Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 12 June 1996, in Houston, published by Bhaktabandhav.com
Srila Gurudeva: …His duty was to give Raganuga-marga and to taste the three desires of Krsna. So, all became furious. I thought, “You have not read Caitanya Caritamrita and the purports of Svamiji.” That is why they are upset. At that time, they didn’t tell me or anyone else. But later on I knew that they are protesting this. But if you will read Caitanya Caritamrita, especially the third and fourth chapters of Adi-lila, then it has been clearly written there so many times. The Yuga-dharma in Kali Yuga is nama. But in ordinary Kali Yuga, nama with Vraja-prema is not given.
[Break of audio]
Srimati Radhika and Krsna both are embodied in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, Krsna has come to taste Her prema, and not to give this prema. Sva-bhakti, means the mood of Rupa Gosvami; the mood of Rupa Manjari—to serve both. He has come to give this. And, it will be achieved only by following Raganuga-marga, Raga-marga. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has especially come for two purposes— to preach and give Raga-marga and to taste the three moods of Srimati Radhika. Except Krsna, no one can give this prema. Prema cannot be given by anyone else—even by Rama or Dvarakadisa. So, Krsna has given this prema in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And this is called Raga-marga.
If you are in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then you will have to adopt this process. We can easily have a very thick greed to attain this prema. And if you are not having this mood, then you should think that you are not in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then you are in the line of vaidhi-bhakti. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has not come to give vaidhi-bhakti. But He has said, “Wait a little in the line of vaidhi-bhakti.” Our Gurus and Acaryas in our disciplic order have come to teach and explain to us Caitanya Caritamrita, and the books of Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha das Gosvami, and Krsna das Kaviraja Gosvami. If you will read and think about these books, then you can easily have that greed to attain that prema.
Try to have a book of Svamiji.
You have a question?
Srila Gurudeva: What is your question?
Devotee: You are saying that Caitanya Mahaprabhu really came to taste the three desires of Krsna, which were unfulfilled in Goloka Vrndavana. He couldn’t taste them. Mahaprabhu also came to propagate Raga-marga. In Caitanya Caritamrita, as far as I can remember, to taste these feelings of Radhika is primary and to preach Raga-marga is secondary.
Srila Gurudeva: It may be secondary. But except for Krsna, no one can give this Raga-marga. So, He has also come to give Raga-marga. And this Raga-marga has not been given within one day of Brahma. So, He has come for this.
Devotee: My question is that it seems that Krsna could have by His own inconceivable potency tasted those bhavas of Srimati Radhika in Goloka Vrndavana. But to propagate Raga-marga to the jivas could not be done in Goloka Vrndavana, so really the main purpose was to propagate Raga-marga.
Srila Gurudeva: No. You should know that Mahaprabhu tasted the three moods of Srimati Radhika in Gambhira-lila in Jagannatha Puri. Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodara were there. They would tell some associates of Mahaprabhu’s moods in the Gambhira. They would tell Raghunatha das Gosvami and all others that “Caitanya Mahaprabhu did like this.” So, listening to these pastimes, anyone can have a greed to know what Caitanya Mahaprabhu did there. And this will add to the desire for raganuga-marga. How to taste and how to follow? Mahaprabhu would do all this by Himself; no one could do like Him. He came for this. He came to teach how to chant and how to remember. How would He remember?
He would think, “I am Radhika. I am only Radhika.” Thus, He would weep and weep. Realizing that Krsna has gone to Mathura and Dvaraka, He would continuously weep. Svarupa Damodara asked, “Why are You weeping? Krsna is in Your heart.”
“Krsna is in My heart? Then I will at once see Him and meet with Him.” Mahaprabhu then started to deeply scratch His chest with His nails. But Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda Prabhu stopped Mahaprabhu and caught hold of His hands. They thought, “Why did we tell Mahaprabhu this?”
So, a sadhaka of Raga-marga should think, “I am the palya-dasi, a maidservant of Srimati Radhika.” What does the sadhaka do? He is constantly engaged in chanting and remembering, but he also thinks that “I am giving betel-nut to Radha and Krsna. I am helping Srimati Radhika meet Krsna. I am doing this; I am doing this.”
“I am a gopi of Varsana-gaon. I have been married in Yavat.” Having all these moods, the sadhaka will be deeply absorbed in them. Or else one will be absorbed in identifying himself with his physical body. He will think, “My name is Charles.” By being deeply absorbed in these moods, then like Bharata Maharaja, when you leave this body Krsna will manage a body like that. And then, you will easily realize this prema and you will reach your goal. Bharata Maharaja thought of a deer when he was dying, and he became a deer in his next birth. How did he become a deer? He was totally absorbed in thinking about that deer. He would think, “Where is that deer? Where is my son, the deer?” It has been written in the Gita that if a person at the time of death remembers anyone, then at once he will have to take the same shape in his next birth. And the mood will be like that. If anyone is dying, and seeing a serpent, he thinks, “Oh serpent! Serpent!” Then he will become a serpent. And he will be very furious and dangerous in that form.
So, we should be calm and quite at the time of death. We should only make the dying person hear, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Radhe Radhe,” like this. We should make such an environment that the dying person only thinks of Krsna and nothing else. He should not think about his father, mother, son, or daughter. And then, we can easily have that prema. This is an impression. In India, in Vedic culture, everyone tries to do this. They take that person who is going to die on a bed that has cow dung smeared underneath. They will take him on an asana of kusa-grass, a very pure form of grass. These other asanas are not so pure; they cannot be. But kusa-asana has some special quality. Tulasi has some special quality. Tulasi leaves have a special quality. Yama-dutas cannot come. Generally, even if they are devotees or not, Indian culture is such that every person, whether they are even atheistic—but, they will have some faith in God; in Krsna; in the Gita; and in Tulasi. So, they used to take that dying person on a bed of kusa-grass. Under that bed, cow dung is given. A very pure environment is arranged. They will then tell the dying person, “Krsna Krsna.” They will give him nothing except for Tulasi and some drops of Ganga water. Ganga water is so powerful and if it mixes with Tulasi, then it is doubly powerful. A medicine cannot act like this. If the body is to die, it will die. You will have to give up this body. But if Tulasi with Ganga water is given to that dying person who is lying on the kusa-asana, and if Krsna’s name is chanted to that person, then he will never fall down to this world having given up his body.
He will never come in the womb of another mother. But, if he desires that, “I will be in Vrndavana and I will have to adopt the method and process of Caitanya Mahaprabhu,” then he will come to this world. And then, all his moods will be matured. Then, he will easily give up this body and go to Prakata-Vraja or Prakata-Gaura-lila. Do you understand? And whatever is lacking there; everything will be completed. He will then enter the realm of Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Radha and Krsna. Firstly, he will have to come in the association of the parikaras of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And then, he will have to go and enter in the realm of Krsna. This was the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and He descended to this world to give this Raga-marga-bhakti because He is so merciful; causelessly merciful. And He was Rasik, so He tasted all these moods as well. By this, sprinkles of that tasting came and automatically, one can realize this Raga-marga.
Syamarani dasi: You just said that first, one has to enter into Caitanya-lila and then, enter into Krsna-lila. Is that two separate births?
Srila Gurudeva: Yes. At a time, it may be—one can be here and there also.
Devotee: Do we have to be absorbed in Gauranga-lila, before we can understand Vraja-lila?
Srila Gurudeva: You will have to go, first to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. And then, so many births will go. Then, you will have nistha and ruci. It may take hundreds of births. After that, you can go in asakti. It can also take so many births. And if you are quite absorbed and have the special mercy of Krsna or Caitanya Mahaprabhu or Guru and Vaisnavas; if you have their special mercy, then you can have ruci or asakti. And after that, you will advance even further. It depends on our efforts and Krsna’s mercy—both. If you are doing much abhyasa without Krsna’s mercy, then it will not do. And if Krsna’s mercy and your sadhana meet, then you will advance in your Krsna consciousness. Without the special mercy of Krsna or His associates, we cannot have this Raganuga-bhava even in lakhs and lakhs of births.
kriyatam yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukritair na labhyate
—Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.70
You should try to know the meaning of this sloka.
