Inside: Editorial * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - How Can We Enhance Our Devotional Service? - Srila Prabhupad * We Must Disbelieve That We Are Devotees - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Om Visnupad Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Gosvami Maharaj's´History in Sri Gaudiya Math * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (50-70) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.10-11.14.12 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Don't Deceive Yourself – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Don't Deceive Yourself
– First Part
Spiritual life has a high standard. It is not a cheap thing. Just by putting on saffron clothes, or putting on tilak or even chanting and speaking nicely, attractively, is not enough to understand it. Srila Sridhar Maharaj says, “My attempt should be backed by my whole energy, all my prospects – everything. This is the attitude I should have to search for drop of Vaikuntha nectar. Otherwise our effort will be useless.”
We are very small – tiny. So, we should not expect that if we surrender some tiny part of our life to Krsna, that we can receive too much from His side. Srila Sridhar Maharaj says, “You think that by sacrificing only a part of your smallness that your aspiration for the whole can be fulfilled? Is it reasonable to expect such? No, it is not so easy.”
We have to reflect on our spiritual life. My activities, my chanting, everything I do – what is the motive? Just to get a comfortable life? To get kanaka, kamini, pratistha – money, women, popularity? What is the real motive for my seva (service)? Actually seva should not be shown to others. One who is doing real seva is never disconnected from Krsna. He doesn’t have any taste or attraction for mundane talks. He will just avoid them or try to redirect the talks to be about Krsna.
We should not make Krsna consciousness cheap. It is the most sweet thing, “It is the land of confidence, goodness, fairness and sweetness.” If you want to go there, you have to offer your personal interest. Of course, we are speaking about the highest, but at least we should know this. We should know that we are not on this level. We should not think that we are there and we can preach to others. This can only be done by those who are there. We have to accept this fact and never argue against it. Because any argument against will pull us down to the illusory platform.
We must not be separated for even a blink of the eye.
Such is the consciousness of great sadhus.
Is there anybody who has chanted the Name of Krsna and Krsna came to his heart? When Krsna is coming into the heart, than no other interest from this world will remain there. This is something very high, and not everyone understands this now. But if we are open-hearted, if we are serious, we will get something. However much we have allowed Krsna to come into our heart, is how much understanding we will get. Without this, whatever we speak will only be mundane. Even speaking about Krsna is mundane if you don't become a transparent medium of His will. If we are not attracting Krsna through our activities, through our service, through our attitude of surrender, then whatever we say will be only superficial, mundane. Even talks about Krsna will be mundane external speaking. It will not touch the soul – it will not be useful. Therefore we should become very serious.
Actually the thing is that even most of the devotees do not know what spiritual life is. Just outwardly chanting, putting on Vaisnava clothing, and imitating devotees doesn’t make us a devotee. To become a devotee means much more. To become a devotee means to surrender; that you offer your life to the Supreme Lord, to Gurudev. Let Him do whatever He likes to do with you.
Many things have to be cleared, many things have to be conquered – all these anarthas, unwanted things. That which is not in the interest of Krsna has to be rejected. And when we watch our talking and our activities, we should always be conscious, asking ourselves, “Does it give any pleasure to Krsna? Or is it just mundane talking for my, and others, entertainment? Is there any pleasure for Krsna by doing so?” We have to become serious, in every second.
Krsna consciousness is not only five minutes in the morning, five minutes in the evening, thinking every five minutes about Krsna or speaking about mundane topics like a madman then saying one time “Krsna”, and then everything becomes “Krsnalyzed”.
Krsna consciousness means every second. We must not be separated for even a blink of the eye. Such is the consciousness of great sadhus. They laugh at Westerners, even sannyasis, who run around in the holy places considering themselves to be great devotees, but are completely on the level of mundane consciousness. However, these great sadhus are merciful. But nevertheless, we should know that they know our real level. Therefore we should become very meek and humble, we should avoid to come too close to the highest class of devotees. Because in reality, whatever we do with mundane consciousness in the association of a great devotee will be an offense.
We are on a very gross level, thinking that everyone is just like us – on our level. We are not aware that great devotees are non-different from Krsna. So with our gross understanding, with our heavy mind, we commit offense just by opening of our mouth; we pull them down to our level. They are on such a fine, subtle level!
Any experience about the Lord must come from upper to lower. It does not depend on us. We can only increase the intensity of our hankering, of our serving attitude (sevonmukhata), and whether He will descend to this plane or not depends on His whim. There is transcendental substance He moves according to His sweet will. He may come down or He may not, at His whim. He is free. We can only increase our earnestness for His presence. Although the potency and the potent are inseparably connected, we must generally know our-selves to be of the marginal potency.
He is everywhere - He is nowhere; everything is within Him - nothing is in Him. Such is His peculiar and mystic position (Bhagavad-gita 9.4-6). Thus, our duty is to try to serve Him. We should not put much emphasis on 'feeling' Him either by mind, by body, or even by intelligence. He is everywhere, and He is nowhere: in a flash He may show, “Yes, I am here”; yet, when we are earnestly searching for Him, He may be nowhere to be found. His nature is independent. We can search, but we cannot say that we shall find Him.
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam, adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va: our duty is to devote ourselves cent-per-cent and most intensely for Him. We are only to serve Him. And service does not mean that we must necessarily come into direct contact with Him. Remote service is also service; through His devotee it becomes tangible. We should try to serve Him through His devotees, without expectation of any reward. We should have no desire except to serve, even without expecting to see Him once, to have His darsana. We shall only want to be utilized by Him. The little energy we have must be utilized for His cause. We are His potency, and we should prove that we belong to Him. Mahaprabhu says, “He may embrace me or reject me, or He may even be indifferent towards me. Whatever He likes, He may do, but I have no alternative but to serve Him.” We must adopt such an exclusive and unconditional attitude. Not that, “If He doesn't want to reciprocate according to my will, I won't like to approach Him; so I shall join the atheists or the mayavadis. If You don't come forward to satisfy me, then I shall seek my own way - I don't want You!” If there is any tinge of such an attitude, we are far, far away.
greatest agent of His service will constitute
the safer and higher relationship of ananya-
-bhajana, exclusive service eliminating all else.
Yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato, mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah. “We have no alternative but to serve You.” To search means to serve: “I want to be utilized for His cause. However petty the service may be, nothing is petty when in His connection, the least connection, even from far away. He need not please me, even by giving His darsana in a lightning way. Everything depends on His will.”
Unconditional offering unto Him shows faith of the highest type. If our offering is conditional, we shall have to remain far from Him. The characteristic of the highest faith is absolutely unconditional: “I am only to be satisfied with just the chance to serve Him from afar, through some medium; or many mediums, not only one. Dasa-dasa-dasanudasatvam - servant of the servant of the servant of the servant . . . I have His connection from afar, and my energy passes through the devotees, towards Him, towards the center of fulfillment. Whatever my position may be, I want my connection with the greatest fulfillment of the whole world!” Everyone is searching for such fulfillment of all their innermost necessities.
Sarva-dharman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja (Bhagavad-gita 18.66): the search for Him eliminates all other duties. A true devotee thinks, “There is no obligation to anyone except one, and He is my Lord, Krsna.” And His most laudable and greatest servitors are those who are in contact with His greatest agent. Not His direct contact, but contact with the greatest agent of His service will constitute the safer and higher relationship of ananya-bhajana, exclusive service eliminating all else.
Wherever there is an absence of complete faith in the most auspicious personality, there is bound to be inauspiciousness. Therefore, the ascending or unauthorized path should be totally rejected and the descending or authorized path of disciplic succession accepted. If we really want to benefit, we will have to offer everything we have accumulated since birth to the Lord’s lotus feet without reservation and await His causeless mercy. Until we are favored by a glimmer of His causeless mercy, we will not be able to understand krsna-katha. If we do not have full faith that the Lord alone bestows all auspiciousness, we will not be able to give everything up without hesitation. We may think, “If I give everything to Krsna, I may actually lose everything and find myself in trouble if Krsna has nothing to give me.” Such doubts are baseless. By maintaining such doubts, we simply invite inauspiciousness.
but even in our independence we are dependent
on the Lord. The moment we attempt to misuse
our independence by opposing this understanding
we will bring about our own ruination.
The Lord never refuses His surrendered devotee or leaves his desires unfulfilled. The Lord has the sole power to fulfill all our requirements and to give us full protection. If we can gain this conviction, we will become fearless. We will no longer feel anxiety. We will become happy. It is not possible to describe how much benefit the living entity receives by the Lord’s causeless mercy. When the Lord does bestow His mercy, it’s not that we become satisfied even after serving Him constantly. Rather, we receive an invaluable wealth of transcendental longing for the Lord’s service. We will not lament that we cultivated attraction to the Lord’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes, and we will not think they are boring or that our future is dark with possible disappointment. We will never think we have been cheated by surrendering to His lotus feet. Our most magnanimous, able, and grateful Lord will never throw us into the ocean of disappointment.
We have an invaluable jewel called independence, but even in our independence we are dependent on the Lord. The moment we attempt to misuse our independence by opposing this understanding we will bring about our own ruination.
If we approach worldly people with high expectations, they can neither fulfill our ambitions nor solve our problems. That is why Bhagavad-gita clearly instructs us to take complete shelter at Sri Krsna's lotus feet. He alone is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord. To surrender to Him is the ultimate goal of our life. Simply by surrendering to Him, we perfect our life. We should discuss how to surrender completely despite our anarthas and impediments.
After long and difficult negotiations, the municipality of Traiskirchen has issued an official building permit for the construction of the temple. The challenge we now face is funding of the project.
In addition we are looking for skilled and unskilled workers for the construction and finishing of the temple building. Those who would like to support us with this all-auspicious construction please contact us.
Inside: Editorial * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * Amrta Vani - Does Lack of Faith in God Cause Distress - Srila Prabhupad * Homeward Journey - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Sadhu-Sanga is Always Necessary - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (23-49) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.1-11.14.9 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 3) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
Devotee: Some people are saying that it is necessary to read only Prabhupada's books [Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami] and that this is the way to get his association. But on the other hand, Prabhupada says in many of his purports that personal association with saintly persons is important. How can we fully realize that?
Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Maharaj: You see, when sadhus are not available, there are the sastras and you must read them. But when sadhus are available near or far, you have to approach them, you have to talk with them. Because the Scriptures may help us, but practically speaking wherever you find a sadhu practising, you should go to that sadhu and receive direct instructions from him. The Scriptures cannot bless you. They may clear your doubts, but the blessings come from the sadhus. You have to approach a living sadhu. There is no other way. He must bless us. But if you go to a sadhu who is not a real sadhu, then he will delude you. Then you will have to pray to Lord Krsna that He comes to You as a bona fide sadhu. You will do your duty by thinking, “Only when Krsna will bless me, will I get that association.” We don't know for how long we will survive, janma-mrtyu-jara-duhkhair. We should know that we are unreal, we don't know what will happen one hour from now. So we should not procrastinate, we should not be lazy in doing this [searching for a real sadhu].
There is a statement given by Ravana, “Once I had an idea to build a ladder to Svarga-loka. I could have done it, but I waited.” No! Whatever you think is good, do it immediately, don't delay. Krsna will help you. If you are not able, Krsna will help you to know how to adopt and select the process. He will give the remedy and the blessings. There is always Krsna. In the beginning, in the middle and at the end there is Krsna. Without Krsna nothing can be done. This is the devotee's conception and this is called Krsna consciousness. We are not speaking of a jnani's or yogi's conception. We are speaking of a bhakta's conception. The obtainment of the bhakta and that of the jnani or yogi are different. They are all different.
The bhakta is always happy, he does not want even moksa. “I will never suffer if I have to take another birth, I will be happy to be born as a devotee or in the house of a devotee. Whether I may be in a human form or in beast form, I must be close to a sadhu.” Sadhu-sanga is always necessary.'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'- sarva sastre kaya,
lava matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya.
All the scriptures say, “Seek the association of sadhus!” Which sadhus? A living sadhu, not sadhus who have left this world. You can have their teachings through books, but the association of a living sadhu will be more effective.
So if a sadhu is present you have to approach him. Do not argue this. Do simple, practical things and seek the sadhu's association. You should talk to a sadhu, hear from him and observe his behaviour, then your heart will be greatly benefited. But if you only read the sastras or the quotations of the sadhus, you will not have as much benefit. Sadhus are always present, do not say that sadhus are not there, as long as the world will exist sadhus will always be there. It is only by fortune that we will meet them. And if I come in contact with a sadhu, whatever blessings I need I will get.
We do not have to compare ourselves with others, we do not have to hanker after worldly things, we only want Lord Krsna. If we feel a strong necessity Krsna will come to us. We must feel this necessity and practise immediately. Whatever the sadhu says, we have to obey him. If we go on reading the sastras, they will never give us the same strength. By reading them you can destroy your doubts, but you will be able to destroy them even more if you have the association of a sadhu, because you can observe his activities and you can understand them. If you are sincere, you will get a sincere association, but if you are not sincere you will get nothing. This sincerity must be there. It depends upon us, because Krsna will never deceive anybody. He is called Krtajna. In the sahasra-Nama He is called Krtajna, because whatever I do He will accept. If I think of Him and weep for Him, He will help me.
Inside: Editorial * What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur * In Praise of Saranagati - Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj * Amrta Vani - How can we understand the Absolute Truth? - Srila Prabhupad * The Standard for Nama Sankirtana - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj * Pure Devotion - Srila BV Puri Maharaj * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (17-22) – Srila Vrindavan Das Thakur * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.48-11.2.52 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 2) – Srila Bhakti Sadhak Muni Maharaj
There are many hypocrite sects who counterfeit bhakti (devotion) by assuming the paraphernalia of the false devotee but are not aware that bhakti is an impulse of the soul. Of these, some for the purpose of filling their bellies, some for fame, some again by simulating for some other purpose, practise deception on men.
