[The following is a transcription of a class given on one of the parikramas Shrila Narayana Maharaja performed with the 600 devotees from India and the West who accompanied him to Jagannatha Puri.
On August 16th they all visited the holy abode of Shri Lokanatha Mahadeva, a manifestation of Lord Siva. The management of the temple did not allow westerners to enter, so the Indian devotees went in with Shrila Maharaja and the western devotees stayed outside. Just a few minutes after going inside, Shrila Maharaja came out alone. He sat down before all the assembled western devotees and began the following encouraging talk:]
Indian devotees are fortunate to be able to have darsana of Thakurji (the Deity) and perform arati. If those who are not Indian - those who have not been given permission to enter the temple - come to Lokanatha Mahadeva with a mood of humility, thinking themselves very low and fallen, they are still more fortunate.
Inside the temple there is a room filled with water, and that water is a symbol of Sankara. So there is no need to go inside. This pond before you is Gauri Kunda, and it is also a symbol of Sankara. You can touch this pond and perform acamana here.
We are waiting for the mercy of Lokanatha. Who is Lokanatha? He is Gopisvara Mahadeva. He is Sadasiva, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu (Vishnu-tattva). Others have gone inside the temple for arati. But if you are out here, crying to Lokanatha, Gopisvara Mahadeva, praying, “Please be merciful to me”, He will first come to you and sprinkle his mercy upon you. If you are crying, thinking, “We are very unfortunate”, Lord Krishna will come to you. So do not worry that you cannot go inside. You are most lucky.
Lord Krishna is very merciful. Wherever Krishna resides, Sadasiva Vishnu will always be present. In Mathura and in all other places where there is a temple of Krishna or any Vishnu-tattva, there, Sadasiva as Lokanatha and Gopisvara Mahadeva will be there, everywhere – to serve Krishna’s abode.
This is the abode of Lord Jagannatha, and the boundary is very large. Jagannatha Puri is also called Ksetra-mandala, and it extends about 84 krosas (168 miles) and includes many places. Our Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, also performed parikrama of Ksetra-mandala.
You are very lucky. If anyone comes here, or even takes a vow, that “I will go to Ksetra-mandala, Nilacala (Jagannatha-ksetra) or Bhubanesvara,” and if he dies before his vow is completed, still he will get the fruit. He will become four-handed.
What relationship do you want with Lord Krishna? Would you like to be four-handed and have a relationship with His manifestation as Lord Vishnu?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Would you like to be Lord Krishna’s queens in Dvaraka?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Do you want to be llike Mother Yasoda?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Do you want to be cowherd boys?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] In that case Krishna will be concerned, thinking, “How shall I give them what they want?” He is the most beloved of all the gopis. I have brought you all here to increase this inspiration – wanting only to serve Him like the gopis.
We pray to Lokanatha Mahadeva:
vrindavanvani-pate! jaya soma! soma maule
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te
“O gatekeeper of Vrindavan! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable for the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dhama, I offer pranama unto you time and again.” (Shri Sankalpa-kalpadruma 103, Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura)
We should only pray for prema, and only one-pointed prema – gopi-prema.
Editor: Shyamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi