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Shrila B.V. Narayana MaharajShrila 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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A108-AI

Gurudev-and-Vaman-Gosvami.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
Govardhana, India: November 13, 2007 pm

[This year, 2018, the disappearance day of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja, the intimate god-brothers and friends of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, is on November 9th & 110h (see calendar). Please accept the following glorification of him, given on his disappearance day during  Kartika 2007.

During the auspicious month of Kartika, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled international parikrama pilgrims celebrated the disappearance day of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja left the vision of this world in 2002, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja left on the same day, two years later.

As he does every year at this time, Shrila 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 Shrila Narayana Maharaja himself.

The following is a simultaneous translation of Shrila 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 Shrila Vamana Maharja’s disappearance day:]

Today we will discuss the glorious characters of Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Parama-pujyapada Shrila 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 Shri 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 Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures.

Similarly, the more one is attached to Shrila Gurudeva’s lotus feet, the more separation one will feel in his absence. We see the topmost example of this in the life of Shrila Ragunatha dasa Gosvami, who had so much affection in his heart towards his siksa-gurus, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. What was the condition of Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. Without Gurudeva’s mercy, this is not possible.

I spent more than sixty years with Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Pujyapada Shrila 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 Shrila Vamana Maharaja was ready to give his life for his Gurudeva, and I understood how my Gurudeva used to feel indebted to Shrila Vamana Maharaja for his service. When Shrila Vamana Maharaja’s hand was caught in the printing press, Shrila Guru Maharaja wept, and he traveled with Shrila Vamana Maharaja to the hospital in Kolkata. When you see Shri 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 Shrila Vamana Maharaja, but to Shrila 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.

Shrila Gurudeva always saw Shrila Vamana Maharaja as his small child, because he had come to the Matha in his young age, as a very small child. But Shrila 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. Shrila Gurudeva entrusted the more responsible services to Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, not because Shrila Vamana Maharaja was not qualified, but because Gurudeva gave that opportunity to Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, who joined the Matha when he was in his mid twenties.

I observed the character of Shrila Vamana Maharaja; I saw how he has served Shrila Gurudeva. There was nothing he would not do. If someone wants the ability to perform bhajana and service to Shri Guru, he should learn from the life of Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Unless and until one has such firm faith in Guru, he cannot perform bhajana.

Wherever Shrila Gurudeva went for preaching, I would come along with Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja and Shrila Vamana Maharaja. For sixty years I had the fortune to reside with Shrila Vamana Maharaja. How many days have you (Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Shrila Vamana Maharaja used to walk a lot, but when Shrila 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, Shrila 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 Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja and Shrila 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 Shrila Guru Maharaja. He would speak to all of them, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja, with a paper and pen in his hand, was near him. While the large darsans would be going on, Shrila Vamana Maharaja would ask Shrila Gurudeva to speak something for the publication in the Gaudiya Patrika Magazine, and Shrila Gurudeva would say, “Ok, take a pen.” He would then speak fluently for a few minutes, and at which time Shrila 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 Shrila 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, Shrila 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 Shrila Vamana Maharaja and Pujyapada Shrila 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 Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. I know this. There are no people who have such kind of affection for Pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja.

Pujyapada Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja’s disciples are slowly coming to me. I am very happy that you [Shrila 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, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, then Shrila Vamana Maharaja, and then myself. This is the parampara. In the homes of my disciples throughout the world, Shrila Vamana Maharaja’s photo is placed on their altar.

Therefore, at this place, the pastimes of Shrila 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.

[Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] So many devotees from Siliguri have come here.

[Shrila 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.

[Shrila Maharaja requested Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja’s senior disciple Uma didi to glorify her Gurudeva, after which he said:] She had the association of Shrila 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, Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja had so much affection for her.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaja called on Damodara Maharaja to glorify Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, and then he himself spoke:] Whenever Shrila 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. (Shrila 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 Shri Shrimad 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 Shri Shrimad 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 Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance Day Lecture, given by Shrila 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. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, 6.1.27-34, Surat, December 17, 1970)]

Assistant Editor: Hariballabha dasi
Translator: Shripad Akhilesh dasa 
Transcriber: Sulata dasi
Typist and proofreader: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi 

A108-AI

gdandtm.jpgShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Varanasi, India (evening)

[In the mid-afternoon of November 7th, 2002, just after Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Vraja-mandala parikrama party reached Varsana from the lap of Giriraja Govardhana, the devotees heard the news: "Prapujya-carana Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja has just left this world." That very evening, in great bereavement, along with all the parikrama pilgrims, Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja held a viraha-mahotsava, separation festival. The following is a transcription of his puspanjali glorification, offering the flowers of his heart: (listen to lecture here) ]

Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my Gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, to all the Vaisnavas, and to Shri Gauranga. By the causeless mercy of Shri Guru and Gauranga, the first fifteen days of our niyama-seva Kartika-vrata (vow to follow the rules and regulations of the Kartika month) have passed without a problem; it passed sweetly and happily. Today, however, we received very sad news.

In Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Shrila Raya Ramananda: duhkha-madhye kona duhkha haya gurutara? Krishna-bhakta-viraha vina duhkha nahi dekhi para ["Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, 'Of all kinds of distress, what is the most painful?'Shri Ramananda Raya replied, 'Apart from separation from the devotee of Krishna, I know of no unbearable unhappiness.'" (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.248)] Shri Mahaprabhu asked Shri Raya Ramananda, "What is the worst type of suffering?" Shri Ramananda Raya replied, "Vaisnava-viraha." Para means 'the highest or greatest.' The greatest or most grievous suffering is Vaisnava-viraha, separation from pure Vaisnavas. After the disappearance of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, my Gurudeva, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, along with a few others, established the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti; and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was one of the founding members. Gurudeva had already taken sannyasa and had been preaching for a long time, but now he established the new Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti's headquarters in Navadvipa and began preaching through the Samiti.

As Krishna is bhakta-vatsalya, very affectionate to His devotees, Shri Guru is sisya-vatsalya, very affectionate to his disciples. After some time, some of Guru Maharaja's god-brothers saw his sisya-vatsalya, which was more affectionate than the most loving father could be to his son. These god-brothers could not reconcile this, because previously they had been the objects of all his affection. Hurt, most of them left Guru Maharaja, and only a few stayed with him. Guru Maharaja had three pillars of devotion – three prominent sevakas. Parama-pujyapada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja, Parama-pujyapada Shri Shrimad Trivikrama Maharaja, and I began to serve him totally, with our lives and souls, taking our lives in our hands [an Indian expression meaning 'ready to risk our lives']. From the very beginning, Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja, Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, and I were made the three pillars of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti by my Guru Maharaja. At that time Shrila Pariyataka Maharaja was not with us; he joined after some time.

Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, especially, served Shrila Guru Maharaja in so many ways. He was the publisher of our Gaudiya Patrika monthly magazine and many other literatures. He was also the 'scribe' of Guru Maharaja's dictations for his correspondence, articles, and books. Even before I joined, when I was a police officer and had never personally met Guru Maharaja, Guru Maharaja would write to me with great love and affection. He would dictate his letters, addressing me as Tiwariji because I came from a high-class brahmana family with the surname Tiwari, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja would write down his words. Then, after I joined and until I was initiated, Pujyapada Vamana Gosvami Maharaja would also call me 'Tiwariji.' Shrila Vamana Maharaja was like the mother of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. He took care of everyone in the Matha and supplied whatever anyone needed, like prasadam, clothing, and so on.

As for Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, he was very, very qualified. Our Guru Maharaja was in charge of publications, and he put Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja in charge of organizing all the preaching, and his services included sending other preachers to various districts of Bengal. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja would personally go collecting and preaching, especially in the district of Bardavan, and Guru Maharaja did a great deal of preaching in Midnapura, Chaubis Parganas, and other places.

When I first joined, Parama-pujyapada Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja showed me even more familial affection than did Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Our Guru Maharaja placed me in his hands, and we became very close. It was Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja who taught me how to perform kirtana, how to preach, and how to collect donations. And sometimes, in a very loving way, he would also rebuke me. In all the years that I spent with Guru Maharaja, I was never rebuked by him, but with so much love and affection Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja used to do so. We had such a close connection that sometimes our discussions would become very heated; I would counter his arguments and he would counter mine, and our Guru Maharaja would kindly support me by taking my side. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja used to preach all over India, and when he would go to preach with our Guru Maharaja I would go with them as Guru Maharaja's personal servant. I would massage him, cook for him, wash his cloths, carry a lantern for him because there was no electricity at that time, and I performed many other services.

Sometimes I made mistakes, and at those times Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja would protect me. For some time it was a regular procedure that in each village, along with his lectures, Guru Maharaja would present a slide show depicting Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and other great personalities. I once forgot to bring the slide projector, and when I realized this, I was in great anxiety that Gurudeva would be upset with me. Shrila Trivikrama asked me what was wrong, and when I told him he said, "Don't worry. I will handle the matter. I will take care of everything for you." Later on, when our Guru Maharaja was ready to give his lecture and slide show presentation, he asked Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, "So, is everything ready?" Trivikrama Maharaja replied, "Oh, today is a very cloudy day and it may rain. If you also show the slides, the program will take a long time. The rain may come and everyone will leave before you have completed your class." Guru Maharaja asked him, "Then what should I do?" Trivikrama Maharaja replied, "Why not just give the class?" Guru Maharaja was satisfied to do that.

Years later, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja reminded me of this incident and asked me if I remembered it. I said, "Yes!" and we happily and tightly embraced one another.

Guru Maharaja entered nitya-lila in October of 1968, but internally he is always looking after us and encouraging us. Externally, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja took the place of my Gurudeva in the sense that he encouraged me in all activities. When I began preaching in the West and writing and translating books there, I would write to Parama-pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja and Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, and others for advice – because they are very qualified preachers. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja would reply my letters without delay. He would encourage me and inspire me to write more books and to preach all over the world. Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja is the present acarya of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and he was very busy with many grave responsibilities. He was always very happy with my preaching, but sometimes he was sick and therefore he could not always answer my letters. Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, on the other hand, usually remained in one place, and he always replied without delay; I cannot forget him.

I consider both Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja and Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja to be my siksa-gurus. They supported, nourished and inspired me so much so that I cannot express my feelings in words; but Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja's familial love for me was even greater than that of Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja. We used to sleep together, quarrel together over philosophy, and we loved each other in so many ways.

Sometimes we presented different ideas and we countered each other's arguments, but he greatly honored me. Although I was giving honor to him as a siksa-guru, sometimes, in his last days, he used to offer me sastang pranama (offering of obeisances while lying on the ground like a rod). He even used to offer pranamas to my sandals when I was not present before him. No one else could have done this; he was so polite and humble. He was a senior Vaisnava in all respects and he could help the entire world, but he used to write me, "We cannot do the services you are doing for Gurudeva, so I especially favor you and praise you. May you preach for a long time. May you write and publish many books."

We have lost one of the pillars of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti today, but I feel some relief knowing that he left during this Kartika month, during niyama-seva-vrata, and that he was in Navadvipa-dhama. Also, he left at the time of amrta-yoga, an auspicious time of the day according to the movement of the sun and moon, and it was also tritiya-tithi, one of the most auspicious days of the month.

He inspired us to observe Annakuta Mahotsava, Dipavali, and Bhaijaduja (also known as Yama-dvitiya) [The blessing of Yamaraja (the demigod who punishes sinful persons after death) to his sister Yamuna-devi (the personified river), that if brother and sister take bath on this day (the day after Govardhana annakuta), they will not go to the adobe of Yamaraja after death. -ed]

Internally, in my heart, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja told me that he would leave this world after we observe those festivals; it was a wonderful thing. Otherwise, if he had left before, we would have been absorbed in thoughts and activities in relation to him, and we would not have been able to properly observe those important holy functions.

Now, being the representative of you all, I am offering my heartfelt puspanjali at his lotus feet. I think that he has been placed in Samadhi today. Where is he now? He is in Navadvipa-dhama or Vraja-dhama. I pray for all of us that he will be very merciful to me, and to all of you, and that he will inspire us and give us blessings so that we can try to serve Gurudeva and do bhajana as he did.

Parama-pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja ki jaya!
The disappearance day of Pujyapada Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja ki jaya!

Gaura premanande.

 

A108-AI

Govardhana Annakuta

annakut2.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad 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 Shri 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 Shrila 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, Shrimati 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 Shri Radha and Krsna's lilas. By Shri Krsna's mercy Govardhana became the emperor of all mountains, and received the offerings meant for Indra despite Indra's enmity."

(Shri Govardhanastakam, verse 1)

yatraiva krsno vrsabhanu-putrya
danam grhitum kalaham vitene
sruteh sprha yatra mahaty atah Shri
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." (Shri 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.

 

A108-AI

Difference-Between-Diwali-and-Deepavali.jpgVarsana, Vraj-mandala, India
October 12, 1996

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

Shrila 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. Shri 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 Krishna defeated Duryodhana and returned to Dvaraka, a Dipavali was also celebrated there.

Lord Krishna 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 Krishna there is darkness, and in Krishna 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. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought the sankirtana movement to this world to drive out maya. Shri Krishna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu do this Themselves, and we should try to follow Them.

 

A108-AI

06 November 2012
Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami

[Respected Readers,
November 1 (in India), is the divine appearance day of Shri Radha-kunda. In honor of this sacred day, we are sending the following explanation of Shri Radha-kunda from Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Vraja Mandala Parikrama Book:]

Shri Radha-kunda is within Bahulavana, and for this reason there is a custom to take bath in Shri Radha-kunda on the day of Bahulastami. A huge assembly of people take bath in Shri Radha-kunda on that day.

The Padma Purana states:

yatha radha priya visnoh tasyah kundam priyam tatha
sarvagopisu sevaika visnoratyantavallabha

"Among all the gopis, Shrimati Radhaji is most dear to Shri Krsna, being His principal prana vallabha. Similarly, Radhaji's dear kunda is also very dear to Him."

The Varaha Purana declares:

sarvapapaharastirtham namaste harimuktidah
namah kaivalyanathaya radhaKrsnabhidhayine

"O Shri Radha-kunda! O Shri Krsna Kunda! You destroy all sins and award one-pointed prema. I bow down to you again and again." The puranas are filled with innumerable descriptions of the glories of these two kundas.

In Vraja-vilasa-stava (text 53), Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays:

sri-vrindavipinam suramyam api tac chriman sa govardhanah
sa rasa-sthalikapy alam rasamayi kim tavad anyat sthalam
yasyapy amsa-lavena narhati manak samyam va mukundasya tat
pranebhyo 'py adhika-priyeva dayitam tat kundam evasraye

"Not even Shri Vrindavana, which is supremely delightful because of places like the rasa filled rasa-sthali, or Shriman Govardhana, which is the arena of the nectarian rasa where the most confidential amorous pastimes (keli-krida) of the Divine Couple take place, are equal to even a shadow of a particle of the glories of Shri Radha-kunda, what to speak of other pastime-places within Braja Mandala. I take shelter of this Shri Radha-kunda, which is more dear to Shri Mukunda than His own life."

Shri Radha-kunda lies in a village named Arita Gaon, about three miles north-east of Govardhana and fourteen miles from Mathura and Vrindavana. Aristasura was a servant of Kamsa who assumed the form of a bull and attacked Krsna with the aim of killing Him. However, Krsna killed him instead at this place.

At Shri Radha-kunda, Shri Radha-Krsna Yugala perform Their midday (madhyahnik) lila-vilasa. Here They perform a variety of amorous pastimes freely and without any obstruction. This is not possible anywhere else. Therefore, Radha-kunda is considered to be the topmost place of bhajana, superior even to Nandagaon, Barsana, Vrindavana and Govardhana. This most confidential place, surcharged with paramount bhavas, was revealed by Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, who is endowed with the bhava (sentiment) and kanti (lustre) of Shri Radha. Previously, Shri Madhavendra Puri, Shri Lokanatha Gosvami and Shri Bhugarbha Gosvami also came to Braja, where they revealed various pastime-places of Krsna; but they did not reveal this confidential place, which was manifested by Shri Gaurasundara Himself, who is Shri Radha and Krsna combined.

Shri Krsna killed Aristasura during the day. That same night, He met with His beloved Shri Radhika and the other sakhis here. Shri Krsna was very eager to embrace Shrimati Radhika, but as soon as He reached out towards Her, She stepped back. Jokingly, She said, "Today, You have killed a bull, which belongs to the cow family. You have therefore committed the sin of killing a cow. Please don't touch My pure body."

Krsna smilingly answered, "Priyatame! It was a demon that I killed, who had deceitfully assumed the form of a bull; so how can sin even touch Me?"

Shrimatiji insisted, "Whatever he was, he had assumed the form of a bull when You killed him. Hence, the sin of killing a cow has definitely touched You." The sakhis supported Her statements.

Shri Krsna asked how He could atone for this sin. Smilingly, Shrimatiji answered, "The only atonement is to take bath in all the tirthas of the entire Earth planet." Hearing this, Shri Krsna created an extensive kunda simply by striking His heel on the ground. He then summoned all the tirthas of the entire planet to it. Uncountable tirthas immediately came before Krsna in their personified forms. Krsna asked them to enter the kunda in the form of water. In a moment, the kunda filled with pure, sacred water. Shri Krsna took bath in that kunda and again tried to touch Shrimatiji. But Shrimati Radhika now wanted to manifest a kunda full of water that was larger and more exquisite than Krsna's, in response to Her Priyatama's bragging. She and Her sakhis therefore stubbornly dug out a very attractive kunda nearby with their bracelets. However, not so much as a drop of water appeared in it. Krsna joked that they could take water from His kunda, but Shrimatiji along with Her innumerable sakhis prepared themselves to bring water from Manasi Ganga in clay pots. Shri Krsna signaled to the tirthas that they should insist that Shrimatiji and Her sakhis fill up their kunda by taking water from His kunda. The tirthas personified pleased Shrimati Radhika by offering Her and the sakhis many prayers. Shrimati Radhika then gave them permission to enter Her kunda. Immediately, the current of water that had flowed into Krsna Kunda also filled Radha-kunda. With great pleasure, Shri Krsna bathed and performed water sports (jal-vihara) with Shrimati Radhika and the sakhis in this dear kunda.

These two kundas manifested at midnight on Krsnastami (the eighth day of the dark moon) in the month of Kartika. Hundreds and thousands of people therefore bathe here at midnight on this day known as Bahulastami.

The Padma Purana states:

govardhana girau ramye radha-kundam priyam hareh

kartika bahulastamyam tatra snatva hareh priyah
naro bhakto bhaved vitatsthatasya tasya pratosanam

"Radiantly beautiful Shri Radha-kunda is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill. Faithful persons who bathe here on Krsnastami in the Kartika month receive prema-bhakti filled with the seva of Shri Radha-Kunjabihari Shri Hari."

The Padma Purana also states:

dipotsave kartike ca radha-kunde yudhisthira
drisyate sakalam visvam bhrityair visnu-parayanaih

"On the day of Dipavali in the month of Kartika, the ekantika (one-pointed) bhaktas of Shri Radha-Krsna can see the entire universe and the complete Braja Mandala in Shri Radha-kunda."

Some time later, when Shri Krsna had left for Dvaraka, both kundas disappeared. While manifesting the pastime-places of Braja, Shri Krsna's great-grandson, Maharaja Vajranabha, again restored these two kundas under the guidance of Sandilya and other risis. Five thousand years later, however, they had again disappeared. When Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this place, He inquired from the local people about Radha-kundaand Syama Kunda, but they could provide Him with no information. Instead, they told Him about the two fields named Kali Khet and Gauri Khet that lay before them, which contained a little water. Mahaprabhu respectfully addressed Kali Khet as Syama Kunda and Gauri Khet as Radha-kunda and offered them His pranama. Then, as He bathed in them, He became overwhelmed. Losing all patience, He cried out, "Ha Radhe! Ha Krsna!," and fainted. The place where He sat down is now called Tamala Tala. It is also called Mahaprabhu's baithaka (sitting-place).

After the disappearance of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came from Jagannatha Puri and performed bhajana at Radha-kunda. Once, the Mughal emperor Akbara was making his way along this path with his vast army. The entire army along with elephants, horses and camels were very thirsty. Akbara asked Dasa Gosvami, "Is there any big pond nearby?" Dasa Gosvami motioned to him to take water from Kali Khet and Gauri Khet. The emperor thought, "This water is not even sufficient for a single elephant. How will it quench the thirst of my entire army?" However, on the repeated requests of Dasa Gosvami, Emperor Akbara encouraged his men to drink. To his utter amazement, the entire army together with horses, elephants and camels drank to their full satisfaction, and yet the water in these ponds did not reduce even slightly. The emperor's astonishment knew no bounds.

After performing bhajana here for some time, the thought of restoring these two kundas entered Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's mind. However, when he remembered the transcendental glories of Shri Radha-kunda, he began to reproach himself for thinking this. Just then, a wealthy person arrived at that place from Badrikasrama, looking for that supreme renunciate Shri Dasa Gosvami. He offered his dandavat pranamas (prostrated obeisances) at the feet of Gosvamiji and said, "I am returning from a pilgrimage to Badarikasrama. Bhagavan Shri Badri-Narayana has sent me to you. On His order I am offering to cover all the expenses required to restore these two kundas to their beautiful forms. Kindly accept my offer." Shri Dasa Gosvami became overjoyed. At first he rejected the offer, but he later relented, knowing it to be the desire of Shri Radha-Krsna. He thus began the work of re-constructing the two kundas.

Shri Radha-kunda easily manifested in the shape of an elegant quadrangle. The construction work on Syama Kunda then began, with the idea of giving it a quadrangular shape also. To achieve this, some trees on its bank needed to be cut down. That night, while Shri Dasa Gosvami was performing bhajana, he dozed off for a short time. In his dream, he saw five persons standing in front of him. "We are the five Pandavas," they said. "In the form of trees, we worship Yugala-Kisora here, so please don't cut us down. Rather, let the shape of the kunda be crooked." For this reason, Shri Dasa Gosvami did not have the trees cut down and instead allowed the kunda's shape to be crooked, just like Shri Krsna's shape. He only deepened the kunda and had its ghatas well repaired. Both kundas still have these shapes today, and only a few repairs have occasionally been carried out.

Shri Giriraja Govardhana stretches out from north to south and has the shape of a peacock. His tail in the south is called Puchari, and his two eyes on his face in the north are called Shri Radha-kundaand Shri Syama Kunda.

In Krsna-bhavanamrta, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura describes Shri Radha-kundaand Shri Syama Kunda in a very delightful and charming way: Although Brajendranandana Shri Krsna is the source of all incarnations, is the origin of everything and is yet Himself without any origin, is akhila rasamritamurti (the personification of all nectarean mellows) and is sarva-saktiman (the source of all saktis), He is subservient to the prema of mahabhava svarupa Shrimati Radhika, the topmost of all of Krsna's beloveds. He always establishes the glories of His priyatama Shri Kisoriji as superior to His own. Shri Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are non-different from the svarupa of Shri Radha and Syamasundara, but Krsna Himself nonetheless gives more fame to Shri Radha-kunda.

In the northern part of Shri Radha-kundais the kunja of Shri Lalita-devi, Lalitanandada, which is shaped like a golden, eight-petalled lotus. In the north-east is Visakhanandada, the bejewelled kunja of Visakha Sakhi, which is shaped like a sixteen-petalled lotus. In the east is Citranandada, the kunja of Citra Sakhi, which displays an amazing variety of forms and colours. In the south-east is the kunja of Indulekha Sakhi, Indulekhanandada. It is shaped like an eight-petalled lotus and is made of diamonds. In the south is the kunja of Campakalata Sakhi, Campakalatanandada Kunja, which is shaped like a golden lotus. And in the south-west is the lotus-shaped kunja of Rangadevi, Rangadevi-sukhada, which is inlaid with blue sapphires. Tungavidyanandada is the kunja of Tungavidya Sakhi. This kunja is in the west and is shaped like a lotus made of red rubies. In the north-west lies Anandada or Sudevi-sukhada Kunja, the lotus-shaped kunja of Sudeviji, which is inlaid with emeralds. In the center of Shri Radha-kundais Anangamanjari-anandada Kunja shaped like a sixteen-petalled lotus inlaid with moonstones. This kunja is also known as Svanandasukhada Kunja, and is the kunja of Ananga Manjari. It is connected with the bank by a bridge made of moonstones.

Similarly, around Shri Syama-kunda are the kunjas of the sakhas. In the north-western area of the kunda is a delightful place made of diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones where Shrimati Radhika daily takes bath. North of this place is Subalanandada Kunja, the kunja that Subala Sakha has offered to Shrimati Radhika. Shri Radha-Krsna perform resting pastimes (sayana-vihara) here. In the northern part of Syama Kunda is the kunja of Madhumangalaji, Madhumangalanandada, which is inlaid with white jewels. He has offered this kunja to Lalitaji. Here Shri Yugala-Kisora enjoy all kinds of joking and laughing. Ujjvala Sakha's Ujjvalanandada Kunja in the north-east is made of red jewels, and he has given it to Visakha Sakhi. In the east is Arjuna Sakha's Arjunanandada Kunja, which is made of blue sapphires. He has offered this kunja to Citra Sakhi. Gandharvanandada Kunja in the south-east displays a variety of colours and forms, and belongs to Gandharva Sakha. He has offered it to Indulekha Sakhi. In the south is Vidagdhanandada Kunja belonging to Vidagdha Sakha, which is made of green emeralds. He has given this kunja to Campakalata. Here Yugala-Kisora play the game of chaupada1. Bhringa Sakha's Bhringanandada Kunja lies is in the south-west, and he has given this kunja to Rangadevi. In the west is Daksasanandananda Kunja made of a variety of jewels. Kokila Sakha's Kokilanandada Kunja is also in the west. He has given this kunja to Sudevi. At the sangama, or meeting place, of the two kundas is a platform made of many kinds of jewels. This place is also called the Yogapitha of Krsna-lila.

To the south of Shri Kunda are jeweled swings hanging from the branches of campaka trees. Swings inlaid with precious stones hang from the branches of kadamba trees to the east. To the west, swings made of jewels hang from the branches of mango trees, and to the north jewelled swings hang from the branches of bakula trees. Rasika Shri Krsna plays on these swings with Shrimati Radhika and the other sakhis.

Surrounding both Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are kalpataru trees of mango, jackfruit, kadamba, bakula and so forth, which are laden with an abundance of flowers and fruits. The bases of these trees are held by platforms of various precious stones. All seasons are eternally serving Shri Yugala under the guidance of the spring season. Vrnda-devi makes all the arrangements in a variety of ways for the seva of the Divine Couple. The cuckoos coo and the peacocks dance and make the sweet ke-ka sound. Blue and red lotuses and various kinds of ketaki flowers frolic on the waves of the sri kundas while intoxicated, buzzing bees hover above. Royal swans, cakravakas and cranes play in the water with their consorts, making sweet sounds. Different kinds of birds recite love poetry on the branches of the trees, thus giving pleasure to Shri Radha-Krsna Yugala. Deer and does roam about in the attractive kunjas nearby. Except for Shrimati Radhika's most intimate girlfriends, no one can enter this forest.

A108-AI

Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Mathura
November 2, 1996

Today is the disappearance day of Shrila Narottama Thakura dasa, so it is a very sacred day. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura took birth in West Bengal as the son of a very great king, and he was a beautiful prince. The king was one of two brothers, but there was only one son in the family. Still, from the beginning of his life he was very pure and devoted, and he remained a life-long brahmacari, never marrying. At the age of sixteen he left home and went to Vrndavana with Shri Syamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya. He had desired the darsana of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who was in Jagannatha Puri at that time, but when he was on his way to Puri he heard that Shriman Mahaprabhu and His associates, like Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda and Shri Gadadhara Pandita, had all disappeared. This broke his heart. He therefore changed the destination of his journey and went to Vrndavana. On the way, however, he heard that Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami had also disappeared.

Still present in Vrndavana at the time was Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, residing at Radha-kunda. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had been in Jagannatha Puri when Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates disappeared. At that time he had decided to go to Vrndavana to jump from Govardhana or to jump in the Yamuna, to give up his life. He first decided to die by jumping in the Yamuna, but he saw that there was very little water there because Yamuna herself was feeling separation from Krsna. Then he thought, "I should go to Govardhana; I will jump from the top of Govardhana and thus give up this life".

Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis were still there at that time, and they consoled him by saying, "If by giving up this life one can have the darsana and service of Shri Shri Radha and Krsna, we would be the first persons to give up our lives. But we know that Lord Shri Krsna is not achieved by this. You should not try to do so; you should do bhajana." He then went to Govardhana to perform bhajana. His mode of worship was so severe that no one can follow him. It was very, very hard. He ate practically nothing and was always weeping, always chanting, always remembering, and sometimes he was rolling on the bank of Radha-kunda. Later, when he heard that Shrila Rupa Gosvami had left this world and entered aprakata-lila (the unmanifest pastimes of Radha and Krsna), he felt unbearable separation. He thought, "I don't want to live at Radha-kunda, because it now seems like the gaping mouth of a tiger, and Giriraja Govardhana seems like a very large python. Everything in Vraja seems to be void, without life. Under these circumstances I cannot remain alive." He expressed his separation by these words in his prayers.

This was the general mood of separation after the disappearance of these great personalities. In the meantime, Shrila Narottama Thakura, accompanied by Shrila Syamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya, came to Vrndavana, seeking the shelter and guidance of a Vaisnava. The three of them approached the lotus feet of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, who was at that time residing at the Shri Radha-Damodara temple. Shrila Jiva Gosvami was very happy to see them. He considered that Lord Krsna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had personally arranged for these three young devotees to be given classes on all the teachings of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and the other great acaryas. He was very pleased to have students like them, and he began to teach them sastras like Sat-sandarbha, Brhad-bhagavatamrta with the explanations of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Brhad-vaisnava-tosani, Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu, Ujjavala-nilamani and many others. Thus, the three devotees very quickly became masters of all the subject matters.

During this period, Shrila Jiva Gosvami was accepted by the entire Vaisnava community as the "Vaisnava king", the topmost Vaisnava, of three mandalas: Shri Navadvipa Mandala, Shri Vraja Mandala, and Shri Ksetra Mandala (Jagannatha Puri). He established the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha. "Visva" means world and "Vaisnava-raja" means pure devotees. He established Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha for the whole world, so that any person in any part of the world can come to that spiritual institution, to inquire from pure devotees and to read and study Vaisnava philosophy. Shrila Jiva Gosvami was the second president of that society, Shrila Rupa Gosvami having been the first, and that society still exists today under different nomenclatures.

Sat-Sandarbha is the scripture of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. It is an exceptional book regarding Vaisnava philosophy and the culture and principles of Vaisnava etiquette and procedures. The thoughts of Shrila Jiva Gosvami in Sat-Sandarbha appear in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta and all other Gaudiya Vaisnava literatures. Sat-Sandarbha came first, and after that, Shri Caitanya-caritamrta. All its essence has been taken from Sat-Sandarbha.

At that time, only those given the consent and authority of Shrila Jiva Gosvami were considered learned and qualified Vaisnavas. On this basis, one would be accepted as a Vaisnava by the entire society of Gaudiya Vaisnavas in the three places: Navadvipa, Jagannath Puri and Vrndavana. Vaisnavas from every part of India used to come to Shrila Jiva Gosvami to study the sastras under his guidance.

Although Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shrila Shrinivasa acarya and Shri Syamananda Prabhu were not his initiated disciples, Jiva Gosvami adopted them and became their siksa-guru, giving them all siddhanta. He taught them Shrimad Bhagavatam, Sat-Sandarbha, all the books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami with an emphasis on Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, the books of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami like Shrimad Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, and all the other books of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.

Although these three devotees had their own diksa-gurus, they held greater respect for Shrila Jiva Gosvami. If the siksa-guru is fully qualified, he should be respected as much as Krsna, and if diksa-guru is similarly qualified, he should be also treated like that, as a manifestation of Lord Krsna. If both are qualified, both should be given equal respect and regarded as Krsna's manifestations. Siksa-guru is not inferior to diksa-guru, and in some cases he is superior to diksa-guru. This is according to qualification. Shrila Jiva Gosvami never made any formal disciple. He never gave anustanika-diksa (fire sacrifice); he gave only Krsna-siddhanta, which is more important than the fire sacrifice and other rituals.

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami never initiated any disciples and Shrila Rupa Gosvami only initiated one – Shrila Jiva Gosvami – but all the Vaisnavas of the world consider them to be even greater than both their diksa and siksa-gurus. Do you treat Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Rupa Gosvami as Guru? You should; they are siksa-gurus and are nearer to Krsna. Every day we say the prayer, "Vande 'ham sri guru sri jutah padakamala...sri rupam sagrajatam..." Therein the word "sagrajatam" means elder brother. Sanatana Gosvami is the elder brother of Rupa Gosvami. You must all utter this prayer daily – each morning. This is a very good prayer by Shrila Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, as all other prayers are included within it. All Gurus and Vaisnavas are included; the six Gosvamis are there, all the associates of Shriman Mahaprabhu headed by Lord Nityananda and Shri Advaita Acarya are there, all the associate sakhis of Shrimati Radhika are there like Shrimati Lalita and Visakha devis, and all the manjaris headed by Shri Rupa Manjari are there. It is a very good pranama – everything is in one mantra.

Imparting everything he knew to those three Vaisnavas, Shrila Jiva Gosvami told them that although he had accepted them as more than disciples, they would have to take diksa from others. Syamananda Prabhu was already initiated by Hrdaya Caitanya Gosvami of Kalna, but Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura and Shrinivasa Acarya were not yet initiated. Jiva Gosvami ordered Shrinivasa Acarya to be initiated by Shrila Gopala Batta Gosvami, and he instructed the three to treat all qualified Vaisnavas as guru.

After his teaching to Shrila Narottama Thakura was completed, he directed him, "Go to Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and try to make him your diksa-guru." The Thakura said, "I have been given everything by you and I have accepted you as my Guru. I don't believe there is anyone in all of Vraja who is as qualified as you. You are akincana, niskincana (without any material desires), and a parama-tattva-rasika Vaisnava (one who has realized all established truths and is tasting all devotional mellows). I want to be initiated by you." Shrila Jiva Gosvami denied the request, considering that he was not qualified. He directed him to go to Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, saying, "I am your Guru, but you should go to him."

Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami was an associate of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He had come to Vrndavana with Shrila Bhugarbha Gosvami to do bhajana. He had requested Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami not to write anything about him in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta, and Shrila Krsnadas Kaviraja followed his instruction. He was an akincana niskincana Vaisnava (having nothing but Shri Krsna as his own). He had no money and no home. He had nothing to claim as his own. He had made up his mind not to make disciples, lest his mind be diverted towards them. He considered, "So many disciples will come and say, 'I will perform service and I will prepare everything for you.' They will do biksa (collect donations) and give money to me, and then praise will come and I will be diverted from Krsna." He made up his mind, "I will not make any disciples, but if anyone comes to me I will give him krsna-katha."

Narottama dasa Thakura was so akincana that when so requested by Shrila Jiva Gosvami, he approached Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, fell flat at his lotus feet and prayed, "Please initiate me. I am not qualified, yet I want your initiation."

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami asked, "Who are you?

He replied, "I am a Bengali."

Lokanath asked again, "Who are you?"

Narottama dasa replied, "I am the son of a king."

Lokanatha dasa asked, "Do you have any brother?"

Narottama dasa said, "No, I am the only son of my father."

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami replied, "You are a prince, you are very learned and very beautiful. You are now a young boy, and you are the only son of your father. I will never accept you as my disciple. Go to someone else."

Again and again Narottama Thakura requested Shrila Lokanatha dasa to accept him, but Lokanatha dasa refused every time. He would make statements like, "You have grasped all siddhanta from Shrila Jiva Gosvami. I cannot initiate you. I have no disciples and I don't want to create any disciples".

Narottama dasa then vowed, "I will only be initiated by Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. I will not have any other guru".

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was living and doing bhajana in the forest of Vrndavana. At night, with little chance of being seen, Narottama dasa began to secretly come to the place where Lokanatha Gosvami would go to pass stool, and he began to clean that area with a coconut stick broom. He discarded the stool very far away from there and, spreading cow dung, made the place quite pure. He also cleared the path to that place. He used to hide nearby and hear the chanting of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. He listened to how he chanted and what he chanted.

After some days Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami began to wonder, "Who is the "thief" who comes daily and cleans my place of passing and the path to that place? Who is that person?" One day he decided to investigate. He used to do bhajana throughout the night without sleeping, so one night he hid in a kunja and watched to see who had been coming and cleaning. In the dark of night that very beautiful prince Shri Narottama Thakura came there. He was just about to clean the area when Lokanatha Gosvami appeared and caught hold of his hands asking, "Who are you?"

Narottama Thakura was fearful and began to weep bitterly.

"Who are you? Tell me," Lokanatha dasa asked.

The prince replied, "I am dukhi Narottama, unhappy Narottama. I am a worthless and useless person. But I am a recipient of the mercy of Shrila Jiva Gosvami and I want to do bhajana of Krsna, so please be merciful to me."

"And why are you doing this?" asked Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami.

"You have not accepted me as your disciple; I thought that somehow I must please you. Being a prince, I am doing this menial service for you so that you shall be pleased with me and I might receive your mercy".

Lokanatha Gosvami said, "Yes, I am pleased and satisfied by your service. I had made up my mind not to accept any disciples, but I see that you are a qualified person, so I will accept you as my only disciple."

He took Shrila Narottama dasa to his bhajana kutir and told him to bathe in the nearby Yamuna in the early morning. Narottama dasa was then initiated by Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami in the krsna-mantra, that is, the gopala-mantra, and in the kama-gayatri mantra – 'klim krsnaya' and 'klim kamadevaya'. He continued to serve his guru, who arranged a separate bhajana kutir for him nearby his own and gave him many instructions. He told him, "Give up all worldly desires; do not go anywhere for anything, and do not associate with common people. Always chant harinama and always think of the pastimes of Lord Krsna. Be trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna, more humble than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree." He instructed him to always stay there at his bhajana kutir, always chant harinama, and always think of the pastimes of Krsna. Narottama dasa followed all those instructions.

One very hot summer day, a thirsty farmer came to Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, requesting water. There was a well nearby, and Lokanatha Gosvami had a rope and bucket, but he was chanting harinama – Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare – absorbed in remembering the pastimes of Krsna and sinking in the ocean of rasa. He had no outward awareness and therefore did not respond to the farmer, who then went to the young mahatmaji and asked, "Oh chota baba, little baba, I'm so thirsty and I have no rope and bucket. Please give me water".

The farmer twice made this request of the Thakura, who was in the midst of his bhajana. The Thakura left his harinama mala and went to fetch water from the well, and he gave that water to the farmer, who drank it and went on his way. In the meantime Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami returned to external consciousness, and he knew everything that had happened. He called the young babaji, Shrila Narottama Thakura, and told him, "You should at once return to your home. I don't want a disciple like you. I will not permit you to do bhajana here with me. You have so many desires. You are a very kind man to all, so return to your kingdom, live in your palace and be charitable to your people. You should give them all water, bread and butter, clothes, and everything else. You cannot do bhajana as yet."

"Why?"

"Because you have no idea of Shri Krsna's name. Krsna's name is Krsna Himself, and Hare Krsna means Shri Shri Radha-Krsna. There is no difference between Radha-Krsna and Their names. When a Vaisnava chants the names of Radha and Krsna and Hare Krsna, he understands he is serving Krsna directly, in the kunjas of Vraja. You think that the service of Radha and Krsna in the kunjas is less important than quenching the thirst of a common person who doesn't do bhajana. So you should do bhajana at your palace, and at the same time engage in all these ordinary pious activities. I will not accept you here."

Shrila Narottama Thakurs began to weep and said, "The farmer was so thirsty."

Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami replied, "Perhaps you don't know that nama and nami are the same. When you are chanting harinama you should think, 'I am serving Shri Radha and Shri Krsna.' Hara is Shrimati Radhika, who controls the mind and heart of Krsna. From Hara comes Hare, meaning 'O Hara', or 'O Shrimati Radhika'. Rama is Radha-Ramana, Shri Krsna. So Hare Krsna is Radha-Krsna, and while chanting we should serve Them, remembering Their pastimes. Giving up the service of Radha and Krsna you went to quench the thirst of an ordinary person. You thought that giving that water was more important than serving Them; so you should return to worldly life and do anything there. I don't like this behavior."

Although Shrila Narottama cried and pleaded, Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami did not allow him to stay in Vrndavana. Do you understand his siddhanta – his view? It is very high, but it is actual; factual. Nama cintamani krsna caitanya rasa vigraha / purna suddha nitya mukta abhinnatvad nama naminoh. Nama and Krsna Himself are the same. In another sense Krsna has manifested all His power in His name, more so than in His form. From the beginning of creation of this world until the end, His name can deliver one to Goloka Vrndavana, but He Himself cannot do this. He will not deliver the nama-aparadhis, offenders to His name, but His name will do something. In some cases, therefore, krsna-nama is superior to Krsna Himself, because He has invested all His powers therein. When we chant Lord Krsna's name we should be completely absorbed in that, remembering the pastimes of Krsna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as well as the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. We should try to be absorbed like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. They were always chanting and serving Radha and Krsna. They often sat together chanting, and they were oblivious to the passing of day into night and night into day.

Shrila Narottama dasa returned to his kingdom in East Bengal and widely preached the glories of Radha and Krsna and his Gurudeva. He established several temples, such as Radha Madana-mohana, Radha-Govindaji, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Ramana, as well as those of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda Prabhu. He began to preach through his kirtanas, and he became a very well-known kirtaniya. He preached in Assam and Manipur and in all the Eastern provinces. At that time no one in these regions knew anything of krsna-bhakti, and all were ignorant of dharma, but nowadays hundreds of thousands of Vaisnavas are there.

He invited all the Vaisnavas from Vraja Mandala, Navadvipa Mandala, Ksetra Mandala and Gaura mandala, to come there to Kheturi, and countless devotees came. He called Nityananda Prabhu's sakti, Shrimati Jahnava Devi to preside over that gathering. When he performed kirtana of Radha-Krsna, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with all His associates appeared there and began to do kirtana, mixing their voices with his. This was visible to all the devotees present, and tears came in everyone's eyes. All were amazed and wondered, "What are we seeing? Are we seeing a dream or are we seeing reality?" Then, when the kirtana ended, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates at once disappeared.

Narottama dasa Thakura discovered a new type of kirtana, and that kirtana is followed by all Gaudiya Vaisnavas to date. We Gaudiya Vaisnavas are known as Narottama-parivara, the family of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura. He was a very pure bhakta, empowered by the energy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Once, accompanied by Syamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was bringing all the Gaudiya Vaisnava books to Bengal for preaching. On the way, however, having heard that the three devotees were carrying a valuable treasure, jewels, a dacoit king looted all the books. These books were jewels indeed, but not worldly jewels; they are spiritual jewels. Shrinivasa Acarya sent Narottama Thakura and Syamananda Prabhu to Bengal, and he remained there searching for the books. At last he came to the king's palace, where the king begged apology, fell at his lotus feet, and became his disciple. The king's name was Vihambir, and he became a qualified disciple and Vaisnava.

Narottama Thakura was kayastha, like a ksatriya, by caste, but in actuality he was beyond caste and creed. He was Lord Krsna's associate; Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate. It is an offence to categorize any Vaisnava by caste or creed; we should not do this. Vaisnavas have no caste and creed, as the atma has no such designation in this world. Naham vipro na ca nara pati na ca yatir va gopi bhartuh pada kamalayor dasa dasanudasa. We are the servants of Shrimati Radhika – servants of the servants of the servants of the dust of Her lotus feet. This is our pure identity. We are not brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra, nor we are grhastha, brahmacari, vanaprastha or sannyasi – nor anything of this world. Our one and only pure identity is Krsna-dasa, servant of Lord Krsna. Narottama dasa Thakura was the associate of Krsna, and He came to serve Caitanya Mahaprabhu by bringing all the worldly people towards Him.

This being so, many brahmana families became his disciples, and that caused disturbance in other brahmana sectors, among those who neither understood Vaisnava principles nor the glory of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura. They alleged that his initiating of brahmanas was improper. He was the son of a king, and for him to give diksa to brahmanas was considered by some to be highly improper.

"We are brahmanas," they thought." He is giving initiation to brahmanas, so he is bound to go to hell and he will also suffer in this world. A brahmana is jagat-guru and can initiate brahmanas and others; but he, like a sudra, is giving initiation to brahamanas and all other casts of devotees. This is wrong and against sastra."

One day they challenged him to debate these points. On the day before the appointed debate, Shri Ramacandra Puri and all Narottama Thakura's other very learned disciples went to the local market-place and, posing as shop-keepers, began to sell items of basic necessity such as clay pots, betel nuts, rice, wheat, and so on.

When the opposing party of brahmanas came into the town, they wore big, big turbans. They had titles like sastri, maha sastri, sapta acarya, panca acarya, pancami, and nyaya pancami. They declared that on the next day there would be a meeting to discuss the argued matter, and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura would come and be present in the meeting.

The brahmanas had come from different parts of India, and before the meeting they went from shop to shop to purchase various ingredients. Some were fond of betel nut. Some wanted to do their cooking with their own hands so they went for dry wood and other things. When any one of them went to a shop, a very simple Vaisnava was there. He asked, "What do you want? Who are you and what caste are you from?" The person answered, "My name is such and such." The "shop keeper" replied, "It is not true," and a long discussion ensued. When the person said, "I am brahmana", the "shopkeeper" said, "That is the jati (cast) of this physical body, matter; but we are atma; so you cannot be that designation." The brahmanas were invariably defeated in these discussions. Not only the shopkeepers, but the other customers coming to the shop also asked them, "Who are you?" When the inimical brahmanas told their worldly designations arguments, ensued and all the brahmanas were defeated there. They met in the night and conferred, "How can we show our faces tomorrow? Everywhere in this village the shopkeepers and others are so learned that they defeated us. How can we enter the assembly of Shrila Narottama Thakura himself? They all fled from there during the night.

Shrila Narottama Thakura resided by the Ganges. Before the meeting he had become paralysed – he had made himself like that. All his disciples had gone to him and prayed, "O Thakuraji, Gurudeva, if you die now, giving up your body and going to Lord Krsna, all the brahmanas will say it is because you are initiating brahmanas, and this is why you are paralysed and are suffering so much. They will say you have gone to hell. So we pray that you become completely cured, regaining your health. Hearing this, Narottama Thakura became like a young man and began to run here and there. He returned to his asrama, all ill-health and paralysis having completely disappeared. This was observed by those who were saying that he was to go to hell for initiating brahmanas. Then, after coming to his village, some of those brahmanas became paralyzed, some became blind, some were bitten by snakes, etc. Eventually they became so worried that they approached his lotus feet and apologized. He excused them, and again he became paralyzed and went to the bank of Ganges. He entered in the realm of Shri Goloka Vrndavana Dhama and Shri Navadvipa Dhama, Svetadvipa.

Narottama Thakura wrote so many songs, such as 'Gauranga bolite ha'be pulaka-sarira', 'Radha-krsna prana mor yugala kisora', and 'Je anilo prema-dhana koruna pracura' – all good songs. He was unparalleled. In the entire Gaudiya Vaisnava parampara he was the most prolific singer of Gaudiya Vaisnava padyavali, and after him only Saptam Gosvami, (the Seventh Gosvami), Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was like this. Both were associates of Shri Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

So we beg at his lotus feet that today he will be merciful to us and bestow his mercy upon us. We are so unqualified, unworthy and insignificant, but by his mercy we can chant purely, come in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates in guru-parampara, and thus become qualified. We should pray like this today. We pray that the songs he has written should be manifest in our heart, and we can realize and practice all these things truly.

A108-AI

10 October 2003, Mathura, India
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami

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 Shri Krsna, Shrimati Radharani will be pleased, and if we pray to Shrimati 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 Shrimad-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 Shri 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 Shrila Shridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and Pujyapada Shrila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja disappeared in this month. Why did they leave during this month? They entered the rasa dance.

Especially, today is the anniversary of the disappearance of our Gurudeva Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja Today is a most auspicious day. Shrila Gurudeva disappeared from this Earth and entered into rasa, and this fact was established by Pujyapada Shri Rupa-Siddhanti Maharaja. He declared that Shrila 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 Shrila Gurudeva disappeared from this world in Saradiya-purnima. Gurudeva had a desire to enter into Shri 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 Shri Krsna's rasa-lila.

Whatever I explain from various scriptures, such as Shri 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.

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 Shri 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. Shri 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. Shrila Vamana Maharaja and I used to spend a lot of time with him, and Shrila 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 Shrila Vamana Maharaja.

Shrila Gurudeva used to be able to write a book in three days. He would speak so eloquently, and Shrila 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.

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

A108-AI

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja28 October 2002

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[In describing the many important pastimes that took place in this holy month of Kartika, which in turn establish the glory of Kartika, Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja discussed several verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam:]


[In describing the many important pastimes that took place in this holy month of Kartika, which in turn establish the glory of Kartika, Shrila Gurudeva discussed several verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam:]

dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo 'pi harinya eta
ya nanda-nandanam upatta-vicitra-vesam
akarnya venu-ranitam saha-krsna-sarah
pujam dadhur viracitam pranayavalokaih
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.11)

It was during this month, while feeling separation from Krsna, that the gopis lamented, "We are not fortunate like the deer in this forest. People say they are foolish, but they are not so. We are foolish, because we don't know how to love Krsna like these deer. When prema is very high, it breaks all boundaries. These deer, although by nature very shy, have broken all boundaries by their intense love for Krsna. They gave up their shyness, they approached Him, and they are exchanging their hearts feelings with Him through their loving glances. We cannot do this, and therefore we are unfortunate. We will be lucky if we can die and take birth as deer in our next life. In that way we can see Krsna and approach Him when He is cow-grazing."

In this month the gopis remembered that when Krsna plays on His flute in the forest, the cows become stunned. With eyes of transcendental emotions the gopis see both Krsna and the cows, and further lament in their mood of separation. They see that although it is the nature of animals to spend their time in eating, when Krsna plays His flute these cows forget to eat and instead pick up their ears to hear. Humans have very small ears, but cows have large ears, like cups. Through the cups of their ears these cows drink the nectar of Krsna's flute playing, and when they taste it they forget everything else. They have grass in their mouths, but they forget to chew. Even the calves, who were drinking the milk from the udders of their mothers, are like this. The milk is coming into their mouths, but they have forgotten to swallow. They simply stand with tears gliding down from their eyes, and they embrace Krsna in the core of their hearts.

The love of the cows is not as high as that of the gopis, but due to the nature of their own prema, the gopis think the cows are greater. Those who are maha-bhagavatas, and what to say of maha-maha-bhagavatas like the gopis, see their own love and their own mood in all others. Yet they think, "I am unfortunate; I have no love."

In this month, Shri Radhika lamented in separation:

purnah pulindya urugaya-padabja-raga
sri-kunkumena dayita-stana-manditena
tad-darsana-smara-rujas trna-rusitena
limpantya anana-kucesu jahus tad-adhim
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.16)

["The aboriginal women of the Vrndavana area become disturbed by lust when they see the grass marked with reddish kunkuma powder. Endowed with the color of Krsna's lotus feet, this powder originally decorated the breasts of His beloveds, and when the aboriginal women smear it on their faces and breasts, they feel fully satisfied and give up all their anxiety."]

This is an example of Radhika's madanakhya-mahabhava (the highest ecstatic love for Krsna). Here She glorifies the aboriginal girls who live in the forest, and She says that they are lucky – whereas She is not. In the morning time, when they walk around Giriraja Govardhana, they see some red kunkuma powder on the grass and go to pick it up. This kunkuma came from the lotus feet of Krsnacandra when He was returning home in the early morning on the damp grass, but it originally came from the breasts of His beloved. The Pulindi girls think themselves to be very fortunate to obtain this kunkuma. Simply by their smelling the fragrance, Krsna appears in their hearts, and then they smear that kunkuma paste all over their bodies and faces and thus meet with Krsna in their hearts. There He fulfills all their desires.

Radhika is thinking that these Pulindi girls are fortunate, but more fortunate is the grass because it was directly touched by Krsna's feet. Even more fortunate is that beloved gopi from whose breasts this kunkuma has come. That gopi is Radhika Herself, but because of Her madanakya-mahabhava she forgets this – and instead glorifies others.

Govardhana-puja also took place in this month. All the Vrajavasis worshiped Giriraja Govardhana and performed Annakuta Mahotsava. Seeing this, Indra became very angry and created torrential rain, and Krsna cut away his pride. In this month, Indra came and worshiped Krsna after his pride was cut, all the demigods performed kirtana, and Krsna received the name Govinda.

Saradiya rasa-lila was also performed in this month. As stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam:

sri-badarayanir uvaca
bhagavan api ta ratrih
saradotphulla-mallikah
viksya rantum manas cakre
yoga-mayam upasritah
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.1)

["Shri Badarayani said: Shri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full in all opulences. Yet upon seeing those autumn nights scented with blossoming jasmine flowers, He turned His mind toward loving affairs. To fulfill His purposes He employed His internal potency."]

Although Krsna is Bhagavan, and although He is atmarama (taking pleasure within) and aptakam (fully satisfied), in this month He became inspired by the beauty of the Vrndavana forest. There, in the middle of the night, He left his home and took shelter of Yogamaya:

drstva kumudvantam akhanda-mandalam
ramananabham nava-kunkumarunam
vanam ca tat-komala-gobhi ranjitam
jagau kalam vama-drsam manoharam
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.3)

["Lord Krsna saw the unbroken disk of the full moon glowing with the red effulgence of newly applied vermilion, as if it were the face of the goddess of fortune. He also saw the kumuda lotuses opening in response to the moon's presence and the forest gently illumined by its rays. Thus the Lord began to play sweetly on His flute, attracting the minds of the beautiful-eyed gopis."]

He began to play on His flute, and the flute sound entered the hearts of the Vraja gopis. They became mugdha, completely bewildered and, forgetting everything else, they ran into the forest to meet with Him.

In this month, the gopis who were locked inside their homes were brought to Krsna by a mood of their very strong fire of separation from Krsna. By this viraha-tap, any imperfection in the moods of those who did not yet have sufficient association with the nitya-siddha gopis was completely burned away. By deeply meditating in intense separation they at once met with Krsna in their hearts and embraced Him. These sweet pastimes took place in this month.

In this month the gopis saw the footprints of Radhika and said:

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.28)

["Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place."]

"This gopi, whom Krsna has taken alone into the forest, leaving all the rest of us, is most fortunate." In this way, all the Vraja gopis give honor to Shrimati Radhika in this month. When Krsna disappeared from rasa-lila, the gopis cried and sang in separation the verses from Gopi-gita. One example is as follows:

tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam
kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da janah
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.31.9)

["The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one's sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent."]

This verse is so sweet and powerful that when Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard it from the lotus mouth of Maharaja Prataparudra, He told him, "You have given me so many valuable jewels. I have nothing to give you in return; I have only have my self, so I am embracing you." When Mahaprabhu embraced Prataparudra Maharaja, the bhavas and sweet meanings of the verses of Gopi-gita manifested in his heart.

In this month Krsna told the gopis of Vrndavana:

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.22)

["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."]

Krsna said, "O My dear gopis, you have left all other obligations, including your families, and all other dharmas for me. This is very difficult to give up, but you have left all this for my happiness only. Therefore, even if I have a lifetime as long as Brahma, and even if I will serve you for many such lifetimes, still I would not be able to repay you. I would always be indebted to you for the love you have given me."

After describing these pastimes of Rasa-lila and Gopi-gita, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvamipada stated:

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.39)

["Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."]

Bhagavan Shri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is transcendental and His katha (descriptions of His glories and pastimes) is very powerful. Of all types of such katha, the katha of His servants is more powerful, the katha of his friends is more powerful, the katha of his parents in vatsalya-bhava is still more powerful, and the katha of His sporting with the young brides of Vraja is the highest and most powerful katha. It is so powerful that if even a fallen or sinful person hears it with faith, it can purify him. If one understands this and hears this katha, gopi-prema must enter into that person's heart, kick aside all anarthas, and turn him into a parama-bhagavata, topmost devotee.

In this month, Krsna killed the demon Sankasura and cut the jewel from his forehead. He then entered the company of all the gopis, who were all wondering to whom He would give that jewel. Krsna was thinking, "If I give the jewel to one, the others will be upset." Therefore, to avoid an argument among the gopis, Krsna gave the jewel to Baladeva Prabhu, who gave it to Madhumangala, who gave it to Shrimati Radhika.

In this month Krsna killed Aristasura, and as a result of that killing Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda were manifest. That pastime took place today, (Oct 28th) and this holy day is called Bahulastami.

In this month, Krsna killed the demons Kesi and Vyomasura, and in this month Akrura came to Vraja and took Krsna and Balarama to Mathura. Krsna also killed Kamsa in this month.

In this month Krsna and Balarama performed the upanaya-sanskara (sacred thread ceremony). Because they had been brought up in Vraja, they have the mood that, "I am a cowherd boy and Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba are My parents." However, Vasudeva and Devaki think, "We are the real parents of Krsna. It is part of the Vedic tradition that parents arrange for the upanaya-sanskara of their child, so if we arrange this function for Krsna, the impression will come in his heart that, "Vasudeva and Devaki are My parents." They tried to do this, but they failed. Krsna had already received the Radha mantra from Bhaguri Rsi. He received this mantra when He was in Vraja, but at that time He had no upanaya-sanskara. His upanaya-sanskara was performed in Mathura according to the duties of ksatryas.

Gargacarya gave Krsna the brahma-gayatri mantra, and when Krsna heard this mantra He fainted. Why? Radhika is the predominating deity of gayatri. Then, after His fire yajna, Krsna was looking for his mother and called out, "O Mother, where are you?" Devaki was standing near Him, but Krsna did not approach her – for He was looking for Mother Yasoda. In this way, although the Mathuravasis made the plan to give Krsna the sanskana that He is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, it failed. This pastime took place in this month.

Shri Narada Rsi received the benediction from Krsna that those who will hear His sweet lila-katha in the places of His pastimes, especially during this Kartika month, will surely attain krsna-prema very soon. We should therefore have confidence; we need never become hopeless. We should know that by performing all these simple activities – offering a ghee lamp every day, attending mangal-arati, performing kirtana, singing Shri Damodarastakam, doing parikrama, offering maha-prasada, observing Annukuta Mahotsava, hearing hari-katha in all the pastime places – there is no doubt about success. It is only a question of time, and that time will not be very long. We will attain Krsna-prema and thus serve Radha-Krsna Yugala.

A108-AI

RaghunathDasGoswami.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Before beginning our study of Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, we offer our obeisances to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srimati Radhika, Sri Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, and also to Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali.

First, we should know the identity of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Srila Gopala-guru Gosvami has stated in his Paddhati that in his siddha-svarupa, his spiritual form in Goloka Våndavana, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Sri Rati-manjari, and her nickname is Sri Tulasi-manjari. All the sakhis (gopis) address her as Tulasi-manjari, although they also sometimes address her as Rati-manjari. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu from Goloka-dhama, the Lord's abode in the spiritual world, along with Rupa-manjari and all the other sakhis.

In his form as a practicing devotee, or sadhaka, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's diksa-guru and also family guru was Srila Yadunandana Acarya, and he had some association with Srila Haridasa Thakura. He also met Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and after that he came to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Since his boyhood, Raghunatha dasa wanted to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Mahaprabhu advised him not to leave his home, father, and mother so early. Sriman Mahaprabhu told him, "First become mature in bhakti, and then you can leave your home. For now, return to your home. Don't be like a mad person and don't be anxious. Sometimes, seeing the activities of another person, one becomes enthusiastic and acts impulsively. Later, however, when his 'fever' subsides, he understands that he has made a mistake. Now you are a very young child in these religious affairs. Don't be over-enthusiastic or impatient. Go back and love your father and mother outwardly, yet maintain firm faith in your bhajana. God will help you one day, and you will achieve your ultimate goal."

Sri Raghunatha dasa returned to his parents' home and lived together with his wife, father, and mother. After some time he met Sri Nityananda Prabhu at Panihati, and there he received the Lord's mercy. Then, soon after his return from Panihati, his Gurudeva, Srila Yadunandana Acarya, came to his home very early one morning while the sky was still dark. He told Raghunatha dasa, "One of my disciples has left his service and my Thakura's puja has not been performed. Come with me to that disciple, and let us again engage him in Thakura's worship."

Raghunatha dasa was very glad, because now he could leave his palace without being obstructed. Many guards had been watching over him so that he would not leave home, but when they saw that he was with his guru, they did not disturb him. Coming out of the palace he told his Gurudeva, "You may go to your home. I will go alone to your disciple and send him to you." His Gurudeva left, and Raghunatha dasa gave the message to that disciple. The disciple went to his guru, and Raghunatha dasa quickly went to Jagannatha Puri.

When Raghunatha dasa arrived in Jagannatha Puri he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who placed him in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. Sriman Mahaprabhu instructed him thus:

gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
amani manada hana krsna-nama sada la'be
vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya 6.236-237)

Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. Do not eat very palatable food, nor dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Sri Krsna, and within your mind render service to Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna in Våndavana.

There are many pastimes concerning Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's renunciation in Puri, and concerning the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami upon him.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu left this world, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami felt shelterless. He had previously been eating rice, dal, and so on, but after Sriman Mahaprabhu left he took only fruits and milk. Within three or four months Sri Svarupa Damodara also left and joined Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in aprakata-lila, His eternal pastimes in the spiritual world, and at hat time Raghunatha dasa also gave up taking even fruits and milk. He soon proceeded to Våndavana and planned to give up his life by jumping from Govardhana Hill.

