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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

Shri Shiksashtakam


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

39.jpgMaui, Hawaii, May 25, 2000

Once there was a wife who mistreated her husband and then rejected him. Because the husband was fully absorbed in that lady, he became so shocked and bewildered that he was about to die. We should always remember these things. When you are chanting and remembering in the association of high-class Vaisnavas, these bad attachments will leave and renunciation is bound to come. If it is not coming, something must be wrong. My request is that you should keep this balance-scale always with you, in your pocket and in your heart. Then you should try to measure, and see whether or not is there any loophole. If there is a hole, please weep and call out to Shri Rupa-Sanatana, Shri Raya Ramananda, and Shri Svarupa Damodara. This is sadhu-sanga. Sometimes higher class of devotees may open your eyes and show you, "Here is your defect." They will tell you, but you will have to go and catch hold of their fingers. They will not walk for you. You will have to walk by your own feet. I am giving my finger, as Shrila Svami Maharaja gave his. You should hold it and come. I am holding out my finger, but you will have to walk. And if you do not walk, then where is the fault?

'Bhava mahadavagni nirvapanam bhavati.' All your various flames of worldly fires - everything - will subside. In what proportion will they subside? As much as you are chanting and remembering. In that proportion all kinds of anarthas will subside, but they may come at anytime when you are in bad association. They will again come and attack you. So be careful, because they are not yet burned. They will be burned afterwards.

'Sreyah kairava candrika vitaranam.' This Name is like the moon, because the moon gives its light-rays which are full of nectar and nourishment. In the evening, when the rays are coming, lily flowers begin to gradually blossom. As the night continues so much fragrance comes. From where does it come? Something is coming from the flower and something is coming from the moon. Similarly, Krishna's Name is like that moon, and His rays are compared to the mercy of the Vaisnavas. When this rays touch your heart, it will blossom, and all kinds of good qualities will come. They are bound to come if you chant and remember in this way.

Then, 'trnad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna, amanina manadena.' All good qualities will come. You will be very humble and tolerant, and you will develop a taste in chanting, remembering and serving Vaisnavas. You will be able to give up all your jobs or duties, and come to the Vaisnavas to hear and question. All these qualities will come. There are 26 qualities, as mentioned in Shrimad Bhagavatam and Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, which describe a Vaisnava. What are they? Krpalu - mercy, vadanya - magnanimity, suci - cleanliness, akincana - without material possessions, mrdhu - mild, and all other very good qualities. From where will they come? They will automatically come by the rays of the Name and the mercy of Krishna.

Next comes 'sreya kairava candrika vitaranam vidyavadhu jivanamam', and then you will have to follow the process of 'namnam akari bahuda nija sarva sakti, tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah, etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi, durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah.' "O Nama Prabhu, You have all kinds of power and opulence, and You are so full of mercy. There is no fixed time for taking the Holy Name or not taking it." Can you chant only after taking bath? No, there are no such rules. Can you take the Name while bathing? Yes, you can take it. Whether you have taken bath or not, washed your mouth or not, you can chant, 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare, Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.' Even if you are passing stool and urine - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna - you can chant in your mind. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did it.

If anyone takes the Name of Rama, then Hanuman must go there, with thousands and lakhs of bodies. He can go everywhere, at the same time. There was once a person who never had time to chant the Name. Narada went and told him, "Why don't you chant the Name, you silly, bogus person?" He answered, "I have no time, I am always busy." Narada then asked him, "Are you always busy, even at the time of passing stool and urine?" That person said, "Oh, no, not at that time." Narada Muni told him, "Then at that you should chant." He replied, "That I can do."

When he went to pass stool, and he was chanting, "Hare Rama Hare Rama", Hanuman came at once. He was upset and thought, "This bogus person is impure, passing urine and stool." And he gave him a kick. Hanuman is so powerful that even if he would kick Ravana, Ravana would fall over. Even Kumbhakarna and Meghnath would not be able to bear his kick. However, when he kicked this person who was chanting Hare Krishna, it was though nothing had been done. Then Hanuman thought, "This is very wonderful! What happened? I have never seen anything like this. Although he is passing stool and urine and chanting, there is no difficulty or problem." He was in amazement. Then, in the evening, when he returned to Rama and knocked on the door, he heard Rama lamenting. Hanuman entered and asked, "Prabhu, why are you moaning?" Ramacandra told Hanuman that he had done this to Him. Hanuman asked, "O Prabhu, how could I have done this?" Ramacandra said, "You know that nama and nami are both the same. When that person was passing stool and chanting, 'Rama Rama Rama', I went there in his heart. I was in his body. You kicked him, that kick came to My back, and now it has been broken. That is why I am moaning." Hanuman then told Ramacandra, "From today I will not ever do this."

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once went to pass stool, and Gopala-guru was carrying water. Mahaprabhu caught hold of His tongue very tightly, and Gopal-guru, like a boy, asked, "Prabhu, why are you doing like so?" Mahaprabhu told him that His tongue was out of control. "When I am going to pass stool, this chanting of 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna' will not stop. I want to stop, but it never stops. So I am doing like this." Gopala-guru told Mahaprabhu, "If anyone is going to die, and stool and urine are coming uncontrollably, should he not chant? I think it is better to chant." Mahaprabhu said, "Oh, you are not only Gopala. You are Gopala-guru." He left His tongue and began to chant.

Anyone can do this. Here Mahaprabhu is telling that there are no rules and regulations. It is not that you should only chant in a certain way. It is not that you cannot chant sitting on a bed or walking. You can remember the Name, you can chant it, you can sing it - in any way you can do it. You can pray, "But I am so wretched that I can't chant - even though you have given so much facility. Prabhu, I cannot control my senses. You should be merciful and help me." In this way we should chant.

'Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna.' I have explained this so many times. You can also pray in this way: "O Prabhu, I don't want anything. I don't want any beautiful ladies, nor any high class of learning, nor any worldly things. I don't even want mukti, Laksmi-Narayana seva, or Rukmini-Krishna seva. I don't want any of these." "What do you want?" "Ahaituki bhakti tvayi janmani janmani." What is ahaituki bhakti? In its highest form it is the mood of serving Shrimati Radhika. Unnatojjvala parakiya manjari mood is the highest.

And then what will happen? By practicing like this, faith will come. 'Ayi nanda tanuja kinkaram patitam mam visame bhavambudhau, krpaya tava pada-pankaja sthita dhuli sadrsam vicintaya.' What is this? You will realize your relationship to Krishna. You will realize who you are - gopi or friend or whoever you are. In this next stage you can think of yourself as a gopi. Then you may come in the raganuga process; otherwise not. At that time what will you weep for? 'Nayanam galad asru dharaya vadanam gadagada rudhaya gira, pulakair nicitam vapuh kada tava nama grahane bhavisyati.' "O Krishna! O Radhike! O Mahaprabhu! When, while chanting Your Name, will my heart melt, and will tears come automatically. My heart is harder than a stone. It is not melting and there are no hairs standing on end. There are no symptoms of my taking the Name. O Prabhu, please be merciful to me. Take my stone-like heart." When automatic weeping comes, the heart will be melted. This will not be to cheat others, to show others, like so many do without their hearts actually melting. Their hairs may stand on end, they may fall down on the earth, but is their heart melting? This should be done with our hearts melting. How will it manifest?

He will chant, "O Govinda, O Radha-Ramana!" He will be overwhelmed. His hair will be standing, his heart melting, and he will be out of sense. Sometimes he will feel that Krishna is here, and he will run to embrace Him. But Krishna will quickly move backwards in a crooked way. At once Krishna will see that, "He has come to embrace Me." He will quickly disappear, and thus increase your taste and eagerness. If you have that scale which I gave you, then think in this way.

Knowing all siddhanta is not sufficient. Even if you are siddhanta-vit, knowing all established truths and conclusions, this is not sufficient. You should have that mood as your goal, and use that scale to see what is in your heart. Then, 'nayanama galad asru dharaya, vadanam gadagada rudaya.' Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is weeping, "When will that day come that I will be like this?"

Then, "yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrisayitam, sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me.' You will actually this. One moment of separation will be like lakhs and lakhs of yugas. And, when you will be full of separation mood like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, one million years in meeting will be like a second. After that, 'aslisya va pada ratam pinastu mam, adarsanan marma hatam karotu va.' Try to follow all these things. If you are following, then these stages will come. They may not all come in one lifetime, they may take so many lives, but they will come up to mood, up to bhava. Some semblance of prema may come, and that is bhava.

I think that our preaching and classes, and our coming here, is very successful. Very successful. But you should always know all these truths. Don't forget them. In this world at the present time, I think that no one is so much merciful to you that he will give all these things. So you are fortunate. You should pick up all these principles and keep them in your heart. If you are standing up and then falling down, no harm. If anything is going on, no harm. If your wife is quite opposite to you, no harm. If she feels that if you are engaging in bhakti then she will give you up, no harm. She should give you up. Your children also. If your father, mother, or anyone else is against you, go on with this process of bhakti. You will be very lucky if you are taking this.

Devotee: You mentioned that by practicing devotional service, following devotional life, anarthas subside.

