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

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

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A108-AI

Don't Have Any Doubt


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

3.jpgBadger, California May 20, 2004 part 2
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

Without the causeless mercy of Shri Krishna, we cannot attain pure bhakti. Lord Krishna's mercy is divided in two; one is the mercy of Krishna and the mercy of His associates (given without the aspiring devotees' performance of sadhana), and the other is the mercy of sadhana-bhakti, which is also given by His associates. Krishna's mercy depends on the mercy of His devotees.

Once, a brahmana went to the house of Sacimaiya in Navadvipa, Mayapura. Sacimaiya told him, "In my house there is a Visnu salagrama Deity. Would you like to take prasadam here? I have offered sweet prasadam to my Thakurji - sweet rice and many other preparations. Do you want to honor the prasadam? Or, do you want to cook yourself?" (Many brahmanas in India prefer to cook themselves, for their Deities.) I will give you all the ingredients, like milk, rice, dahl, ghee, and flour. I will give you a stove and all other paraphernalia." The brahmana replied, "I'll cook myself and offer the bhoga to my Gopala Deity." Sacimaiya then gave him all the paraphernalia.

Similarly, by the special and causeless mercy of Krishna, we can attain bhakti - at once. This is the special mercy of Krishna. The mercy of the Vaisnava is also the special mercy of Krishna. By the mercy of Svarupa, Jana Sarma went to Goloka Vrindavana without following any bhakti process like "sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam" Jana Sarma was not chanting, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." He did not meditate on Krishna's sweet pastimes. Without having performed any sadhana he went to Goloka Vrindavana and attained sakhya-rasa. He became Krishna's intimate cowherd friend. This was the special mercy of Krishna.

Why do we become weak? The process of bhakti is complete, but we cannot follow it due to our anarthas (obstacles in the execution of bhakti created by our own past sins and offences). Shrila Haridasa Thakura chanted three hundred thousand names, or 128 rounds, of harinama daily. So at least we should be able to chant 64 rounds daily. Can you do that? You may be able to do so for one or two days, or on the birthday of Lord Krishna or Lord Nrsimhadeva. However, if you try to do so daily, after two or three days you will get sick and become mad. You cannot do so. The ability to do so is also the mercy of Krishna. If Krishna is happy, then by His causeless mercy He will take away all your anarthas and give you ruci (taste) at once - taste in chanting the holy name, taste in Vaisnava-seva, taste in hearing, taste in worshipping, taste in cooking and all other devotional activities will come. This is also the mercy of Krishna.

One may pose the question: "How did that Mathura brahmana at once go to Goloka Vrindavana and become the friend of Krishna without following a process?" One may say, "This idea is absurd - that one can attain Goloka without following the prescribed process. This phenomenon has never been seen in this world." Shrila Santana Gosvami has written to reply this doubt:

mahat-sangama-mahatmyam
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 Sarma's life immediately became successful, like that of his Guru, Svarupa. He became a personal friend of Shri Krishna 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." (Brihad Bhagavatamrita, 2.7.14)

Don't have any doubts in your Guru's teachings. If you are not realizing those teachings now, one day you will be able to realize them. Guru is mahat. To be Guru one must be mahat - not less than mahat. There are so many degrees of mahat. If uttama-adhikaris like Shri Narada Rsi and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami simply touch their follower, that follower will at once attain bhakti. There will be no need to go through any process.

What and who is uttama-uttama, uttama-madhyama, and uttama-kanistha? You should understand the meaning of mahat. [*See Endnote 1]

You should hear this kathamrta, nectar of hari-katha. Shrila Santana Gosvami is telling us here, not to doubt Guru's words. If Guru is authentic, a mahat, you can inquire from him:

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)]

Self realized souls are tattva-darsi. They will reveal all truths to you, if you are surrendered. Don't have any doubt - otherwise you will be separated from the revelation of the spiritual world for births and births. Shrila Santana Gosvami is urging us, "Don't have any doubts." This brahmana became of the same standard as his spiritual master, who in that realm of Goloka Vrindavana is Svarupa, an intimate cowherd friend of Shri Krishna.

There is a hidden meaning here. Svarupa was a transcendental associate of Lord Krishna and Shrimati Radhika. He was not a jiva. He was like Narada, Mother Yasoda, Subala, Shridama and Madhumangala. They were not conditioned souls at any time. They never had to practice bhakti-yoga in order to become those associates. This would be absurd for them. Like them, Svarupa is an eternal, transcendental associate of Krishna and Radhika and is very near and dear to them. On the other hand, that brahmana was a conditioned soul. It was to reveal this miracle - how a conditioned soul became immediately perfect - that Shrila Sanatana Gosvami wrote this verse Jana Sarma was not an associate of Krishna - who will not have to do sadhana. This brahmana was a conditioned soul who had not performed any of the nine processes of devotion:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam
iti pumsarpita visnau
bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam

["Prahlada Maharaj said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)-these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge." (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.24)]

Nor had he performed the five:

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

["One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Shrimad Bhagavatam,, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration." (Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 2.128)]

Nor the three: sravanam, kirtanam, visnu smaranam

Nor the one most important limb of bhakti:

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

["`In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.'" (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, 17.21"]

He was only chanting the gopala-mantra as given by Lord Siva's consort Kamakhya devi, and he was doing so without having received much guidance from her about how to chant it. Yet, his Gurudeva told him, "You shall now become a realized soul." And he became so.

Don't have any doubt in Shri Gurudeva - but that Guru must be qualified. If you have any doubt, you can ask your Gurudeva, "How is it possible that, without any sadhana-bhajana, a conditioned soul attained perfection, at once went to Goloka Vrindavana, and became a friend of Krishna, like Sudama and Madhumangala? How is it possible?

Shrila Santana Gosvami wrote this verse in order to assure you, "Don't be hopeless. Have hope"

You can attain the advanced stage of bhakti by practice - or in other words, Gurudeva will give you mercy. He will give you taste in this practice. First naistiki-bhakti (steadiness) comes, then taste, then asakti (attachment to both bhajana and the object of bhajana) and then suddha-sattva (bhava-bhakti) will come. This is also the mercy of Gurudeva. Don't be hopeless and don't have any doubt; otherwise, this doubt will make you suffer for thousands of births and you will be ruined.

Mahat-sangama - the glory of mahat-sanga is paramadbhuta, supremely astounding. It is beyond logic. Logic cannot reach it. The effects of mahat-sanga are beyond logic. Everything can be accomplished by it. We cannot imagine the results of even one moment with a mahat. There is a river here in Badger. If you have doubts, go to that river and throw all your doubts in that river forever.

In the third Canto Shrimad Bhagavatam, Devahuti has said that if anyone unknowingly engages in an activity or exchange with a mahat-purusa, takes prasadam together with him, talks together - even about worldly things, no harm - what will happen? His life will be changed by that - unknowingly Moreover, if you are doing these activities knowingly, the glory of that cannot be expressed.

I am finishing here, and tomorrow we will begin from this point. If you have any questions, we will have an istagosthi and try to remove all doubts.

Govardhana is here, and we will perform his worship. Yamuna, Kalindi, is also here, and Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda are also here. I call this place New Vraja.

Govardhana Annakuta will be performed here on the day after tomorrow, and those who participate will never have to beg. The Goddess of fortune, Laksmi, may have to beg, but that pure devotee will not have to do so. Somehow donate money, grains, flowers or anything favorable, to help in the festival. We will make the area of the festival as beautiful as it is in Govardhana Giriraja in Vrndavana.

[*ENDNOTE: Siddha-mahapurusas are of three types: (1) bhagavat-parsada-deha-prapta (those who have obtained perfected spiritual bodies as eternal associates of the Lord), (2) nirdhuta-kasaya (those who have thrown off all material impurities) and (3) murcchita-kasaya (those in whom a trace of material contamination still lies dormant).

(1) Bhagavat-parsada-deha-prapta After giving up the gross material body, those who have perfected themselves through the practice of bhakti obtain sac-cid-ananda spiritual forms, which are just suitable for the service of the Lord as associates (parsadas). Such persons are the best of all uttama-bhagavatas.

(2) Nirdhuta-kasaya
Those who, although still residing within the gross material body made of five elements, have no trace of material desire (vasana) nor any material impressions (samskaras) within their hearts are called nirdhuta-kasaya (those who have thrown off all material impurities). They belong to the intermediate class of uttama-bhagavatas.

(3) Murcchita-kasaya
Those siddha-mahapurusas pursuing the path of bhakti in whose hearts there remains a trace of desire (vasana) and impressions (samskaras) based on the material mode of goodness are known as murcchita-kasaya. Due to influence of their bhakti-yoga, these desires and impressions remain in a dormant or unconscious state. As soon as there is a favourable opportunity, their worshipful object, Shri Bhagavan, somehow causes their desire to be consumed and attracts them to His lotus feet. Such elevated souls belong to the preliminary stage (kanistha) of uttama-bhagavatas.

Devarsi Narada is an example of the topmost uttama-bhagavata. Sukadeva Gosvami belongs to the intermediate stage of uttama-bhagavatas (nirdhuta-kasaya). Shri Narada in his previous birth as the son of a
maidservant is an example of the preliminary stage of uttama-bhagavatas
(murcchita-kasaya).

The association and mercy of these three kinds of maha-bhagavatas is the
cause of the manifestation of sraddha. (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu)]

Transcribers: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi

A108-AI

Weeping in Separation


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

gurudeva_in_badger.jpgShri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
June 13, 2010: Badger, California

[It was at this Badger festival that Shrila Maharaj told the devotees that – after fourteen years of visits – this would be his last visit to Badger. Preparing the devotees for the proper moods of separation from himself, he chose a Harikatha topic dealing with separation. The following is a continuation of that series of Harikatha. After Krishna's kumara, paugunda, and kisora pastimes in Vraja, Krishna and Balarama lived in Mathura and afterwards in Dvaraka. Soon after Krishna arrived in Mathura, He and Balarama attended Sandipani Muni's Gurukula in Avantipura, modern-day Ujjain. The setting of this lila is just after Krishna and Balarama returned to Mathura from Sandipani Muni's Gurukula.]

Krishna has now returned to Mathura from Sandipani Muni's gurukula. One day, having ascended to the roof of His palace in Mathura, He looked towards Vrndavana. Weeping, He was remembering past days, when He was in Vraja.

In the meantime Uddhava appeared there on the palace roof and approached Krishna, who took his hand in His own hand.

"Uddhava," Krishna said, "You are My friend and advisor, and you are a disciple of Brhaspati. Brhaspati taught you all sastra, but he does not know prema-tattva, the fundamental truths of the pure, unalloyed love, and thus he could not impart this to you.

"I want to send you to the school of prema in Vrndavana, where I too learned prema. Please go there and convey the messages I will now give you for the Vrajavasis there. They will be satisfied only by My words; your words will not do."

Uddhava thought, "Krishna is sending me to Vraja, but I cannot remain anywhere, for even a moment, without Him."

Krishna assured Uddhava, "When you go there you will see that I am partly in Mathura, but I am fully in Vrndavana. So don't worry about being separated from Me."

Krishna continued, "The gopis in Vraja console each other, and thus their suffering due to My separation is somewhat mitigated. On the other hand, no one here in Mathura is qualified to understand – and thus participate in sharing – My suffering; therefore My suffering knows no consolation. No one here knows Vraja-katha; no one here knows about the love and affection of the gopis, Mother Yasoda, Nanda Baba, and the other Vrajavasis.

"Go and see that I am in Vraja, associating with all the gopis and cowherd boys there, and see that everyone there is very happy. Don't hesitate. I am fully in Vraja."

Because Uddhava has almost the same bodily complexion as that of Krishna, and because Krishna gave Uddhava His own garland to wear, Uddhava looked very similar to Krishna.

As Krishna and Uddhava walked and talked, they finally approached the chariot that would be driven to Vraja, Uddhava said to Krishna,

"Please return to Your palace now. You have told me in detail all the things You want me to share with the Vrajavasis. I will tell them everything and try to inspire them."

Uddhava climbed onto the chariot and it began to drive off. As long as the chariot and the dust raised from the wheels of the chariot were visible, Krishna remained standing and watching. Then, once the raised dust could no longer be seen, Krishna returned to His palace in Mathura.

He was always remembering the love of the gopis and other Vrajavasis, and would think to Himself, "How the gopis loved Me! I would not be able to repay them, even if I would try to do so for the period of one day of Brahma's life (4,300,000,000 Earth years). And, how Baba and Mother, and all the other Vrajavasis loved Me!"

When Uddhava reached Nanda Maharaj's pastures, the sun was just setting, and because the cows and other animals returning to the village from the forest were raising dust with their hooves, his chariot passed unnoticed.

Nanda Baba heard that Uddhava had come, and he was waiting at the doorway to his palace. When he took Uddhava inside, Uddhava noticed that no cooking was taking place at all. When Krishna had left Vrndavana, the cooking totally stopped, and spider-webs now covered the kitchen and stove. What was the need of cooking? They had previously cooked for Krishna, but now for whom would they cook?

Nanda Baba sent someone to a brahmana's house, and that person brought back sweet-rice without sugar because the brahmana had no sugar. What to do? Uddhava was hungry, so he accepted and ate that unsweetened sweet-rice. Nanda Baba then called a servant and told him to massage Uddhava's feet. All arrangements were made to properly honor a valued guest.

Nanda Baba wanted to ask, "How is my dear Krishna?" but due to his mood of separation his voice choked and he began to weep. After some time, he said, "Uddhava, Krishna did not kill Kamsa. The sinful Kamsa was killed by his own sinful activities.

"To forget Krishna," Nanda Baba wept, "I go to the Yamuna River. But when I go there, I remember how He and the gopis used to meet at the banks of the river at the time of Holi, during the Springtime; and still more memories comes to me. I then left there and went to Govardhana, but still more memories come."

I went to Nandagaon, but that place told me of Krishna's sweet pastimes – the pastimes showing how Yasoda and I loved Him so much.

I went everywhere in Vraja to forget Him, but I found that there is no place for me to pacify myself." Nanda Baba was bitterly weeping."

Astonished, Uddhava thought, "Krishna told me to pacify them, but what should I tell them? If any worldly person's son was to die, I would tell that person, 'Don't worry, remember Krishna,' and that person may be pacified. But what should I tell a person who is weeping for Krishna? 'Don't weep'? All scriptures forbid me to say this. And if I say, 'Oh Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda, weep more and more for Krishna,' I cannot foretell what would happen."

