Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj
June 18, 2006
[In the previous two Badger classes, Shrila Narayana Maharaj has been speaking about our 24 natural gurus. This evening he completed this topic by discussing the 22nd guru (the hawk), the 23rd (the unmarried girl) and the 24th (the wasp):]
I am happy that our festival is very successful in all respects. Today is our last day. All of you, whether you are ladies or men – whatever I am telling in my classes, you should try to keep in your pockets and in your hearts. If you really want to very quickly attain Krishna-prema – gopi-prema – you should remember all the hari-katha that I have told.
Try to follow all the principles. Don't divide your heart into fractions. Don't let it go here and there. Be one-pointed to Shri Krishna, as the gopis are. They gave up their husbands, fathers, mothers and children, and even their chastity, Vedic injunctions, and fear of society's accusations. They are one-pointed. If you can do this, then, very soon, in one human birth, you can attain up to the devotional stage of asakti or rati (transcendental ecstasy), and after that you can attain prema.
We have been discussing the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Eleventh Canto, and we have reached up to the history of Pingala. There in the Eleventh Canto, Lord Krishna is telling Uddhava what Dattatreya told Yadu Maharaj: "In this world we collect what we like, and this is the reason for our unhappiness and suffering. Those who are intelligent should be akincana niskincana (without material possessions), thinking, "Lord Shri Krishna is our only wealth – our everything." What to speak of not having bodily possessions – even by mind we should not collect anything.
The hawk: There was once a hawk who had a piece of meat in his beak. There were so many birds in his vicinity, and they had no meat. They followed that hawk and began to attack him. In the end he left that meat, became aloof from it, and was relieved. All the birds then began to attack the bird who had taken that piece of meat from the hawk.
What is the meaning? We should try to learn from this history. If your wife is very, very beautiful, a stronger person than you will come and forcibly take her. We have seen this in India, in the lives of great emperors. Nurjahan was the wife of Sahajan. Previously she was in Hindu society, the wife of someone else. She was extremely beautiful. Sahajan snatched her and in the end he constructed the Taj Mahal in her memory. This is an example of becoming entangled in this would by the beauty of the opposite sex.
kvacit kumari tv atmanam
vrnanan grham agatan
svayam tan arhayam asa
kvapi yatesu bandhusu
["Once a marriageable young girl was alone in her house because her parents and relatives had gone that day to another place. At that time a few men arrived at the house, specifically desiring to marry her. She received them with all hospitality." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 11.9.5)]
The unmarried girl: Some persons came to that girl's house to examine her, to see whether or not she was qualified to marry their son. At that time the girl's father, mother and relatives were gone from the house and she was alone. She welcomed the guests properly, and requested them to be seated.
There was no rice in the house to cook, so she took some paddy and began to husk it. She was wearing many bangles on her wrists and they were making some sound as she worked. She broke the bangles, one after another, and then only two were left on each wrist. Still there was still some sound as the bangles collided with each other. She finally broke another bangle from each wrist, and then there was no sound.
Now Dattatreya told King Yadu, "I was there, and I learned that when many people are together they are prone to quarrel. Talking, talking, talking – they only chatter." Most people are not like Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis. So many devotees used to come to the abode of Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and all the other Gosvamis to hear Hari-katha from them – and there was no quarrelling. We should try not to quarrel with anyone. [*See Endnote 1]
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tusyanti ca ramanti ca
["The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me." (Bhagavad-gita 10.9)]
We should remember Krishna and remind others about Him.
["O King, once a wasp forced a weaker insect to enter his hive and kept him trapped there. In great fear the weak insect constantly meditated upon his captor, and without giving up his body, he gradually achieved the same state of existence as the wasp. Thus, one achieves a state of existence according to one’s constant concentration." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 11.9.23]
The wasp: The wasp catches an insect and puts it in a hole. That smaller insect becomes absorbed in fear of the wasp, and after some hours develops a similar state of consciousness as the wasp. What is the meaning? If you give your mind to someone, by envy, affection or fear, you will become like him. So be careful. Don't let your mind go here and there. Give it only to Gurudeva, to elevated Vaisnavas, and to Shri Shri Radha and Krishna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
labdhva su-durlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam artha-dam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu-mrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat
["After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavour for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Krishna consciousness is possible only for a human being. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.9.29)]
Avadhuta Dattatreya told all this to Yadu Maharaj, and now Krishna is relating that conversation to Uddhava. He said, "Oh My dear Uddhava, those who want My love and affection should have darsana of My Deity form. They should have darsana of exalted Vaisnavas, drink their foot-bathing water, take the dust of their lotus feet on their heads, honor their prasadam and hear their hari-katha. They should serve them, and offer them their prayers and obeisances. They should glorify My sweet pastimes and qualities and always hear hari-katha from superior Vaisnavas. They should meditate on their mantras – brahma-gayatri, guru-mantra up to the maha-mantra – daily, positively, without fail.
Also, they should hold festivals on the holy days of Janmastami, Rama-navami and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Birthday, with good songs, playing mrdanga and karatalas – and they should make a feast. They should be initiated by a qualified guru. They should follow the special vows of Janmastami, Rama-navami, Nrsngha-caturdasi and other sacred days. Going to temples or making a temple in their hearts or in their house – they should worship Me. For My service they can make flower gardens, temples and so on."
Don't try to be the enjoyer. Lord Shri Krishna is the only enjoyer. Don't have false ego. What is meant for being offered to Lord Krishna, don't use for your selves – like lamps. Don't give Krishna just a portion of something, leaving the rest for your self. Give Him full portions. Give Him the full fruit, not dividing it:" Some for Krishna, some for me."
na rodhayati mam yogo
na sankhyam dharma eva ca
na svadhyayas tapas tyago
nesta-purtam na daksina
vratani yajnas chandamsi
tirthani niyama yamah
sarva-sangapaho hi mam
["The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, by associating with My pure devotees one can destroy one’s attachment for all objects of material sense gratification. Such purifying association brings Me under the control of My devotee. One may perform the astanga-yoga system, engage in philosophical analysis of the elements of material nature, practice non-violence and other ordinary principles of piety, chant the Vedas, perform penances, take to the renounced order of life, execute sacrificial performances and dig wells, plant trees and perform other public welfare activities, give in charity, carry out severe vows, worship the demigods, chant confidential mantras, visit holy places or accept major and minor disciplinary injunctions, but even by performing such activities one does not bring Me under his control." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.12.1-2)]
We should associate with like-minded, affectionate Vaisnavas who are more advanced than ourselves.
sadhu-sanga’, ’sadhu-sanga’ – sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
[“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success." (Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila 22.54)]
If you do not have good association, you will be weak and give up your devotional practices. Lord Shri Krishna told Uddhava, "I am not as pleased with sankhya-yoga, varnasrama-dharma, reading of books without being under guidance, performance of austerities and renunciation – as I am with hearing hari-katha in the association of My pure devotees. Oh Uddhava, this principle of sat-sanga is true for all yugas ".
Shri Krishna continued, "You should know that by this sat-sanga, demons, animals, birds, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nagas, Siddhas and Vidyadharas have taken My darsana and achieved the stage of prema. Among humans: vaisyas, sudras, women, low-caste, those who are in tama-guna (the mode of ignorance) or raja-guna (the mode of passion) have achieved Me simply by sat-sanga.
[Shri Krishna said, "In every Age, many living entities entangled in the modes of passion and ignorance gained the association of My devotees. Thus, such living entities as the Daityas, Raksasas, birds, beasts, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Nagas, Siddhas, Caranas, Guhyakas and Vidyadharas, as well as lower-class human beings, vaisyas, sudras, women and others, were able to achieve My supreme abode. Vrtrasura, Prahlada Maharaj and others like them also achieved My abode by association with My devotees, as did personalities such as Vrsaparva, Bali Maharaj, Banasura, Maya, Vibhisana, Sugriva, Hanuman, Jambavan, Gajendra, Jatayu, Tuladhara, Dharma-vyadha, Kubja, the gopis in Vrindavana and the wives of the brahmanas who were performing sacrifice." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 11.12.5)]
Vrtasura was a demon, Prahlada was born in the dynasty of demons, Vrsaparva was also in the family of demons, as was Bali Maharaj. Do you know Banasura? He had one-thousand arms, and Shri Krishna cut off all but four of them. Lord Krishna spared his life and made him a devotee, only by the mercy of Lord Siva. Maya Dhanava served Arjuna and the Pandavas. Vibhisana got the Lord's darsana by the association of Hanuman, as did Sugriva and Jambavan, the father of Jambavati. This prema was also achieved by Gajendra, Jatayu, Kubja and especially by some of the Vraja-gopis in their past lives, when they became sadhana-siddha.
The gopis had not read the Vedas or practiced yoga, but simply by sadhu-sanga they very easily received Lord Shri Krishna's darsana. This cannot be achieved by going to college or engaging in any shortcut or alternative process. The deer of Vraja and the serpent Kaliya were very ignorant, but they also achieved prema. Shri Krishna told Uddhava that there are endless examples to illustrate that by sat-sanga, anyone can achieve Krishna-prema.
Krishna continued, "Uddhava, when Akrura took Me and My brother Baladeva to Mathura from Vraja, the hearts of the gopis were completely overwhelmed by My prema and they were feeling grievous separation. Without Me, nothing was able to satisfy them, because I am their most beloved. I remember that at the time of rasa-lila I was dancing with them. They left everything for Me, and I became controlled by them. They took My heart and thus I told them:
na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)]
"I cannot repay you, even if I would have a lifetime of the demigods. Please be satisfied by your own services."
Lord Shri Krishna spoke about so many topics to Uddhava – up to the 29th Chapter of the 11th Canto – and I have told you something about this in brief.
I am also going to tell you the essence of the teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama Vrindavanam
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhü-vargena ya kalpita
Shrimad-bhagavatam pramanam-amalam prema pumartho mahan
Shri-Chaitanya mahaprabhor-matam-idam tatradaro nah parah
["Bhagavan Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna and His transcendental abode Shri Vrindavana-dhama are my worshipable objects. The most excellent method of worshipping Krishna is that adopted by the gopis, the young wives of Vraja. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is evidence of this. It is the flawless and most authoritative scripture, and Krishna-prema is the fifth and highest achievement of human life, beyond mundane religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and impersonal liberation. This is the opinion of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We have supreme regard for this conclusion. We have no inclination or respect for any other, cheating opinions." (Chaitanya-manjusa)]
Shrila Rupa Gosvami tells us the essence of all teachings:
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time-twenty-four hours a day-in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service. (Nectar of Instruction, verse 8)]
Try to follow Upadesamrta, which is the teaching of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. In order to become raganuga, try to follow Manah-siksa:
gurau gosthe gosthalayisu sujane bhusura-gane
sva-mantre Shri namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane
sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitaram
aye svantar bhratas catubhir abhiyace dhrta-padah
["O my dear brother, my foolish mind! Taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop sublime and incessant rati for Shri Gurudeva, Shri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas, your diksa-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Kisora-Kisori, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, the eternally youthful divine couple of Vraja." (Shri Manah-siksa, verse 1)]
We are completing our festival here. Shri Shri Radha-Krishna Conjugal love, or in other words the love and affection of Shrimati Radhika to Shri Krishna, is the highest love. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Shri Krishna Himself, who had taken Shrimati Radhika's beauty and intrinsic mood, assuming the form of Sacinandana Gaurahari. He kindly went door to door and gave this most elevated devotion.
[At this time Shrila Narayana described the gift given to us by Mahaprabhu. His description was given more clearly by him in a previous lecture Murwillumbah, Australia, 1997), and so we have inserted that here:] Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-Shriyam. There is a special emphasis on the final words, sva-bhakti-Shriyam. Sva means own. Whose own? Shrimati Radhika’s own. Radhika is the personification of bhakti. Shri Krishna wanted to taste the essence of supreme devotion to Himself, which is Radhika’s love. He also wanted to distribute sva-bhakti-Shriyam to the qualified living entities. Bhakti refers to Radhika’s bhakti, and Shriya means beauty. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to give to the fortunate living entities the beauty of Shrimati Radhika’s unnatojjvala-rasa. That "beauty" is called manjari-bhava, the mood of Her dear maidservants.
Imagine a creeper surrounding a tree on which there are delicious golden-reddish mangos, and cuckoos eating these mangos and singing sweetly. On that creeper there are so many green leaves, flowers here and there on each branch, and manjaris (buds). If the air touches and plays with the creeper, all the leaves become happy and begin to dance, and the manjaris also dance with happiness. This is the beauty of the creeper. If that creeper has no leaves, no flowers and no manjaris, it has no beauty. The air will not play with its branches, for it will have no taste to play. The splendor of the creeper manifests when it plays with the air, its leaves going here and there and always dancing.
Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to give the beauty of Shrimati Radhika’s unnatojjvala-rasa. The creeper represents Shrimati Radhika and the beauty of Her love is Her sakhis (gopi friends and manjaris). With the assistance of these sakhis, She can manifest more attractiveness and express more varieties of bhava. (Australia, Feb.1997)
I have come here to inspire and to help you all. I request you to place all these teachings in your heart and try to follow them.
In the previous year in Badger, Shrila Narayana Maharaj told the same story of the unmarried girl, with a slightly different twist:
There was a young lady who was not yet married. One day she was in her home and there was nothing to cook. There were a few vegetables, but no rice. Her mother and father were not at home. In the meantime, a gentleman from another village came to see if that girl would be a suitable bride for his son. Because her father was not at home, she told him, “Wait a little while.” There was no rice, so she went begging for rice. She was wearing many bangles and they were making some sound. She began thinking, “If this sound is heard by him, he will know I am very poor. He will know that I am begging for rice when he hears the sound of the bangles, and he will not select me for his son." She was very intelligent. She took off all the bangles but one, and there was no longer any sound.
What do we learn here? Jana-sanga-tyaga advaita-tyaga. Be far away from those who do not accept God as a person. Jana-sanga means the association of anyone other than those engaged in Krishna-bhakti. Advaita means mayavadis. Don't associate with mayavadis or non-devotees, even if they are your mother and father. You can serve by other means, but don’t speak harikatha with them. Even if you have to mix with your family members, do not create a disturbance by trying to speak harikatha to them, because they have no faith in your ideals. They always think you are their child.
The unmarried girl took off most of her bangles so that her future father-in law would not see what she was doing. Similarly, do not disturb those who have no appreciation for what you are doing – like your parents or friends who are not interested in bhakti. (Shrila Narayana Maharaj, Badger, June 18, 2005)
Editor: Shyamarani dasi
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Proofreader: Krishna Kamini dasi