The Gaudiya Math says, that in the name of dharma it is not proper to practise trade. Not using Hari to serve our own pleasures, our duty is only to serve Sri Hari. The Gaudiya Math says that imitating the devotee of Hari or putting on the dress of Narada as in a theatrical performance is far from walking after the devotee of Hari or following Narada. The delightful tune, time, cadence alone do not constitute the hari-kirtan of the Gaudiya Math; those are found even in the performances of the gramophone or harlots. Cetanata, ‘consciousness’ is necessary, the fiery life is necessary, simultaneous practice and preaching is necessary. The Gaudiya Math says that he who does not possess a pure character is not fit even to be styled ‘man’ not to speak of being regarded as religious (dharmik). The Gaudiya Math keeps at a distance from the five kali-sthanas (abodes of quarrel). The kali-sthanas according to the opinion of the Bhagavata are the following:
1) dissipating games such as cards, dice etc.; trade or the profession of a trader in the name of dharma; 2) indulgence in luxuries such as betel, tobacco, wines, etc.; 3) improper association with women or unusual addiction to one’s own wife; 4) animal slaughter; not to proclaim the truth to people but to deceive them by lies; not to preach hari-katha ‘the word of God’ to jiva; in lieu of hari-katha to give other kinds of advice; 5) by cheating people or by accepting money that is earned by their labour from the people in general, to apply such wealth to the maintenance of wife and children, or increasing the scope of one’s own enjoyments; not to employ everything—the body, mind and speech of the jiva, life, wealth and intellect—in the service of Sri Visnu Who is the proprietor of all things and the Lord of all wealth.
the hari-kirtan of the Gaudiya Math; those are found
even in the performances of the gramophone or harlots.
Cetanata, ‘consciousness’ is necessary,
the fiery life is necessary,
simultaneous practice and preaching is necessary.”
The sastra says, of all things the human body is the dearest to God; the human body is the giver of the paramartha (highest good) and is very difficult to obtain; and therefore, while this body lasts, without being immersed in any other thing, not being deceived by supposing that any other method except sorrow-stupor-fear-killing bhakti is productive of good, it is our duty unceasingly to practise devotion. Other forms of devotion to God are weak, the devotion denoted by kirtana is strong. Once the protection of the strong bhakti is secured, it gives to jivas the highest good with little effort on their part.
Therefore, by preaching kirtana at all times to induce, by right of the highest kinship, the whole of the jiva to turn Homeward is true universal love, true help of others, true kindness and the true duty of life. The Gaudiya Math embracing all the inhabitants of the universe without exception, in sadness calling upon all to turn their face towards God to be preachers of this bhakti denoted by kirtana, say:he sādhavah sakalam eva vihāyā dūrāt
Ye, the righteous, bidding good-bye to everything from a distance, offer the devotion of your hearts to the feet of Caitanyacandra.
At that time, Krsna pointed out, "You see! You thought that Govardhana Hill was only a heap of stone. No - it is living, it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." At that time, Krsna revealed Himself as Govardhana Hill and showed how it is also His extended self. According to authorities in our line, Radha-kunda is the extended self of Srimati Radharani and Govardhana is the extended self of Krsna. And so we worship a stone from Govardhana Hill, a part of Giridhari, as Krsna Himself. We may understand from this that a part of the infinite is infinite. And yet so feeble is our ordinary vision that although Govardhana-sila is a part of the infinite, and therefore also infinite, to our material vision it is only a piece of stone.
This pastime shows that a thing may appear to be ordinary stone, but its possibility is infinite. In the general sense, Einstein's theory of relativity has announced that anything we see is that thing plus something more. In his own scientific way he explains that the reality of a thing includes its possibilities, its prospect - reality is not at a standstill.
Reality is not limited to what is seen or conceived by our senses. Our vision or estimation of anything may be limited, but unknown to us, its prospect may be unlimited. Everything has infinite possibility. We do not even know what infinite possibility a particle of sand may have. We do not know what sort of possibility may exist within a leaf of a plant. It may appear ordinary, but it may contain invaluable medicinal properties.
A part of the infinite is also infinite. The Govardhana-sila represents Krsna as the master and keeper of cows. Within Govardhana is that mild and soft conception of God the Beautiful. We beg for His mercy, His affection, and His gracious glance upon us.
That may save us from the negative influence of this material environment. When we try to put a stop to our material form of life and take our course towards Godhead, Krsna consciousness, neglecting the imperative duties that are upon us, so many difficulties may come to trouble us, to trap us in our journey towards the ultimate truth. But if we stick to the order of Krsna, He will protect us. Krsna confirms this in Bhagavad-gita:sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
He says, "Abandon all other conceptions of duty and just surrender unto Me. Have no fear. I shall protect you and free you from all sinful reactions that might arise from neglecting your ordinary duties."
Different material tendencies and mental impulses may attack us - even Indra himself, the king of heaven and the controller of all ordinary activities, may attack us - but if we are attentive towards our goal, if we are careful to read the order of Krsna, He will protect us in the shade of His lotus feet. He will give us shelter under the shade of Govardhana Hill, where no Indra will be able to touch our heads. And with full faith that Krsna will give us protection, we should try to take shelter under Govardhana Hill and pray: "O Krsna, give me protection from all the difficulties that may come to attack me because of my leaving behind my ordinary obligations."
Although many anomalies may try to catch us, Krsna will protect us. And in His representation as Govardhana Hill, that wonderful master of the cows will save us from all sorts of difficulties. How is this possible? God works wonders. His ways are unknown and inconceivable.
If we want to enjoy the pleasures of this world, we will suffer, because all diseases will come. It is the function of Nature that you cannot enjoy. You will have to weep if you enjoy, because that enjoyment is not real. One can say, “I know that this enjoyment or attachment and its side-effects will bring only suffering. I know this, still I am unable to give it up.” Suppose a person wants to eat some particular diet or has attachment to a wife and children. He knows that he is supposed to give it up, but he cannot. He is aware of the after-effects of these attachments, but still is unable to leave them. He is not an Isvara, he is only an infinitesimal jiva, therefore he cannot control himself. Isvara can control the limbs, but the jiva cannot.
Still he, the bhakta, does not leave his bhajan. He is always weeping for Krsna, “Oh Krsna, I know that this should not be done, but I am doing it, because I am not fit. Please make me fit!” Suppose a man likes a mango or whatever. He knows it may be bad for his health and that he has to give it up, but he is unable to control himself. Then he prays, “Oh Lord, please help me!” That prayer will help him. When the time will come, automatically that attachment will go away. However, if all a sudden, we give up one thing and we take another, it will not last. Because it is Nature’s function. So one must have sufficient strength to control himself. Self-control is different from spontaneity.
There is a story about Guru Nanak. He was very fond of payasam rice, milk and sugar. One day he ate a very large quantity of this payasam and he vomited. So on that day he gave it up. After vomiting he told himself, “This happened because I have such a taste for this preparation, so eat it now! Eat it!”
The devotee’s attitude should be, “I am unable to control my limbs, I have no capability to control my organs. The Lord must help me." This is the correct process. Guru Nanak’s approach was a long procedure because it was an ascending process, not a descending one. Without the help of the Lord, Guru Nanak took the initiative to give up this payasam. He gave it up, no doubt, but this does not show that he has obtained bliss. One may give up whatever is not necessary, but this does not mean that he will automatically obtain bliss. What is that bliss? To have the darsana of the Lord. Nothing except that can be called bliss. The bliss of yogis and jnanis is to give up their enjoyment, but they cannot be happy: rasavarjam raso 'py asya / param drstva nivartate. Forcing themselves they say, "No, I don’t want to enjoy." But that will never last. Only when this detachment will come automatically, will it last.
world, we will suffer, because all diseases
will come. It is the function of Nature that you
cannot enjoy. You will have to weep if you
enjoy, because that enjoyment is not real.”
Om Visnupada Sri Srimad
Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja
Like in the story of Bilvamangala. He was too attached to Cintamani, a harlot. One day he wanted to cross the river to go to that harlot, but there was a heavy flood. The boats were not available, so he jumped into the river. Fortunately he saw a corpse, took hold of it and was t able to cross the river. He reached the harlot’s house, but she was upstairs and there was no way to go inside. Then he saw a rope hanging from the boundary wall, he caught hold of it and jumped over. He knocked at the harlot’s door and went inside. Seeing him, Cintamani said, “How were you able to come here, sir?” He replied, “There was some rope there and with it I could cross over the boundary wall.” “But there is no rope at all!” Then with the help of some light they saw that it was not a rope, but a snake. “You did not realize that it was a snake?! And you crossed the river holding onto a corpse! If you could have one percent of this attachment for Lord Krsna, you would be greatly benefited.” Immediately, upon hearing these words, he was transformed. “Yes, I prostrate before you. You are my siksa-guru, from today onward I will stop with this attachment!”
Afterwards he went to his diksa-guru Somagiri to take sannyasa and then he tore out his eyes, because they were the cause of his calamities. Of course, this may seem like an ascending process, but he was weeping and weeping for Krsna. He remembered all His lilas and wrote the Krsna-karnamrta. He had so much attachment for Krsna. Whatever attachment he had for the harlot was doubled, tripled a hundred times more for Krsna. So he wrote many wonderful slokas and he sang them.
He was a blind man singing and Krsna would come and listen to him. Once when he had finished, Krsna asked him, “Where do you want to go, sir?“ “I want to go to that place.” “Then take hold of My hand and come with Me.” Taking Krsna’s hand he was guided to that particular place and Krsna said, “Here is the place you wanted to reach,” and He left. So this is the stage he had obtained. Anyhow it is all the Lord’s grace. Without His grace, sacrifice never lasts. Sacrifice depends upon the blessings of the Lord. So we have to depend upon the blessings of the Lord.
Inside: Editorial * What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura * Amrta Vani - Why Can't Everyone Understand Transcendental Subject Matter? - Srila Prabhupada * Ocean of Faith - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja * Ascending and Descending Process - Srila BV Puri Maharaja * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 2, (1-12) – Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura * Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.44-11.2.47 (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) * Guru Tattva (Pt. 1) – Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja
The Gaudiya Math is the missionary of this all time kirtana. The Gaudiya Math begs everyone of us to offer his all to Krsna. The dhum-dham or pomp and display of the Gaudiya Math is for the sole purpose of making all efforts of the world krsna-para ‘having Krsna as their goal’; the offering to Krsna comes first and after the offering has been made, bhakti begins. The Gaudiya Math says, “make the offering to Krsna first and after that has been done profess to be a bhakta (devotee).” The Gaudiya Math says,“do not imitate the kirtankari (one who does kirtana). Dhang ‘burlesque’ is the other name of anukarana ‘imitation’. By arraying oneself in the trappings of dhang or shang ‘harlequin’, people can be deceived but no good is done either to oneself or to others. It is those who follow the kirtankari that are really their own benefactors, or properly alive to self-interest, and also benefactors of others, or mindful of other’s interests. They are not blinded by considerations of undue personal advantages, nor do they cheat others and are, therefore, truly disinterested. It is by kirtana alone that the claims of self-interest, interests of others, and disinterestedness are simultaneously satisfied.”
Bhoga (enjoyment) or mukti (freedom from misery) in the shape of prevention of famines etc. is gained by namaparadha (offensively taking the Name) or by namabhasa (taking the dimly perceived Name). That by which crores of times greater eternal good is produced—whereby the lotus of the eternal well-being of the jiva blossoms forth, that Sri Nama; the Holy Name itself—the Gaudiya Math endeavours to give away freely. They are earnestly trying to give away freely Krsna Himself.
In this world there are many persons who spread unwholesome doctrines after advertising their intention to give good advice; but most men are deceived by the idea that the actual pleasurable experience of the moment is the ‘good’. In Sanatana Siksa (Instruction to Sanatana Gosvami)ke āmi, keno more jāre tāpa-troy
ihā nāhi jāni kemone hito hoy
“Who am I, why the threefold misery doth wear me out? Ignorant of this, how can good ensue.” In answer to the question ‘how can there be good’, the message of the ‘good’ that Gaurasundara, the expounder of the sanatan-dharma (eternal religion) delivered to us regarding the only means of obtaining that ‘good’—if it once reached our ears we would not have considered bhakti denoted by kirtana as weak, and other methods as strong. Turning our face away from the direction in which the treasure would be easily found, we would not have hurried towards the South for the bite of wasps, towards the West for the terrors of the Yaksa (the demon that guards wordly riches), towards the North for offering our lives to the fangs of the black snake. Our Home is Eastwards, but we are running with all speed away from East toward other points of the compass; and when the people of the East call out to us to turn back, deluded by the mirage we say, ‘We will not listen to you, see what beautiful lakes full of the cleanest water lie yonder before our very eyes.’ Talking thus and being by degrees enamoured of that which only appears to our senses, we are ever moving away from home towards foreign lands. In those circumstances the doings of the Gaudiya Math sometimes seem to us and to those who are like-minded with ourselves as being contrary to our ideas. This is likely and need not cause any surprise; but all this notwithstanding the Gaudiya Math bearing its message, with its bright flag flying, emblazoning on it the words that attract our ears and eyes, is saying—neha yat-karma dharmāya na virāgāya kalpate
na tīrtha-pada-sevāyai jīvann api mrto hi sah
evań nrnām kriyā-yogāh sarve samsrti-hetavah
ta evātma-vināśāya kalpante kalpitāh pare
yad atra kriyate karma bhagavat-paritosanam
jñānam yat tad adhīnam hi bhakti-yoga-samanvitam
“The work that is not done for the sake of dharma, the dharma that is not performed for the purpose of virāga (renunciation), the vairāgya (renunciation) that is not practised for the service of Visnu, the person who practises such work, dharma, or vairāgya is dead in life. The naimittik (conditional) kāmya-karmas (fruitive works) are the cause of samsara-bandhan (the bondage of the world), or yoni-bhramana (birth-journeys); but those very works if they are done for God have the power to destroy ungodliness. The bhagavajjñāna (divine knowledge) associated with bhakti (devotion), denoted by sravaņa, kirtana, etc. (listening to, singing etc.) is assuredly the chaste fruit of works that are performed in this world for pleasing God.”
It is this that is the subject of the propaganda of the Sri Gaudiya Math. The Sri Gaudiya Math by its practice proclaims that by the gratification of the senses of jīva, instead of the gratification of the senses of God, no good can accrue either to oneself or to others. By invocation of mukti (salvation) in deprecation of the pleasures of the senses of the jīva, God is not served.
Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Vicar Visnu Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Tilak Niskincan Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Svarup Sridhar Maharaja and Srila Bhakti Cakor Nrsimha Maharajaaho bata sva-paco 'to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grinanti ye te
My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brahmana. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and therefore by material calculation may be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. He has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.
On Wednesday 28th of August 2013 we will celebrate appearance of Lord Krsna on this planet.
4:30 Mangala arati
7:45 Sringar arati
19:00 Sandhya arati
19.30 Hari Katha – lecture of Srila BS Muni Maharaja
21:00 Bharatanatyam Dance: Madhurashtakam (Krishna´s pastimes)
22.30 Abhishek – ceremonial bath
23.00 Bhoga offering – offering meals to Deities
24.00 Arati; follows Prasadam
No path in this material world is auspicious except the path of service to the Supreme Lord. The mentality that we understand life better than the devotees do leads us to hell, and therefore keeping such a mentality is harmful. The secret of success in spiritual life is to follow the path traversed by the Lord's devotees.
We should follow the devotees no matter how difficult the path is. If we wish to be successful in our following, we must be humble enough to realize how worthles we are. If we understand our disqualification, we can become qualified to see the beauty of the lotus feet of Krsna's devotees.
Ordinary human beings are always proposing how to get sense gratification. If we consider such topics religious, we can never become religious. Serving the devotees is the best form of auspiciousness.
Gentle Moonlight Commentary
vidyāra vilāse, kāţāinu kāla, parama sāhase āmi
tomāra caraņa, nā bhajinu kabhu, ekhana śaraņa tumi
I spent my time absorbed in the pleasures of learning with great confidence. I never served Your feet. Now You are my shelter.padite padite, bharasā bādila, jñāne gati habe māni‘
se āśā biphala, se jñāna durbala, se jñāna ajñāna jāni
Studying continuously, my confidence that I would attain the fulfillment of life through knowledge increased. However, that hope was futile and that knowledge was useless. I now know such ‘knowledge’ to be ignorance.jada-vidyā yata, māyāra vaibhava, tomāra bhajane bādhā
moha janamiyā, anitya samsāre, jīvake karaye gādhā
All mundane learning is an exhibition of the opulence of maya and an obstacle to Your service. It brings about infatuation for the temporary world and makes an ass of the jiva.sei gādhā ha‘ye, samsārera bojhā, bahinu aneka kāla
vārddhakye ekhana, śaktira abhāve, kichu nāhi lāge bhāla
I became such an ass, and bore the burden of my household for so long. Now aged and devoid of strength, nothing brings me any pleasure.jīvana yātanā, hoilo ekhana, se vidyā avidyā bhela
avidyāra jvālā, ghatila vişama, se vidyā hoilo śela
My life has now become agony. My learning has proven to be ignorance and the burning pain of that ignorance has become unbearably torturous. My ‘learning’ has turned into a spear (that has pierced my heart).tomāra carana, vinā kichu dhana, samsāre nā āche āra
bhakativinoda, jada-vidyā chāďi,‘ tuyā pada kore sāra
O Lord! There is nothing of value in this material world other than Your feet. Bhaktivinoda abandons all mundane learning and accepts Your feet as his be-all and end-all.
(second sloka) jnane gati: “I would attain the fulfillment of life through knowledge.” In Srimad Bhagavad-gita (4.33) Krsna says: “sarvam karmakhilam partha jnane parisamapyate - O Arjuna, all actions are fulfilled through knowledge.”
se jnana durbala: “That Knowledge was useless.” Knowledge alone is unable to fulfill one's spiritual desires. This is explained by Sriman Mahaprabhu to Srila Sanatana Gosvami Prabhu in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta (Madhya -lila 22.17-18):krsna bhakti haya abhideya-pradhana
ei saba sadhanera ati tuchchha bala
krsna-bhakti vina taha dite nare phala
“Krsna-bhakti is the fundamental means of spiritual progress (because the jiva is by nature an eternal servant of Krsna). Karma (pious action), yoga (self-regulation), and jnana (knowledge) are all dependent on bhakti; they have no actual power of their own. Without Krsna-bhakti, they are all unable to deliver results.”
se jnana ajnana: “That knowledge is ignorance.” All knowledge of the mundane world is really illusory knowledge, or, ignorance. This is described in the Katha Upanisad (1.2.5):avidyayam antare vartamanah
svayam dhirah panditam manyamanah
damdramyamanah pariyanti mudha
andhenaiva niyamana yathandhah
“Insincere fools who remain in ignorance, yet consider themselves sober (free from any illusion) and wise (learned authorities), are deluded just like blind persons being led by other blind persons.”
(third sloka) jada-vidya … jivake karaye gadha: “Mundane learning makes an ass of the jiva.” This refers to apara-vidya, inferior knowledge; that is, knowledge that construes material objects as meant for one's own enjoyment.
In this regard, shortly after returning from Gaya, Nimai Pandit advised His students as follows (Sri Caitanya Bhagavata: Madhya-khanda 1.158-9)sastrera na jane marma, adhypana kare
gaddabhera praya yena sastra bahi' mare
padina sunina loka gela care-khare
krsna maha-mahotsave vancila tahare
“Those who do not know the purport of the scriptures, yet teach them to others, are like asses: they bear the load of the scriptures in vain. Reading and hearing of the scriptures leads only to death and destruction for both these teachers and their audiences. They are all deprived of the joy of the grand festival of love for Krsna.”
In Srimad Bhagavatam (10.84.13), Krsna Himself explains:yasyātma-buddhih kunape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīh kalatrādisu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijñesu sa eva go-kharah
“One who considers their decaying material body, made of mucus, bile, and air, to be their actual self (but does not realize themselves to be a servant of the Lord); who considers their spouse, family, and associated paraphernalia to be their possessions (yet feels no affectionate attachment for the devotees of the Lord); who considers a graven image made of earth or other material elements to be the Lord (but has no reverence for the devotees of the Lord); and who considers a body of water to be a place of pilgrimage (but fails to understand that the devotees of the Lord are the ultimate place of pilgrimage) – such a person is an ass among cows (a foolish beast fit only to bear the burden of carrying food for other animals).”
According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the words bhauma ijya-dhīh, “who thinks an image made of earth is worshipable," refer not to the Deity form of the Supreme Lord in His temple but to deities of demigods. And the words yat-tīrtha-buddhih salile, “who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there," refer not to sacred rivers like the Ganges or Yamunā but to lesser rivers.
Krsna explains the components of His inferior energy (apara-prakrti) in Srimad Bhagavad-gita (7. 4-5)bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuh
khaḿ mano buddhir eva ca
ahankāra itīyaḿ me
bhinnā prakrtir astadhā / apareyam
“Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intelligence, and false ego are the eight divisions of My inferior, material energy.”
We should note the difference between a servant and a trader. Many approach with some trading purpose, but the character of the real devotee should be that of a servant. Sri Prahlada Maharaja has mentioned that one who associates with the sadhus, wanting something in return for his personal interest, is making 'trade' with the sadhus. He thinks, "How much can I gain, and how much shall I have to give?" But a pure devotee should not have any such separate interest. Rather, he should try to merge within the interest of the Lord. In whatever position he is, it does not matter - whether he is a brahmacari, a sannyasi, a grhastha, a vanaprastha or any other position - he must be willing to merge (visate tad anantaram).
He will not like to keep any separate account. His sole objective will be to enter into the family of the Godhead. This is the very basis of pure devotion. Tato mam tattvato jnatva, visate tad anantaram (Bg. 18.55). We want to surrender, to be one of common interest with the Lord, and not to approach, ask some questions, pocket the answers, and then make trade with them elsewhere in any way. Once, when I was being asked many questions, I replied, "This is not an inquiry office. The inquisitive want to satisfy their idle curiosity; or, they want to be masters of many keys - that they will be able to give solutions to everyone's problems, and attain some status. They have many motives but they cannot understand the real necessity.
We require specific articles to execute worship, such as incense, flowers, lamp, etc. Similarly, if we wish to realize the supersubjective plane, there are three specific necessities: pranipata, pariprasna, and seva. Without these three ingredients, our search will be imitative, unsubstantial and farcical.
Pranipata means 'to fall flat near the feet of the worshipable': "I have come to the end of all enterprise with my previous plane of life; I could find nothing there to fulfill my life's objectives. Finally, after 'completing my errands,' I have come here." This is the practical symptom of pranipata.
Pariprasna means 'sincere inquiry.' Honest and sincere inquiry is allowed. The spirit of such inquiry is, "I want to know how I can be utilized in any way. All the charm for living elsewhere is over. My sole inquiry is 'How can I be utilized here?' "
And seva, service, is the all-important factor. "I have come to serve and to be utilized for the cause of the subject about which I have inquired. I have not come to take anything from here. I have come only to serve, with no other motive."
A devotee of the Lord whose intelligence is illuminated with Vedic knowledge is actually learned. The sastra (scripture) states, pandito bandha moksa-vit, murkho dehady-aham-buddhih: “A wise man is one who knows the process of freedom from the bondage of material life, and a fool is one who identifies with his material body and mind.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.19.41-42). One who considers the material body to be the self is certainly a fool, even though he may have a certificate for his education.
Mundane scholars are aware only of mundane sound vibration. Since they are conditioned by maya (illusion) and consider the body to be the self, they are unable to realize scripture's actual purport. Because Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures are non-different from the Supreme Lord, they are understood and realized only by devotion.
Since the proud mundane scholars are devoid of devotional service to the Lord, they are intoxicated by false ego. Therefore how will such people understand the confidential purport of the sastras headed by Srimad Bhagavatam, which are non-different from the Lord? Can an idol maker see the Lord's Deity form?
If wealth, beauty, high birth, and learning are not attributed to proper candidates, they cause ruination. For non-devotees they are as good as death. They give anxiety, cause material existence, and enhance the false ego. For devotees, however, they are ornaments and do not produce anarthas.
surrendering body, mind, and speech, only
then will we be able to realize the confi-
dential purport of the sastras (scriptures).”
The meaning of the sastra and the meaning of material sound vibration is not the same. The sastras appear to contain mundane words, but they are full of transcendental sound vibration. They are the incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Therefore the mahajanas (great souls) said that transcendental subject matter is inconceivable – Adhoksaja. The sastras can be realized only by a devotee practicing devotional service and not by worldly academic learning.
Sastra is directly Krsna. It is His incarnation. Lord Krsna has personally manifested in this world, in the form of sastra, to provide us with something we need. Gaurangadeva said:sastra-guru-atma'-rupe apanare janana krsna mora prabhu, trata' jivera haya jnana
“The forgetful conditioned soul is educated by Krsna through the Vedic literatures, the realized spiritual master, and the Supersoul. Through these, he can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is, and he can understand that Lord Krsna is his eternal master and deliverer from the clutches of maya. In this way, one can acquire real knowledge of his conditioned life and can come to understand how to attain liberation.”
If we try to study sastra while lost in mental speculation, we will be cheated. Sastra reveals its treasure only to surrendered souls. If we have the same unalloyed devotion for the spiritual master as we have for Supreme Lord, the purports of all scriptures will reveal themselves to us automatically. People proud of their knowledge cannot understand the purport of sastra. If we hear from the sadhus (saints) while surrendering body, mind, and speech, only then will we be able to realize the confidential purport of the sastras (scriptures).
Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja reads and comments on the book of Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Gosvami Maharaja – “Loving Search for the Lost Servant” in Sridham Mayapur, February 2013
The topics of the discourse are the following: Faith in the higher plane * The foundation of devotion is self-surrender * A devotee depends wholly on Krsna * Selfishness and extended selfishness * Our false ego must be finished * Enjoyment and renunciation are abnormal * Everything is for Krsna's pleasure – nothing is for our pleasure * See the environment with proper vision * We can be in Krsna's lila wherever we are * Connection with Krsna means life – disconnection means death * I'm moving according to His desire * The ticket to that plane is whole self-sacrifice * As long as I don't forget Krsna, I can accept everything * May we never be separated from pure devotee * The example of Bharata Maharaja * Without association of Krsna
There are so many rules and regulations, so many things to do, but the all-important thing is dedication. With what mood do I serve? To satisfy Vaisnava, Guru, Radha-Govinda, Mahaprabhu? Do I serve with this mentality or just for many other reasons?
We should not choose how we serve Krsna. We should practice service under the order of a Vaisnava. We know what we like to do, but dedication means that we will do what Vaisnava, what Krsna, is asking from us. This is surrender. We like to do so many things and then we say it is devotional service. But this is not devotional service. To do something we like, or what we think is good, is not devotional service - it is an activity we like to do. But devotional service becomes more intense if we follow the order of Guru, Vaisnava, Krsna. Dedication is necessary. Krsna anusilanam, this is the highest. If we do this we will very quickly understand all the sweet topics that Vaisnavas speak.
One who does kirtana according to his liking may not get the desired benefit from the transcendental platform, because he may do it only for his entertainment. It is even said that when we read books like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam or any devotional literature we may not get any benefit. It is not considered devotional service if Guru has not ordered us to read it. These are very strong words. But we get the real benefit when Guru orders us to read this book and we read it. Then this is devotional service. But if we take that book and say: “Oh, this is not interesting, I like that one much more,” then it is not devotional service but sense gratification. Can you understand the difference?
The problem we have is that we do not accept authority. We do not accept Guru. We accept as our gurus only those who flatter us, in correspondence to our whims and opinions. This is the problem we have here.
Spiritual life is very difficult, but is it very simple for the simple-minded. Those who are very simple understand that whatever comes from authority has to be done. As when we joined this movement, we just wanted to become Krsna conscious, we wanted to be liberated from this material world. So, we had many gurus, many authorities in our last thirty-five years. We tried to follow their orders as best as possible, though later many of them fell down.
The thing is that, if we follow an order from authority, then whatever reaction comes from this does not come to us, it comes to the authority. If a non-bona fide authority orders me to do some senseless service, the results are not my responsibility, and I do not have to suffer the consequences. The authority has to suffer.
authority. We do not accept Guru. We accept
as our gurus only those who flatter us,
in correspondence to our whims and opinions.”
