sábado, 18 de setembro de 2010
segunda-feira, 6 de setembro de 2010
Visvarupa Mahotsava and the Sannyasa Ceremony of His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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Jaya Srila Prabhupada Jaya Srila Gurudeva !
Srila Gurudeva Vyasa Puja São Paulo 2010Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja fala sobre seu relacionamento com Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada no dia de Vyasa Puja em São Paulo, 2010.
Dandavat e Pranamas á todos vaishnavas ,
Neste video aparece Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaj cantando ainda no templo Je anila prema para o corpo transcendental de Srila Prabhupara , fazendo o arati e Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaj esta a frente liderando o kirtana como de costume e tradição a autoridade dos devotos toma a frente e canta , respeita se os mais antigos devotos e sabios puros vaishnavas esta é a tradição vedica de Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaj leading kirtan, Je anila prema dhana, after Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj departure
Dandavat e pranamas á todos os vaishnavas , neste video aparece Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaj conduzindo o kirtana de cortejo do corpo transcendental de Srila Prabhupada como autoridade ele esta a frente cantando .
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaj performing Nagar Sankirtan with Iskcon
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|Sunday, 16 May 2004|
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
October 5th, 2004
[Sept 3, 2010 is the anniversary of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja's divine appearance day. Below is an excerpt from Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja's classes, which he gave in October 5th, 2004, glorifying Srila Prabhupada. (Please also note the erratum below the lectures):]
The Same Mission
Why are devotees from so many countries assembled here? I think it was the desire of Sri Krsna, in the form of Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari and Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama
["In every town and village, the chanting of My name will be heard."]
This was the mission, but why? What was the reason for their coming?
Srila Maharaja interjects a request: If any senior devotees, disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja are sitting or standing at the back, they should come and sit in front.
What was the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? They all had the same mission, and I am also coming for this same preaching mission. I am very grateful to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja that he gave me service. I have known him since 1946. I think most of you here were not yet born. I have been serving him since that time. As you may know, he and I have so many relationships. He was my transcendental siksa-guru, he was junior in sannyasa to me, and we were bosom friends. We have so many transcendental relations and you can read about this in the book called "My Siksa Guru and Priya Bandhu", compiled by Mula-prakrti didi. Our mission is the same.
Perhaps you all know this, but there are some newcomers who do not. In his last days, in Vrndavana, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja called me to see him. At that time he had stopped talking to anyone. When he saw me, however, he took my hands in his and at once sat up from his bed and wanted to give me a seat there. I requested him to stay as he was.
Pure devotees are so humble. He told me, "I have committed many offenses to you and to my god-brothers, saying that they only sleep and take prasadam. I said they do nothing but ring bells in the temple. This was wrong. I know that you are most qualified. I have not taken sannyasa from your Gurudeva (Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) as a formality, but for bhajana-sadhana."
There were so many seniors, like Pujyapada Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja and Srila Vana Maharaja and others, but Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada sprinkled so much mercy on Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada by telling him, "Your English is perfect, you are a poet and preacher, you play mrdaìga and you can do everything. You are qualified to preach this mission in the West."
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada thus sent his own "hand" to Western and Eastern countries. In a couple of years your Srila Prabhupada established preaching centers in American cities like New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles and San Francisco, European countries, Australia and everywhere – in the mountains, on islands in oceans, and perhaps in every atom. You are spiritual atoms.
He told me on that day, "Please excuse me; I have committed some offenses. Please tell my god-brothers that they are very qualified, and in some sense they are more qualified then I am. I have preached Sriman Mahaprabhu's mission everywhere and I have collected thousands of disciples throughout the world; but due to their lack of capacity to receive, I could not fully train them." And in Bengali he said, "I have collected some monkeys." He told me this in Bengali, so that certain disciples would not understand and thus become upset but the tape recorder captured every word.
I told him, "You did not commit any kind of offense. You told this to your neophyte disciples, because that was what they needed at the time, for their inspiration to serve and preach. There is nothing to excuse." He then ordered me, "You should give me samadhi with your own hands. I want it done by you not by anyone else." And I did so. He told me at that time to help his devotees, and for that reason I have come here to the West. I have come especially to help the senior-most devotees of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. There are so many hundreds, like Padmanabha Maharaja, Bhudhara, Bhagavata and Krparama, and so many ladies. They are all directly related to him.
I told him not to be worried, because I would fulfill his order. I am coming to the West to please him, to serve his order and to see his glory – how he preached this mission all over the world in a couple of years - in oceans, on the tops of mountains and hills, in forests and in so many other places. I think that you have come to me by his mercy – through reading his books and hearing hari-katha from any of his disciples. I am successful in preaching because I have a relation with him and he has accepted my service. In a couple of years I have circled the world sixteen times. He circled the world fourteen times. By the mercy of the father, the son and disciple can appear to do more than him.
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Govardhana, India: October 22, 2009
Today is a very sacred day. Not only is it the month of Kartika and not only are we situated at the feet of Giriraja Govardhana, but on this day we are celebrating the disappearance day festival of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, the ‘right hand’ of his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. He took sannyasa from his god-brother, my Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and he preached the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the entire world.
I first met him in 1946, just after our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti completed its annual Navadvipa parikrama, when, as a householder, his name was Abhaya Caranavinda De. I was with my Gurudeva in Calcutta, and at that time he came to meet Gurudeva. When I saw their intense fraternal affection, like brothers, I became stunned. I always loved and honored anyone who loved and served my Gurudeva. Therefore, seeing Srila Bhakti Vedanta Svami Maharaja’s extremely intense affection for my Gurudeva, I served him with my heart and soul.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja came from a very religious Vaisnava family whose members were engaged in the worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. He appeared on the day after Janmastami – on Nandotsava (the grand celebration of Sri Krsna’s birth at the palace of Krsna’s father Nanda Maharaja). At that time he was given the very beautiful name Abhaya Caranaravinda, meaning, ‘the lotus feet of He who bestows fearlessness upon those who take His shelter, who is none other than Sri Krsna Himself.’ People who take birth on such auspicious days are very fortunate.
Even as a child Abhaya Caranaravinda would not play with his friends; rather, he would pick up karatalas and a mrdanga and sing in a very sweet voice. He went to an English-medium high school and college where he became proficient in the English language. His writing in English was excellent.
After marriage he became the manager for Bengal Chemical Company. After some time he thought, “I shall open my own company,” and he did so, but that company failed.
He then went to Allahabad and opened a very big shop. That shop was so popular that even the Prime Minister of India used to go there and buy medicine from him. However, even though it was a great success for a while, it also failed. After some time he sold that shop, paid his debts, and then became like a beggar.
He had already received initiation from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. One day he was reading the Srimad-Bhagavatam and came across this verse (10.88.8):
sri-bhagavan uvacaThe Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him and he becomes a beggar. Having no other shelter, he takes full shelter of Me.”
harisye tad-dhanam sanaih
tato 'dhanam tyajanty asya
He would read that verse and say, “Now I am having realization of this.”
He then went to Mathura and was living at the holy place of Krsna’s pastimes known as Visrama Ghat, where he would make his own medicine and personally sell it. One day I found him there and asked, “What are you doing here? Why are you living here in this condition? You should not have to wander here and there.” Without asking his permission I then took all his bags and brought him to the Matha, and I gave him the small room adjacent to the altar-room, where Thakurji resides at present. I kept him near me and provided him whatever facilities were required. While he resided there, he began translating the three volumes of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. He stayed with us for some time.
One day I told him, “You have the mercy of Thakurji and your Gurudeva. You are so expert in English. Why not take the sannyasa order and preach all around the world? During that time my Guru Maharaja came from Navadvipa, and I told him, “Prabhu is so qualified and expert. If you give him sannyasa, he can preach throughout the world in the English language.” A god-brother was present with us named Sanatana dasa, who was ninety-five years old at that time. He said, “If Abhaya Caranaravinda takes sannyasa, I will take sannyasa also.”
I was the priest at his sannyasa ceremony. I performed the yajna (fire-sacrifice), I showed him how to wear the dor kaupin (sannyasa under-garments), and I made his danda (the sannyasa staff). At that time he was given the name Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. [Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja gave the title ‘Bhaktivedanta’ to all his sannyasa disciples, and to each he gave an individual name. The individual name he gave to our Prabhupada is ‘Svami,’ and thus our Prabhupada’s full sannyasa name became ‘Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja.’ He was a great scholar and a powerful speaker; his lectures were most influential.
After taking sannyasa he went to Agra with some brahmacaris to preach there. He soon opened a temple in Jhansi, and he invited Gurudeva and I and all the Matha brahmacaris for the opening ceremony. Gurudeva and I went there with about twenty-five or thirty other devotees, but when we arrived Srila Svami Maharaja told us that there was some conflict with the persons who were donating the temple. He therefore gave us his Mahaprabhu Deity to bring back to our Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura, where the same Deity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has been worshipped ever since.
Srila Svami Maharaja made some friends with the heads of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company and went for free to America. [He was given the first-class cabinet of the company’s owner]. Shortly after arriving in America, he wrote me and requested me to send his books, which were in his room in Mathura. He had already translated the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in three parts. Those and other books were covered with dust. I sent them to Calcutta, from where a boat would leave for America. Because there was so much dust in the room, I became sick for about two or three months.
On the boat to America he had a heart attack, at which time he completely absorbed himself in the lotus feet of his Gurudeva, and somehow he was saved. He wrote a very nice poem on the boat describing his situation. He first arrived in Boston and then went to New York, where in Tomkins Square Park he sat down and sang: “Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Gadhadhara Srivasadi Gaura Bhakta-vrnda” and “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”
There were so many hippies there, and some of those same hippies are present here today. Also, many persons at Thompkins Square Park were taking alcohol and cigarettes, and they were so pleased by the kirtan of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja that they would offer him their bottles, although there was no question of him accepting them.
bhavapavargo bhramato yada bhavejThis verse states that when a person receives the glance of a sadhu, at that time his material existence is destined to be extinguished and his attraction towards Sri Krsna awakens.
janasya tarhy acyuta sat-samagamah
sat-sangamo yarhi tadaiva sad-gatau
paravarese tvayi jayate matih[“When the material life of a wandering soul has ceased, O Acyuta, he may attain the association of Your devotees. And when he associates with them, there awakens in him devotion unto You, who are the goal of the devotees and the Lord of all causes and their effects.”
That is called sadhu-sanga. But what type of sadhu should one be? That sadhu should at least be situated on the highest platform of madhyama-adhikari, which is called madhyama-uttama, and then the persons who meet him can have that type of auspiciousness. Thus, by the association of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, hippies became happy and were transformed into Vaisnavas. Under his guidance they preached all over the world.
He translated all of the prominent books of our sampradaya, especially the Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. In a few years he preached everywhere and made temples in all the major cities of the world. He not only made thousands of disciples but also hundreds of thousands of followers.
He gave sannyasa, but not real sannyasa. Because he understood the level of qualification of his sannyasa candidates, he did not give them the 108 names quoted in the Gaudiya Kantahara. Rather, he gave names like Tamal Krsna, Bhavananda, Brahmanda, etc.
Just as a thorn is used to remove another thorn from the foot, he used these devotees to preach the message of Mahaprabhu everywhere. Then, after his disappearance, many became weak and fell back into material life.
The night before he entered nitya-lila, the eternal pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, I went to his divine bedside. At that time he took my hand and asked me to sit on his bed; but I would not. I sat on a chair next to him. Taking hold of my hand and with tears in his eyes, he begged me, “I have committed many offenses to you and my god-brothers. Please go to them and beg forgiveness on my behalf. I have criticized them, saying, ‘They are simply eating, sleeping, and enjoying life.’ Please forgive me. Also, I want that only you will give me Samadhi. And after my Samadhi ceremony, please arrange my viraha-mahotsava, (divine disappearance festival).”
He told me, “I brought many to the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but I could not train them fully; they are like monkeys. Due to their lack of qualification I did not have time to teach them all tattva (established philosophical truths) and siddhanta (philosophical conclusions). Please help them in every way so that they may stay on the path of Vaisnavism.
I replied, “You never committed any offense. You simply made those statements in order to give enthusiasm to your young disciples in their devotional services. The Supreme Lord never took any offense; and no Vaisnava took any offense, so do not worry.”
After the most respected Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja’s disappearance, ISKCON leaders would come to me and give me so much respect. However, after they saw my influence growing and so many people attracted to me, they decided to ban me. Then, after the ban, they began to kick out anyone coming to me from their temples and asramas.
By his mercy I am trying to follow in his footsteps. I have published more than 100 books, and by his mercy I am preaching around the world. I pray to him that he bestows his mercy on me so that I may continue to preach the message of pure devotion around the world as he did.
A few days ago some Iskcon leaders came here to our Govardhana Matha and begged forgiveness. They realized that they committed a mistake, so they came to me and asked for forgiveness. They told me, “Previously we had a very sweet relationship. We want that relationship to continue as before.”
I told them, “Yes, come and meet with me, and in that way forgiveness is automatically obtained.”
by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Murwillumbah, Australia: Feb. 18, 2002 (evening)
I offer my heartfelt dandavat pranama unto the lotus feet of my diksa-guru, Nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I also offer my heartfelt dandavat pranama unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, Nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
You should know one thing. ISKCON was first established by catur-mukha (four-headed) Brahma. He is our first guru. He is the original founder-acarya of ISKCON, and his disciples like Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara, and Narada are real ISKCON preachers. After them, especially in Kali-yuga, Madhvacarya, Ramanuja, Visnuswami, Nimbaditya, and so many others appeared. In our line (the Gaudiya Sampradaya), especially in Kali-yuga, Sri Madavendra Puri is the root, the seed. His disciples are Srila Isvara Puripada and Nityananda Prabhu, from Isvara Puripada came Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and from Him came Svarupa Damodara. Then, after them, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura appeared in their line, and they are also part of the real ISKCON. All these are ideal ISKCON personalities, and you should always be aware of this.
At the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Srila Sarasvati Thakura was the president of ISKCON. He sent one arm, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who was given sannyasa by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, and who then gave ISKCON its English name [Previously it was called by different names, like Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, Gaudiya Matha, Visva Vaisnava Raja Sabha, and Krsna-bhakti-rasa bhavitah mati.] Your Prabhupada, Srila Swami Maharaja, only changed the name into English. He is not the founder-acarya of that eternal ISKCON. [Srila Prabhupada sometimes said he was the founder-acarya for two reasons: for management and legal purposes, and also for the faith of his young disciples who would not have understood another presentation at that time.] The founder-acarya is originally Brahma, and it was actually established by Krsna.
[The following are two of the many quotes by Srila Prabhupada in this regard:
"It is not that, 'Bhaktivedanta Swami has brought this.' They say. They give me the credit. That is my good fortune also. But actually I am just like a peon. I have brought, but I am delivering it without any adulteration. That may be my credit. And if you take it without any adulteration and practice it, then your life is successful. (Aug 3, 1975)"
"The Hare Krsna movement is not a new movement as people sometimes mistakenly think. The Hare Krsna movement is present in every millennium of Lord Brahma's life, and the holy name is chanted in all the higher planetary systems, including Brahmaloka and Candraloka, not to speak of Gandharvaloka and Apsaroloka. The sankirtana movement that was started in this world five hundred years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore not a new movement. Sometimes, because of our bad luck, this movement is stopped, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His servants again start the movement for the benefit of the entire word or, indeed, the entire universe." (SB 7.15.72 purp.)]
All of you who are following this disciplic succession are ISKCON. Don't think that you are not. I am ISKCON. I'm not different from ISKCON. I am 'Bhaktivedanta' . Like father, like son. I am the real successor of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and there is no other. You should know this very openly.
I am Bhaktivedanta and he is Bhaktivedanta, but he received this name after I did. I'm senior to him in this regard. By my request he became ready to take sannyasa, and my Guru Maharaja gave sannyasa to him. I was like the priest at his sannyasa ceremony. I performed the fire sacrifice, I made his danda and I taught him how to wear his sannyasa garments. Although he is junior to me and I'm senior to him in sannyasa, he is my siksa-guru. I'm his disciple. I'm Bhaktivedanta, and I'm also ISKCON. Don't think that I'm out of ISKCON.
Prapujyacarana Sri Srimad Bhaktiraksaka Sridhara Maharaja, Srila Madhava Maharaja, and other bona fide disciples of Srila Sarasvati Thakura are also in ISKCON. You may know that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has said, "Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja is my siksa-guru." Those who have the false ego that dictates, "We are ISKCON, and all others are not ISKCON," are very easily going down. They are not really ISKCON if they do not accept and respect all our gurus. You should always respect all those who have taken shelter of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, whether they are initiated or not. Give them proper respect. This is the idea of real ISKCON.
Don't think, "He is a disciple of someone other than my gurudeva." Don't be sectarian, like a closed box. Be open. Give respect to all those who chant Hare Krsna and accept Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and our guru-parampara. I've come to tell you all these truths.
I'm happy that all local and other devotees here are coming and honoring all Vaisnavas in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's family. Always respect those who have this idea. Don't quarrel, as some devotees are now quarreling amongst themselves. Giving respect to each other, and come together at least for festivals, on days like Krsna Janmastami, and Mahaprabhu's birthday. Invite everyone, give classes to each other, remember the words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami, and try to follow them. If you do that, you will not fall down. If you don't, you may fall.Transcribers: Raghunatha dasa Adhikari and Jagad Mohini dasi
Editor: Sri Syamarani dasi
Typist: Sri Radhika dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa
Nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutaleI offer pranama unto om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami, who is very dear to Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.
Srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
Namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarineOur respectful obeisances unto you, O servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Gaurasundara and delivering the Western countries which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja took birth in a religious family in Calcutta on Nandotsava, 1896. His childhood name was Abhay Carana De. His parents were Vaishnavas, and from childhood he was brought tip in a devotional atmosphere and was taught the virtuous conduct of a Vaishnava.
As a child, he would celebrate Janmastami, Jhulanyatra and Rathayatra very enthusiastically along with his friends and companions. When sadhus and sannyasis called at the house, his parents prayed for their blessings so that their child would receive the mercy of Srimati Radharani.
Abhay was at first educated at home, and did not attend school until his eighth year. Thereafter he was educated in English and Bengali medium schools. He completed his studies at the Scottish Church College in Calcutta and took his BA. examination in 1920. After taking his exam he joined Mahatma Gandhi's movement. He married in 1918, during his BA. studies. In 1921, Svargiya Kartikcandra Bose (who was Managing Director of Bengal Chemical, the owner of Dr. Bose's Laboratory and a close friend of Abhays father) appointed the qualified Abhay Carana as his Assistant Manager.
In 1922, a close friend took Abhaya to meet Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada in Calcutta's Ulta Danga district. Abhay was very impressed by Srila Prabhupada's powerful hari-katha and influential instructions. Seeing Abhay's special qualification in English, Srila Prabhupada made him enthusiastic to write essays in that language and to preach in foreign countries.
From then on, the young Abhay Carana often came to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada to hear hari-katha. in Prayag, 1932, Jagadguru Srila Prabhupada mercifully gave Abhay Carana both diksa-mantra and upanayana (sacred thread), according to Gopal Bhatta Gosvami's paddhati. After diksa his name became Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda Dasadhikari. Thereafter, he started regularly writing essays and articles for the English magazine "The Harmonist" which Srila Prabhupada had established.
After Srila Prabhupada entered aprakata-Iila, Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda's association with our most worshipful Gurupadapadma Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharajaji increased. Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu was a bosom friend of my Gurudeva when they met in the association of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Gaudiya Matha since 1922.
When my Gurudeva lived with him for those months in Allahabad, Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu organized so much preaching for them everywhere in that city. He had cultivated numerous associates from his pharmaceutical business and knew many educated, qualified people. He also arranged for my Gurudeva to give extensive lectures on Vedanta. Together they defeated mayavadis and also several influential Catholics and Christians. Those opponents were favorably impressed by the bona fide arguments and siddhanta they presented.
"Wherever there is any sign of mayavadism, bhakti cannot be preached in full force. So we have to remove mayavada from the root.", my Gurudeva would always state. Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu also liked this idea very much. "We must kick out mayavada," he would always say. Both of them had this understanding; they were very united in their preaching. My Gurudeva gave the name 'Bhaktivedanta' to those of us who took sannyasa from him, and when they formed an organization, they called the samiti 'Gaudiya Vedanta', which denoted that Vedanta is synonymous with bhakti.
In 1940, after the departure of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, there was turmoil in the Gaudiya Matha. One party wanted to arrest some of the senior Vaisnavas and cases were filed in the Calcutta court. At that time our Gurudeva, then known as Vinodabihari Brahmacari, was akincana (without material possessions) and he travelled to Prayaga, Allahabad. There he stayed at the Rupa Gaudiya Matha for a few days.
Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu, who had his family residence and business in Allahabad, invited our Gurudeva to come and stay in his home with him as a guest. So they lived together there for the next four or five months. During this extended time they became very near and dear to each other. They always discussed Bhagavad-gita and so many other subjects concerning guru-seva for their Srila Prabhupada and his mission.
After the disappearance of their Srila Prabhupada and after the Gaudiya Matha institution had broken apart, my Gurudeva together with Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu and Nrsimhananda Brahmacari (later Srila Bhaktikamala Madhusudana Maharaja) filed the establishment papers for the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. This was done on April 7th, 1940, the day of aksaya tritiya in a rented house at 33/2 Bosapada Lane, Calcutta.
In 1955 Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu came to the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura. We embraced him and he embraced us. Before coming he had been successful with his pharmaceutical business in Allahabad, Prayaga Pharmacy, which was very famous. Many important personalities including the Prime Minister of India were customers in his shop. Later on, however, he had to sell it. Then he travelled to all the important cities of North India, Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Jhansi, Mathura and other towns to sell some medicines he had made from his own formulas. Kunja Bihari Prabhu, a senior disciple in the matha, was especially devoted to him during this time. He helped to carry his bags and also to bring him prasadam while he worked.
After a while this job also finished and Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu gave up his household life and all its possessions in Calcutta. He again came to Mathura, this time without belongings. He brought a medical formula for treating ringworm which he distributed to the shopkeepers, store-to-store; but sales were not good. He was living in a room he had rented by the Yamuna, in Hooli Wali Gully near Bengali Ghat. He had been there three or four days when I went to see him. Straight away I (Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja) said, "Prabhu, why are you staying here"
He was very humble and didn't want to impose upon us so I forcibly took his luggage. I told him, " I will not let you go anywhere else. We are here. We are your sons. You are our Gurudeva's Godbrother and are very dear to us. We want to care for you. I will not allow you to stay here separate from us." So I brought the brahmacaris, Kunja Bihari Prabhu, Sesasayi Prabhu, and some others and we forcibly took what few utensils he had and we brought him to live in our matha.
While he was living there, Sri Abhaya Caranavinda Prabhu started to translate Srimad Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam into English. Day and night he would stay in his room and do this. He also chanted harinama so much and sang bhajans very beautifully. We did not know when he ever took rest. He slept only a short time in the morning , because all during the night he was awake, and throughout the day also.
During this time, Srila Gurudeva appointed Abhaya Caranaravinda director of his Sri Gaudiya Patrika (Bengali monthly) and Sri Bhagavat-patrika (Hindi monthly). Abhaya Caranaravinda regularly wrote articles for both these magazines. Earlier he had written articles for the Harmonist, and now he continued to write many wonderful essays, Gita purports, etc. Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda Prabhu himself established an English magazine, Back to Godhead.
He wrote so marvelously that everyone praised him. He challenged all who were opposed to pure bhakti at that time, especially the 'Murgi Mission'. He called the Ramakrsna Mission 'the Murgi Mission' because the members ate chicken. In fact, they took flesh, eggs and many abominable things. Vivekananda and his Ramakrsna Mission were very prominent in those days. They were renowned by the public who said, "Oh, these are such high-class devotees. In all of India only they are following the Vedas, and all others are not. The Gaudiya Mission and others are not Vedantic."
Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu wrote this one particular two-part article about the murgis. He began with the first part, and when the second part was also printed all were astonished and convinced. It was like a drama. Everyone requested him to write more articles like these which called for the reform of religious institutions and samskaras.
We always requested Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu to give Srimad Bhagavatam classes. Usually there was not a big audience because only a few of us lived in the matha then. We were just beginning the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha temple, so we had just five or ten persons. But very high-class, learned gentlemen from Mathura would often come to hear him speak.
Prabhu would lecture, explaining his discourses word-by-word. Very erudite scholars were attracted by his pravacana. Also during this time he would give Caitanya-caritamrta classes to those of us who were at the matha in the evenings. His devotion for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His pastimes was very deep. Later on, after he took sannyasa, he often gave these classes in English, even though almost everyone there could not understand English. He would say that he was 'practicing'.
Often we would visit each others' rooms. We had many philosophical discussions together, speaking about Prahlada-caritra and Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. We read many of those books together. He would deeply discuss the matters he wrote about in the Gaudiya-patrika. Swamiji and I had many intimate talks together about Krishna consciousness, the Gaudiya Matha and other confidential topics which I cannot disclose to others.
Sometimes he would have talks with one, two, three, or five disciples of my Gurudeva in my room. There were also some big officers and other important gentlemen who came to hear him speak. They would say, "Oh, Abhay Caran Babu is such a learned advanced person." Everybody would glorify him.
