Frielendorf, Germany: July 13, 2007
Malati dasi (from France): Gurudeva, Taruni is leaving this morning to go back to Canada.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Oh, my blessings are with you.
Paramananda dasa: Gurudeva, this is Dwayne and Ian from Northern Ireland. They came to see you.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Have they heard our classes?
Paramananda dasa: Yes, they heard last night.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Be happy by chanting and remembering the Lord.
There is no need to make worldly plans for the future. There is no need to think, "We don't know what will happen after Maharaj leaves this world. We should make a separate arrangement for our future so that we can be peaceful."
Don't think like this. Think only about how to attain Krishna-prema; how to attain sajatiya snigdha asaya, the association of pure devotees who are affectionate to you and who are oceans of the transcendental mood for which you aspire. Best to mold your life only around this, and thus make your life successful. Don't worry, thinking, "Oh, what will be our future after Maharaj leaves this world? We should do something separate for our welfare." What you propose, God will dispose. So, no need to worry.
Shripada Suddhadvaiti Maharaj: Shrila Gurudeva, some devotees are asking: At the time of diksa initiation you say that we should take Krishna as our priyatama, our most beloved. But, since Shrimati Radhika is already Krishna's beloved, how can we take Him as our beloved?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: This is the meaning of gopi-jana-vallabha: Krishna is the beloved of all the gopis. You can think of this in the way that Rupa Manjari or Rupa Gosvami thinks. You can follow Rupa Gosvami in his sadhaka form, as well as in his form as the gopi, Rupa Manjari.
Gauracandra dasa (from England): Gurudeva, if I chant my japa in front of the Deities in the temple, should I meditate more on Krishna, or on Radharani?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Both. They are the Divine Couple.
Rama dasa (from Germany): Shrila Gurudeva, I would like to show you a picture from my magazine. I made an announcement in it for your Bhakti-Yoga Festival.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: For this festival?
Rama dasa: Yes, it was for this festival, and it brought some people. I wrote an article, and in the article I made a small presentation about the meaning of bhakti-yoga.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Very good, very good. How many people read the magazine?
Rama dasa: It has a print-run of 5,000. It comes out four times a year. It has more than 5,000 readers because two, or three, or four people are reading each copy.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Very good. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shri Gurupadapadma (my Gurudeva), and Shrila Sarasvati Thakura also published magazines.
Rama dasa: I regularly do one article with some pictures and information about you. I think this is a very nice picture of you.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Very good.
Shripada Asrama Maharaj: Shrila Gurudeva, regarding what you just said about not making future plans – plans for after you leave...
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Make plans only for sadhu-sanga. You can plan how to be successful by sadhu-sanga, and how to attain Krishna-prema. Your whole attention must be on that. Don't think, "When Maharaj is no longer in this world, what to do? I don't know what will happen. I don't know what will happen to the sanga. So, from right now, I should try to create something separate in order that I can be very happy and peaceful." Don't think like that. Rather, place your whole attention on Krishna consciousness. I was telling only this.
Shripada Asrama Maharaj: I have a personal question in that regard. I am developing a project for Vaisnava studies that is separate from the group in Birmingham; but I am also still working with the group. I am not thinking about the future in the way you just described, because my mind is not on possession of property. I actually don't care about that.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: I think this project should be for everyone. Everyone with projects should think, "This is not my own property. Rather, it is a bhakti project."
Shripada Asrama Maharaj: This is a bhakti project, but it is also specific.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: And at the same time everyone should think, "This is my matha." You can consider your project in this way.
Brajanath dasa: Maharaj desires to train devotees who want to become dedicated brahmacaris and sannyasis.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: In Mathura, in Vrindavana, and everywhere else we are teaching everyone, "Oh, you stand up , and you stand up". We do this together, with hundreds and thousands of devotees. Why can't you do it this way?
Shripada Asrama Maharaj: I want to do it in a different way, but if you want me to do in this way, I will do it. I have no problem.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Do what is favorable for you. I expressed my desires, but everyone is independent to do as they like. Even Krishna cannot take away your independence.
Shripada Asrama Maharaj: I will do as you desire; no problem.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: This instruction is not only for you. It is for all. Our whole attention should be on how we can achieve Krishna-prema.
Shripada Sadhu Maharaj: Gurudeva, sometimes we preach to Christian people, after which they become attracted to Krishna consciousness, come to your lotus feet, and take initiation. Still, they sometimes think that Jesus, or Isa, is God, and not the son of God. What would you recommend for the development of their Krishna consciousness?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: You can tell them, "Krishna and Christ are the same. We are pure Christians – more so than those who falsely proclaim themselves as Christians. We don't eat cows, beef, or any other animal food. The Supreme Lord, Christ, has not created the animals for us to eat. We devotees follow all the principles of the Bible. You should also follow, and become pure."
Shripada Sadhu Maharaj: They think that Jesus, Isa, is the Supreme Lord. They think that he is Vishnu-tattva. How shall we explain that he is the son of God?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Christ is Krishna. Christ, Christos, Krusta, Krishna.
Shripada Sadhu Maharaj: So, Jesus is the son of Krishna.
Brajanath dasa: Yes, Jesus is the son of Christ.
Shripada Madhava Maharaj: Jesus never proclaimed, "I am God."
Ananta-Krishna dasa (from Lithuania): May I ask a question? I serve in the Russian Orthodox Church in Lithuania. I have a relationship with my priest, and I have a very good feeling when I serve him. May I serve him after taking initiation from you?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: If he is against God, Krishna, then don't serve there.
Ananta Krishna dasa: No, he is not against Krishna. When I asked his permission to come here, he said, "Go. I bless you."
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: If he is favorable, you can do some service there.
Do you remember the sloka beginning duhkhesv anudvigna-manah?
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj:
sthita-dhir munir ucyate
[One whose mind is not disturbed by the three types of miseries (adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika); who remains free from desires in the presence of happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.]
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: What is the meaning?
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: Duhkhesv anudvigna-manah – In any situation, a devotee should not be affected by distress or suffering (dukha). Sukhesu vigata-sprhah – He should not desire happiness. He should not be attached to happy situations.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: This refers to worldly happiness, not transcendental happiness.
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: Worldly happiness.
Vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah – The devotee is detached from everything in this world. Bhaya – He is free from all kinds of fear. You were just saying that we shouldn't worry about what will happen in the future. Krodha – He is free from anger, and frustration. Sthita-dhir munir ucyate – Krishna is describing the qualities and nature of someone who is perfectly situated in transcendental consciousness, or Krishna consciousness.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Please recite the verse beginning tat te 'nukampam.
Shripada Nemi Maharaj:
tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak
[One who accepts as Your mercy the reactions of his own karma, enduring it with an undisturbed mind while continuing to practice devotion by offering himself unto You with body, mind and words – such a person is eligible to attain Your lotus feet, which are the shelter of liberation.]
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: What is the meaning?
Shripada Nemi Maharaj: If some suffering comes to a devotee, that devotee thinks it is a result of his previous activities; Krishna is now giving a very, very little token punishment for those activities.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Krishna gives us suffering so that we will become detached from this world. That is His mercy.
Shripada Nemi Maharaj: Hrd-vag – He offers obeisances with his heart, with his words, and with his body. Jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak – For one who lives in this way, the lotus feet of Krishna are his rightful inheritance. This cannot be taken away from him.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: If someone is abusing you, why should you not become angry?
Shripada Nemi Maharaj: I can think that this is the result of my previous karma. It is not that that person is doing something to me. Krishna is doing something to me, and this person is simply the instrument or the carrier. I can't oppose what is happening. If I try to oppose it, it will come to me from somewhere else, or from some other person.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Yes, always think like that.
If someone is tearing a piece of paper, should you become angry?
Shripada Nemi Maharaj: Tearing my paper? I don't understand.
Shripada Sadhu Maharaj: You are like the paper.
Shripada Madhava Maharaj: If someone is tearing an insignificant piece of paper, will you be angry, or not?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Will you be angry?
Shripada Nemi Maharaj: There is no need to be angry.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: The tearing of the paper is a useless thing. Similarly, we may see many things in this world which we may consider to be the cause of our anger, but they are all like dreams. After a dream is over, we say, "Oh, nothing happened." So, we need not be angry. By considering things in this way, we will be able to do bhajana successfully.
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: In Badger last year, you were speaking from the Eleventh Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. You were telling us about the Avanti brahmana. You explained how people used to come and urinate on his head, spit at him, and pass stool in his kamanòalu (waterpot).
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Yes.
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: The Avanti brahmana was not disturbed by this, because he understood, "These circumstances have come from my own previous activities, so I must tolerate them."
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Try to follow this understanding; then you will be happy and able to do bhajana of Krishna. Be niskama, free from material desires. Desire only love and affection for Krishna, nothing else; then you'll not be disturbed. Don't disturb anyone and don't be disturbed by anyone.
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: Shrila Gurudeva, regarding this same verse, duhkhesv anudvigna-manah, sukhesu vigata-sprhah: when we discuss this topic, many devotees say it is easier for them to be surrendered when misery or suffering comes; but what about when happiness comes? They say that when happiness comes, they become too much attached to it.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: After all, it is worldly happiness. There is no use of worldly happiness. Only Krishna-bhakti is of value. Our only happiness should be in the opportunity for svajatiya snigdha asaya sadhu-sanga (the association of those Vaisnava sadhus who are situated in the goal we want to attain and who are affectionate to us.)
Shripada Asrama Maharaj: Shrila Gurudeva, practically speaking, in my practical situation...
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Do whatever is favorable. Don't waste time.
Sat-prema dasa: Gurudeva, how is it that Shriya Suka (Shrimati Radhika's parrot) merged in Brahman (the impersonal light emanating from Shri Krishna's divine form, or the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth) after being with Radharani?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: What?
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: He is saying that when Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami was in the womb of his mother, he was in Brahman realization, or impersonal realization. He is asking how it is possible that the parrot of Shrimati Radhika can be reduced to the stage of impersonal realization.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: He did this to show that even a brahmavadi, a brahma-realized soul, can become a bhakta. He did this only as an outward show.
Paramananda dasa: Gurudeva, when the body of the conditioned soul is burnt to ashes (cremated) after death, how important is it that his ashes go into the Yamuna and Ganges Rivers, and what is the destination of that soul whose ashes get that opportunity?
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: Suppose a devotee is living in a foreign country and cannot bring the ashes to the Yamuna or Ganges. How important is it to do this?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: If one is unable to place those ashes in the Ganges, he will not do so; but if one has the opportunity to do so, it is very good. They will begin, or develop in, their spiritual path, they will engage in sadhana-bhajana, and then they will go to Vaikuntha.
Devotee: In the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam we see so many chapters describing the ecstatic pastimes of Krishna. We see in the Ninth Canto that there is chapter after chapter of descriptions of dynasties and names of various kings. Should we see some differences, or no differences, between the different cantos? Should we see that all of Shrimad-Bhagavatam is transcendental? Should we consider all the parts of Bhagavatam to be equally transcendental?
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: They are not equal. Up until the Ninth Canto, the instructions regarding the various histories are given to inspire us for renunciation; detachment from worldly things. We learn detachment from the histories of Pururava and Puranjana and other kings, and then we become qualified to read the Tenth Canto.
The material world's creation, maintenance, and destruction as described in the Second and Third Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam have been told only for this purpose – to inspire us for renunciation. Then, in the Eleventh Canto we learn from the many histories and instructions regarding the process to attain Krishna-prema. We are advised to follow all the instructions imparted therein.
Yogesh dasa: This morning I was having a hard time waking up to come on your walk, but I suddenly remembered Shrila Prabhupada's words: "A moment's association with a pure devotee is worth so much." I wanted to understand this statement, so I ran here to find out the answer.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: Oh, you are fortunate.
Shripada Srauti Maharaj: You will be going to his house in Mauritius, so he will have your association there.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: He is from Mauritius?
Shripada Padmanabha Maharaj: He is Yogesh Prabhu, a disciple of our Shrila Prabhupada.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: I want to go to Mauritius. Can you help me?
Brajanath dasa: You requested the devotees in Mauritius to make a festival like this there.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: I want a festival like this. I also want to meet with the Prime Minister of Mauritius, to thank him that Indian culture is still being maintained in his country.
Also, remember this: I explained in my class about Saubhari Rsi. He cursed Garuda, and what became of him?
Devotee: He fell down.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: He deviated. He developed lust in his heart and then approached King Mandhata to marry his daughters. We must be always alert regarding offences to Vaisnavas.