Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
April 4, 2006
About 600 devotees participated in the Harikatha Festival in Paderborn, Germany from April 3-10, 2006. Devotees were from many different countries. In an attempt to facilitate each devotee's being able to speak to Shrila Narayana Maharaja personally during those few days, each morning there was darsana. One morning devotees from certain countries came, and another morning devotees from certain other countries came. The following transcription is an excerpt from one of those darsanas:
Question: We are supposed to hear Shrimad-bhagavatam from a bona fide guru. What are his qualifications?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: The guru must be detached from worldly desires. He must know all tattvas, like krsna-tattva, jiva-tattva and maya-tattva. But the hearer must also have qualification. He must have sraddha. He must have faith in Krishna and he must want to know about Krishna.
Question: You have so many disciples. How can we have an individual relationship with you?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: There are unlimited planets and universes. Krishna is alone as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but still He is taking care of everyone. Similarly, no matter how many disciples a bona fide guru has, he has a relationship with them all.
Question: How can we develop relationships with each other?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: We are sisters and brothers, from one father. Mantra is our mother and Guru is our father. We should try to help each other. We are all related with each other.
Question: How can I feel your love?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: All disciples are my sons and daughters. I always remember them and I want their welfare. I must help everyone I have initiated, so that they can follow the process and attain krsna-prema. That is why in this old age I am coming – to inspire all.
Question: I heard a lot about how important the istadeva (worshipful deity) is. How can we recognize who He is?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: You can easily recognize Him. You should see whether or not He has a flute in His hand. He should be most beautiful and somewhat blackish. All qualities are in Him. When you become qualified He will search for you and He will be eager to give you darsana, because He is so merciful. He is giving mercy, but we are not realizing it. The day will come when we can realize His mercy.
Question: When Gurudeva is not in front of us – when he is not here – how can we know he is thinking of us?
Madhava Maharaja: I gave that answer in morning class. He asked the same question. Shrila Gurudeva is maintaining all his disciples. The tortoise looks after its eggs by meditating, and the fish and the birds always come back to the nest to look after the eggs. Similarly, a bona fide Guru always looks after his disciples, even if not in their physical presence.
Question: The two of us have had yoga training. We have been teachers of Transcendental Meditation for 20 years. Now we are very much attracted to Vaisnavas, Krishna and bhakti. What is the proper way to behave? What shall we do? We are from Maharsi Mahesh Yogi.
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: We should practice that yoga which is favorable, and we should reject that yoga which is not favorable. Vyasadeva was also a yogi and so many maharsis and rsis were yogis, but they were not patanjali yogis; they were bhakti-yogis. Bhakti-yoga is very easy.
Chanting alone will do. If you cannot do anything, you can simply chant the name of the Supreme Lord. Yoga means to add one thing with another thing. This is called yoga. Lord Shri Krishna is the Supreme Lord and we are His parts and parcels. When we are connected to Him, this is bhakti-yoga. This cannot be accomplished by any exercise – only by bhakti-yoga.
Question: I have a family and a job and I am engaged in that all the time. I am frustrated that I cannot do what I like – bhajana and devotional services. What to do? I am suffering because of this.
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Krishna has given intelligence and some power so that if one is strong, he can follow. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was "entangled". He had a newly married wife, and old mother and no means of supporting them. But He left them and became a renounced sannyasi. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami left everything in his boyhood and went to Puri to be with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So it also depends on the strength of your mind.
Question in Hindi: Sometimes I am unable to finish my 16 rounds.
Shrila Narayana Maharaja:You are not understanding the value of the holy name. The people at your job cannot help you. If you realize the necessity of serving Lord Shri Krishna, then you can give up everything. If you cannot complete your rounds in a particular day, then do not wait for two or three days. The next day you have to complete them.
Question: How is it possible to surrender when there are so many anarthas in my heart?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: If there is a strong desire to know Krishna and serve Him – to know that only by this one can be happy both worldly and transcendentally – then everything is very easy.
Question: How can we develop this desire?
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: By hearing hari-katha from superiors – like diksa and siksa guru.
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi