[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, Holland 1996, the first book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]

Srila Rupa Gosvami told Anupama Prabhu, “Rama has no rasa. He cannot dance. In his entire life, Rama has never danced, even in His home. He cannot dance with His brothers—Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Shatrugna. He does not know how to dance.” Krsna can fight and vanquish many demons like how Rama did, but Krsna can dance sweetly with His sakhas like Subala and Sridhama and especially with the gopis. Krsna can sing so sweetly but we have not heard of Rama singing sweetly. Rama has no bosom friends. He cannot embrace anyone. He will not embrace Vibhisana, or even Lakshmana. If He will embrace Sita, He will do so in a quiet, lonely place, within any room during the night. But He will never do so within the sight of others. Rama has no bosom friends like the friends of Krsna in Vraja. On seeing Rama, Vibhisana will pay his respects, and say, “Oh Prabhu!” Sugriva and Rama made a fire sacrifice and took a vow that said, “Now we are friends.” But Sugriva never sat on Rama’s throne or bed. Sugriva is a dasa (servant) of Rama.

Similarly, in the pastimes of Dvarakadisa, His associates like Akrura and Uddhava are also servants. Moreover, he is the sakha (friend) and prime minister of Krsna, who gives advice to Him. He is Krsna’s everything but He cannot sit with Krsna and embrace Him. He cannot give his remnants to Krsna. He is bound to have some maryada. He cannot transgress the mood of dignity that Krsna, the Lord of lords has. The Lord of Dvaraka knows everything, He never forgets anything. But in Vraja, Krsna’s omniscience is forgotten by everyone—including Krsna. The Vrajavasis like the sakhas play with Krsna and tumble on each other in their frolicsome games. They will give their remnants to Krsna. They are always like this. If Krsna is sleeping, Madhumangala and Subala will go and address Krsna as, “O Sale!” Do you know what this means? It is a gali, an abuse of Vraja. If Krsna is still sleeping, He will be shook from His slumber by His dear friends. They will exclaim, “Get up! Hurry! The cows are waiting.” Any of the residents of Dvaraka cannot behave with Krsna in this way. In their Krsna dasya (the inherent nature of servitude to Krsna), every soul has a special relationship with Krsna. By their svarupa (intrinsic nature), every soul is a servant of Krsna. Subala and Sridhama are also a special kind of servants. So are Yasoda Maiya and Nanda Baba. The gopis are the dasis (maidservants) of Krsna. Though Garga rsi, Sandilya rsi, and Sandipani muni are the gurus of Krsna in His pastimes, they are His eternal servants. All are the servants of Krsna. But, in the dictionary of Goloka Vrindavana, the word “dasa” (servant) and “dasi” (maidservant) do not exist. There, everyone is addressed as, “Sakhi, sakha, mother, and other names filled with sweetness.”

If anyone is the servant of Dvarakadisa by his constitutional position, then he will be fixed in the worship of Dvarakadisa. We should not interfere with his worship. We should duly regard them, like how Gopa-kumara did. We have so much regard for Uddhava, but we don’t want to be like Uddhava. We want to be the maidservant of Srimati Radhika and serve Her under the guidance of Rupa-manjari, Rati-manjari, Lalita, and Visaka. According to the constitution of their atma (soul), some souls may be the servant of Rama. You should not deter them from their worship.

So, Rupa Gosvami told Anupama Prabhu, “Rama cannot dance. He has no sakha (friend). In the relationship to Rama, Vatsalya bhava is reduced to half. It is not full. So, you should try to serve the Divine Couple—Sri Radha and Krsna.”

Anupama Prabhu replied, “You are my guru and my elder brother also. From tomorrow, I will worship Sri Radha and Krsna.” Anupama Prabhu then proceeded to take rest. Contemplating on the object of his worship, he began to weep.

He tearfully thought, “How can I leave the lotus feet of Rama? If I do so, I will die at once.”

Anupama Prabhu spent the entire duration of the night—sleepless. In the morning, he went to Srila Rupa Gosvami and fell flat at his lotus feet. He said, “You are my Gurudeva and elder brother. I want to always obey you, but I cannot obey this order of yours. I cannot leave the service of Rama. If I forsake His seva, I will die at once.” Anupama Prabhu then began to weep loudly.

Rupa Gosvami embraced him and said, “You are the best and bonafide devotee. You should not give up the service of Rama. You should continue serving His lotus feet.”

After some time, when the brothers were on their way to Jagannatha Puri to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Anupama Prabhu thought, “In this life, I cannot abandon the worship of Sri Rama. So, I must die and through sadhu sanga, I will cultivate the worship of Sri Radha and Krsna from the beginning of my next life.”

Determined to fulfill this resolve, Anupama Prabhu left his body in the middle of the way. After performing the last rites of his brother, Rupa Gosvami went to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu alone.

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