Previously, while he had been living in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave him two Deities: a Govardhana sila and a gunja-mala (necklace of gunja beads, representing Srimati Radhika), which Sankarananda Sarasvati had given the Lord upon returning from Våndavana. Sriman Mahaprabhu personally used to perform worship of this sila by offering the water of His tears and the flowers (moods) of His heart. Sometimes He kept it on His heart, sometimes on His head, sometimes on His eyelids, and sometimes He could not find a satisfying place.

After three months Sriman Mahaprabhu gave the sila to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who considered, "By doing this, Mahaprabhu has given me to Govardhana; I should serve Govardhana. And, by giving me this gunja-mala, He has offered me to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika."

When he performed his worship, Srila ­Raghunatha dasa Gosvami would place the gunja-mala around his neck, taking shelter of Srimati Radhika. He served Govardhana as Sri Krsna, Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, and he always thought of himself as a palya-dasi, or maidservant, of Srimati Radhika – a manjari.

He came with these two Deities to Vrndavana, and there he met Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. He told them about his idea of going to Govardhana, but he did not disclose his plan to give up his life by jumping from Govardhana. They could understand his intention, however, and Srila Sanatana Gosvami instructed him, "Don't do so. You are my brother, and Srila Rupa Gosvami's also."

Srila Sanatana Gosvami then told him something from his own life history. He explained that while he was traveling from Våndavana to Jagannatha Puri he had become infected with a skin disease, the moisture of which was oozing from sores all over his body. As soon as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw him He embraced him, at which time the moisture from his body touched the body of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Greatly distressed, he thought, "I should leave this body by throwing myself under the wheel of Lord Jagannatha's chariot." Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew about this and told him, "You have given this body to Me, and now you are behaving independently. You give yourself verbally, but internally you do not. You have no right to this body, for you have already surrendered it to Me."

Sriman Mahaprabhu continued, "If I would have thought that by giving up My life I could receive the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, I would want to give up My life hundreds of thousands of times every day. But I know that Krsna and krsna-prema cannot be attained simply by dying. They can only be achieved by krsna-bhajana."

Srila Sanatana Gosvami now told Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, "So, you can die, but you cannot receive krsna-prema by such an act. Rather than die, it is better to perform bhajana at Radha-kunòa, Govardhana, Våndavana, and other places of Srimati Radharani and Krsna's pastimes."

In addition to his association with Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had a great deal of association with Srila Rupa Gosvami. He wholly followed Srila Rupa Gosvami, from whom he received all realization about his service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, and Srila Sanatana Gosvami also acted as his siksa-guru.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Form in Krsna-lila

As previously mentioned, in his siddha-sarira Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is a manjari, a certain type of sakhi. There are five kinds of sakhis: sakhi, nitya-sakhi, prana-sakhi, priya-sakhi, and priya-narma-sakhi.

Sakhis are exemplified by gopis like Dhanistha, who serve and support Krsna. Although they serve both Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna, they have more sneha, affection, for Sri Krsna than for Srimati Radhika. Thus, they are called krsna-snehadhika gopis.

Priya-narma-sakhis are also called parama-prestha-sakhis, and priya-sakhis are also called narma-sakhis. The priya-sakhis and priya-narma-sakhis are sama-sneha. The word sama-sneha means that they have equal affection for Radha and Krsna, yet they are somewhat more attracted to Srimati Radhika. They sometimes rebuke Krsna when they see Him committing any fault in relation to Srimati Radhika, and they sometimes admonish Srimati Radhika when She is angry and very hard-hearted towards Sri Krsna. Generally they want that Sri Krsna will always be under the control of Srimati Radhika, and they show favoritism towards Her; yet, they are sama-sneha.

The prana-sakhis and nitya-sakhis are radhika-snehadhika, meaning they have more affection towards Srimati Radhika. They always serve Her and associate with Her, wherever She happens to be, and they render Her innumerable services. They are extremely pleased if Srimati Radhika is pleased. If She feels separation from Krsna, they also feel separation; when Krsna meets with Her, they feel in their hearts that they themselves are meeting with Him.

Their mood is appreciated by the example of a bee playing on a flower. The bee cannot play on the manjari of the flower because the manjari is not stable, yet when the bee plays on the flower, the manjari trembles with happiness. In the same way, when Krsna meets with Radhika, these manjaris become exceedingly happy.

One day Srimati Radhika told one of Her sakhis, for whom she has great affection, "Mani-manjari is My very obedient friend. Please go to her and cleverly tell her that Krsna is waiting for her in a sanketa-kunja (meeting grove). Please take her to Him by any means. It is My desire that she meet with Him."

The sakhi went to Mani-manjari and requested her in a roundabout way to meet with Krsna. She said, "Krsna is waiting for you. I also know the desire of Srimati Radhika. She has not told me to come to you, but I know Her desire. She will not be angry."

The sakhi tried in many different ways to convince her to go, but Mani-manjari said, "Please do not request me to do this. I will never go. When I see Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna meet, I feel so much pleasure, much more pleasure than if I were to personally meet with Him. If a person knows where he can achieve greater happiness, he will not purposely strive for lesser happiness. When Krsna meets with Radhika it is my gain, but if I would meet with Him it would be a very great loss. Why should I choose loss over gain?" Thus, Srimati Radhika has so much faith in the manjaris.

Radhika once wanted Sri Rupa-manjari to meet with Krsna. She looked towards Krsna and hinted for Him to catch hold of her. Krsna wanted to do so, but Rupa-manjari fell at His feet and prayed, "Please don't do this. I am Radhika's dasi. When You meet with Her I derive more pleasure than I can describe. I request You to give me that pleasure, not this lesser pleasure." Krsna agreed to her request.

The sadhana to attain this mood of devotion is called tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika. Tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika is one of the two types of kamanuga-bhakti, and the other is sambhoga-iccha-mayi. Aspiring to become an independent nayika (heroine) like Srimati Radhika and Candravali is called sambhoga-iccha-mayi, which means the desire to have a direct relationship with Krsna. Those gopis who become greatly pleased by witnessing the meeting of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and who experience all the symptoms of directly meeting Krsna simply by seeing Sri Radha and Sri Krsna meet are called sakhi snehadhika. They experience what Radhika has experienced with Krsna, which is more than what they would have experienced by directly meeting with Him. Tat-tat-bhava means 'the specialty of the meeting of Radha and Krsna, and its bhava.' Although the manjaris have all the qualities of the nayika, or other heroines, if not more, they only want to serve Sri Radha. Sri Rupa-manjari and Sri Rati-manjari are both in this category. The sadhana to attain this devotion is therefore called tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika.

How can this type of devotion be attained? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to this world only to give this bhava – not the love of Srimati Radhika or the love of a nayika.

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
(Caitanya-caritamrata Adi-lila, 1.4)

He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.

Sva-bhakti-sriyam is that unnatojjvala-rasa, or elevated conjugal mellow, which can be attained by the jiva soul. The soul cannot have what Srimati Radhika has – mahabhava [SEE ENDNOTE 1] in both madana and modana [SEE ENDNOTE 2] – in exactly the same way that She has it. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to taste radha-bhava, Radhika's transcendental ecstatic sentiments, and radhayah pranaya-mahima, the glory of Her love. He came also to distribute manjari-bhava, engagement in the service of Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna.

Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami thus advised Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and they gave him Radha-kunòa as his place to live and perform bhajana. There he was always crying for Srimati Radhika, and always rolling in the dust of the bank of Radha-kunda.

Although he is a special sakhi of Srimati Radhika and is never separated from Her, in this lila, as Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he has played the highest role of a jiva – a raganuga-sadhaka, a practicing devotee who desires the service of the manjaris.

He was not merely pretending. By the arrangement of Yogamaya he actually felt himself to be a sadhaka. Although Lord Krsna is God of Gods, He weeps by seeing the stick in the hand of Mother Yasoda. He is not pretending. He actually fears Mother Yasoda and therefore He genuinely weeps. Similarly, although Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is a near and dear sakhi of Srimati Radhika in his spiritual form as a manjari, he is not pretending to feel greed to achieve that service. By the influence of Yogamaya he does what he actually feels. He has two roles: one as a practicing raganuga-bhakti-sadhaka, and at the same time another, in his siddha-sarira, as Sri Rati-manjari, who is always serving Radha and Krsna.

'mane' nija-siddha-deha kariya bhavana
ratri-dine kare vraje krsnera sevana
(Caitanya-caritamrta Madya-lila, 22.157)

There are two processes by which one may execute raganuga-bhakti – external and internal. When self-realized, the advanced devotee externally remains like a neophyte and executes all the sastric injunctions, especially hearing and chanting. Within his mind, however, in his original, pure, self-realized position, he serves Krsna in Vrndavana in his particular way. He serves Krsna twenty-four hours a day, throughout the day and night.

Every jiva has a siddha-deha, or siddha-sarira (spiritual body). Without a siddha-deha one cannot serve Sri Radha and Sri Krsna. This material body is not fit for serving Them. In Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes, one can perform bhajana and sadhana with this body, but for manasa-cintana, meditating on and entering Radha and Krsna's pastimes, the siddha-deha is essential.

This can be achieved if a person has greed, if he has gone to a siddha-gurudeva, and if he is very eager to serve Radha and Krsna. Initially his Gurudeva will cause him to hear all Their pastimes. The guru will watch and see in which rasa the disciple has taste. Accordingly, he will let him hear the pastimes that will be appropriate and useful for him.

When bhava manifests in one's body, one becomes situated in the stage called svarupa-siddha (internal cognizance of one's spiritual identity). After attaining this svarupa-siddha, one can 'imagine' these pastimes, but the word imagination has a specific meaning here. There is some realization.

Suppose a devotee is hearing a verse of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami from the lips of a pure guru. In that verse Sri Rati-manjari smiles as she tells Sri Rupa-manjari, "O Rupa-manjari, I know that you are a very chaste lady in Våndavana. Everyone knows this; yet although your husband has been out of home for so many days, I see some unusual marks on your lips. Why is that? Perhaps, while you were sleeping, a parrot came; thinking your lips to be a bimba fruit, he has bitten and cut them."

In another verse Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written:

sri-rupa-manjari-kararcita-pada-padma-
gosthendra-nandana-bhujarpita-mastakayah
ha modatah kanaka-gauri padaravinda-
samvahanani sanakais tava kim karisye
(Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, text 72)

Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna are tired from wandering in Våndavana and performing Their pastimes in the kunjas. They are perspiring and their faces look very beautiful. Srimati Radhika is lying on the lap of Lord Krsna, keeping Her feet on the lap of Sri Rupa-manjari, and Rupa-manjari is massaging Her feet ever so softly. Krsna is caressing Srimati Radhika's hair and She is feeling great happiness on His lap. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, in the mood of Rati-manjari, is praying to Rupa-manjari, "Will you give me your prasadi seva?" Prasada means remnant. "Rupa-manjari is massaging. Will she give her 'remnant service' to me?"

If one remembers this pastime, is the remembrance imagination? The pastime is reality. Therefore, the meaning of 'imagination' in this connection is thinking about the pastimes performed by Sri Krsna and Srimati Radhika, but without realization. If one is first hearing the pastimes from a bona fide guru and then thinking about them without realization, is this imagination? The subject matter is true. Although there is no realization, something is there, and after this 'imagination' the devotee will have some realization. He continues to hear more and more, and he continues his practices of raganuga-bhajana. Then, gradually, his siddha-çarira will manifest by the grace of Sri Krsnacandra, Srimati Radhika, and Yogamaya.

By thinking alone, however, one cannot achieve anything. These pastimes manifest in the heart only by the grace of Bhagavan Sri Krsna. If the guru is qualified, if he is a suddha-guru (pure guru) and has realization of all the pastimes, he will also help. He will see the rasa of his disciple's siddha-sarira – as did the guru of Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara of Jaiva-dharma – and give him appropriate guidance for his spiritual development.

If a person is situated in raganuga-bhakti, spontaneous devotion following in the wake of the residents of Vrndavana, he will surely understand his spiritual form and try hard to achieve it by the grace of Lord Krsna and Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. Without this, one cannot factually meditate upon asta-yama-lila, the pastimes that Sri Sri Radha-Krsna perform throughout the day and night. Without this, he does not know who he himself is, nor has he any idea of Krsna or Radhika – how beautiful They are and what are Their qualities. He should know his/her seva (particular service), vasana (dress), bhusana (decoration), ayu (age), husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, residence, and the place in which her marriage was performed. He will have to know all the elements of his spiritual personality, the realization of which comes at the stage of svarupa-siddhi.

When the devotee becomes matured in this practice, Yogamaya will take him, after death, to a sphere where Sri Krsna's lila is going on in the material world. The devotee will take her birth in a gopi's womb and, in the association of nitya-siddha (eternally perfect) gopis, she will completely realize and serve Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna.

We are advised to think of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as a raganuga-sadhaka, not as siddha (eternally perfected devotee). There is no doubt that he is siddha, a manjari, but we can only follow him if we see him as a raganuga-sadhaka. In our present stage we cannot follow Krsna or any siddha maha-purusa. We can only follow sadhakas. We therefore consider Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as a sadhaka, and we can gradually follow the way in which he performed his sadhana, or spiritual practices.

Here, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami weeps on the bank of Radha-kunòa towards the end of his life, when he is not able to live without the darçana of Srimati Radhika for even a second. Feeling great separation, he prays to Her for service.

His prayers are flowers. Vilapa means 'weeping,' and that weeping is his palmfuls (anjali) of numerous varieties of flowers (kusuma) which he offers to Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. In each service reside unique moods, or bhavas. When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has one kind of mood of separation and is praying for a specific service, that is one kind of flower. There are so many flowers in the form of one hundred and four verses, and all the verses are uttered only for achieving manjari-bhava. None are for achieving nayika-bhava, the mood of becoming the beloved of Sri Krsna and having a direct relationship with Him.

[ENDNOTE 1:
Mahabhava – the highest stage of prema, divine love. In Ujjvala-nilamani (14.154) mahabhava is defined thus: "When anuraga reaches a special state of intensity, it is known as bhava or mahabhava. This stage of intensity has three characteristics:
(1) anuraga reaches the state of sva-samvedya, which means that it becomes the object of its own experience; (2) it becomes prakasita, radiantly manifest, which means that all eight sattvika-bhavas become prominently displayed; and (3) it attains the state of yavad-asraya-vrtti, which means that the active ingredient of the intensified state of anuraga transmits the experience of Radha and Krsna's bhava to whomever may be present and qualified to receive it."]

[ENDNOTE 2:
Vijaya, "How many kinds of adhirudha-bhava are there?"
Gosvami, "This wonderful bhava is of two hues: modana and madana."
Vijaya, "What is modana-adhirudha-bhava?"
Gosvami, "In maha-bhava, when the entire spectrum of sattvika-bhavas being exchanged between the nayika and nayaka, Sri Radha and Sri Krsna, scintillates exceptionally, higher than even the uddipta, blazing, level, then this is called modana-adhirudha-bhava. In modana-adhirudha-bhava, both Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna are overcome with anxiety and discontent. Furthermore, in modana-adhiruòha-bhava, the love of Srimati Radhika touches heights of ecstasy unknown to all the other gopis."
Vijaya, "Gurudeva, I am eager to learn about some particulars of modana-adhirudha-bhava—for instance, in whom does this bhava reside?"
Gosvami, "Modana-bhava is only present in the yutha of Srimati Radhika, nowhere else. Modana is the favourite pleasure arena of the hladini sakti. At a certain stage, in viraha-dasa, the anguish of separation, modana converts to mohana and then, as viraha-dasa becomes all-encompassing, all the magnificent sattvika-bhavas radiate at the level of suddipta, greatest brilliance" (Jaiva-dharma, chapter 36).

Madana and mohana – highly advanced ecstasy is divided into two categories: madana and mohana. Meeting together is called madana, and separation is called mohana. On the madana platform there are kissing and many other symptoms, which are unlimited. In the mohana stage, there is divyonmada, which includes many features such as udghurëa (unsteadiness) and citra-jalpa (varieties of mad emotional talks). Citra-jalpa has ten divisions, called prajalpa and so on. An example of this is the ten verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam spoken by Srimati Radharani entitled "The Song to the Bumblebee."

In conjugal love (srngara) there are two departments: meeting and separation. On the platform of meeting, there are unlimited varieties that are beyond description. When the lover and the beloved meet, they are called yukta (connected). Previous to their meeting, they are called ayukta (not connected). Whether connected or not connected, the ecstatic emotion arising due to not being able to embrace and kiss each other as desired is called vipralambha. This vipralambha helps nourish emotions at the time of meeting. Similarly, sambhoga is described in the following verse quoted from the Vedic literature by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in his Anubhasya commentary on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: "Meeting each other and embracing each other are aimed at bringing about the happiness of the lover and the beloved. When this stage becomes increasingly jubilant, the resultant ecstatic emotion is called sambhoga." Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 23.58–62) (part of 23.62 purport included).]

A108-AI

Shrila Shri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja

Shrila Shri Rupa Siddhanti MaharajaShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
November 9, 2002

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the appearance day of param-pujyapada nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Shrila Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. He was born and brought up in East Bengal. He was a learned scholar and a good writer. When he first came to Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he saw that all the brahmacaris in the temple were very learned, and he thought, "I am not learned, so I should return to my home. There I will study Sanskrit, law, and other subjects, and then I will join and serve Shrila Prabhupada."

He returned home and began to study law; but our Guru Maharaja, his elder god-brother and also like his father, went to his home and inspired him, "Oh, what will law do for you? Law cannot give you love and affection. At once return to the matha and study love and affection under the guidance of Shrila Prabhupada. You are wasting so much time, and perhaps you will die in the meantime. Please come at once." By the inspiration of our Gurudeva, he returned to the matha.

The name given to him by Shrila Prabhupada was Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, meaning "the personification of perfected bhakti." Shrila Prabhupada selected a very good name for him.

Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was so bold – very, very bold. He once went to preach in East Bengal, in Dhaka, with pujyapada Nemi Maharaja. Nemi Maharaja was an extremely learned person and an excellent scholar. Shrila Prabhupada used to send him to learned circles. He inspired all audiences to laugh and weep, and he inspired all by his scholarship. Nemi Maharaja was giving class there in Dhaka, and because Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was a good speaker, he called out to him, "Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, please speak something."

Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari began to speak boldly, saying that, "Vivekananda is not vivekananda (meaning "one who has knowledge and a sense of discrimination)." In other words he saw the real meaning of the word in connection to that person and proclaimed, "Vivekananda has no knowledge at all. Vivekananda went to Western countries like America and gave a class on zero, saying that the world is zero. In other words, he was speaking Buddhist and mayavada philosophy. So he is Vi-ve-ka-nanda, not Vivekananda." *[See endnote 1]

He added that Rabindranath Tagore, who had received a nobel prize, was nothing more than a ramachagal, a goat with a long beard. He should be in the kitchen where people who are interested only in cooking and not in hearing elevated hari-katha will hear him, but those who want pure bhakti will not be able to do so. *[See endnote 2]

Hearing this, the people in the audience became upset and left that assembly, and they turned against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Nemi Maharaja sent a telegram to Shrila Prabhupada in Mayapura complaining that, "My whole preaching has been spoiled by this boy. Please call him back to you. I cannot preach here because no one is willing to listen anymore. All are against us."

Prabhupada at once answered in a telegram, "Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari is very bold. He has preached what I personally wanted to tell. I am coming just now, and I will prove that he is correct. He has done billions of rupees worth of preaching here – not small scale at all. The right audience is attracted. Those who are sincere and know how to discriminate – they are attracted. I am very, very happy. I am coming immediately." Prabhupada then very soon came to Dhaka, where he called the entire assembly. He proved that the words of Siddha-svarupa were true to the highest extent, and everyone became very inspired.

Siddha-svarupa brahmcari had great regard for his god-brothers, and in fact he used to refer to my Gurudeva as his siksa-guru. Gurudeva and he sometimes went to markets together with him to collect vegetables. At that time our Gaudiya Matha was very poor. The devotees used to take spinach and a few other varieties of bhoga, but they had no rice at that time. It wasn't until Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja came that everything changed.

Siddha-svarupa brahmacari used to go to Howrah market, very nearby to the train station, two or three miles from Ulta Danga. He and Guru Maharaja would collect vegetables and put them in two big bags, one being heavier than the other. Siddha-svarupa prabhu used to run after the heavy one. My Gurudeva also used to run after that one, saying, "I will take the bigger one," and he would say, "No, I will take the bigger one." Guru Maharaja told him, "Why should you take it?" "You are my senior, so I must take it." Guru Maharaja replied, "I am elder than you; I am stronger, so I should take it." Thus they quarrelled like this -- a prema-kalaha, or loving quarrel.

Nowadays we see the opposite. Now, what to say of god-brothers, even the relation between disciples and Gurudeva has been changed. Gurudeva now has to see, and to fulfil, all the desires of his disciples, otherwise the disciples may leave him. Gurudeva is serving according to the wish and desire of his disciples, while the disciples don't care for Gurudeva. Nowadays they don't think about the desire of Gurudeva, but at the time of Prabhupada the only thought was, "How to serve Gurudeva."

They used to keep their lives in their hands for their gurudeva, as my gurudeva did for Shrila Prabhupada at the time of Navadvipa parikrama. At that time disciples did not quarrel among themselves, whereas nowadays we see the opposite. A guru has to be very careful that, "How can I fulfil all the desires of my disciples so that they may not give up bhakti?"

I see and realize this. Very few disciples want to offer their lives and souls for Gurudeva; one can count their names on one's fingers. So, I request you all to follow your Gurudeva, the other disciples of Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Shri Shrimad Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja.

Follow parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. He risked his life and went by boat to America. He was very ill, performing an illness pastime, but he was not concerned with this. Rather, he was praying to Krishna, "What service can I do for You there?"

So many of Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's disciples were like that. This was Shrila Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja, a perfect example of disciple. He did what his Prabhupada wanted, and what my Gurudeva wanted.

He wrote a commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, establishing the link between Shrimad-Bhagavatam and Brahma-sutra. He also published two Bhagavad-gitas – one with the commentary of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura compiled by Shrila Bharati Maharaja, and the second with the commentary of Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Also, Shri Isopanisad and the books of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura: Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu, Ujjvala-nilamani Kirana and Brhad-Bhagavatamrta Kana."

Shrila Shri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja was also a very strong ruler, so bold to speak the truth. He was a good controller and manager too. He was also a kavi, or poet. He had all good qualities.

I am giving puspanjali in the lotus feet of Shrila Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. I pray that he should be pleased to give us his causeless mercy -- that we can follow his footprints.

I want to say that Rasananda brahmacari [now Shripada Shridhara Maharaja, the disciple of Shrila Shri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja] has spoken very excellently about his Gurudeva. Now we must go to parikrama, and upon returning, Ramacandra prabhu or someone else will translate the Hindi into English so that all can benefit.

Also, I want to give my blessings to Janardana prabhu [now Shripada Sagar Maharaja] of Venezuela. He has translated five of my books: "Acarya Kesari Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami – His Life and Teachings," with all siddhanta; "True Conception of Guru-tattva," "Secret Truths of the Bhagavatam," "Upadesamrta" of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and "Happiness in a Fool's Paradise." I am giving my blessings to him. Now he is going to translate our edition of Bhagavad-gita and many other books. My heartly blessings to him that in the future he may produce more publications. Vrndavanesvari devi dasi from Spain and Durlabha prabhu from Mexico City have also helped so much. My thanks to you.

*Endnote 1: (excerpts from the books, lectures, and conversations of parama-pujyapada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, quoted from his Vedabase folio):

Disciple: For Kierkegaard, the important thing is not so much what one chooses but that one makes the choice. Through choosing one discovers his own integrity.
Shrila Prabhupada: But it is not clear how a person can make the right decision. One man may choose to slaughter, and another man may choose to help others. Or a man may give charity to others and yet at the same time encourage killing animals. For instance, on the one hand Vivekananda advocated feeding the poor, but on the other hand he suggested feeding them with Mother Kali's prasadam—the flesh of bulls. So what kind of ethics is that? What is the value of ethics if it is based on imperfect knowledge? ("Beyond Illusion and Doubt")

There is no difficulty. Simply one must be sincere, not sinful. But a sinful man cannot understand Him. The sinful man, he will say, "Oh, Krishna is also man. I am also man. Why I am not God? He is simply God? No, I am also. I am God. You are God, you are God, every God." Just like Vivekananda said, "Why you are searching after God? Don't you see so many gods are loitering in the street?" You see. This is his God realization. This is his God realization. And he became a big man: "Oh, he is seeing everyone God."
This foolishness, this rascaldom, is going on all over the world. One does not know what is God, what is power of God, what is meant by God. They are accepting some rascal as God. (London: July 17, 1973)

I have read one speech, Chicago speech by late Vivekananda Swami. He's talking to the audience that "You work so hard, why you give credit to God?" (LA: Dec. 16, 1968)

Now we are speaking of Krishna and the Supreme Person. Mattah parataram nanyat [Bhagavd-gita, 7.7]. So there is no need of Vivekananda. When the Supreme Person is speaking, accepted by all. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that "You are accepted by authorities." Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Narada. We have to accept authority who is accepted by authorities. Vyasadeva, Narada, Devala, Asita, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Caitanya, even Sankaracarya—they have accepted Krishna as the supreme authority. You take the authorities statement. Don't go elsewhere. Then you'll be misled. When the supreme authority is speaking, take it and apply it in life. You'll be happy. Hare Krishna. (India: Aug. 17, 1976)

Therefore sometimes we find that although they say it [the world] is mithya [false], jagan mithya, and take sannyasa and for some days they remain meditation or aloof from any worldly affairs, but later on, when they do not find Brahman, they come again to this mäyä to open hospitals, schools, as sannyasi. Just like in our country there are many. The beginning we see that... Vivekananda Swami, he took sannyasa and meditation. Later on, after his touring in the Western countries, he came to India to open hospitals, schools, like that. But if the world is false, then why you are coming to open school and hospitals? (SA: Oct 18, 1975)

Hayagriva dasa: For Kierkegaard, the important thing is not so much what one chooses, but how one makes the choice. Through choosing one discovers his own integrity.
Shrila Prabhupada: But it is not clear how a person can make the right decision. One man may choose to slaughter, and another man may choose to help others. Or a man may give charity to others and yet at the same time encourage killing animals. For instance, on the one hand Vivekananda was advocating feeding the poor, but on the other hand he was suggesting feeding them with Mother Kali's prasada—the flesh of bulls. So what kind of ethics is that? What is the value of ethics if it is based on imperfect knowledge? (Back To Godhead Magazine)

*Endnote 2 (excerpts from his lectures and conversations, quoted from his Vedabase folio):

Bhaktijana: Is he a nice poet?

Prabhupada: He is nice poet from materialistic point of view. That's all. To satisfy the materialistic person. He is not a nice poet from spiritualistic point of view. We have nothing to do with him. (chuckles) We have to do with the poet like Vyasadeva. Don't you see how nicely he has written Shrimad-Bhagavatam? There is no comparison, even from the literary point of view. He is perfect poet. (New York: Oct 26, 1966)

Prabhupada: Because they have no conception of Godhead. Nirakara [the conception of a formless, qualitiless God]. So nirakara, where is the loving affairs with nirakara? I cannot love the air. If I want to love, if somebody says, "You love this air, nirakara," oh, where is my love? Love must be there. Just like here we have got Krishna. We can love. We cannot love this sky. So they have no conception of God; therefore their love of God is all fictitious. Just like Rabindranath Tagore, he has written Gitanjali, "Tumi." Who is that tumi, he does not know. All the poetry's "tumi, tomara," and who is that rascal, tumi or tomara? But that he does not know. This is going on. Now if I say, "My husband, tumi," I know, he's my husband. Or his form is like that. Then I can say. But he does not know who is that tumi. Everyone... The impersonalists will pray, tam eva mata tam eva pita. But who is that mata, who is that pita? That he does not know. We say, "Here is your mata, pita, Krishna. Here is Krishna." That is tangible. Fact. Not fictitious. (Calcutta: Jan. 29, 1973)

Rabindranath became very popular on account of his introducing Maghmela, where young boys and girls could easily meet. (Delhi: Nov, 29 1975)

Gopala Krishna: How do you feel about Rabindranath Tagore, the poet?

Prabhupada: (laughs) So you want my right answer? The answer is that anyone who has no Krishna consciousness, he has no good qualification. Or he's a fool, in simple word. So we have to test whether one has got Krishna consciousness or God consciousness. If one has no God consciousness, then according to Bhagavata: harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna [SB 5.18.12]. Those who are not Krishna conscious, they cannot have any good qualification. Why? Manorathena asato dhavato bahih. Because they are, they have no God consciousness means they do not know what is God; therefore their consciousness is either on the bodily platform or mental platform or intellectual platform. God consciousness is on the spiritual platform. (New York: July 28, 1971)

A108-AI

Explanation Of Vibhavari Sesa

Germany: Dec. 12, 2001
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Respected Harikatha Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Shri Guru and Gauranga.

September 22 and 23, 2018, is the divine appearance day of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. We ask you to kindly accept this class, wherein he glorifies Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s mood of devotion by glorifying his song Vibhaveri Sesa. Hundreds of thousands of devotees around the world sing this song to their Deities daily, and we pray that you will be happy to read this very deep explanation for your meditation.

Today we were singing 'vibhavari sesa aloka-pravesa nidra-chadi' utho jiva.' (From The song, Vibhavari Sesa, End of Night, by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura). What is the meaning?

[Bhaktisar Maharaja:] Now the night is over and dawn is coming. All living entities should wake up with the rising of the dawn and chant these names of the Lord.

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is the meaning? Try to hear very carefully.

[Syamarani dasi:] Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is calling out to the jivas, "Now the night is over." Night does not only mean nighttime. He is calling, "Now is the time to wake up. Now is the time of nisanta-lila, the time to give up the darkness of ignorance, the time to begin bhajana of the holy names of the Lord. Bolo Hari Hari, Mukunda Murari. It is not that Lord Shri Krishna is in His holy name, or that He has taken the form of the holy name. The holy name is Shri Krishna Himself, and the holy names perform all the wonderful pastimes of Putana-ghatana (Krishna the killer of Putana-witch), Yasoda-nandana, and so on. Shrila Gurudeva has often said we should chant all these names, remembering the pastimes in relationship to those names, and weep in separation in the mood of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] We have forgotten Shri Krishna Bhagavan since the beginning of creation. From time immemorial, from the beginning, we have forgotten that we are Krishna dasa, servants of Shri Krishna. This is called night. By Krishna’s causeless mercy we were especially given the very strong boat of this human form, and He has given us sat-guru. This is His causeless mercy. He has given the favorable winds of sadhu-sanga, and He has given the human body and intelligence. He has given everything, and this is called morning. Vibhavari-sesa means, "Now your darkness, your night, is about to go, and morning time is coming. If you utilize these opportunities in a good way, your darkness will leave very quickly."

Bolo hari hari, mukunda murari, rama Krishna hayagriva. Why did Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura write 'Dasarathi Rama'? Dasarathi Rama is not a different avatara from Lord Krishna. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that Lord Rama is also Lord Krishna. When Krishna performs His pastime of establishing maryada (rules and regulations, etiquette, and worship in awe and reverence), He is called Rama. The pastime of Rama is also one of the sweet pastimes of Krishna. The pastimes of Putana-ghatana, Nrsimha, Vamana, and all other incarnations are actually all the sweet pastimes of Svayam Bhagavan Krishna Himself.

Ravanantakara. Shri Krishna is very powerful. He can kill Ravana, Kamsa, Jarasandha, and so many others, but He is makhana-taskara (the butter thief) at the same time. He is omniscient and also mugdha. Mugdha means bewildered and knowing nothing. Lord Krishna is both at the same time. Guru is also like this; in some cases he may also play in this way.

Ravanantakara-rama, and gopi-jana-vastra-hari. Krishna stole the clothing of the gopis. He is Maryada Purusottama (the establisher of religion), and sometimes He is gopi-jana-vastra-hari (He who steals the garments of the young gopis). This pastime is apparently against the principles of religion, and this is very hard to reconcile, but Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is reconciling it here.

Vrajera-rakhala. This means that Lord Krishna is the protector of Gokula or Vraja. Gopa-vrnda-pala. He is the protector of all the 'gos,' such as the gopas, gopis, and govatsa (calves) in Gokula. Citta-hari-vamsi-dhari. By His flute playing He attracts the hearts of all. Ananda-vardhana, prema-niketana, phula-sara-yojaka-kama. What is the meaning?

[Rama-Sraddha dasa:] Krishna is like the transcendental Cupid who throws arrows of flowers; flowers of kama. These arrows are actually meant to…

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] For whom is this word used.

[Rama Sraddha dasa:] For the gopis of Vrndavana.

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Is the word used for Shri Krishna or for His arrows? Do you understand the question? What do you mean by 'arrows of flowers'?

[Devotee:] It refers to Krishna Himself, not to outside arrows. The arrows are Krishna's eyebrows, His eyes, His smile, and His cheeks. By His senses and His sensory engagements, He enchants all the gopis.

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Krishna Himself is the arrows of flowers. He enchanted the gopis by His glancing, His smiling, especially His flute playing, His walking, His movements, His speaking, and everything else about Him. For example, He called all the gopis in the dead of night by His flute playing, and then joked with them by saying, "Oh, the night is very dark. You should go home." Krishna is therefore called phula-sara-yojaka-kama. Puspabanaya dimahi. This means, "I meditate on puspabana, the (embodiment of the) arrows of flowers, His form, senses, and everything else about Him."

Gopangana-gana citta-vinodana, samasta-guna-gana-dhama. Yamuna-jivana. Shri Krishna Himself is Yamuna-jivana. All the gopis are attracted by His sweet pastimes on the bank of Kalindi, Yamuna. If He were not there, the gopis would not have come there. He is Yamuna-jivana, the life of the sweet pastimes that take place on the bank of the Yamuna.

Manasa-candra-cakora. What is the meaning?

[Syamarani dasi:] The cakora bird only drinks the moonlight. Krishna is the moonlight for all the gopis who don't look anywhere else for their sustenance. They only look towards Krishna, and they become attracted.

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No. You have given the opposite meaning (or the general, external meaning). Krishna Himself is the cakora of radha-manasa. He always tastes the beauty and sweetness of Shrimati Radhika.

[Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] Without the moon, the cakora bird cannot survive. Similarly, without Shrimati Radhika, Krishna cannot survive.

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You must know the meaning of all these words. All are names of Krishna Bhagavan, from ‘top to bottom’. Yogendra-vandana, Nanda-nandana, and Vraja-jana-bhaya-hari are all names of Krishna, and they perform so many sweet pastimes.

This song, Vibhavari-sesa, and also Yasomati-Nandana, which is also by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, are the topmost, sweet glorifications of Krishna. They are very elevated songs. Nama-sudha-rasa. Nama-cintamani Krishna Chaitanya rasa-vigraha. Nama is rasa-svarupa (the embodiment of transcendental mellow relationships), Krishna is rasa-svarupa, and His pastimes are the same. There is no difference at all. These sweet pastimes of Lord Krishna are rasamayi, composed of rasa, as is Krishna Himself; and His names are of the same quality.

Gao Krishna-yasa, rakho vacana mana mora. "O mind, you should try to follow my words. You should have a strong belief in my words. If you chant, you will realize all the mellow tastes in Krishna, and your life will be successful."

Gaura Premanande!

Transcriber and typist: Ananga Manjari dasi
Edited by: Syamarani dasi

A108-AI

Shrila Jiva Gosvami Prabhupad[Respected Readers,
This year, 2018, Shrila Jiva Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day is September  21 and 22 around the world.. Please accept these two lectures of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, given in honor of Shrila Jiva Gosvami:]

[Today is a very auspicious day. It is the disappearance day of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. We don't observe the disappearance days of Lord Krishna, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Rama or any other incarnation of Bhagavan, but we observe the disappearance days of His associates. By such observance we learn many things about their worshipable Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, Shriman Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. We can understand how they practiced bhakti-yoga and how they received the service of Krishna and Mahaprabhu. We can learn from their lives’ examples how they accepted the process of sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya and anartha-nivrtti, and how they gradually developed nistha, ruci, asakti and rati. This is more important for us. [Although they are nitya-siddha devotees, they sometimes act as conditioned souls in the beginning, so we can learn how a conditioned soul can become a pure devotee.]

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svayam Bhagavan Shri Krishna Himself who has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Shrimati Radhika, came to this world, but it was Shrila Rupa Gosvami who established in this world His innermost heart's feelings. If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not come, perhaps we would not have known His identity. Shrila Jiva Gosvami served Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and the credit for all the publishing of Shrila Rupa Gosvami's literatures belongs to him. By publishing Rupa Gosvami's literatures, he established his innermost desire. At that time it was very difficult to publish books because the authors had to write all their books with their own pens, as there were no printing presses. Jiva Gosvami wrote down, in his own handwriting, every copy of every book of Shrila Rupa Gosvami.

He was the topmost learned person at that time, and he preserved the legacy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Because he was always with him, he was able to write many commentaries in pursuance of Rupanuga Vaisnavism. If it were not for him, all of Shrila Rupa Gosvami's books would have been lost. He also preached, especially to Shri Syamananda Prabhu, Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, and Shri Shrinivasa Acarya. Try to practice serving the cause of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission as he has done.

So-called gurus hanker to make many disciples. They spend so much money, make so many agents, and tell them, "If you bring five disciples, I will pay you so much." This is going on nowadays, but Shrila Jiva Gosvami and the Six Gosvamis did not practice this. How many disciples did Shrila Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha Bhatta have? Shrila Jiva Gosvami did not have any formal disciples at all, but the whole world is his disciple. Shri Syamananda Prabhu was initiated by another guru, Shri Hrdaya Chaitanya, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was initiated by Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and Shrila Shrinivasa Acarya was initiated by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, but they all came under the shelter of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. He then explained to them the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other sastras, and he also thoroughly explained to them all tattvas, established philosophical truths.

They wanted to be initiated by him, but he refused. He told them, "There are so many elevated Vaisnavas more qualified than I. Please, you should go to Lokanatha Gosvami, and you should go to Gopal Bhatta Gosvami." They had not intended to go to them; they wanted him to be their guru. Yet, they followed his instructions. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura went to Shrila Lokanatha Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu went to Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.

Lokanatha Gosvami refused to give Narottama dasa Thakura initiation, although the Thakura waited for many years. At night, Narottama dasa cleaned the place where Lokanatha Gosvami had passed stool, and finally, seeing his sincerity of purpose, Lokanatha Gosvami was bound to give him initiation. Similarly, Gopal Bhatta Gosvami never wanted to accept any disciples. By the request of Shrila Jiva Gosvami he accepted only one disciple – Shrinivasa Acarya. However, those two disciples, along with Syamananda Prabhu, went to Bengal and collected thousands and thousands of followers.

Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji also never wanted to accept any disciples. Only by the special request of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did he initiate his son, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. He saw in his own heart that if he did not initiate Shrila Sarasvati Thakura, he would die. Shrila Babaji Maharaja was therefore bound to give him initiation, but he gave no initiation to anyone else. His disciple, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura, performed a miracle. He made disciples in all of Bengal, all over India, and after that all over the world. Thus, who is more merciful: the guru or the disciple? We see that disciples are more merciful than their gurus. This is because they go out to everyone, to invite them to experience the mercy of their guru.

Once, when Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami and his disciple Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura were both engaged in bhajana, a thirsty person came to them desiring water. He went to Lokanatha Gosvami, who was chanting and absorbed, oblivious to his presence. Then, when he went to Narottama dasa Thakura, that 'baby sadhu' procured some water and gave it to him. Lokanatha Gosvami understood this and later told him, "You are not qualified. You should go at once to your village. I don't want a disciple like you, who has no faith in Shri Krishna Bhagavan’s name. Krishna's name is Krishna Himself. He has manifested all His power, beauty and opulence in His name. That name is more powerful than He Himself, but you have no faith in this truth." [Shrila Maharaja explained on another day that in real bhajana, the devotee is personally serving Shrimati Radha and Shri Krishna while chanting. Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami told Shrila Narottama dasa that he was not qualified because he had interrupted his service to Radhika and Krishna, and went to serve an ordinary man. Had Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura continued his bhajana, Krishna would have been pleased and the man also would have been pleased. By Lord Krishna's arrangement, he would have gotten water from another source] Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was so faithful that he followed his guru's instructions, and he also initiated thousands and thousands of disciples in the course of his preaching on his guru's behalf.

I think that Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura is so much more merciful than his gurudeva. Although Lokanatha Gosvami is a manjari and Narottama dasa Thakura is also a manjari, it appears that Narottama dasa Thakura is more merciful. He had mercy for all, as shown by his extensive preaching. In another way, however, we can see that Lokanatha Gosvami is extremely merciful because he parted with his only disciple, who served him so intimately, just so the people of Bengal could benefit.

There are many teachings to contemplate in this regard. Shrila If Jiva Gosvami had not written Sad-Sandarbha, if he had not written Shri Gopala Campu, if he had not revealed his commentaries on Shri Ujjvala Nilamani, Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu and so many other books, we would not be able to know the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. We therefore offer our obeisances today unto the lotus feet of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. We pray that we may serve our gurudeva as he served Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He manifested both Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. It is very rare for anyone to be like him.

Transcriber: Yasoda Gopi dasi 
Editor: Rsabhadeva dasa Adhikari 
Ass't editor: Syamarani dasi 
Typists: Malati dasi and Radhika dasi

A108-AI

Shri Radhastami

14 September 2002

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaura premanande

A108-AI

Lalita-Devi's Appearance Day

September 10, 2005

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[This year, 2018, Srimati Lalita-devi’s appearance day is on September 16th  (in India, see calendar), one day before Radhastami. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled devotees observed the appearance day of Sri Radha's most intimate sakhi, Srimati Lalita-devi on September 10, 2005. The following is a transcription of the class given in her glorification, and it explains her significance in our personal lives:]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays:

padabjayos tava vina vara-dasyam eva
nanyat kadapi samaye kila devi yace
sakhyaya te mama namo 'stu namo 'stu nityam 
dasyaya te mama raso 'stu raso 'stu satyam

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

A108-AI

We Are One Family

Shrila Narayana Swami[This year, 2018, the appearance days of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada is on September 4th (in India). Please accept the following glorification of him, given by Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja in Los Angeles, May, 2000:]

Gurudeva graveI pray to my siksa-guru, my friend, and also my sannyasa god-brother. I have so many kinds of relations with him - so many. We used to talk, sitting on the same bed, or the same chair, and joking about so many things. Though I treated him as my siksa-guru, he never saw me as a disciple. He told me, "Our relationship is transcendental." I was so fortunate that as his last request for my service he told me, "Give me samadhi." I am so much obliged to him, because he gave me so many services.

I know that he has not established anything new. He gave the same eternal Krsna consciousness, but with an English name. It is coming from Krsna Himself; He is the root. In this world, in this ISKCON, Brahma is the first acarya. Then, Brahma's son Narada, who is also Brahma's disciple, is the second ISKCON acarya. And Narada's elder brothers and teachers, the four Kumaras, are also ISKCON devotees.

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu are also the real ISKCON. We should try to know that we are all in one family. Anyone who is following even a little bit, who is chanting and remembering Krsna in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu – they are ISKCON. They may be in saffron cloth and sannyasa apparel, or they may be in the grhastha asrama, with or without family, alone, or anywhere. All are in ISKCON. That is why the follower of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, has instructed us to honor all devotees who are in ISKCON, from top to bottom: kanistha-adhikaris, madhyama-adhikaris, uttama-adhikaris, and also uttama uttama uttama adhikaris. We have to respect every one; otherwise we are not ISKCON devotees.

krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranitam 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."]

Shrila Rupa Gosvami never said that we should only respect our god-brothers, or that we should only respect those in his own line. Never. Whoever is serving Radha-Krsna, anywhere in this world, we should honor that person. Even beginners who accept that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who also want to serve Radha and Krsna are to be honored. If one is not initiated, but he is not offensive and is not associating with mayavadis, he should also be considered as an ISKCON devotee; but as a kanistha-adhikari. Those who have given up all nonsense anarthas and misconduct, and who are not criticizing anyone – not even those who are fit to be criticized – and are always chanting and remembering Krsna, are madhyama-adhikari. There are so many categories in madhyama-adhikari: madhyama-kanistha, madhyama-madhyama, and madhyama-uttama, and we should try to respect these madhyama-adhikaris according to their degree of devotion.|

We should also honor those who are superior, who are serving Radha-Krsna in astakaliya-lila. They have no time to criticize anyone. Offering pranama to all, paying respect to all, they think that everyone is serving Radha-Krsna. They are more than Prahlada Maharaja. We should understand that they are maha-bhagavatas.

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam ekalam mulyam
janma-kotibhis sukrtibhair na labhyate

(Caitanya-caritamrta. Madhya-lila, 8.70)

We should honor such a devotee, whether or not he is a disciple of our Gurudeva. He may be of the Syamananda-parivara, the family or disciplic succession of Syamananda Prabhu, or he may be of the Narottama-parivara, or he may be of the Bhirabhadra-parivara, that is, Jahnava-parivara; no harm. Wherever he is, we should understand that he is a maha-bhagavata.

I know personally that Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, my siksa-guru, used to give proper honor to all. Although I was not initiated by him, oh, how he used to honor me. I was not qualified to sit with him in the same line, but still, he used to take me in his lap like a child. When he would see me he would say, "O, you should sing; I like your singing."

He used to play the mrdanga. I know he was a first-class singer. You can hear on his cassettes that he used to sing in a pathetic tune (a tune revealing his intense separation feelings for Radha-Krsna), coming from his heart. And the hearts of anyone hearing him sing these songs would be melted. This is real kirtana. 'Pasu pakhi jhure pasana vidare, suni jara guna gatha.' Shrila Locana dasa Thakura sings, "By the mercy of Gaura and Nitai, even the animals and birds cry and the stones melt. Simply my heart has not melted."

Shrila Rupa Gosvami has given instructions that we should try to properly respect all kinds of Vaisnavas. Rupa Gosvami knows the heart of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and your Prabhupada was a Rupanuga Vaisnava. Only very rare persons know what is Rupanuga; very rare. But one day we will have to know. Without knowing what is Rupanuga, we cannot advance. If we do not know all these things, we cannot even become madhyama-adhikari.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to this world with a mission of ISKCON – Vaisnavism. What was that? It is the same mission as that of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Who is Mahaprabhu? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna Himself. But He is also more than that; He is not only Krsna. He is the combination of both Shrimati Radhika and Krsna, and therefore He is not only Krsna; He has combined with Shrimati Radhika, His power.

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to always be absorbed in Radha's mood. Krsna did not have Radha's beauty and Her intrinsic mood. Radhika has adhirudha-mahabhava, and even more than that. Krsna's mood goes up to mahabhava, but beyond that – how to serve and to please Krsna – He does not know. He will have to learn by going to the school of Visakha-devi, and sometimes to Lalita-devi. Without the help of Lalita and Visakha, He cannot relish the mood of Shrimati Radhika. So this was the mission of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – to give these things. Krsna Himself could not do this, but when He took the beauty and the intrinsic mood of Radhika, then He could relish everything in Gambira under the guidance of Svarupa Damodara (Lalita) and Ramananda Raya (Visakha). And what was Gadadhara Pandita doing? He was watching to see if Mahaprabhu was playing His role perfectly or not. If He was making some mistake, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, in the mood of Radhika, would 'twist the ears' of Krsna, He would say, "O, You are doing wrong; You should it do like this." When Mahaprabhu was singing: 'barahapidam nata-vara-vapu,' Gadadhara Pandita quickly came and said, "O, You should do it like this:

barhapitam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih

["Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krsna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrindavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5)]

He was perspiring, His heart was melting, and His tears were falling like heavy rain. There was some defect in Krsna, and Gadadhara Pandita therefore instructed Him.

To think that Krsna had taken away the beauty and intrinsic mood of Radhika and had become Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and that Gadadhara Pandita had thus become Rukmini, is quite wrong. It is not like this.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came for the same object and mission as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – for the jivas to be given raga-marga. They should know who Shrimati Radhika is, and what are all these moods.

When he came to New Jersey, Boston, and New York, however, he realized that he had to cut so many jungles. If the land is not fertile, how can this seed of bhakti be given? The jungles were very dense and wild, with so many wild beasts, dangerous animals and poisonous snakes. It took time, and at the same time he kept everything reserved in his books. He told his disciples to read about the life and character of Prahlada Maharaja, Citraketu Maharaja, and others. He had so little time, because the bell rang. Krsna called him, "I cannot be without you. I need your service. Please come at once." He was then bound to go to his Prabhu. One may say that he has given everything in his books. Yes, he has given everything. But you will have to go deep, with the help of any pure Vaisnava:

yaha bhagavat pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya carane

(Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 5. 131)

A so-called Vaisnava cannot give you these truths. If one is not following, what will be the result? You will not understand. No one can be in the same class for twenty or twenty five years, or for his whole life, or forever. If he is not advancing, improving, then he must fall down; and that is now becoming the fact. Prabhupada's disciples came with so much honor to serve Krsna. This desire was there, and they are engaged in so many services.

However, they don't have any way to advance now, and that is why their whole way is blocked. Where will they go? They are sure to go down.

We should not always remain in the kanistha-adhikari stage. There should be a way to go up to something superior, but our minds will not go there. We should try to make advancement through someone who is superior, through those who are practically serving, whose minds are there, who knows Prabhupada's mood, and who know the very deep process of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami that he has written about in his books. We should try to go very deep.

You can see in the sloka:

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

(Nectar of Instruction, Text 8)

Shrila Svami Maharaja has explained the mood of Rupa Gosvami so well. If a person has many worldly desires and is full of anarthas, no harm. If he has some greed to serve Radha-Krsna in the line of Rupa Gosvami, he can do so. He can think of Radha-Krsna. He can sing, "Radha-Krsna prana mora yugula kisora," and also, "Rupa raghunatha pade hoibe akuti, kabe hama bujhabo se yugala piriti". What is the meaning?

Prema-prayojana dasa: When will I become eager to follow in the footsteps of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? Only then will I be able to realize what is the priti, the love and affection between Radha and Krsna.

Shrila Gurudeva: How will this be possible? By the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. 'Ara kabe Nitaicandra.' Nityananda Prabhu's mercy is essential. I have heard Shrila Svami Maharaja sing this song: 'parama karuna, pahu dui jana, nitai gauracandra; saba avatara sara siromani kevala ananda kanda.' Even in the beginning we realize the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. But why has Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura prayed to Rupa-Raghunatha? Shrila Rupa Gosvami is the heart of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Rupa-Raghunatha can give the service of Radha-Krsna. Nityananda Prabhu can also give it, but not in the shape of Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu. He can give it in the shape of Ananga-manjari. Rupa Gosvami is Rupa-manjari. He can give all the moods to serve Shrimati Radhika.

We should try to know these truths and advance from kanistha-adhikari to madhyama. Then we will never fall down. A taste will come, and when that taste comes in chanting, remembering, and hearing hari-katha, then Krsna will manifest in the heart and purify it. We will become madhyama-kanistha, madhyama-madhyama, madhyama-uttama, and then maha-bhagavata-kanistha. So, we should try to know all these things, and try to have all these things.

First we should try to have taste. How will it come? If you are not always associating with a high class of Vaisnavas, even your chanting and remembering will not do. Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami has therefore given the process: First sravanam, and then kirtanam, and then serving and meditating. Sravana, hearing, should be done. Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrimad-Bhagavatam have both told:

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam
visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam

["Duties (dharma) executed by men, regardless of occupation, are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Supreme Lord." Following a system of religion that does not awaken one's Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness, is merely a waste of time and labour." Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 6.16.43]

Shrila Gurudeva: What is the meaning?

Shyamarani dasi: If someone is following all the principles of varnasrama, following all the regulations, and following the Vedas, but he doesn't have any taste for hearing from the topmost sadhus...

Shrila Gurudeva: Even if he is chanting and serving in so many ways; even if he is reading the books, but...

Shyamarani dasi: If he doesn't have any taste for hearing from pure sadhus about the sweet lila and glories of Krsna, then all of his activities come to zero.

Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. You should always know this. Chanting alone will not do. It will not be first-class, or pure. If you are hearing hari-katha, then your chanting of the Holy Name will be pure. The Holy Name is always pure. 'Purna suddha nitya mukta vinatva nama namine.' The Nama is always Krsna Himself. They are not different. But we cannot realize this. We must always be hearing from realized souls.

Narada can tell anyone, any creature, even just by looking at him, "O, may you now become a high-class maha-bhagavata." Simply by telling someone this, he can make that person become like himself. A madhyama-bhagavata cannot do this. He will give his association and hari-katha. A kanistha-adhikari can only say, "You should come to my Gurudeva; you should come to this pure devotee." He can only say this much. On one hand all this is mercy, but Narada can at once say, "O, Krsna-prema should come, and you should dance and sing." He has the capacity to say that, because he has controlled Krsna in his heart by his services. He is therefore a maha-maha-maha-bhagavata.

I request everyone to remember that we are in the one family of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's mission was to give this vision. He came to these western countries where there was no sign of bhakti, where all were engaged in sense gratification. The people were always accustomed to take beef and so many other abominable things.

Mercifully, in a year or two, he changed the whole world. It was a miracle. He translated so many books, and by his mercy he accepted so many disciples who were very powerful at that time. He inspired them and engaged them through his teachings everywhere he went. He made them all so powerful that you cannot imagine it.

I know that in France and other areas Bhagavan Prabhu was so famous. He made a big school, New Mayapura, where there were more than three hundred devotees and also a big gosala. You cannot imagine. However, when I went to see that place two years ago, I saw that all the land and trees were weeping. There was no life there; it was like a desert. When Shrila Svami Maharaja used to sing there, he was weeping in ecstasy. But what became of it all after he left? So I request Bhagavan also, "You cannot be happy in this world, my dear friend Bhagavan Prabhu. This world can cheat you. You will never be happy. You should therefore have strong faith in your Gurudeva. He was not any ordinary person; he was transcendental. He came from there, for the enlightenment of all."

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatah tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam

["Lord Brahma said, 'O my Lord Krsna, a devotee who abandons the path of empiric philosophical speculation aimed at merging in the existence of the Supreme and engages himself in hearing Your glories and activities from a bona fide sadhu, or saint, and who lives an honest life in the occupational engagement of his social life, can conquer Your sympathy and mercy even though You are ajita, or unconquerable.'" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.3)]

All have seen that in this world there is no happiness. There are so many problems and problems. These problems are like poisonous snakes, and death is like a tiger. We cannot say when we will die. Problems are coming one after another, like very large waves of twelve feet and even twenty feet. So I request you all, not to come down. Try to have a taste in the Name and in hari-katha. And, when you hear that a good, bona fide devotee is coming and giving classes, you must certainly attend. This will bring you a taste in all devotional activities. All your paths will be thus open, and then you can go up very soon and very easily. You will see that your Guruji is smiling and saying, "Oh, I am very lucky that you have come. Now let us all serve Radha and Krsna."

So we should be like a family – not thinking that we are enemies. There should be no fear at all. Why fear? If we want to serve Radha-Krsna in the same line as our predecessor acaryas, why fear? Helping each other, therefore, we should follow the mission of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, our Gurudeva, and Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis; and be happy. Then we may see that ISKCON will be changed. I went to so many places in the world, and I saw that nowadays hardly anyone honors ISKCON leaders, or their god-brothers, or even third class devotees. Hardly anyone honors anyone. That is why they are losing so much. If they properly respect each other, and also chant and remember, they must change.

Gaura Premanande!

A108-AI

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Mathura, India
20th August 2003

Shri Jayadeva Gosvami's kirtana, Shri Mangala-Gitam, glorifies Bhagavan Shri Krsna, but moreover it indicates the glories of Shrimati Radhika. This is because Lord Krsna's highest glories are not manifest without His being in Her association.

This kirtana begins: Shrita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e – Shrita-kamalakuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter at the breast of Shrimati Radhika, and this is because of what happens to Him at the moment He sees Her. Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvati describes how, simply upon seeing Her and by the influence of Her mahabhava, Lord Krsna's flute falls from His hands, His peacock feather falls to the ground, His pitambara slips down, and He Himself begins to faint. At that time He is taking shelter at the breast of Shrimati Radhika.

Regarding this verse Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvati prays, "When will I perform rasa-upasana of that very Shrimati Radhika?" Rasa-upasana means rendering service to Shri Shri Radha-Krsna by following in the footsteps of Shri Rupa-manjari and Rati-manjari. In this verse, at the time of His leaving home to go cow-herding, Krsna sees Shrimati Radhika from afar and He begins to faint. Madhumangala catches Him and says, "O my friend, what are You doing? Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba can see You."

Dhrta-kundala are Shri Krsna's kundala (earrings) – the ornaments or beauty that decorate His ears are Shrimati Radhika's very beautiful words. Hearing the sound of Her sweet voice, Krsna's flute falls to the ground.

Kalita-lalita-vanamala – Kalita-lalita means extremely attractive and beautiful. Krsna wears a very beautiful vanamala, garland of forest flowers. A question arises as to who made this garland, and the answer is that Shrimati Radhika Herself has made it and placed it around His neck.

Jaya jaya deva! Hare – Jaya is sung twice here therefore there are two meanings. Jaya Jaya deva hare means, "All glories to the beloved worshipful deity of Shri Jayadeva Gosvami", and it also means, "May that Bhagavan Shri Krsna, who is glorified by this song, be victorious." In the second meaning, "All glories to that Shri Krsna" is sung twice for emphasis.

Mahaprabu is Always in Shrimati Radhika's Mood

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always in Shrimati Radhika's mood, but when He heard this song His mood at once changed to that of Shri Krsna. At that time He wanted to embrace the singer, thinking she may be Shrimati Radhika or Shrimati Lalita-devi or Visakha-devi. Therefore, when He was checked by His servant Govinda, He embraced Him and said, "I was about to return to My mood and nature as Krsna, but you checked Me. If you had not done so, I would have lost the purpose for which I came in this form, and also everyone would know that I am Krsna. You have saved Me."

This is the first meaning, and in the second Lord Caitanya is telling Govinda, "You saved Me. If you had not done so, if I had touched that woman, I would have then jumped in the river and drowned there." In this way there are two very good and deep meanings.

Many sannyasis, those in the renounced order, give up their sannyasa because they like to associate with ladies. They rationalize their activities by saying, "So many ladies come to me. What can I do? They come automatically, without my invitation."

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will not listen to these arguments, so you should be very careful. If a lady comes to you with a spirit of enjoyment, slap her and speak harshly to her. I am very strict about this. Although I am very polite by nature, in these matters I am very strict. I cannot tolerate this. Girls should be especially careful regarding their motives for coming here. They sometimes come to pick up brahmacaris or sannyasis, and I have warned them not to come for this. They should only come to hear hari-katha, and they should be very strong in Krsna consciousness.

They should come to develop love and affection, like the gopis have, for Krsna – by first having love and affection for guru and real Vaisnavas. I request you all – sannyasis, brahmacaris and girls to be very careful in this regard. I have so much affection for my daughters, but I want to be very strict with them.

Bhava-khandana – Bhava means the coming and going in the endless cycle of birth and death and suffering in this material world. Khandana – for those in this world, Shri Krsna puts an end to all sorrows and sufferings in the cycle of birth and death. The gopis of Vrndavana, however, have a different kind of suffering. For them, suffering means separation from Shri Krsna. Shrimati Radhika and the gopis feel great separation from Him, and He puts an end to that suffering. At the time of their separation He manifests to them in the form of a sphurti (vision), or in person, and relieves them from the fire of separation.

Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa – Krsna Bhagavan is the swan who plays on the lake of the minds of munis like Shri Narada Muni, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami and of course Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami, who is not less than Narada Muni or Shri Sukadeva Gosvami.

At the end of the kirtana Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami prays – idam kurute mudam. Mudam means overjoyed. He prays, "May all the world become auspicious and overjoyed." He prays to Bhagavan Shri Krsna, on behalf of all the people in the world, to manifest within their hearts the transcendental pastimes described in this kirtana. He is very merciful, just as Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who prayed:

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

(Shri Caitanya-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."]

Shrila Rupa Gosvami did not pray for himself; he prayed that Shriman Mahaprabhu will kindly manifest in the hearts of everyone. Vaisnavas are causelessly merciful; they pray to Krsna on behalf of all the jivas.

In conclusion Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami is saying, mangalam-ujjvala-gitam, which means that this song is full of unnatojjvala-rasa, the transcendental parakiya-rasa of mahabhava-svarupini Shrimati Radhika.

Pleasing Shri Shri Radha-Krsna

Shrila Maharaja then requested the assembled devotees to chant Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami's Shri Dasavatara-stotram. At the end of the kirtana, the kirtana leader chanted "Jaya dasavatara, jaya dasavatara" – all glories to the ten avataras (incarnations of Lord Krsna).

Shrila Gurudeva: Don't sing this ending. This song is not the glorification of the ten avataras. Kesava! Dhrta-dasa-vidha-rupa! – This is a glorification of Kesava, Krsnacandra, Syamasundara and Vrajendranandana. You can sing instead, "Jaya dasavatari – all glories to that Krsna Bhagavan who is the origin of all these avataras."

The devotees then chanted the kirtanas Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam and Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, as they do every year on this very day.

Shrila Maharaja: When Shrimati Radhika hears this Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam, She becomes overjoyed and wants to give a benediction. At that time She will bestow the lotus feet of Her Prana-vallabha (beloved of Her life's breath) Shri Krsna upon the devotees who bring Her so much happiness by singing this astakam. Alternately, if someone will sing Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, which is the glorification of Shrimati Radhika, Shri Krsna will become overjoyed and He will want to give the benediction of the lotus feet of His beloved Shrimati Radhika.

Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam has originally emanated from the lotus mouth of Shrimati Radhika, and she is singing it to Shri Krsna, either to His sphurti in separation, or directly to Him. Because His beauty is astonishing, She describes each and every one of His limbs. At the same time Shri Krsna thinks, "In this world no one has qualities as I possess. No one is as beautiful as I am and no one has attributes as I do. There is one person though – Shrimati Radhika has hundreds of times the qualities that I possess. She is My prema-guru."

This is explained in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila Chapter 4, wherein it is also stated that the gopis have all relationships with Krsna. They are His servants, masters, friends, mothers, and so on. Every relationship that is had by anyone with Krsna is had by the gopis with Him. We know that Mother Yasoda incessantly nourishes, cares for and protects Him but whatever moods manifest in Mother Yasoda are present still more so in the gopis.

The first verse of Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam states:

sucaru-vaktra-mandalam sukarna-ratna-kundalam
sucarcitanga-candanam namami nandanam (1)

["I offer pranama to Shri Nanda-nandana, whose face is extremely delightful, from whose beautiful ears hang jeweled earrings, and whose entire body is anointed with fragrant candana."]

Lord Krsna's face is very beautiful when He has darsana of Shrimati Radhika at the time of rasa-lila. Shrila Vyasadeva did not write rasa-lila in Shrimad-Bhagavatam; rather it manifested spontaneously in his heart by sphurti, and then he spoke it. This sphurti takes place by the mercy of Krsna. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is an eternal sastra like the Vedas, but it is many times superior.

Rasa-lila Removes All Lust

Why did Lord Krsna manifest His rasa-lila? Ordinary devotees cannot understand it, what to speak of those who are fallen and engaged in sinful activities. Shrila Rupa Gosvami explained that Krsna is very merciful; if He had not brought rasa-lila from Goloka Vrndavana to this world, nobody would have the opportunity to understand it. By hearing about rasa-lila from pure devotees, one develops lobha (transcendental greed) to obtain that very confidential and difficult to obtain parakiya-rasa, unnatojjvala-bhava (paramour love for Krsna). Krsna performed rasa-lila to awaken greed in the hearts of those who are not qualified, to make them qualified to taste rasa. And, by the same exhibition of rasa-lila, He also increases these mellows tasted by those who are already tasting rasa. He is therefore very merciful, and Shrimati Radhika is even more merciful than He.

The third verse of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Shri Radha-kundastakam states:

agha-ripur api yatnad atra devyah prasada
prasara-krta-kataksa-prapti-kamah prakaman
anusarati yad uccaih snana-sevanu-bandhais
tad ati-surabhi radha-kundam evasrayo me

["For the pleasure of Shrimati Radhika, even Shri Krsna Himself, yearning to attain Her merciful sidelong glance, regularly bathes in Radha-kunda, carefully observing all the appropriate rituals. May that supremely enchanting Radha-kunda be my shelter."]

In this verse it is explained that Lord Krsna is merciful, but He Himself seeks the mercy of Shrimati Radhika. He goes to Radha-kunda and, according to all rules and regulations, He takes bath three times a day and then worships Shrimati Radhika and prays to Her, "Please give Me your krpa-kataksa, Your merciful side-long glance, because if You do mana and ignore Me for one more second I will not be able to maintain My life."

These moods have been manifested by Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhajana means to follow in their footsteps and to recite these kirtanas, developing their moods, so that a vision of the meaning of these kirtanas and transcendental pastimes will come into the heart.

Krsna has performed innumerable pastimes, but out of all pastimes rasa-lila is the best and most powerful. We have heard many times about the pastime of Mother Yasoda binding baby Krsna, and this pastime has astonishing power. Yet, rasa-lila is billions of times more powerful. Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami therefore said,

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

(Shrimad-Bhagavatam,10.33.39)

["Anyone who faithfully hears and then describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."]

One should hear the sweet pastimes performed by Lord Krsna when He sports with the damsels of Vraja. We should hear them with 'anusrnuyat.' Anu means under the guidance of a sat-guru – bona fide guru and Vaisnavas, and it also means continually hearing these pastimes and rendering service to guru, and afterwards describing them. What will be the result? Bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam: here the word kama means prema-bhava; the love of the gopis will manifest in the heart, and as a result of this all lust will be eradicated forever. This is the wonderful power of hearing and describing rasa-lila. In their nara-lila, human-like pastimes, even Narada Muni and Lord Sankara were sometimes unable to check the power of lust, but this rasa-lila is called param-vijaya-lila – the lila which enables one to become completely victorious over lust. No one has the power to overcome lust, yet, our Gosvamis have manifested this lila and its deep bhavas, transcendental emotions, in their writings so that one will be able to overcome lust and enter into the lila. One should make the service of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna in this rasa-lila the ultimate and only aim and object of life.

Gaura premanande!

A108-AI

The Inner Meaning of a Song

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Janmastami morning
Mathura, India: August 31, 2002

In the beginning of this morning's class, Shrila Narayana Maharaja asked Krsna dasa  to lead the assembled devotees in singing Shri Mangala-gitam. He said that because today is Krsna's Appearance Day, we should begin by first singing this kirtana. Then he said, "Who is really qualified to hear this bhajana? Shri Krsna Himself is actually the only person qualified to hear it. Shri Jayadeva Gosvami is only singing this song to give Krsna happiness. He hopes to see the Lord pleased."

After the bhajana, Shrila Narayana Maharaja gave the following elaboration of the verses: When Krsna sees Radharani looking towards Him with sidelong glances, He looses all His power and begins to fall to the ground. His cowherd friend Madhu-mangala notices this and says, "What are You doing? Your mother, father, and all Your relatives are watching. You should check Yourself."

srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e
kalita-lalita-vanamala! jaya jaya deva hare

Shri Krsna takes shelter of kamala. Shrita means shelter, and here, kamala means Radharani. Kuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter of the breasts of Radharani. Dhrta-kundala. Krsna's kundala (earrings) are not ordinary. His kundala is the glories of Radharani, and He is always "wearing" that.

Kalita Lalita: Lalita means very attractive and beautiful. Here, Lalita refers to Krsna's vanamala, His garland is made from different varieties of forest flowers. It hangs around His neck and extends down to His lotus feet.

Jaya jaya deva hare: All glories to this Krsna who steals all the distress of the living entities. Especially, He steals the heart of Shrimati Radharani. No one can steal the heart of Radharani, except for Krsna.

dina-mani-mandala-mandana! bhava-khandana e
muni-jana-manasa-hamsa! jaya jaya deva hare

Generally, dina mani means ‘the sun,’ but here it refers to all the universes. India is the topmost place in all the universes, and Shri Vraja Bhumi, the topmost place in India, is the crown jewel in all the universes. So here, dina mani means that Vraja-mandala, not the Sun-god, is the crown-jewel in all the universes.

Bhava means ‘material existence,’ and it also means ‘bondage.’ He who delivers others from this material bondage is called bhava-khandana. In this connection, is there any material bondage for the Vraja-devis? They have none at all. Their only bondage is their feelings of separation from Krsna. Krsna is the only person qualified to remove this bondage of separation from the Vraja-devis, so bhava-khandana means that Krsna can remove the distress of the separation of the gopis.

Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa means the ‘great sages,’ and especially refers to those who meditated on Krsna for a long time in the Dandakaranya forest. It applies to all the yautiki rsis (those who came to Krsna in a group) and ayautiki rsis (those who came individually) who became gopis in their next birth. Muni also refers to Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. Krsna is just like the swan, swimming in the minds of these munis. Jaya jaya deva hare: Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, "All glories to this Krsna."

kaliya-visadhara-ganjana! jana-ranjana e
yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa! jaya jaya deva hare

Kaliya-visadhara ganjana refers to that Krsna who smashes the pride of Kaliya. Krsna easily removed the poison of Kaliya, although Kaliya was extremely poisonous, and after doing so Kaliya became like nectar. In the same way, Krsna can also smash our anarthas, or unwanted desires. We therefore pray to that Krsna.

Jana-ranjana: Jana here means Vraja-jana, or ‘the residents of Vraja,’ like Nanda Baba, Yasoda Ma, and all of Krsna's friends and cows. Jana here especially means the Vraja-devis, and among them, Shrimati Radhika is the most prominent. Krsna is the only person who gives pleasure to the Vraja-jana. He has no other duty; He is always thinking how to give pleasure to Shrimati Radharani.

Yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa: Yadu-kula means ‘the dynasty of Nanda Baba,’ not the dynasty of Mathura. Nalina means ‘lotus flower,’ and here nalina especially means the lotus flower of the Vraja dynasty, or the Vraja-devis, who are just like the lotus in Vraja-mandala.

Dinesa means ‘the sun,’ and here dinesa refers to Krsna. Krsna is just like the sun for the lotus flower of Vraja-bhumi. When the lotus flowers of Vraja-mandala offer themselves to Krsna, they begin to blossom, and therefore Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, jaya jaya deva hare: "I'm praying to this Hari, who, just like the sunlight, can make the flower-like gopis blossom."

madhu-mura-naraka-vinasana! garudasana! e 
sura-kula-keli-nidana! jaya jaya deva! hare

Madhu, Mura, and Naraka were demons who were killed by Krsna – not really by Krsna Himself, but by other Visnu incarnations. Janmastami is known to have taken place on the eighth day of the moon, but in reality, the eighth day of the moon is the full moon day. In other words, the moon is always complete; only according to our own vision do we see that today is the eighth day of the moon – or the fifth, or sixth, etc. Although always full, the moon is sometimes covered in part by a shadow, and thus we see only three-quarters, half, one quarter, or less. In the same way, all of the incarnations of Krsna, the Visnu incarnations, are also Krsna. It is only our vision that makes us see any difference. It is generally understood that visnu-tattva kills the demons, not Krsna. But actually Visnu is Krsna Himself, Purnacandra (a name of Krsna that means ‘the full moon’), the source of all incarnations.

Just as the full moon is also always present on the eighth, and any other day of the moon, Purnacandra, Krsna, is eternally present. In this way, when Visnu killed the Madhu and Mura demons, Krsna was also there. Here it says, madhu mura vinasana. He who killed Mura, and Madhu is also Krsna; the verse indicates Krsna.

Garudasana: Generally Garudasana refers to Narayana, He whose carrier is Garuda. But here, Garudasana means Krsna. Krsna once made Shridama His Garuda-carrier. Jayadeva Gosvami is uttering the word Garudasana, meaning Krsna.

Sura kula keli nidana, jaya jaya deva hare: Sura generally means ‘demigods,’ but Krsna's madhurya pastimes are not for the demigods. Not only can't they see these pastimes, they also have no qualification to hear them. Venu-gita of Shrimad Bhagavatam explains that the demigoddesses have a chance to see something of Vraja-lila, but they cannot see completely. Yet, even when they saw only the semblance of the pastimes there, they fainted and became unconscious. The demigods on the other hand, have no qualification to see Krsna's pastimes, especially the madhurya-mayi pastimes. Only those who attain a qualification like Krsna can hear these pastimes. Keli-nidana: Keli means those pastimes that are giving pleasure to this type of sura.

amala-kamala-dala-locana! bhava-mocana! e 
tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana! jaya jaya deva! hare

Amala means ‘without any spots or blemishes,’ and kamala means ‘lotus flower.’ Krsna's eyes are just like the petals a spotless lotus flower. Tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana: Tribhuvana here means Vrajabhumi, which is the essence of all of the three worlds. Krsna is the only shelter of Vrajabhumi and the Vrajavasis. Jaya jaya deva hare: I offer my obeisances to this Hari, who is the shelter of all the Vrajavasis.

janaka-suta-krta-bhusana! jita-dusana! e
samara-samita-dasakantha! jaya jaya deva! hare

The general meaning of janaka-suta is Sita devi, the consort of Lord Ramacandra. In the pastimes of Ramacandra, Janaka-suta is decorating Rama with many kinds of paraphernalia. This can also be applied to Krsna's and Radharani's pastimes. Sometimes, Radharani decorates Krsna in the forest. Janaka also means ‘father,’ and suta means ‘daughter.’ Therefore janaka-suta in this connection means the daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. Janaka-suta-krta-bhusana: Bhusana means ‘decoration.’ Krsna is decorated by the daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba.

Jita-dusana means ‘He who defeated the demon, Kala Dusana.’ But, jita-dusana also means ‘those things that are very bad,’ like the very intense separation of the Vraja-devis. Hari, Krsna, removes this, so I offer my obeisances unto that Hari.
Samara-samita-dasakantha: This Nanda-lala (the darling son of Nanda Baba) is defeating dasakantha, the many demons. Jayadeva Gosvami is saying that this Nanda-lala is killing all the demons in Vraja. Jaya jaya deva! hare. I offer my obeisances unto the lotus feet of Hari.

abhinava-jaladhara-sundara! dhrta-mandara! e
sri-mukha-candra-cakora! jaya jaya deva! hare

Abhinava means ‘very new,’ and jaladhara means that the newly formed cloud is appearing in the sky. It is very soft, glistening, pleasing, and attractive. Krsna's complexion is like this nava-jaladhara.

Dhrta-mandara: Mandara here doesn't refer to Mandara-parvat (one of the largest mountains in the universe; the mountain of the demigods); it means Giri-Govardhana. In one way, it can also be understood that mandara means the two Giriraja Govardhanas of Shrimati Radhika's breasts, upon which Krsna takes shelter. The elevated ideas in this connection cannot actually be expressed. We will have to understand them by our bhajana.

Shri-mukha-candra-cakora: Here, sri-mukha refers to Shrimati Radharani, whose lotus face is just like the moon. Krsna always hankers to have darsana of that moon. Just like the cakora bird, Krsna is also always one-pointed. The cakora bird will only drink water that comes directly from rain, not from any pond, or ocean, or river. In the same way, Krsna is always hankering to drink the nectar of the lotus face of Shrimati Radharani.

tava carane pranata vayam iti bhavaya e
kuru kusalam pranatesu jaya jaya deva! hare

Here, Jayadeva Gosvami, who is most merciful and a very rasika Vaisnava within our sampradya, is saying, tava carane pranata vayam. Vayam is plural. Jayadeva Gosvami alone is writing this song, but he is including us within his prayer to Krsna: "Oh, please be merciful. We are now taking shelter at Your lotus feet."

Kusala means ‘welfare.’ What is the real welfare? Shri Jayadeva Gosvami is praying, "Oh, please make me the maidservant of Shrimati Radharani." Kuru kusalam pranatesu: "Please! We are taking your shelter. We are remembering Your lotus feet. Therefore, please make us the maidservants of Shrimati Radharani."

Shri Jayadeva Gosvami is uttering, jaya jaya deva hare three times, so that Krsna will listen to his prayer. The position of the maidservant of Shrimati Radharani is topmost, and Krsna Himself wants to serve Her as Her maidservant. Although it is the topmost position, still, Jayadeva Gosvami is appealing three times so that Krsna will accept his prayer. He is indicating, "It is for this purpose that I offer my pranama unto the lotus feet of that Hari."

sri-jayadeva-kaver idam kurute mudam
mangalam-ujjvala-gitam jaya jaya deva! hare

Jayadeva Gosvami is praying to Krsna, "Only You are qualified to listen to this song. No one other than You is qualified to listen to this type of glorification of Shrimati Radharani, and therefore I'm writing this song for You. I pray that you will become pleased by hearing it."

What happened to Krsna when He heard this song? His ears stood up and, just like the ears of a calf or a cow, took the form of cups. This song, only meant for Krsna, is the only real offering of prayers of glorification to Him. He becomes very pleased when His devotees sing this song. He will be pleased when you worship She who is dearest to Him. Radha-Krsna's exalted pastimes are explained in Ujjvala Nilamani and other scriptures of the Gosvamis, and if we pray to pastimes such as Shri Krsna offering His head at the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika, He will become very pleased."

A108-AI

Baladeva's Birthday

BaladevaThis year, 2018, Lord Baladeva’s appearance day anniversary is August 25th and 26th (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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaura Premanande!

A108-AI

If Rupa Gosvami Had Not Come

Shrila Narayana Maharaj at the samadhi of Shrila Rupa GoswamiShrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Vrindavan, India: August 17, 2005

[The Krishna consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. This year, 2018, the disappearance day of Shrila Rupa Gosvami is on August 22nd and 23rd around the world. The following is a discourse a in honor of his disappearance day, spoken in front of his samadhi at the Radha-Damodara Mandira, in Vrndavana, India, on August 17, 2005.]

Today we are very fortunate to be at the bhajana-sthali and samadhi-sthali (sthali means place) of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, here at Shri Radha-Damodara Temple.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami is the life of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. He is the crest-jewel of the rasika-bhaktas (devotees who taste transcendental mellows) and it is he alone who fulfills the mano-bhistham, the heartfelt desire, of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We have performed our worship of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and we pray to his lotus feet that his conceptions may manifest in our heart. We pray that the manner in which he served Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Shri Shri Radha-Krishna may also manifest in our heart.

If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not come to this world, the flood of mercy created by Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – the gift of service to Shrimati Radhika – would have stopped when the Lord disappeared. Shri Krishna came to this world as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for two reasons. The first reason was to taste His three unfulfilled desires. The second reason was to distribute to the world raga-marga, the path of spontaneous devotion by following in the wake of Shri Krishna's Vrndavana associates, and especially to distribute the service of Shrimati Radhika. For this purpose, Shriman Mahaprabhu manifested Himself in the heart of Shri Rupa Gosvami and inspired him to write all his transcendental literatures, especially Vidagdha-madhava, and later Ujjvala Nilamani and Bhakti-rasamrta Sindhu.

Some time after Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s departed from this world, people hated parakiya-rasa (the paramour love of Radha-Krishna and the gopis). They had a bad idea about it. Even other sampradayas, like the Shri (Laxmi) Sampradaya of Shrila Ramanujacarya and also the Nimbarka sampradaya, were against the worship of Radha-Krishna to such a degree that they separated the Deity of Radha from the Deity of Govinda in Jaipur.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami established the true conception of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by his books. He especially used the Shrimad-Bhagavatam as evidence to establish that parakiya-rasa is not only bona fide, but it is the highest devotion. He established this truth in such a strong way that all the other sampradayas had to bow their heads and accept it.

What would have happened if Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not appeared in this world? The Vraja-prema – the prema of the dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and especially the prema of the gopis – was contained in a storehouse. There are so many types of gopi-bhava, namely sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. All these definitions were given by Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada.

The paribhasa sutra, meaning the ‘defining ahorism’ of Shrimad-Bhagavatam contains its essence:

ete camsa-kalah pumsah 
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

["All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead." (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.3.28)]

Shrila Narayana Maharaj at the samadhi of Shrila Rupa GoswamiMoreover, Shrila Rupa Gosvami showed us how to obtain that Supreme Lord of all, by giving definitions for all the stages of devotion to Him. What is sneha? What is maan? What is pranaya? What is raga? What is anuraga? What is bhava? What is modana-bhava? What is madanakya mahabhava? * He gave definitions for sraddha (firm faith), nistha (steadiness), ruci (taste), suddha-sattva (pure goodness) and bhava bhakti (transcendental emotions). He manifested the definition of sadhana bhakti:

krti-sadhya bhavet sadhya-
bhava sa sadhanabhidha
nitya-siddhasya bhavasya
prakatyam hrdi sadhyata

["When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krishna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice." (Shri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.105)]

Shrila Rupa Gosvami explained that sadhana is only sadhana when our goal is the attainment of bhava-bhakti. Then it can be called sadhana-bhakti, otherwise not. Otherwise one’s practice is called sadhana-abhasa (a shadow or semblance of devotional practice). Rupa Gosvami gave us the definitions of prema and he showed the entire world the nature of Shrimati Radharani's attraction to Krishna. He showed the world how we can be attracted to Radha and Krishna. He taught the identity of Radha-Krishna, and also of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

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 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." (Shri Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.4 quoting Shri Vidagdha Madhava 1.2)]

Who is Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam. He is Shri Krishna, covered by the complexion and the bhava of Shrimati Radhika. He came to distribute Her service in this world. Who described the identity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya did not, and Shri Ramananda Raya did not. All knew, but when Shri Ramananda Raya began to explain His identity, Mahaprabhu covered his mouth. Only Rupa Gosvami could completely describe it. All others were checked, but Rupa Gosvami could not be checked. Mahaprabhu chose him to reveal Himself to this world.

Mahaprabhu also chose him to distribute the service of Shrimati Radhika to the world. Rupa Gosvami had a special mood, and those who follow in his footsteps are called rupanugas. All rupanugas are raganugas, but not all followers of the path of raganuga-bhakti are rupanugas.

Shri Rupa Gosvami described bhakti, pure devotional service, in one verse:

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama

["One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krishna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service." (Bhakti-rasamrta Sindhu 1.1.11)]

In the first two lines he showed us what is not bhakti. He also explained aropa-siddha bhakti, sanga-siddha bhakti, karma-misra bhakti, yoga-misra bhakti, anyabhilasita-yukta bhakti (bhakti covered by material designations) and so on. He described all these topics.

["If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not appeared in Kali-yuga, who would have opened the great store-house of vraja-prema and distributed its contents freely? Just as a swan separates milk from water, who else could have separated the rasas to taste them? Abandoning everything, he performed bhajana in Vrndavana and wrote his rasika literatures. He lived like a bee taking the nectar of lotuses. Who could have understood the nectar he was collecting? Who could have understood Krishna's pastimes in Mathura and Vrndavana? How could we have known the sweet vraja-lilas and the love between Radha and Madhava (another name of Shri Krishna, meaning the husband or beloved of the supreme goddess of fortune)? By the mercy of his lotus feet, all can sing about and attain such divine bliss. The surrendered Madhava dasa is always praying to embrace Shri Rupa's glories." (Yan Kali Rupa Sarira Na Dharata, by Shri Madhava dasa)]

The kirtana "Yan Kali Rupa Sarira Na Dharata" by Shri Madhava dasa states: "Just as a swan separates milk from water, in the same way Shrila Rupa Gosvami separated the milk of suddha-bhakti (pure devotion) from the water of all different types of mixed bhakti.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami left everything – all his family members, his position, his disciples, and so on. He came alone to Vrndavana. Here, at Shri Radha-Damodara Mandira, he completed most of his books.

He began to write a drama describing the pastimes of Krishna, but on the way to Jagannatha Puri, at Shri Satyabhama Pura, Shrimati Satyabhama devi (Shri Krishna’s queen in Dvaraka) appeared in his dream and said, "Oh Rupa, you should write a separate drama about me." Afterwards, in Puri, Mahaprabhu said to him, "Don't take Krishna out of Vrndavana. You should write two dramas – Vidagdha-Madhava and Lalita-Madhava."

Satyabhama would not appear to an ordinary person. Radhika would not appear to an ordinary person. When Shrila Rupa Gosvami heard the instructions of Mahaprabhu: "Don't take Krishna out of Vrndavana," he could understand that Satyabhama's intention and Mahaprabhu's intention were the same. He thus wrote two dramas.

 He wrote and compiled more than thirty books, such as Hamsa-duta, Uddhava Sandesa, and many others, and most were completed here at the Radha-Damodara temple.

There may be many different types of flowers, such as beli, cameli, lotus, and so on, but unless there is a bee present, who can understand the nectar contained within those flowers? In the daytime, the bee goes to the lotus flowers. At night that lotus closes with the bee within it. That same bee, who is able to cut his way even through bamboo, cannot escape from the petals of the lotus. In the same way, all the gopis have very fragrant moods in their service to Krishna, but unless the bee is there, how can we understand their fragrance? As the bee is trapped by the lotus flower, the bee-like Krishna is trapped by the prema of the gopis. He is completely bound.

The words "ko janata, mathura vrndavana" are significant in this song. Without the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who would be able to understand what is Mathura and what is Vrndavana? Mathura is the place of aisvarya-mayi bhakti (devotion in the mood of opulence and reverence), and Vrndavana is the place of madhurya-mayi bhakti (devotion in the mood of sweetness and spontaneous service). Mathura and Vrndavana are so close, but no one from Mathura visits Vrndavana, and no one from Vrndavana visits Mathura. This is because, even though they are close in geography, they are very far in mood. This was all shown by the evidence of Shrimati Radhika, who never went to Mathura.

"Ko janata vraja-nita." Without Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who could understand the mood of Vrndavana or the behavior of the Vrajavasis? Without him, how could we have understood the attachment of Radhika and Madhava for each other? Shrimati Radhika uses apparently very abusive language toward Krishna, but Her prema is actually millions of times greater than anyone else’s. Her prema is greater than the sadharana-rati of Kubja. Her prema is greater than the samanjasa-rati of the queens of Dvaraka. The prema of Radharani and the gopis of Vrndavana is called samartha-rati. Samartha means that they can do anything for Krishna, and therefore only their prema can completely satisfy and control Him. Without the mercy of Rupa Gosvami, who could understand that Krishna is only bound by Shrimati Radhika?

Whatever we are speaking is the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Whatever the members of our guru-parampara, like Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Jiva Gosvami or Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura have spoken, this is also only by the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami.

Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written Prema-Samput. There he describes how Krishna disguised Himself as a demigoddess called Syama-sakhi. In a disguised form He went to Radharani and asked: "Oh Radharani, how can You love Krishna?! We saw what He did to You! He called all the gopis during rasa-lila and left them for You, and later on He left You alone. He is a very cruel. How could You have developed affection for Him?"

Radhika replied, "Oh, you don't know what prema is."

All the transcendental topics written by our Gaudiya parampara, especially written by Shrila Jiva Gosvami in Gopala-campu, written by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and what we have heard from Shrila Prabhupada and our Gurudeva, is all the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Therefore today, we pray to the lotus feet of Shrila Rupa Gosvami that he may be merciful to us and keep us under his guidance. We pray that he may inspire his moods into our hearts. This is our prayer to the lotus feet of Shrila Rupa Gosvami.

*Endnote:
Maan – that stage of prema in which sneha reaches exultation, thus causing one to experience the sweetness of the beloved in ever new varieties (Ujjvala-nilamani 14.96), and when the nayika assumes an outward demeanor of pique which turns into transcendental anger and indignation arising out of jealous love.

Pranaya – that intensified stage of prema when maan assumes a feature of unrestrained intimacy known as visrambha, or confidence devoid of any restraint or formality. This confidence causes one to consider one's life, mind, intelligence, body, and possessions to be one in all respects with the life, mind, intelligence, and body of the beloved.

Raga – 1) an intensified stage of prema in which an unquenchable loving thirst (prema-mayi trsna) for the object of one's affection (Shri Krishna) gives rise to spontaneous and intense absorption in one's beloved, so much so that in the absence of the opportunity to please the beloved, one is on the verge of giving up his life; 2) when pranaya is experienced in the heart as immense pleasure. If by accepting some misery there is a chance to meet with Krishna, then that misery becomes a source of great happiness. And where happiness affords no opportunity to meet with Krishna, that happiness becomes the source of great distress.

Anuraga – an intensified stage of prema as defined in Ujjvala-nilamani (14.146): "Although one regularly meets with and is well-acquainted with the beloved, the ever-fresh sentiment of intense attachment causes the beloved to be newly experienced at every moment, as if one has never before had any experience of such a person."

Bhava – 1) loving emotions; a particular mood of love in which the devotee serves Krishna. 2) an intensified stage of prema which in Ujjvala-nilamani has been equated with maha-bhava, which occurs when anuraga attains a certain stage of exhilaration and relish. This can be experienced and relished only by anuraga itself and by no other bhava. When anuraga is adorned with the inflamed and exciting sattvika passions like molten gold and reaches its climax in Shrimati Radhika, becoming identical with Her very temperament and dispositions, it is called bhava.

Mahabhava – the most mature stage of prema.

A108-AI

The Swing Ceremony

jhulana_lg.jpg08 August 2003
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Shrila Rupa Goswami's Disappearance Day
Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha: Vrindavana, India

Every year there is a five day festival all over Vrindavana called Jhulana-yatra, at which time the vijaya-vigraha (small) Deities of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna are swung by hundreds of thousands of Vrajabasis and others, in their various temples or homes, on a beautiful swing attached to long ropes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja yearly lead this festival at Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha and Shri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, at which time he would give a short talk about the significance of this festival. This year, 2018, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna's Jhulan ceremony begins August 21th and 22nd (see calendar)  around the world. The following is a translation of both his Hindi talks, given on August 8, 2003.

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 Vrindavana 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? Shrimati 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 Shri Krishna." Ka means: "Which female person can do a very wonderful thing? There is a powerful, mad elephant named Shri Krishna 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 Shrimati Radhika." In this way the peacocks and peahens glorify Shrimati Radharani and Lord Krishna.

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.

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

Seeing Her brother, Shrimati 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?"

Shrimati 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 Shrimati Radhika and the tamal tree has a complexion of Shri Krishna. The tamal tree is not very powerful, but the kadamba tree is very strong and beautiful. This signifies the superiority of Shrimati Radhika – She can control Lord Krishna by Her love.

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

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

We sing this kirtana at the time of swinging Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. It describes how Krishna has come, and is waiting at the swing with folded palms for His beloved to come. Shrimati 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 Krishna. He is waiting for You."

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

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

Tomorrow is the disappearance day of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Even though there are many great acaryas, Shrila Rupa Gosvami has been attributed with the honor of being that person who established the mano-'bhistam, the innermost heart's desire, of Shri Krishna in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Shriman Mahaprabhu came to the village of Ramakeli-grama, He met with Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and told them, "Leave your homes and be with Me." After a short time they left their homes, and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Vrindavana and met with Shrila 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. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.137)"]

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

jhulana_sm.jpgAfter some time, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami came here to Vrindavana and began to perform their bhajana, their hearing, chanting, and remembering about Krishna. Rupa Gosvami thought, "In order to fulfill the innermost heart's desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I will write a drama. In this drama I will explain the beauty of the meeting pastimes of Shrimati Radhika and Shri Krishna in Vrindavana, and also Their separation pastimes, when Lord Krishna leaves Vrindavana and goes to Mathura and Dvaraka. I will explain how, by their expansions, Shrimati Radhika and all the sakhis somehow or other (by the medium of their expansions) went to Dvaraka and became Lord Krishna'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, Shrimati Satyabhama-devi, Lord Krishna'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 Shrila Rupa Gosvami finally arrived at Jagannatha Puri and met with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord confirmed what he had heard from Shrimati Satyabhama in his dream. Shriman Mahaprabhu told him, "Don't take Lord Krishna out of Vrindavana."

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

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

"Krishna never leaves Vrindavana. He never even sets one foot outside of Vrindavana."

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

Why did Shrila Rupa Gosvami do this? This is a very deep siddhanta, or conclusive philosophical truth. Shrila Kavi Karnapura, a very great devotee, has composed Shri Ananda Vrindavana Campu. In this book he described the pastimes of Lord Krishna 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 Krishna 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."

