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  1. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja November 9, 2002 Today is a very auspicious day. It is the appearance day of param-pujyapada nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Shrila Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. He was born and brought up in East Bengal. He was a learned scholar and a good writer. When he first came to Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he saw that all the brahmacaris in the temple were very learned, and he thought, "I am not learned, so I should return to my home. There I will study Sanskrit, law, and other subjects, and then I will join and serve Shrila Prabhupada." He returned home and began to study law; but our Guru Maharaja, his elder god-brother and also like his father, went to his home and inspired him, "Oh, what will law do for you? Law cannot give you love and affection. At once return to the matha and study love and affection under the guidance of Shrila Prabhupada. You are wasting so much time, and perhaps you will die in the meantime. Please come at once." By the inspiration of our Gurudeva, he returned to the matha. The name given to him by Shrila Prabhupada was Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, meaning "the personification of perfected bhakti." Shrila Prabhupada selected a very good name for him. Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was so bold – very, very bold. He once went to preach in East Bengal, in Dhaka, with pujyapada Nemi Maharaja. Nemi Maharaja was an extremely learned person and an excellent scholar. Shrila Prabhupada used to send him to learned circles. He inspired all audiences to laugh and weep, and he inspired all by his scholarship. Nemi Maharaja was giving class there in Dhaka, and because Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was a good speaker, he called out to him, "Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, please speak something." Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari began to speak boldly, saying that, "Vivekananda is not vivekananda (meaning "one who has knowledge and a sense of discrimination)." In other words he saw the real meaning of the word in connection to that person and proclaimed, "Vivekananda has no knowledge at all. Vivekananda went to Western countries like America and gave a class on zero, saying that the world is zero. In other words, he was speaking Buddhist and mayavada philosophy. So he is Vi-ve-ka-nanda, not Vivekananda." *[See endnote 1] He added that Rabindranath Tagore, who had received a nobel prize, was nothing more than a ramachagal, a goat with a long beard. He should be in the kitchen where people who are interested only in cooking and not in hearing elevated hari-katha will hear him, but those who want pure bhakti will not be able to do so. *[See endnote 2] Hearing this, the people in the audience became upset and left that assembly, and they turned against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Nemi Maharaja sent a telegram to Shrila Prabhupada in Mayapura complaining that, "My whole preaching has been spoiled by this boy. Please call him back to you. I cannot preach here because no one is willing to listen anymore. All are against us." Prabhupada at once answered in a telegram, "Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari is very bold. He has preached what I personally wanted to tell. I am coming just now, and I will prove that he is correct. He has done billions of rupees worth of preaching here – not small scale at all. The right audience is attracted. Those who are sincere and know how to discriminate – they are attracted. I am very, very happy. I am coming immediately." Prabhupada then very soon came to Dhaka, where he called the entire assembly. He proved that the words of Siddha-svarupa were true to the highest extent, and everyone became very inspired. Siddha-svarupa brahmcari had great regard for his god-brothers, and in fact he used to refer to my Gurudeva as his siksa-guru. Gurudeva and he sometimes went to markets together with him to collect vegetables. At that time our Gaudiya Matha was very poor. The devotees used to take spinach and a few other varieties of bhoga, but they had no rice at that time. It wasn't until Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja came that everything changed. Siddha-svarupa brahmacari used to go to Howrah market, very nearby to the train station, two or three miles from Ulta Danga. He and Guru Maharaja would collect vegetables and put them in two big bags, one being heavier than the other. Siddha-svarupa prabhu used to run after the heavy one. My Gurudeva also used to run after that one, saying, "I will take the bigger one," and he would say, "No, I will take the bigger one." Guru Maharaja told him, "Why should you take it?" "You are my senior, so I must take it." Guru Maharaja replied, "I am elder than you; I am stronger, so I should take it." Thus they quarrelled like this -- a prema-kalaha, or loving quarrel. Nowadays we see the opposite. Now, what to say of god-brothers, even the relation between disciples and Gurudeva has been changed. Gurudeva now has to see, and to fulfil, all the desires of his disciples, otherwise the disciples may leave him. Gurudeva is serving according to the wish and desire of his disciples, while the disciples don't care for Gurudeva. Nowadays they don't think about the desire of Gurudeva, but at the time of Prabhupada the only thought was, "How to serve Gurudeva." They used to keep their lives in their hands for their gurudeva, as my gurudeva did for Shrila Prabhupada at the time of Navadvipa parikrama. At that time disciples did not quarrel among themselves, whereas nowadays we see the opposite. A guru has to be very careful that, "How can I fulfil all the desires of my disciples so that they may not give up bhakti?" I see and realize this. Very few disciples want to offer their lives and souls for Gurudeva; one can count their names on one's fingers. So, I request you all to follow your Gurudeva, the other disciples of Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Shri Shrimad Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. Follow parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. He risked his life and went by boat to America. He was very ill, performing an illness pastime, but he was not concerned with this. Rather, he was praying to Krishna, "What service can I do for You there?" So many of Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's disciples were like that. This was Shrila Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja, a perfect example of disciple. He did what his Prabhupada wanted, and what my Gurudeva wanted. He wrote a commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, establishing the link between Shrimad-Bhagavatam and Brahma-sutra. He also published two Bhagavad-gitas – one with the commentary of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura compiled by Shrila Bharati Maharaja, and the second with the commentary of Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Also, Shri Isopanisad and the books of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura: Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu, Ujjvala-nilamani Kirana and Brhad-Bhagavatamrta Kana." Shrila Shri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja was also a very strong ruler, so bold to speak the truth. He was a good controller and manager too. He was also a kavi, or poet. He had all good qualities. I am giving puspanjali in the lotus feet of Shrila Bhakti Shri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. I pray that he should be pleased to give us his causeless mercy -- that we can follow his footprints. I want to say that Rasananda brahmacari [now Shripada Shridhara Maharaja, the disciple of Shrila Shri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja] has spoken very excellently about his Gurudeva. Now we must go to parikrama, and upon returning, Ramacandra prabhu or someone else will translate the Hindi into English so that all can benefit. Also, I want to give my blessings to Janardana prabhu [now Shripada Sagar Maharaja] of Venezuela. He has translated five of my books: "Acarya Kesari Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami – His Life and Teachings," with all siddhanta; "True Conception of Guru-tattva," "Secret Truths of the Bhagavatam," "Upadesamrta" of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and "Happiness in a Fool's Paradise." I am giving my blessings to him. Now he is going to translate our edition of Bhagavad-gita and many other books. My heartly blessings to him that in the future he may produce more publications. Vrndavanesvari devi dasi from Spain and Durlabha prabhu from Mexico City have also helped so much. My thanks to you. *Endnote 1: (excerpts from the books, lectures, and conversations of parama-pujyapada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, quoted from his Vedabase folio): Disciple: For Kierkegaard, the important thing is not so much what one chooses but that one makes the choice. Through choosing one discovers his own integrity. Shrila Prabhupada: But it is not clear how a person can make the right decision. One man may choose to slaughter, and another man may choose to help others. Or a man may give charity to others and yet at the same time encourage killing animals. For instance, on the one hand Vivekananda advocated feeding the poor, but on the other hand he suggested feeding them with Mother Kali's prasadam—the flesh of bulls. So what kind of ethics is that? What is the value of ethics if it is based on imperfect knowledge? ("Beyond Illusion and Doubt") There is no difficulty. Simply one must be sincere, not sinful. But a sinful man cannot understand Him. The sinful man, he will say, "Oh, Krishna is also man. I am also man. Why I am not God? He is simply God? No, I am also. I am God. You are God, you are God, every God." Just like Vivekananda said, "Why you are searching after God? Don't you see so many gods are loitering in the street?" You see. This is his God realization. This is his God realization. And he became a big man: "Oh, he is seeing everyone God." This foolishness, this rascaldom, is going on all over the world. One does not know what is God, what is power of God, what is meant by God. They are accepting some rascal as God. (London: July 17, 1973) I have read one speech, Chicago speech by late Vivekananda Swami. He's talking to the audience that "You work so hard, why you give credit to God?" (LA: Dec. 16, 1968) Now we are speaking of Krishna and the Supreme Person. Mattah parataram nanyat [Bhagavd-gita, 7.7]. So there is no need of Vivekananda. When the Supreme Person is speaking, accepted by all. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that "You are accepted by authorities." Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Narada. We have to accept authority who is accepted by authorities. Vyasadeva, Narada, Devala, Asita, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Caitanya, even Sankaracarya—they have accepted Krishna as the supreme authority. You take the authorities statement. Don't go elsewhere. Then you'll be misled. When the supreme authority is speaking, take it and apply it in life. You'll be happy. Hare Krishna. (India: Aug. 17, 1976) Therefore sometimes we find that although they say it [the world] is mithya [false], jagan mithya, and take sannyasa and for some days they remain meditation or aloof from any worldly affairs, but later on, when they do not find Brahman, they come again to this mäyä to open hospitals, schools, as sannyasi. Just like in our country there are many. The beginning we see that... Vivekananda Swami, he took sannyasa and meditation. Later on, after his touring in the Western countries, he came to India to open hospitals, schools, like that. But if the world is false, then why you are coming to open school and hospitals? (SA: Oct 18, 1975) Hayagriva dasa: For Kierkegaard, the important thing is not so much what one chooses, but how one makes the choice. Through choosing one discovers his own integrity. Shrila Prabhupada: But it is not clear how a person can make the right decision. One man may choose to slaughter, and another man may choose to help others. Or a man may give charity to others and yet at the same time encourage killing animals. For instance, on the one hand Vivekananda was advocating feeding the poor, but on the other hand he was suggesting feeding them with Mother Kali's prasada—the flesh of bulls. So what kind of ethics is that? What is the value of ethics if it is based on imperfect knowledge? (Back To Godhead Magazine) *Endnote 2 (excerpts from his lectures and conversations, quoted from his Vedabase folio): Bhaktijana: Is he a nice poet? Prabhupada: He is nice poet from materialistic point of view. That's all. To satisfy the materialistic person. He is not a nice poet from spiritualistic point of view. We have nothing to do with him. (chuckles) We have to do with the poet like Vyasadeva. Don't you see how nicely he has written Shrimad-Bhagavatam? There is no comparison, even from the literary point of view. He is perfect poet. (New York: Oct 26, 1966) Prabhupada: Because they have no conception of Godhead. Nirakara [the conception of a formless, qualitiless God]. So nirakara, where is the loving affairs with nirakara? I cannot love the air. If I want to love, if somebody says, "You love this air, nirakara," oh, where is my love? Love must be there. Just like here we have got Krishna. We can love. We cannot love this sky. So they have no conception of God; therefore their love of God is all fictitious. Just like Rabindranath Tagore, he has written Gitanjali, "Tumi." Who is that tumi, he does not know. All the poetry's "tumi, tomara," and who is that rascal, tumi or tomara? But that he does not know. This is going on. Now if I say, "My husband, tumi," I know, he's my husband. Or his form is like that. Then I can say. But he does not know who is that tumi. Everyone... The impersonalists will pray, tam eva mata tam eva pita. But who is that mata, who is that pita? That he does not know. We say, "Here is your mata, pita, Krishna. Here is Krishna." That is tangible. Fact. Not fictitious. (Calcutta: Jan. 29, 1973) Rabindranath became very popular on account of his introducing Maghmela, where young boys and girls could easily meet. (Delhi: Nov, 29 1975) Gopala Krishna: How do you feel about Rabindranath Tagore, the poet? Prabhupada: (laughs) So you want my right answer? The answer is that anyone who has no Krishna consciousness, he has no good qualification. Or he's a fool, in simple word. So we have to test whether one has got Krishna consciousness or God consciousness. If one has no God consciousness, then according to Bhagavata: harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna [SB 5.18.12]. Those who are not Krishna conscious, they cannot have any good qualification. Why? Manorathena asato dhavato bahih. Because they are, they have no God consciousness means they do not know what is God; therefore their consciousness is either on the bodily platform or mental platform or intellectual platform. God consciousness is on the spiritual platform. (New York: July 28, 1971)
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    Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Goswami - lectures, 1982-2010. Language: English. Format: MP3. Content: Шрила Бхакти Веданта Нараяна Госвами - лекции, 1982-2010. Язык: Лекции на английском языке. Формат: MP3. Содержание:

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    Texts by Bhakti Vedanta Narayana: books, prayers, lectures, darshans. Language: English, Russian, Hindi, German, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Tamil. Format: pdf. Content: Тексты Бхакти Веданта Нараяны: книги, молитвы, лекции, даршаны. Язык: русский, английский, хинди, немецкий, итальянский, китайский, испанский, португальский, тамильский. Формат: pdf. Содержание:

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  5. Germany: Dec. 12, 2001 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [Respected Harikatha Readers, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Shri Guru and Gauranga. September 22 and 23, 2018, is the divine appearance day of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. We ask you to kindly accept this class, wherein he glorifies Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s mood of devotion by glorifying his song Vibhaveri Sesa. Hundreds of thousands of devotees around the world sing this song to their Deities daily, and we pray that you will be happy to read this very deep explanation for your meditation. Today we were singing 'vibhavari sesa aloka-pravesa nidra-chadi' utho jiva.' (From The song, Vibhavari Sesa, End of Night, by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura). What is the meaning? [Bhaktisar Maharaja:] Now the night is over and dawn is coming. All living entities should wake up with the rising of the dawn and chant these names of the Lord. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is the meaning? Try to hear very carefully. [Syamarani dasi:] Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is calling out to the jivas, "Now the night is over." Night does not only mean nighttime. He is calling, "Now is the time to wake up. Now is the time of nisanta-lila, the time to give up the darkness of ignorance, the time to begin bhajana of the holy names of the Lord. Bolo Hari Hari, Mukunda Murari. It is not that Lord Shri Krishna is in His holy name, or that He has taken the form of the holy name. The holy name is Shri Krishna Himself, and the holy names perform all the wonderful pastimes of Putana-ghatana (Krishna the killer of Putana-witch), Yasoda-nandana, and so on. Shrila Gurudeva has often said we should chant all these names, remembering the pastimes in relationship to those names, and weep in separation in the mood of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] We have forgotten Shri Krishna Bhagavan since the beginning of creation. From time immemorial, from the beginning, we have forgotten that we are Krishna dasa, servants of Shri Krishna. This is called night. By Krishna’s causeless mercy we were especially given the very strong boat of this human form, and He has given us sat-guru. This is His causeless mercy. He has given the favorable winds of sadhu-sanga, and He has given the human body and intelligence. He has given everything, and this is called morning. Vibhavari-sesa means, "Now your darkness, your night, is about to go, and morning time is coming. If you utilize these opportunities in a good way, your darkness will leave very quickly." Bolo hari hari, mukunda murari, rama Krishna hayagriva. Why did Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura write 'Dasarathi Rama'? Dasarathi Rama is not a different avatara from Lord Krishna. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that Lord Rama is also Lord Krishna. When Krishna performs His pastime of establishing maryada (rules and regulations, etiquette, and worship in awe and reverence), He is called Rama. The pastime of Rama is also one of the sweet pastimes of Krishna. The pastimes of Putana-ghatana, Nrsimha, Vamana, and all other incarnations are actually all the sweet pastimes of Svayam Bhagavan Krishna Himself. Ravanantakara. Shri Krishna is very powerful. He can kill Ravana, Kamsa, Jarasandha, and so many others, but He is makhana-taskara (the butter thief) at the same time. He is omniscient and also mugdha. Mugdha means bewildered and knowing nothing. Lord Krishna is both at the same time. Guru is also like this; in some cases he may also play in this way. Ravanantakara-rama, and gopi-jana-vastra-hari. Krishna stole the clothing of the gopis. He is Maryada Purusottama (the establisher of religion), and sometimes He is gopi-jana-vastra-hari (He who steals the garments of the young gopis). This pastime is apparently against the principles of religion, and this is very hard to reconcile, but Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is reconciling it here. Vrajera-rakhala. This means that Lord Krishna is the protector of Gokula or Vraja. Gopa-vrnda-pala. He is the protector of all the 'gos,' such as the gopas, gopis, and govatsa (calves) in Gokula. Citta-hari-vamsi-dhari. By His flute playing He attracts the hearts of all. Ananda-vardhana, prema-niketana, phula-sara-yojaka-kama. What is the meaning? [Rama-Sraddha dasa:] Krishna is like the transcendental Cupid who throws arrows of flowers; flowers of kama. These arrows are actually meant to… [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] For whom is this word used. [Rama Sraddha dasa:] For the gopis of Vrndavana. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Is the word used for Shri Krishna or for His arrows? Do you understand the question? What do you mean by 'arrows of flowers'? [Devotee:] It refers to Krishna Himself, not to outside arrows. The arrows are Krishna's eyebrows, His eyes, His smile, and His cheeks. By His senses and His sensory engagements, He enchants all the gopis. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Krishna Himself is the arrows of flowers. He enchanted the gopis by His glancing, His smiling, especially His flute playing, His walking, His movements, His speaking, and everything else about Him. For example, He called all the gopis in the dead of night by His flute playing, and then joked with them by saying, "Oh, the night is very dark. You should go home." Krishna is therefore called phula-sara-yojaka-kama. Puspabanaya dimahi. This means, "I meditate on puspabana, the (embodiment of the) arrows of flowers, His form, senses, and everything else about Him." Gopangana-gana citta-vinodana, samasta-guna-gana-dhama. Yamuna-jivana. Shri Krishna Himself is Yamuna-jivana. All the gopis are attracted by His sweet pastimes on the bank of Kalindi, Yamuna. If He were not there, the gopis would not have come there. He is Yamuna-jivana, the life of the sweet pastimes that take place on the bank of the Yamuna. Manasa-candra-cakora. What is the meaning? [Syamarani dasi:] The cakora bird only drinks the moonlight. Krishna is the moonlight for all the gopis who don't look anywhere else for their sustenance. They only look towards Krishna, and they become attracted. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No. You have given the opposite meaning (or the general, external meaning). Krishna Himself is the cakora of radha-manasa. He always tastes the beauty and sweetness of Shrimati Radhika. [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] Without the moon, the cakora bird cannot survive. Similarly, without Shrimati Radhika, Krishna cannot survive. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You must know the meaning of all these words. All are names of Krishna Bhagavan, from ‘top to bottom’. Yogendra-vandana, Nanda-nandana, and Vraja-jana-bhaya-hari are all names of Krishna, and they perform so many sweet pastimes. This song, Vibhavari-sesa, and also Yasomati-Nandana, which is also by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, are the topmost, sweet glorifications of Krishna. They are very elevated songs. Nama-sudha-rasa. Nama-cintamani Krishna Chaitanya rasa-vigraha. Nama is rasa-svarupa (the embodiment of transcendental mellow relationships), Krishna is rasa-svarupa, and His pastimes are the same. There is no difference at all. These sweet pastimes of Lord Krishna are rasamayi, composed of rasa, as is Krishna Himself; and His names are of the same quality. Gao Krishna-yasa, rakho vacana mana mora. "O mind, you should try to follow my words. You should have a strong belief in my words. If you chant, you will realize all the mellow tastes in Krishna, and your life will be successful." Gaura Premanande! Transcriber and typist: Ananga Manjari dasi Edited by: Syamarani dasi
  6. [Respected Readers, This year, 2018, Shrila Jiva Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day is September 21 and 22 around the world.. Please accept these two lectures of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, given in honor of Shrila Jiva Gosvami:] [Today is a very auspicious day. It is the disappearance day of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. We don't observe the disappearance days of Lord Krishna, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Rama or any other incarnation of Bhagavan, but we observe the disappearance days of His associates. By such observance we learn many things about their worshipable Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, Shriman Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. We can understand how they practiced bhakti-yoga and how they received the service of Krishna and Mahaprabhu. We can learn from their lives’ examples how they accepted the process of sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya and anartha-nivrtti, and how they gradually developed nistha, ruci, asakti and rati. This is more important for us. [Although they are nitya-siddha devotees, they sometimes act as conditioned souls in the beginning, so we can learn how a conditioned soul can become a pure devotee.] Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svayam Bhagavan Shri Krishna Himself who has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Shrimati Radhika, came to this world, but it was Shrila Rupa Gosvami who established in this world His innermost heart's feelings. If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not come, perhaps we would not have known His identity. Shrila Jiva Gosvami served Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and the credit for all the publishing of Shrila Rupa Gosvami's literatures belongs to him. By publishing Rupa Gosvami's literatures, he established his innermost desire. At that time it was very difficult to publish books because the authors had to write all their books with their own pens, as there were no printing presses. Jiva Gosvami wrote down, in his own handwriting, every copy of every book of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He was the topmost learned person at that time, and he preserved the legacy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Because he was always with him, he was able to write many commentaries in pursuance of Rupanuga Vaisnavism. If it were not for him, all of Shrila Rupa Gosvami's books would have been lost. He also preached, especially to Shri Syamananda Prabhu, Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, and Shri Shrinivasa Acarya. Try to practice serving the cause of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission as he has done. So-called gurus hanker to make many disciples. They spend so much money, make so many agents, and tell them, "If you bring five disciples, I will pay you so much." This is going on nowadays, but Shrila Jiva Gosvami and the Six Gosvamis did not practice this. How many disciples did Shrila Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha Bhatta have? Shrila Jiva Gosvami did not have any formal disciples at all, but the whole world is his disciple. Shri Syamananda Prabhu was initiated by another guru, Shri Hrdaya Chaitanya, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was initiated by Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and Shrila Shrinivasa Acarya was initiated by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, but they all came under the shelter of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. He then explained to them the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other sastras, and he also thoroughly explained to them all tattvas, established philosophical truths. They wanted to be initiated by him, but he refused. He told them, "There are so many elevated Vaisnavas more qualified than I. Please, you should go to Lokanatha Gosvami, and you should go to Gopal Bhatta Gosvami." They had not intended to go to them; they wanted him to be their guru. Yet, they followed his instructions. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura went to Shrila Lokanatha Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya Prabhu went to Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Lokanatha Gosvami refused to give Narottama dasa Thakura initiation, although the Thakura waited for many years. At night, Narottama dasa cleaned the place where Lokanatha Gosvami had passed stool, and finally, seeing his sincerity of purpose, Lokanatha Gosvami was bound to give him initiation. Similarly, Gopal Bhatta Gosvami never wanted to accept any disciples. By the request of Shrila Jiva Gosvami he accepted only one disciple – Shrinivasa Acarya. However, those two disciples, along with Syamananda Prabhu, went to Bengal and collected thousands and thousands of followers. Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji also never wanted to accept any disciples. Only by the special request of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did he initiate his son, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. He saw in his own heart that if he did not initiate Shrila Sarasvati Thakura, he would die. Shrila Babaji Maharaja was therefore bound to give him initiation, but he gave no initiation to anyone else. His disciple, Shrila Sarasvati Thakura, performed a miracle. He made disciples in all of Bengal, all over India, and after that all over the world. Thus, who is more merciful: the guru or the disciple? We see that disciples are more merciful than their gurus. This is because they go out to everyone, to invite them to experience the mercy of their guru. Once, when Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami and his disciple Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura were both engaged in bhajana, a thirsty person came to them desiring water. He went to Lokanatha Gosvami, who was chanting and absorbed, oblivious to his presence. Then, when he went to Narottama dasa Thakura, that 'baby sadhu' procured some water and gave it to him. Lokanatha Gosvami understood this and later told him, "You are not qualified. You should go at once to your village. I don't want a disciple like you, who has no faith in Shri Krishna Bhagavan’s name. Krishna's name is Krishna Himself. He has manifested all His power, beauty and opulence in His name. That name is more powerful than He Himself, but you have no faith in this truth." [Shrila Maharaja explained on another day that in real bhajana, the devotee is personally serving Shrimati Radha and Shri Krishna while chanting. Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami told Shrila Narottama dasa that he was not qualified because he had interrupted his service to Radhika and Krishna, and went to serve an ordinary man. Had Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura continued his bhajana, Krishna would have been pleased and the man also would have been pleased. By Lord Krishna's arrangement, he would have gotten water from another source] Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was so faithful that he followed his guru's instructions, and he also initiated thousands and thousands of disciples in the course of his preaching on his guru's behalf. I think that Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura is so much more merciful than his gurudeva. Although Lokanatha Gosvami is a manjari and Narottama dasa Thakura is also a manjari, it appears that Narottama dasa Thakura is more merciful. He had mercy for all, as shown by his extensive preaching. In another way, however, we can see that Lokanatha Gosvami is extremely merciful because he parted with his only disciple, who served him so intimately, just so the people of Bengal could benefit. There are many teachings to contemplate in this regard. Shrila If Jiva Gosvami had not written Sad-Sandarbha, if he had not written Shri Gopala Campu, if he had not revealed his commentaries on Shri Ujjvala Nilamani, Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu and so many other books, we would not be able to know the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. We therefore offer our obeisances today unto the lotus feet of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. We pray that we may serve our gurudeva as he served Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He manifested both Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. It is very rare for anyone to be like him. Transcriber: Yasoda Gopi dasi Editor: Rsabhadeva dasa Adhikari Ass't editor: Syamarani dasi Typists: Malati dasi and Radhika dasi
  7. September 10, 2005 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja [This year, 2018, Srimati Lalita-devi’s appearance day is on September 16th (in India, see calendar), one day before Radhastami. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled devotees observed the appearance day of Sri Radha's most intimate sakhi, Srimati Lalita-devi on September 10, 2005. The following is a transcription of the class given in her glorification, and it explains her significance in our personal lives:] Lalita-devi was born in the village of Karehla, and later on her father brought her to Uccagaon, the place of her pastimes (lila-sthali). There are still many evidences of her pastimes here, like a rock containing the imprints of her lotus feet and some small utensils she used when she and the other sakhis fed Krsna there. When the sun-rays fall on the imprints of those pots and plates, they glitter and shine. All of Srimati Radhika’s sakhis used to play with Krsna and Lalita in Uccagaon, and there are many places there where you can see their footprints to this day. On the hill there is a slippery rock showing a specific pastime that was enacted in a marriage arena. There, the gopis arranged a special kind of marriage between Lalita and Krsna. This should not be misunderstood as a real marriage, but rather a play marriage, like the marriage that was once enacted between Srimati Radhika and Krsna. This is technically known as Gandharva marriage. In that pastime, Krsna had been sitting beside Lalita, and the sakhis began to play mischievously. Visakha and some of the other sakhis tied Sri Lalita's veil to Krsna's pitambara (yellow shawl). Then suddenly, on the indication of Srimati Radhika, Rangadevi and other sakhis began to sing wedding songs while Tungavidya and others uttered wedding mantras, and the remaining sakhis showered flowers on Sri Krsna and Lalita. When Lalita noticed that something tricky was being done to her, she tried to run away, but because her garments were tied to Krsna's pitambara, she could not do so. All the sakhis then surrounded the couple and married them. Even today, one can see the indication of the slide on the hill, as well as the markings of alta (red lac) from the gopis’ feet. Although this pastime took place 5000 years ago, you can still visualize it with your own eyes. Lalita is 27 days elder than Radharani. [According to the tithi calculation, Lalita-devi's appearance day falls on the day before Srimati Radhika's appearance day.] She generally has the same loving mood towards both Radha and Krsna, yet she is more inclined towards Srimati Radhika. The following is the Sanskrit song called Sri Lalita-astakam, along with its translation, and I will further explain each verse. This Lalita-astakam was composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami: radha-mukunda-pada-sambhava-gharma-bindu nirmanchanopakarani-krta-deha-laksam uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer my obeisance unto the outspoken Sri Lalita-devi, who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), and thus her service self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet. She is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart's desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 1)] There are four types of sakhis: svapaksa, vipaksa, tatastha and suhrt. Svapaksa means those sakhis who are totally favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika. Vipaksa means those gopis who are totally favorably disposed towards Candravali and opposed to Radhika. Tatastha means those who are neutral towards Srimati Radhika and more favorably disposed towards Candravali. Suhrt means those who are more favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika and neutral towards Candravali. Suhrt gopis never do anything unfavorable towards Srimati Radhika. Lalita-devi and Visakha-devi are examples of gopis who are svapaksa to Srimati Radhika, Candravali is vipaksa, Bhadra is tatastha, and Syamala is suhrt. The mood of Lalita is that she is always trying to favorably serve the pastimes of Radha and Krsna; she always tries to please Them. She engages in millions upon millions of endeavors to please Them. When Radha and Krsna meet and engage in amorous pastimes, Lalita wipes away the droplets of perspiration on Their lotus feet. This means that she is engaged day and night in the service of Their sweet pastimes. There are two types of services in madhurya-rasa (conjugal rasa). One is in the mood of the manjaris and the other in the mood of the sakhis. Lalita always serves in the mood of a sakhi. One of her qualities is that she has some controlling mentality. She can command both Radha and Krsna, but at the same time she has a friendly disposition towards both of Them. She is always immersed in the ocean of love. She is very beautiful and very sweet, but at the same time very sober and composed. Her heart is so sweet that she attracts the heart of all others, but at the same time she is pragalbha, which means she can speak harsh words, and can thus control both Radha and Krsna. raka-sudha-kirana-mandala-kanti-dandi vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram radha-prasadhana-vidhana-kala-prasiddham devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 2)] This verse begins by describing Srimati Lalita-devi's beauty. She is so beautiful that her beauty surpasses the combined beauty of millions of moons, and her eyes are said to be so restless that they can defeat the restlessness of the eyes of a female deer. Her specific quality is that she is very expert in applying make-up, and especially in arranging the hair decoration of Srimati Radhika. Although all the eight principle sakhis are very famous in putting on the bodily decorations and applying the make-up of Srimati Radhika, Lalita and Visakha are the most expert. Moreover, of these two, Lalita is considered the most proficient. The pastime of decorating Srimati Radhika by Lalita and the other sakhis is described in "Govinda-lilamrta", written by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and in "Krsna-bhavanamrta," written by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Those who want to serve Radha and Krsna in the mood of a manjari should seriously take help from these scriptures. Sadhakas (devotional practitioners) can find pastimes such as the above-mentioned in those books, and they can try to be absorbed in them at the time of their devotional practices. With reference to the verse above, Lalita and the other sakhis tell Srimati Radhika, "When you go to meet with Krsna, this is how You should behave with Him." They want Sri Krsna to be totally under the spell of Srimati Radhika. While they are applying kajal (black eyeliner), they remind Srimati Radhika or Her previous pastimes with Krsna. For example, once, when She was going out to meet Krsna, She forgot to put kajal on one of Her eyes, and Krsna Himself put it on upon Her arrival. Similar pastimes are brought to the attention of Srimati Radhika at the time of putting on Her make-up, and in that way Her mood of bringing pleasure to Krsna is enhanced. When the gopis put the tilaka mark on Her forehead, they recite the kama-yantra, which still further inspires Srimati Radhika in the mood of Her service to Krsna. All these pastimes are arranged by Lalita-devi, and therefore she is described as the fountainhead of various wonderful qualities. lasyollasad-bhujaga-satru-patatra-citra pattamsukabharana-kanculikancitangim gorocana-ruci-vigarhana-gaurimanam devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana, the bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water during the svati-naksatra constellation hits the head of a qualified cow, and she possesses innumerable good qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 3)] This verse gives a similarity with a peacock. When the rainy season comes, the peacock becomes very happy. He has been especially gifted by God to have beautiful colors on his feathers, and he expresses his happiness on seeing the clouds by spreading his wings. In the same way, Srimati Lalita-devi's dresses are so beautifully ornamented and colored that they express the mood of a peacock showing his happiness by spreading his wings. The color of her sari, various kinds of necklaces and all her ornaments brilliantly glitter, and all this glittering combined with the luster of her own body give a profound impression. The word gorocana is also mentioned in this verse. In that connection there is a particular constellation called svati-naksatra. When rain water hits the hoof of a cow at that time, it becomes yellow, like the color of turmeric. This very special yellow color of gorocana defeats even the shimmer of gold, and the substance gorocana is also considered very costly. This is the impression Lalita-devi gives when she is serving Srimati Radhika with all her paraphernalia, ornaments and beauty. dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)] radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim devim gunaih sulalitam namami [I offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, "You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!" (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 5)] Srimati Radhika is controlled by the extreme love of Lalita-sakhi. When She is with Lalita-sakhi, Lalita can even chastise Her: "When Krsna comes, You should remain very unsubmissive and enter a sulky mood." Radhika may reply, "What can I do? As soon as I see Krsna in the distance, My sulky mood goes away. I cannot maintain it." Then with a raised finger, Lalita says, "Don't give up your unsubmissive mood. You should chastise Krsna, for He has so many bad qualities. He is crooked and unchaste. He is a cheater. He will come to You early in the morning – and what will He do? He will hold onto Your feet and beg forgiveness. But don't believe anything He says. Don't become submissive. Instead, You should chastise Him!" Sakhis are of two types and two moods: (1) daksina – right wing or submissive. This is called ghrta-sneha (like ghee), and it is a quality of Candravali's group. (2) vamya – contrary or unsubmissive. This is called madhu-sneha (like honey), and it is a quality of Radhika's group. [Ghee is wholesome, but without much taste, whereas honey is wholesome and also sweet] Radhika's mood is called vamya (left-wing, contrary, or unsubmissive) and Candravali's mood is called daksina (right-wing, or submissive). Only those gopis in the mood of vamya can completely control Krsna. The two groups, that is, Radhika's group and Candravali's group, do not appreciate each other. Candravali criticizes Srimati Radhika and Her group, saying, "How can they dare to do maan (be in a sulky mood) towards Krsna? He is so sweet and lovely!" Srimati Radhika and Her group think, "Why does Candravali become so submissive towards Krsna!?" Srimati Radhika says, "One must apply a weapon to control Krsna. Why doesn't Candravali control Him like us? How can she serve Him if she is not like us?" Thus, both groups cannot appreciate each other's moods. Lalita is the siksa-guru of all the gopis in Radhika's group, and also of Radhika Herself. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes: Lalita-devi sometimes chastises Radhika, saying, "Oh Kalankini, Oh unchaste one, [She will be called unchaste by Her in-laws, and for that reason She may try to be contrary, but Lalita-devi is telling Her here that no matter what others say, She should still be contrary to Krsna.] Don't become submissive to Krsna." In this song, Srila Rupa Gosvami repeatedly offers his prostrated obeisances to Srimati Lalita-devi. If Sri Krsna approaches Srimati Radhika and uses some clever cheating words, Lalita-devi cannot tolerate it. In nisanta-lila, Srimati Radhika has been waiting all night for Krsna to come, and yet He doesn't come. He finally comes very early in the morning, with signs on His divine body that He has been with other gopis. Lalita-devi tells Him, "Don't come here. We don't want Your service. Where is Your beloved? You should go to her." His eyes are very red and other symptoms are there. Lalita then chastises Him, saying, "Yes, I know You, Krsna. You are very chaste, simple and honest." By her sharp and harsh words, she makes Krsna ashamed and causes Him to be shy. This is described in "Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta". Krsna sometimes challenges the gopis in the forest: "Why have you come here? Don't you know I am Vrajendra, the King of Vrndavana? By picking flowers here, you are destroying My Vrndavana!" At that time Lalita-devi says, "We know what kind of 'protector' You are. Actually you have never planted one seed or watered one tree. Instead, with Your hundreds of thousands of cows, it is You who destroys Vrndavana. We are the real owners of Vrndavana. We have planted every seed and watered every tree." Krsna then says, "Don't you know who I am? I am a very religious person and I have never told a lie." Then Srimati Lalita-devi says, "Yes, we know what type of religious person You are. We heard that when You were only seven days old, You killed a woman named Putana, who came as a mother to You. And which house in Vrndavana have You not stolen from? Are You the same religious person who stole all the clothing of the gopis? Are You the same religious person who performed rasa-lila with all the married gopis of Vrndavana?" Krsna then becomes ashamed. vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam radha-balavaraja-jivita-nirvisesam devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi's parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 6)] Without the presence of vatsalya-rasa (parental love), the glories of madhurya-rasa (conjugal love) do not manifest. One example occurs when Srimati Radhika goes with all Her sakhis to Nandagaon to cook. Mother Yasoda is there, but there is no disturbance. When Srimati Radhika goes to Nanda-bhavana with Lalita and the asta-sakhis (Radhika's eight most intimate friends), Yasoda-devi exhibits intense parental love towards Her – not less than the parental love she has towards her son Krsna. She also shows great affection to all the other sakhis and manjaris, because of their relation with Her. All the asta-sakhis have so many excellent qualities, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, "Of all the gopis, the asta-sakhis are the topmost." For example, Srimati Tungavidya-devi can speak with all types of birds and animals. She understands their language and can communicate with them. What can be greater than performing services to Srimati Radhika under the guidance of Lalita and Visakha and the other asta-sakhis? Lalita and Visakha are the siksa-gurus of all the gopis in the group of Srimati Radhika. Lalita-devi's life and soul is Srimati Radhika and Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami prays, "I offer pranama again and again unto Srimati Lalita-devi." yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu-jayah preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam sadyas tad-ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami ["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)] Lalita has many charming qualities. What is Her greatest quality – Her quality that is most favorable for the sadhakas of this world? If she sees in Vrndavana any gopi, or anyone who has even a slight touch of a scent of desire to serve Srimati Radhika, she immediately fulfills that gopi's desire and gives her the unlimited wealth of the service of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. If one has a one-pointed desire to perform service to Srimati Radhika under the direct guidance of Srimati Lalita-devi, and furthermore under the shelter of Sri Rupa Manjari, that devotee may know that Lalita-devi's shelter is the only path by which one can achieve this. radha-vrajendra-suta-sangama-ranga-caryam varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami [I offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 8)] Without the mercy of Lalita-devi, Giriraja or Yamuna, it is not possible to enter rasa-lila. The first and greatest is Srimati Lalita-devi herself, the second is Giriraja Govardhana and the third is Yamuna or Visakha-devi. Lalita is the same age as Srimati Radhika, or she is twenty-seven days older. [It may happen one way in one yuga (millennium) and one way in another.] Like Radhika, Lalita also has all the qualities of being a yuthesvari – able to control her own group of subservient gopis. Why is she qualified to be a yuthesvari? If Bhadra, Syamala or Candravali can become yuthesvaris, then what to speak of Lalita-devi? However, despite being the same age as Radhika and having the qualification of a yuthesvari, still, the only goal of her life is to serve Srimati Radhika and to facilitate the meeting of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Her only happiness is the meeting of Radha and Krsna, and to achieve that goal, she never considers any amount of discomfort or suffering. Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays: padabjayos tava vina vara-dasyam eva nanyat kadapi samaye kila devi yace sakhyaya te mama namo 'stu namo 'stu nityam dasyaya te mama raso 'stu raso 'stu satyam [O Goddess! I shall never pray to You for anything but the excellent service of Your lotus feet. I offer my constant obeisances unto the idea of becoming Your friend, but I truly relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant. (Vilap-kusumanjali text 16)] "Oh, I offer my obeisances millions of times to the position of a sakhi of Srimati Radhika. But my only real desire, birth after birth, is to attain the service of Srimati Radhika in the mood of a manjari. I have no desire to become equal to Radhika, like the sakhis." Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also prays, "I will never leave the feet of Radhika to go to Krsna. Even if Krsna goes to Dvaraka and calls me there, I will not go. However, if out of some madness Radhika has somehow gone to Dvaraka, I will fly even faster than Garuda to serve Her there." (Svaniyama dasakam, verses 3 and 4) nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli [If a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, he will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika's own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja's family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 9)] In conclusion, Srimati Lalita-devi is the wish-fulfilling tree of the prema-seva (service in love) of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Whoever chants this Lalita-astakam will make Radha and Krsna happy. Moreover, Lalita-devi herself will be happy, and all our desires will be fulfilled.
  8. A108-AI

    Shri Radhastami

    14 September 2002 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [In the early morning of September 14th, 2002, in order to commence the celebration of Sri Radhastami in the opulently decorated Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja requested the devotees to sing "Sri Krsna Virahe" by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. After that he explained some of the verses as follows:] sri krsna-virahe, radhikara dasa, ami to' sahite nari yugala-milana, sukhera karana, jivana chadite pari ["I am absolutely unable to tolerate Sri Radhika's pitiable condition when She is suffering in separation from Sri Krsna, but I am fully prepared to immediately give up my life for the sake of Their happy reunion." (Verse 1)] Only under the guidance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is it possible to render service to Srimati Radhika. In the mood of a maidservant of Srimati Radhika, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written that he cannot tolerate Radhika's condition during the time of Her separation from Krsna. And, for Their meeting together, he is readily prepared to easily give up his life. radhka-carana, tyajiya amara, ksaneke pralaya hoya radhikara tare, sata-bara mari, se duhkha amar soya ["If I were ever to renounce Radhika's lotus feet for even an instant, I would be totally devastated. For Her sake I will gladly tolerate the pain and agony of death hundreds of times." (Verse 2)] Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is saying: "I can give up anything. I can even give up Krsna, but I cannot give up the lotus feet of Radhika, even for a moment. For the service of Radhika I am prepared to die hundreds and millions of times, but I could never tolerate giving up Her association for a second. When will that day come that I can render some service to Her lotus feet? How can I have attachment for this Radhika, and how can I attain the perfect service of Her lotus feet? e heno radhara, carana yugale, paricarya pabo kabe haha braja-jana, more doya kori, kabe vraja-vane laibe ["When will I be able to serve Radhika's two lotus feet? Alas, I beg you all, O residents of Vraja, please be merciful to me now. When will you take me into the forests of Vraja?" (Verse 3)] vilasa manjari, ananga manjari, sri rupa manjari ara amake tuliya, loho nija pade, deho more siddhi sara ["O Vilasa Manjari! O Ananga Manjari! O Rupa Manjari! Please lift me up and bring me close to your own lotus feet, thereby bestowing upon me the ultimate perfection." (Verse 4)] Weeping bitterly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is praying, "O Vrajavasis, please be merciful to me! Place me in the service of the Divine Couple. Especially, please place me in the service of Radhika's lotus feet. When will that day come that Sri Vilasa Manjari and others will take me to Vraja? I long to render service." [The devotees then sang Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja's "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita," (The Song Glorifying the Life Goal of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)] [The following is the first Bengali verse and the English translations of all the verses:] Kothaya go premamyi radhe radhe Radhe, radhe go, jaya radhe, radhe Where is She who is full of prema? All glories to Sri Radha. (1) O Radha! Please give me Your darsana and save my life. Your wretched beggar calls out to You, "Radhe, Radhe!" (2) O Radha, You enjoy pleasure pastimes in the forest of Vrndavana, wherein You enchant the mind of Krsna. (3) O Radha, You are the crest-jewel among Your eight principal sakhis. O Radha, daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. (4) Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always calling out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (5) ...sometimes at Kesi Ghata, sometimes at Vamsi Vata. (6) ...sometimes in Nidhuvana, sometimes at Seva Kunja. (7) ...sometimes at Radha Kunda, sometimes at Syama Kunda. (8) ...sometimes at Kusuma Sarovara, sometimes at Giriraja Govardhana. (9) ...sometimes at Talavana, sometimes at Tamalvana. (10) Raghunatha dasa wears simple cloth which appears to be dirty because he is always rolling on the earth crying out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (11) Calling out "Radhe! Radhe," his eyes are bursting with a flood of tears. (12) He wanders throughout the lanes of Vrndavana crying out, "Radhe! Radhe!" (13) He knows nothing but Radha-Govinda throughout the day and night (56 dandas: 1 danda= 24 minutes). Radhe! Radhe! (14) He takes rest for only 4 dandas (1 hr. 36 min.) At that time he receives darsana of Radha-Govinda in his dreams. Radhe! Radhe! (15) [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has heard from Srila Svarupa Damodara, Srila Raya Ramananda, Srila Rupa Gosvami, and especially from Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and thus he is presenting this tattva. Srimati Radhika's name is Govinda-nandini (She who makes Sri Krsna happy), and there is nothing higher than this. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has revealed some of the names of Radhika in his Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila chapter four. One of Her names is Govinda-nandini. Govinda is the controller of everything. He is the extreme limit of the conception of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna. He is full with unlimited opulence and sweetness. Who can give happiness to Him? Only one personality can do so - Krsna Himself in the form of Srimati Radhika. She is Govinda-mohini. Krsna attracts all living entities, including animals, trees and creepers. He especially attracts all the Vraja gopis, but Radhika can attract Him. Krsna bewilders everyone in this world by His maya-sakti, and in the spiritual world He bewilders all by His beautiful form, qualities, and pastimes. He can bewilder everyone; yet Srimati Radhika can bewilder Him. Radhika is Govinda-sarvasya. She is everything to Krsna. She is the be-all-and-end-all of Krsna; for Him, nothing remains. Sri Radha is Sarva-kanta siramoni, the crown jewel of all Krsna's beloveds. All the gopis were searching for Krsna after His disappearance from the Rasa dance. When Her own svapaksa gopis (the gopis from Her own group) saw Her footprints along with Krsna's, they became very happy – knowing them to be Hers. However, when the other groups of gopis saw them, not knowing to whom they belonged, they could only understand that this particular gopi had served Krsna more than any other – and therefore He left the Rasa dance with Her alone. Sri Radha Herself has become Candravali and all the other gopis. There is no other beloved of Krsna – only Srimati Radhika. She Herself has become all the Laksmis (Goddesses of Fortune), and all the queens of Dvaraka. If one thinks deeply about this, he will understand Her greatness. Sita-devi and all the Laksmis are manifestations of Radha, and she assumes these forms to fulfill Krsna's desires. She is Krsna-mayi; She sees Krsna everywhere – inside and outside of Herself. Wherever Her mind or senses go, it is only for and about Krsna. When She sees a tamal tree She thinks, "Oh, there is Krsna." Her name is Radhika because She fulfills all the desires of Krsna and because He Himself worships Her. An example of His worshipping Her is when He took Her to a solitary place after leaving the Rasa dance, at which time even the vipaksa-gopis (rival party) also confirm this. Radhika is Para-devata, just as Krsna is: She is the most worshipable of all. Moreover, She is worshiped by Krsna Himself. Is she not therefore worshipable by everyone? Once Radhika asked Vrnda-devi, "Where are you coming from?" Vrnda-devi replied, "I'm coming from Radha-kunda. I saw Krsna there." Radharani asked, "What was He doing?" Vrnda-devi replied that He was dancing. Radha then asked, "Oh, who was His dancing teacher?" Vrnda-devi told Her, Your reflection, Radhika, which He sees in every tree. Whatever prema exists in this world comes from Radhika. She is the mother of everyone because she nourishes everyone by giving them prema. Krsna is the principle Deity of all jivas, and Radhika is also. This is confirmed in the Brahma Samhita: ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami ["I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency (hladini). Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa."] Sri Radhika is Sarva-Laksmi-mayi, which means that all the various gopis emanate from Her, and She is therefore the predominating deity of all the sakhis. As many beloveds as there are, She is their controlling deity. She is Kanti, which means that during Rasa-lila, only She could fulfill all the desires of Sri Krsna. There were hundreds of millions of gopis dancing, but when Radhika left, the Rasa dance stopped. Krsna appears as Mahaprabhu in order to taste all of Radhika's loving moods; He cannot do so in Vraja-lila. What are Krsna's thoughts when He is in Mathura and Dvaraka and feeling separation from Radhika? He prays to Her, "O most worshipful Radha! My mind always remains with You. I'm always anxious for the dust of Your lotus feet. Somehow, in some form, I stay in Vrndavana. O Srimati Radhika, I am roaming in those forests, playing on My flute, only in search for You. O Radhika, I go to the Yamuna, not to take bath, but only to meet with You. Otherwise there is no need to go there. I sit on the bank of Yamuna only to meet with You and serve You. "I stopped grazing cows, and I stopped all other activities. Seeing Your beauty I became so eager; My eyes moved here and there and My mind was restless. I used to wait underneath a kadamba tree, thinking, 'When will She come by this way?' I am meditating upon Your qualities, and upon Your beauty which is like the auspicious svati-naksatra (constellation). The skylark (cakora bird) won't drink any other water besides the water coming from the clouds at the time of the svati-constellation. Similarly, I am like a cakora bird, and Your beauty is like rain falling during that constellation. I am eagerly waiting for You, to have Your darsana. Your beauty and qualities steal My heart. I don't want those qualities to steal My heart, but I forget everything else in My separation from You." Hearing this, Radhika replied, "O Prananatha, lord of My life's breath, I am Your eternal servant and You are My life and soul, the only love in My life. I surrender Myself unto Your lotus feet. You may love Me or neglect Me, in Your life or by Your mind. You can leave Me and thus bring Me suffering. Whatever You desire, Your happiness is My happiness and Your life is My life. I don't want anything other than Your happiness in my life. As You realize My happiness and sorrows, so I can realize Yours. You feel happiness by seeing Me, but by seeing You I become millions of times more happy. There is no comparison to My happiness in these worlds. I am happy only by seeing Your happiness. I am always blissful because I have no concept of the happiness of others; I only desire Your happiness. I want to see Your happiness from morning to night, and night to morning. "By seeing Me You become happy, and therefore I decorate Myself in many ways with srngara (ornaments) and alankara (decorations). I do this for You only; I do this because by seeing Me with all these ornaments and decorations You feel great happiness. I dedicate Myself unto Your lotus feet only to increase Your satisfaction and fulfill Your desires. I become so happy when You say to Me, 'You are My beloved, My mistress, My life and soul.' No one can understand the happiness I feel; there is no comparison to it in this world. "When You say to Me, 'O Swaminiji, O Pranesvari Radhike, O My kanta,' My heart becomes overjoyed, because You are happy when You taste the words Radha-Pranesvari, etc. I feel shy to hear this, and yet I am also very happy. Externally I feel shy, but internally I am extremely happy." Then Krsna said to Radhika, "You are the abode of matchless love. O Vrsabhanu-nandini, (daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja), You are the abode of all rasas, and what am I? I am always moving from one forest to another to graze cows. I'm foolish and irreligious. Other than to herd cows, I have no intelligence at all. I don't know the rules and regulations of love, and only You can teach Me these principles. I am always running after cows and playing hide and seek and other games like a village boy, whereas You are the river of prema. I'm just like terribly hot sand in the summer and You, on the other hand, are the river of love. How can there be any comparison between Yourself and Myself? When You give Me the darsana of Your love, I immediately become happy –there is no comparison to my happiness. When You bestow Your mercy and look towards Me, I become indebted to You." Krsna also told the gopis during rasa-lila: "I have no qualification. I am only a beggar of Your love." na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna ["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)] Now He confirmed this, as He told Sri Radha, "I am so indebted to You. How can I become free from this debt? Please be merciful; You are the abode of mercy. Only You can give Me love and fulfill My desires." Hearing this, Srimati Radhika became shy and replied, "O Syamasundara, O You whose eyes are like lotus petals, O You who are the son of the king of Vraja. You steal My heart. To meet with You I shall give up all the rules and regulations of society. I will leave My in-laws house, I will give up all consideration of shyness, respect from others, religion, and irreligion. I want to come to You and keep You as My own. I want to keep You, even for a moment, but I am only a village girl. I have no quality at all and I am not beautiful. You, on the other hand, are extremely qualified and beautiful, and You are the ornament of Your dynasty. There is no rasa in me. I have no idea about rasa, whereas You are the abode of rasa. You are the ocean of mercy, so please bestow Your mercy on Me. This is My desire." Without the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, no one would have been able to write about these topics. The conception that Radhika is the center of all is exclusively for those in our Gaudiya Sampradaya. We have the speciality that "Krsna is feeling separation from Radhika." No other acaryas can write about all the truths present herein. Srila Gaura-Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is glorifying and praying to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in this kirtana called "Uddesye Racita Gita Boliya Pracalita." He says there that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was always roaming, sometimes in Nidhuvana and sometimes in Vamsivata, and calling out, "Radhe! Radhe!" Gaura premanande
  9. A108-AI

    We Are One Family

    [This year, 2018, the appearance days of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada is on September 4th (in India). Please accept the following glorification of him, given by Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja in Los Angeles, May, 2000:] Gurudeva graveI pray to my siksa-guru, my friend, and also my sannyasa god-brother. I have so many kinds of relations with him - so many. We used to talk, sitting on the same bed, or the same chair, and joking about so many things. Though I treated him as my siksa-guru, he never saw me as a disciple. He told me, "Our relationship is transcendental." I was so fortunate that as his last request for my service he told me, "Give me samadhi." I am so much obliged to him, because he gave me so many services. I know that he has not established anything new. He gave the same eternal Krsna consciousness, but with an English name. It is coming from Krsna Himself; He is the root. In this world, in this ISKCON, Brahma is the first acarya. Then, Brahma's son Narada, who is also Brahma's disciple, is the second ISKCON acarya. And Narada's elder brothers and teachers, the four Kumaras, are also ISKCON devotees. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu are also the real ISKCON. We should try to know that we are all in one family. Anyone who is following even a little bit, who is chanting and remembering Krsna in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu – they are ISKCON. They may be in saffron cloth and sannyasa apparel, or they may be in the grhastha asrama, with or without family, alone, or anywhere. All are in ISKCON. That is why the follower of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, has instructed us to honor all devotees who are in ISKCON, from top to bottom: kanistha-adhikaris, madhyama-adhikaris, uttama-adhikaris, and also uttama uttama uttama adhikaris. We have to respect every one; otherwise we are not ISKCON devotees. krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta diksasti cet pranitam ca bhajantam isam susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya- nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya (Nectar of Instruction, Text 5)| ["One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that Pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others."] Shrila Rupa Gosvami never said that we should only respect our god-brothers, or that we should only respect those in his own line. Never. Whoever is serving Radha-Krsna, anywhere in this world, we should honor that person. Even beginners who accept that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who also want to serve Radha and Krsna are to be honored. If one is not initiated, but he is not offensive and is not associating with mayavadis, he should also be considered as an ISKCON devotee; but as a kanistha-adhikari. Those who have given up all nonsense anarthas and misconduct, and who are not criticizing anyone – not even those who are fit to be criticized – and are always chanting and remembering Krsna, are madhyama-adhikari. There are so many categories in madhyama-adhikari: madhyama-kanistha, madhyama-madhyama, and madhyama-uttama, and we should try to respect these madhyama-adhikaris according to their degree of devotion.| We should also honor those who are superior, who are serving Radha-Krsna in astakaliya-lila. They have no time to criticize anyone. Offering pranama to all, paying respect to all, they think that everyone is serving Radha-Krsna. They are more than Prahlada Maharaja. We should understand that they are maha-bhagavatas. krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate tatra laulyam ekalam mulyam janma-kotibhis sukrtibhair na labhyate (Caitanya-caritamrta. Madhya-lila, 8.70) We should honor such a devotee, whether or not he is a disciple of our Gurudeva. He may be of the Syamananda-parivara, the family or disciplic succession of Syamananda Prabhu, or he may be of the Narottama-parivara, or he may be of the Bhirabhadra-parivara, that is, Jahnava-parivara; no harm. Wherever he is, we should understand that he is a maha-bhagavata. I know personally that Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, my siksa-guru, used to give proper honor to all. Although I was not initiated by him, oh, how he used to honor me. I was not qualified to sit with him in the same line, but still, he used to take me in his lap like a child. When he would see me he would say, "O, you should sing; I like your singing." He used to play the mrdanga. I know he was a first-class singer. You can hear on his cassettes that he used to sing in a pathetic tune (a tune revealing his intense separation feelings for Radha-Krsna), coming from his heart. And the hearts of anyone hearing him sing these songs would be melted. This is real kirtana. 'Pasu pakhi jhure pasana vidare, suni jara guna gatha.' Shrila Locana dasa Thakura sings, "By the mercy of Gaura and Nitai, even the animals and birds cry and the stones melt. Simply my heart has not melted." Shrila Rupa Gosvami has given instructions that we should try to properly respect all kinds of Vaisnavas. Rupa Gosvami knows the heart of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and your Prabhupada was a Rupanuga Vaisnava. Only very rare persons know what is Rupanuga; very rare. But one day we will have to know. Without knowing what is Rupanuga, we cannot advance. If we do not know all these things, we cannot even become madhyama-adhikari. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to this world with a mission of ISKCON – Vaisnavism. What was that? It is the same mission as that of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Who is Mahaprabhu? The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna Himself. But He is also more than that; He is not only Krsna. He is the combination of both Shrimati Radhika and Krsna, and therefore He is not only Krsna; He has combined with Shrimati Radhika, His power. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to always be absorbed in Radha's mood. Krsna did not have Radha's beauty and Her intrinsic mood. Radhika has adhirudha-mahabhava, and even more than that. Krsna's mood goes up to mahabhava, but beyond that – how to serve and to please Krsna – He does not know. He will have to learn by going to the school of Visakha-devi, and sometimes to Lalita-devi. Without the help of Lalita and Visakha, He cannot relish the mood of Shrimati Radhika. So this was the mission of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – to give these things. Krsna Himself could not do this, but when He took the beauty and the intrinsic mood of Radhika, then He could relish everything in Gambira under the guidance of Svarupa Damodara (Lalita) and Ramananda Raya (Visakha). And what was Gadadhara Pandita doing? He was watching to see if Mahaprabhu was playing His role perfectly or not. If He was making some mistake, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, in the mood of Radhika, would 'twist the ears' of Krsna, He would say, "O, You are doing wrong; You should it do like this." When Mahaprabhu was singing: 'barahapidam nata-vara-vapu,' Gadadhara Pandita quickly came and said, "O, You should do it like this: barhapitam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair vrndaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih ["Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland, Lord Krsna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrindavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5)] He was perspiring, His heart was melting, and His tears were falling like heavy rain. There was some defect in Krsna, and Gadadhara Pandita therefore instructed Him. To think that Krsna had taken away the beauty and intrinsic mood of Radhika and had become Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and that Gadadhara Pandita had thus become Rukmini, is quite wrong. It is not like this. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came for the same object and mission as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – for the jivas to be given raga-marga. They should know who Shrimati Radhika is, and what are all these moods. When he came to New Jersey, Boston, and New York, however, he realized that he had to cut so many jungles. If the land is not fertile, how can this seed of bhakti be given? The jungles were very dense and wild, with so many wild beasts, dangerous animals and poisonous snakes. It took time, and at the same time he kept everything reserved in his books. He told his disciples to read about the life and character of Prahlada Maharaja, Citraketu Maharaja, and others. He had so little time, because the bell rang. Krsna called him, "I cannot be without you. I need your service. Please come at once." He was then bound to go to his Prabhu. One may say that he has given everything in his books. Yes, he has given everything. But you will have to go deep, with the help of any pure Vaisnava: yaha bhagavat pada vaisnavera sthane ekanta asraya kara caitanya carane (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 5. 131) A so-called Vaisnava cannot give you these truths. If one is not following, what will be the result? You will not understand. No one can be in the same class for twenty or twenty five years, or for his whole life, or forever. If he is not advancing, improving, then he must fall down; and that is now becoming the fact. Prabhupada's disciples came with so much honor to serve Krsna. This desire was there, and they are engaged in so many services. However, they don't have any way to advance now, and that is why their whole way is blocked. Where will they go? They are sure to go down. We should not always remain in the kanistha-adhikari stage. There should be a way to go up to something superior, but our minds will not go there. We should try to make advancement through someone who is superior, through those who are practically serving, whose minds are there, who knows Prabhupada's mood, and who know the very deep process of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami that he has written about in his books. We should try to go very deep. You can see in the sloka: tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram (Nectar of Instruction, Text 8) Shrila Svami Maharaja has explained the mood of Rupa Gosvami so well. If a person has many worldly desires and is full of anarthas, no harm. If he has some greed to serve Radha-Krsna in the line of Rupa Gosvami, he can do so. He can think of Radha-Krsna. He can sing, "Radha-Krsna prana mora yugula kisora," and also, "Rupa raghunatha pade hoibe akuti, kabe hama bujhabo se yugala piriti". What is the meaning? Prema-prayojana dasa: When will I become eager to follow in the footsteps of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? Only then will I be able to realize what is the priti, the love and affection between Radha and Krsna. Shrila Gurudeva: How will this be possible? By the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. 'Ara kabe Nitaicandra.' Nityananda Prabhu's mercy is essential. I have heard Shrila Svami Maharaja sing this song: 'parama karuna, pahu dui jana, nitai gauracandra; saba avatara sara siromani kevala ananda kanda.' Even in the beginning we realize the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. But why has Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura prayed to Rupa-Raghunatha? Shrila Rupa Gosvami is the heart of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Rupa-Raghunatha can give the service of Radha-Krsna. Nityananda Prabhu can also give it, but not in the shape of Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu. He can give it in the shape of Ananga-manjari. Rupa Gosvami is Rupa-manjari. He can give all the moods to serve Shrimati Radhika. We should try to know these truths and advance from kanistha-adhikari to madhyama. Then we will never fall down. A taste will come, and when that taste comes in chanting, remembering, and hearing hari-katha, then Krsna will manifest in the heart and purify it. We will become madhyama-kanistha, madhyama-madhyama, madhyama-uttama, and then maha-bhagavata-kanistha. So, we should try to know all these things, and try to have all these things. First we should try to have taste. How will it come? If you are not always associating with a high class of Vaisnavas, even your chanting and remembering will not do. Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami has therefore given the process: First sravanam, and then kirtanam, and then serving and meditating. Sravana, hearing, should be done. Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrimad-Bhagavatam have both told: dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva hi kevalam ["Duties (dharma) executed by men, regardless of occupation, are only so much useless labour if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Supreme Lord." Following a system of religion that does not awaken one's Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness, is merely a waste of time and labour." Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 6.16.43] Shrila Gurudeva: What is the meaning? Shyamarani dasi: If someone is following all the principles of varnasrama, following all the regulations, and following the Vedas, but he doesn't have any taste for hearing from the topmost sadhus... Shrila Gurudeva: Even if he is chanting and serving in so many ways; even if he is reading the books, but... Shyamarani dasi: If he doesn't have any taste for hearing from pure sadhus about the sweet lila and glories of Krsna, then all of his activities come to zero. Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. You should always know this. Chanting alone will not do. It will not be first-class, or pure. If you are hearing hari-katha, then your chanting of the Holy Name will be pure. The Holy Name is always pure. 'Purna suddha nitya mukta vinatva nama namine.' The Nama is always Krsna Himself. They are not different. But we cannot realize this. We must always be hearing from realized souls. Narada can tell anyone, any creature, even just by looking at him, "O, may you now become a high-class maha-bhagavata." Simply by telling someone this, he can make that person become like himself. A madhyama-bhagavata cannot do this. He will give his association and hari-katha. A kanistha-adhikari can only say, "You should come to my Gurudeva; you should come to this pure devotee." He can only say this much. On one hand all this is mercy, but Narada can at once say, "O, Krsna-prema should come, and you should dance and sing." He has the capacity to say that, because he has controlled Krsna in his heart by his services. He is therefore a maha-maha-maha-bhagavata. I request everyone to remember that we are in the one family of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's mission was to give this vision. He came to these western countries where there was no sign of bhakti, where all were engaged in sense gratification. The people were always accustomed to take beef and so many other abominable things. Mercifully, in a year or two, he changed the whole world. It was a miracle. He translated so many books, and by his mercy he accepted so many disciples who were very powerful at that time. He inspired them and engaged them through his teachings everywhere he went. He made them all so powerful that you cannot imagine it. I know that in France and other areas Bhagavan Prabhu was so famous. He made a big school, New Mayapura, where there were more than three hundred devotees and also a big gosala. You cannot imagine. However, when I went to see that place two years ago, I saw that all the land and trees were weeping. There was no life there; it was like a desert. When Shrila Svami Maharaja used to sing there, he was weeping in ecstasy. But what became of it all after he left? So I request Bhagavan also, "You cannot be happy in this world, my dear friend Bhagavan Prabhu. This world can cheat you. You will never be happy. You should therefore have strong faith in your Gurudeva. He was not any ordinary person; he was transcendental. He came from there, for the enlightenment of all." jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam sthane sthitah sruti-gatah tanu-van-manobhir ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam ["Lord Brahma said, 'O my Lord Krsna, a devotee who abandons the path of empiric philosophical speculation aimed at merging in the existence of the Supreme and engages himself in hearing Your glories and activities from a bona fide sadhu, or saint, and who lives an honest life in the occupational engagement of his social life, can conquer Your sympathy and mercy even though You are ajita, or unconquerable.'" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.3)] All have seen that in this world there is no happiness. There are so many problems and problems. These problems are like poisonous snakes, and death is like a tiger. We cannot say when we will die. Problems are coming one after another, like very large waves of twelve feet and even twenty feet. So I request you all, not to come down. Try to have a taste in the Name and in hari-katha. And, when you hear that a good, bona fide devotee is coming and giving classes, you must certainly attend. This will bring you a taste in all devotional activities. All your paths will be thus open, and then you can go up very soon and very easily. You will see that your Guruji is smiling and saying, "Oh, I am very lucky that you have come. Now let us all serve Radha and Krsna." So we should be like a family – not thinking that we are enemies. There should be no fear at all. Why fear? If we want to serve Radha-Krsna in the same line as our predecessor acaryas, why fear? Helping each other, therefore, we should follow the mission of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, our Gurudeva, and Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis; and be happy. Then we may see that ISKCON will be changed. I went to so many places in the world, and I saw that nowadays hardly anyone honors ISKCON leaders, or their god-brothers, or even third class devotees. Hardly anyone honors anyone. That is why they are losing so much. If they properly respect each other, and also chant and remember, they must change. Gaura Premanande!
  10. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Janmastami morning Mathura, India: August 31, 2002 In the beginning of this morning's class, Shrila Narayana Maharaja asked Krsna dasa to lead the assembled devotees in singing Shri Mangala-gitam. He said that because today is Krsna's Appearance Day, we should begin by first singing this kirtana. Then he said, "Who is really qualified to hear this bhajana? Shri Krsna Himself is actually the only person qualified to hear it. Shri Jayadeva Gosvami is only singing this song to give Krsna happiness. He hopes to see the Lord pleased." After the bhajana, Shrila Narayana Maharaja gave the following elaboration of the verses: When Krsna sees Radharani looking towards Him with sidelong glances, He looses all His power and begins to fall to the ground. His cowherd friend Madhu-mangala notices this and says, "What are You doing? Your mother, father, and all Your relatives are watching. You should check Yourself." srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e kalita-lalita-vanamala! jaya jaya deva hare Shri Krsna takes shelter of kamala. Shrita means shelter, and here, kamala means Radharani. Kuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter of the breasts of Radharani. Dhrta-kundala. Krsna's kundala (earrings) are not ordinary. His kundala is the glories of Radharani, and He is always "wearing" that. Kalita Lalita: Lalita means very attractive and beautiful. Here, Lalita refers to Krsna's vanamala, His garland is made from different varieties of forest flowers. It hangs around His neck and extends down to His lotus feet. Jaya jaya deva hare: All glories to this Krsna who steals all the distress of the living entities. Especially, He steals the heart of Shrimati Radharani. No one can steal the heart of Radharani, except for Krsna. dina-mani-mandala-mandana! bhava-khandana e muni-jana-manasa-hamsa! jaya jaya deva hare Generally, dina mani means ‘the sun,’ but here it refers to all the universes. India is the topmost place in all the universes, and Shri Vraja Bhumi, the topmost place in India, is the crown jewel in all the universes. So here, dina mani means that Vraja-mandala, not the Sun-god, is the crown-jewel in all the universes. Bhava means ‘material existence,’ and it also means ‘bondage.’ He who delivers others from this material bondage is called bhava-khandana. In this connection, is there any material bondage for the Vraja-devis? They have none at all. Their only bondage is their feelings of separation from Krsna. Krsna is the only person qualified to remove this bondage of separation from the Vraja-devis, so bhava-khandana means that Krsna can remove the distress of the separation of the gopis. Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa means the ‘great sages,’ and especially refers to those who meditated on Krsna for a long time in the Dandakaranya forest. It applies to all the yautiki rsis (those who came to Krsna in a group) and ayautiki rsis (those who came individually) who became gopis in their next birth. Muni also refers to Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. Krsna is just like the swan, swimming in the minds of these munis. Jaya jaya deva hare: Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, "All glories to this Krsna." kaliya-visadhara-ganjana! jana-ranjana e yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa! jaya jaya deva hare Kaliya-visadhara ganjana refers to that Krsna who smashes the pride of Kaliya. Krsna easily removed the poison of Kaliya, although Kaliya was extremely poisonous, and after doing so Kaliya became like nectar. In the same way, Krsna can also smash our anarthas, or unwanted desires. We therefore pray to that Krsna. Jana-ranjana: Jana here means Vraja-jana, or ‘the residents of Vraja,’ like Nanda Baba, Yasoda Ma, and all of Krsna's friends and cows. Jana here especially means the Vraja-devis, and among them, Shrimati Radhika is the most prominent. Krsna is the only person who gives pleasure to the Vraja-jana. He has no other duty; He is always thinking how to give pleasure to Shrimati Radharani. Yadu-kula-nalina-dinesa: Yadu-kula means ‘the dynasty of Nanda Baba,’ not the dynasty of Mathura. Nalina means ‘lotus flower,’ and here nalina especially means the lotus flower of the Vraja dynasty, or the Vraja-devis, who are just like the lotus in Vraja-mandala. Dinesa means ‘the sun,’ and here dinesa refers to Krsna. Krsna is just like the sun for the lotus flower of Vraja-bhumi. When the lotus flowers of Vraja-mandala offer themselves to Krsna, they begin to blossom, and therefore Jayadeva Gosvami is singing, jaya jaya deva hare: "I'm praying to this Hari, who, just like the sunlight, can make the flower-like gopis blossom." madhu-mura-naraka-vinasana! garudasana! e sura-kula-keli-nidana! jaya jaya deva! hare Madhu, Mura, and Naraka were demons who were killed by Krsna – not really by Krsna Himself, but by other Visnu incarnations. Janmastami is known to have taken place on the eighth day of the moon, but in reality, the eighth day of the moon is the full moon day. In other words, the moon is always complete; only according to our own vision do we see that today is the eighth day of the moon – or the fifth, or sixth, etc. Although always full, the moon is sometimes covered in part by a shadow, and thus we see only three-quarters, half, one quarter, or less. In the same way, all of the incarnations of Krsna, the Visnu incarnations, are also Krsna. It is only our vision that makes us see any difference. It is generally understood that visnu-tattva kills the demons, not Krsna. But actually Visnu is Krsna Himself, Purnacandra (a name of Krsna that means ‘the full moon’), the source of all incarnations. Just as the full moon is also always present on the eighth, and any other day of the moon, Purnacandra, Krsna, is eternally present. In this way, when Visnu killed the Madhu and Mura demons, Krsna was also there. Here it says, madhu mura vinasana. He who killed Mura, and Madhu is also Krsna; the verse indicates Krsna. Garudasana: Generally Garudasana refers to Narayana, He whose carrier is Garuda. But here, Garudasana means Krsna. Krsna once made Shridama His Garuda-carrier. Jayadeva Gosvami is uttering the word Garudasana, meaning Krsna. Sura kula keli nidana, jaya jaya deva hare: Sura generally means ‘demigods,’ but Krsna's madhurya pastimes are not for the demigods. Not only can't they see these pastimes, they also have no qualification to hear them. Venu-gita of Shrimad Bhagavatam explains that the demigoddesses have a chance to see something of Vraja-lila, but they cannot see completely. Yet, even when they saw only the semblance of the pastimes there, they fainted and became unconscious. The demigods on the other hand, have no qualification to see Krsna's pastimes, especially the madhurya-mayi pastimes. Only those who attain a qualification like Krsna can hear these pastimes. Keli-nidana: Keli means those pastimes that are giving pleasure to this type of sura. amala-kamala-dala-locana! bhava-mocana! e tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana! jaya jaya deva! hare Amala means ‘without any spots or blemishes,’ and kamala means ‘lotus flower.’ Krsna's eyes are just like the petals a spotless lotus flower. Tri-bhuvana-bhavana-nidhana: Tribhuvana here means Vrajabhumi, which is the essence of all of the three worlds. Krsna is the only shelter of Vrajabhumi and the Vrajavasis. Jaya jaya deva hare: I offer my obeisances to this Hari, who is the shelter of all the Vrajavasis. janaka-suta-krta-bhusana! jita-dusana! e samara-samita-dasakantha! jaya jaya deva! hare The general meaning of janaka-suta is Sita devi, the consort of Lord Ramacandra. In the pastimes of Ramacandra, Janaka-suta is decorating Rama with many kinds of paraphernalia. This can also be applied to Krsna's and Radharani's pastimes. Sometimes, Radharani decorates Krsna in the forest. Janaka also means ‘father,’ and suta means ‘daughter.’ Therefore janaka-suta in this connection means the daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. Janaka-suta-krta-bhusana: Bhusana means ‘decoration.’ Krsna is decorated by the daughter of Vrsabhanu Baba. Jita-dusana means ‘He who defeated the demon, Kala Dusana.’ But, jita-dusana also means ‘those things that are very bad,’ like the very intense separation of the Vraja-devis. Hari, Krsna, removes this, so I offer my obeisances unto that Hari. Samara-samita-dasakantha: This Nanda-lala (the darling son of Nanda Baba) is defeating dasakantha, the many demons. Jayadeva Gosvami is saying that this Nanda-lala is killing all the demons in Vraja. Jaya jaya deva! hare. I offer my obeisances unto the lotus feet of Hari. abhinava-jaladhara-sundara! dhrta-mandara! e sri-mukha-candra-cakora! jaya jaya deva! hare Abhinava means ‘very new,’ and jaladhara means that the newly formed cloud is appearing in the sky. It is very soft, glistening, pleasing, and attractive. Krsna's complexion is like this nava-jaladhara. Dhrta-mandara: Mandara here doesn't refer to Mandara-parvat (one of the largest mountains in the universe; the mountain of the demigods); it means Giri-Govardhana. In one way, it can also be understood that mandara means the two Giriraja Govardhanas of Shrimati Radhika's breasts, upon which Krsna takes shelter. The elevated ideas in this connection cannot actually be expressed. We will have to understand them by our bhajana. Shri-mukha-candra-cakora: Here, sri-mukha refers to Shrimati Radharani, whose lotus face is just like the moon. Krsna always hankers to have darsana of that moon. Just like the cakora bird, Krsna is also always one-pointed. The cakora bird will only drink water that comes directly from rain, not from any pond, or ocean, or river. In the same way, Krsna is always hankering to drink the nectar of the lotus face of Shrimati Radharani. tava carane pranata vayam iti bhavaya e kuru kusalam pranatesu jaya jaya deva! hare Here, Jayadeva Gosvami, who is most merciful and a very rasika Vaisnava within our sampradya, is saying, tava carane pranata vayam. Vayam is plural. Jayadeva Gosvami alone is writing this song, but he is including us within his prayer to Krsna: "Oh, please be merciful. We are now taking shelter at Your lotus feet." Kusala means ‘welfare.’ What is the real welfare? Shri Jayadeva Gosvami is praying, "Oh, please make me the maidservant of Shrimati Radharani." Kuru kusalam pranatesu: "Please! We are taking your shelter. We are remembering Your lotus feet. Therefore, please make us the maidservants of Shrimati Radharani." Shri Jayadeva Gosvami is uttering, jaya jaya deva hare three times, so that Krsna will listen to his prayer. The position of the maidservant of Shrimati Radharani is topmost, and Krsna Himself wants to serve Her as Her maidservant. Although it is the topmost position, still, Jayadeva Gosvami is appealing three times so that Krsna will accept his prayer. He is indicating, "It is for this purpose that I offer my pranama unto the lotus feet of that Hari." sri-jayadeva-kaver idam kurute mudam mangalam-ujjvala-gitam jaya jaya deva! hare Jayadeva Gosvami is praying to Krsna, "Only You are qualified to listen to this song. No one other than You is qualified to listen to this type of glorification of Shrimati Radharani, and therefore I'm writing this song for You. I pray that you will become pleased by hearing it." What happened to Krsna when He heard this song? His ears stood up and, just like the ears of a calf or a cow, took the form of cups. This song, only meant for Krsna, is the only real offering of prayers of glorification to Him. He becomes very pleased when His devotees sing this song. He will be pleased when you worship She who is dearest to Him. Radha-Krsna's exalted pastimes are explained in Ujjvala Nilamani and other scriptures of the Gosvamis, and if we pray to pastimes such as Shri Krsna offering His head at the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika, He will become very pleased."
  11. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Mathura, India 20th August 2003 Shri Jayadeva Gosvami's kirtana, Shri Mangala-Gitam, glorifies Bhagavan Shri Krsna, but moreover it indicates the glories of Shrimati Radhika. This is because Lord Krsna's highest glories are not manifest without His being in Her association. This kirtana begins: Shrita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e – Shrita-kamalakuca-mandala means that Krsna is taking shelter at the breast of Shrimati Radhika, and this is because of what happens to Him at the moment He sees Her. Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvati describes how, simply upon seeing Her and by the influence of Her mahabhava, Lord Krsna's flute falls from His hands, His peacock feather falls to the ground, His pitambara slips down, and He Himself begins to faint. At that time He is taking shelter at the breast of Shrimati Radhika. Regarding this verse Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvati prays, "When will I perform rasa-upasana of that very Shrimati Radhika?" Rasa-upasana means rendering service to Shri Shri Radha-Krsna by following in the footsteps of Shri Rupa-manjari and Rati-manjari. In this verse, at the time of His leaving home to go cow-herding, Krsna sees Shrimati Radhika from afar and He begins to faint. Madhumangala catches Him and says, "O my friend, what are You doing? Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba can see You." Dhrta-kundala are Shri Krsna's kundala (earrings) – the ornaments or beauty that decorate His ears are Shrimati Radhika's very beautiful words. Hearing the sound of Her sweet voice, Krsna's flute falls to the ground. Kalita-lalita-vanamala – Kalita-lalita means extremely attractive and beautiful. Krsna wears a very beautiful vanamala, garland of forest flowers. A question arises as to who made this garland, and the answer is that Shrimati Radhika Herself has made it and placed it around His neck. Jaya jaya deva! Hare – Jaya is sung twice here therefore there are two meanings. Jaya Jaya deva hare means, "All glories to the beloved worshipful deity of Shri Jayadeva Gosvami", and it also means, "May that Bhagavan Shri Krsna, who is glorified by this song, be victorious." In the second meaning, "All glories to that Shri Krsna" is sung twice for emphasis. Mahaprabu is Always in Shrimati Radhika's Mood Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always in Shrimati Radhika's mood, but when He heard this song His mood at once changed to that of Shri Krsna. At that time He wanted to embrace the singer, thinking she may be Shrimati Radhika or Shrimati Lalita-devi or Visakha-devi. Therefore, when He was checked by His servant Govinda, He embraced Him and said, "I was about to return to My mood and nature as Krsna, but you checked Me. If you had not done so, I would have lost the purpose for which I came in this form, and also everyone would know that I am Krsna. You have saved Me." This is the first meaning, and in the second Lord Caitanya is telling Govinda, "You saved Me. If you had not done so, if I had touched that woman, I would have then jumped in the river and drowned there." In this way there are two very good and deep meanings. Many sannyasis, those in the renounced order, give up their sannyasa because they like to associate with ladies. They rationalize their activities by saying, "So many ladies come to me. What can I do? They come automatically, without my invitation." Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will not listen to these arguments, so you should be very careful. If a lady comes to you with a spirit of enjoyment, slap her and speak harshly to her. I am very strict about this. Although I am very polite by nature, in these matters I am very strict. I cannot tolerate this. Girls should be especially careful regarding their motives for coming here. They sometimes come to pick up brahmacaris or sannyasis, and I have warned them not to come for this. They should only come to hear hari-katha, and they should be very strong in Krsna consciousness. They should come to develop love and affection, like the gopis have, for Krsna – by first having love and affection for guru and real Vaisnavas. I request you all – sannyasis, brahmacaris and girls to be very careful in this regard. I have so much affection for my daughters, but I want to be very strict with them. Bhava-khandana – Bhava means the coming and going in the endless cycle of birth and death and suffering in this material world. Khandana – for those in this world, Shri Krsna puts an end to all sorrows and sufferings in the cycle of birth and death. The gopis of Vrndavana, however, have a different kind of suffering. For them, suffering means separation from Shri Krsna. Shrimati Radhika and the gopis feel great separation from Him, and He puts an end to that suffering. At the time of their separation He manifests to them in the form of a sphurti (vision), or in person, and relieves them from the fire of separation. Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa – Krsna Bhagavan is the swan who plays on the lake of the minds of munis like Shri Narada Muni, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami and of course Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami, who is not less than Narada Muni or Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. At the end of the kirtana Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami prays – idam kurute mudam. Mudam means overjoyed. He prays, "May all the world become auspicious and overjoyed." He prays to Bhagavan Shri Krsna, on behalf of all the people in the world, to manifest within their hearts the transcendental pastimes described in this kirtana. He is very merciful, just as Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who prayed: anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila, 1.4) ["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love."] Shrila Rupa Gosvami did not pray for himself; he prayed that Shriman Mahaprabhu will kindly manifest in the hearts of everyone. Vaisnavas are causelessly merciful; they pray to Krsna on behalf of all the jivas. In conclusion Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami is saying, mangalam-ujjvala-gitam, which means that this song is full of unnatojjvala-rasa, the transcendental parakiya-rasa of mahabhava-svarupini Shrimati Radhika. Pleasing Shri Shri Radha-Krsna Shrila Maharaja then requested the assembled devotees to chant Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami's Shri Dasavatara-stotram. At the end of the kirtana, the kirtana leader chanted "Jaya dasavatara, jaya dasavatara" – all glories to the ten avataras (incarnations of Lord Krsna). Shrila Gurudeva: Don't sing this ending. This song is not the glorification of the ten avataras. Kesava! Dhrta-dasa-vidha-rupa! – This is a glorification of Kesava, Krsnacandra, Syamasundara and Vrajendranandana. You can sing instead, "Jaya dasavatari – all glories to that Krsna Bhagavan who is the origin of all these avataras." The devotees then chanted the kirtanas Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam and Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, as they do every year on this very day. Shrila Maharaja: When Shrimati Radhika hears this Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam, She becomes overjoyed and wants to give a benediction. At that time She will bestow the lotus feet of Her Prana-vallabha (beloved of Her life's breath) Shri Krsna upon the devotees who bring Her so much happiness by singing this astakam. Alternately, if someone will sing Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja, which is the glorification of Shrimati Radhika, Shri Krsna will become overjoyed and He will want to give the benediction of the lotus feet of His beloved Shrimati Radhika. Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam has originally emanated from the lotus mouth of Shrimati Radhika, and she is singing it to Shri Krsna, either to His sphurti in separation, or directly to Him. Because His beauty is astonishing, She describes each and every one of His limbs. At the same time Shri Krsna thinks, "In this world no one has qualities as I possess. No one is as beautiful as I am and no one has attributes as I do. There is one person though – Shrimati Radhika has hundreds of times the qualities that I possess. She is My prema-guru." This is explained in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila Chapter 4, wherein it is also stated that the gopis have all relationships with Krsna. They are His servants, masters, friends, mothers, and so on. Every relationship that is had by anyone with Krsna is had by the gopis with Him. We know that Mother Yasoda incessantly nourishes, cares for and protects Him but whatever moods manifest in Mother Yasoda are present still more so in the gopis. The first verse of Shri Nanda-Nandanastakam states: sucaru-vaktra-mandalam sukarna-ratna-kundalam sucarcitanga-candanam namami nandanam (1) ["I offer pranama to Shri Nanda-nandana, whose face is extremely delightful, from whose beautiful ears hang jeweled earrings, and whose entire body is anointed with fragrant candana."] Lord Krsna's face is very beautiful when He has darsana of Shrimati Radhika at the time of rasa-lila. Shrila Vyasadeva did not write rasa-lila in Shrimad-Bhagavatam; rather it manifested spontaneously in his heart by sphurti, and then he spoke it. This sphurti takes place by the mercy of Krsna. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is an eternal sastra like the Vedas, but it is many times superior. Rasa-lila Removes All Lust Why did Lord Krsna manifest His rasa-lila? Ordinary devotees cannot understand it, what to speak of those who are fallen and engaged in sinful activities. Shrila Rupa Gosvami explained that Krsna is very merciful; if He had not brought rasa-lila from Goloka Vrndavana to this world, nobody would have the opportunity to understand it. By hearing about rasa-lila from pure devotees, one develops lobha (transcendental greed) to obtain that very confidential and difficult to obtain parakiya-rasa, unnatojjvala-bhava (paramour love for Krsna). Krsna performed rasa-lila to awaken greed in the hearts of those who are not qualified, to make them qualified to taste rasa. And, by the same exhibition of rasa-lila, He also increases these mellows tasted by those who are already tasting rasa. He is therefore very merciful, and Shrimati Radhika is even more merciful than He. The third verse of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Shri Radha-kundastakam states: agha-ripur api yatnad atra devyah prasada prasara-krta-kataksa-prapti-kamah prakaman anusarati yad uccaih snana-sevanu-bandhais tad ati-surabhi radha-kundam evasrayo me ["For the pleasure of Shrimati Radhika, even Shri Krsna Himself, yearning to attain Her merciful sidelong glance, regularly bathes in Radha-kunda, carefully observing all the appropriate rituals. May that supremely enchanting Radha-kunda be my shelter."] In this verse it is explained that Lord Krsna is merciful, but He Himself seeks the mercy of Shrimati Radhika. He goes to Radha-kunda and, according to all rules and regulations, He takes bath three times a day and then worships Shrimati Radhika and prays to Her, "Please give Me your krpa-kataksa, Your merciful side-long glance, because if You do mana and ignore Me for one more second I will not be able to maintain My life." These moods have been manifested by Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhajana means to follow in their footsteps and to recite these kirtanas, developing their moods, so that a vision of the meaning of these kirtanas and transcendental pastimes will come into the heart. Krsna has performed innumerable pastimes, but out of all pastimes rasa-lila is the best and most powerful. We have heard many times about the pastime of Mother Yasoda binding baby Krsna, and this pastime has astonishing power. Yet, rasa-lila is billions of times more powerful. Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami therefore said, vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah (Shrimad-Bhagavatam,10.33.39) ["Anyone who faithfully hears and then describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."] One should hear the sweet pastimes performed by Lord Krsna when He sports with the damsels of Vraja. We should hear them with 'anusrnuyat.' Anu means under the guidance of a sat-guru – bona fide guru and Vaisnavas, and it also means continually hearing these pastimes and rendering service to guru, and afterwards describing them. What will be the result? Bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam: here the word kama means prema-bhava; the love of the gopis will manifest in the heart, and as a result of this all lust will be eradicated forever. This is the wonderful power of hearing and describing rasa-lila. In their nara-lila, human-like pastimes, even Narada Muni and Lord Sankara were sometimes unable to check the power of lust, but this rasa-lila is called param-vijaya-lila – the lila which enables one to become completely victorious over lust. No one has the power to overcome lust, yet, our Gosvamis have manifested this lila and its deep bhavas, transcendental emotions, in their writings so that one will be able to overcome lust and enter into the lila. One should make the service of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna in this rasa-lila the ultimate and only aim and object of life. Gaura premanande!
  12. A108-AI

    Baladeva's Birthday

    This year, 2018, Lord Baladeva’s appearance day anniversary is August 25th and 26th (see calendar). On Baladeva Prabhu’s divine appearance day Srila Gurudeva Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave a discourse in His glorification in Hindi, translated by Radhika dasi of Russia. The below is a transcription of that translation. Today is the appearance day of Rohini-nandana Baladeva. According to the Vedic scripture Garga-samhita, Baladeva Prabhu appeared after Janmastami, but if this is accepted, there would be confusion. Baladeva would be older than Krsna by one year, and then they would not be able to play together, wrestle on equal terms, and have Their name giving ceremony performed for both of them at the same time. Therefore, Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained, “Baladeva Prabhu appeared after Jhulana-yatra on the purnima, the full-moon day, and, seven days later, Sri Krsna appeared on bhadra-astami, the auspicious eighth day of the moon in the month of Bhadra (August/September).” After Krsna appeared form the womb of Devaki in His four-armed form of Visnu, Vasudeva brought Him to Gokula. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of all relationships, simultaneously took birth in Gokula. In this way, He appeared at both places, in Mathura and Gokula, at the same time. Then the opulent form of Krsna (vaibhava-prakasa), who had appeared in the four-armed form, merged into the original form of Krsna, the son of Yasoda. In the same way, Baladeva Prabhu’s partial expansion first appeared in the womb of Devaki, and then, following Krsna’s order, Yogamaya transferred Him to the womb of Rohini. There, in Vraja, He manifested in His full feature. So, the partial expansion of Baladeva was transferred from Devaki’s to Rohini’s womb, where Baladeva’s full, original feature manifested. In Vrndavana, Krsna is the son of Yasoda and Baladeva is the son of Rohini, and They are the source of all other expansions. When Krsna and Baladeva leave Vraja for Mathura or Dvaraka, at that time they are the sons of Devaki. Devaki-nandana Baladeva lives in Mathura, and then Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha manifest from him. The first of this catur-vyuha (quadruple expansion) is Sankarsana. Baladeva Prabhu Himself manifests in His partial expansion as Mula (root) Sankarsana, and in Vaikuntha he manifests as Maha Sankarsana. Then Maha Sankarsana manifests as Karanodakasayi, from him Garbhodakasayi, from him Ksirodakasayi who is present in the hearts of all jivas, and his final expansion is the infinite Ananta Sesa. Throughout India on this day, all ladies bind rakhis on their brothers. Another name of a rakhi is ananta. People used to wear these anantas, made of either gold or silver, so that Ananta-deva would protect them. Baladeva Prabhu takes the form of Ananta Sesa, on whose coils rest Karanodakasayi, Garbhodakasayi, and Ksirodakasayi. In this way He serves them all. He arranges everything necessary for Krsna’s manifestations. He becomes Krsna’s sandals, umbrella and His seat. All that exists in Vraja is Baladeva Prabhu’s manifestation. Krsna is sat-cit-ananda. Sat is sandhini (eternal existence, or maintenance), cit is knowledge, and ananda is hladini, pleasure. Baladeva is the presiding Deity of the first kind of energy, sat or sandhini. Krsna is the presiding Deity of cit or samvit, and Srimati Radhika, the presiding Deity of ananda or hladini. Joined together, sat, cit, and ananda is knowledge in eternal spiritual existence, which is full of bliss. This is sat-cit-ananda Sri Krsna. When Krsna is with all His energies in full, sat-cit-ananda, then His manifestations are called svamsa incarnations. When He is only with His cit energy, then He is called Brahman. When He is situated within jiva-sakti, then His sat-cit-ananda energies are present only in minute form; this manifestation of Sri Krsna is called vibhinamsa, or the jiva, the minute spiritual living entity. Or it can be said that when Sri Krsna, leaving aside all other saktis, is situated in His tatastha-sakti (jiva-sakti), He is called Karanodakasayi Visnu (Maha-Visnu), whose expansions are the innumerable, infinitesimal living entities called the jivas. In Vraja, Baladeva prabhu is the son of Rohini, and in Mathura and Dvaraka He is the son of Devaki. He manifests in these and other forms to serve Krsna in all Krsna’s incarnations. In Krsna’s incarnation as Rama, Baladeva became Rama’s younger brother, Laksmana. Laksmana did not like to carry out some of Rama’s orders, like taking the exiled Sita to the forest, but he was compelled to follow his elder brother’s order. During the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Baladeva prabhu came as Nityananda Prabhu, the elder brother of Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu would lose consciousness due to being immersed in the mood of Srimati Radhika, Nityananda would take care of Him. Also, He is guru-tattva. He killed Dhenukasura, the personification of ignorance. He also killed Pralambha, who personified hypocrisy. Until our heart is not cleared of hypocrisy, we will attain nothing in the realm of bhakti. If we want a good job, good marriage, and good relatives; how can Krsna come into our heart when it is filled with so many material desires? Therefore, first Baladeva prabhu comes and purifies us of those material desires. He also killed Dvivida, who had offended Laksmana during Rama’s pastimes. When Baladeva visited Naimisaranya, Roma-harsana was narrating the sastras. Everyone present stood up to greet Baladeva, but out of pride Roma-harsana did not rise from his seat and show respect. Baladeva prabhu said, “I am jagad-guru, guru of the entire universe. Thousands of sages have offered their respectful obeisances to Me, but you did not even rise from your seat. You are not qualified to be a guru and speak Bhagavatam.” With these words, Baladeva Prabhu killed Him simply by touching him with a blade of kusa grass, and the sages cried, “Alas, alas! O Baladeva Prabhu, You have made a great mistake. Although you are Lord of the entire world, it was wrong of You to kill Roma-harsana, who was glorifying the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” “Should I bring him back to life?” Baladeva asked. “No, no, find someone else who can narrate Bhagavatam to us,” the sages said. Then, Baladeva prabhu put His lotus hand on the head of Roma-harsana’s son, Suta Gosvami, the disciple of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. He blessed him by saying, “May all the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Srimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures manifest in your heart. Sit on this asana and narrate all these scriptures to the sages.” Baladeva Prabhu is the original guru (adi-guru), who can give all knowledge. This pastime is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and there are many other histories as well. When Krsna kidnapped Rukmini, He conquered all the armies of Rukmi, her brother. At that time Rukmi raised his arm and vowed to stop Krsna or never return to his kingdom. He made a violent attack on Krsna, but Krsna caught hold of him and bound him up. Krsna was ready to kill him, when Baladeva prabhu arrived there and exclaimed, “What are You doing? Leave him.” Therefore, instead of killing Rukmi, Krsna cut his hair, leaving a multitude of locks hanging down. He cut loose the ropes that bound him and let him go. Baladeva Prabhu was worried that Rukmini would suffer if her brother was killed, and that is why He advised Krsna to free him. Thus, He solved that situation in the most excellent way. Happiness and distress are not in our hands, whereas the nature of our activities does depend on us. Whatever happens in a devotee’s life is not his karma, but the Lord’s mercy. When suffering comes, an ordinary devotee becomes hopeless and laments, “Alas, what shall I do?” Undoubtedly, such a devotee tastes the fruits of his own past activities. However, an advanced devotee thinks, “This is the Supreme Lord’s mercy. My Lord has sent me this suffering to free me from pride, and to make me humble and tolerant.” A true devotee accepts suffering with a smile, whereas a materialist accepts it with tears. There are many teachings in Baladeva Prabhu’s pastimes. There is a pastime about a disagreement between Baladeva and Krsna, by hearing which one might ask, “This should not be so. Does Baladeva not know Krsna’s heart?” As explained earlier, Baladeva is not different from Krsna. Baladeva is Krsna’s second body. The only difference is that They carry different paraphernalia (Krsna carries the flute in Vraja, and Baladeva carries a horn/bugle made of leaves), and have slightly different appearances. Why, then, would They have any disagreement? This question cannot be answered without knowledge of naravata-lila, Their human-like pastimes. During Their human-like pastimes, something may happen which looks like a quarrel. They are two loving brothers, but it appears that they argue. Father and son, or son and mother, may have apparent disagreement in their loving exchanges. Baladeva prabhu wanted his sister Subhadra to marry Duryodhana. Krsna, Vasudeva, Rohini, Devaki and all other members of the Yadu family wanted her to marry Arjuna, but none dared express their wish out of fear of Baladeva. No one could bend Baladeva to accept her marriage with Arjuna. Neither Vasudeva, nor Devaki, nor Rohini could do so. They all feared to act against His desire. Krsna wondered, “What should be done? Whatever happens, My sister must not marry that villain Duryodhana, who is the enemy of the Pandavas, the Yadus, and My enemy as well.” So Krsna arranged a trick. He told Arjuna, “Listen, dress up as a sannyasi and come to Dvaraka. Perform your bhajana-sadhana there. My sister, Subhadra, will come to get your darsana, and then you can flee Dvaraka together with her.” Arjuna agreed. When he saw Subhadra, he was enchanted by her beauty and felt a strong desire to marry her. In the meantime, Duryodhana was eagerly waiting for her arrival, just as Sisupala previously awaited Rukmini in his palace. Duryodhana thought, “If I marry Subhadra, all the Yadus will be on my side and not on the side of the Pandavas.” He was a clever politician, but Arjuna disrupted his plans by coming to Dvaraka dressed as a sannyasi. He did not talk to anyone, he lived a very austere life, and he ate and slept very little, as real sannyasis do. Yasoda-maiya loves Krsna with all her heart, but when Putana came, Yasoda thought, “Oh, this lady is so full of affection. Why should she stand outside? I should let her in.” She could not discern that Putana’s loveliness was false. Similarly, Arjuna was able to bewilder all the residents of Dvaraka. Even Baladeva prabhu came to him to offer obeisances, and Arjuna gave him blessings. In the meanwhile Krsna instructed Subhadra, “This sannyasi has come to fulfill your innermost desire. Go and worship him.” Subhadra dressed exquisitely, decorating herself with sixteen kinds of ornaments and arrived in her chariot to see Arjuna. Arjuna was informed about her arrival and was ready for her. He seated her on his own chariot and then personally entered upon it, giving the reins to control the horses into Subhadra’s hands. While she was driving the chariot, he stood with his bow and arrows in His hands, forbidding anyone to stop them. “Arjuna stole My sister!” cried Baladeva when He heard the news. “Come, Yadus, we should take a big army with us and punish this offender.” When they were about to set out for the chase, Krsna checked them by inquiring, “Where are You going?” Baladeva told Krsna, “Do you not know? Arjuna has kidnapped Our sister!” Krsna said, “Oh, brother, don’t You know that kidnapping is within our family tradition? Did I not kidnap Rukmini? Did Samba not kidnap Duryodhana’s daughter? So what is the wrong if Arjuna does the same? You actually helped Samba in this undertaking. Don’t You remember that You led our armies against Duryodhana? What’s more, do You really see Arjuna kidnapping Subhadra? Subhadra is the one driving the chariot. O Baladeva ji, You may kill Arjuna, but if You do so, Your sister will be very distressed.” Baladeva replied, “Why didn’t You tell Me about all this before? If you all are in favor of her marriage with Arjuna, then I shall also agree.” We see that there was a disagreement between Krsna and Baladeva, which was not really a disagreement but a semblance of it for the purpose of the successful execution of Their pastimes together. Also, in the final days of the battle of Kuruksetra, Bhima had a club-fight with Duryodhana. Both had learned club-fighting from Baladeva prabhu. In the beginning of the duel Baladeva arrived there. Then, in front of Baladeva, Krsna gave a signal to Bhima, and Bhima gave a heavy blow with his club on Duryodhana’s thigh. To beat someone below the waist is against the rules of club-fighting, but it was Krsna who advised Bhima to do so. In great anger, Baladeva raised his club, ready to kill Bhima Krsna then remarked, “Today You are just in time, brother. But where were You when Duryodhana, Sakuni, and others murdered our dear nephew, Abhimanyu? When this wicked Duryodhana tried to burn the Pandavas alive in the shellac palace, where were You to save them? When he and his brothers tried to undress Draupadi in the Kaurava assembly, where were You to protect her? Where were You when Duryodhana did all this injustice to the Pandavas? Baladeva then calmed his anger and left the scene in silence. He acted in accordance with Krsna’s desire. Lord Baladeva’s pastimes are unlimited, His virtues are unlimited, and His love for Krsna is unlimited. Gaura Premanande!
  13. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Vrindavan, India: August 17, 2005 [The Krishna consciousness movement is conducted under the supervision of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. This year, 2018, the disappearance day of Shrila Rupa Gosvami is on August 22nd and 23rd around the world. The following is a discourse a in honor of his disappearance day, spoken in front of his samadhi at the Radha-Damodara Mandira, in Vrndavana, India, on August 17, 2005.] Today we are very fortunate to be at the bhajana-sthali and samadhi-sthali (sthali means place) of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, here at Shri Radha-Damodara Temple. Shrila Rupa Gosvami is the life of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. He is the crest-jewel of the rasika-bhaktas (devotees who taste transcendental mellows) and it is he alone who fulfills the mano-bhistham, the heartfelt desire, of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We have performed our worship of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and we pray to his lotus feet that his conceptions may manifest in our heart. We pray that the manner in which he served Shri Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Shri Shri Radha-Krishna may also manifest in our heart. If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not come to this world, the flood of mercy created by Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu – the gift of service to Shrimati Radhika – would have stopped when the Lord disappeared. Shri Krishna came to this world as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for two reasons. The first reason was to taste His three unfulfilled desires. The second reason was to distribute to the world raga-marga, the path of spontaneous devotion by following in the wake of Shri Krishna's Vrndavana associates, and especially to distribute the service of Shrimati Radhika. For this purpose, Shriman Mahaprabhu manifested Himself in the heart of Shri Rupa Gosvami and inspired him to write all his transcendental literatures, especially Vidagdha-madhava, and later Ujjvala Nilamani and Bhakti-rasamrta Sindhu. Some time after Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s departed from this world, people hated parakiya-rasa (the paramour love of Radha-Krishna and the gopis). They had a bad idea about it. Even other sampradayas, like the Shri (Laxmi) Sampradaya of Shrila Ramanujacarya and also the Nimbarka sampradaya, were against the worship of Radha-Krishna to such a degree that they separated the Deity of Radha from the Deity of Govinda in Jaipur. Shrila Rupa Gosvami established the true conception of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by his books. He especially used the Shrimad-Bhagavatam as evidence to establish that parakiya-rasa is not only bona fide, but it is the highest devotion. He established this truth in such a strong way that all the other sampradayas had to bow their heads and accept it. What would have happened if Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not appeared in this world? The Vraja-prema – the prema of the dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and especially the prema of the gopis – was contained in a storehouse. There are so many types of gopi-bhava, namely sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. All these definitions were given by Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada. The paribhasa sutra, meaning the ‘defining ahorism’ of Shrimad-Bhagavatam contains its essence: ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam ["All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead." (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.3.28)] Moreover, Shrila Rupa Gosvami showed us how to obtain that Supreme Lord of all, by giving definitions for all the stages of devotion to Him. What is sneha? What is maan? What is pranaya? What is raga? What is anuraga? What is bhava? What is modana-bhava? What is madanakya mahabhava? * He gave definitions for sraddha (firm faith), nistha (steadiness), ruci (taste), suddha-sattva (pure goodness) and bhava bhakti (transcendental emotions). He manifested the definition of sadhana bhakti: krti-sadhya bhavet sadhya- bhava sa sadhanabhidha nitya-siddhasya bhavasya prakatyam hrdi sadhyata ["When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krishna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice." (Shri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.105)] Shrila Rupa Gosvami explained that sadhana is only sadhana when our goal is the attainment of bhava-bhakti. Then it can be called sadhana-bhakti, otherwise not. Otherwise one’s practice is called sadhana-abhasa (a shadow or semblance of devotional practice). Rupa Gosvami gave us the definitions of prema and he showed the entire world the nature of Shrimati Radharani's attraction to Krishna. He showed the world how we can be attracted to Radha and Krishna. He taught the identity of Radha-Krishna, and also of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah ["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love." (Shri Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.4 quoting Shri Vidagdha Madhava 1.2)] Who is Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam naumi krsna-svarupam. He is Shri Krishna, covered by the complexion and the bhava of Shrimati Radhika. He came to distribute Her service in this world. Who described the identity of Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya did not, and Shri Ramananda Raya did not. All knew, but when Shri Ramananda Raya began to explain His identity, Mahaprabhu covered his mouth. Only Rupa Gosvami could completely describe it. All others were checked, but Rupa Gosvami could not be checked. Mahaprabhu chose him to reveal Himself to this world. Mahaprabhu also chose him to distribute the service of Shrimati Radhika to the world. Rupa Gosvami had a special mood, and those who follow in his footsteps are called rupanugas. All rupanugas are raganugas, but not all followers of the path of raganuga-bhakti are rupanugas. Shri Rupa Gosvami described bhakti, pure devotional service, in one verse: anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam anukulyena krsnanu- silanam bhaktir uttama ["One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krishna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service." (Bhakti-rasamrta Sindhu 1.1.11)] In the first two lines he showed us what is not bhakti. He also explained aropa-siddha bhakti, sanga-siddha bhakti, karma-misra bhakti, yoga-misra bhakti, anyabhilasita-yukta bhakti (bhakti covered by material designations) and so on. He described all these topics. ["If Shrila Rupa Gosvami had not appeared in Kali-yuga, who would have opened the great store-house of vraja-prema and distributed its contents freely? Just as a swan separates milk from water, who else could have separated the rasas to taste them? Abandoning everything, he performed bhajana in Vrndavana and wrote his rasika literatures. He lived like a bee taking the nectar of lotuses. Who could have understood the nectar he was collecting? Who could have understood Krishna's pastimes in Mathura and Vrndavana? How could we have known the sweet vraja-lilas and the love between Radha and Madhava (another name of Shri Krishna, meaning the husband or beloved of the supreme goddess of fortune)? By the mercy of his lotus feet, all can sing about and attain such divine bliss. The surrendered Madhava dasa is always praying to embrace Shri Rupa's glories." (Yan Kali Rupa Sarira Na Dharata, by Shri Madhava dasa)] The kirtana "Yan Kali Rupa Sarira Na Dharata" by Shri Madhava dasa states: "Just as a swan separates milk from water, in the same way Shrila Rupa Gosvami separated the milk of suddha-bhakti (pure devotion) from the water of all different types of mixed bhakti. Shrila Rupa Gosvami left everything – all his family members, his position, his disciples, and so on. He came alone to Vrndavana. Here, at Shri Radha-Damodara Mandira, he completed most of his books. He began to write a drama describing the pastimes of Krishna, but on the way to Jagannatha Puri, at Shri Satyabhama Pura, Shrimati Satyabhama devi (Shri Krishna’s queen in Dvaraka) appeared in his dream and said, "Oh Rupa, you should write a separate drama about me." Afterwards, in Puri, Mahaprabhu said to him, "Don't take Krishna out of Vrndavana. You should write two dramas – Vidagdha-Madhava and Lalita-Madhava." Satyabhama would not appear to an ordinary person. Radhika would not appear to an ordinary person. When Shrila Rupa Gosvami heard the instructions of Mahaprabhu: "Don't take Krishna out of Vrndavana," he could understand that Satyabhama's intention and Mahaprabhu's intention were the same. He thus wrote two dramas. He wrote and compiled more than thirty books, such as Hamsa-duta, Uddhava Sandesa, and many others, and most were completed here at the Radha-Damodara temple. There may be many different types of flowers, such as beli, cameli, lotus, and so on, but unless there is a bee present, who can understand the nectar contained within those flowers? In the daytime, the bee goes to the lotus flowers. At night that lotus closes with the bee within it. That same bee, who is able to cut his way even through bamboo, cannot escape from the petals of the lotus. In the same way, all the gopis have very fragrant moods in their service to Krishna, but unless the bee is there, how can we understand their fragrance? As the bee is trapped by the lotus flower, the bee-like Krishna is trapped by the prema of the gopis. He is completely bound. The words "ko janata, mathura vrndavana" are significant in this song. Without the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who would be able to understand what is Mathura and what is Vrndavana? Mathura is the place of aisvarya-mayi bhakti (devotion in the mood of opulence and reverence), and Vrndavana is the place of madhurya-mayi bhakti (devotion in the mood of sweetness and spontaneous service). Mathura and Vrndavana are so close, but no one from Mathura visits Vrndavana, and no one from Vrndavana visits Mathura. This is because, even though they are close in geography, they are very far in mood. This was all shown by the evidence of Shrimati Radhika, who never went to Mathura. "Ko janata vraja-nita." Without Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who could understand the mood of Vrndavana or the behavior of the Vrajavasis? Without him, how could we have understood the attachment of Radhika and Madhava for each other? Shrimati Radhika uses apparently very abusive language toward Krishna, but Her prema is actually millions of times greater than anyone else’s. Her prema is greater than the sadharana-rati of Kubja. Her prema is greater than the samanjasa-rati of the queens of Dvaraka. The prema of Radharani and the gopis of Vrndavana is called samartha-rati. Samartha means that they can do anything for Krishna, and therefore only their prema can completely satisfy and control Him. Without the mercy of Rupa Gosvami, who could understand that Krishna is only bound by Shrimati Radhika? Whatever we are speaking is the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Whatever the members of our guru-parampara, like Shri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Jiva Gosvami or Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura have spoken, this is also only by the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written Prema-Samput. There he describes how Krishna disguised Himself as a demigoddess called Syama-sakhi. In a disguised form He went to Radharani and asked: "Oh Radharani, how can You love Krishna?! We saw what He did to You! He called all the gopis during rasa-lila and left them for You, and later on He left You alone. He is a very cruel. How could You have developed affection for Him?" Radhika replied, "Oh, you don't know what prema is." All the transcendental topics written by our Gaudiya parampara, especially written by Shrila Jiva Gosvami in Gopala-campu, written by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and what we have heard from Shrila Prabhupada and our Gurudeva, is all the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Therefore today, we pray to the lotus feet of Shrila Rupa Gosvami that he may be merciful to us and keep us under his guidance. We pray that he may inspire his moods into our hearts. This is our prayer to the lotus feet of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. *Endnote: Maan – that stage of prema in which sneha reaches exultation, thus causing one to experience the sweetness of the beloved in ever new varieties (Ujjvala-nilamani 14.96), and when the nayika assumes an outward demeanor of pique which turns into transcendental anger and indignation arising out of jealous love. Pranaya – that intensified stage of prema when maan assumes a feature of unrestrained intimacy known as visrambha, or confidence devoid of any restraint or formality. This confidence causes one to consider one's life, mind, intelligence, body, and possessions to be one in all respects with the life, mind, intelligence, and body of the beloved. Raga – 1) an intensified stage of prema in which an unquenchable loving thirst (prema-mayi trsna) for the object of one's affection (Shri Krishna) gives rise to spontaneous and intense absorption in one's beloved, so much so that in the absence of the opportunity to please the beloved, one is on the verge of giving up his life; 2) when pranaya is experienced in the heart as immense pleasure. If by accepting some misery there is a chance to meet with Krishna, then that misery becomes a source of great happiness. And where happiness affords no opportunity to meet with Krishna, that happiness becomes the source of great distress. Anuraga – an intensified stage of prema as defined in Ujjvala-nilamani (14.146): "Although one regularly meets with and is well-acquainted with the beloved, the ever-fresh sentiment of intense attachment causes the beloved to be newly experienced at every moment, as if one has never before had any experience of such a person." Bhava – 1) loving emotions; a particular mood of love in which the devotee serves Krishna. 2) an intensified stage of prema which in Ujjvala-nilamani has been equated with maha-bhava, which occurs when anuraga attains a certain stage of exhilaration and relish. This can be experienced and relished only by anuraga itself and by no other bhava. When anuraga is adorned with the inflamed and exciting sattvika passions like molten gold and reaches its climax in Shrimati Radhika, becoming identical with Her very temperament and dispositions, it is called bhava. Mahabhava – the most mature stage of prema.
  14. A108-AI

    The Swing Ceremony

    08 August 2003 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Shrila Rupa Goswami's Disappearance Day Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha: Vrindavana, India Every year there is a five day festival all over Vrindavana called Jhulana-yatra, at which time the vijaya-vigraha (small) Deities of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna are swung by hundreds of thousands of Vrajabasis and others, in their various temples or homes, on a beautiful swing attached to long ropes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja yearly lead this festival at Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha and Shri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, at which time he would give a short talk about the significance of this festival. This year, 2018, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna's Jhulan ceremony begins August 21th and 22nd (see calendar) around the world. The following is a translation of both his Hindi talks, given on August 8, 2003. In the month of Sravana (the rainy season), the clouds in the sky begin to make a thundering sound, and extremely fine mist-like rain drizzles everywhere. The atmosphere is very beautiful and pleasant after the heat of the summer months, for at that time all the forests of Vrindavana begin to bloom. Many types of flowers on both sides of the Yamuna, such as beli, cameli, jui, and madhavi begin to bloom. The bumblebees look here and there and chant, "Radhe Radhe" and the cuckoos also call out, "Radhe Radhe." The peacocks and peahens all call out, "Ke-ka ke-ka." Ke means: "Which male person has the ability to do a very wonderful thing? Shrimati Radhika's maan (Her sulky mood of transcendental loving jealous anger), as well as Her shyness and patience, are like a very tall and immovable mountain. Which male person, 'Ke,' can crush that mountain into powder so that there is nothing left? This person is Shri Krishna." Ka means: "Which female person can do a very wonderful thing? There is a powerful, mad elephant named Shri Krishna whom no one can control. One person, however, by the goad of Her maan, can catch that elephant, bring Him under Her control, and then bind Him in the shackle of Her prema. Who is that? It is Shrimati Radhika." In this way the peacocks and peahens glorify Shrimati Radharani and Lord Krishna. At the time of Sravana, the rainy season, everything becomes green. The summer was dry, but now the rain has come and all the greenery has come to life again. All the young brides are taken at this time from their mother-in-laws' homes by their brothers, and they return to their fathers' home. Shrimati Radhika was still at Her in-laws' home in Yavat, however, because Her brother, Shridama, had not come. Much time passed and finally he arrived there on the full moon day, with some clothing and ornaments to pacify Shrimati Radhika's mother-in-law, Jatila. Seeing Her brother, Shrimati Radhika wept, "O My dear brother, why have you come so late? Only a few days remain of this Sravana month. Why did you come late? Did you forget Me?" Shrimati Radhika then very happily left Yavat and went to Varsana, Vrsabhanupura, with Her brother; and there She met together with all of Her sakhis, Her intimate friends, as they had also returned to their maternal homes at that time. It was a very beautiful meeting and reunion in the place of their childhood play. The sakhis made a jhulana (swing) for Her. They always make the swing on a kadamba tree and not on a tamal tree. The significance of a kadamba tree is that it carries the complexion of Shrimati Radhika and the tamal tree has a complexion of Shri Krishna. The tamal tree is not very powerful, but the kadamba tree is very strong and beautiful. This signifies the superiority of Shrimati Radhika – She can control Lord Krishna by Her love. jhula jhule radha damodara vrndavana men kaisi cchayi hariyali ali kunjan men ["Radha-Damodara are swinging on the swing in Vrindavana. O friend, how very green the kunja is!" (Jhula Jhule Radha Damodara, verse 1)] We sing this kirtana at the time of swinging Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. It describes how Krishna has come, and is waiting at the swing with folded palms for His beloved to come. Shrimati Radhika is in maan, and Her sakhis try to persuade Her to come by saying, "Please give up your sulky mood and come at once to your beloved Krishna. He is waiting for You." In this way, we are observing Jhulana-yatra and remembering the sweet pastimes of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. [When Shrila Gurudeva's discourse was completed, the over 200 devotees at Shri Rupa-Sanatana Mandira then accompanied him on the five minute walk to Shri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha, where they all performed the swing ceremony for Shri Shri Radha Gopinatha and sang the same kirtana. The assembled devotees then sat in the temple courtyard to hear Shrila Gurudeva speak once again:] Tomorrow is the disappearance day of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Even though there are many great acaryas, Shrila Rupa Gosvami has been attributed with the honor of being that person who established the mano-'bhistam, the innermost heart's desire, of Shri Krishna in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Shriman Mahaprabhu came to the village of Ramakeli-grama, He met with Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and told them, "Leave your homes and be with Me." After a short time they left their homes, and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Vrindavana and met with Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada at Prayag, the confluence of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga. Mahaprabhu told him: parapara-sunya gabhira bhakti-rasa-sindhu tomaya cakhaite tara kahi eka bindu ["The ocean of the transcendental mellows of devotional service is so large that no one can estimate its length and breadth. However, just to help you taste it, I am describing one drop. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.137)"] Lord Caitanya gave one drop of the ocean of rasa to Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and that one drop was sufficient to inundate millions upon millions of universes. Later, He met with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami in Varanasi. After some time, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami came here to Vrindavana and began to perform their bhajana, their hearing, chanting, and remembering about Krishna. Rupa Gosvami thought, "In order to fulfill the innermost heart's desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I will write a drama. In this drama I will explain the beauty of the meeting pastimes of Shrimati Radhika and Shri Krishna in Vrindavana, and also Their separation pastimes, when Lord Krishna leaves Vrindavana and goes to Mathura and Dvaraka. I will explain how, by their expansions, Shrimati Radhika and all the sakhis somehow or other (by the medium of their expansions) went to Dvaraka and became Lord Krishna's 16,108 queens." He intended to write about this, but while he was traveling towards Jagannatha Puri he came to the village of Satyabhama-pura. There, Shrimati Satyabhama-devi, Lord Krishna's chief queen, appeared to him in a dream and told him, "Please don't make only one drama. Please divide it into two parts." Then, when Shrila Rupa Gosvami finally arrived at Jagannatha Puri and met with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord confirmed what he had heard from Shrimati Satyabhama in his dream. Shriman Mahaprabhu told him, "Don't take Lord Krishna out of Vrindavana." krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto yah purnah so 'sty atah parah vrndavanam parityajya sa kvacin naiva gacchati ["The Krishna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva Krishna. He is different from the Krishna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadu-kumara Krishna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krishna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrindavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.67)"] "Krishna never leaves Vrindavana. He never even sets one foot outside of Vrindavana." Shrila Rupa Gosvami then divided his drama into two parts. The first part is called Vidagdha-madhava, Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavana; and in the second part, called Lalita-madhava, He goes to Dvaraka and all the gopis of Vrindavana were reunited with Him in the form of the queens of Dvaraka. Why did Shrila Rupa Gosvami do this? This is a very deep siddhanta, or conclusive philosophical truth. Shrila Kavi Karnapura, a very great devotee, has composed Shri Ananda Vrindavana Campu. In this book he described the pastimes of Lord Krishna from His birth up to rasa-lila and the Divine Couple's swing pastimes, and he stopped there. He didn't go any further than this. He didn't describe about Krishna going to Mathura or Dvaraka, because this separation mood is very difficult to tolerate for the pure devotees. He was thinking, "My Mistress Radhika cannot tolerate this separation, so I will not write about it." Shrila Rupa Gosvami, however, has written about the moods of both meeting and separation – because this separation mood is a very deep transcendental ecstatic feeling. At the time of meeting, though Radharani and Krishna are together, something may be forgotten or lost in the heart. On the other hand, at the time of separation, there is complete meeting in new and fresh ways in the heart; and not only inside, but sometimes externally there are sphurtis, temporary visions in which the loved one is actually present. Knowing all these very profound transcendental established truths, and wanting to establish the desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within the world, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also glorified the mood of separation. Although this mood is very high and has many transcendental features that will not come at the time of meeting, still, it is not our goal of life. No Gaudiya Vaisnavas want Shri Shri Radha and Krishna to be eternally separated. What kind of person would want this? No Vrajavasi would want it. However, there is a place for this separation mood, and Shrila Rupa Gosvami has explained this in his book, Ujjvala Nilamani: "Na vina vipralambha sambhoga pusti masnute. Without the mood of separation, the mood of meeting will not be nourished and come to increasingly higher stages. The pastimes of separation are very important because they play the role of nourishing the sweetness of meeting." When Shrila Rupa Gosvami was in Puri with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord was dancing at the Ratha-yatra festival and uttering a verse from a book of mundane poetry called Sahitya-darpana: yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate ["That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."] No one could understand why Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was uttering this verse and in what mood He was absorbed. There was one young boy there, however, named Rupa, who later on became that very same Rupa Gosvami. There and then, upon hearing this verse from Mahaprabhu, another verse appeared in his own heart, and he wrote it down: priyah so 'yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati [This is a verse spoken by Shrimati Radharani: "My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krishna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrindavana. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.76)"] In this verse Shrila Rupa Gosvami has clarified Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning and thus he revealed to the world the importance of parakiya-rasa, the mood of paramour love between Lord Krishna and the gopis. Shrila Rupa Gosvami is that very person who established within this world the innermost heart's desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After Shriman Mahaprabhu disappeared from the vision of the world, the discussion of parakiya-rasa was not prominent. According to scripture, mundane rasa, this world's love between those who are unmarried is very immoral, illicit, and sinful. However, in addition to manifesting the endless varieties and wonder of vipralambha and sambhoga, the meeting and separation pastimes of Radha and Krishna, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also established the superiority of parakiya-rasa. By using evidence from many different sastras, he proved that Lord Shri Krishna is not an ordinary nayaka (lover) and Radhika is not an ordinary nayika (beloved). In other words, when there is meeting between a mundane lover and beloved in the parakiya mood it is very sinful, but Shri Krishna is a transcendental personality, God Himself, and everything is possible for Him. Therefore, if He is the object of the parakiya-bhava, there is no fault or defect in this. Rather this is the topmost supremely pure manifestation of madhurya-prema, the romantic mood. Shrila Rupa Gosvami established the fact that Lord Krishna Himself came into this world to taste these mellows, and, as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna experienced the parakiya-bhakti-rasa that is within the heart of Shrimati Radhika: anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-shriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah ["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.(Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4)"] shri-caitanya-mano-'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam ["I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him. When will Shrila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet? (prayer by Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura)"] These deliberations and philosophical conclusions are extremely deep, and very difficult to understand. It is therefore essential that one come under the guidance of a self-realized Guru and pure devotees, and give ones full time and energy, very hard labor, and enthusiastic work in the service of that Guru and in chanting holy names of Krishna and performing bhajana. One should also make a great effort to understand and realize the reason for which Shrila Rupa Gosvami appeared in this world and why he wrote so many books like Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, Shri Vidagdha-madhava and Shri Lalita-madhava. Unless one comes to the lotus feet of Shri Guru and makes a very great endeavor to understand these topics, after some time he will be taken away by maya and engage in mundane activities. This is a very important point.
