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Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami (birth name: Narayana Tiwari, February 16, 1921, Tivaripur — December 29, 2010, Puri) is a Hindu Vaishnava religious figure, theologian, writer, senior student and successor of Shrila Bhaktipragyana Keshava Gosvami (1898-1968); founder of the "International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society." Being in old age Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami traveled around the world more than 30 times, having been preaching Gaudiya Vaishnavism in many countries of the world. According to data for 2002, the Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami had more than 40,000 students.
Шрила Бхактиведанта Нараяна Госвами (имя при рождении — Нараяна Тивари; 16 февраля 1921, Тиварипур — 29 декабря 2010, Пури) — индуистский вайшнавский религиозный деятель, богослов, писатель, старший ученик и преемник Шрила Бхактипрагьяна Кешавы Госвами (1898-1968); основатель «Международного общества чистой бхакти-йоги». Пребывая в преклонном возрасте Бхактиведанта Нараяна Госвами объехал вокруг света более 30 раз, побывав с проповедью гаудия-вайшнавизма во многих странах мира. По данным на 2002 год, у Бхактиведанты Нараяны Госвами было более 40 000 учеников.
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Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj
Shri Jagannatha Puri: October 7, 2001
[In October, 2001, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj led several hundred international pilgrims on parikrama to several holy places of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes in Jagannatha Puri. On October 7th he took the parikrama pilgrims to Tota Gopinatha Mandira.
Tota Gopinatha is the Deity manifested by Shriman Mahaprabhu. Tota Gopinatha is the Deity Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered at the time of His disappearance from this world. Visitors who approach the outside of the temple on the left side can see the enchanting garden where Mahaprabhu heard Shrimad-Bhagavatam from Shri Gadadhara Pandit.
There in the temple, Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj spoke in Hindi, Bengali and English. The following is a transcription of his English, and also the English translation of his Hindi:]
If anyone thinks that when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took Shrimati Radhika's bhava, She became zero, it is not correct. In a drama, someone may play the part of someone else, and that second person is still present. He has not become zero. Someone may play Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, and Radha and Krishna may also be present, watching. Similarly, when Lord Shri Krishna 'took' the bhava of Shrimati Radhika and became Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, She was also present, watching, as Shri Gadadhara Pandit.
Shrimati Radhika came in the form of Shri Gadadhara. You should try to know Gadadhara-tattva. There is no difference between Shri Gadadhara Pandit and Shrimati Radhika, but the activities are different in Krishna's pastimes and Gaura's pastimes. In Gaura-lila Shri Gadadhara Pandit is in the mood of a servant.
No gopi, including Chandravali, Lalita, and Visakha, can experience Shrimati Radhika's madanakya-mahabhava. Krishna experiences the ecstatic loving moods of rudha and adirudha, but not madanakhya-bhava. Shri Gadadhara Pandit, on the other hand has madanakya-mahabhava. In Gaura-lila, however, it is covered, so that he can help Krishna to play the part of Shrimati Radhika. In the form of Shri Gadadhara Pandit, Shrimati Radhika is looking and examining, and if there is something wrong in Krishna (as Mahaprabhu), She corrects it.
Shri Gauranga (Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) is not nagara (the male lover). No one can serve Gauranga by thinking himself a gopi and thinking of Gauranga as Shri Krishna. Everyone has to serve Him in dasya-bhava, as a servant. No one should think, "I am Lalita”, or “I am Visakha”, or any other gopi. This is called ‘gauranga-nagari-vada’.
It is possible for Krishna to be the enjoyer of conjugal mellows, but not Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu is always in the role of a gopi, Shrimati Radhika. Anyone can serve Mahaprabhu in dasya-rasa, but not in madhurya-rasa. In Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, this would be absurd. Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta says that gauranga-nagari-vada *, is sahajiya. The scripture Shri Chaitanya-bhagavata, and our entire guru-parampara, reject this idea. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has defeated their arguments.
