Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga.
Disappearance day of Acarya Kesari
Today is the disappearance day of Srila Param Gurudeva – Nitya lila pravista om visnupada Paramradhyatam Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja.
I met Srila Gurudeva for the first time at Devananda Gaudiya Math on this occasion in 1968. Many people were invited to attend the separation day. I met our Guru-varga at this viraha tithi for the first time. People from many different Gaudiya Maths were invited. I came there in 1968; I was twelve or thirteen. I saw how much love these sadhus had for their Gurudeva. They had renounced everything, but they did not renounce their Gurudeva and the Vaisnavas. In that viraha sabha, many acaryas were present like Pujyapada Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja, Pujyapada Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, Pujyapada Bhakti Bhudeva Srauti Maharaja, Pujyapada Hrisikesa Maharaja, Pujyapada Janardhana Maharaja, and many other disciples of Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura. They had heartfelt love and respect for their god-brother. Everyone had heartfelt love and deep respect for Param Gurudeva during the time of Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura; their love for Param Gurudeva was undisturbed even after Prabhupada’s disappearance. We cannot define or understand such love. This is called a relationship. Their hearts are not hard like rocks. What do they do for their Guru-varga? Each acarya would offer puspanjali to Param Gurudeva and bitterly weep in separation. Some were elder and senior, but all of their hearts melted in separation from Param Gurudeva, and when they offered puspanjali, they showered everyone with the nectar of their separation-filled harikatha. They wept incessantly as they spoke. Thousands of disciples were there. The temple did not have any towers. There was only the ground floor, and the temple hall was small. There were not so many rooms. Everyone sat outside, like during Navadvipa Parikrama, or Vraja Mandala Parikrama. Everyone was there for the start of kartika-vrata.
We heard how Param Gurudeva was so close to Nayana-manjari, who had appeared as Varsabhanavi-devi dayita dasa in this world. He was very close to her in the spiritual world in his form as Vinoda-manjari. His service to his guru manifested in this world also. Through his immaculate service, he distributed the glories of Prabhupada, Nayana Mani-manjari to the conditioned souls.
Prabhupada gave him the name, “Vinoda Bihari.” He had a brother named Pramoda Bihari who later became Bhakti Kevala Audulomi Maharaja. Prabhupada said, “Unless someone meets with Vinoda, one cannot understand bhakti, bhajana, and Bhagavan. They will never realize eternal happiness. Whoever remembers Vinoda, and makes a relation with him can understand me. And they will never have any problem in life.”
Prabhupada would look to see who respected Vinoda. Ordinary people complained against Param Gurudeva to Prabhupada. They said, “He wears a Santipura dhoti and turban, and rides on a big horse, and he spends so much money. He does not wear tilaka, and he never has his mala or does bhajana. He leaves in the morning and returns at night. He does not follow any rules and regulations of bhakti.”
Prabhupada replied, “A person who follows all good etiquette but has no love only performs karma. This is external.”
People come to perform their duty, but they have no love. After they finish their duty, they return to their loved ones. Another person does not follow the rules and regulation externally, but he has love in his heart, and he has a heart to heart relation and connection with his spiritual master; this love is spotless and unbreakable.
Relationships are comprised of love. For instance, a servant in a palace works from morning to evening, while the prince does not do anything. If the servant has a little fault, he gets suspended or punished. The king’s son may break all regulations, and may destroy many things in the palace, but the king has love for his son, and does not punish him; he overlooks his faults.
bhaktir ity ucyate bhishma-
—Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 23.8
One-pointed mamata, or possessive affection, is the binding force of prema, and is what is known as bhakti, as described by Sri Bhisma, Prahlada, and Narada. How can this love and affection come to us? Unless we have love for Guru and Vaisnavas, whatever we do is artificial. You can perform subha karma or sukrti sometimes, but you will not attain pure love.
Prabhupada said, “Vinoda is busy from morning to evening, and whatever he desires for Mahaprabhu’s service manifests in this world. Whatever he needs appears. If he needs to print books, then wealth comes. He has love for me, and for my service. He is engaged in many services from morning to evening. He always remembers me. Then, how can I forget him? If he is always with me, how is it possible that he is devoid of good qualities? Someone who does not respect him also does not respect me, and they do not have love for God. If they have love for God, they will understand who the Vaisnavas are, and if they have love for the Vaisnavas, they will understand God.”
Some people sometimes complained, “Vinoda meets with ordinary people, like the police or gundas.” Once, a lawyer came to Mayapura, and after Gaura Arati, he saw Vinoda Bihari sitting on a chair. His feet were on a table, and he shook his feet while being absorbed in deep thought. His head leaned back, and his eyes were closed. Many sannyasis came and offered him pranama after Gaura Arati. They folded their hands and left.
The lawyer went to Prabhupada, and said, “In Vaisnavism, if someone offers pranama, the others should also offer pranama in return. You offer your pranama to everyone, even to your followers. You offer pranama to people before they offer pranama to you. But, there was this person wearing white cloth sitting on a chair while placing his legs on a table. He does not return respect to anyone. Is this person a Vaisnava?”
Prabhupada did not respond. He told others to bring this person. When Vinoda came, Prabhupada said, “O Vinoda, do you know that Gaura Arati has passed?”
“Gaura Arati was observed nearby. The bells were ringing and people were singing. Didn’t you hear anything?”
“Didn’t you see that after arati, many people came to you and offered you pranama?”
“Where were you? What were you doing?”
Vinoda humbly replied, “Prabhupada, tomorrow, there are many articles to publish, and there is so much management to be taken care of, and also, there are many eternal services to look after. Therefore, I forgot everything of this world.”
This is called natural samadhi, or antardasha. What do those who reach the eternal world do there? How do their bodies work? How do they see things? This is called sahaja samadhi, antardhasa, and nitya lila. In ardha-bahyadasha, a devotee will look around or speak. And in bahyadasha, he will behave like an ordinary person.
yanra citte krishna-prema karaye udaya
tanra vakya, kriya, mudra vijneha na bujhaya
—Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 23.39
For those in whose hearts prema has arisen, ordinary persons cannot understand their speech and activities.
Where are the Mahabhagavatas present? When Acarya Srinivasa Prabhu and Ramacandra Kaviraja would enter antar-dasha, their bodies would appear like lifeless statues. They wouldn’t even breathe. Where were they? They were in the eternal world, serving in Radha Kunda. Practice chanting your mantras during the time of brahma muhurta. By praying to and remembering the Guru-varga, and by chanting harinama, you will forget your mind, senses, and body; you will realize that you are in the eternal world. You will not be here any longer. It will not be possible for you to remain in this world. You will be in the flower gardens, picking flowers. And you will bring water from wells, and milk from the cowshed. You will be continuously engaged in the service of Srimati Radharani. Then, you will have no sense of what is happening in this world. This is called sahaja samadhi. This is very easy. You do not need to meditate, and perform so much austerity. There is no need to control your mind and senses. This spiritual power is present for everyone, but they have to learn how to take it. In brahma muhurta, there is Hari rasa, or Brahma rasa, available for everyone. The Guru-varga instruct us to serve Parabrahma.
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam
The Guru-varga are engaged in Mahaprabhu’s kirtana, and in Radha and Krsna’s pastimes.
After this discussion between Prabhupada and Vinoda, Prabhupada sent him to continue performing his services, and then told everyone, “Vinoda is not present in this world.”
People asked Param Gurudeva, “You are a sadhu. Why are you wearing nice cloth?” This was nearly a hundred years ago. He used to wear fine, silken dhotis from Santipur, and a turban, and cadar. He went to the courts and offices like this.
People complained to Prabhupada, “Vinoda wastes your money.”
Prabhupada said, “He is not a babaji or a vairagi. He is an eternal associate of Mahaprabhu.”
The manjaris, kinkaris, and sakhis of Radharani do not wear dirty or broken cloth when they go to serve Krsna. Or would they go naked? They are not crazy. Radharani first decorates everyone. Even their nails and faces are decorated. Indeed, they are completely decorated, fragrant, and beautiful. We are not sahajiyas, who decorate their material bodies by wearing nose rings and saris. We wear cloth colored with the foot dust of Srimati Radharani, whose feet are smeared with kumkum. This saffron cloth is the anuraga that protects us from maya.
Mahaprabhu said, “How can I protect myself? How can I achieve anuraga?” The lotus feet of Krsna have kumkum. Where does this come from? It comes from the head and chest of Radharani. When Krsna’s feet touch Radharani’s head and chest, Krsna’s feet become smeared with this kumkum. And then, when He walks, the grass becomes covered with this kumkum. In the early morning, the forest girls see Krsna’s footprints on the grass, mixed with the early morning mist. They take this kumkum, and smear it on their bodies.
Radharani sees this from a distance and says, “Oh, how much love they have for Krsna’s foot dust.” With this, they cool their hearts and bodies. They have anuraga for Krsna. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu adorned this aruna vasana, cloth the color of the rising sun. Radharani’s footprints are present on Giriraja Govardhana. There, Giriraja took this kumkum in his heart, and kept it with him.
So, we adorn ourselves saffron cloth, or the color of this anuraga. This is the color of the kumkum from Radharani’s and Krsna’s lotus feet. Do not think that this is only a color that you use to cover your face and body. This is your protection. Not only does it protect you from Maya-devi, it protects your bhakti and anuraga. Param Gurudeva would say in his classes that only widows wear white cloth. They wear white cloth if their husband is dead or if they are divorced.
Prabhupada said, “My brahmacaris are brahma-cari. This means that they are the followers of Brahma. They follow the acaran of the near and dear of Brahma.” Who are they? They are the manjaris, dasis, or kinkaris. They are not widows. They are beloveds of Krsna. When the sadhaka has this relationship, he wears saffron. He then does not wear white anymore. Anyone who is alone and independent wears whatever he chooses—blue, red, white. Gurudeva offers you to the lotus feet of the Vraja-devis, and the sign of the Vraja-devis comes from their foot dust. This is Krsna anuraga. This saffron colored pollen of kumkum represents the love and affection the Vraja-devis have for Krsna.
Prabhupada gave all the brahmacaris and sannyasis – saffron. Some people requested Prabhupada, “Vinoda is elder and senior. You should give him sannyasa first.”
Prabhupada said, “There are two kinds of sannysa. One is avidvata sannyasa and one is vidvata sannyasa. Don’t think that sannyasa means to only hold a danda and change your cloth.” In order to protect his Gurudeva, Param Gurudeva gave his own white cloth to Prabhupada, and took the sannyasa cloth from Prabhupada. Prabhupada agreed to do this with Param Gurudeva. When they have love—a heart to heart relationship based on spontaneous love and affection, this can be done. Who else could have done this? This can be done by the manjaris and kinkaris.
Today is his disappearance day. Today Radha Damodara vrata, Urja vrata, starts. Before Haridasa Thakura left, he was with Mahaprabhu and all the bhaktas were there. Similarly, when Param Gurudeva was leaving, everyone had arrived in Navadvipa for the beginning of Kartika vrata.
Krsna plays His flute on Sarad Purnima. He had promised the Gopis after Katyayani vrata, “After one year, on Sarad Purnima, I will call you.” When Krsna played on His flute, no one hesitated to run to Him. Whether they were cooking, cleaning, distributing prasadam, or milking the cows, as soon as they heard the flute call of Krsna, they ran to Him.
Vinoda had been present in this world for a long time, but when Prabhupada needed him for service, he called him to the eternal world. Then, Param Gurudeva disappeared in the evening. The Guru-varga then came, and arranged the viraha mahotsava. They said, “He is now in the eternal world. Here is his memorial place.” Where will we offer respect? Where will we go to pray? Where will we cry? Anything that was used by Guru-pada-padma is spiritual, even his fingernail or cloth. He was with this body for a long time, and he has given that to you as a gift. The place where this body is present will be a holy dhama. It will be surcharged with spiritual power. Therefore, Guru-pada-padma is given samadhi. This place is called the samadhi pitha stana.
Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu did not give their bodies as a gift to the world. None of the panca tattva left their bodies behind. Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya also took their bodies with them. But, our Guru-varga were very kind to leave their bodies behind. They could have taken them with them. Narottama dasa Thakura took his body with him. Also, the body of Gopala Guru Gosvami could not be found. But, the Gosvamis, like Rupa and Sanatana, were very kind. They left their bodies behind for us. The Guru-varga are very kind. They offer their transcendental bodies to us. The Gosvamis left 500 years ago, but you can go to their samadhis, and if you offer respects there and pray to them, then all their eternal power will come to you. There, you can collect all their power. But, if you go there and speak prajalpa, act frivolously, or waste your time, then you will become disturbed.
