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Some secrets in bhakti

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26.jpg(Los Angeles, USA, May 13, 2001, pm)
[Part One of the Evening Lecture]

Gauranga bolite habe pulaka sarira. When will that day come that we will realize the mercy of Gauracandra? When, while chanting His names, Gauranga and Sacinandana, will our hearts be at once melted and our hairs stand on end? These are sattvika-bhavas. We are calling out His names but these symptoms of sattvika-bhava are not coming. Why not? We are not actually realizing who is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He is directly Radha-Krishna Conjugal. Krishna has come, having taken the golden beauty and intrinsic mood of Radhika, and He has become Gaura Sacinandana, Gaurahari. He tasted all the moods of Radha in the Gambhira, and we have been discussing all these topics in Raya Ramananda Samvad.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu mercifully displayed His most confidential form of Rasaraja-Mahabhava to Raya Ramananda. Rasaraja is Krishna and Mahabhava is Radhika. In that form, every limb of Krishna is covered by every limb of Shrimati Radhika. No one had ever seen this form, and Raya Ramananda, being Visakha-sakhi, fainted when he saw it. When anyone realizes this form, then, when he sings, "Gauranga bolite habe pulaka sarira, hari hari bolite nayane ba'be nira", his hairs will stand on end and his eyes will fill with tears.

This is only possible, however, by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. If anyone wants to know who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he must come to Nityananda Prabhu who is 'adhara-bhumi', the platform on which Mahaprabhu manifests.

Nityananda Raya is akrodha-paramananda. Akrodha means He never becomes angry. Even when Jagai and Madhai cut His head, Nityananda Prabhu thought, "Oh, I want to give them krsna-prema." He gave them this prema, He did so many other acts that were even greater than this, and He was like this throughout His life. Thus, without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, you cannot realize who is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You cannot know Him by studying history books.

You can have an abhasa, a vague idea about Him, from Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, but by chanting and remembering and by following in the footsteps of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha Gosvami, you will understand something more.

Rupa raghunatha-pada hoibe akuti kabe hama bujhabo se yugala-piriti. What is yugala piriti? It is conjugal love. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to give that kind of love, but if you only try to understand externally, you will not know about His life in full. External understanding is like a soul-less body. If you really want to know Him, you should know what was His mission and what was the nature of His love and affection for all. He only came to distribute raganuga-vartma, the path of raganuga-bhakti, to teach us how we can achieve that love and affection of Vraja and especially gopi-prema.

Without the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, you cannot know this. Rupa raghunatha-pade rahu mora asa, prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa. Shrila Narottama dasa is praying to all acaryas and associates of Mahaprabhu, from top to bottom, "They should kindly be merciful so that I can realize the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu."

Now come with me to Raya Ramananda on the banks of the Godavari in South India, where some discussions were going on. Mahaprabhu was asking questions and Raya Ramananda was replying. Krishna is endless, and therefore Mahaprabhu is also an endless ocean of love and affection. Even Krishna Himself cannot know how deep is the love and affection in Shrimati Radhika and the gopis. He has a scale to measure it, but the love and affection for Krishna in Shrimati Radhika and the gopis is so deep that His scale becomes a failure.

If anyone tries to know Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by his intelligence, he will not be able to do so. Only by the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself can you know something. If Krishna Himself cannot measure it, how can you? You can know some external things such as how He preached, how He controlled even mad elephants, and how He gave prema to trees and creepers. You can outwardly see this, but how did He actually do it? Without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, and without the mercy of the gopis and especially Radhika, you cannot know these truths. I am therefore explaining something of these topics to you.

Mahaprabhu told Ramananda Raya that varnasrama dharma cannot help you ultimately. Eho bhaya; it is external. He said that offering your fruitive karmas will also not do, and He even rejected sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja as external. Raya Ramananda then proposed jnana-misra bhakti:

brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kancati
samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param

Mahaprabhu rejected this as well, although these are the highest teachings in the Gita. Mahaprabhu ejected all the philosophies of the Gita as being the ultimate goal of life.

