[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, U.K. 1996 (Radlett, 20 May), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]
Srila Gurudeva: Because the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu, Gauracandra, and my disciplic order consisting of all Gurus is there. I never remember anusvara and visargha (Sanskrit grammar). But by continuously reading, I know the moods of the slokas. I have read Srimad Bhagavatam and I go deep into the slokas. When I read Caitanya-caritamrita, I go deep into the slokas and purports that very few can explain all these moods. So, we should do a kirtan while praying to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that His causeless mercy should enter our heart. And we will be qualified to always serve Krsna. We will continuously serve Krsna without any break. We will serve spontaneously. And, you should have taste by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So, you should sing, “Gauranga bolite ha’be pulaka sarira.”
[The devotees sing, “Gauranga bolite ha’be pulaka sarira.”]
Here, Narottoma Thakura says, “Gauranga bolite ha’be pulaka sarira. When will a day come when on saying ‘Gauranga,’ the hair on our body will stand on end and our heart will melt?”
If the hair doesn’t stand on end and if tears don’t come, then it is no sign of prema. If the heart is not melting…the heart should melt. And then, tears come following the melting of the heart. If all these symptoms are seen, then it is bona fide prema. Otherwise, it will not be bona fide even if tears are coming without the melting of the heart. I want to tell a very little story in this regard.
There was a very good scholar reading and explaining the Srimad Bhagavatam in Vrndavana. He was about eighty years old. So, he was speaking on the Srimad Bhagavatam. When he was explaining the Srimad Bhagavatam, all were weeping. The audience wept as they heard him speak. He was explaining a sloka of the Rasa-pancadhyaya. And that sloka was:
tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam
kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
bhuvi grnanti te bhuri-da janah
–Srimad Bhagavatam 10.31.9
[O Krsna, nectar-filled narrations about You are the life and soul of persons suffering in separation from You, and they are sung by great, realized poets who are Your devotees. Just by hearing the all-auspicious narrations about You, all kinds of sins, such as prarabdha and aprarabdha, are removed, and all prosperity, in the form of prema-bhakti, arises in the heart. Therefore no one is equal to or more generous than he who chants and propagates narrations about You.]
This is a very beautiful sloka. Prataparudra Maharaja read this sloka when Caitanya Mahaprabhu was feeling the separation mood so much. And, He was sleeping under a tree. Prataparudra came without wearing any kingly clothes. He only wore a dhoti. Folding his hands, he sat down and began to sing these verses of the Gopi-gita. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard this sloka, He at once embraced him while crying out, “O Krsna! O Krsna!”
He asked, “Who are you? You are giving Me so much nectar! What should I give you in return? I am a sannyasi. I have nothing; I am akincana and dina-hina (having only Krsna). What should I do? I can only give you My embrace.”
Thus, He at once embraced Prataparudra Maharaja. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had made an oath that He would not meet Prataparudra Maharaja although he was a high class of a Vaisnava because he was a king. Mahaprabhu said, “A king is like a snake. So I will not see him.” But when he recited this sloka, Mahaprabhu forgot everything. He was unaware of who this person was and He at once embraced him. So this sloka has so many deep meanings. And, all were weeping by hearing the explanation of this very good Vaisnava. I will try to explain this sloka in summary. So, all were weeping. They were doing like this (Srila Gurudeva makes some movements). When the katha was finished, the audience offered their pranama to each other, to the place, and to the person who was speaking the Bhagavatam. But there was an old lady who was waiting.
She came to the speaker and he asked her, “Oh you were weeping so much at that time! What was the reason? Why were you weeping and crying so much?”
The lady replied, “You are like my father. When you were explaining Srimad Bhagavatam, I couldn’t understand what you were saying. I was remembering my she-goat. She is very big and white. She has a beard like you. And when you were doing like this, I was always remembering my she-goat. Today, she has unluckily gone somewhere and I am not searching for her. So, I was weeping for my she-goat.”
Rupa Gosvami has given this example. If by chanting Krsna’s names so many times…Krsna’s names are the essence of all the Vedas and sastras. They are so powerful. But yet, if you have no tears in your eyes…
gauranga bolite ha’be pulaka sarira
If your heart is not melting, then even if tears and all things are coming, then this display of emotion is like that of the old lady’s. This will not do. So many people in India practice like this. There is nothing in their hearts. They will at once say, “O Hari!” and they will faint.
This is for nothing. This is only to show that “I am such a high class of a devotee.” We should not cheat ourselves. To cheat others means to cheat yourself. So, we should chant with a melting heart. If your heart is not melting, then you should consider that “I have done so many offenses. My heart is full of anarthas.” You should go, follow, and be in the association of any qualified, reliable, and bona fide Vaisnava. If it is not done, then your heart cannot melt. So you should try to go and associate with any Vaisnava who is more qualified than you. You should hear from him first and then do kirtana. First is sravanam and then, kirtanam. So, Rupa Gosvami has given many instructions in the Upadesamrita. Perhaps my translation of Upadesamrita has not been rendered into English. I will try to have it translated soon.
So, tell any qualified person to translate. I have done in Hindi and Bengali also. My Manah-siksa has come. My Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu-bindhu has also come. And all books in English are coming soon. They will help you; they are in the line of Svamiji. Don’t think that I am against him like many think. I want to be a servant of Svamiji. I am in his line. I want to help all without any gain. So, Narottama Thakura tells us to do kirtana very sincerely. If you will call or do kirtana sincerely, then tears in your eyes will surely come.
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavisyati
–Sri Siksastakam 6
[O Lord, when will tears flow from my eyes, my voice falter and all the hairs on my body stand erect as I chant Your holy names?]
Kada; when will this day come? Without ascertaining the aim, this will not happen. The aim and object of our sadhana-bhajana is given in this kirtana.
rupa-raghunatha pade hoibe akuti
Firstly, he said, “Nityananda Prabhu should shower His causeless mercy on me because He is Gurudeva.”
Akhanda-guru-tattva is Nityananda Prabhu. And if our Gurudeva is bona fide and a real Guru, then he is a manifestation of Nityananda Prabhu. He is not separate from Nityananda Prabhu. So, when will Nityananda Prabhu come and destroy all our anarthas, practices, and nama-aparadha? He will take away all these impediments. And then our heart will be so pure. And when you call out the name of Gauracandra or Radha-Krsna, your heart will surely melt. Tears will surely come. We are deprived of all these moods. Prabhupada went to serve and now, there is no good association. In India, it is available. There are so many Vaisnavas of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura Prabhupada. They have also served our Gurudeva for so many years. I have had the association of Svamiji, Sridhara Maharaja, Puri Maharaja, and all the sincere Vaisnava devotees of Prabhupada.
So, he says, “Rupa-raghunatha pade hoibe akuti.” What is akuti? Kabe hama bujhabo se yugala piriti—this is the object of our sadhana, our practices. If this is not the object, then all our practices are aimless. There should be an aim and an object. What will be the aim and object? Why do we need the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and all the Vaisnavas? Only to attain that goal, that object. What is the object? If you have no object—whether you want to be a pleader, a scholar, a scientist, a businessman, good doctor, or an engineer, then this will not do. There must be some goal. And if there is no goal, then we cannot go and we cannot Sri Radha-Krsna.
If you want to do business and if your father and mother will tell you by force that “You should be a doctor,” then they cannot help if you have taste in business. If you will try being a doctor, you will fail. If a person has no taste in science, then he cannot be a scientist. So, you should have a goal. If you have come in the contact or the association of Svamiji or any bona fide Guru, then in his association you should determine the aim and object. So many devotees are following their holy master but without an aim or object. You should have some object. What is that object? Guru gives a relation to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. If he is not giving this relation and if he is not giving a seed of that service in the heart of a devotee, then he is not Gurudeva at all. He cannot make us advance in the service of Krsna. He is not a bona fide Guru at all. A bona fide Guru must give a relation to Krsna.
Sri Guru gives relation.
[To read or download the full upcoming book as a pdf, visit www.patreon.com/bhaktabandhav]