lunes, 26 de diciembre de 2011

Krishna Talk 127 - 133

Krishna Talk

Contenidos - Contents
Krishna Talk

Krishna Talk 127 - Makara — Myth or Fact? Dinosaurs in Srimad Bhagavatam by Swami B.G. Narasingha

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In Sanskrit 'Makara' is a word that means ‘sea dragon’ or ‘aquatic-monster,’ long thought to be a mythical creature in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Paintings and sculptures of this fantastical creature are found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan — practically everywhere in Asia.

The Makara in India is known to be the vahana (vehicle) of Ganga-devi - the goddess of the river Ganges and the vahana of the god of the sea, Varuna. A Makara is also the insignia of Kamadeva (god of lust) and Kamadeva’s flag is called makara-dhvaja, a flag having the Makara drawn on it. In Hindu astrology the Makara is also the astrological sign of Capricorn. A little research reveals this strange mythical creature to have been very popular both in ancient times and in our present day. But is it mythical?

The Makara is often depicted with the head of a crocodile, horns of a goat, the body of an antelope and a snake, the tail of a fish or peacock and the feet of a panther. Varuna is said to be the only one who can control the Makara and does not fear them (save and except for Krsna that is).

In some English translations of the Gita, for simplicity of reading, ‘makara’ has been translated as shark. But it is not a shark. The Timingila that is often mentioned along with the Makara in other Vedic texts is classified as a shark – a shark of monstrous proportions. This has been discussed at length in Krsna Talk #88.

Mahabharata mentions the Timingila and Makara as being deep within the ocean, along with other huge sea creatures:

timingilah kacchapasca tatha timi timingilah makarascatra drsyante jale magna ivadrayah

“There were seen Timingilas, tortoises, Timi-timingilas and Makaras, that were like great rocks submerged in the water.” (Mahabharata, Vana Parva.


The Ayurvedic text of the 6th century BCE known as Susruta Samhita also lists the Timingila and Makara as being amongst the formidable species of aquatic life:

mahamina-rajiva prabhrtya samudrah

"The Timi, Timingila, Kulisa, Paka-matsya, Nirularu, Nandi-Varalaka, Makara, Gargaraka, Candraka, Maha-mina, and Rajiva etc, constitute the family of marine fish." (Susruta Samhita, Ch.45)

In Srimad Bhagavatam, Makaras and Timingila are mentioned as predators, attacking Markandeya Rsi:

ksut-trt-parito makarais timingilair upadruto vici-nabhasvatahatah
tamasy apare patito bhraman diso na veda kham gam ca parisramesitah

“Suffering from hunger and thirst, attacked by Makaras and Timingila and battered by the waves and the wind, Markandeya wandered through the infinite gloom that enveloped him. Overcome by exhaustion, he lost all sense of direction and could not ascertain what was the sky and what was the earth."

(Bhag. 12.9.16)

Bhagavad-gita mentions the Makara in Verse 31, Chapter 10 as follows:

pavanah pavatam asmi ramah sastra-bhrtam aham
jhasanam makaras casmi srotasam asmi jahnavi.

“Of purifiers I am the wind. Of the wielders of weapons I am Rama. Amongst aquatics I am the makara and of rivers I am the Ganga.”

The Makara is described in Vedic texts as half animal, half aquatic and an aggressor — a true monster of the deep. Often depicted in art as having the mouth of a crocodile, the body of a fish, the tail of a peacock and the paws of a panther, the Makara has attained mythical status.

Now the question arises – is the Makara a mythical creature or was it actually real? And if so, then how could it look like it has been depicted in art for centuries with so many different animal body parts? When one looks at recent scientific discoveries and takes into consideration a bit of ‘poetic license’ that the artist may have employed, the so-called mythical Makara becomes as real as life.

Recent discoveries in archaeology have revealed what paleontologists call a Pliosaur. The fossilized Pliosaur was found in Dorset, England in 2003 and took until 2008 to remove from the rock cliff in which it was found. Once excavated it revealed a sea monster in remarkable detail.

Scientists suspect the Pliosaur fossil is approximately 155-million-years old and lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods during which time it was one of the top predators of the oceans.

Paleontologist Richard Forrest commented to the BBC as follows: "This is an iconic specimen – one of the most exciting we have seen in years. It was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Standing in front of the skull you can imagine this enormous beast staring straight back at you, fixing you with its binocular vision, and attacking. Just thinking about it raises the hairs on the back of your neck."

Dr. Forrest went on to say that the creature’s bulky body, which would have been powered through the water with four paddle-like limbs, has never been found and may not have fossilized. Scientist’s estimate based on the 2.4 meter long skull, that the Pliosaur would have been 15 to 18 meters in length. Impressive indeed.

We are herein suggesting that the Pliosaur could easily be the Makara of myth, but we are not the first to equate a mysterious ocean monster to the Makara. We have also stumbled upon the reports of a creature called the Ambulocetus, a creature that could walk as well as swim. It lived during the early Eocene Period some 50 million years ago. The fossil of Ambulocetus was found on the coast of Pakistan from a time when Pakistan and India was a single island in the Indian Ocean slowly drifting toward the continental shelf of Asia. Some crypto-zoologists speculate that the Ambulocetus is a candidate for being the Makara, yet most scientists suggest that the Ambulocetus fills the evolutionary gap between aquatics and land animals.

Once, when discussing with Pusta Krsna, Srila Prabhupada commented that there is no discussion of dinosaurs in the Vedas, therefore he did not believe that they existed. Then again, Sadaputa recounts that when Prabhupada was asked about the dinosaurs he replied that they were not extinct. So which is it? Is there really no mention of dinosaurs in the Vedas, or was Prabhupada just denying scientific knowledge and discoveries because most scientists of his time were denying the Vedic knowledge? We think so.

In any case, we do find a reference to what easily could be understood to be dinosaurs in Srimad Bhagavatam when demons and demigods rode strange creatures into battle.

grdhraih kankair bakair anye syena-bhasais timingilaih
sarabhair mahisaih khadgair go-vrsair gavayarunaih
sivabhir akhubhih kecit krkalasaih sasair naraih
bastair eke krsna-sarair hamsair anye ca sukaraih
anye jala-sthala-khagaih sattvair vikrta-vigrahaih
senayor ubhayo rajan vivisus te ’grato ’gratah

“O King, some soldiers fought on the backs of vultures, eagles, ducks, hawks and bhasa birds. Some fought on the backs of timingilas, which can devour huge whales, some on the backs of sarabhas, and some on buffalo, rhinoceroses, cows, bulls, gavaya [jungle cows] and arunas. Others fought on the backs of jackals, rats, krkalasa, rabbits, human beings, goats, black deer, swans and boars. In this way, mounted on animals of the water, land and sky, including animals with deformed bodies [vikrta-vigraha], both armies faced each other and went forward.” (Bhag. 8.10.10-12 – The Battle Between the Demigods and the Demons)

Here we find a fantastical description of the vahanas used in a great battle in horary antiquity, but some of the creatures described have no English or Indo-Aryan equivalent such as bhasa, sarabhas, timingila, gavaya, arunas, krkalasa and vikrta-vigraha. So what are these creatures and why do they have no equivalent names in modern languages? Could they be extinct? Could any of these have been what we now call dinosaurs? We think so. The mere fact that the timingila is mentioned is proof enough that some of these creatures are going to be formidable predators – which ones?

Vikrta-vigraha translates as ‘animals with deformed bodies’ and krkalasa translates as ‘big lizard’. So when one’s opponent is riding a vicious animal like a rhinoceros or a timingila — then is riding an ordinary lizard into battle a good idea, even a big one? Krkalasa is a ‘big lizard’ — think dinosaur! And vikrta-vigraha are ‘animals with deformed bodies’ — think dinosaur! In any case, no vahana mentioned here could have been ordinary, – even the human vahanas must have been giants. So it is intelligent to think that if one takes these narratives to be true in the first place, then what we think of today as dinosaurs could surely be among the vahanas mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam.

The gavaya mentioned in the above verse translates as ‘jungle cow’ and interestingly enough these ‘jungle cows’ (also known in modern Hindi as nila-gaya, blue cows) still exist in and around Vrndavana, India and, like the Makara, they have the distinct characteristic of three animals — a cow, a horse and a deer. Once seeing these strange animals there is no argument that they are a ’three in one’ creature. So why not a Makara with a mouth of a crocodile, a body of a fish, and a tail of a peacock? You just haven’t seen one yet. But it looks like the archaeologists in England are on to something with their recent discovery of the Pliosaur.

It is true that the krkalasa and bhasa are not easily equated with Tyrannosaurus Rex and Pterodactyl, but then again, why not? It seems to be a matter of putting one and one together and moving on.

Yes – there were dinosaurs mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and possibly other places in the vast Vedic literature. Unfortunately, it has been the thinking of some theists that the scientists have falsified dinosaur remains (“The Devil put them there”) simply to give credit to the evolutionary theory. But I think it is safe to say that such does not stand against the repeated discoveries of dinosaurs in different parts of the world and even in India.

Yes, dinosaur remains and even dinosaur eggs have been discovered in Gujarat, India ( However, when the fossilized eggs were first discovered, villagers took them home and began worshiping them as siva-lingams (typical Hindus).

When it is obvious that scientists are not running around falsifying dinosaur fossils and that dinosaurs did indeed exist in India, then it is reasonable to conclude that dinosaurs are indeed mentioned in Vedic literature and that archaeologists may have recently found the Makara in the fossil record in England.

Admittedly, the case for the Megalodon fossil being the Timingila as discussed in Krsna Talk #88 may be more convincing than that of the Pliosaur fossil being the Makara, but the later is certainly probable. Thus, it is worth reiterating a previous point regarding the age of man.

According to scientific evidence, it is estimated that the last of the Pliosaur and Megalodons lived on this planet around 1.5 million years ago or before. That is a long time ago, especially considering that the estimated age (according to science) of the first human being was only 250,000 years ago. That would mean that the Pliosaur and Megalodon became extinct 1,250,000 years before the first human being spoke a coherent language, kept records or attempted to write anything.

The Pliosaur and the Megalodon appear to be the same creatures as the Makara and the Timingila mentioned in Vedic texts. But what is so amazing or interesting about that, and what is our point?

Our point is that western scholars assert that the Bhagavatam was only written in the 9th century CE, the Ramayana in the 4th century BCE, and the Mahabharata between the 8th and 4th centuries BCE. But if this were a fact, then how did the writers of these books know about ocean-dwelling creatures, their size, their vicious aggression and their diets if those creatures had already been extinct for 1.5 million years? Bhagavatam, Ramayana and Mahabharata all mention the existence of the Makara/Pliosaur and the Timingila/Megalodon, but where did the authors get their information?

When (by scientific estimation) human beings have only been on this planet since 1,250,000 years after the Megalodon/Timingila became extinct — who told the Vedic authors about these creatures? If there were no humans present on this planet between the period when the Pliosaur and Megalodon became extinct and 250,000 years ago, how could the writers of the Vedic texts have known such things? And it is obvious that they did.

Scientists and scholars will have to ponder this question, but for us it is simple — there have always been human beings on this planet from its earliest beginnings and the knowledge of all such things has been passed down thru the ages via the disciplic succession of gurus and disciples.











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Krishna Talk 128 - Prakrta Rasa Sata Dusani Part 3

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

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Part Three Verses 29-41


krsna-name bhakta kabhu jada-buddhi kare na
anartha na gele name rupa dekha deya na

A devotee never entertains materialistic theories about the Holy Name of Krsna. One will never attain a glimpse of the Lord’s form through the Holy Name if anarthas are not eliminated.


anartha na gele name guna bujha jaya na
anartha na gele name krsna-seva haya na

If anarthas are not removed, then the Holy Name will never produce knowledge of the divine qualities of Krsna. If anarthas are not destroyed by the chanting of the Holy Name, one can never engage in service to Krsna.


In Caitanya-siksamrta and Krsna-samhita of Thakura Bhaktivinoda, the main anarthas to devotional service have been described in relation to their appearance as demons killed by Krsna and sometimes as demigods like Brahma, Varuna and Indra.

Putana represents the pseudo-guru who teaches false conceptions, causing the death of the creeper of devotion.

Sakatasura represents the burden of old habits and the burden of following the rules of sastra simply for formalities sake.

Trnavarta represents the obstacle to worshiping Krsna that manifests in the form of pride of learning, the use of false arguments and dry logic.

The destruction of the Yamala-Arjuna trees represents the removal of the pride stemming from great wealth, which breeds violence, illicit sex and addiction to alcohol, loose speech and shameless brutality to other living beings.

Krsna’s killing of Vatsasura represents vanquishing the obstacle of greed and the sinful activities caused by greed.

Bakasura represents the system of cheating religions. When one foolishly accepts a pseudo-guru and engages in the process of worship that is meant for exalted devotees, he is cheated. Until such cheating propensities are destroyed, spiritual advancement is checked.

Intolerance, violence and cruelty are personified in the demon Aghasura in the form of a giant serpent. The basis of compassion for the living entities and devotion to Krsna are the same. Therefore, Krsna killed the Aghasura demon to save the devotees from this anartha.

Although Lord Brahma was certainly not a demon, he was however put into illusion by Krsna. Brahma’s disregard for the sweetness of Krsna and being overcome by the flowery words of the Vedas represents skepticism and doubt that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Dhenukasura represents ass-like or gross discrimination (caste, color, creed and institutional consciousness). Dhenukasura represents ignorance of one’s own spiritual identity (svarupa), the identity of the Holy Name and the identity of Krsna. In krsna-lila, Dhenukasura cannot eat the sweet fruits from the palm tree, and also opposes the attempts of others to eat them.

Similarly, the previous acaryas have written many literatures, which ass-like people cannot comprehend nor wish to allow others to see. These ass-like devotees, who are simply interested in the regulative principles and are under the control of gross discrimination are unable to make spiritual advancment. Without endeavoring to understand the science of attachment to Krsna, one is comparable to an ordinary fruitive worker. Therefore, until this ass-like conception represented by Dhenukasura is killed, one cannot advance in the science of Krsna consciousness.

Pride, deceit, harming others and cruelty are enemies of anyone desiring to advance in Krsna consciousness. Therefore these anarthas must be driven out of one’s heart. The Kaliya serpent being banished from Vrndavana by Krsna is a clear indication that, without eliminating pride, deceit and cruelty from one’s heart, one cannot expect to become a resident of Vraja.

Sectarianism, or thinking one’s society to be the only means of attaining pure devotional service, is the anartha represented by the forest fire. This sectarian thinking keeps one from associating with exalted devotees of Krsna and impedes advancement. Thus extinguishing the fire of sectarian consciousness is most important.

Pralambasura represents lust for women, greed, desire for worship and position. Even if one is a householder, it is necessary to give up lusty desire and even if one is a guru, one should not be desirous of being worshipped or receiving great honors, or being recognized as a rasika-acarya.

The wives of the yajnika-brahmanas were blessed by Krsna, whereas their husbands were not so fortunate. The brahmanas were indifferent to Krsna and Balarama due to identifying with the varnasrama system and attachment to karma-khanda activities. The varnasrama system and karma-khanda have both been rejected by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore His followers should diligently do the same.

Defeating Indra by lifting Govardhana Hill is Krsna’s direct instruction to His devotees that the worship of minor demigods for material gain is unnecessary and an obstacle to bhakti.

Deluded by madness, some devotees may fall victim to intoxication, thinking that alcohol, marijuana, LSD and other such intoxicants are helpful in advancing in Krsna consciousness. However, the happiness in Vraja (known as nanda) cannot be enhanced by any external or material supplement. Therefore, Krsna’s saving Nanda Maharaja from the court of Varuna, who symbolizes intoxication, is to discourage such practices among the devotees.

The snake which attempted to swallow Nanda Maharaja represents a devotee’s inclination in ecstasy to merge with Krsna. As a Vaisnava’s happiness continually increases in the process of worship, one sometimes loses consciousness. At that time the feeling of merging may overcome one. This feeling of merging with the Lord is the snake that swallowed Nanda Maharaja.

A practitioner who remains free from this snake will become a qualified Vaisnava.

Sankhacuda symbolizes the desire to acquire fame and women through the practice of bhakti. This abominable activity is quite common among pseudo-devotees, but real Vaisnavas always avoid the association of such despicable persons.

Aristasura, the bull demon, symbolizes disregard for bhakti and attraction for cheating religion. Weak-hearted show-bottle devotees give up the path of vaidhi-bhakti and try to enter the path of raganuga-bhakti, but when they are unable to realize rasa, they behave like Aristasura by cultivating perverted material activities. These unfortunate persons will certainly meet Krsna – not in the form of the affectionate cowherd boy of Vraja, but in the form of death.

The illusion of being a great devotee or a great acarya, is represented by Kesi who appeared in Vraja-bhumi as a horse. Kesi represents the practicing devotee’s mentality of being more expert than others in bhakti, lording it over others and material pride. As a Kesi-like devotee gradually begins proclaiming his own superiority, he develops a mentality of disrespect for the Lord and His devotees and falls down from his position. Therefore, it is important to prevent this mentality from entering the heart. Even if one is expert in devotional service, a Vaisnava will never give up the quality of humility.

The demon Vyomasura represents stealing others property and speaking lies.

Both these habits are contrary to the development of pure devotional service and therefore such should be strictly avoided.

Thakura Bhaktivinoda summarizes as follows:

“Here is the secret of vraja-bhajana. Dhenukasura represents the wicked disposition that carries heavy loads. Pralamba represents the inclination to enjoy women, greed, the desire for worship and material prestige. The practitioner must eliminate these anarthas by his own endeavors, with the mercy of Krsna. Ignorance of the knowledge of one’s own spiritual identity (sva-svarupa), the Holy Name (nama-svarupa) and the identity of the Lord (upasya-svarupa) are all represented by Dhenukasura. The practicing devotee must remove these anarthas with great endeavor. The lust for man or woman, covetousness, the endeavor for mundane enjoyment, conceit, desire for worship and fame – these are all represented by Pralamba. One should realize that these are extremely ruinous to nama-bhajana and make great attempts to eliminate them. If one’s humility is sincere, then Krsna will certainly be compassionate. In this way, Baladeva will appear and all other problems will be eradicated in a second. Then gradually, favorable cultivation of one’s bhajana will occur. This process is very secret by nature and should be learned from a genuine guru, who is spotless in character.” (Caitanya-siksamrta 6.6)

Those who desire to serve Krsna purely in the mood of Vraja should destroy the above-mentioned anarthas. Some of these anarthas must be eliminated by a devotee’s own endeavor and purity, and others can be destroyed by the mercy of Krsna. Bhaktivinoda explains that the anarthas represented by Dhenukasura and Pralamba are actually destroyed by Baladeva. If a devotee prays with humility to Krsna to remove all these anarthas in the heart (that are represented by the demons that Krsna killed), then Krsna will certainly do so. Other obstacles (represented by the demons killed by Baladeva) have to be removed by the one’s own endeavors. A living entity is able to personally destroy these obstacles that are found under the shelter of religious duties through savikalpa-samadhi (reasoning and introspection).

It may also be appropriate to point out here that most of the demons killed by Krsna were disposed of before the pastimes of rasa-lila began. This includes the illusion of Brahma and defeat of Indra. Those dealt with before the rasa-lila were Putana, Sakatasura, Trnavarta, the Yamala-Arjuna trees, Vatsasura, Bakasura, Aghasura, the illusion of Brahma, Dhenukasura, Kaliya, the forest fire, Pralambasura, the yajnika-brahmanas, Indra and Varuna.

Certainly one should be free from the anarthas represented by the above personalities before one thinks one’s self to be qualified for raganuga-bhakti.

Furthermore, the demons Sankhacuda, the snake that swallowed Nanda Maharaja, Aristasura, Kesi and Vyomasura were dispensed with after Krsna began His rasa-lilas. Therefore it should be understood that even an advanced devotee should be mindful not to allow the anarthas represented by the demons killed after the start of Krsna’s madhurya pastimes to raise their head and enter his heart.


rupa-guna-lila-sphurti nama chada haya na
rupa-guna-lila haite krsna-nama haya na

The revelation of Krsna’s form, qualities, and pastimes can never appear without the presence of the Holy Name. Krsna’s Holy Name can never be separated from His form, qualities and pastimes.


rupa haite nama-sphurti, guru kabhu bale na
guna haite nama-sphurti, guru kabhu bale na

The spiritual master never says that nama-sphurti (the revelation of the Holy Name) is separate from the Lord’s form. The spiritual master never says that the revelation of the Lord’s Holy Name is separate from His divine qualities.


lila haite nama-sphurti, rupanuga bale na
nama-nami dui vastu, rupanuga bale na

A rupanuga (a follower of Srila Rupa Gosvami) never says that the revelation of the Holy Name is separate from His pastimes. The rupanugas never say that the Holy Name and Krsna Himself are two separate entities.


It is the undisputed conclusion of all bona-fide sastras and acaryas that nama (the Holy Name), guna (qualities), rupa (form) and lila (pastimes) of Krsna are non-different from Krsna Himself. That is to say that the Name of Krsna, being non-different from Krsna, is also non-different from Krsna’s form, qualities and pastimes.

Considering that Krsna’s Holy Name is different from His qualities, form and pastimes, the Prakrta-Sahajiyas minimize the chanting of krsna-nama and substitute such with invented novel practices, most notably siddha-pranali or ekadasa-bhava. It should also be noted that the ekadasa-bhava, which is sometimes force-fed to unqualified practitioners by unscrupulous gurus, is not to be confused with the ekadasa-bhava described in Jaiva-dharma, chapter 39, by Thakura Bhaktivinoda.

To further clarify this topic of ekadasa-bhava, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments as follows, and one should pay very close attention to what the great acarya has said:

“Those who have achieved the perfection of being fixed in their spiritual identity (svarupa-siddhi or ekadasa-bhava) have attained such a realization through internal revelation and the spiritual master’s only involvement in these matters is to help the further advancement of the disciple. As a practitioner progresses toward spiritual perfection, all these things are revealed naturally within the heart that sincerely seeks service.” (Letter to a disciple, Nov. 17th 1930)

Unfortunately, many pseudo-devotees claim to have advanced to the stage of svarupa-siddhi and to have realized their ekadasa-bhava. Some such persons even claim to have received siddha-pranali (as a manjari or sakhi) in a dream from their spiritual master. Such devotees are indeed eccentric in their behavior and easily dupe innocent newcomers into believing in their dreams.

However, the vast majority of these deluded persons, although claiming to have achieved siddha-pranali, do not know the first things about the qualifications necessary to achieve such a high standard of pure devotional service so as to realize their intrinsic spiritual identity. Nor do they properly understand the function of a manjari or sakhi in the pastimes of Radha and Krsna. We consider such persons as sva-kuhaka – self-deceivers.


rasa age, rati pache, rupanuga bale na
rasa age, sraddha pache, guru kabhu bale na

Rupanugas never say that rasa precedes rati. The spiritual master never says that rasa precedes sraddha.


rati age, sraddha pache, rupanuga bale na
krama-patha chadi’siddhi, rupanuga bale na

Rupanugas never say that rasa is attained before one develops sraddha.

Rupanugas never say that perfection is attained by rejecting the various stages on the spiritual path.


mahajana-patha chadi’ navya-pathe dhaya na
aparadha-saha nama kakhana-i haya na

Rupanugas never reject the path of the mahajanas, to run and follow a new path. By making offenses one can never realize the Holy Name.


name prakrtartha-buddhi bhakta kabhu kare na
aparadha-yukta-nama bhakta kabhu laya na

A devotee never gives a mundane interpretation to the Holy Name. A devotee never chants the Holy Name in an offensive way.


namete prakrta-buddhi rupanuga kare na
krsna-rupe jada-buddhi rupanuga kare na

Rupanugas do not attribute mundane qualities to the Holy Name by means of material intellect. The rupanugas do not possess materialistic mentality, thus they never consider Krsna’s form as material.


krsna-gune jada-buddhi rupanuga kare na
parikara-vaisistyake prakrta ta’ jane na

Rupanugas do not look upon Krsna’s qualities with mundane intelligence. The rupanugas do not consider the attributes of the Lord’s eternal associates to be material.


krsna-lila jada-tulya rupanuga bale na
krsnetara bhogya-vastu krsna kabhu haya na

The rupanugas never compare Krsna’s pastimes to mundane activities. Krsna can never become a material object of sense pleasure that is inferior to Himself.


jadake anartha chada ara kichu mane na
jadasakti-base rase krsna-jnana kare na

Material objects are anarthas that are fit to be rejected – one should never consider them as anything different. Knowledge of Sri Krsna cannot be attained through any mellow that is based upon attachment to matter.


It is easy to call one’s self a rupanuga, a follower of Sri Rupa Gosvami, but without acquiring the qualities of a rupanuga such claims are simply a formal declaration. The aprakrta-svarupa (spiritual form) of Sri Rupa Gosvami is that of Sri Rupa-manjari in Vraja. Being a follower of Sri Rupa Gosvami is synonymous with being a follower of Sri Rupa-manjari, but qualification is necessary. The qualifications of a rupanuga are described by Prabodhananda Sarasvati in his Caitanya-candramrta as follows:

astam vairagya-kotir bhavatu
tattvanudhyana-kotir bhavatu
va vaisnavi bhakti-kotih
koty-amso ‘py asya na syat tad api
guna-gano yah svatah-siddha aste
nakha-jyotir amoda-bhajam

“Persons who are attached to the rays of the effulgent nails on the toes of the lotus feet of the beloved and dear devotees of Lord Caitanya are by themselves fully qualified with all transcendental qualities. Even powerful renunciation, equanimity, sense control, fortitude, meditation, and similar other great qualities that are found in the devotees of Visnu do not compare to even one-millionth of a part of their transcendental attributes.” (Caitanya-candramrta 127)

The position of a rupanuga is further described by Srila B.R. Sridhara Maharaja in Sri Guru and His Grace as follows:

“The rupanuga-sampradaya, the followers of the line of Sri Rupa, are those who have the unique taste of service in the camp of Radharani. In that plane, there is no entrance of any mundane exploitation or renunciation, and not even legalized sastrika devotion. The highest kind of devotion is not controlled by any law. It is spontaneous and automatic. Sacrifice to the highest degree is only possible in that camp. The highest kind of divine sentiment is distributed from the camp of Srimati Radharani, and that can never be compared with any attainment hitherto known even in the eternal factor of time and space.

"Then, there is another stage for which we should be prepared. Why should we try to enter into the camp of Radharani? Should we think that there, in that better atmosphere, we shall have Krsna’s presence more confidentially?

Should we think, “I will have contact with Krsna very intimately,” should we want to enter into that camp? No – we want to avoid the connection of Krsna, but concentrate on the service of Radharani. Why? What more benefit is possible there in the service of Radharani? If we approach Krsna directly to give service to Him, we shall be losers. Radharani’s service to Krsna is of the highest order in every way. If we devote our energy to help Radharani, our energy will be utilized in Her service. In this way, She will serve Krsna with Her service more enhanced. Then the reciprocation will pass to us through Her as our reward. That will be devotion of the highest type (maha-bhava).

"The general inclination of the sakhis, the confidential maidservants of Radharani, is not to come in direct connection with Krsna. They avoid that.

But still, it is the benevolent and generous nature of Radharani to connect them with Krsna on some plea at some time or other. But their innate nature is always to avoid Krsna and concentrate on the service of Radharani.

radhara svarupa-krsna-prema kalpalata
sakhi-gana haya tara pallava-puspa-pata

“By nature, Srimati Radharani is just like a creeper of love of Godhead, and the gopis are the twigs, flowers and leaves of that creeper.” (Cc. Madhya 8. 209)

“Eternally the twigs, flowers and leaves sprout from the creeper of Srimati Radharani. She is the trunk, and they are branches. This is their relationship.

" Yet still, there is another, higher thing. We are known as rupanuga, the followers of Sri Rupa. Why? The service of Srimati Radharani eliminates everything, even Narayana, to go to Krsna. There is the Krsna of Dvaraka, the Krsna of Mathura, and the Krsna of Vrndavana. Then again in Vrndavana, where there is free mixing without hesitation in other camps, Radharani’s camp is the highest. Eliminating all other camps, direct service to Radharani is considered to be the highest. Still, there is another point.

“Who is Rupa? Rupa-manjari. Generally the hierarchy in the spiritual world is eternal. New recruits can occupy a particular rank of manjari, assistant, in madhurya-rasa. And the leader of the manjaris is Sri Rupa-manjari. What is the special feature in the manjari camp that is not found among the sakhis, girlfriends of Krsna?

“First there is Radharani, then the camp of Her right-hand personal attendant, Lalita. Then, under Lalita, there is Sri Rupa-manjari. What is the unique position of the followers of Sri Rupa? The new recruits can attain to that status. Now, the privilege of this manjari class we are to conceive most respectfully and attentively.

" When Radha and Govinda are in secrecy, in a private place, the sakhis, who are well-versed in the art of that kind of play, because they are a little grown-up, do not like to approach there to disturb Their confidential mixing. If the more grown-up sakhis, enter there, both Radha and Govinda will feel shy. So, their presence may create some disturbance. But the younger girls can enter there, and then Radha and Govinda have no hesitation in free mixing.

" In that highest stage of the mixing of Radha-Govinda, the free play of Radha-Govinda, these manjaris, the younger girls, can have admission. But the grown-up sakhis cannot have admission there. New recruits may come up to the manjari class. And the manjaris have that sort of special advantage under the leadership of Sri Rupa-manjari. So, they get the best advantage there, the most sacred type of pure service, which is not open even to the sakhis, is open to the manjaris. That is found in Radharani’s camp.

" The position of the rupanugas, the followers of Sri Rupa, is the most profitable position. That has been given out by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That has been shown by Him, and that is fixed as the highest limit of our fortune in Krsna’s concern. This is unexpected, undesignable and beyond hope, but our prospect lies there in that subtle camp of Sri Rupa-manjari, Rupa Gosvami.

“The camp, the sampradaya of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is known as the rupanuga-sampradaya. There, our fate and our fortune are located. Now we have to conduct ourselves in such a way that naturally we can connect with that highest, purest spiritual conception, from here. We must not allow ourselves to be satisfied with anything less than this highest ideal. That should be the highest goal of our life. And we must adjust our approach from our present position.”

The most common misunderstanding among neophyte devotees concerning the manjari class of gopis is the thinking that the manjaris also enjoy with Krsna. This type of thinking definitely shows that such persons have not received proper guidance in such matters from their guru and that they are certainly not qualified to engage in or hear about the amorous pastimes of Krsna. To support our statements we quote Thakura Bhaktivinoda below.

“You are a maidservant of Srimati Radharani, and your eternal service is to render devotional service unto Her. Sometimes, due to some necessity, She may send you to be alone with Sri Krsna in a solitary place, and during that time, Krsna may show some desire to enjoy with you. However, you should never agree to His demands. You are a maidservant of Srimati Radharani, and you should never serve Krsna independently for His pleasure without Her permission. You should have equal loving attachment for Radha and Krsna, but still you should maintain greater desire for Her loving service than for Krsna’s. This is the meaning of service to Srimati Radharani. Your service is to care for Radharani’s comfort and pleasure in all the eight-fold pastimes.” (Jaiva-dharma Ch.39)

In this same light, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada writes about the mystery of the pastimes of Radha and Krsna in The Search for the Ultimate Goal of Life, page 74, as follows:

“The activities of the sakhis are very wonderful. They do not desire any personal enjoyment with Sri Krsna but become happy only by uniting the Divine Couple. By uniting Srimati Radharani with Sri Krsna, the sakhis enjoy a thousand times more happiness than they would derive by direct contact with Sri Krsna. This is another mystery of the transcendental pastimes of Radha and Krsna.

Srimati Radharani is the desire creeper embracing the desire tree of Sri Krsna, and the sakhis are the leaves, twigs, and flowers of that desire creeper. So naturally when the desire creeper is watered at the root by the nectarean water of the pastimes of Sri Krsna the leaves and twigs and flowers of the desire creeper are automatically nourished. The sakhis therefore do not require any separate arrangement for their enjoyment. On the other hand, the happiness of the flowers and leaves is greater than the original creeper.

This is explained in the Govinda-lilamrta, 10.16 as follows:

sakhyah sri-radhikaya vraja-
kumuda-vidhor hladini-nama-sakteh
saramsa-prema-vallyah kisalaya-
dala-puspadi-tulyah sva-tulyah
siktayam krsna-lilamrta-rasa-
nicayair ullasantyam amusyam
jatollasah sva-sekacchata-gunam
adhikam santi yat tan na citram

“There is no utility in watering the leaves and flowers of a tree without watering the root of the tree. The leaves and flowers are automatically nourished by watering the root of the tree. Similarly, without the unity of Srimati Radharani and Sri Krsna, there is no happiness for the sakhis. When Radha and Krsna are united, the happiness of the sakhis is thousands and thousands of times greater than when they are personally associating with Krsna.”











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Krishna Talk 129 - Prakrta Rasa Sata Dusani Part 4

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

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Part Four, Verses 42-57


krsna-nama, krsna-rupa kabhu jada bale na
krsna-guna, krsna-lila kabhu jada bale na

One should never say that Krsna’s Holy Name and Krsna’s form are material. One should never say that Krsna’s qualities and pastimes are mundane.


jada-rupa anarthete krsna-bhrama kare na
krsna-nama-rupa-gune jada-buddhi kare na

One should not be deluded by the illusion of mundane forms and mistake Sri Krsna also to be material. One should never try to comprehend Krsna’s names, forms, and qualities with mundane intelligence.


To make it clear to his readers and to anyone claiming to be a follower of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, it is being said here again and again that before one can properly relish the higher stages of bhakti, one must first come to the stage of anartha-nivrtti – being freed from material contamination. The real work in vaidhi-bhakti is to become free from anarthas. One who fails to achieve this is doomed. Ninety percent of our work should be to eliminate the unwanted anarthas and then the other ten percent will come quite easily. Any endeavor to achieve the ten percent without eliminating the ninety percent is simply living in a fool’s paradise.

It has been said that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura spent ninety percent of his energy to teach what is not madhurya-rasa, the negative side. He had to spare in his words, “gallons of blood” in order to teach that which is not rasa.

Some foolish persons take these statements of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura lightly and, ignoring his cautions, dive head long into the topics of higher lila. Such persons should be understood as not being followers of the great acarya and their association should be rejected.


nama-rupa-guna-lila jada bali’ mane na
jada-nama-rupa-gune krsna kabhu bale na

One should never regard any of the Lord’s Names, forms, qualities or pastimes to be material. One should never say that any material Name, form or quality belongs to Krsna.


jada-sunya aprakrta nama chada bale na
jada-sunya aprakrta rupa-chada dekhe na

Nothing else should be spoken except the spiritual Names of Sri Krsna, that are completely spiritual and free from all matter. Nothing else should be seen except for the divine form of Krsna, which is free from all matter.


jada-sunya aprakrta guna-chada sune na
jada-sunya aprakrta lila-chada seve na

Nothing else should be heard except for the divine qualities of Sri Krsna that are free from all matter. Nothing else should be served except for the divine pastimes of Sri Krsna, that are free of all mundane contamination.


Everything about Krsna is purely spiritual and thus everything connected to Krsna is divine. The following questions asked by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the answers given by Ramananda Raya, are supremely instructive to all devotees.

Q: What is the essence of learning in the field of educational activities?

A: There is no superior quality of learning than the knowledge pursued in regard to devotional service to Sri Krsna.

Q: What is the highest fame?

A: The highest fame of a living being is a reputation of being a devotee of Sri Krsna.

Q: What is the most valuable possession of life among all the assets of the world?

A: One who has transcendental love for Radha and Krsna is to be considered the richest person in the world.

Q: What is the most grievous type of sorrow among all the sorrows and distresses of life?

A: There is no greater type of sorrow than the unhappiness created by separation from devotees of Sri Krsna.

Q: Who is most perfectly liberated among all the liberated souls of the universe?

A: One who has transcendental love for Sri Krsna is the greatest of all liberated souls.

Q: What is the best song that a person can sing?

A: The essence of all songs is the singing of the transcendental glories of Radha and Krsna.

Q: What is the highest benefit of life that a person can seek?

A: There is no greater gain in life than the association of devotees engaged in the service of Sri Krsna.

Q: Who is to be remembered constantly by the living being?

A: One should always think of the transcendental Name, fame, and qualities of Sri Krsna.

Q: What should the living being meditate on?

A: The most perfect type of meditation is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna.

Q: Where should the living being reside exclusively, leaving all other residential quarters?

A: One should live in Vrndavana, where the transcendental pastimes of rasa-lila are perpetually performed.

Q: What should the living entity hear about, leaving aside all other topics?

A: The reciprocal loving pastimes of Radha and Krsna are the only subject matter for aural reception by the living entity.

Q: What is the most worshipable object among all those to be worshiped?

A: The topmost worshipable object is the combined names of Radha and Krsna.

Q: Where do persons go who aspire after liberation or sense enjoyment respectively?

A: The first person attains a body that is immovable (such as a stone or mountain), and the other attains a celestial body.

The above questions and answers contain the essence of all transcendental knowledge confirmed in the authoritative scriptures.


anartha thakara kale jada-rupe maje na
anartha thakara kale jada-gune mise na

While anarthas continue to remain, one should not become allured by mundane appearances. While anarthas remain, one should never associate with material qualities.


anartha thakara kale jada-lila bhoge na
anartha thakara kale suddha-nama chade na

While anarthas remain, one should never enjoy mundane pastimes. While anarthas remain, one should never give up chanting the pure Name of Krsna.


anartha thakara kale rasa-gana kare na
anartha thakara kale siddhi-labdha bale na

While anarthas remain, one should never sing rasika songs. While anarthas remain, one should never claim that one has attained perfection.


anartha thakara kale lila-gana kare na
anartha-nivrtti-kale nama jada bale na

While anarthas remain, one should never sing songs about the Lord’s confidential pastimes. At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, one should never consider the Holy Name to be mundane.


While anarthas still remain, a devotee should remain steadfast on the path of vaidhi-bhakti and not venture ahead, lest he risk ruination. Not understanding the necessity of purification from anarthas, pseudo-gurus sometimes recommend that their disciples sing elevated songs glorifying the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, or even worse, the pseudo-guru sometimes instructs his disciples to sing mundane songs about Radha and Krsna, such as those composed by the Rajasthani princess, Mirabai. The pure devotee never engages his disciples in such a way.

Furthermore, some unqualified devotees, who think that they have attained rasa, begin to write books in which they imagine fictious pastimes of Radha-Krsna in their fertile brain and then give discourses about such imaginary pastimes as though they were advanced in rasa. Such persons should be known as self-deluders and cheaters.


anartha-nivrtti-kale rupe jada dekhe na
anartha-nivrtti-kale gune jada bujhe na

At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, one cannot observe material attributes in the form of Sri Krsna. At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, material elements can no longer be perceived in the Lord’s qualities.


anartha-nivrtti-kale jada lila seve na
rupanuga gurudeva sisya-himsa kare na

At the stage of anartha-nivrtti, one never serves material activities. The spiritual masters in the line of the rupanugas, never harm their disciples in any way.


In the above verse, ‘harming the disciples’ does not refer to putting the disciple in harms way in the physical sense, but rather it refers to putting the disciple in harms way in the spiritual sense. By engaging a disciple ahead of himself, by encouraging him in rasa, for which he is not qualified, does not benefit the disciple in the least – rather it brings great harm to the disciple. Real rupanugas never bring harm to their disciples in that way.


guru tyaji’ jade asa kabhu bhakta kare na
mahajana-pathe dosa kabhu guru deya na

A disciple never rejects his spiritual master due to his own hankering for material pleasures. The spiritual master never finds defects in the line of the mahajanas.


guru-mahajana-vakye bheda kabhu haya na
sadhanera pathe kanta sad-guru deya na

There is never any contradiction between the words of the spiritual master and the words of the mahajanas. A genuine spiritual master never places thorns on the path of sadhana.


adhikara-avicara, rupanuga kare na
anartha-anvita-dase rasa-siksa deya na

Rupanugas never misjudge spiritual qualifications. They never give instructions on rasa to a servant who is infested with anarthas.


bhagavata-padya bali’ ku-vyakhya ta’ kare na
loka-samgrahera tare krama-patha chade na

One should never chant the verses of the Bhagavatam and give false interpretations. One should never reject the systematic path of devotion in order to collect large numbers of followers.


na uthiya vrksopari phala dhari’ tane na
rupanuga krama-patha vilopa ta’ kare na

One should not climb a tree, grab the fruits and pull them off by force.

Rupanugas never eliminate the systematic path of bhakti.