Shrila Narayana Maharaja: As long as you are not realizing yourself, as long as suddha-sattva has not yet come, anarthas may wake up; and they can attack and control you. But when that mood comes, when suddha-sattva from hladini and samvit-sakti comes, then anarthas can no longer come. At that time they are all burned.

Devotee: So they may be subsided, but in bad association they can come up again?

Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Yes, this chance is there. Even mukta-purushas, (impersonal) liberated persons also, may be attacked again by bad association. On the other hand, those who are surrendered souls, those who are always surrendered, have no fear of this.

This is association. This is siksa-guru. Guru gives all these things as a siksa guru. One thing I will request all of you. Whatever I have told, you should try to follow exactly. The second thing is that I want to preach, and so you should also preach - in two ways. First realize all these things, and then preach hari-katha to others. Also, you should try to give out the books which are published by us. In Shrila Svamiji Maharaja's time so many young girls used to do this, and all the boys did it. That is why, very quickly, Krishna consciousness spread all over the whole world. So, again I want this. Nowadays these leaders are not doing nagara sankirtana, hari-nama, but I want that all my disciples should do it. Even if there are 2, 3, or 4, no harm. You should go out with a mrdanga and kartalas. If there is no mrdanga, no harm, you can do it with only kartala. Oh, haribol, haribol, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna. And regarding my books, each devotee should take at least 10 sets and distribute them. I have told this so many times. You can also do this - to serve and please Gurudeva and Krishna. And go on doing it. Thank you.

A108-AI

Cleansing The Dust From The Heart


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

38.jpgMaui, Hawaii, May 25, 2000

I was telling yesterday that our ears, nose, tongue, and all of our senses are mundane; but Krishna's Name, krsna-katha, krsna-seva, and all things relating to Krishna are transcendental - purely transcendental. How then can these mundane senses touch the transcendental Name and other items of bhakti?

There is a process, and I am explaining that process daily. We must be in the association of a high-class Vaisnava. If this is not so available, then be in the association of the Bhagavatam, Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, and the books of the Gosvamis. You should think that the Bhagavatam is Shri Vyasadeva and Shri Sukadeva Gosvami, Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita is Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, and the books of the Gosvamis are the Gosvamis themselves. You should think, "They are personally with me, and I must follow them." You should receive proper diksa and sambhanda-jnana: a relationship between Krishna and ourself. Then, all relationships will come automatically. Do you know Vrndadevi, Yamunamayi, and Gangamayi? What is your relationship with Yamuna? Can you tell? Use your intelligence. Why should we not think of Yamuna as Yamunamaiya (mother Yamuna) or Tulasi as Tulasimaiya (mother Tulasi)? Because it means that we do not feel any proper relationship. On what will devotees' relations depend? It will depend on their relationship with Krishna or Shrimati Radhika. It depends totally on this.

If you are married to Krishna, then what will be your relation to Baladeva Prabhu? He will be your brother in-law. And what is your relation to Yasodamaiya? She will be your mother-in-law. And if your Svamini is Radhika, and you are deeply related to her, then who is Vrsabhanu Maharaja? How will you relate to him? He will be like your father, Kirtida will be like your mother, and all the sakhis of Radhika will be like sisters or friends. It all depends on the relation you have with Krishna or Radhika. We should know all these special relationships. If you have these relationships and are giving up all anarthas by the diksa process, and you are chanting, remembering, and residing in Vrindavana - this is the process of sambandha-jnana. If you are not physically in Vrindavana, then you can be there even in your mind, and you can be under the guidance of Shrila Rupa Gosvami or any of his followers. By this process your chanting of Krishna's Name will gradually become transcendental. 'Ceto darpana marjanam. The dust from the mirror of the heart will be cleansed.' Otherwise, without following this process, the heart will never be cleansed. When the mirror of your heart will be fully cleansed, you can sometimes see Krishna and also yourself. Even if it is not fully clear, sometimes you can see, as if through a very clear glass. You may have a mirror, many books, and many pictures, but if they are locked in a glass bookcase, then although you can see, you cannot take them out.

If you continue chanting Krishna's Name and hearing hari-katha, your heart will be cleared - 'Ceto darpana marjanam bhava mahadavagni.' Your anarthas, unwanted things, will go away. 'Mahadavagni nirvapanam.'

What is bhava mahadavagni? So many problems are giving us pain, even more than those given by fire. If I have so much worldly love for my girlfriend or wife, and she rejects me, that experience will be very painful and it may even cause death. If you are running a big factory, and by the grace of Krishna it goes bankrupt, then what will you do? You will think, "Oh, everything is lost". Then you will think, "I should take poison and commit suicide." Your son may be very dear to you, but if he always insults you, you'll feel so distressed. If he is uncontrolled, and he is doing nonsense even in front of you, then you will feel so much pain. These are all mahadavagni, blazing fires. There are two kinds of davagni. One is in the forest. This fire creates wind and, riding on the chariot of that wind, it consumes the whole forest very quickly. If you are in that type of blazing forest fire, you will be finished in a moment. Even more powerful than this davagni is the ocean-fire. It is much more powerful, and we are in that davagni. However, if we are chanting the Holy Name and following the process that I have already explained, all davagni will quickly go away. Then we will not have to suffer.

I have explained a shloka:

bhaktih paresanu bhavo viraktir anyatra syat
(SB 11.2.42)

If you are taking very tasteful food, three things will be achieved with each bite, according to how much you eat: you will be satisfied, your appetite will diminish, and you will feel nourished and strengthened. All three will come at once. In the same way, when you are practicing bhakti, three things will also come. Bhakti means the practice of bhakti-yoga. Bhakti is the realization of Para, who is Krishna with all His associates in Vrindavana - with the gopas, gopis, sakhas and all others. You will realize this. How much will you realize? As much as you are engaged in bhakti. You will feel satisfaction, realization, and attachment will go away and detachment will come. It is bound to come. If, however, renunciation is not coming, and attachment to worldly things are not going, what is the meaning? Somewhere there is a loophole and we shall have to repair it. Who will repair this hole? Sadhu-sanga. Shri Svarupa Damodara, Shri Raya Ramananda, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and His associates, Shri Rupa Gosvami and Shri Sanatana Gosvami. They are all very powerful. And all gurus are also very powerful. We should cry bitterly and weep for this association.

A108-AI

Sanatana Gosvami Comes to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

44.jpgAlachua, Florida, June 20, 2000, pm
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] So much thanks to all devotees coming from far away-from California, Badger, Costa-Rica, Australia, Hawaii, Panama, Brazil, Miami, and Philippines also. I want to speak anything under the guidance of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and under the guidance of Rupa, Raghunatha, Sanatana, and especially Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, my Gurudeva and my siksa guru Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj, whom you called Prabhupada.

He was my friend my very bosom friend. He was my siksa guru. He never treated me like a disciple. We were always sitting in one seat together, talking so much hari-katha, and making capatis. We were like friends, laughing and joking. He was a very jokey person and always smiling. He had no false ego that I am so learned, I am Guru or anything. He must have joked with you, his senior disciples, not that he was always very grave and controlling anyone, never. Never controlling but out of love he wanted to control. So I always want to follow him. What I am telling not any word is mine but their words, their realizations, their preaching.

I request you to go very deep in his teachings. If you are always busy to take the meaning of his instructions outwardly, externally only, then you will be deceived, and you will be cheated. Try to go deep and try to understand his teachings. He may tell like other gurus in our acarya parampara so many contradictory things, because there are so many different classes of devotees, grades of devotees. But we have to reconcile them why he told one thing here and another thing there. He may tell these things in different circumstances. There are so many things [apparent contradictions] in Shrimad Bhagavatam and in Chaitanya Charitamrita also. In Shrimad Bhagavatam also we can see so many things. Krishna told gopis in a very dark night, very dangerous forest, so many beasts were there: "You should at once return back." After that Krishna asked, "When did I tell you to go?" There were no dangerous animals and it was not a dark night. It was a full moon night but He said that it was very dark, and "I never told you to return back." But we will have to reconcile. Why did he tell that time, "You should not go from Me. You should stay here and we will dance."? Oh, everything depends on the qualification of the devotees; they must reconcile these things.

Now I am coming to my class. In India after Mahabharata some bad days came, and India came under the control of Mohammedan rulers. At that time in Bengal there was a Muslim king, Hussein Shah. Once he was constructing a very high tomb, engaging thousands of workers. So many expert masons were working very hard. When it was just about completed, the king himself went very high up on the top. Looking at it, he exclaimed, "Oh, very wonderful work they have done. In India there is no tomb like this," and he was appreciating the masons. But the head mason replied, "This tomb is so beautiful, so good and wonderful, but we can do even better than this." At once the king took the hands of that mason and threw him down from there, and he was killed. "If he remained alive, then he could build something more splendid than this. I cannot bear this." So, being very angry, he killed him. At that time one of his personal assistants was there.

The king told him, "At once you should go and bring." But what he was to bring the king never said. "At once you should go." And in fear he ran from there. He was thinking, "What order he has given? What to bring?" He could never figure out what it could be. Being very worried, he left that town and he went to another town to save himself, pondering, "What should I bring?"

