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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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An Introduction To Navadvipa-Dhama Parikrama

Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Shri Devananda Gaudiya Math, Navadvipa: Mar.12, 2000

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Navadvipa and performed His pastimes there. It is said that after these pastimes were completed, He took sannyasa and went to Puri. Later He went to South India, met Shrila Ramananda Raya, and revealed to him His form as Shri Shri Radha and Krishna combined – Rasaraja-mahabhava. This form of Rasaraja-mahabhava is also described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, as the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Krishna is Rasaraja (the king of all tasters of transcendental mellows) and Radhika is Mahabhava-svarupa (the quintessence of transcendental loving emotions towards Krishna).

In Navadvipa, Shri Gauranga performed sakhya-bhava pastimes with His friends in His naravata, human-like, lila. Some people say that after taking sannyasa in Navadvipa, He left and performed higher pastimes in Puri. After that, on the bank of Godavari He met Ramananda Raya and learned how to taste Krishna in a still more intense mood of separation. It is not actually true, however, that Puri and Godavari are higher than Navadvipa, nor is it true that Shri Sacinandana Gaurahari ever leaves Navadvipa.

It is said that Mahaprabhu was able to taste what He came to this world to taste – only after He met Raya Ramananda, who is Visakha-devi in Krishna-lila. He learned from him how to taste radha-bhava. Do you know why He learned from Ramananda Raya instead of Shrila Svarupa Damodara, who is Lalita-devi in Krishna-lila? Lalita devi is the first expansion of Radharani and Visakha-devi is the second expansion. But Visakha's birthday is the same as that of Shrimati Radharani, so her nature is the same. She has practically the same qualities and the same form. Krishna could not be taught by Lalita-devi because her mood is pragalba, bold and outspoken. Shrimati Radhika and Shrimati Visakha, although also left-wing gopis, are the same as each other – madhya-nayika, heroines who are a mixture of pragalbha and mrdvi (sweet and gentle). Therefore. Mahaprabhu had to learn from Ramananda Raya how to taste Radha-bhava. Because it was at Godavari that Mahaprabhu learned to taste that Radha-bhava, some say that Godavari is higher than Navadvipa.

But this is not so. Navadvipa itself is the highest abode, and it includes Godavari and Jagannatha Puri. We can understand this by a comparative study of aishvarya-mayi-lila and madhurya-mayi-lila ('mayi' means 'consisting of'). What is the difference between aishvarya and madhurya? aishvarya-lila are displays of opulence which cannot be performed by any human being, whereas madhurya-lila are those pastimes which appear human-like, even if there is a great display of opulence. If there is no opulence, activities are simply mundane. So there may be opulence in madhurya-mayi-lila, but that lila still appears sweet and human-like, and so it is called madhurya. Whether opulence is clearly present or not, in madhurya-lila there does not seem to be opulence.

As we see from Krishna's lila, there is more aishvarya in Vrindavan than there is in Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, or Mathura. However, it is covered by so much sweetness that the opulence cannot be tasted. [For clarification an example is given of salt and sugar: There are four cups. The first has 1 ounce of salt and no sugar. The second one has 2 ounces of salt and 2 ounces of sugar. The third has 3 ounces of salt and 6 ounces of sugar. And the fourth has 4 ounces of salt and 100 lbs. of sugar. Although the fourth cup has more salt, one cannot taste it because of all the sugar.] In Goloka Vrindavan the opulence is covered.

Krishna's madhurya-lila includes aishvarya. When Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill, the cowherd boys thought that He must be getting tired. They considered, "We should also help to hold up Govardhana, with our sticks." Others thought, "Because of Nanda Maharaja's austerities, Lord Narayana entered Krishna's body. It is actually Narayana who is holding up Govardhana." The gopis were glaring upon Govardhana and said to him, "If you fall down on Krishna, we will curse you." So these are human-like pastimes. When Krishna was a baby He showed His mother His universal form, and everything was there within His mouth – all incarnations, all universes, all elements, all senses, and so forth. Despite this, Yasoda-maiya could not conceive that her son is God.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and His dhama, Shri Navadvipa, is Vrindavan itself. In Navadvipa He was known as Saci-putra and Sacinandana, the son of Saci-mata and Jagannatha Misra. He was also called Visnupriya-pati, the husband of Shrimati Visnupriya-devi. Practically no one there knew that He is the Supreme Lord.

Two of His friends at that time were Jagadananda Pandita and Svarupa Damodara. They were his fellow-students when He attended the school of Gangadasa Pandita, and they all performed their madhurya-lila there. As there are so many human learned scholars or panditas, the residents of Navadvipa considered Saci-putra to be Nimai Pandita, a very good human pandita.

There is no aishvarya in this name Nimai Pandita. It is naravata, human-like. When Kesava Kasmiri, the digvijaya (challenging scholar), came to defeat the panditas of Navadvipa, they decided to make Nimai Pandita their representative. They considered Him to be just a boy. Therefore, if He would lose, they could then say, "He's just a boy." And if He would win, they could consider it a great victory for Navadvipa that their boy-scholar was successful.

Being fellow-students in Gangadasa Pandita's school, Jagadananda Pandita and Nimai Pandita used to have friendly arguments about logic. Sometimes they would argue about the definition of mukti. Jagadananda Pandita would quote the verse beginning, "Atyantya dukha nivritti – Liberation means to be delivered from the miseries of maya." But Nimai Pandita would say, "No. The real definition of mukti is: 'Mukti hitva anyata rupam, svarupena vyavastiti – Mukti is that condition in which one realizes his own svarupa and the svarupa of Krishna, and he realizes his relationship with Krishna. Liberation from all false identifications is only possible when one knows his real identification. When one surrenders to the lotus-feet of Radha and Krishna and serves Them with one's transcendental body and senses, that is mukti. Otherwise mukti is only partial.'" So this is nara-lila – human-like friends arguing together.

In Jagannatha Puri, on the other hand, there were so many opulent pastimes, which everyone knew could not be performed by a human being. For example, when Mahaprabhu jumped in the ocean and was caught in the fisherman's net, His body became elongated and all His joints were separated by eight inches. This is opulence, and this is very deep and hard to understand. After Mahaprabhu completed his talks with Ramananda Raya, He tasted the fruits in Gambhira and only three-and-one-half persons were allowed to enter there – Shri Ramananda Raya, Shri Svarupa Damodara, Sikhi Mahiti, and his sister, Shrimati Madhavi devi.

Dvaraka is full of opulence. There are so many palaces, elephants, horses, and chariots there. Similarly, in Puri there was so much veneration by all Mahaprabhu's devotees, and all were fearful to make proposals to Him. In Navadvipa, on the other hand, Kolaveca Shridhara would have arguments with Nimai Pandita – and Nimai would even steal his vegetables.

In Vraja, Shri Krishna is considered an ordinary cowherd boy. In Navadvipa, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is considered an ordinary brahmana's ordinary son. No one in Navadvipa could conceive of Him being called Mahaprabhu. Only when He went to Puri did He begin to be called Mahaprabhu. In Navadvipa He sucked the breast of Saci-devi. He played with the girls who were worshiping Siva-linga to get a good husband. He also sometimes behaved as a mischievous student. His lila, therefore, is called madhurya-mayi-lila.

Someone may object to this statement, considering that He manifested as Nrsimhadeva and Varaha in Navadvipa. This is true, but hardly anyone saw this. Practically all the devotees always thought He was simply Saci-nandana. Only a few were in the mood of worship, like Murari Gupta (who is Hanuman in Rama-lila) or Shrivasa Pandita (who is Narada Muni in Krishna-lila), understood Him as the Supreme Lord.

Comparing the three features

There is a comparison between the three features of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the three features of Shrimati Radharani. There is an original Radhika, and Her complete and original form is called Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika. She never leaves Vrindavan, and She only feels short-term separation from Krishna – as when He goes cow-herding for a few hours each day. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika is always experiencing Her nitya-lila, or astakaliya-lila, pastimes with Krishna, which take place twenty-four hours a day – from one early morning to the next. She is actually never separated from Krishna. There is only an abhimana, or self-conception, that They are sometimes separated.

Vrsabhanu-nandini has two manifestations. One is Viyogini Radhika: Radhika feeling separation from Krishna at Uddhava Kyari when Krishna was in Mathura and Dvaraka. Her other manifestation is in Kurukshetra, and that is Sanyogini Radhika. It is Sanyogini Radha who meets with Krishna in Kurukshetra. Just as Dvarakadisa-Krishna and Mathuresa-Krishna are always within purnattama (Krishna's most complete form) Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna, so these other two manifestations of Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika are included within Her original form.

Radhika's full, original form also feels separation, but only at certain times. For example, She may wake up one morning and think, "Oh, what a terrible dream I had. Krishna went to Dvaraka and married so many queens." Also, now and then some conception comes, "Oh, Krishna has left. No, Krishna is here after all." That sentiment or conception takes a tangible form in prakata-lila, Krishna's pastimes as preformed in this material world.

The three features of Shrimati Radhika – Vrsabhanu-nandini, Viyogini, and Sanyogini – are defined in the Sanat Kumara Samhita. Just as She has three features, Shri Sacinandana Gaurahari has three features. Shri Krishna Chaitanya Radha Krishna nahi anya. Mahaprabhu is no one but Radha and Krishna combined.

When Shrimati Radhika is speaking to the bumblebee at Uddhava Kyari, She is Viyogini Radhika.

madhupa kitava-bandho ma sprsanghrim sapatnyah
kuca-vilulita-mala-kunkuma-smasrubhir nau
vahatu madhu-patis tan-manininam prasadam
yadu-sadasi vidambyam yasya dutas tvam idrk
(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.12)

["O black bee, don't touch me. I know you are a representative of Krishna from Mathura, and you are trying to make some compromise. But I will never compromise with that Krishna. I know that the red of your whiskers has come from the kunkuma which came from the breasts of His beloveds there in Mathura. It was smeared on Krishna's garland when He embraced them, and then came on your mustaches."]

This mood of transcendental madness is of Viyogini Radhika, and this is compared to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Puri. Shri Chaitanya-charitamrta explains that the mood of Shrimati Radhika which was seen by Uddhava was the constant mood of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Gambhira.

"Vrindavan parityaja na padam ekam gacchati." Krishna never leaves Vrindavan. Nandanandana is always in Vrindavan. Vrsabhanu-nandini also never leaves Vrindavan, and similarly Sacinandana never leaves Navadvipa.

In Godavari, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested his Rasaraja-mahabhava svarupa. There in Godavari He discussed all tattvas: rasa-tattva, prema-tattva, and radha-tattva. But who saw this? Only Ramananda Raya. This manifestation of Rasaraja-mahabhava was not an ordinary activity. No one else could have shown Himself as Radha and Krishna. Therefore it is an opulence; it is aishvarya, and it is not the highest lila.

Shrimati Radhika's partial moods and forms are included within Her original form, and this is also true with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In Mahaprabhu's lila, Puri is like Dvaraka. When He is in Gambhira, He is experiencing Radharani's separation from Krishna at Dvaraka, in the mood of Viyogini Radhika. When Mahaprabhu is in Godavari, He is like Sanyogini Radhika. This aspect of Shrimati Radhika meets Krishna at Kurukshetra in order to bring Him back to Vrindavan. These two aspects of Mahaprabhu are included in Navadvipa.

In Jagannatha Puri, no one accepted the names Sacinandana, etc. Everyone there had a reverential mood towards Mahaprabhu. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya realized, "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I've never seen such a person in this world." Shri Chaitanya-charitamrta (Madhya 6. 9-13) states that while examining the body of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sarvabhauma saw that His abdomen was not moving and that He was not breathing. Seeing this condition, he became very anxious. He then took a fine cotton swab and put it before Mahaprabhu's nostrils. When he saw the cotton move very slightly, he became hopeful. Sitting beside Mahaprabhu, he thought, "This is a transcendental ecstatic transformation brought about by love of Krishna." Upon seeing the sign of suddipta-sattvika bhava, the Bhattacarya could immediately understand the transcendental ecstatic transformation in Mahaprabhu's body. Such a sign could take place only in the bodies of Krishna's eternally liberated associates like the gopis, and especially in Shrimati Radhika. The Bhattacarya considered, "The uncommon ecstatic symptoms of adhiruddha-bhava are appearing in the body of Mahaprabhu. This is very wonderful! How are they possible in the body of a human being?"

Hidden Vrindavan

Navadvipa is gupta (hidden) Vrindavan. Although the twelve forests of Vrindavan are hidden in Navadvipa, they are in a different sequence. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described this as acintya, inconceivable. He has explained that it is the speciality of this dhama. It is hidden and crooked, so it cannot be exactly in the same sequence. This is the nature of hidden prema.

stealing clothesRadha-kunda is not far from Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Because Govardhana is here, Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda must also be here. My Guru Maharaja, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Paramahamsa Shrila Bhakti-prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja has fulfilled the innermost heart's desire of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura by establishing this temple in the valley or plain of Govardhana.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes stayed here and performed pastimes. One pastime, as explained in Shri Chaitanya-charitamrta, was when some young girls were making offerings to Siva-linga with fruits, flowers, and other paraphernalia of worship. At that time Nimai Pandita forcibly stole the offerings and told the girls that they should not waste their time worshiping Lord Siva. He said, "I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should worship Me. All the demigods and demigoddesses are My servants. If you do not worship Me, I will curse you all to get old, ugly husbands who already have five wives." They were all joking in this way, and they did not believe that He was the Supreme.

All the Vrindavan pastimes are there in Navadvipa. Govardhana and Rasa-sthali are present where we are now sitting, in Koladvipa, at the Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Krishna is dancing here with the gopis. One may say that the highest place in Navadvipa is Yogapitha at Mayapura, because that is where Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. But actually, Koladvipa is superior. We must consider the siddhanta (conclusive truth). Comparing Navadvipa to Vrindavan, Mathura-Gokula is the place where Krishna appeared. He appeared simultaneously as Lord Vasudeva in Mathura and as a baby in Gokula. But this place in Koladvipa is Govardhana, where Krishna appeared in His original and most complete form, His kaisora (teenage) form, His Radha-Krishna yugala form. This is also where rasa-lila, the highest pastime, took place. It can be concluded, therefore, that this place is so much higher.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami confirms in his Upadesamrta, "The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura-puri is the transcendental forest of Vrindavan, because of Krishna's rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrindavan is Govardana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Shri Krishna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super-excellent Shri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is over-flooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Shri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?"

After class

After the class, at an informal darshana just outside Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's room, a disciple questioned, "You said this morning that there was no opulence manifestation in Navadvipa. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His Virat-rupa, His universal form, there in Navadvipa." Shrila Maharaja replied, "Yes, but only to a few; to Shrivasa Thakura as Narada Muni."

Another devotee questioned, "You said in class that Jagannatha Puri represents Dvaraka and Godavari represents Kurukshetra. How is Godavari Kurukshetra?" Shrila Maharaja replied, "It is not that Godavari is the same as Kurukshetra. This comparison is given because of its display of opulence. When Shrimati Radhika first met Krishna at Kurukshetra, She saw so much opulence: horses, chariots and elephants, and Krishna was dressed as an opulent prince. Similarly, when Mahaprabhu manifested His transcendental form as Rasaraja-mahabhava, this was a great display of opulence. Another thing was that the great happiness Shrimati Radhika felt by meeting Krishna in Kurukshetra after such a long time was only momentary. When She realized that Their meeting and relationship could not be the same as it was in Vrindavan, it became a pathetic scene. Similarly, the opulent display of Mahaprabhu's Rasaraja-mahabhava form was only revealed for a moment.


About Lord Shiva

7-76XDiP-4M.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
02 July 1997

Shiva and Narada

Shri Narada desired to proclaim the glories of Lord Shiva. As previously described, he praised Shiva as the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna and most dear to Him, and Lord Shiva became upset by hearing those praises. Shiva then related a number of incidents which, according to him, were evidence that he was not dear to Krishna at all.

Now Lord Shiva compares himself to Shri Prahlada Maharaja, (*See Endnote 1) the famed devotee of Lord Nrsimhadeva described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. He told Narada, "Shri Prahlada Maharaja is superior to me, and it is he who is the dear devotee of the Lord." Even though Lord Shiva is superior to Prahlada Maharaja, he told Narada that Prahlada Maharaja is superior. Why? He said this to encourage people to follow Prahlada Maharaja's ideal character and teachings.

However, Prahlada Maharaja cannot enter Shri Krishna's transcendental abode, Vrndavana, whereas Lord Shiva resides there eternally as Gopisvara. Shiva serves Shri Krishna personally in numerous ways. He and his wife Parvati-devi meditate on asta-kaliya-lila, Lord Shri Krishna's confidential eight-fold daily pastimes. These secret pastimes are very confidential, yet both Shiva and Parvati are able to meditate upon them. Shiva is hundreds of thousands of times superior to and more worshipable than Shri Prahlada Maharaja, and yet the artful Shiva declared Prahlada Maharaja to be superior. Why did he do so? In one sense Prahlada Maharaja is superior, and in another sense he is not.

We can reconcile this by considering the two perspectives from which to understand the identity of Lord Shiva: We can see Shiva from the point of view of his post, and also from the point of view of his personality. As a personality, separate from his post, he appears as an associate of the Supreme Lord, such as Gopisvara, Hanuman and Bhima. As Gopisvara he resides eternally in Vrndavana. As Hanuman he always associates with and serves Lord Rama. As Bhima he always serves Lord Krishna. And, when Hanuman and Bhima combine together in this present age of Kali-yuga, they become Madhvacarya, our Sampradaya-guru. (*See Endnote 2)

From the point of view of Lord Shiva's function as the god of annihilation, and also that of Brahma as the secondary creator of the universe, Shiva and Brahma are actually posts. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are not ordinary human beings, but their posts are like that of the president or prime minister of a nation, wherein the man representing the post has to perform a certain defined job.

Both as the post and the person, Shiva is superior to Brahma. Lord Shiva is an expansion of Lord Visnu, but sometimes a jiva may become Shiva's expansion known as Rudra. If a man purely performs the duties of varnasrama for one hundred births, he may become Brahma.6 In other words, he may attain the position or post of Brahma. In turn, when a person in the post of Brahma carries out his function expertly for one hundred births, he becomes qualified to perform the function of Shiva in his manifestation as Rudra. Shiva's post is therefore superior to that of Brahma, and this is also evidence that Shiva is more powerful than Brahma.

The Duty of Destruction

What is the function of Lord Shiva's post, and why is it superior to that of Lord Brahma? One reason is that Brahma cannot execute pralaya, the complete destruction of the universe - a very dangerous thing, whereas Shiva can do so.

Shiva's function as destroyer is similar to that of a farmer who plants and cultivates a large area of wheat. The farmer carefully waters and nourishes the crop, guarding it from animals, and after five or six months the wheat matures and ripens. Then, either by hand or a machine, the farmer harvests the plants and carefully removes the grains from their shafts. The rest of the plant-matter becomes refuse, subject to rotting and attracting disease, vermin, and snakes. Therefore, the farmer sets fire to it and burns it.

Just as the farmer extracts the grains from the plants, Lord Shiva extracts the eternal spirit souls from their material bodies and from the world. At the time of annihilation he creates an inferno, setting the entire universe on fire, but the spirit souls are not destroyed.

There are two kinds of universal devastations: one at the end of Lord Brahma's day and one at the end of his life. At the end of his day (4,320,000,000 solar years) he rests in a mystic sleep within the body of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and all the conditioned living entities enter as well. (*See Endnote 3)

While the entire universe is submerged in water, the living entities rest in their subtle bodies within the transcendental body of Garbhodakasayi Visnu. They await the start of the next day of Brahma, the next material creation or manifestation. Some of them become liberated, and others do not.

When Lord Brahma completes the one hundred celestial years of his life, Lord Shiva again performs this duty of destruction. At that time all the spirit souls enter into the body of Karanodakasayi Visnu or Maha Visnu. At the end of each day of Lord Brahma, all souls enter Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and at the end of Brahma's life, even the millions of manifestations of Garbhodakasayi Visnu enter Karanodakasayi Visnu (*See Endnote 4) along with the spirit souls. At the time of creation, Karanodakasayi Visnu generates innumerable manifestations of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and at the time of complete annihilation, they enter back into his body. (*See Endnote 5)

Lord Shiva is not a living entity, but he is also not in the category of Lord Visnu. He is much more powerful than any living entity, even up to Lord Brahma. However, he is not equal to Lord Visnu. Because he is almost as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can see the three phases of time: past, present, and future. One of his eyes is like the sun and another is like the moon. He also has a third eye, located between his eyebrows. It is from this third eye that he generates fire and employs it at the time of the universal destruction.