In the same way if we give a donation with the attitude that we want to give it to the Supreme Lord, for Vaisnava-seva or to build the temple, it may be misused, but we will not be held responsible. The reaction will come to those who misuse the donation. Our attitude was proper – to give to the Supreme Lord for service. Those authorities that misuse donations or the energy of the devotees in service are responsible. We have to develop this understanding even when it is very hard.
If we think we can attain Goloka just by our speculation, then we will realize that we fall again and again, we do not move forward or we move very slowly.
Even the devotees of Mahaprabhu Himself like Jagadananda or Gadadhar Pandit never went to Vrndavana without the permission of other devotees or Mahaprabhu. Gadadhar Pandit was Radharani Herself but Mahaprabhu did not want him to go to Vrndavana. He collapsed; he went unconscious when he had to turn back to Puri. And Jagadananda tried for years, but Mahaprabhu did not want him to go, so he did not go. How dependent these high-class devotees were! We may think, “I am a high-class devotee. Nobody can tell me anything.” But who can be higher than Jagadananda or Gadadhar Pandit? They followed very strictly the order of their authority.
Another example is given: One sannyasi of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta went on a pilgrimage to Badarikasrama. When Prabhupada heard this, he immediately wrote a letter to Srila Sridhar Maharaja who was in charge of the math (monastery) in Kuruksetra, “If this sannyasi comes, do not let him enter the temple. Throw him out.” The action of the sannyasi was unauthorized. He went on his own. He did not go with the permission of his spiritual master or the authorities. To be chastised by Guru is actually a mercy, but very rarely will someone understand it as merciful. These kinds of dealings are only found among high-class devotees.
tesam evanukampartham, aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho, jnana-dipena bhasvata
“I am so indebted to those devotees that whenever they feel the pain of My separation, I cannot tolerate it. I immediately run to cooperate with them in accepting My service. Such is the intensity of the demand I feel from them.”
In an examination hall, many of us may sit for the examination, yet many are unsuccessful and fall back. But we are not to dwell on them. Rather, we shall try to keep company with the successful candidates. They should be the focus of our attention, and with their help we shall progress. Progress means selection and elimination, and there is no end of making progress. We must take courage to that extent.
Everywhere and in whatever direction we may go, we shall find both successful and unsuccessful candidates. We shall try to avoid the unsuccessful. Some may be brilliant in the primary classes, but in pro-gressing further, we find that they are proving dull and cannot pass the test. And there may be many who were not very successful in the primary classes but flourish in higher education. Thus, we should not be discouraged and disappointed on hearing that so many once respected stalwarts are falling away. We should try to feel the actual soil. We need a sincere acquaintance with the soil on which we are moving. It is unintelligible to the fullest extent, but we must spare some energy to cultivate a deeper feeling for where we are, what we want, and where we are going. We must have a deeper feeling for the plane of our objective and achievement. We must not allow ourselves to be captured by the outer charm of things, but we should try to feel and trace the reality as our friend.
Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Gosvami Maharaja
klesa-ghni subhada moksa-, laghuta-krt sudurllabha
sandrananda-visesatma, sri-krsnakarsini ca sa
“Uttama-bhakti, the purest devotion, is the vanquisher of all sin and ignorance, and the bestower of all auspiciousness; liberation is belittled in the presence of such devotion, which is very rarely attained, the embodiment of the deepest ecstasy, and the attractor of Sri Krsna Himself.”
Even if we achieve liberation from all the undesirable forces around us, pure devotion undermines this position of liberation (moksa-laghuta-krt). We may be a liberated soul, free from the reactions and apprehension of the future, but association with the positive engagement, bhakti, is much more difficult to attain (sudurllabha). To obtain a passport is not the same as securing a ‘visa.’ One may have a passport, but in order to secure a visa it will have to be necessary to undergo more trouble. In other words, we may be released by the reactionary plane, yet we may not have entrance into the higher plane. To have entrance there is far beyond this liberation. The qualification to eagerly aspire to give oneself wholly for the other plane of life is hardly to be found in anyone. Such a person has no motive to acquire anything for the plane in which he had previously been living for so long.
Furthermore, if he is appointed to be a preacher, an agent to do relief work here, he will execute that duty solely under the appointment of, and in the interest of, that higher plane, without any attachment that “I shall bring some good to the people.” He will think, “I must put myself wholly at the disposal of the higher plane, and I shall not be eager to become an acarya, a spiritual master. Otherwise, there is the danger of committing namaparadha, offense against the Lord’s name.”
Asraddadhane vimukhe 'py asrnvati, yas copadesa siva-namaparadhah. It is an offense to give the holy name to the faithless. It betrays the motivation to gain a ‘position’ in the higher sphere. This is a type of mundane attachment, a spiritual tradery, as is the habit of caste ‘Gosvamins’ and other spurious lines. Rather, the healthy attitude should be, “If I am appointed from above, then I shall serve as appointed, and that too, only for the interest of those who have appointed me. I am entering that rank solely for the interest of that higher land.” That should be the pure and perfect approach.
So, with a passport alone we cannot hope to enter easily into that higher plane which is sudurllabha, very rarely attained. But if we can enter, we shall feel sandrananda visesatma, “Yes, the very plane itself is most happy and full of independent spirit. I desired to secure a ‘visa’ to enter this country, and now I find that it really is as promised. I directly perceive that I am breathing in a far higher, sweeter atmosphere - a homely atmosphere that far excels anything of my previous soil.” And finally, sri-krsnakarsini ca sa: Krsna Himself, Reality the Beautiful, who attracts the hearts of all - even He is attracted by the dedication of his surrendered servitor. Neither power nor knowledge have any play in this domain, but the Sweet Absolute is captured by the love of His devotee.
yadi dāsyasi me kāmān
varāms tvam varadarsabha
kāmānām hrdy asamroham
bhavatas tu vrne varam
O my Lord, best of the givers of benediction, if You at all want to bestow a desirable benediction upon me, then I pray from Your Lordship that within the core of my heart there be no material desires.
By good fortune and the Lord's mercy we have been given a human birth. The human form of life is extremely rare, and there is no guarantee that in our next life we will again become humans. By some misfortune we might become a ghost, witch, hobgoblin, animal, bird, or insect. It is not possible to worship Hari in those species. Therefore we should not use whatever time we have left in our present body for pointless activities.
Life is temporary. Still, human life can award spiritual salvation. Therefore as long as we are alive, we should quickly earn our spiritual perfection. Human beings proudly consider themselves brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas, or sudras, brahmacaris, grhasthas, vanaprasthas, or sannyasis. Those who are intelligent, however, should not claim these false identities. We are simply the Lord's servants. We are not products of this world. To consider the body the self is an illusion. Sri Mahaprabhu said:jivera svabhava, krsna-'dasa'-abhimana
dehe atma-jnane acchadita sei 'jnana'
The original nature of every living entity is to consider himself the eternal servant of Krsna. But under the influence of Maya he thinks himself to be the body, and thus his original consciousness is covered.
Hari's holy name does not appear on the tongues of persons puffed up with the false ego of material proprietorship. We are eternally conditioned souls. Due to our forgetfulness of Krsna we have fallen into illusion. Now we have no alternative but to give up our false ego and take complete shelter at the lotus feet of guru and Krsna. Elephants think themselves elephants and dogs dogs, but humans should not think like this. Rather, they should be proud of their real identity. Sri Mahaprabhu said, jivera 'svarupa' haya krsnera 'nitya-dasa: "It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna" (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 20.108) Lord Hari is situated in every atom, and He attracts fools and the learned alike. Only those who have no desire for material enjoyment, for becoming the master, no desire to command respect as sadhus, are qualified to hear His instructions. Those who are attached to something so insignificant as their own pride, however, will not hear the Lord's call.
Still, such persons should know that death is inevitable, adya vabda satante va mrtyur vai praninam dhruvah: either today or in a hundred years every living entity must die. We are cognizant, but if despite our cognizance we did not approach the Lord's devotees and hear their instructions attentively, ruination is inevitable.
There is no chance to worship Hari in any form of life other than the human form. Therefore we should engage in Hari-bhajana until we die by giving up all other engagements. That's the only way we can attain the ultimate goal of life.
Everyone in this world is ready to ruin us. In this land of nofriendship, our so-called relatives are unfavorable for our devotional service. We therefore have no alternative but to take shelter of Vaisnavas. Vaisnavas are our actual relatives. We do not need to do anything for anyone. Just serve the Lord's devotees along with others. Let everyone serve the Lord with his or her knowledge, intelligence, academic qualification, physical strength, wealth, and expertise. The more we delay doing so, the more trouble we will find ourselves in.
People who follow non-Vaisnava religious principle cannot attain auspiciousness. All auspiciousness is held in the hand of those who take shelter at the lotus feet of a Vaisnava. The non-Vaisnavas are decorated only with the garlands of birth and death. Persons attached to hari-bhajana no longer enter the wombs of mothers. What to speak of Vaisnavas, even those who have the opportunity to see the lotus feet of an extraordinary Vaisnava will not take birth again.
Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja speaks about:
descend of divya jnana * devotion to guru * disciple's attitude * who is guru? * qualification of devotee * necessity of living spiritual guide * cheating gurus * enjoyment is our worst dissease * giving is higher than taking * Sudama's story * learn to give * check yourself – what is your intention * qualification of disciple * step by step process * preaching in the west * we want quality not quantity * guru is not limited by one form * it's a living thing
– 3rd part
“We do not want cheating gurus. We want that we become free from this prison house of the material world. We want to go to our eternal home. Because we are not at home here, we are just visitors, temporarily here, in this material world.” This is the speaking of our gurus and acaryas. What we are telling here is coming in the line of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. It is important to know, otherwise only to know how to enjoy and please the sense in this world will not give us real happiness.
To hear hari-katha is not very pleasing to our senses at this time. We want to be entertained. We want to hear stories, like the Mahabharata. We want to hear love stories, thrillers. To hear the stories of heroes, of fighting, like Bhima or Bhisma - so many heroes in this world. They were great devotees of course. The Mahabharata was written in the beginning of kali-yuga, a long time ago. It was written for the sudras, and for ladies. Those who like to hear stories.
In the middle of the Mahabharata is the Bhagavat-gita. Vyasadev combined it, he was tricky and put the Bhavagad -gita in the middle of this nice historical epic. Mahabharata means “the story of the great India, at the time of five thousand years ago”. When King Pariksit was the king of the whole world he met, on his tour through his kingdom, one man that was beating and torturing a bull, and this man was Kali personified. That means kali-yuga, a very dark person. And when he saw that Kali was cutting the feet of this bull, and he was beating it, the king immediately wanted to kill Kali. But Kali immediately put down his weapons and made obeisances because he knew he had no chance to fight with King Pariksit. And he said, “What should I do? I am this kind of person.” He was attracted to gold, ladies, drinking and gambling; all kali- yuga habits. But the king was merciful. As a real king, a real ksatrya, he doesn´t kill someone that surrenders to him. So he sent him to the East, to Africa. So they say that the Africans have their origins from Kali.
And other races were sent to different places in this world, like the Daityas. They were a very powerful, demoniac race. Where Prahlad Maharaj took birth. The founder of this race was Hiranyakasipu. Daityas are connected with Deutschland (Germany). They were driven out of India. It is historically described like this in the Vedas. And we know that the race of the Daityas were, and still are today, very expert materialists. They are very strong and want to rule over the whole world. Like Hiranyakasipu who took over the whole universe, he was so strong, but he was defeated afterwards. Like the Daityas, who tried it again, sixty or seventy years ago, but they were defeated again. Of course, other races aren´t less demoniac or less materialistic, we have to see it like this.
So the sastras, Mahabharata, and other Vedic scriptures give us information about early India. In the beginning there were the Sindhu and Sarasvati rivers, where the great saints were living. Like Vyasadev, they lived very near to the Himalayas at this time. But as we also know from science, the Himalayas are very new. They grew in the last thousands of years and became very high. Those who were living there moved down to the sea, to south India. Kashyapa Muni, a great saint from many thousands of years ago, he moved to the western side, to the Caspian Sea, and it´s called after him. In some parts of the Vedas, the founding, as well as the philosophical basis of Islam and Christianity, it is also historically explained. A god brother (Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj) of our Gurudev sometimes speaks of these things.
We are more interested in hearing stories, and entertainment, then hearing the truth, the most important thing. Krsna may even come into this door and tell us… “You become a servant of mine, and all your problems will be solved.” We would not believe Him. We would not trust Him.
This is the basis of what makes the difference between one pure devotee and one that has less faith. Those who have full faith are fully seeing Krsna everywhere, behind everything. Whatever they see, whatever happens, whatever is going on: Krsna is behind it. It is not an accident. Is not arranged by others or by me. I am not the controller, and nobody else here is the controller. We are all controlled by the Supreme. No one can say anything without His will. No one can do anything without His will.
When Arjuna said, “I don´t want to fight this battle in Kuruksetra, because my relatives are on the other side, like my guru Dronacarya and my grandfather Bhisma. So many relatives. I don´t want to fight.” Then Krsna answered, “This battle is already arranged. Those who will die on this battlefield are already arranged to die, because of the collective karma they will be killed, whether you are part of it or not. But if you fight on My order, you will be glorified. If you run away then it will be shameful for you, because you are a fighter, a ksatrya. It is your duty, you have to fight.” But Arjuna did not like this. And for this reason Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to him. Nobody can be killed; nobody can die, because we are all eternal souls.dehino smin yatha dehe, kaumaram yauvanam yara
tatha dehantara praptir, dhiras tatra na muhyati
I, the soul, am wandering through childhood to youth to old age. I am always the same person, but the body is changing, and death means nothing else except that I am changing my body, getting a new body. But I am always the same. So you can´t kill anyone, because we are all eternal. Nobody is dying, only the external form. Just like a dream. In the dream you may think you are a fighter, a businessman, this or that, but when the dream is gone you understand it was only a dream. So when the body is gone, you will also think, “My god, now it´s finished”, like the dream. There´s no mother, no wife, no husband, I can´t take anything with me. Everything is gone. So practically speaking we are also only living in a dream now, but we think this is reality. Just like when we are dreaming, we think it is reality. When we dream we suffer, we enjoy, and see many things. In a dream we think it is real.
