[The following lecture was spoken by Srila Narayana Maharaja during Kartika, 2006, on the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja. December 14, 2006 is the appearance day of Srila Vamana Maharaja, and therefore we are sending that lecture, published now for the first time:]
We have heard from Vedic scriptures and Guru that when a high-class Vaisnava is speaking hari-katha, we should think, “It is better not to perform parikrama of Govardhana, or Navadvipa, or anywhere else. Better that I hear hari-katha.” Sri Giriraja Govardhana will give us His mercy only after the Vaisnavas have given us their mercy. Govardhana will not speak to us or instruct us, and therefore our hearts will not be so rapidly purified. It is better to hear hari-katha than to perform any other activity at that time. We see that so many mayavadis are staying in Govardhana, but their situation is not changing.
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vrtasura prayed,
samsara-cakre bhramatah sva-karmabhih
asakta-cittasya na natha bhuyat
[“O my Lord, my master, I am wandering throughout this material world as a result of my fruitive activities. Therefore I simply seek friendship in the association of Your pious and enlightened devotees. My attachment to my body, wife, children and home is continuing by the spell of Your external energy, but I wish to be attached to them no longer. Let my mind, my consciousness and everyth ing I have be attached only to You.”(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 6.11.27)]
He also prayed for the chance to have the association of the Vaisnavas (sat-sanga) and to hear their kirtana. Whenever we get a chance for sat-sanga and kirtana, we must take that in precedence to any other activity. We should leave everything for hari-katha, and afterwards we can perform parikarama or any other activity. By hari-katha and sat-sanga, we can get Vraja-bhakti.
Today is a very special day. During this month of Karttika, Urja-vrata, *, two years ago, nitya-lila pravista om Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Maharaja disappeared from the vision of this world. And, exactly two years previous to that was the disappearance of Pujyapada Tridandisvami Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja.
When I first came to the Matha (temple), both Pujyapada Vamana Maharaja and Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja were my siksa-gurus. Especially, Srila Vamana Maharaja arranged everything for me where to stay, how to eat and so on and I was always sent with Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja for preaching and collection. He taught me how to do kirtana.
Srila Vamana Maharaja had many specialties, but especially he would help create articles for the Gaudiya Patrika. Once we were performing our Navadvipa-parikrama, and the next day we were to go to Narasingha-palli. Even today I remember that Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, wanted to write an article. He called Srila Vamana Maharaja and said, “Oh, write.” Then, even in the midst of everyone else talking, Srila Gurudeva spoke and Srila Vamana Maharaja wrote down Gurudeva’s words. His writing was so excellent, in such perfect language, that there was no need for any editing. It would directly go to the press.
I spent much time with Pujyapada Trivikrama Maharaja. Sometimes we would debate, and Gurudeva would always take m y side. Srila Vamana Maharaja and I did not debate.
After my Gurudeva’s disappearance, the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti continued in a nice way for 36 years. The three of us Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, Srila Vamana Maharaja and I were together, and there was no self-interest. Why was the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti successful? Srila Trivikrama Maharaja was niskama he had no desire for money, disciples, name and fame. Pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja was very humble, always showing great respect to others, and he was very grave. Even though Srila Vamana Maharaja was the acarya and everything was within his power, if a disciple would come and ask him any questions about management or points of complaint, Srila Vamana Maharaja would say, “I don’t know anything. You should go to Srila Narayana Maharaja.”
All the disciples worked cooperatively and kept their heads down when Srila Vamana Maharaja and Srila Trivikrama Maharaja were present . As soon as they disappeared, however, some small boys raised their heads and began causing disturbance.
On the disappearance day of these two maha-purusas, I offer millions of obeisances and puspanjali at their feet. I pray that they may bestow mercy upon me, and upon all of us.