Hero

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Narayana Maharaj'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • News

Categories

  • Articles (English)
  • Articles (Russian)

Blogs

  • Admin's blog
  • Flowing nectar stream
  • Shri Vraja Dhama
  • Shrila B.G. Narasingha Swami
  • Shrila Vishwananda Swami
  • Krishna das
  • Shri Vaishnavas
  • Shri Vaishnavas
  • Shrila B.V. Tripurari Swami
  • Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj
  • Shrila B.V. Sadhu Swami
  • The Vaishnava Voice
  • Shrila Pran Krishna das Babaji
  • Shrila Vinod Bihari das Babaji
  • Audarya Dhama das (Torsunov Oleg)

Forums

  • Vaishnava forum
    • Vaishnava Philosophies and Practices
    • Guru in Vaishnava Traditions
    • Lila-katha, Prayers
    • Science: Approaching to Krishna Consciousness
    • Articles
    • Lacto Vegetarianism, Health

Categories

  • Lord Shri Jagannath
  • Shri Shri Radha-Raman Deity
  • Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada
  • Shrila Bhakti Pramod Puri Goswami Maharaj
    • Art of Sadhana
    • Biography
    • Vyasa Puja
    • Darshans
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada
  • Shrila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaj
    • Darshans
    • Biography
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaj
    • 1996
    • 1997
    • 1998
    • 1999
    • 2000
    • 2001
    • 2002
    • 2003
    • 2004
    • 2005
    • 2006
    • 2007
    • 2008
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • Undated
  • Shrila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Goswami Maharaj
    • Moscow 1999
    • Lectures, Darshans
  • Shrila Gour Govinda Goswami Maharaj
  • Shrila Bhakti Sarvaswa Govinda Maharaj
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Trivikram Goswami Maharaj
  • Vraj
  • For Kids
    • Cartoons in English
    • Cartoons in Hindi
    • Cartoons in Russian

Categories

  • Vaishnava Books
    • All Vaishnava Books
    • Vaishnava Books by Authors
    • Favourite Books
  • Vaishnava Audio
    • Vaisnava Bhajans
    • Audio Books
    • Lectures (Hari-katha)
  • Vaishnava Video
  • Vaishnava Soft

Found 1,202 results

  1. This 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!
  2. Tridandisvami 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.]
  3. [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.
  4. 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")]
  5. Tridandisvami 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.
  6. Tridandisvami 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.
  7. Srila 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!
  8. June 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-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.]
  9. This 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.
  10. June 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."]
  11. Today 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: ["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: ["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: ["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): ["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: ["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!
  12. Tridandisvami 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. Along 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.
  13. Tridandisvami 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.
  14. Tridandisvami 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. 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."]
  15. Mathura - April 12th, 2000 [April 4th & 5th 2017 is the appearnce day of Lord Rama. We hope that you will relish this lecture that Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave several days before Lord Rama's appearance day on April 12, 2000 in Mathura:] Today is a very auspicious day. It is the Appearance Day of Lord Sri Rama. Who is Sri Rama? He is Krsna Himself, and Sita is Radhika Herself. In order to establish the principles of maryada, regulative etiquette, Krsna appeared in the form of Sri Rama. His associates also appeared in Rama-lila. Gopisvara Mahadeva manifested as Hanuman and Baladeva appeared as Laksmana. Satrugna and Bharata are also manifestations of Krsna because they are His weapons. They are respectively Sanka and Cakra. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself read and glorified the pastimes of Sri Rama. Valmiki has described the pastimes of Rama in great detail. He was a siddha mahatma, a realized soul. Popular Indian stories say that in his previous life he was a dacoit, and he used to kill people for his living. One time he met Narada Rsi and, by that meeting, his heart was transformed and he became a sadhu. According to the scriptures, Valmiki was actually the son of a great rsi. He performed austerities for a long time and by that he became perfect. One of his disciples, a very famous rsi, was named Bharadraja. Once they both went to bathe in the river. After Valmiki took his bath, he saw a male and female kraunch-bird sitting in a tree. A hunter struck the male bird with his bow, killed him, and the bird fell out of the tree. Valmiki became angry and spontaneously cursed this hunter, "How cruel you are! How could you do this? May all your happiness go away, and may you never be happy again in your life." When Valmiki returned to his asrama, he thought, "Why did I become so angry? I am supposed to be a rsi and have control over my senses. Life and death are very temporary, so why did I get disturbed seeing this? And how did these particular words come out of my mouth?" His words were very special. They had four gerands – four lines with the same meter as the slokas in Ramanyana. He therefore wondered why these particular words and this particular meter came out from his mouth. Lord Brahma then appeared and said, "You should write the pastimes of Lord Rama, using verses which are in this meter." Valmiki replied, "How can I do that?" At that time Narada Muni appeared and initiated Valmiki. He said, "You should meditate upon the pastimes of Lord Rama in samadhi, and by bhakti all those pastimes will manifest in your heart. Valmiki followed those orders and, as the pastimes manifested in his heart, he began writing the Ramayana. Valmiki was on the planet at the same time as Lord Rama. But before Rama enacted most of His pastimes Valmiki had already written about them, except for one – when Sita entered the earth. Why did he not write about this? Because he taught Rama's pastimes to Luv and Kush. If he would have told them in advance what happened to Sita, they would have been very disturbed. Just as Vyasadeva never preached Srimad Bhagavatam, but Sukadeva Gosvami later preached it all over the world, similarly, Valmiki Rsi taught Rama-lila to Luv and Kush. Maharaja Dasaratha is the actual father of the Lord, birth after birth, and Kauslaya is His mother. They are eternally the mother and father of Krsna in His different manifestations. Yasoda and Nanda are non-different from Dasaratha and Kausalya. Maharaja Dasaratha was getting quite old and he was disturbed that he had not begotten a son. He therefore asked his spiritual master, Vasistha Rsi, to perform a parestha yajna – a sacrifice with the goal to get a son. Half of the kheer, (sweet rice), offered in the yajna, was given to Kausalya, one quarter was given to Kaikeyi, and one quarter to Sumitra. In due course of time all of the queens gave birth to sons – Kausalya to Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharata, and Sumitra to Laksmana and Satrughna. They were loved, they did childhood pranks, and they went to the asrama of Valmiki. Along with Visvamitra Rsi they went to siddha asrama and there they killed two demons who came to disturb the rsis' sacrifices. He also delivered Ahalya, who by the curse of her husband, had been transformed into stone. Suppose you have a fruit of amla in your hands. You can see it very clearly. Similarly Valmiki, by the blessings of Narada, saw all these pastimes as clearly as if they were happening in front of his eyes. Along with Visvamitra and Laksmana, Rama went to Janakapuri for the svayambara of Sita devi. There He broke the bow of Lord Siva which had been given by Parasurama to Maharaja Janaka. At that time Parasurama appeared and manifested all the anger that was in his heart. When Rama strung the bow without any effort, Parasurama then understood that Lord Rama was the amsi, the actual source from whom he himself had manifested. Lord Rama told him, "Now that this bow is in my hands, I have to kill something – either you or that anger that is in your heart. Previously he had to be angry in order to kill all the demoniac kings who had been ruling the earth. Now that work was over and therefore Rama said, "I should kill that anger within you." Parasurama prayed, "Please take out that anger which is in my heart." After Lord Rama took it away, he was transformed into a rishi and after that he performed many austerities. Lord Rama and Sita Devi were then married and went back to Ayodhya. There is a secret meaning behind the pastime of Queen Kaikeyi asking her two boons from Maharaja Dasaratha. Kaikeyi was not cruel. She loved Sri Rama more than she loved Bharata. When Rama was a young boy, He sat in the lap of Mother Kaikeyi and requested, "I want to ask you something. When I grow up and return home after My marriage, My father will think of giving this kingdom to Me. I want you to ask him to give the kingdom to Bharata, and to send Me to the forest for fourteen years." Hearing this, Kaikeyi fainted. When she regained consciousness she said, "I cannot do such a cruel thing." But then Lord Rama said, "For the benefit of the whole world, you will have to do this." So Kaikeyi agreed. There is another important point in this connection. When King Dasaratha married Kausalya, he did not beget any sons from her. He further married 360 queens, but still there was no son. One day, when he was out in the forest hunting animals, he traveled all the way to the border of Afghanistan. He was very tired and therefore went to visit his friend Maharaja Kaikeya, the king of that entire area. Maharaja Kaikeya ordered his daughter to take care of the king. The next day, very pleased by her service, Maharaja Dasaratha asked him if he could marry his daughter, Kaikeyi. The king said, "Yes, you can marry her, but with one condition. If she begets a son, that son will become the king of your entire kingdom." Maharaja Dasaratha replied, "There is nothing that will please me more. I have no son, so if she begets a son I will be very happy to give my entire kingdom to him." This was another reason why Bharata became the king instead of Rama. There is still another reason. One day Bharata's maternal uncle came and requested Bharata and Satrugna to accompany him for a few days. In the meantime, Rama Navami came – the Appearance Day of Sri Rama. On this day the celebration of His appearance took place, and His marriage also took place. On the day before, Maharaja Dasaratha had told Vasistha that he would like to give his kingdom to Rama and make him Yuvaraja. Rama would conduct all the duties of Maharaja Dasaratha in his absence and after he would leave the world, Rama would become the king. Everyone was very happy to hear this. Vasistha said, "Tomorrow, Rama Navami, all the planetary positions will be very auspicious. You should give him the sacred initiation tomorrow." There was no time to talk with Bharata and Satrugna. Also, Maharaja Dasaratha thought, "I have already promised that I will give my kingdom to Bharata. So how, in front of him, can I give it to Sri Rama?" When Kaikeyi heard the news about Rama's coronation she was very pleased, and she gave her garland to her maidservant, Mantara. By the influence of the demigods and because Rama had to perform His pastimes, Mantara's mind became evil. She told Kaikeyi, "How can you be so foolish? If Rama becomes the king, Bharata will become a servant, and you will become a maidservant. For the rest of your life you will have to serve Kausalya and Sri Rama." Initially Kaikeyi resisted and was not influenced by Mantara's words. But then she remembered Sri Rama's request to her in His youth – that she should ask Maharaja Dasaratha to send Him to the forest. Remembering this, she made her heart very hard. Then she went to Maharaja Dasaratha and asked him for her two boons. Maharaja Dasaratha fainted. When Lord Rama heard what happened He was very pleased that Mother Kaikeyi had done what He had requested. He came to Maharaja Dasaratha and Queen Kaikeyi and she ordered Him to go to the forest, saying that this was also the desire of Maharaja Dasaratha. When Rama was exiled and was living in Chitrakuta, Bharata, accompanied by many citizens, went there to request him to return to Ayodhya. On his way to see Rama, they also passed by Baradvaja Rsi's asrama. Bharadvaja requested Bharata, "Please, be our guests for a day here. You should rest and take prasada." But Bharata replied that he had come with lakhs of people. Almost the entire population of Ayodhya has come with me. How could they all fit in your asrama?" But Bharadraj said, "Please give me a chance to serve you." By his mystic power Bharadraj manifested an entire city, which was greater and more opulent than Ayodhya. For each of the queens there was a raj-bhavan. There were so many kinds of foods and preparations – just like anakuta. Mountains of prasada were created and everyone was served. Kaikeyi also went to Rama and said, "I was the one who asked for the boon that you be banished to the forest. Since I was the one who asked you to go, now I take it back. Now I am asking you to come back." Lord Rama replied, "No, the command was not only from you. You and father both asked it together. Father is here no more, and you are only half, fifty percent. I don't know if it is his desire or not. So I cannot go back." There was an assembly meeting held wherein Maharaja Janaka spoke with Bharata. Janaka Maharaja described the meaning of prema. He said that real love is to understand what pleases the beloved. Janaka said, "If it is Lord Rama's desire to stay here, then it is better to follow what He wants, and not try to force your desire on Him." Rama, Laksmana, and Sita devi then traveled to Chitrakuta. There Rama performed jalanjali, offering water the ancestors. Actually Maharaja Dasaratha had never died, so ultimately there was no point of His doing this. However, since He was performing narvata-lila, human like pastimes, he offered the water. Sita and Rama went to the asrama of Anasuya, who gave Sita a special 'anga vastra' that even if she didn't eat, her body would never dwindle. That is why, when she was at Ravana's place, although she never ate any food given by Ravana for a whole year, her body never dwindled. Anasuya was the wife of Atri Muni who had performed great austerities. By these austerities Brahma, Visnu and Mahesh had all appeared. She made them become her little children, and all their wives came requesting her to please let them go. Agastya Rsi gave Rama the bow with which He killed Ravana. Then Surpanaka came and Laksmana cut off her nose. Then Rama killed Kara and Dusha. Kara means donkey. He next killed a demon named Trisura. Ravana then came to revenge Surpanaka's dishonor. He stole Sita, Rama killed Maricha, they met Sabari, and then at Kishkinda they met Hanuman. Hanuman first appeared to Them in the form of a brahmana, to test if they were really Rama and Laksmana. Later, at Rsimukha Parvat Hill Sugriva met Lord Rama and they made a treaty of friendship there. After Sugriva explained what Bali had done to him, Lord Rama killed Bali.
  16. Mathura, April 13, 2000 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Janaka Maharaja had given the definition of bhakti to Lord Rama’s brother, Bharata. "Anyabhilasita-sunyam, jnana-karmady-anavrtam, anukulyana krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama. One who has no other desire than to please Krsna, and who is not influenced by the process of jnana-marga (cultivation of knowledge) karma, and so on, is situated in pure bhakti.” The king told him that nothing can control prema (pure love of God); it has its own law. One who has prema will always consider the desires of his object of love. He has no personal interest. He will always think, "How will my beloved be pleased?" Our real purpose is to please our worshipful deity, God and Guru; not to please ourselves." After Ravana was killed, Sita devi had to undergo the agni pariksa, fire test. Of course, Maya-Sita entered the fire, and the real Sita devi remained unharmed – proving that she was completely pure and chaste. Rama then gave the kingdom of Ravana to Vivisana, Ravana's brother, and after that he took Sita devi and all their associates to Ayodhya on a mystic airplane. There were millions and billions of associates, but this airplane was able to expand so that they could all fit on it. On their journey, Rama pointed out to Sita all the places where they had enjoyed pastimes together, or where He and Laksmana had killed various demons. For example, Rama would say, "Oh look, here is where we built the bridge to Lanka. Do you remember?" When they reached Kishkinda, where all of Rama's monkey associates lived, they stopped. Sita devi then invited all the wives of the monkeys to come aboard the airplane, as they were also very interested to see Rama's coronation The party stayed one night and then went to Citrakut. Hanuman took the form of a brahmana and went to the place where Bharata was staying in Nandigram. Bharata was living the life of a renunciate, wearing simple cloth, with matted hair and living on fruits and roots; and all of his ministers lived in the same way. In the guise of a brahmana, Hanuman approached Bharata and said, "Oh Bharata Maharaja, Rama has come. Prepare to welcome him!" Upon hearing that his dear brother had finally returned, he was overjoyed and fainted. When he came to consciousness he said, "I want to give you many gifts. So please accept 18,000 cows, as many beautiful women as you desire, horses and other wealth. Still I cannot give you anything equal in value to the news you have given me." Hanuman then returned to his original form, and Bharata said, "Oh, you are Hanuman!" After Rama’s abhiseka ceremony, he wanted to give many gifts to everyone. Sita devi thought of a very nice gift to give Hanuman, so she gave him her most beautiful pearl necklace. Hanuman took it, examined it and broke it, and the pearls scattered all over the floor. Sita devi was surprised and asked, "What are you doing?" Hanuman replied, "Oh, I was just seeing if 'Rama' is written anywhere here." "But don't you know Rama is in your heart?" she said. Then Hanuman tore open his chest. In this way, Rama’s associates teach us that whatever is given to others should be in connection with Krsna. Lord 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 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 back 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. How could he rule a kingdom in which some of the people did not have faith in him? He called a meeting, asking all his brothers to come; but none of them could give him any advice. He himself then realized what to do. He remembered that Sita had desired to visit all the sages in the forest and shower them with gifts. He asked Laksmana to take her to the asrama of those 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. Sumanta was Laksmana's chariot driver, and moreover a very great minister of Rama. Laksmana told everything about Rama's order to Sumanta and said, "My life is full of miseries. Now, today is the biggest misery of my life!" They passed Prayag and went across a river. "Valmiki's asrama is here," Laksmana told Sita. Then, with a heavy heart he told her, "Everyone is accusing Rama of accepting an unchaste wife. Many people don't have full faith in him now; so how is it possible for him to rule the kingdom and guide the citizens properly?" When Sita devi heard this she fainted, and when she revived she said, "I don't want to create any difficulties for him. I do not want him to be disturbed by the public. Please pay my obeisances to all. Laksmana, I want to pray at your lotus feet, as I have offended you twice. The first night in Ayodhya, after our marriage ceremony, I stopped you from massaging Rama's lotus feet. Though this had been your cherished duty for many years, I took this away from you. When you asked Rama about this, he could not answer. Then we asked the great sage Vasistha and he said, 'The duties now have to be divided. So Laksmana, all the duties outside of the house should be taken by you. Sita devi should now perform all the duties inside of the house.' In this way it was decided. "Secondly, I was once allured by a deer in the forest when we were in exile. I heard Marici call out, 'Alas, Laksmana!' Assuming it was Rama's voice, I told you to go immediately to help Him. You said, 'No Sita, it is an illusion created by a demon.' I insisted and told you, 'I know. You are a spy of Bharata, and you have lusty feelings for me. That is why you don't want to save your brother!' These words pierced your heart. You replied that you always saw me as your mother and had never even seen my face; you had only seen my feet. You could not bear these harsh words. Then, when you went to see Rama, he chastised you saying, 'Why did you take heed of the words of that woman?' Then Ravana came here and begged, 'biksana dehi' three times. When I did not want to come outside of your circle of protection he threatened me, 'I curse you that your husband will die if you do not give anything to me here!' So please forgive me for these offenses." After leaving Sita devi in the forest Laksmana lamented, "Oh, alas! I will surely give up my life!" Sumanta tried to pacify him, and told him the truth of the matter. "Once I was with Dasaratha Maharaja, and at that time two sages, Vasistha Rsi and Durvasa Muni, came to visit him. Maharaja Dasaratha served them very nicely and then asked them to kindly tell him about the future of his four children. Vasistha Rsi remained silent and Durvasa Muni responded by saying, ‘Oh, you have four sons. Very good." Dasaratha Maharaja said, "Yes, first tell me about Rama's future." Durvasa said, "Rama's future will undoubtedly be full of miseries. He will have to leave Ayodhya, and everyone there will feel unbearable separation from Him. You will not be able to bear His absence, and you will die in separation. Rama will later have to be separated from his wife, and after suffering immensely they will become reunited. Then again they will have to be apart; and Rama will rule the kingdom alone without his wife. Do not tell this to anyone." Dasaratha Maharaja was in complete shock, but he promised that he would not speak what he had heard to anyone. He said, "From today, I am your disciple." Having heard this from Sumanta, Laksmana realized that his brother Rama is in fact the Supreme Lord Visnu. Sumanta continued telling Laksmana the story that Durvasa Muni had told to Dasaratha Maharaja: "Once, a very big battle ensued between the demigods and the demons. The demons were defeated and went to the wife of Brghu Maharaja to take shelter; and, being very merciful, she gave them shelter. The demigods went to Lord Vamanadeva and told him the situation. He then took His cakra and beheaded Brghu Maharaja's wife. Brghu Maharaja was very upset and cursed Vamanadeva saying, "You are responsible for my wife's death. I loved her very much. Now I will have to suffer so much in separation from her. For this I curse you that you will have to suffer in the same way in the future. You will have a very beautiful wife who will serve you in every way. You will be fully satisfied and completely enamored with her feminine grace and charm, and her saintly qualities. You will then be separated from her, and you will always suffer immensely from that pain of separation." Hearing this, Vamanadeva happily accepted the curse. He knew that in the future the whole world would be benefited by this. Also, this was but a pretext, as separation naturally increases the happiness of meeting. Sita devi was walking towards the asrama of Valmiki Rsi, when some of his brahmacaris spotted her. They informed Valmiki that a lady looking like a demigoddess was coming. Valmiki came out to greet her, and immediately recognized who she was. He said, "Oh, you are Sita devi, the wife of Lord Rama. I know this because I have written the Ramayana. Please come in." The ladies there were very pleased to see Sita devi and said, "Oh, please allow us to serve you." Valmiki instructed them how to serve her in every way. When Rama sent Satrughna to Mathura, he happened to come near to Valmiki's asrama on the way. He paid obeisance to Sita devi and her sons, Luv and Kush, from a distance. Luv and Kush were very intelligent children. Valmiki was very expert in archery, singing and music, and he taught Luv and Kush these arts. They could thus sing in all ragas very sweetly. Valmiki also taught them the Ramayana. No one in the entire kingdom was there to console Rama. However, the ladies were there to console Sita devi in the asrama of Valmiki. One day Rama turned to Vasistha Rsi and said, "Will you please perform a sacrifice?" Vasistha replied, "Then you must call your wife back." "Oh, I cannot do that." "Then you must remarry," he insisted. Rama said, "It is not possible." "Then you will have to make a golden deity of Sita devi." Vasistha then performed the sacrifice. In fact, every year he performed a very big sacrificial ceremony for Rama, near Naimisaranya on the bank of Gomati, with a new golden deity of Sita devi each year. One year many kings and sages were called, and Valmiki came with Luv and Kush. The boys were extremely beautiful, with very broad chests and slender waists. During a rest period, Valmiki asked them to sing Ramayana. They had melodious voices, and they sang in such a heart-rendering way that they captured everyone's hearts. Rama was especially touched, and tears came to His eyes. Valmiki had previously warned the boys, “If anyone asks you who you are, tell them, 'I am a disciple of Valmiki'”. Rama ordered Laksmana, "Go and give them eighteen thousand gold coins and many, many beautiful clothes and gifts. Then ask them who they are." When they were presented with these gold coins, clothes, and gifts, they said, "What will we do with all these things? We are brahmacaris." Then Laksmana asked which dynasty they belonged to, and they replied, "You seem very learned. Why ask this? Why not ask who is our Gurudeva? We are disciples of Valmiki Rsi." For five or seven days they came and recited the Ramayana, and after many days Rama and others came to know who they were. Rama then called Valmiki and requested that Sita devi come and prove Her chastity so that he could call her back. Valmiki said, "I have never spoken a lie in my life. I can assure you that Sita is completely pure and chaste." Rama said, "I know that. I'm quite confident of this, but I want proof for my citizens. So please bring Her here. Then we'll see what we can do." At this time Brahma, Sankara, and many demigods and goddesses came, curious to see this event. Sita devi sent Luv and Kusa ahead to their father. She arrived thereafter, and Valmiki spoke gently to her, "O daughter, Sita devi. Come forward and prove your chastity." Sita devi said, "Mother, please prove this to one and all, that I have never served any other man. I have never even had thoughts of any man other than Rama in my whole life. Please accept me, mother." Pritivi-devi appeared from the earth and Sita sat on her lap on a golden throne. In a moment, Prthivi-devi completely covered Her. In other words, she took Sita devi with her, back under the Earth. Rama couldn't bear to see Sita leave him like this, and he fainted. Then, when he returned to consciousness, he prayed to Prthivi-devi, requesting her to bring back Sita. He told her, "One time I went with a bow to the ocean and he was very much afraid. So I can turn you into dust in a moment." Just then Brahma came and told Rama, "No. Don't do it! This is the last time. Sitaji has gone to your own abode, so you should very quickly wind up your pastimes and go there." Gaura premanande!
  17. Thursday, 08 July 1999 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [Respected Harikatha Readers, Respected Harikatha Readers, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga. This year, 2017, Srivasa Pandita’s appearance day is March 21th (in India). Our hope is that you will relish Srila Gurudeva, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s lecture, given in honor of this day, in Turnbridge, England, on July 8, 1999. As all of Srila Gurudeva’s discourses are ever-fresh and new, so is this one, below. For audio, please visit sound cloud. Your aspiring servants, the Harikatha Team] First of all, I want to give my heartly blessings to Gopi-vallabha prabhu, Citra, Visakha, Madana-mohana prabhu, and all those who are making this very beautiful arrangement for hari-katha – with a very big pandal and facilities for all the devotees. There may be some lacking here, but I think that you do not care about that. We have not come here for facilities. We have come to hear hari-katha; the pastimes of Krsna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Their associates. There may be some lacking, as there is in our Navadvipa parikrama, where more than 20,000 pilgrims gather, and where you can see only an ocean of heads. There may be so many things lacking there; so many pilgrims being hosted under trees; even without trees, here and there, with no attached bathrooms but only 'international bathrooms'. But you can take bath in the sweet Ganges there. Thousands upon thousands of pilgrims go to take bath in the Ganges, and they never complain about anything – even regarding whether or not they had taken any prasadam. Sometimes there was even no prasadam, although usually there was plenty. Sometimes there was only kitchari, which is very beautiful and tasteful, and sometimes even sweet rice; otherwise all were satisfied with the kitchari. So, here also there may be some lacking in the management, but we are managing only so that devotees may hear some hari-katha. We have not come for recreation on the shore of an ocean, or for holidays. We have come only to hear. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has brought me here so that you can become stronger and stronger in Krsna Consciousness. Today is a very sacred day. It is the disappearance day of Srivasa Pandita. In this world a person's disappearance day is considered somewhat of a bad thing, so why do I call this a sacred day? If anyone dies in this world, there is suffering and lamentation; a feeling of separation. We are also feeling separation today, but actually, today is the day that Srivasa Pandita joined the maha-rasa of Krsna, or he went from this world to Vaikuntha to eternally serve his holy master there. He is so happy today. Where did he go? Did he go to Vaikuntha, or to Ayodhya, or to Dvaraka, or to Goloka Vrndavana? Where did he go? Sripad Asrama Maharaja: He went to Svetadvipa in the form of Srivasa Thakura, and because he's also Narada Muni, he also went to Vaikuntha. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Where did he go? Sripad Madhava Maharaja: He's always in Svetadvipa serving Mahaprabhu, and always in Vaikuntha in the form of Narada Muni. In the form of Madhu-mangala he is serving as the cowherd friend of Krsna and joking with Him in Goloka Vrndavana. Where ever Krsna's pastimes and Mahaprabhu's pastimes are going on, in this planet and so many other planets, Narada is also there. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Narada Rsi has so many forms. As his worshipful Deity, Krsna, has so many forms everywhere, with so many manifestations, and Narada Rsi does as well. He is everywhere: in this world, in Vaikuntha, in Dvaraka, in Svetadvipa – everywhere. In the form of Madhumangala he is serving Krsna in sakhya-rasa, and he may serve Srimati Radhika as Naradi-sakhi. Srivasa Pandit is the same as Narada. As Srivasa Pandita, Narada Rsi serves Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Srivasa Pandita's wife is Malini-devi, who used to serve Nityananda Prabhu like a very little baby. Sometimes Nityananda Prabhu, quite naked, would sit on the lap of Malini-devi and drink her breast milk. At that time he was about twenty five or thirty years of age, but in relation to Malini-devi he always thought of Himself as Baladeva as a little baby. Once, when Malini-devi was weeping, Nityananda Prabhu came to her and asked, "Mother, why are you weeping?" She replied, "I had a silver cup full of ghee . A crow came and took it, and flew away." Nityananda Prabhu called out, "O crow, come on, come on. Return that silver cup." After a short time, that crow returned the cup. Mahaprabhu once told Srivasa Pandita, "Tomorrow is Vyasa-puja. I know you are poor, but Vyasa-puja will be at your home, so try to make all the arrangements for Vyasa-puja. Srivasa replied, "No problem; by Your mercy, everything is available at my house. All the necessary items such as cloth, rose water, fragrant flowers, sacred thread (upanayana), ghee, betel nuts, and pan leaves are there in my house. I also have the book that describes how to do Vyasa-puja. With great fortune, I will celebrate Vyasa-puja tomorrow." What is the importance of Vyasa-puja? It is the backbone of all devotees. It is the birthday of Srila Vyasadeva, of whom all gurus are manifestations. All knowledge comes from Vyasadeva – all transcendental knowledge. There was still something lacking after he wrote most of the Vedas, but Narada completed that by inspiring him to write Srimad Bhagavatam. Vyasadeva divided the Vedas, manifested the Upanisads and so many Puranas, and even the Mahabharata, in which Krsna told Bhagavad-gita (Gitopanisad). He manifested all kinds of required knowledge, but still, he was not happy. His spiritual master, Narada, came and told him what was still lacking in his literary works. Vyasa had not told very clearly that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He had not clearly written that Krsna was controlled by the gopis. He had not written that Mother Yasoda tied Krsna to a grinding mortar, although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One day she refused to take baby Krsna in her lap, saying "Oh, You are a naughty boy; always stealing butter and yogurt from the neighboring gopis." Hearing this, Krsna cried bitterly, rolling on the earth. Vyasadeva had not written that Krsna used to perform the rasa dance with all the gopis, and that He was especially controlled by Srimati Radhika. Krsna had personally declared, "I cannot repay the gopis, and especially Radhika." na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjaya-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."] Vyasadeva had not written about the pastimes Krsna performed in Vrndavana in places like Radha-Kunda. Narada told him that this is what was lacking, and that was why he was not happy. Following Narada's instructions, Vyasadeva then meditated in trance and took shelter of bhakti. What is the meaning of bhakti? It means total surrender to gurudeva. We usually surrender to gurudeva only by words, not by action, not by pure heart, and therefore we may change our views about him. Sometimes we may even change gurus, just like a man divorces a lady – and you may do so twenty times. Sukadeva Gosvami never changed his guru, Rupa Gosvami never changed, and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami never changed. Every guru in our disciplic line is always in this line of Vyasa. Vyasa followed his gurudeva, and thus he saw all the pastimes of Krsna from boyhood to the end in Dvaraka in his trance. His teachings were completed by this. So, the meaning of Vyasa-puja is to follow gurudeva as Vyasadeva followed his gurudeva, Narada. But guru must be like Narada, not like a kali-yuga guru, a fallen guru who has no knowledge or realization of all the teachings of the sastras (Vedic scriptures). A guru must be like Vyasa – expert in all sastras. Such a guru can remove all the doubts of his disciples. If one cannot remove his own doubts, how can he remove others' doubts? If a guru says, "I can remove all your problems, but you should help by getting some money for me," he is not really guru. If he is dependent on his disciples, he is not guru. A real guru will clear all your doubts. He will keep Krsna in your hearts forever. Diksa means: 'di' = divya-jnanam; transcendental knowledge will manifest in your heart, and then, 'ksa'= all kinds of problems, sufferings, and sorrows will disappear at once, just as all darkness disappears on the arrival of the sun. The service of such a guru is the backbone of a disciple. So, Mahaprabhu ordered Srivasa Thakura, "You should observe Vyasa-puja here." Srivasa Thakura replied, "Though I am poor, by Your mercy everything is in my house, and tomorrow we will do it." The next morning all assembled there; only Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not there. Nityananda Prabhu was there, and he was also waiting for Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu finally arrived, Srivasa Pandita complained against Nityananda, "I requested Sripada (Nityananda Prabhu) to perform Vyasa Puja." The lotus feet of Krsna are called 'sripada.' "I said, 'Sripada, please begin Vyasa-puja.' But He simply made the sounds: "Hmmm...ummm...haaah...hmmm," like a crazy person. Mahaprabhu then requested, "Sripada, why are you not beginning the Vyasa-puja? You should do it." Nityananda became happy. He stood up, took a garland, and placed it around the neck of Mahaprabhu. Srivasa Pandit had been requesting Nityananda to put the garland on the neck of Vyasadeva, who was represented by a picture, as Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's picture is here. He was also represented by a kalasa (pot) that held within it a coconut and mango leaves, and that had painted on it a sacred svastika. In order to invoke the presence of Srila Vyasadeva, during the arcana process wherein he would be worshipped, mantras would be uttered before it, like "Svagatam, svagatam, svagatam (Welcome, welcome)." Srivasa Pandita had been telling Nityananda, "Give this garland to Vyasadeva," but Nityananda Prabhu was only mumbling, "Hooo...haaa," waiting for Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to show that Krsna Himself is jagad-guru. Although He is the real guru, husband, beloved and son of all, every soul has their specific individual relationship with Him. He placed the garland on the neck of Mahaprabhu, everyone present became so happy, and kirtana began. Vyasa-puja means to take an account of how much of our heart we have given to our gurudeva, and to measure our bhakti, to see whether we are advancing in bhakti, or reducing. As businessmen check daily or weekly their gains and losses by reviewing their activities and their results, Vyasa-puja is the day disciples make 'cashbook and ledger.' Are you in gain, or in loss? If you are not taking this gain/loss account on the day of Vyasa-puja, it means you have no respect for your gurudeva, you have no belief in him, no belief in Krsna, and no bhakti. You are a 'show-bottle' devotee. This Vyasa-puja ceremony was performed in Srivasa Pandita's house. Do you know how strong a devotee he was? He had four brothers, and throughout the whole day and night he would meet with them for kirtana. They would continually chant with their big karatalas, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." Some of the neighbors complained about Srivasa to the Muslim Kazi. They told him "He thinks he is better than Muslims because he is a Hindu. He is a culprit. If he and the other Hindus have to sing so loudly, it must mean that their God is blind and deaf; He cannot hear well. They spend their entire nights creating disturbances. We cannot sleep. What should we do?" The Kazi ordered, "Take his house and throw it in the Ganges! Then the other Hindus will be afraid to carry on with their disturbances." He then went with his guards to Srivasa Pandita's house, where he broke the mrdanga, and that place thus became known as Khola-bhanga-danga, the place where the Kazi broke the mrdanga drum. He also threatened the devotees, "In the future, you cannot chant, 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.' You can chant 'Khuda,' 'God,' or 'Allah,' but not so loudly. Don't make so much noise. Don't disturb anyone." But what happened? One of those guards came to the Kazi, the Muslim governor, only chanting "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna," as though he had become mad. He wanted to speak something, but nothing was coming out except, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna." The Kazi asked, "What happened?" The guard replied, "Oh, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna." The Kazi asked again, "What happened? Tell me." He replied, "Oh, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna. Just see how my beard has been burned." The Kazi asked, "Who burned it?" The guard answered, "I don't know who burned it, but it is burned, and now I can't say anything other than 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.'" This strange thing happened repeatedly there. Caitanya Mahaprabhu soon heard about the Kazi's breaking the mrdanga, and told His associates, "In the evening, burn torch-lights in every home. I shall give protection to everyone. Let us see what kind of Kazi comes to stop our kirtana." He called all His associates for sankirtana, after which hundreds of thousands of devotees came there. All had torches: sticks of wood, with the end wrapped in cloth dipped in kerosene oil and set ablaze. They all accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the Kazi's palace, at which time the Kazi thought, "Oh, a rebellion! A revolution! So many are coming like dacoits; and it may be that they will kill me." Seeing this, the Kazi entered his house and locked the door. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived, He said, "Oh, where is that Kazi?" The devotees totally uprooted the Kazi's garden. Murari dasa was laughing like Hanuman, and jumping here and there with a desire to burn down the Kazi's house. But Mahaprabhu stopped him and said, "The Kazi is like my maternal uncle," and called out, "O Kazi, please come. You are my uncle." [In Krsna's pastimes, the Kazi is Krsna's maternal uncle] The Kazi came and opened the door, honored Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and they went inside for discussion. Mahaprabhu asked him, "Why do you kill cows? All Hindus consider the cow to be like a mother, because she gives milk to all. She does not discriminate whether one is Hindu, Muslim, or Christian. Hindus consider the cow as their mother and the bull as a father, but you kill them and eat their flesh. Why? Can you show me where in the Koran it has been written that you should do so?" The Kazi replied, "I cannot show you; it has not been written that we should slaughter cows. We should respect them." Those whose breast-milk you drink are like mothers, and they should be treated as such. But, people all over the world take the flesh of these animals along with drinking their milk. I see here and here and there, especially in America, that those who slaughter cows have now become cows for slaughter. I once saw thousands of cows ready to be slaughtered. At first I became so unhappy, but at the next moment I considered, "Oh, they were previously humans who ate cows. And now, as a result of their actions, they have become cows." So, you should not consume meat, eggs, or wine, etc. Otherwise those animals will surely take revenge – and if they are not taking revenge, then Krsna will make you suffer. All living entities are eternal servants of God. We all belong to His family – brothers, sisters, mothers, an sons – so we should not eat flesh. Thus, the Kazi told Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "After I went to the Hindu's house, broke the drum, and forbade the performance of congregational chanting, in my dreams that very night I saw a greatly fearful lion, like Nrsimhadeva, roaring loudly, His body was like a human being's and His face like a lion. He jumped upon my chest and began to scratch it. Placing His nails on my chest, the lion said in a grave voice, 'I shall immediately bifurcate your chest as you broke the mrdanga drum." I then prayed to Him, 'Save me, save me! I promise I will never do this again.' He was merciful, but He left the mark of His nails on my chest. From now on, no one in my dynasty will ever kill cows, nor will they create disturbance to the kirtana party." After this incident the Kazi's subjects all became like Hindus. All this occurred because of Srivasa Pandita; the kirtana had taken place at his home. He was such a strong devotee. I am seeing that if any small problems arise for you, even very small ones, you become like crazy persons and are bewildered as to what to do and what not to do. You may even give up your mala and kanti-mala. You should try to be like Srivasa Pandita. After Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, He would go to Jagannatha Puri every year for the Ratha-yatra festival. There Svarupa Damodara and Srivasa Pandit would discuss various subjects. Do you remember this? You should explain. Syamarani dasi: This discussion takes place in the midst of the nine-day Ratha-yatra festival. Five days after Ratha-yatra starts, there's a festival called Hera-pancami. At that time King Prataparudra arranged for Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates to see a beautiful drama about Ratha-yatra. In that drama, Krsna of Dvaraka leaves the Goddess of Fortune in Dvaraka, which is represented by the Jagannath Puri temple, and He goes on the pathway pulled by devotees to Puri's Gundica temple, which represents Vrndavana. Lord Jagannatha, who is Krsna of Dvaraka, says to Laksmi, who represents Krsna's 16,108 queens, "I'll be back after a day or two." But now it's been five days and He hasn't returned, so Laksmi becomes angry. This drama is performed by male devotees dressed up as the Goddess of Fortune, with very, very opulent sari and ornaments, and her maidservants. The maidservants carry Laksmi to Gundica on an opulent palanquin, and then they grab the servants of Jagannatha, tie them with silk ropes, arrest them, and force them to fall at the feet of Laksmi. Laksmi is thinking, "Why should Krsna, who has all opulence, all wealth, and all facilities in Dvaraka, leave all that and join a group of cow-herders in Vrndavana?" Caitanya Mahaprabhu took great delight in this mock argument between Srivasa Pandita and Svarupa Damodara. Svarupa Damodara is Lalita in Krsna-lila, the most intimate girlfriend of Radhika, who helps facilitate Radhika's pastimes with Krsna. He takes the side of the Vrajavasis, and Srivasa Pandita, who, as Srila Gurudeva mentioned, is actually Narada Rsi, takes the side of the residents of Dvaraka. Narada Rsi's worship is in the mood of opulence. His worshipful Deity is Narayana, Dvarakadisa, Rama, and Krsna in the mood of opulence. Srivasa Pandita complains to Svarupa Damodara on behalf of the Goddess of Fortune, "Why are you so much favoring the gopis? They're just cowherd girls, and they simply boil milk. They're not opulent like my Goddess of Fortune. They just have some trees, some fruits, and some flowers; but no jewels, opulent bedding, gold, valuables, or palaces like my Goddess of Fortune." Then, on behalf of the Vrajavasis, Svarupa Damodara said, "These cows are not ordinary cows; they're wish-fulfilling cows who fulfill all the desires of the inhabitants of Vrndavana. All the trees there are kalpa-vrksa trees, desire trees. Whereas the devotees in Dvaraka may have desires for opulence, the devotees in Vrndavana have no such desires. They simply want to take the fruits and flowers from the trees and offer them to Krsna. The grass and flowers that are growing in Vrndavana are not ordinary. Even the value of cintamani is surpassed by these flowers. The cintamani stones are worn as ornaments on the feet of the gopis to attract Krsna. Even more valuable are the flowers used by the gopis to decorate themselves and thus attract Krsna, enchant Krsna, and even induce Him to faint." He explained that in Vrndavana every word is a song and every movement is just like a dance. The gopis far surpass any Goddess of Fortune; millions and millions of Goddesses of Fortune cannot equal the natural opulence, beauty, and sweetness of any one of the gopis. In this way he was defeating Srivasa Thakura, and Srivasa Thakura became so ecstatic because in actuality he also is familiar with the glories of Vrndavana. At another time, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Krsna, said to Srivasa Thakura, "Give Me My flute." Srivasa Thakura said, "I can't; the gopis have already taken it," and he began to explain to Caitanya Mahaprabhu the beautiful pastimes of rasa-lila, honey-wine drinking, and playing in the Yamuna. In this way, he, too, takes pleasure in hearing and speaking the pastimes of Vrndavana. Therefore, when he heard this from Svarupa Damodara, he became greatly ecstatic and began dancing like a madman. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here, Srivasa Pandita is like Narada Rsi – very tricky. All the devotees of Krsna, especially those in Vrndavana, must be tricky like Krsna. Narada is also tricky, and a high class of devotee. He wanted to manifest this siddhanta, this true philosophy, that Krsna of Vrndavana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; not Narayana in Vaikuntha. Narayana has all kinds of opulence, and no one is His friend or parent. He is superior to all. He receives pranama (obeisences) from everyone, and blesses everyone, saying, "Mangalam bhavatu – may all auspiciousness be upon you." It is not at all like this In Vrndavana. What will happen there? Krsna's cowherd friends Sridama and Subala say to Him, "Oh shala (a word used as an insult), what are You doing?! You are so naughty and mischevious." If His friends come to His palace and see that He is still in bed, they jump on His bed and say, "The cows are waiting here and there, and you are still sleeping!" They pull Him out of bed. Sometimes Sridama defeats Krsna, who then smiles and tells him, "I have defeated you." Sridama says, "No, I have defeated You. When one is defeated, his back is flat on the ground." Here Sridama had defeated Krsna and was sitting on His chest, thinking, "I have defeated Krsna." But Krsna told him, "I have defeated you." Sridama asked, "How have You defeated me?" Krsna replied, "My nose is up, and your nose is down." Can anyone in Ayodhya or Vaikuntha play like this? Never. There are no friends of Narayana, and no father and mother, whereas in Vrndavana there are thousands of fathers and mothers of Krsna. Krsna became the son of all the gopis and gopas during His Brahma-mohana-lila, and He became the husband of so many young gopis and the calves of all the cows. He can play in this way. Narayana has one very chaste wife, Laksmi – actually there are three [Sri (Laksmi), Bhu, and Nila] but one is prominent, and that is Laksmi – but she can only massage His lotus feet, keeping His feet on her breast and always offering prayers. On the other hand, here in Vrndavana, Krsna has so many consorts, and all are greater, and more beautiful and sweet than Laksmi. They can all control Krsna. They can tell Him, "Oh, You should massage my feet," and Krsna will have to massage them. When the gopis are tired and perspire from dancing and singing during rasa-lila, Krsna takes His pitambara (yellow shawl) and wipes away their perspiration. This is a very beautiful scene; it is the affection and love of Krsna. Such love manifests in Vrndavana, never anywhere else. Who will be so foolish as to not serve Krsna? Do you know Putana? She was a witch who came to kill baby Krsna by the poison on her breast, but Krsna sucked out the poison and her life, and gave her a position like a mother in her next life. So, who will be so foolish that, giving up Krsna, he will serve others? We must serve Krsna. By his tricky behavior, Narada Rsi inspires Krsna to display various pastimes, and somehow or other he always manifests the glories of Krsna's devotees. We see in Brhad-bhagavatamrta how he glorified the high classes of devotees and incarnations of God. In this way, he discovered that the gopis are the best devotees, and that Vrajendra-nandana is the Supreme worshipful Deity. We should try to make Narada (Srivasa Pandita in Mahaprabhu's pastimes) our guru. Do you know how strong a devotee Srivasa Pandita is? One day he was doing kirtana with many devotees in his courtyard, Srivasa-angana. While Mahaprabhu was dancing and singing with His associates, Srivasa Pandita's only son died. All of Srivasa's brothers' wives, and all the neighbors' wives, were weeping while Srivasa was attending the kirtana. At that time Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "I'm not feeling so happy. Something is going on. What is it?" No one would tell Him the news because Srivasa Pandita had warned all those who were surrounding the boy and weeping, "If you weep loudly, and if the dancing and singing of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's kirtana is disturbed, I will jump in the nearby Ganges. They continued weeping, but not loudly. One of the devotees approached Mahaprabhu and whispered in His ear, "Today this boy has died, and inside they are all still weeping. The dead body is there." Mahaprabhu stopped His kirtana and asked, "Why did you not tell me this before?" He went inside and said, "O my dear boy, where have you gone? You are sleeping; at once wake up." A very wonderful thing happened then. By Mahaprabhu's mercy life at once returned in the dead body of the boy. The boy stood up and began to talk. Mahaprabhu asked, "Why have you left your father and mother here? You were okay here." The boy replied, "I was not happy here. I have had so many hundreds of thousands of fathers and mothers from so many births, and from the beginning of this creation I've been the father or mother of so many. Who is my father? I don't recognize him. I don't want to be here. I have so many facilities now. I want to go to where I have now taken birth." In this world, those who have taken birth must die. You should realize that this body is not yourself. This world is full of so many problems: birth, death, suffering, and sorrows. Babies will, after some time, become old, like me, and after that, when they will be one hundred, they will not be able to walk. They will say with false ego, "I have become one hundred years old," but they don't consider that their one hundred years have passed. Young people are very energetic, going here and there, taking wine, eggs, and meat, and thinking that they will be very strong by that. But they don't know that very soon they will become old. Their hair will be white, their organs will all be weak, and after some time they will not be able to walk. The government will give them retirement pension, and after that they will have to go to old-age homes. Their children will not care about them, and after some time they will not be able to breathe properly. Overcome by coughing, they will have to die." This human body is very rare. After millions of births you have received this body, so don't waste it. From this moment, try to become a pure devotee. Follow Krsna Consciousness, always chanting and remembering Krsna under the guidance of a very qualified, realized guru. Thus, come in the process of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami, and be happy forever. This endless chain of birth and death, the reactions of your past activities, bad and good, will be finished by chanting the holy name. But it is essential to chant the name in the proper process in order that it will become the pure name. If you have any worldly desires while chanting, then your worldly desires will be fulfilled and you will be like zero. Do you understand what I have told? Suppose you are chanting "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna," but in your heart you are thinking, "Some money should come; wealth should come; a very beautiful girlfriend or boyfriend should come; I should have a very beautiful, powerful car and a very beautiful royal palace; I should always travel in a high-class airplane newly made in France that is faster than the speed of sound." In that case, your youth, and your life, will be ruined. The son of Srivasa Pandita continued, "Now that I've taken birth, from the beginning of my life I will chant and remember Krsna, so I don't want to return here." Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Mahaprabhu's pastime is going on at Srivasa Pandita's house, and Srivasa Pandita is an associate of Mahaprabhu, so why leave that situation? Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Because he now took birth in Krsna's pastimes, which is the fruit of association with Mahaprabhu and His associates. He had taken birth from the womb of a gopi, and this was the causeless mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu; this is why he did not want to return. If that boy had gone to any other place, certainly he would have wanted to return. He was realizing that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was none other than Krsna Himself, and by His mercy he had come in the womb of any gopi. Therefore, that boy refused to come back. Let us not waste our time. Let us be fully surrendered, with great faith in Krsna and His name. Krsna has invested all His power, mercy, opulence, and qualities in the name 'Krsna.' In fact, He has made His name even superior to Himself. No one can touch Krsna by any one of the mortal senses. But Krsna has performed a miracle, which is that anyone, even a very wretched or foolish person like Jagai or Madhai, can chant His name whether or not his chanting is pure. That name will become pure by the mercy of the name, as long as the chanter is not committing any offense. If you are not committing offenses, like criticizing a Vaisnava, and you have great regard for all, thinking, "All beings are eternal servants of Krsna, and I am as well," then you can have a relationship with everyone. We should honor all; we should do pranama to all, as it has been told in Bhagavad-gita and Caitanya-caritamrta. Suppose someone is worshiping Krsna, and taking bath in the Ganges with the understanding that, "This Ganges water is a tirtha; the ocean is a maha-tirtha." Still, if that person is not honoring devotees, not thinking that Krsna is present in all living beings, and not regarding all beings, he is not a pure devotee. Rather, "Sa eva go kharah." He is an animal, and among the animals he is like a donkey. The donkey runs after his wife for sex life, and gets kicked by her hind legs. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the boy's words, He said to his mother, "Do you want this boy?" She replied, "I have received my son - Yourself. I am happy for that boy. Now he can go anywhere he likes." Everyone became happy. This is a wonderful pastime of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but it was due to Srivasa Pandita. If any problem comes to you, always be very strong like Srivasa Pandita. There are so many things to say about him, like how he took birth in his pastimes as Narada Rsi. He was already in Goloka Vaikuntha and Vrndavana, but in the very beginning of this creation, Krsna wanted him to come here. He therefore manifested from the throat of Brahma. What is the meaning behind this? Narada is always playing a very sweet sound on his vina as he chants Hare Krsna: "Narada Muni bhajaya vina, radhika-ramana name." He is the master of all raga and ragini (Vedic arrangement of musical notes): sa-re-ga-ma-pa-da-ni-sa. All these sounds have come from the strings of his vina, on which he plays so many transcendental songs. From where did he learn all this? Srimati Radhika is his guru – ultimately all ragas and raginis come from Her ankle-bells. He learned from Radhika's ankle-bells. So, he manifested in this world from the throat of Brahma, and began to chant, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna." Brahma told him, "O son, I want you to follow my orders. Where are you going?" Narada replied, "I want to follow my brothers, the four Kumaras: Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat." As soon as his brothers had been born from Brahma's mind, they were also always chanting Krsna's name, and they wanted to go to the forest to perform austerities. They left, and never followed their father's order that they marry and beget many children to fill the world with human beings. Then Narada was 'born,' and Brahma ordered that he also enter married life, but he also refused. Brahma repeatedly requested him to remain at home, and when he would become mature, he would marry and have many children. Although Brahma warned him, "If you do not obey me, I will have to give you a curse," Narada did not obey him. He went to the forest to chant Krsna's name, at which time Brahma became very angry and said, "You will take birth in a family of Gandharvas (Heavenly singers) and Kinnaras. There you will have to marry thousands of Apsaras (heavenly angels), and you will be dancing and singing with thousands of wives." Narada replied, "I may go there, but I will not marry." Thus Narada became a Gandharva of Heaven named Upabarhana. He was there dancing, but always remembering Krsna. One day Brahma ordered him: "I am going to Puskara, and you should come there with your whole family. You will have to dance there as an invocation. Narada went there and began to dance naked, and in a very wrong way. He wanted his father to be angry and give him another curse, so that he would be free from that life. Brahma surely became angry, and said, "You don't remember that I cursed you before, and you had to become a Gandharva? Now I will curse you again. You will go to the Earth now, and take birth from a sudrani, a low-caste woman." Narada was then born from the womb of a sudrani. As a young boy he received the mercy of his brothers, who instructed him in Krsna consciousness. Soon after he was given a mantra by them, his mother was bitten by a snake and died, and he took this as an opportunity to leave home and go alone to the forest. He went to a very deep, dense forest and continuously chanted that mantra. After some time he became perfect, and Narayana, his worshipful Deity, gave him darsana. You have been chanting for so many years – some devotees for fifteen or sixteen years, and some for longer – but you are not experiencing a change in your consciousness. You are very weak, always dependent on money or some position. You are not very surrendered. For thousands upon thousands of years you have been attached to family, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, and you are now also chanting, without the Krsna conscious result. It may be that some worldly happiness will come by such chanting. You can become Indra or a very wealthy person. Or, you can become like Bill Clinton and become attached to any office girl. You cannot control your mind, but still you are chanting "Hare Krsna." Be like Narada. He was fully absorbed in his chanting, not knowing where he was or who his body belonged to. Krsna came to him, in the form of Narayana, so we should try to do like him. If you are engaged in one-pointed bhajana to Krsna, quite absorbed and having faith in your guru's and Krsna's words, Krsna will surely come and give you darsana. If one knows the mantra for charming a snake and he utters that mantra, a poisoned person's snake poison will go down. Why is our chanting of "Hare Krsna" not giving us perfection? Krsna's name is so powerful; all powers are there. namnam akari bahudha nija sarva saktis tatra arpita niyamitah smarane na kalah etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivami drsamiha jani nanuragah (Sri Siksastakam, Verse 2) What is the meaning? Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Krsna has empowered His holy names with all transcendental sakti, potencies. There are no hard-and-fast rules for chanting these names. Out of kindness and mercy Krsna has allowed us to approach Him through these holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attachment to these holy names. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here it is said that the holy name has no rules and regulations. We can chant it during the day or night, sitting on our bed, without taking bath or washing the mouth, in the morning, evening, daytime; at any time, such as when walking. But we should try to follow Srivasa and Narada. Narada was initiated by his four brothers, the four Kumaras, and Srivasa Pandita was also initiated by a high class Vaisnava with all the symptoms written in the Vedas, Upanisads, and Bhagavatam. If at the time of initiation, you have received the holy name from a pure guru, then that name will be powerful and Krsna will come to you. For example, Narada's gurus Sanat, Sanatana, Sanaka, and Sanandana gave him a mantra, after which he very easily received the darsana of Krsna. If your guru is like that, and you are following like Narada, then suddha-nama, the powerful transcendental name, will manifest in your heart. On the other hand if your guru is fallen, having no faith in the name and only chanting six rounds, or two rounds, or sometimes not chanting at all, and after some time he also falls externally, that holy name will not be so strong. No potency will be there, and without potency, your chanting can only give you a shadow of the name. Liberation may come, or worldly wealth may come. You will not get Krsna-prema. Try to follow all these teachings, and be very strong like Srivasa Pandita, even if someone takes your whole wealth and position, and you become poor like him. One day, Srivasa Pandita said to Mahaprabhu, clapping his hands, "One, two, three." Mahaprabhu asked, "What are you doing?" Again Srivasa Pandita said, "One, two, three." Mahaprabhu inquired, "Why are you doing that?" Then Srivasa Pandit explained, "We are chanting and remembering Krsna throughout the day, and doing nothing for our maintenance. If there is nothing to eat in my house today, then I will wait. On the second day I will also wait. If nothing comes on the third day, no harm; but if nothing comes on the fourth day, I will jump in the Ganges. I will not do anything but chant and remember." Mahaprabhu told him, "This can never happen to a devotee like you. The Goddess of Fortune, Laksmi-devi, may have to beg anywhere, but not My devotees or Krsna's devotees." You must believe in this. Go on chanting. Krsna's name is more merciful than Krsna Himself; have faith in that. But that name should come from a reliable, or bona fide, guru. Gaura Premanande!
  18. Shri Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaja Orignally appearing in August, 21 1958 issue of Bhagavat Patrika entitled 'The appearance of Sri Baladeva'. Who says Rupanuga Bhajana is only for those in parakiya-madhurya-rasa is a sahajiya. Certain sahajiyas, following the theory of 'ichari-paka', or expecting ripe fruit prematurely, say that "rupanuga-bhajana' consists of only the acceptance of parakiya madhura-rasa. They have established that other rasas such as dasya, sakhya and vatsalya are not included within rupanuga-bhajana. Such statements identify the sahajiyas section as being without proper understanding of rasa-tattva, and as being uncontrolled [independent]. These days, many persons situated within the line of conception flowing from Sri Saraswati Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, are fallen from the true line of thought of Sri Rupa Goswami, and have actually taken shelter of the feet of the followers of the sahajiya-section, and are believers in this 'ichari-paka' philosophy; Such imitationists say 'what will you get from preaching? What is there in kirtana? Do bhajana, just do bhajana!" This class of offenders think that their exchanging of the chanting of the Holy Name for deceitfully 'pulling rope' on their japa-mala, while sitting and performing silent bhajana, is actual bhajana. It is a matter of great astonishment that even though a great many people are doing this, still they have no shame. Service to Hari kirtana is actual rupanuga-bhajana, otherwise not.
  19. [Given at Sri Keshavaji Gaudiya Matha, on the divine birthday of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu] Navadvipa, India: March 14, 2006 pm Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja After the completion of Lord Sri Krsna's pastimes in Vrndavana and Dvaraka in Dvarapa-Yuga, He was thinking very deeply. He considered, "I went to the material world and tasted the moods and relationships of dasya (servitude), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental affection) and madhurya-rasa (conjugal love). Although I did so, however, I was not completely satisfied." Sri Krsna was not totally satisfied, because He had three unfulfilled desires: sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva- svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso va madiyah saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat tad-bhavadhyah samajani saci-garbha-sindhau harinduh ["Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani's love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Srimati Saci-devi, as the moon appeared from the ocean. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.6)] Krsna was trying very hard to understand the nature of Srimati Radhika's affection for Him. After the attainment of prema there is sneha (melting heart), then maan (sulky mood) and then pranaya (a sense of oneness with one's beloved). Pranaya means very deep affection. After pranaya comes raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava, and ultimately Radhika's madanakya-mahabhava. Krsna was trying to understand the glory of Radharani's pranaya, Her love for Him. He was thinking, "I feel happy upon seeing Radha; but when She sees Me, She becomes completely maddened. What is in Me that She tastes?" I cannot taste the extent of My sweetness as She can. Krsna has four special types of sweetness: the sweetness of His form, the sweetness of His flute playing, the sweetness of His pastimes, and the sweetness of the love He generates in the hearts of the Vrajavasis. How can Krsna taste His own sweetness? He cannot do so. Only Srimati Radharani can taste His sweetness completely. Krsna had a desire to understand what Radhika experiences. He was thinking, "I am the most beautiful personality in the entire world. No one is more beautiful than I. But Radhika is much more beautiful than I. And yet there is something in Me which drives Her mad upon seeing Me. What is that thing?" He could not understand, and He thus developed greed to taste His own sweetness. In order to do this, He descended as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There is another reason for Mahaprabhu's advent given in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 4.15-16): prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana raga-marga bhakti loke karite pracarana rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama ["The Lord's desire to appear was born from two reasons: the Lord wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellows of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all."] Krsna is rasika-sekhara. He is the crest-jewel of all enjoyers. He is the ocean and embodiment of all devotional mellows, and He is the supreme taster. He is also parama-karuna, the most merciful. Because of these two qualities He descended to this world. He came to taste something Himself, and He also came to give something – raga-marga, the path of spontaneous attraction. Just hear the pastimes of Sri Krsna. Study the commentaries of our acaryas. The Srimad-bhagavatam has described how Lord Krsna's cowherd-boy friends, headed by Sridama, Subala, Arjuna and Stoka-krsna, love and serve Him. Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda also have love for Him. The Srimad-bhagavatam also describes the love of the gopis and their service mood towards Him. The service of these eternal associates in Vrndavana is called ragatmika. Those who try to follow in the footsteps of these ragatmika devotees are called raganuga. Anugamana means to follow. There are two types of raga-marga (the path of spontaneous love): raganuga-bhajana and rupanuga-bhajana. Rupanuga-bhajana consists of two sections. First, following the manner in which Srila Rupa Gosvami, in his form as a sadhaka or spiritual practitioner, served in the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and fulfilled His innermost desires. In the second section the devotee follows the manner in which Rupa Manjari (Srila Rupa Gosvami in his siddha form, a maidservant of Sri Radha and Krsna) served and fulfilled all the desires of Sri Radha. Sriman Mahaprabhu came to this world to sprinkle upon the fortunate living entities the special service mood manifested by Sri Rupa Manjari. That mood is called manjari-bhava. On this night, 520 years ago at the time of the lunar eclipse, in order to avoid the bad effects of that eclipse, millions upon millions of people entered the Ganga and chanted "Haribol, haribol." At that time the Muslims were thinking, "All those Hindus are chanting harinama and Hare Krsna." Thus, they also chanted "Haribol, haribol", and in this way they were chanting nama-abhasa. Somehow or other everyone was chanting the holy name at the appearance of Sacinandana Gaurahari. Mahaprabhu's mother, Sacimata, had lost her first eight sons, and therefore she gave this child the special name Nimai. Nimai was born under a neem tree because neem keeps away ghosts, witches and evil spirits. When a parent loses children, they give the child a special name in order to protect their child so Yamaraja will not take them seriously. Here in Navadvipa, Nimai manifested his balya-lila (one to five years) up to His kishora-lila (youth). After His kishora-lila He took sannyasa and went to Jagannatha Puri. From Jagannatha Puri, on the excuse of looking for his elder brother Visvarupa in Pandarapura, He went to South India and met with Raya Ramananda at Godavari. There Raya Ramananda narrated the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna to Mahaprabhu. When He was in Jagannatha Puri in the association of Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Raya Ramananda, He tasted the ecstasy of Srimati Radharani in the small room of the Gambhira. How high were His bhavas there! Somehow or other He would escape by passing through the seven locked doors of the Gambhira, even though they remained locked. He would roam about in transcendental ecstasy. The ecstatic emotions He experienced in Jagannatha Puri are to some extent described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Sometimes His joints would become distended and He would become very long, and sometimes He would assume a contracted form, like a turtle. You have now come to the land of Gaura-bhumi. The place we are presently situated, Kuliyagrama, is called aparadha-bhajana-patha. One may have committed offenses to devotees or to Sri Guru, and for some reason that pure devotee or Guru is not forgiving them. Still, by staying here, taking shelter here and weeping with a feeling of repentance, Gaura-Nityananda Prabhus will purify him from that offense. You have come to that place where offences are destroyed. Tomorrow is the last day of our parikrama, and after that everyone will be returning to their homes. My Gurudeva used to say, "When you go home, don't tell anyone of the problems you experienced here, such as the heat and bathrooms. Rather you should tell everyone, "There were no problems at all at the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. There were a variety of subjis (vegetables) and air-conditioned rooms and attached toilets. Premananda prabhu gave everyone rasagulas (a fancy Bengali sweet) and parathas. We had great happiness." Don't tell anyone about the problems you may have incurred during the parikrama. Rather you should glorify the parikrama. Preach, and next year each of you should bring two or three more people. This year there were 15,000 pilgrims on parikrama, and next year we will make arrangements for 30,000 pilgrims. Now there will be an enactment of Sriman Mahaprabhu's pastimes in the Bengali language, performed by a Bombay dance-drama group named Nritanjali, whose leader is Mr. Tushar Guha. Please stay for that.
  20. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha, Navadvipa: Mar.12, 2000 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Navadvipa and performed His pastimes there. It is said that after these pastimes were completed, He took sannyasa and went to Puri. Later He went to South India, met Srila Ramananda Raya, and revealed to him His form as Sri Sri Radha and Krsna combined – Rasaraja-mahabhava. This form of Rasaraja-mahabhava is also described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, as the pastimes of Radha and Krsna. Krsna is Rasaraja (the king of all tasters of transcendental mellows) and Radhika is Mahabhava-svarupa (the quintessence of transcendental loving emotions towards Krsna). In Navadvipa, Sri Gauranga performed sakhya-bhava pastimes with His friends in His naravata, human-like, lila. Some people say that after taking sannyasa in Navadvipa, He left and performed higher pastimes in Puri. After that, on the bank of Godavari He met Ramananda Raya and learned how to taste Krsna in a still more intense mood of separation. It is not actually true, however, that Puri and Godavari are higher than Navadvipa, nor is it true that Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari ever leaves Navadvipa. It is said that Mahaprabhu was able to taste what He came to this world to taste – only after He met Raya Ramananda, who is Visakha-devi in Krsna-lila. He learned from him how to taste radha-bhava. Do you know why He learned from Ramananda Raya instead of Srila Svarupa Damodara, who is Lalita-devi in krsna-lila? Lalita devi is the first expansion of Radharani and Visakha-devi is the second expansion. But Visakha's birthday is the same as that of Srimati Radharani, so her nature is the same. She has practically the same qualities and the same form. Krsna could not be taught by Lalita-devi because her mood is pragalba, bold and outspoken. Srimati Radhika and Srimati Visakha, although also left-wing gopis, are the same as each other – madhya-nayika, heroines who are a mixture of pragalbha and mrdvi (sweet and gentle). Therefore. Mahaprabhu had to learn from Ramananda Raya how to taste Radha-bhava. Because it was at Godavari that Mahaprabhu learned to taste that Radha-bhava, some say that Godavari is higher than Navadvipa. But this is not so. Navadvipa itself is the highest abode, and it includes Godavari and Jagannatha Puri. We can understand this by a comparative study of aisvarya-mayi-lila and madhurya-mayi-lila ('mayi' means 'consisting of'). What is the difference between aisvarya and madhurya? Aisvarya-lila are displays of opulence which cannot be performed by any human being, whereas madhurya-lila are those pastimes which appear human-like, even if there is a great display of opulence. If there is no opulence, activities are simply mundane. So there may be opulence in madhurya-mayi-lila, but that lila still appears sweet and human-like, and so it is called madhurya. Whether opulence is clearly present or not, in madhurya-lila there does not seem to be opulence. As we see from Krsna's lila, there is more aisvarya in Vrndavana than there is in Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, or Mathura. However, it is covered by so much sweetness that the opulence cannot be tasted. [For clarification an example is given of salt and sugar: There are four cups. The first has 1 ounce of salt and no sugar. The second one has 2 ounces of salt and 2 ounces of sugar. The third has 3 ounces of salt and 6 ounces of sugar. And the fourth has 4 ounces of salt and 100 lbs. of sugar. Although the fourth cup has more salt, one cannot taste it because of all the sugar.] In Goloka Vrndavana the opulence is covered. Krsna's madhurya-lila includes aisvarya. When Krsna lifted Govardhana Hill, the cowherd boys thought that He must be getting tired. They considered, "We should also help to hold up Govardhana, with our sticks." Others thought, "Because of Nanda Maharaja's austerities, Lord Narayana entered Krsna's body. It is actually Narayana who is holding up Govardhana." The gopis were glaring upon Govardhana and said to him, "If you fall down on Krsna, we will curse you." So these are human-like pastimes. When Krsna was a baby He showed His mother His universal form, and everything was there within His mouth – all incarnations, all universes, all elements, all senses, and so forth. Despite this, Yasoda-maiya could not conceive that her son is God. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, and His dhama, Sri Navadvipa, is Vrndavana itself. In Navadvipa He was known as Saci-putra and Sacinandana, the son of Saci-mata and Jagannatha Misra. He was also called Visnupriya-pati, the husband of Srimati Visnupriya-devi. Practically no one there knew that He is the Supreme Lord. Two of His friends at that time were Jagadananda Pandita and Svarupa Damodara. They were his fellow-students when He attended the school of Gangadasa Pandita, and they all performed their madhurya-lila there. As there are so many human learned scholars or panditas, the residents of Navadvipa considered Saci-putra to be Nimai Pandita, a very good human pandita. There is no aisvarya in this name Nimai Pandita. It is naravata, human-like. When Kesava Kasmiri, the digvijaya (challenging scholar), came to defeat the panditas of Navadvipa, they decided to make Nimai Pandita their representative. They considered Him to be just a boy. Therefore, if He would lose, they could then say, "He's just a boy." And if He would win, they could consider it a great victory for Navadvipa that their boy-scholar was successful. Being fellow-students in Gangadasa Pandita's school, Jagadananda Pandita and Nimai Pandita used to have friendly arguments about logic. Sometimes they would argue about the definition of mukti. Jagadananda Pandita would quote the verse beginning, "Atyantya dukha nivritti – Liberation means to be delivered from the miseries of maya." But Nimai Pandita would say, "No. The real definition of mukti is: 'Mukti hitva anyata rupam, svarupena vyavastiti – Mukti is that condition in which one realizes his own svarupa and the svarupa of Krsna, and he realizes his relationship with Krsna. Liberation from all false identifications is only possible when one knows his real identification. When one surrenders to the lotus-feet of Radha and Krsna and serves Them with one's transcendental body and senses, that is mukti. Otherwise mukti is only partial.'" So this is nara-lila – human-like friends arguing together. In Jagannatha Puri, on the other hand, there were so many opulent pastimes, which everyone knew could not be performed by a human being. For example, when Mahaprabhu jumped in the ocean and was caught in the fisherman's net, His body became elongated and all His joints were separated by eight inches. This is opulence, and this is very deep and hard to understand. After Mahaprabhu completed his talks with Ramananda Raya, He tasted the fruits in Gambhira and only three-and-one-half persons were allowed to enter there – Sri Ramananda Raya, Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sikhi Mahiti, and his sister, Srimati Madhavi devi. Dvaraka is full of opulence. There are so many palaces, elephants, horses, and chariots there. Similarly, in Puri there was so much veneration by all Mahaprabhu's devotees, and all were fearful to make proposals to Him. In Navadvipa, on the other hand, Kolaveca Sridhara would have arguments with Nimai Pandita – and Nimai would even steal his vegetables. In Vraja, Sri Krsna is considered an ordinary cowherd boy. In Navadvipa, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is considered an ordinary brahmana's ordinary son. No one in Navadvipa could conceive of Him being called Mahaprabhu. Only when He went to Puri did He begin to be called Mahaprabhu. In Navadvipa He sucked the breast of Saci-devi. He played with the girls who were worshiping Siva-linga to get a good husband. He also sometimes behaved as a mischievous student. His lila, therefore, is called madhurya-mayi-lila. Someone may object to this statement, considering that He manifested as Nrsimhadeva and Varaha in Navadvipa. This is true, but hardly anyone saw this. Practically all the devotees always thought He was simply Saci-nandana. Only a few were in the mood of worship, like Murari Gupta (who is Hanuman in Rama-lila) or Srivasa Pandita (who is Narada Muni in Krsna-lila), understood Him as the Supreme Lord. Comparing the Three Features There is a comparison between the three features of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the three features of Srimati Radharani. There is an original Radhika, and Her complete and original form is called Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika. She never leaves Vrndavana, and She only feels short-term separation from Krsna – as when He goes cow-herding for a few hours each day. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika is always experiencing Her nitya-lila, or astakaliya-lila, pastimes with Krsna, which take place twenty-four hours a day – from one early morning to the next. She is actually never separated from Krsna. There is only an abhimana, or self-conception, that They are sometimes separated. Vrsabhanu-nandini has two manifestations. One is Viyogini Radhika: Radhika feeling separation from Krsna at Uddhava Kyari when Krsna was in Mathura and Dvaraka. Her other manifestation is in Kuruksetra, and that is Sanyogini Radhika. It is Sanyogini Radha who meets with Krsna in Kuruksetra. Just as Dvarakadisa-Krsna and Mathuresa-Krsna are always within purnattama (Krsna's most complete form) Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna, so these other two manifestations of Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika are included within Her original form. Radhika's full, original form also feels separation, but only at certain times. For example, She may wake up one morning and think, "Oh, what a terrible dream I had. Krsna went to Dvaraka and married so many queens." Also, now and then some conception comes, "Oh, Krsna has left. No, Krsna is here after all." That sentiment or conception takes a tangible form in prakata-lila, Krsna's pastimes as preformed in this material world. The three features of Srimati Radhika – Vrsabhanu-nandini, Viyogini, and Sanyogini – are defined in the Sanat Kumara Samhita. Just as She has three features, Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari has three features. Sri Krsna Caitanya Radha Krsna nahi anya. Mahaprabhu is no one but Radha and Krsna combined. When Srimati Radhika is speaking to the bumblebee at Uddhava Kyari, She is Viyogini Radhika. madhupa kitava-bandho ma sprsanghrim sapatnyah kuca-vilulita-mala-kunkuma-smasrubhir nau vahatu madhu-patis tan-manininam prasadam yadu-sadasi vidambyam yasya dutas tvam idrk (Srimad-Bhagavatam10.47.12) ["O black bee, don't touch me. I know you are a representative of Krsna from Mathura, and you are trying to make some compromise. But I will never compromise with that Krsna. I know that the red of your whiskers has come from the kunkuma which came from the breasts of His beloveds there in Mathura. It was smeared on Krsna's garland when He embraced them, and then came on your mustaches."] This mood of transcendental madness is of Viyogini Radhika, and this is compared to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Puri. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta explains that the mood of Srimati Radhika which was seen by Uddhava was the constant mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Gambhira. "Vrndavana parityaja na padam ekam gacchati." Krsna never leaves Vrndavana. Nandanandana is always in Vrndavana. Vrsabhanu-nandini also never leaves Vrndavana, and similarly Sacinandana never leaves Navadvipa. In Godavari, Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifested his Rasaraja-mahabhava svarupa. There in Godavari He discussed all tattvas: rasa-tattva, prema-tattva, and radha-tattva. But who saw this? Only Ramananda Raya. This manifestation of Rasaraja-mahabhava was not an ordinary activity. No one else could have shown Himself as Radha and Krsna. Therefore it is an opulence; it is aisvarya, and it is not the highest lila. Srimati Radhika's partial moods and forms are included within Her original form, and this is also true with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In Mahaprabhu's lila, Puri is like Dvaraka. When He is in Gambhira, He is experiencing Radharani's separation from Krsna at Dvaraka, in the mood of Viyogini Radhika. When Mahaprabhu is in Godavari, He is like Sanyogini Radhika. This aspect of Srimati Radhika meets Krsna at Kuruksetra in order to bring Him back to Vrndavana. These two aspects of Mahaprabhu are included in Navadvipa. In Jagannatha Puri, no one accepted the names Sacinandana, etc. Everyone there had a reverential mood towards Mahaprabhu. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya realized, "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I've never seen such a person in this world." Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 6. 9-13) states that while examining the body of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sarvabhauma saw that His abdomen was not moving and that He was not breathing. Seeing this condition, he became very anxious. He then took a fine cotton swab and put it before Mahaprabhu's nostrils. When he saw the cotton move very slightly, he became hopeful. Sitting beside Mahaprabhu, he thought, "This is a transcendental ecstatic transformation brought about by love of Krsna." Upon seeing the sign of suddipta-sattvika bhava, the Bhattacarya could immediately understand the transcendental ecstatic transformation in Mahaprabhu's body. Such a sign could take place only in the bodies of Krsna's eternally liberated associates like the gopis, and especially in Srimati Radhika. The Bhattacarya considered, "The uncommon ecstatic symptoms of adhiruddha-bhava are appearing in the body of Mahaprabhu. This is very wonderful! How are they possible in the body of a human being?" Hidden Vrindavana Navadvipa is gupta (hidden) Vrndavana. Although the twelve forests of Vrndavana are hidden in Navadvipa, they are in a different sequence. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described this as acintya, inconceivable. He has explained that it is the speciality of this dhama. It is hidden and crooked, so it cannot be exactly in the same sequence. This is the nature of hidden prema. stealing clothesRadha-kunda is not far from Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Because Govardhana is here, Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda must also be here. My Guru Maharaja, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Paramahamsa Srila Bhakti-prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja has fulfilled the innermost heart's desire of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura by establishing this temple in the valley or plain of Govardhana. Caitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes stayed here and performed pastimes. One pastime, as explained in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, was when some young girls were making offerings to Siva-linga with fruits, flowers, and other paraphernalia of worship. At that time Nimai Pandita forcibly stole the offerings and told the girls that they should not waste their time worshiping Lord Siva. He said, "I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should worship Me. All the demigods and demigoddesses are My servants. If you do not worship Me, I will curse you all to get old, ugly husbands who already have five wives." They were all joking in this way, and they did not believe that He was the Supreme. All the Vrndavana pastimes are there in Navadvipa. Govardhana and Rasa-sthali are present where we are now sitting, in Koladvipa, at the Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Krsna is dancing here with the gopis. One may say that the highest place in Navadvipa is Yogapitha at Mayapura, because that is where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. But actually, Koladvipa is superior. We must consider the siddhanta (conclusive truth). Comparing Navadvipa to Vrndavana, Mathura-Gokula is the place where Krsna appeared. He appeared simultaneously as Lord Vasudeva in Mathura and as a baby in Gokula. But this place in Koladvipa is Govardhana, where Krsna appeared in His original and most complete form, His kaisora (teenage) form, His Radha-Krsna yugala form. This is also where rasa-lila, the highest pastime, took place. It can be concluded, therefore, that this place is so much higher. Srila Rupa Gosvami confirms in his Upadesamrta, "The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura-puri is the transcendental forest of Vrndavana, because of Krsna's rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrndavana is Govardana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krsna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super-excellent Sri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is over-flooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krsna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?" After the class After the class, at an informal darsana just outside Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's room, a disciple questioned, "You said this morning that there was no opulence manifestation in Navadvipa. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His Virat-rupa, His universal form, there in Navadvipa." Srila Maharaja replied, "Yes, but only to a few; to Srivasa Thakura as Narada Muni." Another devotee questioned, "You said in class that Jagannatha Puri represents Dvaraka and Godavari represents Kuruksetra. How is Godavari Kuruksetra?" Srila Maharaja replied, "It is not that Godavari is the same as Kuruksetra. This comparison is given because of its display of opulence. When Srimati Radhika first met Krsna at Kuruksetra, She saw so much opulence: horses, chariots and elephants, and Krsna was dressed as an opulent prince. Similarly, when Mahaprabhu manifested His transcendental form as Rasaraja-mahabhava, this was a great display of opulence. Another thing was that the great happiness Srimati Radhika felt by meeting Krsna in Kuruksetra after such a long time was only momentary. When She realized that Their meeting and relationship could not be the same as it was in Vrndavana, it became a pathetic scene. Similarly, the opulent display of Mahaprabhu's Rasaraja-mahabhava form was only revealed for a moment.
  21. Holland, July 3, 1997 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Sri Narada has gone to Sankara, Lord Siva, and is glorifying him; “You are very near and dear to Lord Krsna. Not only that, you are Krsna’s manifestation; you are non-different from Him. You can give moksa, liberation, and also krsna-prema.” Hearing Narada glorify him in numerous ways, Sankara became somewhat angry and said, “Your glorification of me is all false. I am not very dear to Krsna – not at all – but I want to be. I want to be Krsna’s beloved, but actually I am not. I’ve done so many things against Him.” Sankara had performed a number of activities that were apparently opposed to Krsna, such as giving a benediction to Ravana, as well as other activities opposed to krsna-bhakti. He told N arada, “You know, my boy, what no one in this world can do, Krsna tells me to do.” When the demigods were churning the ocean, first came poison – maha-poison. It was very dangerous and the entire world was burning by it." The demigods had approached Krsna, who told them to worship Sankara and request him to swallow that poison. So they worshipped Sankara and told him, “O Sankara, save us! No one else can save us.” Sankara at once took that poison and drank it. He took it in his mouth, but he didn’t want to take it in his stomach. This was because he considered, “Oh, Krsna is in my heart, and the poison will affect Him”. He therefore took it only in his throat. His throat was burned and it thus turned blue. In kali-yuga many persons wanted to worship Krsna, God, thinking, “He should fulfill all our desires. Simply by worshipping Krsna or His incarnations, He will be pleased and satisfy our worldly, material desires.” In this way they began to worship – not to please Krsna, but only because they wished that He would very easily arrange all of their needs. Sri Krsna thought, “This is very dangerous.” He called Sankara and told him, “Tell all the false devotees that, “You yourself are Brahma. Brahma satyam jaganmitya jiva brahma evanapara. This world is false. Jiva is Siva, jiva is Brahma, all these souls are Brahma. There is no need to worship any other God. You are God Himself. You are Paramabrahma.” Sankara told Krsna, “Can you please tell someone else to do this? I am not qualified to do this service.” Krsna replied, “No, you will have to do it. In the entire world I see no one else qualified to do this.” Now Sankara told Narada, “At last, I had to agree with this, and I preached everywhere, ‘You are Brahma, you are Brahma, you are Brahma. The whole world is false. ’ Now, I am so much regretting this. Why am I making all these jivas so offensive? It is an offense, I know. But yet, to carry out the orders of Lord Krsna, I am doing this. Because He sometimes orders me in this way, I am not His dear one. "Also, you know that I always wear ashes from the burial grounds, and I always wear skulls. I have trigunas, three qualities: satya, rajas, and tamas (material goodness, passion and ignorance). All my associates are like bhutas (ghosts) and pisachis (witches). So actually I am not qualified to be Krsna's dear one.” Narada then said, “Prabhu, don’t cheat me. I know something. I have heard that the enemies of Krsna and the Pandavas, or the enemies of any bhaktas, worship you, and you give them some benediction. But that benediction is not totally foolproof. There is always some loophole there. Actually you cheat them to please your Lord Sri Krsna. I know that whatever you do, you do to ple ase Krsna. You are His dearest friend.” In Mahabharata there was a king named Jayadratha who was the brother-in-law of Duryodhana. Duryodhana had given his sister, Dushala, to Jayadratha, and so he was also like the brother-in-law of the Pandavas. Once Jayadratha tried to take Draupadi as his wife, and he put her on his chariot by force. Weeping, she told him, “I am the wife of the Pandavas. If they come, they will punish and kill you.” Jayadratha was so arrogant, however, that he did not hear what she said. In the meantime, Rsi Narada came to the Pandavas and told them, “Oh, I saw Jayadratha take away Draupadi, and she is weeping!” At once Bhima and Arjuna ran after him, and Jayadratha saw that they were coming very quickly. Bhima left his chariot and began to run faster than Jayadratha’s horses. Arjuna told Bhima, “I am going to arrest and kill Jayadratha. You should take care of the rest of the Pandavas.” He thus took his bow and arrows, and by those arrows he created a fire that surrounded the chariot of Jayadratha. Jayadratha was captured in that fire and could not move. At once Arjuna and Bhima arrested him, bound him to the chariot, and took him to the place where Yudhisthira was staying with Draupadi and the others. Bhima told Yudhisthira “I want to kill him. Please order me to kill him”. Arjuna also said, “Jayadratha has performed a heinous act; he should be killed.” Yudhisthira said, “We should take the case to Draupadi, and whatever she orders we will do”. This was because it was Draupadi whom Jayadratha had taken. They went to Draupadi and kept Jayadratha at her feet. Draupadi was now very merciful. Although Bhima repeatedly said, “I want to kill him at once”, Draupadi told them, “Don’t kill him. Forgive him, because he is our brother-in-law. If you kill him, your sister will be a widow and she will weep forever.” Indian wives are always very chaste. They can give their lives for their husbands. Their husbands may give them up or divorce them, but these women will never give up their husbands. Rama left Sita, but Sita never left Rama. This is Indian Vedic culture, and we should try to follow this because Parama-pujyapada Srila Swami Maharaja wanted it. Both husband and wife should help each other. You should never think, “I will give up my husband.” First follow Varnasrama-dharma, and then bhakti will come. When you are matured, then you can choose to either give it up or not give it up; no harm. But now you should try to follow Varnasrama-dharma. Some of the devotees were not following, and Srila Swami Maharaja was worried. Males and females should both be like this – very chaste. You can give up your life, no harm, because your soul will never die. However, if given to anyone, be chaste like this. Otherwise you can also give up Lord Krsna . So practice here. Take a vow that, “In my life I will never divorce; I will never give up my husband (or wife).” Then you will be chaste and you will never give up Krsna. Nowadays it is very easy to give up Gurudeva and to take a new one – like western women. In a second, for nothing, they can change their husbands. Although it may be a problem for their children, they are accustomed to act in that way. We should try to change this habit. So Draupadi said, “Your sister will be a widow, and she will weep for her entire life.” Bhima and Arjuna asked Sri Krsna, “What should we do? We have promised to kill Jayadratha, and now Draupadi is telling us that we should forgive him.” Krsna replied, “If a man is very much respected but requires punishment, then he should be dishonored; and this will be like death.” Arjuna then shaved his head, keeping five sikhas, and he shaved one side of his face while leaving the othe r side half-shaved. This system is practiced in France, and nowadays it is a very good fashion. But Jayadratha was insulted there, and he felt totally humiliated. When Bhima and Arjuna released him, Jayadratha thought, “It was better to die than to live.” He vowed, “I will somehow take revenge.” He therefore did not go to his home. Instead he went to Kailasa and performed very severe austerities there. After some months he gave up all food, water, and everything else, and he was about to die. At that time Sankara came and asked him, “What do you want?” Jayadratha said, “I want to take revenge against the Pandavas. I want to defeat all the Pandavas and kill them.” Sankara told Jayadratha, “You can defeat the Pandavas once, and only Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva; but not Arjuna” Jayadratha said, “If you cannot give me a benediction to my full satisfaction, t hen you should give me the benediction that neither Arjuna nor anyone else can kill me.” Sankara replied, “If anyone kills you by cutting off your head, then, if it falls on the ground, that person who made your head land on the ground will die immediately. Your life will be saved and your head will be joined back to your body. However, if your head goes to your father, and your father throws it on the ground, then you will remain dead. If someone kills you hundreds and thousands of times, you will not be able to be killed, but if your father throws your head anywhere, then you will be killed.” Jayadratha was satisfied. He thought, “My father will never do this!” Later, when the Mahabharata battle was fought, Arjuna cut off Jayadratha’s head with his arrow. It was evening and the sun was setting, and his father was doing arpana to the Sun-god (offering some water). In the meantime, Arjuna shot Jayadratha’s head into the hands of his father. Without thinking, his father tossed it on the ground, opened his eyes and said, “What is this wet thing?” But it had already gone from his hand. He now saw that this was the head of his son and began to cry, “O my son, O my son! You are now dead.” Thus, if Sankara gives any benediction to the enemies of Lord Krsna’s devotees, there is always some loophole. He is so clever, and he is always serving Krsna. There was a very big demon named Tripurasura, who performed severe austerities to please Sankara. When Sankara came, Tripurasura told him, “I want a benediction that I can make three airplanes. They should be managed only by mind, so that when I order them to go to heaven, they will go there. They should not be like present-day machines. They should do as I wish. In summer they should be air-conditioned. If two men are seated, then there should be only two seats. And if I want to travel on the airp lanes with hundreds of thousands of persons, then that many seats should be arranged. They should never fall down due to mechanical difficulty. Never. They should be made of gold, copper, and silver, and they should be equipped with all kinds of weapons. After attaining his benediction, Tripurasura began to fight with Lord Sankara himself. Sankara fled and took shelter of Krsna. Tripurasura also had a khupa, a well, and that well was full of nectar. If anyone would try to kill him, he could at once take that nectar and then he would not die. Sankara was very worried. Because so much warfare was going on between them, he took shelter at the lotus feet of Krsna. In order to save him, Krsna, as Visnu, then took the form of a cow. That cow drank all the nectar from the well, after which Sankara was able to kill Tripurasura and the other demons. We can see here that Sankara even gives benedictions to his own enemies, knowing that Krsna will save him. So don& rsquo;t fear. Sri Krsna will save you if you offer yourself to Him. He has promised, “Sarva dharma parityaja mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisami ma sucah.” If you give your whole responsibility – your intelligence, your senses, your everything – to Krsna, He will take all responsibility for you. Don’t fear. No sufferings or sorrows of any kind will come to you. Arjuna killed hundreds of thousands of soldiers, but he did not have to taste the fruit of that. In other words, He did not have to suffer from the results of his actions. Ajamila committed so many sinful activities, but he also did not have to taste the fruit of that. He went to Vaikuntha. So you should try to give all your responsibilities, Varnashrama-dharma and everything to Krsna – and be happy forever. Then only you can enter into bhakti. Sankara is always serving Krsna. Narada knows this fact, but he wanted to glorify Sankara so that every one will know that he is very near and dear – and non-different from Krsna. How? “Saksad haritvena samasta sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam”. Here saksad haritvena means priyatvena haritvena. He is very near and dear. “Vaisnavanam yata sambhu – he is the greatest Vaisnava”. Sankara-tattva is extremely complex. Brahma-tattva is not so complicated; he is always jiva-tattva. And sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu himself comes as Brahma. But Sankara is not like this. He is not jiva-tattva. Where does he live? Beyond Brahmaloka. After passing through the eight kinds of material coverings, after crossing the Viraja, Muktidhama, Mahakalapuram, and then Brahmaloka, there is the planet of Sankara. There he is known as Sadasiva, and he is Visnu-tattva. For any reason, if something sour is put into milk, it becomes yogurt. Yogurt is nothing but milk. It has all the potencies that are in milk, like ghee and so forth, but it is not milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. Sankara is like that. He is not an ordinary jiva. Sometimes, but very rarely, there may be a reason that Sadasiva cannot come to this world – if he is engaged in his destruction of the universe, or anything like that. In that case a qualified jiva can work as Siva; temporarily, but not permanently. So you should always try to honor Lord Sankara. I can tell some pastimes of Sankara from Srimad Bhagavatam and Skanda Purana. When Sri Ramacandra was making the bridge to go to Sri Lanka with his hundreds of thousands of soldiers, He established a Siva-linga of Ramesvara. When it was established, all the male human beings were glorifying Sankara, shouting, “Ramesvara ki jayaho! Ramesvara ki jaya! They were calling Ramesvara “Rama Isvara”. “You are isvara; you are the God of Rama.&rdq uo; Thus they used the name Ramesvara. The Demigods were not happy or satisfied by this. They said, “Ramas ca asau isvarah”. Rama is God, and Sankara is also God. Both of them are the same. Hearing this, the Sankara-sila (linga or stone) broke. Sankara came out from it and told them, “You are all foolish; you do not know my tattva, the established truths regarding my identity. Rama is my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara.” Common people generally don’t know very much, and so they thought that Ramesvara meant that Sankara is the God of Rama, and that Rama is controlled by Sankara. The demigods were of the opinion that Rama and Sankara are the same and both are God. But Lord Siva, Sankara himself, told them, “I am not the God of Rama. Rama is my beloved and my God.” Sankara is called Ramesvara because of this. He himself told this. We see in Srimad Bhagavatam that once Sankara went to the council of Praja pati Daksa, and everyone there was honoring Daksa. Daksa Prajapati had given his daughter in marriage to Sankara, so he thought that Lord Siva was like his son. He offered pranamas to Brahma because he was his father, but not to Sankara. All were honoring Daksa except Sankara, who was only sitting and chanting, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. Daksa Prajapati felt insulted, cursed Lord Siva, and so many incidences took place after that. Sankara returned to Kailasa. From that time on Daksa thought Sankara his enemy, but Sankara never thought like this. One day, in Treta-yuga, Sankara and his wife Sati came to Dandakaranya Forest. At that time Rama had been living in the forest for 14 years with Sita and Laksmana, to obey the order of his father, King Dasaratha. Now Ravana had stolen away Sita and taken her to Lanka. Rama was now weeping so much, and Laksmana was trying to pacify Him. The more Laksmana tr ied to pacify Him, however, the more He wept. He was asking the trees of Pancavati, “O Pancavati! Have you seen Sita? Where has She gone? O deer, have you seen Sita?” And He was crying – bitterly weeping – asking the Godavari River, “O Godavari, have you seen My dear Sita? Where has She gone? Why has She left me?” Rama became mad in separation. Sankara came with Sati to the Dandakaranya Forest to see Rama’s divine pastimes and to take darsana of Him. Sankara was very moved and his heart was melting, He offered sasthang-pranama (full obeisances, with all the eight limbs of the body touching the ground) to Rama, and glorified Him, saying, “O, these pastimes are so beautiful and marvelous that anyone’s heart will melt to see them.” He then did parikrama from very far, far away, weeping, “O these pastimes are so beautiful”. When he did his final pranama and was ready to go back to Kailasa, Sati as ked, “My beloved, to whom are you doing pranama?” Sankara told Sati, “Rama is my worshipful deity. I always worship Him.” She told her husband, “Why? I see that Rama is like an ordinary man, weeping for His wife. Even I know where Sita is, and He does not know and He is weeping? He is not strong enough to bring Sita back? He is very weak; so He must be a man, not God. Why are you doing pranama to Him? Who is He?” Sankara told Sati, “You are ignorant; you do not know that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” She had no belief or trust, so Sankara told her to test Him somehow. Sankara went from there and rested under a banyan tree. Sati changed her form to look like Sita, went to the place where Rama was searching for Sita, and came in front of Rama. Rama was weeping, “Oh Sita, where are you, where are you?” Sati thought, “If I appear before Rama as Sita, then He will look at me and He will at once come and embrace me, saying “Oh, I have received my Sita.” And He will be happy.” But Rama was ignoring Sati. Again and again she came in front of Him, yet He was looking away. Then He told her, “Mother, why are you roaming here alone? Where is Sankara?” Sati wondered how Rama knew who she really was. Now she was afraid and did pranama to Rama. Then she saw that all the trees, all the creepers, and everything else became Rama and Sita. Wherever she looked, here and there and everywhere, she only saw Sita Rama, Sita Rama, Sita Rama. Rama showed Sati that, “Sita is never separated from Me, She is always with Me. I am doing this pastime for all human beings, so they will remember My lila.” Sati realized, “Sankara can never be ignorant. He was right and I was wrong.” After Sati offered pranama and stood up, she saw that now Rama was there alone with Laksmana, and He was still weeping. “Oh Sita, where ar e you, where are you?” Sati then went back to the place where Sankara was waiting under the banyan tree, and he asked her, “Have you tested Him to see who He is?” Sati replied, “Prabhu, what can I do? I believed you and I didn’t test Him.” She told a lie. You should always have faith in your Guru. Sankara was the Guru of Sati, but she did not believe him when he had told her that Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If a disciple does not obey his Gurudeva, what will happen? His bhakti and spiritual life will go down. Never tell any falsehoods to your Gurudeva, otherwise you again go to hell. She lied to Sankara, saying “I have not tested Him." But Sankara saw in his trance that she had tested Him, and he saw how she had become Sita. He considered, "She has taken the form of Sita, who is my mother. She is therefore not my wife; now she is my mother. Now I will always treat her as my mother.” When he made this vow, the demigods at once showered flowers from heaven, and they praised him, “You have made such a marvelous vow.” Sati asked her husband, “What vow have you made?” But he was silent and never said anything. When they returned to their cottage in Kailasa, Sankara gave Sati a seat in front of him. The wife can sit on the left side of her husband, and the mother always sits in front, as a guru. In the same way, a disciple should not offer pranama to his Gurudeva while keeping his left side to him. The disciple should always sit at the front of his Gurudeva, and ask some very good questions with honor. If the disciple does not do this, he is not a disciple. He should ask some questions – not always being silent. He should serve and inquire from the Guru. "Tad vidhi pranipatena pariprasna." Questions should be there – not with a challenging mood, but to learn. So Sankara gave Sati a seat in front. Sa ti thought, “Sankara has left me. He is treating me like his mother because I took the form of Sita. In this body he will not accept me as his wife, so I’ll have to give up this body.” After some time, Sankara went into a trance for hundreds and thousands of years, and Sati was feeling grievous separation. She was ready to give up her body. One day, after Sankara had returned to external consciousness, Sati saw that so many goddesses were going to the palace of her father, Daksa, because a very good sacrifice was taking place there. Daksa’s daughters were also going there, and he had invited everyone except for Sankara. Sati also wanted to go, but she asked Sankara first. He replied, “A woman can go without an invitation to see her Gurudeva, or her father and mother; but if a father thinks that her husband is his enemy, then the wife should not go to see him. You know that your father thinks I am his enemy, although I never think like this. At the same time I cannot order you to not go there. You must decide.” Sati left that place and went to her father’s house, and there she saw that Daksa Prajapati was dishonoring Sankara. At once she became furious and left her body by burning to ashes, with the help of a fire that came from her heart. Here we see that Sankara’s worshipful diety is Rama, and because Sati took the form of Sitadevi, he left her. So he is a chaste Vaisnava, and he is always serving. Don’t have any doubt in your Gurudeva. You should test him before initiation, and after initiation you should have very firm belief in him. Don’t give him up. If he is a madhyama-adhikari, and not so much qualified, then you can go to a siksa-guru, taking your Gurudeva’s permission. He must give permission. If he does not give permission, then he is not a pure devotee. There is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru. Both are the same. Sometimes the siks a-guru may be higher, and sometimes the diksa-guru may be higher. No harm. If the guru does not know all siddhanta, conclusive philosophical truths, but he is a Vaisnava with very firm belief in Krsna, drdha-sraddha, then don’t give him up. Serving him and honoring him, you can go to a siksa-guru, but you’ll have to honor him. However, if he’s offensive to his Gurudeva, he is not following the line of bhakti, he has so much wrong attachment and he is fallen, at once give him up. That guru cannot help you, and he will create so many problems for you. So give up this guru forever, and accept a new initiation from any bona-fide Guru who can give this bhakti and take you to Krsna. All good qualities are in Sankara. Sri Sanatana Gosvami has written that some Vaisnavas don’t observe Siva Caturdasi, the appearance day of Lord Siva or Sankara. In Hari Bhakti Vilasa he has written that Vaisnavas should honor Sankara, and they may observe that date. I observe that date. I know Sankara, because in his form of Bankandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana he was the friend of Sanatana Gosvami. He became Bankandi Mahadeva from Gopisvara. Do you know this history? When Sri Sanatana Gosvami became old, Sankara told him, “Now you are old. You should not come daily to see me, because you are coming from so very far away. Sanatana Gosvami replied, “I should come. I cannot change this habit.” Then Gopisvara Mahadeva said, “Then I’m going to come very near to you – as Bankandi Mahadeva.” He thus became Bankandi Mahadeva and resided very near the Madana Mohana Temple. Srila Sanatana Gosvami is also the very dear friend of Cakralesvara Mahadeva in Govardhana. He also used to be with Sankara in Kamyavan, where he is known as Kamesvara. He cannot be without Sankara. As Nandisvara, Sankara has become the mountain of Nandagaon. He wanted that all Krsna’s pastimes be p erformed on his back. Regarding Brahma, he has become Brahma-parvata in Varsana. Because he is so near to Radhika, he is therefore our Gurudeva These are the tattvas. We should try to honor Sankara as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. Don’t dishonor him. We don’t worship him separately, but we can observe Siva Caturdasi and glorify him in relation to his relationship with Sri Krsna. We should offer pranama to him with prayers like: vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma maule sanaka-sanandana-sanatana-naradedya gopisvara! vraja-vilasi-yugangri-padme prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namaste ["O gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara, desiring that you bestow upon me that prema for the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dham a, I offer obeisances unto you time and again."] Sankara is telling Sri Narada that Prahlada Maharaja is superior to him. Why? Because he is “tricky”. He does this only to give some encouragement to worldly persons. Actually, Prahlada cannot go to Vrndavana, but Sankara, as Gopisvara, resides there. As Hanuman, Sankara is always with Rama. As Bhima, he is with Krsna. When Hanuman and Bhima combine together in Kali-yuga, they become Madvacarya, our Sampradaya-guru. Thus, Lord Sankara serves in so many ways, and we should always honor him as our Guru. He is hundreds of thousands of times superior to Prahlada because he knows and meditates on asta-kaliya-lila. Parvati also meditates on asta-kaliya-lila. This is very secret, yet they both do it. Although Sankara is so much superior and more worshipful than Prahlada, still he says that Prahlada is superior. Why? There are some reasons which I will explain later. Gaura Premanande ! Hari Hari Bol! Devotee: In the Gita Krsna says, “Of all the Rudras, I am Sankara.” Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here Krsna is telling about His vibhutis. Vibhuti means opulence. Arjuna is an opulence, and Sankara also. The Pippal tree is an opulence, and gaya, cows, are also - but they are not Krsna Himself. In this way, so many things and personalities represent Krsna's opulence - things that are very near and dear to Him.