Today is Sarad Purnima. On one side is Saradiya rasa yatra, and on the other side, it is the beginning of Urja vrata, Kartika vrata, Damodara vrata, and niyama seva. The meaning of niyama seva is not niyama agraha. There is niyama agraha and niyamagraha. Pray and request with a humble mood, “O Prabhu, I know that I am not qualified. I am insignificant. But, please give me energy and strength, and enable me to follow bhakti in this life. I want to serve, but I am not qualified. Then, how can I serve? How can I go beyond the Himalayas and reach the transcendental abode of Goloka Vrndavana dhama? My body, mind, and senses do not support me in spiritual service. They say, ‘You are tired. Take rest. This is not good for you.’ They give many types of instructions. The mind tells many things. How can I cross the mind, body, and senses? How can I engage them in service? Please help.”
Practice every day. A baby lies, then sits, then crawls, then walks on its knees, and then tries to stand but falls over. The whole family helps it to walk. If we try to follow bhakti, then the Guru-varga will help us walk on the path of bhakti. The baby does not think, “I will lie down forever. I will never sit up.” The baby tries, and then its family members catch its hands and help the baby to walk. Then it tries to walk on its own and falls, and then tries again and falls again. Slowly, it becomes strong, and then it begins to run. Even if it slips, there is no problem. It again gets up and walks and runs.
In this life, we are more than infants. We are nothing. But, we have been given a chance to follow Kartika vrata, Urja vrata, Niyama vrata, Caturmasya, Katyayani vrata, Maga vrata, and so forth. These are very helpful for us. They give us spiritual strength. Then, we will not be lame and blind. Otherwise, if we are lame there is a problem, and if we are blind, there is more of a problem. Unless spiritual power comes to us, we are weak, and we will lose everything.
During the time of Kartika vrata and Radha Damodara vrata, Srila Gurudeva would sing the Damodarastakam, Upadesamrtam, Siksastakam, and Manah Siksa, and he would give class on these books. He would speak on Srimad Bhagavatam, and sometimes on Rasa pancadhyaya – gopi gita, venu gita, brahmara gita, yugala gita, and pranaya gita. These chapters of the Bhagavatam are very close to Krsna. They are His nectar, and please Him inestimably. Wherever Krsna hears Rasa pancadhyaya, He stays nearby.
Sukadeva Gosvami spoke to Pariksita Maharaja in the assembly of all the sages. They asked Sukadeva, “You said that the Bhagavatam is Krsna’s svarupa. But, where is Krsna? He has not come? So, how can the Bhagavatam be considered Krsna’s svarupa?” Some of the sages had some doubt. But, everyone heard the Bhagavatam, and remembered Krsna. Then Krsna came in their hearts and minds. They were immersed in thoughts of Krsna. After hearing the Bhagavatam, Pariksita Maharaja’s mother Uttara asked her son, “You heard the Bhagavatam, and I also heard it. But, I don’t remember the meaning or essence of it. Sukadeva Gosvami spoke continuously for seven days and nights, but what should we really follow? I don’t know anything.”
Pariksita Maharaja replied, “O mother, Krsna is kisora. You should develop a sweet relationship with Him. He is your lover.” Can someone tell this to his mother? She said, “How can I see Krsna? Where is He, and will He accept me?”
Pariksita Maharaja said, “If you are ready, and if you have a desire to be accepted, then Krsna will accept you.”
Krsna is very kind, He accepted 16,108 princesses, and made them His queens in Dvaraka. But, the Vraja-devis are with Him twenty-four hours a day. If you want to follow the Vraja-devi’s footsteps, then Krsna will be your beloved, and you will understand everything. Then, you will understand Krsna-seva. Unless you are nearby someone, how can you understand the means of serving him? First make a relationship, and then you will get instructions on how to serve with affection. If you have no relation, then how will you understand how to serve?
Pariksita Maharaja’s mother was not shy. She thought, “Oh, Krsna has really come and accepted me.” On one side, Pariksita Maharaja left to eternal Vrndavana. And Uttara, his mother, entered this sadhana. She did not call him her son. She said, “You are my Guru.” This is called parakiya diksa in the parakiya parampara. The svakiya parampara diksa is another process.
Some people take diksa from different Gurus. Children go from their parents to playschool and school, but once they are qualified, they will come back to their parents and their own family. Many acaryas are there who will teach you on how to make a relationship with Krsna. Go to the acaryas and Gurus to learn. But, once you are qualified, Vrnda-devi will engage you in your eternal service. Then, you will attain svarupa siddhi. This is the parakiya parampara, or bhagavat parampara. But, you must cross these different stages. Therefore, you need a guardian. But, in the eternal world, you will see your real svarupa and Guru. There, you will have another svarupa.
Today, we will start the discussion on Damodarastakam. In the evening, we will hear more about Param Gurudeva, and we will offer puspanjali. Now, we have many services. Guru puja will be at eight o’clock. We will again come together at eleven o’clock, start kirtana, and we will offer puspanjali then also. I don’t know when Maharaja will return from Radha Kunda.
If you invite someone, it is vaidhi marga. And if people have anuraga, they automatically come. This is pusti marga, or parakiya marga. Yesterday, people had anuraga for pasta. Therefore, many maharajas came. And if they have anuraga for Param Gurudeva, they will come today. I did not invite anyone here because I am not the owner. The Guru-varga is the owner. If people have love for the Guru-varga, they will come, and if they don’t come, ‘Haribol’. I am not an authority, owner, or guardian who invites others. People have given me a room here, and therefore I came. The mahanta here has called me and offered me a room. Therefore, I came. Otherwise, I would not come.
The Vraja-devis go into the forest, and wherever they go, they cook for Krsna, and give some prasadam for Krsna. If Krsna has no plates and bowls, they make bowls inside the stone. There, they give sweet-rice, curry-sauce, and dal batti. Now, I understand why they leave their homes, and wherever they go, they serve. I understand this process now. And wherever they go, many people follow them. Whoever has anuraga will come.
Respect everyone, and if people do not come, do not call them. Do not disturb anyone. They are respected divine masters. If you make any offense to them, you will lose your life. Be very careful. But, if anyone comes, then respect them with your heart, and serve them. If they come, it is by Krsna’s desire; Krsna and Gurudeva have called them. If I call, then I am independent. And then, if I do not serve and respect them properly, then I will make an offense.
Siva Thakura told Sati, “Don’t go to your father’s house. He has not invited you.”
She said, “I have the right to go. He is my father. There is no need for an invitation to go to one’s father or Guru.”
But, Siva said, “No, don’t go.” She went anyway, and then we know what happened to her. Afterwards, Siva Thakura gave many instructions which can be read in the Puranas or in the Bhagavatam.
If people come to wherever harikirtana, harikatha, and hari-seva are going on, by the desire of Krsna and the Guru-varga, then understand that they are coming to help us, and that they have been sent by Krsna. There are here to purify us, and Krsna has given us a chance to serve Vaisnavas.
Now, we will read the first sloka of Damodarastakam, and then we will perform Guru puja. Srila Gurudeva published Damodara lila described in Srimad Bhagavatam. This has just been published this year. Only a hundred copies have been printed so far. Yasoda Damodara is in Gokula Mahavana, and Radha Damodara is in Vrndavana. But, now these deities are in Jaipur. Why did they leave Vraja and go to Jaipur? Can He not tolerate separation? Anyhow, we will hear from the Bhagavatam tomorrow. Now, we will read the first verse from Damodarastakam.
lasat-kundalam gokule bhrajamanam
paramrishtam atyantato drutya gopya
Sanatana Gosvami and Param Gurudeva wrote a purport here. Before starting bhajana or hari katha, you must do mangalacarana. First you pray for their blessings and offer obeisance. Then, you will make relation, and will understand something, and will become close to them. Then, your life will not be spoiled. Otherwise, speculation is not permanent. Speculation lasts for a little while, but the reality is unlimited, and more and more truths will be revealed.
Therefore, Satyavrata muni first offers pranama – namamisvaram. “O Isvaral, I offer pranama to You.” Who is Isvara? Rama, Parasurama, Vamanadeva, Visnu, Jagannatha, Nrsingadeva – out of unlimited incarnations of the Lord, there are twenty-four prominent ones. “I offer pranama to all of these Lords.” Why? Isita, They have power. They can accept our respect and love. They purify that, and clean us.
If a child takes birth in a good place, it gets taught good etiquette. When they come to a good school, they get taught to dress nicely, and they get taught what to eat. In gurukulas, the students get taught all etiquette.
Therefore, we offer pranama to all Isvaras that appear throughout the four yugas. We pray, “Please, accept my obeisance. For millions of lifetimes, I have taken birth. I was present in Rama’s time, in Nrsimhadeva’s time, in Kalki’s time, in Krsna’s time, and in Visnu’s time. The soul is eternal. However, at that time, I did not have faith and knowledge to offer obeisance. Kamsa was right in front of Krsna, and Ravana was in front of Rama. I am a greater demon than Kamsa, Ravana or Hiranyakasipu. I have taken birth for millions of lives, but I never prayed to You. I never asked You for help. Therefore, I offer my prayers to You—namamisvaram. Before, I would not offer even pranama. I was dumb, blind, and useless.”
Kaviraja Gosvami said:
jayatam suratau pangor
mama manda-mater gati
“Whatever life I achieved, I was surata, or filled with lust. I had a good friendship with lust, and to satisfy my lust, I have done everything. However, I never took shelter of Radha Govinda deva, or of Madana Mohana deva. Why? Madan Mohana defeats lust, and cleans us. But, I did not take shelter of Him. I had no desire to take shelter of Him. I am mandamati and mandagati, and pangu, or lame. But, jayatam suratau pangor, I cannot walk to attain this rati, or love for God. I have no strength to go to sadhus and to pray to them for this love. I cannot go in this direction.”
Satyavata muni says, “For millions of lives, I have taken birth, and You have also appeared millions of times, but I never offered pranama, and I never asked You to help me, and to purify me. Please, I pray to You. O Prabhu, You are sat-cit-ananda rupam. You are the embodiment of one quality and three qualities at the same time. Sat-svarupa is Baladeva Prabhu, or Guru. You sent many Gurus to help. Before, I had no knowledge. I did not know You. I never respected You. I thought that I was God, that I was Brahma, sarvam khalv idam brahma.”
Guru and Vaisnavas have kindly told us, “Now it is Damodara vrata. Come to Vrndavana to observe this vrata. I will give you lodging and everything. You should stay with me during Kartika vrata. Go on parikrama, take darsana of the holy places. You do not need to pay or do service. Just follow bhakti.” But, we hesitate to go.
We think, “I may not have to pay, but I want you to give me ten-thousand dollars after parikrama.”
Gurudeva would say, “I will give you twenty-thousand. Just come.” They bring us for parikrama, and they engage us in harikatha, service, parikrama, and bhakti every day. At the end, Gurudeva would say, “I will give you twenty-thousand dollars now.”
“Oh Gurudeva, no need.”
Then, they hold their ears and say, “Please, excuse me. I am a rascal. I want to steal your blood.” Then, they receive Guru bhakti, and realization comes. Before, they were very strange and stubborn, but then they change. Similarly, we don’t want to come to God, Guru or the Vaisnavas without offering respects and obeisance.
Sat-cit-ananda rupam; Baladeva is Sat svarupa. The Guru-varga is the personification of Sat. They come, teach us, and give us cit-jnana, or spiritual knowledge. They give us knowledge of the absolute truth.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
bhagavan iti sabdyate
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11
They teach us ananda rupam. We go everywhere, but we find no ananda, no bliss. Ananda rupa stays with Ananda svarupini-Srimati Radharani. Ananda, or bliss, is present in seva. Without seva, there is no rasa. Service has all rasa. This ananda, or hladini is with seva. Without seva, there is no meva, or feast. Before the jiva has no tendency to serve, and wants everyone to serve him, and everyone to like him. But then, he understands that he lost everything. He then prays, “O Prabhu, You have given me this chance. Now, I pray to all the incarnations. I hold my ears, and understand that I am a very insignificant living entity. Before, I was proud, but now I gave up this pride. Namami – I have no ahankara. Now, I offer myself. Before, this was not possible. Now, I offer pranama to all incarnations, to all the part and parcels of God.”
