Pastimes in Kartik! by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[In describing the many important pastimes that took place in this holy month of Kartika, which in turn establish the glory of Kartika, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja discussed several verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam:]
[In describing the many important pastimes that took place in this holy month of Kartika, which in turn establish the glory of Kartika, Srila Gurudeva discussed several verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam:]
dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo ‘pi harinya eta ya nanda-nandanam upatta-vicitra-vesam akarnya venu-ranitam saha-krsna-sarah pujam dadhur viracitam pranayavalokaih (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.11)
It was during this month, while feeling separation from Krsna, that the gopis lamented, “We are not fortunate like the deer in this forest. People say they are foolish, but they are not so. We are foolish, because we don’t know how to love Krsna like these deer. When prema is very high, it breaks all boundaries. These deer, although by nature very shy, have broken all boundaries by their intense love for Krsna. They gave up their shyness, they approached Him, and they are exchanging their hearts feelings with Him through their loving glances. We cannot do this, and therefore we are unfortunate. We will be lucky if we can die and take birth as deer in our next life. In that way we can see Krsna and approach Him when He is cow-grazing.”
In this month the gopis remembered that when Krsna plays on His flute in the forest, the cows become stunned. With eyes of transcendental emotions the gopis see both Krsna and the cows, and further lament in their mood of separation. They see that although it is the nature of animals to spend their time in eating, when Krsna plays His flute these cows forget to eat and instead pick up their ears to hear. Humans have very small ears, but cows have large ears, like cups. Through the cups of their ears these cows drink the nectar of Krsna’s flute playing, and when they taste it they forget everything else. They have grass in their mouths, but they forget to chew. Even the calves, who were drinking the milk from the udders of their mothers, are like this. The milk is coming into their mouths, but they have forgotten to swallow. They simply stand with tears gliding down from their eyes, and they embrace Krsna in the core of their hearts.
The love of the cows is not as high as that of the gopis, but due to the nature of their own prema, the gopis think the cows are greater. Those who are maha-bhagavatas, and what to say of maha-maha-bhagavatas like the gopis, see their own love and their own mood in all others. Yet they think, “I am unfortunate; I have no love.”
In this month, Sri Radhika lamented in separation:
[“The aboriginal women of the Vrndavana area become disturbed by lust when they see the grass marked with reddish kunkuma powder. Endowed with the color of Krsna’s lotus feet, this powder originally decorated the breasts of His beloveds, and when the aboriginal women smear it on their faces and breasts, they feel fully satisfied and give up all their anxiety.”]
This is an example of Radhika’s madanakhya-mahabhava (the highest ecstatic love for Krsna). Here She glorifies the aboriginal girls who live in the forest, and She says that they are lucky – whereas She is not. In the morning time, when they walk around Giriraja Govardhana, they see some red kunkuma powder on the grass and go to pick it up. This kunkuma came from the lotus feet of Krsnacandra when He was returning home in the early morning on the damp grass, but it originally came from the breasts of His beloved. The Pulindi girls think themselves to be very fortunate to obtain this kunkuma. Simply by their smelling the fragrance, Krsna appears in their hearts, and then they smear that kunkuma paste all over their bodies and faces and thus meet with Krsna in their hearts. There He fulfills all their desires.
Radhika is thinking that these Pulindi girls are fortunate, but more fortunate is the grass because it was directly touched by Krsna’s feet. Even more fortunate is that beloved gopi from whose breasts this kunkuma has come. That gopi is Radhika Herself, but because of Her madanakya-mahabhava she forgets this – and instead glorifies others.
Govardhana-puja also took place in this month. All the Vrajavasis worshiped Giriraja Govardhana and performed Annakuta Mahotsava. Seeing this, Indra became very angry and created torrential rain, and Krsna cut away his pride. In this month, Indra came and worshiped Krsna after his pride was cut, all the demigods performed kirtana, and Krsna received the name Govinda.
Saradiya rasa-lila was also performed in this month. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam:
sri-badarayanir uvaca bhagavan api ta ratrih saradotphulla-mallikah viksya rantum manas cakre yoga-mayam upasritah (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.29.1)
[“Sri Badarayani said: Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full in all opulences. Yet upon seeing those autumn nights scented with blossoming jasmine flowers, He turned His mind toward loving affairs. To fulfill His purposes He employed His internal potency.”]
Although Krsna is Bhagavan, and although He is atmarama (taking pleasure within) and aptakam (fully satisfied), in this month He became inspired by the beauty of the Vrndavana forest. There, in the middle of the night, He left his home and took shelter of Yogamaya:
[“Lord Krsna saw the unbroken disk of the full moon glowing with the red effulgence of newly applied vermilion, as if it were the face of the goddess of fortune. He also saw the kumuda lotuses opening in response to the moon’s presence and the forest gently illumined by its rays. Thus the Lord began to play sweetly on His flute, attracting the minds of the beautiful-eyed gopis.”]
He began to play on His flute, and the flute sound entered the hearts of the Vraja gopis. They became mugdha, completely bewildered and, forgetting everything else, they ran into the forest to meet with Him.
In this month, the gopis who were locked inside their homes were brought to Krsna by a mood of their very strong fire of separation from Krsna. By this viraha-tap, any imperfection in the moods of those who did not yet have sufficient association with the nitya-siddha gopis was completely burned away. By deeply meditating in intense separation they at once met with Krsna in their hearts and embraced Him. These sweet pastimes took place in this month.
In this month the gopis saw the footprints of Radhika and said:
anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarah yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.28)
[“Certainly this particular gopi has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.”]
“This gopi, whom Krsna has taken alone into the forest, leaving all the rest of us, is most fortunate.” In this way, all the Vraja gopis give honor to Srimati Radhika in this month. When Krsna disappeared from rasa-lila, the gopis cried and sang in separation the verses from Gopi-gita. One example is as follows:
[“The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one’s sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent.”]
This verse is so sweet and powerful that when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard it from the lotus mouth of Maharaja Prataparudra, He told him, “You have given me so many valuable jewels. I have nothing to give you in return; I have only have my self, so I am embracing you.” When Mahaprabhu embraced Prataparudra Maharaja, the bhavas and sweet meanings of the verses of Gopi-gita manifested in his heart.
In this month Krsna told the gopis of Vrndavana:
na paraye ‘ham niravadya-samyujam sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.30.22)
[“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”]
Krsna said, “O My dear gopis, you have left all other obligations, including your families, and all other dharmas for me. This is very difficult to give up, but you have left all this for my happiness only. Therefore, even if I have a lifetime as long as Brahma, and even if I will serve you for many such lifetimes, still I would not be able to repay you. I would always be indebted to you for the love you have given me.”
