Recitation of the Spotless Purana – 12 June 1996

Recitation of the Spotless Purana – 12 June 1996

Thus, Suta Gosvami started speaking on the Bhagavatam to protect the Rsis from the faults of Kali Yuga. Presently, what is the main problem? Science has made so much advancement that even a new skull can be placed. We can go from one end of the earth to another within a very short time. Much advancement has been made from the kitchen to the development of atom bombs. It seems that earth can be held in one’s fist. If you want to go to India, then just sit in the airplane and you will reach by tomorrow morning. You can watch a cricket match or a football match in your house. All arrangements have been made. But these advancements have given birth to a problem that science is unable to solve.

How can a husband and wife love each other? Science has distanced their hearts; there is no love. A father and son do not love each other. Today, old houses are made for a person’s aged parents. Old people, who are neglected by their family members, stay in these old age homes. Why? A person can take care of a dog, but he cannot take care of his parents? So many such problems have come in this world. The bank balance of a wife is different from the husband’s. The bank balance of the children is different as well. Why is this? No one trusts each other. The qualities of the soul are disappearing. Man has now become like a machine. There is no peace and happiness in his heart.

When I go to Kolkata and Mumbai, I see that lakhs of people are on the streets. There is such a big crowd that people push each other and walk. But if one person falls on the ground, no one will pick him up. There is no love among people. Man has advanced so much; but where is the love? The main problem is that there is no love. If there was love, then this world would become Vaikuntha. But, it is very sad that there is no love between one another. People look after dogs because they trust dogs more than fellow humans. The dog will not betray them. If they call the dog, then wagging its tail, it will immediately come. But men don’t trust men. They don’t trust women also.

They think, “What if she leaves me and goes somewhere else?”

The women also think, “What if my husband leaves me and goes somewhere else?”

When a person cannot find solace anywhere, then he commits suicide. People don’t trust even God. This is the main problem of Kali Yuga. So, how will the Bhagavat help? The Bhagavat will help; just listen carefully. The Bhagavat will give what science cannot give. Science cannot answer the question, “Who am I?” Where does life go when the body becomes still and lifeless? Science does not have the answer to this question. If scientists become enlightened, then they will give the answer. The solutions to all forms of problems have been given in the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavat tells us how we can be happy and how we can love each other. Only by associating with each other in a loving manner, will we be happy in this world. Even donkeys and pigs eat food; but if there is no love, then all kinds of food will be tasteless.

Where will the soul go after leaving this body? Therefore, Suta Gosvami offered his obeisance to his Guru and started speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam. Narada Rsi is a topmost sage. He knows past, present, and future. There is no place in the universe where he cannot go. He doesn’t need a spaceship to go from one planet to another. He can travel by his mind in less than a moment. He is omniscient; he knows what every person thinks. In the course of his travels, he reached Haridvara. Haridvara is a place that lies on the banks of the Ganga. It is the gateway to the Himalayas. Hence, it is called Haridvara. There, he met his elder brothers—Sanak, Sanat, Sanatana, and Sanandana Kumara. These sages are always five years of age. They are always naked. They don’t eat any food. They don’t need air to breathe also. They are always wandering and enlightening people. They are the repositories of transcendental knowledge. There is no such thing that they are not enlightened about. Just by their glance, a dead person will be brought back to life. Whatever they say is bound to happen.

When Narada met the four brothers, they asked him, “Oh Narada, why have come here? Your face has dried up? You seem engrossed in thought? Why is this? Why are you sad?”

Narada replied, “I am very sad.”

“Why? You are a great devotee and are very knowledgeable.”

“What can I do? After Krsna ended His Dvaraka lila, I was wandering on this earth. I saw many astonishing sights.”

“What did you see?”

“I see that the sadhus are not what they were. They speak the Bhagavat to earn money and not for the benefit of people. They do kirtan to earn money also. They want to build big palaces for themselves. But they don’t want to make people’s hearts into temples. Men have become very greedy. They have made women their maidservants. When they so desire, they make the woman leave home. They are only concerned with money. And how are the women? Women have love for their husbands, but it is little. They are only concerned with decorating their hair. There is no celibacy in this world. The King has become a dacoit. He is only engaged in daylight robbery. Even hari-katha seems empty.

“Thus, I went in all four directions and found myself becoming very sad. I then reached Vrndavana. There, I saw something very strange. I saw that there was a young lady who had two sons. These sons were very aged. Their hairs were white and they were lying on the ground unconscious. The young lady was crying bitterly. When I came to where they were, the mother became very happy on seeing me.

