[Lecture by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]
San Francisco 02 July 1996
nāma-śreṣṭhaṁ manum api śacī-putram atra svarūpaṁ
rūpaṁ tasyāgrajam uru-purīṁ māthurīṁ goṣṭhavāṭīm
rādhā-kuṇḍaṁ giri-varam aho rādhikā-mādhavāśāṁ
prāpto yasya prathita-kṛpayā śrī-guruṁ taṁ nato ‘smi
namaḥ oṁ viṣṇupādāya ācārya-siṁha-rūpiṇe
śrī-śrīmad-bhakti prajñāna keśava iti nāmine
atimartya-caritrāya svāśritānāṁ ca pāline
jīva-duḥkhe sadārttāya śrī-nāma-prema-dāyine
I was explaining ‘Gaurangera duti-pada, jāra dhana sampada.’ Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svamiji has explained this song of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. I have explained in the morning—je gaurāṅgera nāma loya, tā’ra hoya premodoya, tāre mui jāi bolihārī. If anyone takes shelter at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then he can know bhakti, bhakti-rasa and what is bhakti-rasa-sāra, I have explained this in the morning.
What is that bhakti? We know navadhā-bhakti and all, bhakti-rasa as told and explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and I gave examples. Bhakti-rasa-sāra is gopī-prema, moreover Rādhā prema to Kṛṣṇa and, that prema, Kṛṣṇa wanted to taste. That is why Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So this is the sum and substance, the essence of all bhakti-rasa.
It has been told in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta in Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Saṁvāda, and everywhere. It has been told in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā, 4th Chapter, that if the Pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu have entered the ears having been heard then that that person’s heart will become nirmala—purified. We cannot control the mind even if we practice for lakhs and lakhs of years. Air can be controlled, but not the mind. You know how to control air? (Śrīla Gurudeva makes a gesture) Can you do it for one minute? [laughter] Can anyone do it? For ten minutes? The yogīs can control the air for five hundred years, even for five thousand years. We can also control air by practicing but in the process of practicing you may go mad or even die, there is no surety of what will happen. In Dvāpara-yuga it was easy. Yogīs were doing this. We can control air but not the mind, which is much more powerful. We may try controlling the mind for lakhs and lakhs of years and births but we will be unable to control the mind. So how to hear hari-kathā and make our heart pure? Man is absorbed in lust, jealousy, hate, and engaged in worldly sense gratification, sometimes engaged in palmistry, sometimes seeking tattva-jñāna and sometimes wandering here and there. This way he has no time to think of Kṛṣṇa for he is engulfed in worldly things that have entered through the means of what he eats, drinks, and thinks, and thus overwhelm him with worldly impressions.
So man is prone to this worldliness. This can be purified in a moment. But what is the process? The process is—je gaurāṅgera nāma loya, tā’ra hoya premodoya, tāre mui jāi bolihārī. Gaurāṅgera madhura līlā, jā’ra karṇe praveśilā,
hṛdoya nirmala bhelo tā’ra. At once, your mind will be purified if you call out, “He Gauracandra! He Nityānanda! Save us, save us! He Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu! He Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu! You should save me, otherwise I will die and I will go to hell. You are my only hope and shelter.”
So by calling out, and hearing Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, like how He delivered Jagāi and Mādhāi, and made them bona fide Vaisnavas, and how Mahāprabhu delivered persons more pitiful than even Jagāi and Mādhāi (you will be purified).
Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura conquered lust when the 16 year-old prostitute appeared before him well versed in all arts like singing. She came before him in the dead of night on the bank of the Ganga and openly proposed to him, beseeching him to make her his wife and enjoy by eating, drinking, and making merry with her.
Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “Yes, I know your demands, wait a little, let me finish my rounds of one crore harināma, it is going to be completed soon, wait a little, so sit down and hear.”
She attempted to entice Śrīla Haridāsa Thaura for one, two, and three days, but Haridāsa Ṭhākura told her every time that he was going to finish his rounds in only a little time.
At the end of the third day her heart was completely changed and she fell flat at the lotus feet of Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura and started to weep bitterly. Haridāsa Ṭhākura said to her, “I knew your inner intentions but to change you I stayed here and finished my rounds; otherwise, I would have gone away from here the same day when you came. But I wanted to show you the power and effect of Śrī Harināma.”
Even Lord Brahmā, Śrī Nāradajī, and Śrī Śaṅkaraji were defeated by kāma, but Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura changed her (the prostitute). How? By glorification of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
If anyone listens to the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, his heart will be cleared of all misgivings and will be pure. Śrī Gaura’s mercy is more powerful than Kṛṣṇa’s. Why? Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mercy is a combined form of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s and Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, so Mahāprabhu’s mercy is more effective and powerful.