Thus in dilemma, Uddhava searched his heart for words. He thought, "Krishna has sent me here, so what shall I do in this situation?" [He conveyed to Nanda Baba Krishna's message, that Krishna would soon return to Vraja, and that He is the Supreme Lord of all the worlds.]

But no word was found In Uddhava's dictionary to pacify Nanda Baba, and in the end he concluded, "In sastra it has been written, 'Those who weep for Krishna are truly fortunate.' You are very fortunate."

Nanda Baba replied, "Uddhava, I thought that since you are a friend of Krishna and you have studied under Brhaspati, the priest of the demigods,, you would be mature. I thought that you would be a learned person, but now I understand that you don't know anything. Your intelligence is still puzzled. Your baby-teeth have yet not gone.

"There was once a father named Dasaratha. When Dasaratha heard that his son Rama had been exiled to the forest and that he was now separated from Him, he called out, 'Rama, Ha (Alas) Rama, Ha...' and then he left his body. Why is my life-air still in my body? Why is it not leaving? It must be that it is made of a thunderbolt."

In this way the entire night passed in conversation, with Nanda Baba weeping. All that time Mother Yasoda did not open her eyes, for she was weeping, weeping, and weeping.

A108-AI

Developing Devotion


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

gurudeva_sf2.jpgShrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
June 16, 2007
San Francisco

Yesterday evening we explained pure devotional service (uttama-bhakti). Where does uttama-bhakti begin? Its smallest fraction is called sraddha. Sraddha means the desire to serve Shri Krishna and Shrimati Radhika, and this desire is the root of all devotion (bhakti) to the Supreme Lord. The symptoms of sraddha are faith in Guru's words, Vaisnava's words, Krishna's words, and words of the scriptures, especially the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. These are the external symptoms, and the internal symptom is surrender (saranagati) [*See Endnote 1], which is the doorway to bhakti.

If a person has totally surrendered to Krishna, why should he call others when suffering comes? Surrendered souls like Draupadi, Gajendra the elephant, and others depended only on Krishna.

Krishna is always our protector. He is everywhere. He is in our hearts and He knows everything. So, why should we fold our palms and pray to others? The understanding that Krishna will certainly save us comes at the stage of sraddha. Where does sraddha come form? It comes from sadhu-sanga (association with Krishna's pure devotees). The root of bhakti is sadhu-sanga.

'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'-sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya

["The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment's association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success." (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.54)]

Sadhu-sanga (association of pure devotees) comes first, before sraddha, because sraddha manifests by the accumulation of previous spiritual pious activities (sukriti) and not by any material pious activities resulting from one's relationship with one's father, mother, and other mundane relations. If we hear hari-katha from Vaisnavas, or if we have donated something to them – water or anything they require – sukriti may come. Or, if we have given ghee to keep the lamp burning in the Lord's temple, sukriti will come. Not only a small amount – a lot of sukriti will be created by this. Then, sadhu-sanga comes again. Then, by serving Krishna, our life will be successful.

When sraddha is present, one wants to hear more, and at that time sadhu-sanga comes for the second time. By the saintly sadhus' association, one begins to think about the necessity of accepting a bona fide, self-realized spiritual master (sad guru). Krishna then sends a true guru to that person, and for others He sends a bogus guru.

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

["Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 11.3.21)]

The bona fide guru knows all the deep meanings of the words and concepts of sastra, especially Shrimad-Bhagavatam, and therefore he can remove all the doubts of his disciples. He has realization of Krishna, and therefore he can give Krishna from his heart to others'. Most important, he is detached from worldly desires.

Krishna is merciful to give a guru like this.

The disciple then engages in the guru's intimate service and thinks, "He is my well-wisher." Shri guru will kindly associate with you and teach you the process of bhakti. Pure bhakti cannot be achieved without a pure guru. Guru-nistha (strong faith in guru) is the backbone of bhakti. If there is no guru-nistha, there is no bhakti.

The disciple then begins the process of sadhana. What is sadhana?

krti-sadhya bhavet sadhya-
bhava sa sadhanabhidha
nitya-siddhasya bhavasya
prakatyam hrdi sadhyata

["When transcendental devotional service, by which love for Krishna is attained, is executed by the senses, it is called sadhana-bhakti, or the regulative discharge of devotional service. Such devotion eternally exists within the heart of every living entity. The awakening of this eternal devotion is the potentiality of devotional service in practice.' (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 22.105)]

Sadhana is the performance of all activities of the mind and body for the purpose of achieving bhava (pure spiritual emotions). We are eternal servants of Krishna, and we have a particular relationship with Him. That nitya-siddha bhava (eternal mood of a specific service) in the above-mentioned verse will manifest by that performance. This is sadhana.

There are 2 kinds of bhakti: unsteady (anisthita) and steady (nisthita). Unsteady bhakti comes first. Sometimes one is very enthusiastic in his bhakti sadhana; and sometimes, if he has no real taste for it, he is not enthusiastic. Sometimes one thinks, "Should I marry or not? Should I be renounced? Janaka Maharaj was a householder, but Shrila Sukadeva, Gosvami, Shri Narada Muni and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and His followers such as Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami were renounced; I should be too." In this way, one is in dilemma (on the mental plane). This stage is called anisthitha (unsteady) bhakti.

Then comes the stage of anartha nivritti (gradual clearance of unwanted habits and thoughts), and after that comes the stage of nistha (steady devotion). Some anarthas (unwanted habits and thoughts) are still present at the stage of nistha; not fully, but still they are present. Anarthas go away according to the proportion of one's advancement. In this way, pure bhakti gradually manifests.

After nistha, ruci (taste in devotional practices) comes, and there are two types of ruci: vaisistha apeksini (that which awaits specific requirements) and anapeksini (that which does not await any requirements). If the Deities are well decorated, one thinks, "What a beautiful Thakurji (another appellation for 'Deity')." If the Deities are not dressed nicely, that person has no taste to see or to serve. If a Vaisnava is singing, but his voice is not very good, then one does not like the kirtana. However, if someone sings with no bhakti at all, but with instruments and a good melody, one thinks, "Oh, very good kirtana!" Vamsidasa Babaji Maharaj and other pure devotees are examples of devotees whose taste was not conditioned by circumstance.

Krishna-bhakti, devotion for Krishna, gradually comes and gives inspiration.

After taste, asakti (pure spiritual attachment) will come. First it comes in devotional practices (sadhana), and after that attachment comes for Radha-Krishna and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally.

Then, most importantly, rati (the first stage of love of God) will come. What is rati?

suddha-sattva-visesatma
prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak
rucibhis citta-masrnya-
krd asau bhava ucyate

["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krishna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava (transcendental emotion)." Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila 23.5)]

In this verse, prema (transcendental love of God) is compared to the sun, and the first ray of that 'sun' is called rati. Rati is on the platform of suddha-sattva (the spiritual platform of pure goodness). The Sanskrit word sattva means 'existence'. Whatever we are seeing is sattva. Misra (material) sattva is in conditioned souls, those souls with a material body. Suddha-sattva is in a pure, liberated soul. Visuddha-sattva is in the body of Krishna, His paraphernalia and His associates.

If one has greed to be a friend of Krishna, or to be His father or mother, or His most beloved gopis, then, along with meditating on Krishna, he should meditate on His friends, His mother Yasoda, His father Nanda Baba, or on His gopis (beloveds). By a devotee's following them, their moods come in that devotee's heart, and thus visuddha-sattva manifests there.

Then, very soon, prema (unalloyed, unconditional love of the soul for God, Krishna) comes. The quality of prema is such that, despite any occasion coming because of which prema should be destroyed, that prema goes higher and higher. Prema progresses through the developmental stages of sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava, rudha, adiruddha, mohan, and after that, madan, the quality of prema such that it is only in Shrimati Radhika. Madan is the highest stage of bhakti, which is only in Shrimati Radhika.

The serving mood in Shrimati Radhika is called madanakya-mahabhava, which is the highest stage of uttama-bhakti, and the first stage of bhakti is called sraddha.

I would like to tell you about the gradations of uttama-bhakti, through the examples of various great personalities. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has divided those who are practicing uttama-bhakti into various categories. First is the jnani-bhakta, then the suddha-bhakta, the premi-bhakta, the premapara-bhakta and finally the prematura-bhakta.

Prahlada Maharaj is in the first stage of uttama-bhakti, as are the four Kumaras and Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami when he first appeared in this world. Prahlada is an uttama bhakta called a 'jnani bhakta' (a pure devotee who is fully aware of the Supreme Lord's unlimited powers).

There are two kinds of jnanis. One is the nirvisesa-jnani, who does not accept that Krishna has qualities or a form. Followers of nirvisesa-jnana think that God is zero. They think, "This world is false. We living entities are brahma (the impersonal godhead), and everything in this world is false. This philosophy is against bhakti.

The second kind of jnani is the jnani-bhakta who sees his worshipable Deity everywhere. Prahlada Maharaj is an example of this. He sees all living entities in Krishna and Krishna in all living entities. Such persons are maha-bhagavatas (great devotees).

What is the defect there? Such devotees cannot serve Krishna with all their senses, body, moods, and soul. Prahlada considers that his Lord is very powerful and has unlimited opulence. He therefore thinks that his Lord has no appetite or thirst, that He never becomes tired, and that He thus feels no need to receive service. Prahlada thinks, "Oh Prabhu , please be merciful."

Ambarisa Maharja is a suddha (pure) bhakta. He served Krishna with all his senses.

Hanuman is a premi-bhakta. He is always personally serving Lord Rama in His pastimes, with his mind, soul, and all his senses. But, he cannot embrace Lord Rama. He cannot share any food from the same plate as Lord Rama, and he cannot sleep on the same bed as Rama. When Rama is on the throne, Hanuman sits below Him.

The Pandavas are so much higher than Hanuman. Krishna married His own sister, Subhadra, to the Pandava Arjuna. He personally became Arjuna's charioteer, and He was following Arjuna's orders like a servant. He became the messenger of the Pandavas and delivered their message to Duryodhana. In the battle of Kuruksetra, when Arjuna's horses became tired, He massaged them. He and Arjuna took prasadam from the same plate, and sometimes they would sleep on the same bed.

However, when Krishna showed Arjuna His universal form, Arjuna became afraid, thinking, "What have I done? I have called Him 'friend'. He is the creator of the entire world. I have made an offense to His lotus feet. I told him to drive my chariot into the middle of the battlefield." In other words, although at times Arjuna saw Krishna as his friend and cousin, at other times a reverential mood manifested in Arjuna's heart and he saw Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Uddhava is much higher than the Pandavas, and he prayed to the footdust of the gopis; so the gopis are superior to even Uddhava. All the Vrajavasis are superior to Uddhava. And among the Vrajavasis, Krishna's friends, like Subala and Shridhama, are superior to His servants. His friends can fight with Krishna, and when He is sleeping they can say, "Oh Kanhaya, wake up, wake up."

Krishna's mother and father, Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, are still higher, and Mother Yasoda has still more affection and a sense of 'mine-ness' towards Krishna than Nanda Baba; so she is superior.

All the gopis are superior to Krishna's parents, and, of them, Candravali and Shrimati Radhika are still more superior. Moreover, in this category of Krishna's most beloved gopis, Shrimati Radhika is far superior to all, because She has madanakya-mahabhava towards Krishna.

In Houston (where Shrila Narayana Maharaj gave a Hari-katha festival a few days earlier than the date of this discourse), we discussed Rasa-pancadhaya (the five chapters in Shrimad-Bhagavatam regarding Krishna's rasa-lila pastimes).

After Yugala-gita ("The Gopis song of Krishna as He wanders in the Forest" [SB 10.35]), Krishna killed Sudarsana, a demigod who came in the form of a python. After that He killed the Kesi (horse) demon, Vyomasura, Aristasura (the bull-demon) and other demons.

Krishna-and-ArstaIn the meantime, the great sage Narada Rsi went to Krishna's demoniac uncle Kamsa and said, "Do you know that the girl who came in the form of eight-armed Durga-devi was not the daughter of Vasudeva and Devaki? She was really the daughter of Yasoda. Shri Krishna is really the son of Devaki and Baladeva is the son of Rohini. Actually, all the prominent Yadavas (Krishna's family members) are demigods. They want to kill you, so be careful." Then, singing on his vina "Shriman Narayana, Narayana, Narayana," Narada left Kamsa's palace.

Back in Vrndavana, Krishna killed Aristasura (the demon in the form of a bull). After He killed the demon, the gopis told him, "We cannot touch You. You have committed an offense by killing a cow."

Krishna asked, "How will I become purified?"

They replied, "You should take bath in all holy places like Prayaga, Puskara, Gangotri, Haridwara, and other holy places."

Krishna at once created Syama-kunda with His heel, and Shrimati Radharani made Radha-kunda.* [See endnote 2]

After Krishna killed the Kesi (horse) demon, Shri Narada went to Vraja while singing His glories and met with Him.

Narada said, "Oh Master, You are the Supreme Lord. Responding to the prayers of Brahma, Sankara, and other demigods, You have come to reduce the burden of the Earth. I would like to see that the day after tomorrow You will go to Mathura, and there You will kill the elephant Kuvalayapida, You will kill the wrestlers Canura and Mustika, and You will even kill Kamsa.

"After that, You will defeat Jarasandha seventeen times, and after that You will go with Your entire family to the very beautiful city of Dvaraka, which will be constructed by Visvakarma in the night. There You will kill Pundarika Vasudeva, who will imitate You by attaching two extra wooden arms on his back and tell you, 'I am Vasudeva Krishna.' You will then cut off his head with Your sudarsana-cakra.

"After that, Baladeva Prabhu will marry, and You will marry Rukmini, Satyabhama, and other queens. I will see this."

"Then, in the Mahabharata war, all the warriors will die except for You and the Pandavas on Your side, and on the party of the Kauravas, only Asvatthama, Krpacarya and Krtavarma will remain alive. I want to see all of this. By this pastime of Yours, so much burden of the Earth will disappear.

"I know that You are now sinking in the ocean of Vraja-prema. You are not remembering your duties in Mathura and Dvaraka, so I have come to remind You."

Shri Narada Rsi then went to Kamsa and told him, "Be careful of the demigods and Krishna and Balarama." And then he returned to Krishna and said, "I want to see You kill Kamsa and other demons."

Narada is playing both sides. Kamsa thinks, "Narada is my Gurudeva" and Krishna thinks that Narada is a high-class devotee. Demoniac people cannot understand him. Why did he appear to play both sides?

He thought, "Kamsa is torturing Vasudeva, Devaki, King Ugrasena, and others. I should do something so that his torturing increases, and then Krishna will come more quickly to kill him."

Kamsa then called a meeting with Canura, Mustika, Tal, Tosala, Kalyavana, and other demons. He told them what Narada had told him and he asked, "What should we do? I sent so many powerful demons to Vraja to kill Krishna and Baladeva, but they never came back to tell what happened. Since we cannot kill Krishna in Vraja, we must call Him here. We will arrange a sacrifice. We will tell them the sacrifice will be performed to please Rangesvara Mahadeva. We should call all the prominent kings. In this way, we should trick Krishna and Baladeva into coming, and then my elephant Kuvalayapida will crush Them. If They survive this, then Canura and Mustika will crush them."

Kamsa then called Krishna's uncle Akrura and told him, "Oh my friend Akrura, I know that you are my well-wisher. I trust you. Please go to Vrndavana and tell Nanda Baba that he should come with a presentation and pay my tax."

Now Kamsa's last days are approaching. If anyone takes a poisonous snake on his neck, that snake will bite and kill him. The serpent – Krishna – was very far away, and Kamsa is now bringing 'it' there to Mathura. Akrura thought, "I am very fortunate that it is I who will go to Vraja and bring Them." Akrura went to Vraja and was overwhelmed by seeing the footprints of Krishna, and he offered Krishna prayers. When he was about to take Krishna from Vraja to Mathura, he saw the gopis lamenting in great feelings of separation.

On the way to Vrndavana, Akrura was thinking, "I am very fortunate. I will go and serve the Supreme Lord Krishna and Baladeva. Will They say, 'Oh, My dear uncle'? Will They embrace me? Will I place my head at Their lotus feet?" Thinking in this way, he went to Nandagaon, where he saw the footprints of Krishna and Balarama with the impressions of the conch, club, wheel, and lotus. He at once jumped off his chariot and began to roll on the lotus foot-dust of Krishna, and his eyes filled with tears.

Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami told Pariksit Maharaj that if anyone has a mood like Akrura, they will certainly attain the mercy of Krishna.

It was declared by Nanda Baba, "Tomorrow morning, Krishna and Baladeva and their cowherd boyfriends and I will go to Mathura to pay tax. If we do not obey Kamsa, he will torture us and try and kill Krishna and Baladeva. So it is best that we go."

The gopis lamented the entire night, thinking, "We are not as beautiful as the princesses of Mathura, the wives of the Yadavas. They will be attracted by seeing the smiling face of Krishna, and He will also be attracted to them. How will He return to us? We know He will not return. They are princesses of Mathura city, and we are merely cowherd girls. We are not qualified for Krishna, so He will not return."

They continued speaking to each other. "Our fathers and mothers and all the Vrajavasis are foolish for not stopping Him. Why are they allowing Him to go? Mother Yasoda is so foolish. She has no intelligence. She is not stopping Nanda Baba from going to Mathura."

They wept the entire night. When Nanda Baba and all the others were ready to leave, and Krishna and Baladeva were on the chariot, Mother Yasoda took Krishna and brought Him to His room and told Him, "Hide under the bed." Nanda Baba was searching, "Where is Krishna, where is Krishna?" He told Mother Yasoda, "Don't be worried. I am personally taking Him. Don't worry. I promise that I will return and put your son on your lap."

Eager to go and see the bow sacrifice, the cowherd boys and Nanda Baba were ready to leave. At that time, the gopis gave up their shame, came in front of their superiors, and caught hold of the reigns of the chariot's horses. Some gopis were even lying on the ground, as if making a 'hunger strike.'

They told Krishna, "Don't go." Krishna then came down from His chariot and told them, "Today I will go, I promise that tomorrow I will finish my work there, and the day after tomorrow I will definitely come back."

The gopis thought, "Krishna is satya-sankalpa. Whatever He tells must come true." They fell unconscious, as Akrura drove away the chariot in a zigzag way to avoid hitting the gopis who were lying on the pathway in front of the chariot.

They said, "This Akrura is cruel (krura). He has come to take away our life and soul."

Nanda Baba and all the cowherd boys reached the bank of Yamuna, where they rested and waited for Krishna. When Krishna and Baladeva arrived, Akrura requested them, "Please come to my house."

Krishna said, "Uncle, We will finish our work here, and then will go to your house. Don't worry."

Akrura then went to Kamsa and said, "I have brought Krishna and Balarama." That night Kamsa had many dreams. He saw himself sitting on a donkey, someone was killing him, and so on. He was seeing that all the jackals were weeping, blood was raining from the sky, and there were many other inauspicious happenings. He became scared. *[See endnote 3]

Everyone in Mathura was so happy to see Krishna.

The guards of the bow and Kamsa's entire army tried to kill Krishna and Baladeva, but Krishna and Baladeva killed them all. Kamsa saw that Krishna and Baladeva were very strong, and he thought, "They killed our entire army and broke the bow that was greater than even Indra's bow. Now I may be killed by Them."

He then ordered the wrestlers Canura and Mustika, and the elephant driver, "Give a large quantity of wine to the elephant. Then, when Krishna and Balarama come through the main gate, the elephant will crush them. If somehow Krishna is not killed by the elephant, then Canura and Mustika should kill Him and Balarama as well."

In this way, Kamsa and his demoniac friends made a plan, and after that....

Gaura-premanande, hari hari bol.

[On the following evening, Shrila Narayana Maharaj continued to explain Krishna's pastimes, from where he left off.]

ENDNOTE 1:

[The definition of Saranagati: "The six divisions of surrender are the acceptance of those things favorable to devotional service, the rejection of unfavorable things, the conviction that Krishna will give protection, the acceptance of the Lord as one's guardian or master, full self-surrender, and humility." (Hari-Bhakti Vilasa)]

ENDNOTE 2:

Shri Krishna killed Aristasura during the day. That same night, He met with His beloved Shri Radhika and the other sakhis here. Shri Krishna was very eager to embrace Shrimati Radhika, but as soon as He reached out for Her, She stepped back. Jokingly, She said, "Today, You have killed a bull, which belongs to the cow family. You have therefore committed the sin of killing a cow. Please don't touch My pure body."

Smilingly, Krishna answered, "Dear darling, it was a demon that I killed, who had deceitfully assumed the form of a bull; so how can sin even touch Me?"

Shrimatiji insisted, "Whatever he was, he was in the form of a bull when You killed him. Hence, you are definitely guilty of the sin of killing a cow." The sakhis supported Her words.

Shri Krishna asked how He could atone for this sin. Shrimatiji smiled and answered, "The only atonement is to take bath in all the tirthas of the entire Earth planet." Hearing this, Shri Krishna created an extensive kunda simply by striking His heel on the ground. He then summoned all the tirthas of the entire planet to it. Uncountable tirthas immediately came before Krishna in their personified forms. Krishna asked them to enter the kunda in the form of water, and in a moment, the kunda was filled with pure, sacred water. Shri Krishna took bath in that kunda and again tried to touch Shrimatiji.

But, in response to Her beloved's bragging, Shrimati Radhika now wanted to manifest a kunda full of water that was larger and more exquisite than Krishna's. She and Her sakhis therefore stubbornly dug out a very attractive kunda nearby with their bracelets. However, not so much as a drop of water appeared in it. Krishna joked that they could take water from His kunda, but Shrimatiji along with Her innumerable sakhis prepared themselves to bring water from Manasi Ganga in clay pots. Shri Krishna signalled to the tirthas that they should insist that Shrimatiji and Her sakhis fill up their kunda by taking water from His kunda. The tirthas personified offered Shrimati Radhika and Her sakhis many prayers and thus pleased Her.

Shrimati Radhika then gave them permission to enter Her kunda. Immediately, the current of water that had flowed into Krishna Kunda also filled Radha Kunda. With great pleasure, Shri Krishna bathed and played in the water (jal-vihara) with Shrimati Radhika and the sakhis in this dear kunda.

(Shri Braja Mandala Parikrama, Part 2, Chapter 6)]

[ENDNOTE 3:

On the other side, when Kamsa came to understand about the breaking of his wonderful bow and the killing of the caretakers and soldiers by Krishna, he could partially realize the power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He could realize that the eighth son of Devaki had appeared and that now his death was imminent.

Thinking of his imminent death, he was restless the entire night. He began to have many inauspicious visions, and he could understand that Krishna and Balarama, who had approached the precincts of the city, were his messengers of death. Kamsa saw various kinds of inauspicious signs while both awake and dreaming. When he looked in the mirror he could not see his head, although the head was actually present. He saw the luminaries in the sky in double, although there was only one set factually. He began to see holes in his shadow, and he heard a high buzzing sound within his ears.

All the trees before him appeared to be made of gold, and he could not see his own footprints in dust or muddy clay. In dreams he saw various kinds of ghosts being carried in a carriage drawn by donkeys. He also dreamed that someone gave him poison and he was drinking it. He dreamed also that he was going naked with a garland of flowers and was smearing oil all over his body.

Thus, as Kamsa saw various signs of death while both awake and sleeping, he could understand that death was certain, and thus in great anxiety he could not rest that night. Just after the night expired, he busily arranged for the wrestling match. (Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, ch. 42)]

A108-AI

A Morning Walk Excerpt


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

lecture20040520a_e.jpgBadger, California May 20, 2004
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

[Brajanatha dasa:] This devotee came to see you many years ago. He wanted to take initiation, but he didn't do so yet. He is very qualified in making videos and recordings.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] One cannot be happy by making videos and engaging in other worldly activities. He should know who he is. What is your name? Is your name the name of the body or the soul?

[Devotee:] Body.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] What is your designation? Who are you?

[Devotee:] The soul.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Have you realized something of this? How tall you are - or whether your complexion is black or white or golden? How strong are you? Do you know? You should try to know by entering the correct process. You should first come in this process Don't waste your time. If you are not realizing yourself, you have no intelligence. You cannot be happy. You cannot be happy. You cannot be happy

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 17.21)]

But there are so many kinds of chanting of the holy name. There is suddha-nama (purest name), then pure name, then nama-abhasa (shadow of the name), then nama-aparadha (offense to the name), and so many variations in each category. Not everyone is chanting the pure name. One pure name can give you krsna-prema. Nama-abhasa will not do so, and moreover, our chanting of the name is not even nama-abhasa. We think that without Guru our chanting of the name will be the pure holy name, but it is nama-aparadha. If you remain with me, although I am chastising you.

Actually I am not chastising you. I am weeping as I tell you to realize this fact. I am also weeping for the cows. They don't know that they will go to the slaughterhouse tomorrow. You are in that class as well. If you do not engage in bhakti, tomorrow you will go to the slaughterhouse. So don't waste your time.

[Shrila dasa:] Regarding the lady disciple of Ramanujacarya in the drama performance last night; if she had some desire to enjoy with that merchant, would she have done what she did?

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Her only obligation was to her Guru, and therefore Shri Ramanuja wanted to glorify her to this world - that a lady disciple can be like this. She had no obligation to her father, mother, husband or anyone. She decided, "I must go and serve my Gurudeva. I am not this body or this false ego. Let this body serve Shri Gurudeva." She had to think whether guru-seva is the highest morality or worldly morality is the highest. She decided "there is no use of chastity if it doesn't assist in my Guru's service."

[Devotee:] When is one justified or qualified in severing one's material obligations for the service of Guru and Krsna - because if one has some motivation he falls down.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] There are so many symptoms. Words alone - "I want to serve" - will not do. The devotee must be very strong - like the lady who decided, "There is no use of chastity if it doesn't serve my Guru." Her self-realized Guru therefore empowered her, and that is why, when she gave his prasadam remnant to the lusty food-store owner, he was at once purified and gave up his lusty desire.

[Devotee:] Sometimes Shrila Prabhupada gave initiation through tapes. When I received the tape through the mail, it was broken.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Were you satisfied, or not?

[Devotee:] I took siksa from you.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Why did you take it? You were not satisfied by the mail. If you had taken direct diksa initiation then you would have been satisfied. There is some effect in taking initiation by phone; it has a greater effect if it is taken by direct glance.

[Devotee:] So, can I still consider that I have taken diksa initiation from Shrila Prabhupada? Because the tape broke, the temple president, who wasn't even following the regulative principles, told the mantras to me.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Connection with bona fide initiation in that way is far away, far away, far away.

[Devotee:] How can we increase our guru-nistha?

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] I have discussed the answer to this question day and night, ands still you raise the question. Follow what I explained yesterday in class, and the day before. Read Jaiva-dharma and all my books; and read Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj's books. Throughout Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad-Bhagavatam guru-nistha is discussed.

Can you at once give your head for Guru? No. We have given our head. When our Gurudeva desired a special service, we gave our heads (we were prepared to sacrifice our lives to accomplish that service), and that is why he gave me his causeless mercy. I am not telling that history here, but I gave my head.

Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj did this also. He was dying on the steamship that was traveling over the ocean to come to America. You should realize this. We can at once give our heads, our life and soul. We know that, "My soul is immortal; I am immortal; I am transcendental; I cannot die."

Transcribers: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi

A108-AI

If They Were With Me...


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

lecture20040520_e.jpgBadger, California May 20, 2004 part 1
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

Today is the third day of our classes, and we have thus far discussed so many topics from Shri Shrimad-Bhagavatam. In continuation:

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." (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18)]

The above-mentioned verse discusses the bhagavata. Bhagavatas are of two kinds - grantha (scripture) bhagavata and bhakti-rasapatra bhagavata, those who are containers of the sublime mellow of pure devotion; those who are sinking in love and affection for Krsna; those who are rasika. Though Shrimad-Bhagavatam is present, if Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami or Shri Narada Gosvami were not also present, how would it be possible for anyone to open the treasure box of Shrimad-Bhagavatam? In modern times, it was my shiksha-guru Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada who unlocked this treasure for the entire world. By his order I am doing something, but the key is in his hands and my Gurudeva's hands. They ordered me to take the key and distribute that treasure. So, bhagavat seva is essential, but the key to the book bhagavata is in the hands of rasika-vaisnava bhagavatas - mahat-sanga.

There are two kinds of guru; diksa-guru and shiksha-guru. Shri Syamananda prabhu, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura and Shrinivasa Acarya had their own diksa-gurus, but they all took shelter of Shrila Jiva Gosvami as their shiksha-guru. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's diksa guru was Yadunandana Acarya, in the line of Shri Advaita Acarya, but he took shelter of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu told him, "I cannot help you sufficiently. You should go to Svarupa Damodara." Why was this? Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had a mood of awe and reverence for Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and some fear, because although he wasn't officially initiated by the Lord, he showed him that type of honor. But shiksha-guru is like a bosom friend. With diksa-guru we cannot open our heart fully, because of that mood of awe and reverence, aisvarya-bhava, thinking him an exalted superior. But the shiksha-guru is our "heartly" bosom friend. We can open our hearts to him. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami used to open his heart to Shrila Svarupa Damodara, but he feared asking anything to Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

A shiksha-guru can tell what you cannot believe. He can tell what you cannot tell your own mind, and you can ask him anything. Whatever you are thinking, you can openly express to him. Shrimati Radhika can tell all Her moods in front of Lalita and Visakha, but she cannot do so to others.

Mahat-sanga is very high and deep, as you can understand by our classes. Its glory is clarified by our explanations. Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj went alone, by Scindia Navigation to New York Tompkins Square Park. There, and closing his eyes, tears in his eyes, heart melting, he would sing: "Shri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Shri Advaita Gadadhara Shrivasadi Gaura-bhakta-vrnda." Happy to hear his song, all hippies present would dance. They would offer him wine and cigarettes, and so many other things that they loved at the time. And what happened? He was mahat. By a few moments with that mahat-sanga those hippies became happy.

When Prabhupada was present, he attracted people like a magnet. Then he appeared to have departed, and many of his senior disciples thought, "Prabhupada has gone." They became confused, and that is why their minds went elsewhere. If they were with me, it is guaranteed that they would have never fallen. Never. Because of this fact, Shrila Svami Maharaj told me, "You should help my devotees."

Therefore, to obey my diksa-guru, shiksha-guru, guru-parampara and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in this old age of almost 85 I am traveling and preaching around the world. I think that when I was in the hospital you prayed to Krsna, "Give our lives to him," and that is why He has given me more years. I think that in these next five or six years I will complete Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Shri Ujjvala-nilamani and also Shrimad-Bhagavatam. If He will give me the energy, I will complete Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Shrila Svami Maharaj kept some remnants for me and ordered me, "You should do it now."

You must realize mahat-sanga. Even a moment with a mahat can change your lives.

mahat-sangama-mahatmyam
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 Sarma's life immediately became successful, like that of his Guru, Svarupa. He became a personal friend of Shri 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." (Brihad Bhagavatamrita, 2.7.14)

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to South India and met Vasudeva Vipra, who had been attacked by leprosy. Vasudeva Vipra had previously wanted to meet Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu but he could not. Mahaprabhu had left that place and Vasudeva Vipra remained continually weeping. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu quickly re-appeared. He embraced him without fear for the leprosy worms. When Mahaprabhu touched him, both the leprosy and his distress went to a distant place. He at once became very beautiful, but he began to weep, "Why did you do this? I was better off before. I was humble, remembering the verse 'trnad api sunicena.' Now I will become proud of my beauty." Mahaprabhu said, "Pride will not touch you. Continue preaching my nagara-sankirtana; help others, and thus you will always be with Me in mahat-sanga." Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda prabhu, Shri Advaita Acarya and Shrila Rupa Gosvami are all mahat-sanga.

Regarding the above-mentioned verse, I told the history yesterday; perhaps you remember. There were two persons - disciple and guru. The disciple, Jana Sarma, had been born in a brahmana family in Mathura, and he had many material desires. He went to Jyotispura in Assam, where, in his dream, the power of Sankara, the very exalted devotee named Kamakya devi, gave him the gopala-mantra. She only gave him some short instructions about how to chant the mantra - not lengthy as I am giving. When he woke up he began to chant the gopala-mantra, and a miracle occurred. After a couple of days of chanting this mantra, all his desires for wealth and position disappeared. He then traveled to the Bay of Bengal, to Kapiladeva's asrama. He took bath there, and then he went to Gaya and then Kasi, Varanasi, the place of Mayavadis. There, in a dream, Sankara and Parvati told him, "At once go away from here Don't remain here, otherwise the Mayavadi philosophy will attack you." He quickly went to Prayag, from there to Mathura, and then to Vrndavana.

There in Vrndavana he met his Guru, Gopa-kumara, and thus he came to know all the siddhanta we discussed in our previous class on advaya-jnana-tattva. He understood the words very clearly, but he had no realization of those topics. Gopa-kumara also told him his own life history, and he taught him about all the rasas. Jana Sarma understood the words, but there were no tears and no melting heart.

Then, Gurudeva became very merciful - because he was mahat, sent by Shrimati Radhika Herself. He was Her most near and dear Svarupa (Gopa-Kumara's name in his perfected spiritual form as a cowherd friend of Shri Krsna). So who would be more mahat than him? It was by Her order that he was telling all the truths about siddhanta and rasa to Jana Sarma. He saw no tears and no melting heart, so at once he touched Jana Sarma's head and everything he had spoken entered his heart.

"Ohhh" He immediately began to weep loudly, and his heart began to melt. He closed his eyes, and when he again opened them he saw that he was in Goloka Vrndavana with Lord Krsna. Shri Krsna had gone cow-herding and so many sakhas were there with Him, like Madhumangala, Shridama, Subala, Dama, Vasudama, Stoka-krsna, Lavanga, Arjuna, Kokila, Bringa and Vasanta. Krsna was with Baladeva Prabhu, and as soon as He saw Jana Sarma he said, "This new one, for whom I was weeping bitterly for a long time, has now come to Me." He embraced Jana Sarma and they both fainted. This is mahat-sanga.

You are very lucky that you have been in the association of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj - your Prabhupada. I think most devotees here are his disciples. He has sent you to help me.

That Mathura brahmana became just like his Gurudeva, and from then on Krsna kept him with Him - as He kept Madhumangala with Him.

[Thus ends part 1.]

News from Vrndavana: (by Shripad Brajanatha dasa Adhikari)

This year, Shri Guru Purnima was observed in Ananda Dhama, situated right at the parikrama road in Vrindavana. Shri Ananda Kela prabhu organized everything in a fantastic manner so as to properly facilitate Shrila Gurudeva and the thousands of followers who came and offered their heart felt puspanjali on the occasion of Shri Guru Purnima. Due to the facilities there, even more visitors attended this most auspicious festival than in previous years.

The previous day, July 1, Shrila Gurudeva spoke briefly about the importance of the real relationship between Shri Guru and his disciples. It is not that once a year we come and pay our respects and receive a kanti-mala form our Gurudeva. Throughout the year the real disciple tries to be with his Gurudeva, hearing from him and serving the manobhista of Gurudeva. What is the manobhista of Gurudeva? It is the very same as the manobhista of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, who knew and realized the innermost heart's desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri caitanya mano bhistam, stapitam yena bhutale.

Transcribers: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi

A108-AI

Yes, It Applies To US


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

lecture20040519_e.jpgMay 19, 2004
Badger, California (Part 1)
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

[The following class is very technical, especially the discussion on the verse about the non-dual Absolute. Yet, though it may seem at first glance that such a scholarly presentation of this verse has nothing to do with us common folk, understanding this verse and the others under discussion is essential to the success of our normal everyday lives. They teach us how to view the world around us in all circumstances of life, in order to become happy:]

The 88,000 rsis (saints) and maharsis (saintly kings) at Naimisaranya asked Shrila Suta Gosvami to explain the essence of all activities, by performing which ones soul can be happy. He replied:

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihata
yayatma suprasidati

["The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self." (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6)]

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also inspired this verse in the heart of Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada, and then Shrila Rupa Gosvami composed a verse that was still sweeter and more complete:

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama

["Uttama bhakti is the cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the benefit of Shri Krishna, in other words, the uninterrupted flow of service to Him, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas). It is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), yoga or austerities; and it is completely free from all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Krishna." (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]

We elaborately explained this yesterday, and we have also quoted the following verse, which is presented in Shrimad Bhagavatam just after "sa vai pumsam paro dharmo"

vasudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

["By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world." (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.7)]

If bhakti is performed to the lotus feet of Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara, causeless knowledge and detachment follow. Ahaitu means causeless. Bhakti comes, then vairagya (renunciation or detachment), and then tattva-jnana (knowledge and realization of all established philosophical truths) manifests in the heart. They are sure to come. If tattva-jnana and detachment from worldly sense gratification are not coming, you should think, "This is surely due to my offenses." Otherwise, Krishna's holy name is so sweet and so powerful that detachment and tattva-jnana surely come to anyone who is sincerely chanting. How will it come? Krishna will send it through mahat-sanga - sadhu-sanga - guru-sanga.

The next verse in Shrimad Bhagavatam is:

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam
visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam

["The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead." (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.8)]

This is very important.

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

["Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Visnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)" (Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23)]

If you are performing all the nine limbs of bhakti - engaging in arcana by worshipping 1008 salagrama silas and doing so many other devotional activities, but you have no taste in hari-katha - all this will be rendered useless and a waste of time.

If you are worshipping thousands of salagramas, Govardhana-silas and other silas, Shri Shri Radha and Krishna, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Shri Nityananda Prabhu, and you are doing book distribution and all other devotional activities - but you have no taste in hari-katha - this is compared to a tree without a trunk. That tree has been cut down, and still you are giving it water. There is no use in that.

Moreover, if you are hearing hari-katha but are not following the principles of bhakti, and yet you are thinking, "I will hear, but I will not follow," - this is still more bogus. "Notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva hi kevalam."

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate

["Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan." (SB 1.2.11)]

The first three verses of Shrimad Bhagavatam are the mangala-caranam, (auspicious invocation), and also its glorification. But this verse is the very basis of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, and in fact, the entire Bhagavatam is an explanation of this verse. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami has also said this. He has explained the Shrimad Bhagavatam on the basis of this verse, and our Guru Maharaj, Parama-pujyapada Shrila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaj, also used to do this.

What is advaya-tattva? What is the meaning of the word 'advayam'? Bhaktisar Maharaj.

[Bhaktisar Maharaj:] Actually, this verse halted even Shri Ganesh, when he was trying to write down Shrimad Bhagavatam by taking dictation from Shrila Vyasadeva. He couldn't understand it. His pen stopped as he began pondering the verse. In the meantime Vyasadeva wrote the rest of Bhagavatam in his mind, as well as all the other sastras, and he was still stuck there.*[See endnote]

This verse seems to be a paradoxical enigma. How can something with no duality have three features? It seems like a contradiction. If something has no difference, how is it that there are three differences in it? This is very difficult to understand.

There are three kinds of apparent differences, which are not really differences, and they are reconciled by our acaryas. One is that there is no difference between Shri Krishna and His own body and His self.

angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti
pasyanti panti kalayanti ciram jaganti
ananda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

["I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane." (Shri Brahma-samhita 5.32)]

In the conditioned state of the living entity, there is a difference between ones body, his self, and between one part of his body and another part. For instance, our hands can't see and our feet can't smell. But in the spiritual body of Lord Krishna there is no such duality. There is no duality, no difference, between one part of His body and any other part. This is one type of difference and non-difference in Krishna.

Another is that Krishna has various expansions, such as Lord Narayana and Garbodakasayi Visnu. Although it appears that there is a difference between them, there is not. The Brahma-Samhita describes this in the following verse:

diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya
dipayate vivrta-hetu-samana-dharma
yas tadrg eva hi ca visnutaya vibhati
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

["The light of one candle being communicated to other candles, although it burns separately in them, is the same in its quality. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda who exhibits Himself equally in the same mobile manner in His various manifestations." (Shri Brahma-samhita 5.46)]

The power of the flame is transmitted from the original candle into other candles, which will then have the same brilliance or potency. There is no difference between the light and all those candles, even though they are originally lit from one candle. We can say there are many candles, but actually the light in them is the same. Similarly, although there are many features of Lord Krishna - many aspects - they are all actually one personality who is just displaying different features. Last year Shrila Gurudeva gave the example of the quarter moon, half moon and full moon. All are the same moon, seen from different angles of vision at different times, and displaying different degrees of fullness.

Finally, there seems to be a difference between the Supreme Absolute Truth and His energies, which are not in the same category as Himself and not Himself - like prakrti (the material nature) and the jiva (living entity). The material nature and the individual living entity appear to be different from the Supreme Lord.

When we perspire from the pores of our body, the perspiration comes out and it becomes different from our body. We don't have any more relation with it. But regarding Mahavisnu, He emanates millions of universes, and He impregnates the material nature with unlimited jivas. Yet, at all times, he has complete and absolute control of that which has come from him. If you could perspire and then recall the perspiration back into yourself, it may be said that you would have "absolute" control over that product of yourself. In other words, it would be really non-different from you, because at all times you maintain control. In this way, Shrila Jiva Gosvami has described that even though there appears to be a difference between Krishna and His energies, such as prakriti and jiva, actually there is no duality. He is always the master and in complete control of His energies.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Sundara Gopala.

[Sundara Gopala dasa:] This verse mentions the words advaya jnana para-tattva. Tattva means truth and para means supreme or absolute. So para-tattva means Supreme Truth or Absolute Truth. Advaya means non-dual. In other words, this truth is not two or three or many - but one. There is nothing that has any existence separate or independent of that truth.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] This is important. Again.

[Sundara Gopala dasa:] Advaya-jnana para-tattva means that there is no object or entity, anywhere, that has any existence separate or independent of that Truth. Someone may put forward one or more of three objections. The first is "svagata-veda", the objection that, "In the transcendental form of Shri Krishna there is some duality." In other words, Krishna has features, He has qualities and He has bodily limbs. A person may object that, "Any one of Krishna's bodily limbs is different from any other one", but this is in fact not the case. Shri Brahma-Samhita states that unlike our material bodies, which are entirely limited, being made of gross matter, the transcendental limbs of Shri Krishna are interchangeable. In other words, with His eyes, Shri Krishna can accept the food-offering of His devotees. With any one of his senses, He can perform the function of any other sense.

Shrila Gurudeva has explained the analogy of a small cow or calf made of sugar. This calf or cow has features, but every part of it is made of condensed sugar. Shri Krishna is raso vai saha (fully consisting of transcendental mellows). From this sutra, raso vai saha, we can see that there is no duality in Shri Krishna - in any of His qualities or limbs, or in any of the variety that He shows in his transcendental features.

