Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga

People pray for God’s blessings, but they do not know the process to receive His blessings. If we have relationship with those who are the nearest and dearest of God, then it is very easy to get the mercy of God. God will naturally be happy with you. This is the easiest process. If someone comes here and makes a relationship with Vaisnavas, then the Vaisnavas will pray to Guru Maharaja saying, “This person is very good. He wants to do bhakti. How will his life be successful? He desires this, but he does not know anything.”

Gurudeva will then say, “Take care of this person, and let him know that I am giving my blessings to him. Let him also receive mercy and blessings from other Vaisnavas.”

Gurudeva would invite this person to the holy dhama, to kirtana, and to learn, and other people would nicely teach him. If you have relationship with one person in God’s family, then this means that you are now related to all of God’s governing body. But, if you think that you can receive God’s blessings by directly going to Him, then you will be unsuccessful. You must be connected to the channel.

The river connects to a canal, the canal connects to a drain, and the drain connects to an irrigation-pipe, which then goes to the farm. If all the water from the sky comes to the earth at once, then the earth would be pushed down. Or, if the entire river floods into the fields at once, then all the seeds will be submerged and they will die. The mercy of God rains down on all His bhaktas. Some can receive this and keep it with them, and some people neglect it. God’s mercy goes everywhere, but some people do not accept this mercy. Rain falls down upon hills and mountains, and is then stored in lakes, ponds, and rivers.

The hearts of the bhaktas are open and clean, and they contain God’s mercy. When you come to the family members of God, to the bhaktas, then you naturally become peaceful and happy, and you feel completely fresh. But, if you go outside to materialistic societies, you only feel pain, and you feel anxiety from all the politics going on. When you come here, everything is clean and fresh like a pristine lake. The hearts of the Vaisnavas are filled with the love of God. This is spiritual health. Mundane people only have gifts of Maya to give. It is really like a deep, dark well. In God’s family, everything is effulgent and transcendental. You become transformed and spiritually blissful when you are in Vaisnava company. There, you do not have any tension for your maintenance. Prasadam is arranged, rooms are arranged, and you can even forget what day, what month, and what year it is. You can even forget where you are and who you are while you are absorbed in Krsna-bhakti in Vaisnava-sanga. This is because love of God is present in the hearts of Vaisnavas.

This is why Krsna wanted to bring everyone to Vrndavana, to the Vrajavasis. He wanted everyone to take shelter of the Vrajavasis, to learn their nature, and to learn how they take care of all the animals and plants in Vraja. By doing this, God automatically becomes pleased. There is no need of other paraphernalia to worship God. But, if you don’t have relationship with the bhaktas or the Vrajavasis, you will be dry. You may think about God, but this is only the impersonal brahma. You will do yoga, chanting OM again and again. You will be independent. This yoga is not real yoga. Yoga means to connect. There must be a meeting-place where everyone is together. Here we are all doing yoga. We hear hari-katha and do kirtana, and in this way we connect to God. When you come here, your mind naturally remembers Krsna and God. You do not need perform yoga externally, or forcefully try to purify your mind, because it would quickly become dirty again. Simply stay in good association of Vaisnavas and serve God in that company. Do not worry about anything else. 33 crores of demigods will maintain everything. Here, you can take prasadam without worrying about cooking or arranging anything. But, if you are alone, you have to go to the market, cook, clean, and earn money to pay for everything. However, here everything is arranged because we are connected to God and His family. So, everything goes on naturally. This is natural samadhi or natural yoga. It is not artificial.

How can we please God? To please God we must follow the instructions of the Guru-varga, Vaisnavas, and the Gosvamis. What is their desire for us? We should stay in the association of devotees, those who are related to the Guru-varga and the Vrajavasis.

Sandipani Muni’s mother is Paurnamasi. She is also the grandmother of Madhumangala. She serves all the Vrajavasis, and she solves all problems in Vraja and takes care of everyone there. She has white hair, an effulgent golden body, and she is slim. She does not eat grains. She only takes milk, buttermilk, and fruits. Day and night she is engaged in service which is pleasing to all the Vrajavasis. When the bhaktas are happy, then God is automatically happy. She teaches to chant mantra incessantly, but alone you cannot please God, or attain the perfection of yoga. However, if you are with devotees, then you are naturally connected to God. Krsna advices,

yat karoshi yad asnasi
yaj juhoshi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurushva mad-arpanam
—Bhagavad Gita 9.27

“Whatever you eat, whatever you wear, wherever you go and whatever work you do, do it as an offering to Me.”

How does one practically and naturally do this? Only the bhaktas do this without any difficult sense-control.

When we hear the glories of the Vrajavasis, or when we chant harinama and try to follow the rules of bhakti, we should simply pray to the Vrajavasis, or simply be present with the devotees, and then naturally, by their mercy, you will quickly advance and always be engaged in bhakti. It is not possible to collect good qualities by your own effort.

Yesterday, we heard about the specialties of Madhumangala. Madhumangala is always pleasing Krsna through hasya-rasa, or laughter. We pray to Madhumangala. By his mercy, we can become light-hearted and free from duplicity.

Now, we will hear more about the glories of Paurnamasi, and about her nature. Then, respect for her will come to us, and we can pray to her lotus-feet for service and relationship with the Vrajavasis. Paurnamasi grants all perfection. When you wake in the morning, you should pray to Paurnamasi. Every day when Gurudeva woke, he would pray:

vinyasa-vijnam vrajavanditanghrim
sri paurnamasim sirasa namami

By remembering Paurnamasi, we attain all perfection. If you come to Vraja-mandala and remember Paurnamasi, then she will arrange everything for your advancement. For example, if you want to do arati but you do not have any ghee-lamp, then the ghee-wicks come, and the lamp appears. When you cannot light the ghee-wick because you do not have any lighter, then the lighter also comes. This is all arranged by Paurnamasi-devi. You want to go on Govardhana-parikrama and pray to Paurnamasi, and then, if you do not have a ride, someone will pick you up on a car.

Once, when the bhaktas went to the Jagannatha temple, it began to rain so much. Then, someone came and picked them all up, and took them back to the temple.

When someone has a desire for Krsna’s service and prays to Paurnamasi, then she immediately arranges everything for the maintenance, good association, healthcare, and everything. This is her capacity for service. Even if you are foolish, she will inspire you on how to do everything properly.

She is the disciple of Narada Rsi. She meets him at Narada-kunda. He stays there to pray for the blessings of Radharani. There, he is Narada-gopi. Paurnamasi is always happy and smiling. Her color is fair and golden, and her hair is white. She is tall. Every day, Nanda Maharaja and the Vrajavasis go to her and offer obeisance, and take the dust from her feet and smear it on their bodies. If a person whose body is weak and diseased takes the dust from the feet of the Vaisnavas or Vaisnavis such as Paurnamasi, then they become very strong and healthy.

Paurnamasi’s brother is called Devaprastha. On his sister’s order, Devaprastha protects Vraja like a general. He has the siddhi that he can go wherever he wants in an instant simply by remembering his sister Paurnamasi. Don’t think that this is an ordinary perfection. If you remember your Gurudeva, then he will empower you.

My Guru Maharaja would never tell anyone where he would go; he would go to any bhakta’s house without any prior notice. He would never announce this. Once, he went to Laksmi-Janardanapura in Sundarvana. The area is a jungle. Many poor people live there in straw-huts nearby the river. In the morning and evening all the villagers did kirtana and worshiped their Guru Maharaja. On their Guru Maharaja’s birthday, they desired to make a big feast. They were poor, but they still made some kicari. They thought, “How will we offer this to Gurudeva? We want him to directly take this.” They did kirtana, and they were crying. Then, they suddenly saw Guru Maharaja walking into their village. It was raining, and he had one sevaka with him who has holding an umbrella. They thought, “Is this a dream, or is it him directly?” They made only kicari; they had nothing else to offer to him. There was no road even to that village. People came by boat across the river, and there was mud at the landing area. Despite this, so many people came for the program even without invitation. All the villagers brought milk, and they made sweet-rice, and many different sweets and preparations for their Gurudeva. Guru Maharaja reached there at one in the afternoon, and for the rest of the day, they made a huge program. Everyone was astonished.

Similarly, Devaprastha can arrange programs like this. If any Vrajavasis has a problem or has something short, then Devaprastha can appear there immediately and arrange everything. He does not need any boat or car. By the power of his mind, he can appear everywhere.

Sometimes, Yasoda Mata cries, “Oh, Krsna has gone far away. It is evening, and He is still not back. There is no dust in the sky that indicates that they are coming. Certainly, some great disaster must have befallen Him. Some demon must have attacked Him.” She prays to Paurnamasi, and Paurnamasi sends Devaprastha. Devaprastha goes and looks at everything, and then sends news back to Yasoda saying, “Don’t worry. Krsna is coming from the other side of Nandagram. You haven’t seen Him? He has already reached Pavana-sarovara, and He is bathing there in the lake and the cows are drinking water.” Then, Yasoda Mata, Rohini, and everyone else in Nanda-bhavana run and find Krsna smiling at Pavana-sarovara. He came earlier, but from a different side. Then, Krsna runs and embraces Yasoda and hides under her shawl and drinks her breast-milk. He would drink her breast-milk even when He was seven or eight years old. Yasoda mata would then melt in the mood of vatsalya-rasa. She weeps and says, “Why are You so cruel? Why did You come home late today? I was so worried.”

Devaprastha, the brother of Paurnamasi, has all mystic powers. Yogamaya Paurnamasi has millions of times greater mystic powers than Maya-devi.

In 1996, I requested Srila Gurudeva, “Why are you going alone to the west? Take some strong people, who will protect you. You are now aged, and what if people attack you? Please don’t go like this.”

Gurudeva responded, “You are foolish. You don’t know anything. I am not alone. Bhagavati Yogamaya has arranged everything already. She first makes a platform everywhere, and she invites devotees and arranges the meetings. What could I possibly do alone? Everything is arranged by Paurnamasi.”

When Gurudeva returned, I heard about all the programs, and I was astonished to hear how many places Gurudeva had gone to and how enthusiastic all the devotees had been. There were no difficulties. There was no fighting or conflicts.

Paurnamasi is very famous. Whoever remembers and follows her will also become famous, and they will also be yogendra, sense controlled and powerful. They will be revered and respected like spiritual masters, and they will understand how to help other jivas. They will never be hopeless or weak. On the other hand, those who are independent and do everything according to their own ideas will become hopeless and fail in all respects. A king is respected in his own country, but a very learned person is respected everywhere he goes–sva-dese pujyate rajan, sarvatra pujyate vidvan.

In Vraja, there is a very small bird called kusuma. The bird is named like this because he looks like a flower, kusuma, and he smells very sweet. When we respect Paurnamasi and Devaprastha, then our hearts become very fragrant like this flower. Then, there are always ever-fresh moods of serving Krsna coming in our hearts.

Devaprastha has large eyes like Jagannatha. He sees everything. Yogamaya performs two types of services i.e. atma-mohini and unmukha-mohini. Atma-mohini means that if you are serving the senses and mind, she will make you serve the soul. Then, there is unmukha-mohini. This means that she will make the soul qualified to serve the Supreme Soul. Then, you will be focused, and you will only serve the supreme soul Paramatma, or Krsna. She gives these two types of potencies. If you are connected to the power of atma-mohini, Paurnamasi will make you feel great sadness in your heart when you neglect the chanting of harinama for one day. When you are connected to atma-mohini, you will always be enthusiastic to perform bhakti, and if there is some obstacle in the performance of your bhakti, you will be very distressed. Then, you will be disinclined to all things that come from Maha-maya. An ordinary materialist might arrange a Janmastami festival, but this is not the same as when a bhakta arranges Janmastami. A bhakta fasts the whole day and night. He only takes caranamrta after Krsna’s bath at midnight. Everyone would be attracted to the program of this bhakta. A materialist may arrange so many external ceremonies, but people would not feel anything special there. They only have a competitive mood, and there would be no sweetness. But, wherever the bhaktas are, everyone dances, sings, and relishes bhakti-rasa.

On the different festivals in Puri, like Baladeva Purnima, brahmacaris were doing kirtana throughout the whole day. Upstairs, there were also professional kirtanyas, who sang many things with an artificial mood, and nobody went there. But in the temple room, the brahmacaris were doing kirtana from morning to evening and everyone was present there. This is because it is natural and the brahmacaris have bhakti. They follow Yogamaya, not Mahamaya. The paid kirtanyas upstairs only did kirtana because they wanted money, and therefore they are connected to Mahamaya. This is the difference. When one is connected to the higher potency, then his performance of bhakti is naturally very attractive.

Yogamaya arranges for the Gopis to easily meet with Krsna. She does not arrange any svakiya-lila. Everything she arranges is parakiya. We are all present here, but none of us are related by blood. We are not brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, wives, or husbands, but we are here respecting each other and acting like one family, without any doubt for each other. This is parakiya-lila. Here, we all have clean hearts, although there is no blood-relation. Paurnamasi can make this heart-to-heart relationship. Svakiya-lila is a blood relationship, but not necessarily a heart-to-heart relationship. In svakiya-lila, you have to have some legal process. You go to court where you sign some papers in front of a judge, and then you become officially married. But here, this is parakiya-lila, and therefore there is no need for any legal process. You are not even disciples, and I am not Guru. We are all related by parikiya-rasa.

In Dvaraka, there is svakiya-lila. When Krsna left Dvaraka, all of Dvaraka was destroyed. Everything sunk in the ocean. However, in Vraja-bhumi there is parakiya-lila. The Vrajavasis’ love is overwhelmingly directed to Krsna. They do not think about anyone else. In every moment, Srimati Radharani’s moods of love towards Krsna appear as different figures. When She has a certain mood to serve Krsna, that mood appears in a deity-from, like a manjari or gopi, and that sakhi begins to serve Krsna. When She desires to serve Krsna with flowers, then gardens with flowers of all varieties of sizes, colors and fragrances manifest. Paurnamasi-devi arranges these different services, and she makes everyone related through love. Therefore, they are always enthusiastic.

Raghunatha dasa Gosvami worships and remembers Paurnamasi-devi. The sadhaka should seriously follow Bhagavati Paurnamasi by the example of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Without her mercy we cannot enter Vrndavana and understand Vraja-rasa and Vraja-bhakti. We take shelter of Bhagavati Paurnamasi and pray to her that she may fulfill our desire to serve Krsna and be with the Vrajavasis.

The next verse describes Nanda Maharaja’s friend whose son’s name is Sridama. He has a lot of affection for his son, but he has even more affection for his daughter Radharani. His name is Vrsabhanu Maharaja. He is not so tall, but his heart is large. His skin is of a golden color, he is fifty years of age, and his beard and hair are long. In the summer-season, the sun heats the earth up to fifty degrees Celsius. Similarly, Vrsabhanu has power like the sun. His vatsalya-sneha is like an ocean. Srimati Radharani is his daughter, and he is always engaged in serving Her. He serves with his jnanendriya, karmendriya, and with the five elements and all his senses.

This world is made with so many different elements and senses. They do not have so much power compared to anything spiritual. The body composed of the five elements cannot tolerate harsh weather, insults, and so forth, because the elements are very weak in the body. If you make a building, but you do not use strong materials, then the building can easily collapse. The body made of five elements is not very strong. It is a gift given by Maya-devi with a lease and it will only last for a certain amount of time. However, when one, by the mercy of Baladeva Prabhu and Paurnamasi devi, receives a spiritual body of a Vrajavasi, then such a transcendental body is eternal. It does not degenerate.

Krsna is in Nandagrama, very far from Varsana. The sakhis come walking from villages like Uccagaon and Kamaiya. They carry all ingredients to cook when Krsna goes to the forest. But, they never become tired or weak. They are always engaged in service. When Krsna returns back to Nandagram, they go there and serve even before He arrives there. They are always engaged in service, but they never become depressed or unenthusiastic.

When we do things, or even when we do not do anything, we are still tired and we have no enthusiasm. We are lethargic, sick, and weak. In Vraja, it is not like this. Everyone is full of spiritual strength. When the Vrajavasis come to this world, like the Guru-varga, then they are always engaged in service. From the early morning until the late evening, they are always engaged in service.

Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s vatsalya-rasa is like the sun of spiritual energy. Do not think him to be an ordinary person. He has so much love for Radharani and is always engaged in serving Her. Kirtida devi, Mukhara, and the four brothers Subhanu, Brhadbhanu, Bhanu, and Vrsabhanu make many places, like mana-ghara, dhana-ghara, vilasa-ghara, mora-kuti, for Radharani’s service. There, they make gardens, waterfalls, and lakes and everything is decorated and nicely arranged for Radharani to play in. Vrisabhanu Maharaja makes everything for Radharani.

Radharani sometimes goes to play in Vrisabhanukora or Radhabaga. There are many swings and slides, and the many different animals, like even the crocodiles, are engaged in assisting Her plays. When Radharani plays in the water, She sits on the crocodiles or on big tortoises that are like boats, moving around with the different sakhis. Vrsabhanu Maharaja arranges everything for his daughter’s happiness in Varsana. All the animals in Varsana are waiting to serve, and they understand the instructions given by Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Vrsabhanu Maharaja and Nanda Maharaja have a very close friendship. They both have great love for each other’s children, Radha and Krsna. Vrsabhanu Maharaja has Sridama as a son. He has love for Sridama, but he has much more love for Radharani.

In the Padma Purana, it is described how Narada Rsi came to Varsana after Radharani appeared there. He had the desire to have darsana of Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s daughter. Narada Rsi met with Vrsabhanu and Kirtida and asked them if they had any daughter. They said, “We have a new born daughter, but She does not open Her eyes. She is very small and She is sleeping inside a soft cotton bed. Please bless Her so that She will open Her eyes and will begin to dink something. Please benedict us like this.”

Narada Rsi called Vrsabhanu Maharaja and said, “Even the demigods do not understand the glories of your daughter. You don’t understand the value of Her footprints. Lord Narayana’s consort is Laksmi, and this very Laksmi is now residing in your house. Don’t think your daughter to be ordinary. She is the embodiment of all Laksmis. You should very seriously care of Her. After some time, you will be able to realize Her glories. O Vrsabhanu, I have come to see your daughter, and once I have had darsana of Her, I will leave. Don’t forget my advice. Don’t think that this is an ordinary girl. She is Maha-laksmi Herself. Millions of Maha-Laksmis emanate from the toenails of Your daughter. Such are Her glories. She is the root of all transcendental potencies.” Narada Rsi then offered pranama and prayers to Radharani, and after that he resided at Narada-kunda.

Tomorrow, we will hear the twenty-seventh verse.

Gaura Premanande Haribol!

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