Jagannātha’s divine form is very special and full of many mysteries. Parabrahma resides within the heart of Jagannātha. That Parabrahma is Kṛṣṇa, and indranīla-maṇī. There is a śālagrāma there. This is called Parabrahma. Brahmā said, “I will place this Parabrahma here,” when the original Jagannātha Deities were carved. “I will keep Parabrahma hidden inside Jagannātha, in the kuñja in His heart.” When the four logs of wood came to Cakra-tīrtha, Kṛṣṇa was present inside one as Nīla-Mādhava, Naṭavara-Nanda-kiśora. Only four Dayitās are allowed into the secret enclave where the transferral of Parabrahma is performed from one Jagannātha to another. There are no lights. All the lights in Jagannātha-Purī are turned off during the night of Nava-kalevara, when Parabrahma is transferred from the heart of one Jagannātha to the new Jagannātha. The Dayitās are also blindfolded before doing the ceremony. It is said that the opening in Jagannātha is two feet by two and a half feet. This is covered by many layers. When this cave in Jagannātha’s heart is opened, a brilliant light shines forth. Bhubaneśvarī resides within Subhadrā-devī. She is transferred to the new Subhadrā Deity by her appointed dayitā priest. Ananta-Vasudeva is within Baladeva Prabhu and He is transferred to the new Baladeva. Brahmā hid these Deities within the wooden Deities of Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadrā. Therefore, Mahāprabhu would say, “You are not a Deity, You are directly Vrajendra-nandana.” Why? Kṛṣṇa is hiding inside Jagannātha. There no one will disturb Him and He can stay privately with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and the Vrajavāsīs. The Gauḍīya Guru-varga, under guidance of Mahāprabhu, in the Svarūpa-rūpānuga-paramparā know these secrets and disclose them at the appropriate time.

Questions & Answers – 03 July 1996

Do you know the meaning of bhāgavata? One can never know if he is not in the guidance of the Guru-varga. Our Guru-varga like Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and Śrīla Vishvanatha Cakravarti Ṭhākura have elaborately described the meaning of bhāgavata by breaking down the word into its constituent letters like bhā-ga-va-ta. Bhā stands for the rays of transcendental knowledge, bhakti, or bhakti-rasa. Bhā can also mean Bhāṇḍīravana in Vraja where Śrī Kṛṣṇa used to take mahā-prasādam with the sakhās and where the cows being allured by the green grasses found themselves exposed to a raging conflagration, and the sakhās followed the cows without Kṛṣṇa and also found themselves in the same predicament with the cows and without finding any shelter called out to their beloved Lord to save them. This is also the place where Śrī Brahmājī performed the gandharva marriage of his Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa; a rāsa-sthalī is also present there. So bhā means bhāndīra—a repository of transcendental knowledge, and bhā can also mean bhāgavata, all this knowledge is present in the bhāgavata. But why are we unable to grasp the implicit purport of the Bhāgavatam, despite reading over an extended period of time? The reason has been told by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in Śrī Jaiva-dharma, that one should listen to hari-kathā.


That is the meaning of Ratha-yātrā? Ratha-yātrā is not Jagannātha’s chariot festival; it is Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s chariot festival. In this celebration, Rādhārānī comes to bring Kṛṣṇa back to Śrī Vṛndāvana. As Jagannātha proceeds on the path to Vṛndāvana, He is very...


If anyone has love for Kṛṣṇa and the Vrajavāsīs, and is always meditating on them, then the unlimited flow of love will inundate their hearts. Śrīla Gurudeva distributed love to all living beings. That is incessant. He never misused his love. He distributed this to all people, and they tasted this superfine mellow and became attracted. Śrīla Gurudeva stole the living beings’ hearts and brought them to Vraja. Without love, one is dryhearted and very sad. People perform hard austerities or yoga, but this does not increase their love. They feel no happiness from it as a result. If one gives his love to ordinary people, then it is lost. Such people are like dacoits and thieves who come to steal one’s love. They are great enemies on the path of bhajana.

Many Angles of the Sun – 09 Feb 2013 – Govinda-lilamrta

The rising sun means that Kṛṣṇa has to meet with all the Vrajavāsīs. Therefore the parrot says, “O Gokulacandra, moon of Gokula, arise! O Lord, the cruel sun is coming. He is unfavorable.” Why is the sun opposing? This is very astonishing. In the night Kṛṣṇa met freely with Śrīmatī. But in the morning, all have the desire to meet with Kṛṣṇa. They wish to feed Him, dress Him, bathe Him, and serve Him in many other ways. But the bliss felt by Kṛṣṇa when He engages in loving pastimes with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs is beyond compare. In the presence of that bliss, the joy felt in other rasas is insignificant. However, to pacify the minds of all Vrajavāsīs, who are all eager to meet with Him, Kṛṣṇa has to leave the company of Rādhārānī when the sun rises.

Gaurangera-duti-pada – 02 July 1996

So Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura is telling us that by the grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates like the Six Gosvāmīs, the sādhaka acquires the wealth of prema-bhakti. Se jana hoya bhakti adhikārī. (That person is qualified for bhakti.) Otherwise the endeavor is in vain. Bhakti can only be practiced in the association of premī-bhaktas. Mental speculation and the education provided in schools and colleges cannot help us tread the path of bhakti. We must join the classes of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, like how Śrīla Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, and Śrīla Śyāmānanda Prabhu joined the classes of Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. We must also attend the classes of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Visvanatha Cakravarti Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and his bona fide disciples like Śrīla Bhakti Prajnana Keśava Gosvami Mahārāja, Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Śrīla Svāmījī, and their godbrothers. This way we will be qualified for bhakti. What bhakti? Sādhana-bhakti. We are not practicing sādhana-bhakti. We are practicing sādhana-ābhāsa. Sādhana-bhakti’s shadow. Śrīla Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura is known as a sādhaka who was practicing sādhana to achieve bhāva-bhakti. This is sādhana. What are we doing? Sāṅga-siddha bhakti, āropa-siddha, karma-miśra, jñāna-miśra, and sometimes making gardens, and similar activities that have no relation with Kṛṣṇa or Caitanya Mahāprabhu, all the while thinking we are topmost gurus. We should realize that we are lower than Jagāi and Mādhāi. We are qualified for sādhana-bhakti once we follow the tṛṇād api sunīcena verse. Once we tread the path of sādhana-bhakti we will reach bhāva-bhakti and then prema-bhakti, and will proceed even further to the stages of sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, mahābhāva, rūḍha, adhirūḍha, mādana, and modana. Then we realize the glories of the gopīs’ love. Otherwise we will get a mundane conception of the gopīs’ love wherein we will equate their love to the lustful cravings of this world that afflict us.


Uddhava did not want to leave Kṛṣṇa for a minute, but he knew that as long as the Vrajavāsīs were all constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa would feel no peace in Dvārakā. “Everyone in Vraja-bhūmi is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, therefore Kṛṣṇa is restless in Mathurā and Dvārakā.” Uddhava thought thus. “I will go and advise them with so much knowledge and I will change them. I will ask them, ‘Why are you lamenting so much? Kṛṣṇa is Parabrahma, Parameśvara, the greatest yogī. Wherever you are, think about Kṛṣṇa, and then He will appear in your heart. Why do you think He is far away from you? He is the all-pervasive Paramātmā.”

Uddhava thought he was very intelligent, with so much understanding of tattva-siddhānta, but this was useless in regard to the Vrajavāsīs. It is like collecting pieces of ordinary stone and rejecting priceless gems.

Kṛṣṇa told Uddhava, “What knowledge you have collected is not natural; when you go to Vṛndāvana, there, everyone has natural love. They are not relatives of one another, but they are all near and dear to each other. Generally, people have relation and love for their family members, their children and spouses, but in Vraja, there is no need of blood relation for there to be a loving relation.”

Everyone has natural love for Kṛṣṇa in Vraja. Their love is unparalleled and unconditional. You can not understand this with your material knowledge and conceptions. Why do all the birds and animals have love for Kṛṣṇa? Why does everyone in Vraja have spontaneous love for Kṛṣṇa? In Dvārakā, however, the peoples’ love is divided, amongst their own blood relatives. They are not one-pointed in their love for Kṛṣṇa, and they do not cry in separation from Kṛṣṇa. If they do not see Kṛṣṇa for some months, they do not feel so much suffering. They know, “He is busy now in Hastināpura. He will come back when He is finished there.”

When Kṛṣṇa was shot by many arrows in the Mahābhārata war the Dvārakāvāsīs did not feel pain. They thought, “He is God and feels no pain; He cannot be harmed.” But the Vrajavāsīs could not tolerate this. If they saw that even one hair of Kṛṣṇa’s had fallen down, they would feel so much pain and suffering. Other devotees of Kṛṣṇa have knowledge of His opulence and glory, and this dims their affection for Him.

When Uddhava went to Vraja-bhūmi he lost his knowledge and forgot Dvārakā. He then thought, “Vraja-bhūmi is supreme. The Vrajavāsīs have unparalleled love. They are Kṛṣṇa’s nearest and dearest, therefore Kṛṣṇa is always restless and suffering, remembering the Vrajavāsīs’ pure unconditional love. The Vrajavāsīs’ love can never be diminished or finished. It only increases when faced with obstacles.”

In this world, if a boy has love for a girl, and she for him, and people, like their relatives, try to stop them from meeting, then they will find any way to meet, regardless of the obstacles. They will find a way to send messages to each other and to meet each other. The Vrajavāsīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa is millions of times greater than this. Their love is shoreless and fathomless. Uddhava could not find the limit of the Vrajavāsīs’ love.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu prayed and sang to Jagannātha during the Ratha-yātrā festival. He said, “You sent Uddhava to Vraja-maṇḍala and he gave the Vrajavāsīs so much advice about brahma-jñāna, and You also gave similar advice to them at Kurukṣetra, but how could the Vrajavāsīs follow this? They were already far beyond this brahma-jñāna and could not follow it.”

Uddhava told the gopīs, “Do yoga by always remembering Kṛṣṇa.”

“We want to forget Kṛṣṇa,” the gopīs replied, “but find it impossible. When there is viyoga, separation, then one must endeavor for yoga, union. But we have no viyoga, because we already incessantly think of Kṛṣṇa; we cannot stop. So how can we follow your yoga? You have viyoga, therefore you advise others to practice yoga. But we have no viyoga from Kṛṣṇa. He is not far from us and we are not far from Him. We want to forget Him and try to forget how He is and what He is doing and who is there with Him, serving Him, if He is sleeping or not, eating or not, but we cannot stop thinking of Him for even a moment. We try to, but find it impossible. But you tell us, ‘Do yoga, forget everything else; only think of Him.’ We have already done this. Udho man na bhayo das-bīs, ek huto so gayo śyām saṅga, ko arādhe īś? You teach us to worship Syāma, but our mind is already captured by that Syāma. He has kept our mind and hearts with Him and we cannot bring them back. He will not return them. Therefore we are suffering and restless.”

In the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, Mahāprabhu said to Jagannātha, “You are very clever. You know My heart.


Lust is piercing my heart. I do not know my own good. I cannot vanquish the bad desires in my mind. O Master, please keep me close to You. You are a wish fulfilling desire tree. Please show Your compassion to everyone by accepting me.txt 5

How can we become related to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and Kṛṣṇa? Many desires and anarthas come and attack us, but if anyone has love for Kṛṣṇa, then svarūpa-śakti will go and help him and no other problem will be there. If one does not like Kṛṣṇa, svarūpa-śakti will never go to help. Therefore one should pray, “O Lord, I am Yours, please bring me into Your shelter.”

When Kṛṣṇa gives shelter, all the impediments are immediately destroyed.

Kṛṣṇa may ask, “I forgive all your offenses and sins, but for your own benefit, you should not do any further wrong.” Gurudeva gives all shelter and help. He gives everything, but do disciples stay with Gurudeva and have love for him? After millions of lives of making offenses, guru forgives everything at once, like Jāghai and Mādhāi were forgiven by Nityānanda Prabhu.

Jaghāi and Mādhāi said, “We will not perform any more sin.” Jagāi-mādhāi bale, ‘āra nāre bāpa.’ (Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-khaṇḍa 13.225)

Mahāprabhu said, “If you stay with us, we will protect you. But you must serve the Vaiṣṇavas.”

Therefore we should pray to Kṛṣṇa, “Please make me Your servant. I do not pray for anything else. You are līlā-puruṣottama. Please give me taste for Your service and make me the servant of the servants of the servants of Your servants. Then I will no longer perform any sinful activity and will not go far from You. O Lord, please give me spiritual taste. My mundane desires are destroying and making me suffer so much, therefore I do not serve you. I have been moving in millions of species for billions of lives and everywhere I go I am the slave of māyā. When I take birth, I am the servant of my parents, and then I become surrendered to teachers and then to a wife and children and in old age no one is there to help. What can I do? O Lord, I pray to You, do not reject me. Please help me. My strength is very small, and my desire to serve You is very small, but You are very great, so please accept my small desire and bring me into Your eternal service.”

Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays, “How can I offer all my desires unto the lotus feet of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas?”

There are many types of desires; most of which are very dirty. We are very shy to offer such desires. But the Vaiṣṇavas are vañca-kalpa-taru (wish-fulfilling trees). They know which faults we have. But will God not accept such gifts? A baby passes stool helplessly. He also has cold, and many boils on his body. So, what will the mother do? She will provide good treatment for the baby. She will then bathe her baby and make him rest. She will become very happy when she sees that her baby has become healthy. Similarly, when the conditioned souls come to the Guru-varga, they are filled with anarthas.

Admission in Love’s School – 09 Feb 2013 – Govinda-lilamrta

By the prayers of the mahā-bhāgavata rūpānuga guru-varga, Vṛndā-devī helps the sādhakas in this line. She distributes līlā-rasa, bhakti-rasa, vraja-rasa and arranges everything for one to attain prema-bhakti. If anyone follows this program they are very lucky. And if they don’t follow, if they collect many other things, what they think or understand is not my question or answer. Our question and answer now is how can we be present near līlā-śakti? If one is present near līlā-śakti, She will carefully help him progress in spiritual life. She will give treatment, medicine, food, diet, lodge and favorable association. We are very lucky. Our Guru-pāda-padma is glorified throughout the three worlds. He always thinks about us and our eternal spiritual welfare. If a disciple does not remember the causeless mercy of his Guru-pāda-padma he is ungrateful and selfish. Such a person is useless and contemptible. According to one’s own desire and idea he cannot meet with the Vaiṣṇavas and understand the holy dhāma. People like this will only come as tourists for recreation—they will come and go without attaining any benefit. They do not touch the dhāma; the glories and mercy of the dhāma do not manifest in their hearts. Even if they try again and again without following the correct process, they will become hopeless and sick and run away from the holy dhāma. It will be impossible for them to stay in the dhāma and to make relationship with the dhamavāsīs.

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— Steven J. Rosen, Satyaraja Dasa (acbsp), author of 30 books on Gaudiya Vaishnavism, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, and associate editor of Back to Godhead

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