Day 137: Gaurābda 532, Mārgaśīrṣa – Sasthi 13 Dec 2018 – Monday
Many years ago I joined the maṭha and met my Gurudeva, and after hearing his hari-kathā for a period of time I told him, “I have given up all the love and affection I had for my wife, for my father and mother, and for my body. I forever offer everything unto your lotus feet.” Hearing this, my Gurudeva began to weep. Although I rendered very little service, by my Gurudeva’s special mercy he thought, “He is rendering me so much service.” Although I am a dry straw, by his causeless mercy I am preaching everywhere and so many are hearing from me.
When Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī used to meet, they did not discuss mundanetopics like, “Are you okay? I am okay. Is this body okay?” Rather, they inquired, “Oh, how is yourkṛṣṇa-bhajana? Are there any problems? How is your bhajana developing?” They discussed the booksthey were writing, like Brhad-Bhāgavatāmṛta, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Ujjvala nīlamaṇi, Padyāvalī, andespecially the two books, Lalita-mādhava and Vidagdha-mādhava. In this way they passed their time, forhours and hours, throughout the day and night. Bhakti is a continually flowing current, and thiscurrent will not remain for a moment anywhere. It will gradually progress from śraddhā to anartha-nivṛtti to niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti, bhāva, and prema.Why can’t you become like Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī? He didn’t consider what possessions he had, orwhere they were. He would simply call out, “O Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa.” Some of you ask me,“Should I marry or not, Mahārāja? It is a very big problem.” Or, “I want to bring so much money, butthere is some dispute. What should I do?” Don’t come to me with all these things. Why, despitehearing for so many long years, this detachment is not coming? You should ask your heart. The real fruits, tattva-jñāna and vairāgya, are not coming.
Spoken by Srila Gurudeva: December 13, 2001 Germany
Srila Gurudeva Speaks about the Example of Chota Haridas
My only purpose in life is to have the association of Rāmacandra Kavirāja. Without him, everything is void and empty. If I take birth again, may I be in his association, then Narottama dāsa’s life will be blessed.
Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī prays in his Vilāpa-kusumāñjali:
vairāgya-yug bhakti-rasaṁ prayatnair
apāyayan mām anabhīpsum andham
kṛpāmbudhir yaḥ para-duḥkha-duḥkhī
sanātanaṁ taṁ prabhum āśrayāmi
I was reluctant to drink the ambrosia of bhakti-rasa infused with renunciation, but Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, being an ocean of compassion unable tolerate the sufferings of others, induced me to drink it. Therefore, I take shelter of myśikṣā–guru Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī.
In other words, Dāsa Gosvāmī is saying, “I had no desire to drink this rasa, but Sanātana Gosvāmī again and again carefully gave me this bhakti-rasa.” This is the gift that anurāgī–rāgātmikā–jana bestow. Only from them is it possible to collect this vairāgya–yuga–bhakti-rasa. Anyone who has relation with God is my real friend. If they have no relation with God then I am not related to them. They are not my friend.
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is again and again praying for the saṅga of Rāmacandra Kavirāja. He is a disciple of Ācārya Śrīnivāsa, the elder brother of Govinda Dāsa and the son of Cirañjīva Sena, who was Mahāprabhu’s parikāra. Rāmacandra Kavirāja was a distributor of the nāma, rūpa, guṇa, and līlā–mādhurya of Śrī Hari. Without the saṅga of the anurāgī–jana, life is useless. Narottama Ṭhākura is saying, “I am very distant from all the Guru-varga. But Ācārya Śrīnivāsa has kindly sent his disciple Rāmacanrdra Kavirāja. He is constantly helping me on the path of spiritual life. If he is with me then I am never distant from Vṛndāvana or Rādhārānī and Her followers. Rāmacandra Kavirāja is present in the eternal world serving under the guidance of Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Rūpa, and Rati Mañjarī.” Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is eternally serving there with him and also engaging many others in this vraja–sevā. He is praying again and again for the saṅga of rasika and bhāvuka-bhaktas. Rāmacandra Kavirāja is mahā–premi, bhāvuka, and rasika, thus Narottama Ṭhākura is again and again praying that, “Without his saṅga everything is dry and empty. The Guru-varga has kindly sent him to me, and he has accepted me and taken me with him and assisted me in understanding māna–līlā.”
During the time Lokanātha Gosvāmī was manifesting māna towards Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Rāmacandra Kavirāja helped pacify him and encouraged Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura to continue his service. He gave him more sevā–adhikāra. This is sajātīyāśaye-snigdhe-sādhu-saṅgaḥ. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is humble—tṛṇād api sunīcena. He is humbly praying that Rāmacandra Kavirāja be sweet and soft to him. I pray for this type of saṅga life after life.
āpana bhajana-kathā nā kahiba jathā tathā
ihāte haiba sāvadhāna
nā kariha keha roṣa nā laiha mora doṣa
praṇāmaha bhaktera caraṇe
Do not speak about your own bhajana, the matters of your heart, simply to anybody here and there. Be careful in this regard. Do not get angry with me or see my faults and accept offense. I respectfully offer my humble obeisance unto the lotus feet of the bhaktas.
Narottama Ṭhākura is telling his realization from his own bhajana, that during bhajana or sevā, do not discuss or talk with anyone else, otherwise one will be disconnected from this flow. One must remain very serious to truly engage in bhakti. To properly chant mantra and harināma, read śāstra, and perform arcana, or any guru-sevā, it must be one-pointed. At that time do not talk with any other persons or address anyone else. Bhajana is meant only for you and God and the Guru-varga. If I deviate slightly in this practice then to that extent that I am neglecting and disobeying God and Guru, my heart will be divided, and my mantra–devatā will be disturbed. Līlā–śakti will not enter the heart of such a person, or if she was present there before, she will disconnect herself. Therefore do bhajana in a secret hidden place. Meet with a premi-bhaktain private, serve, and speak with him in private. It is not to show all. When a sādhaka does sādhana it should be secret. If one does not carefully follow this rule and remain serious about their sādhana then it will simply become a show or exercise. This is not proper. So a sādhaka must be very serious and strict in this regard. As a result of this one-pointed mood others may become disturbed and not approve of this disposition. They may be upset that, “He is not talking with us, he doesn’t love us, he is always hiding and avoiding us.” But this is not a problem. Don’t worry about this. To protect one’s bhakti is more important than pleasing ordinary people. Never compromise bhakti with anything. She is most important and above all else. When the Guru-varga sees this seriousness, they will give more adhikāra. They will see that within the sādhaka’s heart is a secure and protected place and there they will store more and more confidential subject matters. If any ordinary person asks, they will never tell these secrets. Never tell anything for your own name and fame. Never be greedy for material achievements.
The Vraja-devis are always hiding their own glories and svarūpa. Their bhāvas are all hidden. Their love for Kṛṣṇa is secret. They never show anyone. Ṭhākura Mahāśaya continues: “I am a follower of the Vraja-devī’s. In their guidance I am always engaged in confidential sevā. I cannot give time to anyone else. So please forgive me and do not be angry with me. I am again and again praying that no one should see my faults. I am offering my praṇāma to all bhaktas. Please allow me now to be absorbed fully in my service. Before I was not one-pointed and my Guru Mahārāja was very disturbed. Now I have learned the proper method and I will continue to seriously serve under his guidance in Vraja-dhāma. So I pray that no one will become angry if I avoid or rebuke them.” This is called ananyataḥ, or being appointed. Our bhajana is meant for the pleasure of God and Guru. So called bhajana performed for the purpose of receiving praise from ordinary people, or bhajana done to please one’s self, can never be called real bhajana. Bhajana is very strong, serious, and straight.
Whatever Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu has said to me, I have spoken in this book, but really I do not know what is good and what is wrong.
Srila Narottama das Thakur ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Sri Prema-Bhakti Candrika. Available from: firstname.lastname@example.org )