As Krsna told, this is all temporary, illusionary, it´s not real. And Arjuna understood. In the end he said, “Yes my Lord, I have understood and I surrender myself to Your lotus feet and do what You have ordered me to do. Then the big battle started.
Arjuna, the Pandavas and all the great devotees are not dying, they are living in the great sastras. We hear about them and remember them. They are eternal associates of the Lord. The Bhagavad-gita is spoken in other universes, continuously, it is nitya-lila. These are the pastimes of the Supreme Lord.
Namaparadha – Chanting the name with offenses. Aparadha means to disfigure, not to deal properly but to mishandle something. By such mishandling we cannot get our desired result. In the laboratory a scientist is making an experiment, but an experiment is only successful when everything is properly handled. Otherwise there may be an explosion and the scientist may die.
Namabhasa – Shadow expressions of the holy name that can give liberation. They may take us to the abscissa from the negative side, but they cannot give any positive attainment. There is neither any exploiting tendency there, nor any serving tendency – that is a marginal position.
Suddha-nama – The pure name, must have its original form in nirguna bhumika, far beyond the misconception of maya. The influence of maya reaches up to Viraja; then there is Brahmaloka, then Paravyoma (spiritual sky). The real Name must have its origin in Paravyoma, and Krsna-nama originates in Goloka, the most original plane of the whole existence. To be really Krsna-nama, it must have its origin in the highest plane of Vrndavana.
and it should be chanted in the association
of the sadhu (saint).”
It is true that an infinite magnitude of sin may be removed, dispersed, and dismissed by one utterance of the Name. But that Name must not be only the physical sound. It must have as its characteristics those of Vaikuntha: unlimited, eternal, from the plane of eternity. Sadhu-sanga, the Name must be taken from Gurudeva, and it should be chanted in the association of the sadhu.
If we take the Name, then there must be service. Sat-sanga. Sadhu-sanga Krsna-nama. Service means to dedicate oneself completely to that which we serve. In that way we shall take the Name. For what purpose are we taking the Name of the Lord? Kanaka, kamini, pratistha: not for money, not for sense gratification, not to achieve popularity. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves completely for Him, for His Name. With that attitude we shall take the Name.
For the Name to be Krsna, Krsna has to descend there. Don’t be self-deceptive; do not think that in taking the Name we have become great sadhus. It is not like that. Krsna has to come down in the form of the sound to us. He is spiritual; He is transcendental. Sevonmukhe, our complete surrender towards Him will attract Him, and He’ll graciously come down to grace us in the form of the Name, in our actions, in performing our duties. At every step He will come.
Inside: What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura * How Should We Call the Supreme Lord? - Srila Prabhupada * Surrender to Sri Guru - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja * Pure Devotion (2nd part) - Srila BV Puri Maharaja * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 1, (51-94) – Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura * Srimad Bhagavatam 11th Canto (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) * Theory Won’t Do Anything – We Must Practice and Realize – Srila BS Muni Maharaja
prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram
The universal gods, perfected beings, salvationists, mystic yogis, and exalted servitors of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, constantly chanted the glories of Sri Gaurasundara.
In regard to Lord Chaitanya’s pastimes, Srila Rupa Gosvami has mentioned the following verse in his Sri Chaitanyastakah:sadopasyah sriman dhrta-manuja-kayaih pranayitam
vahadbhir gir-vanair girisa-paramesthi-prabhrtibhih
“The gods, headed by Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, accepted the garb of ordinary men in the pastimes of Sri Chaitanyadeva in order to eternally worship Him with heartfelt affection.” Sri Chaitanyadeva is the embodiment of that vast nectarine ocean found in Lord Krishna’s Holy Name, which is none other than Sri Gauranga’s own pure Name. Sri Chaitanyadeva is compared to that grand milk ocean which, after being churned, produced nectar. The nectar Mahaprabhu distributes is Lord Krishna’s Holy Names, which extinguish all the miseries of material existence, such as anxieties arising from sinful activities performed in direct opposition to the Lord, and the three-fold sufferings which fuel the grand forest fire that scorches those in search of sense gratification, salvation, and mystic yoga perfections. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gauranga Sundar, the divine form of Krsna prema.
āpane ācare keha, nā kare pracāra
pracāra karena keha, nā karena ācāra
"Some behave very well but do not preach the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, whereas others preach but do not behave properly."'ācāra', 'pracāra', — nāmera karaha 'dui' kārya
tumi — sarva-guru, tumi jagatera ārya
"You simultaneously perform both duties in relation to the holy name by your personal behavior and by your preaching. Therefore you are the spiritual master of the entire world, for you are the most advanced devotee in the world."
My affection incarnate,
I have this morning come to Sri Gaudiya Math from Puri with “P”. Immediately on arrival at the station I heard that by the will of God “T” has gone away from us. You knew “T” as your son; he is a servant of Krsna. He came into the household of Vaisnava, you served him in the office of the parents of a Vaisnava, he has gone away after accepting that amount of service which he was in need. “T” indeed got his body from you but he is a soul – a Vaisnava. His eternal duty is service of God.
A Vaisnava comes into this world on the pretext of individual need and remains in material space for the alloted period of such mission and thereafter proceeds wheresoever Baladeva sends him according to his fitness. You know Maha Laksmi (sat energy) dwells in the heart of Baladeva and Krsna with His ecstatic energy dwells in Maha Laksmi. Therefore “T” has gone away in order to serve the object of his worship. As he happens to be a soul - a Vaisnava, emanating from Lord Nityananda, the incarnation of the power of being, if you learn to look upon Nityananda as a son, you will no longer experience any want. Nityananda Himself has been present as the Knower of the heart of “T”, you have served Him – continue to serve Him still.
The mass of matter of which the body of your son was composed in elemental space, has dissolved into five elements. But the soul of “T” remains employed in the constant service of God and His energy. Your son as an object of selfish enjoyment has been dissociated from the company of his father, as a similar object of selfish enjoyment. He is an object of enjoyment of God, and therefore his duty as a Vaisnava is to remain the object of God's enjoyment; that is God's servant.
God knows that you are not enthralled in the bondage of maya (illusory energy). He will not, therefore, overwhelm you in your misery, aiding you with the power of His infinite mercy. Please recall to memory the story of Srivas and his son.* Peruse Soka-satana of Thakur Bhaktivinode and Sri Caitanya Bhagavata of Thakur Vrindavan Das.
At the time when Mahaprabhu accepted sannyas, He said to his aged mother, His wife Visnu priya Devi and to the inhabitants of Navadwip: “I'm only a being variously connected with you. After my departure establish in My place, all these relationships with Krsna and afford me opportunity of freely serving Krsna.” In the absence of “T” you also will have more time for serving Godhead. What God does is for our good. What more can I say to console you?
(this letter was originally published in The Harmonist, in September 1927)
*The story runs thus in the Caitanya Bhagavata (Madhya-khanda 25, 57-65): The Lord ask the dead child: “Why are you leaving Srivasa's house?” The child replied, “O Lord, this is the destiny arranged by You. Who has the power to change it?” All the devotees were struck with wonder to hear the dead child reply to the Lord's question. The child said,”I stayed and enjoyed as long as I was destined to live in this body. That destined time is now completed, so I cannot remain longer. Now I'm going to another predestined body. My destined time in this body is finished, so I cannot stay. Be merciful so that I may not forget You. O Lord, who is anyone's father and who is anyone's son? Everyone enjoys the fruit of his own karma. As long as I had the good fortune, I lived in at the house of Srivasa. Now I'm going to the house of someone else. I offer my obeisances at the feet of You and Your associates. Please don't consider my offenses. I'm leaving now.”
The lecture delivered by Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the appearance of our beloved Gurudeva Nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja in Jagannath Puri, 28th of January 2013.
Question: How do we reconcile the fact that in some sastras it says that Siva is supreme?
Srila Sridhar Maharaja: Siva is a type who is inquiring after something but Visnu is a type who has everything within. Siva is searching.
The sastra says differently for different sections according to their capability of catching the truth. In the primary literature it may be said that the sun is fixed and the planets are moving but in higher astronomy it may be said that the sun is also moving, with all the planets also moving around it. But to the children the whole truth may not be said. The truth is given partially, and by installments. Sastra has adopted this policy of giving things by installments in order that it will be acceptable accordingly by the different sections. Then when they will reach to that standard the sastra will come to say, "This is not the end, my boy. You will have to go further." This policy has been adopted in the sastra by the givers of the revealed truth.loke vyavayamisa-madya-seva
nitya hi jantor na hi tatra codana
vyavasthitis tesu vivaha-yajna
sura-grahair asu nivrttir ista
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.11)
Partially, by installments, the truth is being distributed to them because they cannot accept the whole truth. They cannot understand the whole truth at once. The scripture advises that, "If you want to be united with the ladies, then marry and in that way go on. If you want to take fish and meat, then you dedicate it to a certain deity and in society you take it partially under the direction of a particular company who will make such arrangements. Your merit will be given to that animal whose body you are taking, but go on in contact with that company and take meat." The advice is meant like that.
Similarly: "If you want to take wine, then first offer it to such-and-such god and then take it." But it is not that, "You do not want it but I am forcing it on you." Rather, "Because you cannot imagine your existence without the help of these things I am giving some provision to you under some restriction. Then again I will come and take you up to the further, higher advice: 'Now take this!"'
Then, presently the sastra tells, "Already for fifty years you have been trying to enjoy, now come to the life of renunciation: give up everything. Come and devote yourself exclusively in the search for the future life in a scientific way." In this way the progressive steps are given. Human life itself is gradually progressing: first there is student life, then household life, to work, then the third life is for retirement, and the fourth life, sannyasa , is for giving up everything and going on independently. In this way there is classification in the human life.
In the section of the Puranas known as the Saiva Puranas it tells that Siva is supreme. The Puranas are divided into three. In all there are eighteen in number: six are sattvik, the upper division, six are rajasik, the middle division; and six are tamasik, the lower division. This classification is mentioned in the Puranas.
In Gaudiya-Kanthahar you will find mention of all these things: the classification of the Puranas. Some are meant for the lower, some for the middle and some for the higher sections of society. For this purpose the Puranas are divided into three groups of six. Vedartha-puranat: the Puranas are supplementary to the meanings of the Vedas, the higher revelation scriptures. The Puranas are called Puranas because they make the meaning of the Veda full. According to the degree and capacity of the people, sastra has approached in different levels.
Question: So can we say that the Puranas are giving a lower conception?
Srila Sridhar Maharaja: Some Puranas are giving the lower or minimum conception: "The minimum is that you do this." The Manu-samhita says: "I am giving a list of fishes by name: 'Eat these particular types of fish but do not take these other species.' That does not mean that without fish if you go on then that will he bad. But because you cannot do without taking these things, because it is inconceivable for you to go on with your life without taking these things, I am giving the advice, 'That type will create some disease, that one will create some mischief, that one even more mischief, therefore the less mischievous things you should take.' But my underlying meaning is that I shall call you after some time, 'Go up!'. That indomitable spirit is within you to get all these lower things, so I must at least advise you to do something. (Pravrtti esa bhutanam)“
The Upanisads make the analogy of riding on a horse. The horse is running towards a particular direction and, although the rider pulls on the reins, the horse won't come back. Then he is allowed to go at his free-will for some time and then again the rider draws on the reins In this way, after some attempts, the horse will come back on course: it can be turned. In the Upanisads it is mentioned that our ego is running like the horse. This body is a chariot and the senses are like horses taking me towards their particular wrong directions, But I shall try to take them, to alter their course to some other direction. They may not care for me so what to do but let them go a little ahead for some time. But I shall try again and again and eventually I shall see that the horse is responding to my command. The indomitable tendency towards this exploitation is here (pravrttir-esa bhutanam). But what to do except give it all up and go to the other side beyond indifference and abnegation (nivrttis tu mahaphala) . And that is proper adjustment.yajnarthat karmano nyatra, loko yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya, mukta-sangah samacara
(Bhagavad-gita - 3.9)
Everything should be connected with the Center otherwise you will be responsible for exploitation and thereby get reaction. But if you can connect everything according to the scripture, according to the rules to deal with the Center, then you are relieved from your local responsibility, You must work in the Central intensity and the Center will make adjustment.
Bowing down to the lotus feet of Sri Guru, Sri Gauranga and Sri Radha-Govinda, we humbly offer this Gaura Vani into the hands of our beloved spiritual master Nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja who descended into this world 100 years ago. He preached nothing other than Gaura Vani - the unalloyed devotional service towards the Supreme Lord as inaugurated by Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
Let the least satisfaction of Sri Gurudeva become the sole aim of our existence, so that we may never deviate an inch from his teachings and thereby adopt the path of pseudo-devotion.
Inside: What Is Gaudiya Math Doing? * Saranagati - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura * Can One Totally Renounce the Empirical Path? - Srila Prabhupada * Neccesity of a Real Agent - Srila BR Sridhar Maharaja * Pure Devotion - Srila BV Puri Maharaja * Caitanya Bhagavata, Adi-khanda 1, (1-50) – Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura * Srimad Bhagavatam 11th Canto (with Commentaries by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) * Krsna Is Not For Your Enjoyment – Srila BS Muni Maharaja
We would like to invite you to the 100th anniversary of the appearance of our beloved Gurudeva Nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja. The celebration will take place on February 1st, 2013 in Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math, Vienna.
