Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Excerpts from February 6, 2007
North Shore, Hawaii
[This class is similar to one given in 2003 in Germany. The editors have only transcribed parts of this hari-katha that were not mentioned in the Germany class.]
krsna-sambandha-vijnana-dayine prabhave namah
“I offer my obeisances unto om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura Prabhupada, who is very dear to Krishna, who is most beloved to Shri Varsabhanavi-devi Radhika, who is an ocean of mercy and who is kindly bestowing realization (sambandha-vijnana) of our eternal relationship with Shri Radha and Krishna.”
Today is the very auspicious birthday of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. He is sri-varsabhanavi-devi-dayita (most beloved to Shrimati Radhika). He is krsna-prestha (very dear to Krishna), krsna-parikara (an associate of Krishna) and especially within Krishna’s parikaras, he is varsabhanavi-devi’s, that is, Shrimati Radhika’s, palya dasi (maidservant).
sri-gaura-karuna-sakti-vigrahaya namo 'stu te
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, the personified energy of Shri Caitanya's mercy, who delivers devotional service which is enriched with conjugal love of Radha and Krishna, coming exactly in the line of revelation of Shrila Rupa Gosvami.”
“Madhuryojjvala-premadhya.” He has so much of this very precious unnatojjvala parakiya-rasa (absorption in the paramour love of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna) in his heart, and he is giving it to the world. He was the first person who tried to give this confidential and very high class of unnatojjvala-parakiya-bhava, not only in Bengal, not only in India, but throughout the entire world. He was so merciful.
“Rupanuga bhaktida.” What is rupanuga? It is the following in the footsteps of Shrila Rupa Gosvami in his gopi form as Shri Rupa Manjari, who engages in very special services to Radhika. This is called radha-dasyam (service to the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika). Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura spread this throughout the entire world.
So today we are offering our obeisances unto his lotus feet.
There is a place of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s in Puri near Satasan Ashram, near where Shrila Svarupa Damodara and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura used to give class there, and so many babajis and others would come to hear. When Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was absent, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura would give classes. Gradually, those in Shrila Sarasvati Thakura’s audience all left, because his classes were very powerful and he would strongly defeat all the arguments of the sahajiyas, sakhi-bekhis and other un-bona fide groups. The babajis became upset and stopped coming.
After Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was initiated, he went to Mayapura and began to preach from there. A Sankirtan mandala (a circular area where sankirtan is performed) is situated there, where he was performing sankirtana. After that, he established temples (mathas) on the nine islands. Gradually, so many young men came to him and became brahmacaris, like my Gurudeva Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and also Shripad Bon Maharaja, Shripad Nanda-suta prabhu, Shripad Madhava Maharaja, Shripad Giri Maharaja, Shripad Narahari prabhu, Mahananda prabhu, Shripad Paramahamsa Maharaja, and thousands of other devotees were there. He used to give harinama, then diksa, and sannyasa also. Then, they began to preach all over the world.
Years later, in Calcutta, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura became very sick, and was soon to leave his body. On the last night before he gave up his body, all of his disciples were with him, especially his prominent sannyasis, brahmacaris and grhastha devotees.
He told them, “For the preaching of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission, I have given so much trouble to others. One day they will realize that it was not trouble. I have done this for their own welfare; one day they will realize this.
“You should do bhajana of Shrimati Radhika and Krishna under the guidance of asraya-tattva, that is, guru-tattva. Krishna is visaya-tattva and Shrimati Radhika is asraya-tattva, and those who serve her and appear as pure devotees in this world are also asraya-tattva, under Her guidance. We should be under their guidance.
“This body is rotten. After some days it will totally rot and be burned to ashes. If not this, then it will be buried and so many insects will come out of it. Still, though it is rotten even now, you should offer it to Krishna. Don’t criticize anyone. This is my advice. You should all combine together and preach my mission.”
He also explained pratyaksa-jnana (direct sense perception), paroksya-jnana (svarga, or heaven), aparoksya-jnana (mukti), adhoksa-jnana (Vaikuntha) and aprakrta-jnana (Shri Krishna’s pastimes in Vraja). I have come to give you this realization – Krishna’s pastimes in Vraja. You must do bhajana. [*See Endnote 1]
He said, “Suffering may come; do not try to simply avoid suffering. You should know what the aim and object of your life and your bhajana is, and whole-heartedly perform bhajana of Krishna.” After speaking about this, he did not speak anything.
After the departure of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada from this world, my Guru Maharaja arranged a train with many boogis, and with the help of other devotees he brought Shrila Prabhupada to Calcutta, to Mayapura. Guru Maharaja personally gave him samadhi at that time, and the samadhi we see now was given by my Guru Maharaja.
During Shrila Prabhupada’s lifetime, some prominent sannyasis, complaining amongst themselves, decided, “We will no longer go to preach and give money to Prabhupada, because he gives all the money to Kunja-bihari, the temple manager; and Kunja-bihari sends it to his family.”
Pujyapada Shridhara Maharaja went to Shrila Prabhupada and told him this fact, and added, “The devotees want to strike.”
Shrila Prahupada replied, “Your head has burnt? You have no power to understand about anything? My disciples have all left their responsibilities – their homes, fathers, mothers, money, and everything else. They were not poor when they left home and came to the temple. Kunja-bihari is managing, so I am giving him money as a salary, and we are preaching throughout the world. You are not understanding this.”
Shrila Shridhara Maharaja now understood the deep meaning of the words of his spiritual master, and returned to explain this to the other sannyasis.
This is the appearance day of jagad-guru Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura, and therefore we should discuss his glories.
Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale, srimate bhaktisiddhanta-sarasvatiti-namine. In this pranama mantra it is stated: bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given birth to the personification of the doctrines of bhakti (bhakti-siddhanta). In Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura there is all the knowledge that Krishna gave to Brahma, Brahma gave to Narada, Narada gave to Vyasa, and thus, by disciplic succession, came through the Rupanuga Vaisnavas down to Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. All the philosophical truths (siddhantas) of the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other scriptures were embodied in Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. If any person came to argue philosophy with him, that person was at once defeated, and he was bound to accept all his teachings.
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. There are two Sarasvatis. The power of Brahma is Sarasvati, but that Sarasvati is not the real Sarasvati of Goloka Vrindavan. This Siddhanta Sarasvati, however, is the real embodiment of transcendental knowledge. Therefore, because of this transcendental knowledge, his name was Shrila Bhakisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. Why Prabhupada? He was Prabhupada in the real sense, because he preached throughout the world the glorification of his Prabhu. Who is his Prabhu? Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, Gauracandra, Gaura-Gadadhara, and Gaura-Nityananda. He preached Their glories everywhere, and therefore he is really Shrila Prabhupada.
Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale. He was very near and dear to Krishna, very near and dear, in that male form. But who is he really? In the second verse of his pranama mantra it is stated: sri varsabhanavi-devi-dayitaya. He is really the eternal maidservant of Shrimati Radhika. He is so very dear to Radhika in his form as Nayana-manjari.
As Mahaprabhu's associate he is Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, and as the associate of Radha-Krishna he is Nayana-manjari. What is the meaning of the name Nayana-manjari? As one's eyes are very dear, to one, Nayana-manjari, who is the personification of the eyes of Shrimati Radhika, is so near and dear to Her. She is always serving Shrimati Radhika.
Thus, he has two forms. One form is as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate, not only in this world but also in Goloka Vrindavana, in Svetadvipa. And, in Vrndavana also, as Nayana-manjari, she serves Shrimati Radhika. You have seen in Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Vilapa-kusamanjali how the manjaris serve Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Nayana-manjari serves Them in those same ways.
Shrila Sarasvati Thakura is krpabdhaye, an endless ocean of mercy. He was the first acarya in the four sampradayas to desire that all the people in the world, all those who have forgotten Krishna, should realize all the truths of bhakti and be helped to become pure devotees. If Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura had not sent his disciples here and there, none of you, in any country, would have met pure devotees. Now, by the mercy of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, though Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and my Gurudeva, krsna-kirtana is everywhere in the world. Everyone knows Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krishna only by their mercy. Shrila Prabhupada had the wish, and then he sent his arms here and there. Who are his arms? His disciples, his devotees. At first he sent Shrila Van Maharaja and others, and next he sent Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. They are therefore like arms, and they are preaching everywhere.
We are very fortunate to come in their line, but we should try to be very strong. Sometimes, if you are not in good association, you become weak. It may be that when I return to India, you will become weak. Don't be weak. Always realize that our whole guru-parampara, Radha-Krishna, Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Guru are always with you, and they will help you. Don’t give up chanting and remembering Krishna.
Krpabdhaye. He is not called an ocean of mercy only because he gave us harinama. He gave so much more. He brought Goloka Vrndavana. He brought the love and affection of the gopis to this world. If he has not brought all these things, we would never have heard of them. He is therefore an ocean of mercy.
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura taught that there are five kinds of knowledge: pratyaksa, paroksa, aparoksa, adhoksaja, and aprakrta. The knowledge of everything we see and realize by our direct experience is called pratyaksa. But this is false.
Then, paroksa. We don’t see Svarga (heaven), but we believe in it. There is also a history of Svarga. We will have to accept Svarga, although we don’t see it. We hear that if a man is a thief, a dacoit, a debauch, and so on, he will have to go to hell. On the other hand, if he is pious, he will go to Svarga and be very happy there. This knowledge is called paroksa.
Then, aparoksa. This is the knowledge taught by Sankarcarya. One day we will have to die, and we will have to give up everything in this world. Our beauty will go, our body will go, whatever we are collecting will go, and everything else will go. We cannot take anything, neither our pennies nor our pens, from this world. So why are we collecting all these bogus things? Why? An intelligent person thinks about this and becomes detached, but a bogus, foolish person remains attached to sense gratification. He desires only to make his body very beautiful and strong. Nowadays there is a competition for Miss India, Miss America, Miss World, and also Miss Universe. After one year, will Miss India again be selected as Miss India or Miss World? Rather, all will neglect her.