What is Yuga Dharma?
Syamarani dasi: Religion of the age.
yuga-dharma pravartaimu nama-sankirtana
cari bhava-bhakti diya nacamu bhuvana
—Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 3.19
yuga-dharma-pravartana haya amsa haite
ama vina anye nare vraja-prema dite
—Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 3.26
Yuga Dharma is nama-sankirtana. Yuga Dharma is given only by whom? By the amsa, who is the amsa? The plenary portion of Krsna is the amsa. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has not come for this reason; this is outwardly.
prema-nama pracarite ei avatara
—Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 4.5
The next sloka is:
satya ei hetu, kintu eho bahiranga
ara eka hetu, suna, ache antaranga
—Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 4.6
Is there a purport?
Syamarani dasi: Yes.
[Syamarani dasi reads the translation and purport]
“I have given the essential meaning of the fourth verse. This incarnation (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) descends to propagate the chanting of the holy name and to spread love of God.
Although this is true, this is but the external reason for the Lord’s incarnation.
Srila Gurudeva: What is the meaning of external reason? I told there that Svamiji has not come for an external reason. But he did what Caitanya Mahaprabhu did also. But he has really come for an antaranga, internal reason. Prema nama pracarite ei avatare is bahiranga. Do you understand? So, I said this and they became so upset.
They said, “Oh he is not in line; he is another line.”
[Syamarani dasi continues reading the translation and purport]
Please hear one other reason — the confidential reason for the Lord’s appearance.
Purport: In the third chapter, fourth verse, it has been clearly said that Lord Caitanya appeared to distribute love of Krsna and the chanting of His transcendental holy name—Hare Krsna. That was the secondary reason.
Srila Gurudeva: Yes. This is also a secondary reason. Caitanya Mahaprabhu did so; Rupa Gosvami did so, but it was external.
[Syamarani dasi continues reading the purport]
The real reason is different as we shall see in this chapter.
The first purpose was to relish the position of Srimati Radharani, who is the prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Krsna. Lord Krsna is the reservoir of transcendental loving transactions with Srimati Radharani. The subject of those loving transactions is the Lord Himself and Radharani is the object. Thus, the subject—the Lord, wanted to relish the loving mellow in the position of the object— Radharani.
The second reason for His appearance was to understand the transcendental mellow of Himself—Lord Krsna is all-sweetness. Radharani’s attraction for Krsna is sublime and to experience that attraction and understand the transcendental sweetness of Himself, He accepted the mentality of Radharani.
The third reason that Lord Caitanya appeared was to enjoy the bliss tasted by Radharani. The Lord thought that undoubtedly, Radharani enjoys His company and He enjoys the company of Radharani. But the exchange of transcendental mellow between the Spiritual Couple was more pleasing to Srimati Radharani than to Krsna. She felt more transcendental pleasure in His company than He could understand without taking Her position. But for Sri Krsna to enjoy in the position of Srimati Radharani was impossible because that position was completely foreign to Him. Krsna is the transcendental male and Radharani is the transcendental female. Therefore, to know the transcendental pleasure of loving Krsna, Lord Krsna Himself appeared as Lord Caitanya, accepting the emotions and bodily lustre of Srimati Radharani.
So, Lord Caitanya appeared to fulfil these confidential desires and also to preach the special significance of chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, and to answer the call of Advaita Acarya. These were secondary reasons.
Srila Gurudeva: Whether you are qualified or not, but we should know what is the fact behind this; at least we should know. If a man has a greed for Raganuga-marga, he should not give up all the practices of vaidhi-bhakti. Sadhana is same—sravanam, kirtanam, visno-smaranam. Sravanam, kirtanam, and the other limbs of bhakti are the same for vaidhi-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti—both. What are the five primary limbs of devotion?