Morning program: 4:30 Mangala arati; Tulasi parikrama, 5:00 Bhajan, japa; 7:45 Shringara arati, bhajan, lecture
Main program: 11:30 Bhoga arati; 12:00 Gurupuja, afterward opportunity glorifying Srila Gurudeva by own words for all present.; cca 13:00 Prasadam
Evening program: 19:00 Sandhja arati; 19:20 Tulasi parikrama; 19:30 Bhajan, lecture; 20:30 Shajan arati, prasadam
1. Srila Gurudeva, 2. Srila Bhakti Jivan Janardan Maharaja, 3. Srila Krishna Das Babaji, 4. Srila Bhakti Promod Puri Maharaja, 5. Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja, 6. Srila Bhakti Hridoy Bon Maharaja, 7. Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanas Maharaja 8. Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja
upa niya tu yah sisyam, vedam adhyapayed dvijah
sankalpam sa-rahasyam ca, tam acaryam pracaksate
“An acarya is not one who only confers the sacred thread. He trains his disciples in sacrifice and teaches them the confidential meaning of the Vedas. Such a spiritual master is an acarya, according to saintly authorities.“ (Manu Samhita 2.140)
Guru is not an ordinary person. Sad-guru is someone who is standing with both feet in the spiritual world. He is not someone who is just giving external advices or sacred thread. This is not his only duty or activity. He trains his disciples in sacrifice and teaches them the confidential meaning of the Vedas. These are the real activities of a Guru. What does it mean, “he trains his disciples in sacrifice?“
It means that we are not to use or to exploit this material world for our pleasure. We sacrifice these things, we sacrifice the enjoying spirit. He teaches us how to give all these „nice“ things, which we want to enjoy, to Krishna. He is not making himself Krishna, he is pointing to Krishna. He is only teaching us how to become a servant of Krishna and “he teaches the confidential meaning of the Vedas.“ What is the confidential meaning of the Vedas? The basic understanding is given in Bhagavad-gita and Krishna Himself says that the teachings in Bhagavad-gita are the greatest secret of all secrets. There is no greater secret than these words I‘m speaking here in Bhagavad-gita. We may say, “but we all have already read Bhagavad-gita.“ Many of us have read it many times. What secret is there, what is the secret? This secret you cannot get or understand just by reading it. This confidential knowledge, the secret of teachings of the Vedas or the teachings of spiritual life can only be revealed by a bona fide spiritual master. Divya jñāna hŗde prakāśito, he is revealing this divine knowledge about the Supreme in our heart. It cannot be understood just by reading. It cannot be understood by someone who has not realized it. The spiritual master is someone who can reveal divine knowledge in our heart, who can liberate us from the circle of birth and death in this life or in any life. But we do not have to give up the body to realize or to enter the world where we are no more experiencing birth, death, old age and disease. This is a bona fide spiritual master, this is a divine master. This is an acarya according to saintly authorities.
We are so much fortunate, because we got the most merciful most advanced master. He has the power to reveal Krishna to us. It is not that he is gone when he is leaving the body, and it is not that he comes when he takes birth in this world. Guru is a principle which is eternal. He is always available for those who want him. He will always live in the hearts of those sincere disciples who always try to satisfy him.
Because of this I try to change my prayers, I‘m not trying to beg, “give me, or free me of this, help me, do this or do that.“ He has already given everything, therefore I realized that my duty is now: “How now can I repay back my debts what I had borrowed? How can I please you now? What shall I do?“ In this way one should also pray. We should not pray only for our personal interest, we should just pray how to properly serve him. How to satisfy him and how to satisfy Krishna. Because by satisfying Guru, Krishna is satisfied. This is the opinion of the sastra.
svayam ācarate yasmād ācāryas tena kīrttitah
“An acarya is one who fully understands the conclusions of the revealed scriptures and whose behavior reflects his deep realization. He is a living example for he teaches the meaning of the scriptures both by word and deed.“ (Vayu Purana)
Scriptures mention the qualities of an acarya, and we find all these qualities fully manifested in our Gurudeva. By the mercy of our Gurudeva this Math (Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Gaudiya Math) is working and we should never have any doubt that Gurudeva‘s hand is always here to protect us. You should be sure that if you are connected with Gurudeva then you are always protected. Even sometimes it seems very hard but Gurudeva is always here. As much as Krishna is sitting in our heart, Gurudeva is also present there. Because he is very close to Krishna and is always with Krishna. We should try to become surrendered to our Gurudeva and realize, “koro more ātma-sātha - kindly accept my soul and make me like you.” By following his advices, by staying connected with him, we will become like him. When you put iron into the fire it develops the same qualities as fire.Srila Gurudeva Nitya-lila-pravista Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja ki jaya!
Whatever we have learned since childhood is mundane education. Such education simply taught us how to live in this world. When spiritual knowledge is established in the heart, we easily realize the insignificance of the above-mentioned education. “I am a servant of the Lord and not the object of service. To render service to the Lord is my only duty. I will not do anything other than serve the Lord": when these pious mentalities capture my heart, all my sinful mentalities and whatever I have learned from my worldly father, mother, relatives, and teachers will be removed. As soon as I forget that Krsna is the only enjoyer, I will fall into the ocean of material existence.
The conditioned life of those inclined to the Lord's service is exhausted, and the conditioned life of those averse to the Lord's service is enhanced. Those who are attached to this world do not like to serve, hear about, or have time for the Lord. Even if they make a show of hearing about the Lord, they immediately reject the teachings if they are not to their liking. They give no importance to hari-katha. They prefer to pay attention only to needs of the today.
If we want to know God, we must approach God’s devotees. There is no other way to know Him.
– 2nd part
(public program, 10th June 2012)
(Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja reads and comments the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada.)
Srila Prabhupada: The Lord´s devotees always see the Lord, everywhere. Whereas those who are envious of Him, do not even believe in His existence. Being situated in the marginal position, sometimes we display a taste for serving Hari, and at the next moment become busy with sense gratification. If we simply develop a strong desire to become intoxicated by serving Hari, our propensity for material enjoyment will be vanquished. Material enjoyment includes both temporary happiness and distress, but service to Hari pleases Lord Hari. We should always remain eager to please the Lord.
Srila Muni Maharaja: “So the happiness that one can get by pleasing the Supreme Lord, is without beginning or end. It will continue. There will be no distress. There will be no bad reaction. But if you want to enjoy the temporary pleasures of this mundane world, for any amount of enjoyment you will experience the same amount of distress. This is the law of this material nature. So we should always remain eager to please the Lord, because when He is pleased you will be pleased also. When we are eager to please the Lord, then we will also always be happy. This is the secret.“
But from whom should we hear topics about Krsna?
Srila Prabhupada: We should hear topics about the Supreme Lord from a bona fide spiritual master. For the Lord’s pleasure we have to preach those topics to the inquisitive, not to the faithless, but we should hear from a spiritual master, not an atheist. If by mistake we have accepted a non-devotee as guru, we should renounce him and take shelter of a Vaisnava.
Srila Muni Maharaja: “This happens in these times also. There are many so-called gurus that are exploiting and cheating their disciples. But what we should not forget is, that we should see Krsna behind everything. So, He may also have arranged for you a cheater guru, a market guru, because your desire is that you want to be cheated. Outside, society is arranged like this. We want to be cheated. We don´t want the real thing. We want to be in illusion. For this illusion, even when Krsna would come now, into this door, and He would ask you…”Why are you not serving Me? Why are you not satisfying Me? I am the source of you, and everything that exists.” You would say, “But, uh, I have so many duties. I must go to work tomorrow. I have so many things to do. I have to pay my bills. Who will pay my bills?
Actually in reality, we are looking for gurus to help us pay our bills, to get a nice material life, to be cheated… to continue in the prison house of this material world. Life after life. Even if Krishna would come and tell you, “I can save you from birth and death, you can come to My land, My place, where there is no birth or death, no working like an ass in this world, only for a little enjoyment. Waiting forty-five to fifty years, working hard, waiting for pension so that you can enjoy your life. But in reality, in pension you can´t enjoy. You just try to keep the body healthy. When you ask someone in pension, how they are, if they are enjoying, they say, “No”. The main goal of their life at this age is to be healthy. This is what brings them satisfaction. Their desires have reduced to being healthy, not to suffer.
So such cheating gurus, we do not want. We want that we become free from this prison house of the material world. We want to go to our eternal home. Because we are not at home here, we are just visitors, temporarily here, in this material world.
This is the speaking of our gurus and acaryas. What we are telling here is coming in the line of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. It is important to know, otherwise only to know how to enjoy and please the sense in this world will not give us real happiness.“
1st january 2013 tirobhava mahotsava (celebration of his disapperance)
Let me tell you about an incident from the time when I first came to the Math to be at the lotos feet of my Guru Maharaja. The temple in Sri Mayapur had been opened and the deities had been instaled there The circumbulation of Sri Navadvipa Dhama on the occasion of Sri Gaura Purnima had also taken place. At the end of the festival everyone was going back home. Srila Prabhupada was sitting in a canvas chair and so many others were surrounding him. Some were giving dandavats and going away – taking leave to go home.
Then Prabhupad began saying, “Apanara amake vancana kariben na – You should not deceive me!” Prabhupad announced. My ear was very acute and I thought, “Where is the question of deception?” Festival had ended, everyone was going home, how they were deceiving him? “You came to me with the understanding that you have come for the service of Krsna and with that idea I also accepted you as my friends. Now you have attended this particular ceremony only as a fashion and you are going away again, back into family life. I feel that I am being cheated.”
Prabhupad went on, “If you say ‘I have some urgent business, I am coming, I am only finishing a little job.’ No, no! There is nothing that should detain you there in your family duties. Even if anyone says that, ‘A fire is there, please allow me to extinguish the fire and I will come back.” No! That is also not necessary. What the fire will burn is not your own. Rather, your necessity is to get out of the charm of what the fire burns. All your internal engagement is with Krsna. The internal demand in your atma, in your soul, all can be satisfied by Krsna – nowhere else. You may find there the wholesale engagement of your self and you should leave this mal-engagement as soon as possible.”
He was speaking very forcefully and that captured my heart. “Oh, such a degree to which the service of Krsna is so much imperative to us, that even the whole world is reduced to ashes, it is no harm to us.” All our demands can only be fulfilled by Krsna. This is our relation with Krsna. Such an extreme statement of fact, of the spiritual necessity. I won’t hear this anywhere else, but I heard it there with such intense necessity for the service of Krsna. So I had my determination that, “I shall come here for my whole life!” I decided on that day.
“All of your inner hankering you may fulfill in the holy feet of Krsna. Krsna can satisfy all your inner hankerings. And this environment to which you give so much importance is your enemy. That has kept you away from Krsna consciousness. Your real place, proper home, it is here.” So he told this in such a way that I sold my life there in the service of Krsna. Such a degree of intensity I have never seen, I never thought it was possible – that in the present world we should serve Krsna, not losing even a second. The whole world may be burning to ashes, I do not lose anything. On the other side, if I get out of that snare, that snare of affection, then I am saved. All my hankerings can be satisfied in detail only in the service of Krsna – my inner hankering. Never and nowhere else can that be found. I sold my head there. Everything!
Devotee: Why don't the Gaudiya Vaisnavas use any yoga practices such as yoga-asanas, pranayama, etc. in their service to Krsna?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The Gaudiya Vaisnavas discard any artificial things. God is with the heart and that is the important part. We are to appeal to the heart and have transaction with the heart, and not that by manipulation of the natural forces we shall gain some mystic power and try to exert that on God. Is that a form of worship? For one who has a heart, the hearty transaction is the most natural. And that is service. Satisfaction is for the Lord so what is the value of trying to gain some power from elsewhere and by dint of that, to try to encroach upon Him? What is the result of doing yoga? It will give some power but what effect can that power have on Him? None. We are not to try to exert our energy upon Him, but the opposite is necessary. We are to consider that we are the most fallen of the fallen and the meanest of the mean. "I want Your grace. Please accept me as a slave, as Your meanest servant." This is the way to approach the higher and not that we are to gather some power and by dint of that power jump on that Superior Entity, for that is not the process of getting Him, of receiving His favour. Favour is favour! The Lord is all-complete and all-perfect. If we want His favour we must approach keeping ourselves in the meanest position. We have no position. We are nowhere. We are wholesale dependent upon Him. This is our natural position, our constitutional position. We are wholly dependent upon Him. So any petition to Him must be with this temperament: "I want Your favour. Your grace. Please accept me. I am so heinous, so sinful, and the meanest of the mean. You are my best friend, but neglecting You I left and went somewhere else to search for my prospect, I was so mean. I am not only a sinner but I am a traitor, a treacherous man." In this way we are to go back to our highest and most affectionate friend.
What help will this yoga power do for me? He is above all seduction. Shall I think that with the power of yoga I shall influence Him to favour me? It is not possible for Him to be controlled in any way by yogic power; so yoga can give me no benefit. What will yoga do for me? He is all-independent, absolute. He is perfect in Himself. To try to exert other influences upon Him will have no effect rather that will anger Him. Instead we are to approach Him with some recommendation or with a guardian.
The Guru and Vaisnavas are our guardians. We are not to go to any external power of nature but to His agents, and ask them to plead for us. By yoga we can acquire some subtle power, but no power can work on Him against His sweet will. We must approach Him in the line of His sweet will and with those who have faith in His sweet will. Those who have faith in His sweet will are His devotees. Through them we must approach Him and not by any attempt through any other power, for that will give just the opposite result. If we want to know Him, it is futile! We cannot know Him by our attempts. Still, if we find such necessity, we shall pray, "Please make Yourself known to me," otherwise it is not necessary to waste our energy asking that He will reveal Himself. If we can leave the idea that we must know Him then that request becomes redundant. Rather our mood should be, "I want to satisfy You. I want to contribute something for Your satisfaction. Please accept me. You are full. You are perfect. You have no needs, but for my necessity please give me some sort of service." Service means in the line of satisfaction to Him, and that should be our attitude to approach Him. To approach a friend, an affectionate friend, so many mystic persons should not be called to help in our attempt.yamadibhir yoga-pathaih, kama-lobha-hato muhuh
mukunda-sevaya yadvat, tathatmaddha nil samyati
It may be possible for us to control our senses to a certain extent and for some time by the practice of yoga, but yoga cannot give the Absolute. That He is Absolute means He is above all. Absolute means that He is self-sufficient; He is not dependent on any other thing. Yoga can only help us to control our mental and physical anomalies or eccentricities, that too only for the time being, not for eternity. For the time being, lust, anger, greed, illusion, etc. (kama, krodha, lobha, moha, etc.) all may be brought under control but only for some temporary period. Mukunda-sevaya— but if we can engage ourselves in the service of Mukunda, then all disturbances will leave us once and for all. By finding the sweet taste in His service and company, all these so-called charming proposals will retire eternally. The charm for lust, the charm for anger or for greed, all these things will vanish altogether and won't come back again if only we can get the taste of serving the Lord, Mukunda.naham vedair na tapasa, na danena na cejyaya sakya evam-vidho
drastum, drstavan asi yan mama bhaktya tv ananyaya sakya,
aham evam-vidho 'rjjuna jnatum drastum ca tattvena,
pravestum ca parantapa
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita 11.53,54)
"All other means fail. Only exclusive devotion can draw Me as you see Me here, Arjuna, but other things cannot lead to such a position. Temporary devotion also will not be sufficient, but what is necessary is permanent, exclusive devotion."sarvva-dharmman parityajya, mam ekam saranam vraja
"Reject all else and only concentrate on My own Self for that is the only sort of devotion that can draw Me to the devotee. All else is futile and shameful. It is not that someone will come with hired persons to canvas Me. No! My agents are the best benefactors to you. They are searching to canvas persons in my favour. My agents are there and not for any business purpose. Their business is to do good to others, and with this idea so many agents are out to canvas for Me. Come through them and do not seek any recommendation from outside to use various means to try to force Me to favour you. That is not the proper path, but come to Me through My own agents. They have no aspiration to fulfil for themselves. They are all-given to My service and they are wandering trying to recruit persons, to benefit them. So come through My agents, never otherwise. What is yoga? There is air and there are so many things but by controlling those do you think you will force JMe to come to you? I am the Absolute Autocrat. I don't care for anything else. I have no necessity to care for anything else. Not any force, any tactics, any cunning methods, any canvassing— nothing can influence Me. I am the Autocrat. And admitting the line of autocracy, try to come to Me. There are many demigods. They are making trade, but I am not amongst the commodities of their trading. None can make trade with Me. I am Absolute. I look only for devotion, exclusive devotion which is not formal, but natural, hearty and sincere. I look for that. I look for the heart and not for anything else— bhava-grahi-janarddanah."patram puspam phalam toyam, yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtdm, asnami prayatatmanah
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita 9.26)
"Whatever My devotee offers to Me with sincere devotion, with sincere affection, I accept that. It does not matter whether it is a leaf, a flower, water, or anything else. Rich food or rich presentations are not necessary for Me, but what I want is the heart. I want sincerity and good faith. That is the highest requirement within Me."
There is a carefully written poem: "Oh Krsna, You have everything but only You do not have Your heart. Your heart has been stolen by the Gopis. You have everything except for Your heart and mind, they are not present in You for they have already been stolen by the Gopis. So You take my heart. You accept my mind. That is what is wanting in You, so please accept my heart and mind for Yourself. Your heart is missing, and that lias attracted my heart towards You, so please take it."
If we get the association of a real sadhu even for a moment, then that may turn the direction of our life. A sadhu is like a very valuable gem. What he gives is far more valuable than anything in this world. One may have gems, diamonds, money or a kingdom but they are not valuable to all. This is all mortal even though they may be valuable to a particular class of human thought. There are so many things in creation that are nothing to the sadhu. But anandam, sweetness, has a general value. It is necessary even for the tree, the creeper and even the stone. In whatever position the seeker may be in, he will be highly satisfied.
Yasmin prapti sarvam idam praptam bhavati – if we get a little of that, we think that, “No other thing but this can satisfy me. This is the thing for which I have been striving for after so many lives together. Now I have found the object of my search.” We can find higher things only through the connection of service. If we want the association of things of a higher type then we must offer ourselves to their service. We must keep this broad thought always in mind. I cannot utilize it as if it is my servant. But I shall offer to be a servant of Him, if I really want His association. Only through service can I be connected with Him. I shall work for His interest. His interest will be more valuable than that of mine.jivera svarüpa haya krsnera nitya dasa
krsnera tatastha-sakti bhedabheda prakasa
The constitutional position of the living entity is as an eternal servant of Krsna. Because the living entity is of the marginal potency of Krsna, his manifestation is simultaneously one with and different from Him. (Cc. Madhya 20.108)
It is our fortune that we, in our constitutional position, have the position of a slave to Krsna. Slavery. Those who are free would be astounded to hear this word ‘slavery’. The Gaudiya Matha is preaching slavery! The Ramakrishna Mission and others preached against Gaudiya Matha, “They are preaching slavery! This Gaudiya Matha promotes slave mentality – that I am Krsna dasa, a servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. That means they are preaching slave mentality. And we are preaching so-ham – we are the big Brahman! We are the biggest. We are the greatest. Instead of that the Gaudiya Matha says you are a slave to Krsna. The Gaudiya Matha is creating a bad impression in society, discouraging people.” Prabhupada told, “Gaudiya Matha stands for the dignity of the human race! The whole human race wants immortality. Gaudiya Matha stands for the most dignified position. Slavery, surrender – surrender to what? To the Absolute Good, to the Absolute Center. To become the slave of Krsna is not a joke. That impossible thought that, “I am Brahman!” That is the greatest disease. “I am the biggest and I want to be the monarch of all I survey” means. “I am the most heinous exploiting agent.” We are so eager to get imperial service, we are so eager to get a higher service in the administration, but to get service in the highest management of the Supreme Lord – that is the most dignified thing. The Gaudiya Matha stands for the dignity of the human race! What is the human race? They are like the mist, like the trees, creepers, and worms – the prey of death. The king will also have to die helplessly, the big general, the politician – all will have to go and face death for eternity. But the Gaudiya Matha stands for the eternal dignified position – friendly service to the Supreme Entity. The Gaudiya Matha says complete selfabnegation, self-surrender to the prime cause. To give is divine and the aspiration that, “I can get,” that is devilish. “I want to lord it over everything” – that is a devilish spirit. But Krsna is such that slavery to Him is the highest attainment for us in His relationship. That is not easily achieved.
– 1st part
(public program, 10th June 2012)
What we are reading now are the writings of our Paramgurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada. He is one of the greatest acaryas in the Vaisnava line, in the last century. He was leaving this world in 1937, first of January. So our Gurudeva got initiated half a year before Prabhupada left this world. Paramgurudeva was an extra-ordinary person. He was srutadhara, which means he was a great scholar. He knew all the philosophies of this world. Whatever he would read once, he could remember exactly. Line-for line. Prabhupada was an extra-ordinary person, but not only for this. Scholarly people you will find all over the world. But he had full spiritual realization and understanding of the divine scriptures, of the bhakti verses, all the Vedas. In his young age he was living in Mayapur, there in a field, in a very small hut, for 9 years. Living there and chanting the Maha-Mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Three hundred thousand names daily, like Haridasa Thakura. He was chanting, and studying the books day and night.
His father was a judge, a magistrate, and also a great acaraya in our line Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He wrote many songs, and was one of the biggest acaryas. Bhaktivinoda Thakura asked Prabhupada to accept Gaura-Kisora Das Babaji as a spiritual master. The interesting thing was that Babaji Maharaja could neither read, nor write. He was illiterate. So Prabhupada's father was suggesting that he should take shelter with this Guru. A Guru that was illiterate. So, you may ask, “How is this possible?” But Gaura-Kisora Das Babaji understood the conclusion of all the Vedas, because he is an eternal associate of the Lord.
But Babaji Maharaja did not want to accept any disciples. Prabhupada asked him many times, because the order of his father was to accept him. So he decided to jump off a bridge if he could not get initiation. Then he asked Gaura-Kisora again to initiate him into chanting the holy name. And he said, “You wait, I will ask Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” After some time Gaura-Kisora initiated him. He became his Guru. The Guru of the most scholarly person, most intelligent person, was illiterate, but Babaji Maharaja was most advanced in spiritual understanding.
So we have to hear from such persons, and this is a writing of our Paramgurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada.
There are some questions asked and he is given answers to the questions. The first question is, “How is it possible to hear hari-katha, in the association of devotees, if we live far from devotees or at home?”
Srila Prabhupada: “There is always a discussion of hari-katha in our Math. There are sixty-four Maths all over India and also in England. And there is always this discussion of hari-katha in these Maths, and the residents there are always engaged in Lord Hari´s service. So it is our duty to associate in all respects with devotees, for whom the Lord´s service is their life and soul. That place where there is no krsna-katha is extremely unfavorable for bhakti, even if it is filled with relatives and items for comfortable living. I simply think of Mahaprabhu´s mercy when I see the devotees in the Math. Continue discussing hari-katha, being eager to serve the Lord at all times.
Pious persons that desire their own good should visit the Math from time to time, to hear krsna-katha from the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas. If we have a taste for krsna-katha, and the propensity to serve Krsna, then that taste will keep us aloof from bad association. By always reading spiritual magazines and studying the literature written by the mahajanas while constantly begging for Sri Guru-Gauranga´s mercy we can attain the result of hearing krsna-katha from the mouth of the devotees. Although in this material world we cannot always meet with devotees from the spiritual world, the pastimes and conversations of the devotees who were contemporaries of Mahaprabhu have been permanently recorded in books. Therefore there is no need for disappointment. If we live somewhere and discuss krsna-katha, we will certainly attain auspiciousness, and nothing can harm us.”
Srila Muni Maharaja: Krsna-katha is very important. We should talk about Krsna, read about Krsna. It´s very auspicious and nothing can harm us. As Krsna says also, in the Bhagavad-gita, in the last slokas, “Wherever there is Krishna and Arjuna there will always be victory, wealth, and wisdom. All these qualities will be there.” So there is no harm to hear about Krishna, and to think about Krsna and Arjuna.
Srila Prabhupada: “If we simply engage in discussing topics of the Lord, while living anywhere, by the Lord´s mercy we can realize the glories of devotional service, the Lord´s mercy, and come to remember the Lord in our day-to-day life. A devotee should live wherever the Lord is pleased to keep him, and should forget his own material interests. When the propensity to serve the Lord is awakened in the heart, while discussing hari-katha, in the association of devotees, then he will automatically remember Hari under all circumstances. In order to test us, the Supreme Lord is always present behind what we can see. If we see the Lord´s mercy behind each and every incident we will no longer feel distress. The material world, material existence, is the place where we are tested. If we wish to pass the test we must hear krsna-katha from a pure devotee. Even though at present we may not always have the opportunity to hear hari-katha, in the association of devotees, if we continuously hear it in the form of discussing Vaisnava literature, we will not feel the absence of Vaisnava association.”
Srila Muni Maharaja: So the very important vision of one who wants to get some realization, peace, and happiness, is that behind everything that may come into your vision, you should see Krsna behind all these things. It may be not a very favorable situation sometimes, but we should accept that Krsna is behind each incident. That he is testing us. We should always think like this. Whatever comes in our vision, whatever we see, we should see Krsna behind it. He´s behind all the things that are going on in this world.
Indra became angry when his sacrifice was disrupted, and thus he caused rain and hail to fall on Gokula, accompained by lightning and powerful winds, all of which brought great suffering to the cowherds, animals and women there. When Lord Krsna, who is by nature always compassionate, saw the condition of those who had only Him as their shelter, he smiled broadly and lifted Govardhana Hill with one hand, just as a small child picks up a mushroom to play with it. Holding up the hill, He protested the cowherd community. May He, govinda, The lord of the cows and destroeyr of Indra's false pride, be pleased with us.     (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.26.25)
Lecture from Srila Bhakti Sadhaka Muni Maharaja
Sri Srímad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhakti Rakshaka Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaj was born in Hapaniya, West Bengal, in 1895. The pastimes of his youth were spent in learning and he naturally excelled in every subject that he took up. From his childhood, his tendency was towards the culture of faith in God and the study of the Vedas, Upanishads, and other scriptures. He received the sacred thread according to his family tradition when fourteen years old, and his affinity for the divine world kept on increasing. In his early years he was especially attracted to Lord Ramachandra, but later, when he came in contact with the doctrine of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, he began to read Bhagavad Gita and developed an attraction for Lord Krishna.
After completing his primary and secondary education, Srila Sridhar Maharaj entered Krishnanath College in Berhampore (District Murshidabad), Bengal. After four years of study, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. For some time Srila Sridhar Maharaj was searching for a sadhu from whom he could take initiation, but could not find anyone to his liking. Then, by the grace of the Almighty, Srila Sridhar Maharaj met his eternal guide and preceptor Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and in 1927 became his initiated disciple.
In 1930 Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur awarded Srila Sridhar Maharaj sannyas and bestowed upon him the name Bhakti Rakshaka, meaning "guardian of devotion." Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw in Srila Sridhar Maharaj the ability to perfectly protect the Gaudiya Vaishnava line from misrepresentation and misconception. After reading Srila Sridhar Maharaj's Sanskrit compositions glorifying Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur remarked, "Now I am satisfied that, after I leave, there will be at least one man who can represent my conclusions (bhaktisiddhanta)."
Srila Sridhar Maharaj was recognized for his vast understanding and realization of the shastra and thus his guru also awarded him the title sastra-nipuna, meaning one who is very expert or intelligent in understanding the meaning of shastra. Not only was Srila Sridhar Maharaj recognized by his guru for his advancement in Krishna consciousness, but he was also recognized by many of his affectionate godbrothers for his seniority. Many of them, such as Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj and many of others, considered him to be their siksha guru.
Once in a letter Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj commented as follows: "What Sripad Sridhar Maharaj has directed, I take it on my head. He is my ever wellwisher. After the departure of Prabhupada (Saraswati Thakur) it is appropriate that I should accept his direction. I got direction from him that I shall live in this country forever."
Sometime after the passing away of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur in 1936, Srila Sridhar Maharaj established his own temple, Sri Chaitanya Saraswata Math, on the banks of the sacred Ganges in Nabadwip Dham, the holy land of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Having deeply assimilated the teachings of Sri Chaitanya, Srila Sridhar Maharaj began composing original texts.
The senior members of the Gaudiya Vaishnava community deeply appreciated all the literary works of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. The well-known, if not famous, disciple of Saraswati Thakur, Srila Akinchana Das Babaji Maharaj, used to say, "I find the writings of Sripad Sridhar Maharaj to be not different from those of Narottama Das Thakur."
Many enlightened souls have proclaimed the greatness of the Gayatri-nigudhartha as the supreme wealth of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Goswami Maharaj wrote: "Sridhar Maharaj's explanation of Brahma-gayatri, the mother of all the Vedas, indicating how it is centred on the meditation of Srimati Radharani, was revealed to him in the depth of his realization. It is the result of Paramaradhya Sri Srila Prabhupada's divine grace on him"
Krishna is deva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who reveals His pastimes of love in the eternal Goloka Vrindavan surrounded by His devotees imbued with wonderful love of God. The honorific suffix deva was given to Srila Sridhar Maharaj's name, as Sridhar deva Goswami, due to his ability to reveal the inner meaning of the Supreme Lord's divine pastimes of love to the sincerely aspiring devotee. The way that Srila Sridhar Maharaj spoke of the Supreme Lord's pastimes was absolutely wonderful. His voice and every move¬ment were filled with divine love for Godhead. He was, as one disciple exclaimed, "beauty, sweetness, and charm in motion."
During the last days of his manifest pastimes, Srila Sridhar Maharaj remained always absorbed in deep moods of devotional separation and hankering for the divine service of Sri Sri Radha Govinda. Then in 1988, on the Amavasya, or the dark moon night, of the month of July, Srila Sridhar Maharaj withdrew his manifest presence from this earthly plane to enter the nitya lila (eternal pastimes) of the Supreme Lord.
How can we maintain the fortune we have received?
Do not thirst for sense gratification. Do not desire to commit sinful activities. Rather, use your energy to engage in Lord Hari's service staying far away from the concerns of worldly morality. With such full surrender, you will achieve perfection. Jagai and Madhai did not commit further sinful activities after taking shelter of Sriman Mahaprabhu, and we should not either.
Only those who understand that hari-bhajana is the ultimate goal can feel the distress of others. By worshiping Hari one achieves eternal life; those who worship Him do not die. While materialists engage constantly with the enemies of lust, anger, and greed, devotees have no such enemies. When one has the natural tendency to worship Hari, one need not control his senses by force. Rather, by sincerely engaging in the Lord's service, the poisonous teeth of the senses are easily uprooted by the Lord's mercy.
Even the most experienced conditioned souls are interested in sense gratification, even though in their pursuit of happiness they are forced to suffer distress. Devotees, however, do not meet the pendulum swing of happiness and distress in this world. Rather, this world is a place of complete happiness for them because they have no desires. They do not even desire to become an Indra, what to speak of a Brahma, lord of all the demigods. A materialist would never choose to become an insect in this world, but a devotee would not mind such a birth as long as he could engage in hari-bhajana. Because of such an attitude, even the demigods are made fortunate by the mercy of Lord Caitanya's devotees.
It is important to become self-realized in this life. Otherwise, absorbed in matter at the time of death, we will be forced to take birth again in the material world. If we do not associate with the Lord's devotees during this life, we will end up forming narrow-minded groups and sects.
mac-cittā mad-gata-prānā, bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantaś ca mām nityam, tusyanti ca ramanti ca
Mac-citta: "Their attention is in Me"; mad-gata-prana: "Their energy is also spent for my cause"; bodha-yantah parasparam: "They mutually assist one another." This reminds us of the 'Napoleonic chair.' Once, when stranded in a marsh, Napoleon arranged that each man sit on the lap of another, in a circular formation; each automatically protected the other from the otherwise fatal cold and they could all remain awake to pass the whole night of intolerable cold. Otherwise his army would have perished So, by mutual help, one devotee is asking questions, another is answering, and they are both getting engagement. The questioner is giving some energy and the answerer is also energizing. Bodhayantah parasparam: those of equal standing exchange their thoughts about Krsna - kathayantas ca mam nityam - and thereby their blissfulness is generated. By mutual understanding and discussion, a kind of nectar arises that nourishes the devotees. "One is asking something about Me and another is answering, and thereby that discussion creates a flow of nectar that nourishes both parties." Tusyanti ca ramanti ca: "Satisfaction is generated from that mutual understanding, and it develops up to ramanti ca, up to the quality of the absolute reciprocation, the 'wholesale transaction.' It rises up to that standard, ramanti ca, and again I give them a further installment, an illumination of new light (dadami buddhi-yogam tam), and they take a new course and are promoted into the 'suicide squad,' that squadron which is eligible for every type of service."
To be competent for any type of sacrifice or service
That particular type of 'soldier' is competent to fight on the land, in the water, in the sky or in any circumstances, and he is prepared for any form of fighting, any form of service. "I direct them to that section."
Yena mam upayanti te (Bg. 10.10). Unconditional service: they are ready for any service demanded of them. They are ready to sacrifice their lives for any form of service, and that peculiar group is in Vrndavana. I mentioned to Sripada A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja that in Gita, after ramanti (10.9) comes buddhi-yoga and then upayanti (10.10); according to me, the meaning is that ramanti or divine service in madhura-rasa progresses through buddhi-yoga or yoga-maya, up to upayanti, or the highest plane of service in Vrndavana. Sripada Swami Maharaja responded, "What more could it mean than this!"
Hence, upayanti means kama-rupa. In his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Srila Rupa Goswami has mentioned sambandha-rupa and kama-rupa, the two types of Ragatmika-bhakti, or devotion rendered by the Eternal Associates of the Lord, headed by the residents of Vraja. In sambandha-rupa the Lord's Associates cooperate according to their fixed relative positions of dasya, sakhya,vatsalya or madhura, whereas in kama-rupa they come forward to serve any necessity that is demanded of them. They are ready to serve any and every desire of the Absolute.
They are like that group of soldiers who have been trained to do any service in the war without being limited to fighting only in a particular division such as the army, navy or air force. They are prepared for all sorts of service, anywhere. Such is the kama-rupa group. This is upayanti te; they are awarded the instruction (dadami buddhi-yogam tam) by which they earn such capacity in the service of the Supreme. Krsna is ready to cooperate with the servitors in any position. In Mathura, He gave even Sairindhri, Kubja, the chance to render higher service. Krsna is prepared for anything, and so the other side, His servitors, must also be prepared in that way. The high conception of kama-rupa is very, very abstruse. It is most difficult for ordinary mortals to comprehend.tesām evānukampārtham, aham ajñāna-jam tamah
nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho, jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
"I am so indebted to those devotees that whenever they feel the pain of My separation, I cannot tolerate it. I immediately run to cooperate with them in accepting My service. Such is the intensity of the demand I feel from them."
mac-cittā mad-gata-prānā, bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantaś ca mām nityam, tusyanti ca ramanti ca
“Those surrendered devotees take Me as their life and soul, and go on discussing My ambrosial narrations among one another exchanging the ecstasies of devotion unto Me. They constantly relish the nectar of their realized divine relationships with Me in their respective internal natures of servitorship, friendship, parenthood, or consorthood.”
The Supreme Lord Krsna is speaking about His pure devotees: mac-citta mad-gata-prana "I am in their heart of hearts, in their every thought. Their entire energy their whole life is dedicated to My satisfaction. In private life they converse about Me to mutually enlighten one another, and in public life also, they always love to talk about Me, and nothing else. For every time, place, and circumstance, I am the only subject of their discussion." Tu,yantica "They find very much satisfaction." Up to the divine relationship of parenthood (vatsalya-rasa) there is a feeling of satisfacton.
Futhermore, ramanti ca "Just as a wife enjoys conjugal relationship with her husband, the devotees similarly feel such ecstasy in My intimate company when speaking about Me." This has also been explained by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
teṣām satata-yuktānām, bhajatām prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogam tam, yena mām upayānti te
“To those devotees who are constantly dedicated to Me, and who engage in My service out of their love for Me, I bestow the internal divine inspiration by which they can approach Me and render various intimate services unto Me.”
In this verse, the Lord says, "The highest group of My servitors (whose sentiment was described in the previous verse by the word ramanti) are those who are constantly engaged (sataka-yukta) in My service in consorthood (madhura-rasa) with heartfelt love (bhajatam priti-purvakam). Then He says that He will give them further inspiration or inner instruction "by which they can come to Him" (yena mam upayanti te). When already in this and the previous verse the devotees ́ service to the Lord has been described as eternal (by the words nityam and satata-yukta), Lord Krsna's statement that He will give them further inspiration by which they can come to Him appears to be redundant. Therefore, in the expression mam upayanti te ("They will come to Me"), the word upayanti must be defined as parakiya-bhavena-upapati. Pati means husband, and upapati means paramour.
"For those who have already come into divine relationship with Me as My wife (ramanti), I give them the special inspiration to come to Me as a paramour (upapati)."
In Vrndavana, Lord Krsna is not considered a lawful husband, but He is the Lord of the heart, transcendental to even the husband (parakiya-rasa). Deceiving their husbands, the gopis of Vrndavana unite with Krsna. They do not allow a second party to come between them and Krsna. They cannot allow the interception of even scriptural regulation and social law, because Krsna's position is absolute, and such a relationship is more relishable to Him. This is Vrndavana bhajana, and this is the meaning of upapati.vikrīditam vraja-vadhūbhir idam ca viṣnoh
śraddhānvito 'nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yah
bhaktim parām bhagavati pratilabhya kāmam
hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acirena dhīrah
"A self-controlled, sense-controlled person who, having become endowed with sublime faith in the divine pastimes transcendentally enjoyed by Lord Krsna with the gopis (Rasa-lila), and who, having heard those divine pastimes from the lotus mouth of the bona fide guru, continuously sings or narrates their glories such a person swiftly achieves the most elevated form of pure devotion for the Lord, and is promptly able to ward off the heart disease of lust."
In his writings, Srila Jiva Goswami has laid stress on the word dhira, meaning 'self-controlled'. To hear these elevated subjects, one must enter into the culture of sense-control, otherwise he will be destroyed.naitat samācarej jātu, manasāpi hy anīśvarah
vinaśyatyācaran maudhyād, yathārudro 'bdhi-jam viṣam
"No one should ever even think of imitating this behavior of the Supreme Lord and the gopis. If out of gross foolishness anyone tries to imitate the pastimes of the Lord, he will be utterly destroyed, just as if he tried to imitate Lord Siva by drinking the poison which arose from the ocean." (It is described elsewhere in the Srimad Bhagavatam that once the demigods and the demons jointly engaged in churning the ocean. As a result of that churning, both nectar and poison were produced.)
"My relationship with them is independent of everything conceivable. It crosses law, society, scripture everything. It is most innate and natural, and it does not require any social or scriptural sanction. I say to them, 'You may show formal respect to all these restrictions and live in the society. But from the heart of your heart, you are Mine.' This is the special inspiration and insight I give to those devotees (yena mam upayanti te)."
"Externally there are social and scriptural demands, but My position is over and above them. Veda is My instruction for the benefit of the masses, who have deviated from Me, and the society is also under the jurisdiction of those general instructions given to the public by Me. But My divine relationship with everything is intrinsic and independent. It does not require recognition from anyone. Such a relationship is the highest. It is the constant. It supercedes all law and society which are guided by the Vedas; rather all the Vedas are searching for such a thing."
Srutibhir vimrgyam (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.61). Visesa-mrgya the Vedas are searching after this ideal divine position. In the section of the Srimad Bhagavatam which deals with Rasa-lila, the Vedas are begging forgiveness:
"We are generally supposed to give tidings of You, but we could not describe You as we now experience You here. Now we understand that we have committed an offense, because we could not distribute this Rasa-lila, this Vraja-lila, to the people."
Like signposts, all the revealed scriptures are only showing the direction; but where, how? "We don't know." Only, "In this direction He may be available."
Anywhere and everywhere, everything belongs to Him. For one who knows this, all possibilities of sensual pleasure and exploitation are uprooted. For example, an unmarried woman may have the possibility of being approached by many but there is less possibility for those who are married, because they are possessed by someone. Similarly, when we are able to know that everything is only for the satisfaction of Krsna, then we shall realize that all our exploiting tendencies have vanished forever. Nothing will remain to be utilized for the pleasure of our sensual experience. It will be very deeply felt in our hearts that everything has its existence only for His satisfaction, and there is no room for any other exploitation.
And we are also included there our existence is also only for His satisfaction. Everything is meant for His divine pastimes (lila), and there is no possibility for any others' pastimes. All are included in that one lila. Encroachment will disappear when we learn the proper utility of everything. He is the owner, and His ownership is absolute. The scriptures, society, and law designate, "This is yours, that is another's, or that belongs to third party." This is something like a temporary lease, but the permanent ownership is in all respects with Him. All others possessor and property, master and servant are all relative, and only sanctioned by Him for the time being. The Absolute Owner, Possessor, and Enjoyer is He alone. When we arrive at such a conclusion, only then is complete purification of our hearts possible. Everyone is thinking of themselves as many masters of many things, but this is all heart disease (hrd-rogam). This is all conceived in a diseased state of consciousness. In a healthy state, when the heart is quite wholesome, we can see the Supreme whole, and we can see that everything is meant only for His satisfaction.
kaler-dosa-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet
O king! Although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. Simply by chanting Krsna's Name, one can become free from material bondage and attains Supreme Lord.
harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord, chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. There is no other way, no other way, no other way.
In this Age of Kali, the Holy Name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Krsna. Simply by chanting the Holy Name, one associates with the Lord directly. Anyone who does this is certainly delivered. This verse repeats the word 'eva' ['certainly'] three times for emphasis, and it also three times repeats just to make common people understand. The use of the word 'kevala' ['only'] prohibits all other processes, such as cultivation of knowledge, practice of mystic yoga, and performance of austerities and fruitive activities.
On Sunday 7th of October Srila Bhakti Vicar Visnu Maharaja (disciple of Srila Bhakti Vallabha Tirtha Maharaja) and Srikanta Prabhu (disciple of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja) will give lecture in our Math. All of you are heartily invited.
Ecstasy personified is Krsna Himself, and He feels, tastes and enjoys
Himself; but only through faith is it possible to transmit and
distribute that ecstasy and joy to others.
Faith is the very nature of the hladini-sakti, the ecstasy potency,
which is represented in full by Srimati Radharani. Faith is the only
means through which we can see, hear, or feel the higher world;
otherwise it is all meaningless to us.