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  1. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo 'smrtih tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma ["Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul." (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37)] What are the causes of fear? Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has explained it. We all fear. Although everyone in all species of life throughout all the material universes only wants peace of mind and happiness, everyone is full of fear. Happiness and peace of life follow us like a shadow. If we want to take that shadow within our grasp, we will find it to be intangible – with no substance. On the other hand, when we proceed forward, turning away from our shadow, that shadow will follow us. This is the nature of shadows. Perhaps all of you know the meaning of maya? Maya, in the form of economic development, sense gratification, and impersonal liberation, is like a shadow. When we turn to her and try to enjoy sense gratification, we find sense gratification to have no substance. In other words, the desire for material happiness becomes the cause of pain and grief. There is no happiness in the material world, only distress and suffering, and this suffering is experienced as the endless chain of birth and death. No one is happy to be in maya. On the other hand, if we progress towards Krsna, then all material facility and liberation will follow us. We are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Krsna, and He is an ocean of ananda, unlimited happiness and peace. He is the reservoir of pure ananda, and in fact He Himself is ananda. Because we are His parts and parcels, by our constitutional position, by nature, our bodies are made of pure ananda. This refers to our transcendental body, however, not our material body. bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo 'smrtih tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma Somehow we have departed from that Supreme Lord, the ocean of rasa and ananda, who is ananda Himself, and now we are entangled in illusory maya. Ma – Ya. We are seeing that which is not actually a fact to be a fact. Whatever we see or feel by our sensory perception is maya. When we first departed from Krsna, when we first forgot Him, maya came at once and attacked us. She defeated us and put us in her jail. What is that jail? It is this body and mind. Actually there are two jails, one within the other. This gross body is the outer jail and the subtle body is the inner jail. We have been suffering and fearing since time immemorial, and we are never free from that. Pariksit Maharaja asked Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, "How can we come out of this endless chain of birth and death? How can we get free from maya?" Srila Sukadeva Gosvami replied, "Tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam / bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma." Being in maya, we cannot become free from maya at once and go to Goloka Vrndavana. It is possible only by the help of Vaisnavas. By the association of pure Vaisnavas, you can have a very pure guru – not an imitation guru or a kan-guru, but a sad-guru. If we take shelter in his lotus feet, he will take full charge of our lives. He will take all kinds of responsibility for our lives, and he will teach how to do bhajana of Krsna. Guru-devatatma. First, we must think that guru is our atma. Being totally surrendered to him, we must depend solely on him. Tan abhajet. Tan means the Supreme Lord, Krsna. If we serve Krsna under the guidance of sad-guru, then certainly, like magic, we will be out of maya. We will see that our transcendental form has manifested, that we are serving Krsna, and that we are now bathing in the endless ocean of ananda and rasa. At that time we will also be embodiments of ananda, and we will simultaneously be the enjoyers of ananda by serving. Try to realize all these facts. It is not sufficient to simply hear about this and tell others. We will have to be established in this truth. We are in deep maya, and to the extent we are in maya we are that far away from Krsna. Our only hope is the fact that Krsna has sent sad-guru and Vaisnavas to this world. I realize this; I was a third-class bogus person, but my Gurudeva picked me up and engaged me in this transcendental service. To give the happiness of direct service to Radha-Krsna Yugala is the mission of Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Narada Rsi, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, our guru-varga, and especially, in Western countries, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja – who ordered me to also preach it. I request you all to understand these eternal truths and be established in them, and to also preach this mission of our guru-parampara to others. If you are practicing but not preaching, you are selfish. Do not be weak. Preach. It is stated in Caitanya Caritamrta: "Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir" If you are wearing the saffron cloth of a brahmacari or sannyasi, do not marry and do not fall down. If you are grhastha, then remain grhastha, but after you are fifty years old, try to come out of grhastha life. Do not engage your whole life in the grhastha asrama. If you can be a grhastha like Prahlada Maharaja or the Pandavas, that is fine; but that is very rare. Gaurapremanande * [Endnote: "This is a quotation from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37). It is an instruction given by Kavi Rsi, one of the nine saintly personalities called the nine Yogendras. When Vasudeva, Krsna's father, asked Devarsi Narada in Dvaraka about devotional service, it was mentioned that previously King Nimi, who was the King of Videha, was instructed by the nine Yogendras. When Sri Narada Muni discoursed on bhagavata-dharma, devotional service, he indicated how a conditioned soul can be liberated by engaging in the loving transcendental service of the Lord" (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 20.119 purport by Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja).]
  2. If you are abusing anyone, criticizing anyone, or quarreling with anyone, these sounds will evaporate in the air and it go throughout the whole universe. If you are speaking any nonsense it will not 'go in vain.' It will go throughout the whole world by air. An example may be given of a big pond.... View the full article
  3. Krishna Is Sweet

    Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Explanation of the song Sri Madhurastakam by Sri Vallabhacarya Holland, July 9, 2000 Krishna's beauty is sweet, His mother, Yasoda, is sweet, and His father is sweet. Especially His flute is very sweet when He plays on it and smiles with His very sweet and crooked side-long glance. Even the stick which He uses for cow-grazing is very sweet. His Yamuna is very sweet-crooked, but very sweet, and the dancing of peacocks is also sweet. When Krishna speaks, it is so sweet. Do you know who is the sweetest sweet? The gopis are very sweet. Lalita and Visakha and the other eight principle gopis are so sweet. Among them, Srimati Radhika is the sweetest of the sweet. Krishna's going anywhere for cowherding is very sweet, and His calling of the cows - Kalindi, Davali, Syamali - are so very sweet. Everything about Him is sweet. Even His stick, which is three-folded, that is, bent in three places, is sweet. His glancing is sweet, and it penetrates the hearts of all the gopis. Why are you not coming? If you want to be sweet - forever - then at once come with us. Don't waste your time. At once. What are you doing? You can relish the sweetness of Krishna. There may be so many reasons for not coming to Vrindavana: you have your job to maintain your life and sense gratification. You are still not chanting the very sweet, pure Name with rasika Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas are sweet. Their speaking is sweet and their association is sweet - because they are always explaining sweet, sweet and sweet hari-katha. You cannot realize all these things from your platform, so come with the rasika Vaisnavas. Where? To Vrindavana. And be sweet, so that Krishna can relish your sweetness. Try to be qualified for this, and in this way your life will be successful. In Vrindavana there are no problems - in the real Vrindavana. If you go to Vrindavana, where are you going? You are going to be covered by the net of maya. We should try to pray, "O Yogamaya, please take away the net". We want to relish the sweetness of Krishna. You can only do that there, in the real Vrindavana, where the are no problems. There is no old age, no death, and no pain there. Try to be qualified, and try to be actually in Vrindavana - as Krishna grazes His cows. When He returns from cowherding, all the gopis assemble to see and taste His sweetness. Also, they themselves are so sweet that Krishna wants to taste their sweetness. Be sweet, taste sweet honey, and be honey. Be like this. You should try to chant in such a way that you will become like this. This song was written by Vaisnava poet Vallabhacarya. These are not speculations. They are reality. But you will have to come to this stage in order to realize them. Always follow Srila Rupa Gosvami: tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jaganugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram (Nectar of Instruction, v.8) "The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time - twenty-four hours a day - in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vrindavana-dhama] and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service." Don't waste a single moment; and then you will realize. Otherwise what will you think? "Oh, this is bogus." Thus, after some time you will give up your chanting and remembering. You should not waste your time. Go on with full strength, strong faith and your whole energy. Now old age is coming, embracing so many of you. Old age could not touch Narada. He jumped out of her embrace. To where? To the transcendental world, from where he could not fall. Death is coming; you have to die very soon. Don't waste time. Follow Srila Rupa Gosvami, and follow your Gurudeva. I am inviting you to come to Vrindavana for Kartika, which is coming in a few months. Vraja Mandala parikrama, the circumabulation of Vraja Mandala, will begin on October 12; and it will be very sweet. I am also inviting you all to Navadvipa parikrama for Gaura Purnima. You should come there, and we will arrange everything there for you.
  4. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja A darsana in Houston Houston, Texas: June 28, 2005 Devotee: I want to know if it is necessary to discern, as one is reading through the scriptures, what is actually Krsna's desire for us and what is man-made rules and regulations. The reason I ask this question is that there seems to be a lot of negative connotations towards women, and I know that you do not agree with that. Since you don't agree with those statements, I was wondering if maybe there were other things in the scriptures that were more of man-made ancient tradition, that are not applicable today. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:Nothing like this has been written in the scriptures. We are neither male nor female. We are not this body – we are soul. According to the way in which we want to serve Krsna, or the way in which Krsna wants us to serve Him, He gives us our forms. You know that Lord Rama loves His wife, Sita. You know how He loves Sabari, a very low-born lady. He even ate Sabari's food remnants. You know that Krsna took His flute and peacock feather and placed them at Srimati Radhika's lotus feet, saying, "I will not be able to repay you, even if I live for millions of years." Devotee: Yes. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Then how can you think like this? You should not think in this way. Are you initiated by anyone? Devotee: By you. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Then why are you thinking like this? Have I told anything like this? Has this been written in the Bhagavad-gita or in Srimad Bhagavatam? Devotee: In the Gita it says that women are not intelligent and… Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, you have not understood the meaning. Yaha bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane – "If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam," Svarupa Damodara Gosvami said, "you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya 5.131) If you want to read anything, don't read on your own. Your mind is not controlled, and it is not pure. You should therefore go to any realized person and serve that tattva-vetta purusa (a self-realized soul, who is a knower of all truths). And then hear from him. "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth." (Bhagavad-gita 4.34) You should go to a person who has realized all spiritual truths. Serve him, and after that you may ask a question. With folded hands you may ask him, "If I am qualified to hear, then please explain such and such." Then he will speak, and then there will be no doubt. On the other hand, if you will read by yourself, so many doubts will come. If you will read Mahabharata, you may say, "Oh, Krsna has left His body and died." If you will read Ramayana, you may think that Rama died, Laksmana died and all the monkeys died. This doubt may come; and if it comes, you will be ruined. Your bhakti will disappear. *See endnote *Endnote 1: "So if you read different scriptures, you will be bewildered…But there is adjustment. If you go to the authorized person, he can adjust. But you cannot see. You see, you'll see contradiction. So srutayo vibhinnah. Therefore they are considered different, but actually, they are not different. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.7 lecture, San Francisco, March 1, 1967) "So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says the medium is sastra, and direction is the guru. Sastra also we cannot understand any book, what to speak of the scripture. Sometimes we find contradiction in the scripture. That is not contradiction; that is my poor fund of knowledge. I cannot understand; therefore assistance of guru, a spiritual master, is required." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 20.353-354 Lecture, New York, December 26, 1966) "Because the spiritual master is the representative of the Supreme Lord, his direction is directly the direction of the Supreme Lord. The spiritual master, saintly persons and scriptures direct in the same way. There is no contradiction in these three sources. All actions done under such direction are free from the reactions of pious and impious activities of this material world." (Bhagavad-gita 10.3, purport) "One should taste the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of pure devotees, and one should associate with the devotees who are more advanced than oneself and who are endowed with a similar type of affection for the Lord." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.131)
  5. The Disappearance Day of Shrila Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja (from the book Shri Prabandhavali by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja) We cannot touch Shrila Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja’s renounced lifestyle and high standard of bhajana, but we can at least accept and follow whatever lower principles that he established for us and practised in his own life. After making sufficient spiritual progress, we may be able to accept the higher things, but we should not desire to follow them in our present condition. Who can possibly follow his extreme renunciation, such as eating the clay of the Yamuna and Radha-kunda and remaining completely dependent on Bhagavan? He felt that if he lived in a mandira many people would come and disrupt his bhajana, so instead he lived in a latrine. People would come seeking his blessings for the purpose of attaining some material benefit, but he considered the stench of the latrine to be preferable to the stench of those people’s words. For us this is impossible, even for one minute. Therefore a kanishtha-adhikari will not easily be able to understand the life of this great uttama-bhagavata Vaishnava. The higher things have been prohibited for us, but we should accept from his life whatever will be favourable for progress in the madhyama-adhikari stage. As long as we have not attained the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu and Navadvipa-dhama, we will not be able to enter into Vraja. Therefore most of our previous acaryas who were performing bhajana in Vrindavana left there and went to Navadvipa to attain prema. Only after submerging themselves in the Ganga of Mahaprabhu’s prema in Navadvipa did they return to Vrindavana to drown in the ocean of krishna-prema. First they performed the bhajana of Gauracandra, and from that what did they attain? The prema of the amorous pastimes of Shri Radha and Krishna. Therefore, in the beginning Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja performed bhajana in Vrindavana at Surya-kunda, Radha-kunda, Nandagrama, Varshana and many other places; but in his heart came the feeling that, “The type of prema that I desire is not being attained here.” He was performing kirtana with great prema, calling out “Radha, Radha! Where have You gone? Protect my life because I will die without You! Radha, Radha!” Although he cried out with extreme vipralambha-bhava, he felt that his yearning was not being fully satisfied, so he left Vrindavana and went to Navadvipa. There, to avoid having to come in contact with worldly people, he lived in a latrine. He was such a mahatma that he didn’t even construct himself a hut. Once, the aristocratic landholder of Kasima Bazar was organising a conference of all the prominent Vaishnavas, and he approached Babaji Maharaja to request him to preside over this conference. He said, “Babaji Maharaja, I am organising a conference of Vaishnavas, and everyone desires that you be the president of this assembly. Being merciful, please give sukriti to us by accepting this entreaty, and I will take you there and bring you back in my own car.” Babaji Maharaja asked him, “For what purpose are you organising this conference? What is the necessity of doing it?” The man replied, “It is for the preaching of vaishnava-dharma, so people will hear talks describing Bhagavan and be inspired to take up bhajana.” Then Babaji Maharaja said, “Alright, then you do one thing: first you do bhajana and forget about others. Leave your home, wife and children, and come to me. I will furnish you with a pair of kaupinas and then you do bhajana. First make your own life meaningful, and then worry about others. Otherwise your conference will only be for your own self-aggrandisement, and there will be no benefit in it for others anyway. First you should come to me and do bhajana for some time; then you should organise your conference.” Hearing this strong answer from Babaji Maharaja, the man was rendered speechless and went away. Another time, one man went to Babaji Maharaja and said, “Babaji Maharaja, please be merciful to me! Please be merciful to me!” Again and again he said it. Babaji Maharaja became a little annoyed and said, “You want mercy? Then here – take mercy!” and he handed the man a pair of kaupinas. What is the purport of giving the man a pair of kaupinas? When a guru gives sannyasa to someone, what does he give him? A pair of kaupinas and the mantra. Then that person will at once become renounced, leave all worldly attachments and fully apply his body, mind and words to the service of Krishna. If the guru gives this to someone, what greater mercy could there be? “Here – take mercy!” Hearing this from Babaji Maharaja, that man became frightened, ran away and never returned. On another occasion a young boy from a wealthy family ran away from home and came to Babaji Maharaja. He said to Babaji Maharaja, “I want to stay with you and just do bhajana.” Babaji Maharaja did not reply, so the boy began staying with him. He would bring water for Babaji Maharaja and do other services for him also, and he began telling the people, “I am a disciple of Babaji Maharaja.” But in reality Babaji Maharaja had no disciples other than Prabhupada. This boy stayed with Babaji Maharaja for some time but didn’t attain what he expected, so he thought, “I should return to material life.” Many people go to live in a matha, stay for one or two months, and then return to material life, get married and become busy in household duties. Some men leave renounced life even after ten or twenty years, but only because they desired to attain the same things as worldly people: kanaka (wealth), kamini (women) and pratishtha (prestige). They apparently leave their homes to engage in bhajana, but they are really only interested in material gain. Feeling that he had attained nothing by staying with Babaji Maharaja, the boy left and after about two weeks returned to Babaji Maharaja with a beautiful young girl from a wealthy family whom he had married. He offered pranama to Babaji Maharaja and said, “Babaji Maharaja, I have entered the samsara, the material world. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written in his Gitavali: ‘krishnera samsara kara chadi’ anacara – we should give up our offences and perform bhajana as family men.’ Therefore I have collected a krishna-dasi. Please be merciful to her and to me also so we can engage in bhajana and have a successful material life as well.” Babaji Maharaja replied, “You have done so well! I am so pleased! You have collected one krishna-dasi? Then you should do one thing: you should offer puja to this krishna-dasi. Every day you should cook an offering for her and offer her pranama and some flowers saying, ‘You are a krishna-dasi and very dear to Shri Krishna.’ But beware: don’t try to enjoy her, otherwise everything will be destroyed for you and you will descend into hell! Beware – don’t try to enjoy her!” Hearing this, the boy was astonished and was rendered speechless. Frightened, he called his “krishna-dasi” and quickly left. Was deceiving Babaji Maharaja an easy thing? It was not possible to deceive him. Babaji Maharaja vowed that he would never accept any disciples, but it was Prabhupada’s resolution that, “If I accept a guru, it will be him only.” Prabhupada wrote in his Gaudiya Patrika, “At that time I was very proud. I was thinking that there was no scholar equal to me, that there was no tattva-jnani equal to me, no speaker equal to me and no philosopher equal to me. This paramahamsa Vaishnava, Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, understood this; so he ignored my requests for initiation. Three or four times he told me that he would not accept disciples. He said, ‘What? You are the son of Bhaktivinoda Thakura! You took birth in such a high family that you are worshipful to me! You are such a big scholar, your appearance is so beautiful and you possess all good qualities; so what is the necessity of you becoming my disciple?’ In this way he pulverised my pride. People said that he was illiterate, but he possessed all real knowledge and was a jagad-guru.” Three or four times Babaji Maharaja ignored him, but Prabhupada had vowed that he would accept initiation only from Babaji Maharaja. In the end he was performing severe austerities to attain Babaji Maharaja as his guru, and seeing that his son’s face was withered as if he would die, Bhaktivinoda Thakura requested Babaji Maharaja, “Please be kind to him.” After this, Babaji Maharaja finally accepted Prabhupada as his only disciple. Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s ashrama was situated on the banks of the Ganga, and upon hearing “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” being chanted very loudly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura would know that Babaji Maharaja was coming. He would chant so loudly that his voice could be heard across the Ganga, and upon arrival at the ashrama, he would hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other krishna-katha from Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Babaji Maharaja didn’t associate with other babajis very much. Generally he would only wear a langoti and nothing more, but one day he begged a good quality dhoti, a kurta, a walking stick and a nice turban from someone. Wearing these, he went to Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s ashrama, and upon seeing him, Bhaktivinoda Thakura thought, “See how Babaji Maharaja’s appearance has changed! He has taken the ordinary dress of a grihastha. He is wearing nice clothes now and is carrying a walking stick like a landlord. What has happened to him?” Babaji Maharaja offered pranama and sat down, and Bhaktivinoda Thakura asked him, “Babaji Maharaja, today I see that your appearance is of a different type. Why is this?” Babaji Maharaja replied, “These days there are so many babajis, and many of them are such hooligans that if one even mentions their names it will be sinful. They are engaged in such misconduct that a grihastha is thousands of times superior to them. In the name of parakiya-bhajana they engage in mundane activities and they will all go to hell for it. When a babaji obtains some rasagullas or any good quality foodstuff, he should just offer it to a cow. Babajis should not go to any festival, but people invite them and off they go to these festivals simply to enjoy a good meal. Feeding the dogs of the dhama is more beneficial than feeding them. Therefore I think that I shouldn’t remain a babaji. I will wear the cloth of a grihastha, and then people will not look upon me as one of these babajis.” Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, “You have spoken correctly.” At that time the misconduct of these babajis was so widespread that people hated to even hear the good Vaishnava name, so there was a necessity for a great personality who could preach the pure prema-dharma of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the world. Then came such a great personality, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. He preached sankirtana in such a way that in no time the world opinion had changed, and scholars, gentlemen and everyone began to accept vaishnava-dharma. If there had been no Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji, then there would have been no Prabhupada. And if there had been no Prabhupada, then the pure prema of Mahaprabhu would not be preached all around the world as it is now. Therefore the original great personality was our father’s father’s father, our great grandfather, Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji. Today with great pride we declare that he was the guru of our parama-guru, and it is our supreme good fortune that he came to this world. According to our qualification we will follow the instructions for bhajana and renunciation that he gave, and those who sincerely follow them will be offering the real pushpanjali to his feet. Otherwise, if we don’t offer this real pushpanjali, then we will be just like those people that he sent away. We should not desire to have material pleasures and at the same time beg for mercy as they did. For really achieving his mercy, we should offer this genuine pushpanjali to his feet, follow his instructions in a pure manner, and then we may be able to enter into real bhajana. He is never far away from us; he is with us at all times, and he will certainly bestow his plentiful mercy upon us. Calling out his name, our guruji would cry and say, “He took all of my hardships away.” Similarly he will remove all of our hardships so we will be able to perform bhajana, and to really engage in bhajana there must be no other desire whatsoever in our hearts. But if we leave sadhu-sanga, all will be lost. Therefore, remaining in the association of devotees we will perform bhajana and always remember the ideal that Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja showed in his life. Then our lives will be meaningful, and from our bhajana we will get the real benefit. So today we offer a prayer to his feet that he will always be merciful to all of us. See also:
  6. Have I Made a Mistake? by Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja My Doubt A doubt occasionally arises in my heart. I think, “Have I made a mistake in accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of the Vaiṣṇavas? It certainly seems so. I appear to have made a mistake in taking up bhajana, in accepting the shelter of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas and, specifically, in taking refuge of the Gauḍīya Maṭha and dedicating all my senses to serving in the Maṭha. “Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas are not big-hearted. When we perform bhajana under their shelter, we are controlled by so many rules and regulations. If I were to take refuge of some other sampradāya where there is no concern for offences, such as vaiṣṇava-aparādha, nāma-aparādha or dhāma-aparādha, I would feel no such hindrance or botheration. I would not be obliged to develop exclusive devotion for a particular object of worship [such as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa], nor would my eating habits be curtailed. In the Maṭha, issues like vaiṣṇava-aparādha are raised, and it often impedes my unrestricted sense enjoyment, lawless gossiping and other whimsical activities. It would therefore be better for me to live outside the Maṭha than be governed by such restraints.” Sometimes I even think it would be best for me to abandon the shelter of a gurudeva as controlling as mine altogether, and to accept the mantra elsewhere, from someone who doesn’t demand that I pay attention to all the rules and regulations. Thus, I occasionally contemplate severing my ties with the Gauḍīya Maṭha completely. What stops me, however, is the thought that if people were to find out that I had broken my connection with Śrī Guru, it could jeopardise my prestige and position. Discipline and Deceit The Vaiṣṇavas of the Gauḍīya Maṭha are one pointedly engaged in worshipping Śrī Gaurāṅgadeva and Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, under the guidance of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmipāda and the best among his followers, namely, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. Kṛṣṇa-prema is their only goal and their only practice, or sādhana. There is no absence of affection or devotion in the sādhana of the servants of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. Hence, they will never support any endeavour that is unfavourable to the cultivation of affection for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. What auspiciousness can a sādhana bring if it can’t offer its practitioner any way to attain his cherished goal quickly, or if it can’t even offer him any certainty that he will realize his worshipable deity at all? This type of sādhana, when propagated, tends only to attract followers. For those content to pass their lives without purpose or restriction, what use is there to accept the lotus feet of sad-guru, a transcendental teacher? But those who can see their own faults and anarthas, and who try to become free of them, develop an urge to become qualified to taste the bliss of prema for Bhagavān. Only they can remain in the shelter of saintly devotees endowed with this prema. They can experience the happiness of being engaged in service to Bhagavān by living under the guidance of such one-pointed devotees and following their instructions. This involves subduing their senses and abstaining from whimsical activities. Those who make a show of accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru simply deceive themselves; they pretend to be self-controlled and reformed but internally maintain their previous bad impressions, and especially the tendency to strive to gather followers. In other words, they recruit followers on the pretext of accepting the shelter of Śrī Guru, with the aim of fulfilling their selfish ends through their so-called disciples. The attempts of such arrogant and duplicitous people to attain auspiciousness are endlessly frustrated. To be a disciple means to be disciplined, or controlled. If a person outwardly accepts the shelter of Śrī Guru but arrogantly maintains the attitude that he knows best about his spiritual life, then he is but a cheater – deceiving both himself and others. Pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas are most magnanimous and bestow the highest auspiciousness. If we can become eligible to understand even a single aspect of their exemplary lives we will become attached to sādhana-bhajana and be filled with jubilation and devotion. Bhakti Lies Beyond Renunciation Those who possess kṛṣṇa-prema are neither enjoyers nor renunciants. They are not karmīs (fruitive workers); neither are they jñānīs (persons cultivating knowledge of impersonal brahman). Those who perform activities opposed to scriptural injunctions honour karmīs who abide by scriptural injunctions; and when karmīs, who are eager to enjoy the results of their endeavours see the external renunciation of jñānīs and renunciants, they may be attracted to them. However, those who hanker for bhagavat-prema disregard both of these paths. They are attracted only by behaviour that nurtures the cultivation of this prema. Someone who is not aspiring for prema for Bhagavān will perceive only enjoyment or renunciation in the behaviour of the devotees. If he takes shelter of them upon observing their external renunciation, he may for a while consider himself blessed to be in their company. Kṛṣṇa-prema, however, cannot be attained by external renunciation. Unless one has faith grounded in philosophical truth (tattvika śraddhā), or has affection for the svarūpa of Śrī Bhagavān, he cannot become attracted to the behaviour of Bhagavān’s devotees. The characteristic of such one-pointed devotees is that directly or indirectly they only cultivate love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa: anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu śīlanaṁ bhaktir-uttamā Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.11) “The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhāvas), which is not covered by jñāna (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 Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.” One must deliberate upon this verse. The activities of a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, such as establishing a maṭha (spiritual institution), constructing a temple, meeting with materialistic or aristocratic people, hosting festivals with pomp and grandeur, and giving instructions to ignorant or faithless people, are all śuddha-bhakti. To serve Bhagavān and the devotees one may supervise the construction of a temple or the house of a devotee, collect materials, purchase supplies and accept the lowly propensity to beg. Such activities are supremely pleasurable and they nourish one’s bhakti. What Is True Renunciation? kuṣṭhi-viprera ramaṇī pativratā-śiromaṇi pati lāgi’ kailā veśyāra sevā stambhila sūryera gati jīyāila mṛta pati tuṣṭa kaila mukhya tina-devā Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 20.57) “The wife of a brāhmaṇa suffering from leprosy showed herself to be the topmost of chaste women by serving a prostitute to satisfy her husband. She thus halted the movement of the sun, brought her dead husband back to life and satisfied the three principal demigods [Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara].” We should consider this account in the light of our discussion. That chaste brāhmaṇa wife’s service to a lowly prostitute in the sincere endeavour to please her husband enhanced her glory. She thus became worshipable for the entire world. What’s more, she became very dear to Śrī Bhagavān. If, however, she had performed this service for her own sense, pleasure, or for dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa, it would have been reprehensible in every respect. Similarly, activities such as constructing a maṭha, meeting and talking with materialistic or aristocratic people, hosting grand festivals and bestowing the śrī nāma-mantra to faithful persons sincerely desiring to serve Śrī Bhagavān, His devotees and His dhāma (all aspects of Vaikuṇṭha), enhance bhakti and ultimately cause prema to appear. Those same activities, however, bind one to this material world if they are performed with the aim of gratifying one’s senses; accumulating wealth, women and fame; or attaining dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa. In this world, renunciation means to relinquish the objects of one’s attachment. But can ceasing to take foods that merely aggravate a disease, for instance, be considered renunciation? Abstaining from foodstuffs that destroy good health and instead accepting foods that increase longevity can hardly be celebrated as a great act of renunciation. Thus, it is hard to see how the act of renouncing one’ father, mother, relatives, friends, wealth, occupation, business or worldly duties performed to gain material comforts, can in itself be glorious. Only when a person renounces the objects of his mundane pleasure for the pleasure of the Complete Entity [Śrī Bhagavān], expecting no sense enjoyment in return, can his renunciation be considered actual renunciation. In other words, true renunciation entails not striving for dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa, or for wealth, women and adoration. Ordinarily, it is considered irreligious to forsake the duties the scriptures prescribe for one’s varṇa and āśrama; but if these duties are discarded for the pleasure and satisfaction of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the cause of all causes and the bestower of supreme bliss, then and only then is such renunciation honourable. Indeed, such renunciation, which benefits everyone, is to be revered. To renounce endeavours for sense gratification – that is, endeavours in one’s search for happiness in this world or in the next – is courageous and glorious. But the topmost renunciation is to abandon everything, even one’s independent will and desires, for the pleasure of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His one-pointed devotees. Renouncing the mind’s propensity for independence, in other words, the sacrifice of one’s very self, is far superior to renouncing that which is inert and temporary. The glory of one’s renunciation lies truly in the glory of the object of such sacrifice. Śrī Bhagavān and His devotees who possess prema are unlimitedly glorious; and therefore to renounce for their pleasure is supremely noble. Such renunciation is incomparable because it increases the happiness of all living entities by reawakening their relationship with Śrī Bhagavān. It does not admit even the slightest scent of distress. Rather, the renunciant feels increasingly happy at every step. It can therefore be concluded that such renunciation bestows bliss in every respect and is highly esteemed. Fruitive workers, or karmīs, make sacrifices and perform austerity with the hope of attaining increased mundane sense pleasure in the future. Such renunciation is therefore meagre and does not bestow complete happiness. Jñānīs, who aspire to realize the impersonal brahman , make sacrifices and perform austerity to dispel their own suffering. Their renunciation, also, does not bestow full happiness. The sacrifices and austerities of Kṛṣṇa’s devotees, however, are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Hari. Since Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the cause of all causes, such renunciation bestows true welfare upon the devotee and upon others. Therefore Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas greatly honour those activities that promote love of Bhagavān, and they reject activities that hinder it. In this sādhana, any sense enjoyment and renunciation that is favourable to bhakti is highly regarded. Yet devotees are not attracted to sense enjoyment and renunciation in their own right. They are attracted to love for Bhagavān and His devotees. They have no independent or whimsical desire to enjoy or renounce. Yukta-vairāgya, renunciation for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is their only sādhana. Without understanding bhajana-rahasya, the secrets of bhajana, one will become bewildered by what sense enjoyment is and what renunciation is. Both are impediments in the sādhaka’s cultivation of prema for Bhagavān. Don’t Waste a Moment Those who have realized that this human life offers an invaluable opportunity to work towards attaining the supreme goal, prize every moment of it. They are unwilling to waste even an instant in any other endeavour. They know that living entities in other species of life do not have the facility or good fortune to make progress towards the supreme goal, and accordingly, they see no value in living their lives in the manner of the lower species. Hence, upon attaining this extremely rare human life and, on top of that, attaining the fortune to associate with sādhus and developing śraddhā for the supreme goal, they cannot quietly squander a single moment of their lives. Rather, they will accept only what is favourable to the cultivation of affection for Śrī Kṛṣṇa and will reject all activities that are unfavourable to it. As such, the devotees of the Gauḍīya Maṭha instruct the world to engage only in those practices that are righteous and favourable to the cultivation of kṛṣṇa-prema and to reject unrighteous activities that impede it. Moreover, they never indulge in violence or envy, as this hinders the cultivation of prema. My Doubt Resolved Thus, if I am genuinely searching for kṛṣṇa-prema, I have not after all made any mistake in accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Such Vaiṣṇavas will not fuel our desire for dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa or our hankering for wealth, women and adoration. The purpose of the Maṭha is to help free us from these anarthas and attain kṛṣṇa-prema. By taking shelter of the lotus feet of pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas in the Gauḍīya Maṭha, beggars for kṛṣṇa-prema become qualified to attain their greatest welfare. Moreover, they receive the opportunity to achieve the highest ideal of magnanimity and to ascend to the topmost level of pure vairāgya, renunciation. This is my unshakable conviction. One cannot be deviated from attaining prema for Bhagavān in due course, unless one becomes a severe offender. One day, by the mercy of Śrīla Prabhupāda, the world will profusely glorify and worship the Śrī Sarasvata Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas [that is, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s followers]. They alone are able to establish the highest ideal of benevolence in the world. Victory will certainly belong to the devotees of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, or those who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. I have not, therefore, made a mistake in accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Rather, I have whole-heartedly embraced the good fortune of attaining my highest welfare, and thus I am truly blessed. Essay originally penned in 1966. Translated from Śrī Caitanya-vānī by the Rays of The Harmonist team. Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 14 Kārttika 2004. About the Author One of the shining luminaries of the Gauḍīya sky, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja was an initimate disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakurā Prabhupāda who soon became renowned for his intense devotion, deep humility and brilliance in spreading the mission of his divine master. Indeed, Śrīla Prabhupāda used to refer to him as “a preacher of volcanic energy.” Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Madhāva Gosvāmī Mahārāja appeared in this world in Kārttika of l904, On the disappearance day of Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, in Kanchanpada, present-day Bangaladesh. He accepted the renounced order in 1944, and established Śri Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha in 1953, the current ācārya of which is Śrī Śrīmad BhaktiVallabha Tīrtha Mahārāja. One of his most significant contributions was to re-establish the appearance site of Śrīla Prabhupāda in Śrī Jagannātha Purī. This empowered personality who was kind and magnanimous to all, entered nitya līlā in 1979, on the disappearance day of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Puṣpāñjali by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja I often received the opportunity to associate closely with our revered śikṣā-guru Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. He was serene, tolerant, grave and endowed with many other qualities befitting a Vaiṣṇava. He preached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s message of Divine Love widely throughout India with great vigour. The special feature of his preaching was that he taught by personal example. He emphasized that we should be humbler than a blade of grass and more forbearing than a tree, and that we should offer respect to everyone without ourselves desiring respect from others. His unique spiritual quality was that he honoured all his godbrothers. This is truly ideal. If we can sincerely follow his teachings, our guru-pujā will be successful. Excerpt from a speech delivered in Hindi on 17th November 2003 at Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, Vṛndāvana, at Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Mahārāja’s birth centennial celebration. See also:
  7. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Govardhana, India: November 13, 2007 PM [This year, 2017, the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja, the intimate god-brothers and friends of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, is on October 22nd & 23rd (see calendar). Please accept the following glorification of him, given on his disappearance day during Kartika 2007. During the auspicious month of Kartika, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled international parikrama pilgrims celebrated the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja. Srila Trivikrama Maharaja left the vision of this world in 2002, and Srila Vamana Maharaja left on the same day, two years later. As he does every year at this time, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja organized a Separation Festival (Viraha Mahotsava) for them, at which time he called on several of their disciples to speak about their glories and offer heart-felt sentiments. Almost everyone spoke in Hindi, as did Srila Narayana Maharaja himself. The following is a simultaneous translation of Srila Narayana Maharaja’s glorification, given by Akhilesh dasa Adhikari, who spoke into a transmitter. Most of the 700 or so Westerners from various countries present were able to hear the translations in their headphones, because there were also simultaneous translations from English to Russian, Chinese, and so on. For a great soul there is no difference between his appearance and disappearance days * because he is actually always present to guide and give his blessings. These days are especially powerful occasions to remember them and receive abundant blessings. Therefore, please accept the transcription of the lecture below, given this Kartika, on Srila Vamana Maharja’s disappearance day:] Today we will discuss the glorious characters of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, and the devotees will offer puspanjali (their flower-like hearts’ offering of glorification) at their lotus feet. According to the degree of love and affection towards someone, one will experience that much separation for a person. The gopis had so much affection for Sri Krsna, and that is why they felt so much separation when He went to Mathura. We have read about the various stages of their separation in the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures. Similarly, the more one is attached to Srila Gurudeva’s lotus feet, the more separation one will feel in his absence. We see the topmost example of this in the life of Srila Ragunatha dasa Gosvami, who had so much affection in his heart towards his siksa-gurus, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. What was the condition of Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami when their pastimes became un-manifest in this world? He saw Giriraja Govardhana like a python, all of Vraja seemed empty to him, and appeared like the mouth of a very ferocious tiger. Due to his love and affection, this is how he described his separation from Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis. According to how much affection you have towards your Gurudeva’s lotus feet, that much separation you will feel. You must understand that the devotee who feels separation from his Guru is very elevated in bhakti, and he will soon attain the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Without Gurudeva’s mercy, this is not possible. I spent more than sixty years with Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja. We had a very special relationship, and we were related in so many different ways. I had a first-hand opportunity to observe their guru-seva. I directly saw how Srila Vamana Maharaja was ready to give his life for his Gurudeva, and I understood how my Gurudeva used to feel indebted to Srila Vamana Maharaja for his service. When Srila Vamana Maharaja’s hand was caught in the printing press, Srila Guru Maharaja wept, and he traveled with Srila Vamana Maharaja to the hospital in Kolkata. When you see Sri Guru crying for his disciple, you can understand that his affection towards that disciple is very deep. I have seen that if there was work which involved a lot of responsibility, my Gurudeva would not give that work to me or Srila Vamana Maharaja, but to Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, and he would not take it easily. He would argue and ask questions, and then he would accept that work and complete it. Srila Gurudeva always saw Srila Vamana Maharaja as his small child, because he had come to the Matha in his young age, as a very small child. But Srila Vamana Maharaja was expert in performing all kinds of services. From his example, we should all take great inspiration in how he served non-stop and always brought pleasure to his spiritual master and the Vaisnavas. Srila Gurudeva entrusted the more responsible services to Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, not because Srila Vamana Maharaja was not qualified, but because Gurudeva gave that opportunity to Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, who joined the Matha when he was in his mid twenties. I observed the character of Srila Vamana Maharaja; I saw how he has served Srila Gurudeva. There was nothing he would not do. If someone wants the ability to perform bhajana and service to Sri Guru, he should learn from the life of Srila Vamana Maharaja. Unless and until one has such firm faith in Guru, he cannot perform bhajana. Wherever Srila Gurudeva went for preaching, I would come along with Srila Trivikrama Maharaja and Srila Vamana Maharaja. For sixty years I had the fortune to reside with Srila Vamana Maharaja. How many days have you (Srila Vamana Maharaja’s disciples and followers present in the audience) remained with him? You have been with him only for a few years, and from at a great distance. I lived with him as a friend, and our lives were so intimately connected that we were like two bodies with one soul. I have seen some of my Gurudeva’s character in Srila Vamana Maharaja, and he helped me write my Gurudeva’s biography. Before I met my Guru Maharaja, I was never second to anyone in running. I was a very good athlete, and Srila Vamana Maharaja used to walk a lot, but when Srila Guru Maharaja used to walk while residing in various temples, both of us remained behind him. We could no keep up with him because he would walk so swiftly. Being with Guru Maharaja, Srila Vamana Maharaja and I used to work in the kitchen and engage in many other services. We used to clean the pots in those days, and also write sometimes. We worked at the printing press, publishing Guru Maharaja’s books, and we also traveled with Guru Maharaja when he went to various places for preaching. We were engaged in so much service. I learned so much from both Srila Trivikrama Maharaja and Srila Vamana Maharaja; they are my siska gurus. What can I tell you about their glorious characters? I remain always indebted to them; I can never become free from their debt. At the time of Navadvipa parikrama, there used to be thousands of pilgrims, and all of them would come to meet Srila Guru Maharaja. He would speak to all of them, and Srila Vamana Maharaja, with a paper and pen in his hand, was near him. While the large darsans would be going on, Srila Vamana Maharaja would ask Srila Gurudeva to speak something for the publication in the Gaudiya Patrika Magazine, and Srila Gurudeva would say, “Ok, take a pen.” He would then speak fluently for a few minutes, and at which time Srila Vamana Maharaja would write three or four pages, and whatever he wrote would not need to be corrected. When we write, corrections and editing must be done, but this was not the case with Srila Vamana Maharaja. Just after taking notes and writing the articles, on the same day, the magazine would go to press, and the next morning we would offer it to Lord Narasimhadeva. In this way, Srila Gurudeva and all the devotees who assisted him used to publish the Patrika. I have firm faith that today, on the disappearance day of Pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja and Pujyapada Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, the topics that the devotees have spoken about, the discussions we have heard of their glorious lives and characters, as well as the established philosophical truths that have been told – are not being spoken in the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. In fact, it is doubtful that they are observing this holy day. They celebrate the vyasa-puja day of Paryataka Maharaja, but not the vyasa-puja of Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. I know this. There are no people who have such kind of affection for Pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja. Pujyapada Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja’s disciples are slowly coming to me. I am very happy that you [Srila Vamana Maharaja’s diksa- and siksa disciples] are all present here today and I am pleased by the way you are respecting and glorifying your Gurudeva. In Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, they have broken their parampara; they do not even keep the correct photographs of the parampara. Our parampara is perfect; first my Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, then Srila Vamana Maharaja, and then myself. This is the parampara. In the homes of my disciples throughout the world, Srila Vamana Maharaja’s photo is placed on their altar. Therefore, at this place, the pastimes of Srila Vamana Maharaja have been spoken, but there in Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, everything is spoiled. You should always follow Guru and Vaisnavas. Always consider that siksa-guru and diksa-guru are non-different. I am very pleased that all of you are progressing in bhakti, and I am very happy with all the speakers. [Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] So many devotees from Siliguri have come here. [Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] After Navadvipa parikrama I will go there. If we go to Siliguri after Gaura-purnima, and Bangalore in a few days, right after Kartika, then many more devotees will be here next year. I will go to Siliguri for five or six days with all the senior Vaisnavas, and to Shilang also, and many small villages in South of Bengal. I will go to all these places. [Srila Maharaja requested Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja’s senior disciple Uma didi to glorify her Gurudeva, after which he said:] She had the association of Srila Vamana Maharaja since childhood, and she took harinama from him at a young age. When she came to stay at our matha (temple) in Mathura, many of her god-brothers criticized her, saying, “She has left Guru Maharaja and is residing here with Narayana Maharaja.” They disrespected her, but on the other hand, right until the end of his manifest stay in this world, Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja had so much affection for her. [Srila Narayana Maharaja called on Damodara Maharaja to glorify Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, and then he himself spoke:] Whenever Srila Trivikrama Maharaja’s parents would come to our matha, he would treat them in a rude manner and use harsh words. I was unhappy to hear this, so I told him, “You have to respect your mother and father.” He replied, “You don’t understand. If I behave very nicely towards them, then they will come here all the time and disturb my bhajana. They will harass me to come back to their village.” He was a very good cook, and he was also very renounced. He would almost always wear simply one cloth, which would reach to just above his knees, and a sleeveless shirt – not more than that. He was always serving Vaisnavas and living very simply. In this way he spent his life. [*Endnotes: So our adoration, our worship is to Bhaktivinoda Thakura today , because he may bless us to make peaceful progress in Krsna consciousness. Acarya-upasana; simply by the blessings of the acaryas, we can make very rapid progress. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 6.33]. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadat. We sing this every day. By the mercy of the spiritual master, acarya, we immediately get the blessings of the Lord. Immediately. (Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda THakura’s Appearance Day Lecture – London, September 3, 1971] [Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura passed away from this material world on December 31, 1936, so almost forty years has past. There are two phases: prakata and aprakata, appearance and disappearance. We have nothing to lament on account of disappearance, because Krsna and Krsna’s devotee do not disappear. Not only devotees – even the nondevotees – nobody disappears. Nobody disappears because every living entity is eternal, as Krsna is eternal. This is confirmed in the Vedic literature: “nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam.” (Katha Upaniñad 2.2.13) The description of the Supreme Lord is that He is nitya, eternal, and the living entities are also eternal; but He is the chief eternal. So spiritually, in appearance and disappearance, there is no difference. Just like in material point of view, suppose you get a son born, you become very happy. When the same son passes away, you become very unhappy. This is material. But spiritually, there is no difference in appearance or disappearance. So although this is the disappearance day of OmVisnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, there is nothing to be lamented. Although we feel separation, that feeling is there, spiritually there is no difference between appearance and disappearance. Although this is the Disappearance Day of Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, there is nothing to be lamented, although we feel separation. That feeling is there, but spiritually there is no difference between appearance and disappearance. There is a song, Narottama dasa Thakura's song, ye anilo prema dhana-can you sing that song, anyone? I don't remember exactly the whole song. That is all lamentation. (from Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance Day Lecture, given by Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, LA, December 13, 1973)] [People may say, "The devotee is also dying, and the non-devotee, sinful man, is also dying. What is the difference?" There is much difference. The example is given: just like a cat catching a rat in his mouth and at the same time carrying his cubs in the mouth. Superficially, we can see that the same mouth is being used, but one is feeling comfortable being carried by the mother, and another is feeling the death knell. (Bhagavad-gita Lecture 2.13, London, August 19, 1973)] Similarly, at the time of death, the devotee is feeling that they are being transferred to Vaikuntha, whereas the ordinary sinful man is feeling that the Yamadutas, the constables of Yamaraja, are dragging him to the hellish condition of life. So one should not conclude simply by seeing that he is dying. No. The process is different. Janma karma ca me divyam (Bg. 4.9). As Lord Krsna's appearance and disappearance are all spiritual, transcendental, they are not ordinary things, similarly, Lord Krsna's devotees, His representative, who is sent to this material world for preaching the glories of Lord Krsna, their appearance and disappearance is also like Krsna's. Therefore, according to Vaisnava principles, the appearance and disappearance of Vaisnava is considered all-auspicious. Therefore we hold festivals. Just like yesterday we had the disappearance day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada. So we offered our respects and observed a festival. (Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, 6.1.27-34, Surat, December 17, 1970)]
  8. Govardhana Annakuta

    Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Badger, Califiornia May 18, 2003 Today, Annakuta Mohotsava, is a very auspicious day. This day is observed in India during the month of Kartika. Many of Krsna's other sweet pastimes were also performed in the month of Kartika. In this month, under the guidance of Nanda Baba, the Vrajavasis observed Govardhana puja. They did this, having given up the puja of Indradeva, and that resulted in Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill on His little finger. Yasoda-devi bound Krsna in this very month, which is how the song Sri Damodarastakam originated. Kartika is also the month in which Krsna and the gopis performed Saradiya Rasa (Autumn rasa-lila). After Krsna lifted Giri Govardhana, Indra understood that his torrential rain would have no effect, and thus he began to repent his actions. He thought that Krsna would punish him, and that the only way to save himself would be to take shelter of Surabhi cow. Surabhi would be able to please Krsna. She would pray to Krsna on his behalf, "Please, excuse him." No one else would be able to achieve this. Krsna considers Himself the servant of the cows and always supports them. It would therefore be easy for Surabhi to please Him. If Surabhi would not go, Krsna would not be pacified and would therefore punish him. Indra thus took shelter of Surabhi, walking behind her, and they both approached Krsna. Krsna said, "O Mother, you have come!" Surabhi said, "Yes. I have brought my son with me. I request that You please excuse him." Surabhi then began to supply large quantities of milk, and Indra, the demigods, and the great sages present began to abhisheka (bathe) Krsna, just as we did here today. Krsna then became very happy and said, "In the future I don't want to have to tolerate your nonsense activities. For your own good you should go to Navadvipa, and there, in the company of Surabhi, perform austerities. In that way you will be excused." Indra thus understood that Krsna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Up until the time of that abhiseka, Krsna was known as Yasoda-nandana and Nanda-nandana Krsna. Now, He would also be known as Govinda. Go indicates gopa, gopi, go (cow), govatsa (calf) and Veda. Krsna gives pleasure to all these gos and He also protects them; therefore His name is Govinda. Govinda and Govardhana are in the same line: He has the same duty, the same function, as Giriraja Govardhana (vardana means to nourish). Now our Govardhana-puja is completed. Giriraja is Krsna Himself; and moreover, He has come from the heart of Radhika. He can fulfill our every desire very easily, and he can even give krsna-prema. He very rarely does so, but he can. We should also remember that the Annakuta Mohotsava was also performed by Srila Madhavendra Puripada, as we saw in the drama play. Madhavavendra Puri went to Vrajabumi,Vrndavana, and there he stayed on the banks of Govinda-kunda at Govardhana. One day, after taking his bath, he sat beneath a tree on the banks of Govinda-Kunda. Krsna came there in the form of a cowherd boy and said to him, "Oh, why you sitting here, starving. No one starves here. My mother has sent some milk. Please drink it." Madhavendra Puri thought, "Throughout my entire life I have never been attracted by any human, and especially to any lady, but now I am attracted to this boy. Who is He?" He took the milk and he began to weep, his heart melting. Then he cried, "Oh! That cowherd boy was actually Krsna, and now He has left me." And he wept bitterly. In the last part of the night Madhavavendra Puri had a dream. In that dream he saw that same boy, that very Gopala, come to him and say, "I have been here, waiting in this bush for you for a very long time; and now you have come. I'm feeling very hungry and very hot. Please make a temple for Me, and perform My abhiseka ceremony and Annakuta festival (festival in which there is cooked rice that is stacked like a small mountain) so that I shall feel satisfied." When Madhavavendra Puri awoke, he fixed his mind on executing the order of the Lord. After his morning bath he gathered some of the villagers and together they went to the kunja where Gopala was waiting and that kunja is still there today, nearby Govardhana. After clearing away the thick bushes, they very easily dug Him out and took Him to the top of Govardhana Hill. They erected a throne from stones there – one piece for the seat and one to support Him from behind. Then they began to worship Him. Annakuta was performed for several months. Many wealthy persons from Mathura heard that Gopala had arrived and they became very happy. They brought all types of paraphernalia, such as gold, cloth, scents and bhoga. Cooking was performed for Thakurji daily, and for many months lakhs and lakhs of people honored the maha-prasadam of Gopala at that place. After 2 years Gopala again came in a dream to Madhavavendra Puri and said, "I'm satisfied by taking all of your offerings, but My body is still hot. Can you bring malaya-candana sandalwood from Jagannath Puri?" Thus, Madhavavendra Puri once again set off to fulfill the desires of the Lord. We are very lucky to be in the line of Madhavavendra Puri. Every year, in the month of Kartika, we observe the Annakuta Mohotsava (festival) of Giriraja Govardhana, and hundreds of devotees attend. There we worship Giriraja Govardhana Himself, not one piece (as Govardhana-sila). Actually, although a piece of Govardhana and Govardhana Hill Himself are one, still, Govardhana Hill in Vrndavana has a special glory. In Vrndavana we worship Govardhana with many pounds, not only a little, of milk, ghee, and yogurt, with many types of preparations – even more than here in Badger. Many of you have been to our Kartika-vrata and have personally seen this festival. We are fortunate to take part. We will continue to perform this festival every year; and we will do so until our life in this world is over. We cannot obtain pure bhakti without the mercy of Govardhana. Many sweet pastimes take place at Govardhana. For example, Srimati Radhika, Lalita and Visakha and the other gopis are on their way to the fire sacrifice of Bhaguri Rsi. During their journey there is a discussion with Krsna. Krsna wants to check them and make them pay a toll tax, the gopis defeat Him, and He has to apologize. There is so much history there, and it is all coming in our mind and hearts. Wherever you are, you can worship Giriraja by mind and pray: krsna-prasadena samasta-saila- samrajyam apnoti ca vairino pi sakrasya yah prapa balim sa saksad govardhano me disatam abhistam "May Govardhana Hill fulfill my deepest desire – to get darsana of Sri Radha and Krsna's lilas. By Sri Krsna's mercy Govardhana became the emperor of all mountains, and received the offerings meant for Indra despite Indra's enmity." (Sri Govardhanastakam, verse 1) yatraiva krsno vrsabhanu-putrya danam grhitum kalaham vitene sruteh sprha yatra mahaty atah sri govardhano me disatam abhistam "Demanding a road tax, Krsna quarreled for several hours at Dan Ghati with the daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Rasika-bhaktas visiting Govardhana are eager to listen to that sweet prema quarrel. May that Govardhana fulfill my desire that I also can hear that verbal battle." (Sri Govardhanastakam, verse 3) These prayers will do as much for you as worshipping Govardhana Himself, because there are many moods contained within them. Try to pray in this way. This is bhajana. Gaura premanande.
  9. Varsana, Vraj-mandala, India October 12, 1996 Devotee: Why do we celebrate Dipavali, and in what mood is it celebrated by Vrajavasis? Srila Bhativedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Dipavali means a time of happiness. When Lord Rama defeated Ravana and reached Ayodhya, a big Dipavali festival was performed there. Sri Vamanadeva wanted to cheat Bali Maharaja. He did not cheat him; rather he gave his mercy, although it seemed that he was cheating. When Bali Maharaja was offered a benediction from the Lord, he requested, "Always remain in my home." In this way the Lord Himself was cheated. Lord Vamana was very glad, and he agreed to stay there forever. Due to great happiness, Bali Maharaja then asked all his associates to hold a Dipavali festival, and that was the first Dipavali. When Krsna defeated Duryodhana and returned to Dvaraka, a Dipavali was also celebrated there. Lord Krsna Himself, along with Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and all other Vrajavasis, came here and celebrated this festival with their own hands. In other words they themselves offered dipa (a lighted ghee wick) and rendered many other services. Divali also means light. If there is no bhajana of Krsna there is darkness, and in Krsna Consciousness there is light. We celebrate this function in order to give up darkness and to bring the light of bhakti, pure devotion. This is the same celebration. Real happiness comes from playing karatalas and mrdangas. If one hears this, and if maya hears, maya will go away at once. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought the sankirtana movement to this world to drive out maya. Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu do this Themselves, and we should try to follow Them.
  10. [By the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, 2017 Vraja Mandala Parikrama is going on smoothly. Today, the parikrama party went to Maan-sarovara, therefore we are sending out what Srila Maharaja spoke there in 2003:] You should take acamana * [See endnote 1] from this pond, thinking it to be the very svarupa (form) of Srimati Radhika – and pray for Her mercy.* [See endnote 2] During rasa-lila, Srimati Radhika saw that, "Krsna is dancing with Me, but at the same time He is dancing with all the other gopis. He tells lies like, 'I have given You My heart. You are My most beloved.' But now He is treating Me just like the others." She entered a sulky mood, a very angry mood, and at once began to weep. She left the rasa-mandala (the circle of the rasa dance) in Seva-kunja, crossed the Yamuna, and finally came to this lonely forest to hide Herself here. Rasa stopped, because Sri Krsna began searching for Her – searching, searching, searching. When He finally found Her He saw that She was weeping, and that a large pond was created from Her tears. Thus, this place is called Maan Sarovara, the sarovara (pond) made from the maan (transcendental loving jealous anger) of Srimati Radhika. Sri Krsna pacified Her here, although to pacify Her was very hard for Him. He took Her lotus feet upon His head, tried to appease Her in many ways, and He also took a vow: "From now onwards I will never do anything wrong. I accept that I have committed a mistake. I have offended you, but I promise that I will never do this in the future." You can see how beautiful these forest kunjas are. There were millions of groves and kunjas here at that time. When Srimati Radhika or Sri Krsna were hiding themselves in any kunja, it was very difficult for them to discover where the other was hidden. At that time the trees were not like this. Now they are feeling separation for Srimati Radhika and Lord Krsna and are about to die. These trees know all the sweet pastimes of Srimati Radhika's hiding from Krsna, as well as all other such lilas, and now they cannot see these manifest in this world. We have brought you all to see how beautiful these kunjas are. At that time these trees were straight and covered with lush creepers, though now they are lying down. No unauthorized person was able see through them, to see who was there or not. At that time the kunjas where so large that rasa-lila and all other related pastimes used to take place in them. Millions of gopis could fit in them. At that time Vrndavana forest was only forest. There were not many houses as there are today. According to the desire of Lord Krsna, the kunjas and land could expand and reduce in size. You are very lucky to come with me to very beautiful places like this one. Previously we used to perform parikrama by foot. From Balevan we used to cross the Jamuna by boat, and then walk here by the shore of Jamuna in 20 – 30 minutes, and then we would return to Vrndavana. Now I cannot do so, but I want that one day you should also try to do parikrama by foot. I brought you here to touch this place, and to touch the feet of these trees. These trees are exalted devotees. They previously saw the Lord's pastimes as trees, and now they are performing austerities in this form. One day they will have gopi forms, and at that time they will be able to enter rasa-lila and other such pastimes. This scenery is so beautiful. If anyone has a camera he should take a picture of it. Birds are sitting here, and the water is very lovely and tasty. You are lucky to have come to this exalted holy place. Now I request you all to take prasadam. Brahmacaris and sannyasis will sit here on one side and ladies will be on the other side. At once, without delay, please go and sit – because we do not have much time. [* Endnote 1 – Acamana - a ritual of purification by which one takes bath by mantra and sips water three times. At the holy places one chants the acamana mantra, om kesavaya namah etc., and then prays to the particular pond or river or lake, "You have personally witnessed the pastimes of Radha and Krsna here, so you are qualified to manifest those pastimes in my heart. Please bestow your mercy upon me so that I may one day be qualified to see those pastimes. Please manifest in my heart what you have seen." [*Endnote 2 – (We asked Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja what Srila Gurudeva may have said at any other time as to why, since both Maan Sarovara and Radha-kunda are both the svarupa of Srimati Radhika, Radha-kunda is superior. He replied, "The midday pastimes took place there at Sri Radha-kunda as well as many other pastimes which are not possible at Maan Sarovara or anywhere else. Therefore Radha-kunda is superior to any other kunda. Still, this place is so sacred and exalted, and is also the very form and identity of Srimati Radhika.
  11. A Disappearance Day Lecture October 10, 2003; Mathura, India Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Which is greater – puja (worship) or stuti (making our offerings full of love). Simply ringing bells and performing arati is not sufficient. These activities should be full of emotions, bhava, and our hearts should be attached to the object of worship. During this month, if we pray to Sri Krsna, Srimati Radharani will be pleased, and if we pray to Srimati Radharani Krsna will be pleased. This is the way to make our offerings in this month. This month of Kartika comes after the rainy season. It is a very beautiful season and it has been described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Yamuna and other rivers, as well as all ponds and kundas, become very sweet and clean. Many flowers bloom and bumblebees hum over them. The atmosphere and weather at this time is very pleasing and Lord Krsna is in an ecstatic mood. He smiles with His flute in His hand and enters Vrndavana along with His brother. At this time there are many tulasi plants with manjaris on them, so many bumblebees humming over them, and cuckoos singing. The narration of the description of all this scenery it is so elegant and sweet, and therefore we can only imagine how beautiful the real Vraja with Krsna will be. All stimulants are present, and therefore Sri Krsna performs His rasa dance during this time. In this month many of the advanced and rasika Vaisnavas in our line disappeared or appeared. For example, Pujyapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and Pujyapada Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja disappeared in this month. Why did they leave during this month? They entered the rasa dance. Offering the newly published Harmonist magazine Especially, today is the anniversary of the disappearance of our Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja Today is a most auspicious day. Srila Gurudeva disappeared from this Earth and entered into rasa, and this fact was established by Pujyapada Sri Rupa-Siddhanti Maharaja. He declared that Srila Gurudeva entered into this pastime. He gave this thought to all his disciples and he established his samadhi along with his disciples. He established that Srila Gurudeva disappeared from this world in Saradiya-purnima. Gurudeva had a desire to enter into Sri Krsna’s Saradiya-rasa dance. He disappeared in the evening time when the moon was rising, as it is described in sastra regarding the commencement of Sri Krsna's rasa-lila. Whatever I explain from various scriptures, such as Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta and others, I received from my Gurudeva. We are enjoying his grant to us. In other words, by his endeavor we are preaching and doing bhajana. There is so much opposition, but because of him this opposition is ineffective. If the foundation of a building is very deep and strong, a good building can be erected. Similarly, because of his preaching we are now preaching very easily, without any difficulty or obstruction. Srila Narayana Maharaja offering arati to his Gurudeva We do not understand the value of guru, and especially of siksa-guru. If diksa and siksa-guru are the same person, that is a wonderful position. The importance of siksa-guru should be realized. He teaches his disciple in visrambha-bhava, intimacy. He does not have the awe and reverence relationship with his siksa disciple. I was very open and frank with my Gurudeva. I asked him many questions from texts such as Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. For example, I’d thought that the wives of Krsna are in srngara-rasa svakiya-bhava (wedded conjugal love), but Gurudeva said they are in dasya-bhava. I asked, “Why did you say they are only in dasya-bhava?" Gurudeva replied, “You will understand it later on.” Now I realize how he was correct. He made a platform and on that platform we are creating this castle. Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by him, and it is so much indebted to him. We, his first sannyasa disciples, understood him by serving him. Srila Vamana Maharaja and I used to spend a lot of time with him, and Srila Vamana Maharaja had even more chances than I to be with him. If one wants to be a real servant, he must be like Param-pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja. Srila Gurudeva used to be able to write a book in three days. He would speak so eloquently, and Srila Vamana Maharaja would write down his words so nicely, that no editing was required. A book would be ready without the delay of editing and proofreading. He disappeared on this day, and that is not an ordinary thing. From his childhood he displayed the characteristics of an elevated devotee. His mother was a very strong lady, and she showered her affection and disciplined him. When he came home late one night his mother was waiting for him with a stick in her hand – waiting to chastise him. She asked, "Why are you late?" He stared at her and didn't say anything for some time. When she asked again and again, he said softly, "My friends and I have made a club and we are making a fund. Whatever money we get, we don't spend on ourselves. We use it to help the poor, downtrodden, and diseased people. Today there was an old lady who had cholera, an infectious disease, and nobody was there to look after her. The doctor prescribed medicines, and she became a bit relieved by this medicine. I left a colleague there with her and came home, but I have come late." When Gurudeva's mother heard this, she began to weep, the stick fell from her hand, and she said, "I will never chastise you again." Parama-gurudeva was extremely compassionate toward other living entities from his childhood, so when he accepted his Gurudeva, how much greater was his condition? I used to go here and there, preaching with him, and he walked so fast that it was not possible to keep up with him. I’d thought I was a good sportsman, a good runner and fast walker, but I used to fall behind my Gurudeva’s pace. Srila Gurudeva was so much concerned for the living entities; he felt pain for all of them, and that is why he was able to preach so nicely. Now, we are preaching according to his teachings and because of his mercy.
