[Lecture by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja]
Śrīla Gurudeva: In ’65, he requested me so many times that, “You should come with me.” But I refused at that time, “I cannot give up my guru-sevā, so later on I can come and join you.” But I think that the mahāpuruṣa—do you know what is mahāpuruṣa? The great persons, great devotees, who are not attached to māyā, beyond māyā, what they say becomes true. They are sat-saṅkalpa, they are established in truth, so they cannot tell anything that is a lie. They will not. That is why at that time, he told me to join his mission and come to Western countries to help him by my kīrtanas and by my words. Now, for this he is dragging me here and taking me here. So he is the main cause. But I think Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the main cause, and after he is the secondary cause.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said in Caitanya-caritāmṛta that everywhere in the world, His name, Kṛṣṇa’s name, Gaura-Nityānanda Prabhu’s name, and Rādhikā’s name, will be spread everywhere and kṛṣṇa-prema will be given everywhere. We all know what is name. Name is Himself Kṛṣṇa and Rādhikā, but now because we are bound by māyā, we are not seeing by words, “Rādhā” and “Kṛṣṇa” or “Hare Kṛṣṇa,” Himself Kṛṣṇa and Herself Rādhā. But actually, the name is Himself or Herself, Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā. At first they come to us as a sādhana. Now we are doing nāma-sādhana. Kīrtana is sādhana. Sādhana means practice. But when it will be mature, we will see that when we will say, “Rādhā” and “Kṛṣṇa” or “Hare Kṛṣṇa,” then Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, they will come in form, Śrīmatī Rādhikā on the left side, and Kṛṣṇa in dancing mood, with a three-fold bending form.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes…They will come in front of us and we will see. So by the grace of Guru and Gaurāṅga…
And actually I want to tell you all that Brajanatha Prabhu and Vṛndā gave me inspiration to come. Because I was penniless like Svāmījī, when he came he was penniless. He (Brajanatha Prabhu) told me that, “You’ll not have to worry for anything. We will manage everything.” I told him that I will ride in the plane, but…
Devotee: Travel by, fly by plane.
Śrīla Gurudeva: No, no, I will climb up onto the flight, fly, and then I will come down from flying. I have nothing to worry for, nothing. Not for eating, for managing, or anything. Going here and there, I will give class, with my little knowledge of English, and do kīrtana and hear kīrtana. And I want to…I want that the devotees who by any reason have gone very far away from ISKCON, and were in touch with Swamiji, but now have gone far away… Some of them have left ISKCON. Some are chanting… Even those who are chanting, even they have left. I want that they should again come with new energy and we all help them in coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, coming to kṛṣṇa-prema. I want to embrace all those who want to again come. And for the devotees who are doing all these things—harināma, kīrtana, sādhu-saṅga—with much energy they should do it so that bhāva-bhakti may come. Bhāva-bhakti, meaning the mood of bhakti, should come. Bhakti is divided into three divisions: first sādhana-bhakti, then bhāva-bhakti, and then prema-bhakti.
I know that perhaps all are understanding my language, because all are devotees. For those who are quite new, it will be somewhat difficult. I think that there are many learned devotees, they can explain to them.
So sādhana-bhakti…I think that we have not come even in sādhana-bhakti. Our bhakti is not sādhana. Myself, not for all devotees. [Devotees laugh]. Because Rūpa Gosvāmī has written in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu that we are living with all kinds of offenses, all kinds of anarthas. Anartha means…what is meaning of anartha?
Devotee: Unwanted, bad habits.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Bad habits. There are so many kinds of anarthas. At first, sometimes we are very interested and have taste in taking Hari’s name and after some time, no interest, no taste, and when we take our mālā in our hands, sleep comes and we do like this. [nods and devotees laugh] This is also anartha. Sometimes so much energy, and sometimes no energy. These are all anarthas. Sometimes quarreling…my mind is quarreling that, what should I do? Should I leave everything, my wife and children, and home and everything, should I go and should I do kīrtana and all other things, with the renounced order? What to do? Sometimes they think that we should live together with all of our families. What to do? They are not fixed in what they should do. Sometimes taking so many viṣaya…viṣaya means?
