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  1. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [This year, 2018, July 27 and 28 around the world (see calendar) is the disappearance day of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. We hope you enjoy the following excerpts from Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's booklet called Siva-Tattva, wherein Lord Siva's relationship with Shri Sanatana Gosvami is beautifully described.] A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Siva, "I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Lord Siva told him, "Go to Vrndavana and meet with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your daughter's marriage." The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and there he asked the villagers there for the whereabouts of a person named Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his residence. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami was practicing bhajana near the Yamuna River at Kaliya-hrada, the former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Kaliya-hrada was close to the Yamuna, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a loincloth. He used to go begging door-to-door for a small amount of prasada (Krsna's food remnants), and would take as his meal only one dry chapatti (flat bread), with no salt. The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, "I went to Sankara Mahadeva, Lord Siva, and he told me to meet you. He said you will give me some wealth for my daughter's marriage." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I have no possessions. You can see that I have nothing but a loincloth." Then he thought, "Oh, Siva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend." Thinking of Lord Siva and contemplating further, he remembered a touchstone he had once disgarded and then forgotten. Now he told the brahmana, "Go to the Yamuna and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone. It is somewhere in the sand, though I don't remember where." The brahmana found the jewel, touched it to iron, and the iron turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Lord Siva had told him to come to Vrndavana, and thought with gratitude, "My prayer has been answered by him." On the way home, however, his greed for money increased and he began thinking, "Why did Sanatana Gosvami keep the touchstone in the sand? It had no use there. He must have still more valuable jewels." He thus returned, and Sanatana Gosvami asked him, "Why have you come back?" He replied, "I've come because I know that you have more valuable jewels than this." Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Go and throw the touchstone in the Yamuna. The brahmana did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Come here. Come here." He gave him the mantra, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare" and said, "I do not have worldly jewels, but I have transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krsna and Shri Radha will come to you in a very short time. So remain here. Your daughter's marriage will take place automatically. Stay here and chant Hare Krsna." That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, the great Vaisnava saint who resided in Vrndavana near the old Shri Madana-Mohana temple, would go daily to see Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva at his temple. Once, in his older years, Sanatana Gosvami had a dream wherein Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared and instructed him: "Now that you are old, please do not go through so much trouble to see me." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I will continue to come. I cannot change this habit." Gopisvara Mahadeva said, "Then I will come and stay very near to your residence, manifesting in Bankhandi." The very next day, Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared in Bankhandi, halfway between his original temple and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's residence. Seeing this, Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, and from that day on he visited Bankhandi Mahadeva every day. Wherever he was, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami could not live without his beloved Lord Siva – Gopisvara Mahadeva and Bankhandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana, and Kamesvara Mahadeva in Kamyavana forest. In Govardhana he would stay near his very dear friend, Cakresvara Mahadeva, who acquired the name when he served Govardhana Hill and the Vrajavasis by holding up his trident like a cakra, protecting them from the torrential deluge sent by King Indra.
  2. There is one person whose name is never mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And yet Bhāgavatam’s steadfast readers constantly nurture the ardent hope of becoming that person’s devout, one-pointed servant. May that person, who means everything to Śrī Bhagavān, kindly destroy our false ego in all its various forms and bestow upon us the shelter of Her lotus feet. Today is the day of Her advent.
  3. A108-AI

    Guru Purnima with Video

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

    Gundica Mandira Marjana

    02 July 2008 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja We should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. He is the same God for the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and all others. There are not different Gods – He is the same God, the same Allah, the same Christ. Just as there is one sun and one moon for the entire world, similarly, there are not different Gods for different people. How can God be divided? There cannot be more than one God; otherwise all the gods will quarrel over territory and position. There is only one God, but He appears according to the vision of the devotee. An analogy can be given in relation to the moon. It appears that there are fifteen different moons. For fifteen days the moon gradually increases in size, eventually becoming a full moon. After that it decreases in size again, becoming a new moon on the last day of the month. The “moons” are not different; it is the names of the moon that are different: full moon, new moon, quarter moon, and so on. Similarly, there is only one God, but He appears to be many because people have seemingly divided Him up by their different languages and understandings. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has many manifestations such as Rama, Nrsimha, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Narayana, and they are all the same. Even the person Christians call “God” is the same, for He is also one of Krishna’s manifestations, as are Allah and Jehovah. These are all names of God’s manifestations. Some of these manifestations are more complete and have more power, and some have less power. The full moon, the new moon, and the stages in between all belong to the same moon, but we see differences according to our angle of vision. Actually, the moon is always full, but we consider that it is waxing or waning when it is covered to varying degrees. Shri Krishna playing flute In the same way, Krishna is one without a second. He has innumerable manifestations, but they are all Krishna. We are also parts and parcels of Krishna. We are not Krishna, but at the same time, we are non-different from Him. Both principles are there: difference and non-difference. We can use the analogies of the sun and its rays, and the fire and its heat; they are also different and nondifferent. This is an astonishing truth, which Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained thoroughly. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second. Sometimes He manifests in this world personally, and sometimes He sends His associates to give pure knowledge. All the souls here in this world are eternal servants of that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the true conception, whether we accept it or not. We have forgotten Him from the beginning of the creation of this world, so He sometimes descends and performs very sweet and powerful pastimes so that all conditioned souls will be attracted to Him and engage in His service. He sometimes descends as Krishna, sometimes as Rama, and sometimes as Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. We cannot realize Krishna if our hearts are full of lust, worldly desires, and unwanted habits. He cannot come into our hearts under these circumstances; so these impurities must first be given up. There is no place for doubt in devotion. No one has any confusion or doubt about whether the sun exists, so why should there be any doubt about the existence of the creator of millions of suns? He can create millions and millions of worlds in a moment, and He can also destroy them. Sometimes He comes here, only to save us and to engage us all in His service. Other than serving Him, there is no way to be happy in this world or in any other world. There is only one God, and ignoring Him is the cause of our unhappiness. We can be happy if we engage in Krishna’s service. Don’t be afraid that serving Him will be like serving someone in this world. There is immense happiness in serving Him, more so than in serving your wife, husband, children, father, and so on. There is very, very relishable love and affection in His service. There is so much love and affection in Krishna’s transcendental abode – oceans of love and affection. In this world the master gains and the servant has to lose something, but it is not like that there. First we should know that we are Krishna’s eternal servants, but we have forgotten Him, and that is the cause of all our suffering and sorrow, birth and death. We should have very firm faith in this. Don’t have any doubt that we are spirit souls, parts and parcels of Godhead, that we are His eternal servants, and that it is due to forgetting Him that we are suffering now. We can realize His mercy if we chant His name and surrender to Him, giving up all doubts as Arjuna did. Jagannatha-deva, Baladeva Prabhu, and Subhadra have descended to this world from their transcendental abode. We will gradually try to explain the true identity (svarupa) of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra – who they are and how they came to this world. Today is the day of gundica-mandira-marjana, the cleansing of the Gundica Temple. Shri Caitanya-caritamrta states that the temple of Jagannatha represents Dvaraka, while the temple at Gundica is called Sundaracala and represents Vrndavana. All the gopis, such as Lalita, Visakha, and Shrimati Radhika, are there in Vrndavana, and so are Nanda Baba, Yaçoda, and all the other Vrajavasis. Vasudeva, Devaki, Baladeva, Subhadra, and all the other Dvarakavasis reside in Dvaraka. While Krishna resides in Dvaraka, He always remembers the Vrajavasis – His father Nanda Baba, His mother Yasoda, His cows, calves, friends, and especially His beloved gopis. He sometimes becomes so distraught in separation from them that He arranges to go to Vrndavana to meet them. One day before the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu leads all the devotees to the Gundica Mandira to clean it. On the next day, Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira along with Baladeva, Subhadra, and His devotees for ten days, after which they all return. Just as Jagannatha goes to Gundica Mandira after it is cleaned, so He may come into your heart if you make it very pure and clean. This festival of gundica-marjana has been performed every year since Satya-yuga. In Shri Caitanya-caritamrta we see that previously, before the participation of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the servants of the King used to clean that temple, but they would not clean it properly because they were being paid to do it. They could not give Jagannatha much pleasure because they had no devotion. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told the King through his priest Kasi Misra, “I would like the service of cleaning the temple and the surrounding area to be given to us.” He told Kasi Misra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and others, “Please get permission from the King so that this year I Myself will serve the Gundica Mandira along with My associates. We will sweep and clean it ourselves. There is no need to send any servants of the King; no need at all. We only need some brooms and pitchers.” Hundreds and thousands of pitchers and brooms were obtained, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates arrived. Thousands of Bengali devotees and many thousands of Orissan devotees accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu with dancing and kirtana. They had about fifteen mrdangas and many karatalas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally gave them all garlands and candana, and then, dancing in line formation, they all began to sing. They all went to Gundica Mandira, singing and dancing, and holding their brooms and pitchers. The King became very happy. He wanted to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu and serve Him, but although he was a very high-class devotee, he had the name and position of a king. He had great wealth and reputation and was always surrounded by armies, commanders, and so on. Following the regulations of the sannyasa order, Caitanya Mahaprabhu never wanted a sense enjoyer (visayi) such as a king to come to Him. He considered that it would be a disturbance, because He would be bound to hear mundane talk (visayi-katha). We will be alarmed and fearful if a snake comes near us, even if its poison has been removed. Similarly, a devotee fears association with a sense enjoyer because it will disturb his sadhana-bhajana. Now, however, we ourselves are like sense enjoyers, because we are hankering for wealth, reputation, and position. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan Himself. He is nondifferent from Jagannatha, but He was playing the role of a devotee, which is why He had sent a representative to tell the King, “I want to go personally and clean the entire temple.” The King had then requested Kasi Misra, who was his superintendent, minister, priest, and spiritual master, “His devotees can take whatever utensils and other paraphernalia He wants.” Mahaprabhu had thus called His associates, such as Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Gadadhara Pandita, and others. Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu were also there, along with all the Gaudiya bhaktas. There were thousands and thousands of devotees, and on the evening before the festival, Mahaprabhu had told them all, “You should each bring a big broom made of coconut tree fibers, and each of you should also bring a clay pitcher.” Now, on the next day, at about seven in the morning, devotees assembled from all over India and all over the world – not only one or two hundred thousand, but about one million. First Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted flower garlands and candana Himself, and then He gave them to all the devotees. They all wanted to offer pranama to Him, but instead He very humbly offered pranama to all of them. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to touch His feet, but He very humbly touched Nityananda’s feet. He had no false ego, thinking, “I am a guru; everyone should respect me. Why should I respect others?” Actually, people who think like that are not pure devotees. A guru is one who respects others. His symptoms are: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih Siksastaka (3) He is very humble, even more so than a blade of grass, and he is also very tolerant, more so than a tree. Even if a tree is dry, it will never request, “Water! Water! Water!” If someone cuts the branches of a tree, it will not protest, “Oh, spare me! Don’t cut me!” It will never speak like that. Mango trees give very sweet mangoes, even if one throws stones at the tree in an attempt to make the mangoes fall. The bark, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sap of trees are always for others, not for themselves. Krishna tells us that we should be like the trees. In other words, our lives should be for others, not for ourselves, and our lives should be especially for Krishna. If one lives only for himself, he is lower in consciousness than the trees. The devotees with Mahaprabhu were touching each other’s feet and at the same time performing kirtana. Each holding a broom and a pitcher, they performed nagara-sankirtana the entire distance from the Jagannatha Temple to Gundica. The hundreds of thousands of devotees began to bring water from the very large pond known as Indradyumna-sarovara, and as they did so, they said, “Krishna! Krishna!” to each other as they gave and received the clay pitchers. They were filling their clay pots with water, carrying the pots on their heads or in other ways, and giving them to others, saying, “Hare Krishna!” to others on the way. Then, taking back the empty pots, they again said, “Hare Krishna!” In this way they were running back and forth very quickly. Similarly, while the devotees were sweeping, they were saying, “Krishna! Krishna!” Everything was going on only with the chanting of the names, “Krishna! Krishna!” and no other sound could be heard. If a clay pot was broken due to the haste, there would be sounds of, “O Krishna! Krishna!” and new clay pots were brought from a shop at once. In this way, everyone was engaged in cleaning the courtyard of the Gundica Mandira. Water was thrown everywhere, and all the areas were cleared so that torrents of water flowed from the drain like the current of a river. Mahaprabhu cleaned everywhere, high and low, throwing water here and there, and thus everything became as clean as His own heart. This is known as gundica-mandira-marjana. Your heart is like a throne (simhasana), and you will have to clean it if you want to keep Krishna and Radhika there. First clean it, and then They will come. Who will clean it? Nityananda Prabhu may do so and gurudeva may do so, but you will also have to do something. Guru will help you; he has the power to do so, and he is very merciful, but you will also have to do something. You must follow his orders. Be like Arjuna, who told Krishna in Bhagavad-gita (2.7): “sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam – I have offered myself at Your lotus feet. I will follow Your order and obey all Your instructions.” Krishna then ordered him to fight, and he was successful. Similarly, guru can help you if you follow and obey him, but if you disobey, that is an offense and your desire to serve Krishna will disappear. Try to obey. For example, gurudeva says, “You should chant every day. You should chant not less than sixteen rounds, and chant your guru-gayatri and all other gayatri mantras daily.” A disciple may say, “Gurudeva, I’m very weak, I cannot chant gayatri-mantra. When I chant, I get a headache. I become sick and my mind becomes upset. What should I do?” Gurudeva will reply, “You should continue to chant, and your headache, sickness, and all other disturbances will go away. But you will have to do it.” Then, if you do not obey, what can he do? Although Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was cleaning the temple. Merely sweeping with a broom will not do, for a broom can never touch our hearts. In order to demonstrate this, Mahaprabhu told His associates, “We should chant and remember, performing kirtana along with the sweeping. Then it will have some effect.” If you are cleaning your house in your householder life, while you sweep you can sing, “Govinda Damodara Madhaveti, Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.” Whatever job you do, chant these names with your heart, and then your heart will be “swept.” It will become pure and clear, neat and clean. Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates began to perform kirtana with many mrdangas, kholas, and karatalas. The temple compound was so large that over two million devotees were able to fit there, and they swept and cleaned everywhere. Mahaprabhu personally took His uttariya-vesa (sannyasa upper cloth), and He cleaned the spots that were very stubborn. Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.1, 99, 104) has stated: sri-gundica-mandiram atma-vrndaih sammarjayan ksalanatah sa gaurah sva-citta-vac chitalam ujjvalam ca krsnopavesaupayikam cakara [“Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu washed and cleansed the Gundica Temple with His devotees and associates. In this way He made it as cool and bright as His own heart, and thus He made the temple a befitting place for Shri Krishna to sit.”] sri-haste karena simhasanera marjana prabhu age jala ani’ deya bhakta-gana [“Then Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to wash the sitting place of Lord Jagannatha with His own hands, and all the devotees began to bring water to the Lord.”] nija-vastre kaila prabhu grha sammarjana mahaprabhu nija-vastre majila simhasana [“The Lord mopped the rooms with His own clothes, and He polished the throne with them also.”] We should give up all our worldly positions and ego that dictates, “I am so intelligent; I have so much power; I am the superintendent; I am the monarch of all; I am guru.” Advaita Acarya was Maha-Visnu Himself, but he was very humble and polite, and he also cleaned the temple. All the devotees were sweeping, as was Caitanyaf Mahaprabhu Himself. First they swept away very big stones, stone chips, and pieces of grass. If you want to make a seat in your heart for Radha and Krishna, your heart must be like Vrndavana, and if you do not make your heart very pure and transcendental like Vrndavana, Krishna cannot come. If you have any worldly desires, they will be like thorns pricking Krishna’s body. These thorns are lust, anger, greed, envy, attachment for worldly things, quarreling, and criticizing. If you want bhakti, don’t criticize anyone. Be tolerant and follow this verse: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih Siksastaka (3) [“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor, yet is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”] If you do not have these four qualities, you will never be able to chant, because the holy name is transcendental. You cannot chant with your tongue, and you cannot see Krishna with your eyes. atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234) [“Material senses cannot appreciate Krishna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krishna really is.”] You should think, “I am serving Krishna by chanting – this is my service. O Krishna, please purify me.” If you surrender and offer yourself unto the lotus feet of Krishna, He will mercifully come and dance on your tongue. There are three stages of chanting: nama-aparadha, namaabhasa, and suddha-nama. When you practice by your tongue and by your endeavor, this is nama-aparadha. When you chant with some sraddha (faith), then it will be nama-abhasa, and if your chanting is pure, then Krishna Himself will dance on your tongue. We should try to pray to Krishna, “I offer myself unto Your lotus feet, giving up all worldly desires. I have no beloved except You. You are mine.” Be like the gopis, and then Krishna may come. When the stones were cleared away, the thousands of devotees, along with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, and Shri Svarupa Damodara, swept again. Mahaprabhu told them, “I want to see who has swept up the biggest pile of dust. Everyone should collect their pile in their cloths, and I will examine them; otherwise some may cheat the others by only pretending to sweep, but not really doing so.” In the end, everyone saw that Mahaprabhu had swept up much more than all the others combined. Sometimes Mahaprabhu would give a very sweet lesson to those who were only pretending, instead of actually sweeping. He would say to them, “Oh, you have done so much. You should teach others.” Hearing these joking words, all the devotees would laugh. The devotees swept three times, and there is a deep meaning behind this. We have committed so many offenses, we are in so much ignorance, and we have so many unwanted habits. We should very boldly and strongly give up activities that are not favorable for krsna-bhakti, and we should very boldly reject things and people that are not favorable to bhakti. We should totally reject any wish, any desire, or any result that is not favorable for pleasing Krishna or a pure devotee and guru. You should reject anyone who criticizes high-class devotees. You can defeat his arguments, and if you are like Hanuman, you can burn all of Lanka and also cut out his tongue. If you are not of Hanuman’s caliber, then you should block your ears and simply leave that place where criticism is going on. Always try to accept only the things, the society, and the association that are favorable for bhakti. Do not desire or expect praise for yourself. Never have any wish to be honored by others, but always give honor to all devotees according to their standard of bhakti. The heart of a devotee who is chanting and remembering Krishna should be pure. Why should a brahmacari or sannyasi who has been worshiping, chanting, and serving his gurudeva for twenty years have the desire to marry and amass wealth? And why does he leave aside his sannyasa or brahmacari saffron cloth, and get a girlfriend or even a boyfriend? This is not advancement towards Krishna. It may be that he has neglected pure devotees and has no faith in his gurudeva’s words, and it may also be that his gurudeva is fallen. A devotee who is chanting the holy name purely from the beginning will be like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Dasa Gosvami left everything and never again accepted worldly enjoyment. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left worldly life and his wife and children, and he never returned to them again. If brahmacaris and sannyasis accept worldly life again, it means they have no faith in Krishna’s name. Krishna has invested His whole power, His whole mercy, opulence, and so forth in His name. Brahma can create the world only by the mercy of this name – by his chanting of this name. Sankara, too, can only perform any task by chanting Krishna’s name. Neither of them can do anything without the help of the holy name. We have no faith that Krishna’s name can maintain our lives. From the beginning, we have no taste and have committed so many offenses. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore telling us, “You must purify your hearts, if you want to be devotees and realize Krishna, and if you want Krishna to be seated in your hearts.” But you have no power to do it. You cannot purify your hearts, so who will purify them? You can do it if you are under the guidance of Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, Shri Svarupa Damodara, and Shri Raya Ramananda. Otherwise, your doubts will never go away, you will commit offenses, and you will remain attached to unwanted habits. So many desires to taste worldly enjoyment will come to you, and you will not be able to check them. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore instructing us. He Himself was sweeping, along with His devotees, in order to teach us. That is why His devotees swept a first time, then a second time, and then a third time. The first time they swept, they removed big stones, chips, and grasses; the second time, they removed very fine dust; and the third time still finer dust. When all the dust was taken out, there still remained spots of black tar, which cannot be removed simply by sweeping. For this you will have to try much harder. You will have to use a very sharp instrument, and then you will have to wash off the spots with a cleaner like kerosene or alcohol. These spots are our offenses, and they will not disappear by sweeping alone. These spots are deceit (kutinati ) and desires for profit (labha), adoration (puja), and fame (pratistha). Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila, 19.159) has explained this, and Shrila Swami Maharaja has given the translation: nisiddhacara kutinati jiva-himsana labha-puja-pratisthadi yata upasakha-gana [“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection: diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundane profiteering, mundane adoration, and mundane importance. All these are unwanted creepers.”] Nowadays, many persons have no proper respect for Vaisnavas. They tell them, “Oh, you cannot enter our temple.” Juniors are not giving proper respect to seniors, and seniors are not giving proper respect, love, and affection to juniors. This is the problem, and the root of it is offenses to the holy name. Many devotees have no regard for the holy name. They have no strong faith in chanting, and that is why so many senior devotees are going away and junior devotees are coming, becoming senior, and then also going away. These are the problems nowadays. You can easily give up your children, your wives, your husbands, your relatives, and even your wealth. But it is very hard to give up the desire for praise, and it is hard to follow this verse (Siksastaka (3): trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [“Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass that is trampled beneath everyone’s feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Shri Hari.”] This is the meaning of “sweeping the heart,” and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted this. At this stage you will honor even a creeper and a tree, what to speak of devotees. You will see Krishna in everyone and everywhere, and then you will be able to honor everyone properly. We should try to sweep in our hearts today, on this sacred day of gundica-mandira-marjana. We should try to understand what are nisiddhacara, prohibited activities. For example, if you are a brahmacari or sannyasi be far away from lust. asat-sanga-tyaga, – ei vaisnava-acara ‘stri-sangi’ – eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta’ ara Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 22.87) [“A Vaisnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to the opposite sex. Vaisnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krishna.”] Try to follow this, whether you are a family man or in the renounced order. Do not associate with Mayavadis who do not believe in the personal form of Krishna or Godhead. To such persons, everything is God, which means that everything is zero. Also, do not associate with those who are lusty – one should remain very far away from such people. Do not tell lies, do not be duplicitous, do not be politicians, and do not be hypocrites. These are basic principles. Kutinati: ku means “evil,” ti means “the,” na means “no” or “that which is prohibited,” and it means “particular.” Kutinati means activities that are like those of Putana. The word putana means impure, and she was the first demon killed by Krishna; He killed impurity first of all. First be pure by body, mind, and soul, by chanting and remembering, and by always serving Vaisnavas and giving them proper respect. Jiva-himsana: don’t kill anything, even a creeper. This is also a basic principle. Jiva-himsana means violence, but in this connection violence does not only mean killing by the hands or by a weapon. It also means killing by the tongue, mind, or heart. Do not be envious. If you want to be pure devotees, remove envy from your hearts and don’t criticize any Vaisnava, for this is also himsa. These spots will not be removed merely by sweeping, nor will they disappear simply by washing them with water. Rather, they will only become stronger and more prominent. In other words, these spots are not very easy to remove. They manifest as offenses at the lotus feet of Vaisnavas and guru, and also as neglect of guru. Among the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, the first is the offense to pure devotees. The aspiring devotee must remove all these spots quickly, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore took His own outer garment and washed everything – up, down, here, there, and everywhere. He did not leave even one corner unclean. Thousands and thousands of devotees continually took water from Indradyumna Sarovara, and placed the water-pots in the hands of Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, and Shriman Mahaprabhu Himself. Nowadays, those who consider themselves gurus will give orders to others and do nothing themselves. They think that they should only taste delicious maha-prasada and enjoy opulent surroundings; they may even have chairs made of gold. Such false gurus do not remain; rather, they go to hell. In this way, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was clearing away all unwanted mentalities and behaviors. In the first and second verses of his Upadesamrta, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also discusses the unwanted habits to be swept away. Without such sweeping, pure bhakti cannot be attained even in millions of births. In the first verse Rupa Gosvami states: vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat [“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”] There are six kinds of vegas (urges), and the root is the tongue, which has no backbone. If you cannot control the tongue, all the other five urges will control you; and if you do control it, everything else is controlled. The tongue has two functions, the first of which is speaking. If this function is not controlled, you may say something wrong to another person and that may create a very big problem for you – you may even be ruined forever. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, once said something that was actually correct, but the circumstance in which she said it was inappropriate. She told Duryodhana, “Your father is blind, and you are also blind. Like father, like son.” Duryodhana was offended, and as a result the great Mahabharata War was fought and millions of people were killed. Similarly, the Ramayana War was fought only because of Sita’s tongue. She chastised Laksmana, and this ultimately led to a war in which so many were killed. You should therefore try to control your tongue; do not speak what should not be spoken. The second function of the tongue is eating. If you eat meat fish, and other prohibited items, or if you take drugs, they will also harm you, and you will not be able to control your mind or your heart. On the other hand, everything will be controlled if you take only maha-prasada and chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.... In the second verse of Upadesamrta, Shrila Rupa Gosvami states: atyaharah prayasas ca prajalpo niyamagrahah jana-sangas ca laulyam ca sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati [“One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required, (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain, (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters, (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically, (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krishna consciousness, and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.”] Both Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have written commentaries on how to be free from these habits, and we can clean our hearts by reading these commentaries. It is stated in Shrila Swami Maharaja’s purport (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 12.135): [“Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that even though one may become free from the desire for fruitive activity, sometimes the subtle desire for fruitive activity again comes into being within the heart. One often thinks of conducting business to improve devotional activity. However, the contamination is so strong that it may later develop into misunderstanding, described as kutinati (faultfinding) and pratisthasa (the desire for name and fame and for high position), jiva-himsa (envy of other living entities), nisiddhacara (accepting things forbidden in the çastra), kama (desire for material gain), and puja (hankering for popularity).The word kutinati means “duplicity.” As an example of pratisthasa, one may attempt to imitate Shrila Haridasa Thakura by living in a solitary place.”] Some Western devotees once went to Puri. They were not allowed to take darsana of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra in the temple, but they were able to go to the Tota Gopinatha Temple, Shrila Haridasa Thakura’s samadhi, and Siddha-bakula. One of those devotees gave over a thousand dollars to an Indian pujari at Siddha-bakula and said, “Give me the mala kept here, the beads on which Haridasa Thakura was chanting.” The man took the thousand dollars, stole the mala, and gave it to that “devotee” who then thought, “Oh, when I chant on this mala, I will be