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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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Who is Rupanuga?

paramgurudevahk2.jpgShri Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaja
Orignally appearing  in  August, 21 1958 issue of Bhagavat Patrika entitled 'The appearance of Sri Baladeva'.

Who says Rupanuga Bhajana is only for those in parakiya-madhurya-rasa is a sahajiya. Certain sahajiyas, following the theory of 'ichari-paka', or expecting ripe fruit prematurely, say that "rupanuga-bhajana' consists of only the acceptance of parakiya madhura-rasa. They have established that other rasas such as dasya, sakhya and vatsalya are not included within rupanuga-bhajana. Such statements identify the sahajiyas section as being without proper understanding of rasa-tattva, and as being uncontrolled [independent]. These days, many persons situated within the line of conception flowing from Sri Saraswati Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, are fallen from the true line of thought of Sri Rupa Goswami, and have actually taken shelter of the feet of the followers of the sahajiya-section, and are believers in this 'ichari-paka' philosophy; Such imitationists say 'what will you get from preaching? What is there in kirtana? Do bhajana, just do bhajana!" This class of offenders think that their exchanging of the chanting of the Holy Name for deceitfully 'pulling rope' on their japa-mala, while sitting and performing silent bhajana, is actual bhajana. It is a matter of great astonishment that even though a great many people are doing this, still they have no shame. Service to Hari kirtana is actual rupanuga-bhajana, otherwise not.


prabhupad4.jpgTrindandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Germany: February 21, 2003

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the very holy birthday of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. I want to speak something of his glory.

If this great self-realized soul had not descended in this world, no one would have known the meaning of pure bhakti. No one would have known the identity of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the book Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, or the books and glories of the Gosvamis.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gave us two jewels, the first one being the holy birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He manifested Gaura-dhama. Before him, no one knew where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had taken birth. No one knew where Sridhama Mayapura was actually located.

Secondly, he gave the jewel of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who preached throughout the world and universe the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the conceptions of the disciplic line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and the glories of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Before the birth of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and after the disappearance of Srila Narottama Thakura, Sri Syamananda Prabhu, Srinivas Acarya, and especially Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyubusana, pure bhakti was covered. The sahajiyas' ideas were spread throughout Sri Vraja-dhama and Sri Navadvipa dhama. Their influence prevailed and there were hardly any real Vaisnavas.

In the name of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His philosophy and His prema-dharma, the sahajiyas were degraded in character and were most sinful. To live with widows, to dance and sing with them, and to smoke cigarettes and drink wine with them – this was their idea of parakiya- and vaisnava-dharma. Because of their influence, none of the learned and aristocratic persons even wanted to hear the name 'Gaudiya Vaisnavas', what to speak of follow them. They hated Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

There are eleven sahajiya groups, like gaura-nagari, sakhi-bekhi, aul, baul and so on. In India, their main function was widow-bhajana, and they maintained their lives by doing professional kirtanas during funeral processions. After following a dead body and singing, they would receive a donation from the deceased relatives. True vaisnava-dharma is completely pure, but due to these practices, all aristocratic persons began to hate it, and Mahaprabhu's message was thus in danger.

At that time, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati appeared in Sri Jagannatha-dhama as the son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He was born with many symptoms of a great soul, such as natural tilaka marks on his body and the impressions of kanti-mala on his neck. At that time Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura told his wife Bhagavati-devi, "He is not an ordinary boy. No ordinary boy can have these natural tilaka, kanti-mala and other signs. He has taken birth in Jagannatha Puri, and also I have prayed to Vimala devi, the consort of Lord Jagannatha. He has come by Her mercy." The Thakura thus gave his boy the name Vimala Prasada. Prasada means 'mercy'.

After six months, the baby became qualified to have his anna-prasana mahotsava (grain ceremony in which a baby is fed grains for the first time). At the same time the Jagannatha Chariot festival was taking place. The three carts carrying Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra were in procession and had stopped in front of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's house for three days. The Thakura was the manager of the entire festival. Therefore, without any problem or obstacle, he took his son upon the chariot and placed him in front of Jagannatha-deva. He took some prasadam from there and placed it in the mouth of Vimala Prasada, and at that time the flower garland from the neck of Lord Jagannatha dropped on the baby's head. It is a very good sign when the Deity's garland falls in this way, for it means the recipient is being blessed by the mercy of Lord Jagannatha, Sri Govinda-deva, Sri Gopinatha, or any other Deity. This also happened to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Thus, Vimala Prasada's anna-prasana mahotsava was observed.

Gradually he began to grow up. After some time, when he became a boy of five years, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura himself gave him harinama and the arcana mantra for the worship of Lord Kurmadeva, the Deity of Sri Krsna's Tortoise incarnation.

He began to learn many things. He was always with Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, carrying his father's Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and other books on his own head as he accompanied him to various places for preaching or giving classes. Thus, from the beginning of his life, very good samskaras came to him. This, of course, was his naravata-lila (human-like pastimes), because he was actually the eternal associate of Sri Varsabhanavi-devi dayitaya, near and dear to Varsabhanavi devi, Srimati Radhika. In his pranama mantra he is referred to as krsna-presthaya. Krsna has so much love and affection for the manjaris, so Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada is also near and dear to Him.

The words 'gaura-vani-sri murti' is also present in his pranama-mantra. This adjective has also been used in the pranama mantra of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and we must go deep to uncover its meaning. Gaura-vani refers to that which Gaura (Sacinandana Gaurahari) preached, and that which He inspired in the heart of Srila Rupa Gosvami – the glorification of the mood of the gopis and Srimati Radhika. Sri Gauracandra said, "O Nityananda, O Haridasa Prabhu, you should go door to door and preach 'Bolo Krsna, bhaja Krsna, karo Krsna (chant Sri Krsna's name, worship Him, and serve Him)". This is gaura-vani.

It is also what Mahaprabhu discussed with Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Svarupa Damodara in the Gambira. In that regard it is especially His hidden revelation of the meaning of ceto-darpana-marjanam, yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam, and aslisya va pada-ratam. This is gaura-vani. It is also the love and affection explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nila-mani, Sri Vidagda-madhava and Sri Lalita Madhava. This is gaura-vani.

Our entire parampara descended to this world from Goloka Vrndavana, and Srila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakura was one of the most prominent acaryas. If he had not come, everything would have been transferred into sahajiyaism – wherein all philosophy is asat-sampradaya (outside the parampara line of philosophy, spiritual sentiments and behavior.)

If one is not serving his Gurudeva, if he does not have strong belief in his Gurudeva, and if he is not following his line of thought, such a person must be sahajiya. This is taking place nowadays. We are preaching and therefore they are somewhat stopped, but I do not know what will happen after I leave this world. A very dangerous stage is coming.

Many Iskcon devotees left Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, their Guru, Srila Prabhupada, and they went to Radha-kunda. They wanted to remember the 24-hour daily amorous pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna (asta-kaliya-lila) as goopis – not gopis, but goopis – and for this offense they went to hell. They became 'babajis'. Keeping two, three, or four widows with them, they began to relish their 'parakiya-bhajana'. I know not only two or three or four, but so many. They want to jump – not to practice bhakti-yoga. They want to be gopis by paying two pennies to any bogus person who will 'give' them siddha-deha, their perfected personal identity, and tell them, "You are a gopi." Such persons will give a name, and all other false information, about that 'gopi'. Then, after some time, such 'disciples' imagine themselves absorbed in Sri Sri Radha and Krsna's most confidential pastimes in the kunjas. Please do not try to be like that – do not go in that direction.

There are some ill-charactered persons who have been rejected from the Gaudiya Matha, and they also went to Radha-kunda to become babajis in that asat-sampradaya. Such characterless or unqualified persons imagine themselves to be absorbed in the asta-kaliya-lila of Radha and Krsna in Their midnight and end of the night (nisanta-lila) pastimes. At that time, Radha and Krsna are meeting in a kunja. If They are alone, half naked and kissing each other, what will that 'meditator' think? Material ideas will come to him. He is bound to think in this way, and this is wrong.

Sri Sri Radha-Krsna-lila is transcendental. Only a saintly person like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami who was a brahmacari from his birth, or like Sri Narada Gosvami who is a liberated soul, or like Lord Sankara who is an ideal personality, can properly think of asta-kaliya-lila.

You should offer obeisances to such pastimes and try to practice bhakti-yoga as our predecessors acaryas have taught us. Gradually begin from the root of the tree, then be qualified to climb, and then reach the top. Then you can take the fruits. Otherwise, you will have nothing but these bogus ideas. Try to follow Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravasti Prabhupada, our Gurudeva Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Otherwise, you will be like those misdirected persons and you will also go to hell.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sent his son to a Sanskrit college and, at the age of twelve perhaps, he received the degree in astrology and the title Siddhanta Sarasvati. At that time he had become the champion in astrology throughout Bengal, and therefore all the elevated scriptural scholars gave him that title. Sometimes Srila Saravasti Thakura would defeat the arguments of his teachers, and he therefore left that college. Our Gurudeva also left college. They both left because they had nothing to learn from the teachers there.

During that time, the governor of Bengal was Ashutos Mukarji. At that time the Indian government was ruled by the British, and the British had made him governor. He was very qualified. He established the Calcutta University, and there he reserved a seat for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He requested him, "Oh, please come and be the head of the department. Please oversee it. You are the most qualified for this." Srila Sarasvati Thakura replied: "I have not come to this world to count the stars in the universe. I have not come to count the sands on the ocean beaches of the world. I cannot fulfill your desire." As long as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati remained in this world, that post was reserved for him, but he never accepted it.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura then thought: "What should I do for this boy?" He established a medical dispensary and told his son, "Remain there, and somehow maintain it so that there are no losses. Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura began to do so, but the dispensary failed, and again the father wondered what to do.

There was a king in India at that time who was the king of Kashim Bazar, and he was a bosom friend of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He told the Thakura, "I want a tutor for my son. He will be king after me, so I want a tutor for him." Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied. "Let us try; I will tell my son to teach him." At that time the salary was very high.

Srila Sarasvati Thakura went to the king and began to teach his son that the entire world, along with all the sandhis and samas (movements of the moon) is an emanation of Krsna and non-different from Him. He taught as Mahaprabhu taught when He was a teacher in Navadvipa. After some time the boy became very learned and a scholar in Vaisnava philosophy, and the result was that he became renounced. He was not like you. Many of you have been hearing for sixteen or twenty years, but you have not become detached. On the other hand, being taught by Srila Saravati Thakura, that prince became detached from worldly enjoyment.

The boy's mother became very disturbed, and she told her husband, the king: "You have only one son, and you want to make him a sannyasi? Your only son? I do not want this. If you continue in this way I will take poison and die." The king became upset and asked Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, "What should I do?" Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura replied, "I will tell my boy to return home." The King said, "I will continue to give you money, the same salary that I have been giving, but he should return."

At that time the king had a very big library, and Srila Sarasvati Thakura Pabhupada studied the thousands of books there – all the Gosvami's books, Srimad Bhagavatam, Brahma-sutra, books of the other sampradayas, and so on. Though he already knew their contents, he studied those books just to set an example for us. Quickly, in one or two years, he completed that study.

After that he returned home, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura again considered what might be a good engagement for his son. He purchased land in Mayapura, beginning from Jagannatha Bhavan (the house of Sri Sacinandana), the Yogapitha, Candrasekara Bhavan and beyond. He gave the entire area to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and he himself then began to perform bhajana in Svarupa-ganja, in Godruma. He told his son, "We have discovered the birthplace of Mahaprabhu by the help and mercy of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja. Now you should glorify it."

Srila Saravati Thakura then made a hut where Sri Gauracandra, Srimati Visnupriya, Srimati Laksmipriya and Pancha-tattva were established, and his father then ordered him, "You should perform arcana in the Deities' hut, and you can maintain yourself by depending on Lord Krsna while performing His worship and service."

As you may know, in general, a father does not believe that his boy is very intelligent and capable. Our Guru Maharaja considered us his babies and thought, "What will they do?" He told us that he had made this Gaudiya Matha with bricks, and added, "After I leave this world, if you cannot maintain yourself you should sell these bricks and somehow maintain." Similarly, Srila Bhaktivinoda used to think, "My baby is the same as he was when he was young."

Srila Prabhupada very quickly preached over the entirety of Bengal. He began to establish the Navadvipa-dhama parikrama and Kartika parikrama. Then, after some time he gave sannyasa to very qualified disciples – who were practically only boys. At that time Pujyapada Bon Maharaja, Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Vaikhanas Maharaja, Pujyapada Auduloumi Maharaja and many others were only about 25, 26, or 27, and they were the cream of all qualified personalities in Bengal and all of India. They were the upper-class. He brought them to himself, gave them brahmacarya and sannyasa, and established Sri Caitanya Matha.

What is the meaning of the word 'matha'? Mathanti vasanti satrah – it is a place in which students study and learn under the guidance of their Gurudeva. It is like the gurukulas of previous times, wherein boys would study and become very qualified in all kinds of siddhanta (philosophical conclusions). Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established this. He gave brahmacarya to many beautiful boys, and thus very quickly preached all over India.

After some time he wished that this religion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would also go to the Western countries, and he inspired Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja – Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda. By his mercy Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja went abroad and preached throughout the world in just a few years. Srila Svami Maharaja established preaching centers and translated and published many books, which were in turn translated in all the prominent languages of the world. You have come by his mercy, and the root mercy is that of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura.


gdwithpg.jpgShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Singapore, February 11, 2001, pm

Today is the very sacred anniversary of the birth of my spiritual master, nitya-lila pravistha om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He appeared in this world, on this day, to fulfill the needs of his dear-most Radha-Krsna Conjugal, Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu, and Gaura-Gadadhara. He came to help all the conditioned souls to come out of this jail. We are in jail – all of us. He came to save us from the jail of this world.

Who is he? Our Gurudeva is the manifestation of jagad-guru Srila Vyasadeva. It may also be said that he is a manifestation of akanda-guru-tattva Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu. Since Vyasadeva is Narayana Himself, we can surely say that Sri Gurudeva is a manifestation of Vyasadeva. He sits on the vyasasana, the 'vyasa seat', the seat on which Vyasadeva used to sit. In other words, he sits on the seat from which Vyasadeva preached the glory of Radha and Krsna Conjugal all over the world.

Today we should glorify him. We will also glorify guru-tattva and explain how guru-tattva descends from Goloka Vrndavana. Although we do not have much time – only 2 hours – we will explain all these truths today. I request all the speakers to speak only 15 to 20 minutes, and glorify guru-tattva.

Don’t think that this bhakti philosophy is useless. Don’t think in this way, otherwise you will be very weak and give up the bhakti line. I am hearing about this problem – daily, daily, and daily. So many disciples of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and other pure acaryas are giving up bhakti and becoming weak. They are leaving Krsna consciousness and accepting worldly family life. Why? It is because they don't know this philosophy.

Try to know all these truths. If you do not know them now, one day you will have to know them. It may be after thousands of lives, but one day you will have to know all these philosophical conclusive truths. Don't think that it is useless to know them. If you don’t want to fall down, then know all the philosophical truths and arguments very, very deeply.
My Guru Maharaja rendered so many direct services to his Guru Maharaja Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, like massaging him, and he was always with him for as long as Srila Prabhupada was present in this world. His glory is like an ocean. You have heard so many Prabhus glorify him, but we can never complete His glorification.

You should know that the backbone of krsna-bhakti is guru-nistha, unalloyed faith in Sri guru. If one has no guru-nistha, he has no bhakti at all. In Indian Vedic culture it is the tradition that one should accept a guru – a transcendental guru. If one has not accepted guru, no one will take any food that he has prepared.  No one will even drink the water that as been offered by him – not even his father or mother will drink it.

Do you understand what I am telling? Even if a son or daughter is married, if he or she has not accepted a guru, his or her cooking or offering will not be accepted by that family.  First, one will have to accept a high class of guru. Then he or she can cook and perform all related services. In Indian tradition, in Vedic culture, from ancient times up to now, it was essential to accept a bona fide guru.  Nowadays, however, the Western breeze is also coming towards India, and thus India is rejecting all these principles. We are especially rejecting guru. Instead we think, "What is gurudeva? Gurudeva is nothing. There is no need of gurudeva."