So—je gaurāṅgera nāma loya, tā’ra hoya premodoya, tāre mui jāi bolihārī—if you chant Kṛṣṇa while staying in Vraja it will take time to be bona fide and it will take time for your sraddhā to ripen to niṣṭha, ruci, āsakti and prema-udoya-bhava. In this world we cannot progress more than this. Prema cannot come in this body, it requires an aprākṛta, transcendental body, prema cannot appear in this body as the body will be unable to sustain prema and will die. So prema will come by chanting Gauracandra’s name and by hearing His divine pastimes because He has come especially to bestow His mercy to all those sunken in worldly sense gratification—to all conditioned jīvas. So Gaura’s mercy is more powerful. Premodoya (pure love) will appear for those who chant Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s name and glories.
Tāre mui jāi bolihārī. Bolihārī means I am going to be his dedicated servant and I want his association. Everything will be revealed, and no spot of dust will remain, as everything will have been washed away. Gaurāṅga guṇete jhure, nitya-līlā tā’re sphure, se jana bhakati adhikārī. There are two kinds of pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrī Kṛṣṇa. One, bestowing Their mercy to conditioned souls, and, for those who have been liberated from this material existence and whose bhakti has blossomed from niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti to bhāva. For them nitya-līla is descending like cinema reels. What is nitya-līlā?
There are two kinds of līlās, like Mother Yaśodā binding Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa weeping all the while. This is one pastime and this remembrance of one particular pastime is called mantramayī-upāsanā. Kṛṣṇa is bound to the grinding mortar and Kṛṣṇa is weeping. This is one pastime. There are so many lakhs and lakhs of pastimes like this that are like flowers which appear from one morning to another like a stream of honey. The progression of pastimes being early morning pastimes, then cow grazing, then midday pastimes, wherein Kṛṣṇa meets with the gopīs at Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Surya-kuṇḍa, and in the evening Kṛṣṇa returns to Nandagāon and His goṣṭha with lakhs of cows who are in a hurry to reach home. The cows are thirsty while returning home. Kṛṣṇa senses this thirstiness and leads the cows to the Yamunā, where He plays His vaṁśī to make the cows drink water, thus making the sound ‘teri, teri’ and ‘neri, neri’. What does ‘neri’ mean? It means to drink water. ‘Teri’ means go the bank of the Yamunā, and ‘chu, chu’ means ‘drink’. This way the cows drink water to their heart’s content and when they were finished Kṛṣṇa again calls them saying ‘teri’—‘come to the bank of the Yamunā.’
Subala, Śrīdhāma, and Madhumaṅgala surround Kṛṣṇa while He plays most delightfully on His flute, all the while being watched by the gopīs who worship Him from the deep red corner of their eyes, situated in the different groves of Vraja. Kṛṣṇa accepts their worship in the form of sidelong glances with crooked eyes smiling, thus making the gopīs blissful. Kṛṣṇa returns home to Mother Yaśodā’s embrace, and Mother Yaśodā performs her beloved son’s arati with tears in her eyes and proceeds to wash Kṛṣṇa’s mouth. The gopīs compete with each other to serve Kṛṣṇa so Mother Yaśodā gives all the gopīs a chance while she herself decides to be last in serving her beloved Kanhaiyā. After Kṛṣṇa’s bath Yaśodā gives some juices to drink to the sakhās and Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa then hears the mooing of the cows and calves. The cows are not giving milk to the calves and Kṛṣṇa tells Yaśodā, “Once the cows see Me they will give milk to the calves, so please let Me go to the gośālā.”
Kṛṣṇa then milks the cows and after Yaśodā starts to distribute prasāda to Nanda Bābā and the sakhās, whose numbers are many lakhs, so much that we cannot imagine! Yaśodā then takes Kṛṣṇa to His room to sleep. Once Yaśodā notices Kṛṣṇa ‘sleeping’ she proceeds to her own room. Kṛṣṇa then wakes and starts to think within Himself, “Where are the gopīs? Where are the gopīs?”
Kṛṣṇa then meets the gopīs, and by Śrīmatī Vṛndā Devī’s and Śrīmatī Yogamāyā’s mercy, early dawn sets in and Kṛṣṇa returns home. The pastimes are like a chain of most beautiful flowers making their appearance one after the other. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Śaṅkaraji are engrossed in the remembrance of these pastimes. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself taught the sādhakas how to remember these pastimes. By this Mahāprabhu preached the rāga-mārga bhakti that we are explaining. So, “gaurāṅga guṇete jhure, nitya-līlā tā’re sphure, se jana bhakati adhikārī”, this line shows how nitya-līlā comes automatically. We are engaged in thinking how this Earth came about, and how we can utilize the energy from the Earth, sun, and ether, to exploit the world, and to make hydrogen bombs. We use all our energy for that which will only make us unhappy, and in time, we must embrace death, leaving all else behind, and all the while wondering with the questions, such as, “Where will I go?” and, “What am I to do next?”
