Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Narayana Maharaj'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Articles (English)
  • Articles (Russian)


There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


  • Vaishnava Forum (English)
    • Vaishnava Philosophies and Practices
    • Guru in Vaishnava Traditions
    • Lila-katha, Prayers
    • Science: Approaching to Krishna Consciousness
    • Articles
    • Lacto Vegetarianism, Health
  • Vaishnava Forum (Russian)
    • Vaishnava Philosophies and Practices
    • Guru in Vaishnava Traditions
    • Lila-katha, Prayers
    • Science: Approaching to Krishna Consciousness
    • Articles
    • Lacto Vegetarianism, Health
  • Shrila Purushottam Maharaj's Forum : Форум


  • Lord Shri Jagannath
  • For Kids
    • Cartoons in English
    • Cartoons in Hindi
    • Cartoons in Russian
  • Kirtans by Different Vaishnavas
  • Pilgrimages
  • Shripad Aindra das
  • Shrila Bhakti Pramod Puri Goswami
    • Art of Sadhana
    • Biography
    • Vyasa Puja
    • Darshans
  • Shrila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Goswami
    • Darshans
    • Biography
  • Shrila Bhakti Sarvaswa Govinda Goswami
  • Shrila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Goswami
    • Moscow, 1999
    • Lectures, Darshans
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Goswami
    • 1996
    • 1997
    • 1998
    • 1999
    • 2000
    • 2001
    • 2002
    • 2003
    • 2004
    • 2005
    • 2006
    • 2007
    • 2008
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • Undated
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Trivikram Goswami
  • Shrila Gour Govinda Goswami
  • Shrila Lokanatha Goswami
  • Shri Shri Radha-Raman Deity
  • Shrila Vinod Bihari das babaji
  • Vedic Knowledge
  • Vraj
  • Shrila Purushottam Maharaj's Video : Видео


  • Vaishnava Books
    • All Vaishnava Books
    • Vaishnava Books by Authors
    • Favourite Books
  • Vaishnava Video
    • Vaisnava Bhajans
    • Movies
    • Lectures (Hari-katha)
  • Vaishnava Audio
    • Vaisnava Bhajans
    • Audio Books
    • Lectures (Hari-katha)
  • Vaishnava Soft
  • Russification for the Invision Community
  • Shrila Purushottam Maharaj's Download : Скачать

Product Groups

  • Membership


  • Shrila Vinod Bihari Das babaji
  • Shrila Lokanatha Goswami
  • Shripad Aindra das
  • Bhudev
  • Jagjit Singh
  • Keshavaji Gaudiya Matha
  • Krishna Das
  • Shrila Krishna Das Babaji
  • Shripad Bhakti Vedanta Muni Swami
  • Sudarshan
  • Vakreshvar
  • Shrila Ananta Das Babaji
  • Shri Bhagavan Veda Vyasa
  • Shrila Vrindavan Das Thakur
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur
  • Shrila Sanatana Goswami
  • Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur
  • Shrila Krishna Das Kaviraja Goswami
  • Stories for Children
  • Shrila Bhakti Pragyana Keshava Goswami
  • Shrila Bhakti Promod Puri Goswami
  • Valmiki Muni
  • Shrila Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Sarvasva Govinda Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Swami
  • Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada

Marker Groups

  • Vraja-dhama
  • Vraja-dhama: Radha-kunda and Shyama-kunda
  • Vraja-dhama: Different
  • Vraja-dhama: Varshana
  • Vraja-dhama: Nandgaon
  • Vraja-dhama: Vrindavan
  • Vraja-dhama: Mathura
  • Vraja-dhama: Govardhan
  • Vraja-dhama: Raval
  • Vraja-dhama: Gokul
  • Vraja-dhama: Madhuvana
  • Vraja-dhama: Talavana
  • Vraja-dhama: Kumudavana
  • Vraja-dhama: Bahulavana

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...

Found 1,301 results

  1. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj An Appearance Day Lecture, Badger California, 14 May 2003 Today is the auspicious appearance day of Lord Nrisimhadeva. Who is Nrisimhadeva? He is Krishna Himself - "Kesava dhrta narahari rupa." Krishna Kesava - He is the same Kesava (a name of Krishna meaning that He has fine hair), but not directly. He is none other than Cakra. Krishna's cakra (wheel-shaped weapon) becomes Nrisimhadeva. When there is a temple installation of Cakra, the prayers are offered to Nrisimhadeva. Lord Nrisimhadeva's main mercy is to protect the devotees. The Cakra who saved Ambarisa Maharaja was Nrisimhadeva himself, and the Cakra who killed Sisupala was also Nrisimhadeva; there is no difference between the two. All the paraphernalia (weapons) in the hands of Krishna manifest as His Visnu incarnations; and it can also be said that His incarnations are manifestations of Baladeva Prabhu. If you have any difficulties or problems given by demons or others, and you call Nrisimhadeva, He will come and save you. Vaisnavas therefore have a special consideration regarding Nrisimhadeva. We do not worship many other incarnations, like Vamanadeva or Kurmadeva, or Kalki, but we do worship Nrisimhadeva. Since there will be no cooking in the morning or midday today, I would like all the sannyasis and prominent speakers, one by one, to read continuously from the Shrimad-Bhagavatam Seventh Canto (*See Endnote 1), and to also explain the verses - up to Prahlada Maharaja refusing to accept a material boon from Lord Nrisimhadeva. The readings should include the way in which Prahlada taught all the demon boys and made them maha-bhagavatas. In other words, it should include the chapter in which the verse beginning "guru susrusaya" is included. I would like that all of you attend and hear these readings. There is no need of taking prasadam before dusk, the time of Nrisimhadeva's appearance. Only children and those who are old and sick, or those whose doctors have advised not to fast - they may take something for their maintenance. If Nrisimhadeva sees that you are all fasting and taking so much trouble, He will be pleased. Otherwise, if you joke and make merry, He will neglect you. It is for Nrisimhadeva that you are accepting this austerity, for all of you to attract his mercy. boiling-oil Today we do this austerity, as we do on Ekadasi, Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance day (Gaura Purnima), Rama-navami (the appearance day of Shri Ramacandra), and other holy appearance days like Janmastami and Radhastami. These austerities are not like those performed by the yogis; these are performed to attract Krishna's mercy, so try to follow. I now want to begin our glorification of Lord Nrisimhadeva. Yudhisthira Maharaja once performed a Rajasuya sacrifice. *[See endnote 2] He sent his army, under the guidance of Bhima and Arjuna, to conquer the entire world; but He did not want to kill anyone. He told his leaders that if the kings and princes of the other lands surrender without fighting, they should simply take a tax from them, and those kings and princes who wanted to fight could fight. Bhima and Arjuna traveled everywhere and took taxes from all the kings, and when they returned, a very high class of fire sacrifice was performed. The question arose at the sacrifice as to who would be worshiped first so that the festival would be successful. Sahadeva proposed, "Krishna should be worshiped first, because He is the Lord of Lords, the Supreme Lord, and He is here." Bhisma-pitamaha and others supported this proposal, but Sisupala became very angry. At that time Sisupala was the leader of Duryodhana and all the other demons. He was envious of Krishna and wanted to kill Him. He knew about the foretelling at his birth that Krishna would kill him, so he thought that he should kill Krishna first and be saved. He had previously wanted to marry Rukmini, but clever Krishna had kidnapped her in front of him and all the other princes and kings, defeated them all, and then married her. Krishna is satisfied and complete (purna). He needs nothing in this world and He has nothing to take from anyone. Still, for the enactment of His transcendental pastimes He kidnapped Rukmini and married her, and Sisupala and the others could simply wring their hands. When Krishna was leaving their midst with Rukmini, the other princes and kings had exclaimed, "Alas, this bogus black person, in front of generals like Jarasandha and others, has kidnapped her - and they could not stop Him. He defeated them all and took her away!" Thus, Sisupala wanted to take revenge. Now, at the Rajasuya sacrifice. he looked at Krishna and began to criticize him and call Him ill names. He challenged, "Who is this person?!" Krishna actually has no father or mother, but Sisupala accused Him that, "This person has two fathers, and no-one knows who His real father is. He has no varna (caste) and no one knows where He is from. He is not only a thief, but a lusty person - very lusty. When He sees any lady He becomes attracted; and somehow, by trick, He brings those ladies to Him. Moreover, He is not satisfied with only one lady; He must have thousands and millions of ladies. Not only this, He once climbed on a tree with the garments of the gopis who were taking bath naked, and He told them that they should come before Him one by one to get their clothes. What is this silly thing?! You have no intelligence; you are so mad that you have selected Him to worship first. As long as I am here, I will not allow this!" stones Hearing this, Duryodhana and other demons clapped. Sisupala considered that as long as he was present, he would not let anyone perform their first worship to Krishna. He said that he would fight for this not to happen, and he thus managed to utter his one hundredth offense. When Sisupala's mother had given birth to him, he had four arms. At that time an aerial voice announced that the person who Sisupala would see and two of his arms would disappear, that person would later kill him. All the relatives had come to see this beautiful and strong four-handed child. Out of social custom, Krishna took many ornaments for that boy, and being a representative of His father He came to see His cousin-brother. When He came near Sisupala He wanted to take him in His arms, but Sisupala's two arms at once disappeared. His mother began to weep loudly and said, "Krishna, You are my nephew, so I want to request a boon from You. It has been foretold by an aerial voice that whoever my son sees, thus making his two arms disappear, would later kill him. I pray for You not to kill him - even if he offends You." Krishna replied, "Oh yes, I am giving you this boon. I will kill him only when he abuses Me more than 100 times - otherwise I will not." His mother was very happy and said, "He will never do this. I will train him and teach him good behavior." When Sisupala became older, he learned of this fact. He therefore became angry and continuously abused Krishna. Now, when he had abused Him more than 100 times, Krishna took His Cakra. The Cakra wanted to go very fast - not slowly, as it had moved when it had chased Durvasa. It had been only following behind Durvasa and not killing him. For Sisupala, on the other hand, it sliced off his head at once. A very effulgent light immediately came from Sisupala's body. That light went into the sky and then entered the body of Krishna. Yudhisthira Maharaja wondered why rsis, yogis and maharsis, after thousands of births of chanting mantras like "so 'ham, so 'ham" still could not attain the destination of sayujya-mukti (impersonal liberation). How wonderful it was, then, that this light entered the lotus feet of Krishna. But where did it go? Narayana was present within Krishna's body, because all the incarnations are always in Krishna, the Supreme Lord. Sisupala thus returned to Narayana in Vaikuntha and became His doorkeeper Jaya, but this was not seen externally. The entire world is in the stomach of Krishna. Narayana and other incarnations can also easily fit there, but still His stomach can be empty and He can feel hungry. Yudhisthira Maharaja was not an ordinary person. Bhima was very strong and powerful, and Arjuna was also. However, when we consider who was stronger -Yudhisthira, Bhima or Arjuna - we find that where Arjuna and Bhima were not successful, Yudhisthira Maharaja was successful by his mere glance. Bhima was once wrapped up by the body of a snake, and that snake would not release him. Yudhisthira then came, simply glanced at that serpent, and it left at once. So do not think that Bhima and Arjuna are more powerful than Yudhisthira. Arjuna's bhakti is superior to the others', but dharma was especially present in Yudhisthira Maharaja. That is why he was called Dharmaraja, and that is why he was so powerful. When Yudhisthira Maharaja saw Sisupala's soul enter Krishna's body, he began to think, "How wonderful! Even a yogi, rsi or muni does not receive this kind of mercy from Krishna." He then asked Narada Rsi, "You know everything and you can remove all my doubts. So please explain this: Krishna has no fear of anyone and He does not want anything from anyone. He is purnatama (complete), atmarama (always happy internally) and aptakama (satisfied and equal to all). So why does He take the side of devotees and demigods? And why does He defeat or kill demons? I want to know why." Narada replied that the cause of all this is kala (Time) - the results of past activities. Sometimes, like during Satya-yuga, (the Age of goodness), the demigods and others like them become prominent. In Kali Yuga, on the other hand, the demons are more powerful. It seems that Krishna helps certain personalities, but actually the events of this world are controlled by Time. Krishna is equal to all, and everything here is thus due to kala. You should not be angry or criticize anyone. If you are in distress or disturbed by many problems, it is due to you, yourself: tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak ["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." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8)] Eva atma krtam. What one has done in the past is now coming back to him. If one is a pure bhakta and the results of all his past activities are finished, why would problems come to him? His so-called problems are due to the mercy of Krishna. Problems are not coming; Krishna is sending them. The Pandavas were praying for great calamity so that Krishna would be with them. Krishna gave them great distress - as he gave to Draupadi when Dusasana tried to remove her clothes - and He did the same to Prahlada Maharaja. He gave Prahlada so many troubles. Why? He considered, "The entire world should know that My devotees are exalted; they do not care about saving themselves, so I must save them." You can know all these truths by reading Shrimad-Bhagavatam. where-is-your-god You should read Shrimad-Bhagavatam Seventh Canto until 6:00 p.m., at which time I will return, and then we will perform abhiseka (the bathing ceremony) of Nrisimhadeva. Some flowers should also be here for offering. We will observe today as we do Ekadasi, and we can break our fast after Nrisimhadeva's birth (dusk). If anyone wants to break his fasting before that time, he may take only fruits and vegetables. If anyone wants to fast until tomorrow morning, he can do so very easily. Then, tomorrow we will worship Nrisimhadeva, and after that we will take prasada. Now, bring Seventh Canto and begin. Gaura Premanande. [*Endnote 1 (from Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.8 Summary by Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada): Hiranyakashipu was ready to kill his own son Prahlada Maharaja , but the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared in front of the demon as Shri Nrkesari, half lion and half man, and killed him. Following the instructions of Prahlada Maharaja, all the sons of the demons became attached to Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When this attachment became pronounced, their teachers, Sanda and Amarka, were very much afraid that the boys would become more and more devoted to the Lord. In a helpless condition, they approached Hiranyakashipu and described in detail the effect of Prahlada's preaching. After hearing of this, Hiranyakashipu decided to kill his son Prahlada. Hiranyakashipu was so angry that Prahlada Maharaja fell down at his feet and said many things just to pacify him, but he was unsuccessful in satisfying his demoniac father. Hiranyakashipu, as a typical demon, began to advertise himself as being greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Prahlada Maharaja challenged him, saying that Hiranyakashipu was not God, and began to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead, declaring that the Lord is all-pervading, that everything is under Him, and that no one is equal to or greater than Him. Thus he requested his father to be submissive to the omnipotent Supreme Lord. Prahlada tells father about devotion The more Prahlada Maharaja glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the more angry and agitated the demon became. Hiranyakashipu asked his Vaisnava son whether his God existed within the columns of the palace, and Prahlada Maharaja immediately accepted that since the Lord is present everywhere, He was also present within the columns. When Hiranyakashipu heard this philosophy from his young son, he derided the boy's statement as just the talk of a child and forcefully struck the pillar with his fist. As soon as Hiranyakashipu struck the column, there issued forth a tumultuous sound. At first Hiranyakashipu, the King of the demons, could not see anything but the pillar, but to substantiate Prahlada's statements, the Lord came out of the pillar in His wonderful incarnation as Narasimha, half lion and half man. Hiranyakashipu could immediately understand that the extraordinarily wonderful form of the Lord was surely meant for his death, and thus he prepared to fight with the form of half lion and half man. The Lord performed His pastimes by fighting with the demon for some time, and in the evening, on the border between day and night, the Lord captured the demon, threw him on His lap, and killed him by piercing his abdomen with His nails. The Lord not only killed Hiranyakashipu, the King of the demons, but also killed many of his followers. When there was no one else to fight, the Lord, roaring with anger, sat down on Hiranyakashipu's throne. The entire universe was thus relieved of the rule of Hiranyakashipu, and everyone was jubilant in transcendental bliss. Then all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, approached the Lord. These included the great saintly persons, the Pitas, the Siddhas, the Vidyadharas, the Nagas, the Manus, the prajapatis, the Gandharvas, the Caranas, the Yaksas, the Kimpurusas, the Vaitalikas, the Kinnaras and also many other varieties of beings in human form. All of them stood not far from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and began offering their prayers unto the Lord, whose spiritual effulgence was brilliant as He sat on the throne. Endnote 2 - "After gaining victory in the Battle of Kuruksetra, Maharaja Yudhisthira, the Emperor of the world, performed the Rajasuya sacrificial ceremony. The emperor in those days, upon his ascendance to the throne, would send a challenge horse all over the world to declare his supremacy, and any ruling prince or king was at liberty to accept the challenge and express his tacit willingness either to obey or to disobey the supremacy of the particular emperor. One who accepted the challenge had to fight with the emperor and establish his own supremacy by victory. The defeated challenger would have to sacrifice his life, making a place for another king or ruler. So Maharaja Yudhisthira also dispatched such challenging horses all over the world, and every ruling prince and king all over the world accepted Maharaja Yudhisthira's leadership as the Emperor of the world."]
  2. The Appearance Day of Gadadhara Pandit 05 May 2008, Alachua, Florida Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj Gadadhara Pandit asked Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "Is there any mahabhagavata in Navadvipa? I want to meet him." Mahaprabhu told Mukunda, "You should take him to Pundarika Vidyanidhi." Mukunda took him there. He saw Pundarika Vidyanidhi’s luxurious life, like that of a king, and he lost his faith. When he returned, Mahaprabhu asked him, "Have you seen that mahabhagavata?" Gadadhara Pandit replied, "I could not see him as a mahabhagavata." Mahaprabhu then told Mukunda, "You should read a poem from Shrimad-Bhagavatam to Pundarika Vidyanidhi." Thus, Mahaprabhu again sent Gadadhara Pandit and Mukunda to Pundarika Vidyanidhi. At that time, Pundarika Vidyanidhi was lying on his bed. His hair was oiled. He was wearing expensive clothing and perfume. A king’s spittoon and hookah (water pipe) stood by his bed. Mukunda dasa recited this sloka: aho baki yam stana-kala-kutam jighamsayapayayad apy asadhvi lebhe gatim dhatry-ucitam tato ’nyam kam va dayalum saranam vrajema (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 3.2.23) ["How astonishing! When Putana, wicked sister of Bakasura, tried to kill child Krishna by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Krishna?"] Hearing this sloka, Pundarika Vidyanidhi fell down from the bed. He began to roll around and became senseless, absorbed in Krishna. His hair became scattered and his decorations fell off. Gadadhara Pandit thought, "Really, Mahaprabhu has sent me to a mahahagavata." He fell flat at the lotus feet of Pundarika Vidyanidhi, and then he returned to Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu asked, "Have you met a high-class mahabhagavata?" Gadadhara Pandit replied, "When I first met him, I had doubts, seeing his luxurious paraphanelia. But now, my doubt has gone. I have committed some offense at the lotus feet of a mahabhagavata. What atonement can I perform? Mahaprabhu told him, "Go and take mantra-diksa from him." Gadadhara Pandit went there and took diksa – the gopala-mantra – from Pundarika Vidyanidhi. Gadadhara Pandit was a friend of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from childhood. When they became older, they used to study with Gangadasa Pandit. Gadadhara Pandit, Murari Gupta, and so many others like Jagadananda were classmates. At that time, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to speak from the philosophy of nyaya (logic), and the others, especially Gadadhara Pandit, would be bewildered. When Mahaprabhu would go anywhere, and Gadadhara Pandit would see Him in the lanes of the street, Gadadhara Pandit would think, "Oh, Nimai Pandit is coming," and he would go to the other side of the street to avoid Him. But again, Mahaprabhu would approach him. After they finished their studies, Nimait Pandit went to Gaya. When He returned from there, He became bhavuka (spiritually emotional) Nimai. At that time He told His students in the Sanskrit school, "Now I cannot teach you. Better you bind up the books. Let us start kirtana. He then began kirtana, and Gadadhara Pandit joined also from that time. Who is Gadadhara Pandit? He is Shrimati Radha Thakurani. Why did he come? To help Mahaprabhu enjoy Radhika’s three moods. From time to time he used to help Mahaprabhu experience these moods. When Nityananda Prabhu went to the house of Nandana Acharya in Navadvipa, Gadadhara went with Mahaprabhu, Shrivasa Pandit, Mukunda, and so many others. They went to where Nityananda was in Nandana Acharya Bhavan. When Mahaprabhu and Nityananda met together and saw each other, they became overwhelmed and embraced each other, and both became unconscious. At that time, Gadadhara Pandit sang: barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair vrndaranyam sva-pada ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5) [(Within their hearts, the damsels of Vraja began to see that) Śri Kṛṣna entered the charming forest of Vṛndavana accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends. A peacock feather decorated the top of His head and yellow karnikara (oleander) flowers were resting on top of His ears. He wore a golden yellow garment on His body, and a beautiful, fragrant garland strung from five kinds of forest flowers circled His neck and hung down to His knees. Śri Kṛṣna appeared like the best of dancers performing a supremely captivating drama upon a stage. He filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips as the cowherd boys followed behind Him singing His glories, which purify the entire world. In this way, the forest of Vṛndavana, which is more charming than the divine realm of Vaikunṭḥa, has become even more splendid from the impressions of His adorable lotus feet, which are marked with all the auspicious symbols like the conch and disc.] Hearing this, Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu were overjoyed and began to dance. In this way, Gadadhara Pandit used to help. He would also look after Sachinandana Gaurahai to see if He is was playing the part of Radhika properly or not. He was always watching Mahaprabhu, and seeing if He was correct or not. If He was not correct, then at once he would correct Him. When Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya and came to Shrivas Pandit’s house, from behind a curtain Gadadhara Pandit uttered the same sloka. Hearing Gadadhara Pandit, Mahaprabhu understood how to increase His mood. In this way, when Mahaprabhu wanted to take sannyasa, He told only five persons, "I want to take sannyasa. Today I will give up my home, mother, wife, and everything." He told this to Nityananda Prabhu, Gadadhara Pandit, Mukunda, Candrasekara Acharya, and Jagadananda, and His mother knew about this from them. When Mahaprabhu reached Katwa to take sannyasa, these five also reached there. Candrasekara bore all the expenses of that tridandi sannyasa mahotsava ceremony. He was the husband of Sachimata’s sister, so he in age he was so much elder. He was very near and dear to Mahaprabhu. In that ceremony, when the barber wanted to shave Mahaprabhu’s head, Gadadhara Pandit began to weep. From there, Mahaprabhu wanted to go to Vrndavana, but Nityananda Prabhu was very tricky. He told a cowherd boy that when Nimai Pandit comes and asks for the way to Vrndavana, he should tell Him that it is very near here – that the Yamuna is here. Then, Nityananda would take Him to Advaita Acharya. Mahaprabhu thought He was going to Vrndavana. He was in bhava-avesa (lost in ecstasy) singing: kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! he! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! he! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! rakṣa mam! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! kṛṣṇa! pahi mam! rama! raghava! rama! raghava! rama! raghava! rakṣa mam! kṛṣṇa! keśava! kṛṣṇa! keśava kṛṣṇa! keśava! pahi mam! "O Krishna, where are You? Without You, My heart is broken." In this way. Mahaprabhu was going. When He saw some cowherd boys grazing cows, He asked them, "In which way should I go to Vrndavana?" They replied, "You have come very near to Vrndavana. The Yamuna is flowing here. When He went to ‘Yamuna’ to bathe, He saw Advaita Acharya with a boat. He thought, "Oh, this is Santipura; where is Vrndavana? This is the Ganges, not Yamuna." Then Nityananda said, "Prabhu, this is really Vrndavana. The Yamuna River is on the west side and the Ganges River is on the east side. So don’t be worried." Advaita Acharya Prabhu approached and requested, "Please come to my house." Nityananda Prabhu and others then went there, but on the way Nityananda went to Sachi Maiya in Mayapura and said, "Nimai Pandit has come to Santipura after taking sannyasa. I have brought Him here only for you." Hearing this, the whole of Navadvipa, many hundreds of thousands of persons arrived in Santipura in many ways – some by swimming, some by making boats of banana leaves, and somehow they all crossed the Ganges and went to the house of Advaita Acharya. Gadadhara Pandit was also there. Sachi Maiya said, "Advaita Acharya Prabhu, as long as my son is here, please allow me to cook and feed Him." Mahaprabhu told her, "I am very foolish. I have done wrong. You are old, father left this world, and I took sannyasa, so there is no one to look after you. If you order me, I will give up sannyasa and go back to householder life." Sachi Maiya was very religious-minded, and she replied, "I don’t want that. Somehow, You have taken the sannyasa order, so I cannot tell You to give it up. One thing I will tell You – Do not go far away to Vrndavana. Go to Jagannatha Puri. Many persons will go there and I will hear about You, and sometimes You can come here." Shripad Madhava Maharaja: You previously told us that if Mahaprabhu would go to Vrndavana, due to the greatness of its influence, He would forget His mood as Radhika and return to His self-identification as Krishna. Then He would not be able to fulfill His three desires, for which He came to this world: [ - to understand the greatness of Radha’s love which makes Him mad, 2 - what is it about Him that She alone relishes to the highest extent, and 3 - he exaltation of Her happiness in their loving relationship which is thousands of times greater than His] He therefore He inspired Yogamaya to speak through Sachi-mata. "O, my mother ordered me to remain in Puri. So what can I do?" Then He could say to the world, he will manifest Himself as Krishna." Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Gadadhara Pandit went to Puri with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. . Mahaprabhu began to live in the Gambhira, and Gadadhara Pandit in Tota Gopinatha. What is the meaning of Tota Gopinatha? Tota means garden (in Oriyan language) – garden of Gopinatha. So many trees and beautiful scenery are there. And Cataka Parvata is there. Mahaprabhu used to see these ? know Govardhana Many banyan trees (vatsa) as Mahaprabhu used to think that this was Vamsi-vata. So nearby, in Tota Gopinatha, Gadadhara Pandit used to live. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to go there to hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam from Gadadhara Pandit. Gadadhara Pandit was a very, very sweet Shrimad-Bhagavatam speaker who could recite in such sweet language and melody that all were attracted. So, Mahaprabhu used to go to hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam from his mouth. One day Mahaprabhu told him, "I want to give you a very, very precious gift. Do you want to take it?" Gadadhara Pandit replied, "Yes, certainly I want to take it." Mahaprabhu said, "Dig for it in this place." When Gadadhara Pandit was digging in the sand, he saw the beautiful form of Gopinatha there; the Deity of Gopinatha came out. Mahaprabhu said, "Take this Deity and worship Him here." Then Gadadhara Pandit made a hut and kept Gopinatha there. In India we see so many deities of Krishna, but all are standing. Only Gopinatha is sitting. If you see Him with a dress, you will think that He is standing, but if you take away some of the cloth, then you will see that He is sitting. He was very tall and He was actually previously standing. After Mahaprabhu left the world, He could no longer reach up to give Him a garland, so from then, Gopinatha sat down to accept the garland from Gadadhara Pandit. One day Nityananda Prabhu came from Bengal. He brought many cloths and also some nice fragrant rice, and gave them to Radha Gopinatha. He told Gadadhara Pandit, "Please cook this rice along with some tamarind leaves and also spinach from the garden." Gadadhara Pandit picked up some spinach and brought tamarind leaves and made a very beautiful, tasteful sweet and sour preparation. He offered it to Gopinatha and gave it to Nityananda Prabhu, and said, "We will take prasada." Just before they began to honor that prasada, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu arrived and said, "Oh, you have so much love and affection for only Nityananda and not for Me? How tasteful are these things you are giving to Nityananda and not to Me." They divided the prasada into three parts – one dish for Nityananda Prabhu, one dish for Mahaprabhu, and one dish for Gadadhara Pandit. Then they very happily took that mahaprasada. One day, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came and was hearing Bhagavata. Hearing Bhagavata, He became mad after Krishna. So many ecstatic symptoms manifested in His body. He ran in the temple of Gopinatha, but He did not return from there. Gadadhara Pandit searched for Him: "Where has Mahaprabhu gone? Where has Mahaprabhu gone?" But Mahaprabhu had merged into Gopinatha, and now Gadadhara Pandit felt so much separation from Him. After one year Shrinivasa Acharya came from Bengal. He heard that Mahaprabhu had disappeared. Somehow He used to come to take darsana of Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, and Gadadhara Pandit. But when he reached Jagannatha Puri he heard that Svarupa Damodara had also left this world, and Gadadhara Prabhu also. Then he began to weep and returned to Navadvipa, and from Navadvipa he went to Vrndavana, to the school of Jiva Gosvami. Gaura Premanande! Question: Why is this verse "aho bhaki yam" so special. Vyasadeva called to Sukadeva Gosvami with this verse, and Pundarika Vidyanidhi became maddened. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Even though Putana was taking blood from newborn babies and she went to kill Krishna, He gave her the form of a mother [nursemaid]. So, how merciful Krishna is. No one sloka glorifies the mercy of Krishna and therefore it can be merciful like Him. We must therefore take shelter of? We must take the shelter of merciful Krishna. This is important. For glorifying the beauty of Krishna, these slokas are uttered: barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair vrndaranyam sva-pada ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih [(Within their hearts, the damsels of Vraja began to see that) Śri Kṛṣna entered the charming forest of Vṛndavana accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends. A peacock feather decorated the top of His head and yellow karnikara (oleander) flowers were resting on top of His ears. He wore a golden yellow garment on His body, and a beautiful, fragrant garland strung from five kinds of forest flowers circled His neck and hung down to His knees. Śri Kṛṣna appeared like the best of dancers performing a supremely captivating drama upon a stage. He filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips as the cowherd boys followed behind Him singing His glories, which purify the entire world. In this way, the forest of Vṛndavana, which is more charming than the divine realm of Vaikunṭḥa, has become even more splendid from the impressions of His adorable lotus feet, which are marked with all the auspicious symbols like the conch and disc.] (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.5) This is Brahma’s prayer: naumiḍya te ’bhra-vapuṣe taḍid-ambaraya gunjavtamsa-paripiccha-lasan-mukhaya vanya-sraje kavala-vetra-viṣana-venu- lakṣma-sriye mṛdu-pade pasupangajaya Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.1) ["O Prince of Vraja, You are worshipable for the whole world. O Nava-Ghanaśyama, Your yellow upper garment beautifies Your dark, fresh raincloud-colored limbs like a steady streak of lightning. Your ears are decorated with ornaments made of guñja berries, and Your head with a crown of peacock feathers. A garland of forest flowers and leaves adorns Your neck, a morsel of rice mixed with yogurt is in Your hand, Your eyes are shaped like lotus petals, and Your appearance with Your flute and buffalo horn is exquisitely beautiful. Your lotus feet, which are the shelter of Lakṣmi-devi, are very soft and full of affection for Your devotees. You are always moving here and there in Vṛndavana forest with Your soft lotus feet to enjoy Your pleasure pastimes. All glories unto You, son of Nanda Maharaja, who tend the cows. Please accept my obeisances."] The Yajnapatnis saw the beauty of Krishna and uttered this sloka: syamam hiranya-paridhim vanamalya-barha dhatu-pravala-nata-vesam anuvratamse vinyasta-hastam itarena dhunanam abjam karnotpalalaka-kapola-mukhabja-hasam ["He is dark-complexioned like a fresh raincloud, and His yellow cloth, which defeats the splendour of gold, shimmers against His body. His head is decorated with a peacock feather, and every part of His body is ornamented with designs that are drawn with various coloured minerals. Sprigs of new leaves adorn His body, and around His neck is an enchanting forest-flower garland of five colours. Dressed in this way, He appears as a fresh, youthful, expert dancer. He rests one hand upon His sakha’s shoulder and with the other He twirls a pastime lotus. His ears are decorated with earrings (kunḍalas), curly locks of hair splash against His cheeks, and His lotus face blossoms with a gentle smile." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 10.23.22)] Lord Brahma has also told about the beauty of Krishna in Brahma-samhita (verse 31): alola-candraka-lasad-vanamalya-vamsi- ratnangadam pranaya-keli-kala-vilasam syamam tri-bhaṅga-lalitam niyata-prakasam govindam adi-puruṣam tam aham bhajami ["I worship the original personality, Śri Govinda, around whose neck a garland of forest flowers and peacock feathers swings gently, whose lotus hands hold a captivating flute, whose arms are decorated with jeweled ornaments, who is always madly absorbed in intimate loving pastimes, and whose eternal natural aspect is His graceful threefold bending Syamasundara form. venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayatakṣam barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam kandarpa-koṭi-kamaniya-viseṣa-sobham govindam adi-puruṣam tam aham bhajami I worship the primeval personality, Shri Govinda, who is absorbed in playing upon His flute, whose long eyes expand and bloom like lotus flowers, whose headdress is adorned with peacock feathers, and whose unique bodily complexion, which resembles the luster of a dark blue raincloud, bewilders the minds of millions of Cupids.
  3. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Navadvipa, March 20, 2008 This class was given during the Navadvipa-dhama parikrama, on the day that devotees went to Lord Rama’s abode on the island of Modadrumadvipa. This class was transcribed from Shripad Damodara Maharaja’s translation of his Bengali discourse, given in Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha on the island of Koladvipa:] By the mercy of Shri Shri Guru and Gauranga, today we completed the fifth and final day of our Shri Navadvipa Mandala Parikrama. Even though there are over 17,000 devotees in attendance, we have had no complaints and all are very happy. Tomorrow is the appearance day of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We will observe a full fast tomorrow, and engage in the unbroken recitation of Shri Caitanya Bhagavata. We will begin here in the temple, in the morning. Even though we may have experienced some minor difficulties and discomforts, when we go home we should tell everyone that parikrama was very wonderful; we had very nice prasadam, and there were no difficulties. Otherwise, others will not come next year. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami MaharajaNo one could have arranged such a vast parikrama – we did not arrange it. Raising our arms in the air, we simply chanted “Jaya Nitai! Jaya Gaura!” Actually, Shriman Mahaprabhu has been personally making all the arrangements. Today, we first went to Jahnudvipa. There in Jahnudvipa we heard the story of how Jahnu Rsi drank the Ganges River, which was brought to the Earth planet by Bhagiratha Rsi. Jahnu Rsi then released the Ganges from his thigh, so Ganga-devi is also known as Jahnavi devi. We then went to Mamagachi, the birthplace of Shri Vrndavana dasa Thakura, who is the Vyasa of the pastimes of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and the nephew of Shrinivasa Acarya. We took mahaprasadam there. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would go to Mamagachi with all of His associates and perform many pastimes there. We then went to the place of bhajana of Shri Saranga Thakura. In his old age, Saranga Thakura was ordered by Mahaprabhu to make disciples, to assist him with his services. He replied that there were no qualified disciples. Mahaprabhu told him that he (Saranga Thakura) can make them qualified. Because of Mahaprabhu’s insistence, he vowed to accept as a disciple the first person he would see the next day. The next morning, when he went to bathe in the Ganges, he saw the dead body of a boy floating in the water. Remembering Mahaprabhu’s order, he brought that dead body to the riverbank and recited the diksa-mantras into his ear. As soon as the mantra entered his ear, the boy returned to life and became his initiated disciple. In Treta Yuga, Lord Ramacandra, Sita devi, and Laksmana went to Mamagachi. Under the shade of a large banyan tree, Sita Devi observed that Lord Rama was smiling mildly. She inquired, “O Lord, what is the cause of your amusement?” MamagachiLord Rama replied, “O Devi, this Navadvipa is very dear to Me. In the beginning of the upcoming Kali Yuga, I will come here in the form of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and You, Sita, will come here as Shrimati Visnupriya. I will take sannyasa and go to Jagannath Puri.” Then Sita asked, “O Lord, what is the reason for Your taking sannyasa?” In prema, pure divine love, there is meeting and separation. During meeting there is external meeting, and in that happiness, the devotee forgets everything internal. But during viraha, separation, he or she remembers the pastimes of meeting. Meeting with the Lord is certainly one type of happiness, but separation is another type of happiness. Therefore, sadhakas (practitioners of devotion to Shri Krishna) in this world perform bhajana in the mood of separation by remembering the pastimes of Shri Shri Guru and Gauranga. What is the condition of Shrimati Radhika when Krishna went to Mathura and Dvaraka? The prema of Radhika is not expressed directly; it is not straightforward. It is very crooked, and therefore it binds Shri Krishna. Especially regarding the condition of maan, transcendental jealous anger, Candravali will not directly express displeasure or say anything contrary at that time. But Radhika may say many things, and Krishna becomes controlled by Her type of maan. A river is not very beautiful when it has only a few waves, but the ocean is very attractive because it contains so many astonishing varieties of waves. Similarly, in separation there are many wonderful and astonishing moods felt by both the Lord and His beloved. Moreover, the meeting that occurs after separation is especially relishable. Now Lord Rama told Sita, “O Devi Sita, your father took a vow to marry You to that person who could lift the bow of Lord Siva. Many powerful kings like Ravana came, but they could not lift it. I also came with Laksmana at that time, and that was Our first meeting – in the garden of Janaka Maharaja.” At that time, Lord Rama and Sita exchanged glances and both captured each other’s hearts. Soon after that, when Ramacandra lifted the bow, Sita was beside Herself with happiness. She wanted to put the vijaya mala, the ‘victory garland,’ around the neck of Lord Rama, but she was feeling such ecstasy that She could not move. Her friends had to lift Her arms and place the garland around His neck. Later, unknown to Lord Rama, after He abandoned Sita devi, She gave birth to two sons, Lava and Kush, in the asrama of Shri Valmiki Muni. There in his asrama they learned the sixty-four arts. They once went to the palace of Ramacandra and began to sing the Ramayana that they had learned from Valmiki. There they saw the most astonishing sight: a golden form of their mother. They did not know that their mother was Sita. As they sang the Ramayana in a very sweet voice, everyone began weeping – Rama, Laksmana, and all others. Rama was especially attracted. He called Laksmana and said, “Please go to these boys and ask them, ‘Who is your mother and father?’” Laksmana took a big container of jewels and gold as a donation for them. Laksmana said, “Lord Rama is very pleased with you two boys. Please, we want to know who your mother and father is.” Lava and Kush replied, “Oh, considering that You are a brother of Lord Ramacandra, You are not very intelligent. We are brahmacaris, so why are You asking who is our mother and father? All we know is that our Gurudeva is Shri Valmiki; that is all we know. We also have no need of these jewels and gold and silks. We live in the forest and eat roots, shoots, and fruits; we have no need of these at all. If we need some cloth, we take some bark from the trees.” That day, Lava and Kush returned very late to the asrama of Valmiki. Because they did not know that Lord Rama was their father and that their mother was Sita devi, they said to their mother, “O Mother, today we saw a most astonishing thing. As we sang the Ramayana, and all were vastly attracted, we saw that King Rama had a golden form of a woman who is the exact replica of You.” Hearing this, Sita began to weep. She could understand that although the King has left the Queen, Rama has not left Sita. She wept bitterly. During Her separation from Lord Rama when He was in Ayodhya and She was in the asrama of Valmiki Muni, Sita was absorbed in remembering the happiness of Her first meeting with Him, the happiness She felt upon placing the victory garland around His neck, and so many other pastimes with Him. All these pastimes that took place in meeting, She remembered in separation. When Shri Krishna went to Mathura and then to Dvaraka, Radharani experienced mohan, or mohanakhya-mahabhava, and in divine madness, She chastised a bumblebee. In separation from Krishna, Shrimati Radhika sometimes embraces a tamala tree or the darkness. Therefore, in vipralambha, separation from Krishna, there is great remembrance of the happiness of meeting with Him. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami have said that the happiness of separation dances on the head of any happiness that is experienced in meeting. Sita Rama and Hanuman Lord Rama now told Shrimati Sita-devi, “O Devi, I will come to this Navadvipa. I will take birth from the womb of Mother Saci, and I will take sannyasa and go to Jagannath Puri – and You will stay here in Navadvipa and worship My murti (divine, worshipful statue).” That murti is here in Navadvipa; it is known as Sona Gauranga. Separation is such a wonderful thing. Both the devotee and the Supreme Lord taste the astonishing waves of meeting and separation. Tomorrow is the Janma-utsava (Appearance Day Festival) of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. To respect the Lord, the devotees observe a complete fast until abhiseka (the auspicious bathing ceremony of the Deity), which is at 6 p.m. After Mangala Arati tomorrow, the devotees will begin continuous reading of Shri Caitanya Bhagavata here. Gaura-premanande! Haribol!
  4. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Hong Kong: April 13, 2008 Today is a special and very sacred day. Today, Krishna, in the form of Ramachandra, took birth in Ayodhya. In ancient times there was a king named Maharaja Dasaratha. He was a very, very strong personality. He conquered all kings in the South, North, East, West, and everywhere. Therefore his name was Dasa-ratha, meaning that his chariot went everywhere in the ten directions – up, down, here, here, here. He had 360 wives, but no child, no son. Now, half of his life was finished and he was becoming old. Because he had no son, he was very anxious. One day he went hunting. The whole day he was roaming here and there, and it became night. Now he was very hungry and thirsty, and he wanted to take shelter somewhere for the night. His friend King Kaikeya, the father of Kaikeyi, lived nearby, so he went there. When he arrived, King Kaikeya became very happy. King Kaikeya told his young daughter, "O my dear daughter Kaikeyi, take care of Maharaja Dasaratha and manage his meals so that he will be happy here." Kaikeyi was very beautiful and very qualified. She served Maharaja Dasaratha in such a way that he became very, very happy. In the morning, Maharaja Dasaratha went to Maharaja Kaikeya and asked his permission to return to his kingdom, Ayodhya. He also said, "O my brother-king, my friend-king, your daughter served me in such a way that I’m so much happy. So, I request that you marry your daughter to me." King Kaikeya began to laugh. "I cannot give my daughter to you for marriage. I know that you have so many queens. I will give my daughter to any king, under the condition that the son born from her womb will be the next king. Then I can give her; otherwise not." Hearing this, Maharaja Dasaratha began to laugh. He said, "O my friend, I have 360 queens, but I have no son. If your daughter will give me a son, automatically he will be my successor king. Don’t worry about this. I will be very lucky if I will have a son by Kaikeyi." King Kaikeya then gave his daughter in marriage to Maharaja Dasaratha, and Maharaja Dasaratha returned to Ayodhya with her. After some time, demigods called Maharaja Dasaratha and told him, "You are very powerful. We want to make you commander-in-chief of our army to defeat the demons." So, Maharaja Dasaratha went to heaven, and Kaikayi also went with him. He became the commander-in-chief of the demigods’ army and began to fight with the demons, with Kaikayi as his charioteer. She was very, very brave and powerful. One day while he was in battle, the axel of his chariot broke. Kaikeyi jumped down from the chariot, took that chariot with her hand, and Maharaja Dasaratha defeated the demons. After the battle, Maharaja Dasaratha was very happy. He said to Kaikeyi, "You have saved me. Because of you, I have won the battle. Now ask for two boons; I want to fulfill your desires." Kaikeyi replied, "I am your wife. It was my duty to serve you like this; there is no need of any boon." Again and again Maharaja Dasaratha insisted, "You must take two boons. First, you were my charioteer, and second, you lifted the chariot. So, you must have two boons." She replied, "When the proper time comes, I will ask for these boons. Keep them as a deposit." After that, Maharaja Dasaratha returned to Ayodhya, but still he had no son. He therefore engaged Rsi Srnga in a putresthi-yajna, a fire sacrifice for begetting a child. When the sacrifice was completed, a deity came out from the sacrificial fire and gave some sweet rice to Maharaja Dasaratha. The deity said, "Give this sweet rice to any of your queens, and they will definitely have sons." Maharaja Dasaratha became very pleased. He divided the sweet rice in half. He gave half to Kausalya, and half to Kaikeyi. Kausalya and Kaikeyi then divided their portions and gave some of each to Sumitra. Rama took birth from the womb of Kausalya; from Kaikeyi came Bharata; and from Sumitra came Laksmana and Satrughna. You should know that neither Krishna, nor Rama, nor any incarnation of Krishna comes from a husband and wife, like a worldly person. That is why the fire sacrifice was done – and through the sweet rice, Krishna Himself came in the form of Rama. Understand? The fire sacrifice was performed in order to show that Rama is not like us – taking birth from a father and mother. Regarding Krishna, He entered by mantra in the heart of Maharaja Nanda, and Nanda gave the mantra to Yasoda. Nrsmhadeva, Varahadeva, and other incarnations also – none of Them came from a father and mother. After some time, the sons of Maharaja Dasaratha were sent to the gurukula of Vasistha-deva, where they became expert in all sixty-four arts and then returned to Ayodhya. Some time later, Maharsi Visvamitra visited Maharaja Dasaratha and said, "While we are performing sacrifices, the demons are destroying them. So, please give me Rama and Laksmana. They will protect us." Maharaja Dasaratha replied, "Oh, they are only teen-agers. I will go with my whole army to protect you." Visvamitra said, "You cannot; I know. Give them to me; otherwise, I will curse you." Maharsi Vasistha, the guru of Maharaja Dasaratha then said, "O Maharaja Dasaratha, if you give Them, They will learn so many things and They will be very happy." Thus, Maharaja Dasaratha gave his sons. Visvamitra brought Ramachandra and Laksmana to his asrama on the bank of the Ganges, where my birthplace is. He taught Them about many weapons and about mantras, and Ramsacandra killed so many demons there. Marica was one of those demons. By one of Ramachandra’s arrows, he was hurled 800 miles into the ocean near Lanka. [Janaka Maharaja invited many kings who came to Janaka-puri to compete for the hand of his daughter, Sita.] He announced in the assembly of kings Whoever will string this bow of Sankara, I will marry my daughter to that person." The bow of Sankara which was so heavy that very strong kings could not pick it up. Even Ravana came at night to try; Banasura came; demigods came; but they could not do it. So many kings from all over the world had come to Janak-puri and wanted to lift it, but they could not. Ramachandra was also now in Janaka-puri, with Visvamitra and Laksmana, All three were now present in that assembly. At last, by the order of Visvamitra, Ramachandra very easily lifted that bow and began to string it. At once, that bow broke, and Sita-devi was thus married to Shri Ramachandra. Maharaja Dasaratha was invited from Ayodhya. He came with Bharata, Satrughna, brahmarsi Vasistha, and so many important persons from Ayodhya. Then Rama, Laksmana, Bharata, and Satrughna were married. After that, they all returned to Ayodhya [with their brides]. After some time, Bharata and Satrughna went to visit Maharaja Kaikeya. Meanwhile, Dasaratha called the family and said, "Now I am becoming old. I know my son Rama is very much qualified to be king after me – my successor. I want to give Him the post of crown-prince." Maharaja Vasistha and all persons in the counsel became very happy. They said, "O Maharaja Dasaratha, don’t delay." He asked, "When should I make Him king? " Brahmarsi Vasistha replied, "Tomorrow is a very auspicious day. All the stars are very favorable. Tomorrow it should be done." So Maharaja Dasaratha declared, "Tomorrow I will make Rama the crown prince." Thus, Maharaja Dasaratha told Vasistha, "Prepare all things for the abhiseka of Rama." All became very happy. In the meantime, the maidservant of Kaikeyi went to Kaikeyi and said, "Really, you are very unfortunate. Tomorrow, Maharani Kausalya will become raja-mata, mother of the king, and you will be Kausalya’s maidservant." When Kaikeyi heard this, she became very happy. She offered her golden necklace to that maidservant, but her maidservant took it and threw it away. The maidservant said, "You are really very foolish; you are not understanding. Rama will be king, and Bharata will be His servant. Then, you will be the mother of a servant. Still, there is some way out. Why has Dasaratha sent Bharata and Satrughna from here? In their absence, why has he declared that Rama will be the next king? You remember, Maharaja Dasaratha promised that the son from your womb would be king. So, why is He not doing so? Also, you have two boons from Maharaja Dasaratha. You should tell him that your son will be the king, and Ramachandra will go into exile." Thus influenced, Kaikeyi thought, "If Rama is here, no one will accept Bharata as king. So, He must be sent into exile." She took off all of her ornaments, dawned very dirty clothes, and wept. She sent someone to Maharaja Dasaratha to tell him that she was weeping. Maharaja Dasaratha then came to his dear wife. He wanted to know why she was weeping and why she was wearing dirty clothes. She said, "Do you remember that you gave me two boons? I want to ask for them now; it is the proper time for me." Maharaja Dasaratha replied, "I can give them to you." She said, "Bharata should be king, and Rama should be exiled for fourteen years." Hearing this, Maharaja Dasaratha became faint and began to weep. He said, "O Kaikeyi, I can make Bharata king, my successor, but why do you want Rama to go into exile? Why do you want to send Him away? Kaikeyi replied, "You should just now promise that you will do these things. I don’t want to hear anything else." Worried and weeping, Maharaja Dasaratha said, "My dear Kaikeyi, don’t send Rama into exile," But she would not change her mind. Kaikeyi called Shri Rama. Rama asked, "Why is my father not speaking, and why is he crying?" She replied, "He has given me two boons. I asked that Bharata be king and that You should go into exile for fourteen years." Ramachandra became very happy, and said, "From the beginning, I was wondering why, in Indian culture, the eldest son becomes king? Why should it not be divided among all his brothers? I’m happy that you have now asked for this boon from Maharaja Dasaratha. At once I am going into exile." When He was ready, Sita-devi said, "I must go with you; I will not be able to survive here." Laksmana also said, "I must go with You." So, the three of them, in the dress of sannyasis, went into exile. I am telling this in very brief. When Ramachandra went into exile, Maharaja Dasaratha, weeping, told Kaikeyi, "I have now broken my relation with you as my wife; now you are no longer my wife. Moreover, if Bharata comes and accepts the kingdom, I also will reject him as my son. Take me to the palace of Kausalya." There, crying, "Rama, Rama and Ra…!" he left his body. In the meantime, brahmarsi Vasistha called Bharata and Satrughna from their maternal uncle’s house. When they came, they saw that all the citizens of Ayodhya weeping as a widow would weep. Bharata saw that his mother Kaikeyi was wearing a white dress. He asked her, "Where is my father?" She replied, "He has left his body." He asked, "Where is Rama?" She replied, "He has gone into exile." He asked, "Where are Sita and Laksmana?" She replied, "Also in exile." He asked, "Why?" She replied, "I have done this for you, so that you could be King of Ayodhya." He replied, "I would cut your head off, but my brother Rama would not be happy, so I will not do so. I accept you as a queen, but now you are not my mother." Bharata then called the counsel and said, "Be ready. I am going to Chitrakuta where my brother Rama is staying with Laksmana and Sita. I will bring Rama back and He will be the king; He is still king." Thus, he prepared to leave with all of the mothers. When they were getting ready to go, Kaikeyi told Kausalya, "Sister, I also want to go. I will tell Rama that I am taking back my boon, and that He must return to Ayodhya and be king. So, take me with you." Out of mercy, Kausalya took Kaikeyi with her, and all went to Chitrakuta. There, they requested Ramachandra, "Please return to Ayodhya." Ramachandra heard from them that His father had departed from this world. So, first He performed a ritual ceremony, and then a big counsel took place. Vasistha Maharsi and all rsis were on one side. The father of Janaki, Janaka Maharaja, was also present as the head of the family. Rama, Laksmana, Sita, and others were on another side. Vasistha Rsi said, "O Maharaja Janaka, I’m very happy that you have come. The boat of Ayodhya is sinking in the ocean; there is no captain to save us. I am happy that now you have come. Tell Rama and Bharata what to do. I cannot tell them, because I am on the side of Bharata, that Rama should return. So, you say what they should do." Then Maharaja Janaka asked Rama, "Will you agree that what I decide You will follow?" Rama replied, "Yes, certainly; you are my father and like my guru." Then Maharaja Janaka asked Bharata, "Will you obey me?" Bharata replied, "Certainly, You are my father now, and like my guru also. I will do what you decide." In that big counsel, Bharata explained why he thought it better that Rama return to Ayodhya. Maharaja Janaka then offered pranama to his gurudeva, Sankara, and meditated on him. He said, "O Sankara, my Gurudeva, give me inspiration. What should I tell them?" After that, having received inspiration from Bhagavan Sankara, Maharaja Janaka said, "Bharata has won, and Rama has been defeated. The love and affection of Bharata is very, very deep, like an ocean, and Ramachandra’s dharma is like the Himalayas. Ramachandra can sink in the ocean of Bharata’s love and affection, but He cannot move here and there. This means that Bharata should think about what is real bhakti, uttama-bhakti. Though he has won, he should ask his worshipful Deity how He will be pleased – what He wants – and follow that. Bharata then became very happy. He folded his hands before Maharaja Janaka and said, "Maharaja Janaka, you are really my guru. You have opened my eyes. Until now, I was looking toward my own happiness. I was thinking that if Rama would come to Ayodhya I will be happy. I never thought about how Rama would be happy. Now you have opened my eyes." Bharata said to Rama, "My dear brother Rama, how will You be happy? Tell me what You want." Rama replied, "I am defeated; you have won. So I am taking the kingdom of Ayodhya, But I want that for fourteen years you will manage My kingdom – not your kingdom – as My representative. After fourteen years, I will definitely come and take My kingdom." Bharata agreed. He took Rama’s wooden sandals, placed them on his head and returned to Ayodhya. Shri Ramachandra thought, "This place is very near to Ayodhya. Bharata or other inhabitants of Ayodhya may come here, and then the rsis will be disturbed. So, I must go to the deep forest." Thus, He went to Dandakaranya, and then Pancavati. In Pancavati, He made a cottage on the bank of the Godavari and began to live there. One day, Ravana’s sister Surpanaka came. She saw Rama, became so much attached, and wanted to marry him. She took the form of a very beautiful lady and approached him. She said, "I am a very young, qualified, beautiful lady and you are a young, attractive person. I want to marry you." Ramachandra replied, "I am married, and Sita is here. Laksmana has no wife here, so you can go to him." Then she went to Laksmana, who told her, "I am His servant. Do you want to be the maidservant of that lady (Sita)? So, go to Rama. He can marry you." Again she went to Rama, and again He refused. Then she took the form of a very big demon, and wanted to kill and eat Sita. Then Laksmana, by the order of Rama, cut off her nose and ears. Crying, Surpanaka went to Ravana’s brothers, who came with an army to fight with Rama. Rama killed them all. Ramachandra then told Sita, "I want to fight with the demons and kill them. I want to keep you with the demigod of fire. You will be safe there." Rama called the deity of fire and Sita was given to him. Then a Maya-Sita continued on with Shri Ramachandra. Surpanaka went to her brother, the very powerful Ravana. She said, "I went to the forest and saw a very beautiful lady. Really, she is very qualified to be your queen. She is more beautiful than your wife Mandodari. But when I went there, they cut off my nose and ears. I want you to take revenge, and somehow take Sita and make her queen here." Ravana then took one of his servants, Marica with him and went to Dandakaranya, near Pancavati. He was on a flower airplane, which he had taken from Kuvera. He told Marica, "Take the form of a very golden deer and go in front of Sita and Rama. Sita will definitely tell them to bring her that deer. Rama will follow you, and you take Him very far away. When Rama kills you, at that time imitating the voice of Rama, you should say, "Alas Laksmana! Alas Laksmana!" Marica became a golden deer and began grazing in front of Sita and Rama. Sita-devi said, "That golden deer is very dear to me. Prabhu, my dear husband Rama, somehow bring that deer to me, either alive or dead. I will present it to Mother Kaikeyi." Rama had told Laksmana before going, "Stay here and protect Sita. There are so many demons, so you must stay here; don’t come with Me." Rama followed that deer who took Him very far away. When Ramachandra shot that deer, the deer cried [imitating Ramachandra’s voice], "Laksmana, Laksmana! Save me, save me!" Sita-devi and Laksmana heard this voice. Sita-devi said, "Go and help your brother; otherwise, He will be put to death." Laksmana replied, "I know my brother. No one can kill or defeat Him. So I will not go. Ramachandra has given me the order to stay here and protect you." Sita-devi said, "Oh, you are a hypocrite. You are a spy. You want Rama to be killed so you can become my husband. This can never be." Laksmana became very worried and said, "I am making a circle around this cottage. Don’t cross this circle [for any reason]. Stay there. I am going, but don’t go out of the circle." In the meantime, Ravana went there in the form of a tridandi-svami, and called out, "Bhiksam dehi, bhiksam dehi (give me alms)." Sita-devi brought him something on a plate. Ravana tried to enter that cottage, but when he approached the circle made by Laksmana, some flame or electricity at once manifested. He could not cross that line. Ravana said, "If I give a curse, Rama will die." Then Sita crossed the circle – because it was the wish of Rama that Ravana would come and kidnap her. So, when she left the circle, Ravana forcefully took her. He put her on a flying chariot, and at once they went to Lanka. He told Sita, "You should be my queen. You will be more dear to me than Mandodari and others." Sita refused, so he kept her in Asokavana. When Rama returned with Laksmana to His cottage, He saw that Sita was not there. He became maddened and cried, "O Site [the vocative of ‘Sita’], O Site, where are you!" He began to ask even trees and creepers. He even asked the Godavari River and the animals there. Rama then went to Kishkinda and met with Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, and made friendship with him. Then Rama killed Bali {the brother of Sugriva who had stolen Sugriva’s wife and made her his own]. Sugriva promised, "For this, I will discover Sita wherever she is, and then you can kill that person [who kidnapped her]." Then Sugriva told Hanuman: "Search for Sita." Hanuman went to Lanka, crossing the Indian Ocean. He discovered Sita in the Asoka forest with the help of Vibhisana, the brother of Ravana. Ramachandra had given a ring to Hanuman and told him that when he meets Sita, he should give it to her so that she would know that he was His messenger. Sitting on a tree, Hanuman dropped the ring in front of her. Sita-devi saw that it came from a monkey in a tree. Then Hanuman came and said, "I am a messenger of Rama. He has sent me to find you, and [after some discussion said, "Now I will return." Hanuman then killed many asuras residing there, and also the son of Ravana. Then he entered golden Lanka, set fire, and all were finished. Then, Hanuman returned to Shri Ramachandra. Now Ramachandra, with the monkey army – Sugriva, Jambavan, Nala, Nila, and others – went to the ocean and made a bridge with the help of Nala and Nila. Nala had a boon that whatever he would throw in the ocean would float. Thus, very soon the monkeys made a bridge and crossed it. There was a very great battle for ninety days, in which Ravana and His whole army were finished. Then, Ramachandra made Vibhisana King of Lanka, and Vibhisana brought Sita-devi to Rama there. But Rama refused to take Sita. [Although sages, demigods, and Rama’s father appeared there and confirmed Sita’s chastity] He told Her, "I cannot accept you. You can go anywhere you like." Sita-devi then told Laksmana, "Build a fire for me. I will burn; I will not keep my body." Laksmana then made a huge fire, and Sita-devi entered that. This was only a trick, because in Dandakaranya, Rama had given Sita-devi to the care of the deity of fire. Now, by a trick, Rama took Sita-devi from the fire. He went to Ayodhya with Sita, Laksmana, Sugriva, Hanuman, and others. Bharata was waiting there, and went at once to greet Rama. Rama was then given the crown of Ayodhya. Bhagavan Shri Ramachandra, ki jaya!
  5. A108-AI

    Rama Navami

    Bangkok Thailand - April 11 2003 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Do you know the history of Ramayana? Maharaja Dasaratha had three hundred and sixty queens, but no sons. One day he went hunting, and in the evening he met a friend of his who was a king. The king had a very beautiful daughter named Kaikeyi, and he engaged her in serving Maharaja Dasaratha. Maharaja Dasaratha was very pleased with both her services and her beauty. He requested his friend, the king, "Please give me your daughter in marriage." The king said, "My daughter is very precious to me. Only if you promise that the son born from her womb will become king after you, will I give her to you in marriage." Maharaja Dasaratha began to laugh and said, "I have so many queens, but no sons. Therefore, I would be very happy if the son born by her becomes the next king. The king arranged for their marriage and then they returned to Ayodhya. Many years passed, and still no son was born from any queen. The sage Vasistha told Maharaja Dasaratha, "There is no son in your destiny. However, if you will perform a sacrifice called putresthi-yajna, a son may come." A fire sacrifice for begetting a son was then performed by a very great sage named Srngi Rsi. Agnideva, the demigod of fire, soon appeared from that fire with some very delicious sweet rice in his hand. He told the king, "If you will give this to any of your principle queens, she will at once become pregnant and soon have a son." King Dasaratha became very happy; he gave half the sweet rice of Kausalya and half to Kaikeyi. The two queens saw that Sumitra had nothing, so they each divided their parts in half and gave that half to Sumitra. Kaikeyi, Kausalya and Sumitra thus gave birth to four beautiful sons - Rama, Laksmana, Bharata and Satrughna. What is the deep meaning of this sacrifice, wherein the demigod of fire came and gave sweet rice to them? It means that when the Supreme Lord or His manifestations come down to Earth, they don't come through ordinary, mortal persons. Agnideva brought the power of Krishna in the form of Rama, Laksmana, Bharata and Satrughna via the sweet rice, and thus they descended. Rama appeared four-handed, not two-handed, holding a conch shell, disc, lotus and club, and everyone present began to pray to him at that time. Later, when the boys became about five years of age, they were sent to the Gurukula of Vasistha Muni. After a few years in Gurukula they became very expert in all subjects, and then they returned home. After some time, a saint named Visvamitra Muni came to the palace and requested Maharaja Dasaratha, "Please give me Rama and Laksmana. I want to take them to my asrama, because there are many demons there disturbing me and the other sages in our performances of sacrifices for the world's welfare." Maharaja Dasaratha replied, "They cannot go. I will go instead, with all my soldiers. Rama and Laksmana are just young boys. How can they guard your sacrifices?" Visvamitra replied, "You will not be able to help in the matter, but your sons, Rama and Laksmana, are qualified to guard and kill all the demons." Maharaja Dasaratha was still not ready to give them, but his guru, Vasistha Rsi, told him, "You should give your sons to Visvamitra at once. This is for the benefit of you, Rama and Laksmana. They are very fortunate to be with Visvamitra, and later on you will realize this. Following the order of his guru, the king sent his two sons. Later, when the sage began his sacrifices, a lady demon along with her two sons, named Marichi and Bahu came and began creating great disturbances. Lord Rama took hold of his bow and arrow and shot them. The mother and one of her sons was killed, but the other son escaped and fled to the island of Lanka in the ocean. After killing several demons, Rama and Laksmana crossed the Ganges River with Visvamitra Rsi and went to Janakapura, the kingdom of King Janaka. King Janaka was a very learned and advanced spiritualist; He realized brahman, the impersonal aspect of God, and Krishna, the Supreme Lord Himself. He had a very beautiful daughter named Sita. He vowed and announced, "I will marry my daughter to anyone who can lift the bow of Lord Siva, which is in my possession, and shoot an arrow from that bow. Many princes and kings came from various parts of the world and tried to lift the bow - but they could not do so. It was so heavy that even thousands upon thousands of soldiers could not lift it. Even Ravana, the powerful king of Lanka, came and tried; and even demigods could not lift the bow. Visvamitra brought Rama and Laksmana to that place, and Rama very easily lifted the bow. He wanted to shoot an arrow from it, but it broke in pieces as he tried to do so. Rama was now victorious, and he thus won the hand of Sita devi, the daughter of Janaka Maharaja. She put a garland on the neck of Rama, Rama also garlanded her, and their marriage was performed. Maharaja Dasaratha came from his kingdom in Ayodhya with his other sons to attend the function, and his three sons also got married there. After that, the newly married couples returned to Ayodhya and they all looked very beautiful. Maharaja Dasaratha had long before given two boons to his wife, Kaikeyi, and she had said at that time that she would ask for them at a later date. By the will of god She now ordered, "My son Bharata should be king and Ramacandra should be sent to the forest in exile." Hearing this, Maharaja Dasaratha became very afflicted by the anticipated separation, and soon after Rama's departure from the palace he died. Now in exile, Rama, Laksmana and Sita went to Citrakuta and other places. Satrughna and Bharata had not been present in Ayodhya at the time of the exile. They were at their maternal uncle's house. When they returned to Ayodhya and found out what had happened, they went to Citrakuta and Bharata told Rama, "You should return home. I will not be king. I am your younger brother." All the inhabitants of Ayodhya had also gone there to appeal to Rama to return, but he refused to return. He wanted to follow his father's orders. Bharata said, "Then please give me your sandals. They will act as your representative. You will be the king, and until your return I will be like a minister and manage everything for you." Lord Ramacandra, Laksmana and Sita then traveled to Dandakaranya forest. Ravana later went there and kidnapped Sita devi. Rama became maddened in separation for her, calling out, "Where are you, where are you?" Ravana took her to Lanka, to a very secret place, and practically nobody knew where he had taken her. Rama then made friendship with the monkeys headed by Sugriva. Sugriva assured him, "I will discover Sita devi's whereabouts." He sent his messenger, Hanuman, to find her. Hanuman went to Lanka by jumping over the ocean - about 100 miles. He discovered Sita and returned to Rama with the news. All the monkey soldiers then came to the ocean, but they did not know how to cross it. The presiding deity of the ocean told Rama, "In your army there are two monkeys, Nil and Nal, who know how to build bridges." These monkeys were very expert. They wrote the name Rama on the innumerable stones, mountains and trees and threw them in the ocean. A very long bridge was soon constructed without pillars - and that bridge can still be seen. It is still seen - about a million years later - though it is lying under the water. It has been discovered by American scientists. [An article about this has been written by Shripad Madhava Maharaja in a recent edition of "The Rays of the Harmonist" magazine.] By the order of Rama the monkeys, led by Nal and Nil, made a bridge to Shri Lanka. They brought mountains and large stones. They wrote Rama's name on them, threw them in the water - and the stones floated. When half the bridge was completed Rama began to think, "What a powerful name this is! The monkeys are writing my name on the stones and throwing them in the water - and the stones are floating! I should also take a stone and throw it in the water, and I should see if it floats or sinks." Hanuman began searching for Shri Rama, and finally he saw him from a distance and thought, "Rama is hiding in a grove." He went there and asked, "Why are you here?" Rama replied, "I took a stone and threw it in the ocean, but it sank. When the monkeys write "Rama, Rama" on the stones and throw them in the water they float. Why is that?" Hanuman said, "There is a secret. The monkeys utter your name and then the stones float, but whose name will you call?" What was used in the service of the Lord floated and what the Lord threw away became dead weight. The holy name is more powerful then Lord Rama or Lord Krishna Himself. Chanting of the name will do everything. Nothing else can save you. If you want to be happy in your life, chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This is more powerful than Rama. Rama is very powerful, but these names are more powerful. Lord Rama then crossed the ocean with his monkey army and killed all the demons under Ravana's leadership. He only spared Vibhisana, because Vibhisana was a devotee and favorable to Rama. Ravana and all his sons were killed. When Sita was presented to Rama, he said, "I will not take Sita with me. I am a ksatriya king. I did not come here to take Sita back. I came to destroy all of Lanka, because Ravana kidnapped her, but because she was in the house of Ravana I cannot accept her." He ordered Laksmana to build a fire in order to test her chastity. Sita prayed, "O Agnideva, O demigod of fire, I will enter the fire, and if I am pure I'll not be burned." She entered the fire and Agnideva came out with her and said, "She is pure." The air-god then appeared and said, "I am everywhere. I know Sita is pure." Rama took Sita and returned to Ayodhya with his new associates like Vibhisana and Hanuman. He was given the kingdom on that day, Rama Navami, which happened to be the day he was exiled and also happened to be the same day as his birth. The residents of Ayodhya performed an abhiseka ceremony to install him as king. Sita had a desire to see the rsis and maharsis. In the meantime, some of the inhabitants of Ayodhya began to say that although she was not pure, Rama still took her back. They concluded, "This is a very bad thing." Rama then sent Sita into exile, although she was pregnant at that time. She went to the asrama of Valmiki, where she gave birth to two sons, named Lav and Kush. Her sons were very strong and powerful. Valmiki was very expert in archery, and under his tutelage the boys became even more expert than Shri Rama. Valmiki also trained them in singing the Ramayana, which he had written before the pastimes of Rama were manifest in this world. In the meantime, Rama was very distressed in separation from Sita. He was always lamenting and there was no one to console him. Like Sita, he ate only fruits and did not sleep on a bed. Shri Rama told Visvamitra Muni, "I want to perform an asvamedha-yajna (horse-sacrifice). Visvamitra said, "You cannot do this because you have no wife. The wife must be present in order to perform this ceremony. You should bring Sita here." Rama said, "I cannot, but I still want to perform this sacrifice." Visvamitra said, "Then you should marry another lady." Rama replied, "I cannot do this - Sita will be my only queen." A golden statue of Sita was then made and installed, seated on Rama's left, and Rama began to perform the sacrifice. In the morning he arranged for the performance of the fire-sacrifice, and at midday there was hari-katha and recitation of scriptures like the Puranas. In the meantime, Valmiki told Lav and Kush, "You should sing my Valmiki Ramayana there." The boys were about nine or ten years old, very beautiful and strong, and, as previously mentioned, expert at archery. It has been told that they defeated Hanuman and many other powerful personalities in archery; and even Rama once came and they defeated him. The boys knew that Rama was a king, and they knew that his wife was Sita, but they did not know that Sita was their mother. They only knew of their mother as "Vana-devi". When they arrived at the sacrifice they began to sing in such a sweet and melodious way that all present in the assembly were attracted. All began to weep by hearing that Ramayana. Rama told Laksmana to find out the name of their father, and to give them nice gifts of cloth and golden ornaments. Laksmana told them, "Maharaja Rama wants to know the name of your father and mother." Lav and Kush replied, "We cannot tell. You are supposed to be learned. You should know that brahmacaris do not tell the name of their mother and father; they should only tell the name of their guru. Valmiki is our guru." Laksmana became very ashamed and said, "I want to present you these gifts from Rama." They said, "What will we do with these? Please keep them. In the asrama we eat fruits and wear the bark of trees made into cloth. Return these and tell Rama we don't want them." This made Rama still more impressed. Rama came to know that Sita was in the asrama of Valmiki and the boys were his sons. He called Valmiki and said, "It seems that they are my sons and that my wife, Sita, is there with you. Please bring her. I want to accept her again. The demigods confirmed it in Lanka and my father also confirmed it, but she will also personally have to produce some evidence that she is pure." Sita came the next day with her two sons. All were weeping and lamenting for Sita when they saw her, and they were discussing amongst themselves that Lav and Kush are the sons of Rama. They said, "The boys are just as beautiful as Rama. The only difference between them and their father is that they are younger." Rama told Sita, "I know that you are pure; I realized it in Lanka. But I want you to give personal evidence that you are pure." Sita said, "Still, you want evidence? All right, I will quickly give you evidence." She prayed to Mother Earth, "I've come from your womb. Please open up and take me on your lap. If I have not touched anyone in this world by mind except for Rama, then come and take me." After she said this three times, the Earth at once divided, a beautiful golden throne came out, and upon that throne was Prthivi-devi, Mother Earth. She took Sita on her lap and they both went back into the ground. Weeping loudly, Rama called out, "O Sita, where are you? I cannot survive without you." He took out his bow and arrow and said to Mother Earth, "You are the mother of Sita and you are also my mother. But if you do not return me wife, I will shoot and destroy you." Valmiki told Rama, "I have written up to this point, and not after that. Sita has gone to your abode. Go there and see that she is waiting for you. This is only your pastime. The entire world will hear it, weep and remember it. Now the time has come. Please go at once, taking all those with whom you came. They went to the river bank, took bath, and all assumed four-armed Visnu forms. All the inhabitants went to Ayodhya with the four brothers, in the realm beyond this world.
  6. A108-AI

    Rama-navami in Mathura

    Tridandiswami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Mathura, India: April 12, 2000 (evening) ramnaumiRama-katha is endless. Sankarsana (Lord Anantadeva) himself continuously sings the glories of Shri Rama, but even with unlimited mouths he is unable to touch the end in any way. We can just relish, and pray that these infinite pastimes may appear in our heart. Tulasi dasa has written Rama-caritra-manasa, which is based on Shri Valmiki's Ramayana. All the pastimes written by Tulasi dasa come from the Ramayana and other Puranas, but the principles of bhakti that he gave there have been taken from Shrimad-Bhagavatam. He presented important selected verses, especially from the eleventh canto, and translated them into Hindi poetry. Some people consider Tulasi dasa to be a mayavadi, but this is not correct. If we study Rama-caritra-manasa carefully, we can see that Tulasi dasa has written down the same principles that are in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. God is personal, the living entities are His parts and parcels, and our eternal constitutional position is to serve Him with love and affection. Another important point is that Tulasi dasa could not have written Rama-caritra-manasa unless he truly saw all these pastimes of Rama. Just as Valmiki received the mercy of Narada Muni, similarly, when Tulasi dasa sat down in trance, all the pastimes came into his heart. He has certainly received the mercy of Vyasadeva. Only by Shri Vyasadeva's mercy could he have written these pastimes. The main topic of this class is 'anyavilasita sunyam,' freedom from desires other than the desire to please Krishna. Bharata and Satrughna had gone to their maternal uncle's place, and upon returning to Ayodhya, they noticed that all was silent. Usually the city was cheerful and so many activities were joyfully taking place, but now it was like a lady whose husband is dead and who wears no decorations or ornaments. Seeing these and other inauspicious omens, Bharata and Satrughna became fearful. When they entered the royal palace and went to Kaikeyi's chamber, they were stunned to hear how Rama had gone to the forest for fourteen years and, because of that, their father had died of a broken heart. When Bharata heard this news and the reason for it, he became completely inimical towards his mother. From his heart he disconnected his relationship with her, and because of his pain and shock, he spoke harshly and abandoned her. Bharata later assembled the citizens of Ayodhya, including Kausalya and Vasistha Rsi, and went to the forest to try to bring Lord Rama back. Because he was now the eldest member of the family, he was responsible for making the decision as to what to do. Maharaja Janaka would be holding a sabha, an assembly meeting, on the next day. To prepare for this, Bharata first went to Mother Kausalya and requested her, "O mother, Rama loves you and always obeys your orders. You miss Him so much, and we all want him back. Please ask him to return and happily rule here in Ayodhya." When Kausalya heard these words she said gravely, "Yes, you are right. I also want this, but I cannot do what you ask. Your suggestion is not against dharma, but now you should look at Rama's position. According to religious principles, He is also trying to execute the order of your father. From your respective positions you are both trying to act righteously. I'm sorry, but I know He will never change His decision, so I cannot do anything." Disappointed, Bharata now went to his Gurudeva, Vasistha Muni, and made the same request. He said, "If you order Rama, He will come back and you will be the cause of everyone's happiness." Vasistha Muni's answer was similar to that of Kausalya, but he presented an alternative. He said, "Instead of Rama, if you yourself agree to go to the forest, perhaps I can make him return to Ayodhya. Someone must go, so you can do it." Bharata very enthusiastically agreed, but when Vasistha presented the proposal to Rama, he could not change His decision. Again, Bharata was disappointed. Bharata thought his only remaining shelter was Sunaina devi, the wife of Maharaja Janaka. He visited her on the evening before the sabha, and very politely pleaded at her feet, "Mother, are you not worrying about your daughter? She is so gentle and tender, and She is going to the forest for fourteen years where she must perform severe austerities. I know your heart is so soft and you cannot bear this pain. You must do something to help them." Sunaina replied, "What you are saying is what I also want. But my husband is very strict and he will never change his mind nor hear my words. He will consider both sides as per the principles of religion, and then he will give his decision. He is a liberated soul, and nobody can influence him." Because Janaka Maharaja was a jnani-bhakti, a devotee with some aisvarya, he knew well that there would never be a problem for Rama – anywhere He would be. Bharata was again disappointed, but there was nothing he could do. The next morning Guru Vasistha convened the assembly. On one side Lord Rama was sitting with Sita devi, on the other side Bharata was sitting with all the citizens of Ayodhya, and Maharaja Janaka was on the asana in the middle, to hear the case and give the decision. The evening before, all had agreed to abide by the order of Maharaja Janaka because he knew religion and was impartial. He first inquired from Bharata, "What is your proposal? Please speak." With folded hands, Bharata said, "All I want is that Lord Rama shall come back to the kingdom. His father has given his order, but under unfortunate circumstances. Maharani Kaikeyi also became influenced, and she participated in this decision. This should not be considered as the ultimate decision, because now we can see that there is no real purpose for them to go to the forest. I am not going to accept the position of the king. By all evidence it belongs to Rama. This is what all the citizens want, and I also want it. It will be a great injustice if we send Him to the forest and don't give Him this position." Maharaja Janaka was silent. He then turned to Lord Rama and asked Him to speak. Rama then said, "Yes, you have heard what Bharata said. My father agreed with the order to send Me to the forest and to give the position of king to Bharata. Mother Kaikeyi jointly participated, and my father kept silent. 'Maunam sammithi laksanam. Silence is the symptom of agreement or consent.' Now Kaikeyi wants to retract her statement, but that cannot be accepted. Why? Because my father is here no more. If he would be here and just remain silent, then I could agree. But that is not the situation. That is what I have to say." Maharaja Janaka closed his eyes and went into silent meditation upon his Gurudeva, Lord Sankara. After coming out of his meditation he very gravely began to speak, "Yes, what Bharata has said is true and is according to religious principles. He is speaking with a pure feeling of love. His prema for Rama is very deep, like an ocean, and Rama's maryada, His adherence to dharma and strictness in following the principles of religion, is like a mountain. Bharata's ocean of love is so deep that the mountain will sink into that ocean. Bharata has won, and whatever is his decision shall be done." When everyone heard that Rama would now come back, they all began jumping in ecstacy, and Bharata was also so happy. However, Maharaja Janaka had something else to say. All could see that he was still very grave, and they waited to see what would come from his mouth. He then said, "Though the ocean of Bharata's love is so deep that Rama's mountain of maryada has sunk into it, at the same time this mountain is so strong that it will not deviate even an inch, even if it is drowned in water. It will stay in its position. Rama may be overcome by the love of Bharata, but He will not move." Then he looked to everyone and said, "Now Bharata should consider this point. It is true that his love has won, and there is no comparison to his love, but he should know the principle of love. The current of love does not consider any obstacles on the way. It crosses all the general rules and regulations, and there is no principle of religion which controls it. It has its own law and tradition. "The heart and theme of love is that one who loves will always be very careful about the desires of his lover. He will not impose his desires upon his lover, but will instead minutely observe what his worshipful deity wants. That is what must be seen and understood. So my question to Bharata is this: Did you try to understand what Rama wants, or did you become overwhelmed with your own desires? Did you think, 'If I am unsuccessful in bringing Rama back, then all the citizens will criticize me. Perhaps for my own reputation I may be doing this.' To be only thinking of what is pleasing to Rama is the principle of real love." When everyone heard this, especially Bharata, it was as if the earth had slipped from under their feet. For some moments Bharata's breathing stopped, and it was as though he was deaf and dumb. Maharaja Janaka continued, "Now you must decide what to do. Your case is strong and you have won; you must tell Rama what you want Him to do." Bharata had now gotten the biggest shock of his life. His whole nervous system had broken due to this lesson about love, and his heart and thinking were completely changed. When he approached Rama, who understood the mood and gravity of his feelings, Rama said, "Yes, you have won. You want me to rule the kingdom, so I accept your request. I will now act as the King of Ayodhya. Since I am the king, you must now follow my directions. What should you do? You should let me go to the forest and fulfill the orders of our father. On my behalf, while I am in the forest, you should become My representative and do the needful duties for the kingdom." Bharata accepted this, and we cannot understand what kind of happiness he was feeling. So many opposite sentiments were coming in his heart and jumping, but he accepted Rama's order because now he understood the meaning of love. Even if one has to drink poison to please his lover, he should do this. This is the evidence of pure love. Similarly, when Kaikeyi was requested by Rama as a child to later banish him and give the kingdom to Bharata, her heart was broken and she cried out, "No, Rama. I cannot do that." Why not? She loves Rama more than Bharata. How could she do that? But Rama compelled her; He forced her, saying, "You must drink this poison, mother, because it is for the welfare of the whole world. This is My purpose for coming here, so you must do this." Bharata thus took Rama's crown, His wooden sandals, and His rajai. Rajai is a Hindi word. Most people, those who are not dedicated to the personal form of Lord Rama, think that rajai means only 'quilt.' They say, "Just see how Bharata is so cruel. Rama had to go to the forest, and Bharata even took his sandals and his quilt." But here rajai here does not mean quilt. It comes from the word raji, meaning 'to agree.' Bharata took the orders of Rama, to act as His representative and manage the kingdom in His absence. Here is a very important lesson for all who are practicing bhakti. We hear the sloka beginning "anyavilasita sunyam," and we can very critically look into our hearts and consider, "What am I doing? Am I trying to serve Krishna in the way my mind likes to serve Him?? It is a subtle difference, because the mind is very tricky. If we fail to distinguish between these feelings, then anyavilasa, material desires, will cover our bhakti and there will be no way we can advance. Today, about ninety-nine percent of the devotees are like this. Some do it willfully, and some fail to distinguish the difference. If Gurudeva asks them to do something which is not pleasing to their own mind, they get angry or annoyed with him. That is prevailing in the majority of cases. We have to very carefully observe this and try to kick out this anyavilasa. Bhakti is not so cheap. We are trying to attain that love which controls both Shrimati Radhika and Krishna, but we must understand what price we have to pay for this. We have to give up everything we consider to belong to us. We do not have any separate existence of our own. The feeling of unconditional, unalloyed surrender is so deep that we become one with the mood of Gurudeva. Then, within our hearts, all aspirations are no longer our aspirations. They are Gurudeva's aspirations, or those of Hari, Guru, and Vaisnava. This is the state we want to achieve, and unless we attain it, there is no way to advance in bhakti. Whatever position we want to achieve in eternal Vraja, we have to start practicing here with Gurudeva. We have to apply this verse, anyavilasita-sunyam. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written: "I have happily mixed all my desires in Your desires. My desires follow Your desires. There is no difference. They do not go even to a small degree in a different direction. They are completely in line with Your desires." This is what we want. Maharaja Bharata then returned to Ayodhya with all his citizens, and he brought the sandals of Lord Rama. There was so much pain and grief on his return that he did not enter the kingdom. He acted like a representative and stayed in a village near the city, called Nandigrama. There he made a small hut, like Rama's hut in the forest, and took the dress of a renunciate, like Rama. He did not cut his hair, and he lived only on fruits or whatever was available in the forest. He placed those wooden sandals on an altar and began worshipping them, just as if he was worshipping Rama. He performed arati, offering food, and made all the decisions based on consultation with those wooden sandals. All his ministers also came there to discuss the ruling of the kingdom. Once Mother Kaikeyi approached him. Now she suffered still more, because she was feeling the separation of two sons. If Bharata was there with her, there would be some consolation, but she had lost two. No one can understand her feeling of misfortune. She arrived in a palanquin and called the guards who were there, because Bharata rarely came out. He was always absorbed in separation of Rama. When he was informed that Mother Kaikeyi had come, he said, "All right, please call Queen Kaikeyi inside." He never called her 'mother.' He only considered her as Raja Mata, not as his mother. When she came before him she began crying in great pain and sorrow, "Please forgive me. I have really committed such a big mistake. My intelligence was covered with ignorance. I failed to use my intelligence. Please come back to Ayodhya and stay there with me." Bharata said, "O Queen Kaikeyi. This is what you deserve. You should taste this more and more. This is the price you must pay." She said, "Bharata, you don't know my position. I have to stay in this palace, and this palace is biting me like scorpions. It is so painful; I cannot tolerate it any more." Bharata was so strong and dedicated to dharma that he would not agree. Then she said, "At least, please address me as mother. That will give me some solace." Bharata replied, "I cannot utter that word for you any more. It is not possible." 'Jinike priye na rama videhi.' This verse from Rama-caritra-manasa is a translation from a verse in the Bhagavatam, which means that one should abandon that wife who is not favorable to bhakti, one should abandon that husband who is acting as an obstruction on the path of devotion, one should abandon that father, that son, that brother and so on. Any relationship that obstructs bhakti should be given up. Vibhisana gave up his brother Ravana, because he had no love for Rama, Prahlada gave up his father Hiranyakasipu, and Bali Maharaja gave up his guru. Mirabhai wrote a letter to Tulasi dasa about her circumstances regarding her performance of devotional activities for Krishna. Her family, and especially her husband, the Rana of Mewar, were unfavorable. He would always suspect that she had some illicit connection with a man, but she was absorbed in the love of Giridhari. She wrote, "I cannot tolerate it any more. They are torturing me. They have given me poison, they have tried to have me bitten by a snake, and they insult me. Please guide me." Tulasi dasa wrote this verse to her, and though he did not instruct her specifically, she understood his message. One day she was deeply absorbed, dancing and singing in kirtana behind closed doors, with Giridhari there. The King heard her singing in great jubilation, and he also heard someone playing a flute. With great anger, his sword in hand, he tried to enter the room, but she did not hear him. Krishna was playing the flute, so how was it possible for her to have any external consciousness? When the king entered,he saw that no one else was there with her, and Mirabai had fainted. He looked everywhere for the man who was playing the flute. Somehow or other he revived Mirabai, and he asked her with harsh words, "Where is that man you have hidden here?" Mirabai said, "You cannot see Him? He is standing right there." "I cannot see him," he said. Then Mirabai mercifully placed her hand on his eyes and,by the touch of her fingers, the Rana was able to see the three-fold bending form of Krishna playing the flute. Now taking darsana, he was humbled, and he also fainted. In the meantime, Krishna disappeared, and when the Rana returned to consciousness, he so much repented. Lamenting, he fell at the feet of Mirabai and again and again begged for forgiveness. He said, "I was so offensive and foolish." Because she had suffered so much, she had no reaction to his words. She had made up her mind that she must go to Vrndavana. She explained that what had happened had happened, and nothing could stop her now. Chanting, "Giridhari Gopal," she left for Vrndavana. There she met Shrila Jiva Gosvami and he took gopal-mantra from him. Was she a real disciple of Jiva Gosvami? No, she was a half disciple, because she ended up in Dvaraka. She said, "I only see Krishna. I don't see anyone else." Her vision was not so broad that she could see the gopis. She failed to accept the guidance of the gopis, and for that reason she could not get any position in Vraja. She went to Dvaraka, and there she entered into the Deity of Dvarakadisa and never came out. This is a very important point for those who want the service of the Divine Couple in Vraja, but who think they can achieve it by following all the principles of vaidhi-bhakti.They are meditating on Dvaraka-lila, and yet they want the service of Radha-Krishna in Vraja. Because they have such meditation, they will not get a position in Vraja. If a husband is somewhat following bhakti, he will be very happy if someone else's wife takes to spiritual life and, becoming completely surrendered, gives up her home. However, if it comes to his wife, he cannot tolerate it. And it is the same with a wife. If someone else's husband becomes so absorbed that he gives up family life, she says, "Oh, this is good. You are so fortunate. You have become a pure devotee and your whole family will be delivered." But when it comes to her own husband, it cannot be tolerated. And it is the same with a son and father. This consideration is very bad and should not be done. No one is going to stay here in this body. We should try to use our power of discrimination to understand the purpose of life. [For more information about Rama, Laksmana, Bharata, and Satrughna, see Shrimad-Bhagavatam 9.10].
  7. The Appearance Day of Shrivasa Pandit Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja [Respected Harikatha Readers, Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Shri Guru and Gauranga. This year, 2019 the divine appearance day of Shrivasa Thakura, the intimate associate of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and one of the five glorious members of Shri Panca Tattva, is on March 28th (in India). We pray that you accept our offering to you in honor of this auspicious day – a few excerpts of lectures that our Shrila Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, gave throughout the years, in which he glorified this great personality. Your aspiring servants, The Harikatha team] ON VYASA PUJA Hilo, Hawaii, on January 21, 2004 Shri Vyasa-puja is observed for the purpose of pleasing Krishna, and it has been celebrated since the very beginning of our parampara. Shri Sukadeva Gosvami first performed Vyasa-puja to his Gurudeva, Shrila Vyasadeva himself. Then, Shrila Suta Gosvami performed Guru-puja to his Gurudeva, Shri Sukadeva Gosvami. Just before replying the questions of the sages at Naimasaranya he prayed: yam pravrajantam anupetam apeta-krtyam dvaipayano viraha-katara ajuhava putreti tan-mayataya taravo bhinedus tam sarva-bhuta-hrdayam munim anato 'smi (Shrimad-Bhagavatan 1.2.2) ["I offer pranama to Shri Sukadeva Gosvami, who can enter the hearts of all living beings. When he left home without undergoing the purificatory processes such as accepting the sacred thread, his father Shri Vyasadeva cried out, 'O my son!' As if they were absorbed in that same feeling of separation, only the trees echoed in response to his call."] Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami prayed, "O Shri Vyasadeva, my father and Gurudeva, how marvelous you are! And how merciful! You are causelessly merciful! You dragged me from the forest and from Mayavada philosophy to your lotus feet, and you taught me Shrimad-Bhagavatam. By your mercy I was totally changed." This is the duty of a guru. The bona fide guru does not consider that his disciples are his property. He does not think, "They are my property." Nowadays I see this going on. So-called gurus think that their disciples are their property; so they accept all their offerings and fall down. A real guru never thinks like that. At the time of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu there was a meeting in the evening after nagara-sankirtana in the house of Shrivasa Pandit. In the meeting Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu announced, "Tomorrow is Vyasa-puja. Shrivasa, we will observe Vyasa-puja here in your courtyard. Do you have the paraphernalia?" Shrivasa Thakura replied, "Oh, yes. I have sacred thread, betel nut, rice and all other required ingredients and paraphernalia." Mahaprabhu ordered, "We should be ready at nine in the morning." All others came on time the next day, but Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself arrived somewhat late, and saw that all were waiting for Him. He asked, "Why are you waiting? Nityananda Prabhu is My guru – My guru-varga (senior). It seems that he is My elder brother, but I see him in relation to his Gurudeva, who is My param-gurudeva (grand spiritual master). Nityananda is My Gurudeva's guru and is still greater; so He will perform Vyasa Puja." [Nityananda Prabhu had taken diksa from Laksmipati Tirtha, the guru of Shri Madhavendra Puri, who was in turn the parama-guru of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu was actually Shri Madhavendra Puri's god-brother, but He accepted him as His siksa-guru.] Before Mahaprabhu's arrival, Shrivasa Thakura, Shri Advaita Acarya, and all others had requested Shri Nityananda Prabhu to perform Vyasa-puja. They had told Him, "Please begin." Nityananda Prabhu replied, "Yes, yes, I am just about to do it. I will do it right now." But He was not doing it. He simply remained in his seat. Then, when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came He at once ordered Nityananda Prabhu, "Why are You delaying? You should begin Vyasa-puja." Nityananda Prabhu then took a very beautiful, fragrant garland and placed it around the neck of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, saying, "You are the same as Lord Krishna," and then He began to perform the arati and worship of Mahaprabhu. Shriman Mahaprabhu became ashamed, thinking, "Why is He doing this?" Nityananda Prabhu, who is Baladeva Prabhu Himself, possesses full knowledge of all tattva (established truths). In fact, His lotus feet stand on the head of all tattvas. He replied, "What I am doing is correct. We should try to please the worshipable Deity of Shrila Vyasadeva – Rasamayi Shri Krishna, who is akhila-rasamitra-sindhu (an ocean of the nectar of pure transcendental mellows). This is Vyasa-puja." ON MAINTAINING ONE'S BODY New Braja, Badger, CA: June 1, 2002 In this world, it is essential to maintain our life. Without this, we can't do our bhajana. But don't be worried about this. Your maintenance will come automatically, according to our previous activities. If something comes, that is okay, and if something that you have collected is lost, still you should not worry. Suppose you have deposited many thousands of dollars in a bank, but somehow your business failed and your money was lost. Don't worry about that. You cannot achieve krsna-prema, or anything else, by money. You cannot eat your bank money. You can only eat two capatis or two slices of bread – nothing more. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes in his Bhajana Rahasya: alabdhe va vinaste va bhaksyacchadana-sadhane aviklava-matir bhutva harim eva dhiya smaret ["The mind of one who has taken shelter of the holy name is undisturbed even if food and clothes are not easily obtained or if they are obtained but then lost. Leaving behind all material attachments, he takes complete shelter of Govinda." (Padma Purana)] Chant Hare Krishna without any worry. Remember Shrivasa Pandit and his four brothers. They chanted throughout the night, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare" and "Hari haraya nama krsna yadavaya namah." There was nothing to eat in Shrivasa Pandit's house, and Mahaprabhu told him, "You chant Hare Krishna day and night, but you should also try to maintain yourself. Make some money by working or by begging. Somehow or other you should maintain yourself and your family." Shrivasa Pandit replied, "We will not do so. We will only chant." Then he clapped three times as he said, "One, two, three." Mahaprabhu asked, "What are you doing?" Shrivasa Pandit replied, "I will wait one day, and if there is no food, I will wait for another day, and then for a third day. Then, if nothing comes by the third day, I will jump in the Ganges. I will say, 'Hare Krishna' and jump." Mahaprabhu then told all the devotees that those who have sincerely taken shelter and are sincerely chanting will never have to beg. Laksmi, the Goddess of Fortune herself, may beg, but My devotees will never have to do so. I will take responsibility for their maintenance on My own head, and I will arrange everything for them. I will maintain them; this is My promise." Have strong faith in this. Devotee: Gurudeva, you described some of the glories of Shrivasa Thakura. You said he was not even concerned when his little son died during the kirtana. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told him to come back, but he said, "No, I am in a better place now." My question is what better place could he be in? He was already in Mahaprabhu's kirtana with Shrivasa Thakura. Shrila Gurudeva: Krishna had called him to participate in the pastimes He was performing in prakata Vraja in one of the universes. He was playing with Krishna and His associates there, and he was very happy. He therefore told Mahaprabhu, "Let me stay here; I am very happy here." It may be that, due to his sadhana-bhajana, he had become a gopi and he was residing with all the gopis. He may have been with Shri Rupa Manjari. Why would he want to return? His new situation was the fruit of his serving Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. sokamarsadibhir bhavair akrantam yasya manasam katham tasya mukundasya sphurttih sambhavana bhavet ["Within the heart of one who is full of anger or pride, or lamentation about the state of his wife or sons, there is no possibility of Krishna being manifest." (Padma Purana)] What is the meaning? Shripad Madhava Maharaja: This sloka concerns one whose heart is afflicted by lamentation and anger. Amarsa means anger and soka means sadness. If you loose material things, you become very sad. If you are always absorbed in these two things, then Mukunda, meaning Bhagavan Krishna, will not manifest in your heart. Shrila Gurudeva: If your mind is disturbed, if your heart is disturbed and thus contaminated by these two things, Krishna will not manifest there. Therefore, try to keep your heart very pure in all circumstances. If you lose anything in this world, what harm is there? Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Sanatana Gosvami were highly posted officials in the government, but they left their positions. Why? We want to engage all our property in Krishna's service, but they left their property. So, if your property is later stolen or lost, why lament? Don't lament. Otherwise, your heart will be impure and you will not be able to remember Krishna. yavata syat sva-nirvahah svikuryat tavad arthavit adhikye nyunatayanca cyavate paramarthatah ["If the devotee accepts those things necessary for the maintenance of his life, it does not mean he is a sense enjoyer. The devotee neither accepts too much nor too little, for that hampers his progress towards his goal." (Naradiya Purana)] For whom has this sloka been told? It has not been told for the kanistha-adhikari. The kanistha-adhikari should engage his money and everything else for Krishna; but this sloka is for those who have ruci. It is for those like Shrivasa Pandit. They think, "Whatever comes is okay." They chant the holy name and remain undisturbed, and even if death comes they are not disturbed. Rather, they think, "Many diseases may come, or a relative may die; no harm." They are always satisfied and they are always chanting. bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra caisa trika eka-kalah prapadyamanasya yathasnatah syus tustih pustih ksud-apayo 'nu-ghasam ["Devotions, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things – these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way as pleasure, nourishment, and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite for a person engaged in eating." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 11.2.42)] If you are chanting and remembering but if there is no vairagya (renunciation), it means there is some 'leakage' in your bhakti. If you are chanting and remembering, but you are not satisfied and you are always hankering for worldly things, there is some leakage. Try to repair that leak. Otherwise, it will be as though you are pouring water in a pot, but all the water is pouring out through the many holes in that pot. Anarthas and offences are like holes. You should try to repair the problem. Otherwise, if you do not do so, you will not be able to do bhajana. ON RATHA-YATHA (THE HERA PANCAMI FESTIVAL) [Excerpts from Origin of Ratha-yatra] While Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was tasting all this katha , He said, "I have never heard anything like this before – that Laksmi has come with her whole party as a commander-in-chief, as if to attack." Laksmi began to beat Krishna's chariot, and Shrivasa Pandit began clapping. He was very happy that the associates of Laksmi were chastising the associates of Vrndavana, imprisoning them, "beating" them, taking a fine from them, taking their garlands and ornaments, and punishing them. srivasa hasiya kahe, – suna, damodara amara laksmira dekha sampatti vistara Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 14.203 ["At this time, Shrivasa Thakura smiled and told Svarupa Damodara, "My dear sir, please hear! Just see how opulent my goddess of fortune is!"] vrndavanera sampad dekha, – puspa-kisalaya giridhatu-sikhipiccha-gunjaphala-maya Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 14.204 ["As far as Vrndavana's opulence is concerned, it consists of a few flowers and twigs, some minerals from the hills, a few peacock feathers, and the plant known as gunja."] Shrivasa Pandit smiled and said, "There are no golden crowns in Vrndavana. There are only flutes made of dry bamboo, and some peacock feathers, and Krishna only wears a pitambara and flower garlands. There is nothing of any value there." eta sampatti chadi' kene gela vrndavana tanre hasya karite laksmi karila sajana Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.206) Laksmi wondered, "Why did Lord Jagannatha give up so much opulence and go to Vrndavana?" To make Him a laughing-stock, the goddess of fortune made arrangements for much decoration. People in the mood of opulence may think like this. They are all on the side of Laksmi-devi. Svarupa Damodara, however, being Lalita in krsna-lila, is of her mood and therefore a pure Vrajavasi. tomara thakura, dekha eta sampatti chadi' patra-phala-phula-lobhe gela puspa-badi Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.207) ["Then the maidservants of the goddess of fortune said to the servants of Lord Jagannatha: 'Why did your Lord Jagannatha abandon the great opulence of the goddess of fortune and, for the sake of a few leaves, fruits, and flowers, go see the flower garden of Shrimati Radharani?"] ... ["Your master is so expert at everything. Why does He do such things? Please bring your master before the goddess of fortune." In this way, all the maidservants of the goddess of fortune arrested the servants of Jagannatha, bound them around the waist, and brought them before the goddess of fortune. When all the maidservants brought Lord Jagannatha's servants before the lotus feet of the goddess of fortune, the Lord's servants were fined and forced to submit. All the maidservants began to beat the ratha with sticks, and they treated the servants of Lord Jagannatha almost like thieves. (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.208–11))"] Here, Jagannatha's servants were the associates of Mahaprabhu, and those who were with Laksmi-devi were also the servants of Jagannatha. saba bhrtya-gana kahe – yoda kari' hata 'kali ani diba tomara age jagannatha' Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.212) ["Finally all of Lord Jagannatha's servants submitted to the goddess of fortune with folded hands, assuring her that they would bring Lord Jagannatha before her the very next day."] Jagannatha's servants made this promise, and then Laksmi fined and punished them and returned to her abode. Now Shrivasa Pandit asked Svarupa Damodara the following question: "Do you know that all the gopas and gopis in Vrndavana are very poor? They have no golden ornaments. They only milk cows and make butter, ghee, and similar things, and then they use it all themselves. Vrndavana is not like Mathura and Dvaraka; there are no palaces there, and the residents have only carts and kunjas. All the garlands there are made of flowers, whereas the garlands in Dvaraka are made of pearls, diamonds, and other jewels. So why does Krishna go to Vrndavana?" Krishna goes to Vrndavana because the natural love and affection there is not found in Dvaraka, or anywhere else. In Dvaraka, love and affection is controlled by rules and regulations, just as the Vedas control by rules and regulations. In Vrndavana there is no control, for the gopis serve Krishna by their parakiya mood. This is possible only in Vrndavana, not in Mathura and Dvaraka. svarupa kahe, – Shrivasa, suna savadhane vrndavana-sampad tomara nahi pade mane? Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.218) Svarupa Damodara then retorted, "My dear Shrivasa, please hear me with attention. You have forgotten the transcendental opulence of Vrndavana." vrndavane sahajika ye sampat-sindhu dvaraka-vaikuntha-sampat – tara eka bindu Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.219) ["The natural opulence of Vrndavana is just like an ocean. The opulence of Dvaraka and Vaikuntha is not even to be compared to a drop."] One flower of Vrndavana can give millions of diamonds and other opulences, though Krishna's associates do not want that. They only make garlands for decoration, and their ankle bells are made of desire stones (cintamani) although they have no need of them. They only use them when they are dancing. Suppose you are very wealthy and have many millions of dollars, but you are not getting any love and affection; and suppose that somewhere else there is no wealth, but there is love and affection. Where would you prefer to be? As long as there is love and affection, there is no loss in being poor. Similarly, there is no deficiency in Vrndavana because there is only love and affection. Vrndavana is the place of the most elevated love and affection. Krishna is the Supreme Personality, and therefore He wants to taste supreme love and affection. He is not satisfied with any second-class love. Svarupa Damodara was explaining this, and Mahaprabhu responded, "More, more! I want to hear more!" The topics presented at the Hera-pancami Festival are all very secret topics from Ujjvala-nilamani. Mahaprabhu questioned, and Svarupa Damodara replied with many slokas regarding all the moods of madhya, pragalbha, dhira, adhira, mugdha, and so on. Try to be at least in madhyama-adhikara, and then try to understand all these topics. This is the aim and object of everyone in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's line. Why Krishna did not take Laksmi For advanced devotees, who are conversant with the truths concerning this lila, the Hera-pancami Festival is superior even to that of Jagannatha's riding to Sundaracala. Such devotees know why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended to this world. If you are not reading and hearing the Tenth Canto of Shrimad- Bhagavatam, you can never know why He came, and you will be cheated. Try to hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam from elevated Vaisnavas, and do not listen to those who say, "Oh, we should not read the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam." Actually, there are three reasons one may say this. The first is that one has no knowledge, and the second is that one is following the order of the good devotees who know everything. These devotees are actually telling us, "You should begin from the First Canto, proceed to the Ninth Canto, and then you can finally come to the Tenth Canto." The third reason is to create an interest. For example, one may close his fist and ask, "What is in my hand? Can you tell what is in my hand?" If someone else hears this, he may become curious to know. Similarly, if anyone says, "Don't read the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam," an aspiring devotee will automatically become curious and ask, "What is there? I should know." In my village there was a devotee who used to bathe in the Ganga every day. If anyone said to him, "Rama! Rama!" he would appear very furious and hold his stick up as though he wanted to beat that person. The boys of all the nearby villages used to come to him and say, "Rama! Rama!" and he used to run after them. Why did he do this? It was just to enthuse them to say, "Rama! Rama!" It was like a game. Similarly, if anyone tells you not to read Shrimad-Bhagavatam, you should be curious to know, "What is inside? There must be some jewel there." If you do not read and hear the Tenth Canto, you will never be able to decide the aim and object of your life and devotion. For example, if you hear about Mother Yasoda, a greed for motherly love may arise. You may begin to think about how she loves Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and how she bound Him with her love and affection. A greed for friendship may arise when you hear that the cowherd boys sometimes play with Krishna, and when you hear that Krishna is their life and soul, and that they cannot remain alive unless they are playing with Krishna; they will die. If Krishna hides behind a tree for a moment, all the cowherd boys wonder anxiously, "Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?" And, if you hear the most elevated topic in Shrimad- Bhagavatam, the service of the gopis to Krishna – and especially what is told in Gopi-gita, Venu-gita, Bhramara-gita, and other such chapters – you may develop a greed for this service. This is the aim and objective of the most exalted and pure devotees, and it is not possible to develop greed without reading and knowing Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The first nine cantos create a platform for the Tenth Canto by removing all your unwanted desires, offenses, and worldly requirements and attachments. After that you should read the Tenth Canto, then you should decide how to attain the goal of life, and then you should read the Eleventh Canto. An even easier process is to follow the essence of Shrimad- Bhagavatam, and that essence is Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta. You will have to read Chaitanya-caritamrta and the books of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama dasa Thakura, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In particular, Narottama dasa Thakura and Bhaktivinoda Thakura have explained the essence of Chaitanya-caritamrta in language that can be understood easily. If you want to be pure and high-class devotees, you must know all the truths presented in their literature. ...Now we are coming again to our subject: Hera-pancami. Jagannatha was not alone when He departed on His chariot. He was with Subhadra and Baladeva. But why did Laksmi become furious? Jagannatha had become indifferent to her and meeting with others. She felt neglected and became angry over this. You should know the significance of these three places: Jagannatha Puri, Vrndavana, and Kuruksetra. First you should know the significance of Jagannatha Puri. Krishna is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki there. He never has a flute in His hand, He does not wear a peacock feather, and He cannot address Nanda Baba as "Father" or Yasoda-maiya as "Mother." He will have to forget the gopis while He is there. He can think about them in His heart, but He will not tell any of His queens, like Satyabhama, Rukmini, and others, "I love the gopis more than you." He can never say this. Jagannatha Puri is Dvaraka. All the Yadavas are there, and Krishna sports with all His queens there. Do you know Vimala-devi in the Jagannatha Temple? Rukmini is like Vimala-devi. Laksmidevi is also there, and she represents all the queens, especially Rukmini and Satyabhama. There are no gopis in the Jagannatha Temple or Jagannatha Puri. They can never be there, and that is why it is Dvaraka Puri. What is Kuruksetra? Krishna has come from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra, and therefore it is part of His dvaraka-lila. There is a speciality there, though, in that Nanda Baba, Yasoda-maiya, all the gopis like Radha, Lalita, Visakha, and most of the other Vrajavasis went there to meet with Krishna. Still, there is immense opulence there, whereas in Vrndavana the gopis freely play with Krishna. Laksmi-devi thinks, "There is so much opulence here. Why should Dvarakadhisa-Krishna go to any impoverished place?" Krishna never told her, "I am going to Vrndavana." He cheated Her by saying, "I have caught a cold. Now I want to go somewhere to get some fresh air. I want to go to a forest, to get a breath of fresh air and feel rejuvenated." He played a trick so that Laksmi would not think He was going to run off to Vrndavana. To cheat Her, He took along His brother Baladeva Prabhu and His sister Subhadra. He was thinking, "Yasoda-maiya knows them, and Rohini also knows them. I will leave them with Yasoda-maiya and then I will stealthily go to Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, and Giriraja-Govardhana, where all the beautiful kunjas are situated. I will play with all the gopis there. Baladeva Prabhu and Subhadra will take their meals with Mother Yasoda and be very happy there, and I will go and play. No one will know." He did not tell anyone where He was going, and He ran at once to Vrndavana – Sundaracala. Mahaprabhu's mood has revealed that the Gundica Mandira in Sundaracala is Vrndavana. Before Mahaprabhu, no one knew all these high truths, but now everyone can know. krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto yah purnah so 'sty atah parah vrndavanam parityajya sa kvacin naiva gacchati Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.67) ["The Krishna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva-Krishna. He is different from the Krishna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadukumara Krishna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krishna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana."] vrndavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati ["Krishna never goes even a step from Vrndavana."] It is because of Radhika that Krishna never leaves Vrndavana. He stays there only for Her, and both of Them do not go anywhere else. Then who went to Kuruksetra? Radhika will never go there. It was Samyogini-Radhika, who is Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika's manifestation, and not directly Radhika Herself, who went to Kuruksetra. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika will always remain at Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in Vrndavana. If Radha and Krishna are always together in Vrndavana, why does Radhika feel so much separation from Krishna, and why does She always weep for Him? Sometimes She becomes so absorbed in love and affection in separation from Krishna that even when She sees a tamala tree, She thinks, "O Krishna! O Krishna! Oh, now You are here." She quarrels with "Him," becomes angry with Him, and sometimes She embraces that tamala tree as if it were Him. How can there be a separation mood there in Vrndavana? There is no actual separation in Vrndavana, but there is some separation mood. In Vrndavana there is the rasa-lila, and Prema-sarovara as well, and Radha and Krishna feel great ecstasy in meeting there. Who experiences the separation mood in Nandagaon? Who met with Uddhava? To whom did Uddhava offer his prayers? vande nanda-vraja-strinam pada-renum abhiksnasah yasam hari-kathodgitam punati bhuvana-trayam Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.63) ["Uddhava prayed: 'I forever pray to the dust of the lotus feet of the gopis in Nandagaon. The hari-katha emanating from their lotus mouths in their separation mood purifies the entire universe.'"] asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61) ["The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons, and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krishna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana, because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet."] In Nandagaon, Radhika is Viyogini-Radhika, another manifestation of Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika has practically no separation mood at all, for She and Krishna always meet together and embrace. Her manifestation, Viyogini-Radhika, is present in Nandagaon, and She appears as Samyogini in Kuruksetra. You cannot deeply understand these truths without being constantly in the association of pure Vaisnavas. At the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu experiences the moods of Samyogini-Radhika in Kuruksetra, not those of Vrsabhanu-nandini. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika will never leave Vrndavana and go to Mathura or Dvaraka, even if Krishna weeps bitterly for Her there. Viyogini-Radhika will also not give up Vrndavana to go to Kuruksetra; only Samyogini-Radhika will go there. So at the Ratha-yatra Festival, Mahaprabhu is absorbed in the mood of Samyogini-Radhika, pulling Krishna on the chariot from the Jagannatha Temple – that is, from Dvaraka Puri – to Vrndavana. What can I say more than this? No one can say anything more. Laksmi came with her associates, riding on a golden palanquin and profusely decorated with golden ornaments. She arrived at the Simha-dvara along with musicians beating drums, and dancing girls who were Jagannatha's deva-dasis. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting very comfortably there, and He listened to the dialogue that ensued. Why did Krishna not take Laksmi-devi to Vrndavana? She could not go, because she was not qualified. Even Satyabhama and Rukmini were not qualified to go to Vrndavana, and that is why they never went. One may ask, "What harm would there be if Radhika and all the gopis went to Dvaraka?" There would be so much harm; they would not be satisfied there. They would see Rukmini, Satyabhama, and all Krishna's queens with Him, and He would not be able to leave their company. Sometimes Krishna's sons would come to sit on His lap, and Shrimati Radhika would not be able to do anything about it. So She will never go there – never. If Radhika does not go to Dvaraka, how can Laksmi go to Vrndavana? She cannot go. After she performed austerities in Baelvana for thousands and thousands of years, Krishna came and asked her, "Why are you doing this?" She replied, "I desire a benediction from You. I want to join the rasa-lila." Krishna said, "That is absurd – you cannot." "Why not?" she asked. "I'll tell you why," Krishna replied. "After this birth, you will have to take birth in the womb of a gopi in Vrndavana, and then you will have to marry a gopa. After that you will have to associate with nityasiddha- gopis, and only then you can join the rasa-lila, when you are sufficiently purified." Even a gopi who has come from the womb of a gopi is unqualified if she has any children by her husband. None of the gopis in the rasa-lila have had any children, and they have nothing to do with their husbands. Krishna continued, "So how can you go? You will have to give up your brahmani body and your chastity to Narayana. You will have to cheat your gopa husband and absorb yourself in parakiya-bhava. Then, in the form of a gopi, you can join the rasa-lila." Laksmi objected, "How can I give up my husband Narayana? I cannot give Him up, I cannot give up my chastity, and I cannot marry a gopa." Then Krishna said, "Then wait, wait. You will obtain this boon from Me when you are able to do all these things." Even now Laksmi is performing austerities, but she is still not qualified. You may want this gopi-prema, but it is so very high. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very merciful, and He descended to the material world to give it. It is very precious – more so than anything. It is very difficult to attain even for Narada, Laksmi, Sankara, and all the other great personalities, so what to speak of lesser personalities? However, if someone has pure greed to serve Radha- Krishna Yugala, and to serve in the rasa-lila, he is very fortunate. Let us say someone has become greedy for a rasagulla, and there is no money in his pocket. Then by grabbing it, stealing it, or by any means he will get it. In the same way, if you have that kind of high-class greed for gopi-prema, an opportunity will come to attain it. Where there is a will, there is a way; the way must come. Krishna Himself gave the way in His form as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He also sent His devotees like Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Prabhupada, our gurudeva, and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I have also come, and I want to give you a little greed for this gopi-prema, which is the aim and object of our lives. I have not come to give vaidhi-bhakti, because so many people coming from India are giving that. They will tell you to serve Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, and they will tell you not to read the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. I have not come for this. I have come in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and in the line of Shrila Prabhupada, my gurudeva, and my siksa-guru, Shrila Swami Maharaja. A person will not hear if he has no greed for the goal of life. He is sleeping now, and he will continue to sleep. If he has no greed or interest, he must sleep like the camels, dogs, hogs, pigs,and especially like the donkeys. I have only come for those who have some taste and greed for this, and I have come to give this greed to those who want it, so that they can advance in the line of Mahaprabhu. When Shrivasa Pandit heard these topics from Shri Svarupa Damodara, he began to laugh very loudly, "Hee, hee! Ho, ho!" Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was deeply absorbed in the moods of the festival, and He watched silently as Shrivasa Pandit continued to laugh and tell Svarupa Damodara, "You don't know anything. Don't you see the opulence of my aradhya-devi (worshipable deity) Laksmi-devi? She is decorated with golden ornaments, and she sits on a golden palanquin like a commander-in-chief with all her associates. But in Vrndavana, there is nothing. The gopis there can make some garlands, but only from flowers; there is no abundance of diamonds or gold – nothing of the kind. There are no golden palanquins. There are only bullock-carts made of wood and bamboo. There is nothing there; only flowers. There are some cows there, giving milk, and there is forest. Krishna can only graze His cows there. He has no throne to sit on, and He doesn't even have shoes or an umbrella. He goes cowherding barefoot, and if He doesn't do this, His father may chastise Him." Shrivasa Pandit continued: vrndavana dekhibare gela jagannatha suni' laksmi-devira mane haila asoyatha Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 14.205) ["When Jagannatha decided to see Vrndavana, He went there, and upon hearing this, the goddess of fortune experienced restlessness and jealousy."] Laksmi, who represents Satyabhama and the other queens, thought angrily, "Here in Dvaraka, my husband is always sitting on a golden throne, and He has so many military commandersin- chief, and so many beautiful queens, and each queen has ten sons and a daughter. Why did Krishna go to Vrndavana?" I have seen something like this in my boyhood. My mother would give me a slap if she was giving me something sweet and I wanted something else instead. So Laksmi was very unhappy and angry, and she tried to attack her husband to force Him to come under her control. She wanted to defeat Him and bring Him back to Dvaraka by quarreling and attacking Him. Mahaprabhu smiled somewhat and said, "Oh, Shrivasa Pandit has the nature of Narada. He always glorifies Laksmi and Narayana, and Dvarakadhisa. Svarupa Damodara is a pure Vrajavasi, and that is why he glorifies the gopis. Shrivasa cannot do so." Almost everyone in this world and universe glorifies Laksmi. Very, very few and rare people glorify the gopis and Krishna. This is true even in India. There are some groups that put forward the view that Shrimad-Bhagavatam is not authentic evidence. They say that someone other than Vyasadeva compiled it; so it is bogus, and therefore the love and affection of the gopis is also bogus. There are many who reject all these topics, and only highclass devotees have a taste for them. Svarupa Damodara then said, "O Shrivasa, don't you remember that the trees in Vrndavana are kalpa-vrksa (desire trees)? They can give millions of tons of gold, and everything else. Anyone can have whatever he desires from those trees, but the gopis have no personal desires. They simply decorate their hair with the flowers of those trees. "The ankle-bells of the gopis are made of cintamani, but the gopis never use them for fulfilling their desires; they only wear them to make sweet sounds while they dance with Krishna. The cows are kama-dhenu. What does that mean? They not only give milk, but they give the "milk" of the fulfillment of all desires. They can give anything a person wants, but the gopas and gopis don't want anything from them. They only want milk and butter. You don't know all these truths because you have not gone to Vrndavana. You don't know even the A-B-C's of Vrndavana. The flowers there are more valuable than the parijata flowers of the heavenly planets. They are always fragrant, and they never become stale. They can give anything, but you don't remember this." He then quoted Brahma-samhita (5.56): "Shriyah kantakantah parama-purusah – in the spiritual world, all the female lovers are goddesses of fortune and the male lover is the Supreme Personality." After Shrivasa Thakura heard all this from Svarupa Damodara, his mood changed. He entered the mood of Madhumangala [See Endnote 5] Krishna's intimate sakha in Vraja, and then he began to dance, remembering the glories of Vraja. After Mahaprabhu heard Svarupa Damodara's katha, He went to a flower garden and along with the devotees took rest there. Then, after He awoke and bathed, He began singing and dancing with His devotees, absorbed in krsna-prema. Then, when they had performed kirtana throughout the day, Svarupa Damodara tricked Mahaprabhu by telling Him, "Now we are all tired, so please stop Your dancing. Jagannatha-deva has sent very beautiful and sweet prasada, like rice, dahl, puri, kacauri, chena (curd), paida (coconut), pana (fruit juice), sara-puri (a kind of puri made with cream), and many other varieties of preparations." Mahaprabhu began to distribute the prasada Himself, but Svarupa Damodara said, "Everyone is waiting for You. No one will take prasada if You don't take." Then Mahaprabhu sat down and began to taste the prasada, and everyone called out, "Hari bol!" You can read this discussion between Shrivasa Pandit and Svarupa Damodara in its entirety in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta [Madhya-lila, Chapter 14]
  8. Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Shri Devananda Gaudiya Math, Navadvipa: Mar.12, 2000 Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Navadvipa and performed His pastimes there. It is said that after these pastimes were completed, He took sannyasa and went to Puri. Later He went to South India, met Shrila Ramananda Raya, and revealed to him His form as Shri Shri Radha and Krishna combined – Rasaraja-mahabhava. This form of Rasaraja-mahabhava is also described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, as the pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Krishna is Rasaraja (the king of all tasters of transcendental mellows) and Radhika is Mahabhava-svarupa (the quintessence of transcendental loving emotions towards Krishna). In Navadvipa, Shri Gauranga performed sakhya-bhava pastimes with His friends in His naravata, human-like, lila. Some people say that after taking sannyasa in Navadvipa, He left and performed higher pastimes in Puri. After that, on the bank of Godavari He met Ramananda Raya and learned how to taste Krishna in a still more intense mood of separation. It is not actually true, however, that Puri and Godavari are higher than Navadvipa, nor is it true that Shri Sacinandana Gaurahari ever leaves Navadvipa. It is said that Mahaprabhu was able to taste what He came to this world to taste – only after He met Raya Ramananda, who is Visakha-devi in Krishna-lila. He learned from him how to taste radha-bhava. Do you know why He learned from Ramananda Raya instead of Shrila Svarupa Damodara, who is Lalita-devi in Krishna-lila? Lalita devi is the first expansion of Radharani and Visakha-devi is the second expansion. But Visakha's birthday is the same as that of Shrimati Radharani, so her nature is the same. She has practically the same qualities and the same form. Krishna could not be taught by Lalita-devi because her mood is pragalba, bold and outspoken. Shrimati Radhika and Shrimati Visakha, although also left-wing gopis, are the same as each other – madhya-nayika, heroines who are a mixture of pragalbha and mrdvi (sweet and gentle). Therefore. Mahaprabhu had to learn from Ramananda Raya how to taste Radha-bhava. Because it was at Godavari that Mahaprabhu learned to taste that Radha-bhava, some say that Godavari is higher than Navadvipa. But this is not so. Navadvipa itself is the highest abode, and it includes Godavari and Jagannatha Puri. We can understand this by a comparative study of aishvarya-mayi-lila and madhurya-mayi-lila ('mayi' means 'consisting of'). What is the difference between aishvarya and madhurya? aishvarya-lila are displays of opulence which cannot be performed by any human being, whereas madhurya-lila are those pastimes which appear human-like, even if there is a great display of opulence. If there is no opulence, activities are simply mundane. So there may be opulence in madhurya-mayi-lila, but that lila still appears sweet and human-like, and so it is called madhurya. Whether opulence is clearly present or not, in madhurya-lila there does not seem to be opulence. As we see from Krishna's lila, there is more aishvarya in Vrindavan than there is in Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, or Mathura. However, it is covered by so much sweetness that the opulence cannot be tasted. [For clarification an example is given of salt and sugar: There are four cups. The first has 1 ounce of salt and no sugar. The second one has 2 ounces of salt and 2 ounces of sugar. The third has 3 ounces of salt and 6 ounces of sugar. And the fourth has 4 ounces of salt and 100 lbs. of sugar. Although the fourth cup has more salt, one cannot taste it because of all the sugar.] In Goloka Vrindavan the opulence is covered. Krishna's madhurya-lila includes aishvarya. When Krishna lifted Govardhana Hill, the cowherd boys thought that He must be getting tired. They considered, "We should also help to hold up Govardhana, with our sticks." Others thought, "Because of Nanda Maharaja's austerities, Lord Narayana entered Krishna's body. It is actually Narayana who is holding up Govardhana." The gopis were glaring upon Govardhana and said to him, "If you fall down on Krishna, we will curse you." So these are human-like pastimes. When Krishna was a baby He showed His mother His universal form, and everything was there within His mouth – all incarnations, all universes, all elements, all senses, and so forth. Despite this, Yasoda-maiya could not conceive that her son is God. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself, and His dhama, Shri Navadvipa, is Vrindavan itself. In Navadvipa He was known as Saci-putra and Sacinandana, the son of Saci-mata and Jagannatha Misra. He was also called Visnupriya-pati, the husband of Shrimati Visnupriya-devi. Practically no one there knew that He is the Supreme Lord. Two of His friends at that time were Jagadananda Pandita and Svarupa Damodara. They were his fellow-students when He attended the school of Gangadasa Pandita, and they all performed their madhurya-lila there. As there are so many human learned scholars or panditas, the residents of Navadvipa considered Saci-putra to be Nimai Pandita, a very good human pandita. There is no aishvarya in this name Nimai Pandita. It is naravata, human-like. When Kesava Kasmiri, the digvijaya (challenging scholar), came to defeat the panditas of Navadvipa, they decided to make Nimai Pandita their representative. They considered Him to be just a boy. Therefore, if He would lose, they could then say, "He's just a boy." And if He would win, they could consider it a great victory for Navadvipa that their boy-scholar was successful. Being fellow-students in Gangadasa Pandita's school, Jagadananda Pandita and Nimai Pandita used to have friendly arguments about logic. Sometimes they would argue about the definition of mukti. Jagadananda Pandita would quote the verse beginning, "Atyantya dukha nivritti – Liberation means to be delivered from the miseries of maya." But Nimai Pandita would say, "No. The real definition of mukti is: 'Mukti hitva anyata rupam, svarupena vyavastiti – Mukti is that condition in which one realizes his own svarupa and the svarupa of Krishna, and he realizes his relationship with Krishna. Liberation from all false identifications is only possible when one knows his real identification. When one surrenders to the lotus-feet of Radha and Krishna and serves Them with one's transcendental body and senses, that is mukti. Otherwise mukti is only partial.'" So this is nara-lila – human-like friends arguing together. In Jagannatha Puri, on the other hand, there were so many opulent pastimes, which everyone knew could not be performed by a human being. For example, when Mahaprabhu jumped in the ocean and was caught in the fisherman's net, His body became elongated and all His joints were separated by eight inches. This is opulence, and this is very deep and hard to understand. After Mahaprabhu completed his talks with Ramananda Raya, He tasted the fruits in Gambhira and only three-and-one-half persons were allowed to enter there – Shri Ramananda Raya, Shri Svarupa Damodara, Sikhi Mahiti, and his sister, Shrimati Madhavi devi. Dvaraka is full of opulence. There are so many palaces, elephants, horses, and chariots there. Similarly, in Puri there was so much veneration by all Mahaprabhu's devotees, and all were fearful to make proposals to Him. In Navadvipa, on the other hand, Kolaveca Shridhara would have arguments with Nimai Pandita – and Nimai would even steal his vegetables. In Vraja, Shri Krishna is considered an ordinary cowherd boy. In Navadvipa, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is considered an ordinary brahmana's ordinary son. No one in Navadvipa could conceive of Him being called Mahaprabhu. Only when He went to Puri did He begin to be called Mahaprabhu. In Navadvipa He sucked the breast of Saci-devi. He played with the girls who were worshiping Siva-linga to get a good husband. He also sometimes behaved as a mischievous student. His lila, therefore, is called madhurya-mayi-lila. Someone may object to this statement, considering that He manifested as Nrsimhadeva and Varaha in Navadvipa. This is true, but hardly anyone saw this. Practically all the devotees always thought He was simply Saci-nandana. Only a few were in the mood of worship, like Murari Gupta (who is Hanuman in Rama-lila) or Shrivasa Pandita (who is Narada Muni in Krishna-lila), understood Him as the Supreme Lord. Comparing the three features There is a comparison between the three features of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the three features of Shrimati Radharani. There is an original Radhika, and Her complete and original form is called Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika. She never leaves Vrindavan, and She only feels short-term separation from Krishna – as when He goes cow-herding for a few hours each day. Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika is always experiencing Her nitya-lila, or astakaliya-lila, pastimes with Krishna, which take place twenty-four hours a day – from one early morning to the next. She is actually never separated from Krishna. There is only an abhimana, or self-conception, that They are sometimes separated. Vrsabhanu-nandini has two manifestations. One is Viyogini Radhika: Radhika feeling separation from Krishna at Uddhava Kyari when Krishna was in Mathura and Dvaraka. Her other manifestation is in Kurukshetra, and that is Sanyogini Radhika. It is Sanyogini Radha who meets with Krishna in Kurukshetra. Just as Dvarakadisa-Krishna and Mathuresa-Krishna are always within purnattama (Krishna's most complete form) Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna, so these other two manifestations of Vrsabhanu-nandini Radhika are included within Her original form. Radhika's full, original form also feels separation, but only at certain times. For example, She may wake up one morning and think, "Oh, what a terrible dream I had. Krishna went to Dvaraka and married so many queens." Also, now and then some conception comes, "Oh, Krishna has left. No, Krishna is here after all." That sentiment or conception takes a tangible form in prakata-lila, Krishna's pastimes as preformed in this material world. The three features of Shrimati Radhika – Vrsabhanu-nandini, Viyogini, and Sanyogini – are defined in the Sanat Kumara Samhita. Just as She has three features, Shri Sacinandana Gaurahari has three features. Shri Krishna Chaitanya Radha Krishna nahi anya. Mahaprabhu is no one but Radha and Krishna combined. When Shrimati Radhika is speaking to the bumblebee at Uddhava Kyari, She is Viyogini Radhika. madhupa kitava-bandho ma sprsanghrim sapatnyah kuca-vilulita-mala-kunkuma-smasrubhir nau vahatu madhu-patis tan-manininam prasadam yadu-sadasi vidambyam yasya dutas tvam idrk (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.12) ["O black bee, don't touch me. I know you are a representative of Krishna from Mathura, and you are trying to make some compromise. But I will never compromise with that Krishna. I know that the red of your whiskers has come from the kunkuma which came from the breasts of His beloveds there in Mathura. It was smeared on Krishna's garland when He embraced them, and then came on your mustaches."] This mood of transcendental madness is of Viyogini Radhika, and this is compared to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Puri. Shri Chaitanya-charitamrta explains that the mood of Shrimati Radhika which was seen by Uddhava was the constant mood of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at Gambhira. "Vrindavan parityaja na padam ekam gacchati." Krishna never leaves Vrindavan. Nandanandana is always in Vrindavan. Vrsabhanu-nandini also never leaves Vrindavan, and similarly Sacinandana never leaves Navadvipa. In Godavari, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested his Rasaraja-mahabhava svarupa. There in Godavari He discussed all tattvas: rasa-tattva, prema-tattva, and radha-tattva. But who saw this? Only Ramananda Raya. This manifestation of Rasaraja-mahabhava was not an ordinary activity. No one else could have shown Himself as Radha and Krishna. Therefore it is an opulence; it is aishvarya, and it is not the highest lila. Shrimati Radhika's partial moods and forms are included within Her original form, and this is also true with Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In Mahaprabhu's lila, Puri is like Dvaraka. When He is in Gambhira, He is experiencing Radharani's separation from Krishna at Dvaraka, in the mood of Viyogini Radhika. When Mahaprabhu is in Godavari, He is like Sanyogini Radhika. This aspect of Shrimati Radhika meets Krishna at Kurukshetra in order to bring Him back to Vrindavan. These two aspects of Mahaprabhu are included in Navadvipa. In Jagannatha Puri, no one accepted the names Sacinandana, etc. Everyone there had a reverential mood towards Mahaprabhu. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya realized, "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I've never seen such a person in this world." Shri Chaitanya-charitamrta (Madhya 6. 9-13) states that while examining the body of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sarvabhauma saw that His abdomen was not moving and that He was not breathing. Seeing this condition, he became very anxious. He then took a fine cotton swab and put it before Mahaprabhu's nostrils. When he saw the cotton move very slightly, he became hopeful. Sitting beside Mahaprabhu, he thought, "This is a transcendental ecstatic transformation brought about by love of Krishna." Upon seeing the sign of suddipta-sattvika bhava, the Bhattacarya could immediately understand the transcendental ecstatic transformation in Mahaprabhu's body. Such a sign could take place only in the bodies of Krishna's eternally liberated associates like the gopis, and especially in Shrimati Radhika. The Bhattacarya considered, "The uncommon ecstatic symptoms of adhiruddha-bhava are appearing in the body of Mahaprabhu. This is very wonderful! How are they possible in the body of a human being?" Hidden Vrindavan Navadvipa is gupta (hidden) Vrindavan. Although the twelve forests of Vrindavan are hidden in Navadvipa, they are in a different sequence. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described this as acintya, inconceivable. He has explained that it is the speciality of this dhama. It is hidden and crooked, so it cannot be exactly in the same sequence. This is the nature of hidden prema. stealing clothesRadha-kunda is not far from Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Because Govardhana is here, Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda must also be here. My Guru Maharaja, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Paramahamsa Shrila Bhakti-prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja has fulfilled the innermost heart's desire of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura by establishing this temple in the valley or plain of Govardhana. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sometimes stayed here and performed pastimes. One pastime, as explained in Shri Chaitanya-charitamrta, was when some young girls were making offerings to Siva-linga with fruits, flowers, and other paraphernalia of worship. At that time Nimai Pandita forcibly stole the offerings and told the girls that they should not waste their time worshiping Lord Siva. He said, "I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You should worship Me. All the demigods and demigoddesses are My servants. If you do not worship Me, I will curse you all to get old, ugly husbands who already have five wives." They were all joking in this way, and they did not believe that He was the Supreme. All the Vrindavan pastimes are there in Navadvipa. Govardhana and Rasa-sthali are present where we are now sitting, in Koladvipa, at the Devananda Gaudiya Matha. Krishna is dancing here with the gopis. One may say that the highest place in Navadvipa is Yogapitha at Mayapura, because that is where Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. But actually, Koladvipa is superior. We must consider the siddhanta (conclusive truth). Comparing Navadvipa to Vrindavan, Mathura-Gokula is the place where Krishna appeared. He appeared simultaneously as Lord Vasudeva in Mathura and as a baby in Gokula. But this place in Koladvipa is Govardhana, where Krishna appeared in His original and most complete form, His kaisora (teenage) form, His Radha-Krishna yugala form. This is also where rasa-lila, the highest pastime, took place. It can be concluded, therefore, that this place is so much higher. Shrila Rupa Gosvami confirms in his Upadesamrta, "The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura-puri is the transcendental forest of Vrindavan, because of Krishna's rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrindavan is Govardana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Shri Krishna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super-excellent Shri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is over-flooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Shri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?" After class After the class, at an informal darshana just outside Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's room, a disciple questioned, "You said this morning that there was no opulence manifestation in Navadvipa. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu revealed His Virat-rupa, His universal form, there in Navadvipa." Shrila Maharaja replied, "Yes, but only to a few; to Shrivasa Thakura as Narada Muni." Another devotee questioned, "You said in class that Jagannatha Puri represents Dvaraka and Godavari represents Kurukshetra. How is Godavari Kurukshetra?" Shrila Maharaja replied, "It is not that Godavari is the same as Kurukshetra. This comparison is given because of its display of opulence. When Shrimati Radhika first met Krishna at Kurukshetra, She saw so much opulence: horses, chariots and elephants, and Krishna was dressed as an opulent prince. Similarly, when Mahaprabhu manifested His transcendental form as Rasaraja-mahabhava, this was a great display of opulence. Another thing was that the great happiness Shrimati Radhika felt by meeting Krishna in Kurukshetra after such a long time was only momentary. When She realized that Their meeting and relationship could not be the same as it was in Vrindavan, it became a pathetic scene. Similarly, the opulent display of Mahaprabhu's Rasaraja-mahabhava form was only revealed for a moment.
  9. A108-AI

    About Lord Shiva

    Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja 02 July 1997 Shiva and Narada Shri Narada desired to proclaim the glories of Lord Shiva. As previously described, he praised Shiva as the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna and most dear to Him, and Lord Shiva became upset by hearing those praises. Shiva then related a number of incidents which, according to him, were evidence that he was not dear to Krishna at all. Now Lord Shiva compares himself to Shri Prahlada Maharaja, (*See Endnote 1) the famed devotee of Lord Nrsimhadeva described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. He told Narada, "Shri Prahlada Maharaja is superior to me, and it is he who is the dear devotee of the Lord." Even though Lord Shiva is superior to Prahlada Maharaja, he told Narada that Prahlada Maharaja is superior. Why? He said this to encourage people to follow Prahlada Maharaja's ideal character and teachings. However, Prahlada Maharaja cannot enter Shri Krishna's transcendental abode, Vrndavana, whereas Lord Shiva resides there eternally as Gopisvara. Shiva serves Shri Krishna personally in numerous ways. He and his wife Parvati-devi meditate on asta-kaliya-lila, Lord Shri Krishna's confidential eight-fold daily pastimes. These secret pastimes are very confidential, yet both Shiva and Parvati are able to meditate upon them. Shiva is hundreds of thousands of times superior to and more worshipable than Shri Prahlada Maharaja, and yet the artful Shiva declared Prahlada Maharaja to be superior. Why did he do so? In one sense Prahlada Maharaja is superior, and in another sense he is not. We can reconcile this by considering the two perspectives from which to understand the identity of Lord Shiva: We can see Shiva from the point of view of his post, and also from the point of view of his personality. As a personality, separate from his post, he appears as an associate of the Supreme Lord, such as Gopisvara, Hanuman and Bhima. As Gopisvara he resides eternally in Vrndavana. As Hanuman he always associates with and serves Lord Rama. As Bhima he always serves Lord Krishna. And, when Hanuman and Bhima combine together in this present age of Kali-yuga, they become Madhvacarya, our Sampradaya-guru. (*See Endnote 2) From the point of view of Lord Shiva's function as the god of annihilation, and also that of Brahma as the secondary creator of the universe, Shiva and Brahma are actually posts. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are not ordinary human beings, but their posts are like that of the president or prime minister of a nation, wherein the man representing the post has to perform a certain defined job. Both as the post and the person, Shiva is superior to Brahma. Lord Shiva is an expansion of Lord Visnu, but sometimes a jiva may become Shiva's expansion known as Rudra. If a man purely performs the duties of varnasrama for one hundred births, he may become Brahma.6 In other words, he may attain the position or post of Brahma. In turn, when a person in the post of Brahma carries out his function expertly for one hundred births, he becomes qualified to perform the function of Shiva in his manifestation as Rudra. Shiva's post is therefore superior to that of Brahma, and this is also evidence that Shiva is more powerful than Brahma. The Duty of Destruction What is the function of Lord Shiva's post, and why is it superior to that of Lord Brahma? One reason is that Brahma cannot execute pralaya, the complete destruction of the universe - a very dangerous thing, whereas Shiva can do so. Shiva's function as destroyer is similar to that of a farmer who plants and cultivates a large area of wheat. The farmer carefully waters and nourishes the crop, guarding it from animals, and after five or six months the wheat matures and ripens. Then, either by hand or a machine, the farmer harvests the plants and carefully removes the grains from their shafts. The rest of the plant-matter becomes refuse, subject to rotting and attracting disease, vermin, and snakes. Therefore, the farmer sets fire to it and burns it. Just as the farmer extracts the grains from the plants, Lord Shiva extracts the eternal spirit souls from their material bodies and from the world. At the time of annihilation he creates an inferno, setting the entire universe on fire, but the spirit souls are not destroyed. There are two kinds of universal devastations: one at the end of Lord Brahma's day and one at the end of his life. At the end of his day (4,320,000,000 solar years) he rests in a mystic sleep within the body of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and all the conditioned living entities enter as well. (*See Endnote 3) While the entire universe is submerged in water, the living entities rest in their subtle bodies within the transcendental body of Garbhodakasayi Visnu. They await the start of the next day of Brahma, the next material creation or manifestation. Some of them become liberated, and others do not. When Lord Brahma completes the one hundred celestial years of his life, Lord Shiva again performs this duty of destruction. At that time all the spirit souls enter into the body of Karanodakasayi Visnu or Maha Visnu. At the end of each day of Lord Brahma, all souls enter Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and at the end of Brahma's life, even the millions of manifestations of Garbhodakasayi Visnu enter Karanodakasayi Visnu (*See Endnote 4) along with the spirit souls. At the time of creation, Karanodakasayi Visnu generates innumerable manifestations of Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and at the time of complete annihilation, they enter back into his body. (*See Endnote 5) Lord Shiva is not a living entity, but he is also not in the category of Lord Visnu. He is much more powerful than any living entity, even up to Lord Brahma. However, he is not equal to Lord Visnu. Because he is almost as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can see the three phases of time: past, present, and future. One of his eyes is like the sun and another is like the moon. He also has a third eye, located between his eyebrows. It is from this third eye that he generates fire and employs it at the time of the universal destruction. Seen from this perspective - the destroyer - Lord Shiva cannot serve Shri Krishna directly, because he is engaged at his post. Those souls who are liberated after hundreds of thousands of lifetimes of devotional practice, having renounced all responsibilities and concerns of the world - including occupations like that of Brahma and Shiva - and who constantly hear about, glorify, and remember Lord Krishna, take birth in this world as pure devotees like Prahlada Maharaja. This was told by Lord Shiva to Shri Narada. Prahlada Maharaja has nothing to do with this world; nothing to create or demolish. He rejected all such affairs as insignificant. Although he had inherited a large kingdom, it was controlled and governed by his ministers. His senses were totally absorbed in the transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. He was always engaged in hearing the name and glories of the Lord, singing and speaking about his glories, remembering and meditating on him, offering prayers, carrying out the his orders and fully surrendering to him. Devotees in Prahlada's category have no need to approach Lord Krishna's manifestations like Lord Nrsinhadeva and Lord Rama, for the Lord personally comes to them in these forms. Lord Shiva told Shri Narada that because he is always engaged in the post of controlling the universe, he can neither see nor offer services to the Lord daily, as Prahlada Maharaja sees Lord Vamanadeva or Lord Nrsinhadeva. Vamanadeva and Nrsinhadeva are both manifestations of the same Lord, who regularly gives Prahlada his divine association and the opportunity to serve and offer obeisance at his lotus feet. Although both Brahma and Shiva are actually superior in bhakti to Prahlada Maharaja, their posts involve contact with the three gunas, or modes of material nature, namely goodness, passion, and ignorance. The role of Lord Brahma is creation and procreation in raja-guna, the mode of passion. Lord Shiva's role of demolition and dissolution is in tama-guna, the mode of ignorance. It is for this reason that they are called guna-avataras, incarnations of the material qualities. Prahlada Maharaja is nirguna, transcendental to the three modes of nature. He has nothing to do with activities in material goodness, passion, and ignorance, by which this world is shackled. Lord Shiva is also beyond the three modes of nature, but he adopts the mode of ignorance (tama-guna) to efficiently perform his function. The Personal Associate Regarding Lord Shiva's glorification of Prahlada Maharaja, now consider Lord Shiva's identity as a transcendental personality - separate from his post. Sometimes senior Vaisnavas express sincere recognition of the novice, inspiring him or her on the path of devotion. The Vaisnava may say, "Oh, you work so hard and earn money, and with that money you support and nourish me. I have no means at all. I do nothing but visit for a short while, eating, and sleeping at your expense. I would not be able to speak the glories of Lord Krishna at this festival if you had not arranged for the management of all the activities here, so you are superior to me." Out of sincere humility, gratitude and affection, liberated souls speak in this endearing manner, and at the same time they are fixed in the realization that they are always being personally maintained by the Supreme Lord. The senior Vaisnava has the disciple's personal benefit in mind. However, Lord Shiva was not speaking for Prahlada Maharaja's benefit, but to acquaint aspiring devotees with the stages of devotion. His desire was to facilitate the service of Shri Narada Muni and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami (*See Endnote 6), whose mission was to establish in the world the sequence of the grades of devotion and ultimately establish the glories of the gopis. Try to understand all these truths, and seek to gradually become firmly situated in bhakti. Imagine that you are in a market in which there are thousands of varieties of shops. In some of those shops there are products made of iron, in some shops there are products made of gold, in some there are jewels, and in others cintamani (wish-fulfilling stones). An expert is guiding you through all the shops, pointing out different products and revealing which are superior. If there are a thousand pounds of iron and only one ounce of gold, the gold has more value. On the other hand, many pounds of gold will not amount to the value of one Kaustubha-mani or a similarly precious stone. Millions of such precious jewels cannot compare with a tiny quantity of cintamani, and even millions of cintamani stones cannot compare with one holy name of Lord Krishna. Now suppose someone is chanting the name of Lord Krishna alone, and another is absorbed in the name of Radha-Ramana. The name Radha-Ramana, meaning Shri Krishna, the enjoyer of pastimes with Shrimati Radharani, has more transcendental taste (rasa) than the name Krishna alone. The person absorbed in that holy name will therefore experience a greater spiritual pleasure. Regarding the analogy of the shops in a market, that expert tells you, "This shop is good, that shop is better, and this one is the best. Similarly, in his Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami establishes the gradations of excellence of various devotees and their devotion, in order to help his readers determine their spiritual path. The history of Narada Muni's coming to the abode of Lord Shiva and glorifying him was first narrated in this Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Like Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Narada is also that expert described above. He desired to establish pure bhakti in the world, and therefore he played the role of searching for the greatest devotee and recipient of Lord Krishna's mercy. His search had taken him first to the "shop" of a brahmana in Prayaga, and after that to South India, to the shop of a king. Then he traveled to heaven, where he entered the shop of King Indra, and Indra sent him to the shop of Lord Brahma. Brahma sent him to Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva is now sending him to Prahlada Maharaja. Gradually, Shri Narada will bring us to the greatest recipients of Lord Krishna's mercy, the gopis. In the form of Gopisvara, Lord Shiva is the beloved servant and associate of those gopis. Once, the great sage Narada Muni traveled to the abode of Lord Shiva and began to glorify him, saying, "You are very near and dear to the Supreme Lord Krishna. Not only that, you are Krishna's manifestation; you are non-different from Him. You can give liberation and also krsna-prema, the rare jewel of transcendental love for Krishna." Hearing Narada glorify him in numerous ways, Lord Shiva became angry and said, "Your glorification of me is false. I am not at all dear to Shri Krishna." Lord Shiva is actually most dear to Shri Krishna, and therefore Krishna can give him services which He cannot give anyone else. When the demigods and demons were churning the Milk Ocean in order to obtain the nectar of immortality, the first substance produced was a powerful and dangerous poison, burning the entire world. The demigods appealed to Shri Krishna, and He advised them to request Lord Shiva to drink the poison. Thus, they worshiped Lord Shiva and prayed, "Please save us! Only you can protect us!" Lord Shiva collected the poison and took it in his mouth, but he hesitated to swallow it, considering, "Lord Krishna is in my heart. The poison will affect Him." He therefore kept the poison in his throat, which was burned, and his neck turned the color blue. Now, out of genuine humility, Lord Shiva told Narada: "I want to be His beloved devotee, but actually I am not. You know that I always wear ashes from the burial grounds, and a garland of skulls. All my associates are ghosts and witches, so I am not qualified to be Krishna's dear devotee. If I am so dear to Him, why would He have ordered me to engage with the mode of ignorance in the terrible function of destroying of the universe? If I am such a great recipient of His mercy, why would he have ordered me to become Sankaracarya and preach a philosophy that is adverse to Him?" Actually, although he expressed otherwise, it was because Shiva is so dear to Krishna that Krishna was able to give him the difficult task of appearing as Sankaracarya. (*See Endnote 7) Many people had been worshiping the Supreme Lord only to fulfill their selfish purposes, thinking, "Simply by our worship of God, He will be pleased with us and satisfy all our worldly desires." They worshiped Him only so that He would rapidly arrange for all of their needs, not to please Him. Lord Krishna thought, "This is very dangerous." He called Lord Shiva and instructed him, "Such false devotees will create great disturbances, so keep them far away from Me. Create a philosophy which teaches, ‘brahma satyam jagan mithya - the Absolute is true, this world is false.' You should preach, ‘All souls are Shiva; all souls are Brahma; all are one. You are brahma, the impersonal Absolute. There is no need to worship any other God; you are the Supreme God.' " Reluctant, Lord Shiva asked Krishna, "Can you please tell someone else to do this? I am not qualified for this service." Krishna replied, "No, you will have to do this. In the entire world, I see no one else who is as capable." Feeling ashamed, Lord Shiva now told Narada, "At last, I had to agree to follow His order. Appearing as Sankaracarya I preached everywhere, ‘You are brahma, you are brahma, you are the impersonal brahma. The entire world is false.' I am so much regretting this. I know I have committed a great offence by causing so many people to be averse to Lord Krishna. Still, to carry out His order I spread this doctrine. It is clear by the fact that He sometimes gives me such orders that I am not His dearest one." Cheating the Cheaters Lord Shiva also expressed to Narada his regret in having given benedictions to Lord Krishna's enemies. To fulfill his Lord's desires, he had given benedictions to demons like Ravana, Vrkasura, Salva and Jayadratha, and thus he had performed many activities that were seemingly opposed to Krishna and krsna-bhakti. Narada Muni said, "Master, please don't try to mislead me. I know that whatever you do is to please Lord Krishna and to assist Him in His pastimes, for the benefit of all beings. You told me that you have many times given benedictions to His enemies. I know that His enemies, as well as the enemies of His devoted cousins, the Pandavas, worship you for ill-motivated benedictions. I also know that you grant them benedictions. But those benedictions are not foolproof; they always have some loophole. Actually, you cheat these beneficiaries in order to please Lord Krishna. You are undoubtedly His dearest friend." Shiva and Narada continued to discuss some historical incidents which, according to Shiva, proved that he was not dear to Krishna - but according to Narada, proved the opposite. A Loophole The great epic Mahabharata tells of King Jayadratha, one of the many demons who received such a clever benediction from Lord Shiva. Duryodhana, the paternal cousin of the five Pandava brothers, had given his sister Dushala in marriage to King Jayadratha, and therefore the king had also become like a brother-in-law of the Pandavas. Once, Jayadratha tried to kidnap the Pandavas' wife, Draupadi, desiring strongly to make her his own wife. As he forced her onto his chariot, she admonished him, crying, "I am the wife of the Pandavas. When they catch you, they will punish you and kill you!" Jayadratha's arrogance prevented him from hearing her, and he continued his abduction. Meanwhile, the sage Narada approached the Pandavas and informed them, "Oh, I saw Jayadratha taking away Draupadi, and she was weeping!" Two of the Pandavas, Bhima and Arjuna, immediately chased after Jayadratha. Bhima dismounted his chariot and ran faster than Jayadratha's horses. With his bow and arrows, Arjuna created a fire that surrounded the chariot of Jayadratha, who was then captured and could not move. Severely beaten by Bhima and arrested by Arjuna, Jayadratha was bound to the chariot and taken to where Yudhisthira Maharaja had been staying with Draupadi. Bhima and Arjuna spoke to Yudhisthira, their respected senior brother. Bhima urged him, "I want to kill Jayadratha. Please order me to kill him." In support of Bhima, Arjuna said, "Jayadratha has performed a heinous act and should be killed." King Yudhisthira replied, "The offense was committed against Draupadi. We should take the case to her, and we will do whatever she orders." When Jayadratha was brought at the feet of Draupadi, she mercifully told her husbands, "Don't kill him; forgive him. He is our brother-in-law. If you kill him, your cousin-sister will be widowed and she will weep for the rest of her life." Bhima and Arjuna then approached Lord Krishna and appealed to Him: "What should we do? We have vowed to kill Jayadratha, and now Draupadi tells us to forgive him." Krishna replied, "For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death." Arjuna then shaved King Jayadratha's head, leaving five patches of hair, and he shaved one side of his face, leaving the other side unshaven. Jayadratha felt humiliated, and after being released by Bhima and Arjuna he considered it better to have died. He thought, "I will somehow take revenge." Thus absorbed, he went to Gangotri in the Himalayas and undertook a severe type of penance to please Lord Shiva. After some months he gave up all food, water, and bodily activities, and was about to die. At this point Lord Shiva came before him and asked what boon he wanted as a result of his austerity. Jayadratha replied, "I want revenge against the Pandavas. I want to defeat and kill all of them." Lord Shiva told him, "You can defeat the Pandavas, but only Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva; not Arjuna." Jayadratha said, "If you cannot benedict me to my full satisfaction, then please grant that neither Arjuna nor anyone else will be able to kill me." Lord Shiva replied, "I can grant you this: if your head is severed and falls on the ground, the person who caused this will die immediately. Your life will be saved and your head will rejoin your body. You may be ‘killed' hundreds of thousands of times, but you will not die. On the other hand, if your severed head falls into your father's hands and he throws it on the ground, then you will die." Jayadratha was satisfied, thinking, "My father would never do this." When the battle of Kuruksetra began, Jayadratha took the side of the Pandavas' enemy, Duryodhana. One evening during the battle, as the sun was setting, Jayadratha's father was absorbed in prayer and making an offering of water to the Sun-god. Arjuna saw this opportune moment. With the skillful release of an arrow, he severed Jayadratha's head from his body and caused it to fall into the hands of his meditating father. Startled and without thought, Jayadratha's father tossed the head on the ground. Then, opening his eyes he exclaimed, "What was that wet thing?" Seeing that he had just thrown his son's head, he began to cry, "Oh my son! Oh my son! You are dead now!" A Clever Benediction Envious of Krishna and with a desire for the strength to destroy him, the demon Salva also took shelter of Lord Shiva. He performed a severe type of austerity and ate no more than a handful of ashes daily. After one year, Lord Shiva became pleased with him and asked him to beg for a boon. Salva begged from Lord Shiva the gift of an airplane, saying, "This airplane should perform as I wish; it should be operated by my mind. On my order it should go to heaven or anywhere I desire. In summer it should be air-conditioned. If there are only two men, there should only be two seats, and if I want to travel with hundreds of thousands of persons, many seats should manifest. It should never crash due to mechanical difficulty, and it should be equipped with all varieties of weapons. It should be dangerous and fearful to the Yadus." Lord Shiva agreed, and Salva was helped by the demon Maya Danava to manufacture a mystical airplane that began to destroy Dvaraka, Lord Krishna's abode. Salva personally attacked from above, and his soldiers attacked on the ground. Headed by Pradyumna, the Yadu dynasty warriors fought with Salva and his army, but they could not defeat him. Finally, Lord Krishna personally appeared on the battlefield, and after much intense fighting on both sides and many mystic displays by Salva, the Lord took up His disc, cut off the demon's head, and gave him liberation. In this way, the benedictions given by Lord Shiva to the enemies of Lord Krishna always have a weak point - a loophole. Lord Shiva is extremely clever, and he is always serving his Lord, Shri Krishna. Narada knew this fact, and he wanted to publicize Lord Shiva's glories. Shiva is very near and dear to Krishna, and non-different from Him. Try to always honor him, for he is Krishna's greatest devotee. nimna-ganah yatha ganga devanam acyuto yatha vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh purananam idam tatha [(Just as the Ganga is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Sambhu the greatest of Vaisnavas, so Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the greatest of all Puranas. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.16)] The Principle of Shiva The principle of Shiva - Shiva-tattva - is extremely complex. The principle of Brahma is not as complicated, because Lord Brahma is always a jiva, a finite spirit soul. Sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu (Krishna's expansion) personally takes the post of Brahma, but that is rare. Lord Shiva is not like that; he is not a finite soul. After passing through the eight material coverings, and after crossing the Viraja (the river that divides the material world and the spiritual world) and the planet of Lord Brahma (the highest material planet), one comes to the planet of Shiva. There he is known as SadaShiva, a manifestation of Lord Visnu. Shiva-tattva can be understood by the analogy of yogurt and milk. Yogurt is nothing but a transformation of milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. This analogy is found in Shri Brahma-Samhita and elucidated in Shrila Jiva Gosvami's commentary: "Just as milk is transformed into yogurt by contact with a transforming agent, Shri Govinda, Lord Shri Krishna, similarly accepts the form of Sambhu (Shiva) in order to accomplish a specific purpose. The example of yogurt is actually given in order to convey the idea of cause and effect, not the idea of transformation. Shri Krishna is reality and cannot be transformed, so it is not possible for Him to undergo any kind of distortion. A wish-fulfilling gem manifests many things according to one's desire, yet its constitutional nature remains untransformed." (*See Endnote Ramesvara Mahadeva When Shri Ramacandra was making the bridge to Lanka, he established a Shiva-linga (deity form of Shiva) called Ramesvara. All the common people began glorifying Lord Shiva, shouting, "Ramesvara ki jaya! You are Rama's isvara: you are the lord of Rama." The demigods were unsatisfied by this and announced through an arial voice, "Ramas ca asau isvarah: Rama is God, and Sankara is also God; they are the same." Hearing this, the Shiva-linga broke. Lord Shiva emerged from the linga and told them all, "You are all foolish; you do not know my tattva, the established truths regarding my identity. Rama is my beloved and my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara." Granting Perfect Love Gopiswava Mahadeva Lord Shiva eternally resides in Lord Krishna's abode, Vrndavana, where he manifests many forms to render devotional services to Him. The form of Gopisvara Mahadeva (*See Endnote 9) was manifested by Lord Krishna's desire. When Krishna desired to perform His rasa dance, Shrimati Radhika, the embodiment of His pleasure potency, manifested from His left side and Gopisvara Mahadeva manifested from His right side. The form of Shiva who lives in Kasi or Kailasa in the material world is a partial manifestation of the original SadaShiva in Vrndavana. The many other commonly worshiped forms of Lord Shiva are expansions of SadaShiva. They are not the original. Partial expansions such as Pippalesvara Mahadeva, Bhutesvara Mahadeva, Rangesvara Mahadeva and so on cannot award the benediction that can be attained by the mercy of Gopisvara - the highest perfection of love, namely vraja-prema. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has composed a prayer in his Vraja-vilasa-stava: muda gopendrasyatmaja bhuja parisranga nidhaye sphurad gopirvrndair yam iha bhagavatam pranayibhih bhajadbhistair bhaktyas vamabhilasitam praptam acirad yamitire gopisvaram anudinam tah kila bhaje I daily worship Gopisvara Mahadeva, who is situated on the bank of Yamuna. That very Gopisvara was worshipped with deep devotion by the gopis, and he quickly fulfilled their desire to attain a supremely precious jewel in the form of the embrace of the son of Nanda Maharaja . Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, the great Vaisnava saint who resided in Vrndavana near the old Shri Madana-Mohana temple, would go daily to see Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva at his temple. Once, in his older years, Sanatana Gosvami had a dream wherein Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared and instructed him: "Now that you are old, please do not go through so much trouble to see me." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I will continue to come. I cannot change this habit." Gopisvara Mahadeva said, "Then I will come and stay very near to your residence, manifesting in Bankhandi." The very next day, Shri Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared in Bankhandi, halfway between his orginal temple and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's residence. Seeing this, Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, and from that day on he visited Bankhandi Mahadeva every day. Wherever he was, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami could not live without his beloved Lord Shiva - Gopisvara Mahadeva and Bankhandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana, and Kamesvara Mahadeva in Kamyavana forest. In Govardhana he would stay near his very dear friend, Cakresvara Mahadeva, who acquired the name when he served Govardhana Hill and the Vrajavasis by holding up his trident like a cakra, protecting them from the torrential deluge sent by King Indra. Prior to this, Lord Shiva had asked Shri Krishna for the boon to witness His childhood pastimes. Krishna ordered him to situate himself in Nandagaon in the form of a hill. Shiva followed this order and became Nandisvara Hill, and he thus became known as Nandisvara. (Lord Brahma became Brahma-parvata, the mountain in Shrimati Radhika's birthplace, Varsana. Because Brahma is so near to Radhika, he is also our Gurudeva.) We honor Lord Shiva as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. We do not worship him separately. We observe Shiva-ratri, Lord Shiva's appearance day, and we glorify him in connection to his relationship with Shri Krishna. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has written in his Hari-bhakti-vilasa that all Vaisnavas should observe Shiva-caturdasi (Shiva-ratri). Lord Shiva, in whom all good qualities reside, should certainly be honored by the observance of this day. We offer obeisance to Lord Shiva with prayers like this: vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma-maule sanaka-sanandana-sanatana-naradedya gopisvara! vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te (Sankalpa-kalpadruma 103) O Gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Shri Shri Radha-Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja-dhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and again. By Shiva's Benediction A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Shiva, "I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Lord Shiva told him, "Go to Vrndavana and meet with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your daughter's marriage." The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and there he asked the villagers there for the whereabouts of a person named Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his residence. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami was practicing bhajana near the Yamuna River at Kaliya-hrada, the former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Kaliya-hrada was close to the Yamuna, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a loincloth. He used to go begging door-to-door for a small amount of prasada (Krishna's food remnants), and would take as his meal only one dry chapatti (flat bread), with no salt. The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, "I went to Sankara Mahadeva, Lord Shiva, and he told me to meet you. He said you will give me some wealth for my daughter's marriage." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I have no possessions. You can see that I have nothing but a loincloth." Then he thought, "Oh, Shiva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend." Thinking of Lord Shiva and contemplating further, he remembered a touchstone he had once disgarded and then forgotten. Now he told the brahmana, "Go to the Yamuna and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone. It is somewhere in the sand, though I don't remember where." The brahmana found the jewel, touched it to iron, and the iron turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Lord Shiva had told him to come to Vrndavana, and thought with gratitude, "My prayer has been answered by him." On the way home, however, his greed for money increased and he began thinking, "Why did Sanatana Gosvami keep the touchstone in the sand? It had no use there. He must have still more valuable jewels." He thus returned, and Sanatana Gosvami asked him, "Why have you come back?" He replied, "I've come because I know that you have more valuable jewels than this." Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Go and throw the touchstone in the Yamuna. The brahmana did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Come here. Come here." He gave him the mantra, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare" and said, "I do not have worldly jewels, but I have transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krishna and Shri Radha will come to you in a very short time. So remain here. Your daughter's marriage will take place automatically. Stay here and chant Hare Krishna." That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint. *[Endnote 1] In the hermitage of Shri Narada Muni, Prahlada Maharaja heard the message of Shrimad-Bhagavatam while within the womb of his mother. From his birth, Prahlad was fixed in transcendental realization of the all-pervading presence of the Supreme Lord, and he preached love of God to his schoolmates at the tender age of five. Despite efforts by his atheistic father to change his nature - efforts that culminated in repeated attempts to kill him by means of administering poison, putting him in boiling oil, tossing him from the top of a cliff and so on - Prahlada continued to experience great joy by remembering Lord Visnu and chanting his holy names. Prahlada was protected by the Supreme Lord in every situation. Finally, Lord Visnu appeared in the form of a half-man, half-lion and killed his demonic father. When offered a benediction by the Lord, Prahlada simply asked for the liberation of his father, as well as that of all conditioned souls. He is honored in this world by all pure devotees. *[Endnote 2] "Shrila Madhvacarya is the original acarya for those who belong to the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya."(SB 6.1.40.purport) "This Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is also known as the Brahma-sampradaya because the disciplic succession originally began from Brahma. Brahma instructed the sage Narada, Narada instructed Vyasadeva, and Vyasadeva instructed Madhva Muni, or Madhvacarya." (Krishna Introduction). *[End note 3] "The Vedas say, ‘svadharma-nisthah sata janmabhih puman virincatam eti - One who strictly follows the principles of varnasrama-dharma for at least one hundred births will be rewarded with the post of Lord Brahma.' " (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 5.20.33 purport) Varnasrama-dharma - the institutions dividing society into four divisions of social life and four occupational divisions of castes. *[Endnote 4] "At the beginning of Brahma's day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again. Again and again, when Brahma's day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahma's night they are helplessly annihilated." (Bhagavad-gita 8.18-19) "At the end of the day, under the insignificant portion of the mode of darkness, the powerful manifestation of the universe merges in the darkness of night. By the influence of eternal time, the innumerable living entities remain merged in that dissolution, and everything is silent." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.28) "The dissolution of the three worlds is effected by the incarnation of darkness, Rudra, represented by the fire of eternal time which blazes over the three worlds. These three worlds are known as Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah (Patala, Martya and Svarga). The innumerable living entities merge into that dissolution, which appears to be the dropping of the curtain of the scene of the Supreme Lord's energy, and so everything becomes silent." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.28 purport) "It is said that the blazing fire from the mouth of Sankarsana rages for one hundred years of the demigods, or 36,000 human years. Then for another 36,000 years there are torrents of rain, accompanied by violent winds and waves, and the seas and oceans overflow. People forget all these devastations of the worlds and think themselves happy in the material progress of civilization. This is called maya, or ‘that which is not." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.11.31 purport) "Thereafter, at the end of the millennium, the Lord Himself, in the form of Rudra, the destroyer, will annihilate the complete creation as the wind displaces the clouds. This creation is very appropriately compared to clouds." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.10.43) *[Endnote 5] "There are two types of dissolution of the manifested cosmos. At the end of every 4,320,000,000 solar years, when Brahma, the lord of one particular universe, goes to sleep, there is one annihilation. And at the end of Lord Brahma's life, which takes place at the end of Brahma's one hundred years of age, in our calculation at the end of 8,640,000,000 x 30 x 12 x 100 solar years, there is complete annihilation of the entire universe, and in both the periods both the material energy called the mahat-tattva and the marginal energy called jiva-tattva merge in the person of the Supreme Lord." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.21 purport) *[Endnote 6] "Karanodakasayi Visnu is the first incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and he is the master of eternal time, space, cause and effects, mind, the elements, the material ego, the modes of nature, the senses, the universal form of the Lord, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and the sum total of all living beings, both moving and nonmoving." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.6.42) *[Endnote 7] Lord Shiva was referring to the long history in relation to Shripad Sankaracarya's propagating the concept of the living entities' oneness with God in all respects. Before the appearance of Sankaracarya fifteen hundred years ago, voidist Buddhism, which rejects the Vedas, was prominent in India. Sankaracarya is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the topmost devotee of the Lord. However, in order to drive away Buddhism and re-establish Vedic authority, he had to compromise with the atheistic Buddhist philosophy and preach a non-devotional doctrine. *[Endnote 8] "In this case the special transforming agent is constituted of a mixture of maya's aspect of the mode of ignorance, the minuteness aspect of the marginal potency, and a slight degree of the combined knowledge (sahvit) and bliss (hladini) aspects of the transcendental potency. The effulgent subordinate controller in the form of Sambhu-linga, being united with this special transforming agent, is constitutionally the semblance of God's expansion." (Brahma-samhita commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) *[Endnote 9] In his original and most pure form, Shiva is eternally Gopisvara Mahadeva. Yet, he performed the following human-like pastime in which he ‘became' Gopisvara: "Lord Shiva wanted to become a gopi. He performed austerities, and when Paurnamasi Yogamaya became pleased and appeared before him, he prayed to join Krishna's rasa-lila. Paurnamasi mercifully assisted him in dipping in Brahma-kunda, and he immediately assumed the form of a teenage gopi. He then went to the place where rasa-lila was being performed, and hid there in a grove. "Krishna and the gopis sensed that someone of a different mood had come. They asked each other, ‘Why are you not so happy today? What is the matter?' After searching, they discovered the new gopi and asked ‘her', ‘Who are you? What is your name? Who are your parents? What is your husband's name? Where is your in-laws' house?' "When Shiva could not reply, they began to slap her so much that her cheeks became swollen and she began to cry, ‘Yogamaya, Yogamaya. Save me. I will never again come to Vrndavana, and I will never dare take part in rasa-lila.' Paurnamasi arrived, and she requested the gopis to show Lord Shiva mercy. ‘She is the object of my mercy,' Paurnamasi told them. The gopis then accepted her as a gopi and Krishna named her Gopisvara (she whose isvaras, controllers, are the gopis). He blessed her to become the guard of the rasa-lila and said, ‘Without the sanction of Gopisvara, no one will be able to enter the rasa-lila.' " (Pinnacle of Devotion)