Seen from this perspective - the destroyer - Lord Shiva cannot serve Shri Krishna directly, because he is engaged at his post. Those souls who are liberated after hundreds of thousands of lifetimes of devotional practice, having renounced all responsibilities and concerns of the world - including occupations like that of Brahma and Shiva - and who constantly hear about, glorify, and remember Lord Krishna, take birth in this world as pure devotees like Prahlada Maharaja. This was told by Lord Shiva to Shri Narada.

Prahlada Maharaja has nothing to do with this world; nothing to create or demolish. He rejected all such affairs as insignificant. Although he had inherited a large kingdom, it was controlled and governed by his ministers. His senses were totally absorbed in the transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. He was always engaged in hearing the name and glories of the Lord, singing and speaking about his glories, remembering and meditating on him, offering prayers, carrying out the his orders and fully surrendering to him.

Devotees in Prahlada's category have no need to approach Lord Krishna's manifestations like Lord Nrsinhadeva and Lord Rama, for the Lord personally comes to them in these forms. Lord Shiva told Shri Narada that because he is always engaged in the post of controlling the universe, he can neither see nor offer services to the Lord daily, as Prahlada Maharaja sees Lord Vamanadeva or Lord Nrsinhadeva. Vamanadeva and Nrsinhadeva are both manifestations of the same Lord, who regularly gives Prahlada his divine association and the opportunity to serve and offer obeisance at his lotus feet.

Although both Brahma and Shiva are actually superior in bhakti to Prahlada Maharaja, their posts involve contact with the three gunas, or modes of material nature, namely goodness, passion, and ignorance. The role of Lord Brahma is creation and procreation in raja-guna, the mode of passion. Lord Shiva's role of demolition and dissolution is in tama-guna, the mode of ignorance. It is for this reason that they are called guna-avataras, incarnations of the material qualities.

Prahlada Maharaja is nirguna, transcendental to the three modes of nature. He has nothing to do with activities in material goodness, passion, and ignorance, by which this world is shackled. Lord Shiva is also beyond the three modes of nature, but he adopts the mode of ignorance (tama-guna) to efficiently perform his function.

The Personal Associate

Regarding Lord Shiva's glorification of Prahlada Maharaja, now consider Lord Shiva's identity as a transcendental personality - separate from his post.

Sometimes senior Vaisnavas express sincere recognition of the novice, inspiring him or her on the path of devotion. The Vaisnava may say, "Oh, you work so hard and earn money, and with that money you support and nourish me. I have no means at all. I do nothing but visit for a short while, eating, and sleeping at your expense. I would not be able to speak the glories of Lord Krishna at this festival if you had not arranged for the management of all the activities here, so you are superior to me."

Out of sincere humility, gratitude and affection, liberated souls speak in this endearing manner, and at the same time they are fixed in the realization that they are always being personally maintained by the Supreme Lord. The senior Vaisnava has the disciple's personal benefit in mind.

However, Lord Shiva was not speaking for Prahlada Maharaja's benefit, but to acquaint aspiring devotees with the stages of devotion. His desire was to facilitate the service of Shri Narada Muni and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami (*See Endnote 6), whose mission was to establish in the world the sequence of the grades of devotion and ultimately establish the glories of the gopis. Try to understand all these truths, and seek to gradually become firmly situated in bhakti.

Imagine that you are in a market in which there are thousands of varieties of shops. In some of those shops there are products made of iron, in some shops there are products made of gold, in some there are jewels, and in others cintamani (wish-fulfilling stones). An expert is guiding you through all the shops, pointing out different products and revealing which are superior.

If there are a thousand pounds of iron and only one ounce of gold, the gold has more value. On the other hand, many pounds of gold will not amount to the value of one Kaustubha-mani or a similarly precious stone. Millions of such precious jewels cannot compare with a tiny quantity of cintamani, and even millions of cintamani stones cannot compare with one holy name of Lord Krishna.

Now suppose someone is chanting the name of Lord Krishna alone, and another is absorbed in the name of Radha-Ramana. The name Radha-Ramana, meaning Shri Krishna, the enjoyer of pastimes with Shrimati Radharani, has more transcendental taste (rasa) than the name Krishna alone. The person absorbed in that holy name will therefore experience a greater spiritual pleasure.

Regarding the analogy of the shops in a market, that expert tells you, "This shop is good, that shop is better, and this one is the best. Similarly, in his Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami establishes the gradations of excellence of various devotees and their devotion, in order to help his readers determine their spiritual path.

The history of Narada Muni's coming to the abode of Lord Shiva and glorifying him was first narrated in this Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Like Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Narada is also that expert described above. He desired to establish pure bhakti in the world, and therefore he played the role of searching for the greatest devotee and recipient of Lord Krishna's mercy. His search had taken him first to the "shop" of a brahmana in Prayaga, and after that to South India, to the shop of a king. Then he traveled to heaven, where he entered the shop of King Indra, and Indra sent him to the shop of Lord Brahma. Brahma sent him to Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva is now sending him to Prahlada Maharaja. Gradually, Shri Narada will bring us to the greatest recipients of Lord Krishna's mercy, the gopis. In the form of Gopisvara, Lord Shiva is the beloved servant and associate of those gopis.

Once, the great sage Narada Muni traveled to the abode of Lord Shiva and began to glorify him, saying, "You are very near and dear to the Supreme Lord Krishna. Not only that, you are Krishna's manifestation; you are non-different from Him. You can give liberation and also krsna-prema, the rare jewel of transcendental love for Krishna." Hearing Narada glorify him in numerous ways, Lord Shiva became angry and said, "Your glorification of me is false. I am not at all dear to Shri Krishna."

Lord Shiva is actually most dear to Shri Krishna, and therefore Krishna can give him services which He cannot give anyone else. When the demigods and demons were churning the Milk Ocean in order to obtain the nectar of immortality, the first substance produced was a powerful and dangerous poison, burning the entire world. The demigods appealed to Shri Krishna, and He advised them to request Lord Shiva to drink the poison. Thus, they worshiped Lord Shiva and prayed, "Please save us! Only you can protect us!" Lord Shiva collected the poison and took it in his mouth, but he hesitated to swallow it, considering, "Lord Krishna is in my heart. The poison will affect Him." He therefore kept the poison in his throat, which was burned, and his neck turned the color blue.

Now, out of genuine humility, Lord Shiva told Narada: "I want to be His beloved devotee, but actually I am not. You know that I always wear ashes from the burial grounds, and a garland of skulls. All my associates are ghosts and witches, so I am not qualified to be Krishna's dear devotee. If I am so dear to Him, why would He have ordered me to engage with the mode of ignorance in the terrible function of destroying of the universe? If I am such a great recipient of His mercy, why would he have ordered me to become Sankaracarya and preach a philosophy that is adverse to Him?"

Actually, although he expressed otherwise, it was because Shiva is so dear to Krishna that Krishna was able to give him the difficult task of appearing as Sankaracarya. (*See Endnote 7) Many people had been worshiping the Supreme Lord only to fulfill their selfish purposes, thinking, "Simply by our worship of God, He will be pleased with us and satisfy all our worldly desires." They worshiped Him only so that He would rapidly arrange for all of their needs, not to please Him. Lord Krishna thought, "This is very dangerous." He called Lord Shiva and instructed him, "Such false devotees will create great disturbances, so keep them far away from Me. Create a philosophy which teaches, ‘brahma satyam jagan mithya - the Absolute is true, this world is false.' You should preach, ‘All souls are Shiva; all souls are Brahma; all are one. You are brahma, the impersonal Absolute. There is no need to worship any other God; you are the Supreme God.' " Reluctant, Lord Shiva asked Krishna, "Can you please tell someone else to do this? I am not qualified for this service." Krishna replied, "No, you will have to do this. In the entire world, I see no one else who is as capable."

Feeling ashamed, Lord Shiva now told Narada, "At last, I had to agree to follow His order. Appearing as Sankaracarya I preached everywhere, ‘You are brahma, you are brahma, you are the impersonal brahma. The entire world is false.' I am so much regretting this. I know I have committed a great offence by causing so many people to be averse to Lord Krishna. Still, to carry out His order I spread this doctrine. It is clear by the fact that He sometimes gives me such orders that I am not His dearest one."

Cheating the Cheaters

Lord Shiva also expressed to Narada his regret in having given benedictions to Lord Krishna's enemies. To fulfill his Lord's desires, he had given benedictions to demons like Ravana, Vrkasura, Salva and Jayadratha, and thus he had performed many activities that were seemingly opposed to Krishna and krsna-bhakti.

Narada Muni said, "Master, please don't try to mislead me. I know that whatever you do is to please Lord Krishna and to assist Him in His pastimes, for the benefit of all beings. You told me that you have many times given benedictions to His enemies. I know that His enemies, as well as the enemies of His devoted cousins, the Pandavas, worship you for ill-motivated benedictions. I also know that you grant them benedictions. But those benedictions are not foolproof; they always have some loophole. Actually, you cheat these beneficiaries in order to please Lord Krishna. You are undoubtedly His dearest friend."

Shiva and Narada continued to discuss some historical incidents which, according to Shiva, proved that he was not dear to Krishna - but according to Narada, proved the opposite.

A Loophole

The great epic Mahabharata tells of King Jayadratha, one of the many demons who received such a clever benediction from Lord Shiva. Duryodhana, the paternal cousin of the five Pandava brothers, had given his sister Dushala in marriage to King Jayadratha, and therefore the king had also become like a brother-in-law of the Pandavas. Once, Jayadratha tried to kidnap the Pandavas' wife, Draupadi, desiring strongly to make her his own wife. As he forced her onto his chariot, she admonished him, crying, "I am the wife of the Pandavas. When they catch you, they will punish you and kill you!"
Jayadratha's arrogance prevented him from hearing her, and he continued his abduction. Meanwhile, the sage Narada approached the Pandavas and informed them, "Oh, I saw Jayadratha taking away Draupadi, and she was weeping!"

Two of the Pandavas, Bhima and Arjuna, immediately chased after Jayadratha. Bhima dismounted his chariot and ran faster than Jayadratha's horses. With his bow and arrows, Arjuna created a fire that surrounded the chariot of Jayadratha, who was then captured and could not move. Severely beaten by Bhima and arrested by Arjuna, Jayadratha was bound to the chariot and taken to where Yudhisthira Maharaja had been staying with Draupadi.

Bhima and Arjuna spoke to Yudhisthira, their respected senior brother. Bhima urged him, "I want to kill Jayadratha. Please order me to kill him."

In support of Bhima, Arjuna said, "Jayadratha has performed a heinous act and should be killed."

King Yudhisthira replied, "The offense was committed against Draupadi. We should take the case to her, and we will do whatever she orders."

When Jayadratha was brought at the feet of Draupadi, she mercifully told her husbands, "Don't kill him; forgive him. He is our brother-in-law. If you kill him, your cousin-sister will be widowed and she will weep for the rest of her life."

Bhima and Arjuna then approached Lord Krishna and appealed to Him: "What should we do? We have vowed to kill Jayadratha, and now Draupadi tells us to forgive him."

Krishna replied, "For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death."

Arjuna then shaved King Jayadratha's head, leaving five patches of hair, and he shaved one side of his face, leaving the other side unshaven. Jayadratha felt humiliated, and after being released by Bhima and Arjuna he considered it better to have died. He thought, "I will somehow take revenge." Thus absorbed, he went to Gangotri in the Himalayas and undertook a severe type of penance to please Lord Shiva.

After some months he gave up all food, water, and bodily activities, and was about to die. At this point Lord Shiva came before him and asked what boon he wanted as a result of his austerity. Jayadratha replied, "I want revenge against the Pandavas. I want to defeat and kill all of them." Lord Shiva told him, "You can defeat the Pandavas, but only Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva; not Arjuna." Jayadratha said, "If you cannot benedict me to my full satisfaction, then please grant that neither Arjuna nor anyone else will be able to kill me." Lord Shiva replied, "I can grant you this: if your head is severed and falls on the ground, the person who caused this will die immediately. Your life will be saved and your head will rejoin your body. You may be ‘killed' hundreds of thousands of times, but you will not die. On the other hand, if your severed head falls into your father's hands and he throws it on the ground, then you will die." Jayadratha was satisfied, thinking, "My father would never do this."

When the battle of Kuruksetra began, Jayadratha took the side of the Pandavas' enemy, Duryodhana. One evening during the battle, as the sun was setting, Jayadratha's father was absorbed in prayer and making an offering of water to the Sun-god. Arjuna saw this opportune moment. With the skillful release of an arrow, he severed Jayadratha's head from his body and caused it to fall into the hands of his meditating father. Startled and without thought, Jayadratha's father tossed the head on the ground. Then, opening his eyes he exclaimed, "What was that wet thing?" Seeing that he had just thrown his son's head, he began to cry, "Oh my son! Oh my son! You are dead now!"

A Clever Benediction

Envious of Krishna and with a desire for the strength to destroy him, the demon Salva also took shelter of Lord Shiva. He performed a severe type of austerity and ate no more than a handful of ashes daily. After one year, Lord Shiva became pleased with him and asked him to beg for a boon.
Salva begged from Lord Shiva the gift of an airplane, saying, "This airplane should perform as I wish; it should be operated by my mind. On my order it should go to heaven or anywhere I desire. In summer it should be air-conditioned. If there are only two men, there should only be two seats, and if I want to travel with hundreds of thousands of persons, many seats should manifest. It should never crash due to mechanical difficulty, and it should be equipped with all varieties of weapons. It should be dangerous and fearful to the Yadus."

Lord Shiva agreed, and Salva was helped by the demon Maya Danava to manufacture a mystical airplane that began to destroy Dvaraka, Lord Krishna's abode. Salva personally attacked from above, and his soldiers attacked on the ground. Headed by Pradyumna, the Yadu dynasty warriors fought with Salva and his army, but they could not defeat him.

Finally, Lord Krishna personally appeared on the battlefield, and after much intense fighting on both sides and many mystic displays by Salva, the Lord took up His disc, cut off the demon's head, and gave him liberation.

In this way, the benedictions given by Lord Shiva to the enemies of Lord Krishna always have a weak point - a loophole. Lord Shiva is extremely clever, and he is always serving his Lord, Shri Krishna. Narada knew this fact, and he wanted to publicize Lord Shiva's glories. Shiva is very near and dear to Krishna, and non-different from Him. Try to always honor him, for he is Krishna's greatest devotee.

nimna-ganah yatha ganga
devanam acyuto yatha
vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh
purananam idam tatha
[(Just as the Ganga is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Sambhu the greatest of Vaisnavas, so Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the greatest of all Puranas. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.16)]

The Principle of Shiva

The principle of Shiva - Shiva-tattva - is extremely complex. The principle of Brahma is not as complicated, because Lord Brahma is always a jiva, a finite spirit soul. Sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu (Krishna's expansion) personally takes the post of Brahma, but that is rare. Lord Shiva is not like that; he is not a finite soul.

After passing through the eight material coverings, and after crossing the Viraja (the river that divides the material world and the spiritual world) and the planet of Lord Brahma (the highest material planet), one comes to the planet of Shiva. There he is known as SadaShiva, a manifestation of Lord Visnu.

Shiva-tattva can be understood by the analogy of yogurt and milk. Yogurt is nothing but a transformation of milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. This analogy is found in Shri Brahma-Samhita and elucidated in Shrila Jiva Gosvami's commentary: "Just as milk is transformed into yogurt by contact with a transforming agent, Shri Govinda, Lord Shri Krishna, similarly accepts the form of Sambhu (Shiva) in order to accomplish a specific purpose. The example of yogurt is actually given in order to convey the idea of cause and effect, not the idea of transformation. Shri Krishna is reality and cannot be transformed, so it is not possible for Him to undergo any kind of distortion. A wish-fulfilling gem manifests many things according to one's desire, yet its constitutional nature remains untransformed." (*See Endnote 😎

Ramesvara Mahadeva

When Shri Ramacandra was making the bridge to Lanka, he established a Shiva-linga (deity form of Shiva) called Ramesvara. All the common people began glorifying Lord Shiva, shouting, "Ramesvara ki jaya! You are Rama's isvara: you are the lord of Rama." The demigods were unsatisfied by this and announced through an arial voice, "Ramas ca asau isvarah: Rama is God, and Sankara is also God; they are the same." Hearing this, the Shiva-linga broke. Lord Shiva emerged from the linga and told them all, "You are all foolish; you do not know my tattva, the established truths regarding my identity. Rama is my beloved and my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara."

Granting Perfect Love

Gopiswava Mahadeva

Lord Shiva eternally resides in Lord Krishna's abode, Vrndavana, where he manifests many forms to render devotional services to Him. The form of Gopisvara Mahadeva (*See Endnote 9) was manifested by Lord Krishna's desire. When Krishna desired to perform His rasa dance, Shrimati Radhika, the embodiment of His pleasure potency, manifested from His left side and Gopisvara Mahadeva manifested from His right side. The form of Shiva who lives in Kasi or Kailasa in the material world is a partial manifestation of the original SadaShiva in Vrndavana. The many other commonly worshiped forms of Lord Shiva are expansions of SadaShiva. They are not the original. Partial expansions such as Pippalesvara Mahadeva, Bhutesvara Mahadeva, Rangesvara Mahadeva and so on cannot award the benediction that can be attained by the mercy of Gopisvara - the highest perfection of love, namely vraja-prema.

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has composed a prayer in his Vraja-vilasa-stava:

muda gopendrasyatmaja bhuja parisranga nidhaye
sphurad gopirvrndair yam iha bhagavatam pranayibhih
bhajadbhistair bhaktyas vamabhilasitam praptam acirad
yamitire gopisvaram anudinam tah kila bhaje

I daily worship Gopisvara Mahadeva, who is situated on the bank of Yamuna. That very Gopisvara was worshipped with deep devotion by the gopis, and he quickly fulfilled their desire to attain a supremely precious jewel in the form of the embrace of the son of Nanda Maharaja .

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 orginal 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 Shiva - 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.

Prior to this, Lord Shiva had asked Shri Krishna for the boon to witness His childhood pastimes. Krishna ordered him to situate himself in Nandagaon in the form of a hill. Shiva followed this order and became Nandisvara Hill, and he thus became known as Nandisvara. (Lord Brahma became Brahma-parvata, the mountain in Shrimati Radhika's birthplace, Varsana. Because Brahma is so near to Radhika, he is also our Gurudeva.)

We honor Lord Shiva as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. We do not worship him separately. We observe Shiva-ratri, Lord Shiva's appearance day, and we glorify him in connection to his relationship with Shri Krishna. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has written in his Hari-bhakti-vilasa that all Vaisnavas should observe Shiva-caturdasi (Shiva-ratri). Lord Shiva, in whom all good qualities reside, should certainly be honored by the observance of this day.

We offer obeisance to Lord Shiva with prayers like this:

vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma-maule
gopisvara! vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te
(Sankalpa-kalpadruma 103)

O Gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and again.

By Shiva's Benediction

A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Shiva, "I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Lord Shiva 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 (Krishna'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 Shiva, 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, Shiva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend." Thinking of Lord Shiva 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 Shiva 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 Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna 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 Krishna 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 Krishna." That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint.

*[Endnote 1] In the hermitage of Shri Narada Muni, Prahlada Maharaja heard the message of Shrimad-Bhagavatam while within the womb of his mother. From his birth, Prahlad was fixed in transcendental realization of the all-pervading presence of the Supreme Lord, and he preached love of God to his schoolmates at the tender age of five. Despite efforts by his atheistic father to change his nature - efforts that culminated in repeated attempts to kill him by means of administering poison, putting him in boiling oil, tossing him from the top of a cliff and so on - Prahlada continued to experience great joy by remembering Lord Visnu and chanting his holy names. Prahlada was protected by the Supreme Lord in every situation. Finally, Lord Visnu appeared in the form of a half-man, half-lion and killed his demonic father. When offered a benediction by the Lord, Prahlada simply asked for the liberation of his father, as well as that of all conditioned souls. He is honored in this world by all pure devotees.

*[Endnote 2] "Shrila Madhvacarya is the original acarya for those who belong to the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya."(SB 6.1.40.purport) "This Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is also known as the Brahma-sampradaya because the disciplic succession originally began from Brahma. Brahma instructed the sage Narada, Narada instructed Vyasadeva, and Vyasadeva instructed Madhva Muni, or Madhvacarya." (Krishna Introduction).

*[End note 3] "The Vedas say, ‘svadharma-nisthah sata janmabhih puman virincatam eti - One who strictly follows the principles of varnasrama-dharma for at least one hundred births will be rewarded with the post of Lord Brahma.' " (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 5.20.33 purport)

Varnasrama-dharma - the institutions dividing society into four divisions of social life and four occupational divisions of castes.
*[Endnote 4] "At the beginning of Brahma's day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again. Again and again, when Brahma's day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahma's night they are helplessly annihilated." (Bhagavad-gita 8.18-19)

"At the end of the day, under the insignificant portion of the mode of darkness, the powerful manifestation of the universe merges in the darkness of night. By the influence of eternal time, the innumerable living entities remain merged in that dissolution, and everything is silent." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.28)
"The dissolution of the three worlds is effected by the incarnation of darkness, Rudra, represented by the fire of eternal time which blazes over the three worlds. These three worlds are known as Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah (Patala, Martya and Svarga). The innumerable living entities merge into that dissolution, which appears to be the dropping of the curtain of the scene of the Supreme Lord's energy, and so everything becomes silent." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.28 purport)

"It is said that the blazing fire from the mouth of Sankarsana rages for one hundred years of the demigods, or 36,000 human years. Then for another 36,000 years there are torrents of rain, accompanied by violent winds and waves, and the seas and oceans overflow. People forget all these devastations of the worlds and think themselves happy in the material progress of civilization. This is called maya, or ‘that which is not." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.31 purport)

"Thereafter, at the end of the millennium, the Lord Himself, in the form of Rudra, the destroyer, will annihilate the complete creation as the wind displaces the clouds. This creation is very appropriately compared to clouds." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.10.43)

*[Endnote 5] "There are two types of dissolution of the manifested cosmos. At the end of every 4,320,000,000 solar years, when Brahma, the lord of one particular universe, goes to sleep, there is one annihilation. And at the end of Lord Brahma's life, which takes place at the end of Brahma's one hundred years of age, in our calculation at the end of 8,640,000,000 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years, there is complete annihilation of the entire universe, and in both the periods both the material energy called the mahat-tattva and the marginal energy called jiva-tattva merge in the person of the Supreme Lord." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.21 purport)

*[Endnote 6] "Karanodakasayi Visnu is the first incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and he is the master of eternal time, space, cause and effects, mind, the elements, the material ego, the modes of nature, the senses, the universal form of the Lord, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and the sum total of all living beings, both moving and nonmoving." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.6.42)

*[Endnote 7] Lord Shiva was referring to the long history in relation to Shripad Sankaracarya's propagating the concept of the living entities' oneness with God in all respects. Before the appearance of Sankaracarya fifteen hundred years ago, voidist Buddhism, which rejects the Vedas, was prominent in India. Sankaracarya is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the topmost devotee of the Lord. However, in order to drive away Buddhism and re-establish Vedic authority, he had to compromise with the atheistic Buddhist philosophy and preach a non-devotional doctrine.

*[Endnote 8] "In this case the special transforming agent is constituted of a mixture of maya's aspect of the mode of ignorance, the minuteness aspect of the marginal potency, and a slight degree of the combined knowledge (sahvit) and bliss (hladini) aspects of the transcendental potency. The effulgent subordinate controller in the form of Sambhu-linga, being united with this special transforming agent, is constitutionally the semblance of God's expansion." (Brahma-samhita commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

*[Endnote 9] In his original and most pure form, Shiva is eternally Gopisvara Mahadeva. Yet, he performed the following human-like pastime in which he ‘became' Gopisvara:

"Lord Shiva wanted to become a gopi. He performed austerities, and when Paurnamasi Yogamaya became pleased and appeared before him, he prayed to join Krishna's rasa-lila. Paurnamasi mercifully assisted him in dipping in Brahma-kunda, and he immediately assumed the form of a teenage gopi. He then went to the place where rasa-lila was being performed, and hid there in a grove.
"Krishna and the gopis sensed that someone of a different mood had come. They asked each other, ‘Why are you not so happy today? What is the matter?' After searching, they discovered the new gopi and asked ‘her', ‘Who are you? What is your name? Who are your parents? What is your husband's name? Where is your in-laws' house?'

"When Shiva could not reply, they began to slap her so much that her cheeks became swollen and she began to cry, ‘Yogamaya, Yogamaya. Save me. I will never again come to Vrndavana, and I will never dare take part in rasa-lila.' Paurnamasi arrived, and she requested the gopis to show Lord Shiva mercy. ‘She is the object of my mercy,' Paurnamasi told them. The gopis then accepted her as a gopi and Krishna named her Gopisvara (she whose isvaras, controllers, are the gopis). He blessed her to become the guard of the rasa-lila and said, ‘Without the sanction of Gopisvara, no one will be able to enter the rasa-lila.' " (Pinnacle of Devotion)


sb_saraswati_thakur.jpgShrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja
February 13, 2001 - evening lecture

This is the appearance day of jagad-guru Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura, and therefore we are discussing his glories.

Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktisiddhanta-sarasvatiti-namine

In this pranama mantra it is stated: bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the embodiment of bhakti-siddhanta, the personification of the conclusive doctrines of bhakti, manifested as the son of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura there is all the knowledge that Krsna gave to Brahma, Brahma gave to Narada, Narada gave to Vyasa, and thus, by disciplic succession, came through the Rupanuga Vaisnavas down to Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. All the siddhantas, philosophical truths, of the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other scriptures, are embodied in Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. If any person came to argue philosophy with him, that person was at once defeated and was bound to accept his teachings.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati: There are two Sarasvatis. The power of Bramha is Sarasvati, but that Sarasvati is not the real Sarasvati of Goloka Vrndavana. This Siddhanta Sarasvati, however, is the embodiment of para-vidya, transcendental knowledge. Therefore, because of this transcendental knowledge, his name is Shrila Bhakisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. Why Prabhupada? He is Prabhupada in the real sense, because he preached throughout the world the glorification of his Prabhu. Who is his Prabhu? Radha-Krsna Conjugal, or Gauracandra, Gaura-Gadadhara, and Gaura-Nityananda. He preached Their glories everywhere, and therefore he is really Shrila Prabhupada.

Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale

He is very near and dear to Krsna – very near and dear – in that male form. But who is he really? In the second sloka of his pranama mantra it is stated sri varsabhanavi-devi-dayitaya. He is really the eternal maidservant of Shrimati Radhika. He is so very dear to Radhika in his form as Nayana-manjari. As Mahaprabhu's associate he is Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, and as the associate of Radha-Krsna Conjugal he is Nayana-manjari. What is the meaning of the name Nayana-manjari? As one's eyes are very dear to one, Nayana-manjari, who is the personification of the eyes of Shrimati Radhika, is so near and dear to Her. She is always serving Shrimati Radhika.

Thus, he has two forms. One form is as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate, not only in this world but also in Goloka Vrindavana, in Svetadvipa. And, in Vrndavana also, as Nayana-manjari, she serves Shrimati Radhika. You have seen in Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Vilapa-kusumanjali how the manjaris serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal. Nayana-manjari serves Them in those same ways.

Shrila Sarasvati Thakura is krpabdhaye, an endless ocean of mercy. He is the first acarya in the four sampradayas to desire that all the people in the world, all those who have forgotten Krsna, should realize all the truths of bhakti, and they should be helped to become pure devotees. If Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura had not sent his disciples here and there, none of you, in any country, would have met pure devotees. Now, by the mercy of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, through Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and my Gurudeva, krsna-kirtana is everywhere in the world. Everyone knows Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krsna only by their mercy. Shrila Prabhupada had the wish, and then sent his arms here and there. Who are his arms? His disciples, his devotees. They are like arms, and they are preaching everywhere.

We are very fortunate to come in their line, but we should try to be very strong. Sometimes, if you are not in good association, you become weak. It may be that when I return to India, you will become weak. Don't be weak. Always realize that our whole guru-parampara, Radha-Krsna, Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and guru are always with you, and they will help you. Don't give up chanting and remembering Krsna.

Krpabhdaye. He is not called an ocean of mercy only because he gave us harinama. He gave so much more. He brought Goloka Vrndavana. He brought the love and affection of the gopis to this world. If he had not brought all these things, we would never have heard of them. He is therefore an ocean of mercy.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura taught that there are five kinds of knowledge: pratyeksa, paroksa, aparoksa, adhoksaja, and aprakrta. The knowledge of everything we see and realize by our direct experience is called pratyeksa. But this is false.

Then, paroksa. We don't see Svarga, but we believe in it. There is also a history of Svarga. We accept Svarga, although we don't see it. We hear that if a man is a thief, a dacoit, a debauch, and so on, he will have to go to naraka, hell. On the other hand, if he is pious, he will go to Svarga and there he will be very happy. This knowledge is called paroksa.

Then, aparoksa. This is the knowledge taught by Sankarcarya. One day we will have to die, and we will have to give up everything in this world. Our beauty will go, our body will go, whatever we are collecting will go, and everything else will go. We cannot take anything, neither our pennies nor our pens, from this world. So why are we collecting all these bogus things? Why? An intelligent person thinks about this and becomes detached, but a bogus, foolish person remains attached to sense gratification. He desires only to make his body very beautiful and strong. Nowadays there is a competition for Miss India, Miss America, Miss World, and also Miss Universe. After one year, will Miss India again be selected as Miss India or Miss World? Rather, all will neglect her.

Although engaged in chanting and remembering, many devotees are also engaged in sense gratification, and they cannot give up lust. This is Maya. Therefore, Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura sent his qualified devotees everywhere, to make those weak devotees strong. He wanted to encourage them and say, "You should remember Krsna." It is for this reason that he has sent his arms. I am also coming. He has ordered me to do so. His disciple, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, has ordered me. My Svamiji Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has ordered me. So you should not be weak – never and never.

Then, adhoksaja. What is adhoksaja? Adhoksaja is Vaikuntha, that place where there is no kala, time. There is only the eternal present. There is no birth and death, and no suffering and sorrow. Nothing bad is there. In that abode there is so much opulence, and everyone there prays to Narayana.

There is something higher than this, however. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has taught that this most superior truth is called aprakrta. Aprakrta is that realm where Vraja-lila is performed. Krsna is sometimes like a baby there. There He is controlled by His father and mother, He is controlled by His beloved gopis, and He is controlled by His friends. No one can ever imagine such very, very sweet pastimes. We should try to know this aprakrta. We should try to serve this aprakrta Krsna who is with so many gopis, with His father and mother, with His sakhas, and with all His cows and very sweet cowherding pastimes. This is the aim and object of our life: service to this Krsna. This is aprakrta-jnana.

Krsna sambandha-vijnana dayine prabhave namah. In this world we have a relationship with our father and mother and our immediate family. We think, "She is my mother, he is my father, and he is my brother." But we are not satisfied with that. We want to be a husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, but still we are not satisfied.

From where have these relationships come? They have come from Goloka Vrndavana. There is actually only one relationship – with Krsna. He is not a father there. He is like a friend, like a baby, or like a beloved. In the constitutional form of our soul there is a relationship with Krsna. We have now forgotten this due to Maya, but we have a relationship. All the relationships of these bodies are false and temporary. They remain only for some days, but the relationship in our constitutional form is eternal.

We want love. We first loved our mother, then our father, then our brothers, then other relatives, and then our neighbors. But we were never satisfied. Then we collected wives or husbands, and when we were not satisfied, we got divorced and changed the old ones for new ones. But still we were not satisfied. You cannot be satisfied. No one can ever be satisfied. When you meet with Krsna and serve Him, then you will be satisfied. This is a transcendental relationship, and this relationship is given by guru. Prabhupada gave this, and this relationship will be forever. It was for this end that he gave the mantra klim krsnaya govindaya.

Madhuryojjvala premadya sri rupanuga bahaktida. He explained all these truths. He actually came only to give this madhuryojjvala-prema, this gopi-prema, which Shrila Rupa Goswami has written about in his books and which Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world only to give – the relationship of Krsna as our beloved. He came only to give this and nothing else. Shrila Prabhupada has written in his articles: "I came only to give this, but my whole time was spent in cutting jungles." Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja also did this in Western countries. He came to this world to give love and affection for Krsna, but to whom could he give it? He was preaching to unqualified people, and therefore he wanted to make a platform for this love, by cutting the jungles of atheist and mayavada misconceptions. He thus fertilized the field by ploughing and cutting jungles, and most of his time went into this. He could not preach as he wanted, but he stored so many deep truths about gopi-prema in his books.

Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also did this. In Radha kunda, in his last days, he said that if anyone is only cutting jungles, cutting the arguments of mayavadis and so on, and not accepting the mood of the gopis as taught by Rupa Gosvami, not doing worship of Radha-Krsna Conjugal, not following the line of Rupa Gosvami, then even their chanting will not be sufficient to help them. After some time they will become weak and give up all devotional practices. Then they will become nirvisesavadis and mayavadis, as so many are now becoming.

Shri rupanuga bhaktida. Shrila Prabhupada descended to this world, and all our disciplic acaryas also came, only for preaching this rupanuga Vaisnavism. But they had no time. From the beginning, therefore, I was very alert to avoid cutting jungles because our guru varga had already cut them down. I considered that I must do something affirmative. I therefore accepted this and I preached it from the beginning. Now, however, coming to the Western countries, I began to think, "To whom shall I tell?" Now I also have to cut down some jungles. When I am in Vrndavana or Navadvipa, however, I mainly speak about the high class of sweet pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krsna.

So, Shrila Prabhupada was like an ocean of madhuryojjvala-prema. He wanted to distribute it, and he distributed it. If he did not, then from where have we collected these things? All glories to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. All glories to all his associates. All glories to Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. All glories to all of you devotees.

Gaura premanande, Hari Hari bol.


He Kept His Life In His Hands

This year, 2019, February 21 and 22 is the appearance day of Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the initiating and sannyasa guru of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the god-brother and sannyasa guru of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. In honor of this most auspicious day, please accept this lecture spoken by Shrila Narayana Maharaja in Murwillumbah, Australia, February 9, 2004

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of my spiritual master, om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I have seen with my own eyes how he used to observe Vyasa-puja on his birthday, by offering respects to all other Vaisnavas – especially to senior Vaisnavas, but also to juniors.

The backbone of bhakti is guru-nistha (strong faith in one's spiritual master), and those who have no guru-nistha can never develop in Krishna consciousness. We have seen his guru-nistha. He wanted to glorify his Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, but he became overwhelmed simply by beginning to utter the word 'Prabhupada'. He would begin to weep loudly, and then he would call upon us (Shrila Vamana Maharaja, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, myself and others) by some signal to glorify his Gurudeva. Having heard from him about his relationship with his Gurudeva, we glorify him in connection with his absorption in his Gurudeva's service.

This is also the way in which we glorify Lord Krishna. What is the glorification of Krishna? It is the glorification of His associates – especially the gopis, and especially Shrimati Radhika. If one glorifies Shrimati Radhika, Krishna is automatically glorified. Similarly, if Parama-gurudeva (Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada) is glorified, the glory of our Gurudeva will come; it is bound to come.

It may be that the liberated guru is not liberated in the eyes of his god-brothers, but in the eyes of the disciple he is the direct representative of Shri Krishna Himself. The disciple will always have strong faith that, "My Gurudeva is a special representation or manifestation of Krishna. We have heard everything from him."

What is the symptom of a disciple who has guru-nistha? He will give proper respect even to a dog that is related to his Guru. If he does not give proper respect to everyone related to his guru, whether they are initiated or not, if he has no regard and honor for them, then his honor for his guru is actually only a show. He has no real guru-nistha.

I have seen how my Gurudeva served the mission and mood of his Gurudeva. This service is called guru mano-bhista seva.

sri caitanya-mano bhistam sthapitam yena bhutale
svayam rupa kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam

["When will Shri Rupa Gosvami give me the shelter of his lotus feet? Because he understood the innermost desire of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world and is very dear to the Lord." (Shri Prema-bhakti-candrika, by Narottama dasa Thakura)]

Always have this kind of nistha towards your spiritual diksa-guru and siksa-guru. The diksa-guru may also be siksa-guru. If your diksa and siksa-guru are the same personality, this is very good. In some cases a separate siksa-guru is needed, as the disciple cannot always reveal his thoughts to the diksa-guru because of a mood of great awe and reverence (sambhrama-bhava). With the siksa-guru there is visrambha-bhava (a mood of intimacy). In visrambha-bhava, the disciple may even quarrel with Gurudeva – for Gurudeva, for his service. Sometimes we used to quarrel with our Gurudeva, for his service, and this is a symptom of guru-nistha. Another symptom is always offering respect to superiors – especially to god-brothers. Nowadays, I see that god-brothers quarrel with each other. They do not want to be together to glorify their Guru.

Gurudeva used to observe Vyasa-puja according to the book discovered by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and edited by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In that book there is an explanation of the seven groups with five personalities in each group (the seven pancakas), to be worshiped by the acarya on his birthday.

These seven groups are guru-parampara-pancaka (guru, parama-guru, paratpara-guru, paramesthi-guru, and param-paramesthi guru), Krishna-pancaka (Shri Krishna, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha.), sanakadi-pancaka (Four Kumaras and Visvaksena), vyasa-pancaka (Shrila Vyasadeva, Jaimini Rsi, Paila Rsi, Vaisampayana Rsi, Sumantu Rsi), Vaiyasaki-pancaka (Sukadeva Gosvami and the four sampradaya acaryas.), panca-tattva pancaka (Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, and Shrivasa Pandita) and upasya-pancaka (Radha-Krishna, Gaura Gadadhara, Guru).

We should try to have regard for all acaryas of the four sampradayas, the four guru-paramparas: Ramanuja, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya, and the four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and Sanandana). We should have regard for Shri Panca-tattva, and especially for Shri Gaura-Gadadhara, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna and Shri Gurudeva. Try to follow all the details of this worship.

Gurudeva used to say, "On my birthday I should give proper honor to all guru-parampara acaryas, god-brothers, and all senior Vaisnavas." What I have and what I am preaching is not coming from me. It is not that I am so intelligent or that I am preaching – the credit belongs to my Gurudeva. By the mercy of my Gurudeva I know the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Rupa-Sanatana, Shri Rupa-Raghunatha and other guru-parampara acaryas. I was sinking in the well of worldly activities in material existence, but he took my sikha and dragged me, and he mercifully engaged me in his service – fully, not partly. He did not tell me, "You should be a householder." He dragged me and engaged me. Sometimes desires outside the realm of pure devotion came in my mind, and I asked him, "How can I be saved?" He answered, "Don't worry; I will save you. If one is sincere, Guru and Krishna mercifully save him. So don't worry."

When he would perform his Vyasa-puja, he would first worship his Gurudeva, and then he would give proper honor to all Vaisnavas and especially seniors. During his manifest presence there were no seniors, because he was the senior-most. He joined the movement of Shrila Prabhupada and became a disciple in 1916, so he was senior to others. Only five or six had joined before him, like Narahari prabhu, Bhakti-vilasa Tirtha Maharaja and a few others like the brother of Vasudeva, Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja. At that time, when Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura would do arati, my Guru-Maharaja would ring the bell and Narahari prabhu was also there.

At that time there was no Shri Chaitanya Matha. Instead there were many Muslim graves and Muslim influences.*[See Endnote 1] My Guru-Maharaja came in the night, took out all the graves and threw them away. On that same night he planted a large garden of mango trees and flowers. On the next morning, when the Muslims came to do their Namaz, they exclaimed, "Oh, Where is our place?"

Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was very happy because Guru Maharaja used to give his life and soul to fulfill Prabhupada's desires, which is very difficult for most disciples to do. Sometimes a disciple does not obey his guru. Guru says, "Don't do this," for the betterment of that very fellow, and yet that disciple rejects his guru's order. This is not a symptom of guru-nistha. We should give our life to serve his every word. Our Gurudeva always used to 'keep his life in his hands' (a Hindi expression meaning 'to be prepared to give one's life') for the purpose of Shrila Prabhupada. He even went to jail for him.

Once a person tried to defame Prabhupada *[See Endnote 2] by writing, "He is a tattva-jnani (knower of philosophy) and not a rasika-bhakta (knower of Krishna's sweet pastimes). He does not know the taste of mango; he simply sucks the seed. As there is no taste in a seed, concentrating on philosophy without absorption in Krishna's confidential pastimes is tasteless. He is like that, so he is a tattva-jnani. He does not know Shri Rupa-Raghunatha's line and he does not know the Krishna-prema of the gopis. He writes about tattva-jnana, and he is preaching that everywhere".

They were blind. They never actually saw him. By what his disciple, my Gurudeva, preached to me and others, you can realize his position. He preached under the cover of tattva-jnana. He did not expose the confidential secrets of Krishna's pastimes and the philosophy behind them. He preached this to qualified persons, and he kept the highest truths of Krishna consciousness covered from others.

