Day 196: Gaurābda 532, Govinda Māsa – Tritīyā 22 Feb 2019 – Friday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it has been told that the world is false, but we think that the transcendental world is false while we make relationships here and say that this is my mother, this is my father, this is my wife, and this world is the real world. We are creating this world by saying that this is wife or husband or daughter. This is illusory and this is false. But the moon and the sun and the pastimes of Lord Rāma and Kṛṣṇa are not false. We will have to reconcile all these things. You can reconcile these things if you are associating with high-class Vaiṣṇavas—otherwise not.

Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, February 22, 1997 Bali

Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa

Appearance of Param Gurudeva

Today is the appearance day of nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, our beloved Param Gurudeva. We all know of his life and teachings by the mercy of Śrīla Gurudeva. Why are we repeating them on this day? Everyday we worship Gurudeva, with guru-pūjā. Today why do we follow any special program? Everyday we should worship the guru-paramparā, Gurudeva, Param Gurudeva, paratpara-guru, paramesthi-guru and so forth. This is the rule of Vaiṣṇavas. What is special about the appearance day?

The guru-varga have explained why this day is worshipable, and why many people are invited and a festival is celebrated. This is not like a mundane birthday party. This celebration is for achieving spiritual bliss and enlivening our spiritual lifestyle. The mahā-bhāgavata Vaiṣṇavas are always happy wherever they may find themselves. As when Śrīla Gurudeva and Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja went to the west, the devotees there waited to welcome them when they arrived from different countries and arrange a festival. In this way, we especially honor our guru-varga on their appearance days.

If anyone continuously follows, remembers and worships the guru-varga, he will be with the guru-varga and will never be unhappy. The guru-varga do not come alone. They come with the family of God and with all of God’s personal nectar to distribute it to the living entities. The day they come is fixed. On that day they bring many special things to distribute. How can we understand?

Anywhere the mahā-bhāgavatas, family members of God, appear, everyone in that home and area will automatically become happy without knowing the cause.

The family of Param Gurudeva were followers of the dynasty of Advaita Prabhu, and Vijaya Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī. He would preach all over India and had many disciples. He spoke on the Śrīmad-bhāgavatam and Caitanya-caritāmṛta. He was a very famous kula-guru ācārya. He was respected very much by society.

He said, “If people pray to Guru for anything, he can bestow that. But if anyone desires sat-saṅga, a relation with God’s family members, and entrance into the spiritual world, a bona fide Guru can certainly give this. Ordinary conditioned souls who worship Guru and God for mundane things will achieve their desires, but they will never be satisfied.”

He distributed the essence of all scriptures. If Guru doesn’t give the essence of śāstra to his disciples, they will be dry. This is nectar. He would distribute this nectar. He would stay for a month with the landlord family and all would come there. They had a nice temple and distributed prasādam, and all people were happy and pleased. This program took place in this month.

Param Gurudeva’s mother and father prayed to their Gurudeva, “Gurudeva, you come here every year, and you always give nice classes, speaking on the Caitanya-caritāmṛta or Śrīmad-bhāgavatam.”
Now, Param Gurudeva’s parents prayed, “Gurudeva, you come for one month, and after you go, we feel sad. We continue saṅkīrtana, hari-kathā and all, but there is not so much happiness.” When you are here, the classes are very sweet, and when you offer bhoga, it is like nectar.”

When the kula-guru came, he cooked for himself, because he was a brāhmaṇa. He or his brāhmaṇa followers would cook and take prasādam and distribute it, they would not touch the offering of anyone.

They asked, “Gurudeva, give us your blessings that we can continuously stay in sat-saṅga.”

They prayed with the mood—

kīṭa-janma hau jathā tuwā dāsa
bahir-mukha brahma-janme nāhi āśa
“May I be born again even as a worm, as long as I remain Your devotee. I have no desire to be born as a Brahmā averse to You.”

Wherever the devotees are, they perform kīrtana and class, and all limbs of bhakti go on naturally. That is the nature of devotees. A karmī will always run to do business. But the nature of bhaktas is that they always perform bhakti.

When Param Gurudeva’s mother, Bhuvana Mohinī, prayed to their Gurudeva, he said, “I have come. Now my program here is successful.”

Param Gurudeva’s mother was very clever. She prayed, “I have hope for this life. Anywhere the bhaktas are present, may I be there.”

Then her Gurudeva said, “I will pray to Mahāprabhu and Advaita Prabhu. They will bestow this on you.”

Her elder son Pramoda Bihārī had taken birth. He was very grave and proud. He went to school and college, and did not talk with anyone much, like a yogī.

By the mercy and desire of Param Gurudeva, he later took shelter of Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and took sannyāsa, and his name became Bhakti Kevala Audolomi Mahārāja.

Bhuvana Mohinī was not happy with her first son. She said, “He doesn’t like sat-saṅga, he doesn’t talk with us. He keeps to himself, but he is not so helpful to the family.”

“Gurudeva,” she said, “I desire another son.”
“Wait sometime,” he said, “Then any mahā-bhāgavata will come to you.”
“I heard,” she said, “that Aditī, the wife of Kaśyapa, performed payo vrata, only drinking milk at the end of the day after offering bhoga. Should I follow this vrata?”
“Follow ekādaśī and Janmasthami and so forth, but this payo-vrata is very good.”

She would do all official work day and night. Param Gurudeva’s father would not attend to the office and court so much, but his wife was very strong. She maintained the clerks, office and everything. But she would also worship, chant and do everything.

She then started this payo vrata. For forty days she would take a little milk in the evening after chanting throughout the day and not speaking with others. She would worship and chant. She would arrange everything for the family, sending servants to buy groceries and cook, but she herself would only take milk at the day’s end. But she was very pleased. By following the payo vrata in the month of Keśava vrata, she became very joyful.

Today, Param Gurudeva was born. As she had performed a vrata only taking milk, it was like Param Gurudeva appeared out of the milk ocean and his form was creamy white like milk. If you heard from Śrīla Gurudeva you could believe, or if you asked any of his disciples that are now still present.

He was not white skinned like westerners. His body was like butter and milk, his body was very soft and sweet. Also, he was very big and healthy when born. The family was very happy.

His parents called their Gurudeva. He had aśramas in Śāntipura, Jagannātha Purī, Vṛndāvana and other places. He told them, “Name him Jyotsnā, Jona.” Meaning, the full moon. As on the full moon day all places are light and bright and everyone feels satisfied and peaceful, Param Gurudeva was like that, therefore they named him Jyotsnā. But then, his Gurudeva said, “His name should be Vinoda Bihārī. He will give everyone Vinoda, happiness. Whoever meets with him, talks, stays or makes relation with him will achieve eternal happiness.”

His parents were very happy.

Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura was performing sata koti nāma vrata. He was reaching the end of his vrata of chanting one hundred crores harināma. Mahāprabhu and His associates appeared before Prabhupāda and ordered him, “Don’t remain silent anymore. Spread Mahāprabhu’s movement. Distribute the nectar of vraja-rasa.”
“How is it possible?” Prabhupāda said. “I have no resources or followers, no books or anything. How can I preach?”
“There is no problem. We will bring many to help you.”

Śrīla Gurudeva told us years back that by the desire of Prabhupāda, Garuḍa, the eagle-carrier of Viṣṇu, came to collect followers for helping Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura spread Mahāprabhu’s movement.

It is similar to Pūtanā coming and stealing newborns. She went to the Himālayas and saw that Vrndachala had eight newborn daughters lying out in the sun. She came, picked up the babies and flew off. When babies are born, if they are massaged with oil and placed in the sun, their bodies become very strong and they will not get sick. The sun shine is very healthy.

Vrndachala put his eight daughters out in the sun and Pūtanā snatcjed them all. Being very unhappy at this, he chanted a mantra and prayed to his Gurudeva Agastya Ṛṣi, “A witch has kidnapped my daughters.”

By the chanting of protective mantras against Pūtanā, Pūtanā became bewildered and all the daughters fell out of her arms into different villages.

But Garuḍa was not like Pūtanā. He came and picked up Param Gurudeva who was laying out in the sun in the mid-morning, and flew off to take him to Prabhupāda. Bhuvana Mohinī began weeping and chanted the Nṛsiṁhadeva Kavaca. She saw the eagle carrying off her large baby son in the sky. It would not be possible for an ordinary bird to carry such a big baby. His mother and all the villagers ran behind the eagle in great distress. They all had great affection for Jona. They had received him by the mercy of Mahāprabhu and were very attached. Then Bhuvana Mohinī said, “Today I offer my son to Nṛsiṁhadeva, please protect him. I will have no more relation with him.”

He was flying in the sky, how could he come down? But after she prayed to Nṛsiṁhadeva, the eagle understood, “It is not yet time for Vinoda to meet with Bimala Prasāda.”

The eagle flew down and placed Jona in a village pond where wood was floating. The villagers would place dry bamboo and betel nut wood in the water to make them strong and then they would use this wood to build their homes.

Jona was brought back to the bank of the pond. Bhuvana Mohinī saw that his body was unharmed and was surprised. How would it be possible for an eagle to carry off her son without harming him?

When her Gurudeva next came, he said, “Pūtanā came and tried to kill Kṛṣṇa, but it was not possible. Don’t think your son is anyone ordinary.”

Vijaya Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī had some feeling, “Someone came to take him away to his own place. This was not an ordinary incident. But your bhakti was strong and you brought him back by your prayers.”

Jona would only drink his mother’s milk. No cow milk, no water, no grains, nothing. Sometimes his mother would give him caraṇāmṛta and he would take a little bit, otherwise he would take nothing. As he grew up his mother became more and more worried for him. He went from one to two, three, four, five, six and seven years of age. He had a big body and went everywhere, played and did everything, except, he would not talk or eat anything other than his mother’s breast milk.

She gave charity to sages, brāhmaṇas and yogīs and prayed to them all, “Please excuse me. Please help me! My son doesn’t eat or speak anything. But he is not sick and weak. He swims, plays and does anything, but he doesn’t talk or eat.”

She was very unhappy. She also prayed to her Gurudeva, but he gave no solution.

One day, a Vaiṣṇava came while singing saṅkīrtana. Bhuvana Mohinī welcomed him and gave him alms. Then she asked him, “Please help me. My son will not eat.”
“Bring your son,” he said.

Bhuvana Mohinī brought Jona and seeing him, the Vaiṣṇava said, “Don’t worry, I know what to do.”

Bhuvana Mohinī owned a large estate where many families lived, among them were many Vaiṣṇava families.

The Vaiṣṇava said, “Go to the family of cobblers.” And he described the area they lived in. He said, “They chant harināma and worship Mahāprabhu. Go bring the remnants of these Vaiṣṇavas and give them to your son. Then your son will begin to eat and speak.”

They had business with leather, collecting leather of dead animals and used it to make bags, shoes and so forth, but they had love for Mahāprabhu and worshipped Him.

Bhuvana Mohinī thought, “How can I go to this lower caste family? If I go there, everyone will insult me.”

But the Vaiṣṇava had said, “They worship Mahāprabhu and take only mahā-prasāda. You must bring their remnants.”

At night, around nine, when it was dark and all the villagers were inside their homes getting ready for bed, she went out accompanied by a servant to go to the cobbler’s house. She would sometimes travel in her estate and help anyone who had problems and also would collect tax.

Arriving at their house, Bhuvana Mohinī saw that the childless husband and wife were singing kīrtana before Deities of Gaura-Nitāi in a simple room lighted up by a kerosene lamp. As they sang kīrtana, tears flowed from their eyes. They wept, “Ha Gaura! Ha Nitāi! We are poor and of a low caste, how can we worship You? You are very kind to all. You have come to us. Please accept our service.”

They sang with tears in their eyes while worshipping Their Deities. Seeing Bhuvana Mohinī, the couple became startled and showed her respect, humbly saying, “How is it you have come here? Why didn’t you send a servant to summon us to your presence? Why have you come here yourself to the home of us fallen cobblers? We are very low class. No brāhmaṇas or high caste families come to our home. If they touch me by any reason, they go take a bath. But now you have come to our home!”

How could they give her a seat? If they touched her, they would feel so bad. She sat down without asking for anything and told them, “Please offer some bhoga and take prasādam. I came with some purpose. I will tell you after you have eaten.”
“Please tell us. How can we eat before you?”
“I desire a little portion of your remnants.”
“Our remnants! Surancandra Guhata Ṭhākura will kill us! This is never possible.”

She humbly requested again and again and finally, she convinced them to give her a little of their remnants and she returned home with it.

That very night, she gave the remnants of prasāda to her son Vinoda and taking it, he immediately began to speak.

Why? Vaiṣṇavas have no caste. They are beyond this.

nīca-jāti nahe kṛṣṇa-bhajane ayogya
sat-kula-vipra nahe bhajanera yogya
jei bhaje sei baṛa abhakta hīna chāra
kṛṣṇa-bhajane nāhi jāti-kulādi-vicāra
Caitanya-caritāmṛta 3.4.66-67
“A person born in a low family is not unfit for discharging devotional service to Kṛṣṇa, nor is one fit for devotional service simply because he is born in an aristocratic family of brāhmaṇas. Anyone who takes to devotional service is exalted, whereas a non-devotee is always condemned and abominable. Therefore in the discharge of devotional service to the Lord, there is no consideration of one’s family status.”

One may be born in a royal family or brāhmaṇa caste, butVaiṣṇavas are beyond all such material designations. Now Vinoda Bihārī’s parents gave up all pride in their high birth. By enacting this pastime, Param Gurudeva showed that anywhere bhaktas are born, they are exalted and have no mundane caste. One should never insult them. A brāhmaṇa shouldn’t insult those of lower castes. This is bogus!

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