  10. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja February 13, 2001 - evening lecture Singapore This is the appearance day of jagad-guru Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura, and therefore we are discussing his glories. Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale srimate bhaktisiddhanta-sarasvatiti-namine In this pranama mantra it is stated: bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the embodiment of bhakti-siddhanta, the personification of the conclusive doctrines of bhakti, manifested as the son of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura there is all the knowledge that Krsna gave to Brahma, Brahma gave to Narada, Narada gave to Vyasa, and thus, by disciplic succession, came through the Rupanuga Vaisnavas down to Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. All the siddhantas, philosophical truths, of the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other scriptures, are embodied in Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. If any person came to argue philosophy with him, that person was at once defeated and was bound to accept his teachings. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati: There are two Sarasvatis. The power of Bramha is Sarasvati, but that Sarasvati is not the real Sarasvati of Goloka Vrndavana. This Siddhanta Sarasvati, however, is the embodiment of para-vidya, transcendental knowledge. Therefore, because of this transcendental knowledge, his name is Shrila Bhakisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. Why Prabhupada? He is Prabhupada in the real sense, because he preached throughout the world the glorification of his Prabhu. Who is his Prabhu? Radha-Krsna Conjugal, or Gauracandra, Gaura-Gadadhara, and Gaura-Nityananda. He preached Their glories everywhere, and therefore he is really Shrila Prabhupada. Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale He is very near and dear to Krsna – very near and dear – in that male form. But who is he really? In the second sloka of his pranama mantra it is stated sri varsabhanavi-devi-dayitaya. He is really the eternal maidservant of Shrimati Radhika. He is so very dear to Radhika in his form as Nayana-manjari. As Mahaprabhu's associate he is Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, and as the associate of Radha-Krsna Conjugal he is Nayana-manjari. What is the meaning of the name Nayana-manjari? As one's eyes are very dear to one, Nayana-manjari, who is the personification of the eyes of Shrimati Radhika, is so near and dear to Her. She is always serving Shrimati Radhika. Thus, he has two forms. One form is as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate, not only in this world but also in Goloka Vrindavana, in Svetadvipa. And, in Vrndavana also, as Nayana-manjari, she serves Shrimati Radhika. You have seen in Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Vilapa-kusumanjali how the manjaris serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal. Nayana-manjari serves Them in those same ways. Shrila Sarasvati Thakura is krpabdhaye, an endless ocean of mercy. He is the first acarya in the four sampradayas to desire that all the people in the world, all those who have forgotten Krsna, should realize all the truths of bhakti, and they should be helped to become pure devotees. If Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura had not sent his disciples here and there, none of you, in any country, would have met pure devotees. Now, by the mercy of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, through Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and my Gurudeva, krsna-kirtana is everywhere in the world. Everyone knows Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krsna only by their mercy. Shrila Prabhupada had the wish, and then sent his arms here and there. Who are his arms? His disciples, his devotees. They are like arms, and they are preaching everywhere. We are very fortunate to come in their line, but we should try to be very strong. Sometimes, if you are not in good association, you become weak. It may be that when I return to India, you will become weak. Don't be weak. Always realize that our whole guru-parampara, Radha-Krsna, Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and guru are always with you, and they will help you. Don't give up chanting and remembering Krsna. Krpabhdaye. He is not called an ocean of mercy only because he gave us harinama. He gave so much more. He brought Goloka Vrndavana. He brought the love and affection of the gopis to this world. If he had not brought all these things, we would never have heard of them. He is therefore an ocean of mercy. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura taught that there are five kinds of knowledge: pratyeksa, paroksa, aparoksa, adhoksaja, and aprakrta. The knowledge of everything we see and realize by our direct experience is called pratyeksa. But this is false. Then, paroksa. We don't see Svarga, but we believe in it. There is also a history of Svarga. We accept Svarga, although we don't see it. We hear that if a man is a thief, a dacoit, a debauch, and so on, he will have to go to naraka, hell. On the other hand, if he is pious, he will go to Svarga and there he will be very happy. This knowledge is called paroksa. Then, aparoksa. This is the knowledge taught by Sankarcarya. One day we will have to die, and we will have to give up everything in this world. Our beauty will go, our body will go, whatever we are collecting will go, and everything else will go. We cannot take anything, neither our pennies nor our pens, from this world. So why are we collecting all these bogus things? Why? An intelligent person thinks about this and becomes detached, but a bogus, foolish person remains attached to sense gratification. He desires only to make his body very beautiful and strong. Nowadays there is a competition for Miss India, Miss America, Miss World, and also Miss Universe. After one year, will Miss India again be selected as Miss India or Miss World? Rather, all will neglect her. Although engaged in chanting and remembering, many devotees are also engaged in sense gratification, and they cannot give up lust. This is Maya. Therefore, Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura sent his qualified devotees everywhere, to make those weak devotees strong. He wanted to encourage them and say, "You should remember Krsna." It is for this reason that he has sent his arms. I am also coming. He has ordered me to do so. His disciple, Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, has ordered me. My Svamiji Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has ordered me. So you should not be weak – never and never. Then, adhoksaja. What is adhoksaja? Adhoksaja is Vaikuntha, that place where there is no kala, time. There is only the eternal present. There is no birth and death, and no suffering and sorrow. Nothing bad is there. In that abode there is so much opulence, and everyone there prays to Narayana. There is something higher than this, however. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has taught that this most superior truth is called aprakrta. Aprakrta is that realm where Vraja-lila is performed. Krsna is sometimes like a baby there. There He is controlled by His father and mother, He is controlled by His beloved gopis, and He is controlled by His friends. No one can ever imagine such very, very sweet pastimes. We should try to know this aprakrta. We should try to serve this aprakrta Krsna who is with so many gopis, with His father and mother, with His sakhas, and with all His cows and very sweet cowherding pastimes. This is the aim and object of our life: service to this Krsna. This is aprakrta-jnana. Krsna sambandha-vijnana dayine prabhave namah. In this world we have a relationship with our father and mother and our immediate family. We think, "She is my mother, he is my father, and he is my brother." But we are not satisfied with that. We want to be a husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, but still we are not satisfied. From where have these relationships come? They have come from Goloka Vrndavana. There is actually only one relationship – with Krsna. He is not a father there. He is like a friend, like a baby, or like a beloved. In the constitutional form of our soul there is a relationship with Krsna. We have now forgotten this due to Maya, but we have a relationship. All the relationships of these bodies are false and temporary. They remain only for some days, but the relationship in our constitutional form is eternal. We want love. We first loved our mother, then our father, then our brothers, then other relatives, and then our neighbors. But we were never satisfied. Then we collected wives or husbands, and when we were not satisfied, we got divorced and changed the old ones for new ones. But still we were not satisfied. You cannot be satisfied. No one can ever be satisfied. When you meet with Krsna and serve Him, then you will be satisfied. This is a transcendental relationship, and this relationship is given by guru. Prabhupada gave this, and this relationship will be forever. It was for this end that he gave the mantra klim krsnaya govindaya. Madhuryojjvala premadya sri rupanuga bahaktida. He explained all these truths. He actually came only to give this madhuryojjvala-prema, this gopi-prema, which Shrila Rupa Goswami has written about in his books and which Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world only to give – the relationship of Krsna as our beloved. He came only to give this and nothing else. Shrila Prabhupada has written in his articles: "I came only to give this, but my whole time was spent in cutting jungles." Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja also did this in Western countries. He came to this world to give love and affection for Krsna, but to whom could he give it? He was preaching to unqualified people, and therefore he wanted to make a platform for this love, by cutting the jungles of atheist and mayavada misconceptions. He thus fertilized the field by ploughing and cutting jungles, and most of his time went into this. He could not preach as he wanted, but he stored so many deep truths about gopi-prema in his books. Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also did this. In Radha kunda, in his last days, he said that if anyone is only cutting jungles, cutting the arguments of mayavadis and so on, and not accepting the mood of the gopis as taught by Rupa Gosvami, not doing worship of Radha-Krsna Conjugal, not following the line of Rupa Gosvami, then even their chanting will not be sufficient to help them. After some time they will become weak and give up all devotional practices. Then they will become nirvisesavadis and mayavadis, as so many are now becoming. Shri rupanuga bhaktida. Shrila Prabhupada descended to this world, and all our disciplic acaryas also came, only for preaching this rupanuga Vaisnavism. But they had no time. From the beginning, therefore, I was very alert to avoid cutting jungles because our guru varga had already cut them down. I considered that I must do something affirmative. I therefore accepted this and I preached it from the beginning. Now, however, coming to the Western countries, I began to think, "To whom shall I tell?" Now I also have to cut down some jungles. When I am in Vrndavana or Navadvipa, however, I mainly speak about the high class of sweet pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krsna. So, Shrila Prabhupada was like an ocean of madhuryojjvala-prema. He wanted to distribute it, and he distributed it. If he did not, then from where have we collected these things? All glories to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. All glories to all his associates. All glories to Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. All glories to all of you devotees. Gaura premanande, Hari Hari bol.
  11. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Bali, Indonesia February 22, 1997 This year, 2019, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura’s appearance day is on February 19 (in India). We are hereby sending you a lecture that Shrila Gurudeva gave in Bali in 1997 on his appearance day. Click here to hear the soundfile: Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, who is one of the solid and strong pillars of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching. After the generation of the Six Gosvamis and Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama Thakura, Shyamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya became the leaders of the Vaishnavas in Bengal. They took all the books of the Six Gosvamis and other authentic Vaishnava literatures and preached all over Bengal. Especially, Narottama Thakura preached in Eastern India, in such places as Assam and Manipura. Shrila Narottama Thakura was a prince. He was the son of very famous king in that area. From childhood he had impressions of pure devotion and wanted to cultivate them. He therefore went to Vrndavana, where he heard about the glory of Shri Jiva Gosvami and became attracted to him. Together with Shyamananda and Shrinivasa, he studied all the sastras from Jiva Gosvami – Vedanta-sutra, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and especially the Six Sandarbhas. In this way, the three of them became learned in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Gaudiya siddhantas. Shyamananda Prabhu was a disciple of Hridayananda of Kalna, yet he joined in to hear the lectures of Shri Jiva Gosvami, and he treated him more like his guru than his Gurudeva, Shri Hridayananda. Shri Narottama Thakura also studied in the school of Shri Jiva Gosvami. Jiva Gosvami personally told him to take initiation from Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and he told Shrinivasa Acarya to take initiation from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In those days there were no restrictions as there are today. Everyone was free to associate with topmost Vaishnavas. In fact, gurus would advise their disciples: "Take the association of these most exalted Vaishnavas, and in this way you will develop your Krsna consciousness." There was no caste consciousness as there is today: "Don't go to other Vaishnavas, even though they may be very high-class. This is our party, and that is their party, and that is the other group's party." At that time there was no party spirit at all; everyone belonged to the family of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All used to hear from all. Jiva Gosvami had such a pure heart, free from any envy, that he told Narottama Thakura and Shrinivasa Acarya to take initiation from these two high-class Vaishnavas. They had made up their minds to take initiation from Jiva Gosvami, but he told them: "Oh, they are my seniors. You will be more benefited by taking their shelter." We are not pure enough to speak in this way to our subordinates. Our hearts are not so improved. Thus, Jiva Gosvami sent them to those two great Vaishnavas – but the two had vowed to not make any disciples. The pastimes of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami have not been told in Chaitanya-caritamrta or in any other book. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was such a topmost elevated Vaishnava that he warned Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and other writers: "If you want my mercy, then do not glorify me or write my name in your books." When they assured him of this, only then did he give his blessings and tell them: "Your books will be successfully completed. Krsna's mercy will be on you." It is for this reason that these great Vaishnava authors have not mentioned his name. They obeyed him; they followed his order. One day, by the order of Jiva Gosvami, a very beautiful prince, that boy Narottama, came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and took his foot-dust. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami asked him: "Who are you?" Narottama replied, "I am a very wretched person, a fallen boy. I want to take shelter of your lotus feet. Please initiate me." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami flatly refused. He told Narottama, "You can go to any famous Vaishnava and take his shelter. I am a worthless person. I don't know how to do bhajana. I only eat, drink, and sleep. I do not engage in bhakti. It is better that you go to any learned and qualified person." Narottama dasa Thakura requested again and again, but Lokanatha das Gosvami remained grave and refused to initiate him. Although Narottama dasa Thakura left at that time, he began to think how he could possibly get initiation from this maha-bhagavata. Narottama dasa was very worried, and began to think how to please him. He began to clean the place where Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was passing stool in the forest. He thus cleaned regularly, every night, and he also cleaned the path to that place. Once, in a very dark night, at about midnight, Lokanatha dasa Gosvami caught hold of the hand of this boy and asked him, "Who are you, and why are you doing this?" Narottama dasa Thakura began to weep bitterly and replied, "Because I want to please you." "Oh, you are very pure devotee. What do you want?" "I only want to be initiated by you." Narottama dasa again began to weep. On seeing the boy's devotion Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was at once moved and accepted him. He told him, "Please come to me after taking bath in the Yamuna." The next morning Narottama took bath and came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, who initiated him into the krsna-mantra (gopala-mantra), klim krsnaya svaha, and the kama-gayatri, klim kamadevaya. He gave him these two mantras and advised him: "Don´t go anywhere. Be seated here with me in my bhajana kutira." He built a hut for him, right next to his own, and said, "Always remain here with me, chant harinama, and hear from me." Narottama dasa did as he was told. One day at midday, when the sun was very hot, a thirsty farmer came and asked Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, "Please give me some water, or give me some rope and a bucket so that I can pull water from the well." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami did not replay; perhaps he did not even see that person, as he was quite absorbed in his bhajana. Because Lokanatha dasa Gosvami could not hear him, the farmer went to the next hut and asked Narottama: "Oh, young babaji, can you give me some water?" Narottama came out and gave him some water. Thus, the farmer was satisfied and went away. Later, Lokanath dasa Gosvami called Narottama and said "You don´t know what is bhajana? Krsna is personally His name; there is no difference at all between them." nama cintamanih krsnas caitanya-rasa-vigrahah purnah suddho nitya-mukto 'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh ["The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical." (Padma Purana)] "In some ways the name is even superior to Krsna. You don´t know this truth? You are serving Krsna (chanting or remembering Krsna means serving Him), but you were thinking that the service of chanting harinama is inferior to giving water to a thirsty person; that is why you served him. You have no belief that Krsna can quench his thirst. Krsna can give anything, but you have no faith in Him. So, return at once to your home. Become qualified there, and then you can come back. At present you are not qualified." One should have strong faith in Krsna's name. You know the strong faith of Haridasa Thakura? He was whipped in twenty-two market places and his skin and muscles became shredded, but he never left his chanting of harinama. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami thus ordered Narottama dasa Thakura, "Leave this place." Hearing this Narottama began to weep bitterly. Although Lokanatha das Gosvami had a very soft heart, like a flower, he desired auspiciousness for Narottama dasa, and so he became hard like a stone. It was for Narottama's welfare that he said, "Go from here." Narottama das Thakura was not an ordinary devotee. He was an associate of Shrimati Radhika Herself, and in his manjari form he is Vilasa-manjari. He was playing a role only, to give inspiration to devotees. He was weeping and returned to his home, but he realized everything. In fact, he began to chant and sing in such a way that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with all His associates would come to listen to his classes and his singing. He sang pathetically, with tears in his eyes and a choked voice, "Krsna Krsna Hare Hare," and [Lalasmayi Prarthana (Songs of the Vaishnava Acaryas)]: 'gauranga' bolite ha'be pulaka-sarira 'hari hari' bolite nayane ba'be nira ["When will that time come that my hairs will stand on end upon singing the name Gauranga? When will my eyes overflow with tears as I chant the holy names of "Hari Hari?"] ara kabe nitai-cander karuna hoibe samsara-vasana mora kabe tuccha ha'be ["And when will the moon of Nityananda Prabhu bestow His mercy on me? When will material desires become small and insignificant?"] visaya chadiya kabe suddha ha'be mana kabe hama herabo sri-vrndavana ["When will I renounce material enjoyment and my mind will become purified? When will I see the cinmaya svarupa of Shri Vrndavana?"] rupa-ragunatha-pade hoibe akuti kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti ["When will I eagerly follow the path of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? By their instructions I will be able to understand the divine love of Shri Radha and Krsna." rupa-raghunatha-pade rahu mora asa prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa ["My only aspiration is to attain the lotus feet of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. This is Narottama dasa's constant prayer."] He sang kirtana along with mrdanga, and each word of his kirtana was uttered by his mrdanga. The mrdanga sounded like the singing of Narottama himself, although it was actually the sweet sound was coming from his mrdanga. Narottama's mood was such that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Vakresvara Pandita, Shrivasa Pandita, and all of Mahaprabhu's associates appeared and began to dance with Narottama Thakura, and when he stopped his kirtana, they at once disappeared. The thousands of devotees present there were astonished. When he was singing about Shri Radha and Krsna, Radha-Krsna personally came to hear, with all of Their associates, and Krsna was playing beautiful songs on His flute. Thus, in a few years Narottama dasa Thakura preached all over East Bengal, Assam, and Manipura. He hailed from the village Kheturi; he was born and brought up there, and his father and uncle were living there. His father was a big king. Narottama dasa Thakura manifested six Thakuras (Deities) there, namely Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Madana-mohana, Radha-Vamsidhari, Radha-Giridhari, and Radha-Vallabhi-kanta. He also organized a great festival that became famous in the Gaudiya-Vaishnava history. Shrimati Jahnava-devi (who is Ananga-manjari in krsna-lila), the wife of Nityananda Prabhu, was elected as president. All accepted her like their preceptor, including Shrila Jiva Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. When Virabhadra, the son of Nityananda Prabhus wife Vasudha, became sixteen years old, he wanted to take initiation, but he could not find any person whom he considered qualified. Someone told him, "Why are you not taking the shelter of Shrimati Jahnava-devi and being initiated by her?" He said, "She is a lady; I don't want to be initiated by a lady." Then, one early morning, Shrimati Jahnava-devi was pulling water from a well to take a shower, when Viracandra came to take some advice from her for some necessary work. He saw her pulling out water from the well half naked, with just a towel covering the lower half her body. Both of them were ashamed to see each other in this circumstance, even though she was an elderly and like a mother to him. Shrimati Jahnava-devi at once manifested four-arms, with two pulling water from the well and the other two covering her breasts. Astonished, Virabhadra immediately he fell flat at her lotus feet and begged her to forgive his offences. He told her, "I have nothing more to do. I want to take initiation from you right now. You are my guru." So Shrimati Jahnava-devi is a very exalted personality, the power (sakti) of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and she serves Radha-Krsna in Their conjugal love in the form of Ananga-manjari. Therefore, she was elected as the supreme leader of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. At this festival, all prominent Vaishnavas of that time came together, like Shri Shyamananda Prabhu, Shri Shrinivasa Acarya and hundreds of thousands of other devotees. It was one the biggest festivals in the history of Vaisnavism. All present were charmed on hearing the sweet songs of Shri Narottama dasa Thakura, and all of them were blessed with the darsana of Shri Radha Krsna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who came to hear these sweet melodies. Narottama dasa Thakura was the best devotee of his time. He is an associate of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in fact he is a manifestation of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Lokanatha dasa Gosvami is also an associate of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna, by the name of Manjulali-manjari. By sending Narottama Thakura back to his village, he played a trick, and by this trick he sent Narottama dasa Thakura to preach all over the world. Had he not done so, no such preaching would have been done; all preaching would have been destroyed. If he had continued to request Narottama to sit and chant harinama in his kutira, there would not have been such great preaching. You can also look at the example of Shri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja was a follower of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. He never wanted name, fame, or anything like this. He always chanted harinama and used to sing in the deepest of moods, with tears in his eyes: "Oh Radhe, Prema-mayi Radhe Radhe, Govinda, where are You?" gosai eka-bara dake radha-kunde abara dake syama-kunde, radhe radhe [...sometimes at Radha-kunda, sometimes at Syama-kunda.] gosai eka-bara dake vrndavane eka-bara dake bandhirvane Gosai in this connection refers to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja could not live without remembering Shrimati Radhika, always calling out: "Oh Radhe, where are You, where are You?" Rolling down on the earth, he cried: he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vanye kutah gosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau ["I am doing vandana to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, "O Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavan! Where are You? O Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you? Are you seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Shri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?" They were always lamenting, overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala." (Shri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, verse 8)] Sometimes in Vrndavana and sometimes in Radha-kunda, he was weeping and rolling on the ground, crying bitterly: "Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! If You do not give me Your mercy, I shall die at once." He used to do this kind of bhajana, nirjana-bhajana, in solitary places. He also made a vow not to initiate anyone, but Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had vowed, "I will not take initiation from anyone but Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, otherwise I will die." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had to become a mediator between them. He asked Babaji Maharaja, "What is your duty towards the conditioned souls?" "To give them mercy." "Then why you are not giving your mercy to this boy? He is going to die!" By the persuasion of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he agreed and gave initiation to this one person only, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He ordered him, "Never go to Kali." Kali means Kolkata. But when Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was initiated and took sannyasa, even before he took sannyasa, he first went to Kolkata. There he started his preaching, and gradually he preached all over India and the world. Did he disobey his spiritual master by going to Kolkata? Can anyone claim this? Whoever will speak like this is committing a grave offence. What he did was a great service to his spiritual master. He glorified him all over the world by doing so. Had he not done so, we would not know about Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Krsna. You and I and millions of devotees gather today only due to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's mercy, which he received from his guru, Shrila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached in Western and Eastern countries, but he was a part of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's and Shri Nityananda Prabhu's preaching. The original preachers are Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All gurus in the disciplic succession are obeying them. If Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura had not appeared, how could we have come together here? Therefore, we should honor all gurus in the disciplic succession. If we say that our guru is the only one and we should honor only him and not read the books of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or others, like Shri Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, then we are offenders and we will not be able to enter the realm of bhakti. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, though he was restricted not to go to 'Kali Rajya,' went there and began to preach from there to the whole world. He collected devotees like Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and also our Guru Maharaja and others from Kolkata. If he had not started his preaching from there, no one would have come under the shelter of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus beautiful siddhanta. So, we cannot say that he disobeyed his Gurudeva. In this way we also cannot say that Shri Narottama dasa Thakura disobeyed his guru. In fact, he fulfilled the mano-bhista, or internal desire, of his divine grace. We should always try to reconcile these apparent contradictions. Sometimes pure disciples act like this, so we will have to reconcile. If we do not reconcile, we will go to hell. There are many such incidences described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. One time, Krsna spoke to the gopis: "Go back to your homes and serve your husbands, children, and cows." But the gopis countered His arguments and said, "We are not at fault, You are at fault! We consider You to be our guru. You are instructing us to serve our husbands, children and so on; therefore You are our guru. The guru must be respected and worshiped first, before anyone else. If You are not accepting our worship, then You are guilty, not us." They defeated all of Krsna's arguments, and He was bound to accept their service. Some time later, the gopis asked Krsna "Why did you tell us to return to our homes and serve our husbands?" Krsna replied, "I never said this. I said that the full moon nights are not dark; but you understood they are dark." In Sanskrit, these slokas have double meanings; hence we should always read and understand them under the guidance of Vaishnavas. Otherwise we may not understand their true meaning. We should understand that Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shri Narottama dasa Thakuras never disobeyed their gurus; rather they very respectfully 'more than obeyed' them. Sometimes Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja writes in his books one thing in one place, and in other places the opposite. You may find this in many places, but it should be reconciled. For example, he has written in some places that the soul has fallen from Goloka Vrndavana, and in other places that the soul can never fall from Goloka Vrndavana. Here we see some apparent contradiction. Which statement we should follow? Don't try to follow him by your own intelligence. It is best to read his books with the understanding that his conclusions must be the same as the conclusions of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. If one of his two statements is contradicting the conclusion of Shri Jiva Gosvami or Shri Rupa Gosvami, Mahaprabhu, Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura or Shrila Prabhupada, then we can conclude that Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja had one special purpose in that. Otherwise, without this understanding, you will be derailed from the bhakti path and become an offender. How can we reconcile his statement that the soul has fallen from Goloka and has now forgotten Krsna? He said this for beginners. He did right. Beginners cannot comprehend higher siddhanta. There would have been no use explaining it to them. For example, we may say to a weeping small boy that the moon is here on the tree. The moon is not on the tree, but we cannot give him any sophisticated explanation because he will not understand. Therefore, we tell him that the moon is here on the branches of the tree. This is appropriate. However, when he has gained some knowledge, at that time we can tell him that the moon is not on the tree. Once we will be qualified, we will understand. We will read Shri Jiva Gosvami, Shri Rupa Gosvami or Shri Sanatana Gosvami and recognize that everything is there in Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books. He has written something for general persons, for beginners. But his real conclusion is this: Those who have gone to Goloka Vrndavana are liberated from this world. Either they became liberated, or they are kaya-vyuha manifestations of Shrimati Radhika or nitya-siddha manifestations of Shri Baladeva Prabhu. There is no maha-maya in Goloka Vrndavana, only yoga-maya (Purnamasi). Bad thoughts can never enter the hearts of Goloka residents. They are always tasting the mellows of krsna-prema, so how they can fall? Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has told this very clearly many times – I can show it, and others have also told so. We should not be in confusion and thus confuse others. He is quoted as saying that we should not read any books besides his. Why would he have said this? Because first we should become qualified, and then we must read books like Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani; otherwise we will lose everything. So, we will have to reconcile all this. Shrila Gour Govinda Maharaja sometimes spoke about raganuga-bhajana. He was qualified to speak about this, but most of his listeners were not qualified to understand how he was nearer than them to the teachings of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. They could only comprehend primary teachings; they could not sort out such higher topics. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has written and explained everything in his books, but we need to learn from a maha-bhagavata how to understand his books. yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane ["If you want to understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaishnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 5.131)] Actually, there is nothing contradictory in Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books; rather, he spoke to different levels of devotees. For example, it is written somewhere in Shrimad-Bhagavatam that the world is false. This does not mean that the physical world is false, but that the world we ourselves make, our conceptions that "This is my father, mother, wife, and so on" are false; our creation is false. Worldly relations are illusory, but the sun, the moon and the pastimes of Shri Rama and Shri Krsna are not false. We have to reconcile all these things. But we can reconcile them only if we are associating with high-class Vaishnavas.
  12. This year, 2019, February 21 and 22 is the appearance day of Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the initiating and sannyasa guru of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the god-brother and sannyasa guru of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. In honor of this most auspicious day, please accept this lecture spoken by Shrila Narayana Maharaja in Murwillumbah, Australia, February 9, 2004 Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of my spiritual master, om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I have seen with my own eyes how he used to observe Vyasa-puja on his birthday, by offering respects to all other Vaisnavas – especially to senior Vaisnavas, but also to juniors. The backbone of bhakti is guru-nistha (strong faith in one's spiritual master), and those who have no guru-nistha can never develop in Krishna consciousness. We have seen his guru-nistha. He wanted to glorify his Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, but he became overwhelmed simply by beginning to utter the word 'Prabhupada'. He would begin to weep loudly, and then he would call upon us (Shrila Vamana Maharaja, Shrila Trivikrama Maharaja, myself and others) by some signal to glorify his Gurudeva. Having heard from him about his relationship with his Gurudeva, we glorify him in connection with his absorption in his Gurudeva's service. This is also the way in which we glorify Lord Krishna. What is the glorification of Krishna? It is the glorification of His associates – especially the gopis, and especially Shrimati Radhika. If one glorifies Shrimati Radhika, Krishna is automatically glorified. Similarly, if Parama-gurudeva (Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada) is glorified, the glory of our Gurudeva will come; it is bound to come. It may be that the liberated guru is not liberated in the eyes of his god-brothers, but in the eyes of the disciple he is the direct representative of Shri Krishna Himself. The disciple will always have strong faith that, "My Gurudeva is a special representation or manifestation of Krishna. We have heard everything from him." What is the symptom of a disciple who has guru-nistha? He will give proper respect even to a dog that is related to his Guru. If he does not give proper respect to everyone related to his guru, whether they are initiated or not, if he has no regard and honor for them, then his honor for his guru is actually only a show. He has no real guru-nistha. I have seen how my Gurudeva served the mission and mood of his Gurudeva. This service is called guru mano-bhista seva. sri caitanya-mano bhistam sthapitam yena bhutale svayam rupa kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam ["When will Shri Rupa Gosvami give me the shelter of his lotus feet? Because he understood the innermost desire of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world and is very dear to the Lord." (Shri Prema-bhakti-candrika, by Narottama dasa Thakura)] Always have this kind of nistha towards your spiritual diksa-guru and siksa-guru. The diksa-guru may also be siksa-guru. If your diksa and siksa-guru are the same personality, this is very good. In some cases a separate siksa-guru is needed, as the disciple cannot always reveal his thoughts to the diksa-guru because of a mood of great awe and reverence (sambhrama-bhava). With the siksa-guru there is visrambha-bhava (a mood of intimacy). In visrambha-bhava, the disciple may even quarrel with Gurudeva – for Gurudeva, for his service. Sometimes we used to quarrel with our Gurudeva, for his service, and this is a symptom of guru-nistha. Another symptom is always offering respect to superiors – especially to god-brothers. Nowadays, I see that god-brothers quarrel with each other. They do not want to be together to glorify their Guru. Gurudeva used to observe Vyasa-puja according to the book discovered by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and edited by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In that book there is an explanation of the seven groups with five personalities in each group (the seven pancakas), to be worshiped by the acarya on his birthday. These seven groups are guru-parampara-pancaka (guru, parama-guru, paratpara-guru, paramesthi-guru, and param-paramesthi guru), Krishna-pancaka (Shri Krishna, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha.), sanakadi-pancaka (Four Kumaras and Visvaksena), vyasa-pancaka (Shrila Vyasadeva, Jaimini Rsi, Paila Rsi, Vaisampayana Rsi, Sumantu Rsi), Vaiyasaki-pancaka (Sukadeva Gosvami and the four sampradaya acaryas.), panca-tattva pancaka (Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya, Shri Gadadhara Pandita, and Shrivasa Pandita) and upasya-pancaka (Radha-Krishna, Gaura Gadadhara, Guru). We should try to have regard for all acaryas of the four sampradayas, the four guru-paramparas: Ramanuja, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya, and the four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and Sanandana). We should have regard for Shri Panca-tattva, and especially for Shri Gaura-Gadadhara, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna and Shri Gurudeva. Try to follow all the details of this worship. Gurudeva used to say, "On my birthday I should give proper honor to all guru-parampara acaryas, god-brothers, and all senior Vaisnavas." What I have and what I am preaching is not coming from me. It is not that I am so intelligent or that I am preaching – the credit belongs to my Gurudeva. By the mercy of my Gurudeva I know the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Rupa-Sanatana, Shri Rupa-Raghunatha and other guru-parampara acaryas. I was sinking in the well of worldly activities in material existence, but he took my sikha and dragged me, and he mercifully engaged me in his service – fully, not partly. He did not tell me, "You should be a householder." He dragged me and engaged me. Sometimes desires outside the realm of pure devotion came in my mind, and I asked him, "How can I be saved?" He answered, "Don't worry; I will save you. If one is sincere, Guru and Krishna mercifully save him. So don't worry." When he would perform his Vyasa-puja, he would first worship his Gurudeva, and then he would give proper honor to all Vaisnavas and especially seniors. During his manifest presence there were no seniors, because he was the senior-most. He joined the movement of Shrila Prabhupada and became a disciple in 1916, so he was senior to others. Only five or six had joined before him, like Narahari prabhu, Bhakti-vilasa Tirtha Maharaja and a few others like the brother of Vasudeva, Bhaktipradipa Tirtha Maharaja. At that time, when Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura would do arati, my Guru-Maharaja would ring the bell and Narahari prabhu was also there. At that time there was no Shri Chaitanya Matha. Instead there were many Muslim graves and Muslim influences.*[See Endnote 1] My Guru-Maharaja came in the night, took out all the graves and threw them away. On that same night he planted a large garden of mango trees and flowers. On the next morning, when the Muslims came to do their Namaz, they exclaimed, "Oh, Where is our place?" Shrila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was very happy because Guru Maharaja used to give his life and soul to fulfill Prabhupada's desires, which is very difficult for most disciples to do. Sometimes a disciple does not obey his guru. Guru says, "Don't do this," for the betterment of that very fellow, and yet that disciple rejects his guru's order. This is not a symptom of guru-nistha. We should give our life to serve his every word. Our Gurudeva always used to 'keep his life in his hands' (a Hindi expression meaning 'to be prepared to give one's life') for the purpose of Shrila Prabhupada. He even went to jail for him. Once a person tried to defame Prabhupada *[See Endnote 2] by writing, "He is a tattva-jnani (knower of philosophy) and not a rasika-bhakta (knower of Krishna's sweet pastimes). He does not know the taste of mango; he simply sucks the seed. As there is no taste in a seed, concentrating on philosophy without absorption in Krishna's confidential pastimes is tasteless. He is like that, so he is a tattva-jnani. He does not know Shri Rupa-Raghunatha's line and he does not know the Krishna-prema of the gopis. He writes about tattva-jnana, and he is preaching that everywhere". They were blind. They never actually saw him. By what his disciple, my Gurudeva, preached to me and others, you can realize his position. He preached under the cover of tattva-jnana. He did not expose the confidential secrets of Krishna's pastimes and the philosophy behind them. He preached this to qualified persons, and he kept the highest truths of Krishna consciousness covered from others. My Gurudeva wrote against those persons, and for that reason they filed a court case against him. They managed to get big, qualified advocates to plea that Guru Maharaja should be put in jail. Our Gurudeva then engaged an advocate from the high court in Calcutta, and those persons were obliged to apologize. By the grace of our Gurudeva, when I was in Mathura, I was the editor, writer, translator, and manager for his monthly magazine called Bhagavat-patrika. I published it alone. I used to translate Shrila Prabhupada's articles, Gurudeva's articles, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's articles, and other articles. Someone once wrote in a publication of the Nimbarka sampradaya*[See Endnote 3] that when Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met with Kesava Kasmiri, Kesava Kasmiri defeated Him and gave Him the gopala-mantra. Shriman Mahaprabhu was thus the disciple of Kesava Kasmiri. This publication came to me and I showed it to my Gurudeva. His face at once became red, he became angry and he ordered me to get a piece of paper. He then dictated to me that there was no Nimbarka in our history, and no books of Nimbarka. He said that Shrila Jiva Gosvami and our other Gosvamis, Shri Madhavacarya, Shri Ramanuja, Shrila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami and all other previous acaryas never wrote about anyone named Nimbarka acarya. The followers of this false person used to say that Nimbarka Acarya lived at the time of Krishna. If that were true, why have none of the acaryas written about him? Sankaracarya never wrote about him and Shrila Jiva Gosvami never wrote about him in his Sandarbhas. Thus there was no person named Nimbarka – this false person's followers had invented a story. Guru Maharaja explained from the evidence in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta that Kesava Kasmiri came to Navadvipa and was defeated by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and then he received some teaching from the Lord. Gurudeva wrote: "The mentality 'I will conquer the whole world' is not the teaching of vidya, knowledge." Our paper was sent to those persons involved in writing the misinformed article, after which they became quite furious. "Oh, there is no Nimbarka?!" They challenged, and they filed a case in court for defamation. Our Guru Maharaja replied, "I will prove my statements, so you should file a suit for one million rupees for defamation. You should go to court, and I am also coming. I am ready and will prove my points." He proved all his points and the opponents apologized. They promised, "In the future we will never write like this." If one wants to have guru-nistha, he should read my Guru Maharaja's biography and philosophy. This book has been appreciated all over the world. In this biography I have tried to bring all the teachings of our acaryas. If you read it, you will be able to understand what is guru-nistha and what was the greatness of my Guru Maharaja. Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja did not take sannyasa from him as a formality. He knew all the principles and philosophy of pure devotional service. Since the time he joined the temple he had so much honor for Guru Maharaja, for he saw what he was doing for Prabhupada. He did not take sannyasa from him accidentally or to complete a formality. Our Guru Maharaja took sannyasa from Parama-pujyapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja. Even though Shrila Shridhara Maharaja joined the mission of their Gurudeva after him, he was an elevated philosopher, a knower of the established truths of bhakti, and his very name, Bhakti Raksaka, means "protector of devotion". He has also extensively glorified our Gurudeva. To teach other devotees, they used to hold meetings and defeat each other's arguments in philosophy. Parama-pujapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja would establish one thing and Guru Maharaja would defeat all his arguments, and then at the next moment Shrila Shridhara Maharaja would defeat all the arguments of our Gurudeva. The entire audience would hear them, enjoy their discussions, and in this way learn so much philosophy. All the sannyasis of Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had great regard for our Gurudeva. When Shrila Shridhara Maharaja came to Mayapura for the first time, his name was Ramananda Brahmacari. He saw a young boy of about twenty years old sitting on a chair under the shade of a jackfruit tree and keeping his feet on the table and hands joined together. Shrila Shridhara Maharaja saw from a distance that the young brahmacari was wearing white cloth, not saffron cloth, and he was sitting in a very relaxed manner. At that time senior and very qualified sannyasis would come and offer him their obeisances, and they would ask him questions. Staying in the same position, not getting up to offer them obeisances, he would answer. Then, again offering him their obeisances, they would leave. Pujyapada Shrila Shridhara Maharaja told this story to me personally. He told me that he asked the devotees present there at that time, "Who is this young boy in white dress, to whom even sannyasis in saffron cloth are offering obeisances? Who is it that, in the same position, is answering their questions and they are leaving very satisfied?" Someone replied, "He is Vinoda-babu. He managed the complete Mayapura premises, and now there is no longer any influence of Muslims." If you want to know more, you can read his biography and learn what an influential and great acarya he was. At the time of parikrama, I saw that when an editorial article was needed, Parama-pujyapada Shrila Vamana Maharaja would wait with paper and pen – to know what Guru Maharaja wanted to write. Guru Maharaja would be surrounded by thousands of persons at that time, so at the same time he would dictate the required article and also talk with those persons. If we would write any article, we would have to look at so many books for reference, and we would have to carefully think and consider. But Guru Maharaja had no need to think. Although continually interrupted by others, he would speak and Shrila Vamana Maharaja, who was qualified like Shrila Vyasadeva's divine scribe Ganesha, would take the dictation. Read the biography and learn how to respect others and obey the bona fide and transcendental Gurudeva. Don't wonder, "Is what my Gurudeva telling wrong or right?" You may test him before the time of initiation, not after. If he says, "Jump in the ocean" and you can do so, that is good. We have seen so many qualified devotees like Ananta Vasudeva and Sundarananda Vinoda prabhu who were vastly learned; but they left their Gurudeva, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, because they were thinking, "Is what he is telling right or not?" They thought that he was not qualified for raganuga-bhajana and thus offended him. They took poison and went to hell, and one of them literally took poison. Try to think about these activities of my Guru Maharaja and be a disciple like him. If Gurudeva tells his disciple to give his life and soul to him, he should do that at once – like Hanuman, who gave himself for the service of Shri Ramacandra. The disciple thinks that Gurudeva should not tell him to do this, however. He does not understand that whatever Gurudeva says is for his benefit. So today is his birthday and we are going to celebrate Vyasa-puja – guru-puja. We will do so in the way that was introduced in our sampradaya by Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Gaura premanande [The following is from the book "Acarya Kesari Shri Shrimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami - His Life and Teachings" by Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: Endnote 1 – "After Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered aprakata-lila and His lilas became unmanifest, the Bhagavati Ganga changed course many times. Places that had once been in Mayapura were relocated to the relatively high ground of the west bank. The extensive town of Nadiya (Navadvipa), which had previously been on the east bank, became situated on the Ganga's west bank, and the east bank became a deserted, desolate place. During the reign of the yavanas (Muslims), all the sacred places of the Hindus were destroyed, temples were demolished and the names of the places of Mahaprabhu's pastimes were changed. The temples at the birthplaces of Shri Rama in Ayodhya and Shri Krishna in Mathura were razed, and mosques were erected on their foundations. Their names were changed to Phaijabad and Mominabad. Similarly, the Muslims changed the name of Shriman Mahaprabhu's birthplace from Mayapura to Miyampur. Later, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, the birthplace of Shri Gaura, and again called it Shridhama Mayapura. In this way the name Shridhama Mayapura once more became known to the world. "Besides changing the name of Shridhama Mayapura, the Muslims had also made a graveyard on the huge courtyard of Candrasekhara Bhavan, which was very close to Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, and this was still there when Shri Vinodabihari became manager of Shri Chaitanya Matha. He could not tolerate this atrocity and acted fearlessly and boldly. One night, while all were asleep, he had all the graves in the graveyard dug up and placed elsewhere. In their place he had large, beautiful trees and foliage planted and overnight he made a beautiful park with a wall all around it for protection. The next morning everyone was astounded at what had taken place. The local Muslims reported it to the police and filed a case in court. But police officials and governmental investigators could not find any trace of the graveyard; they saw only an old garden. In this way the devotees reclaimed Candrasekhara Bhavan and no one was able to stop them. For this pious act the name of Shri Vinodabihari Brahmacari will be written in golden letters in the history of India." [Endnote 2 – "On another occasion, members of the sahajiya-sampradaya of Bengal wrote essays full of apasiddhanta, opposing Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta. Shrila Gurudeva argued with them in a similar way, using abrasive words. The opposition party actually presented a lawsuit in court against Shrila Gurudeva and other devotees, including the editor of Shri Gaudiya Patrika. However, when they were faced with Shrila Gurudeva's train of thought, they also had to bow their heads in defeat. They begged him for forgiveness in the court of law and thereafter avoided him. For these reasons, Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktisaranga Gosvami Maharaja, who was Shrila Gurudeva's dear Godbrother and a leader of the Gaudiya community, decorated Shrila Gurupadapadma with the title 'Pasanda-Gajaikasimha,' the lion who vanquishes the elephants of heresy.'] [Endnote 3 – "Some time in 1956, Shrila Gurudeva came to Mathura to see Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. At that time followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya in Vrndavana used to publish a spiritual journal called Shri Sudarsana. In one issue they cast aspersions on Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, saying that He was a disciple of Kesava Kasmiri. In other editions they insolently dared to claim that Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas such as Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were in the Nimbarka sampradaya. When I showed these editions to Shrila Gurudeva, he became extremely angry and immediately had a short essay written for Shri Bhagavata Patrika. The headline was 'Shri Nimbaditya and Nimbarka are not the same person.' The purport of his headline is as follows. "'Nowhere in the scriptures is there any mention of a Nimbarka sampradaya. The Puranas mention a vaisnava-acarya called Shri Nimbaditya, and the Catuhsana (the four Kumaras) have accepted this Nimbaditya Acarya as their sampradaya-acarya in the age of Kali. However, Nimbarka Svami is a completely different person. Nimbaditya was a disciple of Naradaji at the end of Dvapara-yuga, but Nimbarka Acarya appeared much more recently. Great and eminent authors of scripture such as Shrila Jiva Gosvami have mentioned the names of the prominent acaryas of all the other sampradayas, but they have not mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya anywhere. "'The Nimbarka sampradaya currently uses the Parijata-bhasya which was written, not by Nimbaditya Acarya, but rather by Shrinivasa Acarya and Kesava Kasmiri. These two wrote this scripture and then preached that it had been written by their guru. The scriptures of the Six Gosvamis mention the names of acaryas such as Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhva, Shri Visnu Svami, Shri Nimbaditya and Shri Vallabha Acarya. If the Nimbarka sampradaya had existed even to a slight extent at that time, then they would most certainly have mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya as well. None of the other sampradaya acaryas, such as Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhva, Shri Visnu Svami and so on have mentioned Nimbarka Acarya's name in any of the scriptures that they have written.' "When this essay was published in Shri Bhagavata Patrika, the office directors of the Sudarsana journal announced that they were making arrangements to prosecute for slander. Shrila Gurudeva replied firmly, "We will prove each and every word that we have written on the basis of evidence supported by sastra." When the prosecution party heard about Shrila Gurudeva's immense scriptural knowledge and his profound personality, they became absolutely silent, and from that day onwards they did not dare to write any more nonsense.]
  13. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj Bali, Indonesia, February 6, 2001, pm [Tapana Mishra Prabhu sings the following song glorifying Nitai on guitar. Afterwards Shrila Gurudeva gives an explanation of the song.] Dalaler Gita-"The Song of the Broker" Boro Sukher Khabor Gai) (from Vaisnava-Siddhanta-Mala by Bhaktivinoda Thakura) boro sukher khabor gai surabhi-kunjete namer hat khule'che / khoda nitai boro mojar katha tay sraddha-mulye suddha-nama sei hatete bikay jata bhakta-brnda basi' adhikari dekhe' nama becche daro kasi' jadi nama kinbe, bhai amar sange calo, mahajaner kache jai tumi kinbe krishna-nama dasturi loibo ami, purna ha'be kama boro doyal nityananda sraddha-matra lo'ye den parama-ananda ek-bar dekhle cakse jal 'gaura' bole' nitai den sakala sambal den suddha Krishna-siksa jati, dhana, vidya, bala na kore apeksa amani chade maya-jal grhe thako, bane thako, na thake janjal ar naiko kalir bhoy acandale den nama nitai doyamoy bhaktivinoda daki' koy nitai-carana bina ar nahi asroy ["I am singing news of the greatest happiness! At the place known as Surabhi Kunja in Shri Navadvipa, the Marketplace of the Holy Name has now been opened-and Lord Nityananda Himself is the Proprietor. "Such wonderful things are going on in that blissful marketplace! Shri Nityananda Prabhu is selling the pure Holy Name wholesale, merely for the price of one's faith. "Seeing the assembly of devotees eagerly waiting to purchase the Name, Lord Nityananda first examines each of them to test their qualification; then He sells them the Name by bargaining for His price accordingly. "O my dear friends! If you really want to buy this pure Holy Name, then just come along with me, for I am now going to meet with this Nityananda Mahajana. "Thus, you will finally be able to acquire the pure Holy Name. I will also take my due commission, and in this way all three of us will fulfill our desires. "Shri Nityananda Prabhu is so extraordinarily merciful-accepting only one's faith in the Holy Name, He bestows the topmost divine bliss. "When Nitai sees a tear welling in someone's eye upon chanting the name of "Gaura!" He instantly gives His support to that person; indeed, He bestows all divine opulences. "He gives that person genuine realization of the pure teachings of Shri Krishna as found in the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad-Bhagavatam. While displaying all this inconceivable mercy, He pays no attention to one's caste, material wealth, mundane knowledge, or physical ability. "Now, dear friends, please reject all of maya's entangling snares. If you are a householder, then just remain at your home; if you are renounced, then just live in the forest. Either way, nothing more will trouble you. "We no longer need to fear the terrible Age of Quarrel, for the most merciful Lord Nityananda gives the Holy Name to anyone and everyone-even to the lowest among men. "Bhaktivinoda loudly calls out and proclaims to all, "Other than the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, there is no shelter!" Shrila Gurudeva: I'm telling you a very funny. Funny? [Hindi discussion] Pundarika Prabhu: Good news. Shrila Gurudeva: I'm telling a happy news. What is that? Gaura Nityananda Prabhu have descended from that Goloka Vrindavana, and a very precious thing They have bought. What They have brought? Oh, jewels and jewels and jewels. What is that jewel? Oh, that jewel is Krishna name-Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Though it is very valuable jewels and jewels [They are] bringing from Goloka Vrindavana, but He is giving them without any price. Only sraddha. But if any will give only sraddha. Sraddha means? Brajanatha Prabhu: Little faith. Dhristadyumna Prabhu: Faith. Shrila Gurudeva: Faith, and they will pay to Gaura Nityananda, oh, easily They can give for lives and for lives. And after life you will be happy by these jewels. To distribute these names He's going to each village, each lane, each house, everywhere and calling, "Oh, who will take this jewel from Goloka Vrindavana?" In whole life you will be happy. You can conquer old age and death, sorrow, suffering, everything. And you can go to Goloka Vrindavana, serving Krishna there, and eternally be happy. This is the purport. Now. Prema-prayjona dasa: Bhaktivinoda Thakura is saying 'dasturi loibo ami, I'm taking some commission.' Shrila Gurudeva: You should tell. Prema-prayjona dasa: But what is his commission? Shrila Gurudeva: Commission. Oh, that is commission, sraddha. Commission is I will also be happy like you. Commission. I will take commission what? Oh, the service of Krishna. Today we are observing the birthday of Shri Shri Nityananda Prabhu. The whole mercy of Krishna, and the whole mercy of Radhika, have come in Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So He is more merciful than Radha and Krishna also. Those who are siddha, only they can enter in Radha-Krishna [lila]. But those who are offensive, having so many lust, unwanted things in their heart, they cannot realize Radha and Krishna's mercy, never. But even if offensive like Jagai-Madhai, so many, having so much lust, oh, they are sinking in the ocean of sense gratification, even they will come to Navadvipa dharma, and they will chant 'Gaura Nitai! Gaura Nityananda Prabhu!' very easily. All kinds of five elements, offense, ignorance, suffering, sorrows, all will go very quickly. Though Krishna is same like Caitanya Mahaprabhu Sacinandana Gaurahari, but here He has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood and mercy of Radhika. So He's more merciful than Krishna and Radhika. In Krishna lila pastime, we see that He killed so many demons. In their, that life they could not realize the mercy of Krishna. After death they realized something, when they were killed and their soul was liberated, then they realized but not in this [while they were alive]. [Prema-prayjona dasa repeats to devotee translating.] Shrila Gurudeva: Very hard. [Then he addresses Anupama dasi.] Shrila Gurudeva: Can you [translate]? You can try. [She refuses. Prema-prayjona dasa keeps explaining to translator. After devotee finishes Shrila Gurudeva asks Anupama dasi] Shrila Gurudeva: Oh, he's telling ok? [Anupama dasi nods]. Shrila Gurudeva: But Mahaprabhu, by His mercy He liberated Jagai, Madhai and so many. In that very life they realized the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishna never gave anyone Braja prema, killing or anyhow To general person He never gave Braja prema, kanta-prema, sakha-prema, vatsalya-prema to them. Only He gave some position and some thing. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, especially Mahaprabhu, what He did? A miracle. He was going to forest on the way to Vrindavana and the animals, birds, trees, creepers, to whom Caitanya Mahaprabhu looked from a very big distance, from far away, even they received that love and affection and they began to dance and they began rolling down on the earth 'Krishna! Krishna!' Because really with the mood that 'We will go to this world and give prema', the motive was, mood was like so. That is why They are giving. Krishna and Radha and Baladeva at that time no mood [to give prema]. What [mood]? Only to taste Braja-prema. So He could not give Braja prema to others, those who were sadhaka. But in this Mahaprabhu Caitanya pastimes we see that to whom He looked, He wanted to give highest love and affection. So He gave so many, so many, not only to one or two. Because He has come only for this mood, to give, His object was to give love and affection. Those who come to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Has he told? Prema-prayjona dasa: He didn't finish. Shrila Gurudeva: You know some? [Translator repeats what he understood, how Mahaprabhu came in the mood to distribute love and affection.] Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. There is more speciality about Gaura Nityananda. What? In Krishna's pastimes only those who were qualified came to Krishna. Only He can give [to those who were qualified] like to lata. He gave even to lata. Madhava Maharaja: Creepers. Shrila Gurudeva: Creepers also. What? They began to think that 'we are priyasi of Krishna'. Like taking flowers and they used to become ashamed. So He gave only qualified persons Krishna prema, not to unqualified, not to anyone He gave. But Mahaprabhu, "Oh, you should anyone come. I will give you also a pot and also love and affection. I have an endless ocean of love and affection. So if you will bring. You cannot bring pot." Pot means qualification. "Even I will give you qualification, that pot also, and nectar also." Understand? [After devotee translates in Balinese, Shrila Gurudeva asks one of the western devotees what he had explained.] Krishna Bhajan Prabhu: You explained the distinction between Shri Krishna's avatara and Mahaprabhu's, Nityananda's avatara. They came for different reasons, different causes. Shri Krishna came to exhibit Vraja lila and also to taste and to experience Braja-lila, whereas Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to distribute freely without qualification to anyone. He also gave the qualification. If they had no qualification, He gave the qualification. Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. This. Krishna did not give like Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu gave to all those who came in the eyes of, in front of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave them qualification also and that nectar also, both things He gave. That is why Krishna may be told like 'Prabhu', like Baladeva Prabhu, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu is what? Maha - Prabhu. Don't think that all these things have been told for Caitanya Mahaprabhu only, but for Nityananda Prabhu also. Jagai and Madhai, they were the associates of Narayana. But what Nityananda Prabhu did? A miracle He did. He gave them supreme. So now they are realizing "Oh, Krishna is so much more than Narayana. Now I have realized this." So they wanted from Narayana, they begged that, "Oh Prabhu, please give me another form also. In Jaya Vijaya we will be with you, Narayana, but we want to be there also to serve Krishna." So they received any other form and they went there. He gave dasya, but the dasya rasa of Krishna is more superior, mixed with sakhya, so more superior than Jaya-Vijaya. Not Braja gopi-prema Prema-prayjona dasa: Did they go to Goloka Vrindavana or Braja? Devotee: They would go to Vrindavana? Another devotee: They will go to Svetadvipa? Shrila Gurudeva: Very mysterious. [devotees laugh] Very hard to explain Prabhu, very hard. Mahaprabhu is so merciful. We can understand the mercy of Krishna, but it is very hard to understand the mercy of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Don't think that only Caitanya Mahaprabhu can give gopi prema. Also Nityananda Prabhu can give. He is guru. He is serving Krishna in vatsalya rasa, sakhya rasa, dasya-rasa, all rasa, especially in His Ananga manjari form, being the younger sister of Radhika, oh, He's serving Krishna and Radha both. That is why He can give, in Ananga-manjari form, even gopi prema. I'm telling for you, all cannot understand, only for you. Something? Little bit you understand? What I told? Go on? What I told that Nityananda Prabhu also can give? Ratikala dasi: Gopi prema. Shrila Gurudeva: How? Ratikala dasi: As Ananga manjari. Shrila Gurudeva: Because He's experienced, He's so much? Ratikala dasi: As Ananga manjari, He is the younger sister of Radhika Shrila Gurudeva: Ha. Sometimes Radhika gives Her seat to Ananga-manjari. She sits on the right side of Krishna, and She makes Ananga-manjari sit on the left side of Krishna. Madhava Maharaja: Gopinatha. Shrila Gurudeva: Gopinatha meaning Himself Krishna in Vraja. Madhava Maharaja: Controlled by gopis. Shrila Gurudeva: So He knows all, Nityananda Prabhu is so much expert in all these things. So you should not think that, "Oh, He cannot give." Oh, He might… What Mahaprabhu is not giving, He can give by His mercy. So many like Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, he went to Vrindavana, he took darsana of Vrindavana, he took darsana of Radha Govinda, Radha Gopinatha, Radha Madana. And by His mercy, what They inspired, Gopinatha, oh, he wrote. So we see that without Nityananda Prabhu's mercy we cannot do anything. [Many guests had come to the program, new to Krishna consciousness. It was hard for them to understand such tattvas as they didn't even know the basics.] Shrila Gurudeva: I will speak all these things in morning class. Better. They will not understand. I'm telling all these very high subject matters. Dhristadyumna Prabhu: Better you speak Gurudeva, and then afterwards he can explain. Shrila Gurudeva: Tomorrow I will explain very high subject for you only. Brajanatha Prabhu: But tomorrow morning you will not speak. Shrila Gurudeva: Yes. Yes. Anyone cannot understand. So better we should do easy subjects, what Nityananda Prabhu gave, and easily. There are so many. They cannot understand all these things. Very easy subject we should speak. What Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu brought and gave. You should stand up, you should speak about Nityananda Prabhu. Very easy language, so that it will be very effective to them. You should all think something. I may tell to all to speak. Especially to you [Anupama dd], in your language you might have to speak. Go on. [Prema-prayjona dasa starts mangalacharana.] Shrila Gurudeva: For general people. [Prema-prayjona dasa mentions how today is a special day in Vaisnava calendar, the birthday of Nityananda Prabhu. That Nityananda Prabhu is Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's the first manifestation, non-different from Supreme Lord but has a speciality. He thinks 'I am servant of Supreme Personality of Godhead'. Therefore name Nitya - Ananda, Nityananda. Nitya means eternal, ever lasting, never ending. And ananda means happiness, joyfulness. So in this world everyone is working very hard with one intention. Everyone is trying to find happiness by various means. No one likes to suffer in this world, be upset, or disturbed. Yet automatically without any endeavor sufferings attack us like waves in ocean. Etc. (He speaks for about half an hour.)] Shrila Gurudeva: You should tell Ramacandra Khan. [Then he speaks Hindi to Madhava Maharaja.] After that arati, kirtana, and some prasada. My heartily blessings to all.
  14. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Bali, Indonesia, February 6, 2001, am When Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja came to give class, he asked if any kirtana was done earlier. When the devotees replied that no kirtana/bhajanas had been sung, Maharaja chastised them and requested 'nitai pada kamala' to be sung.] nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala je chayaya jagat judaya heno nitai vine bhai, radha-Krishna paite nai, drdha kori' dharo nitaira paya se sambandha nahi ja'ra, vrtha janma gelo ta'ra, sei pasu bodo duracara nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara sukhe, vidyakule ki koribe tara ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya, asatyere satya kori' mani nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-Krishna pabe, dharo nitaiyera carana du'khani nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya, nitai-pada sada koro asa narottama bodo duhkhi, nitai more koro sukhi, rakha ranga-caranera pasa ["Nitai's lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. Without such a personality as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krishna. Hold on tightly to His lotus feet! Anyone who has not established his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu has passed his life uselessly. He is no more than a gross animal. Not putting the name of Nitai on one's lips, one becomes absorbed in so-called worldly happiness. Then what is the value of one's education and birth in a high family or great nation? Forgetting Nitai's lotus feet, one becomes maddened by the false concept of bodily life and considers the illusory energy as real. Receiving the mercy of Nitai, he can attain Radha and Krishna in Vraja. Firmly catch hold of the lotus feet of Nitai! The feet of Nitai are real, service to him is eternal. Always hope and pray for the lotus feet of Nitai. 'Narottama is very unhappy! Nitai, please make me happy! Keep me tucked close to Your feet which are like reddish lotuses.'"(Giti-guccha)] Shrila Gurudva: Can you explain the meaning? You. [Radhakanta Prabhu starts to read the translation.] Radhakanta Prabhu: "Nitai's lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. Without such a personality as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krishna. Hold on tightly to His lotus feet!" Shrila Gurudeva: Not to read, but to explain. Radhakanta Prabhu: You cannot directly attain the divine service of Radha and Krishna without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Shrila Gurudeva: Narottama Thakura is telling that those who are not taking the shelter of Nitai are all animals. Aranya Maharaja: In this kirtana Narottama dasa Thakura is saying the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu are more cooling than millions of moons. Why? Samsara-davanala nidhi loka, all jivas burning in endless cycle of birth and death. Can Camphor or candana cool them? No. Not even the moon's rays can cool them. Shrila Gurudeva: So many problems, always quarreling, moon cannot touch. Prema-prayjona dasa: Without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu one cannot attain the service of Radha and Krishna. Aparadhas cannot be uprooted from heart so hard for one to do bhajana. Those with no relation to akhanda guru tattva, will just be like animals, wandering in cycle birth and death, mating, defending, like animals. Those whose mouth not utter "Nitai! Nitai!", all will be bewildered and immerse themselves in the dirty swamp of material happiness. He's saying vidyakule ki koribe tara, they may be born in a very high family, they may have a very great wealth and power and position in this world, and they may have a very good education from the material standard. But what is the use of their birth? What is the use of their knowledge? What is the use of their education? Even if they study all sastra, still being learned in all the Vedas and memorizing all sastra, this will not help them. Anyway without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu they must by the force of the material energy be immersed in the mud of material sense gratification. So then he's saying ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya, asatyere satya kori' mani. If anyone will forget the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, what will be the result? They will be covered by false ego, they will have ahankara, they will think 'I am the doer'. And in this way, asatyere satya kori' mani, having a false ego and identification with a material identity, not knowing their spiritual identity, they will accept that which is asat or temporary, to be sat. And in this way asatyere satya kori' mani, ahankare matta hoiya, they become, they act like a mad person So then he's saying nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-Krishna pabe, but if one can receive a drop of the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, then very easily he can attain the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna in Braja. Therefore dharo nitaiyera carana du'khani, I am taking shelter of the two lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu. Nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya, nitai-pada sada koro asa. I always desire the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, His lotus feet are not material, nitaiyera carana satya they are eternal and transcendental and the abode of all existence and transcendental realization. So those who serve the lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu, they are His servants, they are also transcendental personalities, so I always desire the shelter of their lotus feet. Finally Narottama dasa Thakura is saying that: O Nityananda Prabhu, I am suffering so much in this world. Narottama bodo duhkhi, I am filled with so much fear. Narottama dasa Thakura is expressing the pain of separation he feels from Nityananda Prabhu. So nitai more koro sukhi. O Nityananda Prabhu, please make me happy? How. By giving me one small corner of Your lotus feet where I can take shelter and serve You. This is the essence of this song written by Narottama dasa Thakura. Shrila Gurudeva: sankarsanah karana-toya-sayi garbhoda-sayi ca payobdhi-sayi sesas ca yasyamsa-kalah sa nitya- nandakhya-ramah saranam mamastu ["Sankarshana, Sesa Naga and the Visnus who lie on the Karana, Garbha, and Ksira Oceans, are the plenary portions and portions of the plenary portions of Shri Nityananda Rama. May He give me shelter." (Giti-guccha)] Krishna is sat-cit-ananda vigraha. 'Sat' means predominating deity of satta. 'Sat' has come from sandhini. Krishna is sat-cit-ananda. First Baladeva Prabhu who's sat, He's the predominating deity of satta, sandhini. Without Him there is nothing. Krishna stands, sits on that. Then cit, Krishna is cit. And then ananda, hladini, Herself Radhika. So where Nityananda Prabhu that is Baladeva Prabhu, Radhika and then Krishna. So three are always there. If no sandhini then no Vrindavana. The form of Krishna, Baladeva Prabhu and anyone, so rupa of all these things is sandhini. Upon sandhini, cit, ananda and everything can be. So Baladeva Prabhu Himself is Nityananda Prabhu. First Krishna, and then Baladeva Prabhu. Baladeva is two, like Krishna is two-aisvarya and madhurya. Those who took birth from the womb of Devaki is Vasudeva putra, Vasudeva, like Narayana. They never go to Vrindavana. Always in Mathura sometimes, or in Dvaraka. But He who came from the womb of Devaki, the 7th son in the womb of Devaki, and by Yogamaya He was taken to the womb of Rohini mother in Gokula and He mixed in full or fullest [form of] Baladeva Prabhu. Baladeva Prabhu was from before there, already there in Rohini's womb, and He [Baladeva from Devaki] mixed in that. Understand? As Krishna coming from the womb of Devaki, mixed in the two-armed form of Krishna, the son of Nanda and Yasoda, He mixed, He merged in that [form of Krishna], similarly Baladeva who came from womb of Devaki, He was amsi, manifestation and the root Baladeva Prabhu was in Rohini's womb, and He went there and He was merged in that Baladeva. The Baladeva Prabhu in Gokula is non different to Krishna. Only there is some differences of black complexion and golden complexion, and some flute [with black complexioned form] and srnga (buffalo horn) [with golden complexioned form], and other things, but both are of Vrindavana. Then from Him, this Baladeva Prabhu comes Mula Sankarshana in Dvaraka and Mathura. Especially in Dvaraka is Mula Sankarshana. And from Him comes all, like Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha. They are of Mula Sankarshana [Baladeva]. From Mula Sankarshana comes Maha Sankarshana in Vaikuntha. He serves in so many ways Narayana in Vaikuntha. As Baladeva in Vrindavana, similarly Mula Sankarshana in Dvaraka, and from there Maha Sankarshana in Vaikuntha and so many, and one of His manifestations comes to this world, like Karanodakasayi Visnu. He's mixed in some worldly causes, not pure tattva. Himself is pure, but His actions are not pure. Though He is like a lotus in water, ocean, but yet if world is demolished, then no need for Him. Where He goes? He, Karanodakasayi Visnu, goes to Maha Sankarshana. From Karanodakasayi Visnu so many universes are coming, thousands and thousands and crores and corers of universes are coming. And one part of the, amsa of the Karanodakasayi Visnu comes in that, in each universe, that is Garbhodakasayi. Then Garbhodakasaya becomes Hiranyagarbha Brahma and from him Viraja Brahma and thus creation is going on. From Garbhodakasayi, in each part is Ksirodakasayi. A part of Ksirodakasayi is everywhere, He is called Paramatma, Visnu, like this. So we are meditating on them. And last is Sesa. What is Sesa? Sesa means 'remaining, what is remaining'. The last part of, fraction of Baladeva Prabhu is Sesa. He is serving Maha-Visnu, Garbhodakasayi in so many ways - asana, vasana, bhusana and so many things. As Baladeva Prabhu to Krishna, Mula Sankarshana to Vasudeva Krishna in Dvaraka, Maha Sankarshana to Vaikunthapati, in this way. But Sesa is the last fraction. So Nityananda Prabhu is Himself Baladeva Prabhu, non different to Baladeva Prabhu. So we should try to know Baladeva-tattva. So without the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu we cannot do anything. He's akhanda guru tattva. That is why He killed Dhenakasura. What is Dhenakasura? He was ignorance, like an ass is. So Nityananda Prabhu is that [destroyer of ignorance]. He also cut the head of Romaharsana. Why He cut out? Because Romaharsana was not giving proper respect to vaisnavas and guru, Baladeva Prabhu, at once He cut out. He at once inspired a little boy of that who is son of Romaharsana Suta. He's Ugrasrava. Why Ugrasrava? Baladeva Prabhu gave him power, that what he will hear he will remember forever, and he will never forget anything. That without reading Vedas, Upanisads, sastra, Vedanta, everything, all the Puranas and all, everything should come out in his heart. Quickly it came by the mercy of Baladeva Prabhu. So by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu everything can come. So those who are not taking shelter of this Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu, really they are animals. So we should glorify Nityananda Prabhu. Also we see from the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu that He took birth not as a brother here in Navadvipa. Mahaprabhu took birth in Navadvipa from the womb of Sacidevi. Prior to this, so many years before, Nityananda Prabhu took birth in Ekacakra. His mother Padmavati and father Hadai Pandit. When He was a small boy of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, He used to play only the parts of Baladeva Prabhu in Krishna pastimes, sometimes Laksmana in Rama pastimes. They were in a group of so many children, so many boys and they used to play sometimes Krishna's pastimes, sometimes Rama's, sometimes Varaha's, sometimes Nrsimha's and all. Especially when Baladeva was needed He used to take that part. We will glorify more in evening or at ten this morning. So He became once what? Laksmana, and He was on the side of Rama. Ravana was on the other side. And thus [before playing] He had told everything to His companions that, "I will fight with [the boy playing] Meghanatha, and he will shot Me with an arrow and then I may be senseless. You should go to Himalayas and bring some herbs and give in My nose and then I will quickly revive." Then they began to fight each other [in the mock battle between Rama and Ravana]. Laksmana was fighting Meghanatha, and Meghanatha shot Him. When he shot Laksmana, Nityananda Prabhu became senseless. All began to weep, they never remembered that what Nityananda Prabhu has told to bring, herbs from Himalayas. They all began to weep and they went to village and they told this that, "Oh, Nityananda Prabhu is about to die." His father, mother, and all villagers came and became very upset. He was about to die, not breathing, nothing. Then anyone told, an old man told that, "Oh, you were playing this. What did Nityananda Prabhu tell in the last? That if He was to be senseless what to do?" They remembered. "Oh, He told, but we became so upset." Then one being like a monkey, Hanuman, he jumped up and he went to Himalayas. Not real Himalayas but anywhere [they pretended to be Himalayas]. He took some pieces of stone, like Himalayas, Gandhamadana and Parvata, and from that herb was brought and given to the nose of Nityananda Prabhu. And then He was saved. How He used to be so absorbed in that. We should try to be absorbed totally in bhajana. How you can? How you can do it? If you have a relation to Nityananda Prabhu, and He's giving all these things. What things? A very strong relation with Krishna. Then everything will be inspired, He will inspire you. So then you can do. Without Nityananda Prabhu's mercy you cannot do. So the guru inspired by, given power by Nityananda Prabhu, he can help the devotees. Otherwise a bogus guru cannot. For a bogus guru Nityananda Prabhu will not inspire anything. So if the guru is sincere and he's maha-bhagavata, bhagavata at least, then His [Nitai's] mercy will come. At least he should be sincere. If he's madhyama adhikara, but madhyama-adhikari in what stage? At least madhyama-uttama he should be, otherwise he cannot do anything. So if by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, if you are so much fortunate to have the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, then you can be absorbed like Him or others. Even like Murari Gupta, upon seeing the peacock feathers, he remembered Krishna's pastimes and he was senseless state. [A couple of corrections where later on added: Gurudeva mentioned how Murari Gupta fainted at the sight of a peacock feather. In a couple of lectures Shrila Svami Prabhupada also told the story of how Murari Gupta fainted at the sight of a peacock feather. However in Chaitanya-caritamrta it is mentioned that it was Mukunda who fainted at the sight of a peacock feather. When we asked Shrila Maharaja, he replied that both Murari Gupta and Mukunda were physicians, and so a slip of the tongue was there. That he meant Mukunda instead of Murari Gupta.] So this Nityananda Prabhu, doing all these things. In the meantime when He came about 12 years, a renounced order sannyasi came. He told His father, "Oh, this boy is very good, very intelligent, and very religious. I want that I should travel throughout whole India, pilgrimage to holy places. Please give me this boy for this, He will help me. Otherwise now I am old I cannot do anything." Then he began to weep but at once anyhow he remembered the pastimes of Ramacandra and Laksmana. He remembered that Dasaratha never wanted to do like this, that he should give his Rama and Laksmana to Visvamitra. But Vasistha told that, "Oh, this is a very good thing. This is the mercy of Visvamitra that he has come. At once give up your sons, otherwise he may curse you and you will be all ruined with your whole dynasty and everything." And anyhow he [Hadai Pandit] gave Nityananda Prabhu, and then with Nityananda Prabhu that sannyasi traveled throughout the whole of India on pilgrimage, South India, West India, North India, East India, everywhere. Not only one time but so many times, especially in South India so much. Now He has become some grown up more, and He went in His last trip. Where? Pandarpura. And there luckily Laksmipati Tirtha, the guru of Madhavendra Puri met Him. Both met, and Laksmipati Tirtha was so much attracted to Nityananda Prabhu, even though He was like a young boy. He wanted to initiate Him, Nityananda Prabhu. Then Nityananda Prabhu trickily gave that mantra to him [Laksmipati Tirtha], "Oh, do you want to give this mantra to Me?" "Yes, I want." He [Nitai] told this mantra [to Laksmipati] and He made him disciple, and then he [Laksmipati] initiated Him [Nitai]. After initiation Madhavendra Puripada met Him. Madhavendra Puri was always weeping, always absorbed, crying, 'ayi dina dayardra natha he', 'he deva he dayita he bhuvaika bandhu'. All these, always weeping. And he was so much bigger in age also. Prema-prayjona dasa: So much senior, elder. Shrila Gurudeva: Senior, so much senior. So He always, Nityananda Prabhu respected him like His siksa-guru. After that Nityananda Prabhu came to Vrindavana and He was searching everywhere. "O Krishna where? O Kanhaiya! O Kanhaiya, My brother, where You are? Where You are?" He used to embrace deer even, cows also. "Where's My Kanhaiya? Where's My Kanhaiya?" Everywhere searching. The cowherd boys, they began to fear that He's a ghost or what, that He's embracing us. Anyhow when He was in Vrindavana in a temple, He heard a voice, "O Kanhaiya is not here. He has taken birth in Mayapura, Navadvipa dharma, and His name is also changed. Now His name is Sacinandana, Gaurahari, Nimai. So if You want to meet Him, You can go there and You can meet Him. He is waiting for You." So Nityananda Prabhu quickly went to Navadvipa dharma. He crossed the Ganges. There was a beautiful asrama. Asrama? Madhava Maharaja: Nandana Acarya's garden. Shrila Gurudeva: Nandana Acarya's garden. Prema-prayjona dasa: Isodhyana. Shrila Gurudeva: Isodhyana. In Isodhyana was Nandana Acarya's asrama, kutir, hut. Prema-prayjona dasa: Cottage. Shrila Gurudeva: Cottage, and He used to do kirtana always. It was some far away from Navadvipa, Mayapura. Have you gone? Navadvipa? So on the bank of Ganges, near bank of Ganges, nearer to Svarupa Ganja and Godruma and Navadvipa. There was not any way [due to thick forest] when I went first with my gurudeva, about 50, or more than 50 years before. So you can think like at that time. So Nityananda Prabhu was hiding Himself, "If My Kanhaiya is here in Navadvipa, He must come to Me, and then I will know that 'Oh, He's my Kanhaiya'. Otherwise I will return." So He was waiting there. Mahaprabhu was in Shrivasa-angam with other devotes, Gadadhara Pandit, Shrivasa Pandit, his four brothers and all, He told that, "Oh, search for any mahapurusa has come, maha-bhagavata. So you should at once go and search Him and bring Him here." So Shrivasa Pandit and all others went to search. They searched everywhere in all the temples, in the houses of all the devotees until evening, but then could not find that mahapurusa. Then Mahaprabhu took with Him Gadadhara Pandit, Shrivasa and all others, and He quickly went to the house of Nandana Acarya. He saw that a very tall, very beautiful, very healthy saint is there, mahapurusa. He was standing and Nityananda Prabhu also standing, each other talking with eyes. Then Mahaprabhu quickly ran towards Nityananda, and Nityananda Prabhu ran towards Mahaprabhu and They embraced each other and became senseless. Then what became? Then Gadadhara Pandit from behind the curtain [recited]: barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrndair vrndaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih (SB 10.21.5) ["Accompanied by His cowherd boyfriends, Syamasundara entered the forest of Vrndadevi. His head was decorated with a peacock feather. He wore yellow karnikara flowers over His ears, a dazzling golden yellow garment on His body, and around His neck, extending down to His knees, hung a fragrant vaijayanti garland made of five kinds of flowers. Splendidly attired as a beautiful natavara, a most expert dancer, He appeared just like a very fine actor on stage. He poured the nectar of His lips through the holes of His flute, and the cowherd boys followed behind Him, singing His glories. In this way, the land of Vrindavana was even more charming than Vaikuntha, due to being beautified by Shri Krishna's lotus feet marked with the conch, disk, and other symbols." (Venu-gita)] Oh, Nityananda Prabhu, and They began to do [Hindi word]. Prema-prayjona dasa: Roaring. Shrila Gurudeva: Roaring both, and They became more and more excited. Excited? Brajanatha Prabhu: Ecstatic. Madhava Maharaja: Excited. Shrila Gurudeva: Then Mahaprabhu took Him, Nityananda Prabhu. Took Him to where? To Shrivasa-angam. The wife of Shrivasa was Malini. Malini saw that He is like her son, and she took Him in her lap, and thus Nityananda Prabhu was always there with His mother Malini-devi. After then, everything, so many pastimes of Nityananda. One day Malini-devi was weeping. Nityananda Prabhu told, "Mother, why you are weeping?" "Oh, a crow came and took my golden or silver pot full of ghee." "Oh, you weeping for this. 'O crow, come on, come on, come on.' Madhava Maharaja: 'Bring back the pot.'" Shrila Gurudeva: And crow came, and he brought that container there. She became very happy. Sometimes in the mood of a very small child He used to run to Sacimaiya's without any clothes. "O mother! Mother! Where is Kanhaiya? Where is Kanhaiya?" Then Mahaprabhu, Nimai saw Him, and He gave His utariya [upper garment] and tightened it round His waist. Thus Nityananda Prabhu was always absorbed, not remembering that 'I am any male or anything'. So there are so many pastimes. We will try to tell all these things in evening class. It will be better if you can come here just before 5. I may come at 5. You should come before and you should do all the kirtana of Nityananda Prabhu. You must come, and all should come and you should glorify Him by kirtana, and also by meaning. What is the meaning of that kirtana, and go on doing. At about 10.30 or 11 I may come and you should bring all paraphernalia of abisekha. Also some very good dobs. Bring coconut, two or three. And Nityananda Prabhu and Gaura Prabhu, They should come out here. Decorate Them. We will do abisekha and some glorification. Then in evening again kirtana and being glorified. Gaura-premanande! Devotees: Haribol!
  15. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Bali, Indonesia, February 6, 2001, noon [At eleven o'clock this morning there was an abhisekha for Gaura-Nitai. As all the devotees gathered around…] Shrila Gurudeva: We are calling Gaura-Nitai. Because Nityananda Prabhu will not do anything without Mahaprabhu. As in Raghunatha dasa's mahotsava [chipped rice festival]. Nityananda Prabhu called Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu came and Nityananda Prabhu fed Mahaprabhu first. Only very few persons saw. [Then Shrila Gurudeva recited the mantras for the abhisekha. Before the bathing started, Shrila Gurudeva recited some mantras ending in 'svaha' and everyone threw flower petals at Gaura-Nitai. After the abhisekha was completed Shrila Gurudeva sat down on his asana. He then asked for a kirtana of 'Shri Nitai Janma Lila' which he had had a devotee write up on a blackboard. After this Shrila Gurudeva explained the song.] Shri Nitai Janma Lila radhades nam ekchakra gram hadhai pandit ghor shubho magha masi, sukla triyodasi janmila haladhara hadhai pandit, ati harasit putra mahotsab koray dharani-mandal, karaytalamal ananda nahika dharaya shantipura-natha, manaya harasit, kori kichu anuman antaraya janila, budji janmila krsnera agraja rama vaisnavera mana, hoilaparasan ananda sagaray bhasay ai dina pamara, hoibay udbar kohay dukhee krsnsa dasay Shrila Gurudeva: In India, that place where Ramacandra, Sita and Laksmana could not go. That land is called Radhesdesa. The same land, everywhere Ramacandra went in India, South and North, East, West, but not there. But to that very land Nityananda Prabhu came and He descended there and made it more than any place. Ekacara. Before Nityananda Prabhu five Pandavas with Kunti, mother Kunti, they were there. When they were given in fire by Duryodhana in lac ca greha. Brajanatha Prabhu: Shellac house. Shrila Gurudeva: Ah. But trickily by Vidhura they were saved, and in disguise they left that place. Duryodhana knew that, "Oh, all are burnt, now I am saved and I am monarch of all." But in disguise they went to Ekacakra, and there, there was a very big demon who wanted to take all for his dinner. The whole villagers suggested themselves that each day only one will go with some preparations. From then they began to go daily, only one person, so that this demons should not disturb others. When Kunti was with the five Pandavas in the house of the brahmana where they were staying. There were only one husband, only one wife and only one son. They began to weep "Who should go? If father is going everything, if mother is going everything, if son is going everything." So they decided that, "We three should go," and they were weeping bitterly. Mother Kunti went there and asked the reason why they were weeping. They began to tell this history of the demon that "We have promised to give one person each day with so many preparations." Today is our turn. So who will go and not go, we cannot decide, so we three will go. Then mother Kunti told that, "I have 5 sons. No harm. You should not go. Oh, I will give of my own one son." He told, "Never. Never. For me, you will give your son. Absurd. We cannot accept this." Kunti told that, "My son is not like you and others. He will go, he will defeat the demon, and kill the demon, and he will uproot all the cause or problem forever." She told that, "You should make more preparations so that my son can eat something, so much you should make." So they made very happily so much preparations. And in a big basket Bhima took all and he went to that forest where that demon was. And when demon was seeing him, that he is coming, Bhima began to take with two hands all the preparations himself, and the demon became very angry. At once he jumped and attacked Bhima, but Bhima took any tree, uprooted it and [Maharaja moves hands like someone attacking with stick]. What became? So much fight between them. At last Bhima took the feet of that demon and threw him in the sky and died and the problem was solved forever. Then he came very happily took the foot-dust of mother Kunti. So this is story of Ekacakra. So at this place, Ekacakra, Himself Nitai appeared. Hadai Pandit, name of His father Hadai ujja. Ujja, Pandit ujja. Ujja means brahmana knowing all the Vedas, sastras. Shubho magha masi, oh, this is very pure Magha masa, month of Magha. Very soon Vasanta-pacami has gone, so it is like Vasanta-ritu. Devotee: Springtime. Shrila Gurudeva: Sukla trayodasi is today. Janmila haladhara. Who is Haladhara [carrier of the plough]? Madhava Maharaja: Baladeva Prabhu. Shrila Gurudeva: The weapon of Haladhara, the plough [hala], is of Baladeva Prabhu. Why Haladhara? He has hala and musala. If anyone is against Krishna or Krishna-bhakti or against the associates of Krishna, He brings them with hala. Madhava Maharaja: With plough. Shrila Gurudeva: Giving around the neck and putting. And with musala? [Maharaja makes a striking motion.] Madhava Maharaja: Club. Shrila Gurudeva: In this way He killed the monkey Dvivida who became against Baladeva Prabhu. So Haladhara. Also because He has hala. Hala means plough. By plough farmers cultivate, so He's cultivating the jivas, all the jivas coming from Baladeva Prabhu. From Baladeva Prabhu they serve in Vrindavana everywhere. From His incarnation, that is Maha Sankarshana, they serve in Vaikuntha planets, Dvaraka, and everywhere. Madhava Maharaja: [faintly] Ayodhya. Shrila Gurudeva: And thirdly from Karanodakasaya, tatastha-sakti, so many jivas like us, they have come from there. So anyhow all the jivas whether conditioned or mukta, liberated, all are coming, original root is this Baladeva Prabhu. So this is Haladhara. Also haladhara means to plough. What plough? Prema-bhakti, bhakti, and then bhakti become sraddha, nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, bhava, mahabhava and all. So this is coming from Baladeva Prabhu. Hadai Pandit was very much happy, His mother was happy. Dharani-mandala, karaytalamal. And then His last fraction, Sesa, became very happy, and he was like dancing, so whole world was like shaking. So ananda nahika dharaya, there was no place to keep ananda. Everywhere anandam, manandam, purnanandam. Santipura-natha, manaya harasit, kori kichu anuman. Advaita Acarya was thinking somewhat, "Oh, why today there is so much ananda. Oh, my superior Prabhu is coming." So he made a. Anuman means? Madhava Maharaja: gaze. Shrila Gurudeva: So he gazed that, "Oh, my Prabhu is coming." Antaraya janila, budji janmila krsnera agraja rama. Now he understood. "Oh, agraja of Rama." Madhava Maharaja: Elder brother. Shrila Gurudeva: Elder brother of Krishna. O elder brother has come, is coming, perhaps. Where? In Ekacakra gram, Himself is coming." Vaisnavera mana, hoilaparasan. All vaisnavas, even in Navadvipa, here and there, all became very happy. Ananda sagaray bhasay, and then ocean of endless ananda was. What? Brajanatha Prabhu: Churned. Madhava Maharaja: No. They are floating in the ocean of pleasure. Shrila Gurudeva: Everywhere, and all the vaisnavas were going up and down. Devotee: [quietly from back] Surfing. Madhava Maharaja: Surfing there, surfing there. Shrila Gurudeva: Surfing there. Ai dina pamar, Krishnadasa is telling, "Oh, I'm so much pamara. Hoibay udbar. Today, by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, Krishnadasa will be liberated from this world and Nityananda Prabhu will sprinkle mercy that I may have the service of Nityananda." Nityananda Prabhu Ki! Devotees: Jaya! Shrila Gurudeva: Gaura-premanande! Devotees: Haribol! [Shrila Gurudeva then recites 'Akrodha Paramananda' by Locan dasa Thakura.] Shrila Gurudeva: akrodha paramananda nityananda raya abhimana sunya nitai nagare bedaya adhama patita jivera dvare dvare giya hari-nama maha-mantra deno bilaiya jare dekhe tare kohe dante trna dhari' amare kiniya loho bhajo gaurahari ["The noble Nityananda Prabhu is never angry, for He is the personification of supreme transcendental bliss. Devoid of all false ego, Nitai wanders about the town. (Baladeva Prabhu and Laksmana get angry, but not Nityananda.) Going from door to door to the houses of the most fallen and wretched souls, He freely distributes the gift of the harinama maha-mantra. Holding a straw in his teeth, he exclaims to whomever he sees, 'You can purchase Me by worshiping Gaurahari!'" (Giti-guccha)] He's telling to every door, every house, that, "Oh, you should once speak 'Gaurahari' and buy Me." Buy means? Brajanatha Prabhu: Purchase. Shrila Gurudeva: "And purchase Me. I will give up Myself to you." He is so happy. eto boli' nityananda bhume gadi jaya sonara parvata jeno dhulate lotaya ["Saying thus, Nityananda Prabhu rolls about on the ground, appearing like a golden mountain tumbling in the dust." (Giti-guccha)] He was so beautiful, like gold, and very tall vigra, very beautiful. So chanting the name of Gaurahari, and He used to be faint, and rolling on the ground. heno avatare jar rati na janmilo locana bole sei papi elo ara gelo ["Locana dasa says: That sinful person who has not experienced the awakening of affection for such an avatara as this simply comes and goes uselessly in the cycle of repeated birth and death." (Giti-guccha)] Locana dasa Thakura is telling that those who have no affection and love for this avatara, this incarnation of Krishna, oh, sei papi. Papi means? Prema-prayjona dasa: Sinful. Shrila Gurudeva: Sinful person. Only going and coming, never they will be liberated. [Shrila Gurudeva says something in Hindi to Madhava Maharaja, who mentions various phrases from different songs. Then Shrila Gurudeva refers to another song of Locan dasa Thakura 'Nitai guna mani']: Shrila Gurudeva: nitai guna-mani amar nitai guna-mani aniya premer vanya bhasailo avani premera vanya loiya nitai aila gauda-dese dubilo bhakata-gana dina hina bhase ["My Lord Nityananda, the jewel of all virtues, my Lord Nityananda, the jewel of all virtues, has brought the flood of divine love in which the whole world is sinking. Bringing this overwhelming deluge of prema to Bengal from Puri to preach Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message, Nitai inundated the assembly of devotees. The fallen and impoverished, out of lack of prema, did not drown but remained floating on the surface of that ecstatic ocean." (Giti-guccha)] Mahaprabhu brought what? An endless vanya. Vanya you know? Madhava Maharaja: Flood. Shrila Gurudeva: Flood of love and affection, Krishna prema. And then all bhaktas began to sink in that ocean of love and affection. brahmar durlabha prema sabakare jace abaddha koruna-sindhu nitai katiya muhan ghare ghare bule prema-amiyar ban ["Without discriminating, Nityananda Prabhu freely offered this rare prema, which is difficult for Lord Brahma to attain, to all, even to the fallen and wretched who did not desire it (no one could avoid it!). The ocean of mercy had formerly been sealed tight, but Nitai cut a channel in its boundary wall and went from house to house with this nectarean prema, sweetly telling all to take harinama." (Giti-guccha)] The love of Radha and Krishna conjugal, the mouth of that endless river, Nityananda Prabhu cut the dam, and so everywhere prema, prema, prema in Braja dharma. It was kept, reserved. Brajanatha Prabhu: Sealed. Shrila Gurudeva: It was not even accessible for Brahma, Sankara, but He opened for all general persons. Ghare ghare bule prema-amiyar ban. That love and affection went door-to-door to all persons, to everyone. locana bole mor nitai jeba na bhajilo janiya suniya sei atma-ghati hoilo ["Locana dasa says: Whoever has not worshiped my Nitai, or who has heard yet does not follow Nitai's instructions, knowingly commits suicide." (Giti-guccha)] Also anyone has told that, "Oh, I was not at that time. I want to die and to come on the same time there. I want to have a janma [when Nityananda Prabhu is there]." And Locan Thakura is telling, "Oh, if not doing bhajana of such a Nityananda Prabhu, janiya suniya sei atma-ghati hoilo, that person is what? Self? Madhava Maharaja: Self-killer, suicidal. Shrila Gurudeva: Gaura Nityananda Prabhu Ki! Devotees: Jaya! Shrila Gurudeva: Patita Pavana Nityananda Prabhu Ki! Devotees: Jaya! Shrila Gurudeva: Bas. [Devotees start a very enthusiastic kirtana and Shrila Gurudeva encourages all to dance.]
  16. Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Teresopolis, Brazil: Feb 14, 2003 Nityananda Prabhu served Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Navadvipa, and performed His Vyasa-puja there. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Shri Krishna Himself. If one worships Krishna, Vyasa-puja is automatically done. After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, He wanted to go to Vrindavana, but Nityananda Prabhu kindly, by trick, changed His direction and took Him to Santipura, the village of Shri Advaita Acarya. Nityananda Prabhu called all the people of Nadia, especially Mahaprabhu's mother Saci-maiya, to come and meet Him. There, Saci-maiya met with Him when He was in sannyasa dress. After that, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to Puri, and Nityananda Prabhu followed Him there. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to always serve Mahaprabhu, but because he had been initiated by Shri Laksmipati-tirtha, Mahaprabhu honored Him as a guru. Laksmipati-tirtha was the diksha-guru of Madhavendra Puri, Shri Madhavendra Puri's disciple was Shri Isvara Puri, and Isvara Puri's disciple was Mahaprabhu. In this way Mahaprabhu is in the disciplic succession two generations after Nityananda Prabhu, and He therefore used to show him great respect. Nityananda Prabhu served in so many ways at the Ratha-yatra Festival, and after the festival Mahaprabhu ordered him to return to Bengal and preach His mission there. He preached without care for caste or creed, and he especially preached to those who were inferior in caste and very poor. In the course of his preaching, he once came to the village of Ramacandra Khan, who had previously sent a prostitute to Shrila Haridasa Thakura and who was always against Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and bhakti. Ramacandra Khan could not understand the glory of Haridasa Thakura and had wondered, "Even though I am king of the state, nobody honors me. Instead they honor Haridasa Thakura, even though he is a Muslim." He had committed grievous offenses against Haridasa Thakura, and now Nityananda Prabhu wanted to liberate him from his sinful body. Nityananda Prabhu went to Ramacandra Khan's village at night, with hundreds of His devotees. As it was nighttime, he requested Ramacandra Khan's servant to tell him, "Today we want to take rest in your Durga Mandapa. Hearing this, Ramacandra Khan ordered his servant to tell Nityananda Prabhu there is no place for Him in the temple, but he and his disciples could go to the goshala (cowshed), and remain in that very sacred place. Again he committed an offense. Nityananda Prabhu began to laugh very loudly, and while laughing he told the king's servant, "Certainly your place is not pure enough for me. A cowshed is superior. You should tell the king, "Many Muslim generals and soldiers will come to your house. They will destroy you, your entire family, your cows and everything you possess; and they will eat meat here. You have no place for me, but you will have to make a place for them." After saying this, he left the village and went to another. The next day many Muslim soldiers came, killed the king's family, slaughtered cows and cooked them there, and then they set the entire village on fire. Those who were in favor of that king were destroyed, and thus, what Nityananda Prabhu had told was proven true. There are many pastimes, but I am only touching some. akrodha paramananda nityananda raya abhimana sunya nitai nagare bedaya ["The noble Nityananda Prabhu is never angry, for he is the personification of supreme transcendental bliss. Devoid of all false ego, Nitai wanders about the town." (Akrodha Paramanda by Locana dasa Thakura, verse 1)] The meaning is very important. Akrodha means 'not angry'. We should try to give up anger, which is the root of all kinds of evil. Even if there is a reason to be angry, we should not be angry. Nityananda Prabhu is telling us this, through the medium of this song. He is saying, "You should be like me." When Jagai and Madhai hit him and he was bleeding, he prayed to Mahaprabhu, "In this incarnation, You should forgive them, and give them Krishna-prema." Thus, by the request of Nityananda Prabhu, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the brothers Krishna-prema. Mahaprabhu and all our Gosvamis have told us that even if there is a cause to be angry, we should not be angry. We should control our anger. If there is need, however, if someone is criticizing one's Gurudeva, or any pure devotee, or Krishna, Mahaprabhu, or Nityananda Prabhu, then we can use our anger. At that time we should be like Hanuman, who burned all of Lanka into ashes. Shri Vrindavana dasa Thakura has declared: "Ati parihare jei papi nindakara tabe / lati marun tera sirera upare." Do not disobey or dishonor Nityananda Prabhu. If you do so, I will kick you on your head." Only in the highest stage of bhakti are you allowed to be angry. You should control your anger; not be controlled by it. If you are so controlled, you will be destroyed. kama esa krodha esa rajo-guna-samudbhavah mahasano maha-papma viddhy enam iha vairinam ["The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world." (Bhagavad-gita 3.37)] Those who have worldly desires for position and so on, and who have a false ego in this regard, will lose everything. If you cannot control your mind, you may also disobey your Guru, and you may even give up your Guru. That is why Lord Shri Krishna has told us not to be angry. Keep the anger finger out of your bead bag. Do not use this (pointer) finger in chanting, because it denotes anger. It says, "I will punish you! I will shoot you! Do you not know who I am?! I will break your legs!" Be careful. adhama patita jivera dvare dvare giay hari-nama maha-mantra dicchena bilaiya ["Going from door to door, to the houses of the most fallen and wretched souls, He freely distributes the gift of the harinama maha-mantra." (Akrodha Paramananda verse 2)] Taking the flood of Krishna-prema, Nityananda Prabhu went door to door, to give that love and affection. Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu Ki Jaya! Gaura premanande
  17. A108-AI

    Shrila Madhvacharya

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

    To Hear Or Not To Hear

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

    Srila Jiva Gosvami

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

    You Cannot Bluff Guru

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