Devotee: Sense objects, sense enjoyment.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Enjoying. Taking everything, tasting everything. And sometimes we want that they should be given up. Quarreling like this. No determination, fixing our mind whether we should live with children in gṛhastha-āśrama…Do you all know what is gṛhastha-āśrama?
Devotees: Married life. Household life.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes. Or should we go in…what life?
Devotee: Renounced order.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Renounced order, leaving all these things.
We should try to make a family, if you are gṛhastha, a family like the gopīs, a family like the Pāṇḍavas. Do you know of the Pāṇḍavas? Arjuna, Bhīma, Nakula, Sahadeva, Yudhiṣṭhira and Draupadī. Kuntī is their mother. Abhimanyu is Arjuna’s son. Having all relations, we go to Kṛṣṇa. We take everyone with us. But sannyāsīs, those in the renounced order, they cannot take anyone. [Devotees laugh]
Devotee: He can take his followers. [Devotees laugh]
Śrīla Gurudeva: So we can be anywhere, but with no attachment. But there will be the attachment that, “My son is Kṛṣṇa’s servant, my daughter is Kṛṣṇa-priyā, Gaura-priyā.” Understand the meaning of Gaura-priyā and Kṛṣṇa-priyā. My beloved of Kṛṣṇa, Supreme Personality of Kṛṣṇa. My brothers, my sisters, my mother, everyone. And when we are in the renounced order, we should think that all the Guru-varga, and all followers, disciples…disciples are not my disciples, they are very near and dear to me. He has no abhimāna.
Devotee: False ego.
Śrīla Gurudeva: False ego, that they are all my disciples.
If we have any devotees, any disciple, we have collected them not like disciples, but like friends with whom I can do kīrtana, with whom I can tell some hari-kathā, kṛṣṇa-kathā to. Because in this world, there is a scarcity of devotees, so I have gathered and managed some devotees. Among them I will speak hari-kathā, because all of the world will not hear all kathā. So we have made a very good group, in the name of disciples, but not disciples. Like Prabhupāda Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta used to say that, “I am doing praṇāma to all the devotees.” All were the disciples of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, but he is giving praṇāma to all because they are reminding me of Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhikā. They are saving me from so many kinds of things and helping me not to forget Kṛṣṇa. So I am going down to the lotus feet of all the guardians, all these disciples—not disciples, my friends.
Any good and qualified teacher or Guru doesn’t think like this [that all are my disciples, or servants]. Rūpa Gosvāmī never thought like this—never. They had Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī like a disciple, like his own brother, like a friend. Because in that world, no disciples, nothing, only here are there disciples. So I never think that anyone is my disciple, but I think…I joke with everyone, to Tungavidyā, to him, everyone, like my friends, bosom friends. I think that Prabhupāda also, Bhaktivedānta Swami, also thought like this. He helped all his disciples like his friends. Little, little girls and boys. He wanted to love them so passionately***. So I am so pleased to come here among such good devotees.
So you should try to come first in niṣṭhā. Do you know what is niṣṭhā? At first there is śraddhā, and when śraddhā is matured, it becomes niṣṭhā. Niṣṭhā is a good, high thing. Then the mind is fixed, there is no doubt in any siddhānta. No doubt. At that time, māyā will not attract. At that time, we will chant harināma, yet with no taste, but we see that there is no remedy without taking the chanting of Hari’s name. So even if there is no taste at the time of niṣṭhā, we know that there is nothing, anything, which will take us to Kṛṣṇa without His name.
If there is sleep, sleepiness there, if there is alasya…
Śrīla Gurudeva: Laziness, but still we should do it. Like one of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswati, who was a senior Vaiṣṇava, and he was the mother of the whole institution…
Devotee: Narahari Prabhu.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Narahari Prabhu. At night, at the time of 12 or 2 a.m., he was chanting harināma, and if sleepiness was coming, he tightened his śikhā anywhere and used to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and if it…[Head falls forward and snaps back. Devotees laugh] So, this is a symptom of niṣṭhā. But without niṣṭhā we cannot go up to ruci. In niṣṭhā, the aim and object of our bhajana sādhana is fixed. What else do we need? At that time good association of rasika and tattva-vit Vaiṣṇavas…tattva-darśī, comes. Do you know what is tattva-darśī? What is tattva-darśī?
Devotees: Those who are fixed in the principles. Realized.
Śrīla Gurudeva: He is going…he is established in gitā-siddhānta. And after that, when Gītā is finished, and comes in our life, then bhāva begins. And then comes that, what should I…what will be the goal of our sādhana-bhajana? If there is no goal…no goal is fixed… What do we want? Where do we go? What to have?…then bhajana is not niṣṭhā. Naiṣṭhika-bhajana. No naiṣṭhika-bhajana. Only…and we have not come in the stage of doing sādhana, only chanting, like sweeping. That is the ābhāsa of bhajana. Ābhāsa means?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Shadow. And then we’ll come to niṣṭhā and qualified association will come at that time. We will be fixed in what should be the end of our bhajana. Do we want to go to heaven? Do we want to go to Vaikuṇṭha? Where Nārāyaṇa and…? Would we like to go to heaven and, “Oh God, give me bread and butter.”
Devotees: [Devotees laugh] No…
Śrīla Gurudeva: Do we want to go to Dvārakā Purī? And do you want to serve Dvārakādhīśa as Rukmiṇī?
Śrīla Gurudeva: No? [Devotees laugh]. It is very rare in this world for those who will have service under Rukmiṇī and Satyabhauma; they are more than Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa and Rāma and Sītā.
Then what do you know? What do you want? What is the goal of life?
I only know Caitanya Mahāprabhu. I only know Nityānanda Prabhu. I know the disciple, Rūpa Gosvāmī, to whom Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered to give his heartfelt things to the world. That we want.
Why has Caitanya Mahprabhu come to this world? Not for yuga-dharma, not to establish yuga-dharma. And yuga-dharma, what yuga-dharma? Nāma-saṅkīrtana. The nāma-saṅkīrtana for all other yugas and that for when Caitanya Mahāprabhu comes are different, so much different. Here the name is with prema, and in other yugas, when Kṛṣṇa does not come in that yuga, then the name only takes one to Vaikuṇṭha, not to Vraja.
So we should try to follow Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and if we want to follow Caitanya Mahāprabhu, you should know Rūpa Gosvāmī very well and try to follow him. Rūpa Gosvāmī has given quite a relation with Kṛṣṇa. Like for Sanaka, Sanātana, Sananda, Sanata-kumāra, there is no relation, but they know that Kṛṣṇa is higher…bhāgavata. But they know that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality, they know, but they have no relation, and that is why they have no mamatā at all. Do you know what mamatā means?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Affection. They cannot have this.
Rejecting everything in this world, that, na iti, na iti, not this, not that, not this. They say everything in this world is illusion, and Kṛṣṇa has no shape, no attributes—Kṛṣṇa is Brahma. Do you want this goal? No. Then comes Hanumāna. Do you know of Hanumāna? Hanumāna. He is serving Śrī Rāmacandra so much. In the day, in the night, the whole time he used to serve Rāma. But we don’t want that also. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has not told us so. Why? What has Caitanya Mahāprabhu come to give?
anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 1.4
[May that Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacīdevī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.]
He has come to give unnatojjvala-rasa. This is not in Ayodhyā, this is not in Heaven, this is not in Dvārakā. Even in Mathurā, it is not there. Even in Śrīdhāma and Subala, unnatojjvala-rasa is not there. They are so near and dear to Kṛṣṇa: Sudāma, Subala, Madhumaṅgala, all. All are playing together, but there is not this thing. Even in Nanda and Yosoda, there is a lacking of this thing, unnatojjvala-rasa. They cannot serve Kṛṣṇa with their whole body, whole moods—they cannot. Only the gopīs can serve Kṛṣṇa in every respect.
So we must have a goal that we will be the maidservants of the gopīs. This is the thing. But it needs qualification. Without qualification if you do without knowing and we have no taste at all…until that we should chant Hari’s name, hear hari-kathā, and if that goal has come, we are fixed in that goal, by the association of good bhaktas, then we will want kṛṣṇa-prema.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu has come to give all persons this kṛṣṇa-prema. So in the medium of the name:
nāma-prema-mālā gāṅthi’ parāila saṁsāre
In Caitanya-caritāmṛta it has been written… Nāma is like flowers, like kamala, lotus flower, so sweet, so fragrant, so soft—having all positive things and very good shapes. And the thread is kṛṣṇa-prema. So in making flowers together like a garland, with prema…understand? …He, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, gave it onto the neck of everyone. Even to animals. Animals, trees, grass and to persons like Jagāi and Mādhāi, what to speak of devotees. And He said that you should give this harināma to everyone whom you see, but you should think whether He is a proper person, qualified person to give the name or not. Don’t give this to those who have no faith in this. What is the meaning? The meaning is that we should not give dīkṣā. Dīkṣā means initiation, giving this name to them. They can hear, only. We are chanting and remembering with…so much sound…when doing kīrtana, and cows are doing like this. Trees are hearing. Grasses are hearing. So the main thing is that, if they are not devotees, if they are of the opposite mood, even if they hear and they become angry, still they will hear and it will work in their hearts. But you should not give them initiation—they can hear. When we see that they have some faith by association, then we should initiate them.
So we should have a goal. If we have a goal then we can progress. And then we are doing sādhana. Like we want money and then we start any business to gain some money. Like this, take bhāva-bhakti there. This is our aim. And for this we are chanting Hari’s name, hearing hari-kathā, living in Vraja, or anywhere, but mind will be in Vraja. If we cannot go there bodily, by mind we can be there. Having good association. Always hearing hari-kathā. Always read or hear Śrīmad-bhāgavatam, in which everything is given. But everything is under lock and key. If any good devotees coming in the line of guru-paramparā will give, we can have this thing.
So we should try to be a sādhaka. Bilvamaṅgala was a sādhaka. Rūpa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, and all other gosvāmīs were liberated souls. Not only liberated, they were eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhikā. But yet, they have practiced very strongly. They have shown how to do bhajana. We should try to do it. If we cannot do it like them, still we will have to try like this.
Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ kālāvasānī-kṛtau. Do you know this? Saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna-natibhiḥ? By number, keeping number, we will not do less than this. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī has told that if a man, if a devotee does not take one lākha name, then Kṛṣṇa will not take anything from his hand. But our ācāryas have told that one lākha means one name. This is also one lākha. What is the meaning of one lākha?
Devotee: 100, 000 names, 64 rounds.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes. And also that we should do it having one lakṣa, or an aim. Kṛṣṇa is our beloved, and the servant of Rādhikā, and I am the servant of Kṛṣṇa. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa…this is the aim and this is lakṣa. But in name…should be that one name is equal to so many names. If our aim can be to chant while our mind is not going here and there… It is very hard, but it can come. [Devotees laugh] Then a faith will come that if a man tells you that if you’ll chant names for the whole day and night then who will cook, who will manage for your living and cloths and everything? Who will do all this? Śrīla Śrīvāsa Paṇdita has answered this question. Totally not doing anything. He has a wife, he has children, such a big parivāra. What is the meaning of parivāra? Family. But doing nothing, always with karatālas, “Haribol Haribol! Haribol Haribol!”
Devotees: Gaura Premānande Hari Haribol!
Śrīla Gurudeva: At night also…Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. Always. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to him that, “You are chanting harināma day and night, you know that you have children to nourish and your wife to maintain and your house to maintain, from where will it come?” He replied, not telling anything. [Śrīla Gurudeva claps while saying:] One, two, three.
Devotee: Clapping three times.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “I don’t know the meaning of this. What is this?” [Śrīla Gurudeva claps, devotees laugh] He told that “I know that…I know, and I have so much faith that if I will chant Kṛṣṇa, if I will do kīrtana of Kṛṣṇa, in Gītā, Kṛṣṇa has told that, ‘I will bring everything and manage everything for him, if they are doing nothing for their support or anything. I will take all these things, which are necessary for My bhakta, and I will manage, on My head…or on My waist?’”
Śrīla Gurudeva: Shoulders, I will take… I will carry. One devotee said that He will not carry on His back because He is God, and he cut the line that is in Gītā.
ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
Whatever necessities there are for a bhakta, I will carry all these things, and I will manage to give to him. And he cut this line. He went to beg, but today he could not have anything from anyone. At midday he was so worried and he returned to home. But before that, a boy about the age of 12, very very beautiful, sweet and very soft, not black, but…
Devotee: Black. [Devotees laugh]
Śrīla Gurudeva: Because no word is for that. Kṛṣṇa is not black. He is not black. He is so beautiful. He came in the shape of a boy, having a…carrying loads here and there. Sweat was coming from everywhere, having a…Pītāmbara, very good Pītāmbara here, and He came and knocked on the door. “O guru-ma, Oh mother Gurudeva, where are you? Open the door.”
The brāhmaṇī was there and so poor, that she had no clothing, nothing. Worn and torn she came and opened the door and that boy entered the room with so many heavy loads. Rice, dāl, so many sābji, ghee, butter, sugar, everything was there in full. And he put them down there and began to take long breaths.
She asked, “From where you are coming? Who has sent you?”
He said, “My teacher. That is, my Guru, spiritual master. That brāhmaṇa, your husband sent me. He collected so many things and told me that, ‘You should take it to my house.’ I told him that I am a very little boy, how can I carry? But yet he told me, ‘You should go obey my orders. Carry out my orders.’ Not only that. I was delayed for some moments, and he scratched my back, you can see.”
And she saw, and began to weep that a scratch was there.
“Oh bleeding is coming, just now coming, coming, coming…”
She began to weep, and said, “When my husband will come, I will see him and ask, ‘Why have you done so? You are so cruel now? You were not so before. You have become so cruel.’”
In the meantime, she requested that boy, “You should wait a little, I am making arrangements for prasādam. I am going to cook very nicely and in no time. I will cook and You should take, and my husband will come, then You may go. Just You should rest here awhile.”
In the meantime, the brāhmaṇa came and knocked on the door. She was angry and she went there and opened the door and told him, “You are so cruel that you have scratched a boy, very tall, so sweet, so generous…and such a little and soft boy…such a beautiful boy.”
“I have not seen him. I have no disciple. It is 3 p.m., but I have not received anything from my begging. I have not told anyone to come here, no disciple at all.”
“No, no. You are telling a lie. That boy cannot tell a lie. You should come with me and see how you have scratched Him.”
He went there and saw that there was no boy, but everything was there. The lady began to search everywhere. “Where is He? Where, where, where? Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa? No Kṛṣṇa.” Then he began to weep. Her husband began to weep, because the boy had been Kṛṣṇa and had come to fulfill His word in Gītā. He has done like so. Then both began to weep so loudly, thinking that, “Kṛṣṇa has come here, but we could not recognize Him.”
So as devotees who have niṣṭhā, they have so much faith that Kṛṣṇa will arrange everything and he will carry all these things. If a disciple, a devotee, is like this, he will always chant Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare…no danger will come, no problem, nothing. [Devotees laugh]. A gṛhastha should be like this, and if this is the bhāva have, then you will be a sādhaka, really a sādhaka. I want to be a sādhaka like this and I wish that those who have not become, perhaps you have become so qualified, but for those who are not qualified like this, I pray to Kṛṣṇa that they should be qualified for this.
Gaura Premānande Hari Haribol!