Lavanya is a special quality like the milk of a cow, the fruits of a tree, or the flower of a creeper It is that special factor which makes something wonderful, unique, and attractive. Lavanya is not just ordinary beauty. It is the love in the heart. When people learn to direct their love solely to Krsna and not misplace or distribute it here and there, then that love becomes fully powerful and sweet, like a ripe fruit. If a person instead spreads his love to meet the many sense objects of this mundane world then he will be like a fruit with no juice, or a plant bereft of fruits, leaves of flowers. It is therefore greatly dangerous for unqualified people to take the position of guru. Unqualified gurus give their love away to conditioned souls and become attached to them and fallen with them. They do not remain one-pointed to Radha-Krsna. Rainclouds have lavanya. They are full of rasa, or water and shine with electricity. The sun collects water form the ocean, rivers, and lakes, and this becomes the lavanya of the clouds. Water which nourishes all life is the lavanya of the cloud’s. When the bhaktas are with Krsna they feel power as a result of His sakti. They receive all good qualities, but these qualities are not their own, they are nothing but the mercy of Srimati Radharani.
The second parasiti (condition) is as follows: Suppose at the time of taking diksa one’s
gurudeva was really following the Vaisnava line, he was a madhyama-adhikari, and he knew many tattvas like krsna-tattva, and maya tattva. Then, after some time, he began to take the association of a mayavadi, sahajiya, or materialist. He stopped chanting, and after that he began to criticise Vaisnavas, no longer accepting the guru-parampara. The sisya should at once give him up, as one passes stool. When one gives up stool, he becomes very happy and he feels fresh. Similarly, upon giving up all these “kan-gurus”, the aspiring devotee will be extremely happy.
“If Mahaprabhu had not appeared then how could we sustain our lives? How could we live? What type of ecstatic Rasa has He imbibed that we have been able to have a little taste? Without this our lives would be impossible. Who else could take us to the acme of realisation of the position of Srimati Radharani. She holds the highest position. She is the greatest victim to the consuming capacity of Sri Krsna. She stands as the greatest sacrifice before Krsna’s infinite consuming power. Rasaraj-Mahabhav – the Rasa is there, and She is the drawer of that Rasa from the storehouse. She has such negative capacity that she can draw out the Rasa from the storehouse. She has such negative capacity that she can draw out the Rasa to the highest degree both in quality and quantity. Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj said, “My Guru is Radharani. She will be very gracious to You Krsna if You help me in discharging the order of my Gurudev – if You help me in my propaganda work.”
While drugs may enable one to penetrate into subtle realms otherwise unknown to those on the gross plane of existence, these subtle material planes are of no actual use to the soul, but merely represent another, often more dangerous and powerful trapping for the soul. The subtle body and realms are also material trappings…
One night, however, Prabhupada had a dream-like vision in which he saw all the members of the Pancha Tattva being .led by Mahaprabhu in sankirtan, dancing toward the birthplace at the Yoga Pith in Mayapur, approaching the Nata-mandim from the east. They were followed by the six Goswamis and by Vaishnava Sarvabhauma Jagannath Das Babaji, Bhaktivinode Thakur, Gaura Kishor Das Babaji and other members of the disciplic succession, all appearing in effulgent, divine forms.
They consoled Prabhupada, saying, “Why are you worrying? Get the task of preaching pure devotion underway. Preach Mahaprabhu’s message everywhere: spread service to Gaum-dhama (Mahaprabhu’s abode), Gaum-nama (his name), and Gaum-kama (his desire or work). All of us are at the ready to support you at every turn. We will help you at every moment in your efforts to preach pure devotional service. Countless people, unlimited wealth and extraordinary scholarship are all waiting for you to call on them. Whenever you need anything at all, it will come to you to be engaged in the service of the preaching mission. Simply go forward to’ preach the message of love of God as given by Sriman Mahaprabhu, giving it your total effort. No worldly force will be able to disrupt this effort. We are with you always.”
We don’t have to make disciples, we have to become disciples. In other words, we have to remain constantly engaged in the service of Krishna and the spiritual master. The devotees of Vishnu, the Vaishnavas, see the guru in all things. If one becomes proud of being a Vaishnava, then one’s service to Vishnu and the Vaishnavas evaporates. One who is free from the sense that he is the doer, who thinks, “I actually do nothing myself, it is Krishna alone who engages me in all activities.” And who is constantly engaged in the service of the Lord, can actually do something beneficial for the ordinary soul by turning them toward Krishna. But it is not enough to make phoney speeches about how you are not the doer. You have to genuinely feel that you are being made to act by the Lord.
These disciples then went to the sahajiya babajis at Radha Kunda. Those sahajiya babajis then gave them ‘siddha pranamli’ for five anna paisa, although they never knew the meaning of siddha-pranali. Real siddha-pranali has been explained by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. I was searching for these new babajis, and I have now heard that they are married. Don’t be like them. Be disciples like Sannyasi Thakura. A disciple like this Sannyasi Thakura will never fall down.
Those who have taken to Krsna consciousness seriously, even there are some faults, still, they are saintly persons. That is the recommendation of Krsna. Because that fault may be due to his past habits, but that is being stopped. Just like you make the switch off, no more electric current will act, but the fan still gives some round due to the past force. Similarly, a Krsna consciousness person, even if he’s found at fault, Krsna says, “No. “Sadhur eva sa mantavyah. “He’s saintly person sadhu. “ Why? Now, the process he has taken up, that will cure him in due course of time. Sasvac chantim nigacchati. So those who have fortunately come to this platform of Krsna consciousness by association, and by practice, this is the way. So stick to it. Don’t go away. Even if you find some fault, don’t go away from the association. Struggle, and Krsna will help you.
Those who suppose they understand the meaning of his message without securing the guiding grace of the Acarya are disposed to unduly favor the methods of empiric study of his writings. There are persons who have got by heart almost everything that he wrote without being able to catch the least particle of his meaning. Such study cannot benefit those who are not prepared to act up to the instructions lucidly conveyed by his words. There is no honest chance of missing the warnings of Thakur Bhaktivinode.
What is Bhaktabandhav
Sri Krsna says:
asmakam bandhava bhakta
bhaktanam bandhava vayam
“I am the dearmost friend of the devotees, and the devotees are My dearmost friends.”
The title ‘Bhaktabandhav – dearmost friend of the devotees’ was given to our Srila Gurudeva, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, by his spiritual master. Bhakta means devotee and bandhav is the Sanskrit word for superlative friendship, indicating a loving bond that cannot be broken.
Krsna teaches that serving the devotees is more important than His own worship. Moreover, that those who consider themselves His devotees are not His real devotees, but those who are the devotees of His devotees, they are the real devotees. Therefore, our focus at Bhaktabandhav is serving the devotees and helping all people attain their true, spiritual identity, as pure loving devotees of the absolute, loving reality, the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.
We help people develop their ultimate, spiritual potential, by personal guidance in applying the principles of pure bhakti-yoga. Our mission is not to change or save the world, but to help the individual transcend it. The world is a training ground, the university of life. We help people graduate to a higher ground, the spiritual plane of existence. Once we’ve trained the next generation of spiritual leaders, we guide them in training the next generation of spiritual aspirants, helping them transcend bondage to materialism. Thus, the mission of the world is fulfilled.
Our Headquarters and Daily Schedule
People of over a dozen nationalities and disciples of a dozen gurus reside harmoniously together in our mission headquarters, Sri Radhe Kunj, Vrindavan, India.
Our doors are always open, welcoming everyone for daily free feasts and programs full of illuminating classes, japa, meditation, guided pilgrimage, singing and dancing in kirtan, and courses on existential truths, the process of spiritual progress, and attainment of the ultimate goal of life, pure love of the absolute, loving reality.
Our morning services began at 4:30 a.m. with a half hour of prayers to the saints and the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, followed by the first of five daily aratis. Senior monks wake hours before this, and go on daily pilgrimage of various holy sites, returning in time for the 4:30 prayers and mangala-arati.
After the pre-dawn arati in the temple, residents and guests perform their morning meditations, gayatri-mantras, and japa chanting of the mahamantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
From 6 to 7 a.m. the monks sing kirtans, followed by the morning class until 8 a.m, and the arati to the ascended line of pure gurus. After breakfast, the monks attend to their various duties and services, including outreach work, preparation of a free lunch feast for our hundreds of daily guests, publication work, temple maintenance, and so forth. In the evening, we have a program of kirtana, class, and aratis, beginning from 5:30 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m.
“Rasik Mohan Das and the Bhaktabandhav team are doing an invaluable service publishing the hari-katha of Sripada Premananda Prabhu, Srila Gurudeva B.V. Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and the books of the acaryas. Books like Sri Guru Darsana, Krsna-karnamrta, Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, and so on, provide a wealth of information and purification: these volumes make one feel as though they are in Gurudeva’s presence, imbibing pure bhakti as only he could provide it.”
— Steven J. Rosen, Satyaraja Dasa (acbsp), author of 30 books on Gaudiya Vaishnavism, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, and associate editor of Back to Godhead
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