Krsna. Uddhava prayed to them, "I want to offer myself unto the dust of your lotus feet. I want to keep even one particle of your foot-dust on my head, and if I can only get one particle of dust, it must be Srimati Radhika's." Neither Brahma nor Sankara, nor even Satyabhama and the other Dvaraka queens, can attain this.

Krsna had sent Uddhava to see the glories of the gopis, and now he saw Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas of the gopis' love. He could not become like them, however, so he had to return to Krsna empty-handed. "I went there and saw something very mysterious and wonderful, which I cannot explain," he told Krsna. "You told me about the gopis, and what I saw was even more wonderful than what You told me. But I had to return without realizing anything."

Yasam hari-kathodgitam, punati bhuvana-trayam. The songs of the gopis, such as Bhramara-gita and Gopi-gita, purify the whole universe, and if one recites them, or even remembers them, he will actually be purified. So try to recite all these songs (gitas) and know them. The meanings are very deep, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted to teach that the very wonderful moods therein are our aim and object. He wanted to teach this and he did discuss it in his books, but how could he actually plant it in barren lands and deserts? First he had to cultivate the lands to make them fertile. He wanted to give this highest goal, but in the meantime his Svamini, Srimati Radhika, called to him, "Come at once! We need your service."

This is our goal – the dust of the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika.

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61)

["The gopis of Vrndavana have abandoned the association of their husbands, sons, and other family members who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet."]

Uddhava prayed, "If I cannot attain Radhika's lotus feet, then I will be satisfied with the dust particles from the feet of any of Her sakhis. I don't want the dust of Krsna's lotus feet, because I will have to take a particle of the gopis' moods if I want to please Krsna."

We must engage in the process given by Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura. The teaching of our present acaryas is the same wine in new bottles. The bottles are different colors, but the wine is the same. If you drink that wine, you will certainly become mad, but this madness is actually desirable.

Krsna meets His parents at Kuruksetra

Years later there was to be a solar eclipse and Krsna planned to go to Kuruksetra with all His commanders, His army, and all His 16,108 queens. He did not invite Nanda Baba directly, but He thought, "Father will know, and he will not be able to remain in Vraja. He will come at once; he must come."

In Vrndavana, Nanda Baba somehow came to know about the religious function to be held at Kuruksetra. Thus, all the gopas, gopis, and young people prepared their bullock carts and proceeded toward Kuruksetra, leaving Upananda and some other elders in Vraja to look after everything. They took with them many personal items for Krsna, such as butter and other things that He liked, and on the way they constantly remembered: "Krsna, Krsna, Krsna."

By then, the gopis had been lamenting for perhaps fifty, sixty, or seventy years. Krsna also felt separation for that long, but even after all those years, He was still youthful (kisora), and the gopis remained young as well.

In the meantime, the sun was covered by a shadow and the whole world became dark. According to Vedic culture, during a solar eclipse one should take bath three times: when it is just beginning, when the sun is fully covered, and when it is again fully visible. At that time, one should bathe and give donations in charity. It is written in Indian history and in the Vedas and Upanisads that many kings used to donate their entire wealth to the brahmanas and needy persons. Every golden pot and utensil was given in charity. Having given away their own clothing, keeping only a loincloth for themselves, the kings themselves would become penniless. Those charitable persons were giving so much charity that there was no longer anyone to take it. Those who had accepted charity began to give charity to others. They gave their charity in charity, and therefore there was no one left to think, "I want charity." All were giving and all were satisfied – because Krsna was there. Even recently in India, many people would donate all these things. Now, however, although giving in charity is for the betterment of the donors, this culture is gradually reducing.

Everyone bathed there at Kuruksetra, made their donations, and after that they came to Krsna's tent to take His darsana. Thousands and thousands of rsis, maharsis, brahmavadis, realized souls like Narada, Bhisma Pitamaha (the grandfather of the Kauravas and Pandavas), Vyasadeva, Gautama, Yajïavalkya, Duryodhana and all his brothers, Dronacarya, Karna, and all the Kauravas came from all over India, and from all over the world. Rsis and maharsis from the Caspian sea, like Kasyapa, also came, and from Mongolia, sages like Mangala Rsi came with all his sons and daughters. Almost all the kings of the world had assembled there to bathe in the very pious lake there, and the crowd consisted of more than ten million people. All were there to bathe in that lake, and all were residing there in separate camps.

Now, everyone assembled in the camp of Vasudeva and Devaki to take darsana of Krsna, and they began to enter His tent. His tent was so large that thousands of people could sit inside. Although there was no arrangement for a loudspeaker, everyone could easily hear Him speak, and in fact everyone thought, "Krsna is sitting near me. I'm joking with Him, I'm telling Him something, and He is very happy to hear it."

The Pandavas – Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, and Draupadi – had also joined the assembly, and their mother, Kunti, was also there. Kunti met with her brother Vasudeva, and pitifully weeping with tears falling profusely from her eyes, she told him, "Brother, you did not remember me when my sons were given poison, when they were about to burn in a fire, or when all their wealth, kingdom, and everything else was taken and we were begging here and there. Like a demon, Duryodhana cheated my sons. He drove them from their kingdom, and he and Duhsasana also tried to strip Draupadi in the big council where Dhrtarastra, Bhisma Pitamaha, and other elders were present. You are my brother. You should have remembered me." Weeping loudly, she put her arms around Vasudeva's neck, and Vasudeva Maharaja also began to weep. Kunti continued, "Perhaps, my brother, you forgot me."

Vasudeva replied, "O elder sister, please do not lament. This was all caused by the time factor of Sri Bhagavan. At that time my wife and I were imprisoned in the jail of Kamsa, and we were suffering so grievously. Kamsa was always abusing and insulting us. His men bound me in iron chains and they were kicking me with their boots. How could I do anything? Moreover, our six sons were killed right in front of us, snatched from my lap and put to death. Luckily, Baladeva and Krsna are saved. I was in unbearable distress, and that is why I could not help you. Nevertheless, despite everything, somehow I always remembered you, and when I came out of jail I sent my first message to you.

"Everything depends on the mercy of God. Sometimes we meet and sometimes we are separated from each other. Sometimes there is suffering and sorrow, and sometimes we are very prosperous. Nothing depends on any soul. Don't worry anymore. Now it is over." In this way Vasudeva was consoling Kunti.

In the meantime, Nanda Baba and the Vrajavasis were coming on many bullock carts. Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba, all the gopis like Srimati Radhika, Lalita, and Visakha, and all Krsna's cowherd friends like Dama, Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Stoka-krsna, Madhumangala, and all others were on their way. Thousands of gopas and gopis were on their way to Krsna.

While everyone else was meeting with Krsna, someone came and told Him and Baladeva, "Oh, Your father and mother are coming in a bullock cart." When Krsna heard this, He immediately left all the members of the assembly. Although there were many thousands upon thousands of devotees, like Kasyapa, Kavi, Havi, Antariksa, Narada, Vasistha, Agastya, and Valmiki, Krsna left them all and began to run at once towards Yasoda and Nanda – weeping with tears in His eyes. In one second His heart had melted, and now He called out, "Oh, Mother is coming? Father is coming?" Upset, He cried out, "Mother, Mother, where are you?" The bullock cart had now stopped. Baladeva Prabhu was following Krsna, and they both exclaimed, "Oh, the bullock cart is here." Nanda Baba and Yasoda-maiya came down from the cart, and when they saw Krsna they became overwhelmed and began to weep, "O my son, my son! Krsna, Krsna!"

Standing at a distance, all the gopas and gopis, including Radha, Lalita, and Visakha, were also weeping. Somehow they had been tolerating their separation from Krsna while traveling from Vraja, and in Vraja they were also somewhat tolerating. Now, however, as they came nearer and nearer, their tolerance began to disappear and they began to cry like babies.

Krsna at once sat on the lap of Yasoda-maiya, and Baladeva Prabhu fell at the feet of Nanda Baba. Seeing Krsna, whom she had lost for years and years, all Yasoda-maiya's separation mood, in the form of tears, began to flow out. She wept loudly, "My dear son! My dear son!" She covered Krsna's face as she had done when He was a baby, and milk flowed automatically from her breasts. She covered Him as though He was a helpless, small baby and she wept bitterly – so bitterly.

In Vrndavana she had never wept as much as she did now. There she was like a statue, and her heart was dried up in separation. Krsna had also been like dry wood, or like a stone, but now He also wept aloud. Nanda Baba took Baladeva in his lap and he also began to weep, and it was a very piteous scene. Krsna cried out, "Mother! Mother!" Baladeva Prabhu, sitting on the lap of Nanda Baba, was crying out, "Father! Father!" and Nanda Baba caressed him.

Having followed Krsna, Vasudeva, Devaki, and Mother Rohini arrived there, and Rohini thought, "Oh, how very wonderful this situation is!" Krsna had always been somewhat shy in front of Devaki. If He was hungry, He would tell Mother Rohini – not Devaki – and now Devaki saw Him weep uncontrollably. Devaki thought, "Krsna never sat on my lap. He has never called me, 'Mother, Mother.' But now He is in the arms of Yasoda crying, 'Mother, Mother, Mother.' Yasoda thinks, 'Krsna is my own son,' and Krsna also thinks, 'My mother is only Yasoda – not Devaki.' Yasoda will surely take Krsna and return to Vraja. Krsna will go forever and He will never return to Dvaraka!"

She wanted to tell Yasoda, "O Yasoda, Krsna is not your son. He is my son, but now He is forgetting me and accepting you as His real mother." She also wanted to tell Krsna, "You are not the son of Yasoda. You are my son." She could not say all this in the assembly of so many persons, however, and therefore she spoke her mind in a roundabout way.

Being very intelligent, she said, "O dear friend Yasoda, you are wonderful and merciful. When we were in the prison of Kamsa, we could not support Krsna. Then, in a hidden way, we sent our son to Gokula – to you. Although He is my son, you have kept and supported Him. You have nourished Him better than anyone could nourish her own son. Although you knew that Krsna is my son, you nourished Him as though He was yours. As the eyelids protect the most important part of the eyes – the pupils – you protected Krsna. You never thought, 'He is the son of Devaki.' You saw Him only as your son. I see, therefore, that there is no one as merciful as you in the entire world. You are very humble and broadminded, and you have served Him up to now. Because of this, He never remembers me. He always thinks that you are His mother."

Rohini saw that Devaki was trying to do something wrong – she was trying to come between Yasoda and Krsna. Rohini wanted her not to disturb them. To trick her, therefore, she quickly said, "Oh, Mother Kunti and so many more persons are waiting for you. We should go there." She cleverly sent her away to welcome all the guests, and she also sent Vasudeva Maharaja.

After some time Yasoda-maiya became relieved, but she could not say anything. She was not in a state to say anything, and Krsna was also in that condition. There was now only an exchange of moods – from heart to heart. Yasoda then thought, "Outside, nearby, all the gopis like Lalita, Visakha, and Srimati Radhika are waiting. They cannot meet Krsna if I am here – and Nanda Baba and Baladeva are also here."

Up until now the gopis were checking their moods of separation and their lives remained in their bodies. Once they reached Krsna, however, they could no longer tolerate a moment's separation. They were about to die. Being very kind and generous, Mother Yasoda thought, "They will die if I do not give a chance to them at once. I must take everyone away from here, by trick, and then the gopis will come. If I delay, they will all die. They cannot tolerate the separation any longer."

I remember an example from my boyhood, when I was fifteen. My father was a farmer. I went with him to a place far from my house, and there I picked a bundle of very delicious, beautiful green chickpeas. At first I thought the bundle was very light, when I reached the midway point it became heavy, and as my village became nearer I could not bear the weight. When I came into the village I should have instantly fallen down, but somehow I persevered. When I reached the door of my house, however, I could not take the load inside. I dropped it outside.

This was also the case with the gopis. When they were in Vraja they were somehow tolerating separation, and as they traveled to Krsna their separation-feeling increased. Then, when they saw Krsna but had no chance to meet Him because Yasoda, Nanda Baba, and others were with Him, they could not endure the separation at all. Yasoda realized this fact, and she at once took the hand of Baladeva Prabhu. She put his fingers in her hand and, looking towards Nanda Baba, she told him, "Let us meet with the others." Being very intelligent, Baladeva Prabhu also considered, "If I am here, the gopis will not come," and he hurriedly left with his parents.

Yasoda thus went to Devaki and embraced her, and some dialogue ensued. Nanda Baba met with Vasudeva and others, and they also engaged in conversation.

A108-AI

Gundica Mandira Marjana

Gundica-temple4.jpgJune 24th and 25th, 2017 around the world is the commemoration of Gundica Mandira Marjana, the cleaning of the Gundica Temple. Please accept this lecture excerpted from Srila Narayana's Maharaja's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra. You can download the entire book by clicking on the title.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)
He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, "Water! Water! Water!" If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, "Oh, spare me! Don't cut me!" It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krsna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krsna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees.

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

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

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

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

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

Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere.
Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated:

sri-gundica-mandiram atma-vrndaih
sammarjayan ksalanatah sa gaurah
sva-citta-vac chitalam ujjvalam ca
krsnopavesaupayikam cakara
["Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Sri Krsna to sit."]

sri-haste karena simhasanera marjana
prabhu age jala ani' deya bhakta-gana
["Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord."]

nija-vastre kaila prabhu grha sammarjana
mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana
["The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also."]

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

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

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)
["One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord."]

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

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234)
["Material senses cannot appreciate Krsna's holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord's holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord's food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is."]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nisiddhacara kutinati jiva-himsana
labha-puja-pratisthadi yata upasakha-gana
["Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers."]

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

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
["Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone's feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari."]

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

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

asat-sanga-tyaga, – ei vaisnava-acara
‘stri-sangi' – eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta' ara
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.87)
["A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krsna."]

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

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

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

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

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

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

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat
["A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world."]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gramya-katha na çunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
amani manada haïa krsna-nama sada la'be
vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 6.236–7)
["Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana."]

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

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

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

na prema-gandho 'sti darapi me harau
krandami saubhagya-bharam prakasitum
vamsi-vilasy-anana-lokanam vina
bibharmi yat prana-patangakan vrtha
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45)

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

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

Venu Gita

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jïana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam
bhaktir uttama
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11)
["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service."]

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

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

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Bhagavad-gita (9.27)
["Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me."]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25)
["In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin."]

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

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

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

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

 

 

A108-AI

bhaktivinoda2.jpgToday is a very auspicious day. In all our mathas we are engaged in arranging for the Ratha-yatra festival for Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra; but prior to that we celebrate the divine disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gadadhara Pandita.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Gadadhara Pandita are in the same line. We can say, and it is also stated in sastra, that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is a manifestation of Srila Gadadhara Pandita. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was always in a mood of service to Srila Gadadhara Pandita. He is Kamala Manjari, serving the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Krsna under the guidance of her beautiful friend Rupa Manjari, with a special inclination towards Srimati Radhika.

For us, this means some exceptionally good fortune. We are very fortunate, because only little time has passed since he disappeared. When I joined the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Mission, I could have even met and served his son and real disciple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, for some little while. At that time I was old enough to have had his darsana and served him, but unfortunately – even though I was very near, I was not able to meet and associate with him.

But still I'm very fortunate, because his direct disciple, his very bold disciple, the life and soul of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my Guru Maharaja, took me by my sikha and engaged me in his service.

Once I had a discussion with disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. When they spoke some siddhanta that was not proper, I could not appreciate it and I told them, "I have seen Srila Prabhupada; you have not seen him. I saw him through my ears, and you saw him only through your eyes. My vision is perfect."

Then they complained to my Guru Maharaja, saying, "He is very proud. He is challenging us that we did not see Srila Prabhupada but he has seen him!" My Guru Maharaja politely answered, "He is right. He actually saw him, by hearing from me, and you saw him only by your eyes. The eye can cheat, but the ear cannot cheat."

I am very lucky that my Guru Maharaja was pleased with me, and kept me with him and engaged me in his service; and still I can serve him. He even wrote something about me in his preface to Jaiva Dharma, and therefore I feel very fortunate.

If we follow the instructions of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gadadhara Pandita, especially Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara, we can develop our Krsna-consciousness. We should read and hear their teachings deeply, so that we may become inspired to follow them.

[Prema-prayojana dasa tells about the life and character of Sri Gadadhara Pandita.]

Srila Gurudeva: Why did Caitanya Mahaprabhu forbid Gadadhara Pandita to leave Jagannatha Puri? Why did He 'cruelly' order him to stay there, while He went to Vrndavana without him? What was His real, internal mood? The answer is that if Gadadhara Pandita would remain with Him, then His mood of being Krsna would arise. When they would go together to Govardhana, to Vrndavana, Rasa-sthali and other places, then Gadadhara Pandita would say something like:

barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5)

["I worship that Parabrahma, whose crown is decorated with a peacock feather, whose large forehead is marked with tilaka of musk, whose shark-shaped earrings swing around His neck, whose eyes resemble lotus flowers, whose neck has three lines like a conchshell, whose lotus face is graced with a gentle smile, who holds a flute to His bimba fruit-like lips, whose bodily complexion is like that of a fresh mosoon cloud, who is supremely peaceful, who stands in a delightful three-fold bending posture, whose yellow cloth is resplendent like the rays of the sun, who is adorned with a victory flower garland, who is surrounded on all sides by hundreds of gopis, and who resides in Sri Dhama-Vrndavana in the guise of a cowherd-boy."]

By hearing this, Mahaprabhu would not have been able to control Himself. His krsnatva (His being in His identity as Krsna) would have become visible to all, and His pastime of giving raganuga-bhakti and tasting Radha's mood would have been finished.

[Prema-prayojana dasa tells the pastime of Gadadhara Pandita and Pundarika Vidyanidhi.]

Srila Gurudeva: There is an important teaching here. When Gadadhara Pandita first went to meet Pundarika with Mukunda, he misunderstood him. It was only by the mercy of Mukunda that Gaadhara was able to see Pundarika Vidyanidhi's true ecstatic moods. The teaching in this pastime is that if you want to know who is a Vaisnava, you cannot understand him by your sense perception. You cannot recognize a Vaisnava by yourself. You will have to go to him under the guidance of a Vaisnava; then you can understand.

Sri Gadadhara Pandita is Srimati Radhika Herself; he cannot commit any mistake. Only to teach us that we have to take shelter of a high-class, bona fide guru, he played a role and performed this pastime. Only through this process we can achieve pure bhakti: You may be intelligent or an important person, but without a guru you cannot serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Your bhakti cannot develop.

[Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept each other's company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, "Listen carefully Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have been hankering for the association of pure Vaisnavas and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaisnava devotee. In return for this, I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant."

The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krsna as they proceeded towards the great Vaisnava's residence with Mukunda. Arriving there, they found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his obeisances and was respectfully seated.

Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, "What is his name and from which village does he come? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Visnu, both his form and demeanour are extremely wonderful."

"His name is Sri Gadadhara," Mukunda replied. "He is very fortunate because from early childhood, he has been totally detached from family life. In his external material identity, he is the son of the brahmana Sri Madhva Misra. Since he is absorbed in devotional service, he only associates with Vaisnavas, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you, he was anxious to meet you."

After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi was very pleased to meet him. The great personality, Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of wood, covered with intricate brass and reddish stone inlay work. Above it were three tiers of ornamental drapes made of glittering brocade cloth. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets, and silk pillows were placed under his back.

On either side of him, many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with neatly prepared betel pan upon it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him into which he continually glanced while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan. He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark upon his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well-groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil.

Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. As he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him a prince, as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of the easy and comfortable life, given to pleasure.

When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life, he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He thought, "What sort of a Vaisnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood, I developed great respect for this person, but now upon seeing him, it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion."

Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Krsna, Gadadhara Pandita would be allowed to perceive everything; nothing would remain unknown to him.

In a very sweet voice, Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service, "Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to the she-demon, Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind, she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast and came to kill Krsna, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement."

As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love welled up in his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Gaìga. Simultaneously, all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, horripilated, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy.

Then suddenly regaining consciousness, he said in a loud voice, "Speak! Speak!" and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions, he kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused jumble. He began tearing his fine clothes, and his well-groomed hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust.

He cried out, "O Krsna, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard-hearted like a stone!" He lamented loudly, piteously crying out, "I have been deprived of the Lord's association in His most merciful incarnation!" He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones.

He trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way, the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.

Amazed at what he had witnessed, Gadadhara Pandita began to worry, thinking, "What inauspiciousness has overcome me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality?" He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love, he said, "Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaisnava like him anywhere in this entire creation.

"One can become totally purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me, I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi, I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaisnava given to the pleasures of life.

"You could read my mind and being a greatly magnanimous soul you have revealed to me the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's love of Krsna. Yet, today, I have been offensive and the extent of my offence can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart.

"All the devotees who have surrendered to the Lord by the process of devotional service have accepted the shelter and instructions of a guide. Yet, I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and follow devotional service under his guidance. I shall counteract all my offences to him by becoming his disciple."

Thus, Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, “Very good, very good.” (Sri Caitanya-bhagavat, Madhya-lila ch.6]

Seeing Gadadhara Pandita’s doubt, Mukanda Datta recited one verse to Pundarika Vidyanidhi:

aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam
jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi
lebhe gatim dhatry-ucitam tato 'nyam
kam va dayalum saranam vrajema
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3.2.23)

["How astonishing! When Putana, wicked sister of Bakasura, tried to kill child Krsna by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Krsna?"]

Upon hearing this, Pundarika Vidyanidhi became overwhelmed with ecstatic emotions.

[Prema-prayojana Prabhu tells the story of Vallabhacarya, who visited Mahaprabhu, trying to prove his scholarship.]

A question comes: Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has stated that Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and Sikhi Mahiti are Mahaprabhu's antaranga, most confidential associates. He even spoke about Madhavi devi as being His half intimate associate, but why did he not mention Gadadhara Pandita?

The answer is that Sri Gadadhara Pandita, as Srimati Radhika, is non-different from, or in other words, is in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always in the mood of Srimati Radhika – sometimes in mood of another sakhi, but always in the mood of Srimati Radhika – and always crying. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is in the mood of Srimati Radhika, Gadadhara Pandita has no function there like others who are antaranga. He is Radhika. Radhika is not different from Krsna, She is not an antaranga.

We can learn so many things in these pastimes. Without a guru one may be powerful like Brahma or Sankara, but one cannot even become liberated, what to speak of serving Radha-Krsna. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally took initiation from Isvara Puripada, and He inspired Gadadhara Pandita to also take initiation. Initiation is very important.

Some people think that they don't need a guru. They think that the mantras are written in books, so to read and repeat them is sufficient. But this is absurd. I have seen many sannyasis and other senior male and female devotees who do not even chant their mantras given by their bona fide Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. They do not meditate on them. So how can one who does not even have a guru become inspired? From where will he get strength?

To except a guru is essential. An initiated devotee will think: "I must carry out the order given by my Gurudeva." We must accept any high class rasika Vaisnava guru. Some may think: "We came in this line because of Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. We are reading Svami Prabhupada's books and are following him. There is no need of any other guru." Even some whose gurus fell down think in this way: "I believe that Srila Prabhupada is my guru, no need to take initiation from anyone else."

But this will not do. One has to take proper initiation and follow his guru, as did Lord Ramacandra Himself, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu, who is akhanda-guru-tattva, the original guru Himself. Nityananda Prabhu personally took initiation from Laksmipati Tirtha, and after that He accepted as His siksa-guru Madhavendra Puripada, whose status was even higher then that of Laksmipati Tirtha. Even Sri Krsna, along with Balaramji, took initiation. They were disciples of Bhaguri Muni. Do not think they took initiation from Sandipani Muni. Sandipani Muni was a school teacher who taught Krsna and Balarama the sixty-four arts, but Their real diksa-guru was Bhaguri Muni.

Krsna personally spoke this to the gopis. The gopis were telling Him: "You do not have a guru, so You are a bogus person." Krsna replied: "Why are you saying so? You can go and ask Durvasa Muni. It was in front of him that My father Nanda Baba had Me take initiation from Bhaguri Muni. Bhaguri Muni came to my house and I took initiation from him."

As Nityananda Prabhu gave even more respect to Madhavendra Puripada, his siksa-guru, if the siksa-guru is more qualified and rasika, we should honor him and give him respect. Giving respect to our diksa-guru, we should serve such a siksa-guru even more. There are thousands upon thousands of such examples in our Vaisnava scriptures. Don't be weak. If you are developing your Krsna-consciousness, your life will be successful, otherwise not. And, someone who is inspiring me in my Krsna-consciousness, especially one who helps me to become a rasika Vaisnava, he is more superior than anyone else. He is really guru. We do not consider Kesava Bharati to be the guru of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, although he was a Vaisnava in the line of Isvara Puripada. Rather, we consider him to be the vesa-guru of Mahaprabhu (who gave Him saffron cloth).

It is very hard to recognize a Vaisnava. We see that even a devotee like Gadadhara Pandita (in his human-like pastimes) could not recognize a pure Vaisnava. He rejected Pundarika Vidyanidhi, because Pundarika Vidyanidhi was chewing betel-nut and living in luxury like a king. If the internal mood of a Vaisnava is high, then such a Vaisnava is to be accepted as highly advanced. A devotee may have a five-, six-, or eight-kilo japa-mala, very long, big tilaka, and thick kanti-mala, and he will start to chant "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna" as soon as he sees someone. But that person may not be a pure Vaisnava. And another devotee, who is not chanting on a japa-mala, like Pundarika Vidyanidhi, may put us in a dilemma regarding whether or not he is a devotee.

Therefore Mahaprabhu is advising: Do not try to understand who is a Vaisnava by his external appearance. Only an uttama-adhikari can recognize an uttama-adhikari. Even a madhyama-adhikari may be confused. Therefore, do not criticize any Vaisnava or judge him according to his external appearance.

Your life should be successful. If you can develop your Krsna-consciousness, then your life is successful. You may possess great wealth, position, power, beauty, and so many good qualities, but if this one quality, Krsna-consciousness, is not there, your life cannot be successful. Endeavor only to develop your Krsna-consciousness. If the whole world is against you, or if you don't become wealthy or acquire any position, there is no harm in that. Try to maintain your life only for the purpose of developing Krsna-consciousness; this is the teaching of Srila Rupa and Raghunatha and our guru-parampara. Don't try to buy bhakti by wealth and money. Only by pure hearted internal service to Sri Guru you can purchase it. Always remember what Krsna promised in Bhagavad-gita:

ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
Bhagavad-gita 9.22

["But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have."]

Those who continuously chant and remember Krsna have no time to maintain themselves and their family; therefore Krsna will come to maintain them. He has promised this. Why fear? If we have strong faith in His words, certainly He is bound to fulfill His promise. But we are very unfortunate; we don't have such strong faith; this is the problem. Try to overcome this and maintain strong faith, total faith, in Krsna. He is bound to fulfill His promise. All others may fail to keep their promises, but He cannot fail. He cannot.

Try to realize this, and be always conscientious to become a high-class devotee. Give your life only for developing bhakti – bhakti, bhakti, bhakti.

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
Brhan-naradiya-purana 38.126

["In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way, no other way, no other way."]

Harer bhakti harer bhakti harer bhakti eva kevalam – There is no other way; only bhakti, only bhakti, only bhakti.

[Srila Gurudeva leads the devotees in first singing Radhika-astakam and then the kirtana of "Jaya Gaura-Gadadhara."]

Jaya jaya Gaura-Gadadhara ki jaya! Gadai-Gaurangaji ki jaya! Gaura-premanande hari hari bol!

Now we should discuss about the incarnation of Gadadhara Pandita, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. But don't hear in such a way that my words will go in one ear in and out the other. Hear with both ears, and take what you hear into your heart.

[Syamarani dasi speaks about the presence of many sahajiya sects during the time of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's preaching]

Srila Gurudeva: We find so many 'Lalita-sakhis' in Navadvipa. Male persons put on Indian style saris and nose rings, and say, "We are gopis". At the same time, they engage in nonsense, illicit activities. Even among us, I know many ladies and gentlemen who can't even chant five or six rounds, but are very interested to taste goopi-bhava – they want it immediately. For this so-called attainment they can even give up their high-class Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, and istead they go to any babaji, pay two rupies, and get goopi-bhava very cheaply. Such so-called gurus tell them, "You are Lalita, you are Vishaka, and you are Citra, Rupa Manjari etc." Bogus.

Everywhere, in France and also here (in England), I see these bogus gurus, those who cheat devotees. I request all devotees to be careful. First follow Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and read Jaiva Dharma. Chant continuously and follow the instruction given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Nectar of Instruction (Upadesamrta):

vaco vegam manasa krodha vegam...

atyaharah prayasas ca...

utsahan niscayad dhairyat...

Also, give proper honor to proper Vaisnavas. This is more important. If you have no interest to chant the holy names and listen to hari-katha, then listen more, again and again. Come to the point of tan-nama-rupa-caritadi sukirtananu (pure chanting of the holy names). Then, when renunciation will appear in your heart and all material desires will disappear, automatically your siddha-deha, your perfected spiritual body, will appear. At that time you will be able to remember asta-kaliya-lila. This is the process of suddha-bhakti, or pure bhakti, as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has clearly told; there is no other path. Don't worry for your siddha-deha. Don't try to prematurely think, "I'm the dasi of Rupa Manjari" and so on. First practice very steadfastly and determinedly.

Remember this sloka from Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7):

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

["By rendering devotional service unto Bhagavan Sri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world."]

Ahaitukam (causeless knowledge) will come. Wait for that, otherwise you will be like an unripe jackfruit.

[Pundarika dasa explains how sometimes a jackfruit is plucked prematurely. The persons who want to eat it first cut it, and their fingers get entangled in the sticky glue-like substance inside that become a source of trouble.]

Srila Gurudeva: All the teachings of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can be summarized by one verse from his Gitavali:

krsnera samsara koro jadi anacara
jiva daya krsna nama sarva dharma sar.

["Carry on your worldly duties, but in relation to Krsna. Show compassion to all souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krsna – this is the essence of all forms of religion."]

What is the meaning?

[Prema-prayojana dasa explains]

Srila Gurudeva: The essence of this sloka is jiva-daya, mercy towards all living entities. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained what is real kindness towards jivas, and we should try to follow this. If you can turn the mood of even one person toward Krsna, so that he chants the holy name and remembers Krsna in the way given by our acaryas, this kindness is millions times better than opening millions of hospitals or schools.

So, I want that next year each of you will bring five new devotees. Then I will think that you have preached. Otherwise, if one cannot inspire a single person, if he is only engaged in sense gratification, than fie on such a wretched person.

What is the meaning of "krsna-samsara" (making one's home Krsna-centered)? It doesn't mean to be an ordinary family person. It means to be family persons like the gopas, like Sridama, Subala, and Madhu-mangala. Sudhama married, but he married for Krsna.

Once, while Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja was staying in Navadvipa near the Ganges, and was doing bhajana without any hut or other possessions, a man came to him and said, "Babaji Maharaja, I am your disciple. Today I have collected a Krsna-dasi. I just married her; please sprinkle your mercy upon her." Babaji replied, "I am very happy; you are fortunate to have collected a Krsna-dasi. Worship her daily and don't be lusty; don't try to enjoy her, otherwise you will be finished forever." Hearing this, that man quickly ran away and never came back.

So, our marriage should be for Krsna, like the gopas, without any lust at all. I want that you preach, thus showing jiva-daya, mercy towards all living entities. Collect sincere devotees who will come to hear hari-katha. The managers here should not have problems how to accommodate everybody; I want this. Preach everywhere. Don't depend on any preaching center. Whether there are preaching centers or not, preach. If the preaching center is easily accomplished, very good; but even without it, preach and distribute the message of Sri Caitaniya Mahaprabhu and help others to become pure sincere devotees regardless of their asrama. They can be family men, brahmacaris, or vanaprasthas, but they should be sincere devotees.

This is the teaching of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He wrote more than one hundred books in different languages. He was like Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami, and Srila Jiva Gosvami, and therefore he is called Saptama-gosvami, the Seventh Gosvami. As Maharaja Bhagiratha brought the river Ganga from the heavenly planets to this Earth to liberate his ancestors, similarly Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura brought the current of pure bhakti, bhakti-bhagirathi, prema-dharma, and especially upapati-bhava (unnatojjvala-rasa) from Goloka Vrndavana to this world. What he brought was not only from heaven like the Ganges; he brought the very sacred stream of love and affection from its original place in Radha-kunda, from the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. Thus, he is called Saptam-gosvami. There is so much more to say in his glorification. His glories are like an unlimited ocean. We tried only to touch a little from the shore of that ocean.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura ki jaya! Gaura premanande!

gurudeva_blue.jpg

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pancatattva3.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
An Excerpt of His Glories
Badger, Jun 1st, 2002

[June 19 and 20, 2017  is the appearance day of Srivasa Thakura, who is the intimate associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and who is Sri Narada Muni in krsna-lila. Srila Gurudeva spoke on a drop of his glory on June 1st, 2002,  and we are enclosing his words of wisdom herein. The main topic of Srila Gurudeva's class was the subject of ruci, or taste for krsna-bhajana, and he gave Srivasa Thakura as an example of a pure devotee who had no taste in material affection due to his taste for bhajana, listen here:]

Vamsi dasa Babaji was always in a mood of intimacy with Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You, on the other hand, are always engaged in maintaining your life. Sometimes business is very good, and you think, "Oh, this is very good." And sometimes it is down and you think, "What to do? What to do? What to do?" You forget to chant and you forget to worship. This is not ruci (taste for bhakti). If you are in the stage of ruci, all items for your maintenance will come to you automatically. If anything is not coming for your maintenance, like money, food, or anything else, you will not worry.

When Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was residing near Govinda-kunda, he saw that many persons were engaged in eating very delicious food at a picnic. He thought, "I should also have some delicious food." And then he replied to himself, "You want delicious food? Very good. I will arrange that right away." He took some very bitter neem leaves, ate them, and told himself, "Take this and be satisfied." Sometimes he used to eat the mud of the kundas (ponds) and thus he became blind, but he didn't care. He was simply absorbed in chanting, "O Radhe! Radhe! Where are You?"

premamayi radhe, radhe, radhe
vrndavana vilasini, radhe, radhe
vrsabhanu-nandini, radhe, radhe
kanu-mana-mohini, radhe, radhe
astasakhira siromani, radhe, radhe

He prayed, "Tomara kangala tomaya dako, radhe radhe. I am a very poor beggar, begging Your darsana." He was always chanting, "O Radhe, O Radhe," and he was always in a mood of separation from Her. If you, on the other hand, are worried for your maintenance, thinking, "Today there is no food!" "Our business is down!" "My relative has died!" and you are busy in those thoughts, how will you attain krsna-prema?

You should follow Srivasa Pandita. During kirtana one day, his only son died and his wife and relatives began to weep. He told them, "If you disturb the kirtana, I will jump in the Ganges at once." Mahaprabhu had also been participating in that kirtana, and when He understood what happened, He entered the son's room and told that dead boy, "Why are you sleeping? Wake up." The boy then opened his eyes and began to speak. He said, "I am doing very well in the place where I have just taken birth. It is favorable for doing bhajana there, and here it is not." Mahaprabhu then told him, "Yes, go there."

In this world, it is essential to maintain our life. Without this, we can't do our bhajana. But don't be worried about this. Your maintenance will come automatically, according to your previous activities. If something comes, that is okay, and if something that you have collected is lost, still, don't worry.

Suppose you have deposited many thousands of dollars in a bank, but somehow your business failed and your money was lost. Don't worry about that. You cannot achieve krsna-prema, or anything else, by money. You cannot eat your bank money. You can only eat two capatis or two slices of bread – nothing more. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes in his Bhajana Rahasya:

alabdhe va vinaste va
bhaksyacchadana-sadhane
aviklava-matir bhutva
harim eva dhiya smaret
(Padma Purana)

"The mind of one who has taken shelter of the holy name is undisturbed even if food and clothes are not easily obtained, or if they are obtained but then lost. Leaving behind all material attachments, he takes complete shelter of Govinda."

Chant Hare Krsna without any worry. Remember Srivasa Pandita and his four brothers, who chanted throughout the night, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare," and "Hari haraya nama krsna yadavaya namah."

