Advaita Saptami

Advaita Saptami

Today is Advaita Saptamī, the appearance day of Śrī Advaita Prabhu.

In kali-yuga, on the order of God, Lord Śiva came as Śaṅkarācārya and preached advaitavāda, thus cheating the foolish jīvas and making them into māyāvādīs. Lord Shiva is always ready to follow the order of God, and he assists the Supreme Lord in all other yugas.

Advaita Ācārya Prabhu came before the advent of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He thought, “Previously, I taught māyāvāda and sent everyone very far away from God. Now they do not believe in the Deities of God, or the śāstras.”

“They think, ‘I am Brahma.’ They repeat the words, ‘Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma—there is nothing without Brahma,’ and cite the verse,

śloka dhenu pravakṣyāmī
yad aktaṁ yānti koṭibhiḥ
brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā
jīva brahmaiva na paraḥ

“In half a verse, I am summarizing the truth that has been expressed by volumes and volumes of scripture. Within only half a verse I shall give the essence of all truths: brahma satyam, jagan mithya. Brahman, spirit, is true – this world is false. And the jīva is nothing but Brahman. This is the substance of all the scriptures.”

“Brahma is truth, everything else is false.”

“As Śaṅkarācārya, I taught them this. Now, how can I make up for this? How can I bring all jīvas back to God?”

“In kali-yuga, the living entities have very short lifespan, they cannot perform austerity, and they are always cheated by māyā. Even now, everyone is attached to māyāvāda philosophy and has lost everything. The jīvas have become very hard and cruel. They don’t respect each other and perform all kinds of heinous sins. How can I bring them back to the lotus feet of God?”

Advaita Ācārya appeared in kali-yuga as the son of Kuvera Paṇḍita and Nābhā Devī. Everyone in their area placed their faithin Durgā, Kali and other forms of Devī. Kuvera Paṇḍita, however, worshipped Śālagrāma and Madana Gopāla and some people were not happy with him because of this.

The king, however, respected him very much and personally requested him to be his head priest.

“Will you help me worship Devī?” the king asked.

“I will send other priests for this worship,” Kuvera Paṇḍita replied, for he was attached to serving his Śālagrāma and Madana Gopāla.

After sometime, Kuvera Paṇḍita and Nābhā Devī came and resided near Śāntipura. On the bank of the Gaṅgā, many sādhus and sages resided there. It was the place of their austerities. The area was peaceful and quiet and they performed bhajana there. They worshipped the Supreme Lord and respected all of His devotees, and had good relation with the Gītā and Bhāgavata.

One day, Nābhā Devī revealed some thoughts to her husband.

“You are the king’s priest.” She said. “He asked you to worship Devī Durgā, but you did not. I think it is because of a curse from Devī that we have no children. She must have become angry with us.”

“Don’t worry,” Kuvera Paṇḍita said, “Devī has no authority. God is the supreme authority. Await His desire.”

Many years ago, in satya-yuga, on this very day, Lord Viṣṇu and Mahā Lakṣmī appeared in this world to give blessings and help to the jīvas. This day is called Ratha-saptamī, or Makara-saptamī.

Today, in South India they have car festival and the Deities come out of the temple sanctorum to give darśana freely to all.

Kuvera Paṇḍita and Nābhā Devī surrendered to Lord Viṣṇu. Sadā Śiva and Mahā Viṣṇu are non-different. If Shiva’s post is ever empty, Viṣṇu comes to fill the post of Sadā Śiva and performs his universal duties.

Advaita Ācārya appeared as Kuvera Paṇḍita’s son this day of Makara-saptamī and was given the name Kamalākṣa. The name Kamalākṣa does not only mean that he has eyes as beautiful as lotus petals. In the book Advaita Prakāśa it is explained that Advaita Ācārya is kamalākṣa, meaning his eyes are always fixed on śāstra, sādhus, Śrī Guru and worshipable persons. He doesn’t use his eyes for any other purpose.

When a lotus blossoms everyone becomes pleased and attracted by its beauty. In he same way, whoever came near Kamalākṣa began to follow the rules and regulations of śāstra and to worship God.

When Advaita Ācārya was a boy, Madhavendra Puripada came to his house. Kuvera Paṇḍita properly respected Madhavendra Purī along with the devotees who had accompanied him, such as Īśvara Purī and Paramānanda Purī. They were traveling to all the holy places of India and they stayed in the home of Kuvera Paṇḍita for some time. Kuvera Paṇḍita never knew what was being said during the long meetings of Madhavendra Purī and Kamalākṣa that took place during their stay.

It came to pass that the king got news Kuvera Paṇḍita’s brilliant son, who was said to be fully knowledgeable in veda and vedānta, as well as the past, present and future.

He sent a message to Kuvera Paṇḍita. “Please bring your son to my palace one day. I wish to meet him.” This was his request.

Kuvera Paṇḍita took Kamalākṣa along with him to the palace one day, and the king was very happy to see the young boy. He respected them both and then began to ask many things to Kamalākṣa, who gave very direct and sweet answers.

Many other paṇḍitas were present in the king’s court and they became very jealous.

“Please come every week with your father,” the king said to Kamalākṣa, “We will be pleased to receive your teachings.”

Kamalaksa began to come with his parents to the king’s court. He gave intelligent answers to any questions asked to him by the priests, paṇḍitas and the king. Everyone was very happy. Their hearts were cooled in his presence. The king was especially pleased.
At that time, the brāhmaṇas were all generally smārtas who worshipped Kali and performed taṅtra-upāsanā, dark worship.

“The Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā is the most important scripture,” Kamalākṣa said. The king agreed, and when Kamalākṣa came next to the court, he began to give lectures on the Bhagavad-gītā.



Līlā-rasa attracts all. Now, try to understand the meaning of rāsa-līlā. People think that rāsa-līlā is just dance, drama, kissing, embracing, and joking together. However, rāsa-līlā is kṛṣṇa-rasa, bhakti-rasa, prema-rasa, and vraja-rasa. How will it come? Caitanya-candra brought saṅkīrtana-rasa, which cleanses the heart, takes away all desire for mundane rasa, and opens the doors for aprākṛta-rasa.
First, faith will come. After faith, deep eagerness for following the limbs of bhakti, such as śravaṇam, kīrtanam, smaraṇam, up to ātma-nivedanam, will arise. Śravaṇam, kīrtanam and smaraṇam is sambandha-jñānātmaka-rasa. This bestows realization of one’s eternal relation with Kṛṣṇa and His associates.
Arcanam, vandanam, and pāda-sevanam is abhidheya-jñānātmaka-rasa. Dāsyam, sakhyam, and ātma-nivedanam is prayojana-jñānātmaka-rasa. This rāsa-līlā is līlā dhātu, meaning, the process to make one śobhāyamān, effulgent with pure love. Lilā-śakti and bhagavad-śakti enter within all one’s limbs, making one effulgent with pure love, and bestowing the qualification to enter into the transcendental world.

anugrahāya bhaktānāṁ mānuṣaṁ deham āsthitaḥ
bhajate tādṛśīḥ krīḍā yāḥ śrutvā tat-paro bhavet
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.33.36
In order to bestow mercy upon the devotees as well as the conditioned souls, Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifests His humanlike form and performs such extraordinary pastimes (rāsa-līlā) that anyone who hears them becomes exclusively devoted unto Him.

In the transcendental world, this rāsa-līlā is eternally running, but Kṛṣṇa comes and performs rāsa-līlā in this world to lift the conditioned souls out of their attachment to jaḍa-rasa and attract them to the eternal world. By this pastime, Kṛṣṇa gives news of the eternal world and arranges to bring the lost souls home.

First, this saṅkīrtana-rasa will clean us from top to bottom; then the energy of bhakti-rasa will come. Faith will come, and it will increase to deep and firm faith. Then taste, ruci, will arise. Everything will be very sweet at that time performing hari-kathā, kīrtana, harināma, śravaṇa—all our activities will be for God’s service only, and everything will be very tasteful. Not only tasteful, but by serving realization will come.

Our sevā will be natural and direct. Govinda, Dāmodara and Mādhava will always be present with us. In rāsa-līlā, rasa is overflowing, and that is what attracts Kṛṣṇa. He is raso vai sah. If there is mundane rasa—like in our young age, when many witches, ghosts, apsarās, demigods, and brahma-rākṣasas come to attack us—Kṛṣṇa will not come.

Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā is transcendental. The desire to attain that is necessary for all. Smaraṇa is required. At first it is not possible. When chanting harināma and guru-mantra, the mind goes here and there. When you do guru-mantra, remember Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas and how they serve. Offer praṇāma. Then qualified godbrothers and godsisters will instruct you. They will say, “Sweep here, bring a nice flower, paste candana, bring garlands, wash cloth, arrange tilaka, ācamana, and āsana. Bathe Śrīla Gurudeva and give him a seat. Offer him flowers, incense, cloth, brahmin thread, and so forth.”

Remember and serve Guru-pāda-padma, following the process of arcana, as you chant the mantra that he gave you. Follow the same process of arcana for God. By practicing this for some time, what is to be done next will become clear to you. At night before you sleep, you will already know what to do early in the morning. Everything will be favorable. This is called vihāra.

One name of Kṛṣṇa is Bihārī. He is Vinoda Bihārī, Ramaṇa Bihārī, Bāṅke Bihārī, Rāsa Bihārī. He wanders around playing everywhere. If in any place there is no transcendental rasa, only mundane rasa, Kṛṣṇa will not come there. How can that transcendental rasa come into the heart? When it comes, the heart will be cleansed through and through with mādhurya.
tad ucchvasita-yauvanaṁ tarala-śaiśavālaṁkṛtaṁ
mada-cchurita-locanaṁ madana-mugdha-hāsāmṛtam
prati-kṣana-vilobhanaṁ praṇaya-pīta-vaṁśī-mukhaṁ
jagat-traya-vimohanam jayati māmakaṁ jīvitam
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 88

All glories to Kṛṣṇa, my very life and the enchanter of the three worlds! His now-blooming youth is adorned with the last flickering of childhood. His eyes flashing with delight, He bewilders Cupid with the nectar of His smile. His beauty beguiles at every moment, and out of love He drinks from the mouth of His flute.

Now Kṛṣṇa’s kaiśora age has come. His eyes are restless. His face, forehead, hands, and the rest of His body become reddish with the color of anurāga. He smiles a little, and then Kāmadeva captivates everyone, making them forget everything else.

In the Himalayas there are huge glaciers. When the summer season comes, some of the ice melts and flows down as water. The sun gives heat not only to melt the ice, the sun drinks the water and stores it in the sky, making clouds. They are like big water tanks and are sometimes twenty or thirty kilometers wide. Sometimes they are so big they stretch across the sky without any boundary. The Sun has this capacity—to catch, control and collect water. He sends the thick and dirty water down to the ocean, but what is very clean and sweet he takes up to the sky. He gets rid of pollution in the water and takes only the pure essence.

The Vrajavāsīs have kṛṣṇa-darśana-lālasā. With their two eyes, they collect this rasa. If anyone is greedy, they will collect the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s young age with their eyes and keep Him always in their heart. Then Madana’s affect will fill them with sweetness. They will dance, sing and busy themselves in a happy mood. They will never be hopeless, tired, weak or sick. That is the rule of love. By prema, love, all are controlled.

citraṁ tad etac caraṇāravindaṁ
citraṁ tad etan nayanāravindam
citraṁ tad etad vadanāravindaṁ
citraṁ tad etad vapurasya citram
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 89

How wondrous are these lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa! How wondrous these lotus eyes! How wondrous this lotus face! Oh, how wondrous, wondrous is His divine form!

Sometimes Citrā-devī, who is an expert artist, paints the feet of that Kiśora Kṛṣṇa, who has His right foot charmingly crossed over His left. The Vraja-devīs are very pleased to see this art. Why? Because, in those feet, Kiśora Kṛṣṇa’s anurāga is present.

At the end of the summer season, at the sight of dark clouds, people understand that the cooling monsoon rain is coming. When the Vraja-devīs see Citrā-devī’s painting of Kṛṣṇa’s feet, they feel that those feet are soon coming to them, like the coming of a rainstorm. They start dancing and doing kīrtana, “Kṛṣṇa is coming!”

Next, Citrā makes a painting of His face. Watching that face, the Vraja-devīs think, “How can we call Him? How can we invite Him here? What will we arrange for Him? Should we make a nice drink, juice, or some sweets?” They do smaraṇa of Kṛṣṇa and long to serve Him, drinking the beauty of His youth with their eyes.

Now Citrā-devī makes a painting of His eyes. He has long eyes, with beautiful eyelids and eyebrows. Kṛṣṇa’s eyes are always very restless. There is no guarantee which way He will look and give some hint. If anyone sees Him eye to eye, then their desire will never go elsewhere.

Now Citrā-devī makes a painting of Kṛṣṇa’s body. Aho! All those who see this painting fall senseless, and they bring Kṛṣṇa directly into their heart.

Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura tells us how to gradually realize and have darśana of the All-Attractive Lord Kṛṣṇa. He says, “Think first of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. That nectar will come to you all the way from Vraja-maṇḍala. You will be transported there and will never have a desire to leave.” If you come to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet, He will take you to His lap or chest and embrace you.
When Gopa Kumāra came to Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa ran and embraced him, saying, “Oh my dear friend! You have come!” Touching Kṛṣṇa, Gopa Kumāra fell senseless in ecstasy. Kṛṣṇa sees us in this material world and thinks, “Why are My friends not with Me? When will they come? Who will come to Me?” He wonders further, “Who has come to Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs? Who is staying in Vṛndāvana? Who is near My cows? Who desires these things?”

Then to this world, He sends His boat of harināma.

harināmera naukā khāni śrī guru kāṇḍārī
saṅkīrtana kheroyāla du’ bāhu pasāri

Harināma is the boat, Śrī Guru is the helmsman, and the saṅkīrtana party moving with upraised arms are the oars!

This boat doesn’t set sail without its captain. Śrī Guru comes to us with harināma and calls, “Who wants to come on my boat? I am the captain. Come on my boat, and I will carry you to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.”

Gurudeva brings us with this boat to Kṛṣṇa’s outstretched arms. But before Kṛṣṇa sends the boat, He looks closely with His all-seeing, ever-so-restless eyes, and considers, “Who has the desire to come? To them, I will send My boat of harināma and bring them to Me in Vṛndāvana.”

hṛdoya pīḍita jā’ra, kṛṣṇa cikitsaka tā’ra,
bhava-roga nāśite catura
kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha-jane, premāmṛta-vitaraṇe,
krame loya nija antaḥpura
Kṛṣṇa is the doctor for those whose hearts are ailing, as He is very expert at destroying the diseased condition of material existence. By distributing the nectar of ecstatic love to all the inimical souls, He gradually takes them back into His own confidential realm.

If a distressed person, who is tired of suffering in material existence for so long, cries out, “O Kṛṣṇa! O Puṇḍarīkākṣa! Save me. No one else is my protector!” then Kṛṣṇa will help him. He may be a baby, an old man or woman in an old-home, a dying person, or a beggar starving on the street—whoever he is, Kṛṣṇa will immediately arrange all help. Kṛṣṇa will soothe him with His sweet words. He will send good friends to help. He will give him treatment and change his nature.

Then Kṛṣṇa will be very happy. What will He do next? He will give rati, and He will make one eternally youthful. When someone reaches this stage, he will be pleasing to everyone around because of his constant remembrance of Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa likes a person, then all will like him. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭaḥ.

If Kṛṣṇa does not like someone, then no one in the world will like that person or wish to have anything to do with him. But if Kṛṣṇa is pleased with anyone, then the whole world will be as well.

How is Kṛṣṇa’s figure? Citrā-devī paints Kṛṣṇa’s divine form for the world to see. Then people can observe Him. They don’t know—sometimes they go to a temple of Kṛṣṇa or near His deity or glance at His picture, but automatically the work begins. They think, “This picture is nothing but a piece of art.” But only viewing this once is enough. Then the work begins. This is more powerful than a magnet or anything else. This power is unlimited. He will send all help, one after another. Kṛṣṇa sends one, and you forget, then He will send another. He thinks, “Why didn’t he come? Why hasn’t he changed yet?” He will help like this.

marakata-nāyaka-mahā-maṇiṁ vande
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 90
I bow down to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the only ornament of the entire world, yet who is ornamented by the pitcher-like breasts of Śrī Rādhā. He is the great, central jewel among the necklace of emerald-like young girls of Vraja.
In this world, all things are Kṛṣṇa’s property. Kṛṣṇa is like an ornament for the devotees. This is Kṛṣṇa’s beauty. When Kṛṣṇa sees that His devotees are dancing, singing, and playing, and He becomes very happy. This is Kṛṣṇa’s ornament. Kṛṣṇa decorates His body with His devotees. This is Kṛṣṇa’s sweetness. When a person studies and becomes expert in some field, then this qualification is his ornament. But Kṛṣṇa’s ornaments are all His pure devotees.

Mahā Lakṣmī gives gold, pearls, diamonds, and mundane wealth. This is her decoration and ornament, her power and capacity. But Kṛṣṇa doesn’t give anything like this—any stone or mundane thing—Kṛṣṇa gives the sweetness of Vraja anurāga. The Vraja-devīs decorate Kṛṣṇa with flowers, creepers, leaves, and peacock feathers. Kṛṣṇa wears that and becomes very happy. But really, all over the world, Kṛṣṇa’s most important ornaments are His followers. Lotuses are the decorations of a lake. In the same way, if any devotee’s heart has Kṛṣṇa present there, this is their decoration, and the devotees are the decorations in Kṛṣṇa’s heart.

Prahlāda Mahārāja came in a demon family, but he was the ornament in the dynasty of demons. Dhruva came and decorated his dynasty, and so many other devotees come in this world and are the decorations of this world. In the early morning after the rain, if you look west, you may see a rainbow with seven colors decorating the sky. It is very beautiful and attracts your heart. Watching this, you feel great pleasure. In the same way, if anyone remembers Kṛṣṇa—His qualities, color, form—all that appears in the heart.

Śrīmatī Rādhārānī understands Kṛṣṇa’s desire and decorates Herself accordingly. When Kṛṣṇa watches Her later, He begins to sweat and thinks, “How is this possible? How does She understand My heart? My desire is ever-present with Her. How She combs Her hair! How Her body is covered with mehendi, kuṁkuma and karpura! The perfume She uses!” Kṛṣṇa’s earrings, peacock feather, and so many things of His are imprinted on Her saree. She also feels great bliss, for all She does is for the happiness of Kṛṣṇa.



Kṛṣṇa’s name is our life and soul. How is this? Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is in Uddhava Kyārī, lying on a bed of lotus petals. The sakhīs fan Her and sprinkle water on Her face, while chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. They offer Her this nectar. Sometimes She opens Her eyes, but Her body is as if senseless. Regularly they check with a piece of cotton to see if She is breathing or not. They check Her pulse, and serve Her in so many ways. While fanning Her they think, “May we not disturb Her body.” They want to massage Her but are afraid that it will disturb Her more. Then they rub Her feet with oil and smear sandalwood paste on Her Divine Form.
In this position, kṛṣṇa-nāma is Her only drink.
The Vraja-devīs drop kṛṣṇa-nāma in Rādhārānī’s ears. They sing very carefully—with a pathetic, romantic tone—and while doing so, the sakhīs themselves experience aṣṭa-sāttvika-vikāra. At times, when hearing Kṛṣṇa’s name, She opens Her eyes and tries to say something, but no sound comes out. Lalitā and the other sakhīs go nearer to try and understand what Śrīmatī Rādhārānī wants to say.
Vṛndā-devī cannot tolerate the situation. She thinks, “I will fly to Dvārakā and bring Kṛṣṇa back by any means.” But the next minute, she sees that many svarūpas of Kṛṣṇa are everywhere in Uddhava Kyārī under the kadamba and tamala trees. Kṛṣṇa is always present to hear and drink the nectarful words of Rādhārānī, like fog has many very small particles dropping all over. What does Rādhārānī say? Kṛṣṇa is very eager to hear how the gopīs are remembering Him, or insulting Him.
Even after attaining siddhi, the sādhaka cannot understand these moods of the Vraja-devīs, unless the nitya-siddhas instill within one’s heart that same anurāga which is in their hearts by their causeless mercy. Many may think, “Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is sick, and lying on Her deathbed.” But this is not the case. It is not Her last moment. How is this separation for Kṛṣṇa? How is the position of someone who feels it? This is only possible to understand by the mercy of the Vraja-devīs.
Wherever devotees go, they remember Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, glories and followers. Everywhere, they perform nāma-saṅkīrtana and remember Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa, and līlā. If any person watches them and is disturbed, they are not affected. Why? Their eyes never see this. When the sun rises in the early morning, a light reddish color comes. They think, “Kṛṣṇa is definitely coming and showering us with his anurāga.” If they see anything against Him, like Śaṅkhacūḍa or anyone with a demonic nature, they think, “Surely Kṛṣṇa will come soon to protect us. Murāri will definitely speak something very sweet. He will ask, ‘Why have you gone some distance to Me? Why have you forgotten Me? You have gone far away, therefore many demons come and attack you.’”
The bhaktas always remember Kṛṣṇa’s beauty, and this gives them pride and hope. They remember Kṛṣṇa’s face and unparalleled love. The bhaktas offer puṣpāñjali to Kṛṣṇa with their moods. They remember the glories of Kṛṣṇa and offer this. Nothing bad can come in their heart. They never offer Kṛṣṇa any complaint. This is not the standard of bhaktas. This is the nature of lower-class, tāmasika people. They always complain and blame others. The devotees continuously kiss Kṛṣṇa’s face and serve Him. Kṛṣṇa’s face is very sweet. After kissing Him, His beauty comes in their heart, and they sing, dance and offer many sweet verses as gifts to Kṛṣṇa.
sarva-jñātve ca maugdhye ca
sarva-bhaumam idaṁ mahaḥ
nirviśan nayanaṁ hanta
nirvāṇa-padam aśnute
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 83
Glory personified Kṛṣṇa has attained all excellence, both in His omniscience and His innocence. Having entered my eyes, He is enjoying great bliss. This is a great wonder!
puṣṇānam etat punarukta-śobhām
uṣṇetarāṁśor udayān mukhendoḥ
tṛṣṇāmburāśiṁ dviguṇī-karoti
kṛṣṇāhvayaṁ kiñcana jīvitaṁ me
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 84
With the rising of His moon-like face this certain personality known as Kṛṣṇa is nourishing the faded luster of the cooling moon and doubling the ocean of my thirst to see Him. He is my very life and soul.
tad etad ātāmra-vilocana-śrī-
muhur murārer madhurādharoṣṭhaṁ
mukhāmbujaṁ cumbati mānasaṁ me
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 85
Again and again I mentally kiss Murāri’s lotus face, with its sweet lips and its beautiful, slightly reddish eyes, which graces all His humble devotees.
karau śaradijāmbuja-krama-vilāsa-śikṣā-gurau
padau vibudha-pādapa-prathama-pallavollāṅghinau
dṛśau dalita-durmada-tribhuvanopamāna-śriyau
vilokaya vilocanāmṛtam aho mahaḥ śaiśavam
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 86
Behold this nectar for the eyes, the luster of this young boy Kṛṣṇa! His hands teach graceful gestures to the autumn lotuses, His feet excel freshly grown desire-tree sprouts in tenderness, and the beauty of His eyes destroys the pride of all comparable things.
One Vraja-devī watches Kṛṣṇa from a long distance away and declares, “This naṭavara Nanda-kiśora is like an effulgent light. Watching Him, our eyes are infused with so much power.”
In the autumn season, the water of a pond is very clean and you can see through it to the bottom. But our eyes collect many things now; therefore they are very dirty, and we can’t see through to our soul or the Supreme Soul. We have collected many mundane things for millions of lives; because of this, we have many layers covering our soul.
Like film in a camera—the lens takes pictures and saves it inside the camera. If you put in a new roll of film when the previous roll is finished, then you can take more pictures. If you keep the old film inside the camera, you can’t take new pictures. Similarly, these eyes save and collect lifetimes of impressions in our mind, and therefore we have no more free space there.
The Vraja-devīs’s eyes are like the autumn season. If you go near the Vraja-devīs, or any Vrajavāsīs, then this jyoti-puñja, this light, will come and clean your eyes and the film of the heart. Then you will be able to see your real self, as well as the Supreme Soul. Then you will understand who is your real friend and helper.
We can attain spiritual vision when a bona fide śikṣā-guru practically shows which process to follow in our life.
There are two types of etiquette. One is good etiquette and one is bad etiquette. But now everyone learns bad etiquette. Therefore all suffer, and their eyes can never cross beyond māyā. If I am with a bogus guru, then, to attain much wealth, health, enjoyment, and other things, I will worship demigods and do any vrata, tapa, japa, following other rules and regulations to obtain selfish fulfillment. I will become more and more eager to enjoy māyā and to gratify my senses. I will have no desire for hari-kathā or hari-kīrtana. I will then go in the wrong direction. This is the test. We have to ask ourselves,
“Has my desire for harināma increased or not? Has desire come to hear hari-kathā or not? Do I run for enjoyment or shirk from sādhu-saṅga?”
What is the result of staying in the association of a bona fide teacher? Many people may come to make friendship with you, to talk with you about mundane life and thus steal your time, but you will have no taste for this and will shy away from them. And you will run anywhere there is hari-kīrtana and hari-kathā. You will never speak uselessly. All good qualities will come and be present with you for all time. You will be like a lotus living in water without getting wet. In this world, the lotus stays in the water but has no direct contact with water. Similarly, you will never be fearful of anything in this world, and will always be engaged in God’s service. (see more)

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“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-sudhanidhi, 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