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  1. 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.
  2. 39 downloads

    Texts by Bhakti Vedanta Trivikram: article, prayers. Language: English, Russian. Format: pdf. Content: Тексты Бхакти Веданта Тривикрама: статья, молитвы. Язык: русский, английский. Формат: pdf. Содержание:

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  3. 46 downloads

    Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Trivikram Goswami - lectures (1996-1998). Language of lectures: English. Format: MP3. Content: Шрила Бхакти Веданта Тривикрам Госвами - лекции (1996-1998). Язык лекций: Английский. Формат: MP3. Содержание:

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  4. Distinguished disciple of Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja.
  5. Excerpts from a lecture delivered by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja on 17th July 1988 at Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha, Chunchura sa jiyat krsna-caitanyah sri-rathagre nanarta yah yenasij jagatam citram jagannatho ’pi vismitah All glories to Sri Krsna Caitanya, who danced in front of the chariot of Sri Jagannatha. Seeing Him dance, not only was the whole universe astonished, but Lord Jagannatha Himself became amazed. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 13.1) Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s dance in front of Lord Jagannatha’s chariot was so ecstatic it astonished all who saw it. What was the nature of that dance? This is described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter Thirteen. Our attempt to fathom the essential quality of His dance is based on our experience of worldly dances – Indian dance, Manipuri dance, South Indian dance, Russian ballet and so forth. These dances are astounding to behold. The dancers’ movements are so swift and dexterous that they appear to have no bones! They can manipulate their bodies as they please. Mahaprabhu’s dance excelled these dances by far, and the mood of His dance astonished the entire world. We imagine His dance to resemble these worldly dances, but the subject of it bears no such similarity. Also, the dancing of females is generally considered more attractive than that of males, but Mahaprabhu is male. What was the amazing feature of His dance? What Was the Subject of His Dance? Most people think that Mahaprabhu’s devotees exaggerate and overly praise the extraordinary nature of His dance. Srila Kaviraja Gosvami describes how Mahaprabhu’s dance around Lord Jagannatha’s chariot resembled a single firebrand that is rotated so swiftly it appears to be a circle of fire. Mahaprabhu moved with such speed, that He appeared to be simultaneously present at every point of His circumambulation. Such a sight is certainly astonishing, but our amazement should not stop there. What bhava was manifesting in Sriman Mahaprabhu at a given moment, and what internal transformations was He undergoing as a result? This was the foundation of His dance. Ordinary conditioned souls have a superficial conception of His moods. Only when we become bhavuka, that is, when we deeply understand these moods, will we be able to understand His internal moods and how they stimulated His dance. We perceive His dance to resemble people’s joyful dancing at a festival. We may even think it is like the dancing of boys and girls in modern times, the sight of which pollutes the mind and stimulates lusty desires. Sriman Mahaprabhu’s dance at Ratha-yatra is not to be compared to the dancing of persons in this material world, because the subject of His dance is not lust, but transcendental love. Lust and Love In this world everything is composed of lust. What is lust? atmendriya-priti-vancha – tare bali ‘kama’ krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare ‘prema’ nama The desire to gratify one’s own senses is called kama (lust), but the desire to satisfy the senses of Sri Krsna is known as prema (transcendental love). (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 4.165) Sastra thus reveals the true conceptions of lust and love. Any endeavour conditioned souls like us make to indulge the senses – the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin – is lust. We think that we will be happy by seeing beautiful objects, smelling fragrant scents, tasting delicious foodstuffs or hearing pleasant sounds, such as a piano, or especially, a lady’s sweet voice. All of our activities aim to satisfy our senses and we consider it good for us. But it is merely lust. In this world we speak of marital love or brotherly love, but neither is true love because the sole purpose of such ‘love’ is to satiate our own senses. Why does a husband love his wife? Because through her, he can gratify his senses. In the same way, a wife satisfies her senses through her husband. Their mutual act of sense gratification cannot be called love. Atmendriya-priti-vancha – tare bali ‘kama’. It is all lust. Patriotism is also lust. Why do we love our country? We think, “I was born in this country, and its trees, environment, rivers, mountains and so forth delight my mind and body.” Our love is based on our own pleasure. We love everything that delights our senses and gives pleasure to our mind. What, then, is love? What is the love between Bhagavan and the gopis or between other devotees and their beloved Lord? “Krsnendriya-priti-iccha dhare ‘prema’ nama – the desire to give pleasure to Krsna’s senses is called love.” Acts of sacrifice in brotherly or marital love are not meant for the Lord’s pleasure and are therefore classified as lust. Only acts for the Lord’s pleasure can really be called love. Faultless Lust We see that the behaviour of Krsna and the gopis resembles the behaviour of men and women in this world. Krsna became happy by enjoying the gopis through His senses, and the gopis’ senses were also gratified, so how is it love? Atmendriya-priti-vancha tare bali ‘kama’. Why isn’t it called lust? The gopis are never motivated by a desire to enjoy their own senses; their only desire is to give pleasure to Krsna’s senses. Now, you may argue that since Krsna enjoyed with them, isn’t it lust? But the fact is that Krsna is such an Entity that His lust is love. Our lust certainly is not. Krsna’s lust is faultless. The type of auspiciousness He can bestow upon one whose service He has enjoyed is incomparable. We cannot bestow that kind of favour upon anyone we enjoy. What kind of auspiciousness can a husband bestow upon his wife by enjoying her? But what can Krsna not do for one whose slightest service He has accepted? Putana, for example, applied poison to her breast and went out to kill Him. She shrewdly displayed maternal affection, saying, “O Baba, O my darling boy, come, have some breast milk.” Although her ‘affection’ was full of duplicity, Krsna reciprocated and gave her the position of a mother in Vaikuntha. Is this possible for us? Any of us? We can’t liberate even ourselves from this material world, what to speak of liberating someone else from it and granting them the happiness of service in Vaikuntha. If Krsna can liberate a deceitful person like Putana from this material world and instate her as “mother” in Vaikuntha, what will He not give to His dearest beloveds? They truly serve Him with senses that give Him more pleasure than the pleasure He receives from being fed breast milk. What will they not achieve? Unmotivated Service Yields the Highest Reward It is for this reason that Krsna said to the gopis, “I will never be able to repay My debt to you.” The gopis’ desire to please Krsna was unconditional. They did not want repayment; furthermore, He was unable to give any. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.11) He promised, “ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham – O Partha! In whichever way a person renders service to Me, I in turn serve him in that very same way.” Krsna says, “I always repay those who serve Me; I never live in debt.” But to the gopis He said, “na paraye ’ham niravadya – I’ll never be able to repay you. I’ll always remain indebted to you.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22). Why did Krsna say this? “Since you always desire My happiness without a trace of desire for your own, what could I possibly give you that would make you happy?” The gopis replied, “Our pleasure will come from Your happiness.” Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 20.52) quotes Srimati Radhika: “Na gani apana-duhkha, sabe vanchi tanra sukha, tanra sukha – amara tatparya – I do not consider My personal distress; I only desire to make Krsna joyful. Indeed, giving Him delight is the very purpose of My life.” The gopis know nothing other than desiring Krsna’s happiness. This is the purpose of their every action. They even dress with Krsna’s pleasure in mind. We feel pleased when we dress and decorate ourselves nicely. The gopis also like to look attractive. They don necklaces and other beautiful ornaments, decorate their hair and apply makeup. It may seem that their happiness is derived from beautifying themselves, but this is not the case. The gopis know that upon seeing them, Krsna will feel happy at heart, and for that reason alone they adorn themselves. They don’t aspire for their own pleasure. The little they eat is simply to maintain their charm for Krsna’s pleasure. Their entire range of activities is solely to give pleasure to Sri Krsna. This full dedication to His pleasure is the nature of His devotees. Externally there may be similarities between the activities of a devotee and those of a non-devotee, but internally they are at opposite poles. Devotees do not desire their own sense gratification; everything they do is for Krsna’s happiness. That is why sastra states that harming a devotee warrants an unlimitedly greater reaction than harming any other living being. The Pastime that Astonished the Universe No one has ever relished Ratha-yatra like Sriman Mahaprabhu did. No one else can. His dancing before the chariot astonished not only the entire universe, but Lord Jagannatha Himself. Not only humans, but the moveable and immoveable living beings throughout the universe – the trees, plants, animals, birds and insects – were all astonished. Jagat means that the entire universe was included. How could this be? We consider these descriptions to be exaggerated or that someone has simply made them up. But the writers of these narrations are not the type of people to deceive us for their own profit, adoration or fame. They are seers of the Truth and they reveal the Truth for our welfare. The writer of this pastime became astonished to behold Mahaprabhu’s incredible dance, and for this reason he explains it with much joy. He directly perceived the universe becoming astonished. How could all beings understand the greatness of His dance? Why isn’t it said that only those who directly witnessed His dance became astonished? Rather it says “yenasij jagatam citram – the entire universe was astonished.” What is the meaning of jagad here? The soul exists inside every living entity, whether the body encasing it is human or insect. The quality of the soul is the same in all bodies; no soul is greater or lesser than another. The bodies and minds of the various living entities may differ in quality – the human body and mind are certainly superior to the bodies and minds of other living beings – but there is no difference in the quality of their souls. All are the same. Mahaprabhu demonstrated this when He journeyed through the Jharikhanda jungle. At that time wild creatures, such as elephants, tigers, birds and boars, shed tears of love, and trees and creepers oozed honey out of love. The enmity between the animals dissipated because they were chanting the holy name, and all danced and embraced each other. Prema overwhelms Sriman Mahaprabhu, the personification of prema, and so naturally, it overwhelms all living entities. Mahaprabhu melted even stones with His love. He went to Alalanatha and displayed such love that the stone melted. He leaned on the wall of the Jagannatha temple in Puri with His hand, and the wall melted. Impressions of His fingers still remain. It is no exaggeration, no fabrication. We cannot melt stone, but does that mean the Lord cannot? He is the master of unlimited universes. His pastimes are astonishing, and He mercifully performs such pastimes to attract us to Him. Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.10) states, “ittham-bhuta-guno harih – Sri Hari possesses all transcendental qualities and can attract all beings, including liberated souls.” We are absorbed in various objects and entities, but do their qualities have this potency? Mahaprabhu Himself revealed His qualities to attract and then benefit us. His appearance alone benefited all the living beings of His time. And the magnanimous conception He instigated – as revealed in the verse anarpita-carim cirat – has continued to this day. We are also trying to imbibe this conception. What if He had not appeared? We should try to realise the greatness of His compassion. Previously, our wife, children, family, house and so forth were our all in all. What kind of happiness do such attachments bring? Although we constantly bear witness to the misery of the world, we consider it the best possible place for us, being bewildered by powerful illusion. We believe in Bhagavan and chant His names, but we hanker to receive material benedictions from Him. Ideally, we should deem this world and the objects of enjoyment in it to be most insignificant, yet we cannot relinquish our search for happiness here. We find ourselves becoming increasingly allured by this world instead of becoming attracted to the Lord’s qualities and glories. Such is our misfortune. Yet in His time, Mahaprabhu, the prema-surya, or brilliant sun of pure love, mercifully attracted all the inhabitants of the universe and satiated them with His rays. Deer walked in the jungle uttering the holy name “Krsna, Krsna”. The tiger, wild boar, elephant, snake, peacock, bird – everyone uttered this name. Honey flowed from the trees and creepers due to love, exactly as it flowed from the trees and plants during Sri Krsna’s pastimes in Vraja. Sriman Mahaprabhu is Himself that same tattva, Krsna, and therefore, with the manifestation of that very same prema, identical circumstances occurred. What is the Real Glory of His Dance? Essentially, we think that it was the fascinating, external aspect of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s dance that captivated the entire world. But what was the spirit, or life, of that dance? This is what attracted the whole world. As Mahaprabhu danced, what mood absorbed and overwhelmed Him? Are the artistic movements of a cinema artist or professional dancer inferior to Mahaprabhu’s dance? Russian dance and other dances can amaze us. How attractive these dances are, lifting their legs so high and spinning around! They dance as if their bodies have no bones, and so we compare their dance to Mahaprabhu’s. Has Mahaprabhu showed a greater skill than this? We cannot imagine anything more wonderful. “Oh! Mahaprabhu’s dance is like these dances.” Like what? He is spinning so fast, like a firebrand tied to a swiftly rotating rope, thus appearing to be a single circle of fire. We can understand that this is certainly an incredible feature of His dance. Now, is