Shri Srmad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
August 25, 2008
[This discourse was given on the appearnce day of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj by Shrila Gurudeva, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj in Mathura, India, on August 25, 2008:]
I am very, very fortunate that, as early as 1946, in Navadvipa and Calcutta, I met Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj, at that time known as Abhaya Caranaravinda. My Guru Maharaj told me to serve him as soon as I met him, and I have been doing so ever since. At that time ISKCON had not yet been born. I was with him and serving him then, and still I am with him and serving.
Without power from Krishna, no one can preach all over the world in a couple of years as he did. The power and inspiration of Krishna and the power of Shri chaitanya Mahaprabhu were with him, and that is why his Gurudeva told him to write articles in English and to preach in Western countries.
Thus he went to America, without a cent in his pocket; nothing at all. He had karatalas, and with those he began to sing Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; and Shri Krishna chaitanya Prabhu Nityananda, Shri Advaita Gadadhara Shrivasadi Gaura-bhakta-vrinda. He was so internally absorbed that he was not aware of who was hearing him or not hearing.
Attracted to what they heard and saw, the people coming to the parks in which he chanted, especially the hippies, would dance and sing with him. Sometimes, out of affection but not knowing what an exalted personality he was, they would offer him alcohol and other things like that.
By his love and his mercy spiritual impressions very quickly entered their hearts, and practically all those hippies who came to that Tompkins Square Park became happy. One of these hippies was Shyamarani, another Vrndavana Vilasini, another was Tamal Krishna, and another was Krishna Vilasini .
Engaging these hippies, he preached over the entire world, establishing preaching centers in the mountains, in the forests, in the midst of the ocean (on islands) – everywhere – in almost all of the counties of the world. His preaching was especially very solid due to his books, by his translations of Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Shri chaitanya-caritamrta, Shri Isopanisad, Easy Journey to Other Planets, and also the books of the Gosvamis. In a very few years, he preached everywhere.
He gave sannyasa to young devotees, who were not qualified for sannyasa. If one has a thorn (splinter) in his foot, he takes it out by the medium of another thorn (or a needle or pin or another sharp object), and then throws away both thorns. Shri Krishna did something like this in His pastimes as well. Similarly, his disciples were actually not qualified for sannyasa, but as a sannyasi he gave them sannyasa – because he wanted to preach the glories of the holy name and Shri Krishna everywhere. Engaging his disciples, he preached throughout the world and distributed his books.
I think that my disciples are not doing as well as his. During his manifest stay in this world, young ladies used to go to airports, schools, colleges, and practically everywhere else. Somehow my book distribution is going on, but not like it was during his time. At that time, his disciples were not at all shy – they would go anywhere. I think that my disciples – lady and male devotees – should also preach like this. Still, I am happy that the mission of Shri chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the mission of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, is now developing very quickly.
At that time, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj saw that his followers were not qualified for raganuga-bhakti, so he mostly kept this secret in his books. For the most part, he did not speak about it in his general classes. Many of the ISKCON leaders have not carefully read his books, and therefore they do not know what is raganuga-bhakti and what is proper siddhanta (philosophical conclusions). They could not even understand his teaching that the soul can never fall from Goloka Vrndavana. He has never written that the soul falls from there. He has only written, and told, the words of Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami:
"krishna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha
["Forgetting Krishna, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence." (Madhya-lila, 20.117)]
It seems that many of his disciples somehow think that the jivas were first remembering Krishna and serving Him in Goloka Vrndavana and after that they fell down, but this is not the truth. All of our acaryas, such as Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, have written that the jivas came from tatastha-sakti. When Shri Krishna is alone, with only His tatastha sakti, then the vibhinnamsa jivas (the infinitesimal separated parts and parcel living entities) manifest. The jiva soul here in this world has never gone to, or come from, Goloka Vrndavana. He has never fallen down from there.
Many disciples could not understand the mood of their Gurudeva, and that is why they call Krishna 'Radha-Parthasarathi.' This is quite wrong. In recent history, since the divine departure of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj from the vision of this world, I see that too many wrong ideas have been introduced, and so many of his disciples and followers are not progressing towards pure suddha-bhakti. They have no guidance in this regard, and that is why Shrila Svami Maharaj told them just before his departure, "You should take guidance from Narayana Maharaj." He also told them about Shrila Shridhara Maharaj.
He instructed his disciples and followers in this way, but many of them are not following. Nowadays so many persons throughout the world are engaged in ritvik discussions. Those who fell down, those who are without knowledge of spiritual truths – they are now ritviks. Actually ritviks have no relation with Krishna-bhakti. The actual meaning of the word 'ritvik' is only in relation to performers of fire sacrifices. The 'ritviks' of today do not even know what is a proper fire sacrifice, or how to do the offering of oblations in the yajna, or how to correctly utter mantras, what to say about knowing anything of guru-tattva. Nowadays, so many wrong things are going on.