  22. Trindandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Germany: February 21, 2003 Today is a very auspicious day. It is the very holy birthday of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. I want to speak something of his glory. If this great self-realized soul had not descended in this world, no one would have known the meaning of pure bhakti. No one would have known the identity of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the book Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, or the books and glories of the Gosvamis. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave us two jewels, the first one being the holy birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He manifested Gaura-dhama. Before him, no one knew where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had taken birth. No one knew where Sridhama Mayapura was actually located. Secondly, he gave the jewel of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who preached throughout the world and universe the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the conceptions of the disciplic line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and the glories of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Before the birth of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and after the disappearance of Srila Narottama Thakura, Sri Syamananda Prabhu, Srinivas Acarya, and especially Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyubusana, pure bhakti was covered. The sahajiyas' ideas were spread throughout Sri Vraja-dhama and Sri Navadvipa dhama. Their influence prevailed and there were hardly any real Vaisnavas. In the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His philosophy and His prema-dharma, the sahajiyas were degraded in character and were most sinful. To live with widows, to dance and sing with them, and to smoke cigarettes and drink wine with them – this was their idea of parakiya- and vaisnava-dharma. Because of their influence, none of the learned and aristocratic persons even wanted to hear the name 'Gaudiya Vaisnavas', what to speak of follow them. They hated Gaudiya Vaisnavas. There are eleven sahajiya groups, like gaura-nagari, sakhi-bekhi, aul, baul and so on. In India, their main function was widow-bhajana, and they maintained their lives by doing professional kirtanas during funeral processions. After following a dead body and singing, they would receive a donation from the deceased relatives. True vaisnava-dharma is completely pure, but due to these practices, all aristocratic persons began to hate it, and Mahaprabhu's message was thus in danger. At that time, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati appeared in Sri Jagannatha-dhama as the son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He was born with many symptoms of a great soul, such as natural tilaka marks on his body and the impressions of kanti-mala on his neck. At that time Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura told his wife Bhagavati-devi, "He is not an ordinary boy. No ordinary boy can have these natural tilaka, kanti-mala and other signs. He has taken birth in Jagannatha Puri, and also I have prayed to Vimala devi, the consort of Lord Jagannatha. He has come by Her mercy." The Thakura thus gave his boy the name Vimala Prasada. Prasada means 'mercy'. After six months, the baby became qualified to have his anna-prasana mahotsava (grain ceremony in which a baby is fed grains for the first time). At the same time the Jagannatha Chariot festival was taking place. The three carts carrying Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra were in procession and had stopped in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's house for three days. The Thakura was the manager of the entire festival. Therefore, without any problem or obstacle, he took his son upon the chariot and placed him in front of Jagannatha-deva. He took some prasadam from there and placed it in the mouth of Vimala Prasada, and at that time the flower garland from the neck of Lord Jagannatha dropped on the baby's head. It is a very good sign when the Deity's garland falls in this way, for it means the recipient is being blessed by the mercy of Lord Jagannatha, Sri Govinda-deva, Sri Gopinatha, or any other Deity. This also happened to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus, Vimala Prasada's anna-prasana mahotsava was observed. Gradually he began to grow up. After some time, when he became a boy of five years, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura himself gave him harinama and the arcana mantra for the worship of Lord Kurmadeva, the Deity of Sri Krsna's Tortoise incarnation. He began to learn many things. He was always with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, carrying his father's Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and other books on his own head as he accompanied him to various places for preaching or giving classes. Thus, from the beginning of his life, very good samskaras came to him. This, of course, was his naravata-lila (human-like pastimes), because he was actually the eternal associate of Sri Varsabhanavi-devi dayitaya, near and dear to Varsabhanavi devi, Srimati Radhika. In his pranama mantra he is referred to as krsna-presthaya. Krsna has so much love and affection for the manjaris, so Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada is also near and dear to Him. The words 'gaura-vani-sri murti' is also present in his pranama-mantra. This adjective has also been used in the pranama mantra of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and we must go deep to uncover its meaning. Gaura-vani refers to that which Gaura (Sacinandana Gaurahari) preached, and that which He inspired in the heart of Srila Rupa Gosvami – the glorification of the mood of the gopis and Srimati Radhika. Sri Gauracandra said, "O Nityananda, O Haridasa Prabhu, you should go door to door and preach 'Bolo Krsna, bhaja Krsna, karo Krsna (chant Sri Krsna's name, worship Him, and serve Him)". This is gaura-vani. It is also what Mahaprabhu discussed with Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Svarupa Damodara in the Gambira. In that regard it is especially His hidden revelation of the meaning of ceto-darpana-marjanam, yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam, and aslisya va pada-ratam. This is gaura-vani. It is also the love and affection explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nila-mani, Sri Vidagda-madhava and Sri Lalita Madhava. This is gaura-vani. Our entire parampara descended to this world from Goloka Vrndavana, and Srila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura was one of the most prominent acaryas. If he had not come, everything would have been transferred into sahajiyaism – wherein all philosophy is asat-sampradaya (outside the parampara line of philosophy, spiritual sentiments and behavior.) If one is not serving his Gurudeva, if he does not have strong belief in his Gurudeva, and if he is not following his line of thought, such a person must be sahajiya. This is taking place nowadays. We are preaching and therefore they are somewhat stopped, but I do not know what will happen after I leave this world. A very dangerous stage is coming. Many Iskcon devotees left Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, their Guru, Srila Prabhupada, and they went to Radha-kunda. They wanted to remember the 24-hour daily amorous pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna (asta-kaliya-lila) as goopis – not gopis, but goopis – and for this offense they went to hell. They became 'babajis'. Keeping two, three, or four widows with them, they began to relish their 'parakiya-bhajana'. I know not only two or three or four, but so many. They want to jump – not to practice bhakti-yoga. They want to be gopis by paying two pennies to any bogus person who will 'give' them siddha-deha, their perfected personal identity, and tell them, "You are a gopi." Such persons will give a name, and all other false information, about that 'gopi'. Then, after some time, such 'disciples' imagine themselves absorbed in Sri Sri Radha and Krsna's most confidential pastimes in the kunjas. Please do not try to be like that – do not go in that direction. There are some ill-charactered persons who have been rejected from the Gaudiya Matha, and they also went to Radha-kunda to become babajis in that asat-sampradaya. Such characterless or unqualified persons imagine themselves to be absorbed in the asta-kaliya-lila of Radha and Krsna in Their midnight and end of the night (nisanta-lila) pastimes. At that time, Radha and Krsna are meeting in a kunja. If They are alone, half naked and kissing each other, what will that 'meditator' think? Material ideas will come to him. He is bound to think in this way, and this is wrong. Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-lila is transcendental. Only a saintly person like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami who was a brahmacari from his birth, or like Sri Narada Gosvami who is a liberated soul, or like Lord Sankara who is an ideal personality, can properly think of asta-kaliya-lila. You should offer obeisances to such pastimes and try to practice bhakti-yoga as our predecessors acaryas have taught us. Gradually begin from the root of the tree, then be qualified to climb, and then reach the top. Then you can take the fruits. Otherwise, you will have nothing but these bogus ideas. Try to follow Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravasti Prabhupada, our Gurudeva Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Otherwise, you will be like those misdirected persons and you will also go to hell. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sent his son to a Sanskrit college and, at the age of twelve perhaps, he received the degree in astrology and the title Siddhanta Sarasvati. At that time he had become the champion in astrology throughout Bengal, and therefore all the elevated scriptural scholars gave him that title. Sometimes Srila Saravasti Thakura would defeat the arguments of his teachers, and he therefore left that college. Our Gurudeva also left college. They both left because they had nothing to learn from the teachers there. During that time, the governor of Bengal was Ashutos Mukarji. At that time the Indian government was ruled by the British, and the British had made him governor. He was very qualified. He established the Calcutta University, and there he reserved a seat for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He requested him, "Oh, please come and be the head of the department. Please oversee it. You are the most qualified for this." Srila Sarasvati Thakura replied: "I have not come to this world to count the stars in the universe. I have not come to count the sands on the ocean beaches of the world. I cannot fulfill your desire." As long as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati remained in this world, that post was reserved for him, but he never accepted it. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura then thought: "What should I do for this boy?" He established a medical dispensary and told his son, "Remain there, and somehow maintain it so that there are no losses. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura began to do so, but the dispensary failed, and again the father wondered what to do. There was a king in India at that time who was the king of Kashim Bazar, and he was a bosom friend of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He told the Thakura, "I want a tutor for my son. He will be king after me, so I want a tutor for him." Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied. "Let us try; I will tell my son to teach him." At that time the salary was very high. Srila Sarasvati Thakura went to the king and began to teach his son that the entire world, along with all the sandhis and samas (movements of the moon) is an emanation of Krsna and non-different from Him. He taught as Mahaprabhu taught when He was a teacher in Navadvipa. After some time the boy became very learned and a scholar in Vaisnava philosophy, and the result was that he became renounced. He was not like you. Many of you have been hearing for sixteen or twenty years, but you have not become detached. On the other hand, being taught by Srila Saravati Thakura, that prince became detached from worldly enjoyment. The boy's mother became very disturbed, and she told her husband, the king: "You have only one son, and you want to make him a sannyasi? Your only son? I do not want this. If you continue in this way I will take poison and die." The king became upset and asked Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, "What should I do?" Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied, "I will tell my boy to return home." The King said, "I will continue to give you money, the same salary that I have been giving, but he should return." At that time the king had a very big library, and Srila Sarasvati Thakura Pabhupada studied the thousands of books there – all the Gosvami's books, Srimad Bhagavatam, Brahma-sutra, books of the other sampradayas, and so on. Though he already knew their contents, he studied those books just to set an example for us. Quickly, in one or two years, he completed that study. After that he returned home, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura again considered what might be a good engagement for his son. He purchased land in Mayapura, beginning from Jagannatha Bhavan (the house of Sri Sacinandana), the Yogapitha, Candrasekara Bhavan and beyond. He gave the entire area to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and he himself then began to perform bhajana in Svarupa-ganja, in Godruma. He told his son, "We have discovered the birthplace of Mahaprabhu by the help and mercy of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Now you should glorify it." Srila Saravati Thakura then made a hut where Sri Gauracandra, Srimati Visnupriya, Srimati Laksmipriya and Pancha-tattva were established, and his father then ordered him, "You should perform arcana in the Deities' hut, and you can maintain yourself by depending on Lord Krsna while performing His worship and service." As you may know, in general, a father does not believe that his boy is very intelligent and capable. Our Guru Maharaja considered us his babies and thought, "What will they do?" He told us that he had made this Gaudiya Matha with bricks, and added, "After I leave this world, if you cannot maintain yourself you should sell these bricks and somehow maintain." Similarly, Srila Bhaktivinoda used to think, "My baby is the same as he was when he was young." Srila Prabhupada very quickly preached over the entirety of Bengal. He began to establish the Navadvipa-dhama parikrama and Kartika parikrama. Then, after some time he gave sannyasa to very qualified disciples – who were practically only boys. At that time Pujyapada Bon Maharaja, Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Vaikhanas Maharaja, Pujyapada Auduloumi Maharaja and many others were only about 25, 26, or 27, and they were the cream of all qualified personalities in Bengal and all of India. They were the upper-class. He brought them to himself, gave them brahmacarya and sannyasa, and established Sri Caitanya Matha. What is the meaning of the word 'matha'? Mathanti vasanti satrah – it is a place in which students study and learn under the guidance of their Gurudeva. It is like the gurukulas of previous times, wherein boys would study and become very qualified in all kinds of siddhanta (philosophical conclusions). Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established this. He gave brahmacarya to many beautiful boys, and thus very quickly preached all over India. After some time he wished that this religion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would also go to the Western countries, and he inspired Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja – Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda. By his mercy Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja went abroad and preached throughout the world in just a few years. Srila Svami Maharaja established preaching centers and translated and published many books, which were in turn translated in all the prominent languages of the world. You have come by his mercy, and the root mercy is that of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura.
  23. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Singapore, February 11, 2001, pm Today is the very sacred anniversary of the birth of my spiritual master, nitya-lila pravistha om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He appeared in this world, on this day, to fulfill the needs of his dear-most Radha-Krsna Conjugal, Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu, and Gaura-Gadadhara. He came to help all the conditioned souls to come out of this jail. We are in jail – all of us. He came to save us from the jail of this world. Who is he? Our Gurudeva is the manifestation of jagad-guru Srila Vyasadeva. It may also be said that he is a manifestation of akanda-guru-tattva Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu. Since Vyasadeva is Narayana Himself, we can surely say that Sri Gurudeva is a manifestation of Vyasadeva. He sits on the vyasasana, the 'vyasa seat', the seat on which Vyasadeva used to sit. In other words, he sits on the seat from which Vyasadeva preached the glory of Radha and Krsna Conjugal all over the world. Today we should glorify him. We will also glorify guru-tattva and explain how guru-tattva descends from Goloka Vrndavana. Although we do not have much time – only 2 hours – we will explain all these truths today. I request all the speakers to speak only 15 to 20 minutes, and glorify guru-tattva. Don’t think that this bhakti philosophy is useless. Don’t think in this way, otherwise you will be very weak and give up the bhakti line. I am hearing about this problem – daily, daily, and daily. So many disciples of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and other pure acaryas are giving up bhakti and becoming weak. They are leaving Krsna consciousness and accepting worldly family life. Why? It is because they don't know this philosophy. Try to know all these truths. If you do not know them now, one day you will have to know them. It may be after thousands of lives, but one day you will have to know all these philosophical conclusive truths. Don't think that it is useless to know them. If you don’t want to fall down, then know all the philosophical truths and arguments very, very deeply. My Guru Maharaja rendered so many direct services to his Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, like massaging him, and he was always with him for as long as Srila Prabhupada was present in this world. His glory is like an ocean. You have heard so many Prabhus glorify him, but we can never complete His glorification. You should know that the backbone of krsna-bhakti is guru-nistha, unalloyed faith in Sri guru. If one has no guru-nistha, he has no bhakti at all. In Indian Vedic culture it is the tradition that one should accept a guru – a transcendental guru. If one has not accepted guru, no one will take any food that he has prepared. No one will even drink the water that as been offered by him – not even his father or mother will drink it. Do you understand what I am telling? Even if a son or daughter is married, if he or she has not accepted a guru, his or her cooking or offering will not be accepted by that family. First, one will have to accept a high class of guru. Then he or she can cook and perform all related services. In Indian tradition, in Vedic culture, from ancient times up to now, it was essential to accept a bona fide guru. Nowadays, however, the Western breeze is also coming towards India, and thus India is rejecting all these principles. We are especially rejecting guru. Instead we think, "What is gurudeva? Gurudeva is nothing. There is no need of gurudeva." Minute by minute people are changing their wives and husbands. They are divorcing so many in one life, and therefore no one is happy. If you want to be happy, you must accept a qualified guru and guru-parampara. If you do not do so, you will have to experience the miseries of old age and death. When you die, whatever you have collected in your life cannot be taken with you. Always remember that death is sure. No one can save you from death. What, then, will become of the palatial buildings and the many other things you have collected? Try to understand this. By guru-bhakti our lives will be changed, and we will be happy forever. What is vyasa? The line that touches the opposite sides of the circumference of a circle by going through the central point is called the diameter or vyasa. What is the meaning? Krsna is the center of all. Not only this one world, but so many universes – millions upon millions of universes are in this circle. Vyasa is touching Krsna and going to all the innumerable ends of material existence. Who is Vyasa? He who is preaching the glories of Krsna to all, teaching everyone: "You should serve Krsna; otherwise no one can save you from this endless chain of birth and suffering." Vyasa is he who is always serving Krsna from one point to another – everywhere in this world. Vyasa took birth between Mathura and Vrndavana, on an island in the Yamuna. Parasara Muni was his father, and his mother was Srimati Matsyodhari. Parasara was going somewhere and wanted to cross the Yamuna. He called the boatman, but that boatman was very tired and sent his adopted daughter instead. Because his daughter had been born from the womb of a fish, a fishy odor emanated from her, but at the same time she was very beautiful. He ordered her, “Oh, take the ferry boat and help that Rsi Parasara.” Ordered by her father, Matsyodari took the boat and told Parasara, “You can come. I will take you across.” When she reached the island in the middle of the Yamuna, Parasara looked upon her. At once she became pregnant, and in a moment she gave birth to a very tall, beautiful, blackish youth of sixteen years. Who was he? Vyasa. He had come by the mercy of Krsna through Parasara, but he was actually Narayana. He thus immediately renounced this world. After some time he divided the Vedas in four – Rg Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. After that he wrote the essence of all the Vedas, and that was called Brahma Sutra, Sariraka Sutra, or Vedanta Sutra. After that he wrote thirty-six kinds of Puranas: Puranas, Upa Puranas and Sakha Puranas. Then, for all persons – for ladies, sudras, and all those who always lament and who are entangled in worldly intoxications – he wrote the Mahabharata, and in that he gave the jewel-like Gitopadesa, or Bhagavad-gita. Prior to this he gave the Catuh-sloki Bhagavatam, which Narada had taken from Brahma. There was yet no Srimad Bhagavatam, however, so he was not satisfied with his life. Narada came to Vyasa and asked, “Why you are so upset?” Vyasadeva replied, “Gurudeva, I don’t know.” Narada then told him, “You have not glorified Krsna and His pastimes of Vrndavana, and you have not discussed how the gopis and all the Vrajavasis serve Him. You should glorify Him, and especially His many devotees, His beloveds, the gopis, and His beloved Radhika.” Vyasadeva then saw all the pastimes of Krsna and His associates in his trance, and thus he wrote Srimad-Bhagavatam and became happy. The essence, therefore, of all Vedic literature – Upanisads, Puranas, and Bhagavatam – is Vraja-prema, or gopi-prema, and especially the love and affection of Srimati Radhika, who controls Krsna and always keeps Him in Her heart. A guru can give these truths, otherwise it is not possible to understand them. Otherwise we cannot know all these truths – all these mysterious truths. A guru gives all this to the sisya so that he can be happy. You know that Ravana had so much opulence, and so many millions of servants who lived in palaces made of gold and jewels. All kinds of opulences were present in Lanka; there were no poor people there. Ravana had ten mouths, ten heads, twenty eyes, and twenty ears, and he conquered the whole world. But he was not happy. He could not control his heart. He could not control his mind. He could not control his lust. Therefore, who is the greatest and strongest person? He who can control his six urges: vaco vegam manasah krodha vega jihva-vegam udaropastha-vega etan vegan yo visaheta dhira 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.”] If one cannot control his anger, his words, his tongue, and his mind, he cannot do anything to help himself. You know the ex-president of America, Clinton. He was so famous and he was a very strong personality, but he could not check his heart and he became entangled with an office girl. Such persons cannot do anything productive. Therefore, if you want to be happy in this world, try to follow Vyasadeva – try to follow a real guru. Before writing Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vyasa made four disciples: Paila, Sumanta, Jaimini, and Vaisampayana; and he trained each of them in one of the four Vedas. Especially in South India, the Vedas, Upanisads, and Sanskrit sastras are followed. Nowadays, however, especially those outside of India have gradually left their traditions. Something is in their blood; they believe in God, but they have given up all religious principals and instead take meat, eggs, wine, and so on. They cannot control the six urges. Understanding the future, therefore, Vyasa gave one Veda to each of these four disciples, and he gave the Mahabharata and Puranas to Ugrasrava Suta. Vyasa served his gurudeva. He followed the teachings of Narada and he preached the glory of Radha-Krsna Conjugal everywhere. This is guru-bhakti, the tradition of guru. He preached the supremacy of Krsna and Radha’s love and affection throughout the world. This is Vyasa. A disciple is he who can serve his gurudeva as more dear to him than his own life and soul. He is not a disciple who is simply satisfied with the thought, “Oh, Gurudeva has given me a name;” but he does not chant, he does not realize anything, and especially he does not follow the principles of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which is the essence of all the Vedas: trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih [“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 respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.”] If you want to be a disciple of a bona fide guru, you should be tolerant. If you do not have this tolerance, then, when a mosquito comes, you will make a hydrogen bomb to kill it. You will think, “How shall I save myself from this?!” The whole day and night you will be thinking about this, and krsna-bhajana will disappear. To protect and maintain our life is essential, but why is it essential? Not for living like dogs, hogs, or pigs. If anyone is spending his whole time maintaining himself, he is like a dog and other nonsense animals. These animals can do more than you. You are very worried about one child, but dogs can have fifteen or sixteen. Two times in a year they can have so many children, and there are many other animals that can have still more than this. So don’t think you are more advanced than animals in this way, or that you are so intelligent. No, they are more intelligent than you. If you want to be actually intelligent, then always remember your death and your old age. Always remember that you cannot take anything with you at death, and, if you are not doing bhajana, you will be crushed by maya – thoroughly crushed. At that time you will lament, “Why did I not do bhajana? I have failed." Vyasa writes: labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante manusyam arthadam anityam apiha dhira turnam yateta na pated anumrtyu yavan nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat [“After many births we have attained this human form. Therefore, before death comes, we should engage ourselves in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. That is the fulfillment of human life.”] The main object of this human life is to try at once, immediately, to realize who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should realize, “Who am I? I am not this body.” This is the teaching of Vyasa. sa vai punsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje ahaituky apratiha yayatma suprasidati [“The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.”] The purpose of this life is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, as stated in these two slokas which were preached widely by my Guru Maharaja: aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa tanayas tad dhama vrndavanam ramya kacid upasana vrajavadhu vargena va kalpita srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam prema pumartho mahan sri caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah [“The Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, Who is known as the son of the King of Vrajadhama, Sri Nanda Maharaja, is the ultimate worshipful Lord of all Lords. Similarly His residential abode, the holy place of Vrndavana, is as worshipful as the Lord Himself. The ways of His worship may be various, but the one which was conceived by the damsels of Vrajadhama is unsurpassable by any other devotee. Srimad-Bhagavatam Purana is the unalloyed guidance for approaching the worshipful Lord, which is the ultimate goal of life. This is the sum total opinion of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We shall bow down our heads before His opinion, and not accept another.”] [“The authoritative knowledge of Vedas received through the bona fide disciplic succession, establishes the following fundamental truths: 1. Hari is the supreme absolute truth. 2. He is omnipotent. 3. He is the reservoir of all mellows. 4. The living entities are His separated parts and parcels. 5. The conditioned souls are covered by Maya. 6. The liberated souls are beyond the influence of Maya. 7. The entire cosmic manifestation is simultaneously one and different from Him. 8. Suddha-bhakti is the only means to achieve love of Godhead. 9. The goal is to attain love of Godhead. These teachings have been instructed by Gauracandra Himself.”] If anyone is going on this path, he must be happy. No one will be able to check his happiness. Hiranyakasipu was almost immortal. He had so much opulence. He used to control Vayu, the god of air, Indra, and all other gods and goddesses, but he could find no happiness. A new being – animal plus man – came to him, and in a moment He pulled out his intestines. If you do not follow this bhakti principal, then from the beginning of your life, day and night, you'll only be thinking, “Money, money, money.” And, after death you will become money. Realize this. It is to give you this message that we have come here. We have come to tell you that you should always remember your death. And you should always remember Vyasadeva. Especially those of you who are Indians should remember the place from which you have come. India was previously known as Bharata. What is the meaning of Bharata? ‘Bha’ means illumination, or light. What is that light? Tattva-jnana. You come from that land where Narada Rsi, Brahma, Sankara, and all the acaryas were present. Transcendental knowledge is everywhere in Bharata. I have come to help you. And for those of you who are Indian, I have come to remind you that you are coming from Bharata. Don’t forget this knowledge. You can make some money for your maintenance, but what is the purpose of maintaining yourselves? It is to follow the teachings of Srila Vyasadeva. In relation to Vyasa, there are four personalities who founded the four sampradayas: Brahma, Rudra, Sri, and Sanaka. From them came the four sampradaya-acaryas, Madhva, Visnusvami, Ramanuja, and Nimbaditya respectively, and they all made commentaries on Vedanta-sutra, or Brahma-sutra. Sri Sankaracarya wrote an explanation of Brahma-sutra called Sariraka-bhasya, or Brahma-sutra-bhasya, and his philosophy was known as advaita-vada, or kevaladvaita-vada. He claimed that brahma has no shape and is avyakta-anadi. He has no sakti, power. He has no visesa, special qualities, and therefore He is nirvisesa-brahma. Sankaracarya gave all these negative ideas, but he never gave any positive explanation. He said that brahma satya jagan mitya – this entire world is false, and only brahma is truth – but that brahma is powerless. There is nothing in Him. Sankaracarya's philosophy was therefore called advaita-vada or mayavada. After Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya came and defeated all his arguments. He taught that these are not the ideas of Vedas. Rather, these ideas are against the Vedic principles. We should not follow this. Only demons can follow these ideas. No Vedic person will accept the theory that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no shape, no attributes, and no power. Ramanujacarya defeated all of the arguments of Sankaracarya and called his philosophy visista-advaita-vada (specific monism). There are innumerable jivas and innumerable worlds. The Supreme Personality of Brahma has attributes. Innumerable jivas have come from Him, and this world also comes from Him. The Supreme Personality of Brahma exists along with this world and the jivas. What was the abhideya, practice, described in Ramanuja's philosophy? It was bhakti. What was the prayojana, the goal? It was service to the lotus feet of Narayana. Ramanuja accepted the form of Narayana, His attributes, His power, and also His bhakti. He rejected the mayavadi philosophy of advaita-vada. After Ramanuja came Madhvacarya. He established a certain portion of the Vedas, and his philosophy is called visuddhadvaita or dvaitadvaitavada. In this philosophical understanding there are five differences. (To Prema-prayojana dasa) You should explain the five differences. Prema-Prayojana dasa: Madhvacarya established the philosophy that there is a difference between brahma and maya, there is a difference between jiva and maya, there is difference between jiva and jiva, and between different manifestations of maya and maya there are also differences. These five types of differences are called dvaitavada. Sriila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: His practice was bhakti and his prayojana was the service of the Supreme Lord in the form of Vasudeva. Which Vasudeva? He who has a churning rod in His hand. This form was also accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After Madhva came Nimbarka, or Nimbaditya, and his philosophy was visuddha- vedaveda, but svabhavika (natural). He preached that brahma has vikrit, transformation, and it is from brahma that the whole world is coming. Brahma is alone, but still there are so many jivas and so many associates, like His father and mother. His dhama is there, but advaita. Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not like this. He took the essence of all the Vedas – not only part of the Vedas. He fully took all the moods of the essence of the Vedas, and discovered acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. It is not directly from Krsna that this world and jivas have come, but rather from His energy. This is called sakti-parinama-vada, transformation of sakti, energy. Caitanya Mahaprabhu fully adopted this philosophy because it asserts that everything has not come from Krsna Himself, but from the power of Krsna. Thus, Mahaprabhu defeated the arguments of Nimbarka’s bhedabheda svabhavika and founded acintya-bhedabheda. We cannot imagine this truth by our mental speculation. It can only be understood through the words of the Vedas – by amnaya, the Vedic literature which has been accepted by our guru–parampara. He established the service of Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, and Radha-Madana-Mohana. What was the sadhana, practice? That practice begins with vaidhi-bhakti and then changes to raganuga- bhakti. By that practice one can achieve Vraja-prema, and this is the supreme goal of life. If anyone accepts this practice or goal, he is truly in the line of Vyasa. We should try to realize all this. Somehow you should know the essence of krsna–bhakti, that bhakti which Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought from Goloka Vrndavana – gopi-prema. This is the goal of our life. If we accept this, then our Vyasa-puja is complete. The followers of Sankaracarya ‘worship’ Vyasa, but they don’t follow him. They say Vyasa was ignorant because he wrote that brahma is anandamaya-bhyasa, all-blissful. The followers of Sankaracarya reject this. They say that brahma is bliss, but He is not blissful. In other words He is not a person. This is not service to guru. A disciple must obey his gurudeva and serve his gurudeva. Serving gurudeva outwardly by worship, and at the same time cutting the arguments and teachings of gurudeva, is not the duty or service of a disciple – yet, Sankaracarya did that. Why did he do so? It was because Narayana ordered him in that way, to save Himself from being disturbed by demons who came to Him in the name of bhakti but who really only wanted Him to fulfill their selfish desires. Narayana told Sankaracarya, “You should preach in this world, ‘You are brahma. Aham brahmasmi. Sarvam kalvidam brahma. Tat-tvam-asi.’” There are so many things to discuss, but somehow try to know this: If you want to be happy in this world, then accept a high class of transcendental guru, who knows Gita, Bhagavatam, the Puranas, and Veda sastra, who can remove all doubts, and who practically chants harinama sankirtana following trnad api sunicena taror iva sahisnuna. He practices bhakti as received from Vyasa, Narada, and all other bona fide spiritual masters. He serves and glorifies his gurudeva throughout the world, as we see in the lives of Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, my gurudeva, and so on. If you want to follow, you can be happy. Gaura Premanande Hari Hari Bol.
  24. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Bali, Indonesia February 22, 1997 Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who is one of the solid and strong pillars of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching. After the generation of the Six Gosvamis and Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama Thakura, Syamananda Prabhu and Srinivasa Acarya became the leaders of the Vaisnavas in Bengal. They took all the books of the Six Gosvamis and other authentic Vaisnava literatures and preached all over Bengal. Especially, Narottama Thakura preached in Eastern India, in such places as Assam and Manipura. Srila Narottama Thakura was a prince. He was the son of very famous king in that area. From childhood he had impressions of pure devotion and wanted to cultivate them. He therefore went to Vrndavana, where he heard about the glory of Sri Jiva Gosvami and became attracted to him. Together with Syamananda and Srinivasa, he studied all the sastras from Jiva Gosvami – Vedanta-sutra, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and especially the Six Sandarbhas. In this way, the three of them became learned in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Gaudiya siddhantas. Syamananda Prabhu was a disciple of Hrdayananda of Kalna, yet he joined in to hear the lectures of Sri Jiva Gosvami, and he treated him more like his guru than his Gurudeva, Sri Hrdayananda. Sri Narottama Thakura also studied in the school of Sri Jiva Gosvami. Jiva Gosvami personally told him to take initiation from Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and he told Srinivasa Acarya to take initiation from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In those days there were no restrictions as there are today. Everyone was free to associate with topmost Vaisnavas. In fact, gurus would advise their disciples: "Take the association of these most exalted Vaisnavas, and in this way you will develop your Krsna consciousness." There was no caste consciousness as there is today: "Don't go to other Vaisnavas, even though they may be very high-class. This is our party, and that is their party, and that is the other group's party." At that time there was no party spirit at all; everyone belonged to the family of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All used to hear from all. Jiva Gosvami had such a pure heart, free from any envy, that he told Narottama Thakura and Srinivasa Acarya to take initiation from these two high-class Vaisnavas. They had made up their minds to take initiation from Jiva Gosvami, but he told them: "Oh, they are my seniors. You will be more benefited by taking their shelter." We are not pure enough to speak in this way to our subordinates. Our hearts are not so improved. Thus, Jiva Gosvami sent them to those two great Vaisnavas – but the two had vowed to not make any disciples. The pastimes of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami have not been told in Caitanya-caritamrta or in any other book. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was such a topmost elevated Vaisnava that he warned Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and other writers: "If you want my mercy, then do not glorify me or write my name in your books." When they assured him of this, only then did he give his blessings and tell them: "Your books will be successfully completed. Krsna's mercy will be on you." It is for this reason that these great Vaisnava authors have not mentioned his name. They obeyed him; they followed his order. One day, by the order of Jiva Gosvami, a very beautiful prince, that boy Narottama, came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and took his foot-dust. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami asked him: "Who are you?" Narottama replied, "I am a very wretched person, a fallen boy. I want to take shelter of your lotus feet. Please initiate me." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami flatly refused. He told Narottama, "You can go to any famous Vaisnava and take his shelter. I am a worthless person. I don't know how to do bhajana. I only eat, drink, and sleep. I do not engage in bhakti. It is better that you go to any learned and qualified person." Narottama dasa Thakura requested again and again, but Lokanatha das Gosvami remained grave and refused to initiate him. Although Narottama dasa Thakura left at that time, he began to think how he could possibly get initiation from this maha-bhagavata. Narottama dasa was very worried, and began to think how to please him. He began to clean the place where Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was passing stool in the forest. He thus cleaned regularly, every night, and he also cleaned the path to that place. Once, in a very dark night, at about midnight, Lokanatha dasa Gosvami caught hold of the hand of this boy and asked him, "Who are you, and why are you doing this?" Narottama dasa Thakura began to weep bitterly and replied, "Because I want to please you." "Oh, you are very pure devotee. What do you want?" "I only want to be initiated by you." Narottama dasa again began to weep. On seeing the boy's devotion Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was at once moved and accepted him. He told him, "Please come to me after taking bath in the Yamuna." The next morning Narottama took bath and came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, who initiated him into the krsna-mantra (gopala-mantra), klim krsnaya svaha, and the kama-gayatri, klim kamadevaya. He gave him these two mantras and advised him: "Don´t go anywhere. Be seated here with me in my bhajana kutira." He built a hut for him, right next to his own, and said, "Always remain here with me, chant harinama, and hear from me." Narottama dasa did as he was told. One day at midday, when the sun was very hot, a thirsty farmer came and asked Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, "Please give me some water, or give me some rope and a bucket so that I can pull water from the well." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami did not replay; perhaps he did not even see that person, as he was quite absorbed in his bhajana. Because Lokanatha dasa Gosvami could not hear him, the farmer went to the next hut and asked Narottama: "Oh, young babaji, can you give me some water?" Narottama came out and gave him some water. Thus, the farmer was satisfied and went away. Later, Lokanath dasa Gosvami called Narottama and said "You don´t know what is bhajana? Krsna is personally His name; there is no difference at all between them." nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah purnah suddho nitya-mukto 'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh ["The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical." (Padma Purana)] "In some ways the name is even superior to Krsna. You don´t know this truth? You are serving Krsna (chanting or remembering Krsna means serving Him), but you were thinking that the service of chanting harinama is inferior to giving water to a thirsty person; that is why you served him. You have no belief that Krsna can quench his thirst. Krsna can give anything, but you have no faith in Him. So, return at once to your home. Become qualified there, and then you can come back. At present you are not qualified." One should have strong faith in Krsna's name. You know the strong faith of Haridasa Thakura? He was whipped in twenty-two market places and his skin and muscles became shredded, but he never left his chanting of harinama. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami thus ordered Narottama dasa Thakura, "Leave this place." Hearing this Narottama began to weep bitterly. Although Lokanatha das Gosvami had a very soft heart, like a flower, he desired auspiciousness for Narottama dasa, and so he became hard like a stone. It was for Narottama's welfare that he said, "Go from here." Narottama das Thakura was not an ordinary devotee. He was an associate of Srimati Radhika Herself, and in his manjari form he is Vilasa-manjari. He was playing a role only, to give inspiration to devotees. He was weeping and returned to his home, but he realized everything. In fact, he began to chant and sing in such a way that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with all His associates would come to listen to his classes and his singing. He sang pathetically, with tears in his eyes and a choked voice, "Krsna Krsna Hare Hare," and [Lalasmayi Prarthana (Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)]: 'gauranga' bolite ha'be pulaka-sarira 'hari hari' bolite nayane ba'be nira ["When will that time come that my hairs will stand on end upon singing the name Gauranga? When will my eyes overflow with tears as I chant the holy names of "Hari Hari?"] ara kabe nitai-cander karuna hoibe samsara-vasana mora kabe tuccha ha'be ["And when will the moon of Nityananda Prabhu bestow His mercy on me? When will material desires become small and insignificant?"] visaya chadiya kabe suddha ha'be mana kabe hama herabo sri-vrndavana ["When will I renounce material enjoyment and my mind will become purified? When will I see the cinmaya svarupa of Sri Vrndavana?"] rupa-ragunatha-pade hoibe akuti kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti ["When will I eagerly follow the path of Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? By their instructions I will be able to understand the divine love of Sri Radha and Krsna." rupa-raghunatha-pade rahu mora asa prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa ["My only aspiration is to attain the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. This is Narottama dasa's constant prayer."] He sang kirtana along with mrdanga, and each word of his kirtana was uttered by his mrdanga. The mrdanga sounded like the singing of Narottama himself, although it was actually the sweet sound was coming from his mrdanga. Narottama's mood was such that Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Vakresvara Pandita, Srivasa Pandita, and all of Mahaprabhu's associates appeared and began to dance with Narottama Thakura, and when he stopped his kirtana, they at once disappeared. The thousands of devotees present there were astonished. When he was singing about Sri Radha and Krsna, Radha-Krsna personally came to hear, with all of Their associates, and Krsna was playing beautiful songs on His flute. Thus, in a few years Narottama dasa Thakura preached all over East Bengal, Assam, and Manipura. He hailed from the village Kheturi; he was born and brought up there, and his father and uncle were living there. His father was a big king. Narottama dasa Thakura manifested six Thakuras (Deities) there, namely Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Madana-mohana, Radha-Vamsidhari, Radha-Giridhari, and Radha-Vallabhi-kanta. He also organized a great festival that became famous in the Gaudiya-Vaisnava history. Srimati Jahnava-devi (who is Ananga-manjari in krsna-lila), the wife of Nityananda Prabhu, was elected as president. All accepted her like their preceptor, including Srila Jiva Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. When Virabhadra, the son of Nityananda Prabhus wife Vasudha, became sixteen years old, he wanted to take initiation, but he could not find any person whom he considered qualified. Someone told him, "Why are you not taking the shelter of Srimati Jahnava-devi and being initiated by her?" He said, "She is a lady; I don't want to be initiated by a lady." Then, one early morning, Srimati Jahnava-devi was pulling water from a well to take a shower, when Viracandra came to take some advice from her for some necessary work. He saw her pulling out water from the well half naked, with just a towel covering the lower half her body. Both of them were ashamed to see each other in this circumstance, even though she was an elderly and like a mother to him. Srimati Jahnava-devi at once manifested four-arms, with two pulling water from the well and the other two covering her breasts. Astonished, Virabhadra immediately he fell flat at her lotus feet and begged her to forgive his offences. He told her, "I have nothing more to do. I want to take initiation from you right now. You are my guru." So Srimati Jahnava-devi is a very exalted personality, the power (sakti) of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and she serves Radha-Krsna in Their conjugal love in the form of Ananga-manjari. Therefore, she was elected as the supreme leader of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. At this festival, all prominent Vaisnavas of that time came together, like Sri Syamananda Prabhu, Sri Srinivasa Acarya and hundreds of thousands of other devotees. It was one the biggest festivals in the history of Vaisnavism. All present were charmed on hearing the sweet songs of Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, and all of them were blessed with the darsana of Sri Radha Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who came to hear these sweet melodies. Narottama dasa Thakura was the best devotee of his time. He is an associate of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in fact he is a manifestation of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Lokanatha dasa Gosvami is also an associate of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, by the name of Manjulali-manjari. By sending Narottama Thakura back to his village, he played a trick, and by this trick he sent Narottama dasa Thakura to preach all over the world. Had he not done so, no such preaching would have been done; all preaching would have been destroyed. If he had continued to request Narottama to sit and chant harinama in his kutira, there would not have been such great preaching. You can also look at the example of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was a follower of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. He never wanted name, fame, or anything like this. He always chanted harinama and used to sing in the deepest of moods, with tears in his eyes: "Oh Radhe, Prema-mayi Radhe Radhe, Govinda, where are You?" gosai eka-bara dake radha-kunde abara dake syama-kunde, radhe radhe [...sometimes at Radha-kunda, sometimes at Syama-kunda.] gosai eka-bara dake vrndavane eka-bara dake bandhirvane Gosai in this connection refers to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja could not live without remembering Srimati Radhika, always calling out: "Oh Radhe, where are You, where are You?" Rolling down on the earth, he cried: he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vanye kutah gosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau ["I am doing vandana to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, "O Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavan! Where are You? O Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you? Are you seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Sri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?" They were always lamenting, overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala." (Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, verse 8)] Sometimes in Vrndavana and sometimes in Radha-kunda, he was weeping and rolling on the ground, crying bitterly: "Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! If You do not give me Your mercy, I shall die at once." He used to do this kind of bhajana, nirjana-bhajana, in solitary places. He also made a vow not to initiate anyone, but Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had vowed, "I will not take initiation from anyone but Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, otherwise I will die." Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had to become a mediator between them. He asked Babaji Maharaja, "What is your duty towards the conditioned souls?" "To give them mercy." "Then why you are not giving your mercy to this boy? He is going to die!" By the persuasion of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he agreed and gave initiation to this one person only, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He ordered him, "Never go to Kali." Kali means Kolkata. But when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was initiated and took sannyasa, even before he took sannyasa, he first went to Kolkata. There he started his preaching, and gradually he preached all over India and the world. Did he disobey his spiritual master by going to Kolkata? Can anyone claim this? Whoever will speak like this is committing a grave offence. What he did was a great service to his spiritual master. He glorified him all over the world by doing so. Had he not done so, we would not know about Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Krsna. You and I and millions of devotees gather today only due to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's mercy, which he received from his guru, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached in Western and Eastern countries, but he was a part of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's and Sri Nityananda Prabhu's preaching. The original preachers are Sri Caitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All gurus in the disciplic succession are obeying them. If Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura had not appeared, how could we have come together here? Therefore, we should honor all gurus in the disciplic succession. If we say that our guru is the only one and we should honor only him and not read the books of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or others, like Sri Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, then we are offenders and we will not be able to enter the realm of bhakti. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, though he was restricted not to go to 'Kali Rajya,' went there and began to preach from there to the whole world. He collected devotees like Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and also our Guru Maharaja and others from Kolkata. If he had not started his preaching from there, no one would have come under the shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhus beautiful siddhanta. So, we cannot say that he disobeyed his Gurudeva. In this way we also cannot say that Sri Narottama dasa Thakura disobeyed his guru. In fact, he fulfilled the mano-bhista, or internal desire, of his divine grace. We should always try to reconcile these apparent contradictions. Sometimes pure disciples act like this, so we will have to reconcile. If we do not reconcile, we will go to hell. There are many such incidences described in Srimad-Bhagavatam. One time, Krsna spoke to the gopis: "Go back to your homes and serve your husbands, children, and cows." But the gopis countered His arguments and said, "We are not at fault, You are at fault! We consider You to be our guru. You are instructing us to serve our husbands, children and so on; therefore You are our guru. The guru must be respected and worshiped first, before anyone else. If You are not accepting our worship, then You are guilty, not us." They defeated all of Krsna's arguments, and He was bound to accept their service. Some time later, the gopis asked Krsna "Why did you tell us to return to our homes and serve our husbands?" Krsna replied, "I never said this. I said that the full moon nights are not dark; but you understood they are dark." In Sanskrit, these slokas have double meanings; hence we should always read and understand them under the guidance of Vaisnavas. Otherwise we may not understand their true meaning. We should understand that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Sri Narottama dasa Thakuras never disobeyed their gurus; rather they very respectfully 'more than obeyed' them. Sometimes Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja writes in his books one thing in one place, and in other places the opposite. You may find this in many places, but it should be reconciled. For example, he has written in some places that the soul has fallen from Goloka Vrndavana, and in other places that the soul can never fall from Goloka Vrndavana. Here we see some apparent contradiction. Which statement we should follow? Don't try to follow him by your own intelligence. It is best to read his books with the understanding that his conclusions must be the same as the conclusions of Srila Jiva Gosvami, Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. If one of his two statements is contradicting the conclusion of Sri Jiva Gosvami or Sri Rupa Gosvami, Mahaprabhu, Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura or Srila Prabhupada, then we can conclude that Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja had one special purpose in that. Otherwise, without this understanding, you will be derailed from the bhakti path and become an offender. How can we reconcile his statement that the soul has fallen from Goloka and has now forgotten Krsna? He said this for beginners. He did right. Beginners cannot comprehend higher siddhanta. There would have been no use explaining it to them. For example, we may say to a weeping small boy that the moon is here on the tree. The moon is not on the tree, but we cannot give him any sophisticated explanation because he will not understand. Therefore, we tell him that the moon is here on the branches of the tree. This is appropriate. However, when he has gained some knowledge, at that time we can tell him that the moon is not on the tree. Once we will be qualified, we will understand. We will read Sri Jiva Gosvami, Sri Rupa Gosvami or Sri Sanatana Gosvami and recognize that everything is there in Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books. He has written something for general persons, for beginners. But his real conclusion is this: Those who have gone to Goloka Vrndavana are liberated from this world. Either they became liberated, or they are kaya-vyuha manifestations of Srimati Radhika or nitya-siddha manifestations of Sri Baladeva Prabhu. There is no maha-maya in Goloka Vrndavana, only yoga-maya (Purnamasi). Bad thoughts can never enter the hearts of Goloka residents. They are always tasting the mellows of krsna-prema, so how they can fall? Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has told this very clearly many times – I can show it, and others have also told so. We should not be in confusion and thus confuse others. He is quoted as saying that we should not read any books besides his. Why would he have said this? Because first we should become qualified, and then we must read books like Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani; otherwise we will lose everything. So, we will have to reconcile all this. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja sometimes spoke about raganuga-bhajana. He was qualified to speak about this, but most of his listeners were not qualified to understand how he was nearer than them to the teachings of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. They could only comprehend primary teachings; they could not sort out such higher topics. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has written and explained everything in his books, but we need to learn from a maha-bhagavata how to understand his books. yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane ["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." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 5.131)] Actually, there is nothing contradictory in Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books; rather, he spoke to different levels of devotees. For example, it is written somewhere in Srimad-Bhagavatam that the world is false. This does not mean that the physical world is false, but that the world we ourselves make, our conceptions that "This is my father, mother, wife, and so on" are false; our creation is false. Worldly relations are illusory, but the sun, the moon and the pastimes of Sri Rama and Sri Krsna are not false. We have to reconcile all these things. But we can reconcile them only if we are associating with high-class Vaisnavas.
  25. We will discuss the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu: Jagai and Madhai and other pastimes, such as vyasa-puja and Mahaprabu’s sannyasa-lila. The Lord’s associates went with Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu to Jagannatha Puri. We will discuss how, in the midway, Nityananda Prabhu broke Mahaprabhu’s danda. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then left all His associates and went to Jagannatha Puri, where He took darsana of Jagannatha and prayed to that Deity, “Oh Vrajendra-nandana (the son of the King of Vraja, Nanda Maharaja), You are not a statue. You are personally Yasoda-nandana (the son of Mother Yasoda), Vrajendra-nandana.” We will discuss how Mahaprabhu tried to reach and meet with Jagannatha-deva as soon as He saw Him, but He at once fainted. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya came and took the unconscious Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home, where he tried to teach Him Vedanta. We will discuss what occurred in that pastime. We will discuss Nityananda’s pastimes in Puri at the Ratha-Yatra festival, how He returned to Navadvipa and Bengal, and how He used to preach over the whole of Bengal – especially to those who were very fallen and out of caste. After that, how He married with Jahnava-devi and Vasudha-devi, and how His son Virabhadra Prabhu took initiation from Jahnava-devi. There are so many qualified persons to speak. [Srila Gurudeva called on a few devotees to speak, and then he continued:] Nityananda is jagat-guru, guru of the universe. He is personally Baladeva Prabhu, (the first expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.) In Krsna’s pastimes Baladeva Prabhu went to Naimisaranya, where He saw that Romaharsana-suta was giving Srimad-Bhagavatam class. All the sages and saintly kings stood up and offered pranama to Baladeva Prabhu, but Romaharsana remained on the vyasasana without standing and offering pranama to Him or welcoming Him. Baladeva Prabhu thought, “He is not qualified to read Srimad-Bhagavatam or to teach Bhagavatam. He thinks that I am born in a gopa (cowherd) dynasty, and that he is a brahmana, so literate, learned, and quite qualified to explain Bhagavata.” He then told Romaharsana, “You are not qualified. Be a bhagavata (devotee of Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead) and then explain Bhagavata (The Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam.)” He took up a piece of kusa grass in His hand, and by that kusa grass He at once cut off Romaharsana’s head. In great wonder, all the rsis exclaimed, “Oh Baladeva Prabhu, what have You done? Baladeva replied, “What do you want? Do you want me to bring him back to life?” Now they understood the glories of Baladeva Prabhu. “No we don’t want that,” they replied, “but how will we hear Srimad-Bhagavatam?” Baladeva at once brought the son of Romaharsana, Ugrasrava, who was only eight years of age. He was not wearing clothes and he looked like an ignorant person, but Baladeva made him sit on the vyasasana (the seat of honor, as the representative of Krsna’s literary incarnation Sri Vyasadeva.) Baladeva looked towards him and inspired in his heart knowledge of all Vedic literature – all Vedas, all Srimad-Bhagavatam, all Puranas, Upanisads, Smriti, Sruti, Mahabharata, and Ramayana. Ugrasrava at once uttered hymns in glorification of Baladeva Prabhu, and then he began to explain the topics of Srimad-Bhagavatam in a wonderful way. Do not think that Baladeva Prabhu, or Nityananda Prabhu, had not attended school and that He was illiterate. He is the complete embodiment of Gurudeva (akhanda-guru-tattva). In Krsna’s pastimes He killed Dhenukasura, a demon who was in the form of an ass. Dhenukasura represents ignorance. What kind of ignorance? Those who do not honor Vaisnavas (devotees) and yet think themselves devotees, they are all like Dhenukasura. Nityananda Prabhu honored all devotees, even those who were not devotees but who wanted to be devotees. If anyone came in the association of a pure Vaisnava, Nityananda Prabhu respected them. He brought the message of Krsna Consciousness to all those who were neglected by society. In India, at first, the goldsmiths, oil makers, betel-nut makers, and groups like them had no right to read the Upanisads and Vedanta; they were not allowed. But Nityananda Prabhu exclaimed that even those like Jagai and Madhai are most qualified to chant Harinama and to have Krsna-prema. And, to whomever He saw, He gave initiation: He would tell everyone, “Chant ‘Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.’ Nityananda Prabhu embraced and inspired everyone in Bengal, including all those who were fallen, the most inauspicious groups of persons. Today, we are making some mistakes. We are dishonoring sincere and senior devotees who have served Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja throughout their lives. They have served Radha-Krsna and Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu their whole life, and from the beginning of his mission. I have also served so much, more than anyone in ISKCON. But I am not allowed to go to take darsana in any of the ISKCON temples, although it was I who gave samadhi to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in Vrndavana. The doors to his temples are now closed to me. This is a very bad sign. By this, one goes to hell. We should try to correct these things. We should know that we are all in Mahaprabhu’s family. Those who have not even taken initiation but are chanting Hare Krsna should be treated as the family of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And those who are senior, sincere, and serving lovingly for so many years, should be more respected. Otherwise, one who disrespects such devotees is like Ramacandra Khan. In His later pastimes, Nityananda Prabhu went to a village in Bengal, where a very rich person lived named Ramacandra Khan (who had previously attempted to make Haridasa Thakura fall down). That rich person did not honor Nityananda Prabhu or any of the devotees of Nityananda Prabhu. Rather, he told them, “Get out from here. You cannot be hosted for the night here.” Nityananda Prabhu began to laugh loudly, and said, “Oh, devotees are not honored here. Devotees are disrespected here. So, we should not remain here. Let us go; but, I see that tomorrow Mohammedans will come, they will slaughter cows here and prepare meals of flesh, and the whole family of Ramacandra Khan will be destroyed.” He then left that place. The next day, this person who was not honoring Vaisnava devotees was killes along with his entire family, his cows were slaughtered, and his entire village became barren. So, we should always remember Nityananda Prabhu and His teachings. Don’t disrespect any Vaisnava. Always try to honor Vaisnavas according to their stage of advancement in bhakti, namely kanistha-adhikari, neophyte, madhyama-adhikari, intermediate, and uttama-adhikari, advanced. You must know all these teachings, and if you do not know them, then you are not devotees at all. You are only show-bottle devotees. Nowadays they are not approaching those who are strong in Vaisnava philosophy. We should try to establish ourselves in all these teachings; otherwise, being a show bottle devotee and simply giving instructions to others will not do. Come with me to Puri, where Caitanya Mahaprabhu was calling out to Lord Jagannatha, “Oh, I am meeting with the same Vrajendra-nandana. I have been burning in a separation mood for so many years and years. I have found my Vrajendra-nandana.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in the mood of Radhika, calling “Krsna, Krsna. You are the same Vrajendra-nandana,” and He fell unconscious on the ground while dancing. Nityananda Prabhu was there, but not touching Him. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to dance in Srivasa-angam and would faint in the courtyard, Nityananda Prabhu would not touch Him. He would do so after Mahaprabhu came to His external senses, otherwise not. Nowadays, we don’t know all the principles of transcendental etiquette, and thus we speak and write so many rasa-abhasa ideas (misrepresentations of the relationships among the personalities in the pastimes). We keep Nityananda Prabhu with Radha and Krsna in the same section of the altar [see endnote 1], and also Jagannatha. You should know the principles of etiquette by reading Caitanya-caritamrta in the association of superior, advanced devotees. yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 5.131) [“If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”] That is why Nityananda Prabhu ordered Jiva Gosvami to go to Vrndavana and learn all philosophical conclusions under the guidance of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Santana Gosvami. Nityananda Prabhu inspired Jiva, after which Jiva became so learned that in the whole world at that time there was no person as learned as he. He defeated so many learned persons. How? Only by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. We should try to follow Nityananda Prabhu, outwardly and inwardly. Do you know the song Nitai Pada Kamala? We will sing it. nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala je chayaya jagat judaya heno nitai vine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai, drdha kori’ dharo nitaiyer paya (1) [“Nitai’s lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. O brother, without a personality such as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krsna. So hold on very tightly to His lotus feet.”] se sambandha nahi jara, vrtha janma gelo tara sei pasu bodo duracara nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara sukhe, vidyakule ki koribe tara (2) [“If someone does not establish his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu, his life is wasted. Such a wicked person is no better than an animal. Not taking the name of Nitai on one’s lips, he loses himself in the so-called happiness of this world. Then what is the value of one’s education and birth in a high family or great nation?”] ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya, asatyere satya kori’ mani nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-krsna pabe, dharo nitaiyera carana du’khani (3) [“Forgetting Nitai’s lotus feet, one becomes maddened by the false concept of bodily life and considers the illusory energy as real. If Nitai is merciful, one can attain Sri Radha and Krsna in Vraja, so firmly catch hold of His lotus feet.”] nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya, nitai-pada sada koro asa narottama bodo duhkhi, nitai more koro sukhi, rakho ranga-caranera pasa (4) [“The feet of Nitai are real and His servants are eternal. Always hope and pray for the lotus feet of Nitai. “Narottama is very unhappy! O Nitai, please make me happy. Keep me tucked close to the reddish lotuses of Your feet.”] ---------------- One of the prayers of Vrndavana dasa Thakura is Sri Nityanandastakam. yathestam re bhratah! kuru hari-hari-dhvanam-anisam tato vah samsarambudhi-tarana-dayo mayi laget idambahu-sphotair-atati ratayan yah pratigrham bhaja nityanandambhajana-taru-kandam niravadhi [“O brothers, simply chant incessantly the names of Sri Hari, and let the responsibility of delivering you from the ocean of repeated birth and death rest upon Me.” While traveling constantly, He approached the door of every home, declaring this with outstretched arms. I perpetually worship Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the root of the krsna-bhakti tree. (verse 5)] He is telling to all persons, without any consideration of caste or creed, wealth or poverty, inferiority or superiority, brahmana or sudra, male or female, young or old. He calls even to animals and birds, “Come on. Come on.” Raising His arms and speaking in this way: “Yathestam re bhratah! kuru hari-hari-dhvanam-anisam - O brothers, always chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare;’ loudly, and more loudly, again and again. In this way you will cross the ocean of birth and death, suffering and sorrows. And, if you are not getting the desired result, then I am liable for this. I am telling you the truth, that if you once chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,’ I promise to take all responsibility for this – that you will certainly attain Krsna-prema.” No one else has told anything like this. Nityananda Prabhu used to go to each person’s door, and He would personally tell that person, “I am begging only for your devotion to Sri Krsna. I don’t want anything else.” We are now deviating from this line of Nityananda Prabhu. If you want Krsna-prema, you will have to come in this line again. Nityananda Prabhu is telling each person, “I am responsible if you are following My instructions but not getting Krsna-prema,” In the last verse, Vrndavana dasa Thakura is telling, rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam rasagaram saram patita tati taram smaranatah param nityanandastakam idam apurvam pathati yas tad anghri dvandvabjam sphuratu nitaram tasya hrdaye [May Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s two lotus feet brilliantly manifest in the hearts of those who recite this unprecedented and supremely potent Nityanandastakam, which is the reservoir of rasa, the treasure of exalted rasika Vaisnavas, and the abode of the essence of bhakti-rasa. It bestows liberation upon all fallen souls who simply remember it.” (verse 9)] Don’t think that Nityananda Prabhu is merely a mad person. You should know that He is rasanam-adharam, the reservoir of all rasas. He is in dasya-rasa, in sakhya-rasa as Baladeva, vatsalya-rasa also as Baladeva, and in madhurya- rasa in the form of Ananga-manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radhika. He came to taste these five rasas. Don’t think that He is only serving Krsna in a male form, in only four rasas. He is serving also in madhurya-rasa. So, rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam – He is so rasika. He often used to enjoy mock-fighting with Advaita Acarya. Once, when He was throwing maha-prasadam here and there, Advaita Acarya jokingly told Him, “My dear Nityananda, I invited You, and indeed I have received the results. You have no fixed caste or dynasty. By nature You are a madman. To make Me a madman like Yourself, You have thrown the remnants of Your food at Me. You did not even fear the fact that I am a brahmana.” Nityananda Prabhu at once began to laugh, and said, “Ho, ho ho. Oh, Advaita Acarya, I’ve heard that you are a learned person, but I see that you are not. You do not know anything. You are telling Me that by taking maha-prasadam one loses His brahmanical caste and becomes impure? Such words are offensive to the lotus feet of maha-prasadam. You do not know the real power of maha-prasadam. Maha-prasadam is Krsna Himself.” [See endnotes 1-3] maha-prasade govinde, nama brahmani vaisnave svalpa-punya-vatam rajan, visvaso naiva jayate [“Those who have very few pious activities to their credit can never develop faith in maha-prasada, in Sri Govinda, in the holy name of the Lord, or in the Vaisnavas.”] And sometimes They were quarreling in the large lake named Indradyumna Sarovara, splashing there in the water. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so grave. Raya Ramananda and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya were wealthy, learned persons, and also so grave. But They also began to play-quarrel like children, throwing water upon each other. During the splashing of Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acarya, Nityananda Prabhu defeated Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya told Nityananda Prabhu “I am an old person. Do you want that I should die? Would you cause Me to die?” So much good siddhanta (conclusive philosophy) was there in these quarrels. So, Nityananda Prabhu: rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam. He was rasika vara, meaning the best of the rasika associates of the Lord. Giriraja Govardhana is also rasika-vara, but Nityananda is the root of all rasikas. Without His mercy, no one can be rasika. Those who pray to Nityananda Prabhu for His mercy will become bona fide Vaisnavas. But always remember: don’t criticize any Vaisnava. Don’t dishonor anyone, otherwise Nityananda Prabhu will be unhappy. He will not give Krsna-prema to that offender. Treat all who have taken shelter of Nityananda and Gauracandra as Vaisnavas. Moreover, regarding those who are not following, we should simply pray to Nityananda Prabhu, “Please bestow Your mercy upon them so that they will be reformed.” Don’t criticize. Don’t do anything against them. Always have faith in Nityananda Prabhu. Especially, I am praying for you all, and for myself also. I am praying for the whole world, that Nityananda will bestow His mercy to all, so that you will know who Mahaprabhu is and what is the identity of Krsna’s name: “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” May He give us ruci (taste) in Krsna-nama, and in Gaura-nama, the holy names of Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya. A Vaisnava has written in his prayer that Krsna and Krsna’s abode and Krsna’s name have some consideration regarding offenses. They consider whether or not a person is nama-aparadhi (offender to the holy name), but Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have nothing to do with these things. Even if an offender calls out, “O Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu,” They bestow Their mercy. We should also be like that. If someone is doing any nonsense, we should tolerate, and also pray for him. Don’t have any enmity towards them; nothing at all. Be like Nityananda Prabhu. Follow His footsteps. Nityananda Prabhu will then unconditionally bestow His mercy upon you. Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya! Endnotes: Endnote 1 (from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.84, 85) His Divine Grace Advaita Acarya, after hearing the statement of Nityananda Prabhu, took the opportunity presented by the joking words and spoke to Him as follows.Advaita Acarya said, “You are a reject paramahamsa, and You have accepted the renounced order of life just to fill up Your belly. I can understand that Your business is to give trouble to brahmanas.” PURPORT There is always a difference of opinion between a smarta-brahmana and a Vaisnava gosvami. There are even smarta opinions and Vaisnava gosvami opinions available in astrological and astronomical calculations. By calling Nityananda Prabhu a bhrasta avadhuta (a rejected paramahamsa), Advaita Acarya Prabhu in a sense accepted Nityananda Prabhu as a paramahamsa. In other words, Nityananda Prabhu had nothing to do with the rules governing smarta-brahmanas. Thus under pretense of condemning Him, Advaita Acarya was actually praising Him. In the avadhuta stage, the paramahamsa stage, which is the supermost stage, one may appear to be visayi, on the platform of sense gratification, but in actuality he has nothing to do with sense gratification. At that stage, a person sometimes accepts the symbols and dress of a sannyasi and sometimes does not. Sometimes he dresses like a householder. We should know, however, that these are all joking words between Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu. They are not to be taken as insults. In Khadadaha, sometimes people misunderstood Nityananda Prabhu to belong to the sakta-sampradaya, whose philosophy is antah saktah bahih saivah sabhayam vaisnavo matah. According to the sakta-sampradaya, a person called kaulavadhuta thinks materially while externally appearing to be a great devotee of Lord Siva. When such a person is in an assembly of Vaisnavas, he appears like a Vaisnava. Actually Nityananda Prabhu did not belong to such a community. Nityananda Prabhu was always a brahmacari of a sannyasi of the vaidika order. Actually He was a paramahamsa. Sometimes He is accepted to be a disciple of Laksmipati Tirtha. If He is so accepted, Nityananda Prabhu belonged to the Madhva-sampradaya. He did not belong to the tantrika-sampradaya of Bengal. Madhya 3.86 Endnote 2 (from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.94, 96) After saying this, Nityananda Prabhu took a handful of rice and threw it on the floor in front of Him, as if He were angry. When the rice thrown by Nityananda Prabhu touched His body, Advaita Acarya thought Himself purified by the touch of remnants thrown by Paramahamsa Nityananda. Therefore He began dancing. PURPORT The word avadhuta refers to one above all rules and regulations. Sometimes, not observing all the rules and regulations of a sannyasi, Nityananda Prabhu exhibited the behavior of a mad avadhuta. He threw the remnants of food on the ground, and some of these remnants touched the body of Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya accepted this happily because He presented Himself as a member of the community of smarta-brahmanas. By touching the remnants of food thrown by Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya immediately felt Himself purified of all smarta contamination. The remnants of food left by a pure Vaisnava are called maha-maha-prasadam. This is completely spiritual and is identified with Lord Visnu. Such remnants are not ordinary. The spiritual master is to be considered on the stage of paramahamsa and beyond the jurisdiction of the varnasrama institution. The remnants of food left by the spiritual master and similar paramahamsas, or pure Vaisnavas, are purifying. When an ordinary person touches such prasadam, his mind is purified, and his mind is raised to the status of a pure brahmana. The behavior and statements of Advaita Acarya are meant for the understanding of ordinary people who are unaware of the strength of spiritual values, not knowing the potency of food left by the bona fide spiritual master and pure Vaisnavas. Endnote 3 (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.97-99) Advaita Acarya jokingly said, “My dear Nityananda, I invited You, and indeed I have received the results. You have no fixed caste or dynasty. By nature You are a madman. PURPORT The words sahaje pagala (“by nature a madman”) indicate that Nityananda Prabhu was transcendentally situated on the paramahamsa stage. Because He always remembered Radha-Krsna and Their service, this was transcendental madness. Sri Advaita Acarya was pointing out this fact. TRANSLATION “To make Me a madman like Yourself, You have thrown the remnants of Your food at Me. You did not even fear the fact that I am a brahmana.” PURPORT The words apanara sama indicate that Advaita Acarya considered Himself to belong to the smarta-brahmanas, and He considered Nityananda Prabhu to be on the transcendental stage with pure Vaisnavas. Lord Nityananda gave Advaita Acarya His remnants to situate Him on the same platform and make Him a pure unalloyed Vaisnava or paramahamsa. Advaita Acarya’s statement indicates that a paramahamsa Vaisnava is transcendentally situated. A pure Vaisnava is not subject to the rules and regulations of the smarta-brahmanas. That was the reason for Advaita Acarya’s stating, apanara sama more karibara tare: “to raise Me to Your own standard.” A pure Vaisnava, or a person on the paramahamsa stage, accepts the remnants of food (maha-prasadam) as spiritual. He does not consider it to be material or sense gratificatory. He accepts maha-prasadam not as ordinary dhal and rice but as spiritual substance. To say nothing of the remnants of food left by a pure Vaisnava, prasadam is never polluted even if it is touched by the mouth of a candala. Indeed, it retains its spiritual value. Therefore by eating or touching such maha-prasadam, a brahmana is not degraded. There is no question of being polluted by touching the remnants of such food. Actually, by eating such maha-prasadam, one is freed from all the contaminations of the material condition. That is the verdict of the sastra. TRANSLATION Nityananda Prabhu replied, “These are the remnants of food left by Lord Krsna. If You take them to be ordinary remnants, You have committed an offense.” PURPORT In the Brhad-visnu Purana it is stated that one who considers maha-prasadam to be equal to ordinary rice and dhal certainly commits a great offense. Ordinary edibles are touchable and untouchable, but there are no such dualistic considerations where prasadam is concerned. Prasadam is transcendental, and there are no transformations or contaminations, just as there are no contaminations or transformations in the body of Lord Visnu Himself. Thus even if one is a brahmana he is certain to be attacked by leprosy and bereft of all family members if he makes such dualistic considerations. Such an offender goes to hell, never to return. This is the injunction of the Brhad-visnu Purana.