Germany - December 13, 2001 (eve)
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
I offer my heartfelt obeisances, millions of millions of times, unto the lotus feet of my spiritual guru, nitya-lila-pravista Om Vishnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer the same to my siksa-guru, nitya-lila-pravista Om Vishnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
I have been explaining the deep feelings discussed by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Jaiva Dharma. There, Thakura Bhaktivinoda mentions the name of Pradyumna Brahmacari, the siksa-guru of Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji. There is no mention of Premadasa Babaji's diksa-guru, but the siksa-guru is not inferior to the diksa-guru. In some cases, if he is more qualified, the siksa-guru may be in the bhagavat-parampara (the guru-parampara composed soley of self-realized souls, acting both as siksa-gurus and diksa-gurus) whereas the diksa-guru may not be. One may take help in Krishna consciousness, for raganuga-bhakti, from anyone who is most qualified.
Sometimes a siksa-guru may come and help, but if the diksa-guru can give raga-marga (the path of raganuga-bhakti), then he is also in the bhagavat-parampara and he is certainly bona-fide.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes that there was a mayavada sannyasi, named Sannyasi Thakura, who lived in Varanasi. He was extremely learned in all sastras, like the Vedas, Upanisads, and Vedanta. He was also learned in the six symptoms of philosophy, namely sankhya, patanjala, nyaya, vaisesika, purva-mimamsa, and uttara-mimamsa. Although he was learned in this way, he did not relish even a fraction of transcendental ananda (pleasure). Then, one day he heard a pure Vaisnava singing, with his heart melted and tears in his eyes, "Shri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Nityananda, Shri Advaita Gadadhara Shrivasadi Gaura-bhakta-vrnda."
Sannyasi Thakura understood that such symptoms could not come by any material means. He thus realized something about true ananda, and he left Kasi, Varanasi. He left his sannyasa and everything he had previously learned, and he came to Vrndavana. From Vrndavana he came to Navadvipa, and there he met his Gurudeva, Shri Premadasa Prabhu. Sannyasi Thakura totally surrendered, not even keeping one farthing with him, and told Premadasa Babaji, "I am yours now, and you are my Guru. I have taken full shelter of you." He thus became one-pointed in full surrender. A sisya (disciple) should be like him.
Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji began to weep and said, "Sannyasi Thakura, I have taken shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Sacinandana Gaura-hari and His Dhama, Navadvipa Dhama, but I am insignificant. I am nothing. I am zero. I have not relished or realized krsna-prema. I think you are more fortunate than I am. By hearing 'Shri Krishna Chaitanya' from a Vaisnava, for just a moment, you have realized something and become so fortunate. If anyone somehow relishes krsna-prema, he is most fortunate. You are more fortunate than I am, because I have never tasted this. When you are doing bhajana, please remember me from time to time."
Premadasa Babaji, the guru, was speaking with so much humility. Just see how humble he was, and try to be humble like him. We can try, but we cannot be humble unless there is prema. Humility and prema are the same thing; they are non-different. Although this kind of humility will not come simply by our trying (because it comes by mercy), we must try nevertheless, (to show the bestowers of mercy that we want their mercy). If a fraction of prema comes, then a fraction of humility will come. Otherwise, without real humility, we will be only speaking words: "Oh, I am very insignificant."
Saying this and weeping, Premadasa Prabhu embraced Sannyasi Thakura, who then realized ananda and also began to weep. Sannyasi Thakura now realized more than what he had previously realized in Kasi. By hearing something so sweet, and by touching a pure Vaisnava, he began to weep continually. Both wept, just as when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu first met in Navadvipa at Nandanacarya's house, and both of Them wept bitterly and rolled on the earth. Sannyasi Thakura said, "I've surrendered my life, body, soul, and everything I possess to you. I want to stay here for the rest of my life and serve you."
A disciple should be like this. He should surrender everything. He should not hold onto anything, including his independence. He should totally give up his independence. This type of disciple is very rare, however. We say that we are giving up everything, but still we keep the lock and key to our treasury with us. Sometimes we think, "Oh, I know more than my Gurudeva. I know that he does not understand what I'm understanding." Sometimes we think like this, but this is an offense, and this is why we don't realize anything. This is why transcendental realization never comes to us.
Sannyasi Thakura said, "I want to totally give up my independence at your lotus feet, forever." Try to do this. If the guru is bona fide, then do this. If the guru is not bona fide, then give up such a guru. Don't have any doubt in your bona fide Gurudeva; otherwise you'll be ruined. All your transcendental faith will be ruined forever. I see doubts in some persons, and become very worried for them.
