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 kāā vraja-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 nārī vyagrāpi 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] )