Day 170: Gaurābda 532, Nārāyaṇa Māsa – Pūrṇimā 21 Jan 2019 – Monday

Bhakti Bullets

Bhakti Bullets

The bona fide guru does not consider that his disciples are his property. He does not think, “They are my property.” Nowadays I see this going on. So-called gurus think that their disciples are their property, so they accept all their offerings and fall down. A real guru never thinks like that.

Spoken by Srila Gurudeva, January 21, 2004 Hilo

Prema Flame

Prema Flame

Rasa Varsa

Recitation of the Spotless Purana – 12 June 1996

Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 12 June 1996, in Houston, published by Bhaktabandhav.com

[Hari-katha of Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja who is referred to as Srila Gurudeva in the following transcription, which has been translated from Srila Gurudeva’s discourse in Hindi.]

First of all, I offer my unlimited obeisances unto the lotus feet of my most worshipable Gurudeva, Nitya Lila Pravista Om Visnupada Astottara sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I also offer my unlimited obeisances to the Srimad Bhagavatam and to the person who manifested this book, Srila Vyasadeva. I also offer my obeisances to the first person who discoursed on the Srimad Bhagavatam, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. I live in Vrndavana. I had no desire to leave Vrndavana, but on the request of the devotees I came here to the Western countries. From today, I will speak on the Srimad Bhagavatam for four days. Although devotees also speak on the Bhagavatam for seven days, it would be better if they speak on the Bhagavatam for one month. It would be in the best self-interest of the listeners if the meaning is revealed and explained to them clearly. Thus, the listeners will read the Bhagavatam for their entire lives. And, they will live their lives accordingly. Srimad Bhagavatam contains the solutions for all kinds of problems. The Srimad Bhagavatam offers solutions to the problems that existed in the past and to the problems that exist currently. Even the problems of the future can be solved upon proper perusal of the Bhagavatam. The Srimad Bhagavatam never becomes old; the Bhagavatam is eternal and ever-new.

In India, there is a place called Naimisaranya. It is a very pure place. It is on the banks of the Gomati River. Thousands of years before, over 80,000 Rsis had assembled in that place. Kali Yuga was about to come; it had made its arrival immediately after Krsna left this world.

The Rsis anxiously thought, “Kali Yuga is going to come. It is a very frightening age.”

Kali means kalaham-lati; people will fight with each other for no reason. So, the Rsis thought, “What can be done?” Meanwhile, Suta Gosvami, the disciple of Sukadeva Gosvami came.

All the Rsis asked Suta Gosvami, “How can our auspiciousness be assured? What should we do?”

Suta Gosvami replied, “Listen to the Srimad Bhagavatam and practice the teachings given therein. Establish your life in the teachings of the Bhagavatam. Follow those instructions and Kali Yuga will not trouble you.”

Thus, Suta Gosvami started speaking on the Bhagavatam to protect the Rsis from the faults of Kali Yuga. Presently, what is the main problem? Science has made so much advancement that even a new skull can be placed. We can go from one end of the earth to another within a very short time. Much advancement has been made from the kitchen to the development of atom bombs. It seems that earth can be held in one’s fist. If you want to go to India, then just sit in the airplane and you will reach by tomorrow morning. You can watch a cricket match or a football match in your house. All arrangements have been made. But these advancements have given birth to a problem that science is unable to solve.

How can a husband and wife love each other? Science has distanced their hearts; there is no love. A father and son do not love each other. Today, old houses are made for a person’s aged parents. Old people, who are neglected by their family members, stay in these old age homes. Why? A person can take care of a dog, but he cannot take care of his parents? So many such problems have come in this world. The bank balance of a wife is different from the husband’s. The bank balance of the children is different as well. Why is this? No one trusts each other. The qualities of the soul are disappearing. Man has now become like a machine. There is no peace and happiness in his heart.

