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
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
upadekshyanti te jnanam
—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
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:
yada samharate cayam
kurmo ‘nganiva sarvasah
tasya prajna pratishthita
—Bhagavad Gita 2.58
“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:
kothaya go premamayi, radhe radhe!
tomara kangala tomaya, dake radhe radhe!
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.