  12. [September 23 and 24, 2017, around the world is the Divine Appearance day of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. In 2001, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja dictated this presentation in Hindi for his disappearnce day, and it was translated by Sripad Madhava-priya brahmacari.] All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga The following is a holy heartfelt offering (puspanjali) at the lotus feet of Parampujyapada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja in his divine remembrance: In November of 1946, I left my home and came to Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Sri Dhama Navadvipa. After a short time, in 1947, at the end of Sri Navadvipa Dhama Parikrama, which was held on the occasion of the divine appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I took shelter at the lotus feet of my most beloved om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He made my life successful by initiating me with harinama and diksa initiations. After celebrating the holy festival of Gaura Purnima and Sri Dhama Parikrama, I accompanied Gurudeva to one of the branches of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, namely Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha in Chinchurah. It was there, at Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha, that I had the audience of Parampujyapada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami's lotus feet for the first time. He had already accepted the renounced order on March 3, 1947 at Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Matha in Campahatti, from nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanas Maharaja, one of the prominent sannyasa disciples of jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada. I was very impressed by my meeting with him, and my most beloved Gurudeva, Sri Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, engaged me in his service. Every day I used to go with him to take bath in the Ganges nearby, carrying his outer garment, kaupin and kamandalu (water pot). After bathing, I carried his wet clothes and kamandalu, now filled with water, back to our Matha, and then I fed him prasadam. Moreover, I obeyed the many instructions he used to kindly give me on various occasions. I submissively put so many questions before him, and he used to reply to all my inquiries with great affection. During our discussions in those days, he used to tell me some things about his life history. His name was previously Pramoda Bhusana. His parents were religious and from the brahmana (Cakravarti) caste. He took birth on October 8, 1898 in the village of Gangananda Pura in the district of Jessore, in the present-day Bangladesa. From his very childhood he was fond of hari-kirtana, chanting the Lord's holy names. He felt so much pleasure in hearing hari-kirtana that sometimes he would become forgetful of his bodily condition. During his student life, he met a Gaudiya Vaisnava named Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura. Sri Bhaktiratnakara Thakura was the first person to introduce him to the books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After receiving the books he studied them thoroughly, and then he began to read Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in the association of that Vaisnava. After completing his B.Sc. degree at Calcutta University, he wanted to continue his education, but the burden of maintaining his family fell on his shoulders. He unwillingly left his studies and accepted employment at the Post Commission in Calcutta. It was during that period that he met jagad-guru nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada and was deeply influenced by hearing his powerful hari-katha. In 1923, on the auspicious occasion of Sri Krsna Janmastami, he received diksa from Srila Prabhupada at Ultadanga Gaudiya Matha and was given the name Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura was immensely satisfied by his steadiness, full surrender, loving service endowed with bhava, and especially his art of writing. Therefore, he gave him the responsibility of managing sankirtana, preaching, hari-katha, publishing the Dainika Nadia Prakasa, and writing articles for Sri Gaudiya Matha's journals. For the service of the brhad-mrdanga (book publication), Srila Puri Maharaja stayed in various places like Calcutta, Krsna Nagar, and Mayapura. For the sake of preaching gaura-vani, the message of Gaurasundara, he traveled not only throughout Bengal, but also to many places throughout India, and he met with great success. He sometimes traveled with his Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada, and sometimes with the senior intimate sannyasa disciples of Srila Prabhupada. In this way he served his Gurudeva by internal, mano'bhista seva, fulfilling his innermost cherished desires. After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja stayed for a few months with my beloved Gurupadapadma Sri Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja, and other god-brothers. I had a wonderful opportunity to serve him and hear his hari-katha during that period. He had so much affection for me that he used to consider me his disciple, and I used to respect him as I respected my Gurudeva. On numerous occasions he blessed me with abundant kindness. Once, when we were at Chinchurah Matha, we went together for bathing in the Ganga. I was carrying his cloth and water-pot, and also my own lota (cup) that I still had from my previous home life. I put them down on the ghata and we both entered the water of Bhagavati Bhagirathi for bathing. After bathing I found that my lota was gone. It had been carried away by the waves of the Ganga, which was very near the ocean at that place. Pujyacarana Puri Maharaja smiled and said, "You left your home, family, wife, son and wealth to become a renounced Vaisnava, so what need is there to be attached to a lota?" I was also smiling. Taking his wet clothes and water-pot, we returned to the matha. As long as he was present, every time we met he used to remind me of this pastime, and I also cannot forget the mercy he showed to me throughout my life. After a long time, Prapujya-carana Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was given the responsibility of serving the Deity of Sri Ananta Vasudeva of Kalna. The King of Vardhman was unable to serve this Deity. When he observed the pure disposition and devotion of Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja, he was immensely impressed and offered the service of Ananta Vasudeva to him. Later, Srila Puri Maharaja took charge of the temple along with his disciples. I also went to have his audience there many times at Kalna. I always saw him busy in writing. His pen never stopped. He used to spend every moment in writing articles about pure bhakti, whenever a chance came after completing his fixed number of rounds of harinama, serving the Deity, and studying the sastras. He also used to submit many articles to the journals of different Gaudiya Mathas. Especially, he was the editor-in-chief of "Sri Caitanya Vani", the journal of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja's Matha. In the last years of his life, he stayed in Sridhama Mayapura, where he established Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha at Isodyana. In the last stage of his life he stayed at Bankim Muhana Cakratirtha in Sri Purusottama Dhama. Finally, he entered into nitya-lila on November 22, 1999, at 2.07 am. Whenever I used to go to Sridhama Vrndavana, Sridhama Mayapura, or Calcutta, I had the good fortune to have the audience of his lotus feet. At that time I used to present to him whatever new publications we had produced from our Matha in the Hindi language, such as Jaiva Dharma, Caitanya Siksamrta, the Teachings of Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Bindu, Kirana and Kana, Upadesamrta, Manah Siksa, Raga Vartma Candrika and also some English publications. He was delighted to receive all these books from me, and in return he inspired and instructed me to publish more books of the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy. Whenever we would meet he would ask, "What new publications are coming in Hindi?" He was present to pacify us at the time our beloved Gurudeva entered into nitya-lila and also when the Samadhi Mandira was established at Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha. During his visit, he told us with a melting heart, "Vinoda Da (Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) was very affectionate to us. Whenever we knew that Vinoda Da was not in Mayapura, we would also cancel our scheduled program to visit Mayapura." He said that there was no one as warmly affectionate as Vinoda Da. In this way, Srila Puri Gosvami Maharaja was fully surrendered and one of the internal associates of Srila Prabhupada. At the time of performing kirtana and giving lectures he would close his eyes, which were brimming with tears, being incessantly immersed in the bhava of bhakti. He would express such deep realizations while discussing bhakti-tattva and rasa-tattva that his whole audience would be enchanted. He was the embodiment of Sriman Mahaprabhu's verse, "trnad api sunicena" (more humble than a blade of grass). He was a topmost self-realized devotee and always deeply appreciative of others' merit. Until this very day, I never saw him criticize anyone, and he even used to give inspiration and respect to this insignificant person who is thoroughly bereft of bhakti. I often saw him walking with his danda, traveling barefoot in Navadvipa Dhama and eighty-four krosa Vraja Mandala Parikrama. Even in his advanced age, I saw him doing parikrama, without eating and drinking, and always singing kirtanas and speaking hari-katha. I went to see him almost one month and fifteen days prior to his divine disappearance. At that time he was not speaking at all and he kept his eyes closed. I caught hold of his lotus feet and said, "I am your most insignificant servant, Narayana Maharaja." Upon hearing this, he caught both of my hands in his and gave me his blessings. Then he ordered his servants to give me prasadam. I do not know if he spoke to anyone else again after that moment. He entered into nitya-lila at the age of 101 years. He was expert in all siddhanta and a pure devotee in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, and I felt so much inspiration from his blessings and instructions. Now, after his entrance into the divine transcendental pastimes of the Lord, I am bereft of the touch of that hand which used to confer upon me profuse blessings and inspiration, and thus I feel a profound sadness in his absence. In this way I am offering sri sri puspanjali at the lotus feet of such a parama-niskincana (topmost renunciate) mahabhagavata (most superior devotee), Sri Sri Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. May he be pleased to shower his causeless mercy upon me. Vaisnava krpalesaprarthi, Tridandisvami Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
  13. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami MaharajaMay 25, 2001Alachua, Flordia [September 4 or 5, 2017, around the world, is the divine disappearance day of Srila Haridasa Thakura, the great teacher of the glories of the holy name. The following is Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture on his glorification, given on May 25, 2001 in Alachua, Florida:] Come with me to Jagannatha Puri, near to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Haridasa Thakura. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes are more deep than the ocean, more deep than even thousands upon thousands of oceans. No ordinary person can understand the Lord's pastimes, and even most devotees cannot realize them. One day Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "O Haridasa Thakura, in this world there are many uncultured and materialistic Mohammedans, Muslims, who want to control the world and make all people Muslims by the help of a sword or any other way. They address those who are not Muslims as 'Kafir,' meaning 'against God' (ka – fir). They tell their followers, "Somehow or other, by hook or by crook, make them Muslims." This is still their policy. They don't honor other religions. They don't chant the name Hari, Krsna, Govinda, or any other name of God, and they don't believe in the form of God at all. They are like mayavadis (impersonalists). Mahaprabhu inquired, "Is there any process by which they can be liberated?" Haridasa Thakura replied, "Once there was a Mohammedan, a Muslim, who while passing through a forest felt the urge to pass stool. As he sat somewhere in the forest for passing, a very powerful boar saw him from a distance and ran to attack him from the backside. As boars run one-pointed with their eyes closed, so that boar ran to kill the person from the backside by tearing him to pieces with his sharp teeth. As soon as the man saw that the boar was going to attack him, he called out, 'Ha rama! Ha rama!' Ha rama means 'condemned' or 'abominable' or 'impure.' He condemned that boar by calling out, 'Ha rama, ha rama!' "Hearing that man call out, 'Ha rama!' Krsna in the form of His incarnation Lord Rama considered, 'He is calling Me. I must go and help him.' Lord Rama came there at once, since He is non-different from His holy name. He gave that man liberation, and attainment of Vaikuntha-dhama. [*See endnote 1] This was all because the man had unknowingly chanted, 'O Lord Ramacandra' [ha means 'O', and Rama may refer to Lord Ramacandra]." The holy name is very powerful. If a person does not know the glories of the holy name and yet chants with respect, or even without respect, he will certainly achieve the fruits of chanting the holy names. He will not attain prema, but he will be liberated from this world – up to this. Or, he may gain much wealth. Moreover, if someone takes proper diksa and chants with honor, with a sense of a relation to Krsna, what will become of him? If he is under the guidance of any exalted rasika tattva-jnana Vaisnava, he will gradually attain sraddha (firm faith in sadhu, guru, and Krsna), nistha (steadiness in devotional service), ruci (taste for service and bhajana), and asakti (spontaneous attachment to Krsna). After that he will become liberated [*See endnote 2], and after that he will attain the stages of prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. We should try to continuously chant Krsna's name in this process, like Haridasa Thakura. If a person cannot do this, still, he will achieve liberation. He will not die. [*See endnote 3] Krsna's name will save him. But try to chant the name in the approved process. First associate with a highly qualified Vaisnava who will give you diksa, at which time you will receive divya-jnana, or all transcendental knowledge. You will then become detached from worldly desires, and very soon you will develop a thick relationship with Krsna that will manifest according to your constitutional form. You will gradually develop sraddha, nistha, ruci, and asakti, and after that rati. This rati is suddha-sattva as I explained yesterday. [*See endnote 4] This is all being explained by Srila Haridasa Thakura [in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, chapter 3]. Once, by the wish of Sri Krsna, Srila Haridasa Thakura came to see Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who was at that time at the premises of his father. Many learned persons and brahmanas had assembled there, and they were discussing the glories of the holy name. Some were telling that the holy name can give liberation, and others told that it can never give liberation; both parties were quarrelling. Upon the arrival of Haridasa Thakura, everyone honored him, and they asked him the same question with which they were struggling: "Can one achieve liberation by the holy name, or not?" Haridasa Thakura very humbly replied, "There is no need of the pure name for achieving liberation, for even by the semblance of the holy name anyone can very easily be liberated." [*See endnote 5] [Haridasa Thakura said, "As the sun begins to rise, even before it is visible it dissipates the darkness of night. With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts, and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord's holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Krsna. Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of the awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name. While dying, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, intending to call his son Narayana. Nevertheless, he attained the spiritual world. [*See endnote 6] What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with faith and reverence?" (Antya 3.183-187)] Hearing the words of Haridasa Thakura, a brahmana named Gopal Cakravarti became very angry and began to challenge him. All others warned Gopal not to challenge Haridasa Thakura, because of the Thakura's elevated position in bhakti, but still he challenged, "Even the name itself cannot give liberation, and you are telling us that namabhasa (the semblance of harinama) can give liberation?! If I am speaking the truth, then your nose will fall off due to leprosy, and if I am wrong and you are right, then my nose will fall off!" Everyone present became angry at that person, and the father of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami told him, "Get out from our assembly. I have no sympathy for you." He had been paying that person many thousands of rupees monthly for being his tax-collector, but now he said, "I have stopped all connection with you. Get out of my kingdom." After a couple of days, that brahmana's entire body was attacked by leprosy and his nose melted away. After many days, being extremely upset, he left for Aparadha-bhanjana-pata (the place where offences are destroyed) in Navadvipa. There he prayed to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "I have done wrong. I have committed offenses to the feet of a high-class Vaisnava. Please excuse me." Caitanya Mahaprabhu forgave this nama-aparadhi brahmana and instructed him to continuously chant the holy name. Gopala Cakravarti did so, and his leprosy soon disappeared, leaving him beautiful as before. And now, he was a devotee. So, Haridasa Thakura was a very exalted devotee. If you chant the holy name, a special kind of power comes to you; whatever you speak will become true. Your words will bear fruit. I have personally tested and examined this. Once I was chanting the holy name, thinking, "If I am chanting this name purely, then this must be done," and at once it was done. I have examined this so many times. If you are chanting the holy name purely and you tell someone, "Oh, you should die," then that person will die. Narada Rsi cursed the sons of Nalakuvera and Manigriva, "At once become trees," and by the power of his chanting of the holy name, they immediately began turning into trees. Once, Narada told someone, "Oh! You are now dead? Oh, Come on, Come on, Come on." That person immediately came alive and began to speak. This is the power of the holy name. Once, the ocean swallowed up a mother bird's eggs, which she had laid by the ocean's shore. Garuda came and told the ocean, "You should return the eggs to this bird." When he did not hear a reply, he breathed in, and by the power of the holy name he drank all of the ocean's water and the ocean became dry. You can also examine whether or not this is true. Chant for some years like Srila Haridasa Thakura, or like any pure devotee, and you will see so much power come to you. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was so powerful that in a couple of years he successfully preached everywhere. Why? He was always chanting the holy name. By the power of the holy name and his own bhakti, so many souls came under his shelter. And what I am doing? I am only chanting. I am also successful in my preaching by the power of the name. So, don't disbelieve in the holy name. You can very easily receive anything by this name – money, liberation, and all other things, and Haridasa Thakura is an example of this. He never wished ill to the person who challenged him, but that person became attacked by leprosy. We have seen so many scriptural references about Haridasa Thakura. Last night we explained about a prostitute who was about 16 to 20 years old. Although she tried to seduce Haridasa Thakura, by his grace she became a very prominent devotee. We should try to chant the holy name like him. Once, the very beautiful Maya-devi herself came to Haridasa Thakura on a full-moon night. He was staying in a solitary place on the side of the Ganges, where she went to him and prayed: "I see that you are the most beautiful man in the entire world, and you can see that I am also beautiful. Look at me for just a moment." But Haridasa Thakura was absorbed in chanting: "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." She spent the entire night with him, speaking so many words to allure him. In fact, she came there three nights in a row, but each night Haridasa Thakura told her, "Please wait. I have taken a vow to chant 300,000 names a day." Finally, at the end of the night of the third day she said to him with folded palms, "I am personally Maya-devi, the illusory energy of the Lord. I have cheated Sankara, Brahma the creator, Narada, Gautama, and so many others. I can cheat all others, but I am defeated by you. I am the same Maya, and now I am begging your mercy. Be pleased with me. I have received Rama-nama , but now I want to be initiated into the Krsna mantra. Please initiate me." She continued, "Mukti-hetuka taraka haya rama-nama, krsna-nama paraka haya kare prema-dana – The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation (taraka), [*See endnote 7] but the holy name of Krsna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience (paraka) and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krsna (Vraja-prema)." Being very merciful, Haridasa Thakura initiated her into Krsna-nama. Although both Ramacandra and Krsna are the same by tattva (philosophical truth), there is some speciality in Rama. What speciality? First, those who take shelter of Rama cannot achieve the position of Sita. And second, Rama sometimes gives up Sita for no reason. Believing the words of a very bogus washer-man, Rama gave up Sita for His entire life. [*See endnote 8] What was the fault, or offence, of Sita-devi that Ramacandra gave Her up? She had no fault. But Rama believed in the words of a washer-man, who had indirectly convinced Him to leave her. So, if you are chaste in your service to Rama, He may reject you also. We fear this may happen. With Krsna, on the other hand, even the hunchback prostitute Kubja can come to Him and say, "Oh, I have taken your shelter; please accept me," and He will accept her. Do you know Narakasura? He conquered all the kings of India and then collected all the beautiful princesses for his personal enjoyment. Krsna knew about this from Narada Rsi. He went and killed that demon, and He told the sixteen-thousand princesses, "Now you are independent. You can easily go to your fathers, mothers, and others. I will arrange for your return home." But what did they say? "We don't want to return. No one will accept us now, because we have been in the house of Narakasura. So, we have taken Your shelter. Please give us the chance to serve Your queens. We will sweep and cook for them, and we will massage them. Somehow, please give us shelter." Krsna then took them all on His bird-carrier, Garuda, who expanded to a very large size and carried them all to Dvaraka. Krsna also expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, married them all, and lived with them in separate palaces as His queens. Rama cannot do this. Can He marry with anyone except Sita? And He can also reject Sita. In fact, in the end, He also left His brother, Laksmana, forever. These scenes are all full of extreme pathos. So, we will go to Krsna. ["All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha." (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)] Krsna has promised to reciprocate with our surrender to Him, so we can believe in Him. Sometimes Krsna becomes cruel in His form of Ramacandra in Rama-lila, but Krsna Himself is very humble and sweet to all. In her prayer to Haridasa Thakura, Maya-devi herself glorified Krsna as being more merciful than Rama In her ecstatic love in separation for Krsna, glorifying Him indirectly in the form of rebuke, Srimati Radhika uttered these words: ["Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with lusty desires. And even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can't give up talking about Him." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.47.17)] The gopis told Uddhava, "Go and tell Krsna, 'We have nothing more to do with Him. We don't want to have any further relation with Him. If He can give us up, we can also give Him up. But what can we do? Our hearts can never give Him up. This is the problem. How cruel He is. All black people are cruel, not only this fellow. All black fellows are cruel. "There was another black person in Treta-yuga (Lord Ramacandra). A very beautiful lady came to Him and said, 'I love you. I want to marry you.' That black person replied, 'Oh, I will have only one wife. I cannot marry a second. It will be better for you to go to My younger brother, Laksmana. He has no wife.' "Actually, although Laksmana's wife was not with Him in the forest, He was married; so Rama had said this only as a trick. That lady then went to Laksmana, who told her, 'Do you want to be a queen, or do you want to be a maidservant? If you marry Me, you will have to be a servant of Rama's wife, because She is My queen. I am a servant, so you will be a servant. If you want to be a queen, then marry Rama. Rama can have so many wives.' "She again came to Rama, but again Rama said, 'Oh, I cannot do this; better that you go to my younger brother.' Rejected by Rama, she again went to Laksmana, and was again sent to Rama; and thus she became upset. She wanted to kill Sita, and Rama cut off her ears and nose to stop her. "Why did He do so? He was lusty. Just to please his wife, He wanted to cut off that other lady's nose. He could have humbly told her, 'I cannot do this.' But He was joking with her and making fun of her. That is why she became furious. He could have humbly told her, 'Oh, I cannot do this. You should go to your husband, or anyone else.' But why did he do what He did? Because He was cruel. "And third is Vamanadeva. What did He do? He took all the possessions of Bali Maharaja and bound him in a snake-rope. Bali Maharaja was weeping. Somehow Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma arrived, and Brahma challenged, "What are You doing?" And then He left. There are so many deep meanings in these pastimes, but we have no time now to describe all those deep truths. Let us return to our subject. Regarding Rama-nama: 'Rama' refers to Ramacandra, and 'Rama' also refers to Krsna Himself. In the maha-mantra, which embodies 'Hare Krsna' and 'Hare Rama,' Hare indicates Radhika and Rama indicates Radha-Ramana Krsna. Krsna is also called Rama, so Hare Rama indicates Radha-Krsna. It is stated in scriptures like Visnu Purana that three Rama names equal one name of Krsna. Rama's name is equal to Krsna's name when Rama refers not to Ramacandra but to Radha-Ramana Krsna – and in that connection it is sometimes superior to Krsna. There are so many things to understand here. Haridasa Thakura has four qualities: [One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the hold name of the Lord. (Siksastakam, verse 3)] How is Haridasa Thakura su-nicena? He used to think, "I am Muslim. I am not qualified to go to Jagannatha's temple." He never used to walk on the many streets of Jagannatha Puri, because he was trnad api su-nicena. When he was staying with Advaita Acarya in Santipura, Advaita Acarya insisted on honoring him. All Advaita Acarya's relatives were assembled at His home, along with many brahmanas, as it was the day of their forefathers' sraddha ceremony. During this ceremony, the plate of prasadam offered to the forefathers is then offered to the best of the brahmanas in the assembly. Instead of offering the first plate to any other brahmana present, Advaita Acarya offered it to Haridasa Thakura, considering him greater than any of the foremost brahmanas. Haridasa began to weep, saying, "I am not qualified. I am a Muslim." But what did Advaita Acarya reply? "If I give you this offering, this will be the best thing in the universe. All of my forefathers will be liberated if you take this." Seeing this, all the brahmanas present became angry at Advaita Acarya and said, "By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here! We don't like your behavior. Your actions are opposed to the principles of caste consideration." And, taking their water pots, they all stood up to leave. Advaita Acarya replied, "I don't care if you go. You can go. I want only bhakti. You are foolish persons." [*See endnote 9] Soon afterward, those brahmanas returned and fell flat on the lotus feet of Advaita Acarya, and also to the lotus feet of Haridasa Thakura. Haridasa Thakura is surely 'out of caste,' as they challenged, in the sense that he is superior to a paramahamsa. He is a combination of Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma. So, we should try to follow Haridasa Thakura, always chanting the holy name and being, trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna. [To Prema-prayojana dasa] Can you prove that he is su-nicena? Prema-prayojana dasa: Srila Haridasa Thakura was very popular. The Muslim king was thinking, "This Haridasa Thakura is giving a bad reputation to Islam. He is born in a Muslim family, so why is he chanting the name of a Hindu God?" He called him to his council and said, "You should not chant the name of Krsna anymore. You should be a very good Muslim and chant the name of Allah. If you don't do this, there will be a severe punishment for you." Haridasa Thakura replied: "My dear sir, you can cut my body into thousands of pieces, and I may give up my life, but my tongue cannot give up the chanting of this name: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." The King then ordered that Haridasa Thakura be beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should hear this. Oh, my dear friend, what are you counting? You should hear this. You should give your ears to this hari-katha. What are you counting? Hear this attentively, and don't allow your mind to wander. Prema Prayojana dasa: The soldiers took Haridasa Thakura to the marketplace, where they had very strong and powerful whips and were beating him. Usually in one marketplace one will die, because the beating is so severe. First the skin breaks, and then it is cut, and then the skin begins to come off. They were beating him in every market place until there was no skin, no flesh, and even his bones were broken. Like a miracle, he was still chanting the holy name. They couldn't believe it. Sometimes, while they were beating him, Haridasa Thakura would look towards them and smile very compassionately. He could see they were sweating from the hard labor of thrashing him. He would say, "I hope your arms are not feeling pain from all of this beating." He was very humble. After some time, they became afraid, thinking, "If he doesn't die, the king will kill us." They revealed to him, "The king will kill us if you don't die." Haridasa Thakura thought, "I don't want to give any trouble or inconvenience to others." At once he went into samadhi and it seemed he passed away. They took his body and threw it into the Ganges. The next moment he came out of the Ganges and his body was strong and healthy again. This is the power of harinama. Haridasa Thakura is Lord Brahma and Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada was beaten and tortured by his father, but he never complained or was disturbed. Lord Brahma has said: ["My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.] It is only a matter of time until a person attains the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. What kind of person? That person who in the midst all kinds of difficulties, problems, and adverse conditions says to himself, "It is not your fault; you are not beating me. My own karma is beating me. I have done this to myself. It is my fault." One who patiently tolerates and considers himself to be the cause of all his problems, and at the same time takes shelter with body, mind, and words in Krsna, that person will easily come to Krsna's eternal service and be happy forever. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes with devotees like Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Sikhi Mahiti, Madhavi-devi, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Vakresvara Pandita, Sri Gopinatha Acarya, Kasisvara, Vaninatha Raya, Govinda, Gopala Guru; and all the Gaudiya bhaktas like Sivananda Sena, Raghava Pandita, and Kavi Karnapura as a baby and small boy. And especially, He performed pastimes with Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, and Haridasa Thakura. Maya-devi personally told Haridasa: ["There is now a flood of the eternal nectar of love of Godhead due to the incarnation of Lord Caitanya. All living entities are floating in that flood. The entire world is now thankful to the Lord." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.254)] The flood of full prema, vraja-prema, was present everywhere during Mahaprabhu's pastimes. Everywhere there were waves of that flood. ["Anyone who does not float in this inundation is most condemned. Such a person cannot be delivered for millions of kalpas." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.255)] Those waves are still going on today, and those who are fortunate can take bath in the flood. Those who are not taking this bath are very unfortunate. Chara means 'wretched' and 'fallen.' Koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara – if you are not taking bath in that flood of love and affection of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then millions of your births will go in vain; you'll gain nothing. In this human form, at this present time, you are very near to that flood, as only four or five hundred years have passed since Mahaprabhu's time. Still, so many waves are coming. Try to take bath in this, and thus become fortunate enough to very easily attain kr?na-prema. We are helping you. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to help you. He preached, "Give up all these bogus things that you are thinking can give you happiness. Such things can never give you happiness. Wealth cannot give you any happiness, and your relatives cannot give you anything. Your home is opulent with so many facilities. You can turn on a switch and your restroom will come, by another switch your kitchen room will come, or your dish will come, or your office will come. But give up all these facilities. They cannot help you at all." Please chant the holy name like Haridasa Thakura: Never wish for reputation. Don't try to hear your own glories. Rather, give proper honor to all Vaisnavas. This is the teaching of Haridasa Thakura. Let us try to obey him from today; not today, just now. Chant always, without any interruption, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." One thing more: In the last days of Haridasa Thakura, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to him daily to give His darsana, along with all His associates, just after the morning arati of Jagannathadeva, He also used to send so much maha-prasadam for Haridasa Thakura through the hands of Govinda, His own servant. What was Govinda? Mahaprabhu's servant, or disciple, or what? [*See endnote 10] One day, when Govinda brought some prasada, Haridasa Thakura told him, "Today I shall fast, because I have not completed my regular number of rounds." So how can I eat? But you have brought maha-prasada, so how can I neglect it?" Haridasa then offered pranama to the prasadam and took a small morsel. Worried, Govinda returned to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and said, "I went with prasadam to serve him, but he said, 'I am feeling some sickness.' I think that he is not in good health." The next day Mahaprabhu went to see Haridasa, with all His associates – Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, and others – and said, "How are you feeling?" Haridasa Thakura answered, "Oh, I am feeling sick." Mahaprabhu asked, "What is your sickness?" Haridasa Thakura replied, "My body is okay, but my sickness is that I have not completed my chanting of three lakhs holy names (300,000 names or 192 rounds). I cannot chant. My fingers do not move. Oh! This is my sickness." Can you try to be like this? We should try to be like this. This is our only disease – that we have no taste in chanting the holy name, and that we are not chanting. Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Haridasa, "Now you are perfect. There is no need to chant so much. As much as you can chant, that will be sufficient." But Haridasa said, "I don't want to live in this world for long. I know that very soon You will disappear from here, and I don't want to see that very pathetic scene. I want to leave my body with my head in Your lap. In that way, I will see Your golden face and chant Your holy name: Saci-nandana Gaura Hari! Gaura Hari! I want to give up this body in this way." Mahaprabhu told him, "I perform My pastimes with you. If I don't have My associates like you, then there are no pastimes. Let Me not be alone in this world. I don't want you to go." But Haridasa Thakura again and again requested, "I don't want to see this pathetic scene. Please be merciful to me." On the next morning, Caitanya Mahaprabhu assembled all the devotees with Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, and He returned to perform parikrama of Haridasa Thakura with kirtana and so many mrdangas and karatalas: Requesting His devotees to continue kirtana, He sat down near Haridasa Thakura. He took the head of Haridasa upon His lap. Haridasa was only seeing towards His lotus face and calling out, "Saci-nandana Gaurahari! Gaurahari! Gaurahari," and he left his body at once. Mahaprabhu began to weep, and all the devotees began to weep in an intense separation mood. Then, Caitanya Mahaprabhu took Haridasa's body in His arms and placed him from His arms onto a chariot. What kind of chariot? As we see in Indian Vedic custom. The devotees made a chariot like this, and with nagara-sankirtana they proceeded toward the shore of the ocean. During the devotees' kirtana and parikrama, Caitanya Mahaprabhu bathed Haridasa's divine body in the sea with His own hands, and declared that spot to have become a great pilgrimage site. He and His devotees anointed Haridasa's body with Lord Jagannatha's sandalwood. He placed Haridasa in Samadhi and personally covered his body with sand, after which all the devotees did so. A temporary samadhi mandir was established, and later on a permanent mandira was built. Caitanya Mahaprabhu announced, "Those who were singing here, those who have done parikrama of Haridasa Thakura, those who gave even one palmful of sand, and those who are in this viraha maha-mahotsava festival will very soon achieve Krsna's favor. He also announced that He wanted to collect prasadam from all the shopkeepers. All the shopkeepers began to give all their stocks, but Svarupa Damodara told them, "We don't want everything from you. Please give only a small amount." In this way, each shopkeeper gave a small amount of his various preparations. Someone gave dahl, someone vegetables, rice, and so on, and the combined quantity became sufficient. Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat all the devotees down and personally began to distribute the prasadam along with a few others, but Svarupa Damodara and everyone else requested Him, "If You are not sitting and taking, then no one else will take." Then, Mahaprabhu sat down and uttered the prayer to maha-prasada: Maha-prasadam ki jaya! Harinama sankirtana ki jaya! Srila Haridasa Thakura ki jaya! Samagata bhakta-vrnda ki jaya! Gaura premanande! Hari hari bol! [*Endnote 1: Liberation in this connection means that in the man's next life he entered into the proper process to begin his bhakti, and ultimately he attained Vaikuntha-dhama. (Sripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)] [*Endnote 2: Liberation in this connection meaning that he will attain bhava-bhakti and have his first realization of his relationship with Krsna and services to Him. He sees within himself his own spiritual form and the forms of Krsna and His associates. (Sripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)] [*Endnote 3: In this connection, 'He will not die' means that he will not be thrown by the constables of Yamaraja, the god of death, into hellish planets and lower species of life as a result of his past sins. He will get an opportunity for devotional service in his next life. "Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krsna consciousness carries a person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the loss of the body" (Bhagavad-gita 2.40 purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja).] [*Endnote 4: When our object is to attain rati (transcendental mood), and for this, with these material senses, tongue and mind, we will perform sadhana, then it will be sadhana, otherwise not. First there should be an object that, "I want to attain rati." But, what is rati? What is that desired mood, which should be the object of our devotional activities. Then: ["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krsna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava ." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 23.5)] What is bhava? You should know. If you don't know what is bhava, or rati, then how can it be your object of attainment? If you don't know this, how can you perform sadhana (devotional practices performed with the purpose of attaining bhava)? You may be performing sadhana-abhasa (a shadow of sadhana) or lower than that; not actually bhakti. We are all in this category. We must know the meaning of sattva and suddha-sattva. Sattva means existence, and it is of two kinds; suddha-sattva and misra-sattva. All souls who are now captured in material things are misra-sattva, and those who give up these material conceptions and adopt the transcendental conception of thinking themselves as infinitesimal parts of the Supreme Lord are called suddha-sattva. Then, suddha-sattva visesatma: Baladeva Prabhu is the origin of all suddha-sattva jivas, as well as everything existing in this world. Baladeva Prabhu is the personification or predominating Deity of Krsna's sandhini-sakti, His existence potency; everything coming from sandhini-sakti is suddha-sattva. Visesatma denotes Hladini-sakti (Radhika being the predominating Deity) and samvit-sakti (Krsna being the predominating Deity) of the svarupa-sakti of Krsna (Radhika being the predominating Deity of svarupa-sakti). Samvit means knowledge, and from knowledge this mood will come: all kinds of bhavas to serve Krsna that are in Radhika may come partly. Such moods are full of love and affection, with ananda (unlimited bliss). This is visesa – the essence of hladini-sakti and samvit-sakti, coming on the platform of sandini. Devotees receiving such mercy will have suddha-sattva visesatma descend in their hearts.] [*Endnote 5: The meaning of this statement is explained in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: "In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear." It is further explained in the purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja: "Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krsna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord"] [*Endnote 6: When Ajamila chanted the four syllables of the name Narayana, the four Visnudutas appeared to save him from the ropes of the Yamadutas, the constables of the god of death. By seeing them and hearing their words, Ajamila was inspired to leave home and perform severe austerities and engage in devotional service to the Lord. When his service became perfect he again saw those Visnudutas, and this time they took him on a celestial airplane to Vaikuntha - ed.] [*Endnote 7 (Lord Rama easily offers the two types of Vaikuntha liberation as described here in Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of July, 2002, in France) The bhakti-creeper then goes to paravyoma (the spiritual sky), which is beyond even Siva-loka. Paravyoma, where there is no mixing in brahma, is divided into two sections. The lower of the two is like Vaikuntha, but is not actually Vaikuntha, and the jiva can also go there. It is the Vaikuntha planet within the material world, and it is called Rama-priya Vaikuntha. In that realm there is seva-sukha-uttara. There, the devotee wants to serve Lord Narayana, but he also wants the happiness accrued from the attainment of the four spiritual opulences. That desire for happiness is not like ours, for the devotees there do not have material bodies; still, that desire is not pure. In the higher section there is prema-seva-uttara; the devotee only wants to serve Narayana with love. There is great aisvarya (opulence) in the Vaikuntha planets: one can have the same bodily features as Narayana (sarupya), he can live on the same planet with Him (salokya), he can have equal opulence (sarsti), and he can have association with the Lord. But a Vaisnava never wants these four types of liberation; he solely wants to serve.] Narayana-loka, Nrsimha-loka, Rama-loka (Ayodhya), and many other such lokas are within the Paravyoma, and the bhakti-creeper passes beyond all of them. It crosses beyond Narayana-bhakti, Nrsimha-bhakti, and Ramacandra-bhakti. The devotee will say, "I don't want that," and that creeper then goes to Goloka. [*Endnote 8 – Rama and Sita devi stayed together for many years, and everyone was very happy within their kingdom. Some people, however, criticized Rama for accepting Sita back after she had been staying in the palace of Ravana. According to Vedic principles, it is unacceptable to accept one's wife after her being away for one night, what to speak of one year. One evening, the wife of a washer-man came home late. Her husband immediately told her that she could not enter the house. He threw her out saying, "I am not like Rama, who accepted His wife after she'd been with another man." This news spread and the story got back to Rama. He was most disturbed, and realized that He had to do something to rectify the situation. How could He rule a kingdom where some of the people did not have faith in Him? He called a meeting, asking all of His brothers to come, but none of them could give Him any advice. He Himself then realized what to do. He remembered that Sita wanted to visit all the sages in the forest and shower them with gifts. He asked Laksmana to take Her to the asramas of all the sages, deliver His sorrowful message to Her, and then leave Her in the forest. Laksmana was devastated that He was called upon to do this, but He could not say anything as he was Rama's younger brother. He therefore had to accept that responsibility. (Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of April 13, 2000)] [*Endnote 9 - Haridasa Thakura was born in a Muslim family. At the sraddha ceremony for Advaita Acarya's father, the highest seat and prasada were to be offered first to the most elevated person. Advaita Acarya was performing the ceremony when the moon was in the appropriate place in the month of Ashwina. All the high-class brahmanas were there – Bhattacarya, Trivedi, Caturvedi, Upadhyaya – and all of them were great scholars. After washing their feet, Advaita Acarya showed them to their respective seats. In front was an elevated seat, and Advaita Prabhu was standing and thinking, "Who will I seat here?" All of the scholars were thinking, "I know so many scriptures; certainly I will be offered that seat." Silently they were all aspiring for it. Advaita Acarya then went outside the house and saw Haridasa Thakura, wearing a langoti and sitting at the door. Haridasa was thinking, "The brahmanas will take their meal here, so Advaita Acarya will certainly give us a little of their prasada." He had so much humility that he was thinking that if he were to go inside, the house would be contaminated. At once Advaita Acarya embraced him, and Haridasa Thakura said, "Oh, you are a brahmana and I am a Muslim! Having touched me, you must now go and bathe." But grabbing him and taking him inside, Advaita Acarya sat him on the elevated seat, at which time there was a great outcry in all directions. The brahmanas said, "By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here!" Taking their water pots, they all stood up and left. They were abusing Advaita Acarya, saying, "You are opposed to the principles of dharma!" But Advaita Acarya said, "Today my birth has become successful, and today my father has attained Vaikuntha. By giving respect to one Vaisnava, today, millions of my ancestors have crossed over maya. If Haridasa Thakura will eat here, that is greater than feeding millions of brahmanas." Haridasa Thakura was crying, thinking, "Because of me, all these brahmanas have been insulted and are not eating." But Advaita Acarya said, "Haridasa, today you will certainly take prasada here. That will be our great good fortune." Then he said to the brahmanas, "He will stay, and none of you will get prasada. Actually, you should all leave here quickly, because just seeing your faces is a great sin. Haridasa has great regard for maha-prasada, and therefore he is included within the Vaisnava class. Anyone who doesn't accept this is an atheist, and one who judges a Vaisnava by his birth is an atheist. You can all go away from here, and then your offences will leave with you. You are offending Haridasa, and offending me as well." All the scholars left the house, but outside, as they were going, they began speaking amongst themselves. "Advaita Acarya is no ordinary personality. He is a great scholar, he knows all of the scriptures, and he is an exalted preacher of bhakti." They continued deliberating, and after fully reconsidering, they returned, fell at Advaita Prabhu's feet, and begged forgiveness. (From Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Sri Prabhandavali, Chapter 7)] [*Endnote 10: Both Kasisvara and Govinda were god-brothers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and thus the Lord duly honored them as soon as they arrived. But because Isvara Puri had ordered them to give Caitanya Mahaprabhu personal service, the Lord accepted their service. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10.140)]
  14. The One Real Entity

    [Respected Readers, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. This year, the divine appearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is September 3 and 4 around the world. In Germany, in December of 2001, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave a course on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's book, Sri Jaiva-dharma. In that book, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura shares with his readers the essence of spiritual life from A to Z through a series of wonderful conversations rich with profound questions and unimaginable answers. The following conversation takes place between Sannyasi Thakura and his spiritual master, Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja. Previously, Sannyasi Thakura had been an impersonalist scholar who believed that the Absolute Truth is impersonal and that individual souls are not really individual, but are one in all respects with that impersonal Supreme Being. Since surrendering to his spiritual master, who is an exalted, self-realized devotee of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, Sannyasi Thakura has given up his impersonalist ideas. In Srila Narayana Maharaja's class, he is explaining one of the conversations between this sincere disciple and his self-realized guru. Sannyasi Thakura is asking about the nature of the soul and Reality. In his answer, Paramahamsa Babaji is explaining some important Sanskrit terms from the ancient Vedic literature. You may find that there are a few terms that are new for you, especially vastu, meaning substance or entity or object, vastava-vastu, meaning eternal, truly abiding, real entity or object, and avastava-vastu, meaning temporary, non-abiding, entity or object. By reading Srila Narayana Maharaja's explanation, we may understand the significance of these terms in our lives. The Harikatha Team] The One Real Entity December 15, 2001 Paderborn, Germany Srila Gurudeva Real and temporary objects Paramahamsa Babaji is answering the question of Sannyasi Thakura regarding the meaning of vastu. What is written in Jaiva-dharma about this? [Devotee reads from Jaiva Dharma:] Sannyasi Thakura asked his Gurudeva, "What is vastu?" Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja said, "The Sanskrit word for ‘object' (vastu) is derived from the verbal root meaning ‘to exist' or ‘to dwell'. By adding a suffix, this root is made into a noun. Vastu therefore means ‘what has existence' or ‘what is self-evident'. "There are two types of vastu: vastava and avastava. The term 'truly abiding substance' (vastava-vastu) refers to that which is grounded in transcendence. Temporary objects (avastava-vastu) are dravya (tangible objects), guna (qualities), and so on. Real objects have eternal existence. Unreal objects only have a semblance of existence, which appear real, although they are not." [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Here is an example: Krsna is truly vastu, the one real Entity. This microphone stand is also vastu, because it exists, but it is avastava-vastu, a temporary object. Krsna, maya (Krsna's deluding energy), and the jiva are all vastava-vastu. They exist eternally. This microphone is an example of a tangible object, whereas a person's nature is an example of an intangible object or a quality. Suppose I am habituated in telling lies; this habit is an example of a quality. If someone is ‘virtuous' or ‘not virtuous' in this world, this is his quality, but such qualities are mundane, not transcendental. Only real existence is eternal; only transcendental existence is forever. In the material world there is existence, but it is constantly changing; nothing remains the same for even a moment. The moment after this body took birth, it changed; and since then it has been changing at every moment. We do not realize this, but it is constantly changing. It is therefore avastava, temporary. Vastava-vastu is not material; it does not change even after millions of years. The soul is eternal; it does not change. The Supreme Lord is eternal; He does not change. There are some vaisistya, unique characteristics or specialities, in each, but there is no change. Both have special unique qualities that are ever-unfolding but never changing. Manini Radha The unique qualities of Lord Krsna are ever fresh and new. If anyone sees Krsna, he or she thinks, "Oh, I have never seen Him before." Especially Srimati Radhika, who is with Him throughout the day, will see Him and exclaim with wonder, "Who is He?" Radhika's dear friend Lalita will reply, "You don't know? You have just been sitting on the lap of that very person - that tricky person!" Radhika will retort, "No, I have never seen this person before. How beautiful He is!" Once Padma, the sakhi (cowherd girlfriend) of Candravali, came to Lalita and Visakha to glorify Candravali. She said, "Oh, my sakhi is so fortunate. Today she saw the beauty of the whole form of Krsna, top to bottom." Lalita then said, "I'm very sorry to say that my sakhi is not so fortunate. If She sees Krsna's nose, She cannot move Her sight from there. If She is looking at His cheeks, then She becomes fixed on His cheeks. My sakhi has never seen Krsna fully." Padma then became ashamed, as the consciousness of Srimati Radhika is more glorious than that of Candravali. Unlike Lord Krsna and the spirit souls, everything in this world is constantly changing. Temporary objects last only momentarily and are ultimately unreal. They are called vastu, because they are manifestations of maya, which is vastu, but they are avastava-vastu. What is maya? Lord Krsna's transcendental creative power is called Yogamaya. She is real, and she has two aspects: Yogamaya and Mahamaya. Mahamaya, or maya, is the shadow of Yogamaya who manifests and manages this world. Regarding Yogamaya, she personally manages Lord Krsna's eternal abodes - Goloka Vrndavana and all others. Reality Distinguished from Illusion [Devotee reads from Jaiva Dharma:] "Real objects have eternal existence. Unreal objects only have a semblance of existence; they sometimes exist and sometimes do not. It is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2): 'vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ. Only a truly abiding substance, that which is related to the Supreme Absolut Truth and yields supreme auspiciousness, is worthy of being known.' " [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] In this world everything seems to be real, but actually it is not. You can understand this from Srimad-Bhagavatam: dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate 'tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva in his maturity, is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart. The transcendental vastu is one without a second, and that is Sri Krsna Himself. He is the non-dual Supreme Truth. Everything comes from Him; everything is an expansion of His spiritual energy (yogamaya) and material energy (maha-maya). His personal expansions or manifestations, like Lord Ramacandra and Lord Nrsimhadeva, are non-different from Him. This world also manifests from Krsna, for without Him nothing can exist. He is the advaya-jnana para-tattva, the supreme, transcendental one-without-a-second Absolute Truth. Whatever we read about and whatever we see are only expansions of His power or of His bodily manifestations. The word sivadam in this verse means "very auspicious." It is very auspicious if a person can know Sri Krsna. [Devotee reads from Jaiva-Dharma:] "Sri Bhagavan is the only real Entity (vastava-vastu). The living entity, jiva, is a distinct or individual part of that Entity, while maya, the potency that produces illusion, is the energy of that Entity. Therefore, the word vastu refers to three fundamental principles: Bhagavan (the Supreme Lord), the jiva, and maya. Knowledge of the mutual relationship between these three principles is known as pure knowledge. There are innumerable seemingly real representations of these principles, and they are all regarded as avastava vastu, The classification of phenomena into various categories such as tangible objects and qualities, which is undertaken by the Vaisesika school of philosophy, *[See endnote 1] is merely a deliberation on the nature of avastava-vastu, temporary objects. The special characteristic of any truly abiding substance is its factual nature." [Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] The sum-total of material elements is called the maha-tattva, and this is the first covering of the jiva. This mahat-tattva manifests false ego in the three modes of nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. From these modes, material intelligence develops. From material intelligence comes the mind, which is always deliberating on what it considers good and bad, painful or pleasing, this or that. The living entity then develops a particular body, and that body consists of five gross elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether. This is all a manifestation of maya-sakti . We see so many things in this world, but really nothing is as it appears. All is but the magic of phantasmagoric maya. The Eyes to See Everything we see by these material eyes is avastava, temporary and ultimately unreal, whereas whatever we see with our soul is vastava, reality. We shall experience transcendental existence when our anarthas (unwanted habits and thoughts) disappear and real prema manifests. Then we can see things as they are. We can have some idea of that real world when we reach the preliminary stage of love of God. At this time, at the stage of bhava-bhakti, transcendental emotions arise in our hearts. However, in order to actually perceive that transcendental realm, one's heart must be saturated with love, or prema. At that time we will see the Supreme Reality and be able to serve Him in our transcendental form. We cannot see the form of Sri Krsna with these eyes. In certain special cases it is possible, as in the instance of Dhruva Maharaja. Sri Narada Rsi saw the form of Narayana for a moment. He had been sincerely engaged in devotional practices, and when he came to the stage where he could not live without Sri Krsna, the Lord's expansion as four-handed Lord Narayana appeared to him for a moment. He had been chanting, "Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya," *[See endnote 2] and therefore it was Narayana who appeared to him. Narada Muni saw that Supreme Lord for a moment, and then the Lord disappeared. He then began to weep bitterly, and an aerial voice of Narayana spoke to him, "In your present stage you will not be able to see Me continually. I mercifully gave darsana to you to increase your eagerness. Continue your bhajana, traveling throughout the universe, chanting My name, and singing about My glories. In this way, always be maddened, sometimes rolling on the ground, with tears flowing your eyes and with a melted heart. When Maya leaves you, and when the time comes for you to leave your body, you will automatically attain your transcendental form." It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.40): "By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Lord. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion." Later, when death came, Narada fearlessly placed his feet on the head of death and attained his transcendental form. Wait for that stage when maya will leave you; then you will be able to see. Now your vision of Thakurji (the Deity form of the Lord) is called aropa-siddha-bhakti. *[See endnote 3] Now you may be thinking, "Oh, here is Thakurji. He can fulfill all my desires." With such consciousness, you may later reject that so-called worship and all other devotional practices. So wait for that stage, and then you will be able to have an actual vision of the Deity. A Particle of Love The soul comes from Krsna, but not directly from Krsna. It comes from Krsna when He is only with His tatastha-sakti (marginal potency). Jivera svarupa haya, krsnera nitya dasa. And always remember the second part of this verse: Krsnera tatastha-sakti bhedabheda prakasa. We have not come directly from Goloka Vrndavana. [Devotee reading:] "The special characteristic of any truly abiding substance is its factual nature." [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] As a real, eternal entity, the jiva is an infinitesimal part and parcel of Sri Krsna. The transcendental nature of both Krsna and the jiva is one - and that nature is love. Krsna is love in fullness or completeness, and the jiva is an infinitesimal particle of that love. Although the jiva is infinitesimal, if he takes shelter of Lord Krsna, his love and affection will also become endless and infinite. [Devotee reads from Jaiva Dharma:] "The spirit soul is a real entity, and his eternal, constitutional identity is his true nature." [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] That nature is love - love for Krsna, the love of the part for the whole. That love is the eternal religion of every soul in the universe, whether he is liberated or not. [*Endnote 1: Vaisesika philosophy is the teaching of Kanada Rsi and it is the oldest of the six classical philosophical systems. Vaisesika represents an analytical process TO decifer the material objects INto atomic formulas and thus arrive at permanent conclusions, which are not necessarily denying God as a person. It basically views the world as cosmologically atomistic and ontologically pluralistic. [*Endnote 2: Krsna is sometimes two-handed and sometime four-handed in Dvaraka as the son of Vasudeva. But here Vasudeva refers to Narayana. It simple means "All-pervading one."] [*Endnote 3: Aropa-siddha-bhakti means that the words "devotion to God" are superimposed upon an activity or consciousness that is not actually imbued with devotion.-ed] [*Endnote 4: On tatastha: "All the qualities of the unalloyed soul are above the eightfold qualities such as egotism, etc., pertaining to Krsna's acit (inert material) potency. Hence the jiva potency. though very small in magnitude, is still superior to acit potency or Maya. This potency has another name, viz., tatastha or marginal potency, being located on the line demarcating the spheres of the spiritual and mundane potencies (Sri Brahma - samhita 5.21 purport)." "When jivas, begotten of the marginal potency (tatastha-sakti), forget the service of Krsna, they are confined in the mundane prison house, the citadel of Durga. The wheel of karma is the instrument of punishment at this place (Sri Brahma - samhita 5.44 purport)." "Just like in the seaside the shore, the beach, sometimes you see it is covered by water and sometimes it is land; similarly, when we are covered by maya, that is our jiva-bhuta stage, and when there is no more covering, that is brahma-bhuta stage (Bombay, March 30, 1971)." "Tata means the beach. Sometimes the beach is covered with water, and sometimes it is land. That is called tatastha (New York, July 15, 1976 )." "The marginal line between the material manifestation and the spiritual manifestation is the Viraja River, and beyond the Viraja, which is a transcendental current flowing from the perspiration of the body of the Lord, there is the three-fourths manifestation of God's creation (Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.10)."
  15. The Meaning of Radhe

    The Hague, Holland: July 9, 2005 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [This year, 2017, Sri Radhastami, the divine appearance day of the Supreme Mistress of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Srimati Radhika, is on Sept. 29th (in India). In honor of this day [see endnote 3], we are happy to offer this ever-fresh and ever nourishing lecture given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, in The Hague, Holland, on July 9, 2005. As an invocation to the tenth annual Holland Harikatha festival, Srila Maharaja requested the devotees to sing Srila Rupa Gosvami's prayer, "Sri Sri Radhika Pada-Padme Vijnapti." He then gave an elaborate explanation of the prayer:] radhe! jaya jaya madhava-dayite gokula-taruni mandala-mahite (1) damodara-rati vardhana vese! hari-niskuta-vrndavipine se! (2) vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (3) karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite! sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite! (4) Radhe – what is the meaning of Radhe? "Aradyate iti." Sri Krsna Himself worships Srimati Radhika, and Radhika worships Him. When She came from Krsna's left side in the rasa-lila She at once ran to Him to worship Him – and He ran towards Her. "Radhe Jaya Jaya – Radhe, all glories to You, all glories to You." "Madhava Dayite – You are very near and dear to Lord Madhava." yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha- dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano 'pi tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise 'pi (Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 2) ["Obeisances to the direction that faces Sri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of Her garment, Lord Krsna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success."] Once, Sri Krsna did something that offended Srimati Radhika, and She entered a sulky mood. She was sitting on one side of Radha-kunda, and Krsna was on the other side in feelings of great separation from Her. The breeze coming from Radha's side touched the beautiful fragrance of Radha-kunda and also the veil of Radhika – not Radhika, but the veil which held Her fragrance. That breeze then touched Krsna and He exclaimed, "My life is successful! My life is successful!" So many sages and saintly kings are able to control their minds, and their minds are thus purified. Yet, even in their meditation they cannot touch the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. On the other hand, by any connection with Radhika, by even the fragrance of Her veil, that same Krsna was overwhelmed. Radhika is so glorious. venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam bhrasdanca pita-vasanam vraja-raja-sunoh yasyah kadaksa-sara-ghata-vimurcchitasya tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena (Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 39, by Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati) ["When will I delight in the service of Srimati Radharani? Struck by the arrow of Her side-long glance Krsna faints, His flute falls from His hands, the peacock feathers on His head become loosened and His yellow scarf slips from His neck."] Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati writes: "When will I have a chance to serve Srimati Radhika with rasa – manjari-rasa – which is so high-class, even more so than the transcendental stages of sneha, maan, raga, anuraga and still more than that." akhila-rasamrta-murtih prasrmara-ruci-ruddha-taraka-palih kalita-syama-lalito radha-preyan vidhur jayati ["Let Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, be glorified! By virtue of His expanding attractive features, He subjugated the gopis named Taraka and Pali and absorbed the minds of Syama and Lalita. He is the most attractive lover of Srimati Radharani and is the reservoir of pleasure for devotees in all transcendental mellows." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.142)] When Sri Krsna plays His flute, all the gopis are controlled. He is an ocean of rasa. By His beauty and flute playing He controls Taraka, Pali, Candravali; and others such as Bhadra and Syamala and Lalita, are also controlled by Him. He also controls all the cows with His flute. Yet, when He saw Srimati Radhika, that flute fell from His hands and His peacock feather fell down to Her lotus feet. "Brasdanca pita vasanam – He did not know that His yellow shawl was also falling down. He became totally mad and at once fainted." Srimati Radhika is so glorious, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami sings, "Radhe, Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite." Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has quoted Sri Krsna in Srimad-Bhagavatam: na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22) ["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."] Srila Jayadeva Gosvami has also quoted Krsna in Gita-govinda: smara-garala kandanam mama sirasi mandanam dehi pada pallavam udharam Sri Krsna is begging Srimati Radhika, "O Devi, I am taking My ears in My hand.*[See endnote 1] I have done something wrong. I promise that in the future I will never again commit any offense to You. Be pleased with Me. I am offering My flute and My peacock feather at Your feet. I cannot tolerate Your separation for even a moment. I will die without You. So please excuse My fault. Please excuse Me." Sri Jayadeva Gosvami could not write this,*[See endnote 2] but our Gosvamis, like Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is Sri Rupa Manjari, could do so. How glorious is Radha. "Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite – Sri Krsna is controlled by Srimati Radhika." "Gokula taruni mandala mahite – So many gopis live in Gokula. They are extremely beautiful, and Candravali is especially beautiful, but not like Radhika. Taruni mandala mahite – in this world no one is as near and dear to Krsna as Radhika." "Damodara rati vardhana-vese – Damodara is controlled by His mother, but in this connection that very Damodara is now controlled by Radhika. Vardana vese – to increase Sri Krsna's love and affection, She appears in beautiful ways." "Hari-niskuta vrndavipinese" – Hari refers to Krsna who takes the heart of everyone, especially the gopis. His garden is Vrndavana, where Yamuna is flowing, peacocks are dancing and cuckoos are singing. Everywhere there are beli, cameli, and kadamba flowers. All stimuli are fully present. There, Krsna is not Vrndavanesvara (the Lord and controller of Vrndavana). Because Vrnda has given Vrndavana to Srimati Radhika – She is Vrndavanesvari. Especially, Sri Krsna is not Rasesvara (the Lord and controller of rasa-lila); rather, Radhika is Rasesvari. Sri Krsna is one of the participants, but Radhika is all-in-all. "Jaya Jaya – O Devi, be glorious, be glorious [meaning be victorious – "Please take victory over my lust, greed, etc., and make me Yours." (adapted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Gopi-gita verse 1 commentary)] Sprinkle a particle of Your mercy upon me." vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe lalita-sakhi! guna ramita-visakhe! (verse 3) "You are like the moon that has arisen from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaja's love. [According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, the moon was born from the churning of the ocean.] "Lalita sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe – You are the sakhi of Lalita." In what way? dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4) ["I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary."] Srimati Lalita-devi is so near and dear to Srimati Radhika that sometimes she controls Radhika. "Dhurte vrajendra – Lalita says, 'Vrajendra-nandana (Sri Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja) is a high class of cheater. He is black inside and He is black outside. He is black everywhere; so don't be submissive towards Him. Always act in such way as to control Him. Don't give up Your maan (transcendental loving anger).'" Radhika wants to give up Her maan, but Lalita tells Her not to do so. "Radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim" – Lalita is guru of Radhika, and therefore She can give anyone the dasya-prema of Radhika. yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami ["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure-house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (sva-paksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)] Visakha took birth on the same day that Radhika took birth, so her beauty and other qualities are similar to Radhika's. Her voice is so sweet, even more so than Sri Krsna's. All her qualities are like Radhika's. I pray that she will make me her disciple and give me training on how to serve Radhika and Krsna. karunam kuru mayi karuna-bharite! sanaka-sanatana-varnita-carite In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami says that even those who are first-class brahmavadis, like Sukadeva Gosvami (when he first appeared in this would) and the four Kumaras (who are forever five years old, who are always naked, and who are the first sons of Lord Brahma) are glorifying Srimati Radhika. Nisanta-lila (the end-of-night pastimes of Radha and Krsna) and other pastimes of asta-kaliya-lila (the 24-hour daily pastimes of Radha and Krsna) were told to the four Kumaras by Lord Siva, and then they wrote about it in the Brhat-vamana Purana. So Srila Rupa Gosvami is glorifying Sanaka, Sananda, Sanat, and Sanatana Kumara. In this connection, Sanatana means Sanatana of the four Kumaras. But Srila Sanatana Gosvami has also glorified Her, especially in Brhad-bhagavatamrta and in his Vaisnava Tosani commentary of Srimad-Bhagavatam. And we are now also glorifying Radhika, so that this Holland festival will be successful. More than 1,000 devotees have come here from various parts of Europe, Australia, England, Russia, and various other countries. There may be some problems. No one can satisfy everyone, and especially it is not possible to satisfy a child. If some problem comes, therefore, with hosting or prasadam or anything else – it may come – please tolerate. You have all come for hari-katha, and we will give you hari-katha. We will give that hari-katha which Srila Bhaktivedenta Svami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, has left for me. He told me, "You should give this." Try to drink the nectar of hari-katha with the two cups of your ears. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami has told about this, but not openly like I am telling. Sukadeva Gosvami has never openly told Radhika's name in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, nor did he reveal the names of Candravali or Lalita and Visakha. But Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has revealed this, and in his parampara I am also telling you so many secret names and sweet pastimes. Try to take this into your heart, and preach our mission throughout the world. Don't be weak. "Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite." *[endnote 1 – pulling on ones own ears with both hands indicates one's admitting an offense and begging forgiveness] *[endnote 2 – Jayadeva Gosvami was somewhat hesitant to write the entire verse, because he had a hint of an opulence mood toward Sri Krsna. So, while he was out of his house, Krsna Himself, in the form of Jayadeva, came to his house and wrote the rest of the verse in his devotee's notebook.] *[endnote 3: Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [In the early morning of September 14th, 2002, in order to commence the celebration of Sri Radhastami in the opulently decorated Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja requested the devotees to sing "Sri Krsna Virahe" by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After that he explained some of the verses as follows:] sri krsna-virahe, radhikara dasa, ami to' sahite nari yugala-milana, sukhera karana, jivana chadite pari ["I am absolutely unable to tolerate Sri Radhika's pitiable condition when She is suffering in separation from Sri Krsna, but I am fully prepared to immediately give up my life for the sake of Their happy reunion." (Verse 1)] Only under the guidance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is it possible to render service to Srimati Radhika. In the mood of a maidservant of Srimati Radhika, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that he cannot tolerate Radhika's condition during the time of Her separation from Krsna. And, for Their meeting together, he is readily prepared to easily give up his life. radhka-carana, tyajiya amara, ksaneke pralaya hoya radhikara tare, sata-bara mari, se duhkha amar soya ["If I were ever to renounce Radhika's lotus feet for even an instant, I would be totally devastated. For Her sake I will gladly tolerate the pain and agony of death hundreds of times." (Verse 2)] Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is saying: "I can give up anything. I can even give up Krsna, but I cannot give up the lotus feet of Radhika, even for a moment. For the service of Radhika I am prepared to die hundreds and millions of times, but I could never tolerate giving up Her association for a second. When will that day come that I can render some service to Her lotus feet? How can I have attachment for this Radhika, and how can I attain the perfect service of Her lotus feet? e heno radhara, carana yugale, paricarya pabo kabe haha braja-jana, more doya kori, kabe vraja-vane laibe ["When will I be able to serve Radhika's two lotus feet? Alas, I beg you all, O residents of Vraja, please be merciful to me now. When will you take me into the forests of Vraja?" (Verse 3)] vilasa manjari, ananga manjari, sri rupa manjari ara amake tuliya, loho nija pade, deho more siddhi sara ["O Vilasa Manjari! O Ananga Manjari! O Rupa Manjari! Please lift me up and bring me close to your own lotus feet, thereby bestowing upon me the ultimate perfection." (Verse 4)] Weeping bitterly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is praying, "O Vrajavasis, please be merciful to me! Place me in the service of the Divine Couple. Especially, please place me in the service of Radhika's lotus feet. When will that day come that Sri Vilasa Manjari and others will take me to Vraja? I long to render service." [The devotees then sang Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja's "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita," (The Song Glorifying the Life Goal of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)] [The following is the first Bengali verse and the English translations of all the verses:] Kothaya go premamyi radhe radhe Radhe, radhe go, jaya radhe, radhe Where is She who is full of prema? All glories to Sri Radha. (1) O Radha! Please give me Your darsana and save my life. Your wretched beggar calls out to You, "Radhe, Radhe!" (2) O Radha, You enjoy pleasure pastimes in the forest of Vrndavana, wherein You enchant the mind of Krsna. (3) O Radha, You are the crest-jewel among Your eight principal sakhis. O Radha, daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. (4) Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always calling out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (5) ...sometimes at Kesi Ghata, sometimes at Vamsi Vata. (6) ...sometimes in Nidhuvana, sometimes at Seva Kunja. (7) ...sometimes at Radha Kunda, sometimes at Syama Kunda. (8) ...sometimes at Kusuma Sarovara, sometimes at Giriraja Govardhana. (9) ...sometimes at Talavana, sometimes at Tamalvana. (10) Raghunatha dasa wears simple cloth which appears to be dirty because he is always rolling on the earth crying out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (11) Calling out "Radhe! Radhe," his eyes are bursting with a flood of tears. (12) He wanders throughout the lanes of Vrndavana crying out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (13) He knows nothing but Radha-Govinda throughout the day and night (56 dandas: 1 danda= 24 minutes). Radhe! Radhe! (14) He takes rest for only 4 dandas (1 hr. 36 min.) At that time he receives darsana of Radha-Govinda in his dreams. Radhe! Radhe! (15) [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has heard from Srila Svarupa Damodara, Srila Raya Ramananda, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and especially from Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and thus he is presenting this tattva. Srimati Radhika's name is Govinda-nandini (She who makes Sri Krsna happy), and there is nothing higher than this. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has revealed some of the names of Radhika in his Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila chapter four. One of Her names is Govinda-nandini. Govinda is the controller of everything. He is the extreme limit of the conception of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. He is full with unlimited opulence and sweetness. Who can give happiness to Him? Only one personality can do so - Krsna Himself in the form of Srimati Radhika. She is Govinda-mohini. Krsna attracts all living entities, including animals, trees and creepers. He especially attracts all the Vraja gopis, but Radhika can attract Him. Krsna bewilders everyone in this world by His maya-sakti, and in the spiritual world He bewilders all by His beautiful form, qualities, and pastimes. He can bewilder everyone; yet Srimati Radhika can bewilder Him. Radhika is Govinda-sarvasya. She is everything to Krsna. She is the be-all-and-end-all of Krsna; for Him, nothing remains. Sri Radha is Sarva-kanta siramoni, the crown jewel of all Krsna's beloveds. All the gopis were searching for Krsna after His disappearance from the Rasa dance. When Her own svapaksa gopis (the gopis from Her own group) saw Her footprints along with Krsna's, they became very happy – knowing them to be Hers. However, when the other groups of gopis saw them, not knowing to whom they belonged, they could only understand that this particular gopi had served Krsna more than any other – and therefore He left the Rasa dance with Her alone. Sri Radha Herself has become Candravali and all the other gopis. There is no other beloved of Krsna – only Srimati Radhika. She Herself has become all the Laksmis (Goddesses of Fortune), and all the queens of Dvaraka. If one thinks deeply about this, he will understand Her greatness. Sita-devi and all the Laksmis are manifestations of Radha, and she assumes these forms to fulfill Krsna's desires. She is Krsna-mayi; She sees Krsna everywhere – inside and outside of Herself. Wherever Her mind or senses go, it is only for and about Krsna. When She sees a tamal tree She thinks, "Oh, there is Krsna." Her name is Radhika because She fulfills all the desires of Krsna and because He Himself worships Her. An example of His worshipping Her is when He took Her to a solitary place after leaving the Rasa dance, at which time even the vipaksa-gopis (rival party) also confirm this. Radhika is Para-devata, just as Krsna is: She is the most worshipable of all. Moreover, She is worshiped by Krsna Himself. Is she not therefore worshipable by everyone? Once Radhika asked Vrnda-devi, "Where are you coming from?" Vrnda-devi replied, "I'm coming from Radha-kunda. I saw Krsna there." Radharani asked, "What was He doing?" Vrnda-devi replied that He was dancing. Radha then asked, "Oh, who was His dancing teacher?" Vrnda-devi told Her, Your reflection, Radhika, which He sees in every tree. Whatever prema exists in this world comes from Radhika. She is the mother of everyone because she nourishes everyone by giving them prema. Krsna is the principle Deity of all jivas, and Radhika is also. This is confirmed in the Brahma Samhita: ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami ["I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency (hladini). Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa."] Sri Radhika is Sarva-Laksmi-mayi, which means that all the various gopis emanate from Her, and She is therefore the predominating deity of all the sakhis. As many beloveds as there are, She is their controlling deity. She is Kanti, which means that during Rasa-lila, only She could fulfill all the desires of Sri Krsna. There were hundreds of millions of gopis dancing, but when Radhika left, the Rasa dance stopped. Krsna appears as Mahaprabhu in order to taste all of Radhika's loving moods; He cannot do so in Vraja-lila. What are Krsna's thoughts when He is in Mathura and Dvaraka and feeling separation from Radhika? He prays to Her, "O most worshipful Radha! My mind always remains with You. I'm always anxious for the dust of Your lotus feet. Somehow, in some form, I stay in Vrndavana. O Srimati Radhika, I am roaming in those forests, playing on My flute, only in search for You. O Radhika, I go to the Yamuna, not to take bath, but only to meet with You. Otherwise there is no need to go there. I sit on the bank of Yamuna only to meet with You and serve You. "I stopped grazing cows, and I stopped all other activities. Seeing Your beauty I became so eager; My eyes moved here and there and My mind was restless. I used to wait underneath a kadamba tree, thinking, 'When will She come by this way?' I am meditating upon Your qualities, and upon Your beauty which is like the auspicious svati-naksatra (constellation). The skylark (cakora bird) won't drink any other water besides the water coming from the clouds at the time of the svati-constellation. Similarly, I am like a cakora bird, and Your beauty is like rain falling during that constellation. I am eagerly waiting for You, to have Your darsana. Your beauty and qualities steal My heart. I don't want those qualities to steal My heart, but I forget everything else in My separation from You." Hearing this, Radhika replied, "O Prananatha, lord of My life's breath, I am Your eternal servant and You are My life and soul, the only love in My life. I surrender Myself unto Your lotus feet. You may love Me or neglect Me, in Your life or by Your mind. You can leave Me and thus bring Me suffering. Whatever You desire, Your happiness is My happiness and Your life is My life. I don't want anything other than Your happiness in my life. As You realize My happiness and sorrows, so I can realize Yours. You feel happiness by seeing Me, but by seeing You I become millions of times more happy. There is no comparison to My happiness in these worlds. I am happy only by seeing Your happiness. I am always blissful because I have no concept of the happiness of others; I only desire Your happiness. I want to see Your happiness from morning to night, and night to morning. "By seeing Me You become happy, and therefore I decorate Myself in many ways with srngara (ornaments) and alankara (decorations). I do this for You only; I do this because by seeing Me with all these ornaments and decorations You feel great happiness. I dedicate Myself unto Your lotus feet only to increase Your satisfaction and fulfill Your desires. I become so happy when You say to Me, 'You are My beloved, My mistress, My life and soul.' No one can understand the happiness I feel; there is no comparison to it in this world. "When You say to Me, 'O Swaminiji, O Pranesvari Radhike, O My kanta,' My heart becomes overjoyed, because You are happy when You taste the words Radha-Pranesvari, etc. I feel shy to hear this, and yet I am also very happy. Externally I feel shy, but internally I am extremely happy." Then Krsna said to Radhika, "You are the abode of matchless love. O Vrsabhanu-nandini, (daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja), You are the abode of all rasas, and what am I? I am always moving from one forest to another to graze cows. I'm foolish and irreligious. Other than to herd cows, I have no intelligence at all. I don't know the rules and regulations of love, and only You can teach Me these principles. I am always running after cows and playing hide and seek and other games like a village boy, whereas You are the river of prema. I'm just like terribly hot sand in the summer and You, on the other hand, are the river of love. How can there be any comparison between Yourself and Myself? When You give Me the darsana of Your love, I immediately become happy –there is no comparison to my happiness. When You bestow Your mercy and look towards Me, I become indebted to You." Krsna also told the gopis during rasa-lila: "I have no qualification. I am only a beggar of Your love." na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna ["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)] Now He confirmed this, as He told Sri Radha, "I am so indebted to You. How can I become free from this debt? Please be merciful; You are the abode of mercy. Only You can give Me love and fulfill My desires." Hearing this, Srimati Radhika became shy and replied, "O Syamasundara, O You whose eyes are like lotus petals, O You who are the son of the king of Vraja. You steal My heart. To meet with You I shall give up all the rules and regulations of society. I will leave My in-laws house, I will give up all consideration of shyness, respect from others, religion, and irreligion. I want to come to You and keep You as My own. I want to keep You, even for a moment, but I am only a village girl. I have no quality at all and I am not beautiful. You, on the other hand, are extremely qualified and beautiful, and You are the ornament of Your dynasty. There is no rasa in me. I have no idea about rasa, whereas You are the abode of rasa. You are the ocean of mercy, so please bestow Your mercy on Me. This is My desire." Without the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, no one would have been able to write about these topics. The conception that Radhika is the center of all is exclusively for those in our Gaudiya Sampradaya. We have the speciality that "Krsna is feeling separation from Radhika." No other acaryas can write about all the truths present herein. Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is glorifying and praying to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in this kirtana called "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita." He says there that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always roaming, sometimes in Nidhuvana and sometimes in Vamsivata, and calling out, "Radhe! Radhe!" Gaura premanande
