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The hidden meaning in Shrila Prabhupada's pranama mantra

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sg-archan-for-sp_sm.jpgAlachua, Florida : May 28, 2001
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj

Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja performs archan and puja for Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Shrila Prabhupada's appearance day.[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is the second sloka in the pranama mantra of your Gurudeva?

[Drstadyumna dasa:] namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani pracarine nirvesesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is that gaura-vani he preached?

[Drstadyumna dasa:] There are four reasons for which Lord Chaitanya came to this world. One was to establish the yuga-dharma of the chanting of the holy name, another was because Advaita Acarya had called Him to come, and…

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I want to hear what was that gaura-vani of your Gurudeva.

[Drstadyumna dasa:] In simple words it was to chant Hare Krishna, and that meant to worship…...

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Shri Advaita Acarya may have given this. So many acaryas have given this. Even Maha-Visnu can give the chanting of the holy name, but He cannot give that gaura-vani.

[Drstadyumna dasa:] It was to give an understanding of the essence of the feelings and mood of Shrimati Radharani and…

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is that gaura-vani he gave?

[Drstadyumna dasa:] Would it be the mood of the manjaris; service to the Divine Couple?

[Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Was this his vani? I want to hear about that vani. What is that gaura-vani he preached throughout the world? It has been explained in the words of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has also explained it.

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam
ramya kascid upasana vraja-vadhu-varga-ya kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam amalam puranam prema pumartho mahan
sri-caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah

This is the special gaura-vani. Krishna is our highest worshipable Deity, but there are so many manifestations of Krishna. Dvarakadhisa Krishna is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. Is He our worshipable Deity? He may be for so many others, and there is no harm in that. He is worshipable for them, and He should be. We do namaskara to Him, but we worship that very Vrajendranandana who took birth from the womb of Yasodamaiya.

At the time of His birth, Vrajendranandana Krishna had no long hair, no decorations, and no ornaments. He appeared as a simple baby, weeping, "Kya, kya, kya!" All the Vrajabasis understood that He was born from the womb of Mother Yasoda. We worship that very Nandanandana.

You should know that Nandanandana is always nava-kisora natavara. He is eternally an ever-fresh cowherd youth, and Mother Yasoda thinks, "He is my son." We worship this very Krishna who was bound by His mother in Vrindavan. She ran faster than Him, caught hold of Him, and bound Him. That is why He is called Damodara-Krishna. He killed Putana, who tried to take His life by poisoning Him, and He gave her a motherly position in Goloka. We worship that Krishna who was playing in the courtyard of Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda, and who was controlled by them with affection and love. We worship that Krishna who was always surrounded by His friends like Dama, Shridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Stokakrsna, Lavanga, Arjuna, Subala, Madhumangala, and so on. They used to defeat that Krishna, and, being defeated, Krishna was very happy. That Krishna always played with the gopa-ramanis.

Aradya bhagavan: Although He is Bhagavan, His bhagavata (Godhood) has been covered. All His opulences are covered by Yogamaya, and thus He has no idea that He is Brahma, Parabrahma, or Bhagavan. That very Krishna is our aradhya, our object of worship. Another manifestation of Krishna is the husband of Rukmini and the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. He should be the aradhya of the Mathuravasis and others. Let them worship Him in that way, but Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is saying, "Aradyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanaya tad dhama vrndavanam." That Krishna is always in Vrindavan. He never gives up Vrindavan. He never goes elsewhere. His manifestations may go to Kuruksetra, to Dvaraka, and to Mathura. They can go, but that Krishna never leaves Vrindavan.

Ramya karcit upasanam vrajavadhu: The process of serving Krishna that was adopted by all the gopis to please Krishna, especially by Radha and Her group, is the highest. They can even place their feet on His head. They can chastise Him - to please Him. They can order Him to do so many things, and He will very happily carry out their orders. He does not feel so much happiness by hearing the prayers of Brahma, Sankara, and all others like them, but He wants the gopis to chastise Him and call Him 'thief.'

Shrimad bhagavatam pramanam amalam: The way and the process by which the gopis pleased Krishna cannot be attained by anyone else, and to understand this, Shrimad Bhagavatam is the highest evidence among all sastras. Only in Shrimad Bhagavatam can you see all these truths. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offers pranama to the Upanisads and all other scriptures because they are all the breathing of Krishna, but He particularly glorifies Shrimad Bhagavatam. In Shrimad Bhagavatam, Krishna Himself told the gopis, "Na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam. I cannot repay you, My dear gopis. I cannot repay you in thousands of thousands of births. Be pleased, therefore, by your own bhakti to Me. Be merciful to Me." Shrimad Bhagavatam is revealing all this. This truth has been told there, but you can only realize it by the commentaries of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

Prema pumartha mahan: Prema is the ultimate goal, and the prema in the heart of Radhika is supermost. Hanuman also has prema, Dhruva Maharaja also has prema, and Prahlada Maharaja also has some love and affection. The Pandavas and Uddhava also have some prema, and all the queens of Dvaraka have so much love and affection. The sakhas and sakhis of Vrindavan, and Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja all have prema, but no one has that prema of Shrimati Radhika. Hers is the highest love and affection towards Krishna. Her love is in the heart of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and He Himself is telling about it. This is gaura-vani. This vani (message or teaching) is the vani of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. No one ever preached this before Him. Only "You should do nama-sankirtana" was preached. So many acaryas in Kali-yuga have told us that we should perform kirtana, but no one gave that love and affection given by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He preached love and affection, Vraja-prema, through nama-sankirtan. This is His vani.

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-mahadavagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidyavadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri krsnanama-kirtanam

This is gaura-vani.

trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

No one ever explained this before. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became very happy when, by His order and inspiration, Shri Rupa Gosvami explained the glory of the name:

tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye
karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham
cetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim
no jane janita kiyadbhir amrtaih krsneti varna-dvaya

"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krs-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert." (Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 1.99)

Hearing this verse, Shrila Haridasa Thakura began to jump, laugh, and chant, "Hari Bol! Hari Bol!"

Give up all worldly sense gratification. Don't pray for a very good wife, good family, salvation, or anything else. Only pray for causeless bhakti, the bhakti that is in the heart of Shrimati Radhika. That bhakti is established when hladini and samvit manifest in ones heart, on the platform of sandini.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is telling us who we are.

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

We always want to be a particle of dust at the lotus feet of the son of Nanda Maharaja. No one had ever told all this before. Especially, no one had previously told:

nayanam galad asru dharaya
vadanam gadgada ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava nama grahane bhavisyati

Hairs standing on end, voice choked, and all kinds of asta-sattvika-bhavas were present in Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When will a day come that I can chant like this: weeping, with my bodily hairs standing on end, and my heart melting? No one had ever seen all these symptoms before Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited them. Valmiki had some symptoms, and Dhruva Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja also had some, but not like this. This wonderful thing was taught by Mahaprabhu. Moreover He taught:

yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me

There are hardly any qualified persons to realize all the truths in this verse. If a rare person realizes this, he will give up his body - because the material body cannot tolerate the emotions of prema.


aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam
adarsanän marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah

"Lord Krishna, who is the lover of many devotees (women), may embrace this fully surrendered maidservant or may trample me with His feet. Or, He may render me brokenhearted by not being present before me for a long duration of time. Still, He is nothing less than the absolute lord of my heart."

The transcendental emotions revealed in this verse cannot be found in this world. This is only found in Goloka Vrindavan-dhama. We should pray that a day will come that we can serve under the guidance of the gopis, especially being the maidservant of Shrimati Radhika, under the guidance of Lalita, Visakha, and Rupa-manjari. This is gaura-vani.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja preached this, but in the beginning he had to cut so many jungles of mayavada, nirvesesa, and sahajiya philosophies. He saw that in order to make the land of the world fertile, it would take a long time. He therefore put all these truths in his transcendental literatures. He thought that if any of his disciples would be qualified to go deep into those truths, all this vani would be taught there. He wanted to preach it also, but it was rare to find a student who could go so deep. Most of his students could not follow him, and that is why so many fell down even from sannyasa. They made many offenses to him, and they are now burning in hell.

You should know all this vani, and be very strong in preaching and in glorifying your Prabhupada. Gaura-vani-pracarine. Krishna has sent him for this.

After our Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shrila Syamananda prabhu came, and after that Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Shrila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and then our Gurudeva and so many associates of Shrila Prabhupada. One of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's hands was Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who came to the western countries, and in a couple of years preached everywhere. We should try to know his glories. Gaura-vani has so much deep meaning, but the meaning is very hidden. Don't think there is no reason for the word 'gaura-vani.'

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati is described in his pranama mantra to be gaura-vani murti. [Namaste gaura-vani sri murtaye dina-tarine.] Murti means embodiment. He is the embodiment of gaura-vani, and Shrila Swami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, is in the same line. He is not different from Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. The term 'Prabhupadanuga' is a wrong idea. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura are both followers of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and therefore they are rupanuga. Following them, we are all rupanuga.

We have now told in brief about the vani of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has also, in a brief form, collected gaura-vani in his Dasa-mula siksa. You should note it very carefully in your heart. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote down that vani in his Jaiva-dharma, his last and best book. It is an authentic literature, and is the essence of all the Vedas, Upanisads, Bhagavatam, Chaitanya-caritamrta, and all the books of our Gosvamis. The essence of all sastra is there in Jaiva-dharma.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written:

amnaya praha tattvam harim iha paramam sarva-saktim rasabdim
tad bhinnamsamsca jivan prakrti-kavalitan tad vimuktams ca bhavad
bhedabheda-prakasam sakalam api hareh sadhanam suddha-bhaktim
sadhyam tat pritim evety upadisati janan gauracandrah svayam sah

"The authoritative knowledge of the Vedas, received through the bona fide disciplic succession, establishes the following fundamental truths:

1. Hari is the supreme absolute truth.
2. He is omnipotent.
3. He is the reservoir of all mellows.
4. The living entities are His separated parts and parcels.
5. The conditioned souls are covered by Maya.
6. The liberated souls are beyond the influence of Maya.
7. The entire cosmic manifestation is simultaneously one and different from Him.
8. Suddha-bhakti is the only means to achieve love of Godhead.
9. The goal is to attain love of Godhead.
These teachings have been instructed by Gauracandra Himself."

Gaura Premanande.

Transcriber: Shrimati Premanidhi devi dasi
Typist: Shrimati Radhika devi dasi
Editor: Shrimati Syamarani devi dasi

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