Katha by our dear Guruji Sri Pran Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj to mark the advent of Gour purnima. Recorded by Sri Srutidhara Das at Radha Vinod Temple, Radha Kund, on 21-Mar-2019.
Human beings would not have applied tilak on their forehead, worn kanthi mala, or performed Dharma. Everybody would have degraded to the level of animals. Do you follow what I am saying? All these people that you see on the roads greet each other 'Radhe Radhe'. Why do they greet like this? (Guruji explains the reason by singing a couplet:) Radhar mahima, premo rosho sheema, jagate janato ke? Who would inform the world about the glories of Radharani and limits of prema? Gour na haito, ke janato? Had Lord Gourango not descended on Earth, Who would have informed the world about the glories of Radha Krishna? Who are Radha Krishna?
The essence of all the Vedas is Shrimad Bhagwat. We are Hindus. What is Hindu dharma? What is the name of the Hindu granth (scripture)?
A devotee replies: Shrimad Bhagwat.
Guruji affectionately corrects him: Bhagwat?? Are you a pashandi to say it is Bhagwat? Someone else will say it is Ramayan. Another will say it is Bhagavad Gita. But we are Vedic. (Guruji shouts for emphasis) Vedant. So our scripture is Veda. What are the rules, regulations and laws of Hindu dharma? People know what this is for Muslims- but they have no idea what it is for Hindus! Go, ask a Hindu, what it is for Muslims and he will immediately reply 'Quran Sharif'. Then ask him what it is for us (Hindus)? That he will not be able to say! Anyway...
(Guruji continues the katha:)
Radhar mahima, premo rosho sheema, jagate janato ke? Gao gao shobe, Gouranger guno, sarala kariya mon. (Everybody please sing the glories of Lord Gourango with a simple, humble mind) Emon daya, kabhu dekhi nai eto jon (never before have the masses of people witnessed this kind of unprecedented Mercy).
Lord Ramchandra was not a Prema Avatar. Krishna was not a Prema Avatar. But Gourango is Prema Avatar. Thus, Mahaprabhu is Prema Avatar. Krishna was Leela Avatar- He displayed many pastimes, including stealing, lying, etc. He performed Leelas without end. But He was not a Prema Avatar.
What is the meaning of Prema Avatar? Prema means Anand. Where can one get this Anand and love? Any person who understands Gour is entitled to this Anand. But it is not possible to understand Gour simply by chanting 'Gour Gour'. In order to understand Him, one has to first accept diksha (spiritual initiation) in the Gaudiya Sampradaya. 'SatGuru pawe, Veda batawe'. Pay attention to this advice. In the absence of Gour, who can tell us about all this? SatGuru can. Now the world is full of gurus. Then who is a SatGuru? There are very few of them. Tulsidas said 'SatGuru pawe, Veda batawe'. Pay close attention to this advice. Sadhu, Guru, and Vaishnav are my co-travellers. We must follow the path shown by them. What is their path? It is the one walked by great saints. Mahajan gatah yena pantha. For example, Rupa, Sanatan, the 12 authorities of devotional service, Krishna Das Kaviraj, etc. Whichever path they treaded- that path. These bhaktas are greater than Mahaprabhu in terms of daya (mercy). Each one of them is much more merciful than Mahaprabhu. For example, consider Rupa and Sanatana, Jiva, Bhatt Raghunath, Gopal Bhatt, Das Raghunath. Each one of them is like a mountain of devotion and knowledge. If you have to read books, then read books describing their lives.
(Then Guruji sings a variation of the ‘Radhar mahima’ song:) Radhar mahima, premo rosho sheema, jagate janato ke? Gao gao shobe, Gouranger guno, sarala kariya mon. Emon dayalu, tribhuvone nai. There is nobody so merciful in the three worlds as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu or Gour. Balram is Nitai. And who is Gour? It is Krishna. Brajendra Nandan jei, Sachir shuto hoiylo sei (He Who was earlier Brajendra Nandan, later became Sachi Mata's son). Balaram hoiylo Nitai. And Balram became Nitai.
In His incarnation as Balram, He was less tolerant and acted differently. He killed at short notice. Where did He kill? It was at Naimisharanya where a Muni was sitting on the Vyasasana and reading Shrimad Bhagwat. Balram reached the place and stood in front of the Vyasasana. A person doing Bhagwat-paath is not supposed to get down from the Vyasasana. So the Muni did not get down from the Vyasasana upon seeing Balram. Angered, Balram cut off his neck. He said, ‘Fool! He does not know the proper etiquette (maryada). If Sadhu, Guru, Vaishnav come in front of you, then you should leave aside everything and get up (to receive them and offer respectful obeisances). However, in His incarnation as Nitai, He does not cut off the offender’s neck. Instead, He gets beaten Himself. He is glorified by prayers such as ‘Maar khaiyya prem daiche, emon doyaalu ke aache’. Despite being beaten up, He distributes Prema. Who is more merciful than Him? 'Emon Nitai je na bojhe, taar bipod bidol…’ Anybody who does not understand Nitai, makes his devotional progress very difficult.
So, come to Gaudiya sampradaya if you want to get Prema. Take shelter of Mahaprabhu. Approach a SadGuru and seek diksha from him. Then walk on the path of devotional service shown by the Mahajanas. Without diksha this human form of life is like an animal's life. Therefore, obtaining diksha is mandatory. Seek diksha in the Gaudiya sampradaya. Those who are in this sampradaya are Mahaprabhu gana (followers of Mahaprabhu). They don't have to go to narak (hell). They chant Hare Krishna mahamantra. ‘Mahaprabhur jei maut, sei maut saar, Aar joto - asaar asaar’. (Whatever is the opinion or path taught by Mahaprabhu, that is the essence. Anything else is ineffective, ineffective, simply ineffective). In other words, you may be reborn many times, but life after life you will not get to understand this essence (unless you sincerely follow the path shown by Mahaprabhu).
Mahaprabhu's tithi (appearance day) is arriving. He was born around this time of the day. At this time, His Abhishek will be performed. 'Sachir dulaal Gour amaar’. My Gour is the very dear son of Sachi Mata.
Translation by Sanatan Das.