Mathura, India: February 25, 2004
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[On his way from Delhi to Mathura, Shrila Narayana Maharaja stopped at Govardhana to see the progress on the new Giriraja Govardhana Gaudiya Matha. Over one hundred local Govardhana residents and those involved in the project welcomed Shrila Maharaja and joined him on his tour of the four-story temple. He met with architects, contractors and artists to review their work and discuss future plans, and he expressed his desire to have the project completed by the time of the 2004 Vraja Mandala Parikrama. From Govardhana, Shrila Maharaja went to Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura. There he was greeted by a tumultuous kirtana party, and many devotees garlanded him as he made his way to the temple room. After puja and the foot bathing ceremony, Shrila Maharaja surprised all assembled by telling them about a week they had not expected.
A month earlier the world of devotees received a letter from Shrila Maharaja's secretary that Shrila Maharaja would not be going to Navadvipa this year to celebrate Gaura Purnima. Rather, he would be staying in Vrndavana and giving classes at Shri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha. The letter said there would be no accommodations for the devotees coming from abroad. Rather, they would have to make their own living and prasadam arrangement. After reading that letter, several hundred devotees came to Vrndavana, and they were immeasurably happy to find out they would be spending the week at the Shri Giridhari Gaudiya Matha with Shrila Maharaja. They would be living in and around the matha, and each day they would be taken out by Shrila Maharaja for parikrama - Navadvipa-dhama parikrama. Shrila Maharaja spoke sometimes in Hindi and sometimes in English to the over 400 hundred eager devotees who had already arrived:]
By the special and causeless mercy of my Gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and by the mercy of the Vrajavasis, I went to many Western countries - Hawaii, Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong - and then I returned to Delhi. From Delhi I went to Calcutta for a meeting, returned to Delhi, and from there I have come to Mathura. It is the mercy of Lord Shri Krishna and our gurupada-padma that our preaching was so successful in these Western countries. I am very fortunate that today, after waiting 60 years, I am here in Vrndavana to observe Shri Gaura Purnima. I wanted that one year I would be here in Vrndavana for Gaura Purnima - to see how we can observe it here. I made up in my mind that, as it is performed during the Navadvipa parikrama, on the first day we will do sankalpa (vows and prayers for the success of the parikrama), on the second day we will visit those pastime places in Vraja that are hidden in the second day's Navadvipa parikrama, and likewise on the rest of the days.
For example, Koladvipa in Navadvipa is Govardhana in Vraja. It is stated in Shri Navadvipa Mahatmya, "Vasudeva carefully decided to call this place Koladvipa Parvata (kola-boar; parvata-mountain), but it is now knows as Parvata. The devotees know that this is Giri Govardhana of Vrndavana." Shri Modadrumadvipa is the eighth island of Shri Navadvipa Dhama. The name for Modadrumadvipa in the local dialect is Mamagaci. This place is non-different from Bhandiravana in Vraja.
Navadvipa is called gupta-Vrndavana, or hidden Vrndavana. Vrndavana is hidden in Navadvipa and Navadvipa is hidden in Vrndavana. Both are hidden in the other.
I want schedules to be made and buses to be arranged. I think more than six hundred devotees will be here, and we will all perform Navadvipa parikrama together. I am very happy that so many Western devotees are here. What we would have discussed there, on each of the nine islands of Navadvipa, we will discuss here.
You should not be weak if I am preaching here and there in Western countries. I am always with you and with Krishna. Be very bold and don't be weak, and thus try to make your life successful. Try to have an aim and object in your life. Without an aim and object, and without devotional service, we are like animals.
samanyam etat pasubhih naranam
dharmo hi tesam adhiko viseso
dharmena hina pasubhih samanah
"Pasu" means animal. An animal cannot distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. That is not possible for him. Therefore it is said, dharmena hina pasubhih samanah: "One who is ignorant of dharma, religious principles, is no better than an animal."
labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu-mrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat
["After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavor for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krishna consciousness is possible only for a human being." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.9.29)]
Chant more and more and remember Shri Krishna's lila, preach His katha, be absorbed in that day and night, and in this way perform bhakti. My blessings are always with you.
Now it is late. It is time for you to take prasadam. Tomorrow I am going to Seva-kunja gully in Vrndavana. There I will be giving hari-katha and installing deities, and after the program I will return here.
We will stay here in India for several days, until Rama-navami, then for some time I will be in the West, and then after some time I will return here.
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi