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  3. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja March 19-20, 2010 March 19th Isa dasa: Shrila Gurudeva, your daughter Sudevi from Alachua said she was told that you said it is okay to read the books of Ananta dasa Babaji. I am asking for her if this is true. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I have not said that. Paramananda dasa (of Ireland): The ahankara (false ego) of the baddha-jiva is making the body dance by the vibration of the ahankara. By guru’s mercy, can we rise above this? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If you practice the principles of bhakti, the rest will be done by Gurudeva. If you are not practicing, Gurudeva will not give the spiritual result. He can do so, but he will not. Isa dasa: Is it possible to make advancement by doing service without doing harinama japa? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No. There will be no fruit. Rohininandana dasa: By a sadhaka’s chanting, he cannot achieve prema-bhakti in this body. The maximum he can achieve in this body is bhava-bhakti. You told us that when he achieves bhava, vastu-siddhi is still very far away. When he leaves his body, he will go to that planet where Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the Gosvamis are performing their sadhana. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (to Padmanabha Maharaja) Have you heard me answer this before? Shripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Yes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can answer. Shripad Padmanabha Maharaja: It is just as you have stated, Shrila Gurudeva has said that when the jiva comes to bhavavasta (bhava-bhakti) and becomes further qualified, then Yogamaya transfers him to other universes, where these eternal associates of Gauranga Mahaprabhu – like Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and the Six Gosvamis – are performing their pastimes. In this way, the jivas receive the opportunity to have their direct association, to hear from them, and to serve them. In this way they attain the necessary samskaras (impressions on the heart) and qualification to directly associate with Gauranga Mahaprabhu in a future birth. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja indicates twice, as the discussion progresses, that this explanation is not correct. –ed] Rohininandana dasa: My next question is this: Do we see the same form that we see now? For example, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is a little heavyset and Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is hunched over. Every day we perform arati to them, and it is the vision from their photos that comes in our heart. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You will hear their katha, and you will follow them. Then you will come at the time of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and others. Then, gradually, you will come to Mahaprabhu. In this way, when you will reach up to Mahaprabhu, you will have svarupa-siddhi. Brajanath dasa: He is asking if we will see the same form as we do now, in their picture. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He will have the same features. He will not have a proxy (a person empowered to stand in for another). He will personally be there. Rohininandana dasa: Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja will be there? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: That is what I am saying. He himself will be there. Isa dasa: Shrila Gurudeva, you are the sum total of our guru-parampara – Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, etc. You are giving everything that they are giving us. So, why can’t we take all of this from you? Why do we have to take so many births? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is necessary for you to take many births. When a devotee attains the stage of svarupa-siddhi, there will be no more births. Isa dasa: How high can we go by your association? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can progress to an advanced stage of bhakti by this association, and by hearing daily. You will progressively graduate to higher stages by the association of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and then Mahaprabhu. Isa dasa: You can give us everything Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can give us. Brajanath dasa: Gurudeva, you were telling that if we are lucky in this life, and if we are performing sadhana-bhajana, we will take our next birth in the association of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to receive more training, because we have not attained the level of rati, or asakti. So they will help us further and further. Isa prabhu is saying that you can give us everything, and I am telling him that our container is not so good. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, you are not able to take what I am giving. Can you take it? Isa dasa: Not yet, but I am begging, begging, begging for your mercy. Shripad Srauti Maharaja: Our container is full of holes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: At present you are not able to receive much. I give according to your stage. There are so many things I am telling which you cannot follow. Rohininandana dasa: Yesterday, Brajanath prabhu was telling me that in Vrndavana ISKCON they are playing Shrila Prabhupada’s lecture, with a microphone in front of his murti. Everyone sits and watches, as if his murti is speaking. Is the siddhanta all right? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is not all right. Rohininandana dasa: But you have said he is eternally present. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is eternally present; that is true. But there is no need to do this. What is the necessity to put the microphone in front of his mouth? What is necessary is that we repeat his instructions to each other and to others. Will he speak from the murti what is on his mind at the moment? Will he speak, or not? Why this imitation? March 20: Acyutananda dasa: Can you give us an instruction on how to stop being greedy with food? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can control your tongue by chanting the holy name. Don’t give it any time to engage in chatter-patter. Shripad Srauti Maharaja: A devotee asked me through internet how to develop firm attachment to Krishna. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: By always chanting the holy name and having attachment for Vaisnavas and Shri Guru. Devotee: What should be our meditation while preaching and distributing books? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can meditate that you are doing good for others. Always be absorbed in that service and in chanting. Shripad Damodara Maharaja: Is there any relation between the form of Gurudeva that we see in this world and his form in Mahaprabhu’s lila? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can vividly see his form here; that is clear. In aprakata-lila (the pastimes which take place in the spiritual world) it will be any good form… Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Young form. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: …very qualified, very beautiful; an attractive gopi lady. Shripad Damodara Maharaja: That is in Krishna’s lila. What about in Mahaprabhu-lila? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Like others in His lila. Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Young. Shripad Nemi Maharaja: “Shri Krishna-Caitanya Radha-Krishna nahe anya.” Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna with the mood of Radharani. Does that mean Radharani is fully present with Him? That is why it is stated, “Radha-Krishna”? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, She is fully present in Mahaprabhu. Devotee: What are the symptoms of a fully surrendered soul? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He will always be happy. He knows that, “I am always with my Prabhu.” He has no fear at all. Tamal Krishna dasa: Yesterday, you were discussing that if we are fortunate, then in future lives we may go to Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Rupa/Raghunatha Gosvamis, and so on for our training to increase. You have explained that the relationship between guru and disciple is eternal; but also that guru-tattva is one. So, I have some doubt: When perfection comes, do we have an eternal relationship with you specifically? Will we always be under your guidance and in your association in Gaura-lila and Krishna-lila? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Guru is akanda-tattva. Nityananda Prabhu and Baladeva Prabhu are akanda-tattva. Therefore, guru can be seen in them. Do you understand? Tamal Krishna dasa: But my question, my fear… Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can see akanda-guru-tattva. Tamal Krishna dasa: But your personality is unique and wonderful. Will we always have the fortune of your personal connection? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should think like that. Acyutananda dasa: When chanting harinama, if any realization comes, how will we know if it comes from guru and Krishna, or it is just our own speculation? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If you are genuinely sincere, you will know, otherwise not. It depends on you – how sincere you are and how you have surrendered (atma-samarpana). Madhava dasa: How do we chant the holy names? Do we chant silently or loudly? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Both. You can also chant without mala. Shripad Madhava Maharaja: For example, you may be busy, or your hand may be occupied. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: First we are going to China? Brajanath dasa: First Miami, Florida, to Raghunatha prabhu’s house. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: By what way? Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Through Germany. Gurudeva mentions China so often. Brajanath dasa: We will go to China later in the year. When we go to Hawaii for your Vyasa-puja, we can stop in China on the way. [*ENDNOTE: Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami thus describes the competition between Shri Krishna and the gopis, which ended in a draw. Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami ‘whistled’ and gave judgment that neither side had won. Actually, we Gaudiya Vaisnavas do not want this. We want the whistle to be blown to indicate Shrimati Radhika’s victory. Radhika will be so happy, and we will applaud and celebrate. This is the real mood of Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Shrila Rupa Gosvami. If Shrimati Lalita-devi is the mediator in a game, she will blow the whistle to say it is a draw, that no one has been defeated. But Shri Rüpa Manjari will whistle to announce that Shrimati Radhika has defeated Krishna. It is Shri Krishna Himself who will experience the greatest pleasure when He is defeated, although His friends like Madhumangala and others will not be pleased at all. Kundalata-gopi will also be sorry that Krishna has lost, and Dhanistha-gopi may even faint. Krishna’s defeat causes such friends great distress, and His victory fills them with joy. (taken from Shrila Narayana Gosvami’s book entitled “Gopi-gita.”)
  4. A108-AI

    The qualities of a true guru

    Rupa Goswami cites verse SB 11.3.21 in the Bhakti rasamrta sindhu to describe both the guru and the disciple. Sanatana Goswami also cites this same verse in his book Hari Bhakti Vilāsa in a similar context, and Gopal Bhatta Goswami elaborates on it further in his commentary. The verse is as follows – tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam Therefore, one desirous of knowing the ultimate welfare should resort to a teacher who is well versed in scripture, has realized the absolute reality, and thus is fully peaceful. The qualifications of the teacher then are as follows. He/she is śābde niṣṇātaṁ – expert in the knowledge of sastra. The word niṣṇātaṁ means that a person is drenched in knowledge, like one is drenched when taking a shower. pare niṣṇātaṁ- has realization of it. The guru is also drenched (niṣṇātaṁ) in experience of parabrahman, and not only knowledge. Practices it in his/her own life. To recognize a genuine teacher is not easy. The śābde niṣṇātaṁ part may be easier to determine. One can inquire about Whether the guru spent a significant amount of time with their guru (several years). This is recommended by Gopala Bhatta Goswami in the Hari Bhakti Vilāsa (pp. 32 onwards at the link above). Whether the guru took systematic training in the different darśanas. Whether the guru is well-versed in Sanskrit, the language of the scriptures. These are some basic standards that should be met. Of course, it is not possible to discern the pare niṣṇātaṁ part for any disciple. The qualifications of the disciple are as follows. He/she Takes shelter of the guru. (guruṁ prapadyeta) Is inquisitive about that which brings the supreme benefit, which is uttama bhakti. (jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam) This means that the disciple must be detached from material enjoyment, otherwise he/she will not be interested in uttama bhakti.
  5. *****VARTA 4/2******* PARVATI, THE DAUGHTER IN LAW OF PADMANABHDASJI. ***Bhavaprakasha*** Parvatiji was a devotee of a ‘Rajasi” nature. In the Lord’s eternal Lila, Padmanabhdasji himself is one of the eight main Sakhis named Campakalata. Her Sakhi, Sucarita appeared on earth as Purusottamdasji Mehra Kshatri. She had a lovely character and made everyone happy. Sucaritas Sakhi was Rupavilasini and she appeared as this Parvatiji. She was extremely beautiful but spent a lot of time on her appearance. She was so proud of her beauty that she fell from her Lila position. ******PART 1******** Parvatiji served her Sri Thakurji very nicely. Purusottamdasji Mehra knew her very well. Whenever he visited Kannauj, he would stay there with her. Once, when he came to Kannauja, he first stopped off at Adel to visit Sri Gusainji. Parvatji’s hands had turned white [a form of skin disease] and she suffered a lot because of this but it made her humble. She then realized that she had been Purusottamdasji’s Sakhi and therefore he should be able to help her. She wrote him a letter asking him to tell Sri Gusainji of her plight, especially because her skin condition was causing her a lot of agony during cooking and preparing offerings. ***Bhavaprakasha*** She thought to herself, “I was so proud of my beauty and I was proud in front of Sri Thakurji. This is why I have suffered such a fate.” Therefore she requested Sri Gusainji to help her. ****PART 1 contd.***** She sent off the letter and included in it a coin to offer to Sri Gusainji. Purusottamdasji read it out to him. He also offered him the coin and relayed Parvatiji’s plea. Sri Gusainji said he would give his answer in two or three days. ***Bhavaprakasha*** This situation arose because she had been proud in front of Sri Thakurji. Sri Gusainji could find no other faults in her Seva. Three days later, Sri Gusainji got back to Purusottamdasji and told him to write a letter to Parvatiji to tell her she would soon be fine and fit for Seva so not to worry any more. Sri Thakurji would soon heal her. Purusottamdasji wrote such a letter and sent it to her. She was very happy when she received it and happily went about her seva without any sadness. After three or four months, her legs and hands were cured. She became very happy. She wrote another letter to Sri Gusainji and sent it to him through Purusottamdasji Mehra. She wrote, “O, Maharaj, through your Grace and power I am better”. She sent another offering in the letter as well. Purusottamdasji delivered the letter to Sri Gusainji and read it out to him. Sri Gusainji was very pleased. In this way Parvatiji was an accomplished Vaishnava who always followed the Lords wishes, thus always pleasing Sri Gusainji. There is really no end to her story. This Varta, is part of a series brought to you by the combined efforts of Vraja Kishori Seva Trust and Vrindavan Today. These amazing stories of pure Vaishnavas, form an important part of Pushti Marg literature. The “84 Vaishnavon ki Varta” has been translated into English by Krishnaa Kinkari.
  6. ← Wall painting at Vanshivat Vrindavan, 24.11.2018 Come the full moon night of Kartik and devotees are seen enchanted in the devotion of Maharasa. The Kartiki Purnima, or the Raas Purnima was observed in different ways in Braj – Vrindavan. It is a special day for Vrindavan, as the holy city was discovered on this day more than 500 years ago by Shriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This day also symbolizes the eternal love of Krishna for the Gopis, as the Maha-rasa was performed on this day. Celebrated in honor of Shri Krishna, His consort Shri Radha and the Gopis, the festival was celebrated with melodious songs, dance and folk stories. It is said Lord Shiva was named as Gopeshwar on this day, as He tried to enter the Divine pastime of Maharasa, in guise of a Gopi. Many cultural programs were also organized which provided platform for singers, dancers and musicians in the temples of Vrindavan. This day also marked as the last day of the auspicious month of Kartik. Visitors from distant places reached Vrindavan to spend this special day with the Lordships of Vrindavan. All the temples were decorated in a unique way, and attracted a big number of devotees. The temples of Gopinath, Gopeshwar and Vanshivat had the special significance on this day. The Gopinath temple was decorated with flowers and lights. Delicious 56 Bhog was offered to Shri Radha Gopinath ji. The Lordship was seated between the eight gopis. ← Lord Shiva becomes Gopeshwar Special cultural program was organized in which the western devotees also participated. They dressed themselves as Krishna and Gopis and performed the dance of Maharasa to please Lord Gopinath ji. Shri Gopinath Lal Dev Goswami Maharaj, the sevait of Gopinath Mandir said, “Krishna was given the name of Gopinath on this day. In the holy texts, the Ras Poornima has a special significance. In the later autumn Shri Krishna’s union with the Gopis with Dance & songs is expressed in Rasa Lila. Every year we celebrate this festival in a big way.” Like every year, this year also a procession of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was taken out for Nagar Parikrama from Amiya Nimai Mahaprabhu Mandir, situated at Gopinath Bazar. The streets were reverberated with the Kirtan of ‘Amader Prana Gora Ray’. Emotion busted out and tears rolled from the eyes of devotees, remembering the causeless mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The procession stopped in every temple and the image of Mahaprabhu was worshipped. It went to Gopinath, Radha Raman, Gokulananda, Gopeshwar, Govinda, Imlitala and many other temples before coming back to the Boro Gour Mandir. The Yamuna Ghats of Vrindavan and Mathura were decorated with the earthen lamps as this festival is also known as ‘Dev Deepavali’, the celebration of Diwali by the gods.
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