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  1. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Odessa, Ukraine: September 22, 2002 I want to give you a general idea of Shrimad Bhagavatam. It has been told by Shrila Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, who is one of the incarnations of Krishna, that this world was created by the Supreme Lord. He is very powerful, and that is why He is called God; G stands for generator or creator, O for operator or manager, and D stands for destroyer. Our Vedic rsis, like Vyasadeva, Narada, and Brahma have told us that the Supreme Lord has a very beautiful form and many millions of transcendental qualities. If a father has a form, then only his son may have a form. If the father has no form or qualities, then the son will neither have form nor qualities, nor can He even exist. It is stated in our scriptures: aho bhagyam aho bhagyam nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam yan-mitram paramanandam purnam brahma sanatanam ["How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend."(Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.14.32).] The son of Nanda Baba in Vraja is very beautiful, sweet, and merciful. He sports with His cowherd boys and millions of gopis – dancing, singing, making merry, and playing on His flute. He is not an ordinary person, He is the Lord of lords. He is purna-brahma sanatana. He is unlimited and unparalleled. No one is equal to Him and no one can be greater than Him; all are subordinate to Him. He does not directly create these worlds. The servants of the servants of His servants create them all, where as He Himself is always engaged in playing and giving pleasure to all His associates. A shadow of this truth has been explained in the Bible, wherein it is said, "God created man after his own image" – this is the same thing. The Supreme God had created man. He is beautiful and He also made man like that. In the Bible it has been written that the Supreme Lord has a form. It has also been written in the Koran of the Muslims and in other religious scriptures that Ghoda, or Allah, created man in His own image. No one can deny these statements of the Bible and the Koran. Jesus went to India when he was about sixteen years old, and he visited many places of pilgrimage, like Vrindavana, Ayodhya, South India, and Jagannatha Puri. In Puri he saw Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, and he heard Jagannatha addressed as Krishna. From this name came Krista, then Kroosta, then Kroosna, and then Christ – Krishna, Kroosna, Krista, and then Christ – they are the same. There are no separate Gods. In this entire universe there is only one Supreme God. There are many gods, but the Supreme God is not Russian, British, German, or Australian. He knows all the languages perfectly, and ultimately there is no need of knowing these languages. There is only one real language in the entire world, and that language is called love. Our eyes can speak the language of love, our ears and our hands can speak and understand the language of love, and a smiling a face can tell everything. Our Supreme Lord Krishna knows all languages with no difficulty. God is one and He is Krishna. All other names, like Brahma, Paramatma, Buddha, Allah, and God are included within Him. Krishna is love, and His love is Radhika. Without love – without Radhika – He cannot exist for even a second. If you want to take darsana of Krishna, in a moment you can have darsana of Krishna if you will follow Radhika and call out to Her, "O Radhike!" Krishna will then come at once. This is the philosophy of love, and it is imperative that we know this philosophy. Shrimad Bhagavatam is the philosophy of love, Shri Caitanya Caritamrta is the essence of love, and the books of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, such as Ujjvala Nilamani and others, are all about transcendental love and nothing else. For example, in the first verse of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shrila Vyasadeva and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami offer obeisances to the Supreme Lord: Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya janmady asya yato ’nvayad itaratas carthesu abhijnahsvarat tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mrsa dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth."] Although Shrila Vyasadeva is addressing Krishna in this way: "You are creating this world; You are the supreme cause of this creation", he knows that this is a secondary consideration. It is not primary. Krishna can at once create millions and millions of universes simply by His eyes or by His wish. Krishna is fully independent. No one can control Him and there are none equal to Him. Even Brahma, the creator of this universe, can understand something about Krishna in his meditation, but he does not understand Him fully. He does not know who He is and how He performs all of His wonderous feats. Krishna has a very powerful energy; and this energy is called Radhika and sometimes Yogamaya. He also has His shadow, the illusory maya, and by the work of this shadow energy we sometimes imagine we are seeing water in earth and fire in water. The meaning here is that this body is mortal. It is made of stool, urine, blood and many other foul substances. Although this is a fact, still we think, "I am this body, this world is true, and it is mine." This is the influence of Krishna's deluding potency called maya-sakti. I have come only to point this out and to encourage you to be careful in this regard. In this world there is no pure love and affection. The appearance of love and affection here is also due to Krishna's deluding potency called maya. In this world we have great affection for our wives and our children, but that blind love is not pure. If your wife is very beautiful, energetic, and always serving you, you keep her; but if she becomes invalid in any way and not so beautiful, you will change your wife. You will divorce her and get a new wife. In the same way, a lady also gives up her husband if he is not doing well and is not serving her. Thus, there is only blind love and affection in this world; it is not real. We cannot love anyone by these bodies. The only pure love is experienced by the soul to the Supersoul. It is for this reason – to give you this pure love – that we have come to you. Due to the deluding maya we misunderstand this world to be true and our affection to be true, but it is actually extremely painful. Becoming old and dying is very painful. You cannot take with you what you are collecting day and night in this world. Moreover, you cannot take your body and present mental conceptions with you. Therefore, what is the use of laboring like the donkeys? There is no need to do so. We are offering our prostrated obeisances, Shrila Vyasadeva is offering his prostrated obeisances, and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami is offering his prostrated obeisances, to He whose deluding potency maya makes us blind and ignorant. In the first sloka, Shrila Vyasadeva has stated, "Satyam parama dhimahi." I meditate on parama-satyam (the transcendental truth), Shrimati Radhika with Krishna. Offering respectful obeisances and meditating on satyam parama; this is the essence of the first sloka. In the second sloka of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shri Vyasadeva again offers His respectful obeisances: dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ’tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart".] In this world there are many kinds of new religions, although they are actually not religions. They are not permanent and eternal religions. These religions (dharmas), can only give us information about how to maintain our worldly lives. The adherents of Buddha-dharma, for example, do not discuss any relation with the Supreme Lord; they only consider their relationship with mortal bodies, and it his therefore not eternal. Nowadays, Buddha-dharma is everywhere, but its followers do not believe in the Vedas. Actually, it is not religion. Its followers do not believe in God and in fact they do not believe in anything. They do not even believe in their own existence, and they accept nothing more than false logic. If someone will follow them, he may lose his existence – in the sense that he will merge with the impersonal brahma, where there is no activity, no form, and no qualities. This is likened to losing ones existence or becoming zero. Buddha-dharma is pervading everywhere, like the air, so beware of it. If the world is false, if God is false, if we are false, then love is also false. Without love, however, we cannot maintain our lives for even a second, and therefore their theory is totally false. Whereas they advocate no love at all, our God is supreme, eternal, and He is the embodiment of love and affection. Do you know what religion was in this world earlier than 2002 years ago. Christianity is only 2002 years old, and younger than that is the Muslim faith, which is only 1400 years old. But love existed even at the beginning of the universe. Love is really our religion, and this love is called Sanatana (eternal) dharma, or Vedic dharma. If you throw a piece of stone, earth, wood, or other solid or liquid object in the sky, it will go upward and then return down. Why? This is due to the earth's law of gravitation. Anything made of earth, wood, and so on will fall down if there is nothing to hold it up. On the other hand, flames of a fire also go up, but they do not turn again towards the earth. If you send a balloon into the sky, it will go up and it may be that it will never return. The example of this balloon is given because a balloon refers to the air; and air and fire are not part of the earth. When any part of a whole meets with its whole, the two will exist together and be happy. Otherwise, if they do not have this relationship, they will not. Similarly, we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, so unless we meet Him with love and affection, we cannot be happy. This is the philosophy of love. Even dangerous lions, tigers, bears, and very poisonous snakes, and even dacoits have some kind of love. Despite our repeated change of body, only love will remain with us. We all want ananda, happiness, and real happiness is nothing but love. Does anyone present here want suffering? You can raise your hands if you want to suffer and I will give it to you at once. Nobody likes suffering. All want happiness, and this happiness is pure love. But love does not mean body-to-body. Inside the body is the soul and the Supersoul, Krishna. The Supreme Lord is also there. He is everywhere, and if we attain pure love and affection for Him, then we can serve Him eternally – and He can be controlled. This is the philosophy of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The Supreme Lord is very kind; He is causelessly merciful. He has donated a very valuable asset to us, and that asset is love. We have love, but we will have to purify it by loving Krishna. Only in this way will He be controlled. The only way to be happy, and the only way to control the Supreme Lord, is by this love and affection that He has personally donated to us. The philosophy of love has been given in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, and Shrimad Bhagavatam not only gives philosophy, but also examples of real love and affection. It explains how the gopis and other Vrajavasis love Krishna fully, with their lives and souls. If one hears Shrimad Bhagavatam and thinks about even one line or even half of a line, or even one word – Krishna or Radha – he will attain that pure love and be able to control the Supreme Lord. Shri Vyasadeva realized the full love felt between Krishna and all His associates in his trance of meditation. He also saw how a conditioned soul forgets Krishna and falls down to this material world, and how one who remembers His names attains that love and affection very quickly. We should try to hear very carefully and attentively whatever Shrimad Bhagavatam is telling us. The transcendental religion explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam is not periodical, or partial. It is not like worldly intoxication in the name of religion. Rather, it is permanent, transcendental love and affection. If anyone will hear it, he will be happy in this life and, giving up his body, his pure soul will go to Goloka Vrindavana and he will be happy there. It is true that we are not seeing Krishna, but He sees us, and He may hear what we say to Him. We do not hear what He is telling us, and we do not hear His calling us by playing His flute, but our call is heard by Krishna who is very kind and causelessly merciful. He has sent all our guru-parampara acaryas, He has also sent Jesus, and sometimes He Himself descends with all His associates – only because He loves us. He is calling us saying, "Come, come My sons and daughters. Chant this mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Chant even one time. I will take you to Goloka Vrindavana and you will be transcendentally happy forever." Do not be hopeless; never be hopeless. You can always have hope, because He is weeping for us. He is lamenting for us. We cannot lament or weep for Him, but He is lamenting and weeping for us. Go on chanting, remembering and offering obeisances, and you will be able to very quickly attain all the invaluable gifts I have described. Gaura Premanande
  2. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Mathura, India 13th September 2000 [The lecture below was given on the first day of the second half of Caturmasya at Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, India, on September 13, 2000. Shrila Gurudeva’s lecture was on the topics of Shri Visvarupa Mahotsava and the sannyasa ceremony of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada.] Caturmasya-vrata Today is a very sacred day in our line. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had taken sannyasa and had begun to search for his brother, Shri Visvarupa. While searching, He found out that on this day His brother had been in Pandarapura, and there he had disappeared from this world and had taken samadhi on the bank of the river Bhima. Then, although Mahaprabhu was observing Caturmasya-vrata very strictly for four months, He shaved off His hair on this day. Before this year, He had never shaved during these four months, nor did He cut His nails. He observed all the rules and regulations of Caturmasya.a There are many items that are not allowed during Caturmasya, such as leafy vegetables in the first month, yogurt in the second month, milk in the third month, and mustard oil in the forth month. Besides this, throughout all four months, tomatoes, eggplants, and several other foodstuffs are prohibited. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would follow all these rules very strictly, but nowadays we see that devotees don't follow. Our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada were very strong in this regard. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada said, "Take my photo during the four months of Caturmasya-vrata to show that I never shave at that time. Always keep it; otherwise so many so-called disciples will say, 'Oh, Prabhupada never observed Caturmasya-vrata'." Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja gave concessions in the Western countries, and that is the only reason he also would shave. The Westerners could not follow strictly at that time. That is why he allowed tomatoes and eggplant, and that is also why he would take them. And that is why he also allowed carrots. I am therefore also giving concessions, not here in India, but in Western countries. If the devotees there like, they can take these items, but we don't take them. We should strictly follow our proper line from Mahaprabhu to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and my diksa and siksa-gurus. In Western countries some concession should be given, but here in India we are very strict. If we cannot follow this, then how can we follow Krsna, and how can we serve Radha and Krsna? Mahaprabhu shaved – after two months – and we follow this. Taking Sannyasa After taking initiation, Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who, in his youth was known as Abhaya Carana De, became Abhaya Carana dasa Adhikari. After some time he became penniless; then he arrived here – Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha – about one month prior to this day. I requested him, "Don't stay anywhere else. You are my siksa-guru, you are the friend of my guru, and you are a very senior devotee of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. I have known you since 1946." He accepted and said, "I will stay here." There were two rooms here. I was in this room, and I requested him to stay in the room next to mine. When this temple room was made, however, I went to that room and I requested him to go to the room opposite that one. He stayed there, and he would write the entire night. He would publish a magazine from here. It was from here that he established the 'League of Devotees', and later on he named it 'The International Society for Krsna Consciousness.' He published the first three volumes of Shrimad-Bhagavatam in Delhi, and he presented them to me. I would edit his Hindi in the magazine Bhagavata Darsana, and he also continued that magazine while he was in Jhansi. While he was here I requested him, "You are so qualified, and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada wanted you to preach, especially in English, and to go to Western countries. You served him by writing so many articles in the Harmonist and other magazines. You are very qualified. Why not try to follow the order of your Gurudeva and take sannyasa?" He replied, "Oh, I used to fear this. When my Prabhupada initiated me, I began to read Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and I saw in a sloka there: sri-bhagavan uvaca yasyaham anugrhnami harisye tad-dhanam sanaih tato 'dhanam tyajanty asya svajana duhkha-duhkhitam (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.88.8) ["The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another."] "'Those whom I accept, I make them street beggars.' So I feared that would be my fate. I thought, 'I have a good family – my wife, and my sons and daughters. What will become of them? Now I'm very wealthy; but if that happens, what will become of them?" One or two months after taking initiation he became the manager of Bengal Chemical. Later he left that and came to Allahabad, where he started his own business called Prayaga Chemical. That business failed. Then he started a very large medical shop, and after one year it also failed. Then he began to advertise medicines, as a medical representative. That failed, and he became poor like a beggar. Then he came here to Mathura to sell his medicines, and in the meantime I requested him, "What are you doing? You have not come to this world to sell medicine. You are a representative of Krsna and Mahaprabhu. You should remember who you are, and take sannyasa. You are a friend of my Gurudeva – a very bosom friend. He is just about to come here. He will be here in about four or five days, so please be prepared to take sannyasa." Muni Maharaja was here, and at that time he was about ninety-five years of age. He told Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, "If you take the renounced order, then I must take it with you." In this way he very much inspired him. Soon our Gurudeva came and I told him, "Why are you not compelling him? He cannot disobey you. He is your bosom friend. You must insist that he take the sannyasa order." Then, one day, Gurudeva and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja were sitting in Gurudeva's room and were joking and talking with each other. I went there and requested my Gurudeva, "Why are you not telling him to take sannyasa?" My Gurudeva said, "Oh, now it is the best time to take sannyasa. You should not fear. What was to be done has already been done. Your wife has left you, your sons have left you, and everyone else has left. Your wealth is gone and now you are like a street beggar." He became ready and took sannyasa where you are sitting, in the middle of this room, in front of the Deities. His own Deity, Mahaprabhu, is also here with Radha-Krsna, the Deity from Jhansi. I was the priest. I made his danda, uttariya (sannyasa upper cloth), and all other items; and I taught him how to use them. Though he was so much senior to me, though he was my siksa-guru, I also became his siksa-guru in this – how to take sannyasa and how to use all these paraphernalia. Kirtana was performed by Shrila Krsna dasa Babaji Maharaja and Sesasayi Prabhu, and so many others were chanting: "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." During the ceremony, kirtana was always going on. Krsna dasa Babaji Maharaja continually performed kirtana. After this, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja began to preach in Agra, then he went to Delhi, and then he came to Vrndavana, to Radha-Damodara. In order to receive the blessing of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, he stayed there, very near to him. At that time also he was penniless. I would go there and gave him my chadar to sit on. He had no bed, and practically no other possessions. He was very simple. Somehow he would make capatis. He would roll them and I would put them on the fire and cook them with ghee. He knew how to make beautiful and tasteful preparations, and he would teach others. From his letters I came to know that he himself would cook and teach others how to cook delicious preparations. He would write to me from New York, "Please send very sweet pera from Mathura; not less than ten kilos." Especially you senior devotees should remember his pastimes – how he was a very strong personality, how he preached throughout the world in a couple of years, established so many preaching centers, and wrote and published a variety of books in many languages. He did parikrama of the entire world about twelve times, and now he is ordering me, "You should do it more times than I did." He is arranging everything, and he is always calling me, "You have done it ten times, and now you should complete at least fifteen times". Sometimes the guru wants to make his disciples look greater than himself; and then he becomes very happy. He says, "My disciple is preaching so much here and there." He is like a father. When Maharaja Dasaratha heard that Ramacandra was very strong and could defeat the entire world, he was extremely happy. When Nanda Maharaja heard that his son Krsna has lifted Govardhana for seven days on the little finger of His left hand, he became so happy and said, "Oh, how my son is victorious!" A guru becomes so happy if his disciples are qualified. My Gurudeva will also be very happy if I'm going here and there. He will shower his mercy on me, and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is also like this. In this meeting, his dear senior disciples will speak something in his glorification, and thus offer puspanjali at his lotus feet. After that we will perform arcana. At Shrila Maharaja's request, some senior disciples of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja spoke (such as Vrndavana Vilasini dasi, Krsna Kumari dasi and Radha-kunda dasa), after which Shrila Maharaja continued: Bosom Friends I met Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in 1946 in Calcutta, before ISKCON was established. He was apparently simply a grhastha Vaisnava. He had been a friend of my Gurudeva's since 1923. My Gurudeva was somewhat senior because he joined Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada in 1916. He left his university studies and everything else in 1918, and at that time he fully joined. Then, in 1923, Shri Abhaya Carana De was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada – first harinama and then diksa initiation. In 1941 our Guru Maharaja established Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was also one of the establishers. From the beginning, therefore, as one of the founders, he was very intimate with Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. When I met him in 1946, there was no ISKCON. He was alone, but he was serving his Gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada, in so many ways. When I saw him I was very attracted. This is my intrinsic nature – that person who is a friend of my Gurudeva, who helped my Gurudeva, who has done a little service for my Gurudeva, who glorifies my Gurudeva – I like that devotee very much and can give my life for him. I saw that although my Gurudeva was a sannyasi and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was a grhastha, Gurudeva gave him the same seat as himself. He never gave him a lower or inferior seat. The devotion of any person is the only standard of how much we should respect him. My Gurudeva was giving very much importance to this person, and therefore I also accepted him in that way. I thought, "He must be someone special; some qualification compels my Gurudeva to honor him so much." I therefore began to serve him, and he was also very attracted to me. At that time I was very young, only twenty-five years old, but he would talk with me in a friendly way. He Was Fearless I know him very well. He had a strong character and never feared anyone. He was like a lion, like his Prabhupada, and like our Gurudeva. He would cut all the arguments of the mayavadis, sahajiyas, and many other non-bona fide groups. He never tolerated their misconceptions and he made no compromise with them. He was very strong. At that time Dr. Radha-Krishna was the president of India. He was one of the intellectual giants of the entire world, and a very learned person, especially in mayavada philosophy. He wrote an article about Bhagavad-gita, and there he said that Krsna's soul is Krsna, but His body is not His soul. There is some difference between the possessor and possession. In reply, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wrote a very powerful article in our Bhagavata Patrika magazine, and it was sent to that president of India. In that article he challenged all his arguments and said, "You can reply and try to defeat my arguments. I'm not writing to you as the president of India, but I'm writing to you because you are a learned person of Advaitavada philosophy (the philosophy of absolute oneness taught by Saìkaracarya, and whose conclusion is advaita-siddhanta)." Dr. Radha-Krishna could not reply. Such persons cannot reply. He also cut the arguments of the 'murghi' mission. Do you know the murghi mission? It is the mission whose members kill murghis, hens, and eat them. What mission is that? The Rama-Krsna mission – they are not religious persons. They are not even a welfare society because they will even eat cow flesh and other forbidden things. They don't want to honor the Gita; they simply give importance to bread and butter. They don't believe in God, who can give eternal bliss in heaven; they believe in bread and butter. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja never cared for them. He was against their philosophy and activities, and he cut all their arguments. Perhaps Vivekananda had never read scriptures like the Vedas, Upanisads, and Shrimad-Bhagavatam. His followers are only social persons; they have nothing to do with religion. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was fearless like a lion, and he defeated all their arguments. He was in the line of our guru-parampara. He would follow all the doctrines, all the acaranas (practices and behavior), vaisnava-sadacara (pure habits), and Vaisnava etiquette. I've never seen him wearing so many kanti-malas around his neck, as some of his disciples do. We should totally follow him. We should also try to be like strong lions. He was like this. He jumped the seven oceans from India and went to New York. What did he do there? He performed a miracle. He turned hippies into 'happies.' They are now happy. A gang of hippies became a high class of devotees. He gave a lesson to this world, that even a street beggar who has very strong faith in serving his Gurudeva and Radha-Krsna, Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda Prabhu, can jump anywhere – in fire, over the Alps and the Himalayas, in the ocean – anywhere. He can go anywhere and Krsna will help him. Although penniless, he 'jumped over the ocean.' Somehow he traveled on the Scindia Navigation, and simply chanted the holy names of the Panca-tattva: Shri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda Shri-advaita gadadhara Shrivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda; and the Maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. He never took note of whether anyone was looking at him or not. We think, "Oh, all are seeing me," but he was never like that. Sometimes hippies used to dance to his singing. They sometimes offered him a bottle of wine or cigarettes and addressed him, "O my friend." They were very quickly attracted to him and they gradually gave up everything else. He never made any compromise, especially with the babajis of Radha-kunda who speak sahajiya philosophy. He was like my Gurudeva and his Prabhupada. Nowadays, however, so many are going to Radha-kunda and taking babaji-vesa from the babajis who are not actually following Mahaprabhu. So many ISKCON members are also doing this. What becomes of them? They will also become like those bogus babajis. We should try to be like Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and follow his process, line and instruction. The Blind and the Lame He would say that if a blind person and a lame person travel together, they can go anywhere they like. The blind person will take the lame person on his shoulders. The lame person has eyes and he will say, "You should go this way and that way." The blind person will walk and the lame person will direct. The western world is blind and India is lame. What is the meaning? India has no source of wealth to preach this mission throughout the world. It has eyes but no legs; it is so lame. America and all western countries are very wealthy, but they have no eyes. If both combine and co-operate, we can preach this mission to the entire world. Put Me in Samadhi Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja would say, "Bombay is my office, Mayapura is my sadhana-bhumi or place of sadhana-bhajana, and my home is Vrndavana." That is why he came to Vrndavana in his final days and took samadhi there – in his home, in Vrndavana – Goloka Vrndavana. I don't know why he was so pleased with me that he always loved me so much. He gave me so many occasions in which I was able to fully serve him. He was very much attracted to me, and it was my good fortune that he gave me so many orders to serve him. He told me, as his last service, "Put me in samadhi with your own hands." There were so many god-brothers who were very scholarly and very high-class. And there were more than a hundred very qualified GBC and others. I had never been to university or anything like that. Still he had so much faith in me, and therefore he ordered me in this way – and I followed his instructions. Don't Quarrel He also told me, "You should try to help my devotees. I brought them, but I could not train them fully due to their inability to fully accept my instructions." Then I called Tamala Krsna, Brahmananda, Bhagavan, Kirtanananda, and so many others, and I told them, "Don't quarrel after his departure. You should not think that he will die. A Guru like him never dies. He is always in this world. He is eternally present. So if you want to serve him, you should try to preach his mission all over the world – as he wanted. Don't quarrel for position, name and fame, wealth, or disciples. I know that after the disappearance of a high class of acarya, some quarrel, and some problems come. But I think that you are qualified persons, and you should therefore not quarrel for all these things. Try to give respect to all the disciples of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, regardless of whether they are senior or junior. You should be very liberal to all, and then you can protect his mission. Otherwise you can destroy his whole mission. I know that you have learned something – how to make money. I know that He has trained you all how, very easily, in a moment, to make so much money. But I think that you'll have to learn more." His Real Mission "You will have to learn his intrinsic moods, why he descended here from the transcendental world, and what his mission was. You should try to understand this. His mission was the same as that of Mahaprabhu. And they both did it through sankirtana. anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah (Chaitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 1.4) ["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love."] "You know what kirtana is, but you do not know what real kirtana of the heart is. You do not know what the pure name is. If the pure name manifests, a man is totally changed. Love and affection comes for all, even for creepers, trees and everything else. There will be no quarreling, and then you will be: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada hari (Chaitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17. 31) ["One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly."] "Then I will think that you know his intrinsic mood and you are following that." If they will honor all devotees, I think that all will return back to Godhead. But if they are not giving honor and respect to the devotees, no one will join them. Even a dog knows. If you will call a dog, "Oh here, here, here," he will come. All can understand if you have bhakti in your heart and honor for all devotees. As Shrila Rupa Gosvami has told: krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya- nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya (Nectar of Instruction, Text 5) ["One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others."] We should try to honor all, according to their qualification in bhakti, and then everyone will be trained and no one will fall. Otherwise, all are going to fall down. If anyone has a strong personality like your Prabhupada, serving gurudeva and preaching like him, he will be a very high class of devotee. So it was here, on this day that your Prabhupada took the renounced order, and he preached over the entire world in a couple of years. This miracle has not been seen before. He was one of the arms of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and they predicted his coming. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written, "I think that within a very few years, thousands of western devotees, wearing sikhas, tulasi malas and chanting Hare Krsna, will join Indian devotees. Both will chant and dance together." This is what we are now seeing everywhere. So we should chant and remember in the proper line, and all other things will come automatically. The maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, are Radha and Krsna Themselves, and Mahaprabhu Himself. If we are chanting and remembering with sadacara, we will achieve the goal very soon. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is showering his blessings upon all those who, although having left Krsna consciousness, are now coming again to this Krsna consciousness movement. The Real Meaning of ISKCON What is the real meaning of ISKCON, International Society for Krishna Consciousness? krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate (Chaitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.70) ["Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price – that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay."] If anyone is following this principle, then he is an ISKCON member in the real sense; otherwise not. So we should try to know his mood – krsna-bhakti rasa bhavita matih. If our hearts are saturated with the bhakti-rasa of Vrndavana, then we are ISKCON members in the truest sense. If anyone is falling down, he was never a real ISKCON member, because anyone who has a taste in bhakti-rasa will never fall down. A true ISKCON member can never fall down. Gaura-premanande!
  3. Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Mathura, India: Nov. 23, 2002 [Two days before Paramaradya Shrila Narayana Maharaja left Mathura to embark on his winter preaching tour in the West, he brought up a controversial topic in his evening class. He spoke for sometime in Hindi and asked Shripad Madhava Maharaja to convey the same ideas in English. The following is a transcription of Shripad Madhava Maharaja's talk. - ed.] [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] Shrila Gurudeva has ordered me to speak and I will explain up to my level best. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] What is the question? First say the question. [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] Shrila Jiva Gosvamipada, who is one of the six Gosvamis, has stated that the jivas are performing sadhana-bhajana here in this world. In the meantime, in the Vaikuntha planets - meaning Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka, Mathura and Goloka Vrndavana, there are some parsadas, associates of Bhagavan, who came from His effulgence, and they are in a latent or dormant position. When a jiva becomes perfect by performing sadhana-bhajana, he obtains any one of these parsada-dehas (bodies of these associates). This is one side. On the other side, seemingly different from Shrila Jiva Gosvamipada, are Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada, and all our acaryas up to the present day. They are saying that the jiva already has a constitutional form, his own spiritual body, along with its transcendental qualities and services, but now his spiritual body is unmanifest, or in a latent position. As the potency of an entire tree, along with its leaves, flowers, and fruits, is present in its seed, everything is present in the soul, but in seed form. In this way it appears that Shrila Jiva Gosvamipada is on one side and the other acaryas, up to our present guru-varga, are on the other side. It seems that both ideas are quite opposite. How we can reconcile this apparent contradiction? Actually these two points of view are not contradictory at all. We are judging from our mundane point of view, from the point of view of our material consciousness, and therefore we do not understand. Therefore the two statements seem contradictory to us. From the point of view of our guru-varga there is no contradiction at all, so I will try to express what I have heard from Shrila Gurudeva. In his commentary of Shri Siksastakam, first sloka, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes: ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam ["Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and stops the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that infuses the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities to blossom. It is the life and soul of all transcendental knowledge. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to the body and the soul as well, and enables one to taste full nectar at every step." (Chaitanya-Caritamrta Antya lila 20.12)] In this verse, seven stages of bhakti are explained. Ceto-darpana-marjanam contains sraddha, bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam contains sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya and anartha nivriti, sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam contains nistha, and the subsequent lines contain the subsequent stages up to prema. Each stage is explained in each line. Purnamrta asvadanam comes in the stage of bhava, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discusses this in his commentary of Shri Siksastakam. He writes that according to the sadhaka's constitutional form - up to gopika deha (the body of a gopi) - that particular body manifests at the stage of bhava-bhakti. Gopika deha eva prakatayeti. For those who have dasya bhava (the mood of a servitor) in their hearts, their relationship of servant and master will manifest when the stage of bhava awakens. For those who have a friendly relationship with Krishna in their dormant constitutional position, that relationship will manifest, for those in a parental relationship in their latent constitutional form, that form will manifest, and for those who have a paramour mood, that will manifest. Whatever is in a latent position at this present time, that type of spiritual body will manifest at the stage of bhava. Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana prabhu, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and others have all explained the same truth. Apparently contradictory to this, Shrila Jiva Gosvamipada has stated there are spiritual bodies in the Vaikuntha planets waiting to be occupied by the liberated living entities. These spiritual bodies have manifested from the effulgence of Bhagavan. When jivas do bhajana and become perfect, they will be awarded one body from there. The jiva and that body combine. We have seen in the history of Shri Narada Rsi: prayujyamane mayi tam suddham bhagavatim tanum arabdha-karma-nirvano nyapatat panca-bhautikah ["Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Personality of Godhead, I quit the body made of five material elements, and thus all acquired fruitive results of work [karma] stopped."(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.6.28)] How can we reconcile this? martyo yada tyakta-samasta-karma niveditatma vicikirsito me tadamrtatvam pratipadyamano mayatma-bhuyaya ca kalpate vai ["A person who gives up all fruitive activities and offers himself entirely unto Me, eagerly desiring to render service unto Me, achieves liberation from birth and death and is promoted to the status of sharing My own opulences. (SB 11.29.34)] It is also stated in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita: brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krishna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija ["According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. By the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service." (Chaitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya 19.151)] The living entities are wandering throughout many brahmandas (universes). By the causeless mercy of Shri Guru and Krishna, a fortunate jiva receives the seed of bhakti, called bhakti-lata, the desire to serve Shri Krishna. The word guru-krishna has two meanings. One meaning is Shri Gurudeva and Shri Krishna, and a second meaning is that Shri Guru is Krishna. There are two features of Krishna - visaya Krishna and asraya Krishna. Visaya Krishna is Bhagavan and asraya Krishna is Gurudeva. It is sometimes mentioned in sastra that it is by the causeless mercy of Shri Gurudeva and sometimes it is mentioned that it is by the combined causeless mercy of Shri Gurudeva and visaya Bhagavan that we can get the bhakti-lata-bija. When we do sadhana-bhajana we gradually advance in bhakti, and then we achieve bhavavastha, the stage of bhava-bhakti. The symptoms of bhavavastha are: suddha-sattva-visesatma prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak rucibhis citta-masrnya- krd asau bhava ucyate ["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krishna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava, transcendental emotion." (Chaitanya-Caritamrta, Madhya 23.5)] In bhavavastha, samvit (the knowledge potency) and hladini (the pleasure potency) combine on the platform of sandini (the spiritual existence potency) On this stage, called the stage of pure goodness (suddha-sattva), the essence of sandini and hladini always resides in the hearts of the eternal associates of Shri Krishna. From there it will manifest in our hearts by the causeless mercy of Shri Gurudeva and Shri Krishna. Then we will know our svarupa (constitutional nature), but not before that. Before that we can only imagine a little bit. According to the jiva's svarupa, he will manifest his spiritual body. There are so many types of bhagavat parsada (associates of Bhagavan) in the spiritual planets, and we can get a body like them. We can somewhat understand this by the example of Bharata Maharaja. He was absorbed in thinking about his lost baby deer, so much so that in his next birth he became a deer. He did not become the same deer, but another deer. Similarly, by the causeless mercy of Gurudeva and Krishna, when we do sadhana-bhajana here in this world, we can gradually understand, at least intellectually, what we have heard from them. Even before entering the bhava stage, we will hear, in a general way, about the identity of our svarupa, and which bhava - dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya - to follow. Then, when bhavavastha awakens, that mood will manifest. Some associates are dasya, some are sakhya, some are vatsalya, and some are madhurya. When we do bhajana, we gradually come to a mature stage and we can achieve the mood of that eternal associate who is a personified ocean of the mood for which we aspire, either in Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka, Mathura, Goloka, or Vrndavana. This is one of the meanings of Shrila Jiva Gosvami's statements. Jiva Gosvami also means to say that since the svarupa of the jiva, which is in an unmanifest or seed-like state in the jiva's conditioned life, has everything in it in seed form (as a seed of a tree has the whole tree in it). Therefore, the planet on which we live, Vaikuntha, Vrndavana, etc., is also there in the soul. In this way the parsada, the spiritual body of the jiva that is presently in a latent position can also be explained. [Shrila Narayana Maharaja explains further in Hindi, and then Shripad Madhava Maharaja resumes.] [Shripad Madhava Maharaja:] Our constitutional body is transcendental, but now it is in an unmanifest form. By the causeless mercy of Shri Guru, our form will manifest in our heart - and then we can realize it. Some anubhava, realization, will come in the bhava stage; not before that. As explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam, prayujya mane; it will manifest. In this world our material language cannot express the transcendental thoughts we want to explain; some fault is bound to be there. Those on the transcendental platform can understand very clearly, but due to our absorption in the material world we cannot understand. When we develop in sadhana-bhajana we can understand and realize everything. Suddha-sattva will manifest in our heart, and we will understand that transcendental form which is now in a latent position, because we will have attained our siddha-svarupa. That is called prayujya mane. So we must perform sadhana and pray; and when God is pleased with us, then we will understand. We can understand something by hearing the example of Mother Yasoda: sva-matuh svinna-gatraya visrasta-kabara-srajah drstva parisramam krishnah krpayasit sva-bandhane ["Because of mother Yasoda's hard labor, her whole body became covered with perspiration, and the flowers and comb were falling from her hair. When child Krishna saw His mother thus fatigued, He became merciful to her and agreed to be bound."(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.9.18)] Mother Yasoda was trying to bind Krishna, and when Krishna saw her endeavor and hard labor, His heart melted. Similarly, we have to do sadhana-bhajana under the guidance of Guru and Vaisnavas. When they see that we want only this and nothing else, asa hi dasye vrsabhanujaya, they will bestow their causeless mercy upon us.
  4. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja May 25, 2001 Alachua, Flordia Come with me to Jagannatha Puri, near to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Shrila Haridas Thakur. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's pastimes are more deep than the ocean, more deep than even thousands upon thousands of oceans. No ordinary person can understand the Lord's pastimes, and even most devotees cannot realize them. One day Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asked, "O Haridas Thakur, in this world there are many uncultured and materialistic Mohammedans, Muslims, who want to control the world and make all people Muslims by the help of a sword or any other way. They address those who are not Muslims as 'Kafir,' meaning 'against God' (ka – fir). They tell their followers, "Somehow or other, by hook or by crook, make them Muslims." This is still their policy. They don't honor other religions. They don't chant the name Hari, Krishna, Govinda, or any other name of God, and they don't believe in the form of God at all. They are like mayavadis (impersonalists). Mahaprabhu inquired, "Is there any process by which they can be liberated?" Haridas Thakur replied, "Once there was a Mohammedan, a Muslim, who while passing through a forest felt the urge to pass stool. As he sat somewhere in the forest for passing, a very powerful boar saw him from a distance and ran to attack him from the backside. As boars run one-pointed with their eyes closed, so that boar ran to kill the person from the backside by tearing him to pieces with his sharp teeth. As soon as the man saw that the boar was going to attack him, he called out, 'Ha rama! Ha rama!' Ha rama means 'condemned' or 'abominable' or 'impure.' He condemned that boar by calling out, 'Ha rama, ha rama!' "Hearing that man call out, 'Ha rama!' Krishna in the form of His incarnation Lord Rama considered, 'He is calling Me. I must go and help him.' Lord Rama came there at once, since He is non-different from His holy name. He gave that man liberation, and attainment of Vaikuntha-dhama. [*See endnote 1] This was all because the man had unknowingly chanted, 'O Lord Ramacandra' [ha means 'O', and Rama may refer to Lord Ramacandra]." The holy name is very powerful. If a person does not know the glories of the holy name and yet chants with respect, or even without respect, he will certainly achieve the fruits of chanting the holy names. He will not attain prema, but he will be liberated from this world – up to this. Or, he may gain much wealth. Moreover, if someone takes proper diksa and chants with honor, with a sense of a relation to Krishna, what will become of him? If he is under the guidance of any exalted rasika tattva-jnana Vaisnava, he will gradually attain sraddha (firm faith in sadhu, guru, and Krishna), nistha (steadiness in devotional service), ruci (taste for service and bhajana), and asakti (spontaneous attachment to Krishna). After that he will become liberated [*See endnote 2], and after that he will attain the stages of prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. We should try to continuously chant Krishna's name in this process, like Haridas Thakur. If a person cannot do this, still, he will achieve liberation. He will not die. [*See endnote 3] Krishna's name will save him. But try to chant the name in the approved process. First associate with a highly qualified Vaisnava who will give you diksa, at which time you will receive divya-jnana, or all transcendental knowledge. You will then become detached from worldly desires, and very soon you will develop a thick relationship with Krishna that will manifest according to your constitutional form. You will gradually develop sraddha, nistha, ruci, and asakti, and after that rati. This rati is suddha-sattva as I explained yesterday. [*See endnote 4] This is all being explained by Shrila Haridas Thakur [in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, chapter 3]. Once, by the wish of Shri Krishna, Shrila Haridas Thakur came to see Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who was at that time at the premises of his father. Many learned persons and brahmanas had assembled there, and they were discussing the glories of the holy name. Some were telling that the holy name can give liberation, and others told that it can never give liberation; both parties were quarrelling. Upon the arrival of Haridas Thakur, everyone honored him, and they asked him the same question with which they were struggling: "Can one achieve liberation by the holy name, or not?" Haridas Thakur very humbly replied, "There is no need of the pure name for achieving liberation, for even by the semblance of the holy name anyone can very easily be liberated." [*See endnote 5] [Haridas Thakur said, "As the sun begins to rise, even before it is visible it dissipates the darkness of night. With the first glimpse of sunlight, fear of thieves, ghosts, and demons immediately disappears, and when the sun is actually visible, everything is manifest and everyone begins performing his religious activities and regulative duties. Similarly, the first hint that offenseless chanting of the Lord's holy name has awakened dissipates the reactions of sinful life immediately. And when one chants the holy name offenselessly, one awakens to service in ecstatic love at the lotus feet of Krishna. Liberation is the insignificant result derived from a glimpse of the awakening of offenseless chanting of the holy name. While dying, Ajamila chanted the holy name of the Lord, intending to call his son Narayana. Nevertheless, he attained the spiritual world. [*See endnote 6] What then to speak of those who chant the holy name with faith and reverence?" (Antya 3.183-187)] Hearing the words of Haridas Thakur, a brahmana named Gopal Cakravarti became very angry and began to challenge him. All others warned Gopal not to challenge Haridas Thakur, because of the Thakura's elevated position in bhakti, but still he challenged, "Even the name itself cannot give liberation, and you are telling us that namabhasa (the semblance of harinama) can give liberation?! If I am speaking the truth, then your nose will fall off due to leprosy, and if I am wrong and you are right, then my nose will fall off!" Everyone present became angry at that person, and the father of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami told him, "Get out from our assembly. I have no sympathy for you." He had been paying that person many thousands of rupees monthly for being his tax-collector, but now he said, "I have stopped all connection with you. Get out of my kingdom." After a couple of days, that brahmana's entire body was attacked by leprosy and his nose melted away. After many days, being extremely upset, he left for Aparadha-bhanjana-pata (the place where offences are destroyed) in Navadvipa. There he prayed to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "I have done wrong. I have committed offenses to the feet of a high-class Vaisnava. Please excuse me." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu forgave this nama-aparadhi brahmana and instructed him to continuously chant the holy name. Gopala Cakravarti did so, and his leprosy soon disappeared, leaving him beautiful as before. And now, he was a devotee. So, Haridas Thakur was a very exalted devotee. If you chant the holy name, a special kind of power comes to you; whatever you speak will become true. Your words will bear fruit. I have personally tested and examined this. Once I was chanting the holy name, thinking, "If I am chanting this name purely, then this must be done," and at once it was done. I have examined this so many times. If you are chanting the holy name purely and you tell someone, "Oh, you should die," then that person will die. Narada Rsi cursed the sons of Nalakuvera and Manigriva, "At once become trees," and by the power of his chanting of the holy name, they immediately began turning into trees. Once, Narada told someone, "Oh! You are now dead? Oh, Come on, Come on, Come on." That person immediately came alive and began to speak. This is the power of the holy name. Once, the ocean swallowed up a mother bird's eggs, which she had laid by the ocean's shore. Garuda came and told the ocean, "You should return the eggs to this bird." When he did not hear a reply, he breathed in, and by the power of the holy name he drank all of the ocean's water and the ocean became dry. You can also examine whether or not this is true. Chant for some years like Shrila Haridas Thakur, or like any pure devotee, and you will see so much power come to you. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was so powerful that in a couple of years he successfully preached everywhere. Why? He was always chanting the holy name. By the power of the holy name and his own bhakti, so many souls came under his shelter. And what I am doing? I am only chanting. I am also successful in my preaching by the power of the name. So, don't disbelieve in the holy name. You can very easily receive anything by this name – money, liberation, and all other things, and Haridas Thakur is an example of this. He never wished ill to the person who challenged him, but that person became attacked by leprosy. We have seen so many scriptural references about Haridas Thakur. Last night we explained about a prostitute who was about 16 to 20 years old. Although she tried to seduce Haridas Thakur, by his grace she became a very prominent devotee. We should try to chant the holy name like him. Once, the very beautiful Maya-devi herself came to Haridas Thakur on a full-moon night. He was staying in a solitary place on the side of the Ganges, where she went to him and prayed: "I see that you are the most beautiful man in the entire world, and you can see that I am also beautiful. Look at me for just a moment." But Haridas Thakur was absorbed in chanting: "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." She spent the entire night with him, speaking so many words to allure him. In fact, she came there three nights in a row, but each night Haridas Thakur told her, "Please wait. I have taken a vow to chant 300,000 names a day." Finally, at the end of the night of the third day she said to him with folded palms, "I am personally Maya-devi, the illusory energy of the Lord. I have cheated Sankara, Brahma the creator, Narada, Gautama, and so many others. I can cheat all others, but I am defeated by you. I am the same Maya, and now I am begging your mercy. Be pleased with me. I have received Rama-nama , but now I want to be initiated into the Krishna mantra. Please initiate me." She continued, "Mukti-hetuka taraka haya rama-nama, krsna-nama paraka haya kare prema-dana – The holy name of Lord Rama certainly gives liberation (taraka), [*See endnote 7] but the holy name of Krishna transports one to the other side of the ocean of nescience (paraka) and at last gives one ecstatic love of Krishna (Vraja-prema)." Being very merciful, Haridas Thakur initiated her into Krishna-nama. Although both Ramacandra and Krishna are the same by tattva (philosophical truth), there is some speciality in Rama. What speciality? First, those who take shelter of Rama cannot achieve the position of Sita. And second, Rama sometimes gives up Sita for no reason. Believing the words of a very bogus washer-man, Rama gave up Sita for His entire life. [*See endnote 8] What was the fault, or offence, of Sita-devi that Ramacandra gave Her up? She had no fault. But Rama believed in the words of a washer-man, who had indirectly convinced Him to leave her. So, if you are chaste in your service to Rama, He may reject you also. We fear this may happen. With Krishna, on the other hand, even the hunchback prostitute Kubja can come to Him and say, "Oh, I have taken your shelter; please accept me," and He will accept her. Do you know Narakasura? He conquered all the kings of India and then collected all the beautiful princesses for his personal enjoyment. Krishna knew about this from Narada Rsi. He went and killed that demon, and He told the sixteen-thousand princesses, "Now you are independent. You can easily go to your fathers, mothers, and others. I will arrange for your return home." But what did they say? "We don't want to return. No one will accept us now, because we have been in the house of Narakasura. So, we have taken Your shelter. Please give us the chance to serve Your queens. We will sweep and cook for them, and we will massage them. Somehow, please give us shelter." Krishna then took them all on His bird-carrier, Garuda, who expanded to a very large size and carried them all to Dvaraka. Krishna also expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms, married them all, and lived with them in separate palaces as His queens. Rama cannot do this. Can He marry with anyone except Sita? And He can also reject Sita. In fact, in the end, He also left His brother, Lakshmana, forever. These scenes are all full of extreme pathos. So, we will go to Krishna. ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah ["All of them, as they surrender unto Me, I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha." (Bhagavad-gita 4.11)] Krishna has promised to reciprocate with our surrender to Him, so we can believe in Him. Sometimes Krishna becomes cruel in His form of Ramacandra in Rama-lila, but Krishna Himself is very humble and sweet to all. In her prayer to Haridas Thakur, Maya-devi herself glorified Krishna as being more merciful than Rama In her ecstatic love in separation for Krishna, glorifying Him indirectly in the form of rebuke, Shrimati Radhika uttered these words: mrgayur iva kapindram vivyadhe lubdha-dharma striyam akrta-virupam stri-jitah kama-yanam balim api balim attvavestayad dhvanksavad yas tad alam asita-sakhyair dustyajas tat-katharthah ["Like a hunter, He cruelly shot the king of the monkeys with arrows. Because He was conquered by a woman, He disfigured another woman who came to Him with lusty desires. And even after consuming the gifts of Bali Maharaja, He bound him up with ropes as if he were a crow. So let us give up all friendship with this dark-complexioned boy, even if we can't give up talking about Him." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.47.17)] The gopis told Uddhava, "Go and tell Krishna, 'We have nothing more to do with Him. We don't want to have any further relation with Him. If He can give us up, we can also give Him up. But what can we do? Our hearts can never give Him up. This is the problem. How cruel He is. All black people are cruel, not only this fellow. All black fellows are cruel. "There was another black person in Treta-yuga (Lord Ramacandra). A very beautiful lady came to Him and said, 'I love you. I want to marry you.' That black person replied, 'Oh, I will have only one wife. I cannot marry a second. It will be better for you to go to My younger brother, Lakshmana. He has no wife.' "Actually, although Lakshmana's wife was not with Him in the forest, He was married; so Rama had said this only as a trick. That lady then went to Lakshmana, who told her, 'Do you want to be a queen, or do you want to be a maidservant? If you marry Me, you will have to be a servant of Rama's wife, because She is My queen. I am a servant, so you will be a servant. If you want to be a queen, then marry Rama. Rama can have so many wives.' "She again came to Rama, but again Rama said, 'Oh, I cannot do this; better that you go to my younger brother.' Rejected by Rama, she again went to Lakshmana, and was again sent to Rama; and thus she became upset. She wanted to kill Sita, and Rama cut off her ears and nose to stop her. "Why did He do so? He was lusty. Just to please his wife, He wanted to cut off that other lady's nose. He could have humbly told her, 'I cannot do this.' But He was joking with her and making fun of her. That is why she became furious. He could have humbly told her, 'Oh, I cannot do this. You should go to your husband, or anyone else.' But why did he do what He did? Because He was cruel. "And third is Vamanadeva. What did He do? He took all the possessions of Bali Maharaja and bound him in a snake-rope. Bali Maharaja was weeping. Somehow Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma arrived, and Brahma challenged, "What are You doing?" And then He left. There are so many deep meanings in these pastimes, but we have no time now to describe all those deep truths. Let us return to our subject. Regarding Rama-nama: 'Rama' refers to Ramacandra, and 'Rama' also refers to Krishna Himself. In the maha-mantra, which embodies 'Hare Krishna' and 'Hare Rama,' Hare indicates Radhika and Rama indicates Radha-Ramana Krishna. Krishna is also called Rama, so Hare Rama indicates Radha-Krishna. It is stated in scriptures like Visnu Purana that three Rama names equal one name of Krishna. Rama's name is equal to Krishna's name when Rama refers not to Ramacandra but to Radha-Ramana Krishna – and in that connection it is sometimes superior to Krishna. There are so many things to understand here. Haridas Thakur has four qualities: trnad api su-nicena taror via sahisnuna amanina mana-dena kirtaniyah sada harih [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 hold name of the Lord. (Siksastakam, verse 3)] How is Haridas Thakur su-nicena? He used to think, "I am Muslim. I am not qualified to go to Jagannatha's temple." He never used to walk on the many streets of Jagannatha Puri, because he was trnad api su-nicena. When he was staying with Advaita Acharya in Santipura, Advaita Acharya insisted on honoring him. All Advaita Acharya's relatives were assembled at His home, along with many brahmanas, as it was the day of their forefathers' sraddha ceremony. During this ceremony, the plate of prasadam offered to the forefathers is then offered to the best of the brahmanas in the assembly. Instead of offering the first plate to any other brahmana present, Advaita Acharya offered it to Haridas Thakur, considering him greater than any of the foremost brahmanas. Haridas began to weep, saying, "I am not qualified. I am a Muslim." But what did Advaita Acharya reply? "If I give you this offering, this will be the best thing in the universe. All of my forefathers will be liberated if you take this." Seeing this, all the brahmanas present became angry at Advaita Acharya and said, "By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here! We don't like your behavior. Your actions are opposed to the principles of caste consideration." And, taking their water pots, they all stood up to leave. Advaita Acharya replied, "I don't care if you go. You can go. I want only bhakti. You are foolish persons." [*See endnote 9] Soon afterward, those brahmanas returned and fell flat on the lotus feet of Advaita Acharya, and also to the lotus feet of Haridas Thakur. Haridas Thakur is surely 'out of caste,' as they challenged, in the sense that he is superior to a paramahamsa. He is a combination of Prahlada Maharaja and Brahma. So, we should try to follow Haridas Thakur, always chanting the holy name and being, trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna. [To Prema-prayojana dasa] Can you prove that he is su-nicena? Prema-prayojana dasa: Shrila Haridas Thakur was very popular. The Muslim king was thinking, "This Haridas Thakur is giving a bad reputation to Islam. He is born in a Muslim family, so why is he chanting the name of a Hindu God?" He called him to his council and said, "You should not chant the name of Krishna anymore. You should be a very good Muslim and chant the name of Allah. If you don't do this, there will be a severe punishment for you." Haridas Thakur replied: "My dear sir, you can cut my body into thousands of pieces, and I may give up my life, but my tongue cannot give up the chanting of this name: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." The King then ordered that Haridas Thakur be beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should hear this. Oh, my dear friend, what are you counting? You should hear this. You should give your ears to this hari-katha. What are you counting? Hear this attentively, and don't allow your mind to wander. Prema Prayojana dasa: The soldiers took Haridas Thakur to the marketplace, where they had very strong and powerful whips and were beating him. Usually in one marketplace one will die, because the beating is so severe. First the skin breaks, and then it is cut, and then the skin begins to come off. They were beating him in every market place until there was no skin, no flesh, and even his bones were broken. Like a miracle, he was still chanting the holy name. They couldn't believe it. Sometimes, while they were beating him, Haridas Thakur would look towards them and smile very compassionately. He could see they were sweating from the hard labor of thrashing him. He would say, "I hope your arms are not feeling pain from all of this beating." He was very humble. After some time, they became afraid, thinking, "If he doesn't die, the king will kill us." They revealed to him, "The king will kill us if you don't die." Haridas Thakur thought, "I don't want to give any trouble or inconvenience to others." At once he went into samadhi and it seemed he passed away. They took his body and threw it into the Ganges. The next moment he came out of the Ganges and his body was strong and healthy again. This is the power of harinama. Haridas Thakur is Lord Brahma and Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada was beaten and tortured by his father, but he never complained or was disturbed. Lord Brahma has said: tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8) ["My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.] It is only a matter of time until a person attains the shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna. What kind of person? That person who in the midst all kinds of difficulties, problems, and adverse conditions says to himself, "It is not your fault; you are not beating me. My own karma is beating me. I have done this to myself. It is my fault." One who patiently tolerates and considers himself to be the cause of all his problems, and at the same time takes shelter with body, mind, and words in Krishna, that person will easily come to Krishna's eternal service and be happy forever. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes with devotees like Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Sikhi Mahiti, Madhavi-devi, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, Vakresvara Pandita, Shri Gopinatha Acharya, Kasisvara, Vaninatha Raya, Govinda, Gopala Guru; and all the Gaudiya bhaktas like Sivananda Sena, Raghava Pandita, and Kavi Karnapura as a baby and small boy. And especially, He performed pastimes with Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, and Haridas Thakur. Maya-devi personally told Haridas: caitanyavatare vahe premamrta-vanya saba jiva preme bhase, prthivi haila dhanya ["There is now a flood of the eternal nectar of love of Godhead due to the incarnation of Lord Chaitanya. All living entities are floating in that flood. The entire world is now thankful to the Lord." (Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.254)] The flood of full prema, vraja-prema, was present everywhere during Mahaprabhu's pastimes. Everywhere there were waves of that flood. e-vanyaya ye na bhase, sei jiva chara koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara ["Anyone who does not float in this inundation is most condemned. Such a person cannot be delivered for millions of kalpas." (Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 3.255)] Those waves are still going on today, and those who are fortunate can take bath in the flood. Those who are not taking this bath are very unfortunate. Chara means 'wretched' and 'fallen.' Koti-kalpe kabhu tara nahika nistara – if you are not taking bath in that flood of love and affection of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, then millions of your births will go in vain; you'll gain nothing. In this human form, at this present time, you are very near to that flood, as only four or five hundred years have passed since Mahaprabhu's time. Still, so many waves are coming. Try to take bath in this, and thus become fortunate enough to very easily attain kr?na-prema. We are helping you. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came to help you. He preached, "Give up all these bogus things that you are thinking can give you happiness. Such things can never give you happiness. Wealth cannot give you any happiness, and your relatives cannot give you anything. Your home is opulent with so many facilities. You can turn on a switch and your restroom will come, by another switch your kitchen room will come, or your dish will come, or your office will come. But give up all these facilities. They cannot help you at all." Please chant the holy name like Haridas Thakur: trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna amanina mana-dena kirtaniyah sada harih Never wish for reputation. Don't try to hear your own glories. Rather, give proper honor to all Vaisnavas. This is the teaching of Haridas Thakur. Let us try to obey him from today; not today, just now. Chant always, without any interruption, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." One thing more: In the last days of Haridas Thakur, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to him daily to give His darsana, along with all His associates, just after the morning arati of Jagannathadeva, He also used to send so much maha-prasadam for Haridas Thakur through the hands of Govinda, His own servant. What was Govinda? Mahaprabhu's servant, or disciple, or what? [*See endnote 10] One day, when Govinda brought some prasada, Haridas Thakur told him, "Today I shall fast, because I have not completed my regular number of rounds." So how can I eat? But you have brought maha-prasada, so how can I neglect it?" Haridas then offered pranama to the prasadam and took a small morsel. Worried, Govinda returned to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and said, "I went with prasadam to serve him, but he said, 'I am feeling some sickness.' I think that he is not in good health." The next day Mahaprabhu went to see Haridas, with all His associates – Svarupa Damodara, Ramananda Raya, and others – and said, "How are you feeling?" Haridas Thakur answered, "Oh, I am feeling sick." Mahaprabhu asked, "What is your sickness?" Haridas Thakur replied, "My body is okay, but my sickness is that I have not completed my chanting of three lakhs holy names (300,000 names or 192 rounds). I cannot chant. My fingers do not move. Oh! This is my sickness." Can you try to be like this? We should try to be like this. This is our only disease – that we have no taste in chanting the holy name, and that we are not chanting. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Haridas, "Now you are perfect. There is no need to chant so much. As much as you can chant, that will be sufficient." But Haridas said, "I don't want to live in this world for long. I know that very soon You will disappear from here, and I don't want to see that very pathetic scene. I want to leave my body with my head in Your lap. In that way, I will see Your golden face and chant Your holy name: Saci-nandana Gaura Hari! Gaura Hari! I want to give up this body in this way." Mahaprabhu told him, "I perform My pastimes with you. If I don't have My associates like you, then there are no pastimes. Let Me not be alone in this world. I don't want you to go." But Haridas Thakur again and again requested, "I don't want to see this pathetic scene. Please be merciful to me." On the next morning, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu assembled all the devotees with Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya, and He returned to perform parikrama of Haridas Thakur with kirtana and so many mrdangas and karatalas: (hari) haraye namah krsna yadavaya namah yadavaya madhavaya kesavaya namah gopala govinda rama sri madhusudana giridhari gopinatha madana-mohana [Nama-Sankirtana Shrila Narottama dasa Thakuraa (1-2)] Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Requesting His devotees to continue kirtana, He sat down near Haridas Thakur. He took the head of Haridas upon His lap. Haridas was only seeing towards His lotus face and calling out, "Saci-nandana Gaurahari! Gaurahari! Gaurahari," and he left his body at once. Mahaprabhu began to weep, and all the devotees began to weep in an intense separation mood. Then, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took Haridas's body in His arms and placed him from His arms onto a chariot. What kind of chariot? As we see in Indian Vedic custom. The devotees made a chariot like this, and with nagara-sankirtana they proceeded toward the shore of the ocean. During the devotees' kirtana and parikrama, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu bathed Haridas's divine body in the sea with His own hands, and declared that spot to have become a great pilgrimage site. He and His devotees anointed Haridas's body with Lord Jagannatha's sandalwood. He placed Haridas in Samadhi and personally covered his body with sand, after which all the devotees did so. A temporary samadhi mandir was established, and later on a permanent mandira was built. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu announced, "Those who were singing here, those who have done parikrama of Haridas Thakur, those who gave even one palmful of sand, and those who are in this viraha maha-mahotsava festival will very soon achieve Krishna's favor. He also announced that He wanted to collect prasadam from all the shopkeepers. All the shopkeepers began to give all their stocks, but Svarupa Damodara told them, "We don't want everything from you. Please give only a small amount." In this way, each shopkeeper gave a small amount of his various preparations. Someone gave dahl, someone vegetables, rice, and so on, and the combined quantity became sufficient. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sat all the devotees down and personally began to distribute the prasadam along with a few others, but Svarupa Damodara and everyone else requested Him, "If You are not sitting and taking, then no one else will take." Then, Mahaprabhu sat down and uttered the prayer to maha-prasada: maha-prasade govinde nama-brahmani vaisnave svalpa-punyavatam rajan visvaso naiva jayate (Prasada-Seva –from the Skanda Purana) Maha-prasadam ki jaya! Harinama sankirtana ki jaya! Shrila Haridas Thakur ki jaya! Samagata bhakta-vrnda ki jaya! Gaura premanande! Hari hari bol! [*Endnote 1: Liberation in this connection means that in the man's next life he entered into the proper process to begin his bhakti, and ultimately he attained Vaikuntha-dhama. (Shripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)] [*Endnote 2: Liberation in this connection meaning that he will attain bhava-bhakti and have his first realization of his relationship with Krishna and services to Him. He sees within himself his own spiritual form and the forms of Krishna and His associates. (Shripada Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja)] [*Endnote 3: In this connection, 'He will not die' means that he will not be thrown by the constables of Yamaraja, the god of death, into hellish planets and lower species of life as a result of his past sins. He will get an opportunity for devotional service in his next life. "Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krishna consciousness carries a person again to Krishna consciousness, even after the loss of the body" (Bhagavad-gita 2.40 purport by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja).] [*Endnote 4: When our object is to attain rati (transcendental mood), and for this, with these material senses, tongue and mind, we will perform sadhana, then it will be sadhana, otherwise not. First there should be an object that, "I want to attain rati." But, what is rati? What is that desired mood, which should be the object of our devotional activities. Then: suddha-sattva-visheshatma prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak rucibhis citta-masrnya- krd asau bhava ucyate ["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krishna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava ." (Chaitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 23.5)] What is bhava? You should know. If you don't know what is bhava, or rati, then how can it be your object of attainment? If you don't know this, how can you perform sadhana (devotional practices performed with the purpose of attaining bhava)? You may be performing sadhana-abhasa (a shadow of sadhana) or lower than that; not actually bhakti. We are all in this category. We must know the meaning of sattva and suddha-sattva. Sattva means existence, and it is of two kinds; suddha-sattva and misra-sattva. All souls who are now captured in material things are misra-sattva, and those who give up these material conceptions and adopt the transcendental conception of thinking themselves as infinitesimal parts of the Supreme Lord are called suddha-sattva. Then, suddha-sattva visheshatma: Baladeva Prabhu is the origin of all suddha-sattva jivas, as well as everything existing in this world. Baladeva Prabhu is the personification or predominating Deity of Krishna's sandhini-sakti, His existence potency; everything coming from sandhini-sakti is suddha-sattva. Visheshatma denotes Hladini-sakti (Radhika being the predominating Deity) and samvit-sakti (Krishna being the predominating Deity) of the svarupa-sakti of Krishna (Radhika being the predominating Deity of svarupa-sakti). Samvit means knowledge, and from knowledge this mood will come: all kinds of bhavas to serve Krishna that are in Radhika may come partly. Such moods are full of love and affection, with ananda (unlimited bliss). This is visesa – the essence of hladini-sakti and samvit-sakti, coming on the platform of sandini. Devotees receiving such mercy will have suddha-sattva visheshatma descend in their hearts.] [*Endnote 5: The meaning of this statement is explained in Bhagavad-gita 2.40: "In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear." It is further explained in the purport by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja: "Activity in Krishna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krishna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krishna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krishna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krishna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krishna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord"] [*Endnote 6: When Ajamila chanted the four syllables of the name Narayana, the four Visnudutas appeared to save him from the ropes of the Yamadutas, the constables of the god of death. By seeing them and hearing their words, Ajamila was inspired to leave home and perform severe austerities and engage in devotional service to the Lord. When his service became perfect he again saw those Visnudutas, and this time they took him on a celestial airplane to Vaikuntha - ed.] [*Endnote 7 (Lord Rama easily offers the two types of Vaikuntha liberation as described here in Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of July, 2002, in France) The bhakti-creeper then goes to paravyoma (the spiritual sky), which is beyond even Siva-loka. Paravyoma, where there is no mixing in brahma, is divided into two sections. The lower of the two is like Vaikuntha, but is not actually Vaikuntha, and the jiva can also go there. It is the Vaikuntha planet within the material world, and it is called Rama-priya Vaikuntha. In that realm there is seva-sukha-uttara. There, the devotee wants to serve Lord Narayana, but he also wants the happiness accrued from the attainment of the four spiritual opulences. That desire for happiness is not like ours, for the devotees there do not have material bodies; still, that desire is not pure. In the higher section there is prema-seva-uttara; the devotee only wants to serve Narayana with love. There is great aishvarya (opulence) in the Vaikuntha planets: one can have the same bodily features as Narayana (sarupya), he can live on the same planet with Him (salokya), he can have equal opulence (sarsti), and he can have association with the Lord. But a Vaisnava never wants these four types of liberation; he solely wants to serve.] Narayana-loka, Nrisimha-loka, Rama-loka (Ayodhya), and many other such lokas are within the Paravyoma, and the bhakti-creeper passes beyond all of them. It crosses beyond Narayana-bhakti, Nrisimha-bhakti, and Ramacandra-bhakti. The devotee will say, "I don't want that," and that creeper then goes to Goloka. [*Endnote 8 – Rama and Sita devi stayed together for many years, and everyone was very happy within their kingdom. Some people, however, criticized Rama for accepting Sita back after she had been staying in the palace of Ravana. According to Vedic principles, it is unacceptable to accept one's wife after her being away for one night, what to speak of one year. One evening, the wife of a washer-man came home late. Her husband immediately told her that she could not enter the house. He threw her out saying, "I am not like Rama, who accepted His wife after she'd been with another man." This news spread and the story got back to Rama. He was most disturbed, and realized that He had to do something to rectify the situation. How could He rule a kingdom where some of the people did not have faith in Him? He called a meeting, asking all of His brothers to come, but none of them could give Him any advice. He Himself then realized what to do. He remembered that Sita wanted to visit all the sages in the forest and shower them with gifts. He asked Lakshmana to take Her to the asramas of all the sages, deliver His sorrowful message to Her, and then leave Her in the forest. Lakshmana was devastated that He was called upon to do this, but He could not say anything as he was Rama's younger brother. He therefore had to accept that responsibility. (Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of April 13, 2000)] [*Endnote 9 - Haridas Thakur was born in a Muslim family. At the sraddha ceremony for Advaita Acharya's father, the highest seat and prasada were to be offered first to the most elevated person. Advaita Acharya was performing the ceremony when the moon was in the appropriate place in the month of Ashwina. All the high-class brahmanas were there – Bhattacarya, Trivedi, Caturvedi, Upadhyaya – and all of them were great scholars. After washing their feet, Advaita Acharya showed them to their respective seats. In front was an elevated seat, and Advaita Prabhu was standing and thinking, "Who will I seat here?" All of the scholars were thinking, "I know so many scriptures; certainly I will be offered that seat." Silently they were all aspiring for it. Advaita Acharya then went outside the house and saw Haridas Thakur, wearing a langoti and sitting at the door. Haridas was thinking, "The brahmanas will take their meal here, so Advaita Acharya will certainly give us a little of their prasada." He had so much humility that he was thinking that if he were to go inside, the house would be contaminated. At once Advaita Acharya embraced him, and Haridas Thakur said, "Oh, you are a brahmana and I am a Muslim! Having touched me, you must now go and bathe." But grabbing him and taking him inside, Advaita Acharya sat him on the elevated seat, at which time there was a great outcry in all directions. The brahmanas said, "By bringing a Muslim in here, you have contaminated this place and insulted us! We will not eat here!" Taking their water pots, they all stood up and left. They were abusing Advaita Acharya, saying, "You are opposed to the principles of dharma!" But Advaita Acharya said, "Today my birth has become successful, and today my father has attained Vaikuntha. By giving respect to one Vaisnava, today, millions of my ancestors have crossed over maya. If Haridas Thakur will eat here, that is greater than feeding millions of brahmanas." Haridas Thakur was crying, thinking, "Because of me, all these brahmanas have been insulted and are not eating." But Advaita Acharya said, "Haridas, today you will certainly take prasada here. That will be our great good fortune." Then he said to the brahmanas, "He will stay, and none of you will get prasada. Actually, you should all leave here quickly, because just seeing your faces is a great sin. Haridas has great regard for maha-prasada, and therefore he is included within the Vaisnava class. Anyone who doesn't accept this is an atheist, and one who judges a Vaisnava by his birth is an atheist. You can all go away from here, and then your offences will leave with you. You are offending Haridas, and offending me as well." All the scholars left the house, but outside, as they were going, they began speaking amongst themselves. "Advaita Acharya is no ordinary personality. He is a great scholar, he knows all of the scriptures, and he is an exalted preacher of bhakti." They continued deliberating, and after fully reconsidering, they returned, fell at Advaita Prabhu's feet, and begged forgiveness. (From Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's Shri Prabhandavali, Chapter 7)] [*Endnote 10: Both Kasisvara and Govinda were god-brothers of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and thus the Lord duly honored them as soon as they arrived. But because Isvara Puri had ordered them to give Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personal service, the Lord accepted their service. (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 10.140)]
  5. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja September 19, 2002 Vienna, Austria [This lecture was delivered by Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja on the Appearance Day of Shri Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur, at the Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mission in Vienna, founded by Prapujyacarana Shri Shrimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja, on September 19, 2002. Shrila Narayana Maharaja and the 150 devotees in attendance were extremely pleased by the exceptional degree of hospitality exhibited by the devotees from this matha. Shrila Maharaja remarked that these excellent displays of Vaisnava etiquette, and the beautiful, well-organized facility, are ideal examples for all Vaisnava preaching centers. In this lecture, Shrila Maharaja tells about the life and character of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, and explains the essence of the teachings in the Thakur's writings. To listen to the audio version of Jaiva-dharma, click here: http://srilanarayanmaharaja.com/jd/; or http://srilanarayanmaharaja.com/jaiva-dharma-audio-in-spanish/] I offer millions of dandavat pranamas unto the lotus feet of my Gurudeva, Nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. My dandavats to Paramapujyapada Prapujyacarana Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja, and to our guru-parampara. Today we are observing the auspicious Appearance Day of Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur. He is considered to be the Saptama (seventh) Gosvami, and he has written more than one hundred very authorized books in many languages. He has especially given us two very important gifts. He discovered the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and he gave us Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. I want to tell you about an extraordinary kirtana that he wrote and sang; Harinama Tuwa, Aneka Swarupa (O Harinama, You Possess Unlimited Forms). Perhaps we have no idea of the very deep meaning of this kirtana. The analogy is given of a mango seed; we don't see that within the mango seed there is a tree, full with branches, leaves and fruits. The entire tree exists within that seed. If you plant that seed in the earth and water it properly, a very beautiful tree will gradually grow from it. A large tree with many branches, leaves, beautiful sweet fruits, and manjaris will emerge. Cuckoo birds may sit on the branches and sing; "cuckoo, cuckoo." Everything is within that seed, but when it is still in a seed form, all this is not apparent to us. It will take some time for us to see the complete tree. Similarly, guru gives sabda-brahma (transcendental sound, or Bhagavan in the form of sound) in the holy name, Hare Krishna, but we have not realized anything yet. We chant because Gurudeva has told us to do so. After some days, if we don't see any result, we become disheartened and give up our chanting. We think, "Oh, there is nothing there." On the other hand, if a sad-guru gives harinama to any strong devotee, that devotee will have so many realizations by following the process of bhakti. He will see Krishna's pastimes in the seed of the holy name and think, "Oh, Krishna is taking birth from Yasoda". He will think, "Nanda Baba is supporting and nourishing Krishna. Krishna is very restless. He is stealing butter from different gopis and is wrestling with Baladeva Prabhu." All the pastimes of Krishna are present in the holy name, and a pure devotee can see them all. If the disciple can realize the meaning of this kirtana, he will develop a real taste and never fall down. But he must develop some taste. A devotee may receive harinama from his gurudeva and begin chanting, but if one is not becoming free from anarthas and is not developing a taste, he will give up chanting and his devotional service as well. There are many examples of persons who have been renounced sannyasis for 20 or 30 years; such persons may even have initiated disciples. However, after years of service to his gurudeva, he may conclude, "I'm in a dilemma; I have not realized anything. Everything that I believed to be true is false. I'm giving up my sannyasa and my chanting and remembering; I will no longer cheat others. I'm going to marry and start a real life." Many have fallen because they have no faith in their gurudeva or the holy names. Without this faith, one cannot realize that Shrimati Radhika, Krishna, and rasa are all present in the seed of this name, Hare Krishna. All the pastimes of Krishna described in this song (Hari Nama Tuwa...) are present within it; all the vraja-lila, mathura-lila, dvaraka-lila, and goloka-vrndavana lila are there. Moreover, new pastimes, which have not been written in Shrimad-Bhagavatam, can be discovered in this song. Our Gosvamis discovered so many pastimes, and other Gosvamis, like Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, may come and reveal more and more. You should aspire to be like our Gosvamis. Have full faith in your guru and continue chanting. Don't be satisfied with chanting only 16 rounds. This is not sufficient to control your restless mind, which is wandering here and there and thinking of worldly things. Chant 64 rounds or 128 rounds with strong faith, and then you will realize all these truths. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has said that very strong faith is required. The Thakur has written thousands of songs like, "yasomati nandana vraja-varo-nagara, gokula-ranjana kana" and "bolo hari hari, mukunda murari, rama krsna hayagriva." All of the important pastimes of Krishna are within these songs, and if you sing them with faith and honor, these pastimes will be revealed to you. We should try to sincerely follow Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur. He gave us a treasure chest of realized transcendental literature, and that is why he is called the Seventh Gosvami. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur took birth in Ulagrama in the Nadia district, very near to Mayapura and the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His father passed away when he was very young, and he was raised in his maternal uncle's house in Ulagrama and later on he was brought to Calcutta. He studied in Calcutta and was brilliant from his boyhood. He began writing poetry when he was very young, and among his early books was Shri Prema-pradipa. He was very friendly with the family of Rabindrinatha Tagore. The members of the Tagore family were very learned, but they became brahma-vadis, and joined the Brahma Samaja. They wanted to establish the philosophy of the Brahma Samaja, which was based on a mixture of beliefs from the world's major religions. In his book Prema-pradipa, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur opposed the philosophical principles of the Brahma Samaja. During this time, the Thakur visited different universities in Calcutta, where he lectured and gave classes that were widely appreciated. He was also writing many articles about Shri Krishna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After some time, he left Calcutta and went to live at his grandfather's home in Orissa. His grandfather was a teacher, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur also became a teacher while living there. After that he went to Jagannatha Puri and was appointed deputy magistrate for that district. The government, recognizing Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's abilities and high qualifications, assigned him the additional post of supervisor of the Jagannatha Temple. His management style was very strong and was appreciated by the inhabitants of Jagannatha Puri. Many significant events took place while Bhaktivinoda Thakur was there. The members of one group offered him a bribe of 300,000 rupees and told him, "We want to put a statue of a dog on the top of the Jagannatha Temple." They wanted to prove that there is no difference between Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subadra, and a dog or a cat. These people thought, "All living beings are Brahman and are equal. If Ganesh, Sakti, and Siva are Brahman and are worshipped, why not worship a cat, or a dog? They are all the same Brahman." To show that there is no difference between God and the ordinary jiva, this group wanted to put a statue of a dog on the top of the Mandira. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur refused to accept the enormous bribe and he forcefully rejected their request. To prevent the spread of this mayavada philosophy, he also instructed the residents of Jagannatha Puri about the life and teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In Orissa there was a powerful yogi named Bhibiksena, who wanted to enjoy rasa-lila like Krishna. He was a siddha yogi with long matted locks; and when he would shake his head from side to side, his locks would stand on end and flames would shoot out from his hair. He openly declared throughout Orissa, "I am Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I have come to enjoy my lila (pastimes)." Many of the young ladies and girls of Orissa, beguiled by this yogi's display of mystic powers, desperately wanted to sing and dance with him on the Purnima (full moon) night. As a result, the husbands of these ladies, as well as many high class and educated people, filed a court case against the yogi. The government assigned Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur to manage the case. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur went to see that yogi, who, although he had not heard from anyone, knew who the Thakur was, and why he had come. The yogi calmly told him, "Oh, you are Bhaktivinoda Thakur, the deputy magistrate. You have come to file a court case against me, but you cannot, for I am Krishna Himself. I have come here to engage in the rasa dance, and during the next full moon night I will do so. No one, not even the government, can oppose me. Soon I will fight against the entire government and drive the British out of India. Then I will become the emperor of all India." This was a very serious matter and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur replied sternly, "I know that you are a siddha yogi, but you are not God, and your powers are insignificant. I have come to tell you to renounce your false claims and give up your plans to engage in the imitation rasa dance. I am giving you seven days to retract your statements. If you do not, I will arrest you and file a case in court against you." The yogi answered, "You cannot arrest me. Try to do what you can against me, but I will not change my plans to do the rasa dance." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur returned after seven days, accompanied by the police inspector and his men. He told the yogi, "I have come to arrest you if you do not change your plans." The yogi replied arrogantly, "Oh, you still don't know me? I am the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna. I must perform the rasa dance. I will not change my plans." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur ordered the police, "Arrest him!" When they tried to capture the yogi, he shook his head from side to side, and long flames flew from his matted locks. The police inspector and his men were very frightened and quickly ran away, dropping their guns and clubs in their haste to escape. Left alone to deal with the yogi, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur leapt forward, grabbed Bhibikasena by the hair, and forcibly cut off his matted locks with a pair of scissors. The Thakur subdued him and took him to the criminal court of Orissa in Puri, where a date was fixed for a hearing. The Thakur was accustomed to awakening in the night at about 12:00 am, performing bhajana, and writing transcendental poems until 4:00 am. He would sing and recite slokas from Gitavali, Saranagati Kalyana Kalpataru, Shrimad Bhagavatam, the writings of Rupa Gosvami, Yamunacarya (the guru of Ramanujacarya) and other Vaisnava authors. Deep in the night he would recite and sing these slokas, totally absorbed in his bhajana, and after that he would write his decisions and judgments for various cases. Early in the morning of the day that he was to hear the case, the Thakur was beset with severe stomach pains that were so intense that he could not do his work. His wife was alarmed and exclaimed, "Why are you giving trouble to that yogi? By his curse, you may die!" The Thakur answered, "Oh, I will not die. The pain is here only for the moment. It will pass." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur went to the court that morning and summoned the yogi to appear. Bhibikasena was insolent and spoke a warning to the Thakur: "Do you remember last night? I sent you so much pain." The Thakur dismissed him saying, "I know what you did, but your powers are insignificant. You cannot intimidate me." After that, the yogi was not able to do anything to harm him. By his example, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur demonstrated that if anyone is chanting the holy names of the Lord, all kinds of disease, magic, and other negative influences can be checked. He then addressed the yogi: "If you decide not perform the rasa dance, and if you behave like a common citizen and renounce your claim to be Krishna, I may be lenient in my judgment. Otherwise, you will have to spend six months in prison, doing hard labor. That puffed up yogi would not comply, and thus, he was sent to prison, where he died from a self-imposed fast. This is an example of how Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur expertly administered in the district; and there were many other incidents while he was in Puri. Over time, the Thakur was transferred to many other provinces. He was sent to Krishnagara, Bihara, and also served in Vrndavana. While in Vrndavana, he went to Radha Kunda and Surya Kunda. At Radha Kunda, he met Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, who was 144 years old at that time. He was so old that the lids of his eyes would droop over his eyes in heavy folds. In order to see, he would lift the skin from over his eyes, and peering at someone from beneath these folds, he would say, "I am like an old turtle." Despite his apparent aged condition, he could dance with great energy when he sang devotional songs, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur would associate with him whenever he could. While Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur was at Radha Kunda, the disciples of Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaja complained to him about the instructions they were receiving from their Gurudeva. They told him, "We have given up our houses, our children, fathers, mothers, wives, and our positions. We have left everything to do bhajana and to remember asta-kalya-lila. We have left everything, but our Gurudeva is telling us to grow brinjals (eggplant) and other vegetables and flowers for Thakurji. We did not come here to grow vegetables, flowers and fruits. Sir, should we return to our homes? We don't know what to do." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur told them, "You should try to serve your Gurudeva and follow his orders. You are chanting Hare Krishna, but you are full of anarthas (impurities) and cannot chant suddha-nama (the pure name). You may chant for thousands and thousands of births and not accomplish anything. It is good and proper that you follow your Gurudeva's instructions. You cannot remember the pastimes of Krishna while you are contaminated by these anarathas. If you try to remember the asta-kaliya-lila before you are purified, the desire for young women and other material things will rise in your heart. You will soon give up your bhajana to become involved with women and you will return to worldly life. Most Radha Kunda babajis are doing just that, mixing illicitly with widows and having children with them; they are not doing any real bhajana. "Do not fall down like them. You should follow your Gurudeva's orders; engage your energy in growing fruits and vegetables to offer to Thakurji or to a pure Vaisnava. You should also chant the holy name, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. Real paramarthika (transcendental) impressions and sukrti will come into your heart, and you will be able to truly follow your Guru. Then, as chanting, remembering, and performing kirtana cleanse these anarthas, all the pastimes of Krishna will automatically enter your hearts. Don't follow the example of the Radha Kunda babajis. They don't know Vaisnava etiquette. They don't even know how to clean themselves after using the latrine. They certainly don't know any krsna-tattva, maya-tattva, or jiva- tattva. Ignorant persons who have left their homes arrive here knowing nothing about siddhanta. These babajis will cheat them, and for only two rupees, give them a false siddha name and a false siddha-deha. They will say, 'Now you are a gopi; your name is Lalita or Vishaka.' This is abominable." In his Jaiva Dharma, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has written everything about the authentic process to become a paramahamsa. Jaiva Dharma is the essence of the Vedas, Upanishads, Shrimad Bhagavatam, and the writings of Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Ragunatha das Gosvami and our guru-varga. Asta-kaliya-lila is described for those that are advanced, but how does one become qualified to understand it? One must systematically study Jaiva Dharma from beginning to end, starting with the first part where there is a description of the material world, and proceeding through a study of Dasa-mula and all the tattvas. By following Jaiva Dharma properly, your anarthas will gradually disappear and you will be able to practice bhakti as exemplified by the two disciples, Brajanatha and Vijay Kumara. They practiced first in Nabadwipa and then in Puri, and they were completely conversant with all the teachings of the important literatures by our guru-varga, including Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujvala-nilamani. They had realized all the stages of prema: vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, vyabhicari, etc. Thus they received real diksa, and they were blessed with a vision of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, dancing with Lord Nityananda and all of their associates. Brajanatha's uncle, Vijay Kumar, was a paramahamsa who had renounced his worldly life and was remembering asta-kaliya-lila on the seashore. As unlimited waves appear one after another on the seashore, so it is in the ocean of rasa. Krishna is that ocean of rasa, and the innumerable waves are the different bhavas (spiritual emotions) experienced by the devotee, such as: bhava, anubhava, sattvika, vyabhicari, uddipana, and alambana. Anyone can become qualified to understand asta-kaliya-lila by attentively and respectfully hearing Jaiva Dharma. Without this knowledge, one cannot become qualified – but one must start from the beginning. Hearing with honor will help one to develop strong faith in gurudeva and to follow his instructions. We should be eager to do so. Don't jump to the top of the rasa tree; begin from the root. Follow the process Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has given in Jaiva Dharma. Serve your gurudeva; have strong faith in sad-guru and Vaisnavas; and always be in good Vaisnava association. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur has written that the ultimate goal of life is described in the Shrimad Bhagavatam: aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena va kalpita srimad bhagavatam pramanam amalam prema pumartho mahan sri caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah ["The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is to be worshiped along with His transcendental abode, Vrndavana. The most pleasing form of worship for the Lord is that which was performed by the gopis of Vrndavana. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless authority on everything, and pure love of God is the ultimate goal of life for all men. These statements, for which we have the highest regard, are the opinion of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We are not interested in anyone else's opinion."] Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur says that Vrajendranandana Shri Krishna is complete. He does not refer to Krishna as Vasudeva-nandana or Devaki-nandana. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as He is supreme, Vrndavana is also supreme. Vrndavana is not made of earth or clay or any material elements; it is cinmaya-bhumi, a fully transcendental place. The aradhana (method and mood of worship) of the gopis is extremely high. Among Krishna's associates in Vrndavana, the aradhana of the gopis gives Krishna the highest pleasure. The mood of the gopis is supreme, and supreme amongst the gopis is Radhika. Radhika's mood is so high that even Krishna cannot experience or understand it. To relish the mood of Radhika, and to taste radha-pranaya mahima (the excellence of Radha's love for Krishna), He came in the form of Shri Sacinandana-Gaurahari. Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the highest pramana (evidence) that explains the love of the gopis for Krishna. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught that krsna-prema is the highest goal. The goal of our life should be to achieve prema, transcendental love and affection for Krishna. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught that the prema of the gopis is the highest and that we should aspire to follow in their footsteps. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has written Dasa-mula, which is an elaboration of the above-mentioned verse by Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur. It contains ten ontological truths in condensed form. By understanding these truths, one can realize the true meaning of Lord Chaitanya's teachings: amnaya praha tattvam harim iha paramam sarva-saktim rasabdhim tad-bhinnamsams ca jivan prakrti-kavalitan tad-vimuktams ca bhavad bhedabheda-prakasam sakalam api hareh sadhanam suddha-bhaktim sadhyam tat-pritim evety upadisati janan gauracandrah svayam sah Pramana: The teachings of the Vedas received through guru-parampara are known as amnaya (meaning that which is committed to memory). The infallible evidence of the Vedas, of the smrti-sastras headed by the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, as well as evidence such as direct sense perception (pratyaksa) that concur with the guidance of the Vedas, are all accepted as pramana (evidence). This pramana establishes the following prameyas (fundamental truths): Parama-tattva: Shri Hari alone is the Supreme Absolute Truth. Sarva-saktiman: Shri Krishna is the possessor of unlimited, multifarious saktis. Akhila-rasamrta-sindhu: He is the ocean of nectarean mellows. Vibhinnamsa-tattva: Both the mukta (liberated) and baddha (conditioned) jivas are His eternally separated parts and parcels. Baddha-jivas: Conditioned souls are covered by maya. Mukta-jivas: Liberated souls are free from maya. Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva: The entire universe, consisting of conscious, sentient jivas (cit) and non-sentient matter (acit), is Shri Hari's acintya-bhedabheda-prakasa, that is to say, it is His manifestation which is inconceivably both one with and different from Him. Suddha-bhakti: Pure devotional service is the only practice (sadhana) to attain perfection. Krishna-priti: Transcendental love and affection for Krishna is the one and only final object of attainment (sadhya-vastu). In addition to the above, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has given us a practical means to achieve our goal of krsna-prema in two lines. He has encapsulated all the truths of the Vedas, Bhagavatam, Upanishads, etc., in two lines: krsnera samsara koro chadi anacar jive doya krsna-nama­­—sarva-dharma-sara ["Carry on your worldly duties, but in relation to Krishna, and give up sinful behavior. Show compassion to all fallen souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krishna. This is the essence of all forms of religion." (from the song Nadiya-Godrume)] What is the meaning of this verse? This verse is meant for both tyagis (renunciates) and grhastas (family men). Whatever you do, do it to please Krishna. Krishna manifests as diksa-guru, siksa-guru, Vaisnava, and all of the associates of Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. We must not neglect others while serving Krishna. If you have honor for Krishna but not for Baladeva, not for diksa-guru, and not for siksa-guru, your bhakti will be diminished. So the word Krishna in this verse has so many deep meanings. It means Krishna and all of His associates and tadiya-vastu (those persons and things that have relation to Him), like Tulasi-devi, hari-nama, mahaprasada, etc. mahaprasade govinde nama brahmani vaisnave, svalpam punya vrtam rajan,visvaso nava jayate. ["Those who have very few pious activities to their credit can never develop faith in mahaprasada, in Shri Govinda, in the holy name of the Lord, or in the Vaisnavas." (Chaitanya Caritamrta Antya-lila 16:96 purport from- Skanda Purana)] These are all Krishna, but some are visaya Krishna (Krishna as the object of love), and some are asraya Krishna (the servant of Krishna who is the abode of that love). We offer more honor to asraya Krishna than visaya Krishna. If we serve Mother Yasoda and the gopis more than Krishna, Krishna will be pleased. yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasyaprasadanna-gatih kuto 'pi dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam vande guroh sri-caranaravindam ["By the mercy of the spiritual master one is benedicted by the mercy of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master no one can make any advancement. Therefore I should always remember the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master." (Shri Gurvastakam)] You should worship your guru, but the guru should be a genuine guru, not a garu (an animal). A guru should follow all the rules and regulations of the Vaisnavas. He should chant the holy name and have love and affection for his disciples. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur states that to please Krishna, one must behave like a Vaisnava. All advancement in bhakti depends on pleasing Krishna and his associates. This means to serve guru, Vaisnava, the dhama, the holy name, and all that are related to Krishna. "Krsnera samsara koro chadi anacar." This means that one will have to renounce anacara, that which is unfavorable to the Vaisnavas, and one must follow Vaisnava acara (proper conduct). Shri Sanatana Gosvami has elaborately delineated the principles of proper conduct in the Hari-bhakti-vilas. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has also written about the ten kinds of nama-aparadha, and 64 kinds of other aparadha, including dhama-aparadha and seva-aparadha.. These aparadhas must be avoided. Follow the 64 angas (limbs) of bhakti. Among them, nine kinds of bhakti are considered more important: sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam,dasyam, sakhyam, and atma-nivedanam. Among these, five are more important: sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavat-sravana, mathura-vasa, and sri murti-sraddha sevana. Of these, three – sravanam, kirtanam and smaranam – are most important. Among them, kirtana is the best; "param vijayate rri krsna sankirtana." Sankirtana is the essence of bhakti. Jive doya means to have mercy upon the living entities. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has ordered us: Tell them that they are spirit souls; they are not this physical body. They are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but they have forgotten this. Now they should engage in the process of bhakti-yoga and be happy. To turn anyone's interest or tendency toward Krishna, is more valuable than establishing thousands of schools, hospitals, public gardens and performing charitable works. We should try to help others. Shrila Rupa Gosvami has written in Shri Upadesamrita: tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu- smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram ["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja (Goloka Vrndavana dhama) and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service." (Upadesamrita, verse 8)] This is the essence of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's life and teachings. Gaura premanande.
  6. 22 September 1999 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Shrila Jiva Gosvami's father, Anupama, was the brother of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. His exalted father and uncles were employed by the Muslim ruler, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami as prime minister, Shrila Rupa Gosvami as the private secretary, and Shri Anupama as treasurer. All three of them met Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu when He came to Ramakeli, where they lived. As the only son of the three brothers, Jiva received abundant affection. Shrila Rupa Gosvami was always especially affectionate towards him and treated him as if he were his own son. When Jiva was still very young, Shrila Rupa Gosvami took him to Mahaprabhu, who blessed him by placing His hand on his head. During childhood, Jiva studied and soon learned all logic, Sanskrit grammar, and theistic philosophy from the books in his father's home. Before Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Anupama left household life to retire in Vrindavan, they divided all the family's wealth and property, allocating sufficient funds for Jiva to continue his studies. All three brothers realized that he was the only son in their dynasty, so they nurtured him with great affection and ensured he had whatever material facility he required. Jiva had a very soft nature, and as he grew up, he gradually began worshipping Deities of Shri Shri Radha-Krishna. Making garlands for Them and offering puja to Them, he would become immersed in meditation, preferring these activities to playing with other children. When he was about fourteen years old, he went to Navadvipa. By then, Mahaprabhu had returned to the spiritual world and all the devotees of Navadvipa had left and gone elsewhere. Because Navadvipa now brought them all great sadness, Shrivasa Pandita, Advaita Acarya, and everyone else had left, and Navadvipa was deserted. A few days before Jiva's arrival, Shri Nityananda Prabhu had arrived at Shrivasangana from Khardaha. When Shrila Jiva Gosvami arrived, Nityananda Prabhu was very pleased to meet him. Nityananda prabhu placed His feet on Jiva's head and said, "I came here just to meet with you, otherwise I would have stayed in Khardaha." He showed Jiva all the places of Mahaprabhu's pastimes in Navadvipa, and then showed him great mercy by ordering him to go stay with Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami in Vrindavan. On the way to Vrindavan, Jiva stopped in Varanasi, where he met a disciple of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya named Madhusudana Vacaspati who was teaching Vedanta, but not the commentary of Sankaracarya, which was famous at that time. Mahaprabhu had refuted that commentary when Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya tried to teach it to Him. Madhusudana Vacaspati was a great scholar and, having studied and understood everything which Mahaprabhu had taught to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, was teaching it there. Jiva Gosvami went to his home and learned all bhakti-vedanta from him. He also learned Sankaracarya's commentary, because without learning it, he would have been unable to refute it. After studying all of this and fully understanding it, he proceeded to Vrindavan. There in Vrindavan, Sanatana Gosvami placed him in the care of Rupa Gosvami, and he stayed near Rupa Gosvami's hut at the Radha-Damodara temple. Rupa Gosvami would read everything he was writing to Jiva Gosvami. One day while they were in the midst of reading together, an effulgent, elderly brahmana arrived there. This was most likely, judging from his age and his scholarship, Shri Vallabhacharya, who knew Rupa Gosvami from the time Mahaprabhu was in Prayaga. He was approximately the same age as Shri Advaita Acarya, so Rupa Gosvami would have been the appropriate age to have been his son. He asked, "Rupa, what are you writing these days?" Hesitating a little, Shrila Rupa Gosvami replied, "I am writing a book entitled Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu." Vallabhacharya then picked up the book and, turning the pages, said, "Very good, I will look through it and correct any errors." At that time Jiva Gosvami was fanning Rupa Gosvami with a leaf from the tala tree, but when he heard Vallabhacharya say this, he felt disturbed; according to him, his Gurudeva was being criticized. Later when he went to the river to fetch water, he met Vallabhacharya, who was just finishing his midday bath. Jiva Gosvami said, "Gosai, you said before that you would proofread the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu which Rupa Gosvami is writing. If you have found any errors, precisely where are they?" Vallabhacharya replied, "How can you understand, child? Have you studied Sanskrit grammar?" "Yes, a little." "Then what could you possibly understand?" "Still, please just show me any errors you have detected." When Vallabhacharya showed him an apparent error, a fierce debate commenced between them. Eventually Jiva Gosvami established the point so convincingly that Vallabhacharya could neither refute it nor give any answer. When Vallabhacharya returned to the Rupa Gosvami's hut, he asked, "Who was that boy who was fanning you? He is very intelligent and extremely learned in the scriptures." Very humbly and with folded hands Rupa Gosvami replied, "He is the son of my younger brother and is also my disciple. He does not know how to behave." "No, he is a genius, and in the future he will be very famous." Soon afterwards, Vallabhacharya left. When Jiva Gosvami arrived with the water, Shrila Rupa Gosvami said to him, "You are so intolerant that you quarrel with an elderly, scholarly brahmana who kindly proofread something for my own good? Your behavior is unacceptable; leave now." Being obliged to obey his guru, Jiva Gosvami left Vrindavan. He went to the village of Bhayagaon to live in a cave infested with crocodiles. There, for some days, he remained in the cave doing bhajana and crying, feeling bereft of his guru's affection. He stopped eating and taking water, and within a short time he became emaciated. After some time, Sanatana Gosvami happened to visit that village as he was wandering around Vraja. The local people said to him, "Baba, we always considered you to be a great bhajananandi (one who is absorbed in bhajana), but a young boy who is even more of a bhajananandi than you has come to our village. Day and night he calls out the names of Radha-Krishna and weeps. We take him food but he refuses it, and he never sleeps either. Day and night he remains immersed in bhajana; we have never seen anything like it." Shrila Sanatana Gosvami could understand that this was Jiva, and immediately went to him. Reunited, they both wept. Sanatana Gosvami then took him back to Vrindavan, where he said to Rupa Gosvami, "The duty of Vaisnavas is to be compassionate to others, yet you renounced this young disciple of yours who is adorned with so many extraordinary qualities. You should be merciful to Jiva, but instead you banished him. This was a mistake and you should correct it. I am ordering you to quickly call him back." Hearing this, Rupa Gosvami began crying for Jiva, whom he loved so much. When Sanatana Gosvami brought Jiva there and placed him in the lap of Rupa Gosvami, both guru and disciple wept. Rupa Gosvami arranged for Jiva to be treated by the best doctors from Mathura, and gradually Jiva became strong again. From then on, their former practice resumed with Rupa Gosvami giving whatever he wrote to Jiva to proofread. Later, Shrila Jiva Gosvami expanded upon and enhanced the writing of other acaryas. One such acarya, Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, had heard hari-katha directly from Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, who he considered to be his siksa-gurus. While studying the writings of ancient Vaisnava acaryas such as Madhva and Ramanuja, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami selected different points in relation to sambandha (establishing one's relationship with Krishna), abhidheya (acting in the dealings of that relationship), and prayojana (achieving life's ultimate goal), and compiled everything in a notebook. Shrila Jiva Gosvami learned all of this tattva from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Then, he took the volume which contained all the information on sambandha and enlarged it. He also took from the conceptions given in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani, Brhad-bhagavatamrta, and the other books composed by Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, and composed the first sandarbha. The word sandarbha means ‘a chest of valuable jewels.' Of the Six Sandarbhas, the first four – Tattva-sandarbha, Bhagavat-sandarbha, Paramatma-sandarbha, and Krishna-sandarbha – all expound sambandha-jnana. They include knowledge of the jiva, the illusory energy, and the objective of the jiva; all of this was explained in the first four sandarbhas. In the Tattva-sandarbha, the conception of pramana (the body of evidence) and prameya (evidence) is given. What is the meaning of pramana? In any issue, whose words will we accept as authoritative? Suppose a young boy reports that a large fire has ravaged a holy place and everything has been burned. An elderly gentleman, however, reports that a small fire started in a tea shop there, but was easily contained. From these conflicting stories, whose words will we accept as authoritative? Certainly, the man's words are more authoritative because he is older and more mature than the boy. This conception of pramana relates to many things. Different people may assert their beliefs that this world is real, their status as human beings or brahmanas is real, or that they are masters of their property. All this false identification and proprietorship causes so much fighting and quarreling. Another man will say, "These things are all temporary, so do not bother fighting over them. Instead, do something for your soul and for the Supreme Personality of Godhead; they are permanent." Which of these two opinions will we accept? Analyzing the relationships between the Supreme Lord, the jiva, and material existence, Shrila Jiva Gosvami explained where we should place our faith. He wrote that the Vedas are the sole authority, and that any other, so-called authority lacks credibility. That which we perceive with our limited senses and mind may be defective, but the words of the Vedas cannot be so. In his Bhagavat-sandarbha, Shrila Jiva Gosvami writes that everything we see has the same source. The Absolute Truth is one, and He is naturally endowed with inconceivable potency. By the power of this potency, He exists within four forms: svarupa (His original form), tad-rupa-vaibhava (all incarnations, beginning with Baladeva Prabhu), jiva (the living entity), and pradhana (the illusory energy). He is like the sun which also exists in four forms: its original form, the sun disc, its rays, and its reflected light which is compared to maya. Jiva Gosvami took parts from the book Brahma-sandarbha and wrote his own Bhagavat-sandarbha, in which he analyzes brahma-tattva (the established truth about the Supreme Spirit Whole) and refutes the opinions of Sankaracarya. The jiva is not brahma (an impersonal God). If brahma is the Absolute Truth, which is full in knowledge as some say, then how did it separate into billions of living entities and become bound within material existence? Sankaracarya states that it was covered over by maya, but then where did this separate entity he calls maya come from? If there is no separate entity known as maya and all is the one brahma, where could this other object known as ignorance have come from? Refuting all of Sankaracarya's concepts, Shrila Jiva Gosvami proved that Krishna is Parabrahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of brahma. He also analyzed paramatma-tattva, and in the Krishna-sandarbha he explained how Krishna alone is the original Personality of Godhead. He explained how Krishna is all-powerful (sarva-saktiman), how He is an ocean of rasa, how from Him the jivas and all else emanate, and how the jivas can achieve His eternal association. He refuted the concept that Krishna is an incarnation of Narayana. Using evidence from the Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas, he established that Krishna is the original Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that all other incarnations are His plenary or partial expansions. On the basis of scriptural evidence, he reinforced Mahaprabhu's conception, which had been established in the literatures of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. In doing so, he established our sampradaya upon a firm philosophical foundation. He protected the flowing river of rasa by placing large rocks of siddhanta on both its banks; in that way no contaminated water of misconceptions could ever enter it. In his Bhakti-sandarbha, he explained many subtle aspects of bhakti. He delineated the sixty-four types of bhakti, and he expertly explained guru-tattva. He also described guru-padasraya, the process of taking exclusive shelter of the guru, how it should be done, what are its rules and regulations, and so on. If the guru carefully evaluates the prospective disciple and the disciple carefully considers the guru, then a circumstance will never arise where the disciple will have to abandon his guru. He taught that one should not accept a guru whimsically; one should accept a guru in whom he will never lose faith, otherwise there will be a problem. One should make sure that he only accepts a sad-guru, who is detached from sense enjoyment, who is conversant with all tattva and siddhanta, who is rasika, who is spiritually realized, and who is affectionate towards him. One should examine the guru carefully, even if this process takes as long as a year. Shrila Jiva Gosvami also explained that all bhakti is not the same, just as all varieties of water are not one and the same – there is clean water, purified water, contaminated water, sewage water, and so forth. Jiva Gosvami examined all these issues in depth in his sandarbhas, which one must read in order to understand the true nature of bhakti. Thus, by regularly hearing the knowledge delineated in these books and by associating with advanced Vaisnavas, one's bhakti will gradually become uttama-bhakti. Shrila Jiva Gosvami described at length the five types of prema (santa (neutrality), dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya (parental love), and madhurya (amorous love)), especially emphasizing gopi-prema and explaining the sadhana for achieving it. Much of this came in his Gopala-campu, which is a very philosophical book. Shrila Jiva Gosvami wrote that book in Goloka Vrindavan and then gave it to this world. He composed so many literatures that we could spend this entire birth immersed in reading them. Moreover, in practicing the sadhana prescribed by them, who knows how many lives we could spend? If we endeavor to enter into these books, and if we examine both the personal conduct and conceptions of Jiva Gosvami and try to personally follow them, our spiritual lives will certainly be successful. May Shrila Jiva Gosvami be merciful upon us so we can learn all the instructions he gave, in order to perform bhajana purely.
  7. A108-AI

    Shri Radhashtami Day

    Mathura, India: September 4, 2003 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj [You may have read Shrila Gurudeva's commentaries on Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami's Mangalam-gitam, including one which he spoke on Janmastami Day, August 20, 2003. Each commentary has been simultaneously one and different. Here is a commentary, given on Shri Radhastami Day, two weeks later. Here again, by the manifestation of the mercy of Shrimati Radhika in the heart of Shrila Maharaj, ever-new meanings are revealed.] Shri Jayadeva Gosvami knows in his heart that the best prayers to Shri Krishna Bhagavan are those which glorify Him in relationship to the gopis, and especially in relation to Shrimati Radhika. He therefore begins this kirtana with the words "srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e." Lord Krishna is the foundation, sustainer and basis for the entire universe and for all living entities. His name, form, qualities and pastimes are all incomparable, there is nothing equal or greater to His glories, and all living entities take shelter of Him. In this connection however, "srita-kamalakuca-mandala" - Krishna is taking shelter of the breast of Shrimati Radhika. The word Kamala generally means Shrimati Laksmidevi; the goddess of fortune; yet here it does not refer to Laksmidevi but to Shrimati Radhika. Laksmidevi has no relation with Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. Shrimati Radhika carries a lotus in Her hand, and therefore Her name is Kamala. When Shri Krishna is about to go to the forest for cow-grazing, surrounded by His many thousands of cows and friends, Shrimati Radhika and Her sakhis stand some distance away and perform His arcana ø not with paraphernalia but by their loving sidelong glances. At that time, catching the arrow of Shrimati Radhika's glance, Krishna becomes unconscious. Shrila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati Thakura has explained in Shri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi (39): venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam bhrastam ca pita-vasanam vrajaraja-sunoh yasyah kataksa-sara-ghata-vimurcchitasya tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena ["As Krishna was on His way to go cow-herding, Radhika threw a sidelong glance at Him, which pierced Him like an arrow. It went straight into His heart, and at once His vamsi fell from His hands."] Shri Krishna begins to faint due to being shot by the arrow of Shrimati Radhika's glance. At that time, as He begins to fall to the ground, He takes help from Madhumangala to stand up. By remembering Krishna's form, qualities and pastimes all the living entities in the universe can find satisfaction and fulfillment; but how will He find satisfaction and fulfillment? His happiness lies in His remembrance of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Shrimati Radhika. This is the meaning of "srita-kamalakuca-mandala!" "Dhrta-kundala e." Krishna wears kundala, earrings, and the embodiment of His earrings is the glories of Shrimati Radhika. Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Ujjvala-nilamani states, "To increase the beauty of Krishna, may this grantha (scripture) be like an ujjvala-nilamani, a jewel on His shark-shaped earrings." "Kalita-lalita-vanamala." Kalita means very beautiful and astonishing, and it refers to Krishna's garland of forest flowers. That garland is made by Shrimati Radhika from beli, cameli and juhi flowers, and also from tulsi leaves and manjaris, and it extends from His neck down to His feet. This vana-mala is surrounded by hundreds of bees singing Shrimati Radhika's glories, and in this way it is made of Shrimati Radhika's glories. "Dina-mani-mandala-mandana! bhava-khandana! e." The general meaning is that Krishna is the ornament decorating this universe which is beautiful when Krishna is present within it. Bhava-khandana refers to that person, Shri Krishna, who puts an end to material existence, and one's material existence will be terminated by remembering Him. "Dina-mani" means the sun. In the brahma-gayatri it is indicated: I mediate on that personality who is the effulgence of the Supreme Lord, and who is honored by the sun. The sun gives light and life to this world, but it is not the root cause. Just as the moon gives light but that light is reflected from the sun, the light and energy and life of the sun comes from para-sakti Shrimati Radharani. This is explained in the brahma-gayatri mantra by the words bhargo devasya dhimahi. Devasya refers to Bhagavan Shri Krishna and bargo means power. Krishna's supreme power is Shrimati Radhika. Shrimati Radharani is Rasesvari, the controller of rasa-lila. Shri Krishna is not actually the controller (Rasesvara). If He is present with all the gopis in the rasa-lila and Shrimati Radharani is not there, that rasa-lila cannot continue. "Dina-mani-mandala" also means that Lord Krishna is the dina-mani; the jewel in the rasa-mandala. When Shrimati Radharani leaves rasa-lila Krishna feels separation. Here bhava-khandana does not mean that Krishna breaks material existence, but rather that His own separation is only broken by the association of Shrimati Radharani. "Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa" the general meaning is that Krishna is a hamsa, swan, who plays upon the cool lake of the hearts of the munis who meditate on Him. "Jaya jaya deva hare" - all glories many times over to that Krishna. The deep meaning is that muni refers to Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami because the pastimes of Shrimati Radhika breaking the separation of Shri Krishna appeared in his heart. Krishna is like a swan in the heart of the munis, but Shrimati Radhika is more prominently in their hearts. When Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami spoke Shrimad-Bhagavatam he established the subject matter with verses glorifying Shrimati Radhika, and this is the evidence that the ultimate subject matter of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the glory of Shrimati Radhika. Krishna Himself states there: na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhana ["O gopis, 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)] Muni also refers to Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami himself, and also to the four Kumaras, because they always keep the asta-kaliya-lila of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna in the core of their hearts. It also refers to Lord Sankaraji because he as well is absorbed in the asta-kaliya-lila of Shrimati Radhika. Therefore, "jaya jaya deva! hare" - all glories to the istadevi, worshipful deity of Shri Jayadeva Gosvami, Shrimati Radharani. sri-jayadeva-kaver idam kurute mudam mangalam-ujjvala-gitam jay jaya deva! hare (verse 9) Shri Jayadeva Gosvami completed his song with the words, "mangalam-ujjvala-gitam. Is this said for Shri Krishna or for someone else? This is only said for Shrimati Radharani. This song is actually unnata-ujjvala gitam; unnata-ujjvala is the loving mood of Shrimati Radharani in paramour love. Unnata-ujjvala-rasa applies to Shrimati Radharani, not to Lord Krishna. Krishna tastes this rasa, He is its object, but its origin and reservoir is Shrimati Radharani. Therefore, in his conclusion, Shrila Jayadeva Gosvamis is again offering pranama to his worshipful deity, Shrimati Radhika. Krishna does not have the unnata-ujjvala mood; only Radhika has it, and for this mood He performed many austerities and took His birth as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Unnata-ujjvala-gitam is therefore the kirtana of the glories and mood of Shrimati Radhika, the worshipful deity of Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami. [The assembled devotees then chanted Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja and Shri Nanda-Nandanashtakam, after which Shrila Maharajaji again revealed more meanings.] ananti-koti-visnu-loka-namra-padmajarcite himadrija-pulomaja-virincaja-vara-prade apara-siddhi-rddhi-digdha-sat-padanguli-nakhe kada karisyasiha mama krpa-kataksa-bhajanam? "You are worshiped by Shri Lakmi, the goddess of unlimited millions of Vaikuntha planets. Shri Parvati, Indrani (Indra's wife) and Sarasvati all worship and attain benedictions from You. Meditation on even one of Your toenails grants an infinite variety of perfections ø O Shrimati Radhike, when, oh when will You bestow upon me Your merciful sidelong glance?" (Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja verse 11)] makhesvari! kriyesvari svadhesvari suresvari triveda-bharatisvari pramana-sasanesvari ramesvari! ksamesvari pramoda-kananesvari vrajesvari vrajadhipe sri radhike namo 'stu te "You are the mistress of all kinds of sacrifices (especially of the topmost yugala-milana-yajna); of all actions (since You are the root of all potencies - mula-sakti-tattva); of the mantras uttered at yajnas and of the sacrificial offering presented to the demigods; of all the demigods; of the words of the three Vedas; of the enforcement of all scriptural principles; of Shri Rama-devi (the goddess of fortune); of Shri Ksama-devi (the goddess of forgiveness); and especially of the delightful kunjas in Vrndavana. When will You mercifully make me Your dasi and grant me the qualification to render service in Your amorous pastimes with the prince of Vraja? O Shrimati Radhika, owner and maintainer of Vraja! I offer pranama unto You time and again. Shrimati Radhika is worshiped in countless universes by all great personalities, such as Himadrija, who is born of the Himalaya Mountain and is therefore Parvati devi, Pulomaja,who is Sacidevi, the wife of King Indra, and Virincaja, who is Sarasvati or Gayatri, the wife of Lord Brahma. Shrimati Radhika is worshippable for all of them, and therefore, leaving behind the worship of all others, one should worship Shrimati Radhika. "Apara-siddhi-rddhi-digdha-sat-padanguli-nakhe." All potencies and all types of perfection emanate from the effulgence or rays of just one toe-nail of Shrimati Radhika. As explained earlier, in this kirtanas She is called "Ramesvari! Ksamesvari Pramoda-kananesvari." She is Rasesvari, the controller of rasa-lila. Shri Krishna is the son of the King of Vraja, Shrimati Radhika controls Him by Her love and she is therefore also addressed herein as Vrajadhipe. vrajangana-sunayakam sada sukha-pradayakam jagan-manah pralobhanam namami nanda-nandanam (Shri Nanda-Nandanashtakam verse 8) [I offer pranama to Shri Nanda-nandana, who as the lover of the Vraja gopis perpetually delights them and who enchants the minds of all living entities.] "Vrajangana" means the angina, gopis, of Vrndavana, and among them Shrimati Radhika is most prominent. "Sunayakam" means that Shri Krishna, in His form of dhira-lalita-nayaka, is under the control of Shrimati Radhika. "Sada sukha-pradayakam." The general meaning is that Lord Krishna gives happiness to everyone, and the special meaning is that Shrimati Radhika gives happiness to Him. "Jagan-manah pralobhanam." Shri Krishna awakens greed for prema-bhakti within the hearts of everyone. Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja is sung to give Him happiness, and singing Shri Nanda-Nadanastakam is sung to give happiness to Shri Radha.By singing the glories of Krishna one can attain the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani and by singing Her glories one can attain His lotus feet. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura writes: krsna-nama gane bhai, radhika-carana pai radha-nama gane krsnacandra ["O brother, by chanting Krishna's name you will attain Shri Radha, and by chanting Shri Radha's name you will attain Krishnacandra." (Shri-Radha-Nistha verse 4)] Still, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays, radha-paksa chadi, je-jana se-jana, je bhave se-bhave thake ami to' Radhika-paksa-pati sada, kabhu nahi heri ta'ke ["I am always in Shrimati Radhika's entourage and never look upon the faces of those who are against Her, no matter who they are or what their mood is." (Vrsabhanu-Suta verse 4)] This consideration is called rupanaga-vicara, the deliberation of the conception of those who perform bhajana in the footsteps of Shri Rupa Manjari: "I always take the side of Shrimati Radharani." We discussed on Shri Janmastami Day that Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami concluded his song by praying, "May that Shrimati Radharani, the embodiment of unnata-ujjvala-rasa, bestow Her mercy and bring about auspiciousness to all living entities." Similarly, on this day of Shri Radhastami, I pray that Shrimati Radhika will bring about auspiciousness to all of you.
  8. A108-AI

    The Glory of Shri Radha

    Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha: August 27, 2009, evening [In 2007, in honor of Shri Radhastami, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj gave two discourses on the glories of Shrimati Radhika; one on the eve of Radhastami and one on the following morning. Shrila Maharaj spoke in his mother tongue, Hindi, and his words were simultaneously translated by Akhilesh dasa Adhikari into the headphones of the English speaking devotees in the audience. This is his discourse of Radhastami eve. ] Shri Krishna was present at VamShivata, the place of the rasa dance, but He was not happy. He wanted to perform loving pastimes but He was all alone. Shrimati Radharani then appeared from His left side, and Sankara (Shiva), Shri Gopishvara, appeared from His right side as guru-tattva. Radha ran to Krishna with great pleasure. Ra is for anuragi, meaning ‘deep spiritual loving attachment,' and dha is for dhavati, which means ‘to run very fast, with great eagerness.' Krishna worshiped that very Radha, and therefore Her name became Radhika. When Krishna first appeared in Gokula, Narada came for His darsana and thought, "Krishna never appears alone; His hladini-sakti must also have been born." In the meantime, Vrishabhanu Maharaj was staying in Raval, where he daily took bath in the river Yamuna. One day, fifteen days after the birth of Lord Krishna, just after taking his bath, Vrishabhanu Maharaj saw a thousand-petaled lotus flower in the Jamuna. In the middle of that lotus flower was a beautiful baby girl sucking Her thumb and moving Her hands and legs. Seeing Her, he immediately picked Her up, took Her in his arms, brought Her to his wife Kirtika, and placed Her on Kirtika's lap. Not many people know Radhika as the daughter of Kirtika-devi; they mostly know Her as the dear daughter of Vrishabhanu Maharaj. Just after the appearance of that baby girl, Narada went to Vrishabhanu Maharaj's home and inquired from him, "Has there been any child born of you?" Vrishabhanu Maharaj replied, "Yes, a son called Shridama." Narada then blessed Shridama and asked, "Has there been any child born more recently?" Vrishabhanu Maharaj replied, "Yes, a few days ago a daughter was born; I was blessed with a daughter." Narada asked Vrishabhanu Maharaj, "May I see your daughter? I want to do Her chart and bless Her. I will describe Her future qualities. Please gather candana, Yamuna water, and other paraphernalia so that I can perform a ceremony to bless Her." Vrishabhanu Maharaj then went inside the house and Narada entered a trance of meditation. While he was meditating, that baby girl manifested an exquisite youthful form. Lalita and Visakha were also present, and Lalita told him, "Why are you continuing to meditate; stand up and offer your obeisances." Narada then received a one-moment darsana of Radhika, but because his thirst to see Her was not quenched, he went to Narada-kunda and performed austerities for thousands of years, without eating, and continually chanting Radha mantra-japa. At that time Radharani appeared to Him, gave him Her service, and he became Naradiya gopi. We know these details from sastra. Shrimad-Bhagavatam states, "Ete camsa-kalah pumsah Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam – Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead." Although Shri Krishna is the supreme worshipful Lord of all, He Himself worships Shri Radha. The aim of the author, Shrila Vyasadeva, in manifesting Shrimad-Bhagavatam was to describe Shri Krishna's pastimes with Shrimati Radhika and to establish Her glories. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura say that rasa-lila, the most exalted pastime in Shrimad-Bhagavatam, was performed for the sake of Shrimati Radhika. Krishna personally told Her, "It is for You that I reside in Vraja." sata-koti gopi madhava-man rakhite narilo kori jatan (verse 11 of Varaja-vipine) ["Millions of cowherd damsels are unable to please the mind of Madhava although endeavoring to do so." "The flute song calls the name of Radhika – ‘Come here, come here, Radhe!' Syama calls out in the night. (verse 12) "When the Shri-rasa-mandala comes to a halt in search of Beloved Radha He then goes. (verse 13) "Please appear, O Radhe! Kindly save My life!" calling out while weeping Kan in the forest. (verse 14) "In a secluded grove embracing Radhika regaining His life and soul, Hari is relieved. (verse 15) "Saying, ‘Without You, where is the rasa dance? Only because of You do I live in Vraja." (verse 16) "At the lotus feet of such a Radhika this Bhaktivinoda says weeping, (verse 17) "'Among Your personal associates please count me also; making me Your maidservant keep me as Your own.'" (verse 18)] Even though millions of gopis were also present in the arena of rasa, they could not attract Krishna's mind when Radhika disappeared from rasa-lila. Radharani first disappeared from the rasa-lila, in maan; Krishna did not disappear from there alone. He left the rasa dance to search for Her. Very worried and crying, "Radhe Radhe," He finally found Her. The other gopis, who had left the rasa dance to search for Krishna, now saw two sets of footprints. One set was Krishna's footprints, and the other, smaller and more delicate set belonged to a lady. Lalita and Visakha and the other gopis of Shri Radha's party, who had been searching both Radha and Krishna, knew that this second set of footprints belonged to Shrimati Radhika. Very pleased, they thought, "Oh, Krishna is not alone; He has taken our prana-priya (dearmost) sakhi with Him. At the same time, however, they were sad, thinking, "We can't serve Her now, because we are not with Her." The other gopis, those who are not in Radha's party, uttered this verse: anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarah yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah ["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)] "Oh, this girl who is with Krishna is so fortunate. Krishna has taken Her and has thus broken our pride (saubhagya-mada)." They understood that this girl was superior to them: "She had surely served Narayana and pleased Him, and due to Narayana's blessing upon Her, Krishna took Her alone." Thus, Radhika is the topmost of all of Krishna's beloveds, and rasa-lila was performed in order to establish Her superiority. It was performed for Her pleasure. After all the gopis sang their song of separation, Krishna appeared to them and uttered this verse: na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vaù 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)] "Oh gopis, for My sake you left your shyness, the instructions of your superiors, and your lives as householders, which were meant to keep you bound. By your saintly nature, may you free Me from My debt." One of the ways in which Radhika pleases Krishna is by entering into the loving stage called maan, Her sulky mood of affectionate jealous anger towards Him. Sometimes Her maan has no external cause, and sometimes it has a cause. The vipaksa (rival) gopis headed by Candravali criticize Radharani by saying, "She doesn't feel ashamed or shy to do maan? I don't want to see Her face." On the other hand, Radhika criticizes Candravali, "Candravali knows nothing about pleasing a beloved. She doesn't know how to do maan." Candravali's affection for Krishna is grta-sneha, very smooth. Radhika's affection is madhu-sneha, like madhu, honey, which is smooth and also sweet. Candravali's affection is compared with ghee, which needs sugar to become sweet, but madhu is sweet on its own. The stages of Radhika's love are adiruddha, mohan and madan mahabhava. These stages of love are so elevated that Krishna Himself cannot experience them. Therefore, in order relish them, Krishna appears in Shri Navadvipa dhama, along with His associates, in the form of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. For this same purpose, Mahaprabhu went to see Shri Raya Ramananda at Godavari and asked him many questions. In Shri Krishna's pastimes, Raya Ramananda is Visakha-devi, Radharani's gopi friend, who understands all of Radharani's moods. This very same Visakha, in the form of Raya Ramananda, trained Mahaprabhu in realizing these moods. After their meeting, Mahaprabhu told him, "I am so pleased; this is why I came. My desires are now fulfilled. Please come to Jagannatha Puri and help Me there." Tomorrow morning we will sing the glories of Radha and perform abhiseka (Her bathing ceremony). We will also offer puspanjali (the flowers of our hearts) by describing Her glories in detail. Then we will go out with nagara sankirtana to householder devotees' homes to collect gifts for Shrimati Radhika, as we do every year. Then we will return to the Matha, with kirtana, and bring all the presents to the altar. Then we will all sit together and participate in kirtana in the Matha.