Shri Gadadhara Pandit is Shrimati Radhika and he therefore has up to madanakya-mahabhava, but He wants to serve Mahaprabhu. He wants to do what Krishna wants, and thus he covers his madhurya-bhava. Shri Gadadhara Pandit knows what Mahaprabhu wants: Mahaprabhu wants to play the part of Shrimati Radhika. Right from the beginning He is in Shrimati Radha's mood, and He is chanting, "Krishna prana-natha (My beloved Krishna)!" He came to Tota-Gopinatha Temple to hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam from Shri Gadadhara Pandit – Shrimati Radhika – to learn how to play Her part. In its deepest understanding, Shrimad-Bhagavatam is really the glories of Shrimati Radhika's moods.
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.47.63)
"I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaj's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Shri Krishna, the vibration purifies the three worlds."
Why did Mahaprabhu come to hear from Shri Gadadhara Pandit? Since Shri Gadadhara Pandit is Shrimati Radharani, he was able to explain Her moods described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The explanations of Gadadhara Pandit are the highest explanations and glorification of Her mood. His explanations will be greater than those of Vyasa, Sukadeva, and Krishna Himself. Mahaprabhu came here to know the glories of all the gopis, and especially Shrimati Radharani:
aksanvatam phalam idam na param vidamah
sakhyah pasun anuvivesayator vayasyaih
vaktram vrajesa-sutayor anuvenu-justam
yair va nipitam anurakta-kataksa-moksam
(Venu-gita, text seven)
"The gopis began to speak among themselves: O sakhis! We think that for those who have eyes, there is but one thing which is a suitable object of vision. Success of the eyes lies in beholding this object alone; we know of no other. And what is that most precious object of attachment for the eyes? It is the vision of the two sons of Maharaj Nanda, Shri Krishna and Baladeva, accompanied by the gopas, as They enter the forest taking the cows, or as They bring them back to Vrndavana. They hold Their flutes to Their lips and look upon us with mild smiles and amorous sidelong glances filled with love. At that time we drink the sweetness of Their faces."
This verse in Venu-gita of Shrimad-Bhagavatam is spoken by Shrimati Radhika and the gopis when Krishna goes cowherding. Shri Krishna is behind and Baladeva is ahead. Krishna is playing on His flute and searching for Shrimati Radhika. Shrimati Radhika comes and takes His flute, and He begins looking at Her with sidelong glances. If Shrimati Radhika explains this pastime Herself, saying, "My mood was such and such," it is surely the best explanation.
mrgayur iva kapindram vivyadhe lubdha-dharma
striyam akrta virupam stri-jitah kama-yanam
balim api balim attvavestayad dhvanksa-vad yas
tad alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-katharthah
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.47.17)
"Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with amorous desires. And, even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaj, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can't give up talking about Him."
This verse and the one below were uttered by Shrimati Radhika at Uddhava Kyari, when Krishna was residing in Mathura. The deepest meanings of these verses were revealed to Mahaprabhu by Gadadhara Pandit Prabhu.
sapadi grha-kutumbam dinam utsrjya dina
bahava iha vihanga bhiksu-caryam caranti
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.47.18)
"To hear about the pastimes that Krishna regularly performs is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to material duality is ruined. Many such persons have suddenly given up their wretched homes and families and, themselves becoming wretched, traveled here to Vrndavana to wander about like birds, begging for their living."
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came here to hear, and when He heard, He fainted. Both He and Shri Gadadhara Pandit fainted. Gadadhara Pandit knew that by Mahaprabhu's hearing from him, Mahaprabhu would become more perfect to play Shrimati Radhika's part. Shrimati Radhika is the principal in the school of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, in the course of tasting its meanings.
There were three and a half confidential associates of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Gambhira. Why was Shri Gadadhara Pandit not one of them? He is superior to these other three and a half confidential associates. This is a hidden secret. If Shri Gadadhara Pandit were there, Mahaprabhu's separation mood would not have come. In the association with Shrimati Radhika He would have thought Himself to be Krishna.