  16. Ravel, India: October 17, 2003 Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja By the mercy of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas, we have come to the appearance place of Sri Krsna’s svarupa-sakti, Mahabhava Svarupini Srimati Radhika. Due to differences in different kalpas (millenniums), the pastimes of Srimati Radhika’s appearance manifest in different ways. vrsabhanudadhi-nava-sasi-lekhe! lalita-sakhi guna-ramita-visakhe! [“Just as the moon was produced from the churning of the Milk Ocean, You have arisen like the new moon from the ocean of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s affection for You. O dearmost friend of Lalita! O You who have captivated the heart of Your intimate sakhi Visakha with Your charming (lalita) qualities of friendship, kindness and loyalty to Krsna.” (Sri Sri Radhika Pada-Padme Vijnapti verse 3)] Srimati Radhika is very near and dear to Sri Vrsabhanu Maharja. Therefore, most people call Her Vrsabhanu-nandini, the beloved daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Very few people call Her Kirtida-nandini. The word ravel means “great landlord”, and therefore this place is named after Vrsabhanu Maharaja. One early morning he went to the Yamuna to bathe, and there he saw a very effulgent thousand-petal lotus flower. In the middle of the lotus was a very attractive baby girl – Srimati Radhika. With great affection he took that girl to his house, gave Her to Kirtida-sundari, his beautiful wife Kirtida, and they adopted Her. Sometimes Srimati Radhika appears directly in Varsana. There, Sri Vrsabhanu Maharaja went to Vrsabhanu Kunda early in the morning and, just as here, he found Srimati Radhika there on a thousand-petal lotus. Understanding that the Supreme Lord, sarva-saktiman (the all-powerful) Sri Krsna had already appeared on Earth, Sri Narada Muni concluded that His svarupa-sakti, His complete internal potency, Srimati Radhika, must have also appeared somewhere. He went to the house of Vrsabhanu Maharaja and, after receiving his obeisances, asked him if he had any children. Vrsabhanu Maharaja replied, “Yes, I have a son named Sridama.” Rsi Narada asked, “Do you have a daughter?” Vrsabhanu Maharaja replied, “Yes we have one daughter.” Rsi Narada said, “I want to see Her, to give Her blessings and read Her future.” Vrsabhanu Maharaja became very happy that Sri Narada Muni wanted to see his daughter. Sri Naradaji asked him to quickly bring some paraphernalia for the worship and for Srimati Radhika’s receiving blessings. As soon as Vrsabhanu Maharaja went outside, Narada Muni began to pray to Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet, “Kada karisyasiha mam krpa-kataksa-bhajanam? – O Srimati Radhika, when will You bestow Your mercy upon me?” Srimati Radhika then displayed Her kisori form – Her ever-present, eternal form as a thirteen and a half year-old girl – along with Lalita, Visakha and all the asta-sakhi gopis. At that time Sri Narada Muni felt very happy. That is why he is always present in Vrndavana – to get the darsana of Srimati Radhika. Our hope is that by coming to this place, by hearing the hari-katha from the lotus mouth of Sri Guru, and by touching the dust here, this appearance place of Srimati Radhika may also appear in our hearts and give us mercy and inspiration. Our hope is that Her nearest and dearest, Sri Guru, will pray for us so that we will one day become Her maidservants
  17. There is one person whose name is never mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And yet Bhāgavatam’s steadfast readers constantly nurture the ardent hope of becoming that person’s devout, one-pointed servant. May that person, who means everything to Śrī Bhagavān, kindly destroy our false ego in all its various forms and bestow upon us the shelter of Her lotus feet. Today is the day of Her advent. Read more... View the full article
  18. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja September 10, 2005 [This year, 2017, Srimati Lalita-devi’s appearance day is on August 28th (in India), one day before Radhastami. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled devotees observed the appearance day of Sri Radha's most intimate sakhi, Srimati Lalita-devi on September 10, 2005. The following is a transcription of the class given in her glorification, and it explains her significance in our personal lives:] Lalita-devi was born in the village of Karehla, and later on her father brought her to Uccagaon, the place of her pastimes (lila-sthali). There are still many evidences of her pastimes here, like a rock containing the imprints of her lotus feet and some small utensils she used when she and the other sakhis fed Krsna there. When the sun-rays fall on the imprints of those pots and plates, they glitter and shine. All of Srimati Radhika’s sakhis used to play with Krsna and Lalita in Uccagaon, and there are many places there where you can see their footprints to this day. On the hill there is a slippery rock showing a specific pastime that was enacted in a marriage arena. There, the gopis arranged a special kind of marriage between Lalita and Krsna. This should not be misunderstood as a real marriage, but rather a play marriage, like the marriage that was once enacted between Srimati Radhika and Krsna. This is technically known as Gandharva marriage. In that pastime, Krsna had been sitting beside Lalita, and the sakhis began to play mischievously. Visakha and some of the other sakhis tied Sri Lalita's veil to Krsna's pitambara (yellow shawl). Then suddenly, on the indication of Srimati Radhika, Rangadevi and other sakhis began to sing wedding songs while Tungavidya and others uttered wedding mantras, and the remaining sakhis showered flowers on Sri Krsna and Lalita. When Lalita noticed that something tricky was being done to her, she tried to run away, but because her garments were tied to Krsna's pitambara, she could not do so. All the sakhis then surrounded the couple and married them. Even today, one can see the indication of the slide on the hill, as well as the markings of alta (red lac) from the gopis’ feet. Although this pastime took place 5000 years ago, you can still visualize it with your own eyes. Lalita is 27 days elder than Radharani. [According to the tithi calculation, Lalita-devi's appearance day falls on the day before Srimati Radhika's appearance day.] She generally has the same loving mood towards both Radha and Krsna, yet she is more inclined towards Srimati Radhika. The following is the Sanskrit song called Sri Lalita-astakam, along with its translation, and I will further explain each verse. This Lalita-astakam was composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami: radha-mukunda-pada-sambhava-gharma-bindu nirmanchanopakarani-krta-deha-laksam uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer my obeisance unto the outspoken Sri Lalita-devi, who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), and thus her service self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet. She is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart's desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 1)] There are four types of sakhis: svapaksa, vipaksa, tatastha and suhrt. Svapaksa means those sakhis who are totally favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika. Vipaksa means those gopis who are totally favorably disposed towards Candravali and opposed to Radhika. Tatastha means those who are neutral towards Srimati Radhika and more favorably disposed towards Candravali. Suhrt means those who are more favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika and neutral towards Candravali. Suhrt gopis never do anything unfavorable towards Srimati Radhika. Lalita-devi and Visakha-devi are examples of gopis who are svapaksa to Srimati Radhika, Candravali is vipaksa, Bhadra is tatastha, and Syamala is suhrt. The mood of Lalita is that she is always trying to favorably serve the pastimes of Radha and Krsna; she always tries to please Them. She engages in millions upon millions of endeavors to please Them. When Radha and Krsna meet and engage in amorous pastimes, Lalita wipes away the droplets of perspiration on Their lotus feet. This means that she is engaged day and night in the service of Their sweet pastimes. There are two types of services in madhurya-rasa (conjugal rasa). One is in the mood of the manjaris and the other in the mood of the sakhis. Lalita always serves in the mood of a sakhi. One of her qualities is that she has some controlling mentality. She can command both Radha and Krsna, but at the same time she has a friendly disposition towards both of Them. She is always immersed in the ocean of love. She is very beautiful and very sweet, but at the same time very sober and composed. Her heart is so sweet that she attracts the heart of all others, but at the same time she is pragalbha, which means she can speak harsh words, and can thus control both Radha and Krsna. raka-sudha-kirana-mandala-kanti-dandi vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram radha-prasadhana-vidhana-kala-prasiddham devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 2)] This verse begins by describing Srimati Lalita-devi's beauty. She is so beautiful that her beauty surpasses the combined beauty of millions of moons, and her eyes are said to be so restless that they can defeat the restlessness of the eyes of a female deer. Her specific quality is that she is very expert in applying make-up, and especially in arranging the hair decoration of Srimati Radhika. Although all the eight principle sakhis are very famous in putting on the bodily decorations and applying the make-up of Srimati Radhika, Lalita and Visakha are the most expert. Moreover, of these two, Lalita is considered the most proficient. The pastime of decorating Srimati Radhika by Lalita and the other sakhis is described in "Govinda-lilamrta", written by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and in "Krsna-bhavanamrta," written by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Those who want to serve Radha and Krsna in the mood of a manjari should seriously take help from these scriptures. Sadhakas (devotional practitioners) can find pastimes such as the above-mentioned in those books, and they can try to be absorbed in them at the time of their devotional practices. With reference to the verse above, Lalita and the other sakhis tell Srimati Radhika, "When you go to meet with Krsna, this is how You should behave with Him." They want Sri Krsna to be totally under the spell of Srimati Radhika. While they are applying kajal (black eyeliner), they remind Srimati Radhika or Her previous pastimes with Krsna. For example, once, when She was going out to meet Krsna, She forgot to put kajal on one of Her eyes, and Krsna Himself put it on upon Her arrival. Similar pastimes are brought to the attention of Srimati Radhika at the time of putting on Her make-up, and in that way Her mood of bringing pleasure to Krsna is enhanced. When the gopis put the tilaka mark on Her forehead, they recite the kama-yantra, which still further inspires Srimati Radhika in the mood of Her service to Krsna. All these pastimes are arranged by Lalita-devi, and therefore she is described as the fountainhead of various wonderful qualities. lasyollasad-bhujaga-satru-patatra-citra pattamsukabharana-kanculikancitangim gorocana-ruci-vigarhana-gaurimanam devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana, the bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water during the svati-naksatra constellation hits the head of a qualified cow, and she possesses innumerable good qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 3)] This verse gives a similarity with a peacock. When the rainy season comes, the peacock becomes very happy. He has been especially gifted by God to have beautiful colors on his feathers, and he expresses his happiness on seeing the clouds by spreading his wings. In the same way, Srimati Lalita-devi's dresses are so beautifully ornamented and colored that they express the mood of a peacock showing his happiness by spreading his wings. The color of her sari, various kinds of necklaces and all her ornaments brilliantly glitter, and all this glittering combined with the luster of her own body give a profound impression. The word gorocana is also mentioned in this verse. In that connection there is a particular constellation called svati-naksatra. When rain water hits the hoof of a cow at that time, it becomes yellow, like the color of turmeric. This very special yellow color of gorocana defeats even the shimmer of gold, and the substance gorocana is also considered very costly. This is the impression Lalita-devi gives when she is serving Srimati Radhika with all her paraphernalia, ornaments and beauty. dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)] radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim devim gunaih sulalitam namami [I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, "You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!" (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 5)] Srimati Radhika is controlled by the extreme love of Lalita-sakhi. When She is with Lalita-sakhi, Lalita can even chastise Her: "When Krsna comes, You should remain very unsubmissive and enter a sulky mood." Radhika may reply, "What can I do? As soon as I see Krsna in the distance, My sulky mood goes away. I cannot maintain it." Then with a raised finger, Lalita says, "Don't give up your unsubmissive mood. You should chastise Krsna, for He has so many bad qualities. He is crooked and unchaste. He is a cheater. He will come to You early in the morning – and what will He do? He will hold onto Your feet and beg forgiveness. But don't believe anything He says. Don't become submissive. Instead, You should chastise Him!" Sakhis are of two types and two moods: (1) daksina – right wing or submissive. This is called ghrta-sneha (like ghee), and it is a quality of Candravali's group. (2) vamya – contrary or unsubmissive. This is called madhu-sneha (like honey), and it is a quality of Radhika's group. [Ghee is wholesome, but without much taste, whereas honey is wholesome and also sweet] Radhika's mood is called vamya (left-wing, contrary, or unsubmissive) and Candravali's mood is called daksina (right-wing, or submissive). Only those gopis in the mood of vamya can completely control Krsna. The two groups, that is, Radhika's group and Candravali's group, do not appreciate each other. Candravali criticizes Srimati Radhika and Her group, saying, "How can they dare to do maan (be in a sulky mood) towards Krsna? He is so sweet and lovely!" Srimati Radhika and Her group think, "Why does Candravali become so submissive towards Krsna!?" Srimati Radhika says, "One must apply a weapon to control Krsna. Why doesn't Candravali control Him like us? How can she serve Him if she is not like us?" Thus, both groups cannot appreciate each other's moods. Lalita is the siksa-guru of all the gopis in Radhika's group, and also of Radhika Herself. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes: Lalita-devi sometimes chastises Radhika, saying, "Oh Kalankini, Oh unchaste one, [She will be called unchaste by Her in-laws, and for that reason She may try to be contrary, but Lalita-devi is telling Her here that no matter what others say, She should still be contrary to Krsna.] Don't become submissive to Krsna." In this song, Srila Rupa Gosvami repeatedly offers his prostrated obeisances to Srimati Lalita-devi. If Sri Krsna approaches Srimati Radhika and uses some clever cheating words, Lalita-devi cannot tolerate it. In nisanta-lila, Srimati Radhika has been waiting all night for Krsna to come, and yet He doesn't come. He finally comes very early in the morning, with signs on His divine body that He has been with other gopis. Lalita-devi tells Him, "Don't come here. We don't want Your service. Where is Your beloved? You should go to her." His eyes are very red and other symptoms are there. Lalita then chastises Him, saying, "Yes, I know You, Krsna. You are very chaste, simple and honest." By her sharp and harsh words, she makes Krsna ashamed and causes Him to be shy. This is described in "Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta". Krsna sometimes challenges the gopis in the forest: "Why have you come here? Don't you know I am Vrajendra, the King of Vrndavana? By picking flowers here, you are destroying My Vrndavana!" At that time Lalita-devi says, "We know what kind of 'protector' You are. Actually you have never planted one seed or watered one tree. Instead, with Your hundreds of thousands of cows, it is You who destroys Vrndavana. We are the real owners of Vrndavana. We have planted every seed and watered every tree." Krsna then says, "Don't you know who I am? I am a very religious person and I have never told a lie." Then Srimati Lalita-devi says, "Yes, we know what type of religious person You are. We heard that when You were only seven days old, You killed a woman named Putana, who came as a mother to You. And which house in Vrndavana have You not stolen from? Are You the same religious person who stole all the clothing of the gopis? Are You the same religious person who performed rasa-lila with all the married gopis of Vrndavana?" Krsna then becomes ashamed. vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam radha-balavaraja-jivita-nirvisesam devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi's parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 6)] Without the presence of vatsalya-rasa (parental love), the glories of madhurya-rasa (conjugal love) do not manifest. One example occurs when Srimati Radhika goes with all Her sakhis to Nandagaon to cook. Mother Yasoda is there, but there is no disturbance. When Srimati Radhika goes to Nanda-bhavana with Lalita and the asta-sakhis (Radhika's eight most intimate friends), Yasoda-devi exhibits intense parental love towards Her – not less than the parental love she has towards her son Krsna. She also shows great affection to all the other sakhis and manjaris, because of their relation with Her. All the asta-sakhis have so many excellent qualities, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, "Of all the gopis, the asta-sakhis are the topmost." For example, Srimati Tungavidya-devi can speak with all types of birds and animals. She understands their language and can communicate with them. What can be greater than performing services to Srimati Radhika under the guidance of Lalita and Visakha and the other asta-sakhis? Lalita and Visakha are the siksa-gurus of all the gopis in the group of Srimati Radhika. Lalita-devi's life and soul is Srimati Radhika and Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami prays, "I offer pranama again and again unto Srimati Lalita-devi." yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami ["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)] Lalita has many charming qualities. What is Her greatest quality – Her quality that is most favorable for the sadhakas of this world? If she sees in Vrndavana any gopi, or anyone who has even a slight touch of a scent of desire to serve Srimati Radhika, she immediately fulfills that gopi's desire and gives her the unlimited wealth of the service of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. If one has a one-pointed desire to perform service to Srimati Radhika under the direct guidance of Srimati Lalita-devi, and furthermore under the shelter of Sri Rupa Manjari, that devotee may know that Lalita-devi's shelter is the only path by which one can achieve this. radha-vrajendra-suta-sangama-ranga-caryam varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 8)] Without the mercy of Lalita-devi, Giriraja or Yamuna, it is not possible to enter rasa-lila. The first and greatest is Srimati Lalita-devi herself, the second is Giriraja Govardhana and the third is Yamuna or Visakha-devi. Lalita is the same age as Srimati Radhika, or she is twenty-seven days older. [It may happen one way in one yuga (millennium) and one way in another.] Like Radhika, Lalita also has all the qualities of being a yuthesvari – able to control her own group of subservient gopis. Why is she qualified to be a yuthesvari? If Bhadra, Syamala or Candravali can become yuthesvaris, then what to speak of Lalita-devi? However, despite being the same age as Radhika and having the qualification of a yuthesvari, still, the only goal of her life is to serve Srimati Radhika and to facilitate the meeting of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Her only happiness is the meeting of Radha and Krsna, and to achieve that goal, she never considers any amount of discomfort or suffering. Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays: padabjayos tava vina vara-dasyam eva nanyat kadapi samaye kila devi yace sakhyaya te mama namo 'stu namo 'stu nityam dasyaya te mama raso 'stu raso 'stu satyam [O Goddess! I shall never pray to You for anything but the excellent service of Your lotus feet. I offer my constant obeisances unto the idea of becoming Your friend, but I truly relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant. (Vilap-kusumanjali text 16)] "Oh, I offer my obeisances millions of times to the position of a sakhi of Srimati Radhika. But my only real desire, birth after birth, is to attain the service of Srimati Radhika in the mood of a manjari. I have no desire to become equal to Radhika, like the sakhis." Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also prays, "I will never leave the feet of Radhika to go to Krsna. Even if Krsna goes to Dvaraka and calls me there, I will not go. However, if out of some madness Radhika has somehow gone to Dvaraka, I will fly even faster than Garuda to serve Her there." (Svaniyama dasakam, verses 3 and 4) nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli [If a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, he will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika's own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja's family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 9)] In conclusion, Srimati Lalita-devi is the wish-fulfilling tree of the prema-seva (service in love) of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Whoever chants this Lalita-astakam will make Radha and Krsna happy. Moreover, Lalita-devi herself will be happy, and all our desires will be fulfilled.
