All of you are the servants of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. I am your servant. All of you have named me as ‘Śrī Gaura Kiśora dāsa.’ Please bestow such mercy upon me that no spot of infamy will ever blemish this name that you have causelessly bestowed upon me. If any infamy is incurred, then you will feel ashamed of yourselves in Śrī Vraja-maṇḍala and Śrī Gauda-maṇḍala.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has bestowed the thirty-two syllable, sixteen name mahā-mantra to the residents of this world. You should write this mahā-mantra clearly on a paper, and then, while seeing these names, you should chant the mahā-mantra and the other mantras (which you received at the time of initiation). May you not look at any object of this world of Māyā. The letters of the nāma-mantra have such potency that you will attain the darśana and service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates. You will also attain the darśana and service of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Their servants and maidservants. If you cannot leave your job, then you should use your salary in the service of the devotees who are always chanting harināma. You should make a favorable environment for such devotees.
You should wear a small black cloth and collect mādhukarī-bhikṣā from the homes of strangers. You should offer whatever you obtain in bhikṣā to Ṭhākurajī. Thus, you should honor Ṭhākurajī’s remnants. You should divide the bhoga into parts—you should offer one part to Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu and the other part to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. You should first offer the prasāda of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu to your guru and to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s devotees. After that, you should honor the prasāda yourself.
You should first give Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s prasāda to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, and then offer Her prasāda to Her sakhīs and mañjarīs. After that, offer the prasāda to your guru, who is also in the form of a sakhī. When you will come to Navadvīpa, I will personally instruct you how to chant the necessary mantras while offering bhoga, and I will also tell you about the rules which you must follow while offering bhoga.
You should avail yourself of the association of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura if you are going to associate with the householders. You should follow in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī, and Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī. You should try to do sādhana like these eight Gosvāmīs did. Your sādhana-bhakti should entirely depend on their mercy. You cannot advance in your sādhana-bhakti if you are in the presence of the objects of your senses. I will speak to you about sādhana-bhakti in detail when you can come to Śrīdhāma Navadvīpa someday.
Nowadays, there are not many who can write letters on behalf of others. I am degraded and bereft of sight; I cannot write anything. Your king of Agartala is the king of prema-bhakti as well. All you residents of Agartala are the kings of prema-bhakti. By giving me prema-bhakti, you should make me reside in Navadvīpa. None can escape from the desire of enjoying the objects of the senses. This desire is present even in the post of Śrī Mahādeva. Mahādeva obtained happiness when he renounced Golden Laṅkā and decided to reside in a crematorium under a bilva tree. You will find yourself to be continuously sorrowful as long as you are in the presence of the objects of the senses.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is sitting in my heart, is dictating every word of this letter. You should not be hopeful of fulfilling any desire in this world of Māyā. Indeed, you should renounce all such desires, and surrendering your body at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu, you should continuously chant the mahā-mantra on your beads. As a result, you will transcend the cycle of repeated birth, death, and its concomitant sorrows. After leaving this material body in due course of time, you will attain your eternal spiritual body. That is, you will become an associate of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Śrīman Mahāprabhu, for your only possession will be prema-bhakti. Such an inconceivably good attainment is possible even in this very life. You should give prema-bhakti to Śrī Gaura Kiśora dāsa, who is a fallen, blind servant of the residents of Agartala. Thus, you should nourish me this way.
Today is Srila Jiva Gosvami’s appearance day. Now, we shall remember the glories of His priya parisada, His dear associate Srila Jiva Gosvami. This mahaprasada is bhagavat prasada, and by taking this we can consider our lives successful. Bhagavan’s prasada means His priya bhaktas, His dear devotees. Those who are God’s atyanta priyas, who are very dear to Him and the recipients of His mercy, are Bhagavat-prasada. They appear in this world to benefit the conditioned souls by connecting them to God. To take shelter of these devotees and hear their glories is only possible for those who are extremely fortunate. Bhagavan Himself is yajnesvara-hari—He appears from yajnas to distribute causeless mercy. Those people who received God’s blessings can help the world. One who has not received God’s blessings and is not a dear associate of God cannot give welfare to others. Therefore you should look for somebody who is dear to God, bhagavat-priya. Then you should try to receive his association, blessings, and mercy, and once you understand the welfare they have given to you, you will naturally want to glorify them.
If someone gave you food or a place to live, then you would not forget this person, and you would glorify him. It is hard to forget somebody who has helped one so much. A person who does this is called ungrateful. There is a guru-drohi, one who is ungrateful to his guru, a pitri-drohi, one who is ungrateful to his ancestors, and a bhakta-drohi, one who is ungrateful to the devotees. If you do not glorify the devotees, Vaisnavas, and bhaktas, then Bhagavan says that you are an enemy in this world. No one will be the friend of such a person, and one who favors this person will as well be the enemy of the world, because he has not glorified the Vaisnavas, who are the sevakas and sevikas of Bhagavan. How much do the sevakas and sevikas serve God? If we do not hear and speak their glories, then we are akrtajna – ungrateful, adrohi – an enemy, and aguna – full of bad qualities. We do not forget someone who has helped us with one roti or one paisa. The vaisnavas who eternally help us, who pull us out of this hell of samsara, where we have been for millions of lives, and who bring us to the lotus feet of God, are our greatest benefactors. If we do not glorify them, then we are extremely ungrateful. They give us the food for our soul that helps us transcend this world and go to the spiritual world. A person who does not glorify them is a pasandi, or an atheist. They are asuras, raksasas, or demons. It is very difficult for such people to get benefit in this world. In sastra it is said:
krsna gurudvaya bhakta sakti avatara prakasa
krsna ei chaya rupe karena vilasa
Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi 1.32
Bhagavan appears in six forms in this world. Kaviraja Gosvami explains this in Caitanya-Caritamrta. Krsna guru dvaya—Krsna appears in this world in the forms of siksa-guru, diksa-guru, and His incarnations, the avataras: manvantara, gunavatara, avesavatara, saktyavesavatara, who are all His prakasa, His manifestations. One who is grateful glorifies them, but one who is ungrateful wastes time and does not glorify the guru-varga and Bhagavan. Whose property is the soul?
This soul is the separated part and parcel of God. It is not the separated part and parcel of any demigod or goddess. No one can say, “The soul is mine.” But Bhagavan says to Arjuna, “The jiva is mine. I created the Earth, and all the people, and the 330 millions of demigods. A person who thinks himself to be independent brings suffering into his own lap, but for a person who surrenders to Me and accepts Me as his life and soul, I will take responsibility, and even still I will give him independence. It is everyone’s own choice whether they want to act correctly or incorrectly.”
Fools are forgiven, but those who are intelligent and still commit offenses are punished. Those who are udanda, the greatest rascals, will receive the biggest punishment. Those who are connected to the devotees of God and do sravana and kirtana of their glories are siddha or suddha.
One day, Prāṇa Gopāla Gosvāmī gave a blanket to Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja to protect himself from the winter. When Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja wrapped it around himself during the night, he felt a little sleepy. On the next day, he took the blanket and while returning it to Prāṇa Gopāla Gosvāmī, he said, “Gaura Kiśora doesn’t have prema for your blanket. This blanket made me sleep for the entire night and didn’t let me do bhajana. Therefore, you should keep it with you.”
On another day, a person gave Bābājī Mahārāja a shawl. Śrīla Bābājī Mahārāja folded the shawl and kept it hanging from his bhajana-kuṭīra. When someone asked him why he did so, he said, “By seeing that I have a shawl, the winter will not come near me. It will run far away.”
Appearance Śrīla Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was born in the Year 1830. He was born in a mercantile family in a village called ‘Bāghajāna.’ This village, situated on the banks of the river Padma, lies within the precincts of Tepakola, a division within...
If you have respect for Gurudeva and those who have given all these things, then you will be careful in this regard, as you will have sambhanda jñāna, a relationship with Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. In this way, there is very little chance to commit an aparādha to Gurudeva. One may think, “I am a Vaiṣṇava, he is a Vaiṣṇava, and all are Vaiṣṇavas.” In this way he will see everyone on the same level and he will care for none. So here, there is more chance to commit aparādha to the lotus feet of Vaiṣṇavas. This especially applies to those who have no clear vision when it comes to differentiating between a kaniṣṭha, madhyama, and an uttamā Vaiṣṇava. It is very essential to hear all these things. We have very little chance to associate with bona fide, rare sādhus who can help us, but who will teach us how to associate with them? We may have no faith in Guru and Guru does not have time to teach us. If Guru has no time to teach us, then how will we recognize a bona fide Vaiṣṇava? Very often, in our talks between one another, we may joke with each other and poke fun at a Vaiṣṇava and as a result we may end up being guilty of vaiṣṇava-aparādha. Very often this happens. So we should be very careful.