Still very worried, he was going down the road one day and saw that there were two brothers, very beautiful. They were looking at him and saw that this man was very worried, so they called to him. These two boys, the two brothers, were sixteen, seventeen years in age. They called him and said, "Oh, we see that everyday you are roaming here and there, and you seem to be very worried. What is your concern? He replied, "I am the personal assistance of my king Hussein Shah. He told me to bring something but what to bring he never told. And out of fear I fled away from there. If he finds me, then he may kill me. That's why I am so worried." "Can you tell us, when he gave you this order, where was he sitting and what was he doing?" Then he told them the whole story, how they were on the tomb and there the king killed that mason and then he ordered me to bring something. "Oh, you need not worry. You should take two very expert masons from here, and at once go and tell the king that in this town there are two very expert masons. You should fetch them and go at once to the king." Then he became very happy even though he was still afraid. He went to the king and told him, "O King, I have brought two expert masons."

Hearing this, the king began to laugh and asked, "How did you know my wish?" "I could never understand, but in that town there are two brothers, very expert and very learned, although they are young in age but very expert in all things. They know many languages, especially Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian and all others. They are very expert."

The king said, "I wanted this but that time I was angry. I told you to bring something, but I didn't tell you what to bring. They seem very wonderful and very intelligent. You should go again and request that those two brothers should come to me, and they should be with me."

Can you tell who were those two brothers? Amar and Santosh. Amar was Sanatana Gosvami and Santosh was Rupa Gosvami-two brothers. The king's officer went there and requested them to come. With some special arrangement he brought them to the king who asked them so many questions, all of which they answered to the point. At once he was very charmed and he kept them in the his kingdom as private secretary and prime-minister. Sanatana Gosvami was the prime-minister, and Rupa Gosvami was the private secretary.

There were three brothers and, as far I know, one sister. They were working as chief minister and private secretary for many years. After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, He returned to Puri. Then He went to South India and met with Raya Ramananda. Then He returned to Puri and again He declared, "I am going to Vrindavana." He followed the route along the Ganges. He came first to the bank of the Ganges from Puri and from there he was going to Vrindavana.

When he reached Kanayanatshala, the kingdom of Hussein Shah, huge crowds were surrounding Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In Chaitanya Charitamrita it is written that more than lakhs of people were always following Him. Kirtana and hari-katha were always going on. They reached Kanayanatshala. That place previously was called by some Mohammedan name, but Sanatana Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami changed it to Kanayanatshala. They made there Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, at Ramakeli-grama.

When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came with all His followers, Rupa and Sanatana changed their dresses in the night and, putting on dhotis and shawls, came to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in a mood of great simplicity. Also Anupama came with his son Jiva Gosvami, who was not even two years old. He was in their laps, and they gave this Jiva Gosvami to the lotus feet of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After that Sanatana Gosvami told Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "This is not the process to go to Vrindavana. How should one go? Alone, like a street beggar, not taking any opulence and so much money." You see how Rupa and Sanatana and also Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavana. "So this is not the proper way to go to Vrindavana-with thousands and thousands of persons, because so many problems will come. Here also you have a large crowd-more than two hundred. So this creates some problems-where to stay, where to host, where to take prasadam. It may be that some will be very sick and doctors will be needed. So many problems may come, but go alone with nothing. Keep nothing in pocket. When it is night, we will find any place to stay, and we can beg one chapati in the houses of the devotees so nothing is needed." Chaitanya Mahaprabhu answered, "Oh, you are very intelligent. I am making a mistake. If I am going like this, any king might think that I am going to invade his kingdom." Sanatana Gosvami added, "This is exactly the reason why I came to You. Hussein Shah deputed me to go and investigate who is this person and how is it that so many people are with him. Does he want to invade the kingdom and attack me?" So Sanatana Gosvami advised that He should go alone. Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu decided, "Oh, I should return to Puri and again from there next year I will go to Vrindavana." So he returned back. Was this journey in vain? His problem was solved. Bhavad-vidha bhagavatas,tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho,tirthi-kurvanti tirthani, svantah-sthena gadabhrta (SB 1.13.10). What is the meaning?

"Personalities such as Yourself are places of holy pilgrimage. Indeed, You purify the holy places. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in the hearts of saints, such persons can purify even the places of pilgrimage."

They have nothing, no self-interest. Personally I have no self-interest, nothing. In this old age you know how troublesome it is for me to go everywhere. Narada Rsi, Sukadeva Gosvami did not even want any cloth, nothing. Why were they only going here and there? Bhavad-vidha bhagavatas,tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho, tirthi-kurvanti tirthani, svantah-sthena gadabhrta. Pure devotees have no worldly desire except, "Oh, I want to serve Radha-Krishna." They keep Krishna in control in their hearts always -gadabhrta. What is the meaning of gadabhrta? With gada, with His club, He is saving the whole world. This is one meaning, general meaning, but a pure devotee will reject this. For him it will mean "He who speaks very sweetly with vamsi." He calls out, "Radhe, Radhe," and cows, "Kalindi, Gange, Yamune, Pisangi," like this and also gopis, "Radhe, Lalite, Vishake," and they are at once attracted and come to Him. So by vamsi He speaks so sweetly. He is gadadbhrta.

The pure devotees, high-class devotees, always keep this Krishna with Radhika and the gopis in their hearts, and in this way, wherever they go, the place becomes a tirtha (tirthi kurvanti tirthani) They go to tirtha and they make it a holy place. How? By the dust of their lotus feet. They have nothing to take from anywhere. Their only purpose is to give pure bhakti. Swamiji never came for any self-interest, never, not for name or fame. He came out of pity, to serve the order of his Gurudeva, to preach his mission, and that is why he attracted lakhs and lakhs of devotees in a couple of years. He never wanted anything for himself, never, and that is why he successfully preached the mission very quickly.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Ramakeli only to sprinkle His mercy in the hearts of Rupa, Sanatana and Jiva also. Then he told them very secretly, "I want you to give up your jobs and go to Vrindavana. I want you to meet Me in Vrindavana. Become street beggars and come to Me. I will go alone there and you should meet Me." And then He left.

At once, one order was sufficient for them. What Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told them they followed very strictly. They wanted to resolve how to meet Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Vrindavana.

Mahaprabhu returned to Puri, and the next year He started alone, going through very dangerous forests where there were elephants, tigers, bears, wild dogs. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had no weapon, no gun, no pistol or anything but the pistol of prema and love. He was always chanting:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! he
Rama! Rama! Rama! Rama! Rama! Rama! Raghava!
Krishna! Kesava! Krishna! Kesava! Krishna! Kesava! pahi mam
Rama! Raghava! Rama Raghava! Rama! Raghava! raksa mam

Why raksa mam, what is the meaning of pahi mam? I am offering myself totally-pahi, pahi. I am offering everything. Now I am not mine, I am Yours. This called pahi. Like Draupadi: I cannot save myself. Now I have given myself fully at Your lotus feet.

What was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's problem that He was calling like this? Why? Oh, in separation mood. He had taken training in the school of Visakha and Raya Ramananda. Then He was in so much separation for Krishna, feeling that "Myself I am now Radhika.". He was always feeling like this-in the forest also. He saw the forest and said, "Oh, this is Vrindavana," and the river, "Oh, Kalindi is here," some mountains, "Oh, Giriraja Govardhana," some cows, "Oh, these are the cows of Krishna," and seeing the cowherd boys, "Oh, these are the friends of Krishna." And weeping bitterly He was calling, "Krishna Krishna pahi mam! Krishna Krishna raksa mam."

If the tigers, sleeping on the way, were touched by Mahaprabhu's feet, they used to chant "Krishna Krishna."

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

When Mahaprabhu would chant Hare Krishna very loudly, the whole forest used to follow Him and would echo. All the creatures, creepers, trees, animals, and even the grasses would hear and at once they were liberated-miraculously. In this way He reached Vrindavana.

Rupa Gosvami knew that Mahaprabhu had reached Vrindavana, and resigned his post. He went to his house with his younger brother Anupama. This is the process adopted by Rupa Gosvami. You can follow the process if you are eager to follow. He went to his native place where he had kept so much money. He divided it into two parts and gave half in charity to the brahmanas and Vaisnavas and half he kept for his family, telling them to maintain their lives with it and to provide for the education of Jiva Gosvami. And ten thousand gold coins he took with him, which he kept in the capital, in Ramakeli-grama, where he had been staying before. This was to be used to help Sanatana Gosvami, if the need arose. When he left, he wrote a letter to Sanatana Gosvami. Then he became like a street beggar, with nothing in his pocket, no shirt, nothing. He just had some worn and torn cloth, a dhoti only and one chaddar, nothing else. If he needed something, he would beg here and there one or two capatis, not more than that.

Together Rupa and Anupama went to Vrindavana. On the way they wrote a letter and sent it to Sanatana Gosvami. He wrote only some five or six letters which no one could understand. If the king would see, he would not understand. He wrote ka, ma and then sha, and so many letters-six or seven letters-and this made one poem or a sloka. Ka-where did Madhupuri go, the capital place of Krishna-Yadupuri? Do you understand? Once upon a time Mathura was the kingdom of the whole of India, including Dvaraka and Ayodhya. But now it is a desert. What has remained of the kingdoms of Rama and Krishna, where there were so many beautiful palaces? Where are they now? What is the meaning? Ravana is gone, Rama and all His opulence also disappeared, and you are like a poor person in front of them. You should consider this and at once give up all possessions, your opulence, position, everything, and come to Vrindavana. Sanatana Gosvami read this and he understood what Rupa Gosvami was telling. At once he decided to leave his post and everything. He did not go to the council of the king but sent word that he was sick, although he wasn't really. What was he doing? He was hearing Bhagavatam from so many learned scholars, and he was absorbed in discussions with the devotees all the time. He was not having any problem, nothing. Rather, he was always sinking the ocean of love and affection.

The king himself came to see what he was doing and told him, "I am going to a war in Orissa, to invade Jagannath Puri so you should come with me." Sanatana Gosvami told him flatly, "I cannot go. I cannot go to attack Jagannath Puri, never. I don't want be your prime minister. You can give this position to anyone else. Now I cannot do service."

The king told him, "You are my elder brother. I depend on you and you are disobeying my order. I am the ruler. If you do not obey me, I will punish you." Then the king put him in jail and went away.

Sanatana Gosvami was very happy. It has been written: raja more priti kore emor bandhana. My wife is loving me so much that it is bondage for me. The father is giving love-it is bondage for me. What is the meaning of this sloka, do you know? It is a very important thing. If you want to follow Rupa and Sanatana, you should know this meaning and then you can follow them.

It means that if raja, the king, has so much affection for me, he is giving me so much money and position, it is really bondage for me. If a wife has so much love for her husband and the husband wants to be a pure devotee, oh, this is bondage for him, a very big obstacle. If he has a very, very loving child, then this love is like a bondage. He cannot do bhajana. So Sanatana Gosvami is saying, "Somehow I should do something so that the king will become angry with me."

There was a devotee about hundred years old who wanted to take sannyasa, but his wife was so loving that, when he requested to take sannyasa, she presented some obstacles. One day he set his room on fire, took a chaddar and pretended he was sleeping. The fire was coming very near. The wife saw it and at once entered the room. "Oh, you are sleeping? Oh, such a big fire is here. You should leave this place. At once go out from here." Immediately he came out of the house and said to her, "You have told me to go out of the house. Now I will never return to the house. I am going." And thus he left his home. His wife was weeping, but he said, "You have ordered me so I am following your order." This person was Ballabha Acarya. He went to Kasi and took sannyasa from Madhavendra Puri, and the next day he left his body. Sometimes pure devotees want to serve Krishna totally, but they may cheat others by their tricks. Sanatana Gosvami wanted to cheat the king, so he made the king angry.

Thus Sanatana Gosvami was put in prison. He gave five thousand gold coins to the jailer, but he was not satisfied. Sanatana Gosvami told him, "You should help me because I have given this post to you. Then you will gain some sukrti. Don't worry. I will not stay here. I will pose as a Muslim medicant and will go to Mecca. I will not stay in India. So please help me." Sanatana said this because the jailer was Mohammedan. So he became happy. He was still fearing the king, so Sanatana offered him two thousand more gold coins. Then some water came from his tongue and mouth. "So much money I have never seen in my whole life. I cannot make so much money in my whole life. If the king will come and be angry and takes away my post, no harm. I can maintain myself." So he released Sanatana Gosvami, and with one servant he started on his way to Vrindavana.

[Arayana Maharaj:] When Sanatana Gosvami escaped from the prison, he could not go to meet Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by the main roads because he would be caught, so he was going through the forest areas, very dangerous places. He came to one district called Patna where he was approached by one very wealthy landlord. He told him, "You can stay with me tonight. I will give you some ingredients and you can cook for yourself. Thus you can take prasadam, and in the morning I will send my men with you who will escort you over this dangerous tract of land over the hills. Shri Sanatana Gosvami agreed. He cooked and took prasadam, and when he went to take bath, he was thinking to himself very deeply. Because he had been the prime minister of Nawab Hussein Shah, he knew politics and the art of diplomacy. So he was thinking to himself, "Why would this person offer to help me for no reason? He must have some motivation." Shri Sanatana Gosvami was very intelligent. He returned back to the place where he was staying, and there he approached his servant Isana and inquired from him. "Isana, are you carrying with you any valuable things."

Isana replied, " Oh, yes, Prabhu! I have seven gold coins."

"Why are you bringing this with you? Why are you carrying this wealth with you? This wealth is like Yamaraja himself. Certainly anyone might kill us for this, so this is a very dangerous thing. Give me the coins right now."

So Isana took the gold coins and gave them to Sanatana Gosvami, who immediately went to the landlord and said, "Here. I want you to take these seven gold coins. I will give you them and, for the sake of religious principles, please escort us through this very dangerous tract of land." Then the heart of that landlord, being influenced by the powerful association of Sanatana Gosvami, whose heart was so pure, who was so saturated in bhakti, melted and he began to confess, saying, "You have saved me from a very sinful act. Tonight, this very night I was about to kill you and take your money. I have an assistant who is an astrologer. He knows the art of the astrology, and he had already informed me that two travelers were coming this way, carrying with them eight gold coins, not seven. So we made a plan to intercept you, give you a place to stay and in the night we would have killed you and taken your money." "If I keep this money with me it is certain that somebody else will try to kill me for this. So you should take this money." So then that person accepted the money from Sanatana Gosvami and escorted him over that dangerous tract of land. After they passed that region and the men had gone, Sanatana Gosvami called for his servant Isana: "O Isana, come here. I know that you have with you some balance from these gold coins." Isana hadn't been thoroughly honest with him. He had told Sanatana Gosvami that he had seven gold coins. He gave him seven and one he kept secretly. So what was his intention? "I will give him seven gold coins and one I will keep, because in the future a very difficult situation may come and by this gold we can buy anything we need and solve the problem. I will use this gold in his service." He was not selfish. He intended this one gold coin for the service of Sanatana Gosvami, but Sanatana Gosvami told him, " O Isana, this one gold coin you should keep with you and return to your home."

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] You are not qualified to be with me. You are depending on money, not in Krishna only. I don't want to be with a person like this. You cannot help me. You will make so many problems. If you want to be a pure devotee like Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and Raghunatha Gosvami, look at what they did. If you are not going to follow their example, then
Krishna-prema will be very far away.

[Arayana Maharaj:] So hearing this, Isana began to cry, his heart broken. "Please don't send me away. I only want to serve you."

But Sanatana Gosvami was very strong, very strict. He said, "No, you keep this coin and return to your home." The devotee must be completely surrendered to Krishna. He will think, "Krishna is my only maintainer. Krishna is my only protector, and if I take shelter of money, if I take shelter of opulence, if I take shelter of my own intelligence, then Krishna is sure to neglect me. I don't want Krishna to neglect me, so I will neglect all of these things. Krishna is sure to take care of me. Anayas cintayanto mam ye janah paryupasate, tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-kseman vahamy aham. So in this way Sanatana Gosvami continued alone on his journey towards Vrindavan, following the path along the Ganges.

Then he came to one town called Hatipur. There he met with Shri Kanta, who was his brother-in-law, the husband of the sister of Sanatana Gosvami. He was engaged in government service there and had three lakhs of gold coins, three hundred thousand gold coins. That time this is inconceivable amount of wealth. The king had given him this money to purchase horses for the Muslim government. So he was there buying horses and sending them to the emperor. When Sanatana Gosvami came and met with his very wealthy and very aristocratic, highly positioned brother-in-law, his brother-in-law was happy to meet with him.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Sanatana Gosvami was more than him, but he had left everything and had become like a street beggar.

[Arayana Maharaj:] Sanatana Gosvami, he was in the higher position. He was a prime minister, but he had left that very high position and became like a street beggar. His brother-in-law told him, "You are dirty and your cloth is all ruined. We will give you very some nice cloth, fine clothing and you should stay here for some time with me and live like a very aristocratic gentlemen."

Sanatana Gosvami said, "No, I will not stay here, not even for a second, not one second. Help me to cross over the Ganges and continue my journey."

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Why for one second wouldn't he stay there? Bad association. Even the association of his brother-in-law was not helpful for him. So his brother-in-law requested him to stay, but for one moment he would not remain there. He left that place and came to Varanasi, but he accepted something from his brother-in-law.

[Arayana Maharaj:] As he was leaving that place, his brother-in-law gave him one very costly and luxurious woollen blanket.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Why did he give it? It was the cold season for India, highest cold, so he gave it to him to keep warm. He took it and went to Varanasi. Then what happened when he came to Varanasi on the bank of the Ganges, very sacred place? He heard that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had reached there on His way back from Vrindavan. Lakhs and lakhs of devotee were hearing from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He had defeated Prakasananda, having cut all his Mayavada arguments. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was so prominent that lakhs and lakhs of devotees were coming to see Him. He was staying in the house of Candra Sekhara. Sanatana Gosvami came there searching for Him. He was standing at the door of Candra Sekhara's house, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu knew that he was there.

[Devotee:] Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu enquired from Candra Sekhara and asked him to go and see if someone had come to his doorstep. Mahaprabhu said that a devotee had come. When Candra Sekhara came out, he saw no devotee waiting outside and replied to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, "I didn't see any devotee standing outside to meet You."