Shrila 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 Krishna 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 Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within the world, Shrila 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 Shri Shri Radha and Krishna 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 Shrila 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 Shrila Rupa Gosvami was in Puri with Shri 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 Shri 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 Shrimati Radharani: "My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krishna 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 Vrindavana. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.76)"]

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

After Shriman 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 Krishna, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also established the superiority of parakiya-rasa. By using evidence from many different sastras, he proved that Lord Shri Krishna 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 Shri Krishna 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.

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

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

["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.(Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4)"]

shri-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 Shrila 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 Shrila 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 Krishna and performing bhajana. One should also make a great effort to understand and realize the reason for which Shrila Rupa Gosvami appeared in this world and why he wrote so many books like Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, Shri Vidagdha-madhava and Shri Lalita-madhava. Unless one comes to the lotus feet of Shri 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.

A108-AI

Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[This year, 2018, July 27 and 28 around the world (see calendar) is the disappearance day of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. We hope you enjoy the following excerpts from Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's booklet called Siva-Tattva, wherein Lord Siva's relationship with Shri Sanatana Gosvami is beautifully described.]

A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Siva, "I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Lord Siva told him, "Go to Vrndavana and meet with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your daughter's marriage."

The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and there he asked the villagers there for the whereabouts of a person named Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his residence.

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami was practicing bhajana near the Yamuna River at Kaliya-hrada, the former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Kaliya-hrada was close to the Yamuna, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a loincloth. He used to go begging door-to-door for a small amount of prasada (Krsna's food remnants), and would take as his meal only one dry chapatti (flat bread), with no salt.

The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, "I went to Sankara Mahadeva, Lord Siva, and he told me to meet you. He said you will give me some wealth for my daughter's marriage." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I have no possessions. You can see that I have nothing but a loincloth." Then he thought, "Oh, Siva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend." Thinking of Lord Siva and contemplating further, he remembered a touchstone he had once disgarded and then forgotten. Now he told the brahmana, "Go to the Yamuna and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone. It is somewhere in the sand, though I don't remember where."

The brahmana found the jewel, touched it to iron, and the iron turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Lord Siva had told him to come to Vrndavana, and thought with gratitude, "My prayer has been answered by him." On the way home, however, his greed for money increased and he began thinking, "Why did Sanatana Gosvami keep the touchstone in the sand? It had no use there. He must have still more valuable jewels."

He thus returned, and Sanatana Gosvami asked him, "Why have you come back?" He replied, "I've come because I know that you have more valuable jewels than this." Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Go and throw the touchstone in the Yamuna. The brahmana did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Come here. Come here." He gave him the mantra, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare" and said, "I do not have worldly jewels, but I have transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krsna and Shri Radha will come to you in a very short time. So remain here. Your daughter's marriage will take place automatically. Stay here and chant Hare Krsna." That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint.

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, the great Vaisnava saint who resided in Vrndavana near the old Shri Madana-Mohana temple, would go daily to see Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva at his temple. Once, in his older years, Sanatana Gosvami had a dream wherein Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared and instructed him: "Now that you are old, please do not go through so much trouble to see me." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I will continue to come. I cannot change this habit." Gopisvara Mahadeva said, "Then I will come and stay very near to your residence, manifesting in Bankhandi." The very next day, Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared in Bankhandi, halfway between his original temple and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's residence. Seeing this, Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, and from that day on he visited Bankhandi Mahadeva every day.

Wherever he was, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami could not live without his beloved Lord Siva – Gopisvara Mahadeva and Bankhandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana, and Kamesvara Mahadeva in Kamyavana forest. In Govardhana he would stay near his very dear friend, Cakresvara Mahadeva, who acquired the name when he served Govardhana Hill and the Vrajavasis by holding up his trident like a cakra, protecting them from the torrential deluge sent by King Indra.

A108-AI

Guru Purnima with Video

Narayana Maharaj.jpg18 July 2008

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Today is the birthday of Shrila Vyasadeva, the son of Parasara Rsi. Shrila Vyasadeva divided the Vedas into four sections, and then he took the essence of all the Vedas and Upanisads and wrote Brahma-sutra so that everyone would be able to easily understand. He then wrote fifty-four Puranas, but they were also very difficult to understand. Then he wrote the Mahabharata, and within the Mahabharata he wrote the Gita Upanisad or Bhagavad-gita. Still, he was not happy, however, but he could not understand the reason.

In the meantime, his Gurudeva, Shrila Devarsi Narada, came and asked him, “Why are you not happy? You have fully delineated the subject of impersonal Brahman and other knowledge as well. Why should you be despondent in spite of all this?

Shrila Vyasadeva replied, “All you have said about me is perfectly correct. Despite all this I am not pacified, and I don’t know why. I therefore question you about the root cause of my dissatisfaction, for you have unlimited knowledge. You can tell me, because you are my Gurudeva.”

Narada then said, “You have written and divided the Vedas, you have written Brahma-sutra, you have written the Puranas and even Mahabharata and Gita. But, you have basically only described dharma (religion), artha (economic development), kama (sense gratification), and moksa (liberation). You have not written about the fact that although Krishna is the Supreme Lord, He performed sweet human-like pastimes of Vraja. That is why you are not happy.

“Please try to write how Mother Yasoda bound Krishna and chastised Him and, although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Para-brahma), He was weeping bitterly because of this. Please write about Krishna playing with His friends, and write about how His friends used to defeat Him in various games. And write about how Krishna placed His head at the feet of the gopis and told them, ‘I have no capacity to repay you, even if I would have the lifespan of Brahma.’

sweet gurudevana paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vam
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 worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.32.22)]

Narada asked, “Have you written Gopi-gita, Venu-gita, Brahmara-gita, and the other gitas?”

Vyasadeva replied, “No, nothing of the sort.”

Narada said, “Oh, you should concentrate your mind by bhakti-yoga, and then you will realize all these pastimes.”

Then, when Narada Rsi left Vyasadeva’s asrama, Vyasadeva concentrated his mind in bhakti-yoga. He entered into trance, and thus he saw that Supreme Para-brahma, Krishna, present before him. Shrimati Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, His mother Yasoda, His father Nanda Baba, Subala, Shridhama, and all His associates were also present. Shrila Vyasadeva thus saw Krishna’s pastimes, from His birth up to Dvaraka-lila. He saw how the souls who had forgotten Him were covered by maya. He also saw how certain souls in this world, by the help of a bona fide guru, were performing bhajana and going towards Krishna.

In his trance, He then wrote Shrimad-Bhagavatam for those who do are not aware of these transcendental topics.

yasyam vai sruyamanayam
krsne parama-puruse
bhaktir utpadyate pumsam
soka-moha-bhayapaha

[“Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 1.7.7)]
The meaning of the verse is that bhakti enters the heart of those who hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and such persons become happy forever. All calamities and sufferings leave them.

Shrila Vyasadeva then wrote Shrimad-Bhagavatam in his trance of bhakti-yoga. After that he taught it to his son, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami, and from Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami it went to the entire world.

Today is the birthday of that very Vyasadeva, and therefore this day is called Guru-puja or Vyasa-puja.

 

A108-AI

Gundica Mandira Marjana

14639400358_c530b9df63_b.jpg02 July 2008
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

We should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. He is the same God for the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and all others. There are not different Gods – He is the same God, the same Allah, the same Christ. Just as there is one sun and one moon for the entire world, similarly, there are not different Gods for different people. How can God be divided? There cannot be more than one God; otherwise all the gods will quarrel over territory and position. There is only one God, but He appears according to the vision of the devotee.

An analogy can be given in relation to the moon. It appears that there are fifteen different moons. For fifteen days the moon gradually increases in size, eventually becoming a full moon. After that it decreases in size again, becoming a new moon on the last day of the month. The “moons” are not different; it is the names of the moon that are different: full moon, new moon, quarter moon, and so on. Similarly, there is only one God, but He appears to be many because people have seemingly divided Him up by their different languages and understandings.

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has many manifestations such as Rama, Nrsimha, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Narayana, and they are all the same. Even the person Christians call “God” is the same, for He is also one of Krishna’s manifestations, as are Allah and Jehovah. These are all names of God’s manifestations. Some of these manifestations are more complete and have more power, and some have less power. The full moon, the new moon, and the stages in between all belong to the same moon, but we see differences according to our angle of vision. Actually, the moon is always full, but we consider that it is waxing or waning when it is covered to varying degrees.

Shri Krishna playing flute

In the same way, Krishna is one without a second. He has innumerable manifestations, but they are all Krishna. We are also parts and parcels of Krishna. We are not Krishna, but at the same time, we are non-different from Him. Both principles are there: difference and non-difference. We can use the analogies of the sun and its rays, and the fire and its heat; they are also different and nondifferent. This is an astonishing truth, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained thoroughly.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. Sometimes He manifests in this world personally, and sometimes He sends His associates to give pure knowledge. All the souls here in this world are eternal servants of that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the true conception, whether we accept it or not. We have forgotten Him from the beginning of the creation of this world, so He sometimes descends and performs very sweet and powerful pastimes so that all conditioned souls will be attracted to Him and engage in His service. He sometimes descends as Krishna, sometimes as Rama, and sometimes as Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra.

We cannot realize Krishna if our hearts are full of lust, worldly desires, and unwanted habits. He cannot come into our hearts under these circumstances; so these impurities must first be given up. There is no place for doubt in devotion. No one has any confusion or doubt about whether the sun exists, so why should there be any doubt about the existence of the creator of millions of suns? He can create millions and millions of worlds in a moment, and He can also destroy them. Sometimes He comes here, only to save us and to engage us all in His service. Other than serving Him, there is no way to be happy in this world or in any other world. There is only one God, and ignoring Him is the cause of our unhappiness.

We can be happy if we engage in Krishna’s service. Don’t be afraid that serving Him will be like serving someone in this world. There is immense happiness in serving Him, more so than in serving your wife, husband, children, father, and so on. There is very, very relishable love and affection in His service. There is so much love and affection in Krishna’s transcendental abode – oceans of love and affection. In this world the master gains and the servant has to lose something, but it is not like that there.

First we should know that we are Krishna’s eternal servants, but we have forgotten Him, and that is the cause of all our suffering and sorrow, birth and death. We should have very firm faith in this. Don’t have any doubt that we are spirit souls, parts and parcels of Godhead, that we are His eternal servants, and that it is due to forgetting Him that we are suffering now. We can realize His mercy if we chant His name and surrender to Him, giving up all doubts as Arjuna did.

Jagannatha-deva, Baladeva Prabhu, and Subhadra have descended to this world from their transcendental abode. We will gradually try to explain the true identity (svarupa) of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – who they are and how they came to
this world.

Today is the day of gundica-mandira-marjana, the cleansing of the Gundica Temple. Shri Caitanya-caritamrta states that the temple of Jagannatha represents Dvaraka, while the temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and represents Vrndavana. All the gopis, such as Lalita, Visakha, and Shrimati Radhika, are there in Vrndavana, and so are Nanda Baba, Yaçoda, and all the other Vrajavasis. Vasudeva, Devaki, Baladeva, Subhadra, and all the other Dvarakavasis reside in Dvaraka. While Krishna resides in Dvaraka, He always remembers the Vrajavasis – His father Nanda Baba, His mother Yasoda, His cows, calves, friends, and especially His beloved gopis. He sometimes becomes so distraught in separation from them that He arranges to go to Vrndavana to meet them.

One day before the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu leads all the devotees to the Gundica Mandira to clean it. On the next day, Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira along with Baladeva, Subhadra, and His devotees for ten days, after which they all return. Just as Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira after it is cleaned, so He may come into your heart if you make it very pure and clean.

This festival of gundica-marjana has been performed every year since Satya-yuga. In Shri Caitanya-caritamrta we see that previously, before the participation of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the servants of the King used to clean that temple, but they would not clean it properly because they were being paid to do it. They could not give Jagannatha much pleasure because they had no devotion. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told the King through his priest Kasi Misra, “I would like the service of cleaning the temple and the surrounding area to be given to us.” He told Kasi Misra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and others, “Please get permission from the King so that this year I Myself will serve the Gundica Mandira along with My associates. We will sweep and clean it ourselves. There is no need to send any servants of the King; no need at all. We only need some brooms and pitchers.”

Hundreds and thousands of pitchers and brooms were obtained, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates arrived. Thousands of Bengali devotees and many thousands of Orissan devotees accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu with dancing and kirtana. They had about fifteen mrdangas and many karatalas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave them all garlands and candana, and then, dancing in line formation, they all began to sing. They all went to Gundica Mandira, singing and dancing, and holding their brooms and pitchers.

The King became very happy. He wanted to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him, but although he was a very high-class devotee, he had the name and position of a king. He had great wealth and reputation and was always surrounded by armies, commanders, and so on. Following the regulations of the sannyasa order, Caitanya Mahaprabhu never wanted a sense enjoyer (visayi) such as a king to come to Him. He considered that it would be a disturbance, because He would be bound to hear mundane talk (visayi-katha). We will be alarmed and fearful if a snake comes near us, even if its poison has been removed. Similarly, a devotee fears association with a sense enjoyer because it will disturb his sadhana-bhajana. Now, however, we ourselves are like sense enjoyers, because we are hankering for wealth, reputation, and position.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan Himself. He is nondifferent from Jagannatha, but He was playing the role of a devotee, which is why He had sent a representative to tell the King, “I want to go personally and clean the entire temple.” The King had then requested Kasi Misra, who was his superintendent, minister, priest, and spiritual master, “His devotees can take whatever utensils and other paraphernalia He wants.”

Mahaprabhu had thus called His associates, such as Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Gadadhara Pandita, and others. Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu were also there, along with all the Gaudiya bhaktas. There were thousands and thousands of devotees, and on the evening before the festival, Mahaprabhu had told them all, “You should each bring a big broom made of coconut tree fibers, and each of you should also bring a clay pitcher.”

Now, on the next day, at about seven in the morning, devotees assembled from all over India and all over the world – not only one or two hundred thousand, but about one million. First Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted flower garlands and candana Himself, and then He gave them to all the devotees. They all wanted to offer pranama to Him, but instead He very humbly offered pranama to all of them. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to touch His feet, but He very humbly touched Nityananda’s feet.

He had no false ego, thinking, “I am a guru; everyone should respect me. Why should I respect others?” Actually, people who think like that are not pure devotees. A guru is one who respects others. His symptoms are:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)

He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, “Water! Water! Water!” If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, “Oh, spare me! Don’t cut me!” It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krishna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krishna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees.

The devotees with Mahaprabhu were touching each other’s feet and at the same time performing kirtana. Each holding a broom and a pitcher, they performed nagara-sankirtana the entire distance from the Jagannatha Temple to Gundica. The
hundreds of thousands of devotees began to bring water from the very large pond known as Indradyumna-sarovara, and as they did so, they said, “Krishna! Krishna!” to each other as they gave and received the clay pitchers. They were filling their clay pots with water, carrying the pots on their heads or in other ways, and giving them to others, saying, “Hare Krishna!” to others on the way. Then, taking back the empty pots, they again said, “Hare Krishna!” In this way they were running back and forth very quickly. Similarly, while the devotees were sweeping, they were saying, “Krishna! Krishna!” Everything was going on only with the chanting of the names, “Krishna! Krishna!” and no other sound could be heard. If a clay pot was broken due to the haste, there would be sounds of, “O Krishna! Krishna!” and new clay pots were brought from a shop at once.

In this way, everyone was engaged in cleaning the courtyard of the Gundica Mandira. Water was thrown everywhere, and all the areas were cleared so that torrents of water flowed from the drain like the current of a river. Mahaprabhu cleaned everywhere, high and low, throwing water here and there, and thus everything became as clean as His own heart. This is known as gundica-mandira-marjana.

Your heart is like a throne (simhasana), and you will have to clean it if you want to keep Krishna and Radhika there. First clean it, and then They will come. Who will clean it? Nityananda Prabhu may do so and gurudeva may do so, but you will also have to do something. Guru will help you; he has the power to do so, and he is very merciful, but you will also have to do something. You must follow his orders. Be like Arjuna, who told Krishna in Bhagavad-gita (2.7): “sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam – I have offered myself at Your lotus feet. I will follow Your order and obey all Your instructions.” Krishna then ordered him to fight, and he was successful.

Similarly, guru can help you if you follow and obey him, but if you disobey, that is an offense and your desire to serve Krishna will disappear. Try to obey. For example, gurudeva says, “You should chant every day. You should chant not less than sixteen
rounds, and chant your guru-gayatri and all other gayatri mantras daily.” A disciple may say, “Gurudeva, I’m very weak, I cannot chant gayatri-mantra. When I chant, I get a headache. I become sick and my mind becomes upset. What should I do?” Gurudeva will reply, “You should continue to chant, and your headache, sickness, and all other disturbances will go away. But you will have to do it.” Then, if you do not obey, what can he do?

Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was cleaning the temple. Merely sweeping with a broom will not do, for a broom can never touch our hearts. In order to demonstrate this, Mahaprabhu told His associates, “We should chant and remember, performing kirtana along with the sweeping. Then it will have some effect.” If you are cleaning your house in your householder life, while you sweep you can sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Whatever job you do, chant these names with your heart, and then your heart will be “swept.” It will become pure and clear, neat and clean.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere.
Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated:

sri-gundica-mandiram atma-vrndaih
sammarjayan ksalanatah sa gaurah
sva-citta-vac chitalam ujjvalam ca
krsnopavesaupayikam cakara

[“Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Shri Krishna to sit.”]

sri-haste karena simhasanera marjana
prabhu age jala ani’ deya bhakta-gana

[“Then Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.”]

nija-vastre kaila prabhu grha sammarjana
mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana

[“The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also.”]

We should give up all our worldly positions and ego that dictates, “I am so intelligent; I have so much power; I am the superintendent; I am the monarch of all; I am guru.” Advaita Acarya was Maha-Visnu Himself, but he was very humble and polite, and he also cleaned the temple.

All the devotees were sweeping, as was Caitanyaf Mahaprabhu Himself. First they swept away very big stones, stone chips, and pieces of grass. If you want to make a seat in your heart for Radha and Krishna, your heart must be like Vrndavana, and if you do not make your heart very pure and transcendental like Vrndavana, Krishna cannot come. If you have any worldly desires, they will be like thorns pricking Krishna’s body. These thorns are lust, anger, greed, envy, attachment for worldly things, quarreling, and criticizing. If you want bhakti, don’t criticize anyone. Be tolerant and follow this verse:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)

[“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”]

If you do not have these four qualities, you will never be able to chant, because the holy name is transcendental. You cannot chant with your tongue, and you cannot see Krishna with your eyes.

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234)

[“Material senses cannot appreciate Krishna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krishna really is.”]

You should think, “I am serving Krishna by chanting – this is my service. O Krishna, please purify me.” If you surrender and offer yourself unto the lotus feet of Krishna, He will mercifully come and dance on your tongue.

There are three stages of chanting: nama-aparadha, namaabhasa, and suddha-nama. When you practice by your tongue and by your endeavor, this is nama-aparadha. When you chant with some sraddha (faith), then it will be nama-abhasa, and if your chanting is pure, then Krishna Himself will dance on your tongue. We should try to pray to Krishna, “I offer myself unto Your lotus feet, giving up all worldly desires. I have no beloved except You. You are mine.” Be like the gopis, and then Krishna may come.

When the stones were cleared away, the thousands of devotees, along with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, and Shri Svarupa Damodara, swept again. Mahaprabhu told them, “I want to see who has swept up the biggest pile of dust. Everyone should collect their pile in their cloths, and I will examine them; otherwise some may cheat the others by only pretending to sweep, but not really doing so.” In the end, everyone saw that Mahaprabhu had swept up much more than all the others combined. Sometimes Mahaprabhu would give a very sweet lesson to those who were only pretending, instead of actually sweeping. He would say to them, “Oh, you have done so much. You should teach others.” Hearing these joking words, all the devotees would laugh.

The devotees swept three times, and there is a deep meaning behind this. We have committed so many offenses, we are in so much ignorance, and we have so many unwanted habits. We should very boldly and strongly give up activities that are not favorable for krsna-bhakti, and we should very boldly reject things and people that are not favorable to bhakti. We should totally reject any wish, any desire, or any result that is not favorable for pleasing Krishna or a pure devotee and guru.

You should reject anyone who criticizes high-class devotees. You can defeat his arguments, and if you are like Hanuman, you can burn all of Lanka and also cut out his tongue. If you are not of Hanuman’s caliber, then you should block your ears and
simply leave that place where criticism is going on. Always try to accept only the things, the society, and the association that are favorable for bhakti. Do not desire or expect praise for yourself. Never have any wish to be honored by others, but always give honor to all devotees according to their standard of bhakti.

The heart of a devotee who is chanting and remembering Krishna should be pure. Why should a brahmacari or sannyasi who has been worshiping, chanting, and serving his gurudeva for twenty years have the desire to marry and amass wealth? And why does he leave aside his sannyasa or brahmacari saffron cloth, and get a girlfriend or even a boyfriend? This is not advancement towards Krishna. It may be that he has neglected
pure devotees and has no faith in his gurudeva’s words, and it may also be that his gurudeva is fallen.

A devotee who is chanting the holy name purely from the beginning will be like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami left everything and never again accepted worldly enjoyment. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left worldly life and
his wife and children, and he never returned to them again. If brahmacaris and sannyasis accept worldly life again, it means they have no faith in Krishna’s name. Krishna has invested His whole power, His whole mercy, opulence, and so forth in His name. Brahma can create the world only by the mercy of this name – by his chanting of this name. Sankara, too, can only perform any task by chanting Krishna’s name. Neither of them can do anything without the help of the holy name.

We have no faith that Krishna’s name can maintain our lives. From the beginning, we have no taste and have committed so many offenses. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore telling us, “You must purify your hearts, if you want to be devotees and realize Krishna, and if you want Krishna to be seated in your hearts.” But you have no power to do it. You cannot purify your hearts, so who will purify them? You can do it if you are under the guidance of Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, Shri Svarupa Damodara, and Shri Raya Ramananda. Otherwise, your doubts will never go away, you will commit offenses, and you will remain attached to unwanted habits. So many desires to taste worldly enjoyment will come to you, and you will not be able to check them.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore instructing us. He Himself was sweeping, along with His devotees, in order to teach us. That is why His devotees swept a first time, then a second time, and then a third time. The first time they swept, they removed big
stones, chips, and grasses; the second time, they removed very fine dust; and the third time still finer dust.

When all the dust was taken out, there still remained spots of black tar, which cannot be removed simply by sweeping. For this you will have to try much harder. You will have to use a very sharp instrument, and then you will have to wash off the spots with a cleaner like kerosene or alcohol. These spots are our offenses, and they will not disappear by sweeping alone. These spots are deceit (kutinati ) and desires for profit (labha), adoration (puja), and fame (pratistha). Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, 19.159) has explained this, and Shrila Swami Maharaja has given the translation:

nisiddhacara kutinati jiva-himsana
labha-puja-pratisthadi yata upasakha-gana

[“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.”]

Nowadays, many persons have no proper respect for Vaisnavas. They tell them, “Oh, you cannot enter our temple.” Juniors are not giving proper respect to seniors, and seniors are not giving proper respect, love, and affection to juniors. This is the problem, and the root of it is offenses to the holy name. Many devotees have no regard for the holy name. They have no strong faith in chanting, and that is why so many senior devotees are going away and junior devotees are coming, becoming senior, and then also going away. These are the problems nowadays. You can easily give up your children, your wives, your husbands, your relatives, and even your wealth. But it is very hard to give up the desire for praise, and it is hard to follow this verse (Siksastaka (3):

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

[“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Shri Hari.”]

This is the meaning of “sweeping the heart,” and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted this. At this stage you will honor even a creeper and a tree, what to speak of devotees. You will see Krishna in everyone and everywhere, and then you will be able to honor
everyone properly. We should try to sweep in our hearts today, on this sacred day of gundica-mandira-marjana.

We should try to understand what are nisiddhacara, prohibited activities. For example, if you are a brahmacari or sannyasi be far away from lust.

asat-sanga-tyaga, – ei vaisnava-acara
‘stri-sangi’ – eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta’ ara
Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.87)

[“A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krishna.”]

Try to follow this, whether you are a family man or in the renounced order. Do not associate with Mayavadis who do not believe in the personal form of Krishna or Godhead. To such persons, everything is God, which means that everything is zero.
Also, do not associate with those who are lusty – one should remain very far away from such people. Do not tell lies, do not be duplicitous, do not be politicians, and do not be hypocrites. These are basic principles.

Kutinati: ku means “evil,” ti means “the,” na means “no” or “that which is prohibited,” and it means “particular.” Kutinati means activities that are like those of Putana. The word putana means impure, and she was the first demon killed by Krishna; He killed impurity first of all. First be pure by body, mind, and soul, by chanting and remembering, and by always serving Vaisnavas and giving them proper respect.

Jiva-himsana: don’t kill anything, even a creeper. This is also a basic principle. Jiva-himsana means violence, but in this connection violence does not only mean killing by the hands or by a weapon. It also means killing by the tongue, mind, or heart. Do
not be envious. If you want to be pure devotees, remove envy from your hearts and don’t criticize any Vaisnava, for this is also himsa.

These spots will not be removed merely by sweeping, nor will they disappear simply by washing them with water. Rather, they will only become stronger and more prominent. In other words, these spots are not very easy to remove. They manifest as offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas and guru, and also as neglect of guru. Among the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, the first is the offense to pure devotees. The aspiring devotee must remove all these spots quickly, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore took His own outer garment and washed everything – up, down, here, there, and
everywhere. He did not leave even one corner unclean.

Thousands and thousands of devotees continually took water from Indradyumna Sarovara, and placed the water-pots in the hands of Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, and Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself. Nowadays, those who consider themselves gurus will give orders to others and do nothing themselves. They think that they should only taste delicious maha-prasada and enjoy opulent surroundings; they may even have chairs made of gold. Such false gurus do not remain; rather, they go to hell.

In this way, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was clearing away all unwanted mentalities and behaviors. In the first and second verses of his Upadesamrta, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also discusses the unwanted habits to be swept away. Without such sweeping, pure bhakti cannot be attained even in millions of births. In the first verse Rupa Gosvami states:

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

[“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”]

There are six kinds of vegas (urges), and the root is the tongue, which has no backbone. If you cannot control the tongue, all the other five urges will control you; and if you do control it, everything else is controlled. The tongue has two functions, the first of which is speaking. If this function is not controlled, you may say something wrong to another person and that may create a very big problem for you – you may even be ruined forever.

Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, once said something that was actually correct, but the circumstance in which she said it was inappropriate. She told Duryodhana, “Your father is blind, and you are also blind. Like father, like son.” Duryodhana was offended, and as a result the great Mahabharata War was fought and millions of people were killed. Similarly, the Ramayana War was fought only because of Sita’s tongue. She chastised Laksmana, and this ultimately led to a war in which so many were killed. You should therefore try to control your tongue; do not speak what should not be spoken.

The second function of the tongue is eating. If you eat meat fish, and other prohibited items, or if you take drugs, they will also harm you, and you will not be able to control your mind or your heart. On the other hand, everything will be controlled if you take only maha-prasada and chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna....

In the second verse of Upadesamrta, Shrila Rupa Gosvami states:

atyaharah prayasas ca
prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

[“One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are
not interested in Krishna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.”]

Both Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have written commentaries on how to be free from these habits, and we can clean our hearts by reading these commentaries. It is stated in Shrila Swami Maharaja’s purport (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.135):

[“Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kutinati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the çastra), kama (desire for material gain), and puja (hankering for popularity).The word kutinati means “duplicity.” As an example of pratisthasa, one may attempt to imitate Shrila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place.”]

Some Western devotees once went to Puri. They were not allowed to take darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the temple, but they were able to go to the Tota Gopinatha Temple, Shrila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, and Siddha-bakula. One of those devotees gave over a thousand dollars to an Indian pujari at Siddha-bakula and said, “Give me the mala kept here, the beads on which Haridasa Thakura was chanting.” The man took the thousand dollars, stole the mala, and gave it to that “devotee” who then thought, “Oh, when I chant on this mala, I will be liberated and I will have bhakti.”

Imitation will not do, however. That person was offensive. Nowadays many people want to have large mala weighing not less than five kilos. They cannot chant properly, but still they collect big tulasi neckbeads with “Radhe, Radhe” written on them. This will not do; rather, false ego will increase by this. Try to chant and remember purely, and associate with devotees. It is stated in the same purport:

One’s real desire may be for name and fame. In other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a holy place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation). Nowadays there are so many “incarnations” like this. They have no belief in God, but they want to be guru, and after some days they fall down. This disease of false gurus and gods is spreading like the plague, and now there are so many “gods,” both in India and the West. We have been duplicitous since our birth; but now we must become very simple, and we should always honor devotees.

Also, be free from lobha, the greed for worldly things. Be free from thinking, “I must have this thing,” or “My relatives and neighbors have very good cars, but I don’t.” Be simple like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who followed the instructions given to him by Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

gramya-katha na çunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
amani manada haïa krsna-nama sada la’be
vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe
Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 6.236–7)

[“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.”]

Follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and others like them. Be simple like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Mahaprabhu personally removed all the spots from the simhasana on which Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra would sit – He did not leave it to anyone else to do. This means that we should try to make our hearts like a simhasana where Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra will sit, where Radha and Krishna will sit, and where Mahaprabhu will sit. This opportunity will not come if there are dirty thoughts and aspirations in our hearts. They will never come. Take your ears in your hands [This is an Indian expression. In India when one is expressing regret due to a sense of guilt, he holds his earlobes as he apologizes.] and promise, “From today I will practice properly.” Krishna will provide for you if you are always chanting and remembering. He will look after you, and sometimes He may come to you as a servant, bringing paraphernalia for you on His head. There are many examples as evidence of this, so do not worry about how to maintain yourselves. The only problem should be how to purify yourselves, and how to attain love and affection for Krishna.

While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning, a very young Gaudiya bhakta took a pitcher of water, poured the water on Mahaprabhu’s feet, and drank some of it. Mahaprabhu then appeared very angry and said, “What are you doing? Nonsense! Jagannatha is coming here. Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and we are cleaning here, preparing for Him to come. I am an ordinary person, a man, and yet this person is washing My feet and taking that water to drink. This offense is very bad for Me, and for him.”

If you wash the feet of an ordinary person in Krishna’s temple, it is a very big offense. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He is giving instruction to others. A bona fide guru will never proudly think, “Very good! My disciple comes and places flowers on my feet, pours water on them, washes them, sprinkles that water on others, and then drinks it.” A pure Vaisnava or guru never considers, “I am an advanced devotee.” Even Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Shrimati Radhika, has said:

na prema-gandho ’sti darapi me harau
krandami saubhagya-bharam prakasitum
vamsi-vilasy-anana-lokanam vina
bibharmi yat prana-patangakan vrtha

Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45)

[“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krishna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”]

“I have not even a scent of bhakti to Krishna. I am more wretched than anyone.” Radhika Herself is saying, “Oh, the forest deer are superior to me. They can go near to Krishna and beg His love and affection as a beloved, but we cannot go there. The rivers are also so much more fortunate than us gopis. Krishna goes to the Yamuna to bathe and she can embrace Krishna; she can give Him a lotus flower from her hand-like waves. She can give her whole heart to Krishna and tell Him, ‘O my beloved.’ When Krishna plays on His flute, she becomes stunned and stops flowing. She is much greater than us, for we cannot do as she does.

Venu Gita

“And what is the condition of the calves and cows? The cows are grazing, but when they hear the sweet sound of Krishna’s flute, they raise their ears to hear and to drink in the sweet nectar of that flute. Their calves also drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute through their ears. While they drink the milk from their mothers’ udders, they hear the flute, and at that time they forget the milk altogether; they neither swallow it nor spit it out, and it simply remains in their mouths. Oh, we are not like this.”

Mahaprabhu similarly laments, “The fish are superior to me. If they are taken from water, they will die at once; but I am not dying although I have no darsana of Krishna. How wretched I am!”

Nowadays many devotees think, “Gurudeva simply gave us chanting beads, and by this we became more than God and we began to control the whole world.” The next day, however, we see that nothing is there – no tulasi beads, no chanting beads; nothing. And now they have again become mice. [*See Endnote 1]

Mahaprabhu performed this pastime in order to teach us devotional principles, so He called Svarupa Damodara and told him, “Svarupa Damodara Prabhu! Just see the behavior of your Gaudiya bhakta. He is insulting Me in front of Thakuraji. You have not instructed him how to be a pure devotee. See how he is behaving! He is in the temple of Jagannatha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and although I am an ordinary person, he is pouring water on My feet and drinking it. This is very offensive to Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and I am very upset about this.”

Svarupa Damodara then slapped the young devotee and dragged him outside – as a gesture. Actually, he was very happy with him. Outside the temple, when he was beyond Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s view, he told that devotee, “You have done very well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He wants to teach others that we should not behave like this towards ordinary persons. You have not done anything wrong. You have done the right thing. Wait here, and I will call for you again.”

Then, when he was called, that Bengali devotee told Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong.” He begged for forgiveness, and Mahaprabhu forgot the matter.

No one should tell anyone else to worship him. One should not love anyone or weep for anyone in front of the deity. You can only do pranama to your pure gurudeva, not to anyone else. Wherever the deities are present, we should not try to control anyone; that will be an offense. We can learn all the rules and regulations of deity worship by reading the book Arcana-dipika.

Nowadays, gurus are coming like kan-gurus. All are gurus but none are gurus. They are everywhere, like the germs of a plague. They are cheaters, not gurus. They are not Bhagavan. In India you can very easily find so many “Gods,” so many “Supreme Personalities of Godheads.” One thinks that he is Sankara, another thinks that he is Ganesa, and someone else thinks he is Sarasvati. Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew this day would come.

Try to enter the real process of bhakti. Hear from the proper person, take his words into your heart and try to follow him. Then you can sweep your heart and also become a pure devotee. First you will enter the stage of kanistha-adhikara, then madhyama-adhikara, and then you will be a devotee. Otherwise, you are like a shadow devotee – fallen. Krishna has given you good intelligence. You should realize whether someone is a pure devotee or not, and if he is, then you can hear from him. A sadhu is a very elevated devotee who embodies the verse:

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jïana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam
bhaktir uttama
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11)

[“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Shri Krishna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”]

Such a sadhu or guru has no worldly desires. His devotion is always like a stream of sweet honey, which flows like an unbroken current when it is poured.

Similarly, you should see whether your own activities – by body, by words, by mind, and by heart or mood – are to please Krishna or not. Suppose you are taking maha prasada. Why are you taking it? Is it to please Krishna or not? If you are not taking it to please Krishna, then it is like karma. If you go to sleep for yourself, it is karma, not bhakti. However, if you go to sleep thinking, “I will take some rest, and from early morning I will serve Krishna. I will be always chanting, remembering, worshiping, and
serving here and there,” then even your sleeping is for Krishna.

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Bhagavad-gita (9.27)

[“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.”]

After some time, whatever you do will be to please Krishna and your pure gurudeva. If someone follows this principle and always acts to please Krishna, you can accept him as your guru; otherwise don’t. If, when you were ignorant, you selected as guru someone who does not perform all his activities to please Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas, then reject that person. Reject him totally. Choose another guru very carefully and take initiation; otherwise you cannot have pure devotion and love for Krishna.

If you were initiated by a guru who was sincere at one time, but who fell down later on, reject him at once. Then you may enter the proper line and accept the self-realized devotees who are actually following anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmadyanavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Whatever they do, they do to please Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. They will be in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If a person professing to be a guru is not actually in that line, he should be rejected at once. Bali Maharaja rejected his gurudeva, Sukracarya. Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, the gopis rejected their husbands, and Vibhisana rejected his brother Ravana. There are abundant examples of this.

If the guru is chanting and is somewhat in this line but he cannot give you prema-bhakti, then request him, “Please permit me to associate with a self-realized devotee.” If he does not give permission for you to do so, he is not a pure Vaisnava and he also should be rejected. However, if he gives the order, “You should go, and I will also go,” then he is a Vaisnava. You should respect him, and also go to take the association of that high-class devotee. This is the proper process, and it was followed by Shri Syamananda Gosvami, Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, Shri Shrinivasa Acarya, Shrila Haridasa Thakura, and so many others. If you follow sastra and your superiors, you will come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. This is actually the meaning of gundica-mandira-marjana.

It is better to honor real Vaisnavas than to only worship the deities. Worship the deity, but serve the Vaisnavas at the same time. Gradually try to come from the stage of kanistha to the stage of madhyama. We are entering kanistha, but we are not even kanistha yet, because we do not have full faith in the deity. When we realize siddhanta, the established truths of Vaisnava philosophy, in the association of pure Vaisnavas, we will gradually become madhyama-adhikari. This is the object of today’s function. By this, the seed of the bhakti-creeper that your gurudeva has given to you will sprout, and it will then develop into the shape of a creeper that will ultimately lead you to Goloka Vrndavana. This is the real process.

When all the spots are removed, your status will be of the nature of pure devotion. Whatever we do, we should do as a service to Krishna, for His pleasure, but this is not sufficient by itself. There should be no worldly desire at all in that service. If one takes initiation from a bona fide guru, and he is chanting, remembering, and reading books, but he thinks, “I want to be wealthy, I want to have a very well-qualified son, and a very beautiful home and wife,” his bhakti will not be pure. Rather, it will be completely ruined. Even the desire for liberation is not pure bhakti. It is bhakti, but not pure uttama-bhakti. It is called aropa-siddha-bhakti, or sometimes sanga-siddha bhakti. His bhakti will be mixed with karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else.

More than ninety-five percent of those who call themselves bhaktas don’t actually follow uttama-bhakti or pure bhakti. They follow only aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti. What is aropa-siddha-bhakti? Making a garden or establishing gurukulas and goçalas is not really bhakti, but it may create impressions (samskaras) in the heart if the fruits are given to Krishna. If there is a gurukula, there is an opportunity that the boys will be given impressions from childhood for later development in bhakti. We see, however, that the students very rarely get these impressions. Many are ruined and are without character, they do not obey their fathers and mothers, they are not humble, and they do not honor devotees. Many are desperate. If that impression of bhakti had come, it would have been very good for them. It is only to give this impression that high-class devotees or gurus establish such institutions.

If we make a garden, we can take the fruits to the deities and to pure devotees, but if the fruit is not given to them, the result will be very bad. Actual bhakti is that activity in which there is chanting and remembering only to please Krishna. In the past, many devotees collected vast wealth for their temples. They collected vast amounts of money in a few days, but what became of them? They left Krishna consciousness. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted them to become qualified devotees.

It is not sufficient merely to sweep, or merely to wash off all the varieties of unwanted habits such as aparadhas. Something affirmative should be there – a strong taste for harinama and for hearing hari-katha. It is not enough just to clean your heart.
What will remain if you simply do that? Nothing. There should be something positive. There is no harm if you have no taste for chanting harinama, but you should have a taste for hearing harikatha. If you do not, then hear again and again, and give proper
respect to the pure devotees from whom you are hearing.

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25)

[“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”]

The speaker should be satam, a pure devotee. Do not maintain your own false idea that an ordinary person or devotee is a maha-bhagavata. Who has the qualification to realize who is a maha-bhagavata? Shrila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, a disciple of Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, was an exalted uttamamaha-bhagavata, but he used to pretend he was smoking marijuana. He sometimes put dry fish bones here and there around his hut so people would think that he ate fish. He considered, “Those who are materially inclined should remain far away from me so I can be alone to chant Krishna’s name and remember Him.”

Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was on friendly terms with Shrila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura honored him so much. Our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, used to take his darçana, and at that time Babaji Maharaja gave him many deep teachings. Guru Maharaja told us, “Sometimes he spoke such high philosophy that I could not understand him.” If a devotee is ignorant and not even a kanistha Vaisnava, how can he know who is actually a maha-bhagavata? He will choose an unqualified person as a “maha-bhagavata,” and the next day he will see how that person has fallen down.

You should see what is your superior’s idea regarding who is a madhyama-adhikari or who is an uttama-adhikari, and you can also realize this if you follow Krishna consciousness and establish yourself on the platform of the advanced stage of madhyama-adhikara. It is an offense at the lotus feet of the real maha-bhagavata if you do not give him proper respect, and instead give great respect to a third-class, bogus person, calling him “maha-bhagavata.”

[Endnotes 1: There is an instructive story called “Punar Musika Bhava – Again Become a Mouse.” A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore he approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then, being blessed by the sadhu, when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. When by the grace of the saint he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, who then asked him, “What do you want?” The tiger replied, “I want to eat you.” Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, “May you again become a mouse.”]

A108-AI

Gundicha Mandira Marjana

726534-2.jpgFrom Srila Narayana’s Maharaja’s book "The Origin of Ratha-yatra"

We should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. He is the same God for the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and all others. There are not different Gods – He is the same God, the same Allah, the same Christ. Just as there is one sun and one moon for the entire world, similarly, there are not different Gods for different people. How can God be divided? There cannot be more than one God; otherwise all the gods will quarrel over territory and position. There is only one God, but He appears according to the vision of the devotee.

An analogy can be given in relation to the moon. It appears that there are fifteen different moons. For fifteen days the moon gradually increases in size, eventually becoming a full moon. After that it decreases in size again, becoming a new moon on the last day of the month. The “moons” are not different; it is the names of the moon that are different: full moon, new moon, quarter moon, and so on. Similarly, there is only one God, but He appears to be many because people have seemingly divided Him up by their different languages and understandings.

Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has many manifestations such as Rama, Nrsimha, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Narayana, and they are all the same. Even the person Christians call “God” is the same, for He is also one of Krsna’s manifestations, as are Allah and Jehovah. These are all names of God’s manifestations. Some of these manifestations are more complete and have more power, and some have less power. The full moon, the new moon, and the stages in between all belong to the same moon, but we see differences according to our angle of vision. Actually, the moon is always full, but we consider that it is waxing or waning when it is covered to varying degrees.

In the same way, Krsna is one without a second. He has innumerable manifestations, but they are all Krsna. We are also parts and parcels of Krsna. We are not Krsna, but at the same time, we are non-different from Him. Both principles are there: difference and non-difference. We can use the analogies of the sun and its rays, and the fire and its heat; they are also different and nondifferent. This is an astonishing truth, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained thoroughly.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. Sometimes He manifests in this world personally, and sometimes He sends His associates to give pure knowledge. All the souls here in this world are eternal servants of that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the true conception, whether we accept it or not. We have forgotten Him from the beginning of the creation of this world, so He sometimes descends and performs very sweet and powerful pastimes so that all conditioned souls will be attracted to Him and engage in His service. He sometimes descends as Krsna, sometimes as Rama, and sometimes as Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra.

We cannot realize Krsna if our hearts are full of lust, worldly desires, and unwanted habits. He cannot come into our hearts under these circumstances; so these impurities must first be given up. There is no place for doubt in devotion. No one has any confusion or doubt about whether the sun exists, so why should there be any doubt about the existence of the creator of millions of suns? He can create millions and millions of worlds in a moment, and He can also destroy them. Sometimes He comes here, only to save us and to engage us all in His service. Other than serving Him, there is no way to be happy in this world or in any other world. There is only one God, and ignoring Him is the cause of our unhappiness.

We can be happy if we engage in Krsna’s service. Don’t be afraid that serving Him will be like serving someone in this world. There is immense happiness in serving Him, more so than in serving your wife, husband, children, father, and so on. There is very, very relishable love and affection in His service. There is so much love and affection in Krsna’s transcendental abode – oceans of love and affection. In this world the master gains and the servant has to lose something, but it is not like that there.

First we should know that we are Krsna’s eternal servants, but we have forgotten Him, and that is the cause of all our suffering and sorrow, birth and death. We should have very firm faith in this. Don’t have any doubt that we are spirit souls, parts and parcels of Godhead, that we are His eternal servants, and that it is due to forgetting Him that we are suffering now. We can realize His mercy if we chant His name and surrender to Him, giving up all doubts as Arjuna did.

Jagannatha-deva, Baladeva Prabhu, and Subhadra have descended to this world from their transcendental abode. We will gradually try to explain the true identity (svarupa) of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – who they are and how they came to this world.

Today is the day of gundica-mandira-marjana, the cleansing of the Gundica Temple. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta states that the temple of Jagannatha represents Dvaraka, while the temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and represents Vrndavana. All the gopis, such as Lalita, Visakha, and Srimati Radhika, are there in Vrndavana, and so are Nanda Baba, Yaçoda, and all the other Vrajavasis. Vasudeva, Devaki, Baladeva, Subhadra, and all the other Dvarakavasis reside in Dvaraka. While Krsna resides in Dvaraka, He always remembers the Vrajavasis – His father Nanda Baba, His mother Yasoda, His cows, calves, friends, and especially His beloved gopis. He sometimes becomes so distraught in separation from them that He arranges to go to Vrndavana to meet them.

One day before the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu leads all the devotees to the Gundica Mandira to clean it. On the next day, Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira along with Baladeva, Subhadra, and His devotees for ten days, after which they all return. Just as Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira after it is cleaned, so He may come into your heart if you make it very pure and clean.

This festival of gundica-marjana has been performed every year since Satya-yuga. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta we see that previously, before the participation of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the servants of the King used to clean that temple, but they would not clean it properly because they were being paid to do it. They could not give Jagannatha much pleasure because they had no devotion. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told the King through his priest Kasi Misra, “I would like the service of cleaning the temple and the surrounding area to be given to us.” He told Kasi Misra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and others, “Please get permission from the King so that this year I Myself will serve the Gundica Mandira along with My associates. We will sweep and clean it ourselves. There is no need to send any servants of the King; no need at all. We only need some brooms and pitchers.”

Hundreds and thousands of pitchers and brooms were obtained, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates arrived. Thousands of Bengali devotees and many thousands of Orissan devotees accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu with dancing and kirtana. They had about fifteen mrdangas and many karatalas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave them all garlands and candana, and then, dancing in line formation, they all began to sing. They all went to Gundica Mandira, singing and dancing, and holding their brooms and pitchers.

The King became very happy. He wanted to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him, but although he was a very high-class devotee, he had the name and position of a king. He had great wealth and reputation and was always surrounded by armies, commanders, and so on. Following the regulations of the sannyasa order, Caitanya Mahaprabhu never wanted a sense enjoyer (visayi) such as a king to come to Him. He considered that it would be a disturbance, because He would be bound to hear mundane talk (visayi-katha). We will be alarmed and fearful if a snake comes near us, even if its poison has been removed. Similarly, a devotee fears association with a sense enjoyer because it will disturb his sadhana-bhajana. Now, however, we ourselves are like sense enjoyers, because we are hankering for wealth, reputation, and position.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan Himself. He is nondifferent from Jagannatha, but He was playing the role of a devotee, which is why He had sent a representative to tell the King, “I want to go personally and clean the entire temple.” The King had then requested Kasi Misra, who was his superintendent, minister, priest, and spiritual master, “His devotees can take whatever utensils and other paraphernalia He wants.”

Mahaprabhu had thus called His associates, such as Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Gadadhara Pandita, and others. Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu were also there, along with all the Gaudiya bhaktas. There were thousands and thousands of devotees, and on the evening before the festival, Mahaprabhu had told them all, “You should each bring a big broom made of coconut tree fibers, and each of you should also bring a clay pitcher.”

Now, on the next day, at about seven in the morning, devotees assembled from all over India and all over the world – not only one or two hundred thousand, but about one million. First Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted flower garlands and candana Himself, and then He gave them to all the devotees. They all wanted to offer pranama to Him, but instead He very humbly offered pranama to all of them. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to touch His feet, but He very humbly touched Nityananda’s feet.

He had no false ego, thinking, “I am a guru; everyone should respect me. Why should I respect others?” Actually, people who think like that are not pure devotees. A guru is one who respects others. His symptoms are:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)

He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, “Water! Water! Water!” If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, “Oh, spare me! Don’t cut me!” It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krsna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krsna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees.

The devotees with Mahaprabhu were touching each other’s feet and at the same time performing kirtana. Each holding a broom and a pitcher, they performed nagara-sankirtana the entire distance from the Jagannatha Temple to Gundica. The hundreds of thousands of devotees began to bring water from the very large pond known as Indradyumna-sarovara, and as they did so, they said, “Krsna! Krsna!” to each other as they gave and received the clay pitchers. They were filling their clay pots with water, carrying the pots on their heads or in other ways, and giving them to others, saying, “Hare Krsna!” to others on the way. Then, taking back the empty pots, they again said, “Hare Krsna!” In this way they were running back and forth very quickly. Similarly, while the devotees were sweeping, they were saying, “Krsna! Krsna!” Everything was going on only with the chanting of the names, “Krsna! Krsna!” and no other sound could be heard. If a clay pot was broken due to the haste, there would be sounds of, “O Krsna! Krsna!” and new clay pots were brought from a shop at once.

In this way, everyone was engaged in cleaning the courtyard of the Gundica Mandira. Water was thrown everywhere, and all the areas were cleared so that torrents of water flowed from the drain like the current of a river. Mahaprabhu cleaned everywhere, high and low, throwing water here and there, and thus everything became as clean as His own heart. This is known as gundica-mandira-marjana.

Your heart is like a throne (simhasana), and you will have to clean it if you want to keep Krsna and Radhika there. First clean it, and then They will come. Who will clean it? Nityananda Prabhu may do so and gurudeva may do so, but you will also have to do something. Guru will help you; he has the power to do so, and he is very merciful, but you will also have to do something. You must follow his orders. Be like Arjuna, who told Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (2.7): “sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam – I have offered myself at Your lotus feet. I will follow Your order and obey all Your instructions.” Krsna then ordered him to fight, and he was successful.

Similarly, guru can help you if you follow and obey him, but if you disobey, that is an offense and your desire to serve Krsna will disappear. Try to obey. For example, gurudeva says, “You should chant every day. You should chant not less than sixteen rounds, and chant your guru-gayatri and all other gayatri mantras daily.” A disciple may say, “Gurudeva, I’m very weak, I cannot chant gayatri-mantra. When I chant, I get a headache. I become sick and my mind becomes upset. What should I do?” Gurudeva will reply, “You should continue to chant, and your headache, sickness, and all other disturbances will go away. But you will have to do it.” Then, if you do not obey, what can he do?

Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was cleaning the temple. Merely sweeping with a broom will not do, for a broom can never touch our hearts. In order to demonstrate this, Mahaprabhu told His associates, “We should chant and remember, performing kirtana along with the sweeping. Then it will have some effect.” If you are cleaning your house in your householder life, while you sweep you can sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Whatever job you do, chant these names with your heart, and then your heart will be “swept.” It will become pure and clear, neat and clean.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere.

Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated:

sri-gundica-mandiram atma-vrndaih
sammarjayan ksalanatah sa gaurah
sva-citta-vac chitalam ujjvalam ca
krsnopavesaupayikam cakara

[“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Sri Krsna to sit.”]

sri-haste karena simhasanera marjana
prabhu age jala ani’ deya bhakta-gana

[“Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.”]

nija-vastre kaila prabhu grha sammarjana
mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana

[“The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also.”]

We should give up all our worldly positions and ego that dictates, “I am so intelligent; I have so much power; I am the superintendent; I am the monarch of all; I am guru.” Advaita Acarya was Maha-Visnu Himself, but he was very humble and polite, and he also cleaned the temple.

All the devotees were sweeping, as was Caitanyaf Mahaprabhu Himself. First they swept away very big stones, stone chips, and pieces of grass. If you want to make a seat in your heart for Radha and Krsna, your heart must be like Vrndavana, and if you do not make your heart very pure and transcendental like Vrndavana, Krsna cannot come. If you have any worldly desires, they will be like thorns pricking Krsna’s body. These thorns are lust, anger, greed, envy, attachment for worldly things, quarreling, and criticizing. If you want bhakti, don’t criticize anyone. Be tolerant and follow this verse:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih
Siksastaka (3)

[“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”]

If you do not have these four qualities, you will never be able to chant, because the holy name is transcendental. You cannot chant with your tongue, and you cannot see Krsna with your eyes.

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234)

[“Material senses cannot appreciate Krsna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is.”]

You should think, “I am serving Krsna by chanting – this is my service. O Krsna, please purify me.” If you surrender and offer yourself unto the lotus feet of Krsna, He will mercifully come and dance on your tongue.

There are three stages of chanting: nama-aparadha, namaabhasa, and suddha-nama. When you practice by your tongue and by your endeavor, this is nama-aparadha. When you chant with some sraddha (faith), then it will be nama-abhasa, and if your chanting is pure, then Krsna Himself will dance on your tongue. We should try to pray to Krsna, “I offer myself unto Your lotus feet, giving up all worldly desires. I have no beloved except You. You are mine.” Be like the gopis, and then Krsna may come.

When the stones were cleared away, the thousands of devotees, along with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, and Sri Svarupa Damodara, swept again. Mahaprabhu told them, “I want to see who has swept up the biggest pile of dust. Everyone should collect their pile in their cloths, and I will examine them; otherwise some may cheat the others by only pretending to sweep, but not really doing so.” In the end, everyone saw that Mahaprabhu had swept up much more than all the others combined. Sometimes Mahaprabhu would give a very sweet lesson to those who were only pretending, instead of actually sweeping. He would say to them, “Oh, you have done so much. You should teach others.” Hearing these joking words, all the devotees would laugh.

The devotees swept three times, and there is a deep meaning behind this. We have committed so many offenses, we are in so much ignorance, and we have so many unwanted habits. We should very boldly and strongly give up activities that are not favorable for krsna-bhakti, and we should very boldly reject things and people that are not favorable to bhakti. We should totally reject any wish, any desire, or any result that is not favorable for pleasing Krsna or a pure devotee and guru.

You should reject anyone who criticizes high-class devotees. You can defeat his arguments, and if you are like Hanuman, you can burn all of Lanka and also cut out his tongue. If you are not of Hanuman’s caliber, then you should block your ears and simply leave that place where criticism is going on. Always try to accept only the things, the society, and the association that are favorable for bhakti. Do not desire or expect praise for yourself. Never have any wish to be honored by others, but always give honor to all devotees according to their standard of bhakti.

The heart of a devotee who is chanting and remembering Krsna should be pure. Why should a brahmacari or sannyasi who has been worshiping, chanting, and serving his gurudeva for twenty years have the desire to marry and amass wealth? And why does he leave aside his sannyasa or brahmacari saffron cloth, and get a girlfriend or even a boyfriend? This is not advancement towards Krsna. It may be that he has neglected
pure devotees and has no faith in his gurudeva’s words, and it may also be that his gurudeva is fallen.

A devotee who is chanting the holy name purely from the beginning will be like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami left everything and never again accepted worldly enjoyment. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left worldly life and his wife and children, and he never returned to them again. If brahmacaris and sannyasis accept worldly life again, it means they have no faith in Krsna’s name. Krsna has invested His whole power, His whole mercy, opulence, and so forth in His name. Brahma can create the world only by the mercy of this name – by his chanting of this name. Sankara, too, can only perform any task by chanting Krsna’s name. Neither of them can do anything without the help of the holy name.

We have no faith that Krsna’s name can maintain our lives. From the beginning, we have no taste and have committed so many offenses. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore telling us, “You must purify your hearts, if you want to be devotees and realize Krsna, and if you want Krsna to be seated in your hearts.” But you have no power to do it. You cannot purify your hearts, so who will purify them? You can do it if you are under the guidance of Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Svarupa Damodara, and Sri Raya Ramananda. Otherwise, your doubts will never go away, you will commit offenses, and you will remain attached to unwanted habits. So many desires to taste worldly enjoyment will come to you, and you will not be able to check them.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore instructing us. He Himself was sweeping, along with His devotees, in order to teach us. That is why His devotees swept a first time, then a second time, and then a third time. The first time they swept, they removed big stones, chips, and grasses; the second time, they removed very fine dust; and the third time still finer dust.

When all the dust was taken out, there still remained spots of black tar, which cannot be removed simply by sweeping. For this you will have to try much harder. You will have to use a very sharp instrument, and then you will have to wash off the spots with a cleaner like kerosene or alcohol. These spots are our offenses, and they will not disappear by sweeping alone. These spots are deceit (kutinati ) and desires for profit (labha), adoration (puja), and fame (pratistha). Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, 19.159) has explained this, and Srila Swami Maharaja has given the translation:

nisiddhacara kutinati jiva-himsana
labha-puja-pratisthadi yata upasakha-gana

[“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.”]

Nowadays, many persons have no proper respect for Vaisnavas. They tell them, “Oh, you cannot enter our temple.” Juniors are not giving proper respect to seniors, and seniors are not giving proper respect, love, and affection to juniors. This is the problem, and the root of it is offenses to the holy name. Many devotees have no regard for the holy name. They have no strong faith in chanting, and that is why so many senior devotees are going away and junior devotees are coming, becoming senior, and then also going away. These are the problems nowadays. You can easily give up your children, your wives, your husbands, your relatives, and even your wealth. But it is very hard to give up the desire for praise, and it is hard to follow this verse (Siksastaka (3):

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

[“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari.”]

This is the meaning of “sweeping the heart,” and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted this. At this stage you will honor even a creeper and a tree, what to speak of devotees. You will see Krsna in everyone and everywhere, and then you will be able to honor everyone properly. We should try to sweep in our hearts today, on this sacred day of gundica-mandira-marjana.

We should try to understand what are nisiddhacara, prohibited activities. For example, if you are a brahmacari or sannyasi be far away from lust.

asat-sanga-tyaga, – ei vaisnava-acara
‘stri-sangi’ – eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta’ ara
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.87)

[“A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krsna.”]

Try to follow this, whether you are a family man or in the renounced order. Do not associate with Mayavadis who do not believe in the personal form of Krsna or Godhead. To such persons, everything is God, which means that everything is zero.

Also, do not associate with those who are lusty – one should remain very far away from such people. Do not tell lies, do not be duplicitous, do not be politicians, and do not be hypocrites. These are basic principles.

Kutinati: ku means “evil,” ti means “the,” na means “no” or “that which is prohibited,” and it means “particular.” Kutinati means activities that are like those of Putana. The word putana means impure, and she was the first demon killed by Krsna; He killed impurity first of all. First be pure by body, mind, and soul, by chanting and remembering, and by always serving Vaisnavas and giving them proper respect.

Jiva-himsana: don’t kill anything, even a creeper. This is also a basic principle. Jiva-himsana means violence, but in this connection violence does not only mean killing by the hands or by a weapon. It also means killing by the tongue, mind, or heart. Do not be envious. If you want to be pure devotees, remove envy from your hearts and don’t criticize any Vaisnava, for this is also himsa.

These spots will not be removed merely by sweeping, nor will they disappear simply by washing them with water. Rather, they will only become stronger and more prominent. In other words, these spots are not very easy to remove. They manifest as offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas and guru, and also as neglect of guru. Among the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, the first is the offense to pure devotees. The aspiring devotee must remove all these spots quickly, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore took His own outer garment and washed everything – up, down, here, there, and
everywhere. He did not leave even one corner unclean.

Thousands and thousands of devotees continually took water from Indradyumna Sarovara, and placed the water-pots in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, and Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself. Nowadays, those who consider themselves gurus will give orders to others and do nothing themselves. They think that they should only taste delicious maha-prasada and enjoy opulent surroundings; they may even have chairs made of gold. Such false gurus do not remain; rather, they go to hell.

In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was clearing away all unwanted mentalities and behaviors. In the first and second verses of his Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami also discusses the unwanted habits to be swept away. Without such sweeping, pure bhakti cannot be attained even in millions of births. In the first verse Rupa Gosvami states:

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

[“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”]

There are six kinds of vegas (urges), and the root is the tongue, which has no backbone. If you cannot control the tongue, all the other five urges will control you; and if you do control it, everything else is controlled. The tongue has two functions, the first of which is speaking. If this function is not controlled, you may say something wrong to another person and that may create a very big problem for you – you may even be ruined forever.

Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, once said something that was actually correct, but the circumstance in which she said it was inappropriate. She told Duryodhana, “Your father is blind, and you are also blind. Like father, like son.” Duryodhana was offended, and as a result the great Mahabharata War was fought and millions of people were killed. Similarly, the Ramayana War was fought only because of Sita’s tongue. She chastised Laksmana, and this ultimately led to a war in which so many were killed. You should therefore try to control your tongue; do not speak what should not be spoken.

The second function of the tongue is eating. If you eat meat fish, and other prohibited items, or if you take drugs, they will also harm you, and you will not be able to control your mind or your heart. On the other hand, everything will be controlled if you take only maha-prasada and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna....

In the second verse of Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami states:

atyaharah prayasas ca
prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

[“One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krsna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.”]

Both Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have written commentaries on how to be free from these habits, and we can clean our hearts by reading these commentaries. It is stated in Srila Swami Maharaja’s purport (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.135):

[“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kutinati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the çastra), kama (desire for material gain), and puja (hankering for popularity).The word kutinati means “duplicity.” As an example of pratisthasa, one may attempt to imitate Srila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place.”]

Some Western devotees once went to Puri. They were not allowed to take darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the temple, but they were able to go to the Tota Gopinatha Temple, Srila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, and Siddha-bakula. One of those devotees gave over a thousand dollars to an Indian pujari at Siddha-bakula and said, “Give me the mala kept here, the beads on which Haridasa Thakura was chanting.” The man took the thousand dollars, stole the mala, and gave it to that “devotee” who then thought, “Oh, when I chant on this mala, I will be liberated and I will have bhakti.”

Imitation will not do, however. That person was offensive. Nowadays many people want to have large mala weighing not less than five kilos. They cannot chant properly, but still they collect big tulasi neckbeads with “Radhe, Radhe” written on them. This will not do; rather, false ego will increase by this. Try to chant and remember purely, and associate with devotees. It is stated in the same purport:

One’s real desire may be for name and fame. In other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a holy place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation). Nowadays there are so many “incarnations” like this. They have no belief in God, but they want to be guru, and after some days they fall down. This disease of false gurus and gods is spreading like the plague, and now there are so many “gods,” both in India and the West. We have been duplicitous since our birth; but now we must become very simple, and we should always honor devotees.

Also, be free from lobha, the greed for worldly things. Be free from thinking, “I must have this thing,” or “My relatives and neighbors have very good cars, but I don’t.” Be simple like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who followed the instructions given to him by Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

gramya-katha na çunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe
bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe
amani manada haïa krsna-nama sada la’be
vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 6.236–7)

[“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana.”]

Follow Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and others like them. Be simple like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Mahaprabhu personally removed all the spots from the simhasana on which Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra would sit – He did not leave it to anyone else to do. This means that we should try to make our hearts like a simhasana where Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra will sit, where Radha and Krsna will sit, and where Mahaprabhu will sit. This opportunity will not come if there are dirty thoughts and aspirations in our hearts. They will never come. Take your ears in your hands [This is an Indian expression. In India when one is expressing regret due to a sense of guilt, he holds his earlobes as he apologizes.] and promise, “From today I will practice properly.” Krsna will provide for you if you are always chanting and remembering. He will look after you, and sometimes He may come to you as a servant, bringing paraphernalia for you on His head. There are many examples as evidence of this, so do not worry about how to maintain yourselves. The only problem should be how to purify yourselves, and how to attain love and affection for Krsna.

While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning, a very young Gaudiya bhakta took a pitcher of water, poured the water on Mahaprabhu’s feet, and drank some of it. Mahaprabhu then appeared very angry and said, “What are you doing? Nonsense! Jagannatha is coming here. Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and we are cleaning here, preparing for Him to come. I am an ordinary person, a man, and yet this person is washing My feet and taking that water to drink. This offense is very bad for Me, and for him.”

If you wash the feet of an ordinary person in Krsna’s temple, it is a very big offense. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He is giving instruction to others. A bona fide guru will never proudly think, “Very good! My disciple comes and places flowers on my feet, pours water on them, washes them, sprinkles that water on others, and then drinks it.” A pure Vaisnava or guru never considers, “I am an advanced devotee.” Even Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Srimati Radhika, has said:

na prema-gandho ’sti darapi me harau
krandami saubhagya-bharam prakasitum
vamsi-vilasy-anana-lokanam vina
bibharmi yat prana-patangakan vrtha

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45)

[“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krsna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”]

“I have not even a scent of bhakti to Krsna. I am more wretched than anyone.” Radhika Herself is saying, “Oh, the forest deer are superior to me. They can go near to Krsna and beg His love and affection as a beloved, but we cannot go there. The rivers are also so much more fortunate than us gopis. Krsna goes to the Yamuna to bathe and she can embrace Krsna; she can give Him a lotus flower from her hand-like waves. She can give her whole heart to Krsna and tell Him, ‘O my beloved.’ When Krsna plays on His flute, she becomes stunned and stops flowing. She is much greater than us, for we cannot do as she does.

“And what is the condition of the calves and cows? The cows are grazing, but when they hear the sweet sound of Krsna’s flute, they raise their ears to hear and to drink in the sweet nectar of that flute. Their calves also drink the nectar of Krsna’s flute through their ears. While they drink the milk from their mothers’ udders, they hear the flute, and at that time they forget the milk altogether; they neither swallow it nor spit it out, and it simply remains in their mouths. Oh, we are not like this.”

Mahaprabhu similarly laments, “The fish are superior to me. If they are taken from water, they will die at once; but I am not dying although I have no darsana of Krsna. How wretched I am!”

Nowadays many devotees think, “Gurudeva simply gave us chanting beads, and by this we became more than God and we began to control the whole world.” The next day, however, we see that nothing is there – no tulasi beads, no chanting beads; nothing. And now they have again become mice. [*See Endnote 1]

Mahaprabhu performed this pastime in order to teach us devotional principles, so He called Svarupa Damodara and told him, “Svarupa Damodara Prabhu! Just see the behavior of your Gaudiya bhakta. He is insulting Me in front of Thakuraji. You have not instructed him how to be a pure devotee. See how he is behaving! He is in the temple of Jagannatha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and although I am an ordinary person, he is pouring water on My feet and drinking it. This is very offensive to Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and I am very upset about this.”

Svarupa Damodara then slapped the young devotee and dragged him outside – as a gesture. Actually, he was very happy with him. Outside the temple, when he was beyond Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s view, he told that devotee, “You have done very well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He wants to teach others that we should not behave like this towards ordinary persons. You have not done anything wrong. You have done the right thing. Wait here, and I will call for you again.”

Then, when he was called, that Bengali devotee told Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong.” He begged for forgiveness, and Mahaprabhu forgot the matter.

No one should tell anyone else to worship him. One should not love anyone or weep for anyone in front of the deity. You can only do pranama to your pure gurudeva, not to anyone else. Wherever the deities are present, we should not try to control anyone; that will be an offense. We can learn all the rules and regulations of deity worship by reading the book Arcana-dipika.

Nowadays, gurus are coming like kan-gurus. All are gurus but none are gurus. They are everywhere, like the germs of a plague. They are cheaters, not gurus. They are not Bhagavan. In India you can very easily find so many “Gods,” so many “Supreme Personalities of Godheads.” One thinks that he is Sankara, another thinks that he is Ganesa, and someone else thinks he is Sarasvati. Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew this day would come.

Try to enter the real process of bhakti. Hear from the proper person, take his words into your heart and try to follow him. Then you can sweep your heart and also become a pure devotee. First you will enter the stage of kanistha-adhikara, then madhyama-adhikara, and then you will be a devotee. Otherwise, you are like a shadow devotee – fallen. Krsna has given you good intelligence. You should realize whether someone is a pure devotee or not, and if he is, then you can hear from him. A sadhu is a very elevated devotee who embodies the verse:

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jïana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam
bhaktir uttama
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11)

[“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”]

Such a sadhu or guru has no worldly desires. His devotion is always like a stream of sweet honey, which flows like an unbroken current when it is poured.

Similarly, you should see whether your own activities – by body, by words, by mind, and by heart or mood – are to please Krsna or not. Suppose you are taking maha prasada. Why are you taking it? Is it to please Krsna or not? If you are not taking it to please Krsna, then it is like karma. If you go to sleep for yourself, it is karma, not bhakti. However, if you go to sleep thinking, “I will take some rest, and from early morning I will serve Krsna. I will be always chanting, remembering, worshiping, and
serving here and there,” then even your sleeping is for Krsna.

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Bhagavad-gita (9.27)

[“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.”]

After some time, whatever you do will be to please Krsna and your pure gurudeva. If someone follows this principle and always acts to please Krsna, you can accept him as your guru; otherwise don’t. If, when you were ignorant, you selected as guru someone who does not perform all his activities to please Krsna, Guru, and Vaisnavas, then reject that person. Reject him totally. Choose another guru very carefully and take initiation; otherwise you cannot have pure devotion and love for Krsna.

If you were initiated by a guru who was sincere at one time, but who fell down later on, reject him at once. Then you may enter the proper line and accept the self-realized devotees who are actually following anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmadyanavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Whatever they do, they do to please Krsna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. They will be in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If a person professing to be a guru is not actually in that line, he should be rejected at once. Bali Maharaja rejected his gurudeva, Sukracarya. Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, the gopis rejected their husbands, and Vibhisana rejected his brother Ravana. There are abundant examples of this.

If the guru is chanting and is somewhat in this line but he cannot give you prema-bhakti, then request him, “Please permit me to associate with a self-realized devotee.” If he does not give permission for you to do so, he is not a pure Vaisnava and he also should be rejected. However, if he gives the order, “You should go, and I will also go,” then he is a Vaisnava. You should respect him, and also go to take the association of that high-class devotee. This is the proper process, and it was followed by Sri Syamananda Gosvami, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, Sri Srinivasa Acarya, Srila Haridasa Thakura, and so many others. If you follow sastra and your superiors, you will come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. This is actually the meaning of gundica-mandira-marjana.

It is better to honor real Vaisnavas than to only worship the deities. Worship the deity, but serve the Vaisnavas at the same time. Gradually try to come from the stage of kanistha to the stage of madhyama. We are entering kanistha, but we are not even kanistha yet, because we do not have full faith in the deity. When we realize siddhanta, the established truths of Vaisnava philosophy, in the association of pure Vaisnavas, we will gradually become madhyama-adhikari. This is the object of today’s function. By this, the seed of the bhakti-creeper that your gurudeva has given to you will sprout, and it will then develop into the shape of a creeper that will ultimately lead you to Goloka Vrndavana. This is the real process.

When all the spots are removed, your status will be of the nature of pure devotion. Whatever we do, we should do as a service to Krsna, for His pleasure, but this is not sufficient by itself. There should be no worldly desire at all in that service. If one takes initiation from a bona fide guru, and he is chanting, remembering, and reading books, but he thinks, “I want to be wealthy, I want to have a very well-qualified son, and a very beautiful home and wife,” his bhakti will not be pure. Rather, it will be completely ruined. Even the desire for liberation is not pure bhakti. It is bhakti, but not pure uttama-bhakti. It is called aropa-siddha-bhakti, or sometimes sanga-siddha bhakti. His bhakti will be mixed with karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else.

More than ninety-five percent of those who call themselves bhaktas don’t actually follow uttama-bhakti or pure bhakti. They follow only aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti. What is aropa-siddha-bhakti? Making a garden or establishing gurukulas and goçalas is not really bhakti, but it may create impressions (samskaras) in the heart if the fruits are given to Krsna. If there is a gurukula, there is an opportunity that the boys will be given impressions from childhood for later development in bhakti. We see, however, that the students very rarely get these impressions. Many are ruined and are without character, they do not obey their fathers and mothers, they are not humble, and they do not honor devotees. Many are desperate. If that impression of bhakti had come, it would have been very good for them. It is only to give this impression that high-class devotees or gurus establish such institutions.

If we make a garden, we can take the fruits to the deities and to pure devotees, but if the fruit is not given to them, the result will be very bad. Actual bhakti is that activity in which there is chanting and remembering only to please Krsna. In the past, many devotees collected vast wealth for their temples. They collected vast amounts of money in a few days, but what became of them? They left Krsna consciousness. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted them to become qualified devotees.

It is not sufficient merely to sweep, or merely to wash off all the varieties of unwanted habits such as aparadhas. Something affirmative should be there – a strong taste for harinama and for hearing hari-katha. It is not enough just to clean your heart. What will remain if you simply do that? Nothing. There should be something positive. There is no harm if you have no taste for chanting harinama, but you should have a taste for hearing harikatha. If you do not, then hear again and again, and give proper respect to the pure devotees from whom you are hearing.

satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25)

[“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”]

The speaker should be satam, a pure devotee. Do not maintain your own false idea that an ordinary person or devotee is a maha-bhagavata. Who has the qualification to realize who is a maha-bhagavata? Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, a disciple of Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, was an exalted uttamamaha-bhagavata, but he used to pretend he was smoking marijuana. He sometimes put dry fish bones here and there around his hut so people would think that he ate fish. He considered, “Those who are materially inclined should remain far away from me so I can be alone to chant Krsna’s name and remember Him.”

Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was on friendly terms with Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura honored him so much. Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, used to take his darçana, and at that time Babaji Maharaja gave him many deep teachings. Guru Maharaja told us, “Sometimes he spoke such high philosophy that I could not understand him.” If a devotee is ignorant and not even a kanistha Vaisnava, how can he know who is actually a maha-bhagavata? He will choose an unqualified person as a “maha-bhagavata,” and the next day he will see how that person has fallen down.

You should see what is your superior’s idea regarding who is a madhyama-adhikari or who is an uttama-adhikari, and you can also realize this if you follow Krsna consciousness and establish yourself on the platform of the advanced stage of madhyama-adhikara. It is an offense at the lotus feet of the real maha-bhagavata if you do not give him proper respect, and instead give great respect to a third-class, bogus person, calling him “maha-bhagavata.”

[Endnotes 1: There is an instructive story called “Punar Musika Bhava – Again Become a Mouse.” A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore he approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then, being blessed by the sadhu, when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. When by the grace of the saint he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, who then asked him, “What do you want?” The tiger replied, “I want to eat you.” Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, “May you again become a mouse.”]

 

A108-AI

pancatattva3.jpg11 July 2002
Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami

Today is a very auspicious day. In all our mathas we are engaged in arranging for the Ratha-yatra festival for Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra; but prior to that we celebrate the divine disappearance day of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Gadadhara Pandita are in the same line. We can say, and it is also stated in sastra, that Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is a manifestation of Shrila Gadadhara Pandita. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was always in a mood of service to Shrila Gadadhara Pandita. He is Kamala Manjari, serving the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha-Krsna under the guidance of her beautiful friend Rupa Manjari, with a special inclination towards Shrimati Radhika.

For us, this means some exceptionally good fortune. We are very fortunate, because only little time has passed since he disappeared. When I joined the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Mission, I could have even met and served his son and real disciple, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, for some little while. At that time I was old enough to have had his darsana and served him, but unfortunately – even though I was very near, I was not able to meet and associate with him.

But still I'm very fortunate, because his direct disciple, his very bold disciple, the life and soul of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my Guru Maharaja, took me by my sikha and engaged me in his service.

gurudeva blueOnce I had a discussion with disciples of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. When they spoke some siddhanta that was not proper, I could not appreciate it and I told them, "I have seen Shrila Prabhupada; you have not seen him. I saw him through my ears, and you saw him only through your eyes. My vision is perfect."

Then they complained to my Guru Maharaja, saying, "He is very proud. He is challenging us that we did not see Shrila Prabhupada but he has seen him!" My Guru Maharaja politely answered, "He is right. He actually saw him, by hearing from me, and you saw him only by your eyes. The eye can cheat, but the ear cannot cheat."

I am very lucky that my Guru Maharaja was pleased with me, and kept me with him and engaged me in his service; and still I can serve him. He even wrote something about me in his preface to Jaiva Dharma, and therefore I feel very fortunate.

If we follow the instructions of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita, especially Shri Shri Gaura-Gadadhara, we can develop our Krsna-consciousness. We should read and hear their teachings deeply, so that we may become inspired to follow them.

[Prema-prayojana dasa tells about the life and character of Shri Gadadhara Pandita.]

Shrila Gurudeva: Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu forbid Gadadhara Pandita to leave Jagannatha Puri? Why did He 'cruelly' order him to stay there, while He went to Vrndavana without him? What was His real, internal mood? The answer is that if Gadadhara Pandita would remain with Him, then His mood of being Krsna would arise. When they would go together to Govardhana, to Vrndavana, Rasa-sthali and other places, then Gadadhara Pandita would say something like:

barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih

(Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5)

["I worship that Parabrahma, whose crown is decorated with a peacock feather, whose large forehead is marked with tilaka of musk, whose shark-shaped earrings swing around His neck, whose eyes resemble lotus flowers, whose neck has three lines like a conchshell, whose lotus face is graced with a gentle smile, who holds a flute to His bimba fruit-like lips, whose bodily complexion is like that of a fresh mosoon cloud, who is supremely peaceful, who stands in a delightful three-fold bending posture, whose yellow cloth is resplendent like the rays of the sun, who is adorned with a victory flower garland, who is surrounded on all sides by hundreds of gopis, and who resides in Shri Dhama-Vrndavana in the guise of a cowherd-boy."]

By hearing this, Mahaprabhu would not have been able to control Himself. His krsnatva (His being in His identity as Krsna) would have become visible to all, and His pastime of giving raganuga-bhakti and tasting Radha's mood would have been finished.

[Prema-prayojana dasa tells the pastime of Gadadhara Pandita and Pundarika Vidyanidhi.]

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana GoswamiShrila Gurudeva: There is an important teaching here. When Gadadhara Pandita first went to meet Pundarika with Mukunda, he misunderstood him. It was only by the mercy of Mukunda that Gaadhara was able to see Pundarika Vidyanidhi's true ecstatic moods. The teaching in this pastime is that if you want to know who is a Vaisnava, you cannot understand him by your sense perception. You cannot recognize a Vaisnava by yourself. You will have to go to him under the guidance of a Vaisnava; then you can understand.

Shri Gadadhara Pandita is Shrimati Radhika Herself; he cannot commit any mistake. Only to teach us that we have to take shelter of a high-class, bona fide guru, he played a role and performed this pastime. Only through this process we can achieve pure bhakti: You may be intelligent or an important person, but without a guru you cannot serve Shri Shri Radha-Krsna. Your bhakti cannot develop.

[Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept each other's company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, "Listen carefully Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have been hankering for the association of pure Vaisnavas and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaisnava devotee. In return for this, I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant."

The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krsna as they proceeded towards the great Vaisnava's residence with Mukunda. Arriving there, they found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his obeisances and was respectfully seated.

Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, "What is his name and from which village does he come? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Visnu, both his form and demeanour are extremely wonderful."

"His name is Shri Gadadhara," Mukunda replied. "He is very fortunate because from early childhood, he has been totally detached from family life. In his external material identity, he is the son of the brahmana Shri Madhva Misra. Since he is absorbed in devotional service, he only associates with Vaisnavas, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you, he was anxious to meet you."

After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi was very pleased to meet him. The great personality, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of wood, covered with intricate brass and reddish stone inlay work. Above it were three tiers of ornamental drapes made of glittering brocade cloth. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets, and silk pillows were placed under his back.

On either side of him, many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with neatly prepared betel pan upon it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him into which he continually glanced while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan. He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark upon his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well-groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil.

Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. As he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him a prince, as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of the easy and comfortable life, given to pleasure.

When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life, he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He thought, "What sort of a Vaisnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood, I developed great respect for this person, but now upon seeing him, it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion."

Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Krsna, Gadadhara Pandita would be allowed to perceive everything; nothing would remain unknown to him.

In a very sweet voice, Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service, "Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to the she-demon, Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind, she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast and came to kill Krsna, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement."

As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love welled up in his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Gaìga. Simultaneously, all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, horripilated, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy.

Then suddenly regaining consciousness, he said in a loud voice, "Speak! Speak!" and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions, he kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused jumble. He began tearing his fine clothes, and his well-groomed hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust.

He cried out, "O Krsna, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard-hearted like a stone!" He lamented loudly, piteously crying out, "I have been deprived of the Lord's association in His most merciful incarnation!" He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones.

He trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way, the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.

Amazed at what he had witnessed, Gadadhara Pandita began to worry, thinking, "What inauspiciousness has overcome me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality?" He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love, he said, "Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaisnava like him anywhere in this entire creation.

"One can become totally purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me, I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi, I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaisnava given to the pleasures of life.

"You could read my mind and being a greatly magnanimous soul you have revealed to me the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's love of Krsna. Yet, today, I have been offensive and the extent of my offence can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart.

"All the devotees who have surrendered to the Lord by the process of devotional service have accepted the shelter and instructions of a guide. Yet, I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and follow devotional service under his guidance. I shall counteract all my offences to him by becoming his disciple."

Thus, Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, “Very good, very good.” (Shri Chaitanya-bhagavat, Madhya-lila ch.6]

Seeing Gadadhara Pandita’s doubt, Mukanda Datta recited one verse to Pundarika Vidyanidhi:

aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam
jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi
lebhe gatim dhatry-ucitam tato 'nyam
kam va dayalum saranam vrajema

(Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 3.2.23)

["How astonishing! When Putana, wicked sister of Bakasura, tried to kill child Krsna by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Krsna?"]

Upon hearing this, Pundarika Vidyanidhi became overwhelmed with ecstatic emotions.

[Prema-prayojana Prabhu tells the story of Vallabhacarya, who visited Mahaprabhu, trying to prove his scholarship.]

A question comes: Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has stated that Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and Sikhi Mahiti are Mahaprabhu's antaranga, most confidential associates. He even spoke about Madhavi devi as being His half intimate associate, but why did he not mention Gadadhara Pandita?

The answer is that Shri Gadadhara Pandita, as Shrimati Radhika, is non-different from, or in other words, is in Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is always in the mood of Shrimati Radhika – sometimes in mood of another sakhi, but always in the mood of Shrimati Radhika – and always crying. When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is in the mood of Shrimati Radhika, Gadadhara Pandita has no function there like others who are antaranga. He is Radhika. Radhika is not different from Krsna, She is not an antaranga.

We can learn so many things in these pastimes. Without a guru one may be powerful like Brahma or Sankara, but one cannot even become liberated, what to speak of serving Radha-Krsna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally took initiation from Isvara Puripada, and He inspired Gadadhara Pandita to also take initiation. Initiation is very important.

Some people think that they don't need a guru. They think that the mantras are written in books, so to read and repeat them is sufficient. But this is absurd. I have seen many sannyasis and other senior male and female devotees who do not even chant their mantras given by their bona fide Guru Maharaja Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. They do not meditate on them. So how can one who does not even have a guru become inspired? From where will he get strength?

To except a guru is essential. An initiated devotee will think: "I must carry out the order given by my Gurudeva." We must accept any high class rasika Vaisnava guru. Some may think: "We came in this line because of Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. We are reading Svami Prabhupada's books and are following him. There is no need of any other guru." Even some whose gurus fell down think in this way: "I believe that Shrila Prabhupada is my guru, no need to take initiation from anyone else."

But this will not do. One has to take proper initiation and follow his guru, as did Lord Ramacandra Himself, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu, who is akhanda-guru-tattva, the original guru Himself. Nityananda Prabhu personally took initiation from Laksmipati Tirtha, and after that He accepted as His siksa-guru Madhavendra Puripada, whose status was even higher then that of Laksmipati Tirtha. Even Shri Krsna, along with Balaramji, took initiation. They were disciples of Bhaguri Muni. Do not think they took initiation from Sandipani Muni. Sandipani Muni was a school teacher who taught Krsna and Balarama the sixty-four arts, but Their real diksa-guru was Bhaguri Muni.

Krsna personally spoke this to the gopis. The gopis were telling Him: "You do not have a guru, so You are a bogus person." Krsna replied: "Why are you saying so? You can go and ask Durvasa Muni. It was in front of him that My father Nanda Baba had Me take initiation from Bhaguri Muni. Bhaguri Muni came to my house and I took initiation from him."

As Nityananda Prabhu gave even more respect to Madhavendra Puripada, his siksa-guru, if the siksa-guru is more qualified and rasika, we should honor him and give him respect. Giving respect to our diksa-guru, we should serve such a siksa-guru even more. There are thousands upon thousands of such examples in our Vaisnava scriptures. Don't be weak. If you are developing your Krsna-consciousness, your life will be successful, otherwise not. And, someone who is inspiring me in my Krsna-consciousness, especially one who helps me to become a rasika Vaisnava, he is more superior than anyone else. He is really guru. We do not consider Kesava Bharati to be the guru of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, although he was a Vaisnava in the line of Isvara Puripada. Rather, we consider him to be the vesa-guru of Mahaprabhu (who gave Him saffron cloth).

It is very hard to recognize a Vaisnava. We see that even a devotee like Gadadhara Pandita (in his human-like pastimes) could not recognize a pure Vaisnava. He rejected Pundarika Vidyanidhi, because Pundarika Vidyanidhi was chewing betel-nut and living in luxury like a king. If the internal mood of a Vaisnava is high, then such a Vaisnava is to be accepted as highly advanced. A devotee may have a five-, six-, or eight-kilo japa-mala, very long, big tilaka, and thick kanti-mala, and he will start to chant "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna" as soon as he sees someone. But that person may not be a pure Vaisnava. And another devotee, who is not chanting on a japa-mala, like Pundarika Vidyanidhi, may put us in a dilemma regarding whether or not he is a devotee.

Therefore Mahaprabhu is advising: Do not try to understand who is a Vaisnava by his external appearance. Only an uttama-adhikari can recognize an uttama-adhikari. Even a madhyama-adhikari may be confused. Therefore, do not criticize any Vaisnava or judge him according to his external appearance.

Your life should be successful. If you can develop your Krsna-consciousness, then your life is successful. You may possess great wealth, position, power, beauty, and so many good qualities, but if this one quality, Krsna-consciousness, is not there, your life cannot be successful. Endeavor only to develop your Krsna-consciousness. If the whole world is against you, or if you don't become wealthy or acquire any position, there is no harm in that. Try to maintain your life only for the purpose of developing Krsna-consciousness; this is the teaching of Shrila Rupa and Raghunatha and our guru-parampara. Don't try to buy bhakti by wealth and money. Only by pure hearted internal service to Shri Guru you can purchase it. Always remember what Krsna promised in Bhagavad-gita:

ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham

Bhagavad-gita 9.22

["But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have."]

Those who continuously chant and remember Krsna have no time to maintain themselves and their family; therefore Krsna will come to maintain them. He has promised this. Why fear? If we have strong faith in His words, certainly He is bound to fulfill His promise. But we are very unfortunate; we don't have such strong faith; this is the problem. Try to overcome this and maintain strong faith, total faith, in Krsna. He is bound to fulfill His promise. All others may fail to keep their promises, but He cannot fail. He cannot.

Try to realize this, and be always conscientious to become a high-class devotee. Give your life only for developing bhakti – bhakti, bhakti, bhakti.

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha

Brhan-naradiya-purana 38.126

["In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way, no other way, no other way."]

Harer bhakti harer bhakti harer bhakti eva kevalam – There is no other way; only bhakti, only bhakti, only bhakti.

[Shrila Gurudeva leads the devotees in first singing Radhika-astakam and then the kirtana of "Jaya Gaura-Gadadhara."]

Jaya jaya Gaura-Gadadhara ki jaya! Gadai-Gaurangaji ki jaya! Gaura-premanande hari hari bol!

Now we should discuss about the incarnation of Gadadhara Pandita, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. But don't hear in such a way that my words will go in one ear in and out the other. Hear with both ears, and take what you hear into your heart.

[Syamarani dasi speaks about the presence of many sahajiya sects during the time of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's preaching]

Shrila Gurudeva: We find so many 'Lalita-sakhis' in Navadvipa. Male persons put on Indian style saris and nose rings, and say, "We are gopis". At the same time, they engage in nonsense, illicit activities. Even among us, I know many ladies and gentlemen who can't even chant five or six rounds, but are very interested to taste goopi-bhava – they want it immediately. For this so-called attainment they can even give up their high-class Guru Maharaja Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, and istead they go to any babaji, pay two rupies, and get goopi-bhava very cheaply. Such so-called gurus tell them, "You are Lalita, you are Vishaka, and you are Citra, Rupa Manjari etc." Bogus.

Everywhere, in France and also here (in England), I see these bogus gurus, those who cheat devotees. I request all devotees to be careful. First follow Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and read Jaiva Dharma. Chant continuously and follow the instruction given by Shrila Rupa Gosvami in his Nectar of Instruction (Upadesamrta):

vaco vegam manasa krodha vegam...

atyaharah prayasas ca...

utsahan niscayad dhairyat...

Also, give proper honor to proper Vaisnavas. This is more important. If you have no interest to chant the holy names and listen to hari-katha, then listen more, again and again. Come to the point of tan-nama-rupa-caritadi sukirtananu (pure chanting of the holy names). Then, when renunciation will appear in your heart and all material desires will disappear, automatically your siddha-deha, your perfected spiritual body, will appear. At that time you will be able to remember asta-kaliya-lila. This is the process of suddha-bhakti, or pure bhakti, as Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has clearly told; there is no other path. Don't worry for your siddha-deha. Don't try to prematurely think, "I'm the dasi of Rupa Manjari" and so on. First practice very steadfastly and determinedly.

Remember this sloka from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7):

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

["By rendering devotional service unto Bhagavan Shri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world."]

Ahaitukam (causeless knowledge) will come. Wait for that, otherwise you will be like an unripe jackfruit.

[Pundarika dasa explains how sometimes a jackfruit is plucked prematurely. The persons who want to eat it first cut it, and their fingers get entangled in the sticky glue-like substance inside that become a source of trouble.]

Shrila Gurudeva: All the teachings of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can be summarized by one verse from his Gitavali:

krsnera samsara koro jadi anacara
jiva daya krsna nama sarva dharma sar

["Carry on your worldly duties, but in relation to Krsna. Show compassion to all souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krsna – this is the essence of all forms of religion."]

What is the meaning?

[Prema-prayojana dasa explains]

Shrila Gurudeva: The essence of this sloka is jiva-daya, mercy towards all living entities. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained what is real kindness towards jivas, and we should try to follow this. If you can turn the mood of even one person toward Krsna, so that he chants the holy name and remembers Krsna in the way given by our acaryas, this kindness is millions times better than opening millions of hospitals or schools.

So, I want that next year each of you will bring five new devotees. Then I will think that you have preached. Otherwise, if one cannot inspire a single person, if he is only engaged in sense gratification, than fie on such a wretched person.

What is the meaning of "krsna-samsara" (making one's home Krsna-centered)? It doesn't mean to be an ordinary family person. It means to be family persons like the gopas, like Shridama, Subala, and Madhu-mangala. Sudhama married, but he married for Krsna.

Once, while Shrila Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja was staying in Navadvipa near the Ganges, and was doing bhajana without any hut or other possessions, a man came to him and said, "Babaji Maharaja, I am your disciple. Today I have collected a Krsna-dasi. I just married her; please sprinkle your mercy upon her." Babaji replied, "I am very happy; you are fortunate to have collected a Krsna-dasi. Worship her daily and don't be lusty; don't try to enjoy her, otherwise you will be finished forever." Hearing this, that man quickly ran away and never came back.

So, our marriage should be for Krsna, like the gopas, without any lust at all. I want that you preach, thus showing jiva-daya, mercy towards all living entities. Collect sincere devotees who will come to hear hari-katha. The managers here should not have problems how to accommodate everybody; I want this. Preach everywhere. Don't depend on any preaching center. Whether there are preaching centers or not, preach. If the preaching center is easily accomplished, very good; but even without it, preach and distribute the message of Shri Caitaniya Mahaprabhu and help others to become pure sincere devotees regardless of their asrama. They can be family men, brahmacaris, or vanaprasthas, but they should be sincere devotees.

This is the teaching of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He wrote more than one hundred books in different languages. He was like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha das Gosvami, and Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and therefore he is called Saptama-gosvami, the Seventh Gosvami. As Maharaja Bhagiratha brought the river Ganga from the heavenly planets to this Earth to liberate his ancestors, similarly Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura brought the current of pure bhakti, bhakti-bhagirathi, prema-dharma, and especially upapati-bhava (unnatojjvala-rasa) from Goloka Vrndavana to this world. What he brought was not only from heaven like the Ganges; he brought the very sacred stream of love and affection from its original place in Radha-kunda, from the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika. Thus, he is called Saptam-gosvami. There is so much more to say in his glorification. His glories are like an unlimited ocean. We tried only to touch a little from the shore of that ocean.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura ki jaya! Gaura premanande!

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