Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
Salt Spring Island, Canada, April 23, 2001
om ajnana timirandhasya jnana jana salakaya
caksur unmilinam jena tasmai sri guruve namah
vancha kalpatarubhyas ca krpa sindhubyeva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
namo maha vadanyaya Krishna prema pradaya te
Krishnaya Krishna-Chaitanya namine gaura tvise namah
gurave gauracandraya radhikayai tvadalaye
Krishnaya Krishna-bhaktaya tad bhaktaya namo namah
Up 'till now we have answered many questions about guru-tattva. You should know all these answers and act accordingly. Guru-nistha, guru-bhakti, is the backbone of bhakti. If you have no guru-bhakti or very strong guru-nistha, then at any time you can become weak and be taken by maya. You should therefore always be very strong in this understanding. Have strong faith in guru. Don't entertain the idea that he is an ordinary person like us, who has taken birthand will die. That will be an offense. We should know that he is a transcendental associate of Krishna.
yadyapi amara guru--caitanyera dasa
tathapi janiye ami tanhara prakasa
["Although I know that my spiritual master is a servitor of Shri Chaitanya, I know Him also as a plenary manifestation of the Lord." (Cc.Adi 1.44)]
Tathapi. Yet, he is a servant of Krishna. Saksad dharitvena samasta sastrair. He has all the good qualities of Krishna in him. He is like Krishna, but not Krishna. Yet, in a certain sense he is Krishna. Which Krishna? There are two Krishnas. One is visaya Krishna and one is asraya Krishna. Guru is asraya, and therefore he should be honored in that way. Don't think that he does not know our hearts. He knows, but he keeps it secret, as if he does not know. We have discussed many points in this regard.
Now I want to come to the subject - why Krishna appeared in this world. What was the main reason? Why did Krishna appear in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Hear this very patiently.
We should begin from the beginning. Each and every person, and even each and every animal, has some objective, and to achieve that objective he chooses a way. That is called sadhya and sadhana. The objective is called sadhya, and the path to achieve that objective, the way, is called sadhana. As fathers and mothers, we think that our children should be happy - they should not suffer. We therefore put them in school, to learn to read and become qualified to know how they can be happy.
From the beginning, everyone wants to be wealthy, by hook or by crook. Money is the objective. To achieve this, someone chooses the path of becoming an advocate, lawyer, some become doctors, some engineers, and some engage in business. What is the main purpose? What is the goal of their life? The goal is to have money. How to make the money - the way or process - is called sadhana. If you have not fixed your sadhya, goal, then how you can fix your means to attain it? Therefore, first we must know our objective. I am explaining this in a very simple way.
What is our goal? We cannot decide, and therefore we should try to depend on Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Chaitanya Caritamrta, the books of our Gosvamis, and the versions of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. What is the goal? What we think may be wrong, but what Shrimad Bhagavatam suggests is the established truth - and is for our good.
In sastra it has been told that we want happiness. For lakhs and lakhs births we have forgotten Krishna, and now maya is controlling us. We are under the control of maya. Sometimes we are very beautiful apsaras, heavenly angels. Sometimes we are in the bodies of donkeys, sometimes hogs, pigs, fish, monkeys, and so on. From the beginning of this creation, or rather, for lakhs and lakhs creations, we have tried for happiness - but we are not happy. It is a very wonderful phenomenon that we have tasted lust-filled activities in all species of life, but we are still not satisfied. Again and again we try to make merry under the control of maya, but instead she is giving so much suffering.
Our real objective is to somehow serve Krishna, to remember Krishna, and to take shelter of Krishna. How can we do this? What services can we render? In the fourth chapter of Shri Chaitanya Caritamrta, this object or sadhya has been explained. Service to Krishna should be our object. But how can we serve Him? This is the subject to find out.
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love." (Adi 1.5)]
Prior to Mahaprabhu's appearance, Krishna came to establish yuga-dharma, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also came to establish yuga-dharma. What was the yuga-dharma at the time of Krishna? All persons were very lusty, and they could not control their heart, mind, and senses. All were enjoying sense gratification - Jarasandha, Kamsa, Sisupala, Dantavakra, Kalayavana, Karna, Sakuni, Dusasana, Duryodhana and all his brothers, and others. All were engaged in doing nonsense. They were always fighting, taking the wives of others, and creating problems. They were thinking, "This body is mine. I am this body." It was very necessary to kill them. The yuga-dharma, therefore, was to kill them and establish atma-dharma. How did He do it?