Sriman Mahaprabhu’s ability to dance like this a small matter? How can someone spin as fast as a quickly turning wheel where the individual spokes are not discernible? This is our conception of the glory of His dance. What, however, is its real glory that attracted the entire universe? The soul within all living entities is qualitatively equal. Mahaprabhu’s merciful potency is such that it cleanses the dust from the hearts of all souls, regardless of their body, or external covering. In this way, the function of the soul in the tiger, bear and all others in the Jharikhanda forest was awakened. Trees oozed honey. All became astounded and danced in prema, forgetting all enmity. The entire universe became overwhelmed by the love of Mahaprabhu. In the same way Mahaprabhu’s flood of love came to Puri Ratha-yatra and as a result, each soul attained his constitutional perfection. Not only the universe became overwhelmed by His prema, but Lord Jagannatha, the supreme, complete Soul, was also overwhelmed by it as He sat on His chariot. We are partial, atomic spirit, and therefore it is not surprising that the glorious pastimes of the Absolute Spirit astound us. But Lord Jagannatha Himself is that Supreme Spirit! How can He be amazed? Maybe that is also an exaggeration. But it is not. In tattva, both Mahaprabhu and Jagannatha are the same Absolute Truth. Here, it is appropriate to refer to Krsna as Jagannatha because Jagannatha is Dvarakadhisa, the King of Dvaraka city. He who manifests His aisvarya-prema (love in a mood of awe and reverence) to Rukmini, Satyabhama and His other queens is Jagannatha. The Krsna of Vraja never leaves Vraja. He doesn’t even go to Puri or Mayapura. If anyone goes to those places it is Mahaprabhu, who is “radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam – that same Krsna replete with the loving moods of Srimati Radharani” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.5). Therefore, when Jagannatha-deva saw Krsna as Mahaprabhu in this dancing pastime, He was astonished and overwhelmed with krsna-prema. This account of Mahaprabhu’s dance is unquestionably an accurate description of what took place and is devoid of a drop of exaggeration. We Can Never Dance Like Him We wonder how Jagannatha sitting on His chariot can be bewildered, and think that we also can charm Him in this way. We then dance and circumambulate the chariot of Lord Jagannatha, thus imitating Mahaprabhu. Will we ever be qualified to even come close to the mood of Mahaprabhu in any lifetime? Gauracandra is radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam – Krsnacandra adorned with the bodily lustre of Srimati Radharani and overwhelmed by Her mood. Only He can amaze Jagannatha like this. We are unable to even approach the path leading to Mahaprabhu’s mood. Even if we pass through anartha-nivrtti, in which we become free from desires that hinder our progress in bhakti, and attain liberation or even bhava, we will always remain a partial atomic spirit. We will never be equal to the whole. We may attain the pinnacle of perfection possible for an atomic soul, but we will never be able to dance like Him. The Sweetness of the Dance of the all Glorious Lord How unique was the mercy of Mahaprabhu! He blessed the entire world by bestowing nama-sankirtana, the greatest gift from Goloka. He demonstrated the highest service to Krsna imbued to the fullest extent with Srimati Radharani’s absorption in deep feelings of separation from Him. Mahaprabhu’s dance at Ratha-yatra was in this mood. Do we actually even care to know about the bhava He was experiencing? Even if we were to personally witness Mahaprabhu’s dance, we would not understand the first thing about it without receiving His blessings. We would simply observe its external features and wonder, “Oh, what special dance is this?” Those who are rasika, whom Mahaprabhu has blessed with certain conceptions and emotions, can relish the sweetness of this dancing pastime and of Jagannatha-deva relishing it. Just see how this one sloka describes the pastime in full. How wonderful! How scholarly! Sa jiyat means, “All glories to Him, all glories to Him!” Simply chanting this, however, does not mean that we can actually glorify Him. But what else shall we say to Him? When we become endowed with a service attitude toward Him, what else can we desire but to sing His glories? We may or may not be successful in spreading them, but at least we desire to. We always desire the victory and welfare of the one we love. Mahaprabhu is always glorious and should be glorified. Our propensity to glorify Him should increase. “Jagannatho ’pi vismitah – Lord Jagannatha Himself became astonished.” The chariot stopped moving. It was stuck and Lord Jagannatha watched the dance in amazement. Where else will He find a Krsna such as this, who is overwhelmed by the mood of Srimati Radharani? Just see the condition of this Krsna! jaya jaya sri-krsna-caitanya nityananda jayadvaita-candra jaya gaura-bhakta-vrnda jaya srota-gana, suna, kari’ eka mana ratha-yatraya nrtya prabhura parama mohana All glories to Sri Krsna Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda! All glories to Advaita-candra! And all glories to the devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! All glories to the listeners of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta! Please now give your one-pointed attention to hearing the narration of the Ratha-yatra festival in which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced enchantingly. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 13.2–3) We Alone Remain Unmoved by His Dance It is the proclivity of the body and mind to be attracted to worldly dances because we are still in the bodily conception of life. We wonder what is so unique about Mahaprabhu’s dance because the constitutional function of our soul has not been awakened. atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim ittham-bhuta-guno harih All variety of those who are atmarama, who take pleasure in their atma, as well as munis, who are absorbed in contemplating the self, are free from anger, false ego and other anarthas. Still they render selfless, unmotivated loving service, or bhakti, to Sri Hari who performs awesome activities. He possesses such wonderful qualities that He can attract everyone, even those who are already liberated. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.10) Such are the qualities of Sri Hari. Even those who fully identify with their atma, not with their bodies and minds, become attracted by the qualities of Sri Hari. Nirgrantha refers to those who have no need or attraction for worldly objects. They are not bound in attachment to their mind and body, or to what is related to their body, such as their father, mother, children, wife, brother, sister, house, property and so forth. Even those who have attained the last limit of liberation are always eager to serve Krsna, just as we are extremely eager to serve our wives and children. Although we should unconditionally endeavour for His happiness and pleasure, our performance of bhakti is filled with prayers like, “O Lord, please grant me health”, “Keep my son well” or “Award me with wealth”. In how many ways do we try to serve our family members! This needs no explanation. We think ourselves highly blessed to be able to serve them, to supply our wife with cloth, jewellery or any of her favorite items. But the soul has no connection with persons and objects of this world. Sages, therefore, are not inclined to develop such relationships. Kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim means “they love”. Bhakti means “to love purely”, and it is a higher stage than liberation. The sages are established in the eternal occupation of the soul, and therefore their abhimana, or identification, is with their atma. Even personalities on this platform love Sri Hari. The sages’ love comes from the natural propensity of the soul. For those who are conditioned, love is expressed through the body and mind. A magnet’s intrinsic quality is to attract iron; and iron’s inherent quality is to be attracted to a magnet. If another element comes between them, their natural mutual attraction does not manifest until the obstruction is removed. Similarly, the soul is naturally attracted and related to the Supersoul. The covering of material energy over the soul is the foreign element that blocks the soul’s innate attraction. By eliminating this obstruction, the atomic conscious soul will become fully attracted to the complete conscious Supersoul. That is why this verse emphasises such personalities who, although self-satisfied, are attracted to that Supreme Soul through the natural serving propensity of their atma. Why do such self-satisfied persons perform bhakti without any material cause? Why does the magnet attract and the iron become attracted? It is their propensity, their nature. In the same way, the constitutional occupation of each and every soul is to engage in bhakti to Bhagavan. Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) states “sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje – to love, to perform uninterrupted and causeless bhakti to Sri Hari, is the natural tendency of us all.” Such is the relationship between the soul and the Supersoul. The four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara) were liberated souls who also became devotees after smelling the fragrance of the tulasi leaves offered at the lotus feet of the Lord. Although they were liberated, they were not yet acting according to the natural propensity of the soul. Sri Hari’s unique quality is that He can attract such persons and make them His devotees. Sri Hari can attract all, but He is unable to attract us, despite His substantial endeavour to do so. This is our incalculable misfortune. The dance of Mahaprabhu charmed the whole universe, but we remain unmoved. We reason, “It would be senseless to leave our present situation. He will never successfully attract us, no matter what trickery He employs. We are fine just as we are.” Transcribed and Edited by the Rays of the Harmonist team Originally Published in Rays of The Harmonist Number 16, Karttika 2006.

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