There was nothing to eat in Srivasa Pandita's house, and Mahaprabhu told him, "You chant Hare Krsna day and night, but you should also try to maintain yourself. Make some money by working or by begging. Somehow or other you should maintain yourself and your family."

Srivasa Pandita replied, "We will not do so. We will only chant." Then he clapped three times as he said, "One, two, three." Mahaprabhu asked, "What are you doing?" Srivasa Pandita replied, "I will wait one day, and if there is no food, I will wait for another day, and then for a third day. Then, if nothing comes by the third day, I will jump in the Ganges. I will say 'Hare Krsna' and jump."

Mahaprabhu then told all the devotees, "Those who have sincerely taken shelter of the holy name and are sincerely chanting will never have to beg. Laksmi, the Goddess of Fortune herself, may beg, but My devotees will never have to do so. I will take responsibility for the maintenance on My own head, and I will arrange everything for them. I will maintain them; this is My promise." Have strong faith in this.

[Devotee:] Gurudeva, you described some of the glories of Srivasa Pandita. You said he was not even concerned when his little son died during the kirtana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told the boy to come back, but he said, "No, I am in a better place now." My question is: what better place could he be in? He was already in Mahaprabhu's kirtana with Srivasa Pandita.

[Srila Gurudeva:] Krsna had called him to participate in the pastimes He was performing in prakata Vraja in one of the universes. He was playing with Krsna and His associates there, and he was very happy. He therefore told Mahaprabhu, "Let me stay here; I am very happy here." It may be that due to his sadhana-bhajana he had become a gopi and he was residing with all the gopis. He may have been with Sri Rupa Manjari, so why would he want to return? His new situation was the fruit of his serving Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

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46d8589c211315fd6a9f207dd579cda8.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Badger, California: May 15, 2003

[This year, 2017, two auspicious holy days fall on May 10th and 11th around the world  – the appearance day of Srila Madhavendra Puri and the appearance day of Srinivasa Acarya. In order that we may remember and glorify them and take their shelter, so that they may bless us in Krsna consciousness, Srila Gurudeva spoke the following lecture in Badger, California, on May 15, 2003. Whether it be the appearance day, or disappearance day, of Srila Madhavendra Puri and Srila Srinivasa Acarya – both are the same:]

Madhavendra Puri

You should know that Krsna was controlled by Madhavendra Puri, who is superior to Sri Prahlada Maharaja in various ways. I think Prahlada Maharaja cannot touch the lotus feet of Madhavendra Puri.

Madhavendra Puripada is the root, or first sprout, of prema-bhakti, the prema kalpataru (the desire tree of love of God). The Deity of Srinathaji (Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana) manifested to him and gave him constant darsana. Prahlada Maharaja and Nrsimhadeva had association for only a moment, and Bhagavan often gave His association to Bali Maharaja in the planet Sutala, but Madhavendra Puri is a special maidservant of Srimati Radhika.

Madhavendra Puri has special love and affection for the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. His devotion is so high. He is the root of Vraja-rasa (the mellow of conjugal love for Krsna), for he brought such love to this world. Sri Isvara Puri received that gopi mood from him and then gave it to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Such wealth was then bestowed upon Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda, and the Six Gosvamis, and it is thus coming down in disciplic succession.

Srinivasa Acarya

Srinivasa Acarya was the disciple of Srila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami, and He was trained by his siksa-guru, Srila Jiva Gosvami. He introduced many melodies for kirtanas, and he was such an exalted devotee that our Gosvamis depended upon him. They directed him: "You should go and preach in Bengal, and distribute all the literature written by us. Along with his associates, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura and Srila Syamananda Prabhu, he took their order and books, bound for Bengal.

narosrinirama.jpgAlong the way, some dacoits looted all the books. They thought they'd gained a trunk full of jewels. An astrologer had told the dacoits' leader, "This trunk is full of treasure", and for this they had stolen the cart with all the books. The three devotees became mad in separation from the manifest heart of the Gosvamis – their writings. Srinivasa Acarya sent both his associates to Bengal, telling them, "I'll stay here until I discover the location of the books."

The local king was the leader of all the dacoits, but he was also a devotee. Though he used to loot so many things, he would also meditate and hear scriptures – Srimad Bhagavatam especially. There was a Bhagavata pandita in his council who read aloud and explained Srimad Bhagavatam. Srinivasa Acarya, in a very simple dress, went there one day when a Bhagavata discourse was taking place. He humbly sat in that assembly, hearing from the court pandita. After the Srimad Bhagavatam discourse was finished for that day, Srinivasa requested, "May I comment on what he has explained?"

The king said, "Oh yes, very well; you may explain something about these topics." The pandita had been speaking on Bhramara-gita, but he was not able to explain it very deeply.

Srinivasa Acarya stood up and began to explain it, weeping and making the audience weep. He gave the explanations that were also given by Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami in their purports to Srimad- Bhagavatam.

The king at once approached Srinivasa Acarya and offered dandavat pranams, begging, "I want to take diksa initiation from you, and I want to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam." Srinivasa accepted the king and gave him initiation. Then the king offered, "I want to give you some donation for this – guru-daksina. As you like, I can give."

Srinivasa replied, "Oh, you are promising? Then you should try to arrange to get our cart full of all the books."

The king immediately answered, "Oh, it is with me! It is with me! My astrologers told me, 'three persons are coming, devotees from Vrndavana, with lots of jewels – more than jewels.' And that is why we took the trunk. We could not tell in what way they are jewels; but now, hearing from you, I know that they are so much more than jewels."

Jewels cannot give krsna-bhakti. They cannot help us. Those books can help us thousands of times more than jewels. You are coming here only by the grace of those books.

In this way, the books of Srila Jiva Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and all the other Gosvami literature were saved. So this was Srinivasa Acarya, a very high class of devotee.

We pray to the lotus feet of Srila Madhavendra Puri and Srila Srinivasa Acarya to sprinkle their mercy on us.

 

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gallery_1_40_3430820.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
May 10, 1998
Wales, UK

Respected Harikatha Readers,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

This year, 2017, the auspicious appearance day of Lord Nrsimhadeva is May 9th and 10th around the world. Srila Gurudeva gave an amazing discourse on the Lord's appearance day in 1998, in Wales, and he is sharing this with you for the occasion this year.  (To hear the audio lecture click here.)

Just as Srila Sukadeva Gosvami's speaking of Srimad-Bhagavatam 5,000 years ago is as fresh and relevant today, just as Srila Rupa Gosvami's books, written 500 years ago, nourish us today, just as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's songs, written 100 years ago, nurture us each day, so there is no difference between the 'old' or 'new' discourses of Srila Gurudeva. In all of them he is speaking to us anew, each and every day.

Your aspiring servants, the Harikatha team]

Lord Nrsimha's Mercy

Ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho, yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimhah hrdaye nrsimho, nrsimham adhim saranam prapadye

Ito Nrismhah parato nrsimho. Nrsimha is here, Nrsimha is there; above, below, in front, in back, in all corners, and everywhere else. Wherever I go, wherever I walk, and travel, I see Nrismha everywhere. He is in our heart, He is in the creepers and plants, and everywhere else. There is not a single place – even an atom – where He is not present.

Since He is everywhere, if you pray to Him to save you, He will come at once and save you as He saved Prahlada Maharaja from Hiranyakasipu. He will take away all of your problems, as He took away all the problems of Prahlada Maharaja. He quickly destroyed Prahlada's demonic father, Hiranyakasipu, who had been given a boon of immortality. Hiranyakasipu was strong like iron. He was blessed not to die in the sky, by weapons, demons, humans, animals, fire, poison, or any other force of this world. Still, Nrsimhadeva killed him very quickly.

Nrismham adhim saranam prapadye. We take shelter of Nrsimhadeva.
If you experience any difficulty or danger in your life, you can chant this mantra. Lord Nrismha surely will save you; He has come only to save you. You can test this. If you are very faithful to Him, as Prahlada Maharaja was faithful, He will take away all your difficulties in chanting, remembering, and becoming a pure devotee. He has come as the embodiment of Krsna's mercy. So chant this mantra, especially today, and He will protect you from everything inauspicious.

[Srila Gurudeva sang the mantra again, along with the assembled devotees, and proceeded to sing with them the mantra below.]

Prahlada jaya jaya. Nrsimha jaya jaya, Nrsimha jaya jaya, Prahlada jaya jaya,
Nrsmadeva is always greedy to help us. He wants to help us, but we don't want His help.

Prahlada's Mercy

It is rare to find anyone who has such faith, and love and affection, for Krsna, as Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada tried to teach his demonic father this beautiful truth.

naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam
niskincananam na vrrnita yavat
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.32)
["Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaisnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Krsna conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination."]

Prahlada told his father that those in material consciousness are blind, and they are like dogs. Dogs think that they are intelligent, but they are not.

sri-prahlada uvaca
matir na krsne paratah svato va
mitho 'bhipadyeta grha-vratanam
adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram
punah punas carvita-carvananam
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.5.30)
["Prahlada Maharaja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Krsna are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both."]

Some dogs once found a dry bone, which had absolutely no juice. One of the dogs approached that bone, quickly grabbed it with his teeth, and ran away. He then looked back towards the other twenty dogs, who now began to pursue him in order to take that dry juiceless bone away from him. At last they all caught hold of him and began to viciously attack him.

That dog, now full of injuries and blood, gave up that bone. His tail going inside his legs, he watched from the sidelines as another dog, while trying to relish the bone, was also violently attacked.

We are like this. Our fathers and forefathers have tried to take the juice of material enjoyment from this world, tasting only dry bone. If you ask your grandfathers, who are eighty, ninety, or a hundred years old, if they are happy with their life's accomplishments, they will all say, "No." When you ask, "Why not?" they will reply, "I am now old. I can no longer enjoy the taste of wonderful foods because I cannot digest anything I eat. I am going to die. I am not happy."

Ironically, their children consider, "Doing what we have seen our fathers and grandfathers do, we will now be very happy."

Suppose a man thinks, "I will drink a great quantity of wine;" what will happen to him? He will become like a madman. He will faint and fall in a drain, at which time he will think, "I am sitting on a golden throne. I am the monarch of all." Dogs will approach him, smell his body, and think, "What a good smell!" They will taste him with their tongues and thus wash his face. Thus, there is no real pleasure in worldly objects of enjoyment.

Prahlada Maharaja explained this truth to Hiranyakasipu, hearing which, Hiranyakasipu became furious and decided to kill him. Hiranyakasipu tried several methods to kill him, which all subsequently failed, and he concluded, "I cannot kill him. I fear that my death will come from him. It is I who will die."

In the meantime, his very dear sister named Holika approached him and said, "My dear brother, why are you so anxious and worried? Can I help you?"

He replied, "No one in this world can help me."

Holika then said, "I can help you. What do you want?"

He said, "I want my son to be killed."

She said, "I can do this very easily. I performed severe austerities and received a benediction that I will not burn in fire. I now have this power, so I will bring that boy into a fire and he will burn very easily."

Hiranyakasipu began to laugh and said, "O sister, you have saved me."

Holika replied, "Yes. Tomorrow, you should arrange a heap of dry wood. I will then take that boy on my lap and sit on the heap of wood. Some ghee and oil should be poured on the wood, and at once the fire will go so high that in a minute he will be burned. I will then come out of the flames."

The next morning, a very big heap of dry wood was brought and abundant ghee poured on it. Holika took Prahlada and said, "My dear nephew, nephew, nephew; please come and sit on my lap. I will give you much milk to drink." She then sat comfortably in the midst of the dry wood, and took Prahlada Maharaja on her lap. At once a fire was started all around, and the flames very quickly created a great sound and began to touch the sky.

All the spectators watched as both Holika and Prahlada were covered by fire, and considered that they must both have been burned to death. Hiranyakasipu was quite satisfied, thinking that his sister would come to him laughing, and that Prahlada would be finished.

However, everyone present very soon saw Prahlada Maharaja walk out of the fire. Holika, on the other hand, was burned to ashes, never to return.

Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, "How were you saved?"

Prahlada replied, "When I was sitting there, I saw my aunty burn within a moment. At the same time, someone came to me and clothed me in an ice-like covering. I was easily saved, but I was so worried for my dead aunty." Hiranyakasipu's fury rose.

Prahlada's teachers, the two sons of the depressed Hiranyakasipu's guru, drew near Hiranyakasipu and asked him, "Why are you worried? You have conquered the entire world. You have conquered air, fire, all five elements. You can easily fly in the air, and you can take a thunderbolt and defeat Indra. So why are you worried? Wait a little. Our father will soon come and solve this problem.

Prahlada was again sent to school. Then, one day the teachers, desirous to engage in some household jobs, told him, "Prahlada, you should be the monitor and see that the other children do not do anything wrong. The boys can be somewhat naughty, so you must control them. We will return soon."

Prahlada's Teachings

Prahlada began teaching his fellow students about Krsna consciousness, but the boys initially resisted with the excuse that they would take up Krsna consciousness in their old age. They told Prahlada that now was the time to play.

Prahlada replied, "We may die at an early age. We may even die when we are seven, eight, nine, or ten. If you die at a young age, you will not become old."

"In order to marry and become happy with family, and in order to nourish and support one's children, a person thinks, 'I will build a first-class house and make a very beautiful garden. I will have strong, beautiful dogs, and I will enjoy.'"

"This is a waste of time. We don't want to suffer, but suffering comes to us by our past births' impressions. We don't want to become old, but old age also comes. If you have performed any pious activity in the past, your present happiness will come automatically. Maintenance of your life, your good wife, good children, and everything else will come automatically. Since happiness comes automatically as a result of our past lives' activities, why are you making so many efforts to become happy? Why not chant Krsna's name and remember Him from the beginning of life?"

Prahlada continued, "Now you are boys of three, four, five, six, and seven years of age. Now you are free from worldly entanglements and your hearts are like plain sheets of paper, without anything written there. Later, when you mature, you may marry a beautiful lady. At that time, if you want to leave this world to perform bhajana, she will weep. How will you be able to give up such a beautiful, qualified wife?"

"Moreover, if you also have some children, beautiful sons or daughters, you will be engaged in serving them. Even if you try to give them up, you will not be able to do so. If the children call out to you in their sweet voices and broken language, 'Father, Father, Father,' how will you ever be able to give them up? You will think, 'I must support all these children. They are babies and cannot do anything. If I give up my household life, they will all die.' You may also lament, 'Oh, my beautiful dog and cow can't live without me.' Suppose you make a good garden with many trees and flowers, and later you decide to give it up to associate with devotees to chant and remember Krsna. You will then consider, 'Who will take care of this garden if I leave? All the flowers will die.' You will not be able to leave."

Prahlada continued, "It is better that you chant and remember Krsna from childhood, when you are free from all these worldly entanglements." All the students were inspired, but at the same time they had some doubt.

"We accept that what you are telling is true," they said. "Now we have great faith in you; but we want to know where you learned all these truths. You always remain within the palace, where it is very difficult to associate with any great personality."

Prahlada Tells His History

With a view to removing the doubts of his classmates, Prahlada said, "Some time ago, when my father was angry with Lord Visnu for killing his brother, Hiranyaksa, He began to consider, 'My brother has been killed by Varahadeva, an incarnation of Visnu. If I take revenge against Visnu now, he will surely kill me. So, I should first become immortal.' He began to perform severe austerities at Mandaracala Mountain, where he fully fasted from eating and drinking. He fasted even from dry leaves, and even water and air, for 60,000 years. He entered into a trance, and was thus oblivious to the fact that his body had been eaten by ants and only his bones remained."

In Satya-yuga, one's life could reside in one's bones, without the rest of the body. Nowadays, if we do not eat anything we will die in two or three days, but at that time it was different.

"In the meantime the demigods became worried. In Hiranyakasipu's absence, therefore, the demigods, headed by King Indra, made an attempt to subdue all the demons in warfare. A great battle ensued between the demons and demigods, wherein the generals of Hiranyakasipu were smashed. The victorious demigods plundered my father's palace and destroyed everything within it. Then Indra, King of heaven, arrested my mother, the Queen, planning to take her to a heavenly planet."

The demigods considered that Prahlada was probably a demon, like his father, so they planned to kill him as soon as he would take birth from his mother's womb. In the meantime, the sage Narada was coming from heaven and asked them, "Why are you doing such nonsense? You are demigods and you are taking a lady in this way? She cannot fight with you, so why are you taking her? Moreover, there is a great devotee in her womb."

Prahlada continued, "When the great saint Narada Muni spoke thus, King Indra immediately released my mother. Because of my being a devotee of the Lord, all the demigods circumambulated her. Then, after they left for their celestial kingdom, Narada brought my mother to his asrama, assured her of all protection, and taught me, within her womb, the truths of bhakti."

Further Teachings of Prahlada

Prahlada continued: "We can never be happy by our material activities. No one has ever become happy by such engagement. If you want to be happy in life, go to an expert guru and at once take initiation and a spiritual name from him. Then, under his guidance, try to follow the rules and regulations of devotion."

guru-susrusaya bhaktya
sarva-labdharpanena ca
sangena sadhu-bhaktanam
isvararadhanena ca
sraddhaya tat-kathayam ca
kirtanair guna-karmanam
tat-padamburuha-dhyanat
tal-lingeksarhanadibhih
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.7.30-31)
["One must accept the bona fide spiritual master and render service unto him with great devotion and faith. Whatever one has in one's possession should be offered to the spiritual master, and in the association of saintly persons and devotees one should worship the Lord, hear the glories of the Lord with faith, glorify the transcendental qualities and activities of the Lord, always meditate on the Lord's lotus feet, and worship the Deity of the Lord strictly according to the injunctions of the sastra and guru."]

The boys told Prahlada, "This seems very difficult. We cannot do these things."

Prahlada replied:

sarvesam api bhutanam
harir atmesvarah priyah
bhatair mahadbhih sva-kataih
krtanam jiva-samjnitah
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.7.49)
["The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is the soul and the Supersoul of all living entities. Every living entity is a manifestation of His energy in terms of the living soul and the material body. Therefore the Lord is the most dear, and He is the supreme controller."]

Prahlada assured his classmates, "There is nothing difficult in chanting Krsna's names, remembering Him, and engaging in devotional activities for His pleasure. We are eternal servants of God, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore devotional service is our natural activity. We must accept that Krsna is our holy master, father, mother and all other relations. After going to a guru and receiving initiation, we then begin to learn spiritual activities and develop to the exalted stage of uttama-bhakti (the topmost pure devotion). Guru will tell us everything about how to advance in devotion."