Some time ago I joined the Matha and met my Gurudeva, and after hearing his hari-katha for a period of time I told him, "I have given up all the love and affection I had for my wife, for my father and mother, and for my body. I forever offer everything unto your lotus feet." Hearing this, my Gurudeva began to weep. Although I rendered very little service, by my Gurudeva's special mercy, he thought, "He is rendering me so much service." Although I am a dry straw, by his causeless mercy I am preaching everywhere and so many are hearing from me.
Try to have strong faith like Sannyasi Thakura. One day, Paramahamsa Premadasa proposed to him, "I want to go and meet my Gurudeva. You shall accompany me. We will go together to Nrsimha Pali." Although Paramahamsa Babaji was siddha, perfect in self-realization, when he saw his Gurudeva from a distance, he fell down like a stick. Pradyumna Brahmacari also came running from the temple and embraced him.
After some time there was a discourse between them, and that discourse did not consist simply of, "How are you?" Rather, they discussed hari-katha. When Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami used to meet, they did not discuss mundane topics like, "Are you okay? I am okay. Is this body okay?" Rather, they inquired, "Oh, how is your krsna-bhajana? Are there any problems?" "How is your bhajana developing?" They discussed the books they were writing, like Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala Nilamani, Padyavali, and especially the two books, Lalita-Madhava and Vidagdha-Madhava. In this way they passed their time, for hours and hours, throughout the day and night.
Premadasa Babaji said, "Just see how fortunate this fellow is! He is very learned in the six systems of philosophy, as well as in sastras like the Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas. However, although he was so qualified, he was not satisfied there. He left Mayavada and Advaitavada, and has now come to me in Navadvipa. He has taken shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Sacinandana Gaura-hari and Navadvipa Dhama."
Referring to his siksa-disciple Premadasa Babaji, Pradyumna Brahmacari told Sannyasi Thakura, "You are very fortunate that you have received a very high class of siddha-guru." A guru never sees anyone as his disciple, and he never considers that he makes disciples. Prabhupada Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has said that he only makes real gurus. A real guru makes real gurus. He does not think, "You will always be the disciple," whereas the disciple always thinks, "I am your disciple."
Pradyumna Brahmacari continued, "You should hear Prema-vivarta from him." Why did he not ask Sannyasi Thakura to hear Shrimad Bhagavatam or Vedanta? Why not Chaitanya-caritamrta? This is because Sannyasi Thakura's Gurudeva, Premadasa Babaji, was greatly learned in Prema-vivarta. Pradyumna Brahmacari knew that Premadasa studied, followed, and gave classes on Prema-vivarta. Do you know the meaning of Prema-vivarta? Prema-vivarta is the elevated stageof love that is so high that it looks like there is no love.
For example, Jagadananda Pandita used to quarrel with Nimai Pandita. They used to quarrel, as colleagues and friends, and that quarrelling was made of love and affection. We can quarrel with our god-brothers, and there is no harm in that, but it must be with love and affection. We should quarrel for the purpose of serving each other. One god-brother will say to the other, "I will carry this big bundle," and the other will say, "No, I will take it."
Pradyumna Brahmacari then quoted a verse from Chaitanya Caritamrta: kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene nay yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya "Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra - regardless of what he is - he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krishna." (Cc. Madhya 8.128)
It is stated in Hari Bhakti Vilasa, "A guru should be of a superior caste. He should be very beautiful, young, and highly qualified. If such a guru is not found, you may then accept a guru from any caste." But this statement is not very authentic. It has only been made to attract those with less qualification for bhakti. The authentic version is,"Kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene nay..." The bona fide guru may be of any caste. Some persons are saying, "A sannyasi wearing saffron cloth cannot be a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He cannot be in Mahaprabhu's disciplic line." I have very strongly opposed this wrong idea in the book, Five Essential Essays. I have given so much evidence in that book. The babajis who speak like this are sahajiya. kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene nay yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accept Shrila Haridasa Thakura in His sampradaya? Why did He make him Namacarya? Haridasa Thakura was a Muslim. From whom did he take initiation? Is there any historic reference?
Is it mentioned In Chaitanya-caritamrta or Chaitanya Bhagavata or anywhere else? Shri Svarupa Damodara was a classmate of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, but he went to Kasi, and there he lived as a brahmacari and accepted the Advaitavada saffron cloth. He came to Puri at the same time that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came. From whom did he receive initiation?
[In CC. Adi 4.105 (purport) it is stated: "Prior to the Lord's acceptance of the renounced order, Purusottama Bhattacarya, a resident of Navadvipa, desired to enter the renounced order of life. Therefore he left home and went to Benares, where he accepted the position of brahmacarya from a Mayavadi sannyasi. When he became a brahmacari, he was given the name Shri Damodara Svarupa."]
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made him His intimate associate. Why? From whom was he initiated? [In Cc. Mad.10 it is stated, "Purusottama Bhattacarya, a resident of Navadvipa, was educated at Varanasi. He accepted the renounced order from Chaitanyananda, and there he took the name Svarupa."] Was Svarupa Damodara a Mayavadi? Although he took saffron cloth from a Mayavadi, he was not so. He was only playing that role. Why is Shrila Raya Ramananda accepted as being in Mahaprabhu's sampradaya? Who gave him initiation? Whose disciple was he? Shrivasa Pandita was a worshipper of Laxmi-Narayana, and Murari Gupta was a worshipper of Rama, but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted them as His bosom associates. Kiba vipra, kiba nyasi. (Nyasi means sannyasi.)
Those who say that saffron clothed sannyasis are not in the line of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have no argument and no evidence. Their statements are bogus. Svajatiya-snigdha-asraya. In raganuga-marga a siksa-guru should be 'like-minded' to his disciple. If one wants to love Krishna in mood of a mother or father, his guru should be an ocean of that mood. If one is in the mood of Shri Rupa Manjari and thinks, "I want my siddha (perfected spiritual form) to be that of the manjari followers of Rupa Manjari," then the guru should be already perfect in that. He must already have that siddha-deha, and he should be very favorable and causelessly merciful to the disciple. Only that person can be one's siksa-guru; not others. One should think, "A person may be very learned, but if he is not especially affection towards me, and if he does not possess the mood that I want, the mood that is in my svarupa, then he cannot be my siksa-guru."
After the disappearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and Gadadhara Pandita, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami became restless. Quickly running and weeping, he came to Vraja to give up his life, either by jumping from Govardhana or jumping in the Yamuna River. The causelessly merciful Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Sanatana Gosvami saved him, however, and especially Sanatana Gosvami saved him. Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Oh, you should be in Radha-kunda under the guidance of Rupa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami thus took shelter of Rupa Gosvami, and always followed him in all ways. If you want a result like his, then follow this system. Bhakti is a continually flowing current, and this current will not remain for a moment anywhere. It will gradually progress from sraddha to anartha nivrtti to nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, and prema.
Some say, "My Gurudeva has told me that I should only distribute books, and by that, prema-bhakti or vraja-bhakti will at once come. So I will only distribute books for my whole life. No reading. Doing only this." What will happen? The current will stagnate. Only sukrti (pious credits that gradually accumulate to allow one to meet and/or follow a pure devotee.) can come from such activity. Their Gurudeva has spoken rightly, for by doing so, they will meet so many good associates, they will hear hari-katha, they will get a real siksa-guru, their anarthas will disappear, and thus nistha will come. After nistha, ruci will come, then asakti, and then rati (bhava) will manifest. After that, prema will manifest, and as a result, sthayi-bhava, vibhava, sattvika, vyabacari (the transcendental sentiments of the soul) will manifest.
You cannot imagine what this stage will be like. It will come, after a very long time. That is the general process. However, by the mercy of Gurudeva, it can come very quickly. Sannyasi Thakura said to his Gurudeva, "You are Chaitanya parisad (an associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu). Really you are." He did not say this blindly, because he had some realization. He had read all the scriptures, and he saw all the symptoms in his Gurudeva.
He continued, "By your glance, millions of sannyasis can become purified, and thus I am surrendered to your lotus feet." Soon they both returned to Surabhi Kunja, and from that very day Sannyasi Thakura gave up his material conception of himself as a sannyasi. He began to serve his Gurudeva, just as Premadasa served Pradyumna Brahmacari. His Gurudeva did not have to tell him, "You should do all things like this." He saw them, and he accepted at first glance.
Transcriber: Shripad Raghunatha Bhatta dasa Adhikari
Editor: Shripad Rishabhadeva dasa Adhikari
Ass't editor: Shrimati Shyamarani devi dasi
Typist: Shrimati Radhika devi dasi