One day, after hearing Shrimad Bhagavatam, Mahaprabhu was sitting on the sand here at Cataka Parvata, which He considered to be Govardhana. He told Gadadhara Pandit, "Gadadhara, I want to give you My most valuable property. Will you accept it?" When Gadadhara Pandit agreed, Mahaprabhu said, "This is the property of My heart." He began removing the sand and said, "My prana-dhana (beloved wealth of My life) is here." In the mood of Shrimati Radhika. He exposed Gopinatha's head and crown, and others began to help to reveal His form. Mahaprabhu then requested Shri Gadadhara Pandit, "Please take Him and serve Him throughout your life."
At the time of His disappearance, Mahaprabhu entered the Deity Tota-Gopinatha. Mahaprabhu left the world at 48 years, when Shri Gadadhara Pandit was 47. Out of great separation, Gadhadara Pandit quickly became like an old man, and he also very soon disappeared. We see in Krishna's pastime that the wife of Sudama Vipra appeared like an old person. She was young, but she was very lean and thin like an old person, with practically no breasts and no shape. She was almost like a skeleton. Similarly, in his mood of separation from Mahaprabhu, Shri Gadadhara Pandit may have also appeared like that.
More about Shri Gadadhara Pandit prabhu
Jagannatha Puri: October 13, 2001 Darsana
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Gadadhara Pandit is always serving Krishna. In Krishna-lila, whatever Krishna wishes, Shrimati Radhika always serves Him more than Chandravali, Lalita, Visakha, and all others. Her whole mood is to satisfy Krishna. In Mahaprabhu-lila, because Krishna wants to relish His own self, He takes Radhika's mood, and She responds accordingly: "He wants that, so I should not disturb Him. If I help Him in this, this will be My service." Do you understand?
When Mahaprabhu was calling, "Krishna! Krishna! O Prananatha!" Radhika was there, but as an obedient servant. She was in a daksina (submissive) mood. The relationship of dasa (servant) always constitutes a daksina mood. Shri Gadadhara Pandit was even more daksina than Rukmini. Rukmini sometimes had some maan (transcendental loving anger or sulky mood), but Shri Gadadhara Pandit was not like that. If He had been in a vamya (left-wing or unsubmissive) mood, it would have been unfavorable to the mood of Krishna as Mahaprabhu. Gadadhara Pandit was always thinking, "I am His servant." If he had said to Mahaprabhu, "My dear Krishna, my dear beloved," Mahaprabhu's mood would have been disturbed.
Tunga-vidya dasi: That was in Puri. But what was the mood in Navadvipa?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: In Navadvipa also. At that time Gauranga was also calling out, "Krishna, Krishna," not "Radha, Radha." But at that time He was untrained. He was not yet admitted in the school of Visakha – Shri Svarupa Damodara. At that time also, Gadadhara Pandit always served as an obedient servant, covering all his moods as Shrimati Radhika.
Tunga-vidya dasi: Are Mahaprabhu and Gadadhara Pandit in the same mood in nitya-Navadvipa Dhama as well?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Same mood. Gauranga was not in the mood of nagara (Krishna as the male lover). We never accept Him as nagara.
*[Endnote – From of a letter by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, dated June 16, 1968: "A similar example is Lord Chaitanya. Although He is Krishna Himself, He appeared as a devotee, not as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should accept the Lord's mood in particular appearances and we should worship Him in those moods. Because Lord Chaitanya is Krishna Himself, somebody may worship Him in the same manner as Krishna. But Krishna was in the role of enjoyer, and Lord Chaitanya was in the role of being enjoyed. The party known as gauranga-nagari is therefore considered to be deviated from pure devotional service. This is on account of it giving Lord Chaitanya the same facility as Krishna, which He did not like. Our service mood should be compatible with the attitude of the Lord. It is not that we should overlap the attitude of Krishna upon Lord Chaitanya, or Lord Chaitanya upon Krishna, or Krishna upon Ramacandra, or Ramacandra upon Krishna."]