  15. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [This year, 2018, July 27 and 28 around the world (see calendar) is the disappearance day of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. We hope you enjoy the following excerpts from Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's booklet called Siva-Tattva, wherein Lord Siva's relationship with Shri Sanatana Gosvami is beautifully described.] A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Siva, "I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Lord Siva told him, "Go to Vrndavana and meet with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your daughter's marriage." The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and there he asked the villagers there for the whereabouts of a person named Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his residence. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami was practicing bhajana near the Yamuna River at Kaliya-hrada, the former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Kaliya-hrada was close to the Yamuna, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a loincloth. He used to go begging door-to-door for a small amount of prasada (Krsna's food remnants), and would take as his meal only one dry chapatti (flat bread), with no salt. The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, "I went to Sankara Mahadeva, Lord Siva, and he told me to meet you. He said you will give me some wealth for my daughter's marriage." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I have no possessions. You can see that I have nothing but a loincloth." Then he thought, "Oh, Siva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend." Thinking of Lord Siva and contemplating further, he remembered a touchstone he had once disgarded and then forgotten. Now he told the brahmana, "Go to the Yamuna and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone. It is somewhere in the sand, though I don't remember where." The brahmana found the jewel, touched it to iron, and the iron turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Lord Siva had told him to come to Vrndavana, and thought with gratitude, "My prayer has been answered by him." On the way home, however, his greed for money increased and he began thinking, "Why did Sanatana Gosvami keep the touchstone in the sand? It had no use there. He must have still more valuable jewels." He thus returned, and Sanatana Gosvami asked him, "Why have you come back?" He replied, "I've come because I know that you have more valuable jewels than this." Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Go and throw the touchstone in the Yamuna. The brahmana did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Come here. Come here." He gave him the mantra, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare" and said, "I do not have worldly jewels, but I have transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krsna and Shri Radha will come to you in a very short time. So remain here. Your daughter's marriage will take place automatically. Stay here and chant Hare Krsna." That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, the great Vaisnava saint who resided in Vrndavana near the old Shri Madana-Mohana temple, would go daily to see Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva at his temple. Once, in his older years, Sanatana Gosvami had a dream wherein Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared and instructed him: "Now that you are old, please do not go through so much trouble to see me." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I will continue to come. I cannot change this habit." Gopisvara Mahadeva said, "Then I will come and stay very near to your residence, manifesting in Bankhandi." The very next day, Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared in Bankhandi, halfway between his original temple and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's residence. Seeing this, Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, and from that day on he visited Bankhandi Mahadeva every day. Wherever he was, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami could not live without his beloved Lord Siva – Gopisvara Mahadeva and Bankhandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana, and Kamesvara Mahadeva in Kamyavana forest. In Govardhana he would stay near his very dear friend, Cakresvara Mahadeva, who acquired the name when he served Govardhana Hill and the Vrajavasis by holding up his trident like a cakra, protecting them from the torrential deluge sent by King Indra.
  16. There is one person whose name is never mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And yet Bhāgavatam’s steadfast readers constantly nurture the ardent hope of becoming that person’s devout, one-pointed servant. May that person, who means everything to Śrī Bhagavān, kindly destroy our false ego in all its various forms and bestow upon us the shelter of Her lotus feet. Today is the day of Her advent.
  17. A108-AI

    Guru Purnima with Video

    18 July 2008 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Today is the birthday of Shrila Vyasadeva, the son of Parasara Rsi. Shrila Vyasadeva divided the Vedas into four sections, and then he took the essence of all the Vedas and Upanisads and wrote Brahma-sutra so that everyone would be able to easily understand. He then wrote fifty-four Puranas, but they were also very difficult to understand. Then he wrote the Mahabharata, and within the Mahabharata he wrote the Gita Upanisad or Bhagavad-gita. Still, he was not happy, however, but he could not understand the reason. In the meantime, his Gurudeva, Shrila Devarsi Narada, came and asked him, “Why are you not happy? You have fully delineated the subject of impersonal Brahman and other knowledge as well. Why should you be despondent in spite of all this? Shrila Vyasadeva replied, “All you have said about me is perfectly correct. Despite all this I am not pacified, and I don’t know why. I therefore question you about the root cause of my dissatisfaction, for you have unlimited knowledge. You can tell me, because you are my Gurudeva.” Narada then said, “You have written and divided the Vedas, you have written Brahma-sutra, you have written the Puranas and even Mahabharata and Gita. But, you have basically only described dharma (religion), artha (economic development), kama (sense gratification), and moksa (liberation). You have not written about the fact that although Krishna is the Supreme Lord, He performed sweet human-like pastimes of Vraja. That is why you are not happy. “Please try to write how Mother Yasoda bound Krishna and chastised Him and, although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Para-brahma), He was weeping bitterly because of this. Please write about Krishna playing with His friends, and write about how His friends used to defeat Him in various games. And write about how Krishna placed His head at the feet of the gopis and told them, ‘I have no capacity to repay you, even if I would have the lifespan of Brahma.’ sweet gurudevana paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vam ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna [“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.32.22)] Narada asked, “Have you written Gopi-gita, Venu-gita, Brahmara-gita, and the other gitas?” Vyasadeva replied, “No, nothing of the sort.” Narada said, “Oh, you should concentrate your mind by bhakti-yoga, and then you will realize all these pastimes.” Then, when Narada Rsi left Vyasadeva’s asrama, Vyasadeva concentrated his mind in bhakti-yoga. He entered into trance, and thus he saw that Supreme Para-brahma, Krishna, present before him. Shrimati Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, His mother Yasoda, His father Nanda Baba, Subala, Shridhama, and all His associates were also present. Shrila Vyasadeva thus saw Krishna’s pastimes, from His birth up to Dvaraka-lila. He saw how the souls who had forgotten Him were covered by maya. He also saw how certain souls in this world, by the help of a bona fide guru, were performing bhajana and going towards Krishna. In his trance, He then wrote Shrimad-Bhagavatam for those who do are not aware of these transcendental topics. yasyam vai sruyamanayam krsne parama-puruse bhaktir utpadyate pumsam soka-moha-bhayapaha [“Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 1.7.7)] The meaning of the verse is that bhakti enters the heart of those who hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and such persons become happy forever. All calamities and sufferings leave them. Shrila Vyasadeva then wrote Shrimad-Bhagavatam in his trance of bhakti-yoga. After that he taught it to his son, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami, and from Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami it went to the entire world. Today is the birthday of that very Vyasadeva, and therefore this day is called Guru-puja or Vyasa-puja.
  18. 11 July 2002 Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Today is a very auspicious day. In all our mathas we are engaged in arranging for the Ratha-yatra festival for Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra; but prior to that we celebrate the divine disappearance day of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Gadadhara Pandita are in the same line. We can say, and it is also stated in sastra, that Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is a manifestation of Shrila Gadadhara Pandita. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was always in a mood of service to Shrila Gadadhara Pandita. He is Kamala Manjari, serving the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha-Krsna under the guidance of her beautiful friend Rupa Manjari, with a special inclination towards Shrimati Radhika. For us, this means some exceptionally good fortune. We are very fortunate, because only little time has passed since he disappeared. When I joined the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Mission, I could have even met and served his son and real disciple, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, for some little while. At that time I was old enough to have had his darsana and served him, but unfortunately – even though I was very near, I was not able to meet and associate with him. But still I'm very fortunate, because his direct disciple, his very bold disciple, the life and soul of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my Guru Maharaja, took me by my sikha and engaged me in his service. gurudeva blueOnce I had a discussion with disciples of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. When they spoke some siddhanta that was not proper, I could not appreciate it and I told them, "I have seen Shrila Prabhupada; you have not seen him. I saw him through my ears, and you saw him only through your eyes. My vision is perfect." Then they complained to my Guru Maharaja, saying, "He is very proud. He is challenging us that we did not see Shrila Prabhupada but he has seen him!" My Guru Maharaja politely answered, "He is right. He actually saw him, by hearing from me, and you saw him only by your eyes. The eye can cheat, but the ear cannot cheat." I am very lucky that my Guru Maharaja was pleased with me, and kept me with him and engaged me in his service; and still I can serve him. He even wrote something about me in his preface to Jaiva Dharma, and therefore I feel very fortunate. If we follow the instructions of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita, especially Shri Shri Gaura-Gadadhara, we can develop our Krsna-consciousness. We should read and hear their teachings deeply, so that we may become inspired to follow them. [Prema-prayojana dasa tells about the life and character of Shri Gadadhara Pandita.] Shrila Gurudeva: Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu forbid Gadadhara Pandita to leave Jagannatha Puri? Why did He 'cruelly' order him to stay there, while He went to Vrndavana without him? What was His real, internal mood? The answer is that if Gadadhara Pandita would remain with Him, then His mood of being Krsna would arise. When they would go together to Govardhana, to Vrndavana, Rasa-sthali and other places, then Gadadhara Pandita would say something like: barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair vrndaranyam sva-pada ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5) ["I worship that Parabrahma, whose crown is decorated with a peacock feather, whose large forehead is marked with tilaka of musk, whose shark-shaped earrings swing around His neck, whose eyes resemble lotus flowers, whose neck has three lines like a conchshell, whose lotus face is graced with a gentle smile, who holds a flute to His bimba fruit-like lips, whose bodily complexion is like that of a fresh mosoon cloud, who is supremely peaceful, who stands in a delightful three-fold bending posture, whose yellow cloth is resplendent like the rays of the sun, who is adorned with a victory flower garland, who is surrounded on all sides by hundreds of gopis, and who resides in Shri Dhama-Vrndavana in the guise of a cowherd-boy."] By hearing this, Mahaprabhu would not have been able to control Himself. His krsnatva (His being in His identity as Krsna) would have become visible to all, and His pastime of giving raganuga-bhakti and tasting Radha's mood would have been finished. [Prema-prayojana dasa tells the pastime of Gadadhara Pandita and Pundarika Vidyanidhi.] Shrila Gurudeva: There is an important teaching here. When Gadadhara Pandita first went to meet Pundarika with Mukunda, he misunderstood him. It was only by the mercy of Mukunda that Gaadhara was able to see Pundarika Vidyanidhi's true ecstatic moods. The teaching in this pastime is that if you want to know who is a Vaisnava, you cannot understand him by your sense perception. You cannot recognize a Vaisnava by yourself. You will have to go to him under the guidance of a Vaisnava; then you can understand. Shri Gadadhara Pandita is Shrimati Radhika Herself; he cannot commit any mistake. Only to teach us that we have to take shelter of a high-class, bona fide guru, he played a role and performed this pastime. Only through this process we can achieve pure bhakti: You may be intelligent or an important person, but without a guru you cannot serve Shri Shri Radha-Krsna. Your bhakti cannot develop. [Gadadhara Pandita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept each other's company. Mukunda thus told Gadadhara Pandita, "Listen carefully Gadadhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvipa. You have been hankering for the association of pure Vaisnavas and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaisnava devotee. In return for this, I simply want you to think of me as your dear servant." The excited and happy Gadadhara Pandita called out the name of Krsna as they proceeded towards the great Vaisnava's residence with Mukunda. Arriving there, they found Pundarika Vidyanidhi sitting comfortably. Gadadhara offered his obeisances and was respectfully seated. Vidyanidhi inquired from Mukunda, "What is his name and from which village does he come? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Visnu, both his form and demeanour are extremely wonderful." "His name is Shri Gadadhara," Mukunda replied. "He is very fortunate because from early childhood, he has been totally detached from family life. In his external material identity, he is the son of the brahmana Shri Madhva Misra. Since he is absorbed in devotional service, he only associates with Vaisnavas, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you, he was anxious to meet you." After hearing the wonderful qualities of Gadadhara Pandita, Vidyanidhi was very pleased to meet him. The great personality, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of wood, covered with intricate brass and reddish stone inlay work. Above it were three tiers of ornamental drapes made of glittering brocade cloth. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets, and silk pillows were placed under his back. On either side of him, many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with neatly prepared betel pan upon it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him into which he continually glanced while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan. He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark upon his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well-groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil. Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. As he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him a prince, as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of the easy and comfortable life, given to pleasure. When Gadadhara Pandita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life, he became suspicious. Since Gadadhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Pundarika Vidyanidhi entered his heart. He thought, "What sort of a Vaisnava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood, I developed great respect for this person, but now upon seeing him, it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion." Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadadhara Pandita, thus he took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Krsna, Gadadhara Pandita would be allowed to perceive everything; nothing would remain unknown to him. In a very sweet voice, Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Shrimad Bhagavatam describing the glories of devotional service, "Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to the she-demon, Putana? Putana was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind, she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast and came to kill Krsna, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement." As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Pundarika Vidyanidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love welled up in his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Gaìga. Simultaneously, all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested on his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, horripilated, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy. Then suddenly regaining consciousness, he said in a loud voice, "Speak! Speak!" and again fell down to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions, he kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of betel pan, pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused jumble. He began tearing his fine clothes, and his well-groomed hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust. He cried out, "O Krsna, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard-hearted like a stone!" He lamented loudly, piteously crying out, "I have been deprived of the Lord's association in His most merciful incarnation!" He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones. He trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way, the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy. Amazed at what he had witnessed, Gadadhara Pandita began to worry, thinking, "What inauspiciousness has overcome me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality?" He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love, he said, "Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. It would be difficult to find another pure Vaisnava like him anywhere in this entire creation. "One can become totally purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me, I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Pundarika Vidyanidhi, I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaisnava given to the pleasures of life. "You could read my mind and being a greatly magnanimous soul you have revealed to me the unlimited extent of Pundarika Vidyanidhi's love of Krsna. Yet, today, I have been offensive and the extent of my offence can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart. "All the devotees who have surrendered to the Lord by the process of devotional service have accepted the shelter and instructions of a guide. Yet, I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Pundarika Vidyanidhi and follow devotional service under his guidance. I shall counteract all my offences to him by becoming his disciple." Thus, Gadadhara Pandita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple of Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, “Very good, very good.” (Shri Chaitanya-bhagavat, Madhya-lila ch.6] Seeing Gadadhara Pandita’s doubt, Mukanda Datta recited one verse to Pundarika Vidyanidhi: aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi lebhe gatim dhatry-ucitam tato 'nyam kam va dayalum saranam vrajema (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 3.2.23) ["How astonishing! When Putana, wicked sister of Bakasura, tried to kill child Krsna by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Krsna?"] Upon hearing this, Pundarika Vidyanidhi became overwhelmed with ecstatic emotions. [Prema-prayojana Prabhu tells the story of Vallabhacarya, who visited Mahaprabhu, trying to prove his scholarship.] A question comes: Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has stated that Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda and Sikhi Mahiti are Mahaprabhu's antaranga, most confidential associates. He even spoke about Madhavi devi as being His half intimate associate, but why did he not mention Gadadhara Pandita? The answer is that Shri Gadadhara Pandita, as Shrimati Radhika, is non-different from, or in other words, is in Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is always in the mood of Shrimati Radhika – sometimes in mood of another sakhi, but always in the mood of Shrimati Radhika – and always crying. When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is in the mood of Shrimati Radhika, Gadadhara Pandita has no function there like others who are antaranga. He is Radhika. Radhika is not different from Krsna, She is not an antaranga. We can learn so many things in these pastimes. Without a guru one may be powerful like Brahma or Sankara, but one cannot even become liberated, what to speak of serving Radha-Krsna. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally took initiation from Isvara Puripada, and He inspired Gadadhara Pandita to also take initiation. Initiation is very important. Some people think that they don't need a guru. They think that the mantras are written in books, so to read and repeat them is sufficient. But this is absurd. I have seen many sannyasis and other senior male and female devotees who do not even chant their mantras given by their bona fide Guru Maharaja Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. They do not meditate on them. So how can one who does not even have a guru become inspired? From where will he get strength? To except a guru is essential. An initiated devotee will think: "I must carry out the order given by my Gurudeva." We must accept any high class rasika Vaisnava guru. Some may think: "We came in this line because of Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. We are reading Svami Prabhupada's books and are following him. There is no need of any other guru." Even some whose gurus fell down think in this way: "I believe that Shrila Prabhupada is my guru, no need to take initiation from anyone else." But this will not do. One has to take proper initiation and follow his guru, as did Lord Ramacandra Himself, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu, who is akhanda-guru-tattva, the original guru Himself. Nityananda Prabhu personally took initiation from Laksmipati Tirtha, and after that He accepted as His siksa-guru Madhavendra Puripada, whose status was even higher then that of Laksmipati Tirtha. Even Shri Krsna, along with Balaramji, took initiation. They were disciples of Bhaguri Muni. Do not think they took initiation from Sandipani Muni. Sandipani Muni was a school teacher who taught Krsna and Balarama the sixty-four arts, but Their real diksa-guru was Bhaguri Muni. Krsna personally spoke this to the gopis. The gopis were telling Him: "You do not have a guru, so You are a bogus person." Krsna replied: "Why are you saying so? You can go and ask Durvasa Muni. It was in front of him that My father Nanda Baba had Me take initiation from Bhaguri Muni. Bhaguri Muni came to my house and I took initiation from him." As Nityananda Prabhu gave even more respect to Madhavendra Puripada, his siksa-guru, if the siksa-guru is more qualified and rasika, we should honor him and give him respect. Giving respect to our diksa-guru, we should serve such a siksa-guru even more. There are thousands upon thousands of such examples in our Vaisnava scriptures. Don't be weak. If you are developing your Krsna-consciousness, your life will be successful, otherwise not. And, someone who is inspiring me in my Krsna-consciousness, especially one who helps me to become a rasika Vaisnava, he is more superior than anyone else. He is really guru. We do not consider Kesava Bharati to be the guru of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, although he was a Vaisnava in the line of Isvara Puripada. Rather, we consider him to be the vesa-guru of Mahaprabhu (who gave Him saffron cloth). It is very hard to recognize a Vaisnava. We see that even a devotee like Gadadhara Pandita (in his human-like pastimes) could not recognize a pure Vaisnava. He rejected Pundarika Vidyanidhi, because Pundarika Vidyanidhi was chewing betel-nut and living in luxury like a king. If the internal mood of a Vaisnava is high, then such a Vaisnava is to be accepted as highly advanced. A devotee may have a five-, six-, or eight-kilo japa-mala, very long, big tilaka, and thick kanti-mala, and he will start to chant "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna" as soon as he sees someone. But that person may not be a pure Vaisnava. And another devotee, who is not chanting on a japa-mala, like Pundarika Vidyanidhi, may put us in a dilemma regarding whether or not he is a devotee. Therefore Mahaprabhu is advising: Do not try to understand who is a Vaisnava by his external appearance. Only an uttama-adhikari can recognize an uttama-adhikari. Even a madhyama-adhikari may be confused. Therefore, do not criticize any Vaisnava or judge him according to his external appearance. Your life should be successful. If you can develop your Krsna-consciousness, then your life is successful. You may possess great wealth, position, power, beauty, and so many good qualities, but if this one quality, Krsna-consciousness, is not there, your life cannot be successful. Endeavor only to develop your Krsna-consciousness. If the whole world is against you, or if you don't become wealthy or acquire any position, there is no harm in that. Try to maintain your life only for the purpose of developing Krsna-consciousness; this is the teaching of Shrila Rupa and Raghunatha and our guru-parampara. Don't try to buy bhakti by wealth and money. Only by pure hearted internal service to Shri Guru you can purchase it. Always remember what Krsna promised in Bhagavad-gita: ananyas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham Bhagavad-gita 9.22 ["But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have."] Those who continuously chant and remember Krsna have no time to maintain themselves and their family; therefore Krsna will come to maintain them. He has promised this. Why fear? If we have strong faith in His words, certainly He is bound to fulfill His promise. But we are very unfortunate; we don't have such strong faith; this is the problem. Try to overcome this and maintain strong faith, total faith, in Krsna. He is bound to fulfill His promise. All others may fail to keep their promises, but He cannot fail. He cannot. Try to realize this, and be always conscientious to become a high-class devotee. Give your life only for developing bhakti – bhakti, bhakti, bhakti. harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha Brhan-naradiya-purana 38.126 ["In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way, no other way, no other way."] Harer bhakti harer bhakti harer bhakti eva kevalam – There is no other way; only bhakti, only bhakti, only bhakti. [Shrila Gurudeva leads the devotees in first singing Radhika-astakam and then the kirtana of "Jaya Gaura-Gadadhara."] Jaya jaya Gaura-Gadadhara ki jaya! Gadai-Gaurangaji ki jaya! Gaura-premanande hari hari bol! Now we should discuss about the incarnation of Gadadhara Pandita, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. But don't hear in such a way that my words will go in one ear in and out the other. Hear with both ears, and take what you hear into your heart. [Syamarani dasi speaks about the presence of many sahajiya sects during the time of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's preaching] Shrila Gurudeva: We find so many 'Lalita-sakhis' in Navadvipa. Male persons put on Indian style saris and nose rings, and say, "We are gopis". At the same time, they engage in nonsense, illicit activities. Even among us, I know many ladies and gentlemen who can't even chant five or six rounds, but are very interested to taste goopi-bhava – they want it immediately. For this so-called attainment they can even give up their high-class Guru Maharaja Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, and istead they go to any babaji, pay two rupies, and get goopi-bhava very cheaply. Such so-called gurus tell them, "You are Lalita, you are Vishaka, and you are Citra, Rupa Manjari etc." Bogus. Everywhere, in France and also here (in England), I see these bogus gurus, those who cheat devotees. I request all devotees to be careful. First follow Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and read Jaiva Dharma. Chant continuously and follow the instruction given by Shrila Rupa Gosvami in his Nectar of Instruction (Upadesamrta): vaco vegam manasa krodha vegam... atyaharah prayasas ca... utsahan niscayad dhairyat... Also, give proper honor to proper Vaisnavas. This is more important. If you have no interest to chant the holy names and listen to hari-katha, then listen more, again and again. Come to the point of tan-nama-rupa-caritadi sukirtananu (pure chanting of the holy names). Then, when renunciation will appear in your heart and all material desires will disappear, automatically your siddha-deha, your perfected spiritual body, will appear. At that time you will be able to remember asta-kaliya-lila. This is the process of suddha-bhakti, or pure bhakti, as Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has clearly told; there is no other path. Don't worry for your siddha-deha. Don't try to prematurely think, "I'm the dasi of Rupa Manjari" and so on. First practice very steadfastly and determinedly. Remember this sloka from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.7): vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam ["By rendering devotional service unto Bhagavan Shri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world."] Ahaitukam (causeless knowledge) will come. Wait for that, otherwise you will be like an unripe jackfruit. [Pundarika dasa explains how sometimes a jackfruit is plucked prematurely. The persons who want to eat it first cut it, and their fingers get entangled in the sticky glue-like substance inside that become a source of trouble.] Shrila Gurudeva: All the teachings of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can be summarized by one verse from his Gitavali: krsnera samsara koro jadi anacara jiva daya krsna nama sarva dharma sar ["Carry on your worldly duties, but in relation to Krsna. Show compassion to all souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krsna – this is the essence of all forms of religion."] What is the meaning? [Prema-prayojana dasa explains] Shrila Gurudeva: The essence of this sloka is jiva-daya, mercy towards all living entities. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explained what is real kindness towards jivas, and we should try to follow this. If you can turn the mood of even one person toward Krsna, so that he chants the holy name and remembers Krsna in the way given by our acaryas, this kindness is millions times better than opening millions of hospitals or schools. So, I want that next year each of you will bring five new devotees. Then I will think that you have preached. Otherwise, if one cannot inspire a single person, if he is only engaged in sense gratification, than fie on such a wretched person. What is the meaning of "krsna-samsara" (making one's home Krsna-centered)? It doesn't mean to be an ordinary family person. It means to be family persons like the gopas, like Shridama, Subala, and Madhu-mangala. Sudhama married, but he married for Krsna. Once, while Shrila Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja was staying in Navadvipa near the Ganges, and was doing bhajana without any hut or other possessions, a man came to him and said, "Babaji Maharaja, I am your disciple. Today I have collected a Krsna-dasi. I just married her; please sprinkle your mercy upon her." Babaji replied, "I am very happy; you are fortunate to have collected a Krsna-dasi. Worship her daily and don't be lusty; don't try to enjoy her, otherwise you will be finished forever." Hearing this, that man quickly ran away and never came back. So, our marriage should be for Krsna, like the gopas, without any lust at all. I want that you preach, thus showing jiva-daya, mercy towards all living entities. Collect sincere devotees who will come to hear hari-katha. The managers here should not have problems how to accommodate everybody; I want this. Preach everywhere. Don't depend on any preaching center. Whether there are preaching centers or not, preach. If the preaching center is easily accomplished, very good; but even without it, preach and distribute the message of Shri Caitaniya Mahaprabhu and help others to become pure sincere devotees regardless of their asrama. They can be family men, brahmacaris, or vanaprasthas, but they should be sincere devotees. This is the teaching of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He wrote more than one hundred books in different languages. He was like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha das Gosvami, and Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and therefore he is called Saptama-gosvami, the Seventh Gosvami. As Maharaja Bhagiratha brought the river Ganga from the heavenly planets to this Earth to liberate his ancestors, similarly Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura brought the current of pure bhakti, bhakti-bhagirathi, prema-dharma, and especially upapati-bhava (unnatojjvala-rasa) from Goloka Vrndavana to this world. What he brought was not only from heaven like the Ganges; he brought the very sacred stream of love and affection from its original place in Radha-kunda, from the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika. Thus, he is called Saptam-gosvami. There is so much more to say in his glorification. His glories are like an unlimited ocean. We tried only to touch a little from the shore of that ocean. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura ki jaya! Gaura premanande!
  19. From Srila Narayana’s Maharaja’s book "The Origin of Ratha-yatra" We should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. He is the same God for the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and all others. There are not different Gods – He is the same God, the same Allah, the same Christ. Just as there is one sun and one moon for the entire world, similarly, there are not different Gods for different people. How can God be divided? There cannot be more than one God; otherwise all the gods will quarrel over territory and position. There is only one God, but He appears according to the vision of the devotee. An analogy can be given in relation to the moon. It appears that there are fifteen different moons. For fifteen days the moon gradually increases in size, eventually becoming a full moon. After that it decreases in size again, becoming a new moon on the last day of the month. The “moons” are not different; it is the names of the moon that are different: full moon, new moon, quarter moon, and so on. Similarly, there is only one God, but He appears to be many because people have seemingly divided Him up by their different languages and understandings. Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has many manifestations such as Rama, Nrsimha, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Narayana, and they are all the same. Even the person Christians call “God” is the same, for He is also one of Krsna’s manifestations, as are Allah and Jehovah. These are all names of God’s manifestations. Some of these manifestations are more complete and have more power, and some have less power. The full moon, the new moon, and the stages in between all belong to the same moon, but we see differences according to our angle of vision. Actually, the moon is always full, but we consider that it is waxing or waning when it is covered to varying degrees. In the same way, Krsna is one without a second. He has innumerable manifestations, but they are all Krsna. We are also parts and parcels of Krsna. We are not Krsna, but at the same time, we are non-different from Him. Both principles are there: difference and non-difference. We can use the analogies of the sun and its rays, and the fire and its heat; they are also different and nondifferent. This is an astonishing truth, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained thoroughly. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. Sometimes He manifests in this world personally, and sometimes He sends His associates to give pure knowledge. All the souls here in this world are eternal servants of that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the true conception, whether we accept it or not. We have forgotten Him from the beginning of the creation of this world, so He sometimes descends and performs very sweet and powerful pastimes so that all conditioned souls will be attracted to Him and engage in His service. He sometimes descends as Krsna, sometimes as Rama, and sometimes as Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. We cannot realize Krsna if our hearts are full of lust, worldly desires, and unwanted habits. He cannot come into our hearts under these circumstances; so these impurities must first be given up. There is no place for doubt in devotion. No one has any confusion or doubt about whether the sun exists, so why should there be any doubt about the existence of the creator of millions of suns? He can create millions and millions of worlds in a moment, and He can also destroy them. Sometimes He comes here, only to save us and to engage us all in His service. Other than serving Him, there is no way to be happy in this world or in any other world. There is only one God, and ignoring Him is the cause of our unhappiness. We can be happy if we engage in Krsna’s service. Don’t be afraid that serving Him will be like serving someone in this world. There is immense happiness in serving Him, more so than in serving your wife, husband, children, father, and so on. There is very, very relishable love and affection in His service. There is so much love and affection in Krsna’s transcendental abode – oceans of love and affection. In this world the master gains and the servant has to lose something, but it is not like that there. First we should know that we are Krsna’s eternal servants, but we have forgotten Him, and that is the cause of all our suffering and sorrow, birth and death. We should have very firm faith in this. Don’t have any doubt that we are spirit souls, parts and parcels of Godhead, that we are His eternal servants, and that it is due to forgetting Him that we are suffering now. We can realize His mercy if we chant His name and surrender to Him, giving up all doubts as Arjuna did. Jagannatha-deva, Baladeva Prabhu, and Subhadra have descended to this world from their transcendental abode. We will gradually try to explain the true identity (svarupa) of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – who they are and how they came to this world. Today is the day of gundica-mandira-marjana, the cleansing of the Gundica Temple. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta states that the temple of Jagannatha represents Dvaraka, while the temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and represents Vrndavana. All the gopis, such as Lalita, Visakha, and Srimati Radhika, are there in Vrndavana, and so are Nanda Baba, Yaçoda, and all the other Vrajavasis. Vasudeva, Devaki, Baladeva, Subhadra, and all the other Dvarakavasis reside in Dvaraka. While Krsna resides in Dvaraka, He always remembers the Vrajavasis – His father Nanda Baba, His mother Yasoda, His cows, calves, friends, and especially His beloved gopis. He sometimes becomes so distraught in separation from them that He arranges to go to Vrndavana to meet them. One day before the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu leads all the devotees to the Gundica Mandira to clean it. On the next day, Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira along with Baladeva, Subhadra, and His devotees for ten days, after which they all return. Just as Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira after it is cleaned, so He may come into your heart if you make it very pure and clean. This festival of gundica-marjana has been performed every year since Satya-yuga. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta we see that previously, before the participation of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the servants of the King used to clean that temple, but they would not clean it properly because they were being paid to do it. They could not give Jagannatha much pleasure because they had no devotion. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told the King through his priest Kasi Misra, “I would like the service of cleaning the temple and the surrounding area to be given to us.” He told Kasi Misra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and others, “Please get permission from the King so that this year I Myself will serve the Gundica Mandira along with My associates. We will sweep and clean it ourselves. There is no need to send any servants of the King; no need at all. We only need some brooms and pitchers.” Hundreds and thousands of pitchers and brooms were obtained, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates arrived. Thousands of Bengali devotees and many thousands of Orissan devotees accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu with dancing and kirtana. They had about fifteen mrdangas and many karatalas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave them all garlands and candana, and then, dancing in line formation, they all began to sing. They all went to Gundica Mandira, singing and dancing, and holding their brooms and pitchers. The King became very happy. He wanted to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him, but although he was a very high-class devotee, he had the name and position of a king. He had great wealth and reputation and was always surrounded by armies, commanders, and so on. Following the regulations of the sannyasa order, Caitanya Mahaprabhu never wanted a sense enjoyer (visayi) such as a king to come to Him. He considered that it would be a disturbance, because He would be bound to hear mundane talk (visayi-katha). We will be alarmed and fearful if a snake comes near us, even if its poison has been removed. Similarly, a devotee fears association with a sense enjoyer because it will disturb his sadhana-bhajana. Now, however, we ourselves are like sense enjoyers, because we are hankering for wealth, reputation, and position. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan Himself. He is nondifferent from Jagannatha, but He was playing the role of a devotee, which is why He had sent a representative to tell the King, “I want to go personally and clean the entire temple.” The King had then requested Kasi Misra, who was his superintendent, minister, priest, and spiritual master, “His devotees can take whatever utensils and other paraphernalia He wants.” Mahaprabhu had thus called His associates, such as Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Gadadhara Pandita, and others. Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu were also there, along with all the Gaudiya bhaktas. There were thousands and thousands of devotees, and on the evening before the festival, Mahaprabhu had told them all, “You should each bring a big broom made of coconut tree fibers, and each of you should also bring a clay pitcher.” Now, on the next day, at about seven in the morning, devotees assembled from all over India and all over the world – not only one or two hundred thousand, but about one million. First Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted flower garlands and candana Himself, and then He gave them to all the devotees. They all wanted to offer pranama to Him, but instead He very humbly offered pranama to all of them. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to touch His feet, but He very humbly touched Nityananda’s feet. He had no false ego, thinking, “I am a guru; everyone should respect me. Why should I respect others?” Actually, people who think like that are not pure devotees. A guru is one who respects others. His symptoms are: He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, “Water! Water! Water!” If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, “Oh, spare me! Don’t cut me!” It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krsna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krsna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees. The devotees with Mahaprabhu were touching each other’s feet and at the same time performing kirtana. Each holding a broom and a pitcher, they performed nagara-sankirtana the entire distance from the Jagannatha Temple to Gundica. The hundreds of thousands of devotees began to bring water from the very large pond known as Indradyumna-sarovara, and as they did so, they said, “Krsna! Krsna!” to each other as they gave and received the clay pitchers. They were filling their clay pots with water, carrying the pots on their heads or in other ways, and giving them to others, saying, “Hare Krsna!” to others on the way. Then, taking back the empty pots, they again said, “Hare Krsna!” In this way they were running back and forth very quickly. Similarly, while the devotees were sweeping, they were saying, “Krsna! Krsna!” Everything was going on only with the chanting of the names, “Krsna! Krsna!” and no other sound could be heard. If a clay pot was broken due to the haste, there would be sounds of, “O Krsna! Krsna!” and new clay pots were brought from a shop at once. In this way, everyone was engaged in cleaning the courtyard of the Gundica Mandira. Water was thrown everywhere, and all the areas were cleared so that torrents of water flowed from the drain like the current of a river. Mahaprabhu cleaned everywhere, high and low, throwing water here and there, and thus everything became as clean as His own heart. This is known as gundica-mandira-marjana. Your heart is like a throne (simhasana), and you will have to clean it if you want to keep Krsna and Radhika there. First clean it, and then They will come. Who will clean it? Nityananda Prabhu may do so and gurudeva may do so, but you will also have to do something. Guru will help you; he has the power to do so, and he is very merciful, but you will also have to do something. You must follow his orders. Be like Arjuna, who told Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (2.7): “sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam – I have offered myself at Your lotus feet. I will follow Your order and obey all Your instructions.” Krsna then ordered him to fight, and he was successful. Similarly, guru can help you if you follow and obey him, but if you disobey, that is an offense and your desire to serve Krsna will disappear. Try to obey. For example, gurudeva says, “You should chant every day. You should chant not less than sixteen rounds, and chant your guru-gayatri and all other gayatri mantras daily.” A disciple may say, “Gurudeva, I’m very weak, I cannot chant gayatri-mantra. When I chant, I get a headache. I become sick and my mind becomes upset. What should I do?” Gurudeva will reply, “You should continue to chant, and your headache, sickness, and all other disturbances will go away. But you will have to do it.” Then, if you do not obey, what can he do? Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was cleaning the temple. Merely sweeping with a broom will not do, for a broom can never touch our hearts. In order to demonstrate this, Mahaprabhu told His associates, “We should chant and remember, performing kirtana along with the sweeping. Then it will have some effect.” If you are cleaning your house in your householder life, while you sweep you can sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Whatever job you do, chant these names with your heart, and then your heart will be “swept.” It will become pure and clear, neat and clean. Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere. Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated: [“Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Sri Krsna to sit.”] [“Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.”] [“The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also.”] We should give up all our worldly positions and ego that dictates, “I am so intelligent; I have so much power; I am the superintendent; I am the monarch of all; I am guru.” Advaita Acarya was Maha-Visnu Himself, but he was very humble and polite, and he also cleaned the temple. All the devotees were sweeping, as was Caitanyaf Mahaprabhu Himself. First they swept away very big stones, stone chips, and pieces of grass. If you want to make a seat in your heart for Radha and Krsna, your heart must be like Vrndavana, and if you do not make your heart very pure and transcendental like Vrndavana, Krsna cannot come. If you have any worldly desires, they will be like thorns pricking Krsna’s body. These thorns are lust, anger, greed, envy, attachment for worldly things, quarreling, and criticizing. If you want bhakti, don’t criticize anyone. Be tolerant and follow this verse: [“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”] If you do not have these four qualities, you will never be able to chant, because the holy name is transcendental. You cannot chant with your tongue, and you cannot see Krsna with your eyes. [“Material senses cannot appreciate Krsna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krsna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krsna really is.”] You should think, “I am serving Krsna by chanting – this is my service. O Krsna, please purify me.” If you surrender and offer yourself unto the lotus feet of Krsna, He will mercifully come and dance on your tongue. There are three stages of chanting: nama-aparadha, namaabhasa, and suddha-nama. When you practice by your tongue and by your endeavor, this is nama-aparadha. When you chant with some sraddha (faith), then it will be nama-abhasa, and if your chanting is pure, then Krsna Himself will dance on your tongue. We should try to pray to Krsna, “I offer myself unto Your lotus feet, giving up all worldly desires. I have no beloved except You. You are mine.” Be like the gopis, and then Krsna may come. When the stones were cleared away, the thousands of devotees, along with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, and Sri Svarupa Damodara, swept again. Mahaprabhu told them, “I want to see who has swept up the biggest pile of dust. Everyone should collect their pile in their cloths, and I will examine them; otherwise some may cheat the others by only pretending to sweep, but not really doing so.” In the end, everyone saw that Mahaprabhu had swept up much more than all the others combined. Sometimes Mahaprabhu would give a very sweet lesson to those who were only pretending, instead of actually sweeping. He would say to them, “Oh, you have done so much. You should teach others.” Hearing these joking words, all the devotees would laugh. The devotees swept three times, and there is a deep meaning behind this. We have committed so many offenses, we are in so much ignorance, and we have so many unwanted habits. We should very boldly and strongly give up activities that are not favorable for krsna-bhakti, and we should very boldly reject things and people that are not favorable to bhakti. We should totally reject any wish, any desire, or any result that is not favorable for pleasing Krsna or a pure devotee and guru. You should reject anyone who criticizes high-class devotees. You can defeat his arguments, and if you are like Hanuman, you can burn all of Lanka and also cut out his tongue. If you are not of Hanuman’s caliber, then you should block your ears and simply leave that place where criticism is going on. Always try to accept only the things, the society, and the association that are favorable for bhakti. Do not desire or expect praise for yourself. Never have any wish to be honored by others, but always give honor to all devotees according to their standard of bhakti. The heart of a devotee who is chanting and remembering Krsna should be pure. Why should a brahmacari or sannyasi who has been worshiping, chanting, and serving his gurudeva for twenty years have the desire to marry and amass wealth? And why does he leave aside his sannyasa or brahmacari saffron cloth, and get a girlfriend or even a boyfriend? This is not advancement towards Krsna. It may be that he has neglected pure devotees and has no faith in his gurudeva’s words, and it may also be that his gurudeva is fallen. A devotee who is chanting the holy name purely from the beginning will be like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami left everything and never again accepted worldly enjoyment. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left worldly life and his wife and children, and he never returned to them again. If brahmacaris and sannyasis accept worldly life again, it means they have no faith in Krsna’s name. Krsna has invested His whole power, His whole mercy, opulence, and so forth in His name. Brahma can create the world only by the mercy of this name – by his chanting of this name. Sankara, too, can only perform any task by chanting Krsna’s name. Neither of them can do anything without the help of the holy name. We have no faith that Krsna’s name can maintain our lives. From the beginning, we have no taste and have committed so many offenses. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore telling us, “You must purify your hearts, if you want to be devotees and realize Krsna, and if you want Krsna to be seated in your hearts.” But you have no power to do it. You cannot purify your hearts, so who will purify them? You can do it if you are under the guidance of Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Svarupa Damodara, and Sri Raya Ramananda. Otherwise, your doubts will never go away, you will commit offenses, and you will remain attached to unwanted habits. So many desires to taste worldly enjoyment will come to you, and you will not be able to check them. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore instructing us. He Himself was sweeping, along with His devotees, in order to teach us. That is why His devotees swept a first time, then a second time, and then a third time. The first time they swept, they removed big stones, chips, and grasses; the second time, they removed very fine dust; and the third time still finer dust. When all the dust was taken out, there still remained spots of black tar, which cannot be removed simply by sweeping. For this you will have to try much harder. You will have to use a very sharp instrument, and then you will have to wash off the spots with a cleaner like kerosene or alcohol. These spots are our offenses, and they will not disappear by sweeping alone. These spots are deceit (kutinati ) and desires for profit (labha), adoration (puja), and fame (pratistha). Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, 19.159) has explained this, and Srila Swami Maharaja has given the translation: [“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.”] Nowadays, many persons have no proper respect for Vaisnavas. They tell them, “Oh, you cannot enter our temple.” Juniors are not giving proper respect to seniors, and seniors are not giving proper respect, love, and affection to juniors. This is the problem, and the root of it is offenses to the holy name. Many devotees have no regard for the holy name. They have no strong faith in chanting, and that is why so many senior devotees are going away and junior devotees are coming, becoming senior, and then also going away. These are the problems nowadays. You can easily give up your children, your wives, your husbands, your relatives, and even your wealth. But it is very hard to give up the desire for praise, and it is hard to follow this verse (Siksastaka (3): [“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari.”] This is the meaning of “sweeping the heart,” and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted this. At this stage you will honor even a creeper and a tree, what to speak of devotees. You will see Krsna in everyone and everywhere, and then you will be able to honor everyone properly. We should try to sweep in our hearts today, on this sacred day of gundica-mandira-marjana. We should try to understand what are nisiddhacara, prohibited activities. For example, if you are a brahmacari or sannyasi be far away from lust. [“A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krsna.”] Try to follow this, whether you are a family man or in the renounced order. Do not associate with Mayavadis who do not believe in the personal form of Krsna or Godhead. To such persons, everything is God, which means that everything is zero. Also, do not associate with those who are lusty – one should remain very far away from such people. Do not tell lies, do not be duplicitous, do not be politicians, and do not be hypocrites. These are basic principles. Kutinati: ku means “evil,” ti means “the,” na means “no” or “that which is prohibited,” and it means “particular.” Kutinati means activities that are like those of Putana. The word putana means impure, and she was the first demon killed by Krsna; He killed impurity first of all. First be pure by body, mind, and soul, by chanting and remembering, and by always serving Vaisnavas and giving them proper respect. Jiva-himsana: don’t kill anything, even a creeper. This is also a basic principle. Jiva-himsana means violence, but in this connection violence does not only mean killing by the hands or by a weapon. It also means killing by the tongue, mind, or heart. Do not be envious. If you want to be pure devotees, remove envy from your hearts and don’t criticize any Vaisnava, for this is also himsa. These spots will not be removed merely by sweeping, nor will they disappear simply by washing them with water. Rather, they will only become stronger and more prominent. In other words, these spots are not very easy to remove. They manifest as offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas and guru, and also as neglect of guru. Among the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, the first is the offense to pure devotees. The aspiring devotee must remove all these spots quickly, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore took His own outer garment and washed everything – up, down, here, there, and everywhere. He did not leave even one corner unclean. Thousands and thousands of devotees continually took water from Indradyumna Sarovara, and placed the water-pots in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda, Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya, and Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself. Nowadays, those who consider themselves gurus will give orders to others and do nothing themselves. They think that they should only taste delicious maha-prasada and enjoy opulent surroundings; they may even have chairs made of gold. Such false gurus do not remain; rather, they go to hell. In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was clearing away all unwanted mentalities and behaviors. In the first and second verses of his Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami also discusses the unwanted habits to be swept away. Without such sweeping, pure bhakti cannot be attained even in millions of births. In the first verse Rupa Gosvami states: [“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”] There are six kinds of vegas (urges), and the root is the tongue, which has no backbone. If you cannot control the tongue, all the other five urges will control you; and if you do control it, everything else is controlled. The tongue has two functions, the first of which is speaking. If this function is not controlled, you may say something wrong to another person and that may create a very big problem for you – you may even be ruined forever. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, once said something that was actually correct, but the circumstance in which she said it was inappropriate. She told Duryodhana, “Your father is blind, and you are also blind. Like father, like son.” Duryodhana was offended, and as a result the great Mahabharata War was fought and millions of people were killed. Similarly, the Ramayana War was fought only because of Sita’s tongue. She chastised Laksmana, and this ultimately led to a war in which so many were killed. You should therefore try to control your tongue; do not speak what should not be spoken. The second function of the tongue is eating. If you eat meat fish, and other prohibited items, or if you take drugs, they will also harm you, and you will not be able to control your mind or your heart. On the other hand, everything will be controlled if you take only maha-prasada and chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.... In the second verse of Upadesamrta, Srila Rupa Gosvami states: [“One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krsna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.”] Both Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have written commentaries on how to be free from these habits, and we can clean our hearts by reading these commentaries. It is stated in Srila Swami Maharaja’s purport (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.135): [“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kutinati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the çastra), kama (desire for material gain), and puja (hankering for popularity).The word kutinati means “duplicity.” As an example of pratisthasa, one may attempt to imitate Srila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place.”] Some Western devotees once went to Puri. They were not allowed to take darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the temple, but they were able to go to the Tota Gopinatha Temple, Srila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, and Siddha-bakula. One of those devotees gave over a thousand dollars to an Indian pujari at Siddha-bakula and said, “Give me the mala kept here, the beads on which Haridasa Thakura was chanting.” The man took the thousand dollars, stole the mala, and gave it to that “devotee” who then thought, “Oh, when I chant on this mala, I will be liberated and I will have bhakti.” Imitation will not do, however. That person was offensive. Nowadays many people want to have large mala weighing not less than five kilos. They cannot chant properly, but still they collect big tulasi neckbeads with “Radhe, Radhe” written on them. This will not do; rather, false ego will increase by this. Try to chant and remember purely, and associate with devotees. It is stated in the same purport: One’s real desire may be for name and fame. In other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a holy place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation). Nowadays there are so many “incarnations” like this. They have no belief in God, but they want to be guru, and after some days they fall down. This disease of false gurus and gods is spreading like the plague, and now there are so many “gods,” both in India and the West. We have been duplicitous since our birth; but now we must become very simple, and we should always honor devotees. Also, be free from lobha, the greed for worldly things. Be free from thinking, “I must have this thing,” or “My relatives and neighbors have very good cars, but I don’t.” Be simple like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who followed the instructions given to him by Caitanya Mahaprabhu: [“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana.”] Follow Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and others like them. Be simple like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Mahaprabhu personally removed all the spots from the simhasana on which Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra would sit – He did not leave it to anyone else to do. This means that we should try to make our hearts like a simhasana where Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra will sit, where Radha and Krsna will sit, and where Mahaprabhu will sit. This opportunity will not come if there are dirty thoughts and aspirations in our hearts. They will never come. Take your ears in your hands [This is an Indian expression. In India when one is expressing regret due to a sense of guilt, he holds his earlobes as he apologizes.] and promise, “From today I will practice properly.” Krsna will provide for you if you are always chanting and remembering. He will look after you, and sometimes He may come to you as a servant, bringing paraphernalia for you on His head. There are many examples as evidence of this, so do not worry about how to maintain yourselves. The only problem should be how to purify yourselves, and how to attain love and affection for Krsna. While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning, a very young Gaudiya bhakta took a pitcher of water, poured the water on Mahaprabhu’s feet, and drank some of it. Mahaprabhu then appeared very angry and said, “What are you doing? Nonsense! Jagannatha is coming here. Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and we are cleaning here, preparing for Him to come. I am an ordinary person, a man, and yet this person is washing My feet and taking that water to drink. This offense is very bad for Me, and for him.” If you wash the feet of an ordinary person in Krsna’s temple, it is a very big offense. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He is giving instruction to others. A bona fide guru will never proudly think, “Very good! My disciple comes and places flowers on my feet, pours water on them, washes them, sprinkles that water on others, and then drinks it.” A pure Vaisnava or guru never considers, “I am an advanced devotee.” Even Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Srimati Radhika, has said: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45) [“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krsna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”] “I have not even a scent of bhakti to Krsna. I am more wretched than anyone.” Radhika Herself is saying, “Oh, the forest deer are superior to me. They can go near to Krsna and beg His love and affection as a beloved, but we cannot go there. The rivers are also so much more fortunate than us gopis. Krsna goes to the Yamuna to bathe and she can embrace Krsna; she can give Him a lotus flower from her hand-like waves. She can give her whole heart to Krsna and tell Him, ‘O my beloved.’ When Krsna plays on His flute, she becomes stunned and stops flowing. She is much greater than us, for we cannot do as she does. “And what is the condition of the calves and cows? The cows are grazing, but when they hear the sweet sound of Krsna’s flute, they raise their ears to hear and to drink in the sweet nectar of that flute. Their calves also drink the nectar of Krsna’s flute through their ears. While they drink the milk from their mothers’ udders, they hear the flute, and at that time they forget the milk altogether; they neither swallow it nor spit it out, and it simply remains in their mouths. Oh, we are not like this.” Mahaprabhu similarly laments, “The fish are superior to me. If they are taken from water, they will die at once; but I am not dying although I have no darsana of Krsna. How wretched I am!” Nowadays many devotees think, “Gurudeva simply gave us chanting beads, and by this we became more than God and we began to control the whole world.” The next day, however, we see that nothing is there – no tulasi beads, no chanting beads; nothing. And now they have again become mice. [*See Endnote 1] Mahaprabhu performed this pastime in order to teach us devotional principles, so He called Svarupa Damodara and told him, “Svarupa Damodara Prabhu! Just see the behavior of your Gaudiya bhakta. He is insulting Me in front of Thakuraji. You have not instructed him how to be a pure devotee. See how he is behaving! He is in the temple of Jagannatha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and although I am an ordinary person, he is pouring water on My feet and drinking it. This is very offensive to Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and I am very upset about this.” Svarupa Damodara then slapped the young devotee and dragged him outside – as a gesture. Actually, he was very happy with him. Outside the temple, when he was beyond Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s view, he told that devotee, “You have done very well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He wants to teach others that we should not behave like this towards ordinary persons. You have not done anything wrong. You have done the right thing. Wait here, and I will call for you again.” Then, when he was called, that Bengali devotee told Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong.” He begged for forgiveness, and Mahaprabhu forgot the matter. No one should tell anyone else to worship him. One should not love anyone or weep for anyone in front of the deity. You can only do pranama to your pure gurudeva, not to anyone else. Wherever the deities are present, we should not try to control anyone; that will be an offense. We can learn all the rules and regulations of deity worship by reading the book Arcana-dipika. Nowadays, gurus are coming like kan-gurus. All are gurus but none are gurus. They are everywhere, like the germs of a plague. They are cheaters, not gurus. They are not Bhagavan. In India you can very easily find so many “Gods,” so many “Supreme Personalities of Godheads.” One thinks that he is Sankara, another thinks that he is Ganesa, and someone else thinks he is Sarasvati. Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew this day would come. Try to enter the real process of bhakti. Hear from the proper person, take his words into your heart and try to follow him. Then you can sweep your heart and also become a pure devotee. First you will enter the stage of kanistha-adhikara, then madhyama-adhikara, and then you will be a devotee. Otherwise, you are like a shadow devotee – fallen. Krsna has given you good intelligence. You should realize whether someone is a pure devotee or not, and if he is, then you can hear from him. A sadhu is a very elevated devotee who embodies the verse: [“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”] Such a sadhu or guru has no worldly desires. His devotion is always like a stream of sweet honey, which flows like an unbroken current when it is poured. Similarly, you should see whether your own activities – by body, by words, by mind, and by heart or mood – are to please Krsna or not. Suppose you are taking maha prasada. Why are you taking it? Is it to please Krsna or not? If you are not taking it to please Krsna, then it is like karma. If you go to sleep for yourself, it is karma, not bhakti. However, if you go to sleep thinking, “I will take some rest, and from early morning I will serve Krsna. I will be always chanting, remembering, worshiping, and serving here and there,” then even your sleeping is for Krsna. [“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.”] After some time, whatever you do will be to please Krsna and your pure gurudeva. If someone follows this principle and always acts to please Krsna, you can accept him as your guru; otherwise don’t. If, when you were ignorant, you selected as guru someone who does not perform all his activities to please Krsna, Guru, and Vaisnavas, then reject that person. Reject him totally. Choose another guru very carefully and take initiation; otherwise you cannot have pure devotion and love for Krsna. If you were initiated by a guru who was sincere at one time, but who fell down later on, reject him at once. Then you may enter the proper line and accept the self-realized devotees who are actually following anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmadyanavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Whatever they do, they do to please Krsna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. They will be in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If a person professing to be a guru is not actually in that line, he should be rejected at once. Bali Maharaja rejected his gurudeva, Sukracarya. Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, the gopis rejected their husbands, and Vibhisana rejected his brother Ravana. There are abundant examples of this. If the guru is chanting and is somewhat in this line but he cannot give you prema-bhakti, then request him, “Please permit me to associate with a self-realized devotee.” If he does not give permission for you to do so, he is not a pure Vaisnava and he also should be rejected. However, if he gives the order, “You should go, and I will also go,” then he is a Vaisnava. You should respect him, and also go to take the association of that high-class devotee. This is the proper process, and it was followed by Sri Syamananda Gosvami, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, Sri Srinivasa Acarya, Srila Haridasa Thakura, and so many others. If you follow sastra and your superiors, you will come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. This is actually the meaning of gundica-mandira-marjana. It is better to honor real Vaisnavas than to only worship the deities. Worship the deity, but serve the Vaisnavas at the same time. Gradually try to come from the stage of kanistha to the stage of madhyama. We are entering kanistha, but we are not even kanistha yet, because we do not have full faith in the deity. When we realize siddhanta, the established truths of Vaisnava philosophy, in the association of pure Vaisnavas, we will gradually become madhyama-adhikari. This is the object of today’s function. By this, the seed of the bhakti-creeper that your gurudeva has given to you will sprout, and it will then develop into the shape of a creeper that will ultimately lead you to Goloka Vrndavana. This is the real process. When all the spots are removed, your status will be of the nature of pure devotion. Whatever we do, we should do as a service to Krsna, for His pleasure, but this is not sufficient by itself. There should be no worldly desire at all in that service. If one takes initiation from a bona fide guru, and he is chanting, remembering, and reading books, but he thinks, “I want to be wealthy, I want to have a very well-qualified son, and a very beautiful home and wife,” his bhakti will not be pure. Rather, it will be completely ruined. Even the desire for liberation is not pure bhakti. It is bhakti, but not pure uttama-bhakti. It is called aropa-siddha-bhakti, or sometimes sanga-siddha bhakti. His bhakti will be mixed with karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else. More than ninety-five percent of those who call themselves bhaktas don’t actually follow uttama-bhakti or pure bhakti. They follow only aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti. What is aropa-siddha-bhakti? Making a garden or establishing gurukulas and goçalas is not really bhakti, but it may create impressions (samskaras) in the heart if the fruits are given to Krsna. If there is a gurukula, there is an opportunity that the boys will be given impressions from childhood for later development in bhakti. We see, however, that the students very rarely get these impressions. Many are ruined and are without character, they do not obey their fathers and mothers, they are not humble, and they do not honor devotees. Many are desperate. If that impression of bhakti had come, it would have been very good for them. It is only to give this impression that high-class devotees or gurus establish such institutions. If we make a garden, we can take the fruits to the deities and to pure devotees, but if the fruit is not given to them, the result will be very bad. Actual bhakti is that activity in which there is chanting and remembering only to please Krsna. In the past, many devotees collected vast wealth for their temples. They collected vast amounts of money in a few days, but what became of them? They left Krsna consciousness. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted them to become qualified devotees. It is not sufficient merely to sweep, or merely to wash off all the varieties of unwanted habits such as aparadhas. Something affirmative should be there – a strong taste for harinama and for hearing hari-katha. It is not enough just to clean your heart. What will remain if you simply do that? Nothing. There should be something positive. There is no harm if you have no taste for chanting harinama, but you should have a taste for hearing harikatha. If you do not, then hear again and again, and give proper respect to the pure devotees from whom you are hearing. [“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”] The speaker should be satam, a pure devotee. Do not maintain your own false idea that an ordinary person or devotee is a maha-bhagavata. Who has the qualification to realize who is a maha-bhagavata? Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, a disciple of Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, was an exalted uttamamaha-bhagavata, but he used to pretend he was smoking marijuana. He sometimes put dry fish bones here and there around his hut so people would think that he ate fish. He considered, “Those who are materially inclined should remain far away from me so I can be alone to chant Krsna’s name and remember Him.” Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was on friendly terms with Srila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura honored him so much. Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, used to take his darçana, and at that time Babaji Maharaja gave him many deep teachings. Guru Maharaja told us, “Sometimes he spoke such high philosophy that I could not understand him.” If a devotee is ignorant and not even a kanistha Vaisnava, how can he know who is actually a maha-bhagavata? He will choose an unqualified person as a “maha-bhagavata,” and the next day he will see how that person has fallen down. You should see what is your superior’s idea regarding who is a madhyama-adhikari or who is an uttama-adhikari, and you can also realize this if you follow Krsna consciousness and establish yourself on the platform of the advanced stage of madhyama-adhikara. It is an offense at the lotus feet of the real maha-bhagavata if you do not give him proper respect, and instead give great respect to a third-class, bogus person, calling him “maha-bhagavata.” [Endnotes 1: There is an instructive story called “Punar Musika Bhava – Again Become a Mouse.” A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore he approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then, being blessed by the sadhu, when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. When by the grace of the saint he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, who then asked him, “What do you want?” The tiger replied, “I want to eat you.” Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, “May you again become a mouse.”]