They are sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtan, bhagavat-sravana, Mathura-vasa, and sri-murtira-sraddhaya sevana. You will have to adopt sadhu-sanga. You should associate with devotees who are more qualified than yourself. If both are in the same category, then you cannot develop. So, we should try to have the association of any learned, but not only learned—but the association of a Rasik, Bhavuka, and tattva-vit Vaisnava. This Vaisnava knows every kind of tattva—jiva-tattva, Krsna-tattva, and the other tattvas. He is very learned in the Srimad Bhagavatam. And he has learned everything from his Gurudeva or Vaisnavas. You will have to chant harinama, but the names chanted by a kanistha-vaisnava and an Uttama-bhagavat are not the same.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu chants Hare Krsna, He faints. When Srimati Radhika hears Krsna’s name even once, She faints. But we don’t faint. When we chant the holy name, a drop of tear will not come. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu chanted Hare Krsna, or “Kling Krsnaya,” He saw a very beautiful Syama-Kisora appear in front of Him at once. Caitanya Mahaprabhu runs after Him to catch Him, but as Mahaprabhu runs behind Him, this dark-complexioned boy vanishes into Vrndavana-dhama. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then rolls down on the earth and cries out, “Where is Krsna? Where is Krsna?” But we feel no transformation when we chant the holy name. A drop of tear does not come.
So, sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, and Bhagavat-sravana. You will have to hear Srimad Bhagavatam. What is Srimad Bhagavatam. Only first canto and second canto is not Srimad Bhagavatam. Although it is also a part of Bhagavatam, but the real Bhagavatam, the heart of Bhagavatam, is the tenth canto. You will have to go there. And we cannot taste Srimad Bhagavatam, if there were no commentaries of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Jiva Gosvami. Do you know who Vallabhacarya is? He has also written a commentary. He is a Rasik Vaisnava. Sridhara Svami has also written a commentary. Everyone has honored Sridhara Svami. We especially follow Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. In his commentary, and in the commentaries of Sanatana Gosvami and Jiva Gosvami, the mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu is there. So, we follow Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. If you like to read and hear the Bhagavat, then you should go to a Vaisnava who is following all the principles of the Bhagavat. If one has come from Vrndavana to make wealth, we should not hear from him.
Mathura-vasa means Vrndavana-vasa, Mathura-vasa, Navadvipa-vasa, Puri-vasa, where Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed in the Gambhira. And the worship of the Deities of Radha-Krsna is the fifth limb. But sadhu-sanga is common to all the different limbs of devotion. If you are chanting harinama, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, then you will have to follow and be in sadhu-sanga. If you want to be in Vrndavana, you can live in Vrndavana, but with sadhu-sanga. Whether you are in Mathura, or anywhere else, you should always be in sadhu-sanga. If you are worshiping, then do so under the guidance of any Vaisnava.
Sadhu-sanga, sadhu-sanga, sarva-sastra-kaya—without sadhu-sanga, nothing is there. If the association of a sadhu is not there, then our chanting will also be like a karma and we will have salvation like sayujya-mukti and all other things. So many mayavadis chant harinama, and by that harinama and by worshiping Krsna also, they get salvation. So many mayavadis worship Krsna in Vrndavana and get salvation. But, they don’t get Krsna-prema; they don’t get the mercy of Vraja-dhama. So, anywhere we are, we will have to honor bona fide Vaisnavas, who are Rasik. And if you are not following, you will not have this prema of Vraja; Krsna-prema of Vraja. So, we should try to read all these subjects very deeply. When we read Srimad Bhagavatam, we should do so very deeply and try to follow each word in the proper mood. Also, all the words have so many meanings—they have outward meanings, middle-meanings, and internal meanings; all words have these different meanings. They not only have two or three meanings; they may have more than ten or twenty meanings. Caitanya Mahaprabhu took one word and He explained it in sixty-four different ways. The meaning of each word in the sloka, “Atmaramas ca munayo nirgrante hy urukrame,” was explained in sixty-four ways. And He can explain these words in more than sixty-four ways. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explained the first sloka of Srimad Bhagavatam for more than one month. It may have taken even one year to explain. The entire Srimad Bhagavatam can be explained in one sloka.