He created the Mahabharata War, and in this war the Pandavas and Kauarvas were fighting. The Pandavas were on one side, the side of dharma, and Duryodhana, Karna, Dusasana, and others like them were on the side of adharma. The Pandavas fought for dharma - to fulfill the wish of Krishna, and the Kauravas fought to take revenge and kill the Pandavas so that they could become the kings of entire world. Even previous to the war, the cunning and deceptive Kauravas had already made repeated attempts to kill the Pandavas. Krishna took the side of Arjuna, the Pandavas and dharma. All the soldiers, both on the side of Krishna and the Pandavas, and also on the other side, were killed. On one side only the five brothers, the Pandavas, and Krishna were saved, and on the other side only three were saved - Krtavarma, Aswathama, and Krpacarya.
After the war, all the ladies became widows. Pure devotees and very chaste ladies like Draupadi, Gandhari, and Kunti were saved, and they were qualified to hear Shrimad Bhagavatam. Krishna inspired Sukadeva Gosvami, and after that the first session of the speaking of the Bhagavatam took place. Pariksit Maharaja sat on the bank of the Ganges, and he was going to die within seven days. As he was thinking what to do, Sukadeva Gosvami appeared there, naked. Sukadeva Gosvami's father, Vyasadeva, was there, Narada Gosvami was there, Vaisista, Parasara, and so many qualified brahmajnatas and elevated devotees were there, and they all honored Sukadeva Gosvami. They all requested him, and especially Pariksit Maharaja requested him, to speak on Shrimad Bhagavatam.
Then they heard Shrimad Bhagavatam. They heard that the love of the gopis is the highest aim. Krishna is not our goal. Our goal is not to achieve Krishna, but rather to achieve Krishna-prema. If you don't have Krishna-prema, then you may become like Kamsa. He met with Krishna, but because there was no affection in his heart, he became an enemy, a demon. He wanted to kill Krishna. Putana, Aghasura, Bakasura, and all other demons met with Krishna, but they could not appreciate His beauty and sweetness. If one has no prema when he meets Krishna, he cannot honor Him. Shrimad Bhagavatam and all other scriptures have established that our objective, our sadhya, is not Krishna, but rather Krishna-prema.
Krishna-prema is divided into five types: santa-prema, dasya-prema, sakhya-prema, vatsalya-prema, and madhurya-prema. We all have a relationship with Krishna, within these five categories, in our transcendental, constitutional form. Without this relationship, no one can even exist. We must be among these five relationships, but now we are covered by maya. We have all the qualities required for this relationship, in a latent or dormant position, and therefore when we will begin sadhana under the guidance of a very qualified guru, it will manifest. Whatever relationship you have will certainly manifest.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu only came to help us, especially to develop gopi-prema. Gopi-prema is the highest love and affection - higher than any of the other four. Mahaprabhu did not come to establish varnasrama-dharma or yuga-dharma. When I went to the Saranagati Farm, I heard that it was meant for varnasrama-dharma. We should follow varnasrama-dharma, but it is only a platform. Even without varnasrama-dharma, Pingala, Jagai and Madhai, and so many others attained love of Krishna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never comes to establish yuga-dharma, but it is established automatically. He has not come to establish yuga-dharma, but He gave it automatically through nama-sankirtana. The yuga-dharma of Kali-kala, kali-yuga, is nama-sankirtana.
The establishment of yuga-dharma is the duty of incarnations like Maha-Visnu, Advaita Acarya. Although they can do it easily, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was present at the time it was meant to be established. He therefore quickly adopted this method, nama-sankirtana, yuga-dharma, and He 'mixed something from His own side' - namely love and affection.
Nama-sankirtana pravarta 'hun. "I will perform nama-sankirtana, but not in an ordinary way as it was performed in other kali-yugas. It will be with prema, love and affection." What He did is understood by the verse: anarpita-carim-carat karunayavatirna kalau.