The next objection is "svajatiya veda". This is the objection that, "Shri Krishna and His various avataras are different from each other." There seems to be duality. There is Shri Nrsimhadeva, Shri Varahadeva and so many other incarnations. Someone may say, "These are different. There is duality here." Actually, however, as Shripad Bhaktisar Maharaj has explained, giving the analogy of a moon: The moon at different phases may appear to be different. Its shape will appear to be different. At a certain time, when the moon is new, it is very thin and small. It will eventually grow to a full moon, and then wane again. In the same way, the various avataras of Shri Krishna display certain qualities of Shri Krishna, but Svayam Bhagavan Vrajendra-nandana Shri Krishna (the original form of Krishna as the son of Nanda Maharaj in Vrindavan) displays all qualities to their maximum.

The next objection, "vijatiya-veda", is the objection that, "There are so many things in existence, in this world and out of this world, and they are in categories that are different from each other." The jiva, for instance, seems to be different from matter. Many different categories of existence appear to be different from each other. Someone may say, "Here there is duality." But Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains in his Shri Tattva-Sandarba that if two things have the same origin and they don't conflict with each other, it may then be said that they are one. In this world it does appear that things conflict with each other; but this is actually illusion, and that illusion comes from the tendency to want to enjoy matter Actually, everything is fully under the direction of Shri Krishna. Nothing conflicts with anything. If there is any conflict, it is merely a conflict with our own desire to enjoy this world. So, these three objections have no standing, and the absolute non-duality, the non-duality of the Absolute Truth, is thereby established.

[Madhava Maharaj:] Shrila Gurudeva has said that this verse is the basis of the entire Shrimad Bhagavatam:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate

["Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan." (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11)]

As you have heard from Shripad Sundara Gopala prabhu, "advaya" means non-dual, and "para-tattva" means Supreme Truth. He is "without second," but that does not mean that He is alone. Rather it means that no one is equal to Him, what to speak of being greater than Him. He is asamitisaya, asamaurdhva, and anurdhasamana. These words three words have the same meaning - no one is equal to Him and no one is greater than Him - and they are mentioned in relation to advaya-jnana para-tattva.

Shriman Mahaprabhu told Shri Sanatana Gosvami:

krsnera svarupa-vicara suna, sanatana
advaya-jnana-tattva, vraje vrajendra-nandana

["O Sanatana, please hear about the eternal form of Lord Krishna. He is the Absolute Truth, devoid of duality but present in Vrindavan as the son of Nanda Maharaj.

(Madhya 20.153)]

This consideration is called tattva-gata vicara. Vicara means consideration. The other consideration is called rasa-gata vicara. Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard from Raya Ramananda:

`krsnera svarupa' kaha `radhara svarupa'
`rasa' kon tattva, `prema'--kon tattva-rupa

["Kindly explain the transcendental features of Krishna and Shrimati Radharani. Also explain the truth of transcendental mellows and the transcendental form of love of Godhead." (Madhya 8.119)]

When Raya Ramananda replied, he was speaking with regard to rasa-gata vicara, and Shriman Mahaprabhu replied to Shrila Sanatana Gosvami on tattva-gata vicara. In this verse of Shrimad Bhagavatam, "Vedanti tat tattva vidas" the consideration of tattva-gata is being discussed, although rasa is also there.

So there are three features: Brahma (Brahman), Paramatma and Bhagavan. When Bhagavan is situated in all His power - but hiding this and only allowing something to manifest from His cit, potency, that is called Brahma. Brahma is the most distant reflection of cit-sakti (the transcendental knowledge potency). Lord Krishna's effulgence is Brahma. No pastime is there; nothing is clear.

Shrila Gurudeva gave the following example in Mathura when he was discussing this sloka: Once, when Vasudeva Maharaj was performing a yajna, and Shri Narada Rsi was descending there from a Vaikuntha planet. At first, everybody present thought that a light was coming. They could not understand that it was Narada. After that, when Narada Rsi came a little closer, everyone could understand further, that he was some kind of human being. Still, the situation was not clear. When he finally came down, everybody understood that he was Narada Rsi. The first vision was not clear. It was only light: Similarly Brahma is only the most distant reflection of cit, and Paramatma is the combination of sat and cit. He has no pastimes like Bhagavan. Bhagavan is complete - sat-cit-ananda (the embodiment of eternity, bliss and knowledge).

This Bhagavan is svagata-veda-rahit, as Sundara Gopala explained. We have many limbs on our body. Krishna also has various limbs, but in His body there is no difference between one limb and another. In this connection Shrila Gurudeva has given an example. Once the king of Jagannatha Puri invaded Vidyanagara in South India, and he brought the Deities of Radha Kanta, Saksi-Gopala and Bhanda Ganesh back to Puri.

At first, the king kept Saksi-gopala in the Jagannatha temple. One day Jagannatha-deva came in a dream and said, "O King, from where have you brought this Thakura? Since He arrived, He has been eating everything, and I have been fasting completely - as if it was Nirjala Ekadasi. Please take him out, to another place." Gopala is a little boy, so Saksi-gopala can crawl very quickly on His knees, hands and elbows. Whenever an offering of foodstuffs comes to the door of the altar room, even before it is placed on the altar, He runs there and eats everything." So Shri Bhagavan can eat by His eyes, He can walk by His eyes, and He can do anything by any limb of his body. Lord Brahmaji has said in Shri Brahma-Samhita:

angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti
pasyanti panti kalayanti ciram jaganti
ananda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

["I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane." (Shri Brahma-samhita 5.32)]

By any limb of His body, He can do the job of any other limb. Any limb can do anything. Svagata-veda-rahit. There is no difference between Krishna and His body, and there is no difference between one part of His body and another.

Svajatiya means the same type. God has many incarnations. Though externally they seem different, with different features, they are not. By tattva-gata vicara, the considerations of established philosophical truths, all the incarnations are krsna-tattva. We offer tulasi leaves and flowers to the lotus feet of Krishna. In the same way, we can offer tulasi to the feet of Visnu-tattva. They are svajatiya-veda-rahit - of the same type. There is no difference.

Vijatiya-veda-rahit. There is cit-jagat (the spiritual world) and jada-jagat (the material world). They both depend on Krishna, so they have no independence or different existence. Thus, Bhavagan is svagata-veda rahit, svajatiya-veda rahit and vijatiya-veda rahit.

[Syamarani dasi:] At the beginning of the Krishna consciousness movement in the West, when we were all very brand new devotees, in order to help us understand this, our Shrila Prabhupada gave us some very simple analogies. One analogy is that of a mountain. When you see a mountain from very far away, it looks like a cloud. When you get closer you see it is something green, and when you get very close you see all the grasses, plants, insects, and so much other variety - but the mountain is one. Another analogy is of a train coming into the station. From afar it looks like a light, when it comes closer it looks like a lump of iron, and when you go inside you see seats, posters, poles, newspapers on the floor, people sitting, etc. The third analogy is of the sun. When the sun is seen from very far away, it seems like a glow, a light. When you look more closely, you see the sun-disc, which is over everyone's head, whether a person is in India or America or anywhere else. If you get very close and go on the sun planet itself, you can see the great varieties on the sun and even talk to the sun-god. So, these are three very simple analogies.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] We have discussed and explained this verse in various ways, and it can be understood very simply. Tattva-vidas means those who know tattva: krsna-tattva, jiva-tattva, maya-tattva, bhakti-tattva, rasa-tattva, radha-tattva and all other kinds of tattva. In this connection, "vidas" means "to know factually". "To know" means that they have actually realized these tattvas. Such tattva-vidas are not like you, who are only speaking. Advayam means the Supreme Truth, and I will explain this in very easy language so that you can understand it.

There are not many Gods. The Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews and others do not worship different Supreme Gods. There is only one God. Due to the various pronunciations and languages of different places, it may thus appear that there are many Gods or Truths. But there is really only one highest established Truth.

The devotees here have explained this fact very well, and I will now explain it in a very easy way.

We do not see the Supreme Lord here. Where is He? An unrealized person sees so many other persons, so many countries, so many trees, so many mountains, so many snakes, aquatics and entities who live in the air. We see only one sun, but really there are billions of suns in the billions of universes. The existence of these entities, objects and universes is not separate from the Highest Truth, Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. They are not independent. Even Lord Nrsimhadeva and Lord Narayana are not independent. They all depend on Lord Krishna. What we are seeing and experiencing is not directly Shri Krishna, but at the same time it is not other than Him.

All have come from Lord Krishna's power. Sakti-saktiman abheda - Krishna and His power are non-different. Krishna is saktiman, (the possessor of all power) and Shrimati Radhika is His sakti, power. The supreme power is Shrimati Radhika, whose saktiman is Krishna, and there is no difference between Them. When Krishna wishes or desires anything, at once, in a moment, His power will fulfill His desire. He easily creates millions upon millions of universes, and many millions upon millions of jivas in 8,400,000 kinds of species of life - but none of them have any independent existence. Even sakti has no separate or independent existence. There is only one Truth, and that is Lord Krishna; so He is advaya-jnana para-tattva.

If you go to the Himalaya Mountains or the Alps, from very far away you will see them like a cloud or fog. If you go closer, you will see trees, mountains, water and so many other things. Then, when you finally reach the spot, everything can be seen. Similarly, as you will gradually begin to know all this tattva, you will first see Brahman, with no form and no qualities. Brahman is also Krishna, because there is no existence other than Him. So, first you will see Him like Brahman, second like Paramatma and third like Bhagavan. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. Here, Shri Suta Gosvami has used the word "bhagavad-tattva," and next time, in a later verse, he tells us who that bhagavad-tattva is.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam

["All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead." (Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28)]

There may be so many Bhagavans, Gods. Rama is Bhagavan, Narayana is Bhagavan, Mathuresa Krishna, Dvarakadhisa Krishna and Goloka Krishna are all Bhagavan. But Svayam (the original and complete) Bhagavan is Vrajendra-nandana Krishna, that Krishna whose abode is Vrindavan. I have explained these truths in very clear language, so that it is easy for you to understand.

[Endnote: Madhava Maharaj: When Shrila Vyasadeva wanted to reveal the scriptures, he needed a writer. He told Lord Brahma, "I can dictate, but I have no time to write; so I want a writer." Lord Brahma said that Shri Ganesh would be the perfect person. Ganesh thought, "I am more intelligent and more qualified then anyone. This is insulting for me, being a writer of this person." Still, he said, "Yes, I can write." He could not deny Lord Brahma, because Lord Brahma is his superior.

"But I have one condition." He added. "When I start, I should not stop my writing. If I stop once, then I will not write anymore." Shrila Vyasadeva said, "I also have one condition. When I dictate to you, you have to understand everything properly. If you write without understanding, your head will crack and I will not be responsible for that." Then Shri Ganesh thought: "O my God, once I lose my head, my father will again put an elephant head on me.

When Vyasa was dictating, sometimes he spoke verses that were very hard to understand properly. If Ganesh would write without understanding, his head would explode; so when he is thinking, "What is the meaning?" in the meantime, Shrila Vyasadeva composed thousands of slokas in his mind. When Ganesh then wrote down the verse after somewhat understanding it, then Vyasadeva continued dictating.

Transcribers: Janaki dasi and Nilambari dasi
Typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Shyamarani dasi

A108-AI

Srila Sanatana Gosvami


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

sanatana_rtp.jpgTridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
June 2nd, 2000
Badger, CA

I want to tell you something, and then I will begin my class. Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami were very intelligent in their worldly life. Due to their extraordinary intelligence, the Muslim king invited them to be engaged in government service. He changed their names to Dabir Khas and Sakara Mallika, and kept them as his private secretary and minister. He believed so much in them. Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu came and met with them. After giving them instructions He returned to Puri, and Rupa Gosvami, along with Anupama, left his kingly position and went to Vrndavana to meet Him again. When Mahaprabhu was returning from Vrndavana they met in Prayag, and Mahaprabhu sprinkled His mercy on him. He said, "The ocean of rasa is endless and depthless. I am giving some of it to you, and you should taste it." He sprinkled His mercy, by His eyes and by embracing him, and in this way Rupa Gosvami became complete. Mahaprabhu then gave him so many instructions and, proceeding towards Kasi, told Rupa Gosvami, "You should go to Vrndavana." Rupa Gosvami went to Vrndavana and Mahaprabhu then went to Varanasi to meet Sanatana Gosvami.

In what condition did Shrila Sanatana Gosvami meet Mahaprabhu? Mahaprabhu was sitting inside the room at Candrasekhara's house, and Sanatana Gosvami, looking like a Muslim mendicant, was at the door. He knew that Mahaprabhu was inside that house and he wanted to meet Him, but he was somewhat shy. He was thinking: "How can I go? I am like a Muslim fakir." Mahaprabhu then told His associate, Candrasekhara Acarya, "Can you see who is waiting at the door?" He went there, but didn’t see anyone. He returned and said, "No one is waiting." Mahaprabhu then said, "You should bring anyone who is standing there." Candrasekhara answered, "There is only a Muslim fakir there.” Mahaprabhu replied, "You should call him." When Sanatana Gosvami entered, Mahaprabhu very quickly ran towards him to embrace him. Sanatana Gosvami, however, began walking backwards and said, "Mahaprabhu, You should not do this. I am very wretched and fallen -- a Muslim. Oh, don’t touch me". Actually, Sanatana Gosvami came from an aristocratic family of brahmanas. He was a very learned person, but he was posing as fallen. Mahaprabhu said, "I am not touching you for your benefit. I am touching you for My benefit, so that I will become pure." He then quickly embraced him.

Mahaprabhu said, "How did you come here? Oh, Krishna is so merciful that He has mercifully brought you from the ditch or ocean of stool. Sanatana Gosvami said, "I do not know Krishna. I only know Your mercy. Your mercy has done this. "Mahaprabhu then said, "You should be totally shaved, and then come." Sanatana Gosvami went to the Ganges river, took bath, and cleaned everything. When he returned, Mahaprabhu told Candrasekhara, "You should give him a dhoti, a bahirvasa and an uttariya." Candrasekhara gave him a new, very fine cloth, but he refused to take it. He said, " I do not want this new, fine cloth. I want any of your old dhotis." So Candrasekhara gave him that and he accepted it. He made three pieces from it; one piece for uttarya bahiravasa, and the others for dor and kopin. Mahaprabhu was so much pleased. Sanatana Gosvami then quickly went to the Ganges again. There He saw a beggar who had a very worn out quilt. Sanatana Gosvami gave him his very costly blanket and said, "Can you give that old and torn blanket to me?” The beggar replied, “Are you are joking with me? You will give this precious blanket to me in exchange for this old and torn one? I don’t believe you." Sanatana Gosvami forcibly took it and washed it in the Ganges. Then he returned and Mahaprabhu became so happy.

If you want to have krsna-prema, you will have to follow the six Gosvamis. Shrila Raghunatha das Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, Shrila Rupa Gosvami -- all were like this. None are inferior to the other. When we will try to judge, we will see that each one of them is so high. We will not be able to decide. They were so humble, knowing all these special truths. If we want to achieve the goal of our life, which is krsna-prema, we will have to follow in this birth. Or, if it is not possible to fully follow in this birth, we will have to gradually follow the process for lakhs and lakhs of births. It may take a day or a moment, but you will have to follow. There is no other way. Better to follow in this life.

The Crest-jewel of Inquiry

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami inquired from Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, “I have come to this world, but I do not know who I am. Who am I?”

In order to understand this subject, we will turn to the translations of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj. In Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.102-103 his translation states:

Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited? Actually, I do not know how to inquire about the goal of life and the process for obtaining it. Being merciful upon me, please explain all these truths.

None of us know who we are by spiritual constitution. Someone may consider, “I am Isa Prabhu,” another may think, “I am Kesava Prabhu,” and others may conjecture that they are this or that person. Therefore, in order to indicate our true identity, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami humbly questioned Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Mahaprabhu replied, “You know everything, but you are inquiring about your true identity so as to uplift others. Although a saintly person knows everything, he remains very humble and tries to confirm his statements by asking the higher authorities.”

krsna-sakti dhara tumi, jana tattva-bhava
jani’ dardhya lagi’ puche,-sadhura svabhava
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.105)

Since you possess Lord Krishna’s potency, you certainly know these things. However, it is the nature of a sadhu to inquire. Although he knows these things, the sadhu inquires for the sake of strictness.
Mahaprabhu continued, “You are not really Sanatana, in the sense that you are not this physical body.”

jivera ‘svarupa’ haya——krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’
krsnera ‘tatastha-sakti’ ‘bhedabheda-prakasa’
suryamsa-kirana, yaiche agni-jvala-caya
svabhavika krsnera tina-prakara ‘sakti’ haya
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.108–109)

It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna, because he is the marginal energy of Krishna – a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or spark of fire. Krishna has three varieties of energy.

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained that by spiritual constitution, all those who have life – such as human beings, birds, animals, trees and creepers, and even worms and insects – are all eternal servants of Lord Krishna. All souls are transformations of the Lord’s marginal potency (tatastha-sakti parinama). They are not direct transformations of svarupa-sakti.

Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued:

krsna bhuli’ sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117)

Forgetting Krishna, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore, the illusory energy maya gives him all kinds of misery in this material existence.

Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja is quoting the version of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The jiva, the eternal servant of Krishna, is Krishna’s marginal potency (tatastha-sakti). Essential to understand and remember is that he is not pure svarupa-sakti, or internal potency. Tatastha-sakti is one of the energies of svarupa-sakti, but it is not full.

Svarupa-sakti has three functions (vrttis), namely transcendental happiness (hladini), divine knowledge (samvit), and spiritual existence (sandhini). It is from svarupa-sakti that Lord Nrsimha, Lord Rama, and other direct incarnations of Krishna manifest, and these incarnations are called svamsa, Krishna’s personal expansions. [Sva means ‘own’ or ‘plenary’ or ‘direct,’ and amsa means ‘part’ or ‘expansion.’] This is not true for the vibhinnamsa-tattva jivas [vibhinna means ‘separated’ and amsa means ‘portion.’]

svamsa-vibhinnamsa-rupe hana vistara
ananta vaikuntha-brahmanòe karena vihara
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.9)

Krishna expands Himself in many forms. Some of them are personal expansions and some are separate expansions. Thus He performs pastimes in both the spiritual and material worlds. The spiritual worlds are the Vaikuntha planets, and the material universes are brahmandas, gigantic globes governed by Lord Brahma.

A question arises: if all souls are eternal servants of Shri Krishna, how could they have become averse to Him? Why did they turn away from Him? The answer is that the jivas who became averse had not yet realized their constitutional position of eternal service.

Two Kinds of Souls

There are two categories of jivas, as stated in Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.10–13:

sei vibhinnamsa jiva – dui ta’ prakara
eka – ‘nitya-mukta’, eka – ‘nitya-samsara’
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.10)

The living entities, the jivas, are divided into two categories. Some are nitya-mukta, eternally liberated, never having been conditioned, and others are perpetually conditioned (nitya-samsara, or nitya-baddha).

The meaning of nitya-samsara in this verse is not ‘forever conditioned.’ It means that the time we have been conditioned is so vast that it cannot be calculated.

‘nitya-mukta’ – nitya krsna-carane unmukha
‘krsna-parisada’ nama, bhunje seva-sukha
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.11)

Those who are eternally liberated are always awake to Krishna consciousness, and they render transcendental loving service at the feet of Lord Krishna. They are to be considered eternal associates of Krishna, and they are eternally enjoying the transcendental bliss of serving Him.”

This is a prominent point to understand. The liberated jivas are eternal associates of Shri Krishna in His abode, always engaged in serving Him and relishing the sweetness of their service to Him. In the Lord’s abode, the potency that bewilders the conditioned soul and encourages him to identify with his body is not present.

Only Yogamaya, the spiritual potency that nourishes the service mood of liberated souls, is present there. There is nothing in the spiritual world to make one forget Krishna, and therefore the Lord’s associates are never liable to forget Him or become averse to Him. The love and affection of these associates is always fresh and ever-new; it is ever-unfolding. Even if the ‘newness’ of the love and affection reaches its limit and there is no room for further newness, still, it becomes ever-increasingly new and fresh.

In regard to the second category of jiva:

nitya-baddha’ – krsna haite nitya-bahirmukha
‘nitya-samsara’, bhunje narakadi duhkha
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.12)

Apart from the ever-liberated devotees, there are the conditioned souls, who always turn away from the service of the Lord. They are perpetually conditioned in this material world and are thus subjected to the material tribulations brought about by different bodily forms in hellish conditions.

sei dose maya-pisaci danda kare tare
adhyatmikadi tapa-traya tare jari’ mare
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.13)

Due to his being opposed to Krishna consciousness, the con­ditioned soul is punished by the witch of the external energy, maya. He is thus ready to suffer the threefold miseries brought about by the body and mind, the inimical behavior of other living entities, and natural disturbances caused by the demigods.

The souls in the second category – the conditioned souls – have never directly associated with Krishna. They have never relished His service, and that is why they are called nitya-bahirmukha, or conditioned from beginningless time.

The above-mentioned verse states that the souls in the second category are being punished by maya. Why are they being punished? What have they done wrong? Their defect is that they have chosen to turn away from Krishna. They preferred to look towards the material world for pleasure; in this way it is considered that they are opposed to Krishna consciousness.

Still, although they have never relished the sweetness of serving Krishna nor do they possess knowledge about such service, they are Krishna’s tatastha-sakti, His marginal energy. They are His eternal servants by their constitutional position.

A certain type of jiva manifests in the spiritual world – from Krishna’s first expansion, Shri Baladeva. The jivas who manifest from Baladeva are called nitya-unmukha, meaning that they are always serving Krishna. Al­though all tatastha-sakti jivas are servants by consti­tution, the second kind of jiva has not come from Goloka Vrndavana. The conditioned souls of this world have never been in Goloka Vrndavana. They are coming from Karanodakasayi Visnu , in the realm between the spiritual and material world.

Shrila Jiva Gosvami clarifies our understanding of the two kinds of jivas. He states in his Paramatma-sandharbha:

tad evam ananta eva jivakhyas tatasthah Saktayah / tatra tasam varga-dvayam / eko vargo’ nadita eva bhagavad-unmukhah / anyas tv anadita eva bhagavat-paraìmukhah / svabhavatas tadiya-jnana-bhavat tadiya-jnanabhavat ca
(Paramatma-sandarbha, Anuccheda 47, Text 1)

Thus the Lord’s marginal potency is comprised of individual spirit souls. Although these individual spirit souls are limitless in number, they may be divided into two groups: (1) the souls who from time immemorial are favorable to the Supreme Lord; and (2) the rebellious souls who from time immemorial are averse to the Supreme Lord. One group is aware of the Lord’s glories and the other group is not aware of them.

Here, Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains that there are unlimited jivas emanating from tatastha-sakti, and from there some have turned away from Krishna. They turned away from Krishna and chose to enter the material world, which is a ‘dream-place’ (svapna-sthana). In the material world it appears that one person is aware of the world around him, another is dreaming, and another is fast asleep without dreaming at all. Actually, everyone here is dreaming, because this entire place is a dream-place. The jivas’ sleep in this dream-place is not so deep that they are fully unconscious, because they are part of the spiritual conscious substance (cit-vastu) even when they are not liberated. Rather, they are experiencing a dream of material designations.

Regarding the souls coming from the divine light-filled glance of KaranodakaSayi Visnu: Within that light, Krishna in His form as Visnu gives them the intelligence and freedom to consider, “What should I do?” There is a very fine, imaginary line between the transcendental and material worlds. Krishna gives the jivas some freedom, saying in effect, “From here you can look towards this world of maya and you can also look towards the spiritual world. What you choose depends upon you. I will give you a moment to decide.”

Certain jivas looked from the tatastha region towards the spiritual world and were attracted there. Yogamaya at once gave them the power of bhakti to go there, to serve Krishna for eternity. Others looked toward the material world, they were attracted, they decided to relish it, and thus they were granted their desire.

The jivas in this region were within the body of Karanodakasayi Visnu, in seed form, and when they came out through His glance, some fell in maya. This truth has been substantiated in Shri Brahma-samhita:

The Lord of the mundane world, Maha-Visnu (Karanodakasayi Visnu), possesses thousands upon thousands of heads, eyes, and hands. He is the source of thousands upon thousands of incarnations in His thousands upon thousands of subjective portions. He generates thousands upon thousands of individual souls. (Shri Brahma-samhita, Text 11)

An unlimited number of atomic conscious particles emerge from the spiritual rays of Paramatma as the aggregate of the living entities. These innumerable jivas have no relation with the mundane world when they come to know themselves to be the eternal servants of the Supreme Lord. At that time, they are incorporated into the realm of Vaikuntha.
(Shri Brahma-samhita, Text 16, purport)

The svarupa-Sakti, or internal potency of Krishna, which is spiritual, functioning as His own personal power, has manifested His pastimes of Goloka. By Her grace, individual souls who are constituents of the marginal potency can have admission into even those pastimes.
(Shri Brahma-samhita, Text 6, purport)

Everything Is Present in the Divine Seed

Spiritual identity is already present within the soul, in seed-form. Consider the analogy of a mango seed. If you plant a mango seed in fertile ground and give it water, gradually a sprout will emerge. After a few days, some leaves will unfurl and later some branches will begin to grow. After a few years, the plant will become quite large, with an abundance of leaves, branches, and flowers. One day, mangos will begin to swell on its branches, and then they will ripen and become sweet and juicy.

Everything needed to produce a mango tree is present within the mango seed. The potency of the leaves, branches, and fruits is dormant within the seed, as well as the number of leaves and the sweetness of the fruit.

Similarly, the personal form of the soul is now present in a latent state. Everything about the soul’s spiritual form, dress, nature, dwelling place, and service is present within the soul, even though the pure transcendental form has not developed and was never previously developed.

Shri Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita (15.6): Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama. This indicates that by practicing bhakti-yoga for thousands upon thousands of lifetimes, one’s spiritual form is developed. Thus, one is liberated and granted the benediction of entrance into the spiritual world, from which he will never return to this world. Those from this world who are liberated by practicing bhakti-yoga are serving Krishna in Vaikuntha in His forms as Rama, Nrsimha, Kalki, or Vamana, or in Goloka as Mathuresa or Krishna. They are all liberated. They will never return to the world of repeated birth and death. Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj writes in his translation of the above mentioned verse:

That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world.
(Bhagavad-gita 15.6, purport)

Question: Someone may say, “Yes, we accept what Krishna spoke in the Bhagavad-gita – that once going to Vaikuntha from this world, we don’t return to this world. But we did fall from there before we first came to this world.”

Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaj: If this were true, the principle stated in the Bhagavad-gita and other scriptures would still be a fallacy. Our scriptures propound only reality. For those souls who are already serving in that realm, there is no maya at all. There is no chance of becoming averse to Krishna. For one who is eternally in that realm and for one who has attained that realm from this material world – both kinds of souls never fall, for there is no maya in God’s abode.

In this connection we should try to follow the teachings of Shrila Jiva Gosvami, our tattva-acarya, as well as the teachings of our disciplic line of spiritual masters such as Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Shrila ViSvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and especially Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. If there is any confusion when reading the words of a particular bona fide guru, we can reconcile and clarify our understanding by taking help of the words of the other bona fide gurus in our disciplic line.

Jiva Gosvami is a very bona fide guru. He has explained this subject and all other spiritual subjects in his Sandarbhas, leaving no scope for doubt. We will have to read his words in order to reconcile, and in this way we will be able to see the compatibility, consistency, and harmony in the teaching of all our acaryas.

It is also essential to read the books of the Seventh Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who is also a bona fide guru like Jiva Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami. He clearly elucidates these truths of the soul in his book, Jaiva-dharma. There, he writes that innumerable eternal souls have emanated from Baladeva Prabhu in Goloka Vrndavana, like the sakhas, Nanda Baba, and other associates. Regarding the gopis there, unlimited gopis are bodily manifestations (nitya-siddha kayavyuha-rupa) of Shrimati Radhika. Those gopis who are not Her bodily manifestations are coming from Baladeva; they are also eternally liberated and eternally serving Krishna.

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that this principle is also applicable in Dvaraka and Vaikuntha. In Dvaraka, the jivas are coming from Baladeva Prabhu’s expansion, Mula-Saìkarsana, and in Vaikuntha they are coming from His expansion known as Maha-Sankarsana.

All these eternal souls are serving in one of two ways: in Krishna’s sweet, human-like pastimes (madhurya-lila,); or in His opulent pas-times (aishvarya-lila,) as Dvarakadisa, the prince of Dvaraka, and Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha. Regarding those jivas manifested from Karanodakasayi Visnu in the tatastha region or marginal line, they are two kinds: some liberated (those who turned towards the spiritual world) and some conditioned (those who turned towards the material world).

