Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Cessnock, Australia, February 1, 2000
[Yugala Kishora dasa:] This process is very powerful, and because he is a bona fide personality, anyone who received his instructions and was somewhat serious, would soon, very easily, pick up the true spirit. Shrila Prabhupada was really a giant even among the disciplic succession, even amongst the teaching mission of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; and thus he was able to do such a wonderful, extraordinary thing. According to Krishna's plan, another giant in our disciplic succession, namely Shrila Gurudeva, came. He is following in the footsteps of Shrila Prabhupada. He came and did yet another extraordinary thing; created another revolution, the magnanimity of which will not be understood for a very long time. It is not that ordinary persons can do. So, for those of us who are fortunate enough, being inspired to go further, and not only hear the words, but follow his instructions. When I first met Shrila Gurudeva, I said to myself, "The first thing I will do is look at his disciples, and … if they are fanatical, I will not be interested". I looked hard, and all I could see was very, very loving devotees who are practicing the etiquettes of Krishna consciousness. I felt this was what I always wanted, and I am sure what others wanted when we joined the original Hare Krishna movement. Then I was thinking, this is so very nice. How wonderful must this spiritual master be. And I was reminded just a couple of weeks ago - all the devotees were lamenting when Prema Prayojana Prabhu and Subala Sakha Prabhu left. What to speak of when Shrila Gurudeva leaves; the devotees already miss the association of his disciples so much. So I offer my humble respect to all the devotees, and to our most dear Shrila Gurudeva. I hope you have a comfortable stay here. By Krishna's mercy you have come.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Syamarani, the senior-most disciple of Svamiji, will speak.
[Syamarani dasi:] [mangalacarana]. I am very inspired by the words of Yugala Kishora Prabhu. He told some hint of what Shrila Prabhupada came to give us. One of the things that Shrila Prabhupada gave us are the songs of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. And today we see particularly one of those songs coming to life from the page. That is, he writes, "Oh my Lord Hari, Shrila Rupa Gosvami has now appeared in the form of the spiritual master. Shrila Rupa Gosvami himself, who is Shri Rupa Manjari, has appeared before us now in the form of the spiritual master, and, siksha dile mora kane. He gave us the following instructions; that is, Shrila Rupa Gosvami himself gave us these instructions in the form of the spiritual master.
jano mora katha…
Please try to understand my words. Who should understand? Namera kangala - do you know kangala? Beggars. And they go like this: 'Give me something, give me something.' That is kangala: those who are begging for the gift of the holy name. "O Gurudeva, I have no power to chant the holy name of Krishna. Give me just one more drop of your mercy, so that I can taste the great treasure of the holy name". Try to understand my words... jano mora katha. O you who are begging for the gift of the holy name, rati pabe nama gane; and then you will be able to taste the nectar essence of the holy name. And what are the words of instruction? tan nama-rupa-caritadi sukirtananu-smrtyoh…
The rest of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's song is about how Shrila Rupa Gosvami, in the form of the spiritual master, teaches us how to chant the holy names, by remembering the pastimes of each name. And which names to chant? Those names who are the fulfillment of our soul's aspiration: gopi bhartur pada-kamalayor dasa dasanudasa. When B equals C, if A equals B, then A also must equal C. The spiritual master is a manifestation of Shri Rupa Gosvami. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who wrote that song, is naturally also a manifestation of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He is also a guru. We know Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to be a manifestation of Shri Gadadhara Pandita (gaura-sakti svarupaya), so that means Shrila Gurudeva is also a manifestation of Gadadhara Pandita. He is a manifestation of Baladeva, a manifestation of Nityananda, Who is akhanda guru tattva. The complete guru. siksha guru-ke to jani krsnera svarupa. Gurudeva is the personality of Krishna Himself. He is non-different from the form of Krishna Himself, manifested to give us His divine instructions, as a reality in our heart. So we are so fortunate to have Shrila Rupa Gosvami manifest on the couch [before us].
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I want that Vraja Vallabha should speak. He is a very qualified and senior Vaisnava.
