One time when Gurudeva was with our Param Gurudeva, he said, “Oh Guru Maharaja, I was very strong and restless before. I would do the high jump, the long jump, I would race horses, coming to the Temple I would also be very busy and fully engaged, but now my body is not working.” Why? Srila Gurudeva did so much vairagya – renunciation, he even got ulcers from the fasting he would do.
Srila Gurudeva asked, “I have no strength with my body now. What should I do now?” Srila Param Gurudeva replied, “Oh this is Bhagavan’s great mercy, otherwise if we just go on the karma-marga, the path of action, we might become full of pride thinking we are great doers, but now you do not have to worry about anything. Now you can sit, chant harinama, study the granthas, and taking shelter of the granthas, you should translate the books. In your mind you can do all these services. In your mind you can give all your energy to the Lords service. With our body there is some limitation, but there is no limitation in the service we can do with our mind. By serving with the body, and showing this to everyone, we may become full of pride.”
Therefore, you should engage not only your body, but also your mind. Srila Rupa Goswami gave this instruction:
smṛtyoḥ krameṇa rasanā-manasī niyojya
tiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi janānugāmī
kālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram (Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Sloka 8)
“The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one’s full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord’s divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one’s tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vṛndāvana dhāma] and serve Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service.”
How can we do this? Krameṇa means the body, rasanā means the tongue, and niyojya, means the mind. Here it is said rasanā-manasī, meaning engage the rasanā, the tongue, and manasī, the mind. Simply engaging the body is not enough. The body should become fully absorbed, but the process to do that, is through the mind. If your mind is fully engaged, then your body will run along behind. If your body is crippled, or if you are old and cannot do it, still you can always do everything with your mind, and there will be no lacking.
GRANTHA SEVA AND MANASI SEVA
Srila Gurudeva was therefore told to study the books and translate them into hindi from bengali and sanskrit. He would say, “After Srila Keshava Maharaja would instruct me like this, I would spend more time on grantha seva and internal manasi seva. When Srila Keshava Maharaja would stay in Mathura for one month, he would read all the books in the library and correct them if there were any mistakes, and he would also teach them to me. Previously I had been very fast, strong, quick and always physically engaged, but now my Guru Maharaja wanted me to study the books of the Goswami’s. In this way he told me to take shelter of the Gosvamis and become connected to them.”
GOSVAMIS BOOKS COME TO GURUDEVA
Srila Prabhupada Saraswati Thakur had a special disciple who lived in Bihar. He had an ashram there, but he saw that his disciples were not so qualified. He lamented that they were all absorbed in an enjoying mood and trying to steal just like dacoits. He explained, “Many people come with the name of followers, in Hindi you say ‘chela’ but they are only thieves and dacoits trying to disturb and destroy Guru and steal everything from him.” Therefore, he didn’t want to give them anything. He took a whole truck full of the Gosvamis books that he had collected, and brought them to Keshavji Gaudiya Math in Matura. He said to Srila Gurudeva, “Srila Prabhupada came to me in a dream and told me to bring these all to you.”
He came to Keshavji Gaudiya Math in the evening with the truck load of books, then in the morning he met with Srila Gurudeva saying, “All these books are from Srila Bhaktisidhanta Prabhupada’s time. Books of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur and the Goswamis. I have brought them all for you because you are so qualified, please take them. My disciples are in name only, and what will they do with these books? They will burn them to heat water for warm baths, or to boil chai. They do not understand the value of these books, or the Goswamis.”
He brought all these books and gave them to Srila Gurudeva. Param Gurudeva heard about this and was very happy. Param Gurudeva came himself and sat down and made a wooden armoire, cupboard and shelves with his own hands and then he placed all the books there. Param Gurudeva said to Gurudeva, “The Goswamis have given you so much mercy. They have all come directly and accepted you. Now you should be fully engaged in studying them and translating them.
Srila Param Gurudeva himself would read them day and night and mark where there were any mistakes. Why? Many of these books were published by sahajiyas, so there were many incorrect things that had been added by them. Param Gurudeva would correct these things and take them out. At the end of his stay he asked Srila Gurudeva, “May I take one or two books with me?” Gurudeva was amazed and said, “Oh Guru Maharaja, I am yours. Whatever is nearby me is also yours. I do not think for a moment that these are mine. Please therefore take everything.” But Param Gurudeva said, “Oh but why have they come? I asked you to be connected with the Goswamis, therefore they themselves came. They are yours now.”
At that time, to find these books of the Goswamis like Ujjvala Nilamani, Madhurya Kadambini, Aishwarya Kadambini, Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, Sanatana Goswami’s commentary of Damodarastakam and so forth, was not an easy task. These books were not easily available. Many hundreds of books came to Gurudeva.
Srila Prabhupada had such disciples who would bring books from all over India and collect them. This disciple of Srila Prabhupada who had collected these books was a grantha-premi, he had so much love for the granthas. Therefore he had collected all the different commentaries of the various acharyas. He had all the different acharyas commentaries on Srimad Bhagavatam, like Srila Jiva Goswami’s commentary and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur’s commentary. *He brought all the 108 different commentaries on the Srimad Bhagavatam.
Param Gurudeva said, “I will come here and I will read everything. In Caturmasya, or in Kartika, or at some other time, I will stay and read all these granthas. These are the direct forms of the Goswamis. This is the method to meet with them. This is sabda-brahma – transcendental sound. Therefore, take these books in your hands, is like chanting a mantra, the ‘mantra devata’ comes. By taking shelter of the granthas is the same as taking shelter of the mantra devatas. Even if you cannot read or understand them, keep them with you, put them on your heart, put them on your head, then you will be touching the Goswamis directly. These books of the Goswamis are non-different from the Goswamis themselves, and the Goswamis are non-different from the ‘Vraja-devis’, so take shelter of these bookse, respect them, and honor them. Gurudeva began translating all these books. He would do anusilana – take complete shelter of them, and then Srila Gurudeva began translating them into Hindi.
PUBLISHING THE GOSVAMI’S BOOKS AND DEFEATING MAYAVADIS
First, they published a book called Sahajiya Dhalan. They thought, first we will smash all the false conceptions of the apa-sampradayas like the, sahajiyas, sakhi-bekhis, smartas, truda dharis, and the Gauranga nagaris etc. Param Gurudeva then gave dictations on these and they printed and distributed them everywhere freely in India, especially in Vraja. They said, “Oh give up bad association then you can enter the real line and real process of Vraja-bhakti.” Then they began publishing the Goswamis books.
When all Param Gurudeva’s god-brothers began to see all these publications manifest they honored him so much. They began to distribute the books in Varanasi, Vrindavan, and in so many other places. At first people tried to challenge Param Gurudeva, but Param Gurudeva was very strong and he also had very strong disciples like our Pujapad Trivikrama Goswami Maharaja. When they challenged Param Gurudeva he said, “Oh mayavadis, we know what is the real Vedanta. You can challenge us and we are prepared to fight with you no problem.”
Srila Gurudeva read the Jaiva Dharma one hundred times. He said, “Until I have full realization of it, I will not translate it.” So Param Gurudeva then came and he himself read it and explained it to Srila Gurudeva and only then did Srila Gurudeva translate it into Hindi.
At that time a 16 or 17 year old boy named Krsna Swami came from Maharashtra. He came to Vraja searching for God and he met with Srila Gurudeva at the Mathura Math. After some days he became very qualified. Later on, he took sannyasa and received the name Padmanabha Maharaja from Param Gurudeva. He would help in the book publication department before he was Krsna Swami, he helped so much. Still there were so many books to publish and he needed more help, so Srila Gurudeva would go to Goverdhana and pray there.
What did Giriaja do? He saw some ‘santas’ – devotees at Uddhava kunda. Srila Gurudeva was doing kirtan and praying at Uddhava kunda. As long as we do not do kirtan of the Vraja-devis, Krsna will not be pleased with us in Vraja. To please Krsna we must glorify His associates that is the method to please Him. When we please Krsna in this way then automatically he will come to us. Uddhava followed this process and in this way, he received Krsna mercy. He glorified the Gopis with verse like:
āsām aho caraṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syām
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā
bhejur mukunda-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.61)
So Srila Gurudeva was there at Uddhava kunda and he met some devotees. They said to him, “Gurudeva you want to publish the Goswamis books. You have some desire for this. Now we will send you many sevaks and sevikas, many helpers. By your mercy they will be qualified and they will help you in so many ways.” Srila Gurudeva offered pranams to the ‘santas’. Uddhava kunda is a little before Radha kunda, so Srila Gurudeva then went to Radha kunda, bathed there and did stava stuthi. Everyday he would go on parikrama like this.
When Gurudeva finally returned to the math it was then like a whole new stage started. They were all very happy. Param Gurudeva came and asked, “Did the Goswamis give their mercy? Did they give their adesh?”
Srila Gurudeva replied, “Oh Guru Maharaja, you know everything. Everything is by your mercy.” Param Gurudeva said, “Now everyone has come to you. Everyone has given their blessings. Now you will become Visva-vijayi.”
Srila Gurudeva began his publications like Rasa Pancadhyayi and the other books of the Goswamis. He published forty, fifty, sixty books. At that time Srila Gurudeva did not make disciples, but many people came who were even more qualified than disciples. Srila Gurudeva was like a parakiya guru. At that time, they did not have computers so everything was done by hand. They would go to the press and lay down one letter at a time and then they would proofread it 5 or 10 times and finally print it. Later western devotees came and began helping with publication work and translating them into English.
This rasa of the Goswamis is present in sabda-brahma – transcendental sound and the Goswamis are present in their books. If we have not taken shelter of sabda-brahma, never drinking this rasa, then where will we get this knowledge or realization from?
Krsna came to give aprakrta rasa, but how did he give it? In which medium? Through the Goswamis. Before that no one even knew the name of Radharani. Her name is not in the Srimad Bhagavatam. They did not know Radha-rasa-suddha-niddhi or Rasa Pancadhyayi or Hamsadutta, Lalita Madhava, Vidagdha Madhava, Madhava Mahotsava, Ujjvala Nilamani, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. These books were all manifested by the Goswamis. The Goswamis gave all shakti in these books, and then Mahaprabhu gave them the instructions to distribute them everywhere. Srila Gurudeva received so much mercy from the Goswamis.
PREACHING OF THE GURUVARGA
One time when Sri Navadvipa parikrama was going on in Mayapur, the parikrama reached Yogapitha. First, they would go to the samadhi of Srila Prabhupada and offer obeisances. Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja, Prabhuji’s Guru Maharaja, was present, along with Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and Srila Gurudeva. Bhakti Hrdaya Bon Maharaja and Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja, as well as Bhakti Bhudeva Srauti Maharaja and many other big disciples, and acharyas who were disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada, also arrived in Mayapur and were present at that time.
They asked Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and Srila Gurudeva to give some harikatha. They said, “You are our guru-vargas we have come to hear from you, we are junior. Devananda Gaudiya Math would have 10 or 15 thousand people on parikrama, there was so much preaching going on.
Everyone came there and what happened? They said we have some desire. You have brought so many people here, and you are doing everything here, but I want to give them some aprakrta rasa. The acharyas said to them, You have given these many thousands of people with you such a rasa that they are all now following you, so please also give us something that you are giving them. You are giving this all to them, will you not give anything to us? So in this way they sweetly requested them, and taking that instruction Srila Gurudeva, Srila Vamana Maharaja and Srila Trivikrama Maharaja spoke.
First Srila Trivikrama Maharaja gave a speech, and then Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Goswami Maharaja. In those days they were all so happy in one collective voice they all said, “Oh now we have faith Srila Prabhupada’s line will continue. We have ashrams, but we do not have disciples qualified like you, like our Dada, our Vinodha Baba had. Now we have faith and confidence that this line will continue and we are very pleased with you. They gave so many blessings to them. Srila Param Gurudeva gave such great jewels. They would say, “Oh Vinodha gave such jewels.”
Guru varga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: email@example.com )