Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja : On Raganuga-bhakti – Our vision of guru should not be mayavada. You understand?

Practically everyone in our sampradaya stresses on Gopi-janavallabha. By the grace of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, those who come to this sampradaya are mainly of gopi-bhava. Some may be of other rasas, like Srivasa Thakura, Murari Gupta, Anupama, and others like them.

Thus, Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara received the same mantra, although their siddha-dehas (spiritual bodies) were in separate rasas. Vijaya Kumara saw his Gurudeva as a manifestation of Lalita, and Vrajanatha saw him as a manifestation of Baladeva Prabhu or Subala.

It can happen like this. Guru gives training for serving under the guidance of Lalita and Visakha in madhura-rasa. Rupa Manjari, who is Radhika’s prana-sakhi (in the group of Her most intimate maidservants), also gives training in all the services of Radhika’s maidservants. She does so not as a guru, but as a very intimate bosom friend. In madhura-rasa, everyone has to go to Rupa Manjari for training in order to serve as a manjari. We can see our guru as a manifestation of Rupa Manjari, not as Rupa Manjari herself. Our vision of guru should not be mayavada. You understand?

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Can you please explain that point?

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should see our Gurudeva as a manifestation of Rupa Manjari; that is quite proper. This is what is meant by saying that Gopala Guru Gosvami was seen as Lalita and also as Subala. It means that he is their manifestation, just as one can see Narayana, Vamana, and all other incarnations in Krsna. Anyone can see his guru in this way, according to one’s inner bhava, as a manifestation. Otherwise, seeing him directly as Rupa Manjari will be mayavada (impersonalism); it is essential to always keep mayavada very far away.

Here in this verse, seva-sadhaka-rupena means that one externally performs service as Rupa Gosvami did. What did he do?

sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-krtau
nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau
radha-krsna-guna-smrter madhurimanandena sammohitau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau
(Sad Gosvamyastakam 6)

[“I worship the Six Gosvamis, who passed all their time in chanting the holy names, singing songs, and offering dandavat-pranama, thereby humbly fulfilling their vow to complete a fixed number daily. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and conquered over eating, sleeping, and other such pleasures. Always very meek and humble, they became enchanted in divine rapture from remembering Sri Sri Radha-Krsna’s sweet qualities.”]

Sometimes he would go to Radha Kunda, sometimes to Govardhana, and sometimes to Nandagram. In Nandagaon he would sometimes go to Ter Kadamba, and sometimes he would spend one day at Uddhava Kyari, Nanda Baithak, Kokilavana, or Javat. He visited all these dearmost places.

He always liked to be in Javat, because Srimati Radhika, Rupa Manjari, and all of Radhika’s friends used to live there. At night they would go from there to meet with Krsna in Sanket, Seva Kunja, and many other places, and at midday they would meet at Radha Kunda. Radha Kunda holds some greater importance than all other places, because the pastimes there take place in the daytime, with only Srimati Radhika’s gana (group).

Liked it? Take a second to support Bhaktabandhav on Patreon!