  20. A108-AI

    Gundica Mandira Marjana

    02 July 2008 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja We should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. He is the same God for the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and all others. There are not different Gods – He is the same God, the same Allah, the same Christ. Just as there is one sun and one moon for the entire world, similarly, there are not different Gods for different people. How can God be divided? There cannot be more than one God; otherwise all the gods will quarrel over territory and position. There is only one God, but He appears according to the vision of the devotee. An analogy can be given in relation to the moon. It appears that there are fifteen different moons. For fifteen days the moon gradually increases in size, eventually becoming a full moon. After that it decreases in size again, becoming a new moon on the last day of the month. The “moons” are not different; it is the names of the moon that are different: full moon, new moon, quarter moon, and so on. Similarly, there is only one God, but He appears to be many because people have seemingly divided Him up by their different languages and understandings. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has many manifestations such as Rama, Nrsimha, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Narayana, and they are all the same. Even the person Christians call “God” is the same, for He is also one of Krishna’s manifestations, as are Allah and Jehovah. These are all names of God’s manifestations. Some of these manifestations are more complete and have more power, and some have less power. The full moon, the new moon, and the stages in between all belong to the same moon, but we see differences according to our angle of vision. Actually, the moon is always full, but we consider that it is waxing or waning when it is covered to varying degrees. Shri Krishna playing flute In the same way, Krishna is one without a second. He has innumerable manifestations, but they are all Krishna. We are also parts and parcels of Krishna. We are not Krishna, but at the same time, we are non-different from Him. Both principles are there: difference and non-difference. We can use the analogies of the sun and its rays, and the fire and its heat; they are also different and nondifferent. This is an astonishing truth, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained thoroughly. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. Sometimes He manifests in this world personally, and sometimes He sends His associates to give pure knowledge. All the souls here in this world are eternal servants of that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the true conception, whether we accept it or not. We have forgotten Him from the beginning of the creation of this world, so He sometimes descends and performs very sweet and powerful pastimes so that all conditioned souls will be attracted to Him and engage in His service. He sometimes descends as Krishna, sometimes as Rama, and sometimes as Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. We cannot realize Krishna if our hearts are full of lust, worldly desires, and unwanted habits. He cannot come into our hearts under these circumstances; so these impurities must first be given up. There is no place for doubt in devotion. No one has any confusion or doubt about whether the sun exists, so why should there be any doubt about the existence of the creator of millions of suns? He can create millions and millions of worlds in a moment, and He can also destroy them. Sometimes He comes here, only to save us and to engage us all in His service. Other than serving Him, there is no way to be happy in this world or in any other world. There is only one God, and ignoring Him is the cause of our unhappiness. We can be happy if we engage in Krishna’s service. Don’t be afraid that serving Him will be like serving someone in this world. There is immense happiness in serving Him, more so than in serving your wife, husband, children, father, and so on. There is very, very relishable love and affection in His service. There is so much love and affection in Krishna’s transcendental abode – oceans of love and affection. In this world the master gains and the servant has to lose something, but it is not like that there. First we should know that we are Krishna’s eternal servants, but we have forgotten Him, and that is the cause of all our suffering and sorrow, birth and death. We should have very firm faith in this. Don’t have any doubt that we are spirit souls, parts and parcels of Godhead, that we are His eternal servants, and that it is due to forgetting Him that we are suffering now. We can realize His mercy if we chant His name and surrender to Him, giving up all doubts as Arjuna did. Jagannatha-deva, Baladeva Prabhu, and Subhadra have descended to this world from their transcendental abode. We will gradually try to explain the true identity (svarupa) of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – who they are and how they came to this world. Today is the day of gundica-mandira-marjana, the cleansing of the Gundica Temple. Shri Caitanya-caritamrta states that the temple of Jagannatha represents Dvaraka, while the temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and represents Vrndavana. All the gopis, such as Lalita, Visakha, and Shrimati Radhika, are there in Vrndavana, and so are Nanda Baba, Yaçoda, and all the other Vrajavasis. Vasudeva, Devaki, Baladeva, Subhadra, and all the other Dvarakavasis reside in Dvaraka. While Krishna resides in Dvaraka, He always remembers the Vrajavasis – His father Nanda Baba, His mother Yasoda, His cows, calves, friends, and especially His beloved gopis. He sometimes becomes so distraught in separation from them that He arranges to go to Vrndavana to meet them. One day before the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu leads all the devotees to the Gundica Mandira to clean it. On the next day, Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira along with Baladeva, Subhadra, and His devotees for ten days, after which they all return. Just as Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira after it is cleaned, so He may come into your heart if you make it very pure and clean. This festival of gundica-marjana has been performed every year since Satya-yuga. In Shri Caitanya-caritamrta we see that previously, before the participation of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the servants of the King used to clean that temple, but they would not clean it properly because they were being paid to do it. They could not give Jagannatha much pleasure because they had no devotion. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told the King through his priest Kasi Misra, “I would like the service of cleaning the temple and the surrounding area to be given to us.” He told Kasi Misra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and others, “Please get permission from the King so that this year I Myself will serve the Gundica Mandira along with My associates. We will sweep and clean it ourselves. There is no need to send any servants of the King; no need at all. We only need some brooms and pitchers.” Hundreds and thousands of pitchers and brooms were obtained, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates arrived. Thousands of Bengali devotees and many thousands of Orissan devotees accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu with dancing and kirtana. They had about fifteen mrdangas and many karatalas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave them all garlands and candana, and then, dancing in line formation, they all began to sing. They all went to Gundica Mandira, singing and dancing, and holding their brooms and pitchers. The King became very happy. He wanted to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him, but although he was a very high-class devotee, he had the name and position of a king. He had great wealth and reputation and was always surrounded by armies, commanders, and so on. Following the regulations of the sannyasa order, Caitanya Mahaprabhu never wanted a sense enjoyer (visayi) such as a king to come to Him. He considered that it would be a disturbance, because He would be bound to hear mundane talk (visayi-katha). We will be alarmed and fearful if a snake comes near us, even if its poison has been removed. Similarly, a devotee fears association with a sense enjoyer because it will disturb his sadhana-bhajana. Now, however, we ourselves are like sense enjoyers, because we are hankering for wealth, reputation, and position. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan Himself. He is nondifferent from Jagannatha, but He was playing the role of a devotee, which is why He had sent a representative to tell the King, “I want to go personally and clean the entire temple.” The King had then requested Kasi Misra, who was his superintendent, minister, priest, and spiritual master, “His devotees can take whatever utensils and other paraphernalia He wants.” Mahaprabhu had thus called His associates, such as Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Gadadhara Pandita, and others. Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu were also there, along with all the Gaudiya bhaktas. There were thousands and thousands of devotees, and on the evening before the festival, Mahaprabhu had told them all, “You should each bring a big broom made of coconut tree fibers, and each of you should also bring a clay pitcher.” Now, on the next day, at about seven in the morning, devotees assembled from all over India and all over the world – not only one or two hundred thousand, but about one million. First Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted flower garlands and candana Himself, and then He gave them to all the devotees. They all wanted to offer pranama to Him, but instead He very humbly offered pranama to all of them. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to touch His feet, but He very humbly touched Nityananda’s feet. He had no false ego, thinking, “I am a guru; everyone should respect me. Why should I respect others?” Actually, people who think like that are not pure devotees. A guru is one who respects others. His symptoms are: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih Siksastaka (3) He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, “Water! Water! Water!” If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, “Oh, spare me! Don’t cut me!” It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krishna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krishna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees. The devotees with Mahaprabhu were touching each other’s feet and at the same time performing kirtana. Each holding a broom and a pitcher, they performed nagara-sankirtana the entire distance from the Jagannatha Temple to Gundica. The hundreds of thousands of devotees began to bring water from the very large pond known as Indradyumna-sarovara, and as they did so, they said, “Krishna! Krishna!” to each other as they gave and received the clay pitchers. They were filling their clay pots with water, carrying the pots on their heads or in other ways, and giving them to others, saying, “Hare Krishna!” to others on the way. Then, taking back the empty pots, they again said, “Hare Krishna!” In this way they were running back and forth very quickly. Similarly, while the devotees were sweeping, they were saying, “Krishna! Krishna!” Everything was going on only with the chanting of the names, “Krishna! Krishna!” and no other sound could be heard. If a clay pot was broken due to the haste, there would be sounds of, “O Krishna! Krishna!” and new clay pots were brought from a shop at once. In this way, everyone was engaged in cleaning the courtyard of the Gundica Mandira. Water was thrown everywhere, and all the areas were cleared so that torrents of water flowed from the drain like the current of a river. Mahaprabhu cleaned everywhere, high and low, throwing water here and there, and thus everything became as clean as His own heart. This is known as gundica-mandira-marjana. Your heart is like a throne (simhasana), and you will have to clean it if you want to keep Krishna and Radhika there. First clean it, and then They will come. Who will clean it? Nityananda Prabhu may do so and gurudeva may do so, but you will also have to do something. Guru will help you; he has the power to do so, and he is very merciful, but you will also have to do something. You must follow his orders. Be like Arjuna, who told Krishna in Bhagavad-gita (2.7): “sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam – I have offered myself at Your lotus feet. I will follow Your order and obey all Your instructions.” Krishna then ordered him to fight, and he was successful. Similarly, guru can help you if you follow and obey him, but if you disobey, that is an offense and your desire to serve Krishna will disappear. Try to obey. For example, gurudeva says, “You should chant every day. You should chant not less than sixteen rounds, and chant your guru-gayatri and all other gayatri mantras daily.” A disciple may say, “Gurudeva, I’m very weak, I cannot chant gayatri-mantra. When I chant, I get a headache. I become sick and my mind becomes upset. What should I do?” Gurudeva will reply, “You should continue to chant, and your headache, sickness, and all other disturbances will go away. But you will have to do it.” Then, if you do not obey, what can he do? Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was cleaning the temple. Merely sweeping with a broom will not do, for a broom can never touch our hearts. In order to demonstrate this, Mahaprabhu told His associates, “We should chant and remember, performing kirtana along with the sweeping. Then it will have some effect.” If you are cleaning your house in your householder life, while you sweep you can sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Whatever job you do, chant these names with your heart, and then your heart will be “swept.” It will become pure and clear, neat and clean. Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere. Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated: sri-gundica-mandiram atma-vrndaih sammarjayan ksalanatah sa gaurah sva-citta-vac chitalam ujjvalam ca krsnopavesaupayikam cakara [“Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Shri Krishna to sit.”] sri-haste karena simhasanera marjana prabhu age jala ani’ deya bhakta-gana [“Then Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.”] nija-vastre kaila prabhu grha sammarjana mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana [“The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also.”] We should give up all our worldly positions and ego that dictates, “I am so intelligent; I have so much power; I am the superintendent; I am the monarch of all; I am guru.” Advaita Acarya was Maha-Visnu Himself, but he was very humble and polite, and he also cleaned the temple. All the devotees were sweeping, as was Caitanyaf Mahaprabhu Himself. First they swept away very big stones, stone chips, and pieces of grass. If you want to make a seat in your heart for Radha and Krishna, your heart must be like Vrndavana, and if you do not make your heart very pure and transcendental like Vrndavana, Krishna cannot come. If you have any worldly desires, they will be like thorns pricking Krishna’s body. These thorns are lust, anger, greed, envy, attachment for worldly things, quarreling, and criticizing. If you want bhakti, don’t criticize anyone. Be tolerant and follow this verse: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih Siksastaka (3) [“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”] If you do not have these four qualities, you will never be able to chant, because the holy name is transcendental. You cannot chant with your tongue, and you cannot see Krishna with your eyes. atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234) [“Material senses cannot appreciate Krishna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krishna really is.”] You should think, “I am serving Krishna by chanting – this is my service. O Krishna, please purify me.” If you surrender and offer yourself unto the lotus feet of Krishna, He will mercifully come and dance on your tongue. There are three stages of chanting: nama-aparadha, namaabhasa, and suddha-nama. When you practice by your tongue and by your endeavor, this is nama-aparadha. When you chant with some sraddha (faith), then it will be nama-abhasa, and if your chanting is pure, then Krishna Himself will dance on your tongue. We should try to pray to Krishna, “I offer myself unto Your lotus feet, giving up all worldly desires. I have no beloved except You. You are mine.” Be like the gopis, and then Krishna may come. When the stones were cleared away, the thousands of devotees, along with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, and Shri Svarupa Damodara, swept again. Mahaprabhu told them, “I want to see who has swept up the biggest pile of dust. Everyone should collect their pile in their cloths, and I will examine them; otherwise some may cheat the others by only pretending to sweep, but not really doing so.” In the end, everyone saw that Mahaprabhu had swept up much more than all the others combined. Sometimes Mahaprabhu would give a very sweet lesson to those who were only pretending, instead of actually sweeping. He would say to them, “Oh, you have done so much. You should teach others.” Hearing these joking words, all the devotees would laugh. The devotees swept three times, and there is a deep meaning behind this. We have committed so many offenses, we are in so much ignorance, and we have so many unwanted habits. We should very boldly and strongly give up activities that are not favorable for krsna-bhakti, and we should very boldly reject things and people that are not favorable to bhakti. We should totally reject any wish, any desire, or any result that is not favorable for pleasing Krishna or a pure devotee and guru. You should reject anyone who criticizes high-class devotees. You can defeat his arguments, and if you are like Hanuman, you can burn all of Lanka and also cut out his tongue. If you are not of Hanuman’s caliber, then you should block your ears and simply leave that place where criticism is going on. Always try to accept only the things, the society, and the association that are favorable for bhakti. Do not desire or expect praise for yourself. Never have any wish to be honored by others, but always give honor to all devotees according to their standard of bhakti. The heart of a devotee who is chanting and remembering Krishna should be pure. Why should a brahmacari or sannyasi who has been worshiping, chanting, and serving his gurudeva for twenty years have the desire to marry and amass wealth? And why does he leave aside his sannyasa or brahmacari saffron cloth, and get a girlfriend or even a boyfriend? This is not advancement towards Krishna. It may be that he has neglected pure devotees and has no faith in his gurudeva’s words, and it may also be that his gurudeva is fallen. A devotee who is chanting the holy name purely from the beginning will be like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami left everything and never again accepted worldly enjoyment. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left worldly life and his wife and children, and he never returned to them again. If brahmacaris and sannyasis accept worldly life again, it means they have no faith in Krishna’s name. Krishna has invested His whole power, His whole mercy, opulence, and so forth in His name. Brahma can create the world only by the mercy of this name – by his chanting of this name. Sankara, too, can only perform any task by chanting Krishna’s name. Neither of them can do anything without the help of the holy name. We have no faith that Krishna’s name can maintain our lives. From the beginning, we have no taste and have committed so many offenses. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore telling us, “You must purify your hearts, if you want to be devotees and realize Krishna, and if you want Krishna to be seated in your hearts.” But you have no power to do it. You cannot purify your hearts, so who will purify them? You can do it if you are under the guidance of Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, Shri Svarupa Damodara, and Shri Raya Ramananda. Otherwise, your doubts will never go away, you will commit offenses, and you will remain attached to unwanted habits. So many desires to taste worldly enjoyment will come to you, and you will not be able to check them. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore instructing us. He Himself was sweeping, along with His devotees, in order to teach us. That is why His devotees swept a first time, then a second time, and then a third time. The first time they swept, they removed big stones, chips, and grasses; the second time, they removed very fine dust; and the third time still finer dust. When all the dust was taken out, there still remained spots of black tar, which cannot be removed simply by sweeping. For this you will have to try much harder. You will have to use a very sharp instrument, and then you will have to wash off the spots with a cleaner like kerosene or alcohol. These spots are our offenses, and they will not disappear by sweeping alone. These spots are deceit (kutinati ) and desires for profit (labha), adoration (puja), and fame (pratistha). Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, 19.159) has explained this, and Shrila Swami Maharaja has given the translation: nisiddhacara kutinati jiva-himsana labha-puja-pratisthadi yata upasakha-gana [“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.”] Nowadays, many persons have no proper respect for Vaisnavas. They tell them, “Oh, you cannot enter our temple.” Juniors are not giving proper respect to seniors, and seniors are not giving proper respect, love, and affection to juniors. This is the problem, and the root of it is offenses to the holy name. Many devotees have no regard for the holy name. They have no strong faith in chanting, and that is why so many senior devotees are going away and junior devotees are coming, becoming senior, and then also going away. These are the problems nowadays. You can easily give up your children, your wives, your husbands, your relatives, and even your wealth. But it is very hard to give up the desire for praise, and it is hard to follow this verse (Siksastaka (3): trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Shri Hari.”] This is the meaning of “sweeping the heart,” and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted this. At this stage you will honor even a creeper and a tree, what to speak of devotees. You will see Krishna in everyone and everywhere, and then you will be able to honor everyone properly. We should try to sweep in our hearts today, on this sacred day of gundica-mandira-marjana. We should try to understand what are nisiddhacara, prohibited activities. For example, if you are a brahmacari or sannyasi be far away from lust. asat-sanga-tyaga, – ei vaisnava-acara ‘stri-sangi’ – eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta’ ara Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.87) [“A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krishna.”] Try to follow this, whether you are a family man or in the renounced order. Do not associate with Mayavadis who do not believe in the personal form of Krishna or Godhead. To such persons, everything is God, which means that everything is zero. Also, do not associate with those who are lusty – one should remain very far away from such people. Do not tell lies, do not be duplicitous, do not be politicians, and do not be hypocrites. These are basic principles. Kutinati: ku means “evil,” ti means “the,” na means “no” or “that which is prohibited,” and it means “particular.” Kutinati means activities that are like those of Putana. The word putana means impure, and she was the first demon killed by Krishna; He killed impurity first of all. First be pure by body, mind, and soul, by chanting and remembering, and by always serving Vaisnavas and giving them proper respect. Jiva-himsana: don’t kill anything, even a creeper. This is also a basic principle. Jiva-himsana means violence, but in this connection violence does not only mean killing by the hands or by a weapon. It also means killing by the tongue, mind, or heart. Do not be envious. If you want to be pure devotees, remove envy from your hearts and don’t criticize any Vaisnava, for this is also himsa. These spots will not be removed merely by sweeping, nor will they disappear simply by washing them with water. Rather, they will only become stronger and more prominent. In other words, these spots are not very easy to remove. They manifest as offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas and guru, and also as neglect of guru. Among the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, the first is the offense to pure devotees. The aspiring devotee must remove all these spots quickly, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore took His own outer garment and washed everything – up, down, here, there, and everywhere. He did not leave even one corner unclean. Thousands and thousands of devotees continually took water from Indradyumna Sarovara, and placed the water-pots in the hands of Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, and Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself. Nowadays, those who consider themselves gurus will give orders to others and do nothing themselves. They think that they should only taste delicious maha-prasada and enjoy opulent surroundings; they may even have chairs made of gold. Such false gurus do not remain; rather, they go to hell. In this way, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was clearing away all unwanted mentalities and behaviors. In the first and second verses of his Upadesamrta, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also discusses the unwanted habits to be swept away. Without such sweeping, pure bhakti cannot be attained even in millions of births. In the first verse Rupa Gosvami states: vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat [“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”] There are six kinds of vegas (urges), and the root is the tongue, which has no backbone. If you cannot control the tongue, all the other five urges will control you; and if you do control it, everything else is controlled. The tongue has two functions, the first of which is speaking. If this function is not controlled, you may say something wrong to another person and that may create a very big problem for you – you may even be ruined forever. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, once said something that was actually correct, but the circumstance in which she said it was inappropriate. She told Duryodhana, “Your father is blind, and you are also blind. Like father, like son.” Duryodhana was offended, and as a result the great Mahabharata War was fought and millions of people were killed. Similarly, the Ramayana War was fought only because of Sita’s tongue. She chastised Laksmana, and this ultimately led to a war in which so many were killed. You should therefore try to control your tongue; do not speak what should not be spoken. The second function of the tongue is eating. If you eat meat fish, and other prohibited items, or if you take drugs, they will also harm you, and you will not be able to control your mind or your heart. On the other hand, everything will be controlled if you take only maha-prasada and chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.... In the second verse of Upadesamrta, Shrila Rupa Gosvami states: atyaharah prayasas ca prajalpo niyamagrahah jana-sangas ca laulyam ca sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati [“One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krishna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.”] Both Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have written commentaries on how to be free from these habits, and we can clean our hearts by reading these commentaries. It is stated in Shrila Swami Maharaja’s purport (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.135): [“Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kutinati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the çastra), kama (desire for material gain), and puja (hankering for popularity).The word kutinati means “duplicity.” As an example of pratisthasa, one may attempt to imitate Shrila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place.”] Some Western devotees once went to Puri. They were not allowed to take darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the temple, but they were able to go to the Tota Gopinatha Temple, Shrila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, and Siddha-bakula. One of those devotees gave over a thousand dollars to an Indian pujari at Siddha-bakula and said, “Give me the mala kept here, the beads on which Haridasa Thakura was chanting.” The man took the thousand dollars, stole the mala, and gave it to that “devotee” who then thought, “Oh, when I chant on this mala, I will be liberated and I will have bhakti.” Imitation will not do, however. That person was offensive. Nowadays many people want to have large mala weighing not less than five kilos. They cannot chant properly, but still they collect big tulasi neckbeads with “Radhe, Radhe” written on them. This will not do; rather, false ego will increase by this. Try to chant and remember purely, and associate with devotees. It is stated in the same purport: One’s real desire may be for name and fame. In other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a holy place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation). Nowadays there are so many “incarnations” like this. They have no belief in God, but they want to be guru, and after some days they fall down. This disease of false gurus and gods is spreading like the plague, and now there are so many “gods,” both in India and the West. We have been duplicitous since our birth; but now we must become very simple, and we should always honor devotees. Also, be free from lobha, the greed for worldly things. Be free from thinking, “I must have this thing,” or “My relatives and neighbors have very good cars, but I don’t.” Be simple like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who followed the instructions given to him by Caitanya Mahaprabhu: gramya-katha na çunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe amani manada haïa krsna-nama sada la’be vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 6.236–7) [“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.”] Follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and others like them. Be simple like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Mahaprabhu personally removed all the spots from the simhasana on which Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra would sit – He did not leave it to anyone else to do. This means that we should try to make our hearts like a simhasana where Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra will sit, where Radha and Krishna will sit, and where Mahaprabhu will sit. This opportunity will not come if there are dirty thoughts and aspirations in our hearts. They will never come. Take your ears in your hands [This is an Indian expression. In India when one is expressing regret due to a sense of guilt, he holds his earlobes as he apologizes.] and promise, “From today I will practice properly.” Krishna will provide for you if you are always chanting and remembering. He will look after you, and sometimes He may come to you as a servant, bringing paraphernalia for you on His head. There are many examples as evidence of this, so do not worry about how to maintain yourselves. The only problem should be how to purify yourselves, and how to attain love and affection for Krishna. While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning, a very young Gaudiya bhakta took a pitcher of water, poured the water on Mahaprabhu’s feet, and drank some of it. Mahaprabhu then appeared very angry and said, “What are you doing? Nonsense! Jagannatha is coming here. Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and we are cleaning here, preparing for Him to come. I am an ordinary person, a man, and yet this person is washing My feet and taking that water to drink. This offense is very bad for Me, and for him.” If you wash the feet of an ordinary person in Krishna’s temple, it is a very big offense. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He is giving instruction to others. A bona fide guru will never proudly think, “Very good! My disciple comes and places flowers on my feet, pours water on them, washes them, sprinkles that water on others, and then drinks it.” A pure Vaisnava or guru never considers, “I am an advanced devotee.” Even Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Shrimati Radhika, has said: na prema-gandho ’sti darapi me harau krandami saubhagya-bharam prakasitum vamsi-vilasy-anana-lokanam vina bibharmi yat prana-patangakan vrtha Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45) [“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krishna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”] “I have not even a scent of bhakti to Krishna. I am more wretched than anyone.” Radhika Herself is saying, “Oh, the forest deer are superior to me. They can go near to Krishna and beg His love and affection as a beloved, but we cannot go there. The rivers are also so much more fortunate than us gopis. Krishna goes to the Yamuna to bathe and she can embrace Krishna; she can give Him a lotus flower from her hand-like waves. She can give her whole heart to Krishna and tell Him, ‘O my beloved.’ When Krishna plays on His flute, she becomes stunned and stops flowing. She is much greater than us, for we cannot do as she does. Venu Gita “And what is the condition of the calves and cows? The cows are grazing, but when they hear the sweet sound of Krishna’s flute, they raise their ears to hear and to drink in the sweet nectar of that flute. Their calves also drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute through their ears. While they drink the milk from their mothers’ udders, they hear the flute, and at that time they forget the milk altogether; they neither swallow it nor spit it out, and it simply remains in their mouths. Oh, we are not like this.” Mahaprabhu similarly laments, “The fish are superior to me. If they are taken from water, they will die at once; but I am not dying although I have no darsana of Krishna. How wretched I am!” Nowadays many devotees think, “Gurudeva simply gave us chanting beads, and by this we became more than God and we began to control the whole world.” The next day, however, we see that nothing is there – no tulasi beads, no chanting beads; nothing. And now they have again become mice. [*See Endnote 1] Mahaprabhu performed this pastime in order to teach us devotional principles, so He called Svarupa Damodara and told him, “Svarupa Damodara Prabhu! Just see the behavior of your Gaudiya bhakta. He is insulting Me in front of Thakuraji. You have not instructed him how to be a pure devotee. See how he is behaving! He is in the temple of Jagannatha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and although I am an ordinary person, he is pouring water on My feet and drinking it. This is very offensive to Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and I am very upset about this.” Svarupa Damodara then slapped the young devotee and dragged him outside – as a gesture. Actually, he was very happy with him. Outside the temple, when he was beyond Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s view, he told that devotee, “You have done very well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He wants to teach others that we should not behave like this towards ordinary persons. You have not done anything wrong. You have done the right thing. Wait here, and I will call for you again.” Then, when he was called, that Bengali devotee told Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong.” He begged for forgiveness, and Mahaprabhu forgot the matter. No one should tell anyone else to worship him. One should not love anyone or weep for anyone in front of the deity. You can only do pranama to your pure gurudeva, not to anyone else. Wherever the deities are present, we should not try to control anyone; that will be an offense. We can learn all the rules and regulations of deity worship by reading the book Arcana-dipika. Nowadays, gurus are coming like kan-gurus. All are gurus but none are gurus. They are everywhere, like the germs of a plague. They are cheaters, not gurus. They are not Bhagavan. In India you can very easily find so many “Gods,” so many “Supreme Personalities of Godheads.” One thinks that he is Sankara, another thinks that he is Ganesa, and someone else thinks he is Sarasvati. Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew this day would come. Try to enter the real process of bhakti. Hear from the proper person, take his words into your heart and try to follow him. Then you can sweep your heart and also become a pure devotee. First you will enter the stage of kanistha-adhikara, then madhyama-adhikara, and then you will be a devotee. Otherwise, you are like a shadow devotee – fallen. Krishna has given you good intelligence. You should realize whether someone is a pure devotee or not, and if he is, then you can hear from him. A sadhu is a very elevated devotee who embodies the verse: anyabhilasita-sunyam jïana-karmady-anavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11) [“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Shri Krishna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”] Such a sadhu or guru has no worldly desires. His devotion is always like a stream of sweet honey, which flows like an unbroken current when it is poured. Similarly, you should see whether your own activities – by body, by words, by mind, and by heart or mood – are to please Krishna or not. Suppose you are taking maha prasada. Why are you taking it? Is it to please Krishna or not? If you are not taking it to please Krishna, then it is like karma. If you go to sleep for yourself, it is karma, not bhakti. However, if you go to sleep thinking, “I will take some rest, and from early morning I will serve Krishna. I will be always chanting, remembering, worshiping, and serving here and there,” then even your sleeping is for Krishna. yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam Bhagavad-gita (9.27) [“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.”] After some time, whatever you do will be to please Krishna and your pure gurudeva. If someone follows this principle and always acts to please Krishna, you can accept him as your guru; otherwise don’t. If, when you were ignorant, you selected as guru someone who does not perform all his activities to please Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas, then reject that person. Reject him totally. Choose another guru very carefully and take initiation; otherwise you cannot have pure devotion and love for Krishna. If you were initiated by a guru who was sincere at one time, but who fell down later on, reject him at once. Then you may enter the proper line and accept the self-realized devotees who are actually following anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmadyanavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Whatever they do, they do to please Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. They will be in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If a person professing to be a guru is not actually in that line, he should be rejected at once. Bali Maharaja rejected his gurudeva, Sukracarya. Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, the gopis rejected their husbands, and Vibhisana rejected his brother Ravana. There are abundant examples of this. If the guru is chanting and is somewhat in this line but he cannot give you prema-bhakti, then request him, “Please permit me to associate with a self-realized devotee.” If he does not give permission for you to do so, he is not a pure Vaisnava and he also should be rejected. However, if he gives the order, “You should go, and I will also go,” then he is a Vaisnava. You should respect him, and also go to take the association of that high-class devotee. This is the proper process, and it was followed by Shri Syamananda Gosvami, Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, Shri Shrinivasa Acarya, Shrila Haridasa Thakura, and so many others. If you follow sastra and your superiors, you will come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. This is actually the meaning of gundica-mandira-marjana. It is better to honor real Vaisnavas than to only worship the deities. Worship the deity, but serve the Vaisnavas at the same time. Gradually try to come from the stage of kanistha to the stage of madhyama. We are entering kanistha, but we are not even kanistha yet, because we do not have full faith in the deity. When we realize siddhanta, the established truths of Vaisnava philosophy, in the association of pure Vaisnavas, we will gradually become madhyama-adhikari. This is the object of today’s function. By this, the seed of the bhakti-creeper that your gurudeva has given to you will sprout, and it will then develop into the shape of a creeper that will ultimately lead you to Goloka Vrndavana. This is the real process. When all the spots are removed, your status will be of the nature of pure devotion. Whatever we do, we should do as a service to Krishna, for His pleasure, but this is not sufficient by itself. There should be no worldly desire at all in that service. If one takes initiation from a bona fide guru, and he is chanting, remembering, and reading books, but he thinks, “I want to be wealthy, I want to have a very well-qualified son, and a very beautiful home and wife,” his bhakti will not be pure. Rather, it will be completely ruined. Even the desire for liberation is not pure bhakti. It is bhakti, but not pure uttama-bhakti. It is called aropa-siddha-bhakti, or sometimes sanga-siddha bhakti. His bhakti will be mixed with karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else. More than ninety-five percent of those who call themselves bhaktas don’t actually follow uttama-bhakti or pure bhakti. They follow only aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti. What is aropa-siddha-bhakti? Making a garden or establishing gurukulas and goçalas is not really bhakti, but it may create impressions (samskaras) in the heart if the fruits are given to Krishna. If there is a gurukula, there is an opportunity that the boys will be given impressions from childhood for later development in bhakti. We see, however, that the students very rarely get these impressions. Many are ruined and are without character, they do not obey their fathers and mothers, they are not humble, and they do not honor devotees. Many are desperate. If that impression of bhakti had come, it would have been very good for them. It is only to give this impression that high-class devotees or gurus establish such institutions. If we make a garden, we can take the fruits to the deities and to pure devotees, but if the fruit is not given to them, the result will be very bad. Actual bhakti is that activity in which there is chanting and remembering only to please Krishna. In the past, many devotees collected vast wealth for their temples. They collected vast amounts of money in a few days, but what became of them? They left Krishna consciousness. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted them to become qualified devotees. It is not sufficient merely to sweep, or merely to wash off all the varieties of unwanted habits such as aparadhas. Something affirmative should be there – a strong taste for harinama and for hearing hari-katha. It is not enough just to clean your heart. What will remain if you simply do that? Nothing. There should be something positive. There is no harm if you have no taste for chanting harinama, but you should have a taste for hearing harikatha. If you do not, then hear again and again, and give proper respect to the pure devotees from whom you are hearing. satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25) [“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”] The speaker should be satam, a pure devotee. Do not maintain your own false idea that an ordinary person or devotee is a maha-bhagavata. Who has the qualification to realize who is a maha-bhagavata? Shrila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, a disciple of Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, was an exalted uttamamaha-bhagavata, but he used to pretend he was smoking marijuana. He sometimes put dry fish bones here and there around his hut so people would think that he ate fish. He considered, “Those who are materially inclined should remain far away from me so I can be alone to chant Krishna’s name and remember Him.” Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was on friendly terms with Shrila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura honored him so much. Our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, used to take his darçana, and at that time Babaji Maharaja gave him many deep teachings. Guru Maharaja told us, “Sometimes he spoke such high philosophy that I could not understand him.” If a devotee is ignorant and not even a kanistha Vaisnava, how can he know who is actually a maha-bhagavata? He will choose an unqualified person as a “maha-bhagavata,” and the next day he will see how that person has fallen down. You should see what is your superior’s idea regarding who is a madhyama-adhikari or who is an uttama-adhikari, and you can also realize this if you follow Krishna consciousness and establish yourself on the platform of the advanced stage of madhyama-adhikara. It is an offense at the lotus feet of the real maha-bhagavata if you do not give him proper respect, and instead give great respect to a third-class, bogus person, calling him “maha-bhagavata.” [Endnotes 1: There is an instructive story called “Punar Musika Bhava – Again Become a Mouse.” A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore he approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then, being blessed by the sadhu, when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. When by the grace of the saint he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, who then asked him, “What do you want?” The tiger replied, “I want to eat you.” Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, “May you again become a mouse.”]
  21. ← Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Samadhi Mandir at Radha-kunda De Glind, Holland: June 11, 2003 Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja We should know about Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He is in the line of Rupanuga Vaisnavas, and he is very near and dear to Srila Rupa Gosvami and all other Vaisnavas. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took birth in a very aristocratic and wealthy family, and he was the only son of his father and uncle. In boyhood he was very fortunate to be initiated by Srila Yadunandana Acarya in the line of Sri Advaita Acarya. Also, Krsna arranged to send Srila Haridasa Thakura to his home, and they were together often. From babyhood he had great taste in chanting the holy name, and at the age of five he received initiation and gradually developed in his bhakti. Only because of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami did Srila Haridasa Thakura come to the house of a visayi (sense enjoyer). Dasa Gosvami's father was a Vaisnava, but there are two kinds of Vaisnavas: vaisnava-praya and visayi-praya. Visayi-praya is good and vaisnava-praya is not good. If one is Vaisnava- praya it means he seems to be a Vaisnava but he is not. A visayi-praya may seem to others to be a sense enjoyer, but he is not. It seems that Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Sri Raya Ramananda, Srivasa Pandita and others like them were visayis, but they were actually pure Vaisnavas – uttama bhagavatas. Srila Raghunsatha dasa Gosvami's father used to serve all the Vaisnavas and many Vaisnavas visited him, but he was engaged in sense gratification and so he was a Vaisnava-praya, not a Vaisnava. If we consider the symptoms of Vaisnava-praya and visayi-praya, we will see that we are also Vaisnava-praya, not suddha-vaisnava. If you are householders, try to be like Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Raya Ramananda, Srivasa Pandita, the five Pandavas, Draupadi and so on. And, if you are renounced from household life, then try to be like Sri Narada, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami and others like them. So almost from the beginning of his life, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was associating with Srila Haridasa Thakura. From the beginning he had great affection for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by hearing from Yadunandana Acarya, Srila Haridasa Thakura especially, and from the other Vaisnavas who visited his home. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is an eternal associate of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, but he is showing us by the example of his own life’s activities that if one has performed spiritual pious activities (sukrti) in past lives, one will easily get the association of Vaisnavas in ones next life. He was playing a role in order to show us how we should behave. After some time he developed great love and affection for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when he became about twelve years old or a little older he was continually weeping, "When can I meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?" He was fortunate, because when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa and wanted to go to Vrndavana, the "tricky" Nityananda Prabhu took Him to Santipura. When Raghunatha dasa heard this he exclaimed, "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come very near to my village!" and he went to take His darsana. While there, he was always with Mahaprabhu and he liked to take His remnants (prasadam). Someone had told Mahaprabhu that Raghunatha dasa was the son of Govardhana Majumadara, a disciple of Yadunandana Acarya and an associate of Haridasa Thakura, so Mahaprabhu showed him great affection. Raghunatha dasa told Mahaprabhu, "I want to be with You wherever You go." Though only a boy, he had became mad after Him – not like the devotees nowadays. Nowadays devotees go to their Gurudeva and say, "O Gurudeva, I want to take poison (sense gratification with the opposite sex). Please order me to take this poison." Gurudeva replies, "How can I order you to take poison?" The disciple says, "I may commit suicide if you don't! Gurudeva says, "Oh, don't commit suicide. If you do so, you will have to suffer more than you are suffering now. I cannot give this order. If you do not want to obey, you can take the poison on your own, but I will not give you an order to do so." The disciple is then very happy, clapping and telling others, "My Gurudeva has given me the order: 'You can take that poison.'" This is bad. We have been engaging in sense gratification since the origin of this creation. We have been humans before. We have been kings and animals like hogs and dogs, we have had thousands of wives, and we have also been demigods – but still we are not satisfied. I know that after some time such "disciples" will again not be satisfied, and they will again become hogs and dogs. How can Gurudeva order his disciple to engage in sense gratification? He will never do so. Contrary to this type of disciple, Raghunatha dasa asked, "O Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! O Master! I want to come with You!" Mahaprabhu replied, "Don't be mad; don't be mad." sthira hana ghare yao, na hao vatula krame krame paya loka bhava-sindhu-kula ["Be patient and return home. Don't be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 16.237)] antare nistha kara, bahye loka-vyavahara acirat krsna tomaya karibe uddhara ["Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "Within your heart you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Krsna will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of maya." (CC Madhya 16.239)] Try to realize all these truths and hear patiently. If you really want to be happy in life, then hear very carefully how we can attain the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, "Antare kara nistha." Nistha means steadiness of mind and heart. "You should return to your home, obey your father and mother externally, and mingle with them outwardly until your bhakti matures. If you leave before your bhakti has somewhat come to nistha, you may again return. Especially if ruci, taste in bhajana, manifests, you will not fall down.” "Loka-vyavahara" means "Offer pranama to your father, mother and others, mix with them, and you can have a job.” "Antare" means to internally have strong faith in the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. "Gradually you will develop, and then there will be no one to stop you. If you leave home without being in that position, you will return." After Raghunatha dasa Gosvami went back home, he was helping his father with landlord and property related duties, at the same time he was chanting and remembering and his steadiness of mind and strong faith was increasing; and he developed his bhakti. One day, hearing that Nityananda Prabhu had come to Panihati, very near to his home in Saptagrama, he at once told his father, "Father, I am going to meet Sri Nityananda Prabhu." In this way, when Nityananda Prabhu came to Panihati with all his associates, Raghunatha Dasa went there with the permission of his father. Lord Krsna makes arrangements such as these; you cannot do so. If you are sincere, then step by step Krsna arranges everything. Raghunatha dasa's father gave him some money and said, "You should feed the sadhus. Hold a mahotsava (festival), serve prasadam to the sadhus, and then very soon return home." Raghunatha replied, "O father, I will return." When he arrived, he saw that thousands of Vaisnavas were sitting with Nityananda prabhu on the bank of the Ganges under the shade of a banyan tree. Nityananda Prabhu was sitting like the sun, and all the Vaisnavas sat around him. Someone told Nityananda Prabhu, "Raghunatha has come. Nityananda replied, "Bring him!" and then he said to Raghunatha dasa, "O Chora." Chora means thief. "O, come, come, come!" Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was shy, but the devotee somehow brought him closer and Nityananda prabhu told him, "I will punish you!"*[See endnote 1] Saying this, Nityananda Prabhu put his lotus feet on Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's head. Lord Brahma and Lord Sankara are never able to get this mercy. Nityananda Prabhu is Sri Baladeva Himself, the first expansion of Lord Krsna. Brahma and Siva (Sankara) cannot even have this mercy in trance, but Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was such an elevated devotee that Nityananda Prabhu personally placed his lotus feet on his head. Nityananda prabhu then said, "You should hold a cida-mahotsava – chipped rice festival. Bring several mounds of yoghurt, milk, sandesh, bananas, sugar and many other eatables." Some servants from his father’s house were with him; and they went village to village and collected great quantities of these items, because there were thousands of devotees. The chipped rice was then cooked in pure hot milk, and very delicious sweet yogurt was also given.*[See endnote 2] In India, sandesh is one of the most delicious sweets, so mounds of sandesh were also distributed. When the residents of the villages in which the ingredients were collected heard that there would be a festival and many people would be attending, they also came. Soon there was no place for everyone to sit, so some stood up in the Ganges water, and some here and there.*[See endnote 3] A plate was then given to Nityananda Prabhu, and he told the server to bring one more plate. Then a second plate was brought, containing the same preparations. He then meditated and prayed, and then he sang this kirtana along with his followers: [At this time all the assembled devotees in Srila Narayana Maharaja's class joined in as he loudly chanted the following three kirtanas:] maha-prasade govinde nama-bramani vaisnave svalpa-punyavatam rajan visvaso naiva jayate ["Those who have very few pious activities to their credit can never develop faith in mahaprasadam, in Sri Govinda, in the holy name of the Lord, nor in the Vaisnavas, which are all on the same platform." (Prasada-sevaya)] sarira avidya-jal jodendriya tahe kal jive phele visaya-sagore ta'ra madhye jihwa ati, lobhamoya sudurmati ta'ke jeta kathina samsare ["This material body is a lump of ignorance and the senses are a network of paths leading to death. We have fallen into this ocean of material sense enjoyment. Of all the senses the tongue is the most difficult to control and is always very greedy to taste things. (Sarira Avidya-Jal, verse 1)] krsna boro doyamoya, koribare jihwa jaya swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai sei annamrta pao, radha-krsna-guna gao preme dako caitanya-nitai ["But Krsna is so merciful that he gives us His prasada, the remnants from His own mouth, to help us conquer the tongue. This prasada is full of nectar. Take this prasada and glorify Radha and Krsna. With love call for the help of Caitanya-Nitai." (Sarira Avidya-Jal, verse 2)] Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare A few lucky persons at once vividly saw that Mahaprabhu was sitting there. They saw that both Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu were weeping and honoring maha-prasadam. Raghunatha dasa saw this and thought, "Oh, Mahaprabhu is here!" Sri Raghava Pandita was there and he also realized, "Mahaprabhu is here!" Both Lords took prasadam there, and that prasadam was then distributed to all. After prasadam, Mahaprabhu disappeared. *[See endnote 4] This was the mercy of both Nityananda Prabhu and Caitanya Mahaprabhu upon Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and after this event the obstacles which had been in his way disappeared. This was because Nityananda Prabhu had told him, "Now you have satisfied me, so now all problems and obstacles will go away and very soon your desire to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu will be fulfilled." After some days Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s parents saw and realized, "Oh, this boy is mad after Mahaprabhu!" They married him, therefore, to a very beautiful girl who could have won the Miss Universe contest – but he had no attraction for her at all and he wanted to leave very soon. One day at about four in the morning, it so happened that Srila Yadunandana Acarya came to his home and told him, "My priest, the worshiper of my Deities, has not come. Come with me to bring him." Raghunatha dasa Gosvami replied, “I will bring him myself; you may go home." Raghunatha dasa’s father, mother and everyone else were thinking, "He is with Yadunandana Acarya, so he will not leave." And because of this understanding no police or guards were there then. Raghunatha dasa went to the home of that priest and sent him to Srila Yadunandana Acarya, and then he at once left for Puri. It was a one month journey through the forest by foot, but he did it in only twelve days. He hardly ate anything – only some muri and milk – in these twelve days. He thus became lean and thin during those days, and blackish because he never bathed. He was in the forest day and night. He did not walk on any path, for if he did his father would have caught him. And thus he arrived in Puri. There is an important instruction here. We want to blow out our cheeks and laugh loudly at the same time, but this is not possible. Two swords cannot fit in one case. In other words we cannot have sense gratification and bhakti at the same time. If you want real devotion, try to follow Srila Raghunath dasa Gosvami in a real sense. Otherwise you cannot have it. When Ragunatha dasa Gosvami reached Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu put him in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. This is an important thing to understand. Lord Krsna cannot help you; only His associates can help you. Krsna does not fully know what bhakti is; that is, He does not know how to serve Himself. He is the recipient of the service, the object of the service. He is not the performer or the container of the service. Do you understand? He does not know this. Those who are worshipping and serving Lord Krsna or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu can teach. So don't go directly to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sriman Mahaprabhu told Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, "Svarupa Damodara knows more than I." And this was true. Mahaprabhu can only serve as Radhika serves, whereas devotees can serve Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami knew some of the moods of Svarupa Damodara, but we cannot. We will have to go a maha-bhagavata, a realized soul in this world who is playing the role of a madhyama-adhikari, a sincere Vaisnava who knows sastra. He will teach you. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sri Svarupa Damodara cannot teach you, because they will not reveal themselves to us in their forms as Rupa Gosvami and Svarupa Damodara. They will not help us directly because we are not qualified to see or hear them directly. Sri Raya Ramananda cannot do anything to help you directly. He could not even help Pradyumna Misra at first. Pradyumna Misra had been ordered by Mahaprabhu to hear hari-katha from Raya Ramananda. He went to Raya Ramananda’s home and heard from his servant that he was in the midst of training beautiful young lady servants of Lord Jagannatha to dance, and was also bathing and dressing them. He then felt some disdain and returned to Mahaprabhu without hearing anything.*[See endnote 6] So don't go to Mahaprabhu or Nityananda prabhu directly. Go to a pure devotee, but to one who is playing the role of a madhyama-adhikari and who is more near to you. He can teach you everything. This was the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami: tathapi amara ajnaya sraddha yadi haya amara ei vakye tabe kariha niscaya ["Nevertheless, if you want to take instructions from Me with faith and love, you may ascertain your duties from the following words." (CC Antya 6.235)] gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe ["Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely." (CC Antya 6.236)] amani manada hana krsna-nama sada la'be vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe ["Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana." (CC Antya 6.237)] Don’t take rich and delicious foods. Some persons think, “If delicious food is not found in the Matha (temple), we will go to a restaurant or any devotee's house.” Don't do this; otherwise your bhakti will go away. “Bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe." Don't wear beautiful and fashionable garments. Also, don't criticize anyone, especially Vaisnavas. Give proper respect to others, but don't hanker for respect for yourself. Internally always serve Krsna in the process adopted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami and all his followers. Raghunatha dasa followed that process totally. After some days Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared from this world, and soon after that Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Raya Ramananda disappeared. Raghunatha dasa then began to weep and due to feelings of separation he wanted to give up his life, but he wanted to do so in Vrndavana. Gradually, all the Vaisnavas who were in Puri left after Caitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared. Some returned to Mayapura Navadvipa, some to Vrndavana, some went here and there, and Puri became like a ghost town. So he wanted to die. He was thinking, "I will die in Vrndavana by jumping in the Yamuna or jumping from Govardhana", but he decided to first meet with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, who were like his elder brothers or fathers. He knew how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was giving honor to Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and he knew how he had showered love and affection upon Srila Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami found out he was not taking any prasada and that he was about to quit his body, and so they pacified him. "One cannot attain Krsna by dying", Sanatana Gosvami told him. "I was going to commit suicide, but Mahaprabhu Himself stopped me. Don't do it. Be situated at Radha-kunda. We will make a hut for you there and from time to time we will come to see you. Be there as you were in Puri – in a fixed place – and do your sadhana-bhajana there. They made a place for him there, and there He was engaged in bhajana twenty-four hours a day. In the morning, weeping and falling on the ground, he used to offer more than one thousand pranamas to all the Vaisnavas and all the sacred places of Vrndavana, to Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and to all associates of Radhika, like Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata and so on. he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vanye kutah ghosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau [“I am doing vadana to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, "O Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavana! Where are you? O Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are You? Are You seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Sri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?" They were always lamenting overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala.” (Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, verse 8)] He was calling out, “O Krsna, where are You? O Lalite, O Visakhe, where are you?” And he was only taking some buttermilk in a very small leaf cup – nothing else. TO BE CONTINUED [*Endnote 1 – "Lord Nityananda was by nature very merciful and funny. Being merciful, He spoke to Raghunatha dasa as follows. 'You are just like a thief, for instead of coming near, you stay away at a distant place. Now that I have captured you, I shall punish you. Make a festival and feed all My associates yogurt and chipped rice.' Hearing this, Raghunatha dasa was greatly pleased." (Cc Antya-lila 49-51)] [*Endnote 2 – "As soon as they heard that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brahmanas and other gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people. Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunatha dasa arranged to get more eatables from other villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round earthen pots. He also obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a brahmana began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lord Nityananda. In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots. Then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The other half was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as canpa-kala. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added. After Nityananda Prabhu had changed His cloth for a new one and sat on a raised platform, the brahmana brought before Him the seven huge pots. On that platform, all the most important associates of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, as well as other important men, sat down in a circle around the Lord." Cc Antya-lila 54-60)] [*Endnote 3 – "Hearing about the festival, all kinds of learned scholars, brahmanas and priests went there. Lord Nityananda Prabhu honored them and made them sit on the raised platform with Him. Everyone was offered two earthen pots. In one was put chipped rice with condensed milk, and in the other chipped rice with yogurt. All the other people sat in groups around the platform. No one could count how many people there were. Each and every one of them was supplied two earthen pots-one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of chipped rice soaked in condensed milk. Some of the brahmanas, not having gotten a place on the platform, went to the bank of the Ganges with their two earthen pots and soaked their chipped rice there. Others, who could not get a place even on the bank of the Ganges, got down into the water and began eating their two kinds of chipped rice. Thus some sat on the platform, some at the base of the platform, and some on the bank of the Ganges, and they were all supplied two pots each by the twenty men who distributed the food." (Cc Antya-lila 6.66-71)] [*Endnote 4 – "When chipped rice had been served to everyone, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, in meditation, brought Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived, Lord Nityananda Prabhu stood up. They then saw how the others were enjoying the chipped rice with yogurt and condensed milk. From each and every pot, Lord Nityananda Prabhu took one morsel of chipped rice and pushed it into the mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a joke. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, also smiling, took a morsel of food, pushed it into the mouth of Nityananda and laughed as He made Lord Nityananda eat it. In this way Lord Nityananda was walking through all the groups of eaters, and all the Vaisnavas standing there were seeing the fun. No one could understand what Nityananda Prabhu was doing as He walked about. Some, however, who were very fortunate, could see that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also present. Then Nityananda Prabhu smiled and sat down. On His right side He kept four pots of chipped rice that had not been made from boiled paddy. Lord Nityananda offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu a place and had Him sit down. Then together the two brothers began eating chipped rice. Seeing Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating with Him, Lord Nityananda Prabhu became very happy and exhibited varieties of ecstatic love. Lord Nityananda Prabhu ordered, "All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari." Immediately the holy names "Hari, Hari" resounded, filling the entire universe. When all the Vaisnavas were chanting the holy names "Hari, Hari" and eating, they remembered how Krsna and Balarama ate with Their companions the cowherd boys on the bank of the Yamuna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu are extremely merciful and liberal. It was Raghunatha dasa's good fortune that They accepted all these dealings. Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges. All the confidential devotees who were cowherd boys, headed by Sri Ramadasa, were absorbed in ecstatic love. They thought the bank of the Ganges to be the bank of the Yamuna." (Cc Antya-lila 6.77-91)] [*Endnote 5 – For five days Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took prasadam at the temple, but later he would stand at the Simha-dvara gate and eat only whatever he could gather by alms. Later he lived by taking alms from various chatras, or food distributing centers. When Raghunatha's father received news of this, he sent some men and money, but Raghunatha dasa Gosvami refused to accept the money. Understanding that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was living by begging from the chatras, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented him with His own gunja-mala and a stone from Govardhana Hill. Thereafter, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to eat rejected food that he had collected and washed. This renounced life greatly pleased both Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took by force some of the same food, thus blessing Raghunatha dasa Gosvami for his renunciation.] [*Endnote 6 – "When the servant informed Ramananda Raya of Pradyumna Misra's arrival, Ramananda Raya immediately went to the assembly room. He offered his obeisances to Pradyumna Misra with all respect and then, with great humility, spoke as follows. 'Sir, you came here long ago, but no one informed me. Therefore I have certainly become an offender at your lotus feet. My entire home has been purified by your arrival. Kindly order me. What can I do for you? I am your servant.' Pradyumna Misra replied, 'I came simply to see you. Now I have purified myself by seeing Your Honor.' Because Pradyumna Misra saw that it was late, he did not say anything else to Ramananda Raya. Instead, he took leave of him and returned to his own home. The next day, when Pradyumna Misra arrived in the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord inquired, 'Have you heard talks about Krsna from Sri Ramananda Raya?' Pradyumna Misra thereupon described the activities of Sri Ramananda Raya. After hearing about these activities, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to speak. 'I am a sannyasi,' He said, 'and I certainly consider Myself renounced. But what to speak of seeing a woman, if I even hear the name of a woman, I feel changes in My mind and body. Therefore who could remain unmoved by the sight of a woman? It is very difficult. Everyone please hear these topics about Ramananda Raya, although they are so wonderful and uncommon that they should not be spoken. The two professional dancing girls are beautiful and youthful, yet Sri Ramananda Raya personally massages their entire bodies with oil. He personally bathes and dresses them and decorates them with ornaments. In this way, he naturally sees and touches the private parts of their bodies. Nevertheless, the mind of Sri Ramananda Raya never changes, although he teaches the girls how to physically express all the transformations of ecstasy. His mind is as steady as wood or stone. Indeed, it is wonderful that even when he touches such young girls, his mind never changes. The authority for such acts is the prerogative of Ramananda Raya alone, for I can understand that his body is not material but has been completely transformed into a spiritual entity. He alone, and no one else, can understand the position of his mind.'" (Cc Antya-lila 5.27-43)]
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