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Appearance Day of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

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Special On-line Edition for the Appearance Day of
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

[Rays of The Harmonist Monthly On-Line Edition Banner-logo]

Year-3, Special On-line Edition
Posted: 29 December 2010

Dedicated to
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada

Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Inspired by and under the guidance of

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Appearing in English for the first time

Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas Certainly Accept Our Offerings

by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

Portrait of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

sri sri guru-gauranga jayatah

Sri Gaura-Govinda Matha,
Gosā̃i Road, Dinahata (Kocha-bihar)
12 August, 1971

With affection,

I see that you were greatly overjoyed to receive my letter and read my mad ramblings. In doing so you have praised your own good fortune and at the same time your natural humility has been made apparent.

When a sadhaka or sadhika fully accepts shelter at the lotus feet of a genuine guru and thereafter engages in sri hari-bhajana, then there is no personal disqualification that can create obstacles on the path of their sadhana. Nevertheless, it is certainly very true that, in addition to performing sadhana, it is imperative to simultaneously beg for mercy. Only in this way does one attain perfection in their spiritual practices.

The eternal, pure, ever-existent, and transcendental soul is certainly capable of attaining the transcendental object of worship – the Supreme Lord. However, this is only possible when one attains both bhuta-suddhi and bhava-suddhi – that is, when one’s being and one’s sentiments both become pure. Entities of the same clan naturally unite with one another. As such, the unborn, eternal soul gradually attains proximity to Adhoksaja Sri Bhagavan by performing sadhana and becomes immersed in the bliss of pure service.

For the last five months, I have been preaching outside of Navadvipa. As far as the matter of rest is concerned, there has been nothing of the sort. Factually, for a servant there is no such thing as a break from service. In the field of service, there is neither concession nor commission. True service only breeds more service. Even exalted, liberated personalities are forever preoccupied with worshipping and serving Sri Bhagavan. Hence, under no circumstance can the sevaka or sevika withdraw, or even take a break from service. Actively taking shelter of Sri Bhagavan’s beautiful lotus feet, which are the abode of fearlessness, immortality and freedom from sorrow, is the true and only state of rest, and it is what the Vaisnava mahajanas pray for.

asoka-abhaya, amrta-adhara, tomara carana-dvaya
tahate ekhana, visrama labhiya, chadinu bhavera bhaya

Saranagati, Atma-Nivedana (2)

I have now found solace at Your lotus feet, which are the basis of freedom from sorrow, and the basis of fearlessness and of immortality. Thus I have given up all fear of worldly existence.

[You asked if Sri Hari, guru and Vaisnavas accept what we offer when we are not in their direct presence.] Because I understand why you are experiencing this anxiety in your heart, I am trying to pacify you. During the summer, did you not offer summer fruits like mangoes and litchis to your deities? If you were to continue to submit offerings in this manner, you could consider that you have achieved the same result as having served Them directly. It is natural that you feel, as you said, “pained by not being able to offer anything in service to the Lord”.

Sri Hari, guru and Vaisnavas certainly accept everything that is offered to them. It is on the basis of faith in this that the scriptures have ordained the conventions of deity worship. Therefore, consider it proven that I have been accepting the things you offer me, both in person and when you make offerings from afar. Just as one may truly envision the Lord’s beautiful form (sri vigraha) simply by hearing transcendental descriptions of Him with one’s ears, so too, worship of Sri Hari and guru is actually enriched when it is performed with the mood that they are present indirectly through separation.

When the yajna-patnis expressed their desire to stay in the proximity of Sri Krsna, He told them,

“You should not remain near me. Rather, you should only extol My name, form, qualities and pastimes from a distance. Your most holy auspiciousness lies in that alone.”

It is seen in this instance that the mood of separation (viraha-bhava) is superior to meeting (milana). This is what Sri Bhagavan wanted the wives of the brahmanas to understand.

Those who attain the audience of Sri Hari, guru and Vaisnavas in close proximity, have many opportunities to misunderstand them or even erroneously find faults in them. As the English saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” For this reason, although close association with sri guru and Vaisnavas has not been forbidden, we must carefully consider the statement: “vando mui savadhana-mate – I worship sri gurudeva with utmost caution.”

It is essential to carefully consider which type of audience will be more beneficial for us: direct or indirect. The words of sadhu, guru and sastra provide the best evidence in this matter. Their considerations are thoroughly worthy of everyone’s acceptance, for all time. By indirect service in separation, you have achieved the same result as performing direct service. Of this there is no doubt. Do not let your mind be disturbed any longer.

I hope you have been able to grasp what I am trying to say.

Your ever-well wisher,
Sri Bhaktivedanta Vamana

Translated from the patravali (compilation of letters) of
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja
by the Rays of The Harmonist team


Next Issue – Year 3, Issue 13: “Taking Care of God” 24 January, 2011
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