Vraja Vallabha: I am very unqualified. Ei baro koruna koro vaisnava gosani. We are really all here on the mercy of our spiritual master. All we have to do is empty ourselves from other things and simply make ourselves available. All these troubles, and anarthas and unnecessary baggage we carry in our hearts - we just have to let them go and simply joyfully associate with Vaisnavas and Gurudeva. Then so many transformations will take place. There is so much potential in the heart of all devotees, and by coming into contact with our spiritual master, so many glorious things will then take place. We don't have to quarrel anymore with the reactions of our karma, we just accept that; and we concentrate and collect all our energies, concentrate with all our minds on bhakti.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I know that by the mercy of my diksha guru, nitya lila pravista om visnupada astottara sata Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja; and my siksha guru, my friend and so many relationships, Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja; only by their mercy I have come. I am not coming. They are inspiring me to go everywhere and preach their mission. I know that I am a dry straw, no qualification as they glorify me. I am not such a high class of devotee. I have not so much bhakti, but I know the mercy of my Gurudeva and my siksha guru, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Their mercy is making me go here and there to preach their mission.
In Brhad Bhagavatamrta, I have read that sadhu sanga is the root of all success, all bhakti, everything. If there is no good association, no one can attain love for Radha-Krishna, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityanada Prabhu. In this world very rare persons are anxious to have bhakti for Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Very rare. But I know that Krishna is so much anxious, and He is more worried for us. And He is searching for us. He is calling us. He is so merciful that He told Radhika, "Oh, my bhakta [the brahmana] is searching for me. You should help him". And then She sent Gopa Kumara - "Go at once to this martya-loka and by any trick you should bring him". And Shri Sanatana Gosvami, in the last, has given a glorification of this high class of association. Perhaps you know all about the brahmana who went to Kamaksa devi in India because he wanted wealth. That is why he was worshipping Kamaksa devi, who is Durga devi She was so merciful. She never gave him any wealth. She used to give so much wealth to others, but for him there was some exception. She gave him gopala mantra, in a dream, and told him who is the deity of this mantra, and how we should chant our mantra 3 times [daily], and how we should offer ourselves, be saranagata to their lotus feet. But he thought it was only a dream, nothing else. So he overlooked it. After four or five days that devi, goddess, again came in a dream, and said, "Oh, you're not following my orders. You must follow my orders, and then you will be successful in your life, and you will have everything you desire. But don't delay. From today you should follow with high regard [respect], and very strong faith".
After some time that brahmana became detached from all worldly desires, and he forgot to ask any wealth from Devi. He left and came to Bengal at Sagara (ocean), and from there he went to Gaya, and Kasi, and from there he went to Vrindavana, and he was thinking, "What is sadhya and sadhana?". He was so worried for it, and then he heard someone weeping very loudly. But weeping in what way? Whether they were weeping, or singing in melody - he could not differentiate. After some time he entered that kunja and saw a beautiful gopa, like a sakha of Krishna - Gopa Kumara. And he was weeping "Oh Krishna! Oh Krishna!", in a song like the gopis had wept for Krishna in rasa lila: tava kathamritam tapta jivanam/ kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham/ sravana mangalam Shrimad atatam/ bhuvi grhnanti ye bhurida janah.
They were weeping, but it was like a pathetic song. Krishna could not control Himself and He appeared at once. Similarly Gopa Kumar was weeping like this. Then the brahmin went there with folded hands requested Him. Gopa Kumar had been meditating and his meditation was broken. Then Gopa Kumara said, "You are a brahmana and you went to Prayaga, Jyotisapura and you worshipped Kamaksa Devi for wealth. Then brahmin asked, "How did you know?" "Yes I have done this." Gopa Kumar replied, "And she gave you Gopala mantra and also the outlines." "How do you know? 'Yes, I have done.' he replied. He was thinking, "How did he know all these things? Very strange." "She also warned you not to delay in Kasi otherwise you will be pukka mayavadi. Go to Prayaga and take bath, but don't delay there. Then go to Vrindavana."
So a guru who is bona fide, before giving initiation, will do some things so that the devotee will be so much influenced by his glory. He will think that, 'O really, he's my guru'. Shri Sanatana Gosvami has written in Hari Bhakti Vilasa that guru should test the disciple. And the disciple should also test the guru, otherwise the guru will fall down and the disciples life will be ruined. Those who are kanistha adhikari and thinking that, 'We are uttama or madhyama adhikari', should be very careful about these things. At least they should test, otherwise the disciples will make them fall down. All this has been told in epics. tasmad guru prapadyetad jijnasu sreya uttamam Those who are qualified like this are a high class of devotees, and they are really gurus. You are fortunate. You have come in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Shrila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura and in the line of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. You are so much fortunate. His mercy brought me here. Otherwise how could I have come here?
After that he asked Gopa Kumara, "I want to know what is sadhana and sadhya? I don't know anything. Devi gave me diksha of that mantra, but never told me all these things". And then he [Gopa Kumara] began to tell his own life history. And at last he said, "Krishna requested Shrimati Radhika that "Somehow you should manage that that brahmana should come to Me. He is my very dear one. She replied, " That is why, in My form as Durga, I gave him initiation." Who was that Durga? Durga is a manifestation of Shrimati Radharani. There is not so much difference. Only we say that Durga is Mahamaya, and Shrimati Radhika is Yogamaya, or more than that. But anyhow, in one sense they are one. Not in all senses, but in one sense.
"So I have accepted that brahmana in my form Durga. So Krishna had requested, because He is anxious for His dear devotee, "Please arrange that this brahmana should very soon come to me. He is my sakha". Gopa Kumara continued, "and then She sent me: 'O Svarupa, you should go and bring that brahmin boy'. So I have come just for you, and I have told my whole history. I have told you about all the five kinds of love and affection. I have especially told the glorification of gopi prema, and how, among all gopi prema, Radha prema is the highest, the Supreme. "I have told everything. You are also sakha of Krishna." The brahmana knew all these things, but he had yet achieved no bhava, no prema-nothing was coming. Then Gopa Kumara put his hand on the head of the brahmana, and at once he [the brahmana] began to weep loudly, and he saw Krishna and Shrimati Radhika there also. And the he realized all that his guru had told him. Very quickly he saw that, "I am going somewhere, flying going in an airplane; and he saw that he reached Goloka Vrindavana. And there he met all.
Why did I tell this story? Who gave diksha to that brahmana? "Devi, the manifestation of Shrimati Radhika." She is diksha guru. But she could not help so much. She only gave diksha, the gopala mantra. At first only gopala mantra was given in diksha - nothing else. And also harinama. Now we are so fallen that our gurus, our Guru parampara, like Gopala Guru, Vakreswara Pandit, Dhyanacandra Gosvami, they discovered all these things from sastra. And then they added brahma gayatri, guru mantra, guru gayatri, gaura mantra, gaura gayatri, gopala mantra, kama gayatri, all. Now everything is given because we are not like them. So she gave the diksha mantra, but she could not tell all these things which Gopa Kumara told. So he is siksha guru.
Do you know who is superior? The siksha guru. Shrimati Radhika has sent Gopa Kumara. So you can realize what is the position of a siksha guru. So my siksha guru is who? Shrila Svami Maharaja. My diksha guru was the same, in the same category. My diksha guru gave sannyasa, renounced order, and siksha also, to Shrila Svami Maharaja. Both are very high-class. Both may be siksha guru and diksha guru simultaneously. No harm. Both are qualified to be diksha guru and siksha guru at the same time. So you can see. How I am also lucky. How I am fortunate to have a guru and siksha guru like them. Really, I am very fortunate, and I have so much association of very highly learned Shrila Prabhupada's associates. I have seen so many - almost all - of the high class of associates of Shrila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura. And I have served them all, because I used to live with my Gurudeva. I had the chance to serve them. I am especially so fortunate and lucky that I served Shrila Svamiji also. I am so much fortunate. That is why I am telling that he gave me service from 1947, when there was no birth of ISKCON. There were no disciples, nothing. He only wanted to make a "League of Devotees." You know League of Devotees. At first he did like that. So from the beginning he was so merciful to me. And as you know he has written in his letters, "our relation is transcendental." I don't know what is that, but he has written. I will be lucky when I realize this. Now I cannot realize how he thought like that. He wrote me that our relation is same as my relation was to my Prabhupada. Your relation to me is the same. "I want to realize this. When I will realize it, my life will be successful.
You should also know that I have not come here, or anywhere in the world, to make disciples. I have come only to follow the orders of my diksha guru, and especially the order of my siksha guru Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, as he ordered me in his last breath. After me he never talked with anyone. Soon after this conversation he gave up his external consciousness, and entered the service of his holy master, Shri Shri Radha and Krishna conjugal.
He wanted, that, "I am begging for forgiveness. You should forgive me. My god-brothers should forgive me. I have done something in my preaching that I would not have done. Please try to teach something - all siddhantas - to all my disciples." He told me, in Bengali in my ear, "O, I have brought so many monkeys - I could not teach them fully, so please help them." I said, "I give my word. You are my siksha guru. That I will try to help up to my last breath. I will help all your disciples." So I have not come to make any disciples, I came only to take the foot-dust of Svamiji - wherever he went.
All these places are very auspicious. I also came to help the devotees who have been neglected. Only for this only to help them, but unfortunately, those who began to associate with me, were refused other's shelter. That is why I was bound to give shelter to them. Otherwise, even today, I want that I should help them totally, so that they will not fall down. Lacking of this sadhu sanga, and siksha guru's shelter, all are bound to fall. A man cannot be in same level, or same class, always. And if he has not taste, then he must fall down. So I am very happy. I have strong belief that you will not fall down. Never. I know that you, are in the real sense, ISKCON - founded by Brahma, established by Brahma. And in the line, Narada Gosvami is second, and third is Vyasadeva.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] [His name is] not only Vyasa deva. Krishna Dvaipayana Vedavyasa, who manifested Shrimad Bhagavatam, and then Madhavendra Puripada. And then Isvara Puripada, and then Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda - they are really ISKCON devotees. You should not be a "frog in a well". Never. You can even be a frog, but of the ocean. Then you can realize the mercy of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Otherwise you cannot. If you are a frog in a well you cannot realize his mercy. If you are coming from well and looking at the 7 oceans of the world, where Svamiji went - everywhere - and when he manifested his mercy to all, without any consideration of caste and creed. To those who came, he told, "You should chant Hare Krishna-Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare - Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare."
"Oh, from where have you come? Are you disciple of Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja?"
"Oh yes, I am his disciple." And he embraced them. "O you are so dear to me."
"O from where have you come? From Bhakti Rakshaka Shrila Shridhar Maharaja? O yes, come on, come on."
"From where you are coming?"
"I am coming from Australia."
"Are you hippie?"
"O Yes, yes."
"Oh come on, come on," and he embraced them. But now there are so many walls here and there. "No one should enter." Our Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so merciful. Boundlessly merciful. A dog came to him. "O you are dog of Sivananda Sena?" And he gave some maha prasada coconut. He told the dog to chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, and he went direct to Goloka. So I want that even a dog who is related to Svamiji to be my bosom friend. He is my bosom friend. We are all from one family of Caitanya Mahaprabhu - in Australia, America, England or Holland, or even in Muslim countries. No harm. Those who think that, "We are of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu" and are chanting Hare Krishna - all are in our family. We should try to give them honor: 'krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta,' and if 'dikshasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam', then offer obeisances with the body, and if 'susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga labdhya', not criticizing anyone, always 'nindati sunyam' and always chanting and remembering, absorbed in high class Vaisnava, rasika and bhavuka, then you should go and fall down at their lotus feet, and try to serve with whole life and soul. He is our prana bandhu, bosom friend of our heart. Never Rupa Gosvami has told that "he should only be disciple of my gurudeva." Has he written? Never. So try to follow all these things in a correct way.
I am very happy that the whole of Murwillumbah, all devotees have come here. I am very inspired. You are helping me in this preaching in the line of Svamiji. All of you are helping. I am not making disciples, I am making my friends. Making environment that I can tell some Hari-katha to them and they can hear. And Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta told: "O you are my 'vipada uddhara bandhu'" What is meaning? You are my friends who save me from a great calamity." Also you are saving me from great calamity. The guru never thinks that I'm making so many disciples. These are all wealth of Krishna. All are very fragrant, very smooth and very sweet flowers. Guru takes them and offers them at the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika. Guru only does this. He never thinks that' "O, all the disciples are my property." Never. Otherwise he is a kan-guru [Kangaroo]. A real Guru thinks that all the disciples are very sweet, fragrant small flowers of Radha and Krishna conjugal. If guru gives this flower (the disciple) to the lotus feet of Radhika, she takes it and places it in a garland and puts that garland around the neck of Krishna; as does Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. So we should try to break down all the walls, and make the wall small. Then all can be offered together, and chant and remember together.