Ramananda Raya then came to jnana-sunya bhakti:

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam
(Madhya 8.67)

What is the meaning of this sloka? There are two kinds of jnana, knowledge. The first states that we are brahma: "Sarvam khalv idam brahma", "Aham brahmasmi", "So ham", and so on. What is this? It is nonsense. Krishna can say, "So'ham","I am that brahma", but no jiva can ever say it. We are brahma-jatiya, but not brahma. We are all eternal, infinitesimal parts and parcels of that brahma. We are not full brahma. Those who speak in this false way are called brahma-jnanis.

Those who possess the second kind of jnana are called jnani-bhaktas, and they are personalities like Prahlada Maharaja, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Bhisma Pitamaha, and Sukadeva Gosvami in the first part of his life.

Two terms are used here: jnani and jnani-bhakta. Jnanis are offenders at the lotus feet of Krishna. They don't accept His form, qualities, or potencies, and therefore they are offenders. On the other hand, jnani-bhaktas are accepted as devotees. Jnani-bhaktas are very good. They are always thinking, "The supreme Lord Krishna can create millions upon millions of universes in a moment, and He can also destroy them. He is therefore Lord of Lords. He has so much opulence and so many attributes." Jnani-bhaktas think, "I should serve my Lord so I can achieve something from Him. He is self-satisfied, He is full, He has no thirst, no appetite, and no fatigue; so how can I serve Him?" They only pray, as Prahlada prayed. He could not serve his Lord.

For this reason we don't fully follow these jnani-bhaktas. The pure bhakta forgets that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we want to follow them.

To make a platform, first we should know that Krishna is the supreme Godhead, and we are parts and parcels of that Krishna. We are His eternal servants.

However, if you want Vraja-prema, then you will also have to forget this. You will only need to know that He is Yasoda-nandana and Nanda-nandana, that He is the friend of Sudama and Subala, that He is the beloved of all the gopis, and that He especially serves the gopis. He cannot repay these gopis, He wants to take the dust of the gopis' lotus feet, and He wants to serve them. At that time He becomes Radha-Kanta, Madana Mohana, Syamasundara, and Radha-Ramana.

No one in Vraja-mandala will accept Krishna as Parabrahma, and even Krishna forgets this. He can take the prasadam remnants of Nanda Baba, He can carry the sandals of Nanda Baba on His head and, dancing and calling out, "Tey, tey", He will very happily come to Nanda Baba. As a baby, He cannot turn over on His side. He can create so many universes, but in Vraja He has no power to change sides and therefore Yasoda will come and quickly turn Him over. He cannot eat anything by Himself; rather Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba will support and nourish Him. Sometimes He will be defeated by Shridama. He can kill Kamsa, Jarasandha, and all other demons, but when He comes to Shridama and fights with him, Shridama can defeat Him in a moment. And, when He is defeated, He will be very happy. He will even be defeated by the gopis. He wanted to wrestle with the gopis, and at once, in a moment, the gopis defeated him and He became so very happy.

In this way there is so much difference between jnani-bhaktas who worship Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and these classes of Vraja-bhaktas. In this sloka, jnane prayasam udapasya, that jnana is offensive which says that Krishna is nirguna, avyakta, anadi, and asesa, that He has no shape, no attributes, no power, and no qualities. Krishna does have shape, beauty, all qualities and all kinds of opulence, but we can never realize this with our mundane eyes.

Shrila Jiva Gosvami has written a commentary on this sloka. In that commentary he says that if you want to serve Krishna and you want to please Him the most, like the gopis of Vraja, then try to do pranama from far away to this jnana that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You will have to forget it. If you do not forget it, you cannot love Krishna very much. You will have to forget it.

First we must understand that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as Shrila Swami Maharaja explained in His Gita and all other books. However, he also wanted to tell this fact: "Try to forget it".