When I go to Kolkata and Mumbai, I see that lakhs of people are on the streets. There is such a big crowd that people push each other and walk. But if one person falls on the ground, no one will pick him up. There is no love among people. Man has advanced so much; but where is the love? The main problem is that there is no love. If there was love, then this world would become Vaikuntha. But, it is very sad that there is no love between one another. People look after dogs because they trust dogs more than fellow humans. The dog will not betray them. If they call the dog, then wagging its tail, it will immediately come. But men don’t trust men. They don’t trust women also.

They think, “What if she leaves me and goes somewhere else?”

The women also think, “What if my husband leaves me and goes somewhere else?”

When a person cannot find solace anywhere, then he commits suicide. People don’t trust even God. This is the main problem of Kali Yuga. So, how will the Bhagavat help? The Bhagavat will help; just listen carefully. The Bhagavat will give what science cannot give. Science cannot answer the question, “Who am I?” Where does life go when the body becomes still and lifeless? Science does not have the answer to this question. If scientists become enlightened, then they will give the answer. The solutions to all forms of problems have been given in the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavat tells us how we can be happy and how we can love each other. Only by associating with each other in a loving manner, will we be happy in this world. Even donkeys and pigs eat food; but if there is no love, then all kinds of food will be tasteless.

Where will the soul go after leaving this body? Therefore, Suta Gosvami offered his obeisance to his Guru and started speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam. Narada Rsi is a topmost sage. He knows past, present, and future. There is no place in the universe where he cannot go. He doesn’t need a spaceship to go from one planet to another. He can travel by his mind in less than a moment. He is omniscient; he knows what every person thinks. In the course of his travels, he reached Haridvara. Haridvara is a place that lies on the banks of the Ganga. It is the gateway to the Himalayas. Hence, it is called Haridvara. There, he met his elder brothers—Sanak, Sanat, Sanatana, and Sanandana Kumara. These sages are always five years of age. They are always naked. They don’t eat any food. They don’t need air to breathe also. They are always wandering and enlightening people. They are the repositories of transcendental knowledge. There is no such thing that they are not enlightened about. Just by their glance, a dead person will be brought back to life. Whatever they say is bound to happen.

When Narada met the four brothers, they asked him, “Oh Narada, why have come here? Your face has dried up? You seem engrossed in thought? Why is this? Why are you sad?”

Narada replied, “I am very sad.”

“Why? You are a great devotee and are very knowledgeable.”

“What can I do? After Krsna ended His Dvaraka lila, I was wandering on this earth. I saw many astonishing sights.”

“What did you see?”

“I see that the sadhus are not what they were. They speak the Bhagavat to earn money and not for the benefit of people. They do kirtan to earn money also. They want to build big palaces for themselves. But they don’t want to make people’s hearts into temples. Men have become very greedy. They have made women their maidservants. When they so desire, they make the woman leave home. They are only concerned with money. And how are the women? Women have love for their husbands, but it is little. They are only concerned with decorating their hair. There is no celibacy in this world. The King has become a dacoit. He is only engaged in daylight robbery. Even hari-katha seems empty.

“Thus, I went in all four directions and found myself becoming very sad. I then reached Vrndavana. There, I saw something very strange. I saw that there was a young lady who had two sons. These sons were very aged. Their hairs were white and they were lying on the ground unconscious. The young lady was crying bitterly. When I came to where they were, the mother became very happy on seeing me.

She asked, ‘Are you Naradaji? I am very sad.’

‘Why are you sad?’

‘I was born in South India. After taking birth I went to Karnataka. There, I gradually grew. After that, I came to Maharastra. Then I came to Gujarat. When I came there, I gradually became old. My hair turned white and my sons became old as well. All three of us became old.’

‘Why did this happen?’

‘We were wandering. Now my sons don’t speak. They are only sleeping. They don’t get up. I brought them along with me to Vrndavana. When I came to Vrndavana, I became a young lady. But my sons remain as they are. I have tried waking them up, but they refuse to wake up. I cannot understand why this is happening.’

‘All right. I will do something by which your sons will wake up.’

Bhakti-devi told me, ‘Don’t go anywhere. I feel so blissful in your presence. I cannot understand why I am so happy.’

‘I will make your sons healthy again,’ thus I became absorbed in thought on what could be done for Bhakti-devi’s sons.

I took her sons everywhere. I took them to Haridvara; I took them on the banks of the Ganga. I took them to Prayaga. I took them everywhere. I had them take bath at all holy places. On their behalf, I gave so much charity. I did everything. I took them to South India also. I had them bathe in the ocean at Kanya-kumari. I had them bathe in the Godavari also. But nothing happened. I took them to Gaya also, but nothing happened. So, what should I do my dear brothers?” Narada Rsi asked the Four Kumaras.

Previously, Narada Rsi had become absorbed in a meditative trance and remembered his Lord. An aerial voice told him, “You need only try and everything will be all right. Bhakti-devi’s sons will become young again.”

Narada told his brothers, “I know that they will become all right, but why am I not able to help them? What should I do? I am determined that I will become successful in my endeavors. So, I wandered everywhere and have now, come here to Haridvara. Seeing all of you, I am hopeful that you will show me the right way. Thus, these children will become young and happy again.”

The Four Kumaras told Narada, “You are a devotee; you know everything. You do know how the sons of Bhakti-devi will become all right. But, to increase our prestige, you are doing this. Okay. Listen to the essence of the Srimad Bhagavatam. By listening to the Bhagavatam for seven days, Bhakti-devi’s sons will become their younger selves again. And all her desires will be fulfilled.”

There is so much potency in the Bhagavat and in Bhagavan’s names. Even very notorious persons change. There is so much potency in the words of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Four Kumaras started speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Bhakti-devi heard the recital for seven days. The form of Bhakti-devi became more effulgent and her two sons became normal again. They became youths and smiling, spoke to their mother.

There is another history regarding the recital of Srimad Bhagavatam. During ancient times, there lived a poor Brahmin named Atmadeva in South India. He did not have a son. He prayed to Sankaraji and being pleased, Sankaraji appeared and told the Brahmin, “I will give you something. Take it and have your wife eat it. You will soon be blessed with a very beautiful, intelligent son. He will respect his parents and he will also do Bhagavan’s bhakti.”

Atmadeva took the blessed food and told his wife, “You should eat this prasadam and then, you will give birth to a very beautiful son. We are more than fifty years of age and in some time, we will become old. We will be so fortunate if we obtain a son. He will offer oblations to us after we die and he will continue our lineage. A house in which a baby doesn’t cry is compared to a cemetery.”

The wife thought, “If I eat this food, then I will have to bear a child. My stomach will become very heavy and I will not be able to walk. I will have to undergo so much trouble. Also, I will not be able to eat what I want. I don’t want to carry a baby in my stomach for nine or ten months. This is not possible for me.”

The wife of Atmadeva then fed the prasadam to a cow. Her younger sister was already pregnant. She gave her some money and asked for the child. She told her sister, “When you beget a son, give him to me.”

The younger sister agreed and she was given a substantial amount of money. Atmadeva’s wife kept her sister in her house. Shortly, the cow gave birth to a baby and so did the sister of Atmadeva’s wife. The cow ate the food given by Sankara, so the cow gave birth to a very beautiful baby. He was very attractive but his ears resembled the ears of a cow. So, his name was, “Gokarna,” which means he who has the ears of a cow. And, the son born to the sister of Atmadeva’s wife was very notorious. He would always fight and do bad things. From his childhood, he was of bad character. He would kill people; he would drink alcohol. He would lie and steal from others. He was a dacoit.

He told his father, “Give me money; I want to gamble and drink alcohol.”

Out of fear of his son, Atmadeva left home and went to the forest. Soon after, he fell in a well and died. Gokarnaji left home and went on a pilgrimage. Dundukari, the other son, now started beating his mother. Unable to tolerate being beaten by her son, she left home and also died somewhere. Dundukari was such a bad person. Dundukari means a person who causes trouble. He would fight with people without any prior reason. After some days, he spent all the money he had. He would call prostitutes to his house. He would drink alcohol and continue to kill people for money. But when he called the prostitutes, there was no money in his house. One day, he stole much money and golden ornaments from someone. He kept his loot in the house when the prostitutes were also with him.

