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A Very High Topic

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large.Shrila_Bhaktivedanta_Narayana_Goswami_151.jpg.0682d997234adc782ebaf7abdaca2820.jpgShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj
Volgograd, Russia: September 17, 2004 PM

[We have previously posted all the other classes given by Shrila Maharaj in Volgograd, and this is the last class he gave there in 2004:]

My heartly blessings, and so much thanks to those who have organized this gathering and festival. My heartly blessings to the preachers who came here to join this festival and teach you so many good things. My blessings to the cooking department, to those have served me in my book distributions, in chanting the holy name, in preaching here and there, and especially to those who served my Navadvipa project. I pray to the lotus feet of Shri Giriraja Govardhan, Shri Chaitanya Maharaprabhu, Shri Nityananda prabhu and Shri Shri Radha Vinoda-bihari to sprinkle their mercy on all these devotees.

These days we have been discussing a very high topic. I know it is beyond your limit. It is beyond the limit of understanding for the neophyte devotees, but I am still telling it – for senior devotees. They should know this topic and preach.

You must remember that it is Shrila Rupa Gosvami through whom we want to know ourselves and identify ourselves as rupanuga Vaishnavas, and that in the rupanuga line Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is prominent. Both Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami have written books to enter raganuga-bhakti. Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written Shri Upadesamrta, so do not reject this book. And Shrila Raghanatha dasa Gosvami has written Shri Mahah-Siksa.

In Shri Mahah-Siksa it is stated

yadiccher avasam vraja-bhuvi sa-ragam prati-janur
yuva-dvandvam tac cet paricaritum arad abhilaseh
svarupam sri rupam sa-ganam iha tasyagrajam api
sphutam premna nityam smara nama tada tvam srnu manah

[“My dear mind! Please hear me. If you are eager to gain residence in Vraja on the platform of ragatamika-bhakti, and if you desire to obtain the direct service of nava Yugala-kisora, Shri Radha-Krishna, then birth after birth always distinctly remember and bow down with great love to Shrila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and his elder brother Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and all other associates of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who are the recipients of His mercy.” (Shri Manah-siksa, verse 3)]

If you want to be in Vraja and serve in raganuga-bhakti, with love and affection, then follow Shri Manah-siksa. Do not think this is a third-class book. If you neglect Upadesamrta and Manah-siksa, you cannot advance in rupanuga bhajana* [See Endnote 1].

I have instructed all sannyasis to preach from these two books first, for these two are the backbone of raganuga-bhakti. My request to all senior devotees in this country is that they try to help all new devotees by the process described in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and thus they will all gradually enter raganuga-bhajana.

Yesterday I told you that Lord Krishna sent Uddhava to Vraja. In Vraja, Uddhava begged admission into the college of love and affection, but the gopis rejected him. Is it written in Shrimad-Bhagavatam that when he went to the gopis they asked him, “Uddhava, you are a friend of Krishna. You are black but not that same black Krishna. You are dressed in His garments and ornaments, and you are wearing His garland.

The gopis continued, “There are two kinds of love and affection. One is artificial, with selfishness and a cause, and the other is selfless and without a cause. We have pure love and affection without selfishness. Krishna’s love and affection is also very pure, so why has that love broken? Can you tell us?”

Uddhava was scratching his head and thinking about their inquiry, but he could not reply.

The gopis began to give examples of selfishly motivated love: “A bumblebee goes to a flower and takes honey from it, and then flies away to another flower.

“A beggar will go to any wealthy person’s door and stay there waiting, and as soon as the master of the house comes to the door and give some donation, that beggar won’t stay there any longer. He will go away at once.

“A deer may live in the forest, but if that forest is burnt in a fire, he will leave it and go to another.

“So many birds take shelter of a green tree, but if that tree is burnt and dries up, no bird will remain there.

“A prostitute wants money. If a wealthy and beautiful person goes to her, she only wants his money. When his money runs out, she will rebuke him and expel him from her house.

“A student in school or college gives much honor to his teachers and professors, but when he graduates and leaves that school or college, he has nothing more to do with them.” These are examples of affection with a cause.

“But our love and Krishna’s love was causeless. Can you tell us why it was broken at Krishna’s end?”

Because Uddhava could not reply, the gopis rejected his application for admittance in their school.

This subject is very deep and high. I am not telling all these things for neophytes, because they cannot digest it. But gradually, by continual hearing, they will be able to do so.

Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu states that you should try to begin bhakti with guru-seva, by establishing the desire of Gurudeva. Chant more. Don’t be weak. If I have returned to India and am no longer here in your country, you should always think, “Krishna and Gurudeva are with me in my heart.” If any worldly desire comes, pray to Guru and Krishna, and they will take out all those unwanted desires and attachments.

Nayanabhirama and Yasoda Kumara [See endnote 2] should try to publish a book in Russian, on the topic I have spoken about this week. [turning to them he said:] You should be ready. You should compile a book and publish it very soon.

[returning to the audience:] When Uddhava was just about to leave Mathura for Vrindavan, he was very worried. He thought, “I will have to lose Krishna’s association for so many days. Lord Krishna understood his mood of separation and told him, “Don’t be worried. I am only partly here; I am fully in Vraja. You will go there and realize this.”

When Uddhava arrived in Vrindavan in the evening, what did he see?

[Padmanabha Maharaj speaks – See Endnote 3.]

The night finished with these discussions. In the morning Uddhava took bath, uttered his gayatri-mantra and looked towards a forest of many kadamba trees. He saw that hundreds of thousands of gopis were lamenting there. These gopis had not returned home since Krishna left for Mathura. They were not sleeping, eating or doing anything except remembering, ‘Krishna, Krishna’.”

The gopis saw Uddhava’s beauty and black complexion similar to that of Krishna. They saw that he was wearing Lord Krishna’s garments and garland, and because of that the sweet fragrance of Krishna’s body was upon his own. The gopis smelled that aroma and thus, knowing he was coming from Krishna, said to each other, “He looks like Krishna, but he is not Krishna.” They saw the golden chariot upon which he arrived and thought, “Who has come on this chariot. It is not Krishna who has come here. Now He is a prince in Mathura. He has sent His servant on a golden chariot, thinking, ‘I am not an ordinary person. I am not a cowherd boy. I am prince and monarch of all Mathura’. To show this, He has sent His servant on that golden chariot.”

Uddhava heard this and thought, “Why did I come on a golden chariot? It was not proper to come in this way. Lord Krishna told me to do so and I followed, but now I see that I have done wrong.”

One of the sakhis said, “He is a servant of Krishna, so Krishna may have sent him to pacify His father and mother. Perhaps he does not know the way to Nanda-bhavana. Why has he come to us? We used to have some relationship with Krishna, but now that relationship is finished. So why did He send a messenger to us?”

Uddhava was standing and simply looking at the gopis. One gopi, Shrimati Radhika, had entered deeper into the forest and fainted, and another gopi had placed some cotton under Her nose, to see if She was still alive. The gopis saw that She had some life, but was about to die. All the other gopis approached Uddhava, and took him to see Her.

Returning to consciousness, Shrimati Radharani saw a bumblebee there and thought, “Krishna cannot be without young ladies. Now He is in Mathura, pacifying one lady, and in the meantime another became angry, so He then goes to pacify another. Then another becomes angry, so He goes to pacify her.” Radhika realized this in Her heart, and at once began to speak to the bumblebee about Shri Krishna’s character. In the end She began to cry, and again became unconscious. Uddhava was hearing all that Shrimati Radhika told the bumblebee. He realized something of the deep and very glorious love and affection of the gopis and especially of Shrimati Radhika, and he prayed:

etah param tanu-bhrto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo
govinda eva nikhilatmani rudha-bhavah
vanchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayam ca
kim brahma-janmabhir ananta-katha-rasasya

[“Among all persons on Earth, these cowherd women alone have actually perfected their embodied lives, for they have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Lord Govinda. Their pure love is hankered after by those who fear material existence, by great sages, and by ourselves as well. For one who has tasted the narrations of the infinite Lord, what is the use of taking birth as a high-class brahmana, or even as Lord Brahma himself?” (Shrimad-bhagavatam 10.47.58)]

This world is fortunate because India is there, and in India Vraja is there, and in Vraja the gopis are there – for this reason Vraja is glorious. The love and affection of Radha expressed here in separation from Krishna is called mohana-bhava , and still greater is Her madanakya-mahabhava. How glorious is Her love!

Uddhava realized something and he began to speak: “We also want that love and affection for Krishna but we have none. The whole world wants that love and affection for Krishna – including those who are fearful of worldly pain. We – Narada Rsi and others like us – don’t want the birth of Brahma or any brahmana. We want this kind of love and affection. We want to serve the gopis.”

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam

[“The gopis of Vrindavan have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krishna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vrindavan, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet.” (Shrimad-bhagavatam 10.47.61)]

Uddhava prayed, “I want to be any blade of grass in Vrindavan. In this way, when the gopis go to meet Krishna, they will keep their feet on the grass and I will be fortunate to have their foot-dust on my head. The Vedas and Srutis want this, but they cannot attain it. So I want to be a blade of grass in Vrindavan.” Finally, he became a blade of grass in Uddhava-kunda.

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam

[“I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaj's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Shri Krishna, the vibration purifies the three worlds.” (Shrimad-bhagavatam 10.47.63)]

He began to pray to the lotus foot-dust of the gopis: “Vande nanda-vraja-strinam pada-renum abhiksnasah – I want to be the foot-dust of the gopis. I want to be one dust particle, at the lotus feet of one gopi, Shrimati Radhika. In a separation mood the gopis have glorified Krishna, So, I want to serve just one lotus dust particle.”

Gopi-gita, Brahmara-gita, Venu-gita, Yugala-gita and Pranaya-gita – these chapters are the life and soul of Shrimad-bhagavatam. If you will hear the harikatha of the gopis, you will give up all your anarthas, your heart will be pure, and you will attain krsna-prema. And it may be that soon, in a couple of births, you will become the maidservant of the gopis, and at that time your life will become successful.

Uddhava returned to Mathura and related all his experiences to Lord Krishna; and Krishna became overwhelmed. Uddhava was now somewhat qualified to hear from the Lord, and he began continually hearing about the gopis from Him. Uddhava requested Krishna to return to Vraja, but Krishna did not return. After some time He sent Balarama, but He Himself never returned.

Service to the gopis, and especially to Shrimati Radhika, is the aim and object of our life, but how should we follow in order to achieve that goal? You will have to come to Shrila Rupa Gosvami’s Upadesamrta. I wanted to speak about some verses from Upadesamrta and Manah-siksa, but now there is no time. You must read and learn Upadesamrta, Manah-siksa and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, and follow all the limbs of bhakti:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

[“Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words. (Shrimad-bhagavatam 7.5.23)]

I am requesting that if you have no problem to come, you should join our Vraja-mandala parikrama and Navadvipa-dhama parikrama. By touching the land of Vrindavan, taking Yamuna water on your head, having darsana of Giriraja Govardana, Nandagaon and Varsana, and hearing all the sweet pastimes of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, you can thus develop your Krishna Consciousness.

Gaura premanande.

[Endnote 1: “There is a difference between ragatmika and raganuga devotees. Those in this world who have raga (attachment), and who are just reaching the stage bhava, are raganuga. And those devotees who have not reached this stage but who are developing some greed (raganuga-pravrtti), will eventually be qualified to practice raganuga-bhakti. They are not practicing raganuga yet, but they are approaching it. Shri Chaitanya Maharpabhu came only to give this greed; and those who already have greed, to give them bhava; and those who have bhava, to give them prema. What kind of prema does He give? Not Shrimati Radha’s mood. Not unnatojjvala-kamatmika-bhava (sambhoga-icchamyi), a direct conjugal relationship with Shri Krishna, but unnatojjvala-tat-tad-bhava-icchamayi (a conjugal relationship with Krishna through Shrimati Radhika). (Shrila Maharaj’s lecture in Varsana, India: November 1996)]

[Endnote 2: Nayanabhirama prabhu was translating all of Shrila Narayana Maharaj’s classes there in Volgograd, Russia. Shrila Maharaj would speak in English for a few minutes, Nayanabhirama prabhu would translate his words, and then Shrila Maharaj would resume. Yasoda Kumara prabhu has produced several books in the Russian language, which are translations of Shrila Narayana Maharaj’s English books. His most recent publication is the Russian translation of Shrila Maharaj’s biography of Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaj.]

[Endnote 3: Shrila Narayana Maharaj spoke on the same topic in San Diego on December 20, 2001, in a class called “Uddhava Failed the Entrance Exam”. The following is the appropriate excerpt from that class:

“Uddhava had so much love and affection for Krishna, but vraja-prema was a totally new thing for him. When he arrived in Vraja, he realized this. He saw Krishna playing everywhere. All the sakhas were playing with Him. Millions of millions of cows, their udders bulging with milk, were hankering after Him. Milk was automatically flowing from their udders because of their spontaneous love. The very beautiful calves, black and white, were jumping here and there. Nanda Baba's big bulls were fighting with each other. And the gopis were churning butter.

“As Uddhava saw that scene of sunset, beautiful ghee lamps flickered in the gopis rooms. These lamps were not like this dead light of electric bulbs. They were soft and sweet. Fragrances were emanating from the varieties of flowers. Bumblebees were humming, blowing the conch-shell song of Cupid. Everywhere birds like the cuckoo were singing, and peacocks calling kee kaa kee kaa were dancing about. And all the gopis were churning and singing, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti. The gopis were all very beautiful, and mother Yasoda was beautiful to the extreme. If Krishna's mother had not been beautiful, how could He have become so beautiful? He would have been only black; but because of her, His beauty was like the luster of pearls.

Uddhava saw all this, but in a moment the curtain of that scene was dropped. Now he observed that all the residents of Vrindavan were weeping for Krishna, "O Krishna, where are you? Where are you?" Cows were not going to graze. They were all simply weeping, keeping their heads and eyes towards Mathura. The calves were not drinking the milk from the udders of their mothers. Peacocks were not dancing and all were like blind. Every being was mad in separation for Krishna. Now Uddhava saw this scene. Now it had become evening, and somehow he entered Krishna's home, where He saw the love and affection of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba and became dumbstruck. Previously he could not have imagined how such high-class love and affection could exist, but now he realized something of its height.

Early the next morning Uddhava went to Kadamba-kyari, where all the gopis were maddened and just about to die. Somehow, by the mercy of Krishna, he saw the gopis there. It was for this that Krishna had sent him to Vrindavan - to try to be admitted in the school of the gopis. Krishna had told him, "Be admitted in the school in which I was admitted. Then, when you return, we can speak something about love and affection. So go and become qualified."

Uddhava, however, was not qualified for admittance in the school of the gopis. His examination score was about 25%, and the gopis needed to see more than 85%. Although they rejected him, still he entered the school and saw the very high-class of students there. He saw professors like Visakha and Lalita, and he saw the principal, Radhika Herself. Now he knew something of the glories of the gopis. He realized something of their love for Krishna. He had never seen anything like this, and now he felt, "If I want to love Krishna, I must be admitted in this school. But I am not qualified." He thus requested the gopis, "If you don't admit me in your school, can you at least take me as a servant? To give water like a servant? To clean the school?"

The gopis rejected even that, and told him, "You should go. Return to Mathura. Become qualified and then you can broom our kunja. Right now you cannot broom here." ]

Transcriber and proofreader: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi

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