Krishna was controlled by the gopis, Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and Shridama Sakha, but especially by the gopis. He accepted this truth and told them: Na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam (S.B. 10.32.22). "I cannot repay all you gopis. You have left everything for Me. You have left your husbands, fathers, mothers, fathers-in-law and everything else, and you have been one-pointed to Me. I cannot give up My father, My mother, or any gopi. I cannot be one-pointed like you. If I am one-pointed to any single gopi, like Radhika, then I will be indebted to all others because you are all one-pointed. I cannot even forget a neophyte devotee who is chanting Hare Krishna. I cannot neglect anyone. I will have to reciprocate with everyone: Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham (BG. 4.11)". What is the meaning?

Devotee: Everyone, as they surrender to Me, I reward them accordingly.

Shrila Narayana Maharaja: He's bound to do so, and therefore He cannot be one-pointed like the gopis. Always remember this. It is therefore said here that if you want to have a high-class love and affection like the Vrajabasis, you'll have to forget that Krishna is Bhagavan.

How can you forget? Without the mercy of the gopis you cannot be like them, and you especially need the causeless mercy of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Shri Raya Ramananda. Without their mercy you cannot know Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Raya Ramananda therefore proposed:

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam

Have a special kind of greed to hear the pastimes of Krishna, and hear with the eagerness of Pariksit Maharaja who heard for only seven days. He had no time to follow the other processes; he only heard. What became of him? He went to Goloka Vrindavan, with the mood of the gopis whom he followed. In his Shri Brhat Bhagavatamrtam Shrila Sanatana Gosvami relates in brief the essence of all that Pariksit Maharaja heard from Sukadeva Gosvami and then told his mother.

Pariksit Maharaja told her, "Although Krishna is like your grandfather or grandfather-in-law, you should not see Him in this way. See Him as your most beloved." Generally a son cannot speak to his mother like this. Kunti also has this mood, as does Draupadi, but they never disclosed it, otherwise foolish, ignorant persons would have laughed. Pariksit Maharaja is telling his mother, "Mother, don't think that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead or your grandfather or grandfather-in-law. Always think of Him as your most beloved, the preyasi of the gopis." Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has revealed this.

You should hear all these sweet and powerful pastimes of Krishna. They are like Krishna. If you are very attached to hearing hari-katha with love and affection, then Krishna Himself, in the form of this hari-katha, will enter your hearts and purify everything. These kathas will show you all the pastimes of Krishna in your hearts. They will manifest there.

Therefore, do pranama to the place where hari-katha is going on. Do pranama to those who are hearing, to the person who is speaking, and to the one who has managed things so that the hari-katha can take place. Try to do pranama to all of them and serve them, and then hari-katha will come into your heart.

Mahaprabhu then began to smile a little and said, "Oh, go on, go on." This is the platform of bhakti. What kind of bhakti? Raganuga bhakti. This is the essence of all bhakti.

prabhu kahe, "eho haya, age kaha ara"
raya kahe, "prema-bhakti sarva-sadhya-sara"

Aranya Maharaja reads the Bhaktivedanta purport: "At this point Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, 'This is alright, but still you can speak more on the subject.' Ramananda Raya replied, 'Prema-bhakti, ecstatic love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the essence of all perfection.'"

Shrila Narayana Maharaja: They have given evidence from Padyavali, which was written by Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada:

nanopacara-krta-pujanam arta-bandhoh
premnaiva bhakta-hrdayam sukha-vidrutam syat
yavat ksud asti jathare jaratha pipasa
tavat sukhaya bhavato nanu bhaksya-peye

Aranya Maharaja reads the translation: "Ramananda Raya continued, 'As long as there is hunger and thirst, eating and drinking make one feel very happy. Similarly, when the Lord is worshiped with pure love, transcendental bliss is awakened within the heart of the devotee."

Shrila Narayana Maharaja: If there is no love and affection, and you are worshiping Krishna with sixteen different types of paraphernalia, Krishna will not accept your worship. And if you have no paraphernalia to offer and give only one drop of water or only a leaf of tulasi with so much love and affection, He will be satisfied. Even if you do not offer any water or tulasi but you tell Him, "O Krishna, I am Yours and You are mine", this will suffice. We should therefore try to follow all these things.

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