Although engaged in chanting and remembering, many devotees are also engaged in sense gratification, and they cannot give up lust. This is Maya. Therefore, Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura sent his qualified devotees everywhere – to make those weak devotees strong. He wanted to encourage them and say, "You should remember Krishna." It is for this reason that he has sent his arms. I am also coming. He has ordered me to do so. His disciple, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, has ordered me. My ‘Swamiji’, that is, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, has ordered me. So you should not be weak – never and never.
Then, adhoksaja. What is adhoksaja? Adhoksaja is Vaikuntha, that place where there is no time. There is only the eternal present. There is no birth and death, and no suffering and sorrow. Nothing bad is there. In that abode there is so much opulence, and everyone there prays to Lord Narayana.
There is something higher than this, however, and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has taught that this most superior truth is called aprakrta. Aprakrta is that realm where Vraja-lila is performed. Krishna is sometimes like a baby there. There He is controlled by His father and mother, He is controlled by his beloved gopis, and He is controlled by his friends. No one can ever imagine such very, very sweet pastimes.
We should try to know this aprakrta. We should try to serve this aprakrta Krishna who is with so many gopis, with His father and mother, with His sakhas, and with all His cows and very sweet cow-herding pastimes. This is the aim and object of our life – service to this Krishna. This is aprakrta-jnana.
Krishna sambandha-vijnana dayine prabhave namah. In this world we have a relationship with our father and mother and our immediate family. We think, "She is my mother, he is my father, and he is my brother." But we are not satisfied with that. We want to be a husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. But still we are not satisfied.
From where have these relationships come? They come from Goloka Vrndavana. There is actually only one relationship – with Krishna. He is not a father there. He is like a friend, like a baby, or like a beloved. In the constitutional form of our soul there is a relationship with Krishna. We have now forgotten this due to Maya, but we have this relationship. All the relationships with these bodies are false and temporary. They remain only for some days, but the relationship in our constitutional form is eternal.
We want love. We first loved our mother, then our father, then our brothers, then other relatives, and then our neighbors. But we were never satisfied. Then we collected wives or husbands, and when we were not satisfied, we got divorced and changed the old ones for new ones. But still we were not satisfied. You cannot be satisfied. No one can ever be satisfied with this world. When you meet with Krishna and serve Him, then you will be satisfied. This is a transcendental relationship, and this relationship is given by Guru. Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura gave this, and this relationship will be forever. It was for this end that he gave the mantra, klim krsnaya govindaya.
Madhuryojjvala premadya sri rupanuga bahaktida. He explained all the truths of madhurya-prema. He actually came only to give this madhuryojjvala-prema, this gopi-prema, which Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written about in his books and for which Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world.
He came only to give this relationship: "Krishna is our beloved" He came to only give this and nothing else. Shrila Prabhupada has written in his articles: "I came only to give this, but my whole time was spent in cutting jungles." Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja also did this in Western countries. He came to this world to give love and affection for Krishna, but to whom could he give it? He was preaching to unqualified people, and therefore he wanted to make a platform for this love by cutting the jungles of atheist and mayavada misconceptions. He thus fertilized the field by plowing, and cutting jungles, and most of his time went in this. He could not preach as he wanted, but he stored so many deep truths about gopi-prema in his books.
Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also did this. In Radha kunda, in his last days, he said that if anyone is only cutting jungles, cutting the arguments of mayavadis and so on, and not accepting the mood of the gopis as taught by Rupa Gosvami, not doing worship of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, not following the line of Rupa Gosvami, then even their chanting will not be sufficient to help them. After some time they will become weak and give up all devotional practices. Then they will become nirvisesavadis and mayavadis (voidists and impersonalists), as so many are now becoming.
Shri rupanuga bhaktida. Shrila Prabhupada descended to this world, and all our disciplic acaryas also came, only for preaching this rupanuga Vaisnavism. But they had no time. From the beginning of my preaching, I was very alert to avoid cutting jungles –because our guru varga had already cut them down. I considered that I must do something affirmative. I therefore accepted this and I preached it from the beginning. Now, however, coming to the Western countries, I began to think, "To whom shall I tell this?" Now I also have to cut down some jungles. When I am in Vrndavana or Navadvipa, however, I mainly speak about the high class of sweet pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krishna.
So Shrila Prabhupada was like an ocean of madhuryojjvala-prema. He wanted to distribute it, and he distributed it. If he did not, then from where have we collected these things? All glories to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. All glories to all his associates. All glories to Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. All glories to all the devotees. (Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Singapore, February 13, 2001)]
Assistant Editor: Hariballabha dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typists: Vasanti and Kanaka-manjari devi dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi