Hilo, Hawaii: February 9, 2005
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Yesterday [Vyasa-puja] we discussed guru-tattva. There are so many speakers present tonight, those who are preaching here and there. I want them to preach, but first they must learn guru-tattva and all other tattvas (established philosophical truths). They should learn all tattvas, and guru-tattva is the backbone of them all.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja then called on several devotees to continue speaking on the topic of guru-tattva. This took quite some time, and then Shrila Narayana Maharaja spoke:]
What is the duty of a pure disciple towards his god-brothers, gurudeva and superiors? Should he criticize others or not, and should he be humble or not? We should not criticize anyone. Always be humble and try to respect both superiors and inferiors.
Today our time is over. It is 7pm, and now the drama will be performed. There are so many speakers and I want to give time to them, but I will speak for at least one minute.
You have been hearing about Shrimad-Bhagavatam. If anyone will utter or hear even one verse, half of a verse, half of a half of one verse, one word or even one letter of a verse, he may attain krsna-prema. He will come in the process to attain pure bhakti:
satam prasangam mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
[“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.25)]
First you will attain sadhana-bhakti, then gradually bhava-bhakti, and at last prema-bhakti. At that time you will go directly to Goloka Vrindavana and serve the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Try to read, utter and hear hari-katha, especially from Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Shrila Vyasadeva and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami have stated:
nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah
[“O expert and thoughtful men, relish Shrimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its sectarian juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.3)]
There was a fruit in the spiritual world that was full of rasa (nectar). It had no skin and no seed. It was simply rasa. A parrot from this world flew there and saw that fruit. He became greedy and wanted to taste it, so he put his beak into the fruit and said to himself, “Very, very tasteful.” Out of greed, he at once picked it up with his beak and returned to this world, and he has mercifully given the fruit – Shrimad-Bhagavatam – to the entire world.
Those who are fortunate should go to a rasika (taster of transcendental mellows) tattva-jna (knower of all truths) Vaisnava and drink this rasa until they have fainted. Even if you are a liberated soul, you can drink this transcendental juice.
I wanted to explain these topics more elaborately, but I could not do so because of a shortage of time.
It will be best if I tell you more. So next year, if Lord Shri Krishna will arrange it, we can meet here again.
Up until now we have explained only the first verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam:
janmady asya yato ’nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijïah svarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi
[“O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.1)]
To explain these verses, some selected verses have been given by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Shrimad Bhagavata-arka-maricimala. Among these verses, I will try to explain as many as I will have time for – perhaps one, two, three or four.
Lord Shri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that fruit, which Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami brought from Goloka Vrindavana, is Lord Krishna Himself. Krishna is bhagavat-svarupa, the embodiment of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the glorification of Krishna, and therefore it consists simply of rasa. Shri Narada told Shrila Vyasadeva, “Don’t mix anything when you write Shrimad-Bhagavatam. It should be pure rasa.” Krishna Himself is pure rasa.
There are twelve kinds of rasa (transcendental mellow relationships with Lord Krsn). The five prominent rasas are: santa (neutral), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental) and madhurya (conjugal love). The seven secondary rasas are: hasya (comedy), adbhuta (wonder), karuna (mercy), raudra (anger), bhayanaka (horror) bibhatsa (shock) and vira (chivalry). All rasas are present in Krishna. Everything is there.
When Shri Krishna entered the wrestling arena with his brother, Lord Baladeva, they were each carrying a tusk of the elephant Kuvalayapida. Some blood was dripping from the tusks and the boys were somewhat smiling. At that time Kamsa told the very strong wrestlers, Carana, Mustika and others, “Be ready. Krishna should not leave here alive. You should all combine and kill Him at once.” The wrestlers were very tall, resembling mountains. They were ready to wrestle, and they tried to pull Krishna and Baladeva into the arena. Lord Krishna told them, “I can only wrestle with boys my age. I cannot wrestle with you.” They replied, “You have killed Putana, Agasura and Bakasura. You always wrestle while cow-herding. We know you. So come on and wrestle, and in that way we can try to please Maharaja Kamsa.” Then they forcibly pulled Krishna and Baladeva into the arena.
The wives of the Yadus were present in the audience. They saw Krishna, and they saw that the demons were dragging Him into the arena. They became furious and could not check themselves. Rebuking everyone present, they announced, “If anyone here supports the idea that the wrestlers should fight with this boy, Krishna, they will go against religious principles. We will not remain here.”
You should be like these wives of the Yadus. My daughters should be very bold. When something is going on against religion and bhakti, they should speak up.
They wives of the Yadavas spoke very beautiful verses, in which they glorified the gopis. They said: “O gopis, what high class of austerities you have performed!”
gopyas tapah kim acaran yad amusya rupam
lavanya-saram asamordhvam ananya-siddham
drgbhih pibanty anusavabhinavam durapam
ekanta-dhama yasasah sriya aisvarasya
[“What austerities must the gopis have performed! With their eyes they always drink the nectar of Lord Krishna’s form, which is the essence of loveliness and is not to be equaled or surpassed. That loveliness is the only abode of beauty, fame and opulence. It is self-perfect, ever fresh and extremely rare.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.44.15)]
“You are always drinking the beauty of Shri Krishna with your eyes, taking Him through your eyes into your heart, and embracing Him there. What austerities have you performed? We want the dust of your lotus feet upon our heads, so we can be like you.”
ya dohane ’vahanane mathanopalepa
gayanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo ’sru-kanthyo
dhanya vraja-striya urukrama-citta-yanah
[“The ladies of Vraja are the most fortunate of women because, with their minds fully attached to Krishna and their throats always choked up with tears, they constantly sing about Him while milking the cows, winnowing grain, churning butter, gathering cow dung for fuel, riding on swings, taking care of their crying babies, sprinkling the ground with water, cleaning their houses, and so on. By their exalted Krishna consciousness they automatically acquire all desirable things.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.44.15)]
“Oh gopis, you are always remembering the sweet pastimes of Shri Krishna. At the time of sweeping you sing: ‘Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.’
“When purifying your courtyard with cow dung and water, you sing: ‘Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.’”When your babies are going to sleep but are not yet sleeping, what are you doing?
‘Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.’
“And when you are churning yogurt, you sing: ‘Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti Govinda Damodara Madhaveti’“
"Only the bodies of the gopis engage in these household activities. They are blessed, for their minds are in Lord Krishna. Krishna is always on the chariot of their minds, and they always sit on the chariot of Krishna’s mind."
“Oh gopis, how glorious you are! What austerities you must have performed!” pratar vrajad vrajata avisatas ca sayam
gobhih samam kvanayato ’sya nisamya venum
nirgamya turnam abalah pathi bhuri-punyah
pasyanti sa-smita-mukham sa-dayavalokam
[“When the gopis hear Krishna playing His flute as He leaves Vraja in the morning with His cows or returns with them at sunset, the young girls quickly come out of their houses to see Him. They must have performed many pious activities to be able to see Him as He walks on the road, His smiling face mercifully glancing upon them. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.44.16)]
“When Krishna goes to the forest to graze the cows, and also when He returns home, you are waiting there. Having come from your houses and having given up all your duties, you gaze at Shri Krishna’s face and smile. What austerities have you performed?”
You can also think of Shri Krishna like the gopis, when sweeping or performing any activity. Krishna is very sweet, and this has been told in the above-mentioned verses.
I will continue to explain tomorrow.
I wanted to give this sweet rasa to you during my days here in Hilo, but I could not. Instead I spent most of my time here discussing tattva-jnana (philosophy).