The prostitutes thought, “He will give us money and gold; but he will take it back tomorrow.”

So, all the prostitutes caught Dundukari and beat him with a burning log of wood. Beating him severely, they killed him. They dug a hole and put his body there. The prostitutes then took all the money and gold. After dying, Dundukari became a very fearsome ghost.

He would always cry out, “Someone is killing me! My body is burning!”

He would threaten the passer-by’s and throw stones at them. He would not let anyone come near. It is true that ghosts exist; it is not a lie. But they don’t come near devotees and pure people.

jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyur
dhruvam janma mrtasya ca

—Bhagavad Gita 2.27

[One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again.]

A person will have to repeatedly take birth and die. He will also have to become old. This is the theory of the Gita; this is the theory of all the sastras. So, Dundukari died and became a ghost. He caused much nuisance. Meanwhile, Gokarna returned home after visiting all the tirthas.

The villagers told him, “Don’t go to your house. There is a ghost there, which will kill you.”

Gokarna replied, “I don’t fear anyone.”

Chanting Bhagavan’s names, he went inside the house. Now, Dundukari appeared in many terrible forms and tried scaring Gokarna. He repeatedly threatened Gokarna and tried throwing stones at him. But, Gokarna was absorbed in chanting Bhagavan’s names. At the end, Gokarna sprinkled some water, uttered some mantras and asked, “Who are you?”

The ghost replied, “I am your brother. My name is Dundukari. Some prostitutes killed me and threw my body in this pit. Now I have become a ghost. You should rescue me as soon as possible. I feel very hungry and thirsty. I am in so much distress. There is no one to rescue me.”

Gokarna said, “I offered oblations on your behalf at Gaya. Didn’t you receive it?”

“No.”

“I also offered oblations at Haridvara. Didn’t you receive this as well?”

“No.”

“I did everything.”

“Please rescue me by any means brother.”

“Okay. Stay where you are. I will think of a means to deliver you.”

Gokarna then became absorbed in deep contemplation. He worshiped the sun-god and the sun-god appeared. He told Gokarna, “Recite the Bhagavatam. Invite the ghost to listen to the Bhagavatam.”

Gokarna returned and organized a seven day recital of the Bhagavatam. He had seven pieces of dry bamboo arranged. As he began to speak on the Bhagavatam, thousands of people gathered to listen to him. Thus, Gokarna started speaking on the Bhagavatam to deliver his brother who had become a ghost. He spoke the Bhagavat that Sukadeva Gosvami spoke to Pariksit Maharaja. We will now discuss this self-same Bhagavat. The Bhagavat is very powerful. As each day of the Bhagavat recital ended, one piece of the bamboo opened with a sound. Hence, after seven days, the Bhagavatam ended and all the seven pieces of bamboos opened. The people saw that a golden throne was brought from Vaikuntha by Lord Visnu’s messengers and they seated Dundukari on it and took him to Vaikuntha.

Gokarnaji asked the divine messengers, “Brothers, I spoke the Bhagavat and these thousands of people listened along with Dundukari. But, only Dundukari’s sins were dispelled and he is now going to Vaikuntha while we are just sitting here.”

The messengers replied, “The Bhagavatam should be spoken with faith and must be listened to with faith as well. You did not speak with faith and neither did the members of the audience listen with faith. You should explain the Bhagavatam clearly and the audience must also understand with faith. Then, all of you will surely go to Vaikuntha as well.”

Gokarna then spoke the Bhagavatam again and all the members of the audience listened with faith. This time, everyone left their bodies and having four-handed forms, they ascended to Vaikuntha Dhama. So, the Bhagavat should not be heard superficially. You should not say, “This is mythology.” The Bhagavat is not mythology. Before Sitaji was kidnapped, Marici came in the form of a golden deer and started roaming in front of Sitaji.

Sitaji told Ramacandra, “Oh Prananatha, I want this golden deer. I will take this golden deer to Ayodhya and give it as a gift to Maharani Kaikeyi if it is brought alive. If the deer is killed, then I will give its golden skin to Bharata. So, I want this deer.”

On Ravana’s order, Marici had become a golden deer so that Sitaji could be stolen. When Marici was struck by Rama’s arrow, he called out, “Ha Laksmana!” three times. At that time, Sitaji said, “Laksmana, You should go immediately to help Your brother. Some calamity has befallen on Ramacandra.”

Laksmana replied, “No. I know that nothing bad can happen to Ramacandra.”

Sitaji said, “Bharata has sent You as a spy here. When Ramacandraji will be killed, You will marry me. I will never be Your wife even if my life leaves me. You should understand this. You are an evil person.”

Sita started scolding Laksmana and He became very sad. He told Sita, “I consider you to be My mother. I will use my arrow to create a protective circle around you. Please never take one step outside of this circle. Always stay carefully within this circle.”

Meanwhile, Ravana came and said, “Bhiksam dehi! Bhiksam dehi! Bhiksam dehi!”

Sitaji took something and came to give it to Ravana. Ravana said, “Please step out of this line and give me alms. I don’t take anything from inside.”

Why did Ravana say this? When he tried stepping on the circle, he was jolted by electricity. He tried to go past the circle many times, but was unable to. What was in the circle that prevented Ravana from entering? Ravana was a very powerful scientist; but he could not go past this circle. There was something in the circle. Before meeting Narada, Valmiki was a dacoit. He had killed lakhs of people. But, in the association of Naradaji, he was made to chant the name of Rama in a reverse manner.

He chanted, “Marama. Marama.”

ulta-nama japata jagajana
valmiki paya brahma-samana

What was in the name? Valmiki chanted the name in a reverse manner and he became comparable to Brahma i.e. whatever he would say would become true. He became omniscient. He knew past, present, and future. He composed the Ramayana even before Rama’s advent. How did he do so? This was by the influence of the holy name. Thus, Laksmana had chanted the name of Rama and drew the circle around Sita-Rama’s cottage. Valmiki chanted, “Mara, Mara,” and ultimately chanted the name given to him by Naradaji i.e. the name of Rama. He then chanted, “Rama. Rama.”

All of you must have heard the name of Agastya Rsi. Once, a bird’s eggs fell into the ocean and the waves took the eggs many miles inside the ocean. The small bird started crying. The bird told the ocean, “Please return my eggs.” But the ocean did not comply. Agastya Rsi’s asrama was nearby and the bird asked the sage for help.

The Rsi told the ocean, “You should return the eggs to the bird.”

The ocean did not listen. Agastya Rsi chanted Rama’s name and swallowed the entire ocean. How is this possible? Science has not advanced so much. Science cannot understand why the body becomes lifeless after an entity leaves it. Science cannot tell us how everyone should love each other. The scientist himself doesn’t know when he will die. How can peace and happiness be had? How can old age be stopped? The scientist cannot say anything. Even a million scientists cannot answer these questions. This is realized science. The holy name and mantra have such inconceivable power; the Bhagavat has such inconceivable power. I have full faith in this; I have practiced chanting the holy names since sixty years. In some time I will become eighty years old. I am experiencing the glories of the holy name. If you don’t believe me, then chant the holy names for only ten days. You will realize that all bad qualities are leaving you. You will experience the topmost bliss and happiness. If you continue chanting, you will see that all your desires are being fulfilled. Gradually, you will attain knowledge of the soul and the Supersoul.

punarapi jananam punarapi maranam
punarapi janani jatare gamanam

You will not have to enter another mother’s womb. This is an unchallengeable truth. Hence, there are innumerable glories of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The instructions of the Srimad Bhagavatam are so beautiful that if a person just listens to them, then regardless of him following or not; yet, he will become pure. And, if a person listens to these instructions attentively and practically applies them in his life, then he will become a very exalted person. He will become liberated and he will attain the lotus feet of the Lord. He will eternally be with the Lord.

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