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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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Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Maui, Hawaii: May 24, 2000

[This year, 2016, Srila Raya Ramananda's appearance day is May 26th (in America). Srila Raya Ramananda's discussions with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta are eternally fresh and ever-increasingly nourishing for us. During Srila Gurudeva's fourteen years of world hari-katha festivals, this discussion was one of his favorite topics to benedict us lost souls of this world.

The following is a transcription of his extremely interesting lecture given in Maui, Hawaii, on May 24, 2000, wherein he talks about the first part of their discussion:]

Come with me. Let us join Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in our minds as He went from Puri to South India to search for His brother, Visvarupa. This was only a pretext, however. Actually, Mahaprabhu wanted to make all of South India, and the entire world, pure devotees. He wanted them to all chant and remember Krsna, and be happy forever.

Without chanting, no one can be happy in this world. You should know this. Mahaprabhu told everyone who came to Him, "Yare dekha tare kaho krsna upadesa, amara ajnaya guru hana tara ei desa. I am telling you, and you should also tell anyone you meet: 'Chant "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare."' Then, in turn, that person will tell others. By my order you should preach this to others." Very soon all of South India began to chant, and all became Vaisnavas.

This was the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in this way His message very quickly went all over the world. I have also come here only to tell you how you can be truly happy. Chant Hare Krsna. This is a very easy process to become happy, and I am inviting you all to follow. Those who are not yet following will benefit by following.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu thus went to the sacred river Godavari, and there He thought, "Oh, here is the Yamuna." He saw a beautiful forest there and thought, "This is the very beautiful forest of Vrndavana." When He saw some rocks and mountains He thought, "Oh, you are Giriraja Govardhana."

He was thus absorbed in love and affection for Lord Krsna. He forgot everything external and was absorbed in dancing. Sometimes He was rolling on the earth crying, "O My beloved Krsna, where are You? Where are You?" Sometimes He laughed, and sometimes He sang, "Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna He. Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna Krsna He. Rama Raghava, Rama Raghava, Rama Raghava raksa mam. Krsna Kesava, Krsna Kesava, Krsna Kesava pahi mam."

He then crossed the Godavari River to take bath. It was morning, and He arrived at a very lonely place near the bathing ghata. In the meantime, a governor of that area named Raya Ramananda came with many associates and thousands of Vedic brahmanas who were reciting Vedic mantras, announcing with a big drum that he was coming. Ramananda Raya took bath there, and then he noticed that a very brilliant, effulgent young sannyasi was nearby, sitting in trance. He was very much attracted and, after taking bath, he left all his attendants, soldiers, and everyone else, and went

alone to the place where Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting. There he offered obeisances.

Mahaprabhu looked at him and asked, "Are you Raya Ramananda?"

"Yes, I am that very same wretched person," Raya Ramananda replied.

"When I was in Jagannatha Puri," Mahaprabhu told him, "A very learned person, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, was very kind to me. He told Me that if I would be going to South India, I must meet Raya Ramananda. He said, 'Even though he is a governor, like a viceroy or representative of the king in that area, he is a greatly learned and high-class devotee.'"

Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya had also told Mahaprabhu, "At first I could not believe him, and I used to joke with him, saying, 'Oh, you are a Vaisnava. Vaisnavas are nothing. They are blind followers.' But then I realized that he is an exalted personality, and I pray that if You are going in that direction You must meet him. You will see what a high class of a devotee he is. Please be merciful to him."

"That is why I have come, Mahaprabhu then told Raya Ramananda, "Only to associate with you. Otherwise there was no reason for Me to come here. I want to hear hari-katha from you."

Raya Ramananda replied, "Because you have come here, I know that Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya is my well-wisher. He has sent You. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is so kind to send You to me. I beg that You stay here for six or seven days, not only for one or two days. Be merciful. Please sprinkle Your mercy upon me."

In this way they glorified each other, and this is the etiquette of Vaisnava devotees. Nowadays you have forgotten this etiquette, and that is why you are falling down. We should try to honor each other. We should honor all devotees. Those who are not pure devotees will simply tell each about their mundane problems: "My husband has left me." "My wife has left me." "Should I marry or not? This is very big problem." "I am unsuccessful in what I began." "I am in the process of divorce." "My business has stopped; what should I do?"

We speak only about these problems. This is not Vaisnava etiquette. A Vaisnava has no problem at all. He is always happy, and he can make even hippies happy. I remember that Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja made thousands upon thousands of hippies happy. He changed them, and they became devotees. They became really happy.

While Mahaprabhu was speaking with Raya Ramananda, a brahmana came and invited Mahaprabhu to his house to take lunch prasada. He was a real brahmana and Vaisnava, and Mahaprabhu therefore wanted to go there and take prasada. He requested Raya Ramananda, "You must certainly meet me in the evening."

Both waited in anticipation of their evening meeting. Raya Ramananda changed his royal garments, donned only a very simple dhoti, and arrived with only one associate. He had no royal umbrella, no palanquin, and no bodyguard. Alone, he offered prostrated obeisances to Mahaprabhu. They sat together for the whole night, and then for so many days. Their krsna-katha continued in a regulated way, from evening to morning, with no sleep and no interruptions.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Raya Ramananda, "I know you are a very high-class devotee. You are so learned, you know all the scriptures, and you are a master of Srimad-Bhagavatam. I will therefore ask you some questions, and I request that you reply by giving examples from those scriptures. I will not give your replies any importance if you do not give evidence from the scriptures."

We should always know what constitutes real evidence. So many persons tell so many things, but this is not evidence. Evidence comes from the Vedas and Upanisads, and also from the words of any high-class devotee who has none of the four defects: bhrama (the tendency to commit mistakes), pramada (the tendency to be illusioned), vipralipsa (the tendency to cheat) and karanapatava (imperfect senses). His words can be taken as evidence. In addition, the sastras which are in accordance with the Vedas, like Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, the books of the Six Gosvamis, and the four acaryas of the four Vaisnava sampradayas, are all evidence. The strongest and purest evidence, however, is the words of Srimad-Bhagavatam. So Sriman Mahaprabhu told Raya Ramananda, "If you offer evidence from the Vedas, Upanisads, and Bhagavatam, I will surely accept."

His first question was, "What is sadhya (the goal of life) and what is sadhana (the means to attain that goal)?"

In the morning class I told you that all living entities have come out from the glance of Karanodakasayi Visnu. They cannot be created, for they are eternal, but they are coming from the light, the sight, of Karanodakasayi Visnu. You should know what that light is. The dim reflection of that light is a combination of the semblance of cit-sakti, the semblance of the tatastha, or marginal, energy, plus vibhinamsa-tattva, plus maya-sakti. The mixture of these four is called Sambhu-linga. It is from there that the jivas are coming. Sambhu-linga is a semblance of Sadasiva-tattva (a form of Visnu-tattva). And maya (the deluding material energy) must also be present, for without maya there can be no creation at all. All this mixing becomes Sambhu-tattva, or Sambhu-linga, and by this the creation comes. The creation of what? This gross material body and subtle material body. The soul is not created, but these two are created. We should know all these truths – that the living entities are not created, but rather they are an eternal potency. It is not possible to give more explanation than this at this time. We will have to realize all this by chanting harinama.

When your chanting of the holy name becomes pure, when the holy name you chant is actually the name of God Himself and not an offence to the holy name or a semblance of the name, when that name becomes transcendental, then you will realize all truths. By mental exercise you will never be able to realize anything.

By chanting you will realize krsna-tattva, maya-tattva, bhakti-tattva, jiva-tattva, and everything else. Then, after that, at some point, you will have to forget all material considerations and you will have to know that Krsna is your bosom friend, your son, or your most beloved.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, came to tell you that Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But he told me to tell you all that you should now forget that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and now that time has come. He wants me to tell you that you should now think of Krsna as a bosom friend, or a beloved, or a son, and He is your everything. In this way our bhakti, devotion to Him should increase.

Now we come again to our subject. Can you read Mahaprabhu's first question to Raya Ramananda according to Srila Svami Maharaja's translation?

Prema-prayojana dasa: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Ramananda Raya to recite a verse from the scriptures concerning sadhya, the ultimate goal of life.

Srila Gurudeva: I am explaining what Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, your Gurudeva, has explained. I am not in a different line from him. I follow him.

What did Raya Ramananda reply? He explained sadhya, the goal. He did not merely explain sadhana, the means to attain the goal.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Mahaprabhu asked Ramananda Raya about the goal of life. He did not first ask about sadhana, the means. He wanted to establish the goal first.

Ramananda Raya replied:

purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pantha
nanyat tat-tosa-karanam

Sri-Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila, 8.58

This means, "It is imperative to follow varnasrama-dharma. There are four varnas and four asramas. Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, and sudras are the four varnas, or occupational duties. The four asramas, or spiritual orders, are brahmacarya (celibate student), grhastha (householder), vanaprastha (beginner renunciant) and sannyasa (one in the renounced order). You may be in any varna or any asrama, but it is essential to maintain varnasrama-dharma. In this way you can please Visnu, and there is no other means."

Hearing this answer, Mahaprabhu said that varnasrama is external. Why? Why did Mahaprabhu not accept it as the goal of life? This is because there is no explanation about the soul. Varnasrama-dharma is required only to maintain our social system. In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated: "Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo." The best religion for the soul is uninterrupted and one-pointed devotion to Visnu. By this the soul and the Supersoul will both be pleased. But here, in the case of varnasrama, there is no proof that the soul and the Supersoul will be pleased. It is like karma-misra bhakti (bhakti mixed with the desire to enjoy the results of fruitive activities), not svarupa-siddha bhakti (activities constituted purely of bhakti, such as hearing, chanting, and remembering Krsna or Visnu). Therefore, Mahaprabhu said it is external. It is not pure bhakti, and He therefore rejected it as the pure goal. Now Ramananda Raya is going ahead. Now we shall hear from Srila Gurudeva.

In this varnasrama-dharma it is recommended that one worships Visnu. What is our object? The process is worship of Visnu, but what is the aim of that worship? We want to be happy in this world, and most persons' conception is that Visnu will give a boon so that we will be happy. Above this is salvation, freedom from attachment, and merging with Visnu. This is peoples' conception of God's boon, but actually this is like a curse, not a boon. Neither should we try to merge with Krsna, nor should we try to do anything for becoming happy by sense gratification in this world, which is temporary.

In this country, America, there is an itching disease called eczema. In this condition we scratch, and this scratching seems to be very pleasant. But it is a disease after all, and after some time it will become very painful.

This world is such. Worldly life is like an itch, a disease. By worshiping Lord Visnu we can give this up and be happy for some time, but again that itch will come. Similarly, varnasrama-dharma is external. There is no service of the soul; only external service for the body.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura have tried to establish this varnasrama-dharma. Why? By following it we will at least be human beings; otherwise we are animals. First we should be human, because humanity is a platform for bhakti. First we should make a platform, and then we can hear hari-katha.

In order to make gradual spiritual advancement, varnasrama is somewhat favorable, but not fully. Therefore, Mahaprabhu is telling Ramananda Raya to go further. Is there any doubt in this? Our aim is not to follow varnasrama-dharma. Srila Svami Maharaja told his disciples to create varnasrama-dharma in Gita Nagari, New Vrndavana, New Mayapura and so many other places. He wanted to establish this, but only as a platform. Where are most of these projects now? They are gone. Now there is mostly barren land, and that barren land is weeping – nothing substantial is there.

Syamarani dasi: Srila Raya Ramananda quoted Bhagavad-gita: "All that you do, all that you give away, and all that you offer in sacrifice should be done for Me." Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also rejected this proposal to be the goal, considering it external, because everything we do is for our own satisfaction. Whatever activity I do in this world has a karmic reaction. Even if it is a pious action and I get a pious reaction, I still have to suffer in this world. If I give someone a lot of money, in my next life I'll be rich. However, in that next life I still have to take birth in a womb and accept old age, disease and death. The motive is my own personal sense gratification.

Mahaprabhu rejected this as not being the perfection. He again told Ramananda Raya to go further, and Raya Ramananda then offered the conclusion of the Bhagavad-gita. "Sarva dharma parityajya – Give up all varieties of so-called religious activities, and surrender everything to Me. In return I will free you from all fear and all sinful reactions."

Mahaprabhu rejected this as the goal. It is better than animal life, better than having nothing to do with Krsna, so why did Lord Caitanya reject it? Again, it was external, because it was related to the body. "I want Krsna to free me from fear," so I have a personal motivation. I'm not trying to please Krsna, but I want Krsna's protection for my body, and for my mental and intellectual comfort.

This is like a business proposition. If I do something for Krsna, then He will do something for me. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejected it as not being the goal. Real devotion means there is no material cause and no material interruption.

Srila Gurudeva: In Srimad-Bhagavatam there are so many examples of this. One example is the story of King Hariscandra. He was a very powerful ksatriya king in varnasrama-dharma, and he used to worship Lord Visnu. He was very truthful, he never told a lie, he never accepted any untruth, and he was very generous to all creatures. One day Visvamitra, a high-class surrendered devotee, came in a dream to Hariscandra and told him, "You are very generous, a truthful speaker, a very good king, and you always worship Visnu. I know that if I ask anything from you, you will definitely give it. So I want something from you." In the dream Visvamitra told the king that he wanted his whole kingdom, and the king said, "Yes, I am giving it to you."

After that dream was over, the king forgot all about it. In the morning, Visvamitra himself came to Hariscandra and asked him if he remembered the previous night's dream.

Hariscandra said, "I don't remember anything. What was that? Oh, you asked for my kingdom and I gave it to you."

Visvamitra said, "So you should give it to me."

Hariscandra replied, "But that was in a dream."

"Actually, it was not a dream," Visvamitra said. "I really came to you."

Hariscandra knew the mystic abilities of powerful sages and believed him. So he said, "Yes, I take a vow that I am giving you the kingdom. This whole kingdom is now yours." Visvamitra then told him to give some daksina, a donation of money. In India, if one donates anything, he gives some coins as well to consummate the donation; and therefore Visvamitra asked him to give him some daksina.

Hariscandra called his treasurer and told him to give ten thousand gold coins to Visvamitra. Visvamitra smiled and told him, "You are a liar. You gave me your entire kingdom, and now your treasury is mine also. So how can you tell the treasurer to give gold to me? It is already mine." Hariscandra agreed, and therefore wanted to take a loan from someone in the kingdom. But Visvamitra said, "Now all the citizens are also mine, and you may not take a loan from anyone in my kingdom."

Next, Hariscandra decided to sell himself. But Visvamitra said, "In my kingdom you cannot sell even yourself." The King then became perplexed about what to do, thinking that he had done wrong. He asked Visvamitra, "What should I do? Please give me some suggestions." Visvamitra told him, "Go to Kasi, which is situated on the trident of Sankara. It is not in this world. There you can sell yourself, and then you can pay me. But you must always remember that you have to pay me."

Hariscandra went to Kasi with his wife and son, on foot, because all his chariots, and everything else, now belonged to Visvamitra. After many days he reached Kasi and began calling out to the people that they could purchase him. A low-class person, the guard of the cremation grounds, told him that he would buy him and that he would have to do duty at the cremation grounds. Hariscandra accepted this, because there was no one else to purchase him, but the guard gave only five thousand golden coins.

He needed more, and therefore he sold his wife, Sadya, and son, Rohitasya. A very cruel brahmana gave five thousand coins and took them both. If you sell a cow, then you are no longer its owner. Similarly, now Hariscandra was not the king, nor the husband of his wife, nor was he any longer the father of his child. He had some false ego, however, considering that he used to be, or still was, a king, and that he was still the husband of Sadya and the father of Rohitasya.

After a while, it happened that a snake came and bit his son and he died. It was midnight, during the rainy season. Very cold winds were blowing and very heavy rain was falling. The brahmana told Sadya, "Take this dead body away from here. I cannot allow you to remain here with this dead body. I have no pity on you."

Taking her child's body in her arms and weeping, she went to the cremation ground. At that time Hariscandra was the guard of that impure place. In the darkness he couldn't recognize his wife or son. He asked discompassionately, "Who is here weeping? First you must give the tax for cremation, and then you can use this facility."

At that moment lightening flashed, and he could that the woman before him was indeed Sadhya. He was bewildered, not knowing if he should identify himself as her husband (now that he had already sold her and her son), or himself as the father of the dead boy, or himself as king, or himself as the crematorium guard.

Just then Visvamitra appeared with Yamaraja, or Dharmaraja; and Lord Narayana also came. They brought Hariscandra's son back to life and told him to take any boon. Visvamitra told him that in his life as a king he had been misguided by illusion. He said, "In this world no one can speak the truth. Your name is not Hariscandra. This is the name of your gross body. And what is this body made of? It is merely a combination of blood and flesh, urine and stool. You don't know that your soul is the eternal servant of Lord Krsna. If you are thinking, 'I am the father, husband, king, etc.,' how are you speaking the truth?

"You should know that you are part and parcel of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are not part of this world. So forget all false conceptions. Try to serve Krsna and chant His names." Hariscandra accepted all this, but he had one request: "Please don't give such a hard test to the jivas in Kali-yuga. They will never be able to pass your test. They will always fail."