Daily, I will explain two or three slokas because I will have to repay you all. Giving up your homes and everything, all of you are with me. So, if I am not giving anything, then I will be ungrateful.
[Srila Gurudeva speaks to some devotees in Hindi]
These devotees came with me to Holland, England, and many other places. They come everywhere with me. Sometimes, prasadam was unavailable, and even if prasadam was available, then it was kichidi. And even this kichidi was half-cooked; it wasn’t cooked fully. They remained content eating this kichidi. And with great difficulty, they are with me.
[Srila Gurudeva resumes speaking in English]
…and with affection and love. If we chant on Ekadasi-tithi, special mercy will come. On the day of Ekadasi, chant more than usual. Today is not Ekadasi, it is Dvadasi. But Ekadasi has joined with Dvadasi, so this day has become known as Maha-Dvadasi. When Durvasa Rsi came to visit him, King Ambarisa was following this Maha-Dvadasi. When this day is mixed with Ekadasi, then there is much power in this day. So, try to take very little fruits on Ekadasi. If you can follow Ekadasi without any fruits or water, then very good. Those who are strong should not take any water. And those who are very lean and thin may take a little. But I know that those who are lean and thin can follow Ekadasi without taking anything. Perhaps this devotee will not take any water or fruits. And she will have no problem in following Ekadasi this way. But devotees who are obese will not be able to live without water. But anyhow, you should not disturb your mind and heart. If it is necessary, you can take some water. You can take sugar. You can take milk or juice. But don’t take corn, or any food made of wheat and rice. We should not take such food on Ekadasi because during this day, so many sins are present in corn and grains. If you will take corn and grains on Ekadasi, then it will be very dangerous. You don’t know this fact, but we should know some truths. Have you seen the sea during the full moon? So many waves crash against each other. You will see that from Ekadasi to the full moon, or from Ekadasi to the dark moon, the waves will gradually become higher and higher. Where there is water, the effect of the moon will be there everywhere. So, in our body we have some water like rasa and the moon has some effect on that. Therefore, any disease you have will develop. Especially, many die during the period of Ekadasi to the full moon, or from Ekadasi to the dark moon.
So, we should try to check this by following Ekadasi. There is also another reason. Why has the government allowed a day and a half’s rest during the week? This is prevalent everywhere in the world. This time is meant for rest. In our stomach there are many organisms that help digestion. They must be given some rest otherwise we will fall sick. So, we should follow all these holy days. This day should especially be followed by those who want to advance in their bhakti. This day will especially help those who want to progress in their devotion.
Krsna will see and think, “Oh all My boys and girls are not taking anything, so I must give them bhakti.” If any child weeps, her mother and father think, “What should I give this child, by which she will be satisfied?” So, if on that day, we will not take anything, then Krsna will think, “He is not taking anything for Me. So, I should mercifully give him bhakti.” So He gives something, many things, and He even gives bhakti.
Therefore, we should try to surely follow Ekadasi. We should not take much food on this day; we shouldn’t drink many juices. We should take very little prasadam, just enough to keep our mind and body smooth.
Syamarani dasi: How is it that sins are present in grains on that day?
Srila Gurudeva: This is Krsna’s acintya-sakti, His inconceivable potency. He has made all this a part of His creation. There is some rasa in grains and moon has some effect on that and that is why Krsna has said, “Don’t take any grains on this day.” Give rest to your stomach, to work on other days.
[Break of audio]
Even if you don’t understand the song, someone will explain. Try to sing the song. Even if you are not understanding anything; nonetheless, the sabda-brahma is going there and it will work. It will have so much effect. If, Guru and Vaisnavas are not telling anything; yet, if you are present before him, then the current from him will come and it will rectify you.
Devotee: Yes Maharaja.
Gaura Premanande! Haribol!