Thus, Suta Gosvami started speaking on the Bhagavatam to protect the Rsis from the faults of Kali Yuga. Presently, what is the main problem? Science has made so much advancement that even a new skull can be placed. We can go from one end of the earth to another within a very short time. Much advancement has been made from the kitchen to the development of atom bombs. It seems that earth can be held in one’s fist. If you want to go to India, then just sit in the airplane and you will reach by tomorrow morning. You can watch a cricket match or a football match in your house. All arrangements have been made. But these advancements have given birth to a problem that science is unable to solve.
How can a husband and wife love each other? Science has distanced their hearts; there is no love. A father and son do not love each other. Today, old houses are made for a person’s aged parents. Old people, who are neglected by their family members, stay in these old age homes. Why? A person can take care of a dog, but he cannot take care of his parents? So many such problems have come in this world. The bank balance of a wife is different from the husband’s. The bank balance of the children is different as well. Why is this? No one trusts each other. The qualities of the soul are disappearing. Man has now become like a machine. There is no peace and happiness in his heart.
When I go to Kolkata and Mumbai, I see that lakhs of people are on the streets. There is such a big crowd that people push each other and walk. But if one person falls on the ground, no one will pick him up. There is no love among people. Man has advanced so much; but where is the love? The main problem is that there is no love. If there was love, then this world would become Vaikuntha. But, it is very sad that there is no love between one another. People look after dogs because they trust dogs more than fellow humans. The dog will not betray them. If they call the dog, then wagging its tail, it will immediately come. But men don’t trust men. They don’t trust women also.
They think, “What if she leaves me and goes somewhere else?”
The women also think, “What if my husband leaves me and goes somewhere else?”
When a person cannot find solace anywhere, then he commits suicide. People don’t trust even God. This is the main problem of Kali Yuga. So, how will the Bhagavat help? The Bhagavat will help; just listen carefully. The Bhagavat will give what science cannot give. Science cannot answer the question, “Who am I?” Where does life go when the body becomes still and lifeless? Science does not have the answer to this question. If scientists become enlightened, then they will give the answer. The solutions to all forms of problems have been given in the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Bhagavat tells us how we can be happy and how we can love each other. Only by associating with each other in a loving manner, will we be happy in this world. Even donkeys and pigs eat food; but if there is no love, then all kinds of food will be tasteless.
Where will the soul go after leaving this body? Therefore, Suta Gosvami offered his obeisance to his Guru and started speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam. Narada Rsi is a topmost sage. He knows past, present, and future. There is no place in the universe where he cannot go. He doesn’t need a spaceship to go from one planet to another. He can travel by his mind in less than a moment. He is omniscient; he knows what every person thinks. In the course of his travels, he reached Haridvara. Haridvara is a place that lies on the banks of the Ganga. It is the gateway to the Himalayas. Hence, it is called Haridvara. There, he met his elder brothers—Sanak, Sanat, Sanatana, and Sanandana Kumara. These sages are always five years of age. They are always naked. They don’t eat any food. They don’t need air to breathe also. They are always wandering and enlightening people. They are the repositories of transcendental knowledge. There is no such thing that they are not enlightened about. Just by their glance, a dead person will be brought back to life. Whatever they say is bound to happen.
When Narada met the four brothers, they asked him, “Oh Narada, why have come here? Your face has dried up? You seem engrossed in thought? Why is this? Why are you sad?”
Narada replied, “I am very sad.”
“Why? You are a great devotee and are very knowledgeable.”
“What can I do? After Krsna ended His Dvaraka lila, I was wandering on this earth. I saw many astonishing sights.”
“What did you see?”
“I see that the sadhus are not what they were. They speak the Bhagavat to earn money and not for the benefit of people. They do kirtan to earn money also. They want to build big palaces for themselves. But they don’t want to make people’s hearts into temples. Men have become very greedy. They have made women their maidservants. When they so desire, they make the woman leave home. They are only concerned with money. And how are the women? Women have love for their husbands, but it is little. They are only concerned with decorating their hair. There is no celibacy in this world. The King has become a dacoit. He is only engaged in daylight robbery. Even hari-katha seems empty.
“Thus, I went in all four directions and found myself becoming very sad. I then reached Vrndavana. There, I saw something very strange. I saw that there was a young lady who had two sons. These sons were very aged. Their hairs were white and they were lying on the ground unconscious. The young lady was crying bitterly. When I came to where they were, the mother became very happy on seeing me.
She asked, ‘Are you Naradaji? I am very sad.’
‘Why are you sad?’
‘I was born in South India. After taking birth I went to Karnataka. There, I gradually grew. After that, I came to Maharastra. Then I came to Gujarat. When I came there, I gradually became old. My hair turned white and my sons became old as well. All three of us became old.’
‘Why did this happen?’
‘We were wandering. Now my sons don’t speak. They are only sleeping. They don’t get up. I brought them along with me to Vrndavana. When I came to Vrndavana, I became a young lady. But my sons remain as they are. I have tried waking them up, but they refuse to wake up. I cannot understand why this is happening.’
‘All right. I will do something by which your sons will wake up.’
Bhakti-devi told me, ‘Don’t go anywhere. I feel so blissful in your presence. I cannot understand why I am so happy.’
‘I will make your sons healthy again,’ thus I became absorbed in thought on what could be done for Bhakti-devi’s sons.
I took her sons everywhere. I took them to Haridvara; I took them on the banks of the Ganga. I took them to Prayaga. I took them everywhere. I had them take bath at all holy places. On their behalf, I gave so much charity. I did everything. I took them to South India also. I had them bathe in the ocean at Kanya-kumari. I had them bathe in the Godavari also. But nothing happened. I took them to Gaya also, but nothing happened. So, what should I do my dear brothers?” Narada Rsi asked the Four Kumaras.
Previously, Narada Rsi had become absorbed in a meditative trance and remembered his Lord. An aerial voice told him, “You need only try and everything will be all right. Bhakti-devi’s sons will become young again.”
Narada told his brothers, “I know that they will become all right, but why am I not able to help them? What should I do? I am determined that I will become successful in my endeavors. So, I wandered everywhere and have now, come here to Haridvara. Seeing all of you, I am hopeful that you will show me the right way. Thus, these children will become young and happy again.”
The Four Kumaras told Narada, “You are a devotee; you know everything. You do know how the sons of Bhakti-devi will become all right. But, to increase our prestige, you are doing this. Okay. Listen to the essence of the Srimad Bhagavatam. By listening to the Bhagavatam for seven days, Bhakti-devi’s sons will become their younger selves again. And all her desires will be fulfilled.”
There is so much potency in the Bhagavat and in Bhagavan’s names. Even very notorious persons change. There is so much potency in the words of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The Four Kumaras started speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Bhakti-devi heard the recital for seven days. The form of Bhakti-devi became more effulgent and her two sons became normal again. They became youths and smiling, spoke to their mother.
How can a person in this world achieve perfection and a spiritual form in the transcendental world? The path of spontaneous love and affection, rāga-mārga, is the means to achieve this svarūpa-siddhi as described in our Gauḍīya scriptures, such as Rāga-vartma-candrika. By following the guidance and example of rāgānugā-bhaktas, we can transcend this world and our material karma, saṁskāras and form, and take birth in transcendental Vraja. By the association of the eternally perfect associates of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vraja, we will imbibe all the processes of loving service.