  19. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja For the Appearance Day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja [Respected Harikatha Readers, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga. August 22, 2017 (in India) is the divine Appearance Day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja. In dedication to this auspicious day, we are sending an excerpt from Srila Gurudeva's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra, Chapter 8:] We have already related two histories explaining Lord Jagannatha's appearance, and there is one more, a third history, which came from the heart of a very advanced devotee. This history has extraordinarily deep and secret rasa, transcendental flavor. I used to relate it in Mathura and Vrndavana, and in Jagannatha Puri as well. When I told it, everyone listened silently, and they were moved, for they had never heard such secrets before. They wondered, "Where has he discovered this?" A few years later I saw a magazine article by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, a prominent disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. As I began to read it, I thought, "Oh, he has written the same thing here with a few small changes. How has he taken this from my heart?" I became happy and thought, "This person, Gour Govinda Maharaja, is one of the rare people in this world who are genuinely in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Gosvamis. Only a real devotee can know all these truths." A few years ago, while I was translating some books in Jagannatha Puri, Gour Govinda Maharaja came with only one disciple to meet me. He heard my hari-katha very patiently, and he was charmed. We became friends, and he told me, "I saw you in Vrndavana at the time of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance, when you placed him in samadhi. I was there, but at that time I was quite insignificant. You moved me very much, and I wanted to meet you and hear your classes, but I could not do so at that time. Now I have come." He continued, "There are some problems. I cannot speak the glories of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. I am controlled by some people who don't want to hear them. They are creating problems, and even stopping me from going to Australia, Germany, and other countries. I cannot open my heart and tell these glories," and he began to weep. I embraced him and said, "Don't worry – be strong like me. If problems come, jump over them like a lion. Be like Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and my gurudeva." I consoled him so much, and then he went away. The next year he went to Mayapura, and there he departed from this world while relating this very history. Many of his disciples came to me weeping, and I told them, "I will help you. Don't worry." His ideas were very similar to my own, and this story is therefore also related to him. What I explained there in Jagannatha Puri and during our grand Navadvipa Chariot Festival has also been published in our monthly magazine, Bhagavata Patrika. I also searched for the scripture in which this pastime was originally written, but no one could tell me where it was. I asked many learned pandas in Jagannatha Puri, and they could only tell me, "We've read it, and we'll have to search for the original book," but they could not produce it. Krsna returns to Vrndavana All the Vrajavasis feel great separation when Krsna goes to Mathura and Dvaraka, especially Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and above all, Krsna's beloved gopis. Sometimes they faint and lose consciousness, appearing as if dead, and one may even think, "Oh, they have died!" Krsna also feels separation from the gopis, and especially from Radhika. Sometimes He also loses external consciousness, and He remains in that state for many days. As we hear and discuss these elevated topics, we feel proud and think, "My gurudeva and I are in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami as rupanuga Vaisnavas." The senior devotees are especially aware that our guru-varga, the gurus in our disciplic succession, are all rupanuga Vaisnavas. We should therefore understand Srila Rupa Gosvami's mood at this Festival of the Chariots. As discussed previously, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was reciting a verse of Sahitya-darpana over and over again, even though it was originally written in the base mood of mundane lovers and is thus against moral etiquette: yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.78) ["That very personality who stole my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."] One person, Svarupa Damodara, understood Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning, and there was a second person who did as well – a very young man who later became Srila Rupa Gosvami. No one other than them understood Mahaprabhu's deep meaning. Mahaprabhu had empowered Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga, and given him His full mercy, so that now he was able to write the meaning in his own sloka: priyah so 'yam krsnah sahacari kuru-ksetra- militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.79) ["Now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now we are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana."] The verses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.126–31) that follow this one further explain its meaning: avasese radha krsne kare nivedana sei tumi, sei ami, sei nava sangama [(In the mood of Srimati Radhika, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke thus to Lord Jagannatha:) "You are the same Krsna, and I am the same Radharani. We are meeting again in the same way that we met in the beginning of our lives."] tathapi amara mana hare vrndavana vrndavane udaya karao apana-carana ["Although we are both the same, My mind is still attracted to Vrndavana-dhama. I wish that You will please again appear with Your lotus feet in Vrndavana."] ihan lokaranya, hati, ghoda, ratha-dhvani tahan pusparanya, bhrnga-pika-nada suni ["In Kuruksetra there are crowds of people, elephants, and horses, and also the rattling of chariots. But in Vrndavana there are flower gardens, and the humming of bees and chirping of birds can be heard."] ihan raja-vesa, sange saba ksatriya-gana tahan gopa-vesa, sange murali-vadana ["Here at Kuruksetra You are dressed like a royal prince, and You are accompanied by great warriors, but in Vrndavana You appeared just like an ordinary cowherd boy, accompanied only by Your beautiful flute."] vraje tomara sange yei sukha-asvadana sei sukha-samudrera ihan nahi eka kana ["Here there is not even a drop of the ocean of transcendental happiness that I enjoyed with You in Vrndavana."] ama lana punah lila karaha vrndavane tabe amara mano-vancha haya ta' purane ["I therefore request You to come to Vrndavana and enjoy pastimes with Me. If You do so, My ambition will be fulfilled."] Srimati Radhika is saying, "I am the same, My beloved Krsna is the same, and we are meeting now after a long time; but I am not happy here. I want to be in Vrndavana, under the shade of the very fragrant kadamba trees, where the Yamuna is flowing. We were not married at that time, and we met freely there without any messenger. Our love increased simply by our glancing at each other, and that love reached an extreme height. Now we are meeting again, here in Kuruksetra, but I am not satisfied. I want You to come to My heart, that is, Vrndavana. I want to meet You there again." Srila Rupa Gosvami has made the meaning clear in his sloka. If one remembers and follows these ideas, he is actually a rupanuga Vaisnava, and if not, he is outside the disciplic line. Those who forbid others to think about these things are not rupanuga Vaisnavas in the line of Rupa Gosvami. Try to under¬stand this. It is egoistic to think, "My gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has not encouraged us to understand this." Your gurudeva has explained this thousands of times, but you have no eyes to see, or ears to hear. He was a rupanuga, as were all our past acaryas, down to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and my gurudeva. When my gurudeva remembered these topics, his complexion used to become reddish, yellowish, and whitish, and then he used to become faint. And when I would tell him these pastimes, he would weep continuously. All bona fide gurus are in one line, and if you are not in this line, you are derailed. Granted, we should not explain this subject matter to unqualified people, but if we do not explain it at all, then all these ideas will be gone – washed away from this world forever. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has replied to all doubts in this regard. Try to realize this reply. Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.23) states: sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam ["Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remember¬ing them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind, and words) – these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service."] Those who tell us only the general or external meaning of this sloka should go to the Ramanuja or Madhvacarya sampradayas, for they only know general principles. We should add the mood of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu to these principles. For example, in the first line of this sloka, "Visnu" means Krsna with Radhika and the gopis. This is the understanding of those in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Try to understand this. If you never remember, realize, and explain this to those who are qualified, you are derailed from our guru-parampara. You must come in the proper line. Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.39, 36) also states: vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah ["A sober person who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's play¬ful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly conquer lust, the disease of the heart."] anugrahaya bhaktanam manusam deham asthitah bhajate tadrsih krida yah srutva tat-paro bhavet ["When the Lord assumes a human-like body to show mercy to His devotees, He engages in such pastimes as will attract those who hear about them to become dedicated to Him."] Tat-paro bhavet means, "You must do this; otherwise you are derailed." You should not do anukarana; that is, you should not imitate Krsna's pastimes. However, those of you who are coming gradually to the stage of madhyama-adhikara must try to hear these pastimes; otherwise you are derailed. It is essential to follow the statements of Sri Rupa Gosvami at the Chariot Festival. Don't be confused. Have no doubt at all. You can think in this way: "The whole world may criticize and be against me – I don't care. I care for my gurudeva, for Srila Rupa Gosvami, and for our acarya-varga." Krsna has given you good intelligence. Use your own intelligence and don't run after others'. Try to judge, and see, and read the authorized sastras. If you say, "We are rupanuga-varga," you must follow Rupa Gosvami, not conceal him. Use your intelligence and see for yourself, and then you will realize what is correct and what is incorrect. If I conceal my father's name, is it right? Is it correct to conceal the name of my father? You can read the translation of this sloka, and after that you can read the explanation of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and especially that of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Now I am coming again to the point – the third history. When the gopis became unconscious because of being absorbed in feelings of separation from Krsna, He also became unconscious in Dvaraka, thinking, "Radhika, Radhika!" This had become a very big problem, and Narada, Uddhava, Baladeva Prabhu, and others began discussing how to bring Him back to conscious-ness. At first, they suggested that Narada should play on his vina and glorify Vraja, Mother Yasoda, the gopis, and all other Vrajavasis, but Narada objected: "Do you know what will happen when Krsna awakens? He will go to Vrndavana at once, and no one will be able to stop Him. He will stay there with the gopis and never return. You should consider this when you are decid¬ing what to do." Now they were in a dilemma. They thought again, and decided, "Uddhava should go to Vraja and tell Mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaja, and the gopas and gopis that Krsna is coming. He will tell them, 'Now you can welcome Him.' No one can know what state the Vrajavasis are in now. Some are even lying here and there unconscious. When they hear that Krsna is coming, they will return to consciousness and make arrange¬ments to welcome Him. Then Uddhava will somehow bring Krsna to Dvaraka again by a trick. There will be no problem. Uddhava must go there. Krsna sent him previously, and therefore he should go now and tell them that Krsna is coming." Uddhava was very unhappy when he heard this proposal. "Listen to me," he told them. "If I go to Vrndavana and say that Krsna is coming, they will not believe me because I bluffed them before. I told them, 'I am going, and very soon I will bring Krsna here. I will definitely bring Him.' After that I requested Krsna many times, but He gave all kinds of excuses, so what could I do? It's useless for me to go, because they will not believe me. They will say, 'Oh, the liar has come. The cheater has come!' Especially Mother Yasoda will say this." Narada Muni said, "Then Baladeva Prabhu can go. He can pacify all the gopis and gopas." But Baladeva Prabhu replied in the same way: "I told Krsna so many times to go there, and He always answered, 'Yes, I will go,' but He never went. Finally I went alone and I pacified them by saying, 'I promise that I will go to Dvaraka and bring Krsna.' "I don't know why this cruel Krsna never wants to go there. He used to be very soft and sweet, but now His heart has turned to stone. What can I say? If I go, the Vrajavasis will also say about me, 'Oh, this cheater and liar has come!' There is no use in my going because they will not believe me, either. They cannot be consoled without Krsna's direct presence. Krsna should go Himself." While they were discussing what to do, Krsna's sister Subhadra came in and heard everything. "Don't worry," she said, "I'm going. I will go to Vrndavana and take darsana of Mother Yasoda. First I will sit on her lap, and then I will caress her and tell her, 'Mother, Krsna is coming. He was traveling with me, but on the way many kings surrounded Him and began performing arcana to Him, praying to Him, and offering Him many presen¬tations. That is why I have arrived here first. Krsna will be a bit late, but He's on His way. It may be some hours, or one or two days, but He is coming.' I will go door-to-door to the gopis' homes. I will console them and tell them, 'Oh, now be happy. Don't feel separation. Krsna is coming!' They will become happy, and then I will tell them, 'You should all be ready to welcome Krsna.' Later, I will play a trick and tell My brother, 'Oh, You are sitting here, while Your mother Devaki, Your father Vasudeva, and all Your queens are living there in Dvaraka?' I will bring Him back to Dvaraka by some trick, so don't worry. Let me first bring a good chariot. After that Narada should sing the glory of Vraja accompanied by his vina, then Krsna will return to conscious¬ness, and after that He will come to Vrndavana, where everything will be ready." A chariot was brought and Subhadra was ready to go. Then Baladeva said, "If my brother and sister are going, I must go. I want to meet with my mother and father, Yasoda-maiya and Nanda Baba, and I want to meet all my friends and the gopis. I cannot remain here. I must go." Subhadra said, "Yes, we will go together. Baladeva Prabhu will go first, and I will follow Him." So another chariot was brought, and Baladeva's ratha was placed in front of Subhadra's. As they were about to leave, Baladeva Prabhu told Daruka, Krsna's chariot driver, "Bring your chariot here and be ready. When Krsna returns to consciousness, take the chariot and fly to Vrndavana." Narada Muni was then requested to glorify Vraja and, accom¬panied by his vina, he began to sing very beautifully. As Narada's sweet glorification of Vraja entered Krsna's ears, He regained consciousness and thought, "It is morning, and I am in Vraja. Where is My sweet vamsi?" He asked. "Where, where? Oh, I know. The gopis are very tricky. They have stolen it. I'll give them a good lesson." Then He stood in a beautiful threefold-bending form, as He had previously done in Vraja, and He appeared in a way that no one in Dvaraka had ever seen before. As He began searching, He said, "Oh, Lalita has taken it! If not Lalita, then Radhika Herself has stolen it with Visakha's help." He acted as though He was searching them to see where they had kept His flute. In the meantime, He saw Uddhava and asked, "Uddhava, why are you in Vrndavana?" Then He saw Narada and asked, "Oh, you are also in Vrndavana? From where have you come?" Narada replied, "Oh my Lord, You are not in Vrndavana. You are in Dvaraka. This is not the Yamuna; it is the ocean in Dvaraka Puri. Please remember where You are." Krsna was so absorbed that He forgot Uddhava and Narada and everyone else, and He was ready to run away to Vrndavana to quickly meet the gopas and gopis. Uddhava told Him, "Prabhu, Your chariot is ready, because we knew that You would do this. You can mount Your chariot and go to Vrndavana immediately." Krsna wanted to ascend His chariot, but He was so mad in radha-prema that He could not walk alone. Many people began to assist Him as He walked by, holding Him and helping Him from the front and back, and from both sides. He was like a mad person, lost in Radha's love and affection. Somehow He was taken to the chariot and raised upon it, and Daruka at once drove off with great speed toward Vrndavana. Balarama and Subhadra were ahead, and Krsna followed behind. In the meantime, in Vrndavana, Radhika was in the last stage of Her life, feeling unbearable separation. She was just about to die, not breathing in or out, and all the Vrajavasis were very worried, thinking, "She is going to leave Her body!" Everyone had lost hope that She would remain alive, and they were totally grief-stricken. They all thought, "We cannot save Her! She will certainly die!" Lalita and Visakha were trying hard to revive Her, but there were no signs of revival. While this was going on, all the other sakhis also assembled there, and they were also extremely upset – and even Candravali came to show her sympathy. Somehow Radhika said in a very low voice, "If I die, My dead body should be placed around a tamala tree. Let the air in My body be mixed with the air of Nandagaon where Krsna takes His breaths. Let the fire in My body mix with the sun-rays at Nanda Baba's house so that it will shine there and I will touch Krsna. May the earth of My body mix with the courtyard of Nanda-bhavana, so that Krsna can walk on Me and I can touch Him." As She lamented in this way, She again became unconscious. In the meantime, three chariots arrived in Vraja – Subhadra's and Baladeva's in front, and Krsna's following. As soon as Krsna reached there, He heard, "Radhika is going to die, and She will not remain alive for even one more moment." He ran very quickly to the spot where She was giving up Her body, and when He saw Her, He began to cry bitterly. Becoming more and more absorbed in radha-prema, His hands began melting. The lower part of His body also melted, then His face as well; and only two large round eyes remained. Just then, Baladeva Prabhu and Subhadra arrived, and when they saw this scene, they could not control themselves and they also became like Krsna. In the meantime, Lalita spoke repeatedly in the ear of Radhika, "Radha, Radha! Krsna has come. Krsna has come to meet You! Don't die." Visakha said in the other ear, "Krsna has come to meet You!" Gradually Radhika regained Her external consciousness, opened Her eyes, and thought, "Oh, beautiful Krsna has come!" She became further absorbed in the ecstasy of love and affection. Seeing Her, Krsna's love also increased, and He lost external con¬sciousness. In that same state He began rolling on the earth. Radhika told Visakha, "Please help Krsna; otherwise He may die. You know the mantra to revive Him. Say in His ear, 'Radha, Radha!'" When Krsna heard this sweet injection of the powerful mantra from the lips of Visakha, "Radha, Radha, Radha, Radha!" He opened His eyes and became so happy again. Gradually He revived, and They met together and everyone became happy. Narada also arrived, and he requested Krsna, "Prabhu, please manifest these three forms that You revealed when You were absorbed and melted. In that way everyone will see and realize these truths about You. Please manifest these forms somewhere in this world." Krsna replied, "Tatha 'stu, tatha 'stu evam bhavatu! So be it. I will always remain in this shape in Nilacala, which will be like Dvaraka, and everyone will be able to come and see Me there." I have told this very beautiful pastime in brief. This lila is in the hearts of pure devotees, and Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja has also touched it. I have also reconciled some points to clarify any doubts or misunderstandings about this lila. You should know that there are four groups of gopis in Vraja: svapaksa (belonging to Radhika's own group), vipaksa (belong¬ing to the group of Her rivals), tatastha-paksa (belonging to the group that is neutral to Her), and suhrt-paksa (belonging to the group that is friendly to Her), and Krsna's pastimes cannot take place without them. However, there are no parties when Krsna disappears, or when He goes to Mathura or Dvaraka and a sepa¬ration mood manifests in the gopis' hearts. At that time, all the parties become one for Krsna, and they help each other. Candravali, or Bhadra, or any of the others may come and pacify Srimati Radhika, because Her separation is the highest. They are very sympathetic towards Her, because their separation mood is not as high in comparison. They tell Her, "O Radhika, You should not weep. Krsna will come." Even Candravali, who has a deep separation mood of her own, will also come and speak like this. The interactions here are very mysterious, and I want to give you realization and entrance into these very extraordinary pas¬times, but you have to become qualified first. Try to follow regu¬lated bhakti – sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam – otherwise you will not be able to maintain your spiritual life. You will become lusty, and after some time you will think that Krsna's pastimes are the same as your pastimes of getting divorced. I have not read scriptures like Govinda-lilamrta, but I know that most of you have copies of all these books. Many of those who read these have fallen down, so you should not read them at this time, nor should you give classes on these topics. Be very, very careful. Our aim and object is to realize Krsna's pastimes, but you cannot jump to this. If you want to be situated on a tree, you must first try to climb up from the root, and from there you can go to the highest places. If you try to jump, you will fall down. I request you to read Upadesamrta, Manah-siksa, and books like them. Try to chant more. Chanting only sixteen rounds will not suffice. Your gurudeva has given sixteen and then one, six¬teen and then one, sixteen and then one; there are four sets of sixteen.3 Has he given this without a purpose? A man may be very expert in speaking hari-katha and performing related services, but if he does not chant because he has no taste, he is a very weak devotee, and after some time he may fall down. tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu¬ smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram Upadesamrta (8) ["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize his full time – twenty-four hours a day – in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities, and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging his tongue and mind."] Be in Vrndavana, under the guidance of a rasika-tattvajna Vaisnava guru, and always chant the names with their meaning, knowing and remembering SriRadha-Krsna's pastimes. Then you will become fully qualified for this highest object of life.
  20. Baladeva's Birthday

    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!
  21. The Swing Ceremony

    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.]
  22. I Was Weeping For You

    [Srila Narayana Maharaja had a two-day layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on his way back to India, where he spent some days in Calcutta before returning to Mathura-Vrndavana. He gave one class in Malaysia, and just after the class he held initiations. The following is a transcription of that class:] My Gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja gave me initiation, trained me, and then said to me, "Now you should preach everywhere, and try to help devotees here and there - especially those who have become weak." In his last days, when my siksa guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was departing from this world, he placed my hands in his and, weeping, said, "I have collected so many disciples. And in Bengali he said, "I have collected so many monkeys from all over the world, but I could not complete their training. Therefore, I humbly request you to help them." I told him that I will certainly follow his orders. He told me that he will only remain here in this world for one or two more days, and he left the next day. [At this time some devotees in the back of the room were speaking to each other. Srila Maharaja interrupted his class and said, "Don't talk. Hear me." Then he continued:] You should know that your body is not your real self. The body is a bag of urine, blood and so many other nasty things. If you open it, you will only see these things. If a white spot appears on your nose, no one will marry you. Both men and women will hate looking at you. Don't be in the false ego of this body, thinking, "I am so qualified." In a day you may become mad. In a moment you may die. I have heard from my Gurudeva and guru-parampara that in this rotten body there is a soul and Supersoul. We are souls and the Supersoul is looking after us like a witness - seeing what good and bad things we are doing. The Supersoul notes down our activities and gives us the reactions to those activities. He knows, better than us, everything that is in our hearts and minds. We are not any worldly thing; rather we are souls. Somehow we have forgotten the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that is why, since the beginning of time, we have been in the endless chain of birth and death. We have experienced many previous lives before this life. Many times we were hogs, pigs, dogs and cats, and sometimes demigods like Lord Indra or Lord Brahma. We have been searching for happiness everywhere, but we never became happy. Sri Krsna then again mercifully gave us a human body, and when we were in the womb of our mother He said, "You should promise that, 'when I come out into the world I will serve you.'" We have forgotten this promise and that is why we are suffering. In the ocean, waves rise higher and higher and then causes floods everywhere. Similarly, bundles of problems are continuously befalling us, and then we will die, and then problems again come when we take birth again - unless we are remembering Lord Krsna, chanting His name and worshipping Him. Our aim and object is to serve Him. jivera `svarupa' haya--krsnera `nitya-dasa' krsnera `tatastha-sakti' `bhedabheda-prakasa' ["It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 20.108)] By our transcendental constitution we are servants of Sri Krsna - maidservants of Krsna - but we have forgotten everything about that service. Now we are very happily enjoying sense gratification like hogs and pigs, but we should remember that one day we will become old. We are bound to become old, and our beauty will leave. Then, after some time, at most around the age of 100, we will have to die. What can you take from this world? What you have collected from this world or are still going to collect, you cannot take with you - not even one paisa, nor one farthing nor one hair. You have come with nothing and when you leave you will have nothing. So why are you doing so much hard labor from morning to night - working like donkeys and monkeys? One thing to remember: You don't want any suffering or problems in life, but they come, as a result of your fruitive activities. You are bound to that suffering even though you do not want it. Similarly, even if you have not tried for it, still happiness will come - if you have done anything good in your past life. Whether you are endeavoring for happiness or not, it will come automatically; so why be worried for this? Why not chant and remember Krsna? Constant remembrance of Sri Krsna is the aim and object of our life. Prince Charles was so wealthy and powerful, but still he suffered. Ravana's servants all had beautiful golden houses, but what became of them? Princess Diana was beautiful and world-famous, but in a moment she died in a car crash. She didn't want it, but it came. Try to remember this. Try to be engaged in performing bhajana. Your wife and children may cheat you, but Krsna's name and Krsna Himself will never cheat you. Lord Krsna is very powerful. In a moment He can create millions of universes, and again, in a second, He can demolish them and again create them. He is causelessly merciful, very sweet, and very beautiful as He plays on His flute and smiles. The whole world is enchanted by His beauty - even animals and birds. He has invested all his power, beauty, mercy and all other qualities in this 16 word mantra - in three names: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Have strong faith that what you cannot accomplish by your great endeavor of making money by laboring day and night, you can accomplish in a second by chanting Hare Krsna. I never do anything for my maintenance, but you are all maintaining me. You are bound to maintain me because Krsna has given you inspiration to do this. You have heard from scriptures that if you help me and serve me, Krsna will be happy. These are the rules and regulations of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Somehow try to maintain your life. If you are grhastha (married), no harm; If you are brahmacari (celibate student), no harm; if you are a sannyasi (in the renounced order), no harm. Remain where you are and follow this verse: jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam ["Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.3)] From wherever position you are in, try to be in the good association of pure Vaisnavas. Sri Krsna will arrange this if you pray from the core of your heart. He will send your Gurudeva to your door. You cannot search for a Guru. You have no idea how to recognize his qualifications. In millions and millions of births you cannot know this on your own, but Krsna will mercifully send a qualified guru if you are sincerely desiring this. You have not called Padmanabha Maharaja or Nanda Kisora prabhu here. Krsna has given inspiration in my heart to send them, so I sent them. They came to please me. I came here myself, by my mercy. I was weeping for you, and now I am very happy for you. I always remember those who are serving. I am always remembering Lalita. She may forget me, but I cannot forget her. I cannot forget Bala and his brother Vijaya, and I cannot forget my senior devotees sitting in the back in a group, like Amala Krsna, Kesava, Isvara Puri, Gauraraja and Acyutananda. There are so many seniors here - both men and women. I have come to remind you to not be weak. If you are unmarried, remain unmarried. If you are divorced, then do not remarry. Take shelter in the lotus feet of Krsna. I have given you in marriage to Krsna. Don't go again in the burning ocean. Krsna's service is the aim and object of our life. Always chant: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. My doctor has advised me that due to my age I should not travel so much. You are all serving me greatly by giving me medicines that will make me well, so it may be that I will travel for some more years. But after that you will have to come to India to meet me. I am reminding you all - never be weak. Don't lose your faith in Guru Your Guru is bona fide and very strong, and he will never fall.
  23. 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")]
  24. 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.
  25. 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!
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