Those who are real rupanugas never eleminate the systematic path of bhakti because they know that one cannot simply jump ahead and achieve the ultimate goal of life. One must go step by step.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta has used the phrase ‘anartha-anvita’. Anvita means permeated or infested. Not only do pseudo-gurus attempt to give rasa to persons who have anarthas, but they attempt to give rasa to those who are infested with anarthas – anartha-anvita. Factually speaking, a neophyte does not make progress in Krsna consciousness under the guidance of a pseudo-guru, but rather such unfortunate neophytes increase their anarthas due to bad association – they become anartha-anvita.

To support the claim that even those who are infested with anarthas should hear rasa-lila topics, the pseudo-section likes to quote the following verse:

vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito ‘nusrnad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv-apahinoty-acirena dhirah

“A sober person who, with a reverential attitude, hears the divine pastimes of Krsna with the gopis of Vraja from the mouth of a pure devotee and then describes those pastimes accordingly, achieves the supramundane loving service of the Lord within no time and thereby drives away mundane lusty desires from his heart.” (Bhag. 10.33.39)

Deliberating upon the this verse, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta writes in his Anubhasya commentary to Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 5.45 as follows:

“A person who hears or describes the rasa-lila and other such pastimes as found in the Bhagavatam, living them in his transcendental heart, then finds material desires for sensual pleasure wane to nothingness. Because Krsna’s pastimes are transcendental, one who hears or speaks about them enters into that transcendental domain where material qualities can no longer influence him. Even while in contact with matter, he is unaffected; his mind remains calm and steady. He is able to understand his own qualifications to serve Krsna. No one should think, as do the Prakrta-Sahajiyas, that an ordinary living entity will overcome lust by hearing and chanting these pastimes, if he is filled with contaminations like lust and greed, if he avoids accumulating the appropriate knowledge (sambandha-jnana) of the relationships between matter, the individual soul and the Supreme Lord, if he remains fixed in a subjective world centered on his own sensual pleasures, if his intelligence continues to be permeated with material conceptions, if he neglects all the purifying activities of devotional service in practice, and especially if he takes the spiritual love affairs of the Supreme Lord to have the same kinds of sensual motivations that he himself experiences. For this reason, Mahaprabhu emphasized the word ‘faith’ (sraddhanvita) in order to forestall such Sahajiya arguments.”

Real rupanugas do not neglect the advice of previous acaryas or mahajanas. To do such brings about certain ruination of one’s spiritual life.

Simultaneously as one’s spiritual life is being reduced to ruin, the pseudo-devotees are gaining the inspiration to live in a fool’s paradice.

The folly of their ways may only be realized when it is too late, when death comes.The proper approach to higher topics in devotional service is summed up in the verse pujala raga-patha, composed by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati.

matala hari-jana visaya-range
pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

“The servants of Lord Hari, who revel in satisfying His transcendental desires, worship the path of spontaneous devotional service (raga-patha) in a mood of awe and reverence (gaurava-bhange). Our approach to raga-patha is to stay at a safe distance and below.”

One is certainly free to do whatever one so desires in this material world, for God has given the living entity his independence. But those who reject the mahajanas and the advice of previous acaryas, boldly display to us their ornaments of ignorance and audacity when they arrogantly declare, “We put our foot on that gaurava!” Such persons are thoroughly unfortunate.











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Krishna Talk 130 - Sri Krsna Janmastami

by Swami B.G. Narasingha

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(The following transcript is from a lecture given by Srila Narasingha Maharaja on Sri Krsna Janmastami on the 4th September 2007 at Govindaji Gardens)

Janmastami, the appearance day of Lord Krsna, is the eighth lunar day after the full moon. When Krsna manifests in this world, the moon takes on a dark color during that phase. In regards to His appearance and activities, Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita:

yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham

O descendent of Bharata, whenever there is a decline in religious principles and a rise of irreligion, at that time I personally appear. (Gita 4.7)

Krsna says that whenever there is a rise of irreligion or a decline of religion, He appears in this world. Throughout the Vedas, the Highest Entity of truth is known as Bhagavan. In Bhagavad-gita we find the words, sri bhagavan uvaca. This means that the Highest Entity is speaking the Bhagavad-gita. Also, in the Srimad Bhagavatam we find the words, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam (Krsna Himself is the Supreme). Krsna is the avatari – the source of all avataras. In this world, there are different ages – Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvarpara-yuga and Kali-yuga – and during these yugas there are scheduled descents of Bhagavan. Whenever Bhagavan comes into this world, He has a purpose that will benefit all species of life.

Unfortunately, we live at a time when anyone with a little money can print a poster exclaiming, “I am Bhagavan!” But such ‘Bhagavans’ cannot give any real benefit to the people. Of course, many of these ‘Bhagavans’ perform some social work by opening hospitals etc. Opening hospitals is good, but the government has been opening hospitals for a long time. Mother Theresa opened many hospitals and Fidel Castro of Cuba has also opened many hospitals around the world – yet we would not call Mother Theresa or Castro Bhagavan! Opening hospitals is a very good thing, but it is also a very ordinary thing. Opening a hospital is nothing new or extraordinary. However, whenever Bhagavan appears, He does wonderful, extraordinary activities that human beings cannot imitate.

In the scriptures we find that Krsna lifted Govardhana Hill. At present, Govardhana Hill is seven kilometers long, but in the time of Krsna it was five kilometers in height. In the evening when the sun would set in the west, the shadow of Govardhana Hill would fall upon Mathura – that is almost forty kilometers away. Therefore Govardhana is called Giriraja, the king of the mountains. Today people consider Nanga-parvata as the biggest mountain in India or Everest as the biggest mountain in the Himalayas, but originally Govardhana was bigger than both of these mountains. However, if you visit Govardhana today it is nearly seven kilometers long but hardly forty meters high at its highest point. Govardhana is slowly disappearing from our sight.

Still, there are stones on Govardhana as big as houses. Where is the ‘bhagavan’ who can lift even one of these stones from Govardhana? Krsna lifted the entire Govardhana Hill, but these ‘bhagavans’ cannot imitate this.

If you want to buy a silk sari, you have to be careful. You can go from shop to shop and find nylon, Dacron, jute, but not silk. If you want pure silk you have to go to a reputable place that is approved by the government, or a family shop that has been in business for over a hundred years. Otherwise you will be cheated. Similarly, why would there be nothing to guide you when you are looking for God? Think about it. There will be a parampara, an authorized agent, and authorized books. There will be standards.

Most people are too simple! Somebody may have some terrible disease and they are told, “Take your medicine, but at the same time pray to our Swami.” They continue to take their medicine, pray to the Swami and ultimately they live. Then they announce, “I prayed to the Swami and I lived!” Then this news spreads and the Swami becomes famous. But there is another fellow who prayed to Swami, but he died! He doesn’t come back and tell you – he can’t, because he’s dead! That is what is known in English as a ‘loaded deck.’ There are also atheists who don’t pray to God at all – but they take their medicine and also recover. There are people that never pray to God but make millions and become extremely rich.

Don’t think that the proof of God is that you will get money, or that your health will improve when you pray to Him. The transient nature of sickness and wealth are simply features of this world.

We Want to see Our God Enjoy

Whether in illness or health, a devotee will always pray to Krsna, “My success or failure is up to You.” If he doesn’t get rich, or he doesn’t recover from an illness, he doesn’t blame Krsna. Somebody might say, “Just see, you prayed to Krsna and nothing happened – you didn’t get any money, your health did not improve – there is no Krsna!” But the devotee will simply laugh and say, “No, you don’t understand. Krsna had more important things to do.” The devotee says that, “I have my karma and I don’t expect Krsna to solve all my problems. He is not my servant, I am His servant.” There is a difference. Many people in the world have a hard time understanding suffering, and when they pray to God they expect that suffering, pain, disease and poverty will disappear. When that doesn’t happen they finally say, “There is no God!”

Recently I had a discussion with one Christian gentleman who proposed that Jesus was greater than Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He said, “Caitanya Mahaprabhu was absorbed in His own love for Krsna, and in that love for Krsna He left this world. But Jesus was much more merciful and selfless – he accepted crucifixion for everyone’s benefit.”

I told him, “Yes, this is the difference between Vaisnavism and Christianity. We want to see our God enjoy – and you want to see your God murdered.” Later I wondered, “Why do they think like that?” I realized that suffering is a difficult thing to explain. If you don’t understand the concept of karma, you won’t understand suffering and finally you will want God to suffer also.

There are five main subjects that Krsna explains in Bhagavad-gita, and one of these subjects is karma – what is action and what is reaction. Without this knowledge you cannot understand why there is suffering in this world and you will subscribe to the idea that God is very cruel. “He makes me suffer, so He should suffer Himself.” This type of thinking has evolved in some religions. God must come and suffer. He must die. An ultimately what happens is that, rather than becoming religions of peace and love, they become religions of violence and intolerance. Under these types of religions, many people are put to death. These are not real religions. They are not based on real knowledge. They are based on false or misinterpreted knowledge. Real religion is based on knowledge and there is no superior book of knowledge than Bhagavad-gita. This was Krsna’s gift for the whole of humanity, for all time.

The Mother of Civilization

Bhagavad-gita is famous throughout the world and the knowledge found in Bhagavad-gita, to this date, is unsurpassed. It has such a depth of knowledge that even if a scholar of Bhagavad-gita reads it again tomorrow, he will find new wisdom in it. That is because Krsna is infinite and the words spoken by Him are also infinite. Any other body of knowledge has some limitation.

Everyone is fascinated by the knowledge of computers now, but can a computer tell us how many particles of sand there are in Mumbai? Can a computer tell us how to make a grain of rice? No! A computer is only as intelligent as the person that programs it. One day, the wonders of the computer and the wonders of the cell phone will be of no more importance than the wonders of a Tata truck. What is a Tata truck? Nowadays such trucks are commonplace, but when the Tata truck was first introduced on the road, people lined up for kilometers to see it. Now we think, “I need the latest type of cell phone, I need the biggest and fastest computer.” This is called maya-sukhaya.

Today, if I purchase the best radio available, would everyone be happy to sit around and listen to it for hours? Of course not! Nobody cares for the radio anymore. But when the radio was first introduced, whole villages would sit in front of it and listen. Nowadays a radio is nothing. We became tired of the radio and it was replaced by something else that caught our attention.

But Bhagavad-gita has held the attention of the intelligent people of this world for over five thousand years. Some people claim that the Bible is older than the Gita, but historically speaking that is not true. Millions of people were reading Bhagavad-gita before the Bible was even invented – and it was invented! It has not come from God.

dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam.

Real religious principles are established by the Supreme. (Bhag. 6.3.19)

Some say that the Bible came to India a thousand years ago and that the Bible inspired the Indians to write the Vedas, Upanisads, Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranas. Then where did Ayurveda come from? That is also a part of the Vedas. Did that come from the Bible also, wherein it says that one shouldn’t take medicine? How did a book that says that you shouldn’t take medicine suddenly become the source of the Vedic texts on medicine? The Ayurveda has extensive knowledge regarding the science of medicine and surgery. Thousands of years before the people of Europe had even learned what medicine was, surgery was going on in India, metallurgical science was there, theories of atomic energy etc. The idea that the Vedic literature was inspired by the Bible was simply propaganda, created to establish Europe as being the original center of civilization. In order to do that, Asia was put down.

During the nineteenth century, there was much talk amongst European scholars about the origins of civilization. Upon discovering India, some scholars became quite perplexed and their main task was to keep the origins of civilization in Europe. This is called the ‘eurocentric worldview’. They said that the Aryans came from Europe to India and made India civilized.

However, one difficult point to explain for them concerns the food found in both cultures, In Europe a thousand years ago there was basically only bread and something that you shot in the forest. That was it! And the only spice they had was salt. How did non-vegetarians with such a limited cuisine of bread, meat and salt come to India and create a whole thali? Not only a thali – a Gujarati thali, a North Indian thali, a Punjabi thali, a South Indian thali, and so many other varieties of food! Even today in Italy they have the most complete cooking culture in all of Europe. But still, there is not much variety. If you go to Germany, you may get five or six different preparations. If you go to Norway and other such places, there is mostly fish. There is not much variety.

And then there is also music. More or less, the only instrument that truly came from Europe was the guitar. How did the guitar come to India and transform into the sitar, the vina, or the tambura? There is so much detailed knowledge of music in India. Therefore how can India not be the mother of civilization?

For many years, so-called scholars said that the Vedas were simply mythology.

Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas were basically just tales for children.

But let us ask one question – how many years does it take to fully study Sanskrit grammar? How long does it take to study and compose Sanskrit poetry?

It takes twenty to twenty-five years for someone to become a kavi (poet).

After becoming such great poets, why did the ancient rsis decide to write fairy tales for children? That would be like attending a classical music academy for many years and after finishing your studies, going to Mumbai simply to compose jingles for Coca-cola commercials on TV! It is more likely that after learning the highest standard of music, you would go on to perform and present classical music. It is foolish to say that the Vedas, which are written in the most advanced language, are simply mythological stories and histories that never really happened.

Monkey Caste.

In India, it is well known that the oldest God on this planet is Visnu, Krsna, or Rama and everybody knows that civilization began in India. The ksatriyas left India after Parasurama destroyed their dynasties. They settled in the west during the Pre-Egyptian era and started civilizations all over the world. After these civilizations grew, people began to wonder where the first civilization originally came from. At one time, people said that civilization began in Baghdad, between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.

Here in India we have the Ganges and Yamuna – the Sumerians had the Tigris and the Euphrates. But in modern times, that idea has basically been rejected.

The knowledge is there that India is the mother of civilization, but that knowledge is being kept hidden. If somebody wants to update the history textbooks, someone will object, “No, no, no – why do you want to update our textbooks?” Darwin’s theory has been disproven a hundred times all over the world, but still, when new textbooks are printed in India, they propagate Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Then one may argue, “If Darwin’s theory is correct, why worry about caste at the time of marriage?

We all come from monkeys anyway.” That is Darwinism. In India everyone is concerned with class and caste. That is natural. But in the textbooks that your children study, it says that we all evolved from apes. One day your son will tell you, “Father, why does it matter who I marry? It is written that we all come from monkeys anyway.” Monkey caste! Of course, I may be joking about it, but society considers caste and community to be very important. Yet the educational system says that we all come from monkeys.

That is the so-called knowledge our schools and universities teach.

The Spectrum of Krsna’s Lila.

Real knowledge can be found in every word of Bhagavad-gita. In the purport to this verse, yada yada hi dharmasya, Srila Prabhupada has placed emphasis on one particular word srjami. Srjami means that Krsna was not created here – Krsna came here as He is. Krsna exists beyond the universe and the knowledge of this is in this one word – srjami. Srjami means that Krsna is not born according to the laws of karma. We are born from a womb, but Krsna is not born from a womb. The Bhagavatam explains that when Devaki and Vasudeva were in Kamsa’s prison, all the demigods came to offer prayers and then Visnu appeared. Everything was basically human-like up to that point, but then He made His grand appearance. First He appeared to Devaki and Vasudeva as Visnu.

He was fully decorated and holding a conch-shell, disc-weapon, club and lotus. Vasudeva and Devaki prayed to Visnu, “Please become our son.” Then He manifested as baby Krsna. Krsna was not born in a maternity ward, or with the aid of a midwife, nor from the womb.

The story goes on to tell how Vasudeva and Devaki became fearful of Kamsa discovering Krsna, how Vasudeva swaddled Him, how the gates mysteriously opened and how Vasudeva escaped undetected from the dungeon while the guards slept. That is the wonderful appearance of Krsna.

We have all seen pictures of ourselves when we were small children. Can you imagine being able to live at any stage of your life at any time, all at once with no confusion? That is Krsna. Krsna can live as a baby, a child, a youth, a young man. He can live in all stages of life simultaneously. He is not born, enduring a period of growth from childhood to manhood and old age. He is eternally a child, eternally a youth and eternally an adult all at once.

Is this impossible? Yes, it is impossible! It does not fit into the spectrum of the possibility of this world. He is beyond this world. The scriptures say that Krsna walks and He does not walk, He talks and he doesn’t talk.

tadejati tan naijati tad dure tadvantike
tad antarasya sarvasya tad u sarvasyasya bayatah

The Lord is moving very swiftly and at the same time he is very still. He is very near to us and at the same time he is very far from us. He is within everything and he is outside of everything. (Isopanisad 5).

You and I were born and we grow old. We cannot show ourselves as we were two years back. That is impossible. We continue to age and there is no going back. Krsna is not like that – He is living every stage of His life simultaneously. Our experiences in life are actually very small. But Krsna lives a life beyond our experience. He is nava-yauvana, ever youthful. He is always a young boy. He is all of these things simultaneously and everybody that is eternally with Him is also like that.

When you calculate the timeframe of the Mahabharata, Krsna was around 125 years old when He spoke Bhagavad-gita. But according to those who saw Him, He looked as though He was only sixteen or seventeen years of age. If any of us reached 125 years of age, our skin would become wrinkled and our hair would fall out from our heads. We never hear that Rama or Krsna became old. We become old men and women, our teeth fall out, our hair falls out, we become deaf, but we don’t hear that Rama or Krsna ever became old. Old age is something that only happens in this material world to people who are born according to karma. Old age is under the law of karma, and Krsna and Rama are above karma..

In this world we can only be at one place at a time. The key word is ‘time’ – remove time, and then see what happens. But you cannot remove the time factor in this world. This is known in Sanskrit as the kala-cakra, the wheel of time. It is fixed and it pervades everything and everywhere – up, down, inside and outside. Time influences everything, right down to the atoms and in between the atoms. If we could remove time we could be at two places at the same ‘time.’

Some people define eternity as, ‘a long ‘time’. But, no! Remove time and what remains is eternity. Eternity means no past, no present, and no future. The element of time is a dominant energy in this world and it is understood in terms of past, present and future. But in the world of Krsna, there is no concept of time. Time is absent – there is no past, no present or future. That is called adhoksaja, – beyond. We must always keep this in mind when thinking about the pastimes of Krsna and Rama..

The Challenging Nature of Krsna’s Pastimes.

When we think about the pastimes of Rama, it is quite straightforward. Lord Rama stands morally upright in society. He performs great sacrifices and goes to the forest when He is sent into exile. His life is very harsh, He has to fight to retrieve Sita etc. Rama’s pastimes are much simpler as compared to Krsna’s. Rama’s pastimes as a child are not given much emphasis. When we think of Rama, we generally think about His activities as a man when He is sent to the forest, loses Sita, fights with Ravana and becomes the king of Ayodhya. His childhood pastimes are not an important part of His lila.

When thinking about Krsna’s pastimes however, it is somewhat challenging..

Krsna is so mischievous because He is displaying His pastimes as a boy. But when thinking about Krsna we have to remember that He is not subject to the laws of material nature. He is not within the jurisdiction of karma. When the ordinary people think of Krsna, they consider, “Oh, He steals butter and gives it to the monkeys, He steals the girls clothes etc.” If a small boy of six years old goes and steals the ladies’ clothes, what is that? It is mischief. We would consider such a child naughty and innocent. That is Krsna..

But some people think of Krsna as if He were some lusty old man stealing the clothes of the ladies – if you think like that then you are mixing in nastiness and wickedness. Krsna is a mere boy. He sees the clothes, laughs and steals them. He steals the butter and gives it to the monkeys. Such activities are charming. Ultimately, Krsna does not steal anything, because everything already belongs to Him. He doesn’t steal anybody’s wife, because all wives already belong to him. One must be philosophically minded when thinking of Krsna..

Krsna is made of sat (eternity), He is made of cit (knowledge), and the most important element found in Krsna is called ananda (bliss). Factually speaking, we don’t know what eternity is, we don’t know what knowledge is and we don’t know what bliss is. We think these are abstract things of which we may have some experience. What is knowledge? Is knowledge something that we study in school for passing exams and getting on with life? Is knowledge something we simply find in a book? No. What is bliss? Does bliss simply mean happiness or laughter? Is Krsna simply made of laughter? Krsna is saccidananda-vigraha – He is the pure form of all those things. Krsna is not an atma inside a body. Krsna is His body. You, on the other hand, are an atma within a body. Daily, so many bodily changes appear, but inside you are same. Externally your voice changes and even your mind changes – but you, the atma, remains the same. The atma never changes. The atma is also sat-cid-ananda, and the atma has a form also. We are of the same quality as Krsna.

This world is a foreign land. We don’t come from this place. We cannot permanently stay in this place, and we are destined to move on. It is just a question of where and when we going to move. You can move laterally across this world, you can even travel down to Patalaloka, the lowest planetary system in this universe. You can go up to the celestial regions of Svargaloka for some time, but like a politician’s term in office you will go up and then you will eventually come down. You cannot stay there. But when you reach Vaikuntha, the spiritual realm, there is no coming down. Vaikuntha is a complete world, with complete universes and complete planetary systems..

Everything there is sat-cid-ananda. There is no janma, mrtyu, jara, vyadhi, (birth, death, old age, and disease). It doesn’t exist. There is no time there, no lust, no hate, and no greed. If you removed lust and greed from this world, all the major cities would disappear. They are all driven by lust and greed. This is the material world. If you removed lust and greed there would be no wars. Greed is the most horrible thing there is. That mentality of “I want, I want” is what causes us to suffer. It is what causes the world to suffer.

Krsna’s birth may seem like a common birth in the sense that He looks like a baby, but higher knowledge informs us that He existed before He entered this universe. Before He came onto the stage, He existed. The stage I refer to is His lila. We have seen actors that can play any role – an actor ages in a movie and gradually becomes an old man, one actor may play different roles in the same movie. There are even actors that can play male and female roles in the same film. Sometimes we don’t even recognize them if they are really good, and can’t accept that it’s the same person because the makeup artist has done such a good job. Krsna also has a makeup artist. That makeup artist is called Yogamaya. She makes up all the things for presenting the lila of Krsna, just as in a drama. There are certain examples in this world that help us to understand the higher world to some extent, but ultimately it depends upon realization. Realization means we have to transcend the limitations of this world and understand what is real. The process for self-realization and realization of Krsna in this age is the chanting of His Names:

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

This is the mantra, the meditation, and the process to awaken our eternal consciousness of Krsna.











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Krishna Talk 131 - Sri Radhastami

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

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(The following discourse was spoken by Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada in the Sarasvata Natya-mandira, Sri Gaudiya Matha, at 6:00 pm in the evening of Sri Radhastami, September 19th, 1931)

There is one personality whose name is not referred to in the Srimad Bhagavatam, yet the readers of Srimad Bhagavatam nuture the hope of becoming that person's devoted servant. May that personality, who is everything to Bhagavan, completely destroy our false-ego and grant us shelter at Her feet.

Today is Her appearance day. Having accrued all varieties of compassion from Bhagavan, she distributes that as gifts to all. May that personification of great mercy manifest within our hearts and make Her appearance there. May Her appearance day be the concern of our adoration.

Generally we hear that the whole world is maintained by Govinda. Many people discuss about Govinda in this way. Yet there is one whom Govinda Himself considers as His sarvasva – His all in all. Without taking shelter of that personality, we will not be able to comprehend what sarvasva actually means.

The word sva means ‘one’s own’, and sva also means ‘treasure.’ Sva means Govinda’s own and also one who is Govinda’s treasure. She is the complete wealth of Govinda – the wealth of the wealth of Govinda. She is Govinda’s sarvasva-vastu. When we make Her our worshippable object, then we will understand the actual meaning of worship.

All the sastras loudly proclaim that those things in relation to Bhagavan are the objects of worship. Apart from Him, no one else can be worthy of the word aradhya (worship). At present we are bound by ignorance and we have forsaken our search, cheating ourselves out of attaining prema. At the time when anarthas arise, we mistake Him for something else. Our ultimate goal is artha (that which is necessary), the opposite of which is anartha. If we do not serve those innermost necessary ideals, or perfections that are available to us, and if we do not gain instructions on the matter of service, then we will be ruled by our own false-ego, rendering service unto something else other than that which is actually worthy of service.

Only divine love for God is worthy of worship. Understanding this point clearly, we live with the fervent hope that we will eventually be counted amongst Her retinue. Otherwise, it is better for us to die thousands of times.

asa-bharair amrta-sindhu-mayaih kathancit
kalo-mayatigamitah kila sampratam hi
tvan cet krpam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair-vrajena ca varoru bakarinapi

"O Varoru, my beautiful, most magnanimous Goddess, my heart is flooded with an ocean of nectarean hopes. I have somehow been passing my time until now eagerly longing for Your grace, which is an ocean of ever cherished nectar.

If still you do not bestow Your mercy on me then of what use to me are my life, the land of Vraja or even Sri Krsna who without You, is simply a mighty hero the destroyer of demoniac forces like Baka." (Vilapa-kusumanjali 102)

ha natha gokula-sudhakara su-prasanna
vaktraravinda madhura-smita he krpardra
yatra tvaya viharate pranayaih priyarat
tatraiva mam api naya priya-sevanaya

"O Lord, O ambrosial moon of Gokula, O Lord whose beautiful face is like a lotus flower, O sweetly smiling one, O You who are soft and compassionate, so I may render service unto You, please take me to where Your beloved sports in loving pastimes with You." (Vilapa-kusumanjali 100)

This is the devotee’s only desirable hope – when will that ocean of nectarean hope bear fruit? I believe it is imperative that I maintain my life because of that hope. But because our eagerness does not increase, that hope is not completely attained – that hope is not fruitful. If that hope is not fulfilled today, if today Govinda’s sarvasva does not manifest in our hearts, then we have been deceived. You will not be able to find anyone more unfortunate than us in the history of the world. If we are cheated out of serving that personality whose mercy awards us everything we need, including residence in the Lord’s holy dhama, and all things connected to Him, and if we cannot understand Her identity or discover Her within the 18,000 verses of the Srimad Bhagavatam, then our study of the Srimad Bhagavatam has been pointless.

Being intimately acquainted with Her identity, Sri Gaurasundara has spoken to us on the topic of unnata-ujjvala-rasa (the highest mellows of conjugal love) , explaining the various ways of serving the Lord and the process of pure service. It is only because He spoke to us about ujjvala-rasa that we may understand the topic, as well as the opposite – the meager splendor of material rasa.

In order to incite us to render service unto Him, Bhagavan has personally given us knowledge of Himself in so many ways. However it is necessary that we fully understand that personality who has rendered such perfect service to Bhagavan that He has made Her the object of His own service. Those who praise Her can award us the qualification to serve Her and they can manifest anuraga (attachment) for Her lotus feet within our innermost heart. The intelligence and strength to serve Her is attained by accepting the association of Her beloved friends who are under Her shelter – in this way we may realize that service to Her is our highest objective.

When we can understand, through the instructions of the mahajanas, that She is Bhagavan’s sarvasva, we must proceed to serve Her, knowing that the prosperity of worship only exists in Her. From this day forward, Her appearance day, if we engage in Her service then we shall become qualified to reach the pinnacle of the highest type of auspiciousness.

All of us do not pray for that highest auspiciousness. But if by some ajnata-sukrti we obtain the association of one of the associates of Vrsabhanu-nandini, who is the personification and source of supreme auspiciousness, and if we are granted the actual good fortune of hearing genuine discussions about Her, then we can attain the inspiration to journey along the path of highest auspiciousness.

If we deprive ourselves of rendering service to and taking shelter of She who means everything to Nanda-nandana, the emporium of rasa (akhila-rasamrta-murti) as well as Her associates, then we will never attain the qualification to serve Govinda. Firstly, to understand Her identity, we believe that it is necessary to know Her name. But while studying the Bhagavata we cannot find any occurrence of Her name, we only find descriptions of Her form, qualities, the distinctive characteristics of Her companions and Her pastimes. In Bhagavatam, we find everything about Govinda’s all in all, with the exception of Her name. But we discover this in the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam:

jnanam me paramam-guhyam yad vijnana-samanvitam
sarahasyam tad-anganca grhana gaditam maya

"To be merciful upon you I will teach you the most esoteric knowledge of Me, including the realization of My nature and entourage, the inconceivable mystery of loving devotion or prema-bhakti, and its constituent part in the form of devotional practice or sadhana-bhakti. Now hear My message attentively, and accept what I impart to you." (Bhag.2.9.30)

kalena nasta pralaye vaniyam veda-samjnita
mayadau brahmane prokta dharmo yasyam mad-atmakah
tena prokta sva-putraya manave purva-jaya sa
tato bhrgv-adayo ’grhnan sapta brahma-maharsayah

"The message of the Vedas is eternal religion, non-different from Me. When in the course of time those eternal teachings disappeared from view with the universal cataclysm, I imparted them to Lord Brahma at the dawning of a new creation." (Bhag 11.14.3)

The Lord explained all these topics to Brahma, the original person, but after some time the people of this world forgot the Lord’s words because the stream of their thoughts were subjected to the effects of old age and destruction.

jnanam parama-guhyam me yad vijnana-samanvitam
sarahasyam tad-anganca grhana gaditam maya

“As I speak, listen to Me and try to understand. Knowledge about Me is extremely confidential.” That knowledge is endowed with realization, it is knowledge possessed with confidentiality – it is the supreme secret.

Rahasya means rahasi sthitah – this means that those secrets cannot be assimilated by any external force, nor can any branch of those secrets be grasped. Due to the currents of thought that exist in the external world, we have forgotten the essential objective of taking shelter at the feet of those who have true knowledge of the atma. Bhagavan is ever ready to bestow this knowledge.

Bhagavan told Brahma: “As I speak, listen to Me and try to understand.

Without My mercy no one is eligible to hear or assimilate this message. Only through My mercy can anyone obtain this confidential knowledge. What am I?

What is My form? What is My svarupa? What are My qualities? What are the distinctive characteristics of My confidantes? What is My lila? My supramundane pastimes that are surcharged with rasa far exceed the path of mundane sentiments. There is no way to attain this without the potency of My mercy. I am the storehouse of all transcendental qualities – I am not speaking about those qualities that are contaminated with the modes of passion and ignorance, but of those that are the foundation for creating, maintaining and destroying the universe. I am distinguished by these attributes and I am the active cause of all effects, thus I am the essential original principle. This can only be realised by attaining My mercy.” In this way the words mad-anugraha (My mercy) have been used. Information concerning Bhagavan’s parts and parcels, information on confidential topics related to Him, information concerning realized knowledge – specifically that which is endowed with spiritual consciousness, and information concerning His opulence – these are all supremely confidential and non-dualistic. It can never be initiated at any period or for any reason without the express mercy of the Lord. This secret knowledge is thoroughly expressed in the beginning of the catuh-sloki verses of the Srimad Bhagavatam. We are most fortunate that Sri Gaurasundara has revealed this to the world. A secret topic has been mentioned, but the name of that personality about whom this secret is concerned has not been uttered. Because it is a secret, it should not be revealed to those advocating foolish ideologies and thus it has not been openly disclosed. After hearing the pastimes of Nanda-nandana as narrated in the Bhagavata, such people do not gain strong faith, and rejecting all these topics they simply deliberate upon the impersonal non-dual nature of the Lord, which is favorable to their mundane realisations. Some of them consider it reasonable to merge into that.

Without hearing from a proper source, their perceptions will be perverted.

Due to their vehement hatred of service to the Lord, such persons can never understand topics concerning the intrinsic nature of bhakti. Due to the trajectory of the sun, the appearance day of the Supreme Goddess who is fully imbued with rasa, has arisen in our own radiantly pure hearts. The roaming sun is revealing that Supreme Goddess. Therefore, today the demigods are also showing us great favour by revealing this secret.

It is our duty to surrender unto one who is acquainted with that secret. A poet by the name of Manohara Dasa has said:

radha-pada-pankaja bhakata ki asa
dasa manohara kara ta ’piyasa

"The hope of the devotees is that they may serve the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. This is also Manohara Dasa’s desire."

The exclusive aspiration of the greatest devotees of the Lord is service to the lotus feet of Radha:

sri radha-pada-dasyam-eva paramabhistam hrda dharayan
karhi syam tad-anugrahena paramadbhutanuragotsavah

"When will I relish that most wonderful festival of attachment to the lotus feet of Sri Radha by holding that most supreme desire of serving the Divine Couple, within my heart?" (Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi 259)

In his asta-padis, Sri Jayadeva has said:

kamsarir-api samsara-vasana-bandha srnkhalam
radham adhaya hrdaye tatyaja vraja-sundarih

"The enemy of Kamsa (Sri Krsna) abandoned the other beautiful damsels of Vraja and took Radha within His heart, for she was like a chain that tied him tightly to his supreme and essential desire to enjoy the rasa dance." (Gita-govinda 3.1)

At the rasa-sthali all the gopis are present with Gopinatha, absorbed in playful pastimes of rasa. When Varsabhanavi (Srimati Radharani) arrived at the rasa-sthali, She saw that unlimited gopis were dancing in a circle, all of them fully occupied in serving the Lord. Feeling sorrow within Her mind, the daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja thought, “Today My Krsna is in the hands of others! Today My own associates are busy enjoying pastimes with Him!”

Thus, to nurture vipralambha-bhava – which actually nourishes sambhoga-rasa – rather than taking part, Varsabhanavi ran away from the rasa-sthali. At this point Jayadeva Prabhu has written, “Krsna, the enemy of Kamsa, suddenly broke away from the rasa-sthali.” Samsara-vasana-bandha srnkhalam – with thoughts of Radha in His heart, Krsna abandoned all the other beautiful damsels of Vraja. When someone rejects the shelter of Radhika, any expertise they may have in pleasing the senses of Krsna can never conform with exclusive heartfelt service to Him. All the gopis are direct expansions of Radhika, and while they remain proudly under the shelter of Krsna’s sarvasva, Srimati Radhika, they can supply Krsna the topmost pleasure:

sriman rasa-rasarambhi vamsi-vata-tata-sthitah
karsan venu-svanair gopir gopinathah sriye ’stu nah (Cc. Adi 1.17)

Srimad Gopinatha nurtures the mellows that manifests during the rasa-lila.

Standing at the shore near Vamsi-vata, He attracts all the gopis by the sound of His flute. May He grant us all auspiciousness.

We will never assent to enjoying Sri Krsna (sambhoga) without taking shelter of She who is His all in all. To shed light on this, the author of the asta-padi reveals something that supplements the description in the Bhagavata when he says, tatyaja-vraja-sundarih – as all the gopis danced in the rasa-lila, Krsna abandoned them in order to find Sri Radhika who resided in His heart. The fetters of the love of all the other gopis are powerless, weak and susceptible in comparison to the bonds of Varsabhanavi which are extremely strong and powerful. All the gopis took shelter of Vrsabhanu-nandini’s adhirudha-mahabhava – overwhelmed by mohana, madana and other intense feelings of separation, they went to find Krsna. They all understood that without taking shelter at the lotus feet of Varsabhanavi, Govinda’s sarvasva, madhura-rasa is never completely nourished. All the loving sentiments with which the various gopis perform their services, simultaneously exist in Varsabhanavi exclusively in their entirety. Deserting all the other gopis, who were immersed in feelings of prositabharttrka etc.

Krsna was attracted by Varsabhanavi’s captivating charms, since She possesses all these loving sentiments in full. Thus He set out to find that personality who even attracts the all-attractive One. The gopis are expansions of Radhika and are eternally a portion of She who is the original source – they could not bind Krsna, for He completely belonged to Radhika.

Thus She enticed Krsna, who attracts everyone, from the rasa-sthali. One can only understand such topics if the functions of the soul have awakened to the taste of madhura-rati (divine love). But those whose hearts contain an intense mood of vatsalya-rasa can also completely appreciate the sweetness and beauty of such pastimes.

All the gopis came to participate at the rasa-sthali, attracted by Krsna and charmed by the sweet sound of His flute. Again, when Varsabhanavi, the complete embodiment of madhura-rati, desired to offer service, then the object of our service Nanda-nandana Gopinatha Radha-ramana discarded the general attraction of all the other gopis and was captivated by Sri Varsabhanavi’s charm. He who is most attractive became attracted.

Therefore, when liberated jivas attain the eligibility to fathom Radhika’s identity, they consider the following:

karmibhyah parito hareh priyataya vyaktim yayur jnanina
stebhyo jnana-vimukta-bhakti-paramah premaika-nisthas tatah
tebhyas tah pasu-pala-pankajadrsas tabhyo ’pi sa radhika
prestha tadvad iyam tadiya-sarasi tam nasrayet kah krti

"The jnanis have attained the distinction of being dearer to Lord Hari than those who follow the path of karma. Even dearer to the Lord are those who have abandoned knowledge, understanding that the path of bhakti is higher.

Even more superior are those who have attained love for Krsna. The gopis are most exalted of all, and amongst them Sri Radhika is certainly the dearmost of Sri Krsna. And Radha-kunda is as dear to Krsna as She is. Therefore, which fortunate soul will not take shelter of Radha-kunda?" (Sri Upadesamrta 10)

krsnasyoccaih pranaya-vasatih preyasibhyo ’pi radha
kundam casya munibhir abhitas tadrg eva vyadhayi
yat presthair apy alam asulabham kim punar bhakti-bhajam
tat premedam sakrd api sarah snatur aviskaroti

"It has been established by great sages that amongst all the beloved Vraja-Gopis, Sri Radha is Krsna’s most treasured object of love. Similarly, Her kunda is just as dear to Him. One who bathes even once in the waters of Radha-kunda attains love for Krsna which is extremely difficult to achieve even for great devotees, what to speak of ordinary devotees." (Sri Upadesamrta 11)

Sri Radhika is the abode of Sri Krsna’s intense love, and amongst all other dear associates, She is the most illustrious and the most beloved in all respects. Uddhava and other great devotees pray for the dust of the feet of the gopis, and all the gopis consider themselves most fortunate if they obtain Her shelter. The topmost devotees, who are drawn towards madhura-rasa and who have reached the topmost levels of devotion to Bhagavan, take refuge in the land of Varsabhanavi’s pleasure pastimes and bathe in Her lake, Radha-kunda. With a sentient attitude they constantly bathe and reside there.

Those who have loyalty towards Saibya and Candra do not even have the qualification to drink there. To constantly reside on the banks of that lake and to bathe there with a mindful attitude is not achieved by any common, fortunate person. So long as the divinity of Varsabhanavi’s youth and nature does not become the subject of our reflection, we will never fully comprehend the glories of achieving Her shelter.

In order to perform bhajana, it is essential for the students of the Bhagavata to know Her Name. Bhajana begins with nama. One cannot begin bhajana starting with lila.

prathamam namnah sravanam-antah-karana-suddhyartham-apeksyam. Suddhye
cantah-karane rupa-sravanena tad-udaya-yogyata bhavati. Samyag-udite ca rupe
gunanam sphuranam sampadyate sampanne ca gunanam sphurane
parikara-vaisistyena tad-vaisistyam sampadyate. Tatas tesu
nama-rupa-guna-parikaresu samyak sphuritesu lilanam sphuranam susthu
bhavatity-abhipretya sadhana-kramo likhitah.

"For the purification of the heart it is necessary first of all to listen to the chanting of the Holy Name. After the heart has been purified by listening to the Holy Name the fitness for the manifestation of the holy Form is attained on hearing the recital of scriptural accounts of the divine form.

After the full appearance of the divine form, the divine qualities manifest themselves. After the appearance of the divine qualities, due to the characteristic traits of servitors, the knowledge of the distinctive and perfect identification of the devotee arises. Subsequent to this, after the full manifestation of the Name, form, quality and servitor has taken place, the transcendental activity of God manifests itself. For this reason this account of the successive stages of sadhana is written." (Krama-sandarbha commentary on Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.18)

Therefore, if our contemplation on rasa is not born from an attraction to the Holy Name, then we are not qualified to study Bhagavan’s form, qualities and pastimes. Some may have attained external, mundane perfection in grammar, however, as long as their conduct conflicts with that of realized souls, the topic of the Lord’s rasa-lila will never be grasped by them. For this reason, Sri Gaurasundara has explained nama-bhajana. Along with the taraka-brahma-nama (the Divine Name that grants deliverance) we find the word ‘hare’ and if one does not understand the primary meaning (vidvad-rudhi)

of this word, there will be difficulty. Even when we consider the word ‘rama,’ many times we are compelled by historical concerns. Repeatedly, allegorical and metaphysical theories, as well as the fictitious notion of imposing human nature upon the Supreme Lord ruin our pure intelligence. Those who lack rahasya-jnana (knowledge of confidential truths) and try to be an intermediary for darsana of Radha-Govinda, will finds that knowledge concealed from them. In the maha-mantra, the word ‘Hara’ which denotes Varsabhanavi, becomes the word ‘Hare’ in sambodhanatmaka-pada (the vocative case). In the maha-mantra, the word ‘Rama’ refers to Radhika-ramana Rama in the vocative case. Those who have not achieved the qualification to enter into madhura-rati and have not obtained rahasya-jnana consider that ‘Hare’ is simply the vocative form of Hari.

Some even say that the word ‘rama’ means atma-rama (one who is self-satisfied) and go no further than that.

To declare that Purusottama alone exists is to present only half of His true identity. Those words that do not express the other half only mislead us.

When we are cheated of the conception of a Supreme Divine Couple, we will also reject the idea of the non-difference between saktimana and sakti (the Potent and the Potency) – then, whatever small understanding we may already have of Purusottama also degrades, and results in the theory of an impotent God.

The conception of Radha-Govinda is the most complete. Discussions on anugatya-dharma towards Purusottama who exists alone can only terminate in vatsalya, sakhya and dasya-rasa – the topic of unnata-ujjvala-rasa is not discussed. Direct words such as Radhanatha, Radha-ramana etc. describe His totality and completeness; words such as Brahman or Paramatma can never establish this. All those who traverse through the kingdom of sadhana-bhakti, and then the realm of bhava-bhakti in search of prema-bhakti must realise that the topmost pinnacle of prema-bhakti is only found in the divine love of Varsabhanavi and nowhere else. Without Her shelter, the jiva achieves very little eligibility.

When we pass over Devi-dhama, Viraja, Brahmaloka, and we cross beyond all the conceptions of opulence found in Paravyoma, as well as the informal moods of friendship and parental affection found in Goloka, situated in our eternally perfect spiritual identity and familiar with the topics of Radha-ramana, then our qualifications will be so great that we will consider ourselves extremely fortunate and our service shall rise to the zenith of perfection. This cannot simply be called ‘realization,’ or aparoksa-anubhuti. It is not the aparoksa-anubhuti described by the jnanis. This thing is an extraordinary affair called mohana and madana. These things are known as udghurna, citra-jalpa and maha-bhava. Presently we reside within our gross bodies, which present many obstacles for us – even the sensitivity of our subtle bodies causes us problems. If the pursuit of our soul is without the unhindered and incessant shelter of Varsabhanavi, then we will never find it.

Thus, taking the dust from the feet of the best of rupanugas, Srila Dasa Gosvami Prabhu, upon our heads, we earnestly pray:

ha devi! kaku-bhara-gadgadayadya vaca
yace nipatya bhuvi dandavad udbhatartih
asya prasadam abudhasya janasya krtva
gandharvike! nija-gane gananam vidhehi

"O Goddess Gandharvika! Feeling intense distress I fall on the ground like a stick and implore You with many words and in a faltering voice to be merciful to this fool and accept me as one of Your own associates." (Gandharva-prarthanastakam 2)

(First printed in The Gaudiya, Vol. 10, No. 11 in October 1931, and reprinted in Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Matha's periodical, Sri Gaudiya Darsana, Vol. 4, October 1958)











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Krishna Talk 132 - Prakrta Rasa Sata Dusani Part 5

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

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Part Five, Verses 58-78


anarthake ‘artha’ bali’ ku-pathete laya na
prakrta-sahaja-mata ‘aprakrta’ bale na

One should not accept the erroneous path of considering anarthas to be useful. One should not consider the opinions of the prakrta-sahajiyas as spiritual.


anartha na gele sisye ‘jata-rati’ bale na
anartha-visista sisye rasa-tattva bale na

When anarthas have not departed, it should not be said that a disciple has attained rati. A disciple who is contaminated with anarthas should never be told about the science of rasa (rasa-tattva).


asakta komala-sraddhe rasa-katha bale na
anadhikarire rase adhikara deya na

One should not speak rasa-katha to those whose faith is weak and immature.

One should never try to impart the qualification for rasa unto those who are unqualified to receive it.


vaidha-bhakta-jane kabhu ‘raganuga’ jane na
komala-sraddhake kabhu ‘rasika’ ta’ jane na

Those on the platform of vaidhi-bhakti cannot understand raganuga-bhakti.

Those who have weak faith can never comprehend the rasikas.


The assembly of pseudo-devotees always struggles with the caution presented in Prakrta-rasa Sata-dusani, thinking that such cautionary instructions were meant for a previous generation, and that such instructions are no longer applicable or useful in the present Vaisnava environment. They see such instructions as troublesome and thus reject them. However, their laziness to embrace the instructions of previous acaryas constitutes a serious deviation from the principles of pure devotional service.

The basic difference between a pseudo-guru and a bona-fide acarya is that a pseudo-guru is a gatecrasher and a bona-fide acarya is a guardian of pure devotion.

One should know that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was not alone in his opinions on disqualifying neophyte devotees from hearing about rasa. Thakura Bhaktivinoda was also of a similar opinion and expressed it in his writings.

A few useful quotes from the Thakura follow:

“One should not discuss topics of rasa with anyone except highly qualified persons on the same level of spiritual advancement.” (Caitanya-siksamrta 3.2)

“If I explain this topic in the assembly, it could be harmful for the unqualified devotees. Higher truths cannot be attained unless one is situated on a higher platform. Just as higher knowledge gradually arises in all scientific literature, likewise, confidential truths are attained in devotional literatures by proper qualification.” (Prema-pradipa, Tenth Ray)

“Who is not qualified to thus taste the nectar of the transcendental rasa?

As it is an offense to give the Holy Name to an unqualified person, so it must also be an offense to explain rasa to an unqualified person.” (Jaiva-dharma ch.28)

The prakrta-sahajiyas say that one can utilize their lust in serving Krsna and to support their claims they sometimes give the example of Kubja who lusted in her heart for Krsna. However, the emphasis should be on ‘for Krsna’ and not simply on ‘lust.’ Kubja’s lust was for Krsna. Her lust is actually classified as kama-praya, meaning, ‘a love that only resembles that of the gopis’. Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja has commented on Kubja’s lust as follows:

“Kubja and other devotees, who did not have the same degree of intense desire for Krsna’s pleasure as the gopis, but similarly manifested erotic feelings for Krsna, are said to possess kama-praya-rati – a love which only resembles that of the gopis. This conclusion is due to Kubja’s (and other devotees in a similar mood) high degree of desire for her own pleasure. The presence of such desire for personal enjoyment, when near Krsna, indicates that the love is less pure. For this reason it has been qualified as kama-praya. Elsewhere, Kubja’s love for Krsna is said to be mundane (sadharani-rati), a far cry from the selfless love demonstrated by Radha and the gopis.” (The Art of Sadhana, Ch.14)


svalpa-sraddha-jane kabhu ‘jata-rati’ mane na
svalpa-sraddha-jane rasa upadesa kare na

Those people who have little faith can never be considered to be developing rati. Those that possess little faith should never be instructed on the topic of rasa.


jata-rati prauda-sraddha-sanga tyaga kare na
komala-sraddhere kabhu rasa diya seve na

When rati is truly manifest, one will never neglect the association of those devotees that possess great faith. When rasa is imparted to those with weak, immature faith, they cannot serve it properly.


krsnera sevana lagi’ jada-rase mise na
rasodaye kona jive ‘sisya-buddhi’ kare na

One should never associate with mundane rasa in the name of serving Krsna.

When rasa has manifested, one will never entertain the idea of considering any living entity as a disciple.


rasika-bhakata-raja kabhu sisya kare na
rasika-janera sisya ei bhava chade na

Those rasikas, who are the kings amongst devotees, never consider that they have disciples. However, the disciples of these rasikas never reject the mood of being the followers of these devotees.


sadhana chadile bhava udaya ta’ haya na
raganuga janile-i sadhana ta’ chade na

When sadhana is abandoned, bhava will never manifest. Even raganuga devotees never renounce the practice of sadhana.


bhava na haile kabhu rasodaya haya na
age rasodaya, pare ratyudaya haya na

Without the manifestation of bhava, rasa will never appear. The manifestation of rasa can never transpire before the appearance of rati.


age ratyudaya, pare sraddhodaya haya na
rasabhista labhi’ pare sadhana ta’ haya na

One should not think that first rati manifests, then sraddha develops afterwards. Once one attains the stage of being thoroughly immersed in rasa, then sadhana is not necessary.


samagrira amilane sthayi-bhava haya na
sthayi-bhava-vyatireke rase sthiti haya na

Without the various elements of the process of devotional service (sraddha, sadhu-sanga, anartha-nivrtti, nistha, ruci etc.), one can never attain sthayi-bhava. Without sthayi-bhava one will never be firmly situated in one’s rasa.


A real rasika-guru never considers that he has disciples – a pseudo-rasika-guru never thinks he has enough disciples. Thus, the adage of ‘fishing in my neighbors pond’ is applicable here. Bogus persons preach, not to please Krsna and serve the Vaisnava community, but rather to disturb everyone else’s faith and to establish themselves as all in all. This they do out of enviousness, a desire for revenge and a desire to be recognized as a great spiritual leader. The pseudo-rasikas measure success by their acquired number of followers and their theoretical book knowledge of raganuga-bhakti. Because they do not serve an advanced rupanuga they remain licking the jar of honey from the outside.

The defect of thinking of oneself as an advanced devotee, or to declare oneself as a rasika, is in direct opposition to the mood of advanced souls.

The pseudo-rasika declares, “I am a rasika!” – whereas the real rasika declares that he is ‘visva-vaisnava dasa’ (the servant of all the Vaisnavas).

Sometimes neophyte devotees want to advance in Krsna consciousness, but they attempt to do so, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. It is said that if you are going to track a deer in the jungle then you had better know what the footprints of a tiger look like! Similarly, there are impediments to advancement in spiritual life and only by the guidance of a bona-fide guru can one properly understand what those impediments are and how to avoid them.

Therefore, the mandate is to follow closely in the footsteps of the mahajanas and previous acaryas (mahajano yena gatah sa panthah).


bhoge mana, jade sraddha cit prakasa kare na
name sraddha na haile jada-buddhi chade na

Those who have mundane faith and whose minds are immersed in material enjoyment can never manifest spiritual consciousness. Materialistic consciousness can never be discarded without faith in the Holy Name.


jada-buddhi na chadile nama krpa kare na
nama krpa na karile lila suna jaya na

Those who do not reject their mundane mentality can never attain the mercy of the Holy Name. If one does not attain the mercy of the Holy Name, one should never listen to Krsna’s confidential pastimes.


namake janile jada, kama dura haya na
rupake manile jada, kama dura haya na

One who considers the Holy Name to be mundane can never vanquish lust. One who considers the form of Krsna to be material can never become free from lust.


gunake bujhile jada, kama dura haya na
lilake purile jade, kama dura haya na

One who considers the qualities of Krsna to be mundane can never become free from lust. One who considers the pastimes of Krsna to be mundane can never eliminate lust.


name jada-vyavadhane rupodaya haya na
name jada-vyavadhane gunodaya haya na
jada-bhoga-vyavadhane lilodaya haya na

The divine form of Sri Krsna can never manifest while chanting the Holy Name if one is obstructed by mundane perceptions. If one is obstructed by mundane misconceptions, then Krsna’s divine qualities can never be manifest while chanting the Holy Name. When one is obstructed due to material enjoyment, the Lord’s pastimes will never manifest.


It is ironic to think that lust – that which has bound the living entity in material bondage for millions of births – can easily be eliminated with little or no endeavor. One can conquer lust by proper association and following the regulative principles of vaidhi-bhakti. But to think that one can do so by avoiding vaidhi-bhakti is totally rejected again and again in Prakrta-rasa Sata-dusani.

Without the mercy of the Holy Name of Krsna, one cannot enter into a proper understanding of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in Vraja. One who considers that the Holy Name is material, or that Krsna’s pastimes are material, or that mundane pastimes are the same as transcendental love pastimes is the greatest fool. With regard to lust and love (prema), Thakura Bhaktivinoda says the following:

kame preme dekho bhai, laksanete bheda nai,
tabu kama ‘prema’ nahi haya, tumi ta’
barile kama, mithya tahe ‘prema’-nama
aropile kise subha haya
keno mana, kamere nacao prema praya
carma-mamsa-maya kama, jada-sukha abirama,
jada-visayete sada dhaya

“Please look, O brother – the symptoms of lust and love may appear similar. However, lust is never love. You have made the error of considering lust to be love and by mistaking one thing for the other, you will never attain auspiciousness. Lust deals with flesh and blood, but love is the highest stage of divine existence.” (Kalyana-kalpataru 18-19)


aparadha-vyavadhane rasa-labha haya na
aparadha-vyavadhane nama kabhu haya na

When there is an obstruction due to offenses, one can never attain rasa. When there are obstructions due to offences, one can never attain the Holy Name.


vyavahita lila-gane kama dura haya na
aparadha-vyavadhane siddha-deha paya na

One who is in illusion may sing about the Lord’s pastimes, but this will never eliminate lust. Due to the obstruction caused by offenses, one’s siddha-deha (eternal spiritual form) will never be revealed.


sevopakarana karne na sunile haya na
jadopakarana dehe lila sona jaya na

When one does not hear attentively about the details that constitute devotional service, then one cannot execute it properly. When one is engrossed in worldly information pertaining to the material body, one can never hear the Lord’s divine pastimes.


sevaya unmukha ha’le jada-katha haya na
natuva cinmaya-katha kabhu sruta haya na

One who is eager to perform devotional service can never engage in talks about mundane topics. Otherwise one who is not eager should not hear about spiritual subject matters.


One should not think that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and his representatives are the enemies of the devotees – on the contrary, they are the well-wishers of all Vaisnavas. Pure devotional service of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna (rupanuga-seva) gives one the greatest of all opportunities, namely to realize one’s eternal spiritual identity (siddha-deha) and to engage in eternal devotional service to the Divine Couple in Vraja. However, aparadha can stand in the way of one’s final attainment for as long as offenses continue. To save the living entities from doing harm to themselves or from doing harm to others, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has given a strong condemnation of material rasa in the above verses. One should consider these verses, not as an admonishment coming from the unfriendly quarter, but as the advice given by a dearmost friend and guardian.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended Srimad Bhagavatam as being the nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam (the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge).

Thus the Bhagavatam provides the basis of approaching Krsna in His highest manifestation –Vraja Krsna, standing by the side of Srimati Radharani and surrounded by multitudes of devotees embued with wonderful love of God. At it’s close, the Bhagavatam gives its final recommendation to one and all, who wish to achieve life’s ultimate goal:

nama-sankirtanam yasya
sarva-papa pranasanam
pranamo duhkha-samanas
tam namami harim param

“I offer my respects unto Sri Hari, the congregational chanting of whose Holy Names destroys all sins, and the offering of obeisance unto Whom relieves all material suffering.” (Bhag.12.13.23)

In the book, The Golden Volcano of Divine Love, Srila B.R. Sridhara Maharaja comments as follows:

“Uttering this verse, the Srimad Bhagavatam stops; that great treatise becomes silent. The last word in the Bhagavatam is nama-sankirtana. The Bhagavatam has given such great importance to chanting of the Holy Name of Krsna, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu developed it from there. The last publication of the compiler of Vedic literatures, Srila Vyasadeva, took theism to that stage, and gave it to the public announcing, “Chant the Name of Krsna! Do this; nothing more is necessary. Take this!” This is the very conclusion of Srimad Bhagavatam, the greatest spiritual gift of Vyasadeva:

Chant the Holy Name of Krsna and begin your life in this dark age with the most broad and wide theistic conception.”

Those who accept the advice found here in Prakrta-rasa Sata-dusani, will surely be successful in the matter of pure devotional service, by the grace of Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and the bhagavata-parampara.

Thus ends ‘Prakrta-rasa Sata-dusani ‘by Rupanuga-cudamani Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, and the Anuvrtti commentary of Svami B. G.Narasingha Maharaja.











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Krishna Talk 133 - Glorification of Srila Sridhara Maharaja

by Swami B.G. Narasingha

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(The following is a lecture given by Srila Bhakti Gaurava Narasingha Maharaja on Srila Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja's appearance day at Rupanuga Bhajana Asrama, in Vrndavana, October 1993)

apayayan mam anaviksam andham
krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye

devam divya-tanum suchanda-vadanam-balarka-celancitam
sandrananda-puram sad-eka-varanam vairagya-vidyambudhim
sri-siddhanta-nidhim subhakti-lasitam sarasvatanam varam
vande tam subhadam mad-eka-saranam nyasisvaram sridharam

I would like to first read an excerpt of an article written by Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja expressing his appreciation of Srila Sridhara Maharaja's Brahma Gayatri Bhasya. I wanted to read what Srila Puri Maharaja has said here in regard to Srila Sridhara Maharaja and then say a few words after that:

The explanation of Sri Brahma Gayatri, the mother of all Vedas, signifying devotional worship unto Srimati Radharani (radhanudhyana-para) explanation which was revealed in the depth of realization of Pujyapada Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja, possessed with the divine grace of paramaradhya Sri Srila Prabhupada upon his head, is deeply appreciated by those fortunate intelligent devotees who are aware of the relishable beauty of pure devotional service. The Srimad Bhagavatam, which is revealed in the transcendental meditation of Sri Veda-Vyasa, is the quintessential scripture of all the Vedas, Vedanta, Puranas and Pancaratras. Vrajendra-nandana Vrndavana-candra Sri Krsna has alone been manifested therein as the Supreme Worshipable non-dual object (the Supreme Personality of Godhead- the summum-bonum of our lives).

In the revealed truth of Srimad Bhagavatam, Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna, the sole matchless wealth of Srimati Radharani's life, is the Supreme Reality and Supreme Object of all adorations. Sri Radha, the Crown Jewel of all Vraja-vasis, is the full-fledged Divine Potency and is the exclusive pleasure-giver in all respects to Her dear Lord Sri Krsna-candra. Therefore it is only under submission to Her that that glorious, fathomless, devotional service to the Lord, that genuine worship and adoration of the Lord, the very means of attaining Divine Grace, can become a reality. By realizing this deep meaning of Srimad Bhagavatam and revealing it in his commentary parama-pujyapada Sridhara Deva has presented to the World this most beautiful, full-fledged explanation of Sri Gayatri the mother of sruti. He has shown us this treasure of the most beautiful opulent wealth of the Supreme Reality; that the loving adoration of varenya bhargo, who is the Supreme Loving Worshipper, ecstasy giver and Internal Potency of the Supremely worshipable Sri Lila Purusottama Deva, is the best way to attain the grace of Lord Sri Krsna. She is the benevolent source of pure devotional inspiration and intelligence required to attain the grace of Lord Krsna, the Divine Lord of this Universe and that it is the exclusive meaning of the expression:

sabalac chyamam prapadye

"For receiving the mercy of Krsna's energy, I surrender unto Him." (Chandogya Upanisad 8.13.1)

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvamipada did not like to accept Lord Krsna merely as bakari (the slayer of Bakasura and other demons) nor the idea of residing in Sri-dhama Vraja without the grace of Srimati Radha Thakurani. One cannot live in Her domain or have the fortune of darsana of the original transcendental form of Sri Vrndavana-vihari Sri Krsna without the grace and sanction of His svarupa-sakti Srimati Radha-Thakurani.

radhaya madhavo-devah

"Madhava belongs exclusively to Srimati Radharani." (Rk Parisistha)

We find in Sri Kaviraja Gosvami's writings:

hladini karaya krsne anandasvadana
hladinira dvara kare bhaktera posana (Cc. Adi Lila 4.60)

"The hladini sakti, Srimati Radharani, is always engaging Krsna, Her Divine Lord, in tasting and profoundly relishing the Divine Pleasures and infinite Divine Ecstasies, and it is through that hladini-sakti that Lord Krsna maintains and sustains the devotional life of His devotees".

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written in his Amrta Pravaha Bhasya:

"Srimati Radhika is the svarupa-sakti of Lord Krsna and is known as hladini because She always keeps Him merged in the ocean of Supreme Ecstasy. In addition She is also defined as the supreme maintainer and sustainer of divine devotional life, the Supreme Promoter of krsna-prema within the original selves of all jiva souls, who are the eternal parts and particles of the infinite transcendental potency of Lord Sri Krsna."

Paramaradhya Sri Srila Prabhupada has commented on the same sloka in his Anubhasya:

"The potency by which the Supreme Lord maintains and sustains the entire entity, the existence of all, is called sandhini-sakti, the revealer of time, place, things and circumstances. That potency by which He Himself can know and make others know is called samvit-sakti or jnana-sakti. That Supreme Consciousness Potency of the Lord by which Srimati Radharani can directly know of the anandam (the Lord, Reality the Beautiful) and most graciously allow others to know feel and taste the same anandam is called hladini sakti.

That original Supreme Ecstasy Potency, namely Sri Hladini, is always engaged in giving pleasure to Her dear Lord Krsna, the dear most son of the King of Vraja an the full moon of Vrndavana-dhama. Therefore, essentially, we must do all our devotional duties, services and worship with the acceptance of unconditional surrender at the Lotus Feet of Sri Vrsabhanu Radha-nandini, the dear-most daughter of the King Vrsabhanu and the Crown Jewel of all the Vraja-devis. Hence, abhideya means the profound thinking, feeling and absorption in all respects upon the Supreme Lord and through that process of meditation and absorption the attainment of that plane of pure devotional consciousness prayojana or premavasta- the lofty storage of Divine Love".

Therefore this pure devotional meditation upon Sri Radharani is the topmost confidential meaning of Sri Brahma Gayatri.

The commentary upon Sri Gayatri revealed by pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja was published from Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Matha on 12 Karttika 1395 (30th October 1983) in the Vyasa Puja issue in an article entitled Sri Gayatri-Nigudhartha (The Profound Definition of Sri Gayatri). This commentary has been elaborately explained and I am bereft of the proper language to elucidate the profound meaning of Sri Gayatri as revealed by pujyapada Maharaja, which is that sublime radha-dasya or radha-pada-dhyana - the exclusive devotional servitude to Srimati Radharani. Therefore it can only be presented and understood through his own illustrious transcendental language and by his exclusive divine grace. This deepest meaning of Sri Gayatri has been nobly established by every aspect of the message emanating from his lotus lips and by the exultant mood radiating from the core of his heart.

Without submission to the lotus feet of pujapada Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja, whom Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura has directly absorbed in the divine rupanuga flow, we cannot have access to that confidential realm.

To see such a high appreciation of Srila Sridhara Maharaja really captured my heart. Other things were also said in that article that I did not read, as I did not want to make this talk too lengthy, but Srila Puri Maharaja's deep appreciation of Srila Sridhara Maharaja definitely captured my heart. Of course, I must also consider my Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. Certainly anyone whom I approach must have a favorable attitude towards Prabhupada in order for me to seek their holy association. But very often that is more of a general thing - a more general conception. Yet very specifically, those who have a deep appreciation for Srila Sridhara Maharaja capture me. And after that, my experience shows me that any such person will also have a deep appreciation for all Vaisnavas.

Once I commented to someone that, "Srila Sridhara Maharaja seems to have a capacity of speaking where he can put so much meaning into so few words."

At that time one of his disciples who had been with him for many years said, "Yes. Bhakti Dayita Madhava Maharaja used to say that, 'Every word of Srila Sridhara Maharaja is a sutra. He has packed so much meaning in each and every of the few words that he has given.'" So, not only are we very fallen souls charmed and attracted by his words, but even his own godbrothers who are themselves very advanced devotees and servitors of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, have given heartfelt recognition to the depth of Srila Sridhara Maharaja.

To quote another instance, I was once informed that Madhava Maharaja told, "If Sridhara Maharaja is reading the newspaper that is the same as his studying the Vedas." In my asrama, if I see you reading the newspaper, I will say, "Why are you wasting your time reading the newspaper?" This type of comment Madhava Maharaja gave -even his reading the newspaper is as good as his studying the Vedas. What is to be known by studying the Vedas? Ultimately it is Krsna, and one who has awakened his pure love of God, will see Krsna everywhere, even in the newspaper. But without the depth of vision, we will only see the maya. We will not see the transcendental reality beyond that.

Again, Srila Sridhara Maharaja had a very penetrating vision of reality and once he said, "The cinema music in Navadvipa is superior to the kirtana that is going on around the world." I had a hard time adjusting to understand such a profound statement, "What is this? The cinema music?" I always complain about the cinema music - of Navadvipa especially. So how is that? But his vision of the dhama did not have any mundanity attached to it. He had a pure transcendental vision of the dhama and whatever comes out of the dhama has got profound divinity behind that. We are trying to reach that holy dhama through sankirtana, preaching and doing so many things all over the world.

But he saw that it is present here, living always - the divine conception - even in the apparently mundane, he could perceive it.

During the time when I visited Caitanya Sarasvata Matha, I wanted to go and get Ganges water to put in a bottle to bring for the devotees in Hawaii.

Someone then told me that Srila Sridhara Maharaja had said that the water in the matha's well was superior to the Ganga. Again, this was like a thunderbolt upon my head. Two or three times I have been to Gangotri and worshipped Mother Ganga in different places. How is it possible that this well was superior to Mother Ganga? That devotee then explained, "No, Guru Maharaja said that the Ganga comes from outside and it comes through Navadvipa-dhama. But the water in the well has originated from the dhama itself." These were some (as we say in English) 'wake-up calls.' This was how Srila Guru Maharaja always perceived things. He saw how profoundly transcendental and spiritual the dhama really is. Maybe he saw the tendency in us to only see the external, mundane features of the dhama - the chaos, the dirtiness, the noise etc. But he was always very deep - not superficial.

In every issue he always gave a depth of understanding.

In relation to the Gayatri-bhasya, some people have said that 'it is written in many places', but these ears of mine don't know any language other than English, so I cannot say that I have found the meaning of Sri Gayatri in many places. I have only heard it through the transcendental wisdom of Srila Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja as it came in the English language. Although it is said Jiva Gosvami has written a commentary to the Gayatri, Sridhara Deva Gosvami himself said that he had never seen it. He could not find it so he wrote a commentary himself and this has been acknowledged. Since the day of Brahma, everybody chants the Brahma Gayatri -from general Hindus to the Ramanujas, Madhvas and Sankarites. But through the Brahma Gayatri commentary of Sridhara Maharaja, the illustrious conception of Mahaprabhu and His camp stands above all.

It is not an ordinary thing. It is not a thing of scholarship or word jugglery. As Srila Puri Maharaja has said, it is a 'heart realization'. So, wherever I find appreciation for the depth of Srila Sridhara Maharaja's realizations, I am ready to be a slave to that, under any circumstance. I will break the rule of trust and tell something which Srila Sarasvati Thakura once said in regard to his own inner conception -"In my divine vision of service I have seen that Svarupa-damodara and Haridasa Thakura have reappeared as Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Gaura-kisora Dasa Babaji. But don't make this public, people will laugh at me and think that I am a madman."

Mahaprabhu also told Ramananda Raya, "Don't tell these things to others. They will simply consider us mad." But he said, "I have seen with my divine service eye."

In all regards Srila Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja, from beginning to end, is an exalted servitor of Sriman Mahaprabhu and His divine disciplic succession and of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

Whatever few words we can speak in glorification of him will raise us up from the filth of this material existence and gradually take us to the lotus feet of Krsna. It is the speediest vehicle. Of course, we may also glorify other Vaisnavas, but on this day we are particularly trying to remember the glorification of Srila Sridhara Maharaja in some humble way. It is also my personal opinion that if a day passes and I fail to speak something in glorification of Srila Sridhara Maharaja and our other Divine Masters and Guardians, then that day has been a waste -despite having chanted 32 or 64 rounds and performed wonderful pujas and abhisekas. If a day passes without glorification of the Vaisnavas, the exalted eternal servitors of our Supreme Lord, then that day is a total waste.

Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja ki jaya!











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