Many people think they have no qualification to follow the rāgānugā-bhaktas or to even hear their teachings. This is like a meat-eater saying he cannot give up flesh and become a vegetarian because he will not have any strength. Or it is like a drug addict saying he cannot give up his addiction because it will drive him mad. We should not be afraid of giving up a lower path for a higher one. Some initial difficulty may be there, but in time, we will feel hundreds of times better than we did under the grip of our vices. Before the awakening of divine love, we are all under the spell of māyā. We are intoxicated by the illusions of material life. To become free of this, we must follow the footsteps of the rāgānugā-bhaktas on the rāga-mārga path.
Svarūpa-śakti Śrīmatī Rādhārānī sends Her dear associates to this world. They appear and illumine their teachings on the path of spontaneous love and affection. They are the ācāryas in the Bhāgavata-paramparā. We cannot cross māyā and enter Vraja without their help, mercy, and guidance. By following them, first an affectionate familial feeling towards the ācāryas and their associates develops. As we gradually develop in our affection and faith, we will realize, “My home is in Vraja.” And we will pray, “When I will be amidst the Vrajavāsīs in my own spiritual form?”
People come to Śrī Guru from many countries, but over time, they begin to consider themselves as members of guru’s family, giving up their own self-identification with their material family and nationalities. As their love increases, they feel that the Vrajavāsīs are their own family and friends. They forget all the relations of this world.
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura prays (Prārthanā Song 12):
hari hari! āra ki emana daśā haba
kabe vṛṣabhānu-pūre āhīrī gopera ghare,
tanayā haiyā janamiba
yāvaṭe āmāra kabe e-pāṇi-grahaṇa habe,
vasati kariba kabe tāya
sakhīra parama śreṣṭha je tāhāra haya preṣṭha,
sevana kariba tāṅra pāya
teṅha kṛpāvān haiñā rātula caraṇe laiñā,
āmāre karibe samarpaṇa
saphala haibe daśā pūribe manera āśā,
sevi duṅhāra yugala-caraṇa
vṛndāvane dui-jana caturdike sakhī-gaṇa,
sevana kariba avaśeṣe
sakhī-gaṇa cāribhite nānā jantra laiñā hate.
dekhiba manera abhilāṣe
dūṅhu cāṅda-mukha dekhi’ juḍābe tāpita āṅkhi,
nayane bahibe aśru-dhāra
vṛndāra nideśa pāba doṅhāra nikaṭe jāba,
hena dina haibe āmāra
śrī-rūpa-mañjarī sakhī more anāthinī dekhi,
rākhibe rātula duṭī pāya
narottama dāsa bhaṇe priya-narma-sakhī-gaṇe,
kabe dāsī karibe āmāra
O Hari Hari! Will this ever happen to me that in Vṛṣabhanu-pura I will take birth as a daughter in the house of Ahirī Gopa? When will my hand be accepted in marriage at Yāvaṭa and when will I begin to reside there? I will serve the lotus feet of a parama-preṣṭha-sakhī for she is an intimate friend of Rādhā. Being merciful she will offer me into the service of Śrī Yugala’s lotus feet. My life will be successful, and all my aspirations will be fulfilled. In this way I will serve Their lotus-feet.
I will ultimately serve the Divine Couple surrounded by the sakhīs in Vṛndāvana. I will watch the Divine Couple to my heart’s content, surrounded by sakhīs with various instruments in their hands. Looking at the moonlike faces of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, my burning eyes will be cooled and tears will begin to flow. When will that day be mine when I receive Vṛṇda-devī’s order to approach Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī, seeing that I am alone without protection, will keep me at her reddish lotus feet. Narottama dāsa prays to the priya-narma-sakhīs, “When will you make me your maidservant?” The sādhaka prays in this way, “When will that day come that I will be born in the town of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja, in the home of the gopas. When will I be present in Yavata with Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Her sakhīs. When will they bestow upon me some small service? When will they shelter me and offer me at the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa?”
While chanting harināma, we should pray, “Lalitā, Viśākhā, Rūpa, Rati, and Lavaṅga mañjarīs, and all the Vraja-devīs. Please help me, otherwise I will drown in māyā. Without your shelter and mercy, I will certainly be lost.” Pray for service from your Gurudeva.
prātaḥ śrīman navadvīpe dvi-netraṁ dvi-bhujaṁ gurum
varābhaya-pradaṁ śāntaṁ smaret tan nāma-pūrvakam
Early in the morning, chant Śrī-Gurudeva’s name, while meditating on him being situated in Śrī Navadvīpa or Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma, and having two eyes and two arms. He bestows fearlessness and is peaceful. (see more)
When a person wakes in the morning, feeling rested and refreshed, he completes his duties such as bathing and is soon ready for breakfast. Many people arrange their breakfast the night before. They have tea, snacks, drinks and ice cream ready to quickly take in the morning. But Kavirāja Gosvāmī says that this food and drink is not helpful. It is for the body but not the soul. If you do not give the soul nectar first thing in the morning then it will suffer and become dry. All dealings and experience the entire day will be bitter.
Tama, raja, and sattva—the three modes of material nature and any substance comprised of these qualities will disturb the soul. However, by accepting nirguṇa-tattva—by drinking līlā-rasa, the soul is nourished. Even a little of this can make the soul well, happy and strong.
This is called soul food and it is very necessary. Food for the body is not everything. Serving this body does not result in any eternal benefit. The body always has desires and demands satisfaction, but really, these desires are endless and their fulfillment can never be had.
We must give nectar to the soul. This nectar must be the drink we take upon the coming of each new day. Where can we collect this from? The guru-varga gives this soul nectar.
If you are connected to the flow of līlā-śakti then that flow will naturally continue from you to others. All souls that come in contact with līlā-śakti will be very pleased.
If you are connected to this flow, then the body will no longer disturb you. The body will know that you only give him or her nectar, and thus become peaceful.
Millions of lives have passed and millions more will pass in service to the body and mind. If we take from God but do not serve Him—if we simply take His gifts and use them to serve our body then we will suffer. This is why many our lives are full of diseases and pain. Unless one gets this special mercy of the guru-varga, all of this will not stop.
After being dressed and decorated, Kṛṣṇa and Balarama come for breakfast. They meet with the sakhās and together they sit in rows.
Yaśodā Mātā brings many golden cups and tells Citrā Devī, “First give them drinks.”
There is coconut water mixed with sugar cane juice as the first drink. If a person drinks this his throat becomes very smooth. This is followed by many fresh fruit juices and refreshing beverages that cool the stomach.
Śrīmati Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs have cooked so many preparations that it seem impossible to serve them all in one meal.
During breakfast, Rādhārānī looks to see if Kṛṣṇa is eating. She and all the sakhīs are very happy to see Kṛṣṇa eat. They give Kṛṣṇa rice with ghee and on the side they serve, ginger, neem leaves, jute leaves, some more ghee lemon, ginger and salt on the side.
Yaśodā Mātā says, “O Kṛṣṇa, this is very healthy prasāda, You should eat a lot.”
Kṛṣṇa says, “If I eat too much what will be left for my friends?”
As Yaśodā Mātā walks away a little Kṛṣṇa quickly distributed everything from His to His friends.
All the sakhās laugh, and Kṛṣṇa says, “Why are you laughing? Just eat.”
Yaśodā Mātā looks back and sees that Kṛṣṇa was not eating. Then Madhumaṅgala says to her, “Mother, Kṛṣṇa is not eating anything. He distributes anything you give Him.”
Śrīmatī Rādhārānī sends many kinds of laḍḍus that Ranga-devī and Citrā-devī serve from gold plates and distributed them.
Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās continue to joke with Him.
“Kṛṣṇa, You must be sick or something,” they say. “Why aren’t You eating these nice sweets? We’ll call the doctor. That will be good for You. We will tell Yaśodā Mātā to call a doctor who will give very bitter juice. Then will You be happy?”
“I’m not sick,” Kṛṣṇa retorts, “You are sick. You should drink neem juice!”
“Why don’t You eat then?”
Then Kṛṣṇa’s plate is re-filled and He eats something.
While breakfast is being served, sometimes Madhumaṅgala says, “Kṛṣṇa is very skinny. He cannot digest anything. He has no fire in His stomach. How can He eat rich foods like this, cooked with ghee, butter, and honey? How can He eat these sweets and drinks you are serving Him? These things are for His healthy sakhās like me.”
When Madhumaṅgala teases Him like this, Kṛṣṇa grabs handfuls of ghee rice from Madhumaṅgala’s plate.
Madhumaṅgala then cries out, “Hey! Kṛṣṇa is stealing all my breakfast! O Yaśodā Mātā, I’m so hungry. Give me something more.”
Then Vrajeśvarī piles Madhumaṅgala’s plate with more prasāda. Madhamangala becomes very happy, but he says, “Eating this rice and dāl is not befitting for brāhmaṇas. Where is the halavā, laḍḍu, barphi, rabaḍi and kṣīra?”
Why does Madhumaṅgala speak like this? He wants Kṛṣṇa to eat nicely. When these preparations come, he simply needs to tease Kṛṣṇa to make Him eat with gusto. If Kṛṣṇa is given these things calmly He will be uninterested. If someone gives Him a plate and says, “O Kṛṣṇa, please take this,” He will not want it. He will say, “I’m not hungry.”
Kṛṣṇa is given so many offerings by His millions and millions of affectionate devotees starting from even before the sun rises. Why would be hungry and thirsty for more? How much will He eat? Furthermore He is ātmārāma, self-satisfied, and āptakāma, without desires.
There is only one way to know Krsna. Go to the person who knows Krsna. If you want to study engineering, you should go to an engineering college and not to a college where literature is studied. If you want to become a doctor, go to a medical college. You should go to that college, which teaches what you want to study. Or else you cannot obtain that knowledge.
So, Naradaji told Vyasadeva, “Firstly, you should surrender by bhakti-yoga. You should think, ‘I don’t know anything.’ Thus, a guru will instruct you when you sincerely serve. You should do what he tells you to do.”
Once, a person learnt a little on how to play the harmonium. He approached a teacher and said, “Please instruct me how to play the harmonium better.”
The teacher replied, “I will take a hundred dollars for a month.”
At the same time, another boy approached the teacher. The teacher asked him, “Why have you come?”
“I want to learn how to play the harmonium.”
“Do you know at least a little how to play the harmonium?”
“I don’t know anything.”
“Okay, I will teach you for ten dollars.”
Why? It is very difficult to teach those, who think, “I am very knowledgeable. I know many slokas from the Veda-sastras.” No one can teach a person, who is more than sixty years of age. They have already supposedly learnt everything. A dry piece of wood will not bend. If you try bending it, it will break. But a raw piece of wood will bend. Similarly, the hearts of children are very simple. There is nothing written on their hearts. They will learn anything they see. Therefore, those who are of less age and who have not learnt much, will easily understand this. But it is very difficult to teach those who know something. A person who is pretending to sleep cannot be awakened. A man who is really sleeping can be easily awakened.
Hence, Narada told Vyasa, “Take shelter of bhakti-yoga. Offer yourself to the lotus feet of Krsna. Meditate on Him. Then Krsna will Himself come and show all His pastimes to you.”
After Naradaji left, Vyasa established himself in bhakti-yoga.
samyak pranihite ‘male
apasyat purusam purnam
mayam ca tad-apasrayam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4
[Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.]
Vyasa saw Srimati Radhika, Krsna, and all His saktis like Lalita, Visakha, and everyone. He also saw Nanda Baba and Yasoda. He saw all the pastimes of Vraja from the beginning. He had darsana just as you see a cinema on the television. He saw all the pastimes. He also saw that those who have forgotten Krsna, who don’t render service to Him, and who don’t remember Him have fallen into maya. They are entangled in the material world of birth, temporary happiness, sorrows, and death. We have been searching for happiness even before creation. If wealth would give us happiness, then why do the wealthy continue earning money? A wealthy man’s grandfather and father have died. And even though he is also becoming old, his greed to earn money doesn’t subside. So, if he has not obtained happiness, will you obtain it by trying to becoming wealthy? Remember that the entire wealth of the world cannot prolong the existence of a man for a single minute. You should also remember that nothing of this world will go with you after you leave your body.
Hence, Vyasaji saw that the conditioned souls have forgotten Bhagavan Krsna and are entangled in the cycle of birth and death. And those, who remember Krsna and chant His names like Ajamila and Valmiki did, will easily cross over this ocean of birth and death. So, Vyasa saw this. He saw how Krsna was born. He saw how Krsna started to grow. He saw how Krsna stole from the homes of the gopis. He did not steal just butter; He stole their hearts. He saw how Krsna danced at every step He took. Krsna’s gait is sweet; His words are sweet; His Vamsi is sweet; His form is sweet; His eyes are sweet; His glances are sweet; His pastimes are sweet; His mother is sweet; His sakti—the gopis are sweet; everything about Him is sweet. Thus, Vyasadeva had darsana of Krsna.
He saw the Lord and explained His pastimes and this compilation of His pastimes and the pastimes of His incarnations is called Srimad Bhagavatam. This is the final book of Vyasaji. He compiled this book after realizing it in his samadhi. What is samadhi? Samadhi is of many kinds. Presently, people practice hatha-yoga and think they are in samadhi. But hatha-yoga will not do. The principle of hatha-yoga is, “I will not see this material world.” But, Bhagavan has given you eyes, so why will you not see? He will try to control his mind. It may be possible to control the air, but it is not possible to control the mind. Can you sit still for a minute and control your mind? Thoughts from all directions will enter your mind. Your mind will not be controlled. If you have prema, bhakti for Krsna, then your mind will be controlled. Vyasadeva has stated in the Bhagavat regarding how to control the mind. The dharma of every being is to love Krsna. This is the constitutional nature of every being. Krsna is the only friend of everyone. He is everyone’s Prabhu. He is everyone’s prana-priyatama; the beloved of everyone. Today, you consider one lady to be your wife; but after you die, will she still be your wife? You consider one man to be your husband, but what is to be after you die? Relationships keep changing. A soul may be a lady today and become a man in his next life. The soul will take birth in his next life according to the thoughts that occupy his mind at the time of death.
Krishna and Baladeva then went to Yama-loka. When the two brothers entered Yama-loka, Dharmaraja was greatly surprised. He performed an arati and abhiseka of Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu. As soon as Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu entered Yamaloka, the entire hellish region became peaceful. Hell became very quiet and everyone was very happy. The guilty were not beaten, shot at, or burnt. Neither were they thrown in boiled water or oil anymore. The guilty were not cut in pieces anymore. The hellish dogs and crocodiles stopped eating their victims. Snakes stopped drinking the blood of the guilty. Hell was now free of pain and carnage.
Before Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu came, the punishments meted out in hell were unspeakable. People who had committed many sins were now being punished and rectified. Iron rods were heated and the guilty were to made to embrace these iron rods. Then they were beaten by whips. The people who committed many wrongs were now going through untold suffering. Everyone was wailing and screaming out of pain. It seemed that they would die, but they would not. Someone who smoked a lot would have fire placed inside their mouths.
Placing the fire in their mouths, the servants of Yamaraja would tell the sinful, “Smoke all you want now! You want more ganja?”
But as soon as Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu entered hell, everyone became peaceful and happy. Everyone wondered in amazement and thought, “Why are we happy and peaceful? Why are we not being punished anymore?”
The guilty looked around and saw that no one was being cut into pieces. The dogs had stopped their vicious biting. The snakes had stopped their venomous attacks. They were surprised.
The guilty requested and pleaded to Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu. They asked, “Who are You? From where have You both come? What are Your names? After the both of You have come, we are so happy. Please give us more of this happiness. Please take us out of hell and give us shelter at Your lotus feet.”
After duly worshiping and praying to Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu, Yamaraja offered Them seats. Krishna then asked Yamaraja, “Why are everyone here loudly shouting and wailing? I have become very restless on coming to this place. What have they done?”
Yamaraja replied, “You don’t know Prabhu. You gave me the duty to punish them. So, what can I do? To discipline them is my duty. All over the world, most people are engaged in committing sins. But, I give them many chances to correct themselves. If they still don’t purify and change themselves, then I am bound to resort to this means of rectification. By trick or force, I make them quit their gross bodies. They come here bound by their subtle bodies and are made to suffer for the many sins they have committed. Here, I have them severely punished.
“You severely punish them?”
“How do you punish them?”
Then Yamaraja showed the many means of punishment to Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu. Many woks containing boiling oil were shown to Krishna and Baladeva Prabhu. Blazing fire pits were also shown. Ponds of urine and blood were shown. Many fierce animals were made to bite and eat the guilty. The jivas suffered greatly.
Krishna told Yama Maharaja, “You punish them in such a strong manner?”
Krishna is very kind. He asked all the suffering souls, “Why have you all committed much sins in your previous life?”
The suffering souls collectively replied, “Prabhu! We will not commit sins anymore. Now, give us Your shelter.”
Some souls told Krishna, “O Prabhu! Our minds are very weak. We did not wish to commit sins, but by the effect of asat-sanga, we were forced to commit sinful acts in our lives. Now what can we do? Prabhu please save us!”
Krishna’s heart melted on hearing these words of the residents of hell. He is very magnanimous. At the same moment, a deity manifested from Krishna.
The deity asked Krishna, “Prabhu, why have You called me? What is my service and duty. How can I follow your orders? What do you like? Please give me some services.”
Krishna told the deity, “Nobody is there to help the jivas. They lack sat-sanga and good advice. Their parents, siblings, and relatives try to make them their own. They enjoy them, and make them wounded and hopeless. They may even shoot, disturb, and steal their time and life. All are ready to exploit them. . But, there is nobody to help them. I cannot find anyone in this world who offers pure help.” If the demigods are not served, they might curse the jivas. The parents will be angry with their children if they don’t receive any help from their children. If one doesn’t help his wife or husband, he or she will be rejected by their spouse. Even brothers who don’t help each other, stop talking to each other. If you don’t use your body to perform ordinary work and to cheat others; then no one will like you. On not being liked by anyone, you will suffer. Therefore, for the happiness of others, you perform many actions. But ultimately, only you will suffer for the sins you have committed through certain actions. No one will come forward and suffer for you. Being sinful, you will suffer greatly.
Therefore, Krishna told Ekadasi-devi, “This is very dangerous for the fettered souls, so Ekadasi-devi, testifying to the glories of your name, you must help the eleven senses of the conditioned souls. This is My order to you. If anybody comes near you, you must definitely help them.
Śrī Jīva did not want to leave the Lord’s company, and thus fell senseless in the pain of expected separation. When Jīva woke, Nityānanda Prabhu said, “Your uncles Rūpa and Sanātana are in Vṛndāvana. They require your help. They have begun the task of manifesting many books. Your service is to assist them.”
“If you don’t go, Jīva,” Nityānanda Prabhu said, “to whom will they pass on these books and the knowledge contained within them? When they leave, the books will also be lost. Therefore, go and protect these granthas. You must copy them and distribute them. Many people will be inspired to help and follow you.
“Do not worry. Everything will be favorable. Just go to Vṛndāvana. These granthas will spread all over the world. You must go and protect them. Without these granthas everything will be lost.”
Nityānanda Prabhu then said, “You will also write books yourself. The first book you will manifest yourself is a Sanskrit grammar book based on Bhagavān’s names. By studying this presentation of grammar, people will understand what is akṣara and paramākṣara and they will thus become connected
to Śrī Hari.”
Saying this, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu placed His lotus feet on Śrī Jīva’s head and empowered him with transcendental potency. Overwhelmed by prema, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī lost consciousness.
Upon regaining external awareness, Śrī Jīva prayed to the Vaiṣṇavas and offered them his obeisances. He approached Śacī Mātā and asked for her blessings, before departing to Vraja. She let Śrī Jīva take the dust of her lotus feet on his head. Blessing him, she bade him farewell.
Weeping and calling out, “O Gaurāṅga! O Gaurāṅga!” Śrī Jīva crossed the Gaṅgā and left Navadvīpa-dhāma.
Offering his daṇḍavat-praṇāmas to Navadvīpa-dhāma, Jīva set out toward Śrī Vṛndāvana. At that time, Vraja-dhāma, Yamunā, and Śrī Rūpa-Sanātana manifested in Śrī Jīva’s heart.
Along the way, Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to him in a dream, and said, “Go to Vraja. Rūpa, Sanātana, and you are very dear to Me. All of you work together to manifest devotional scriptures. May sevā to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa be your life and soul, and may you continuously witness the pastimes of Vraja.”
Seeing the dream, Śrī Jīva became overjoyed and swiftly traveled toward Vraja-dhāma.
In due course, Jīva Gosvāmī arrived at the holy city of Vārāṇasī, which was blessed by Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet. Madhusūdana Vacaspati, the disciple of Śrī Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, lived there.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard Vedānta for seven days from Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, and thereafter Mahāprabhu spoke the real essence of Vedānta. Madhusūdana Vacaspati was present at that time. Mahāprabhu ordered Vacaspati to go to Kaśi and teach there. He studied all the commentaries of Vedānta, such as Śaṅkarācārya’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya, and Rāmānuja’s Śrī-Bhāṣya under Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. He especially focused on learning Vedānta as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught. After Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya disappeared, Madhusūdana Vacaspati went to Vārāṇasī, and instructed the Māyāvādīs there about the real meaning of Vedānta. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and the thousands of sannyāsīs and disciples in the Śaṅkarācārya sampradāya had met with Mahāprabhu in Vārāṇasī and received transcendental knowledge from Him.
Madhusūdana Vacaspati further spread the teachings of Mahāprabhu there. Jīva Gosvāmī performed the pastime of studying bhaktivedānta and all scriptures from him. He studied the commentaries of Rāmānuja, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, and Nimbādityācārya. He also studied the Śārīraka-bhāṣya of Śaṅkarācārya, so that he could be able to refute it later.
After completing his studies with Madhusūdana Vacaspati, Jīva Gosvāmī continued on his way to Vṛndāvana. (more)
How can living entities cross beyond mundane existence and enter the eternal world? For this purpose, the gosvāmīs in Mahāprabhu’s movement manifested strong connections to the spiritual world. Anyhow, from morning to evening, if one is absorbed in Kṛṣṇa’s name, the holy dhāma and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes there, remembering this day and night, he will automatically achieve great benefit, becoming connected to spiritual power.
Mahāprabhu came to distribute vraja-prema, vraja-rasa, and vraja-bhakti. There is a barrier between Māyā and Yogāmāya, or the mundane world and Vraja-maṇḍala. It is as if there is a great dam separating the material and spiritual worlds. How can the flow of love from the spiritual world come into the mundane world?
Mahāprabhu requested Nityānanda Prabhu to break this dam and freely distribute pure love. Nityānanda Prabhu went everywhere and distributed this vraja-prema, rasa and bhakti.
All Mahaprabhu’s associates distributed this in their own unique way. Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, Vakesvrara Paṇḍita, Haridāsa Ṭhākura—all had specialties. The line is not different, but the process of distribution is unique.
With the saṅkīrtana movement, Nityānanda Prabhu went to everyone and took all anarthas from them, and then gave this vraja-prema. Gadādhara Paṇḍita served Gopinātha and anyone who came to him, he gave entrance into the service of Gopinātha and vigraha-sevā. Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita distributed saṅkīrtana rasa. Adavita Ācārya Prabhu gave the conclusions of śāstra, and all spiritual knowledge. He collected the living entities and offered them to the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu. Making them related to Mahāprabhu and giving them respect for Him.
The Gosvāmīs, having understood fully the movement of Mahāprabhu, distributed pure love by describing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. If there is no relation with Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, then attachment will remain for mundane pastimes and activities.
Hence, the Gosvāmīs began to distribute vraja-līlā, and vraja-bhakti. Do not think this is mundane or any worldly conception or speculation. If anyone passes along this way, their family members generally do not make their lives into a biography and save it. Kṛṣṇa-līlā, vraja-līlā, is not like this. The Gosvāmīs collected all of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Vraja, from dawn to dawn, and distributed it in the form of literature. When one drinks a little bit of this nectar, he realizes how powerful it is and how much benefit comes.
Kavirāja Gosvāmī distributes the eternal pastimes of the spiritual world. If anyone wants to enter the holy dhāma and make relationship with the Vrajavāsīs, they must take shelter of līlā-śakti. Līlā-śakti doesn’t look at any qualification or disqualification. If a person has greed to enter the dhāma and the eternal pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa then She will give it without condition.
If you humbly offer yourself to līlā-śakti, she will not look to see if You have anarthas, or are a sanyasi, Bābājī, brahmacārī or gṛhastha. She does not think about any of this. Līlā-śakti looks only to see if you have some respect. If She sees your desire is pure then She will take you to that world. Therefore, the guru-varga did not give so much emphasis on a person being qualified or unqualified.
Once, when Śrīla Gurudeva was the west, some people asked him, “Why did you give dīkṣā to this new person? Why did you not wait for some time to see if he was qualified?”
Śrīla Gurudeva said, “The living entities have been moving in this world for millions of lifetimes. They are disconnected from the Lord and their eternal relationship with Him. If they are connected to svarūpa-śakti and līlā-śakti, then they will be pulled out of this endless sea of misery and brought to Kṛṣṇa.”
If someone bathes in the Gaṅgā or Yamunā, they will feel clean and well. Similarly, the guru-varga brings one to the lotus feet of līlā-śakti. Līlā-śakti comes directly from svarūpa–śakti and svarūpa-śakti has unlimited power, being the personal energy of the Unlimited Himself. By drinking and bathing in the holy waters of the Lords pastimes, automatically one changes. This is the power of līlā-śakti.
By one’s own sādhana he cannot cross māyā and come to God. The living entities have no strength. They may have good desire, but they have no strength. Mercy is required.
Once, a paṇḍita was speaking on the tenth canto of Śrīmad Bhagvatam before a faithful assembly. The paṇḍita spoke of Kṛṣṇa’s amazing power, His sweet pastimes and also his enchanting svarūpa, decorated by His mother with many ornaments and precious jewels such as the Kaustubha-maṇi.
In the large assembly there was a thief who was thinking to steal from anyone who fell asleep or lost themselves in the sweet hari-kathā.
“I will steal their necklaces, and their gold right from their pockets,” he thought. This was his nature.
However in the course of the thief plan, he heard so much description of Kṛṣṇa’s valuable ornaments that his greed became fixed on those riches alone. Now all he could think was, “How can I steal Kṛṣṇa’s wealth?”
His clever mind formulated a plan and he suddenly began to cry loudly in the middle of the assembled listeners.
As Śrī Jīva approached Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, he offered his obeisance from a distance and fell unconscious. Some time later he composed himself and, with his hairs standing on end, he entered Navadvīpa-dhāma.
Upon arriving in Navadvīpa, Jīva met with Vaiṣṇavas whom Nityānanda Prabhu had sent to bring him. Upon hearing Nityānanda Prabhu’s name, Śrī Jīva became unconscious and fell to the ground.
The Vaiṣṇavas took Jīva Gosvāmī to Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, who was in internal consciousness, singing the pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the company of the Vaiṣṇavas. Upon seeing Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu’s transcendental form, ecstasies arose in the body of Jīva Gosvāmī, and he fell unconscious.
The supremely compassionate Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu lifted Jīva up and accepted him as His own associate. Jīva Gosvāmī, overcome with emotion, prayed to Nityānanda Prabhu.
tomāra karuṇā vinā gaura nāhi pāya
śata janma bhaje yadi gaurāṅge hiyāya
Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma Mahātmya 5.34
Even if someone worships Gaurāṅga in his heart for a hundred births, without Your kind mercy he will not be able to attain Gaura.
Jīva prayed, “Please give me Your mercy and sanction to obtain Gaura’s darśana and develop attachment to Him. Śrīman Mahāprabhu ordered me to study Vedānta and to reveal kṛṣṇa-bhakti as explained therein. Accepting Mahāprabhu as my only shelter, I took His order to heart and studied many subjects as much as I could. However, in Bākalācandradvīpa, I could not find any vedānta-ācārya to my liking. Now I have come to You in Navadvīpa and am surrendering unto Your lotus feet. Whatever You order I will follow. If You give me your blessings, I will go to Jagannātha Purī and study Vedānta from Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya.”
Taking Śrī Jīva on His lap, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu began to weep and said, “O Jīva, I came here just to meet with you; otherwise I would have stayed in Khardaha. Mahāprabhu has ordered Me to send you to study Vedānta under Śrī Madhusūdana Vācaspati and from there to go straight to Vṛndāvana, to be with Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana.
“Under Rūpa’s guidance, perform bhajana of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and preach the spotless Mahā-purāṇa, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, for it is the essence of all scriptures and the genuine commentary on Vedānta-sūtra. Śrī Gaurahari explained Vedānta to Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya according to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and he in return carefully taught this knowledge to Śrī Madhusūdana Vācaspati in Jagannātha Purī. Madhusūdana Vācaspati now lives in Vārāṇasī and you should go there and meet him.”
After thus speaking, Jīva performed saṅkīrtana along with Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrīvasa Paṇḍita, and the other Vaiṣṇavas. Śrī Jīva stayed in Śrīvāsa-aṅgana, and again met with Nityānanda Prabhu in the evening.
Jīva enquired about the nature of Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma. Nityānanda Prabhu explained this highly confidential topic. He said, “As Śrī Kṛṣṇa never leaves Vṛndāvana to go elsewhere, similarly Śrīman Mahāprabhu never leaves Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma. Only from an ordinary viewpoint does Mahāprabhu take sannyāsa and leave Navadvīpa, but in reality Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu never leaves Māyāpura in Navadvīpa-dhāma to go elsewhere.
“Devotees still witness Gaurāṅga’s daily eternal pastimes in Navadvīpa, and in time O Jīva, you will too. If you want to see all the pastime places of Śrī Gaura in Navadvīpa-dhāma, then you should perform parikramā.”
Hearing Nityānanda Prabhu’s advice, Śrī Jīva replied,
“O Lord, please give this poor soul Your mercy and take me on parikramā.” Nityānanda Prabhu, completely free from any pride, happily agreed to be Śrī Jīva’s guide.
Nityānanda Prabhu first took Jīva to Jagannātha Miśra’s house, where He said to Śacī Mātā, “O Mother, this supremely intelligent Jīva is a dear servant of Śrī Gaurāṅga. He is very lucky.”
Jīva fell unconscious in ecstasy. Upon awakening, he rolled on the ground at Śacī Mātā’s lotus feet. Mother Śacī mercifully
blessed Śrī Jīva.
Śrīmatī Viṣṇupriyā-devī was also present, but she would always remain inside the house, along with Śacī Mātā, Vaṁśīvadanānda Prabhu, and Īśāna Ṭhākura, who was an aged servant of the household who had helped the family for a few generations. Īśāna Ṭhākura performed his services under the guidance of Vaṁśīvadanānda Prabhu, the incarnation
of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flute. (see more)
The conditioned souls are ignorant. They don’t know what the atma is or where the atma is. We are not realizing Brahma. If we are Brahma ourselves, then why are we not realizing it? If there is no illusory maya, then they say, “We are Brahma.” But actually this is not true. There are some hidden teachings behind all these things. Ramanuja and Sankara are in one line. They don’t have different opinions. But we think that they were of different opinions. A student of class four may think that M.A. or Ph.D. students are different from lower class students. But, we know that the students are in one line.
A question comes, “Who has this illusory maya caught?”
Maya cannot catch Brahma because He is satyam-jnanam-anantam-brahma. He has full knowledge, so maya cannot catch Brahma.
Guest: Maya can go only where there is ignorance.
Srila Gurudeva: So who is in ignorance? Those, who are separate from Krsna, from Godhead, are in ignorance. Otherwise, maya cannot them. So, they are different. But different means they are non-different. How? I will try to make you understand this.
Guest: The sun and the heat are non-different.
Srila Gurudeva: Yes, like this. But they cannot be different.
Guest: Wherever there is the sun, there is heat.
Srila Gurudeva: We are one but we are also different. But if the clouds come, then it may be that we will not realize the sun’s heat.
Guest: The sun is shielded.
Srila Gurudeva: Krsna has said in the Gita that “I am within and without.” This is called acintya-bhedabheda. There is bheda—difference and abheda—non-difference. But we cannot decide.
Guest: Here they say, “If you have any bright thoughts, then apply them to do something.”
Srila Gurudeva: This is called practice. To practice is bhakti.
Guest: You have studied all the scriptures like Brahma Samhita?
Srila Gurudeva: I have heard from my Gurudeva, more than reading the scriptures. Realization cannot come by only reading.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: We were about thirty of us and we would always be engaged in serving, cooking, washing clothes and hearing. We would do everything.
Once, some guests came to the house of Sankaracarya when he was a boy. He was studying in school. His mother was a widow.
His mother told him, “Some guests have come. I have to cook for them. Go bring some brinjals from the garden.”
Sankaracarya went to that garden and only took one brinjal. His mother asked him, “Why have you brought only one brinjal? It will not do. There are so many guests. Why didn’t you bring more brinjals?”
He replied, “There was only one brinjal there.”
His mother said, “Last evening, I saw thousands of brinjals. They were so beautiful and big. Did anyone take them all? What have become of them since you saw only one brinjal?”
Sankaracarya said, “I saw only one brinjal and I took it.”
The mother then took her son and they went to the garden. She saw that there were lakhs and lakhs of brinjals hanging from their twigs. The mother asked, “Son, why did you lie? Why did you tell me that there was only one brinjal?”
Pointing at the brinjals, Sankaracarya told his mother, “All these are one, one, one, and one. So I brought only one.”
Then his mother twisted his ears and gave a slap. Sankara says, “There is only one Brahma. All are Brahma. Salvam khalv idam brahma.”
But, while quoting statements from the scriptures to support his philosophy, he only quotes parts of the sentences and not the whole sentences. Sankara was ordered by Krsna.
Krsna told him, “You should try to cover Me from the people who want so many things from this world. And for those who are devotees you should preach to them and say, ‘Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam govindam bhaja mudha-mate.’”
The teachings of Ramanuja, Madhva, and all other devotees should be taken in abhyasa, practice. The theory of Sankaracarya makes a foundation that we are not this physical body. If everyone is the same brahma as the mayavadis say then why is everyone quarrelling? Why do the husband and wife quarrel? Why do the children quarrel with their parents? If America is brahma, India is brahma, and Pakistan is brahma; they why do they quarrel among themselves?
hen the gopīs arrive in Nandagrāma, Yaśodā Mātā is waiting there for them. Seeing Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, she embraces Her, and smells Her hair. She kisses Her face and says, “You must be very tired, having come from so far. We have some refreshments. Please come to the kitchen and look over all the preparations to be made. Please start the cooking.”
Hearing Yaśodā Mātā’s affectionate speech, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is very happy. In the autumn season, the weather is cool, and the water is clear, likewise, anyone who comes near Yaśodā Mātā becomes very peaceful and cool by her vātsalya-sneha, motherly affection. With Yaśodā Mātā’s sweet speech, the gopīs become full of humility. The affection of vātsalya-sneha is so powerful that it even attracts the Supreme Lord. It washes away all His moods of opulence, and makes Him a small boy, Gopāla. He is the Supreme Lord, Parabrahma, but He forgets that. He forgets that He is in Vaikuṇṭha and that He is the Supreme Personality, the controller of countless universes—now He is a small boy Gopāla. In this way also, the power of svarūpa-śakti is so great, She is the power of the Supremely Powerful Parabrahma, but still, when Śrīmatī Rādhārānī comes before Yaśodā Mātā, the power of Yaśodā Mātā’s motherly affection makes the Supreme Potency svarūpa-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and Her divine majesty appear as a small child. Yaśodā Mātā takes Her in her lap and smells Her hair. How amazing is this?
The guru-varga have this power, therefore, great personalities of this world, like great politicians, philosophers, renowned scientists and doctors, forget their high position and become like children, very small and humble before the guru-varga. This is the great personality present with those who have this vātsalya-sneha, parental affection. That affection has so much power—it controls not only Śrīmatī Rādhārānī but all Her sakhīs. In other places they are very powerful, but coming to Yaśodā Mātā and touching her feet, she takes them in her lap and smells their hair, and all their strength is hidden, and they are like small innocent girls in the care of their mother.
Yaśodā Mātā says, “You have come from different places, like Ciksaulī, Ūṅcāgaon, Kāmaī and Karehlā. Please make the famous preparations from your own area for Kṛṣṇa. Kīsori Rādhā is very famous in Vraja-maṇḍala, She knows all processes to cook the best of dishes. Everyone should follow Her guidance. Don’t do anything independently. Everything will be the sweetest of the sweet if you follow Rādhā.”
The sakhīs all desire to follow the advice of Yaśodā Mātā.
Then the sakhās came and asked Kṛṣṇa, “Sakhā, tell us, where did this Gaṅgā come from? We can’t believe this is the real Gaṅgā. You are very clever. Instead of sleeping last night, You made a dam and stocked water from all the drains and nearby ponds, and in the morning, opened the dam and are now telling us this is the Gaṅgā. You are cheating everyone. Gaṅgā is the water from the feet of Bhagavān. Show us the flow from Bhagavān’s feet, and then we will believe You are speaking the truth. You can cheat the old men of Vraja, but
“Fine,” Kṛṣṇa said. “You want to see, come with me.”
Kṛṣṇa went with the Vrajavāsīs to the top of the hill and showed them Harideva, present with four hands. From His feet, Gaṅgā was flowing down into Brahma-kuṇḍa and from there to Mānasi-gaṅgā.
At that time, Girirāja Govardhana was twenty-one kilometers long and seven kilometers high. Taking the opportunity,
Girirāja Govardhana also took bath, sinking down at that place into the water of Mānasi-gaṅgā.
Seeing Gaṅgā-devī, a doubt came in Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s mind. “From where did Kṛṣṇa bring her?” She thought. The sakhīs angrily came to Kṛṣṇa and said, “You are a big cheater!”
“How did I cheat? What did I do wrong? Did I not satisfy everyone by arranging for Gaṅgā to come?”
“Where has she come from? She has many names and forms, so what is her name here?”
“Her name is Mānasi-gaṅgā,” replied Kṛṣṇa.
“Oh, now we understand,” the gopīs said. “Your mind is very restless. You have room for Gaṅgā in Your mind, but not for us.”
A girl is jealous seeing her lover being attracted to another girl. Similarly, Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the gopīs now felt great jealousy, for which there seemed to be no solution.
The gopīs said, “Your mind has place for another and not
for us. You have cheated us all.”
“No, I like you,” Kṛṣṇa replied. “You are all My beloveds.”
“These are just words. Your mind had room for Gaṅgā and therefore she manifested from Your mind. Thus You have called her Mānasi-gaṅgā.”
Kṛṣṇa is always defeated by the Vraja-devīs. He thought, “Finding a solution for the sakhās was not a problem, but how to solve this? If on one hand I say, ‘In my mind I have no place for Gaṅgā,’ then I will be a liar, and if I say, ‘She resides in my mind,’ then the gopīs will be angry and say ‘From where has this step wife come.’ ”
Kṛṣṇa then said, “Gaṅgā-devī came from the dreadlocks of Siva Ṭhākura.’ ”
“Śiva Ṭhākura is in Kailāsa, so how did Gaṅgā get here?” the gopīs asked.
“Śiva Ṭhākura is present nearby.”
Kṛṣṇa then took the gopīs for darśana of Śiva Ṭhākura, who He had invoked and requested to stay on the bank of Manasi-gaṅgā as Cakleśvara Mahādeva.
Seeing Śiva Ṭhākura, the gopīs became slightly pacified. Kṛṣṇa then called Gaṅgā-devī before the gopīs, who came and said, “I am only the water that washes His feet. I am a servant and not His beloved. But you are His dearest, most beloved gopīs.”
On Kṛṣṇa’s indication, Gaṅgā-devī went to Śrīmatī Rādhikā and, bowing down, she said, “I am also Your maidservant.” Hearing Gaṅgā’s supplication, Śrīmatī Rādhikā accepted Gaṅgā as Her sakhī, and all the gopīs became happy and their jealousy was finished.
Why was Kṛṣṇa merciful to Gaṅgā? Why did He summon her to Vraja? Kṛṣṇa used to play in the Yamunā with His sakhās and sakhīs. Beholding this great privilege of her younger sister Yamunā, Gaṅgā-devī became overpowered by a strong desire to also serve Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa by her waters. She expressed her desire to Yamunā and begged for her help, who then requested Kṛṣṇa to bestow His mercy on her elder sister, Gaṅgā-devī. Thus, on Makara Saṅkrānti, Śrī Kṛṣṇa summoned Gaṅgā-devī to Vraja and blessed her by bathing in her waters with all the Vrajavāsīs.
This process of chanting harināma is very easy. Just chant harināma. Don’t divide your energy to others. Many cheaters will come to steal your energy, but simply utilize all your time in service to Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, and chanting harināma. In this way, any obstacle that arises will not disturb you. All knowledge and strength will come to your aid. The desire to follow is the most important thing. This desire is called sevonmukha-vṛtti, the tendency to serve Kṛṣṇa.
Merely following the rules and regulations of bhakti is not enough to attain perfection. Our determination will not last for so long. The body, mind, and senses naturally want to enjoy other bodies, minds, and senses, and they want some relation, some sweet talking, touching, looking, smelling, tasting—this desire will never cease. When will divine love blossom in our hearts? Divine love is our soul’s waiting inheritance. We must follow the process to mature into spiritual life, so that we can receive that love for which we all aspire. How long can you mechanically control your senses? Perhaps for one or two days, or some years, but when your self-control wanes, the senses will again dive into the well of material enjoyment.
A brahmacārī cannot remain celibate without tasting the sweetness of divine love. He may not be able to control himself for even one day. But if he tastes love beyond this material world, he will cease to think of himself as a brahmacārī or a vyabhicārī. There are many examples of those previously enraptured in promiscuity, who forgot their lust completely when their love was transferred to God. Our eternal benefit, eternal connection, and eternal loving relation awaits us. We simply must awaken greed for the blissful reality beyond this world. Any strength that comes from suppressing our senses by adhering to rules and regulations ultimately leads to downfall and sin if we do not establish our lost relation and love for God. Love is the eternal property of the soul. But having willingly turned away from God, our love has been perverted into lust for mundane objects.
If we fall from our vows, we may feel remorse, but this remorse is not enough. Therefore, Śrīla Gurudeva instructs us to offer our love to Kṛṣṇa. This process is called rāgānuga-bhakti. We are advised to take shelter of the rāgātmika Vrajavāsīs, eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa, who have unlimited love. If their hearts melt towards us, and a ray of their love shines upon us, then our hearts will also melt, and our inherent love and longing for Kṛṣṇa will awaken, and will lead us home to Vraja. Kṛṣṇa only desires this love. He desires no other offering from the living entities, who are His separated parts and parcels. The love He yearns for cannot be found in Vaikuṇṭha, Ayodhyā, or in the abodes of any of His other incarnations. Love inhibited by opulence and reverence does not satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Where one reveres God as the Almighty, unparalleled natural love for Him is hampered.
A mother has natural love for her baby son, and while he is an infant, the mother and son’s relation is intimate and inseparable. When the son grows to a boy and then a teen, he is shy to be naked before his mother, and his mother is shy before her son. As he grows, the son transfers his love for his mother to others. Similarly, a father has love for his child, and the child for the father, but in time this love also transforms.
The love of the conditioned souls is always transferring from one to another. The soul, however, is not young or old. She is primeval and ever youthful. When the soul achieves perfection, she is born into a spiritual form, in which she serves the Divine Couple, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and relishes the bliss of a loving relation with Them.
The Vrajavāsīs have eternal, fathomless love. Their love spreads throughout Vraja-maṇḍala. The Vrajavāsīs all have pure love for Kṛṣṇa. All the mothers in Vraja think, “Kṛṣṇa is my son. I will take Kṛṣṇa in my lap and feed Him my breast milk. I will stroke and massage Him, and I will bathe, dress, decorate, and cook for Him.” All the Vrajavāsīs have ever-increasing love for Kṛṣṇa.
Today, we shall remember the glories of His priya parisada, His dear associate Srila Jiva Gosvami. This mahaprasada is bhagavat prasada, and by taking this we can consider our lives successful. Bhagavan’s prasada means His priya bhaktas, His dear devotees. Those who are God’s atyanta priyas, who are very dear to Him and the recipients of His mercy, are Bhagavat-prasada. They appear in this world to benefit the conditioned souls by connecting them to God. To take shelter of these devotees and hear their glories is only possible for those who are extremely fortunate. Bhagavan Himself is yajnesvara-hari—He appears from yajnas to distribute causeless mercy. Those people who received God’s blessings can help the world. One who has not received God’s blessings and is not a dear associate of God cannot give welfare to others. Therefore you should look for somebody who is dear to God, bhagavat-priya. Then you should try to receive his association, blessings, and mercy, and once you understand the welfare they have given to you, you will naturally want to glorify them.
If someone gave you food or a place to live, then you would not forget this person, and you would glorify him. It is hard to forget somebody who has helped one so much. A person who does this is called ungrateful. There is a guru-drohi, one who is ungrateful to his guru, a pitri-drohi, one who is ungrateful to his ancestors, and a bhakta-drohi, one who is ungrateful to the devotees. If you do not glorify the devotees, Vaisnavas, and bhaktas, then Bhagavan says that you are an enemy in this world. No one will be the friend of such a person, and one who favors this person will as well be the enemy of the world, because he has not glorified the Vaisnavas, who are the sevakas and sevikas of Bhagavan. How much do the sevakas and sevikas serve God? If we do not hear and speak their glories, then we are akrtajna – ungrateful, adrohi – an enemy, and aguna – full of bad qualities. We do not forget someone who has helped us with one roti or one paisa. The vaisnavas who eternally help us, who pull us out of this hell of samsara, where we have been for millions of lives, and who bring us to the lotus feet of God, are our greatest benefactors. If we do not glorify them, then we are extremely ungrateful. They give us the food for our soul that helps us transcend this world and go to the spiritual world. A person who does not glorify them is a pasandi, or an atheist. They are asuras, raksasas, or demons. It is very difficult for such people to get benefit in this world. In sastra it is said:
krsna gurudvaya bhakta sakti avatara prakasa
krsna ei chaya rupe karena vilasa
Caitanya-Caritamrta, Adi 1.32
Bhagavan appears in six forms in this world. Kaviraja Gosvami explains this in Caitanya-Caritamrta. Krsna guru dvaya—Krsna appears in this world in the forms of siksa-guru, diksa-guru, and His incarnations, the avataras: manvantara, gunavatara, avesavatara, saktyavesavatara, who are all His prakasa, His manifestations. One who is grateful glorifies them, but one who is ungrateful wastes time and does not glorify the guru-varga and Bhagavan. Whose property is the soul?
This soul is the separated part and parcel of God. It is not the separated part and parcel of any demigod or goddess. No one can say, “The soul is mine.” But Bhagavan says to Arjuna, “The jiva is mine. I created the Earth, and all the people, and the 330 millions of demigods. A person who thinks himself to be independent brings suffering into his own lap, but for a person who surrenders to Me and accepts Me as his life and soul, I will take responsibility, and even still I will give him independence. It is everyone’s own choice whether they want to act correctly or incorrectly.”
Fools are forgiven, but those who are intelligent and still commit offenses are punished. Those who are udanda, the greatest rascals, will receive the biggest punishment. Those who are connected to the devotees of God and do sravana and kirtana of their glories are siddha or suddha.
Today is a supremely auspicious day, because we are present in the dhama, in the vaisnava mandali, and are hearing the guna gana of the Vaisnavas. This life will be completely auspicious if we surrender ourselves to the guru-varga. By doing kirtana and sravana of Bhagavan’s qualities, we immediately become connected to God.
Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji desired that I accompany him when he went to the West the first time. He told me, “You should also come with me.”
I told my Guruji to tell Svamiji to take sannyasa. I told Svamiji, “You should take sannyasa. You are so qualified. So, you should take the renounced order.”
Guruji also came at that time. Svamiji then took sannyasa from Guruji. I helped Svamiji in some ways. I sent him his books, mrdangas, karatalas, and deities. I sent them from India.
Devotee: I gave him a copy of the Venu Gita where we have this section at the back of the book that has your biography. I gave him the book.
Srila Gurudeva: Svamiji told me, “You should join me and come with me to the Western countries.”
I replied, “My Gurudeva has ordered me to serve here and he is not here. If I will go, then everything will be upset. So, I will try to come with you later.”
So, he wanted me and he wrote many letters to me. He wrote more than two hundred letters to me. He would write to me from wherever he was preaching. He would tell me, “Preaching is being done very nicely here.” He would tell me so many things. I gave all the letters to Satsvarupa Maharaja who was writing the biography at that time. I still have many letters left. So, by his mercy, Svamiji called me here.
He told me, “My words can never be false.”
A devotee is Satya-sankalpa; what he will say will surely bear fruit. Every desire of his will be fulfilled. So, he has called me here and by his mercy, I have come. Otherwise, I am a penniless person and now, I have become old. I never dreamt that I will have to go to the Western countries for preaching. But, he has dragged me here. Wherever I go, by Svamiji’s and Krsna’s mercy, there are always some people to help me. You were also ready to help me from the first.
Devotee: We have been ready from fifteen days.
Srila Gurudeva: Wherever I go, I see that the management is being done nicely. So many devotees are helpful.
Svamiji had so much love and affection for me. He used to tell me, “You should sing ‘Gauranga bolite habe pulaka sarira, Jaya Radhe Jaya Krsna, Hari Haraye namah Krsna Yadavaya namaha, Sri Rupa Manjari pada, and all the other very beloved kirtans.’”
When I would sing, he used to play on the mrdanga. Sometimes, both of us would make capattis when Svamiji was in the Radha Damodara temple in Vrndavana. At that time, he was a penniless person. He didn’t have good clothes. He wore torn clothes. His books were worn and torn. But, he had a firm belief to preach in the Western countries because his Gurudeva had ordered him to.
If anyone properly respects Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, they are very affectionate and become close to one. There is no need to write a paper, saying, “I’m yours, you are mine.”
Any dog or cat does not sign any paper or deed, saying, “He is my owner.” The owner of the dog doesn’t give his dog a mantra. How does the dog stay nearby his guardian? How does the dog follow his guardian’s footsteps? In the western countries, do rich men give mantras to the dogs? Do they make the dogs write, “I am your disciple and follower?” The man will give all his property and wealth for the service of his dog because the dog is close to him.
Does this love and affection have any value, or is only outward acceptance of a mantra or dīkṣā the most important thing? One thing is pāñcarātrika, according to formality, and one is svārasikī, natural and spontaneous. Where there is natural love and affection, there is no need of a mantra or anything else.
Śrī Gaurahari never gave anyone dīkṣā-mantras, but the whole world follows Him. Rūpa and Raghunātha did not give mantra and dīkṣā, but now still everyone follows their footsteps. Why is this? They have eternal love, and anyone who comes near them, respects and offers them obeisances, their love comes to him. When the Sun rises he doesn’t give mantra and dīkṣā to the world, but everyone takes the energy from the sun. Then the whole world is the Sun’s disciples. Without the Sun no one would have any life.
If anyone respects Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, mercy comes from them.
When you have respect and love for ordinary people, then some relationship is established, and one becomes close to them. How can one achieve this intimate friendship? There is no need of any payment—respect is enough.
Yaśodā Mātā checks on all the services going on in Nanda-bhavana. She goes to the kitchen, and then comes and out looks towards the cowshed. She goes to Kṛṣṇa’s room to see if everything is ready for His bath. She then comes back out and sees many servants carrying in many pots filled with milk.