At the time of perfecting one’s bhajana, one goes to Vraja-maṇḍala in one’s eternal siddha–svarūpa, with a desire for service. Rādhārānī gives some blessing, which comes through Rūpa Mañjarī, to Rati Mañjarī, through the mañjarīs to Gurudeva and then to the perfected disciples.
We must be firm in our dedication: “I will follow close in Śrīla Gurudeva’s footsteps. He gave harināma and dīkṣā. I will chant these in brāhma-muhūrta and be with him. Then automatically his heart will melt and a flow of mercy and inspiration will come in my heart.”
Now Kṛṣṇa saw that Rati Mañjarī had come.
“Bring My shawl,” Rādhārānī had told Rati Mañjarī. She walked through the inner kuñja and came outside, where Kṛṣṇa met her.
“Do you know Rūpa Mañjarī?” He asked. “Where is she? How can I meet with her?” He was very greedy. “Please help me just once. I want to ask for forgiveness. What I did was improper. She is very honest and chaste. I promise not to disturb her anymore. Let her know that I pray she may one day be pleased with Me.”
Rati Mañjarī went inside a cave without answering. Without the permission of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, she didn’t speak or look at Kṛṣṇa.
Rati Mañjarī is Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Some say that Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is Rasa Mañjarī or Tulasī Mañjarī. Vaiṣṇavas see according to their own position. However, our Śrīla Gurudeva describes that Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī in his siddha-svarūpa serves the Divine Couple as Rati Mañjarī.
If anyone follows rāgamayī–sevā, then Kṛṣṇa Himself will come thousands of times to that person. There will be no need to take shelter of any other process to please Him; He will automatically be very pleased.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays:
prabhur api yadunandano ya eṣa
mama kṛtavaṁs tam ahaṁ guruṁ prapadye
Let me surrender to my spiritual master, Yadunandana Ācārya. Being a powerful and dear devotee of the Supreme Lord, he sprinkled the nectar of his mercy upon me.
“One Yadunandana is Kṛṣṇa, but His nearest and dearest, my beloved Guru-pāda-padma, is also named Yadunandana. He is the embodiment of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy; therefore, he is my guru. I took shelter of him and he also accepted me. He offered me to the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu, made my relation with Svarūpa Dāmodara, and gave me service under guidance of Rūpa Gosvāmī.”
Kṛṣṇa–mantra is given by diksa-guru and śikṣā-guru teaches vraja-bhakti or rāgānuga-bhakti. Sometimes dīkṣā-guru also accepts the position of śiksa-guru. With respect to dīkṣā-guru, the disciple has a mood of awe and reverence, but śiksa-guru is like one’s dear friend, with him everything can be openly discussed. If one disrespects dīkṣā-guru, that is a great problem in the life of a sādhaka, but śiksa-guru is always helping and is not disturbed if one perchance misbehaves.
A mother always takes care of her babies. If babies are angry and sometimes break or destroy things, their mother is never angry with them. This is a mundane example.
Siksa-guru, however, is millions of times more kind than a mother.
Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī now glorifies his dīkṣā-guru, Yadunandana Ācārya: “My Guru Mahārāja took me out of māyā; he gave me power to renounce all material things. If my Guru-pāda-padma did not accept me, I couldn’t have given up anything. My body is with me since millions of lives and I am very attached to it. Because of my Guru-pāda-padma’s mercy and power, I had no taste or attachment to my beautiful young wife, wealth, or anything. After that, so much respect followed me, but Gurudeva protected me; he always gave a strong boundary so that nothing could come inside and disturb me. If Guru-pāda-padma didn’t protect me, then I could never progress.”
In the fifth verse, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī prays:
yo māṁ dustara-geha-nirjala-mahā-kūpād apāra-klamāt
sadyaḥ sāndra-dayāmbudhiḥ prakṛtitaḥ svairī kṛpā-rajjubhiḥ
uddhṛtyātma-saroja-nindi-caraṇa-prāntaṁ prapadya svayaṁ
śrī-dāmodara-sac-cakāra tam ahaṁ caitanyacandraṁ bhaje
I worship Lord Caitanya-candra, the supremely independent ocean of mercy, who with His ropes of mercy quickly lifted me from the endlessly troublesome dry well of household life, from which escape is very difficult, who gave me the shelter of His feet which rebuke the beauty of lotuses, and who gave me to Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī.
Who understands the glories of Śrīla Gurudeva? If someone sends a poor helpless person to school, maintains him in every way, and takes care of him attentively, then when he becomes a post graduate, and thereafter a minister, he thinks, “This person was so kind to me. I was a poor orphan with no helper; I was suffering in the street and no one gave me one drop of water or food, but that person always helped me.”
Similarly, if anyone crosses māyā, he will be somewhat able to understand the glories of Guru-pāda-padma and guru-mantra. At the time of svarūpa-siddhi he will understand Gurudeva’s position. Śrīla Gurudeva will also arrange śiksa-guru for his disciples to help them achieve svarūpa-siddhi. If Guru-pāda-padma doesn’t arrange this, then we will go running the wrong way. There is then a big problem.
If there is no attachment with Gurudeva, then we will only have relation with māyā and her family. Relatives will tell us, “This is your mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, grandfather, and grandmother.” But Gurudeva gives the identity of our soul and our soul’s family.
“Oh! Where are you going?” Gurudeva exclaims, “go to Vṛndāvana, Jagannātha Purī, and Navadvīpa-dhāma. Stay with Vaiṣṇavas, they will protect you. Chant harināma there, pray in the morning, hear hari-kathā and take mahā-prasāda.” This is Gurudeva’s arrangement and protection. He teaches and helps us, giving us the disposition to gradually progress. This is his causeless mercy. If we forget that Guru-pāda-padma, we will lose everything! And if we always offer obeisance to him with respect, then we will cross māyā and enter Vraja.
Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī says, “Aho! These senses and family are so attractive. Young age! Wealth! An opulent kingdom! I had everything. This is mahā–andha-kūpa, a deep, dark well. How can I escape from this? This is impossible for me. O Gurudeva! You are so kind. You are an ocean of mercy. He Gurudeva! On one side my nature pulls me, ‘Come, come, there is a nice bed, wife, and all enjoyment! Young age, wealth, everything is available to enjoy.’ On the other side you throw your rope of mercy into this well of family life and pull me up, saying, ‘Hey! Don’t look at this side.’ You sent Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Balarāma Ācārya, Advaita Ācārya, and the Gosvāmīs.”
Haridāsa Ṭhākura never went near any king. This is not the nature of sādhus. It is impossible! He would not go to the homes of wealthy men and beg for any wealth. But he went to the home of the aristocrats Hiranya-Govardhana just to see Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
When I came to Mathurā, Śrīla Gurudeva taught me, “Never go and beg, ‘Oh, give me one paisa, one rupee.’ Only beg for the mercy of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, the powerful transcendental personalities in Vraja-maṇḍala, and the Gosvāmīs. Pray to them. Don’t be greedy for anything mundane.” In this world, if Guru and Vaiṣṇavas don’t help us, then the illusory energy of the Lord defeats everyone; it smashes us and makes us into halavā and chutney. Then people lick, eat and destroy us, and pass us out like stool. If Guru and Vaiṣṇavas protect us, our backbone will be strong, and our health and wealth will be God’s property, dedicated only for His service.
Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “How is your mercy? Aho! You took me out of this deep well, and offered me at the lotus feet of Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Svarūpa Dāmodara. I could not understand this at that time. You are not cruel to me, but very kind. Caitanya-candra is the independent Lord.
But you prayed for my sake; He then accepted me and always took care of me. He offered me to Svarūpa Dāmodara, who then taught me everything; all this is your mercy.”
Dāsa Gosvāmī first offered obeisances to guru, then to śiksa-guru, and Caitanya-candra. This is the proper process. He says, “Without water, a fish suffers and will leave its body in a minute. The soul is inside the body and is always suffering without love and affection. After sometime it leaves the body, but you watered me with bhakti-rasa, saving my life, saving my soul. And you took me out of the small well of suffering in family life and brought me to the great ocean of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s unlimited mercy. And He offered me to Svarūpa Dāmodara. Now there is no shortness of anything. How much water is present in a small well? One day this will be dry and short. But the great ocean of Caitanya-candra’s mercy will never be finished.”
Only Guru-pāda-padma who is rāgānugā can give this anurāga to his disciples. He is perfectly able to protect and save them.
Ordinary gurus have no spiritual power. After sometime the disciples leave their guru, and guru leaves his disciples, and everyone runs here and there. Why? They have no link, there is no one watering the soul, they have no rasa. Thus they are dry and suffer.
Our beloved Śrīla Gurudeva is not like this. He bestows bhakti-rasa and gives us life and nourishment so that we can grow and one day attain our svarūpa-siddhi. He arranges so that we can obtain this rasa. This is the nature of a pure guru. Mundane gurus give initiation, take some donation, fill their pockets, and then run away, not thinking about the progress of their disciples’ souls. Our Guru-varga is not like this. Therefore this line is running on.
Babies don’t understand the help and nourishment of their mother’s breast milk. Anything the Guru-varga gives to the conditioned souls is like pure nourishing milk, but the ignorant souls have no knowledge of this great mercy. However, when they meet with śiksa-guru, he can teach and make them qualified; then they can understand guru’s glory.
If we don’t hear this Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, then how can we understand guru and bhakti? And those who say, “Don’t read, you have no qualification,” actually think, “Oh! You are hiding and suffering in deep and dark wells, rotting there in the sewer plants of material life. This is good for you.”
Is this called spiritual instruction? No. If anyone is not greedy for this, then how has he come to guru? If you have no desire to cross māyā and enter the eternal world, then why have you come to this line? Why have you come here? The Guru-varga strongly teaches us. Therefore this book is present, Dāsa Gosvāmī is present, his advice is present, his philosophy and example is present. By following this, spiritual power will come to you; love, faith, and respect will come. Then you will never lose anything. Then you won’t think, “I have lost my Gurudeva. My Gurudeva has departed.” What is the meaning of departure?
Gurudeva is eternal, God is eternal, and relation with them is eternal. How does this question come to you?
Is Gurudeva ash or smoke? Is he dust or anything mundane? No. To understand our Gurudeva’s glories we must come near the Gosvāmīs, who will teach us the nature of Gurudeva and how Śrīla Gurudeva is present even now, bestowing his mercy.
Saṁsāra-phukāra kāne nā paṣibe: we will then not hear the talks of ordinary people. Gurudeva will protect us. He makes a protected area for his sincere disciples so that mundane people don’t come and torture them with their mundane desires. They will not come and say, “Come, come with me, make relation with me. I will be your lover. You are my friend. Let’s go to the park and the movies.”
By drinking this bhakti-rasa, you will have no more desire or thirst for material life and shall follow bhakti very seriously.
Pray everyday with this Vilāpa-kusumāñjali. For those who pray, entering eternal life is not hard, but if we don’t follow this line, we will waste millions more lives wandering in māyā.
Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Vilāpa-kusumāñjali”. Available from: firstname.lastname@example.org )