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj has accepted this line of guru-parampara, more than us. He is a realized soul. He never says anything different from the words of our previous acaryas. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has accepted all the previous acaryas in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura has accepted Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj has accepted his Gurudeva, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. With this understanding, we can reconcile.

A108-AI

The Highest Objective


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

30.jpgAlachua, USA, May 24, 2001, pm

In my class last evening I explained that we should fix our goal. We should know what is the goal of our life, and we should know what is the goal of our sadhana and bhajana. It was for this reason that I read to you from Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi-lila, third and fourth chapters.

What are the reasons for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance in this world?

Shrila Krishna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami has explained four reasons, and the last two reasons are the most important and prominent. The first of these two internal reasons was to give raga-marga-bhakti, the path by which one can attain the service of the gopis. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu mercifully came to give this path, raga-marga vartma, which is the way or process by which we can attain raga. What is raga? In the gradual development if the stages of prema there are sneha, mana, pranaya, and then raga. This raga is transcendental and exists only in Goloka Vrndavana. There it is found only in the gopis, mostly in the group of Shrimati Radhika, and anywhere else you can have only some part of it. This mood in full is especially in Radhika, and it cannot be attained by anyone else.

This mood can be realized by Krishna, and He can taste and enjoy it, but it is not a thing that can be given to others. We can only know how to ttain that high class of raga in Vraja that is available to the jivas. The process can be given in this world, but that raga can never be attained here. We can only attain up to rati here, and after rati there is no practice as there is in this world. You can attain up to rati, that is sthayi-rati (love and affection in one of the five primary or permanent emotions or relationships) and all ratis (such as affection in one of the seven secondary rasas). You cannot actually have real rati (love and affection in prema-bhakti) here, but you can realize something of it (in bhava-bhakti) in this world. From the third and fourth chapters it is clear that the highest goal of any devotee, especially one in the line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami, is to serve the gopis, especially Radhika, and to attain that gopi mood.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave the means through nama-sankirtan. Before this, prior to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, nobody could give this raga, but Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates gave it. They gave the highest kinds of love within maha-bhava, that is, mohana, modana, and then madana, which is property of Shrimati Radhika alone. Even Krishna does not have that. He wanted to relish that kind of maha-bhava, and that is why He took the golden beauty and intrinsic mood of Radhika.

When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended to the Earth, He went to South India and met Shri Raya Ramananda on the bank of Godavari. Raya Ramananda is Visakha sakhi. Visakha can help to teach the moods of Radhika, because she knows Her so intimately. She knows how to train. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, being Krishna, took shelter of Visakha devi and was admitted in her school. There He learned something, and from there He returned to the Gambhira where He enjoyed the moods of Radhika. [This was the supreme internal reason for His descent.]

Radhika's moods cannot be given to anyone. We can only receive some service to the gopis, and we can have some part of their mood. We cannot be Lalita or Visakha. We cannot be Radhika. We cannot be any one of them. We can only become the maidservants of the gopis. This is the highest attainment for any conditioned soul, and also for liberated souls.

In the dialogue between Raya Ramananda and Mahaprabhu this has been clarified. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu questioned Raya Ramananda, and Raya Ramananda presented various kinds of sadhya and sadhana, objectives and processes to attain them. According to your qualification you can choose among them. If there is no sadhya, no objective or goal, there can be no sadhana, process to attain it. First the object should be fixed, and to achieve that object, the process must be given. This is why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu met with Raya Ramananda Prabhu, and from the beginning He asked so many
questions. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rejected the philosophy of the Gita as the goal: He said, "eho bahya. It is external. It has relation to this world. It does not tell about the soul's relationship to Krishna." In the last part of the Gita, Krishna has said:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
(Bhagavad Gita, 18.66)

["Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."]

Where is the pure relation between the soul and Krishna? Krishna is saying, "You should take My shelter, and you should very quickly give up all worldly religions. What religions? Give up your worldly jobs, your father, mother, relatives, and so on. Quickly give them up, and if any sin is incurred, I
will protect you. Don't worry about this." This was the last instruction. If there is some personal motivation, then one's practices will be karma-misra bhakti (mixed with the desire to enjoy the fruits of one's actions) and jnana-misra bhakti (mixed with the desire to cultivate knowledge leading to impersonal liberation):

brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kankcati
samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param

["One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." (Bg.18.54)]

What we are doing now is karma-misra bhakti. It will not suffice. Mahaprabhu said, "Reject it. It is external." What of jnana-misra bhakti? Samah sarvesu bhutesu means to be equal to all and do not worry for what you do not have. If any difficulty comes, don't lament. Always be happy. If you learn this, it MAY be that you can have pure bhakti.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami himself has defined pure bhakti, suddha-bhakti. He explained that raganuga-bhakti is pure suddha-bhakti. Only raganuga-bhakti. He has vividly declared this in his commentary on Caitanya Caritamrta (see Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi-lila 4.22purp.) Prema-bhakti is raganuga- bhakti.
Vaidhi-bhakti is not suddha-bhakti. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said that 'samah sarvesu bhutesu' is for beginners. They should practice this, and thus gradually they can enter into the realm of actual bhakti.
At last Raya Ramananda said:

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-vah-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam

["O my Lord Krishna, a devotee who abandons the path of empiric philosophical speculation aimed at merging in the existence of the Supreme and engages himself in hearing Your glories and activities from a bona fide sadhu, or saint, and who lives an honest life in the occupational engagement of his social life, can conquer Your sympathy and mercy even though You are ajita, or unconquerable." (Bhag. 10.14.3)]

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but you should eventually try to forget even this. You cannot forget it, but Krishna says, "By My causeless mercy I will manage it through Yogamaya." Without this mercy you cannot forget. First you should know that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme power, having all opulences. In an instant He can destroy all the universes and in the next moment He can create new ones, but you will have to forget this.

Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja came to give the philosophy that only Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then I came, by his order, to tell you that this knowledge will not suffice. You should try to forget this and be like the Vrajavasis. You should try to be a Vrajavasi. Neither Yasoda Mayia, Nanda Baba, Shridama, Subala, Madhumangala, nor any servant of Nanda Baba believes that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They only know that He is a very ignorant and naughty child, and that He is the son of Nanda Baba. They never think, "He is actually the father and mother of Nanda Baba." You should forget this; otherwise you cannot realize gopi-prema or Vraja-prema. Vraja-prema is the highest love, and Raya Ramananda proved this by scriptures like Shrimad Bhagavatam.

Yet, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was still not fully satisfied. When Raya Ramananda said that gopi-prema was the highest love, Shri Caitanya Mahaprabu replied, "O yes, yes. Very good. But please speak further." Then, when Ramananda Raya said that among the gopis, the love of Shrimati Radhika is the highest, Mahaprabhu expressed a doubt. He inquired, "You said that Krishna disappeared from the rasa-dance. Why did He disappear? He never wanted to displease all the gopis. There were lakhs and lakhs of gopis there, and all of them had left their husbands and loka-lajja, worldly shyness. They had left maryada, societal restrictions, and everything else. Each and every one of the gopis had left everything and come to Krishna. How, then, could Krishna forget any one of them? He wanted to please each and every gopi, and that is why He became the same number as all the gopis who were present there and He danced with each one."

All the gopis saw that "Krishna is only with me", but Radhika saw that Krishna was very tricky. She thought, "He is with all the gopis, and also with Me", and She could not tolerate this. "Krishna is a liar and a cheater. He assures Me, 'You are My most beloved. I love You the most. You are the topmost.' And to Lalita, Visakha, and Candravali He tells, 'You are My most beloved.' He will even go to Kubja, and what will He say to her? 'Oh, you are My most dear preyasi.'"

Shrimati Radhika then became somewhat manini. There is no word for manini in English, but it means having so much love and affection internally, and outwardly some anger. It seems like jealousy, but it is not actually so. In pure devotion, prema-bhakti, there is no dvesa, jealosy. We see that in Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Haridasa Thakura, and Shri Prahlad Maharaja there is no jealousy. How, then, can it be present in the gopis' pure transcendental love? Radhika wanted to please Krishna, and thus He came and He apologized to Her, "Please forgive Me. I will never again commit any offense at Your lotus feet." This pleased Krishna Himself, and Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was also enjoying all these moods. These moods cannot be given to any jiva, but we can receive the service to the gopis.

Shrimati Radhika had some doubt. She thought that Krishna was equally loving all the other gopis. He disappeared, therefore, so that no other gopi would be displeased with Him. He wanted to meet Radhika alone and did not want the other gopis to know. You should clarify this point.

Aranya Maharaja: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has heard from Raya Ramananda that the love of the gopis is the highest, and He is asking, "Can you go further?" Ramananda Raya is replying, "Yes, the love of Radharani is the highest." But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has made one condition. Anything that Ramananda Raya would say must be backed with evidence from sastra, and therefore Ramananda Raya has quoted a verse to prove that Radharani is the highest:

anayaradhito nunam
bhagavan harir isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah
prito yam anayad rahah
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.100)

In the Bhagavatam it is stated, "This gopi must have worshiped the Supreme Lord more than anyone else because Govinda has fulfilled Her desires. He has taken her away and is meeting with Her in a solitary place, leaving all the other gopis behind." Then a doubt came in the heart of Caitanya
Mahaprabhu and He said, "This does not prove that Radharani is more dear to Krishna than
the other gopis. Why did He sneak Her away secretly without the others knowing? That means that perhaps He had love for other gopis and therefore He took Her away secretly so that they would not become angry with Him. Therefore, I don't accept this as proof that Radharani is the highest." Shri
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu knows everything, but He is giving a teaching for us. He said, "You should give some other evidence."

Raya Ramananda then quoted from the Gita Govinda by Shri Jayadeva Gosvami:

kamsarir api samsara-
vasana-baddha-srnkhalam
radham adhaya hrdaye
tatyaja vraja-sundarih
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.106)

In this verse, Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami is not explaining the saradiya- rasa at Vrndavana which is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam, but rather the vasanti-rasa at Govardhana. In front of all the other gopis, Krishna left the rasa and He went to search for Shrimati Radharani. Then Mahaprabhu was satisfied and said, "Yes, this evidence is good. Radharani is supermost among all the gopis of Vrindavan."

Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: After this Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to hear something more. What did Raya Ramananda reply? He said that in this world there are only very rare persons qualified to hear all these topics. These are the most hidden facts. First we should be qualified, and then we can properly hear. Try to know all these things.

The highest objective of any jiva, to know the glory of Shrimati Radhika and serve Her, has now been expressed. There are so many goals, but this is the highest. All of these goals have been described in the dialogue with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami. They were also described in the dialogue between Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami, but especially in the dialogue with Sanatana Gosvami, from beginning to end. They have been described in relation to the life of Haridasa Thakura, moreover in the lives of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, moreover in the life of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and moreover in relation with Mahaprabhu in the Gambhira.

Sometimes Mahaprabhu used to go out of the Gambhira in the dark night, and in mahabhava He sometimes stayed in the ocean for two or three days. Sometimes He was in the garden of Jagannatha, totally mad. Sometimes He became like a tortoise, and at that time all His limbs retracted inside His
body.

Krishna once showed something like this at Paithagaon, in Vraja Mandala. At that time He exibited four arms, and when He saw Shrimati Radhika, automatically two arms withdrew. Regarding Mahaprabhu, however, all His limbs went inside His body like a tortoise, and at other times He became very long, six yards long, with all His joints separated. How could this be? Even in Shrimad Bhagavatam such symptoms have not been described, but all these transformations were seen in Radha. Otherwise, from where could Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have learned all this? All these moods were in Radhika. In this way, Radhika's love and affection is the highest. Raya Ramananda quoted Her:

pahilehi raga nayana-bhange bhela
anudina badhala, avadhi na gela
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 8.194)

["Alas, before We met there was an initial attachment between Us brought about by an exchange of glances. In this way attachment evolved. That attachment has gradually grown, and there is no limit to it."]

After Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left Godavari, we can see what process He adopted. In order to understand that process, however, we must try to understand the process adopted by Shrila Haridasa Thakura. In Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya-lila first Chapter, Krishnadasa Kaviraja has described the life and character of Haridasa Thakura. He taught by his life that we should have strong belief that the name is directly Radha and Krishna. Hare Krishna is Radha and Krishna. Moreover, in some ways Their names are more powerful and more merciful than They are. We are very unfortunate that we have no taste in chanting these names.

You can know the power of the name by reading 'Harinama Cintamani,' written by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and something more is given in his 'Bhajana Rahasaya'. If you are not chanting and remembering the pastimes of Krishna, especially while chanting the name, then your all practices are like zero. Chanting nama-aparadha will deliver some wealth and worldly reputation only; these are all results of nama-aparadha. We should therefore try to chant the pure name. Daily you should try. If you try, it may be that sometimes nama-abhasa will come, and after some time it may be that one, two, or three nama-abhasa will come daily. Later, when you will be madhyama-adhikari, that is, madhyama-madhyama or madhyama-uttama, then it may be that almost all your names will be nama-abhasa. And, by good luck, one name can be the pure name. If the pure name comes, that means that love and affection (prema) for Krishna is coming.

The symptoms of the sprout of prema, called rati, have been described. What are they?

ksantir avyartha-kalatvam viraktir mana-sunyata
asa-bandhah samutkantha nama-gane sada rucih
asaktis tad-gunakhyane pritis tad-vasati-sthale
ity-adayo 'nubhavah syur jata-bhavankure jane
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 18-19)

["When the seed of rati for Krishna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one's behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment, absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides-that is, a temple or a holy place like Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed of love of God has begun to
fructify."]

We should try to know all these topics, and we should first enter them by reading, beginning with the life of Shrila Haridasa Thakura. We should learn from him how he practiced chanting the holy name. He was a Mohammedan by birth. Why did he come? Previously he was Brahma, and, as Brahma, he had created some disturbance. He wanted to see some pastimes of Krishna, but he used his intelligence to try to make Krishna perform those pastimes. That is why he took away the all the cowherd boys and calves.

After this incident, Brahma prayed to Krishna. He saw that Krishna had done something wonderful, but Krishna never looked towards him at that time. Brahma was rolling down on the earth, but Krishna neglected him. All the cowherd boys called to Krishna, "O Cauma, Cauma! That four-faced one. Who is he?" But Krishna never even looked at him.

After that, in Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's lila, Brahma became a Mohammedan, and he was very, very humble. If there is a very poor man, and an aristocratic and wealthy person will give him a slap, what will that poor man do? If he demands, "Why are you slapping me?" that wealthy person may give him more and more slaps. Therefore, there is nothing for the poor person to do except tolerate. For this reason Krishna wanted Brahma to come as an ignorant Muslim boy who did not even go to school.

We should therefore learn tolerance from Haridasa Thakura. He was beaten in twenty-two market places, and yet he was praying, "O Krishna, save them. Be merciful to them." Why did he pray in that way? He was thinking, "They are not beating me; my karma is beating me. They have not done anything wrong." We think that another person is our enemy because he is giving us so many problems. We think, "I should cut his head", but this is very, very bad. Those kinds of persons who want revenge can never do bhajana.

Why are problems coming? They are due to the conceptions of' 'I' and 'mine'. We have the false ego that, "I am the president of America." "I can manage the whole world." "I am so wealthy." "I am so beautiful." "I know so many things. I am more intelligent than my wife, children, and all my relatives." "I can control all." What is this? In the words of Shrila Swami Maharaja it is nonsense. We should not be like this.

If you want to chant harinama, first try to be like Haridasa Thakura. When he was a boy, he would meet with Advaita Acarya and always chant Krishna's name. The Zamindar (landowner), who was like the king, became envious of him. This zamindar thus sent a very beautiful, teen-aged prostitute to deviate him. But what happened? Although he was seeing a half-naked, very beautiful teenaged girl who was begging him, "You should fulfill my lust," he was unmoved.

Can you control your lust like Haridasa Thakura? I think that you would not be able to control yourselves. Only Haridasa Thakura could do so. Not even Visvamitra or Brahma could control themselves, and once Narada was also deviated. He was not actually deviated, but he posed like that. He was showing us, "A person like me, who is liberated, can be controlled by lust, so what to say of you." In other words he is saying, "Even if you think you are advanced, you should be so careful." Brahma and Siva also posed in this way. Brahma, our first guru, could not control himself when he became attracted to his daughter, and Sankara became naked and ran towards Mohini (the incarnation of Krishna as a woman) to embrace Her. Parvati was running behind Sankara and calling out, "Oh, what are you doing?" but he was at that time shameless.

On the other hand, even the second time, when Maya herself came to Haridasa Thakura, he passed that examination. We cannot do so, whether we are ladies or males. In a moment all our practices will leave. Syamarani should explain something in brief.

Syamarani didi: Shrila Gurudeva has asked me to summarize the story of the prostitute who came to Shrila Haridasa Thakura. The political leader of that time, Ramacandra Khan, was very envious of Haridasa Thakura's popularity, as all pure devotees are very popular. Therefore he sent the best prostitute of the society to deviate him. Because Shrila Haridasa Thakura had taken a vow to chant three lakhs of names of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, which is about one hundred ninety-four rounds, he told her, "Just sit down. I will surely fulfill your desires, but just wait until I have finished my vows." In this way the night passed, and the next night and the following night also passed.

After three days of hearing suddha-nama, the pure name, from the lotus lips of Shrila Haridasa Thakura, that prostitute fell at his feet and begged pardon. She told him that Ramacandra Khan had sent her to deviate him. She begged for his mercy, and Haridasa told her, "I already knew that you would be coming."

All pure devotees are sarva-jna or tri-kala-jna. They know everything of the past, present, and future, and they know the hearts of all. They can enter into the hearts of all, and thus he said, "I knew you would come. I would have left before you came, but I wanted to purify and rectify you. Now you should go home and distribute all of your possessions. There are so many greedy brahmanas who will be very happy to take your possessions. Distribute them and then come back to my courtyard. I am leaving Tulasi here, and Ganges is also here. You should sit and continuously chant. You should keep only one worn and torn white sari, and shave your head. Give everything else away.

The prostitute did that, and soon she also became very honored and popular. So many great Vaisnavas came to take her darsana and hear her hari-katha. They brought her many gifts, but she refused them and would only accept what she required to keep body and soul together. She had come to change the heart of Shrila Haridasa Thakura, but as Shrila Gurudeva told one young man about an hour ago, "I have a magic wand and I can change you. I can change all of your ideas and make you pure a bhakta." Similarly, Haridasa Thakura changed the heart of that prostitute.

Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You know that Brahma and Prahlada have come together as Haridasa Thakura. He was not only Brahma. He was also Prahlad Maharaja, who was also his source of tolerance. Why did he come? Because all the devotees of all the avataras were associates of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. They were all there with Him. Thus, wherever there was a need to give any siksa, teachings, they taught us.

If you want to chant harinama, you should think that there are two very powerful enemies of bhajana. What are they? Lust and intolerance. If you become angry, you cannot do bhajana. You will have to give up your anger forever. If you have anger, your bhajana will be ruined forever. This is the root of all sins and all evil, and this is present in everyone including aspiring devotees. They will tell others, "Oh, you should be tolerant", but they themselves are not tolerant.

Secondly, all have some lust in their hearts. We should try to give it up. We cannot destroy it because it is the gift of Krishna, but we can change it into love and affection for Krishna. Bilvamangala. Thakura was previously such a lusty person, and he could not control himself. In the end, however, he changed. He transformed his lust into krsna-prema, which is the highest position. We should try to take a lesson from him.

Gaura premanande!

A108-AI

More Important Than Shrimad Bhagavatam


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

29.jpgAlachua, USA, May 23, 2001, am

Unlike Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Jiva Gosvami, and Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has not written very much. He only wrote eight slokas, and they are known as Shri Shikshashtakam. There are a few other slokas that He wrote, and one example is the following:

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vana-stho yatir va
kintu prodyan nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah
(CC Madhya 13.80; Padyavali 63)

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

There are other slokas that are attributed to Mahaprabhu, but they are not authentic. The Shikshashtakam slokas are authentic, and they are more important than the Vedas, Upanisads, and other sastras. I think that they are even more important than the Shrimad Bhagavatam. We can say that Shrimad Bhagavatam is the bhasya, commentary, of the Shikshashtakam. This is so because Shri Shikshashtakam was spoken - by whom? It was not spoken by Vyasa, who is only kala, an incarnation. It was spoken by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the source of all incarnations. Shri Shikshashtakam should be considered to be the most important sastra and superior to all others.

In Shikshashtakam, all kinds of sadhya and sadhana - the goal and the process - have been given. But only fortunate persons can realize this. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, with Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodhara, used taste the explanations, the meanings, and the hidden sweet pastimes of Krishna in these slokas - from beginning to end, from 'ceto darpanam marjanam' to 'aslisya va pada ratam.' If anyone realizes this and is following the prescribed process, then he must have some taste and he will not deviate.

Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. A sadhaka should know that Krishna's name, Hare Krishna or Hare Rama, are both Krishna and Radha. These names are even more than Krishna and Radhika Themselves, because They have invested Their whole power, all of Their mercy and all Their sweetness, in these sixteen names. There are not really sixteen names; they are manifestations. Actually, there are really only two names: Hare Krishna or Hare Rama - Radha and Krishna. If one realizes that Radha and Krishna are these names, that the names are in some cases even more powerful than Radha and Krishna Themselves, will he chant only sixteen rounds daily or he will chant more? A person knows that if he doesn't eat and drink, he will not survive. That is why, 'round the clock, he is competing and quarreling with others to maintain his life, doing business, and making money in any way he can. Why? To survive.

When you know the fact that only the name is powerful enough to save your, this name becomes your life and soul. You will be always chanting without any break. Your chanting will be flowing like an uninterrupted stream of honey, or like the flow of a river without any stop. We see the Ganges coming from the Himalayas, all the way to the ocean, with no break at all.

If anyone is always chanting in this way, with no break, then when his mind tries to wander he will remember: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. And, while he is sleeping, he will remember: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna. When he is walking: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare. If he chants all the time, he will automatically remember, and this is called harinama. Also, he will be chanting with a very high-class, strong relation with Krishna. He will think, "Krishna is mine." He will take diksa and receive divya-jnana.

What is divya-jnana? All the tattvas, like krsna-tattva, maya-tattva, jiva-tattva, bhakti-tattva, radha-tattva, rasa-tattva, and vilasa-tattva, are transmitted through the process called diksa. I think we have not properly taken diksa. There is something lacking. You have not completed the course of diksa. Certainly there is something missing. Otherwise, if divya-jnana is present, then all kinds of sins, aparadhas, and anarthas will have gone. Desire for sense gratification will have gone. There will be no roga, illness, at all, and all kinds of auspiciousness will be there. At that time, how can we forget Radha-Krishna, Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu? It will not be possible. If these symptoms are not there, we can understand that something must be lacking in ourselves.

We should discuss these eight slokas of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, according to the explanations of Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Then you can understand something. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained everything about the name.

How should we chant the name? Tan nama rupa caritadi. If you study the instructions of Rupa Gosvami and Bhaktivinoda Thakura, then you will not think, "Oh, I have done everything by chanting sixteen rounds. It doesn't matter whether my mind was wandering here and there. There is no harm in that." This is not chanting. Chant by mind. How? By remembering the sweet pastimes of that very name which you are chanting. Also, chant with the tongue: Hare Krishna. This is very powerful. Always be absorbed in that chanting, under the guidance of any pure rasika, tattva-jna devotee of Vrindavan. Always be in Vrindavan, by body or by mind, and then you can realize something. If you cannot do this, then you cannot realize anything. If there is no taste for hearing hari-katha or for chanting harinama, then you will be weak and you may deviate. You should not be like this.

We will try to explain the Shikshashtakam, and you should try to follow it. It can save you. Your food, lodging, and maintaining of life will automatically be taken care of. If you have taken shelter at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, you will not have to do anything for your maintenance. Haridasa Thakura, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and others did not make any endeavor for maintaining their lives; everything came automatically.

We don't want to become old and we don't want any suffering, but this is coming anyway - without invitation. Similarly, your maintenance will come without invitation, without any effort. If you don't believe this, then you can experiment. For seven days, do nothing but chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama. Everything will be taken care of.

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
[Siks. 1; Cc. Antya 20.12]

There are so many glorifications of the name. But in what way has Chaitanya Mahaprabhu glorified the name? From this sloka to the last sloka, aslisya pada ratam, He has glorified the name. Rupa Gosvami was the only one to realize everything that Mahaprabhu had invested in these slokas, and then he spoke:

tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye
karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham
cetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim
no jane janita kiyadbhir amrtaih krsneti varna-dvayi

"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables `Krs-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert." (CC Antya-lila 1.99)]

Only Rupa Gosvami can say this; we cannot. By the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa Gosvami can glorify nama.

What is the meaning of ceto darpanam marjanam? There are two cittas - one is cit and one is citta. Citta means maha-tattva, the covering of the soul, which is anucit-infinitesimal. But here, citta means heart. Ceto darpanam marjanam. In a mirror, if the mirror is clear, you can see your face and your whole body. If that mirror is dirty, however, then you cannot see. Similarly, if you want to wash this mirror of the heart, then chant the name. What kind of name? This is the question. The way that we are chanting now will not suffice at any time. You should know this.

A very small child did not want to go to school, but his father and mother forcibly took him in the car and drove him there. Even though he was weeping, they put that baby on the teacher's lap by force, and left him there. Throughout the day he was weeping, but his teacher was very merciful and very sweet to him. His teacher gave him a brightly colored book, and on the first page he saw so many pictures. He said, "A-apple, B-ball. Oh, see the football! C-cat, D-dog." The boy became very happy. Then the teacher asked him, "Can you read?" "Yes, A-apple." In this way he began, and his teacher praised him, "Oh, you are now a good student. You have read everything completely." The teacher also brought him an apple and said, "You can have this." Thus the boy became very happy, and the next day he was asking his mother, "When will I go to school?" After some days the child had to learn some difficult things, and when he could not learn, his teacher twisted his ear. He then became puzzled. The guru also acts like this. Somehow, even though you are fully unqualified, you should enter the school of diksa. If you do enter, you will see that our goal is very far away, but by those beginners' practices we can never achieve our goal. In the beginning the guru never tells the full reality. When does he tell him? He does so when the disciple is more advanced and he can tolerate the chastising of gurudeva and the chastising of the Vaisnavas. Then the disciple can realize something, and then the guru can tell him something. What will he tell him? He will reject his disciple's bad habits, saying, "This is not good. You should be like this."

So, you should chant the name even if you have no taste at all. If you have no taste in hearing, if you are sleepy, you should still go to class, and simply by being there a taste will come very soon. Ceto darpanam marjanam. The citta is washed by chanting of the name, but not by chanting as we are now doing. That name should be somewhat pure.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained all these things. Why? Our tongue is mortal, and the pure name is transcendental. Transcendental name has nothing to do with these material things. It cannot come on the material tongue or in the material mind. Pure name cannot be touched by these material things. It is a very wonderful thing. Then how can we touch it? If that high-class, pure name will come, then your ceto darpanam marjanam is going on. Your mirror will become clear and then you will see, but you should know something more. In the mirror, the form does not really come. The reflection that you see is opposite - your right eye will be seen on the left side, the left will be on the right side, and this nose will be backwards also. You see your heart here on the left side and in the mirror it is opposite. Even seeing your form in the mirror, you cannot have full realization. You will get some idea, but you will still have to realize more. Tomorrow we will discuss Sambodhana Bhasya, and see how we can chant this transcendental name with our tongue. If that transcendental name comes only one time, even it is abhasa, you will be fortunate.

Gaura premanande!

[Devotee:] If one is not chanting the pure name, is there any benefit at all? Is the heart becoming purified?

[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] There is benefit even if it is namaparadha. You can become wealthy, and you can have all kinds of sense gratification very easily.

[Devotee:] Will the heart be cleaned at all by chanting namaparadha?

[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] No. You must be under the guidance of Vaisnavas. First hear hari katha, the glorifications of name, and then, by hearing, and chanting and chanting, then nama abhasa will sometimes come. It will always be namaparadha, but sometimes not. By practicing intensely, then namabhasa will come more and more. Then if you are so fortunate and you are chanting one lakh daily, then sometimes pure name will come. Then tears may come and heart melting. If it comes, then you may think that namabhasa is coming somewhat. If namabhasa will come, then you can realize so many things, and then suddha name. Suddha name can come only by the causeless mercy of any Vaisnava who is always chanting pure name or by the causeless mercy of Krishna, otherwise not. Thank you.

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