GOVARDHANA PARIKRAMA WITH SRILA GURUDEVA

GOVARDHANA PARIKRAMA WITH SRILA GURUDEVA

Immersed in the mood of the gopīs, Śrīla Gurudeva then bathed Girirāja and offered him āratī with the tears of his eyes. And then, while the devotees danced and sang the glories of Girirāja, Gurudeva bathed him with yogurt, milk, honey, ghee, sugar, and water.

The party then continued on parikramā of Girirāja, passing Ānyora Gāoñ, where Kṛṣṇa brought the Vrajavāsīs to worship Girirāja instead of Indra. Here, upon receiving the thousands of preparations prepared by the residents of Vraja, Girirāja assumed a colossal form and, with four arms, devoured all the offerings. He then called out, ‘Āno re! Āno re! (Bring more! Bring more!)’ Kṛṣṇa satisfied Girirāja by giving him a Tulasī leaf. The village Ānyora Gāoñ is thus named, for it is the place where Girirāja manifested and accepted offerings.

After Ānyora Gāoñ, the Parikramā proceeded to Govinda-kuṇḍa, named thus from the time that Indra begged Kṛṣṇa’s forgiveness for his offense, bathed Kṛṣṇa with the milk of Mother Surabhī, and named Him “Govinda.” Govinda-kuṇḍa is famous as the place where Kṛṣṇa, in the guise of the cowherd boys, married all the gopīs during the year when Brahmā kidnapped the boys and calves and kept them hidden in a cave. When observed thousands of wedding ceremonies going on at Govinda-kuṇḍa, She perceived that all the boys marrying gopīs were actually Kṛṣṇa. In a fit of jealousy, She hid in a nearby kuñja. After taking ācamana at Govinda-kuṇḍa and hearing hari-kathā, Kṛṣṇa came to pacify Her and laid His crown at Her feet, from which this place came to be known as Mukut-silā. Further along, on the left side of the parikramā path, comes the beautiful Śauri-kuṇḍa, where, after Kṛṣṇa placated Śrimatī Rādhikā, the Divine Couple bathed.

From there, the Parikramā came to Pūñarī. Pūñarī marks the southern border of Govardhana and is thus named because it is like the tail, pūñch, of Girirāja, who is likened to a cow with her neck turned into her stomach. At Pūñarī, the party completes parikramā of Govardhana’s eastern side and begins parikramā of the western side. The pilgrims then proceeded to Navala-kuṇḍa and Apsarā-kuṇḍa, adjacent ponds where Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs bathed and assumed the appearance of gāndharvas of heaven before performing the springtime Rāsa, on the western side of Girirāja. Upon crossing the rāsa-sthalī, the Parikramā took darśana of the cave of Rāghava Paṇḍa and then went to Surabhī-kuṇḍa and Airāvata Kuṇḍa, where mother Surabhī and Indra’s elephant carrier, Airāvata, respectively bathed Śrī Kṛṣṇa with milk and water from the Gaṅgā.

The party then came to Jatīpurā, where Śrī Mādhavendra Purī found Śrī Nāthajī. When Madhavendra Purī came to Govardhana, he was offered milk by a cowherd boy and, after drinking it, he had a dream of the same boy, who revealed Himself as the Deity Gopāla. This Deity had been concealed in the depths of the jungle by His priests when there was a threat from invaders. Upon waking, Madhavendra Purī searched for Gopāla with the Vrajavāsīs and, after eventually finding Him, arranged for a mahā-abhiṣeka. He then arranged for the first masse observance of Annakūṭa since the time of Kṛṣṇa. This Annakūṭa was repeated every day for over a month, each time sponsored by different wealthy families from Mathurā and Vraja. Jati means a sannyāsī and Jatīpurā is thus named in reference to Madhavendra Purī.

Srila Sri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja

Srila Sri Rupa Siddhanti Maharaja

Today is a very auspicious day. It is the appearance day of param-pujyapada nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Srila Bhakti Sri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja. He was born and brought up in East Bengal. He was a learned scholar and a good writer. When he first came to Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he saw that all the brahmacaris in the temple were very learned, and he thought, “I am not learned, so I should return to my home. There I will study Sanskrit, law, and other subjects, and then I will join and serve Srila Prabhupada.”

He returned home and began to study law; but our Guru Maharaja, his elder god-brother and also like his father, went to his home and inspired him, “Oh, what will law do for you? Law cannot give you love and affection. At once return to the matha and study love and affection under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada. You are wasting so much time, and perhaps you will die in the meantime. Please come at once.” By the inspiration of our Gurudeva, he returned to the matha.

The name given to him by Srila Prabhupada was Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, meaning “the personification of perfected bhakti.” Srila Prabhupada selected a very good name for him.

Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was so bold – very, very bold. He once went to preach in East Bengal, in Dhaka, with pujyapada Nemi Maharaja. Nemi Maharaja was an extremely learned person and an excellent scholar. Srila Prabhupada used to send him to learned circles. He inspired all audiences to laugh and weep, and he inspired all by his scholarship. Nemi Maharaja was giving class there in Dhaka, and because Siddha-svarupa brahmacari was a good speaker, he called out to him, “Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari, please speak something.”

Bhakti Siddha-svarupa brahmacari began to speak boldly, saying that, “Vivekananda is not vivekananda (meaning “one who has knowledge and a sense of discrimination).” In other words he saw the real meaning of the word in connection to that person and proclaimed, “Vivekananda has no knowledge at all. Vivekananda went to Western countries like America and gave a class on zero, saying that the world is zero. In other words, he was speaking Buddhist and mayavada philosophy. So he is Vi-ve-ka-nanda, not Vivekananda.” *[See endnote 1]

He added that Rabindranath Tagore, who had received a nobel prize, was nothing more than a ramachagal, a goat with a long beard. He should be in the kitchen where people who are interested only in cooking and not in hearing elevated hari-katha will hear him, but those who want pure bhakti will not be able to do so. *[See endnote 2]

Hearing this, the people in the audience became upset and left that assembly, and they turned against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Nemi Maharaja sent a telegram to Srila Prabhupada in Mayapura complaining that, “My whole preaching has been spoiled by this boy. Please call him back to you. I cannot preach here because no one is willing to listen anymore. All are against us.”

Prabhupada at once answered in a telegram, “Oh, Siddha-svarupa brahmacari is very bold. He has preached what I personally wanted to tell. I am coming just now, and I will prove that he is correct. He has done billions of rupees worth of preaching here – not small scale at all. The right audience is attracted. Those who are sincere and know how to discriminate – they are attracted. I am very, very happy. I am coming immediately.” Prabhupada then very soon came to Dhaka, where he called the entire assembly. He proved that the words of Siddha-svarupa were true to the highest extent, and everyone became very inspired.

Siddha-svarupa brahmcari had great regard for his god-brothers, and in fact he used to refer to my Gurudeva as his siksa-guru. Gurudeva and he sometimes went to markets together with him to collect vegetables. At that time our Gaudiya Matha was very poor. The devotees used to take spinach and a few other varieties of bhoga, but they had no rice at that time. It wasn’t until Bhakti Saranga Gosvami Maharaja came that everything changed.

Siddha-svarupa brahmacari used to go to Howrah market, very nearby to the train station, two or three miles from Ulta Danga. He and Guru Maharaja would collect vegetables and put them in two big bags, one being heavier than the other. Siddha-svarupa prabhu used to run after the heavy one. My Gurudeva also used to run after that one, saying, “I will take the bigger one,” and he would say, “No, I will take the bigger one.” Guru Maharaja told him, “Why should you take it?” “You are my senior, so I must take it.” Guru Maharaja replied, “I am elder than you; I am stronger, so I should take it.” Thus they quarrelled like this — a prema-kalaha, or loving quarrel.

Nowadays we see the opposite. Now, what to say of god-brothers, even the relation between disciples and Gurudeva has been changed. Gurudeva now has to see, and to fulfil, all the desires of his disciples, otherwise the disciples may leave him. Gurudeva is serving according to the wish and desire of his disciples, while the disciples don’t care for Gurudeva. Nowadays they don’t think about the desire of Gurudeva, but at the time of Prabhupada the only thought was, “How to serve Gurudeva.”

They used to keep their lives in their hands for their gurudeva, as my gurudeva did for Srila Prabhupada at the time of Navadvipa parikrama. At that time disciples did not quarrel among themselves, whereas nowadays we see the opposite. A guru has to be very careful that, “How can I fulfil all the desires of my disciples so that they may not give up bhakti?”

I see and realize this. Very few disciples want to offer their lives and souls for Gurudeva; one can count their names on one’s fingers. So, I request you all to follow your Gurudeva, the other disciples of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Sri Srimad Bhakti Sri Rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja.

WHY DID SRILA JIVA GOSVAMI ESTABLISH THE PROMINENCE OF “Svakīya-Rasa”?

WHY DID SRILA JIVA GOSVAMI ESTABLISH THE PROMINENCE OF “Svakīya-Rasa”?

Srila Gurudeva explained the conception of the Gosvāmīs in regard to parakīya-rasa in detail to his close associates. In Vraja, many people accept the superiorty of svakīya-rasa, or the wedded relationship, between Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds, the gopīs, and especially Śrīmatī Rādhikā. In his classes, Śrīla Gurudeva established the deep truths of parakīya-rasa and that parakīya-rasa is more exalted than svakīya-rasa.
Some of the brahmacārīs asked Gurudeva, “It seems that Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī established the prominence of svakīya-rasa. How can we understand this properly?”

Śrīla Gurudeva responded “The conditioned souls have sinful desires and natures. To protect them from committing immoral acts and thereby become more degraded, Jīva Gosvami established svakīya-rasa (the wedded relation between Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds) for those unable to understand the transcendental paramour relations of Kṛṣṇa with His eternal potencies.

“All souls are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa,” Gurudeva said. “He is the Supreme Proprietor. For a soul to have an inmate relationship with someone other than Kṛṣṇa is against the soul’s eternal nature and hence against eternal religion. Irreligion is when one being turns away from God and cultivates loving relationships with others. When one is in a loving relationship with Bhagavān, then all other relationships are wholesome; but if the soul, which is part and parcel of God, is separated from the Whole, then relationships with other souls are unnatural and the root of irreligion. If you love the Supreme Lord, you can subsequently have affection for everyone.

“Having a paramour relationship with another’s spouse is a heinous sin. But in Vraja-maṇḍala, Kṛṣṇa apparently dances and dallies with the wives of other cowherd men. How can this be reconciled? To increase the experience of loving mellows in the spiritual world, Yogamāyā arranges for Kṛṣṇa’s eternal beloveds to be the wives of other cowherds, although those cowherds do not harbor a mentality of proprietor towards the gopīs. Still, for those who cannot accept this fact, Jīva Gosvāmī said that Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and all Her expansions, the gopīs, are the svakīya wives of Kṛṣṇa. He based this on the truth that the Lord and His energies are intrinsically inseparable, as verified by scripture. At a constitutional level, all beings are Kṛṣṇa’s svakīya, or very own beloveds. Another point that should be considered is that in Vraja-maṇḍala both Kṛṣṇa and the vraja-gopīs are very young. So there should be no doubt that any activities other than friend and the play of young children occurred. At their age relations and meetings are innocent and light-hearted. No lust or selfishness exists in these exchanges. There is only pure and deep affection which is continuous and unbreakable.

“For those who were qualified, Jīva Gosvāmī established parakīya-rasa as the highest mellow of loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura strongly preached parakīya-rasa, as did Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Seeing the present state of society, Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura instructed his followers not to read the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describing Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with the gopīs. He kept these esoteric topics confidential. In the Gauḍīya Maṭha, general devotees did not sing rasa-kīrtanas, such as Jaya Rādhā Mādhava and Yasomati-nandana. However, Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura sanctioned the rasa-kīrtanas for qualified sādhakas. Why would the Gosvāmīs and Guru-varga have composed transcendental literature and songs if not for their reading and recital?

Dipavali

Dipavali

The fault of the jivas is that from the first day to the last, they are enjoyers, and they want to enjoy everything. If you offer something to God, then it is favorable. It is prasada. But, whatever they collect, they try to enjoy. The abundant resources of this world are provided by Maha Laksmi. Maha Laksmi provides everything in this world. To her children, she gives everything. But, people try to enjoy everything selfishly, and they call it theirs. They think of themselves as the masters. Because of this, they are punished. And, because of this enjoying tendency, they get a body that is a source of great suffering. The body is not life, it is dead. The soul, who is living, is placed in the dead body. In this body, there are many other souls who cause the primary soul to suffer. We are in one body, and there are thousands of souls within that body who give us pain. These souls are those we have cheated in the past, who we are indebted to, or who we have killed. When we kill an animal, the soul of that animal enters our bodies, and they start to eat our flesh. They go in our bones, brains, stomachs, or blood, and give us suffering. How can we be relieved? You cannot kill these souls with medicine. They are very strong. These souls will suck our blood because we took theirs from them. Then, this will return to us.

By hari-kirtana, and by being surrendered to the Lord and serving God, these souls within our bodies will receive the mercy of God. If they get God’s prasadam and caranamrta, they will get liberation, and they will be connected to the light. Then, they will see the effulgence of their own soul. They will see that within their bodies, there are many souls who are all connected to God, and effulgent like flames. Then, they become our friends, and they will help us. Then, we are not alone. Then, we will not suffer. Why? It is because everyone will help us then. While sleeping, eating, during kirtana, or by performing any devotional service, people will always be enthusiastic.

WHY WAS GURUDEVA GIVEN THE TITLE “YUGACARYA”?

WHY WAS GURUDEVA GIVEN THE TITLE “YUGACARYA”?

“Vrajācārya-pīṭha and the World Religious Parliament of New Delhi, India, presents ācārya of the millennium. Engrained with the comprehensive spiritual wealth of the Vedas and Vedangas, Ayurveda, Jyotisa and related sciences; the protector of traditional heritages; eloquently knowledgeable in the doctrines of Sanskrit which is the mother of all languages; staunch believer in its spread and propagation; a passionate seeker of human social welfare; dedicated to the traditional path and following Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Caitanya Maṭha, and the bhāskara-gurus; being a disciple of Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja; entrenched in service through bhakti; a remarkable follower and adherent of the aryan-sanātana philosophical traditions; propagator of love to all faiths, humility, and selflessness towards every religion; saintly with pristine spiritualy and giver of the profoundest love to one and all; follower and practioner of luminous sanātana knowledge upholding the great tradition of universal brotherhood; dedicated to the promulgation, propagation, and protection of the unique Vraja culture and environment, and immeasurably desirous of the redevelopment of Vraja—his divine holiness is one who is enlightened and embraced with divine benevolence and is an authoritive ācārya filled with eruditeness, a teacher of teachers, and a guardian and flag bearer of the Śrī kṛṣṇa-bhakti movement—his Divine Grace oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja.”

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