Hariscandra was doing what we want to do, varnasrama-dharma, and he was following and worshiping Lord Visnu more seriously than we can. But he did not have any idea that we are transcendental, or that we are eternal servants of Krsna. This is our main problem. If you are thinking, "I am the doer," or even thinking, "I am giving something to Krsna," this is not pure bhakti. That is why it has been said in Bhagavad-gita (18.66):

sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksyaisyami ma sucah

What is the meaning of this sloka?

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Ramananda Raya is now giving the suggestion from Bhagavad-gita, wherein Krsna has instructed Arjuna: "O Arjuna, give up all temporary dharma and all activities and conceptions which are in relationship to the temporary material body and mind. Surrender yourself and take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By doing so you will be freed from all sinful reactions. Do not be afraid."

This seems to be a very transcendental and excellent suggestion, but upon hearing this Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the response: "O my dear Ramananda Raya, this is external. I also reject this. Tell me something more." The eternal occupation of the soul is to render loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in a relationship with Him. Saranagati, surrender, is mainly the rejection of things which are temporary and unfavorable for spiritual development. In saranagati we have not yet realized out relationship with the Supreme Lord, with possessiveness and with love and affection. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also rejected this conception as being the goal of life.

In and of itself, surrender to the Supreme Lord is not directly bhakti. It is not the positive and eternal, perfect activity of the soul. Rather, it is considered to be the doorway to bhakti. If you want to enter any building, first you have to come to a door. You cannot walk through the wall. If anyone is hearing, chanting, remembering, and serving Krsna, but they have not first surrendered themselves completely, saying "O Krsna, I am Yours. I depend fully on You. I accept everything which is favorable for bhakti and reject all things which are unfavorable. You are my protector, You are my maintainer. I will always be meek and humble, and will have no interest separate from Your interest," his activities will not be called pure devotional service.

Unless one has accepted these six limbs of saranagati before he renders his devotional service, his service will be an imitation, like a drama. The first thing is surrender. This surrender is not bhakti, but it is the prerequisite to enter the bhakti realm.

Srila Gurudeva: I have heard a story about Jesus Christ. Once there were many persons assembled, and taking stones in their hands, they wanted to kill a guilty person. This person had a very bad character. He had been attracted to a lady, he caught hold of her, and he did some bad things. So, many persons were assembled and they wanted to kill him with the stones.

At that moment Jesus Christ came there and told them, "Oh, listen to me first. I want you to kill this person with your stones. I also have a stone, so we will all throw these stones at him together and kill him. But first hear me. Only those of you who are not guilty of the same crime are allowed to stone him. Whoever is personally guilty of any bad activities, whoever has done as this person has, may not do so." All of them stopped. No one there was pure in heart and free from the guilt of this same crime.

Although we see some mercy in this instance, we should try to know that this mercy is not real mercy. The Supreme Personality has created all creatures – trees, insects, fish, cows, and every other living being. In every body there is a soul. It is a misconception to think that the soul is only in the human body, and we should therefore only serve the human race.

What were Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa doing? They were serving all the diseased and poor people, even those with leprosy. However, they gave them beef, meat, fish, and wine, and they thought there was no harm in that. They did not know that fish also have life, cows also have life, and all others have life – just like human beings.

We are not authorized to kill any living being in any species of life, because they are all sons and daughters of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who never wants them to be killed. The cow is like a mother. She gives milk without considering caste and creed. She gives milk to everyone, whether such persons are Mohammadan, Indian, American, or anyone else. We can therefore think of her as a mother who gives her breast-milk. If one takes a new calf and kills him for her meat, what is this? Is this mercy? I went to Vatican City and I became happy to see a great monument there. There were hundreds of thousands of pilgrims there, all paying their respects, and I also wanted to pay respects: "O Jesus Christ, how glorious you are."

Then, seeing some very beautiful and soft calves of only two or three days old I asked, "Why are there so many calves here?" "You don't know? The pope will take their flesh today. He will invite so many of his friends, and they will eat all of them." I then began to hate that land, and said, "I should not spend another moment here. I should go away. These people are as cruel as butchers. They have no pity or mercy upon these cows and calves, nor upon anyone else."

What are eggs? If you want to take eggs, you can take an egg from your mother's womb. That is also a kind of egg. So, we should not take all these things. Rather, we should know that the soul is everywhere – not only in the human body. Therefore, service only to humankind is not service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is essential to know this.

Mahaprabhu therefore rejected the consideration of "Sarva dharman parityajya..." as the goal, what to speak of all these other things.

Gaura Premanande!


[April 15, 2016 is the appearnce day of Lord Rama. We hope that you will relish this lecture that Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave several days before Lord Rama's appearance day on April 12, 2000 in Mathura:]

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the Appearance Day of Lord Sri Rama. Who is Sri Rama? He is Krsna Himself, and Sita is Radhika Herself. In order to establish the principles of maryada, regulative etiquette, Krsna appeared in the form of Sri Rama. His associates also appeared in Rama-lila. Gopisvara Mahadeva manifested as Hanuman and Baladeva appeared as Laksmana. Satrugna and Bharata are also manifestations of Krsna because they are His weapons. They are respectively Sanka and Cakra. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself read and glorified the pastimes of Sri Rama.

Valmiki has described the pastimes of Rama in great detail. He was a siddha mahatma, a realized soul. Popular Indian stories say that in his previous life he was a dacoit, and he used to kill people for his living. One time he met Narada Rsi and, by that meeting, his heart was transformed and he became a sadhu. According to the scriptures, Valmiki was actually the son of a great rsi. He performed austerities for a long time and by that he became perfect. One of his disciples, a very famous rsi, was named Bharadraja. Once they both went to bathe in the river. After Valmiki took his bath, he saw a male and female kraunch-bird sitting in a tree. A hunter struck the male bird with his bow, killed him, and the bird fell out of the tree. Valmiki became angry and spontaneously cursed this hunter, "How cruel you are! How could you do this? May all your happiness go away, and may you never be happy again in your life."

When Valmiki returned to his asrama, he thought, "Why did I become so angry? I am supposed to be a rsi and have control over my senses. Life and death are very temporary, so why did I get disturbed seeing this? And how did these particular words come out of my mouth?" His words were very special. They had four gerands – four lines with the same meter as the slokas in Ramanyana. He therefore wondered why these particular words and this particular meter came out from his mouth.

Lord Brahma then appeared and said, "You should write the pastimes of Lord Rama, using verses which are in this meter." Valmiki replied, "How can I do that?" At that time Narada Muni appeared and initiated Valmiki. He said, "You should meditate upon the pastimes of Lord Rama in samadhi, and by bhakti all those pastimes will manifest in your heart. Valmiki followed those orders and, as the pastimes manifested in his heart, he began writing the Ramayana.

Valmiki was on the planet at the same time as Lord Rama. But before Rama enacted most of His pastimes Valmiki had already written about them, except for one – when Sita entered the earth. Why did he not write about this? Because he taught Rama's pastimes to Luv and Kush. If he would have told them in advance what happened to Sita, they would have been very disturbed. Just as Vyasadeva never preached Srimad Bhagavatam, but Sukadeva Gosvami later preached it all over the world, similarly, Valmiki Rsi taught Rama-lila to Luv and Kush.

Maharaja Dasaratha is the actual father of the Lord, birth after birth, and Kauslaya is His mother. They are eternally the mother and father of Krsna in His different manifestations. Yasoda and Nanda are non-different from Dasaratha and Kausalya.

Maharaja Dasaratha was getting quite old and he was disturbed that he had not begotten a son. He therefore asked his spiritual master, Vasistha Rsi, to perform a parestha yajna – a sacrifice with the goal to get a son. Half of the kheer, (sweet rice), offered in the yajna, was given to Kausalya, one quarter was given to Kaikeyi, and one quarter to Sumitra.

In due course of time all of the queens gave birth to sons – Kausalya to Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharata, and Sumitra to Laksmana and Satrughna. They were loved, they did childhood pranks, and they went to the asrama of Valmiki. Along with Visvamitra Rsi they went to siddha asrama and there they killed two demons who came to disturb the rsis' sacrifices. He also delivered Ahalya, who by the curse of her husband, had been transformed into stone. Suppose you have a fruit of amla in your hands. You can see it very clearly. Similarly Valmiki, by the blessings of Narada, saw all these pastimes as clearly as if they were happening in front of his eyes.

Along with Visvamitra and Laksmana, Rama went to Janakapuri for the svayambara of Sita devi. There He broke the bow of Lord Siva which had been given by Parasurama to Maharaja Janaka. At that time Parasurama appeared and manifested all the anger that was in his heart. When Rama strung the bow without any effort, Parasurama then understood that Lord Rama was the amsi, the actual source from whom he himself had manifested. Lord Rama told him, "Now that this bow is in my hands, I have to kill something – either you or that anger that is in your heart. Previously he had to be angry in order to kill all the demoniac kings who had been ruling the earth. Now that work was over and therefore Rama said, "I should kill that anger within you." Parasurama prayed, "Please take out that anger which is in my heart." After Lord Rama took it away, he was transformed into a rishi and after that he performed many austerities. Lord Rama and Sita Devi were then married and went back to Ayodhya.

There is a secret meaning behind the pastime of Queen Kaikeyi asking her two boons from Maharaja Dasaratha. Kaikeyi was not cruel. She loved Sri Rama more than she loved Bharata. When Rama was a young boy, He sat in the lap of Mother Kaikeyi and requested, "I want to ask you something. When I grow up and return home after My marriage, My father will think of giving this kingdom to Me. I want you to ask him to give the kingdom to Bharata, and to send Me to the forest for fourteen years." Hearing this, Kaikeyi fainted. When she regained consciousness she said, "I cannot do such a cruel thing." But then Lord Rama said, "For the benefit of the whole world, you will have to do this." So Kaikeyi agreed.

There is another important point in this connection. When King Dasaratha married Kausalya, he did not beget any sons from her. He further married 360 queens, but still there was no son. One day, when he was out in the forest hunting animals, he traveled all the way to the border of Afghanistan. He was very tired and therefore went to visit his friend Maharaja Kaikeya, the king of that entire area. Maharaja Kaikeya ordered his daughter to take care of the king. The next day, very pleased by her service, Maharaja Dasaratha asked him if he could marry his daughter, Kaikeyi. The king said, "Yes, you can marry her, but with one condition. If she begets a son, that son will become the king of your entire kingdom." Maharaja Dasaratha replied, "There is nothing that will please me more. I have no son, so if she begets a son I will be very happy to give my entire kingdom to him." This was another reason why Bharata became the king instead of Rama.

There is still another reason. One day Bharata's maternal uncle came and requested Bharata and Satrugna to accompany him for a few days. In the meantime, Rama Navami came – the Appearance Day of Sri Rama. On this day the celebration of His appearance took place, and His marriage also took place. On the day before, Maharaja Dasaratha had told Vasistha that he would like to give his kingdom to Rama and make him Yuvaraja. Rama would conduct all the duties of Maharaja Dasaratha in his absence and after he would leave the world, Rama would become the king. Everyone was very happy to hear this. Vasistha said, "Tomorrow, Rama Navami, all the planetary positions will be very auspicious. You should give him the sacred initiation tomorrow." There was no time to talk with Bharata and Satrugna. Also, Maharaja Dasaratha thought, "I have already promised that I will give my kingdom to Bharata. So how, in front of him, can I give it to Sri Rama?"

When Kaikeyi heard the news about Rama's coronation she was very pleased, and she gave her garland to her maidservant, Mantara. By the influence of the demigods and because Rama had to perform His pastimes, Mantara's mind became evil. She told Kaikeyi, "How can you be so foolish? If Rama becomes the king, Bharata will become a servant, and you will become a maidservant. For the rest of your life you will have to serve Kausalya and Sri Rama." Initially Kaikeyi resisted and was not influenced by Mantara's words. But then she remembered Sri Rama's request to her in His youth – that she should ask Maharaja Dasaratha to send Him to the forest. Remembering this, she made her heart very hard. Then she went to Maharaja Dasaratha and asked him for her two boons. Maharaja Dasaratha fainted. When Lord Rama heard what happened He was very pleased that Mother Kaikeyi had done what He had requested. He came to Maharaja Dasaratha and Queen Kaikeyi and she ordered Him to go to the forest, saying that this was also the desire of Maharaja Dasaratha.

When Rama was exiled and was living in Chitrakuta, Bharata, accompanied by many citizens, went there to request him to return to Ayodhya. On his way to see Rama, they also passed by Baradvaja Rsi's asrama. Bharadvaja requested Bharata, "Please, be our guests for a day here. You should rest and take prasada." But Bharata replied that he had come with lakhs of people. Almost the entire population of Ayodhya has come with me. How could they all fit in your asrama?" But Bharadraj said, "Please give me a chance to serve you." By his mystic power Bharadraj manifested an entire city, which was greater and more opulent than Ayodhya. For each of the queens there was a raj-bhavan. There were so many kinds of foods and preparations – just like anakuta. Mountains of prasada were created and everyone was served.

Kaikeyi also went to Rama and said, "I was the one who asked for the boon that you be banished to the forest. Since I was the one who asked you to go, now I take it back. Now I am asking you to come back." Lord Rama replied, "No, the command was not only from you. You and father both asked it together. Father is here no more, and you are only half, fifty percent. I don't know if it is his desire or not. So I cannot go back."

There was an assembly meeting held wherein Maharaja Janaka spoke with Bharata. Janaka Maharaja described the meaning of prema. He said that real love is to understand what pleases the beloved. Janaka said, "If it is Lord Rama's desire to stay here, then it is better to follow what He wants, and not try to force your desire on Him."

Rama, Laksmana, and Sita devi then traveled to Chitrakuta. There Rama performed jalanjali, offering water the ancestors. Actually Maharaja Dasaratha had never died, so ultimately there was no point of His doing this. However, since He was performing narvata-lila, human like pastimes, he offered the water.

Sita and Rama went to the asrama of Anasuya, who gave Sita a special 'anga vastra' that even if she didn't eat, her body would never dwindle. That is why, when she was at Ravana's place, although she never ate any food given by Ravana for a whole year, her body never dwindled. Anasuya was the wife of Atri Muni who had performed great austerities. By these austerities Brahma, Visnu and Mahesh had all appeared. She made them become her little children, and all their wives came requesting her to please let them go.

Agastya Rsi gave Rama the bow with which He killed Ravana. Then Surpanaka came and Laksmana cut off her nose. Then Rama killed Kara and Dusha. Kara means donkey. He next killed a demon named Trisura. Ravana then came to revenge Surpanaka's dishonor. He stole Sita, Rama killed Maricha, they met Sabari, and then at Kishkinda they met Hanuman. Hanuman first appeared to Them in the form of a brahmana, to test if they were really Rama and Laksmana. Later, at Rsimukha Parvat Hill Sugriva met Lord Rama and they made a treaty of friendship there. After Sugriva explained what Bali had done to him, Lord Rama killed Bali.



Thursday, 03 July 1997

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Once, the great sage Narada Muni traveled to the abode of Lord Siva and began to glorify him, saying, "You are very near and dear to the Supreme Lord Krsna. Not only that, you are Krsna's manifestation; you are non-different from Him. You can give liberation and also Krsna-prema, the rare jewel of transcendental love for Krsna."

Hearing Narada glorify him in numerous ways, Lord Siva became angry and said, "Your glorification of me is false. I am not at all dear to Sri Krsna." Lord Siva is actually most dear to Sri Krsna, and therefore Krsna can give him services which He cannot give anyone else. When the demigods and demons were churning the Milk Ocean in order to obtain the nectar of immortality, the first substance produced was a powerful and dangerous poison, burning the entire world. The demigods appealed to Sri Krsna, and He advised them to request Lord Siva to drink the poison. Thus, they worshiped Lord Siva and prayed, "Please save us! Only you can protect us!" Lord Siva collected the poison and took it in his mouth, but he hesitated to swallow it, considering, "Lord Krsna is in my heart. The poison will affect Him." He therefore kept the poison in his throat, which was burned, and his neck turned the color blue.

Now, out of genuine humility, Lord Siva told Narada: "I want to be His beloved devotee, but actually I am not. You know that I always wear ashes from the burial grounds, and a garland of skulls. All my associates are ghosts and witches, so I am not qualified to be Krsna's dear devotee. If I am so dear to Him, why would He have ordered me to engage with the mode of ignorance in the terrible function of destroying of the universe? If I am such a great recipient of His mercy, why would he have ordered me to become Sankaracarya and preach a philosophy that is adverse to Him?"

Actually, although he expressed otherwise, it was because Siva is so dear to Krsna that Krsna was able to give him the difficult task of appearing as Sankaracarya. Many people had been worshiping the Supreme Lord only to fulfill their selfish purposes, thinking, "Simply by our worship of God, He will be pleased with us and satisfy all our worldly desires." They worshiped Him only so that He would rapidly arrange for all of their needs, not to please Him. Lord Krsna thought, "This is very dangerous." He called Lord Siva and instructed him, "Such false devotees will create great disturbances, so keep them far away from Me. Create a philosophy which teaches, 'brahma satyam jagan mithya – the Absolute is true, this world is false.' You should preach, 'All souls are Siva; all souls are Brahma; all are one. You are brahma, the impersonal Absolute. There is no need to worship any other God; you are the Supreme God.' "

Reluctant, Lord Siva asked Krsna, "Can you please tell someone else to do this? I am not qualified for this service." Krsna replied, "No, you will have to do this. In the entire world, I see no one else who is as capable."

Feeling ashamed, Lord Siva now told Narada, "At last, I had to agree to follow His order. Appearing as Sankaracarya I preached everywhere, 'You are brahma, you are brahma, you are the impersonal brahma. The entire world is false.' I am so much regretting this. I know I have committed a great offence by causing so many people to be averse to Lord Krsna. Still, to carry out His order I spread this doctrine. It is clear by the fact that He sometimes gives me such orders that I am not His dearest one."

Cheating the Cheaters

Lord Siva also expressed to Narada his regret in having given benedictions to Lord Krsna's enemies. To fulfill his Lord's desires, he had given benedictions to demons like Ravana, Vrkasura, Salva and Jayadratha, and thus he had performed many activities that were seemingly opposed to Krsna and krsna-bhakti.

Narada Muni said, "Master, please don't try to mislead me. I know that whatever you do is to please Lord Krsna and to assist Him in His pastimes, for the benefit of all beings. You told me that you have many times given benedictions to His enemies. I know that His enemies, as well as the enemies of His devoted cousins, the Pandavas, worship you for ill-motivated benedictions. I also know that you grant them benedictions. But those benedictions are not foolproof; they always have some loophole. Actually, you cheat these beneficiaries in order to please Lord Krsna. You are undoubtedly His dearest friend." Siva and Narada continued to discuss some historical incidents which, according to Siva, proved that he was not dear to Krsna – but according to Narada, proved the opposite.

A Loophole

The great epic Mahabharata tells of King Jayadratha, one of the many demons who received such a clever benediction from Lord Siva. Duryodhana, the paternal cousin of the five Pandava brothers, had given his sister Dushala in marriage to King Jayadratha, and therefore the king had also become like a brother-in-law of the Pandavas. Once, Jayadratha tried to kidnap the Pandavas' wife, Draupadi, desiring strongly to make her his own wife. As he forced her onto his chariot, she admonished him, crying, "I am the wife of the Pandavas. When they catch you, they will punish you and kill you!"

Jayadratha's arrogance prevented him from hearing her, and he continued his abduction. Meanwhile, the sage Narada approached the Pandavas and informed them, "Oh, I saw Jayadratha taking away Draupadi, and she was weeping!" Two of the Pandavas, Bhima and Arjuna, immediately chased after Jayadratha. Bhima dismounted his chariot and ran faster than Jayadratha's horses. With his bow and arrows, Arjuna created a fire that surrounded the chariot of Jayadratha, who was then captured and could not move. Severely beaten by Bhima and arrested by Arjuna, Jayadratha was bound to the chariot and taken to where Yudhisthira Maharaja had been staying with Draupadi. Bhima and Arjuna spoke to Yudhisthira, their respected senior brother. Bhima urged him, "I want to kill Jayadratha. Please order me to kill him." In support of Bhima, Arjuna said, "Jayadratha has performed a heinous act and should be killed." King Yudhisthira replied, "The offense was committed against Draupadi. We should take the case to her, and we will do whatever she orders."

When Jayadratha was brought at the feet of Draupadi, she mercifully told her husbands, "Don't kill him; forgive him. He is our brother-in-law. If you kill him, your cousin-sister will be widowed and she will weep for the rest of her life." Bhima and Arjuna then approached Lord Krsna and appealed to Him: "What should we do? We have vowed to kill Jayadratha, and now Draupadi tells us to forgive him." Krsna replied, "For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death."

Arjuna then shaved King Jayadratha's head, leaving five patches of hair, and he shaved one side of his face, leaving the other side unshaven. Jayadratha felt humiliated, and after being released by Bhima and Arjuna he considered it better to have died. He thought, "I will somehow take revenge." Thus absorbed, he went to Gangotri in the Himalayas and undertook a severe type of penance to please Lord Siva.

After some months he gave up all food, water, and bodily activities, and was about to die. At this point Lord Siva came before him and asked what boon he wanted as a result of his austerity. Jayadratha replied, "I want revenge against the Pandavas. I want to defeat and kill all of them." Lord Siva told him, "You can defeat the Pandavas, but only Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva; not Arjuna." Jayadratha said, "If you cannot benedict me to my full satisfaction, then please grant that neither Arjuna nor anyone else will be able to kill me." Lord Siva replied, "I can grant you this: if your head is severed and falls on the ground, the person who caused this will die immediately. Your life will be saved and your head will rejoin your body. You may be 'killed' hundreds of thousands of times, but you will not die. On the other hand, if your severed head falls into your father's hands and he throws it on the ground, then you will die." Jayadratha was satisfied, thinking, "My father would never do this."

When the battle of Kuruksetra began, Jayadratha took the side of the Pandavas' enemy, Duryodhana. One evening during the battle, as the sun was setting, Jayadratha's father was absorbed in prayer and making an offering of water to the Sun-god. Arjuna saw this opportune moment. With the skillful release of an arrow, he severed Jayadratha's head from his body and caused it to fall into the hands of his meditating father. Startled and without thought, Jayadratha's father tossed the head on the ground. Then, opening his eyes he exclaimed, "What was that wet thing?" Seeing that he had just thrown his son's head, he began to cry, "Oh my son! Oh my son! You are dead now!"

A Clever Benediction

Envious of Krsna and with a desire for the strength to destroy him, the demon Salva also took shelter of Lord Siva. He performed a severe type of austerity and ate no more than a handful of ashes daily. After one year, Lord Siva became pleased with him and asked him to beg for a boon. Salva begged from Lord Siva the gift of an airplane, saying, "This airplane should perform as I wish; it should be operated by my mind. On my order it should go to heaven or anywhere I desire. In summer it should be air-conditioned. If there are only two men, there should only be two seats, and if I want to travel with hundreds of thousands of persons, many seats should manifest. It should never crash due to mechanical difficulty, and it should be equipped with all varieties of weapons. It should be dangerous and fearful to the Yadus."

Lord Siva agreed, and Salva was helped by the demon Maya Danava to manufacture a mystical airplane that began to destroy Dvaraka, Lord Krsna's abode. Salva personally attacked from above, and his soldiers attacked on the ground. Headed by Pradyumna, the Yadu dynasty warriors fought with Salva and his army, but they could not defeat him. Finally, Lord Krsna personally appeared on the battlefield, and after much intense fighting on both sides and many mystic displays by Salva, the Lord took up His disc, cut off the demon's head, and gave him liberation.

In this way, the benedictions given by Lord Siva to the enemies of Lord Krsna always have a weak point – a loophole. Lord Siva is extremely clever, and he is always serving his Lord, Sri Krsna. Narada knew this fact, and he wanted to publicize Lord Siva's glories. Siva is very near and dear to Krsna, and non-different from Him. Try to always honor him, for he is

Krsna's greatest devotee.

nimna-ganam yatha ganga
devanam acyuto yatha
vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh
purananam idam tatha

["Just as the Ganga is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Sambhu the greatest of Vaisnavas, so Srimad-Bhagavatam is the greatest of all Puranas." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.16)]

The Principle of Siva

The principle of Siva – Siva-tattva – is extremely complex. The principle of Brahma is not as complicated, because Lord Brahma is always a jiva, a finite spirit soul. Sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu (Krsna's expansion) personally takes the post of Brahma, but that is rare. Lord Siva is not like that; he is not a finite soul. After passing through the eight material coverings, and after crossing the Viraja (the river that divides the material world and the spiritual world) and the planet of Lord Brahma (the highest material planet), one comes to the planet of Siva. There he is known as Sadasiva, a manifestation of Lord Visnu.

Siva-tattva can be understood by the analogy of yogurt and milk. Yogurt is nothing but a transformation of milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. This analogy is found in Sri Brahma-Samhita and elucidated in Srila Jiva Gosvami's commentary: "Just as milk is transformed into yogurt by contact with a transforming agent, Sri Govinda, Lord Sri Krsna, similarly accepts the form of Sambhu (Siva) in order to accomplish a specific purpose. The example of yogurt is actually given in order to convey the idea of cause and effect, not the idea of transformation. Sri Krsna is reality and cannot be transformed, so it is not possible for Him to undergo any kind of distortion. A wish-fulfilling gem manifests many things according to one's desire, yet its constitutional nature remains untransformed."

Ramesvara Mahadeva

When Sri Ramacandra was making the bridge to Lanka, he established a Siva-linga (deity form of Siva) called Ramesvara. All the common people began glorifying Lord Siva, shouting, "Ramesvara ki jaya! You are Rama's isvara: you are the lord of Rama." The demigods were unsatisfied by this and announced through an aerial voice, "Ramas ca asau isvarah: Rama is God, and Sankara is also God; they are the same." Hearing this, the Siva-linga broke. Lord Siva emerged from the linga and told them all, "You are all foolish; you do not know my tattva, the established truths regarding my identity. Rama is my beloved and my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara."

Granting Perfect Love

Lord Siva eternally resides in Lord Krsna's abode, Vrndavana, where he manifests many forms to render devotional services to Him. The form of Gopisvara Mahadeva was manifested by Lord Krsna's desire. When Krsna desired to perform His rasa dance, Srimati Radhika, the embodiment of His pleasure potency, manifested from His left side and Gopisvara Mahadeva manifested from His right side. The form of Siva who lives in Kasi or Kailasa in the material world is a partial manifestation of the original Sadasiva in Vrndavana. The many other commonly worshiped forms of Lord Siva are expansions of Sadasiva. They are not the original. Partial expansions such as Pippalesvara Mahadeva, Bhutesvara Mahadeva, Rangesvara Mahadeva and so on cannot award the benediction that can be attained by the mercy of Gopisvara – the highest perfection of love, namely vraja-prema.

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has composed a prayer in his Vraja-vilasa-stava:

muda gopendrasyatmaja bhuja parisranga nidhaye
sphurad gopirvrndair yam iha bhagavatam pranayibhih
bhajadbhistair bhaktyas vamabhilasitam praptam acirad
yamitire gopisvaram anudinam tam kila bhaje

["I daily worship Gopisvara Mahadeva, who is situated on the bank of Yamuna. That very Gopisvara was worshipped with deep devotion by the gopis, and he quickly fulfilled their desire to attain a supremely precious jewel in the form of the embrace of the son of Nanda Maharaja ."]

Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the great Vaisnava saint who resided in Vrndavana near the old Sri Madana-Mohana temple, would go daily to see Sri Gopisvara Mahadeva at his temple. Once, in his older years, Sanatana Gosvami had a dream wherein Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared and instructed him: "Now that you are old, please do not go through so much trouble to see me." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I will continue to come. I cannot change this habit." Gopisvara Mahadeva said, "Then I will come and stay very near to your residence, manifesting in Bankhandi." The very next day, Sri Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared in Bankhandi, halfway between his original temple and Srila Sanatana Gosvami's residence. Seeing this, Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, and from that day on he visited Bankhandi Mahadeva every day.

Wherever he was, Srila Sanatana Gosvami could not live without his beloved Lord Siva – Gopisvara Mahadeva and Bankhandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana, and Kamesvara Mahadeva in Kamyavana forest. In Govardhana he would stay near his very dear friend, Cakresvara Mahadeva, who acquired the name when he served Govardhana Hill and the Vrajavasis by holding up his trident like a cakra, protecting them from the torrential deluge sent by King Indra.

Prior to this, Lord Siva had asked Sri Krsna for the boon to witness His childhood pastimes. Krsna ordered him to situate himself in Nandagaon in the form of a hill. Siva followed this order and became Nandiçvara Hill, and he thus became known as Nandiçvara. (Lord Brahma became Brahma-parvata, the mountain in Srimati Radhika's birthplace, Varsana. Because Brahma is so near to Radhika, he is also our Gurudeva.)

We honor Lord Siva as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. We do not worship him separately. We observe Siva-ratri, Lord Siva's appearance day, and we glorify him in connection to his relationship with Sri Krsna. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written in his Hari-bhakti-vilasa that all Vaisnavas should observe Siva-caturdasi (Siva-ratri). Lord Siva, in whom all good qualities reside, should certainly be honored by the observance of this day.

We offer obeisance to Lord Siva with prayers like this:

vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma-maule
Gopisvara! vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te
(Sankalpa-kalpadruma 103)

O Gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vrajadhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and again.

By Siva's Benediction

A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Siva, "I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Lord Siva told him, "Go to Vrndavana and meet with Srila Sanatana Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your daughter's marriage." The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and there he asked the villagers there for the whereabouts of a person named Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his residence.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami was practicing bhajana near the Yamuna River at Kaliya-hrada, the former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Kaliya-hrada was close to the Yamuna, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand. Srila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a loincloth. He used to go begging door-to-door for a small amount of prasada (Krsna's food remnants), and would take as his meal only one dry chapatti (flat bread), with no salt.

The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, "I went to Sankara Mahadeva, Lord Siva, and he told me to meet you. He said you will give me some wealth for my daughter's marriage." Sanatana Gosvami replied, "I have no possessions. You can see that I have nothing but a loincloth." Then he thought, "Oh, Siva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend." Thinking of Lord Siva and contemplating further, he remembered a touchstone he had once disgarded and then forgotten. Now he told the brahmana, "Go to the Yamuna and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone. It is somewhere in the sand, though I don't remember where."

The brahmana found the jewel, touched it to iron, and the iron turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Lord Siva had told him to come to Vrndavana, and thought with gratitude, "My prayer has been answered by him." On the way home, however, his greed for money increased and he began thinking, "Why did Sanatana Gosvami keep the touchstone in the sand? It had no use there. He must have still more valuable jewels."

He thus returned, and Sanatana Gosvami asked him, "Why have you come back?" He replied, "I've come because I know that you have more valuable jewels than this." Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Go and throw the touchstone in the Yamuna. The brahmana did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him, "Come here. Come here." He gave him the mantra, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare" and said, "I do not have worldly jewels, but I have transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krsna and Sri Radha will come to you in a very short time. So remain here. Your daughter's marriage will take place automatically. Stay here and chant Hare Krsna." That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint.



Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Cessnock, Australia
February 25, 2002

[This year, 2016, Sri Nityananda Prabhu's appearance day is on February 20th. (in India). We pray that you will kindly accept the following transcription of this class given by Srila Gurudeva Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja on this auspicious day, in Cessnock, Australia, on the morning of February 25, 2002. It's always new.]

[Devotees sing the bhajana, 'Nitai Guna Mani Amara']

Srila Gurudeva: What is the meaning of abaddha karuna-sindhu nitai katiya muhan?

Premananda dasa: Nityananda Prabhu has broken open the storehouse of love of God and He's freely distributing it everywhere.

Srila Gurudeva: Very good.

Sripad Asrama Maharaja: The ocean of mercy was closed, and Lord Nityananda broke it open and made a channel by which this love and mercy could be distributed.

Srila Gurudeva: How?

Sripad Asrama Maharaja: He went from house to house.

Srila Gurudeva: What is the meaning of ghare ghare bule prema?

Sripad Asrama Maharaja: Door to door.

Srila Gurudeva: Who went door to door?

Sripad Asrama Maharaja: Lord Nityananda.

Srila Gurudeva: The meaning is hidden. Prema (love) was going door to door, like a flood.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Abaddha karuna-sindhu katiya muhan ghare ghare bule prema-amiyar ban. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought krsna-prema from Goloka Vrndavana, but there was a dam in the river of that love, and the water was blocked. If a dam is somehow or other broken, water will come very forcefully and flood everywhere. Similarly, being causelessly merciful, Nityananda Prabhu broke the dam which was blocking the water. The water of prema then came very quickly, like a flood. During a flood, water will move here and there. There will be no need of making a canal or channel to take water here and there, for it will overflow automatically. Similarly, prema was now moving, here, there and everywhere, like amiyar ban, a flood of nectar

Srila Gurudeva: Nityananda Prabhu broke the blockage, and the ocean of love was then free to come to this world, everywhere, door to door. What is that prema? Sacinandana Gaurahari is Himself unnatojjvala-prema, and He brought unnatojjvala rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam (service to Srimati Radhika as Her maidservant). Nityananda Prabhu is the embodiment of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's complete mercy. Guru is the condensed mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Nityananada Prabhu is the complete and undivided guru-tattva. That mercy was somehow blocked, but He requested Caitanya Mahaprabhu to give His love and affection to everyone. We see this now, everywhere in this universe, and because of this, there will be no Kalki Avatara in this Kali-yuga.

In this world, all are suffering with so many problems. We know this, and yet we don't take the shelter of Lord Nityananda. If we take shelter of Nityananda Prabhu, He will quickly manage everything for us, and then we can be happy. He may sometimes perform a big operation, or He may perform a minor operation; it depends on Him. For example, He performed a big operation on Ramacandra Khan and told him, "Muslims will come and plunder you and your whole dynasty. They will cook meat here, and you will all be destroyed." Sometimes Nityananda Prabhu does minor operations and sometimes He gives His full causeless mercy, without any apparent reason. He performed a minor operation on Sivananda Sena, and He was causelessly merciful to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had apparently not rendered any service, but still he received Nityananda Prabhu's mercy.

Brajanath dasa: What was the dam that blocked the mercy?

Srila Gurudeva: It was 'time.' Krsna wanted to come here as Mahaprabhu and taste love and affection, but when He would come, how He would come, and who would assist Him, was not determined.

If anyone chants, Nityananda Prabhu will at once give prema. He went to Jagai and Madai, two bogus persons who would not agree to chant the holy name, and told them, "You must chant." Jagai and Madhai immediately attacked Him upon hearing His words, but still He gave them krsna-prema. The ocean was blocked – within Caitanya Mahaprabhu – but Nityananda Prabhu broke the dam. He told Mahaprabhu, "Don't kill them. You cannot kill anyone in this incarnation. You are obliged not to kill. You have come to give prema and You have promised to give it, so please fulfill Your promise." Thus, if you take shelter of Nityananda Prabhu, you will be free of all problems very quickly.

Devotee: You said that if we take shelter of Lord Nityananda, all problems go away. Exactly how does one take shelter of Lord Nityananda?

Srila Gurudeva: In this world we take shelter of Krsna by practicing the six limbs of saranagati, and this also applies to Nityananda Prabhu. We pray, "I have offered my life and everything I possess at Your lotus feet. I have so much faith in You."

anukulyasya sankalpa pratikulyasya varjanam
raksisyatiti visvaso goptvrtve varanam tata

["The six divisions of surrender are: the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Krsna will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as ones' guardian or master, humility, and full self-surrender." (Hari-bhakti-vilasa)]

If Krsna is supporting, nourishing, and saving us, why worry? All tattvas (established philosophical truths) will come, renunciation will come, and all your misfortune will go away. Suppose you want worldly happiness, considering that worldly paraphernalia, relationships and attachments are good, and thinking, "I should have so much money." What will Nityananda Prabhu do? He will take away all these attachments and give you transcendental love. He knows how you can get this love. He will not act according to your advice; He is not your subordinate. He will not come to you and say, "What should I do for you so that you can be happy?" Rather, He will perform a major operation, or a minor operation, or He may just give you transcendental love and affection.

Brajanath dasa: We see that sometimes those who present themselves as devotees get wealth and position – perhaps because they chant with aparadha?

Srila Gurudeva: That depends on the devotee. Sometimes wealth and position come by namabhasa or namaparadha, but how did so much opulence come to Yudhisthira Maharaja? It did not come as a result of an offence. Yudhisthira wanted to serve Krsna. He wanted to give inspiration to the whole world, saying, "If you worship Krsna, you will not be a beggar." But the example of Maharaja Yudhisthira is very rare.

Premananda dasa: Someone told me that later in Kali-yuga people will not recognize Mahaprabhu as God, as Krsna. Is this true?

Srila Gurudeva: No, no. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu comes, (once in thousands of Kali-yugas), there is no Kalki Avatar. The effect of harinama will continue everywhere, until the end.



Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
North Shore, Hawaii: January 24, 2007

[This year, 2016, the Appearance Day of Sri Advaita Acarya is February 14th and 15th around the world. Because Advaita Acarya's glories are ever-fresh, ever-new, and ever-benedicting those who hear or read about them, kindly accept the following discourse, given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja in Hawaii in 2007. Sound files Hindi Lecture 1994 English Lecture Perth 2001.]

Today is the appearance day of Sri Advaita Acarya. He is Sadasiva. *[see endnote 1] He is non-different from Visnu-tattva, and therefore his name is ‘Advaita’ (non-different). He is also a prominent acarya (teacher and personal example) of preaching the glories of the holy name and giving prema-bhakti along with that chanting, and therefore his name is ‘Acarya’.

Advaita Acarya’s fathers’ name was Kuvera Pandita. Before Advaita Acarya’s birth, Kuvera Pandita performed austerities to please Lord Siva, that is, Sadasiva. After a long time, Siva became pleased with him and told him, “You may ask me for any boon.”

Kuvera Pandita then said, “I want a son like you. I want a son who is as qualified as you.”

Siva replied, “This is impossible, so I will personally come as your son.”

Thus, Sadasiva appeared as his son.

At the time of his birth, Advaita Acarya was given the name Kamalaksa, which means ‘one who has very beautiful lotus eyes’. He was very intelligent, and in a few years he completed his study of all the Vedic scriptures and also Sanskrit grammar.

His father was a servant of the king. One day, when he was about five or six years old, his father took him to the royal palace, where there was a temple of the demigoddess Devi (Kali). There, the king and his father offered their obeisances to Kali, but that boy, Kamalaksa, did not do so. Seeing this, the king became angry,

Kamalaksa’s father said, “The king is angry. I am his servant. Why are you not offering obeisances to Kali? Kali is a very exalted demigoddess, and she can give any boon. Everyone respects her, so you should also respect her and offer your obeisances.

Kamalaksa replied, “If I will do so, Kali will be destroyed.”

Saying this, he offered his obeisances. At once there was an explosion, and the deity of Kali broke into many pieces.

All those who were present began saying, “Oh, who is he?” Why did this happen?” The answer is that Advaita Acarya is Sadasiva and in this world Kali is Lord Siva’s wife. She is his sakti, or power. She feels herself subordinate to her husband and cannot tolerate his bowing down to her. That is why her deity exploded.

* * * *

After some time, Advaita Acarya went to Santipura in West Bengal, and he also had a residence in Navadvipa, near the house of Srivasa Acarya (Srivasa-angana). He used to live in Santipura, but from time to time he would come to Navadvipa, where He would teach boys in a Sanskrit school.

Sri Visvarupa Prabhu, the elder brother of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, used to study at that Sanskrit school. After some time Visvarupa became renounced. He left his house and became sannyasi. Mother Saci-devi became very upset by this, thinking that Advaita Acarya’s close association with her son that influenced him to take up the renounced order. She criticized Advaita Acarya by saying, “His name is ‘Advaita’, meaning ‘non-dual’, but he is not ‘advaita.’ He is ‘dvaita’, meaning ‘dual’ or ‘duplicitous’, because he taught my son, and then my son became renounced.”

After some time, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited the house of Srivasa Thakura (Srivasa Angana). There, He manifested sata-prahariya-bhava, which means that He was in the mood that: “I am Visnu.” *[see endnote 2] At that time He was giving boons to all present, saying, “Be blessed with prema!” And at once all began to dance and sing and weep.

The devotees requested Him, “Please give this boon of prema to Your mother.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “I cannot give prema to her. She has committed an offense at the lotus feet of Advaita Acarya. She must go and apologize to him, and then I will give her this boon.”

Mother Saci at once went to Santipura and apologized to Advaita Acarya, who immediately offered obeisances to her. He placed his head on her lotus feet and said, “O Mother, you made no offense, and if there was an offense, I excuse you.”

Mother Saci then returned to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who easily gave her prema. *[see endnote 3]

* * * *

For some time, Advaita Acarya was very worried, thinking, “Although Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Lord, my Lord, He is always offering obeisances to me.” He could not tolerate this, and one day he had an idea. He went to Santipura and began to explain the Bhagavad-gita according to mayavada-philosophy: Tattvam asi, aham brahmasmi (I am that impersonal God), and sarvam khalv idam brahma (everything is brahma, that impersonal God.)” When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard about this, He went to Santipura, where He pulled Advaita Acarya by his beard and began to kick him. Seeing this, Sita devi, Advaita Acarya’s wife told Mahaprabhu, “Oh, do You want to kill this old person?”

Advaita Acarya began to dance saying, “Oh, now I have received a boon: Mahaprabhu has beaten me. The master can beat the servant; The servant cannot beat the master. So now it is definite that He considers Himself my master. He can beat me and punish me as He likes.”

* * * *

Sri Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu often had some loving quarrels (prema-kalaha) with each other. Once, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Advaita Acarya, and all the Lord’s devotees were taking Lord Jagannatha’s prasadam together. Nityananda Prabhu took some of his prasadam remnants and threw them on Advaita Acarya’s body. Advaita Acarya said, “He is a mad avadhuta. He has no etiquette – none at all. And He has made me impure.”

Nityananda Prabhu then said, “Oh, he thinks Himself a Vaisnava, but he has no knowledge of Vaisnava principles. Maha-prasadam never becomes impure, even if it is touched by the mouth of a dog. Still he speaks like this, so he is an offender of maha-prasadam.”*[see endnote 4] In this way they both used to engage in loving, joking quarrels.

Once, during the time of the Ratha-Yatra festival in Jagannath Puri, after Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotees had completed their cleaning of the Gundica Temple, they sported together in the waters of the Indradyumna Sarovara lake. They were all splashing water on each other. Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acarya began to throw water on each other, and Nityananda Prabhu defeated Advaita Acarya. He later began to rebuke Nityananda Prabhu, calling Him bad names. In this way, They used to engage in love-filled mock quarrels.

Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol.

[*Endnote 1 –

In the Puranas it is found that Siva appears sometimes from the heads of Brahma and sometimes from the head of Visnu. The annihilator, Rudra, is born from Sankarsana and is the ultimate fire to burn the whole creation. In the Vayu Purana there is a description of Sadasiva in one of the Vaikuntha planets. That Sadasiva is a direct expansion of Lord Krsna's form for pastimes. It is said that Sadasiva (Lord Sambhu) is an expansion from the Sadasiva in the Vaikuntha planets (Lord Visnu) and that his consort, Mahamaya, is an expansion of Rama-devi, or Laksmi. Mahamaya is the origin or birthplace of material nature.

He also desires only to be a servant of Lord Krsna. Sri Sadasiva always says, "I am a servant of Lord Krsna." Intoxicated by ecstatic love for Lord Krsna, he becomes overwhelmed and incessantly dances without clothing and sings about Lord Krsna's qualities and pastimes. (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 6.80-6.81)]

[Endnote 2 –

One day in the house of Srivasa Thakura, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu sat down on the bed of Visnu, and all the devotees worshiped Him with the Vedic mantras of the Purusa-sukta, beginning with sahasra-sirsa purusah sahasraksah sahasra-pat. This veda-stuti should also be introduced, if possible, for installations of Deities. While bathing the Deity, all the priests and devotees must chant this Purusa-sukta and offer the appropriate paraphernalia for worshiping the Deity, such as flowers, fruits, incense, arati paraphernalia, naivedya, vastra and ornaments. All the devotees worshiped Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this way, and the Lord remained in ecstasy for seven praharas, or twenty-one hours. He took this opportunity to show the devotees that He is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, who is the source of all other incarnations, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (10.8): aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate. All the different forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or visnu-tattva, emanate from the body of Lord Krsna. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu exposed all the private desires of the devotees, and thus all of them became fully confident that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Some devotees call this exhibition of ecstasy by the Lord sata-prahariya bhava, or "the ecstasy of twenty-one hours," and others call it mahabhava-prakasa or maha-prakasa. There are other descriptions of this sata-prahariya bhava in the Caitanya-bhavagata, Chapter Nine, which mentions that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu blessed a maidservant named Dukhi with the name Sukhi. He called for Kholaveca Sridhara, and showed him His maha-prakasa. Then He called for Murari Gupta and showed him His feature as Lord Ramacandra. He offered His blessings to Haridasa Thakura, and at this time He also asked Advaita Prabhu to explain the Bhagavad-gita as it is (gitara satya-patha) and showed special favor to Mukunda. (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adil-lila, 17.18 Purport)]

[Endnote 3 –

When the throbbing pain of the first days of Visvarupa's departure had waned to a dull despondent ache, Mother Saci calmly considered the following thoughts, "Advaita Acarya, due to my son's close association with him, must have influenced Visvarupa to take up the renounced order."

Mother Saci never spoke these thoughts aloud, careful not to commit vaisnava-aparadha, she silently suffered her fate. Then gradually, she started finding solace in little Visvambhara. He seemed to understand His mother's grief and did much to give her joy, slowly filling up the emptiness Visvarupa had left behind.

Then, after sometime had passed and Visvambhara had grown up to a young man, He also started to spend more time in Advaita Acarya's company. Visvambhara stayed little time at home with His young and patient Laksmipriya, but was for long hours in Advaita's house. The sad realization dawned on Mother Saci that her son was hardly at home and often to be seen in Advaita's house. She began to think, "Advaita Acarya will also take this son away from me."

So out of desperation and anguish, Mother Saci burst out, exclaiming, "To the world he may be known as `Advaita', non-dual, but to me he is `Dvaita', full of duplicity. He has already driven out my moonlike effulgent first son and now he will not leave this younger one in peace. I am a destitute mother, yet no one has any pity for me. This Advaita has deceived me."

This is all that Mother Saci had said. It is supposed to be so offensive that the Lord deemed her unfit to render devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Some persons make the grave blunder, for which they will soon suffer, of trying to compare Vaisnavas, calling one a bigger Vaisnava than the other. Sri Caitanya made His own mother instrumental in teaching the whole world how to avoid and become free from vaisnava-aparadha. If someone does not pay close heed to Sri Caitanya's warnings and teachings on such vaisnava-aparadha, then he will remain completely ignorant about this offence and thus suffer the terrible consequences. In this context, a few words can be said of why Lord Caitanya revealed this pastime. Lord Caitanya, the Supreme Lord, is the knower of past, present and future. He foresaw that some evil-minded persons would try to exploit this situation to their own selfish advantage.

They will wrongly proclaim Advaita Acarya to be the Supreme Lord Krsna, thus violating the instructions of the pure Vaisnavas and thereby committing a grievous offence. These miscreants will protest against those who will rightly declare that Advaita is a `pure Vaisnava devotee'. Although they may claim to be the followers of Advaita Acarya, still no one will rescue them from the jaws of imminent destruction, not even Advaita Acarya himself.

Sri Caitanya saw this happening soon in the future, so He punished His own mother in the presence of exalted Vaisnavas like Advaita Acarya. If the disciple commits vaisnava-aparadha, even the spiritual master cannot protect his disciple against the wrath of the Lord.” (Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya-khanda, Chapter 22)]

[*Endnote 4 –

In this way, by submitting various humble requests, Advaita Acarya made Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda eat. Thus Caitanya Mahaprabhu fulfilled all the desires of Advaita Acarya.

Nityananda Prabhu jokingly said, "My belly is not yet filled up. Please take away Your food. I have not taken the least of it. 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 two or four pieces of the thrown rice touched His body, Advaita Acarya began to dance in various ways with the rice still stuck to His body.

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. 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. 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 replied, "These are the remnants of food left by Lord Krsna. If You take them to be ordinary remnants, You have committed an offense." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 3.92-99)]


Super Astounding Effects

Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj


Wednesday, 19 May 2004

[in Badger, California, from May 19-24, 2004, Srila Gurudeva gave a series of talks from Srila Sanatana Gosvamis Brhat-Bhagavatamrta. January 3, 2016 (In India) is the fifth anniversary of the divine disappearance of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, our beloved Gurudeva. To honor this sacred day, we are sending a lecture that he gave in Badger, California, on May 19, 2004, Listen. Here he explains the magic-like effects of mahat-sanga, the association and mercy of great souls. Because Sri Guru is eternally with us, eternally offering his sublime association, we pray that this lecture will serve to bring the respected reader increased connection with his lotus feet.]

tac chraddadhana munayo
pasyanty atmani catmanam
bhaktya sruta-grhitaya

["The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-sruti." (SB 1.2.12)]

Srila Suta Gosvami was a disciple of both Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and Sri Baladeva Prabhu. He was a realized person and knew all tattva. In spite of this, however, he did not tell his audience, I am tattva-vida. He does not say, I, myself, am one of those who are in full knowledge of the established transcendental truths. He is not taking the credit.

We should learn from his excellent example. It is not right to think that we are knowers of what we have learned. One who thinks like this is not a Guru, but rather a kan-guru. What you have learned from your Gurudeva and from learned Vaisnavas is their credit. Don't be proud thinking, "I know more than anyone." Sri Suta Gosvami has set the example here in this verse. He is very humbly saying, vadanti tat tattva-vidas. Those who know are great personalities like Lord Brahma, Sri Narada, Sri Parasara Muni, and Srila Vyasadeva himself is maha-muni and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami knows still more than Him. There are so many thousands upon thousands are there. 'Tac chraddadhana munayo'. Those who meditate on the Absolute Truth are munis.

If one thinks he has bhakti, but he has no jnana (knowledge), and no vairagya (renunciation), his so-called bhakti is bogus. It is absurd to think that bhakti can be present without tattva- jnana and vairagya. Both jnana and vairagya are like sons of bhakti They are part of bhakti. Without bhakti they have no true existence.

Pasyanty atmani catmanam bhaktya sruta-grhitaya means those who have served their Gurudeva and heard from him in a proper way. What is the proper way? In the Bhagavad-gita it has been said:

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

["Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth." (Bhagavad-gita 4.34)]

This is the proper line. Those who do not serve their Gurudeva, but at the same time can remember all these verses and tattvas, do so in vain. On the other hand, if any disciple is always serving, washing the clothes of his Gurudeva, cooking for him, etc., he has the right to hear, and his hearing will have some value. Otherwise there is no value. Those who do no service and have no sraddha (strong faith) cannot properly hear.

Jnana-vairagya-yuktaya means that the munis and rsis are telling this the tattva-vidas are telling this. They are pasyanti. Pasyanti means they actually realize or see their own souls as well as the Supreme Soul. In the Supersoul they see all living entities, and in all living entities they see the Supersoul. For example, Sri Prahlada Maharaja sees Sri Krsna, and what does he see in Sri Krsna? He sees the existence of the entire universe. Such great souls are called maha-bhagavatas. Srila Suta Gosvami is speaking about the maha-bhagavatas those who are really serving.

What is the meaning of service? Guru mano-'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale those who know the desire of their Gurudeva. For example, Srila Rupa Gosvami knew the desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he established that desire in this world through his many books. A disciple will surely do that. Even he has not studied the Vedas or other scriptures, he can still do this by the special mercy of Sri Gurudeva; and there are thousands upon thousands of examples of this.

There is the very near example, in the lives of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji was not literate in the eyes of the world, but Srila Prabhupada, the greatest scholar of his time, selected him as his Guru. Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja rejected his plea to become his disciple however, saying, "I will ask Sriman Mahaprabhu, and if He will reply, then I will give you initiation." For so many days he told him, "Oh, I forgot to ask." Then, one day Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the father of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, told Babaji Maharaja: "Do you want my son to die? Why do you not initiate him?" He replied, "Oh, I have asked, but the reply has not come and I forget to ask again." In this way he at first appeared to reject such a qualified person as Srila Prabhupada, just to show the humility and sincerity of his disciple. So you can imagine how exalted he was. He was blind, and he was illiterate, but he was situated on the head of all literates.

Also, there was once a murderer named Valmiki. He hunted and killed so many brahmanas, rsis and maharsis. By his good fortune, he met Sri Narada Rsi one day, and simply by Narada Rsis touch he became like gold. Narada Rsi was like a touchstone, and by his touch that hunter became like him. That hunter became a realized rsi. Narada Rsi had told him to chant, "Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama but he could not do so. So Narada then asked him, Can you chant, "Mara mara mara." Mara means death. Valmiki replied, "Oh yes, and he began, Mara mara marama rama rama" Mara eventually turned into Rama. There was no need of his studying in gurukula. Nothing was required for him. By Sri Naradas association he indirectly began, and then directly began, chanting Rama Ram Rama; and he became self-realized.

Sruta-grhitaya. First serve, then hear from Sri Gurudeva and Srimad-Bhagavatam, and then realize. Gradually you should come to this point.

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam

["Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [supersoul] in everyone's heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses the desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted." (SB 1.2.17)]

nasta-prayesv abhadresu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki

["By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact." (SB 1.2.18)]

Nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya means those who have removed their abhadra (anarthas), unwanted habits. Such a devotee is serving Gurudeva and hearing hari-katha. Only a small amount of anarthas remain at this stage, and this stage is called nistha. Anisthita (unsteady) bhakti has gone.

What is the meaning of bhagavata-sevaya?

There are two kinds of bhagavatas. One is called grantha-bhagavata and the other is bhakta-bhagavata, or bhakti-rasa-patra exalted devotees, who are the reservoirs of the mellow of pure devotion. Srimad-Bhagavatam is one type of bhagavata and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, Sri Narada Gosvami, and Srila Suta Gosvami are the other kind of bhagavata.

By serving these two kinds of bhagavatas, naisthiki-bhakti (steady devotion) will come. Ruci (pure love of God) comes after naisthiki-bhakti, and then asakti, (attachment to Sri Radha-Krsna) comes. Then rati (transcendental emotion) comes, and after rati, prema (pure love of God) manifests. If one wants transcendental bhakti but does not want to serve Guru and Vaisnavas, nothing will be accomplished.

In Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, 2.7.14, Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written:

evaitat paramadbhutam
krtartho yena vipro 'sau
sadyo 'bhut tat-svarupavat

The glory of mahat-sanga is super-astounding. By the influence of that glory, Jana Sarmas life immediately became successful, like that of his Guru, Svarupa. He became a personal friend of Sri Krsna by the association of Svarupa, who was known as Gopa Kumara in this world. That he immediately attained bhagavat-prema demonstrated the immense value of association with a great personality. Just like Svarupa, within an instance that brahmana felt fully gratified.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] There was once a Mathura brahmana, and he had many desires. He went to Prayaga, Jyotispura one day, and there he came in contact with the power of Sankara, Kamakya-devi, who is a parama-vaisnavi. He served her there, and one day, by her mercy, she gave him the Gopal-mantra in a dream. She appeared in his dream and he accepted that mantra from her. He did not receive from her the full process of how to chant, but he received something of it. When Guru gives a spiritual mantra he also gives the process by which to chant it. For example, he says, You should chant ten times in the morning, ten times in midday, ten times in evening, and meditate in such and such a way. So she instructed him in the initial process, and by following her instructions, his desire for wealth, position, and so on disappeared.

After awhile he left that place and, traveling from place to place, eventually arrived in Bhauma-Vrndavana and met Sri Gopa Kumara. He accepted Gopa Kumara as his Guru, and, in order to increase Jana Sarmas faith in bhakti and bhakta, Gopa Kumara told him his own story. He explained that he was a gopa of Govardhana, where he had met his own spiritual master and received Gopal-mantra from him. He told Jana Sarma how his own spiritual journey had taken him from there to Kasi, Prayaga, Indraloka in Svarga (Heaven), then to Brahmaloka, and then to Vaikuntha.

From there he had gone to Ayodhya, then to transcendental Dvaraka and Mathura, and then back to Bhauma-Vrndavana and wherever he went he was not truly happy. He told Jana Sarma that when he was in the upper planetary system, all the rsis there began to tell him: "You should remain here and meditate; you are Brahma (that one, impersonal God.)" Then he went to Vaikuntha-loka, where all the residents told him, "You should remain here and look like Lord Narayana four-handed and with all opulences." However, because he was continually chanting his Gopal-mantra, he could not be happy there. On the suggestion of Sri Narada Rsi he went to Ayodhya. Rama even dressed like a cowherd boy, to satisfy him, but he was not satisfied. Then he was sent to Dvaraka. There he became like a Yadava, and Dvarakadhisa Krsna also dressed up as a cowherd boy, but he was also chanting and remembering his mantra there; so he was not happy.

He then returned to Vrndavana Bhauma-Vrndavana and from there he went to Goloka Vrndavana and became fully satisfied by entering into sakhya-rasa with Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. There, as a cowherd boy, his name became Svarupa. Srimati Radhika personally sent Svarupa back to Bhauma-Vrndavana to deliver Jana Sarma.

Gopa-kumara told Jana Sarma his own history, and also explained the different rasas. He told him all spiritual truths, from top to bottom. Still, Jana Sarma could not realize anything. Then, Svarupa placed his hand on his head, saying, "Now you will realize all the spiritual truths you heard." And Jana Sarma immediately went to Goloka-Vrndavana and met Krsna.

By the mercy of his Gurudeva named Svarupa, Jana Sarma became like Svarupa, of sakhya-rasa, and he also began serving as a cowherd boy in Vrndavana.

So guru-mahatma is so powerful.

evaitat paramadbhutam
krtartho yena vipro 'sau
sadyo 'bhut tat-svarupavat

If Narada will come and tell the hunter, Valmiki, "At once you should realize Rama and his abode and pastimes, that very thing will transpire. If Srila Rupa Gosvami will come and place his hand on someones head, that person will also become realized. When Sri Svarupa Damodara placed his hands on the head of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he became like Sri Svarupa Damodara. The glory of Sri Gurudeva if he is really advanced and self-realized, is unlimited. We cannot glorify him properly.

Even if one is not on that advanced level, but he is sincere even if he is madhyama-adhikari, we can learn so many things from him. We can realize up to the stage on which that Vaisnava is situated.

Don't disbelieve these astounding truths. Try to serve Gurudeva purely. Even if you do not know any tattva, but you are serving him in various ways, one day he will place his hands on your head, saying, "Oh, you should be successful. Your life should be successful."

[Devotees sing Hari Hari, Kabe Mora Habe Hena Dina by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:]

O Hari! O Mahaprabhu! When will the fortunate day come when rati, deep love and attachment, will come in my heart for the lotus feet of the pure-hearted Vaisnavas? (At that time I will honor and serve them, and thus all my material desires and anarthas, especially lust and anger, will go. (Verse 1)

(With a heart free from duplicity) my outer behavior will correspond t my inner feelings and thoughts. (Seeing myself as completely insignificant) I will give all respect to others, seeking no honor in return. Always dancing and singing the holy names, I will remain constantly absorbed in remembering Sri Krsnas beautiful pastimes. (Verse 2)

My bodily maintenance should simply go on by habit so that my mind can be fully given to harinama. I will become attached only to that which is favorable for serving Sri Krsna. (Verse 3)

I will firmly reject whatever is unfavorable for His service. Continuing to do bhajana, in time I will give up this body (happily and peacefully). (Verse 4)

Residing alone in the forest of Godruma and continuously weeping, Bhaktivinoda anxiously prays, I am living only with the hope that Mahaprabhu will bestow His mercy on me. (Verse 5)




Srila Jiva Gosvami


Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Perth, Australia: 1998

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: All jivas (spirit souls) have a special relationship with Sri Krsna. Some are related with Him in the mood of friendship. Others have a relationship in the mood that "Krsna is my son," and that is called parental mood (vatsalya). Moreover, some have the mood that "Krsna is my beloved." All jivas have their own original, eternal relationship with Krsna. In this material world, that eternal relationship is covered. Sri Guru can see the soul's real form and nature. He knows the specialty of that person's relationship with Krsna, and he bestows this special relationship by mantra.

Did Srila Jiva Gosvami do the right thing when he defeated the arguments of Sri Vallabhacarya and defended his Gurudeva?

Devotees: He was right.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: But what about his Gurudeva, Srila Rupa Gosvami? Was he right or wrong?

Devotees: He was right.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: How is that? If Srila Jiva Gosvami did the right thing, then Srila Rupa Gosvami must be wrong. How can Srila Rupa Gosvami be right?

Devotee: Because he is Guru, he has the qualification that he can correct...

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not a good argument.

Devotee: Srila Rupa Gosvami is Guru. He is:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

["One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." (Sri Siksastaka 3)]

Srila Rupa Gosvami wants to respect everyone without desiring respect for himself. But Srila Jiva Gosvami could not tolerate that his Gurudeva was criticized.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not the answer. This logic is not correct.

Devotee: Srila Rupa Gosvami sent Jiva Gosvami away because he wanted to increase Jiva Gosvami's love by making him feel separation.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No. The answer is that Srila Rupa Gosvami wanted to respect Sri Vallabhacarya, but his disciple, Jiva Gosvami, disrespected him. This was wrong. Srila Rupa Gosvami considered, "Sri Vallabhacarya may think, 'Rupa Gosvami is not openly disrespecting me, but he is disrespecting me through his disciple.'" Therefore, some blame might come to Rupa Gosvami. By punishing his disciple, Jiva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami was giving respect to Sri Vallabhacarya.

Actually, Srila Rupa Gosvami was right and Srila Jiva Gosvami was also right. A disciple should not tolerate anything against his Gurudeva. Thus, both the guru and disciple were right. Srila Rupa Gosvami wanted to respect Sri Vallabhacarya, and he did.

After Srila Rupa Gosvami told him to leave, where did Srila Jiva Gosvami go? He went to Nandagatha.

(Correcting a devotee who had been called on to speak in the class) Srila Jiva Gosvami's designation is not that he is the son of Anupama. His designation is that he is the disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Don't say this. If you are explaining his life in great detail and you have a lot of time, then you can tell this; otherwise not. This is his glory – his glorification – and nothing else. He is the disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

If we say, "Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is the son of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura," this is not Srila Prabhupada's glorification. His real glory is that he is the disciple of Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Actually he is the disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, but in disciplic line we say that he is the disciple of Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was his bhagavad-parampara-guru, sravana-guru and bhajana-guru; and Srila Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was his mantra-guru, or diksa-guru.

Sometimes the bhagavad-parampara-guru, the bhajana-guru, is superior to the diksa-guru. If the diksa-guru is also the bhajana-guru, then he is also exalted.

Srila Jiva Gosvami is a brilliant star in our disciplic line. He is a brilliant and learned acarya – the greatest scholar – in the Brahma-Madhava Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was on his way to Vrndavana, he met with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami in Ramakeli, near Kamainatshala.

Jiva Gosvami was only a baby at that time. Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami brought that baby and placed him at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhu, who then touched him with His lotus feet. Playing the role of an ordinary sadhaka, Srila Jiva Gosvami said in Navadvipa that he did not remember this so vividly. He said he only had a very vague remembrance of that time when he touched the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Rupa Gosvami later made arrangements for Srila Jiva Gosvami's education. He gave money to Jiva Gosvami's family so that they could help him with his studies. Thus, even in boyhood, Jiva Gosvami became a great scholar in Bengali, Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic and Farsi. He was an unparalleled scholar of Sanskrit, especially of Sanskrit grammar.

When he was about ten years old, Srila Jiva Gosvami left his home and went to Navadvipa. At that time Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had already left this world. Srimati Saci-maiya, Srimati Visnupriya and Sri Nityananda Prabhu were present in Navadvipa at that time, and they were all weeping for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Srila Jiva Gosvami arrived there, Srila Nityananda Prabhu put His feet on the head of Srila Jiva Gosvami and inspired in his heart all tattva (knowledge and realization). Jiva then began to cry for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Nityananda Prabhu said, "Come with me. I will take you on parikrama of the sixteen krosas (thirty-two square miles) of Sri Navadvipa Mandala." He then took Jiva to the nine islands of Navadvipa: Antardvipa, Simantadvipa, Godrumadvipa, Madhyadvipa, Koladvipa, Rtudvipa, Jahnudvipa, Modadrumadvipa and Rudradvipa. He especially showed him Sri Yogapitha, the birthplace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, situated on the island called Mayapura.

Srila Jiva Gosvami told Nityananda Prabhu, "I want to stay here, at Your lotus feet." But Nityananda p(P)rabhu said, "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Srila Rupa Gosvami, "I am giving you and your whole family to Vrndavana." So you should also go to Vrndavana, to be with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami.

"On the way you should stop in Varanasi, and there you should study all the Vedanta-darsana (another name for Vedanta-sutra). You should learn the explanations of Sankara, Madhva, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya and Ramanujacarya, and then you should go to Vrndavana."

Thus, Srila Jiva Gosvami went to Kasi (Varanasi), where he met the disciple of Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya named Madhusudana Vidya-vacaspati. This disciple had studied Vedanta under the guidance of Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. He had learned everything that Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya had received from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he now taught that to Srila Jiva Gosvami.

After Srila Jiva Gosvami became expert in all these topics, he went to Vrndavana and took shelter at the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. Srila Sanatana Gosvami told Srila Rupa Gosvami, "You should initiate him." So Srila Rupa Gosvami initiated that boy.

Srila Rupa Gosvami then taught Srila Jiva Gosvami about everything he himself had written – Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Vidagdha-madhava, Sri Lalita-madhava and so on.

Srila Rupa Gosvami's books are rasa-sastra (scriptures delineating topics regarding Sri Krsna and His beloved associates], and thus Srila Jiva Gosvami became a learned scholar in that as well. When Jiva Gosvami fully mastered all topics taught to him by his guru, Srila Rupa Gosvami engaged him in proofreading his books and checking his writings for grammatical mistakes.

One day Sri Vallabhacarya came to see Rupa Gosvami. They were well acquainted because when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had met with Rupa and Anupama in Arhailgrama, their native place near Prayag, Vallabacarya was present. Very good discourses took place at that time.

Sri Vallabhacarya now inquired, "Are you writing any book?"

Srila Rupa Gosvami answered, "Oh yes, I am writing."

Sri Vallabhacarya then asked, "Which book you are writing?"

"Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu," Srila Rupa Gosvami replied.

"Oh, that is a very good book. May I see it?" Sri Vallabhacarya requested.

Srila Rupa Gosvami agreed and Sri Vallabhacarya took the book. Reading it, he saw this verse:

bhukti-mukti-sprha yavat pisaci hrdi vartate
tavad bhakti sukhasyatra katham abhyudayo bhavet

["As long as the witches of bhukti and mukti linger in the heart, how can pure bhakti arise?" (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Purva 2.16)]

Vallabhacarya read Rupa Gosvami's explanation: that mukti (liberation) is not like a witch. It is the desire to achieve mukti that is like a witch. Vallabhacarya did not understand this fact; so, Jiva although a youth of only sixteen years, explained it to him.

Vallabhacarya was impressed. He went back to Srila Rupa Gosvami and said, "Oh, your disciple is such a learned boy." Srila Rupa Gosvami could understand Jiva had defended him, and he told him, "You should have been tolerant. Sri Vallabhacarya is a brahmana. He is learned and he is also Vaisnava. And he is visiting Me. He is my guest. You cannot tolerate that he suggests some corrections?

In this way, the behavior of Srila Rupa Gosvami is correct. On the other hand, it would not have been right for Srila Jiva Gosvami to tolerate the fact that Sri Vallabhacarya was attempting to correct his Gurudeva. He was right to defend his Gurudeva. Srila Rupa Gosvami is not an ordinary Vaisnava. He is the associate of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna in Goloka-Vrndavana. He cannot make any mistake. Srila Jiva Gosvami argued some points and defeated Sri Vallabhacarya, and this was the right thing to do.

If anyone thinks he can correct the writing or teachings of our Gurudeva, we must also act like this, but when we are in the position of Srila Rupa Gosvami, we should honor the other person and say, "You can correct me, no harm." This is the behavior of a Vaisnava. Rupa Gosvami was not angry at Jiva Gosvami from his heart; he only showed some anger externally, and thus told him to leave.

When Sanatana Gosvami heard what had happened, he became very worried for Jiva Gosvami. When he arrived at that place, Nandagatha, all the villagers approached him and said, "Oh, a new baba has come here. He is very young, but he is always weeping and crying out in love for Krsna: "Oh, Krsna! Oh, Radhe, Radhe!" He weeps day and night. He is more qualified than you."

Srila Sanatana Gosvami thought, "Oh, he must be Jiva!" In this way he found Jiva Gosvami and saw that he was about to die. Jiva Gosvami had given up eating and drinking, he did not take baths, and he was continually weeping for his Gurudeva.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami took him back to Vrndavana and hid him somewhere there. Then he went to Srila Rupa Gosvami and asked, "What is our duty to all jivas?" Srila Rupa Gosvami replied, "We should be very kind." Srila Sanatana Gosvami then said, "Well, is this Jiva not a jiva? Why you are so unkind to this Jiva?"

Rupa Gosvami began to weep. Sanatana Gosvami called Jiva Gosvami and put him in Rupa Gosvami's lap. Rupa Gosvami, seeing that Jiva Gosvami had so many diseases and was about to die, embraced him and nourished him. He gave Jiva Gosvami medicine, and after some days Jiva Gosvami became cured. After that, Jiva Gosvami always remained in the service of Srila Rupa Gosvami.

When Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami left this world, Jiva Gosvami became the prominent acarya of the Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha (World Vaisnava Association). This is the real Krsna consciousness movement, which was established by Lord Brahma himself. Sri Narada Muni, Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami are acaryas of the real Krsna consciousness movement, and later, Srila Jiva Gosvami became its prominent acarya.

I saw a book today, written by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja. Therein, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja made a point that I think no one in Iskcon after Parama-pujyapada Srila Swami Maharaja had ever written before. He clearly wrote that Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja did not establish the Krsna consciousness movement. Who is the establisher? It is Lord Brahma* [see Endnote 1].

Moreover, Brahma is also not the establisher; he is also a disciple. Sri Krsna is the root of all gurus. He is jagad-guru (the guru of the entire universe), as is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Krsna consciousness movement is coming from Krsna, and it is therefore called "Krsna consciousness". Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is not the establisher of Krsna consciousness; he is one of the prominent acaryas in this line.* [see Endnote 2] We should realize all these facts.

After Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami disappeared, Jiva Gosvami spread the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. He wrote many books, including the Six Sandarbhas and Sarva-Samvadini (Jiva Gosvami's own commentary on his Six Sandarbhas), because he wanted to protect the world from incorrect philosophical conceptions and conclusions.

Try to understand all these topics; and try to follow Srila Jiva Gosvami's philosophy. His teachings are not different from those of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He is in their line. He has given an explanation of svakiya-vada (Radha-Krsna as a married couple). He did this for the benefit of his unqualified disciples and followers, those who are not qualified for raganuga-bhakti or rupanuga-bhakti. He did this to bring them gradually to this line of parakiya (Radha-krsna as transcendental paramours). I will explain more tomorrow.

Gaura Premanande!

[*Endnote 1: Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja writes in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.6: "Thus Brahma was initiated by the Krsna mantra, by Lord Krsna Himself, and thus he became a Vaisnava, or a devotee of the Lord, before he was able to construct the huge universe. It is stated in the Brahma-samhita that Lord Brahma was initiated into the eighteen-letter Krsna mantra, which is generally accepted by all the devotees of Lord Krsna. We follow the same principle because we belong to the Brahma sampradaya, directly in the disciplic chain from Brahma to Narada, from Narada to Vyasa, from Vyasa to Madhva Muni, from Madhva Muni to Madhavendra Puri, from Madhavendra Puri to Isvara Puri, from Isvara Puri to Lord Caitanya and gradually to His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, our divine master."

"The Hare Krsna movement is not a new movement as people sometimes mistakenly think. The Hare Krsna movement is present in every millennium of Lord Brahma's life, and the holy name is chanted in all the higher planetary systems, including Brahmaloka and Candraloka, not to speak of Gandharvaloka and Apsaraloka. The sankirtana movement that was started in this world five hundred years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore not a new movement. Sometimes, because of our bad luck, this movement is stopped, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His servants again start the movement for the benefit of the entire world, or indeed, the entire universe." (SB 7.15.72 Purport)

In his Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.6-7 purport, Srila Prabhupada lists some of the other prominent acaryas in this movement. He writes: "He (Narada) is the son and disciple of Brahmaji, and from him the disciplic succession in the line of Brahma has been spread. He initiated Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja and many celebrated devotees of the Lord. He initiated even Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedic literatures, and from Vyasadeva, Madhvacarya was initiated, and thus the Madhva-sampradaya, in which the Gaudiya-sampradaya is also included, has spread all over the universe. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to this Madhva-sampradaya; therefore, Brahmaji, Narada, Vyasa, down to Madhva, Caitanya and the Gosvamis all belonged to the same line of disciplic succession."

Prabhupada confirms in this next quote that he is coming in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He writes: "Our original sampradaya stems from Madhvacarya. In that sampradaya there was Madhavendra Puri, and Madhavendra Puri's disciple was Sri Isvara Puri. Sri Isvara Puri's disciple was Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Thus we are coming in the disciplic succession from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and therefore our sampradaya is called the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. It is not that we have manufactured a sampradaya; rather, our sampradaya stems from Lord Brahma." (Teachings of Lord Kapila, chapter 14, text 31)]

[Endnote 2: "In Los Angeles many fathers and mothers used to come to see me to express their feelings of gratitude for my leading the Krsna consciousness movement throughout the entire world. Some of them said that it is greatly fortunate for the Americans that I have started the Krsna consciousness movement in America. But actually the original father of this movement is Lord Krsna Himself, since it was started a very long time ago but is coming down to human society by disciplic succession. If I have any credit in this connection, it does not belong to me personally, but it is due to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is Preface)

"I think that His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in Srimad Bhagavatam, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye. Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. It is to be admitted that whatever translation work I have done is through the inspiration of my spiritual master because personally I am most insignificant and incompetent to do this materially impossible work. I do not think myself a very learned scholar, but I have full faith in the service of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura." (Caitanya-Caritamrta, Antya-lila, concluding words).]


The Glory of Sri Radha


Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha: August 27, 2009, evening.

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj

[in 2007, in honor of Sri Radhastami, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja gave two discourses on the glories of Srimati Radhika; one on the eve of Radhastami and one on the following morning. Srila Maharaja spoke in his mother tongue, Hindi, and his words were simultaneously translated by Akhilesh dasa Adhikari into the headphones of the English speaking devotees in the audience. This is his discourse of Radhastami eve. ]

Sri Krsna was present at Vamsivata, the place of the rasa dance, but He was not happy. He wanted to perform loving pastimes but He was all alone. Srimati Radharani then appeared from His left side, and Sankara (Siva), Sri Gopisvara, appeared from His right side as guru-tattva. Radha ran to Krsna with great pleasure. Ra is for anuragi, meaning ‘deep spiritual loving attachment,’ and dha is for dhavati, which means ‘to run very fast, with great eagerness.’ Krsna worshiped that very Radha, and therefore Her name became Radhika.

When Krsna first appeared in Gokula, Narada came for His darsana and thought, “Krsna never appears alone; His hladini-sakti must also have been born.”

In the meantime, Vrsabhanu Maharaja was staying in Raval, where he daily took bath in the river Yamuna. One day, fifteen days after the birth of Lord Krsna, just after taking his bath, Vrsabhanu Maharaja saw a thousand-petaled lotus flower in the Jamuna. In the middle of that lotus flower was a beautiful baby girl sucking Her thumb and moving Her hands and legs. Seeing Her, he immediately picked Her up, took Her in his arms, brought Her to his wife Kirtika, and placed Her on Kirtika’s lap. Not many people know Radhika as the daughter of Kirtika-devi; they mostly know Her as the dear daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja.

Just after the appearance of that baby girl, Narada went to Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s home and inquired from him, “Has there been any child born of you?”

Vrsabhanu Maharaja replied, “Yes, a son called Sridama.”

Narada then blessed Sridama and asked, “Has there been any child born more recently?”

Vrsabhanu Maharaja replied, “Yes, a few days ago a daughter was born; I was blessed with a daughter.”

Narada asked Vrsabhanu Maharaja, “May I see your daughter? I want to do Her chart and bless Her. I will describe Her future qualities. Please gather candana, Yamuna water, and other paraphernalia so that I can perform a ceremony to bless Her.”

Vrsabhanu Maharaja then went inside the house and Narada entered a trance of meditation. While he was meditating, that baby girl manifested an exquisite youthful form. Lalita and Visakha were also present, and Lalita told him, “Why are you continuing to meditate; stand up and offer your obeisances.”

Narada then received a one-moment darsana of Radhika, but because his thirst to see Her was not quenched, he went to Narada-kunda and performed austerities for thousands of years, without eating, and continually chanting Radha mantra-japa. At that time Radharani appeared to Him, gave him Her service, and he became Naradiya gopi. We know these details from sastra.

Srimad-Bhagavatam states, “Ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam – Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Although Sri Krsna is the supreme worshipful Lord of all, He Himself worships Sri Radha. The aim of the author, Srila Vyasadeva, in manifesting Srimad-Bhagavatam was to describe Sri Krsna’s pastimes with Srimati Radhika and to establish Her glories. Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura say that rasa-lila, the most exalted pastime in Srimad-Bhagavatam, was performed for the sake of Srimati Radhika. Krsna personally told Her, “It is for You that I reside in Vraja.”

sata-koti gopi madhava-man
rakhite narilo kori jatan (verse 11 of Varaja-vipine)

[“Millions of cowherd damsels are unable to please the mind of Madhava although endeavoring to do so.”

“The flute song calls the name of Radhika – ‘Come here, come here, Radhe!’ Syama calls out in the night. (verse 12)

“When the sri-rasa-mandala comes to a halt in search of Beloved Radha He then goes. (verse 13)

“Please appear, O Radhe! Kindly save My life!” calling out while weeping Kan in the forest. (verse 14)

“In a secluded grove embracing Radhika regaining His life and soul, Hari is relieved. (verse 15)

“Saying, ‘Without You, where is the rasa dance? Only because of You do I live in Vraja.” (verse 16)

“At the lotus feet of such a Radhika this Bhaktivinoda says weeping, (verse 17)

“’Among Your personal associates please count me also; making me Your maidservant keep me as Your own.’” (verse 18)]

Even though millions of gopis were also present in the arena of rasa, they could not attract Krsna’s mind when Radhika disappeared from rasa-lila. Radharani first disappeared from the rasa-lila, in maan; Krsna did not disappear from there alone. He left the rasa dance to search for Her. Very worried and crying, “Radhe Radhe,” He finally found Her.

The other gopis, who had left the rasa dance to search for Krsna, now saw two sets of footprints. One set was Krsna’s footprints, and the other, smaller and more delicate set belonged to a lady.

Lalita and Visakha and the other gopis of Sri Radha’s party, who had been searching both Radha and Krsna, knew that this second set of footprints belonged to Srimati Radhika. Very pleased, they thought, “Oh, Krsna is not alone; He has taken our prana-priya (dearmost) sakhi with Him. At the same time, however, they were sad, thinking, “We can’t serve Her now, because we are not with Her.”

The other gopis, those who are not in Radha’s party, uttered this verse:

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah

[“Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.30.28)]

“Oh, this girl who is with Krsna is so fortunate. Krsna has taken Her and has thus broken our pride (saubhagya-mada).” They understood that this girl was superior to them: “She had surely served Narayana and pleased Him, and due to Narayana’s blessing upon Her, Krsna took Her alone.” Thus, Radhika is the topmost of all of Krsna’s beloveds, and rasa-lila was performed in order to establish Her superiority. It was performed for Her pleasure.

After all the gopis sang their song of separation, Krsna appeared to them and uttered this verse:

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vaù pratiyatu sadhuna

[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore, please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.32.22)]

“Oh gopis, for My sake you left your shyness, the instructions of your superiors, and your lives as householders, which were meant to keep you bound. By your saintly nature, may you free Me from My debt.”

One of the ways in which Radhika pleases Krsna is by entering into the loving stage called maan, Her sulky mood of affectionate jealous anger towards Him. Sometimes Her maan has no external cause, and sometimes it has a cause. The vipaksa (rival) gopis headed by Candravali criticize Radharani by saying, “She doesn’t feel ashamed or shy to do maan? I don’t want to see Her face.” On the other hand, Radhika criticizes Candravali, “Candravali knows nothing about pleasing a beloved. She doesn’t know how to do maan.” Candravali’s affection for Krsna is grta-sneha, very smooth. Radhika’s affection is madhu-sneha, like madhu, honey, which is smooth and also sweet. Candravali’s affection is compared with ghee, which needs sugar to become sweet, but madhu is sweet on its own.

The stages of Radhika’s love are adiruddha, mohan and madan mahabhava. These stages of love are so elevated that Krsna Himself cannot experience them. Therefore, in order relish them, Krsna appears in Sri Navadvipa dhama, along with His associates, in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. For this same purpose, Mahaprabhu went to see Sri Raya Ramananda at Godavari and asked him many questions.

In Sri Krsna’s pastimes, Raya Ramananda is Visakha-devi, Radharani’s gopi friend, who understands all of Radharani’s moods. This very same Visakha, in the form of Raya Ramananda, trained Mahaprabhu in realizing these moods. After their meeting, Mahaprabhu told him, “I am so pleased; this is why I came. My desires are now fulfilled. Please come to Jagannatha Puri and help Me there.”

Tomorrow morning we will sing the glories of Radha and perform abhiseka (Her bathing ceremony). We will also offer puspanjali (the flowers of our hearts) by describing Her glories in detail. Then we will go out with nagara sankirtana to householder devotees’ homes to collect gifts for Srimati Radhika, as we do every year. Then we will return to the Matha, with kirtana, and bring all the presents to the altar. Then we will all sit together and participate in kirtana in the Matha.



September 10, 2005

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[This year, 2015, Srimati Lalita-devi’s appearance day is on September 20th (in India), one day before Radhastami. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the assembled devotees observed the appearance day of Sri Radha's most intimate sakhi, Srimati Lalita-devi on September 10, 2005. The following is a transcription of the class given in her glorification, and it explains her significance in our personal lives:]

Lalita-devi was born in the village of Karehla, and later on her father brought her to Uccagaon, the place of her pastimes (lila-sthali). There are still many evidences of her pastimes here, like a rock containing the imprints of her lotus feet and some small utensils she used when she and the other sakhis fed Krsna there. When the sun-rays fall on the imprints of those pots and plates, they glitter and shine. All of Srimati Radhika’s sakhis used to play with Krsna and Lalita in Uccagaon, and there are many places there where you can see their footprints to this day.

On the hill there is a slippery rock showing a specific pastime that was enacted in a marriage arena. There, the gopis arranged a special kind of marriage between Lalita and Krsna. This should not be misunderstood as a real marriage, but rather a play marriage, like the marriage that was once enacted between Srimati Radhika and Krsna. This is technically known as Gandharva marriage.

In that pastime, Krsna had been sitting beside Lalita, and the sakhis began to play mischievously. Visakha and some of the other sakhis tied Sri Lalita's veil to Krsna's pitambara (yellow shawl). Then suddenly, on the indication of Srimati Radhika, Rangadevi and other sakhis began to sing wedding songs while Tungavidya and others uttered wedding mantras, and the remaining sakhis showered flowers on Sri Krsna and Lalita.

When Lalita noticed that something tricky was being done to her, she tried to run away, but because her garments were tied to Krsna's pitambara, she could not do so. All the sakhis then surrounded the couple and married them. Even today, one can see the indication of the slide on the hill, as well as the markings of alta (red lac) from the gopis’ feet. Although this pastime took place 5000 years ago, you can still visualize it with your own eyes.

Lalita is 27 days elder than Radharani. [According to the tithi calculation, Lalita-devi's appearance day falls on the day before Srimati Radhika's appearance day.] She generally has the same loving mood towards both Radha and Krsna, yet she is more inclined towards Srimati Radhika.

The following is the Sanskrit song called Sri Lalita-astakam, along with its translation, and I will further explain each verse. This Lalita-astakam was composed by Srila Rupa Gosvami:

uttunga-sauhrda-visesa-vasat pragalbham
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[i offer my obeisance unto the outspoken Sri Lalita-devi, who is charmingly endowed with many beautiful, sweet qualities (sulalita). She has natural expertise in all arts (lalita), and thus her service self-manifests. She wipes away the glittering drops of perspiration which appear upon the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Madhava when They meet. She is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of sauhrda-rasa, or undivided absorption in fulfilling the heart's desire of her intimate friend Srimati Radhika. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 1)]

There are four types of sakhis: svapaksa, vipaksa, tatastha and suhrt. Svapaksa means those sakhis who are totally favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika. Vipaksa means those gopis who are totally favorably disposed towards Candravali and opposed to Radhika. Tatastha means those who are neutral towards Srimati Radhika and more favorably disposed towards Candravali. Suhrt means those who are more favorably disposed towards Srimati Radhika and neutral towards Candravali. Suhrt gopis never do anything unfavorable towards Srimati Radhika.

Lalita-devi and Visakha-devi are examples of gopis who are svapaksa to Srimati Radhika, Candravali is vipaksa, Bhadra is tatastha, and Syamala is suhrt.

The mood of Lalita is that she is always trying to favorably serve the pastimes of Radha and Krsna; she always tries to please Them. She engages in millions upon millions of endeavors to please Them. When Radha and Krsna meet and engage in amorous pastimes, Lalita wipes away the droplets of perspiration on Their lotus feet. This means that she is engaged day and night in the service of Their sweet pastimes.

There are two types of services in madhurya-rasa (conjugal rasa). One is in the mood of the manjaris and the other in the mood of the sakhis. Lalita always serves in the mood of a sakhi. One of her qualities is that she has some controlling mentality. She can command both Radha and Krsna, but at the same time she has a friendly disposition towards both of Them. She is always immersed in the ocean of love. She is very beautiful and very sweet, but at the same time very sober and composed. Her heart is so sweet that she attracts the heart of all others, but at the same time she is pragalbha, which means she can speak harsh words, and can thus control both Radha and Krsna.

vaktra-sriyam cakita-caru-camuru-netram
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[i offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a startled doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Srimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 2)]

This verse begins by describing Srimati Lalita-devi's beauty. She is so beautiful that her beauty surpasses the combined beauty of millions of moons, and her eyes are said to be so restless that they can defeat the restlessness of the eyes of a female deer. Her specific quality is that she is very expert in applying make-up, and especially in arranging the hair decoration of Srimati Radhika. Although all the eight principle sakhis are very famous in putting on the bodily decorations and applying the make-up of Srimati Radhika, Lalita and Visakha are the most expert. Moreover, of these two, Lalita is considered the most proficient.

The pastime of decorating Srimati Radhika by Lalita and the other sakhis is described in "Govinda-lilamrta", written by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and in "Krsna-bhavanamrta," written by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Those who want to serve Radha and Krsna in the mood of a manjari should seriously take help from these scriptures. Sadhakas (devotional practitioners) can find pastimes such as the above-mentioned in those books, and they can try to be absorbed in them at the time of their devotional practices.

With reference to the verse above, Lalita and the other sakhis tell Srimati Radhika, "When you go to meet with Krsna, this is how You should behave with Him." They want Sri Krsna to be totally under the spell of Srimati Radhika.

While they are applying kajal (black eyeliner), they remind Srimati Radhika or Her previous pastimes with Krsna. For example, once, when She was going out to meet Krsna, She forgot to put kajal on one of Her eyes, and Krsna Himself put it on upon Her arrival. Similar pastimes are brought to the attention of Srimati Radhika at the time of putting on Her make-up, and in that way Her mood of bringing pleasure to Krsna is enhanced. When the gopis put the tilaka mark on Her forehead, they recite the kama-yantra, which still further inspires Srimati Radhika in the mood of Her service to Krsna.

All these pastimes are arranged by Lalita-devi, and therefore she is described as the fountainhead of various wonderful qualities.

devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[i offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi whose body is adorned with a splendid sari as brilliant as the multi-colored tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanculi), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jeweled ornaments. Her golden complexion defeats that of even gorocana, the bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water during the svati-naksatra constellation hits the head of a qualified cow, and she possesses innumerable good qualities. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 3)]

This verse gives a similarity with a peacock. When the rainy season comes, the peacock becomes very happy. He has been especially gifted by God to have beautiful colors on his feathers, and he expresses his happiness on seeing the clouds by spreading his wings. In the same way, Srimati Lalita-devi's dresses are so beautifully ornamented and colored that they express the mood of a peacock showing his happiness by spreading his wings. The color of her sari, various kinds of necklaces and all her ornaments brilliantly glitter, and all this glittering combined with the luster of her own body give a profound impression.

The word gorocana is also mentioned in this verse. In that connection there is a particular constellation called svati-naksatra. When rain water hits the hoof of a cow at that time, it becomes yellow, like the color of turmeric. This very special yellow color of gorocana defeats even the shimmer of gold, and the substance gorocana is also considered very costly. This is the impression Lalita-devi gives when she is serving Srimati Radhika with all her paraphernalia, ornaments and beauty.

dhurte vrajendra-tanaye tanu susthu-vamyam
ma daksina bhava kalankini laghavaya
radhe giram srnu hitam iti siksayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[i offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the charming treasure-house of all good qualities, who instructs Srimati Radhika in this way: "O Kalankini (unchaste one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favorable for you! Vrajendra-nandana is very crafty (dhurta). Don't display Your mood of gentle submission (daksina bhava) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 4)]

radham abhi vraja-pateh krtam atmajena
kutam manag api vilokya vilohitaksim
vag-bhangibhis tam acirena vilajjayantim
devim gunaih sulalitam namami

[i offer pranama unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who, upon hearing Sri Krsna speak even a few sly words to Srimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krsna with her biting, sarcastic remarks, "You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!" (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 5)]

Srimati Radhika is controlled by the extreme love of Lalita-sakhi. When She is with Lalita-sakhi, Lalita can even chastise Her: "When Krsna comes, You should remain very unsubmissive and enter a sulky mood." Radhika may reply, "What can I do? As soon as I see Krsna in the distance, My sulky mood goes away. I cannot maintain it." Then with a raised finger, Lalita says, "Don't give up your unsubmissive mood. You should chastise Krsna, for He has so many bad qualities. He is crooked and unchaste. He is a cheater. He will come to You early in the morning – and what will He do? He will hold onto Your feet and beg forgiveness. But don't believe anything He says. Don't become submissive. Instead, You should chastise Him!"

Sakhis are of two types and two moods: (1) daksina – right wing or submissive. This is called ghrta-sneha (like ghee), and it is a quality of Candravali's group. (2) vamya – contrary or unsubmissive. This is called madhu-sneha (like honey), and it is a quality of Radhika's group. [Ghee is wholesome, but without much taste, whereas honey is wholesome and also sweet]

Radhika's mood is called vamya (left-wing, contrary, or unsubmissive) and Candravali's mood is called daksina (right-wing, or submissive). Only those gopis in the mood of vamya can completely control Krsna. The two groups, that is, Radhika's group and Candravali's group, do not appreciate each other. Candravali criticizes Srimati Radhika and Her group, saying, "How can they dare to do maan (be in a sulky mood) towards Krsna? He is so sweet and lovely!" Srimati Radhika and Her group think, "Why does Candravali become so submissive towards Krsna!?" Srimati Radhika says, "One must apply a weapon to control Krsna. Why doesn't Candravali control Him like us? How can she serve Him if she is not like us?" Thus, both groups cannot appreciate each other's moods.

Lalita is the siksa-guru of all the gopis in Radhika's group, and also of Radhika Herself. Srila Rupa Gosvami writes: Lalita-devi sometimes chastises Radhika, saying, "Oh Kalankini, Oh unchaste one, [she will be called unchaste by Her in-laws, and for that reason She may try to be contrary, but Lalita-devi is telling Her here that no matter what others say, She should still be contrary to Krsna.] Don't become submissive to Krsna."

In this song, Srila Rupa Gosvami repeatedly offers his prostrated obeisances to Srimati Lalita-devi. If Sri Krsna approaches Srimati Radhika and uses some clever cheating words, Lalita-devi cannot tolerate it. In nisanta-lila, Srimati Radhika has been waiting all night for Krsna to come, and yet He doesn't come. He finally comes very early in the morning, with signs on His divine body that He has been with other gopis. Lalita-devi tells Him, "Don't come here. We don't want Your service. Where is Your beloved? You should go to her." His eyes are very red and other symptoms are there. Lalita then chastises Him, saying, "Yes, I know You, Krsna. You are very chaste, simple and honest." By her sharp and harsh words, she makes Krsna ashamed and causes Him to be shy. This is described in "Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta".

Krsna sometimes challenges the gopis in the forest: "Why have you come here? Don't you know I am Vrajendra, the King of Vrndavana? By picking flowers here, you are destroying My Vrndavana!"

At that time Lalita-devi says, "We know what kind of 'protector' You are. Actually you have never planted one seed or watered one tree. Instead, with Your hundreds of thousands of cows, it is You who destroys Vrndavana. We are the real owners of Vrndavana. We have planted every seed and watered every tree."

Krsna then says, "Don't you know who I am? I am a very religious person and I have never told a lie."

Then Srimati Lalita-devi says, "Yes, we know what type of religious person You are. We heard that when You were only seven days old, You killed a woman named Putana, who came as a mother to You. And which house in Vrndavana have You not stolen from? Are You the same religious person who stole all the clothing of the gopis? Are You the same religious person who performed rasa-lila with all the married gopis of Vrndavana?" Krsna then becomes ashamed.

vatsalya-vrnda-vasatim pasupala-rajnyah
sakhyanusiksana-kalasu gurum sakhinam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[i offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient of Yasoda-devi's parental affection; the guru of all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Srimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 6)]

Without the presence of vatsalya-rasa (parental love), the glories of madhurya-rasa (conjugal love) do not manifest. One example occurs when Srimati Radhika goes with all Her sakhis to Nandagaon to cook. Mother Yasoda is there, but there is no disturbance. When Srimati Radhika goes to Nanda-bhavana with Lalita and the asta-sakhis (Radhika's eight most intimate friends), Yasoda-devi exhibits intense parental love towards Her – not less than the parental love she has towards her son Krsna. She also shows great affection to all the other sakhis and manjaris, because of their relation with Her.

All the asta-sakhis have so many excellent qualities, and therefore Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, "Of all the gopis, the asta-sakhis are the topmost." For example, Srimati Tungavidya-devi can speak with all types of birds and animals. She understands their language and can communicate with them. What can be greater than performing services to Srimati Radhika under the guidance of Lalita and Visakha and the other asta-sakhis? Lalita and Visakha are the siksa-gurus of all the gopis in the group of Srimati Radhika.

Lalita-devi's life and soul is Srimati Radhika and Krsna. Srila Rupa Gosvami prays, "I offer pranama again and again unto Srimati Lalita-devi."

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

["I offer pranama unto the supremely charming Sri Lalita-devi, the treasure house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Srimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (svapaksa). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfills that maiden's desires." (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 7)]

Lalita has many charming qualities. What is Her greatest quality – Her quality that is most favorable for the sadhakas of this world? If she sees in Vrndavana any gopi, or anyone who has even a slight touch of a scent of desire to serve Srimati Radhika, she immediately fulfills that gopi's desire and gives her the unlimited wealth of the service of Srimati Radhika's lotus feet. If one has a one-pointed desire to perform service to Srimati Radhika under the direct guidance of Srimati Lalita-devi, and furthermore under the shelter of Sri Rupa Manjari, that devotee may know that Lalita-devi's shelter is the only path by which one can achieve this.

varyam viniscitavatim akhilotsavebhyah
tam gokula-priya-sakhi-nikuramba-mukhyam
devim gunaih sulalitam lalitam namami

[i offer pranama unto Sri Lalita-devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favorite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha-Govinda by arranging Their meetings – this delightful seva surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 8)]

Without the mercy of Lalita-devi, Giriraja or Yamuna, it is not possible to enter rasa-lila. The first and greatest is Srimati Lalita-devi herself, the second is Giriraja Govardhana and the third is Yamuna or Visakha-devi.

Lalita is the same age as Srimati Radhika, or she is twenty-seven days older. [it may happen one way in one yuga (millennium) and one way in another.] Like Radhika, Lalita also has all the qualities of being a yuthesvari – able to control her own group of subservient gopis. Why is she qualified to be a yuthesvari? If Bhadra, Syamala or Candravali can become yuthesvaris, then what to speak of Lalita-devi? However, despite being the same age as Radhika and having the qualification of a yuthesvari, still, the only goal of her life is to serve Srimati Radhika and to facilitate the meeting of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Her only happiness is the meeting of Radha and Krsna, and to achieve that goal, she never considers any amount of discomfort or suffering.

Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays:

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 Goddess! I shall never pray to You for anything but the excellent service of Your lotus feet. I offer my constant obeisances unto the idea of becoming Your friend, but I truly relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant. (Vilap-kusumanjali text 16)]

"Oh, I offer my obeisances millions of times to the position of a sakhi of Srimati Radhika. But my only real desire, birth after birth, is to attain the service of Srimati Radhika in the mood of a manjari. I have no desire to become equal to Radhika, like the sakhis."

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also prays, "I will never leave the feet of Radhika to go to Krsna. Even if Krsna goes to Dvaraka and calls me there, I will not go. However, if out of some madness Radhika has somehow gone to Dvaraka, I will fly even faster than Garuda to serve Her there." (Svaniyama dasakam, verses 3 and 4)

nandann amuni lalita-guna-lalitani
padyani yah pathati nirmala-drstir astau
pritya vikarsati janam nija-vrnda-madhye
tam kirtida-pati-kulojjvala-kalpa-valli

[if a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this astakam in praise of Lalita-devi, he will be affectionately brought into Srimati Radhika's own group of sakhis. Lalita-devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and, along with Srimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrsabhanu Maharaja's family that winds around the kalpa-vrksa of Krsna. (Sri Lalitastakam, verse 9)]

In conclusion, Srimati Lalita-devi is the wish-fulfilling tree of the prema-seva (service in love) of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Whoever chants this Lalita-astakam will make Radha and Krsna happy. Moreover, Lalita-devi herself will be happy, and all our desires will be fulfilled.



Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

Pass Time in Pastimes

January 16, 2007: Kona, Hawaii

We discussed the birth of Sri Krsna, He who is certainly the son of Yasoda. He is partly the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, but fully the son of Yasoda. After He took birth, His father Nanda Baba went to Mathura to pay taxes to Kamsa, the King of Surasena-pradesh in Mathura. Then at night, after paying the tax, he went to meet Vasudeva.

Vasudeva told Nanda Baba, "I am happy that you have a son in your old age. Now go at once to Vraja. Don't delay. There are many demons moving about, here and there, and anything dangerous may happen.

Nanda Baba left very soon after that, and on the way to Vraja he prayed to Lord Narayana, "Please save my boy."

When he reached his house he saw that a demoness was lying dead nearby. She was Putana, a friend of Kamsa who had had the power of ten thousand elephants, and who now looked like a very large hill.

On the advice of her friend Kamsa, Putana had been wondering here and there with the purpose of killing all the babies who had been born within the previous ten days.

You should know that wherever devotees are speaking hari-katha and glorifying hari-katha among each other, no ghost, witch, or demon can be present. Krsna only wanted to enjoy some sweet pastimes, and that is why Yogamaya, Sri Krsna's desire potency, had arranged for Putana to come to Vrndavana. Although no demons can enter Vrndavana, still, Putana, Trnavarta, Sakatasura, Aghasura, Bakasura and many other demons were sent there. Why? In order to renew the love and affection of the gopis, Nanda Baba, Yasoda devi, and the other Vrajavasis for Krsna.

Thus, by the arrangement of Yogamaya, Putana had gone to Vrndavana at night, in a very beautiful form. Her waist was thin, and it seemed as if a Gandharva, or Laxmi or Sarasvati, had come to see Krsna. She went directly into the house of Mother Yasoda, where Yasoda and Rohini were lovingly caressing Krsna. They saw that very beautiful devi' and did not think to stop her. She at once approached Krsna, saying, "My darling little boy, my dear boy," and she placed Him on her lap.

Krsna closed His eyes at this time. Why? Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained five reasons. When a baby sits on the lap of his mother and drinks her breast milk, her lap becomes a very happy place for playing. Then, when an unknown person comes, the baby closes his eyes. Secondly, although Putana had come in a very beautiful form, she came to kill Krsna by giving Him poison. He therefore closed His eyes, thinking, "I don't want to see this inauspicious lady." She came to kill all the babies of the Vrajavasis and, by the potency of Yogamaya, she came first to the home of Nanda Baba. She had not yet gone to other places. Now she took Krsna in her lap, and Krsna saw this as inauspicious. Therefore, He closed His eyes.

If one is in Sri Krsna's presence, no maya or hypocrisy can remain with that person. It will at once disappear. If Krsna had looked at Putana, maya would have disappeared. The gigantic form of Putana would have been disclosed, and Mother Yasoda and the Vrajavasis would have understood the true situation.

Because Putana came in the form of a mother, saying, "Oh my dear son, my dear darling boy," Krsna did not want to give her pain and make her cry. He thought, "When I suck out her life and she begins to die, she will suffer tremendously. I cannot bear to do this."

Putana said, "Oh darling baby, they are really not Your mothers. How could they have left You here alone?" She took Krsna in her arms and gave Him her breast-milk. Krsna closed His eyes and sucked out her poison, and with that He sucked out her life. Thus, Putana could no longer maintain her maya form. Krsna was holding her breasts tightly with His feet and mouth, and while he was sucking, she became twelve miles long.

Thinking, "My brother can save me," she wanted to return to Kamsa, but Krsna did not allow that. He told her, "I cannot give you up. Since you came to Me in Vraja, how can I give you up?"

putana loka-bala-ghni
raksasi rudhirasana
jighamsayapi haraye
stanam dattvapa sad-gatim

["Putana was always hankering for the blood of human children, and with that desire she came to kill Krsna; but because she offered her breast to the Lord, she achieved the greatest attainment." (SB 10.6.35)]

Putana then fell down not on any cow or Vrajavasi, but on the trees of Kamsa's garden nearby, where beautiful mangos were growing and everything there was crushed. All the Vrajavasis had followed her, and now they came near and saw that Krsna was saved and still playing on her breast. They took Him to Mother Yasoda, who called all the brahmanas.

Then, with a black cow's urine and dung, they began to bathe (abhiseka) Krsna. Holding and placing the tail of the cow on different parts of Krsna's body, they uttered special mantras for His protection.

avyad ajo 'nghri manimams tava janv athoru
yajno 'cyutah kati-tatam jatharam hayasyah
hrt kesavas tvad-ura isa inas tu kantham
visnur bhujam mukham urukrama isvarah kam
cakry agratah saha-gado harir astu pascat
tvat-parsvayor dhanur-asi madhu-hajanas ca
konesu sankha urugaya upary upendras
tarksyah ksitau haladharah purusah samantat

[sukadeva Gosvami informed Maharaja Pariksit that the gopis, following the proper system, protected Krsna, their child, with this mantra: May Aja protect Your legs, may Maniman protect Your knees, Yajna Your thighs, Acyuta the upper part of Your waist, and Hayagriva Your abdomen. May Kesava protect Your heart, Isa Your chest, the sun-god Your neck, Visnu Your arms, Urukrama Your face, and Isvara Your head. May Cakri protect You from the front; may Sri Hari, Gadadhari, the carrier of the club, protect You from the back; and may the carrier of the bow, who is known as the enemy of Madhu, and Lord Ajana, the carrier of the sword, protect Your two sides. May Lord Urugaya, the carrier of the conchshell, protect You from all corners; may Upendra protect You from above; may Garuda protect You on the ground; and may Lord Haladhara, the Supreme Person, protect You on all sides. (SB 10.6.22-23)

indriyani hrsikesah
pranan narayano 'vatu
svetadvipa-patis cittam
mano yogesvaro 'vatu

May Hrsikesa protect Your senses, and Narayana Your life air. May the master of Svetadvipa protect the core of Your heart, and may Lord Yogesvara protect Your mind. (SB 10.6. 24)

prsnigarbhas tu te buddhim
atmanam bhagavan parah
kridantam patu govindah
sayanam patu madhavah
vrajantam avyad vaikuntha
asinam tvam sriyah patih
bhunjanam yajnabhuk patu

May Lord Prsnigarbha protect Your intelligence, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Your soul. While You are playing, may Govinda protect You, and while You are sleeping may Madhava protect You. May Lord Vaikuntha protect You while You are walking, and may Lord Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune, protect You while You are sitting. Similarly, may Lord Yajnabhuk, the fearful enemy of all evil planets, always protect You while You enjoy life. (SB 10.6.25-26)

Mother Yasoda then began to caress Krsna.

Where devotees are reciting these beautiful pastimes, singing, dancing and glorifying Hari or any form of Krsna, or Krsna Himself, no demon or witch can come. Why, then, was Putana able to come? She came so that Krsna could play His beautiful, sweet pastimes. These narrations would then be sung everywhere in the world, and all calamities of life the endless pain of birth and death would disappear for the hearers. For this reason, Krsna's Yogamaya inspired demons like her and took them to Vraja. In this way, Krsna is performing so many pastimes.

Now I want to tell you about King Puranjana, from the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is a very beautiful and inspiring story that Narada told to King Pracinabarhi, which reveals the nature of this world. Hearing this story will act like a powerful injection. I want this injection to be given to you all.

[sripad Padmanabha Maharaja tells the allegorical history of King Puranjana, beginning from Srimad Bhagavatam 4.25.10; and then Srila Narayana Maharaja speaks:]

When King Puranjana returned home after hunting and killing many animals, he saw that his wife was angry and not speaking to him. Then he pacified her and she told him, "You should not go anywhere without my permission. You should always be controlled by me." Thus, time passed, and King Puranjana became one hundred years old. At that time Chandavega [*See Endnote 1], Time or Death Personified, with his entire army of thousands of diseases, attacked and defeated King Puranjana and took his life. Meditating on his wife, Puranjana became a lady in his next life.

King Puranjana had been fully absorbed in family life for many lives, and in each life Personified Time had come and ended his life. Narada Muni told King Pracinabarhisat, "Do not live your life in like way. You have enjoyed your life with wives and children in so many lives. You have been a pig, hog, and so many animal species, and you have never been satisfied. You can never be satisfied by this. This human life is very precious. Don't lose this opportunity and don't always be entangled in material enjoyment."

I have told this especially to Prema-prayojana prabhu. He is my dear one. In his previous lives he has been a hog, pig, dog, etc.

All Vedas, sastras, guru-parampara, I myself, and all others will be happy if you give up all these things, come in this line, and preach my mission. The devotees want this. Come in my line and preach my mission. Our guru-parampara and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna will be happy.

You should especially remember this verse:

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto'pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri caranaravindam

["Only by the mercy of Sri Gurudeva can one receive the mercy of Krsna; without his grace the living entities cannot make any advancement nor be delivered. Meditating three times a day on the glories of Sri Gurudeva and reciting stava-stuti, I offer prayers unto his lotus feet." (Sri Guruvastakam, verse 8)]

What is the meaning? If Krsna is angry, Guru can save you, but if Gurudeva is angry, Krsna cannot save you. If I am Guru, then for my satisfaction you should come again and preach, otherwise you will have to suffer and no one will be able to save you. I will not be able to save you.

[Moreover, I want to tell you something. When Sankaracharya was only seven or eight years old, he wanted to take sannyasa. He was an only child, and his mother was very attached to him. She did not want to give him permission to take sannyasa, and she made him promise not to do so. Then, with the help of mystical power, Sankaracharya arranged that a crocodile attacked him when he was bathing in the river. As the crocodile was about to swallow him, he raised his arm, looking at his mother who was standing on the shore in utter despair. He asked his mother "Please allow me to take sannyasa just now, so that I will be liberated and my life will be successful." His mother, thinking that there was no more hope to rescue his life, agreed and gave her permission for him to take sannyasa. As soon as she gave her permission, the crocodile vanished, and Sankaracharya at once come out of the water and prepared to leave his mother. She cried, but Sankaracharya never again considered her condition. He left at once and took sannyasa. The sacred order of sannyasa is the most auspicious position, and it allows one to obtain gopi-bhava. To give up sannyasa and become entangled in household life is the most inauspicious thing that can happen to a person. (This bracketed paragraph was personally added by Srila Narayana Maharaja after this lecture was spoken. He requested that it be inserted here, for the benefit of all the readers worldwide.)]

[srila Gurudeva now resumed his discussion of Sri Krsna's pastimes in Vraja:] Krsna began to play very sweet pastimes. After a few months, when He was a little grown, all the Vrajavasis became very happy and held many festivals. When He was about 2 ½ years old, He was bound by the rope of Mother Yasoda. I have told this pastime many times during the Kartika festival, and I also told the history of the fruit-seller many times.

After Krsna's next birthday celebration, Nanda Baba, Abhinanda, Upananda and other elderly cowherd men held a meeting and decided. "So many demons are coming, and the grass for the cows is not growing as well as before. We should go to Vrndavana."

Then, all the Vrajavasis crossed the Yamuna River and went to Cattikara in Vrndavana with all their cows. After they arrived, Krsna wanted to know about the residents there. He asked His mother, "Mother, who is that person who is trembling? Who is he?" Mother Yasoda replied, "This is the Pippal.tree." [The leaves of the Pippal tree tremble ed.] "And who is he with those long, long hairs?" "Oh, this is the banyan tree." "And who are they who are laughing and running?" "These are deer." In this way Krsna was learning many new things.

In order to protect their new land, the cowherd men placed their bullock carts together in a circle. They also placed many thorn bushes around the carts and all this created a protective wall.

Krsna was bigger now, and along with His sakhas He began to take out thousands upon thousands of calves to graze. After some time, He came to Talavana, and there Baladeva Prabhu killed the ass-demon Dhenakusara. Dhenakasura, the demon who was in the form of a donkey, represents ignorance. Dhenakasura was a foolish donkey and he was killed by Baladeva Prabhu. As Guru, Baladeva Prabhu killed ignorance.

The donkey is repeatedly kicked by the hind-legs of the she-donkey as he follows behind her. Still, even though his face is full of blood, he never give up following, Donkeys are very lusty and also very foolish.

During the summer season in India, when all grasses are dry, the donkeys graze. They walk for one or two miles, but get nothing to eat. Because they don't see any grass, they think, "I have grazed so much." In the rainy season, on the other hand, when there is so much grass, they walk a little forward and their stomachs are filled by that lush grass. Yet, those donkeys think, "I have hardly eaten anything."

One thing more: the donkey carries beautiful cloths, sugar, and so many items up hills and here and there, but he cannot enjoy any of it himself.

What is ignorance? Although one knows, "Without bhakti to Krsna, I cannot be happy," still, controlled by maya, one is engaged in sense gratification. This is ignorance. Gurudeva's association and powerful speaking is like a sword. By that sword, Gurudeva cuts that ignorant person's attachment to all worldly things and makes him a self-realized devotee. Not only that; Gurudeva gives that person an attainment as high as radha-dasyam, service to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. How fortunate you are; so don't waste your time.

After Baladeva killed Kamsa's associate Dhenakasura, Kamsa sent Aghasura in the form of an eight mile-long snake. Aghasura stretched his mouth open just like a mountain cave. Desiring to swallow all the boys at once, including Krsna and Balarama, he sat on the path. The demon in the shape of a large serpent expanded his jaws from land to sky; his lower lip touching the ground and his upper lip touching the clouds. His jaws appeared like a big mountain cave, without limitation, his teeth appeared just like mountain summits, and his tongue appeared to be a broad traffic-way.

The cowherd boys were thinking, "Krsna is behind and we are now here. This looks like a snake, but it is not a snake. It might be a cave. We should go inside and see what happens. Even if it is a demon, Krsna will surely save us."

Krsna was about to warn His friends, "Don't go, don't go," but they had already gone in with their calves. Aghasura wanted to swallow Krsna also, so he waited with his mouth open.

Krsna thought, "All the boys have gone inside. I must go there to save them. He then entered, and then Aghasura closed his mouth. When Krsna reached the throat of that demon, He expanded Himself and thus became very big and hot, and in this way the demon's breath was stopped.

The demons eyes popped from his head like rasagullas. A dazzling light burst out from a hole in his skull and, flashing, went into the sky. In the meantime, Krsna came out of the demon's mouth with all of His friends, for by His nectarean glance He had brought them all back to life. That effulgent light then entered His lotus feet, and this was seen by the demigods.

Especially Brahma saw this, and he thought, "Aghasura attained mukti, which is very rare to attain. Those who are always thinking, aham brahmasmi, I am that spirit whole,' must perform severe austerities. But Aghasura easily attained mukti."

Brahma wanted to see more sweet pastimes of Krsna, but he thought that he could create Krsna's pastimes himself, by his own power. He thought, "I should steal the cowherd boys and calves, and then I will see what happens." Brahma used his own intelligence. If he would have prayed to Krsna, "Please allow me to see Your pastimes," it would have been okay. But he did something wrong, and therefore Krsna's Yogamaya potency covered his intelligence.

Krsna considered, “All the cows want Me to be their calves, all the elderly gopis want Me to be their sons, and the Vraja gopis want Me to be Their most beloved." So He accomplished many tasks by this one pastime.

What did Brahma do?

[srila Narayana Maharaja called on Prema-prayojana dasa to relate this history, and then he himself spoke again:]

You have heard the sweet pastimes of Krsna and Brahma. Baladeva wondered what had happened.*[see endnote 2] He thought, "Whose maya is this? Is this a demon's maya? No, it cannot be so, because material maya cannot cover Me. He then asked Krsna, "What is going on?"

Krsna began to laugh and said, "Brahma wanted to see My pastimes, and also I desired to be the son of the gopis and the calves of the cows. I wanted to perform a miracle like this."

Gargacarya had foretold, "This year is very auspicious. All fathers and mothers should marry their sons and daughters in this year." Thus, the Vrajavasis married even those children who were in the womb. They promised each other, "If my child is a girl and your child is a boy, they will be married." Thus, all the Vrajavasis married their daughters and sons.

But the gopas were Krsna. In this way, all the gopis were married to Krsna, a miracle that was created by Yogamaya.

Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda-devi wanted that Srimati Radhika marry their son Krsna, and Vrsabhanu Maharaja and Kirtida-devi also wanted this. Vrsabhanu Maharaja thought, "My daughter should be married to the son of Nanda, Krsna, because there is no one more beautiful and qualified than He."

Yogamaya saw that Krsna's desire would not be fulfilled if He were to be married to Srimati Radhika. In marriage, a wife becomes like a servant; she is controlled by her husband. So by trick, Yogamaya changed the minds of Radha's and Krsna's parents' mind, and now they thought that if Srimati Radhika would marry Krsna, there might be some problems. They now thought it would be better that She marry into a good family like that of Abhimanyu, the son of Goal-gopa and Jatila.

That marriage was performed with a shadow of Radhika, not actually with Radhika. Yogamaya created that shadow, and then Abhimanyu thought, "I am the husband of Radhika." But he could never be so. He was a eunuch.

In this way, by the arrangement of Yogamaya, all the gopis, like Lalita and Visakha, were married to gopas in Yavat. Vrsabhanu Maharaja could not marry his daughter to Krsna, and in this way Sri Sri Radha and Krsna could remain beloveds. This is parakiya-rasa (the mood of paramour).

It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.31.16):

ativilanghya te `nty acyutagatah
gati-vidas tavodgita-mohitah
kitava yositah kas tyajen nisi

["Dear Krsna, we gopis have neglected the order of our husbands, sons, family, brothers and friends and have left their company to come to You. You know everything about our desires. We have come only because we are attracted by the supreme music of Your flute. But You are a great cheater, for who else would give up the company of young girls like us in the dead of night?"]

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself with the beauty and intrinsic mood of Srimati Radhika. Krsna came as the son of Srimati Saci-devi and declared that the paramour mood of the gopis is the highest devotion to Sri Krsna. Paramours are banned from meeting each other, and this makes their relationship more interesting. Rukmini and Satyabhama cannot fully satisfy Krsna. They are like servants. Krsna can tell Satyabhama, "Oh, I will send you out of My palace." In fact [as stated in Brhad-Bhagavatamrta], He told her this once in New Vrndavana.

Can He say this to Srimati Radhika? She had never taken any garments, meals, ornaments or anything else from Him. She was not supplied anything by Him. Krsna is simply controlled by Her love and affection, and that is why He told Her and the other gopis,

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)]

Sri Uddhava has prayed, "I want to be a blade of grass, and take the lotus dust of the gopis on my head.

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam

["I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja's cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.47.63)]

[Question:] Why did Brahma see the cowherd boys' expansions of Krsna in Vraja as four-armed forms of Lord Narayana?

[srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Brahma always worships Lord Narayana. To show that, "I am the same Narayana," Krsna appeared in the form of Narayana, one of His vaibhava-prakasa manifestations. After that, He again assumed His original form as a cowherd boy, at which time Brahma realized, "Krsna is really the Supreme Lord."

[Question:] What did the cowherd boys do for one year?

[srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Brahma is not able to kidnap Krsna's cowherd boys. Krsna desired it, and Yogamaya arranged it. It was not by Brahma's maya, but by Yogamaya, that they slept. The calves also slept. After that, when Brahma returned and Krsna gave him darsana, the boys thought, "We just fell asleep a moment ago. Where is Krsna?" Similarly Krsna was searching for them: "Oh Sridama, Oh Subala, where are you?"

[*Endnote 1: "Time is figuratively described here as Candavega. Since time and tide wait for no man, time is herein called Candavega, which means "very swiftly passing away." As time passes, it is calculated in terms of years. One year contains 360 days, and the soldiers of Candavega herein mentioned represent these days. Time passes swiftly; Candavega's powerful soldiers of Gandharvaloka very swiftly carry away all the days of our life. As the sun rises and sets, it snatches away the balance of our life-span. Thus as each day passes, each one of us loses some of life's duration. It is therefore said that the duration of one's life cannot be saved. But if one is engaged in devotional service, his time cannot be taken away by the sun. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.17), ayur harati vai pumsam udyann astam ca yann asau. The conclusion is that if one wants to make oneself immortal, he should give up sense gratification. By engaging oneself in devotional serv ice, one can gradually enter into the eternal kingdom of God. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.27.13 purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada]

[*Endnote 2] Taken from Krsna , Ch. 14:

When Balarama saw this extraordinary exchange of affection between the cows and their calves and between the fathers and their children when neither the calves nor the children needed so much care He began to wonder why this extraordinary thing had happened. He was astonished to see all the residents of Vrndavana so affectionate to their own children, exactly as they had been to Krsna. Similarly, the cows had grown affectionate to their calves as much as to Krsna.

Balarama therefore concluded that the extraordinary show of affection was something mystical, either performed by the demigods or by some powerful man. Otherwise, how could this wonderful change take place? He concluded that this mystical change must have been caused by Krsna, whom Balarama considered His worshipable Personality of Godhead. He thought, "It was arranged by Krsna, and even I could not check its mystic power." Thus Balarama understood that all those boys and calves were only expansions of Krsna. Balarama inquired from Krsna about the actual situation.

He said, "My dear Krsna, in the beginning I thought that all these calves and cowherd boys were either great sages and saintly persons or demigods, but at present it appears that they are actually Your expansions. They are all You; You Yourself are playing as the calves and boys. What is the mystery of this situation? Where have those other calves and boys gone? And why are You expanding Yourself as the calves and boys? Will You kindly tell Me what is the cause?" At the request of Balarama, Krsna briefly explained the whole situation: how the calves and boys were stolen by Brahma and how He was concealing the incident by expanding Himself so people would not know that the original calves and boys were missing.]

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