My Gurudeva wrote against those persons, and for that reason they filed a court case against him. They managed to get big, qualified advocates to plea that Guru Maharaja should be put in jail. Our Gurudeva then engaged an advocate from the high court in Calcutta, and those persons were obliged to apologize.

By the grace of our Gurudeva, when I was in Mathura, I was the editor, writer, translator, and manager for his monthly magazine called Bhagavat-patrika. I published it alone. I used to translate Shrila Prabhupada's articles, Gurudeva's articles, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's articles, and other articles.

Someone once wrote in a publication of the Nimbarka sampradaya*[See Endnote 3] that when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met with Kesava Kasmiri, Kesava Kasmiri defeated Him and gave Him the gopala-mantra. Shriman Mahaprabhu was thus the disciple of Kesava Kasmiri.

This publication came to me and I showed it to my Gurudeva. His face at once became red, he became angry and he ordered me to get a piece of paper. He then dictated to me that there was no Nimbarka in our history, and no books of Nimbarka. He said that Shrila Jiva Gosvami and our other Gosvamis, Shri Madhavacarya, Shri Ramanuja, Shrila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami and all other previous acaryas never wrote about anyone named Nimbarka acarya. The followers of this false person used to say that Nimbarka Acarya lived at the time of Krishna. If that were true, why have none of the acaryas written about him? Sankaracarya never wrote about him and Shrila Jiva Gosvami never wrote about him in his Sandarbhas. Thus there was no person named Nimbarka – this false person's followers had invented a story.

Guru Maharaja explained from the evidence in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta that Kesava Kasmiri came to Navadvipa and was defeated by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and then he received some teaching from the Lord. Gurudeva wrote: "The mentality 'I will conquer the whole world' is not the teaching of vidya, knowledge." Our paper was sent to those persons involved in writing the misinformed article, after which they became quite furious. "Oh, there is no Nimbarka?!" They challenged, and they filed a case in court for defamation. Our Guru Maharaja replied, "I will prove my statements, so you should file a suit for one million rupees for defamation. You should go to court, and I am also coming. I am ready and will prove my points." He proved all his points and the opponents apologized. They promised, "In the future we will never write like this."

If one wants to have guru-nistha, he should read my Guru Maharaja's biography and philosophy. This book has been appreciated all over the world. In this biography I have tried to bring all the teachings of our acaryas. If you read it, you will be able to understand what is guru-nistha and what was the greatness of my Guru Maharaja. Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja did not take sannyasa from him as a formality. He knew all the principles and philosophy of pure devotional service. Since the time he joined the temple he had so much honor for Guru Maharaja, for he saw what he was doing for Prabhupada. He did not take sannyasa from him accidentally or to complete a formality.

Our Guru Maharaja took sannyasa from Parama-pujyapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja. Even though Shrila Shridhara Maharaja joined the mission of their Gurudeva after him, he was an elevated philosopher, a knower of the established truths of bhakti, and his very name, Bhakti Raksaka, means "protector of devotion". He has also extensively glorified our Gurudeva. To teach other devotees, they used to hold meetings and defeat each other's arguments in philosophy. Parama-pujapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja would establish one thing and Guru Maharaja would defeat all his arguments, and then at the next moment Shrila Shridhara Maharaja would defeat all the arguments of our Gurudeva. The entire audience would hear them, enjoy their discussions, and in this way learn so much philosophy.

All the sannyasis of Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had great regard for our Gurudeva. When Shrila Shridhara Maharaja came to Mayapura for the first time, his name was Ramananda Brahmacari. He saw a young boy of about twenty years old sitting on a chair under the shade of a jackfruit tree and keeping his feet on the table and hands joined together. Shrila Shridhara Maharaja saw from a distance that the young brahmacari was wearing white cloth, not saffron cloth, and he was sitting in a very relaxed manner. At that time senior and very qualified sannyasis would come and offer him their obeisances, and they would ask him questions. Staying in the same position, not getting up to offer them obeisances, he would answer. Then, again offering him their obeisances, they would leave.

Pujyapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja told this story to me personally. He told me that he asked the devotees present there at that time, "Who is this young boy in white dress, to whom even sannyasis in saffron cloth are offering obeisances? Who is it that, in the same position, is answering their questions and they are leaving very satisfied?" Someone replied, "He is Vinoda-babu. He managed the complete Mayapura premises, and now there is no longer any influence of Muslims." If you want to know more, you can read his biography and learn what an influential and great acarya he was.

At the time of parikrama, I saw that when an editorial article was needed, Parama-pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja would wait with paper and pen – to know what Guru Maharaja wanted to write. Guru Maharaja would be surrounded by thousands of persons at that time, so at the same time he would dictate the required article and also talk with those persons.

If we would write any article, we would have to look at so many books for reference, and we would have to carefully think and consider. But Guru Maharaja had no need to think. Although continually interrupted by others, he would speak and Shrila Vamana Maharaja, who was qualified like Shrila Vyasadeva's divine scribe Ganesha, would take the dictation.

Read the biography and learn how to respect others and obey the bona fide and transcendental Gurudeva. Don't wonder, "Is what my Gurudeva telling wrong or right?" You may test him before the time of initiation, not after. If he says, "Jump in the ocean" and you can do so, that is good. We have seen so many qualified devotees like Ananta Vasudeva and Sundarananda Vinoda prabhu who were vastly learned; but they left their Gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, because they were thinking, "Is what he is telling right or not?" They thought that he was not qualified for raganuga-bhajana and thus offended him. They took poison and went to hell, and one of them literally took poison.

Try to think about these activities of my Guru Maharaja and be a disciple like him. If Gurudeva tells his disciple to give his life and soul to him, he should do that at once – like Hanuman, who gave himself for the service of Shri Ramacandra. The disciple thinks that Gurudeva should not tell him to do this, however. He does not understand that whatever Gurudeva says is for his benefit.
So today is his birthday and we are going to celebrate Vyasa-puja – guru-puja. We will do so in the way that was introduced in our sampradaya by Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Gaura premanande
[The following is from the book "Acarya Kesari Shri Shrimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami - His Life and Teachings" by Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja:

Endnote 1 – "After Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered aprakata-lila and His lilas became unmanifest, the Bhagavati Ganga changed course many times. Places that had once been in Mayapura were relocated to the relatively high ground of the west bank. The extensive town of Nadiya (Navadvipa), which had previously been on the east bank, became situated on the Ganga's west bank, and the east bank became a deserted, desolate place. During the reign of the yavanas (Muslims), all the sacred places of the Hindus were destroyed, temples were demolished and the names of the places of Mahaprabhu's pastimes were changed. The temples at the birthplaces of Shri Rama in Ayodhya and Shri Krishna in Mathura were razed, and mosques were erected on their foundations. Their names were changed to Phaijabad and Mominabad. Similarly, the Muslims changed the name of Shriman Mahaprabhu's birthplace from Mayapura to Miyampur. Later, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, the birthplace of Shri Gaura, and again called it Shridhama Mayapura. In this way the name Shridhama Mayapura once more became known to the world.

"Besides changing the name of Shridhama Mayapura, the Muslims had also made a graveyard on the huge courtyard of Candrasekhara Bhavan, which was very close to Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, and this was still there when Shri Vinodabihari became manager of Shri Chaitanya Matha. He could not tolerate this atrocity and acted fearlessly and boldly. One night, while all were asleep, he had all the graves in the graveyard dug up and placed elsewhere. In their place he had large, beautiful trees and foliage planted and overnight he made a beautiful park with a wall all around it for protection. The next morning everyone was astounded at what had taken place. The local Muslims reported it to the police and filed a case in court. But police officials and governmental investigators could not find any trace of the graveyard; they saw only an old garden. In this way the devotees reclaimed Candrasekhara Bhavan and no one was able to stop them. For this pious act the name of Shri Vinodabihari Brahmacari will be written in golden letters in the history of India."

[Endnote 2 – "On another occasion, members of the sahajiya-sampradaya of Bengal wrote essays full of apasiddhanta, opposing Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta. Shrila Gurudeva argued with them in a similar way, using abrasive words. The opposition party actually presented a lawsuit in court against Shrila Gurudeva and other devotees, including the editor of Shri Gaudiya Patrika. However, when they were faced with Shrila Gurudeva's train of thought, they also had to bow their heads in defeat. They begged him for forgiveness in the court of law and thereafter avoided him. For these reasons, Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktisaranga Gosvami Maharaja, who was Shrila Gurudeva's dear Godbrother and a leader of the Gaudiya community, decorated Shrila Gurupadapadma with the title 'Pasanda-Gajaikasimha,' the lion who vanquishes the elephants of heresy.']

[Endnote 3 – "Some time in 1956, Shrila Gurudeva came to Mathura to see Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. At that time followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya in Vrndavana used to publish a spiritual journal called Shri Sudarsana. In one issue they cast aspersions on Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, saying that He was a disciple of Kesava Kasmiri. In other editions they insolently dared to claim that Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas such as Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were in the Nimbarka sampradaya. When I showed these editions to Shrila Gurudeva, he became extremely angry and immediately had a short essay written for Shri Bhagavata Patrika. The headline was 'Shri Nimbaditya and Nimbarka are not the same person.' The purport of his headline is as follows.

"'Nowhere in the scriptures is there any mention of a Nimbarka sampradaya. The Puranas mention a vaisnava-acarya called Shri Nimbaditya, and the Catuhsana (the four Kumaras) have accepted this Nimbaditya Acarya as their sampradaya-acarya in the age of Kali. However, Nimbarka Svami is a completely different person. Nimbaditya was a disciple of Naradaji at the end of Dvapara-yuga, but Nimbarka Acarya appeared much more recently. Great and eminent authors of scripture such as Shrila Jiva Gosvami have mentioned the names of the prominent acaryas of all the other sampradayas, but they have not mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya anywhere.

"'The Nimbarka sampradaya currently uses the Parijata-bhasya which was written, not by Nimbaditya Acarya, but rather by Shrinivasa Acarya and Kesava Kasmiri. These two wrote this scripture and then preached that it had been written by their guru. The scriptures of the Six Gosvamis mention the names of acaryas such as Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhva, Shri Visnu Svami, Shri Nimbaditya and Shri Vallabha Acarya. If the Nimbarka sampradaya had existed even to a slight extent at that time, then they would most certainly have mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya as well. None of the other sampradaya acaryas, such as Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhva, Shri Visnu Svami and so on have mentioned Nimbarka Acarya's name in any of the scriptures that they have written.'

"When this essay was published in Shri Bhagavata Patrika, the office directors of the Sudarsana journal announced that they were making arrangements to prosecute for slander. Shrila Gurudeva replied firmly, "We will prove each and every word that we have written on the basis of evidence supported by sastra." When the prosecution party heard about Shrila Gurudeva's immense scriptural knowledge and his profound personality, they became absolutely silent, and from that day onwards they did not dare to write any more nonsense.]


narosrinirama.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Bali, Indonesia
February 22, 1997

This year, 2019, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura’s appearance day is on February 19 (in India). We are hereby sending you a lecture that Shrila Gurudeva gave in Bali in 1997 on his appearance day. Click here to hear the soundfile:





Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, who is one of the solid and strong pillars of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching. After the generation of the Six Gosvamis and Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama Thakura, Shyamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya became the leaders of the Vaishnavas in Bengal. They took all the books of the Six Gosvamis and other authentic Vaishnava literatures and preached all over Bengal. Especially, Narottama Thakura preached in Eastern India, in such places as Assam and Manipura.


Shrila Narottama Thakura was a prince. He was the son of very famous king in that area. From childhood he had impressions of pure devotion and wanted to cultivate them. He therefore went to Vrndavana, where he heard about the glory of Shri Jiva Gosvami and became attracted to him. Together with Shyamananda and Shrinivasa, he studied all the sastras from Jiva Gosvami – Vedanta-sutra, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and especially the Six Sandarbhas. In this way, the three of them became learned in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Gaudiya siddhantas.

Shyamananda Prabhu was a disciple of Hridayananda of Kalna, yet he joined in to hear the lectures of Shri Jiva Gosvami, and he treated him more like his guru than his Gurudeva, Shri Hridayananda. Shri Narottama Thakura also studied in the school of Shri Jiva Gosvami. Jiva Gosvami personally told him to take initiation from Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and he told Shrinivasa Acarya to take initiation from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In those days there were no restrictions as there are today. Everyone was free to associate with topmost Vaishnavas.

In fact, gurus would advise their disciples: "Take the association of these most exalted Vaishnavas, and in this way you will develop your Krsna consciousness." There was no caste consciousness as there is today: "Don't go to other Vaishnavas, even though they may be very high-class. This is our party, and that is their party, and that is the other group's party." At that time there was no party spirit at all; everyone belonged to the family of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All used to hear from all.

Jiva Gosvami had such a pure heart, free from any envy, that he told Narottama Thakura and Shrinivasa Acarya to take initiation from these two high-class Vaishnavas. They had made up their minds to take initiation from Jiva Gosvami, but he told them: "Oh, they are my seniors. You will be more benefited by taking their shelter." We are not pure enough to speak in this way to our subordinates. Our hearts are not so improved.

Thus, Jiva Gosvami sent them to those two great Vaishnavas – but the two had vowed to not make any disciples.

The pastimes of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami have not been told in Chaitanya-caritamrta or in any other book. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was such a topmost elevated Vaishnava that he warned Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and other writers: "If you want my mercy, then do not glorify me or write my name in your books." When they assured him of this, only then did he give his blessings and tell them: "Your books will be successfully completed. Krsna's mercy will be on you." It is for this reason that these great Vaishnava authors have not mentioned his name. They obeyed him; they followed his order.

One day, by the order of Jiva Gosvami, a very beautiful prince, that boy Narottama, came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and took his foot-dust. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami asked him: "Who are you?"

Narottama replied, "I am a very wretched person, a fallen boy. I want to take shelter of your lotus feet. Please initiate me."

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami flatly refused. He told Narottama, "You can go to any famous Vaishnava and take his shelter. I am a worthless person. I don't know how to do bhajana. I only eat, drink, and sleep. I do not engage in bhakti. It is better that you go to any learned and qualified person."

Narottama dasa Thakura requested again and again, but Lokanatha das Gosvami remained grave and refused to initiate him. Although Narottama dasa Thakura left at that time, he began to think how he could possibly get initiation from this maha-bhagavata.

Narottama dasa was very worried, and began to think how to please him. He began to clean the place where Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was passing stool in the forest. He thus cleaned regularly, every night, and he also cleaned the path to that place. Once, in a very dark night, at about midnight, Lokanatha dasa Gosvami caught hold of the hand of this boy and asked him, "Who are you, and why are you doing this?" Narottama dasa Thakura began to weep bitterly and replied, "Because I want to please you."

"Oh, you are very pure devotee. What do you want?"

"I only want to be initiated by you." Narottama dasa again began to weep.

On seeing the boy's devotion Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was at once moved and accepted him. He told him, "Please come to me after taking bath in the Yamuna."

The next morning Narottama took bath and came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, who initiated him into the krsna-mantra (gopala-mantra), klim krsnaya svaha, and the kama-gayatri, klim kamadevaya. He gave him these two mantras and advised him: "Don´t go anywhere. Be seated here with me in my bhajana kutira." He built a hut for him, right next to his own, and said, "Always remain here with me, chant harinama, and hear from me." Narottama dasa did as he was told.

One day at midday, when the sun was very hot, a thirsty farmer came and asked Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, "Please give me some water, or give me some rope and a bucket so that I can pull water from the well." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami did not replay; perhaps he did not even see that person, as he was quite absorbed in his bhajana. Because Lokanatha dasa Gosvami could not hear him, the farmer went to the next hut and asked Narottama: "Oh, young babaji, can you give me some water?" Narottama came out and gave him some water. Thus, the farmer was satisfied and went away.

Later, Lokanath dasa Gosvami called Narottama and said "You don´t know what is bhajana? Krsna is personally His name; there is no difference at all between them."

nama cintamanih krsnas
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh

["The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical." (Padma Purana)]

"In some ways the name is even superior to Krsna. You don´t know this truth? You are serving Krsna (chanting or remembering Krsna means serving Him), but you were thinking that the service of chanting harinama is inferior to giving water to a thirsty person; that is why you served him. You have no belief that Krsna can quench his thirst. Krsna can give anything, but you have no faith in Him. So, return at once to your home. Become qualified there, and then you can come back. At present you are not qualified."

One should have strong faith in Krsna's name. You know the strong faith of Haridasa Thakura? He was whipped in twenty-two market places and his skin and muscles became shredded, but he never left his chanting of harinama.

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami thus ordered Narottama dasa Thakura, "Leave this place." Hearing this Narottama began to weep bitterly. Although Lokanatha das Gosvami had a very soft heart, like a flower, he desired auspiciousness for Narottama dasa, and so he became hard like a stone. It was for Narottama's welfare that he said, "Go from here."

Narottama das Thakura was not an ordinary devotee. He was an associate of Shrimati Radhika Herself, and in his manjari form he is Vilasa-manjari. He was playing a role only, to give inspiration to devotees.

He was weeping and returned to his home, but he realized everything. In fact, he began to chant and sing in such a way that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with all His associates would come to listen to his classes and his singing. He sang pathetically, with tears in his eyes and a choked voice, "Krsna Krsna Hare Hare," and [Lalasmayi Prarthana (Songs of the Vaishnava Acaryas)]:

'gauranga' bolite ha'be pulaka-sarira
'hari hari' bolite nayane ba'be nira

["When will that time come that my hairs will stand on end upon singing the name Gauranga? When will my eyes overflow with tears as I chant the holy names of "Hari Hari?"]

ara kabe nitai-cander karuna hoibe
samsara-vasana mora kabe tuccha ha'be

["And when will the moon of Nityananda Prabhu bestow His mercy on me? When will material desires become small and insignificant?"]

visaya chadiya kabe suddha ha'be mana
kabe hama herabo sri-vrndavana

["When will I renounce material enjoyment and my mind will become purified? When will I see the cinmaya svarupa of Shri Vrndavana?"]

rupa-ragunatha-pade hoibe akuti
kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti

["When will I eagerly follow the path of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? By their instructions I will be able to understand the divine love of Shri Radha and Krsna."

rupa-raghunatha-pade rahu mora asa
prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa

["My only aspiration is to attain the lotus feet of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. This is Narottama dasa's constant prayer."]

He sang kirtana along with mrdanga, and each word of his kirtana was uttered by his mrdanga. The mrdanga sounded like the singing of Narottama himself, although it was actually the sweet sound was coming from his mrdanga. Narottama's mood was such that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Vakresvara Pandita, Shrivasa Pandita, and all of Mahaprabhu's associates appeared and began to dance with Narottama Thakura, and when he stopped his kirtana, they at once disappeared. The thousands of devotees present there were astonished. When he was singing about Shri Radha and Krsna, Radha-Krsna personally came to hear, with all of Their associates, and Krsna was playing beautiful songs on His flute.

Thus, in a few years Narottama dasa Thakura preached all over East Bengal, Assam, and Manipura.

He hailed from the village Kheturi; he was born and brought up there, and his father and uncle were living there. His father was a big king. Narottama dasa Thakura manifested six Thakuras (Deities) there, namely Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Madana-mohana, Radha-Vamsidhari, Radha-Giridhari, and Radha-Vallabhi-kanta.

He also organized a great festival that became famous in the Gaudiya-Vaishnava history. Shrimati Jahnava-devi (who is Ananga-manjari in krsna-lila), the wife of Nityananda Prabhu, was elected as president. All accepted her like their preceptor, including Shrila Jiva Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

When Virabhadra, the son of Nityananda Prabhus wife Vasudha, became sixteen years old, he wanted to take initiation, but he could not find any person whom he considered qualified. Someone told him, "Why are you not taking the shelter of Shrimati Jahnava-devi and being initiated by her?" He said, "She is a lady; I don't want to be initiated by a lady." Then, one early morning, Shrimati Jahnava-devi was pulling water from a well to take a shower, when Viracandra came to take some advice from her for some necessary work. He saw her pulling out water from the well half naked, with just a towel covering the lower half her body. Both of them were ashamed to see each other in this circumstance, even though she was an elderly and like a mother to him. Shrimati Jahnava-devi at once manifested four-arms, with two pulling water from the well and the other two covering her breasts. Astonished, Virabhadra immediately he fell flat at her lotus feet and begged her to forgive his offences. He told her, "I have nothing more to do. I want to take initiation from you right now. You are my guru."

So Shrimati Jahnava-devi is a very exalted personality, the power (sakti) of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and she serves Radha-Krsna in Their conjugal love in the form of Ananga-manjari. Therefore, she was elected as the supreme leader of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. At this festival, all prominent Vaishnavas of that time came together, like Shri Shyamananda Prabhu, Shri Shrinivasa Acarya and hundreds of thousands of other devotees. It was one the biggest festivals in the history of Vaisnavism.

