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  1. Salt Spring Island, Canada, April 21, 2001 Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj In the beginning of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, in the first chapter, Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami prays to be under the guidance of the Six Gosvamis. They are his gurus - siksa-gurus. ei chaya guru siksa-guru ye amara taì'-sabara pada-padme kori namaskara ["These six are my instructing spiritual masters, and therefore I offer millions of respectful obeisances unto their lotus feet." (Adi. 1.37)] Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami is not praying to the lotus feet of his diksa-guru. Why? He is doing pranama to his siksa-gurus, but who is his diksa-guru? Can you discover who he is? It will be very hard - very hard. Is it a very wonderful thing that he is not first doing pranama to his diksa-guru, as we do. He has broken away from all the rules and regulations by praying first to his siksa-guru. Why? He who has benefited us the most is actually guru. There are two disciplic lines: one is pancaratriki guru-parampara, and one is bhagavat guru-parampara. We accept bhagavat guru-parampara, and pancaritriki [the formalities, the formal procedures, of initiation, as delineated in sastra] guru-parampara may also be included within it. Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Shrila Rupa Gosvami have all accepted this bhagavat guru-parampara. Sometimes the pancaritriki guru-parampara may be illegal and against bhakti. It may be [when it stands alone, not being included in the bhagavat parampara], but the bhagavat guru-parampara, under the guidance of siksa-gurus like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shri Svarupa Damodara, and Shri Raya Ramananda, is always authentic. Some say that Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was the diksa-guru of Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and some say it was Shrila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami. However, I consider that when he was in family life, Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami and his elder brother were initiated into the Krishna-mantra [gopal-mantra] by a family guru. He does not want to disclose the fact that he left that guru and came to the lotus feet of siksa-guru. Why did he leave? His eldest brother was somewhat against Nityananda Prabhu, and he was committing offenses to His lotus feet at a gathering of devotees at his home. Menaketana Ramadasa, a devotee of Nityananda prabhu, became very angry. He broke his flute and at once left the assembly. Kaviraja Gosvami's family guru supported his elder brother. Though he favored Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he was unfavorable to Nityananda Prabhu, and Krishna dasa Kaviraja thus rejected him. He went to Vrndavana, and there he accepted his six siksa-gurus, especially Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. In the pancaritrika [or anusthanika (the formal rituals of diksa, such as the utterance of 'svaha' in front of the sacrificial fire)] diksa-guru there may be something wrong [for example, he may not be a self-realized soul]. But in the bhagavat parampara there is never a chance for anything to be wrong. Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami writes about his bhagavat guru-parampara gurus: Shri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa Chaitanya-Charitamrita kahe Krishnadasa ["Praying at the lotus feet of Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krishnadasa, narrate Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, following in their footsteps."] ["Although I know that my spiritual master is a servitor of Shri Chaitanya, I know Him also as a plenary manifestation of the Lord." (Adi 1.44)] This is the explanation given by your Prabhupada. I am always following my siksa-guru, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I always keep his explanations with me. I am not different from him - we have the same opinion. Those who do not have very much intelligence cannot understand this fact. Thus, they cannot understand the deep meanings of Shrila Swami Maharaja's commentaries. Aranya Maharaja: (reading) Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, chapter 1, texts 44-46. Translation by Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: "Although I know my spiritual master as a servitor of Shri Chaitanya, I know him also as prakasa, a plenary manifestation of the Lord. According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is non-different from Krishna, Krishna-rupa. Lord Krishna, in the form of the spiritual master, delivers His devotees. One should know the acarya as Myself [Krishna], and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is a representative of all the demigods." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Those so-called gurus who think the acarya is like us - that he is an ordinary person with a material body and material senses, and maybe somewhat more intelligent than us - are most offensive. You should do pranama to them from very far away. Don't associate with and don't give any respect to such bogus gurus. And then siksa guru. Aranya Maharaja: (reading) Text 47: "One should know the siksa-guru, instructing spiritual master, to be the personality of Krishna, Krishna-svarupa. Lord Krishna manifests himself as the Supersoul and also as the greatest devotee of the Lord." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Who is diksa-guru? Who is siksa-guru? The same qualifications will be there in both. For example, Shrimad Bhagavatam is the best evidence, more so than the Vedas, more than the Upanisadas, more than Mahabharata, Hari-vamsa, the other Puranas, or any other grantha, scripture. It is amala pramana, spotless evidence. Tulsidasa has translated many of the verses of Shrimad Bhagavatam in his Hindi Rama Carita Manasa. In writing his Ramayana, Valmiki also took all siddhanta from Shrimad Bhagavatam. All bona fide gurus are in the same line. They are not against one another. Scripture explains the qualifications of a real guru. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet, samit-pani srotriyam brahma-nistham. ["To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth" (Mandaka Upanisad).] The spiritual master teaches that this world is temporary. Everyone here is mortal and full of suffering. Now you are young, and your thinking is like that of a mad person - taking so many drugs, and not in natural consciousness. You are thinking, "I am monarch of all. I am happy." But you are not really happy; you can never be happy here. Hiryanakasipu was almost immortal. He wanted to have the boon of immortality, but Brahma said, "I cannot give you this benediction, but you can take any other boon." Thinking that he was very intelligent, Hiranyakasipu then asked for the benediction that, "I should not be able to die in the day or in the night, neither in the sky, in the water nor on land. I should not be put to death by any creation of Brahma - not a man, animal, demigod or anyone else. I should not die inside a room, outside a room, in any month, or by any weapon." Brahma agreed to grant these boons. At once, however, in a moment, Nrsmhadeva came - that very Nrsmhadeva to whom you sing - and Hiranyakasipu was killed. But it was not on the earth, nor in the sky, nor was it inside or outside of a room. It was just on the doorway. It was not by any creation of Brahma, nor by any weapon. It was also not in any month; it was in a leap year. Nrsmhadeva kept Hiranyakasipu on His lap, killed him with His nails, and took out his intestines. At that time fire was coming from His mane and all feared Him - even Laksmi Brahma, Sankara and all the other demigods. They did not dare to approach him. None of the demigods felt they could pacify the Lord. They cleverly found out a way, however, by sending Prahlada to pacify Him. Prahlada at once jumped onto the lap of Nrsmhadeva and the Lord began to cry. He told Prahlada, "I delayed. I could not come on time. Please forgive me." He requested Prahlada to take any boon, but the boy very bravely said, "O, I am not a business person. I am not here to take anything from You. Those who give and take are businessmen. I have nothing to do with business. I want only service. I want only to serve You so that You will be pleased." Do you know Ravana? He could not be happy by serving Sankara, Durga, Ganesa, or Kali. He was serving them so much, and by their boon he attained ten heads. He had the boon that if anyone would take his head, another ten heads would immediately come. Still, he was killed in a second. Not only he, but his whole dynasty was destroyed. He had 100,000 sons and 125,000 grand-children. Durga, Kali, Sankara, and Ganesa all fled away from Lanka at that time. They also could not help him. This was also true for Kamsa. In a moment Krishna jumped on the high throne and took him by the hair. He jumped on the body of Kamsa, and in a thousandth part of a second he was killed. Then Krishna said, "I simply jumped up there and he died. What should I do? I am his nephew. I only wanted to play." You can understand, therefore, that in this world no one is happy. Presently you do not realize this because you have taken so many drugs, and you are all mad. When you are old, however, at the age of one hundred, you will cry, "O Prabhu, take me. Take me to your place. I am not able to tolerate this suffering." Then a real inquiry will come. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet. At that time you should go to real guru. You will wonder, "How can I be happy transcendentally? You will ask Sastra - Veda, Upanisad, and especially Shrimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-Gita - and all of them will reply, "You should go to a realized guru knows all kinds of sastra, who is expert in all kinds of established truths, and who is perfect. He will be brahma-nistha. He will have some realization of Parabrahma." If he is expert in sastra but has no realization of Krishna, he is not able to be a guru. He should be rejected as guru. It may be that he can quote all the sastras, but he is not a guru if he has no realization, if he himself is not chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna and Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, if he is not always happy, if he has so many problems, if he is very angry and very lusty, if he has no detachment from this world, and if he has many desires. He should not only be detached and know all sastras, but he should be able to satisfy his disciples by his realizations in Krishna consciousness. In sastra it has been written that if you are eating any food, with each bite you should automatically feel satisfied. Aranya Maharaja: In Shrimad Bhagavatam it is stated, "Bhakti paresanubhavo virakti anyatra ca." (SB.11.2.42). There, a very simple example has been given to help us understand the effect of practicing real, transcendental devotional service. When we eat food, we must experience three results. The first result is that there will be some pleasure, some taste from that eating. Second, we will have some nourishment in our body and we will become very strong. The third result is that before you were hungry, and now, with every bite you take, gradually that hunger goes away until it has completely gone. Just as there are three effects from eating, for one who is surrendered unto the lotus feet of sad-guru and is following his instructions-hearing, chanting, remembering, and serving him in all ways-there must be three results. It must come. First, bhakti-that means his sraddha, his faith, is growing, and anarthas are going away. His bhakti, his seva vritti, the mood to serve, will grow day by day. This is the first result. The second result is paresanubhava. Realization must come. Gradually he will realize who he is, who is Krishna, and what is his relationship with Krishna. The third result is virakti, detachment. If one's attachment is steadily growing for Krishna, then at the same time he gradually becomes detached from this world-until there is no attachment at all. If you are eating but feel no pleasure, no strength, and your hunger is not going away, what does it mean? It means that you must not be eating; otherwise you have some worms in your stomach, or you have a very bad disease. There is some fault. Similarly, if we are hearing, chanting, remembering, and serving for many years but realization is not coming, our seva vritti is not growing, and we are not becoming detached from this world, the conclusion is that we are not practicing bhakti. We are doing something else. In that case we should submit ourselves at the lotus feet of qualified Vaisnavas. They will adjust our practice in such a way that we will come in the line of pure bhakti and these results will come. Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Guru himself practices. He serves his gurudeva, all the gurus in the disciplic line, Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, and Radha-Krishna. Yad yad acarati srestha lokas tad anuvartate, tat tat eva itarah janah. This is acarya. He serves the mission of his gurudeva. Actually, guru is one who has controlled his mind, anger, words, tongue, stomach and genitals. He who has control of these is guru. Those who are not doing so are actually not guru. They have no realization. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructs that there are bogus persons - not guru - who cannot teach others because they are not practicing themselves and they have no realization. If one is not detached from worldly desires and worldly sense gratification, he is not guru - he is kan-garoo. He is gudu, animals without tails or horns - the donkey. It has been told in sastra: gurur na sa syat.na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum. ["One should not take up the post of spiritual master unless he is able to lead his disciple from the cycle of birth and death. (Bhag. 5.5.18).]" Mrtyu is on our head. Death is on our head. It may come at any moment. At any moment, even while sitting here, death may come. When traveling in an airplane, boat or car, they may crash. All may die at any second. Those who can save us - they are guru. If guru cannot save us from this quickly coming death, if mother, father, husband, wife, sons or daughters cannot save us from this death which may come at any moment, really they should be rejected Once Mira wrote a letter to Tulsidas and asked: "What should I do? My husband, and my father and mother-in-law are now all against my spiritual life. They are not favorable. What should I do?" Tulsidas at once wrote a letter in reply: Jineke na priya rama videhi."You should at once reject them all. Don't delay. Prahlada rejected his father and Bharata rejected his mother. The gopis all rejected their husbands, and Bali Maharaja even rejected his gurudeva who told him not to fulfill the desire of Vamanadeva." Bali Maharaja said, "I cannot tolerate such instruction. I am rejecting my guru." Such gurus are blind. Those who are not helping in Krishna Consciousness should be rejected at once. Vibhisana rejected his eldest brother, although he was like his father, and Kaviraja Gosvami rejected his elder brother along with his kula-guru. Don't delay for a moment. Here is an example: Someone said, "I wanted milk, so I bought a cow - a very beautiful cow. However, although I was supporting, nursing, and giving her grass and so many things, still she was not giving milk. She was barren. What should I do? I want milk." Someone else replied, "No harm; bring another cow - a good cow. She will give a calf, and you will have milk." Similarly, if you have somehow selected a guru, but Krishna-bhakti is not coming - our love and affection for Krishna is not coming and we are not developing our Krishna consciousness-reject that guru. If, however, he is humble and admits, "Oh, I am not qualified. You should go and get higher association. You should go to that higher Vaisnava." then he is really a guru. Giving some respect to him, you should try to go to such higher association. Pay respect to your guru even if he is madhyama and doesn't know so much, even if he is not helping so much - but he is favorable. However, if he is not favorable and is always making obstruction, saying, "You should not attend darsana of any high-class guru. Only be with me and pay some daksina. You are my wealth, my property." then he should be rejected. If any guru considers that his disciples are his property, thinking, "I should enjoy that property." then he is a bogus guru, not a real guru. If you are within such a guru and disciple relationship, both you and that guru will go to hell. Shrila Jiva Gosvamipada has quoted from Mahabharata in his Bhakti Sandarbha. There it is said, 'Gururapi avaliptasya'. If your guru is engaged in sense gratification, if he has no discrimination to think what is good and bad, and if he is criticizing or offending any high class of devotee, at once he should be given up. What should the disciple do next? He should search for an exhalted, realized guru, and this bogus guru should be given up. If you do not give him up and if you continue to have great affection for him, then you will go to hell and that bogus person will also go to hell - surely. We should know all these things. Vaisnava hanti nindati vaidvesti. Your guru may know all kinds of sastra and he may be expert in quoting evidence from sastra, but if he is not detached from worldly desires and sense gratification, if he has no realization, and if he is therefore not giving proper respect to sincere devotees, then he is not even a Vaisnava. He is a vaisnava-aparadhi, an offender to Vaisnavas. At once we should give him up, and instead accept a Vaisnava guru. Avaisnavopeksa. Go to any very advanced guru who has all the transcendental qualities and therefore never has the chance to fall down. You should take initiation again from such a bona fide guru. If you don't know any uttama guru, or you are not searching, or if you are unable to search for such a guru, at least you should be in the association of an advanced Vaisnava. Gradually he will help you. If you are not following this, then it will be very hard no progress even in thousands and thousands of years. Guru-nistha is the backbone of bhakti. Some ask if I am re-initiating. I have never re-initiated. If anyone's guru is fallen or he has no faith in his guru, I will help him. At first, as a promise to myself, I decided I would not make any disciples in my entire life. My gurudeva wanted to give me this acaryapada, position of acarya, but I protested and said, "I am not qualified. I cannot make disciples." Many years later, due to my relationship with your Prabhupada, my siksa- guru, Iskcon leaders used to come and hear from me. I told them that I would only help them, and that I would not initiate anyone. After some time they became opposed and thought, "Oh, he will take all my property, and he will enjoy as we are enjoying. We will thus be deprived of everything." I was not going to take their property. Then they announced, "No one can go to hear from Narayana Maharaja. If they go, they will be kicked out of Iskcon forever. We have no place for them. They cannot enter our temples." The temple leaders did this with so many, and therefore I began thinking, "What I should do? To whom will the devotees go forj shelter?" I then decided that I must help them, and at that time I began to initiate. After that the leaders told me that I must be under their guidance, but I rejected their proposal. So I am not re-initiating. I am only trying to help them. If I do not help, then who will help them? Because they have lost faith in their gurus, I am doing so. I have discussed all these things because we should know all sastric conclusions. Brajanatha Prabhu: A question is raised by devotees who are doubting whether we should hear from other advanced devotees. They say that to hear from anyone other than Prabhupada is like prostitution. Syamarani dasi: People think that if we hear sastra from anyone but Shrila Prabhupada, then we are not faithful to him. They think that we should only hear from him, from his own mouth, his own body, or his own books. Even if the same thing is spoken by another pure devotee, still they have the conception that one is like a prostitute and faithless to one's own guru if they hear from 'someone else'. They are not understanding that guru is one, and also they are not understan ding the principle of guru-parampara. Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 1, states that the siksa-guru is non-different from the svarupa, or the very nature of Krishna, and the diksa guru is non-different from the very form of Krishna. He is not Krishna, but he is a manifestation of the form of Krishna. As we know, Krishna's form and nature are non-different. When His nature is such that He is laughing, the laughter manifests on His form; there is no difference between His emotions and His body. If He is fainting emotionally, then His body faints. Similarly, because the siksa and diksa gurus are manifestations of His nature and form respectively, there is no difference between them. The same person may also be both the siksa and diksa-guru. For example, Shrila Prabhupada is both my diksa-guru and my siksa-guru. Or, the diksa and siksa guru may have different forms. My diksa-guru is Shrila Prabhupada and my other siksa-guru is Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. Guru is one because they are both manifestations of Krishna. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has stated in Rag-vartma Candrika that if your diksa-guru has left the world before you are fully mature and before you are able to hear his instructions in your heart, it is compulsory to search out a qualified siksa-guru who is as competent as the diksa-guru. A bona fide siksa-guru will be an equal manifestation of the diksa- guru. There is no difference in instruction between Krishna and Krishna. If one is inquiring about the highest benefit of life, pure Krishna consciousness, such an inquirer must search out a bona fide spiritual master who has heard from the guru-parampara, who is fully knowledgeable in all sastric conclusions, and who has realized what he is speaking. He is experiencing Krishna face to face. Shrila Prabhupada gave the following example: Before he came to the West, he read how it snowed in America, and he told his friends about it. He had no realization of the snow, and therefore he was merely speaking words. When he came to America, then he could understood what snow was - because he felt it. Similarly, one who actually sees Krishna and experiences Krishna face to face, is a self-realized soul. His instruction is the same as the instruction of the diksa-guru, because there is no difference between Krishna's instruction and Krishna's instruction. In this way, there is no difference between hearing from Prabhupada and hearing from any other pure devotee. The very meaning of the word Prabhupada is one who is one who is the representative of the lotus feet of Krishna. Any bona fide representative of Krishna's feet is as good as our Prabhupada. Shrila Narayana Maharaja and Shrila Prabhupada are associates in the spiritual world, and they are associates in this world. If we ourselves don't understand what our Shrila Prabhupada is saying, due to our own lack of bhakti, sukritis, samskaras, or faith in him, we will think that Shrila Narayana Maharaja is saying something different. For example, there are at least one hundred or one hundred fifty quotes in Shrila Prabhupada's books which say that the jiva can never fall from Goloka Vrndavana. There is no maya there, and therefore there is no question of falling from there. Shrila Gurudeva is also preaching like that. Without this belief in the dhama, we cannot advance in Krishna consciousness. Who will want to go to Goloka Vrndavana if there is again maya? This is dhama-aparadha. Because, to our material mind and senses, on a couple of occasions Shrila Prabhupada said something that sounded different, if we don't have intelligence to reconcile his statements, we will think he teaches that the jiva falls from Goloka. It is stated in sastra that vaisnava-aparadha is so dangerous that even if a mahabhagavata commits vaisnava-aparadha he will fall down. Some persons therefore conclude that a mahabhagavata uttama-adhikari, an associate of Krishna, can fall down if he offends a vaisnava. However, it is not possible for him to do so. This statement is Bhagavatam is only there to show the gravity of vaisnava-aparadha. Only a pure devotee, only a mahabhagavat, can understand another mahabhagavat. Just because I have diksa initiation from Shrila Prabhupada, it doesn't mean I can understand a word he says. Real diksa is: di means divya-jnana, realization of my transcendental relationship with Krishna. Ksa means the taking away of all obstacles to bhakti. The real diksa disciple, therefore, is another mahabhagavata, who is an associate of Krishna and who realizes His instruction. As there is no difference between the diksa-guru and siksa-guru, there is no difference between a diksa disciple and a siksa disciple. Shrila Narayana Maharaja is a siksa disciple of Shrila Prabhupada. A very important point here is that Shrila Prabhupada has instructed his disciples to hear from Shrila Gurudeva. If you look on the VNN web-site, there is a discussion with Shrila Prabhupada and Shrila Gurudeva in November, 1977, where, in front of all his disciples, Shrila Prabhupada is personally instructing Shrila Gurudeva to take care of them. He said at that time, "I brought so many unqualified disciples, and whoever Krishna sent me, with whatever capacity they had, I tried to help them. But I could not fully help them, because of their own disqualification. Now I am going, and I am asking you to help them further." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: If you are not intelligent to go deep, to understand your guru, then you will not be very qualified. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada, your Gurudeva, has never written, "You should not hear from anyone except me. You should not go to any other person." Has he written this? He would never do so. He has translated Chaitanya Charitamrita, but he has not written any new book. He has translated Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami's work. He has quoted the verses of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and others. If anyone has curiosity to see the original book, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, what harm is there? Though he has translated so many books, he has never prohibited his disciples from reading the original books. He has not written Shrimad Bhagavatam, but rather he has translated it. Sometimes I see in these books, "Author: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada", but he is not the author. He has written the translation and commentary. If anyone is reading the Bengali translation and commentary of Shrimad Bhagavatam by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, should we reject him? Will your Prabhupada be happy by that? Suppose Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura were to come to you and say, "These are my instructions. Please hear." What will you do? Will you reject him? Will you say, "Go back. We want only Prabhupada"? This would be a very bogus idea. If Rupa Gosvami or Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu come to you and tell you something, and you say, "Oh, go back, go back. We don't want you. We want only to hear Shrila Prabhupada." Will Prabhupada be happy? Never. His mission is only to fulfill their desire. You should not reject them. You should honor them. I am not different from Shrila Swami Maharaja in any way. In the beginning he told you, A, B, C, D. A, apple; B, ball; C, cat; and D, dog. I am telling something more, by his desire. We should not remain in first grade for all time. If we are not gradually developing our study, then we are like foolish persons. We cannot remain in the same position, in the same stage, always. If Shrila Swami Maharaja were here now, he would tell you all the same things that I am telling. Surely he would. Brajanatha Prabhu: Next question: Some devotees think that your way of performing the morning program is different from what Shrila Prabhupada taught them, and so they cannot accept it. They think it is a deviation. Shrila Narayana Maharaja: I want to clarify this for you. If you are doing arati of Krishna and Radha, what is the use of singing to Nrsmhadeva? You should chant the kirtana by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, by Dina Krishnadasa, and others. Shrila Narottama has written, Jaya jaya radha-Krishna jugala-milana, and we should chant that. Suppose your gurudeva wants you to give him some mahaprasadam preparation, and instead you pour cold water on his hand. What is this? It is nonsense. Prabhupada gave some concession for the beginners. Now, if you are performing arcana and arati of Radha and Krishna, then you should sing the song of that very Radha-Krishna arati. If you are performing the arati of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Jaya jaya gauracandra, at that time why should you chant to Nrsmhadeva? If you are offering bhoga, then why chant namo maha-vadanyaya or namo brahmanya devaya? What is the need of those slokas? You should simply pray, "I am offering this bhoga to You. Please accept it. There are so many mantras and so many procedures. At first, for beginners, and for those who had not received second initiation, he said, "Oh, chant namo maha-vadanyaya, and He will accept your offering. But now, in developing further, you must utter the proper mantras and slokas. When performing arati of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, do not sing samsara davanala lidha loka to gurudeva. You should chant that before arati, and while arati is being performed, you should chant, Jaya jaya gauracandra or Jaya jaya Radha-Krishna jugala-milana. This arati should be sung. When you are making a bhoga offering, then you should pray Shrim klim radha- Krishnabhyam.or etat nivedyam klim gauraya svaha. This is the method adopted by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and before that, by Narada, Vyasa, Sukadeva Gosvami, Isvara Puri, and Madhavendra Puri. This was also accepted by Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvami, and especially by Sanatana Gosvami in Hari Bhakti Vilas. He has given all these rules and regulations. Your Prabhupada was so kind, and therefore he made some concessions. He did not want to disturb anyone. He considered, "Somehow they should chant, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna." After that, however, he said, "You should not commit any offense while chanting." After that he told them, "You should chant with a sense of relationship with Krishna." After that there were so many other things he wanted to tell you. He has written it all in his books, but so many were not intelligent to accept all his teachings. They neglected his words. They never honored the mood of their gurudeva, and thus they very quickly fell down. If those who appear to be in good standing are committing offenses, it is understood that they are also falling. They must be fallen. Those who are sincere grhastha-bhaktas or renunciates will be okay. We should therefore try to know the real deep meaning of what Shrila Swami Maharaja has written. If they had followed his orders, I think they would never have fallen down. We must go deeply into his teachings. Brajanatha Prabhu: Last question. They think that your mood is different from Shrila Prabhupada's. They say that this mood that you have is too high, that it is not for them. Shrila Narayana Maharaja: For a beginner, the second class is too high. But, like a plantworm, he first puts forward one foot on the next leaf or twig, and when he is confident that his foot is situated on sound ground, he lifts the other foot. This is also the process of ascending to the roof. If you are not following, you will think, "I like to remain on the first step, because my gurudeva has told to be here. He has never told me to place my feet on the next step. How I can take my feet from here?" There was a well made by any father - for drinking water. His son was thinking, "My father has made a well." After some time the water in the well became contaminated, and there were so many worms there. Ganges was very near, and many good advisors, the son's older and wiser relatives, told him, "Don't take water from this well; otherwise you will fall sick. So many rogas, diseases, will come." The boy replied, "I cannot obey you. My father has made this well. Whether I live or die, I must take water from this well. I don't know Ganges. I will not go to Ganges. I will take this well water." What is this? It is nonsense. You should try to understand what your father did. He wanted to give pure water. If your water is not pure, you should try to make it pure and then drink it. Still better, you should go to Ganges. We should try to know Shrila Swami Maharaja's real mood. In the morning, at the time of mangala-arati, we sing the kirtanas written by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Dina Krishna dasa and other acaryas. My Guru Maharaja has written a very good mangala-arati song. Why should we not sing that? When all the other prayers and worship are completed, we may pray to Nrsimhadeva, "O, please save me from all demons. There are so many demons. You saved Prahlad Maharaja from demons, and I pray that You will also save me. Who are those demons? Oh, lust is a big demon. Anger is a big demon. So you should kindly save me." Then you can pray, "Namaste narasimhaya prahladahlada-dayine..." You should never think that Nrsimhadeva is other than Krishna. Krishna becomes Nrsimhadeva when any demon or danger or problem comes. Krishna Himself becomes Nrsimhadeva. We should accept the help of those who are helpful in our Krishna Consciousness. You know that Hanuman is very powerful. He is Lord Sankara himself, but we don't want his help. What do we want? We want the help of Sankara when he is in the form of Gopisvara Mahadeva. In that form he will help us. For only giving up all bad habits, Nrsimhadeva will help. But how will he help us in the attainment of Vrndavana and the gopis? Can he give this? Can Hanuman give this? Who will give it? We will worship those who will give us the mood of the gopis. We can worship Yogamaya, we can worship Giriraja Govardhana, Vrnda devi, Radha Kunda, and Syama Kunda. They are very favorable, and they can give us Krishna-prema. Sankara in his form as Rudra cannot give it, and therefore we don't pray to him, and we don't pray to Nrismhadeva for this. When we are in danger, Nrsimhadeva will come, and He will save us as He did Prahlada. We give so much honor to Nrsimhadeva, but in the appropriate time and in accordance with His mood. If we are remembering Nrsimhadeva when we are doing arcana of Radha-Krishna, then Radha and Krishna will go away. Even if you are chanting kirtana and performing arcana to Radha-Krishna, if you are keeping Nityananda Prabhu there, then, according to our Vedic culture, Radha-Krishna will not be there. They will run away from there. Therefore, don't keep Radha-Krishna and Gaurcandra-Nityananda Prabhu in the same section of the altar. You can keep only Radha-Krishna and Mahaprabhu on one altar. Because Mahaprabhu is Radha-Krishna Himself, there is no harm in that. There is no rasabhasa. However, if you are keeping Radha-Krishna, Gaur-Nityananda, Nrsimha, Hanuman, Rama, Dvarakadhisa-Satyabhama, Lord Jagannatha-Baladeva-Subhadra, and the gopis on the same altar - if you are making a mixture of them all - then Radha and Krishna are really not there. They can never be there. You should realize this. In Indian culture, if the elder brother is present, the younger brother and his wife cannot play together. Never, never, and never. Baladeva Prabhu is like a father to Radhika. If He is present, Radha and Krishna will not meet. They will quickly run away. Radhika offers pranama to Baladeva Prabhu as a father. Nowadays, in Western civilization, even a woman can go naked even before the eyes of the elder brother of her husband. She can also play with him. In Rasa-sastra, however, if you want to love Krishna and Radhika, you will have to do everything properly. Your Prabhupada could not teach all these things to his unqualified disciples, and therefore he told me to teach them something so that gradually they would learn. If he had told them at that time, they could not have understood. You should try to know all these truths. I am not telling anything other than what Shrila Swami Maharaja wanted.
  2. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Alachua, Florida: May 3, 2008 We explained in yesterday's class that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became angry after His danda was broken by Nityananda Prabhu. *[See endnote 1] He said, "O Nityananda Prabhu, Mukunda, Damodara, Jagadananda - either all of you should go to see Lord Jagannatha first, or I should go first. I do not want to go with you." They replied, "Lord, please go first. We will go later." Do you know the place of Mahaprabhu's pastimes called Danda-bhanga? This is the place where Mahaprabhu's danda was broken. From there, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw the cakra on top of Lord Jagannatha's temple (approximately six miles away), and He offered His obeisances. When He entered the temple, Shrimati Radhika's mood manifested within Him so heavily that as soon as He saw Lord Jagannatha, overwhelmed with an intolerable pain of separation, He at once fell upon the ground, unconscious. At that time His mind, absorbed in Shrimati Radhika's transcendental sentiments when She saw Shri Krishna at Kurukshetra, was thinking, "O My most beloved, I have met You after such a long time." sei ta parana-natha painu yaha lagi' madana-dahane jhuri' genu ["Now I have gained the lord of my life, in the absence of whom I was being burned by Cupid and was withering away." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita (Madhya-lila 13.113)] Seeing Mahaprabhu fainting in the temple and not understanding His divinity, the guards of the temple took hold of bamboo rods. They were ready to beat Him and take Him out of the temple, but they were forbidden to do so by Shri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. Having seen the Lord's manifestation of transcendental ecstasy in the form of sudipta, pradipta, and all the sattvika bhavas, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya considered, "I have never before seen these symptoms in any devotee. I have read about them in books, but I have never seen them before now. This is very wonderful. Oh, He may be a maha-bhagavata, a topmost devotee in ecstatic love of God." Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya requested his disciples, "Please carry Him to my house." Five or six disciples then picked up Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and brought Him to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's house, which was not very far away from the temple. You can go and see this temple when you are in Jagannatha Puri. There, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu remained unconscious for over five hours, until the afternoon. In the meantime, Nityananda Prabhu, Damodara Pandita, Jagadananda Pandita, and Mukunda arrived at Lord Jagannatha's temple, where they heard that a sannyasi had come and fainted and had been brought by Sarvabauma Bhattacarya to his house. They went immediately to that house, where they became very pleased to see their Lord. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told them to go and see the Deity of Lord Jagannatha and then return, upon which Nityananda Prabhu and his company went, and soon returned. They surrounded Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and performed a very loud kirtana, at which time Mahaprabhu became conscious and jumped up, calling out, "Hari bol! Hari bol!" Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told Him, "Prabhu, Please do not go alone to visit the Jagannatha Deity. I will go with You or send someone with You." After this he told Gopinatha Acarya, His brother-in-law, "Please go to the home of my maternal aunt and make all arrangements for Mahaprabhu to stay there. It is a very solitary and good place, where hardly anyone goes." Gopinatha Acarya then took Mahaprabhu there. After that a discussion ensued between Gopinatha Acarya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, wherein Sarvabhauma heard about the identity of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In that conversation Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya first asked, "Who is this person?" Gopinatha Acarya replied, "He is the son of Jagannatha Misra, whose father-in-law is Nilambara Cakravarti. He is from Navadvipa." Sarvabauma Bhattacarya said, "I know Nilambara Cakravarti. He was a classmate of my father. I am very happy to know that this sannyasi is related to me. I will teach Him Vedanta and improve His sannyasa." Gopinatha Acarya replied to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, who was with his disciples, "Who are you desiring to teach?? Do you know who is He is? He is the Supreme Lord Himself, Shri Krishna. The disciples of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya asked, "How can you say that He is the Supreme Lord?" Gopinath Acarya replied, "No one can know by direct perception. Direct perception is not evidence: nayam atma pravacanena labhyo na medhasa na bahuna srutena yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam ["The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, or even by much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form." (Mundaka Upanisad 3.2.3)] "With whom the Lord becomes happy, He mercifully reveals Himself to that person; in this way one can know Him. He will not be known by the scholars of The Vedic Scriptures. I know that you are a scholar; there is no one equal to you in this world. Still, because you are devoid of pure devotion to the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, you cannot know Him. If you will receive His mercy one day, only then you can know Him." In this way the dialogue was going on between them. After that, one day Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went with Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya to see Lord Jagannatha, and when they returned, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told Him, "I want to teach you Vedanta." Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replied "You are My guru; you are like My father. I have given Myself to your lotus feet. Please teach Me." Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya began to explain scriptural sutras like "athato brahma jijnasa," "ananda-mayo 'bhyasat," and so many other sutras and verses. However, he wrongly explained all this to mean that the Absolute Spirit is without qualities, or form, or powers. In this way He continued to explain his faulty conclusions for seven days, during which time Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was only hearing - not speaking. He was not even saying, "Very good, very good," or "I am not understanding your words." Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya was in wonder and considered, "I think this boy does not understand. Why is He silent, not asking anything?" He asked Mahaprabhu why He was silent. Mahaprabhu replied that the verses of the Vedic scriptures are as clear as the Sun, but that his explanations were like the covering cloud. He quoted the verse (from Svetasvatara Upanisad, 3.19): apani-pado javano grahita pasyaty acaksuh sa srnoty akarnah sa vetti vedyam na ca tasyasti vetta tam ahur agryam purusam mahantam ["Without legs and hands, He moves and accepts. Without eyes He sees, and without ears He hears. He knows all that is knowable, but no one knows Him. They call Him the original Supreme Person."] Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya had explained this verse in such a way as to mean that the Supreme Lord has no power and no form, but Mahaprabhu explained it from the viewpoint of a devotee. Most Indian learned scholars in this world follow the Vedanta commentary of Shripad Sankaracarya, the leader of the impersonalists, who writes that the Supreme Spiritual Truth is only knowledge and bliss. He says, "He is satyam jnanam anantam brahma - He is ananda-svarupa. He is knowledge, and He is bliss." But this is actually wrong. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya that the Supreme Truth is surely ananda, of the nature of bliss, but He is also ananda-maya, a Transcendental Person, who is full of bliss. Shrila Vyasadeva states in the Brahma-sutra, (1.1.12) "Ananda-mayo 'bhyasat - by nature the Lord is always joyful." Mahaprabhu told the Bhattacarya, "You should perform bhakti to this form of transcendental happiness. Though He is happiness, He is also the reservoir of happiness. He is jnana (knowledge), but He is also jnani, the possessor of knowledge, and He can give knowledge to others as well. He is not formless; He is the Supreme Lord: ete camsa-kalah pumsah Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge ["All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on various planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28)] "You also said that the soul is one in all respects with that an impersonal Absolute Truth: "You are all brahma, I am also brahma, tattvam-asi, aham brahmasmi, and sarvam khalvidam brahma: whatever we see in this world is also brahma." Mahaprabhu said "Your statements are not actually the prominent explanations of the Vedas. Rather it is the transcendental vibration Om, and Om is Krishna, the Supreme Lord. Who is Krishna? Shrimad Bhagavatam states: aho bhagyam aho bhagyam nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam yan-mitram paramanandam purnam brahma sanatanam ["How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men, and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme brahma, has become their friend." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.32)] Mahaprabhu inquired from Sarvabhuama Battacarya, "Why have you said that the Supreme has no form, no qualities? He is very merciful. What would be the need of worshiping a God who has no mercy? If the Supreme Truth cannot do anything, there is no need for such a Supreme Truth." Mahaprabhu continued, "Sruti (the Vedas) is the first evidence. There it is stated that a human being's stool, urine, and bones are very impure. However, although a conchshell is bone, and cow dung and cow urine are stool and urine, they are always pure. In fact, we perform abhiseka (the bathing ceremony of the Deity on the altar) of Krishna with cow urine and cow dung, and we use conch-shells in all temples. Sruti says this. You are not speaking from Sruti. You are twisting the meaning and imagining your own meaning, not giving the direct meaning. Especially, the living entities are not the Supreme Spirit Truth." There are so many examples of this in the Vedas. yato vä imäni bhütäni jäyante, yena jätäni jévanti yat prayanty abhisaàviçanti, tad vijijïäsasva tad brahma ["Search for that Supreme Truth, from whom all existence arises, by whom all beings exist, and into whom they enter." (Taittiriya Upanisad 3.1.1)] There are seven grammatical cases (declensions), [* See Endnote 2] and all of them describe only that Supreme Truth: 1) karma - nominative 2) karana_ accusative 3) kartr - instrumental 4) sampradana - dative 5) apadana - ablative 6) sambandha - genitive 7) adhikarana - locative "The Absolute Truth is He from whom this world has come, [from whom indicates the ablative case (apadana)] and in whom this world rests [in whom indicates the locative case (adhikarana)], who (The Supreme Truth) is protecting and nourishing the world [The subject of a verb is in the nominative case (karma)], and unto whom the world returns in the end [unto whom indicates the dative case (sampradana)] This world is created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead [by indicates the instrumental case (kartr)]. This world belongs to Him [belongs to indicates the genitive case (sambandha)], and everyone and everything exists to serve Him [Him indicates the accusative case (karana)]. How, then, can He be without form and qualities?" Mahaprabhu continued, "If it is true that everything we see in this world is ultimately manifested from that Supreme Truth (brahma) and all jivas are brahma - "sarvam khalvidam brahma," "aham brahmasmi" - how, then, can the world be false (mithya).You have said, "brahma satya jagan mithya - the Absolute Spirit is truth and this world is false." How can you say this? You are also saying that all jivas are God. You have quoted "aham brahmasmi" and other verses that are not the prominent Vedic mantras (maha-vakyas). "One of the prominent Vedic statements is given in Mundaka Upanisad. There it is stated that the individual spirit soul is infinitesimal, whereas the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unlimited. The soul is minute and therefore it can be covered with maya, whereas the Supreme Truth is the master of maya. How can they be the same? balagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca bhago jivah sa vijneyah sa canantyaya kalpate "'If the tip of a hair were divided into one hundred parts, and if one of those parts were again divided into a hundred parts, that one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair would be the dimension of the living entity.'" Mahaprabhu continued, "The Absolute Spirit Whole is the greatest. The entire world is in one of His bodily pores, only one; there are millions of universes within Him. The individual soul is His part and parcel, coming from tatastha-sakti, His marginal energy, and it can be covered by maya. You are saying that God and the minute soul are the same? Maya punishes those who speak like this. "You should understand that the jiva soul is minute and is part and parcel of the Supreme Absolute Truth. There are unlimited jivas, and they are all His parts and parcels. In Bhagavad-Gita it is stated: mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah manah-sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati ["The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind." (Bhagavad-gita 15.7)] Shri Krishna is not without sakti: na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca ["He does not possess bodily form like that of an ordinary living entity. There is no difference between His body and His soul. He is absolute. All His senses are transcendental. Any one of His senses can perform the action of any other sense. Therefore, no one is greater than Him or equal to Him. His potencies are multifarious, and thus His deeds are automatically performed as a natural sequence." (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7-8)] From this verse Mahaprabhu explained that the Supreme Lord possesses unlimited powers (saktis), like jiva-sakti (the living entities), maya-sakti (the external, deluding potency), cit-sakti (the transcendental power), hladini-sakti (the power of spiritual bliss), samvit sakti (the power of transcendental knowledge, by which the Lord knows Himself and causes others to know Him), and sandhini-sakti (the power of spiritual maintenance and existence). He possesses so many potencies. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained His philosophical conclusions in such a way that Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya raised several questions, to which Mahaprabhu replied, defeating all of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's arguments. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya then told Mahaprabhu, "I want to hear Your explanation of the meaning of the verse beginning atmaramas ca munayo." atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim ittham-bhuta-guno harih ["‘Those who are self-satisfied and unattracted by material desires are also attracted to the loving service of Shri Krishna, whose qualities are transcendental and whose activities are wonderful. Hari, the Personality of Godhead, is called Krishna because He has such transcendentally attractive features.'" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.10)] Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, "You please explain it first." The Bhattacarya then explained this verse in nine ways, after which Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him, "You are personally Brhaspati, the teacher of the demigods; no one can explain scripture as you can." Mahaprabhu then said that there are some more meanings to be told, and He proceeded to give eighteen explanations without touching the nine. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya then said, "Unless one is Krishna, the Supreme Absolute Truth, no one cannot explain the Vedic conclusions in the way You have done." Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya thus realized that Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and fell flat at His lotus feet. Mahaprabhu then showed him His four-armed form, then His form as Krishna, then His six-armed form which combined Krishna, Rama, and Mahaprabhu together. At that time Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya became a high-class Vaisnava, and shortly after this incident he wrote down the following Shrimad-Bhagavatam verse: tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak ["My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words, and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8)] He substituted the word ‘bhakti' for the word ‘mukti,' thus writing "bhakti-pade sa daya-bhak." Reading this change, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him, "You need not do this. What is written in Shrimad Bhagavatam is okay. ‘Mukti-pade' means that mukti, liberation from the miseries of material existence, is found at the lotus feet of bhakti (pure devotion to Shri Krishna). Approximately one month after this, Mahaprabhu desired to go to South India. He told Nityananda Prabhu and others, "My brother Visvarupa has renounced the world and taken sannyasa, and I have not received any news from him. I want to go to South India to search for him, but I want to go alone; not with any other devotee." His associates requested that a servant go with Him, so He accepted that a young brahmana named Kala Krishnadasa would accompany Him. Just before His departure, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told Him, "Do you know Raya Ramananda? I used to joke with him by telling him that he does not know anything, but now I am realizing that he is a high-class rasa-tattvajna devotee. He knows all philosophical truths and all about the Lord's loving pastimes." He requested the Lord, "Since You are going to South India, You must meet with him." On the way to South India, Mahaprabhu saw many temples, and finally He reached Vidyanagara in South India, where Raya Ramananda was the governor under Maharaja Pratraparudra. Mahaprabhu met with Raya Ramananda there, on the bank of the Godavari River, and we will discuss their dialogue. [*Endnote 1: "When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to the temple of Lord Siva known as Kapotesvara, Nityananda Prabhu, who was keeping His sannyasa staff in custody, broke the staff in three parts and threw it into the river Bharginadi. Later this river became known as Danda-bhanga-nadi. PURPORT The mystery of the sannyasa-danda (staff) of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has been explained by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the order of sannyasa from a Mayavadi sannyasi. The Mayavadi sannyasis generally carry one staff, or danda. Taking advantage of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's absence, Shrila Nityananda Prabhu broke the staff into three parts and threw it into the river later known as the Danda-bhanga-nadi. In the sannyasa order there are four divisions-kuticaka, bahudaka, hamsa and paramahamsa. Only when the sannyasi remains on the kuticaka and bahudaka platforms can he carry a staff. However, when one is elevated to the status of hamsa or paramahamsa, after touring and preaching the bhakti cult, he must give up the sannyasa staff. alachua_class Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is therefore said, Shri-Krishna-Chaitanya, radha-Krishna nahe anya: "Two personalities-Shrimati Radharani and Shri Krishna-are combined in the incarnation of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." Therefore, considering Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to be an extraordinary person, Lord Nityananda Prabhu did not wait for the paramahamsa stage. He reasoned that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is automatically on the paramahamsa stage; therefore He does not need to carry the sannyasa-danda. This is the reason Shri Nityananda Prabhu broke the staff into three pieces and threw it into the water." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 5.142-3, with purport by Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja)] *Endnote 2: [The earliest Sanskrit grammar is the Astadhayi of Panini. All of our Gosvamis studied Panini's Astadhyayi from childhood. According to Panini the cases or declensions of nouns (called karakas) show the relationship between nouns and verbs. Therefore, he accepted only six karakas, because the genitive case (possessive) shows the relationship between two nouns. Shrila Jiva Gosvami composed a grammar for Gaudiya Vaisnavas called Shri Harinamamrta Vyakaranam in which he accepts seven cases. They are first described in Chapter 2 of Visnupada prakaranam, sutra 3 - ed] Editor: Shyamarani dasi Assistant Editor: Hariballabha dasi Transcriber: Vasanti dasi Typist: Lalit Kishori dasi Proofreader: Krishna-kamini dasi
  3. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja House Darshan, Vrindavan 22 April 1994 Shrila Gurudeva, “If anyone will call out these names, Jaya Rupa Santana, Bhatta Raghunatha….. they will mercifully come and give mercy to that Sadhaka so that all anarthas and little things will go away and Krishna prema will come. Always remember this and be peaceful and try to leave this body as a piece of cloth. Never fear from death. Let it come; like Bhisma, he never feared from death; he always welcomed death. I think that at the time of death, of his departure from this world, he had no pain or suffering. So always chant and try to concentrate your mind at the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna conjugal. Always, “Radha Madhava, Radha Govinda, Radha Gopinatha, Radha Syamasundar,” always. If you cannot chant Hare Krishna for so long, then only “Hare Krishna,” “Radhe Radhe.” Always remember this. Yama will not come; that is guaranteed. Always chant. In Vrindavan, Yama will not come after you. All of this is going on by the arrangement of Krishna. And if there is anything painful coming, then “Radhe Radhe!” I came to Swamiji in the same state. One day before he was talking with me and the next day he left. Hearing Hare Krishna, he went to Radha and Krishna. You should remember and call to Shrimati Radhika more than Krishna because she is your Swaminiji. Your Master is Shrimati Radhika. Have you this mood in your heart? The Master of Vrindavan is Shrimati Radhika. You are alright. I am so much happy to see you, but I am unhappy feeling that a devotee like you is separating from me. You are a sincere and good devotee. We will meet forever in Giriraja under a Tamal tree. We will meet again and you will be in a very good and beautiful shape, like a gopi (Gurudeva laughing). Swamiji loved me also, so he kept me at his lotus feet. I am so glad. With Radha and Krishna, Gaura-Nitai, Prabhupada, I will also be in your heart always. Yes! “Narayana, Narayana”. Yama cannot come…” Transcription, editor: Sudevi dasi
  4. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja April 28-May 4, 2008 Alachua, Florida May 17, 2008, Miami, Florida Shrila Narayana Maharaja held a one-week hari-katha festival in Alachua, Florida from April 28-May 4. He stayed in the home of Lokaguru dasa and Lalita-sakhi dasi. Over 500 devotees attended the festival which was held at the rustic Florida Bible Camp. Shrila Maharaja spoke for six nights about the pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He discussed the reasons for the Lord’s advent, as well as His advent, baby pastimes, youth pastimes, His taking of sannyasa, His moving from Navadvipa to Jagannatha Puri, His defeating the mayavada scholar, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and finally His conversation with Shri Ramananda Raya. Mahalaksmi dasi speaking Shrila Narayana Maharaja always encourages his young and old, male and female, scholarly and simple, devotees to become preachers and teachers of Mahaprabhu’s mission. To encourage new speakers, one evening after class, three devotees were called on to speak for five minutes about the glories of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After they spoke, Shrila Narayana Maharaja called upon the Sannyasi council to determine the winning speaker. They chose Mahalaksmi dasi as the winner. Just after Shrila Maharaja’s class on the evening of May 3rd, there was a drama directed by Caru Candrika dasi about Mahaprabhu’s associate, Gauridasa Pandita, and the Pandita’s Deities of Gaura-Nitai. After the play Shrila Narayana Maharaja expressed his appreciation: "Very good drama play. Shri Narahari Cakravarti has explained this pastime in his Shri Bhakti Ratnatkara.. By this sweet pastime, we should know that the Deities of Shri Jagannath, Baladeva, Subhadra-devi, Shri Gopinathji, Govindaji and Madana-Mohanaji are not only Deities coming from Jaipur and carved by someone. They are actually directly Krishna Himself. They are not mere statues. They are Vrajendra-nandana, They are Gaura-Nityananda, They are Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. We should not think that the Deity is made from clay, sand, or stone, or that anyone has made Them. The Deities are always transcendental, and They are controlled by the love and affection of Their devotees. Madana-Mohana used to talk with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Govindaji would talk with Shrila Rupa Gosvami. "Jagannatha-deva showed Himself to King Prataparudra’s father. When Purusottama Jana was about 24 years old, he was very beautiful and strong, and he had an agreement with the King of Vidyanagara in South India that he would marry the King’s daughter. He had been communicating with the King of Vidyanagara through messengers and the King informed him that he would come to meet him in person, but he did not specify when. Later, the King went unannounced to see with his own eyes how beautiful, wealthy, and qualified Purusottama Jana actually was. He went along with his whole family, to see if they would agree with the marriage proposal. At that time, fortunately or unfortunately, it was the first day of the Chariot Festival, and King Purusottama Jana was dressed as a sweeper, sweeping the road before Jagannatha-deva. Seeing this, the King of Vidyanagara became quite upset and felt some disgust toward him. He appreciated that Purusottama Jana was very youthful and beautiful, but he considered him to be a mere sweeper. He thought, ‘He is supposed to be so wealthy and qualified, but he is sweeping? I wanted to give my daughter to him, but now I see that he is not qualified. He is sweeping like a street-cleaner. I cannot give my daughter to this sweeper.’ Thinking like this, he returned home and cancelled the marriage. A few days after the festival was over, Purusottama Jana remembered the agreement and wondered what had happened. "He asked his counsellors, ‘That king wanted to give his daughter to me in marriage, but there has been no recent indication at all. Why not?’ The counsellors informed him, ‘He saw you sweeping on the day of the Ratha-yatra Festival and thought you were a mere sweeper. He doesn’t want to give his daughter to a common sweeper.’ "When Purusottama Jana heard this, he became angry and said, ‘I must invade his kingdom!’ In his mind, he told that king, ‘You don’t know the glory of my Jagannatha-deva!’ He collected all his soldiers and generals, declared war on that king, and a ferocious battle took place in the state of that other king. The King of Vidyanagara worshiped the demigod Ganesa, who was therefore somewhat favorable towards him. Ganesa fought against Purusottama Jana’s party and defeated them. Thus, extremely disturbed, they returned to Puri empty-handed. Weeping, Purusottama Jana went to the temple and told Lord Jagannatha, ‘O Lord, I am your servant. That very mighty King told me, "You are only a sweeper of Jagannatha," and he refused to give me his daughter in marriage. Please help me. I was sweeping for You. I thought You would help me at all times, but he defeated me. I’m serving You, and yet You didn’t help me. I was defeated because Ganesa helped him. I remembered You, but You did not help me. Now everyone in the world will think, "Jagannatha has no power, and that is why His devotee has no power. Jagannatha is very weak and insignificant." This is so shameful; I will die here. I will not eat or drink anything, and I will die here in front of You, in Your temple.’ "Later that night, King Purusottama Jana had a dream in which Jagannatha-deva told him, ‘Try again. Last time you went straight to war without calling Me and therefore I did not help you. But now I will help you. March again with all your soldiers and generals. Don’t be afraid, and don’t worry. Go and invade that king’s territory again. Baladeva and I will go there personally, and somehow you will be aware of this. You will defeat that king, along with Ganesa, and everyone else on his side.’ Purusottama Jana became very happy and made arrangements to again invade the kingdom. The next day he called for more soldiers and generals, and they started on their way and marched quickly towards Vidyanagara. "Meanwhile, Jagannatha and Baladeva got up on very strong and beautiful horses. Baladeva’s horse was white, and Krishna Himself rode a red one. They were both sixteen years of age, one blackish and the other white, and both were very powerful, strong, and beautiful. They wanted Purusottma Jana to have faith that they were going to fight for him, so they went some miles ahead of him. Many miles from Puri, they reached a village near Chilka, Alalanatha, near a very large and beautiful lake. There, Krishna and Baladeva came upon an old village gvalini (milk-lady) carrying a large pot of buttermilk on her head. It was a hot summer day, and Jagannatha and Baladeva said to her, ‘Mother, can you give us some buttermilk? We are very thirsty.’ ‘Can you pay me?’ the gvalini asked them. ‘I will give you some buttermilk if you pay me.’ Krishna and Baladeva replied, ‘We cannot pay you. We are soldiers of the King, and we are on the way to battle. Our King is coming and he will pay you when he reaches here. You can tell him, ‘Your two soldiers were going this way. One was blackish and the other white. They were riding on their horses with their swords and other weapons.’" She asked, "How will he be able to recognize that you are his soldiers? How will he know that it is his own soldiers who have taken this buttermilk?" They replied, "We will give you some proof to show the King, and then he will pay you." The village lady gave them her whole pot of buttermilk, and they drank it all and felt satisfied. Then they gave her their very beautiful rings and told her, "Give these rings to the King and tell him, ‘The owners of these rings have gone before you, and they said that you will pay for their buttermilk.’" The boys then went happily onwards. "The milk seller waited and waited, and finally the King arrived there with his entire army of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. When the army arrived, the old lady began to search for him, asking, ‘Where is the King? Where is the King?’ The soldiers told her, ‘The King is there," and she walked up to him and said, ‘Your two soldiers have gone ahead. They were young, beautiful, and very energetic, and they were riding on horses. They drank my entire pot of buttermilk, and they told me, "Our King will pay." So you should pay for my buttermilk.’ "The King told the old lady, ‘None of my soldiers have gone before us.’ She replied, ‘Yes, they have. I’ve seen them and I’ve given them my buttermilk.’ The King told her, ‘How can I believe they are my soldiers? All my soldiers are with me. No one has gone ahead. We are the first to come.’ Then he asked her, ‘Do you have any proof?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘I have proof.’ The milk-lady showed the two rings to the King, and on the rings he saw the names Jagannatha Simha and Baladeva Simha (Simha means ‘lion’). He became happy and inspired, and he thought, ‘These are the two rings I had made by the goldsmith. They are the same rings that I presented to Jagannatha and Baladeva! Jagannatha and Baladeva have done this for me so that I would know they are with me. This time I will surely conquer that King.’ He then donated some of his kingdom to that old village woman. He offered her a large estate, telling her, ‘Take this land and nourish many generations of your family with it.’ "Gaura-Nityananda Deities were singing and dancing and playing with Gauridasa Pandit. Gauridasa Pandit controlled Them by his love. We should not think that the Dieties are idols or statutes. They are Radha-Krishna and Mahaprabhu Themselves. Serve them like Gauridasa Pandit and then they will talk with you and play with you. It is for this reason that Shri Narahari Cakravarti has told this pastime. At the end Shrila Narayana Maharaja blessed the players by saying, "My blessings to you all that you must have prema-bhakti like Gauridasa Pandita." May 17, 2008: Miami, Florida Morning Walk After the Alachua festival, Shrila Maharaja went to Miami before flying to Houston. He gave one class, on the appearance day of Lord Nrsimghadeva, and also gave his audience during his daily morning walks. The following is an excerpt from the morning walk on May 17: [Raghunatha dasa:] "Shrila Gurudeva, when you are here with us – when we have the good fortune of your physical association – by your causeless mercy we feel so much strength. But when you travel all around the world, preaching and making new disciples and giving mercy in other places, we feel weak again. When you are far away, how can we maintain the strength we feel in your personal association?" [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] "You should think that I am always with you in the form of my books, and in the form of my lectures and classes. Know that I am always guiding you. If you do this, you will not be weak, and you will also be able to make others very strong." [Savitri dasi:] "Shrila Gurudeva, when we preach, we tell people that God, Krishna, has a personal form. We tell them He is a Person with a beautiful, attractive form. When we tell this to people, especially impersonalists, they argue that if we say God has a form, we are limiting Him. They are thinking that God is Absolute and impersonal, and when they think of Him as a Person it is limiting Him. How do we explain that this is not the truth?" [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] "I am always explaining this – wherever I go." [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] "Gurudeva has told this so many times. He has explained that the Bible says that God created man after His own image. In the Koran, Mohammedan says inalah kalakah mein suratihi." [Savitri dasi:] "Even when I tell this to people – that His form is not material; it is a transcendental form – still they…" [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] "You should try to grasp my arguments in this regard. That is why I speak about this. Try to satisfy them as I do. There is fire everywhere. There is no place where fire is not present. We cannot generally see this fire, but we can see it by following the process to do so. When we use matches and apply a small flame to any dry substance, this will take a very, very big form of fire, and this fire will not be extinguished even by great amounts of water. It will only be extinguished by the arrangement of Krishna – by heavy rain. In America we see that forest fires cannot be extinguished by any machines or human endeavor. It is only extinguished by rain." "Similarly, by following a certain process, we can even see the very beautiful form of Krishna. We can also see Him in His Universal Form. He is very beautiful. He is everywhere, and if you are not seeing Him, He is still everywhere. But by the practice of bhakti-yoga you can see Him." [Devotee:] "Shrila Gurudeva, I am talking about my personal experience. I have been chanting Hare Krishna for so many years and I am getting the mercy and association of Vaisnavas, especially your mercy. But I still have material desires in my heart. Is this because I am committing offences to the Vaisnavas? Does it mean that my bhakti is leaking out, as you mention in your classes? What do you think may be the reason that I still have material desires in my heart?" [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] "Now you are somewhat realizing, "Some defect is in me, and that is why I have no taste in hearing from Vaisnavas. It may be that I am offending a Vaisnava and that is why I am not developing taste. "Others, those in this world who are always totally engaged – one hundred percent and more than one hundred percent – in sense gratification, don’t realize this. They take wine, they gamble, smoke, and eat meat, beef, and other things. Now you are understanding something. So gradually, by chanting the holy name in the association of high-class Vaisnavas, you will improve. All unwanted things will go and you will be always happy. "So you are in the right path. You are inviting me with my traveling group and bearing our expenses. Moreover you are helping in my projects. You should know that by this process, you will very soon give up all your unwanted habits and mentalities (anarthas). Any offenses to Vaisnavas will go away, and all kinds of problems will go away. So we should be strong by chanting and remembering." Contributing editors: Ratna dasi Proofreader: Krishna-kamini dasi Writer and typist: Vasanti dasi Editor: Syamarani dasi
  5. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Alachua, Florida: April 29, 2008 I offer my heartly obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master, param-aradhyatama (most worshipful) nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and the same obeisances unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I am very happy that there are so many devotees here in Alachua. My blessings to the organizers. They have really done a splendid thing. They have called so many devotees from many various places to come here – both senior and junior devotees. Perhaps you know why I have come here. In the last days of my siksa-guru’s (Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja) manifest presence in this world, he called me and I went to his bedside. He wanted me to sit on his bed, but I offered my obeisances and sat on a separate chair. He then took my hands in his and said, "I have collected so many devotees from all over the whole world." Then, in Bengali, so that Tamal-Krishna Maharaja and others would not understand, he said, "I have brought so many monkeys." He was very tricky. Shrila Swami Maharaja said, "First, I request you to help them; only you can help them. Secondly, you should arrange my samadhi with your own hands." There were so many senior god-brothers in Vrndavana, like Bon Maharaja, and his senior sannyasis like Tamal Krishna Maharaja and others; so why did he ask me to give him samadhi? He did so because he considered that there is a transcendental relationship between him and me. He had previously written this in a letter to me: "I have a transcendental relationship with you – the same relationship that my Prabhupada (Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) has with me." Therefore, to fulfill his desires, I am traveling all over the world. In my travels, I see that after his departure so many senior devotees, including sannyasis, became married. Brahmacaris also returned to home-life and married. Seniors became bewildered and weak. It is for this reason that he has sent me, and I am seeing a good response. So many of his senior disciples are coming, and I am very happy to help them. Especially, I am very happy that there are so many of his senior disciples here in Alachua. The new devotees who are coming to me are also reading his books; it is by his inspiration that they are coming to me. During my Western tours up until now, I have given discourses on the pastimes of Shri Krishna. I have also spoken on the stages of bhakti and the gradations of devotees. I have discussed the sweet pastimes of Krishna from the first Canto up until the tenth Canto, and I have also discussed the eleventh Canto. Now, I want that you will hear some glories of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – without which you cannot understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam. If you know the sweet pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – why He came and what activities He performed – then you will actually understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam. You will understand who is Krishna, who is Shrimati Radhika, what is Vrndavana, and so on. If camphor and sugar is added in milk, this greatly increases the taste. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes are like sweet condensed milk and sugar, and Shri Krishna’s pastimes are like camphor. This has been explained by Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja. ["The pastimes of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are like condensed milk, and the pastimes of Lord Krishna are like camphor. When one mixes these, they taste very sweet. By the mercy of the pure devotees, whoever tastes them can understand the depths of that sweetness." (Cc. Madhya-lila 25.278)] ["The activities of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are like condensed milk, and the activities of Ramananda Raya are like large quantities of sugar candy. Their meeting is exactly like a mixture of condensed milk and sugar candy. When they talk of the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, camphor is added. One who tastes this combined preparation is most fortunate." (Madhya 8.304-5)] In Alachua we will try to discuss the reasons for Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu coming to this world. We will discuss His birth and His pastimes with Shri Nityananda Prabhu. We will discuss Raya Ramananda Samvad (His conversations with Shri Raya Ramananda), Sanatana-siksa (His instructions to Shri Sanatana Gosvami), and Rupa-siksa (His instructions to Shri Rupa Gosvami). We will try to cover as many topics as we can, and if we do not complete some topics here, we will continue in Badger. We cannot know Shri Krishna, and especially Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, by ourselves; nor can we can we know everything about them by reading. "yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane ekanta asraya kara Chaitanya-carane ["If you want to understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Antya-lila, 5.131)] The ‘box’ is there, and the ‘nectar’ is inside the box, but that nectar is ‘under lock and key.’ Similarly, we cannot understand these topics by our own endeavors. The Vaisnavas will tell you the meanings. Without a guru, no one can advance towards Shri Krishna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Guru-nistha (strong faith in guru) is the backbone of bhakti. Shrila Rupa Gosvami said, "Visrambhena guroh seva – the disciple should see his guru as a very close friend, and serve him. Without the mercy of guru, we cannot understand or realize the transcendental truths about Krishna or Mahaprabhu. Therefore, I want to discuss guru-tattva first. We should know the qualities of a bona fide guru; who is qualified to be a disciple; under what conditions a guru can be given up; and the result if one who does not give up a fallen guru. Today, we will discuss these points. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja called on several disciples to speak on the glories of Shri Guru as above-mentioned, and then he spoke again. After expressing his appreciation of his disciples’ presentations, he said:] Even Nityananda Prabhu – who is Baladeva Prabhu Himself – cannot complete the glorification of guru-tattva. Therefore, there is so much more to say. Fist of all, we should consider that the glory of guru-tattva is explained throughout the Vedic scriptures: saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih kinto prabhor yah priya eva tasya vande guroh Shri-caranaravindam ["All the scriptures proclaim Shri Gurudeva is saksat hari, the direct potency of Shri Hari, and is thus considered by saintly authorities to be His non-different representative. Because Shri Gurudeva is so dear to the Lord, being His confidential servitor (acintya-bhedabheda-prakasa-vigraha, the inconceivable different and non-different worshipable manifestation of the Lord), I offer prayers unto his lotus feet." (Shri Gurvastakam, verse 7)] As stated in this verse, guru is saksad-dharitvena. He is non-different from God – but at the same time he is His eternal servitor. Also: yasya deva para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah ["Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." (Svetasvatara Upanisad)] bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma ["Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is affected by the potency of illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life" (Shrimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37)] Do we strongly believe that guru is saksad-hari? Ask this to your heart. I think it is very rare to find a person with such faith. Maybe one or two persons believe this. Many persons are vastly learned in scriptures like Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Vedanta, the Puranas, and Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, and they can repeat all the verses. So why do they disobey their Gurudeva and give him up? They should think about this: yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto pi dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam vande guroh Shri caranaravindam ["Only by the mercy of Shri Gurudeva can one receive the mercy of Krishna; without his grace the living entities cannot make any advancement nor be delivered. Meditating three times a day on the glories to Shri Gurudeva and reciting stava-stuti, I offer prayers unto his lotus feet. (Shri Guruvastakam, verse 8)] If Gurudeva has this quality, how can a disciple disobey him? If his Gurudeva tells him, "You should be a serious brahmacari" or "You should be a first-class serious sannyasi," and that disciple knows all scripture, how can he disobey? Where is his bhakti? Where is his guru-nistha? We should deeply consider all these facts. Now, I want to explain that accepting only a diksa-guru will not suffice for spiritual advancement. vande 'ham Shri-guroh Shri-yuta-pada-kamalam Shri-gurun vaisnavams ca Shri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam Krishna-Chaitanya-devam Shri-radha-Krishna-padan saha-gana-lalita-Shri-visakhanvitams ca [I offer pranamas to the lotus feet of Shri Gurudeva (who includes Shri diksa-guru and bhajana-siksa-guru), guru-varga (our entire disciplic succession) and all other Vaisnavas, to Shri Rupa Gosvami, his elder brother Shri Sanatana Gosvami, Shri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Shri Jiva Gosvami and their associates, to Shri Advaita Prabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabu and His associates, and to the lotus feet of Shri Radha and Krishna accompanied by Shri Lalita and Visakha and all the other sakhis.] There are some things about which the disciple cannot openly speak his heart to his diksa-guru. This is because the disciple is in an aisvarya-mood, meaning that he respects his diksa-guru with a mood of awe and veneration. But siksa-guru is like a brother or a friend, and we can open our hearts to him. Siksa-guru must be taken, but that siksa-guru should be in the line of our diksa-guru (svajatiya snigdha asraya – he should be affectionate to us and more advanced than us. He should be an ocean of the transcendental moods for which we aspire). Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.35-37 states: mantra-guru ara yata siksa-guru-gana taìhara carana age kariye vandana ["I first offer my respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating spiritual master and all my instructing spiritual masters."] Shri-rupa, sanatana, bhatta-raghunatha Shri-jiva, gopala-bhatta, dasa-raghunatha ["My instructing spiritual masters are Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, Shri Bhatta Raghunatha, Shri Jiva Gosvami, Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami."] ei chaya guru—siksa-guru ye amara taì’-sabara pada-padme koti namaskara ["These six are my instructing spiritual masters, and therefore I offer millions of respectful obeisances unto their lotus feet."] Shrila Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has written: "These are my six siksa-gurus." Why does he not mention the name of his mantra-guru? Who was his mantra-guru? This is unknown. Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami accepted a guru in his householder life, but he considers that, "These six gurus (Rupa, Sanatana, etc.) are thousands upon thousands of times superior to my mantra-guru." Someone may also consider: "My siksa-guru is Krishna. My siksa-guru is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." * Will Krishna or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu not be superior to your mantra-guru? They will certainly be superior. cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me siksa-gurus ca bhagavan sikhi-pincha-maulih yat-pada-kalpataru-pallava-sekharesu lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayaShrih ["All glories to Cintamani and my initiating spiritual master, Somagiri. All glories to my instructing spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who wears peacock feathers in His crown. Under the shade of His lotus feet, which are like desire trees, JayaShri enjoys the transcendental mellow of an eternal consort." (Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 1.57)] Although in some cases it may be that the siksa-guru is superior to the diksa-guru, still, our diksa or mantra-guru should be worshipped first. guru Krishna-rupa hana sastrera pramane guru-rupe Krishna krpa karena bhakta-gane ["According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is non-different from Krishna. Lord Krishna in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.45)] The word rupa in this verse means ‘form’. siksa-guruke ta' jani krsnera svarupa antaryami, bhakta-srestha,-ei dui rupa ["One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the personality of Krishna. Lord Krishna manifests Himself as the Supersoul and as the greatest devotee of the Lord." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Adi-lila 1.45)] Guru Disciple The word svarupa in this verse means ‘own’ form. Sva means ‘own’. What is the difference between ‘rupa’ and ‘svarupa’? There is no difference. Regarding the understanding that sometimes the siksa-guru is more qualified than the diksa-guru: You may have accepted a guru, but at that time you did not understand that he was a madhyama-adhikari (rather than an uttama-adhikari). Then, after some time you realized, "He cannot fulfill my spiritual desires and he cannot answer all my questions." What should you do? Continue to go to him. He is a Vaisnava. There is no harm that he is not such a scholar. sastra-yukti nahi jane drdha, sraddhavan madhyama-adhikari' sei maha-bhagyavan ["One who has attained the intermediate stage is not very advanced in sastric knowledge, but he has firm faith in the Lord. Such a person is very fortunate to be situated on the intermediate platform." (Cc. Madhya 22.67)] You may ask him, "Prabhu, may I go to this self realized person? He knows so many spiritual truths and can help me in my bhakti." The guru will become very happy and say, "You must go." For example, Syamananda Prabhu was a disciple of Shrila Hrdaya-Chaitanya in Kalna, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was a disciple of Shri Lokanatha Gosvami, and Shrinivasa Acarya was a disciple of Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. By the order of their gurus, these three disciples went to Shrila Jiva Gosvami. Lokanath Gosvami knew everything, but he could not express the philosophy as Shrila Jiva Gosvami could. Shrinivasa Acarya’s guru, Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, was always engaged in devotional service and he knew so many spiritual truths, but he happily ordered Shrinivas to learn from Shrila Jiva Gosvami. These three devotees always respected Shrila Jiva Gosvami like their guru – or more than their guru. So, we must have a siksa-guru. The brahmana Dattatreya had 24 gurus. There may be so many gurus [Dattatreya learned different things from the mountain, the trees, the air, the wasp, the spider, the bee, and so on], but there should be one high-class siksa-guru. We must accept at least one siksa-guru who is in the line of our Gurudeva. There may be truly senior devotees in the line of Shri Guru. A disciple can associate with them and, as he becomes more advanced in bhakti, he will be able to realize the position of our Gosvamis and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as his siksa-gurus. We serve the siksa-guru the same as we do our diksa-guru, and then all the scriptures will be revealed in our heart. The siksa-guru follows the same line of siksa (teaching) that our Gurudeva teaches. We serve with our heart and soul the particular Vaisnava who teaches and nourishes our bhakti. There is no harm even if he is less qualified than our diksa-guru, as long as he is in the same mood. Also, the bona fide diksa-guru is siksa-guru for all, because by his instructions and harikatha he is teaching his initiated disciples, his many followers, as well as the entire world. Always ‘take your life in your hands’ in order to serve your Gurudeva, as Kuresh served his guru Ramanujacarya and as my Gurudeva has done. My Gurudeva was prepared to give his life for Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. This is service to Gurudeva. A disciple must know the innermost desire of his guru. Shri-Chaitanya-mano bhistam sthaptiam yena bhutale mjsvayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva padantikam ["When will Shri Rupa Gosvami give me the shelter of his lotus feet? Because he understood the innermost desire of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world and is very dear to the Lord."] If the disciple does not know the internal mood of his Gurudeva, he is not truly a disciple. Shrila Rupa Gosvami became the most near and dear disciple of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by knowing his guru’s internal moods. We should be like him. We should know what Gurudeva wants. There are two kinds of service. For example, the disciple may be thinking, "I am feeling somewhat cold, so my Gurudeva (or the Deity of Krishna), must also be feeling cold; I must give him a quilt." Or, "I feel thirsty so I should offer him water," or "I like such and such things so I should offer that." But it may be that Krishna and Gurudeva do not actually like those things. Suppose your guru has come from far away and is thirsty. You are fanning him, thinking, "Oh Gurudeva, we will wash your feet and do arati." Gurudeva says, "Bring water." You reply, "Let me do all these things first." Without doing this first, how can I give you water?" A disciple should understand practically what Gurudeva wants and give him what he wants. In that way, he can fulfill his Gurudeva’s desires. If Gurudeva says, "I want you to take the renounced order at once. I will give you sannyasa," what is the duty of that disciple? If you know that your Gurudeva is non-different from Krishna himself, saksad-hari, and he will only be happy if you follow his order, then you must do this at once – otherwise you are not a disciple. Do not try to only know the scriptures only intellectually. There are many scriptures and many examples in the scriptures, and we know them intellectually. But still we think "Oh, I will not follow this instruction." One example of this is the following: In a statement spoken by Krishna’s demonic cousin-brother Duryodhana, Duryodhana told Krishna, "I know all the scriptures and I know what is one’s true duty (dharma), but I have no taste for that. I know what irreligion (adharma) is, and I have taste for that. You are the Supreme Lord. Whatever You inspire me to do, I am doing. I am not responsible for what I do; You are responsible." [*Endnote – The example of a devotee having Shri Krishna as siksa-guru is Shri Bilvamangala Thakura, whom Shri Krishna personally lead all the way to Vrndavana. The example of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu being siksa-guru is for those who are actually qualified for raga-marga (the stage of spontaneous loving devotion). As stated in Jaiva Dharma (Chapter 39, pg.839) in reference to the second verse of Shri Manah Siksa: "On the rasa-marga, He is the exclusive object of bhajana as Shri Radha-vallabha, and He has appeared as Saci-nandana (Mahaprabhu), the sole guru of vraja-rasa. Therefore, perform bhajana of that Saci-nandana, considering Him to be guru who is very dear to Krishna (Krishna-prestha)."] Editor: Shyamarani dasi Assistant Editors: Hariballabha dasi and Ratna dasi Transcriber: Janaki dasi and Vasanti dasi Typist: Anita dasi Proof-reader: Krishna-kamini dasi Picture of Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja courtesy of: Krishnamayi dasi
  6. Los Angeles, USA, May 13, 2001, pm Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja If you have no love and affection and you are worshiping Krishna with sixteen different types of paraphernalia, Krishna will not accept your worship. And, if you have no paraphernalia to offer besides one drop of water or a leaf of tulasi, but you offer it with great love and affection, Krishna will be satisfied. Even if you do not offer any water or tulasi, but you say, "O Krishna, I am Yours and You are mine", this will suffice. We should try to follow this principle. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu requested Raya Ramananda to speak on this subject, and Raya Ramananda said: Krishnah bhakti rasa bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate Syamarani dasi reads translation: "Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activities in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be obtained only by paying one price; that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay. Purport: The previous two verses are in included in the Padyavali (13, 14) by Shrila Rupa Gosvami." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: You should hear this very carefully. Bhakti begins from here. Syamarani dasi reads: "Verse 69 refers to devotional service in faith and verse 70 refers to devotional service rendered out of intense greed. The first is devotional service rendered in accordance to the regulative principles, and the second refers to spontaneous loving service to the Lord without extraneous endeavor. Henceforward the basic principle underlying the talks between Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya will be spontaneous loving service to the Lord. The regulative principles according to the injunctions of the sastras are necessary insofar as one's original dormant Krishna Consciousness is not spontaneously awakened. An example of spontaneous action is the flowing of rivers into the ocean. Nothing can stop the flow of water. Similarly, when one's dormant Krishna Consciousness is awakened, it spontaneously flows to the lotus feet of Krishna without impediment. Whatever will be spoken henceforth by Ramananda Raya based on spontaneous love will be agreeable to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and the Lord will ask him more and more about this subject." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: I have seen that Shrila Swami Maharaja has given the definition of ISKCON with this sloka: Krishnah bhakti rasa bhavita. This is the basis of ISKCON. [Shrila Prabhupada is quoted here from the book Journey to Self-Discovery: "In another verse, Rupa Gosvami says, Krishna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatau yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. I have translated the words Krishna consciousness from Krishna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita. So here Rupa Gosvami advises, 'If Krishna consciousness is available, please purchase it immediately. Don't delay.' It is a very nice thing." In Vrndavana, March 13, 1974, Prabhupada stated: "Rupa Gosvami advised, Krishna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. He advises that, 'If Krishna consciousness is available, you should purchase it. You should purchase it anywhere it is available.'" In Seattle, Washington, Oct. 4, 1968, Shrila Prabhupada stated: "Krishna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih. Matih means intelligence or status of mind, that 'I'll serve Krishna.' If you can purchase this status of mind anywhere, please immediately purchase it."] If anyone is not following this, even he is trying to be ISKCON, he is not really ISKCON. He is ISKCON-abhasa (a semblance or shadow). We see in the semblance of ISKCON that so many members can fall down. The real ISKCON members, however, will never fall down. Brahma is the first in ISKCON, Narada is second, Shrila Vyasadeva is third, and fourth is Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. They cannot fall down. Shrila Rupa Gosvami cannot fall down, and he is also ISKCON. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami will never fall down, and he is also ISKCON. We are all ISKCON, but those who can fall down, those who are simply trying to be ISKCON, are not really its members. We must help devotees who are in that category. I pray that Krishna will sprinkle His mercy on them so that one day they will be in the real ISKCON. Generally, koti janma sukritair na labhyte: this high-class standard cannot be had only by sukrti (spiritually pious activities or regulative bhakti). If one gathers sukrti for thousands and thousands of births, in relation to Krishna and His devotees, or in relation to anything related to Krishna, then it will be real sukrti. When sukrti is in large enough quantity, you can have darsana of any exalted devotee. Sadhu-sanga will be achieved. sadhu sanga sadhu sanga sarva sastra kaya lavamatra sadhu sange sarva siddhi haya This has been proclaimed everywhere, and Shrila Swami Maharaja has also explained so much about it. Without sadhu-sanga we cannot advance to our goal. The bhakti that is defined here in that verse, raganuga-bhakti or Vraja-bhakti, can never be achieved simply by great quantities of sukrti. It can be achieved only if you are so fortunate as to have darsana and association of a rasika-bhakta of Vraja. That high-class devotee's heart is saturated with love and affection, like an Indian rasagulla, and everywhere there is rasa and rasa. If you squeeze a rasagulla, rasa will come out and still so much rasa will remain inside. Examples of such rasika-bhaktas are Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and all those in their disciplic succession from top to bottom. You can receive this from Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and all others in our line, and especially from the associates of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We are very fortunate that we are so near to the time of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We can still have the association of that special kind of rasika-bhakta at present, but after some time it will be very, very hard to find a pure devotee in the line of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. You are all so fortunate to be hearing these things now. After some time everything will be gone. There will only be some external practice, like yuga-dharma, and after that even yuga-dharma will disappear. Varnasrama dharma has already gone, with only the chanting of Krishna-nama remaining, and after sometime it will also go. At that time there will be only confusion. In this way, mere sukrti will not do. If we receive the causeless mercy of Krishna and His associates, we can have the sanga of a rasika Vaisnava. At that time we should give our life and everything else in his service, and we should patiently hear all these topics from him. We should always be hearing, and then that Vraja-bhakti may come. Mahaprabhu became very happy to hear these words of Raya Ramananda and He said, "Oh, very good, very good." This is really the philosophy of love and affection. It is the platform of raganuga-bhakti. It is spontaneous bhakti, and what we were doing before is called regulative devotion. Shrila Swami Maharaja has clarified this in his explanations. prabhu kahe, "eho haya, age kaha ara" raya kahe, "prema-bhakti sarva-sadhya-sara" Mahaprabhu told Raya Ramananda, "Oh, you should continue", and Raya Ramananda then presented dasya-prema, servitude. Is Prahlada Maharaja 'dasa' or not? He is dasa, but not pure dasa. Hanuman is pure dasa. He is not like Prahlada who is only praying (because he thinks his Lord doesn't require service). Hanuman considers that his Prabhu Ramacandra has some appetite. Sometimes in the night he will guard and massage His Prabhu's feet. The whole day and night he will stay awake as a guard, and when he finds out that Ravana has stolen away Sita from Rama, he will jump over the ocean and kill the sons of Ravana. Then he will tell Sita, "O Site! You can sit on my back. At once I will take you to Rama." Sita will then reply, "I want Rama to come and kill all the demons. Ravana touched me when I was unconscious and helpless, but now I am in a sound condition and I cannot touch you. I touch only Rama, so please bring Him. Please tell Him to come." After that Rama came and He destroyed the whole dynasty of Ravana. He killed his one hundred thousand sons and one hundred twenty-five thousand grandchildren. He spared only Vibhisan, because he was a devotee. Hanuman is a sevaka. He wants to serve in all ways. He thinks that if anyone will stop his service, he will die. Once Bharata, Laksmana, Satrughna and Sita were having a discussion about Hanuman and they decided, "Hanuman has come and taken all our services. We should make a scheme to drive him out from the Raja palace." They went to Rama and told Him, "We will serve You all day and night, and we will divide up all the services. The entire night Sita will serve You, and during the day sometimes Laksmana, sometimes Bharata, and sometimes Satrughna will serve." They left no service for Hanuman, and therefore he humbly requested them, "Please give me some service; anything you like; any service at all." They asked, "What service do you want?" He replied, "Please give me the service that when Rama is yawning, I will snap my fingers." "Why?" Hanuman replied, "To make Rama remember Krishna or God." In Indian culture it is the habit of one to snap his fingers when someone else yawns so that the person will remember Krishna or Rama. "So I should do this." They knew that Rama never yawns, and thus there would be nothing for Hanuman to do. They said, "Oh yes, we can give you this service." Hanuman then left the room and began to snap his fingers continually; and Rama began to yawn throughout the day and night. There was no other service to do because Rama was always yawning. A great problem arose and the four could not decide what to do. Now Sita was not serving, nor was Laksmana, nor Satrughna, nor anyone. They came to Rama and asked, "What should we do now?" And Rama continued to yawn. They went to Hanuman and requested him, "You should stop snapping your fingers." He asked, "Why should I stop? You have given me this service. I don't know when Rama will yawn, and therefore I snap my fingers all the time." Rama then advised them, "Divide the service and give something to Hanuman. Otherwise he will always be snapping his fingers and I will be forced to continue yawning. Hanuman cannot live without service." There are two kinds of servants. Hanuman wants to embrace Ramacandra. However, being a pure servant, he cannot do so. If you want to see another type of servant, you can go to Vraja, where there are the servants of Nanda Baba. These servants take Krishna in their laps and, kissing Him, say, "O baby Krishna, O baby Krishna!" Sometimes they even give Him their own remnants. They are far superior to Hanuman. Hanuman wants to come to Vraja, but he cannot come. There he may see that Krishna's mother is controlling Him, twisting His ear, slapping Him, and taking a stick to Him and accusing Him, "You naughty boy!" He would not be able to tolerate this because he considers that his Prabhu is the supreme Lord, and therefore he never comes. On the other hand, the servants of Nanada Baba never think that Krishna is the supreme Lord. They only know that He is Nanda Baba's son. Raya Ramananda continued: yan-nama-sruti-matrena puman bhavati nirmalam tasya tirtha-padam kim va dasanam avasisyate What is the meaning? Syamarani reads Prabhupada's translation: "A man becomes purified simply by hearing the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose lotus feet create the holy places of pilgrimage. Therefore, what remains to be attained by those who have become His servants?" Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Mother Yasoda, any sakha, and any dasa of Nanda Baba are so much superior to Brahma and Sankara. They are realized souls. They can create a universe in a second, but they don't use this power. By the wish of Krishna, Yogamaya always covers this power from all others. Even a creeper and a blade of grass can create all these things, and they are also so much superior to Brahma and all others like him. They are totally transcendental. How fortunate are the blades of grass in Vrndavana. Krishna takes the kunkuma of the gopis on His lotus feet and walks on that grass, and the gopis also place their lotus footdust on the grass when they go to meet Krishna. How fortunate and very glorious the grasses are. Brahma and Sankara are not so fortunate. Krishnadasa Kaviraja then writes: prabhu kahe, "eho haya, kichu age ara. eho haya, kichu age ara." Mahaprabhu said, "You should go still further." Now you will know what is Vraja-prema. Aranya Maharaja reads the translation: "Hearing this from Ramananda Raya, the Lord again requested him to go a step further. In reply Ramananda Raya said, 'Loving service to Krishna rendered in fraternity, in a mood of friendship, sakhya prema, is the highest perfection. (Cc.Mad.8.74)'" ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya dasyam gatanam para-daivatena mayaShritanam nara-darakena sakam vijahruh krta-punya-punjah "Neither those who are engaged in self-realization and appreciating the Brahman effulgence of the Lord, nor those engaged in devotional service while accepting the Supreme Personality of Godhead as master, nor those who are under the clutches of Maya and thinking the Lord an ordinary person, can understand that certain exalted personalities, after accumulating volumes of pious activities, are now playing with the Lord in friendship as cowherd boys." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: This is very glorious. In the arena of Kamsa, Krishna and Baladeva very easily killed Mustika and Canura. After that many demons quickly came, and Krishna and Baladeva killed them all. When there was no one left to fight with Krishna and Baladeva, Baladeva said, "Oh, come on; anyone!" Shridama then jumped into the arena and began to wrestle with Krishna. He very quickly defeated Krishna and all were clapping; and Krishna was also smiling by being defeated. How glorious this was. Now Mahaprabhu said: prabhu kahe, "eho uttama." Now He is saying 'uttama', the highest. Sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa and madhurya-rasa are in Vraja. They are never anywhere else; not even in Dvaraka or in Rama-puri Ayodhya. There are so many associates of Krishna in Dvaraka-puri but the Vrajabasis are all superior to them. After this Kaviraja Gosvami writes: raya kahe, "vatsalya-prema sarva-sadhya-sara." What is the meaning? Aranya Maharaja reads translation: "The Lord said, 'This statement is very good, but please proceed even further.' Ramananda Raya then replied, 'Loving service to the Lord in the parental relationship is the highest perfectional stage.'" Shrila Narayana Maharaja: nandah kim akarod brahman sreya evam mahodayam yasoda va maha-bhaga papau yasyah stanam harih (Cc.Mad.8.77) Shri Sukadeva Gosvami himself is saying this: "What austerities, what punya, has Nanda Baba performed that he became the father of Krishna? He was always ordering Krishna, 'Bring my shoes.' 'Go and do this and that.' Yasoda va maha-bhaga. Mahabhagya Yasoda is so fortunate that she was able to give her breast-milk to Krishna." Sukadeva Gosvami is speaking in wonder: "What did he do?" The answer is that he never did anything. Nanda Baba and Yasoda Maiya are Krishna's eternal father and mother. The Supreme Lord Krishna actually has no father and mother, but through love and affection they have become the transcendental and eternal father and mother of Krishna. Their love is so high that Krishna accepts, "Nanda Baba is My father and Yasoda Maiya is My mother." There is no birth in aprakata (unmanifest) Goloka Vrndavana. Krishna does not come from the womb there. In this prakata (manifest) Vrndavana, however, Krishna comes in the womb of Mother Yasoda. He partly comes in the womb of Devaki, but He fully comes in the womb of Mother Yasoda. Thus, Mother Yasoda has so much more love than Devaki and Vasudeva. It is not written anywhere that Mother Yasoda or Nanda Baba accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sometimes they remember the words of Gargarcarya: "Your son is powerful like Narayana", but they never accept that He is Bhagavan. No Vrajabasis ever accept the theory that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and without having their understanding, this prema cannot come. It will never come if you are always folding your hands and seeing only the opulence of Krishna. You will have to forget this. A time will come, a stage will come, when Yogamaya will cover your intelligence which dictates that Krishna is the Supreme Person. Then this love may come. As you know, Yasoda bound Krishna. No one else can do this; not even Mother Kausalya or Mother Devaki. They can never chastise Krishna or Rama, what to speak of binding Them. In Vraja, however, Krishna is always bound. Mother Yasoda bound Him once, and the gopis bound Him so many times. They are always binding Him. They bound Krishna with the veil of Radhika and told Him, "You cannot go anywhere." They bound Krishna with Lalita at Sakhi Giri Parvat, and with Visakha somewhere else. This is love and affection. Krishna can only be bound by the Vrajabasis, and especially by the gopis. Vatsalya-prema is also one goal. Up to now we have been speaking about different kinds of goals and processes, and Mahaprabhu wanted to clarify all these points. According to your qualification, your standard of bhakti, you can choose any one of the goals and processes to achieve them, but Mahaprabhu was always rejecting, rejecting, rejecting. He even rejected the love of vatsalya-rasa as being the topmost goal. He did pranama to that rasa because it is somewhat favorable to gopi-prema, but still He kept it aside and proceeded towards gopi-prema. "Raya kahe, vatsalya prema sarva sadhya sara." Ramananda Raya had said that vatsalya-prema is the essence of perfection, and in order to substantiate his proposal he quoted the following sloka: nemam virinco na bhavo na Shrir apy anga-samsraya prasadam lebhire gopi yat tat prapa vimukti-dat Krishna can give one all kinds of benedictions, but even Brahma could not receive that kind of prasadam, remnants, that is, the pleasure of Krishna. He could not please Krishna like this. Nemam virinco na bhavo na. What is the meaning? Shripad Aranya Maharaja reads the translation:"The favor Mother Yasoda obtained from Shri Krishna, the bestower of liberation, was never obtained even by Lord Brahma or Lord Siva, nor even by the goddess of fortune who always remains on the chest of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Visnu." Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Mahaprabhu said 'eho uttama', not 'sarva uttama.' Eho uttama, age kaha ara. "Oh, this is very high class. I accept that. But go on telling more and more." Then: raya kahe, "kanta-prema sarva-sadhya-sara." Shripad Aranya Maharaja reads translation:"The Lord said, 'Your statements are certainly getting better and better one after the other, but surpassing all of them is another transcendental mellow, and you can speak of that as the most sublime.' Ramananda Raya then replied, 'Conjugal attachment for Krishna, that is, kanta-prema, is the topmost position in love of Godhead.'" Shrila Narayana Maharaja: He then uttered this sloka: nayam Shriyo 'nga u nitanta-rateh prasadah svar-yonitah nalina-gandha-rucam kuto 'nyah rasotsave 'sya bhuja-danda-grhita-kantha- labdhasisam ya udagad vraja-sundarinam ["When Lord Shri Krishna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced around the neck by the Lord's arms. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or the other consorts in the spiritual world. Nor was such a thing ever imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, girls whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the beauty and fragrance of lotus flowers. And what to speak of worldly women who may be very, very beautiful according to material estimation?" (quoted from Bhag. 10.47.60)] There are so many things to know, but we have very little time. We spoke about this Raya Ramananda Samvad in Mathura and in Vrndavana for more than six months. If you want to know this subject well, it will take so much time. I am giving only an outline now. Mahaprabhu then said, "Certainly what you are telling is true, that gopi-prema is the highest; but I want to know something more." Raya Ramananda answered: "I don't know anyone in this entire world who can ask a question like this. Oh, certainly the love and affection of Radhika is highest among all the gopis. It is even higher than that of Candravali, Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, Tungavidya, Indulekha, Rangadevi, and Sudevi. It has a speciality, and even Krishna does not have that love and affection in mahabhava, modana, and madana. Madana is the speciality only of Shrimati Radhika. Krishna is therefore always hankering to taste this mood. And, with the wish to taste it, He became Sacinandana Gaurahari. Mahaprabhu said: "I want to hear more." "More?" Raya Ramananda asked. At this point Mahaprabhu gave Raya Ramananda darsana of His form of Rasaraja-Mahabhava, and he fainted. Mahaprabhu then said, "I want to know rasa-tattva, prema-tattva, radha-tattva, and Krishna-tattva. These things are the very highest. These topics are also difficult for Narada Rsi because they are so elevated, and still I am giving you something. I know that these exalted topics cannot enter your consciousness. It requires some practice of bhakti-yoga. You must serve rasika Vaisnavas. By their mercy you can enter into this Vraja-bhakti; otherwise not. Raya Ramananda then spoke about Krishna-tattva, and he said: isvarah parama Krishna sat-cid-ananda vigrahah / anadir adir govindam sarva-karana-karanam. After that he explained about Shrimati Radhika: He Krishna! karuna-sindho! Dina-bandho! Jagat-pate! Gopesa! Gopika-kanta! Radha-kanta! Namo'stu te! "O Krishna,You are an ocean of karuna, mercy. Dina-bandho. You are the friend of all persons. You are jagat-pate, master of the universe. Gopesa. O, You are Lord of all the gopas. You are also gopisa, and moreover You are gopi-kanta, the beloved of all the gopis." Mahaprabhu was not satisfied by this prayer up to that point, and therefore Raya Ramananda then said, Radha-kanta namo'stu te. You are the beloved of Radhika. Each one of these rasas is a different kind of sadhya and sadhana. You may have decided that your goal is gopi-prema or radha-prema, but you cannot achieve radha-prema. By your constitutional form you can only have the service of the gopis. Only the manjari mood, always serving the gopis, is possible for the jivas. If you want that, then you will also have to serve the gopis. Raya Ramananda ultimately revealed that the process is only to be under the guidance of the gopis, and to always remember Krishna and His gopis and their very sweet, transcendental pastimes. As Bharata became a deer by remembering 'deer, deer, deer, deer', if you are chanting Hare Krishna and remembering Krishna with the gopis, then you can attain a gopi form. This is the highest and most confidential philosophy. Chant and remember and always be under the guidance of the gopis, serve those who are in that mood, and hear from them. This is the process. Gaura premanande. Devotee: Gurudeva, in your class you said that only in Vraja is there the mood that, "Krishna is my beloved", but you also said that Draupadi and Kunti have it. How is that possible? Shrila Narayana Maharaja: They wanted it, and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami wrote that actually they received it. They could not touch the glories of the gopis, however. They could become maidservants there, but they could not have the mood of Lalita, Visakha, and Chitra.
  7. Murwillumbah, Australia: April 29, 2005 [Part 1] (The third class in the lecture series on Raya Ramananda Samvad) Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja We are now discussing Raya Ramananda Samvad. It was for this reason – so that Shri Krishna as Krishna Chaitanya could relish the topics of Shri Radha’s divine love – that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Raya Ramananda to come to Puri. Raya Ramananda then resigned from his post as a government officer and came to Puri. Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita is based on Svarupa-kadaca. Kadaca is a diary composed of verses. Shrila Svarupa Damodara used to express in his diary what he realized while being with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also has a diary, in which he expressed his development under the guidance of Svarupa Damodara. Svarupa Damodara used to tell Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami what he had heard from Mahaprabhu, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami would include that also in his diary. Both diaries combined and became the basis of Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita. Thus, in Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita we find Shrila Svarupa Damodara’s verse as follows: Shri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva- svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso va madiyah saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat tad-bhavadhyah samajani saci-garbha-sindhau harinduh [ “Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani’s love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Shrimati Saci-devi, as the moon appeared from the ocean. ” (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita Adi-lila 1.6)] Why has this verse been quoted here? What is the need? It has been quoted especially to show the three topics that were realized by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu had inspired this in the heart of Raya Ramananda, and that is why Raya Ramananda was able to repeat it to Him. Without mercy, no one can know these topics. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had sprinkled His mercy on Raya Ramananda – not outwardly but inwardly – unseen by others. In the scripture Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, we find another example of this. (*See endnote 1) The brahmana Jana Sarma intellectually understood all the philosophical truths he had heard from his guru, but he could not realize them. Then, at one point his guru, Gopa Kumara – who was sent by Shrimati Radhika – placed his hands on Jana Sarma's head and said: “You will now realize everything I have taught you. ” Jana Sarma at once realized everything and saw, “I am going to Goloka Vrndavana! ” He immediately reached Vrndavana and saw Shri Krishna. This history illustrates the effect of sadhu-sanga. Sadhu-sanga is very, very powerful – but the standard of sadhu-sanga should be there. The sadhu must be real. In other words, he must be a perfect, self-realized soul. In addition, the student or disciple must be surrendered to that sadhu. I have told you how Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu crossed the river Godavari and took His bath on its other bank. After bathing, He walked a little distance from the bathing place and did his ahnika (utterance of the diksa-mantras). Always try to follow the instructions given by Shri guru regarding the chanting of the diksa-mantras. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written in his prayer, Shri Manah-siksa (verse 1): “O my dear brother, my foolish mind! Taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop sublime and incessant attachment for Shri Gurudeva, Shri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas, my diksa-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, the eternally youthful divine couple of Vraja. ” So don't fail to meditate on your mantras three times a day. If you are a married person you may have so many things to do. Therefore, if you cannot do your meditation at noon, you may do it twice in the morning and the third time in the evening. As for sannyasis and brahmacaris (renunciates and celibate students) – those who have left home – they should do it at three separate times – morning, noon and evening. You must utter the mantras given by your guru. Chant your mantras daily, very respectfully and with one-pointed attention. At that time, your mind must not be upset. Don't be in a hurry; be calm and quiet, and chant. Even Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was doing this, so why should you not do so? At the beginning of His conversation with Ramananda Raya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “I am a mayavadi (impersonalist) sannyasi. ” Someone once quoted this statement, saying that it is certain that Mahaprabhu was a mayavadi sannyasi because He had taken sannyasa from the mayavadi sannyasi named Kesava Bharati. But this is not true. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took harinama initiation and diksa (brahminical initiation) from Shri Isvara Puripada. Isvara Puripada is His gurudeva and Kesava Bharati is His sannyasa-guru. Moreover, before receiving the sannyasa-mantra from Kesava Bharati, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him: “Oh, you are going to give me THIS mantra? ” At that moment Mahaprabhu uttered the sannyasa mantra in his ear and thus cleverly gave it to him first. What mantra was that? “Tat tvam asi.” What is the meaning? “I am an eternal servant of Shri Krishna. ” Kesava Bharati had taken sannyasa in the line of the leader of the mayavada philosophy, Shripad Sankaracarya. Madhvacarya (*See endnote 2) also took sannyasa in the line of Sankaracarya, but neither he nor Kesava Bharati were mayavadis. Mayavadi means nirvisesa-vadi, one who thinks that the Absolute Truth is without qualities and personality. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu defeated all the arguments of the mayavada scholar Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, whereas he used to pay great respect to his gurudeva, Isvara Puripada. After Isvara Puripada's physical disappearance from this world, He went to his birthplace and took some earth from there. He put this earth very carefully in a bag tied to His outer garment, wept, and uttered no word other than “Isvara Puri ”. He used to eat a small portion of this earth daily, saying, “This earth is from the birthplace of Isvara Puri. It is My wealth. It is My life-breath.” If Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is not a mayavadi, why did He tell Ramananda Raya, “I am a mayavadi sannyasi ”? It is because He was humble, more so than a blade of grass. He followed the principles of the following verse, and all Vaisnava devotees should be like Him in this regard. trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih [ “Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass which has been 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. ” (Shri Siksastakam, verse 3)] Especially sannyasis should be like this. All Vaisnavas should give honor to others. Don't worry about what others are doing. Don't see whether others are doing nonsense or whatever else. Don't criticize. Ask yourself: “How well am I developing in Krishna Consciousness? Am I following ‘trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena’? ” We should also be aware of Lord Shri Krishna's statement in the Bhagavad-gita: “Api cet su duracaro bhajate mam ananya bhak”. [“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.” (Bhagavad-gita 9.30)] Don't worry about a sincere devotee's temporary material contamination – otherwise your own life will be spoiled. Our constitutional religion is bhakti. If someone is beginning to develop one-pointed bhakti, but there is still some impurity in his being, do not criticize him. Do not quarrel with him. You should know that kala (the Time factor) is very powerful, but those who have taken shelter at the lotus feet of Shri Krishna can walk on the head of personified Time and all other obstacles. (Time is one of the biggest obstacles.) So we should try to be surrendered, always one-pointed, and also helping others. Now, Ray Ramananda is telling Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, “I am a sudra. I belong to the sudra community. ” Why did he say this? He was also humble – trnad api sunicena. Actually he was not a sudra. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada has said that those who think he was a sudra are offenders and they will not attain bhakti. Shrila Haridasa Thakura was not a Muslim, although by social consideration he appeared to be. In the consideration of constitutional religion he is a pure maha-bhagavata. He was nama-acarya, the great teacher and great example of pure chanting of the holy names of Shri Krishna, and he gives shelter to fallen souls. Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami said about themselves, “We are Muslims.” Vaisnavas are not Mohammedans or Muslims. They are not in any materially designated religion. They are jagad-guru, gurus for the entire universe. When they say, “We are Muslims, ” we should consider they are simply being humble – trnad api sunicena. As the dialogue continued between Raya Ramananda and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Raya Ramananda told the Lord, “If you have come to reform me, please do so. You are patita pavana, the deliverer of the fallen. You are parama-dayalu, most merciful. You, a sannyasi, have touched me, although I am untouchable. ” He then quoted a verse: mahanta-svabhava ei tarite pamara nija karya nahi tabu yana tara ghara [ “It is the general practice of all saintly people to deliver the fallen. Therefore they go to people's houses, although they have no personal business there. ” (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya 8.39)] He also quoted: mahad-vicalanam nrnam grhinam dina-cetasam nihsreyasaya bhagavan nanyatha kalpate kvacit [ “My dear Lord, sometimes great saintly persons go to the homes of householders, although these householders are generally low-minded. When a saintly person visits their homes, one can understand that it is for no other purpose than to benefit the householders. ” (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita, Madhya 8.40 / Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.8.4)] The background behind the utterance of this verse is as follows: when Shri Krishna and Balarama Prabhu were about six months old, Vasudeva Maharaja (who was imprisoned in King Kamsa's jail in Mathura) requested the sage Gargacarya, “Please go to Vrndavana. There, my two sons Krishna and Balarama are living with Nanda Maharaja. The appropriate time to do their nama-samskara (sacred name-giving ceremony) has come now, so please go there and perform that ritual. ” Gargacarya went there in disguise; in other words no one knew he would be going there. If anybody would have known that Vasudeva Maharaja had sent him, King Kamsa, Shri Krishna's sworn enemy, would have at once taken serious steps. He would have come to know Krishna's whereabouts and would have tried to kill Him. Therefore, Gargacarya went there in a stealthy way. When he arrived at Nanda Baba's palace, Nanda Baba uttered the above-mentioned verse in great humility. Mahad-vicalanam refers to the movement of great personalities. Who is mahad? Who is the great soul? Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains: those who have a desire to serve Krishna, and are actually serving Him – they are truly great. Others are not. So Nanda Maharaja told Gargacarya, “You are a great transcendentalist. You have no personal business here. You have come here for two reasons. The first reason is that I am always engaged in household life, absorbed in a relationship with my wife and children. I am absorbed in looking after my home and properties. ” Who is telling this? Nanda Baba – the direct father of Lord Shri Krishna. His son is Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself – and HE is saying, “I am a fallen soul, solely engaged in lowly household affairs. ” Actually Nanda Baba is not telling this for himself. He is telling it for us; because it is we who are always engaged in mundane household life. We forget Shri Krishna, we forget Shri guru and the Vaisnavas, and instead of serving them we always engage in mundane affairs. Still, somehow you are somewhat fortunate, for you are in good association. You are now realizing something about spiritual and material matters, but there are some weaknesses also. Try to drive out all these weaknesses. As Nanda Baba addressed Gargacarya as a great soul, so Ramananda Raya addressed Mahaprabhu as maha-purusa, a great, self-realized soul. Mahaprabhu is not only a maha-purusa. He is maha-maha-maha purusa. He is the source of all incarnations, the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is Krishna Himself. In fact, He is even greater than Krishna. He is Radha and Krishna combined. He is Shri Krishna Himself. Yet, we can also see Him as a maha-bhagavata – because He has played that role. A parallel verse was told by Maharaja Yudhisthira to his uncle, the self-realized soul Vidura, “My Lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage. ” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.13.10) Some time before the Mahabharata battle was fought, Vidura had left his position, his prime ministry, his home, relatives and property. Vidura’s brother King Dhritarastra was blind, both internally and externally. He was actually the fallen materialistic householder. Vidura tried hard to convince him to reject his son Duryodhana who, due to envy, had been trying in various ways to kill his cousins, the Pandavas. Vidura advised him to call the Pandavas and give them proper respect. At that moment Duryodhana came and said, “You are ungrateful. On one hand you are maintained by us, and on the other hand you sabotage us.” Shrimad Bhagavatam quotes Duryodhana: “Who asked him to come here, this son of a kept mistress? He is so crooked that he spies in the interest of the enemy against those on whose support he has grown up. Toss him out of the palace immediately and leave him with only his breath. ” (Shrimad Bhagavatam 3.1.15) Hearing this, Vidura at once gave up his crown, his ministry and home, and left that place. After that the battle of Kuruksetra was fought, almost all were dead, including Duryodhana and all his brothers. Of the few warriors who survived, on one side were the five Pandavas and Krishna, and on the other side Asvathama, Krpacarya and Krtavarma. Actually, though, no one on the opposite side remained – because they were defeated. After the war Vidura returned to the palace. He knew that Krishna had left this world, and that the entire Yadu dynasty had gone, but he did not reveal all these facts. During his visit, Yudhisthira Maharaja spoke this verse: “Oh, a Vaisnava like you is a personified holy place (tirtha), because you keep Lord Gadadhara in your heart. ” There, Lord Krishna holds a club (a translation of the word gada, and in Vraja He holds a flute (another meaning of gada). Gadadhara ultimately means He who holds a flute to his lips – that very Gadadhara. “Now the tirthas are worried. All kinds of sinful persons are taking bath there, and the devotees desire that their waters be pure again. Shri Krishna therefore sends persons like you, O Vidura. Wherever you go to take bath, that place becomes a tirtha. ” At the end of the initial meeting of Ramananda Raya and Mahaprabhu, Raya Ramananda returned to his palace. Before he left, however, Mahaprabhu told him, “I will wait for you in the evening, so please come. We will speak about the philosophy and pastimes of Lord Shri Krishna (hari-katha). ” In the evening Mahaprabhu waited there. Mahaprabhu Himself eagerly waited there. And Raya Ramananda was also waiting for that moment when they would again meet. He came there, with only one servant and wearing very simple garments. He had come in a hidden way – in a secret way. Upon his arrival, he saw that Mahaprabhu had been waiting, and he offered his obeisances. He wanted to fall at the Lord's lotus feet, but Mahaprabhu at once embraced him. Both experienced asta-sattvika-bhavas, the eight transcendental symptoms of ecstasy (inertness, perspiration, standing of hairs on end, faltering of the voice, trembling, paleness of the body, tears in the eyes and finally trance). Then they sat down and began to discuss hari-katha. Mahaprabhu began asking questions and Ramananda Raya was answering. When Vaisnavas meet, there is no question of asking, “How are you? ” They know all this. Rather they will ask, “How is your bhajana (devotional practice) going on? ” You should try to ask questions like this: “How is your bhajana? How are you developing in your hearing, chanting and remembering Krishna? ” * [Endnote 1 – In Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, 2.7.14, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has written: mahat-sangama-mahatmyam evaitat paramadbhutam krtartho yena vipro 'sau sadyo 'bhut tat-svarupavat “The glory of mahat-sanga is super-astounding. By the influence of that glory, Jana Sarma’s life immediately became successful, like that of his Guru, Svarupa. He became a personal friend of Shri Krishna by the association of Svarupa, who was known as Gopa Kumara in this world. That he immediately attained bhagavat-prema demonstrated the immense value of association with a great personality. Just like Svarupa, within an instance that brahmana felt fully gratified.” *[Endnote 2 – “Shrila Madhvacarya is the original acarya for those who belong to the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 6.1.40.purport) “This Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is also known as the Brahma-sampradaya because the disciplic succession originally began from Brahma. Brahma instructed the sage Narada, Narada instructed Vyasadeva, and Vyasadeva instructed Madhva Muni, or Madhvacarya. ” (Krishna, Introduction). Transcriber and typist: Janaki dasi Editor: Shyamarani dasi Proofreader: Vasanti dasi
  8. An Airport Darsana Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: April 25, 2005 Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja [Question:] What is it that King Hariscandra realized after Visvamitra Muni took everything from him? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] At the end Visvamitra Muni instructed him, "I wanted that Shri Ramacandra would appear in your dynasty, so I wanted you to become qualified for this. I considered that it was not good for you to think, 'I am Hariscandra, this is my kingdom, and this is my wife.' I even took away your wife through the medium of that brahmana. You lost your kingdom but you still thought, 'I am King.' You could not forget this. Now you should forget all material conceptions of yourself. Now you should think, 'I am the part and parcel of God. I am His servant.' You forgot this, and that is why you suffered. Now Rohitasva will be king. You will go to heaven, because you still have some slight material contamination. Then, after tasting the fruit of your worldly activities, you will return here and practice bhakti-yoga." [Question:] Did he teach him how to meditate on Lord Ramacandra? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:]: It is not written. [Question:] Gradually he became qualified? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Visvamitra was attached to Ramacandra. He served Rama as a guru, so he must have given Hariscandra devotion to Rama. If Hariscandra would have come to me, I would have given him the service of Lord Shri Krishna, and especially the service of Shrimati Radhika. He would have become Radha-dasi. [Syamala dasi:] Gurudeva, you were present there? You said if Hariscandra had come to you… [Shrila Narayan Maharaja:] No. But if I were there I would not have disturbed him, because he is a servant of Shri Rama; and Rama is no one but Krishna. [Devotee:] Shrila Gurudeva, this is the collection from our donation box. It is a donation for the Navadvipa temple. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Very good. I think that drop by drop the pond will be filled. I want to make a big classroom there. [Tridandi Maharaja:] Like in Govardhana? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Larger than that – at least two times as large. I want that at least five thousand persons will be able to sit in the classroom, and that more than five to ten thousand persons will be able to fit just outside and see me. There should be no doors. People should be able to see me from all sides. There will also be guest rooms, as there are in Govardhana. [Tridandi Maharaja:] But even then it would be too small, because more people will come. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I thought that only one thousand persons would come with us on Navadvipa parikrama last month, but there were more than 10 thousand. [Question:] Some persons say that even though you are giving the service of Shrimati Radhika, most of the devotees do not have that svarupa (the constitutional position of the soul). Most don’t have the constitutional form of a maidservant of Shri Radha. Such persons say that your followers mostly have other svarupas, and are getting other moods from you, even though you are externally preaching manjari-bhava. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I have not said this. Those who will be in madhurya-rasa will be attached to me; they will come. But I tell all of them to begin from sravanam and kirtanam – vaidhi-bhakti. They should progress gradually and not imitate advanced devotees. [Question:] Most everybody who comes to you has madhurya-rasa and this bhava-ullasa-rati as their svarupa? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I know that generally those who came to Mahaprabhu had that svarupa. Some exceptions were there, but almost all were in madhurya-rasa. [Question:] And similarly those who came to the gurus in His line? [Shrila Narayan Maharaja:] From siddha bhaktas to sadhaka bhaktas. Somehow I also came. I was out of touch of any Gaudiya Vaisnava. I was in Bihar, serving here and there; but now I am like a teacher, preaching this line everywhere. This is a miracle. How did I come? I was attracted by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his followers. Pujyapada Nrsimha Maharaja and Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja came to my door and brought me to my Gurudeva. I had thought I would serve Rama, Laksmana, Sita and Hanuman [*See Endnote], but the devotees changed my mood. Now I know that Krishna is Rama. Rama is one of the rasas of Krishna. Rama is not full, in the sense that he is a plenary manifestation of the complete source of all incarnations, Shri Krishna. In Krishna everything is full. Krishna is Rama. Radhika is Sita – but in the mood of maryada (etiquette and awe and reverence). I think that by their mercy I have come to this line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Krishna. [Damodara Maharaja:] What was the first thing your Gurudeva said to you when you first met him? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] He said, “I want to give you initiation." I told him, “Whatever I have – my love and affection for my wife, children, father and mother – I am taking it and giving it all to you.” Then he began to weep. He told me, “I will keep you with me always,” and he did so. In Navadvipa, in November, he met me; and after that our parikrama came and he initiated me on Gaura-purnima. I expect five or six hundred devotees to be at the festival in Australia. I want some brahmacaris and sannyasis to remain in Malaysia, because that country is near to India. So many preachers come there, preach there, and they go. Editor: Shyamarani dasi Transcriber: Savitri dasi Typist: Vasanti dasi
  9. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [This is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's book, The Nectar of Govinda-lila. Please click to hear a lecture in honor of Balarama Rasa-yatra: ] Now Jayadeva will begin describing the vasanti-rasa: "My heart is palpitating, for I desire to write such a thing which in this life I have not written before, and which is not mentioned anywhere: that Krishna will fall at the feet of Radhika. We know it well, but Krishna is the Supreme Controller, the cause of all causes, and the original bhagavat-avatara. That He falls at the feet of His own potency who is the form of His dasi" I don't know if this is proper, but my heart is saying that without Krishna putting His head at Her feet, She will not be appeased! I don't know if I am able to write it." Jayadeva goes on to describe that on the plains of Giriraja Govardhana, at Candra-sarovara, Candra remained throughout the whole of one of Brahma's nights. What is the duration of Brahma's night? Millions of yugas. In order to witness the rasa-lila he stayed there, so it is called Candra-sarovara. In the spring season, all of the fruits and flowers in Vrndavana come out. The she-crow starts her ...ku-ku sound, the peacock starts his ...ke-kah sound, and it is as if the pigeons are playing the conchshell, making their ...ko-ko sounds. They are all making their own sounds, and collectively it sounds as if they are playing a sahanai. In this way all of the birds and animals become happy, and there is no one who is not dancing. Forming groups, Krishna and the gopis start dancing. All young unmarried girls are present there, and they had been waiting for one year. For dancing with Krishna, for meeting Krishna"for a whole year a fire of separation had been burning inside them. Not for themselves, not for lust, but for mitigating this separation. For really becoming immersed in Krishna's rasa, one must enter into this poetry composed by Jayadeva Gosvami. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His heart full of rasa, at night would tell Svarupa Damodara, "Please recite Gita-govinda for Me." Hearing it, immediately His pleasure would increase. Svarupa Damodara would read precisely what Caitanya Mahaprabhu desired to hear. Sometimes it was the poetry of Jayadeva, sometimes Candidasa, sometimes Vidyapati, and sometimes he would read verses from the five chapters describing rasa in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The gopis were clapping their hands as if they were karatalas, and they played drums, the vina and the sitara. It was divinely beautiful as the gopis played one raga after another. There are some melodies in which there is no rasa, so they played only the ragas that increased the rasa. Krishna sang in a very high pitch, and in different melodies. The gopis then sang one song in a higher pitch than Krishna. He wanted to sing higher, but couldn't, and He could only say, "Sadhu! Sadhu! (Very nice! Very nice!)" Krishna was dancing, and with Shrimati Radhika, He danced with such speed and dexterity that He Himself was astonished, and He chanted, "Sadhu! Sadhu!" With one gopi Krishna was holding hands, with another He was dancing by jumping up and down, another He was embracing, and another He was kissing on the hand. Sometimes, with His eyes half-open in great prema, He would look in the direction of a particular gopi. He would follow a certain rhythm of racing behind one gopi after another, and this is how vasanti-rasa is described. In a fraction of a second, as short as the blink of the eyes, thousands more gopis arrived and started dancing. Radhika saw that at that time Krishna's parama-aisvarya sakti was not working; He had stopped it. Here He kept the cause behind pastimes, Yogamaya, separate from Him. He placed all of these potencies far away by telling them, "At this time you will not do anything; for now you just sit quietly and watch." In this lila of Krishna, everything was forgotten. Here, because aisvarya was not manifest, Krishna didn't know that "I am Bhagavan," and the gopis didn't know that "We are svari, we are the root of Yogamaya." All was forgotten. After a little while, Radhika saw, "Krishna is a big cheater. He is cheating Me. He seems to be dancing only with Me, but actually He is dancing with everyone. Only because of His speed and dexterity does it seem that He is alone with Me." Then Radhika exhibited some mana, jealous anger. If we feel this emotion, there is some selfishness in it, but in the hearts of devotees there is no selfishness. In Her heart there is never any envy, but even if there is some, it is only a transformation of prema and mahabhava. Don't consider this to be a deformation, but rather an aspect of Her variegatedness, Her speciality. There is milk: add some sugar, and it becomes sweet. Mix a little kevra, then a little camphor and other things, and it becomes more and more sweet and tasteful. Like this Radhika has Her own uniqueness, and for making Krishna even happier, She exhibited some mana. She left the rasa and went to a kunja , but then what happened? Upon arriving there She thought, "Why did I leave Krishna's association? He didn't leave Me; I left Him. If there is any unfortunate woman, it is Me. There is no one as unfortunate as Me." Meanwhile Krishna met one sakhi and requested her, "Please go to Radha and tell Her that Krishna is saying, ...I am very unhappy for You. In the future I will never do such a thing as I did again, and You will always be happy. Now You please forgive Me.'" The sakhi went to Radhika and seeing Her condition said, "Why are You behaving like this? Leaving Krishna You came here. He tried to please You, but You wouldn't accept it, so why are You upset?" Just then Lalita appeared there and said, "Krishna is a liar! Don't trust Him! Don't ever reveal Your simplicity to Him! Remain crooked, otherwise You won't be able to have straightforward dealings with Him! He will never understand Your value, so always remain crooked." The sakhi tried in may ways to pacify Radhika, but She would not be appeased. When the sakhi returned to Krishna and told Him this, He said, "Somehow I must appease Her." Then Krishna thought He would play a joke to appease Her. Pretending to be very unhappy, His face became withered and saying, "Now I am going!" He left there and hid in a nearby kusja. Then some sakhis followed behind Him whispering, "Where is He going? Let us see." He entered a kunja and laid down amongst some large rocks. Seeing Him lie down, the sakhis returned to Shrimati Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, and the others, and told them, "He has gone to a nearby kusja. Being very unhappy and in pain from Your separation, He was not able to go any further, and He has fallen asleep." They said, "Where?" The sakhis then led Radhika and the others to the kun ja. They peered into the entrance of the kunja and saw that His face was covered. They couldn't tell if He was crying, or sleeping, or what He was doing. Then, moving closer, they saw that He was sleeping. His eyes were closed, and His face was a little covered. The gopis exchanged hand signals, because at that time, their supreme enemy, the flute, was hanging loosely in His hand! They thought that they should take it. They did not consider for a moment that they might be entering a trap, but just that they should take it. Then Radhika said, "Yes, we should take it, but who will do it? Who will tie the bell around the cat's neck? Who will take the responsibility of snatching the flute from His hand? Friends, this is not a simple thing! His hand is like a snake. If someone approaches and tries to take the flute, the snake will bite him, give its ...poison', and it will never leave him! Therefore who will dare to try?" All of them thought together, and concluded that it would not be possible for anyone except Shrimati Radhika, so She said, "If all of you insist, then certainly I will try." Very, very slowly, just as a cat does, She crept closer. Walking very slowly and stealthily, smiling slightly and watching Him, She went closer. But what was Krishna doing? He had heard everything that they had discussed amongst themselves, and feeling that He should enjoy Himself a little, He thought, "If Radha is to be appeased, there must be some direct conversation between Us. But there has not been such an opportunity. Therefore I will let the flute be taken, and then I will see how I can talk to Radha. I will ask each of them, ...Where did you put My flute?' and in the course of asking all of them, I will necessarily come to Radha, and then I will get the chance. It will be a moment of great happiness!" Understanding everything, Krishna allowed His hand to become slack. Thinking Him to be asleep, slowly Radhika crept near to Him and saw that He was apparently deeply asleep. When someone is sleeping lightly, they can be easily awakened, but when someone is in deep sleep, you cannot easily awaken them. Krishna appeared to be sleeping like that. Quickly She snatched the flute from His hand, and at once the gopis ran from the kusja. As they were all running with their long hair swinging to and fro, Krishna opened His eyes, saying, "Hari, Hari...hey, where has My flute gone?" He ran outside the kunja and said to the gopis, "You have stolen My flute!" He said to each gopi, "Did you take it?" until He came to Radha. She replied, "What will I do with this useless piece of bamboo? Yes, I took it, and I will burn it also! It is only one piece of bamboo. In our garden we have thousands of sticks of bamboo, so what is the big deal about only one piece of bamboo? You can come and cut thousands and take them!" In this way they were mutually joking, but they didn't realise that Krishna was knowingly joking with them. Still Radhika was not appeased, although internally She desired to meet Krishna. He had already seen that sending a messenger would not do it, so what did He do next? He Himself expanded into Syamali Sakhi. Assuming a very beautiful form, she approached the gopis with a basket of flowers in her hand, and in a sweet voice called out, "By rendering service to someone, I will mitigate all of their distress and fatigue, and they will become very happy." At that time Radhika and the sakhis were feeling fatigued and unhappy. Seeing Syamali, really Radhika did not recognise this sakhi as Krishna Himself, and Lalita, Visakha, and the others also did not recognise Him. When Krishna assumes another form, who will recognise Him? Even when an ordinary actor changes dress, we cannot understand who it is. For this purpose He employed Yogamaya, and therefore no one could recognise Him. Syamali pleased Radhika by giving Her a flower garland which emanated a special fragrance. Radhika thought, "Where has this fragrance come from? Whose fragrance is this?" Knowing it to be related to Krishna, She was very pleased. Syamali began saying to Radhika, "In this world, there is no one who is as kind, who has as many good qualities, who shows respect to everyone, who is as grateful, and who is as expert in all sixty-four arts as Krishna is. What to speak of just in Vrndavana, in the entire brahmanda there is no one equal to Him. And You? You have so many good qualities and You are so beautiful, so towards Him You should not commit any offence." Praising Krishna like this, and praising Radha like this, Syamali proved that Krishna was not at fault. Radhika was fully appeased, and in the end for Her ultimate happiness, the final weapon was in His hand. Having returned to His original form, He said to Radhika, "In Me there is a fire of separation, and only the touch of Your feet can cool it. Therefore be merciful and decorate My head with Your feet, because by doing so You will also become happy." Being pleased, Radhika said, "Now agree to one thing. The flower bracelets on My feet are broken; please rearrange them. And My hair plait has become loose; please tie it." Seeing that He had followed Her every order, She thought, "He has obeyed all of My orders very nicely. He will never go to another gopi. Come, let there be rasa." At that time, the rasa-lila was performed at Candra-sarovara, and this is how vasanti-rasa is described in the Gita-govinda. Although we don't have the qualification to engage in sravana and kirtana of this topic, in brief we have tried to describe this rasa and what sentiments of love came in it. Tasting and tasting this, just see how the condition of Mahaprabhu became! It was a wonderful thing! Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda would describe it to Him. I am only an ordinary person full of anarthas, but in that place where Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda are describing this, Krishna Himself, full of radha-bhava, will be there as a listener in the form of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and He receives so much ananda from it. Therefore, we will silently remember this basanti-rasa, and when one day genuine spiritual greed arises in our hearts, we will be able to directly serve this rasa.
  10. Mathura, India, April 17, 2000 [In Mathura, generally every day for about 15 minutes or a half-hour before Shrila Maharaja's 6.00pm class, he gives informal darasanas. The following conversations took place on April 17th.] Conversation I [Shyamarani dasi:] There is a statement in your Bhakti Tattva Viveka, which seems to be different from what you usually preach. It says; "Ones nistha intensifies and assumes the form of ruchi. The sadhaka within whom such ruchi has developed is called an uttama adhikari." This says that when one reaches the stage of ruchi (taste in devotional service) he is already an uttama adhikari. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes. We should try to reconcile all this. Ruci is a part of shuddha-sattva, and when shuddha-sattva comes, rati or bhava (the stage of spiritual emotion just prior to prema) manifests. The fraction of this rati is ruchi. In that case ruchi is also a kind of rati. When ruchi becomes more mature, then it is called asakti (attachment). Then when asakti is more condensed then it is still the same thing, but more condensed - it becomes rati. There is no difference. There is simply stages of maturity: the 1st stage, 2nd stage, 3rd stage, etc. When ruchi comes as a part of rati, then the devotee is uttama-adhikari uttama-kanishta. [Shyamarani dasi:] When that ruchi is present in the stage of rati, then as a fraction of rati. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You should know that ruchi begins in sraddha - in the form of sraddha. Only the names are different. In other words rati is there in the shape of sraddha, and ruchi is there in the shape of sraddha. But gradually it develops. Only the names are different. The name is changed but it is the same thing. Ruci first appears in sraddha and ultimately it comes towards the istadeva (the worshipable Deity - Radha-Krishna.) A person who has such thick ruchi has no taste for wordly desires and wordly things. He does not commit any aparadha (offenses). Nothing. At that time his chanting of the holy name is pure. As Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained in Siksastaka, such a person is always absorbed in Krishna. Therefore he may be called 'Maha-bhagavata'. But what class of bhagavata? There are are so many stages. He is called bhagavata, but. [Shyamarani dasi:] Here it says, 'uttama adhikari.' [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Uttama adhikari here means uttama-kanishta. At the stage of ruchi one is uttama-kanishta. At the stage of asakti he becomes like an uttama-madhyama. Then, when rati comes, he becomes uttama-uttama. But uttama-uttama also has so many grades. When a person has prema, then he really becomes a maha-bhagavata. [Shyamarani dasi:] I thought you had previously said that one begins his uttama stage at the point of shuddha-sattva or bhava. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] But shuddha-sattva does not begin at once. It begins from ruchi. We should reconcile it in this way. [Ananta Krishna dasa:] Shrila Visvanatha Cakravatipada also says that uttama-madhyama is in asakti. So there is a little difference. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] No difference. You should try to reconcile it. It may be that you are not understanding fully. I know that you cannot understand. However, by doing bhajana - doing, doing, doing you can come to that stage. Don't try to understand through your intelligence. Try to understand through our Guru-varga (disciplic succsesion.) We should try to realize what our line of acaryas have written. I cannot be different from Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What I am telling is his remanents. I try to reconcile Shri Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura, Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and all other acaryas. They are in one line, but they may manifest their explanations in so many different words. [Ananta Krishna dasa:] Should we then understand that they are speaking the same thing, but? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You should try to do more bhajana. Don't try to understand by mental speculation. Try to do bhajana and pray that you can advance. [Ananta Krishna dasa:] So they are saying the same thing but from different angles? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes. We are seeing it, and trying to understand it by so many angles of vision. All the angles are right. One person is telling that Krishna never told lies, but Yasodamaiya and all others like her tell that He did speak lies. What is the conclusion? You cannot understand. The understandings are from so many angles, but they are all true. Don't make mistakes in your writing - saying that Narayana Maharaja is telling one thing, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is telling something else, and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura and Rupa Gosvami are telling something else. Conversation II [Vraja-Mohini dasi:] I am your disciple from England, and its my birthday today. [Brajanatha dasa:] Its her birthday. She wants some special mercy. [After asking her a few questions, Shrila Maharaja took some flower petals from his garland and, gently tossing the petals on the top of her head, chanted: "Mangalam bhavatu kalyana bhavatu. Krishna bhakti bhavatu". She then showed Shrila Maharaja her 6" murti of Mahaprabhu. [Vraja-Mohini dasi:] I have a murti of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I found Him in Puri. He's made from a siddha bakula tree. I had a feeling in my heart to get this murti. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You want to put Him in your heart? [Vraja-Mohini dasi:] Yes. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Then you should keep Him always. How will you put Him there? By an operation? [Vraja-Mohini dasi:] I felt in my heart that I should have this murti. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] But on the next day you may give Him up. Chant more. Try to know who is Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and what are His moods. And try to reach those moods. From what has He been made? [Vraja-Mohini dasi:] Siddha bakula tree. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Bakula tree? Mahaprabhu cannot be made of a bakula tree. He is transcendental. Is this (wood) transcendental? [Vraja-Mohini dasi:] I don't know. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Try to chant Hare Krishna - the transcenderntal names. Have strong faith in the name and then everything will come. If you are worshiping the Deity for lakhs and lakhs of births, then one pure name will come. Try to go straight (By chanting you will be able to chant purely much quicker.) Coversation III [Shyamarani dasi:] I am not qualified to ask this question, but sometimes I need to know the answer because we are sending out your lecture transcriptions, and different devotees have different opinions as to what you mean. In Shrimati Radharani, is prema-vicitya in anuraga or madanakya mahabhava? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Always. Everywhere. [Shyamarani dasi:] Some devotees say it is only in the stage of anuraga. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Then you should listen to them; not me. [Shyamarani dasi:] No. So, in Radharani, is prema-vicitya higher than divyonmada? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I cannot say this. But I can say that divyonmada and prema-vicitya in Vraja are more than in Dvaraka, and more than in Mathura - Radhika's prema-vicitya and divonmada are more than that of anyone else. That I can tell. [Shyamarani dasi:] But when Radharani is in Uddhava-kyeri in divyonmada, is that higher, or is prema-vicitya in Vrindavana higher? [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You are not understanding all this. Your question is wrong. In Radha-kunda She is always with Krishna. There She is always in madanakya mahabhava. That madanakya mahabhava contains everything - everything. And it is the highest of all moods. It is the last limit. It may be that in Uddhava-kyeri there is something of that. It maybe that in Prema sarovara, the highest prema-divyonmada, prema-vicitra - everything - is there. But Uddhava khyeri is not the highest, because there is seperation mood there. Seperation mood is not madana.
  11. Murwillumbah, Australia: February 5, 2004 Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Perhaps you know that my siksa-guru, Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, inspired me in his last days by telling me to help his devotees. He said, "I have collected many disciples, but I could not complete their training; so you should complete it." A guru like Shri Nityananda Prabhu goes door to door and begs you to chant the Holy Name and become happy. Similarly, Shrila Svami Maharaja inspired me to go door to door, because not all of you can come to India. All of you should try to follow - and go door to door in Australia, England, America, Europe, Brazil, Africa and everywhere else. This is my duty - to follow my spiritual guru, siksa-guru. I especially want to remind you of the aim and object of your life If you don't know the aim and object of your life, you can never be fulfilled. You should remember that we are fortunate to be in the line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and my siksa-gurudeva and my diksa-guru, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. You should know the aim and object, not only of your life, but also of your activities. You know why Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world. He came not only to preach the holy name - because this was the duty of the yuga-avatara. He especially came to preach the supreme aim and object of life - not only the lotus feet of Krishna, but service to the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika, in the line of Rati Manjari and Rupa Manjari, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha Gosvami. In this life we should know what is service to Shrimati Radhika - having even more inclination towards Shrimati Radhika than towards Shri Krishna. We should know the aim and object of our life and our devotion. It is Krishna-prema, not Krishna or Shrimati Radhika. The heart of Radhika is full of maha-bhava - up to madanakya-maha-bhava. She serves and controls Krishna. This prema is the object. This is the supreme object for all of our lives. Knowing this, what kind of devotional practice should we perform? We will have to begin with sraddha, the smallest fraction of bhakti. Begin from sraddha, nistha, anartha-nirvrtti, ruci, asakti, and then come up to bhava. Try to achieve suddha-sattva. suddha-sattva-visesatma prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak rucibhis citta-masrnya- krd asau bhava ucyate ["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krishna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava (emotion)." (Shri Caitanaya-caritamrita: Madhya-lila 23.5)] This is the heart of Shrimati Radhika, who is hladini-sakti. Try to have transcendental sraddha (faith), not laukiki or mortal sraddha. If that sraddha comes, then strong faith automatically comes in the words of Guru, Krishna and scripture. Try to give up your anarthas and offenses, otherwise you cannot have any real gain. I have come to remind you of all these truths. Be inspired and do not be weak. Try to follow the line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu - how He was strict. A deva-dasi, female singer, was singing Gita-govinda, and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ran after her. Govinda Prabhu "saved Him". He stopped Him, reminding Him that the deva-dasi was a lady, and Lord Chaitanya told him, "Had I touched her, what would I have done? I would have given up my life by jumping in the ocean." By this incident Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us to be very careful, especially if we are sannyasis, in the renounced order. If any facility or glory is coming easily, we should not think, "All is coming - no harm". A lady may come and say, "Please marry me". What should a devotee do? Will Mahaprabhu allow this? If you want krsna-prema, and especially radha-prema, you will have to very strictly follow all the principles of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Be softer than a lotus flower and stronger than a thunder-bolt - both at the same time. I have seen these qualities in my Guru. He was stronger than a thunder-bolt, and at the same time so soft. He often wept for his disciples If any devotee had a disease, he would stay up all night and day to help him. If you are not like this, how can you attain that perfection which is greater than Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, and Mathura? And even in Vraja, this perfection is greater than vatsalya and sakhya-rasa. 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 else 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." (Text 16, Vilap-kusumanjali)] This is how Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami instructed us, and how strong he was! I have come to remind you all to be like him, and not to be weak in any way, whether you are ladies or gentlemen. It is for both. The sloka that Bhaktisar Maharaja told is not only for ladies or only for men. It is for all those that want that supreme object: tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram ["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time-twenty-four hours a day-in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vrndavana dhama] and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service." (Nectar of Instruction, text 8)] I request you to make a schedule of classes from morning until evening every day of this festival. I will speak only in the evening. Thank you. My heartly blessings to you all. Gaura premanande! Transcriber: Vrinda dasi (from Australia) Typist: Anita dasi Editor: Shyamarani dasi


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