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.
gaurāṅgera saṅgī gaṇe, nitya-siddha kori māne,
se jāya vrajendra-suta pāśa
Saṅgī means the associates of Mahāprabhu like Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu, Śrīla Sarvabhauma Bhattācārya, the Six Gosvāmīs, Śrīla Śrīvāsa Paṇdita, Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇdita, Śrīla Sikhī Mahiti, Śrīmatī Mādhavī Devī, and all of Mahaprabhu’s infinite associates who have descended from the spiritual realm Śrī Goloka Vṛndāvana-dhāma, but we think of them as their earthly counterparts. So if you realize them as nitya-siddha, yesterday I described the three kinds of nitya-siddhas, the first ones being the kāya-vyūha expansions of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Śrī Baladeva Prabhu, the gopīs for instance are personal expansions of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and sakhās such as Subala, Śrīdhāma, and Madhumaṅgala are expansions of Śrī Baladevajī. These expansions are not jīva-tattva, they are like Kṛṣṇa. The second kind of nitya-siddhas emanate from Baladeva Prabhu and His expansions and they have never seen or even know of the existence of the material world. The third kind are the souls who go from here to Goloka Vraja like the śruti-caris, muni-caris, and the 60,000 rsis of the Daṇḍakāraṇya forest who are collectively known as sādhana-siddhas, meanwhile kṛpā-sidhas are also of two kinds. The first kind are favored by the Supreme Lord Himself Kṛṣṇa and Mahāprabhu, while the second type are favored by the unconditional mercy of devotees like Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrīla Nārada Gosvāmī, Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu, and Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu, who help them join the service of Kṛṣṇa. At first they are in bondage, but are then liberated. So there are so many jīvas equally tasting the sevā of Kṛṣṇa and they are collectively known as the parikaras or parisadas of the Lord. We must realize that the associates of Mahāprabhu are not conditioned souls like us, and this we can realize by the special mercy of the sādhus. Then we can serve them in Navadvīpa. When we take a bath in the Gaṅgā we will find ourselves in the waters of the Yamunā in Vṛndāvana-dhāma in Keśī-ghāṭa near Vaṁśī-vaṭa. We were in Navadvīpa practicing bhakti-yoga and by the mercy of Mahāprabhu and His associates we will take bath in the Gaṅgā and find ourselves at the next moment in the waters of the Yamunā in Vraja near the rāsa-sthalī called Keśī-ghāṭa.
So, “Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa prāṇa mora, yugala-kiśora” will be the bhajana we sing once we enter Vraja while, in Navadvīpa-dhāma, we sing, “Gaurāṅgera duṭī-pada, jāra dhana sampada.”
[Śrīla Gurudeva leads the devotees in singing “Rādhā-kṛṣṇa prāṇa mora, yugala-kiśora” by Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura]
Gaurāṅgera saṅgī gaṇe, nitya-siddha kori māne, se jāya vrajendra-suta pāśa. Those who realize the eternal nature of Mahāprabhu’s associates as the kāya-vyūha expansions of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Śrī Baladevajī will attain the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When we sing “Gaurāṅgera dūtī-pada…” then we will sing “Rādhā-kṛṣṇa prāṇa mora…” also, by the grace of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, prema-bhakti will easily come.
Śrī gauḍa-maṇḍala bhūmi, jebā jāne cintāmaṇi, tā’ra hoya vraja-bhūme vasa. Gauḍa-maṇḍala Bhūmi is like Vraja-maṇḍala and Vṛndāvana is like Māyāpura. Gauḍa-maṇḍala Bhūmi encompasses sixty-two miles and Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma with its nine islands (Antardvīpa Māyāpura, Sīmantadvīpa, Godrumadvīpa, Madhyadvīpa, Koladvīpa, Ṛtudvīpa, Jahnudvīpa, Modradrumadvīpa, Rudradvīpa) is included. Like Vraja maṇḍala contains eighty-two miles, Gauḍa-maṇḍala has sixty-two miles. The dhāma is cintāmaṇi (wish-fulfilling), if you want a very beautiful wife from the dhāma, you will receive one, like some who left Kṛṣṇa Consciousness attained wealth and a beautiful wife. If one wants liberation even that can be attained by the holy dhāma. Heaven, and Vaikuṇṭha also (like how Ajāmila attained) can be attained by realizing the dhāma as comprising of wish-fulfilling jewels. Even Goloka Vṛndāvana can be attained. Once there sakhya-rasa can be attained, then vātsalya-rasa, and finally mādhurya-rasa can also be attained, wherein our dāsya-bhakti to Mahāprabhu will be transferred to the mādhurya-bhakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and we will realize Mahāprabhu as Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and we will always reside in Vraja-bhūmi.
