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Shrila B.V. Narayana MaharajShrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami (birth name: Narayana Tiwari, February 16, 1921, Tivaripur — December 29, 2010, Puri) is a Hindu Vaishnava religious figure, theologian, writer, senior student and successor of Shrila Bhaktipragyana Keshava Gosvami (1898-1968); founder of the "International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society." Being in old age Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami traveled around the world more than 30 times, having been preaching Gaudiya Vaishnavism in many countries of the world. According to data for 2002, the Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami had more than 40,000 students.

Шрила Бхактиведанта Нараяна Госвами (имя при рождении — Нараяна Тивари; 16 февраля 1921, Тиварипур — 29 декабря 2010, Пури) — индуистский вайшнавский религиозный деятель, богослов, писатель, старший ученик и преемник Шрила Бхактипрагьяна Кешавы Госвами (1898-1968); основатель «Международного общества чистой бхакти-йоги». Пребывая в преклонном возрасте Бхактиведанта Нараяна Госвами объехал вокруг света более 30 раз, побывав с проповедью гаудия-вайшнавизма во многих странах мира. По данным на 2002 год, у Бхактиведанты Нараяны Госвами было более 40 000 учеников.

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A108-AI

dayitamadhava.jpgHave I Made a Mistake?

by Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

My Doubt

A doubt occasionally arises in my heart. I think, “Have I made a mistake in accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of the Vaiṣṇavas? It certainly seems so. I appear to have made a mistake in taking up bhajana, in accepting the shelter of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas and, specifically, in taking refuge of the Gauḍīya Maṭha and dedicating all my senses to serving in the Maṭha.

“Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas are not big-hearted. When we perform bhajana under their shelter, we are controlled by so many rules and regulations. If I were to take refuge of some other sampradāya where there is no concern for offences, such as vaiṣṇava-aparādha, nāma-aparādha or dhāma-aparādha, I would feel no such hindrance or botheration. I would not be obliged to develop exclusive devotion for a particular object of worship [such as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa], nor would my eating habits be curtailed. In the Maṭha, issues like vaiṣṇava-aparādha are raised, and it often impedes my unrestricted sense enjoyment, lawless gossiping and other whimsical activities. It would therefore be better for me to live outside the Maṭha than be governed by such restraints.”

Sometimes I even think it would be best for me to abandon the shelter of a gurudeva as controlling as mine altogether, and to accept the mantra elsewhere, from someone who doesn’t demand that I pay attention to all the rules and regulations. Thus, I occasionally contemplate severing my ties with the Gauḍīya Maṭha completely. What stops me, however, is the thought that if people were to find out that I had broken my connection with Śrī Guru, it could jeopardise my prestige and position.

Discipline and Deceit

The Vaiṣṇavas of the Gauḍīya Maṭha are one pointedly engaged in worshipping Śrī Gaurāṅgadeva and Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, under the guidance of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmipāda and the best among his followers, namely, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. Kṛṣṇa-prema is their only goal and their only practice, or sādhana. There is no absence of affection or devotion in the sādhana of the servants of the Gauḍīya Maṭha. Hence, they will never support any endeavour that is unfavourable to the cultivation of affection for Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

What auspiciousness can a sādhana bring if it can’t offer its practitioner any way to attain his cherished goal quickly, or if it can’t even offer him any certainty that he will realize his worshipable deity at all? This type of sādhana, when propagated, tends only to attract followers. For those content to pass their lives without purpose or restriction, what use is there to accept the lotus feet of sad-guru, a transcendental teacher? But those who can see their own faults and anarthas, and who try to become free of them, develop an urge to become qualified to taste the bliss of prema for Bhagavān. Only they can remain in the shelter of saintly devotees endowed with this prema. They can experience the happiness of being engaged in service to Bhagavān by living under the guidance of such one-pointed devotees and following their instructions. This involves subduing their senses and abstaining from whimsical activities.

Those who make a show of accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru simply deceive themselves; they pretend to be self-controlled and reformed but internally maintain their previous bad impressions, and especially the tendency to strive to gather followers. In other words, they recruit followers on the pretext of accepting the shelter of Śrī Guru, with the aim of fulfilling their selfish ends through their so-called disciples. The attempts of such arrogant and duplicitous people to attain auspiciousness are endlessly frustrated.

To be a disciple means to be disciplined, or controlled. If a person outwardly accepts the shelter of Śrī Guru but arrogantly maintains the attitude that he knows best about his spiritual life, then he is but a cheater – deceiving both himself and others. Pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas are most magnanimous and bestow the highest auspiciousness. If we can become eligible to understand even a single aspect of their exemplary lives we will become attached to sādhana-bhajana and be filled with jubilation and devotion.

Bhakti Lies Beyond Renunciation

Those who possess kṛṣṇa-prema are neither enjoyers nor renunciants. They are not karmīs (fruitive workers); neither are they jñānīs (persons cultivating knowledge of impersonal brahman). Those who perform activities opposed to scriptural injunctions honour karmīs who abide by scriptural injunctions; and when karmīs, who are eager to enjoy the results of their endeavours see the external renunciation of jñānīs and renunciants, they may be attracted to them. However, those who hanker for bhagavat-prema disregard both of these paths. They are attracted only by behaviour that nurtures the cultivation of this prema.

Someone who is not aspiring for prema for Bhagavān will perceive only enjoyment or renunciation in the behaviour of the devotees. If he takes shelter of them upon observing their external renunciation, he may for a while consider himself blessed to be in their company. Kṛṣṇa-prema, however, cannot be attained by external renunciation. Unless one has faith grounded in philosophical truth (tattvika śraddhā), or has affection for the svarūpa of Śrī Bhagavān, he cannot become attracted to the behaviour of Bhagavān’s devotees. The characteristic of such one-pointed devotees is that directly or indirectly they only cultivate love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa:

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu
śīlanaṁ bhaktir-uttamā

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.11)

“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhāvas), which is not covered by jñāna (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 Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.”

One must deliberate upon this verse. The activities of a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, such as establishing a maṭha (spiritual institution), constructing a temple, meeting with materialistic or aristocratic people, hosting festivals with pomp and grandeur, and giving instructions to ignorant or faithless people, are all śuddha-bhakti. To serve Bhagavān and the devotees one may supervise the construction of a temple or the house of a devotee, collect materials, purchase supplies and accept the lowly propensity to beg. Such activities are supremely pleasurable and they nourish one’s bhakti.

What Is True Renunciation?

kuṣṭhi-viprera ramaṇī pativratā-śiromaṇi
pati lāgi’ kailā veśyāra sevā
stambhila sūryera gati jīyāila mṛta pati
tuṣṭa kaila mukhya tina-devā

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Antya-līlā 20.57)

“The wife of a brāhmaṇa suffering from leprosy showed herself to be the topmost of chaste women by serving a prostitute to satisfy her husband. She thus halted the movement of the sun, brought her dead husband back to life and satisfied the three principal demigods [Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara].”

We should consider this account in the light of our discussion. That chaste brāhmaṇa wife’s service to a lowly prostitute in the sincere endeavour to please her husband enhanced her glory. She thus became worshipable for the entire world. What’s more, she became very dear to Śrī Bhagavān. If, however, she had performed this service for her own sense, pleasure, or for dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa, it would have been reprehensible in every respect.

Similarly, activities such as constructing a maṭha, meeting and talking with materialistic or aristocratic people, hosting grand festivals and bestowing the śrī nāma-mantra to faithful persons sincerely desiring to serve Śrī Bhagavān, His devotees and His dhāma (all aspects of Vaikuṇṭha), enhance bhakti and ultimately cause prema to appear. Those same activities, however, bind one to this material world if they are performed with the aim of gratifying one’s senses; accumulating wealth, women and fame; or attaining dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa.

In this world, renunciation means to relinquish the objects of one’s attachment. But can ceasing to take foods that merely aggravate a disease, for instance, be considered renunciation? Abstaining from foodstuffs that destroy good health and instead accepting foods that increase longevity can hardly be celebrated as a great act of renunciation. Thus, it is hard to see how the act of renouncing one’ father, mother, relatives, friends, wealth, occupation, business or worldly duties performed to gain material comforts, can in itself be glorious. Only when a person renounces the objects of his mundane pleasure for the pleasure of the Complete Entity [Śrī Bhagavān], expecting no sense enjoyment in return, can his renunciation be considered actual renunciation. In other words, true renunciation entails not striving for dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa, or for wealth, women and adoration.

Ordinarily, it is considered irreligious to forsake the duties the scriptures prescribe for one’s varṇa and āśrama; but if these duties are discarded for the pleasure and satisfaction of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the cause of all causes and the bestower of supreme bliss, then and only then is such renunciation honourable. Indeed, such renunciation, which benefits everyone, is to be revered. To renounce endeavours for sense gratification – that is, endeavours in one’s search for happiness in this world or in the next – is courageous and glorious. But the topmost renunciation is to abandon everything, even one’s independent will and desires, for the pleasure of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His one-pointed devotees.

Renouncing the mind’s propensity for independence, in other words, the sacrifice of one’s very self, is far superior to renouncing that which is inert and temporary. The glory of one’s renunciation lies truly in the glory of the object of such sacrifice. Śrī Bhagavān and His devotees who possess prema are unlimitedly glorious; and therefore to renounce for their pleasure is supremely noble. Such renunciation is incomparable because it increases the happiness of all living entities by reawakening their relationship with Śrī Bhagavān. It does not admit even the slightest scent of distress. Rather, the renunciant feels increasingly happy at every step. It can therefore be concluded that such renunciation bestows bliss in every respect and is highly esteemed.

Fruitive workers, or karmīs, make sacrifices and perform austerity with the hope of attaining increased mundane sense pleasure in the future. Such renunciation is therefore meagre and does not bestow complete happiness. Jñānīs, who aspire to realize the impersonal brahman , make sacrifices and perform austerity to dispel their own suffering. Their renunciation, also, does not bestow full happiness.

The sacrifices and austerities of Kṛṣṇa’s devotees, however, are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Śrī Hari. Since Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the cause of all causes, such renunciation bestows true welfare upon the devotee and upon others. Therefore Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas greatly honour those activities that promote love of Bhagavān, and they reject activities that hinder it. In this sādhana, any sense enjoyment and renunciation that is favourable to bhakti is highly regarded. Yet devotees are not attracted to sense enjoyment and renunciation in their own right. They are attracted to love for Bhagavān and His devotees. They have no independent or whimsical desire to enjoy or renounce. Yukta-vairāgya, renunciation for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is their only sādhana. Without understanding bhajana-rahasya, the secrets of bhajana, one will become bewildered by what sense enjoyment is and what renunciation is. Both are impediments in the sādhaka’s cultivation of prema for Bhagavān.

Don’t Waste a Moment

Those who have realized that this human life offers an invaluable opportunity to work towards attaining the supreme goal, prize every moment of it. They are unwilling to waste even an instant in any other endeavour. They know that living entities in other species of life do not have the facility or good fortune to make progress towards the supreme goal, and accordingly, they see no value in living their lives in the manner of the lower species. Hence, upon attaining this extremely rare human life and, on top of that, attaining the fortune to associate with sādhus and developing śraddhā for the supreme goal, they cannot quietly squander a single moment of their lives. Rather, they will accept only what is favourable to the cultivation of affection for Śrī Kṛṣṇa and will reject all activities that are unfavourable to it.

As such, the devotees of the Gauḍīya Maṭha instruct the world to engage only in those practices that are righteous and favourable to the cultivation of kṛṣṇa-prema and to reject unrighteous activities that impede it. Moreover, they never indulge in violence or envy, as this hinders the cultivation of prema.

My Doubt Resolved

Thus, if I am genuinely searching for kṛṣṇa-prema, I have not after all made any mistake in accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Such Vaiṣṇavas will not fuel our desire for dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa or our hankering for wealth, women and adoration. The purpose of the Maṭha is to help free us from these anarthas and attain kṛṣṇa-prema. By taking shelter of the lotus feet of pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas in the Gauḍīya Maṭha, beggars for kṛṣṇa-prema become qualified to attain their greatest welfare. Moreover, they receive the opportunity to achieve the highest ideal of magnanimity and to ascend to the topmost level of pure vairāgya, renunciation. This is my unshakable conviction. One cannot be deviated from attaining prema for Bhagavān in due course, unless one becomes a severe offender.

One day, by the mercy of Śrīla Prabhupāda, the world will profusely glorify and worship the Śrī Sarasvata Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas [that is, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s followers]. They alone are able to establish the highest ideal of benevolence in the world. Victory will certainly belong to the devotees of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, or those who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. I have not, therefore, made a mistake in accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas. Rather, I have whole-heartedly embraced the good fortune of attaining my highest welfare, and thus I am truly blessed.

Essay originally penned in 1966.
Translated from Śrī Caitanya-vānī by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 14 Kārttika 2004.

About the Author

One of the shining luminaries of the Gauḍīya sky, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja was an initimate disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhakurā Prabhupāda who soon became renowned for his intense devotion, deep humility and brilliance in spreading the mission of his divine master. Indeed, Śrīla Prabhupāda used to refer to him as “a preacher of volcanic energy.”

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Madhāva Gosvāmī Mahārāja appeared in this world in Kārttika of l904, On the disappearance day of Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, in Kanchanpada, present-day Bangaladesh. He accepted the renounced order in 1944, and established Śri Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha in 1953, the current ācārya of which is Śrī Śrīmad BhaktiVallabha Tīrtha Mahārāja. One of his most significant contributions was to re-establish the appearance site of Śrīla Prabhupāda in Śrī Jagannātha Purī. This empowered personality who was kind and magnanimous to all, entered nitya līlā in 1979, on the disappearance day of Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja.

Puṣpāñjali

by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

I often received the opportunity to associate closely with our revered śikṣā-guru Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. He was serene, tolerant, grave and endowed with many other qualities befitting a Vaiṣṇava. He preached Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s message of Divine Love widely throughout India with great vigour. The special feature of his preaching was that he taught by personal example. He emphasized that we should be humbler than a blade of grass and more forbearing than a tree, and that we should offer respect to everyone without ourselves desiring respect from others. His unique spiritual quality was that he honoured all his godbrothers. This is truly ideal. If we can sincerely follow his teachings, our guru-pujā will be successful.

Excerpt from a speech delivered in Hindi on 17th November 2003
at Śrī Caitanya Gauḍīya Maṭha, Vṛndāvana,
at Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Mahārāja’s birth centennial celebration.

See also:

 

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Varsana, Vraj-mandala, India
October 12, 1996

Devotee: Why do we celebrate Dipavali, and in what mood is it celebrated by Vrajavasis?

Srila Bhativedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Dipavali means a time of happiness. When Lord Rama defeated Ravana and reached Ayodhya, a big Dipavali festival was performed there. Sri Vamanadeva wanted to cheat Bali Maharaja. He did not cheat him; rather he gave his mercy, although it seemed that he was cheating. When Bali Maharaja was offered a benediction from the Lord, he requested, "Always remain in my home." In this way the Lord Himself was cheated. Lord Vamana was very glad, and he agreed to stay there forever. Due to great happiness, Bali Maharaja then asked all his associates to hold a Dipavali festival, and that was the first Dipavali. When Krsna defeated Duryodhana and returned to Dvaraka, a Dipavali was also celebrated there.

Lord Krsna Himself, along with Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba and all other Vrajavasis, came here and celebrated this festival with their own hands. In other words they themselves offered dipa (a lighted ghee wick) and rendered many other services.

Divali also means light. If there is no bhajana of Krsna there is darkness, and in Krsna Consciousness there is light. We celebrate this function in order to give up darkness and to bring the light of bhakti, pure devotion. This is the same celebration. Real happiness comes from playing karatalas and mrdangas. If one hears this, and if maya hears, maya will go away at once. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought the sankirtana movement to this world to drive out maya. Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu do this Themselves, and we should try to follow Them.

 

Manasi-Ganga-Parikrama.jpg

dipavali.jpg

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mannsarova.jpg[By the mercy of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, 2017 Vraja Mandala Parikrama is going on smoothly. Today, the parikrama party went to Maan-sarovara, therefore we are sending out what Srila Maharaja spoke there in 2003:]

You should take acamana * [See endnote 1] from this pond, thinking it to be the very svarupa (form) of Srimati Radhika – and pray for Her mercy.* [See endnote 2] During rasa-lila, Srimati Radhika saw that, "Krsna is dancing with Me, but at the same time He is dancing with all the other gopis. He tells lies like, 'I have given You My heart. You are My most beloved.' But now He is treating Me just like the others." She entered a sulky mood, a very angry mood, and at once began to weep. She left the rasa-mandala (the circle of the rasa dance) in Seva-kunja, crossed the Yamuna, and finally came to this lonely forest to hide Herself here.

Rasa stopped, because Sri Krsna began searching for Her – searching, searching, searching. When He finally found Her He saw that She was weeping, and that a large pond was created from Her tears. Thus, this place is called Maan Sarovara, the sarovara (pond) made from the maan (transcendental loving jealous anger) of Srimati Radhika.

Sri Krsna pacified Her here, although to pacify Her was very hard for Him. He took Her lotus feet upon His head, tried to appease Her in many ways, and He also took a vow: "From now onwards I will never do anything wrong. I accept that I have committed a mistake. I have offended you, but I promise that I will never do this in the future."

You can see how beautiful these forest kunjas are. There were millions of groves and kunjas here at that time. When Srimati Radhika or Sri Krsna were hiding themselves in any kunja, it was very difficult for them to discover where the other was hidden. At that time the trees were not like this. Now they are feeling separation for Srimati Radhika and Lord Krsna and are about to die. These trees know all the sweet pastimes of Srimati Radhika's hiding from Krsna, as well as all other such lilas, and now they cannot see these manifest in this world.

We have brought you all to see how beautiful these kunjas are. At that time these trees were straight and covered with lush creepers, though now they are lying down. No unauthorized person was able see through them, to see who was there or not. At that time the kunjas where so large that rasa-lila and all other related pastimes used to take place in them. Millions of gopis could fit in them. At that time Vrndavana forest was only forest. There were not many houses as there are today. According to the desire of Lord Krsna, the kunjas and land could expand and reduce in size. You are very lucky to come with me to very beautiful places like this one.

Previously we used to perform parikrama by foot. From Balevan we used to cross the Jamuna by boat, and then walk here by the shore of Jamuna in 20 – 30 minutes, and then we would return to Vrndavana. Now I cannot do so, but I want that one day you should also try to do parikrama by foot.

I brought you here to touch this place, and to touch the feet of these trees. These trees are exalted devotees. They previously saw the Lord's pastimes as trees, and now they are performing austerities in this form. One day they will have gopi forms, and at that time they will be able to enter rasa-lila and other such pastimes.

This scenery is so beautiful. If anyone has a camera he should take a picture of it. Birds are sitting here, and the water is very lovely and tasty. You are lucky to have come to this exalted holy place.

Now I request you all to take prasadam. Brahmacaris and sannyasis will sit here on one side and ladies will be on the other side. At once, without delay, please go and sit – because we do not have much time.

[* Endnote 1 – Acamana - a ritual of purification by which one takes bath by mantra and sips water three times. At the holy places one chants the acamana mantra, om kesavaya namah etc., and then prays to the particular pond or river or lake, "You have personally witnessed the pastimes of Radha and Krsna here, so you are qualified to manifest those pastimes in my heart. Please bestow your mercy upon me so that I may one day be qualified to see those pastimes. Please manifest in my heart what you have seen."

[*Endnote 2 – (We asked Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja what Srila Gurudeva may have said at any other time as to why, since both Maan Sarovara and Radha-kunda are both the svarupa of Srimati Radhika, Radha-kunda is superior. He replied, "The midday pastimes took place there at Sri Radha-kunda as well as many other pastimes which are not possible at Maan Sarovara or anywhere else. Therefore Radha-kunda is superior to any other kunda. Still, this place is so sacred and exalted, and is also the very form and identity of Srimati Radhika.

A108-AI

tn Radha 1There is one person whose name is never mentioned in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And yet Bhāgavatam’s steadfast readers constantly nurture the ardent hope of becoming that person’s devout, one-pointed servant. May that person, who means everything to Śrī Bhagavān, kindly destroy our false ego in all its various forms and bestow upon us the shelter of Her lotus feet. Today is the day of Her advent.

 

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Gourgovinda.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
For the Appearance Day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja

[Respected Harikatha Readers,

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga. August 22, 2017 (in India) is the divine Appearance Day of Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja. In dedication to this auspicious day, we are sending an excerpt from Srila Gurudeva's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra, Chapter 8:]

We have already related two histories explaining Lord Jagannatha's appearance, and there is one more, a third history, which came from the heart of a very advanced devotee. This history has extraordinarily deep and secret rasa, transcendental flavor. I used to relate it in Mathura and Vrndavana, and in Jagannatha Puri as well. When I told it, everyone listened silently, and they were moved, for they had never heard such secrets before. They wondered, "Where has he discovered this?"

A few years later I saw a magazine article by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, a prominent disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. As I began to read it, I thought, "Oh, he has written the same thing here with a few small changes. How has he taken this from my heart?" I became happy and thought, "This person, Gour Govinda Maharaja, is one of the rare people in this world who are genuinely in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Gosvamis. Only a real devotee can know all these truths."

A few years ago, while I was translating some books in Jagannatha Puri, Gour Govinda Maharaja came with only one disciple to meet me. He heard my hari-katha very patiently, and

he was charmed. We became friends, and he told me, "I saw you in Vrndavana at the time of Srila Prabhupada's disappearance, when you placed him in samadhi. I was there, but at that time I was quite insignificant. You moved me very much, and I wanted to meet you and hear your classes, but I could not do so at that time. Now I have come."

He continued, "There are some problems. I cannot speak the glories of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. I am controlled by some people who don't want to hear them. They are

creating problems, and even stopping me from going to Australia, Germany, and other countries. I cannot open my heart and tell these glories," and he began to weep. I embraced him and said, "Don't worry – be strong like me. If problems come, jump over them like a lion. Be like Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and my gurudeva." I consoled him so much, and then he went away. The next year he went to Mayapura, and there he departed from this world while relating this very history. Many of his disciples came to me weeping, and I told them, "I will help you. Don't worry." His ideas were very similar to my own, and this story is therefore also related to him.

What I explained there in Jagannatha Puri and during our grand Navadvipa Chariot Festival has also been published in our monthly magazine, Bhagavata Patrika. I also searched for the scripture in which this pastime was originally written, but no one could tell me where it was. I asked many learned pandas in Jagannatha Puri, and they could only tell me, "We've read it, and we'll have to search for the original book," but they could not produce it.

Krsna returns to Vrndavana

All the Vrajavasis feel great separation when Krsna goes to Mathura and Dvaraka, especially Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and above all, Krsna's beloved gopis. Sometimes they faint and lose consciousness, appearing as if dead, and one may even think, "Oh, they have died!" Krsna also feels separation from the gopis, and especially from Radhika. Sometimes He also loses external consciousness, and He remains in that state for many days.

As we hear and discuss these elevated topics, we feel proud and think, "My gurudeva and I are in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami as rupanuga Vaisnavas." The senior devotees are especially aware that our guru-varga, the gurus in our disciplic succession, are all rupanuga Vaisnavas. We should therefore understand Srila Rupa Gosvami's mood at this Festival of the Chariots.

As discussed previously, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was reciting a verse of Sahitya-darpana over and over again, even though it was originally written in the base mood of mundane lovers and is thus against moral etiquette:

yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas
te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah
sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau
reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.78)

["That very personality who stole my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."]

One person, Svarupa Damodara, understood Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning, and there was a second person who did as well – a very young man who later became Srila Rupa Gosvami. No one other than them understood Mahaprabhu's deep meaning. Mahaprabhu had empowered Rupa Gosvami at Prayaga, and given him His full mercy, so that now he was able to write the meaning in his own sloka:

priyah so 'yam krsnah sahacari kuru-ksetra-
militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh
sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse
mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Antya-lila 1.79)

["Now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now we are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana."]

The verses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.126–31) that follow this one further explain its meaning:

avasese radha krsne kare nivedana sei tumi, sei ami, sei nava sangama

[(In the mood of Srimati Radhika, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke thus to Lord Jagannatha:) "You are the same Krsna, and I am the same Radharani. We are meeting again in the same way that we met in the beginning of our lives."]

tathapi amara mana hare vrndavana vrndavane udaya karao apana-carana

["Although we are both the same, My mind is still attracted to Vrndavana-dhama. I wish that You will please again appear with Your lotus feet in Vrndavana."]

ihan lokaranya, hati, ghoda, ratha-dhvani tahan pusparanya, bhrnga-pika-nada suni

["In Kuruksetra there are crowds of people, elephants, and horses, and also the rattling of chariots. But in Vrndavana there are flower gardens, and the humming of bees and chirping of birds can be heard."]

ihan raja-vesa, sange saba ksatriya-gana tahan gopa-vesa, sange murali-vadana

["Here at Kuruksetra You are dressed like a royal prince, and You are accompanied by great warriors, but in Vrndavana You appeared just like an ordinary cowherd boy, accompanied only by Your beautiful flute."]

vraje tomara sange yei sukha-asvadana sei sukha-samudrera ihan nahi eka kana

["Here there is not even a drop of the ocean of transcendental happiness that I enjoyed with You in Vrndavana."]

ama lana punah lila karaha vrndavane tabe amara mano-vancha haya ta' purane

["I therefore request You to come to Vrndavana and enjoy pastimes with Me. If You do so, My ambition will be fulfilled."]

Srimati Radhika is saying, "I am the same, My beloved Krsna is the same, and we are meeting now after a long time; but I am not happy here. I want to be in Vrndavana, under the shade of the very fragrant kadamba trees, where the Yamuna is flowing. We were not married at that time, and we met freely there without any messenger. Our love increased simply by our glancing at each other, and that love reached an extreme height. Now we are meeting again, here in Kuruksetra, but I am not satisfied. I want You to come to My heart, that is, Vrndavana. I want to meet You there again."

Srila Rupa Gosvami has made the meaning clear in his sloka. If one remembers and follows these ideas, he is actually a rupanuga Vaisnava, and if not, he is outside the disciplic line. Those who forbid others to think about these things are not rupanuga Vaisnavas in the line of Rupa Gosvami. Try to under¬stand this. It is egoistic to think, "My gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has not encouraged us to understand this." Your gurudeva has explained this thousands of times, but you have no eyes to see, or ears to hear. He was a rupanuga, as were all our past acaryas, down to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and my gurudeva.

When my gurudeva remembered these topics, his complexion used to become reddish, yellowish, and whitish, and then he used to become faint. And when I would tell him these pastimes, he would weep continuously. All bona fide gurus are in one line, and if you are not in this line, you are derailed. Granted, we should not explain this subject matter to unqualified people, but if we do not explain it at all, then all these ideas will be gone – washed away from this world forever. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has replied to all doubts in this regard. Try to realize this reply.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.23) states:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

["Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remember¬ing them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind, and words) – these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service."]

Those who tell us only the general or external meaning of this sloka should go to the Ramanuja or Madhvacarya sampradayas, for they only know general principles. We should add the mood of SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu to these principles. For example, in the first line of this sloka, "Visnu" means Krsna with Radhika and the gopis. This is the understanding of those in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Try to understand this. If you never remember, realize, and explain this to those who are qualified, you are derailed from our guru-parampara. You must come in the proper line.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.39, 36) also states:

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah

["A sober person who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's play¬ful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly conquer lust, the disease of the heart."]

anugrahaya bhaktanam
manusam deham asthitah
bhajate tadrsih krida
yah srutva tat-paro bhavet

["When the Lord assumes a human-like body to show mercy to His devotees, He engages in such pastimes as will attract those who hear about them to become dedicated to Him."]

Tat-paro bhavet means, "You must do this; otherwise you are derailed." You should not do anukarana; that is, you should not imitate Krsna's pastimes. However, those of you who are coming gradually to the stage of madhyama-adhikara must try to hear these pastimes; otherwise you are derailed. It is essential to follow the statements of Sri Rupa Gosvami at the Chariot Festival.

Don't be confused. Have no doubt at all. You can think in this way: "The whole world may criticize and be against me – I don't care. I care for my gurudeva, for Srila Rupa Gosvami, and for our acarya-varga." Krsna has given you good intelligence. Use your own intelligence and don't run after others'. Try to judge, and see, and read the authorized sastras. If you say, "We are rupanuga-varga," you must follow Rupa Gosvami, not conceal him. Use your intelligence and see for yourself, and then you will realize what is correct and what is incorrect. If I conceal my father's name, is it right? Is it correct to conceal the name of my father?

You can read the translation of this sloka, and after that you can read the explanation of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and especially that of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

Now I am coming again to the point – the third history. When the gopis became unconscious because of being absorbed in feelings of separation from Krsna, He also became unconscious in Dvaraka, thinking, "Radhika, Radhika!" This had become a very big problem, and Narada, Uddhava, Baladeva Prabhu, and others began discussing how to bring Him back to conscious-ness. At first, they suggested that Narada should play on his vina and glorify Vraja, Mother Yasoda, the gopis, and all other Vrajavasis, but Narada objected: "Do you know what will happen when Krsna awakens? He will go to Vrndavana at once, and no one will be able to stop Him. He will stay there with the gopis and never return. You should consider this when you are decid¬ing what to do."

Now they were in a dilemma. They thought again, and decided, "Uddhava should go to Vraja and tell Mother Yasoda, Nanda Maharaja, and the gopas and gopis that Krsna is coming. He will tell them, 'Now you can welcome Him.' No one can know what state the Vrajavasis are in now. Some are even lying here and there unconscious. When they hear that Krsna is coming, they will return to consciousness and make arrange¬ments to welcome Him. Then Uddhava will somehow bring Krsna to Dvaraka again by a trick. There will be no problem. Uddhava must go there. Krsna sent him previously, and therefore he should go now and tell them that Krsna is coming."

Uddhava was very unhappy when he heard this proposal. "Listen to me," he told them. "If I go to Vrndavana and say that Krsna is coming, they will not believe me because I bluffed them before. I told them, 'I am going, and very soon I will bring Krsna here. I will definitely bring Him.' After that I requested Krsna many times, but He gave all kinds of excuses, so what could I do? It's useless for me to go, because they will not believe me. They will say, 'Oh, the liar has come. The cheater has come!' Especially Mother Yasoda will say this."

Narada Muni said, "Then Baladeva Prabhu can go. He can pacify all the gopis and gopas." But Baladeva Prabhu replied in the same way: "I told Krsna so many times to go there, and He always answered, 'Yes, I will go,' but He never went. Finally I went alone and I pacified them by saying, 'I promise that I will go to Dvaraka and bring Krsna.'

"I don't know why this cruel Krsna never wants to go there. He used to be very soft and sweet, but now His heart has turned to stone. What can I say? If I go, the Vrajavasis will also say about me, 'Oh, this cheater and liar has come!' There is no use in my going because they will not believe me, either. They cannot be consoled without Krsna's direct presence. Krsna should go Himself."

While they were discussing what to do, Krsna's sister Subhadra came in and heard everything. "Don't worry," she said, "I'm going. I will go to Vrndavana and take darsana of Mother Yasoda. First I will sit on her lap, and then I will caress her and tell her, 'Mother, Krsna is coming. He was traveling with me, but on the way many kings surrounded Him and began performing arcana to Him, praying to Him, and offering Him many presen¬tations. That is why I have arrived here first. Krsna will be a bit late, but He's on His way. It may be some hours, or one or two days, but He is coming.' I will go door-to-door to the gopis' homes. I will console them and tell them, 'Oh, now be happy.

Don't feel separation. Krsna is coming!' They will become happy, and then I will tell them, 'You should all be ready to welcome Krsna.' Later, I will play a trick and tell My brother, 'Oh, You are sitting here, while Your mother Devaki, Your father Vasudeva, and all Your queens are living there in Dvaraka?' I will bring Him back to Dvaraka by some trick, so don't worry. Let me first bring a good chariot. After that Narada should sing the glory of Vraja accompanied by his vina, then Krsna will return to conscious¬ness, and after that He will come to Vrndavana, where everything will be ready."

A chariot was brought and Subhadra was ready to go. Then Baladeva said, "If my brother and sister are going, I must go. I want to meet with my mother and father, Yasoda-maiya and Nanda Baba, and I want to meet all my friends and the gopis. I cannot remain here. I must go." Subhadra said, "Yes, we will go together. Baladeva Prabhu will go first, and I will follow Him." So another chariot was brought, and Baladeva's ratha was placed in front of Subhadra's. As they were about to leave, Baladeva Prabhu told Daruka, Krsna's chariot driver, "Bring your chariot here and be ready. When Krsna returns to consciousness, take the chariot and fly to Vrndavana."

Narada Muni was then requested to glorify Vraja and, accom¬panied by his vina, he began to sing very beautifully. As Narada's sweet glorification of Vraja entered Krsna's ears, He regained consciousness and thought, "It is morning, and I am in Vraja. Where is My sweet vamsi?" He asked. "Where, where? Oh, I know. The gopis are very tricky. They have stolen it. I'll give them a good lesson." Then He stood in a beautiful threefold-bending form, as He had previously done in Vraja, and He appeared in a way that no one in Dvaraka had ever seen before.

As He began searching, He said, "Oh, Lalita has taken it! If not Lalita, then Radhika Herself has stolen it with Visakha's help." He acted as though He was searching them to see where they had kept His flute. In the meantime, He saw Uddhava and asked, "Uddhava, why are you in Vrndavana?" Then He saw Narada and asked, "Oh, you are also in Vrndavana? From where have you come?" Narada replied, "Oh my Lord, You are not in Vrndavana. You are in Dvaraka. This is not the Yamuna; it is the ocean in Dvaraka Puri. Please remember where You are."

Krsna was so absorbed that He forgot Uddhava and Narada and everyone else, and He was ready to run away to Vrndavana to quickly meet the gopas and gopis. Uddhava told Him, "Prabhu, Your chariot is ready, because we knew that You would do this. You can mount Your chariot and go to Vrndavana immediately."

Krsna wanted to ascend His chariot, but He was so mad in radha-prema that He could not walk alone. Many people began to assist Him as He walked by, holding Him and helping Him from the front and back, and from both sides. He was like a mad person, lost in Radha's love and affection. Somehow He was taken to the chariot and raised upon it, and Daruka at once drove off with great speed toward Vrndavana. Balarama and Subhadra were ahead, and Krsna followed behind.

In the meantime, in Vrndavana, Radhika was in the last stage of Her life, feeling unbearable separation. She was just about to die, not breathing in or out, and all the Vrajavasis were very worried, thinking, "She is going to leave Her body!" Everyone had lost hope that She would remain alive, and they were totally grief-stricken. They all thought, "We cannot save Her! She will certainly die!" Lalita and Visakha were trying hard to revive Her, but there were no signs of revival.

While this was going on, all the other sakhis also assembled there, and they were also extremely upset – and even Candravali came to show her sympathy. Somehow Radhika said in a very low voice, "If I die, My dead body should be placed around a tamala tree. Let the air in My body be mixed with the air of Nandagaon where Krsna takes His breaths. Let the fire in My body mix with the sun-rays at Nanda Baba's house so that it will shine there and I will touch Krsna. May the earth of My body mix with the courtyard of Nanda-bhavana, so that Krsna can walk on Me and I can touch Him." As She lamented in this way, She again became unconscious.

In the meantime, three chariots arrived in Vraja – Subhadra's and Baladeva's in front, and Krsna's following. As soon as Krsna reached there, He heard, "Radhika is going to die, and She will not remain alive for even one more moment." He ran very quickly to the spot where She was giving up Her body, and when He saw Her, He began to cry bitterly. Becoming more and more absorbed in radha-prema, His hands began melting. The lower part of His body also melted, then His face as well; and only two large round eyes remained. Just then, Baladeva Prabhu and Subhadra arrived, and when they saw this scene, they could not control themselves and they also became like Krsna.

In the meantime, Lalita spoke repeatedly in the ear of Radhika, "Radha, Radha! Krsna has come. Krsna has come to meet You! Don't die." Visakha said in the other ear, "Krsna has come to meet You!" Gradually Radhika regained Her external consciousness, opened Her eyes, and thought, "Oh, beautiful Krsna has come!" She became further absorbed in the ecstasy of love and affection. Seeing Her, Krsna's love also increased, and He lost external con¬sciousness. In that same state He began rolling on the earth.

Radhika told Visakha, "Please help Krsna; otherwise He may die. You know the mantra to revive Him. Say in His ear, 'Radha, Radha!'" When Krsna heard this sweet injection of the powerful mantra from the lips of Visakha, "Radha, Radha, Radha, Radha!" He opened His eyes and became so happy again. Gradually He revived, and They met together and everyone became happy.

Narada also arrived, and he requested Krsna, "Prabhu, please manifest these three forms that You revealed when You were absorbed and melted. In that way everyone will see and realize these truths about You. Please manifest these forms somewhere in this world." Krsna replied, "Tatha 'stu, tatha 'stu evam bhavatu! So be it. I will always remain in this shape in Nilacala, which will be like Dvaraka, and everyone will be able to come and see Me there."

I have told this very beautiful pastime in brief. This lila is in the hearts of pure devotees, and Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja has also touched it. I have also reconciled some points to clarify any doubts or misunderstandings about this lila.

You should know that there are four groups of gopis in Vraja: svapaksa (belonging to Radhika's own group), vipaksa (belong¬ing to the group of Her rivals), tatastha-paksa (belonging to the group that is neutral to Her), and suhrt-paksa (belonging to the group that is friendly to Her), and Krsna's pastimes cannot take place without them. However, there are no parties when Krsna disappears, or when He goes to Mathura or Dvaraka and a sepa¬ration mood manifests in the gopis' hearts. At that time, all the parties become one for Krsna, and they help each other. Candravali, or Bhadra, or any of the others may come and pacify Srimati Radhika, because Her separation is the highest. They are very sympathetic towards Her, because their separation mood is not as high in comparison. They tell Her, "O Radhika, You should not weep. Krsna will come." Even Candravali, who has a deep separation mood of her own, will also come and speak like this.

The interactions here are very mysterious, and I want to give you realization and entrance into these very extraordinary pas¬times, but you have to become qualified first. Try to follow regu¬lated bhakti – sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam – otherwise you will not be able to maintain your spiritual life. You will become lusty, and after some time you will think that Krsna's pastimes are the same as your pastimes of getting divorced. I have not read scriptures like Govinda-lilamrta, but I know that most of you have copies of all these books. Many of those who read these have fallen down, so you should not read them at this time, nor should you give classes on these topics. Be very, very careful. Our aim and object is to realize Krsna's pastimes, but you cannot jump to this. If you want to be situated on a tree, you must first try to climb up from the root, and from there you can go to the highest places. If you try to jump, you will fall down.

I request you to read Upadesamrta, Manah-siksa, and books like them. Try to chant more. Chanting only sixteen rounds will not suffice. Your gurudeva has given sixteen and then one, six¬teen and then one, sixteen and then one; there are four sets of sixteen.3 Has he given this without a purpose? A man may be very expert in speaking hari-katha and performing related services, but if he does not chant because he has no taste, he is a very weak devotee, and after some time he may fall down.

tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu¬
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi-jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
Upadesamrta (8)

["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize his full time – twenty-four hours a day – in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities, and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging his tongue and mind."]

Be in Vrndavana, under the guidance of a rasika-tattvajna Vaisnava guru, and always chant the names with their meaning, knowing and remembering SriRadha-Krsna's pastimes. Then you will become fully qualified for this highest object of life.

A108-AI

The Swing Ceremony

jhulana_lg.jpgTridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
The Swing Ceremony
Srila Rupa Goswami's Disappearance Day
Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha: Vrndavana, India

[Every year there is a five day festival all over Vrndavana called Jhulana-yatra, at which time the vijaya-vigraha (small) Deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are swung by hundreds of thousands of Vrajabasis and others, in their various temples or homes, on a beautiful swing attached to long ropes. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja yearly lead this festival at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha and Sri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, at which time he would give a short talk about the significance of this festival. This year, 2014, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's Jhulan ceremony begins August 13th and 14th (see calendar) and Srila Rupa Gosvami's disappearance day is August 26th and 27th around the world. The following is a translation of both his Hindi talks, given on August 8, 2003:] Search for Jhulan audio lecture on Krsna.us

In the month of Sravana (the rainy season), the clouds in the sky begin to make a thundering sound, and extremely fine mist-like rain drizzles everywhere. The atmosphere is very beautiful and pleasant after the heat of the summer months, for at that time all the forests of Vrndavana begin to bloom. Many types of flowers on both sides of the Yamuna, such as beli, cameli, jui, and madhavi begin to bloom. The bumblebees look here and there and chant, "Radhe Radhe" and the cuckoos also call out, "Radhe Radhe."

The peacocks and peahens all call out, "Ke-ka ke-ka." Ke means: "Which male person has the ability to do a very wonderful thing? Srimati Radhika's maan (Her sulky mood of transcendental loving jealous anger), as well as Her shyness and patience, are like a very tall and immovable mountain. Which male person, 'Ke,' can crush that mountain into powder so that there is nothing left? This person is Sri Krsna." Ka means: "Which female person can do a very wonderful thing? There is a powerful, mad elephant named Sri Krsna whom no one can control. One person, however, by the goad of Her maan, can catch that elephant, bring Him under Her control, and then bind Him in the shackle of Her prema. Who is that? It is Srimati Radhika." In this way the peacocks and peahens glorify Srimati Radharani and Lord Krsna.

At the time of Sravana, the rainy season, everything becomes green. The summer was dry, but now the rain has come and all the greenery has come to life again. All the young brides are taken at this time from their mother-in-laws' homes by their brothers, and they return to their fathers' home.

Srimati Radhika was still at Her in-laws' home in Yavat, however, because Her brother, Sridama, had not come. Much time passed and finally he arrived there on the full moon day, with some clothing and ornaments to pacify Srimati Radhika's mother-in-law, Jatila.

Seeing Her brother, Srimati Radhika wept, "O My dear brother, why have you come so late? Only a few days remain of this Sravana month. Why did you come late? Did you forget Me?"

Srimati Radhika then very happily left Yavat and went to Varsana, Vrsabhanupura, with Her brother; and there She met together with all of Her sakhis, Her intimate friends, as they had also returned to their maternal homes at that time. It was a very beautiful meeting and reunion in the place of their childhood play.

The sakhis made a jhulana (swing) for Her. They always make the swing on a kadamba tree and not on a tamal tree. The significance of a kadamba tree is that it carries the complexion of Srimati Radhika and the tamal tree has a complexion of Sri Krsna. The tamal tree is not very powerful, but the kadamba tree is very strong and beautiful. This signifies the superiority of Srimati Radhika – She can control Lord Krsna by Her love.

jhula jhule radha damodara vrndavana men
kaisi cchayi hariyali ali kunjan men

["Radha-Damodara are swinging on the swing in Vrndavana. O friend, how very green the kunja is!" (Jhula Jhule Radha Damodara, verse 1)]

We sing this kirtana at the time of swinging Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. It describes how Krsna has come, and is waiting at the swing with folded palms for His beloved to come. Srimati Radhika is in maan, and Her sakhis try to persuade Her to come by saying, "Please give up your sulky mood and come at once to your beloved Krsna. He is waiting for You."

In this way, we are observing Jhulana-yatra and remembering the sweet pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.

[When Srila Gurudeva's discourse was completed, the over 200 devotees at Sri Rupa-Sanatana Mandira then accompanied him on the five minute walk to Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha, where they all performed the swing ceremony for Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha and sang the same kirtana. The assembled devotees then sat in the temple courtyard to hear Srila Gurudeva speak once again:]

Tomorrow is the disappearance day of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Even though there are many great acaryas, Srila Rupa Gosvami has been attributed with the honor of being that person who established the mano-'bhistam, the innermost heart's desire, of Sri Krsna in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Sriman Mahaprabhu came to the village of Ramakeli-grama, He met with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami and told them, "Leave your homes and be with Me." After a short time they left their homes, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Vrndavana and met with Srila Rupa Gosvamipada at Prayag, the confluence of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga. Mahaprabhu told him:

parapara-sunya gabhira bhakti-rasa-sindhu
tomaya cakhaite tara kahi eka bindu

["The ocean of the transcendental mellows of devotional service is so large that no one can estimate its length and breadth. However, just to help you taste it, I am describing one drop. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.137)"]

Lord Caitanya gave one drop of the ocean of rasa to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and that one drop was sufficient to inundate millions upon millions of universes. Later, He met with Srila Sanatana Gosvami in Varanasi.

After some time, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami came here to Vrndavana and began to perform their bhajana, their hearing, chanting, and remembering about Krsna. Rupa Gosvami thought, "In order to fulfill the innermost heart's desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I will write a drama. In this drama I will explain the beauty of the meeting pastimes of Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna in Vrndavana, and also Their separation pastimes, when Lord Krsna leaves Vrndavana and goes to Mathura and Dvaraka. I will explain how, by their expansions, Srimati Radhika and all the sakhis somehow or other (by the medium of their expansions) went to Dvaraka and became Lord Krsna's 16,108 queens."

He intended to write about this, but while he was traveling towards Jagannatha Puri he came to the village of Satyabhama-pura. There, Srimati Satyabhama-devi, Lord Krsna's chief queen, appeared to him in a dream and told him, "Please don't make only one drama. Please divide it into two parts."

Then, when Srila Rupa Gosvami finally arrived at Jagannatha Puri and met with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord confirmed what he had heard from Srimati Satyabhama in his dream. Sriman Mahaprabhu told him, "Don't take Lord Krsna out of Vrndavana."

krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto yah purnah so 'sty atah parah
vrndavanam parityajya sa kvacin naiva gacchati

["The Krsna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva Krsna. He is different from the Krsna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadu-kumara Krsna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krsna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrndavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.67)"]

"Krsna never leaves Vrndavana. He never even sets one foot outside of Vrndavana."

Srila Rupa Gosvami then divided his drama into two parts. The first part is called Vidagdha-madhava, Krsna's pastimes in Vrndavana; and in the second part, called Lalita-madhava, He goes to Dvaraka and all the gopis of Vrndavana were reunited with Him in the form of the queens of Dvaraka.

Why did Srila Rupa Gosvami do this? This is a very deep siddhanta, or conclusive philosophical truth. Srila Kavi Karnapura, a very great devotee, has composed Sri Ananda Vrndavana Campu. In this book he described the pastimes of Lord Krsna from His birth up to rasa-lila and the Divine Couple's swing pastimes, and he stopped there. He didn't go any further than this. He didn't describe about Krsna going to Mathura or Dvaraka, because this separation mood is very difficult to tolerate for the pure devotees. He was thinking, "My Mistress Radhika cannot tolerate this separation, so I will not write about it."

Srila Rupa Gosvami, however, has written about the moods of both meeting and separation – because this separation mood is a very deep transcendental ecstatic feeling. At the time of meeting, though Radharani and Krsna are together, something may be forgotten or lost in the heart. On the other hand, at the time of separation, there is complete meeting in new and fresh ways in the heart; and not only inside, but sometimes externally there are sphurtis, temporary visions in which the loved one is actually present.

Knowing all these very profound transcendental established truths, and wanting to establish the desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within the world, Srila Rupa Gosvami also glorified the mood of separation. Although this mood is very high and has many transcendental features that will not come at the time of meeting, still, it is not our goal of life.

No Gaudiya Vaisnavas want Sri Sri Radha and Krsna to be eternally separated. What kind of person would want this? No Vrajavasi would want it. However, there is a place for this separation mood, and Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained this in his book, Ujjvala Nilamani: "Na vina vipralambha sambhoga pusti masnute. Without the mood of separation, the mood of meeting will not be nourished and come to increasingly higher stages. The pastimes of separation are very important because they play the role of nourishing the sweetness of meeting."

When Srila Rupa Gosvami was in Puri with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord was dancing at the Ratha-yatra festival and uttering a verse from a book of mundane poetry called Sahitya-darpana:

yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas
te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah
sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau
reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate

["That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."]

No one could understand why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was uttering this verse and in what mood He was absorbed. There was one young boy there, however, named Rupa, who later on became that very same Rupa Gosvami. There and then, upon hearing this verse from Mahaprabhu, another verse appeared in his own heart, and he wrote it down:

priyah so 'yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas
tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham
tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse
mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati

[This is a verse spoken by Srimati Radharani: "My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krsna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrndavana. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.76)"]

In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami has clarified Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning and thus he revealed to the world the importance of parakiya-rasa, the mood of paramour love between Lord Krsna and the gopis. Srila Rupa Gosvami is that very person who established within this world the innermost heart's desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After Sriman Mahaprabhu disappeared from the vision of the world, the discussion of parakiya-rasa was not prominent. According to scripture, mundane rasa, this world's love between those who are unmarried is very immoral, illicit, and sinful. However, in addition to manifesting the endless varieties and wonder of vipralambha and sambhoga, the meeting and separation pastimes of Radha and Krsna, Srila Rupa Gosvami also established the superiority of parakiya-rasa. By using evidence from many different sastras, he proved that Lord Sri Krsna is not an ordinary nayaka (lover) and Radhika is not an ordinary nayika (beloved). In other words, when there is meeting between a mundane lover and beloved in the parakiya mood it is very sinful, but Sri Krsna is a transcendental personality, God Himself, and everything is possible for Him. Therefore, if He is the object of the parakiya-bhava, there is no fault or defect in this. Rather this is the topmost supremely pure manifestation of madhurya-prema, the romantic mood.

Srila Rupa Gosvami established the fact that Lord Krsna Himself came into this world to taste these mellows, and, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna experienced the parakiya-bhakti-rasa that is within the heart of Srimati Radhika:

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah

["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4)"]

sri-caitanya-mano-'bhistam
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
dadati sva-padantikam

["I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him. When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet? (prayer by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)"]

These deliberations and philosophical conclusions are extremely deep, and very difficult to understand. It is therefore essential that one come under the guidance of a self-realized Guru and pure devotees, and give ones full time and energy, very hard labor, and enthusiastic work in the service of that Guru and in chanting holy names of Krsna and performing bhajana. One should also make a great effort to understand and realize the reason for which Srila Rupa Gosvami appeared in this world and why he wrote so many books like Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Vidagdha-madhava and Sri Lalita-madhava. Unless one comes to the lotus feet of Sri Guru and makes a very great endeavor to understand these topics, after some time he will be taken away by maya and engage in mundane activities. This is a very important point.

[Srila Gurudeva announced at the end of class that all the devotees will meet him at Sri Rupa-Sanatana Mandira on the following morning, to observe Sri Rupa Gosvami's disappearance day, at 6am. They will go together to Sri Radha Damodara Mandira, to Rupa Gosvami's Samadhi and Bhajana Kutira, and there they will have more kirtana and glorification.]

 

A108-AI

Murwillumbah, Australia: April 28, 2005
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Question:] Srila Prabhupada is my diksa-guru, but I don't feel close to him. When Guru is not before our eyes, how can we have a relationship with him?

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Guru is like Krsna. Krsna inspired the heart of Brahma and said, "I am the embodiment of all tattva-jnana, tattva-vijnana, and all love and affection. Only this form of mine was present before the creation, only that form exists now, and later, after the destruction of everything material, only I will exist.

[All of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, color, qualities and activities – let all be awakened within you by factual realization, out of My causeless mercy. Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead. (2.9.32-33)]

Guru is like that. If you pray to him, new understandings will come in your heart by inspiration. Don't think he is mortal. He is like Krsna and, like Krsna, his mercy is causeless. So pray, and he will inspire you. Sometimes he comes as siksa-guru, and in the form of siksa-guru he inspires you by his words and teachings.

[Question:] Is it okay to feel the same as I do for my siksa-guru as I do for my diksa-guru, Srila Prabhupada?

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes, we have the same mission, the same aim and the same goal, though sometimes we use a different choice of words. He believed in me, more than he believed in anyone else, and he told me that our relationship is transcendental.* [See Endnote 1 and 2] He therefore ordered me to give him samadhi with my own hands, and to help his Western disciples and followers. He told me, "Because they are like monkeys, I could not train them fully; so you please continue their training."

[Question (showing an oil painting):] This is a painting begun by Nilambari for your book, Gita-govinda.

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Radha's sakhi is telling Krsna, "Now you are coming. Where were you?" When Krsna tries to explain, the sakhi weeps and says, "I don't believe you." Krsna is now in a dilemma about what to say and what to answer. He is asking, "Where is Srimati Radhika? I am in anxiety to meet Her."

[Question]: Recently, when I showed you the three new posters that were printed (Venu-gita, Manini-Radha and Seva-Kunja) you commented,

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Give them to those who like them, and not to those who don't like them. Sraddha mula vikara. Sraddha is the most important aspect. Sraddha gives value to something. Without sraddha, faith, the thing has no value.

[Question:] I have no inspiration to do sadhana. My environment is not inspiring. What should I do?

[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I am trying to give inspiration to all. I think that only two, three or four are not humble here. Mostly everyone here wants to be of one opinion. They are thinking, "I want that we can all work together and be of one opinion." If juniors give respect to superiors and superiors give love and affection to juniors, then everything will be alright.

[*Endnote 1 – from Srila Prabhupada's letter to Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. (Return address c/o Gopal Agarwal from Butler, Penn.) Sept. 28, 1966: "I received your letter dated September 20, 1966, on time. Our relationship is certainly based on spontaneous love. That is why there is no chance of us forgetting one another. By the mercy of guru and Gauranga, may everything be auspicious for you. This is my constant prayer. From the first time I saw you I have been your constant well-wisher. At his first sight of me, Srila Prabhupada also saw me with such love. It was in my very first darshan of Srila Prabhupada that I learned how to love. It is his boundless mercy that he has engaged an unworthy person like me in fulfilling some of his desires. It is his causeless mercy to engage me in preaching the message of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha."]

[*Endnote 2 – "Then he told me, ‘I want you to help take care of my disciples. I want them to be good and qualified devotees. If they come to you, please care for them." Many of Srila Swami Maharaja's disciples were nearby so he softly whispered in Bengali, "When I went to the West, I caught so many monkeys in my net. Really, they are very expert in quarrelling amongst themselves. They are still very young and untrained. So I request you that after my departure you will help them in every respect." Considering the implications of this order from my siksa-guru, I hesitated. Then he grasped both of my hands in his own, looked deeply into my eyes and asked me to promise to help. Therefore I agreed, saying, ‘I promise that according to my ability and my bhaktisiddhanta-tattva (understanding of the conclusive statements of bhakti) I will always be ready to help them as you request.'"
(from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's book, "My Siksa-guru and Priya-bandhu")]

A108-AI

For the Disappearance Day of Srila Sanatana Gosvami


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

Sanatana_Gosvami.jpg.556e94cf01e6561cc8a8fadeb4951d09.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
October 20th & 21st, 1991
Vrindavan

This year, 2017, the disappearance day of Shrila Sanatana Gosvami is on July 8th and 9th (see calendar). The lecture below, on the sixth verse of Shri Vilap-kusumanjali, was given in Vrndavana in 1991. Although it may look to you like a published book, it is actually his lecture:

Text Six

vairagya-yug-bhakti-rasam prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpa ambudhih yah para-duhkha-duhkhi
sanatanah tam prabhum asrayami

vairagya—renunciation; yug—enriched with; bhakti—devotion; rasam—nectarean taste; prayatnaih—carefully; apayayan—made drink; mam—me; anabhipsum—unwilling; andham—blind; krpa—of mercy; ambudhih—an ocean; yah—who; para—of others; duhkha—misery; duhkhi—was sorry; sanatanah—Sanatana Gosvami; tam—him; prabhum—lord; asrayami—I take shelter.

Translation

I take shelter of my lord and master, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, who is an ocean of compassion and who always feels sorry for the suffering of others. Although I was unwilling and blinded by ignorance, he diligently made me drink the nectar of devotion laced with renunciation.

Commentary

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has prayed to his diksa-guru, Yadunandana Acarya, in a general way, and to his raganuga siksa-guru, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, in a more special way. From this we may infer that there are different types of gurus. If one's guru has not given one any instruction in raganuga, one may also have another guru, as did Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. However, if the guru has given instructions in both vaidhi and raganuga, there is no question of accepting another guru. We can understand that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami did not receive any instructions regarding raganuga from Yadunandana Acarya, because at that time he had no idea of raganuga bhajana. He learned from Shrila Haridasa Thakura to chant "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna," and from his diksa-guru he understood, "I am Krishna dasa" and "We should chant harinama. We should do bhakti." He had no opportunity to receive greed for raganuga from Yadunandana Acarya.

Still, it is a very, very important task to bring someone from the worldly side to Krishna's side. If the guru cannot do that, then the endeavor to approach raganuga, and rupanuga will be useless. The vaidhi-bhakti guru is certainly guru. Even if someone, without giving mantra or diksa, has endeavored to put us in contact with guru or Krishna, and has given some inspiration to worship Radha and Krishna in vaidhi-bhakti, we should be so grateful to that person. It is for this reason that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has prayed to Shri Yadunandana Acarya.

In raganuga-bhajana, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is especially indebted to Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and also to Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. He was primarily associating with Rupa Gosvami, however, and he has taken all his ideas and ideals for raganuga-bhajana from him. Here in Vilapa-kusumanjali, He prayed to him only as Rupa-manjari, not as Rupa Gosvami, whereas he has prayed to Shri Sanatana Gosvami: Sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami. Rupa Gosvami gave him all the conceptions needed in raganuga and rupanuga for developing and supporting manjari-bhava, and Shri Sanatana Gosvami gave him all necessary instruction in vaidhi-bhakti and sadhana-bhajana aiming for raganuga.

When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had first come from Jagannatha Puri, due to the intense pain of his separation for Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu he was of a mind to give up his life. He wanted to go to Govardhana, climb upon the hill, and, by jumping from there, end his life. If he had simply wanted to commit suicide, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami could have easily done so in Puri. Why did he not do so? While passing through the Jharikhanda forest, full of tigers and other wild beasts, dense forests, and high mountains, he could have easily died without anyone interfering. Why was he intent upon leaving his body at Govardhana?

He had some thoughts. "I must serve Radha and Krishna, if not in this life, then in another. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given me the shelter of Govardhana, so I will go to Govardhana, and, if Govardhana allows, I will give up my life there. As Bhagavad-gita has said, 'Whatever a man thinks of at his last moment, he will attain in his next birth.' I will die at Govardhana with this ambition: 'O Giriraja Govardhana, please grant me a birth near you. Have mercy upon me so that I may serve Radha and Krishna, and especially Shrimati Radhika.'"

In his Manah Siksa, sloka two, he has written:

na dharman nadharmam sruti-gana-niruktam kila kuru
vraje radha-krsna-pracura-paricaryam iha tanuh
saci-sunam nandisvara-pati-sutatve guru-varam
mukunda-presthatve smara padam ajasram nanu manah

O my dear mind! Please do not perform either the dharma or adharma mentioned in the srutis or Vedas. Rather, render profuse loving service to Shri Shri Radha-Krishna 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, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is richly endowed with the complexion and sentiments of Shrimati Radhika, as non-different from Shri Nanda-nandana. And always remember Shri Gurudeva as most dear to Shri Mukunda.

Now he was thinking, "To carry out the order of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is service to Him. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is actually Radha and Krishna. Therefore, if He is telling me to serve Radha and Krishna, that is also service to Him."

He was considering that if he would die in this consciousness, he would at least take birth as grass at Govardhana, as Uddhava did. He determined, "Then, at the time of abhisara, when the gopis go to meet with Krishna at night, their pure foot-dust will come upon my head. In this way I will be satisfied." He therefore decided to die at Govardhana, especially near Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda.

As soon as he arrived in Vrndavana, he approached Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Sanatana Gosvami and offered his obeisances. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had previously told him, "Always consider Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami as your elder brothers," and therefore he came to them. Somehow or other Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami understood that he had a wish to die at Govardhana. Shri Sanatana Gosvami was especially wise in understanding a person's heart.

Sanatana Gosvami was raja-niti-jna, in knowledge of politics, whereas Rupa Gosvami was very simple. Shri Sanatana Gosvami and other Gosvamis used tarka, logic, in their writings. To help common persons to understand anything, especially in vaidhi-bhakti and the methods of krsna-bhajana, some logic is very necessary. Vedanta itself stands upon sound logical principles.

Rupa Gosvami writes for those eager form raganuga-bhakti, "Don't take shelter of any logic. What I am explaining for entrance into the transcendental pastimes of Krishna does not depend upon logic. Such logic cannot help you in this realm. Only sraddha can give you entrance here." He has not used logic anywhere in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani, Vidagdha Madhava, or Lalita Madhava. For preaching, of course, logic is essential, and for management raja-niti is essential.

If we examine Rupa Gosvami's books, we will see that he is simply telling lila-katha, topics regarding Krishna's pastimes, without touching upon logic or scriptural arguments at all. From the beginning of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani, he has cited references from various scriptures regarding lila-katha, rasa (relationship with Krishna), and vilasa (playful pastimes). These books contrast Jiva Gosvami's Tattva Sandarbha, which has used logic and sastric evidences to establish his points.

parama-rasa-rahasyannanda-nihsyandi-vrnda
vana-vipina-nikunje divya-divyair vilasaih
niravadhi rasamanan radhika-krsnacandrau
bhaja sakalam upeksya tavakah sastra-yuktih

(Nikunja-rahasya-stava #31)

Shri Shri Radha-Krishnacandra enjoy limitless, splendid transcendental pastimes in the secluded, blissful groves of Vrndavana forest. O friend, please abandon all contrary scriptural arguments and just worship Them with pure devotion.

In this verse, Shrila Rupa Gosvami recommends that one should do bhajana of Radha and Krishna, always chanting and remembering Their nikunja-lila. He says here, "There is no need to adhere to sastra-yuktih, scriptural logic. Whatever logic has been given in Vedanta or other sastras, leave that aside; don't depend upon that. Logic is required in vaidhi-bhakti, and also for managing and preaching. For entering deeply into bhajana, however, only sraddha is of necessity." This poetry of Rupa Gosvami contains thirty-two slokas of nikunja lila, from Radha-Krishna's lila at the beginning of the night all the way to nisanta lila. "Leaving all logic and scriptural regulations aside, meditate on these confidential pastimes and do bhajana." This is the specialty of Rupa Gosvami's teachings regarding raganuga-bhakti.

By the expert employment of sastric and general logic, by politics, and by following carefully the example of our acaryas and especially Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Sanatana Gosvami convinced Raghunatha dasa Gosvami to not give up his life. He related to Raghunatha dasa his personal experience, by telling him, "At first, in Jagannatha Puri, I was of the same opinion as you."

After traveling through Jharikhanda forest, Sanatana Gosvami had developed itching, oozing sores all over his body. Whenever Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would see him, He would run towards him and embrace him. Sanatana Gosvami considered, "It is offensive on my part that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, being Krishna Himself, is embracing me to His chest and the moisture from these sores is touching His body. Rather than allow my offense to continue, I have made up my mind to give up my life at the time of the Ratha-yatra festival, under the wheels of the chariot."

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu could understand Sanatana Gosvami's heart, and said, "Sanatana, if a person gives something to another person, does he have any right to take that property back?" Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not order him directly, but cleverly and tactfully indicated His desire. He told him, "The first point is that if you have surrendered your body to Me, you no longer have the right to do what you like with it. Only I have that right. By taking what is rightfully Mine, you are committing an offense to Me.

"Secondly, if I had thought that by giving up My life I could attain the service of Radha and Krishna, I would give up My life millions of times. By giving up one's life, one cannot attain Radha and Krishna's service. This can only be had by bhakti-yoga. Try to understand this. Please give up your idea of ending your life. Increase your sadhana-bhajana, and you will very soon achieve perfection.'"

Shri Sanatana Gosvami told Raghunatha dasa, "By hearing the words of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu I understood His desire, and I have thus tried to follow His order and serve Radha and Krishna. You should do the same. You have no right to give up your life, because you have already surrendered your soul to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, and also to us brothers. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told you to come to Vrndavana and stay in our company, and therefore we will try to protect, support, and nourish you. Don't worry. Just stay at Radha-kunda, at Govardhana, and always chant harinama and perform bhajana."

In this verse of Vilapa-kusumanjali, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is now remembering, "If I had left my body at that time, I would have never received instruction in raganuga and manjari-bhava. I would have never read Vidagdha-Madhava, Lalita Madhava, or Dana Keli Kumudi, nor would I have written any books. I am therefore so much indebted to Shri Sanatana Gosvami."

The words anabhipsum andham in this sixth sloka indicates, "I was unaware of raganuga-bhakti." Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is speaking in a mood of humility. Actually, he had received instructions in raganuga-bhajana from Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarupa Damodara. Still, he is saying, "I was andha, blind. I did not know anything about rasamayi-bhakti, Krishna, Radha, the gopis, or Vraja-bhava. I did not even have the desire for these things."

We also would be quite blind in these matters had we not come to our Gurudeva. At first we had nothing, and now we reflect on how obliged and indebted we are to him. Should we advance further, we will feel even more indebted.

Anabhipsum means 'unwilling.' Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says, "I did not want that bhakti, but Sanatana Gosvami gave it by force." If a boy requires medicine and is not willing to take it, his mother will give it to him by force. She will forcibly open his mouth. Similarly, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says, "I was not in the mood to take up this raganuga-bhakti, so he forced me."

Prayatnair means 'carefully.' When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived at Radha-kunda, Sanatana Gosvami used to go there from Vrndavana to do Govardhana parikrama. Shri Sanatana Gosvami is Lavanga Manjari. What was the need for him to do parikrama? Did he have anything to gain for himself?

yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

(Bhagavad-gita 3.21)

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

People in general benefited by his example, but that was also not his real motive. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is saying, "He used to go only for me." This is the inference by the word prayatnair.

I personally prefer to live in Vrndavana. Why, then, do I stay in Mathura? Is there some specific benefit for me to remain in Mathura? Is it for rupees, delicious food, or the affection of the residents of Mathura? Can it be that I will advance more in raganuga-bhakti and achieve the mercy of Shrimati Radhika and the manjaris by being here? No, there is another reason. Shrimad-Bhagavatam states:

bhavad-vidha bhagavatas tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho
tirthi-kurvanti tirthani svantah-sthena gadabhrta

(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.13.10)

My Lord, devotees like your good self are verily holy places personified. Because you carry the Personality of Godhead within your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage.

This is a very important verse, told by Yudhisthira Maharaj to Vidura. Yudhisthira Maharaj was so glad to see Vidura, who had just returned to his palace after the great Battle of Kuruksetra.

Another sloka is also related to this point:

mahad-vicalanam nrinam grihinam dina-cetasam
nihsreyasaya bhagavan kalpate nanyatha kvacit

(Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.8.4)

O my lord, O great devotee, persons like you move from one place to another, not for their own interests, but for the sake of poor-hearted grhastas. Otherwise, they have no interest in going from one place to another.

This sloka was spoken by Nanda Baba to Garga Rsi at Krishna's name-giving ceremony. Nanda Baba said, "I know you have not come here for a donation." Babajis and priests come to their patron only for his donations, and they remain at his home only until the donation is paid. It is certain that as soon as it is paid they return to their own residences. Here Nanda Baba is expressing, "Actually, Gargacarya, you have no personal reason to come here. You have no self-interest. You have come to my house only because I am a very wretched grhastha. You go to the homes of grhasthas only to give them krsna-bhakti. You are a bhagavata."

Who is a bhagavata? One who has bhakti for Svayam Bhagavan Krishna is a bhagavata. The symptom of a bhagavata has been recorded in various slokas. One symptom is that the wealth of the entire universe cannot influence the heart of a bhagavata, or change his ideas, what to speak of some donation.

Nanda Baba continued, "You have not come with any self-interest, but only for the benefit of a wretched grhasta such as myself who has fallen into the waterless well of householder life. You have come to give mercy."

Similarly, according to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami did Govardhana parikrama to give him his association. Raghunatha dasa continues, "You come here now and then, only to see how this orphan boy is doing. You come to tell me the pastimes of Krishna and to teach me how to serve Him."

Once, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was sitting under the open sky and performing bhajana on the banks of Syama-kunda. Two tigers approached the kunda, drank water, and then went away. Sanatana Gosvami was watching this from a distance and became concerned. After the tigers left, he approached Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and instructed him, "O Raghunatha, please do not sit here like this. I will build a hut for you. By my special order you will have to live there and perform your bhajana there." Raghunatha dasa Gosvami could not refuse his order. Sanatana Gosvami made a hut, and from that time onward Raghunatha dasa Gosvami lived there, chanted harinama, and performed all other devotional activities.

Even though Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami – especially Sanatana Gosvami – used to see Raghunatha dasa Gosvami as their younger brother, he always saw them as his gurus. Being the direct disciples of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sanatana Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami, and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami were all god-brothers, and Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami saw Raghunatha dasa as such; never as their disciple. On the other hand, he never saw them as god-brothers. He always saw them as his own gurus.

"Gurur kinkara haya manya se amar – the servant of the guru is always respectable for us." (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 10.142) This is a statement by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When Govinda came and met Mahaprabhu in Puri, he told Him, "Our Gurudeva, Isvara Puripada, has sent me to serve You." Mahaprabhu was thinking, "How can this be? He is my god-brother. I should respect him, but he wants to serve Me." It was only because his guru had ordered that Govinda serve Him that He accepted his service.

Thus, understanding that the servant of the guru should be deeply respected, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami always saw Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami as his gurus. We should also have this behavior amongst ourselves, for that will create love between us. We may think, "I am guru. He knows nothing. He is not as good a servant of our Gurudeva as I am. He doesn't even know any siddhanta." If we think in this way, there will be quarrels among us, and now this is going on: "I am the only acarya and no one else is qualified." Where there is hating and similar mentalities, that place is kali-rajya, the kingdom of Kali.

Vairagya-yuga-bhakti. There are two types of bhakti; one is general and the other is bhakti with vairagya. Vairagya has two meanings; one is 'renunciation' and the other it visesa rupena raga, or anuraga, meaning 'great absorption and affection for Krishna.' The distinguishing feature of vairagya is raga or anuraga; this is a most important point. When anuraga is present, attachment for sense objects cannot remain. This is the true definition of vairagya.

One truly fixed in vairagya will have attachment only for bhakti and for the service of Radha and Krishna. One who has this special anuraga for Radhika's service will automatically leave all worldly attachments. Those who have not developed real vairagya may leave their worldly attachments for awhile, but after some time they will again become immersed in those things. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has this special attachment to the service of Radha and Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and he glorifies Shri Sanatana Gosvami as the one who blessed him with this vairagya-yuga-bhakti, or renunciation enriched with bhakti.

In Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's own life we see this vairagya-yuga-bhakti, and when He sees His followers performing bhakti with vairagya He becomes so pleased. He desires that every one of His devotees should be niskincana, thinking that their only possession is Krishna. We are not like this, and therefore we have so many problems. If we maintain any attachment for anything other than Krishna – to name and fame, wealth, women, or food – then bhakti will become very remote for us. It will be very, very remote.

It is stated in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Antya-lila 6.310):

sade sata prahara yaya kirtana-smarane
ahara-nidra cari danda seha nahe kona dine

Raghunatha däsa spent more than twenty-two hours out of every twenty-four chanting the Hare Krñna maha-mantra and remembering the lotus feet of the Lord. He ate and slept for less than an hour and a half, and on some days that also was impossible.

A complete day and night is eight praharas, and one prahara, three hours, consists of six or seven dandas. Our Gosvamis spent four dandas; that is, about one and a half to two hours, on eating, drinking, and sleeping. They spent the rest of the day and night, over seven-and-a-half praharas, doing asta-kaliya-lila smarana. Moreover, there were some days when they neglected to eat or sleep at all.

We sleep from eight to nine hours daily. Then, so much time is spent in oil massage, bathing, roaming here and there, general laziness, and thinking. The rest of the day passes as we talk about things other than hari-katha. Then, sometimes we feel sick, and at those times doctors must be brought and medicine administered. Our whole time goes in vain. Certainly, this is a situation of great hopelessness!

Krpambudhir yah. Sanatana Gosvami is a great ocean of mercy, the highest extent of mercy. He can also give Radha's mercy. He can pray, "O Shrimati Radhika, please give Your mercy to this devotee."

Lalita-devi can also so this, and therefore we can pray to her:

yam kam api vraja-kule vrsabhanu jayah
preksya sva-paksa-padavim anurudhyamanam
sadyas tad ista-ghatanena krtarthayantim
devim gunaih su-lalitam lalitam namami

(Shri Lalitastikam verse 6)

I offer my obeisances to Shrimati Lalita devi, who is the embodiment of all sublime qualities. When she approaches any young maiden upon seeing her in the vicinity of Vrndavana, and finds out after some clever questioning that she is inclined toward her mistress Radhika, she immediately fulfills her desires and satisfies her completely.

Lalita will ask any kisori moving within Vraja, "O, where are you going?" The young girl may reply, "I'm going to Varsana (or Javata, or Radha-kunda). "Why are you going there?" "I know it is very difficult to achieve, but I am going there with the hope that Shrimati Radhika may keep me as Her palya dasi." When Lalita knows this, she at once tries to give that bhava. She will order – not pray, but order – Shrimati Radhika, "Keep this girl as Your palya dasi. I'm writing her name in the register of Your palya dasis."

Shrimati Radhika cannot disobey Lalita. She is bound to obey her order. If Lalita sees any sign at allthat one wants to become a palya dasi, she certainly arranges for it. At once she tells Radhika, and Radhika obeys her order.

This is krpambudhir, the ocean of mercy, and there is no mercy beyond this. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami therefore says krpambudhir yah. Shri Sanatana Gosvami, as Lavanga Manjari, is an ocean of mercy because he can distribute the mercy of Shrimati Radhika.

Para duhkha-duhkhi – Sanatana Gosvami is always unhappy to see the unhappiness of any jiva. It is not that the jivas say to him, "Please have mercy upon me." Rather, he sees that they are pots, or vessels, for mercy, though they don't want it. He may go to a person and request, "Can you give me water to drink?" Why is he asking for water? He wants to give his mercy. He is creating their sukriti, and therefore he travels to every village contacting the sense enjoyers. In the grhasta's home he questions, "I have heard that your daughter is soon to be married." The grhastha may reply, "Her marriage has already been performed." "Oh, how is she?" Although he has no self-interest, Sanatana Gosvami will listen to all the news of the villagers. What is the need? He wants to give them bhakti by his association – somehow or other. He will instruct someone, "Your father is very ill. Try to chant 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna' and he will improve."

Thus, Sanatana Gosvami gives his mercy in any way he can. This is the symptom of para-duhkha-duhkhi. He has nothing to be gained for himself. Rather, he is simply unhappy to see the unhappiness of others.

Sanatanas tam prabhum asrayami. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is addressing Sanatana Gosvami as Prabhu. Who is Prabhu? Mahaprabhu is Mahaprabhu, and Nityananda and Advaita Acarya are both Prabhus. A Prabhu is one who can give anything to any person. He should be master of all things.

I may ask you, "I want a son. Please give me a son." Can you fulfill my request? No, you cannot. But if I request you, "Give me five rupees," you can give that. What you have, you can give.

You cannot give what you don't have. Because Sanatana Gosvami can give anything we may desire, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has addressed him as Prabhu. "O Prabhu, you have something in your treasury that you can supply to me. Please give me radha-pada dasya. You are the master of that. Prabhu asrayami – I am taking shelter of your lotus feet."

The question is raised: "We hear that Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays to Shri Rupa-manjari, but does he not pray to Lavanga-manjari in the same way?" He has not prayed here in Vilapa-kusumanjali, but he knows that Sanatana Gosvami is Lavanga-manjari. He prays, but not everything can be written. In his mind he always prays. In fact, he has prayed to all the sakhis. He has prayed even to Saibya, Padma and Candravali, what to speak of Lavanga-manjari.

He has prayed to Sakhi-sthali, though it is not expected that he would do so. A man once brought buttermilk from there, and he became very furious [because as a maidservant of Radhika, Rati-manjari does not want any connection with the abode of Radhika's rival, Candravali]; yet, as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami he prayed to Sakhi-sthali. He has also offered pranama to Jatila and Kotila. If Jatila and Kotila were not present, there would be no rasa.

So, it must be that he also prays to Lavanga-manjari, but not everything can be given in writing. In Shrimad-Bhägavatam we see the same thing. Only one day's rasa has been described, and only eight days' association of Uddhava has been given. It is stated that Uddhava stayed in Vrndavana for several months, but what took place and what conversations transpired have not been written.

We want to always remember all these topics, as well as the pastimes of Krishna - not for others, but with a wish to have a relationship.

A108-AI

jagasubbal.jpgThis year, 2017, June 25th and 26th around the world is the commemoration of the divine Ratha Yatra festival. Please accept this lecture excerpted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's book, The Origin of Ratha-yatra, chapter 5.

Mahaprabhu's mood at Ratha-yatra

At the beginning of the Ratha-yatra Festival, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offers a prayer to Jagannatha-deva, not to His form as Lord Jagannatha or Vasudeva-Krsna, but to His form as Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna:

jayati jana-nivaso devaki-janma-vado
yadu-vara-parisat svair dorbhir asyann adharmam
sthira-cara-vrjina-ghnah su-smita-sri-mukhena
vraja-pura-vanitanam vardhayan kama-devam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.90.48)

["Sri Krsna is He who is known as jana-nivasa, the ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as Devaki-nandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of Vrndavana. May He be all-glorious and happy."]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu is praying in the mood of Srimati Radhika meeting Krsna at Kuruksetra. There, by their mood, the gopis bring Krsna to Vrndavana and decorate Him with flowers. By their mood they forcibly give Him the flute He left in Vrndavana with Mother Yasoda, along with His peacock feather, and they whisper in His ear, "Don't say that Your father and mother are Vasudeva and Devaki. Don't say that You are from the Yadu dynasty and that You are a Yadava. Say only that You are a gopa." Krsna replies, "Yes, I will follow your instructions."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays, jayati jana-nivaso devakijanma- vado. This sloka, which Sri Sanatana Gosvami has quoted in his Brhad-bhagavatamrta, has many profound meanings. If Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Srila Sanatana Gosvami were to explain it, they would do so with a hundred different meanings, each deeper and more unfathomable than the previous one. It contains the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam from beginning to end.

The general meaning of jana-nivasa is, "You are always in the hearts of all as Paramatma." However, Krsna cannot live as Paramatma in the hearts of the Vrajavasis; He can only be present there in the form of Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. Jana also means nija-jana (near and dear), and therefore it means Krsna's personal associates. All the Vrajavasis are Krsna's nijajana, for He is the jivana (life-air) of Nanda, Yasoda, all His friends, and especially of the gopis. He is also radhika-jivanera jivana, the very life of Radhika's life, and He always resides in Her heart. This relationship is reciprocal; the Vrajavasis are His life, just as much as He is theirs.

Devaki-janma-vado. Only Mathuravasis and worldly people can say that Krsna took birth from the womb of Mother Devaki. General people say this, but actually He is the son of Mother Yasoda; she is His real mother.

Yadu-vara-parisat svair dorbhir. The members of the Yadu dynasty are the nija-jana of Dvarakadhisa-Krsna, for they are His associates. It seems that this sloka refers to Vasudeva-Krsna, and describes Arjuna, Bhima, and His other associates as His arms. Vasudeva-Krsna fought in the Mahabharata War and in various other battles, and He fought with Paundraka Vasudeva and other demons. The sloka seems to describe dvaraka-lila, but actually, in its deeper meaning, it glorifies Vrajendra-nandana Krsna. In Vrndavana, Krsna killed Putana and other demons with his own arms. Moreover, in Vrndavana He killed the greatest demon – the feelings of separation felt by Srimati Radhika and the gopis.

Sthira-cara-vrjina-ghnah su-smita-sri-mukhena vraja-puravanitanam. In Vrndavana, Krsna always took away all kinds of problems and suffering, simply with His smiling face and His flute. What was the suffering of the Vrajavasis? It was only their mood of separation from Him. They had no other problems at all. This verse includes the pastimes of Gokula, Vrndavana, Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, rasa-lila, and all the other Vraja pastimes as well. Vardhayan kamadevam. In this connection, Kamadeva does not mean lust, but prema. What kind of prema? Sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. The gopis tell Krsna, "You are that person – that Kamadeva." In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is offering pranama and praying, putting the whole of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and all of Krsna's pastimes as well, into this one sloka.

The meaning of gopi-bhartuh

As I have explained before, Mahaprabhu very rarely sees Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. When He does, He at once enters a mood of very intense separation and prays, "After a long time I am meeting with My most beloved, for whom I was burning in the fire of separation." He addresses Jagannatha as gopibhartuh and prays, "Pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah." The word gopi-bhartuh reveals Krsna's relationship with the gopis, for it means "the gopis' most beloved," or "He who is always controlled by the gopis." Mahaprabhu concludes, "I want to be the servant of the servant of the servant of that Krsna."

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vanastho yatir va
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.80)

["I am not a brahmana, a ksatriya, a vaisya, or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a grhastha, a vanaprastha, or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing in full brilliance."]

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays not only for Himself, but for everyone. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, gopibhartuh Himself, and He offers prayers in order to teach us how to pray. He is teaching us our actual identity; we are not Indian or American, nor are we from Great Britain or anywhere else. We are not brahmanas, administrative ksatriyas, mercantile vaisyas or sudra laborers, nor are we brahmacari students, grhastha householders, retired vanaprasthas, or sannyasis in the renounced order. We are eternally servants of Krsna.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu uses the name gopi-bhartuh for further clarification, and by this He is indicating, "We are not servants of that Krsna who lived here and there in Dvaraka without His flute. Others may be, but as for My associates and Myself, we are only gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah, the servants of the servants of the servants of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, the beloved of the gopis."

Who is gopi-bhartuh? He is Radha-kanta, Radha-ramana, and Gopinatha. The gopis must be there as the aradhya (worshipable deities) of Krsna. He must be their worshiper, and then we are His servants; otherwise not. We are not Krsna's servants if Rukmini and Satyabhama are there, or if He is four-handed and holding His Sudarsana cakra. Krsna must be with the gopis, He must be controlled by their prominence, and especially by Radha. We are servants of that Krsna. We are all transcendental, and our intrinsic, constitutional nature is to serve Krsna; but we are not servants of all His manifestations. There are very big differences in these manifestations, and to be the servant of gopi-bhartuh is very, very rare. We can consider that those who have come in the line of Mahaprabhu are radha-dasis, as gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasadasanudasah only applies to the maidservants of Radhika. Caitanya Mahaprabhu's statement therefore refers to those who are coming in His disciplic line, those who are coming in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and our entire guru-parampara. One day, if our creeper of bhakti blossoms and the fruits and flowers of prema-bhakti manifest, we will be able to realize this. This is the aim and object of our life.

Leading up to the meeting: Krsna sends Uddhava to Vraja

Mahaprabhu was so absorbed that He could not utter Jagannatha's name. He could only chant, "Jaja gaga! Jaja gaga!" Tears fell from His eyes, and His heart melted. One can realize this state only if he is a devotee of the highest standard. What was the cause of Mahaprabhu's bitter weeping? What was the reason behind it? Mahaprabhu told Svarupa Damodara to sing a song that suited His mood, and Svarupa Damodara began to sing:

sei ta parana-natha painu
yaha lagi' madana-dahane jhuri' genu

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 13.113)

["Now I have gained the Lord of My life, in whose absence I was being burned by Cupid and was withering away."]

You will have to consult Srimad-Bhagavatam to understand the meaning of this verse, because the history of Ratha-yatra has been indicated there. Krsna left Vraja at the age of eleven1 [Krsna is exactly ten years and eight months old when He leaves for Mathura,but His transcendental body is like that of a full-grown kaisora of fourteen orfifteen years] and went first to Mathura, and then after some time He went to Dvaraka. While He was in Mathura, He sent Uddhava to console the gopis, and later He also sent Baladeva Prabhu from Dvaraka to console them. The gopis had now been feeling separation for a long time. Everyone in Vrndavana was feeling separation from Him, and even the cows and calves were upset. The gopas and gopis were weeping continuously, and everyone, including the entire forest of Vrndavana, was drying up.

When Krsna was sending Uddhava from Mathura, He told him,"Uddhava, go to Vrndavana and pacify My father and mother, Nanda and Yasoda, and especially pacify the gopis who have given Me their life and soul and everything they possess. The gopis always remember Me, and they do nothing else. They never decorate themselves and they have even given up taking their meals. They don't bathe and they don't even sleep."

mac-citta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tusyanti ca ramanti ca
Bhagavad-gita (10.9)

["The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to serving Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me."]

The gopis' only relief from their feelings of separation came when they sometimes fainted and sometimes slept. However, even these two friends – fainting and sleeping – abandoned the gopis when Krsna took them with Him to Mathura.

In this way Krsna sent Uddhava to Vraja, and there Uddhava related His message, word by word, letter by letter. However, this only made the gopis more unhappy. Previously they had thought, "Krsna has promised that He will come;" but after hearing the message, they thought, "Krsna will never come," and they felt even more separation. Srimati Radharani began to weep:

he natha he rama-natha
vraja-natharti-nasana
magnam uddhara govinda
gokulam vrjinarnavat
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.52)

["O master of My life, O master of the goddess of fortune, O master of Vraja! O destroyer of all suffering, Govinda, please lift Your Gokula out of the ocean of distress in which it is drowning!"]

Srimati Radhika said, "I am dying without Krsna. My dear sakhis, if Krsna does not come, I will die; I will surely die. Take My body, place it at the base of a tamala tree, and place My arms around that tree so that I may feel connected to Krsna. I pray that the water in My body will mix with Pavana-sarovara where Krsna bathes, so that I may touch Him. Let the air in this body go to Nanda Baba's courtyard and touch Krsna when He is fanned. May the fire in this body become rays of sunshine in Nanda Baba's courtyard, and then My soul will be happy. Now I cannot see Krsna, or touch Him." She was in a very pitiful condition, always in a mood of deep separation.

Krsna was also feeling unbearable separation, but no one knew that. The gopis could share their suffering with each other, but Krsna could not share His feelings with anyone. He wept alone. This is why He sent Uddhava to Vrndavana; He wanted Uddhava to be admitted into the school of the gopis, so that he would learn the meaning of the two-and-a-half letters in the word prema. [Unlike English, which has only full letters, Sanskrit words can contain both full and half letters.] Krsna considered, "When Uddhava understands the love of the gopis, he will be qualified to realize My feelings of separation."

When Uddhava returned from Vraja, he told Krsna about the glories of the gopis and their one-pointed love. He said, "It is so very high that I could not touch it. I only saw that mountain of love from a great distance, but still it was so high that my hat fell off the back of my head as I looked up at it. I cannot imagine how glorious the gopis are. I wanted to take the dust of their lotus feet, but now I am hopeless. I am not qualified to touch their foot-dust, so I simply offer pranama to it from very far away. Uddhava then uttered the following prayer in glorification of the gopis:

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.63)

["I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds."]

Instead of becoming pacified by Uddhava's explanation, Krsna felt more and more separation. He wanted to go to Vraja, but for some reason He could not.

What Krsna never told before

Krsna had told Uddhava, "My father and mother are weeping bitterly. They have become blind, and they are hardly more than skeletons. Perhaps they will only live for one or two days more; in fact, they may die at any moment. Please go and pacify them. And go also to the gopis. I know that My father and mother are weeping bitterly, that they are blind, and may die... but I don't know what is the condition of the gopis. They are feeling the topmost separation for Me. I don't know whether they are alive, or if they have already died; so go at once, quickly. They always remember Me, keeping Me on the chariots of their minds, without any selfish motive. They know that nobody in Mathura knows My heart."

The gopis know that Krsna is very shy, and cannot ask anyone for something to eat when He feels hungry. Yasoda-maiya is not present in His palace; so who will pacify Him, and who will serve Him? This is why the gopis feel so much separation.

Krsna had told Uddhava, "The gopis are mat-prana, My life and soul." He had not said this about His father and mother, only about the gopis. He continued, "They have left everything for Me. For My sake, they have stopped caring for their bodies and have forgotten all their bodily duties. I am their only beloved, and they are My most beloved; indeed, they are My life and soul. They have left their shyness and their worldly responsibilities, and they have also abandoned all social etiquette for Me. For My sake, they have disobeyed their parents and left their source of maintenance. I must somehow save them and maintain them. Now they are far away, thinking, 'Krsna will surely come tomorrow. If we die now, He will also die when He finds out.' This is the reason they somehow maintain their lives without dying.

"The gopis think, 'Krsna has promised, and He cannot break His promise. He must come. He will come tomorrow.' That is why they maintain their lives. Actually, I think that they are not maintaining their own lives. Their lives rest in Me, and I am maintaining them, otherwise they would have been finished. Go at once and see whether they have died or not; and if not, please pacify them."

Krsna had only spoken like this about the gopis; never about anyone else, including Arjuna and the Pandavas, or His queens, Satyabhama and Rukmini. The gopis are unique in their boundless and causeless love and affection for Krsna. Our highest aim and object is the love for Krsna that is in the gopis, and especially in Radhika.

When Radhika was feeling separation, gopis like Lalita, Visakha, Citra, Campakalata, and Rupa Manjari were serving Her and trying to pacify Her; but who could actually pacify Her? She was totally mad, with no external sense at all. The others were trying to pacify Her because their consciousness was still somewhat functional. Their love is very high, millions of times greater than that of Uddhava, Satyabhama, and Rukmini, and higher even than that of the other sakhis of Vrndavana; but it is not as high as Radhika's love.

Radhika was totally mad, as Uddhava saw when he witnessed Her talking to the bumblebee. Actually, Krsna Himself had gone to Vraja in the form of that bumblebee, and He also saw that Radhika was totally mad. She was lying on a bed of rose petals, which had become dried up by the touch of Her body, and all the candana that had been put on Her body to cool Her was also completely dried. At first, Uddhava could not understand whether She was dead or alive.

Then, he saw that Radhika was very angry with Krsna, criticizing and abusing Him, and calling Him an ungrateful cheater. No one else could have spoken to Krsna in this way, including Satyabhama and the other queens, and even Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba. Radhika told Him, "You are ungrateful, and You are like a six-legged bumblebee. Human beings have two legs and animals have four; but bumblebees have six legs, so they are more ignorant than any animal. We don't want to have any relationship with that black person whose heart is as black as a bumblebee. Rama was also black, and he cheated Surpanakha and cut off her nose and ears."

Srimad-Bhagavatam is actually an explanation of the glory of Radhika's love. Her love is supreme, and it is the goal of all living beings. We can never grasp its breadth, but we can taste a drop of it, and even that one drop can drown the entire universe. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave Srila Rupa Gosvami that drop of the endless ocean of nectar, bhakti-rasa. If we can serve the gopis, and especially Radhika, we can also have love and affection for Krsna, and then we can feel separation. Otherwise, it will never be possible. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Six Gosvamis, Srimad- Bhagavatam, and Sukadeva Gosvami have proclaimed this conclusion: our goal is krsna-prema, the prema that the gopis have for Krsna.

Previously, Uddhava had heard about how much love and affection the gopis have for Krsna, but he had no experience of it. He had heard that the gopis are Krsna's most beloved, and that Krsna is their most beloved, but even knowing this, he could not know the intensity and the ways of their love.

Uddhava also loves Krsna, and thinks, "Krsna is my master, He is also like my brother, and we have so many other relationships." However, Krsna did not say anything about Uddhava's love. Rather, He told him to go to Vraja and learn there: "Go and realize the nature of prema." He said, "There is no one in Mathura like these gopis."

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has mercifully sprinkled a drop of that love on the world (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.4)):

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah

["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of amorous love.

Uddhava failed the entrance exam

Uddhava had great love and affection for Krsna, but when he arrived in Vraja, he realized that vraja-prema was totally new to him. He saw Krsna playing with all His sakhas. Millions and millions of cows were hankering after Him, and milk was flowing from their bulging udders because of their spontaneous love. The very beautiful black and white calves were jumping here and there, and Nanda Baba's big bulls were fighting with each other.

As Uddhava saw that scene, beautiful ghee lamps flickered in the gopis' rooms, and the light from these lamps was soft and fragrant – not like the dead light from electric bulbs. Varieties of flowers spread their sweet aroma in all directions, and the songs of the humming bumblebees were like the blowing of Cupid's conchshell. Cuckoos and other birds were singing everywhere, and peacocks were dancing about and calling, "Ke kaw! Ke kaw!"

All the gopis were churning yogurt and singing, "Govinda Damodara Madhaveti." They were all very beautiful, and Mother Yasoda was the most beautiful of all. How else could Krsna have become so beautiful? He would only have been black otherwise; it was because of her that His beauty was like the luster of pearls.

Uddhava saw all this, but in a moment the scene changed completely, and now he saw that all the residents of Vrndavana were weeping for Krsna: "O Krsna, where are You? Where are You?" Cows were not going out to graze. They simply wept, keeping their heads and eyes toward Mathura, and the calves were not drinking the milk from the udders of their mothers. The peacocks were not dancing; rather, they looked as if they were blind. Every person and creature was mad in separation from Krsna.

It was now evening, and Uddhava found himself in Krsna's home, where he became dumbstruck to see the love and affection of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba. He could never have imagined that such high-class love could exist, but now he was able to realize something of its elevated nature.

Early the next morning, Uddhava went to Kadamba-kyari, where, by Krsna's mercy, he was able to see the gopis, who were all mad in separation and just about to die. This is why Krsna had sent him to Vrndavana: to try to be admitted into the school of the gopis. Krsna had told him, "Be admitted into the school in which I studied. Then, when you return, we will be able to have some discussion about love and affection. First, go and become qualified."

However, Uddhava was not qualified for admittance into the school of the gopis. His entrance examination score was about 25 percent, but the gopis demanded more than 85 percent. Still, although they rejected him, he was able to enter the school and see the very high-class students there. He saw professors like Visakha and Lalita, and he saw the principal, Radhika Herself. Now he knew something of the glories of the gopis, and he realized a little of their love for Krsna. He had never seen anything like this before, and now he felt, "If I want to love Krsna, I must be admitted into this school. But I am not qualified." He therefore requested the gopis, "If you do not admit me, can you at least take me on as a servant, to bring water and clean the school?" The gopis rejected even that request, however, and they told him, "You should go back to Mathura. First become qualified, and then you can sweep our kuïjas; you cannot sweep here at the moment."

Uddhava then prayed:

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.63)

Nanda-vraja-strinam means the beloved gopis of Krsna. Uddhava prayed to them, "I want to offer myself unto the dust of your lotus feet. I want to keep even one particle of your foot-dust on my head, and if I can only get one particle of dust, it must be Srimati Radhika's." Neither Brahma nor Sankara, nor even Satyabhama and the other Dvaraka queens, can attain this.

Krsna had sent Uddhava to see the glories of the gopis, and now he saw Mount Everest, the highest peak of the Himalayas of the gopis' love. He could not become like them, however, so he had to return to Krsna empty-handed. "I went there and saw something very mysterious and wonderful, which I cannot explain," he told Krsna. "You told me about the gopis, and what I saw was even more wonderful than what You told me. But I had to return without realizing anything."

Yasam hari-kathodgitam, punati bhuvana-trayam. The songs of the gopis, such as Bhramara-gita and Gopi-gita, purify the whole universe, and if one recites them, or even remembers them, he will actually be purified. So try to recite all these songs (gitas) and know them. The meanings are very deep, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wanted to teach that the very wonderful moods therein are our aim and object. He wanted to teach this and he did discuss it in his books, but how could he actually plant it in barren lands and deserts? First he had to cultivate the lands to make them fertile. He wanted to give this highest goal, but in the meantime his Svamini, Srimati Radhika, called to him, "Come at once! We need your service."

This is our goal – the dust of the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika.

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
Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61)

["The gopis of Vrndavana have abandoned 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, Krsna, 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."]

Uddhava prayed, "If I cannot attain Radhika's lotus feet, then I will be satisfied with the dust particles from the feet of any of Her sakhis. I don't want the dust of Krsna's lotus feet, because I will have to take a particle of the gopis' moods if I want to please Krsna."

We must engage in the process given by Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura. The teaching of our present acaryas is the same wine in new bottles. The bottles are different colors, but the wine is the same. If you drink that wine, you will certainly become mad, but this madness is actually desirable.

Krsna meets His parents at Kuruksetra

Years later there was to be a solar eclipse and Krsna planned to go to Kuruksetra with all His commanders, His army, and all His 16,108 queens. He did not invite Nanda Baba directly, but He thought, "Father will know, and he will not be able to remain in Vraja. He will come at once; he must come."

In Vrndavana, Nanda Baba somehow came to know about the religious function to be held at Kuruksetra. Thus, all the gopas, gopis, and young people prepared their bullock carts and proceeded toward Kuruksetra, leaving Upananda and some other elders in Vraja to look after everything. They took with them many personal items for Krsna, such as butter and other things that He liked, and on the way they constantly remembered: "Krsna, Krsna, Krsna."

By then, the gopis had been lamenting for perhaps fifty, sixty, or seventy years. Krsna also felt separation for that long, but even after all those years, He was still youthful (kisora), and the gopis remained young as well.

In the meantime, the sun was covered by a shadow and the whole world became dark. According to Vedic culture, during a solar eclipse one should take bath three times: when it is just beginning, when the sun is fully covered, and when it is again fully visible. At that time, one should bathe and give donations in charity. It is written in Indian history and in the Vedas and Upanisads that many kings used to donate their entire wealth to the brahmanas and needy persons. Every golden pot and utensil was given in charity. Having given away their own clothing, keeping only a loincloth for themselves, the kings themselves would become penniless. Those charitable persons were giving so much charity that there was no longer anyone to take it. Those who had accepted charity began to give charity to others. They gave their charity in charity, and therefore there was no one left to think, "I want charity." All were giving and all were satisfied – because Krsna was there. Even recently in India, many people would donate all these things. Now, however, although giving in charity is for the betterment of the donors, this culture is gradually reducing.

Everyone bathed there at Kuruksetra, made their donations, and after that they came to Krsna's tent to take His darsana. Thousands and thousands of rsis, maharsis, brahmavadis, realized souls like Narada, Bhisma Pitamaha (the grandfather of the Kauravas and Pandavas), Vyasadeva, Gautama, Yajïavalkya, Duryodhana and all his brothers, Dronacarya, Karna, and all the Kauravas came from all over India, and from all over the world. Rsis and maharsis from the Caspian sea, like Kasyapa, also came, and from Mongolia, sages like Mangala Rsi came with all his sons and daughters. Almost all the kings of the world had assembled there to bathe in the very pious lake there, and the crowd consisted of more than ten million people. All were there to bathe in that lake, and all were residing there in separate camps.

Now, everyone assembled in the camp of Vasudeva and Devaki to take darsana of Krsna, and they began to enter His tent. His tent was so large that thousands of people could sit inside. Although there was no arrangement for a loudspeaker, everyone could easily hear Him speak, and in fact everyone thought, "Krsna is sitting near me. I'm joking with Him, I'm telling Him something, and He is very happy to hear it."

The Pandavas – Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, and Draupadi – had also joined the assembly, and their mother, Kunti, was also there. Kunti met with her brother Vasudeva, and pitifully weeping with tears falling profusely from her eyes, she told him, "Brother, you did not remember me when my sons were given poison, when they were about to burn in a fire, or when all their wealth, kingdom, and everything else was taken and we were begging here and there. Like a demon, Duryodhana cheated my sons. He drove them from their kingdom, and he and Duhsasana also tried to strip Draupadi in the big council where Dhrtarastra, Bhisma Pitamaha, and other elders were present. You are my brother. You should have remembered me." Weeping loudly, she put her arms around Vasudeva's neck, and Vasudeva Maharaja also began to weep. Kunti continued, "Perhaps, my brother, you forgot me."

Vasudeva replied, "O elder sister, please do not lament. This was all caused by the time factor of Sri Bhagavan. At that time my wife and I were imprisoned in the jail of Kamsa, and we were suffering so grievously. Kamsa was always abusing and insulting us. His men bound me in iron chains and they were kicking me with their boots. How could I do anything? Moreover, our six sons were killed right in front of us, snatched from my lap and put to death. Luckily, Baladeva and Krsna are saved. I was in unbearable distress, and that is why I could not help you. Nevertheless, despite everything, somehow I always remembered you, and when I came out of jail I sent my first message to you.

"Everything depends on the mercy of God. Sometimes we meet and sometimes we are separated from each other. Sometimes there is suffering and sorrow, and sometimes we are very prosperous. Nothing depends on any soul. Don't worry anymore. Now it is over." In this way Vasudeva was consoling Kunti.

In the meantime, Nanda Baba and the Vrajavasis were coming on many bullock carts. Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba, all the gopis like Srimati Radhika, Lalita, and Visakha, and all Krsna's cowherd friends like Dama, Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Stoka-krsna, Madhumangala, and all others were on their way. Thousands of gopas and gopis were on their way to Krsna.

While everyone else was meeting with Krsna, someone came and told Him and Baladeva, "Oh, Your father and mother are coming in a bullock cart." When Krsna heard this, He immediately left all the members of the assembly. Although there were many thousands upon thousands of devotees, like Kasyapa, Kavi, Havi, Antariksa, Narada, Vasistha, Agastya, and Valmiki, Krsna left them all and began to run at once towards Yasoda and Nanda – weeping with tears in His eyes. In one second His heart had melted, and now He called out, "Oh, Mother is coming? Father is coming?" Upset, He cried out, "Mother, Mother, where are you?" The bullock cart had now stopped. Baladeva Prabhu was following Krsna, and they both exclaimed, "Oh, the bullock cart is here." Nanda Baba and Yasoda-maiya came down from the cart, and when they saw Krsna they became overwhelmed and began to weep, "O my son, my son! Krsna, Krsna!"

Standing at a distance, all the gopas and gopis, including Radha, Lalita, and Visakha, were also weeping. Somehow they had been tolerating their separation from Krsna while traveling from Vraja, and in Vraja they were also somewhat tolerating. Now, however, as they came nearer and nearer, their tolerance began to disappear and they began to cry like babies.

Krsna at once sat on the lap of Yasoda-maiya, and Baladeva Prabhu fell at the feet of Nanda Baba. Seeing Krsna, whom she had lost for years and years, all Yasoda-maiya's separation mood, in the form of tears, began to flow out. She wept loudly, "My dear son! My dear son!" She covered Krsna's face as she had done when He was a baby, and milk flowed automatically from her breasts. She covered Him as though He was a helpless, small baby and she wept bitterly – so bitterly.

In Vrndavana she had never wept as much as she did now. There she was like a statue, and her heart was dried up in separation. Krsna had also been like dry wood, or like a stone, but now He also wept aloud. Nanda Baba took Baladeva in his lap and he also began to weep, and it was a very piteous scene. Krsna cried out, "Mother! Mother!" Baladeva Prabhu, sitting on the lap of Nanda Baba, was crying out, "Father! Father!" and Nanda Baba caressed him.

Having followed Krsna, Vasudeva, Devaki, and Mother Rohini arrived there, and Rohini thought, "Oh, how very wonderful this situation is!" Krsna had always been somewhat shy in front of Devaki. If He was hungry, He would tell Mother Rohini – not Devaki – and now Devaki saw Him weep uncontrollably. Devaki thought, "Krsna never sat on my lap. He has never called me, 'Mother, Mother.' But now He is in the arms of Yasoda crying, 'Mother, Mother, Mother.' Yasoda thinks, 'Krsna is my own son,' and Krsna also thinks, 'My mother is only Yasoda – not Devaki.' Yasoda will surely take Krsna and return to Vraja. Krsna will go forever and He will never return to Dvaraka!"

She wanted to tell Yasoda, "O Yasoda, Krsna is not your son. He is my son, but now He is forgetting me and accepting you as His real mother." She also wanted to tell Krsna, "You are not the son of Yasoda. You are my son." She could not say all this in the assembly of so many persons, however, and therefore she spoke her mind in a roundabout way.

Being very intelligent, she said, "O dear friend Yasoda, you are wonderful and merciful. When we were in the prison of Kamsa, we could not support Krsna. Then, in a hidden way, we sent our son to Gokula – to you. Although He is my son, you have kept and supported Him. You have nourished Him better than anyone could nourish her own son. Although you knew that Krsna is my son, you nourished Him as though He was yours. As the eyelids protect the most important part of the eyes – the pupils – you protected Krsna. You never thought, 'He is the son of Devaki.' You saw Him only as your son. I see, therefore, that there is no one as merciful as you in the entire world. You are very humble and broadminded, and you have served Him up to now. Because of this, He never remembers me. He always thinks that you are His mother."

Rohini saw that Devaki was trying to do something wrong – she was trying to come between Yasoda and Krsna. Rohini wanted her not to disturb them. To trick her, therefore, she quickly said, "Oh, Mother Kunti and so many more persons are waiting for you. We should go there." She cleverly sent her away to welcome all the guests, and she also sent Vasudeva Maharaja.

After some time Yasoda-maiya became relieved, but she could not say anything. She was not in a state to say anything, and Krsna was also in that condition. There was now only an exchange of moods – from heart to heart. Yasoda then thought, "Outside, nearby, all the gopis like Lalita, Visakha, and Srimati Radhika are waiting. They cannot meet Krsna if I am here – and Nanda Baba and Baladeva are also here."

Up until now the gopis were checking their moods of separation and their lives remained in their bodies. Once they reached Krsna, however, they could no longer tolerate a moment's separation. They were about to die. Being very kind and generous, Mother Yasoda thought, "They will die if I do not give a chance to them at once. I must take everyone away from here, by trick, and then the gopis will come. If I delay, they will all die. They cannot tolerate the separation any longer."

I remember an example from my boyhood, when I was fifteen. My father was a farmer. I went with him to a place far from my house, and there I picked a bundle of very delicious, beautiful green chickpeas. At first I thought the bundle was very light, when I reached the midway point it became heavy, and as my village became nearer I could not bear the weight. When I came into the village I should have instantly fallen down, but somehow I persevered. When I reached the door of my house, however, I could not take the load inside. I dropped it outside.

This was also the case with the gopis. When they were in Vraja they were somehow tolerating separation, and as they traveled to Krsna their separation-feeling increased. Then, when they saw Krsna but had no chance to meet Him because Yasoda, Nanda Baba, and others were with Him, they could not endure the separation at all. Yasoda realized this fact, and she at once took the hand of Baladeva Prabhu. She put his fingers in her hand and, looking towards Nanda Baba, she told him, "Let us meet with the others." Being very intelligent, Baladeva Prabhu also considered, "If I am here, the gopis will not come," and he hurriedly left with his parents.

Yasoda thus went to Devaki and embraced her, and some dialogue ensued. Nanda Baba met with Vasudeva and others, and they also engaged in conversation.

A108-AI

Appearance Day of Srinivas Acarya and Srila Madhavendra Puri


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

46d8589c211315fd6a9f207dd579cda8.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Badger, California: May 15, 2003

[This year, 2017, two auspicious holy days fall on May 10th and 11th around the world  – the appearance day of Shrila Madhavendra Puri and the appearance day of Shrinivasa Acharya. In order that we may remember and glorify them and take their shelter, so that they may bless us in Krsna consciousness, Shrila Gurudeva spoke the following lecture in Badger, California, on May 15, 2003. Whether it be the appearance day, or disappearance day, of Shrila Madhavendra Puri and Shrila Shrinivasa Acharya – both are the same:]

Madhavendra Puri

You should know that Krsna was controlled by Madhavendra Puri, who is superior to Shri Prahlada Maharaja in various ways. I think Prahlada Maharaja cannot touch the lotus feet of Madhavendra Puri.

Madhavendra Puripada is the root, or first sprout, of prema-bhakti, the prema kalpataru (the desire tree of love of God). The Deity of Shrinathaji (Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana) manifested to him and gave him constant darsana. Prahlada Maharaja and Nrsimhadeva had association for only a moment, and Bhagavan often gave His association to Bali Maharaja in the planet Sutala, but Madhavendra Puri is a special maidservant of Shrimati Radhika.

Madhavendra Puri has special love and affection for the Divine Couple Shri Shri Radha and Krsna. His devotion is so high. He is the root of Vraja-rasa (the mellow of conjugal love for Krsna), for he brought such love to this world. Shri Isvara Puri received that gopi mood from him and then gave it to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Such wealth was then bestowed upon Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda, and the Six Gosvamis, and it is thus coming down in disciplic succession.

Shrinivasa Acharya

Shrinivasa Acharya was the disciple of Shrila Gopal Bhatta Gosvami, and He was trained by his siksa-guru, Shrila Jiva Gosvami. He introduced many melodies for kirtanas, and he was such an exalted devotee that our Gosvamis depended upon him. They directed him: "You should go and preach in Bengal, and distribute all the literature written by us. Along with his associates, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura and Shrila Syamananda Prabhu, he took their order and books, bound for Bengal.

narosrinirama.jpgAlong the way, some dacoits looted all the books. They thought they'd gained a trunk full of jewels. An astrologer had told the dacoits' leader, "This trunk is full of treasure", and for this they had stolen the cart with all the books. The three devotees became mad in separation from the manifest heart of the Gosvamis – their writings. Shrinivasa Acharya sent both his associates to Bengal, telling them, "I'll stay here until I discover the location of the books."

The local king was the leader of all the dacoits, but he was also a devotee. Though he used to loot so many things, he would also meditate and hear scriptures – Shrimad Bhagavatam especially. There was a Bhagavata pandita in his council who read aloud and explained Shrimad Bhagavatam. Shrinivasa Acharya, in a very simple dress, went there one day when a Bhagavata discourse was taking place. He humbly sat in that assembly, hearing from the court pandita. After the Shrimad Bhagavatam discourse was finished for that day, Shrinivasa requested, "May I comment on what he has explained?"

The king said, "Oh yes, very well; you may explain something about these topics." The pandita had been speaking on Bhramara-gita, but he was not able to explain it very deeply.

Shrinivasa Acharya stood up and began to explain it, weeping and making the audience weep. He gave the explanations that were also given by Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Jiva Gosvami in their purports to Shrimad- Bhagavatam.

The king at once approached Shrinivasa Acharya and offered dandavat pranams, begging, "I want to take diksa initiation from you, and I want to hear Shrimad-Bhagavatam." Shrinivasa accepted the king and gave him initiation. Then the king offered, "I want to give you some donation for this – guru-daksina. As you like, I can give."

Shrinivasa replied, "Oh, you are promising? Then you should try to arrange to get our cart full of all the books."

The king immediately answered, "Oh, it is with me! It is with me! My astrologers told me, 'three persons are coming, devotees from Vrndavana, with lots of jewels – more than jewels.' And that is why we took the trunk. We could not tell in what way they are jewels; but now, hearing from you, I know that they are so much more than jewels."

Jewels cannot give krsna-bhakti. They cannot help us. Those books can help us thousands of times more than jewels. You are coming here only by the grace of those books.

In this way, the books of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and all the other Gosvami literature were saved. So this was Shrinivasa Acharya, a very high class of devotee.

We pray to the lotus feet of Shrila Madhavendra Puri and Shrila Shrinivasa Acharya to sprinkle their mercy on us.

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