Guru will tell us that there are sixty four kinds of bhakti, among which nine are prominent:

sri-prahlada uvaca
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam
iti pumsarpita visnau
bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.5.23-24)
["Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) – these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge."]

Among these nine kinds of bhakti, five are most important:

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 22.128)
["One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration."]

Amongst all devotional activities, if one is not committing offenses and is touched by any of the five limbs – chanting the holy name, being in the association of a qualified Vaisnava or guru, worshiping the Deity very faithfully, living in a holy place like Vrndavana, and hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam – he can attain all success.

sakala-sadhana-srestha ei panca anga
krsna-prema janmaya ei pancera alpa-sanga
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 22.129)
["These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Krsna."]

Most important among all the limbs of bhakti, which is also the root of bhakti, is harinama-sankirtana.

tara madhye sarva-srestha nama-sankirtana
niraparadhe nama laile paya prema-dhana
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila, 4.71)
["Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offenses, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead."]

Prahlada told the boys, "We should begin harinama-sankirtana today."

The boys asked, "How can we do this? Do we have to be expert in playing musical instruments Do we have to bring any instruments?"

Prahlada replied, "There is no need. Krsna has given us the very beautiful karatalas (hand cymbols) of our hands. We can clap our hands. Krsna has also given us our tongue and mouth to sing in a sweet voice."

Prahlada Maharaja then instructed them, "Repeat after me. 'Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare,'"

The boys told Prahlada, "We are tired. We want something easier. This is so long. We want an easy kirtana."

Prahlada told them, "Repeat after me again: 'Haribol, haribol, haribol.'"

The boys all blissfully engaged with Prahlada in harinama sankirtana.

Hiranyakasipu's Last Try

After some time Hiranyakasipu overheard what was taking place. Grabbing Prahlada's hands, he demanded:

sri-hiranyakasipur uvaca
he durvinta mandatman
kula-bheda-karadhama
stabdham mac-chasanodvrttam
nesye tvadya yama-ksayam
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.8.5)

["O most impudent, most unintelligent disruptor of the family, O lowest of mankind, you have violated my power to rule you, and therefore you are an obstinate fool. Today I shall send you to the place of Yamaraja."]

Hiranyakasipu said, "What nonsense are you doing?! You are so disobedient! You are like a dull stone, with no intelligence at all. I am from an aristocratic dynasty. You have become like the handle of an axe that is trying to chop down my entire dynasty. I will teach you a lesson! I am now going to kill you! Let us see who will save you now!"

["My son Prahlada, you rascal, you know that when I am angry all the planets of the three worlds tremble, along with their chief rulers. By whose power has a rascal like you become so impudent that you appear fearless and overstep my power to rule you? (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.8.6)]

["Prahlada Maharaja said: My dear King, the source of my strength, of which you are asking, is also the source of yours. Indeed, the original source of all kinds of strength is one. He is not only your strength or mine, but the only strength for everyone. Without Him, no one can get any strength. Whether moving or not moving, superior or inferior, everyone, including Lord Brahma, is controlled by the strength of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.8.7)]

Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada Maharaja, "Where is your Lord? Is He present in this pillar?"

Prahlada Maharaja fearlessly replied, "Yes, my Lord is present everywhere."

satyam vidhatum nija-bhrtya-bhasitam
vyaptim ca bhutesv akhilesu catmanah
adrsyatatyadbhuta-rupam udvahan
stambhe sabhayam na mrgam na manusam
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.8.17)
["To prove that the statement of His servant Prahlada Maharaja was substantial – in other words, to prove that the Supreme Lord is present everywhere, even within the pillar of an assembly hall – the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, exhibited a wonderful form never before seen. The form was neither that of a man nor that of a lion."]

To convince Hiranyakasipu that the statement of Prahlada Maharaja was unmistakably true, the Lord appeared from the pillar, with flames emanating from His mane. By manifesting His form as Nrsimhadeva, the Lord also preserved the truth of Lord Brahma's promise that Hiranyakasipu was not to be killed by any animal or any man. The Lord appeared in a form that could not be said to be fully a man or a lion. He was extremely angry, and no one could pacify Him. Brahma, Sankara, and all other demigods present became worried regarding how to pacify Him.

After offering Him their beautiful prayers of glorification from a little afar, they requested Laksmi-devi, "Please go and pacify your husband."

She replied, "Today I am afraid to go. He may also kill me."

Next they requested Brahma, "You should go; He is like your father."

Brahma replied, "Today, I cannot go."

Then they told Lord Siva, "You are a friend of Krsna. You should go." Siva replied, "Today we are not at all friends."

Finally, Brahma requested Prahlada, "You should go. He is like your father."

Prahlada Maharaja immediately went to Lord Nrsimhadeva and jumped upon His lap. Nrsimhadeva at once became pacified and tears fell from His eyes. He had been so angry; but now, in a moment, He was fully pacified. He began licking Prahlada Maharaja, as animals do, and said, "I came so late, and I am upset about that. I want to give you a benediction."

Prahlada replied, "I am not a businessman. I do not perform devotional service to You in order for You to give me something in return. This is business. If any desire is hiding somewhere in my heart, please remove it so that I can become your pure devotee. You have asked me to take a benediction. That makes me think there may be some material desire hidden in my heart – but I don't know where it is hidden."

Lord Nrsimhadeva said, "I know that you are pure; you never require anything. Still, I desire that you take any benediction."

Prahlada Maharaja replied, "If You insist that I take a benediction, I desire that You deliver my father. He has offended You and me, and he has given great troubles to all the devotees. He has cut down all the green trees so that no one would be able to get any wood or fruit. He killed many cows so that no one would be able to get milk, ghee, and butter to be used for devotional activities like hommas, fire sacrifices, and offering of bhoga to the Lord. He has also killed so many brahmanas, and in this way he has committed innumerable sins. Please forgive him."

Lord Nrsimhadeva said, "Don't worry about this at all. Your father has already been liberated. In fact twenty-one generations of your forefathers will be liberated."

For the uttama-adhikari, twenty-one generations – forward and back – will be liberated. Regarding those who are madhyama-adhikari, who are always chanting, remembering and performing devotional activities, their relatives of fourteen generations will be liberated. Regarding those who are kanistha-adhikari, who are chanting, and remembering, who have taken initiation and are trying to engage in pure harinama and other devotional activities but cannot properly do so, seven generations of their relatives will be liberated.

"I want to give you a benediction. My darsana should not go in vain."

Prahlada replied, "All these conditioned souls, who have forgotten You and who are engaged in many sinful activities are greatly suffering. I cannot tolerate their suffering. I desire that my pious and devotional activities be given to them, so that they may be liberated and become devotees. I want to take all the fruits of their sinful activities and suffer for them for millions of births."

Nrsimhadeva said, "In this conversation, you have won and I am defeated. I am giving you the benediction that all persons who hear the hari-katha about Myself and yourself – the pastimes of Prahlada Maharaja and Nrsimhadeva – will be quickly liberated. They will not have to suffer."

Those who hear, chant, and remember the sweet and powerful hari-katha of Prahlada Maharaja and Lord Nrsimhadeva, who participate in today's Appearance Day festival and performs abhiseka  will all be liberated by Lord Nrsimhadeva. He promises to take away all their suffering and sorrows, and He will surely fulfill His promise. We can have very strong faith that He will not cheat us. Whatever He promises to do, He will surely do. Have strong faith that He will be merciful to us, that we will gradually develop our Krsna consciousness, and that He will give us inspiration to accept the path of pure bhakti.

Now let us first perform sankirtana, and then perform the abhiseka (auspicious bathing ceremony) of Lord Nrsimhadeva.

A108-AI

pancatattva2.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Sri Jagannatha Puri: October 7, 2001

[This year, 2017, the divine Appearance Day of Sri Gadadhara Pandita is April 25th and 26th around the world.  You can also listen to audio of a related lecture on Sri Gadadhara Pandit from July 4, 1997.

[In October, 2001, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja led several hundred international pilgrims on parikrama to several holy places of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes in Jagannatha Puri. On October 7th he took the parikrama pilgrims to Tota Gopinatha Mandira.

Tota Gopinatha is the Deity manifested by Sriman Mahaprabhu. Tota Gopinatha is the Deity Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered at the time of His disappearance from this world. Visitors who approach the outside of the temple on the left side can see the enchanting garden where Mahaprabhu heard Srimad-Bhagavatam from Sri Gadadhara Pandita.

There in the temple, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja spoke in Hindi, Bengali and English. The following is a transcription of his English, and also the English translation of his Hindi:]

If anyone thinks that when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took Srimati Radhika's bhava, She became zero, it is not correct. In a drama, someone may play the part of someone else, and that second person is still present. He has not become zero. Someone may play Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, and Radha and Krsna may also be present, watching. Similarly, when Lord Sri Krsna 'took' the bhava of Srimati Radhika and became Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, She was also present, watching, as Sri Gadadhara Pandita.