Gaura-prema rasārṇave, se taraṅge yevā ḍūbe—what is gaura-prema? Some know Śrīla Jagadānanda Paṇdita, who once bought a pot of sandalwood oil from Navadvīpa to Purī on a journey that lasted for many days. Once in Purī, Śrī Jagadānanda Prabhu told Govinda Prabhu to massage Mahāprabhu’s head with this oil, as Mahāprabhu always fainted due to the ecstasy of Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, thus making His head hot. Once Mahāprabhu heard this proposition He told Govinda Prabhu to offer this oil for the lamps offered to Lord Jagannātha. Mahāprabhu then told Govinda Prabhu that to massage Him a masseur would be needed and a lady would have to be called and this way He may be defamed as a sannyāsī who has ladies as His masseur, so at once Mahāprabhu instructed Govinda Prabhu to give the oil for Jagannātha’s sevā. Once Jagadānanda heard this he smashed the oil pot and locked himself in his kuṭīra and cried and fasted for three days without ever stepping out of the room.
Śrīla Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī took the essence of the teachings of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Raghunatha dāsa Gosvāmī for compiling his masterpieces of devotional literature. Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī had imbibed his devotional moods and the life of Śrī Caitanya largely by Śrīla Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda, and Śrī Govinda Prabhu, and imparted these teachings to Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī who then glorified the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. For one who constantly remembers and glorifies the pastimes of Mahāprabhu, the fruit of being an internal and intimate associate of Śrī Śrī Rādhā Mādhava awaits (like Śrīmatī Rūpa-mañjarī and Śrīmatī Rati-mañjarī) as told by Śrīla Narottama dāsa Thakura—se rādhā-mādhava antaraṅga.
Gṛhe vā vanete thāke, hā gaurāṅga bole ḍāke. There are two kinds of real devotees, one is a family man, or a gṛhastha, and the other is a renunciant. There is no harm in being a gṛhastha if the gṛhastha is always engaged in chanting, hearing, and remembering to the progressive degree like Śrīla Śrīvāsa Paṇdita, who although he was materially poor, he was a topmost gṛhastha. And if one is a renunciant, he has more time to engage in bhakti. But if a renunciant is engaged in mundane activities like solving material problems, managing, criticizing, and being egoistic and envious, then the renunciant is more wretched than the householders. There is no actual difference between the householders and the renunciants if both are doing actual bhajana. We know that the gopīs are householders, and that exalted devotees like Śrī Nāradajī and Uddhavajī prayed for the footdust of the gopīs:
āsām aho caraṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syāṁ
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā
bhejur mukunda-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām
[The gopīs of Vṛndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Kṛṣṇa, He who one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vṛndavana, because the gopīs trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet.]
We know that so many householders were pure devotees during Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s time like Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda Prabhu, Śrī Śivānandasena Prabhu, and his son Śrī Kavi Karṇapura Prabhu. Śrī Śrīvāsa Prabhu and his family members were all pure devotees. Some associates of Mahāprabhu like Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, and Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Prabhu, were in the renounced order of life.
If one calls out, ‘Ha Gaurāṅga!’ and remembers, “gṛhe vā vanete thāke, hā gaurāṅga bole ḍāke, narottama mā̃ge tā’ra saṅga”… then we should know that for the pure devotees who are calling out like this, Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura prays for their foot dust for it is inconceivably powerful. So we should have faith in this and try to follow this line for if we are sincere we will realize these confidential facts in this very life, instead of waiting for another life, and if we are not sincere and use our mental speculation, then we will not advance. We should try not for advancement in material accolades like wealth and reputation for they make us quarrel with others. We should not try for the three W’s: wealth, women, and wine. Don’t think that the enjoyed are women, and I, the male, am the enjoyer, for even one who wants to taste sense gratification should realize that all are prakṛti, feminine, even he himself. The material casings are of no relevance as all jīvas are prakṛti, the predominated. So you should know all these things by following the bhajana of Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, and thus be a bona fide gaura-kṛṣṇa-bhakta.
Now we will end the class and discuss Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda saṁvāda for the next three days.
Gaura Premānande—hari hari bol!
[Śrīla Gurudeva leads kīrtana with the devotees]
Śrīla Gurudeva: That is why Śrīla Svāmījī used to request me to sing, but now because of old age I cannot sing with the same exuberance like I used to before. But before I used to sing so much.
[Śrīla Gurudeva tells a devotee to recite the jaya-dhvani and corrects him for not reciting the name of his spiritual master first.]
All glories to the assembled devotees!
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
Śrīla Gurudeva to the devotees: Now go chant and remember all these things… I have come to meet you devotees and inspire you and you in turn must preach to the novices about the ephemeral nature of these bodies and how lust and sense gratification must be given up at all costs, otherwise we will continue to rotate in the material ocean of birth and death. I will help you all in your endeavor.
Gaura Premānande! Hari Haribol!