Minute by minute people are changing their wives and husbands. They are divorcing so many in one life, and therefore no one is happy. If you want to be happy, you must accept a qualified guru and guru-parampara. If you do not do so, you will have to experience the miseries of old age and death. When you die, whatever you have collected in your life cannot be taken with you. Always remember that death is sure. No one can save you from death. What, then, will become of the palatial buildings and the many other things you have collected? Try to understand this. By guru-bhakti our lives will be changed, and we will be happy forever. 
What is vyasa? The line that touches the opposite sides of the circumference of a circle by going through the central point is called the diameter or vyasa. What is the meaning? Krsna is the center of all.  Not only this one world, but so many universes – millions upon millions of universes are in this circle. Vyasa is touching Krsna and going to all the innumerable ends of material existence. Who is Vyasa? He who is preaching the glories of Krsna to all, teaching everyone: "You should serve Krsna; otherwise no one can save you from this endless chain of birth and suffering." Vyasa is he who is always serving Krsna from one point to another – everywhere in this world.

Vyasa took birth between Mathura and Vrndavana, on an island in the Yamuna. Parasara Muni was his father, and his mother was Srimati Matsyodhari. Parasara was going somewhere and wanted to cross the Yamuna. He called the boatman, but that boatman was very tired and sent his adopted daughter instead. Because his daughter had been born from the womb of a fish, a fishy odor emanated from her, but at the same time she was very beautiful. He ordered her, “Oh, take the ferry boat and help that Rsi Parasara.” Ordered by her father, Matsyodari took the boat and told Parasara, “You can come. I will take you across.” When she reached the island in the middle of the Yamuna, Parasara looked upon her. At once she became pregnant, and in a moment she gave birth to a very tall, beautiful, blackish youth of sixteen years. Who was he? Vyasa. He had come by the mercy of Krsna through Parasara, but he was actually Narayana. He thus immediately renounced this world.

After some time he divided the Vedas in four – Rg Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. After that he wrote the essence of all the Vedas, and that was called Brahma Sutra, Sariraka Sutra, or Vedanta Sutra. After that he wrote thirty-six kinds of Puranas: Puranas, Upa Puranas and Sakha Puranas.  Then, for all persons – for ladies, sudras, and all those who always lament and who are entangled in worldly intoxications – he wrote the Mahabharata, and in that he gave the jewel-like Gitopadesa, or Bhagavad-gita. Prior to this he gave the Catuh-sloki Bhagavatam, which Narada had taken from Brahma. There was yet no Srimad Bhagavatam, however, so he was not satisfied with his life.    

Narada came to Vyasa and asked, “Why you are so upset?”

Vyasadeva replied, “Gurudeva, I don’t know.”

Narada then told him, “You have not glorified Krsna and His pastimes of Vrndavana, and you have not discussed how the gopis and all the Vrajavasis serve Him. You should glorify Him, and especially His many devotees, His beloveds, the gopis, and His beloved Radhika.”

Vyasadeva then saw all the pastimes of Krsna and His associates in his trance, and thus he wrote Srimad-Bhagavatam and became happy. The essence, therefore, of all Vedic literature – Upanisads, Puranas, and Bhagavatam – is Vraja-prema, or gopi-prema, and especially the love and affection of Srimati Radhika, who controls Krsna and always keeps Him in Her heart.

A guru can give these truths, otherwise it is not possible to understand them. Otherwise we cannot know all these truths – all these mysterious truths. A guru gives all this to the sisya so that he can be happy. You know that Ravana had so much opulence, and so many millions of servants who lived in palaces made of gold and jewels. All kinds of opulences were present in Lanka; there were no poor people there. Ravana had ten mouths, ten heads, twenty eyes, and twenty ears, and he conquered the whole world. But he was not happy. He could not control his heart. He could not control his mind. He could not control his lust. Therefore, who is the greatest and strongest person? He who can control his six urges:

vaco vegam manasah krodha vega
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vega
etan vegan yo visaheta dhira
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

[“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly, and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.”]              
If one cannot control his anger, his words, his tongue, and his mind, he cannot do anything to help himself. You know the ex-president of America, Clinton. He was so famous and he was a very strong personality, but he could not check his heart and he became entangled with an office girl. Such persons cannot do anything productive. Therefore, if you want to be happy in this world, try to follow Vyasadeva – try to follow a real guru.  

Before writing Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vyasa made four disciples: Paila, Sumanta, Jaimini, and Vaisampayana; and he trained each of them in one of the four Vedas. Especially in South India, the Vedas, Upanisads, and Sanskrit sastras are followed. Nowadays, however, especially those outside of India have gradually left their traditions. Something is in their blood; they believe in God, but they have given up all religious principals and instead take meat, eggs, wine, and so on. They cannot control the six urges. Understanding the future, therefore, Vyasa gave one Veda to each of these four disciples, and he gave the Mahabharata and Puranas to Ugrasrava Suta.  

Vyasa served his gurudeva. He followed the teachings of Narada and he preached the glory of Radha-Krsna Conjugal everywhere. This is guru-bhakti, the tradition of guru. He preached the supremacy of Krsna and Radha’s love and affection throughout the world. This is Vyasa.

A disciple is he who can serve his gurudeva as more dear to him than his own life and soul. He is not a disciple who is simply satisfied with the thought, “Oh, Gurudeva has given me a name;” but he does not chant, he does not realize anything, and especially he does not follow the principles of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which is the essence of all the Vedas:

trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih

[“One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.”]

If you want to be a disciple of a bona fide guru, you should be tolerant. If you do not have this tolerance, then, when a mosquito comes, you will make a hydrogen bomb to kill it. You will think, “How shall I save myself from this?!” The whole day and night you will be thinking about this, and krsna-bhajana will disappear. To protect and maintain our life is essential, but why is it essential? Not for living like dogs, hogs, or pigs. If anyone is spending his whole time maintaining himself, he is like a dog and other nonsense animals. These animals can do more than you. You are very worried about one child, but dogs can have fifteen or sixteen. Two times in a year they can have so many children, and there are many other animals that can have still more than this. So don’t think you are more advanced than animals in this way, or that you are so intelligent. No, they are more intelligent than you.

If you want to be actually intelligent, then always remember your death and your old age. Always remember that you cannot take anything with you at death, and, if you are not doing bhajana, you will be crushed by maya – thoroughly crushed. At that time you will lament, “Why did I not do bhajana? I have failed."

Vyasa writes:

labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam arthadam anityam apiha dhira
turnam yateta na pated anumrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat

[“After many births we have attained this human form. Therefore, before death comes, we should engage ourselves in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. That is the fulfillment of human life.”]

The main object of this human life is to try at once, immediately, to realize who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should realize, “Who am I? I am not this body.” This is the teaching of Vyasa.

sa vai punsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratiha
yayatma suprasidati

[“The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.”]

The purpose of this life is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, as stated in these two slokas which were preached widely by my Guru Maharaja:

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa tanayas tad dhama vrndavanam
ramya kacid upasana vrajavadhu vargena va kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam prema pumartho mahan
sri caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah

[“The Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, Who is known as the son of the King of Vrajadhama, Sri Nanda Maharaja, is the ultimate worshipful Lord of all Lords. Similarly His residential abode, the holy place of Vrndavana, is as worshipful as the Lord Himself. The ways of His worship may be various, but the one which was conceived by the damsels of Vrajadhama is unsurpassable by any other devotee. Srimad-Bhagavatam Purana is the unalloyed guidance for approaching the worshipful Lord, which is the ultimate goal of life. This is the sum total opinion of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We shall bow down our heads before His opinion, and not accept another.”]
[“The authoritative knowledge of Vedas received through the bona fide disciplic succession, establishes the following fundamental truths:

1. Hari is the supreme absolute truth.
2. He is omnipotent.
3. He is the reservoir of all mellows.
4. The living entities are His separated parts and parcels.
5. The conditioned souls are covered by Maya.
6. The liberated souls are beyond the influence of Maya.
7. The entire cosmic manifestation is simultaneously one and different from Him.
8. Suddha-bhakti is the only means to achieve love of Godhead.
9. The goal is to attain love of Godhead.
These teachings have been instructed by Gauracandra Himself.”]

If anyone is going on this path, he must be happy. No one will be able to check his happiness.

Hiranyakasipu was almost immortal. He had so much opulence. He used to control Vayu, the god of air, Indra, and all other gods and goddesses, but he could find no happiness. A new being – animal plus man – came to him, and in a moment He pulled out his intestines. If you do not follow this bhakti principal, then from the beginning of your life, day and night, you'll only be thinking, “Money, money, money.” And, after death you will become money. Realize this. It is to give you this message that we have come here. We have come to tell you that you should always remember your death. And you should always remember Vyasadeva.

Especially those of you who are Indians should remember the place from which you have come. India was previously known as Bharata. What is the meaning of Bharata? ‘Bha’ means illumination, or light. What is that light? Tattva-jnana. You come from that land where Narada Rsi, Brahma, Sankara, and all the acaryas were present. Transcendental knowledge is everywhere in Bharata. I have come to help you.  And for those of you who are Indian, I have come to remind you that you are coming from Bharata. Don’t forget this knowledge. You can make some money for your maintenance, but what is the purpose of maintaining yourselves? It is to follow the teachings of Srila Vyasadeva.

In relation to Vyasa, there are four personalities who founded the four sampradayas: Brahma, Rudra, Sri, and Sanaka. From them came the four sampradaya-acaryas, Madhva, Visnusvami, Ramanuja, and Nimbaditya respectively, and they all made commentaries on Vedanta-sutra, or Brahma-sutra. Sri Sankaracarya wrote an explanation of Brahma-sutra called Sariraka-bhasya, or Brahma-sutra-bhasya, and his philosophy was known as advaita-vada, or kevaladvaita-vada. He claimed that brahma has no shape and is avyakta-anadi. He has no sakti, power. He has no visesa, special qualities, and therefore He is nirvisesa-brahma. Sankaracarya gave all these negative ideas, but he never gave any positive explanation. He said that brahma satya jagan mitya – this entire world is false, and only brahma is truth – but that brahma is powerless. There is nothing in Him. Sankaracarya's philosophy was therefore called advaita-vada or mayavada.

After Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya came and defeated all his arguments. He taught that these are not the ideas of Vedas. Rather, these ideas are against the Vedic principles. We should not follow this. Only demons can follow these ideas. No Vedic person will accept the theory that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no shape, no attributes, and no power. Ramanujacarya defeated all of the arguments of Sankaracarya and called his philosophy visista-advaita-vada (specific monism). There are innumerable jivas and innumerable worlds. The Supreme Personality of Brahma has attributes. Innumerable jivas have come from Him, and this world also comes from Him. The Supreme Personality of Brahma exists along with this world and the jivas. What was the abhideya, practice, described in Ramanuja's philosophy? It was bhakti. What was the prayojana, the goal?

It was service to the lotus feet of Narayana. Ramanuja accepted the form of Narayana, His attributes, His power, and also His bhakti. He rejected the mayavadi philosophy of advaita-vada.

After Ramanuja came Madhvacarya.  He established a certain portion of the Vedas, and his philosophy is called visuddhadvaita or dvaitadvaitavada. In this philosophical understanding there are five differences. (To Prema-prayojana dasa) You should explain the five differences.

Prema-Prayojana dasa: Madhvacarya established the philosophy that there is a difference between brahma and maya, there is a difference between jiva and maya, there is difference between jiva and jiva, and between different manifestations of maya  and maya there are also differences. These five types of differences are called dvaitavada.

Sriila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: His practice was bhakti and his prayojana was the service of the Supreme Lord in the form of Vasudeva. Which Vasudeva? He who has a      churning rod in His hand. This form was also accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After Madhva came Nimbarka, or Nimbaditya, and his philosophy was visuddha- vedaveda, but svabhavika (natural). He preached that brahma has vikrit, transformation, and it is from brahma that the whole world is coming. Brahma is alone, but still there are so many jivas and so many associates, like His father and mother. His dhama is there, but advaita.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not like this. He took the essence of all the Vedas – not only part of the Vedas.  He fully took all the moods of the essence of the Vedas, and discovered acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. It is not directly from Krsna that this world and jivas have come, but rather from His energy. This is called sakti-parinama-vada, transformation of sakti, energy. Caitanya Mahaprabhu fully adopted this philosophy because it asserts that everything has not come from Krsna Himself, but from the power of Krsna. Thus, Mahaprabhu defeated the arguments of Nimbarka’s bhedabheda svabhavika and founded acintya-bhedabheda.

We cannot imagine this truth by our mental speculation. It can only be understood through the words of the Vedas – by amnaya, the Vedic literature which has been accepted by our guru–parampara. He established the service of Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, and Radha-Madana-Mohana. What was the sadhana, practice? That practice begins with vaidhi-bhakti and then changes to raganuga- bhakti. By that practice one can achieve Vraja-prema, and this is the supreme goal of life.

If anyone accepts this practice or goal, he is truly in the line of Vyasa. We should try to realize all this. Somehow you should know the essence of krsna–bhakti, that bhakti which Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought from Goloka Vrndavana – gopi-prema. This is the goal of our life. If we accept this, then our Vyasa-puja is complete. The followers of Sankaracarya ‘worship’ Vyasa, but they don’t follow him. They say Vyasa was ignorant because he wrote that brahma is anandamaya-bhyasa, all-blissful. The followers of Sankaracarya reject this. They say that brahma is bliss, but He is not blissful. In other words He is not a person. This is not service to guru. A disciple must obey his gurudeva and serve his gurudeva. Serving gurudeva outwardly by worship, and at the same time cutting the arguments and teachings of gurudeva, is not the duty or service of a disciple – yet, Sankaracarya did that.
Why did he do so? It was because Narayana ordered him in that way, to save Himself from being disturbed by demons who came to Him in the name of bhakti but who really only wanted Him to fulfill their selfish desires. Narayana told Sankaracarya, “You should preach in this world, ‘You are brahma. Aham brahmasmi. Sarvam kalvidam brahma. Tat-tvam-asi.’”                
There are so many things to discuss, but somehow try to know this: If you want to be happy in this world, then accept a high class of transcendental guru, who knows Gita, Bhagavatam, the Puranas, and Veda sastra, who can remove all doubts, and who practically chants harinama sankirtana following trnad api sunicena taror iva sahisnuna. He practices bhakti as received from Vyasa, Narada, and all other bona fide spiritual masters.

He serves and glorifies his gurudeva throughout the world, as we see in the lives of Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, my gurudeva, and so on. If you want to follow, you can be happy. 

Gaura Premanande Hari Hari Bol.


Appearance Day of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakur

Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

narosrinirama.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Bali, Indonesia
February 22, 1997

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of Shrila Narottama dasa Thakur, who is one of the solid and strong pillars of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's preaching. After the generation of the Six Gosvamis and Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama Thakura, Shyamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acarya became the leaders of the Vaisnavas in Bengal. They took all the books of the Six Gosvamis and other authentic Vaisnava literatures and preached all over Bengal. Especially, Narottama Thakura preached in Eastern India, in such places as Assam and Manipura.

Shrila Narottama Thakura was a prince. He was the son of very famous king in that area. From childhood he had impressions of pure devotion and wanted to cultivate them. He therefore went to Vrndavana, where he heard about the glory of Shri Jiva Gosvami and became attracted to him. Together with Shyamananda and Shrinivasa, he studied all the sastras from Jiva Gosvami – Vedanta-sutra, Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and especially the Six Sandarbhas. In this way, the three of them became learned in Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's Gaudiya siddhantas.

Shyamananda Prabhu was a disciple of Hrdayananda of Kalna, yet he joined in to hear the lectures of Shri Jiva Gosvami, and he treated him more like his guru than his Gurudeva, Shri Hrdayananda. Shri Narottama Thakura also studied in the school of Shri Jiva Gosvami. Jiva Gosvami personally told him to take initiation from Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and he told Shrinivasa Acarya to take initiation from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. In those days there were no restrictions as there are today. Everyone was free to associate with topmost Vaisnavas.

In fact, gurus would advise their disciples: "Take the association of these most exalted Vaisnavas, and in this way you will develop your Krsna consciousness." There was no caste consciousness as there is today: "Don't go to other Vaisnavas, even though they may be very high-class. This is our party, and that is their party, and that is the other group's party." At that time there was no party spirit at all; everyone belonged to the family of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. All used to hear from all.

Jiva Gosvami had such a pure heart, free from any envy, that he told Narottama Thakura and Shrinivasa Acarya to take initiation from these two high-class Vaisnavas. They had made up their minds to take initiation from Jiva Gosvami, but he told them: "Oh, they are my seniors. You will be more benefited by taking their shelter." We are not pure enough to speak in this way to our subordinates. Our hearts are not so improved.

Thus, Jiva Gosvami sent them to those two great Vaisnavas – but the two had vowed to not make any disciples.

The pastimes of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami have not been told in Chaitanya-caritamrta or in any other book. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was such a topmost elevated Vaisnava that he warned Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, and other writers: "If you want my mercy, then do not glorify me or write my name in your books." When they assured him of this, only then did he give his blessings and tell them: "Your books will be successfully completed. Krsna's mercy will be on you." It is for this reason that these great Vaisnava authors have not mentioned his name. They obeyed him; they followed his order.

One day, by the order of Jiva Gosvami, a very beautiful prince, that boy Narottama, came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami and took his foot-dust. Lokanatha dasa Gosvami asked him: "Who are you?"

Narottama replied, "I am a very wretched person, a fallen boy. I want to take shelter of your lotus feet. Please initiate me."

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami flatly refused. He told Narottama, "You can go to any famous Vaisnava and take his shelter. I am a worthless person. I don't know how to do bhajana. I only eat, drink, and sleep. I do not engage in bhakti. It is better that you go to any learned and qualified person."

Narottama dasa Thakur requested again and again, but Lokanatha das Gosvami remained grave and refused to initiate him. Although Narottama dasa Thakur left at that time, he began to think how he could possibly get initiation from this maha-bhagavata.

Narottama dasa was very worried, and began to think how to please him. He began to clean the place where Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was passing stool in the forest. He thus cleaned regularly, every night, and he also cleaned the path to that place. Once, in a very dark night, at about midnight, Lokanatha dasa Gosvami caught hold of the hand of this boy and asked him, "Who are you, and why are you doing this?" Narottama dasa Thakur began to weep bitterly and replied, "Because I want to please you."

"Oh, you are very pure devotee. What do you want?"

"I only want to be initiated by you." Narottama dasa again began to weep.

On seeing the boy's devotion Lokanatha dasa Gosvami was at once moved and accepted him. He told him, "Please come to me after taking bath in the Yamuna."

The next morning Narottama took bath and came to Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, who initiated him into the krsna-mantra (gopala-mantra), klim krsnaya svaha, and the kama-gayatri, klim kamadevaya. He gave him these two mantras and advised him: "Don´t go anywhere. Be seated here with me in my bhajana kutira." He built a hut for him, right next to his own, and said, "Always remain here with me, chant harinama, and hear from me." Narottama dasa did as he was told.

One day at midday, when the sun was very hot, a thirsty farmer came and asked Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, "Please give me some water, or give me some rope and a bucket so that I can pull water from the well." Lokanatha dasa Gosvami did not replay; perhaps he did not even see that person, as he was quite absorbed in his bhajana. Because Lokanatha dasa Gosvami could not hear him, the farmer went to the next hut and asked Narottama: "Oh, young babaji, can you give me some water?" Narottama came out and gave him some water. Thus, the farmer was satisfied and went away.

Later, Lokanath dasa Gosvami called Narottama and said "You don´t know what is bhajana? Krsna is personally His name; there is no difference at all between them."

nama cintamanih krsnas
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
'bhinnatvan nama-naminoh

["The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical." (Padma Purana)]

"In some ways the name is even superior to Krsna. You don´t know this truth? You are serving Krsna (chanting or remembering Krsna means serving Him), but you were thinking that the service of chanting harinama is inferior to giving water to a thirsty person; that is why you served him. You have no belief that Krsna can quench his thirst. Krsna can give anything, but you have no faith in Him. So, return at once to your home. Become qualified there, and then you can come back. At present you are not qualified."

One should have strong faith in Krsna's name. You know the strong faith of Haridasa Thakura? He was whipped in twenty-two market places and his skin and muscles became shredded, but he never left his chanting of harinama.

Lokanatha dasa Gosvami thus ordered Narottama dasa Thakur, "Leave this place." Hearing this Narottama began to weep bitterly. Although Lokanatha das Gosvami had a very soft heart, like a flower, he desired auspiciousness for Narottama dasa, and so he became hard like a stone. It was for Narottama's welfare that he said, "Go from here."

Narottama das Thakura was not an ordinary devotee. He was an associate of Shrimati Radhika Herself, and in his manjari form he is Vilasa-manjari. He was playing a role only, to give inspiration to devotees.

He was weeping and returned to his home, but he realized everything. In fact, he began to chant and sing in such a way that Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with all His associates would come to listen to his classes and his singing. He sang pathetically, with tears in his eyes and a choked voice, "Krsna Krsna Hare Hare," and [Lalasmayi Prarthana (Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)]:

'gauranga' bolite ha'be pulaka-sarira
'hari hari' bolite nayane ba'be nira

["When will that time come that my hairs will stand on end upon singing the name Gauranga? When will my eyes overflow with tears as I chant the holy names of "Hari Hari?"]

ara kabe nitai-cander karuna hoibe
samsara-vasana mora kabe tuccha ha'be

["And when will the moon of Nityananda Prabhu bestow His mercy on me? When will material desires become small and insignificant?"]

visaya chadiya kabe suddha ha'be mana
kabe hama herabo Shri-vrndavana

["When will I renounce material enjoyment and my mind will become purified? When will I see the cinmaya svarupa of Shri Vrndavana?"]

rupa-ragunatha-pade hoibe akuti
kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti

["When will I eagerly follow the path of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? By their instructions I will be able to understand the divine love of Shri Radha and Krsna."

rupa-raghunatha-pade rahu mora asa
prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa

["My only aspiration is to attain the lotus feet of Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. This is Narottama dasa's constant prayer."]

He sang kirtana along with mrdanga, and each word of his kirtana was uttered by his mrdanga. The mrdanga sounded like the singing of Narottama himself, although it was actually the sweet sound was coming from his mrdanga. Narottama's mood was such that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Vakresvara Pandita, Shrivasa Pandita, and all of Mahaprabhu's associates appeared and began to dance with Narottama Thakura, and when he stopped his kirtana, they at once disappeared. The thousands of devotees present there were astonished. When he was singing about Shri Radha and Krsna, Radha-Krsna personally came to hear, with all of Their associates, and Krsna was playing beautiful songs on His flute.

Thus, in a few years Narottama dasa Thakur preached all over East Bengal, Assam, and Manipura.

He hailed from the village Kheturi; he was born and brought up there, and his father and uncle were living there. His father was a big king. Narottama dasa Thakur manifested six Thakuras (Deities) there, namely Radha-Govinda, Radha-Gopinatha, Radha-Madana-mohana, Radha-Vamsidhari, Radha-Giridhari, and Radha-Vallabhi-kanta.

He also organized a great festival that became famous in the Gaudiya-Vaisnava history. Shrimati Jahnava-devi (who is Ananga-manjari in krsna-lila), the wife of Nityananda Prabhu, was elected as president. All accepted her like their preceptor, including Shrila Jiva Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

When Virabhadra, the son of Nityananda Prabhus wife Vasudha, became sixteen years old, he wanted to take initiation, but he could not find any person whom he considered qualified. Someone told him, "Why are you not taking the shelter of Shrimati Jahnava-devi and being initiated by her?" He said, "She is a lady; I don't want to be initiated by a lady." Then, one early morning, Shrimati Jahnava-devi was pulling water from a well to take a shower, when Viracandra came to take some advice from her for some necessary work. He saw her pulling out water from the well half naked, with just a towel covering the lower half her body. Both of them were ashamed to see each other in this circumstance, even though she was an elderly and like a mother to him. Shrimati Jahnava-devi at once manifested four-arms, with two pulling water from the well and the other two covering her breasts. Astonished, Virabhadra immediately he fell flat at her lotus feet and begged her to forgive his offences. He told her, "I have nothing more to do. I want to take initiation from you right now. You are my guru."

So Shrimati Jahnava-devi is a very exalted personality, the power (sakti) of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and she serves Radha-Krsna in Their conjugal love in the form of Ananga-manjari. Therefore, she was elected as the supreme leader of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. At this festival, all prominent Vaisnavas of that time came together, like Shri Shyamananda Prabhu, Shri Shrinivasa Acarya and hundreds of thousands of other devotees. It was one the biggest festivals in the history of Vaisnavism.

All present were charmed on hearing the sweet songs of Shri Narottama dasa Thakur, and all of them were blessed with the darsana of Shri Radha Krsna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who came to hear these sweet melodies.

Narottama dasa Thakur was the best devotee of his time. He is an associate of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and in fact he is a manifestation of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Shri Lokanatha dasa Gosvami is also an associate of Shri Shri Radha-Krsna, by the name of Manjulali-manjari. By sending Narottama Thakura back to his village, he played a trick, and by this trick he sent Narottama dasa Thakur to preach all over the world. Had he not done so, no such preaching would have been done; all preaching would have been destroyed. If he had continued to request Narottama to sit and chant harinama in his kutira, there would not have been such great preaching.

You can also look at the example of Shri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was a follower of Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. He never wanted name, fame, or anything like this. He always chanted harinama and used to sing in the deepest of moods, with tears in his eyes: "Oh Radhe, Prema-mayi Radhe Radhe, Govinda, where are You?"

gosai eka-bara dake radha-kunde
abara dake syama-kunde, radhe radhe

[...sometimes at Radha-kunda, sometimes at Syama-kunda.]

gosai eka-bara dake vrndavane
eka-bara dake bandhirvane

Gosai in this connection refers to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja could not live without remembering Shrimati Radhika, always calling out: "Oh Radhe, where are You, where are You?" Rolling down on the earth, he cried:

he radhe! vraja-devike! ca lalite! he nanda-suno! kutah
Shri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vanye kutah
gosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau Shri-jiva-gopalakau

["I am doing vandana to the Six Gosvamis, who were always calling out, "O Radhe! O Queen of Vrndavan! Where are You? O Lalite! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you? Are you seated beneath the kalpa-vrksa trees of Shri Govardhana Hill? Or are You roaming in the forests along the soft banks of the Kalindi?" They were always lamenting, overwhelmed and burning in feelings of great separation as they wandered throughout all Vraja-mandala." (Shri Sad-Gosvamyastakam, verse 8)]

Sometimes in Vrndavana and sometimes in Radha-kunda, he was weeping and rolling on the ground, crying bitterly: "Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! If You do not give me Your mercy, I shall die at once." He used to do this kind of bhajana, nirjana-bhajana, in solitary places.

He also made a vow not to initiate anyone, but Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had vowed, "I will not take initiation from anyone but Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, otherwise I will die." Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had to become a mediator between them. He asked Babaji Maharaja, "What is your duty towards the conditioned souls?"

"To give them mercy."

"Then why you are not giving your mercy to this boy? He is going to die!"

By the persuasion of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he agreed and gave initiation to this one person only, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He ordered him, "Never go to Kali." Kali means Kolkata. But when Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was initiated and took sannyasa, even before he took sannyasa, he first went to Kolkata. There he started his preaching, and gradually he preached all over India and the world.

Did he disobey his spiritual master by going to Kolkata? Can anyone claim this? Whoever will speak like this is committing a grave offence. What he did was a great service to his spiritual master. He glorified him all over the world by doing so. Had he not done so, we would not know about Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Krsna. You and I and millions of devotees gather today only due to Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's mercy, which he received from his guru, Shrila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached in Western and Eastern countries, but he was a part of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's and Shri Nityananda Prabhu's preaching. The original preachers are Shri Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhu. All gurus in the disciplic succession are obeying them. If Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakur had not appeared, how could we have come together here? Therefore, we should honor all gurus in the disciplic succession. If we say that our guru is the only one and we should honor only him and not read the books of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or others, like Shri Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, then we are offenders and we will not be able to enter the realm of bhakti.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, though he was restricted not to go to 'Kali Rajya,' went there and began to preach from there to the whole world. He collected devotees like Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and also our Guru Maharaja and others from Kolkata. If he had not started his preaching from there, no one would have come under the shelter of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhus beautiful siddhanta. So, we cannot say that he disobeyed his Gurudeva.

In this way we also cannot say that Shri Narottama dasa Thakur disobeyed his guru. In fact, he fulfilled the mano-bhista, or internal desire, of his divine grace. We should always try to reconcile these apparent contradictions. Sometimes pure disciples act like this, so we will have to reconcile. If we do not reconcile, we will go to hell.

There are many such incidences described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. One time, Krsna spoke to the gopis: "Go back to your homes and serve your husbands, children, and cows." But the gopis countered His arguments and said, "We are not at fault, You are at fault! We consider You to be our guru. You are instructing us to serve our husbands, children and so on; therefore You are our guru. The guru must be respected and worshiped first, before anyone else. If You are not accepting our worship, then You are guilty, not us." They defeated all of Krsna's arguments, and He was bound to accept their service.

Some time later, the gopis asked Krsna "Why did you tell us to return to our homes and serve our husbands?" Krsna replied, "I never said this. I said that the full moon nights are not dark; but you understood they are dark." In Sanskrit, these slokas have double meanings; hence we should always read and understand them under the guidance of Vaisnavas. Otherwise we may not understand their true meaning.

We should understand that Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Shri Narottama dasa Thakurs never disobeyed their gurus; rather they very respectfully 'more than obeyed' them.

Sometimes Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja writes in his books one thing in one place, and in other places the opposite. You may find this in many places, but it should be reconciled. For example, he has written in some places that the soul has fallen from Goloka Vrndavana, and in other places that the soul can never fall from Goloka Vrndavana. Here we see some apparent contradiction.

Which statement we should follow? Don't try to follow him by your own intelligence. It is best to read his books with the understanding that his conclusions must be the same as the conclusions of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shri Rupa Gosvami, Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. If one of his two statements is contradicting the conclusion of Shri Jiva Gosvami or Shri Rupa Gosvami, Mahaprabhu, Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura or Shrila Prabhupada, then we can conclude that Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja had one special purpose in that. Otherwise, without this understanding, you will be derailed from the bhakti path and become an offender.

How can we reconcile his statement that the soul has fallen from Goloka and has now forgotten Krsna? He said this for beginners. He did right. Beginners cannot comprehend higher siddhanta. There would have been no use explaining it to them. For example, we may say to a weeping small boy that the moon is here on the tree. The moon is not on the tree, but we cannot give him any sophisticated explanation because he will not understand. Therefore, we tell him that the moon is here on the branches of the tree. This is appropriate. However, when he has gained some knowledge, at that time we can tell him that the moon is not on the tree.

Once we will be qualified, we will understand. We will read Shri Jiva Gosvami, Shri Rupa Gosvami or Shri Sanatana Gosvami and recognize that everything is there in Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books. He has written something for general persons, for beginners. But his real conclusion is this:

Those who have gone to Goloka Vrndavana are liberated from this world. Either they became liberated, or they are kaya-vyuha manifestations of Shrimati Radhika or nitya-siddha manifestations of Shri Baladeva Prabhu. There is no maha-maya in Goloka Vrndavana, only yoga-maya (Purnamasi). Bad thoughts can never enter the hearts of Goloka residents. They are always tasting the mellows of krsna-prema, so how they can fall? Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has told this very clearly many times – I can show it, and others have also told so. We should not be in confusion and thus confuse others.

He is quoted as saying that we should not read any books besides his. Why would he have said this? Because first we should become qualified, and then we must read books like Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani; otherwise we will lose everything. So, we will have to reconcile all this.

Shrila Gour Govinda Maharaja sometimes spoke about raganuga-bhajana. He was qualified to speak about this, but most of his listeners were not qualified to understand how he was nearer than them to the teachings of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. They could only comprehend primary teachings; they could not sort out such higher topics. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has written and explained everything in his books, but we need to learn from a maha-bhagavata how to understand his books.

yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara Chaitanya-carane

["If you want to understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu." (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 5.131)]

Actually, there is nothing contradictory in Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's books; rather, he spoke to different levels of devotees. For example, it is written somewhere in Shrimad-Bhagavatam that the world is false. This does not mean that the physical world is false, but that the world we ourselves make, our conceptions that "This is my father, mother, wife, and so on" are false; our creation is false. Worldly relations are illusory, but the sun, the moon and the pastimes of Shri Rama and Shri Krsna are not false.

We have to reconcile all these things. But we can reconcile them only if we are associating with high-class Vaishnavas.


The Glories of Nityananda Prabhu [Part 2]

Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

nityananda.jpgWe will discuss the pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu: Jagai and Madhai and other pastimes, such as vyasa-puja and Mahaprabu’s sannyasa-lila. The Lord’s associates went with Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu to Jagannatha Puri.  We will discuss how, in the midway, Nityananda Prabhu broke Mahaprabhu’s danda. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then left all His associates and went to Jagannatha Puri, where He took darsana of Jagannatha and prayed to that Deity, “Oh Vrajendra-nandana (the son of the King of Vraja, Nanda Maharaja), You are not a statue. You are personally Yasoda-nandana (the son of Mother Yasoda), Vrajendra-nandana.”

 We will discuss how Mahaprabhu tried to reach and meet with Jagannatha-deva as soon as He saw Him, but He at once fainted. Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya came and took the unconscious Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home, where he tried to teach Him Vedanta. We will discuss what occurred in that pastime.

We will discuss Nityananda’s pastimes in Puri at the Ratha-Yatra festival, how He returned to Navadvipa and Bengal, and how He used to preach over the whole of Bengal – especially to those who were very fallen and out of caste. After that, how He married with Jahnava-devi and Vasudha-devi, and how His son Virabhadra Prabhu took initiation from Jahnava-devi.  There are so many qualified persons to speak.

[Srila Gurudeva called on a few devotees to speak, and then he continued:]

 Nityananda is jagat-guru, guru of the universe. He is personally Baladeva Prabhu, (the first expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.) In Krsna’s pastimes Baladeva Prabhu went to Naimisaranya, where He saw that Romaharsana-suta was giving Srimad-Bhagavatam class. All the sages and saintly kings stood up and offered pranama to Baladeva Prabhu, but Romaharsana remained on the vyasasana without standing and offering pranama to Him or welcoming Him. Baladeva Prabhu thought, “He is not qualified to read Srimad-Bhagavatam or to teach Bhagavatam. He thinks that I am born in a gopa (cowherd) dynasty, and that he is a brahmana, so literate, learned, and quite qualified to explain Bhagavata.”  He then told Romaharsana, “You are not qualified. Be a bhagavata (devotee of Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead) and then explain Bhagavata (The Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam.)” He took up a piece of kusa grass in His hand, and by that kusa grass He at once cut off Romaharsana’s head.

 In great wonder, all the rsis exclaimed, “Oh Baladeva Prabhu, what have You done? Baladeva replied, “What do you want? Do you want me to bring him back to life?”

 Now they understood the glories of Baladeva Prabhu. “No we don’t want that,” they replied, “but how will we hear Srimad-Bhagavatam?” Baladeva at once brought the son of Romaharsana, Ugrasrava, who was only eight years of age. He was not wearing clothes and he looked like an ignorant person, but Baladeva made him sit on the vyasasana (the seat of honor, as the representative of Krsna’s literary incarnation Sri Vyasadeva.)  Baladeva looked towards him and inspired in his heart knowledge of all Vedic literature – all Vedas, all Srimad-Bhagavatam, all Puranas, Upanisads, Smriti, Sruti, Mahabharata, and Ramayana.  Ugrasrava at once uttered hymns in glorification of Baladeva Prabhu, and then he began to explain the topics of Srimad-Bhagavatam in a wonderful way.

 Do not think that Baladeva Prabhu, or Nityananda Prabhu, had not attended school and that He was illiterate. He is the complete embodiment of Gurudeva (akhanda-guru-tattva).

 In Krsna’s pastimes He killed Dhenukasura, a demon who was in the form of an ass. Dhenukasura represents ignorance. What kind of ignorance? Those who do not honor Vaisnavas (devotees) and yet think themselves devotees, they are all like Dhenukasura. Nityananda Prabhu honored all devotees, even those who were not devotees but who wanted to be devotees. If anyone came in the association of a pure Vaisnava, Nityananda Prabhu respected them. He brought the message of Krsna Consciousness to all those who were neglected by society.

 In India, at first, the goldsmiths, oil makers, betel-nut makers, and groups like them had no right to read the Upanisads and Vedanta; they were not allowed. But Nityananda Prabhu exclaimed that even those like Jagai and Madhai are most qualified to chant Harinama and to have Krsna-prema. And, to whomever He saw, He gave initiation:  He would tell everyone, “Chant ‘Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.’ Nityananda Prabhu embraced and inspired everyone in Bengal, including all those who were fallen, the most inauspicious groups of persons.

 Today, we are making some mistakes. We are dishonoring sincere and senior devotees who have served Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja throughout their lives.  They have served Radha-Krsna and Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu their whole life, and from the beginning of his mission. I have also served so much, more than anyone in ISKCON. But I am not allowed to go to take darsana in any of the ISKCON temples, although it was I who gave samadhi to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja in Vrndavana. The doors to his temples are now closed to me.

This is a very bad sign. By this, one goes to hell.

 We should try to correct these things. We should know that we are all in Mahaprabhu’s family. Those who have not even taken initiation but are chanting Hare Krsna should be treated as the family of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And those who are senior, sincere, and serving lovingly for so many years, should be more respected. Otherwise, one who disrespects such devotees is like Ramacandra Khan.

 In His later pastimes, Nityananda Prabhu went to a village in Bengal, where a very rich person lived named Ramacandra Khan (who had previously attempted to make Haridasa Thakura fall down). That rich person did not honor Nityananda Prabhu or any of the devotees of Nityananda Prabhu. Rather, he told them, “Get out from here. You cannot be hosted for the night here.”

Nityananda Prabhu began to laugh loudly, and said, “Oh, devotees are not honored here. Devotees are disrespected here. So, we should not remain here. Let us go; but, I see that tomorrow Mohammedans will come, they will slaughter cows here and prepare meals of flesh, and the whole family of Ramacandra Khan will be destroyed.” He then left that place.

The next day, this person who was not honoring Vaisnava devotees was killes along with his entire family, his cows were slaughtered, and his entire village became barren.

So, we should always remember Nityananda Prabhu and His teachings. Don’t disrespect any Vaisnava. Always try to honor Vaisnavas according to their stage of advancement in bhakti, namely kanistha-adhikari, neophyte, madhyama-adhikari, intermediate, and uttama-adhikari, advanced.

 You must know all these teachings, and if you do not know them, then you are not devotees at all. You are only show-bottle devotees.

Nowadays they are not approaching those who are strong in Vaisnava philosophy. We should try to establish ourselves in all these teachings; otherwise, being a show bottle devotee and simply giving instructions to others will not do.

 Come with me to Puri, where Caitanya Mahaprabhu was calling out to Lord Jagannatha, “Oh, I am meeting with the same Vrajendra-nandana.  I have been burning in a separation mood for so many years and years. I have found my Vrajendra-nandana.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in the mood of Radhika, calling “Krsna, Krsna. You are the same Vrajendra-nandana,” and He fell unconscious on the ground while dancing. Nityananda Prabhu was there, but not touching Him.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to dance in Srivasa-angam and would faint in the courtyard, Nityananda Prabhu would not touch Him. He would do so after Mahaprabhu came to His external senses, otherwise not. Nowadays, we don’t know all the principles of transcendental etiquette, and thus we speak and write so many rasa-abhasa ideas (misrepresentations of the relationships among the personalities in the pastimes). We keep Nityananda Prabhu with Radha and Krsna in the same section of the altar [see endnote 1], and also Jagannatha. You should know the principles of etiquette by reading Caitanya-caritamrta in the association of superior, advanced devotees.

yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane
ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane
(Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 5.131)
[“If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam, you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”]

That is why Nityananda Prabhu ordered Jiva Gosvami to go to Vrndavana and learn all philosophical conclusions under the guidance of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Santana Gosvami. Nityananda Prabhu inspired Jiva, after which Jiva became so learned that in the whole world at that time there was no person as learned as he. He defeated so many learned persons. How? Only by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu.

We should try to follow Nityananda Prabhu, outwardly and inwardly.

Do you know the song Nitai Pada Kamala? We will sing it.

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala
je chayaya jagat judaya
heno nitai vine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
drdha kori’ dharo nitaiyer paya (1)
[“Nitai’s lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. O brother, without a personality such as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krsna. So hold on very tightly to His lotus feet.”]

se sambandha nahi jara, vrtha janma gelo tara
sei pasu bodo duracara
nitai na bolilo mukhe, majilo samsara sukhe,
vidyakule ki koribe tara (2)
[“If someone does not establish his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu, his life is wasted. Such a wicked person is no better than an animal. Not taking the name of Nitai on one’s lips, he loses himself in the so-called happiness of this world. Then what is the value of one’s education and birth in a high family or great nation?”]

ahankare matta hoiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kori’ mani
nitaiyera koruna habe, vraje radha-krsna pabe,
dharo nitaiyera carana du’khani (3)
[“Forgetting Nitai’s lotus feet, one becomes maddened by the false concept of bodily life and considers the illusory energy as real. If Nitai is merciful, one can attain Sri Radha and Krsna in Vraja, so firmly catch hold of His lotus feet.”]

nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada koro asa
narottama bodo duhkhi, nitai more koro sukhi,
rakho ranga-caranera pasa (4)
[“The feet of Nitai are real and His servants are eternal. Always hope and pray for the lotus feet of Nitai. “Narottama is very unhappy! O Nitai, please make me happy. Keep me tucked close to the reddish lotuses of Your feet.”]


 One of the prayers of Vrndavana dasa Thakura is Sri Nityanandastakam.

yathestam re bhratah!  kuru hari-hari-dhvanam-anisam
tato vah samsarambudhi-tarana-dayo mayi laget
idambahu-sphotair-atati ratayan yah pratigrham
bhaja nityanandambhajana-taru-kandam niravadhi
[“O brothers, simply chant incessantly the names of Sri Hari, and let the responsibility of delivering you from the ocean of repeated birth and death rest upon Me.” While traveling constantly, He approached the door of every home, declaring this with outstretched arms. I perpetually worship Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the root of the krsna-bhakti tree. (verse 5)]

 He is telling to all persons, without any consideration of caste or creed, wealth or poverty, inferiority or superiority, brahmana or sudra, male or female, young or old. He calls even to animals and birds, “Come on. Come on.” Raising His arms and speaking in this way:  “Yathestam re bhratah!  kuru hari-hari-dhvanam-anisam - O brothers, always chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare;’ loudly, and more loudly, again and again. In this way you will cross the ocean of birth and death, suffering and sorrows. And, if you are not getting the desired result, then I am liable for this. I am telling you the truth, that if you once chant ‘Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,’ I promise to take all responsibility for this – that you will certainly attain Krsna-prema.”

No one else has told anything like this.

Nityananda Prabhu used to go to each person’s door, and He would personally tell that person, “I am begging only for your devotion to Sri Krsna. I don’t want anything else.” We are now deviating from this line of Nityananda Prabhu. If you want Krsna-prema, you will have to come in this line again. Nityananda Prabhu is telling each person, “I am responsible if you are following My instructions but not getting Krsna-prema,”

 In the last verse, Vrndavana dasa Thakura is telling,

rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam
rasagaram saram patita tati taram smaranatah
param nityanandastakam idam apurvam pathati yas
tad anghri dvandvabjam sphuratu nitaram tasya hrdaye
[May Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s two lotus feet brilliantly manifest in the hearts of those who recite this unprecedented and supremely potent Nityanandastakam, which is the reservoir of rasa, the treasure of exalted rasika Vaisnavas, and the abode of the essence of bhakti-rasa. It bestows liberation upon all fallen souls who simply remember it.” (verse 9)]

Don’t think that Nityananda Prabhu is merely a mad person. You should know that He is rasanam-adharam, the reservoir of all rasas. He is in dasya-rasa, in sakhya-rasa as Baladeva, vatsalya-rasa also as Baladeva, and in madhurya- rasa in the form of Ananga-manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radhika. He came to taste these five rasas. Don’t think that He is only serving Krsna in a male form, in only four rasas. He is serving also in madhurya-rasa. So, rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam – He is so rasika.

 He often used to enjoy mock-fighting with Advaita Acarya. Once, when He was throwing maha-prasadam here and there, Advaita Acarya jokingly told Him, “My dear Nityananda, I invited You, and indeed I have received the results. You have no fixed caste or dynasty. By nature You are a madman. To make Me a madman like Yourself, You have thrown the remnants of Your food at Me. You did not even fear the fact that I am a brahmana.”

 Nityananda Prabhu at once began to laugh, and said, “Ho, ho ho. Oh, Advaita Acarya, I’ve heard that you are a learned person, but I see that you are not. You do not know anything. You are telling Me that by taking maha-prasadam one loses His brahmanical caste and becomes impure? Such words are offensive to the lotus feet of maha-prasadam. You do not know the real power of maha-prasadam. Maha-prasadam is Krsna Himself.” [See endnotes 1-3]

maha-prasade govinde, nama brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punya-vatam rajan, visvaso naiva jayate
[“Those who have very few pious activities to their credit can never develop faith in maha-prasada, in Sri Govinda, in the holy name of the Lord, or in the Vaisnavas.”]

And sometimes They were quarreling in the large lake named Indradyumna Sarovara, splashing there in the water. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so grave. Raya Ramananda and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya were wealthy, learned persons, and also so grave. But They also began to play-quarrel like children, throwing water upon each other. During the splashing of Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acarya, Nityananda Prabhu defeated Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya told Nityananda Prabhu “I am an old person. Do you want that I should die? Would you cause Me to die?” So much good siddhanta (conclusive philosophy) was there in these quarrels.

So, Nityananda Prabhu: rasanam adharam rasika vara sad vaishnava dhanam. He was rasika vara, meaning the best of the rasika associates of the Lord. Giriraja Govardhana is also rasika-vara, but Nityananda is the root of all rasikas. Without His mercy, no one can be rasika. Those who pray to Nityananda Prabhu for His mercy will become bona fide Vaisnavas.

But always remember: don’t criticize any Vaisnava. Don’t dishonor anyone, otherwise Nityananda Prabhu will be unhappy. He will not give Krsna-prema to that offender.

Treat all who have taken shelter of Nityananda and Gauracandra as Vaisnavas. Moreover, regarding those who are not following, we should simply pray to Nityananda Prabhu, “Please bestow Your mercy upon them so that they will be reformed.” Don’t criticize. Don’t do anything against them. Always have faith in Nityananda Prabhu. Especially, I am praying for you all, and for myself also. I am praying for the whole world, that Nityananda will bestow His mercy to all, so that you will know who Mahaprabhu is and what is the identity of Krsna’s name: “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”

May He give us ruci (taste) in Krsna-nama, and in Gaura-nama, the holy names of Sri Krsna and Sri Caitanya. A Vaisnava has written in his prayer that Krsna and Krsna’s abode and Krsna’s name have some consideration regarding offenses. They consider whether or not a person is nama-aparadhi (offender to the holy name), but Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu have nothing to do with these things. Even if an offender calls out, “O Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu,” They bestow Their mercy.

We should also be like that. If someone is doing any nonsense, we should tolerate, and also pray for him. Don’t have any enmity towards them; nothing at all. Be like Nityananda Prabhu. Follow His footsteps. Nityananda Prabhu will then unconditionally bestow His mercy upon you.

 Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu ki jaya!


Endnote 1 (from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.84, 85)

His Divine Grace Advaita Acarya, after hearing the statement of Nityananda Prabhu, took the opportunity presented by the joking words and spoke to Him as follows.Advaita Acarya said, “You are a reject paramahamsa, and You have accepted the renounced order of life just to fill up Your belly. I can understand that Your business is to give trouble to brahmanas.”


There is always a difference of opinion between a smarta-brahmana and a Vaisnava gosvami. There are even smarta opinions and Vaisnava gosvami opinions available in astrological and astronomical calculations. By calling Nityananda Prabhu a bhrasta avadhuta (a rejected paramahamsa), Advaita Acarya Prabhu in a sense accepted Nityananda Prabhu as a paramahamsa. In other words, Nityananda Prabhu had nothing to do with the rules governing smarta-brahmanas. Thus under pretense of condemning Him, Advaita Acarya was actually praising Him. In the avadhuta stage, the paramahamsa stage, which is the supermost stage, one may appear to be visayi, on the platform of sense gratification, but in actuality he has nothing to do with sense gratification. At that stage, a person sometimes accepts the symbols and dress of a sannyasi and sometimes does not. Sometimes he dresses like a householder. We should know, however, that these are all joking words between Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu. They are not to be taken as insults.

In Khadadaha, sometimes people misunderstood Nityananda Prabhu to belong to the sakta-sampradaya, whose philosophy is antah saktah bahih saivah sabhayam vaisnavo matah. According to the sakta-sampradaya, a person called kaulavadhuta thinks materially while externally appearing to be a great devotee of Lord Siva. When such a person is in an assembly of Vaisnavas, he appears like a Vaisnava. Actually Nityananda Prabhu did not belong to such a community. Nityananda Prabhu was always a brahmacari of a sannyasi of the vaidika order. Actually He was a paramahamsa. Sometimes He is accepted to be a disciple of Laksmipati Tirtha. If He is so accepted, Nityananda Prabhu belonged to the Madhva-sampradaya. He did not belong to the tantrika-sampradaya of Bengal.

Madhya 3.86

Endnote 2 (from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.94, 96)

After saying this, Nityananda Prabhu took a handful of rice and threw it on the floor in front of Him, as if He were angry.

When the rice thrown by Nityananda Prabhu touched His body, Advaita Acarya thought Himself purified by the touch of remnants thrown by Paramahamsa Nityananda. Therefore He began dancing.


The word avadhuta refers to one above all rules and regulations. Sometimes, not observing all the rules and regulations of a sannyasi, Nityananda Prabhu exhibited the behavior of a mad avadhuta. He threw the remnants of food on the ground, and some of these remnants touched the body of Advaita Acarya. Advaita Acarya accepted this happily because He presented Himself as a member of the community of smarta-brahmanas. By touching the remnants of food thrown by Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya immediately felt Himself purified of all smarta contamination. The remnants of food left by a pure Vaisnava are called maha-maha-prasadam.

This is completely spiritual and is identified with Lord Visnu. Such remnants are not ordinary. The spiritual master is to be considered on the stage of paramahamsa and beyond the jurisdiction of the varnasrama institution. The remnants of food left by the spiritual master and similar paramahamsas, or pure Vaisnavas, are purifying. When an ordinary person touches such prasadam, his mind is purified, and his mind is raised to the status of a pure brahmana. The behavior and statements of Advaita Acarya are meant for the understanding of ordinary people who are unaware of the strength of spiritual values, not knowing the potency of food left by the bona fide spiritual master and pure Vaisnavas.

Endnote 3 (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 3.97-99)

Advaita Acarya jokingly said, “My dear Nityananda, I invited You, and indeed I have received the results. You have no fixed caste or dynasty. By nature You are a madman.


The words sahaje pagala (“by nature a madman”) indicate that Nityananda Prabhu was transcendentally situated on the paramahamsa stage. Because He always remembered Radha-Krsna and Their service, this was transcendental madness. Sri Advaita Acarya was pointing out this fact.


“To make Me a madman like Yourself, You have thrown the remnants of Your food at Me. You did not even fear the fact that I am a brahmana.”


The words apanara sama indicate that Advaita Acarya considered Himself to belong to the smarta-brahmanas, and He considered Nityananda Prabhu to be on the transcendental stage with pure Vaisnavas. Lord Nityananda gave Advaita Acarya His remnants to situate Him on the same platform and make Him a pure unalloyed Vaisnava or paramahamsa. Advaita Acarya’s statement indicates that a paramahamsa Vaisnava is transcendentally situated. A pure Vaisnava is not subject to the rules and regulations of the smarta-brahmanas. That was the reason for Advaita Acarya’s stating, apanara sama more karibara tare: “to raise Me to Your own standard.” A pure Vaisnava, or a person on the paramahamsa stage, accepts the remnants of food (maha-prasadam) as spiritual. He does not consider it to be material or sense gratificatory. He accepts maha-prasadam not as ordinary dhal and rice but as spiritual substance. To say nothing of the remnants of food left by a pure Vaisnava, prasadam is never polluted even if it is touched by the mouth of a candala. Indeed, it retains its spiritual value. Therefore by eating or touching such maha-prasadam, a brahmana is not degraded. There is no question of being polluted by touching the remnants of such food. Actually, by eating such maha-prasadam, one is freed from all the contaminations of the material condition. That is the verdict of the sastra.


Nityananda Prabhu replied, “These are the remnants of food left by Lord Krsna. If You take them to be ordinary remnants, You have committed an offense.”


In the Brhad-visnu Purana it is stated that one who considers maha-prasadam to be equal to ordinary rice and dhal certainly commits a great offense. Ordinary edibles are touchable and untouchable, but there are no such dualistic considerations where prasadam is concerned. Prasadam is transcendental, and there are no transformations or contaminations, just as there are no contaminations or transformations in the body of Lord Visnu Himself. Thus even if one is a brahmana he is certain to be attacked by leprosy and bereft of all family members if he makes such dualistic considerations. Such an offender goes to hell, never to return. This is the injunction of the Brhad-visnu Purana.


candrasarovara.jpgOrlando, Florida: February 6, 2003
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[This year the celebration of Vasanta-pancami is February 1, 2017.]

In India, today is a very auspicious day. It is Vasanta-pancami, the first day of spring. Vasanta means spring and pancami means the fifth lunar day. It is also Shrimati Visnu-priya devi''s birthday, it is the appearance day of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and it is also the disappearance day of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.

The climate in India has been very cold until this day, but now spring will begin. The earth there will be covered with yellow flowers and will resemble the pitambara (yellow upper cloth) of Lord Krsna. New, reddish sprouts will now appear on mango trees and the air will become very fragrant. Here there are so many good flowers, but none of them have as good a fragrance as those in Vrndavana. The air in Vrndavana is full of beli, chameli, jui, chatika, malati, lotus and others, and it is so heavy with fragrance that it can hardly move.

During this spring season the vasanta-rasa of Sri Krsna takes place in Govardhana, at Candra Sarovara, where the moon stops his travels for one entire night of Brahma, a duration of trillions of years. He stays there to have darsana of the dance and to hear the singing of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda and the gopis.

Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami has described the vasanta-rasa-lila in his Gita-govinda. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to hear this description and weep loudly, with tears rolling down His face and with a melted heart. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta vasanta-rasa has been described as giving vivid evidence of as the prominency of Shrimati Radhika over millions of gopis.

Radha-Gokulanda-Kartika-Oct-12-2006-046.jpgSo today is a very auspicious day, and in India and other places devotees observe a fine festival. We offer Sri Sri Radha and Krsna yellow paraphernalia, yellow cloth, yellow rice, and many other varieties of yellow items, and we also offer puspanna, fancy yellow rice, mango manjaris and fresh barley grass.

For one month Holi kirtanas will be sung, like, "Aje Viraja me hari he rasija". Lord Krsna, along with His friends and all the gopis who are under guidance of Shrimati Radhika take syringes and sport together. The gopis want to defeat Krsna and He wants to defeat them and in this way the very melodious songs of Holi will resound everywhere.

This very same day is also the appearance day of Shrimati Visnu-priya devi, the manifestation of bhu-sakti and Satyabhama, who are themselves expansions of prema-bhakti-svarupini, the embodiment of prema-bhakti. Her separation mood for her husband, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was very high after He took sannyasa.

Today is also the birthday of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. It can be said that he is the siksa-disciple of Sri Svarupa Damodara, and he is especially the siksa disciple of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He has written many stavas and stutis (hymns and prayers) in glorification of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he has also glorified all the sweet pastime places of Vrndavana like Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda and Govardhana. He was always remembering all the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, and his life is full of the love and affection that the manjaris have toward Shrimati Radhika. He is fully dedicated to Her as Rati Manjari in the pastimes of Radha-Krsna, and in the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu he is Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. His character is so high that is impossible even for an exalted devotee to touch the dust of his lotus feet.

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami wrote Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali, which expresses a deep separation mood and all varieties of love and affection. He has shown what a sadhaka should do if he wants to enter the sweet pastimes of Krsna, especially in the love and affection of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. If a sadhaka wants to understand these topics he must read Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's other stavas and stutis.

How glorious is his life! He is the embodiment of vairagya, total absorption in krsna-prema wherein one automatically forgets the world and all the needs for sense gratification. The scriptures tell us that our vairagya, meaning renunciation, should not be markata, like that of a monkey * [see endnote 1]. We should not follow that type of renunciation. If we want to have pure love for Lord Krsna in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we must follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and offer everything to the lotus feet of guru and Bhagavan. Krsna will then be merciful to us and sprinkle us with His highest love and affection otherwise this will not be possible. We should always remember this and determine, I must follow Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Gadadhara Pandita disappeared from this world, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami became totally maddened in separation and wanted to give up his life by jumping in the Yamuna or from the top of Giriraja Govardhana. Why not in the ocean at Jagannatha Puri? The ocean is very deep deep enough to have drowned in but he wanted to be touched by the dust of the lotus feet of the gopis, which can be found only in Vrndavana. Giriraja Govardhana is very merciful. He assists Sri Krsna in His various pastimes; and Yamuna is Shrimati Visakha devi. They can both easily give gopi-prema.

Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami saw that Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was totally maddened in love and affection in the mood of separation. They behaved towards him as one would to a younger brother. They told him, If we thought we could achieve krsna-prema by giving up our lives, we would have very easily done that. But that is not the way. You should engage in the proper practices for attaining gopi-prema. They gave him a place at Giriraja Govardhana, specifically at Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, and he remained there for the rest of his life. He continually wept bitterly, and there he regularly used to write his prayers

When Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and Shrila Rupa Gosvami left this world, Dasa Gosvami became still more restless and overwhelmed. He saw Giriraja like a python and Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda like the gaping mouth of a tiger. He was upset in intense separation.

No one could have written as he did.

One of the verses of his Vilapa-kusumanjali is as follows:

sri rupa manjari kararcita pada padma 
gosthendra nandana bhujarpita mastakayah 
ha modatah kanaka gauri padaravinda 
samvahanani sanakais tava kim karisye

"O Kanaka-gauri (golden complexioned girl)! When You are laying with Your head in Krsna's lap, and Your feet in the lap of Rupa Manjari, and when she is massaging Your feet, will Rupa Manjari, with the corners of her eyes, give me her mahaprasadam seva of gently massaging Your feet, while she is fanning You?" (Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali verse 72)

Playing together, Radha and Krsna become tired, and Shrimati Radhika lies Her head upon the lap of Krsna so that She may take some rest. He caresses Her head and wipes away the perspiration from Her face. How glorious this is. Sri Rupa Manjari is massaging Her and Rati Manjari is fanning her. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is praying, When will I be so fortunate that Rupa Manjari will kindly bestow her mercy upon me and say, 'Come on, come on. Take some remnants.' Here remnants means the remainder of the service begun by Rupa Manjari the massage she was doing. Hearing the prayer Rupa Manjari  quickly gave her remnants to Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in his transcendental gopi form. Later, when this pastime disappeared from his vision, realizing the mercy of Sri Rupa Manjari, Raghunatha dasa wept bitterly with a melted heart and wrote:

padabjayos tava vina vara dasyam eva 
nanyat kadapi samaye kila devi yace 
sakhyaya te mama namo stu namo stu nityam 
dasyaya te mama raso stu raso stu satyam

O Devi! I am not praying for anything except that most exalted direct service to Your lotus feet! Time and again I offer pranama to Your sakhitva, a position as Your sakhi, but I swear that my unwavering devotion will always be only for Your dasitva, a positon as Your servant! (Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali verse 16)

On another occasion he wrote: If Krsna comes to me and says, 'You may have any benediction. What do you want?' I will say, 'I am not like Prahlada Maharaja. I want a benediction.' Prahlada Maharaja told Lord Nrsimhadeva, I don't want any benediction, but Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is telling Shrimati Radhika, O Radhika, I want a benediction. I don't want to be your sakhi. I offer millions of obeisances to the lotus feet of sakhis like Lalita and Visakha, but I don't want to be a sakhi like them. I want to serve you like Rupa Manjari and the other manjaris. I want to serve You. I want to be happy in Your happiness, and in Your separation mood I will weep and think how to console and assist You.

He has prayed to Krsna:

ha natha gokula sudhakara su prasanna 
vaktraravinda madhura-smita he krpardra 
yatra tvaya viharate pranayaih priyarat 
tatraiva mam api naya priya sevanaya

[O Natha! O nectar moon of Gokula, whose lotus face is very cheerful and smiles so sweetly! O You whose heart is soft and melting, waiting to bestow mercy on all. Wherever You go to enjoy loving pastimes with Your beloved,  please take me there, and allow me to render confidential, loving service to You both. (Sri Vilapa-kusumanjali verse 100)]

The meaning is as follows: I cannot tolerate this separation. O Gokulacandra, O moon of Gokula, take me very quickly to the place where Your Radhika is staying right now, and engage me in Her service otherwise I will die. Without Her service I don't want You; I don't want Vraja. I don't want anything except this. If She is in Dvaraka with You I want to fly there. I do not want to go to Dvaraka, but if Radhika is there, then I will want to go. If you are with Rukmini, Satyabhama and all Your 16,000 queens I don't want to go there. I will never go. If you request me to do so I will reject Your proposal, but if I hear that Radhika my master, my Swaminiji is there, I will very quickly fly there to serve Her.

This is his mood.

asa bharair amrta sindhu mayaih kathancit 
kalo mayatigamitah kila sampratam hi 
tvam cet krpam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me 
pranair vrajena ca varoru bakarinapi

[O Varoru (a girl with beautiful thighs)! It is decidedly only with the hope of obtaining the nectarine ocean of service unto You and the vision of Your transcendental pastimes that I have been able to maintain my life thus far with severe difficulty. But if You are not merciful unto me even now, then of what use to me is this life, residence in Vraja-dhama or even Sri Krsna Himself?  (Vilapa Kusumanjali verse 102)]

The meaning is this: I have been hopeful that one day I may be able to serve my Svamini Radhika; but now, if that hope is not fulfilled, I will give up my life. If I cannot have Shrimati Radhika's service, I don't want Sri Krsna, Govardhana, Radha-kunda or anything else. This is the exalted love and affection of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami  the highest love.

In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Shrila Krsnadasa Kaviraja prays,

sri rupa raghunatha pade yara asa 
caitanya caritamrta kahe krsnadasa

[Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, following in their footsteps.]

I am writing this Caitanya-caritamrta in order to get the mercy of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. I only want to please them.

Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura has written:

rupa raghunatha pade hoibe akuti 
kabe hama bujhabo se yugala piriti

[When will I eagerly follow the path of Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami? By their instructions I will be able to understand the divine love or Sri Radha and Krsna. (Gauranga Bolite Habe verse 4)]

rupa raghunatha pade rahu mora asa 
prarthana koroye sada narottama dasa
[My only aspiration is to attain the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Gosvami and Sri Raghunatha das Gosvami. This is Narottama dasa's constant prayer. (Gauranga Bolite Habe verse 5)]

All the pure rasika Vaisnavas of our guru-parampara want to serve the lotus feet of Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. But we cannot simply jump to that height. We should start from the beginning. First we will have to follow the life and teachings of Prahlada Maharaja.

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki jaya.

Today is also the disappearance day of the manifestation of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, that is, Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. He repeated the same teachings taught by Shrila Rupa Gosvami that the love and affection of the gopis, called upapati bhava (paramour love) is the highest stage of love of God. Without his contribution the flow of the teachings of Shrila Rupa Gosvami would have stopped. He kindly came and revived these understandings in the world.

[Looking out towards the back of the audience Shrila Narayana Maharaja added at the end of his class:] In India we have seen that only very old people sit down on chairs, but here I see something different. All the young boys seem to be eighty year old men. They can't sit on the floor. It seems they don't want to learn anything. Why are they not sitting near me, hearing and understanding? They should not imitate older persons. They should always be very energetic like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He traveled a one month path in twelve days without eating. He never rested. But I see that here in Western counties old persons are sitting on the ground and children are sitting on chairs.


markata-vairagya na kara loka dekhana 
yatha-yogya visaya bhunja' anasakta hana

You should not make yourself a show-bottle devotee and become a false renunciate. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it. (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 16.238)

[Shrila Prabhupada's purport:] The word markata-vairagya, indicating false renunciation, is very important in this verse. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, in commenting on this word, points out that monkeys make an external show of renunciation by not accepting clothing and by living naked in the forest. In this way they consider themselves renunciants, but actually they are very busy enjoying sense gratification with dozens of female monkeys. Such renunciation is called markata-vairagya the renunciation of a monkey.}


Last Day of Kartik

gdforv.jpg Govardhana, India: November 5, 2006
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

By the causeless mercy of my Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, my Gurupada-padma (siksa-gurus) and Gandharvika-Giridhari Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihari, our Vraja-Mandala parikrama is very successful in all respects.

 In this very month Sri Krsna was bound by the rope of the vatsalya-rasa (relationship in parental affection) of His mother Mother Yasoda. Actually, He was not bound by a rope, but by vatsalya-rasa. The Supreme Lord Krsna had never been bound before, and I think He will not be bound again. He can only be bound by Mother Yasoda. He has accepted this fact: "I am bound by vatsalya-rasa," and it is for this reason that this month is called Damodara.

Also, the gopis tied the veil of Srimati Radhika to Sri Krsna's yellow chadar in Ganthuli, and Krsna therefore became known as "Radha-Damodara". This pastime took place in this month.

Especially, the crown jewel of all pastimes, the supreme pastime, rasa-lila, took place in this month. All of Krsna's unlimited pastimes, such as His boat pastimes at Manasi-Ganga *[See endnote 1] and the stealing of His flute, are building up to this rasa-lila.

In this month, Akrura went to Nandagaon and told Krsna and His family members about Kamsa's torturing Vasudeva and Devaki. Hearing this, Krsna and Balarama became like fire. Extremely angry, They told Nanda Baba that They must go to Mathura. They went to Mathura, and there they killed Canura and Mustika, and all of Kamsa's brothers and other associates.

Sri Krsna held Giriraja Govardhana on His pinky finger for 7 days, without Giriraja Govardhana shaking at all. At that time all the Vrajavasis, especially the purva-raga gopis,* [See endnote 2] came very near, and those gopis held up Giriraja Govardhana by their eyesight. Aksaya navami *[See Endnote 3] also comes in this month.

Therefore, this month is very, very auspicious.

I invite you all to come next year, along with more of your friends. I know that our boarding arrangements could not make you happy, compared to the happiness you get by the way you live in your houses - palaces - in your countries. There is not so much facility here. Although we tried, it was not sufficient for you. You are like kings with many palaces.

We can only give hari-katha. The topics we have discussed in this month are very important - what we discussed here in the temple and at the holy places we visited. The places we visited are very powerful - such as Rasa-sthali, Vamsi-vata, Bhandira-vat and many other pastime places.

Try to keep all this hari-katha in your "heart-pocket" and be very strong. I think this hari-katha inspired you all, and I am inviting you all to come next year as well.

All 64 limbs (practices) of bhakti a re performed in this month very easily. Also, I have full confidence in the boon of Narada Muni, given in the form of a request to Sri Krsna: "Please give krsna-prema to anyone who hears all Your sweet pastimes and goes to the places of those sweet pastimes." I think that Sri Krsna will fulfill Narada's desire, so please try to come each year.

Also, Navadvipa parikrama is coming, and I am inviting you all to come to Navadvipa.

If you have experienced any distress during this parikrama, try to forget it - for Krsna -and excuse me if I have spoken any unpleasant words.

[*Endnote 1: Sri Krsna would play the part of a boatman and perform boating-pastimes (nauka-vilasa) and other lilas while ferrying the gopis across Bhagavati Manasi Ganga. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given a very touching description of this nauka-vilasa-lila in his prayer Sri Govardhanastakam (text 7): yatraiva gangam anu navi radhamarohya madhye tu nimag na-naukahkrisno hi radhanugalo babhau sa, govardhano me disatam abhistam"

"In the middle of Manasi Ganga, Srimati Radhika was sitting in Krsna's boat. Krsna dressed like the boatman, tried to sink the boat, and the terrified Radhika caught Sri Krsna in Her embrace. May that Sri Govardhana fulfill all my desires."]

[*Endnote 2: In this Bhauma-vrndavana, all gopis - including Srimati Radhika - experience purva raga, i.e. they feel they have never met with Krsna before in an intimate way, although they had so much strong desire to do so.]

[*Endnote 3: This particular day in Kartika month signifies that any undertaking on this day will be imperishable. Aksaya-trtiya is in April/May, and has a similar meaning.]


Vamana_Maharaja.jpgThursday, 18 November 2004
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
A lecture given for his divine disappearance day

On November 15, the same day that Srila Trivikrama Maharaja left the world two years earlier, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja left at midnight, during Sri Krsna's nisa-lila (midnight pastime s). About 1,000 devotees from all over the world are here at Govardhana performing parikrama, but I left all my responsibilities here and went to Navadvipa. I did what needed to be done there and now I've returned. I know the devotees here observed Srila Vamana Maharaja's disappearance ceremony, weeping, but now we are going to observe it again. Now, devotees should glorify him.
[Srila Maharaja then called on Srila Vamana Maharaja's senior most disciple, Sripad Parivrajaka Maharaja, who spoke in Bengali, and then several others, to offer their heartfelt glorification. He then offered his own glorification:] 
We have heard from many Vaisnavas, such as Sripad Parivrajaka Maharaja and Sripada Madhava Maharaja, and especially Sripad Bhakti-prasada Van Maharaja spoke very nicely about the principle of separation (viraha-tattva). Separation feelings are very important in the bhajana of Gaudiya Vaisnavas. When first entering the realm of bhajana there are feelings of separation, in the middle there are such feelings, and when one attains Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's direct service, there are also such feelings. Separation is one of the aspects of prema (pure love of God). When there is separation there must also be meeting, and that is why Vaisnava literature gives it great importance. The experience of meeting is more important than the feeling of being separated.
During that time of separation we can remember all the qualities of our object of love and worship, whereas this is not possible at the time of meeting. In viraha there is meeting internally – you can meet directly there. Vaisnavas never die; rather, they enter into the transcendental world and disappear from here. They are just like Krsna. His pastimes appear and then disappear. Similarly, Vaisnavas also appear and disappear.
Pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja grew up in Vaisnava association. His mother was a disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.  She was very intelligent and had so much guru-nistha; she had great faith in her guru. Srila Vamana Maharaja's uncle's name was Bhakti Bhusana Nrsimha Maharaja.
Srila Vamana Maharaja was an exalted servant of my Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti-prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and from his childhood he served in a great variety of ways. When he was 10 ½ years old his mother offered him to my Gurudeva, and from that time on he considered Gurudeva his all-in-all – his mother, father, siksa-guru and everything else of value.
He had joined the matha during the time of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and took harinama initiation from him, but he always considered my Gurudeva his guru. This is because he was always nurtured and given shelter by him.
Srila Vamana Maharaja was called Sajjana-sevaka brahmacari before taking sannyasa. He had such a strong memory that whatever he read he would remember immediately. Guru Maharaja told him, "If you learn one verse, I will give you a toffee." Not only did he learn one verse, but in one day he would learn many verses. In his childhood, when he was still studying in school, he would remember the entire Bhagavad-gita, Gaudiya-kantahara and so many books. He would see them once – and then remember them.
He was admitted in Bhaktivinoda Institute, and there he came first in his class. Then, after school he would go to the matha and render profuse service. At the time of honoring prasada (prasada-seva) he would personally serve the leaf plates, salt, lemon, water and mats to sit on. After prasada he would personally pick up all the leaf plates and throw them away, and he would also clean the area where the devotees had honored prasadam. Later, at night, he would clean the toilets and do other menial work; and he did all this under the guidance of Guru Maharaja.
Srila Vamana Maharaja passed many difficult examinations, and here is one example: After the departure of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, someone falsely blamed the Gaudiya Matha devotees on a charge of murder. About 45 devotees were thus sent to jail, including my Gurudeva, Narahari prabhu and Krsnadasa babaji Maharaja. Alone, Srila Vamana Maharaja would go shopping in the market, prepare meals for them and take those meals to them in jail, go to court, and call the lawyers. This was very difficult, because he was all alone. He was being criticized that although he didn't have the diksa-mantras, he was cooking and offering the bhoga to the Deities. He therefore received diksa-mantras from Guru Maharaja in the prison, because he had to cook the offerings.
Headed by Guru Maharaja, many disciples of Srila Prabhupada in Navadvipa established the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti – first in Navadvipa and then in Calcutta. Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's name was Abhaya Carana De in that time, and he was also present. He and Guru Maharaja started this together, along with Sripad Nrsimha brahmacari.
Once, over 150 devotees came to the temple – and there was nobody to cook. Srila Vamana Maharaja was very expert in making vegetables and all sorts of dishes. Though he was sick and had a temperature of 104, Guru Maharaja told him, "Get up and serve the Vaisnavas. You can fall sick afterwards. There is no time to fall sick now." In that condition he got up and prepared all the prasadam, served all the devotees, cleaned everything that needed cleaning, and then again fell sick.
He was in charge of the printing press. Once, his fingers were crushed in the press and began profusely bleeding. Guru Maharaja started to cry and immediately took him personally to the hospital in Calcutta. When Guru Maharaji would preach in Calcutta, he would leave all arrangements to Srila Vamana Maharaja. Srila Vamana Maharaja would do all correspondence, even in English.
One night I left my household life and arrived at the train station, also during the night. When I got off the train it was completely dark. I had never told anybody I was coming to the station. I saw Sajjana-sevaka brahmacari with another devotee, holding a lantern and searching for me. He came to me and said, "Are you Tiwariji?" I replied, "Yes. How did you know I was coming? I did not write." Srila Vamana Maharaja replied, "I was sent by my Guru Maharaja."
From the time I moved into the matha, Srila Vamana Maharaja would supply everything I needed, like clothes and bedding. This is why, from the beginning, I considered him my siksa-guru. I considered him in that way, and also Srila Trivikrama Maharaja. Srila Trivikrama Maharaja came later on, but Srila Vamana Maharaja had come at a young age. After I joined, we three were together always.
Whatever was happening at the matha or with the institution, Srila Vamana Maharaja acted as though he did not know all the details. He would say to the devotees, "Go and ask Srila Narayana Maharaja." He used to have so much trust in me.

Srila Vamana Maharaja was not at all interested in his own name and fame. He would never speak about himself. He would never speak about what he accomplished. Even at the time of his Vyasa Puja ceremony, he used to keep a place for me to sit. He had so much respect for me. I am so junior to him; I am his siksa-disciple. Yet, he always gave me so much respect.
Regarding his expertise in writing, he would not commit any mistakes while writing, so there was no need to edit or correct his work. Whatever he would write was like perfect, golden words. Guru Maharja would say, "You can take it and get it printed." As he wrote beautifully, he also spoke beautifully. He sometimes gave lectures for three hours, and he would speak very softly. If he would be defeating somebody's argument, he would do so in sweet words. In fact, only that person whose misconception was being defeated would understand what was going on.
During harikatha he would ask me to speak first. I would say, "No, you speak first." He would reply, "No, you speak first." I was defeated by him, so I would have to speak first. He had such an ideal Vaisnava behavior.
He was the "right hand" of Srila Gurudeva. We three – Pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja, Pujyapada Srila Trivikrama Maharaja and myself were the leaders from the beginning. Whatever we had to do, the three of us would do together. For 65 years – while Gurudeva was present and also after his disappearance – Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was running smoothly. Srila Trivikrama Maharaja was the first pillar who left. Then Srila Vamana Maharaja became sick. If he would have remained healthy, nobody would have dared to break-up the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, but it happened like this.
I have just gone to Navadvipa, at the time of his disappearance. They had called and told me that Srila Vamana Maharaja wanted me to give him samadhi. They requested me with great appeal, "Please come, please come. When you arrive you will give him samadhi." I left all of you – one thousand devotees. Though not feeling very well, I went there; but I did not have to do anything. During the night the leaders there arranged everything. I do not know what was on their minds. They are young boys, without proper brains and still with their baby teeth. I don't know what politics they are doing at present. They played politics with Srila Vamana Maharaja also, and they thought that whatever they did was for Gurudeva.
So I did not give Srila Vamana Maharaja Samadhi, but I performed whatever other functions were required by me. I offered puspanjali, arati, and parikrama of his samadhi. Thousands of people in Navadvipa – his disciples and other people of Navadvipa – were crying loudly and bitterly. They were begging me, "Don't go. Gurudeva has left us. Please, don't you leave us." I replied, "I can never leave you; but I am insulted here, so I cannot remain here. Wherever I will live, my door is always open. Let there be mutual understanding. Whatever has happened has happened. If they call me I will come.
Everybody began to cry even more. They stood in front of my car – and fell in front of my car – and said, "We will not let you go from here."
Somehow I pacified them. A few foolish "young boys" in the Matha, whom I personally took care of for many years, have created this situation. These guru-drohis are running this matha. And after a few days they will destroy themselves and this matha.
They have no faith in Guru and they are committing offenses to Vaisnavas. What good can come out of this? Srila Vamana Maharajaji has not taught them to act like this. I heard that he was not even speaking in his last days. I have never heard him say anything bad about anybody. 
We will consider Srila Vamana Maharaja's instructions only. We will serve him. In Navadvipa, so many of my god-brothers have left and they want to come to us. They tell us, "We will come and stay with you." So many of the boys left that place in Navadvipa; I only saw a few remaining. Wherever one receives love and affection, that is where one will be attracted.
Let us save ourselves from criticizing others. We will serve Srila Vamana Maharaja wherever he is. May he be merciful to us. With this prayer I offer my puspanjali at his lotus feet.


The Glories Of Giriraja Govardhana

Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

gd_arati.jpgShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Badger, USA, May 7, 2001

From the beginning of our Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya line, all our acaryas have given proper respect to Giriraja Govardhana. All devotees have so much respect for Govardhana. So many Govardhana silas have somehow come to them, and they are worshiping those silas. What is the truth as to why our Sampradaya has accepted Giriraja Govardhana? We should know his tattva - Govardhana-tattva. We should know who he is. We should know what process to follow in worshipping him, what should be our goal in this worship, and what we should ask for in our prayers to him.

Syamarani should speak something in answer to these questions.

Syamarani dasi: We follow our disciplic line in order to know how to worship any Deity. We learn from Shri Sanatana Gosvami in his Brhad-Bhagavatamrta how to worship Giri Govardhana. He tells us that Giri Govardhana is addressed by the gopis as Hari-dasa-varya, the best of the servants of Hari, and that we are followers of the gopis. Govardhana can be worshiped as Hari, and he can also be worshiped as Hari-dasa. However, Hari, Krishna, cannot give krsna-prema in the same way as those who possess it. Those who have krsna-prema can easily give it. The servants of Krishna have krsna-prema, and our prayojana, our goal, is only that krsna-prema. Our goal is not Krishna. Kamsa's goal was Krishna, but he was a demon and had no bhakti. Our goal, therefore, is not Krishna, but krsna-prema. We can get krsna-prema from those who are devotees. If we worship Giri Govardhana as a devotee, then he can give us krsna-prema in that form. Shri Sanatana Gosvami therefore prays to Hari-dasa-varya Giri Govardhana, who is worshiped as a devotee by the gopis. The Vedas also worship him as the best devotee, as the tilaka marking of Vraja, and all of our authorities confirm this.

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is also our authority.

He tells us that Shrimati Radhika Herself personally gave Giriraja Govardhana the name Hari-dasa-varya. Hari-dasa means servant of Krishna. Maharaja Yudhisthira is a servant of Krishna, so much so that Narada Muni went to his palace, not to see Krishna, but to see him and to glorify him. An even greater devotee is Uddhava, and he is known as Hari-dasa-vara. He is a very great devotee. Krishna wanted to share his sufferings of separation from the gopis with Uddhava. He trusted Uddhava to go to Vraja to console his parents and gopis, and therefore Uddhava is even more intimate than Maharaja Yudhisthira,. Yudhisthira Maharaja was never sent to Vraja. Uddhava is a great devotee, but Hari-dasa-varya, the very, very topmost devotee of Krishna, is Giri Govardhana. He serves in the most intimate ways.

pramoda-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yunor dvandvan asminn-amandam
iti kila kalanartham lagna kastad dvayor me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana tvam

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is praying, "O Govardhana, in your caves and kunjas, throughout the twenty-four hours of the day, you are not only witnessing but facilitating the most confidential pastimes of Radha and Krishna and their associates. I therefore beg you to please give me residence near you so that I can also witness and serve their pastimes." It is in this way that we follow our authorities. Shrila Visvanatha Cakavarti Thakura, in his prayers to Govardhana, has a similar message. He is praying for the service of Govardhana and for the service of Radha and Krishna through the mercy of Govardhana. "You facilitated and witnessed the Dana-keli pastimes of Radha and Krishna's love quarrel involving the payment of taxes. I want to witness this delightful quarrel." In this way we follow our authorities, our guru-parampara, to know how to worship Govardhana as Hari-dasa-varya. In addition, we understand that Giriraja Govardhana is the fractional manifestation of the heart of Shrimati Radhika. In all existence, the supreme absolute truth is Radha-Krishna. Radhika is the complete svarupa-sakti, the complete facilitator of Krishna's pleasure. She expands in order to give Krishna pleasure in different ways. She expands as Yogamaya, as Mother Yasoda, as the gopis, as the queens, as the Laksmis, and in so many other ways. In Her beautiful madhurya love, She even expands as the Dhama and Baladeva, and as Giri Govardhana. Ultimately, therefore, even greater than Hari-dasa-varya, Govardhana is a sakhi. Only the sakhis, the gopis, can witness the most confidential pastimes of Radha and Krishna in the kunjas and caves. Even the most intimate sakhas, like Subala and Arjuna, cannot witness these pastimes.

Why is Govardhana in the form of stone? Being stunned is one of the symptoms of asta-sattvika bhava, the eight-fold ecstatic symptoms of love. Giriraja Govardhana is so stunned in seeing these beautiful pastimes, which he himself has facilitated by becoming the caves and kunjas, that he is now like stone. In this way he can witness the pastimes of Radha and Krishna, and at the same time Radhika and Krishna don't feel encumbered or embarrassed by anyone else seeing them. After all, he appears only as stone. In this way, Giriraja Govardhana can be worshiped in more and more intimate ways, for more and more advancement in Krishna Consciousness.

Shrila Narayana Gosvami  Maharaja: In what way did Caitanya Mahaprabhu want to worship Giriraja?

Prema Prayojan das: When Caitanya Mahaprabhu was staying in Jagannatha Puri, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was also there under the guidance and protection of Shri Svarupa Damodara and others. One devotee, Shri Sankararanya Sarasvati, returned from Vraja, bringing a Govardhana-sila and gunja-mala, which He gave to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Every day Caitanya Mahaprabhu would chant harinama, holding the Govardhana-sila to His heart, sometimes on His eyes, sometimes on the top of His head, and sometimes He was smelling that sila. That sila was never dry because it was always moistened by His tears.

After worshiping this Govardhana sila for some time, Mahaprabhu called Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and said, "O Raghunatha, I want to give you something." He gave him Govardhana sila and told him, "This Govardhana sila is Krishna kalevara. It is the very body of Krishna Himself. You should worship him every day, doing puja in the mode of goodness and in a simple fashion. You should keep him on a wooden platform and, taking a jug of water, you should offer eight very soft and fragrant tulasi manjaris with two leaves on either side. You should do abhiseka of Giriraja and offer the eight tulasi manjaris."

Raghunatha dasa then began to worship Giriraja in this way. After some time Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him to offer some ghaja, sweets, every day. He said, "When you offer these sweets to Govardhana, they will become more than nectar." Thus, under the guidance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Svarupa Damodara, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami worshiped Giriraja Govardhana, and he expressed his own realizations. He was thinking, "By giving me this Govardhana sila, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is giving me a transcendental home. And, by giving me this gunja mala, this garland of small berries, He is placing me in the service of the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani." Even though Caitanya Mahaprabhu had said that Govardhana sila is Krishna kalevara, still, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami considered, "O Govardhana, you are Hari-dasa-varya."

giri nrpa! haridasa sreni varyeti nama
mrtam idam uditam sri radhika vaktra candrat
vraja nava tilakatve klrpta! vedaih sphutam me
nija nikata nivasam dehi govardhana! tvam

"Your name is Hari-dasa-varya, the best of the servants of Hari. Where did this name come from? It came directly from the lips of Shrimati Radharani." Also, in his Manah Siksa, Ragunatha dasa is praying:

visakham siksali vitarana gurutve priya saro
girindrau tat preksa lalita rati datve smara manah

"O my dear mind, don't forget this. Always worship Giriraja Govardhana. Why? Because Giriraja is that personality by whose mercy one can have the darsana of the pastimes of Radha and Krishna and attain the jewel of rati, deep attachment for Their lotus feet."

From the evidence of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and from the evidence of Ragunatha dasa Gosvami's own writings, we see that there is some provision to worship Giriraja Govardhana as Krishna Himself. There is no doubt about this. In Shrimad Bhagavatam also, when all the Vrajavasis performed the annakuta mahotsava, Govardhana assumed a very large form, like Krishna, and accepted everything as the Supreme Lord. This is very good, but we see many great Vaisnavas in our line worshiping Govardhana as Hari-dasa-varya, the servant of Hari, not as Hari Himself. There is also evidence for this.

How can we reconcile these two approaches? It is very easy. Shrila Gurudeva has given a simple example. We know Baladeva. Who is Baladeva? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is Visnu-tattva, the almighty Supreme Lord, non-different from Krishna. Yet, at the same time, Baladeva is dasa. He is the servant of Krishna. At the same time, all those who go very deeply will know that Baladeva has become Ananga Manjari in order to serve the lotus feet of Krishna in madurya rasa.

In the same way, anyone may see Giriraja Govardhana as the supreme Lord Hari Himself. Anyone who goes deeper may see him as Hari-dasa-varya, the best servant of Hari. And, those who go very deep will think that Giriraja Govardhana is like a sakhi of Shrimati Radhika, having female form in which to serve.

pramoda-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yunor dvandvan asminn-amandam

"In the caves and kunjas of Govardhana, Giriraja is seeing all of the sweetest pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Who can see them? Can any male person be there and serve at that time? It is quite impossible. Shrila Gurudeva gave an example that in our Guru-gayatri we see the word krsnanandaya. Guru is giving pleasure to Krishna and Krishnaa [Krishna with a long 'a'], Shrimati Radharani. Therefore, if gurudeva is krsnanandaya, giving pleasure to both Radha and Krishna, how can he have a male form in that realm? Surely this mantra is for remembering and praying for the mercy of guru in his sakhi form, as a maidservant of Shrimati Radharani. In the same way, the various conceptions of Giriraja Govardhana can be reconciled.

There are two types of mercy. One type of mercy is called bhagavat prasadaja-krpa, the mercy which comes from Bhagavan Himself. Another kind of mercy is bhakta prasadaja krpa, the mercy which comes from the devotees. Krishna is visaya-vigraha, the object of love and affection, and the devotees who love Him are the asraya-vigraha, the abode of love. Shrimati Radharani's love is so high that Krishna Himself cannot understand it. He had to come into this world as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to have some idea of what kind of love is in the heart of Shrimati Radharani.

We find in the Bhavisya Purana a verse which states: manasah prakrite jato giri govardhano mohana. From where has Govardhana Giriraja come? Was he brought to Vraja Mandala by Hanuman? This story is there in the Puranas and it is true. Or, was he brought to Vraja Mandala by Pulastya Rsi? This story is also there. However, our acaryas have especially presented this commentary: manasah prakrite jato giri govardhano mohana. Giriraja Govardhana has manifested directly from the heart of Shrimati Radhika in order to facilitate Radha and Krishna's highest and sweetest pastimes.

Rupa Gosvami has written:

vaikunthaj janito vara madhu puri tatrapi rasotsavad
vrndaranyam udara pani ramanat tatrapi govardhanah
radhakundam ihapi gokula pateh premamrtaplavanat
kuryad asya virajato giri tate sevam viveki na kah

"Mathura is higher than Vaikuntha, and higher than Mathura is Vrndavana. Higher than Vrndavana is Govardhana, and the highest place of all these is also at Govardhana - Radha Kunda." Giriraja is serving and providing the playground and facilitating the most wonderful and beautiful pastimes of Radha and Krishna. Therefore, he is very dear to Them.

If we can pray for the mercy of Giriraja by following the prayers and moods of our acaryas, especially Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, then Giriraja, being so kind, can bestow upon us the darsana of the highest and most wonderful pastimes. He can also give the chance to serve the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika in those pastimes.

Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We have heard that Giriraja is the highest hari-dasa-varya. What does this mean? It means that he is the highest servant of Radha and Krishna.

What must be the quality of Hari-dasa? If Hari-dasa is a servant, a devotee, he must have some qualities. In what way does he serve, and how can we follow him? Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written:

sthala jala tala saspair bhuruhacchayaya ca
prati padam anukalam hanta samvardhayan gah
tri-jagati nija-gotram sarthakam khyapayan me
nija nikata nivasam dehi govardhana! tvam

Giriraja gives everything and sustains Krishna in all ways. Shri caitanya mano'bhistam sthapitam yena bhutale / svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva padantikam. A guru-sevaka, servant of guru, must know all the moods of his gurudeva. If he does not know his moods, how can he serve him? He can never serve. If gurudeva is telling his servant, "I am very thirsty", and the servant fans him, he is doing the opposite of his guru's desire and he is really not a servant. We should know the wish and heart of our gurudeva, and then we can serve him. If a disciple does not possess this quality, then he is really not a sevaka. He may be a sevaka, but not first class or even second class. He may be a third class bogus sevaka.

A disciple may create many problems for his gurudeva, as did Ramacandra Puri. He was the disciple of Madhavendra Puri, but he was always making problems for him. Madhavendra Puri therefore told him, "I don't want to see your face for the duration of my life. You are bogus, and you should go away from here." On the other hand, Isvara Puripada knew the heart of Madhavendra Puripada. He was always fulfilling his desires. He was a real disciple and sevaka. In return, Madhavendra Puripada manifested everything he had - all his devotion - in the heart of Isvara Puripada.

If the disciple knows the heart of his gurudeva and he is not serving in that capacity, then he should decide for himself at what stage he is in his devotional life. Will gurudeva give his full mercy and his whole mood to that disciple? No, the disciple is not qualified to receive that. What kind of problems will a disciple make for his gurudeva? If the disciple is always running after sense gratification and not totally obeying him, he is not a real disciple, and he will naturally create problems.

Contrary to this, Govardhana is serving fully. In what way is he serving? He knows all the desires of Krishna and He understands how to fulfill His desires. Shrimati Lalita suggested to Shrimati Radhika, "If you want to please Krishna, then you have to serve that person whom Krishna likes the most." Shrimati Radhika Herself is the most dear to Krishna, and if you are serving Her, then Krishna will automatically be pleased. If, on the other hand, you are quarrelling with Radhika, what will happen?

Similarly, if gurudeva has so much love and affection for someone, then, to please him, we should try to serve that person. This is the easiest process to please him. If you are always quarrelling, then after some time you will go away. Govardhana is always serving the most beloved of Krishna - Shrimati Radhika - in so many ways. Not only that, but he has so much honor for those who are related with Krishna in any way.

Govardhana knows that the cows are very dear to Krishna. Krishna Himself, without shoes or an umbrella, without any protection, follows the cows and gives them water. He never uses a stick to beat the cows; His stick is for demons, not for cows and calves. He will never beat them. Krishna personally pours water on their lotus feet and washes them. Govardhana knows all these facts, and therefore his lake known as Kusuma Sarovara supplies very sweet water for the cows.

Green grasses are everywhere on Govardhana. The grasses are not only green, but very tasteful, sweet, and soft. Krishna goes searching for these grasses near Govardhana, near Manasi Ganga, and on the top of Govardhana.

What does Govardhana provide for Krishna's companions, the cowherd boys? He provides fruits everywhere: mangos, jackfruits, oranges, grapes, and so many other varieties. To decorate their bodies, Govardhana supplies an abundance of colors in the form of minerals. If you go to Govardhana near Dan Ghati and do abhisekha, you can see this. There are some hidden Govarhana silas there, and if you simply rub them with your hand, some color may come on your hand. These colors are used for decorating Krishna, His cowherd boys, the cows, and also for the gopis. For the gopis there are also so many groves, so many kunjas, so many caves, and also so many kinds of juices to drink. There are deer with their very fragrant kasturi, musk, and all the Govardhana silas have this fragrance naturally. If you go to Giriraja Govardhana, you will see that his fragrance is just like that of kasturi from a deer.

In this way, Giriraja serves all the friends, all the cows, and all the Vrajavasis. He provides them fruits and vegetables, fragrance, and colors for decorating themselves. Sthala jala tala saspair bhuruhacchayaya ca.

The word Govardhana means that by Govardhana's service to the cows, they are increasing in number. The cows do not only give forty litres of milk. They give unlimited milk and they can fulfill all your wishes. They all do more than any kama denu, wish-fulfilling cow. In this way, Govardhana serves everyone, from top to bottom.

In Vraja, everyone was worshiping Indra. One day, Yasodamaiya was very busy cooking many preparations and, in each and every gopi's house, all were also busy. Krishna went to His mother and said, "Mother, I am very hungry. Perhaps you are preparing all these things for Me?" Mother Yasoda became annoyed and chastised Him, "Oh, go away from here. Go to your father! Don't stay here, naughty boy."

Krishna became upset and, like a sad boy, He went to the lap of His father. Weeping He said, "Father, what is mother doing? She is not in a good mood." Nanda Baba told Him, "Everyone is preparing to worship Indra."

As though not knowing anything, Krishna innocently asked, "Baba, who is Indra and why do we worship him? We should worship someone who can give us many things. So why are we worshiping him?"

Nanda Baba answered, "Indra can give rain, and by rain all kinds of grains are produced. Grasses and sweet water also come, and without this we cannot maintain our lives. It is for this reason that each year we worship Indra on this day. Tomorrow we will all go with many preparations, on lakhs and lakhs of bullock carts, to the middle of Giriraja Govardhana to worship Indra."

Krishna said, "Baba, I think that even in that place where there is no Indra puja, whether there is rain or no rain, still everyone is maintaining their lives. Is that not true?" Nanda Baba replied, "I don't know. Why do You want to know all these things?" Krishna replied, "I think that it will be better to worship Giriraja Govardhana. We maintain our lives by his mercy. Our lives depend on these cows, and Govardhana gives so much good, soft grass, very pure water, and everything else needed to support us. So why should we not try to do puja to Giriraja Govardhana?"

Nanda Baba did not have any logical answer, and by logic Krishna convinced him and he agreed, "Oh, tomorrow we will all worship Giriraja Govardhana."

The next day thousands and thousands of carts were brought and loaded with all the preparations collected from all the 84 krosas of Vraja. Everyone came and assembled at Giriraja Govardhana, in the middle of where the present-day Govardhana town is located, and they were worshiping Giriraja Govardhana as we do today. What we are doing is a very, very, very mini-worship of Giriraja Govardhana, but still it is exactly like what the Vrajavasis did. All the thousands and millions of cows of the whole of Govardhana were there, and they were worshiped by everyone.

After that the Vrajavasis performed full worship of guru, Vaisnavas, and the brahmanas, and then they offered all the preparations. Krishna exclaimed, "O Baba, O Vrajavasis! My friends! O, look at that! Giriraja Govardhana has assumed a huge shape, and with so many long, long arms, he is eating everything from here, from there, from very far away, from everywhere, and still he is not satisfied." His belly was so big, and he was telling them, "Bring more! Bring more! Anore! Anore! Bring more, more, more, more! I want more!"

All the Vrajavasis became puzzled and said, "Oh, what shall we do?" Krishna folded His two hands and prayed to His four-handed form as Govardhana, "O Prabhu, Your belly is so big. We cannot offer anything more. What we have got may fill only one pore of Your body. How can we satisfy You? We cannot satisfy You." Govardhana then took the water from Manasi Ganga, from Kusuma Sarovara, Govinda Kunda, and all the water entered His mouth. Krishna asked him, "We have brought you prasadam, but you have taken everything. So what should we do?" At once they saw that all the preparations were returned to their places, and Krishna told the Vrajavasis, "We have worshiped Indra, but we have not seen him, nor have we seen how he is accepting our offerings, how he is satisfied, and how is giving any boon. On the other hand, we are seeing that Giriraja Govardhana himself is here, and we see that he is now satisfied. He is telling us that he is prepared to give us whatever boon we want."

If anyone is going to Giriraja Govardhana and doing parikrama, Govardhana will give him anything he wants. He can fulfill all desires. Those who have worldly desires bind the branch of a tree with some cloth and pray, "I want to marry a very beautiful girl," or, "I want a very handsome husband." Govardhana will quickly answer this prayer. If you want a house with many storeys, even 130 or 160 storeys, you should pile up some bricks and stones that you find there, one on top of another. However high you make it, Giriraja Govardhana will easily give this to you. However, devotees do not ask for anything and only perform kirtana, singing, "Govardhana jaya Giridhari, Giridhari jaya Govardhana, Giridhari jaya Govardhana" and "Radhe jaya jaya Madhava dayite", Govardhana will be very happy. For such persons Govardhana can give his heart. What is his heart? His heart is the love and affection of Krishna. He will give his heart very carefully, however. He will never give it to lusty persons who engage in sense gratification.

Nowadays this has become very cheap. I don't want to make this subject cheap. This is the most confidential treasure which must be kept only in our hearts. So many times I have told my devotees, my sannyasis, brahmacaris, and preachers, "Be very careful about this. This is not a thing to be given in the fish market or airport or any other such place. Keep it secret." If a woman has love for someone other than her husband, will she tell this fact to her father, mother, husband, or any friend? Try to conceal this, as Mahaprabhu has advised. Otherwise, we will lose what we are getting and lust will come in its place. This is what is going on at the present time.

Now I see that the Iskcon devotees have translated Govinda-liilamrta, Krishna-bhavanamrta, and books that are still more confidential than these. They have translated so many books and they are reading them. It is a very strange phenomenon, and now the same thing is going on here. I want to warn you. Be like Govardhana who concealed everything. He became a stone, and that is why Radha and Krishna and all the gopis have no shame at all in front of him. They have no shame in front of his mountains, hills, and rivers. These entities have life, but they will not disclose anything to others. If you are naked in front of a mirror, is there any harm or any shame? No. This is because a mirror has no life. Similarly, Giriraja becomes like this mirror. He never tells what he has seen of the confidential pastimes of Radha and Krishna to anyone. I therefore request my devotees that they should not broadcast all these high-class subjects. If they are fortunate to hear something, they should keep that in their hearts.

Be like Shri Raya Ramananda, Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shrimati Madhavi devi and others. Even Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami were not at the Gambhira. We, on the other hand, have made these topics very, very cheap. We distribute them everywhere in the market. I don't want this. By doing this you will become very lusty. At this stage, don't read all these confidential books. Rather, you should try to follow vaidhi-bhakti and read Caitanya-caritamrta. Read all the prescribed books, especially those of Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, like Upadesamrta and Manah-siksa. You can also read the books of Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Shrila Prabhupada was very much against revealing all these topics in public. He knew all these subjects, and he knew that these are the best of subjects, but for beginners they are to be hidden.

While the Vrajavasis were performing the worship of Giriraja Govardhana, Govardhana, in a four-handed form, took all their offerings. After that, when the offerings were finished, all the cooks, Krishna Himself, Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba, Vrsabhanu Maharaja, Kirtika Maiya, and all others began to do parikrama of Giriraja. Those who were not strong enough to go by foot went by bullock-cart. For the children there were malpua and so many things to eat before doing parikrama.

We have to follow some rules and regulations. Especially in our Indian Vaisnava culture, we should try to give proper honor to aged persons, qualified persons, and the guru-varga. Do you understand? Here in the West I have not seen anything like that. Nowadays, during a class of hari-katha, even very young persons will sit on a chair in front of their guardians, their guru, and old persons, who are all sitting behind them on the floor. It is not proper etiquette that young men or ladies sit on chairs in front of their guardians or their guru-varga. They should give proper respect to senior Vaisnavas and should offer the chair to them, properly and with honor.

Krishna gives so much honor to Baladeva and others, and Shrimati Radhika also gives proper respect to Her guru-jana, elders. Once, when Krishna wanted to meet Shrimati Radhika, a dhuti, messenger, came and told Her, "Krishna is waiting for You. You should come." In the meantime, Dhanistha or any other sakhi came to Radhika saying, "Mother Yasoda is calling You for cooking." Both dhutis came at the same time, and Shrimati Radhika was thinking, "What to do? Should I go to meet Krishna or should I go to Mother Yasoda to cook?" At once She decided, "I must first serve Mother Yasoda." She did not go to meet Krishna.

If you are giving proper respect to seniors, bhakti may come. If you are not giving respect to them and instead you are placing yourself on a high simhasanam (golden throne), how will you get bhakti? At the time of taking prasadam, you should be somewhat humble and make a line, allowing superiors to be at the head. We should satisfy them first, and then we should take prasadam. We should follow the behavior of our guru-varga. When Sanatana Gosvami is approaching, Rupa Gosvami says, "Oh, my Gurudeva has come." And he serves him. What is Sanatana Gosvami saying in turn? "Although he is my younger brother, still he is my Gurudeva because he serves Shrimati Radhika more than I do." They are giving each other proper respect. If you want to have pure bhakti, you should follow the way in which Giriraja Govardhana serves, from top to bottom, those who are very dear to Krishna. According to their 'dearness' to Krishna, he serves all Vrajavasis, and you should serve everyone in the same way.

krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana vijnam ananyam anya
nindadi sunya hrdam ipsita sanga labdhya
                   (Upadesmrta verse 5)
We should know that all those who are chanting are our family members, and we should give them respect by our mind. Why only by mind? Someone may not have been initiated, but he is chanting the holy name, he never associates with Mayavadis and he stays very far away from them, he himself is not lusty, and he is not the friend of any lusty persons. If one has these qualities, we should give him proper respect by mind, but not by doing pranama. Why? This is because he cannot digest such honor. Rather, he will think, "I am more advanced than this person. I am more qualified." He will not understand the humility of the madhyama-adhikari. Those who have taken diksa in the real sense have received divya jnanam, a very strong transcendental relation with Krishna, and all kinds of anarthas have left them. If anyone is such a diksit Vaisnava, we should offer him pranama by both body and mind. Moreover, if there is someone who never criticizes anyone, who is chanting and remembering throughout the day and night, uninterrupted throughout the twenty-four hours, then we should be his servant in all respects. By serving him, you will associate with that high class of devotee:

krsna-bhakti rasa bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate
["Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price - that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay." (Padyavali 14, quoted in Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 8.70)]

This is Krishna Consciousness. If you find someone whose heart is saturated with love and affection, like that of any of the Vrajavasis or gopis, who possesses the highest type of prema, surrender yourself to that devotee. Fully become his servant. Try to follow him and try to realize his heart. Then your heart will also become saturated with love and affection for Krishna. This is Krishna consciousness.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, my siksa-guru and your Prabhupada, has also said the same thing. He has given this verse as the definition of Krishna consciousness. Who is really Krishna conscious? A truly transcendental Krishna conscious devotee can never fall away.

We should honor all devotees as Giriraja Govardhana has done. We should follow his example. He is serving the cowherd boys, cows, calves, gopas, gopis, and everyone else related to Krishna. If you want bhakti, try to respect anyone who is related to Krishna, or to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my Gurudeva Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and my siksa-guru Om Visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.

Don't jump over anyone. Otherwise, eagles are there in the sky, waiting to catch you. I know so many devotees who want to jump in the sky to have this rasa. You should be very careful. Don't jump. Otherwise, lust will come and you will be nowhere. Try to follow vaidhi-bhakti from the beginning, and thus control your activities. I pray to Govardhana that he may be merciful to all of you. For those who have taken part in the arcana of Giriraja Govardhana Annakuta in any way, by preparing, by collecting any ingredient, or by doing kirtana, I pray that Giriraja Govardhana will sprinkle his mercy so that you will become good devotees.

Gaura premanande!


srila_jiva_gosvami.jpgOahu, Hawaii: Jan. 16, 2002 (Evening Part 1)
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[Today is a very auspicious day. It is the disappearance day of Srila Jiva Gosvami. We don't observe the disappearance days of Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Rama or any other incarnation of Bhagavan, but we observe the disappearance days of His associates. By such observance we learn many things about their worshipable Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, Sriman Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. We can understand how they practiced bhakti-yoga and how they received the service of Krsna and Mahaprabhu. We can learn from their lives’ examples how they accepted the process of sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya and anartha-nivrtti, and how they gradually developed nistha, ruci, asakti and rati. This is more important for us. [Although they are nitya-siddha devotees, they sometimes act as conditioned souls in the beginning, so we can learn how a conditioned soul can become a pure devotee.]

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Svayam Bhagavan Sri Krsna Himself who has taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Srimati Radhika, came to this world, but it was Srila Rupa Gosvami who established in this world His innermost heart's feelings. If Srila Rupa Gosvami had not come, perhaps we would not have known His identity. Srila Jiva Gosvami served Srila Rupa Gosvami, and the credit for all the publishing of Srila Rupa Gosvami's literatures belongs to him. By publishing Rupa Gosvami's literatures, he established his innermost desire. At that time it was very difficult to publish books because the authors had to write all their books with their own pens, as there were no printing presses. Jiva Gosvami wrote down, in his own handwriting, every copy of every book of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

He was the topmost learned person at that time, and he preserved the legacy of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Because he was always with him, he was able to write many commentaries in pursuance of Rupanuga Vaisnavism. If it were not for him, all of Srila Rupa Gosvami's books would have been lost. He also preached, especially to Sri Syamananda Prabhu, Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, and Sri Srinivasa Acarya. Try to practice serving the cause of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission as he has done.

So-called gurus hanker to make many disciples. They spend so much money, make so many agents, and tell them, "If you bring five disciples, I will pay you so much." This is going on nowadays, but Srila Jiva Gosvami and the Six Gosvamis did not practice this. How many disciples did Srila Raghunatha Das Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha Bhatta have? Srila Jiva Gosvami did not have any formal disciples at all, but the whole world is his disciple. Sri Syamananda Prabhu was initiated by another guru, Sri Hrdaya Caitanya, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura was initiated by Srila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami, and Srila Srinivasa Acarya was initiated by Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, but they all came under the shelter of Srila Jiva Gosvami. He then explained to them the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other sastras, and he also thoroughly explained to them all tattvas, established philosophical truths.

They wanted to be initiated by him, but he refused. He told them, "There are so many elevated Vaisnavas more qualified than I. Please, you should go to Lokanatha Gosvami, and you should go to Gopal Bhatta Gosvami." They had not intended to go to them; they wanted him to be their guru. Yet, they followed his instructions. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura went to Srila Lokanatha Prabhu and Srinivasa Acarya Prabhu went to Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.

Lokanatha Gosvami refused to give Narottama dasa Thakura initiation, although the Thakura waited for many years. At night, Narottama dasa cleaned the place where Lokanatha Gosvami had passed stool, and finally, seeing his sincerity of purpose, Lokanatha Gosvami was bound to give him initiation. Similarly, Gopal Bhatta Gosvami never wanted to accept any disciples. By the request of Srila Jiva Gosvami he accepted only one disciple – Srinivasa Acarya. However, those two disciples, along with Syamananda Prabhu, went to Bengal and collected thousands and thousands of followers.

Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji also never wanted to accept any disciples. Only by the special request of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did he initiate his son, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. He saw in his own heart that if he did not initiate Srila Sarasvati Thakura, he would die. Srila Babaji Maharaja was therefore bound to give him initiation, but he gave no initiation to anyone else. His disciple, Srila Sarasvati Thakura, performed a miracle. He made disciples in all of Bengal, all over India, and after that all over the world. Thus, who is more merciful: the guru or the disciple? We see that disciples are more merciful than their gurus. This is because they go out to everyone, to invite them to experience the mercy of their guru.

Once, when Srila Lokanatha Gosvami and his disciple Srila Narottama dasa Thakura were both engaged in bhajana, a thirsty person came to them desiring water. He went to Lokanatha Gosvami, who was chanting and absorbed, oblivious to his presence. Then, when he went to Narottama dasa Thakura, that 'baby sadhu' procured some water and gave it to him. Lokanatha Gosvami understood this and later told him, "You are not qualified. You should go at once to your village. I don't want a disciple like you, who has no faith in Sri Krsna Bhagavan’s name. Krsna's name is Krsna Himself. He has manifested all His power, beauty and opulence in His name. That name is more powerful than He Himself, but you have no faith in this truth." [Srila Maharaja explained on another day that in real bhajana, the devotee is personally serving Srimati Radha and Sri Krsna while chanting. Srila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami told Srila Narottama dasa that he was not qualified because he had interrupted his service to Radhika and Krsna, and went to serve an ordinary man. Had Srila Narottama dasa Thakura continued his bhajana, Krsna would have been pleased and the man also would have been pleased. By Lord Krsna's arrangement, he would have gotten water from another source] Srila Narottama dasa Thakura was so faithful that he followed his guru's instructions, and he also initiated thousands and thousands of disciples in the course of his preaching on his guru's behalf.

I think that Srila Narottama dasa Thakura is so much more merciful than his gurudeva. Although Lokanatha Gosvami is a manjari and Narottama dasa Thakura is also a manjari, it appears that Narottama dasa Thakura is more merciful. He had mercy for all, as shown by his extensive preaching. In another way, however, we can see that Lokanatha Gosvami is extremely merciful because he parted with his only disciple, who served him so intimately, just so the people of Bengal could benefit.

There are many teachings to contemplate in this regard. Srila If Jiva Gosvami had not written Sad-Sandarbha, if he had not written Sri Gopala Campu, if he had not revealed his commentaries on Sri Ujjvala Nilamani, Sri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu and so many other books, we would not be able to know the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami. We therefore offer our obeisances today unto the lotus feet of Srila Jiva Gosvami. We pray that we may serve our gurudeva as he served Srila Rupa Gosvami. He manifested both Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. It is very rare for anyone to be like him.

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