Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
June 24, 1996
The audio file begins with Shrimati Shyamarani dasi reading the translation of the first couplet of Rupa Gosvami’s bhajan, “(Krishna) Deva Bhavantam Vande”]
(krsna) deva! bhavantam vande
man-manasa-madhukaram arpaya nija-pada-pankaja-makarande
Shyamarani dasi: Please let the bee of my mind be attracted to the nectar of Your lotus feet. Please let it have a taste of the rasa of those lotus feet by which it will never be able to become attached to anything else.
Shrila Gurudeva: What was just said?
Devotee: The devotee prays that, “Please let my mind, which is like a bee, be attached to the nectar of Your lotus feet so that it won’t have any attachment for anything else.
Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. Krishna’s lotus feet are so sweet, melodious, and nectarean. Even if one is attracted to other things; yet, he will be drawn to Krishna’s lotus feet. They are so attractive. You should explain:
yadyapi samadhisu vidhir api pasyati, na tava nakhagra-maricim
idam icchami nisamya tavacyuta tad api krpadbhuta-vicim
Shyamarani dasi: “Although Brahma in his samadhi cannot attain a glimpse of even a ray of the tips of the nails of Your feet, still O Acyuta! Having heard of the waves of Your astonishing mercy, I long to receive Your grace.”
Shrila Gurudeva: Do you remember what she just said?
Devotee: Even Brahma cannot see a ray of the tip of the nails of Krishna’s feet in his samadhi.
Shrila Gurudeva: But yet?
Shyamarani dasi: “Having heard of the waves of Your astonishing mercy, I long to receive Your grace.”
Shrila Gurudeva: The devotee prays, “I want this. Brahma has nothing. He cannot taste or see the lotus feet of Krishna in his samadhi. But I want.”
Then if anyone asks him, “Are you more than Brahma?”
The devotee will then reply, “No. I am the footdust of Brahma. But yet, I want Krishna’s darsana even if Brahma doesn’t desire so. Why? Because there is a greed. Perhaps, Brahma has no greed. But I have a greed.”
This greed is so valuable that however wretched, or lusty one may be; but greed may be there. It is not certain if this greed can be found in a very sacred, pure hearted person. It depends on the mercy of any bona fide guru and rasika-bhavuka bhakta. So, he has some association, some sadhu-sanga of Rupa Gosvami. Brahma cannot have this, but the devotee wants this. Brahma cannot have this in his samadhi; but the devotee prays, “I want this.” Then?
Shyamarani dasi continues to read the translation]
bhaktir-udancati yadyapi madhava! na tvayi mama tila-matri
paramesvarata tad api tavadhika, durghata-ghatana-vidhatri
“O Madhava! Although I don’t possess even a sesame seed of bhakti for You, still, by Your supreme power, which makes the impossible possible, please fulfil the desires of my heart.”
Shrila Gurudeva: You should repeat without seeing.
Shyamarani dasi: O Madhava! Although I don’t have a sesame seed…
Shrila Gurudeva: Why is he calling out to Madhava?
Shyamarani dasi: Because He is the husband of Radharani.
Devotee: He is sweeter than madhu?
Shrila Gurudeva: Madhava is Shrimati Radhika. So, without the mercy of Radhika, anyone cannot have this. So, he is calling out to Madhava. Because, from where does Krishna take this? He takes it from the heart of Shrimati Radhika.
Therefore, the devotee prays, “O Madhava! You have the association of Madhavi. Hence, You are so merciful. Otherwise, You are not merciful; You are crooked. And You are tricky. You are also a cheater. But Madhavi is there. She is so simple, kind-hearted, and I think that since You are with Her, You can shower Your mercy. Otherwise You cannot. So, I want a sprinkle of Your mercy that is combined with the mercy of Shrimati Radhika’s.”
You should explain further without seeing.
Shyamarani dasi: “But I know that You can make the impossible possible. Therefore, I am praying for Your causeless mercy.”
Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. The devotee prays, “To achieve this mercy is impossible for me. If it is impossible for Brahma, then what to speak of me? It is impossible. But, I know that you can do anything, which cannot be done. You can make the impossible, possible. So, I pray to You that You should make the impossible, possible. Otherwise, I cannot have this in lakhs and lakhs of births.”
What is impossible? The mercy of Madhava is impossible. “I know that it is impossible but I have a greed. So, You must give Your mercy.”
Therefore, this greed is more than sukriti. Then?
ayam avilolatayadya sanatana, kalitadbhuta-rasa-bharam
nivasatu nityam ihamrta-nindini, vindan madhurima-saram
“He Sanatana! Your lotus feet put to shame the sweetness of heavenly nectar. Therefore, please make the bee of my mind undistracted by material desires. And give me eternal residence at Your lotus feet. This is my only prayer.
Shrila Gurudeva: What did she say?
Devotee: She said that the nectar of His lotus feet puts to shame heavenly nectar. Therefore, he is praying for the mercy of His lotus feet.
ayam avilolatayadya sanatana
Shyamarani dasi: O Sanatana! Your lotus feet put to shame the sweetness of heavenly nectar.
Shrila Gurudeva: kalitadbhuta-rasa-bharam
Shyamarani dasi: Therefore, please make the bee of my mind undistracted by material desires and give me eternal residence at Your lotus feet.
Shrila Gurudeva: Who has written this?
Shyamarani dasi: Rupa Gosvami.
Shrila Gurudeva: As soon as he finished writing this poem, he wrote “Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite.” It is parallel to this kirtan. For Krishna, he wrote Krishna deva bhavantam vande kirtan and for Shrimati Radhika, he wrote Radhe Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite Gokula Taruni Mandala Mahite. He wrote these two kirtans. You should try to remember both.
Now you can go and help each other for midday and you can take rest.
Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Break of audio]
A member of the audience introduces Shrila Gurudeva to everyone]
From the Hindu Temple Society, I would like to welcome all of you. It is indeed a great honor, a blessing and one of the highlights in our lives to have Svamiji among us now. I would like to give a brief introduction of Svamiji. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj is a prominent a disciple of Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaj, who is the Sannyasa Guru and the intimate Godbrother of Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj, Prabhupada, who is the founder Acarya of ISKCON. So he has a very, very close relationship with the founder and the great Bhaktivedanta Shrila Svami Prabhupada. Shrila Narayana Maharaj has resided in Shri Mathura Dhama for over fifty years on the order of his Gurudeva. He resides at Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha Mandira. During this time, he has authored and translated more than thirty books in Hindi and English. He has preached the message of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, lecturing daily. He conducts regular parikramas throughout both, Vraja-mandala and Gaura-mandala. Shrila Narayana Maharaj is widely renowned and respected as a pure, unalloyed devotee of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Indeed, it is our great honor to have Shrila Maharajji here with us in this evening.
Shripad Padmanabha Maharaj: On behalf of all the Western devotees here, I would like to thank first of all, the person who made this meeting possible. There are actually more than one person in this room. The original person, to whom credit is due to our dear friend, Badubhai Patel. We all also thank very, very much for the wonderful accommodation that has been made available to Svamiji and ourselves here today. We thank you very, very much.
So, today we are about to have the most fortunate opportunity to hear from a self-realized Mahabhagavat Vaisnava. This opportunity is very, very rare because it is stated in one of the Vaisnava sastras:
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
—Shri Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya 19.151
“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. By the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”]
All the living entities within this universe, are wandering through so many different species of life. We are going through so many different births and deaths and so many different circumstances. This process is going on continually lifetime after lifetime. But if the jiva becomes fortunate, then he gets the opportunity in this human form of life to meet a pure devotee of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he has the opportunity to hear from him. These two sources, from which we receive this special opportunity are due to a combined combination of Guru and Krishna.
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
This is seeking out the seed, which is planted within the hearts of all of us when we have the opportunity to come into the association of sadhus. We are present here in the association of very pious personalities in this room. And, most of you are hailing from the very sacred land of Bharat-varsa. The culture and importance of sadhus should be understood. Without sadhus, we cannot progress in this human form of life.
‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’—sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
—Shri Chaitanya Caritamrita Madhya 22.54
“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.]
This success is determined by our receptivity to sadhus. Someone may come in connection with a sadhu, but if he is not ready to hear the message with an open heart, then not so much benefit can come. Since we have done some sukriti in our previous life, now this opportunity has come here.
Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj is a very close associate of Shrila Prabhupada, Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj. There is a whole history of their connection together. The fact of the matter is that there is no one living today in this world, who has such a close connection with him. Even prior to Svami Prabhupada coming to the West to start the Hare Krishna movement thirty years ago, Shrila Narayana Maharaj associated with him when he was simply living as a very simple sadhu with no money or anything in Vrindavan Dhama. He was very closely connected with him at the time Prabhupada took the renounced order of life. It was by the inspiration of Shrila Narayana Maharaj that Svami Prabhupada took sannyasa. This inspiration was also due to his Gurudeva, Shrila Kesava Maharaj.
So, he has many, great credentials. It is impossible for me to even begin to numerate them. Surely by hearing his hari-katha this evening, we will all be very blessed and we will be fully satisfied in heart.
The following section of the transcription is a translation of Shrila Gurudeva’s class in Hindi]
I request all of you to listen to me as I speak in Hindi. I can speak English, but my English is poor. Therefore, since many of the members of the audience know Hindi, I will speak in Hindi. The devotees who tour with me listen to me speak in English every day. Hence, I will speak in Hindi today.
First of all, I offer my unlimited obeisances to the lotus feet of my most worshipable Shri Shrila Gurudeva, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaj. I also offer my unlimited obeisances to the lotus feet of my Siksa Guru, Nitya Lila Pravista Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj. He took Sannyasa from my Gurudeva. He was initiated by my Gurudeva’s spiritual master. He came to the Western countries on the order of his Gurudeva. He preached the kirtan of Krishna’s names everywhere.
When I was introduced, it was told that I live in Mathura-Vrindavan. I came to Mathura-Vrindavan to bathe myself with the dust of Vraja. I am not very learned. Neither am I a very advanced devotee. I am very lowly. But I was greedy to become the dust at the lotus feet of the Vaisnavas. Therefore, I renounced my home, wife, children, and everything. At the age of twenty-four, I left home. I have been living in Mathura-Vrindavan since many years. If I touch the dust of Vrindavan, then my life will become successful. I have known Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svamiji since 1946. It has been fifty years since I have known him. He would always come to meet my Gurudeva. He was a very knowledgeable person. My Gurudeva made Svamiji the editor of the two monthly magazines that were printed in Hindi and Bengali. Since then, I have rendered much service to Svamiji. I sent all his books to New York from Vrindavan and Delhi. He requested me to go with him to America.
I said, “I am unable to come now. After serving my Gurudeva here, I will come.”
I think that by the desire of Krishna and Svamiji, I have come to these Western countries. Svamiji preached everywhere in a very short time. I have come to preach what Svamiji has left as remnants for me. I went to the places where Svamiji’s footdust was present. I bathed myself with his footdust. I went to New York and many other cities. I will also go to Canada from here. Some devotees became hopeless after Svamiji’s departure. They started leaving ISKCON. They left the line of Bhagavad-bhakti and entered samsara. I have also come here to rejuvenate their devotional lives. I have come here to assist their bhakti.
Before Svamiji left this world, he told me, “You should help my disciples after my departure. I have come here with many disciples. But they have not understood my heart’s desire properly. They have not understood my views properly. Therefore, you should help them.”
So, according to Svamiji’s desire I have come here. The devotees are leaving the devotional line and going here and there. Their faith is decreasing. Without the association of sadhus, whatever bhakti that remains, will also be finished. All the sastras state the importance of sadhu-sanga. Bhakti is born by the association of sadhus. The glories of Bhagavan are preached all over the world by sadhu-sanga. The seed of devotional service is planted in one’s heart by associating with His devotees. The devotees water this devotional seed by hearing and chanting, sravana and kirtana. Or else bhakti will not remain. Therefore, the devotees are revered more than Bhagavan.
Bhagavan has Himself said, “My devotees can give what I cannot give. Radhaji and the gopis can give what I cannot give. Uddhava, go and enter the school of the gopis. Become educated in that school. Learn the meaning of the two and a half syllables—p-re-ma. Although prema consists of only two and a half syllables; yet, it is filled with the essence of all forms of knowledge. Go and learn from the gopis. When you return, I will be able to speak to you about the spotless form of love possessed by the gopis.”
The gopis’ devotion was so exalted that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parabrahma Krishna was controlled by them. Yasodaji would twist Krishna’s ears and make Him act according to her wishes. He would cry in front of His mother. He would be greedy for butter and would cry to be seated on the lap of His mother. Although Krishna was God Himself, He became like this. This is the bhakti of the Vrajavasis. In reality, the bhakti of the Vrajavasis is really bhakti. Therefore, I came here with the intention to speak this hari-katha to these devotees who have become forlorn. I want them to come in this line of devotion again. I have come to renew their enthusiasm.
Now, I will speak on some slokas of the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah
—Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.1.3
“O expert and thoughtful men, relish Shrimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.”]
The Shrimad Bhagavatam is Krishna Himself. The instructions that Lord Krishna gave in the Gita to Arjuna is meant for the general populace. “I am not this body.” The body is likened to a cloth. When a person’s cloth becomes old, then he discards them and wears new clothes. Therefore, don’t think of your body as your real self. To stay in samsara, karma and jnana are required. Without doing karma, we cannot remain. Therefore, whatever karma you do should be dovetailed with Bhagavad-bhakti. Thus, you should save yourself from the cycle of birth and death.
punarapi jananam punarapi maranam
punarapi janani jatare gamanam
Birth is the cause of sufferings. No person in this world can be happy by family, wealth, and property. This is guaranteed. No can be happy in this material world. Ravana’s Lanka was golden. Hiranyakasipu was blessed to never die. The demigods would fill water and sweep his palace. But neither Ravana nor Hiranyakasipu could live forever. O brother, old age will definitely come. You may make a million ways to avoid old age, but old age will not be stopped. Your senses will become weak. You will have to leave this body one day. The body will not move on its own; four people will carry the body on their shoulders and take it away. They will then cremate the body. This is the ultimate fate of the body. Can anyone take anything of this samsara when they leave their body? Today, the body is very beautiful. But after fifty years, wrinkles will appear and one’s teeth will fall out. Hair will become white and the body will be left here. Where have we come from? Where will we go? Who am I? This should be understood. What will you take along with you?
Can anyone even take a speck of dust from this earth when they leave their body? We are working so hard but can we take anything? No. This truth is stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. All the problems of the world—past, present, and future, will be solved by listening and following the instructions of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. These problems will go far away. The Shrimad Bhagavatam is not five thousand years old. The more we try to enjoy this world, then the more we suffer. What is the problem of present times? Today, man has advanced in science so much. Much advancement has been made in many areas like the kitchen, communication, and medical science. Airplanes that can carry around four hundred people have been made. People can reach their destinations in short time. Sitting in your home, you can see the cricket match in India. If it is night for you, then in another country, it is the day so you can see the game. You can see how President Clinton is speaking. All this can be seen while sitting in your house. If any of your bodily organs are not functioning properly, then they can be replaced. Science had made so much advancement. The entire world is in one’s fist now. In cities like Kolkata and Mumbai, lakhs of people are there. It seems that the population of the entire world is present in these cities.
But, science has created many problems. What are those problems? It has separated husband and wife. The love that existed between husband and wife many years before is now absent. This relationship between husband and wife is still in some places of India. But it is not seen in the Western countries. A son cannot say whose son he is. He doesn’t know who his father is. A man or a woman divorce their spouses forty or fifty times. The husband, wife, and children have separate bank accounts. Who believes each other? People do not love one another. This is the problem of the world. Science has advanced so much, but how can we make people love one another? Science has not solved this problem. On the contrary, problems are increasing. Man is becoming like a machine. Who knows when any switch of this iron machine will stop functioning? Men will fight with one another and everything will be destroyed. Man is becoming like this. Therefore, love is disappearing. Atom bombs and Nitrogen bombs are made. But man cannot make anything that will promote love.
Before, there was love in people’s hearts. People would work for the benefit of others. You must have heard the name of Dadhici because Indian blood is present in you. For the benefit of the demigods, he donated his body while he was still alive.
Indra told him, “I need your bones while you are still alive. A thunderbolt will be made from them.”
Dadhici replied, “All right. Bring yogurt and sugar.”
A mixture of yogurt and sugar was smeared all over the body of Dadhici. Cows came and licked the skin of his body. Thus, Dadhici gave his bones away. All of you must have also heard the name of Maharaj Sibi and Maharaj Hariscandra. They were great donors. Today, you will not find anyone like them. If a man gives something away in charity, then he will give a dollar to someone and say, “Take a picture of mine while I give this away in charity.” This is not real charity. The qualities of the soul are becoming distant and the qualities of the demons are entering the heart. Therefore, how can love be established among everyone? This love is the message of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. Parabrahma Himself, who is the Lord of lords and the cause of all causes, ate in the house of Sabari out of love. He ate her remnant fruits. This is love, prema.
Once, Krishna rejected the many types of food offered by Duryodhana. He then went to the house of Vidurani and ate what Vidurani had to offer. She threw away the banana fruit and offered the peels to Krishna. And, becoming absorbed in her love, Krishna gladly ate the banana peels. Viduraji appeared and asked his wife, “What are you doing?”
Krishna replied, “You have spoiled everything. She was feeding Me with so much love. I have not eaten anything so sweet in Dvaraka. The peels offered by your wife’s hands are so nectarean!”
Where is this love now? The Bhagavatam speaks of this love. Krishna cries and begs to Yasoda to be seated on her lap. Yasoda tells her son, “No. I will not take you on my lap. I just bathed You and You have covered Yourself with mud. You go to the houses of others and steal butter. I will not take You on my lap.”
Hearing His mother speak this way, Krishna bitterly weeps. Seeing Him roll on the earth, Naradaji said, “Oh what pious activities has Yasoda done? In which tirthas has she taken a bath? What austerities has she done? Today, the maintainer of the three worlds, and the cause of all causes, is rolling on the earth and begs to be seated on Yasoda’s lap.”
Yasoda even bound Krishna to a grinding mortar and Krishna’s name became, “Damodara.” Having buttermilk in their hands, the gopis would tell this Parabrahma to dance. They would tell Him, “If You dance, then we will give You this buttermilk.” And, Krishna would delightfully dance. During this time, He is naked and inconceivably beautiful. He has a peacock feather on His head and plays on the Vamsi. He is so beautiful that the world will become mad on seeing Him. After seeing Krishna dance in many novel ways, the gopis gave Him buttermilk and a laddu.
The gopis’ love for Krishna is unparalleled. They tell Krishna, “You should go away from our kunjas. You are a liar and a cheater.”
Can anyone speak this way to Bhagavan? No one has the courage to speak this way. But the gopis have prema for Krishna. Krishna desperately wants to hear these rebukes of the gopis. He doesn’t want to listen to the prayers of Brahma as much. What is this? This is prema. Only to give this prema to the world, Sukadeva Gosvami descended to this world. Sukadeva was completely free of any attachment or illusion. He had no sense of possession towards anything of this world. He went away from his house as soon as he was born. Vyasa called out to him as his son left. I spoke one sloka earlier that is pertinent to what I am saying:
yam pravrajantam anupetam apeta-krtyam
dvaipayano viraha-katara ajuhava
putreti tan-mayataya taravo ‘bhinedus
tam sarva-bhuta-hrdayam munim anato ‘smi
—Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.2
Shrila Suta Gosvami said: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto that great sage [Sukadeva Gosvami] who can enter the hearts of all. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life [sannyasa], leaving home without undergoing reformation by the sacred thread or the ceremonies observed by the higher castes, his father, Vyasadeva, fearing separation from him, cried out, “O my son!” Indeed, only the trees, which were absorbed in the same feelings of separation, echoed in response to the begrieved father.]
Vedavyasaji is an avatar of Narayana. He called out, “O my son! O my son!” But Sukadeva Gosvami didn’t heed his father’s cries. The trees of the forest echoed in reply and said, “Why are you crying out, ‘O my son! O my son!’ Who is whose son? Who is whose father?”
Firstly, you should understand who you are. This is called moha, illusion.
Moha eva hi karanam
Thus, a topmost liberated personality came to the assembly of Pariksita Maharaj. There were 88,000 Rsis there. If any of those Rsis would tell anyone, “You should die,” then that person will immediately die. If they would tell anyone, “You should live,” then a dead person would be brought back to life. Anything they say will become true. Augustya Rsi who swallowed the entire ocean was also present in that assembly. Gautama, the Nava Yogendras like Kavi, Havi, Antariksa, Prabuddha, and Pipalayana were also present there. Even Narada, Parasara, and Vyasadeva, who wrote the Bhagavatam also came to this assembly of Pariksit Maharaj. Thus, Sukadeva Gosvami was seated and honored.
Pariksit Maharaj was cursed to die from snakebite after seven days. He was cursed by a five year old Brahmin. The small boy had said, “On the seventh day from now, the person who has put this dead snake around my father’s neck, will be bit by a snake. No one will be able to save him.” The boy took some water in his hands and threw it on the ground.
The Brahmin boy said, “What is the King’s fault? He put a snake around the neck of my father. It is the duty of the Ksatriyas and everyone else to honor the Rsis. Is this how he respects a Rsi? The King considers himself to be the owner of the entire world. He thinks of himself as everyone’s controller. Although I am a five year old boy, I will punish the King.” Speaking this way, the boy took some water in his hands and cursed the King.
The boy further said, “Just see how much strength the Brahmins have. Their austerities and bhajan have much power. O King, you think, ‘These Rsis don’t wear any clothes. They are always in a meditative state. They don’t work for the benefit of the world.’”
When the King found out that he was to die after seven days, then he renounced his kingdom and went to the banks of the Ganga. He went to a place near Hastinapura. He stopped eating and drinking. Meanwhile, all the Rsis assembled on the banks of the Ganga.
Folding his hands, Pariksit Maharaj questioned all the sages, “O Rsis, mercifully answer two questions of mine. My first question is, ‘What is the duty of a person who is going to die immediately? My second question is, ‘What is the duty of a person who is going to die in some time?”
All of you should also try to understand this clearly. What should a person, who is going to die immediately, do? And, what should a person who is going to die tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or in some time, do? It is guaranteed that every person has to die. Whether the existence of Bhagavan is real or not, is something that is to be considered later. But, every person is destined to die.
jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur
dhruvam janma mrtasya ca
—Bhagavad Gita 2.27
One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again.]
The soul does not die. Only the body dies. But we don’t understand this. Therefore, Pariksit Maharaj asked, “What is the duty of a person who is going to die today and what is the duty of a person who is going to die after many days?”
Sukadeva Gosvami replied, “Speak the name of Krishna or Rama in the ear of a person who is going to die today. This will suffice. If it is possible, the dying person can also chant. Thus, he will transcend samsara and he will never enter the womb of another mother. He will never undergo anymore miseries. All his sorrows will end and he will become liberated. He will attain the lotus feet of Bhagavan.
As for the person who has some time left before he dies, then this person should listen to the Shrimad Bhagavatam. He should listen to Bhagavan’s pastimes and engage in His bhajan. He can also do what is needed to maintain his life. But he should listen to Bhagavan’s pastimes and he should properly do Bhagavan’s bhajan.”
Explaining this further, I will speak on the history of Prahlada Maharaj. It is very difficult to speak the entire Bhagavatam in one day. But, if you understand the tattva of the Shrimad Bhagavatam or understand even one letter of the Bhagavatam, and chant Bhagavan’s names and listen to His pastimes every day; then your life is successful. You should spend at least a few minutes of your time praying to Bhagavan.
At least you can say, “He Prabhu! I am Yours.” All of you reside in your homes, so you can at least pray in this way. We should surely pray this way. If you want to live happily and peacefully in this world, then you should combine Bhagavan’s bhajan with your karma. Or else, you cannot be peaceful. The history of Prahlada Maharajji and Hiranyakasipu is stated in the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
The name, “Hiranyakasipu,” has a meaning behind it. All the words of the Sanskrit language have some meaning behind them. This is not the case with the other languages. The words of other languages have no meanings behind them. But all the words of the Sanskrit language have some underlying meanings. Hiranyakasipu—Hiranya means gold.
One who thinks, “I can only be happy in this world by wealth,” is called Hiranyakasipu or Hiranyaksa. I understand that majority of the people in this world are like this. They think, “If we have no money, then we cannot be happy. So everything we do is for money.”
But one who is of a higher understanding will lay stress on doing bhajan. How can we understand the soul? Prahlada Maharaj was the son of Hiranyakasipu. When Prahlada was five years old, Hiranyakasipu took him on his lap and kissed him.
He asked him, “My son, it has been one year since you have been going to school. What have you read there? Can you tell me what you liked?”
Prahlada replied, “When I went to school, I liked one instruction the most.
tat sadhu manye ‘sura-varya dehinam
sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat
hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam
vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta
—Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.5.5
O best of the asuras, King of the demons, as far as I have learned from my spiritual master, any person who has accepted a temporary body and temporary household life is certainly embarrassed by anxiety because of having fallen in a dark well where there is no water but only suffering. One should give up this position and go to the forest [vana]. More clearly, one should go to Vrindavan, where only Krishna consciousness is prevalent, and should thus take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.]
One should understand who he really is. Understanding his real self, he will realize the true nature of this samsara. He will realize that his only duty is to do Bhagavan’s bhajan and realize his self.
He will realize, “I have only come here to realize what my atma is and what the duties of my atma are.”
hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam
What is this house like? What is one’s family like? It is likened to a blind well. Once, a man decided to enter a forest. As soon as he walked some distance into the forest, he saw a fearsome tiger running to kill him. The man ran to save his life. He wondered, “Where can I go? I cannot climb these trees quickly.” Soon after, the man found himself standing near a dilapidated well. The water of the well had also dried. Some branches of a tree hung down into the well. The man caught hold of some branches and lowered himself into the well. The man saw that some poisonous black snakes hissed ominously at the bottom of the well. If the man would completely lower himself into the well, then he would be surely bitten by the snakes. The man’s life-airs seemed to become dry because of extreme fear. The tiger reached the spot where the well was and loudly roared at the man. The tiger tried killing the man with its paws, but the man was out of its reach. Catching hold of two branches, the man tried to save his life with bated breath.
Meanwhile, he saw two rats that emerged from the well. One rat was black and the other was white. The rats started to nibble at the branches, which the man hung onto. It seemed that the man was destined to meet his end on this day. The man would fall to the bottom of the well if the rats completed their nibbling. If the man would go up, the tiger would kill him. If he would go down, the snakes will bite him. Death surrounded him from all four sides. There was no one to save him.
In the meantime, he saw a honey comb hanging from one branch. Some drops of honey were dripping down in front of that man. The man hung out his tongue and tried tasting these drops of honey. He tasted one drop of honey and thought, “How sweet this honey is!”
Being absorbed in the sweetness of the honey, he forgot about the tiger and the snakes. He forgot that he will fall to the bottom of the well at any time. What does the Bhagavatam liken this well to? The well is this bhava-sagara. It is like a blind well. The two trees that stand next to the well are the fruits of our pious and sinful activities. We cling on to the branches of these trees and live in samsara. These fruits are good and bad. Who is gnawing at these branches? The two rats. The black rat is night and the white rat was day. Every passing day, day and night are repeatedly passing at certain junctures. And our age also proportionately increases.
“How old are you?” a person is asked.
“I am fifty years old,” he replies.
“Fifty years have passed. How long do you think you will live up to?”
“I will live up to a hundred years.”
“Now half of your life is finished.”
So, the white rat and black rat are decreasing one’s life span. One day, everyone will die. There is no certainty when a person will die. Recently, I was travelling from Mathura to Delhi. A newly married couple were travelling with their respective in-laws. A collision occurred, and the car was completely destroyed. No one was left alive to even inform the others about the accident. So many such incidents happen in this world. Therefore, everything is uncertain. What are the drops of honey likened to? When a man is newly married, then he feels so happy. But after a couple of days, he is divorced and he becomes sorrowful. When a man becomes the President or the Prime Minister, he becomes very happy. But when he steps down from his post, he becomes very anguished. The drops of honey are likened to the happiness derived from one’s husband, wife, and children. This is samsara. The duty of intelligent people is to do Bhagavan’s bhajan even when they are in samsara.
Prahlada Maharaj’s instructions to his father now start. Calling his school mates, Prahlada told them, “It is of the utmost need to do Bhagavan’s bhajan from your childhood.”
The little boys asked, “Why? No one has seen Bhagavan. We were born from our parents. Who has seen Bhagavan?”
Prahlada replied, “No. Bhagavan has also given birth to your parents. He is the root of all your ancestors. He has given intelligence to us. He awards us the fruits of our actions.”
A person takes birth in a very wealthy family without any prior cause. How does he take birth? A man is blind from birth. Why? Another person is lame. Why? They are the fruits of one’s karma. By doing good karma in this life, you will get a good body in your next life. Do good to others and understand the atma.
Prahlada told his school mates, “Engage in bhajan from your childhood. Why? There is no certainty of what will happen tomorrow.”
The boys replied, “First, we will study and become doctors or engineers. We will do bhajan when we become old.”
Prahlada then said, “What if you die? So do bhajan from your childhood. You should also do your duties. But you should combine Bhagavan’s bhajan with them.”
Sorrow comes without any cause. No one in this world wants sorrow and old age. There is no one in this world who can say, “I have no diseases. I have no sorrows. I have nothing less.” There will be some form of misery or sadness. Sorrow comes uninvited. Similarly, happiness will also come uninvited. Therefore, do Bhagavan’s bhajan using a little of your time. Nowadays, a person doesn’t live up to a hundred years. But even if he does so, fifty years is spent in sleeping. Out of the remaining fifty years, twenty years is spent in education. When a person becomes eighty years of age, then he will not be able to do anything. His back will not be straight. He will go to the old house. If he was in India, then he would remain with his children. And he would listen to sweet talks of his family members. He would give good instructions and he would be respected also. At that advanced age, one’s spouse would have also died. There will be no one to even give water. A person will only read the paper; he will have no other work.
When old age comes, a person will not be able to do anything. Thus, forty years are spent in education and old age. Now only ten years of the remaining fifty years remain. Those ten years are spent in marriage, and in earning money. A parent also has to get his children educated.
Prahlada Maharaj, “Where is the time to do bhajan? So, do Bhagavan’s bhajan from your childhood.”
There was a Rsi called Astavakra. One day, he came from the Himalayas and went to Maharaj Janaka’s kingdom. When he reached the gates of the palace, he was brought straight to the royal assembly. It was the rule of Maharaj Janaka that any Brahmin, Yogi, Tapasvi, Bhakta, or Vaisnava should directly be brought to his palace. In that royal assembly many brahma-jnanis like Yajnavalkya and others were present. When Astavakra Rsi came to the royal assembly, everyone in the assembly began laughing at him. Astavakra Rsi was crooked in eight places; his face, feet, and other bodily parts were crooked. He walked with the help of a stick. Seeing him, everyone started laughing. Seeing everyone laughing, Astavakra Rsi also started laughing loudly in that assembly of learned circles.
Maharaj Janaka got up and said, “Why are you laughing?”
Astavakra Rsi asked, “Why is everyone in this assembly laughing?”
“They are laughing seeing your crooked form.”
“I am laughing because I came from the Himalayas to take the darsana of Maharsis, brahma-jnanis, and other very knowledgeable persons. I had heard that many brahma-rsis are present in the assembly of Maharaj Janaka. But, I only see ordinary cobblers here.”
“Why do you see as such?”
“All of you see if this skin is black or white. This is the work of the cobblers. The knowledge of the atma is absent here. The atma is spotless. The knowledge of Bhagavan and Brahma is immaculate. You don’t know this knowledge. Therefore, there are only cobblers here. What need was there for me to come here? I came here with great difficulty. But why did I come here?”
In this human form of life, we can understand what the atma is. We can understand where we have come from and why we have come. We can also realize how we don’t have to return to this world. We can go to such a world where there are no sorrows and sufferings. In that world, there is only unending happiness and love. The waves of prema are infinite there. What is that world called? It is above even Vaikuntha. That realm is called, “Goloka Vrindavan.” Only prema eternally resides there. Krishna’s pastimes are manifest there since time immemorial. If a person reaches there, then he will not take birth again.
yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama
—Bhagavad Gita 15.6
Those who reach it never return to this material world.]
Thus, Prahlada Maharaj instructed his fellow school mates on devotion. On the other hand, as Sukadeva Gosvami spoke to Pariksit Maharaj, he spoke on Vraja-lila.
Sukadeva Gosvami said, “If you want peace and happiness, then understand that Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara-Nanda-nandana-Radha-kanta is the ultimate limit of Godhood. There is no one who can transcend His Godhood. Krishna has become Rama and the other expansions. Sankara and the others are His servants. Understanding this way, worship Radha-Krishna with one pointed devotion.”
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas-tad-dhama vrndavana
ramya kacid-upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam pramanam-amalam prema pumartho mahan
sri caitanya mahaprabhur-matam-idam tatradaro nah parah
—Shri Chaitanya Manjusa
"The Supreme Lord Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna is my worshipable Deity, and His transcendental abode, Shri Vrindavan-dhama, is equally worshipable. The most excellent method of worshipping Krishna is that adopted by the gopa-ramanis, the young wives of Vraja. Shrimad-bhagavatam is the flawless and most authoritative evidence of this. This krsna-prema is the fifth and highest achievement of human life – beyond dharma, artha, kama, and moksa. This is the opinion of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We have supreme regard for His conclusion, and we have no inclination or respect for any other, cheating opinions."]
Who is our aradhya? Vrajendra-nandana is our aradhya. Why? You may want to worship Rama, but Krishna has come in the form of Rama to establish maryada, regulated discipline in this world. He is not separate from Krishna. But, to establish maryada, Rama has to follow certain rules and regulations. Ramacandra cannot do anything that is against rules and regulations. To follow rules and regulations, He even renounced His father and brother, Laksmana. He even renounced Sita. What was the fault of Sita? Can anyone say if Sita was guilty of any fault? Even if someone caught her while she was in a helpless state, even then how was she ever at fault? Why did Rama renounce her? Rama didn’t really renounce her, but He only did so superficially; to rescue maryada.
As for Krishna, He will accept any form of worship from anyone. The unmarried girls of Janakapuri told Rama, “You are so beautiful. You married Sita. We are the friends of Sita, so we also want to marry You.”
Rama replied, “No. When I come as Krishna, then all of you can take birth as gopis. Then, I will accept you all.”
Krishna took birth in the form of Rama. As Rama, Krishna appeared with the conch, disc, lotus, and mace. Kausalya Devi offered many stava-stutis to Him when He appeared.
he prakata krpala
kausalya hita kari
Kausalya Devi offered many prayers to Rama. In Vrindavan, Krishna showed the universal form to Yasoda in His mouth. Yasoda then said, “Someone has done some magic. Or someone’s evil eye has fallen on Krishna. My son is not God.”
Yasoda never offered any prayers or stava-stutis to Krishna. Instead, she asked for many cows to be brought. She mixed cow dung with cow urine and she bathed Krishna. She also had the tail of a black cow touch Krishna repeatedly. This is the prema of the gopis. Therefore, it is said:
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas-tad-dhama vrndavana
ramya kacid-upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita
The prema that the gopis have for Krishna is the essence of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. Their love for Krishna is topmost. What was the nature of this prema? Sukadeva Gosvami is explaining this to Pariksit Maharaj. When Krishna came to Mathura from Vrindavan, He entered the assembly of Kamsa. Kamsa was seated above the council on a raised platform. Canura, Mustika, and others were present. A wrestling duel was set to begin. Krishna and Baladeva were invited to wrestle. Krishna was a small boy of ten years; Baladeva was a year and eight days older than Krishna. The two brothers were present there; Krishna was Syama-complexioned while Baladeva was Gaura-complexioned. They were Kisoras, adolescent youths while Canura and Mustika were like mountains. They were very powerful.
They called Krishna and Baladeva, “Come here quickly. We want to please Kamsa.”
Krishna replied, “O brother, We are small children. We want to wrestle with boys our own age. How can I wrestle with a person like you?”
But, Canura and Mustika forcibly caught Krishna and Baladeva. At that time, the ladies of the Yadu dynasty cried out, “Sin has entered this assembly. These huge wrestlers want to kill these little children. This is great injustice. They want to kill Krishna and Baladeva. Pious people cannot sit in this assembly or else sin will touch them. Krishna and Baladeva are so beautiful.”
punya bata vraja-bhuvo yad ayam nr-linga
gudhah purana-puruso vana-citra-malyah
gah palayan saha-balah kvanayams ca venum
—Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.44.13
How pious are the tracts of land in Vraja, for there the primeval Personality of Godhead, disguising Himself with human traits, wanders about, enacting His many pastimes! Adorned with wonderfully variegated forest garlands, He whose feet are worshiped by Lord Siva and goddess Rama vibrates His flute as He tends the cows in the company of Balarama.]
The ladies said, “How unfortunate we are! We are seeing Krishna today, but these wrestlers want to kill Him. In the land of Vrindavan, the gopis love Krishna. We understand that Vrindavan is the most auspicious place in this world. Why is Vrindavan most auspicious? It is so because the gopis and gopas are present here. Why are the lives of the gopis successful? Despite being Parabrahma Himself, Krishna has appeared in a human like form. He wears a vaijayanti-mala around His neck and His body is Syama-complexioned. His Pitambara is like a streak of lightning on His dark body. He plays on His flute and is absorbed in herding millions of cows. These cows are the embodiments of the Vedas.
What austerities have the gopis performed to see Krishna in this manner? The sight of Krishna conquers the sight of millions of cupids. Cupid can be renounced on seeing Krishna. How beautiful the form of Krishna is! Only the gopis can understand and relish this beauty of Krishna. But Kamsa is going to kill Krishna. If we could determine what austerities the gopis performed, to become gopis and render service to Krishna with prema; then we will also perform the same austerities.”
ya dohane ‘vahanane mathanopalepa
gayanti cainam anurakta-dhiyo ‘sru-kanthyo
dhanya vraja-striya urukrama-citta-yanah
—Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.44.15
The ladies of Vraja are the most fortunate of women because, with their minds fully attached to Krishna and their throats always choked up with tears, they constantly sing about Him while milking the cows, winnowing grain, churning butter, gathering cow dung for fuel, riding on swings, taking care of their crying babies, sprinkling the ground with water, cleaning their houses, and so on. By their exalted Krishna consciousness they automatically acquire all desirable things.]
How are the gopis like? They have made Krishna sit on the chariot of their minds for all time. They constantly think about Krishna. One gopi was milking a cow, but what was she really doing?
She sang, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
Shrila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
One gopi was winnowing grain while another gopi was threshing husks of wheat. One gopi was teaching a parrot to sing. What was She teaching the parrot to sing?
“Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”
Another gopi was sweeping her house. But her mind was completely absorbed in Krishna. The gopis were singing about the childhood pastimes of the son of Yasoda. Remembering Krishna, they sang. What did they sing?
Shrila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
One gopi was cooking rotis. She put the roti on the pan, but she soon forgot what she was supposed to do. What was she doing?
Shrila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
Who is saying this? The ladies of Mathura are saying this. They said, “How fortunate the gopis are.” One gopi took a pot of butter and went to give it to Krishna. She said, “Take butter, take butter.” But after some time she forgot about the pot of butter on her head. The pot fell from her head and the gopi shed many tears because of prema. The gopi became stunned in ecstasy and her veil fell to the ground. What did she say?
Shrila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
One small boy was crying continuously. His mother made him sleep on the cradle and gently patting him, she said, “You should sleep son, you should sleep.” But after some time what did she say?
Shrila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
What is the difficulty in doing bhajan? When you are driving your car, you think, “I will go there and do this and that. I will build a big house. I will have my children educated.” But meanwhile something bad may happen. How long can your mind be silent? You must give it some work. When your mind will be engaged, then your work will also be finished. When you do your work, the mind will follow you and do your work. So why do you waste time?
Shrila Gurudeva and the audience sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”]
One gopi was making cow dung patties in her house. Nowadays, there is no question of anyone making cow dung patties. If I tell you to lift a five kilo pestle, you will be unable to. If I tell you to thresh grain, you will say that there is no need to do so. There is no guarantee if what you buy from the shop is healthy. Five year and ten year old boys and girls are getting blood pressure. They cannot stand and sit on their own.
Before, it was like this. The gopis would do their household chores and chant, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” We can also chant while walking, sitting, standing, and even while sneezing or yawning. Can you not chant Bhagavan’s name when you are passing stool? Why can you not do so? You think about irrelevant things, but you cannot chant Bhagavan’s name? Bhagavan’s bhajan is not difficult, it is very easy. But, we need a guru who can tell us this and who can explain the process of Bhagavad-bhajan to us. In Vraja everyone is like this. In Vraja, the watchmen say, “Radhe Radhe,” at night. The cuckoos also say, “Radhe Radhe.”
People of Vraja greet each other by saying, “Radhe Radhe, Jaya Shri Radhe.” You can see this for yourself if you go there. It is like this in Varsana, Nandagoan, and in all the places of Vraja. There is still some culture left; but I cannot say for how many more days it will remain. But Sanatana-dharma is eternal; it will never be lost. Therefore, all of you should not forget your culture. You should never forget the culture of India. You should do the bhajan of Krishna and Rama. The soul is eternal. The world will not remain the same. You will have to leave this world behind. You will become old and you will eventually leave everything behind. Therefore, you should engage in bhajan from now. You should use whatever time you have left in bhajan.
Parabrahma, Krishna Himself would go cow herding, taking all the cows from His home, to the forest. Don’t think of yourself as very learned. Pariksit Maharaj was a very knowledgeable person. Sukadeva Gosvami, Vyasadeva, and millions of sages like them left their homes and understanding this tattva, engaged themselves in Krishna’s bhajan. I also had no shortage of any food or water. Although we did not have as much wealth as you all, I understood at that time that, “Leaving everything behind, I should do Bhagavan’s bhajan. I should make use of this opportunity.” I wanted to see if something could be found in His bhajan. I realized that there is so much bliss in His bhajan. There is so much bliss in His names like, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti,” and in especially the Mahamantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
You can chant Bhagavan’s names while you sit, stand, or walk. You can chant His names in any condition. In previous times, oil was extracted in an unconventional manner. There were no machines used then. A rope would be tied to an ox and it would pull the grinder while the oil bearing seeds would be compressed. Then, oil would be gotten. Naradaji met the person who was controlling the bull and asked,
“O brother, why don’t you chant Rama-naam or Krishna-naam?”
“Svamiji, I don’t have any time at all.”
“If you don’t have time, then what do you do while passing stool? Do you at least pass stool?”
“Then chant while you pass stool.”
“Okay. I agree to what you say.”
In India, people would go to the forest to pass stool. But now bathrooms have been constructed. Bathrooms and other facilities were not available even during my time. When the oil merchant sat to pass stool in the forest, then while passing, he said, “Rama Rama.” Hanumanji’s vow is that he will immediately go to any place where Rama-nama is chanted. He will assume lakhs of forms and go to all the places where lakhs of people are chanting Rama’s name. He will be the first person who will be there, although we will not be able to see him. This is Hanuman’s vow. Without listening to Rama’s name, he cannot be at peace. So, Hanuman reached the place where this person was passing stool and saying, “Rama Rama.”
Looking at this person, Hanuman said, “Oh this oil merchant has no sense. He is chanting Bhagavan’s name in such an impure state. He is passing stool. Shouldn’t he take a bath and then chant? Firstly, he should become pure.”
But this person did not take a bath and he continued to chant while passing. Hanuman then kicked the person with great power. But nothing happened to this person despite being kicked by mighty Hanuman. The oil merchant continued chanting, “Rama, Rama.”
Hanuman thought, “When I kicked Ravana, he fell to the ground. The same happened to Kumbakarna when I kicked him. But why isn’t this person disturbed on being kicked? Why hasn’t he also fallen to the ground? There is no one in this world who will not fall to the ground on being kicked by me. Why didn’t he fall to the ground?” Hanuman then left that place.
That person stopped chanting, got up and left. Hanuman reached Ramaji’s palace during the night when He was taking rest. When he went there, he heard Ramacandraji groaning.
Hanuman asked Lord Ramacandraji, “Prabhu, why are You groaning? What is the difficulty?”
“You have kicked Me. But yet, you ask, ‘Why am I feeling pain?’”
“When did I kick You? Why will I ever kick You, Prabhu?”
“You kicked me so powerfully. I think My back is broken.”
“When did I ever kick You?”
“That person who was churning oil was chanting My name. My name and I are one. There is no difference between the name and Myself. I Myself reach that place where My name is being chanted.”
The soul is always pure. What is stool? It is what a person has eaten. The food is digested and the unusable foodstuff is released from the body with a foul odor. He who chants Bhagavan’s names is always pure. Understand this—one who chants the holy name is never impure. But, a person bathes four times a day, yet doesn’t chant the holy name; then is he pure? He is impure.
Hanuman told Rama, “I hold my ears Prabhu and promise that even if a person chants Your name in an impure state, I will not say anything.”
Therefore, while walking, sleeping, sitting, standing; at all times chant Bhagavan’s names. Chant His names even while you sneeze or are falling down the stairs. You will then become freed from the cycle of birth and death like Ajamila and you will attain Bhagavan’s lotus feet. You should especially chant Krishna’s names. If there was time, then I would have spoken some pastimes of Radha-Krishna. If I come in the future, then I will make all of you listen to these pastimes. All of you will realize how wonderful the character of the gopis is and how Krishna is controlled by them. I will also speak on the separation of the gopis and how they instructed Uddhava. But, everything cannot be said in one day. Therefore, I stopped now.
You should never forget that you are the soul and not this body. You should always remember this. Having achieved a human birth, one should understand the atma and realize who he really is. One should not think of himself or herself as a man or a woman. After some days, everyone has to die. So, we can understand this only in the human form of life and not in other life forms. This is the essence of all instructions.
The best form of worship is the bhajan of Radha-Krishna; there is nothing superior. Sukadeva Gosvami instructed Pariksit Maharaj this way and the King became freed from birth and death. He then reached Krishna’s abode. This is the topmost truth. This is not a lie. We should realize this and do Bhagavan’s bhajan. If you cannot do anything, then chant, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare,” five times during the morning. You will realize a change in some days. There will definitely be a change.
You should also keep this in mind: never consume alcohol, meat, eggs, onion, and garlic. These foodstuffs are in the mode of ignorance. You cannot chant Bhagavan’s names by eating them. They will not come at all. Therefore, you should completely avoid them. The cow doesn’t eat meat. Only the animals of the forest eat meat. Bhagavan has given us milk, fruits, and vegetables. Hence, being far away from these things and being completely pure, you should only eat what you have cooked in your homes. You should offer what you have cooked to Bhagavan with Tulasi leaves and partake of this prasadam. And, chant Bhagavan’s names. You will experience a change yourself. Now, your mind wanders while you chant. But at this time, your mind will not wander. The mind has a lot of relation with the food you eat. Blood is formed according to what you eat. Bones and other bodily organs are formed by this blood. Ultimately, your mind will be greatly influenced by what you eat.
Understanding this, you should eat appropriate food. Many sadhus come here to speak Bhagavan’s pastimes. You should listen to His pastimes and do His kirtana. Even if you are alone in your house, you should offer pranama to Bhagavan and chanting harinama once or twice, you can go to your work. Then, everything you do will be all right. And, you will have a taste for engaging in Bhagavan’s service.
I will stop for today. If I am there tomorrow, then I will go to one temple for darsana. I will return from there and we will give a class at eleven in the morning. If you have time, you may come for the class from eleven to twelve. I will leave in the evening to Badger.
Kirtana should be done.
Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
*Transcribed and edited by the Govardhana dasa.