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  1. A108-AI

    Shrila Madhvacharya

    Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja 12 October 2005 [This year, 2019 February 14, (in India) is the disappearance day of Shri Madhvacharya, our sampradaya-acharya. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave this slecture on his appearance day October 13, 2005 in Mathura. To hear this lecture, please click on this link.] Today is the appearance day of Shri Madhvacharya, who is the sampradaya-acharya of our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya.*[See Endnote 1] He appeared in a place called Pajaka-ksetra. His father's name was Madhvagaya, his mother's name was Vedavidya, and his childhood name was Vasudeva. He took sannyasa at a very young age, and his sannyasa-name was Purna-prajna. His sannyasa-guru, who followed the mayavada philosophy of impersonalism, was named Shri Acyuta-preksa. Madhavacharya took birth in Udupi, and his life was quite astonishing. He was an incarnation of Hanuman, Bhima, and Vayu – so he was very strong. There was once a businessman who was trading in gopi-candana (tilaka). His boat became stuck in the mud and could not go forward. At that time Shrila Madhvacharya had been bathing in the ocean, and he saw the big ship full of large pieces of gopi-candana there. He was approached by that businessman, and in order to assist him, he pushed the boat – by himself. He was so strong that the boat started moving, and he was offered a very big piece of candana as a gift, in appreciation. In the meantime, while the boatmen were unloading the candana, that piece was broken, and a very beautiful deity of Krishna manifested from inside. That Deity's name was of Bala-gopala - Dadhi-manthana Gopala. This Gopala Deity carries Mother Yasoda's stick for churning yogurt. He became very happy. Although the Deity was very heavy, he took the Deity on his shoulder, and, carrying Him to Udupi, he sang a song to Him that came spontaneously from his heart. In other words, as he walked the seven miles to Udupi, he composed the song called Dvadasa-stotra (Twelve Prayers). He carried the Deity there himself, composing many stavas and stutis (hymns and prayers) to Gopala, and after reaching Udupi, he established Gopal there. Shrila Madhvacharya wrote many books, and especially important are his three commentaries on Brahma-sutra – Brhad-bhasya and two Anubhasyas. In the Brhad-bhasya, he gave evidences for the presentation of his suddha-dvaita-vada philosophy. This philosophy states: Lord Shri Krishna, God, is the supreme eternal, the supreme living entity, the Supreme Self. The purpose of the entire yoga system is to concentrate the mind on this Supreme Self. We are not the Supreme Self. That should be understood. The Supreme Self is God. This is suddha-dvaita-vada – pure dualism. God is different from me. He is supreme and I am subordinate. He is great, and I am small. He is infinite and I am infinitesimal. In his commentary, Shrila Madhvacharya wrote his own composition in the form of Sanskrit verses, defeating the impersonal conception of Shri Sankaracharya. All the Vaishnava sampradaya-acharyas, like Shri Ramanujacharya, Vishnusvami and Nimbaditya, have contributed to defeating the theories of Shri Sankaracharya, and Shrila Madhvacharya did this especially with his philosophy of suddha-dvaita-vada or bheda-vada (pure dualism). The Srutis (Vedic scriptures) have described both principles: that the individual soul is the same as God and also that the soul is different from Him. In most cases, however, prominence has been given to the aspect of difference. In his writings, Shrila Madhvacharya has described five differences: There is an eternal difference between God and the jiva (the infinitesimal living entity), God and maya (the Lords deluding, material potency), maya and the jiva, one jiva and another jiva, and one feature of maya and another feature of maya. All the four bona fide sampradayas are Vaishnava-sampradayas. This means there is similarity in their goal and object of worship. They all worship Vishnu-tattva (The Supreme Lord in His plenary manifestation). The followers of Shri Ramanujacharya-sampradaya worship Shri Laksmi-Narayana, and in the sampradaya of Shrila Madhvacharya there is worship of Bala-gopala Krishna. Shrila Madhvacharya established four main Mathas (temples). In each of these Mathas there were two sannyasis, so in total there were eight sannyasis. These eight sannyasi acharyas practiced worshiping Lord Krishna in the mood of the gopis, but this worship was not given to the general population. Shriman Mahaprabhu saw some lacking in the conception of Shrila Madhvacharya, and He adjusted that. Shri Kavi Karnapura and Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana have both declared that our Sampradaya-acharya is Shrila Madhvacharya. In our disciplic succession we see that Shrila Madhavendra Puri took initiation from Shrila Laksmipati Tirtha in the Madhva-sampradaya. Therefore we have a connection with Shri Madhvacharya, although we are especially related with Shrila Madhavendra Puri. Shri Advaita Acarya and Shri Nityananda Prabhu are related with Shrila Madhavendra Puri, and Madhavendra Puri is related with Shri Madhvacharya. Some people do not accept the position of Shri Madhvacharya – that he is our Sampradaya-acharya.*[See Endnote 2] Some sahajiyas and caste gosvamis cannot reconcile this. They say that Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana was not in our sampradaya, because he was in the Madhva-sampradaya.*[See Endnote 3] But actually, our sampradaya is related to Shrila Madhvacharya. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has therefore said very strongly that those who do not accept Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana or Shrila Madhvacharya have no relation to pure bhakti. They are kali-chela, disciples of the personality of Kali-yuga . We must understand all these established philosophical truths. Then we can understand who Shrila Madhvacharya is, and what our relation with him is. We are Vaishnava sannyasis. We have the sannyasa name "Bhaktivedanta". I want that especially those who are in the renounced order, sannyasis, should learn and remember at least some of the sutras (aphorisms) of Vedanta. They should remember at least twenty-five sutras, together with their meaning and explanation. If you remember at least ten sutras of the Brahma-sutra, from the first one up to the tenth, you will find all philosophy there. In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam's four original verses, the entire Shrimad-Bhagavatam is present, and this is also the case with Brahma-sutra; all the sutras are included in the first ten. You should surely remember them, otherwise you will be defeated by mayavada philosophers. Gaura-premanande hari hari bol! *Endnote 1: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu next arrived at Udupi, the place of Madhvacharya, where the philosophers known as Tattvavadis resided. There He saw the Deity of Lord Krishna and became mad with ecstasy. PURPORT Shripada Madhvacharya took his birth at Udupi, which is situated in the South Kanarada district of South India, just west of Sahyadri. This is the chief city of the South Kanarada province and is near the city of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Udupi. In the city of Udupi is a place called Pajaka-ksetra, where Madhvacharya took his birth in a Sivalli-brahmana dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhatta, in the year 1040 Sakabda (A.D. 1119). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Sakabda (A.D. 1239). In his childhood Madhvacharya was known as Vasudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhvacharya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maniman lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of five Madhvacharya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyasa at the age of twelve. Upon receiving sannyasa from Acyuta Preksa, he received the name Purnaprajna Tirtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyasankara, the exalted leader of Srngeri-matha. Vidyasankara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvacharya. Accompanied by Satya Tirtha, Madhvacharya went to Badarikasrama. It was there that he met Vyasadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita before him. Thus he became a great scholar by studying before Vyasadeva. By the time he came to the Ananda-matha from Badarikasrama, Madhvacharya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita. His companion Satya Tirtha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhvacharya returned from Badarikasrama, he went to Ganjama, which is on the bank of the river Godavari. There he met with two learned scholars named Sobhana Bhatta and Svami Sastri. Later these scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvacharya as Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha. When he returned to Udupi, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Shri Krishna, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dvaraka was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvacharya agreed to take some gopi-candana. He received a big lump of gopi-candana, and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Krishna. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As soon as Madhvacharya received the Deity of Krishna in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Madhvacharya personally brought this Deity to Udupi. Madhvacharya had eight disciples, all of whom took sannyasa from him and became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Krishna Deity is still going on at Udupi according to the plans Madhvacharya established. Madhvacharya then for the second time visited Badarikasrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvacharya passed through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhvacharya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples. Often in the province of Ganga-pradesa there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhvacharya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhvacharya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tirtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvacharya separated them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyasadeva, he received from him the salagrama-sila known as Astamurti. After this, he summarized the Mahabharata. Madhvacharya's devotion to the Lord and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. Consequently the owners of the Srngeri-matha, established by Sankaracharya, became a little perturbed. At that time the followers of Sankaracharya were afraid of Madhvacharya's rising power, and they began to tease Madhvacharya's disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the disciplic succession of Madhvacharya was not in line with Vedic principles. A person named Pundarika Puri, a follower of the Mayavada philosophy of Sankaracharya, came before Madhvacharya to discuss the sastras. It is said that all of Madhvacharya's books were taken away, but later they were found with the help of King Jayasimha, ruler of Kumla. In discussion, Pundarika Puri was defeated by Madhvacharya. A great personality named Trivikramacharya, who was a resident of Vishnumangala, became Madhvacharya's disciple, and his son later became Narayanacharya, the composer of Shri Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramacharya, the younger brother of Narayanacharya took sannyasa and later became known as Vishnu Tirtha. It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Purnaprajna, Madhvacharya. There was a person named Kadanjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhvacharya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Shrila Madhvacharya passed from this material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upanisad. For further information about Madhvacharya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Narayanacharya. The acharyas of the Madhva-sampradaya established Udupi as the chief center, and the monastery there was known as Uttararadhi-matha. A list of the different centers of the Madhvacharya-sampradaya can be found at Udupi, and their matha commanders are (1) Vishnu Tirtha (Soda-matha), (2) Janardana Tirtha (Krishnapura-matha), (3) Vamana Tirtha (Kanura-matha), (4) Narasimha Tirtha (Adamara-matha), (5) Upendra Tirtha (Puttugi-matha), (6) Rama Tirtha (Sirura-matha), (7) Hrsikesa Tirtha (Palimara-matha), and (8) Aksobhya Tirtha (Pejavara-matha). (Chaitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 9.246 purport by Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja)] [Endnote 2: "Objection 4: While touring in South India, Shriman Mahaprabhu went to Udupi. There he had a discussion with a tattva-vadi acharya, who was in Shri Madhva Acarya's sampradaya. Mahaprabhu refuted the views of the tattva-vadis, so He can never be included in that sampradaya. "Refutation: Shriman Mahaprabhuji did not directly refute Madhva Acarya's ideas about suddha-bhakti. Rather, He refuted the distorted opinions of the tattva-vadis which had entered into the Madhva Sampradaya in the course of time. Readers can understand this simply by looking in this section of Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 9. 276-277) prabhu kahe,--karmi, jnani,--dui bhakti-hina tomara sampradaye dekhi sei dui cihna sabe, eka guna dekhi tomara sampradaya satya-vigraha kari' isvare karaha niscaye "Karmis and jnanis are devoid of devotion, and it is seen that both of these are respected in your sampradaya. Still, in your sampradaya there is one very great quality – the form of Bhagavan or Shri vigraha has been accepted. Not only this, but Shri vigraha has also been accepted as Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna Himself. He is worshipped in your sampradaya in the form of Nrtya-Gopala." "This proves that Shriman Mahaprabhu refuted distortions which later entered the Madhva Sampradaya in the course of time. He did not refute Madhva Acarya's opinions on suddha-bhakti or the fundamental conclusions that he expressed in his commentaries. On the contrary, we have already shown that literatures such as Tattva-sandarbha and Sarva-samvadini have been based on the conclusions of Shri Madhva and his disciples and grand-disciples. In this connection we should point out that a difference of sampradaya does not generally arise from some minor difference of opinion. Rather, the difference between sampradaya comes from the differences of theory about the principal object of worship." ((Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami, His Life and Teachings, pages 423-424) Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the chain of disciplic succession from Madhva Acarya, but the Vaishnavas in His line do not accept the tattva-vadis, who also claim to belong to the Madhva-sampradaya. To distinguish themselves clearly from the tattva-vadi branch of Madhva's descendants, the Vaishnavas of Bengal prefer to call themselves Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Shri Madhva Acarya is also known as Shri Gauda-purnananda, and therefore the name Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is quite suitable for the disciplic succession of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Our spiritual master, Om Vishnupada Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, accepted initiation in the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. (Chaitanya-caritamrta – Adi-lila 1.19, purport by Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja)] [*Endnote 3: "Of the four Vaishnava sampradaya-acharyas, only Madhva Acarya is celebrated by the name of tattva-vadi. Since Shri Jiva Gosvami has personally established tattva-vada, the Vaishnavas of the Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya are therefore tattva-vadis. In the third sloka of the mangalacarana (auspicious invocation) of Tattva-sandarbha, Shri Jiva Gosvami glorifies his guru Shri Rupa Gosvami and his paramguru Shri Sanatana Gosvami as 'tattvajnapakau' (the acharyas who proclaim tattva). Similarly, the crown of the dynasty of vaisnava acharyas, Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu, has also designated Shri Rupa and Shri Sanatana as 'tattvavid-uttamau' (the highest of all knowers of tattva) in his commentary on this same sloka.| "It is clear from this that Shri Jiva Gosvami has offered respect to Shri Madhva Acarya, and that Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana has followed Jiva Gosvami in honoring Madhva Acarya. Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu has not shown any prejudice towards Madhva Acarya. On the contrary, if we compare Jiva Gosvami with Baladeva Vidyabhusana, we find that Baladeva Vidyabhusana has glorified the two Gosvamis Shri Rupa and Sanatana more than Jiva Gosvami has. There is no doubt whatsoever that Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana is situated in the amnaya-dhara (the transcendental current of conclusive evidence) or the parampara of Shri Gaura-Nityananda Prabhus and of Shrila Jiva Gosvamipada who immediately follows them. Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana is in the ninth generation from Shri Nityananda Prabhu according to bhagavat-parampara, and in the eighth generation according to pancaratrika-parampara. Historians have accepted his pancaratrika-parampara as follows; Shri Nityananda, Shri Gauridasa Pandita, Hridaya Chaitanya, Shyamananda Prabhu, Rasikananda Prabhu, Nayanananda Prabhu and Shri Radha-Damodara. Shri Baladeva Prabhu is the initiated disciples of this Shri Radha-Damodara and is also the most prominent siksa disciple of Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti. "Historians have declared that in no branch of the Madhva guru-parampara were there any brilliant scholars of such widespread fame as Baladeva. In fact, at that time no one in any sampradaya anywhere in India could equal Shri Baladeva's knowledge in logic, in Vedanta and in sastra such as the Puranas and itihasas. It is true that he stayed for some days in the most prominent matha established by Shri Madhva Acarya in Udupi, and that he studied the Shri Madhva commentary on Vedanta; however, the Shri Gaudiya Sampradaya was more of an influence upon him than was the Shri Madhva Sampradaya. "It is natural for scholarly personalities, who are worshipable throughout the worlds and who are the preceptors of great precepts, to follow in the lotus footsteps of the Vaishnava acharyas of the very influential Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. Shri Baladeva thoroughly studied the commentary of Madhva, and also made a meticulous study of the commentaries of Sankara, Ramanuja, Bhaskara Acarya, Nimbarka, Vallabha and others. It is illogical to say that he is included in each one of those sampradayas because he had studied those groups of philosophers. "Shri Baladeva Prabhu has described historical events and quoted the conclusions of the previous Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas in many literatures, such as his Govinda-bhasya, Siddhanta-ratnam, Prameya-ratnavali and his commentary on Tattva-sandharba. He has enabled all the philosophers of the world to understand that the Shri Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya is included within the Madhva Sampradaya. In this regard all the scholars of the world, eastern and western, ancient and modern, have bowed their heads in reverence, and have unanimously accepted the siddhanta and opinions of Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu. "Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was sent by Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti to protect the honor of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya in the Galata Gaddi in Jaipura. There he defeated the objecting panditas of the Shri sampradaya in scriptural debate. There are no second opinions about this. Does this not show that Shri Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura personally inspired his siksa disciple Baladeva Vidyabhusana to prove that the Gaudiya Vaishnavas are in the line of Madhva Acarya? Shrila Cakravarti Thakura sent his diksa disciple Shri Krishnadeva Sarvabhauma with Shri Baladeva to help him. If Shri Cakravarti Thakura had not been so aged and weak at that time, he certainly would have gone to Jaipur in person to take part in this debate about the sampradaya. He would also have established the very same conclusion as Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana. There is no sound evidence to prove that Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was first an acharya or disciple in the Madhva Sampradaya. There may be hearsay and imaginative rumors, but no one has given any substantial proof." (Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami, His Life and Teachings, pages 416-419)]
  2. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja North Shore, Hawaii: January 26, 2007 [Respected Harikatha Readers, This year, 2019, Shri Ramanujacarya’s disappearance day is February 15th (in India). The following is a transcription of Shrila Gurudeva's informal darsana, given in North Shore, Hawaii, on January 26, 2007. That informal darsana took place with only the devotees in his traveling party, so we especially thank his personal cook, Madhuvrata dasa brahmacari, for sending us the sound-file. Shrila Gurudeva's talk in Hawaii was brief, and therefore we have included excerpts from his lecture given in Mathura, in 2000, in brackets, to fill out the history.] Shri Ramanujacarya was born in South India. He is an incarnation of Laksmana. The word ‘anuja’ means ‘younger brother’. Rama-anuja refers to the younger brother of Lord Rama; therefore, he is Ramanuja. In Kali-yuga, he is the acarya of the Shri (Laksmi) Sampradaya. He is the disciple of Yamunacarya. As a boy, he was exceptionally intelligent. At a very young age, he knew all Sanskrit grammar (vyakarana), literature (sahitya), and all the deep conclusions of the Vedic scriptures. [Shri Ramanujacarya is an incarnation of Laksmana (Lord Rama’s younger brother), and he accepted the Shri Sampradaya. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada took many teachings from him, such as the duties of the sannyasi, the duties of the disciple, and the etiquette of the Vaisnava. He utilized one-hundred eight teachings. We follow these teachings, and we have also published them in our Bhagavata Patrika and Gaudiya Patrika (Hindi and Bengali Magazines).] His teacher, Yadavacarya, was a follower of the Mayavada (the theory that all variety and individuality are illusion) and Advaitavada (the theory that the only truth is impersonal undifferentiated oneness) philosophies. One day, his teacher began to explain his understanding of the beauty of Shri Krishna’s eyes. In this regard Chandogya Upanisad uses the word ‘kapyasam.’ Yadavacarya explained that ‘kapi’ means ‘monkey’, and that the monkey’s rear-end (kapi-asam) is reddish on both sides. He concluded that Krishna’s lotus eyes are like a monkey’s rear-end. Hearing this, Ramanuja began to weep. Later, when Ramanuja was massaging Yadavacarya, he told him, “The explanation you have given for kapyasam is wrong. ‘Kapi’ can be understood to mean ‘that which takes water from everywhere’. Who takes water? The sun. The word ‘asam’ also means ‘to blossom’, so the word ‘kapi-asam’ can be understood as ‘that which blossoms under the sun,’ or, in other words, ‘the lotus flower’. Thus, we can understand the verse to mean that the Lord’s eyes are as beautiful as the lotus flower.” [Shri Ramanujacarya took birth in a simple family. His mother and father were not very wealthy, but they were of a high brahmana caste and they were very learned. Ramanuja was an outstanding boy from his childhood. While under the guidance of a Mayavadi guru named Yadavacarya, he was very careful in his studies. One day, when his guru was giving an impersonal explanation of a verse that contained the word kapyasana, he compared the lotus-eyes of the Lord to the hind part of a monkey which is reddish near its tail. Hearing this from his gurudeva’s mouth, Ramanuja began to cry in great pain. He felt grief in his heart that his gurudeva had used such a bad analogy for describing the lotus-like eyes of the Lord. After collecting himself, he very politely asked if he could say something about the verse. Yadavacarya assented, and Ramanuja very nicely gave many explanations according to Sanskrit grammar. He said that the term kapyasana actually means one who brings water, and that is the sun. The lotus blossoms by the potency of the sun, and therefore the Lord’s eyes are compared to the lotus, not the monkey.] Ramanuja’s teacher became astonished, thinking, “If this boy is so knowledgeable at such a young age, what will he do when he is grown up? If he remains alive, this Mayavada teaching will be finished.” His teacher then planned to murder him. [When Yadavacarya heard this, he thought, “This boy is dangerous. He is very expert and is giving such nice explanations. In the future he might uproot all the impersonal teachings from the Vedas, and so I must kill him.”] Thinking to trick Ramanuja, Yadavacarya told him that he was going to travel with all his students to do some preaching, and that Ramanuja should also accompany them. Ramanuja was a very sincere and innocent boy, so he didn’t understand his teacher’s intentions. Then, when they were all in a very deep forest, they decided that this would be the time to murder him. Govinda, his cousin-brother, told him of their plan, and urged him to quickly flee from there. Therefore, in the middle of the night, Ramanuja told them that he was going to the toilet, and he ran away. Now alone, he suddenly saw a hunter, along with his wife, holding a hurricane light. The man asked him, “Where are you going?” Ramanuja answered, “I am going to Kancipuram.” The man replied, “We are also going there, so come with us.” When he arrived at Kancipuram, his own village, which was very far away, those persons disappeared. Ramanuja then began to weep. He understood that it was certainly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana Himself, along with His eternal consort, Laksimi-devi, who had saved his life. [Throughout the day and night, he passed through the dense forest. It was difficult for him to discern his way, especially at night. The Lord, seeing His dear devotee in such a state, then appeared in the form of Bharadraja and, holding a lantern in His hand, showed Ramanuja the way. Thus, within no time at all, Shri Ramanuja crossed the entire distance of the forest and found that he was standing outside his village.] Sometime later, Ramanuja’s teacher returned to the village. He had been thinking that perhaps a lion or tiger had eaten Ramanuja, and he was very happy. However, when he arrived, he saw that Ramanuja was alive. He called him and told him to forget everything that had happened, Ramanuja again resumed his Sanskrit studies with Yadavacarya. [After some days, out of compassion for Yadavacarya and with a desire to deliver him, he again began studying under his guidance. After some years, Ramanuja converted Yadavacarya to Vaisnava philosophy, whereupon his teacher became his disciple. At one point thereafter, Ramanuja began hearing of the qualities of a great Vaisnava guru in South India by the name of Shri Yamunacarya, and he eventually became Shri Yamunacarya’s disciple.] Later he married. After his marriage, he began to teach boys in a Sanskrit school, and all the students liked him. [Later on he married, and his wife was very quarrelsome. Her behavior was discourteous and uncooperative, and incidents would often take place which he would somehow have to tolerate.] One day, a disciple of Shri Yamunacarya named Kancipurna came to the house of Ramanuja. He was from a very low-caste family, but he was a very high-class devotee. He came there along with his wife by the order of his Gurudeva, and he now began to give his association to Ramanujacarya. [A disciple of Shri Yamunacarya and elder god-brother of Ramanuja named Kancipurna came to Ramanuja’s village along with his wife. Ramanuja accepted Kancipurna as a siksa-guru.] One day, when Ramanujacarya’s wife was drawing water from the well, Kancipurna’s wife was also there drawing water. Some water from the bucket of Kancipurna’s wife fell into Ramanuja’s wife’s bucket. She immediately became very angry and started to insult the wife of Kancipurna with abusive language. When Kancipurna returned, his wife told him of the incident at the well, and he immediately left the house of Ramanujacarya. Upon hearing the reason why his siska-guru had departed, Ramanujacarya began to think, “I should not be with this lady. Somehow, I should give her up right away.” [One day, when Kancipurna’s wife was taking some water from a well, she met Ramanuja’s wife, who had also come to the well for drawing water. It so happened that while taking the water out of the well, some water from the pot of Kancipurna’s wife spilled into the pot of Ramanuja’s wife. Although this was a small accident, Ramanuja’s wife became furious and insulted Kancipurna’s wife with abusive language. Kancipurna became hurt when he later on heard about this, and, without informing Ramanuja, he and his wife left that place and went to Shri Rangam. When Shri Ramanuja came to know that his wife’s behavior had offended a Vaisnava, he felt very bad and thought, “She is committing vaisnava-aparadha; she has such an offensive mentality. I must do something about this.”] Later, Shri Yamunacarya sent Purnacarya to bring Ramanuja to him in Shri Rangam. However, Yamunacarya was very sick at that time, and, by the time Ramanuja arrived in Shri Rangam, he had departed from the vision of the world. Purnacarya, was sent there to bring him to Shri Rangam. Ramanuja used to give him so much honor – always offering him obeisances and treating him like his siksa-guru. While living with Ramanuja, Purnacarya began to impart the instructions he had received from his Gurudeva, Shri Yamunacarya. One day, when Ramanuja was teaching at the school, a hungry brahmana came there. Ramanuja told him, “If you go to my house to beg, my wife will give you something.” However, when the brahmana went there, Ramanuja’s very cruel wife said, “I can’t give you anything. Go! Get out of here!” The brahmana returned to Ramanuja, who then told him to go back to his house and tell my wife, “I am coming from the house of your father. He sent me to you, so please take this letter from him.” Ramanuja personally wrote the letter he gave to the brahmana to deliver to his wife. The letter stated, “Your brother will marry very soon, so you must come to your father’s house.” After reading the letter, Ramanuja’s wife began to honor that brahmana, and she gave him a large quantity of delicious prasadam. [One day, a hungry brahmana came to Ramanuja, asking for some food. Ramanuja sent this brahmana to his wife, telling him, “Go to my home and tell my wife that I sent you. She will give you some food.” When that brahmana came to Ramanuja’s wife, she boldly insulted him again and again. She told him he should get out of there, and that there was no food for him. Returning to Ramanuja, the brahmana reported what had happened, and Ramanuja replied, “Wait here for a few minutes.” He left and wrote a letter to his wife, as though it was written by her father, stating, “O my dear daughter, I am arranging the marriage of my son, your brother. So you should come. Please bring your husband with you.” Writing these words very nicely, he folded that letter and tied it with colorful threads. And, along with that, he sent a coconut and other auspicious items. He then gave that letter to the brahmana and said, “Now go again to my wife. She will welcome you nicely this time. The brahmana went again. After reading the letter, Ramanuja’s wife’s behavior completely changed. This time she welcomed him warmly and sweetly, and offered him all kinds of palatable food and sweets. When Ramanuja came home, his wife told him about the marriage. She cited her father’s request for both of them to come, and requested him to please come along. Ramanuja said, “No, I cannot come, for I am very busy; you may go now with this brahmana. Don’t be late.”] When his wife left to go to the house of her father, Ramanuja also left that house. He went to Shri Rangam to meet his Gurudeva, Shri Yamunacarya, but Yamunacarya had left his body just before Ramanuja arrived. Ramanuja saw that many devotees were walking with the transcendental body of Yamunacarya. All of his disciples were weeping as they carried his body to be placed in samadhi. [After his wife left with that brahmana, Ramanuja locked the door of his house and went to Shri Rangam to meet his Gurudeva, Shri Yamunacarya. He wanted to take sannyasa from him, but when he reached Shri Rangam, he found that Shri Yamunacarya had just passed away and his disciples were walking in procession with his divine body. Ramanuja felt very disheartened and sad.] He told them, “I have accepted Yamunacarya as my Gurudeva. I want to see his face.” Yamunacarya’s disciples stopped and lifted the cloth from his body. Ramanuja could see that three of Yamunacarya’s fingers were folded. [He asked them to stop for a moment. He wanted them to uncover the transcendental body so that he could take darsana of his Gurudeva’s divine form. He observed that all the fingers on one of his Gurudeva’s hands were open, and on the other, three fingers were closed. He inquired from the disciples all around as to why this was, and he wanted to know when it happened. No one could answer. They said, “We didn’t notice it before; it must have happened just now.”] He promised in front of all present, ‘I will write the Shri-bhasya commentary on the Vedanta-sutra.” One of the fingers immediately became straight. He then said, “I will take sannyasa,” and the second finger relaxed. Lastly, he said, “I will preach the mission of my Gurudeva, Yamunacarya”, at which time the last finger relaxed and became straight. Seeing this, everyone present became astonished. [Ramanuja became silent, and after some time he spoke, addressing Shri Yamunacarya’s transcendental body. He said, “Now, I will first of all write a Vaisnava commentary on Vedanta, and I will preach that Vaisnava commentary throughout India.” One finger opened, and Ramanuja spoke further, “I will take tridandi-sannyasa right now, and I will preach the message of vaisnava-dharma and your teachings.” When Shri Yamunacarya heard that, his second finger opened. Ramanuja then said, “I will systematically write about Vaisnava etiquette, explaining the behavior required to execute pure devotional service, and what precautions should be taken. I will also preach this throughout India.” After uttering this third statement, Shri Ramanujacarya observed, along with all present, that three of Yamunacarya’s fingers had now opened. Then and there, Shri Ramanujacarya formally accepted tridandi sannyasa from Shri Yamunacarya.] After Yamunacarya was given Samadhi, Ramanujacarya was elected to become the next acarya, as Yamunacarya’s successor. He immediately said, “I will not become the next acarya right away. Give me time. Give me two years.” He then spent some time with each of the prominent disciples of Yamunacarya. He served them and heard from them what they had learned from their Gurudeva. Only after hearing from them for two years did he accept the post of acarya. [Shri Ramanujacarya had now formally taken sannyasa initiation from Shri Yamunacarya. Afterwards, all the disciples of Shri Yamunacarya, who were great scholars and who had served their Gurudeva for so many years, came together. Having seen the extraordinary characteristics and personality of Shri Ramanujacarya, they collectively decided that he should be appointed as the next acarya after their Guru, and they honored him with the acarya seat in Shri Rangam. Shri Ramanujacarya accepted the orders of his god-brothers, but before sitting and acting as the acarya, he went to each of his god-brothers, for two months, four months, six months, or one year, and served each of them. He thus formally endeavored to understand the teachings of Shri Yamunacarya, since he had not gotten the opportunity to spend much time with him. After serving and satisfying them, he commenced his role as acarya of the Shri Sampradaya in Shri Rangam.] Later, the ruler of that country, King Koluttunga II, heard that Ramanujacarya was very strongly preaching his philosophy. Koluttunga II wanted him killed, fearing that if he remained alive, the Saiva Sampradaya (comprised of so-called devotees of Lord Siva) would be finished. He sent a message telling Ramanujacarya to come at once for a debate. Ramanujacarya and all his associates knew that the king wanted to kill him. His disciple Kuresh told him, “Gurudeva, please do not go. I will go in your place. Please give me your danda and sannyasa cloth.” Insisting, Kuresh took them from him and gave him his own white cloth. He told Ramanuja to leave that place at once. Then, having taken his Guru’s sannyasa cloth and danda, Kuresh went to the palace of the king. In the palace there was a great debate, during which Kuresh defeated all the king’s pandits. However, Kuresh was alone, so the king’s pandits told everyone that he had been defeated. They forcibly detained him, and only released him after blinding him by plucking out both of his eyes. He then began to search for his Gurudeva, who was now very far away. Fortunately, after some time, he came to the same village where Ramanujacarya was residing. Within that village there were two disciples – one very rich and one very poor. Ramanujacarya told his disciples to go to the house of the rich devotee, because his group was more than fifty in total, and ask him to prepare prasadam and a place to stay for all of them. Two of Ramanuja’s disciples went to the rich man’s house and gave him this message. The rich man felt extremely happy and became totally absorbed in preparing for the arrival of Ramanujacarya and all of his devotees. However, he didn’t come back out to share these plans with his two god-brothers at the door. After waiting for some time, those disciples went back to Ramanujacarya and told him that they had gone to the house of that rich devotee, but he had left them waiting and had not come back to them. Ramanujacarya replied, “Oh, then we will all go to the house of that poor man.” That very poor brahmana used to go and beg for ingredients so that his wife could cook prasadam. He had only one piece of proper cloth, which his wife used, so when he would go begging, he would take the cloth of his wife. On that particular day, after midday, he could not collect any more, and he decided to return home. In the meantime, before his return, Shri Ramanujacarya, with all of his disciples, suddenly came to his house. His wife was very happy to see her Gurudeva, but she also felt very ashamed because she had no proper cloth to wear. Shri Ramanuja understood this, and he gave her his own chadar. She wrapped this around herself and came in his presence. After she gave a mat for her Gurudeva and his followers to sit on, she began to wonder, “How shall I arrange prasadam for everyone?” She remembered that one of her neighbors, who was a rich businessman, was very attracted to her and had lusty desires toward her. He had previously told her of his desires, but she was very chaste and had always rejected his proposals. However, in her current predicament, she went to that man and told him that she would fulfill his desire. She was thinking, “What is the use of my chastity if I cannot serve my Gurudeva? For my Gurudeva, I should be prepared to do anything.” She told that rich man, “I am ready to do what you want, but in return I want you to arrange many ingredients so that I can cook and give prasadam to my Gurudeva and all of his disciples.” Hearing this, the rich man became very joyful and gave her more than what she wanted. Taking all that he gave her, she prepared very good prasadam for all the devotees, and everyone was happy. While Ramanujacarya and all the devotees were resting after prasadam, her husband returned home. He asked her, “Gurudeva and all his disciples have come. How are we going to arrange for their needs?” She replied, “I have done everything. There is nothing to worry about. They have all taken prasadam and are resting now.” Her husband asked, “How did you make all those arrangements?” She began to tell him the story about the lusty neighbor. She said, “I was thinking that my Gurudeva has come; if I cannot serve him, then what is the use of my chastity? So I went and told that lusty man that if he would give me all the ingredients to make very nice prasadam, then I would offer myself. He did as I asked, so now that it is night I must go to him.” Her husband told her, “I will come with you.” It was raining at that time, so they took an umbrella and went to the house of that rich person along with the mahaprasadam. The wife entered his home alone, and the man became very happy. The man asked her, “It is raining heavily tonight, and it appears you have come all alone. Didn’t anyone bring you?” She told him, “My husband came with me,” and she gave him the prasadam remnants of Ramanujacarya. The lusty man took those remnants and became totally transformed. He fell flat at the lotus feet of that lady and begged her, “Excuse me. Excuse me.” The lady and her husband then returned to their house. The next day, their neighbor came to Ramanujacarya and prayed to him, “I want to be initiated by you.” Ramanujacarya then initiated him. In the meantime, Kuresh arrived in the village of the poor devotee couple where Ramanujacarya was staying. Seeing Kuresh, Ramanujacarya called out his name. Kuresh went to his Gurudeva and wanted to take his darsana, but he had no eyes. Ramanujacarya put his hand over Kuresh’s wounds and two eyes at once manifested. He could see again. Afterward, Ramanujacarya went to North India. After traveling for a long time, he eventually arrived in Kashmir. He went to Sarada-pith, the place of Sarada-devi, where he came across the Bodhayana-bhasya (commentary) of Vedanta-sutra. This Bodhayana commentary contained Vaisnava philosophical conclusions, not Mayavada theories. In the library at Sarada-pith he read that commentary, and in the night he took that book. and escaped with Kuresh They fled from there, but the Kashmiri pandits followed them. Finally, the pandits took the book and returned to their own place. Ramanujacarya was very unhappy, but Kuresh told him, “Gurudeva, do not be unhappy. I have also read that book, and I remember all its contents. I will write them down.” Later he did this, and he gave the writings to Ramanujacarya. Ramanujacarya then wrote his Shri-bhasya on Vedanta-sutra [* See Endnote] and fulfilled the three desires of his Gurudeva, Yamunacarya. [When Shri Ramanujacarya officially became the acarya, he began very strongly preaching the cult of Shri Yamunacarya. In South India, two impersonalist sects are very prominent: Saiva and Sankaracarya. Sankaracarya’s followers subscribe to the Vedanta sutras like "sarvam kalvidam brahma" and "tat tvam asi." They think themselves impersonal brahma (God), and they think everything comes from brahma. The Saiva School considers Lord Siva to be the ultimate truth, and they want to merge into him. This is the basic difference between the two. Shri Ramanujacarya refuted and defeated all impersonalism by his very strong and effective preaching.] Gaura premanande [*Endnote: Shri Ramanujacarya has also refuted the arguments of Sankara in his own commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, which is known as the Shri-bhasya: "Shri Sankaracarya has tried to equate the Pancaratras with the philosophy of the atheist Kapila, and thus he has tried to prove that the Pancaratras contradict the Vedic injunctions. The Pancaratras state that the personality of jiva called Sankarsana has emerged from Vasudeva, the supreme cause of all causes, that Pradyumna, the mind, has come from Sankarsana, and that Aniruddha, the ego, has come from Pradyumna. But one cannot say that the living entity (jiva) takes birth or is created, for such a statement is against the injunction of the Vedas. As stated in the Katha Upanisad (2.18), living entities, as individual spiritual souls, can have neither birth nor death. All Vedic literature declares that the living entities are eternal. Therefore when it is said that Sankarsana is jiva, this indicates that He is the predominating Deity of the living entities. Similarly, Pradyumna is the predominating Deity of the mind, and Aniruddha is the predominating Deity of the ego. "It has been said that Pradyumna, the mind, was produced from Sankarsana. But if Sankarsana were a living entity, this could not be accepted, because a living entity cannot be the cause of the mind. The Vedic injunctions state that everything-including life, mind and the senses-comes from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is impossible for the mind to be produced by a living entity, for the Vedas state that everything comes from the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord. "Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha have all the potent features of the absolute Personality of Godhead, according to the revealed scriptures, which contain undeniable facts that no one can refute. Therefore these members of the quadruple manifestation are never to be considered ordinary living beings. Each of Them is a plenary expansion of the Absolute Godhead, and thus each is identical with the Supreme Lord in knowledge, opulence, energy, influence, prowess and potencies. “The evidence of the Pancaratras cannot be neglected. Only untrained persons who have not genuinely studied the Pancaratras think that the Pancaratras contradict the srutis regarding the birth or beginning of the living entity. In this connection, we must accept the verdict of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which says, `The absolute Personality of Godhead, who is known as Vasudeva and who is very affectionate toward His surrendered devotees, expands Himself in quadruple forms who are subordinate to Him and at the same time identical with Him in all respects.' The Pauskara-samhita states, `The scriptures that recommend that brahmanas worship the quadruple forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are called agamas .' In all Vaisnava literature it is said that worshiping these quadruple forms is as good as worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vasudeva, who in His different expansions, complete in six opulences, can accept offerings from His devotees of the results of their prescribed duties. “Worshiping the expansions for pastimes, such as Nrsimha, Rama, Sesa and Kurma, promotes one to the worship of the Sankarsana quadruple. From that position one is raised to the platform of worshiping Vasudeva, the Supreme Brahman. In the Pauskara-samhita it is said, `If one fully worships according to the regulative principles, one can attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva.' It is to be accepted that Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are as good as Lord Vasudeva, for They all have inconceivable power and can accept transcendental forms like Vasudeva. Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are never born, but They can manifest Themselves in various incarnations before the eyes of pure devotees. This is the conclusion of all Vedic literature. “That the Lord can manifest Himself before His devotees by His inconceivable power is not against the teaching of the Pancaratras. Since Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are, respectively, the predominating Deities of all living entities, the total mind and the total ego, the designation of Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha as `jiva,' `mind' and `ego' are never contradictory to the statements of the scriptures. These terms identify these Deities, just as the terms `sky' and `light' sometimes identify the Absolute Brahman. "The scriptures completely deny the birth or production of the living entity. In the Parama-samhita it is described that material nature, which is used for others' purposes, is factually inert and always subject to transformation. The field of material nature is the arena of the activities of fruitive actors, and since the material field is externally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it is also eternal. In every samhita, the jiva (living entity) has been accepted as eternal, and in the Pancaratras the birth of the jiva is completely denied. Anything that is produced must also be annihilated. Therefore if we accept the birth of the living entity, we also have to accept his annihilation. But since the Vedic literatures say that the living entity is eternal, one should not think the living being to be produced at a certain time. In the beginning of the Parama-samhita it is definitely stated that the face of material nature is constantly changeable. Therefore `beginning,' `annihilation' and all such terms are applicable only in the material nature. "Considering all these points, one should understand that Sankaracarya's statement that Sankarsana is born as a jiva is completely against the Vedic statements. His assertions are completely refuted by the above arguments. In this connection the commentary of Shridhara Svami on Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.1.34) is very helpful." For a detailed refutation of Sankaracarya's arguments attempting to prove Sankarsana an ordinary living being, one may refer to Shrimat Sudarsanacarya's commentary on the Shri-bhasya, which is known as the Sruta-prakasika. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila, 5.41 purport by Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja)]
