[Lecture by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]
I have told the outlines of Manaḥ-śikṣā. Those who want to develop their Kṛṣṇa consciousness should follow the Upadeśāmṛta of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and the Manaḥ-śikṣā of Śrīla Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
śrī-rūpa-raghunātha-pade yāra āśa
caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe kṛṣṇadāsa
[Praying at the lotus feet of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha, always desiring their mercy, I, Kṛṣṇadāsa, narrate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, following in their footsteps.]
This verse appears at the end on every chapter of Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Those who have taken the shelter of Rūpa and Ragunātha will certainly develop their Kṛṣṇa consciousness, otherwise they will stop their bhakti.
viṣaya chāḍiyā kabe śuddha habe mana
kabe hāma herabo śrī vṛṇdāvana
[When will I renounce material enjoyment and my mind will become purified? When will I see the cinmaya-svarūpa of Śrī Vṛndāvana?]
When will that glorious day come to me that I am free in Vṛndāvana and I will see Goloka Vṛṇdāvana, sat-cid-ānanda Vṛndāvana, transcendental Vṛndāvana. When we go there we don’t have eyes to see transcendental Vṛndāvana. But if the dust of Rūpa and Ragunātha comes on our heads then we will take birth in Vṛndāvana and then we shall see. And then we will realize what is there, we will realize that the main object of life is there; we will realize what Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to distribute. We are called rūpānuga-vaiṣṇavas, rāgānugā-vaiṣṇavas. To be a bona fide devotee we must follow the Mānaḥ-śikṣā.
na dharmaṁ nādharmaṁ śruti-gaṇa-niruktaṁ kila kuru
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pracura-paricaryām iha tanu
śacī-sūnuṁ nandīśvara-pati-sutatve guru-varaṁ
mukunda-preṣṭhatve smara param ajasraṁ nanu manaḥ
[O my dear mind, please do not perform either the dharma, which produces piety, or adharma, which gives rise to sin, that are mentioned in the Śrutis. Rather, render profuse loving service to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Yugala, who the Śrutis have ascertained to be supremely worshipful above all others and the topmost Truth. Always remember Śacīnandana Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is endowed with the sentiments and bodily luster of Śrī Rādhā, knowing Him to be non-different from Śrī Nanda-nandana; and always remember śrī gurudeva, knowing him to be most dear to Śrī Mukunda.]
A man can maintain his life by doing dharma and giving up adharma. The teachings which are helpful for us to maintain our lives and do bhajana are called dharma. And those things that are not favorable for us to maintain our lives and do devotional service are called adharma. All of this has been written in our Vedas, Upanisads, śruti, Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata—everywhere. But here Ragunātha Gosvāmī is saying that he is not going to follow the teachings of dharma. “Oh my mind, you should go to gaura-bhūmī where there is developed Vaiṣṇava association. You should try to hear hari-kathā from them and then you will be qualified to do the service of the Divine Couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa yugala Kiśora Kiśori, otherwise not.”
What we are doing now cannot take us to Vraja, it cannot even take us to Vaikuṇṭha as we are doing so much nonsense. Sometimes in life we can chant nāma-ābhāsa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. We cannot chant pure Hare Kṛṣṇa. We are only chanting with offenses. We are doing so many offenses and still we are thinking that we are bona fide Vaiṣṇavas. You should not think like this. You should think like Śrīla Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
If you want to develop your mind and your Kṛṣṇa consciousness then you must be more humble than grass, or you will not succeed. You must do this if you want to be in Vraja and serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. You should know that Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Vrajendra-nandana Syāmasundara. You should not think that Kṛṣṇa is the son of Vasudeva and Devakī, or that He is Dvārkādhīsa. We should always keep in mind that Śacīnandana is Kṛṣṇa Himself and my Gurudeva is mukunda-preṣṭha, so near and dear to Mukunda. Who is Mukunda? We should know. Muktiṁ dadāti iti mukundaḥ, He who gives us salvation is Mukunda, but this is not the meaning here.
This is the second meaning. Mukti is a very bad thing. We should think that mukti is like a poison. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who tells us that desire for mukti is the dirtiest thing in the heart, and who gives us supreme ānanda, is Mukunda. And moreover the gopīs tell that…Keśava Kṛṣṇa is so beautiful, more than a kuṇḍa flower. He is always blossoming and He is so sweet and fragrant, and so beautiful like a kuṇḍa, always smiling. He is mukunda-preṣṭha, and I am the dāsa of that Mukunda.
We should know that Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Himself Kṛṣṇa… And we should know that our Gurudeva is the most dear beloved servant of both Syāmā and Syāma, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. So thinking like this you should chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and always hear hari-kathā.
yadīccher āvāsaṁ vraja-bhuvi sa-rāgaṁ prati-janur
yuva-dvandvaṁ tac cet paricaritum ārād abhilaṣeḥ
svarūpaṁ śrī rūpaṁ sa-gaṇam iha tasyāgrajam api
sphuṭaṁ premṇā nityaṁ smara nama tadā tvaṁ śṛṇu manaḥ
[My dear mind, please hear me. If you are eager to gain residence in Vraja on the platform of rāgātmikā-bhakti, and if you desire to obtain the direct service of the eternally youthful Divine Couple, Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, then birth after birth always distinctly remember and bow down with great love to Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and his elder brother Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, and all other associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who are the recipients of His mercy.]
If you want to be in Vṛndāvana forever, if you want to give up this body eternally and if you want to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa forever, then in this world you should practice bhakti and especially you should call out to Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rūpa Gosvāmī, and their associates like Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Gopāla Bhatta Gosvāmī, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī and all Gosvāmīs, and also to Bhaktivedānta Svami Mahārāja, and to any bona fide guru. We should always try to remember Svarūpa Dāmodara and the Six Gosvāmīs, and weep and call out to them, “O Svarūpa Dāmodara, O Rūpa Gosvāmī, O Sanātana Gosvāmī, O Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, I want your causeless mercy.” We should always remember them and weep and do praṇāma and do harināma because they are so powerful, Svarūpa Dāmodara is himself Lalitā, and Rūpa Gosvāmī is Rūpa-mañjarī. If we pray to them then they will come at once, they are always with us if we pray. We should not think that they came five hundred years ago with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and they are not here now. They are as powerful as Kṛṣṇa. They can give prema. Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāya Rāmānanda, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, they all can give a very high quality of prema that Kṛṣṇa Himself will not give. If you ask Kṛṣṇa for this prema He will tell you to take shelter of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Lalitā and Viśākhā. If anybody came to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He used to say, “Oh you should go to Rāya Rāmānanda, from whom I have heard so much hari-kathā.” Or He would tell them to go to Svarūpa Dāmodara or Rūpa Gosvāmī. So we should try to do like this.
Here, rāgātmika and rāgānugā has been explained.
Don’t speak anything but hari-kathā to anyone. Don’t chatter. Don’t be duplicitous. Don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t talk about worldly things because it will take your mind to bodily things. I will tell you a story. Once there were two brothers. They were both friends and they were also sādhus. Once they went to a town and the elder brother rented a room in a temple, but a prostitute used to live near there. So many people used to come there and he thought to himself that all of them are going to see the prostitute. He used to say, “Oh, all of them are so sinful, so stupid.” He was always saying this. The other brother went to stay in a very bad place, but he was always saying, “Oh, my elder brother is so fortunate that he has gone to the temple and is always chanting harināma and doing bhajana. I am so bad that I cannot chant harināma. When will that day come when I will chant Hare Kṛṣṇa like my elder brother?” At that moment the yama-dhūtas came for the elder brother and said, “Now we are going to take your soul.”
He said, “Oh, I am not the right person, you should take the prostitute and all the people that go to see her to Yama-loka, the place of Yamarāja.”
But they said, “No, no! You are the right person. You are always watching her and remembering her and so we will take you to Yamarāja.”
Then the Viṣṇudūtas came and took the younger brother to Vaikuṇṭha. So we should not criticize anyone, whether they are a prostitute or anyone. We should always chant harināma and hear hari-kathā, and we should remember Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Nityānanda Prabhu, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Ragunātha Gosvāmī and the guru-paramparā.
Don’t speak about mukti and don’t follow mukti. It is like a tiger, it will take you and eat you and you will go far away from bhakti. Also we will have to give up the service of Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa. We will have to give up Rāma and Sītā. We will have to give up Dvārkādhīsa and Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā. We must also give up Mathurādhīśa Kṛṣṇa, the Kṛṣṇa who has no relation with His father and mother, Nanda and Yaśoda, who has no peacock feather and no vaṁśī, and who has no relation with the gopas and the gopīs. We don’t worship this Kṛṣṇa, we only worship Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, Vrajendranandana Syāmasundara.
ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanayas tad dhāma vṛndāvanam
ramyā kācid upāsanā vraja-vadhū vargeṇa yā kalpitā
śrīmad-bhāgavataṁ pramāṇam amalaṁ premā pumārtho mahān
śrī caitanya mahāprabhor matam idaṁ tatrādaro naḥ paraḥ
[The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is to be worshiped along with His transcendental abode, Vṛndāvana. The most pleasing form of worship for the Lord is that which was performed by the gopīs of Vrndavana. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless authority on everything, and pure love of God is the ultimate goal of life for all men. These statements, for which we have the highest regard, are the opinion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We are not interested in anyone else’s opinion.]
Then Kṛṣṇa will come, otherwise if there are so many we worship, He will not come. We should be one-pointed. We should only worship Vrajeśa-tanaya Kṛṣṇa.
are cetaḥ prodyat-kapaṭa-kuṭināṭī-bhara-khara
kṣaran-mūtre snātvā dahasi katham ātmānam api mām
sadā tvaṁ gāndharvā-giridhara-pada-prema-vilasat
sudhāmbhodhau snātvā svam api nitarāṁ māṁ ca sukhaya
[O wicked mind, although you adopt the path of sādhana, you imagine yourself purified by bathing in the trickling urine of the great donkey of full-blown deceit and hypocrisy. By doing so, you are simultaneously burning yourself and scorching me, a tiny jīva. Stop this! Delight yourself and me by eternally bathing in the nectarean ocean of pure love for the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Yugala.]
If lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness etc., have gone away, if everything from the first śloka of Upadeśmṛta, krodha-vega, jīva-vega, has gone, hypocrisy may still be there and we will have to give up that hypocrisy.
“O my wicked mind, you have taken the path of bhakti but you are following hypocrisy. Why are you doing this? You should not do this. Hypocrisy is like the urine of an ass, and if you take bath in that urine, it will burn and spoil your body.”
So you should give up this hypocrisy and try instead to take bath in hari-kathā, in the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, which are like nectar. The pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are even sweeter and more powerful than nectar. So in this way Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī explains what is hypocrisy.
There are three kinds of sādhaka: svaniṣṭha, paraniṣṭha, and nirapekṣa. A sādhaka is someone who is practicing bhakti-sādhana. Who is svaniṣṭha-sādhaka? Those sādhakas who are following the rules and regulations of varṇāśrama-dharma and who have given up what is unfavorable for bhakti, but who have some hypocrisy, they are svaniṣṭha-sādhaka. They are not eating eggs and meat, they are not meeting with worldly people who are absorbed in sense enjoyment, but still they have some hypocrisy.
What is hypocrisy? We say that we are devotees, but still we take so much nice tasty mahā-prasāda. Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to give all tasty sweets and tasty mahā-prasāda to the devotees, but He didn’t take Himself. He only used to take boiled spinach with or without salt. Rūpa Gosvāmī used to take a little spinach without salt and nothing else. But instead we sometimes give up temple prasāda to go to the home of a very rich and high-class devotee and take so much delicious prasāda.
We say, “Oh, you have offered?”
“Yes I have offered.”
“Oh, very good.”
We take so many laḍḍus, kacorīs, and malpuā, but we should not take all these things. This is hypocrisy. We should only take very simple prasāda to maintain our lives. We should not take luxurious things.
I have seen so many devotees with golden chairs and golden watches. A gṛhastha cannot maintain all these things, and brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs should not also think they can take these things. If you want to do bhajana and have the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vraja, then you must be very far away from all these things.
If any very bona fide Vaiṣṇava comes, we don’t try to follow him, and instead we try to honor very rich people. If someone is very rich then they can buy anything, and so we always say to them, “Come on, come on.” We have nothing to do with bona fide Vaiṣṇavas. We do so much service to all these bogus, silly persons. We also serve māyāvādīs. Sometimes for our meetings we call very beautiful actresses. Has any other disciple of a guru done this? We should not do this. If a rich man comes we honor him so much, but if a very beautiful and high class Vaiṣṇava comes, we don’t honor him, we avert our faces. If we want real bhakti then we should give up all these things.
Whether you are a gṛhastha Vaiṣṇava, or a brahmacari or sannyasi, don’t try to collect more wealth. A gṛhastha should collect just enough so that his life can be easily maintained and, those in the renounced order of life should have nothing like Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rūpa-Sanātana. We should know that we are only the servants of this temple and the devotees of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and that if we take more, we will be punished. We will be smashed. They will look behind you, “What is he doing?” They will always have eyes on you. So we should try to be like this.
We should try to be without hypocrisy. We are chanting the name of Kṛṣṇa. We are going door-to-door and begging, saying, “I want to serve Gurudeva and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Caitanya Mahāprabhu.” We collect so much and give one-fourth to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas and three-fourths we keep to maintain ourselves. This is an offense. We should not do this. What we collect should be given to Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas and to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, otherwise we will have to take responsibility for the money we take. Kṛṣṇa has a very big powerful computer, and He knows everything that you do, so don’t do all this hypocrisy. If you have some wealth and you are the manager of the temple, or if you are a gṛhastha, don’t spend any money on things that are not useful to bhakti. If we are celebrating Janmāṣṭamī we should not spend one lakh or two lakhs only on lighting. This money is the wealth of Kṛṣṇa and Caitanya Mahāprabhu and our guru, so it should be spent properly.
Don’t learn anything to do with logical arguments. Your heart should be very simple. Just hear and write on your heart, and try to establish your heart in the hari-kathā. One day Dronācārya said to the Pāṇḍavas, and the hundred brothers of Duryodhana, “Today I am giving you a very important lesson, you should always speak the truth, and tomorrow you should be ready because I will test you.”
Duryodhana said, “I can see the truth now, no need to wait for tomorrow. I don’t need to be reminded of this.”
But anyway Droṇa said, “Go and prepare yourself and then come.”
The next day he asked, “Who remembers what I taught you?”
Everybody said yes except for Yudhiṣṭhira.
He asked Yudhiṣṭhira, “Do you not remember what I told you?”
Yudhiṣṭhira said, “No I do not.”
“I have not begun to speak the truth. I don’t know what is true and what is not true. Please, you should tell me what is the truth. I know this body is not true. I know this world is not true. But I don’t know what is true.”
Then Droṇācārya said, “Very good, very good, you have understood something. Kṛṣṇa is true, His words are true, the soul is true, and everything else is false. You should know this.”
So we should not learn anything about logical argument.
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
We should approach Gurudeva in a simple, harmonious way and if we see that he is bona fide, then we must serve him. Viśrambhena-guroḥ-seva, we should serve him as a very dear friend. We should serve him with our heart at his lotus feet if he is a bona fide guru. You should ask questions in a harmonious way, not in a challenging way. We can give up our father and mother and our children. We can give up our wealth. We can also give up our wives. [But we should never give up a bona fide guru] In Western countries it is nothing for a wife and husband to divorce. In India this happens sometimes, but now the Western wind is also blowing there.
Pratiṣṭhā is name and fame. This thing is very serious. We can give up everything but pratiṣṭhā is very, very hard to give up. It lives very, very deep in the corner of our heart. We may not even know that it is there. Guru can see all your faults and he will see where it is hiding. If you want to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and Gurudeva then you should give up all these things very carefully. This is the root of all evil. It will cause all offenses. It will create so many anarthas which may make us give up hari-bhakti forever. So this pratiṣṭhā is very dangerous.
Those who have pratiṣṭhā also have hypocrisy. Those who have taken the renounced order only outwardly and not inwardly also have hypocrisy. Sannyāsa is not something to be taken outwardly, and we can see the fruits of this behavior. We can see that there are so many devotees who have lived with their Gurudeva for 20 or 25 years and then afterwards they fall down. So many renounced people have fallen down. So don’t try to be only outwardly renounced. If you have any attachment with Kṛṣṇa in your heart, and if you have a relation with Kṛṣṇa that He is mine and I am His then it will go away, otherwise it will not.
So you are in the renounced order and you have a daṇḍa. What is a daṇḍa? It is Nārāyaṇa. We have taken this Nārāyaṇa daṇḍa so that He can watch and give punishment if we do anything wrong. But we are only doing this outwardly. We are doing so much nonsense. We are disobeying the orders of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. But Gurudeva does not want us to do this. We should not do all these things. So outwardly we are sannyāsīs, but inwardly we are entangled in our sense gratification.
Some devotees are in the renounced order but they want to do pious activities. They want to make Vṛndāvana so clean. You should try to make your heart so clean. After 200 years if you spend 2,000 crores dollars (twenty billion dollars), you can make Vṛndāvana like London, with parks here and there and so many decorated things. Then one flood will come and it will all be destroyed. All the trees will be dried out. You can go to Nandagrāma and see, lakhas and lakhs of tamal trees and kadamba trees have gone. Only thorn trees are there. All the peacocks and cuckoo birds have gone. So we should try to make our hearts Vṛndāvana and for this sādhu-saṅga is essential.
We should try to be under the guidance of bona fide sādhu-saṅga. But some people don’t like to associate with a śuddha-bhakta. They want to associate with karmī, jñānī, yogī and viṣayī. They want the association of rich people. So we should forget all these things and try to develop in our heart the moods of Rūpa, Sanātana, Ragunātha, or our Gurudeva. For those who are more advanced, they also have some hypocrisy hidden behind them, and it is very hard to see.
A very qualified doctor knows many, many things. In India doctors used to be very qualified. Once there was a lady in India who had a pain in her stomach so she went to a very, very qualified doctor, but that doctor had made a promise that he would never touch a lady. The lady started to weep, so the doctor bound her hand with a thin thread of cloth. He then took that thread in his hands and felt her pulse and understood everything through that thread. He then treated her and she got better very quickly. So Ragunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is a very qualified doctor in this line. We should obey him and then all our disease will go away, otherwise it will not go.
The first advice that Ragunātha Gosvāmī gives us is that you should not think that you are a very qualified Vaiṣṇava. This should be given up at once. This is a very simple thing but it is very difficult to give up. A prostitute was sent to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, but he is a bona fide associate of Kṛṣṇa, so he did not fall down. But any other person like Indra or Brahmā could fall down. Nārada can also fall down from there. So don’t think that you are a bona fide Vaiṣṇava and guru. What to say of guru, you should not think that you are a bona fide Vaiṣṇava. If you want to receive all these things, then actually we will see that you are not bona fide. A bona fide guru will not say that he is a Vaiṣṇava. He cannot say this. He will be humble. He will give praṇāma to all. So we should be like this.
He will not keep anything for tomorrow. He will be penniless like Rūpa-Sanātana. Don’t be always teaching young ladies. You should treat them like your daughter, your mother or your sister. You should only be near them at the time of teaching, otherwise lady devotees should be kept separate. Don’t mix so much with the ladies. Don’t laugh and joke with them. You should always do praṇāma to them like they are your elder sister or mother. Don’t talk alone with them if you are in the renounced order. All brahmacārīs should be very careful about this thing.
We are always leaving the temple to collect money. We are always flattering rich people saying, “Oh, you are a very bona fide Vaiṣṇava. You are the heart of the Vaiṣṇavas, you are serving so much,” and then his heart will melt a little. Especially with widows we go and we say, “O mother, mother, mother, sister, sister, sister.” If a brahmacārī does this he will die, so we should not do these things. We say, “I am doing bhajana.” But we are always busy with collecting money. A renounced person should not do this. He should not be always, always, always collecting money. We should collect what is needed, but if we are always thinking day and night how we are going to manage money, money, money and more money, then how will we have time to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa with tears in our eyes and a melting heart.
Two swords cannot live in one sheath. Two swords against each other cannot live in one heart, so one should be driven out. We only give praise to the outward dress of a devotee. If a sannyāsī comes then we give him so much honor, but if a gṛhastha comes who is more qualified than the sannyāsī, then what should we do? We should honor him also. In bhakti those who have more bhakti should be honored more.
nāhaṁ vipro na ca nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro
nāhaṁ varṇī na ca gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā
kintu prodyan nikhila-paramānanda-pūrṇāmṛtābdher
gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ
[I am not a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra, nor a brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha or sannyāsī. Being transcendental to this gross and subtle body, I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of the master of the gopīs, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the ultimate shelter of everyone, full of transcendental bliss, and an ocean of unlimited nectar.]
Those who have more bhakti should be honored more. So I have told so many things but now my time is over and this is my last day here in England. We should try to follow bhakti and we should try to always develop our hearts and develop our devotion. We have not come to this world and to this line to struggle with material things. We have come to serve Caitanya Mahāprabhu and to serve bona fide Vaiṣṇavas. There are no separate parties. We are all in Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s party. We should respect all of the followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and we should hear hari-kathā and take shelter of the lotus feet of those who are higher than us. This will elevate us.
We will meet again. I think that most of you will come to India for kārtika month, and if you don’t go, then by mind you should go, and if my health permits me, then I may come again next year.
I know that I have come by the grace of Svamīji. He has led me here, I know this. I am a penniless person and my English is so poor, but he has brought me here. I have come here to take the dust of the lotus feet of Svamīji. I will help those who want help because Svamīji has ordered me to do so. I want to help ISKCON, and I want to fulfill the desire of Svamīji. So if I have done anything wrong, you should forgive me for that thing and chant Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya.
Gaura-premanande, Hari Haribol!