Then Mahaprabhu asked, "Did you see anyone there?" This time Candra Sekhara came out and saw one person who was so dirty and shaggy, with such a big beard, looking like a Muslim. Then Candra Sekhara told this man to come in because Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was calling him. When this person who was actually Sanatana Gosvami came in and when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw him, He quickly ran to embrace him. But what happened? Sanatana Gosvami didn't want Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to touch him, but Mahaprabhu wanted to embrace him. Mahaprabhu said that by touching a pure devotee one can completely become pure.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] I am touching you only to become pure Myself.

[Devotee:] After sometime Mahaprabhu ordered Candra Sekhara to give some nice clothes and to help him to shave up and dress like a devotee. After Sanatana Gosvami shaved up, Candra Sekhara offered him a new cloth which Sanatana Gosvami would not accept. Instead he asked for one of Candra Sekhara's old dhotis which he tore into two pieces, making two pieces of outer sannyasa clothes, the upper and the lower, and he made one kutir out that cloth. In that way he came in front of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu saw that dress of Sanatana Gosvami He was very happy and He was very pleased how nicely Sanatana Gosvami was following the principles of sannyasa asrama. But Sanatana Gosvami was still keeping that valuable blanket given to him by his brother-in-law. While in conversation Mahaprabhu would sometimes look at the blanket. In the meanwhile they went to Tapana Misra's house where Mahaprabhu was invited for prasadam. Mahaprabhu took Sanatana Gosvami with him to take mahaprasadam. When Mahaprabhu requested Tapana Misra to give mahaprasadam also to Sanatana Gosvami, Tapana Misra replied that he had some duties to do. "You please take first, and after you have taken, then Sanatana Gosvami will honor mahaprasadam." After Mahaprabhu took mahaprasadam and was resting, Tapana Misra gave Mahaprabhu's remnants to Sanatana Gosvami, who saw that Mahaprabhu was noticing this blanket again and again. Then he understood that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wasn't pleased with this. Sanatana Gosvami went to the Ganges where one poor man had washed his old torn quilt and had spread it for drying. Sanatana Gosvami went to him and asked if he could trade his valuable blanket for that quilt. When that person heard these words from Sanatana Gosvami, he was startled and said, "You are a nice gentlemen. Why are you joking with me like this? You are a sane person so why would any sane person would trade this torn old quilt for a valuable blanket?" He was thinking that Sanatana Gosvami was joking with him.

But when Sanatana Gosvami seriously requested him, he gave his valuable blanket to that poor person and took his torn quilt and went with it to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became so happy to see how Sanatana Gosvami was following the strict principles of sannyasa asrama. He was very pleased that by the mercy of Krishna Sanatana Gosvami had given all attraction for all material sense objects.

That blanket was his last material attachment, and now he had completely given that up also. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very happy to see Sanatana Gosvami in that condition, completely depending on Krishna and not having any attachment or attraction for anything mundane. Then Sanatana Gosvami humbly began to inquire from Mahaprabhu.

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] Thank you. This is the process. What is the purpose of this story? From the beginning of his life, a devotee should follow how Sanatana Gosvami left everything-position wealth and money. Even a servant with one coin he left. Even that blanket-now he had nothing. He only took an old dhoti and made it into four, for his lower and upper cloth. He had nothing else. He had no money. Nothing was left with him. If any person wants to go to any high-class devotee to become a Vaisnava, he should be like Sanatana Gosvami. He should not come with so much wealth in his pockets or with a big bank balance. Otherwise he can never follow this process. He must come like a street beggar.

I can tell you the life history of your Shrila Prabhupada, my friend Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj. He himself told this story to me. I think he never told others but I am telling you. When he took initiation from Shrila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Sarasvati Thakura, he was telling me this secret thing. "I took initiation and then I began to read Shrimad Bhagavatam and to chant and remember also and looking after my job at Bengal Chemical which I was managing at time." He was not only the manger, he was the sole proprietor. But he was fearing-if anyone chants, remembers and follows Krishna, then Krishna will make him a street beggar. So what should he do? "I was thinking and thinking, and I was in a dilemma, always worried about this, but I never stopped chanting, hearing, and reading Shrimad Bhagavatam. I went on strictly following my Guru's order." After sometime Bengal Chemical failed. He left it; he was bound to leave it. Then he came to Allahabad and he started one medical factory in a big way, but after two years it failed. Then he started a very prominent shop, where India's prime minister used to come, but after two or three years it also failed. Then he worked as a representative for medicines. He made himself new, new medicines and used to go here and there with them, but that he also could not do. Then penniless he came to me and told me, "Now I am penniless. I have nothing left." So Krishna does this to those He loves.

The purport of the story of Sanatana Gosvami is that if you really want to be a very pure, high-class devotee, you will have to follow him with empty pockets, keeping nothing with you. Then Krishna may give you bhakti, otherwise not. Otherwise, you will have to give up your devotion and return back to where you were before. So you should try to follow Sanatana Gosvami if you want to have high-class precious prema-bhakti. Surely you will have to do this.

We know that all those who have practiced bhakti-yoga have followed this way shown by Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunatha, also Narottama Thakura, who was the son of the king, Syamananda, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Bhaktivinoda Thakura-he also had a very high- class position and he also left everything. Shrila Prabhupada and Swamiji were also very high- class. His father was a very rich person. Our Guru-maharaja was also like a prince. And the father of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaj was a very rich person, but he left everything for Krishna-prema. Krishna-prema is more valuable. With all opulence you cannot attain Krishna-prema. You have to become a street beggar one day. When you can be like this, then Krishna can give you so much opulence, just He did with Yudhisthira Maharaj, Prahlada Maharaj, Nanda Maharaj, and Svami Maharaj also. He had so much opulence, lakhs and lakhs of daughters and sons and so many centers, so many cows here and there. No one can believe his success. So you should try to follow this line. It is not very easy, but we must follow it. This is the way to achieve Krishna-prema.

Gaura premanande!

Transcriber: Vichitra dasi

A108-AI

Alloyed And Unalloyed Devotion


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

large.735635625_ShrilaBhaktivedantaNarayanaGoswami190.jpg.e22a53cb69caa9fc8becca34f607afd0.jpgBadger, California: May 19, 2003
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj

Listen Attentively.

Our subject is now very exalted, and I request you all to hear this high, sweet and powerful tattva-katha very attentively. I know that some of the devotees will hear it, but will keep it in cold storage after I leave. Never keep it in cold storage. We should try to go over what we have discussed, again and again, in our minds. If anything else enters your mind just after hearing hari-katha and you focus on that thing, the hari-katha may leave your heart. In the evening, before going to sleep, you can remember all these topics and try to make them your own. I am giving all this especially for you, so you should try daily to remember what I have said and note it down in your heart. We are discussing very high topics.

We discussed the stages of bhakti leading up to bhava, and especially we have looked at the definition of bhava:

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

["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a ray of sunlight of love for Lord Krsna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and it is called bhava." (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.1)]

This topic is elevated, and I think that a devotee who can explain it is extremely rare in this world. So try to hear very, very carefully. Bhakti is very rare. The bhakti we follow is not nirguna (without material qualities) or niropadhi (without material designations), but sopadhi (having designations). Very few can practice this bhava-bhakti, raganuga-bhakti. I want you to be able to enter into it, and therefore we will explain this subject gradually, using examples.

The definition of uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service is the barometer of bhakti.

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 Krsna, 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 Krsna." (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]

[On Shrila Maharaja's request, Shrinivasa dasa, age 11, elucidates the meaning of this verse.]

[Shrila Narayana Maharja:] Thank you. Very good explanation and pronunciation. I want all our boys to be like you. I became very happy to see that our teacher, Vrajendra-nandana Prabhu, is teaching the children nicely. I think that all the students will be jewels in the future. I'm very happy. I want all the boys to be like Shrinivasa - very strong.

Sannyasis and brahmacaris should always remember one thing: the black, poisonous snake of attraction to the opposite sex that I told you about should not come and bite you. I always fear for you. That snake attacked Shri Narada Rsi, but he was very "tricky"; he fled to Vaikuntha, and to Goloka Vrndavana, and that snake could not go there. If you are not careful, it may catch any of you.


DADHICI AND HIS BONES

Regarding uttama-bhakti, we have discussed so many points, and I want you to be able to understand this topic through examples. I don't know whether or not if you have heard of Dadhici Muni. Any Indian boy will be familiar with all these histories. There was an exalted rsi named Dadhici. When Vrtrasura became very furious and began his destructive activities, Indra approached Lord Brahma and asked him what should be done.

Brahma replied, "You should at once, without hesitation, go to Dadhici Muni and ask him for his bones. By the help of those bones Vrtrasura can be killed. The rsi should give you his bones immediately, while he is still alive."

Indra was doubtful. "How will Dadhici Muni agree?" he asked.

"Just go to him. He knows everything." Indra thus approached Dadhici Muni and begged him for his bones.

Dadhici began to laugh. "You demigods are all alike," he said. "You are only concerned about your own interests. Do you realize how much pain this will cause me?" Still, Dadhici was ready to offer his bones to the demigods, and he told them to bring a big herd of cows and large quantities of yoghurt and sugar." He mixed the yoghurt and sugar together, and smeared this over his whole body. The cows then began to lick his body until only his bones remained. How painful it was, but still Dadhici Muni did it.

He made a great sacrifice; yet, we don't consider him to be a bhakta. His actions were sat-karma, not bhakti. They will take one to the heavenly planets one day, but not higher.

MAHARAJA SIBI OFFERS HIS LIFE

There was once a king named Maharaj Sibi who was performing many asvamedha-yajnas. Seeing this, Indra thought, "Oh, he will take over my post and my entire kingdom, and I'll have to leave." He wanted to stop Maharaj Sibi, and therefore he took the form of a powerful bird-of-prey, an eagle, and he turned Dharmaraja into a pigeon. The pigeon began to fly away, and Indra pursued it as an eagle. Trembling and short of breath, the pigeon flew into the lap of Sibi Maharaj. At once the eagle arrived and said to Sibi Maharaj, "Oh, this is my meal, my diet. You must give it to me or offer me something else to eat."

Maharaj Sibi replied, "I cannot give you this bird. I can give you my own body and everything I own, but I cannot give you this pigeon, because it is surrendered to me. What can I give you instead?"

"Oh, you should give me your flesh, your meat, in equal amount to the weight of that pigeon." A scale was at once brought and Sibi Maharaj cut out a large amount of flesh from his thigh and placed it on the scale. But the pigeon weighed the scale down. The king then severed his whole leg and placed it on the scale, but it was still not enough. He then cut off the other leg, and even his two arms, but the scale still would not balance. Sibi Maharaj then put himself on the scale, offering his life.

At this Indra and Dharmaraja revealed their true identities to the king, and Indra said, "We want to give you a boon for what you have just done, as long as you don't ask for my kingdom. This is the only condition." The king began to laugh. Dharmaraja said, "You are really the embodiment of dharma and you will go to the heavenly planets."

This is all Maharaj Sibi attained. He suffered so much pain, but for this he only went to heaven. His sacrifice is also sat-karma, and has no relation with bhakti.


THE STORY OF KING HARISCANDRA

Do you know Maharaj Hariscandra? He sold his own wife and son Rohitasva, and then he also sold himself to a crematorium. How did this come about? Shri Visvamitra Muni, a very high-class devotee who performed immense service to Lord Rama, wanted Ramacandra to appear in Maharaj Hariscandra's dynasty. He therefore wanted him to become a pure bhakta and not remain a sat-karmi. To achieve this he took away his entire kingdom and everything he owned. He arranged a situation whereby the king was forced to sell all his personal property, including his own wife and son, and finally himself.

One day, while Hariscandra was guarding the cremation ground, a very poisonous snake bit his son, who died. In the night, the boy's mother Saibya took him to the crematorium and Hariscandra called out, "Who is there? You cannot cremate your dead without my permission. You must first pay the fee." Lightning flashed and Hariscandra saw that it was the dead body of his own son, and he saw his wife crying bitterly. He was in dilemma, but he finally said, "You will have to pay some fee." She had nothing with which to pay, so she took half of the veil she was wearing and handed it to him.

At once Dharmaraja and the demigods descended, accompanied by Visvamitra Rsi. "Rohitasva will be the king," they declared, and the boy immediately returned to life. Visvamitra then said, "I took everything from you, so now I'm returning it. You should now enter the jungle and meditate upon God."

At that time Maharaj Hariscandra was also a sat-karmi, not a bhakta, and Visvamitra wanted to sprinkle his mercy upon him. You should know that all these pious activities are merely types of karma. We should be very discriminating about this.


EKALAVYA, THE BLACK-HEARTED HUNTER

Then, do you know Ekalavya? He was a nisada, hunter, who was very black and tall. He went to the school of the Pandavas and Kauravas, and approached their teacher Dronacarya: "O Dronacarya, O Gurudeva, I want to learn archery from you. Please teach me."

Dronacarya asked, "Who is your father?" When Ekalavya told him, Dronacarya replied, "I cannot teach you. Please return home." Ekalavya could not understand why Dronacarya had said this. Dronacarya was thinking, "If I teach him archery, he will develop a hatred for Arjuna and try to kill him. He will even try to kill Lord Krsna." Dronacarya knew this because he was a perfect guru in both archery and devotion.

After Dronacarya rejected him, Ekalavya returned to the forest and created a statue of him; and there he began to practice his skills. One day Dronacarya entered that part of the forest with the Kauravas and Pandavas - one hundred and five disciples in all. Suddenly a dog started barking, and in a moment they saw that the dog's mouth was full of arrows and he could not bark. The arrows had covered his mouth, but without leaving a single scratch or drop of blood anywhere. Everyone was wondering who had accomplished this, and then they saw a very big and black person, a hunter, practicing archery. He had done it.

Dronacarya asked, "From whom have you learned to shoot arrows like this?"

"O Gurudeva, you are my Gurudeva. I have learned it from you."

"If I am your acarya, then give me some daksina, donation," Drona said. "When a student becomes perfect in his studies he should pay his teacher some daksina."

"Whatever you want I will give you," the hunter said.

"You should give me your right hand thumb, by which an archer releases his arrows." At once, without delay, Ekalavya cut off his thumb and gave it to Dronacarya. Dronacarya happily took it and left. Why did he do this? He knew the mood of that bogus hunter.

Although he was now without a thumb, Ekalavya continued practicing archery and later fought against Krsna and Arjuna; and Krsna took His cakra and at once killed him. Some devotees name their disciples or sons "Ekalavya," but they are ignorant. Ekalavya was not a devotee. You should judge a person's level by the verse "anyabhilasita-sunyam." This is the barometer of devotion.


THE DETERMINED BOY DHRUVA

Now we come to Dhruva Maharaj. [Speaking to Shripad Bhaktisar Maharaj] Explain the essence of Dhruva Maharaja's life history, within two minutes.

[Shripad Bhaktisar Maharaj briefly narrates Dhruva's life-story, explaining that we should have Dhruva's forceful determination and practice under guidance, as Dhruva did, but we should not hold on to even a scent of material desire. Dhruva's bhakti was not pure, and he thus had to accept the fruits of his desires: he reigned as king of this world for 36,000 years, after which he was elevated to a planet greater than Brahmaloka but situated within this material world.]

[Shrila Narayana Maharaj:] You have heard the life history of Dhruva Maharaj, written in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. You should know that he was not engaged in aropa-siddha-bhakti or sanga-siddha-bhakti. His bhakti was svarupa-siddha-bhakti. [*See endnotes] His guru was the highest class of guru, Shri Narada Rsi. Due to the mercy of his guru, Dhruva Maharaj had darsana of the Supreme Lord, Narayana, after only six months. There is no record of anyone getting the Lord's darsana in such a short time, but Dhruva Maharaj attained this. His Guru is very exalted, and his nistha was very strong. Narada himself had come to him and, in order to test him, had given him so many reasons to return home. "Wild beasts will eat you," he said. "Now you are only very little, merely a small boy. You should not act like this."

"But I have to meet with Hari. I must find Him," Dhruva insisted. At last Narada gave him a mantra and instruction on how to proceed. So his bhakti is not aropa-siddha.

Then what fault was there? Anyabhilasa, the desire for personal gain, was there. Therefore, when Lord Narayana appeared to him, without asking him what boon he desired he told him, "You will be king of the entire universe for 36,000 years."

Dhruva immediately began to repent for his desires to rule a great kingdom, because the darsana of Lord Krsna or Lord Narayana is amoga, infallible. Something good must come of it. At once, by one glance of Narayana, Dhruva's desires were washed away; but he was bound to be king because he was given this boon. Now he began to repent continuously. If one is the disciple of a bona fide, high-class Guru, by the Guru's supreme power the disciple will go to Vaikuntha-loka and not to the heavenly planets. But Dhruva Maharaj had some worldly attachments; he was attached to his mother. He saw her as his siksa-guru, remembering that she had helped him, but there was some material attachment and therefore he was taken to Vaikuntha-loka within this universe.

What is it about Dhruva Maharaja's bhakti that we don't want to follow?

asraya laiya bhaje tare krsna nahi tyaje
ara saba mare akarana

[The Vaisnavas continually take shelter of Shri Krsna and worship Him, and never abandon Him. They are liberated souls, free from the cycle of birth and death. (Narottama dasa Thakura, Prarthana 44.1)]

What is the meaning? "Asraya" refers to Gurudeva, Shrimati Radhika and the devotees. Those who have taken shelter of any bona fide Guru will not give up Lord Krsna. Somehow or other they will hold on to Him." Dhruva Maharaj took His shelter, but from very far away. Dhruva-loka, the planet he was given to rule, is always in the north, and this planet does not belong to this material world. It is partially transcendental. It is an abhasa, or shadow, of transcendence What service does Dhruva Maharaj have in Dhruva-loka? None. The moon, sun and other planets are orbiting him, but that is all..

Dhruva Maharaj has no service, whereas bhakti means "anukulyena krsnanu-silanam", to serve Krsna in a favorable mood, continuously, and under guidance. Therefore high-class Vaisnavas in the line of Shrila Rupa Gosvami do not accept Dhruva Maharaja's bhakti. In Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, Dhruva's stage of bhakti has not even been mentioned. Shrila Sanatana Gosvami explains uttama-bhakti beginning with the jnani-bhakta, the pure devotee who has realized the Lord's Godhood, and then progresses to the suddha-bhakta, premi-bhakta, premapara-bhakta, and prematura-bhakta. After this stage there are no more "bhaktas"; everyone serves Shri Krsna as His associate.