Prabhu was very fond of cooking delicious food; very delicious. He wanted to prepare it, he wanted me to prepare it also and then feed all of the Vaisnavas. By his request, he and I would cook and offer so many preparations. Occasionally when he received funds he would even offer fresh mangos to the Deities. Then he would distribute that opulent prasada to all of the brahmacaris.
He always used pure ghee to cook for Krishna. No matter how few rupees he had at any time, he would have a special jar of ghee for cooking; he never used oil. Also he cooked with one or two green chilis and ginger instead of red chilis. A favorite preparation of his was ginger morabba (crushed ginger root cooked with ghee and sugar or gur). Prabhu was so enthusiastic about that cooking and he often declared that all Gaudiya Vaisnavas should be expert in cooking for Krishna.
During the many months he stayed at the Kesavaji Matha, the two of us would perform sundara-arati together each evening. He would always play the mrdanga so expertly and I would play the kartalas and sing. He liked my singing very much and always requested me to lead the kirtanas. Someone asked me, "Why didn't Swamiji also sing? He had a beautiful voice as well." I replied, "Yes, surely he did, but there were times he didn't sing because he was having so much devotional feeling and was weeping."
In 1959, we would talk together and he would say, "When I first met Srila Prabhupada and when he gave me initiation, he told me that I should preach in the Western countries in the English language. He told me this twenty years ago in Calcutta." Guru Maharaja and Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu were bosom friends and they had lived and served together. Both were intellectual giants, very erudite persons from high-class families. In Calcutta, Srila Sridhara Maharaja also had recommended that he approach our Gurudeva. So I encouraged him to accept sannyasa now from our Gurudeva and then go to preach in the Western countries. "We will try to help you", I said to him.
At this time, therefore, I requested my Gurudeva to apply some pressure so that he would take sannyasa. Guruji called him and said, "Narayana Maharaja and all the other boys are encouraging that you take sannyasa. I also support this idea. Do not hesitate to take the renounced order. You are so qualified. You please take sannyasa now. It will be very beneficial."
Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu thus agreed to accept sannyasa and the ceremony was held the very next day. That day was the auspicious Visvarupa-mahotsava. Prabhu asked, "How should I prepare?" I told him, "Don't worry, I will arrange everything." So I prepared bahira-vesa (sannyasa dhoti), uttariya (outer cloth) and a danda with my own hands. I taught him how to wear all these things and then I performed the fire yajna.
Akincana Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja came, and Sesasayi Brahmacari, Kunja-bihari Brahmacari, Parijataka Maharaja and many other persons were there. Now most of these devotees have departed. Sanatana Prabhu took sannyasa with Swamiji and he became Bhaktivedanta Muni Maharaja. He was ninety years old and had said to Swamiji, "If you agree to take sannyasa, then so shall I." He also is no longer here, having joined the eternal service of Krishna.
I recited the yajna-mantras and performed the ceremony. Akincana Krishnadas Babaji Maharaja, Prabhu's intimate Godbrother and friend, chanted Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. He chanted continuously from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM in a most sweet and deep manner. Swamiji requested that only Krishna-nama be sung, the kirtana of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. My Gurudeva then gave him the sannyasa-mantra.
The sannyasa name which Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja gave to Abhay Caranaravinda Prabhu is 'Swami'. It is one of the bona fide sannyasa names and means 'controller' and 'master'. The title 'Bhaktivedanta' had already been awarded in Calcutta by some of his Godbrothers, and 'Maharaja' is a formal ending for those in the renounced order. This name 'Swami' is just fitting because Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja became the controller of many, many jivas' hearts due to his being so strong and faithful to his Gurudeva. This is why we affectionately call him 'Swamiji', not at all in a common way, but showing the greatest respect.
After accepting sannyasa, he lived at Sri Radha-Damodara Mandira in Sridhama Vrindavan, and also in Delhi. During that time he published translations of the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in three parts with English purports. We would often associate together there - in his little bhajan kutir. Sometimes we took prasadam with the Radha-Damodara Gosvamis. We also performed Radha-Damodara parikrama, walking together and paying respects at the samadhis of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, Srila Jiva Gosvami, Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Gosvami, and especially Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Srila Swami Maharaja spent considerable time in Delhi before he went to America. This is where he was printing and distributing his books. He had published three volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Several times I went there to be with him and we stayed together in his rooms at the Chippiwada Radha-Krishna Temple. He preached vigorously in Delhi. Wherever he went he preached to the public. To everyone he met he spoke about Radha-Krishna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. He also engaged me along beside him.
One day he announced to me, "Now the time has come and I am going." He was leaving for the Port of Calcutta and was to visit Mayapur also. I came and said good-bye and I took his footdust and put it on my head. Before he left he requested me to keep a regular correspondence with him, which we did. In 1965, he went to the United States of America to preach Sriman Mahaprabhu's message, and in July 1966 he established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
In 1967 during his first trip back to India he came to visit my Gurudeva, his sannyasa guru, Srila Bhaktiprajana Kesava Goswami. At that time my Gurudeva was in weak health and was confined to his bed in Calcutta. They had a confidential visit then. It was their last time together in this world. My Gurudeva was overjoyed at Swami Maharaja's devotional service to their Srila Prabhupada. He expressed his appreciation and glorification of Swamiji's preaching so much and pledged to cooperate in the preaching work.
After our Gurudeva Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja departed from this world in 1968, Srila Swami Maharaja along with his disciples sent us a telegram of condolence. He also sent a long letter to Trivikrama Maharaja in Navadvipa. In Seattle, Washington he delivered a lecture about our Gurudeva. There he described the history of his awarding him sannyasa. He wrote about how much appreciation, affection and glorification he had for him, and how he had now entered Krishna's abode. We heard later from some of his disciples that he shed tears when he received the telegram telling of our Gurudeva's entering into nitya-lila.
In a short time the branches of ISKCON were established in many countries around the world. He wrote more than fifty books on Krishna-bhakti, which are translated into many languages of the world. Thus, to this maha-purusa goes the majority of the credit for spreading Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's suddha-bhakti and nama-sankirtana throughout the whole world.
Srila Swami Maharaja was becoming very ill. Our Sukananda Prabhu was offering him naturopathic massages with Gangajala. These helped him, before he last went abroad to England. Sukananda Prabhu came to Vrindavana for two hours every morning and evening for fourteen days to massage him. We also sometimes visited and spoke with Swamiji then.
Just before Kartika month in early October when our annual Vraja Mandal parikrama was about to begin, Srila Swami Maharaja sent for me. He requested his senior sannyasis and many others, "I want to meet with Narayana Maharaja." They came by car and requested me, "Srila Prabhupada wants you, so please come now." We were just giving evening discourse for our parikrama party, but I came immediately.
When I arrived in his room at Krishna-Balarama Mandira, he was quite silent. Some boys were singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and some sannyasis and other disciples were silent. After some time he opened his eyes and indicated with his eyes for me to come close. He wanted me to take a seat on his bed. He tried to sit up but I put my hands on him and said, "Please lie down and I will sit over here." He then motioned for me to come nearer to his bed and said, "I want to speak to you." He wanted me to sit closer to his ear so he told some disciples, "Bring a chair" and I sat on it near to his ear.
First he began to weep. His heart was melted. From the core of his heart he told me, "Narayana Maharaja, can you excuse me? I feel that there is cause. For the sake of preaching I have told my disciples some things which perhaps I should not have said. Also I spoke so strongly about my Godbrothers in one letter which was then revealed to everyone. I said that we are preaching and others are not, that they are kanistha-adhikaris who don't preach but are idle. I said that all the Gaudiya Vaisnavas did not help me and they only take mahaprasadam and sleep." Swamiji had once written one letter to me saying, "I am preaching all over the world, but they are not doing this nor are they cooperating with me."
At this time many of his sannyasi disciples were watching. His words and mood implied to me many things about how he had wanted to encourage his young students. As we are careful with babies, so he instructed them not to mix with his Godbrothers and the other Gaudiya Vaisnavas. To save his newcomers from becoming disturbed or confused, he sometimes told them not to visit anywhere else because a few of his Godbrothers had done some wrong things.
Swamiji continued, "Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada ordered all of us to preach in Europe and America. That was his strong desire. His other desire was that we all work together to preach. I didn't waste a single moment. I tried my best, and to some extent it has been successful." His voice was choked with emotion. "If we can work conjointly then, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared, this sankirtana movement has great possibilities." Then he told me, "I want you to help take care of my disciples. I want them to be good and qualified devotees. If they come to you, please care for them."
After this Swamiji told me, "I pray to you that you will put me into my samadhi with your own hand. I don't want to take samadhi from anyone else's hands. I think you are the proper person. After my samadhi arrange to celebrate my mahotsava separation festival. You should give some amount of money to all the seven temples in Vrindavana and to all the Gaudiya Mathas. It depends upon you, 201 rps, 1001 rps, according to your discretion, whatever you recommend."
In his last days Swamiji requested all of the devotees, "Take me to Govardhana. I want to go there just now. I don't want to go by car. By bullock cart I will go, like Nanda Baba, Yasodamaiya, like all the Vraja-vasis, like the gopis." He wished for this opportunity; I knew this fact. But he could not go. Actually he went there with his soul and transcendental body. He is always there amongst Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Raghunatha, by tad-anuragi jananugami. So this was his last wish.
When we arrived in the final hours on November 14th, he was not speaking. I felt at that time by seeing his face that he was fully remembering the pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavana. I think it was great mercy coming from Krishna because for his whole lifetime he had served Radha-Krishna. For that special person, Krishna absorption is there. Entranced in this way, his eyes were closed and he was exhibiting special symptoms. It was a very touching (karuna) scene. He had no pain, no distraction. At that time his mouth was so beautiful- like a blossomed rose, like a lotus. These are the signs of a very great personality. There are signs, particular signs at that moment which show someone is remembering Krishna, and Swami Maharaja was exhibiting all those signs. He was very beautiful, very high-class.
Our brahmacaris were softly singing some bhajanas. At that time I saw that he was fully satisfied, and thus I was also fully satisfied. I knew then that he would surely go soon, but there was no sign when he would go; he would leave now or in a short time. Before, he had talked with me when he was in his external senses, but he did not request me to stay. I was not in a hurry, but I was thinking that just after my leaving for Mathura he would enter into nitya-lila. We left to return to Mathura and then we were informed that he departed a few hours later.
Shortly after that time we returned to the Krishna-Balarama Mandir and made all arrangements for his mahotsava. According to his wishes we took him on procession in front of most of the important deities of Vrindavana. There were so many of his disciples and other persons chanting in that procession. All of the Vraja-vasis came into the streets to honor him. After this, I prepared his body. I wrote the special mantras on his chest and forehead with tilaka. I used the salt for his body. Then, following all of the proper Vaisnava procedures, I put his transcendental body into samadhi with my own hand.
----Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What is the second sloka in the pranama mantra of your Gurudeva?
[Drstadyumna dasa:] namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani pracarine nirvesesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What is that gaura-vani he preached?
[Drstadyumna dasa:] There are four reasons for which Lord Caitanya came to this world. One was to establish the yuga-dharma of the chanting of the holy name, another was because Advaita Acarya had called Him to come, and...
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I want to hear what was that gaura-vani of your Gurudeva.
[Drstadyumna dasa:] In simple words it was to chant Hare Krsna, and that meant to worship...
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Sri Advaita Acarya may have given this. So many acaryas have given this. Even Maha-Visnu can give the chanting of the holy name, but He cannot give that gaura-vani.
[Drstadyumna dasa:] It was to give an understanding of the essence of the feelings and mood of Srimati Radharani and...
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What is that gaura-vani he gave?
[Drstadyumna dasa:] Would it be the mood of the manjaris; service to the Divine Couple?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Was this his vani? I want to hear about that vani. What is that gaura-vani he preached throughout the world? It has been explained in the words of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has also explained it.
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanamThis is the special gaura-vani. Krsna is our highest worshipable Deity, but there are so many manifestations of Krsna. Dvarakadhisa Krsna is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. Is He our worshipable Deity? He may be for so many others, and there is no harm in that. He is worshipable for them, and He should be. We do namaskara to Him, but we worship that very Vrajendranandana who took birth from the womb of Yasodamaiya.
ramya kascid upasana vraja-vadhu-varga-ya kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam amalam puranam prema pumartho mahan
sri-caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah
At the time of His birth, Vrajendranandana Krsna had no long hair, no decorations, and no ornaments. He appeared as a simple baby, weeping, "Kya, kya, kya!" All the Vrajabasis understood that He was born from the womb of Mother Yasoda. We worship that very Nandanandana.
You should know that Nandanandana is always nava-kisora natavara. He is eternally an ever-fresh cowherd youth, and Mother Yasoda thinks, "He is my son." We worship this very Krsna who was bound by His mother in Vrndavana. She ran faster than Him, caught hold of Him, and bound Him. That is why He is called Damodara-Krsna. He killed Putana, who tried to take His life by poisoning Him, and He gave her a motherly position in Goloka. We worship that Krsna who was playing in the courtyard of Nanda Baba and Mother Yasoda, and who was controlled by them with affection and love. We worship that Krsna who was always surrounded by His friends like Dama, Sridama, Sudama, Vasudama, Stokakrsna, Lavanga, Arjuna, Subala, Madhumangala, and so on. They used to defeat that Krsna, and, being defeated, Krsna was very happy. That Krsna always played with the gopa-ramanis.
Aradya bhagavan. Although He is Bhagavan, His bhagavata (Godhood) has been covered. All His opulences are covered by Yogamaya, and thus He has no idea that He is Brahma, Parabrahma, or Bhagavan. That very Krsna is our aradhya, our object of worship. Another manifestation of Krsna is the husband of Rukmini and the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. He should be the aradhya of the Mathuravasis and others. Let them worship Him in that way, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu is saying, "Aradyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanaya tad dhama vrndavanam." That Krsna is always in Vrndavana. He never gives up Vrndavana. He never goes elsewhere. His manifestations may go to Kuruksetra, to Dvaraka, and to Mathura. They can go, but that Krsna never leaves Vrndavana.
Ramya karcit upasanam vrajavadhu. The process of serving Krsna that was adopted by all the gopis to please Krsna, especially by Radha and Her group, is the highest. They can even place their feet on His head. They can chastise Him - to please Him. They can order Him to do so many things, and He will very happily carry out their orders. He does not feel so much happiness by hearing the prayers of Brahma, Sankara, and all others like them, but He wants the gopis to chastise Him and call Him 'thief.'
Srimad bhagavatam pramanam amalam. The way and the process by which the gopis pleased Krsna cannot be attained by anyone else, and to understand this, Srimad Bhagavatam is the highest evidence among all sastras. Only in Srimad Bhagavatam can you see all these truths. Caitanya Mahaprabhu offers pranama to the Upanisads and all other scriptures because they are all the breathing of Krsna, but He particularly glorifies Srimad Bhagavatam. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Krsna Himself told the gopis, "Na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam. I cannot repay you, My dear gopis. I cannot repay you in thousands of thousands of births. Be pleased, therefore, by your own bhakti to Me. Be merciful to Me." Srimad Bhagavatam is revealing all this. This truth has been told there, but you can only realize it by the commentaries of Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
Prema pumartha mahan. Prema is the ultimate goal, and the prema in the heart of Radhika is supermost. Hanuman also has prema, Dhruva Maharaja also has prema, and Prahlada Maharaja also has some love and affection. The Pandavas and Uddhava also have some prema, and all the queens of Dvaraka have so much love and affection. The sakhas and sakhis of Vrndavana, and Mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja all have prema, but no one has that prema of Srimati Radhika. Hers is the highest love and affection towards Krsna. Her love is in the heart of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and He Himself is telling about it. This is gaura-vani. This vani (message or teaching) is the vani of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. No one ever preached this before Him. Only "You should do nama-sankirtana" was preached. So many acaryas in Kali-yuga have told us that we should perform kirtana, but no one gave that love and affection given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He preached love and affection, Vraja-prema, through nama-sankirtan. This is His vani.
ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-mahadavagni-nirvapanamThis is gaura-vani.
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri krsnanama-kirtanam
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnunaNo one ever explained this before. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu became very happy when, by His order and inspiration, Sri Rupa Gosvami explained the glory of the name:
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
tunde tandavini ratim vitanute tundavali-labdhaye"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krs-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krsna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 1.99)
karna-kroda-kadambini ghatayate karnarbudebhyah sprham
cetah-prangana-sangini vijayate sarvendriyanam krtim
no jane janita kiyadbhir amrtaih krsneti varna-dvaya
Hearing this verse, Srila Haridasa Thakura began to jump, laugh, and chant, "Hari Bol! Hari Bol!"
Give up all worldly sense gratification. Don't pray for a very good wife, good family, salvation, or anything else. Only pray for causeless bhakti, the bhakti that is in the heart of Srimati Radhika. That bhakti is established when hladini and samvit manifest in ones heart, on the platform of sandini.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu is telling us who we are.
ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaramWe always want to be a particle of dust at the lotus feet of the son of Nanda Maharaja. No one had ever told all this before. Especially, no one had previously told:
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
nayanam galad asru dharayaHairs standing on end, voice choked, and all kinds of asta-sattvika-bhavas were present in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When will a day come that I can chant like this: weeping, with my bodily hairs standing on end, and my heart melting? No one had ever seen all these symptoms before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu exhibited them. Valmiki had some symptoms, and Dhruva Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja also had some, but not like this. This wonderful thing was taught by Mahaprabhu. Moreover He taught:
vadanam gadgada ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava nama grahane bhavisyati
yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitamThere are hardly any qualified persons to realize all the truths in this verse. If a rare person realizes this, he will give up his body - because the material body cannot tolerate the emotions of prema.
sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda virahena me
aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam"Lord Krsna, who is the lover of many devotees (women), may embrace this fully surrendered maidservant or may trample me with His feet. Or, He may render me brokenhearted by not being present before me for a long duration of time. Still, He is nothing less than the absolute lord of my heart."
adarsanZn marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
The transcendental emotions revealed in this verse cannot be found in this world. This is only found in Goloka Vrndavana-dhama. We should pray that a day will come that we can serve under the guidance of the gopis, especially being the maidservant of Srimati Radhika, under the guidance of Lalita, Visakha, and Rupa-manjari. This is gaura-vani.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja preached this, but in the beginning he had to cut so many jungles of mayavada, nirvesesa, and sahajiya philosophies. He saw that in order to make the land of the world fertile, it would take a long time. He therefore put all these truths in his transcendental literatures. He thought that if any of his disciples would be qualified to go deep into those truths, all this vani would be taught there. He wanted to preach it also, but it was rare to find a student who could go so deep. Most of his students could not follow him, and that is why so many fell down even from sannyasa. They made many offenses to him, and they are now burning in hell.
You should know all this vani, and be very strong in preaching and in glorifying your Prabhupada. Gaura-vani-pracarine. Krsna has sent him for this.
After our Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Srila Syamananda prabhu came, and after that Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and then our Gurudeva and so many associates of Srila Prabhupada. One of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's hands was Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, who came to the western countries, and in a couple of years preached everywhere. We should try to know his glories. Gaura-vani has so much deep meaning, but the meaning is very hidden. Don't think there is no reason for the word 'gaura-vani.'
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati is described in his pranama mantra to be gaura-vani murti. [Namaste gaura-vani sri murtaye dina-tarine.] Murti means embodiment. He is the embodiment of gaura-vani, and Srila Swami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, is in the same line. He is not different from Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. The term 'Prabhupadanuga' is a wrong idea. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura are both followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami, and therefore they are rupanuga. Following them, we are all rupanuga.
We have now told in brief about the vani of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has also, in a brief form, collected gaura-vani in his Dasa-mula siksa. You should note it very carefully in your heart. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote down that vani in his Jaiva-dharma, his last and best book. It is an authentic literature, and is the essence of all the Vedas, Upanisads, Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, and all the books of our Gosvamis. The essence of all sastra is there in Jaiva-dharma.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written:
amanayaha praha tattavam harim iha paramam sarva saktima rasabdhima"The authoritative knowledge of the Vedas, received through the bona fide disciplic succession, establishes the following fundamental truths:
tata bhinansansa ca jivan prakritir kavalitan tada vimuktansa ca bhavada
bhedabheda prakasam sakalampi harch sadhanam sudha bhaktim
sadhayam tata pritim eva iti upadesayati janan gauracandra savayam saha
1. Hari is the supreme absolute truth.
2. He is omnipotent.
3. He is the reservoir of all mellows.
4. The living entities are His separated parts and parcels.
5. The conditioned souls are covered by Maya.
6. The liberated souls are beyond the influence of Maya.
7. The entire cosmic manifestation is simultaneously one and different from Him.
8. Suddha-bhakti is the only means to achieve love of Godhead.
9. The goal is to attain love of Godhead.
These teachings have been instructed by Gauracandra Himself."
For Srila Prabhupada's Appearance Day
by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
"Our only desire should be to take birth under the care of a Vaisnava. Fortunately we had the opportunity to be born of a Vaisnava father who took care of us very nicely. He prayed to Srimati Radharani that in the future we would become a servant of the eternal consort of Sri Krsna. Thus somehow or other we are now engaged in that service."
(Srila Prabhupada's purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 1.24)
Rupanuga and Raganuga
There is a difference between rupanuga [*Endnote 1] and raganuga [*Endnote 2]. Those who are eternally liberated associates serving Radha and Krsna in Vrndavana are called ragatmika, and such associates are described by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. In this world, those who want to serve like ragatmikas are called raganuga, because they are following the path of raga, or loving attachment. Raganuga devotees have transcendental greed for vraja-bhakti and are truly following the process to attain it.
Rupanuga-bhaktas are only those who follow the same manner and mood in which Sri Rupa-manjari serves Radha and Krsna. Although Sri Rupa-manjari serves both Radha and Krsna, she is more inclined towards Srimati Radhika - happy in the happiness of Srimati Radhika and suffering like Her when She suffers. Internally, in their constitutional forms, the rupanuga-bhaktas serve in the same mood as Sri Rupa-manjari, and externally they practice the same devotional activities as Rupa Gosvami.
Not all raganuga devotees are rupanuga. Sri Jayadeva Gosvami is raganuga but not rupanuga. Sri Bilvamangala Thakura is also truly raganuga, but not rupanuga. Sri Svarupa Damodara and Sri Raya Ramananda are not rupanuga. Although they are intimate associates of Srila Rupa Gosvami, they are not his followers. In Sri Krsna's pastimes they are Lalita devi and Visakha devi respectively. They are in a higher rank than the manjaris, so they are not rupanuga.
Lalita and Visakha and Yasoda-maiya are neither raganuga nor rupanuga. They are not “anuga” at all. Anuga means follower. In this connection, anuga refers to one who practices bhakti by following in the footsteps of Sri Krsna's eternal associates. Lalita, Visakha and Mother Yasoda are already eternal associates, and therefore they are ragatmika. [*Endnote 3].
Those who want to serve like ragatmikas are called sadhakas (practitioners) of raganuga. If one follows this path, inwardly meditating, “How can I serve Lord Krsna like Mother Yasoda or Nanda Baba?” he is raganuga, not rupanuga. Those who follow Srila Rupa Gosvami's Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu under the guidance of the sakhas, like Subala, Sridama and all others like them, will also not be called rupanuga. They will be called raganuga.
Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has come especially to give this rupanuga-bhakti, and what to speak of vaidhi-bhakti. He did not come only to give raganuga-bhakti. At that time, however, he could not give this to his general disciples because most of them were not at the stage to understand. Even now, although I am endeavoring with great effort to make you understand this subject matter, only a few are trying to understand.
When Srila Swami Maharaja went to America approximately twenty-five years ago, he could not openly preach this topic becuase there was practically no one qualified to understand it. The basic foundations of spiritual life needed to be established, and therefore he was mostly engage in 'cutting the jungles' of philosophical misconceptions. But he wanted to give this.
It cannot be true that he has only come to preach vaidhi-bhakti, because the entire disciplic succession of Gaudiya mission is rupanuga. Srila Nimbarkacarya sampradaya is also raganuga, but of Dvaraka. It is mixed with a conception of the Lord's opulence, following the moods of Satyabhama and Rukmini, and therefore it is not pure raganuga. Nimbaditya Acarya's followers are not like those of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Only the acaryas coming in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through Srila Rupa Gosvami are rupanuga.
So how is it possible that Srila Swami Maharaja could have come only to give vaidhi-bhakti? I have known Srila Swami Maharaja since 1946, and I never saw him in that way. I know personally that he has not come only to give vaidhi-bhakti. He came to preach rupanuga-bhakti. He has not come only to give vaidhi-bhakti.* [See Endnote 4] We will have to perform vaidhi-bhakti, of course, and by this, bhakti will manage everything. Bhakti is not only a quality – she is not nirvisesa, impersonal. She is a person. Krsna is controlled by prema-bhakti. Krsna, and Srimati Radhika, and all Their associates, are controlled by bhakti. Bhakti can make Radha dance, Krsna dance, the gopis dance, and bhakti herself dance. She makes everyone dance.
1. It is not that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has discovered something new, and that we are "Prabhupadanugas". It is not that Rupa Gosvami’s followers are Rupanuga Vaisnavas and Srila Prabhupada’s followers are Prabhupadanuga. All our acaryas have told us to follow the Rupanuga Vaisnavas – but who are Rupanuga?
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu first of all inspired all spiritual truths in Srila Rupa Gosvami's heart, as well as all knowledge of the Vedas, Upanisads and all other scriptures. Then, by the Lord´s mercy, Srila Rupa Gosvami knew His heart:
sri-caitanya-mano-'bhistamBy the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Rupa Gosvami manifested, or wrote, so many books, such as Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani and Sri Upadesamrta. He explained everything about Vraja-bhakti in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani and Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. He wrote Sri Ujjvala-nilamani especially to give vraja-prema and vraja-bhakti. He explained in Bhakti-rasamtra-sindhu that bhakti can be experienced by five moods and five kinds of services; santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Among them, three are prominent – sakya, vatsalya and madhurya. The mood of the Vrajabasis is vraja-bhakti; especially, the mood of the gopis is madhurya-rasa in vraja-bhakti; and especially, the mood of Srimati Radhika is the highest emblem of vraja-bhakti.
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
[“When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?"]
Srila Rupa Gosvami explained, "There are two processes of practical devotional service. One is regulative devotional service, and the other is spontaneous devotional service." (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.108)] Those who follow the path of raganuga in any rasa other than manjari-bhava in madhurya-rasa are rupanuga, but not so much – partly, very partly. In fact, it can also be said that they are not rupanuga. (Srila Narayana Maharaja’s lecture of May 18, 2004; Badger, California)]
2. “Consequently we always request members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to publish as many books as possible and distribute them widely throughout the world. By thus following in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami, one can become a rupanuga devotee.” (Purport Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.132)
3. "We Gaudiya Vaisnavas are known as Rupanuga. Rupanuga means the followers of Rupa Gosvami. Why should we become followers of Rupa Gosvami? Because sri-caitanya-mano 'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale. He wanted to establish the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu." (Srila Prabhupada's Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.2) lecture: Hyderabad, April 13, 1975)
4. “Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami are the most exalted servitors of Srimati Radharani and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who adhere to their service are known as rupanuga devotees.” (Madya 8.246 purport.)
5. “Unless you become rupanuga, you cannot understand the Gaudiya philosophy.” (Srila Prabhupada's lecture in Vrndavana, Oct. 1972)
1. “One has to serve Krsna according to these regulative principles, but if one develops spontaneous love for Krsna as exhibited in the activities of those who live in Vrajabhumi, one attains the platform of raganuga-bhakti. One who has developed this spontaneous love is eligible for elevation to the platform enjoyed by the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi. In Vrajabhumi, there are no regulative principles set forth for Krsna's service. Rather, everything is carried out in spontaneous, natural love for Krsna." (Sri Caitanya-cartiamrta, Madya 8.221 purport)
2. "Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the inhabitants of Vrndavana. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving service." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.154)]
1. "The original inhabitants of Vrndavana are attached to Krsna spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika-bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrndavana, his devotional service is called raganuga-bhakti." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.149)
2. "When one becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his natural inclination to love is fully absorbed in thoughts of the Lord. That is called transcendental attachment, and devotional service according to that attachment is called ragatmika, or spontaneous devotional service.” (Madhya 22.149)
3. "Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures. According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhi-bhakti.” (Madhya 22.109)Editorial advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa
Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance Day and Sannyasa Day
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Mathura: September 27, 1996:
“Sannyasa is taken in order to attain the service of Sri Mukunda. It is not an ordinary thing. The sannyasa mantra is the mantra of the very sacred gopi-bhava. By uttering this mantra we are able to give our entire body, mind, soul and everything we possess to Lord Krsna – to serve Him. Srila Swami Maharaja dedicated himself to his sannyasa-guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. They were god-brothers and very bosom friends.”
Next is an excerpt from a discourse given by Srila Narayana Maharaja in San Francisco on May 31, 1997. This lecture is from a series of classes on Srila Prabhupada’s Nectar of Instruction (a translation of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Sri Upadesamrta), Srila Maharaja called on devotees to read from Srila Prabhupada’s translations and commentaries, and then he elaborated on Prabhupada’s words”
“Who are rupanuga? Those who are actually following the mood of Srila Rupa Gosvami. All our acaryas are rupanuga; they are not only raganuga. This is a very, very important point.
“Our Gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, has composed Sri Radha-Vindodastakam. The first sloka is:
“radha-cinta-nivesena yasya kantir vilopita“You should hear this meaning; otherwise you will miss this rare opportunity.
sri krsna-caranam vande radhalingita-vigraham
Sri Radha Vinoda-Bihari Tattvastakam (1)
[“I worship the lotus feet of Sri Krsna when, due to being thoroughly immersed in separation from Srimati Radhika (who is displaying mana, Her jealous anger), His own dark complexion vanishes and He assumes Her bright, golden luster.”]
“Sometimes Srimati Radhika becomes so absorbed in feelings of separation, weeping so bitterly, that She faints. Srila Rupa Gosvami does not want this, and neither do our Gurudeva nor any of our acaryas. What will they want? Radha-cinta-nivesena yasya kantir vilopita. They consider, “Krsna should weep in separation from Srimati Radhika. Krsna should weep. Our Srimati Radhika is so soft, and Her feet are so soft. She should not walk here and there to search for Krsna. Krsna should search for Her, because He is a cowherd boy and His feet are very hard. He should walk far and wide in search for Her.”
“When Srimati Radhika disappeared from the rasa dance, Sri Krsna searched throughout the forests for Her. He could not get Her darsana, so He was continuously searching and weeping. At last He sat down at Imli-tala in Vrndavana, near Yamuna in Seva-kunja. He was bitterly weeping and absorbed in thinking, “Oh, where can I find Srimati Radhika? Where can I find Radhika? She has left Me here. Where has She gone?” Drowned in these thoughts, Krsna lost His black complexion and at once became golden. He was still Krsna, but He became golden like Srimati Radhika, and His mood was changed into Hers. At that time He began to cry bitterly, “Oh Krsna, where are You? Oh Krsna, where are You?”
“Do you understand this? He was not calling “Oh Radhika, Oh Radhika,” in Krsna’s mood. Rather, Her color and mood came in Him and He began to call, “Krsna, Krsna, where are You?”
“In all our Gurudeva’s temples and preaching centers he established the Deities, Sri Radha Vinoda-bihari, with this mood: radha-cinta-nivesena yasya kantir vilopita. Krsna’s color and mood became covered with Radhika’s. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
“Radhalingita-vigraham. I pray to that very form of Krsna, who has been embraced by Radhika with all Her limbs. Sri Krsna’s body has been completely covered by all the limbs and parts of Srimati Radhika’s body. In this way, radhalingita-vigraha is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
“This is rupanuga: ‘Krsna should weep; Krsna should search for Radhika. Why should our sweet, innocent, very simple Srimati Radhika go here and there, in mountains, across rivers and through thorny areas? Why should She go? Krsna should go everywhere in search of Her.’
“All rupanuga acaryas think like this, and they have come only to bestow their mercy upon us so that we may enter their mood.
“Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja spent much time cutting the jungles of atheism and impersonalism, but he did not come only for this. We can see from his Nectar of Instruction, his broadcasting of Srila Rupa Gosvami’s teachings, that he is giving all these truths. Patiently hear about this, and then you will be able to understand the mood of this special rupanuga-vaisnava acarya, Srila Swami Maharaja.” *[See endnote 1]
The following is an Excerpt from Srila Narayana Maharaja’s conversation in Srila Prabhupada’s room at Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, May 17, 1996.
The day was Visvarupa-mahotsava (in September, 1959), and many senior Vaisnavas and disciples of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura were present at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. At that time my Gurudeva gave Srila Swami Maharaja the sannyasa-mantra. Uttering this mantra is not merely a formality. It is chanted to attain the service of the gopis – to enter into the mood of the gopis. He was really a rupanuga-vaisnava.
[*Endnote 1: In the madhurya-rasa, characterized by conjugal love, one can become like Srimati Radharani or Her lady friends such as Lalita and Her serving maids (manjaris) like Rupa and Rati. This is the essence of all instruction in the matter of devotional service.” (Nectar of Instruction, verse 8, purport)]
|Darsan for ISKCON Gurukula Alumni|| || || |
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Darsan for ISKCON Gurukula Alumni
January 15, 2010
[During Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s week-long Hari-katha festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, one day just after his morning walk, he gave his audience to about twenty Gurukula alumni, and other devotees as well. The following is a transcription of that darsan:]
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Where is Prema-prayojana?
Prema-prayojana, how are you?
[Prema-prayojana dasa (formally a sannyasa disciple of Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja named Aranya Maharaja):] Okay, Gurudeva, by your grace I could come here.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Your wife has divorced you?