She asked, ‘Are you Naradaji? I am very sad.’

‘Why are you sad?’

‘I was born in South India. After taking birth I went to Karnataka. There, I gradually grew. After that, I came to Maharastra. Then I came to Gujarat. When I came there, I gradually became old. My hair turned white and my sons became old as well. All three of us became old.’

‘Why did this happen?’

‘We were wandering. Now my sons don’t speak. They are only sleeping. They don’t get up. I brought them along with me to Vrndavana. When I came to Vrndavana, I became a young lady. But my sons remain as they are. I have tried waking them up, but they refuse to wake up. I cannot understand why this is happening.’

‘All right. I will do something by which your sons will wake up.’

Bhakti-devi told me, ‘Don’t go anywhere. I feel so blissful in your presence. I cannot understand why I am so happy.’

‘I will make your sons healthy again,’ thus I became absorbed in thought on what could be done for Bhakti-devi’s sons.

I took her sons everywhere. I took them to Haridvara; I took them on the banks of the Ganga. I took them to Prayaga. I took them everywhere. I had them take bath at all holy places. On their behalf, I gave so much charity. I did everything. I took them to South India also. I had them bathe in the ocean at Kanya-kumari. I had them bathe in the Godavari also. But nothing happened. I took them to Gaya also, but nothing happened. So, what should I do my dear brothers?” Narada Rsi asked the Four Kumaras.

Previously, Narada Rsi had become absorbed in a meditative trance and remembered his Lord. An aerial voice told him, “You need only try and everything will be all right. Bhakti-devi’s sons will become young again.”

Narada told his brothers, “I know that they will become all right, but why am I not able to help them? What should I do? I am determined that I will become successful in my endeavors. So, I wandered everywhere and have now, come here to Haridvara. Seeing all of you, I am hopeful that you will show me the right way. Thus, these children will become young and happy again.”

The Four Kumaras told Narada, “You are a devotee; you know everything. You do know how the sons of Bhakti-devi will become all right. But, to increase our prestige, you are doing this. Okay. Listen to the essence of the Srimad Bhagavatam. By listening to the Bhagavatam for seven days, Bhakti-devi’s sons will become their younger selves again. And all her desires will be fulfilled.”

There is so much potency in the Bhagavat and in Bhagavan’s names. Even very notorious persons change. There is so much potency in the words of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Four Kumaras started speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Bhakti-devi heard the recital for seven days. The form of Bhakti-devi became more effulgent and her two sons became normal again. They became youths and smiling, spoke to their mother.

HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE OUR SPIRITUAL FORM IN THE TRASCENDENTAL WORLD?

HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE OUR SPIRITUAL FORM IN THE TRASCENDENTAL WORLD?

How can a person in this world achieve perfection and a spiritual form in the transcendental world? The path of spontaneous love and affection, rāga-mārga, is the means to achieve this svarūpa-siddhi as described in our Gauḍīya scriptures, such as Rāga-vartma-candrika. By following the guidance and example of rāgānugā-bhaktas, we can transcend this world and our material karma, saṁskāras and form, and take birth in transcendental Vraja. By the association of the eternally perfect associates of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vraja, we will imbibe all the processes of loving service.

Many people think they have no qualification to follow the rāgānugā-bhaktas or to even hear their teachings. This is like a meat-eater saying he cannot give up flesh and become a vegetarian because he will not have any strength. Or it is like a drug addict saying he cannot give up his addiction because it will drive him mad. We should not be afraid of giving up a lower path for a higher one. Some initial difficulty may be there, but in time, we will feel hundreds of times better than we did under the grip of our vices. Before the awakening of divine love, we are all under the spell of māyā. We are intoxicated by the illusions of material life. To become free of this, we must follow the footsteps of the rāgānugā-bhaktas on the rāga-mārga path.

Svarūpa-śakti Śrīmatī Rādhārānī sends Her dear associates to this world. They appear and illumine their teachings on the path of spontaneous love and affection. They are the ācāryas in the Bhāgavata-paramparā. We cannot cross māyā and enter Vraja without their help, mercy, and guidance. By following them, first an affectionate familial feeling towards the ācāryas and their associates develops. As we gradually develop in our affection and faith, we will realize, “My home is in Vraja.” And we will pray, “When I will be amidst the Vrajavāsīs in my own spiritual form?”

People come to Śrī Guru from many countries, but over time, they begin to consider themselves as members of guru’s family, giving up their own self-identification with their material family and nationalities. As their love increases, they feel that the Vrajavāsīs are their own family and friends. They forget all the relations of this world.

Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays (Prārthanā Song 12):

hari hari! āra ki emana daśā haba

kabe vṛṣabhānu-pūre āhīrī gopera ghare,

tanayā haiyā janamiba

yāvaṭe āmāra kabe e-pāṇi-grahaṇa habe,

vasati kariba kabe tāya

sakhīra parama śreṣṭha je tāhāra haya preṣṭha,

sevana kariba tāṅra pāya

teṅha kṛpāvān haiñā rātula caraṇe laiñā,

āmāre karibe samarpaṇa

saphala haibe daśā pūribe manera āśā,

sevi duṅhāra yugala-caraṇa

vṛndāvane dui-jana caturdike sakhī-gaṇa,

sevana kariba avaśeṣe

sakhī-gaṇa cāribhite nānā jantra laiñā hate.

dekhiba manera abhilāṣe

dūṅhu cāṅda-mukha dekhi’ juḍābe tāpita āṅkhi,

nayane bahibe aśru-dhāra

vṛndāra nideśa pāba doṅhāra nikaṭe jāba,

hena dina haibe āmāra

śrī-rūpa-mañjarī sakhī more anāthinī dekhi,

rākhibe rātula duṭī pāya

narottama dāsa bhaṇe priya-narma-sakhī-gaṇe,

kabe dāsī karibe āmāra

O Hari Hari! Will this ever happen to me that in Vṛṣabhanu-pura I will take birth as a daughter in the house of Ahirī Gopa? When will my hand be accepted in marriage at Yāvaṭa and when will I begin to reside there? I will serve the lotus feet of a parama-preṣṭha-sakhī for she is an intimate friend of Rādhā. Being merciful she will offer me into the service of Śrī Yugala’s lotus feet. My life will be successful, and all my aspirations will be fulfilled. In this way I will serve Their lotus-feet.

I will ultimately serve the Divine Couple surrounded by the sakhīs in Vṛndāvana. I will watch the Divine Couple to my heart’s content, surrounded by sakhīs with various instruments in their hands. Looking at the moonlike faces of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, my burning eyes will be cooled and tears will begin to flow. When will that day be mine when I receive Vṛṇda-devī’s order to approach Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, seeing that I am alone without protection, will keep me at her reddish lotus feet. Narottama dāsa prays to the priya-narma-sakhīs, “When will you make me your maidservant?” The sādhaka prays in this way, “When will that day come that I will be born in the town of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja, in the home of the gopas. When will I be present in Yavata with Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Her sakhīs. When will they bestow upon me some small service? When will they shelter me and offer me at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa?”

While chanting harināma, we should pray, “Lalitā, Viśākhā, Rūpa, Rati, and Lavaṅga mañjarīs, and all the Vraja-devīs. Please help me, otherwise I will drown in māyā. Without your shelter and mercy, I will certainly be lost.” Pray for service from your Gurudeva.

prātaḥ śrīman navadvīpe dvi-netraṁ dvi-bhujaṁ gurum

varābhaya-pradaṁ śāntaṁ smaret tan nāma-pūrvakam

Guru-dhyāna-mantra

Early in the morning, chant Śrī-Gurudeva’s name, while meditating on him being situated in Śrī Navadvīpa or Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma, and having two eyes and two arms. He bestows fearlessness and is peaceful. (see more)

Breakfast for the Soul – Govinda-lilamrta

Breakfast for the Soul – Govinda-lilamrta

When a person wakes in the morning, feeling rested and refreshed, he completes his duties such as bathing and is soon ready for breakfast. Many people arrange their breakfast the night before. They have tea, snacks, drinks and ice cream ready to quickly take in the morning. But Kavirāja Gosvāmī says that this food and drink is not helpful. It is for the body but not the soul. If you do not give the soul nectar first thing in the morning then it will suffer and become dry. All dealings and experience the entire day will be bitter.

Tama, raja, and sattva—the three modes of material nature and any substance comprised of these qualities will disturb the soul. However, by accepting nirguṇa-tattva—by drinking līlā-rasa, the soul is nourished. Even a little of this can make the soul well, happy and strong.

This is called soul food and it is very necessary. Food for the body is not everything. Serving this body does not result in any eternal benefit. The body always has desires and demands satisfaction, but really, these desires are endless and their fulfillment can never be had.

We must give nectar to the soul. This nectar must be the drink we take upon the coming of each new day. Where can we collect this from? The guru-varga gives this soul nectar.

If you are connected to the flow of līlā-śakti then that flow will naturally continue from you to others. All souls that come in contact with līlā-śakti will be very pleased.

If you are connected to this flow, then the body will no longer disturb you. The body will know that you only give him or her nectar, and thus become peaceful.

Millions of lives have passed and millions more will pass in service to the body and mind. If we take from God but do not serve Him—if we simply take His gifts and use them to serve our body then we will suffer. This is why many our lives are full of diseases and pain. Unless one gets this special mercy of the guru-varga, all of this will not stop.

After being dressed and decorated, Kṛṣṇa and Balarama come for breakfast. They meet with the sakhās and together they sit in rows.

Yaśodā Mātā brings many golden cups and tells Citrā Devī, “First give them drinks.”

There is coconut water mixed with sugar cane juice as the first drink. If a person drinks this his throat becomes very smooth. This is followed by many fresh fruit juices and refreshing beverages that cool the stomach.

Śrīmati Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs have cooked so many preparations that it seem impossible to serve them all in one meal.

During breakfast, Rādhārānī looks to see if Kṛṣṇa is eating. She and all the sakhīs are very happy to see Kṛṣṇa eat. They give Kṛṣṇa rice with ghee and on the side they serve, ginger, neem leaves, jute leaves, some more ghee lemon, ginger and salt on the side.

Yaśodā Mātā says, “O Kṛṣṇa, this is very healthy prasāda, You should eat a lot.”

Kṛṣṇa says, “If I eat too much what will be left for my friends?”

As Yaśodā Mātā walks away a little Kṛṣṇa quickly distributed everything from His to His friends.

All the sakhās laugh, and Kṛṣṇa says, “Why are you laughing? Just eat.”

Yaśodā Mātā looks back and sees that Kṛṣṇa was not eating. Then Madhumaṅgala says to her, “Mother, Kṛṣṇa is not eating anything. He distributes anything you give Him.”

Śrīmatī Rādhārānī sends many kinds of laḍḍus that Ranga-devī and Citrā-devī serve from gold plates and distributed them.

Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās continue to joke with Him.

“Kṛṣṇa, You must be sick or something,” they say. “Why aren’t You eating these nice sweets? We’ll call the doctor. That will be good for You. We will tell Yaśodā Mātā to call a doctor who will give very bitter juice. Then will You be happy?”

“I’m not sick,” Kṛṣṇa retorts, “You are sick. You should drink neem juice!”

“Why don’t You eat then?”

Then Kṛṣṇa’s plate is re-filled and He eats something.

While breakfast is being served, sometimes Madhumaṅgala says, “Kṛṣṇa is very skinny. He cannot digest anything. He has no fire in His stomach. How can He eat rich foods like this, cooked with ghee, butter, and honey? How can He eat these sweets and drinks you are serving Him? These things are for His healthy sakhās like me.”

When Madhumaṅgala teases Him like this, Kṛṣṇa grabs handfuls of ghee rice from Madhumaṅgala’s plate.

Madhumaṅgala then cries out, “Hey! Kṛṣṇa is stealing all my breakfast! O Yaśodā Mātā, I’m so hungry. Give me something more.”

Then Vrajeśvarī piles Madhumaṅgala’s plate with more prasāda. Madhamangala becomes very happy, but he says, “Eating this rice and dāl is not befitting for brāhmaṇas. Where is the halavā, laḍḍu, barphi, rabaḍi and kṣīra?”

Why does Madhumaṅgala speak like this? He wants Kṛṣṇa to eat nicely. When these preparations come, he simply needs to tease Kṛṣṇa to make Him eat with gusto. If Kṛṣṇa is given these things calmly He will be uninterested. If someone gives Him a plate and says, “O Kṛṣṇa, please take this,” He will not want it. He will say, “I’m not hungry.”

Kṛṣṇa is given so many offerings by His millions and millions of affectionate devotees starting from even before the sun rises. Why would be hungry and thirsty for more? How much will He eat? Furthermore He is ātmārāma, self-satisfied, and āptakāma, without desires.

“Rasik Mohan Das and the Bhaktabandhav team are doing an invaluable service publishing the hari-katha of Sripada Premananda Prabhu, Srila Gurudeva B.V. Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and the books of the acaryas. Books like Sri Guru Darsana, Krsna-karnamrta, Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi, and so on, provide a wealth of information and purification: these volumes make one feel as though they are in Gurudeva’s presence, imbibing pure bhakti as only he could provide it.”

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