liberated and I will have bhakti.” Imitation will not do, however. That person was offensive. Nowadays many people want to have large mala weighing not less than five kilos. They cannot chant properly, but still they collect big tulasi neckbeads with “Radhe, Radhe” written on them. This will not do; rather, false ego will increase by this. Try to chant and remember purely, and associate with devotees. It is stated in the same purport: One’s real desire may be for name and fame. In other words, one thinks that fools will accept one to be as good as Haridasa Thakura just because one lives in a holy place. These are all material desires. A neophyte devotee is certain to be attacked by other material desires as well, namely desires for women and money. In this way the heart is again filled with dirty things and becomes harder and harder, like that of a materialist. Gradually one desires to become a reputed devotee or an avatara (incarnation). Nowadays there are so many “incarnations” like this. They have no belief in God, but they want to be guru, and after some days they fall down. This disease of false gurus and gods is spreading like the plague, and now there are so many “gods,” both in India and the West. We have been duplicitous since our birth; but now we must become very simple, and we should always honor devotees. Also, be free from lobha, the greed for worldly things. Be free from thinking, “I must have this thing,” or “My relatives and neighbors have very good cars, but I don’t.” Be simple like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who followed the instructions given to him by Caitanya Mahaprabhu: gramya-katha na çunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe amani manada haïa krsna-nama sada la’be vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 6.236–7) [“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana.”] Follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and others like them. Be simple like Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Mahaprabhu personally removed all the spots from the simhasana on which Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra would sit – He did not leave it to anyone else to do. This means that we should try to make our hearts like a simhasana where Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra will sit, where Radha and Krishna will sit, and where Mahaprabhu will sit. This opportunity will not come if there are dirty thoughts and aspirations in our hearts. They will never come. Take your ears in your hands [This is an Indian expression. In India when one is expressing regret due to a sense of guilt, he holds his earlobes as he apologizes.] and promise, “From today I will practice properly.” Krishna will provide for you if you are always chanting and remembering. He will look after you, and sometimes He may come to you as a servant, bringing paraphernalia for you on His head. There are many examples as evidence of this, so do not worry about how to maintain yourselves. The only problem should be how to purify yourselves, and how to attain love and affection for Krishna. While Caitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning, a very young Gaudiya bhakta took a pitcher of water, poured the water on Mahaprabhu’s feet, and drank some of it. Mahaprabhu then appeared very angry and said, “What are you doing? Nonsense! Jagannatha is coming here. Jagannatha is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and we are cleaning here, preparing for Him to come. I am an ordinary person, a man, and yet this person is washing My feet and taking that water to drink. This offense is very bad for Me, and for him.” If you wash the feet of an ordinary person in Krishna’s temple, it is a very big offense. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He is giving instruction to others. A bona fide guru will never proudly think, “Very good! My disciple comes and places flowers on my feet, pours water on them, washes them, sprinkles that water on others, and then drinks it.” A pure Vaisnava or guru never considers, “I am an advanced devotee.” Even Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Shrimati Radhika, has said: na prema-gandho ’sti darapi me harau krandami saubhagya-bharam prakasitum vamsi-vilasy-anana-lokanam vina bibharmi yat prana-patangakan vrtha Shri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 2.45) [“My dear friends, I have not the slightest tinge of love of Godhead within My heart. When you see Me crying in separation, I am just falsely exhibiting a demonstration of My great fortune. Indeed, not seeing the beautiful face of Krishna playing His flute, I continue to live My life like an insect, without purpose.”] “I have not even a scent of bhakti to Krishna. I am more wretched than anyone.” Radhika Herself is saying, “Oh, the forest deer are superior to me. They can go near to Krishna and beg His love and affection as a beloved, but we cannot go there. The rivers are also so much more fortunate than us gopis. Krishna goes to the Yamuna to bathe and she can embrace Krishna; she can give Him a lotus flower from her hand-like waves. She can give her whole heart to Krishna and tell Him, ‘O my beloved.’ When Krishna plays on His flute, she becomes stunned and stops flowing. She is much greater than us, for we cannot do as she does. Venu Gita “And what is the condition of the calves and cows? The cows are grazing, but when they hear the sweet sound of Krishna’s flute, they raise their ears to hear and to drink in the sweet nectar of that flute. Their calves also drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute through their ears. While they drink the milk from their mothers’ udders, they hear the flute, and at that time they forget the milk altogether; they neither swallow it nor spit it out, and it simply remains in their mouths. Oh, we are not like this.” Mahaprabhu similarly laments, “The fish are superior to me. If they are taken from water, they will die at once; but I am not dying although I have no darsana of Krishna. How wretched I am!” Nowadays many devotees think, “Gurudeva simply gave us chanting beads, and by this we became more than God and we began to control the whole world.” The next day, however, we see that nothing is there – no tulasi beads, no chanting beads; nothing. And now they have again become mice. [*See Endnote 1] Mahaprabhu performed this pastime in order to teach us devotional principles, so He called Svarupa Damodara and told him, “Svarupa Damodara Prabhu! Just see the behavior of your Gaudiya bhakta. He is insulting Me in front of Thakuraji. You have not instructed him how to be a pure devotee. See how he is behaving! He is in the temple of Jagannatha, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and although I am an ordinary person, he is pouring water on My feet and drinking it. This is very offensive to Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and I am very upset about this.” Svarupa Damodara then slapped the young devotee and dragged him outside – as a gesture. Actually, he was very happy with him. Outside the temple, when he was beyond Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s view, he told that devotee, “You have done very well. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagannatha Himself, but He wants to teach others that we should not behave like this towards ordinary persons. You have not done anything wrong. You have done the right thing. Wait here, and I will call for you again.” Then, when he was called, that Bengali devotee told Mahaprabhu, “I have done wrong.” He begged for forgiveness, and Mahaprabhu forgot the matter. No one should tell anyone else to worship him. One should not love anyone or weep for anyone in front of the deity. You can only do pranama to your pure gurudeva, not to anyone else. Wherever the deities are present, we should not try to control anyone; that will be an offense. We can learn all the rules and regulations of deity worship by reading the book Arcana-dipika. Nowadays, gurus are coming like kan-gurus. All are gurus but none are gurus. They are everywhere, like the germs of a plague. They are cheaters, not gurus. They are not Bhagavan. In India you can very easily find so many “Gods,” so many “Supreme Personalities of Godheads.” One thinks that he is Sankara, another thinks that he is Ganesa, and someone else thinks he is Sarasvati. Caitanya Mahaprabhu knew this day would come. Try to enter the real process of bhakti. Hear from the proper person, take his words into your heart and try to follow him. Then you can sweep your heart and also become a pure devotee. First you will enter the stage of kanistha-adhikara, then madhyama-adhikara, and then you will be a devotee. Otherwise, you are like a shadow devotee – fallen. Krishna has given you good intelligence. You should realize whether someone is a pure devotee or not, and if he is, then you can hear from him. A sadhu is a very elevated devotee who embodies the verse: anyabhilasita-sunyam jïana-karmady-anavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11) [“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Shri Krishna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Shri Krishna, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity) and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Shri Krishna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”] Such a sadhu or guru has no worldly desires. His devotion is always like a stream of sweet honey, which flows like an unbroken current when it is poured. Similarly, you should see whether your own activities – by body, by words, by mind, and by heart or mood – are to please Krishna or not. Suppose you are taking maha prasada. Why are you taking it? Is it to please Krishna or not? If you are not taking it to please Krishna, then it is like karma. If you go to sleep for yourself, it is karma, not bhakti. However, if you go to sleep thinking, “I will take some rest, and from early morning I will serve Krishna. I will be always chanting, remembering, worshiping, and serving here and there,” then even your sleeping is for Krishna. yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam Bhagavad-gita (9.27) [“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me.”] After some time, whatever you do will be to please Krishna and your pure gurudeva. If someone follows this principle and always acts to please Krishna, you can accept him as your guru; otherwise don’t. If, when you were ignorant, you selected as guru someone who does not perform all his activities to please Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas, then reject that person. Reject him totally. Choose another guru very carefully and take initiation; otherwise you cannot have pure devotion and love for Krishna. If you were initiated by a guru who was sincere at one time, but who fell down later on, reject him at once. Then you may enter the proper line and accept the self-realized devotees who are actually following anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmadyanavrtam anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Whatever they do, they do to please Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. They will be in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. If a person professing to be a guru is not actually in that line, he should be rejected at once. Bali Maharaja rejected his gurudeva, Sukracarya. Bharata Maharaja rejected his mother, Prahlada Maharaja rejected his father, the gopis rejected their husbands, and Vibhisana rejected his brother Ravana. There are abundant examples of this. If the guru is chanting and is somewhat in this line but he cannot give you prema-bhakti, then request him, “Please permit me to associate with a self-realized devotee.” If he does not give permission for you to do so, he is not a pure Vaisnava and he also should be rejected. However, if he gives the order, “You should go, and I will also go,” then he is a Vaisnava. You should respect him, and also go to take the association of that high-class devotee. This is the proper process, and it was followed by Shri Syamananda Gosvami, Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, Shri Shrinivasa Acarya, Shrila Haridasa Thakura, and so many others. If you follow sastra and your superiors, you will come to the stage of madhyama-adhikara. This is actually the meaning of gundica-mandira-marjana. It is better to honor real Vaisnavas than to only worship the deities. Worship the deity, but serve the Vaisnavas at the same time. Gradually try to come from the stage of kanistha to the stage of madhyama. We are entering kanistha, but we are not even kanistha yet, because we do not have full faith in the deity. When we realize siddhanta, the established truths of Vaisnava philosophy, in the association of pure Vaisnavas, we will gradually become madhyama-adhikari. This is the object of today’s function. By this, the seed of the bhakti-creeper that your gurudeva has given to you will sprout, and it will then develop into the shape of a creeper that will ultimately lead you to Goloka Vrndavana. This is the real process. When all the spots are removed, your status will be of the nature of pure devotion. Whatever we do, we should do as a service to Krishna, for His pleasure, but this is not sufficient by itself. There should be no worldly desire at all in that service. If one takes initiation from a bona fide guru, and he is chanting, remembering, and reading books, but he thinks, “I want to be wealthy, I want to have a very well-qualified son, and a very beautiful home and wife,” his bhakti will not be pure. Rather, it will be completely ruined. Even the desire for liberation is not pure bhakti. It is bhakti, but not pure uttama-bhakti. It is called aropa-siddha-bhakti, or sometimes sanga-siddha bhakti. His bhakti will be mixed with karma, jnana, yoga, or anything else. More than ninety-five percent of those who call themselves bhaktas don’t actually follow uttama-bhakti or pure bhakti. They follow only aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti. What is aropa-siddha-bhakti? Making a garden or establishing gurukulas and goçalas is not really bhakti, but it may create impressions (samskaras) in the heart if the fruits are given to Krishna. If there is a gurukula, there is an opportunity that the boys will be given impressions from childhood for later development in bhakti. We see, however, that the students very rarely get these impressions. Many are ruined and are without character, they do not obey their fathers and mothers, they are not humble, and they do not honor devotees. Many are desperate. If that impression of bhakti had come, it would have been very good for them. It is only to give this impression that high-class devotees or gurus establish such institutions. If we make a garden, we can take the fruits to the deities and to pure devotees, but if the fruit is not given to them, the result will be very bad. Actual bhakti is that activity in which there is chanting and remembering only to please Krishna. In the past, many devotees collected vast wealth for their temples. They collected vast amounts of money in a few days, but what became of them? They left Krishna consciousness. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted them to become qualified devotees. It is not sufficient merely to sweep, or merely to wash off all the varieties of unwanted habits such as aparadhas. Something affirmative should be there – a strong taste for harinama and for hearing hari-katha. It is not enough just to clean your heart. What will remain if you simply do that? Nothing. There should be something positive. There is no harm if you have no taste for chanting harinama, but you should have a taste for hearing harikatha. If you do not, then hear again and again, and give proper respect to the pure devotees from whom you are hearing. satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25) [“In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed, and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”] The speaker should be satam, a pure devotee. Do not maintain your own false idea that an ordinary person or devotee is a maha-bhagavata. Who has the qualification to realize who is a maha-bhagavata? Shrila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, a disciple of Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, was an exalted uttamamaha-bhagavata, but he used to pretend he was smoking marijuana. He sometimes put dry fish bones here and there around his hut so people would think that he ate fish. He considered, “Those who are materially inclined should remain far away from me so I can be alone to chant Krishna’s name and remember Him.” Shrila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was on friendly terms with Shrila Vamsi dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura honored him so much. Our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, used to take his darçana, and at that time Babaji Maharaja gave him many deep teachings. Guru Maharaja told us, “Sometimes he spoke such high philosophy that I could not understand him.” If a devotee is ignorant and not even a kanistha Vaisnava, how can he know who is actually a maha-bhagavata? He will choose an unqualified person as a “maha-bhagavata,” and the next day he will see how that person has fallen down. You should see what is your superior’s idea regarding who is a madhyama-adhikari or who is an uttama-adhikari, and you can also realize this if you follow Krishna consciousness and establish yourself on the platform of the advanced stage of madhyama-adhikara. It is an offense at the lotus feet of the real maha-bhagavata if you do not give him proper respect, and instead give great respect to a third-class, bogus person, calling him “maha-bhagavata.” [Endnotes 1: There is an instructive story called “Punar Musika Bhava – Again Become a Mouse.” A mouse was very much harassed by a cat, and therefore he approached a saintly person to request to become a cat. When the mouse became a cat, he was harassed by a dog, and then, being blessed by the sadhu, when he became a dog, he was harassed by a tiger. When by the grace of the saint he became a tiger, he stared at the saintly person, who then asked him, “What do you want?” The tiger replied, “I want to eat you.” Then the saintly person cursed him, saying, “May you again become a mouse.”]
  7. ← Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Samadhi Mandir at Radha-kunda De Glind, Holland: June 11, 2003 Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja We should know about Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He is in the line of Rupanuga Vaisnavas, and he is very near and dear to Srila Rupa Gosvami and all other Vaisnavas. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took birth in a very aristocratic and wealthy family, and he was the only son of his father and uncle. In boyhood he was very fortunate to be initiated by Srila Yadunandana Acarya in the line of Sri Advaita Acarya. Also, Krsna arranged to send Srila Haridasa Thakura to his home, and they were together often. From babyhood he had great taste in chanting the holy name, and at the age of five he received initiation and gradually developed in his bhakti. Only because of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami did Srila Haridasa Thakura come to the house of a visayi (sense enjoyer). Dasa Gosvami's father was a Vaisnava, but there are two kinds of Vaisnavas: vaisnava-praya and visayi-praya. Visayi-praya is good and vaisnava-praya is not good. If one is Vaisnava- praya it means he seems to be a Vaisnava but he is not. A visayi-praya may seem to others to be a sense enjoyer, but he is not. It seems that Sri Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Sri Raya Ramananda, Srivasa Pandita and others like them were visayis, but they were actually pure Vaisnavas – uttama bhagavatas. Srila Raghunsatha dasa Gosvami's father used to serve all the Vaisnavas and many Vaisnavas visited him, but he was engaged in sense gratification and so he was a Vaisnava-praya, not a Vaisnava. If we consider the symptoms of Vaisnava-praya and visayi-praya, we will see that we are also Vaisnava-praya, not suddha-vaisnava. If you are householders, try to be like Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Raya Ramananda, Srivasa Pandita, the five Pandavas, Draupadi and so on. And, if you are renounced from household life, then try to be like Sri Narada, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami and others like them. So almost from the beginning of his life, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was associating with Srila Haridasa Thakura. From the beginning he had great affection for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by hearing from Yadunandana Acarya, Srila Haridasa Thakura especially, and from the other Vaisnavas who visited his home. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is an eternal associate of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, but he is showing us by the example of his own life’s activities that if one has performed spiritual pious activities (sukrti) in past lives, one will easily get the association of Vaisnavas in ones next life. He was playing a role in order to show us how we should behave. After some time he developed great love and affection for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when he became about twelve years old or a little older he was continually weeping, "When can I meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?" He was fortunate, because when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa and wanted to go to Vrndavana, the "tricky" Nityananda Prabhu took Him to Santipura. When Raghunatha dasa heard this he exclaimed, "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come very near to my village!" and he went to take His darsana. While there, he was always with Mahaprabhu and he liked to take His remnants (prasadam). Someone had told Mahaprabhu that Raghunatha dasa was the son of Govardhana Majumadara, a disciple of Yadunandana Acarya and an associate of Haridasa Thakura, so Mahaprabhu showed him great affection. Raghunatha dasa told Mahaprabhu, "I want to be with You wherever You go." Though only a boy, he had became mad after Him – not like the devotees nowadays. Nowadays devotees go to their Gurudeva and say, "O Gurudeva, I want to take poison (sense gratification with the opposite sex). Please order me to take this poison." Gurudeva replies, "How can I order you to take poison?" The disciple says, "I may commit suicide if you don't! Gurudeva says, "Oh, don't commit suicide. If you do so, you will have to suffer more than you are suffering now. I cannot give this order. If you do not want to obey, you can take the poison on your own, but I will not give you an order to do so." The disciple is then very happy, clapping and telling others, "My Gurudeva has given me the order: 'You can take that poison.'" This is bad. We have been engaging in sense gratification since the origin of this creation. We have been humans before. We have been kings and animals like hogs and dogs, we have had thousands of wives, and we have also been demigods – but still we are not satisfied. I know that after some time such "disciples" will again not be satisfied, and they will again become hogs and dogs. How can Gurudeva order his disciple to engage in sense gratification? He will never do so. Contrary to this type of disciple, Raghunatha dasa asked, "O Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! O Master! I want to come with You!" Mahaprabhu replied, "Don't be mad; don't be mad." sthira hana ghare yao, na hao vatula krame krame paya loka bhava-sindhu-kula ["Be patient and return home. Don't be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 16.237)] antare nistha kara, bahye loka-vyavahara acirat krsna tomaya karibe uddhara ["Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "Within your heart you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Krsna will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of maya." (CC Madhya 16.239)] Try to realize all these truths and hear patiently. If you really want to be happy in life, then hear very carefully how we can attain the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, "Antare kara nistha." Nistha means steadiness of mind and heart. "You should return to your home, obey your father and mother externally, and mingle with them outwardly until your bhakti matures. If you leave before your bhakti has somewhat come to nistha, you may again return. Especially if ruci, taste in bhajana, manifests, you will not fall down.” "Loka-vyavahara" means "Offer pranama to your father, mother and others, mix with them, and you can have a job.” "Antare" means to internally have strong faith in the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. "Gradually you will develop, and then there will be no one to stop you. If you leave home without being in that position, you will return." After Raghunatha dasa Gosvami went back home, he was helping his father with landlord and property related duties, at the same time he was chanting and remembering and his steadiness of mind and strong faith was increasing; and he developed his bhakti. One day, hearing that Nityananda Prabhu had come to Panihati, very near to his home in Saptagrama, he at once told his father, "Father, I am going to meet Sri Nityananda Prabhu." In this way, when Nityananda Prabhu came to Panihati with all his associates, Raghunatha Dasa went there with the permission of his father. Lord Krsna makes arrangements such as these; you cannot do so. If you are sincere, then step by step Krsna arranges everything. Raghunatha dasa's father gave him some money and said, "You should feed the sadhus. Hold a mahotsava (festival), serve prasadam to the sadhus, and then very soon return home." Raghunatha replied, "O father, I will return." When he arrived, he saw that thousands of Vaisnavas were sitting with Nityananda prabhu on the bank of the Ganges under the shade of a banyan tree. Nityananda Prabhu was sitting like the sun, and all the Vaisnavas sat around him. Someone told Nityananda Prabhu, "Raghunatha has come. Nityananda replied, "Bring him!" and then he said to Raghunatha dasa, "O Chora." Chora means thief. "O, come, come, come!" Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was shy, but the devotee somehow brought him closer and Nityananda prabhu told him, "I will punish you!"*[See endnote 1] Saying this, Nityananda Prabhu put his lotus feet on Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's head. Lord Brahma and Lord Sankara are never able to get this mercy. Nityananda Prabhu is Sri Baladeva Himself, the first expansion of Lord Krsna. Brahma and Siva (Sankara) cannot even have this mercy in trance, but Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was such an elevated devotee that Nityananda Prabhu personally placed his lotus feet on his head. Nityananda prabhu then said, "You should hold a cida-mahotsava – chipped rice festival. Bring several mounds of yoghurt, milk, sandesh, bananas, sugar and many other eatables." Some servants from his father’s house were with him; and they went village to village and collected great quantities of these items, because there were thousands of devotees. The chipped rice was then cooked in pure hot milk, and very delicious sweet yogurt was also given.*[See endnote 2] In India, sandesh is one of the most delicious sweets, so mounds of sandesh were also distributed. When the residents of the villages in which the ingredients were collected heard that there would be a festival and many people would be attending, they also came. Soon there was no place for everyone to sit, so some stood up in the Ganges water, and some here and there.*[See endnote 3] A plate was then given to Nityananda Prabhu, and he told the server to bring one more plate. Then a second plate was brought, containing the same preparations. He then meditated and prayed, and then he sang this kirtana along with his followers: [At this time all the assembled devotees in Srila Narayana Maharaja's class joined in as he loudly chanted the following three kirtanas:] maha-prasade govinde nama-bramani vaisnave svalpa-punyavatam rajan visvaso naiva jayate ["Those who have very few pious activities to their credit can never develop faith in mahaprasadam, in Sri Govinda, in the holy name of the Lord, nor in the Vaisnavas, which are all on the same platform." (Prasada-sevaya)] sarira avidya-jal jodendriya tahe kal jive phele visaya-sagore ta'ra madhye jihwa ati, lobhamoya sudurmati ta'ke jeta kathina samsare ["This material body is a lump of ignorance and the senses are a network of paths leading to death. We have fallen into this ocean of material sense enjoyment. Of all the senses the tongue is the most difficult to control and is always very greedy to taste things. (Sarira Avidya-Jal, verse 1)] krsna boro doyamoya, koribare jihwa jaya swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai sei annamrta pao, radha-krsna-guna gao preme dako caitanya-nitai ["But Krsna is so merciful that he gives us His prasada, the remnants from His own mouth, to help us conquer the tongue. This prasada is full of nectar. Take this prasada and glorify Radha and Krsna. With love call for the help of Caitanya-Nitai." (Sarira Avidya-Jal, verse 2)] Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare A few lucky persons at once vividly saw that Mahaprabhu was sitting there. They saw that both Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu were weeping and honoring maha-prasadam. Raghunatha dasa saw this and thought, "Oh, Mahaprabhu is here!" Sri Raghava Pandita was there and he also realized, "Mahaprabhu is here!" Both Lords took prasadam there, and that prasadam was then distributed to all. After prasadam, Mahaprabhu disappeared. *[See endnote 4] This was the mercy of both Nityananda Prabhu and Caitanya Mahaprabhu upon Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and after this event the obstacles which had been in his way disappeared. This was because Nityananda Prabhu had told him, "Now you have satisfied me, so now all problems and obstacles will go away and very soon your desire to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu will be fulfilled." After some days Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s parents saw and realized, "Oh, this boy is mad after Mahaprabhu!" They married him, therefore, to a very beautiful girl who could have won the Miss Universe contest – but he had no attraction for her at all and he wanted to leave very soon. One day at about four in the morning, it so happened that Srila Yadunandana Acarya came to his home and told him, "My priest, the worshiper of my Deities, has not come. Come with me to bring him." Raghunatha dasa Gosvami replied, “I will bring him myself; you may go home." Raghunatha dasa’s father, mother and everyone else were thinking, "He is with Yadunandana Acarya, so he will not leave." And because of this understanding no police or guards were there then. Raghunatha dasa went to the home of that priest and sent him to Srila Yadunandana Acarya, and then he at once left for Puri. It was a one month journey through the forest by foot, but he did it in only twelve days. He hardly ate anything – only some muri and milk – in these twelve days. He thus became lean and thin during those days, and blackish because he never bathed. He was in the forest day and night. He did not walk on any path, for if he did his father would have caught him. And thus he arrived in Puri. There is an important instruction here. We want to blow out our cheeks and laugh loudly at the same time, but this is not possible. Two swords cannot fit in one case. In other words we cannot have sense gratification and bhakti at the same time. If you want real devotion, try to follow Srila Raghunath dasa Gosvami in a real sense. Otherwise you cannot have it. When Ragunatha dasa Gosvami reached Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu put him in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. This is an important thing to understand. Lord Krsna cannot help you; only His associates can help you. Krsna does not fully know what bhakti is; that is, He does not know how to serve Himself. He is the recipient of the service, the object of the service. He is not the performer or the container of the service. Do you understand? He does not know this. Those who are worshipping and serving Lord Krsna or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu can teach. So don't go directly to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sriman Mahaprabhu told Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, "Svarupa Damodara knows more than I." And this was true. Mahaprabhu can only serve as Radhika serves, whereas devotees can serve Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami knew some of the moods of Svarupa Damodara, but we cannot. We will have to go a maha-bhagavata, a realized soul in this world who is playing the role of a madhyama-adhikari, a sincere Vaisnava who knows sastra. He will teach you. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sri Svarupa Damodara cannot teach you, because they will not reveal themselves to us in their forms as Rupa Gosvami and Svarupa Damodara. They will not help us directly because we are not qualified to see or hear them directly. Sri Raya Ramananda cannot do anything to help you directly. He could not even help Pradyumna Misra at first. Pradyumna Misra had been ordered by Mahaprabhu to hear hari-katha from Raya Ramananda. He went to Raya Ramananda’s home and heard from his servant that he was in the midst of training beautiful young lady servants of Lord Jagannatha to dance, and was also bathing and dressing them. He then felt some disdain and returned to Mahaprabhu without hearing anything.*[See endnote 6] So don't go to Mahaprabhu or Nityananda prabhu directly. Go to a pure devotee, but to one who is playing the role of a madhyama-adhikari and who is more near to you. He can teach you everything. This was the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami: tathapi amara ajnaya sraddha yadi haya amara ei vakye tabe kariha niscaya ["Nevertheless, if you want to take instructions from Me with faith and love, you may ascertain your duties from the following words." (CC Antya 6.235)] gramya-katha na sunibe, gramya-varta na kahibe bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe ["Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely." (CC Antya 6.236)] amani manada hana krsna-nama sada la'be vraje radha-krsna-seva manase karibe ["Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana." (CC Antya 6.237)] Don’t take rich and delicious foods. Some persons think, “If delicious food is not found in the Matha (temple), we will go to a restaurant or any devotee's house.” Don't do this; otherwise your bhakti will go away. “Bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe." Don't wear beautiful and fashionable garments. Also, don't criticize anyone, especially Vaisnavas. Give proper respect to others, but don't hanker for respect for yourself. Internally always serve Krsna in the process adopted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami and all his followers. Raghunatha dasa followed that process totally. After some days Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared from this world, and soon after that Sri Gadadhara Pandita, Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Raya Ramananda disappeared. Raghunatha dasa then began to weep and due to feelings of separation he wanted to give up his life, but he wanted to do so in Vrndavana. Gradually, all the Vaisnavas who were in Puri left after Caitanya Mahaprabhu disappeared. Some returned to Mayapura Navadvipa, some to Vrndavana, some went here and there, and Puri became like a ghost town. So he wanted to die. He was thinking, "I will die in Vrndavana by jumping in the Yamuna or jumping from Govardhana", but he decided to first meet with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, who were like his elder brothers or fathers. He knew how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was giving honor to Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and he knew how he had showered love and affection upon Srila Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami found out he was not taking any prasada and that he was about to quit his body, and so they pacified him. "One cannot attain Krsna by dying", Sanatana Gosvami told him. "I was going to commit suicide, but Mahaprabhu Himself stopped me. Don't do it. Be situated at Radha-kunda. We will make a hut for you there and from time to time we will come to see you. Be there as you were in Puri – in a fixed place – and do your sadhana-bhajana there. They made a place for him there, and there He was engaged in bhajana twenty-four hours a day. In the morning, weeping and falling on the ground, he used to offer more than one thousand pranamas to all the Vaisnavas and all the sacred places of Vrndavana, to Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and to all associates of Radhika, like Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata and so on. he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vanye kutah ghosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau [“I am doing vadana to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, "O Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavana! Where are you? O Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are You? Are You seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Sri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?" They were always lamenting overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala.” (Sri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, verse 8)] He was calling out, “O Krsna, where are You? O Lalite, O Visakhe, where are you?” And he was only taking some buttermilk in a very small leaf cup – nothing else. TO BE CONTINUED [*Endnote 1 – "Lord Nityananda was by nature very merciful and funny. Being merciful, He spoke to Raghunatha dasa as follows. 'You are just like a thief, for instead of coming near, you stay away at a distant place. Now that I have captured you, I shall punish you. Make a festival and feed all My associates yogurt and chipped rice.' Hearing this, Raghunatha dasa was greatly pleased." (Cc Antya-lila 49-51)] [*Endnote 2 – "As soon as they heard that a festival was going to be held, all kinds of brahmanas and other gentlemen began to arrive. Thus there were innumerable people. Seeing the crowd increasing, Raghunatha dasa arranged to get more eatables from other villages. He also brought two to four hundred large, round earthen pots. He also obtained five or seven especially large earthen pots, and in these pots a brahmana began soaking chipped rice for the satisfaction of Lord Nityananda. In one place, chipped rice was soaked in hot milk in each of the large pots. Then half the rice was mixed with yogurt, sugar and bananas. The other half was mixed with condensed milk and a special type of banana known as canpa-kala. Then sugar, clarified butter and camphor were added. After Nityananda Prabhu had changed His cloth for a new one and sat on a raised platform, the brahmana brought before Him the seven huge pots. On that platform, all the most important associates of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, as well as other important men, sat down in a circle around the Lord." Cc Antya-lila 54-60)] [*Endnote 3 – "Hearing about the festival, all kinds of learned scholars, brahmanas and priests went there. Lord Nityananda Prabhu honored them and made them sit on the raised platform with Him. Everyone was offered two earthen pots. In one was put chipped rice with condensed milk, and in the other chipped rice with yogurt. All the other people sat in groups around the platform. No one could count how many people there were. Each and every one of them was supplied two earthen pots-one of chipped rice soaked in yogurt and the other of chipped rice soaked in condensed milk. Some of the brahmanas, not having gotten a place on the platform, went to the bank of the Ganges with their two earthen pots and soaked their chipped rice there. Others, who could not get a place even on the bank of the Ganges, got down into the water and began eating their two kinds of chipped rice. Thus some sat on the platform, some at the base of the platform, and some on the bank of the Ganges, and they were all supplied two pots each by the twenty men who distributed the food." (Cc Antya-lila 6.66-71)] [*Endnote 4 – "When chipped rice had been served to everyone, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, in meditation, brought Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived, Lord Nityananda Prabhu stood up. They then saw how the others were enjoying the chipped rice with yogurt and condensed milk. From each and every pot, Lord Nityananda Prabhu took one morsel of chipped rice and pushed it into the mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a joke. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, also smiling, took a morsel of food, pushed it into the mouth of Nityananda and laughed as He made Lord Nityananda eat it. In this way Lord Nityananda was walking through all the groups of eaters, and all the Vaisnavas standing there were seeing the fun. No one could understand what Nityananda Prabhu was doing as He walked about. Some, however, who were very fortunate, could see that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also present. Then Nityananda Prabhu smiled and sat down. On His right side He kept four pots of chipped rice that had not been made from boiled paddy. Lord Nityananda offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu a place and had Him sit down. Then together the two brothers began eating chipped rice. Seeing Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu eating with Him, Lord Nityananda Prabhu became very happy and exhibited varieties of ecstatic love. Lord Nityananda Prabhu ordered, "All of you eat, chanting the holy name of Hari." Immediately the holy names "Hari, Hari" resounded, filling the entire universe. When all the Vaisnavas were chanting the holy names "Hari, Hari" and eating, they remembered how Krsna and Balarama ate with Their companions the cowherd boys on the bank of the Yamuna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu are extremely merciful and liberal. It was Raghunatha dasa's good fortune that They accepted all these dealings. Who can understand the influence and mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu? He is so powerful that He induced Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come eat chipped rice on the bank of the Ganges. All the confidential devotees who were cowherd boys, headed by Sri Ramadasa, were absorbed in ecstatic love. They thought the bank of the Ganges to be the bank of the Yamuna." (Cc Antya-lila 6.77-91)] [*Endnote 5 – For five days Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took prasadam at the temple, but later he would stand at the Simha-dvara gate and eat only whatever he could gather by alms. Later he lived by taking alms from various chatras, or food distributing centers. When Raghunatha's father received news of this, he sent some men and money, but Raghunatha dasa Gosvami refused to accept the money. Understanding that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was living by begging from the chatras, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented him with His own gunja-mala and a stone from Govardhana Hill. Thereafter, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to eat rejected food that he had collected and washed. This renounced life greatly pleased both Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One day Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took by force some of the same food, thus blessing Raghunatha dasa Gosvami for his renunciation.] [*Endnote 6 – "When the servant informed Ramananda Raya of Pradyumna Misra's arrival, Ramananda Raya immediately went to the assembly room. He offered his obeisances to Pradyumna Misra with all respect and then, with great humility, spoke as follows. 'Sir, you came here long ago, but no one informed me. Therefore I have certainly become an offender at your lotus feet. My entire home has been purified by your arrival. Kindly order me. What can I do for you? I am your servant.' Pradyumna Misra replied, 'I came simply to see you. Now I have purified myself by seeing Your Honor.' Because Pradyumna Misra saw that it was late, he did not say anything else to Ramananda Raya. Instead, he took leave of him and returned to his own home. The next day, when Pradyumna Misra arrived in the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord inquired, 'Have you heard talks about Krsna from Sri Ramananda Raya?' Pradyumna Misra thereupon described the activities of Sri Ramananda Raya. After hearing about these activities, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to speak. 'I am a sannyasi,' He said, 'and I certainly consider Myself renounced. But what to speak of seeing a woman, if I even hear the name of a woman, I feel changes in My mind and body. Therefore who could remain unmoved by the sight of a woman? It is very difficult. Everyone please hear these topics about Ramananda Raya, although they are so wonderful and uncommon that they should not be spoken. The two professional dancing girls are beautiful and youthful, yet Sri Ramananda Raya personally massages their entire bodies with oil. He personally bathes and dresses them and decorates them with ornaments. In this way, he naturally sees and touches the private parts of their bodies. Nevertheless, the mind of Sri Ramananda Raya never changes, although he teaches the girls how to physically express all the transformations of ecstasy. His mind is as steady as wood or stone. Indeed, it is wonderful that even when he touches such young girls, his mind never changes. The authority for such acts is the prerogative of Ramananda Raya alone, for I can understand that his body is not material but has been completely transformed into a spiritual entity. He alone, and no one else, can understand the position of his mind.'" (Cc Antya-lila 5.27-43)]
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  16. 04 June 1998 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Today is the disappearance day of Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana - one of the most elevated acaryas in our disciplic succession. Today is also the birthday of Shrimati Gangamata Gosvamini, and it is also the very day that the Ganges River came to this world. Three holy days are here. In India, in all our Mathas (temples), there will be a very big festival of harikatha for these prominent leaders in devotion to Shri Krsna. Baladeva Vidyabhusana was born in Orissa, near Puri, in a place called Chilka Lake. He was very brilliant, and in his boyhood he learned all vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar) as well as the Vedas, Upanisads and all other scriptures. He wanted especially to read and study Vedanta. He read Shri Sankaracarya's explanation of Vedanta, but he was not satisfied and wanted to study more. Therefore, he went to South India, to a place called Udupi, where he studied all the commentaries on Vedanta, like the Shri-bhasya of Shri Ramanuja, the Parijata-Saurabha-bhasya of Shri Nimbaditya, more of the Sariraka-bhasya of Shri Sankaracarya, the Sarvajna-Sukti-bhasya of Shri Visnusvami, the Brhad-bhasya and Anubhasya of Shri Madhvacarya, and the Bhaskara-bhasya of Shri BhaskaraAcarya. He became very learned, and after that he returned to his homeland with a desire to conquer the entire world - to free it of misunderstandings in philosophical tattva. He went to Jagannatha Puri, and he thought, "Previously, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and many others like him have been here, so there must be so many learned persons in their line. I will conquer and defeat them." At that time there was a Gaudiya-Vaisnava present, named Radha-Damodara Prabhu, who was in the line of, and just after, Syamananda Prabhu, Rasikananda Prabhu, and Nayananda Prabhu. Radha-Damodara Prabhu was a very good scholar. He was very learned, but he kept all his knowledge hidden. He was a very simple person, always chanting and remembering in the line of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Shrila Rupa Gosvami. One day Baladeva Vidyabhusana came to defeat him, but when he heard all his siddhanta (conclusive truths) he thought, "I am very insignificant and I do not know anything in front of him. I am like a baby, a small baby." He at once surrendered to the lotus feet of Radha-Damodara and took initiation from him. After that he went to Vrndavana and took shelter of his siksa-guru, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and he totally surrendered to him. There he read all of Shrila Jiva Gosvami's Six Sandarbhas: Tattva-sandarbha, Paramatma-sandharbha, Bhagavat-sandarbha, Krsna-sandarbha, Bhakti-sandarbha, and Prtti-sandarbha. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura had taken ksetra-sannyasa. Ksetra-sannyasa means that one lives either in Vraja-dhama, Navadvipa-dhama or Jagannatha Puri-dhama and takes a vow: "I will not leave this place." Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura had taken ksetra-sannyasa in Vrndavana-dhama. He had decided, "I will never go out of Vrndavana." Gradually, he reached the old age of one-hundred years, and at that time there was some quarrel. Some of the members of the Ramanuja Sampradaya, which propounds vaidhi-bhakti and varnasrama dharma, challenged, "How is it that Shrimati Radhika, although not married to Krsna, always sits with Krsna? It is illegal." That was the first question. Second: "There is no mention of the name Radhika in Shrimad-Bhagavatam or in any other sastra." And third: "The GaudiyaVaisnavas are not in any Vaisnavasampradaya. There are only four sampradayas: Shri-Laksmi-sampradaya, Brahma-sampradaya, Rudra-sampradaya and Sanaka-sampradaya. In Kali-yuga there are four prominent acaryas: Ramanuja in the Shri-sampradaya, Madhvacarya in the Brahma-sampradaya, Visnusvami in the Rudra-sampradaya and Nimbaditya in the Sanaka-sampradaya. From where did these Gaudiya Vaisnavas recently come? We don't accept them. They have no commentary on Vedanta-sutra, so we cannot accept that they know siddhanta. We cannot accept their philosophical conclusions." The King of Jaipura requested ShrilaVisvanatha Cakravarti Thakura to come, but he denied their request. He ordered his disciple Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu to go in his stead. Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu went there, together with another prominent disciple of Shrila VisvanathaCakravarti Thakura, and defeated all. He quoted many Puranas, Vedas, Upanisads and the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, proving that Shrimati Radhika and Lord Shri Krsna are always together. Radhika is Krsna's potency or power - They cannot be separated. Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana quoted a story from Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami's Gita-govinda that showed how Radhika was married to Krsna. He also quoted the history from Shrimad Bhagavatam wherein Lord Brahma stole all the cowherd boys and calves, and Krsna Himself became exact duplicates of all the boys. According to the Bhagavatam, that year Gargacarya announced that all the cowherd men should give in their daughters in marriage, because it was a very auspicious year. In that year, therefore, all the daughters were married to all the sons of the cowherd men. Actually, though, because the young cowherd boys were Krsna Himself, all the girls were married to Krsna. Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu presented some verses from Shrimad-Bhagavatam: anayaradhitonunam bhagavanharirisvarah yan no vihayagovindah prito yam anayadrahah ["Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.28)] There are so many verses substantiating the truth of Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu quoted them all, and he proved that Radhika is Shri Krsna's own power - for Them there is no need to marry. The followers of the Ramanuja-sampradaya accepted these arguments. They were bound to accept; they were defeated. The opposing party then said, "You have no bona fide Vaisnava sampradaya." Baladeva Vidyabhusana then proved the GaudiyaV aisnavas are in the line of Shri Madhvacarya. Shri Laksmipati Tirtha, who gave diksa to Shri Nityananda Prabhu, was a disciple of Shri Madhvacarya. Shri Madhavendra Puripada, the grand spiritual master of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was also a disciple of this Laksmipati Tirtha. The followers of the Ramanuja-sampradaya challenged, "Laksmipati Tirtha was 'Tirtha' and Madhavendra Puri was 'Puri.' How did this difference come? Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana clearly explained that one cannot decide a person's disciplic succession on the basis of sannyasa. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was initiated by Shri Isvari Puripada at Gaya, and in Vaisnava siddhanta He followed Isvara Puripada. He did not follow Kesava Bharati, who gave Him sannyasa. The Guru is he who initiates by mantra-harinama and diksa-mantra. Shri Isvara Puripada gave Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the gopal-mantra, and Mahaprabhu followed Vaisnava religion according to the mood of Isvara Puripada, in the line of Madhavendra Puripada. In the same way, although Shrila Madhavendra Puri received sannyasa from someone else, he was initiated into the gopal-mantra by Shri Laksmipati Tirtha. There was a householder devotee at that time, who took sannyasa from someone in the Sankara-sampradaya, just as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did. Like Mahaprabhu, he was Vaisnava, not a mayavadi. That Vaisnava was named Visnu Puri, and he had been initiated in the Madhva-sampradaya. Madhavendra Puri took sannyasa from that Puri - from Visnu Puri. In this way, Gaudiya Vaisnavas are part of the Madhva-sampradaya. Nowadays, there is a similar friction in Vrndavana and Navadvipa. One party is saying, "We, GaudiyaVaisnavas, are not under any Vaisnavas-ampradaya. We are fully independent. Why should Caitanya Mahaprabhu take shelter of any other sampradaya? He is Krsna Himself." This argument is not correct. Shri Krsna accepted Sandipani Muni and Lord Ramacandra accepted Vasistha as their Gurus. The duty of a sampradaya-guru is not the job of Lord Krsna. Sampradayas are established by His powers and associates. Laksmi, Brahma, Visnusvami and Nimbaditya all are His associates. If Krsna were the head of the sampradaya, it would be called Krsna-sampradaya or Narayana-sampradaya - not Brahma-sampradaya. The names of all the sampradayas refer to the names of devotees: Shri-sampradaya, Brahma-sampradaya, Ramanuja-sampradaya and Madhva-sampradaya. Nowadays, that party says that Gaudiya Vaisnavas are a separate and fully independent sampradaya. But Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and before that Shrila Gopala-bhatta Gosvami and Shri Kavi-karnapura, have accepted the Madhva-sampradaya. So we must also accept the Madhva-sampradaya, as Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana has written in his books. That party says that Baladeva Vidyabhusana went to Udupi, the place of Madhvacarya, and that he accepted the Madhva-sampradaya. They say his initiation was in the Madhva-sampradaya. They say that he later came in the association of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, but he never accepted GaudiyaVaisnavism, and that is why he said that Gaudiya Vaisnavas are in the Madhva line. This idea is totally wrong. If Baladeva Vidyabhusana was not in our Gaudiya Vaisnava line, how could he have explained all the sandarbhas of ShrilaJivaGosvami? He accepted Shri CaitanyaMahaprabhu as non-different from Shri Krsna. All his books are in our line - in the line of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. He also explained Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Laghu-bhagavatamrta, as well all the books of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and the other books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He was a Rupanuga Vaisnava. If Shrila BaladevaVidyabhusana had not been present at that time, our GaudiyaVaisnava identity would have disappeared from this world. He established all the principles and philosophy established by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is a true Gaudiya Vaisnava. For about one hundred years, Smartas have been raising this question, but Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura and all other great acaryas have defeated all their arguments. Our Guru Maharaja has very boldly written a book about this. I want to publish it, with so many notes and explanations. Very soon I will publish it. [This book was later published under the name Prabandha-Panchakam.] So Shri Baladeva Vidyabhusana prabhu is a very prominent person in our line. There are so many more things to tell; but time is going to be over, so I'm ending here.
  17. Shrila B.V. Narayana Goswami 13 January 2000 There was a beautiful girl in East Bengal named Saci devi, and she was the daughter of the King of Putiya. From the beginning of her life she heard about Lord Krsna, and from that time onward she gave her entire heart to Him. From the time she was about five years old, she used to worship Krsna, sing to Krsna, play with Krsna, and do everything with Him. When she was about sixteen years old she became maddened for Him. Saci devi was not only beautiful, but she was very intelligent and used to study Sanskrit and Bengali. Her father and mother were worried for her marriage, but she totally refused to marry. She told her father, "My marriage has already been done. There is no need of another marriage. Don't be worried. I will go to Vrndavana and I will meet my beloved there." She took her Deities and was ready to go to Vrndavana alone, on foot, which was a three to four thousand mile journey. There were no airplanes or any modern conveniences in those days. She was preparing to go by foot, but her father arranged everything for her travel. Having come to Vrndavana and being completely infatuated and controlled by the desire to meet Krsna, she began searching for Him everywhere, wandering here and there. She would go to Vamsivata and ask that Vamsivata banyan tree: "Where is Krsna? Can you tell me where is Krsna?" There was a disciple of a very exalted devotee, named Haridasa, who in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. He was always chanting and remembering Krsna. He was also giving classes, just as I give in the evenings, and all Vrajavasis and saints and sadhus in our line would attend. Saci devi also used to hear the classes, and she was attracted. She told Haridasa, "I am taking your shelter. Please give me initiation, otherwise I will die. I want to see Krsna, and I want serve Krsna and Radha." Hearing this, he was so much happy. Though he had never wanted to initiate anyone, he initiated that beautiful princess. Haridasa then gave Saci devi instructions on how to chant, how to remember, how to practice in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, how Krsna is her beloved, and how she would be able to serve Radhika. He told her that her guru was a manifestation of Srimati Visakha devi and Sri Rupa Manjari. Sri Haridasa did not want her to be alone. He told her that there was an elderly lady of about fifty years who was very mature in hari-bhajana. He placed her in the hands of that devotee, just as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu placed the hands of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in the hands of Sri Svarupa Damodara. After her initiation, Saci devi was always weeping for Lord Krsna. She used to chant more than one hundred thousands names (64 rounds) of harinama daily, and she was totally absorbed. Her guru never gave her any bhajana-kutira (small house or room or hut, used for chanting and remembering Krsna). Rather he told her, "Oh, you should arrange this yourself. I have nothing to do with these things. You should manage that part of your life." Saci devi used to live in a broken-down temple on the Yamuna ghat, and there she would perform her sadhana-bhajana. She never made any management for taking prasada, but rather she would go from door to door, taking very little madhukari (prasada alms). She would eat only one forth of one chapatti in a meal, not taking all or even half of it. Everyone loved her and wanted to give her foodstuffs, but she never accepted them. She never wore nice clothing. She wore only warn and torn white cloth, and she was satisfied by this. She had no electricity, and no facilities at all. By continually hearing, and developing her Krsna consciousness, she became totally renounced. When she became twenty-five years old her gurudeva told her, "It is time for you to go to Radha-Kunda, to the place of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and do bhajana like him. And also take that nice elderly devotee." For the next twenty-five years Saci devi remained in the renounced order, doing madhukari (begging) and somehow maintaining her life. There was no problem in maintaining herself, and therefore she used to perform bhajana day and night. She did not sleep, even at night. After twenty-five years her guru, now very old, called her and said, "You should now go to Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri, near the Gambira of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then remain there for some time. There you will become siddha, perfect; so don't delay. Also, I would like you to renovate the place of Sri Sarvabhuma Bhattacarya. At present it is in ruins. No one is taking care of it and practically no one knows about its existence. So go and discover it, make a very simple temple there, worship there, live there, and take the prasadam of Jagannatha. That elderly lady was now gone, and therefore Saci devi went there alone. Somehow she came in the same way that Sri Sanatana Gosvami came from Vraja Mandala to Jagannatha Puri, traveling for many days on foot. You cannot imagine how she came. Once in Puri, Saci devi discovered the place of Sarvabhuma Bhattacarya. She made a hut of leaves and began to live there, chanting and remembering Lord Krsna. In the evenings she gave classes on Rasa Pancadyaya (the five chapters in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10th Canto regarding Lord Krsna's lilas with the gopis of Vrndavana). Sometimes she spoke on Venu-gita, and sometimes on other very important subjects of Srimad-Bhagavatam. When giving class, tears would come to Saci devi's eyes. All the residents of Puri were attracted, and even the King used to come in disguise to hear from her. The King made a proposal: "I want to give something to you. I want to build you a nice hut, and I want to give you a donation." Saci devi refused the donation and said, "I don't want a donation from a king." One day, on Makhara-sankranti, millions of Indians were going to take bath in the Ganges, which was hundreds of miles away from Puri. At that time Saci devi made up her mind: "I must also go to the Ganges to take bath." She made this determination in her mind, and she was going to go, but at midnight she saw, "Oh, the Ganges is coming." There was a very heavy, roaring current, and as though by magic, she found herself in that Ganges, where millions of persons were taking bath. The current in the Ganges took her to the temple of Lord Jagannatha, and then it entered and touched the feet of Jagannatha. [The Ganges originally came from the feet of Jagannatha-deva, because He is Krsna Himself. When Sri Vamanadeva took the universe away from Bali Maharaja, His foot went through the universal covering and touched the Causal Ocean. A drop of that Causal Ocean thus came into the universe as the Ganges. It is also said that Ganges is originally a sakhi of Srimati Radhika from Goloka Vrndavana. It can therefore be said that Jagannatha Himself, in the form of the Ganges, had picked up Saci devi and brought her to His lotus feet.] She was now there at Lord Jagannatha's feet, and the door was closed. No one else was there. In the morning the priest came, opened the door, and thousands upon thousands of persons came in to take darsana. The priest saw that lady and said, "Oh, why did you come here? To steal the ornaments of Jagannatha?" Saci devi was absorbed in Krsna, thinking, "Krsna is so merciful. Ganges came to me, made me take bath, and her current took me to the lotus feet of Jagannatha." She could not answer that priest, however. It is prohibited for a devotee to reveal his or her realizations, and moreover, no one would have believed her. She was thus taken to jail as if she were a thief. During the night Jagannatha gave a dream to the King, and also to the prominent pujari. Saci devi would now become famous as Gangamata Thakurani or Gangamata Gosvamini, due to her being carried by the Ganges. Jagannatha told them, "Go at once and beg forgiveness. Bring Gangamata Thakurani in a golden chariot, with drums and all other paraphernalia, to make a royal reception and royal procession. Also, you should become a disciple of that lady, along with your priests and all others prominent persons." The king awoke and at once went to the jail with golden chariots, a large crowd, and a royal reception. He brought her to her cottage and said, "Jagannatha has told me, "You should go and take shelter of that devotee. If you do not take initiation from her, I will destroy your entire dynasty." Along with all his councilors and others, he now began to fast and pray, "Be pleased to give us initiation very soon." Gangamata Thakurani replied, "My guru has not told me to do this. I don't want to make any disciples." Jagannatha then ordered her, "For Me, to please Me, you must make disciples." She then accepted them. The king promised, "I will give some land for Sarvabhuma Bhattacaraya, and I will make a very good temple there. I know that you have come from your gurudeva for this." He made a temple, but Gangamata Thakurani was always living in the temple of her heart. Her temple was there. She continued to give classes, and all the residents of Puri, as well as the highly elevated devotees, used to attend. One day, while she was absorbed in chanting and remembering the pastimes of Krsna, a brahmana from Jaipur came to her. That brahmana had been serving the Deity of Raya Kisora, Sri Krsna Himself. Krsna had told him in a dream, "Please take me to Puri and give me to Gangamata Thakurani. She will serve me. If you don't do this I will curse you. You are not rendering proper service. Sometimes you give Me offerings and sometimes not. You sometimes give Me bath and sometimes not. You are not doing service as you were before. So please go there and give Me to her. Otherwise, I will curse you, and your dynasty will also be finished." That brahmana then took the very beautiful Thakuraji (Deity) in a basket, and walked on foot for many months until he came to Puri. Now he approached Gangamata Thakurani and requested her, "Thakurji has come. Please take Him and serve Him. She refused and said, "I am doing manasi-seva (worship of Sri Radha-Krsna by meditation) in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. I cannot do all this. I have no time to worship with external paraphernalia." The brahmana became very worried and thought, "What shall I do?" Gangamata Thakurani had a Tulasi garden. That night the brahmana left the Deity in the midst of her Tulasi garden and fled. At four the next morning, Raya Kisora, that is, Syama Raya, Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, said to Gangamata, "You are neglecting Me. I came to have your service, your love and affection, and you are neglecting me. I'm thirsty; I'm so hungry. So please take me. Prepare something and offer that to Me." Gangamata Thakurani then went to see that Deity. Charmed, she took Him in her arms. She brought Him inside the temple and began worshiping Him there, and still now that vigraha (Deity) is there. When the king heard about this, he thought, "I am fortunate to be the disciple of this great devotee." All the ladies should try to be like Gangamata Thakurani. She never even dreamed of marrying any worldly person. I have come to help you to become a devotee like this. The world is like a fire, a burning forest fire. We have seen such a big fire in Florida. It burned for miles, and the government could not do anything. The burning forest fire of material existence is greater than this. We are in that fire, and we can never be saved as long as we are in material consciousness. If someone puts ghee in the fire, what will happen? It will become bigger. You will not be able to be saved. The father of Yadu Maharaja, Yayati, had so many very beautiful wives, but he was not satisfied. When he was old he wanted to take the youthful age of his son, but Jadu Maharaja refused and told him, "This life is only meant to serve Krsna. If you were a pure devotee, I would have been very happy to give you my youth." Yayati then asked his second son, Puru. He said, "Puru, you are my very dear, darling son. Please give me your youth. I want to further taste material pleasure. My thirst has not been quenched." Puru replied, "O father, I came from you, and so I'm giving you my youth." Yayati thus became young, and for many thousands of years he engaged in sense gratification. He was not satisfied, however, and one day he thought, "What silly things am I doing?" He quickly returned his youth to his son, and then left every material consideration and went in the forest. This history shows that the world is a burning fire. The fire in the sea is thousands of times greater than the forest fire, and we are in that fire. We should try to know all these truths. Don't waste your time. Try to develop your Krsna Consciousness. If you are married, there is no harm in that. Along with your wife and children you should try to be detached. There must be some sense of duty, but no attachment at all. You should think, "I must serve my wife (or husband) and children because they are eternal servants of Krsna. For this reason, so that they may develop their Krsna consciousness, I should help them." Male devotees should try to become like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Rupa Gosvami. Lady devotees should become like Gangamata Thakurani, Jahnava Thakurani, and Hemalata Thakurani. Sometimes Jahnava Thakurani exhibited four arms. [Jahnava Thakurani is the eternal potency of Lord Nityananda. Nityananda has two potencies, Jahnava and Vasuda. The son of Vasuda devi is the incarnation of Godhead, Bhirabhadra, He was searching a Guru and was recommended to take shelter of Jahnava Thakurani, but he thought, "She is my mother. How can she be my Guru?" One early morning, after passing and just before taking her bath, Jahnava Thakurani was undressed from the waist up, as was the custom for Indian ladies. Bhirabhadra saw her in that condition, standing by a well, and became shy. She immediately manifested two more arms, and with them she covered her breasts. Bhirabhadra then offered his pranama (obeisances) to her and took initiation.] Don't waste your time. Remain in your positions, and if you are married, that is okay. If you are not married, if you are renounced, that is okay. If you are not renounced, that is okay. But hear hari-katha wherever you are and in whatever position you are. Offer pranama to that place where hari-katha is being spoken. Offer pranama to the organisers, and offer satstang-pranama to the speaker and to the whole audience. Then, very soon you will have sadhana-bhakti, bhava-bhakti and prema-bhakti. Try to realize all these things. These are truths. Gaura premande hari hari bol.
  18. A108-AI

    A Happy Father's Day

    Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Darsana After The Morning Walk San Francisco, California: June 17, 2007 Srila Gurudeva: Is Father's Day for daughters only, or also for males? Devotees: For males also. Srila Gurudeva: Then why are the males not giving me any gifts? I have more affection for my daughters. None of the men told me it was Father's Day. Sripad Damodara Maharaja: Srila Gurudeva, you said on the morning walk that even though the father has so much affection for his son, he may not show it directly. He may not take the son on his lap. We know you love your sons best; therefore you are not showing it. Srila Gurudeva: I have more affection for my daughters. Srila Gurudeva: My blessings for all of you today is that pure bhakti will come in your hearts – the greed for service in raganuga-bhakti will come. May you attain your highest goal. What is your highest goal? Caru-candrika dasi: Manjari-bhava. Devotees: Radha-dasyam. Srila Gurudeva: Radha-dasyam (the personal service of Srimati Radhika). In the West, after the sons' marriage, the fathers and sons separate from each other. The sons no longer render service to their fathers. In India, even when their mothers and fathers are very old, the children continue to serve. Nowadays, however, except in the villages, where old persons are still taken care of by their grown children, a 'wind' has come to India from Western countries. Old persons are suffering as a result, as they are not allowed to even live with their families. I want you all to follow varna-asrama-dharma, an example of which is serving one's parents. Gokula dasa: If we are in family life, we should take care of our mother and father? Srila Gurudeva: Yes; and have good relations with your brothers. Lord Rama wanted to give His kingdom to Bharata, and Bharata wanted to give the kingdom to Rama. They were quarreling about this point. Nowadays it is the opposite; we quarrel for our own ownership. We should be like Rama and Bharata. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has told us to be like trees. A tree gives its leaves, fruits, branches, flowers, juice, fruits, shade, and wood to others. We should try to not live for ourselves, but for others. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja left everything in his old age and traveled the entire world to benefit others. I also travel only to bring the highest benefit to all – to follow our guru-parampara. Mahaprabhu dasa: My thirteen year-old daughter, Tulasi dasi, is here to see you. Srila Gurudeva: She came with you from Australia? To hear hari-katha? Mahaprabhu dasa: Yes. She took initiation from you a few years ago, and now she wants second initiation. Srila Gurudeva: (To Tulasi dasi) How many rounds do you chant daily? Tulsi dasi: I am building up. Srila Gurudeva: How many rounds are you chanting now? Tulsi dasi: Two rounds a day. Srila Gurudeva: Very good, very good. But no diksa now. You will automatically increase your chanting when you will realize the glories of the holy name – that the holy name can save you from the pain of endless birth and death. Money and worldly things cannot make you happy; but these holy names will give you everything up to krsna-prema, and you will be able to serve Radha and Krsna forever. When you realize this, then you will chant more. When I come to Australia, you can receive the diksa-mantras. Syamarani dasi: You said we should follow varnasrama-dharma. You said we should serve our mother and father and brothers. Srila Gurudeva: Not only on Father's Day, but every day. Syamarani dasi: What if our mother, father, and brother are non-devotees? Srila Gurudeva: Grhasthas (householders) should do so, and those who are renounced, who have given up the world, should serve their holy master. Syamarani dasi: A householder should serve his non-devotee, material mother and father? Srila Gurudeva: Yes, they should serve their mother, father, and brothers – whether or not their family members are devotees – otherwise they will have to go to hell. Everyone who is not a pure devotee has debts to others in this world. When my father used to come to Mathura, I would take his foot-dust on my head. Sripad Madhava Maharaja: His father was a devotee. Srila Gurudeva: Even though I am a sannyasi and he was a grhastha, I did so. He was my first guru. He taught me Mahabharata, Ramayana, and other scriptures. Sripad Madhava Maharaja: They serve their parents in order to inspire them to become devotees. The parents receive good impressions by remembering how their devotee children always give respect to them, and bring them prasadam and the good news about what is best for their eternal welfare.
  19. Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja [Purusottama Month comes every two years and eight months, in the leap-year. This year, Purusottama Month begins on May 15 or 16th (see calendar). You will find a list of the foodstuffs that are prohibited for this month at the bottom of this lecture. This lecture was given by Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja three leap-years ago, at the beginning of his Hari-katha festival in Badger, California, in 1999:] This is Purusottama Month. Krsna is Purusottama, the Supreme Person, and therefore this month is actually Krsna’s month. Among all the incarnations, Krsna Himself is Purusottama. Therefore, this month is also supreme among all months, as is the month of Kartika. We are also so fortunate to be here in New Vraja, very near to Giriraja-Govardhana. Syama-Kunda and Radha-kunda are also here. All the pastime places of Vrndavana are here, as Vrndavana itself has manifested here. Peacocks are dancing, and so much is reminding us of Sri Vrndavana-dhama. In India we observe this Purusottama Month in the presence of Purusottama, in His own place, Nilacala, at Jagannath Puri [Purusottama-ksetra]. Devotees spend one month there, observing certain rules and regulations and rising early in the morning at 4:00 AM. Those who want krsna-bhakti, and those who want to observe this Purusottama month, maintain many rules from the beginning of the month. In India we do not shave, but I am not telling you what to do; it depends on you. Here in the West it is not so strict, because Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has given some concession to Western devotees. You can follow by always hearing hari-katha and by observing those regulations which you can easily maintain. At least try to wake up very early in the morning, put on tilaka, and perform all sandhya practices [spiritual duties of early morning, noon, and early evening; particularly early morning] If the diksa-mantras have been given to you, then this should be done with all faith and honor. You should also observe the arati ceremony. You can either perform it yourself, or come here, where we have a temple in Nirguna Prabhu's house and mangala-arati is performed. If the devotees live very far away, they can do arati where they reside. After arati some kirtanas should be performed, as we do here: guru-vandana (prayers), guru-parampara vandana, vaisnava-vandana, and gaura-nityananda vandana, like hari haraye namah krsna yadavaya namah, yadavaya madhavaya kesavaya namah, and then Radha-Krsna vandana. Make arrangements, in the morning or evening, to sing “Jaya radha jaya krsna jaya vrndavana…”, and at the same time perform tulasi-parikrama. Wherever you are, offer some water to Tulasi, even one or two drops, and do tulasi-parikrama and kirtana daily. Without the mercy of Tulasi, Vrnda-devi, you cannot enter the realm of pure bhakti. This is true for both Vrnda-devi and Yogamaya. Yogamaya arranges all the pastimes of Krsna, Mahaprabhu and so on. In Navadvipa she is Prauddha Yogamaya, and in Vraja, Yogamaya Purnamasi. The Lord’s amorous pastimes in the secluded groves of Vrndavana are especially arranged by Srimati Vrnda-devi. In fact, Vrndavana is named after her. Without the mercy of Vrnda-devi, you cannot enter the realm of service to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, neither can you enter Vrndavana. Even if you are outwardly in Vrndavana, you may still be in the net of maya. If you want to actually be in Vrndavana, you will have to receive the mercy of Vrnda-devi. Therefore perform parikrama to her form as Tulasi, at least in this month. Offer all bhoga to Radha-Krsna, Mahaprabhu or your Thakurji. Then, at the time of honoring maha-prasada, recite the jaya-dhvani prayers and: Offering foodstuffs with tulasi to the Deities[“O Brother, this material body is a lump of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths leading to death. We have fallen into this ocean of material sense enjoyment. Of all the senses the tongue is the most difficult to control and is always very greedy to taste things. But Krsna is so merciful that He gives us His prasada, the remnants from His own mouth, to help us conquer the tongue. This prasada is full of nectar. Take this prasada and glorify Radha and Krsna. With love call for the help of Caitanya and Nitai.” (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)] You should not ‘take’ maha-prasada, and you should not ‘eat’ maha-prasada. You should try to serve it. You should not ‘chant’ harinama; you should serve harinama. You should not ‘hear’ hari-katha, but you should serve hari-katha with your ears. Never go to ‘see’ the Deities. Instead you should think, “I’m going before the Deity so that He may see me.” You cannot see the Deities, but you can pray, “Oh, please see me. Please give me Your mercy. I cannot see You. With these eyes I see You as a statue made of stone, gold, copper or brass.” Krsna is not like this, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not like this. Therefore, try to follow these rules and regulations so that this month will be successful. On Sunday we will make a festival for Giriraja-Govardhana. From today, try to prepare some offerings. Some dry preparations can be made beforehand, and at least 360 preparations should be made. Also, all devotees coming from far away should be hosted with gentle, sweet words. Try to look after their problems – very politely and with sweet words. [*ENDNOTE: Fasting from eggplant, tomatoes, loki, parmal, urad dhal, honey, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and mustard oil for 1 month. In other words, the prohibited foods are the same for Kartik month and Purusottama month. Check the calendar to see when Purusottama month ends for your city (just like Ekadasi is different for different cities in the world): No shaving for brahmacaris and sannyasis.]
  20. A108-AI

    How Faith Comes

    Los Angeles May 10 2003 Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja I am very happy that a great number of senior and sincere disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja are coming to hear hari-katha. We should hear about the real nature of bhakti - not the kind of hearing in which the subject matter goes in one ear and out the other, but truly following and getting genuine realization. Full bhakti is so high that it is rare to find one who has realized it. We begin from the point of sraddha, where the first and smallest fraction of bhakti manifests. We must know what is sraddha, how it comes, and what are its effects. Keep this in your hearts and be determined to follow these teachings. In ancient times there was a very beautiful and qualified young boy. He became attached to a prostitute, however, and because of that he gave up all his wealth and position and left his wife and children. What is the nature of prostitutes? They show affection artificially, and their only purpose is to take money – nothing else. They do not consider whether or not a person is qualified and beautiful. They do not want a relationship; they only want money. After that young boy had given all his wealth to the prostitute and she saw that he was unable to give her anything more, she ordered him, "Do not come to me!" And she kicked him out. The boy thought, "Oh, what have I done?! I have made a great mistake." He was deeply lamenting and his heart was broken; he wanted to commit suicide. He left the prostitute's house as night was falling and entered a forest; and as he did so it became very dark and began to rain heavily. He wanted to die, but to die is not so easy. He lost his resolve and sought shelter to pass the night. Deep within the jungle he discovered an old, dilapidated temple in which he took refuge. He continued to lament and weep, wishing to give up that prostitute, but images of her came to his mind again and again. What became of that prostitute? After that young boy left she remembered, "He was so beautiful, and he loved me from his heart." Repenting, she thought, "Oh, I have made a mistake; I should not have kicked him out. I should go and satisfy him and bring him back." She asked many people which way the boy had gone. She followed him into that dark forest and, seeking protection from the heavy rains she entered the same temple. It was so dark that she could not see, and she took shelter in another area of the temple. She repented and wept for that boy throughout the night, and he was weeping for her. The next morning the two met in the temple. They began to weep, they apologized to each other, and they returned to the prostitute's house. Fortunately, that previous day was the appearance day of Lord Nrsimhadeva, and that old temple was Lord Nrsimhadeva's temple. The couple was fasting and not criticizing anyone – only weeping, weeping, and weeping. They spent the night without sleeping or eating – within the temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva. This is ajnata-sukrti (spiritual pious activity performed without the performer's knowledge). What was the power of his ajnata-sukrti? That boy became Prahlada Maharaja in his next life. How did this ajnata-sukrti occur? Why did the boy go to the temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva on the day of His appearance? Why did the prostitute follow him and why did they meet there? This was the mercy of Krsna – no doubt at all. We sometimes call such incidences accidents, but what was that accident? There was some mercy of Krsna. We are part and parcel and eternal servants of Krsna by constitution. Our constitutional form is to serve Him, but being tatastha-sakti (Krsna's marginal potency) and having come from the marginal line (the area between the spiritual and material world), this service has not manifest yet. You should know that there are many kinds of jivas. Some are coming from Baladeva Prabhu in Goloka Vrndavana, and they are serving Radha and Krsna conjugal eternally. They have not seen or realized this material world. Some jivas are coming from Baladeva in Dvaraka, and they are serving Krsna in His form of Dvarakadhisa Some are coming from His manifestation called Maha-Sankarsana, and they are serving in Vaikuntha. They are serving incarnations like Vaikunthesvara Narayana, Sri Ramacandra, Nrsimhadeva and others. Finally, those who are coming from the incarnation of Maha-Sankarsana known as Karanadakasayi Visnu are in the marginal (tatastha) region. We have all come from there, not from Goloka. Those who have received and tasted the service of Krsna can never fall down. They cannot become conditioned souls. If one has gone there by developing bhakti from sraddha all the way to prema, how can he fall down? There is no Mahamaya in Goloka; only Yogamaya. She will always help the devotees, and therefore there is no question of forgetting Krsna there. The conditioned souls have come from the marginal line, from the illuminated glance of Karanadakasayi Visnu. The realized souls coming from Baladeva Prabhu, the kayavyuha (bodily expansions) of Radhika, and also the conditioned souls, are all parts and parcels of Krsna. Krsna has so much unconditional love and causeless mercy towards all living entities. He cannot tolerate to see us suffering the miseries of adhyatmika (bodily or mental), adhibhautika (caused by others) and adhidaivika (caused by nature and the demigods). Even if you are wealthy, healthy, possessed of all good qualities and have a very high position, you'll have to become old one day. All you beautiful ladies and men will be forced to grow old, and one day you will have to die. You cannot take a single farthing from this world; not even a hair from your head. The only thing you may take with you is some sukrti, or pure bhakti; otherwise you leave with nothing. Undoubtedly, Krsna is causelessly merciful. He cannot tolerate the suffering of His minute parts, the jivas, who are His eternal servants. If we worldly people don't want our children to suffer, then how can Krsna tolerate the suffering of the jivas? He mercifully descends Himself, and sometimes He comes as His incarnations like Rama, Nrsimha, Kalki, Vamana, and so on. Jesus Christ is also a messenger of God. Sometimes Krsna comes Himself with all His associates. He displays poignant and heart-breaking pastimes as Rama, and sometimes He manifests the pastimes of Nrsimha Bhagavan who, in a moment, killed a person who had a boon not to die in the day or night, by any weapon or any mantra, or in the sea, sky or land. He was killed in a moment because he tried to torture a bhakta like Prahlada. If anyone commits an offence or acts neglectfully to the Vaisnavas, Krsna will come in some way. Sometimes He sends His Sudarsana-cakra as He did to protect Ambarisa Maharaja, sometimes He appears as Nrsimhadeva and sometimes as Sri Rama. Who is Sri Rama? He is Krsna Himself. What was he doing? He was bitterly weeping for Sita, "Oh Sita, Oh Sita," and he became mad. This is such a heart-rending pastime that everyone weeps simply by hearing it. When Svayam Bhagavan appeared in his original form as Sri Krsna, Nanda-nandana, Vrajendra-nandana, He performed miraculous pastimes that even Rama and Sri Nrsimha could not do. He called to everyone by His flute-playing. He also called the conditioned souls, but they could not hear. Even Krsna's cowherd boy friends could not hear. Who was able to hear that flute song? Only the gopis heard it. He is calling us all. He is sending messengers like Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to the Western countries, telling him, "Oh, go and call them. They should come to Vrndavana and meet Me there. If they cannot come, I will create Vrndavana within their minds and hearts." How merciful He is. That is why He made some rules and regulations so that if we can follow or even a little, we will very easily become His associates and we can dance with Him. Krsna appeared in the jail of Kamsa, and then He quickly left that place, went to Vraja, and then He became the son of Nanda and Yasoda. During His first ten years He performed all His Vraja pastimes, and after that He went to Mathura, killed Kamsa and all his associates, went to Dvaraka, and later enacted the Mahabharata war. In these pastimes many demons were killed and the sadhus were saved, and if anyone hears all these pastimes, or even one of them, Krsna may touch his heart and he will gradually attain sraddha. Without the mercy of Krsna, there can be no sraddha - nothing is there. I explained how Prahlada, in his past life, through sukrti and the special mercy of Krsna, was unknowingly led to the temple of Lord Nrsimhadeva. This pastime was exhibited to show the power of sraddha to the people in general. We know that Prahlada is an eternal associate of Bhagavan Sri Nrsimhadeva. He cannot fall under the influence of the external energy and he has no need of sukrti. It was his partial manifestation who performed this pastime. We see that Drona and Dhara performed great austerities. Lord Brahma gave them the boon that the Supreme Lord will appear as their son and they will have love for Him in a parental mood. This boon was given only by the mercy of Sri Krsna, and thus He took birth in Gokula. In sastra it has been said that Drona became Nanda Baba and Dhara became Yasoda-maiya. If we very deeply examine the mood of the sastras and the explanations of our acaryas, however, we will see that Nanda Baba and Yasoda are the eternal father and mother of Krsna, with no beginning and no end. Drona and Dhara were Vasu Gandharvas who performed worship desiring that parental mood. Subsequently, they took birth in Vrndavana and merged into Nanda Baba and Yasoda-maiya. Later when that lila was finished in this world, Drona and Dhara became the neighbors of Nanda Baba and Yasoda in Goloka Vrndavana, with the mood of vatsalya-prema for Krsna. Nanda Baba is not only in one form. As Krsna appears in all the universes, engaging in unlimited pastimes with all His associates, Nanda Maharaja appears along with Him. These topics are very confidential. The root of all sraddha, gained knowingly or unknowingly, is the mercy of Krsna. This mercy comes in two ways, either by the mercy of Krsna or by the mercy of guru. We see that Narada Rsi, by his special causeless mercy, is much more merciful than Krsna Himself. Krsna has given him this mood by telling him, "Go and help them." Who is Narada? Narada is Guru, and Guru is the essence of the mercy of Krsna, the embodiment of Krsna's mercy. samsara davanala lidha loka tranaya karunya ghanaghanatvam praptasya kalyana gunarnavasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam [Just as a rain cloud extinguishes a blazing forest fire by showering its rain upon it, Sri Gurudeva, by his rain of divine mercy, delivers the people burning in the forest fire of material existence, suffering the threefold miseries – adhyatmika, abhibhautika and adhidaivika. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva, who manifest when Krsna's mercy becomes thick and who is an ocean of auspicious qualities (Sri Gurvastakam verse 1).] The embodiment of Krsna's mercy is Sri Gurudeva. The root of Sri Gurudeva is Baladeva Prabhu, and Narada is an incarnation of Baladeva Prabhu. The complete mercy of Baladeva Prabhu has become a form, and that form is called Narada, the root of our entire guru-parampara. Krsna ordered Narada, "Go. You can go without an invitation to this world, to Svarga, to Brahma-loka and Siva-loka, and also to Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka and Mathura. You can go everywhere. It is My boon that you will have millions and millions of forms so that you can preach everywhere, and millions of tongues to do kirtana." narada muni, bajaya vina, 'radhika-ramana' name nama amani, udita hoya, bhakata-gita-same [The supremely rasika Narada Muni plays his vina, singing the names of Sri Radhika-Ramana. Hearing this kirtana, Sri Radha and Sri Radhika-Ramana Themselves immediately descend, dancing and tasting the bhava of Their own devotees. (Narada Muni, verse 1)] You should try to remember all that was explained about sraddha, especially transcendental sraddha, and particularly lobhamayi-sraddha.*[See endnote] You can also write it down to fix your remembrance. That high class of transcendental lobhamayi-sraddha depends on the mercy of Krsna and His associates. Moreover, Krsna's mercy is dependent upon the mercy of His devotees. Krsna will not hear your entreaties or your prayers. However, if you satisfy a Guru like Narada or my Gurudeva, they will tell Krsna, "Please be merciful upon this person." I know this; I satisfied my Gurudeva. Krsna is here; He is everywhere, so why does He not see us? It is because He is always engaged in Vrndavana's sweet pastimes, and forgets everything. sad-anga saranagati haibe jahara tahara prarthana sune sri nanda kumara [The prayers of one who submits unconditionally to this six fold surrender are heard by Sri Nanda-kumara. (Sad-anga Saranagati, Six Fold Surrender, verse 5, by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)] Narada will say, "I have cursed Nalakuvera and Manigriva. Krsna should always remember this and uphold my word." Brahma will remind Krsna, "I have given a boon to Hiranyakasipu and others. Please keep my promise." Brahma also made a request to Hanuman. "Please keep my oath; I have given a boon to Indrajit that he can bind anyone with the nagapasa (snake rope)." He bound Hanuman with that nagapasa, but Brahma had also given Hanuman a boon that no one could bind him. In order to allow Brahma's boon to Indrajit to stand, Hanuman mercifully allowed himself to be bound by Indrajit, and then later easily escaped. Although Krsna is merciful, his devotees like Narada and Prahlada Maharaja are even more merciful. Nrsimhadeva wanted to give many boons to Prahlada Maharaja. He told him, "Any benediction you like, you may have." Prahlada replied, "I wish not to be given any boon. This is my request." Lord Nrsimhadeva said, "You must ask for something." Prahlada thought, "What should I do?" and then he replied, "Please liberate my father even though he has offended both You and me." The Lord answered, "This has been done already. You should ask for anything else. My darsana should not go in vain." Then Prahlada said, "I want to take all the miseries of the world. I want to be merciful to the conditioned souls and take their suffering so that they may be liberated and engaged in Your service." How magnanimous Prahlada is! By his mercy so many demons and their children became bhaktas. When mercy is bestowed by a special kind of realized rasika bhavuka Vaisnava, one can receive lobhamayi-sraddha. If anyone hears Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and Srimad Bhagavatam from Sukadeva Gosvami, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he must be delivered. He will receive lobhamayi sraddha. Srila Rupa Gosvami has said "adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sanga". There are so many kinds of sadhu-sanga. Sadhu-sanga will come first, and from this, sukrti will come. Otherwise, sukrti cannot come. Although they don't need anything, sadhus will go to your door and beg, "Oh, can you give me a glass of water?" Why? It is said in the Srimad Bhagavatam: mahad-vicalanam nrnam grhinam dina-cetasam nihsreyasaya bhagavan kalpate nanyatha kvacit [O my lord, O great devotee, persons like you move from one place to another, not for their own interests but for the sake of poor-hearted grhastas [householders]. Otherwise, you have no interest in going from one place to another. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10:8:4)] It was explained earlier that sraddha can only come by the causeless mercy of Krsna and Vaisnavas, especially Vaisnavas. What did Srila Rupa Gosvami mean when he wrote "adau sraddha?" In the beginning there must be sadhu-sanga. Without this, the tendency to serve Krsna cannot come in the heart. Those who are serving Guru can discover what happiness comes by serving Krsna. Our transcendental form will be realized and we will be engaged in Krsna's service. Those who are realized, like Narada and others, can preach very boldly and strongly to anybody. Sraddha, the seed of bhakti, is the tendency to serve Krsna. If we think that we have sraddha in our hearts, but we have no tendency to serve Krsna and His devotees, then we actually have no sraddha. Sadhu-sanga gives us hari-katha, so abundantly and sweetly. We hear from sadhus that Krsna is the Supreme Lord with all kinds of power, yet He was bound by the ropes of mother Yasoda. That rope was not an ordinary rope, but a rope made of sneha, transcendental love and affection. Hearing all these pastimes of Krsna, from beginning to end, a tendency may come: "I should serve Krsna like His friends Sridama and Subala," or "I should serve Krsna like mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba," or "I want to serve conjugal Krsna and Radhika in the mood of the gopis." A specific tendency will come. When will it come? After serving for some time with real sraddha, as defined in the words of Krsna, in the words of scriptures and in the in the words of Gurudeva, a specific service mood will manifest in our hearts. Sraddha is the beginning, and it will develop only by sadhu-sanga. Without sadhu-sanga (association with pure devotees) you cannot progress. You are chanting and remembering in your houses and in your apartments, but are you not realizing something more here? Are you inspired or sleeping here? Have you come for wealth? No? This is good. The devotees and I have called you, and that call has been answered by devotees who have come from Los Angeles, England, Brazil, Germany, France, Australia, Canada and Hawaii, and Krsna dasa (Srila Maharaja's servant and kirtana leader) is here from India. We have called you only to give you the tendency to serve Krsna, but the service of Krsna alone will not suffice. You must serve all His associates. The Vraja-gopis are the highest, and of all the Vraja-gopis Srimati Radhika is highest. The service of Srimati Radhika is inspiring you. If even one of you is inspired, I will think that I am successful in my mission. Gaura Premanande [*Endnote: Paramarthika-sraddha (transcendental faith) is of two kinds: 1) sastrartha avadharanamayi-sraddha - faith which brings about engagement in the path of bhakti inspired by the governing principles of scripture, and 2) bhagavat-lila-madhurya-lobhamayi-sraddha - faith which brings about engagement in bhakti due to lobha or intense longing, arisen out of some extreme good fortune by hearing the lila-madhurya of Bhagavan.] Transcriber: Janaki dasi Editor: Janardana dasa Editorial assistant: Syamarani dasi Typist: Anita dasi
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