Shrila Sanatana Gosvami has explained all these topics in Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, and without its help you cannot be a pure bhakta. Your bhakti cannot be unalloyed because you cannot decide what is bhakti and what is not. I am presently giving classes only from this grantha (transcendental literature) and you should know all the truths therein.

Gaura-premanande.


[Endnote: Three Types of Bhakti:
One should also remember that bhakti is of three types: svarupa siddha (those endeavors which are purely constituted of uttama-bhakti), sanga-siddha (those endeavors which are associated with or favorable to the development of bhakti but not of themselves purely composed of bhakti), and aropa-siddha (those activities which although not consisting of pure bhakti, are designated as bhakti due to their being offered to the Supreme Lord).

Aropa-siddha-bhakti: Endeavors indirectly attributed with the quality of bhakti.
Endeavors which by nature are not purely constituted of bhakti - that is, anukulya-krsnanusilana - and in which the performer, in order to fulfill his own purpose, offers his activities and their results to the Lord. This is called aropa-siddha-bhakti. In other words, because his activities are assigned (aropa) to the Supreme Lord, bhakti is attributed (aropita) to them.

[Comment: [editor]
That bhakti in which there is a mixture of karma or desires for material enjoyment is called sakama-bhakti or saguna-bhakti. Without the assistance of bhakti, karma cannot yield any fruit. Knowing this, many persons offer their prescribed duties for the satisfaction of the Lord, in order that He might fulfill their extraneous desires. The activities of such persons are not svarupa-siddha-bhakti. Nonetheless, because they offer the fruit of their activity to the Lord, it is considered as a type of bhakti. Although their activities are offered for the satisfaction of the Lord, their motivation is that by pleasing Him, He may fulfill their extraneous desires. In this case their activities are attributed with the sense of bhakti. Therefore, such endeavors are known as aropa-siddha-bhakti.

Sanga-siddha-bhakti: Endeavors associated with or favorable to the cultivation of bhakti. There are other endeavors which, although not purely constituted of bhakti, anukulya-krsnanusilana, acquire a likeness to bhakti due to their being established as assistants to bhakti. Such endeavors are known as sanga-siddha-bhakti. An example of this is found in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.3. 23-25) in the statement of Shri Prabuddha Muni to Maharaj Nimi:

"One should cultivate compassion towards others, friendliness, offering respect to others, cleanliness, austerity, tolerance, silence, study of the Vedas, simplicity, celibacy, non-violence, and so on. One should consider heat and cold, happiness and distress to be the same. One should perceive the presence of the Lord everywhere. One should live in a secluded place, renounce family attachments and remain satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord."

Even though the behavior or practices described in this verse are not by nature purely constituted of bhakti, they are assistants to bhakti. Thus they are considered to be like associates of bhakti. If bhagavad-bhakti is removed from the twenty-six qualities mentioned, then Bhagavan has no direct relationship with the remaining qualities such as compassion, friendliness, tolerance, austerity, and so on. Only when these items exist as assistants to or associates of bhakti is their likeness to bhakti effected. Therefore, they are known as sanga-siddha-bhakti.
Svarupa-siddha-bhakti: Endeavors purely constituted of uttama-bhakti
All favorable endeavors (cesta) such as sravana, kirtana, smarana, and so on, as well as the manifestation of the spiritual sentiments which occur beginning from the stage of bhava, which are completely devoid of all desires separate from Shri Krsna and which are freed from the coverings of jnana and karma are known as svarupa-siddha-bhakti. In other words all endeavors of the body, words and mind which are related to Shri Krsna and which are performed exclusively and directly for His pleasure without any interruption are known as svarupa-siddha-bhakti.

Therefore, in the conversation between Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Shrila Raya Ramananda found in Shri Caitanya-caritamrta, both aropa-siddha and sanga-siddha-bhakti have been described as external. (Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu 17-19)]

Editor: Sundara-gopala dasa
Assistant editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Janaki dasi
Typist: Vasanti dasi

A108-AI

Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja - Confidential Facts


Shrila B.V. Narayana Maharaj

lecture20030514a.jpg.1a5599c00848b96b28840329b8391477.jpgŚrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Badger, California: May 14, 2003 (evening, part 2)

(Part 1 - On the Subject of Śrī Prahlāda)

Prahlāda and Balī Mahārāja

When Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s incarnation, Lord Vāmana deva, came to the palace of Balī Mahārāja in the form of a dwarf-brāhmaṇa, his feet and legs were naturally very small. He told Balī Mahārāja, "I want something from you."

Balī Mahārāja became happy and said, "Ask for any boon – a very beautiful wife, a kingdom, heaven, wealth, reputation or a position. I can easily give you this."

Lord Vāmana deva replied, "I am a brāhmaṇa boy. I am always satisfied. I don't want anything unnecessary. I want only three steps of land, so that I may sit there and do bhajana." 

Balī Mahārāja began to laugh and joke with that young brāhmaṇa. He said, "You are just a boy – a child – and your intelligence is also very small like that of a child. I want to give you everything imaginable, but you do not want that. But alright, I shall give you the three steps of land, as you desire.”

Lord Vāmana deva asked Balī Mahārāja to do saṅkalpa (a ceremony to make a vow) that would consecrate the offering and finalize it.  

Balī Mahārāja's guru Śukrācārya was actually a materialist, and was thus worried about his own security. He warned Balī, "Be careful. Don't make a vow to give him anything. Don't believe him. He is Viṣṇu, not a dwarf. He is the imperishable Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu. Accepting Kaśyapa Muni as his father and Aditi as his mother, He has now appeared to fulfill the interests of the demigods. He is cheating you. Give something that will not be harmful to you. Give something, but not in a way that he can take everything."

Balī Mahārāja replied, "If he is Viṣṇu, he will somehow take everything anyway. Everything already belongs to Viṣṇu, God; so why should I not give what he asks? And, if he is not Viṣṇu, he will not be able to take anything except the three steps of land."

Lord Vāmana deva then said, "If Śukrācārya does not assist you in making the vow, I will do so personally. Now take some water from this vessel and do saṅkalpa."

While Balī Mahārāja was preparing to do the saṅkalpa , Śukrācārya thought, "He did not obey me, and now Viṣṇu will take everything. I must prevent that water from coming out of the vessel so that the vow will not be completed."

Because the water was not coming out, Lord Vāmana deva took a small stick and pierced a hole in the spout of that vessel, and blood at once began to flow from it. From where had the blood come? Śukrācārya was a powerful mystic yogi. He had made himself become very small and had entered the vessel to stop the water from pouring from the spout – and now he had become blind in one eye. Of course, because he always had one eye on worldly things and not transcendental truths, he was actually blind in one eye even before this incident.

Persons who create problems for those who are coming to do bhajana and to accept a guru are blind in one eye. So don't give any such problems to your husband, children, wife, friends or anyone else. If any associate of yours wants to do bhajana, tell them they are doing very well and say, "I bless you. I will help you." If your husband or wife is trying to do bhajana, don't stop him or her. If you do so, you will become blind in one eye.

After the vow was completed, clever Lord Vāmana deva at once became so tall that his body extended from the Earth to the sky. By this pastime he became also known as Trivikrama, for he took three giant steps. His first step encompassed the entire lower half of the universe and his second step covered the upper half. Now it seemed that there was nothing remaining for Balī Mahārāja to give. Vāmana deva asked, "Where should I put my third step?"

Śrī Vāmana deva was very clever, and Balī Mahārāja was also clever. Balī replied, "I am fully surrendering to you. Please take my body; place your foot on my head." He did ātma-nivedana full surrender of the body, words, mind and heart. But what was the result? Vāmana deva arrested him and bound him with the ropes of Varuṇa. There was a great roar of lamentation in all directions, but Balī Mahārāja was nonetheless fixed in his determination to serve and love the Lord.

It appeared that Lord Vāmana deva was punishing Balī Mahārāja, especially when He ordered that Balī would now have to go to the lower planetary system to reside. Balī would lose his usurped kingdom. But it was not an ordinary hellish planet to which the Lord sent Balī. This planet had been created for Balī by the Lord’s own desire, and it was more opulent than any heaven. He even had the famous demigod architect, Viśvakarmā, build Balī Mahārāja a palace that was far more opulent than that of the King of heaven.  

Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja at once arrived, along with Lord Brahmā, and asked Vāmana deva, "What are you doing Lord? He has given you everything, and you are binding him?” This was an indirect glorification. Tears came in the eyes of Prahlāda Mahārāja out of ecstatic affection for the Lord, and he also had great affection for Balī Mahārāja. Balī Mahārāja was the son of Virocana, who was the son of Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja. Balī Mahārāja was thus the grandson of Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Lord Vāmana deva saw Prahlāda Mahārāja was weeping due to his love for his family member, and he therefore very humbly said, "O Balī Mahārāja, you may ask for any benediction."

Being very clever, Balī Mahārāja replied, "In my palace in Sutala there are 49 gates. There is no certainty by which gate or lane I will go out or in. I request the benediction that you stand at the gate of whatever lane I pass – all the time, day and night. Thus, he made Śrī Vāmana deva gatekeeper, and Vāmana deva, Viṣṇu, happily accepted this.

Why did Vāmana deva give this benediction to Balī Mahārāja? It was because of the Lord’s affection for Prahlāda Mahārāja. Otherwise, Balī Mahārāja hadn't done anything to deserve it. A donation of only a universe cannot bring this mercy of Viṣṇu. Do you understand? No one can satisfy the Lord by wealth, position or any other material offering. Vāmana deva gave the boon to be always present in Balī Mahārāja's palace – due to Prahlāda Mahārāja. He told Prahlāda, "Always remain there in Sutala and be happy with your relatives there; and I will also always be here." 

Prahlāda and Bāṇāsura

Have you heard of King Bāṇāsura? He was a devotee of Lord Śiva and he had thousands of arms. Aniruddha, the grandson of Lord Kṛṣṇa, was in love with Bāṇāsura's daughter, Ūṣā. Aniruddha secretly went to Bāṇāsura’s palace to stealthily meet with her. Bāṇāsura found out and wanted him arrested. Aniruddha fought to protect himself, but he was finally defeated and arrested by Bāṇāsura and his army.

Nārada, who is also a clever personality, brought the news of this to Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Baladeva. He told them, “Bāṇāsura has captured your grandson.” At once, along with His entire army, Kṛṣṇa reached there and began to fight with Bāṇāsura. Bāṇāsura used his thousand arms to fight with many clubs, arrows and other weapons; but during that battle Kṛṣṇa cut off all his arms and hands except for four. 

In the meantime, Bāṇāsura remembered his Lord, Śaṅkara (Lord Śiva) who immediately came and began to fight on Bāṇāsura’s side. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa shot a special arrow called Viṣṇu-jvara and Śaṅkara shot his Śiva-jvāra. Śaṅkara was defeated and then remembered Pārvatī, who came to that spot.

There was a demigoddess named Koṭarā who was worshiped by Bāṇāsura, and their relationship was as mother and son. Mother Koṭarā was upset that Bāṇāsura's life was in danger, so she appeared on the scene. With naked body and scattered hair, she stood before Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa did not like the sight of this naked woman, and to avoid seeing her he turned his face. We see this demigoddess as a manifestation of the power of Śaṅkara, Pārvatī devi.

Kṛṣṇa then stopped His fighting and said, "O Śaṅkara, O Pārvatī, what do you want?"

They requested, "We want that he be spared. Please don't kill him."

Kṛṣṇa then said, "All right. I will bless him that he will be loyal to you, and he will properly worship you."

Why was all this enacted by the Lord? The reason is that Bāṇāsura was also in the dynasty of Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja. Ultimately, Kṛṣṇa did not favor Bāṇāsura because of Śaṅkara nor Pārvatī – nor for any reason other than Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Prahlāda and Rāvaṇa

While Lord Viṣṇu was in the palace of Balī Mahārāja, as the gatekeeper of his entire palace, Rāvaṇa came to conquer the world. Conquering almost everywhere, he arrived in Sutala and wanted to fight with Balī Mahārāja. He knew that Balī Mahārāja was a very strong personality and so he desired to defeat him. However, when Lord Viṣṇu saw Rāvaṇa coming, He simply kicked him with his toe – and at once Rāvaṇa flew very far away to Laṅkā. Why did He do this? It was because Rāvaṇa would have otherwise disturbed Prahlāda Mahārāja and his grandson Balī Mahārāja. He threw Rāvaṇa from there because of affection for Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Prahlāda and Durvāsā Muni

The Puranas relate still another history. Dvārakā was once invaded by a demon named Kush, and its residents became afraid. The demon wanted to kill all the inhabitants of Dvārakā, who thus began to weep. They begged the sage and powerful yogī Durvāsā Muni, "Please go, like the wind, and find our Lord. You must know where He is. Please ask Him to come at once and save us."

Durvāsā went to Sutala and prayed to Lord Viṣṇu, "The demon Kush has invaded Dvārakā and is about to kill all your citizens. Please come and save them."

Lord Viṣṇu told him,

ahaṁ bhakta-parādhīno
hy asvatantra iva dvija
sādhubhir grasta-hṛday
bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyaḥ
Śrīmad Bhagavatam 9.4.63

[Śrī Bhagavān said to Durvāsā Muni: “I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.”]

“I am not independent of My devotees. I am under their control. If you like, you can pray to Balī Mahārāja. If he orders Me to go, then I can go; otherwise I cannot.”

Durvāsā then approached Balī Mahārāja and said, "O Balī Mahārāja, please allow Lord Viṣṇu to go with me to save the residents of Dvārakā. Otherwise they will all die."

Balī Mahārāja replied, “You are capable of performing great tasks, and you know everything. You should know that it is not for me to say whether this clever and “tricky” personality should go or not. Lord Brahmā and Lord Śaṅkara always offer obeisances to His lotus feet. How can I order him to go? It is not so easy to order the Lord to do something.

I do not know what will happen to the residents of Dvārakā, but I will not order Him to go. I cannot allow it."

Balī Mahārāja did not want the Lord to leave him. He knew that the Lord can do anything by His inconceivable power. Thus, the Lord can stay in Sutala and at the same time He can go to Dvārakā and save the devotees there.

Why did Balī Mahārāja have such power?  It is because Prahlāda Mahārāja was there. What an exalted devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja is.

Prahlāda, the Preacher

You may know that Prahlāda Mahārāja accepted the kingdom of the world from Lord Nṛsiṁha deva. He never accepted the boon of Vaikuṇṭha, salvation and so on, but he accepted the kingdom of the world. Why? He thought, "In this way I may easily preach devotion to the Lord everywhere." So if you have money, there is no harm in that. Use it in the service of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, to preach bhakti everywhere. Then Kṛṣṇa will be happy, all the devotees will be happy, Bhakti-devi will be happy and you will also be happy.

Prahlāda, the Warrior

Prahlāda Mahārāja once visited Naimiṣāraṇya, and there he saw a sage with matted locks, who had with him a bow and arrows and a sword. It is the duty of the Vedic king to maintain the proper religious and social system of varṇāśrama-dharma, and therefore Prahlāda asked him, "Why do you have weapons? You wear garments of a renunciate performing austerities, and at the same time you have a sword and bow and arrows. Why? I cannot allow you to do so. Either be a sage, or a kṣatriya warrior." If you don’t agree to follow my instruction, if you like you can fight with me and try to defeat me; but I will not allow you to do this. That person said, "I accept your challenge," and he became ready to fight.

They were fighting for one day, two days, three days, four days – and Prahlāda Mahārāja could not defeat him. He began to wonder, "Who is he? Why am I not able to defeat Him?" He then entered a trance of meditation. In that meditation he at once saw that the same garland he had made with his own hands and given that morning to his deity of Lord Nṛsiṁha deva, was on the neck of the person he was fighting. Prahlāda then realized, "Oh, He is a very big trickster!" and he began to laugh. He dropped his bow and arrow and exclaimed, “Lord!" The Supreme Lord then gave him darśana as Nṛsiṁhadeva.

Prahlāda Mahārāja asked him, "I have promised to defeat you, but I could not. What should I do?" Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva wanted to test him, otherwise who could fight against Him?

The Lord answered, "I am always defeated by you. Not only today, but always. You always defeat Me – by your devotion." How exalted a devotee is Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Prahlāda and Nārada

Nārada Muni was once traveling, from the places of one devotee to another, telling each one, "You are the greatest recipient of Śrī Kṛṣṇa's mercy. He had gone from worldly devotees to Lord Brahmā to Lord Śiva. Then he came to Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja and glorified him in many ways.

In another instance Śrī Nārada Muni prayed to Lord Viṣṇu, "I once received a curse from Dakṣa, who told me, “You will not be able to stay anywhere for more than a moment – for as long as it takes to milk a cow.'"  Jarā, (old age personified) had previously come to Nārada and told him, "I want to marry you." He at once fled, on his way to Goloka Vṛndāvana, and Jarā, also cursed him in the same way.   

Now Nārada begged Lord Viṣṇu, "I don't care about these curses. I want to remain always in Sutala and serve you there." Why did this incident take place? Prahlāda Mahārāja is there, and due to this Lord Viṣṇu always remains there.

Prahlāda and Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

There are so many more teachings and glorifications of Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja, and that is why Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda said that everyone should read about the life of Prahlāda at least 108 times. He personally also gave at least 108 lectures about Prahlāda.

If you really want to be happy, don't try to gallop over Prahlāda Mahārāja to be in Vṛndāvana. Don't be mad for "goopi-prema." First be like Prahlāda, gradually be like Hanuman, then the Pandavas, then Uddhava and then any servant of the gopas and gopīs. You cannot attain gopī-prema before doing this. Try to follow all the instructions of Prahlāda:

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.23

[Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, 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."]

Try to follow Prahlāda, and also follow your guru. Don’t disobey him. Always perform viśrambheṇa guroḥ sevā, intimate service to gurudeva. Follow all the instructions of the Gosvamis and be happy forever. My benediction to you: Today I will pray to Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Nṛsiṁha deva for you all.

Now we will see a drama about Lord Nṛsiṁha deva. It must be completed before dark. At once, take the mic.

Gaura Premanandi

Transcriber: Hari-kathā Team 2021
Revised Edition
Submitted by: Sundara Gopāla dāsa
May 24th, 2021

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