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  1. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [This is a glorification of Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja given by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja in Badger, May 18, 2003.] [ Just after the devotees sang Bhajahu Re Mana by Shri Govinda dasa Kaviraja, Shrila Narayana Maharaja gave a short history of the author and his brother, Shri Ramacandra Kaviraja:] Shrila Narrottama dasa Thakura prays, "Please give me the association of Ramacandra Kaviraja. Please place me with him." doya koro Shri acarya prabhu Shrinivasa ramacandra-sanga mage narottama dasa. ["O Shri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu, be merciful to me. Except for You, who in this material existence is so full of compassion?" (Shri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Daya Karo More, verse 6)] Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, Shrila Shrinivasa Acarya, and Shri Syamananda Prabhu were associates. Shrinivasa Acarya was an elevated acarya. Once he was sitting in an asrama, and nearby were a newly wedded girl and her husband. Approaching the asrama, the carriers of the wedding palanquins thought to stop there for water and cooling shade. They put the palanquins down there and took water. Seeing the wedding party, Shrinivasa Acarya said, "This foolish person has obtained a poisonous black snake, and he is keeping it around his neck. That very snake will bite him and he will die, but he does not know this." Hearing the words of Shrinivasa Acarya, the bridegroom at once approached him and said, "What are you saying? I could not understand thoroughly." Shrinivasa replied, "He who marries does not know that his wife is a black serpent – a very poisonous snake. He does not know that she will bite him and he will die." The bridegroom's eyes were at once opened, and he told the palanquin carrier, "Return this girl to her father." As the carrier began returning the weeping girl to her father's house, that boy told Shrinivasa Acarya, "I want to serve you forever. I am giving myself to you; my life is now in your hands." He later became known as Ramacandra Kaviraja. He was a very elevated devotee, a realized soul. Once, the brother of Ramacandra Kaviraja, named Durgadha became very sick. Although several people tried to save his life by administering many medicines and by worshipping the demigoddess Durga, still, day by day his health was decreasing and he was now about to die. Ramacandra Kaviraja came to him and asked, "Why are you worshipping Durga? Why aren't you worshipping Krishna, Govinda? Take responsibility for yourself and chant 'Govinda,' one-pointedly. In this way you'll be cured, your life will be saved, and you'll be happy forever." Hearing this, Durgadha agreed: "Durga couldn't help me". He took initiation from his elder brother and gradually, in three or four days, as if by some magical effect, his illness was cured, his health was restored, and he began to do bhajana under the guidance of his guru. From then on, Durgadha became known as Govinda dasa Kaviraja. He was an excellent writer and poet, and after he wrote "Bhajahu re mana, Shri nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda re," he sent it to Shrila Jiva Gosvami. When Jiva Gosvami heard the bhajana of Govinda dasa Kaviraja, he appreciated it so much that he told him, "Continue to compose kirtanas like these. You are very qualified, so you should compose more, and send them to me in Vrndavana." Shrila Govinda dasa Kaviraja then composed many poems of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Radha-Krishna. Abhaya-caranaravinda re (the place of fearlessness – the lotus feet of Shri Krishna). Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada gave this name, Abhaya Caranaravinda, to Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. Bhajahu re mana has been a favorite bhajana in our guru-parampara, and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja used to sing this song, weeping and his heart melting. Bhajahu re mana, Shri nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda re. He was meeting with the inner, transcendental meaning of his own name, and he used to weep. We should also have strong faith in this, bhajahu re mana. Every one of these songs has a deep history behind them.
  2. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja October 23, 1996 First let us glorify Gopal Bhatta Gosvami. During Caturmasya-vrata Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to South India, to the Ranganathji temple. He began to dance and perform kirtana there, and all were attracted. The members of a very holy family met Him there, and they requested Him, "Please stay at our residence for these four months of Caturmasya, and after that You can go anywhere else." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted their invitation, and thus stayed for four months in the separate room they had arranged for Him on the bank of the Kaveri River. The head of the family was Trimalla Bhatta, and he had two younger brothers, namely Prabhodananda Sarasvati and Venkata Bhatta, who was the father of Gopala Bhatta. The three brothers had taken initiation in the line of Shri Ramanuja in the Shri Sampradaya, and they were known throughout South India to be very learned persons. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed kirtana at the home of Venkata Bhatta, and also spoke hari-katha to the family members, and in one month they were all totally changed. At first they were worshippers of Laksmi and Narayana, but by the association of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu they became Gaudiya Vaisnavas, worshippers of the divine couple Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. The history is so long – how he and his family became Gaudiya Vaisnavas. This boy, Gopal Bhatta, served Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in many ways during Mahaprabhu's visit. When Mahaprabhu would go to take bath in that sacred Kaveri River, Gopala Bhatta used to go with Him, holding His cloth, dor and kaupin. Then, after Mahaprabhu took bath and returned to His residence, Gopala used to take His wet clothes to clean and dry. He would cook for Mahaprabhu and render many other services. He served day and night, and Mahaprabhu became so pleased with him. Gopal Bhatta was not only an excellent servant of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, but he was also a vastly learned person, because he had been taught by his uncle, Prabhodananda Sarasvati, who was one of the greatest learned persons of his time. Prabhodananda Sarasvati knew all the Vedas, Upanisads, Vedanta-sutra, and especially Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and he had written many books. Moreover, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had made him a great rasika Vaisnava (a self-realized soul and taster of transcendental mellows), and thus he was able to write books like "Shri Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi, a brilliant jewel-book. On His journey in South India, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu discovered the books "Krsna-karnamrta" and "Brahma-samhita." But then there was a third book, which became so prominent that our disciplic acaryas have regularly referred to its Sanskrit verses. "Krsna-karnamrta" is somewhat inclined towards Krsna, and it shows that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but "Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi" is more rasika [with relation to the mellows of madhurya-rasa, or transcendental amorous love], wherein Prabhodananda Sarasvati prays to Radhika as the master of Krsna. Krsna always wants to serve Shrimati Radhika, and Prabhodananda Sarasvati also prays to be Her dasi. This is the highest topic of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Shrila Gopala Bhatta took his view –'Radha dasi' and not anything else – they want that Krsna should serve Shrimati Radhika. We see in rasa-lila in Vrndavana that the gopis are all weeping, rolling on the earth, always searching for Krsna, "O Krsna, Krsna, where are You? Without You we will die." On the other hand, Prabhodananda Sarasvati has written in "Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi," "Why should the gopis cry and weep for Krsna? Krsna should weep, rolling down on the earth and lamenting, 'O Shrimati Radhika, where are You? I'm dying without You.' Krsna should search here and there, in all groves and mountains. He should desire to meet with Radhika and take Her foot-dust." This is the highest topic given by our Gosvamis in their books, especially in Chaitanya-charitamrita. Gopal Bhatta learned all these topics from Prabhodananda Sarasvati, and therefore Prabhodananda Sarasvati is his guru-pada-padma (guru). You can imagine how beautiful and how rasika and bhavuka (full of transcendental emotions) and learned was Gopal Bhatta Gosvami. After Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left Shri Rangam, Gopala Bhatta became mad to meet with Him and to serve Him. But Mahaprabhu told him, "You should serve your father, because he's not only your father but he is your guru." [All three brothers were acaryas in the Ramanuja sampradaya, all three greatly learned, and all three trained Gopala Bhatta. Thus, his father was his siksa-guru. -ed] You should serve him, but after that you should come to your elder brothers Rupa and Raghunatha in Vrndavana and remain with them. After the disappearance of Venkata Bhatta, Prabhodananda Sarasvati left his home and came to Vrndavana. He lived in Kamyavana and in all the twelve forests of Vrndavana, in a separation mood used to call out, "O, where is Shrimati Radhika? Lalita, Visakha, where are you?" He was always weeping and rolling down on the earth. So Gopal Bhatta thought about where he himself should live, and how to attain Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lotus feet. So he also left. He wanted to go to Puri, but he could not go, because Mahaprabhu had ordered him to stay home and look after his parents, and after they would leave their body, he should go to Vrndavana – to the lotus feet of Shrila Sanatana Gosvamipada and Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada. He was now searching how to reach Vrndavana. On his journey he went to the Himalayas, where the Gomati River flows. As he was bathing in the river, he saw that a large salagrama was following him. It was automatically coming, and it seemed to be telling him, "I will take your service. Please serve Me." He therefore picked up that salagrama in his arms, sometimes keeping Him on his head, sometime on his eyes, and sometimes on his heart. He took the saligrama to Vrndavana, where he met Rupa and Sanatana. Rupa and Sanatana now embraced this very pure rasika Vaisnava, Gopal Bhatta Gosvami. In the meantime, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared from this world. [To read more about Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's separation feelings for Mahaprabhu, you may like to read the book "Bhakti Ratnakara" -ed] In Vrndavana, one day Gopala Bhatta Gosvami went to Radha-Ramana-ghera, near to Seva Kunja in the area of Nidhuvana – a very sacred and very secret place of Radha and Krsna. There he began to think, "How can I serve this salagrama?" He wanted to see the Lord's eyes, face, and arms, His three-fold-bending form, and His lotus feet. He wanted to decorate Him at the time of Jhulana (the swing festival). During the night he was so much worried, thinking, "How can I serve Him? If He would have a very beautiful three-folding form and a smiling face with flute, this would be very, very good for rendering service to Him." Then, at midnight, the salagrama spoke to him, "O Gopala Bhatta, just see how beautiful I am." Gopala Bhatta got up and went to the Deity, and he saw, "O how beautiful! Radha-Ramana!" He had the face of Gopinatha, the chest of Govindaji, and the feet of Madana-Mohana. So, Govinda, Gopinatha and Madan Mohan appeared in Him – three in one, in Radha-Ramana. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami was so delighted to see this. He called all the Gosvamis, who became amazed, thinking how glorious his bhakti was that the salagram had changed into Radha-Raman. You can imagine what a first-class Vaisnava he was. He was not only a Vaisnava, but very dear and near to the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. He is Guna Manjari in Krsna's pastimes. By his prayers, the salagram became Radha-Ramana. He was not only a bhavuka and rasika-bhakta, but as I mentioned before, he was vastly learned. He had all the Vedas and all the scriptures of Ramanuja in his throat. [this is because, previous to his hearing from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his youth, he was a follower of the Ramanuja sampradaya and had been well trained by his father and uncles.] Shrila Sanatana Gosvami told him some rules and regulations according to Vaisnava etiquette by which one can become eligible to worship Radha and Krsna (or any Visnu-tattva Deity) – how to take sannyasa, how to take diksa, how to take mantra, what are the qualifications of a disciple, and what are the qualifications of guru. It is not that everyone can be guru, neither can everyone be a disciple. Only those who are detached from worldly desires and sense gratification, those who are learned in all the Vedas and Vaisnava scriptures, and those who have some realization of service to both Radha and Krsna can be guru, regardless of caste or creed. kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya yei krsna –tattva veta , sei 'guru' haya (Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 8.128) If anyone knows krsna-tattva, the science of Krsna, he is guru. Those who know who is Krsna, who is Shrimati Radhika, who they themselves are, what is the service of Radha and Krsna – and who is loving Them, performing prema-seva, not only worship, they are gurudeva. Those who are doing not less than one lakh (64 rounds) of harinama daily, and who have controlled Krsna in their hearts – they are guru. Those who can take Krsna and place Him in the disciples' hearts – they are guru. So, you can imagine the glorious symptoms of a bona-fide guru. If any person has a guru like this, he is so, so lucky. We are lucky that we are direct disciples of our guruji, who was a direct disciple of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Also, those who are disciples of Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja are so lucky. To have a qualified guru is a great fortune. Gopal Bhatta wrote a book with all such directives, and it was called "Hari-bhakti-vilasa." The title of this book has a very beautiful, wonderful meaning, "Hari-bhakti-vilasa." In the full bloom of youth, Krsna is always relishing prema. He is always enjoying loving pastimes (vilasa). "Hari-bhakti-vilasa." Hari means Krsna who takes the heart of Shrimati Radhika, and He is Hari who is always dancing and singing in the hearts of Shrimati Radhika and the gopis. He is Hari. At first Sanatana Gosvami gave him some points, based on which he collected all the proofs of scriptures such as the Puranas and nigama and agama and presented his manuscripts to Sanatana Gosvami. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami guided him in selecting those scriptural references that were in accordance with Mahaprabhu's teachings, and then Gopala Bhatta Gosvami further refined his work and compiled "Hari-bhakti-vilasa." Some people are in doubt as to whether this book is written by Sanatana Gosvami or by Gopala Bhatta. Actually, this book was manifested by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in both their hearts. He gave them both the inspiration to write it. In this way Gopal Bhatta Gosvami wrote "Hari-bhakti-vilasa," "Sat-kripa-sar-dipika," [A Lamplight on the Essence of Rituals to be Performed by Devotees] and assisted in the publication of Shrila Jiva Gosvami's "Sat Sandarbha." [He also wrote a commentary on Shrila Bilvamangala Thakura's Shri Krsna-karnamrta] We should try to follow his guidelines on how to establish temples and install Deities, how to give diksa and mantra. The names of the various aspects of initiation are not actually called 'first initiation,' 'second initiation,' and 'third initiation.' There is only one initiation – which comes first as harinama and then as diksa. Out of his causeless mercy, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has made 'easy grammar' for this, and therefore he gave the nomenclatures 'first initiation,' etc. The process of diksa is given in order to make one's harinama more bona fide. Diksa [named 'second initiation'] is essential. Some persons think that diksa is superior to harinama, the Hare Krsna mantra, but you should know that harinama is superior. "Parama vijayate Shri krsna sankirtanam." The holy name is Krsna Himself. By the diksa-mantras one develops detachment from the world; attachment from the world is cut by this mantra. This mantra also manifests one's relation to Krsna. For this reason, gurudeva gives his disciple harinama, and then diksa, which enables the disciple to chant the holy names with a relation to Krsna and Shrimati Radhika. The disciple's holy name chanting then becomes so pure, and finally manifests as Radha-Krsna Conjugal, the divine couple. All these activities and principles have been taught in "Hari-bhakti-vilasa," and also in "Sat-kriya-sar-dipika." Anyone who is taking shelter of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna and pure Vaisnavas should not worship demigods. Rather, they should worship and serve Rupa and Sanatana, Yamuna, Govardhana, Radha-Kunda, Syama-Kunda, Vrnda-devi, Lalita and Visakha, and others of their caliber. They should avoid even the worship of Rukmini-Ramana, Satyabhama-Ramana, and Mathuresa Krsna; otherwise they will not develop the qualification to enter Krsna Vrndavana. Shrila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami has explained how to follow all these principles. Marriage ceremonies should be performed according to Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami's "Sat-kriya-sar-dipika" – not worshipping Ganesh and other such deities. His book also explains everything regarding how a departed Vaisnava sannyasi should be given Samadhi, and he also clearly explained the ten samskaras (reformatory processes). We are very fortunate to come in the line of Shrila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami. We are indebted to him, and to Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Rupa Gosvami.
  3. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Perth, Australia, December 27, 1998 In this world we trust various persons. In the transcendental world – in other words, regarding transcendental subject matters – whom should we trust? We cannot see the transcendental world by our eyes, and we cannot touch it with any of our senses. So how can we have an idea of the transcendental world, and how can we decide who the Supreme Personality of Godhead is? We have seen the body, but we have not seen the soul. How can we trust that there is a God from whom this creation has come, and that is He controlling the entire world? We cannot control the world, and we cannot see our soul. Even though God is here in this world, we do not see Him. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has explained that all of our senses are imperfect. Therefore, we cannot believe the information given by our senses regarding anything we see before us. Our eyes cannot see our own eyes nor can they see what is inside our body. Our eyes cannot see the soul inside the body. Our material senses have some power, but they are limited. Therefore, especially regarding to transcendental subject matters, we cannot trust our senses. We see that so many people take birth daily, and thousands upon thousands are dying daily. Who is controlling this? Sea waves are coming on time, the sun is rising at the exact time, and new days come regularly, on time. So, everything is controlled. We are not controlling this, so who is controlling? God is called the Creator: G-generator, O – Operator, and D – destroyer of this world. We do not see Him, so what is the proof that there is a God? What is the proof that there are unlimited souls? These senses cannot help us regarding transcendental matters. Our seeing, our touching, and all of our sensory information are defective. Shrila Jiva Gosvami states that only transcendental words are to be trusted. They can show the real path and what they tell is the truth. These transcendental words have been discussed in the Vedas (the most ancient of all revealed scriptures), Upanisads, and especially the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Transcendental knowledge is present there, so we must trust the words of the Vedas. Suppose a man says that we can trust what we can see. He may say, "We cannot believe anything that we cannot see." But there are so many things we trust that are beyond our seeing power. Once, when my Gurudeva was riding with me on a train, an officer approached and asked him, "Do you believe in God?" Guru Maharaja replied, "Yes." The officer said, "Why? I don't believe in God because I don't see Him. I can only trust something if my eyes can see it." Gurudeva at once replied, "This is not true. You believe so many things that you have not seen. Can you say who your father is?" The officer said, "Yes," and the man told the name of his father. Gurudeva asked, "How do you know that this person is your father? Do you have any proof?' The officer began to look this way and that, realizing that he had no proof. At the time his father and mother were meeting, he had not taken birth, so he had not seen his father then. His mother had told him, "He is your father." On this proof he could say, "He is my father." If our mother tells a lie, we have no other recourse. We trust that our mother will not lie. The words of the Vedas are more trustworthy than those of our mother, father or anyone else. A mother can tell a lie, but transcendental words cannot tell lies. Everything has been told in the Vedas, especially in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, so it is the supreme evidence. Sometimes we can only speculate about what the eyes are seeing, but if the eyes see according to the Vedas – if they follow the words of the Vedas – then there may be some trust. Otherwise you cannot trust them. For example, from a distant place we might see someone coming, and we think that person is our father. But then, as he comes closer, we may see that it is not actually our father, but a person who resembles him. So the eyes are not evidence. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the evidence, as well as the Vedas and Upanisads. Then the officer asked, "Who is God?" Gurudeva replied, "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." The officer asked, "Why?" Guru Maharaja replied, "Somewhere it is said that God has no form, no attributes, and no qualities; but the Vedas tell us that He has form and so many qualities. If God has no form, then from where did this world come? The world is full with so many forms. ‘Something’ cannot come from ‘nothing’. Therefore God must have a form, and His form is the most beautiful. There is no one as beautiful as Him. Krsna has all varieties of good qualities. For example, He is so merciful. If God is not merciful, how can He know our difficulties, sorrows and sufferings and how can He help us? God is the embodiment of love and affection. If He were not so, then what is the use of such a God? If He cannot help us in our miseries and love us, then what is the use of that God? There would be no use. God can generate and regulate everything and destroy the whole world in a moment, and He can create millions of worlds, suns, and moons in a second. Therefore, He must be so powerful. We cannot do as He does. Shrila Jiva Gosvami tells us that: we are not this body, we are the soul inside the body. We are captured in a jail; in a cage. Although we do not want to become old and die, we are bound to become old – if we don’t die in youth. Our hair will be white, our eyesight will become weak, and the day will come when we are not able to walk without a stick. Then, one day we will have to give up this body. Within this body there is a transcendental person who is never born and never becomes old or dies. He never becomes a child, a youth or an old person. He is the controller of the entire world and all other souls. He is God. He never dies. He never changes His position. He is almighty, He knows past, present and future. He is omniscient. He can do anything He likes, and He is also very merciful – causelessly merciful. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has explained that God is omnipotent. All powers or potencies are eternally invested in Him. When He is with His supreme intrinsic internal potency (svarupa-sakti) – His power who lives within Him, He can create millions of worlds, He can play anywhere and He can do anything. That svarupa-sakti is also called antaranga-sakti (internal potency). By the arrangement of that svarupa-sakti and all His qualities, He manifests as plenary portions and parts of plenary portions of Himself, and those expansions are called svamsa. Svamsa means ‘plenary expansion’ and some examples of such plenary expansions or incarnations are Rama, Balarama, and Nrsingha. When He is with His marginal energy (tatastha-sakti), that part of Him is called vibhinamsa-jiva, or the soul within us. We are part and parcel of God, but now we have forgotten Him, and that is why another of His potencies, maya, has taken us to this world and has covered our souls. We have forgotten who we are and who is God, and we are now in an endless chain of birth, death, sorrow and suffering. Because of this forgetfulness, no one in this world is happy. We are not serving God or desiring His mercy, and we are not coming out of His deluding potency maya. That is why we are always suffering. In this world you can scrutinize and see that even emperors, chief ministers and presidents are all suffering. Even if you have some happiness in youth, still there are so many problems. One day we will surely have to give up this body. Even if we are not able to say whether God is real or not, we can very easily say that death is true. No one can deny this – even people who do not believe in God. Everyone is bound to say, "Death is sure". All sufferings are real, but we don't know why we are suffering. We are like animals – always quarreling, always eating, sleeping, mating and defending. We think that we will be happy by this, but we cannot. Shrila Jiva Gosvami tells us that all those in all species, such as humans, demigods, animals, birds, fish, trees, creepers – those who have sense of feeling sorrow and happiness – all are souls like us, although other species are somewhat more covered by the material modes of nature. Among all these species, a human body has special qualities. If someone calls you, you hear and come. You can see your future. Animals don’t see their future. Or, they can see very little. Some animals, like monkeys, donkeys, and cows, can see their very near future; not more. Suppose there are many cows or goats being taken to a slaughter house. As they are approaching the moment of death, if you give them grass, they will quarrel over it: "I will take it!" "No, I will take it!" They cannot understand that they are about to reach the slaughterhouse. In this human body, we can think about these things. We can think further into the future. Thinking about the future, some humans make bombs. They think, "We will destroy others and control others, and then we will be happy." Others are thinking, "No, this will not make us happy." How can we become happy? Only by realizing who we are as spirit souls, where we have come from, and where we must go after death. We may wonder why a person takes birth as a daughter or son of the prime minister of Australia and, at the next moment, another person is taking birth in a very poor family. Why is one born very beautiful and another is born lame? Why will a particular poor man later become a prime minister or president? A wise, intelligent man realizes the reasons, and thus the human form is supreme among all species. In this human body, if we are not thinking about topics such as: "Why am I suffering?" "Why am I moving toward death?" "Who am I," and "Who is God?" then we are no better than a two-legged animal. In this case, there is no difference between an animal and a human birth. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has explained that all humans, trees, creepers, and animals have some sense of gratification, and they all have some love and affection. Suppose you sweetly call a dog. "Come on, come on," and show him love, he will come, wagging his tail. If there is love in you and you show and feel that love, then even if a tiger or a lion comes, he will not be ferocious. Everywhere there is love and affection – even in trees. They also have feelings. Our religion is love and affection, and God is the embodiment of love and affection. He is very merciful, and He has all kinds of powers. We are His parts and parcels. If you realize this fact, surely you will escape the chain of sorrow and suffering. This is bhakti-yoga. If you practice bhakti-yoga, the maintenance of your life and family will somehow automatically come, from previous births’ karma. Test it. If you sit in your room for seven or eight days, or one month, chanting, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare," you will see that you are being maintained, even though you are not doing anything for it. Even after a hundred years, until death, all your necessities will come. We should trust in this principle. While we are in this human form of life, we should try to know who we really are. There are persons in this world who know these things, who have realization of the soul and God, and who have some link with God. By their own practice they can show you this path, and by way of practice, you can also have some realization. Such a teacher is called acarya, guru, or holy spiritual master. Such a guru will never fall. We should try to associate with him. Shrila Jiva Gosvami’s spiritual master, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, has written that we can thus reach perfection in this human body. adau sraddha tatah sadhu- sango 'tha bhajana-kriya tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah ["In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krsna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)] There is a God, we are parts and parcels of God, and we must serve Him. The desire or tendency to serve Him is called sraddha, and it comes by the association of a pure devotee. If we desire to serve Godhead, but after sometime we have no association with advanced devotees, that desire will dry up. This is going on nowadays. We see so many devotees who had sraddha, and after that came to take initiation and engage in devotional service (bhajana-kriya) and bhajana-sadhana (hearing, chanting about, and remembering the Supreme Lord). However, because there was no good association, their sraddha began to dry up. Although they were approaching the stage of the second-class or intermediate devotee (madhyama-adhikari), and they even entered brahmacarya and the renounced order – from there they began to fall. They can be likened to a tree or creeper; after the sprouts develop some leaves, due to not getting water they will die. Therefore, we should try to always be in good asso ciation. No mundane society can give Truth. However, if in society there are some good preachers like Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja or Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, we can associate with them. After they left the vision of this world, the disciplic line of spiritual preceptors was still there; but the so-called followers are not true followers. They are hankering after the three W’s – wealth, women, and wine – and they will surely fall down. We should try to know all these principles of devotion and gradually practice bhakti-yoga. If we are not practicing bhakti-yoga, we are animals like hogs or asses. Now you see that throughout the world, leaders and others are quarreling with each other like animals. Animals fight with nails and teeth, but these two legged animals create atom bombs and destroy millions of lives. They are more cruel-hearted than animals. They cannot control their senses, but they want to control the entire world. Somehow maintaining our lives, we should therefore try to follow the doctrines of Krsna Consciousness and be happy forever. We should try for this. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has explained that there are three realms. One is the transcendental world, one is the innumerable souls, and one is the millions of material worlds. Everything is beyond matter in the transcendental world. There is no birth, death or suffering there. There are two kinds of souls. One kind pertains to those who are liberated and serve God in the transcendental world of Vaikuntha (the spiritual planets where there is no anxiety); and they are all happy there. The other kind pertains to those who have forgotten God, and they are called conditioned souls. We are all conditioned souls. Our souls are covered with worldly elements like earth, water, fire, air and ether. Our bodies consist of these five elements. When one dies, then by burning or putting one’s body in a grave, the five elements of one’s body return to their original forms. But the soul never dies or takes birth. Souls are in some ways the same as, and in some ways different from, God. As God has a beautiful body and so many powers and He tastes and has so many good qualities, souls also have beautiful bodies and so many good qualities. The difference between God and the souls is that God is infinite whereas souls are infinitesimal. The tiny souls cannot create worlds and they cannot control, but God can control everything. He is the master of maya (the deluding energy of this world). We souls undergo so many changes, but the Supreme Lord and His various incarnations are beyond maya. They do not come under control of the deluding energy of maya and are never unhappy. Conditioned souls, those who forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead and misuse their independence, come to this world thinking, "I am this body, I am the doer of all things, I am the controller, I am the taster." This is the symptom of conditioned souls. This world is made of five elements; earth, air, fire, water and ether. All souls have come from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and this world has also emanated from His power. There are two kinds of powers: svarupa sakti or Yogamaya; and Mahamaya. Durga and Kali are the personalities of Mahamaya. They can create this world, but they cannot create souls. Souls are eternal; they are like God in that way. Souls are eternal, but when they forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead and desire their own happiness, they think, "I can do this and that." They do not admit that they need God, and at that time maya takes them. In this way, there is some difference and some non-difference between God and the souls. This world has also emanated from His illusory maya, so it also has some difference and non-difference from Him. The ancient Vedic scriptures state: Sakti-saktimator abhedah – there is no difference between the potent and potency. This philospohy is called acintya-bhedabheda tattva, or ‘inconceivable, simultaneous difference and non-difference’. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has explained these principles very well. No other acarya, not even Ramanujacarya or Madhavacarya, were able to give such explanations. How did Jiva Gosvami realize these topics? He did so by the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, in the form of a Guru in this world. Mahaprabhu explained these teachings to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and Shrila Jiva Gosvami learned it from Shrila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya’s disciple, Madhusudana Vacaspati He also studied various Vedic scriptures, after which he compiled Sat-Sandarbha. Therein he explained all philosophical truths. We cannot know these truths by reading books alone. We have to hear all these topics from pure devotees. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has also explained that we cannot know or realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead or our own soul by worldly knowledge, or by any knowledge, or by yoga such as astanga-yoga, or by austerities or by giving donations. Only by the practice of pure bhakti-yoga can we know. You should understand that if God has no form, this world and all souls could not exist. It is told in the Bible – not only in Indian scriptures – that God created man after His own image. If God has no shape or form, then how can He create human bodies? It is not only stated in Indian scriptures and the Bible, but also in the Koran: "Inallah kalaka mein suratihi – Hoda (or Allah) has created human bodies similar to His own form." If this were not so, then why has it been written in the Koran? God has a form and He is very merciful. We should try to trust Him. We can become attached to God through bhakti-yoga, whereas we cannot do so by knowledge. We can understand this by an example: I may say, "By drinking water, we can quench our thirst." If we do not drink water, our thirst will not leave simply by this knowledge. We must drink a glass of water, and then our thirst will go. Suppose you are hungry; you need food. I will tell you that by eating chapatis, rice, bread, butter, and some sweets, your hunger will go away. I am telling you this, but this knowledge alone will not give you foodstuffs. So, knowledge cannot do anything by itself. Bhakti is a practical activity, and by practicing it you will realize all knowledge. What is bhakti? In its beginning it is called sadhana-bhakti, and then it becomes bhava-bhakti. Then, when it reaches its purest state, in its own constitutional form, it is called prema-bhakti. We all have some affection and love in us. If a beautiful young girl and boy see each other, they will want to love each other. After that they are bound by marriage. Then, if after some time in marriage they quarrel, they will become divorced, and they will try to fulfill their desires again by taking another wife or husband. If we are not happy in our householder life, we can have a dog. We say, "We can trust dogs." Wives and husbands may divorce us, but dogs do not divorce. So we think we can trust in dogs. Still, after some time, we see that the dog is dead. So there is nothing in this world that we can factually love. The only object of love is God. We are asraya, the abode of that love, but at present our love is impure and selfish. We love our very beautiful wife – if she serves and obeys us. If she has a bank account in her own name, if she is always quarreling, and if she is in love with another person, we will be upset. In this body, our love and affection is not pure. It is amalgamated with selfishness. However, by chanting the name of Godhead, regularly hearing about Him and associating with realized Vaisnavas (devotees of Krsna), these devotees will tell you something about the process of bhakti-yoga and how you can develop this love and affection to Godhead. Vaisnavas are the only persons who are really happy. They know what this world is. They have no attachment to this body. Somehow maintaining their life, they always chant and remember and meditate on God. The practice of bhakti-yoga is called sadhana. When some transcendental love and affection comes by such practices, but in a crude form, with the mind and intelligence in the mode of pure goodness (sattva), this is called bhava-bhakti. In bhava-bhakti, a soul can somewhat realize Krsna-prema, as well as the way in which he can serve Krsna. Then, after some time, prema will manifest. Prema (pure love of God) in general is one, but it is divided in five sections: santa, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Santa means love and affection toward God without any speciality of service. In santa -rasa one thinks, "God is great and we are His tiny parts and parcels. We should offer obeisances to Him. He is so merciful." Santa-rasa is present when there is no worldly attachment. If worldly desires are present then one cannot have santa-rasa. Santa-rasa may come after liberation as was the case with the four Kumaras, Sanak, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanata Kumara. They had no worldly attachment, but, they also had no special kind of love and affection for God. Next is the mood of dasya -rasa, serving God as one’s master. A devotee in dasya-rasa thinks about Krsna thus: "You are my master. You are the root of the entire universe, its creation and destruction." Moreover, in dasya-rasa there is service, as in the case of Hanuman, who is in the ‘servitor’ mood. We can serve God like this. Next is the mood of sakhya-rasa, serving Krsna as a friend. A devotee in sakhya-rasa thinks thus: "God is my friend." If you think like this, you can have God as a friend and serve Him as a friend. There are two kinds of friends; friends in Ayodhya (the abode of Shri Krsna’s expansion, Lord Rama) and friends in Vraja (the abode of Shri Krsna Himself). Friends in Ayodhya have friendship, but they have some awe and reverence thinking, "God is superior to me." Lord Rama’s associates, like Sugriva, Laksmana, and Sita, are in this group. Shri Krsna has friends in Vraja, but these friends are bosom friends. Krsna and His friends always show affection for each other on an equal level. They can sleep on the same bed. They can eat and then share their food with Krsna, and Krsna also eats and then shares His remnants with them. They do not think that Krsna is God. This is a very sweet thing. One can also think, "Krsna is my son." "God is my son." [In Vraja, Krsna’s parents do not know that God is God. They only know Him as their son.] This relationship (vatsalya-rasa) is superior to even the previous relationships I have described. If we see God as a father, that would not be the same, because it is the father who serves the son. The son does not serve the father. If we want to serve God in a parental mood, we can serve Him as His own parents. The father will take that son in his lap, embrace Him and give Him sweet things. Even if the father has become old, still he will serve his son. We should not think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is our father. This idea opposes our desire for loving service, because if God is father He would have to serve us. We tell our father, "Oh father, give me water, give me bread and butter." On the other hand, if we think that God is our son, then we can serve Him. This mood is called vatsalya-bhava – fatherhood or motherhood. This is even sweeter than friendship. Superior to vatsalya-rasa is madhurya-rasa (conjugal love). Madhurya-rasa is divided into two separate moods. Those ladies who are married to Krsna as a husband, by Vedic mantra and by law, are in svakiya-bhava. Examples of this relationship are Rukmini and Satyabhama. The ladies in the other mood, unwedded or paramour love (parakiya-bhava), have no cause for their loving relation other than love and affection itself. Their supreme stage of love does not depend on whether or not there is marriage. The gopis of Vraja are the example of this. In this connection, there was much difference of opinion among the sampradaya acaryas such as Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya and Vallabhacarya. They did not accept the love of the gopis of Vraja. They only accept the love of those who have married Krsna – the love of Rukmini and Satyabhama.. In Vraja, the gopis are not married to Krsna, but they always think of their love for Him in their parakiya mood. Externally married to someone else, from birth and forever the gopis are always thinking of Krsna as their beloved. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the pure devotees in His line, like Shri Madhavendra Puri, Shri Isvarapuri-pada and others like them, brought the knowledge of parakiya-rasa from Goloka Vrndavana. The other sampradaya acaryas do not accept this. During Shrila Jiva Gosvami’s time, he had two kinds of followers: those who wanted to follow the mood that God can be one’s beloved, and those in the other section who considered that only wedded love is okay. Those in the second section thought, "Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can He transgress the rules of sastra (the scriptures). I cannot accept that. He would not do such a thing." These were Shrila Jiva Gosvami’s two kinds of disciples. Shri Krsna has come in the form of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, having taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Shrimati Radhika. In that form He has preached in this world through kirtana, the chanting of God’s holy names: "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ultimately came to teach the path of spontaneous devotion (raganuga-bhakti). For those disciples who were high-class Vaisnavas following raganuga-bhakti, Shrila Jiva Gosvami wrote one type of literature, and for the other group he wrote another. He wanted to gradually bring those in the second group to the stage of understanding the paramour mood, the love between Krsna and the gopis. After the disappearance of Jiva Goswami, there was a dispute among his disciples as to whether svakiya-bhava or parakiya-bhava was superior. They saw a difference between the two, although really there was no difference. Jiva Gosvami has taught svakiya mood from the angle of tattva (philosophical truth). By philosophical consideration, everything and everyone has come from Krsna, so there is no one who is parakiya (belonging to another). The gopis are manifestations of His svarupa-sakti, Shrimati Radhika. They are not different from Shrimati Radhika. So in that sense there is no parakiya – all are svakiya. *[See endnote 1] Shrila Visvantha Cakravarti Thakura and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami accepted and explained parakiya by lila (pastimes) or by rasa-tattva, the consideration of transcendental mellows. So, both are right. Jiva Gosvami has accepted the statement from Shrimad-Bhagavatam below, and this has also been explained by Rupa Gosvami: pati-sutanvaya-bhratr-bandhavan ativilanghya te ’nty acyutagataù gati-vidas tavodgita-mohitah kitava yositah kas tyajen nisi [Dear Acyuta, You know very well why we have come here. Who but a cheater like You would abandon young women who come to see Him in the middle of the night, enchanted by the loud song of His flute? Just to see You, we have completely rejected our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives. (Gopi-gita verse 16)] na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna "I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are extremely difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.32.22)] The mood of parakiya is very distinct and prominent in so many verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. There must be parakiya in Goloka Vrndavana, otherwise how would it come to manifest in Krsna’s prakata-lila (those pastimes that are manifest in this world) in Vraja? There is only a difference of opinion in the thinking of some of Jiva Gosvami’s disciples, but actually there is no difference. There are so many things to explain, but now it is late. We should adopt bhaki-yoga; it is very easy to do. You can chant the name of God in the day or in the night, whether you are Hindu, Muslim or Christian, or from any religion. Even animals can hear when you chant loudly, and they can also be liberated. You can chant the name of Hare Krsna if you are poor, and you can chant if you are rich. You can chant after bathing or without having had a bath at all, with or without meals, sitting or standing, or in any condition. There is no dependence on wealth or situation. The Hare Krsna Mantra is the essence of all Vedic scriptures. We should therefore try to chant, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." We have invented divisions thinking, "This is India, this is America, this is Australia," and we make passports and visas. But God is one without a second. God is One, and we can chant to Him and pray to Him to be merciful to us. This chanting of the holy name is the supreme process for perfection of life, so we should try to practice chanting. The End [Endnote 1: "Shrila Jiva Gosvami and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in their commentaries on Shri Ujjvala-Nilamani, have presented detailed deliberations on svakiya and parakiya. Both conclusions are appropriate in their respective places. The only difference is their angle of vision. Shrila Jiva Gosvami has favored svakiya from the perspective of tattva, whereas Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has supported parakiya-bhava from the viewpoint of lila." (Raga-vartma-chandrika, p 93-94) "It is an established truth that the gopis are Krsna’s svarupa-sakti, extensions of His personal power; hence, they are Krsna’s svakiya, unquestionably His own. [sva means ‘own’, and para means ‘other’.] There is no possibility of their being anyone else’s wives. Still, we see that in prakiya-lila, the gopis do appear to be the wives of others, but this is only an implicit conviction created by Yogamaya. There is a secret meaning in the statement of Shri Jiva Gosvami, which, if brought to light, will automatically dispel all types of doubts. The revered Shri Jiva Gosvami, the foremost follower of Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, is the tattvacarya of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Furthermore, in Krsna-lila he is a manjari. Therefore, there is no secret truth that is unknown to him. Those who do not understand his esoteric intentions raise arguments accepting and rejecting his ideas by presenting their own concocted interpretations. According to Shri Rupa-Sanatana’s vision, there is no difference between parakiya- and svakiya pastimes – they are identical." (Raga-vartma-chandrika, p 95-96)]
  4. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Cebu, Philippines, January, 2009 [From mid-November to mid-January 2009 Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja resided in Cebu, Philippines, on a writing retreat. After returning from his morning walk at 6.45 am, he would have a short meeting with the devotees who stayed with him during that period, teaching his personal party slokas (verses) from various Vedic scriptures and giving them "homework assignments" to learn those slokas by memory. On the next day, he would listen as they recited the slokas and translations. Then he would request them to explain the meanings, after which he himself would give further explanation. One interesting aspect of Shrila Maharaja's meetings with his personal party was the loving informality and intimacy - the "father/sons and daughters" feeling which the reader happily picks up by reading the transcription below. The following is a few excerpts from those daily meetings. Your aspiring servants, the harikatha team] January 1: kalah kalir balina indriya-vairi-vargah sri bhakti-marga iha kantaka-koti-ruddhah ha ha kva yami vikalah kim aham karomi caitanyacandra yadi nadya krpam karosi (Shri Chaitanya Candramrta 125, Prabodhananda Sarasvati) ["Now it is the age of Kali. My enemies, the senses, are very strong. The beautiful path of bhakti is spiked with countless thorns (like karma, jnana, and unrestricted sense enjoyment). My spirit is weak. My senses are powerful and agitated. O what shall I do? Where shall I go? O Lord Chaitanya-candra, if you do not grant me Your mercy, what shall I do to save myself?"] samsara-duhkha-jaladhau patitasya kama- krodhadi-nakra-makaraih kavali-krtasya durvasana-nigaditasya nirasrayasya caitanya-candra mama dehi padavalambam (Shri Chaitanya Candramrta 54, Prabodhananda Sarasvati) ["O Chaitanyacandra, I have fallen into an ocean of misery where I have been made a mouthful for the crocodiles and sharks of lust, anger, and so forth. Kindly give this destitute person, chained to wicked desires, the shelter of Your lotus feet."] [Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is the meaning? [Devotee:] O Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, I've fallen into this vast ocean of material existence, and this ocean is full of sharks and crocodiles. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What are the crocodiles? [Devotee:] Lust, anger, greed, illusion, and envy. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] And lust for ladies - this is what is meant by nakra, crocodiles. And what is the meaning of makara (shark). It is the desire for prestige and so many worldly problems. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Do you feel this mood of prayer from your heart? [Devotees:] No [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You should realize the mood of these verses. I am giving you these verses so that you will truly realize them and enter the realm of bhakti. If you see a beautiful lady, are your eyes and heart attracted to her, or not? Though you reject the idea, still your heart goes there. It is extremely difficult to be a muni, one who is undisturbed in the midst of all adversities. You must realize this, and with tears in your eyes, pray all these verses. Do you have any anger? These are crocodiles and other animals. You should realize all these truths. [Devotee:] How do we realize? [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] By praying: he krsna! karuna-sindho! dina-bandho! jagat-pate! gopesa! gopika-kanta! radha-kanta! namo ‘stu te ["I offer pranama unto Shri Krishna, who is an ocean of mercy, the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. He is the master of the gopas and the lover of the gopis headed by Shrimati Radhika. You know this prayer. What is the meaning? [Devotee:] O Krishna, You are an ocean of mercy. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] How do you know? [Devotee:] Because He sends His most dear devotees to this world, to help the fallen jivas. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] More? [Devotee:] I don't know more. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Putana came to kill Krishna, and what did He do? [Devotee:] He gave her a motherly position (as a nurse in Goloka). [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:]: He has sent so many rsis and munis to train you. He is so merciful that He manifests as caitya-guru (the Supersoul, who acts as the guru in the heart). He has sent guru; Shri Guru came to you; this is the mercy of Krishna. Although Krishna always lives in Goloka Vrndavana, for the benefit of the poor conditioned souls He descended with His pastimes in order to invite the conditioned souls to witness them. Even those who will simply hear those pastimes will all be liberated, even after thousands and thousands of years. So, in this way, Krishna is karuna-sindhu, an ocean of mercy. And dina-bandhu? [Devotee:] That means He is the friend of the most fallen. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] In what way? When, Sudama-vipra went to see Krishna, he was extremely poor. What did Krishna do? He gave Sudama great wealth and opulence. *[See Endnote 1] Do you know the history of the elephant Gajendra and the crocodile? *[See Endnote 2] When Gajendra called to Krishna's incarnation, Lord Visnu,the Lord came to the seashore where Gajendra and the crocodile were engaged in battle. Lord Visnu killed the crocodile and gave him liberation. Moreover, He gave Gajendra pure bhakti and that elephant then went to Vaikuntha. This is another example of Krishna's being dina-bandhu. There are so many other examples. How is He Jagat-pate? [Devotee:] This means He is the controller of the whole world. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] How? [Devotee:] He manifests as His various incarnations: Maha-Visnu, Garbodakasayi-Visnu, Ksirodakasayi-Visnu, the Guna-avataras, Saktyavesa-avataras, and Manvataras. In so many ways, He is managing this entire universe for the benefit of the living entities. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] He has created; that is, He has empowered Brahma to create, and Brahma created the universe. He empowered Sankara (Lord Siva) to destroy. He personally became Visnu, and as Visnu He is supporting and nourishing the world. He also manifests as the Supersoul in the heart of all living entities, and in that form as well as his form as Krishna speaking to us through Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita) He has warned us to be careful. How is He Gopesa? [Devotee:] Gopesa has two meanings. He is the controller of the gopis, and He is controlled by the gopis. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No. Gopesa is a combination of two words: gopa (cowherd boy) plus isvara (controller or Lord). He nourishes the cowherd boys by giving them the relish of His prema. [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] He saved the gopas from the demons. He is controlled by His cowherd friends. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Gopika-kanta means that He is controlled by the gopis. Radha-kanta: He is controlled by the love and affection of the gopis, and especially by the love of Shrimati Radhika. You should try to remember the mood of this verse, as well as the meaning of each word of every verse that I am giving you. You will then realize these verses, and after that any prayer or verse that comes to you will come with realization. January 4: What is the next verse? [Devotee:] naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro naham varni na ca grha-patir no vanastho yatir va kintu prodyan nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah (Padyavali, 74): ["I am not a brahmana (priest or Vedic scholar), ksatriya (warrior or administrator), vaisya (agriculturalist or businessman), or sudra (worker), nor a brahmacari (celibate student), grhastha (householder), vanaprastha (renounced householder) or sannyasi (full renunciate). Being transcendental to this gross and subtle body, I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of the master of the gopis, Shri Krishna, who is the ultimate shelter of everyone, full of transcendental bliss and an ocean of unlimited nectar."] [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Are you American? [Devotee:] No. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You are from England? [Devotee:] Yes. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] This verse is explaining that you are not from England. You should not have any worldly identity. What are you? [Devotee:] I am a servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Shri Krishna. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Servant of the gopis - Gopi-bhartu [meaning "Krishna, who is controlled by the gopis"]. You are American because you are more fair in complexion? [Devotee:] This is false ego. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Why is that false ego? [Devotee:] "Kintu prodyan nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher." Krishna, who is always served by the gopis, is the most attractive, self-effulgent personality, and He is the supreme object of our service. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Why don't you mention that false ego is due to dehatma-buddhi, the illusory attachment for personal bodily coverings and everything connected with the body? In reality we are atma, pure spirit soul, but due to our bodily identification, we have a false conception of ourselves. Why has this come? It is due to Krishna-bhuli, forgetfulness of Krishna. [Devotee:] Due to ignorance and forgetfulness. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Why has ignorance come? Because we have forgotten Krishna. In what way have we forgotten Him? We are infinitesimal jivas - not Paramatma, the Supersoul. Being tiny, it is possible to forget Him. Who has told this verse (naham vipro...)? [Devotee:] Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] To whom? In general, He has told this verse for the benefit of all, but specifically He told it to Shri Svarupa Damodara and Shri Raya Ramananda. He used to relish this verse in various ways, weeping continuously. Will you remember this until the end of your life? [Devotee:] By your mercy, Gurudeva. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Don't forget this. Who told you all this? [Devotees:] You have told us. [Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] So don't forget this for your entire life. The next verse is: samsara-sindhu-tarane hrdayam yadi syat samkirttanamrta-rase ramate manas cet premambudhau viharane yadi citta-vrttir mayapurakhya-nagare vasatim kurusva ["If you cherish the desire in your heart to cross the ocean of material existence, if you have the desire to taste the sweet nectar of the holy name, if you have an intense eagerness to play in the ocean of prema, you must certainly reside in the city of Shri Mayapura." (Shri Navadvipa-satakam, Verse 9, by Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura] From time to time you should read Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, from beginning to end; and after this Shrimad-Bhagavatam - from top to bottom. We are engaged in devotional services all day, but within this time we must somehow take some time - in the night or day, to study. In a single day, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami sometimes slept one prahara (approximately three hours, and sometimes they did not sleep at all. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not sleep at all - neither in the day or night. We should also curtail our sleeping. In my young age, and then after I took sannyasa, up until my old age - my seventy-fifth year, I never slept in the daytime. In the daytime I used to go to the garden of our Math (preaching center or temple), or to a park, even in the heat, and I used to read all these scriptures. You should also do this. A grhastha works very hard throughout the day, performing many activities; we should do ten times more than that - in Krishna-bhajana. Krishna-bhajana is our life and soul. After this, life is finished, we do not know what birth we will take. krsna tvadiya-pada-pankaja-panjarantam adyaiva me visatu manasa-raja-hamsah prana-prayana-samaye kapha-vata-pittaih kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te ["O Krishna, my request is that the swan of my mind be caught this very day in the network of the lotus flowers of Your feet and dwell there in the ocean of rasa. At the time of death the throat will be choked up with mucus, air and bile. Under such conditions, how will it be possible to remember Your name?"] [To Madhava Maharaja:] Can you explain this verse? [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] A devotee is praying to Krishna: "Krishna tvadiya-pada-pankaja-panjarantam adyaiva me visatu manasa-raja-hamsah - Oh Krishna, I want that my mind becomes like a swan and enters Your lotus-like feet right now. As a swan takes the lotus root in Mana-sarovara, I want my swan-like mind to enter Your lotus-like feet and take the honey from there." If Krishna will ask, "Why are you in a hurry? Your lifespan is so long; wait a little." The devotee will tell Him, "No, I want to do this right now." Krishna will ask, "Why not wait for your old age to come?" The devotee will reply, "At the end of my life I will be in great pain and my throat will be filled with mucus, and my voice will be choked, so how will I remember You? I want my mind to be focused on Your lotus feet right now, and in that way I will be able to remember You at my last breath." If he remembers now and leaves his body now, there will be success; this is the meaning. So do not wait until old age for practicing Krishna consciousness, and remembering and chanting. This verse was written by king Kulasekhara. *[See Endnote 3] [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Do you understand? Always remember this. Otherwise, if we wait for death to remember Krishna, then, when our throat is choked up with mucus, bile and air, we will not be able to remember. "Adyaiva me visatu (may I enter such remembrance right now)" - we should think seriously about all these things. [*Endnote 1: This chapter describes how Lord Krishna ate a morsel of the flat rice brought by His friend Sudama and bestowed upon him wealth greater than that of the king of heaven. In the course of His loving talks with His friend Sudama, Lord Krishna said, "My dear brahmana, have you brought any gift for Me from home? I regard as very significant even the smallest offering from My loving devotee." But the poor brahmana was ashamed to present Krishna with his meager gift of flat rice. However, since Lord Krishna is the Supersoul dwelling in all hearts, He knew why Sudama had come to visit Him. So He grabbed the small bundle of flat rice Sudama was hiding and ate a morsel of it with great pleasure. He was about to eat a second morsel when Rukmini devi stopped Him. Feeling as if he had gone back to Godhead, Sudama spent that night comfortably in Lord Krishna's palace, and the next morning he set off for home. As he passed along the highway, he thought of how fortunate he was to have been so honored by Shri Krishna. Absorbed in this meditation, Sudama arrived at the place where his home used to be, and he was struck with great wonder. Instead of his broken-down hovel, he saw a series of opulent palaces. While he stood astonished, a group of beautiful men and women came forward to greet him with singing and music. The brahmana's wife, wonderfully adorned with celestial jewelry, came out of the palace and welcomed him with great love and reverence. Sudama entered his home together with her, thinking that this extraordinary transformation must have been due to the Supreme Lord's mercy on him. From then on Sudama lived his life amidst lavish wealth, yet he maintained his mood of detachment and constantly chanted the glories of Lord Krishna(.) In a short time he broke off all bonds of bodily attachment and attained the kingdom of God. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.81.1-2)] [*Endnote 2: In the midst of the Ocean of Milk, there is a very high and beautiful mountain that has an altitude of ten thousand yojanas, or eighty thousand miles. This mountain is known as Trikuta. In a valley of Trikuta there is a nice garden named Åtumat, which was constructed by Varuna, and in that area there is a very nice lake. Once, the chief of the elephants, along with female elephants, went to enjoy bathing in that lake, and they disturbed the inhabitants of the water. Because of this, the chief crocodile in that water, who was very powerful, immediately attacked the elephant's leg. Thus there ensued a great fight between the elephant and the crocodile. This fight continued for one thousand years. Neither the elephant nor the crocodile died, but since they were in the water, the elephant gradually became weak whereas the power of the crocodile increased more and more. Thus, the crocodile became more and more encouraged. Then the elephant, being helpless and seeing that there was no other way for his protection, sought shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.2 Summary) ] [*Endnote 3: If we are serious of being transferred to the loka , to the place where Krishna is, then we have to train up the mind so nicely that at the time of death we can remember Krishna. Therefore one great king, Kulasekhara, is praying to Krishna, "Krishna tvadiya pada-pankaja..." King Kulasekhara is praying to Krishna, "Adyaiva visatu me manasa-raja-hamsah. Adyaiva . Prana-prayana-samaye kapha-vata-pittaih smaranam kutas te." He is praying, "Krishna, I am now in good health. So kindly award me death immediately. Adyaiva. Immediately, so that my mind, which is just like a swan, can take pleasure by entering into stem of Your lotus flower-like feet." Krishna's feet are always compared with the lotus flower, and the lotus flower has got a stem. The swans take pleasure in being entangled with that stem. They go and dive into the water. This is their very good sporting. King Kulasekhara is taking that sporting and comparing his mind with the raja-hamsa . "As the raja-hamsa takes pleasure by entangling himself in the stem of the lotus flower, similarly Your lotus feet, there is a stem. So my mind, which may be compared with raja-hamsa, let it be entangled now, immediately. Otherwise I do not know . Prana-prayana-samaye kapha-vata-pittaih. When all bodily functions will be mixed up, kapha-vata-pittaih [mucus, air, and bile], 'ghan ghan,' there will be some sound, how I will be able to remembering Your lotus feet? So let me die immediately, immediately. Now I am quite fit. Otherwise I may not be able." This is the point. The mind should be kept in a healthy condition. Therefore, one who dies with full sense and remembering Krishna, oh, he is successful. (Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, Bhagavad-gita lecture 1.28-29, London, July 22, 1973).]
  5. A108-AI

    A Christmas message

    Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja North Shore, Hawaii: December 25, 2006 Today is Christmas Day, the birthday of Jesus Christ. In Europe and other countries, hardly anyone knows what Jesus Christ was doing in his youth, at around 15 years of age. Indian history shows that he was in India, where he visited Vrindavana, Ayodya, Jagannatha Puri, and other pilgrimage places. In Vrindavana he heard the name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, and when he went to Jagannath Puri he heard how the local persons pronounce Krishna as Krusna or Krusta. Later, Krusta became Christos. Later, Krusta became Christos (or Khristos) , and then Christus , so the change in name is actually only a difference in language. *[See Endnote 1] When Jesus returned to Galilee from India, he preached the same devotion he had learned in India. By his mercy, his followers preached the mission of God everywhere, and it was therefore gradually distributed in Western countries. There are not many Gods – There is only One. In the Bible it has been written: “God created man after His own image.” If the Supreme Lord, God, has no form, then how can He create so many worlds and so many forms? God has form. He has all qualities. ‘Christ’ means ‘Krishna’, the One without a second, the Supreme Lord. In the Bible we see that God has a transcendental form. Jesus has called him father, so there is some relation. We are refined Christians because we totally follow this understanding. Many of those who call themselves Christians don’t truly follow Christianity, because they say that God is formless, but the Bible actually tells that God has a form and that form is transcendental. Today, on the birthday of Jesus, we are giving honor to him. He was a manifestation of God called saktyavesa-avatara. God has empowered him, and that is why he was able to preach everywhere.Krishna is very merciful – very, very merciful. He is so beautiful, His qualities are transcendental, and the song of His flute is so sweet that it attracts everyone. We have forgotten Him. We are His part and parcel; that is, we are His servants or maidservants, whether we accept this or not. We have forgotten Him, and that is why maya (the Lord’s material, deluding potency) has taken us to this world. No one can be happy in this world, which is like a prison. Shri Krishna’s deluding potency maya keeps those who have forgotten Him in this jail, and anyone who wants happiness here is a foolish person. No one can be happy in jail. Only the watchmen – police of the jail – can be happy, and they are devotees. Only devotees can be happy in this world. Shri Krishna has mercifully given this human body, which is very strong, like a boat. He has placed a captain in this boat, and that captain is Shri Gurudeva. The favorable winds are blowing very fast, and these winds are sadhu-sanga, the association of devotees. For example, while you remained in your homes, we came from India. One of Gods messengers was Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. Shrila Swami Maharaja went door to door, to islands in the midst of oceans, on the top of hills, and in the depths of forests. He went everywhere and preached. How merciful are Krishna and His associates! Having all these facilities, if you do not take the opportunity to realize your self, to realize that you are soul and that the Supersoul, Krishna is present with you, then you are committing spiritual suicide. [*See Endnote 2] So don’t waste a minute’s time without worshipping Krishna. The money, houses, dogs, cats, cars, and so many other things you are collecting cannot give you any help at the time of death. You will have to go alone, and where you will go, you don’t know. So don’t waste time. All facility is available, so you are very fortunate. The only aim and object of this life should be this: ‘Realization of my self and Krishna, and performance of pure bhakti.’ Krishna is causelessly merciful. He has all powers, and He has invested all His powers and qualities in harinama (His holy names): Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Krishna’s names are more powerful than Krishna Himself. These names can stop your pain of endless birth and death, and they can give you love for Krishna. You should chant and remember the sweet pastimes of Krishna with great honor and strong belief. Krishna lives in Goloka Vrindavana with His associates – Nanda Baba, Mother Yasoda, Shridama, Subal, Madhumangala, and the gopis, including Shrimati Radhika. He always plays there. He thinks, “My servants and maidservants have forgotten Me.” In order to deliver them, He therefore descends with all of His associates in this material world and performs so many sweet pastimes here. He is unlimited, He is beyond the limitation of length and breadth, inside or outside; He is everywhere. All worlds are within His belly, and yet Mother Yasoda binds Him with the silken rope which holds her hair in a braid. He kindly picked up the great mountain Govardhana and held it for seven days on His left pinky. At that time He told all the Vrajavasis, “Come under Govardhana. I will save you from the rains arranged by Indra.” In Vrindavana He killed so many demons, like Aghasura and Bakasura. He killed Kamsa, who was as strong as 10,000 elephants. He also killed so many demons in Dvaraka, through Bhima and Arjuna; He killed so many in the Mahabharata War, such as Dronacarya and Bhisma. All the warriors had unparalleled immense strength, but they were all killed by Krishna. Paundraka Vasudeva, Sisupala, Kalayavana, and so many other demons were also killed by Him. At the end of His manifest pastimes, He took with Him His associates from Dvaraka as they were in the guise of their fighting and killing each other. Thus He removed the burden of the Earth, and then ascended with His eternal associates to His Goloka Vrindavana. He performed such sweet pastimes. How merciful He is! He came as Lord Ramacandra, with Sita, Laksmana, Bharata, Sratrugna, and Hanuman, and in that form He performed very pathetic, heart-rending pastimes. Ravana kidnapped Sita-devi, and Hanuman discovered where She was. With the help of monkeys and bears Ramacandra built a bridge over the ocean, and He killed Ravana and Ravana’s entire army. Sita is Rama’s eternal spiritual energy, but He sent Her away. This is a very sad pastime, so why did He do this? He thought: People will hear or read My pastimes and engage in bhakti (devotional service) to Me. Bhakti is so powerful that it is able to take out all the malice and manifest pure love in their heart. They will be liberated, they will join Me in My service and become happy. Bhakti is a very easy method to reach God. If you cannot pray, then simply offering respectful obeisances will do. If you sing God’s names and dance, or even chant loudly while walking, or even if you chant softly in the mind, or even if you name your dog or cat or cow Narayana, Krishna, or any of Gods names, you will be liberated at once, like Ajamila. [*See Endnote 3] My request is that you should not waste this human life. Don’t be always engaged in money-making. Even if you become more wealthy than Bill Gates, still, you cannot be happy. So try to engage in this very easy method of bhakti. Then you will be liberated from all miseries, and you will be happy forever. [*Endnote 1: “Prabhupada: Christian religion is practically, from the name it appears – ‘Christian’ and ‘Krsnian’. Original word of this ‘Christ’ comes from the Greek word ‘Kristo’. Dr. Weir: Anointed. Prabhupada: Yes. This ‘Christa’ is Krishna. Dr. Weir: From the Sanskrit? Prabhupada: Yes. Krsta is the popular word for Krishna. And Krishna is always anointed with tilaka. We follow this, tilaka, Krishna, anointed with this sandal pulp. So, so far I think, there is some very near relationship with this ‘Christian’ and ‘Krsnia’. Krsta means ‘love’, love of Godhead or love.” (Room Conversation, September 4, 1971, London). Father Emmanuel: I think Jesus, as the son of God, has revealed to us the actual name of God: Christ. We can call God ‘Father’, but if we want to address Him by His actual name, we have to say ‘Christ’. Shrila Prabhupada: Yes. ‘Christ’ is another way of saying Krsta, and ‘Krsta’ is another way of pronouncing the name of God, Krishna. Jesus said that one should glorify the name of God, but yesterday I heard one theologian say that God has no name-that we can call Him only "Father." A son may call his father ‘Father’, but the father also has a specific name. Similarly, ‘God’ is the general name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose specific name is Krishna. Therefore whether you call God ‘Christ’, ‘Krsta’ or ‘Krishna’, ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. Father Emmanuel: Yes, if we speak of God's actual name, then we must say, "Christos." In our religion, we have the Trinity: the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe we can know the name of God only by revelation from the Son of God. Jesus Christ revealed the name of the father, and therefore we take the name Christ as the revealed name of God. Shrila Prabhupada: Actually, it doesn't matter – Krishna or Christ – the name is the same. The main point is to follow the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures that recommend chanting the name of God in this age. The easiest way is to chant the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” (Science of Self Realization, Chapter 4). “Yes. Krishna means ‘the supreme lover and beloved’. He attracts everyone. There is one Greek word, krista. The meaning is the same, ‘love.’ And from this Krista, the word Christ has come. So this word Christ also has connection with Krishna.” April 13, 1975 Shrimad-Bhagavatam lecture) [*Endnote 2: nr-deham adyam su-labham su-durlabham plavan su-kalpan guru-karnadharam mayanukulena nabhasvateritam puman bhavabdhim na taret sa atma-ha The human body, which can award all benefit in life, is automatically obtained by the laws of nature, although it is a very rare achievement. This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the spiritual master as the captain and the instructions of the Personality of Godhead as favorable winds impelling it on its course. Considering all these advantages, a human being who does not utilize his human life to cross the ocean of material existence must be considered the killer of his own soul.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.20.17)] [*Endnote 3: “Ajamila was a resident of Kanyakubja (the modern Kanauj). He was trained by his parents to become a perfect brahmana by studying the Vedas and following the regulative principles, but because of his past, this youthful brahmana was somehow attracted by a prostitute, and because of her association he became most fallen and abandoned all regulative principles. Ajamila begot in the womb of the prostitute ten sons, the last of whom was called Narayana. At the time of Ajamila's death, when the order carriers of Yamaraja came to take him, he loudly called the name Narayana in fear because he was attached to his youngest son. Thus he remembered the original Narayana, Lord Visnu. Although he did not chant the holy name of Narayana completely offenselessly, it acted nevertheless. As soon as he chanted the holy name of Narayana, the order carriers of Lord Visnu immediately appeared on the scene. A discussion ensued between the order carriers of Lord Visnu and those of Yamaraja, and by hearing that discussion Ajamila was liberated. He could then understand the bad effect of fruitive activities and could also understand how exalted is the process of devotional service.” (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 6.1 Summary by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharajá Prabhupada)]
  6. Shrila Sarasvati Thakura knew that he would soon be going to his Master, and therefore he gave some final instructions to his disciples. Our Guru-Maharaja was there, as were Gosvami Maharaja (a prominent disciple), Kunja Bihari prabhu, Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaja and others. He told those in attendance, "I am unhappy. I have come for a mission – to give the things that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to give. He has ordered me to give the teachings of vipralambha (the mood of separation for Radha and Krishna) and gopi-prema. He ordered me to teach the reasons He came to this world, and to share His gifts. "However, most of my time was spent in cutting the 'jungles' of mayavada, sahajiya-vada, sakhi-bheki and all other non-devotional ideas. If there is a mayavada jungle, the seeds of bhakti will not sprout. I therefore had to cut so many jungles, and still there are so many jungles left throughout the world. Most of my time was spent in clarifying philosophical points." Saying this, his mood changed and his face became reddish. Then he spoke the following verse: yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha- dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano 'pi tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise 'pi ["Obeisances to the direction that faces Shri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of His garment, Lord Krishna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success." (Shri Radha-rasa-suddha-nidhi, text 2)] Shrila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura then explained how Krishna is obedient to Shrimati Radhika He said, "There is a nice verse by Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami:" smara-vilasita-talpe jalpa-lilam analpam krama-krti-parihinam bibhrati tena sardham mitha iva parirambharambha-vrttaika-varsma ksanam api mama radhe netram anandaya tvam ["O Radha, who without going anywhere else stays on the couch of amorous pastimes, talking for a long time with Lord Krishna and embracing Him so strongly that Your two forms appear to become one, please, for even a moment, delight my eyes." (Shri Stavavali, Shri Shri Prema-purabhidha-stotra, text 4)] "Shri Krishna is very obedient to Shrimati Radhika. She is always full of pride, because Krishna is Hers. She has madiya-mayi-bhava, which means that She always thinks, "Krishna is Mine." Candravali has the mood of tadiya-bhava: "I am Krishna's." Krishna is controlled by Radhika only, because of Her madiya-bhava. Shrimati Radhika is svadina-bhartrika. This means Shri Krishna is controlled by Her. Svadina bhartrika is of two kinds: maitri and sakhya. Madiya and tadiya are two parts of madhurya-rasa or paramour love, and they are each divided into two parts: maitri-mood and sakhya-mood. When love is slackened by sincerely requesting something, as in a prayer, that is called maitri. When priti (love) becomes prominent and prayer becomes secondary, that type of svadina-bhartrika is called sakhya. Candravali becomes svadina-bhartrika with maitri as the prominent mood (bhava), whereas Radhika becomes svadina-bhartrika with sakhya-bhava. At that time, Shrimati Radhika can order anything She likes from Krishna, and He will carry out those orders – He will do so even if He gets a hint of an order. He will always be ready to carry out an order, even if there is only a hint of it. Regarding Candravali's order however, He will only carry out Her prominent orders; she must tell Him what she wants. In this way, Radhika is most prominent among all the gopis." Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was ordered by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to help all devotees understand that Shrimati Radhika is the most powerful among all the gopis, and that in order to become Her dasi (maidservant), we will have to become rupanuga. Without being rupanuga – without the guidance of Shri Rupa-manjari – we cannot serve Radhika. Shri Krishna's priya-narma sakhas (His most intimate of cowherd friends) like Subala and Shridama are inclined towards Shrimati Radhika. They are pleased when Radhika and Krishna meet. There are also some priya-narma-sakhas who facilitate Candravali's relationship with Krishna, but Prabhupada was greatly inclined to Shrimati Radhika, in favor of rupanuga. He was rupanuga. He wanted to distribute this idea of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu: we want to be the servant of Shri Rupa-manjari, so that we can serve Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, not Candravali and others. Shrila Sarasvati Thakura's idea was to preach rupanuga-bhakti. Actually it was not to preach it, for rupanuga is not preached. His idea was to inspire devotees for this service to Shrimati Radhika. At the end of his manifest stay in this world, however, he told his followers, "I could not do this, so I am unhappy. You should all gather and come under the shelter of asraya-tattva (the principle of the pure devotee – the reservoir of love for Krishna). Who is asraya-tattva? Guru is asraya-tattva. Living in such shelter, you should serve the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha and Krishna under the guidance of Shri Rupa-manjari." This was the root motive for all his activities – to give this to the world. He continued, "For this I have given great suffering to so many persons. I have snatched their educated and very qualified boys and girls, and brought them in this line. Therefore they became furious with me. Also, a certain group (samaja) in Navadvipa and Vrndavana made a movement against me. They could not understand my ideas, and they became opposed to me. The day will come, however, when they will realize that I have done something good, for society and for the individuals in society. I have done something good for everyone's welfare. Later they will regret that they opposed me. They will repent for this. "So you should serve Radha and Krishna under the shelter of guru-tattva. Don't quarrel. Don't think you will be happy by collecting worldly possessions. You may be lacking so many things, but accumulating worldly possessions and positions will not make you happy. The fruit of having attained a human body is not the fulfillment of useless material ambitions. Besides these desires, we also have various kinds of diseases and our minds are disturbed with many worries. Leave them all. "Fix an ultimate goal for your life. Decide where you will have to go and what you will have to do, so that your soul will be happy. Don't go towards material enterprises. One day this mundane body will become old and, poisoned by many diseases, it will then be finished. Yet, at that time, if you have given your body to Krishna for His service, your life will be a success. Offer this very wretched body to Krishna." "Please try to understand my view. Do not quarrel among yourselves over useless worldly values. Always keep in mind what I have told you." Then he left this world. At that time our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, was present. Bhakti-vilasa Tirtha Maharaja was also present there, and at that time he had not yet taken sannyasa. He was managing all the affairs in all the Mathas at that time. He proposed that our Prabhupada should be cremated in Calcutta, at the burning ghata (crematorium place) at Karatala. Our Guru-Maharaja opposed this and said, "I request you not to take him. We will take the transcendental body of our Prabhupada to Mayapura, where he used to do his bhajana. And he will continue to do his bhajana, for he is still alive. He will be in samadhi. We will erect a Samadhi-mandira there. Then, living there with his Lord, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he will guide us forever." When those who had the idea that Shrila Prabhupada's transcendental body should be cremated opposed again, Guru Maharaja became furious. Standing by his divine body, He very boldly said, "You cannot take him to Karatala. I will personally stop whoever is doing so." He then arranged a train from Calcutta, (from where Prabhupada left the world) to Krishna-nagara. Around the first of January, in the morning, several thousand persons went with his transcendental body to Mayapura. Then, in the evening they carried his body to the area where the Samadhi is now situated, and they performed kirtana throughout the night. With the assistance of many young boys, our Guru-maharaja dug that Samadhi. He managed the entire separation festival, just as I did for your Prabhupada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja here in Vrndavana. He anointed the body with fragrant oils and put his Gurudeva in samadhi there. Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura preached the teachings of Lord Chaitanya throughout India in no time. He also sent Bon Maharaja, Tirtha Maharaja and Gosvami Maharaja to the Western countries. Preaching did not advance as he wanted, however. He called for Bon Maharaja to return from England and told him, "We do not want to take anything from the Western countries. We have no need to take anything from them. Simply give them what I have told to you – we only want to give the same bhakti-bhava that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given. Do not follow the habits of the Western civilization of eat, drink and be merry, as Vivekananda did." He became somewhat apprehensive. Then he sent Gosvami Maharaja, and after that he ordered Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to do it. Shrila Swami Maharaja then performed a miracle. Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was so pleased to know that he has performed this task, and all of you are completing his task. May Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada be merciful to all of us today. May he inspire pure bhakti in our hearts, so that we can practice and distribute this to others.
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