When Mahāprabhu was residing in Jagannātha Purī, He had a strong desire to visit Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma. Accompanied by a large group of devotees, He started His journey towards Vraja. At the same time, Nṛsimhānanda Brahmacārī entered into samādhi-yoga and started serving Mahāprabhu on His journey. By meditation, he arranged soft roads to walk on, beautiful gardens along those roads, with fruit trees, coconut trees, and water wells inside, and in the evening, he would arrange shelters for Mahāprabhu and all His followers to spend the night. Every day, Nṛsimhānanda Brahmacārī would understand through his meditation where Mahāprabhu was at that time in His journey. He knew from which place to which place He had walked that day, and where He would spend the night. By samādhi-sevā, Nṛsimhānanda Brahmacārī arranged prasādam and lodging for all the devotees, as they were travelling.
After some time, Mahāprabhu arrived at Rāmakeli, where He met with Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. Mahāprabhu instructed them to go to Vṛndāvana, and at the same time He decided not to continue in that direction Himself. Instead, He returned to Jagannātha Purī. Nṛsimhānanda Brahmacārī immediately understood this, and told all the devotees in Jagannātha Purī that Mahāprabhu was on His way back.
Another time, Nṛsimhānanda Brahmacārī realized that Śrīman Mahāprabhu would come to Pānīhāṭī to take lunch. He decided to cook for Him. When he made the offering, he placed three plates of bhoga on the altar: one for his worshipful Lord Nṛsimhadeva, one for Jagannātha-deva, and one for Mahāprabhu. After finishing the offering, however, he saw that all three plates were empty. Nṛsimhānanda Brahmacārī started crying, “Oh Mahāprabhu, You and Jagannātha-deva are One and the Same, so I can understand why You ate His offering. But why did You also eat my Nṛsimhadeva’s bhoga? This is very bad!” He again started cooking and offered bhoga a second time only to Nṛsimhadeva, in order that his Lord would not fast. The next year, in Jagannātha Puri, Mahāprabhu brought up this incident in front of all the devotees and confirmed that He had actually gone there that day and had taken the delicious bhoga of all the three plates.
Sevā in Samādhi-yoga Is Real Sevā
So this service performed in samādhi-yoga is real. It is not just imagination. When someone does some ordinary, external service, he may acquire some sukṛti, but this service will not be ‘as-it-is.’ By serving in samādhi-yoga however, one can establish one’s eternal, affectionate relationship and connection with the Lord, and this service will be very sweet. We can learn how to perform this samādhi-yoga by going to the samādhi-centers of those who have already mastered this process.
We are all very lucky that these storehouses of eternal spiritual wealth of our guru-varga are still present in this world. Foolish and ignorant people will work hard, do strong austerities and absorb in hard meditation, but they do not want to surrender to God and God’s representatives. They don’t want to follow the path of śaraṇāgati. But if anyone takes shelter of the Vaiṣṇavas at their samādhi center, then pure bhakti-yoga will automatically manifest in their heart.
At the end of Lord Rāma’s pastimes in this world, Sītā-devī came, together with Vālmīki Ṛṣi, and Lava and Kuśa, to Lord Rāma’s palace in Ayodhyā. Lord Rāma had called Her there on the request of His mother, Vaśiṣṭa Ṛṣi, and all the Ayodhyāvāsīs. Sītā-devī had spent a long time in Vālmīki Ṛṣi’s āśrama in the forest. When She arrived in Lord Rāmacandra meeting hall, He asked Her in front of everybody, “If you are pure and faultless, then please prove this to everyone present here by undergoing a test.”
Sītā-devī responded, “You already tested Me so many times in the past, but nobody here has faith in Me. If you desire to test
Me yet again, then I will now give My final proof.” She called out to Pṛthivī-devī, “My dear Mother, I appeared from you when
I came into this world, but now everybody here doubts Me. Nobody has faith. They are always doubtful of honest and pure people, but glorify people with a bad nature and bad culture. If a bad and dirty person misbehaves, nobody blinks an eye. This doubtful world is filled with people who have no faith. Then, how will they believe
Me, even if I take a test? How can I show them that I am honest and chaste? So, My dear mother, you should come and take Me back with you. It will be good for Me to be close to you! This world is filled with tāmasika, rājasika, and sāttvika people who have no understanding of nirguṇa at all. But I am nirguṇa, and if you kindly give Me your blessings, I will be able to stay close to you.”
The earth then broke open in two pieces and, seated on a siṁhāsana, Pṛthivī-devī herself arose from the rift. After she placed Sītā-devī on her lap, the siṁhāsana again descended into the earth, and the rift closed behind them. This is called real samādhi. Samādhi is a nirguṇa place, a place beyond material matter.
Doubtful people cannot enter in this samādhi place. Instead, they are constantly insulting, teasing, and cheating everyone. They are like crows, eagles, and dogs, who only look for a dead body and then fight over it. They only see physical and external things. This is their nature. Their behavior is low class, and they do not understand nirguṇa samādhi tattva. Ordinary people only offer bad and dirty things to Pṛthivī-devī. They are ready to steal all her wealth, but give her dirty things and garbage in return. Because of this kind of bad behavior, the whole world is suffering. We should start every day with offering praṇāma to Pṛthivī-devī, and then respectfully offer her Ṭhākurjī’s caraṇāmṛta and mahā-prasādam. At the end of the day, also, if we have collected any good things, we should offer this to her. This will make her happy. And she will become even more happy when we glorify God and God’s associates. When we offer her spiritual items, she will carefully preserve those for future generations. This is called spiritual culture.
After Sītā-devī entered into samādhi, Lord Rāma became very disturbed. He took his bow and arrows and threated Pṛthivī-devī, “Give Me back My Sītā! Otherwise I will kill you!” But Guru Vaśiṣṭha, Lord Brahmā, and all others who were assembled there, pacified the Lord. They said, “Rāma, the time of Sītā-devī showering Her mercy on this world is over. The people here are not able to accept Her blessings. She came to help all the living entities, but they are now accusing Her of many bad things. These jīvas are only collecting sins and offenses. They cannot change. Sītā-devī will not come back. Instead, You should follow Her and return to Your abode in the spiritual world.” Lord Rāma put down his bow and arrows and became silent. As Rāma and His three brothers (Bharata, Lakṣmaṇa, and Śatrughna) each had two sons, Rāma divided the world into eight parts and gave His sons and nephews one part each to rule. After that, He left this mortal world.
We see the same thing happening when our guru-varga come
to this world. Nonsense people think śrī guru is an ordinary person. They will disobey and neglect him. Śrī guru is very kind, but mundane people will try to torture and defeat him all the time. Śrī guru will then think, “These jīvas are not interested in the spiritual wealth that I came to give. They only desire the material wealth that surrounds me. Why should I stay here any 25longer?”
Ordinary people cannot understand the spiritual master. They don’t understand that śrī guru is continuously present at his samādhi. But one who likes to gain spiritual benefit will come to the samādhi and pray. Then, by the mercy of śrī guru and the Vaiṣṇavas, he will understand reality and obtain his pure, eternal wealth.
When, during rāsa-līlā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa disappeared from the rāsa-dance, the Vrajadevīs became fully absorbed in remembering Kṛṣṇa’s glories. In their separation, they could not forget Him for even a second. They asked all the trees and creepers, “Are you hiding Kṛṣṇa? Have you made a room for Him in your heart and hidden Him there?” They also asked Pṛthivī-devī, and inquired from everyone they met, but they were not able to find Him. The gopīs then started asking each other, “Oh, is Kṛṣṇa hiding in your heart?” Becoming more and more absorbed in remembering Kṛṣṇa’s līlā, they started to imitate His pastimes. One gopī would become Pūtanā and another would be Kṛṣṇa. A third gopī would look at the gopī-pūtanā and say, “Oh! You must have stolen my Kṛṣṇa!” As another gopī remembered Kṛṣṇa lifting Govardhana Hill, her sakhī would call out, “Oh, you are Kṛṣṇa!” In this way, they were incessantly absorbed in Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes. This is called real samādhi-yoga. If anyone is absorbed like this, it is impossible for Kṛṣṇa to keep His distance. When He reappeared before the gopīs and smilingly gave His darśana, He felt very shy. The gopīs quickly offered Him their own shawl to sit on. This Kṛṣṇa is not called Rādhānātha, but Gopīnātha or Gopī-jana-vallabha.
Gopīnātha’s reappearance in Jagannātha Purī
Once, at Caṭaka-parvata in Jagannātha Purī, Mahāprabhu was in great separation from Kṛṣṇa. While searching for Him everywhere, He started digging in that forest garden and found Gopīnātha there, hidden in the ground. Pṛthivī-devī had kept that property safe there for Him. If anyone prays to Pṛthivī-devī, she will easily give the wealth that she is saving in her lap. She is hiding this wealth close to her own heart, for the benefit of all. It is our great fortune that the mahā-bhāgavata ācāryas who came to this world have left their spiritual vigraha behind at their samādhi-kuñja. They are not distant to that sādhaka who, with respect and heartfelt love, understands this samādhi center to be his life and soul, his only property, and with this mood follows the proper process to attain pure bhakti. If such a sādhaka prays to Śrīla Gurudeva with a strong desire to have his darśana, then Śrīla Gurudeva will appear there and help him. This samādhi-kūnja is a very secret place for the sādhaka. It is the place where Kṛṣṇa’s līlā-śakti is preserving Gokula Vṛndāvana. This place is Gupta-Vṛndāvana, and there, at Giri-nikuñja, Śrīla Gurudeva is now also present.
Srila Gurudeva’s Samadhi Center ki Jaya! (excerpted from the Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Sri Guru Darshan-As It Is”. Available from: firstname.lastname@example.org )