Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja) Please explain the meaning of 'anyabhilasita.'
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: When I was explaining anyabhilasita sunyam last evening, I did not explain the details of what are favorable and unfavorable actions.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: So, can you explain the details now? I would especially like you to explain the meaning of the phrase:
anakulyena krnsanu-silanam bhaktir uttama
["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Shri Krishna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.1.11)]
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Okay. So, as you were saying to me last night, there is unfavorable karma and favorable karma.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What does anyabhilasita mean?
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Anyabhilasita means that one should accept what is favorable for bhakti and reject whatever is unfavorable. Sunya means...
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I know that you cannot explain it. Try to read Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu-bindu.
(To Tamal-Krishna das) You explain.
Tamal-Krishna dasa: I am not qualified, Gurudeva. I cannot explain it.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can explain so much about magic. Why not these topics? I want you to be a good preacher. You can preach.
Tamal-Krishna dasa: Thank you, Gurudeva. Thank you.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You are very bold, but you should know the meaning of bhakti. What is bhakti?
Tamal-Krishna dasa: Bhakti is eternal spiritual bliss and devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is bhakti.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not the definition. You must learn what it means.
What is the idea of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu regarding our supreme object of worship? Do you know the verse beginning aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa tanayas tad dhama Vrindavanam?
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama Vrindavanam
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargesa ya kalpita
Shrimad-bhagavatam amalam prema pum-artho mahan
Shri-Chaitanya-mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah
["The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is to be worshiped along with His transcendental abode, Vrindavana. The most pleasing form of worship for the Lord is that which was performed by the gopis of Vrindavana. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless authority on everything, and pure love of God is the ultimate goal of life for all men. These statements, for which we have the highest regard, are the opinion of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu."]
Tamal-Krishna dasa: No.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I know that in your old age you cannot memorize the slokas, but you should know the meaning of this sloka and preach about bhakti.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Bhagavat Maharaja) Do you understand?
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Yes. Anya-abhilasa. Abhilasa means 'desire.' We should not have any desires for unfavorable karma, jnana, etc. Sunya means 'we should be devoid of these unfavorable desires.'
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, this is not the meaning.
(To Giri Maharaja) What is the meaning?
Shripad Giri Maharaja: Anyabhilasita sunya means 'devoid of all desires other than the desire to serve Krishna favorably.' It means 'devoid of all material desires.'
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It does not matter whether the karma or jnana is 'favorable' or 'unfavorable.' We must give it all up. We must give up the desire for taking birth in the heavenly planets and for moksa (impersonal liberation), and for all things other than the service of Krishna.
But why has the word anyabhilasita been stated? Why not simply the word anyavilasa?
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Because 'ita' indicates special circumstances, as in the case of Draupadi. When Draupadi found herself in a situation where she had no other shelter, she called out to Krishna for His shelter. She did not do this for some material desire for protection, because Draupadi was completely surrendered to Krishna. This was a special circumstance.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: A life-threatening circumstance.
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Yes, life-threatening. So she called out to Krishna.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes.
Prakasatma dasa: Yesterday we heard the story of Narada Muni and Dhruva Maharaja. Visnu manifested Himself to Dhruva Maharaja, who was a sakama-bhakta (one who performs bhakti in order to achieve some material benefit). Regarding Narada Muni, Visnu only appeared to him for a moment – and then disappeared because Narada had some attachment to sattva-guna (the material mode of goodness). Narada had a desire to meditate in the forest, which was a desire in the mode of goodness, and for this reason Visnu didn't show Himself to Narada. Yet, he showed Himself to Dhruva Maharaja, who had a much stronger material desire.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is the answer?
Shripad Bhagavat Maharaja: You once explained that for those devotees who want suddha-bhakti, pure, unalloyed bhakti, Krishna personally takes over their karma. He gives them more parabdha-karma to get them to the point where they can attain suddha-bhakti because their intentions are originally for suddha-bhakti. I think Narada Muni falls in that category?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Shripad Giri Maharaja) Can you explain?
Shripad Giri Maharaja: I don't know, Gurudeva. I'll be honest.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Dhruva was a sakama-bhakta (a devotee who performs his devotional activities with material motives); and from the beginning, Narada was a niskama-bhakta (a devotee who performs his devotional activities with no material motives). We should know that gold is more valuable than iron, and that the value of cintamani is so many more times higher than the value of gold. Similarly, niskama-bhakti is very high. Dhruva Maharaja performed bhakti only for a worldly kingdom, whereas Narada did not have such desires.
Narada had been performing austerities, but precious things cannot be acquired by the practice of general austerities. Therefore, it was in order to increase Narada's eagerness that Bhagavan told him, "You will not see me again in this lifetime." He did this because He wanted to make Narada more advanced in devotional service. He wanted him to be a rasika-bhakta.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Once you explained that even when Narada Rsi's mother expired, he did not concern himself with performing ceremonies for her. Rather he immediately went to the forest to do bhajana. On the other hand, even when Dhruva was seated in the transcendental airplane that was just about to take him to Vaikuntha, he remembered his mother, Sunéti. He thought, "How shall I go alone to the Vaikuntha planet and leave behind my poor mother? I will not go without her."
Shripad Giri Maharaja: Sakama-bhakta Dhruva Maharaja is an example of a karma-misra bhakta (bhakti mixed with the desire for fruitive reward). Who is a typical example of a jnana-misra-bhakta (bhakti mixed with the desire to merge into impersonal brahman)?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The four Kumaras, and also Sukadeva Gosvami in his first stage.
Shripad Giri Maharaja: What about Lord Siva?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Oh, he is so high – far superior to other devotees. He is the guru of all Vaisnavas. He is even Narada's guru.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: "Vaisnavanam yatha sambu – he is the greatest Vaisnava."
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is not under any rules and regulations, or anyone's control.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: In one form, Sivaji is Gopisvara.
Shripad Giri Maharaja: And Lord Brahma?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Brahma is a dasya-bhakta; adhikarika-dasya
Shripad Giri Maharaja: Is he a karma-misra or jnana-misra bhakta?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Adhikarika-dasya means that he has been given the order and adhikara (qualification) to create the world. He can create only by the power of Krishna, and he does so. Because he is creating by the order of Krishna, therefore he is called adhikarika-dasya.
Shripad Giri Maharaja: So, Brahma is always a pure devotee?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is a suddha-bhakta, but not a rasika-bhakta. He may become a rasika-bhakta in the future.
Moreover, there are so many Brahmas. Our Brahma has requested to Krishna that he become the foot-dust of the gopis in Vrindavana; this is not an ordinary prayer.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Brahmaji became a mountain in Varsana (Brahma-parvata) by performing worship of Radha.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. Sankara manifests in Nandagaon as the mountain, Nandisvara Hill, and Brahma as Brahma-parvata in Varsana.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Brahma prayed to Krishna, "May all Your pastimes with the Vraja gopis be manifest on my head," and he was thus blessed to become a mountain.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Brahma is our adi-guru (the first guru in our Brahma-madhva-gaudiya Sampradaya), not Sankara. In this way we follow Brahma, not Sankara.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Sankara is followed by Visnusvami of the Rudra sampradayas.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Padmanabha Maharaja) The color of your cloth is too dark. Better to reduce it somewhat.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaja: I made a mistake – too much dye.
Shripad Damodara Maharaja: Gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wrote that even if guru makes a mistake, he is always right.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is the meaning?
Shripad Damodara Maharaja: I don't know. That's why I'm asking.
And the conditioned soul, even if he is right, he is always wrong.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If guru is wrong, he is not guru. On the other hand, if Narada or any bona fide acarya in our guru-parampara act as though they don't know about something, they are guru.
Narada Rsi approached the demon Kamsa and asked him, "What are you doing? Why have you excused Devaki and Vasudeva? I know that that the demigods had a meeting and discussed various ways to kill you. Those demigods have now appeared as Devaki and Vasudeva and their associates for that purpose."
After Kamsa heard this from Narada, he killed the sons of Devaki and Vasudeva and also began to harass Devaki and Vasudeva themselves. What is the significance of this? Although Vasudeva and Devaki are the father and mother of Krishna, Narada told Kamsa to harass them. Why?
Shripad Damodara Maharaja: He did it so that Kamsa would commit more offenses and Krishna would therefore appear sooner.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes.
Shripad Madhava Maharaja: What Narada did seems to be wrong, but it is not.
Shripad Damodara Maharaja: Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also said that even if guru makes a mistake when reciting a verse, he is right; and the conditioned soul, even if he recites the verse correctly, he is wrong.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Our Guru Maharaja hardly ever quoted slokas; he mostly used logical arguments. Moreover, when he did refer to a sloka, he uttered only two or three words, not the complete sloka.
Sometimes guru's pronunciation may be incorrect, but guru is correct. In this way we can apply what you have quoted, but not where other matters are concerned. Guru can never do wrong.