With very deep meaning, this verse explains the sadhya, the objective for which Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came, an objective that had not been given prior to His appearance. Even Krishna came, Ramacandra came, Jayadeva Gosvami came, and Madhvacarya, Ramanuja, Visnuswami, and Nimbaditya came. Even Hanuman came with Ramacandra. Even Sita came and Bharata came - but no one was able to give this prema.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came, full of mercy, and He could not tolerate the sufferings of the jivas. He mercifully came, and He wanted to give the topmost object. Samarpayitum unnatojjvala rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam. What is unnata-ujjvala rasa? You cannot imagine it, but I will explain it in brief:
Once, on a full moon night, Krishna played on His flute. Placing a flower behind His ear and sometimes changing it from one ear to the other, Krishna was very beautiful.
barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair
vrndaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih
["Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krishna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrindavan, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories." (Venu-gita, text 5)]
Krishna, the Cupid of cupids, entered Vrindavan near the bank of the Yamuna, which was full with fragrant flowers. Standing under the shade of a Vamsivata tree, He played on His flute, and all were attracted. Some of the gopis had been sleeping, some had been making capatis, and some were decorating themselves, and at that time this messenger came - the very sweet and very attractive flute-sound. It came and entered in the houses of the gopis. Then, it went through the door of their hearts. It forcibly took their hearts, and they began running towards Krishna.
The gopis thought, "Krishna is a very big thief. He is like a dacoit. He has taken everything and not left us anything. He has taken our hearts. How can we live? How can we maintain our lives?" As they ran to follow that flute-sound, they called to Krishna, "You should return our hearts, otherwise we will continue to follow You." They had no time to tell others that they were going. They all simply ran to follow Krishna's flute-sound. They wondered from where this flute-sound was coming, and they said, "O very beautiful, marvelous Cupid of cupids! You should return our hearts, otherwise how can we return home? We cannot return now. Without our hearts we can never return.
After that rasa began, and Krishna danced with each gopi. There were lakhs and lakhs gopis, and Krishna also became lakhs and lakhs. Why? All the gopis had left their husbands and their chastity. They had given up their houses, wealth, reputation, shyness, and everything else. In India, a lady cannot give up these things. She will prefer to die rather than give up her chastity. This is a special quality in Indian ladies. They can give up anything, but they would prefer to die than give up their shame. The gopis, however, left even this, and therefore Krishna wanted to satisfy them all. He manifested Himself with each gopi simultaneously, attracting them all by dancing with them in various dance postures. If He did not do so, He would have been reni, indebted to them. He was obligated to try to satisfy them - and the scene was very wonderful.
Krishna always tells all the gopis, especially Shrimati Radhika, "O, you are My most beloved." During the rasa dance Radhika saw that, "He is a very cunning cheater, liar, and debauchee. He just told Me, 'You are most beloved. There is no one like You.' but now He is dancing with all the gopis - right in front of Me." She could not tolerate this, and She thus disappeared from the dance arena.
Krishna thought, "If there is no Radhika, there can be no dance. For whom is this dance, and for whom is this rasa? Krishna therefore pursued Her, lamenting, "Where has Shrimati Radhika gone?" He played on His flute, "O Radhika, where are You, where are You? I cannot tolerate Your separation." Somehow He found Her. He decorated Her and begged Her pardon, "I promise I will not offend You anymore. Be pleased with me. Be merciful to Me." He then placed His flute and peacock-feathers in Her hands and said, "You are My master, You can use Me in any way."
na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (SB 10.32.22)]
Radhika became pacified and satisfied.
Later, after Radhika and the other gopis sang Gopi-gita, Krishna returned in their midst. At that time the gopis, who were also clever - even more so than Krishna - began to ask Him something. They inquired, "We have heard about a certain kind of person who loves others only as much as others love him. He thinks, 'If you love me, I will love you.' Another kind or love and affection is this: 'Whether or not you love me, I will love you.' There is also a third type of person. Whether anyone loves him or not, still he does not love anyone. In this way there are three kinds of persons. O Krishna, in what category are You? Please explain this to us."
The gopis were cleverly creating such an atmosphere that Krishna would admit whether He was doing prema or not. Having heard their inquiry, Krishna smiled very slyly and cunningly. He is the guru of the cunning. He said, "Those who 'love for love' are not real lovers or beloveds. They are businessmen. Those who give some coins to a shopkeeper and take something in return, like rice, dahl, and so on, are business persons. Theirs is not pure love." Do you understand? Krishna is saying, "If someone loves a person, and he wants that the person he loves should also love him in return, he is like a business person. I am not in this category. Next, regarding the person who, whether or not someone loves him he loves that other person, this is very good. O gopis, you are like this. Whether I love you or not, you are giving your love to me.
"This is fatherly or motherly love and affection. A father and mother never demand any love from their children, and they always support them. Even if the children are doing any nonsense, as soon as the say, "O mother, O father!" the parents will forget everything for their sake. This is very pure, and you are like this. Whether I am loving you or not, you are loving Me. I am not like that. I am not in that category. Regarding the third type, I am also not among those who do not love others, whether others love them or not."
Who are they? There are four kinds of persons in this category, and two of them are those who are atmarama and those who are aptakama. Shri Sukadeva Gosvami is an example of one in this category. Whether anyone loves him or not, what does he do? He has no such love because he is always thinking about the Lord and he is very satisfied in that. He has no time, no other vision, to notice whether one is loving or not loving." Our love is worldly love. He is in transcendental love, serving Krishna, and therefore he is happy. He is called atmarama. Those in the category of aptakama are those whose desires have all been satisfied. How? By remembering, chanting, and serving Krishna. Krishna informed the gopis, "I am neither atmarama nor aptakama."
The third and fourth kind in this category are guru-drohi and akrtagya (ungrateful). If your father and mother and guru-jana (superiors) are supporting and nourishing you from childhood, but you are not serving them, you are akrtagya. Never be ungrateful to them. Only in the case where they are against Krishna and Krishna-bhakti can you avoid their service. Otherwise, you should always serve them. Don't be ungrateful.
The guru-drohi is he who, with or without reason, gives sufferings to their superiors. Don't give any sufferings or problems to your father or mother or gurudeva - especially gurudeva. Time is very short, so I am telling this in brief.
Krishna told the gopis, "There are many guru-drohis, but I am not among this category. I am also not atmarama." "Why not? You are the Supreme Lord. You are more than Sukadeva Gosvami." "Oh, I am not atmarama because I played on the flute and called you all. I am not happy without you, and therefore I am not atmarama. You are My atma, you are My soul. I want to please you and you want to please Me; so I am not atmarama.
"I am also not aptakama, because my desires have not been fulfilled. That is why I am praying to you, 'Don't be angry with Me.' I am praying to you so that I can be satisfied. One who is atmarama or aptakama cannot pray like this. How can you tell Me that I am atmarama or aptakama? In My boyhood I used to steal butter from here and there, and if My mother was engaged in her household duties and did not give me all her attention, I used to be very angry. You know? I once made a hole in the pot of yogurt, and at that time My mother became very angry with Me and followed Me with a bamboo stick. So how am I atmarama? I am not.
"I like you, I am attached to you, and that is why I am pacifying you. I am praying to you, and this shows that I am not atmarama.
"You may think that I am a guru-drohi or akrtagya, but I am not. I was grateful to My mother, and I was grateful to my friends. So I am not among any of these categories."
The gopis then asked, "Then who are You? In what category are You?" Krishna replied, "Oh, I like you. I want to glorify you throughout the world. You gopis are my best friends. I will not be able to repay you in lakhs and lakhs births. I cannot repay you." Then the gopis said, smiling, "You have repaid us because You have taken shelter at our lotus feet, and You are saying, 'I am defeated by you.' This is what we wanted."
What is this? It is unnatojjvala rasa. The way in which the gopis satisfied Krishna with their love is called unnatojjvala rasa. This is the highest love, and it is only in Radhika - in Her mahabhava. It is not in anyone else. The fraction of Shrimati Radhika's mood to please Krishna should be our objective, otherwise Krishna cannot be fully controlled. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came especially to give this. The mood of Radhika should not be our object. Our only goal is to serve those who have this mood - the gopis. This is the mood of the manjaris. How shall we serve Radhika? We shall attain Her service by serving Her sakhis like Lalita, Visakha, Rupa Manjari, and others. We want the mood of Rupa Gosvami internally and externally, as he has explained in his Vidagda Madhava and Lalita Madhava. You should know that the beauty of unnatojjvala rasa is the mood of the kinkiris, the manjaris, the maidservants of Shrimati Radhika. This is the highest objective for us. It is our sadhya.
Both Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shrila Rupa Gosvami have revealed that this is the object of attainment, but how do we achieve it? The process to achieve it is called bhakti. From where should it begin?
adau sraddha tatah sadhu-
sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat
tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas
sadhakanam ayam premnah
pradurbhave bhavet kramah
["In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness." (Madhya 23.16)]
You should discuss this topic in your morning classes. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sanga. We should begin from there. What is sraddha, or faith? Sraddha is of two kinds. At the present time our sraddha is worldly, and this will not do. It should be pure sraddha, the fraction of transcendental love. I think that from tomorrow you should discuss in your classes how to achieve this prema, by progressing gradually from anartha-nivritti to nistha and so on. You should know what is ruci, what is asakti, and what is the rati, both by definitions and by many examples. This is our highest object of attainment - to be the maidservants of Shrimati Radhika.
Try to realize something of what I have explained. I know that you are not qualified to realize this now. Still you should hear, because this is our goal.