All present were charmed on hearing the sweet songs of Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, and all of them were blessed with the darsana of Shri Radha Krsna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who came to hear these sweet melodies.

Narottama dasa Thakura was the best devotee of his time. He is an associate of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in fact he is a manifestation of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Shri Lokanatha dasa Gosvami is also an associate of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna, by the name of Manjulali-manjari. By sending Narottama Thakura back to his village, he played a trick, and by this trick he sent Narottama dasa Thakura to preach all over the world. Had he not done so, no such preaching would have been done; all preaching would have been destroyed. If he had continued to request Narottama to sit and chant harinama in his kutira, there would not have been such great preaching.

You can also look at the example of Shri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja was a follower of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. He never wanted name, fame, or anything like this. He always chanted harinama and used to sing in the deepest of moods, with tears in his eyes: "Oh Radhe, Prema-mayi Radhe Radhe, Govinda, where are You?"

gosai eka-bara dake radha-kunde
abara dake syama-kunde, radhe radhe

[...sometimes at Radha-kunda, sometimes at Syama-kunda.]

gosai eka-bara dake vrndavane
eka-bara dake bandhirvane

Gosai in this connection refers to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja could not live without remembering Shrimati Radhika, always calling out: "Oh Radhe, where are You, where are You?" Rolling down on the earth, he cried:

he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah
sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vanye kutah
gosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

["I am doing vandana to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, "O Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavan! Where are You? O Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you? Are you seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Shri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?" They were always lamenting, overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala." (Shri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, verse 8)]

Sometimes in Vrndavana and sometimes in Radha-kunda, he was weeping and rolling on the ground, crying bitterly: "Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! If You do not give me Your mercy, I shall die at once." He used to do this kind of bhajana, nirjana-bhajana, in solitary places.

He also made a vow not to initiate anyone, but Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had vowed, "I will not take initiation from anyone but Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, otherwise I will die." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had to become a mediator between them. He asked Babaji Maharaja, "What is your duty towards the conditioned souls?"

"To give them mercy."

"Then why you are not giving your mercy to this boy? He is going to die!"

By the persuasion of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he agreed and gave initiation to this one person only, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He ordered him, "Never go to Kali." Kali means Kolkata. But when Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was initiated and took sannyasa, even before he took sannyasa, he first went to Kolkata. There he started his preaching, and gradually he preached all over India and the world.

Did he disobey his spiritual master by going to Kolkata? Can anyone claim this? Whoever will speak like this is committing a grave offence. What he did was a great service to his spiritual master. He glorified him all over the world by doing so. Had he not done so, we would not know about Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Krsna. You and I and millions of devotees gather today only due to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's mercy, which he received from his guru, Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached in Western and Eastern countries, but he was a part of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's and Shri Nityananda Prabhu's preaching. The original preachers are Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All gurus in the disciplic succession are obeying them. If Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura had not appeared, how could we have come together here? Therefore, we should honor all gurus in the disciplic succession. If we say that our guru is the only one and we should honor only him and not read the books of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or others, like Shri Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, then we are offenders and we will not be able to enter the realm of bhakti.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, though he was restricted not to go to 'Kali Rajya,' went there and began to preach from there to the whole world. He collected devotees like Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and also our Guru Maharaja and others from Kolkata. If he had not started his preaching from there, no one would have come under the shelter of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus beautiful siddhanta. So, we cannot say that he disobeyed his Gurudeva.

In this way we also cannot say that Shri Narottama dasa Thakura disobeyed his guru. In fact, he fulfilled the mano-bhista, or internal desire, of his divine grace. We should always try to reconcile these apparent contradictions. Sometimes pure disciples act like this, so we will have to reconcile. If we do not reconcile, we will go to hell.

There are many such incidences described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. One time, Krsna spoke to the gopis: "Go back to your homes and serve your husbands, children, and cows." But the gopis countered His arguments and said, "We are not at fault, You are at fault! We consider You to be our guru. You are instructing us to serve our husbands, children and so on; therefore You are our guru. The guru must be respected and worshiped first, before anyone else. If You are not accepting our worship, then You are guilty, not us." They defeated all of Krsna's arguments, and He was bound to accept their service.

Some time later, the gopis asked Krsna "Why did you tell us to return to our homes and serve our husbands?" Krsna replied, "I never said this. I said that the full moon nights are not dark; but you understood they are dark." In Sanskrit, these slokas have double meanings; hence we should always read and understand them under the guidance of Vaishnavas. Otherwise we may not understand their true meaning.

We should understand that Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shri Narottama dasa Thakuras never disobeyed their gurus; rather they very respectfully 'more than obeyed' them.

Sometimes Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja writes in his books one thing in one place, and in other places the opposite. You may find this in many places, but it should be reconciled. For example, he has written in some places that the soul has fallen from Goloka Vrndavana, and in other places that the soul can never fall from Goloka Vrndavana. Here we see some apparent contradiction.

Which statement we should follow? Don't try to follow him by your own intelligence. It is best to read his books with the understanding that his conclusions must be the same as the conclusions of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. If one of his two statements is contradicting the conclusion of Shri Jiva Gosvami or Shri Rupa Gosvami, Mahaprabhu, Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura or Shrila Prabhupada, then we can conclude that Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja had one special purpose in that. Otherwise, without this understanding, you will be derailed from the bhakti path and become an offender.

How can we reconcile his statement that the soul has fallen from Goloka and has now forgotten Krsna? He said this for beginners. He did right. Beginners cannot comprehend higher siddhanta. There would have been no use explaining it to them. For example, we may say to a weeping small boy that the moon is here on the tree. The moon is not on the tree, but we cannot give him any sophisticated explanation because he will not understand. Therefore, we tell him that the moon is here on the branches of the tree. This is appropriate. However, when he has gained some knowledge, at that time we can tell him that the moon is not on the tree.

Once we will be qualified, we will understand. We will read Shri Jiva Gosvami, Shri Rupa Gosvami or Shri Sanatana Gosvami and recognize that everything is there in Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books. He has written something for general persons, for beginners. But his real conclusion is this:

Those who have gone to Goloka Vrndavana are liberated from this world. Either they became liberated, or they are kaya-vyuha manifestations of Shrimati Radhika or nitya-siddha manifestations of Shri Baladeva Prabhu. There is no maha-maya in Goloka Vrndavana, only yoga-maya (Purnamasi). Bad thoughts can never enter the hearts of Goloka residents. They are always tasting the mellows of krsna-prema, so how they can fall? Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has told this very clearly many times – I can show it, and others have also told so. We should not be in confusion and thus confuse others.

He is quoted as saying that we should not read any books besides his. Why would he have said this? Because first we should become qualified, and then we must read books like Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani; otherwise we will lose everything. So, we will have to reconcile all this.

Shrila Gour Govinda Maharaja sometimes spoke about raganuga-bhajana. He was qualified to speak about this, but most of his listeners were not qualified to understand how he was nearer than them to the teachings of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. They could only comprehend primary teachings; they could not sort out such higher topics. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has written and explained everything in his books, but we need to learn from a maha-bhagavata how to understand his books.

yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane

["If you want to understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaishnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 5.131)]

Actually, there is nothing contradictory in Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books; rather, he spoke to different levels of devotees. For example, it is written somewhere in Shrimad-Bhagavatam that the world is false. This does not mean that the physical world is false, but that the world we ourselves make, our conceptions that "This is my father, mother, wife, and so on" are false; our creation is false. Worldly relations are illusory, but the sun, the moon and the pastimes of Shri Rama and Shri Krsna are not false.

We have to reconcile all these things. But we can reconcile them only if we are associating with high-class Vaishnavas.


Lord Nityananda Is Never Angry

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Teresopolis, Brazil: Feb 14, 2003

Nityananda Prabhu served Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, and performed His Vyasa-puja there. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Shri Krishna Himself. If one worships Krishna, Vyasa-puja is automatically done.

After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, He wanted to go to Vrindavana, but Nityananda Prabhu kindly, by trick, changed His direction and took Him to Santipura, the village of Shri Advaita Acarya. Nityananda Prabhu called all the people of Nadia, especially Mahaprabhu's mother Saci-maiya, to come and meet Him. There, Saci-maiya met with Him when He was in sannyasa dress.

After that, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Puri, and Nityananda Prabhu followed Him there. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to always serve Mahaprabhu, but because he had been initiated by Shri Laksmipati-tirtha, Mahaprabhu honored Him as a guru. Laksmipati-tirtha was the diksha-guru of Madhavendra Puri, Shri Madhavendra Puri's disciple was Shri Isvara Puri, and Isvara Puri's disciple was Mahaprabhu. In this way Mahaprabhu is in the disciplic succession two generations after Nityananda Prabhu, and He therefore used to show him great respect.

Nityananda Prabhu served in so many ways at the Ratha-yatra Festival, and after the festival Mahaprabhu ordered him to return to Bengal and preach His mission there. He preached without care for caste or creed, and he especially preached to those who were inferior in caste and very poor.

In the course of his preaching, he once came to the village of Ramacandra Khan, who had previously sent a prostitute to Shrila Haridasa Thakura and who was always against Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and bhakti. Ramacandra Khan could not understand the glory of Haridasa Thakura and had wondered, "Even though I am king of the state, nobody honors me. Instead they honor Haridasa Thakura, even though he is a Muslim." He had committed grievous offenses against Haridasa Thakura, and now Nityananda Prabhu wanted to liberate him from his sinful body.

Nityananda Prabhu went to Ramacandra Khan's village at night, with hundreds of His devotees. As it was nighttime, he requested Ramacandra Khan's servant to tell him, "Today we want to take rest in your Durga Mandapa. Hearing this, Ramacandra Khan ordered his servant to tell Nityananda Prabhu there is no place for Him in the temple, but he and his disciples could go to the goshala (cowshed), and remain in that very sacred place. Again he committed an offense.

Nityananda Prabhu began to laugh very loudly, and while laughing he told the king's servant, "Certainly your place is not pure enough for me. A cowshed is superior. You should tell the king, "Many Muslim generals and soldiers will come to your house. They will destroy you, your entire family, your cows and everything you possess; and they will eat meat here. You have no place for me, but you will have to make a place for them." After saying this, he left the village and went to another.

The next day many Muslim soldiers came, killed the king's family, slaughtered cows and cooked them there, and then they set the entire village on fire. Those who were in favor of that king were destroyed, and thus, what Nityananda Prabhu had told was proven true.

There are many pastimes, but I am only touching some.

akrodha paramananda nityananda raya
abhimana sunya nitai nagare bedaya

["The noble Nityananda Prabhu is never angry, for he is the personification of supreme transcendental bliss. Devoid of all false ego, Nitai wanders about the town." (Akrodha Paramanda by Locana dasa Thakura, verse 1)]

The meaning is very important. Akrodha means 'not angry'. We should try to give up anger, which is the root of all kinds of evil. Even if there is a reason to be angry, we should not be angry. Nityananda Prabhu is telling us this, through the medium of this song. He is saying, "You should be like me." When Jagai and Madhai hit him and he was bleeding, he prayed to Mahaprabhu, "In this incarnation, You should forgive them, and give them Krishna-prema." Thus, by the request of Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the brothers Krishna-prema.

Mahaprabhu and all our Gosvamis have told us that even if there is a cause to be angry, we should not be angry. We should control our anger. If there is need, however, if someone is criticizing one's Gurudeva, or any pure devotee, or Krishna, Mahaprabhu, or Nityananda Prabhu, then we can use our anger. At that time we should be like Hanuman, who burned all of Lanka into ashes.

Shri Vrindavana dasa Thakura has declared: "Ati parihare jei papi nindakara tabe / lati marun tera sirera upare." Do not disobey or dishonor Nityananda Prabhu. If you do so, I will kick you on your head." Only in the highest stage of bhakti are you allowed to be angry. You should control your anger; not be controlled by it. If you are so controlled, you will be destroyed.

kama esa krodha esa
mahasano maha-papma
viddhy enam iha vairinam

["The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world." (Bhagavad-gita 3.37)]

Those who have worldly desires for position and so on, and who have a false ego in this regard, will lose everything. If you cannot control your mind, you may also disobey your Guru, and you may even give up your Guru. That is why Lord Shri Krishna has told us not to be angry. Keep the anger finger out of your bead bag. Do not use this (pointer) finger in chanting, because it denotes anger. It says, "I will punish you! I will shoot you!

Do you not know who I am?! I will break your legs!" Be careful.

adhama patita jivera dvare dvare giay
hari-nama maha-mantra dicchena bilaiya

["Going from door to door, to the houses of the most fallen and wretched souls, He freely distributes the gift of the harinama maha-mantra." (Akrodha Paramananda verse 2)]

Taking the flood of Krishna-prema, Nityananda Prabhu went door to door, to give that love and affection.

Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu Ki Jaya!

Gaura premanande


Nityananda Trayodashi - 2001 (am)

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Bali, Indonesia, February 6, 2001, am

When Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja came to give class, he asked if any kirtana was done earlier. When the devotees replied that no kirtana/bhajanas had been sung, Maharaja chastised them and requested 'nitai pada kamala' to be sung.]

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala
je chayaya jagat judaya
heno nitai vine bhai, radha-Krishna paite nai,
drdha kori' dharo nitaira paya

se sambandha nahi ja'ra, vrtha janma gelo ta'ra,
sei pasu bodo duracara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara sukhe,
vidyakule ki koribe tara

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori' mani
nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-Krishna pabe,
dharo nitaiyera carana du'khani

nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asa
narottama bodo duhkhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakha ranga-caranera pasa

["Nitai's lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. Without such a personality as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krishna. Hold on tightly to His lotus feet!

Anyone who has not established his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu has passed his life uselessly. He is no more than a gross animal. Not putting the name of Nitai on one's lips, one becomes absorbed in so-called worldly happiness. Then what is the value of one's education and birth in a high family or great nation?

Forgetting Nitai's lotus feet, one becomes maddened by the false concept of bodily life and considers the illusory energy as real. Receiving the mercy of Nitai, he can attain Radha and Krishna in Vraja. Firmly catch hold of the lotus feet of Nitai!

The feet of Nitai are real, service to him is eternal. Always hope and pray for the lotus feet of Nitai. 'Narottama is very unhappy! Nitai, please make me happy! Keep me tucked close to Your feet which are like reddish lotuses.'"(Giti-guccha)]

Shrila Gurudva: Can you explain the meaning? You.

[Radhakanta Prabhu starts to read the translation.]

Radhakanta Prabhu: "Nitai's lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. Without such a personality as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krishna. Hold on tightly to His lotus feet!"

Shrila Gurudeva: Not to read, but to explain.

Radhakanta Prabhu: You cannot directly attain the divine service of Radha and Krishna without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu.

Shrila Gurudeva: Narottama Thakura is telling that those who are not taking the shelter of Nitai are all animals.

Aranya Maharaja: In this kirtana Narottama dasa Thakura is saying the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu are more cooling than millions of moons. Why? Samsara-davanala nidhi loka, all jivas burning in endless cycle of birth and death. Can Camphor or candana cool them? No. Not even the moon's rays can cool them.

Shrila Gurudeva: So many problems, always quarreling, moon cannot touch.

Prema-prayjona dasa: Without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu one cannot attain the service of Radha and Krishna. Aparadhas cannot be uprooted from heart so hard for one to do bhajana. Those with no relation to akhanda guru tattva, will just be like animals, wandering in cycle birth and death, mating, defending, like animals.

Those whose mouth not utter "Nitai! Nitai!", all will be bewildered and immerse themselves in the dirty swamp of material happiness. He's saying vidyakule ki koribe tara, they may be born in a very high family, they may have a very great wealth and power and position in this world, and they may have a very good education from the material standard. But what is the use of their birth? What is the use of their knowledge? What is the use of their education? Even if they study all sastra, still being learned in all the Vedas and memorizing all sastra, this will not help them. Anyway without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu they must by the force of the material energy be immersed in the mud of material sense gratification. So then he's saying ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya, asatyere satya kori' mani. If anyone will forget the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, what will be the result? They will be covered by false ego, they will have ahankara, they will think 'I am the doer'. And in this way, asatyere satya kori' mani, having a false ego and identification with a material identity, not knowing their spiritual identity, they will accept that which is asat or temporary, to be sat. And in this way asatyere satya kori' mani, ahankare matta hoiya, they become, they act like a mad person

So then he's saying nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-Krishna pabe, but if one can receive a drop of the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, then very easily he can attain the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna in Braja. Therefore dharo nitaiyera carana du'khani, I am taking shelter of the two lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu.

Nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya, nitai-pada sada koro asa. I always desire the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, His lotus feet are not material, nitaiyera carana satya they are eternal and transcendental and the abode of all existence and transcendental realization. So those who serve the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, they are His servants, they are also transcendental personalities, so I always desire the shelter of their lotus feet.

Finally Narottama dasa Thakura is saying that: O Nityananda Prabhu, I am suffering so much in this world. Narottama bodo duhkhi, I am filled with so much fear. Narottama dasa Thakura is expressing the pain of separation he feels from Nityananda Prabhu. So nitai more koro sukhi. O Nityananda Prabhu, please make me happy? How. By giving me one small corner of Your lotus feet where I can take shelter and serve You. This is the essence of this song written by Narottama dasa Thakura.

Shrila Gurudeva:

sankarsanah karana-toya-sayi
garbhoda-sayi ca payobdhi-sayi
sesas ca yasyamsa-kalah sa nitya-
nandakhya-ramah saranam mamastu

["Sankarshana, Sesa Naga and the Visnus who lie on the Karana, Garbha, and Ksira Oceans, are the plenary portions and portions of the plenary portions of Shri Nityananda Rama. May He give me shelter." (Giti-guccha)]

Krishna is sat-cit-ananda vigraha. 'Sat' means predominating deity of satta. 'Sat' has come from sandhini. Krishna is sat-cit-ananda. First Baladeva Prabhu who's sat, He's the predominating deity of satta, sandhini. Without Him there is nothing. Krishna stands, sits on that. Then cit, Krishna is cit. And then ananda, hladini, Herself Radhika. So where Nityananda Prabhu that is Baladeva Prabhu, Radhika and then Krishna. So three are always there. If no sandhini then no Vrindavana. The form of Krishna, Baladeva Prabhu and anyone, so rupa of all these things is sandhini. Upon sandhini, cit, ananda and everything can be.

So Baladeva Prabhu Himself is Nityananda Prabhu. First Krishna, and then Baladeva Prabhu. Baladeva is two, like Krishna is two-aisvarya and madhurya. Those who took birth from the womb of Devaki is Vasudeva putra, Vasudeva, like Narayana. They never go to Vrindavana. Always in Mathura sometimes, or in Dvaraka. But He who came from the womb of Devaki, the 7th son in the womb of Devaki, and by Yogamaya He was taken to the womb of Rohini mother in Gokula and He mixed in full or fullest [form of] Baladeva Prabhu. Baladeva Prabhu was from before there, already there in Rohini's womb, and He [Baladeva from Devaki] mixed in that. Understand? As Krishna coming from the womb of Devaki, mixed in the two-armed form of Krishna, the son of Nanda and Yasoda, He mixed, He merged in that [form of Krishna], similarly Baladeva who came from womb of Devaki, He was amsi, manifestation and the root Baladeva Prabhu was in Rohini's womb, and He went there and He was merged in that Baladeva.

The Baladeva Prabhu in Gokula is non different to Krishna. Only there is some differences of black complexion and golden complexion, and some flute [with black complexioned form] and srnga (buffalo horn) [with golden complexioned form], and other things, but both are of Vrindavana.

Then from Him, this Baladeva Prabhu comes Mula Sankarshana in Dvaraka and Mathura. Especially in Dvaraka is Mula Sankarshana. And from Him comes all, like Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha. They are of Mula Sankarshana [Baladeva]. From Mula Sankarshana comes Maha Sankarshana in Vaikuntha. He serves in so many ways Narayana in Vaikuntha. As Baladeva in Vrindavana, similarly Mula Sankarshana in Dvaraka, and from there Maha Sankarshana in Vaikuntha and so many, and one of His manifestations comes to this world, like Karanodakasayi Visnu. He's mixed in some worldly causes, not pure tattva. Himself is pure, but His actions are not pure. Though He is like a lotus in water, ocean, but yet if world is demolished, then no need for Him. Where He goes? He, Karanodakasayi Visnu, goes to Maha Sankarshana. From Karanodakasayi Visnu so many universes are coming, thousands and thousands and crores and corers of universes are coming. And one part of the, amsa of the Karanodakasayi Visnu comes in that, in each universe, that is Garbhodakasayi. Then Garbhodakasaya becomes Hiranyagarbha Brahma and from him Viraja Brahma and thus creation is going on. From Garbhodakasayi, in each part is Ksirodakasayi. A part of Ksirodakasayi is everywhere, He is called Paramatma, Visnu, like this. So we are meditating on them. And last is Sesa. What is Sesa? Sesa means 'remaining, what is remaining'. The last part of, fraction of Baladeva Prabhu is Sesa. He is serving Maha-Visnu, Garbhodakasayi in so many ways - asana, vasana, bhusana and so many things. As Baladeva Prabhu to Krishna, Mula Sankarshana to Vasudeva Krishna in Dvaraka, Maha Sankarshana to Vaikunthapati, in this way. But Sesa is the last fraction. So Nityananda Prabhu is Himself Baladeva Prabhu, non different to Baladeva Prabhu. So we should try to know Baladeva-tattva.

So without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu we cannot do anything. He's akhanda guru tattva. That is why He killed Dhenakasura. What is Dhenakasura? He was ignorance, like an ass is. So Nityananda Prabhu is that [destroyer of ignorance]. He also cut the head of Romaharsana. Why He cut out? Because Romaharsana was not giving proper respect to vaisnavas and guru, Baladeva Prabhu, at once He cut out. He at once inspired a little boy of that who is son of Romaharsana Suta. He's Ugrasrava. Why Ugrasrava? Baladeva Prabhu gave him power, that what he will hear he will remember forever, and he will never forget anything. That without reading Vedas, Upanisads, sastra, Vedanta, everything, all the Puranas and all, everything should come out in his heart. Quickly it came by the mercy of Baladeva Prabhu. So by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu everything can come. So those who are not taking shelter of this Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu, really they are animals. So we should glorify Nityananda Prabhu.

Also we see from the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu that He took birth not as a brother here in Navadvipa. Mahaprabhu took birth in Navadvipa from the womb of Sacidevi. Prior to this, so many years before, Nityananda Prabhu took birth in Ekacakra. His mother Padmavati and father Hadai Pandit. When He was a small boy of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, He used to play only the parts of Baladeva Prabhu in Krishna pastimes, sometimes Laksmana in Rama pastimes. They were in a group of so many children, so many boys and they used to play sometimes Krishna's pastimes, sometimes Rama's, sometimes Varaha's, sometimes Nrsimha's and all. Especially when Baladeva was needed He used to take that part.

We will glorify more in evening or at ten this morning.

So He became once what? Laksmana, and He was on the side of Rama. Ravana was on the other side. And thus [before playing] He had told everything to His companions that, "I will fight with [the boy playing] Meghanatha, and he will shot Me with an arrow and then I may be senseless. You should go to Himalayas and bring some herbs and give in My nose and then I will quickly revive." Then they began to fight each other [in the mock battle between Rama and Ravana]. Laksmana was fighting Meghanatha, and Meghanatha shot Him. When he shot Laksmana, Nityananda Prabhu became senseless. All began to weep, they never remembered that what Nityananda Prabhu has told to bring, herbs from Himalayas. They all began to weep and they went to village and they told this that, "Oh, Nityananda Prabhu is about to die." His father, mother, and all villagers came and became very upset. He was about to die, not breathing, nothing. Then anyone told, an old man told that, "Oh, you were playing this. What did Nityananda Prabhu tell in the last? That if He was to be senseless what to do?"

They remembered. "Oh, He told, but we became so upset." Then one being like a monkey, Hanuman, he jumped up and he went to Himalayas. Not real Himalayas but anywhere [they pretended to be Himalayas]. He took some pieces of stone, like Himalayas, Gandhamadana and Parvata, and from that herb was brought and given to the nose of Nityananda Prabhu. And then He was saved.

How He used to be so absorbed in that. We should try to be absorbed totally in bhajana. How you can? How you can do it? If you have a relation to Nityananda Prabhu, and He's giving all these things. What things? A very strong relation with Krishna. Then everything will be inspired, He will inspire you. So then you can do. Without Nityananda Prabhu's mercy you cannot do. So the guru inspired by, given power by Nityananda Prabhu, he can help the devotees. Otherwise a bogus guru cannot. For a bogus guru Nityananda Prabhu will not inspire anything. So if the guru is sincere and he's maha-bhagavata, bhagavata at least, then His [Nitai's] mercy will come. At least he should be sincere. If he's madhyama adhikara, but madhyama-adhikari in what stage? At least madhyama-uttama he should be, otherwise he cannot do anything.

So if by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, if you are so much fortunate to have the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, then you can be absorbed like Him or others. Even like Murari Gupta, upon seeing the peacock feathers, he remembered Krishna's pastimes and he was senseless state.

[A couple of corrections where later on added: Gurudeva mentioned how Murari Gupta fainted at the sight of a peacock feather. In a couple of lectures Shrila Svami Prabhupada also told the story of how Murari Gupta fainted at the sight of a peacock feather. However in Chaitanya-caritamrta it is mentioned that it was Mukunda who fainted at the sight of a peacock feather. When we asked Shrila Maharaja, he replied that both Murari Gupta and Mukunda were physicians, and so a slip of the tongue was there. That he meant Mukunda instead of Murari Gupta.]

So this Nityananda Prabhu, doing all these things. In the meantime when He came about 12 years, a renounced order sannyasi came. He told His father, "Oh, this boy is very good, very intelligent, and very religious. I want that I should travel throughout whole India, pilgrimage to holy places. Please give me this boy for this, He will help me. Otherwise now I am old I cannot do anything."

Then he began to weep but at once anyhow he remembered the pastimes of Ramacandra and Laksmana. He remembered that Dasaratha never wanted to do like this, that he should give his Rama and Laksmana to Visvamitra. But Vasistha told that, "Oh, this is a very good thing. This is the mercy of Visvamitra that he has come. At once give up your sons, otherwise he may curse you and you will be all ruined with your whole dynasty and everything." And anyhow he [Hadai Pandit] gave Nityananda Prabhu, and then with Nityananda Prabhu that sannyasi traveled throughout the whole of India on pilgrimage, South India, West India, North India, East India, everywhere. Not only one time but so many times, especially in South India so much.

Now He has become some grown up more, and He went in His last trip. Where? Pandarpura. And there luckily Laksmipati Tirtha, the guru of Madhavendra Puri met Him. Both met, and Laksmipati Tirtha was so much attracted to Nityananda Prabhu, even though He was like a young boy. He wanted to initiate Him, Nityananda Prabhu. Then Nityananda Prabhu trickily gave that mantra to him [Laksmipati Tirtha], "Oh, do you want to give this mantra to Me?"

"Yes, I want."

He [Nitai] told this mantra [to Laksmipati] and He made him disciple, and then he [Laksmipati] initiated Him [Nitai]. After initiation Madhavendra Puripada met Him. Madhavendra Puri was always weeping, always absorbed, crying, 'ayi dina dayardra natha he', 'he deva he dayita he bhuvaika bandhu'. All these, always weeping. And he was so much bigger in age also.

Prema-prayjona dasa: So much senior, elder.

Shrila Gurudeva: Senior, so much senior. So He always, Nityananda Prabhu respected him like His siksa-guru.

After that Nityananda Prabhu came to Vrindavana and He was searching everywhere. "O Krishna where? O Kanhaiya! O Kanhaiya, My brother, where You are? Where You are?" He used to embrace deer even, cows also. "Where's My Kanhaiya? Where's My Kanhaiya?" Everywhere searching. The cowherd boys, they began to fear that He's a ghost or what, that He's embracing us.

Anyhow when He was in Vrindavana in a temple, He heard a voice, "O Kanhaiya is not here. He has taken birth in Mayapura, Navadvipa dharma, and His name is also changed. Now His name is Sacinandana, Gaurahari, Nimai. So if You want to meet Him, You can go there and You can meet Him. He is waiting for You."

So Nityananda Prabhu quickly went to Navadvipa dharma. He crossed the Ganges. There was a beautiful asrama. Asrama?

Madhava Maharaja: Nandana Acarya's garden.

Shrila Gurudeva: Nandana Acarya's garden.

Prema-prayjona dasa: Isodhyana.

Shrila Gurudeva: Isodhyana. In Isodhyana was Nandana Acarya's asrama, kutir, hut.

Prema-prayjona dasa: Cottage.

Shrila Gurudeva: Cottage, and He used to do kirtana always. It was some far away from Navadvipa, Mayapura. Have you gone? Navadvipa? So on the bank of Ganges, near bank of Ganges, nearer to Svarupa Ganja and Godruma and Navadvipa. There was not any way [due to thick forest] when I went first with my gurudeva, about 50, or more than 50 years before. So you can think like at that time.

So Nityananda Prabhu was hiding Himself, "If My Kanhaiya is here in Navadvipa, He must come to Me, and then I will know that 'Oh, He's my Kanhaiya'. Otherwise I will return." So He was waiting there.

Mahaprabhu was in Shrivasa-angam with other devotes, Gadadhara Pandit, Shrivasa Pandit, his four brothers and all, He told that, "Oh, search for any mahapurusa has come, maha-bhagavata. So you should at once go and search Him and bring Him here."

So Shrivasa Pandit and all others went to search. They searched everywhere in all the temples, in the houses of all the devotees until evening, but then could not find that mahapurusa.

Then Mahaprabhu took with Him Gadadhara Pandit, Shrivasa and all others, and He quickly went to the house of Nandana Acarya. He saw that a very tall, very beautiful, very healthy saint is there, mahapurusa. He was standing and Nityananda Prabhu also standing, each other talking with eyes. Then Mahaprabhu quickly ran towards Nityananda, and Nityananda Prabhu ran towards Mahaprabhu and They embraced each other and became senseless. Then what became? Then Gadadhara Pandit from behind the curtain [recited]:

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
(SB 10.21.5)

["Accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends, Syamasundara entered the forest of Vrndadevi. His head was decorated with a peacock feather. He wore yellow karnikara flowers over His ears, a dazzling golden yellow garment on His body, and around His neck, extending down to His knees, hung a fragrant vaijayanti garland made of five kinds of flowers. Splendidly attired as a beautiful natavara, a most expert dancer, He appeared just like a very fine actor on stage. He poured the nectar of His lips through the holes of His flute, and the cowherd boys followed behind Him, singing His glories. In this way, the land of Vrindavana was even more charming than Vaikuntha, due to being beautified by Shri Krishna's lotus feet marked with the conch, disk, and other symbols." (Venu-gita)]

Oh, Nityananda Prabhu, and They began to do [Hindi word].

Prema-prayjona dasa: Roaring.

Shrila Gurudeva: Roaring both, and They became more and more excited. Excited?

Brajanatha Prabhu: Ecstatic.

Madhava Maharaja: Excited.

Shrila Gurudeva: Then Mahaprabhu took Him, Nityananda Prabhu. Took Him to where? To Shrivasa-angam. The wife of Shrivasa was Malini. Malini saw that He is like her son, and she took Him in her lap, and thus Nityananda Prabhu was always there with His mother Malini-devi. After then, everything, so many pastimes of Nityananda.

One day Malini-devi was weeping. Nityananda Prabhu told, "Mother, why you are weeping?"

"Oh, a crow came and took my golden or silver pot full of ghee."

"Oh, you weeping for this. 'O crow, come on, come on, come on.'

Madhava Maharaja: 'Bring back the pot.'"

Shrila Gurudeva: And crow came, and he brought that container there. She became very happy.

Sometimes in the mood of a very small child He used to run to Sacimaiya's without any clothes. "O mother! Mother! Where is Kanhaiya? Where is Kanhaiya?" Then Mahaprabhu, Nimai saw Him, and He gave His utariya [upper garment] and tightened it round His waist.

Thus Nityananda Prabhu was always absorbed, not remembering that 'I am any male or anything'. So there are so many pastimes. We will try to tell all these things in evening class. It will be better if you can come here just before 5. I may come at 5. You should come before and you should do all the kirtana of Nityananda Prabhu. You must come, and all should come and you should glorify Him by kirtana, and also by meaning. What is the meaning of that kirtana, and go on doing. At about 10.30 or 11 I may come and you should bring all paraphernalia of abisekha. Also some very good dobs. Bring coconut, two or three. And Nityananda Prabhu and Gaura Prabhu, They should come out here. Decorate Them. We will do abisekha and some glorification. Then in evening again kirtana and being glorified. Gaura-premanande!

Devotees: Haribol!


Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Bali, Indonesia, February 6, 2001, noon

[At eleven o'clock this morning there was an abhisekha for Gaura-Nitai. As all the devotees gathered around…]

Shrila Gurudeva: We are calling Gaura-Nitai. Because Nityananda Prabhu will not do anything without Mahaprabhu. As in Raghunatha dasa's mahotsava [chipped rice festival]. Nityananda Prabhu called Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu came and Nityananda Prabhu fed Mahaprabhu first. Only very few persons saw.

[Then Shrila Gurudeva recited the mantras for the abhisekha. Before the bathing started, Shrila Gurudeva recited some mantras ending in 'svaha' and everyone threw flower petals at Gaura-Nitai. After the abhisekha was completed Shrila Gurudeva sat down on his asana. He then asked for a kirtana of 'Shri Nitai Janma Lila' which he had had a devotee write up on a blackboard. After this Shrila Gurudeva explained the song.]

Shri Nitai Janma Lila

radhades nam ekchakra gram
hadhai pandit ghor
shubho magha masi, sukla triyodasi
janmila haladhara

hadhai pandit, ati harasit
putra mahotsab koray
dharani-mandal, karaytalamal
ananda nahika dharaya

shantipura-natha, manaya harasit,
kori kichu anuman
antaraya janila, budji janmila
krsnera agraja rama

vaisnavera mana, hoilaparasan
ananda sagaray bhasay
ai dina pamara, hoibay udbar
kohay dukhee krsnsa dasay

Shrila Gurudeva: In India, that place where Ramacandra, Sita and Laksmana could not go. That land is called Radhesdesa. The same land, everywhere Ramacandra went in India, South and North, East, West, but not there. But to that very land Nityananda Prabhu came and He descended there and made it more than any place. Ekacara. Before Nityananda Prabhu five Pandavas with Kunti, mother Kunti, they were there. When they were given in fire by Duryodhana in lac ca greha.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Shellac house.

Shrila Gurudeva: Ah. But trickily by Vidhura they were saved, and in disguise they left that place. Duryodhana knew that, "Oh, all are burnt, now I am saved and I am monarch of all." But in disguise they went to Ekacakra, and there, there was a very big demon who wanted to take all for his dinner. The whole villagers suggested themselves that each day only one will go with some preparations. From then they began to go daily, only one person, so that this demons should not disturb others. When Kunti was with the five Pandavas in the house of the brahmana where they were staying. There were only one husband, only one wife and only one son. They began to weep "Who should go? If father is going everything, if mother is going everything, if son is going everything." So they decided that, "We three should go," and they were weeping bitterly. Mother Kunti went there and asked the reason why they were weeping. They began to tell this history of the demon that "We have promised to give one person each day with so many preparations." Today is our turn. So who will go and not go, we cannot decide, so we three will go.

Then mother Kunti told that, "I have 5 sons. No harm. You should not go. Oh, I will give of my own one son."

He told, "Never. Never. For me, you will give your son. Absurd. We cannot accept this."

Kunti told that, "My son is not like you and others. He will go, he will defeat the demon, and kill the demon, and he will uproot all the cause or problem forever." She told that, "You should make more preparations so that my son can eat something, so much you should make."

So they made very happily so much preparations. And in a big basket Bhima took all and he went to that forest where that demon was. And when demon was seeing him, that he is coming, Bhima began to take with two hands all the preparations himself, and the demon became very angry. At once he jumped and attacked Bhima, but Bhima took any tree, uprooted it and [Maharaja moves hands like someone attacking with stick]. What became? So much fight between them. At last Bhima took the feet of that demon and threw him in the sky and died and the problem was solved forever. Then he came very happily took the foot-dust of mother Kunti. So this is story of Ekacakra.

So at this place, Ekacakra, Himself Nitai appeared. Hadai Pandit, name of His father Hadai ujja. Ujja, Pandit ujja. Ujja means brahmana knowing all the Vedas, sastras. Shubho magha masi, oh, this is very pure Magha masa, month of Magha. Very soon Vasanta-pacami has gone, so it is like Vasanta-ritu.

Devotee: Springtime.

Shrila Gurudeva: Sukla trayodasi is today. Janmila haladhara. Who is Haladhara [carrier of the plough]?

Madhava Maharaja: Baladeva Prabhu.

Shrila Gurudeva: The weapon of Haladhara, the plough [hala], is of Baladeva Prabhu. Why Haladhara? He has hala and musala. If anyone is against Krishna or Krishna-bhakti or against the associates of Krishna, He brings them with hala.

Madhava Maharaja: With plough.

Shrila Gurudeva: Giving around the neck and putting. And with musala?

[Maharaja makes a striking motion.]

Madhava Maharaja: Club.

Shrila Gurudeva: In this way He killed the monkey Dvivida who became against Baladeva Prabhu.

So Haladhara. Also because He has hala. Hala means plough. By plough farmers cultivate, so He's cultivating the jivas, all the jivas coming from Baladeva Prabhu. From Baladeva Prabhu they serve in Vrindavana everywhere. From His incarnation, that is Maha Sankarshana, they serve in Vaikuntha planets, Dvaraka, and everywhere.

Madhava Maharaja: [faintly] Ayodhya.

Shrila Gurudeva: And thirdly from Karanodakasaya, tatastha-sakti, so many jivas like us, they have come from there. So anyhow all the jivas whether conditioned or mukta, liberated, all are coming, original root is this Baladeva Prabhu. So this is Haladhara. Also haladhara means to plough. What plough? Prema-bhakti, bhakti, and then bhakti become sraddha, nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, bhava, mahabhava and all. So this is coming from Baladeva Prabhu.

Hadai Pandit was very much happy, His mother was happy. Dharani-mandala, karaytalamal. And then His last fraction, Sesa, became very happy, and he was like dancing, so whole world was like shaking. So ananda nahika dharaya, there was no place to keep ananda. Everywhere anandam, manandam, purnanandam.

Santipura-natha, manaya harasit, kori kichu anuman. Advaita Acarya was thinking somewhat, "Oh, why today there is so much ananda. Oh, my superior Prabhu is coming." So he made a. Anuman means?

Madhava Maharaja: gaze.

Shrila Gurudeva: So he gazed that, "Oh, my Prabhu is coming."

Antaraya janila, budji janmila krsnera agraja rama. Now he understood. "Oh, agraja of Rama."

Madhava Maharaja: Elder brother.

Shrila Gurudeva: Elder brother of Krishna. O elder brother has come, is coming, perhaps. Where? In Ekacakra gram, Himself is coming."

Vaisnavera mana, hoilaparasan. All vaisnavas, even in Navadvipa, here and there, all became very happy. Ananda sagaray bhasay, and then ocean of endless ananda was. What?

Brajanatha Prabhu: Churned.

Madhava Maharaja: No. They are floating in the ocean of pleasure.

Shrila Gurudeva: Everywhere, and all the vaisnavas were going up and down.

Devotee: [quietly from back] Surfing.

Madhava Maharaja: Surfing there, surfing there.

Shrila Gurudeva: Surfing there.

Ai dina pamar, Krishnadasa is telling, "Oh, I'm so much pamara. Hoibay udbar. Today, by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, Krishnadasa will be liberated from this world and Nityananda Prabhu will sprinkle mercy that I may have the service of Nityananda."

Nityananda Prabhu Ki!

Devotees: Jaya!

Shrila Gurudeva: Gaura-premanande!

Devotees: Haribol!

[Shrila Gurudeva then recites 'Akrodha Paramananda' by Locan dasa Thakura.]

Shrila Gurudeva:

akrodha paramananda nityananda raya
abhimana sunya nitai nagare bedaya

adhama patita jivera dvare dvare giya
hari-nama maha-mantra deno bilaiya

jare dekhe tare kohe dante trna dhari'
amare kiniya loho bhajo gaurahari

["The noble Nityananda Prabhu is never angry, for He is the personification of supreme transcendental bliss. Devoid of all false ego, Nitai wanders about the town. (Baladeva Prabhu and Laksmana get angry, but not Nityananda.) Going from door to door to the houses of the most fallen and wretched souls, He freely distributes the gift of the harinama maha-mantra. Holding a straw in his teeth, he exclaims to whomever he sees, 'You can purchase Me by worshiping Gaurahari!'" (Giti-guccha)]

He's telling to every door, every house, that, "Oh, you should once speak 'Gaurahari' and buy Me." Buy means?

Brajanatha Prabhu: Purchase.

Shrila Gurudeva: "And purchase Me. I will give up Myself to you." He is so happy.

eto boli' nityananda bhume gadi jaya
sonara parvata jeno dhulate lotaya

["Saying thus, Nityananda Prabhu rolls about on the ground, appearing like a golden mountain tumbling in the dust." (Giti-guccha)]

He was so beautiful, like gold, and very tall vigra, very beautiful. So chanting the name of Gaurahari, and He used to be faint, and rolling on the ground.

heno avatare jar rati na janmilo
locana bole sei papi elo ara gelo

["Locana dasa says: That sinful person who has not experienced the awakening of affection for such an avatara as this simply comes and goes uselessly in the cycle of repeated birth and death." (Giti-guccha)]

Locana dasa Thakura is telling that those who have no affection and love for this avatara, this incarnation of Krishna, oh, sei papi. Papi means?

Prema-prayjona dasa: Sinful.

Shrila Gurudeva: Sinful person. Only going and coming, never they will be liberated.

[Shrila Gurudeva says something in Hindi to Madhava Maharaja, who mentions various phrases from different songs. Then Shrila Gurudeva refers to another song of Locan dasa Thakura 'Nitai guna mani']:

Shrila Gurudeva:

nitai guna-mani amar nitai guna-mani
aniya premer vanya bhasailo avani

premera vanya loiya nitai aila gauda-dese
dubilo bhakata-gana dina hina bhase

["My Lord Nityananda, the jewel of all virtues, my Lord Nityananda, the jewel of all virtues, has brought the flood of divine love in which the whole world is sinking. Bringing this overwhelming deluge of prema to Bengal from Puri to preach Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message, Nitai inundated the assembly of devotees. The fallen and impoverished, out of lack of prema, did not drown but remained floating on the surface of that ecstatic ocean." (Giti-guccha)]

Mahaprabhu brought what? An endless vanya. Vanya you know?

Madhava Maharaja: Flood.

Shrila Gurudeva: Flood of love and affection, Krishna prema. And then all bhaktas began to sink in that ocean of love and affection.

brahmar durlabha prema sabakare jace
abaddha koruna-sindhu nitai katiya muhan
ghare ghare bule prema-amiyar ban

["Without discriminating, Nityananda Prabhu freely offered this rare prema, which is difficult for Lord Brahma to attain, to all, even to the fallen and wretched who did not desire it (no one could avoid it!). The ocean of mercy had formerly been sealed tight, but Nitai cut a channel in its boundary wall and went from house to house with this nectarean prema, sweetly telling all to take harinama." (Giti-guccha)]

The love of Radha and Krishna conjugal, the mouth of that endless river, Nityananda Prabhu cut the dam, and so everywhere prema, prema, prema in Braja dharma. It was kept, reserved.

Brajanatha Prabhu: Sealed.

Shrila Gurudeva: It was not even accessible for Brahma, Sankara, but He opened for all general persons. Ghare ghare bule prema-amiyar ban. That love and affection went door-to-door to all persons, to everyone.

locana bole mor nitai jeba na bhajilo
janiya suniya sei atma-ghati hoilo

["Locana dasa says: Whoever has not worshiped my Nitai, or who has heard yet does not follow Nitai's instructions, knowingly commits suicide." (Giti-guccha)]

Also anyone has told that, "Oh, I was not at that time. I want to die and to come on the same time there. I want to have a janma [when Nityananda Prabhu is there]." And Locan Thakura is telling, "Oh, if not doing bhajana of such a Nityananda Prabhu, janiya suniya sei atma-ghati hoilo, that person is what? Self?

Madhava Maharaja: Self-killer, suicidal.

Shrila Gurudeva: Gaura Nityananda Prabhu Ki!

Devotees: Jaya!

Shrila Gurudeva: Patita Pavana Nityananda Prabhu Ki!

Devotees: Jaya!

Shrila Gurudeva: Bas.

[Devotees start a very enthusiastic kirtana and Shrila Gurudeva encourages all to dance.]


Nityananda Trayodashi - 2001 (pm)

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
Bali, Indonesia, February 6, 2001, pm

[Tapana Mishra Prabhu sings the following song glorifying Nitai on guitar. Afterwards Shrila Gurudeva gives an explanation of the song.]

Dalaler Gita-"The Song of the Broker"
Boro Sukher Khabor Gai)
(from Vaisnava-Siddhanta-Mala by Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

boro sukher khabor gai
surabhi-kunjete namer hat khule'che / khoda nitai

boro mojar katha tay
sraddha-mulye suddha-nama sei hatete bikay

jata bhakta-brnda basi'
adhikari dekhe' nama becche daro kasi'

jadi nama kinbe, bhai
amar sange calo, mahajaner kache jai

tumi kinbe krishna-nama
dasturi loibo ami, purna ha'be kama

boro doyal nityananda
sraddha-matra lo'ye den parama-ananda

ek-bar dekhle cakse jal
'gaura' bole' nitai den sakala sambal

den suddha Krishna-siksa
jati, dhana, vidya, bala na kore apeksa

amani chade maya-jal
grhe thako, bane thako, na thake janjal

ar naiko kalir bhoy
acandale den nama nitai doyamoy

bhaktivinoda daki' koy
nitai-carana bina ar nahi asroy

["I am singing news of the greatest happiness! At the place known as Surabhi Kunja in Shri Navadvipa, the Marketplace of the Holy Name has now been opened-and Lord Nityananda Himself is the Proprietor.

"Such wonderful things are going on in that blissful marketplace! Shri Nityananda Prabhu is selling the pure Holy Name wholesale, merely for the price of one's faith.

"Seeing the assembly of devotees eagerly waiting to purchase the Name, Lord Nityananda first examines each of them to test their qualification; then He sells them the Name by bargaining for His price accordingly.

"O my dear friends! If you really want to buy this pure Holy Name, then just come along with me, for I am now going to meet with this Nityananda Mahajana.

"Thus, you will finally be able to acquire the pure Holy Name. I will also take my due commission, and in this way all three of us will fulfill our desires.

"Shri Nityananda Prabhu is so extraordinarily merciful-accepting only one's faith in the Holy Name, He bestows the topmost divine bliss.

"When Nitai sees a tear welling in someone's eye upon chanting the name of "Gaura!" He instantly gives His support to that person; indeed, He bestows all divine opulences.

"He gives that person genuine realization of the pure teachings of Shri Krishna as found in the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad-Bhagavatam. While displaying all this inconceivable mercy, He pays no attention to one's caste, material wealth, mundane knowledge, or physical ability.

"Now, dear friends, please reject all of maya's entangling snares. If you are a householder, then just remain at your home; if you are renounced, then just live in the forest. Either way, nothing more will trouble you.

"We no longer need to fear the terrible Age of Quarrel, for the most merciful Lord Nityananda gives the Holy Name to anyone and everyone-even to the lowest among men.

"Bhaktivinoda loudly calls out and proclaims to all, "Other than the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, there is no shelter!"

Shrila Gurudeva: I'm telling you a very funny. Funny? [Hindi discussion]

Pundarika Prabhu: Good news.

Shrila Gurudeva: I'm telling a happy news. What is that? Gaura Nityananda Prabhu have descended from that Goloka Vrindavana, and a very precious thing They have bought. What They have brought? Oh, jewels and jewels and jewels. What is that jewel? Oh, that jewel is Krishna name-Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Though it is very valuable jewels and jewels [They are] bringing from Goloka Vrindavana, but He is giving them without any price. Only sraddha. But if any will give only sraddha. Sraddha means?

Brajanatha Prabhu: Little faith.

Dhristadyumna Prabhu: Faith.

Shrila Gurudeva: Faith, and they will pay to Gaura Nityananda, oh, easily They can give for lives and for lives. And after life you will be happy by these jewels. To distribute these names He's going to each village, each lane, each house, everywhere and calling, "Oh, who will take this jewel from Goloka Vrindavana?" In whole life you will be happy. You can conquer old age and death, sorrow, suffering, everything. And you can go to Goloka Vrindavana, serving Krishna there, and eternally be happy. This is the purport. Now.

Prema-prayjona dasa: Bhaktivinoda Thakura is saying 'dasturi loibo ami, I'm taking some commission.'

Shrila Gurudeva: You should tell.

Prema-prayjona dasa: But what is his commission?

Shrila Gurudeva: Commission. Oh, that is commission, sraddha. Commission is I will also be happy like you. Commission. I will take commission what? Oh, the service of Krishna.

Today we are observing the birthday of Shri Shri Nityananda Prabhu. The whole mercy of Krishna, and the whole mercy of Radhika, have come in Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So He is more merciful than Radha and Krishna also. Those who are siddha, only they can enter in Radha-Krishna [lila]. But those who are offensive, having so many lust, unwanted things in their heart, they cannot realize Radha and Krishna's mercy, never. But even if offensive like Jagai-Madhai, so many, having so much lust, oh, they are sinking in the ocean of sense gratification, even they will come to Navadvipa dharma, and they will chant 'Gaura Nitai! Gaura Nityananda Prabhu!' very easily. All kinds of five elements, offense, ignorance, suffering, sorrows, all will go very quickly.

Though Krishna is same like Caitanya Mahaprabhu Sacinandana Gaurahari, but here He has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood and mercy of Radhika. So He's more merciful than Krishna and Radhika. In Krishna lila pastime, we see that He killed so many demons. In their, that life they could not realize the mercy of Krishna. After death they realized something, when they were killed and their soul was liberated, then they realized but not in this [while they were alive].

[Prema-prayjona dasa repeats to devotee translating.]

Shrila Gurudeva: Very hard.

[Then he addresses Anupama dasi.]

Shrila Gurudeva: Can you [translate]? You can try.

[She refuses. Prema-prayjona dasa keeps explaining to translator. After devotee finishes Shrila Gurudeva asks Anupama dasi]

Shrila Gurudeva: Oh, he's telling ok?

[Anupama dasi nods].

Shrila Gurudeva: But Mahaprabhu, by His mercy He liberated Jagai, Madhai and so many. In that very life they realized the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishna never gave anyone Braja prema, killing or anyhow To general person He never gave Braja prema, kanta-prema, sakha-prema, vatsalya-prema to them. Only He gave some position and some thing. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, especially Mahaprabhu, what He did? A miracle. He was going to forest on the way to Vrindavana and the animals, birds, trees, creepers, to whom Caitanya Mahaprabhu looked from a very big distance, from far away, even they received that love and affection and they began to dance and they began rolling down on the earth 'Krishna! Krishna!'

Because really with the mood that 'We will go to this world and give prema', the motive was, mood was like so. That is why They are giving. Krishna and Radha and Baladeva at that time no mood [to give prema]. What [mood]? Only to taste Braja-prema. So He could not give Braja prema to others, those who were sadhaka. But in this Mahaprabhu Caitanya pastimes we see that to whom He looked, He wanted to give highest love and affection. So He gave so many, so many, not only to one or two. Because He has come only for this mood, to give, His object was to give love and affection.

Those who come to Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Has he told?

Prema-prayjona dasa: He didn't finish.

Shrila Gurudeva: You know some?

[Translator repeats what he understood, how Mahaprabhu came in the mood to distribute love and affection.]

Shrila Gurudeva: Yes.

There is more speciality about Gaura Nityananda. What? In Krishna's pastimes only those who were qualified came to Krishna. Only He can give [to those who were qualified] like to lata. He gave even to lata.

Madhava Maharaja: Creepers.

Shrila Gurudeva: Creepers also. What? They began to think that 'we are priyasi of Krishna'. Like taking flowers and they used to become ashamed. So He gave only qualified persons Krishna prema, not to unqualified, not to anyone He gave. But Mahaprabhu, "Oh, you should anyone come. I will give you also a pot and also love and affection. I have an endless ocean of love and affection. So if you will bring. You cannot bring pot." Pot means qualification. "Even I will give you qualification, that pot also, and nectar also." Understand?

[After devotee translates in Balinese, Shrila Gurudeva asks one of the western devotees what he had explained.]

Krishna Bhajan Prabhu: You explained the distinction between Shri Krishna's avatara and Mahaprabhu's, Nityananda's avatara. They came for different reasons, different causes. Shri Krishna came to exhibit Vraja lila and also to taste and to experience Braja-lila, whereas Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to distribute freely without qualification to anyone. He also gave the qualification. If they had no qualification, He gave the qualification.

Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. This. Krishna did not give like Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu gave to all those who came in the eyes of, in front of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave them qualification also and that nectar also, both things He gave.

That is why Krishna may be told like 'Prabhu', like Baladeva Prabhu, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu is what? Maha - Prabhu.

Don't think that all these things have been told for Caitanya Mahaprabhu only, but for Nityananda Prabhu also. Jagai and Madhai, they were the associates of Narayana. But what Nityananda Prabhu did? A miracle He did. He gave them supreme. So now they are realizing "Oh, Krishna is so much more than Narayana. Now I have realized this." So they wanted from Narayana, they begged that, "Oh Prabhu, please give me another form also. In Jaya Vijaya we will be with you, Narayana, but we want to be there also to serve Krishna." So they received any other form and they went there.

He gave dasya, but the dasya rasa of Krishna is more superior, mixed with sakhya, so more superior than Jaya-Vijaya. Not Braja gopi-prema

Prema-prayjona dasa: Did they go to Goloka Vrindavana or Braja?

Devotee: They would go to Vrindavana?

Another devotee: They will go to Svetadvipa?

Shrila Gurudeva: Very mysterious. [devotees laugh] Very hard to explain Prabhu, very hard. Mahaprabhu is so merciful. We can understand the mercy of Krishna, but it is very hard to understand the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Don't think that only Caitanya Mahaprabhu can give gopi prema. Also Nityananda Prabhu can give. He is guru. He is serving Krishna in vatsalya rasa, sakhya rasa, dasya-rasa, all rasa, especially in His Ananga manjari form, being the younger sister of Radhika, oh, He's serving Krishna and Radha both. That is why He can give, in Ananga-manjari form, even gopi prema. I'm telling for you, all cannot understand, only for you. Something? Little bit you understand? What I told? Go on? What I told that Nityananda Prabhu also can give?

Ratikala dasi: Gopi prema.

Shrila Gurudeva: How?

Ratikala dasi: As Ananga manjari.

Shrila Gurudeva: Because He's experienced, He's so much?

Ratikala dasi: As Ananga manjari, He is the younger sister of Radhika

Shrila Gurudeva: Ha. Sometimes Radhika gives Her seat to Ananga-manjari. She sits on the right side of Krishna, and She makes Ananga-manjari sit on the left side of Krishna.

Madhava Maharaja: Gopinatha.

Shrila Gurudeva: Gopinatha meaning Himself Krishna in Vraja.

Madhava Maharaja: Controlled by gopis.

Shrila Gurudeva: So He knows all, Nityananda Prabhu is so much expert in all these things. So you should not think that, "Oh, He cannot give." Oh, He might… What Mahaprabhu is not giving, He can give by His mercy. So many like Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, he went to Vrindavana, he took darsana of Vrindavana, he took darsana of Radha Govinda, Radha Gopinatha, Radha Madana. And by His mercy, what They inspired, Gopinatha, oh, he wrote. So we see that without Nityananda Prabhu's mercy we cannot do anything.

[Many guests had come to the program, new to Krishna consciousness. It was hard for them to understand such tattvas as they didn't even know the basics.]

Shrila Gurudeva: I will speak all these things in morning class. Better. They will not understand. I'm telling all these very high subject matters.

Dhristadyumna Prabhu: Better you speak Gurudeva, and then afterwards he can explain.

Shrila Gurudeva: Tomorrow I will explain very high subject for you only.

Brajanatha Prabhu: But tomorrow morning you will not speak.

Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. Yes. Anyone cannot understand. So better we should do easy subjects, what Nityananda Prabhu gave, and easily. There are so many. They cannot understand all these things. Very easy subject we should speak. What Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu brought and gave. You should stand up, you should speak about Nityananda Prabhu. Very easy language, so that it will be very effective to them. You should all think something. I may tell to all to speak. Especially to you [Anupama dd], in your language you might have to speak. Go on.

[Prema-prayjona dasa starts mangalacharana.]

Shrila Gurudeva: For general people.

[Prema-prayjona dasa mentions how today is a special day in Vaisnava calendar, the birthday of Nityananda Prabhu. That Nityananda Prabhu is Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's the first manifestation, non-different from Supreme Lord but has a speciality. He thinks 'I am servant of Supreme Personality of Godhead'. Therefore name Nitya - Ananda, Nityananda. Nitya means eternal, ever lasting, never ending. And ananda means happiness, joyfulness. So in this world everyone is working very hard with one intention. Everyone is trying to find happiness by various means. No one likes to suffer in this world, be upset, or disturbed. Yet automatically without any endeavor sufferings attack us like waves in ocean. Etc. (He speaks for about half an hour.)]

Shrila Gurudeva: You should tell Ramacandra Khan.

[Then he speaks Hindi to Madhava Maharaja.]

After that arati, kirtana, and some prasada. My heartily blessings to all.


The Glories of Ramanujacarya

RamanujacharyaTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
North Shore, Hawaii: January 26, 2007

[Respected Harikatha Readers, 

This year, 2019, Shri Ramanujacarya’s disappearance day is February 15th (in India). The following is a transcription of Shrila Gurudeva's informal darsana, given in North Shore, Hawaii, on January 26, 2007. That informal darsana took place with only the devotees in his traveling party, so we especially thank his personal cook, Madhuvrata dasa brahmacari, for sending us the sound-file. Shrila Gurudeva's talk in Hawaii was brief, and therefore we have included excerpts from his lecture given in Mathura, in 2000, in brackets, to fill out the history.]

Shri Ramanujacarya was born in South India. He is an incarnation of Laksmana. The word ‘anuja’ means ‘younger brother’. Rama-anuja refers to the younger brother of Lord Rama; therefore, he is Ramanuja. In Kali-yuga, he is the acarya of the Shri (Laksmi) Sampradaya. He is the disciple of Yamunacarya.

As a boy, he was exceptionally intelligent. At a very young age, he knew all Sanskrit grammar (vyakarana), literature (sahitya), and all the deep conclusions of the Vedic scriptures.

[Shri Ramanujacarya is an incarnation of Laksmana (Lord Rama’s younger brother), and he accepted the Shri Sampradaya. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada took many teachings from him, such as the duties of the sannyasi, the duties of the disciple, and the etiquette of the Vaisnava. He utilized one-hundred eight teachings. We follow these teachings, and we have also published them in our Bhagavata Patrika and Gaudiya Patrika (Hindi and Bengali Magazines).]

His teacher, Yadavacarya, was a follower of the Mayavada (the theory that all variety and individuality are illusion) and Advaitavada (the theory that the only truth is impersonal undifferentiated oneness) philosophies. One day, his teacher began to explain his understanding of the beauty of Shri Krishna’s eyes. In this regard Chandogya Upanisad uses the word ‘kapyasam.’ Yadavacarya explained that ‘kapi’ means ‘monkey’, and that the monkey’s rear-end (kapi-asam) is reddish on both sides. He concluded that Krishna’s lotus eyes are like a monkey’s rear-end. Hearing this, Ramanuja began to weep.

Later, when Ramanuja was massaging Yadavacarya, he told him, “The explanation you have given for kapyasam is wrong. ‘Kapi’ can be understood to mean ‘that which takes water from everywhere’. Who takes water? The sun. The word ‘asam’ also means ‘to blossom’, so the word ‘kapi-asam’ can be understood as ‘that which blossoms under the sun,’ or, in other words, ‘the lotus flower’. Thus, we can understand the verse to mean that the Lord’s eyes are as beautiful as the lotus flower.”

[Shri Ramanujacarya took birth in a simple family. His mother and father were not very wealthy, but they were of a high brahmana caste and they were very learned. Ramanuja was an outstanding boy from his childhood. While under the guidance of a Mayavadi guru named Yadavacarya, he was very careful in his studies. One day, when his guru was giving an impersonal explanation of a verse that contained the word kapyasana, he compared the lotus-eyes of the Lord to the hind part of a monkey which is reddish near its tail. Hearing this from his gurudeva’s mouth, Ramanuja began to cry in great pain. He felt grief in his heart that his gurudeva had used such a bad analogy for describing the lotus-like eyes of the Lord. After collecting himself, he very politely asked if he could say something about the verse. Yadavacarya assented, and Ramanuja very nicely gave many explanations according to Sanskrit grammar. He said that the term kapyasana actually means one who brings water, and that is the sun. The lotus blossoms by the potency of the sun, and therefore the Lord’s eyes are compared to the lotus, not the monkey.]

Ramanuja’s teacher became astonished, thinking, “If this boy is so knowledgeable at such a young age, what will he do when he is grown up? If he remains alive, this Mayavada teaching will be finished.” His teacher then planned to murder him.

[When Yadavacarya heard this, he thought, “This boy is dangerous. He is very expert and is giving such nice explanations. In the future he might uproot all the impersonal teachings from the Vedas, and so I must kill him.”]

Thinking to trick Ramanuja, Yadavacarya told him that he was going to travel with all his students to do some preaching, and that Ramanuja should also accompany them. Ramanuja was a very sincere and innocent boy, so he didn’t understand his teacher’s intentions.

Then, when they were all in a very deep forest, they decided that this would be the time to murder him. Govinda, his cousin-brother, told him of their plan, and urged him to quickly flee from there. Therefore, in the middle of the night, Ramanuja told them that he was going to the toilet, and he ran away.

Now alone, he suddenly saw a hunter, along with his wife, holding a hurricane light. The man asked him, “Where are you going?”

Ramanuja answered, “I am going to Kancipuram.”

The man replied, “We are also going there, so come with us.”

When he arrived at Kancipuram, his own village, which was very far away, those persons disappeared. Ramanuja then began to weep. He understood that it was certainly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana Himself, along with His eternal consort, Laksimi-devi, who had saved his life.

[Throughout the day and night, he passed through the dense forest. It was difficult for him to discern his way, especially at night. The Lord, seeing His dear devotee in such a state, then appeared in the form of Bharadraja and, holding a lantern in His hand, showed Ramanuja the way. Thus, within no time at all, Shri Ramanuja crossed the entire distance of the forest and found that he was standing outside his village.]

Sometime later, Ramanuja’s teacher returned to the village. He had been thinking that perhaps a lion or tiger had eaten Ramanuja, and he was very happy. However, when he arrived, he saw that Ramanuja was alive. He called him and told him to forget everything that had happened, Ramanuja again resumed his Sanskrit studies with Yadavacarya.

[After some days, out of compassion for Yadavacarya and with a desire to deliver him, he again began studying under his guidance. After some years, Ramanuja converted Yadavacarya to Vaisnava philosophy, whereupon his teacher became his disciple. At one point thereafter, Ramanuja began hearing of the qualities of a great Vaisnava guru in South India by the name of Shri Yamunacarya, and he eventually became Shri Yamunacarya’s disciple.] 
Later he married. After his marriage, he began to teach boys in a Sanskrit school, and all the students liked him. 
[Later on he married, and his wife was very quarrelsome. Her behavior was discourteous and uncooperative, and incidents would often take place which he would somehow have to tolerate.]

One day, a disciple of Shri Yamunacarya named Kancipurna came to the house of Ramanuja. He was from a very low-caste family, but he was a very high-class devotee. He came there along with his wife by the order of his Gurudeva, and he now began to give his association to Ramanujacarya.

[A disciple of Shri Yamunacarya and elder god-brother of Ramanuja named Kancipurna came to Ramanuja’s village along with his wife. Ramanuja accepted Kancipurna as a siksa-guru.]

One day, when Ramanujacarya’s wife was drawing water from the well, Kancipurna’s wife was also there drawing water. Some water from the bucket of Kancipurna’s wife fell into Ramanuja’s wife’s bucket. She immediately became very angry and started to insult the wife of Kancipurna with abusive language. When Kancipurna returned, his wife told him of the incident at the well, and he immediately left the house of Ramanujacarya. Upon hearing the reason why his siska-guru had departed, Ramanujacarya began to think, “I should not be with this lady. Somehow, I should give her up right away.”

[One day, when Kancipurna’s wife was taking some water from a well, she met Ramanuja’s wife, who had also come to the well for drawing water. It so happened that while taking the water out of the well, some water from the pot of Kancipurna’s wife spilled into the pot of Ramanuja’s wife. Although this was a small accident, Ramanuja’s wife became furious and insulted Kancipurna’s wife with abusive language. Kancipurna became hurt when he later on heard about this, and, without informing Ramanuja, he and his wife left that place and went to Shri Rangam. When Shri Ramanuja came to know that his wife’s behavior had offended a Vaisnava, he felt very bad and thought, “She is committing vaisnava-aparadha; she has such an offensive mentality. I must do something about this.”]

Later, Shri Yamunacarya sent Purnacarya to bring Ramanuja to him in Shri Rangam. However, Yamunacarya was very sick at that time, and, by the time Ramanuja arrived in Shri Rangam, he had departed from the vision of the world. Purnacarya, was sent there to bring him to Shri Rangam. Ramanuja used to give him so much honor – always offering him obeisances and treating him like his siksa-guru. While living with Ramanuja, Purnacarya began to impart the instructions he had received from his Gurudeva, Shri Yamunacarya.

One day, when Ramanuja was teaching at the school, a hungry brahmana came there. Ramanuja told him, “If you go to my house to beg, my wife will give you something.” However, when the brahmana went there, Ramanuja’s very cruel wife said, “I can’t give you anything. Go! Get out of here!” The brahmana returned to Ramanuja, who then told him to go back to his house and tell my wife, “I am coming from the house of your father. He sent me to you, so please take this letter from him.” Ramanuja personally wrote the letter he gave to the brahmana to deliver to his wife. The letter stated, “Your brother will marry very soon, so you must come to your father’s house.” After reading the letter, Ramanuja’s wife began to honor that brahmana, and she gave him a large quantity of delicious prasadam.

[One day, a hungry brahmana came to Ramanuja, asking for some food. Ramanuja sent this brahmana to his wife, telling him, “Go to my home and tell my wife that I sent you. She will give you some food.” When that brahmana came to Ramanuja’s wife, she boldly insulted him again and again. She told him he should get out of there, and that there was no food for him. Returning to Ramanuja, the brahmana reported what had happened, and Ramanuja replied, “Wait here for a few minutes.” He left and wrote a letter to his wife, as though it was written by her father, stating, “O my dear daughter, I am arranging the marriage of my son, your brother. So you should come. Please bring your husband with you.”

Writing these words very nicely, he folded that letter and tied it with colorful threads. And, along with that, he sent a coconut and other auspicious items. He then gave that letter to the brahmana and said, “Now go again to my wife. She will welcome you nicely this time. The brahmana went again. After reading the letter, Ramanuja’s wife’s behavior completely changed. This time she welcomed him warmly and sweetly, and offered him all kinds of palatable food and sweets. When Ramanuja came home, his wife told him about the marriage. She cited her father’s request for both of them to come, and requested him to please come along.

Ramanuja said, “No, I cannot come, for I am very busy; you may go now with this brahmana. Don’t be late.”]

When his wife left to go to the house of her father, Ramanuja also left that house. He went to Shri Rangam to meet his Gurudeva, Shri Yamunacarya, but Yamunacarya had left his body just before Ramanuja arrived. Ramanuja saw that many devotees were walking with the transcendental body of Yamunacarya. All of his disciples were weeping as they carried his body to be placed in samadhi.

[After his wife left with that brahmana, Ramanuja locked the door of his house and went to Shri Rangam to meet his Gurudeva, Shri Yamunacarya. He wanted to take sannyasa from him, but when he reached Shri Rangam, he found that Shri Yamunacarya had just passed away and his disciples were walking in procession with his divine body. Ramanuja felt very disheartened and sad.]

He told them, “I have accepted Yamunacarya as my Gurudeva. I want to see his face.” Yamunacarya’s disciples stopped and lifted the cloth from his body. Ramanuja could see that three of Yamunacarya’s fingers were folded.

[He asked them to stop for a moment. He wanted them to uncover the transcendental body so that he could take darsana of his Gurudeva’s divine form. He observed that all the fingers on one of his Gurudeva’s hands were open, and on the other, three fingers were closed. He inquired from the disciples all around as to why this was, and he wanted to know when it happened. No one could answer. They said, “We didn’t notice it before; it must have happened just now.”]

He promised in front of all present, ‘I will write the Shri-bhasya commentary on the Vedanta-sutra.” One of the fingers immediately became straight. He then said, “I will take sannyasa,” and the second finger relaxed. Lastly, he said, “I will preach the mission of my Gurudeva, Yamunacarya”, at which time the last finger relaxed and became straight. Seeing this, everyone present became astonished.

[Ramanuja became silent, and after some time he spoke, addressing Shri Yamunacarya’s transcendental body. He said, “Now, I will first of all write a Vaisnava commentary on Vedanta, and I will preach that Vaisnava commentary throughout India.” One finger opened, and Ramanuja spoke further, “I will take tridandi-sannyasa right now, and I will preach the message of vaisnava-dharma and your teachings.” When Shri Yamunacarya heard that, his second finger opened. Ramanuja then said, “I will systematically write about Vaisnava etiquette, explaining the behavior required to execute pure devotional service, and what precautions should be taken. I will also preach this throughout India.” After uttering this third statement, Shri Ramanujacarya observed, along with all present, that three of Yamunacarya’s fingers had now opened. Then and there, Shri Ramanujacarya formally accepted tridandi sannyasa from Shri Yamunacarya.]

After Yamunacarya was given Samadhi, Ramanujacarya was elected to become the next acarya, as Yamunacarya’s successor. He immediately said, “I will not become the next acarya right away. Give me time. Give me two years.” He then spent some time with each of the prominent disciples of Yamunacarya. He served them and heard from them what they had learned from their Gurudeva. Only after hearing from them for two years did he accept the post of acarya.

[Shri Ramanujacarya had now formally taken sannyasa initiation from Shri Yamunacarya. Afterwards, all the disciples of Shri Yamunacarya, who were great scholars and who had served their Gurudeva for so many years, came together. Having seen the extraordinary characteristics and personality of Shri Ramanujacarya, they collectively decided that he should be appointed as the next acarya after their Guru, and they honored him with the acarya seat in Shri Rangam. Shri Ramanujacarya accepted the orders of his god-brothers, but before sitting and acting as the acarya, he went to each of his god-brothers, for two months, four months, six months, or one year, and served each of them. He thus formally endeavored to understand the teachings of Shri Yamunacarya, since he had not gotten the opportunity to spend much time with him. After serving and satisfying them, he commenced his role as acarya of the Shri Sampradaya in Shri Rangam.]

Later, the ruler of that country, King Koluttunga II, heard that Ramanujacarya was very strongly preaching his philosophy. Koluttunga II wanted him killed, fearing that if he remained alive, the Saiva Sampradaya (comprised of so-called devotees of Lord Siva) would be finished. He sent a message telling Ramanujacarya to come at once for a debate.

Ramanujacarya and all his associates knew that the king wanted to kill him. His disciple Kuresh told him, “Gurudeva, please do not go. I will go in your place. Please give me your danda and sannyasa cloth.” Insisting, Kuresh took them from him and gave him his own white cloth. He told Ramanuja to leave that place at once. Then, having taken his Guru’s sannyasa cloth and danda, Kuresh went to the palace of the king.

In the palace there was a great debate, during which Kuresh defeated all the king’s pandits. However, Kuresh was alone, so the king’s pandits told everyone that he had been defeated. They forcibly detained him, and only released him after blinding him by plucking out both of his eyes. He then began to search for his Gurudeva, who was now very far away. Fortunately, after some time, he came to the same village where Ramanujacarya was residing.

Within that village there were two disciples – one very rich and one very poor. Ramanujacarya told his disciples to go to the house of the rich devotee, because his group was more than fifty in total, and ask him to prepare prasadam and a place to stay for all of them.

Two of Ramanuja’s disciples went to the rich man’s house and gave him this message. The rich man felt extremely happy and became totally absorbed in preparing for the arrival of Ramanujacarya and all of his devotees. However, he didn’t come back out to share these plans with his two god-brothers at the door. After waiting for some time, those disciples went back to Ramanujacarya and told him that they had gone to the house of that rich devotee, but he had left them waiting and had not come back to them. Ramanujacarya replied, “Oh, then we will all go to the house of that poor man.”

That very poor brahmana used to go and beg for ingredients so that his wife could cook prasadam. He had only one piece of proper cloth, which his wife used, so when he would go begging, he would take the cloth of his wife.

On that particular day, after midday, he could not collect any more, and he decided to return home. In the meantime, before his return, Shri Ramanujacarya, with all of his disciples, suddenly came to his house. His wife was very happy to see her Gurudeva, but she also felt very ashamed because she had no proper cloth to wear. Shri Ramanuja understood this, and he gave her his own chadar. She wrapped this around herself and came in his presence.

After she gave a mat for her Gurudeva and his followers to sit on, she began to wonder, “How shall I arrange prasadam for everyone?” She remembered that one of her neighbors, who was a rich businessman, was very attracted to her and had lusty desires toward her. He had previously told her of his desires, but she was very chaste and had always rejected his proposals. However, in her current predicament, she went to that man and told him that she would fulfill his desire.

She was thinking, “What is the use of my chastity if I cannot serve my Gurudeva? For my Gurudeva, I should be prepared to do anything.” She told that rich man, “I am ready to do what you want, but in return I want you to arrange many ingredients so that I can cook and give prasadam to my Gurudeva and all of his disciples.” Hearing this, the rich man became very joyful and gave her more than what she wanted. Taking all that he gave her, she prepared very good prasadam for all the devotees, and everyone was happy.

While Ramanujacarya and all the devotees were resting after prasadam, her husband returned home. He asked her, “Gurudeva and all his disciples have come. How are we going to arrange for their needs?”

She replied, “I have done everything. There is nothing to worry about. They have all taken prasadam and are resting now.”

Her husband asked, “How did you make all those arrangements?”

She began to tell him the story about the lusty neighbor. She said, “I was thinking that my Gurudeva has come; if I cannot serve him, then what is the use of my chastity? So I went and told that lusty man that if he would give me all the ingredients to make very nice prasadam, then I would offer myself. He did as I asked, so now that it is night I must go to him.”

Her husband told her, “I will come with you.”

It was raining at that time, so they took an umbrella and went to the house of that rich person along with the mahaprasadam. The wife entered his home alone, and the man became very happy. The man asked her, “It is raining heavily tonight, and it appears you have come all alone. Didn’t anyone bring you?” She told him, “My husband came with me,” and she gave him the prasadam remnants of Ramanujacarya. The lusty man took those remnants and became totally transformed. He fell flat at the lotus feet of that lady and begged her, “Excuse me. Excuse me.”

The lady and her husband then returned to their house. The next day, their neighbor came to Ramanujacarya and prayed to him, “I want to be initiated by you.” Ramanujacarya then initiated him.

In the meantime, Kuresh arrived in the village of the poor devotee couple where Ramanujacarya was staying. Seeing Kuresh, Ramanujacarya called out his name. Kuresh went to his Gurudeva and wanted to take his darsana, but he had no eyes. Ramanujacarya put his hand over Kuresh’s wounds and two eyes at once manifested. He could see again.

Afterward, Ramanujacarya went to North India. After traveling for a long time, he eventually arrived in Kashmir. He went to Sarada-pith, the place of Sarada-devi, where he came across the Bodhayana-bhasya (commentary) of Vedanta-sutra. This Bodhayana commentary contained Vaisnava philosophical conclusions, not Mayavada theories. In the library at Sarada-pith he read that commentary, and in the night he took that book. and escaped with Kuresh

They fled from there, but the Kashmiri pandits followed them. Finally, the pandits took the book and returned to their own place. Ramanujacarya was very unhappy, but Kuresh told him, “Gurudeva, do not be unhappy. I have also read that book, and I remember all its contents. I will write them down.” Later he did this, and he gave the writings to Ramanujacarya. Ramanujacarya then wrote his Shri-bhasya on Vedanta-sutra [* See Endnote] and fulfilled the three desires of his Gurudeva, Yamunacarya.

[When Shri Ramanujacarya officially became the acarya, he began very strongly preaching the cult of Shri Yamunacarya. In South India, two impersonalist sects are very prominent: Saiva and Sankaracarya. Sankaracarya’s followers subscribe to the Vedanta sutras like "sarvam kalvidam brahma" and "tat tvam asi." They think themselves impersonal brahma (God), and they think everything comes from brahma. The Saiva School considers Lord Siva to be the ultimate truth, and they want to merge into him. This is the basic difference between the two. Shri Ramanujacarya refuted and defeated all impersonalism by his very strong and effective preaching.]

Gaura premanande

[*Endnote: Shri Ramanujacarya has also refuted the arguments of Sankara in his own commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, which is known as the Shri-bhasya: "Shri Sankaracarya has tried to equate the Pancaratras with the philosophy of the atheist Kapila, and thus he has tried to prove that the Pancaratras contradict the Vedic injunctions. The Pancaratras state that the personality of jiva called Sankarsana has emerged from Vasudeva, the supreme cause of all causes, that Pradyumna, the mind, has come from Sankarsana, and that Aniruddha, the ego, has come from Pradyumna. But one cannot say that the living entity (jiva) takes birth or is created, for such a statement is against the injunction of the Vedas. As stated in the Katha Upanisad (2.18), living entities, as individual spiritual souls, can have neither birth nor death. All Vedic literature declares that the living entities are eternal. Therefore when it is said that Sankarsana is jiva, this indicates that He is the predominating Deity of the living entities. Similarly, Pradyumna is the predominating Deity of the mind, and Aniruddha is the predominating Deity of the ego.

"It has been said that Pradyumna, the mind, was produced from Sankarsana. But if Sankarsana were a living entity, this could not be accepted, because a living entity cannot be the cause of the mind. The Vedic injunctions state that everything-including life, mind and the senses-comes from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is impossible for the mind to be produced by a living entity, for the Vedas state that everything comes from the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord.

"Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha have all the potent features of the absolute Personality of Godhead, according to the revealed scriptures, which contain undeniable facts that no one can refute. Therefore these members of the quadruple manifestation are never to be considered ordinary living beings. Each of Them is a plenary expansion of the Absolute Godhead, and thus each is identical with the Supreme Lord in knowledge, opulence, energy, influence, prowess and potencies.

“The evidence of the Pancaratras cannot be neglected. Only untrained persons who have not genuinely studied the Pancaratras think that the Pancaratras contradict the srutis regarding the birth or beginning of the living entity. In this connection, we must accept the verdict of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which says, `The absolute Personality of Godhead, who is known as Vasudeva and who is very affectionate toward His surrendered devotees, expands Himself in quadruple forms who are subordinate to Him and at the same time identical with Him in all respects.' The Pauskara-samhita states, `The scriptures that recommend that brahmanas worship the quadruple forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are called agamas .' In all Vaisnava literature it is said that worshiping these quadruple forms is as good as worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vasudeva, who in His different expansions, complete in six opulences, can accept offerings from His devotees of the results of their prescribed duties.

“Worshiping the expansions for pastimes, such as Nrsimha, Rama, Sesa and Kurma, promotes one to the worship of the Sankarsana quadruple. From that position one is raised to the platform of worshiping Vasudeva, the Supreme Brahman. In the Pauskara-samhita it is said, `If one fully worships according to the regulative principles, one can attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.' It is to be accepted that Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are as good as Lord Vasudeva, for They all have inconceivable power and can accept transcendental forms like Vasudeva. Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are never born, but They can manifest Themselves in various incarnations before the eyes of pure devotees. This is the conclusion of all Vedic literature.

“That the Lord can manifest Himself before His devotees by His inconceivable power is not against the teaching of the Pancaratras. Since Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are, respectively, the predominating Deities of all living entities, the total mind and the total ego, the designation of Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha as `jiva,' `mind' and `ego' are never contradictory to the statements of the scriptures. These terms identify these Deities, just as the terms `sky' and `light' sometimes identify the Absolute Brahman.

"The scriptures completely deny the birth or production of the living entity. In the Parama-samhita it is described that material nature, which is used for others' purposes, is factually inert and always subject to transformation. The field of material nature is the arena of the activities of fruitive actors, and since the material field is externally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is also eternal. In every samhita, the jiva (living entity) has been accepted as eternal, and in the Pancaratras the birth of the jiva is completely denied. Anything that is produced must also be annihilated. Therefore if we accept the birth of the living entity, we also have to accept his annihilation. But since the Vedic literatures say that the living entity is eternal, one should not think the living being to be produced at a certain time. In the beginning of the Parama-samhita it is definitely stated that the face of material nature is constantly changeable. Therefore `beginning,' `annihilation' and all such terms are applicable only in the material nature.

"Considering all these points, one should understand that Sankaracarya's statement that Sankarsana is born as a jiva is completely against the Vedic statements. His assertions are completely refuted by the above arguments. In this connection the commentary of Shridhara Svami on Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.1.34) is very helpful."

For a detailed refutation of Sankaracarya's arguments attempting to prove Sankarsana an ordinary living being, one may refer to Shrimat Sudarsanacarya's commentary on the Shri-bhasya, which is known as the Sruta-prakasika. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila, 5.41 purport by Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja)]

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