May 14-15, 2008
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Are there any questions?
[Raghunatha dasa:] By your mercy we will open a preaching center in Miami very soon. The devotees want to make an arrangement for my Deities, Radha-Govinda, to go to the preaching center. I am attached to my Deities, so only if it is your desire that They go to the center – only then will I allow Them to go.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I think that you are alone. Also, you are traveling with me here and there. How can you personally manage? I think it is better that you accept the advice of the devotees. If there is a preaching center, there must be Deities; I think that you should donate your Deities. There they will do arcana (worship) and make many other nice arrangements for the Deities. From time to time you will also go there and also serve Them.
[Raghunatha dasa:] Okay, Gurudeva. I just wanted to know if this is your desire. It is no problem.
[Brajanath dasa:] So many people can have darsana of the Deities at the preaching center.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] We have been having discussions amongst the devotees in South Florida about renting a preaching center. We have been having programs in devotees’ homes for the past four or five years, and now we want to have a place to bring more guests. Many guests are already coming, and so many devotees. At the time of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, he ordered us to open preaching centers. Is this also your desire – to have a preaching center here?
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You can begin. At the time of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, the devotees also used to rent preaching centers. In this way, by the devotees’ continually preaching, worldly people would come and join.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] There is a local Indian priest who recites Bhagavad-gita, Shrimad-Bhagavatam and he knows Bengali and Hindi. He wants to take initiation. This is the first time that a local Hindu priest wants to take initiation from a Vaisnava.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You should see if he will follow the regulative principles. He will have to follow Ekadasi. He cannot take meat, wine, eggs, etc.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] If he hears this from you, it will give him a strong impression and he will be able to follow.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Please bring him, and I will tell him.
[Devotee:] Gurudeva, what can my wife and I do, as a new mother and father, to ensure that our new baby will be a good devotee?
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You can chant Hare Krishna more loudly when the baby is in the womb. If your wife practices bhakti, some good sukrti (spiritual pious credits) will come to the baby. Then, when the baby is born, give him or her a good name of Krishna or Radha. You can also tell the baby hari-katha, the sweet pastimes of Krishna.
[Devotee:] Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that the true disciple should seek internal and external darsana (audience) of Shri Guru. Can you explain this further?
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Following Shri Guru’s words and instructions is internal darsana. Following his behavior is external darsana. If your Guru is alive, you can also personally serve him.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] How do we become serious about this process?
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Engage in pure bhakti as described in this verse:
jnana karmadi anavritam
["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Shri Krishna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]
Try to follow this uttama-bhakti (pure, topmost devotion). When, under the guidance of guru and Vaisnavas, all of your energy and all the activities of your mind, body, and words are engaged continuously like the flow of honey, aiming at the goal of pure bhakti, your activities will then be called bhakti. There should be no worldly desires, such as jnana (mental speculation with the desire to merge in an impersonal God), karma (the desire to personally enjoy the fruits of action), yoga (physical gymnasts or meditation on the Supersoul), and tapasya (austerity performed for a worldly end).
Begin from sraddha (initial faith), and try to go to nistha (steadiness), ruci (taste for devotional activities), asakti (natural attachment for Krishna), and then suddha-sattva, rati (spiritual emotions).
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] Gurudeva, he was a pujari at one of the local temples in Miami. Now he is teaching yoga in San Francisco. He knows Bhagavad-gita by heart, and he is reading Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta. He is teaching Bhagavad-gita. He saw you the last time you were here and he has the desire to accept a real guru and follow instructions. He has developed some faith and he has been coming to our programs. He wants to ask for initiation.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You are a priest?
[Nityananda dasa:] Yes, this is my job. I chant gayatri in the morning.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] The general meaning of gayatri is not the actual meaning. The deep meaning is hidden within. Who is Gayatri? We will have to know this. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Gayatri is His power. Gayatri-mantra is also known as brahma-gayatri. Who is Brahma (the Absolute Truth)? Surya (the Sun-god) is not Brahma.
aho bhagyam aho bhagyam
purnam brahma sanatanam
[“How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men, and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.32)]
Krishna is parama-brahma (The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the one-without-a-second Absolute Truth). His personal power, hladini-sakti, is Shrimati Radhika, and Gayatri-devi is Radhika’s manifestation. Savitur varenyam means that Surya gives light, heat, and life to all fourteen worlds in each universe. But who gives life to the Sun? Krishna’s power, Gayatri, gives life and light to the Sun. We should meditate on this. Dimahi means “May she come in my heart.” This is the real meaning of the gayatri-mantra. Generally people think this is the mantra of Surya, but it is actually not.
So this is only the difficulty – on your job you will have to worship Ganesh, Durga, and Kali.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] That is his job, but he was telling me that first he worships Radha-Krishna, and then he worships the other pancopasana deities (Durga, Siva, Visnu, Ganesh, and Surya).
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] There is one thing he can do in this regard. He can first worship Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, and then offer Their caranamrta and prasadam of foodstuffs and flowers to the demigods. In this way the demigods’ puja can be done. If you do this, then I can give you initiation.
Your job is to offer puja to these deities, so you can do this, but we never do this puja. We will only offer the demigods pranama.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] If someone has a job, not as a priest but also not so favorable for bhakti, it is almost the same. He still worships Krishna first, but in that person’s job may be…
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Krishna Himself will be merciful to him. He will sprinkle His mercy on him.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] Yes, Krishna will make him your pujari.
Now we have about 75 to 100 devotees who are more or less active in this Miami area.
Is your writing going well? We are very hopeful for that.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes; very interesting. If these books are published, devotees will be very happy. Your Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, has hidden something, and I am opening these hidden meanings. *[See Endnote 1]
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] He has saved this for you.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I am taking his remnants.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] I think the whole world will be very much benefited by receiving the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Cantos from you. You will have to complete it.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You should pray to Shri Krishna to give me life and health.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] My prayers have no value.
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] If all of you will pray, Krishna is bound to hear you.
Go on preaching in your university. Many PHD scholars will come from that, and then they will preach.
[Maha-buddhi dasa:] We are happy to see that it is now growing. Many devotees are coming and participating.
We are all waiting for Ujjvala Nilamani. We may not be qualified to read some of the books you are publishing. We are putting these books on the altar and worshiping them. Unless you give us the qualification to read these books, how can we read them?
[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] When you read these books, Shrila Rupa Gosvami will personally give you the power and qualification to read them.
It is the service of the acaryas to reveal further deep meanings in the literary works of the previous acaryas.
When Shrila Narayana Maharaja was later asked whether his instruction to Shripad Maha-buddhi dasa applies just to him, or to all his disciples, he replied that what he said personally to Maha-buddhi dasa is meant for all his followers. In other words, any of his followers who abide by these instructions will experience the same results. He added, “The process is that when reading, we should pray to Shrila Rupa Gosvami to make us qualified so that we can understand and realize the deep secrets that he has given in his books.”]