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Odessa, Ukraine: September 22, 2002
I want to give you a general idea of Shrimad Bhagavatam. It has been told by Shrila Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, who is one of the incarnations of Krishna, that this world was created by the Supreme Lord. He is very powerful, and that is why He is called God; G stands for generator or creator, O for operator or manager, and D stands for destroyer. Our Vedic rsis, like Vyasadeva, Narada, and Brahma have told us that the Supreme Lord has a very beautiful form and many millions of transcendental qualities. If a father has a form, then only his son may have a form. If the father has no form or qualities, then the son will neither have form nor qualities, nor can He even exist. It is stated in our scriptures:
aho bhagyam aho bhagyam
purnam brahma sanatanam
["How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend."(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.32).]
The son of Nanda Baba in Vraja is very beautiful, sweet, and merciful. He sports with His cowherd boys and millions of gopis – dancing, singing, making merry, and playing on His flute. He is not an ordinary person, He is the Lord of lords. He is purna-brahma sanatana. He is unlimited and unparalleled. No one is equal to Him and no one can be greater than Him; all are subordinate to Him. He does not directly create these worlds. The servants of the servants of His servants create them all, where as He Himself is always engaged in playing and giving pleasure to all His associates.
A shadow of this truth has been explained in the Bible, wherein it is said, "God created man after his own image" – this is the same thing. The Supreme God had created man. He is beautiful and He also made man like that. In the Bible it has been written that the Supreme Lord has a form. It has also been written in the Koran of the Muslims and in other religious scriptures that Ghoda, or Allah, created man in His own image. No one can deny these statements of the Bible and the Koran.
Jesus went to India when he was about sixteen years old, and he visited many places of pilgrimage, like Vrindavana, Ayodhya, South India, and Jagannatha Puri. In Puri he saw Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, and he heard Jagannatha addressed as Krishna. From this name came Krista, then Kroosta, then Kroosna, and then Christ – Krishna, Kroosna, Krista, and then Christ – they are the same. There are no separate Gods.
In this entire universe there is only one Supreme God. There are many gods, but the Supreme God is not Russian, British, German, or Australian. He knows all the languages perfectly, and ultimately there is no need of knowing these languages. There is only one real language in the entire world, and that language is called love.
Our eyes can speak the language of love, our ears and our hands can speak and understand the language of love, and a smiling a face can tell everything. Our Supreme Lord Krishna knows all languages with no difficulty. God is one and He is Krishna. All other names, like Brahma, Paramatma, Buddha, Allah, and God are included within Him.
Krishna is love, and His love is Radhika. Without love – without Radhika – He cannot exist for even a second. If you want to take darsana of Krishna, in a moment you can have darsana of Krishna if you will follow Radhika and call out to Her, "O Radhike!" Krishna will then come at once.
This is the philosophy of love, and it is imperative that we know this philosophy. Shrimad Bhagavatam is the philosophy of love, Shri Caitanya Caritamrta is the essence of love, and the books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, such as Ujjvala Nilamani and others, are all about transcendental love and nothing else. For example, in the first verse of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shrila Vyasadeva and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami offer obeisances to the Supreme Lord:
Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
janmady asya yato ’nvayad itaratas carthesu abhijnahsvarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi
O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth."]
Although Shrila Vyasadeva is addressing Krishna in this way: "You are creating this world; You are the supreme cause of this creation", he knows that this is a secondary consideration. It is not primary. Krishna can at once create millions and millions of universes simply by His eyes or by His wish.
Krishna is fully independent. No one can control Him and there are none equal to Him. Even Brahma, the creator of this universe, can understand something about Krishna in his meditation, but he does not understand Him fully. He does not know who He is and how He performs all of His wonderous feats. Krishna has a very powerful energy; and this energy is called Radhika and sometimes Yogamaya. He also has His shadow, the illusory maya, and by the work of this shadow energy we sometimes imagine we are seeing water in earth and fire in water.