There may be a first class Vaiṣṇava, who is like our Gurudeva. But we have no chance to hear from him, hence we cannot see him like our Gurudeva and our faith towards him may not arise the same way it would towards our Gurudeva. In that way, we can end up offending him and our faith towards the holy name will slacken. Even if a Vaiṣṇava is not of the highest caliber, but nonetheless he is chanting the holy name, then that that person must be respected, or else Nāma Prabhu will think, “This devotee is chanting My name, but he is criticizing this other person.” In this way the offender will gradually lose his faith and will give up the line of bhakti.
When Śrī Guru departs, he looks to see who among his followers wants his further association. He thus arranges a place for them to be with him. Those devotees read his teachings and glories. One who serves guru for his pleasure, not his own selfish desires, will soon meet with Śrī Guru again, even after his disappearance. The material and spiritual worlds are distinct and separate. Śrī Guru is transcendental, and one should endeavor to meet him on that plane through earnest prayer and meditation. He will then accept such service and will protect and maintain such devotees. Impersonalism or voidism has no connection with Śrī Guru; he is eternally present in his spiritual form and he is worshipful and worshiped when manifest in this material world as well as when unmanifest. Śrī Guru does not manifest in that place where disciples do not respect and worship their spiritual master. For this reason, just as the Deity of Bhagavān is established and worshiped in this world, so is the deity of Śrī Guru. Guru accepts worship and prayers of his disciples through his deity form and always protects and supports them. But a disciple who sends off his guru by never thinking of him or serving him becomes a spiritual orphan and an offender to God. Moreover, Śrīla Gurudeva has an eternal relationship with his God family—his godbrothers and disciples—and if one tries to separate them from Śrī Guru or his place, then it is a grave offense. Guru is made glorious by the glories of his followers. He has love and relation with them all, hence they should be highly regarded and honored.
I worship Śrīmatī Rādhikā who has lotus-petal eyes, I remember Śrīmatī Rādhikā whose face is sweetly smiling, and I speak of Her whose heart is melting with compassion. My life has no other purpose than serving Her. I have heard from my gurudeva, from any Vaiṣṇava, that Śrī Rādhā is so beautiful, so merciful, and so madhura, sweet – I pray to Her feet. I have no qualification to hear all these things, but seeing the qualities of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, I have dared to pray to Her, and I know that She will hear me, because She is sarvajña, all-knowing. Certainly She will hear. Bhajāmi rādhāṁ aravinda-netrām. Aravinda- netrām means ‘eyes like lotus petals’. Why? Because lotus petals are
fragrant, they have a good smell, and they are very soft, so soft. Here ‘soft’ means that if someone is in any distress or any difficulty and is weeping, then it softens Rādhārāṇī’s heart and She certainly bestows Her mercy upon them. So Raghunātha dāsa is giving the example of a lotus. Her eyes are lotus-like.
Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja went then to Rāval and every morning would perform bhajana on the bank of the Yamunā. All the while he chanted his bīja-mantra that he received from his Guru. That person receives all realization who is always absorbed in meditation on the mantra he receives from Śrī Guru. For doing upāsanā of the mantra received from Guru, there is a specific method. One must chant that mantra during brāhma-muhūrta. This time begins around three in the morning and is reserved for bhajana. If the sādhaka does not rise at this time and instead remains in laziness and sleep, he will never be able to attain perfection. He will become a brahma-rākṣasa. And if one performs bhagavat-upāsanā at this time, chanting the mantra he received from Śrī Guru, he will cross beyond this word and attain Parabrahma. He will be filled with all rasa and good qualities. Thus he will be able to please the Supreme Lord.
In Śrīmad-bhāgavatam, Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmi says:
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ
prīto yām anayad rahaḥ
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.30.28
Different ācāryas have given commentaries on this verse in many ways but we do not pay so much attention to these. What does our Śrīla Gurudeva say? He said, “The meaning of this śloka is that if anyone wants to do arādhana of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, Hari Himself will teach that person how to do so. Hari Himself teaches how to do arādhana to those who wish to worship His tadīya, very own beloveds. He came to teach how to worship Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. Anayārādhita—Kṛṣṇa says, “You cannot attain Me by your own method of worship. I will teach you how I worship Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. By worshiping Her, you can come to Me.”
If anyone wants to worship Rādhārānī, Hari says, “This is not possible for you to do alone, but I will help you and give you the qualification to do so. I will give you everything. Do not worry.”
Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja stayed in Raval. He would go alone to the Yamunā every morning during brāhma-muhūrta and would stand chanting and meditating in the water for a long time. Why? Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahāraja would stand inside the Gaṅgā up to his neck, keeping a basket of Gaṅgā’s sand on his head.
Someone asked him, “Bābājī Mahāraja, why do you do this?”
Bābājī Mahāraja answered, “Given the smallest chance, māyā can enter within one. Therefore I protect myself in the Gaṅgā.”
Similarly, Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja would stand in the water of the Yamunā and chant his mantra received from Brahmā. To achieve an affectionate relationship with the Absolute and reach the stage of mamatā, great sādhana is necessary. To become priyatva, dearly beloved to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and to have mamatā for Them is not such an easy thing. The Vrajavāsīs do not think in terms of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’. They offer everything to their priyatama.
In this way, anayārādhita—Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja set out to achieve that which cannot be achieved by any ordinary aradhana, worship. Kṛṣṇa helped him. Yan no vihāya govindaḥ—Govinda became pleased with Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja and was ready to give whatever he desired.
Soon after, Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja saw a beautiful lotus floating on the waters of the Yamunā. In the pericarp of that lotus, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī lay effulgent, sucking Her toe, just like Gopāla does. Seeing this, Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja was captivated. He swam out and carried Her in his arms to the shore. He took Her from the lotus that served as Her bed on the water and gently placed Her in the lotus of his heart.
Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja brought Rādhārānī home where Kīrtikā-devī took Her in her arms and covered Her with her shawl. Just one year before, Śrīdāma had been born to them. Now, her heart melting with vātsalya, or maternal affection, Kīrtikā-devī desired to give Rādhārānī the milk from her breast. But Rādhārānī would not drink. She also would not open Her eyes. Many days passed, but She still did not drink any milk from Her mother.
Sri Krsna is begging Srimati Radhika, “O Devi, I am taking My ears in My hand.*[See endnote 1] I have done something wrong. I promise that in the future I will never again commit any offense to You. Be pleased with Me. I am offering My flute and My peacock feather at Your feet. I cannot tolerate Your separation for even a moment. I will die without You. So please excuse My fault. Please excuse Me.”
Sri Jayadeva Gosvami could not write this,*[See endnote 2] but our Gosvamis, like Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is Sri Rupa Manjari, could do so. How glorious is Radha. “Jaya Jaya Madhava Dayite – Sri Krsna is controlled by Srimati Radhika.”
“Gokula taruni mandala mahite – So many gopis live in Gokula. They are extremely beautiful, and Candravali is especially beautiful, but not like Radhika. Taruni mandala mahite – in this world no one is as near and dear to Krsna as Radhika.”
“Damodara rati vardhana-vese – Damodara is controlled by His mother, but in this connection that very Damodara is now controlled by Radhika. Vardana vese – to increase Sri Krsna’s love and affection, She appears in beautiful ways.”
“Hari-niskuta vrndavipinese” – Hari refers to Krsna who takes the heart of everyone, especially the gopis. His garden is Vrndavana, where Yamuna is flowing, peacocks are dancing and cuckoos are singing. Everywhere there are beli, cameli, and kadamba flowers. All stimuli are fully present. There, Krsna is not Vrndavanesvara (the Lord and controller of Vrndavana). Because Vrnda has given Vrndavana to Srimati Radhika – She is Vrndavanesvari. Especially, Sri Krsna is not Rasesvara (the Lord and controller of rasa-lila); rather, Radhika is Rasesvari. Sri Krsna is one of the participants, but Radhika is all-in-all.
“Jaya Jaya – O Devi, be glorious, be glorious [meaning be victorious – “Please take victory over my lust, greed, etc., and make me Yours.” (adapted from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Gopi-gita verse 1 commentary)] Sprinkle a particle of Your mercy upon me.”
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