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How will pure bhakti come?

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gurudeva-meditating.jpgŚrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja
February 2, 2003
Alachua, Florida

The following is a transcription of a discourse given by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja on 2nd February 2003 based on the above sound  file.
Based on the hundreds of lectures that we have heard over the years and the questions regarding those lectures about which we have asked Srila Gurudeva directly, we have edited the transcription for clarity.]

[After the devotees sang from Śrī Gīta-govinda, Śrīla Gurudeva commented:]

Gīta-govinda is very deep and beyond the limitation of our thinking.

dhīra-samīre yamunā-tīre vasati vane vana-mali
pīna payodhara parisara mardana cañcala karayugaśālī refrain)

Do you know Vanamali? Who is He? – He who is wearing a very long garland with flowers like beli, cameli, and some very soft leaves. Śrīmatī Rādhikā made it with Her own hands and gave it to Him. Where is He?

dhīra-samīre yamunā-tīre – He is in a kunja at the bank of the very beautiful and crooked Yamuna. He is waiting eagerly for His heart. He cannot express. Why?

pīna payodhara parisara mardana cañcala karayugaśālī

It is vasanti, springtime. All types of flowers are all there simultaneously – in winter, summer, rainy season and so on. Sarasa – full of rasa, transcendental mellows. Hari – who can take the heart of all the gopīs, especially Śrīmatī Rādhikā. He is Hari, Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is eagerly waiting, sometimes weeping. Now Rādhika has come. He is dancing, He is singing, and He is saying ‘sādhu sādhu’ – praising Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the gopīs.

karatāla, tala balaiyavali – tune of karatāla – Kṛṣṇa sings in the fifth note, “sa re ga ma pa.” Rādhikā begins from there up to the eighth, “da ni sa”. It is very interesting – if you want to make your heart sarasa then, ‘madhura-komala-kānta-padāvalīṁ śṛṇu tadā jayadeva-sarasvatīm; by all means listen to these gentle, appealing and honeyed verses of the transcendental poetry of Jayadeva.’ [Note 1]

If you want to make your heart full of rasa, full of joy, and to serve and to understand the kāla-vilāsa of Rādhikā and Kṛṣṇa,then you must read [Gīta-govinda] – in the guidance of high class of Vaiṣṇavas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu liked to sing all these slokas under the guidance of Lalitā and Viśākhā, that is Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāmānanda Rāya. This is our aim and object.

Today we will discuss how we can enter into that process.

[Beginning of harikathā]

I've told you so many times that this is the Iron Age, Kali-yuga.

mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ- people in Kali-yuga are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed [Note 2].

What is the meaning of mandā-bhāgyā? It means that we are very unfortunate, our fortune is very bad. It is full of all kinds of unwanted things, anarthas. Whatever we do, we do for our own happiness, but it is sure that we cannot be happy. In Naimiṣāraṇya, Saunaka and all other eighty-eight thousand ṛṣis asked Sūta Gosvāmī some questions. Who is Sūta Gosvāmī? One is Romaharsana Sūta and the other is Ugraśravā Sūta. Romaharṣaṇa Sūta is not this Sūta Gosvāmī, and will not be able to reply [to the questions asked by the ṛṣis]. So it was the second Sūta, [Ugraśravā Sūta], who was the disciple of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He is telling [to the ṛṣis], “Oh, you want to be happy? [Then]

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.6)

["The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."]

[He is telling how] the ātmā will be very happy. Here, ātmā has two meanings. What? One is the conditioned soul, and the other is the ātmā of the whole universe. Who is He? Supersoul, that is Kṛṣṇa Himself. If Kṛṣṇa will be happy, then we can be happy. Otherwise, the soul can never be happy on his own. If the sun is in the sky, then by the mercy of the sun, we can see all things. If the sun is not there, then you cannot see everything; hurricane [lightning], fire, candle, or any sort of light. You can see yourself, but you cannot see the sun. But, by the mercy of the sun, everything will be revealed. Similarly, if Kṛṣṇa is happy then you can be happy. ‘Yayātmā suprasīdati’. Both soul and Supersoul can be happy only by unalloyed, continuous service of Adhokṣaja.

This is parama-dharma, the supreme religion of all. But now in Kali-yuga, we are all covered with worldly desires, and desires for sense gratification. That is why we are not happy. So we will have to serve Adhokṣaja. But who is Adhokṣaja Hari?

ete cāṁśa-kalā puṁsaḥ
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
indrari-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
Srimad-Bhāgavatam (1.3.28)

["All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-āvatāras. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra."]

Who is the Supreme Lord, Svayaṁ Bhagavān? It is Kṛṣṇa Himself, and others are His manifestations like Nārāyaṇa and Rāma. They are very kind; very kind and unparalleled. Kṛṣṇa has four extra qualities to attract: rūpa-mādhurī, guṇa-mādhurī, līlā-mādhurī and venu-mādhurī. None of His incarnations or manifestations, even Rāma, Dvārakā Kṛṣṇa, or Mathureśa Kṛṣṇa, have a flute and neither do they a peacock feather. They are not fond of the gopīs. Similarly, the gopīs are not attracted to any form of Kṛṣṇa besides Vrajendra-nandana Kṛṣṇa.

Vrajendra-nandana Kṛṣṇa is Svayaṁ Bhagavān. How can we please Him?

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11)

["Uttamā-bhakti, pure devotional service, is the cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In other words, it is the uninterrupted flow of service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, performed through all endeavors of body, mind and speech, well as through expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhāvas). It is not covered by jñāna (speculative knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation), karma (reward-seeking activity), yoga or austerities; and it is completely free from all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Śrī Kṛṣṇa".]

Now we have decided our aim and object.

As it has been said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, ‘nigama-kalpa-taror...’ [Note 3] In a discussion between Nārada and Vyāsa, Nārada told Vyāsa, "I know why you are not satisfied. Even though you have written Brahma-śutra and all other scriptures, have you written that Kṛṣṇa is ‘akhila-rasamṛta-sindu, the ocean of all nectarean transcendental mellows’? Have you described anywhere that He can be controlled by vātsalya-rasa, sakhya, but more by conjugal love, the mood of parakīya-bhāva? Have you written about this? What have you written?”

“I don't know [all these things].”

Nārada continued, “Have you written that Rāma was not bound by anyone, Nārāyaṇa cannot be bound, but Yaśodā-maiya bound Him. He was weeping, and she was chastising Him, the Supreme Lord. Have you written this?"

"No, I have not written."

"Then what you have given? Have you written that the Supreme Lord, full of opulences, very beautiful, has four special qualities – rūpa, guṇa, līlā and venu. Even that Supreme Lord gives His head on the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Have you written this?"

"I didn't know all this."

"Then what do you know? Oh, you should write this."

"But how can I?"

"Oh, it can only be known by bhakti-yoga."

First surrender, and know what bhakti is. What is bhakti? Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has taken all the definitions of previous ācāryas; Nārada, Śāṇḍilya, Parāśara, and all those in between. And he wrote an excellent definition of bhakti. And what was that?

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

The highest mood in anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ is the madanākhya mood, and the smallest fraction is śraddhā.

First we should know what is bhakti? We have explained this so many times. But now, here, there are so many who do not know this. Even if they have heard, they have not realized it. Try to realize this. This is the barometer of all bhakti, beginning from śraddhā to madanākhyamood.

We should know the meaning of this verse.

(Prema-prajoyana dāsa) begins explaining the meaning of the above verse by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī]

[In between the explanation, Śrīla Gurudeva asks, “What is the most favorable thing for bhakti that we must accept?”

Prema-prajoyana dāsa: The most favorable thing is sādhu-saṅga.

Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes! Understand? But what kind of sādhu?

Prema-prajoyana dāsa: There are many types of sādhu, but the best sādhu is one who is completely internally absorbed in following and serving the moods of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.

rasikaiḥ saha śrī-bhāgavatārthāsvādaḥ
sajātīya-snigdha-mahattara-sādhu-saṅgaḥ
Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu

["Tasting the meaning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the association of rasika Vaiṣṇavas, like-minded, affectionate, advanced devotees".]

(explanation continued by Prema-prayojana dāsa)

Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja: We should think about whether we have bhakti, or uttamā-bhakti. Even bhakti is rare, what to tell of uttamā-bhakti. When moods come, rati will come, and then pure bhakti, uttamā-bhakti; otherwise not. This is the process. But you cannot realize without more explanations.

We should begin from the very beginning point, the very smallest fraction, the seed of bhakti. One will bring any seed from the market or from a reliable source, and then plants it. So, one goes to guru to get the seed [of bhakti].

Guru asks, “Do you have śraddhā? No. Then go, you should get out from here. And if you have śrāddha, you can come. I will give you the seed.

What is that seed? The desire to serve Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-sevā-vāsanā. There are so many symptoms, external and internal. Internal is very deep. We can only understand the external symptoms.

If one has taken that seed from Gurudeva, then he will cultivate [the land], make it fertile, and then plants that seed. At first, six kinds of saraṇāgati will be seen, and whether we have this saraṇāgati or not [will be seen].

What is that?

ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlya-vivarjānaṁ
rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso goptṛtve varaṇaṁ tathā
ātma-nikṣepa-kārpaṇye ṣaḍ-vidhā śaraṇāgatiḥ
Hari-bhakti-vilāsa

["The six divisions of surrender are: the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Kṛṣṇa will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as ones' guardian or master, humility, and full self-surrender."]

We should strongly accept what is favorable for Kṛṣṇa's service, and what is favorable for bhakti. We should strongly reject what is not favorable.

First is association. My father, my mother, my wife, my children, my beloved, anyone – if they are not favorable, then we should reject them very strongly like stool. What is unfavorable, you should reject, and what is favorable, you should accept. This saṅkalpa, vow, should be there.

Then rakṣiṣyatīti. The Supreme God, who is my worshipable deity in my heart, is Kṛṣṇa. He is all powerful and very sweet. He is very powerful. He can nourish and support us. He can save us from any kind of trouble, sufferings or danger. He is so powerful. If I will surrender myself to Him, He must protect me; so I am taking His shelter.

Then, ātmā-nivedana. This means to surrender fully what you have – your words, your body, your senses, everything. You cannot offer Him your soul, because you don't know what your soul is. If you want to offer yourself to Him, to dedicate yourself [completely], you cannot at this stage.

Only devotees in an upper stage can do this; we cannot do it in this stage. By words, we may say, "Oh, I am śaraṇāgata. I am surrendered." But you cannot surrender. In the next moment you think how to be happy. You cannot follow. You cannot be like Arjuna, Draupadī, Prahlāda, or Ambarīṣa Mahārāja.

Fire was coming, death was coming, and Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was thinking, "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa." A miracle came, and that fire was finished.

Draupadī was in the assembly where everyone was gathered. Duśasana, with the power of ten thousand elephants, was disrobing her. But he failed. Draupadī was not nervous.

If you will be surrendered and humble, this is saraṇāgati. This is the external symptom of that seed. If the seed has come really, then the first sprout will be like this. And then more: [A devotee thinks,] "I may die. Anyone can cut me in lakhs and lakhs of pieces, but I cannot give up chanting and remembering." Be like Prahlāda and Haridāsa Ṭhākura. You should be ready for this.

What have we given for Kṛṣṇa? Let us see. Kṛṣṇa wants so many things. He wants full dedication. Have you left your children, father, mother, the love and affection of your most beloved wife, or your position? What have you given up? Do you know that Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Rūpa, Sanātana, and others have given up everything? If you have given up something, then bhakti – śrāddha – will come. That very strong [determination], will come, that: "If anyone cuts me to pieces, I will not give up chanting.”

We will not die. Our soul is eternal. No one can touch it. No police, no fear, or anything; so we should not fear.

What is that last fraction of bhakti, śrāddha? You should give something. Be ready to give up anything for bhakti – even your moustache [devotees laughing].

[Śrīpād Padmanābha Mahārāja speaks about śrāddha.]

Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja: At first, [there are two types of śrāddha:] laukikā(worldly), and second is pāramārthika (transcendental or spiritual). Laukika-śrāddha cannot take you to anyābhilāṣitā kṛṣṇa-sevā-vāsanā. If you have laukika-śrāddha, and any pure sādhuis coming to your house, and you pay respect, giving some favorable things to him, then by his association, that laukika-śrāddha can be transferred into pāramārthika-śrāddha. Pāramārthika-śrāddha is needed.

Paramartika-śrāddha is of two kinds: [Note 4]. (1) śāstrārtha-avadhāraṇamayī-śraddhā. Kṛṣṇa has told that anyone serving one’s father, mother, wife, husband, children, or serving his country, serving others and other sorts of service to all, but is not serving Kṛṣṇa, this cannot save him. He will have to go to hell. If anyone wants to serve Kṛṣṇa. fearing the injunctions of the scriptures, this is known as śāstrārtha-avadhāraṇamayī-śraddhā.

2) mādhurya-lobhamayī-śraddhā (or mādhuryamayī-śraddhā). By one’s fortune, or impression of previous lives, he goes to that kind of good association and hears in the council of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, or Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī, and especially nowadays in the council of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, our Gurudeva, and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja. By listening to the sweet pastimes of Kṛṣṇa one develops mādhurya-lobhamayī-śraddhā. This person will then perform bhakti, not out of fear, but due to greed to serve Kṛṣṇa in His pastimes.

This is the only process.

You should understand that there are so many worldly things like bad association, but we cannot give up our bhakti for them. We don't want to lose a moment, because all these things cannot make us happy. You should understand fully that for those who were in the association of Śukadeva Gosvāmī – like Pariksit Mahārāja and the eighty-eight thousand ṛṣis, mahaṛṣis and so many māyāvādīs – Sukadeva Gosvami was so powerful that he inspired pure bhakti in the hearts of all.

Even if you are not qualified, if you will go to very powerful association, especially as I told you, in the council of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dasa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, and others, you can gain that seed of bhakti – mādhuryamayī-śraddhā.

Somehow, by some good fortune, you have the opportunity for mādhuryamayī-śraddhā. It is very rare. But somehow, by the fruits of any of your past activities in previous lives or in this life, you can get that transcendental śrāddha. If the seed is not watered (nourished) by harikathā — śravaṇa, kīrtanam, viṣṇu-smaraṇam – in the council of high association, then it may dry. It will not work fully.

So, both types of śrāddha [śāstrārtha-avadhāraṇa mayī and mādhuryamayī] are required. I know that so many received the bhakti-latā-bija. I think that in this council there are so many devotees who were brahamacārīs, totally surrendered to their Gurudeva, your Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja, your Prabhupāda.

Anyone may question, "Why doesn’t Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja call Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja Prabhupāda? Only ISKCON devotees are calling him Prabhupāda.”

Our Gurudeva said, “All the disciples of Prabhupāda, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Gosvāmī Ṭhākura have said that their disciples have a right to call their respective Gurudevas ‘Prabhupāda.’ There is no harm. They have a right to do so and no one can oppose them. But we, all disciples of Śrīla Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Ṭhākura, have made a saṅkalpa, vow, in our heart that we will not take the title of Prabhupāda. It will be reserved for Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura.’"

My Gurudeva said, “You can also call me Prabhupāda, but I am saying that you should also try to obey me."

We are obeying our Gurudeva. Your Gurudeva told you, "You can call me Prabhupadā.” No harm. You can call him that. Don't press me that, "You should also call him Prabhupadā.” I have much more affection for Prabhupadā than others. You cannot imagine how I have love and affection in service mood to him. Only speaking ‘Prabhupadā, Prabhupadā’ will not do. I know those who always repeated ‘Prabhupadā, Prabhupadā, Prabhupadā, Prabhupadā.’ Where are they now? No sign at all. Where are they? They are against – not devotees at all. They criticize Swāmījī and have doubt in him. They have doubt whether he is omniscient or not. They have doubt. For this doubt, they all went in lust, sense gratification, and bad conditions: taking flesh and fish, eggs, wine, and so on.

Remember this. What was I telling in the beginning?

(Dhṛṣṭadyumna dāsa): Śraddhā will go away if it is not watered by harikathā.

Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That kind of śrāddha may be there – luckily, fortunately – but it may be that it has not been watered. [The aspiring devotee] may not be hearing harikathā in anusuniyat. What is the meaning of anusuniyat? It means hearing continuously under guidance [of advanced association]. That is why it has been told, if your anarthas have mostly gone…:

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
punya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.17)

["By hearing the līlā-kathā of Śrī Bhagavān, all misfortunes of the jīvas are dispelled. Those who possess an ardent desire to obtain unalloyed prema-bhakti at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa must certainly hear His līlā-kathā repeatedly and incessantly".]

What is the meaning?

Dhṛṣṭadyumna dāsa: This verse is from the First Canto, second chapter of the Bhāgavatam. By hearing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa from the lips of a pure devotee will give great pious merit and will cause auspiciousness. It will completely cleanse away all the inauspiciousness that has been accumulated in our hearts over millions of births.

One devotee was greeting Śrīla Gurudeva every morning after the morning walk. Once she was not present after a morning walk and Śrīla Gurudeva asked where she was. They mentioned that she had gone to chant her rounds. Śrīla Gurudeva said, “Go tell her. One moment of association with me will give her the benefit 1000s of years of chanting her rounds.”

This is the effect of association with a pure devotee. It accelerates the process of cleansing. We don’t have the qualification to get out of material existence on our own. One conditioned soul cannot pull another conditioned soul out of the cycle of material existence. Only a pure devotee can help us. But it requires an effort from our part to get the mercy of the pure devotee.

In continuation to this śloka it has been said:

naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttamā-śloke
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.18)

[By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.]

bhidyate hrdaya-granthis
chidyante sarva-samsayah
ksiyante casya karmani
drtsta evātmānisvare
Srimad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.21)

[“Thus the knots of the heart and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions, or karma, is terminated when one sees the self as master.”]

Śrīpād Padmanābha Mahārāja:

naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
bhagavaty uttamā-śloke
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī

If we perform constant “nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā” serving first the mahābhāgavata, the pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, as well as the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (by constantly hearing Bhāgavatam). By this practice of service to them – then all inauspicious things that are stopping our advancement and not allowing us to be fixed in the lotus feet of Bhagavān – will be almost completely eliminated. Elimination up to a certain point to perform bhakti in the stage of niṣṭhā – not wavering, but steady performance of bhajana, constantly being engaged in bhajana to the uttamā-śloka Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who has been glorified by so many beautiful stanzas and ślokas by the highly realized souls. When this stage arises the following things happen:

bhidyate hrdaya-granthis
chidyante sarva-samsayah
ksiyante casya karmani
drtsta evātmānisvare

[“The knots of the hearts become pierced and doubts which were causing us to be unsteady in our bhakti to Kṛṣṇa is also slashed and the chain of constant karmic reactions becomes terminated and then one becomes capable to proceed towards accepting the Supreme Lord as being the controller of one’s own soul and being his worshipable deity.”]

tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ
kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.19)

["As soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature’s modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy."]

[Note: prasīdati means that the devotee at this stage becomes completely satisfied, therefore his mind does not run after sense objects].

When greed, lust, anger and so on become reduced, then citta (mind) becomes cleared and one becomes established in sattva-guṇa. Then one is not harassed by the lower modes of nature and he becomes self-satisfied in the heart.

evaṁ prasanna-manaso
bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ
bhagavat-tattva-vijñānaṁ
mukta-saṅgasya jāyate
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.20)

["Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the person whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord becomes free from all material contamination and gains realised knowledge of Śrī Kṛṣṇa".]

So at this time, the mind and heart become very pleased, situated in the stage of tranquility and no longer agitated by the modes of nature. Now he becomes firmly situated in bhakti to the Lord and he gains practical realization of the Lord and becomes a liberated soul, no longer affected by the modes of nature.

This whole process is accomplished through the service of constantly hearing Bhāgavatam and serving the pure devotee. This is the essential ingredient for the whole process.

Śrīla Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Very good. Thank you.

I know so many are always reading Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and other books of the Gosvāmīs. But you should know that only reading will not do.

yāha bhāgavata paḍa vaiṣṇavera sthāne
ekānta āśraya kara caitanya-caraṇe
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā (5.131)

["If you want to understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaiṣṇava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu".]

Your reading alone will not do. You cannot understand the deep meanings. You can read it hundreds and thousands of times, but it will have a small effect. But when you follow anuśuniyat-jāna, reading under the guidance, then bhakti will come. You are taking shelter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but how? You should always read and hear from those who are superior, rasika.

nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayaṁ
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ

The process has been explained. Take shelter and serve rasika Vaiṣṇavas, those who know all kinds of truths: kṛṣṇa-tattva, radha-tattva, prema-tattva, maya-tattva, jiva-tattva, and guru-tattva. They know all kinds of tattva. They may be realized souls, or even if not, they are very sincerely serving Gurudeva, Vaiṣṇavas, and mahābhāgavatas. There are three kinds of bhāgavata: (1) mūrcchita-kaṣāya – Nārada [as the son of a maidservant] (2) nirdhūta-kaṣāya – Śukadeva Gosvāmī and (3) bhagavat-pārṣada-deha-prāpta – liberated Nārada [Note 5].

These are three types of bhāgavata. One should be like Nārada, or under the guidance of Nārada. Still better is to take guidance from Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. All advancement in bhakti will come just by hearing Bhāgavatam, and then Caitanya-caritāmṛta and all the books of the Gosvāmīs, which are superior to the Vedas, Brahma-sutra, and others like them. Very quickly, you can achieve the bhāgavata mood.

So don't try to just read. You can read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and other books, but try to hear them in the association of any high class of Vaiṣṇava. This will be very effective, otherwise not.

As I have said, the beginning of bhakti in the stage of śrāddha. Bhakti is two kinds: niṣṭhitā(steadiness) and aniṣṭhitā (unsteadiness).

I think that it will be better if we continue to explain tomorrow. Otherwise, it will become too late for me, and that disturbs my health. So please excuse me for this.

I have a request to the speakers: Śyāmarāṇī, Padmanābha Mahārāja, Araṇya Mahārāja, and others. I have a special request that they come on time. I always keep very punctual time. If you are not punctual, if you cannot walk in the morning, then how can you be healthy, wealthy, and wise? Be punctual first. I have always been punctual – my whole life – except when there are some special reasons. Not one minute late. So, I request all to be established in this thing – to come on time. Because so many devotees have come, I think that not less than four hundred devotees will wait for you. So, you should try to come on time.

Gaura Premānande!

Notes:

Note 1
yadi hari-smaraṇe sarasaṁ mano
yadi vilāsa-kalāsu kutūhalam
madhura-komala-kānta-padāvalīṁ
śṛṇu tadā jayadeva-sarasvatīm
Śrī Gīta-govinda (1.3)
If your mind is permeated by mellows of ever-fresh loving attachment while hearing the pastimes of Śrī Hari, and if you are curious to know about his ingenuity in the amorous arts, may you become immersed in bliss by listening to the mellifluous, tender and endearing verses of this collection of songs by the poet Jayadeva.

Note 2
prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.10
O learned one, in this Kali age of quarrel and hypocrisy, most people have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

Note 3
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayaṁ
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.3)
O expert and thoughtful men, relish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.]

Note 4:
Pāramārthika-śraddhā is of two kinds: (1) śāstrārtha-avadhāraṇamayī-śraddhā – faith that brings about engagement in the path of bhakti inspired by the governing principles of the scriptures and (2) bhagavad-līlā-mādhurya-lobhamayī-śraddhā – faith that brings about engagement in bhakti due to intense longing (lobha), arisen out of some extreme good fortune by hearing about the unparalleled sweetness of Bhagavān’s pastimes.

Note 5
(1) mūrcchita-kaṣāya (those in whom a trace of material contamination still lies dormant)
(2) nirdhūta-kaṣāya (those who have thrown off all material impurities) and
(3) bhagavat-pārṣada-deha-prāpta (those who have obtained perfected spiritual bodies as eternal associates of the Lord).

Editor: Shyamarani dasi

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