The meaning here is that this body is mortal. It is made of stool, urine, blood and many other foul substances. Although this is a fact, still we think, "I am this body, this world is true, and it is mine." This is the influence of Krishna's deluding potency called maya-sakti. I have come only to point this out and to encourage you to be careful in this regard.
In this world there is no pure love and affection. The appearance of love and affection here is also due to Krishna's deluding potency called maya. In this world we have great affection for our wives and our children, but that blind love is not pure. If your wife is very beautiful, energetic, and always serving you, you keep her; but if she becomes invalid in any way and not so beautiful, you will change your wife. You will divorce her and get a new wife. In the same way, a lady also gives up her husband if he is not doing well and is not serving her. Thus, there is only blind love and affection in this world; it is not real. We cannot love anyone by these bodies. The only pure love is experienced by the soul to the Supersoul. It is for this reason – to give you this pure love – that we have come to you.
Due to the deluding maya we misunderstand this world to be true and our affection to be true, but it is actually extremely painful. Becoming old and dying is very painful. You cannot take with you what you are collecting day and night in this world. Moreover, you cannot take your body and present mental conceptions with you. Therefore, what is the use of laboring like the donkeys? There is no need to do so. We are offering our prostrated obeisances, Shrila Vyasadeva is offering his prostrated obeisances, and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami is offering his prostrated obeisances, to He whose deluding potency maya makes us blind and ignorant.
In the first sloka, Shrila Vyasadeva has stated, "Satyam parama dhimahi." I meditate on parama-satyam (the transcendental truth), Shrimati Radhika with Krishna. Offering respectful obeisances and meditating on satyam parama; this is the essence of the first sloka. In the second sloka of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Vyasadeva again offers His respectful obeisances:
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ’tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
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".]
In this world there are many kinds of new religions, although they are actually not religions. They are not permanent and eternal religions. These religions (dharmas), can only give us information about how to maintain our worldly lives. The adherents of Buddha-dharma, for example, do not discuss any relation with the Supreme Lord; they only consider their relationship with mortal bodies, and it his therefore not eternal. Nowadays, Buddha-dharma is everywhere, but its followers do not believe in the Vedas. Actually, it is not religion. Its followers do not believe in God and in fact they do not believe in anything. They do not even believe in their own existence, and they accept nothing more than false logic. If someone will follow them, he may lose his existence – in the sense that he will merge with the impersonal brahma, where there is no activity, no form, and no qualities. This is likened to losing ones existence or becoming zero. Buddha-dharma is pervading everywhere, like the air, so beware of it.
If the world is false, if God is false, if we are false, then love is also false. Without love, however, we cannot maintain our lives for even a second, and therefore their theory is totally false. Whereas they advocate no love at all, our God is supreme, eternal, and He is the embodiment of love and affection. Do you know what religion was in this world earlier than 2002 years ago. Christianity is only 2002 years old, and younger than that is the Muslim faith, which is only 1400 years old. But love existed even at the beginning of the universe. Love is really our religion, and this love is called Sanatana (eternal) dharma, or Vedic dharma.
If you throw a piece of stone, earth, wood, or other solid or liquid object in the sky, it will go upward and then return down. Why? This is due to the earth's law of gravitation. Anything made of earth, wood, and so on will fall down if there is nothing to hold it up. On the other hand, flames of a fire also go up, but they do not turn again towards the earth. If you send a balloon into the sky, it will go up and it may be that it will never return. The example of this balloon is given because a balloon refers to the air; and air and fire are not part of the earth. When any part of a whole meets with its whole, the two will exist together and be happy. Otherwise, if they do not have this relationship, they will not. Similarly, we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, so unless we meet Him with love and affection, we cannot be happy. This is the philosophy of love.
Even dangerous lions, tigers, bears, and very poisonous snakes, and even dacoits have some kind of love. Despite our repeated change of body, only love will remain with us. We all want ananda, happiness, and real happiness is nothing but love.
Does anyone present here want suffering? You can raise your hands if you want to suffer and I will give it to you at once. Nobody likes suffering. All want happiness, and this happiness is pure love. But love does not mean body-to-body. Inside the body is the soul and the Supersoul, Krishna. The Supreme Lord is also there. He is everywhere, and if we attain pure love and affection for Him, then we can serve Him eternally – and He can be controlled. This is the philosophy of the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
The Supreme Lord is very kind; He is causelessly merciful. He has donated a very valuable asset to us, and that asset is love. We have love, but we will have to purify it by loving Krishna. Only in this way will He be controlled. The only way to be happy, and the only way to control the Supreme Lord, is by this love and affection that He has personally donated to us.
The philosophy of love has been given in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, and Shrimad Bhagavatam not only gives philosophy, but also examples of real love and affection. It explains how the gopis and other Vrajavasis love Krishna fully, with their lives and souls. If one hears Shrimad Bhagavatam and thinks about even one line or even half of a line, or even one word – Krishna or Radha – he will attain that pure love and be able to control the Supreme Lord.
Shri Vyasadeva realized the full love felt between Krishna and all His associates in his trance of meditation. He also saw how a conditioned soul forgets Krishna and falls down to this material world, and how one who remembers His names attains that love and affection very quickly. We should try to hear very carefully and attentively whatever Shrimad Bhagavatam is telling us.
The transcendental religion explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam is not periodical, or partial. It is not like worldly intoxication in the name of religion. Rather, it is permanent, transcendental love and affection. If anyone will hear it, he will be happy in this life and, giving up his body, his pure soul will go to Goloka Vrindavana and he will be happy there.
It is true that we are not seeing Krishna, but He sees us, and He may hear what we say to Him. We do not hear what He is telling us, and we do not hear His calling us by playing His flute, but our call is heard by Krishna who is very kind and causelessly merciful. He has sent all our guru-parampara acaryas, He has also sent Jesus, and sometimes He Himself descends with all His associates – only because He loves us. He is calling us saying, "Come, come My sons and daughters. Chant this mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Chant even one time. I will take you to Goloka Vrindavana and you will be transcendentally happy forever." Do not be hopeless; never be hopeless. You can always have hope, because He is weeping for us. He is lamenting for us. We cannot lament or weep for Him, but He is lamenting and weeping for us. Go on chanting, remembering and offering obeisances, and you will be able to very quickly attain all the invaluable gifts I have described.
[The lecture below was given on the first day of the second half of Caturmasya at Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, India, on September 13, 2000. Shrila Gurudeva’s lecture was on the topics of Shri Visvarupa Mahotsava and the sannyasa ceremony of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada.]
Today is a very sacred day in our line. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had taken sannyasa and had begun to search for his brother, Shri 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. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would follow all these rules very strictly, but nowadays we see that devotees don't follow. Our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada were very strong in this regard. Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Shrila 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.
After taking initiation, Shri Shrimad 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 – Shri 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 Shrila 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 Shrimad-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 Shrila 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 Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and I saw in a sloka there:
harisye tad-dhanam sanaih
tato 'dhanam tyajanty asya
["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 Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Shrila 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, Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Shrila Maharaja's request, some senior disciples of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja spoke (such as Vrndavana Vilasini dasi, Krsna Kumari dasi and Radha-kunda dasa), after which Shrila Maharaja continued:
I met Shrila 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 Shrila 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, Shri Abhaya Carana De was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada – first harinama and then diksa initiation. In 1941 our Guru Maharaja established Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and Shrila 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, Shrila 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 Shrila 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, Shrila 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.
Shrila 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 Shrimad-Bhagavatam. His followers are only social persons; they have nothing to do with religion. Shrila 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: Shri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda Shri-advaita gadadhara Shrivasadi-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 Shrila 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
Shrila 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.
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 Shrila 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
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
(Chaitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.4)
["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati 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
kirtaniyah sada hari
(Chaitanya-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 Shrila Rupa Gosvami has told:
krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
(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 Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and they predicted his coming. Shrila 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. Shrila 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?
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate
(Chaitanya-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.