Srimati Radhika came in the form of Sri Gadadhara. You should try to know Gadadhara-tattva. There is no difference between Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Srimati Radhika, but the activities are different in Krsna's pastimes and Gaura's pastimes. In Gaura-lila Sri Gadadhara Pandita is in the mood of a servant.

tota_gopinath_3.jpg No gopi, including Candravali, Lalita, and Visakha, can experience Srimati Radhika's madanakya-mahabhava. Krsna experiences the ecstatic loving moods of rudha and adirudha, but not madanakhya-bhava. Sri Gadadhara Pandita, on the other hand has madanakya-mahabhava. In Gaura-lila, however, it is covered, so that he can help Krsna to play the part of Srimati Radhika. In the form of Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Srimati Radhika is looking and examining, and if there is something wrong in Krsna (as Mahaprabhu), She corrects it.

Sri Gauranga (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) is not nagara (the male lover). No one can serve Gauranga by thinking himself a gopi and thinking of Gauranga as Sri Krsna. Everyone has to serve Him in dasya-bhava, as a servant. No one should think, "I am Lalita”, or “I am Visakha”, or any other gopi. This is called ‘gauranga-nagari-vada’.

It is possible for Krsna to be the enjoyer of conjugal mellows, but not Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu is always in the role of a gopi, Srimati Radhika. Anyone can serve Mahaprabhu in dasya-rasa, but not in madhurya-rasa. In Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, this would be absurd. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta says that gauranga-nagari-vada *, is sahajiya. The scripture Sri Caitanya-bhagavata, and our entire guru-parampara, reject this idea. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has defeated their arguments.

Sri Gadadhara Pandita is Srimati Radhika and he therefore has up to madanakya-mahabhava, but He wants to serve Mahaprabhu. He wants to do what Krsna wants, and thus he covers his madhurya-bhava. Sri Gadadhara Pandita knows what Mahaprabhu wants: Mahaprabhu wants to play the part of Srimati Radhika. Right from the beginning He is in Srimati Radha's mood, and He is chanting, "Krsna prana-natha (My beloved Krsna)!" He came to Tota-Gopinatha Temple to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from Sri Gadadhara Pandita – Srimati Radhika – to learn how to play Her part. In its deepest understanding, Srimad-Bhagavatam is really the glories of Srimati Radhika's moods.

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.63)

"I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds."

Why did Mahaprabhu come to hear from Sri Gadadhara Pandita? Since Sri Gadadhara Pandita is Srimati Radharani, he was able to explain Her moods described in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The explanations of Gadadhara Pandita are the highest explanations and glorification of Her mood. His explanations will be greater than those of Vyasa, Sukadeva, and Krsna Himself. Mahaprabhu came here to know the glories of all the gopis, and especially Srimati Radharani:

sri-gopya ucuh
aksanvatam phalam idam na param vidamah
sakhyah pasun anuvivesayator vayasyaih
vaktram vrajesa-sutayor anuvenu-justam
yair va nipitam anurakta-kataksa-moksam
(Venu-gita, text seven)

"The gopis began to speak among themselves: O sakhis! We think that for those who have eyes, there is but one thing which is a suitable object of vision. Success of the eyes lies in beholding this object alone; we know of no other. And what is that most precious object of attachment for the eyes? It is the vision of the two sons of Maharaja Nanda, Sri Krsna and Baladeva, accompanied by the gopas, as They enter the forest taking the cows, or as They bring them back to Vrndavana. They hold Their flutes to Their lips and look upon us with mild smiles and amorous sidelong glances filled with love. At that time we drink the sweetness of Their faces."

This verse in Venu-gita of Srimad-Bhagavatam is spoken by Srimati Radhika and the gopis when Krsna goes cowherding. Sri Krsna is behind and Baladeva is ahead. Krsna is playing on His flute and searching for Srimati Radhika. Srimati Radhika comes and takes His flute, and He begins looking at Her with sidelong glances. If Srimati Radhika explains this pastime Herself, saying, "My mood was such and such," it is surely the best explanation.

mrgayur iva kapindram vivyadhe lubdha-dharma
striyam akrta virupam stri-jitah kama-yanam
balim api balim attvavestayad dhvanksa-vad yas
tad alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-katharthah
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.17)

"Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with amorous desires. And, even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can't give up talking about Him."

This verse and the one below were uttered by Srimati Radhika at Uddhava Kyari, when Krsna was residing in Mathura. The deepest meanings of these verses were revealed to Mahaprabhu by Gadadhara Pandita Prabhu.

yad-anucarita-lila-karna-piyusa-viprut-
sakrd-adana-vidhuta-dvandva-dharma vinastah
sapadi grha-kutumbam dinam utsrjya dina
bahava iha vihanga bhiksu-caryam caranti
(Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.18)

"To hear about the pastimes that Krsna regularly performs is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to material duality is ruined. Many such persons have suddenly given up their wretched homes and families and, themselves becoming wretched, traveled here to Vrndavana to wander about like birds, begging for their living."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here to hear, and when He heard, He fainted. Both He and Sri Gadadhara Pandita fainted. Gadadhara Pandita knew that by Mahaprabhu's hearing from him, Mahaprabhu would become more perfect to play Srimati Radhika's part. Srimati Radhika is the principal in the school of Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the course of tasting its meanings.

There were three and a half confidential associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Gambhira. Why was Sri Gadadhara Pandita not one of them? He is superior to these other three and a half confidential associates. This is a hidden secret. If Sri Gadadhara Pandita were there, Mahaprabhu's separation mood would not have come. In the association with Srimati Radhika He would have thought Himself to be Krsna.

One day, after hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahaprabhu was sitting on the sand here at Cataka Parvata, which He considered to be Govardhana. He told Gadadhara Pandita, "Gadadhara, I want to give you My most valuable property. Will you accept it?" When Gadadhara Pandita agreed, Mahaprabhu said, "This is the property of My heart." He began removing the sand and said, "My prana-dhana (beloved wealth of My life) is here." In the mood of Srimati Radhika. He exposed Gopinatha's head and crown, and others began to help to reveal His form. Mahaprabhu then requested Sri Gadadhara Pandita, "Please take Him and serve Him throughout your life."

At the time of His disappearance, Mahaprabhu entered the Deity Tota-Gopinatha. Mahaprabhu left the world at 48 years, when Sri Gadadhara Pandita was 47. Out of great separation, Gadhadara Pandita quickly became like an old man, and he also very soon disappeared. We see in Krsna's pastime that the wife of Sudama Vipra appeared like an old person. She was young, but she was very lean and thin like an old person, with practically no breasts and no shape. She was almost like a skeleton. Similarly, in his mood of separation from Mahaprabhu, Sri Gadadhara Pandita may have also appeared like that.

MORE ABOUT SRI GADADHARA PANDITA PRABHU
Jagannatha Puri: October 13, 2001 Darsana

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Gadadhara Pandita is always serving Krsna. In Krsna-lila, whatever Krsna wishes, Srimati Radhika always serves Him more than Candravali, Lalita, Visakha, and all others. Her whole mood is to satisfy Krsna. In Mahaprabhu-lila, because Krsna wants to relish His own self, He takes Radhika's mood, and She responds accordingly: "He wants that, so I should not disturb Him. If I help Him in this, this will be My service." Do you understand?

When Mahaprabhu was calling, "Krsna! Krsna! O Prananatha!" Radhika was there, but as an obedient servant. She was in a daksina (submissive) mood. The relationship of dasa (servant) always constitutes a daksina mood. Sri Gadadhara Pandita was even more daksina than Rukmini. Rukmini sometimes had some maan (transcendental loving anger or sulky mood), but Sri Gadadhara Pandita was not like that. If He had been in a vamya (left-wing or unsubmissive) mood, it would have been unfavorable to the mood of Krsna as Mahaprabhu. Gadadhara Pandita was always thinking, "I am His servant." If he had said to Mahaprabhu, "My dear Krsna, my dear beloved," Mahaprabhu's mood would have been disturbed.

Tunga-vidya dasi: That was in Puri. But what was the mood in Navadvipa?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: In Navadvipa also. At that time Gauranga was also calling out, "Krsna, Krsna," not "Radha, Radha." But at that time He was untrained. He was not yet admitted in the school of Visakha – Sri Svarupa Damodara. At that time also, Gadadhara Pandita always served as an obedient servant, covering all his moods as Srimati Radhika.

Tunga-vidya dasi: Are Mahaprabhu and Gadadhara Pandita in the same mood in nitya-Navadvipa Dhama as well?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Same mood. Gauranga was not in the mood of nagara (Krsna as the male lover). We never accept Him as nagara.

*[Endnote – From of a letter by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, dated June 16, 1968: "A similar example is Lord Caitanya. Although He is Krsna Himself, He appeared as a devotee, not as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should accept the Lord's mood in particular appearances and we should worship Him in those moods. Because Lord Caitanya is Krsna Himself, somebody may worship Him in the same manner as Krsna. But Krsna was in the role of enjoyer, and Lord Caitanya was in the role of being enjoyed. The party known as gauranga-nagari is therefore considered to be deviated from pure devotional service. This is on account of it giving Lord Caitanya the same facility as Krsna, which He did not like. Our service mood should be compatible with the attitude of the Lord. It is not that we should overlap the attitude of Krsna upon Lord Caitanya, or Lord Caitanya upon Krsna, or Krsna upon Ramacandra, or Ramacandra upon Krsna."]

 

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