After describing these pastimes of Rasa-lila and Gopi-gita, Srila Sukadeva Gosvamipada stated:
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh sraddhanvito ‘nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.39)
[“Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord’s playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord’s pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.”]
Bhagavan Sri Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is transcendental and His katha (descriptions of His glories and pastimes) is very powerful. Of all types of such katha, the katha of His servants is more powerful, the katha of his friends is more powerful, the katha of his parents in vatsalya-bhava is still more powerful, and the katha of His sporting with the young brides of Vraja is the highest and most powerful katha. It is so powerful that if even a fallen or sinful person hears it with faith, it can purify him. If one understands this and hears this katha, gopi-prema must enter into that person’s heart, kick aside all anarthas, and turn him into a parama-bhagavata, topmost devotee.
In this month, Krsna killed the demon Sankasura and cut the jewel from his forehead. He then entered the company of all the gopis, who were all wondering to whom He would give that jewel. Krsna was thinking, “If I give the jewel to one, the others will be upset.” Therefore, to avoid an argument among the gopis, Krsna gave the jewel to Baladeva Prabhu, who gave it to Madhumangala, who gave it to Srimati Radhika.
In this month Krsna killed Aristasura, and as a result of that killing Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda were manifest. That pastime took place today, (Oct 28th) and this holy day is called Bahulastami.
In this month, Krsna killed the demons Kesi and Vyomasura, and in this month Akrura came to Vraja and took Krsna and Balarama to Mathura. Krsna also killed Kamsa in this month.
In this month Krsna and Balarama performed the upanaya-sanskara (sacred thread ceremony). Because they had been brought up in Vraja, they have the mood that, “I am a cowherd boy and Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba are My parents.” However, Vasudeva and Devaki think, “We are the real parents of Krsna. It is part of the Vedic tradition that parents arrange for the upanaya-sanskara of their child, so if we arrange this function for Krsna, the impression will come in his heart that, “Vasudeva and Devaki are My parents.” They tried to do this, but they failed. Krsna had already received the Radha mantra from Bhaguri Rsi. He received this mantra when He was in Vraja, but at that time He had no upanaya-sanskara. His upanaya-sanskara was performed in Mathura according to the duties of ksatryas.
Gargacarya gave Krsna the brahma-gayatri mantra, and when Krsna heard this mantra He fainted. Why? Radhika is the predominating deity of gayatri. Then, after His fire yajna, Krsna was looking for his mother and called out, “O Mother, where are you?” Devaki was standing near Him, but Krsna did not approach her – for He was looking for Mother Yasoda. In this way, although the Mathuravasis made the plan to give Krsna the sanskana that He is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, it failed. This pastime took place in this month.
Sri Narada Rsi received the benediction from Krsna that those who will hear His sweet lila-katha in the places of His pastimes, especially during this Kartika month, will surely attain krsna-prema very soon. We should therefore have confidence; we need never become hopeless. We should know that by performing all these simple activities – offering a ghee lamp every day, attending mangal-arati, performing kirtana, singing Sri Damodarastakam, doing parikrama, offering maha-prasada, observing Annukuta Mahotsava, hearing hari-katha in all the pastime places – there is no doubt about success. It is only a question of time, and that time will not be very long. We will attain Krsna-prema and thus serve Radha-Krsna Yugala.
Today is Utthana or Devotthana Ekadasi, the end of Kartika and a disappearance day of Srila Gaura-kisora das Babaji Maharaja. Sri Hari, or Jagannatha, rests for four months. After snana-yatra, He performs His sickness-lila for fifteen days. The Vraja-devis come and serve Him in a hidden way. At that time, Jagannatha does not meet with anyone or take the ordinary bhoga. He stays in His room, and there he receives treatment. The doctors come to massage Him with oil and to give Him medicine. He takes some herbal medicine and drinks, but He does not eat anything. At that time, Laksmi does not enter and offer bhoga. After fifteen days, Lord Jagannatha says, “My sickness is over, but I am exhausted from being confined inside. I will go outside to the gardens of Sundaracala.”
After nine days, Jagannatha comes back on Laksmi’s request. He said, “I will rest now. I am very tired. I will sleep for four months, and not perform any official work.” Then, He comes to Vraja-dhama, and He stays in Vraja for Guru Purnima, Baladeva Purnima, Jhulana-yatra, Janmastami, Radhastami, and Dipavali. On this day of Devotthana Ekadasi four months are complete, and the Lord wakes. He then begins to speak and meet with His bhaktas. We will hear more about the glories of this Ekadasi in the evening.
What is most important now is that in our bhagavata-parakiya-parampara, our divine master Srila Gaura Kisora Babaji Maharaja disappeared on this day. In what manner can we remember the glories of Babaji Maharaja? How can we pray for his mercy, and how can our desire for his mercy increase?
syat krishna-nama-caritadi-sitapy avidya- pittopatapta-rasanasya na rocika nu kintv adarad anudinam khalu saiva jushta svadvi kramad bhavati tad-gada-mula-hantri —Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.234
People have no taste for harinama, but that does not mean that they should not take harinama. They have no taste to hear the glories of Hari and His family. How will taste come? When you have a relationship with the associates and followers of God, then that taste will come to you. If you have no taste for harinama, then that means that you are not related to Guru and Vaisnavas, the bhaktas, and sadhus. When you have a relation with Guru and Vaisnavas, then you will naturally have a taste for harinama, hari-katha, and for the glories of Lord Hari. Because you are in asat-sanga, bad association, you have taste for mundane things. You think, “How can I run this business? How can I enter politics?” You have many ideas that are always running around in your mind, but you do not engage your intelligence in chanting harinama because you have no taste. You have no taste to think about Guru and Vaisnavas, or to go to Guru and Vaisnavas, or to chant harinama.
Krsna told Arjuna, “I have given you so much advice, but you cannot accept this. You do not accept it because you are still related to your family. Listen to Me. Go to the tattva-darsi-guru. The sadhus will teach and help you. Then, you can understand my speech and instructions.
tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya upadekshyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah —Bhagavad Gita 4.34
Krsna said, “The tattva-darsi, or self-realized soul, gives you pure knowledge and reveals your true identity to you. Then, you can follow My advice,”
Arjuna asked, “Who is a sadhu, who is a tattva-jnani? How can I understand who a real sadhu is:
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasha samadhi-sthasya kesava sthita-dhih kim prabhasheta kim asita vrajeta kim —Bhagavad Gita 2.54
Who is sthita-prajna? What is the symptom of the self-realized and fixed personalities? How do they live in this world? How do they maintain their lives? How do they help others?”
Krsna replied one question after another. He spoke many verses, describing the nature of someone who is sthita-prajna, or in fixed spiritual intelligence. He said:
“When a tortoise sees any wicked people or beings that are coming to attack him, he withdraws his limbs, and then appears just like a hard shell. When he sees that the surrounding area is free from disturbances, he will again extend his limbs and move around. He will only meet with those who are his svajatiya, or favorable.”
Sadhus make themselves appear foolish to materialistic people, but inside they have all qualities. When they are in favorable association, they dance, sing, and do everything. The ultimate truth cannot be perceived without approaching the seer of that truth, inquiring from him, offering obeisance to him, and serving him.
The Gita’s knowledge is like milk, but how will the milk be extracted? Arjuna is like the calf, and Krsna is the cowherd boy who milks this nectar of pure knowledge and distributes this to everyone.
In our sampradaya, our Babaji Maharaja began a new revolution. One day, he threw away his babaji dress and wore a santipuri-dhoti and a fine quality cadara and turban. He came to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who said, “Babaji Maharaja, where has your babaji-vesa gone.”
Babaji Maharaja said, “People wear this vesa, but they are only sahajiyas and sakhi-bekhi, and they engage in so many illicit activities. They put on kaupina and babaji-vesa, catch a sakhi, and then they enjoy with each other. They are only destroyers. I won’t wear this babaji-vesa. All these rascals come, people that do not even know how to clean themselves after passing stool, and are still given babaji-vesa.” Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was very upset with the majority of babajis in the dhamas.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, “Now, we will start daivi-varnasrama-dharma.”
In Kali-yuga, most people are not qualified to wear the paramahamsa-vesa that the Gosvamis used to wear. We should respect and worship the paramahamsa-vesa. We do not wear it because we are not qualified. People can take training in the proper progression of stages of life: brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa. Then, they can be a vanaprastha, and then take sannyasa when they are seventy five years old. Otherwise they will become vantasis.
In Jaiva-dharma, Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote that the people who do not follow the proper etiquette of Vaisnavism, who do not have renunciation, and who do not perform sadhana, should not be sannyasis and babajis. They will only be vantasis, or vomit-eaters. If they have no real relation and no real affection, how can they understand anything? How can they control their senses?
Bhaktivinoda Thakura was very serious. He called Bimala Prasada and said, “First you should begin daiva-varnasrama-dharma. Do not break the rules and regulations of dharma. Don’t jump to being a paramahamsa until you are above Maya. In this way, follow the rules of regulation of Vaisnavism in vaidhi-marga. Then open training-centers, or temples, mathas, and asramas. These will be places for students to reside. Then, you should also have books.
siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa iha ha-ite krishne lage sudridha manasa —Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 2.117
“Without discussing siddhanta, the mind will not be fixed in Krsna. You should distribute, write, and study these books. Then thirdly, you should give paramartiki-diksa. There is pancaratrika-diksa, and there is svarasiki-maya, or paramartika-diksa. When someone comes, he should first receive pancaratriki-diksa according to ordinary rules and regulation. Then, when they develop sraddha for sadhu-sanga and start the process of anartha-nivrtti, while engaging in bhajana-kriya, then they can receive paramartika-diksa. There is a great divide between pancaratrka-diksa and paramartika-diksa.”
Diksa-guru and siksa-guru are non-different. One must have a desire to follow bhajana-kriya, and a desire for real self-realization. A person who follows this tradition can be diksa-guru or siksa-guru. Many people instruct others to chant, but they do not chant themselves. What does that mean? That means that they are powerless. They are so-called gurus. They are not connected to God. To be connected to God, one must take shelter of the Guru-varga. When the guru-varga gives advice to chant harinama, then a real disciple never stops chanting. He will not be able to give up harinama. He will have a desire to hear hari-katha and to serve Hari, and he will progress slowly. But, they will progress, and they will never lose this path. When the siksa-guru gives instruction, people naturally desire to follow those instructions, but when a bogus-guru gives instructions, people will have no inspirations to follow him.
Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja used to do bhajana in Navadvipa, at Kuliya. Sometimes, he stood in the Ganga up to his neck. He made a bundle of Ganga sand and put it on his head. People asked him, “What are you doing?”
He said, “I am standing in the water of the Ganga.”
“Why do you have sand on your head?”
“Maya is everywhere, but if I stand in the Ganga up to my neck, Maya cannot touch me. I put Ganga sand on my head not only for complete protection from Maya but because it is the foot-dust of all the Vaisnavas. This will protect me. Maha-maya is everywhere. She tries to give me so many bribes.”
One day, he went for bhiksa, and when he came back, an old lady came and said, “O Baba, don’t eat this food. A snake has touched it and it is now poisonous. If you eat it, you will die.” She said this again and again, but Babaji Maharaja did not respond. A little later, Babaji Maharaja responded to her repeated warnings in annoyance. He said, “Don’t tell me anything. I would rather eat the poison of snakes and lose one life than following your advice. If I follow your advice, millions of my lives will be destroyed.”
Why was he angry with the lady? Why did he not accept her instruction and advice? People try to serve you, and in this way try to get entrance into your close company, after which they try to make you their slave. The Guru-varga does not like this.
Gurudeva will help you follow bhakti and serve Radha-Krsna and Mahaprabhu. He is the best of friends. He will help you in all ways. He will not say, “You are my slave.” But, the followers of Maya always want to control. They want you to follow their advice.
Babaji Maharaja said, “I would gladly lose one life by taking the poison of snakes, but I will never follow you for even a moment. I am the follower of the manjaris and the Vraja-devis, not of materialistic people absorbed in Maya.”
Externally, we should be like this. We should know that if we give a little chance to anyone, they will come and try to be our master. Everyone will come to try and control us. We should understand that Guru-pada-padma and the Vaisnavas alone are our protectors and controllers. We are not the controller. Many advisors will come and try to instruct us and to pull our ears, but hey will cheat us.
Babaji Maharaja would go to the sweepers of Vrndavana to ask for madhukari. The gosais there, who were in charge of the temples, were very upset. They said to Babaji Maharaja, “Don’t do this. Please take prasada from us.”
Babaji Maharaja said, “You are not pujaris of Krsna. You sleep on big beds with thick mats, and you wear expensive cloth. You never touch the dust of Vraja-bhumi. These sweepers serve Vraja-dhama every day. They have relationship with Vraja. They lie on the ground of Vraja, and sleep there. Therefore, they have direct contact with Vraja-bhumi. You are mahantas, gosais, and acaryas, but I will not be your follower. I am the follower of the Vrajavasis. If anyone serves Vraja-bhumi, then I am their follower, and I will take madhukari from them.”
When Babaji Maharaja was in Kuliya, there were big acaryas who claimed to be in the line of Nityananda Prabhu. Babaji Maharaja went to them and heard Bhagavata from them. He said to the speaker, “What are you speaking? Do you read the Bhagavatam, or are you only counting coins? You only think how to please people so that they give you money and gifts. What you speak is only Maya.” Externally, Babaji Maharaja appeared to be illiterate, but he chastised these gosais, and then went to give class on the Bhagavatam himself. Then, the gosais became scared. What could they say to Babaji Maharaja? Babaji Maharaja asked them, “Are you nivrtta tarsair, or free from attachment, as the Bhagavatam states that one must be to give spiritual knowledge?”
Sukadeva Gosvami was a vairagi. He was completely detached. Pariksita Maharaja had anuraga. You do not have the adhikara to speak Bhagavata. First become a Bhagavata, and then speak about the Bhagavata.” He did this direct operation. He said, “Why do you cheat people? You are completely covered by attachments, and you want to be respected and glorified. But, you do not offer anything that comes to you to God. God has given you everything, but you do not give it to God. Whatever you collect you keep for yourself, and you cheat people.” Babaji Maharaja was very strong.
Once, Parama Gurudeva and two or three brahmacaris were sent by Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura to Babaji Maharaja for his darsana. Prabhupada said, “You must receive the mercy of the maha-bhagavats. But, if you go to maha-bhagavats with a mundane idea regarding them, then you will only get harm, rather than benefit.”
When Gadadhara Pandit went to Pundarika Vidyanidhi, he could not understand his true glories. Pundarika Vidyanidhi and Gadadhara Pandita are both perfect, but they showed how to approach Vaisnavas by this lila.
Pabhupada sent Vinoda Bihari brahmacari to meet with Srila Gaura Kisora Babaji Maharaja who was residing inside a latrine. He would not come out. The municipality cleaned that area, and said, “No one should go to pass stool in here. Babaji Maharaja is residing here.” They reserved that area only for him to reside, since he liked that place. When anyone came to his door, he would say, “I am sick. I cannot open the door.” When Vinoda came, he asked for darsana and told him, “I came from Mayapura. I am the disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.” Then, Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja immediately opened the door, and said, “Oh, you are the disciple of Varsabhanavi-devis-dayita dasa.”
He did not call his disciple Bimala Prasada or Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. At the time of giving diksa, Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja gave Prabhupada the name Varsabhanavi-devi-dayita dasa, and told him, “You are the very near and dear servant of Varsabhavani Srimati Radharani. I know your real svarupa and therefore did not want to give you diksa.”
Babaji Maharaja knew Prabhupada’s real svarupa as Radharani’s kinkari, or maidservant. Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura was not ordinary. If anyone thinks that he is ordinary, then this is an offence, and if anyone thinks that Babaji Maharaja has no real idea, then this is also disrespectful to him. Maha-bhagavatas know everything.
Babaji Maharaja told Param Gurudeva, “He is not Bimala Prasada or Bhaktisiddhanta. He is Varsabhanavi-devi-dayita dasa.”
Prabhupada’s pranama-mantra reads:
sri varsabhanavi-devi-dayitaya krpabdhaye krsna-sambandha-vijnana-dayine prabhave namah
He is Varsabhanavi-devi-dayita—he is the very near and dear associate of Radharani. He is Nayana-manjari.
Babaji Maharaja knew everything. Therefore, he thought, “I will not give him diksa. His manjari-svarupa in the eternal world is so respected.
Parama Gurudeva went to Babaji Maharaja and heard about the siddha-svarupa of his Gurudeva. He heard his name that indicates his perfected form and nature. Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja said, “You are so lucky.”
Why did Prabhupada give diksa while Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was present? Before, Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja both instructed Prabhupada to start daiva-varanasrama, open temples, and publish books. Prabhupada followed these orders. Whoever came to him, he offered to Babaji Maharaja. He said, “Everyone is my Prabhu. My Guru Maharaja has sent you all to help and protect me. You are protecting me in a very dangerous time. You are my dear friend. With you, I will perform kirtana and hari-katha.” He had so much respect for his own Guru Maharaja. He never accepted the post of a president. Prabhupada always gave this position to Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja.
Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja said, “O Vinoda, now you can do bhajana. I am taking all obstacles from your path. You can do bhajana and preach. There will be no problems in your life.” Does any Vaisnavas take responsibility for us like this?
Once, I was in seva-kunja, at the temple of Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja. Gurudeva was there before, and I went afterwards for darsana. I was very sad when I went. I held his feet and I was crying. He said, “The Vrajavasis are very kind. Pray to the Vrajavasis and to the Guru-varga. They are very kind. No problem will come to disturb your bhajana in your life.” The Guru-varga are very kind. I remember them always.
Babaji Maharaja had so much love and respect for Prabhupada. Outwardly, he was his disciple, but internally they are all serving Radharani as manjaris. They are present in this world to spread this movement of Mahaprabhu.
Parama Gurudeva returned with his god-brothers after receiving the blessings of Babaji Maharaja. Sometime later, Prabhupada heard that on this day of Utthana Ekadasi, Babaji Maharaja had disappeared. All the babajis then came in a big group and sankirtana party. They brought rope to bind Babaji Maharaja by his legs, and then drag him throughout Navadvipa-dhama. Before leaving, Babaji Maharaja said, “You should drag my body through the dust of Navadvipa-dhama, and when all my flesh is mixed with this dust, you should throw my skeleton in the Ganga.” They were prepared to do this.
When Prabhupada heard this, he became very upset. He said, “My Gurudeva’s body is transcendental. Do you really want to do this to him?” He was with Vinoda Bihari and some other brahmacaris. He said, “I am Babaji Maharaja’s only disciple.”
The babajis said, “You are a sannyasi. You have no paramahamsa dress. How are you his disciple and how have you a connection with Babaji Maharaja? A disciple of a babaji must be a babaji. You are not his disciple.”
Prabhupada was very strong. The police and politicians were present, and there was a big fight to decide what would happen with Babaji Maharaja’s transcendental body.
Prabhupada said, “Whoever the real disciple of Babaji Maharaja is should come forward. If he is not Babaji Maharaja’s real disciple, he will not be able to touch his body. Those who are imitators cannot touch his body. I am his only disciple.”
The babajis said, “What evidence can you give that you are the disciple of Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja?”
Prabhupada said, “What evidence do you have? Babaji Maharaja is a paramahamsa, an anuragi. He is a renunciant and I am his footstep-follower. You are not followers of Babaji Maharaja. You are the followers of your senses. You only wear the dress of a renunciant to enjoy. Since how many years are you wearing this babaji-vesa? How long have you been separate from your body and mind? Do you follow his mood or do you always think about sense-enjoyment?”
Prabhupada went on, “In the last twelve years, have you not engaged in sex-life?” He gradually lessened the amount of time. “Have you been pure at mind and in conduct in this regard for even one week? What did you think about last night? Did you think about sense-enjoyment. Did you think of sense-enjoyment? Are you with Babaji Maharaja?
chapanna danda ratri dine jane na radha-govinda bine radhe radhe
tara para cari danda suti thake svapane radha-govinda dekhe radhe radhe
“One who follows this is a follower of Babaji Maharaja. Out of the 24 hours in a day, Babaji Maharaja would rest only an hour, and as he did so, he would dream about his service to Radha and Krsna. Are you busy for this service? Are you engaged in service like this? Where are you? Who are you? You only cover yourself with white cloth and kaupina. Does this make you a paramahamsa-babaji? You are wasting your time. Now give me an answer!”
Everyone was scared. One-by-one, they departed. They knew that Prabhupada could reveal their depravity. They all ran away. Then Prabhupada took the aprakrta-kalevara, the transcendental body, of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, bathed him in the Ganga, applied new cloth on his body, performed his arati and bhoga, and then placed him in samadhi.
After some time, Babaji Maharaja’s samadhi was threatened to be lost in the water of the Ganga. Prabhupada sent Param Gurudeva and some others to bring the samadhi of His Gurudeva to Mayapura. When Param Gurudeva went there, the babajis came and tried to stop him from moving the samadhi. After Param Gurudeva did so anyway, there was a court case. The British government was strong and said, “You cannot move a samadhi.” But Param Gurudeva boldly established that we are not followers Christians or the British. We are followers of Vedic culture. Param Gurudeva won the case.
We are followers of this glorious parampara. That day that respect comes in our heart for this line is the day of our good fortune. We offer them obeisance and we enter this family. The Guru-varga’ glories are very important. We must not only discuss, but distribute these glories of the Guru-varga. This is their maha-prasada. This is God’s maha-prasadam. How did they reside in this world? What did they do here? How did they help the jivas? We must distribute these glories. This is pracara. This is preaching. Speaking like a hawker speaker on the street, with a heart devoid of respect and love for the Guru-varga, will not touch the heart of anyone. Unless we follow the character of Babaji Maharaja, how can we proclaim to be his followers? From early in the morning, Babaji Maharaja would sing:
Where was he? Sometimes at Talavana, sometimes at Kumudavana, sometimes at Kusumavana, sometimes at Vrndavana, Nidhuvana, or Govardhana. He would do parikrama of all of Vrajamandala and cry from door to door of the Vrajavasis.
What do we cry for? We cry for our sick bodies and worry about enemies and money. But do we cry to Radharani’s for Her service. Do we roll in the dust of Srimati Radharani? Babaji Maharaja practiced this in his life. We cannot follow everything, but try to practice his example a little bit. Then mercy will come to you.
Sanatana Gosvami and our acaryas took up the practice of doing parikrama very seriously. Now, how many people are going on parikrama and offering obeisance to the Gosvamis with their body, mind, or anything? How many people are doing this? How can you be called family members of God or related to the parampara? People go to the shops and restaurants multiple times a day, but how many people go to the samadhi-mandiras of our acaryas such as Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and offer respect? How many people go to Sanatana Gosvami?
We are ready to get ourselves soap, chocolate, ice-cream, bread, chow mien, pizza, or dosha. We have time for this. For that, the summer is not too hot and the winter is not too cold. But to go to the Guru-varga and pray to them—when it comes to doing this we have no strength. We are not following the Guru-varga.
Babaji Maharaja would sing and pray throughout the entire day.
Before Sarad Purnima, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was in Svananda-sukhada-kunja. Babaji Maharaja came to meet him in the middle of the night. He arrived and called out, “Thakura, Thakura! You have cooked a nice feast.”
Bhaktivinoda Thakura greeted Babaji Maharaja and asked, “Who told you that I was cooking a feast?” It was a fact that he was cooking puris, halava, a variety of sabjis and other nice preparations in those late hours of the night. Why? Rasa-lila goes on at midnight. Before Krsna comes to the kunja, Srimati Radharani arranges all kinds of nice food preparations and drinks. Bhaktivinoda Thakura was absorbed in this lila.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura asked Babaji Maharaja, “How did you cross the Ganga and come here so late in the night. It is so dark, windy, and stormy? How did you get here?”
“I knew you were making this nice feast, and I received your message of invitation from a boy. How could I neglect your invitation. The beautiful smell of your feast reaches across the Ganga and has pulled me here. You have cooked so nicely. Now that Krsna, Srimati, the sakhis, and everyone in your party has eaten already, I will now take something.”
Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, “You should stay here in Svarupa-ganja now.”
Those who go to Svarupa-ganja, or Svananda-sukhada-kunja, can get their svarupa-seva; their eternal service to Radha and Krsna.
“Siva Thakura has sent me here,” Bhaktivinoda Thakura said. “Now, you should stay here with me.” He made a straw hut for Babaji Maharaja and Babaji Maharaja stayed there for some time. Sometimes he would also stay in Kuliya, and sometimes in Mayapura.
When he was residing in Vraja, he would parikrama of Govardhana.
Once, someone came to him, desirous of his blessings. “Oh, you want my blessings?” Babaji Maharaja said. Then he produced his kaupina and held it out to the person. He said, “Wear this.” He would say this to all the materialists who came for his blessings. “Give up material life. Take this kaupina!” The people were not prepared for this and would run away.
It is very important for us to hear and discuss the glories of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja and this occasion of Utthana Ekadasi. We should not think, “Babaji Maharaja was a babaji. I will go to the babajis. They must be bona fide. They have siddha pranali.” Do not follow this bogusness. We will hear more in the evening.
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
November 9, 2002
Today is a very auspicious day. It is the appearance day of param-pujyapada nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Srila Bhakti Sri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. He was born and brought up in East Bengal. He was a learned scholar and a good writer. When he first came to Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he saw that all the brahmacaris in the temple were very learned, and he thought, “I am not learned, so I should return to my home. There I will study Sanskrit, law, and other subjects, and then I will join and serve Srila Prabhupada.”
He returned home and began to study law; but our Guru Maharaja, his elder god-brother and also like his father, went to his home and inspired him, “Oh, what will law do for you? Law cannot give you love and affection. At once return to the matha and study love and affection under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada. You are wasting so much time, and perhaps you will die in the meantime. Please come at once.” By the inspiration of our Gurudeva, he returned to the matha.
The name given to him by Srila Prabhupada was Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, meaning “the personification of perfected bhakti.” Srila Prabhupada selected a very good name for him.
Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was so bold – very, very bold. He once went to preach in East Bengal, in Dhaka, with pujyapada Nemi Maharaja. Nemi Maharaja was an extremely learned person and an excellent scholar. Srila Prabhupada used to send him to learned circles. He inspired all audiences to laugh and weep, and he inspired all by his scholarship. Nemi Maharaja was giving class there in Dhaka, and because Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was a good speaker, he called out to him, “Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, please speak something.”
Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari began to speak boldly, saying that, “Vivekananda is not vivekananda (meaning “one who has knowledge and a sense of discrimination).” In other words he saw the real meaning of the word in connection to that person and proclaimed, “Vivekananda has no knowledge at all. Vivekananda went to Western countries like America and gave a class on zero, saying that the world is zero. In other words, he was speaking Buddhist and mayavada philosophy. So he is Vi-ve-ka-nanda, not Vivekananda.”
He added that Rabindranath Tagore, who had received a nobel prize, was nothing more than a ramachagal, a goat with a long beard. He should be in the kitchen where people who are interested only in cooking and not in hearing elevated hari-katha will hear him, but those who want pure bhakti will not be able to do so.
Hearing this, the people in the audience became upset and left that assembly, and they turned against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Nemi Maharaja sent a telegram to Srila Prabhupada in Mayapura complaining that, “My whole preaching has been spoiled by this boy. Please call him back to you. I cannot preach here because no one is willing to listen anymore. All are against us.”
Prabhupada at once answered in a telegram, “Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari is very bold. He has preached what I personally wanted to tell. I am coming just now, and I will prove that he is correct. He has done billions of rupees worth of preaching here – not small scale at all. The right audience is attracted. Those who are sincere and know how to discriminate – they are attracted. I am very, very happy. I am coming immediately.” Prabhupada then very soon came to Dhaka, where he called the entire assembly. He proved that the words of Siddha-svarupa were true to the highest extent, and everyone became very inspired.
Siddha-svarupa brahmcari had great regard for his god-brothers, and in fact he used to refer to my Gurudeva as his siksa-guru. Gurudeva and he sometimes went to markets together with him to collect vegetables. At that time our Gaudiya Matha was very poor. The devotees used to take spinach and a few other varieties of bhoga, but they had no rice at that time. It wasn’t until Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja came that everything changed.
Siddha-svarupa brahmacari used to go to Howrah market, very nearby to the train station, two or three miles from Ulta Danga. He and Guru Maharaja would collect vegetables and put them in two big bags, one being heavier than the other. Siddha-svarupa prabhu used to run after the heavy one. My Gurudeva also used to run after that one, saying, “I will take the bigger one,” and he would say, “No, I will take the bigger one.” Guru Maharaja told him, “Why should you take it?” “You are my senior, so I must take it.” Guru Maharaja replied, “I am elder than you; I am stronger, so I should take it.” Thus they quarrelled like this — a prema-kalaha, or loving quarrel.
Nowadays we see the opposite. Now, what to say of god-brothers, even the relation between disciples and Gurudeva has been changed. Gurudeva now has to see, and to fulfil, all the desires of his disciples, otherwise the disciples may leave him. Gurudeva is serving according to the wish and desire of his disciples, while the disciples don’t care for Gurudeva. Nowadays they don’t think about the desire of Gurudeva, but at the time of Prabhupada the only thought was, “How to serve Gurudeva.”
They used to keep their lives in their hands for their gurudeva, as my gurudeva did for Srila Prabhupada at the time of Navadvipa parikrama. At that time disciples did not quarrel among themselves, whereas nowadays we see the opposite. A guru has to be very careful that, “How can I fulfil all the desires of my disciples so that they may not give up bhakti?”
I see and realize this. Very few disciples want to offer their lives and souls for Gurudeva; one can count their names on one’s fingers. So, I request you all to follow your Gurudeva, the other disciples of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Sri Srimad Bhakti Sri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja.
Follow parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. He risked his life and went by boat to America. He was very ill, performing an illness pastime, but he was not concerned with this. Rather, he was praying to Krsna, “What service can I do for You there?”
So many of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s disciples were like that. This was Srila Bhakti Sri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja, a perfect example of disciple. He did what his Prabhupada wanted, and what my Gurudeva wanted.
He wrote a commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam, establishing the link between Srimad-Bhagavatam and Brahma-sutra. He also published two Bhagavad-gitas – one with the commentary of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura compiled by Srila Bharati Maharaja, and the second with the commentary of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Also, Sri Isopanisad and the books of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura: Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu, Ujjvala-nilamani Kirana and Brhad-Bhagavatamrta Kana.”
Srila Sri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja was also a very strong ruler, so bold to speak the truth. He was a good controller and manager too. He was also a kavi, or poet. He had all good qualities.
I am giving puspanjali in the lotus feet of Srila Bhakti Sri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. I pray that he should be pleased to give us his causeless mercy — that we can follow his footprints.
[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,
mamottamasloka-janesu sakhyam samsara-cakre bhramatah sva-karmabhih tvan-mayayatmatmaja-dara-gehesv 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.
By the causeless mercy of Guru-pada-padma and the Vaisnavas, we are present in Sri Vrindavan dhama. By hearing about Sri Krsna’s pastimes in His place of His rasa-lila we achieve the power to transcend this world. The Lord is distributing His transcendental rasa for those jivas who are under the influence of maya, so they can perform sadhana-bhakti and enter the spiritual world.
Many people do sadhana in this world, but what do they want? They only want material facilities and the various objects of material enjoyment. However there are those who perform sadhana-bhakti only with the goal of entering the spiritual world. This is the real qualification of exiting this world and entering the spiritual world.
After getting this eligibility to enter the spiritual world what should we do? Children are sent to school, but by attending that school for one day they do not yet obtain the qualification to graduate. We mature gradually and by only going to school we will not attain full maturity. Once we have completed our schooling we still need practical experience.
When students go to school they have to take shelter of the teachers, but even on doing so they still cannot attain all qualifications in one day. Time and study is required. A person is called a student if he is under the Ksatri umbrella of a teacher.
FAKE PANDIT – FAKE GURU
Once a boy went to a King and said, “Oh King, make me into a pandit – a wise and learned person.” The King said; “I will give you all proper arrangements to learn, study and be educated, however it will take some time.” The boy said; “No. Make me into a pandit in one day! You are a King, you should be able to do it with no problem. Oh King, why can’t you do this?” The King thought; “It is not possible like this. What can I do with this brahmana boy? He is very obstinate.”
If someone is a very foolish person or ignorant, they cannot be made into a wise sage overnight. However foolish people are they are very stubborn and will not listen to the advice of anyone. Whatever a foolish person thinks, whatever their understanding is, they consider it to be the greatest. This is the symptom of a fool.
This boy would not accept anything else. The King called his minister and the minister told him; “Ok, I will make him into a pandit in one day.” What did the minister do? He said to the boy; “Shave your head and leave a very big sikha. Put on very big tilaka on your forehead, all the way back to your sikha. Wear a big thick brahmana thread, like a rope, and put a very big turban on your head. Then take a big stick in your hand and we will walk through the different villages of the kingdom. I will go with you and I will announce you everywhere saying; “Oh Panditji Maharaja.” You should then reply, “Oh you are a pandit. Your mother is a pandit, your father is a pandit, your sister is a pandit,” and then speak condescending words to me and yell at me. Then you will become famous as a pandit everywhere and everyone who sees you will call you “Panditji.”
They went into the different villages like this and wherever they went the minister would say; “Oh Panditji.” And the boy wostudentuld reply with bad words saying; “Oh you are a pandit. Your mother is a pandit, your father is a pandit, your sister is a pandit.” They then went from one village to the next doing the same.
The next day the boy went out alone and saw everyone was calling him “Panditji Maharaja.” He thought, “Oh my life is now successful! Everyone thinks I am a great Pandit!” It is said that this is like a ponga pandit, which means a false guru.
STUDENTS OR STUPID
So now we have become students. It does not mean that in one day we can become teachers. Are we ‘students’ or ‘stupid’? We are like very foolish children, and we should not consider ourselves to be great and wise elders. We have come to this world to be students and to learn how to enter the spiritual world and live there with the associates of God. To enter that world we must first become qualified and matured. Those who are actually wise say; “yogyata vicare kichu nahi pai,” – ‘looking at myself I see no good qualities. Oh Gurudeva without your mercy I cannot attain anything.’
That person who is truly wise knows they know nothing. They think, “Oh I am unqualified, foolish and have no good qualities. Oh Lord, without Your mercy I am nothing.” But those who are very foolish and stubborn will put on big tilaka, wear a big tulasi mala on their neck, shave their head with a big sikha, and then walk around with their head high in the air and their chest sticking out. They will show everyone, “Oh I am such a great sadhu. You should offer me your pranams.”
In truth these people have nothing. It is like they are showing themselves to be a big, big businessman, but they have no money. Such people have no wealth of prema in their heart, so what can they give to anyone?
By our sadhana we can cross beyond this world and enter the spiritual world. That is the real fruit of sadhana. This world is the abode of inert matter. Everything in this world is temporary and nothing is fixed. Everything here is very insignificant compared to the spiritual world which is the ultimate destiny of the soul.
SHELTER OF NITYA SIDDHAS
The soul is cetana – conscious, but we are living in this world of dull matter, and it is not our real home. The real purpose of our sadhana is to go to the spiritual world, which is the real home of the soul. To be a real student of sadhana-bhakti we must get the shelter of the liberated associates of the Lord. When we are under the shelter of these nitya-siddhas, we can achieve real eligibility and proper understanding of how to enter and then serve in the spiritual world. There are many examples in scripture.
By the merciful curse of the Narada Rsi, the two sons of the Demigod Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva came to Vraja. When Krsna freed them from Narada’s curse of taking the form of trees, they achieved a divine forms and did parikrama of Krsna and offered Him obeisances.
Did Krsna accept them as His sakhas? Or His close friends? No! Krsna told them when Narada Rsi was given liberation, he was instructed to preach the glories of the Lord all over the universe. That was Narada’s seva, or service. Nalakuvera and Manigriva were also given another service.
STILL A STUDENT AFTER LIBERATION
Upon achieving perfection there is also a sadhana, you should understand this. In this world you study like a student, but when you go to the spiritual world it is like graduating from this world to the spiritual world. We may also have a post-graduate course and some service and responsibility there. When Narada Rsi was liberated he received this service, and Nalakuvera and Manigriva also received a service. So even when we enter the spiritual world there is study that is necessary, and we must be under the guidance of higher personalities there. Krsna wanted to help the sadhana-siddhas who had entered the spiritual world to be related and connected with the nitya-siddhas – the eternal associates of Radharani. So He arranged some process to give them more lessons.
When we become liberated there is one kind of enjoyment. Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa, moksa is not an ordinary thing. If you become liberated from everything then what is your responsibility, what is the purpose of being freed of bondage? When you get freedom from bondage then people are very happy, “Oh I have no worries, no responsibility, no tension,” but that is also not eternal. The Lord arranged a process to give them His own transcendental rasa by opening the storehouse of His nectar by revealing His own transcendental pastimes in the forests of Vrindavan, nearby the Yamuna River under the banyan trees.
Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: [email protected] )
Srila Gurudeva bestows service in the mood of the manjaris. One who is not wise in rasa-tattva, who is not present in his spiritual service, can never publish the rasamayi-granthas of the Gosvamis. Srila Gurudeva is the topmost of rasika and bhavuka Vaisnavas and is always serving as Srimati Radhika’s maidservant. therefore, he revealed the subject matter of manjari-bhava-upasana in his books—this subject is essential for one who aspires towards the highest attainment of life.
sevā sādhaka-rūpeṇa siddha-rūpeṇa cātra hi tad-bhāva-lsunā kāāvraja-lokānusārataḥ
The sevaka in his form as a sadhaka serves Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas, and in his internal form is absorbed in bhava-seva to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. Srila Gurudeva exemplified bhava-marga-sadhana in the eightfold daily pastimes of Radha-Krsna, and revealed this process in his books.
Once while staying in Hawaii at the ocean-side home of Vrndavana Prabhu, Srila Gurudeva went outside to the liu garden and began plucking weeds and picking up twigs. Not seeing Gurudeva inside, his sevakas thought, “Where has Guru Maharaja gone?” They went to search outside and were surprised to see him, although advanced in years, squatting and tending the garden.
When his sevakas approached and spoke to him, Srila Gurudeva startled and returned to external awareness. He then returned inside. Internally, Gurudeva was with the sakhis making sure there were no thorns on the pathway Krsna would take through the forest.
Srila Gurudeva explained that when one enters the bhava-rajya—the realm of ecstatic spiritual service—while in one’s physical body, it is like a wild elephant in a garden. In this example, the body is like the garden and the elephant is bhava, spiritual ecstasy, that ravagies the physical body. For one’s mortal coil made of material elements cannot tolerate the awakening of transcendental rapture, like a bulb exposed to a higher wattage than it can conduct. A sadhaka who enters the stage of bhava realizes all Krsna’s pastimes in relation to his spiritual service and feels that Krsna is calling him, nay, pulling him to Vraja to directly accept his service. One then experiences every moment in this world separated from Radha-Krsna to be an stage of agony. Worldly people cannot fathom this subject.
People think that Vaisnavas suffer from strokes and different material illnesses. They cannot understand antara-dasa—internal awareness. What can help at that me? Only maha-sankirtana. Once when Srila Gurudeva was in Mathura, at three-thirty or four a.m. he fell senseless. He would sleep on the veranda. Seeing Gurudeva senseless, we carried him into his room and called for a door. The doctor gave him many types of medicine. He said Gurudeva had suffered a stroke and gave medicine for him to recover. He also said Srila Gurudeva must be given complete rest without any disturbance and without speaking or meeting with anyone. So Gurudeva stayed in his room for three days. After three days, when Gurudeva had recovered, he asked the brahmacaris, “Why did you stay outside the whole time?” We replied that the doctor had ordered us to do so because he said it was a very dangerous time. Afterwards, the doctor continued to give Gurudeva medicine for many months. When Srila Gurudeva spoke the evening of the third day after this incident, then he commented that when asta-sattvika-bhavas manifest in the body, the body cannot tolerate this and starts to fall apart. The bhavas are like elephants trampling and ravaging a sugarcane field. People think, “The Vaisnava has left this world from a stroke,” or they see any other sickness as the cause of the Vaisnavas’ departure. But advanced Vaisnavas do not pass away from any material cause; it is a transcendental condition. Material doctors have not taken any training in vraja-bhava and have no relation with the soul. They cannot fathom these transcendental truths of the liberated souls.
The Guru-varga descend from transcendental Vraja to teach the fallen souls the process of vraja-seva. One who incessantly chants harinama while internally engaged in service in Vraja will soon realize the spiritual form of his Gurudeva along with his own svarupa and, under guidance of his guru-sakhi, he will become immersed in the bliss of seva-rasa to Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. In this way, absorption in nama-rasa bears the near of the fruit of prema-rasa. Thus Srimati Radhika accepts one as Her maidservant and grants Her prema-seva.
Otiur me as a sadhaka should mostly be spent engaged in harinama-kirtana, in high-class sadhu-sanga, while internally surrendered at Srila Gurudeva’s lotus feet, and always remembering him. Then, at the appropriate time, Srila Gurudeva will bring us to eternal Vraja and engage us in prema–seva. One cannot attain perfection in sadhana while remaining in the association of materialistic people. One’s sadhana will remain lifeless; therefore, high-class sadhu-sanga is essential. By the mercy of sadhus, one’s heart will be freed from miserliness and poverty of spirit, while spiritual enthusiasm and bliss will swell during the performance of bhajana.
Sri Guru-pada-padma is present in his eternal service to Sri Radha-Krsna; he comes to this world to show sadhakas the process to achieve Vraja and krsna–prema. He is visible in one form in this world, but internally he is always serving in his spiritual form in Vraja. For those who, with a pure conception of his nature and glories, surrender completely to him, Sri Guru gives darsana of his spiritual form and grants one entrance into Radha-Krsna’s nitya–seva.
When Sri Guru departs, he looks to see who among his followers wants his further association. He thus arranges a place for them to be with him. Those devotees read his teachings and glories. One who serves guru for his pleasure, not his own selfish desires, will soon meet with Sri Guru again, even after his disappearance. The material and spiritual worlds are distinct and separate. Sri Guru is transcendental, and one should endeavor to meet him on that plane through earnest prayer and medtation. He will then accept such service and will protect and maintain such devotees. Impersonalism or voidism has no connection with Sri Guru; he is eternally present in his spiritual form and he is worshipful and worshipped when manifest in this material world as well as when unmanifest. Sri Guru does not manifest in that place where disciples do not respect and worship their spiritual master. For this reason, just as the Deity of Bhagavan is established and worshipped in this world, so is the deity of Sri Guru. Guru accepts worship and prayers of his disciples through his deity form and always protects and supports them. But a disciple who sends off his guru by never thinking of him or serving him becomes a spiritual orphan and an offender to God. Moreover, Srila Gurudeva has an eternal relationship with his God family—his godbrothers and disciples—and if one tries to separate them from Sri Guru or his place, then it is a grave offense. Guru is made glorious by the glories of his followers. He has love and relationship with them all, hence they should be highly regarded and honored.
Through the method of worship in the mood of parakiya performed in Vraja-mandala, Gauda-mandala, and Ksetra-mandala, living entities are attracted to the Supreme Person, Krsna. Srila Gurudeva established the super-excellence of parakiya-rasa. Srila Gurudeva taught: in this worldly life we have mother, father, siblings, relatives, and friends—yet affection for them binds us to material existence. The essence and goal of all knowledge and rules and regulations of scripture is to develop love for Krsna and to serve Him. A person who possesses this love and can give this love to others is the best teacher. In this world, love for Krsna manifests as parakiya-rasa. When we are amidst all our worldly relations and affairs, bound by so many social duties and customs, and yet we develop the sentiment that this material display is worthless, and love and relationship with Krsna is the supreme purpose of life, and we live every moment as an offering to our Eternal Beloved, we approach the true nature of parakiya-rasa. For although there are others who have claims to our love and attention, our mind is attracted at every moment to Krsna. Those who think that this world and its people and responsibilities are superior and that Bhagavan and loving service to Him is secondary can never achieve the highest goal of life—pure love in parakiya-rasa. Even though one may be forced by circumstance to remain in worldly life, if that person there feels that relationship with Krsna is of supreme importance, yet he still cannot escape his conditions, but aspires to and endeavors with the best of his ability to develop a connection with God—Krsna will then surely soon bring His devotee to the transcendental realm and initiate him into parakiya-rasa-seva.
para-vyasaninī nārīvyagrāpi gṛha-karmasu tad evāsvādaya antar nava-saṅga-rasāyanam Caitanya-caramrta, Madhya 1.212
A devotee should remember his relationship with God like a wife who works hard to please the relatives at home so that they do not suspect her of infidelity, while all the time she remembers her paramour and longs to be with him. When there is an intense desire to serve and love Krsna and to always be with Him, and one prays always thus for His mercy, then Krsna accepts that devoted soul as His beloved and offers her to Srimati Radhika to serve Him under Her guidance. This is Srila Gurudeva’s essential teaching.
Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (excerpted from a Bhaktabandhav book publication, available from; [email protected] )