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What to think about while chanting

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A108-AI

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Guruji.jpgShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
France, April 27, 1998
Informal talk

Syama-kunda and Radha-kunda are extremely beautiful, surrounded by the many exquisite sweet groves of Lalita, Visakha, and all the other principle sakhis. We want the mercy of Radha and Krishna Conjugal. Shrimati Radhika is our Svamini, our worshipful mistress, so we must please Her. How do we please Her? Not by glorifying Her. Rather, by our glorifying Her beloved, She will be very pleased and bestow upon us whatever we desire.

So, try to please Shrimati Radhika by first glorifying Her beloved Krishna, Syamasundara. How? By singing and remembering the bhajana "Namami Nanda-nandana." If you can think of the meanings of the verses in this song, you will feel so much spiritual joy that your heart will melt. [*See Endnote]

"Karena venu-ranjitam" – Krishna keeps His flute on His lips and smiles, looking towards His beloved. "Gati karindra-ganjitam" – And He walks like an elephant, who walks as though he were intoxicated with happiness. In fact, Krishna walks more sweetly and beautifully than that elephant.

"Dukula-pita-sobhanam" – Du-kula literally means 'two sides.' Dukula pita means 'yellow garments', and here it refers to Krishna's uttariya, or upper cloth. Krishna's upper cloth is exceedingly more beautiful than the yellow mustard seed flowers we see in the fields. His cloth can be compared with lightening flashing upon His body, which is like the color of clouds.

Then after these three lines, we remember the refrain, "Namami nanda-nandanam."

All the verses have very excellent and sweet meanings. If one sings this kirtana and meditates on the meaning, Krishna will enter his heart along with Shrimati Radhika – as promised in the last verse.

Shri nanda-nandanastakam pathed yah sraddhayanvitah
tared bhavabdhim dustaram labhet tad-anghri-yugmakam

That person will easily cross birth and death, lust, and all other obstacles. 'Yugmakam' means that Radha and Krishna are together. Where? At Radha-kunda.

When chanting Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, beginning "Munindra-vrnda-vandite," try to know some of the meanings of these verses as well. You will be truly happy by this. Absorbed in thinking about this, your mind will not go here and there.

When you chant harinama, you can try and visualize that you are anywhere in the eighty-four krosas (thirty-two square mile area) of Vrindavan. You can be under the shade of Vamsi-vata (the tree under which Krishna plays His flute and calls the gopis to come and dance rasa-lila with Him), and sometimes in Nandagaon, at Ter-kadamba (one of the important meeting places of Shri Radha-Krishna). And, if you like to weep bitterly, then go to Uddhava-kyari, where all gopis are lamenting in a mood of separation from Krishna. Sit there for some time and chant Hare Krishna, feeling something of the gopis' great separation mood.

If your mind is wandering, go then to Govardhana and try to chant Hare Krishna loudly, performing parikrama of Govardhana. You can take some rest at Kusuma-sarovara (where Krishna jokingly chastises Shri Radha for picking 'His' flowers) or Govinda-kunda (where King Indra worshipped Krishna), and especially take bath at Radha-kunda. First take bath in Radha-kunda and then in Syama-kunda (where Radha and Krishna and the gopis perform their water sports).

While chanting Hare Krishna and thinking about all of these things, gradually your mind will be controlled. In our sampradaya, especially in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, devotees do not have to do anything separate to remove anarthas (detrimental thoughts and habits). We simply engage our minds all the time, second by second, in chanting, remembering, reading, and worshipping Krishna twenty-four hours a day. In this way our minds cannot go here and there, and we can conquer anarthas easily. We have a taste in these processes that assist us in entering bhakti.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami says that without the association of pure Vaisnavas, what to speak of attaining bhakti, even our attraction towards worldly desires will not go away.

mahat-krpa vina kona karme 'bhakti' naya
Krishna-bhakti dure rahu, samsara nahe ksaya

["Unless one is favored by a pure devotee, one cannot attain the platform of devotional service. To say nothing of Krishna-bhakti, one cannot even be relieved from the bondage of material existence." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita Madhya-lila, 22.51)]

We should try to be far away from four things: illicit sex, gambling of all sorts, meat-eating (including fish and eggs as well), and intoxicants (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes.) We should try to avoid these things. We must also avoid the three W's: women – for women, men are women (the 'W' would then stand for 'men'), and for men, women are women; it is not one-sided – and wealth and wine. We must try to follow all these principles. Don't smoke marijuana. This is so dangerous that it is like taking poison; one who takes it will die.

Have strong belief in gurudeva and guru-parampara. Don't have any doubts in our guru-parampara, otherwise you will die in spiritual life. Don't think that Parama-pujypada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja is an ordinary person. He went everywhere in the world and created a revolution in bhakti. We must not lose faith in him and our guru-parampara. No sahajiya babaji can do what he and our guru-parampara have done. In fact, even the word 'babaji' has not been written in scriptures like Vedanta, Upanisads, Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Mahabharata, Bhagavad-gita, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, or in the books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and Shrila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakura. Where has it been written? Don't fall in their traps.

Those who think that parakiya-bhava is material, Krishna is material, bhakti is material, and we are this material body have no conception of true, transcendental love and parakiya-bhava. They smoke ganja, and they desire many parakiya ladies – not as married ladies, but as parakiya lovers – and these ladies want parakiya husbands. Thus they meet together and indulge in all varieties of immoral behavior. Such persons will not be able to touch bhakti in millions upon millions of births; not even a semblance of bhakti. They are all offenders, so we should believe in our guru-parampara and the line that has been given by them.

In order to attain true bhakti, you will need to do millions of times more labor than what you are presently doing to maintain your lives. You do so much labor and undergo so much suffering for maintaining your lives. I see that some people work sixteen hours a day like machines. They have no time for anything else.

In order to attain pure bhakti, we will have to do even more labor than this. Shri Rupa and Sanatana used to sleep one hour, or sometimes they would not sleep at all. They were always weeping in the ecstasy of separation from Radha and Krishna. Let us be like that.

I see that so many devotees don't attend morning arati. They don't see the utility in doing morning kirtana. They don't chant and remember or read books. So how can they progress? They cannot progress.

Now I am somewhat old and have bad eyesight; that is why I don't attend mangala-arati. When I lived on the same level as Thakuraji in my room in Mathura, I used to attend daily. Now, it may be that I will fall down the stairs, so that is why I don't go. But I am never asleep after 3 am.

Try to do great labor for bhakti. Don't be idle. If you are engaged in the variety of activities in practicing bhakti-yoga, then Shri Krishna and Shrimati Radhika will surely be kind enough to sprinkle Their mercy upon you.

Gaura-premanande!

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