  3. 25 January 2007 Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj [This year, 2019 the appearance day of Shri Advaita Acarya is on February 11 and 12 (See Calendar). In observance of this holy day, it is recommended to fast until noon, and then honor prasadam with Ekadasi preparations. (More information can be found in the Vaisnava calendar.) Advaita Saptami is the day that Shri Advaita Acarya appeared in this world. Shri Advaita Acarya, the cause of the material world, comes first; after that Shri Nityananda Prabhu comes on the day of trayodasi and then Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, descending into this world with the effulgence of radha-bhava, comes on purnima. In this way the pastimes of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu begin. vande tam Shrimad-advaitacaryam adbhuta-cestitam yasya prasadad ajno api tat-svarupam nirupayet (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 6.1) “I pray to Shri Advaita Acarya, who performs especially wonderful pastimes, that by His mercy I may be able to easily describe this difficult-to-understand philosophical truth.” What are his wonderful pastimes? Some of them are as follows: Seeing Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu began complaining. “Where has this avadhuta*[see endnote 1] come from? Today He has come to our home and thrown prasada in all directions! He has no knowledge of what caste He belongs to; actually He has no caste at all. We are brahmanas, the best of society, and He has dropped prasada on the bodies of everyone here.” Then Nityananda Prabhu said, “O offender! You are committing an offence to maha-prasada. You consider it to be mere food, and that it is merely being thrown around? You can’t see that it bestows good fortune, and that whoever’s body is touched by it at once crosses over maya.” In this way, there was generally some transcendental loving quarrelling between Them. When they would go for bathing there would certainly be quarrelling. At that time Nityananda Prabhu was very young. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was the youngest, next came Lord Nityananda, and the oldest was Shri Advaita Acarya, whose thoughts are sometimes very difficult to understand. He sent a mysterious sonnet to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. baulake kahiha, - loka ha-ila baula baulake kahiha – hate na vikaya caula baulake kahiha – kaye nahika aula baulake kahiha – iha kahiyache baula “One madman is sending a message to another madman. There is no longer necessity for rice in the marketplace, so it is time for the shop to be closed.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 19.20,21) Practically no one could understand this sonnet. Upon reading it, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared a little indifferent. Only Shri Svarupa Damodara could understand a little of Shri Advaita Acarya’s mood; no one else could understand. He said that one madman, Shri Advaita Acarya who is maddened in Krishna-prema, is sending a message to another madman, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the one who made the world mad with Krishna-prema, the original madness. “There is no longer necessity for rice” means that prema has been given by Him to everyone, and now the task is completed. “Therefore the shop should be closed” means, “Your pastimes in the material world should now come to a close.” No one understood this; only Shri Svarupa Damodara could know something of its meaning. In this way, Shri Advaita Acarya's pastimes are mysterious and wonderful. Although the gist of the Bhagavad-gita advocates bhakti, at the time of Shri Advaita Prabhu’s appearance no one was explaining it in that way. The message of the Gita is full of devotion – visate tad anantaram (Bhagavad-gita 18.55): “Ultimately he enters into Me.” Advaitavadis interpret this to mean that God and the jiva merge and become one. They say that by chanting, “aham brahmasmi” and practicing meditation, the apparent individuality of the souls merge in the end, and that the material world is false. Shri Advaita Acarya first of all gave the explanation of bhakti from these verses: satatam kirtayanto mam (Bhagavad-gita 9.14); ananyas cintayanto mam, ye janah paryupasate (9.22); and labhate bhakti param (18.54) – in the end, we will attain bhakti. By the medium of the precepts described in these verses, we enter into bhakti. It is not that we meet God in Brahman, the undifferentiated light. Visate means that we enter into His residence or abode and attain His service, but some people were trying to change the meaning. After some time, Shri Advaita Acarya went to Santipura and also started explaining the meaning of visate tad anantaram as “aham brahmasmi: all souls will merge in Brahman.” Hearing of this, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to him and pulled His beard and beat Him, until Shrimati Sita devi, Advaita Acarya’s wife, came and protected Him. This is also wonderful, because having been beaten, Shri Advaita Acarya became very pleased and began dancing. Previously, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had been offering respects and services to Him, befitting one’s guru. This was because Shri Advaita Prabhu was a disciple of Madhavendra Puri, Shriman Mahaprabhu’s grand-spiritual master. Mahaprabhu was thinking, “He is a disciple of My parama-guru (grand-spiritual master), so it is My duty to offer obeisances and service to Him. He is worshipable for Me, and therefore I should serve Him.” For ridding Himself of this situation, Shri Advaita Acarya gave the nirvisesa-vada (impersonal) explanation of the Gita. When Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became angry and started beating Him, Advaita Acarya said, “Today My life has become successful. I wanted You to accept service from Me, because You are senior to Me. Who can possibly be senior to You?” Mahaprabhu then became shy. Another time, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to His mother, Shrimati Saci-devi, “I will not show love to you anymore, because you have disrespected a devotee. You have committed vaisnava-aparadha. You told Shri Advaita Prabhu, “Your name Advaita (meaning non-dual) is not suitable; rather Your name should be called Dvaita (dual). You are not advaita, You are dvaita.” You said that Shri Advaita Acarya brings “duality”, separation in relationships. He separates a mother from her son, a father from his son, a brother from his brother. Advaita Acarya explains the path of devotion, thereby breaking the chains which bind one to the material world. A mother has natural affection for her offspring, but if Advaita Prabhu is able to increase someone’s spontaneous attraction towards Lord Krishna, what could be greater than that? If someone is giving the instruction that the jiva has forgotten God for millions of births, and then establishes knowledge of our true relationship with Him and the final attainment of love for Him, and gives instruction for bhajana which cuts the chains that bind us to the material world, what could be greater?” Shrimati Saci-devi replied, “He separated me from my beloved Visvarupa. He gave such instruction to him that it separated me from my son, who left home and became a sannyasi. Advaita Acarya is that person whom having met once, one will not desire anything within this world. So His name should be “Dvaita”. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Since you spoke to a devotee in this way, none of us will show you love anymore.” As she stood there, everyone present told her the same thing. Saci-devi then went to beg forgiveness from Advaita Acarya, but before she could do so he fell at her feet and said, “You are the mother of the entire world. It is not possible for you to commit any offence. But alright, if someone says that there has been some offence, then I say it is hereby forgiven.” Saci-devi returned to Mahaprabhu and everything was set right. Many wonderful pastimes like this were performed by Shri Advaita Prabhu. Shri Advaita Acarya was instrumental in bringing Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to this world. At the end of Dvarapa-yuga, upon completing His pastimes in this world and returning to Goloka-Vrndavana, Shri Krishna thought, “I have three desires which have not yet been fulfilled. Understanding the glories of Radhika’s love, discovering the sweetness that She finds within Me, and tasting that sweetness – without assuming the sentiment of Radhika Herself and the effulgence of Her form, it will not be possible to experience these three things. I have tasted sakhya-rasa (the mood of friendship), vatsalya-rasa (the parental mood), and madhurya-rasa (the mood of a paramour), but as yet I have been unable to experience what Her happiness is upon seeing Me, and what is the nature of Her love for Me.” At that time, it was necessary for the yuga-dharma (the religious principles for this Age) to be given. The Age of Kali, which lasts for 432,000 years, had come. Ordinarily, at the end of each yuga an incarnation of the Supreme Lord comes, just as at the end of Treta-yuga, Shri Ramacandra came, and at the end of Dvarapa-yuga, Shri Krishna came. Such a yuga-avatara comes when the disorder in the material world has reached its highest limit. dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge “In order to re-establish the principles of religion, I appear millennium after millennium” (Bhagavad-gita 4.8) The Supreme Personality of Godhead thinks, “Just see how much sinful activity is increasing, and how the chaos is escalating due to the demons. I should descend.” There are actually four reasons for Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s descent. Two are primary and two are secondary. The most primary reason is for tasting the prema of Radhika, and the second reason is: anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-Shriyam “By His causeless mercy He appears in the age of Kali to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: unnata ujjvala-rasa – the most sublime conjugal mellow of His own service.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.4) Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to give the wealth of a special love to the jivas, which had never been bestowed by any previous incarnations: unnata ujjvala-rasa – the parakiya-bhava of the gopis. There are two kinds of unnata ujjvala parakiya-rasa. One kind, the sentiment of Radhika, is not ‘giveable’. But the other, the sentiment of the nitya-sakhis and the prana-sakhas who serve Radha, and who, following Her, also serve Krishna – that unnata ujjvala-rasa can be given. Therefore, to bestow the highest prema upon all jivas and to taste the prema of Radhika, Krishna decends as Mahaprabhu. His third reason for the His coming is to preach the yuga-dharma, nama-sankirtana; and the fourth reason is: yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendent of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion – at that time I descend.” (Bhagavad-gita 4.7) These are the four reasons. Krishna was thinking, “When should I go? To establish the yuga-dharma, it is alright to descend at the end of the yuga, but if instead I preach nama-sankirtana at the beginning of the yuga, the degrading influence of the yuga will have a lesser effect on the jivas. When should I give the sentiment of the gopis, and when should I taste the love of Radhika?” He was considering all of these things. Meanwhile Shri Advaita Acarya saw that bhakti was gradually disappearing from the world, and He thought, “Now is the appropriate time for Shri Krishna’s incarnation. If He doesn’t come now, what will happen later?” He was thinking this in the form of Karanodasayi Visnu. He was pondering in that place where sattva, rajas, and tamasa (the material qualities of goodness, passion and ignorance) are all in the same position. There are two causes of the world: one is upadana, the ingredient cause, and the other is nimitta, the efficient or instrumental cause. Lord Maha-Visnu Himself is the nimitta cause, and His part, Shri Advaita Acarya, is the upadana cause. Suppose I were to point to someone and say, “This man is a hooligan, a thief and a liar. Grab him and throw him outside; he should never be allowed in here again.” You may not know him, but by my saying this you throw him out. So, who is the cause of his being thrown out? By my order you grabbed this man and ejected him, so you are the upadana cause and I am the nimitta cause. But who is the real cause of the man being ejected? By his own misbehavior, the man himself is the cause; and this is exactly the situation regarding the creation of the material world. Karanodasayi Visnu assumes two forms to create the material world: as the efficient or instrumental cause and the ingredient cause. When the two of them come together, countless universes are generated. But if the Lord did not inject His desire, nothing would have transpired. In any activity, there is first the desire for it to take place. Therefore the desire of Maha-Visnu is the primary cause, and dependent on His desire is the desire of Shri Advaita Acarya, which is the secondary cause. In this way Karanodasayi, Visnu performs the activity of creating the world, and His incarnation is Shri Advaita Acarya. advaita-acarya gosani saksat isvara yanhara mahima nahe jivera gocara “Shri Advaita Acarya is directly the isvara Himself. His glories cannot be comprehended by ordinary living beings.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 6.6) From mahat-tattva, false ego arises. From false ego comes form, smell, touch, taste, and sound. Next come the eleven senses, and next are the five material elements. That makes twenty-two material elements, and with the intelligence and mind there are twenty-four. Then, adding prakrti, purusa, atma, and Paramatma, there are twenty-eight aspects of tattva altogether. Leaving aside the Supreme Lord and the living entity, only the remainder is accepted by the sankhya and nyaya schools of thought. ye purusa srsti-sthiti karena mayaya ananta brahmanda srsti karena lilaya icchaya ananta murti karena prakasa eka eka murte karena brahmande pravesa se purusera amsa – advaita, nahi kichu bheda sarlura-visesa tanra – nahika viccheda sahaya karena tanra la-iya ‘pradhana’ koti brahmanda karena icchaya nirmana “Maha-Visnu performs the function of creation of all the material universes, and Advaita Acarya is directly an incarnation of Him. Creating and maintaining these countless universes by His external energy is His pastime, and by His own will He expands into countless forms and enters into each and every universe. Advaita Acarya is a non-different part and parcel of Maha-Visnu, or in other words, another form of Him.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 6.8-11) Some say that nature enacts the process of creation by itself, and they give this example: “A cow eats grass, and automatically milk is produced. What is the necessity of anyone else in this process? In this way nature does everything by itself.” To refute this, an innocent, less-educated Vaisnava once said, “The cow eats grass and then gives milk, so why then doesn’t the bull eat grass and also give milk? Does he need to eat more grass?” The scholar of the sankhya school had to think for a moment. Then he said, concerning the upadana or ingredient cause, “To make a house, all elements such as bricks are necessary.” Then the Vaisnava said, “So, if by bricks or cement a house will be made, then here we will place one thousand kilos of cement, ten-thousand bricks, an entire lake of water, and wood and marble also. Will that make a house? By the upadana alone it will not happen, because it needs the nimitta or instrumental cause. There may be a pen and paper, but will they write by themselves? Thus, by the material nature alone creation will not take place. There must also be the desire of the Supreme Lord.” No action can take place by itself in the material world, and therefore this prakrti-vada philosophy is erroneous. Prakrti is inert matter, and Purusa is conscious; when both come together there is creation. In prakrti there is no action, no innate desire – it is inert matter. However, when it is activated by the Purusa, the task is automatically accomplished. The communists say, “What is the need of God in this? Nature does creation by itself”. But there is no one in the world who can create by himself. A lame man and a blind man were going somewhere together, and the lame man said, “Take me on your shoulders. Seeing with my eyes, I will tell you to go right, left, or straight on the path, and we will go there with your legs. Otherwise, you will not be able to go there, and neither will I.” Working together, they reached their desired destination. In this example the lame man is conscious, and the blind man is also conscious, and both being conscious, the work was done. In creation, on the other hand, only God is conscious; nature is not. Without at least one conscious being, no work in the world can be done. These issues may seem dry, but they are actually very important and tasteful points related to bhakti, and Vaisnavas should make an effort to understand them. In all this tattva, elaboration of established truths, the root cause of the material world is Lord Krishna – because originally He injects His desire. He then becomes two kinds of Sankarsana: first the root or Mula-Sankarsana, and then Maha-Sankarsana. From Maha-Sankarsana He becomes Karanodasayi Visnu, and subsequently He becomes Shri Advaita Acarya as the upadana cause. Some people say that the upadana cause is separate from the Lord, that it is not God. They say that God may be the nimitta cause, but He cannot be the upadana cause. However, besides Shri Krishna there is nothing, so from where has the material world come? From where has the mahat-tattva (the sum-total material ingredients) come? It has also come from the desire of Krishna. There is nothing in all of existence that is separate from Him. Karanodasayi manifests the creation, and the mahat-tattva, nature herself, is thus non-different from Him. To correct the souls that have forgotten God, material nature is manifest by His desire and it gives the jiva an external form. The jiva may consider his placement in that condition of life to be an opportunity for great happiness, but actually it is a punishment. When a crazy man dances around naked, people beat him. Without eating or drinking he wanders about, saying, “I am the King” or “I am the Prime Minister” – and he thinks himself to be happy. Our condition is exactly like that. We may consider ourselves happy, but in reality we are not in a happy condition at all. Thus Shri Advaita Acarya was thinking, “The world has become atheistic. One after another, people are forgetting God, and for Me to rectify them alone is not possible. To bring devotion to the non-devotees will be very, very difficult work. Without the potency of Lord Krishna Himself, it simply cannot be done.” Besides devotees, there are many people in the world who are preaching, but they are all preaching maya. They preach twisted philosophies, and seeing this Shri Advaita Acarya thought, “They have no relation with God and they do not preach bhakti. Even when they do preach from the Shrimad-Bhagavatam and the Gita, they express only the desires of their minds. They are indifferent to sanatana-dharma and pure devotion, and all of them –especially the mayavadis – will only hear what they want to hear. “Defeating Ravana was not a very difficult task, and killing Kamsa was also not difficult. These actions could have been done by a Visnu incarnation, but changing the thinking of these mayavadis is very difficult. It will only be possible if Krishna Himself comes into this world.” Since Shri Advaita Prabhu was at least sixty years old when Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, He was the oldest of all of His associates. Shri Nityananda Prabhu was approximately five years older than Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s plan was that He would first arrange for His devotees to appear in the world, and then He would personally descend. Shri Advaita Acarya appeared first, and seeing the condition of the world, He thought, “How will I call Krishna? There are so many types of worship of Krishna, but amongst all of these, the glories of tulasi worship are the greatest. Shri Krishna will be so pleased with anyone who offers Him a tulasi leaf and Ganges water that He will become overpowered.” Thus, He took a tulasi bud – two soft leaves with a manjari in the middle – and with great prema and tears flowing from His eyes, he worshipped Krishna beside the Ganges. Krishna had originally been thinking, “When will I descend? Maybe in ten or twenty thousand years, or maybe even after one hundred thousand years.” But upon hearing Advaita Acarya's prayer, He came at once. Therefore, Shri Advaita Acarya is another important reason for the descent of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. At birth, Shri Advaita Acarya was given the name Kamalaksa, because His eyes were as beautiful as lotus petals. He appeared at Shri Hatya in East Bengal. Staying sometimes in Navadvipa and sometimes in Santipura, He began preaching bhakti. He was there in Navadvipa when Shriman Mahaprabhu took birth. Shri Visvarupa, Lord Caitanya’s older brother, attended Advaita Prabhu’s school. One day Mother Saci told Nimai to go and call His brother. When He arrived at the school, Nimai glanced in the direction of Shri Advaita Acarya and said, “What do you see? You called Me here, and you don’t recognize Me? When the proper time comes, you will certainly recognize Me.” There are unlimited incarnations of Lord Visnu, and they are all non-different from Krishna, but their activities and pastimes are different. Therefore, because Shri Advaita Acarya is non-different from Him, He is ‘advaita’, and because He manifested bhakti in all directions, He is known as ‘acarya’. How did He preach bhakti? If anyone was born in a sudra family, a Muslim family, or any family, and performed devotional service to Lord Krishna with heart, Shri Advaita Prabhu considered him better than a brahmana who didn’t engage in such worship. If there is someone who has taken birth in a high brahmana family, is a big scholar, is of good conduct, speaks the truth and never lies, but doesn’t engage in pure devotion, he is inferior to one who has taken birth in a sudra family or in a family of cremation ground workers, if that person just cries out “Krishna! Krishna!” and does no other spiritual activity whatsoever. That sudra is superior to a caturvedi-brahmana. Shri Advaita Acarya proved this point and preached it. Shrila Haridasa Thakura was born in a Muslim family. At the sraddha ceremony for Shri Advaita Acarya’s father, the highest seat and prasada were to be offered first to the most elevated person. Shri Advaita Acarya was performing the ceremony when the moon was in the appropriate place in the month of Asvina. All the high-class brahmanas were there –Bhattacarya, Trivedi, Caturvedi, Upadhyaya – and all of them were big, big scholars. After washing their feet, Advaita Acarya showed them to their respective seats. In front was an elevated seat, and Advaita Prabhu was standing and thinking, “Who will I seat here?” All of the scholars were thinking, “I know so many scriptures; certainly I will be offered that seat.” Silently they were all aspiring for it. Advaita Acarya then went outside the house and saw Shrila Haridasa Thakura, wearing a langoti (loincloth) and sitting at the door. Shrila Haridasa Thakura was thinking, “The brahmanas will take their meal here, so Shri Advaita Acarya will certainly give me a little of their prasada.” He had so much humility that he was thinking that if he would go inside the house would be contaminated. Advaita Acarya at once embraced him and Haridasa Thakura said, “Oh, You are a brahmana and I am a Muslim! Having touched me, you must now go and bathe.” Then, grabbing and taking him inside, Shri Advaita Acarya sat him on the elevated seat, at which time there was a great outcry in all directions. The brahmanas said, “By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here!” Taking their water pots, they all stood up and left. They began insulting Shri Advaita Acarya, saying, “You are opposed to the principles of dharma!” Shri Advaita Acarya said, “Today My birth has become successful, and today my father has attained Vaikuntha. By giving respect to one Vaisnava today, millions of my ancestors have crossed over maya. If Shrila Haridasa Thakura will eat here, that will be greater than feeding millions of brahmanas.” Shrila Haridasa Thakura began crying, thinking, “Because of me, all these brahmanas have been insulted and are not eating.” But Shri Advaita Acarya said, “Haridasa, today you will certainly take prasada here. That will be our great good fortune.” Then He said to the brahmanas, “He will stay, and none of you will get prasada. Actually, you should all leave here quickly, because just seeing your faces is a great sin. Shrila Haridasa Thakura has great regard for maha-prasada, and therefore he is included within the Vaisnava class. Anyone who doesn’t accept this is an atheist, and one who judges a Vaisnava by his birth is an atheist. You can all go away from here, and then your offences will leave with you. You are offending Haridasa, and offending me as well.” All the scholars left the house, but once outside, as they were going, they began speaking amongst themselves: “Advaita Acarya is no ordinary personality. He is a great scholar, He knows all the scriptures, and He is an exalted preacher of bhakti.” They continued deliberating, and after fully reconsidering, they returned, fell at Shri Advaita Prabhu's feet and begged forgiveness. Shri Advaita Acarya had many sons, and one was named Acyutananda. Because some of His other sons didn’t engage in bhajana, He didn’t consider them His sons at all and He renounced them. Only those sons who performed bhajana of Shri Krishna did He make His successors. Especially because of one incident in Jagannatha Puri, Acyutananda was made His successor. The Ratha-yatra procession was going on, and at that time Acyutananda was just a small boy. Some Vaisnavas came and asked Advaita Acarya, “What is the name of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s guru?” He replied, “Kesava Bharati.” At that time Acyutananda was sitting in his father’s lap, and upon hearing this he began trembling with anger. He was just a small boy; nevertheless, he got up from his father’s lap and started to walk away, saying, “You cannot be my father if you have such an idea. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the guru of the entire world! Who can possibly be His guru?” Tears came to the eyes of Shri Advaita Acarya and He said, “You will be known as my real son. What you have said is correct: Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the guru of the entire world. But for His pastimes in human form, He must set the example for others. Otherwise what would happen? How would the people of this world know that it is necessary to accept a guru?” In this way Shri Advaita Acarya performed many wonderful and instructive pastimes, and he was an assistant to all of the pastimes of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore, today we will offer a special prayer to his lotus feet – that He may be merciful upon us so that we can make steady progress in bhakti and ultimately attain the direct service of Shri Gauracandra. Gaura Premanande hari hari bol [*endnote – “The word avadhuta refers to one who does not care for social conventions, particularly the varnasrama-dharma. However, such a person may be situated fully within himself and be satisfied with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, on whom he meditates. In other words, one who has surpassed the rules and regulations of varnasrama-dharma is called avadhuta. Such a person has already surpassed the clutches of maya, and he lives completely separate and independent.” (Shrila Prabhupada’s purport to Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.30)]
  4. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj A lecture on the topics of 1) Vasanta-Pancami 2) The Appearance Day of Visnu-priya devi 3) The Appearance Day of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami Vasanta Pancami In India, there are many festivals held for the worship of Lord Krsna. There the year is divided into six seasons, each lasting two months. Among the six seasons, the most glorious is Vasanta, Spring. The Vasanta season is very pleasant, for the weather is neither too hot nor too cold at that time. An abundance of fragrant flowers, like beli, cameli, jui and others bloom everywhere, and flowers such as ratkerani (night queen) bloom even at night. Rivers like Ganges and Yamuna are especially clean and pure at that time, looking as though they are simply waiting for Shri Shri Radha and Krsna, and the lands in many places look like yellow carpets because they are full with varieties of yellow flowers. Krsna's garments are also yellow, because His most beloved Shrimati Radhika has a yellowish-golden complexion and He wants to be always embraced by Her. Today is Vasanta-Pancami, the beginning of the Vasanta season, at which time the Rasa Dance of Krsna was performed in Govardhana, in the village of Parasauli, by the lake known as Candra Sarovara. At that time the gopis were dancing with Krsna for the duration of a night that became billions of years; it became as long as one entire day of Brahma. On that night the moon stood still, not moving from its best view of the sight of the dancing of Radhika and all Her sakhis with Lord Krsna. Such beautiful pastimes were born from an ocean of rasas (sweet, transcendental mellow tastes), saturated with unlimited happiness. In Saradiya, the autumn season, the Rasa Dance was performed in Vrndavana, under the shade of the Vamsivata tree, in the beginning of Kartika month. All classes of gopis participated in that Saradiya rasa-yatra, whereas in this Govardhana Vasanti-rasa, only the highest class of gopis were allowed to participate. In this Spring Rasa Dance, Lord Krsna openly demonstrated the prominence and superiority of Shrimati Radhika. Krsna disappeared in the midst of this Vasanti Rasa Dance, and all the gopis were bitterly crying, "Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?" The gopis searched for Him everywhere, and after some time they saw Him in His four-handed form, standing like a statue. Coming nearer, they said, "Oh, He looks like Krsna, but at the same time He is not Krsna. Our Krsna is not four-handed. Where is His flute, His peacock feather, and all His other apparel gone? He now carries a conch shell, disc, club, and lotus flower – in four hands!" They prayed to him, "We are very attached to Krsna, and we are searching for Him. We will die without Him. If you are Narayana, please be merciful and tell us which way He went. Be merciful so that we may find Him." Then, after praying in this way, they left and went on their way. candrasarovaraWhen Shrimati Radhika was arriving after the other gopis had left that place, the breeze that had just touched Her veil carried so much fragrance from Her body that it entered the nostril of Krsna and He thought, "Oh, My most beloved is near." He forgot that He was supposed to maintain His four-handed form, and He could no longer hide His original form. Two hands disappeared at once, entering His body, and His original two-armed form reappeared – with His flute in His hands and His peacock feather atop His head. rasarambha-vidhau niliya vasata kunje mrgaksi-ganair drstam gopayitum svam uddhura-dhiya ya susthu sandarsita radhayah pranayasya hanta mahima yasya sriya raksitum sa sakya prabhavisnunapi harina nasic catur-bahuta ["At the beginning of the Rasa Dance, Lord Krsna hid Himself in a grove just to have fun. When the gopis came, their eyes resembling those of deer, by His sharp intelligence He exhibited His beautiful four-armed form to hide Himself. But when Shrimati Radharani came there, He could not maintain His four arms. This is the wonderful glory of Her love." (a quotation from the Ujjvala-nilamani by Shrila Rupa Gosvami, as quoted in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 17.293)] When Krsna sees Radhika, His most beloved and the embodiment of all love and affection, He forgets everything else. She is no one other than Krsna. She is Krsna Himself, but in the body of Radhika. In this way, Krsna returned to His own form and quickly embraced Her. This occurred in vasanti-rasa-lila. In the chapter of Shri Caitanya-caritamrta called Raya Ramananda Samvad, Shrila Caitanya Mahaprabhu questioned Shri Raya Ramananda Prabhu, "What is our sadhya (perfection) and our sadhana (the process to achieve that perfection)?" Raya Ramananda replied, beginning from varnasrama-dharma. He told Mahaprabhu, "According to the adherents of varnasrama-dharma, to be in family life and pursue varnasrama-dharma (the execution of the religious duties of the different castes and statuses of life), in order to please Krsna, is the best process to please Him." Mahaprabhu rejected this and said, "In varnasrama there is no pure relationship between the soul and Krsna." After that, Raya Ramananda suggested, "One should offer the fruits of all his activities to the lotus feet of Krsna," but Mahaprabhu rejected this also, and said, "This is external; go further." After that Raya Ramananda said, "One should take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna," and he quoted a verse from Bhagavad-gita: "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." (Bhagavad-gita 18.66)] Krsna is saying here, "If you take the shelter of My lotus feet, you will be happy forever." People all over the world think that this is the essence of the Bhagavad-gita, but Mahaprabhu rejected it as external and therefore not the ultimate goal of life, and He told Raya Ramananda, "Go on; continue further. Raya Ramananda then suggested karma-jnana-misra-bhakti (devotion contaminated by mental speculation and the desire to enjoy the fruits of one's actions), and he uttered the verse: "One who is transcendentally situated by realizing the impersonal brahma never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. He has the opportunity to realize the Supreme Brahman and become fully joyful if he attains pure devotional service unto Me."(Bhagavad-gita 18.54)] Shriman Mahaprabhu also rejected both concepts – karma-jnana-misra-bhakti and brahma-bhutah – because they are devoid of pure devotion, and after that Raya Ramananda gradually came to the topic of prema-bhakti. Mahaprabhu replied to this, "This may be the stage of perfection, but please go further." Raya Ramananda then discussed dasya, sakya, and vatsalya-prema (love for Krsna in the moods of servant, friend, and parent) and Mahaprabhu said, "Oh, very good, very good! But please continue further." In bhakti-rasa (intimate devotion to Krsna while thinking oneself in a relationship with Him as an ordinary cowherd boy), Krsna is not anyone's father or mother. In the understanding of pure bhakti, the Supreme Lord cannot be anyone's father or a mother – He may only be a son. We can serve Krsna in any of four relationships, but if we think that He is our father or mother, we cannot serve Him, because fathers and mothers serve their children. After hearing about these relationships, Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Raya Ramananda, "Please speak further," and Raya Ramananda then said, "Gopi-prema (serving Krsna as a beloved) is the highest attainment, and among the gopis Shrimati Radhika is the best. When Mahaprabhu asked Raya Ramananda to give an example of a pastime that reveals Radhika's supremacy, Raya Ramananda first gave the example of Saradiya rasa-lila. He said, "All the gopis were dancing with Krsna, and it appeared that one gopi danced between each two Krsna's and one Krsna danced between each two gopis. Billions of gopis were dancing together with Krsna, but all of a sudden He disappeared. Why did He disappear? He did so to please Radhika. He took Her with Him, and no one knew where He or His beloved had gone." Mahaprabhu then expressed His doubt: "Because Krsna met with Radhika after His disappearance from the Rasa Dance, it seems that He was fearing all the other gopis. If He openly gives up all the gopis, leaving with Radhika in front of them all, then only it will be shown that the love of Radhika is the highest." rasalilaShri Raya Ramananda then explained about this vasanti-rasa. He said, "Krsna was dancing with billions of gopis, and meanwhile Radhika thought, 'Krsna always promises: "You are My most beloved." But I see that He is dancing with Me and all the other gopis as well; so perhaps we are all equal in His eyes.' At that time Radhika adopted a sulky mood and became somewhat angry. She thus left the Rasa Dance in front of all the other gopis, and Krsna followed Her. "Krsna was thinking, 'If Radhika is not here, there can be no Rasa. There can be no meaning to the Rasa. I am performing rasa-lila only for Radhika. She is My half, My whole, My guru and My servant; She is everything to Me. She is My life and soul. In vasanti-rasa, Krsna declared this openly." Mahaprabhu then said, "Oh, this is good!" and He questioned further, "I want to know about krsna-tattva, radha-tattva, prema-tattva, and rasa-tattva from you." When Raya Ramananda began to deeply describe these topics, however, Mahaprabhu stopped him and said, "Don't say anymore. These subject matters are so elevated that there is no one in this world qualified to hear them. If you continue to speak about them, I will at once enter the mood of Krsna and I will have to give up this form of Sacinandana Gaurahari." Raya Ramananda then stopped speaking. For us, today is the observance of the anniversary celebration of that very same vasanti-rasa, and for Krsna this rasa is going on eternally. All of His pastimes are eternally manifest in Goloka Vrndavana, and He also displays them throughout innumerable universes as He appears in one universe after another. Here in vasanti-rasa, Krsna declared openly, "My super-most beloved is Shrimati Radhika." There is no difference between Shrimati Radhika and Lord Krsna. Krsna manifested Radhika from His left side. If we can make Radhika happy, then Krsna will be happy and He will be controlled quite easily; and this is the purpose of our observance of vasanti-rasa. The Appearance Day of Shrimati Visnupriya-devi Today is also the birthday of Visnu-priya devi – the wife – the power – the energy – of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. She is one of the manifestations of Shrimati Radhika, she is especially a manifestation of Satyabhama, and she is the Supreme Lord's Bhu-sakti.* She had great love and affection for Sacinandana Gaurahari and was married to Him for many years; but Mahaprabhu was always absorbed in Radha's mood, calling out, "Alas, Krsna! Alas, Krsna!" and He had no time to talk with her. Though they were in one family, in one house, He was always absorbed in the ecstasies of Shrimati Radhika. Thus, He was sometimes falling down and rolling on the earth, sometimes crying, and sometimes singing loudly like a mad person. "In the stage of love of Godhead, the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.40)] Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was always acting in this way, and continually weeping. If you want to develop love for Krsna, you will have to follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu and always weep for Krsna. We see that He was weeping throughout His life, from the beginning. This increased further when He took sannyasa and left everything to go to Jagannatha Puri, and it increased still further after He met with Raya Ramananda. Although Visnu-priya devi was married to Mahaprabhu in His family life, He hardly ever spoke with her, especially when He returned from Gaya, where He took harinama and diksa initiation from His Gurudeva, Shri Isvara-puripada. His personality changed at that time. He was no longer known as Nimai Pandita. Now He became known as Bhavuka Nimai, Nimai who is always absorbed in His ecstatic moods of krsna-prema. At this time, however, some of the inhabitants of Navadvipa, especially the students and His former teachers in the schools, became somewhat unfavorable towards Him and wanted to control Him. Mahaprabhu thought, "I came to give the supreme medicine for everyone's material disease, but these persons quarrel with Me and insult Me. I should take sannyasa, the renounced order of life, for then they will weep for Me* [See Endnote 2], and thus I will immerse the whole world – including mayavadis like Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Prakasananda Sarasvati – in krsna-prema." This is one of the reasons Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa. On the day He decided to take sannyasa, Visnu-priya devi went to bathe in the Ganges. While she was on the way there, she accidentally stubbed her toe on a stone, and it was injured and bled. Then, while she was in the midst of bathing there, the nose-ring she had received on her marriage day and which is very auspicious for a wife, fell in the Ganges. Although she searched for it with great endeavor, She could not find it. She began to weep bitterly, "Why are all these things happening today?" Later, when She returned home, Saci Mata asked her, "Oh my daughter, why you are weeping so?" She replied, "Today I went to bathe in the Ganges. My foot was injured and I lost the nose-ring of my marriage day. I don't know what is to be my fate." Her mother tried to console her. Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu had previously paid practically no attention to her, that night, after taking some prasadam, He decorated her hair and placed betel nuts in her mouth. That morning He had gone to visit and meet with all His associates. He had procured some milk and He had also gotten a loki vegetable from Shridhara, with whom He would always jokingly quarrel. When He returned home in the evening He told Saci Mata, "Mother, please make a lak-laki preparation from these, adding sugar, ghee, camphor and other ingredients, and offer it to Lord Krsna." He later honored that prasada, after which He entered the room of Visnu-priya devi like a luxurious person, in royal dress, as one would dress for a wedding ceremony. Then, with love and affection He asked her, "O, how are you?" He decorated her, gave her a beautiful garland, placed betel nuts in her mouth, and engaged in loving conversation with her. Visnu-priya began thinking, "What am I seeing? A hurricane light, which burns with kerosene oil, burns brightly when it is just about to be extinguished. It makes the sounds 'buk buk', then 'tuk', and then it becomes dark; it's finished. I see now that my fate may be like this. Considering what happened this morning, and seeing how He is decorating me so lavishly, giving me betel nuts and saying with flattering words, 'My dear-most beloved', I wonder what is my fate. Why is He doing this?" In the meantime, Yogamaya came and entered Visnu-priya's eyes in the form of sleepiness. She did not want to fall asleep, but by the power of Yogamaya she was forced to do so. Caitanya Mahaprabhu glanced at her once, and then stood up to leave home and take sannyasa. Without giving up everything in this world, how can one love Lord Krsna totally? If your love and affection is divided between many persons, situations and objects, how you can you love Krsna? We have seen that in India, exalted devotees like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and also Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, quickly gave up their positions, wealth, reputation, father, mother, wife and children. Weeping for Krsna, they left their homes and took sannyasa, not remembering their homes or families at all, and always remembering, "Krsna! Krsna! Krsna!" When Mahaprabhu was coming out of His home, He saw His mother standing like a dried-up statue, with no tears in her eyes. She couldn't even think of what to do. Air was coming and going from her nostrils, but she had no external consciousness at all – for Mahaprabhu, by His power of Yogamaya, was controlling her. Mahaprabhu did parikrama of His mother three or four times, touched her lotus feet, and told her, "Mother I am going to search for My beloved Krsna." Then, in the middle of that cold and dark night, He jumped in the Ganges, calling out "Oh Krsna!" He came out on the other side of the river, in Kantaka Nagari, and there He went to see Kesava Bharati to take sannyasa from him. After accepting the sannyasa order, Mahaprabhu went to Jagannatha Puri, and from Puri He returned to Navadvipa on the way to Vrndavana. While there, all the residents came from here and there by boat and other conveyances to see Sacinandana Gaurahari. Even dogs and blind persons came, and Saci Mata also came. Everyone was present except Visnu-priya. Why was she not allowed to come? This is the symptom of love and affection for Krsna. If you will give up your dear-most object for Krsna, this is the symptom that you have some love and affection for Him. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught this by His own example, and for this reason Visnu-priya was not there. Everyone else was allowed to come, but she was not. What was she doing? She was weeping continuously. She was more attached to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu than anyone else was, and she was more detached from worldly things than even Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. She maintained her life by taking some grains of rice, one by one, and using them as counting beads as she continually chanted, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare." Every time she completed the utterance of these sixteen words, she picked up one grain of rice and placed it on a pile. She would wash the rice grains, one by one, with the water of her tears as she chanted until midday, and then she would cook that rice with some vegetables. She would then give the bhoga to Mother Saci, who would offer it to her Deity, Narayana. After that she would eat very little of it, remembering the pastimes of Sacinandana. Her life was totally absorbed in Lord Krsna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and she chanted Hare Krsna day and night. After some time Mahaprabhu somehow gave her a Deity of Himself, made from neem wood, and that Deity is being worshiped in Navadvipa up to the present day. Visnu-priya used to worship that Deity, weeping bitterly and talking with Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and He would also speak to her in the form of that Deity. Saci Mata also remembered Caitanya Mahaprabhu always. She used to offer Him prasadam, and He used to come to her house and eat it – although she thought His coming was only her imagination or only a vision. He was bound to come – bound by the love and affection of Saci Mata and Visnu-priya devi. If one wants to serve Mahaprabhu or Radha-Krsna, he must be like Visnu-priya. She was much more renounced than anyone else, including Mahaprabhu. He was renounced, but not like her. Also, He was always surrounded by so many bhaktas who consoled Him, but she had none to console her. Samadhi of Shrila Raghunath dasa Gosvami at Radha-kunda Today is birthday of Visnu-priya, who is the embodiment of prema-bhakti. She is prema-bhakti itself. Visnu-priya devi ki Jaya! [Question:] Gurudeva, you said Visnu-priya devi is Bhu-sakti. So is she like Laxmi? [Shrila Gurudeva:] No, she is like Satyabhama. [Question:] But we hear that Navadvipa-dhama is non-different from Vraja. [Shrila Gurudeva:] Yes [Question:] How can Satyabhama be in Vraja-lila? [Gurudeva:] Radhika has come as Gadadhara Pandita, and Shri Svarupa Damodara and Shri Raya Ramananda have come as Lalita and Visakha. The associates of Nrsimhadeva, Ramacandra, and all other incarnations have also come to Navadvipa, because Sacinandana Gaurahari includes all incarnations. All incarnations are within Him. So Satyabhama may also come to Navadvipa-lila and have the association of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. [Question:] Is this also true in Svetadvipa (Navadvipa in Goloka Vrndavana?* [See Endnote 3] [Shrila Gurudeva:] Yes, they all can be there also. Everything exists in Krsna, as stated in the Vedanta Sutra: Viruddha dharmam tasmin na cittram – all mutually contradictory characteristics exist harmoniously in Lord Krsna's pastimes, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself. [Question:] So we worship Visnu-priya devi and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the path of arcana – following the principles of sravanam kirtanam, visnu-smaranam, pada sevanam (hearing, chanting, remembering and praying, etc.) in a regulative way, in awe and reverence? [Shrila Gurudeva:] Yes, one serves Visnu-priya devi and Mahaprabhu in arcana-marga (the path of regulative worship), and he serves Gaura-Gadadhara in bhava-marga, that is hearing, chanting, etc. in spontaneous love, following in the footsteps of the gopis. The Appearance Day of Shrila Raghunatha das Gosvami Today is also the birthday of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If you want to become pure devotees, you will have to follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. You want to follow, but you are weak – as Shrila Gour Govinda Maharaj says, "Mr. Dog, Mr. Hog, Mr. Pig." – and some are like camels, tigers or bears. We must try to follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He was wealthy and he was situated in a high position, but he left everything for Krsna and continually cried, "O Krsna, O Sacinandana Gaurahari." By the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu he quickly received the shelter of Mahaprabhu. Hardly eating anything but somehow maintained his life, He went to Vrndavana after Mahaprabhu departed, and he lived at Radha-kunda. Without the mercy of the guru you cannot have love and affection for Krsna or Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Guru-krpa (guru's mercy) is essential, and guru-nistha (faith in guru) is the backbone of all kinds of bhakti. When Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami received the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, all his problems and obstacles quickly disappeared, and he was able to leave home to be with Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Performance of bhajana in one's house, while still living with one's father, mother, wife, and husband, is one kind of bhajana, but that kind of bhajana cannot give the fruit of love and affection for Krsna. One day you will have to thoroughly give this up. The first symptom of real bhakti, achieved by the austerities of chanting and remembering Krsna, is causeless knowledge and detachment from this world. You will surely become renounced, whether you are in worldly life or in the renounced order. If you are chanting seriously and perfectly, renunciation is bound to come. We have heard that when Guru Nanak (the saint in India who founded the Sikh religion) was young, his father told him, "Go to the market and bring back the ingredients we need to sell at our shop." On the way to the market he came upon many Vaisnavas and sadhus. Seeing that there was no management of prasadam for them, he quickly went to the market and bought all the paraphernalia needed to make a festival for them, and for that purpose he spent all his father's money. He later returned home empty-handed, and his father asked, "Where are the ingredients I told you to buy – the rice, dahl, ghee and other things?" Guru Nanak replied, "I did the shopping, but I have given all the goods for the service of Vaisnavas. In this way I have done some very good shopping for my future life and for the benefit of my whole dynasty." He had so much strong belief in Krsna; he knew that if one serves Krsna, Krsna will give him everything he needs. We do not have this same belief, and therefore it is even very hard for us to give a penny. Some persons can give some of their wealth, but he gave everything. Because Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was chanting and remembering Krsna, having been spiritually brought up by Shrila Haridasa Thakura and initiated by Shri Yadunandana Acarya, some good effect was bound to come. He became detached from the world, and he considered Krsna to be his father, his mother, and his everything. All tattvas (established philosophical truths) came in his heart, and he quickly left his home and beautiful wife. He was the only son of his father, who was as wealthy as a king, and his wife was as beautiful as Miss Universe. It would have been very hard for an ordinary person to give up such luxuries. After leaving home, Raghunatha dasa did not travel on the main road. Hiding, he went on the village route, not eating anything except some puffed rice and some milk, and a journey of one month passed quickly in 12 days. At that time there were no trains or cars, but he ran quickly, without taking any time to bathe. When he came in Jagannatha Puri he did not go to see Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. He came directly to the assembly of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who was surrounded by many associates like Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda. Someone told Mahaprabhu, "Raghunatha has come," and Mahaprabhu quickly embraced him and said, "O Raghunatha, you have just come from the ditch of stool." Some time before, Mahaprabhu had told him to return home, but now He said, "All worldly life is like stool, and Krsna is so merciful that He delivered you and you have come out from that house." Mahaprabhu then placed him in the hands of Shri Svarupa Damodara, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami thus began a transcendental life; always hearing from Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Shri Vakresvara Pandita, Shri Gopal Guru, and Shrila Haridasa Thakura. The life history of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is one of the jewels in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta, and moreover, much of what Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja wrote in Caitanya-caritamrta he had heard from the lotus mouth of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Try to remember his life and character. If you do, a power will enter within you and you will be able to become a devotee like him – whether you are in worldly life or renounced life. Try to be like him. We cannot be like him without help, and therefore we pray to Nityananda Prabhu to help us. Gaura premanande. [Endnote 1– Bhagavan has three potencies – Shri (Laksmi), Bhu (the Goddess of the Earth), and Lila (the Goddess of pastimes). Bhu is the energy that creates the cosmic manifestation (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 5.27-28 purp.). Bhu-sakti also assists in manifesting Krsna's pastimes in Bhauma-Vrndavana, the place of His pastimes as they are displayed on the Earth planet in this universe and innumerable other universes. The goddess of this Earth, Pritivi devi, is also included within this potency. Without this Bhu potency, Krsna will have no place in which to perform His pastimes.] [Endnote 2 – In Vedic culture, sannyasis are given honor] [Endnote 3 – The confidential, innermost region of Goloka, Krsna's own transcendental planet, is divided into two sections: Vrndavana (also known as Vraja and Gokula) and Navadvipa (also known as Svetadvipa).
  5. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja A Vyasa-puja lecture Murwillumbah, Australia: (morning) I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer the same unto my siksa-gurus, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and prapujyacarana nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktiraksaka Sridhara Maharaja, and unto the lotus feet of our whole guru-parampara. I offer my puspanjali unto their lotus feet. It is stated in verse six of Sri Gurvastakam by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura: nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya tratrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam ["Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kisora's amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Sri Radha and Krsna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva."] What is the meaning of nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai? What is that guru doing? Devotee: He's rendering intimate service to the Divine Couple. Srila Gurudeva: What services is he rendering? The answer is very secret. Devotee: He performs pleasing services. Srila Gurudeva: He not only does this. Sometimes he rebukes Krsna in many ways, and sometimes he also cheats Him. [An example of cheating Krsna is as follows: Krsna may ask that guru (in his form as a maidservant of Srimati Radhika) if Radhika has come to the Vrndavana forest to meet Him. That maidservant may reply, "No, Her mother-in-law would not allow Her to leave the house." Although Srimati Radhika is actually hiding in a nearby grove, Krsna believes the maidservant. His anxiety to meet Radhika thus increases, and when they meet shortly after this, that meeting is more meaningful. -ed] Guru must be like this: nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai. He must be serving the Divine Couple Radha and Krsna, and especially Radhika. The gopis make so many arrangements for Their meeting. Ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya. They engage in all the methods of cheating Their fathers and mothers and husbands for the purpose of the successful meeting of Radha and Krsna, and for the purpose of serving Them. A guru is very expert in all these activities. We see in our guru-gayatri, krsnanandaya dhimahi. This refers to both Krsna and Krsnaa. [Spelled in Sanskrit, k-r-s-n-a with a long 'a' at the end.] A male can serve Krsna, but no male can serve Krsnaa. Krsnaa is Radhika. Therefore, in his service to Radhika, for rati-keli-siddhyai, the perfection of Radha-Krsna conjugal love, a guru cannot serve in his male form. Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and my Gurudeva are both serving there in their female forms as gopis [click "Unedited" green tab above to see acutal words]. In that realm my Gurudeva is Vinoda Manjari, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura is Nayana Manjari, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is Kamala Manjari, Srila Jiva Gosvami is Vilasa Manjari, Srila Rupa Gosvami is Rupa Manjari, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Rati Manjari. These manjaris can serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Dhrstadyumna dasa: And our Srila Prabhupada? Srila Gurudeva: If you fully surrender, by body, mind, words and ego, then I may tell you. Otherwise, I will not. I know who he is, but you do not know. None of the ISKCON leaders know. Your Prabhupada has cheated them all, in the sense that he has not revealed himself to them at all. He is rati-keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya. So, I offer pranama to my Gurudeva in that very form. He is cheating others, and he is even cheating Krsna. By such 'cheating,' he brings Krsna to serve His most beloved Radhika. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it has been very openly told that Srimati Radhika is the guru of Krsna. Why not take shelter in the lotus feet of She who is the guru of Krsna? Our guru is there, in Goloka Vrndavana, serving Radhika. This verse does not apply to ordinary, bogus gurus who fall down twenty times or thirty times. It also doesn't apply to gurus who can fall down. I do not accept them as gurus. Actually, guru is one who can serve Radhika. If a guru has fully controlled his senses, but he is not directly serving Radhika, he is only partially guru. It is stated in verse one of Sri Upadesamrta by Srila Rupa Gosvami: vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat ["A wise and self-composed person who can subdue the impetus to speak, the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals can instruct the entire world. In other words, all persons may become disciples of such a self-controlled person."] Such gurus totally follow the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami: atyaharah prayasas ca prajalp niyamagrahah jana-sangas ca laulyam ca sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati ["Bhakti is destroyed by the following six kinds of faults: (1) eating too much or collecting more than necessary, (2) endeavors which are opposed to bhakti, (3) useless mundane talks, (4) failure to adopt essential regulations or fanatical adherence to regulations, (5) association with persons who are opposed to bhakti, and (6) greed or the restlessness of the mind to adopt worthless opinions." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 2)] utshan niscayad dhairyat tat-tat-karma-pravartanat sanga-tyagat sato vrtteh sadbhir bhaktih prasidhyati ["Progress in bhakti may be obtained by the following six practices: (1) enthusiasm to carry out the rules which enhance bhakti, (2) firm faith in the statements of the sastra and the guru whose words are fully in line with the sastra, (3) fortitude in the practice of bhakti, even in the midst of obstacles, or patience during the practice stage of bhakti, even when there is delay in attaining one's desired goal, (4) following the limbs of bhakti such as hearing and chanting and giving up ones material sense enjoyment for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, (5) giving up illicit connection with women, the association of those who are overly attached to women, and the association of mayavadis, atheists and pseudo-religionists, and (6) adopting the good behavior and character of pure devotees." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 3)] dadati pratigrhnati guhyam akhyati prcchati bhunkte bhojayate caiva sad-vidham priti-laksanam ["Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements, accepting prasadi or remnant items given by pure devotees, revealing to devotees one's confidential realisations concerning bhajana, inquiring from them about their confidential realizations, eating with great love the prasada remnants given by devotees, and lovingly feeding them prasada – these are the six symptoms of loving association with devotees." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 4)] A partial guru may even follow this verse: tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram ["While living in Vraja as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja who possess inherent spontaneous love for Sri Krsna, one should utilize all his time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulous chanting and remembrance of Vrajendranandana Sri Krsna's names, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all instruction. (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 8)] beautifulgdStill, if he is not like Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari, and if he is not serving them, he may be a guru in part, but not in full. The highest quality of the guru is service to Radhika, as I have just explained. In this way, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is writing, vande guroh sri caranaravindam. I bow down to my Gurudeva, and all gurus in the line of Sri Rupa Gosvami. Such a guru is not only the prakasa (manifestation) of Nityananda Prabhu or Baladeva Prabhu, but he is also the prakasa of Radhika. Such a guru is the most exalted. As Ananga Manjari, even Baladeva Prabhu takes shelter of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. How beautiful and glorious She is. In this evenings class we will discuss guru-tattva, from beginning to end. Whether you are lady devotees or male, you should be ready to speak. Prema-prayjona dasa: Gurudeva, you said that a partial guru has controlled the six urges like vaco-vegam, manasa, krodha-vegam, etc. Such gurus, even with that partial quality, will not fall? Srila Gurudeva: They will not fall down, but they are not perfect gurus. Those who are serving Srimati Radhika personally are gurus of the highest caliber. Prema-prayjona dasa: Regarding the ones who have fallen down, they're not even partial gurus? Srila Gurudeva: No. They are not even devotees, what to speak of being gurus. They are not only cheating others, but they are cheating themselves. Gaura Premanande.
  6. San Francisco, CA: June 11, 1998 Nowadays, pure bhakti (devotion to Sri Krsna) is very rare. Most devotees who perform bhakti are adopting karma-misra bhakti, jnana-misra bhakti, and yoga-misra bhakti. Their bhakti is contaminated with all these impurities, yet they think that they are doing pure bhakti. We must know what pure bhakti is. What is karma-misra bhakti? If someone has not taken initiation from Gurudeva and has no knowledge of his relationship with Krsna, will his practice of bhakti be pure? If you do not understand something, you can ask questions. This is not a formal lecture; it is an istha-gosthi (discussion about Krsna). In this way you will have a more clear understanding of the truths of Krsna consciousness. What is karma? Karma is any activity or endeavor that is performed with a desire to enjoy the result. If you are chanting, remembering, or performing any other devotional activity, but you want to enjoy the results of those activities, that is called karma-misra (misra means ‘mixture’) bhakti. When there is no relation with devotion, when an activity is performed only to taste the results for ourselves, this is pure karma. We may do something for ourselves, like eating a mango. Who is eating? Who is enjoying it? I am enjoying. So, to eat a mango is pure karma. There is no relation with bhakti at all. However, suppose you think, “I have offered this mango (I have not offered myself). I will now take the remnants of the prasada mango, and I will become very healthy and strong.” That is called karma-pradhani-bhakti. In this case, karma is prominent and bhakti is subordinate. This is karma-misra. When bhakti is more powerful and the desire to personally taste the result of karma is less, this is called pradhani-bhuta-bhakti. Here bhakti is prominent and karma is also there, but this is not in the category of karma-misra. When someone has no desire at all for personal enjoyment, and his only desire is to serve Krsna, and he is engaging in sravanam (hearing about Krsna), kirtanam (chanting Krsna’s name and describing His glories), visnu smaranam (remembering Him), pada sevanam (serving His lotus feet or visiting the holy places), arcanam (worshipping Him), vandanam (offering Him prayers), dasyam (becoming a servant), sakhyam (becoming a friend) and atma-nivedanam (fully surrendering oneself) to please Gurudeva and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, that is called pure bhakti or uttama-bhakti. anyabhilasita sunyam jnana karmadi anavritam anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama ["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)] patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami prayatatmanah [“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bhagavad Gita 9.26)] This is also not so high. Why? We should try to offer our soul, ourselves, all our senses and our heart – everything – first to Gurudeva, and then to Krsna. sri-prahlada uvaca iti pumsarpita visnau bhaktis cen nava-laksana kriyeta bhagavaty addha tan manye ’dhitam uttamam [Prahlada Maharaja said: these nine processes (described above) are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krsna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. (Srimad-Bhagavatam. 75.24)] If a person has not surrendered himself at the lotus feet of Gurudeva, Sri Sri Radha Krsna, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he can offer something to Krsna, but it may be that Krsna will partly accept it, not wholly. On the other hand, if that person has surrendered himself, telling Krsna, “Now I am Yours. You are my beloved,” or “You are my son,” or “You are my friend,” then whatever he does is pure bhakti. If you have many hundreds of cows, and you are only offering one liter of milk to Krsna and nothing more, that is not pure bhakti. However, suppose you have offered yourself at the lotus feet of Krsna and Gurudeva. You have nothing; you are a Vaisnava with no other possession than Krsna Himself. You are thinking that only by the remnants of Krsna you are maintaining your life. You are thinking that whatever Krsna provides, this is what you accept in order to continue your service. Everything is for service; nothing is for you. At this stage you will not have to offer anything, because you have offered yourself. What will you give to Krsna? You have offered your very self. This is pure bhakti. Suppose you are a disciple of Gurudeva. You are not offering yourself, but you are offering fifteen million rupees to Gurudeva and you tell him, “Gurudeva, I am offering this to you.” On the other hand, suppose there is another disciple who has nothing to give. He has given everything to Gurudeva – his heart, his soul, and all his possessions, and he is serving – in this case, who is superior? The other devotee is serving his Gurudeva throughout the day and night. He has nothing more to give because he has given himself, his property, his wife, and his children. Or maybe he has nothing to give, like Hanuman, yet he is giving everything he has to Krsna. He has nothing more to offer Krsna because he has offered himself. All his actions are performed as a servant of Krsna. This is pure bhakti. If one has not offered any part of himself – he is a very rich person and he has given millions upon millions of dollars – but he has not given himself, there is something lacking. His endeavors are not pure bhakti; they are karma-misra. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains all of these important topics in his book Sri Bhakti-tattva-viveka. Try to realize these truths. Sripad Asrama Maharaja: Srila Gurudeva, in your first example you said that if one eats the mango for his own sense gratification and doesn’t offer it to Krsna, this is karma, not karma-misra? Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: That is pure karma. There is no ‘contamination’ of bhakti (devotees laugh). But if I think, “If I eat this mango without first offering it, then it will be a very big sin. I must offer it to Krsna, then all the sin will be removed and I will taste Krsna’s remnants.” This is karma-misra bhakti. Pradhani-bhuta bhakti is found in following the verse beginning “patram puspam phalam” above (quoted on p.2). The person who is making his offering is only giving a fruit, not himself. Someone may be giving the results of all his karmas. This type of bhakti may be found in the following verse: yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam [“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)] He addresses Krsna, “I have taken bath and I am giving You the fruit of my taking bath. I am doing this and that, and giving You the fruit (result).” But why are you not offering yourself? Regarding those who have totally surrendered themselves: Arjuna is surrendered and the gopis are surrendered. If the gopis are eating something, they will not offer it to Krsna in a formal way. They will not utter the offering mantra: “Etat naivedyam sa tulasi paniya jalam, srim klim radha krsnabhyam namah.” Krsna is sitting with them. They ask Him if He wants something and then they do not let Him have it. By their sweet behavior they bring Him immense pleasure. This is pure bhakti because they have given everything. Nothing is theirs; their body, mind, and soul are Krsna’s. Outwardly they are not offering Him what He wants, but they have offered their everything. This is pure bhakti. It may be that when bhoga is given to Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, he will eat it at once, without offering it to Krsna. He will not make the offering with mudras (hand and finger gestures). [In vaidhi-bhakti one may use mudras to invite the Deity to sit upon an asana, etc. When offering bhoga, one remembers gopal-mantra and counts by mudra upon ones fingers.] There is no need for him to do this, and Hanuman will also not do this. When Sukadeva Gosvami eats the ‘un-offered’ foodstuffs, you may think, “He is eating that without first offering it to Krsna!” If you think like this, you are a kanistha-adhikari or lower than that. You cannot understand his exalted position. The gopis decorate themselves in order to become beautiful for Krsna. First try to offer yourself – your whole being. For grhasthas (householder devotees) this is very hard, but they may also offer themselves. As the Pandavas, the gopis and Ambarisa Maharaja did, householders can do. Ambarisa Maharaja was a king with a very big kingdom. He had sons, daughters, and wives, but he was a suddha-bhakta (pure devotee) because he offered himself. Now we should also know about ‘jnana’. Worldly knowledge about anything is general material jnana. When we come to the point of having no faith in material knowledge, realizing that it cannot give us material pleasure or happiness in this or any other life (because material pleasure is allotted according to one’s karma, not according to the amount of material knowledge one possesses), then we want impersonal salvation or liberation (mukti). At that time we seek to understand the impersonal Absolute, and knowing it, the aim and object of our lives becomes salvation or liberation. We then think, “I am the soul, not the body. The soul is not eating; the body is eating.” He sees the soul as the self, but he has no knowledge of the Supersoul. His knowledge, or jnana, is called nirvisesa-jnana. Jnana is also of two kinds – nirvisesa-jnana (a taste for voidism and impersonalism) and tattva-jnana (knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the established philosophical truths in relation to Him). Tattva-jnana is the first stage of bhakti. For one who only wants salvation, all of one’s activities are known as nirvisesa-jnana. Now, regarding the meaning of jnana-misra-bhakti: A person may know that bhakti can do everything. In other words, he knows that by performing bhakti, material results will come; by performing bhakti, one can very easily attain mukti; and by performing bhakti one can attain krsna-prema. He thus gives up this nirvisesa-jnana. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and the Four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanaka kumara), were within this category of nirvisesa-jnanis. By the mercy of Brahma, the Four Kumaras gave up that jnana, and by the mercy of Srila Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami, gave it up. Thus they became pure devotees (suddha-bhaktas). atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim ittham-bhuta-guno hariù [“All different varieties of atmaramas (those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self), especially those established on the path of self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.10)] By the mercy of Srila Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami realized the good qualities of Krsna. He gave up impersonal jnana and became a pure rasika (knower of all transcendental rasas) tattva-jna (knower of all essential philosophical truths) bhakta. Sripad Asrama Maharaja: My question is regarding the person who is doing karma-misra bhakti. He knows that the goal is Krsna, but he has some mixture…. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, he does not know. He has no pure Guru and no association of pure bhaktas; that is why he does not know. If he gets good association, he will know all these truths. He will give up karma and become a pure bhakta. Sripad Asrama Maharaja: So if someone theoretically knows, but still…. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He does not really know. Sripad Asrama Maharaja: Like myself. I don’t actually know the goal, but I have some theoretical understanding. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: There is no contamination in your bhakti, but there is some weakness. Something is lacking. There is not so much sukrti (spiritual pious credits) and samskaras (the impressions created on the heart by sukritis and bhakti). Such a person may be kanistha-adhikari, but there is no contamination. There is some weakness (daurbalya) *[see Endnote 1] but still your activities are within the category of pure bhakti. You are chanting, remembering and performing the other limbs of devotional service. There is a mixture of karma and jnana also, but bhakti is prominent, whereas karma and jnana are secondary, in the background. You know the real aim and abject of life. Gradually, in the association of pure bhaktas, you will give up all other thoughts and habits because you know the real aim and object of life. Karma-misra bhaktas don’t know what pure bhakti is. You are in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; you are in the bhakti line. You have been initiated by undergoing proper diksa and you have some relation with Guru, with Mahaprabhu and with Krsna, but there is some weakness and something is lacking. Devotee: You said the person following karma-misra bhakti has no pure Guru. In the beginning, Dhruva Maharaja was in the karma-misra stage even though his Guru, Narada, was a pure Guru. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He could not follow Narada. Narada wanted to make Dhruva pure, but Dhruva was not in a position to totally follow. It may be that Guru is pure, but his disciples may not be pure. Nowadays it is like this. If there is a pure Guru, like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura or Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, who has hundreds of thousands of disciples, he may have only one or two serious disciples – and they may be grhastha, not in the renounced order. Devotee: Is it not that the heart of a kanistha-adhikari [neophyte or third-class devotee] is, because of the kanistha-adhikari’s lack of advancement, covered by the contamination of karma and jnana? Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: There may be some, but gradually he will develop his Krsna Consciousness and give up all these things. If he has a lack of pure association and he is not ready to follow, and he therefore commits offenses, he will gradually go down. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells us that we should understand the meaning of karma, jnana, and yoga, and then we should know what suddha-bhakti really is. In suddha-bhakti there is some gradation. We are in that gradation, we are not in karma-misra. Try to understand. anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam anukulyena krsnanu- silanam bhaktir uttama ["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)] This is uttama bhakti. A devotee may be performing svarupa-siddha bhakti *[See endnote 2], but there are some gradations. He may not be engaged in uttama-bhakti, but he is doing some kind of bhakti. In the beginning stage he tries and promises to offer himself at his Gurudeva’s lotus feet. When he took harinama and diksa initiation, he promised, “Gurudeva, I have offered myself to you. I will totally follow you. I have become yours.” But he does not know what ‘offer’ means, and so he was not true to his word. Gradually you will know all these truths. We will explain all these topics very clearly so that you will understand them, and your bhakti will automatically become very strong. Devotee: Am I understanding correctly? I think that you want to say that if by the association of Guru the aim and object is clear about what we have to do, and we want to surrender, then our bhakti is not karma-misra? Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He has been initiated and has some relation with Guru, Mahaprabhu and Krsna by diksa mantras, and he has offered himself. Devotee: He has a desire to offer himself. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He has offered himself, but he does not really know what ‘offering’ means. He may say to his Gurudeva, “I am giving this to you.” [Srila Narayana Maharaja points to his own chaddar (woolen shawl).] But then he thinks, “That chaddar was so good.” It is like this. He has given it, but he is still somewhat attached to it. He is thinking, “I have given this.” He is not thinking, “This chaddar fully belongs to Gurudeva and Krsna. I am not the owner.” A true devotee does not think, “It was mine and I am offering it to Gurudeva,” He thinks, “It was a remnant of Krsna. The real owner is Krsna. He has mercifully given me this so that I would be able to serve my Guru, but actually it is not mine. My body is also not mine. Everything belongs to Krsna.” If one has this mood, he will attain pure bhakti. [*Endnote 1: Hrdaya-daurbalya (weakness of heart) is of four kinds: (1) tuccha-asakti (attachment for useless things), (2) kuti-nati (deceitful behavior). The word kuti-nati may be broken down into the constituent parts ku, ‘bad or evil’, and na or nati, ‘that which is forbidden’. In that case it would mean ‘doing wicked deeds’ or ‘doing that which is forbidden’), (3) matsarya (envy) and (4) sva-pratistha-lalasa (desire for one's own fame and prestige). (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur)] [*Endnote 2: Three Types of Bhakti One should also remember that bhakti is of three types: svarupa-siddha (those endeavors which are purely constituted of the angas of bhakti), sanga-siddha (those endeavors which are associated with or favorable to the development of bhakti, but are not in themselves purely composed of bhakti), and aropa-siddha (those activites which, although not consisting of pure bhakti, are designated as bhakti due to their being offered to the Supreme Lord). [Svarupa-siddha bhakti may or may not be fully pure (uttama-bhakti). For example one may be performing rajasik svarupa-siddha (svarupa-siddha-bhakti mixed with the mode of passion). Only nirguna svarupa-siddha-bhakti can be said to be uttama-bhakti.] Aropa-siddha-bhakti: Endeavors indirectly attributed with the quality of bhakti. Endeavors which by nature are not purely constituted of bhakti – that is, anukulyena-krsnanusilana – and in which the performer, in order to fulfill his own purpose, offers his activities and their results to the Lord. This is called aropa-siddha-bhakti. In other words, because his activities are assigned (aropa) to the Supreme Lord, bhakti is attributed (aropita) to them. Commentary by Syamarani dasi: That bhakti in which there is a mixture of karma or desires for material enjoyment is called sakama-bhakti or saguna-bhakti. Without the assistance of bhakti, karma cannot yield any fruit. Knowing this, many persons offer their prescribed duties for the satisfaction of the Lord, in order that He might fulfill their extraneous desires. The activities of such persons are not svarupa-siddha-bhakti. Nonetheless, because they offer the fruit of their activity to the Lord, it is considered as a type of bhakti. Although their activities are offered for the satisfaction of the Lord, their motivation is that by pleasing Him, He may fulfill their extraneous desires. In this case their activities are attributed with the sense of bhakti. Therefore, such endeavors are known as aropa-siddha-bhakti. Sanga-siddha-bhakti: Endeavors associated with or favorable to the cultivation of bhakti. There are other endeavors which, although not purely constituted of bhakti, anukulyena-krsnanusilana, acquire a likeness to bhakti due to their being established as assistants to bhakti. Such endeavors are known as sanga-siddha-bhakti. An example of this is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.3. 23-25) in the statement of Sri Prabuddha Muni to Maharaja Nimi: "One should cultivate compassion towards others, friendliness, offering respect to others, cleanliness, austerity, tolerance, silence, study of the Vedas, simplicity, celibacy, non-violence, and so on. One should consider heat and cold, happiness and distress to be the same. One should perceive the presence of the Lord everywhere. One should live in a secluded place, renounce family attachments and remain satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord." The behavior or practices described in this verse are not by nature purely constituted of bhakti, but they are assistants to bhakti. Thus they are considered to be like associates of bhakti. If devotion to the Supreme Lord is removed from the twenty-six qualities mentioned, then the Lord has no direct relationship with the remaining qualities such as compassion, friendliness, tolerance, austerity, and so on. Only when these items exist as assistants to or associates of bhakti is their likeness to bhakti effected. Therefore, they are known as sanga-siddha-bhakti. Svarupa-siddha-bhakti: Endeavors purely constituted of uttama-bhakti All favorable endeavors, such as hearing, chanting, remembering, and so on, as well as the manifestation of the spiritual sentiments which occur beginning from the stage of bhava, which are completely devoid of all desires separate from Sri Krsna and which are freed from the coverings of jnana and karma are known as svarupa-siddha-bhakti. In other words all endeavors of the body, words and mind which are related to Sri Krsna and which are performed exclusively and directly for His pleasure without any interruption are known as svarupa-siddha-bhakti. Therefore, in the conversation between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Raya Ramananda, found in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, both aropa-siddha and sanga-siddha-bhakti have been described as external. (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu 17-19) Here there is a need to analyze the three different conceptions of bhakti. The first is called svarupa-siddha bhakti, the second is sanga-siddha bhakti, and the third is aropa-siddha bhakti. First we should understand svarupa-siddha bhakti. Svarupa-siddha means that devotional service which by constitution is composed entirely of the limbs of bhakti such as hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, becoming a friend and fully surrendering one’s soul. If someone is not doing this, but is doing something else, such as performance of prescribed duties in varnasrama-dharma, and still he thinks he is engaging in actual bhakti, he is actually superimposing the conception of pure bhakti onto something which is not pure bhakti. The word aropa means ‘to superimpose’, so aropa-siddha bhakti is the superimposition of the conception of devotion upon an activity which is constitutionally not devotion. Because varna and asrama are related to the physical body and not to the soul, therefore the consideration of varnasrama-dharma as pure bhakti is a superimposition. If one engages in activities which are somewhat related to devotional service, such as giving donations to devotees, giving charity and so on, this is not actually devotional service – but it has some relationship with devotional service. This is called sanga-siddha bhakti – the cultivation of qualities, sentiments, knowledge, and the understanding which is also included in pure bhakti, but which is itself not pure bhakti.” (Srila Narayana Maharaja, August 9, 2004) If you have some worldly desire, or any desire, then your bhakti may be sanga-siddha bhakti or aropa-siddha bhakti, but not pure transcendental bhakti. You should know what is aropa-siddha bhakti and sanga-siddha bhakti. When all this is clarified for you, then you can engage all your senses in svarupa-siddha bhakti; otherwise not. If you are doing any business, and by that business you make a very beautiful garden with many fruits and flowers, and you want to offer all these fruits and flowers to Krsna, this is not pure bhakti. Pure bhakti consists only of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In pure bhakti one always chants and remembers Krsna, and hears His pastimes in elevated association. Among all the limbs of bhakti, five limbs are most superior: sadhu-sanga (association of pure devotees), nama-kirtana (chanting the holy names of the Lord), bhagavat-sravana (hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic scriptures from the lotus lips of those pure devotees), vrndavana or mathura-vasa (living in Vrndavana or any of the holy places of the Lord’s pastimes), and sri murtira sraddhaya sevana (faithfully serving the Deity).” (Srila Naryana Gosvami Maharaja, April 17, 2001)
  7. A108-AI

    To Hear Or Not To Hear

    Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaj Wales, July 1, 2000, pm gurudeva 33Today I want to discuss the subject of Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam. There has been some confusion in this regard. A preacher from India came and told something that we don't agree with. What he told is not written anywhere in sastra. I think that you should wash away your doubts and be clear about this - especially those who are sincere and senior, those who know something about bhakti, and those who are entering into madhyama-adhikari. You should know all these things - clearly. There should be no doubt. Some persons may say that we should not read Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam, but I will not listen to this warning. I will say, "Produce any evidence that we should not. Has it been written in Srimad-Bhagavatam, or in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, or has any guru in our line written like this? Has your Gurudeva told this?" Such persons will never be able to answer. I know that Srila Swami Maharaja has never written like this. Stand up and read. What Prabhupada has written is clear from his writings. You should all hear this. Don't neglect it. Prema-prayojana dasa: Someone was writing to Srila Prabhupada about whether or not the devotees could hear and chant about the gopis. Srila Prabhupada replied, "The policy should be that people may not understand the gopis to be like ordinary girls. You should be careful to present the gopis. It does not mean that we should not utter even the name of the gopis; that we have taken a vow to boycott the gopis. No. They are our worshipable devotees. How can we avoid them?" This next quote is a letter to Hayagriva prabhu in 1968. Srila Prabhupada wrote, "The Deity worship must be continued by everyone. Another secret of success is that when one is very much sexually disturbed, he should think of Krsna's pastimes with the gopis - and he will forget his sex-urge." Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is the meaning? Was your Prabhupada ignorant when he wrote this? He is an authentic person. He can never do anything wrong. Go on. Prema-prayojana dasa: Srila Prabhupada continues: "One should think of Krsna's pastimes with the gopis, but not try to imitate them." Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Never imitate. You should hear His pastimes with honor. Then your lust will go. Among all the pastimes of Krsna, rasa-lila is the most powerful medicine. It has been told in sastra: nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad bhavausadhac chrotra-mano-'bhiramat ka uttamasloka-gunanuvadat puman virajyeta vina pasughnat What is the meaning? Those who are not hearing this rasa-lila of Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam are 'pasughna'. What is the meaning of pasughna? Self-killer. If they are not hearing, they are killing others and also themselves. Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad. What is the meaning? Prema-prayojana dasa: Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad. Those persons who are nivrtta-tarsair have no thirst for material enjoyment. They are liberated souls. They speak about the pastimes of Krsna and their speaking of these pastimes is bhavausadi - the cure for the contamination of material existence. It is like a medicine. Ka uttamasloka-gunanuvadat. What kind of person will not listen to the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam? Only a very cruel person who would like to kill himself and others. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here it has been told that those who are visayis, full of lust, those who are liberated, those who are kanistha, madhyama and uttama bhaktas, those who in the stage of suddha-sattva or bhava-bhakti, and even those who have received prema –they should all hear this Srimad-Bhagavatam Tenth Canto. If they are not hearing, they are killing themselves and others. What more shall we clear? Everything is clear; we must read. Continue. Prema-prayojana dasa: This is Srila Prabhupada. He is describing in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, chapter four, text thirty: "The Lord is so merciful that He Himself descends to take the fallen souls back home to the kingdom of Godhead where the erotic principles of Godhead are eternally relished in their real form, distinct from the perverted sexual love so much adored and indulged in by the fallen souls in their diseased condition. The reason the Lord displays the rasa-lila is essentially to induce all of the fallen souls to give up their diseased morality and religiosity, and to attract them to the kingdom of God to enjoy the reality. A person who actually understands what is rasa-lila will certainly hate to indulge in mundane sex life." Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is clear. Are you understanding all these things? After that? Prema-prayojana dasa: Some people say that Srila Prabhupada never spoke about the gopis, especially in public and especially not to new people. But this is not the case. The following is a conversation between Srila Prabhupada and a person who was not a devotee. He was Bob Cohen, a peace-core worker. Bob is asking, "Does the devotee keep his individual likes and dislikes?" Srila Prabhupada: "Yes, he keeps everything, but he gives preference to Krsna. Krsna says positively, 'I like these things.' We have to offer to Krsna what He likes, and then we will take the prasada. Krsna likes Radharani." So now Srila Prabhupada begins to speak about Radharani to a completely new person who doesn't know anything. "Krsna likes Radharani. Therefore all the gopis are trying to push Radharani to Krsna. 'Krsna likes this gopi. All right, let's push Her.' That is called Krsna consciousness." Bob said, "Is Krsna attractive to rascals?" Srila Prabhupada said, "Oh yes, He as the` greatest rascal also." Then Bob asked, "How can you say that Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a rascal?" Srila Prabhupada began to laugh. "Because He is always teasing the gopis. Yes. Sometimes, when Radharani would go out, Krsna would attack Her. And when She would fall down, She would say, 'O Krsna, don't torture Me in that way.' They would fall on the ground and Krsna would take an opportunity to kiss Her." Srila Prabhupada laughed again and said, "So Radharani was very pleased, but superficially Krsna was the greatest rascal. So unless rascaldom is in Krsna, then how could rascaldom be existent in this world?" Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Even I have not spoken like this. What is he writing? She fell down and He kissed Her. What is this? Prabhupada was also a good ras(a)cal—full of all kinds of rasas. He is in the line of Krsna. Otherwise how could he have spoken like this? Ras(a)cal means rasa—full of rasa. But rascals cannot understand this ras(a)cal. No one in sakhya rasa (fraternal love) can speak like like this. Prabhupada was of madhurya-rasa (conjugal love). Therefore he can speak like this. More? Prema-prayojana dasa: In 1968, Srila Prabhupada was speaking with Saradiya devi dasi. She was only sixteen years old and she had just joined. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: And what is he speaking with her? Prema-prayojana dasa: She is asking a question to Srila Prabhupada. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Even I have not told anything like this. I always tell about Druva Maharaja, Prahlada Maharaja, Cittraketu Maharaja, Ajamila, and Jagai and Madhai. And sometimes I tell Damodara-lila. Go on. Prema-prayojana dasa: Saradiya dasi is asking the question: "I want to know, when we serve Krsna we have spiritual senses, that satisfies our spiritual senses when we serve Krsna in Krsnaloka. Is it correct?" Srila Prabhupada said, "Yes, you can dance with Krsna, you can eat with Krsna, you can talk with Krsna, you can enjoy with Krsna, and Krsna will also kiss you." Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. This is ras(a)cal. We should therefore not hear from those who say not to read Tenth Canto. And we should not hear from those who say that Prabhupada also warned against it. We should follow our line. We are in the same line. I am not different from him. Oh, yes. In ome senses I am different. I am not beautiful as he was, I am not as healthy as he was, and I am not a powerful acarya like he was. I am his disciple. I cannot be like him, but I am in his line. Achintya beda-beda. We are in the same family, the same line. We have taken sannyasa from the same guru in the same line—in the line of jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami—the Sarasvata line. I gave him all the sannyasa mantras, his danda, and so on. And at the end of his manifest stay I also gave him samadhi. You must believe in him. And you can believe in me also; no harm. I have no chance of falling down because I am now crossing my eightieth year. I am not speaking from my own ego. I am only telling all these things by the power of my Gurudeva, by our guru-parampara, by the mercy of Prabhupada. He told me that our relationship is transcendental – eternal. What does eternal mean? I have so much faith in his words that I will never fall down. So you can depend on me; no harm. If anyone is not reading Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam and yet he is reading Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, what is he doing? What has not been written clearly in Srimad- Bhagavatam is everywhere in Caitanya-caritamrta. For example, in the dialogue between Srila Raya Ramananda and Mahaprabhu – what has been told? Do you know about kila-kincita bhava? This has not been explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Sometimes Srimati Radhika wanted to meet Krsna…and He caught hold of Her hand. ["Approaching Her, Krsna prohibits Srimati Radharani from picking flowers. He may also touch Her in front of Her friends." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 14.173).] Now She was so much angry. She was weeping, but also smiling. Her hair was standing on end and She was exhibiting all the symptoms of sattvika-bhava. This is so high-class. She was weeping and smiling; and She was also rebuking Krsna. This is all written in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, and you should read it. I am not telling these things. It has been told in Caitanya-caritamrta. Prema-prayojana dasa: Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, chapter fourteen: "When Srimati Radharani saw Lord Krsna just before Her, Her progress stopped. She assumed an attitude of opposition. Although her face was slightly covered by a blue garment, Her two starry eyes were agitated, being wide and curved. Thus She was decorated with the ornaments of vilasa, and Her beauty increased to give pleasure to Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Srimati Radharani stands before Krsna, She stands bent in three places—Her neck, waist, and legs; and Her eyebrows begin to dance. When there is an awakening of various ecstatic features on Srimati Radharani's face and eyes, the lalita ornaments are manifest. When the bodily features are delicate and expertly curved, and when the eyebrows are very beautifully agitated, the ornaments of charm called lalita alankara are manifest." Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: All these very mysterious and deep things are vividly written in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and for this reason Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was worried. He said, "Only animals like camels, dogs and pigs will not have interest in these things. So I don't fear. I should write, and only the peacocks, meaning the very high class of rasika devotees, will have interest. Nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam. ["All the scriptures are like a transcendental desire tree, and on that tree Srimad-Bhagavatam is the sweetest fruit of all."] To what is Sri Vyasadeva referring? Only to rasa-lila. If rasa-lila was taken out from Srimad-Bhagavatam, there would be no beauty at all. Srimad-Bhagavatam would no longer be rasa-sindhu, the ocean of rasa. Everything is there – more than anyone can imagine. And even more is in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. If Tenth Canto should be banned, then Caitanya-caritamrta should also be banned. We should not read it. If you cannot read Srimad- Bhagavatam, how can you read Caitanya-caritamrta? From beginning to end, there is only one conception: Mahaprabhu is always absorbed in Radha's mood. In that case we should not read it? Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is telling that we should always hear Caitanya-caritamrta. It has been written: sruyatam sruyatam nityam giyatam giyatam muda cintyatam cintyatam bhaktas caitanya-caritamatam "O devotees, may the transcendental life and characteristics of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu be always heard, chanted and meditated upon with great happiness"(Antya 12.2). So it is clear. Caitanya-caritamrta is full of unlimited rasa, and everything is there. If we can read Caitanya-caritamrta, why can we not read Tenth Canto? I know that Pujyapada (Bhakti Dayita) Madhava Maharaja has introduced the singing of asta-kaliya-lila during Kartik month. What is asta-kaliya-lila? Sripad Madhava Maharaja: The confidential pastimes of Radha and Krsna. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is written in Sri Govinda-lilamrta by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. Those who can sing and follow astakaliya-lila are very elevated. We only do pranama to these lilas; but he has introduced this. For whom? For all devotees, here and there. He introduced it for those who are initiated, not initiated, senior, and neophyte also. Asta-kaliya-lila is more than Srimad-Bhagavatam. There are certain preachers who are coming from India, and who say that unless one is perfect he cannot read Tenth Canto. But we do not agree. There are four ways or three types of persons who tell others not to read Tenth Canto. The first way is simply told in ignorance. Elevated and high-class devotees know all the reasons why Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to this world. Do you know why He came? If you are not reading and hearing the Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam you cannot know. You will be cheated. So you should try to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from elevated Vaisnavas. Do not think—as some devotees may tell you—that we should not read the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Good devotees know everything, and they may tell you in the second way: "You should begin from the First Canto, then the Second, the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and thus you can go there. The third way is to 'cheat'. How will they cheat? They will say: "What is in my hands? Can you tell me what I have in my hands?" Others then become curious to know. If anyone tells you: "Do not read the Tenth Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam!", this curiosity will come automatically: "What is there? I should know that!" In order to increase others' curiosity to hear and read Srimad-Bhagavatam, they do like this. In the forth way the speaker is speaking exactly opposite to what he means. When Srila Rupa Gosvami says, "Don't go to the banks of the Jamuna where Govinda is sweetly playing on His flute, because then you'll forget all about your society, friendship and love", he means, "Do go." For all these reasons they are telling these things. There was a devotee in my village who used to go to the Ganges river to take bath daily. Whenever someone came and called out to him, "Rama! Rama!" he became very furious and, taking his stick, he wanted to beat that person. Why did he do so? And why did all the boys from all the villages call out to him in this way? Whenever they said, "Rama! Rama!", he would pretend to beat them. Why did he do so? In order to make them chant, "Rama! Rama!". It was a kind of fun. If anyone is telling that you should not read the Srimad-Bhagavatam, then there should be a curiosity to know what is inside. There must be some jewel there. Without hearing and reading, especially without hearing the Tenth Canto Srimad Bhagavatam, you cannot decide the aim and object of your devotional life. On the other hand, by hearing the Tenth Canto, a greed may come to attain that object. Why has your Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, written Krsna Book? He has even explained about rasa-lila there, and you should read it now. You should hear it; it is a very important thing. You should hear it carefully. I tell that you should read First Canto, Second Canto, Third Canto; and after that you should take Tenth Canto. Don't jump. Prabhupada has also told this. I never tell the pastimes of the gopis with Krsna to common people. Any high class of devotee, who has given up lust and all other bad qualities, can describe all these things; and we must hear from him. This is the powerful medicine – to hear. What is Prabhupada telling? You can hear: Trai dasa prabhu: This quotation is from the Introduction in the Krsna Book. It was written in 1969, very early in the Iskcon movement. This is the introduction to the first book that we distributed en mass, to the general public. From the first day it came out, we were distributing thousands. "This krsna-katha will also be very much appealing to the most materialistic persons because Krsna's pastimes with the gopis, cowherd girls, are exactly like the loving affairs between young girls and boys within this material world. Actually, the sex feeling found in human society is not unnatural, because the same sex feeling is there in the original Personality of Godhead. "The pleasure potency is called Srimati Radharani. The attraction of loving affairs on the basis of sex feeling is the original feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We, the conditioned souls, being part and parcel of the Supreme, have such feelings also, but they are experienced within a perverted minute condition. Therefore, when those who are after sex-life in this material world hear about Krsna's pastimes with the gopis, they will relish transcendental pleasure although it appears to be materialistic. The advantage will be that they will gradually be elevated to the spiritual platform. In the Bhagavatam it is stated that if one hears the pastimes of Lord Krsna with the gopis from authorities, with submission, then he will be promoted to the platform of transcendental loving service to the Lord, and the material disease of lust within his heart will be completely vanquished. In other words, such hearing will counteract material sex-life." Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What did he say? Dristadyumna dasa: Even if materially contaminated people don't understand the higher spiritual truth behind the Krsna Book, simply by reading and hearing from the proper authority, they will gradually be purified, and come to understand in a correct way. They will then become free from all these mundane attachments. Agraya prabhu: In Krsna Book, chapter thirty-three, which is the chapter about rasa-lila, Srila Prabhupada writes: "Some ask that if Krsna is self-sufficient, why did He manifest the pastimes with the gopis, which are disturbing to the so-called moralists of the world? The answer is that such activities show special mercy to the fallen, conditioned souls. The gopis are expansions of His internal energy, but because Krsna wanted to exhibit the rasa-lila, they appeared as ordinary human beings. "In the material world, pleasure is ultimately manifested in the sex attraction between a man and woman. The man lives simply to be attracted by women and the woman lives simply to be attracted by men. That is the basic principle of material life. As soon as these attractions are combined, people become more and more implicated in material existence. In order to show them special favor, Krsna exhibited this rasa-lila dance. It is just to captivate the conditioned soul. Since they are very much attracted by sex, they can enjoy the same life with Krsna and thus become liberated from the material condition. In the Second Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Maharaja Pariksit also explains that the pastimes and activities of Lord Krsna are medicine for the conditioned souls. If they simply hear about Krsna, they become relieved of the material disease. They are addicted to material enjoyment and are accustomed to reading sex literature; but by hearing these transcendental pastimes of Krsna with the gopis, they will be relieved of material contamination." Srila Narayana Maharaja: Everything is clear by all this evidence. The powerful disease for worldly persons is lust. No one can become free from it. Even Brahma, Siva and Narada, who are liberated souls, could not control this lust. It can be controlled only by devotees like Srila Haridasa Thakura, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Raya Ramananda, and all others like them – very easily. How? By always remembering, chanting, and hearing this with honor. We should not imitate Krsna., even by mind. But we should very honorably hear all these topics. This has been very clearly written in Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. In Adi-lila 334, it is written, "Anugrahaya bhaktanam." You should read the meaning. Prema-prayojana dasa: "Krsna manifests His eternal, human-like form, and performs His pastimes to show mercy to the devotees. Having heard such pastimes, one should engage in service to Him." The next verse states: "Here the use of the word 'bhavet', which is in the imperative mood, tells us that this certainly must be done. If one does not do this, non-compliance will be an abandonment of duty." Srila Narayana Maharaja: There is a verbal root—bhavet. What is the meaning of bhavet? 'You must hear. If you are not hearing, then it is like an offense. You must obey.' You must hear – but with honor, from elevated devotees. If you are not hearing, you are killing yourself. This is the meaning of bhavet. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, who is a rupanuga Vaisnava, is telling this in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. "You must hear, but don't imitate." We are warned not to read Govinda-lilamrta, and all these rasa-lila pastimes from Srimad-Bhagavatam. But we know that so many of the devotees in Iskcon are reading Govinda-lilamrta and all other similar books. Although all these books are especially warned against, they still read them. So many have Govinda-lilamrta and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Krsna Bhavanamrta. Yet, for others they are telling, "You should not read." What is the meaning of this? I think it will be better that they not read—but hear—the pastimes of Krsna from elevated devotees. Throughout the entire Kartika month we sing: 'namamisvaram saccidananda-rupam lasat-kundalam gokulebhrajamanam yasoda-bhiyolukhalad-dhavamanam paramrstam atyam tato drutya gopya.' What is this? Damodara-lila. From where has it come? From Dasama Skanda; from Tenth Canto. Why do we do it? Because our entire guru-parampara does it. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained this sloka. vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnu sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah ["Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."] What is the meaning? You should explain the very essence of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's words. He has written the meaning of the word 'dhira'. Prema-prayojana dasa: In this verse, which concludes the chapters on rasa-lila, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given a commentary on the words of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. In this verse he is saying that the gopis of Vrndavan are playing and performing this rasa-lila with Krsna. Anusrnuya means 'you should hear it continuously'. Srila Narayana Maharaja: It means you must hear with faith—with honor. If you have no honor, then you should purchase that honor from anywhere. "Krsna-bhakti rasa bhavita mati. You should buy it, and then read with honor. You should hear.
  8. A108-AI

    Srila Jiva Gosvami

    Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Perth, Australia: 1998 Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: All jivas (spirit souls) have a special relationship with Shri Krsna. Some are related with Him in the mood of friendship. Others have a relationship in the mood that "Krsna is my son," and that is called parental mood (vatsalya). Moreover, some have the mood that "Krsna is my beloved." All jivas have their own original, eternal relationship with Krsna. In this material world, that eternal relationship is covered. Shri Guru can see the soul's real form and nature. He knows the specialty of that person's relationship with Krsna, and he bestows this special relationship by mantra. Did Shrila Jiva Gosvami do the right thing when he defeated the arguments of Shri Vallabhacarya and defended his Gurudeva? Devotees: He was right. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: But what about his Gurudeva, Shrila Rupa Gosvami? Was he right or wrong? Devotees: He was right. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: How is that? If Shrila Jiva Gosvami did the right thing, then Shrila Rupa Gosvami must be wrong. How can Shrila Rupa Gosvami be right? Devotee: Because he is Guru, he has the qualification that he can correct... Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not a good argument. Devotee: Shrila Rupa Gosvami is Guru. He is: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih ["One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." (Shri Siksastaka 3)] Shrila Rupa Gosvami wants to respect everyone without desiring respect for himself. But Shrila Jiva Gosvami could not tolerate that his Gurudeva was criticized. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not the answer. This logic is not correct. Devotee: Shrila Rupa Gosvami sent Jiva Gosvami away because he wanted to increase Jiva Gosvami's love by making him feel separation. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No. The answer is that Shrila Rupa Gosvami wanted to respect Shri Vallabhacarya, but his disciple, Jiva Gosvami, disrespected him. This was wrong. Shrila Rupa Gosvami considered, "Shri Vallabhacarya may think, 'Rupa Gosvami is not openly disrespecting me, but he is disrespecting me through his disciple.'" Therefore, some blame might come to Rupa Gosvami. By punishing his disciple, Jiva Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami was giving respect to Shri Vallabhacarya. Actually, Shrila Rupa Gosvami was right and Shrila Jiva Gosvami was also right. A disciple should not tolerate anything against his Gurudeva. Thus, both the guru and disciple were right. Shrila Rupa Gosvami wanted to respect Shri Vallabhacarya, and he did. After Shrila Rupa Gosvami told him to leave, where did Shrila Jiva Gosvami go? He went to Nandagatha. (Correcting a devotee who had been called on to speak in the class) Shrila Jiva Gosvami's designation is not that he is the son of Anupama. His designation is that he is the disciple of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Don't say this. If you are explaining his life in great detail and you have a lot of time, then you can tell this; otherwise not. This is his glory – his glorification – and nothing else. He is the disciple of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. If we say, "Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is the son of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura," this is not Shrila Prabhupada's glorification. His real glory is that he is the disciple of Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Actually he is the disciple of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, but in disciplic line we say that he is the disciple of Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was his bhagavad-parampara-guru, sravana-guru and bhajana-guru; and Shrila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was his mantra-guru, or diksa-guru. Sometimes the bhagavad-parampara-guru, the bhajana-guru, is superior to the diksa-guru. If the diksa-guru is also the bhajana-guru, then he is also exalted. Shrila Jiva Gosvami is a brilliant star in our disciplic line. He is a brilliant and learned acarya – the greatest scholar – in the Brahma-Madhava Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya. When Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was on his way to Vrndavana, he met with Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami in Ramakeli, near Kamainatshala. Jiva Gosvami was only a baby at that time. Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami brought that baby and placed him at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, who then touched him with His lotus feet. Playing the role of an ordinary sadhaka, Shrila Jiva Gosvami said in Navadvipa that he did not remember this so vividly. He said he only had a very vague remembrance of that time when he touched the lotus feet of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrila Rupa Gosvami later made arrangements for Shrila Jiva Gosvami's education. He gave money to Jiva Gosvami's family so that they could help him with his studies. Thus, even in boyhood, Jiva Gosvami became a great scholar in Bengali, Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi. He was an unparalleled scholar of Sanskrit, especially of Sanskrit grammar. When he was about ten years old, Shrila Jiva Gosvami left his home and went to Navadvipa. At that time Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had already left this world. Shrimati Saci-maiya, Shrimati Visnupriya and Shri Nityananda Prabhu were present in Navadvipa at that time, and they were all weeping for Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Shrila Jiva Gosvami arrived there, Shrila Nityananda Prabhu put His feet on the head of Shrila Jiva Gosvami and inspired in his heart all tattva (knowledge and realization). Jiva then began to cry for Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Nityananda Prabhu said, "Come with me. I will take you on parikrama of the sixteen krosas (thirty-two square miles) of Shri Navadvipa Mandala." He then took Jiva to the nine islands of Navadvipa: Antardvipa, Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, Madhyadvipa, Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modadrumadvipa and Rudradvipa. He especially showed him Shri Yogapitha, the birthplace of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, situated on the island called Mayapura. Shrila Jiva Gosvami told Nityananda Prabhu, "I want to stay here, at Your lotus feet." But Nityananda p(P)rabhu said, "Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Shrila Rupa Gosvami, "I am giving you and your whole family to Vrndavana." So you should also go to Vrndavana, to be with Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. "On the way you should stop in Varanasi, and there you should study all the Vedanta-darsana (another name for Vedanta-sutra). You should learn the explanations of Sankara, Madhva, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya and Ramanujacarya, and then you should go to Vrndavana." Thus, Shrila Jiva Gosvami went to Kasi (Varanasi), where he met the disciple of Shri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya named Madhusudana Vidya-vacaspati. This disciple had studied Vedanta under the guidance of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. He had learned everything that Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya had received from Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he now taught that to Shrila Jiva Gosvami. After Shrila Jiva Gosvami became expert in all these topics, he went to Vrndavana and took shelter at the lotus feet of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami told Shrila Rupa Gosvami, "You should initiate him." So Shrila Rupa Gosvami initiated that boy. Shrila Rupa Gosvami then taught Shrila Jiva Gosvami about everything he himself had written – Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, Shri Vidagdha-madhava, Shri Lalita-madhava and so on. Shrila Rupa Gosvami's books are rasa-sastra (scriptures delineating topics regarding Shri Krsna and His beloved associates], and thus Shrila Jiva Gosvami became a learned scholar in that as well. When Jiva Gosvami fully mastered all topics taught to him by his guru, Shrila Rupa Gosvami engaged him in proofreading his books and checking his writings for grammatical mistakes. One day Shri Vallabhacarya came to see Rupa Gosvami. They were well acquainted because when Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had met with Rupa and Anupama in Arhailgrama, their native place near Prayag, Vallabacarya was present. Very good discourses took place at that time. Shri Vallabhacarya now inquired, "Are you writing any book?" Shrila Rupa Gosvami answered, "Oh yes, I am writing." Shri Vallabhacarya then asked, "Which book you are writing?" "Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu," Shrila Rupa Gosvami replied. "Oh, that is a very good book. May I see it?" Shri Vallabhacarya requested. Shrila Rupa Gosvami agreed and Shri Vallabhacarya took the book. Reading it, he saw this verse: bhukti-mukti-sprha yavat pisaci hrdi vartate tavad bhakti sukhasyatra katham abhyudayo bhavet ["As long as the witches of bhukti and mukti linger in the heart, how can pure bhakti arise?" (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva 2.16)] Vallabhacarya read Rupa Gosvami's explanation: that mukti (liberation) is not like a witch. It is the desire to achieve mukti that is like a witch. Vallabhacarya did not understand this fact; so, Jiva although a youth of only sixteen years, explained it to him. Vallabhacarya was impressed. He went back to Shrila Rupa Gosvami and said, "Oh, your disciple is such a learned boy." Shrila Rupa Gosvami could understand Jiva had defended him, and he told him, "You should have been tolerant. Shri Vallabhacarya is a brahmana. He is learned and he is also Vaisnava. And he is visiting Me. He is my guest. You cannot tolerate that he suggests some corrections? In this way, the behavior of Shrila Rupa Gosvami is correct. On the other hand, it would not have been right for Shrila Jiva Gosvami to tolerate the fact that Shri Vallabhacarya was attempting to correct his Gurudeva. He was right to defend his Gurudeva. Shrila Rupa Gosvami is not an ordinary Vaisnava. He is the associate of Shri Shri Radha and Krsna in Goloka-Vrndavana. He cannot make any mistake. Shrila Jiva Gosvami argued some points and defeated Shri Vallabhacarya, and this was the right thing to do. If anyone thinks he can correct the writing or teachings of our Gurudeva, we must also act like this, but when we are in the position of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, we should honor the other person and say, "You can correct me, no harm." This is the behavior of a Vaisnava. Rupa Gosvami was not angry at Jiva Gosvami from his heart; he only showed some anger externally, and thus told him to leave. When Sanatana Gosvami heard what had happened, he became very worried for Jiva Gosvami. When he arrived at that place, Nandagatha, all the villagers approached him and said, "Oh, a new baba has come here. He is very young, but he is always weeping and crying out in love for Krsna: "Oh, Krsna! Oh, Radhe, Radhe!" He weeps day and night. He is more qualified than you." Shrila Sanatana Gosvami thought, "Oh, he must be Jiva!" In this way he found Jiva Gosvami and saw that he was about to die. Jiva Gosvami had given up eating and drinking, he did not take baths, and he was continually weeping for his Gurudeva. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami took him back to Vrndavana and hid him somewhere there. Then he went to Shrila Rupa Gosvami and asked, "What is our duty to all jivas?" Shrila Rupa Gosvami replied, "We should be very kind." Shrila Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Well, is this Jiva not a jiva? Why you are so unkind to this Jiva?" Rupa Gosvami began to weep. Sanatana Gosvami called Jiva Gosvami and put him in Rupa Gosvami's lap. Rupa Gosvami, seeing that Jiva Gosvami had so many diseases and was about to die, embraced him and nourished him. He gave Jiva Gosvami medicine, and after some days Jiva Gosvami became cured. After that, Jiva Gosvami always remained in the service of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. When Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami left this world, Jiva Gosvami became the prominent acarya of the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha (World Vaisnava Association). This is the real Krsna consciousness movement, which was established by Lord Brahma himself. Shri Narada Muni, Shrila Vyasadeva and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami are acaryas of the real Krsna consciousness movement, and later, Shrila Jiva Gosvami became its prominent acarya. I saw a book today, written by Shrila Gour Govinda Maharaja. Therein, Shrila Gour Govinda Maharaja made a point that I think no one in Iskcon after Parama-pujyapada Shrila Swami Maharaja had ever written before. He clearly wrote that Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja did not establish the Krsna consciousness movement. Who is the establisher? It is Lord Brahma* [See Endnote 1]. Moreover, Brahma is also not the establisher; he is also a disciple. Shri Krsna is the root of all gurus. He is jagad-guru (the guru of the entire universe), as is Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Krsna consciousness movement is coming from Krsna, and it is therefore called "Krsna consciousness". Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is not the establisher of Krsna consciousness; he is one of the prominent acaryas in this line.* [See Endnote 2] We should realize all these facts. After Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami disappeared, Jiva Gosvami spread the mission of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. He wrote many books, including the Six Sandarbhas and Sarva-Samvadini (Jiva Gosvami's own commentary on his Six Sandarbhas), because he wanted to protect the world from incorrect philosophical conceptions and conclusions. Try to understand all these topics; and try to follow Shrila Jiva Gosvami's philosophy. His teachings are not different from those of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He is in their line. He has given an explanation of svakiya-vada (Radha-Krsna as a married couple). He did this for the benefit of his unqualified disciples and followers, those who are not qualified for raganuga-bhakti or rupanuga-bhakti. He did this to bring them gradually to this line of parakiya (Radha-krsna as transcendental paramours). I will explain more tomorrow. Gaura Premanande! [*Endnote 1: Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja writes in his purport to Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.6: "Thus Brahma was initiated by the Krsna mantra, by Lord Krsna Himself, and thus he became a Vaisnava, or a devotee of the Lord, before he was able to construct the huge universe. It is stated in the Brahma-samhita that Lord Brahma was initiated into the eighteen-letter Krsna mantra, which is generally accepted by all the devotees of Lord Krsna. We follow the same principle because we belong to the Brahma sampradaya, directly in the disciplic chain from Brahma to Narada, from Narada to Vyasa, from Vyasa to Madhva Muni, from Madhva Muni to Madhavendra Puri, from Madhavendra Puri to Isvara Puri, from Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya and gradually to His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, our divine master." "The Hare Krsna movement is not a new movement as people sometimes mistakenly think. The Hare Krsna movement is present in every millennium of Lord Brahma's life, and the holy name is chanted in all the higher planetary systems, including Brahmaloka and Candraloka, not to speak of Gandharvaloka and Apsaraloka. The sankirtana movement that was started in this world five hundred years ago by Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore not a new movement. Sometimes, because of our bad luck, this movement is stopped, but Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His servants again start the movement for the benefit of the entire world, or indeed, the entire universe." (SB 7.15.72 Purport) In his Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.6-7 purport, Shrila Prabhupada lists some of the other prominent acaryas in this movement. He writes: "He (Narada) is the son and disciple of Brahmaji, and from him the disciplic succession in the line of Brahma has been spread. He initiated Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja and many celebrated devotees of the Lord. He initiated even Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedic literatures, and from Vyasadeva, Madhvacarya was initiated, and thus the Madhva-sampradaya, in which the Gaudiya-sampradaya is also included, has spread all over the universe. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to this Madhva-sampradaya; therefore, Brahmaji, Narada, Vyasa, down to Madhva, Caitanya and the Gosvamis all belonged to the same line of disciplic succession." Prabhupada confirms in this next quote that he is coming in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He writes: "Our original sampradaya stems from Madhvacarya. In that sampradaya there was Madhavendra Puri, and Madhavendra Puri's disciple was Shri Isvara Puri. Shri Isvara Puri's disciple was Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus we are coming in the disciplic succession from Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and therefore our sampradaya is called the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. It is not that we have manufactured a sampradaya; rather, our sampradaya stems from Lord Brahma." (Teachings of Lord Kapila, chapter 14, text 31)] [Endnote 2: "In Los Angeles many fathers and mothers used to come to see me to express their feelings of gratitude for my leading the Krsna consciousness movement throughout the entire world. Some of them said that it is greatly fortunate for the Americans that I have started the Krsna consciousness movement in America. But actually the original father of this movement is Lord Krsna Himself, since it was started a very long time ago but is coming down to human society by disciplic succession. If I have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is Preface) "I think that His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in Shrimad Bhagavatam, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. It is to be admitted that whatever translation work I have done is through the inspiration of my spiritual master because personally I am most insignificant and incompetent to do this materially impossible work. I do not think myself a very learned scholar, but I have full faith in the service of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura." (Caitanya-Caritamrta, Antya-lila, concluding words).]
  9. A108-AI

    You Cannot Bluff Guru

    Murwillumbah, Australia: January 24, 2001 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja gurudeva rose Be Sincere and Obey Sri Guru I have previously explained about the duties of disciples. I explained that guru-nishta is the backbone of bhakti. Without guru-nishta, no one can have any kind of devotion. One may have taken initiation, but if there is no nishta, he is inferior to a person who has not taken initiation and has not had a fire sacrifice, but is actually following guru. I have seen and realized this. There was a disciple of Paramapujyapada Srauti Maharaja, named Narayana prabhu, who was totally surrendered to my Guru Maharaja. He was always serving by his mind, intelligence, and by all the limbs of his body. He was living with our Guru Maharaja, hearing hari-katha, and fully accepting all his instructions. We all had so much honor for him. I especially had so much love and honor for him, as did Paramapujyapada Vamana Maharaja, Paramapujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, and all others. Why? He was not initiated, but he was more than initiated. He was a real diksa disciple. Sincerity and obedience were his main principles. On the contrary, I see so many other disciples who are hiding things in their hearts from guru. * They think, "My guru doesn't know anything. He is foolish, so I can cheat him." They don't say this directly, but they think in this way. They think they can bluff their guru or any pure devotee. But in reality, a pure devotee cannot be bluffed. He who can control Krsna—how can you bluff him? If he is really guru, he can never be cheated or bluffed. You should know the identity of Sri Guru. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written in the second verse of his Sri Manah-siksa prayers: na dharmam nadharmam sruti-gana niruktam kila kuru vraje radha-krsna pracura-paricaryam iha tanu saci-sunum nandisvara-pati-sutatve guru-varam mukunda-presthatve smara param ajasram nanu manah "O my dear mind! Please do not perform either dharma or adharma mentioned in the Srutis or Vedas. Rather, you should render profuse loving service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna Yugala here in Vraja, for the Srutis have ascertained Them to be the highest principle of supreme worship and the Supreme Absolute Truth. Always meditate on Sacinandana Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, richly endowed with the complexion and sentiments of Srimati Radhika, as non-different from Sri Nanda-nandana. And always remember Sri Guru as most dear to Sri Mukunda." O mind, you should always consider that Sri Sacinandana, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is actually Vrajendranandana Syamasundara, and He is actually Sri Guru. Srila Raya Ramananda told Mahaprabhu, "I am only your instrument. What I am speaking is only by Your inspiration. You are speaking. The mouth is mine, but actually, everything is being said by You." One may say, "I want to serve Mahaprabhu like the gopis. He is my beloved Mahaprabhu, and I am His beloved." Can we do this or not? This is sahajiya, deviation. This is called gauranga-nagara-bhava, and it is apasiddhanta, against conclusive philosophical truth. We should not think in this way. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Guru, and we should do whatever He orders. One day, Vallabha Bhatta asked Sri Advaita Acarya, "Why do you loudly chant 'Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare?' Every living entity is female and considers Krsna as her husband. It is the duty of a chaste wife, devoted to her husband, not to utter her husband's name, but all of you chant the name of Krsna. How can this be called a religious principle?" True Religious Principles Sri Advaita Acarya responded, "In front of you is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the personification of religious principles. You should ask Him, for He will give you the proper answer." Mahaprabhu said, "My dear Vallabha Bhatta, you do not know religious principles. Actually, the first duty of a chaste wife is to carry out the order of her husband. The order of Krsna is to chant His name incessantly. Therefore one who is chaste and adherent to the husband, Krsna, must chant the Lord's name, for one cannot deny the husband's order. Following this religious principle, a pure devotee of Krsna always chants His holy name. As a result, he attains the fruit of ecstatic love for Krsna. My husband has ordered Me to chant His name. He has said, 'You should do this, and that will make Me happy.' Therefore, I must make Him happy and I should serve Him." Hearing this, Vallabha Bhatta was speechless. Prior to this, Vallabha Bhatta had told Mahaprabhu, "I have tried to describe elaborately the meaning of Krsna's holy name. Kindly hear the explanation." Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, "I do not accept many different meanings for the holy name of Krsna. I only know that Krsna is Syamasundara and Yasodanandana. That's all I know. The only purport of the holy name of Krsna is that He is dark blue like a tamala tree and is the son of Mother Yasoda. This is the conclusion of all the revealed scriptures. I conclusively know these two names, Syamasundara and Yasodanandana. I do not understand any other meanings, nor do I have the capacity to understand them." Whatever Vallabha Bhatta said, Mahaprabhu simply replied in such a way that he became speechless. Vallabha Bhatta wanted to defeat Mahaprabhu and show his own glory. He wanted to show, "How qualified I am. How learned I am." But he was not able to defeat Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is jagad-guru, universal guru. Therefore, whatever He has ordered and whatever He has taught, we should try to follow totally. Mahaprabhu has told us, "You should chant Krsna's name. Hare Krsna." Actually Krsna has ordered this in the shape of Mahaprabhu, and therefore we must follow. Understand that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Guru. He is Krsna Himself, with the mood of Srimati Radhika. It is very important to know this. Does anyone know anything in this world that can cover the knowledge of Mahaprabhu? Can anything be hidden from Him? For those who have this guru, Mahaprabhu, their hearts cannot be cheated or bluffed. Never. Those who try to bluff guru will be bluffed instead. We should not try to cheat guru or Vaisnavas. All Vaisnavas are guru, and to do what they want is bhakti. gurudeva handsBe A Servant In The True Sense We should try to know the desires of Sri Guru. One who understands guru's desires both internally and externally, is called a sevaka, a true servant. One who is not a sevaka may receive an order from guru but has difficulty in obeying. When Sri Guru says, "Go and bring a glass of water." He will say, "Oh Gurudeva, how can I do this?" "Go and bring a glass of water." "Gurudeva, if there is no water, what should I do? Should I wash the glass or not? Should I bring hot water or cold?" This person is not a sevaka. Moreover, if one directly refuses to obey the order, he is not a sevaka, but a baka, crane. We should try to be sevakas in the real sense like Sri Govinda dasa, Srila Jiva Gosvami, Sri Syamananda prabhu, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, and Srinivasa acarya. We should become a sevaka like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, who was the sevaka of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. We should be a disciple like my Guru Maharaja. He took his life and soul in his hands to fulfill the desires of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. In this way, if you want to have bhakti, you should have nishta, and then Krsna's mercy will come to you. Krsna's Condensed Mercy is Sri Guru All the sastras have given so much glorification of Sri Gurudeva. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written Sri Guruvastakam. In these slokas, he has truly glorified Sri Guru, from the first verse to the last. I have explained about these slokas in Germany, especially 'samsara davanala lidha loka tranaya karunya ghanaghanatvam.' Krsna's condensed mercy is Sri Guru. What is he doing? 'sri vigraharadhana nitya nana'—he is always serving Sri Vigraha, Krsna Himself and Srimati Radhika Herself. He is always directly serving the Deity by making preparations and performing arcana, worship. He is always engaged in sravanam, hearing, kirtana, glorifying, smaranam, remembering and so on. He offers four kinds of naivedya bhoga, foodstuffs, to Krsna, and he honors that prasadam along with all the devotees. He does not take prasadam alone. 'Sri radhika madhavayor apara'— he is always very lolu, greedy, to taste the entirety of the guna, rupa, nama—the qualities, form and names of Sri Radha and Krsna. Moreover, 'nikuñja yuno rati-keli-siddhai'— this sloka reveals the very confidential character of Sri Guru, and this is why it is said further, 'saksad-dharitvena.' He is not Hari, but he is 'haritvena.' All the qualities of Hari are embodied in him. He is not Krsna and he is not Mahaprabhu, but all the qualities of Krsna and Mahaprabhu are directly in him. He is the eternal, very high class confidential servant of Srimati Radhika?and Krsna. A Bona fide Guru Will Remain The Same Many devotees have asked, "If a guru has initiated a disciple, will that disciple receive the same guru in the next birth, or some other guru?" If the guru is not bona fide, if he has not realized his constitutional form, and if he is not an uttama-adhikari, then the guru may change. Krsna will arrange for that. If he is a kanistha-adhikari, like a vartma-pradarsaka-guru,[1] not realized, he will be changed. On the contrary, a bona fide guru will not be changed. He will help his sincere disciples anywhere and in any way, birth after birth. A bona fide guru has so many 'sets of clothing.' He may sometimes change his garments, but his personality stays the same. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, but He was Lord Krsna. Sri Gadadhara Pandita was in that form, but he was Srimati Radhika. Similarly, guru is the same. Sri Guru is one. He may change—sometimes shaving, sometimes in a white garment, sometimes in a sannyasa garment, but the personality is the same. Try to understand what I am telling you. One cannot serve Srimati Radhika in a male form. Therefore, when Sri Guru is serving Sri Radha-Krsna Conjugal, he will be in a gopi form. That is why it is stated in the guru-mantra, 'krsnanandaya dhimahi' and 'pracodayat.' The disciple is praying, "Be merciful and manifest how you are serving Krsna and Srimati Radhika." Then he may reveal himself. Otherwise, it is very hard to know all these things. Narada Muni sometimes comes as Madhumangala, but his soul is the same. He comes in so many forms, as Srivasa Pandita, as Naradi-gopi, and so many others. If anyone has realized who his guru is and if that guru has manifested himself to that disciple, then he will not change. That same guru will help you. Don't be disturbed by the garments. The Power of Krsna If one is really Sri Guru, even if he is a madyama-uttama, then the power of Krsna or Mahaprabhu will act in him because he is a representative of Krsna. Krsna has sent him. If an ordinary person, like a kula-guru is not qualified, but his disciple has the idea that, "My guru is Krsna," and that disciple has worldly desires, his worldly desires will be fulfilled. How? Because he is thinking that his guru is Krsna. If his desires are not fulfilled, the blame will come to Krsna. Krsna must therefore fulfill those desires. The disciple should be sincere even if he has a kula-guru. If there is no sincerity, he will achieve nothing. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written that even if one worships a dry straw, thinking that it is Krsna, he will get some benefit. Somehow you should try to obey Sri Guru and Vaisnavas. Honor all Vaisnavas, otherwise you cannot serve Sri Guru. He will not be happy. If Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada has so many disciples, and some may not have completed their progress to become self-realized, who will they be within their next life? Srila Prabhupada will come. Somehow, in any form, he will come. This is explained in Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Gopa-kumara's guru kept coming back to him, here and there, in different lives. At last he said, "My heartly blessings to you. You should at once go to Goloka Vrndavana." Gopa-kumara then had a vision of Goloka Vrndavana and said, "At once, I'm going. I'm going." [*Editorial Endnote: During Vraja Mandala parikrama, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja told the visiting devotees: "I know which of you are writing 'prema' letters to each other. If you come to me and tell me about your problem of lust, then I will help you and save you from it. If you do not come and tell me, you will become more and more entangled in it, and you will go to hell. I know everything that is going on in your mind. If a Vaisnava does not know everything in your mind, he is not a Vaisnava." Another instance took place in France, in the next year. During a class on guru-tattva, Srila Maharaja said, "Srila Rupa Gosvami has written, "Visrambhena gurau-seva." This means 'service to gurudeva with intimacy.' What is the meaning of intimacy? We can open our hearts to gurudeva. In the West, if one goes to the bathroom, he may become naked at the time of taking bath. In Indian culture we don't do this, but now Indians are following the Westerners. Be that as it may, if you are seeing yourself in a mirror at that time, there is no harm if you are naked because there is no other person to see you. The mirror is not a person. Gurudeva should be seen in this way. He is like a mirror; meaning a bosom friend. We can open our heart fully and give it to Gurudeva so that he may read it. There is nothing to conceal from him. If you are concealing anything from him, it is duplicity: 'How are you?' 'Okay.' 'Any problem?' 'Nothing'. The disciple is not revealing that he is making love with a girlfriend or anyone else. The effect of this will be an atom bomb, although in the beginning it seems like nothing. One may think, "Oh, Gurudeva should not know all these things. Otherwise he will chastise me and make some problem for me. This neglect of gurudeva will be like a hole in a needle that becomes large enough for an elephant to pass through. Don't do this."]
  10. A108-AI

    Always Think of Me

    Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja November 28, 2009 Rabindranath Tagore Institute, Mauritius Bhagavad-gitaGurudeva ausome[Submitted by Madhuvrata dasa: On Saturday November 28th, 2009, on the auspicious day of Ekadasi, Shrila Gurudeva attended the International Conference on Bhagavad-gita and Shri Gita Jayanti held at the Rabindranath Tagore Institute. Inside the auditorium he was introduced to many high-profile persons including government ministers and pandits from Mauritius. After the welcome address and a speech by The Hon. Mr. Anil Bachoo (minister of infrastructure, transport, and shipping), Shrila Gurudeva was invited to speak. He honored all present to hear him, received flower garlands and gifts, and then gave the following lecture. The transcription of this lecture was kindly translated from Hindi by Acyutananda dasa:] “I am experiencing great happiness that I have been invited to speak a few words in this assembly of scholars on the occasion of Gita Jayanti. I have been allotted a very short time, only fifteen minutes; regardless, I will try to speak something. Especially here, the majority of residents of Mauritius are related to the part of India known as Bhojpur (Bihar). My birth and early education took place in a village on the banks of the Ganga in this same region of Bihar. I am especially happy that although I am speaking Hindi you will all be able to understand. “The incarnation of Bhagavan, the guru of the entire universe, Shrila Krsna-dvaipayana Vedavyasa, is the propagator and composer of a large book entitled Mahabharata. In that Mahabharata, at the beginning of Bhisma-parva 42nd chapter, Bhagavad-gita is gloriously situated in eighteen chapters. ‘Why did the Gita become manifest? Gita is one of the Upanisads; in other words the essence of all the Upanisads has become this Gita. “sarvopanisado gavo dogdha gopala nandanah partho vatso sudhira bhokta gitamrtam mahat “All the Upanisads are likened to cows, and the milkman of these cows is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, Shri Krsna. Partha (Arjuna) has taken the form of a baby calf. To benefit the entire universe, this Gita, which is equivalent to nectar, has thus become available for the benefit and auspiciousness of the entire universe. “One special matter: Arjuna is an eternal associate of Krsna; he can neither be enchanted by the illusory energy nor have any doubts. But Krsna, in order to give us this transcendental knowledge and to give devotional love of God, inspired Arjuna to ask questions regarding auspiciousness for the universe. “Just now, a previous speaker explained that the first and foremost subject in spirituality is to understand that we are not the body. The body, either today, tomorrow, or the day after will eventually become old. Not even the entire world's doctors and scientists will be able to stop this for even one minute, and in the end there will be death. “But understand this: Death happens to whom? Not to the spirit soul. We are the spirit soul, a part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. “mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah manah-sasthan indriyani 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) “The living entity is the separated part of the Supreme Lord and can never become one with Him. Rather, having attained knowledge and love for Him, the jiva will eternally serve Him in Goloka Vrndavana. The jiva will go to such a place where having once gone shall never return. “na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama “’That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 15.6) “This is the original meaning of the Gita. “Especially, I want to say one thing. The scriptures have proclaimed that if the Bhagavad-gita is to be understood, one must first of all become fixed in the understanding that Krsna, the speaker of this Gita, is the Supreme Lord Himself. Whatever He has said, that is the highest truth; there is not even the slightest fragment of untruth in His words. Those who follow His instructions after having heard them, and inspire others to do the same, will attain the ultimate benefit. They will obtain eternal perfection. “Krsna Himself has said: “mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva “’O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 7.7) “Everything emanates from Krsna. Shri Rama, Nrsimha, Kalki, Vamana, and all other avataras emanate from Him. Evidence for this is found in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam: “ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas 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 Lord Shri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.’ (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 1.3.28) “Therefore, please first understand that Krsna is the Supreme Lord, and His speaking to Arjuna was the means for propagating His philosophy. The Gita is not only for one specific time period; it is for all times. It is beginningless, endless, and eternal. As many problems as are possible in the cycle of birth and death, their solutions are to be found in the Gita. “In our land of India and outside as well, the Bhagavad-gita is very well respected. Shri Sankaracarya, Ananda Giri, and Madhusudhana Sarasvati have written famous commentaries on it. In addition, Shri Ramanujacarya, Shri Madhvacarya, and Shridhar Svami have written commentaries. “In the commentaries of Ananda Giri and Sankaracarya, the truth has been concealed and the monistic doctrine is prominent. Misinterpreting such Vedic statements as sarva khalvidam brahma, aham brahmasmi, and prajnanam brahma, they explain that the living entity is himself brahma, Having ripped apart the meaning of the Gita, they, as well as others from their sampradaya, have attempted to establish monism. However, Shri Ramanujacarya, Shri Madhvacarya, and Shridhar Svami have explained that the Gita propounds devotional service. “There is one special thing to note: Following in the footsteps of our acaryas, we accept the philosophical doctrine of acintya-bhedabheda. I am speaking from the commentaries of the acaryas in our tradition, who propounded acintya-bhedabheda tattva, such as Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana. ‘This Gita, as I have previously mentioned, is spoken by Krsna Himself, who says: ‘daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te “’This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is very difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 7.14) “Those who perform worship of Me, will be delivered. ‘a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna mam upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate “’From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.’ (Bhavagad-gita, 8.16) “Those who will surrender to Me will attain the highest good. ‘sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah “’Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.’ (Bhavagad-gita, 18.66) “Why has ‘mam ekam’ been stated three times? Just as the phrases in the verse ‘harer namaiva herer kevalam, kalau nastyeva nastyeva nastyeva’ have been told three times to emphasize the point, so it is with this Gita verse. In this verse Krsna has said ‘mam ekam,’ ‘ma sucah.’ And ‘aham tvam.’ The firm absolute truth is this. “In Gita four types of knowledge have been explained: guhya, ordinary knowledge; guhyatara-jnana, confidential knowledge; guhyatama-jnana, more confidential knowledge; and sarva-guhyatama-jnana, most confidential knowledge. Ordinary knowledge is atma-jnana – ‘I am the spirit soul. I am eternal. My birth and death never actually take place.’ Guhyatara-jnana is brahma jnana – ‘I am a brahma-jatiya vastu (an object of the same quality as brahma). But I am only partly equivalent to brahma. Guyatama-jnana refers to paramatma-jnana, which means to know the Supersoul existing in everyone's heart. Sarva-guhyatama-jnana refers to Bhagavad-jnana, knowledge that Shri Krsna is the Supreme Lord: ‘ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas 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 Lord Shri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.’ (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 1.3.28) ‘isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam “’Krsna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes. He has no origin.’ (Brahma-samhita, 5.1) “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 Brahman, has become their friend.’ (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.14.32) “Krsna is the complete brahma (Spirit Whole), as proclaimed by all the scriptures. Not only the scriptures; Devarsi Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasadeva, and Sukadeva all consider Krsna to be the Supreme Lord. “Therefore the Gita, which is told by Krsna, gives auspiciousness of the entire universe. Having heard it, people may cross over the ocean of birth and death. Time is short, and therefore I am speaking in brief. “Now, sarva-guhyatama-jnana, the topmost confidential knowledge, has been explained in this verse: “man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo 'si me “’Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.’ (Bhagavad-gita, 18.65) “Man mana bhava’ means, ‘Give your mind to Me; absorb your mind in Me.’ Our commentators have given an example. In Vraja, a young cowherd girl was newly married and had come to Nandagaon. She has heard a great deal about Krsna and His wonderful pastimes, but she had not yet seen Him. She wanted to see Him up close. One day Krsna was taking the cows and calves grazing. Because He resides in everyone's heart, He was aware of the girl’s desire and considered, ‘This cowherd girl wants to see Me from close by. He grabbed the tail of a calf and it ran, followed by Krsna Himself, right up to where she was standing. He then touched His flute to her chin and left. “Prior to this her in-laws were asking her, “Where are you going?” She replied, “To see Krsna.” They told her, “Don't go, otherwise a black snake will bite you.” She replied, “Why should I not go? You yourself, your daughter, and others from here are going. Somehow I must also go there.” She did not listen to them. She came to see Krsna, Krsna stole her heart, and she became ‘man mana bhava.’ She completely stopped thinking about herself and simply continued standing there. “Some time passed. Her mother-in-law approached her and said, ‘Didn't I tell you that the black snake would bite you? You did not listen, and finally He bit you.’ “Now her mother-in-law placed upon her head a clay pot, on top of that another, and on top of that one more. This is the pastime of Vraja wherein women take two or three clay pots on their head to fill them with water for their houses. In one hand the girl carried a rope to place around the clay pot for fetching water, and she was given a small baby to take along with her. She was told, ‘Go and fetch water from the well.’ “She went to the well with the pots and the rope, and the child. Her mind was not present with her, so she wrapped the rope around the neck of the child instead of the pitcher, and began to lower the child into the well. Alarmed, others standing nearby exclaimed, ‘Has a ghost stricken this girl? She has put the rope (for the pot) around the child!’ Someone said, ‘Bhuta nahi, bhuta nahi, Nanda Ji ke putra’ - No, it is not a ghost; it is the son of Nanda. He has entered her in such a way that none of her sense has remained!’ Thus, they stopped her from lowering the child in the well. This is man mana bhava. Gita-Jayanti-2 “Further explanation will become long; therefore I have kept my presentation brief. “’Mad yaji’ means ‘perform My worship.’ Arjuna told Krsna, ‘I cannot worship You when I have to concentrate on the war. Please make it easier for me.’ So in the end Krsna said, ‘Namaskuru’ – one time offer your obeisances to Me. What does it mean to offer obeisances? ‘Na’ means ‘without,’ ‘mas’ means ‘false ego,’ and ‘kara’ indicates ‘offer pranamas to Me.’ “Much time has passed, and for that I ask your forgiveness. Today I will end my speech here. “vancha kalpa tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca patitaman pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah I offer pranamas unto the Vaisnavas, who are just like wish-fulfilling desire trees, who are an ocean of mercy, and who deliver the fallen, conditioned souls.”
  11. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja March 19-20, 2010 March 19th Isa dasa: Shrila Gurudeva, your daughter Sudevi from Alachua said she was told that you said it is okay to read the books of Ananta dasa Babaji. I am asking for her if this is true. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I have not said that. Paramananda dasa (of Ireland): The ahankara (false ego) of the baddha-jiva is making the body dance by the vibration of the ahankara. By guru’s mercy, can we rise above this? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If you practice the principles of bhakti, the rest will be done by Gurudeva. If you are not practicing, Gurudeva will not give the spiritual result. He can do so, but he will not. Isa dasa: Is it possible to make advancement by doing service without doing harinama japa? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No. There will be no fruit. Rohininandana dasa: By a sadhaka’s chanting, he cannot achieve prema-bhakti in this body. The maximum he can achieve in this body is bhava-bhakti. You told us that when he achieves bhava, vastu-siddhi is still very far away. When he leaves his body, he will go to that planet where Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the Gosvamis are performing their sadhana. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (to Padmanabha Maharaja) Have you heard me answer this before? Shripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Yes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can answer. Shripad Padmanabha Maharaja: It is just as you have stated, Shrila Gurudeva has said that when the jiva comes to bhavavasta (bhava-bhakti) and becomes further qualified, then Yogamaya transfers him to other universes, where these eternal associates of Gauranga Mahaprabhu – like Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and the Six Gosvamis – are performing their pastimes. In this way, the jivas receive the opportunity to have their direct association, to hear from them, and to serve them. In this way they attain the necessary samskaras (impressions on the heart) and qualification to directly associate with Gauranga Mahaprabhu in a future birth. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja indicates twice, as the discussion progresses, that this explanation is not correct. –ed] Rohininandana dasa: My next question is this: Do we see the same form that we see now? For example, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is a little heavyset and Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja is hunched over. Every day we perform arati to them, and it is the vision from their photos that comes in our heart. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You will hear their katha, and you will follow them. Then you will come at the time of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and others. Then, gradually, you will come to Mahaprabhu. In this way, when you will reach up to Mahaprabhu, you will have svarupa-siddhi. Brajanath dasa: He is asking if we will see the same form as we do now, in their picture. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He will have the same features. He will not have a proxy (a person empowered to stand in for another). He will personally be there. Rohininandana dasa: Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja will be there? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: That is what I am saying. He himself will be there. Isa dasa: Shrila Gurudeva, you are the sum total of our guru-parampara – Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, etc. You are giving everything that they are giving us. So, why can’t we take all of this from you? Why do we have to take so many births? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is necessary for you to take many births. When a devotee attains the stage of svarupa-siddhi, there will be no more births. Isa dasa: How high can we go by your association? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can progress to an advanced stage of bhakti by this association, and by hearing daily. You will progressively graduate to higher stages by the association of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and then Mahaprabhu. Isa dasa: You can give us everything Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can give us. Brajanath dasa: Gurudeva, you were telling that if we are lucky in this life, and if we are performing sadhana-bhajana, we will take our next birth in the association of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura to receive more training, because we have not attained the level of rati, or asakti. So they will help us further and further. Isa prabhu is saying that you can give us everything, and I am telling him that our container is not so good. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, you are not able to take what I am giving. Can you take it? Isa dasa: Not yet, but I am begging, begging, begging for your mercy. Shripad Srauti Maharaja: Our container is full of holes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: At present you are not able to receive much. I give according to your stage. There are so many things I am telling which you cannot follow. Rohininandana dasa: Yesterday, Brajanath prabhu was telling me that in Vrndavana ISKCON they are playing Shrila Prabhupada’s lecture, with a microphone in front of his murti. Everyone sits and watches, as if his murti is speaking. Is the siddhanta all right? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is not all right. Rohininandana dasa: But you have said he is eternally present. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is eternally present; that is true. But there is no need to do this. What is the necessity to put the microphone in front of his mouth? What is necessary is that we repeat his instructions to each other and to others. Will he speak from the murti what is on his mind at the moment? Will he speak, or not? Why this imitation? March 20: Acyutananda dasa: Can you give us an instruction on how to stop being greedy with food? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can control your tongue by chanting the holy name. Don’t give it any time to engage in chatter-patter. Shripad Srauti Maharaja: A devotee asked me through internet how to develop firm attachment to Krishna. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: By always chanting the holy name and having attachment for Vaisnavas and Shri Guru. Devotee: What should be our meditation while preaching and distributing books? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can meditate that you are doing good for others. Always be absorbed in that service and in chanting. Shripad Damodara Maharaja: Is there any relation between the form of Gurudeva that we see in this world and his form in Mahaprabhu’s lila? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can vividly see his form here; that is clear. In aprakata-lila (the pastimes which take place in the spiritual world) it will be any good form… Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Young form. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: …very qualified, very beautiful; an attractive gopi lady. Shripad Damodara Maharaja: That is in Krishna’s lila. What about in Mahaprabhu-lila? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Like others in His lila. Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Young. Shripad Nemi Maharaja: “Shri Krishna-Caitanya Radha-Krishna nahe anya.” Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna with the mood of Radharani. Does that mean Radharani is fully present with Him? That is why it is stated, “Radha-Krishna”? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, She is fully present in Mahaprabhu. Devotee: What are the symptoms of a fully surrendered soul? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He will always be happy. He knows that, “I am always with my Prabhu.” He has no fear at all. Tamal Krishna dasa: Yesterday, you were discussing that if we are fortunate, then in future lives we may go to Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Rupa/Raghunatha Gosvamis, and so on for our training to increase. You have explained that the relationship between guru and disciple is eternal; but also that guru-tattva is one. So, I have some doubt: When perfection comes, do we have an eternal relationship with you specifically? Will we always be under your guidance and in your association in Gaura-lila and Krishna-lila? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Guru is akanda-tattva. Nityananda Prabhu and Baladeva Prabhu are akanda-tattva. Therefore, guru can be seen in them. Do you understand? Tamal Krishna dasa: But my question, my fear… Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can see akanda-guru-tattva. Tamal Krishna dasa: But your personality is unique and wonderful. Will we always have the fortune of your personal connection? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should think like that. Acyutananda dasa: When chanting harinama, if any realization comes, how will we know if it comes from guru and Krishna, or it is just our own speculation? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If you are genuinely sincere, you will know, otherwise not. It depends on you – how sincere you are and how you have surrendered (atma-samarpana). Madhava dasa: How do we chant the holy names? Do we chant silently or loudly? Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Both. You can also chant without mala. Shripad Madhava Maharaja: For example, you may be busy, or your hand may be occupied. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: First we are going to China? Brajanath dasa: First Miami, Florida, to Raghunatha prabhu’s house. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: By what way? Shripad Madhava Maharaja: Through Germany. Gurudeva mentions China so often. Brajanath dasa: We will go to China later in the year. When we go to Hawaii for your Vyasa-puja, we can stop in China on the way. [*ENDNOTE: Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami thus describes the competition between Shri Krishna and the gopis, which ended in a draw. Shrila Kaviraja Gosvami ‘whistled’ and gave judgment that neither side had won. Actually, we Gaudiya Vaisnavas do not want this. We want the whistle to be blown to indicate Shrimati Radhika’s victory. Radhika will be so happy, and we will applaud and celebrate. This is the real mood of Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Shrila Rupa Gosvami. If Shrimati Lalita-devi is the mediator in a game, she will blow the whistle to say it is a draw, that no one has been defeated. But Shri Rüpa Manjari will whistle to announce that Shrimati Radhika has defeated Krishna. It is Shri Krishna Himself who will experience the greatest pleasure when He is defeated, although His friends like Madhumangala and others will not be pleased at all. Kundalata-gopi will also be sorry that Krishna has lost, and Dhanistha-gopi may even faint. Krishna’s defeat causes such friends great distress, and His victory fills them with joy. (taken from Shrila Narayana Gosvami’s book entitled “Gopi-gita.”)
  12. A108-AI

    Yuga-Acarya Award

    Presentation of the Yuga Acarya award Uchagaon, India, October 31, 2003 Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [Included with Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture is a short report on a historical festival that took place in Vrndavana during this year's Kartika parikrama. At that festival Shrila Maharaja was awarded the title "Acarya of the Millennium". Just before and just after the festival, in his own Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, he told the devotees that he does not think himself qualified for such an honor. Actually Shrila Rupa should be honored with this title. So, only on behalf of our previous acaryas like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and our Shrila Prabhupada that he accepting this honorary title.] On October 31, 2003 in the Vraja village of Uchagaon (Lalita-sakhi's village), Vrajacarya Pith and the World Religious Parliament in Delhi jointly awarded Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja the title "Yuga Acarya". The program began with traditional and ancient songs sung by the Nandagaon and Varsana panditas. After that the various representatives of each village performed the puspa abhiseka ("bathing" with a shower of flowers) of Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. All the heads of the various communities representatives threw flowers on Shrila Maharaja's divine body and honored him by placing garlands on him. Svami Shamaji, the head of the World Religions Parliament, gave Shrila Maharaja an upper cloth, a special cloth for the Yuga Acarya. A certificate was then presented to Shrila Maharaja by Deepak Raja Bhatta, who is the head of Vrajacarya Pith. The following individuals garlanded Shrila Narayana Maharaja: The Chairmen of Varsana and Nandagaon Head of Vraja gopa community Shri Singh Cadri Head of Lalita-devi temple Shri Krsnananda Gosvami Head of Premapith Dijara Shri Lalitji Head of the brahmana community of Uchagaon Pandit Harivallabha Sharma Head of the brahmana community of Gazipur Village Shri Gangashamji Head of Chiksoli village (Citra sakhi's village) Senior doctor of Varsana Shri AK Sharan Savita didi representing Shrila Gurudeva's disciples Shri Krsnakumar Mahesvari Padmanabha Maharaja was then called by the organizers to come to the podium, to read the words written on the award plaque. Although the plaque was not written in perfect grammatical English, it had a power and exactitude in its choice of words that seemed to the audience to supercede and transcend all languages of this world. "Vrajacarya Pith and the World Religious Parliament of New Delhi, India presents acarya of the millennium. Engrained with the comprehensive spiritual wealth of the Vedas and Vedangas, Ayurveda, Jyotisa (astrology) and related sciences; the protector of traditional heritages, eloquently knowledgeable in the doctrines of Sanskrit which is the mother of all languages; staunch believer in its spread and propagation, a passionate seeker of human social welfare; dedicated to the traditional path and following Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Caitanya Matha and the bhaskara gurus, being disciple of Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and entrenched in service through bhakti; a remarkable follower and adherent of the Aryan-sanatana philosophical traditions, propagator of love of all faiths, humility and selflessness towards every religion, saintly with pristine spirituality and giver of profoundest love to one and all; follower and practitioner of luminous sanatana knowledge upholding the great tradition of universal brotherhood; dedicated to the promulgation, propagation and protection of the unique Vraja culture and environment, and immeasurably desirous of the redevelopment of Vraja his divine holiness is one who is enlightened and embraced with divine benevolence and is an authoritative acarya filled with eruditeness, a teacher of teachers, and a guardian and flag bearer of the Shri Krsna bhakti movement his divine grace Om visnupada astottara-sata Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja then addressed the leader of the Vraja Pyadisha, Deepak Raja Bhatta, and all the exalted and renowned scholarly persons who gathered from Varsana, Nandagaon and all the places of Vraja. His discourse was given in Hindi, simultaneously translated by Shripad Akhilesa dasa Adhikari for those Western devotees who were fortunate to have headphones, and later translated for the transcriber of tis document by Shripad Ramacandra dasa Adhikari:] "I am in no case fit for the high class of honor you have given to me. It is due to your own greatness, benevolence and charitable natures that you are giving it to me. I feel ashamed to accept this designation, because it is far too elevated for me. Syamaji, the head of the World Religious Parliament, and Deepakji, the head of the Vraja Pyadisha, intensely insisted again and again to give me this award, and I rejected it again and again. But finally they forced me to accept it. In this honorific title you have used the word acarya. In that regard there are so many past acaryas, such as our Gosvamis, Shri Madhvacarya, Shri Vallabhacarya and so on. In comparison to all of them, I am insignificant. I do not understand the reason you all find me fit for this designation of Yuga Acarya. This is Kali-yuga and so many exalted, self-realized acaryas came. It may be possible that this is Kali Yuga and I am the present, or most recent, acarya of Kali Yuga. "One fact is true though; from the core of my heart I am always totally surrendered and dedicated to the Vrajavasis. My very big concern is that all the important places in Vraja-mandala are vanishing and they are not being looked after correctly. Nowadays there is little concern in the people like our Shripad Ramesh babaji and others. I heard that an enormous number of rupees is allotted for the upliftment of Vraja-mandala, but that the money has gone in vain, in individuals' pockets. "I have arranged this parikrama in order to bring the foreign devotees here to narrate to them the glorification of Vraja-mandala and to have them visit all these glorious places. I would like them to understand the glories of the holy places. I also want them to see the dilapidated condition of these places so they can begin to think about their renovation. These foreigners should see what they are giving their life to, and through them I will do what I can to redevelop the pastime places in Vraja. "I tried, by my own efforts, to renovate Brahma-kunda and Uddhava-kyari, which is practically totally destroyed, but the government did not want to cooperate. At Uddhava-kyari we have planted many trees, but then the government members told me, "Why have you done this on your own? You should go through the government." If we go through the government, however, the government men do not do anything to help. I want to redevelop Uddhava-kyari and I have already spent 150,000 rupees to do so. The government men wrote me, "Don't plant trees there." But before the government's letter reached us we completed the planting in two days. I met the magistrate but he had no brain. I told him and his associates, "In the entire universe Vraja is the most important place, and you want to stop redeveloping it?" "I do not think that there is one real Indian in the Parliament otherwise he would have thought about renovating these places. This Vraja-mandala is the life and soul of Bharata (India), and unless we accept its culture our life will go in vain. It is the Indian government in name only. If its members were Indian they would have taken care. "Shrimati Radharani is Vrndavanesvari. Lord Krsna may be Vrajesvara, but He cannot be Rasesvara because our Shrimati Radharani is Rasesvari. Shri Krsna dances when Shrimati Radhika snaps Her fingers. What to speak of Radharani, even Mother Yasoda terrifies Him, by showing Him a stick. "Shri Krsna falls down at the feet of the gopis. All demigods worship Him as God, yet the position of these gopis is so highly elevated that that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna falls at their lotus feet. He told the gopis: na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhana ["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)] "I am completely absorbed in and influenced by the culture of Vraja-bhava. It is the real "jyotir gamaya" the light into we should enter. We should understand that the ultimate limit of bhagavat-prema (love of God) is radha-dasya (service to Shrimati Radhika). "What is bhagavat prema? Without radha-dasya no one can attain Lord Krsna. Who is a Vrajavasi? Not everyone born in Vraja is a Vrajavasi. A Vrajavasi is one who has a mood like Nanda Baba, or Mother Yasoda, or Shrimati Radharani. One who has a bhava (transcendental emotion) like Nanda Baba "Krsna is my son" or that "Shrimati Radhika is my sakhi" is a Vrajavasi. One who has such a relationship with Shrimati Radharani will think, "We don't want any direct relationship with Krsna. Our mistress, our life and soul, is Shrimati Radhika. If Shri Krsna calls me I won't go. I will only do what is required to make Them meet." The manjaris, those Vrajavasis who think Shrimati Radharani is our friend, understand that Shri Krsna is fully controlled by Her. They are palya-dasis of Shrimati Radharani and are so great that they can even stop Krsna when He is on the way to see Her. This culture is full of prema. "This spiritual culture has degenerated now in Vraja. I would like to see that when people come from outside to look into this culture, the residents approach them in an honorable way not to rob the Westerners pockets to fill their own. These days Indians don't read Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and certainly they don't read it in Parliament. I don't think that anyone in our Parliament knows these truths or has even read Shrimad-Bhagavatam. "I am happy that Syamadasaji, the head of World Religious Parliament has read my translation and commentary of Shri Bhagavad-gita and appreciates it. Bhagavad-Gita is our real treasure. I have not done anything wonderful. I simply translated the commentary of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and, having taken his remnants, I also wrote something. "Our Vraja consists of Kadamba-kyari (Uddhava Kyari), Pavana-sarovara and many other places of Lord Krsna's transcendental pastimes, and according to my capacity I am donating money to renovate them. I want to make the government members understand that by my renovating Vraja-mandala their own status will be glorified, but they do not understand. They said we should do this in a proper way, but when I asked them what is the proper way they said, "Submit an application." We gave them an application and nothing happened for four months the magistrate was transferred and no action was taken to renovate. Without their help we have begun renovating Ter-kadamba and Pavana-sarovara, and we have already started cleaning the water of Radha-kunda and Manasi-ganga. We are trying to purify the water of Pavana-sarovara, Pili Pokhara and Yasoda-kunda. Three-quarters are already purified by the apparatus we brought, and we will try to purify the rest, and also the Yamuna. By the help of rich scientists and others I will help them. "Yavat is the place of Shrimati Radharani's in-laws, not Nandagaon. We don't believe that Nandagaon is the place of Shrimati Radharani's in-laws, but rather that place is Yavat. Shrimati Radharani is not married to Shri Krsna. Radharani is dear to Shri Krsna, but Yogamaya didn't allow their marriage. If Shrimati Radhika was Krsna's wife and Nanda Baba was Her father-in-law, they would have taken Her in their home but they didn't. She didn't live there. Also, Satyabhama and Rukmini had so many children. Why didn't Shrimati Radhika have any children? "Shrimati Radhika did not stay or live in the house of Nanda Baba as a bride because She is Krsna's paramour. This paramour- rasa is the topmost rasa. A wife is a type of servant. If one becomes a wife she is forced to serve her husband, and her husband is bound to supply her necessities like clothing and other paraphernalia. We have never seen that Krsna gave clothes, soap or anything of the sort to Shrimati Radharani. He only gave Her garlands, which are free of cost. He never spent any money on the gopis. "We have to reconcile Shrimati Radhika's supposed marriage. She was married in Bhandirvana, but that was not a real marriage. It was by the gandarva system of simply exchanging garlands. No in-laws were present. By Yogamaya's order She and Krsna never married. The essence of this Shrimad-Bhagavatam is parakiya-bhava and this is what Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give. I want to present the idea of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shrimad-Bhagavatam was spoken by Shri Sukadeva Gosvami and written by Vyasadeva. This is what Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give. He accepted that Shrimati Radharani was never married to Krsna, and our Gosvamis like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Jiva Gosvami are in the same line. There are so many examples of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy in the form of Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. These books are only descriptions of these principles. "I want to renovate Yavat. I went to that sacred place of Shrimati Radharani's in-laws, but I saw that the managers are installing deities of Durga-devi and Ganesh. Ganesh, Sankara, and Parvati are sitting there on the altar. I was sad to see these deities sitting there. I told the managers, "If you take them off the altar then I will develop this place." They became angry. "I am trying to beautify this small place where the pastimes of Yavat can be remembered. Now, even the vata tree is not there in Yavat, but rather another tree is there. This is shameful. In Vrndavana, at Rasa-sthali, there is no vata, banyan tree. I want to plant a vata tree there. I came to know that Bhattaji wants the renovation of this place. Let them come up with program and I'll see it. Since I already want to serve this sacred place. I can expand my program to include them." After Shrila Maharaja's talk, When Mr. Syama, the organizer of the program, went up to the podium and thanked him, He addressed him as "this fellow". He explained that he used the word "fellow" because, When we Vrajavasis love someone, we accept him as our own intimate family member or our own self so we call him 'fellow'. This Yuga Acarya, this fellow, demonstrated that he is fit for this post. He says he is not fit for it, but his humble words are also the symptom of the greatness of great personalities.] [Some of the Nandagaon panditas were upset by Shrila Maharaja's saying that Nandagaon was not Shrimati Radharani's in-laws place, so he spoke further:] "The Shrimad-Bhagavatam is written in paroksavada. Paroksavada is a statement that is made only indirectly. For example, Krsna told the gopis who came after hearing His flute playing, "Go back to your homes and serve your husbands. It is the dharma religious duty of a chaste wife to serve her husband even if her husband is ugly, sick, lame or crippled or harsh." "Oh," the gopis replied, "We have just heard this message from you. You are so great to have given us this instruction, and therefore You are our guru. We have heard from authority that we must serve our guru first, and then anyone else. We accept You as our guru because You are giving us this religious knowledge Also, you are our real pati, one who nourishes another. You are the personality who nourishes our heart. You nourish everyone, even our husbands, and therefore you are our pati in real sense." Pati also means husband. "We should therefore understand that this section of Shrimad-Bhagavatam contains statements made indirectly. Shrimati Radharani possesses all the qualities that attract Lord Krsna. At the same time, Krsna is so attractive that He attracts Her. He attracts Shrimati Radharani more than He is attracted towards Her. So I am not rejecting Krsna. He is unlimitedly beautiful and has such unlimitedly great qualities that even Shrimati Radharani becomes attracted towards Him. Please do not misunderstand that by glorifying Shrimati Radharani I am undermining the glorification of Krsna. I am not trying to make Krsna look small. By paroksavada, indirect reference, I am truly glorifying Him." Pujyapada Madhava Maharaja composed two verses in honor of Bhaktivedanta Shrila Narayana Maharaja receiving the Yuga Acarya award. The first verse is for both of his Guru Maharajas his diksa-guru Shrila Vamana Maharaja and his siksa-guru Shrila Narayana Maharaja, and the second verse is for Shrila Narayana Maharaja: 1st sloka: vande bhaktivedantau Shri vamana narayanau sahaditau gaudadaye sobhabantau (puspabantau) parivrajakacarya yugacaryau 2nd sloka: yugacarya prabhum vande Shri Narayana karunamayam Shri radha dasye lobham datva tarayate bhuvana trayam 2nd sloka: "I offer my obeisances to he who was awarded the title Yuga Acarya, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. He is an ocean of mercy. Radha dasye lokam datva he is giving greed to follow the maidservants of Shrimati Radhika, and by giving this greed he is delivering the three worlds."
  13. About Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. О Шрила А.Ч. Бхактиведанта Свами прабхупаде.
  14. Varsana, Vraj-mandala, India October 12, 1996 Devotee: Why do we celebrate Dipavali, and in what mood is it celebrated by Vrajavasis? Shrila Bhativedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Dipavali means a time of happiness. When Lord Rama defeated Ravana and reached Ayodhya, a big Dipavali festival was performed there. Shri Vamanadeva wanted to cheat Bali Maharaja. He did not cheat him; rather he gave his mercy, although it seemed that he was cheating. When Bali Maharaja was offered a benediction from the Lord, he requested, "Always remain in my home." In this way the Lord Himself was cheated. Lord Vamana was very glad, and he agreed to stay there forever. Due to great happiness, Bali Maharaja then asked all his associates to hold a Dipavali festival, and that was the first Dipavali. When Krishna defeated Duryodhana and returned to Dvaraka, a Dipavali was also celebrated there. Lord Krishna Himself, along with Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and all other Vrajavasis, came here and celebrated this festival with their own hands. In other words they themselves offered dipa (a lighted ghee wick) and rendered many other services. Divali also means light. If there is no bhajana of Krishna there is darkness, and in Krishna Consciousness there is light. We celebrate this function in order to give up darkness and to bring the light of bhakti, pure devotion. This is the same celebration. Real happiness comes from playing karatalas and mrdangas. If one hears this, and if maya hears, maya will go away at once. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu brought the sankirtana movement to this world to drive out maya. Shri Krishna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu do this Themselves, and we should try to follow Them.
  15. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Varanasi, India (evening) [In the mid-afternoon of November 7th, 2002, just after Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Vraja-mandala parikrama party reached Varsana from the lap of Giriraja Govardhana, the devotees heard the news: "Prapujya-carana Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja has just left this world." That very evening, in great bereavement, along with all the parikrama pilgrims, Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja held a viraha-mahotsava, separation festival. The following is a transcription of his puspanjali glorification, offering the flowers of his heart: (listen to lecture here) ] Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my Gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, to all the Vaisnavas, and to Shri Gauranga. By the causeless mercy of Shri Guru and Gauranga, the first fifteen days of our niyama-seva Kartika-vrata (vow to follow the rules and regulations of the Kartika month) have passed without a problem; it passed sweetly and happily. Today, however, we received very sad news. In Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked Shrila Raya Ramananda: duhkha-madhye kona duhkha haya gurutara? Krishna-bhakta-viraha vina duhkha nahi dekhi para ["Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, 'Of all kinds of distress, what is the most painful?'Shri Ramananda Raya replied, 'Apart from separation from the devotee of Krishna, I know of no unbearable unhappiness.'" (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.248)] Shri Mahaprabhu asked Shri Raya Ramananda, "What is the worst type of suffering?" Shri Ramananda Raya replied, "Vaisnava-viraha." Para means 'the highest or greatest.' The greatest or most grievous suffering is Vaisnava-viraha, separation from pure Vaisnavas. After the disappearance of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, my Gurudeva, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, along with a few others, established the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti; and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was one of the founding members. Gurudeva had already taken sannyasa and had been preaching for a long time, but now he established the new Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti's headquarters in Navadvipa and began preaching through the Samiti. As Krishna is bhakta-vatsalya, very affectionate to His devotees, Shri Guru is sisya-vatsalya, very affectionate to his disciples. After some time, some of Guru Maharaja's god-brothers saw his sisya-vatsalya, which was more affectionate than the most loving father could be to his son. These god-brothers could not reconcile this, because previously they had been the objects of all his affection. Hurt, most of them left Guru Maharaja, and only a few stayed with him. Guru Maharaja had three pillars of devotion – three prominent sevakas. Parama-pujyapada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja, Parama-pujyapada Shri Shrimad Trivikrama Maharaja, and I began to serve him totally, with our lives and souls, taking our lives in our hands [an Indian expression meaning 'ready to risk our lives']. From the very beginning, Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja, Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, and I were made the three pillars of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti by my Guru Maharaja. At that time Shrila Pariyataka Maharaja was not with us; he joined after some time. Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, especially, served Shrila Guru Maharaja in so many ways. He was the publisher of our Gaudiya Patrika monthly magazine and many other literatures. He was also the 'scribe' of Guru Maharaja's dictations for his correspondence, articles, and books. Even before I joined, when I was a police officer and had never personally met Guru Maharaja, Guru Maharaja would write to me with great love and affection. He would dictate his letters, addressing me as Tiwariji because I came from a high-class brahmana family with the surname Tiwari, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja would write down his words. Then, after I joined and until I was initiated, Pujyapada Vamana Gosvami Maharaja would also call me 'Tiwariji.' Shrila Vamana Maharaja was like the mother of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. He took care of everyone in the Matha and supplied whatever anyone needed, like prasadam, clothing, and so on. As for Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, he was very, very qualified. Our Guru Maharaja was in charge of publications, and he put Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja in charge of organizing all the preaching, and his services included sending other preachers to various districts of Bengal. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja would personally go collecting and preaching, especially in the district of Bardavan, and Guru Maharaja did a great deal of preaching in Midnapura, Chaubis Parganas, and other places. When I first joined, Parama-pujyapada Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja showed me even more familial affection than did Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Our Guru Maharaja placed me in his hands, and we became very close. It was Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja who taught me how to perform kirtana, how to preach, and how to collect donations. And sometimes, in a very loving way, he would also rebuke me. In all the years that I spent with Guru Maharaja, I was never rebuked by him, but with so much love and affection Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja used to do so. We had such a close connection that sometimes our discussions would become very heated; I would counter his arguments and he would counter mine, and our Guru Maharaja would kindly support me by taking my side. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja used to preach all over India, and when he would go to preach with our Guru Maharaja I would go with them as Guru Maharaja's personal servant. I would massage him, cook for him, wash his cloths, carry a lantern for him because there was no electricity at that time, and I performed many other services. Sometimes I made mistakes, and at those times Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja would protect me. For some time it was a regular procedure that in each village, along with his lectures, Guru Maharaja would present a slide show depicting Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and other great personalities. I once forgot to bring the slide projector, and when I realized this, I was in great anxiety that Gurudeva would be upset with me. Shrila Trivikrama asked me what was wrong, and when I told him he said, "Don't worry. I will handle the matter. I will take care of everything for you." Later on, when our Guru Maharaja was ready to give his lecture and slide show presentation, he asked Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, "So, is everything ready?" Trivikrama Maharaja replied, "Oh, today is a very cloudy day and it may rain. If you also show the slides, the program will take a long time. The rain may come and everyone will leave before you have completed your class." Guru Maharaja asked him, "Then what should I do?" Trivikrama Maharaja replied, "Why not just give the class?" Guru Maharaja was satisfied to do that. Years later, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja reminded me of this incident and asked me if I remembered it. I said, "Yes!" and we happily and tightly embraced one another. Guru Maharaja entered nitya-lila in October of 1968, but internally he is always looking after us and encouraging us. Externally, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja took the place of my Gurudeva in the sense that he encouraged me in all activities. When I began preaching in the West and writing and translating books there, I would write to Parama-pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja and Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, and others for advice – because they are very qualified preachers. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja would reply my letters without delay. He would encourage me and inspire me to write more books and to preach all over the world. Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja is the present acarya of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and he was very busy with many grave responsibilities. He was always very happy with my preaching, but sometimes he was sick and therefore he could not always answer my letters. Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja, on the other hand, usually remained in one place, and he always replied without delay; I cannot forget him. I consider both Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja and Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja to be my siksa-gurus. They supported, nourished and inspired me so much so that I cannot express my feelings in words; but Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja's familial love for me was even greater than that of Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja. We used to sleep together, quarrel together over philosophy, and we loved each other in so many ways. Sometimes we presented different ideas and we countered each other's arguments, but he greatly honored me. Although I was giving honor to him as a siksa-guru, sometimes, in his last days, he used to offer me sastang pranama (offering of obeisances while lying on the ground like a rod). He even used to offer pranamas to my sandals when I was not present before him. No one else could have done this; he was so polite and humble. He was a senior Vaisnava in all respects and he could help the entire world, but he used to write me, "We cannot do the services you are doing for Gurudeva, so I especially favor you and praise you. May you preach for a long time. May you write and publish many books." We have lost one of the pillars of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti today, but I feel some relief knowing that he left during this Kartika month, during niyama-seva-vrata, and that he was in Navadvipa-dhama. Also, he left at the time of amrta-yoga, an auspicious time of the day according to the movement of the sun and moon, and it was also tritiya-tithi, one of the most auspicious days of the month. He inspired us to observe Annakuta Mahotsava, Dipavali, and Bhaijaduja (also known as Yama-dvitiya) [The blessing of Yamaraja (the demigod who punishes sinful persons after death) to his sister Yamuna-devi (the personified river), that if brother and sister take bath on this day (the day after Govardhana annakuta), they will not go to the adobe of Yamaraja after death. -ed] Internally, in my heart, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja told me that he would leave this world after we observe those festivals; it was a wonderful thing. Otherwise, if he had left before, we would have been absorbed in thoughts and activities in relation to him, and we would not have been able to properly observe those important holy functions. Now, being the representative of you all, I am offering my heartfelt puspanjali at his lotus feet. I think that he has been placed in Samadhi today. Where is he now? He is in Navadvipa-dhama or Vraja-dhama. I pray for all of us that he will be very merciful to me, and to all of you, and that he will inspire us and give us blessings so that we can try to serve Gurudeva and do bhajana as he did. Parama-pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja ki jaya! The disappearance day of Pujyapada Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja ki jaya! Gaura premanande.
  16. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj Govardhana, India: November 13, 2007 pm [This year, 2018, the disappearance day of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja, the intimate god-brothers and friends of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, is on November 9th & 110h (see calendar). Please accept the following glorification of him, given on his disappearance day during Kartika 2007. During the auspicious month of Kartika, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled international parikrama pilgrims celebrated the disappearance day of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja. Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja left the vision of this world in 2002, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja left on the same day, two years later. As he does every year at this time, Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja organized a Separation Festival (Viraha Mahotsava) for them, at which time he called on several of their disciples to speak about their glories and offer heart-felt sentiments. Almost everyone spoke in Hindi, as did Shrila Narayana Maharaja himself. The following is a simultaneous translation of Shrila Narayana Maharaja’s glorification, given by Akhilesh dasa Adhikari, who spoke into a transmitter. Most of the 700 or so Westerners from various countries present were able to hear the translations in their headphones, because there were also simultaneous translations from English to Russian, Chinese, and so on. For a great soul there is no difference between his appearance and disappearance days * because he is actually always present to guide and give his blessings. These days are especially powerful occasions to remember them and receive abundant blessings. Therefore, please accept the transcription of the lecture below, given this Kartika, on Shrila Vamana Maharja’s disappearance day:] Today we will discuss the glorious characters of Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, and the devotees will offer puspanjali (their flower-like hearts’ offering of glorification) at their lotus feet. According to the degree of love and affection towards someone, one will experience that much separation for a person. The gopis had so much affection for Shri Krsna, and that is why they felt so much separation when He went to Mathura. We have read about the various stages of their separation in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures. Similarly, the more one is attached to Shrila Gurudeva’s lotus feet, the more separation one will feel in his absence. We see the topmost example of this in the life of Shrila Ragunatha dasa Gosvami, who had so much affection in his heart towards his siksa-gurus, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. What was the condition of Shrila Raghunatha das Gosvami when their pastimes became un-manifest in this world? He saw Giriraja Govardhana like a python, all of Vraja seemed empty to him, and appeared like the mouth of a very ferocious tiger. Due to his love and affection, this is how he described his separation from Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis. According to how much affection you have towards your Gurudeva’s lotus feet, that much separation you will feel. You must understand that the devotee who feels separation from his Guru is very elevated in bhakti, and he will soon attain the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. Without Gurudeva’s mercy, this is not possible. I spent more than sixty years with Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja. We had a very special relationship, and we were related in so many different ways. I had a first-hand opportunity to observe their guru-seva. I directly saw how Shrila Vamana Maharaja was ready to give his life for his Gurudeva, and I understood how my Gurudeva used to feel indebted to Shrila Vamana Maharaja for his service. When Shrila Vamana Maharaja’s hand was caught in the printing press, Shrila Guru Maharaja wept, and he traveled with Shrila Vamana Maharaja to the hospital in Kolkata. When you see Shri Guru crying for his disciple, you can understand that his affection towards that disciple is very deep. I have seen that if there was work which involved a lot of responsibility, my Gurudeva would not give that work to me or Shrila Vamana Maharaja, but to Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, and he would not take it easily. He would argue and ask questions, and then he would accept that work and complete it. Shrila Gurudeva always saw Shrila Vamana Maharaja as his small child, because he had come to the Matha in his young age, as a very small child. But Shrila Vamana Maharaja was expert in performing all kinds of services. From his example, we should all take great inspiration in how he served non-stop and always brought pleasure to his spiritual master and the Vaisnavas. Shrila Gurudeva entrusted the more responsible services to Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, not because Shrila Vamana Maharaja was not qualified, but because Gurudeva gave that opportunity to Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, who joined the Matha when he was in his mid twenties. I observed the character of Shrila Vamana Maharaja; I saw how he has served Shrila Gurudeva. There was nothing he would not do. If someone wants the ability to perform bhajana and service to Shri Guru, he should learn from the life of Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Unless and until one has such firm faith in Guru, he cannot perform bhajana. Wherever Shrila Gurudeva went for preaching, I would come along with Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja and Shrila Vamana Maharaja. For sixty years I had the fortune to reside with Shrila Vamana Maharaja. How many days have you (Shrila Vamana Maharaja’s disciples and followers present in the audience) remained with him? You have been with him only for a few years, and from at a great distance. I lived with him as a friend, and our lives were so intimately connected that we were like two bodies with one soul. I have seen some of my Gurudeva’s character in Shrila Vamana Maharaja, and he helped me write my Gurudeva’s biography. Before I met my Guru Maharaja, I was never second to anyone in running. I was a very good athlete, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja used to walk a lot, but when Shrila Guru Maharaja used to walk while residing in various temples, both of us remained behind him. We could no keep up with him because he would walk so swiftly. Being with Guru Maharaja, Shrila Vamana Maharaja and I used to work in the kitchen and engage in many other services. We used to clean the pots in those days, and also write sometimes. We worked at the printing press, publishing Guru Maharaja’s books, and we also traveled with Guru Maharaja when he went to various places for preaching. We were engaged in so much service. I learned so much from both Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja and Shrila Vamana Maharaja; they are my siska gurus. What can I tell you about their glorious characters? I remain always indebted to them; I can never become free from their debt. At the time of Navadvipa parikrama, there used to be thousands of pilgrims, and all of them would come to meet Shrila Guru Maharaja. He would speak to all of them, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja, with a paper and pen in his hand, was near him. While the large darsans would be going on, Shrila Vamana Maharaja would ask Shrila Gurudeva to speak something for the publication in the Gaudiya Patrika Magazine, and Shrila Gurudeva would say, “Ok, take a pen.” He would then speak fluently for a few minutes, and at which time Shrila Vamana Maharaja would write three or four pages, and whatever he wrote would not need to be corrected. When we write, corrections and editing must be done, but this was not the case with Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Just after taking notes and writing the articles, on the same day, the magazine would go to press, and the next morning we would offer it to Lord Narasimhadeva. In this way, Shrila Gurudeva and all the devotees who assisted him used to publish the Patrika. I have firm faith that today, on the disappearance day of Pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja and Pujyapada Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, the topics that the devotees have spoken about, the discussions we have heard of their glorious lives and characters, as well as the established philosophical truths that have been told – are not being spoken in the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. In fact, it is doubtful that they are observing this holy day. They celebrate the vyasa-puja day of Paryataka Maharaja, but not the vyasa-puja of Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja. I know this. There are no people who have such kind of affection for Pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Pujyapada Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja’s disciples are slowly coming to me. I am very happy that you [Shrila Vamana Maharaja’s diksa- and siksa disciples] are all present here today and I am pleased by the way you are respecting and glorifying your Gurudeva. In Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, they have broken their parampara; they do not even keep the correct photographs of the parampara. Our parampara is perfect; first my Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, then Shrila Vamana Maharaja, and then myself. This is the parampara. In the homes of my disciples throughout the world, Shrila Vamana Maharaja’s photo is placed on their altar. Therefore, at this place, the pastimes of Shrila Vamana Maharaja have been spoken, but there in Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, everything is spoiled. You should always follow Guru and Vaisnavas. Always consider that siksa-guru and diksa-guru are non-different. I am very pleased that all of you are progressing in bhakti, and I am very happy with all the speakers. [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] So many devotees from Siliguri have come here. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] After Navadvipa parikrama I will go there. If we go to Siliguri after Gaura-purnima, and Bangalore in a few days, right after Kartika, then many more devotees will be here next year. I will go to Siliguri for five or six days with all the senior Vaisnavas, and to Shilang also, and many small villages in South of Bengal. I will go to all these places. [Shrila Maharaja requested Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja’s senior disciple Uma didi to glorify her Gurudeva, after which he said:] She had the association of Shrila Vamana Maharaja since childhood, and she took harinama from him at a young age. When she came to stay at our matha (temple) in Mathura, many of her god-brothers criticized her, saying, “She has left Guru Maharaja and is residing here with Narayana Maharaja.” They disrespected her, but on the other hand, right until the end of his manifest stay in this world, Shrila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja had so much affection for her. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja called on Damodara Maharaja to glorify Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, and then he himself spoke:] Whenever Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja’s parents would come to our matha, he would treat them in a rude manner and use harsh words. I was unhappy to hear this, so I told him, “You have to respect your mother and father.” He replied, “You don’t understand. If I behave very nicely towards them, then they will come here all the time and disturb my bhajana. They will harass me to come back to their village.” He was a very good cook, and he was also very renounced. He would almost always wear simply one cloth, which would reach to just above his knees, and a sleeveless shirt – not more than that. He was always serving Vaisnavas and living very simply. In this way he spent his life. [*Endnotes: So our adoration, our worship is to Bhaktivinoda Thakura today , because he may bless us to make peaceful progress in Krsna consciousness. Acarya-upasana; simply by the blessings of the acaryas, we can make very rapid progress. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 6.33]. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadat. We sing this every day. By the mercy of the spiritual master, acarya, we immediately get the blessings of the Lord. Immediately. (Shrila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda THakura’s Appearance Day Lecture – London, September 3, 1971] [Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura passed away from this material world on December 31, 1936, so almost forty years has past. There are two phases: prakata and aprakata, appearance and disappearance. We have nothing to lament on account of disappearance, because Krsna and Krsna’s devotee do not disappear. Not only devotees – even the nondevotees – nobody disappears. Nobody disappears because every living entity is eternal, as Krsna is eternal. This is confirmed in the Vedic literature: “nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam.” (Katha Upaniñad 2.2.13) The description of the Supreme Lord is that He is nitya, eternal, and the living entities are also eternal; but He is the chief eternal. So spiritually, in appearance and disappearance, there is no difference. Just like in material point of view, suppose you get a son born, you become very happy. When the same son passes away, you become very unhappy. This is material. But spiritually, there is no difference in appearance or disappearance. So although this is the disappearance day of OmVisnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, there is nothing to be lamented. Although we feel separation, that feeling is there, spiritually there is no difference between appearance and disappearance. Although this is the Disappearance Day of Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, there is nothing to be lamented, although we feel separation. That feeling is there, but spiritually there is no difference between appearance and disappearance. There is a song, Narottama dasa Thakura's song, ye anilo prema dhana-can you sing that song, anyone? I don't remember exactly the whole song. That is all lamentation. (from Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance Day Lecture, given by Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, LA, December 13, 1973)] [People may say, "The devotee is also dying, and the non-devotee, sinful man, is also dying. What is the difference?" There is much difference. The example is given: just like a cat catching a rat in his mouth and at the same time carrying his cubs in the mouth. Superficially, we can see that the same mouth is being used, but one is feeling comfortable being carried by the mother, and another is feeling the death knell. (Bhagavad-gita Lecture 2.13, London, August 19, 1973)] Similarly, at the time of death, the devotee is feeling that they are being transferred to Vaikuntha, whereas the ordinary sinful man is feeling that the Yamadutas, the constables of Yamaraja, are dragging him to the hellish condition of life. So one should not conclude simply by seeing that he is dying. No. The process is different. Janma karma ca me divyam (Bg. 4.9). As Lord Krsna's appearance and disappearance are all spiritual, transcendental, they are not ordinary things, similarly, Lord Krsna's devotees, His representative, who is sent to this material world for preaching the glories of Lord Krsna, their appearance and disappearance is also like Krsna's. Therefore, according to Vaisnava principles, the appearance and disappearance of Vaisnava is considered all-auspicious. Therefore we hold festivals. Just like yesterday we had the disappearance day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada. So we offered our respects and observed a festival. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, 6.1.27-34, Surat, December 17, 1970)] Assistant Editor: Hariballabha dasi Translator: Shripad Akhilesh dasa Transcriber: Sulata dasi Typist and proofreader: Vasanti dasi Editor: Shyamarani dasi
  17. A108-AI

    Govardhana Annakuta

    Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Badger, Califiornia May 18, 2003 Today, Annakuta Mohotsava, is a very auspicious day. This day is observed in India during the month of Kartika. Many of Krsna's other sweet pastimes were also performed in the month of Kartika. In this month, under the guidance of Nanda Baba, the Vrajavasis observed Govardhana puja. They did this, having given up the puja of Indradeva, and that resulted in Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill on His little finger. Yasoda-devi bound Krsna in this very month, which is how the song Shri Damodarastakam originated. Kartika is also the month in which Krsna and the gopis performed Saradiya Rasa (Autumn rasa-lila). After Krsna lifted Giri Govardhana, Indra understood that his torrential rain would have no effect, and thus he began to repent his actions. He thought that Krsna would punish him, and that the only way to save himself would be to take shelter of Surabhi cow. Surabhi would be able to please Krsna. She would pray to Krsna on his behalf, "Please, excuse him." No one else would be able to achieve this. Krsna considers Himself the servant of the cows and always supports them. It would therefore be easy for Surabhi to please Him. If Surabhi would not go, Krsna would not be pacified and would therefore punish him. Indra thus took shelter of Surabhi, walking behind her, and they both approached Krsna. Krsna said, "O Mother, you have come!" Surabhi said, "Yes. I have brought my son with me. I request that You please excuse him." Surabhi then began to supply large quantities of milk, and Indra, the demigods, and the great sages present began to abhisheka (bathe) Krsna, just as we did here today. Krsna then became very happy and said, "In the future I don't want to have to tolerate your nonsense activities. For your own good you should go to Navadvipa, and there, in the company of Surabhi, perform austerities. In that way you will be excused." Indra thus understood that Krsna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Up until the time of that abhiseka, Krsna was known as Yasoda-nandana and Nanda-nandana Krsna. Now, He would also be known as Govinda. Go indicates gopa, gopi, go (cow), govatsa (calf) and Veda. Krsna gives pleasure to all these gos and He also protects them; therefore His name is Govinda. Govinda and Govardhana are in the same line: He has the same duty, the same function, as Giriraja Govardhana (vardana means to nourish). Now our Govardhana-puja is completed. Giriraja is Krsna Himself; and moreover, He has come from the heart of Radhika. He can fulfill our every desire very easily, and he can even give krsna-prema. He very rarely does so, but he can. We should also remember that the Annakuta Mohotsava was also performed by Shrila Madhavendra Puripada, as we saw in the drama play. Madhavavendra Puri went to Vrajabumi,Vrndavana, and there he stayed on the banks of Govinda-kunda at Govardhana. One day, after taking his bath, he sat beneath a tree on the banks of Govinda-Kunda. Krsna came there in the form of a cowherd boy and said to him, "Oh, why you sitting here, starving. No one starves here. My mother has sent some milk. Please drink it." Madhavendra Puri thought, "Throughout my entire life I have never been attracted by any human, and especially to any lady, but now I am attracted to this boy. Who is He?" He took the milk and he began to weep, his heart melting. Then he cried, "Oh! That cowherd boy was actually Krsna, and now He has left me." And he wept bitterly. In the last part of the night Madhavavendra Puri had a dream. In that dream he saw that same boy, that very Gopala, come to him and say, "I have been here, waiting in this bush for you for a very long time; and now you have come. I'm feeling very hungry and very hot. Please make a temple for Me, and perform My abhiseka ceremony and Annakuta festival (festival in which there is cooked rice that is stacked like a small mountain) so that I shall feel satisfied." When Madhavavendra Puri awoke, he fixed his mind on executing the order of the Lord. After his morning bath he gathered some of the villagers and together they went to the kunja where Gopala was waiting and that kunja is still there today, nearby Govardhana. After clearing away the thick bushes, they very easily dug Him out and took Him to the top of Govardhana Hill. They erected a throne from stones there – one piece for the seat and one to support Him from behind. Then they began to worship Him. Annakuta was performed for several months. Many wealthy persons from Mathura heard that Gopala had arrived and they became very happy. They brought all types of paraphernalia, such as gold, cloth, scents and bhoga. Cooking was performed for Thakurji daily, and for many months lakhs and lakhs of people honored the maha-prasadam of Gopala at that place. After 2 years Gopala again came in a dream to Madhavavendra Puri and said, "I'm satisfied by taking all of your offerings, but My body is still hot. Can you bring malaya-candana sandalwood from Jagannath Puri?" Thus, Madhavavendra Puri once again set off to fulfill the desires of the Lord. We are very lucky to be in the line of Madhavavendra Puri. Every year, in the month of Kartika, we observe the Annakuta Mohotsava (festival) of Giriraja Govardhana, and hundreds of devotees attend. There we worship Giriraja Govardhana Himself, not one piece (as Govardhana-sila). Actually, although a piece of Govardhana and Govardhana Hill Himself are one, still, Govardhana Hill in Vrndavana has a special glory. In Vrndavana we worship Govardhana with many pounds, not only a little, of milk, ghee, and yogurt, with many types of preparations – even more than here in Badger. Many of you have been to our Kartika-vrata and have personally seen this festival. We are fortunate to take part. We will continue to perform this festival every year; and we will do so until our life in this world is over. We cannot obtain pure bhakti without the mercy of Govardhana. Many sweet pastimes take place at Govardhana. For example, Shrimati Radhika, Lalita and Visakha and the other gopis are on their way to the fire sacrifice of Bhaguri Rsi. During their journey there is a discussion with Krsna. Krsna wants to check them and make them pay a toll tax, the gopis defeat Him, and He has to apologize. There is so much history there, and it is all coming in our mind and hearts. Wherever you are, you can worship Giriraja by mind and pray: krsna-prasadena samasta-saila- samrajyam apnoti ca vairino pi sakrasya yah prapa balim sa saksad govardhano me disatam abhistam "May Govardhana Hill fulfill my deepest desire – to get darsana of Shri Radha and Krsna's lilas. By Shri Krsna's mercy Govardhana became the emperor of all mountains, and received the offerings meant for Indra despite Indra's enmity." (Shri Govardhanastakam, verse 1) yatraiva krsno vrsabhanu-putrya danam grhitum kalaham vitene sruteh sprha yatra mahaty atah Shri govardhano me disatam abhistam "Demanding a road tax, Krsna quarreled for several hours at Dan Ghati with the daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Rasika-bhaktas visiting Govardhana are eager to listen to that sweet prema quarrel. May that Govardhana fulfill my desire that I also can hear that verbal battle." (Shri Govardhanastakam, verse 3) These prayers will do as much for you as worshipping Govardhana Himself, because there are many moods contained within them. Try to pray in this way. This is bhajana. Gaura premanande.
  18. 06 November 2012 Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami [Respected Readers, November 1 (in India), is the divine appearance day of Shri Radha-kunda. In honor of this sacred day, we are sending the following explanation of Shri Radha-kunda from Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Vraja Mandala Parikrama Book:] Shri Radha-kunda is within Bahulavana, and for this reason there is a custom to take bath in Shri Radha-kunda on the day of Bahulastami. A huge assembly of people take bath in Shri Radha-kunda on that day. The Padma Purana states: yatha radha priya visnoh tasyah kundam priyam tatha sarvagopisu sevaika visnoratyantavallabha "Among all the gopis, Shrimati Radhaji is most dear to Shri Krsna, being His principal prana vallabha. Similarly, Radhaji's dear kunda is also very dear to Him." The Varaha Purana declares: sarvapapaharastirtham namaste harimuktidah namah kaivalyanathaya radhaKrsnabhidhayine "O Shri Radha-kunda! O Shri Krsna Kunda! You destroy all sins and award one-pointed prema. I bow down to you again and again." The puranas are filled with innumerable descriptions of the glories of these two kundas. In Vraja-vilasa-stava (text 53), Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays: sri-vrindavipinam suramyam api tac chriman sa govardhanah sa rasa-sthalikapy alam rasamayi kim tavad anyat sthalam yasyapy amsa-lavena narhati manak samyam va mukundasya tat pranebhyo 'py adhika-priyeva dayitam tat kundam evasraye "Not even Shri Vrindavana, which is supremely delightful because of places like the rasa filled rasa-sthali, or Shriman Govardhana, which is the arena of the nectarian rasa where the most confidential amorous pastimes (keli-krida) of the Divine Couple take place, are equal to even a shadow of a particle of the glories of Shri Radha-kunda, what to speak of other pastime-places within Braja Mandala. I take shelter of this Shri Radha-kunda, which is more dear to Shri Mukunda than His own life." Shri Radha-kunda lies in a village named Arita Gaon, about three miles north-east of Govardhana and fourteen miles from Mathura and Vrindavana. Aristasura was a servant of Kamsa who assumed the form of a bull and attacked Krsna with the aim of killing Him. However, Krsna killed him instead at this place. At Shri Radha-kunda, Shri Radha-Krsna Yugala perform Their midday (madhyahnik) lila-vilasa. Here They perform a variety of amorous pastimes freely and without any obstruction. This is not possible anywhere else. Therefore, Radha-kunda is considered to be the topmost place of bhajana, superior even to Nandagaon, Barsana, Vrindavana and Govardhana. This most confidential place, surcharged with paramount bhavas, was revealed by Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, who is endowed with the bhava (sentiment) and kanti (lustre) of Shri Radha. Previously, Shri Madhavendra Puri, Shri Lokanatha Gosvami and Shri Bhugarbha Gosvami also came to Braja, where they revealed various pastime-places of Krsna; but they did not reveal this confidential place, which was manifested by Shri Gaurasundara Himself, who is Shri Radha and Krsna combined. Shri Krsna killed Aristasura during the day. That same night, He met with His beloved Shri Radhika and the other sakhis here. Shri Krsna was very eager to embrace Shrimati Radhika, but as soon as He reached out towards Her, She stepped back. Jokingly, She said, "Today, You have killed a bull, which belongs to the cow family. You have therefore committed the sin of killing a cow. Please don't touch My pure body." Krsna smilingly answered, "Priyatame! It was a demon that I killed, who had deceitfully assumed the form of a bull; so how can sin even touch Me?" Shrimatiji insisted, "Whatever he was, he had assumed the form of a bull when You killed him. Hence, the sin of killing a cow has definitely touched You." The sakhis supported Her statements. Shri Krsna asked how He could atone for this sin. Smilingly, Shrimatiji answered, "The only atonement is to take bath in all the tirthas of the entire Earth planet." Hearing this, Shri Krsna created an extensive kunda simply by striking His heel on the ground. He then summoned all the tirthas of the entire planet to it. Uncountable tirthas immediately came before Krsna in their personified forms. Krsna asked them to enter the kunda in the form of water. In a moment, the kunda filled with pure, sacred water. Shri Krsna took bath in that kunda and again tried to touch Shrimatiji. But Shrimati Radhika now wanted to manifest a kunda full of water that was larger and more exquisite than Krsna's, in response to Her Priyatama's bragging. She and Her sakhis therefore stubbornly dug out a very attractive kunda nearby with their bracelets. However, not so much as a drop of water appeared in it. Krsna joked that they could take water from His kunda, but Shrimatiji along with Her innumerable sakhis prepared themselves to bring water from Manasi Ganga in clay pots. Shri Krsna signaled to the tirthas that they should insist that Shrimatiji and Her sakhis fill up their kunda by taking water from His kunda. The tirthas personified pleased Shrimati Radhika by offering Her and the sakhis many prayers. Shrimati Radhika then gave them permission to enter Her kunda. Immediately, the current of water that had flowed into Krsna Kunda also filled Radha-kunda. With great pleasure, Shri Krsna bathed and performed water sports (jal-vihara) with Shrimati Radhika and the sakhis in this dear kunda. These two kundas manifested at midnight on Krsnastami (the eighth day of the dark moon) in the month of Kartika. Hundreds and thousands of people therefore bathe here at midnight on this day known as Bahulastami. The Padma Purana states: govardhana girau ramye radha-kundam priyam hareh kartika bahulastamyam tatra snatva hareh priyah naro bhakto bhaved vitatsthatasya tasya pratosanam "Radiantly beautiful Shri Radha-kunda is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill. Faithful persons who bathe here on Krsnastami in the Kartika month receive prema-bhakti filled with the seva of Shri Radha-Kunjabihari Shri Hari." The Padma Purana also states: dipotsave kartike ca radha-kunde yudhisthira drisyate sakalam visvam bhrityair visnu-parayanaih "On the day of Dipavali in the month of Kartika, the ekantika (one-pointed) bhaktas of Shri Radha-Krsna can see the entire universe and the complete Braja Mandala in Shri Radha-kunda." Some time later, when Shri Krsna had left for Dvaraka, both kundas disappeared. While manifesting the pastime-places of Braja, Shri Krsna's great-grandson, Maharaja Vajranabha, again restored these two kundas under the guidance of Sandilya and other risis. Five thousand years later, however, they had again disappeared. When Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this place, He inquired from the local people about Radha-kundaand Syama Kunda, but they could provide Him with no information. Instead, they told Him about the two fields named Kali Khet and Gauri Khet that lay before them, which contained a little water. Mahaprabhu respectfully addressed Kali Khet as Syama Kunda and Gauri Khet as Radha-kunda and offered them His pranama. Then, as He bathed in them, He became overwhelmed. Losing all patience, He cried out, "Ha Radhe! Ha Krsna!," and fainted. The place where He sat down is now called Tamala Tala. It is also called Mahaprabhu's baithaka (sitting-place). After the disappearance of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came from Jagannatha Puri and performed bhajana at Radha-kunda. Once, the Mughal emperor Akbara was making his way along this path with his vast army. The entire army along with elephants, horses and camels were very thirsty. Akbara asked Dasa Gosvami, "Is there any big pond nearby?" Dasa Gosvami motioned to him to take water from Kali Khet and Gauri Khet. The emperor thought, "This water is not even sufficient for a single elephant. How will it quench the thirst of my entire army?" However, on the repeated requests of Dasa Gosvami, Emperor Akbara encouraged his men to drink. To his utter amazement, the entire army together with horses, elephants and camels drank to their full satisfaction, and yet the water in these ponds did not reduce even slightly. The emperor's astonishment knew no bounds. After performing bhajana here for some time, the thought of restoring these two kundas entered Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's mind. However, when he remembered the transcendental glories of Shri Radha-kunda, he began to reproach himself for thinking this. Just then, a wealthy person arrived at that place from Badrikasrama, looking for that supreme renunciate Shri Dasa Gosvami. He offered his dandavat pranamas (prostrated obeisances) at the feet of Gosvamiji and said, "I am returning from a pilgrimage to Badarikasrama. Bhagavan Shri Badri-Narayana has sent me to you. On His order I am offering to cover all the expenses required to restore these two kundas to their beautiful forms. Kindly accept my offer." Shri Dasa Gosvami became overjoyed. At first he rejected the offer, but he later relented, knowing it to be the desire of Shri Radha-Krsna. He thus began the work of re-constructing the two kundas. Shri Radha-kunda easily manifested in the shape of an elegant quadrangle. The construction work on Syama Kunda then began, with the idea of giving it a quadrangular shape also. To achieve this, some trees on its bank needed to be cut down. That night, while Shri Dasa Gosvami was performing bhajana, he dozed off for a short time. In his dream, he saw five persons standing in front of him. "We are the five Pandavas," they said. "In the form of trees, we worship Yugala-Kisora here, so please don't cut us down. Rather, let the shape of the kunda be crooked." For this reason, Shri Dasa Gosvami did not have the trees cut down and instead allowed the kunda's shape to be crooked, just like Shri Krsna's shape. He only deepened the kunda and had its ghatas well repaired. Both kundas still have these shapes today, and only a few repairs have occasionally been carried out. Shri Giriraja Govardhana stretches out from north to south and has the shape of a peacock. His tail in the south is called Puchari, and his two eyes on his face in the north are called Shri Radha-kundaand Shri Syama Kunda. In Krsna-bhavanamrta, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura describes Shri Radha-kundaand Shri Syama Kunda in a very delightful and charming way: Although Brajendranandana Shri Krsna is the source of all incarnations, is the origin of everything and is yet Himself without any origin, is akhila rasamritamurti (the personification of all nectarean mellows) and is sarva-saktiman (the source of all saktis), He is subservient to the prema of mahabhava svarupa Shrimati Radhika, the topmost of all of Krsna's beloveds. He always establishes the glories of His priyatama Shri Kisoriji as superior to His own. Shri Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are non-different from the svarupa of Shri Radha and Syamasundara, but Krsna Himself nonetheless gives more fame to Shri Radha-kunda. In the northern part of Shri Radha-kundais the kunja of Shri Lalita-devi, Lalitanandada, which is shaped like a golden, eight-petalled lotus. In the north-east is Visakhanandada, the bejewelled kunja of Visakha Sakhi, which is shaped like a sixteen-petalled lotus. In the east is Citranandada, the kunja of Citra Sakhi, which displays an amazing variety of forms and colours. In the south-east is the kunja of Indulekha Sakhi, Indulekhanandada. It is shaped like an eight-petalled lotus and is made of diamonds. In the south is the kunja of Campakalata Sakhi, Campakalatanandada Kunja, which is shaped like a golden lotus. And in the south-west is the lotus-shaped kunja of Rangadevi, Rangadevi-sukhada, which is inlaid with blue sapphires. Tungavidyanandada is the kunja of Tungavidya Sakhi. This kunja is in the west and is shaped like a lotus made of red rubies. In the north-west lies Anandada or Sudevi-sukhada Kunja, the lotus-shaped kunja of Sudeviji, which is inlaid with emeralds. In the center of Shri Radha-kundais Anangamanjari-anandada Kunja shaped like a sixteen-petalled lotus inlaid with moonstones. This kunja is also known as Svanandasukhada Kunja, and is the kunja of Ananga Manjari. It is connected with the bank by a bridge made of moonstones. Similarly, around Shri Syama-kunda are the kunjas of the sakhas. In the north-western area of the kunda is a delightful place made of diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones where Shrimati Radhika daily takes bath. North of this place is Subalanandada Kunja, the kunja that Subala Sakha has offered to Shrimati Radhika. Shri Radha-Krsna perform resting pastimes (sayana-vihara) here. In the northern part of Syama Kunda is the kunja of Madhumangalaji, Madhumangalanandada, which is inlaid with white jewels. He has offered this kunja to Lalitaji. Here Shri Yugala-Kisora enjoy all kinds of joking and laughing. Ujjvala Sakha's Ujjvalanandada Kunja in the north-east is made of red jewels, and he has given it to Visakha Sakhi. In the east is Arjuna Sakha's Arjunanandada Kunja, which is made of blue sapphires. He has offered this kunja to Citra Sakhi. Gandharvanandada Kunja in the south-east displays a variety of colours and forms, and belongs to Gandharva Sakha. He has offered it to Indulekha Sakhi. In the south is Vidagdhanandada Kunja belonging to Vidagdha Sakha, which is made of green emeralds. He has given this kunja to Campakalata. Here Yugala-Kisora play the game of chaupada1. Bhringa Sakha's Bhringanandada Kunja lies is in the south-west, and he has given this kunja to Rangadevi. In the west is Daksasanandananda Kunja made of a variety of jewels. Kokila Sakha's Kokilanandada Kunja is also in the west. He has given this kunja to Sudevi. At the sangama, or meeting place, of the two kundas is a platform made of many kinds of jewels. This place is also called the Yogapitha of Krsna-lila. To the south of Shri Kunda are jeweled swings hanging from the branches of campaka trees. Swings inlaid with precious stones hang from the branches of kadamba trees to the east. To the west, swings made of jewels hang from the branches of mango trees, and to the north jewelled swings hang from the branches of bakula trees. Rasika Shri Krsna plays on these swings with Shrimati Radhika and the other sakhis. Surrounding both Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are kalpataru trees of mango, jackfruit, kadamba, bakula and so forth, which are laden with an abundance of flowers and fruits. The bases of these trees are held by platforms of various precious stones. All seasons are eternally serving Shri Yugala under the guidance of the spring season. Vrnda-devi makes all the arrangements in a variety of ways for the seva of the Divine Couple. The cuckoos coo and the peacocks dance and make the sweet ke-ka sound. Blue and red lotuses and various kinds of ketaki flowers frolic on the waves of the sri kundas while intoxicated, buzzing bees hover above. Royal swans, cakravakas and cranes play in the water with their consorts, making sweet sounds. Different kinds of birds recite love poetry on the branches of the trees, thus giving pleasure to Shri Radha-Krsna Yugala. Deer and does roam about in the attractive kunjas nearby. Except for Shrimati Radhika's most intimate girlfriends, no one can enter this forest.
  19. Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Mathura November 2, 1996 Today is the disappearance day of Shrila Narottama Thakura dasa, so it is a very sacred day. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura took birth in West Bengal as the son of a very great king, and he was a beautiful prince. The king was one of two brothers, but there was only one son in the family. Still, from the beginning of his life he was very pure and devoted, and he remained a life-long brahmacari, never marrying. At the age of sixteen he left home and went to Vrndavana with Shri Syamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya. He had desired the darsana of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who was in Jagannatha Puri at that time, but when he was on his way to Puri he heard that Shriman Mahaprabhu and His associates, like Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda and Shri Gadadhara Pandita, had all disappeared. This broke his heart. He therefore changed the destination of his journey and went to Vrndavana. On the way, however, he heard that Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami had also disappeared. Still present in Vrndavana at the time was Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, residing at Radha-kunda. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had been in Jagannatha Puri when Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates disappeared. At that time he had decided to go to Vrndavana to jump from Govardhana or to jump in the Yamuna, to give up his life. He first decided to die by jumping in the Yamuna, but he saw that there was very little water there because Yamuna herself was feeling separation from Krsna. Then he thought, "I should go to Govardhana; I will jump from the top of Govardhana and thus give up this life". Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis were still there at that time, and they consoled him by saying, "If by giving up this life one can have the darsana and service of Shri Shri Radha and Krsna, we would be the first persons to give up our lives. But we know that Lord Shri Krsna is not achieved by this. You should not try to do so; you should do bhajana." He then went to Govardhana to perform bhajana. His mode of worship was so severe that no one can follow him. It was very, very hard. He ate practically nothing and was always weeping, always chanting, always remembering, and sometimes he was rolling on the bank of Radha-kunda. Later, when he heard that Shrila Rupa Gosvami had left this world and entered aprakata-lila (the unmanifest pastimes of Radha and Krsna), he felt unbearable separation. He thought, "I don't want to live at Radha-kunda, because it now seems like the gaping mouth of a tiger, and Giriraja Govardhana seems like a very large python. Everything in Vraja seems to be void, without life. Under these circumstances I cannot remain alive." He expressed his separation by these words in his prayers. This was the general mood of separation after the disappearance of these great personalities. In the meantime, Shrila Narottama Thakura, accompanied by Shrila Syamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya, came to Vrndavana, seeking the shelter and guidance of a Vaisnava. The three of them approached the lotus feet of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, who was at that time residing at the Shri Radha-Damodara temple. Shrila Jiva Gosvami was very happy to see them. He considered that Lord Krsna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had personally arranged for these three young devotees to be given classes on all the teachings of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and the other great acaryas. He was very pleased to have students like them, and he began to teach them sastras like Sat-sandarbha, Brhad-bhagavatamrta with the explanations of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Brhad-vaisnava-tosani, Hari-bhakti-vilasa, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindu, Ujjavala-nilamani and many others. Thus, the three devotees very quickly became masters of all the subject matters. During this period, Shrila Jiva Gosvami was accepted by the entire Vaisnava community as the "Vaisnava king", the topmost Vaisnava, of three mandalas: Shri Navadvipa Mandala, Shri Vraja Mandala, and Shri Ksetra Mandala (Jagannatha Puri). He established the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha. "Visva" means world and "Vaisnava-raja" means pure devotees. He established Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha for the whole world, so that any person in any part of the world can come to that spiritual institution, to inquire from pure devotees and to read and study Vaisnava philosophy. Shrila Jiva Gosvami was the second president of that society, Shrila Rupa Gosvami having been the first, and that society still exists today under different nomenclatures. Sat-Sandarbha is the scripture of Shrila Jiva Gosvami. It is an exceptional book regarding Vaisnava philosophy and the culture and principles of Vaisnava etiquette and procedures. The thoughts of Shrila Jiva Gosvami in Sat-Sandarbha appear in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta and all other Gaudiya Vaisnava literatures. Sat-Sandarbha came first, and after that, Shri Caitanya-caritamrta. All its essence has been taken from Sat-Sandarbha. At that time, only those given the consent and authority of Shrila Jiva Gosvami were considered learned and qualified Vaisnavas. On this basis, one would be accepted as a Vaisnava by the entire society of Gaudiya Vaisnavas in the three places: Navadvipa, Jagannath Puri and Vrndavana. Vaisnavas from every part of India used to come to Shrila Jiva Gosvami to study the sastras under his guidance. Although Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shrila Shrinivasa acarya and Shri Syamananda Prabhu were not his initiated disciples, Jiva Gosvami adopted them and became their siksa-guru, giving them all siddhanta. He taught them Shrimad Bhagavatam, Sat-Sandarbha, all the books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami with an emphasis on Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, the books of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami like Shrimad Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, and all the other books of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Although these three devotees had their own diksa-gurus, they held greater respect for Shrila Jiva Gosvami. If the siksa-guru is fully qualified, he should be respected as much as Krsna, and if diksa-guru is similarly qualified, he should be also treated like that, as a manifestation of Lord Krsna. If both are qualified, both should be given equal respect and regarded as Krsna's manifestations. Siksa-guru is not inferior to diksa-guru, and in some cases he is superior to diksa-guru. This is according to qualification. Shrila Jiva Gosvami never made any formal disciple. He never gave anustanika-diksa (fire sacrifice); he gave only Krsna-siddhanta, which is more important than the fire sacrifice and other rituals. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami never initiated any disciples and Shrila Rupa Gosvami only initiated one – Shrila Jiva Gosvami – but all the Vaisnavas of the world consider them to be even greater than both their diksa and siksa-gurus. Do you treat Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Rupa Gosvami as Guru? You should; they are siksa-gurus and are nearer to Krsna. Every day we say the prayer, "Vande 'ham sri guru sri jutah padakamala...sri rupam sagrajatam..." Therein the word "sagrajatam" means elder brother. Sanatana Gosvami is the elder brother of Rupa Gosvami. You must all utter this prayer daily – each morning. This is a very good prayer by Shrila Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, as all other prayers are included within it. All Gurus and Vaisnavas are included; the six Gosvamis are there, all the associates of Shriman Mahaprabhu headed by Lord Nityananda and Shri Advaita Acarya are there, all the associate sakhis of Shrimati Radhika are there like Shrimati Lalita and Visakha devis, and all the manjaris headed by Shri Rupa Manjari are there. It is a very good pranama – everything is in one mantra. Imparting everything he knew to those three Vaisnavas, Shrila Jiva Gosvami told them that although he had accepted them as more than disciples, they would have to take diksa from others. Syamananda Prabhu was already initiated by Hrdaya Caitanya Gosvami of Kalna, but Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura and Shrinivasa Acarya were not yet initiated. Jiva Gosvami ordered Shrinivasa Acarya to be initiated by Shrila Gopala Batta Gosvami, and he instructed the three to treat all qualified Vaisnavas as guru. After his teaching to Shrila Narottama Thakura was completed, he directed him, "Go to Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and try to make him your diksa-guru." The Thakura said, "I have been given everything by you and I have accepted you as my Guru. I don't believe there is anyone in all of Vraja who is as qualified as you. You are akincana, niskincana (without any material desires), and a parama-tattva-rasika Vaisnava (one who has realized all established truths and is tasting all devotional mellows). I want to be initiated by you." Shrila Jiva Gosvami denied the request, considering that he was not qualified. He directed him to go to Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, saying, "I am your Guru, but you should go to him." Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami was an associate of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He had come to Vrndavana with Shrila Bhugarbha Gosvami to do bhajana. He had requested Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami not to write anything about him in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta, and Shrila Krsnadas Kaviraja followed his instruction. He was an akincana niskincana Vaisnava (having nothing but Shri Krsna as his own). He had no money and no home. He had nothing to claim as his own. He had made up his mind not to make disciples, lest his mind be diverted towards them. He considered, "So many disciples will come and say, 'I will perform service and I will prepare everything for you.' They will do biksa (collect donations) and give money to me, and then praise will come and I will be diverted from Krsna." He made up his mind, "I will not make any disciples, but if anyone comes to me I will give him krsna-katha." Narottama dasa Thakura was so akincana that when so requested by Shrila Jiva Gosvami, he approached Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami, fell flat at his lotus feet and prayed, "Please initiate me. I am not qualified, yet I want your initiation." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami asked, "Who are you? He replied, "I am a Bengali." Lokanath asked again, "Who are you?" Narottama dasa replied, "I am the son of a king." Lokanatha dasa asked, "Do you have any brother?" Narottama dasa said, "No, I am the only son of my father." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami replied, "You are a prince, you are very learned and very beautiful. You are now a young boy, and you are the only son of your father. I will never accept you as my disciple. Go to someone else." Again and again Narottama Thakura requested Shrila Lokanatha dasa to accept him, but Lokanatha dasa refused every time. He would make statements like, "You have grasped all siddhanta from Shrila Jiva Gosvami. I cannot initiate you. I have no disciples and I don't want to create any disciples". Narottama dasa then vowed, "I will only be initiated by Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. I will not have any other guru". Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was living and doing bhajana in the forest of Vrndavana. At night, with little chance of being seen, Narottama dasa began to secretly come to the place where Lokanatha Gosvami would go to pass stool, and he began to clean that area with a coconut stick broom. He discarded the stool very far away from there and, spreading cow dung, made the place quite pure. He also cleared the path to that place. He used to hide nearby and hear the chanting of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. He listened to how he chanted and what he chanted. After some days Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami began to wonder, "Who is the "thief" who comes daily and cleans my place of passing and the path to that place? Who is that person?" One day he decided to investigate. He used to do bhajana throughout the night without sleeping, so one night he hid in a kunja and watched to see who had been coming and cleaning. In the dark of night that very beautiful prince Shri Narottama Thakura came there. He was just about to clean the area when Lokanatha Gosvami appeared and caught hold of his hands asking, "Who are you?" Narottama Thakura was fearful and began to weep bitterly. "Who are you? Tell me," Lokanatha dasa asked. The prince replied, "I am dukhi Narottama, unhappy Narottama. I am a worthless and useless person. But I am a recipient of the mercy of Shrila Jiva Gosvami and I want to do bhajana of Krsna, so please be merciful to me." "And why are you doing this?" asked Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami. "You have not accepted me as your disciple; I thought that somehow I must please you. Being a prince, I am doing this menial service for you so that you shall be pleased with me and I might receive your mercy". Lokanatha Gosvami said, "Yes, I am pleased and satisfied by your service. I had made up my mind not to accept any disciples, but I see that you are a qualified person, so I will accept you as my only disciple." He took Shrila Narottama dasa to his bhajana kutir and told him to bathe in the nearby Yamuna in the early morning. Narottama dasa was then initiated by Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami in the krsna-mantra, that is, the gopala-mantra, and in the kama-gayatri mantra – 'klim krsnaya' and 'klim kamadevaya'. He continued to serve his guru, who arranged a separate bhajana kutir for him nearby his own and gave him many instructions. He told him, "Give up all worldly desires; do not go anywhere for anything, and do not associate with common people. Always chant harinama and always think of the pastimes of Lord Krsna. Be trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna, more humble than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree." He instructed him to always stay there at his bhajana kutir, always chant harinama, and always think of the pastimes of Krsna. Narottama dasa followed all those instructions. One very hot summer day, a thirsty farmer came to Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, requesting water. There was a well nearby, and Lokanatha Gosvami had a rope and bucket, but he was chanting harinama – Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare – absorbed in remembering the pastimes of Krsna and sinking in the ocean of rasa. He had no outward awareness and therefore did not respond to the farmer, who then went to the young mahatmaji and asked, "Oh chota baba, little baba, I'm so thirsty and I have no rope and bucket. Please give me water". The farmer twice made this request of the Thakura, who was in the midst of his bhajana. The Thakura left his harinama mala and went to fetch water from the well, and he gave that water to the farmer, who drank it and went on his way. In the meantime Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami returned to external consciousness, and he knew everything that had happened. He called the young babaji, Shrila Narottama Thakura, and told him, "You should at once return to your home. I don't want a disciple like you. I will not permit you to do bhajana here with me. You have so many desires. You are a very kind man to all, so return to your kingdom, live in your palace and be charitable to your people. You should give them all water, bread and butter, clothes, and everything else. You cannot do bhajana as yet." "Why?" "Because you have no idea of Shri Krsna's name. Krsna's name is Krsna Himself, and Hare Krsna means Shri Shri Radha-Krsna. There is no difference between Radha-Krsna and Their names. When a Vaisnava chants the names of Radha and Krsna and Hare Krsna, he understands he is serving Krsna directly, in the kunjas of Vraja. You think that the service of Radha and Krsna in the kunjas is less important than quenching the thirst of a common person who doesn't do bhajana. So you should do bhajana at your palace, and at the same time engage in all these ordinary pious activities. I will not accept you here." Shrila Narottama Thakurs began to weep and said, "The farmer was so thirsty." Shrila Lokanatha Gosvami replied, "Perhaps you don't know that nama and nami are the same. When you are chanting harinama you should think, 'I am serving Shri Radha and Shri Krsna.' Hara is Shrimati Radhika, who controls the mind and heart of Krsna. From Hara comes Hare, meaning 'O Hara', or 'O Shrimati Radhika'. Rama is Radha-Ramana, Shri Krsna. So Hare Krsna is Radha-Krsna, and while chanting we should serve Them, remembering Their pastimes. Giving up the service of Radha and Krsna you went to quench the thirst of an ordinary person. You thought that giving that water was more important than serving Them; so you should return to worldly life and do anything there. I don't like this behavior." Although Shrila Narottama cried and pleaded, Shrila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami did not allow him to stay in Vrndavana. Do you understand his siddhanta – his view? It is very high, but it is actual; factual. Nama cintamani krsna caitanya rasa vigraha / purna suddha nitya mukta abhinnatvad nama naminoh. Nama and Krsna Himself are the same. In another sense Krsna has manifested all His power in His name, more so than in His form. From the beginning of creation of this world until the end, His name can deliver one to Goloka Vrndavana, but He Himself cannot do this. He will not deliver the nama-aparadhis, offenders to His name, but His name will do something. In some cases, therefore, krsna-nama is superior to Krsna Himself, because He has invested all His powers therein. When we chant Lord Krsna's name we should be completely absorbed in that, remembering the pastimes of Krsna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as well as the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. We should try to be absorbed like Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. They were always chanting and serving Radha and Krsna. They often sat together chanting, and they were oblivious to the passing of day into night and night into day. Shrila Narottama dasa returned to his kingdom in East Bengal and widely preached the glories of Radha and Krsna and his Gurudeva. He established several temples, such as Radha Madana-mohana, Radha-Govindaji, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Ramana, as well as those of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda Prabhu. He began to preach through his kirtanas, and he became a very well-known kirtaniya. He preached in Assam and Manipur and in all the Eastern provinces. At that time no one in these regions knew anything of krsna-bhakti, and all were ignorant of dharma, but nowadays hundreds of thousands of Vaisnavas are there. He invited all the Vaisnavas from Vraja Mandala, Navadvipa Mandala, Ksetra Mandala and Gaura mandala, to come there to Kheturi, and countless devotees came. He called Nityananda Prabhu's sakti, Shrimati Jahnava Devi to preside over that gathering. When he performed kirtana of Radha-Krsna, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with all His associates appeared there and began to do kirtana, mixing their voices with his. This was visible to all the devotees present, and tears came in everyone's eyes. All were amazed and wondered, "What are we seeing? Are we seeing a dream or are we seeing reality?" Then, when the kirtana ended, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates at once disappeared. Narottama dasa Thakura discovered a new type of kirtana, and that kirtana is followed by all Gaudiya Vaisnavas to date. We Gaudiya Vaisnavas are known as Narottama-parivara, the family of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura. He was a very pure bhakta, empowered by the energy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Once, accompanied by Syamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura was bringing all the Gaudiya Vaisnava books to Bengal for preaching. On the way, however, having heard that the three devotees were carrying a valuable treasure, jewels, a dacoit king looted all the books. These books were jewels indeed, but not worldly jewels; they are spiritual jewels. Shrinivasa Acarya sent Narottama Thakura and Syamananda Prabhu to Bengal, and he remained there searching for the books. At last he came to the king's palace, where the king begged apology, fell at his lotus feet, and became his disciple. The king's name was Vihambir, and he became a qualified disciple and Vaisnava. Narottama Thakura was kayastha, like a ksatriya, by caste, but in actuality he was beyond caste and creed. He was Lord Krsna's associate; Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate. It is an offence to categorize any Vaisnava by caste or creed; we should not do this. Vaisnavas have no caste and creed, as the atma has no such designation in this world. Naham vipro na ca nara pati na ca yatir va gopi bhartuh pada kamalayor dasa dasanudasa. We are the servants of Shrimati Radhika – servants of the servants of the servants of the dust of Her lotus feet. This is our pure identity. We are not brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra, nor we are grhastha, brahmacari, vanaprastha or sannyasi – nor anything of this world. Our one and only pure identity is Krsna-dasa, servant of Lord Krsna. Narottama dasa Thakura was the associate of Krsna, and He came to serve Caitanya Mahaprabhu by bringing all the worldly people towards Him. This being so, many brahmana families became his disciples, and that caused disturbance in other brahmana sectors, among those who neither understood Vaisnava principles nor the glory of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura. They alleged that his initiating of brahmanas was improper. He was the son of a king, and for him to give diksa to brahmanas was considered by some to be highly improper. "We are brahmanas," they thought." He is giving initiation to brahmanas, so he is bound to go to hell and he will also suffer in this world. A brahmana is jagat-guru and can initiate brahmanas and others; but he, like a sudra, is giving initiation to brahamanas and all other casts of devotees. This is wrong and against sastra." One day they challenged him to debate these points. On the day before the appointed debate, Shri Ramacandra Puri and all Narottama Thakura's other very learned disciples went to the local market-place and, posing as shop-keepers, began to sell items of basic necessity such as clay pots, betel nuts, rice, wheat, and so on. When the opposing party of brahmanas came into the town, they wore big, big turbans. They had titles like sastri, maha sastri, sapta acarya, panca acarya, pancami, and nyaya pancami. They declared that on the next day there would be a meeting to discuss the argued matter, and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura would come and be present in the meeting. The brahmanas had come from different parts of India, and before the meeting they went from shop to shop to purchase various ingredients. Some were fond of betel nut. Some wanted to do their cooking with their own hands so they went for dry wood and other things. When any one of them went to a shop, a very simple Vaisnava was there. He asked, "What do you want? Who are you and what caste are you from?" The person answered, "My name is such and such." The "shop keeper" replied, "It is not true," and a long discussion ensued. When the person said, "I am brahmana", the "shopkeeper" said, "That is the jati (cast) of this physical body, matter; but we are atma; so you cannot be that designation." The brahmanas were invariably defeated in these discussions. Not only the shopkeepers, but the other customers coming to the shop also asked them, "Who are you?" When the inimical brahmanas told their worldly designations arguments, ensued and all the brahmanas were defeated there. They met in the night and conferred, "How can we show our faces tomorrow? Everywhere in this village the shopkeepers and others are so learned that they defeated us. How can we enter the assembly of Shrila Narottama Thakura himself? They all fled from there during the night. Shrila Narottama Thakura resided by the Ganges. Before the meeting he had become paralysed – he had made himself like that. All his disciples had gone to him and prayed, "O Thakuraji, Gurudeva, if you die now, giving up your body and going to Lord Krsna, all the brahmanas will say it is because you are initiating brahmanas, and this is why you are paralysed and are suffering so much. They will say you have gone to hell. So we pray that you become completely cured, regaining your health. Hearing this, Narottama Thakura became like a young man and began to run here and there. He returned to his asrama, all ill-health and paralysis having completely disappeared. This was observed by those who were saying that he was to go to hell for initiating brahmanas. Then, after coming to his village, some of those brahmanas became paralyzed, some became blind, some were bitten by snakes, etc. Eventually they became so worried that they approached his lotus feet and apologized. He excused them, and again he became paralyzed and went to the bank of Ganges. He entered in the realm of Shri Goloka Vrndavana Dhama and Shri Navadvipa Dhama, Svetadvipa. Narottama Thakura wrote so many songs, such as 'Gauranga bolite ha'be pulaka-sarira', 'Radha-krsna prana mor yugala kisora', and 'Je anilo prema-dhana koruna pracura' – all good songs. He was unparalleled. In the entire Gaudiya Vaisnava parampara he was the most prolific singer of Gaudiya Vaisnava padyavali, and after him only Saptam Gosvami, (the Seventh Gosvami), Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was like this. Both were associates of Shri Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So we beg at his lotus feet that today he will be merciful to us and bestow his mercy upon us. We are so unqualified, unworthy and insignificant, but by his mercy we can chant purely, come in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates in guru-parampara, and thus become qualified. We should pray like this today. We pray that the songs he has written should be manifest in our heart, and we can realize and practice all these things truly.
  20. 10 October 2003, Mathura, India Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Which is greater – puja (worship) or stuti (making our offerings full of love). Simply ringing bells and performing arati is not sufficient. These activities should be full of emotions, bhava, and our hearts should be attached to the object of worship. During this month, if we pray to Shri Krsna, Shrimati Radharani will be pleased, and if we pray to Shrimati Radharani Krsna will be pleased. This is the way to make our offerings in this month. This month of Kartika comes after the rainy season. It is a very beautiful season and it has been described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Yamuna and other rivers, as well as all ponds and kundas, become very sweet and clean. Many flowers bloom and bumblebees hum over them. The atmosphere and weather at this time is very pleasing and Lord Krsna is in an ecstatic mood. He smiles with His flute in His hand and enters Vrndavana along with His brother. At this time there are many tulasi plants with manjaris on them, so many bumblebees humming over them, and cuckoos singing. The narration of the description of all this scenery it is so elegant and sweet, and therefore we can only imagine how beautiful the real Vraja with Krsna will be. All stimulants are present, and therefore Shri Krsna performs His rasa dance during this time. In this month many of the advanced and rasika Vaisnavas in our line disappeared or appeared. For example, Pujyapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, Pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and Pujyapada Shrila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja disappeared in this month. Why did they leave during this month? They entered the rasa dance. Especially, today is the anniversary of the disappearance of our Gurudeva Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja Today is a most auspicious day. Shrila Gurudeva disappeared from this Earth and entered into rasa, and this fact was established by Pujyapada Shri Rupa-Siddhanti Maharaja. He declared that Shrila Gurudeva entered into this pastime. He gave this thought to all his disciples and he established his samadhi along with his disciples. He established that Shrila Gurudeva disappeared from this world in Saradiya-purnima. Gurudeva had a desire to enter into Shri Krsna’s Saradiya-rasa dance. He disappeared in the evening time when the moon was rising, as it is described in sastra regarding the commencement of Shri Krsna's rasa-lila. Whatever I explain from various scriptures, such as Shri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta and others, I received from my Gurudeva. We are enjoying his grant to us. In other words, by his endeavor we are preaching and doing bhajana. There is so much opposition, but because of him this opposition is ineffective. If the foundation of a building is very deep and strong, a good building can be erected. Similarly, because of his preaching we are now preaching very easily, without any difficulty or obstruction. We do not understand the value of guru, and especially of siksa-guru. If diksa and siksa-guru are the same person, that is a wonderful position. The importance of siksa-guru should be realized. He teaches his disciple in visrambha-bhava, intimacy. He does not have the awe and reverence relationship with his siksa disciple. I was very open and frank with my Gurudeva. I asked him many questions from texts such as Shri Ujjvala-nilamani. For example, I’d thought that the wives of Krsna are in srngara-rasa svakiya-bhava (wedded conjugal love), but Gurudeva said they are in dasya-bhava. I asked, “Why did you say they are only in dasya-bhava?" Gurudeva replied, “You will understand it later on.” Now I realize how he was correct. He made a platform and on that platform we are creating this castle. Shri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by him, and it is so much indebted to him. We, his first sannyasa disciples, understood him by serving him. Shrila Vamana Maharaja and I used to spend a lot of time with him, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja had even more chances than I to be with him. If one wants to be a real servant, he must be like Param-pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja. Shrila Gurudeva used to be able to write a book in three days. He would speak so eloquently, and Shrila Vamana Maharaja would write down his words so nicely, that no editing was required. A book would be ready without the delay of editing and proofreading. He disappeared on this day, and that is not an ordinary thing. From his childhood he displayed the characteristics of an elevated devotee. His mother was a very strong lady, and she showered her affection and disciplined him. When he came home late one night his mother was waiting for him with a stick in her hand – waiting to chastise him. She asked, "Why are you late?" He stared at her and didn't say anything for some time. When she asked again and again, he said softly, "My friends and I have made a club and we are making a fund. Whatever money we get, we don't spend on ourselves. We use it to help the poor, downtrodden, and diseased people. Today there was an old lady who had cholera, an infectious disease, and nobody was there to look after her. The doctor prescribed medicines, and she became a bit relieved by this medicine. I left a colleague there with her and came home, but I have come late." When Gurudeva's mother heard this, she began to weep, the stick fell from her hand, and she said, "I will never chastise you again." Parama-gurudeva was extremely compassionate toward other living entities from his childhood, so when he accepted his Gurudeva, how much greater was his condition? I used to go here and there, preaching with him, and he walked so fast that it was not possible to keep up with him. I’d thought I was a good sportsman, a good runner and fast walker, but I used to fall behind my Gurudeva’s pace. Shrila Gurudeva was so much concerned for the living entities; he felt pain for all of them, and that is why he was able to preach so nicely. Now, we are preaching according to his teachings and because of his mercy.
  21. 28 October 2002 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja [In describing the many important pastimes that took place in this holy month of Kartika, which in turn establish the glory of Kartika, Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja discussed several verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam:] [In describing the many important pastimes that took place in this holy month of Kartika, which in turn establish the glory of Kartika, Shrila Gurudeva discussed several verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam:] dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo 'pi harinya eta ya nanda-nandanam upatta-vicitra-vesam akarnya venu-ranitam saha-krsna-sarah pujam dadhur viracitam pranayavalokaih (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.11) It was during this month, while feeling separation from Krsna, that the gopis lamented, "We are not fortunate like the deer in this forest. People say they are foolish, but they are not so. We are foolish, because we don't know how to love Krsna like these deer. When prema is very high, it breaks all boundaries. These deer, although by nature very shy, have broken all boundaries by their intense love for Krsna. They gave up their shyness, they approached Him, and they are exchanging their hearts feelings with Him through their loving glances. We cannot do this, and therefore we are unfortunate. We will be lucky if we can die and take birth as deer in our next life. In that way we can see Krsna and approach Him when He is cow-grazing." In this month the gopis remembered that when Krsna plays on His flute in the forest, the cows become stunned. With eyes of transcendental emotions the gopis see both Krsna and the cows, and further lament in their mood of separation. They see that although it is the nature of animals to spend their time in eating, when Krsna plays His flute these cows forget to eat and instead pick up their ears to hear. Humans have very small ears, but cows have large ears, like cups. Through the cups of their ears these cows drink the nectar of Krsna's flute playing, and when they taste it they forget everything else. They have grass in their mouths, but they forget to chew. Even the calves, who were drinking the milk from the udders of their mothers, are like this. The milk is coming into their mouths, but they have forgotten to swallow. They simply stand with tears gliding down from their eyes, and they embrace Krsna in the core of their hearts. The love of the cows is not as high as that of the gopis, but due to the nature of their own prema, the gopis think the cows are greater. Those who are maha-bhagavatas, and what to say of maha-maha-bhagavatas like the gopis, see their own love and their own mood in all others. Yet they think, "I am unfortunate; I have no love." In this month, Shri Radhika lamented in separation: purnah pulindya urugaya-padabja-raga sri-kunkumena dayita-stana-manditena tad-darsana-smara-rujas trna-rusitena limpantya anana-kucesu jahus tad-adhim (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.16) ["The aboriginal women of the Vrndavana area become disturbed by lust when they see the grass marked with reddish kunkuma powder. Endowed with the color of Krsna's lotus feet, this powder originally decorated the breasts of His beloveds, and when the aboriginal women smear it on their faces and breasts, they feel fully satisfied and give up all their anxiety."] This is an example of Radhika's madanakhya-mahabhava (the highest ecstatic love for Krsna). Here She glorifies the aboriginal girls who live in the forest, and She says that they are lucky – whereas She is not. In the morning time, when they walk around Giriraja Govardhana, they see some red kunkuma powder on the grass and go to pick it up. This kunkuma came from the lotus feet of Krsnacandra when He was returning home in the early morning on the damp grass, but it originally came from the breasts of His beloved. The Pulindi girls think themselves to be very fortunate to obtain this kunkuma. Simply by their smelling the fragrance, Krsna appears in their hearts, and then they smear that kunkuma paste all over their bodies and faces and thus meet with Krsna in their hearts. There He fulfills all their desires. Radhika is thinking that these Pulindi girls are fortunate, but more fortunate is the grass because it was directly touched by Krsna's feet. Even more fortunate is that beloved gopi from whose breasts this kunkuma has come. That gopi is Radhika Herself, but because of Her madanakya-mahabhava she forgets this – and instead glorifies others. Govardhana-puja also took place in this month. All the Vrajavasis worshiped Giriraja Govardhana and performed Annakuta Mahotsava. Seeing this, Indra became very angry and created torrential rain, and Krsna cut away his pride. In this month, Indra came and worshiped Krsna after his pride was cut, all the demigods performed kirtana, and Krsna received the name Govinda. Saradiya rasa-lila was also performed in this month. As stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam: sri-badarayanir uvaca bhagavan api ta ratrih saradotphulla-mallikah viksya rantum manas cakre yoga-mayam upasritah (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.1) ["Shri Badarayani said: Shri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full in all opulences. Yet upon seeing those autumn nights scented with blossoming jasmine flowers, He turned His mind toward loving affairs. To fulfill His purposes He employed His internal potency."] Although Krsna is Bhagavan, and although He is atmarama (taking pleasure within) and aptakam (fully satisfied), in this month He became inspired by the beauty of the Vrndavana forest. There, in the middle of the night, He left his home and took shelter of Yogamaya: drstva kumudvantam akhanda-mandalam ramananabham nava-kunkumarunam vanam ca tat-komala-gobhi ranjitam jagau kalam vama-drsam manoharam (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.3) ["Lord Krsna saw the unbroken disk of the full moon glowing with the red effulgence of newly applied vermilion, as if it were the face of the goddess of fortune. He also saw the kumuda lotuses opening in response to the moon's presence and the forest gently illumined by its rays. Thus the Lord began to play sweetly on His flute, attracting the minds of the beautiful-eyed gopis."] He began to play on His flute, and the flute sound entered the hearts of the Vraja gopis. They became mugdha, completely bewildered and, forgetting everything else, they ran into the forest to meet with Him. In this month, the gopis who were locked inside their homes were brought to Krsna by a mood of their very strong fire of separation from Krsna. By this viraha-tap, any imperfection in the moods of those who did not yet have sufficient association with the nitya-siddha gopis was completely burned away. By deeply meditating in intense separation they at once met with Krsna in their hearts and embraced Him. These sweet pastimes took place in this month. In this month the gopis saw the footprints of Radhika and said: anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarah yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.28) ["Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place."] "This gopi, whom Krsna has taken alone into the forest, leaving all the rest of us, is most fortunate." In this way, all the Vraja gopis give honor to Shrimati Radhika in this month. When Krsna disappeared from rasa-lila, the gopis cried and sang in separation the verses from Gopi-gita. One example is as follows: tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham sravana-mangalam srimad atatam bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da janah (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.31.9) ["The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one's sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent."] This verse is so sweet and powerful that when Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard it from the lotus mouth of Maharaja Prataparudra, He told him, "You have given me so many valuable jewels. I have nothing to give you in return; I have only have my self, so I am embracing you." When Mahaprabhu embraced Prataparudra Maharaja, the bhavas and sweet meanings of the verses of Gopi-gita manifested in his heart. In this month Krsna told the gopis of Vrndavana: na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.22) ["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."] Krsna said, "O My dear gopis, you have left all other obligations, including your families, and all other dharmas for me. This is very difficult to give up, but you have left all this for my happiness only. Therefore, even if I have a lifetime as long as Brahma, and even if I will serve you for many such lifetimes, still I would not be able to repay you. I would always be indebted to you for the love you have given me." After describing these pastimes of Rasa-lila and Gopi-gita, Shrila Sukadeva Gosvamipada stated: vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.39) ["Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart."] Bhagavan Shri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is transcendental and His katha (descriptions of His glories and pastimes) is very powerful. Of all types of such katha, the katha of His servants is more powerful, the katha of his friends is more powerful, the katha of his parents in vatsalya-bhava is still more powerful, and the katha of His sporting with the young brides of Vraja is the highest and most powerful katha. It is so powerful that if even a fallen or sinful person hears it with faith, it can purify him. If one understands this and hears this katha, gopi-prema must enter into that person's heart, kick aside all anarthas, and turn him into a parama-bhagavata, topmost devotee. In this month, Krsna killed the demon Sankasura and cut the jewel from his forehead. He then entered the company of all the gopis, who were all wondering to whom He would give that jewel. Krsna was thinking, "If I give the jewel to one, the others will be upset." Therefore, to avoid an argument among the gopis, Krsna gave the jewel to Baladeva Prabhu, who gave it to Madhumangala, who gave it to Shrimati Radhika. In this month Krsna killed Aristasura, and as a result of that killing Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda were manifest. That pastime took place today, (Oct 28th) and this holy day is called Bahulastami. In this month, Krsna killed the demons Kesi and Vyomasura, and in this month Akrura came to Vraja and took Krsna and Balarama to Mathura. Krsna also killed Kamsa in this month. In this month Krsna and Balarama performed the upanaya-sanskara (sacred thread ceremony). Because they had been brought up in Vraja, they have the mood that, "I am a cowherd boy and Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba are My parents." However, Vasudeva and Devaki think, "We are the real parents of Krsna. It is part of the Vedic tradition that parents arrange for the upanaya-sanskara of their child, so if we arrange this function for Krsna, the impression will come in his heart that, "Vasudeva and Devaki are My parents." They tried to do this, but they failed. Krsna had already received the Radha mantra from Bhaguri Rsi. He received this mantra when He was in Vraja, but at that time He had no upanaya-sanskara. His upanaya-sanskara was performed in Mathura according to the duties of ksatryas. Gargacarya gave Krsna the brahma-gayatri mantra, and when Krsna heard this mantra He fainted. Why? Radhika is the predominating deity of gayatri. Then, after His fire yajna, Krsna was looking for his mother and called out, "O Mother, where are you?" Devaki was standing near Him, but Krsna did not approach her – for He was looking for Mother Yasoda. In this way, although the Mathuravasis made the plan to give Krsna the sanskana that He is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, it failed. This pastime took place in this month. Shri Narada Rsi received the benediction from Krsna that those who will hear His sweet lila-katha in the places of His pastimes, especially during this Kartika month, will surely attain krsna-prema very soon. We should therefore have confidence; we need never become hopeless. We should know that by performing all these simple activities – offering a ghee lamp every day, attending mangal-arati, performing kirtana, singing Shri Damodarastakam, doing parikrama, offering maha-prasada, observing Annukuta Mahotsava, hearing hari-katha in all the pastime places – there is no doubt about success. It is only a question of time, and that time will not be very long. We will attain Krsna-prema and thus serve Radha-Krsna Yugala.
  22. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Before beginning our study of Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, we offer our obeisances to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srimati Radhika, Sri Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, and also to Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali. First, we should know the identity of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Srila Gopala-guru Gosvami has stated in his Paddhati that in his siddha-svarupa, his spiritual form in Goloka Våndavana, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Sri Rati-manjari, and her nickname is Sri Tulasi-manjari. All the sakhis (gopis) address her as Tulasi-manjari, although they also sometimes address her as Rati-manjari. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu from Goloka-dhama, the Lord's abode in the spiritual world, along with Rupa-manjari and all the other sakhis. In his form as a practicing devotee, or sadhaka, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's diksa-guru and also family guru was Srila Yadunandana Acarya, and he had some association with Srila Haridasa Thakura. He also met Sri Nityananda Prabhu, and after that he came to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Since his boyhood, Raghunatha dasa wanted to join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Mahaprabhu advised him not to leave his home, father, and mother so early. Sriman Mahaprabhu told him, "First become mature in bhakti, and then you can leave your home. For now, return to your home. Don't be like a mad person and don't be anxious. Sometimes, seeing the activities of another person, one becomes enthusiastic and acts impulsively. Later, however, when his 'fever' subsides, he understands that he has made a mistake. Now you are a very young child in these religious affairs. Don't be over-enthusiastic or impatient. Go back and love your father and mother outwardly, yet maintain firm faith in your bhajana. God will help you one day, and you will achieve your ultimate goal." Sri Raghunatha dasa returned to his parents' home and lived together with his wife, father, and mother. After some time he met Sri Nityananda Prabhu at Panihati, and there he received the Lord's mercy. Then, soon after his return from Panihati, his Gurudeva, Srila Yadunandana Acarya, came to his home very early one morning while the sky was still dark. He told Raghunatha dasa, "One of my disciples has left his service and my Thakura's puja has not been performed. Come with me to that disciple, and let us again engage him in Thakura's worship." Raghunatha dasa was very glad, because now he could leave his palace without being obstructed. Many guards had been watching over him so that he would not leave home, but when they saw that he was with his guru, they did not disturb him. Coming out of the palace he told his Gurudeva, "You may go to your home. I will go alone to your disciple and send him to you." His Gurudeva left, and Raghunatha dasa gave the message to that disciple. The disciple went to his guru, and Raghunatha dasa quickly went to Jagannatha Puri. When Raghunatha dasa arrived in Jagannatha Puri he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who placed him in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. Sriman Mahaprabhu instructed him thus: gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe amani manada hana krsna-nama sada la'be vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya 6.236-237) Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. Do not eat very palatable food, nor dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Sri Krsna, and within your mind render service to Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna in Våndavana. There are many pastimes concerning Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's renunciation in Puri, and concerning the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami upon him. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu left this world, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami felt shelterless. He had previously been eating rice, dal, and so on, but after Sriman Mahaprabhu left he took only fruits and milk. Within three or four months Sri Svarupa Damodara also left and joined Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in aprakata-lila, His eternal pastimes in the spiritual world, and at hat time Raghunatha dasa also gave up taking even fruits and milk. He soon proceeded to Våndavana and planned to give up his life by jumping from Govardhana Hill. Previously, while he had been living in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave him two Deities: a Govardhana sila and a gunja-mala (necklace of gunja beads, representing Srimati Radhika), which Sankarananda Sarasvati had given the Lord upon returning from Våndavana. Sriman Mahaprabhu personally used to perform worship of this sila by offering the water of His tears and the flowers (moods) of His heart. Sometimes He kept it on His heart, sometimes on His head, sometimes on His eyelids, and sometimes He could not find a satisfying place. After three months Sriman Mahaprabhu gave the sila to Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who considered, "By doing this, Mahaprabhu has given me to Govardhana; I should serve Govardhana. And, by giving me this gunja-mala, He has offered me to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika." When he performed his worship, Srila ­Raghunatha dasa Gosvami would place the gunja-mala around his neck, taking shelter of Srimati Radhika. He served Govardhana as Sri Krsna, Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, and he always thought of himself as a palya-dasi, or maidservant, of Srimati Radhika – a manjari. He came with these two Deities to Vrndavana, and there he met Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. He told them about his idea of going to Govardhana, but he did not disclose his plan to give up his life by jumping from Govardhana. They could understand his intention, however, and Srila Sanatana Gosvami instructed him, "Don't do so. You are my brother, and Srila Rupa Gosvami's also." Srila Sanatana Gosvami then told him something from his own life history. He explained that while he was traveling from Våndavana to Jagannatha Puri he had become infected with a skin disease, the moisture of which was oozing from sores all over his body. As soon as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw him He embraced him, at which time the moisture from his body touched the body of Sriman Mahaprabhu. Greatly distressed, he thought, "I should leave this body by throwing myself under the wheel of Lord Jagannatha's chariot." Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew about this and told him, "You have given this body to Me, and now you are behaving independently. You give yourself verbally, but internally you do not. You have no right to this body, for you have already surrendered it to Me." Sriman Mahaprabhu continued, "If I would have thought that by giving up My life I could receive the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, I would want to give up My life hundreds of thousands of times every day. But I know that Krsna and krsna-prema cannot be attained simply by dying. They can only be achieved by krsna-bhajana." Srila Sanatana Gosvami now told Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, "So, you can die, but you cannot receive krsna-prema by such an act. Rather than die, it is better to perform bhajana at Radha-kunòa, Govardhana, Våndavana, and other places of Srimati Radharani and Krsna's pastimes." In addition to his association with Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had a great deal of association with Srila Rupa Gosvami. He wholly followed Srila Rupa Gosvami, from whom he received all realization about his service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, and Srila Sanatana Gosvami also acted as his siksa-guru. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Form in Krsna-lila As previously mentioned, in his siddha-sarira Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is a manjari, a certain type of sakhi. There are five kinds of sakhis: sakhi, nitya-sakhi, prana-sakhi, priya-sakhi, and priya-narma-sakhi. Sakhis are exemplified by gopis like Dhanistha, who serve and support Krsna. Although they serve both Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna, they have more sneha, affection, for Sri Krsna than for Srimati Radhika. Thus, they are called krsna-snehadhika gopis. Priya-narma-sakhis are also called parama-prestha-sakhis, and priya-sakhis are also called narma-sakhis. The priya-sakhis and priya-narma-sakhis are sama-sneha. The word sama-sneha means that they have equal affection for Radha and Krsna, yet they are somewhat more attracted to Srimati Radhika. They sometimes rebuke Krsna when they see Him committing any fault in relation to Srimati Radhika, and they sometimes admonish Srimati Radhika when She is angry and very hard-hearted towards Sri Krsna. Generally they want that Sri Krsna will always be under the control of Srimati Radhika, and they show favoritism towards Her; yet, they are sama-sneha. The prana-sakhis and nitya-sakhis are radhika-snehadhika, meaning they have more affection towards Srimati Radhika. They always serve Her and associate with Her, wherever She happens to be, and they render Her innumerable services. They are extremely pleased if Srimati Radhika is pleased. If She feels separation from Krsna, they also feel separation; when Krsna meets with Her, they feel in their hearts that they themselves are meeting with Him. Their mood is appreciated by the example of a bee playing on a flower. The bee cannot play on the manjari of the flower because the manjari is not stable, yet when the bee plays on the flower, the manjari trembles with happiness. In the same way, when Krsna meets with Radhika, these manjaris become exceedingly happy. One day Srimati Radhika told one of Her sakhis, for whom she has great affection, "Mani-manjari is My very obedient friend. Please go to her and cleverly tell her that Krsna is waiting for her in a sanketa-kunja (meeting grove). Please take her to Him by any means. It is My desire that she meet with Him." The sakhi went to Mani-manjari and requested her in a roundabout way to meet with Krsna. She said, "Krsna is waiting for you. I also know the desire of Srimati Radhika. She has not told me to come to you, but I know Her desire. She will not be angry." The sakhi tried in many different ways to convince her to go, but Mani-manjari said, "Please do not request me to do this. I will never go. When I see Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna meet, I feel so much pleasure, much more pleasure than if I were to personally meet with Him. If a person knows where he can achieve greater happiness, he will not purposely strive for lesser happiness. When Krsna meets with Radhika it is my gain, but if I would meet with Him it would be a very great loss. Why should I choose loss over gain?" Thus, Srimati Radhika has so much faith in the manjaris. Radhika once wanted Sri Rupa-manjari to meet with Krsna. She looked towards Krsna and hinted for Him to catch hold of her. Krsna wanted to do so, but Rupa-manjari fell at His feet and prayed, "Please don't do this. I am Radhika's dasi. When You meet with Her I derive more pleasure than I can describe. I request You to give me that pleasure, not this lesser pleasure." Krsna agreed to her request. The sadhana to attain this mood of devotion is called tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika. Tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika is one of the two types of kamanuga-bhakti, and the other is sambhoga-iccha-mayi. Aspiring to become an independent nayika (heroine) like Srimati Radhika and Candravali is called sambhoga-iccha-mayi, which means the desire to have a direct relationship with Krsna. Those gopis who become greatly pleased by witnessing the meeting of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and who experience all the symptoms of directly meeting Krsna simply by seeing Sri Radha and Sri Krsna meet are called sakhi snehadhika. They experience what Radhika has experienced with Krsna, which is more than what they would have experienced by directly meeting with Him. Tat-tat-bhava means 'the specialty of the meeting of Radha and Krsna, and its bhava.' Although the manjaris have all the qualities of the nayika, or other heroines, if not more, they only want to serve Sri Radha. Sri Rupa-manjari and Sri Rati-manjari are both in this category. The sadhana to attain this devotion is therefore called tat-tad-bhava-icchatmika. How can this type of devotion be attained? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to this world only to give this bhava – not the love of Srimati Radhika or the love of a nayika. anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam (Caitanya-caritamrata Adi-lila, 1.4) He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service. Sva-bhakti-sriyam is that unnatojjvala-rasa, or elevated conjugal mellow, which can be attained by the jiva soul. The soul cannot have what Srimati Radhika has – mahabhava [SEE ENDNOTE 1] in both madana and modana [SEE ENDNOTE 2] – in exactly the same way that She has it. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to taste radha-bhava, Radhika's transcendental ecstatic sentiments, and radhayah pranaya-mahima, the glory of Her love. He came also to distribute manjari-bhava, engagement in the service of Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami thus advised Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and they gave him Radha-kunòa as his place to live and perform bhajana. There he was always crying for Srimati Radhika, and always rolling in the dust of the bank of Radha-kunda. Although he is a special sakhi of Srimati Radhika and is never separated from Her, in this lila, as Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he has played the highest role of a jiva – a raganuga-sadhaka, a practicing devotee who desires the service of the manjaris. He was not merely pretending. By the arrangement of Yogamaya he actually felt himself to be a sadhaka. Although Lord Krsna is God of Gods, He weeps by seeing the stick in the hand of Mother Yasoda. He is not pretending. He actually fears Mother Yasoda and therefore He genuinely weeps. Similarly, although Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is a near and dear sakhi of Srimati Radhika in his spiritual form as a manjari, he is not pretending to feel greed to achieve that service. By the influence of Yogamaya he does what he actually feels. He has two roles: one as a practicing raganuga-bhakti-sadhaka, and at the same time another, in his siddha-sarira, as Sri Rati-manjari, who is always serving Radha and Krsna. 'mane' nija-siddha-deha kariya bhavana ratri-dine kare vraje krsnera sevana (Caitanya-caritamrta Madya-lila, 22.157) There are two processes by which one may execute raganuga-bhakti – external and internal. When self-realized, the advanced devotee externally remains like a neophyte and executes all the sastric injunctions, especially hearing and chanting. Within his mind, however, in his original, pure, self-realized position, he serves Krsna in Vrndavana in his particular way. He serves Krsna twenty-four hours a day, throughout the day and night. Every jiva has a siddha-deha, or siddha-sarira (spiritual body). Without a siddha-deha one cannot serve Sri Radha and Sri Krsna. This material body is not fit for serving Them. In Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes, one can perform bhajana and sadhana with this body, but for manasa-cintana, meditating on and entering Radha and Krsna's pastimes, the siddha-deha is essential. This can be achieved if a person has greed, if he has gone to a siddha-gurudeva, and if he is very eager to serve Radha and Krsna. Initially his Gurudeva will cause him to hear all Their pastimes. The guru will watch and see in which rasa the disciple has taste. Accordingly, he will let him hear the pastimes that will be appropriate and useful for him. When bhava manifests in one's body, one becomes situated in the stage called svarupa-siddha (internal cognizance of one's spiritual identity). After attaining this svarupa-siddha, one can 'imagine' these pastimes, but the word imagination has a specific meaning here. There is some realization. Suppose a devotee is hearing a verse of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami from the lips of a pure guru. In that verse Sri Rati-manjari smiles as she tells Sri Rupa-manjari, "O Rupa-manjari, I know that you are a very chaste lady in Våndavana. Everyone knows this; yet although your husband has been out of home for so many days, I see some unusual marks on your lips. Why is that? Perhaps, while you were sleeping, a parrot came; thinking your lips to be a bimba fruit, he has bitten and cut them." In another verse Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written: sri-rupa-manjari-kararcita-pada-padma- gosthendra-nandana-bhujarpita-mastakayah ha modatah kanaka-gauri padaravinda- samvahanani sanakais tava kim karisye (Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, text 72) Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna are tired from wandering in Våndavana and performing Their pastimes in the kunjas. They are perspiring and their faces look very beautiful. Srimati Radhika is lying on the lap of Lord Krsna, keeping Her feet on the lap of Sri Rupa-manjari, and Rupa-manjari is massaging Her feet ever so softly. Krsna is caressing Srimati Radhika's hair and She is feeling great happiness on His lap. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, in the mood of Rati-manjari, is praying to Rupa-manjari, "Will you give me your prasadi seva?" Prasada means remnant. "Rupa-manjari is massaging. Will she give her 'remnant service' to me?" If one remembers this pastime, is the remembrance imagination? The pastime is reality. Therefore, the meaning of 'imagination' in this connection is thinking about the pastimes performed by Sri Krsna and Srimati Radhika, but without realization. If one is first hearing the pastimes from a bona fide guru and then thinking about them without realization, is this imagination? The subject matter is true. Although there is no realization, something is there, and after this 'imagination' the devotee will have some realization. He continues to hear more and more, and he continues his practices of raganuga-bhajana. Then, gradually, his siddha-çarira will manifest by the grace of Sri Krsnacandra, Srimati Radhika, and Yogamaya. By thinking alone, however, one cannot achieve anything. These pastimes manifest in the heart only by the grace of Bhagavan Sri Krsna. If the guru is qualified, if he is a suddha-guru (pure guru) and has realization of all the pastimes, he will also help. He will see the rasa of his disciple's siddha-sarira – as did the guru of Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara of Jaiva-dharma – and give him appropriate guidance for his spiritual development. If a person is situated in raganuga-bhakti, spontaneous devotion following in the wake of the residents of Vrndavana, he will surely understand his spiritual form and try hard to achieve it by the grace of Lord Krsna and Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. Without this, one cannot factually meditate upon asta-yama-lila, the pastimes that Sri Sri Radha-Krsna perform throughout the day and night. Without this, he does not know who he himself is, nor has he any idea of Krsna or Radhika – how beautiful They are and what are Their qualities. He should know his/her seva (particular service), vasana (dress), bhusana (decoration), ayu (age), husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, residence, and the place in which her marriage was performed. He will have to know all the elements of his spiritual personality, the realization of which comes at the stage of svarupa-siddhi. When the devotee becomes matured in this practice, Yogamaya will take him, after death, to a sphere where Sri Krsna's lila is going on in the material world. The devotee will take her birth in a gopi's womb and, in the association of nitya-siddha (eternally perfect) gopis, she will completely realize and serve Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna. We are advised to think of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as a raganuga-sadhaka, not as siddha (eternally perfected devotee). There is no doubt that he is siddha, a manjari, but we can only follow him if we see him as a raganuga-sadhaka. In our present stage we cannot follow Krsna or any siddha maha-purusa. We can only follow sadhakas. We therefore consider Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as a sadhaka, and we can gradually follow the way in which he performed his sadhana, or spiritual practices. Here, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami weeps on the bank of Radha-kunòa towards the end of his life, when he is not able to live without the darçana of Srimati Radhika for even a second. Feeling great separation, he prays to Her for service. His prayers are flowers. Vilapa means 'weeping,' and that weeping is his palmfuls (anjali) of numerous varieties of flowers (kusuma) which he offers to Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. In each service reside unique moods, or bhavas. When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has one kind of mood of separation and is praying for a specific service, that is one kind of flower. There are so many flowers in the form of one hundred and four verses, and all the verses are uttered only for achieving manjari-bhava. None are for achieving nayika-bhava, the mood of becoming the beloved of Sri Krsna and having a direct relationship with Him. [ENDNOTE 1: Mahabhava – the highest stage of prema, divine love. In Ujjvala-nilamani (14.154) mahabhava is defined thus: "When anuraga reaches a special state of intensity, it is known as bhava or mahabhava. This stage of intensity has three characteristics: (1) anuraga reaches the state of sva-samvedya, which means that it becomes the object of its own experience; (2) it becomes prakasita, radiantly manifest, which means that all eight sattvika-bhavas become prominently displayed; and (3) it attains the state of yavad-asraya-vrtti, which means that the active ingredient of the intensified state of anuraga transmits the experience of Radha and Krsna's bhava to whomever may be present and qualified to receive it."] [ENDNOTE 2: Vijaya, "How many kinds of adhirudha-bhava are there?" Gosvami, "This wonderful bhava is of two hues: modana and madana." Vijaya, "What is modana-adhirudha-bhava?" Gosvami, "In maha-bhava, when the entire spectrum of sattvika-bhavas being exchanged between the nayika and nayaka, Sri Radha and Sri Krsna, scintillates exceptionally, higher than even the uddipta, blazing, level, then this is called modana-adhirudha-bhava. In modana-adhirudha-bhava, both Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna are overcome with anxiety and discontent. Furthermore, in modana-adhiruòha-bhava, the love of Srimati Radhika touches heights of ecstasy unknown to all the other gopis." Vijaya, "Gurudeva, I am eager to learn about some particulars of modana-adhirudha-bhava—for instance, in whom does this bhava reside?" Gosvami, "Modana-bhava is only present in the yutha of Srimati Radhika, nowhere else. Modana is the favourite pleasure arena of the hladini sakti. At a certain stage, in viraha-dasa, the anguish of separation, modana converts to mohana and then, as viraha-dasa becomes all-encompassing, all the magnificent sattvika-bhavas radiate at the level of suddipta, greatest brilliance" (Jaiva-dharma, chapter 36). Madana and mohana – highly advanced ecstasy is divided into two categories: madana and mohana. Meeting together is called madana, and separation is called mohana. On the madana platform there are kissing and many other symptoms, which are unlimited. In the mohana stage, there is divyonmada, which includes many features such as udghurëa (unsteadiness) and citra-jalpa (varieties of mad emotional talks). Citra-jalpa has ten divisions, called prajalpa and so on. An example of this is the ten verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam spoken by Srimati Radharani entitled "The Song to the Bumblebee." In conjugal love (srngara) there are two departments: meeting and separation. On the platform of meeting, there are unlimited varieties that are beyond description. When the lover and the beloved meet, they are called yukta (connected). Previous to their meeting, they are called ayukta (not connected). Whether connected or not connected, the ecstatic emotion arising due to not being able to embrace and kiss each other as desired is called vipralambha. This vipralambha helps nourish emotions at the time of meeting. Similarly, sambhoga is described in the following verse quoted from the Vedic literature by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in his Anubhasya commentary on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: "Meeting each other and embracing each other are aimed at bringing about the happiness of the lover and the beloved. When this stage becomes increasingly jubilant, the resultant ecstatic emotion is called sambhoga." Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 23.58–62) (part of 23.62 purport included).]
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