krpa koro’ vaisnava thakura
sambandha janiya, bhajite bhajite,
abhiman hao dura
‘ami to vaisnava’, e buddhi hoile,
amani na ho’bo ami
pratisthasa asi’, hrdoy dusibe,
“Now, I am going on the path to hell. I am not going on the helpline; I am going on the line towards hell. Why? It is because I am so attached to my prestige. I collect pride. O Prabhu, now I offer myself to You.” This is called saranagati.
First comes saranagata, and then we become akincana, then we can become surrendered. Then, atma samarpana is possible. This mood comes the first time. This is taught by Satyavata muni. Gurudeva, Param Gurudeva, and our Guru-varga teach this. They tell us, “Come to the holy dhama.”
atma-nivedana, tuwa pade kori’
hoinu parama sukhi
duhkha dure gelo, cinta na rohilo,
caudike ananda dekhi
Bhaktivinoda Thakura also says:
ki jani ki bale, tomara dhamete,
tumi doya-moy, patita-pavana,
“I came to the holy dhama, but I am not saranagata to the holy dhama.” People look for nice gardens, clean places, nice toilets, nice rooms, and all facility, cars, servants, etc. But, if we are not servants, then who will serve us? First be sarangata. Then, look at the family of God, and then you will understand. Otherwise, you cannot understand, and you will not realize the truth. Therefore the first line is— namamisvaram sat-cit-ananda rupam.
Time is over now. In the evening we will give another purport to this sloka. We will hear how this is related to Param Gurudeva. We will understand how the Guru-varga is sat svarupa, and how they give sat-vritti, or pure tendency. I will try to explain this in the evening. If we can accept this, or hear this, then this is offering ourselves, and then we can be atma nivedana. Then, we can surrender ourselves and become niskincana and akincana. First, we therefore pray for saranagati.
Now, we will perform Guru puja, and do our seva. By eleven or eleven-thirty everyone should be present here, and offer puspanjali again.
Gaura Premanande Haribol!
Kartika vrata in Vraja-mandala
If anyone has the desire to follow kartika-vrata, urja-vrata, he should always reside in the holy dhama of Sri Vraja-mandala. If one tear for God falls from the eyes, this is like an offering of flowers. This love is our worship. In kali-yuga, even by thousands of spiritual rituals, we cannot attain freedom from maya. On the other hand, if a person’s heart once melts and cries out for the mercy of God, all help will come to him.
Even though God is omnipresent, when we come to His holy dhama, we experience a different kind of relief. In the holy dhama, there is good opportunity for saintly association. Even if we are not in the holy dhama physically, if we remember these holy places, Sri Guru and Vaisnavas will definitely help us. We are not alone, Guru and Vaisnavas are always with us.
When one follows this vrata, he should offer a ghee lamp and bhoga to Radha-Damodara. In this month especially, one should be careful to avoid making offenses and to have good character. Give respect to all; don’t have any anger fire or bad desires. Try to always be humble, and then certainly you will receive mercy.
By the causeless mercy of our spiritual preceptors, we are trying to follow kartika-vrata, urja-vrata. How can we attain the mercy of Urjesvari Srimati Radharani? How can we attain the mercy of Radha-Damodara? Our lineage of divine masters have called us to the holy dhama. Srimati Radharani has manifested Her countless sakhis and manjaris from Her heart.
The night of saradiya-rasa-purnima is very auspicious. Sri Vrndavana-dhama will help everyone, including conditioned souls, mystic yogis, and so forth. This pure help is not ordinary. In other places, only after millions of lives of practice may one attain perfection. Even then there is no guarantee of one’s destination.
Srimati Radharani’s potency is present everywhere in Sri Vraja-mandala, especially during this month. Therefore, Sri Guru is inviting us to be here. By staying in Sri Vraja-mandala, we can receive Vrnda-devi’s mercy. Later, Srimati Radharani will give the sincere practitioner self-realization and service to Krsna.