May 18, 2004 part 2
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
There are two kinds of Gurus; that is, the siksa-guru and the diksa-guru.
vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
["I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my diksa-guru and siksa-guru, and unto the feet of all Vaisnavas."]
Siksa-guru and diksa-guru may be equal; but sometimes, if the diksa-guru is also the siksa guru, there may be a prominence of diksa-guru. Sometimes, if we are not able to hear from our Gurudeva, then siksa-guru may be more prominent. My diksa-guru is Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and my prominent siksa-guru is Shrila Rupa Gosvami himself. Who is greater? Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Do you understand?
Also, my siksa-guru is Sikhi-puccha-mauli, Shri Krishna Himself.* [See Endnote 1] In that case, is diksa-guru superior or siksa-guru superior? Certainly siksa-guru, Krishna Himself, is superior. Of course we will have to give proper respect to our Gurudeva first, because he is the one who told us who Shrila Rupa Gosvami is, who Shri Krishna is and who Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is. If one does not have guru-nistha, everything is gone.
Guru-nistha (strong faith in the self-realized Guru) is the backbone of bhakti; nistha to Guru, nistha to guru-pancaka* [See Endnote 2], nistha to Lord Krishna, and nistha to the guru-parampara. If you have no nistha, your life is unsuccessful. If you have no guru-nistha, you should change your life in such a way that you will get it.
Guru-nistha brings you to akanda-guru-tattva, Shri Baladeva Prabhu. You will ultimately see that Guru is the prakasa (manifestation) of Shri Nityananda Prabhu or Shri Baladeva Prabhu. If you pray for something from your Guru, Nityananda prabhu and akanda-tattva Baladeva prabhu will at once arrange everything. This is because our Gurudeva is not something separate form Shri Nityananda Prabhu.
You should not think that Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada has discovered something new - and that we are "Prabhupadanugas". Some think that "Just as there are Rupanuga Vaisnavas [*See Endnote 3], so we are Prabhupadanuga." Persons who think like that are nothing - they are completely ignorant.
All our acaryas have told us to follow the Rupanuga Vaisnavas - but who are Rupanuga? Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu first of all inspired all spiritual truths in Shrila Rupa Gosvami's heart, as well as all knowledge of the Vedas, Upanisads and all other scriptures. Then, by the Lord´s mercy, Shrila Rupa Gosvami knew his heart:
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
["I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him. When will Shrila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Chaitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?"]
By the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami manifested, or wrote, so many books, such as Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Shri Ujjvala-nilamani and Shri Upadesamrta. The question is, who are Rupanuga? Who is Shrila Rupa Gosvami? He explained everything about Vraja-bhakti in Shri Ujjvala-nilamani and Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. He wrote Shri Ujjvala-nilamani especially to give vraja-prema and vraja-bhakti. He explained in Bhakti-rasamtra-sindhu that bhakti can be experienced by five moods and five kinds of services; santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Among them, three are prominent - sakya, vatsalya and madhurya. The mood of the Vrajabasis is vraja-bhakti; especially, the mood of the gopis is madhurya-rasa in vraja-bhakti; and especially, the mood of Shrimati Radhika is the highest emblem of vraja-bhakti.
Shrila Rupa Gosvami has explained all these truths.
ei ta sadhana-bhakti--dui ta' prakara
eka 'vaidhi bhakti', 'raganuga-bhakti' ara
["There are two processes of practical devotional service. One is regulative devotional service, and the other is spontaneous devotional service." (Chaitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.108)]
Those who are following the path of raganuga [*See Endnote 3] in any rasa other than manjari-bhava in madhurya-rasa are Rupanuga, but not so much - partly, very partly. In fact, it can also be said that they are not Rupanuga. Those following the path of sakya and vatsalya rasa are raganuga, but even they are not Rupanuga. Those who follow the line of personal mood of Shri Rupa Manjari (Shrila Rupa Gosvami's other form, in his service to Radha-Krishna, as a gopi-manjari) and Shrila Rupa Gosvami are actually Rupanuga.
What is the mood of Rupa Manjari? She is a dasi of Krishna and Radhika, but with an inclination towards Shrimati Radhika. Actually, she is a dasi of Shrimati Radhika, not Krishna. If Shrimati Radhika is happy, then Krishna will automatically be happy. If Krishna has been neglecting someone, but that person has taken shelter of Shrimati Radhika, then Krishna is bound to accept her.
yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri caranaravindam
["Only by the mercy of Shri Gurudeva can one receive the mercy of Krishna; without his grace the living entities cannot make any advancement nor be delivered. Meditating three times a day on the glories of Shri Gurudeva and reciting sattva-stuti, I offer prayers unto his lotus feet." (Shri Guruvastakam verse 1)]
If you have made a mistake and committed any aparadha at the lotus feet of Shri Krishna, or you have neglected Him, but if you are taking shelter in the lotus feet of a qualified Guru, then Krishna may forgive you. Guru will tell Krishna, "You must forgive him. You are bound to forgive him, because I have accepted her or him." On the other hand, if Krishna is about to accept that person, but Guru is neglecting and is upset with him, then Krishna will reject him. In the same way, even if Krishna has neglected someone, if that person will take shelter in the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika, then Krishna is bound to give her special mercy.
radhika-dasi yadi haya abhimana
sigrai milai taba gokula-kana
["If you develop pride in being Shrimati Radhika's exclusive maidservant, then very quickly you will meet Gokula Kana." (Shri Radha Bhajana Mahima verse 5)]
Shrila Narottama das Thakura is a Rupanuga Vaisnava. What did he do? He cleaned the place where his Gurudeva, Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, used to pass stool. At first Lokanatha Gosvami refused to accept Narottama das as his disciple, because that boy was a prince, the son of a king. Narottama das began to sweep that place, and then he would put water and cow dung in that spot to make it pure and scented. One night Lokanatha Gosvami caught hold of Narottama das on that very spot and asked, "Who are you?" Narottama das began to weep, and then Lokanatha Gosvami accepted him.
Anyone internally and outwardly fulfilling the orders of Gurudeva, who is himself Rupanuga, does not only fulfill his Guru´s order, but he knows his Guru´s wish even before the order is spoken. Shri caitanya mano-bhistam. Shrila Rupa Gosvami realized the inner heart´s desire of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and similarly, you will have to know Shri Guru mano-bhistam. If you are not qualified to know, you are not a disciple; you are only a disciple outwardly. You should try to know the wish of your Gurudeva - how he will be happy - and try to please him. If Guru is not happy with you, Krishna will not be happy with you.
[*Endnote 1 - cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me siksa-gurus ca bhagavan sikhi-pincha-maulih yat-pada-kalpataru-pallava-sekharesu lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayasrih
"All glories to Cintamani and my initiating spiritual master, Somagiri. All glories to my instructing spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who wears peacock feathers in His crown. Under the shade of His lotus feet, which are like desire trees, Jayasri [Radharani] enjoys the transcendental mellow of an eternal consort." This verse is from the Krishna-karnamrta, which was written by a great Vaisnava saint named Bilvamangala Thakura. (Shri CAitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.57)]
[*Endote 2: - Guru-pancaka - Guru-pancaka (Shri Guru (spiritual master), Paramaguru (grand spiritual master), Paramesthiguru (great grand spiritual master), Paratparguru (great great grand spiritual master), Paramparatparguru (great great great grand spiritual master)
[*Endnote 3: - "We Gaudiya Vaisnavas are known as Rupanuga. Rupanuga means the followers of Rupa Gosvami. Why should we become followers of Rupa Gosvami? Because sri-caitanya-mano 'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale. He wanted to establish the mission of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.2, Hyderabad, April 13, 1975)
[*See Endnote 4 - Raganuga-bhakti - "One has to serve Krishna according to these regulative principles, but if one develops spontaneous love for Krishna as exhibited in the activities of those who live in Vrajabhumi, one attains the platform of raganuga-bhakti. One who has developed this spontaneous love is eligible for elevation to the platform enjoyed by the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi. In Vrajabhumi, there are no regulative principles set forth for Krishna's service. Rather, everything is carried out in spontaneous, natural love for Krishna." (Shri Chaitanya-cartiamrta, Madya 8.221 purport)
ragatmika-bhakti--'mukhya' vraja-vasi-jane tara anugata bhaktira `raganuga'-name
"The original inhabitants of Vrindavan are attached to Krishna spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika-bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrindavan, his devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti." (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.149)]
virajantim abhivyaktam vraja-vasi-janadisu ragatmikam anusrta ya sa raganugocyate
["Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the inhabitants of Vrindavan. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving service." (Shri Chaitanya-cartamrta, Madhya 22.154)]
[Thus ends part 2.]
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi
Typist: Anita dasi