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] No.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I want that she should divorce or you should divorce. I have not left my hope that you will again return back.
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] By your grace, at the last moment before the festival I got the ticket.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] That is okay, but I want divorce. Either you or she should divorce. *
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] But in many lectures you told everyone, “No divorce.”
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Last night after your class, I remarked something. Did you understand?
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] Yes. “Apane na kaile dharma sikhana na yaya, ei ta’ siddhanta gita-bhagavate gaya.” [“Unless one practices devotional service himself, he cannot teach it to others. This conclusion is indeed confirmed throughout the Gita and Bhagavatam.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 3.22]
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Don’t lose your life. Be totally towards me. Why, I don’t know – being such a learned scholar, knowing everything; and still you fell in the dark well. We have given you a rope. Please hold on to it.
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] Now the gurukulis can ask their questions.
[Brajanath dasa:] Let them come forward.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Have the ISKCON leaders told you that if you go to see Narayana Maharaja, then don’t return to ISKCON?
[Devotee:] No, Srila Maharaja, they have not said this.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Are you attending my classes?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes, you should attend. ISKCON cannot give you what we are giving.
[Devotee (initiated by Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja):] Gurudeva, I have a question. We are supposed to always respect our parents in every way. I would like to know what kind of attitude we should have if our parents are not favorable, or even committing offenses, towards you lotus feet.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Do you know Prahlada Maharaja? He remained very tolerant, even though his father tried to kill him. At least your father is not saying that he will kill you. It is better to wait and tolerate their behavior, but don’t be derailed. Be very strong like Prahlada Maharaja – more so than Prahlada. Of course you cannot be more tolerant than he was; yet try.
What do the ISKCON Gurukulis want to say?
[Devotee:] Srila Gurudeva, many of us boys and girls were born and raised on a farm close to here. We went to Gurukula there, and lived there during our childhood. Today the place is very disgraced, as so many devotees who have lived there for many years have no taste in bhakti and are offensive to you.
Within our hearts we like that place. Whenever we return there from another place, we feel as if we are going back home. Is there anything we can do to change the attitude of those devotees? Is it right to do anything to change them?
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] To affect the community there?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Four books have been published about my relationship with my siska-guru, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja (Their Lasting Relation, My Siksa-guru, Priya-bandhu, and Our Gurus – One in Siddhanta, One at Heart), as well as a book of his letters to me (Letters From America). You should try to read them.
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] When those who are against Gurudeva read these books and understand his relationship with Srila Prabhupada, they may change.
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] And Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja wrote the letters in his own handwriting, and in those letters he told about their relationship. *
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] In truth, they do not have the respect for Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja that I have. They cannot properly glorify him as I do. They know practically nothing of his real glory. They cannot even explain the definition of bhakti. Can you explain it? You have been there for so many years. I know you don’t know it.
If you want money, then be in ISKCON, and if you want bhakti, then strictly come to me. I will give you bhakti.
There is one thing more I want to say. About a month and a half ago, a delegation of the ISKCON GBC members – Sripad Gopal Krsna Maharaja, Sripad Lokanatha Maharaja, Sriman Bhadri-narayana dasa, Sriman Ravindra-svarupa dasa, and Sriman Anuttama dasa – came to me (in Govardhana) and said, “We have done so many wrong things. Please excuse us, please excuse us, please excuse us. We want to have the same relationship with you that we had before.”
I told them, “I am very happy to hear this. I am ready. I would like to be able to enter your mathas (temples) and speak hari-katha, and you should come to my classes in my mathas and attend my festivals everywhere. We should be together in that way.
I said, “You know that your Gurudeva took sannyasa in Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha. I am witness to this. At the time of his sannyasa ceremony, I taught him how to wear his sannyasa cloth, I prepared his danda, and I assisted him in all other ways. I have had a relationship with him since 1946.”
You should know that almost ninety percent of the sannyasis of ISKCON have entered grhastha life, and many even went against ISKCON and took a lot of money. On the other hand, it is very rare for my sannyasis to fall down – only a few have fallen. He is practically the only one. (Pointing to Prema-prayojana dasa) He is the black sheep of my sannyasis.
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] But he is not against bhakti. He is not against devotee and devotion. He is in line. .
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] I appreciate him, because although he has somewhat gone down, he is very strong in siddhanta and is always following me wherever I go. Whereas in ISKCON, so many sannyasis gave up the path of pure bhakti. I hope he will soon come back [to sannyasa, and be wholly mine].
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] I am here.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Have you no shame? Are you not ashamed?
[Brajanath dasa:] Now more Gurukulis have arrived.
(To Gurukulis) You should deeply think about whether you want money or pure bhakti. If you want pure bhakti, then attend my classes at any cost.
[Devotee:] We are so young, and there are so many things in the world that pull us. Maya is very strong. What is your advice for us to keep strong and develop in bhakti?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] If there is a strong rain-shower, you can be protected by a big umbrella. Do you understand? Similarly, if you take shelter of a pure Vaisnava, then you can very easily be protected from maya.
[Devotee:] Gurudeva, what will happen if there is no association where we live?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Without good association you will not attain pure bhakti. You can chant the holy name, but it is very difficult to chant properly without good association.
[Devotee:] What should we do if we are not in good association?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You should all come under the umbrella of a powerful Vaisnava at once.
You should know that all of my Western sannyasis and thousands of my brahmacaris are from ISKCON, having lived there for twenty-five, twenty, ten, or five years. They became so much attracted by hearing my classes that they came to me and joined.
[Devotee:] Yesterday I had a dream, and you were in it. I was very scared in that dream, and I woke up with that feeling of fear in my heart. I want to ask if being scared is a normal feeling? I was scared because all my close, intimate friends, and the people who I really, really care about and who are important in my life, are in ISKCON. I am afraid that once I accept your lotus feet, I will be very much discriminated against by them.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] In your childhood and when you became more grown up, did you not have a deep connection with your father, mother, sister, and other relatives?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] And now you have even more of a relation with the ISKCON leaders and other devotees. Do you understand?
Similarly, you can again give up your present relationships for better ones by coming to me. Everyone wants success in their life, and the most successful thing is pure bhakti. If you want bhakti, especially pure bhakti, then come to me.
Do you know the definition of bhakti? I know that you cannot explain it:
["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]
Can you bravely come to my evening class? All of you?
[Brajanath dasa:] They have all been coming, every day.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Come to my class this evening, and there we will define pure bhakti. In pure bhakti there is no anyabhilasa, no desires other than the desire to please Krsna. (To Prema-prayojana dasa) Please explain this verse in brief.
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] Srila Gurudeva is saying that it is important to understand the definition of pure bhakti. In brief, the meaning of the verse is this: Pure bhakti is the continuous, unbroken cultivation of all activities of the body, mind, words, and spiritual feelings which are meant exclusively for the benefit of Sri Krsna, which are completely free from all other desires, and which is not covered by karma (fruitive activities), jnana (knowledge to get liberation), yoga, and other things.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Almost all the ISKCON leaders are anyabhilasita, which means that they have desires other than the desire for bhakti. They want money – and also bhakti. Their status may be called bhakti, but it is “adhama-bhakti,” meaning the lowest class of bhakti. I request you all; don’t lose your valuable time. Try to achieve pure bhakti.
Thank you all.
[*Endnote – Sastra forbids a sannyasi (one in the renounced order of life) to again become a householder. Still, the editors of this harikatha article had reservations about publishing this section of the darsana. They expressed their concerns to Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, who replied, "Why should you publish my words only when I give praise? My entire talk with Prema-prayojana must be given in print. I have chastised him. A guru has the power to chastise, and others will learn if it is given in print.]http://www.purebhakti.com/teachers/bhakti-discourses-mainmenu-61/57-2010/1120-darsan-for-iskcon-gurukula-alumni.html
Pranamas e Dandavats
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
[When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]
vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca
sri-rupam sagrajatam saha-gana-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnavas and unto the six Gosvamis, including Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Advaita Acarya Prabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Srivasa Thakura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, Srimati Radharani and all the gopis, headed by Lalita and Visakha.]
radha-kanta namo 'stu te
[O my dear Krsna, ocean of mercy, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the cowherdmen and the lover of the gopis, especially Radharani. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.]
[I offer my respects to Radharani, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krsna.]
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
vaisnavebhyo namo namah
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]
[I offer my obeisances to Sri Krsna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and all others in the line of devotion.]
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
vaisnavebhyo namo namah
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]
[I offer my obeisances to Sri Krsna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasa and all others in the line of devotion.]
hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare