viernes, 8 de abril de 2011


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 12:18 PM
Subject: For the Appearance Day of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja

For the Appearance Day of Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Some Misconceptions

The mercy of Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas is the one and only means by which a jiva can attain the ultimate goal of life. Only by their mercy is it possible for him to obtain the merciful, sidelong glance of the most compassionate Sri Bhagavan. This we have heard repeatedly.

We have also heard that the mercy of Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas is causeless. It is never brought about by anything of this world, nor by the impersonal, undifferentiated state of any such thing. We fail to grasp the nature of that mercy as independent of any material cause, and therefore we often ascribe imagined characteristics to it. We may think that there is no need for us to serve with resolute determination and careful, ardent endeavour; we can simply continue following our own fancies and, by the grace of Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, all our cherished desires will one day suddenly come true. We may even think that to earnestly apply oneself in devotional service is but another expression of the mood to enjoy and a whimsical pursuit. Alternatively, we may imagine that bound jivas like us can realise our cherished desires independently, without the mercy of sadhus and Sri Guru.

Those who hold such opinions are unable to understand that the mercy of sadhus and the jiva’s intent desire to serve are one and the same. Their deceitful words reveal that they are not truly yearning, with a heart full of remorse, to receive the mercy of sadhus.

Why Identify the Level of a Vaisnava?

The mahajanas, great realised souls, have explained the method to obtain the mercy of the Vaisnavas:

ye yena vaisnava, ciniya laiya adara kariba yabe
vaisnavera krpa yahe sarva-siddhi, avasya paiba tabe
One who has become qualified to discern the level of eligibility (adhikara) of those who have taken to the path of devotion and to thereby differentiate between the kanistha-bhakta (novice devotee), madhyama-bhakta (intermediate devotee) and uttama-bhakta (advanced devotee), is duty-bound to honour those three types of Vaisnavas appropriately. This is the meaning of the words ye yena vaisnava.

It is improper to honour a kanistha-adhikari in a way that befits only an uttama-adhikari, or to deal with a madhyama-adhikari as if he were a kanistha-adhikari. Only when we respect Vaisnavas in a manner befitting their respective qualification can we become free from knowingly or unknowingly committing Vaisnava-aparadha. Only then can we realise the transcendental, merciful form of the Vaisnavas, which bestows all desired perfection.

Therefore, the ability to correctly identify a Vaisnava is indispensable. Simply by doing so, we are automatically filled with honour and affection for him. Upon recognising your brother, you are at once overcome by brotherly affection that is incomparably sweet. Our exclusive aim is to be able to recognise a Vaisnava and consider him our property, our own dear well-wisher, and to develop an affectionate bond with him.

It is insufficient merely to dwell on how much the Vaisnavas love us or consider us to be their own. This is because the personal satisfaction that comes from thinking we are loved by the Vaisnavas is nothing but an external symptom of the desire for sense gratification, which lurks in the deepest region of our hearts. If, instead, we begin to measure how much we have become bound in affection to the Vaisnavas, it indicates that we are on our way to attaining the very perfection of all desires. Until we can identify Vaisnavas and develop an intimacy with them in which we regard them as our bosom friends, we will be unable to realise the true nature of their affection for us.

Divine and Mundane Qualities

But before we can begin identifying Vaisnavas or developing close affection for them, there are manyissues we need to examine first. While trying to classify a Vaisnava, we will discern, from the mundane perspective, many fine qualities in him, just as we will also chance to see his faults. Commonly, we are attracted by a Vaisnava’s modesty, affection, natural forbearance and generosity. We tend to assess someone’s eligibility as a Vaisnava solely by noting these virtues, which attract us and arouse in us a semblance of affection for him.

It is important, and appropriate, for us to analyse and reflect upon the nature of these “external” virtues. By doing so we can determine whether or not we actually have darsana of a Vaisnava by observing such qualities in him and, as a result, becoming attached to him and showing him honour. A Vaisnava should be identified and honoured on the basis of his Vaisnavata, or quality that best defines a Vaisnava. This quality is the Vaisnava’s exclusive dedication to the service of Sri Visnu, and it is this that comprises his real nature. If we want to identify a Vaisnava, we need simply measure how dedicated he is to serving Sri Visnu.

Srila Kaviraja Gosvami Prabhu has listed the twenty-six qualities of a Vaisnava, among which the intrinsic characteristic (svarupa-laksana) or defining quality is exclusive surrender to Sri Krsna (krsnaika-sarana). The remaining twenty-five qualities manifest under the shelter of this primary characteristic and further enhance its sweetness. These qualities will surely be present in Vaisnavas, along with their Vaisnavata, or hallmark, exclusive surrender to Sri Krsna. One cannot find a Vaisnava who is not gentle and well-behaved; however, these virtues develop according to the strength of his Vaisnavata.

The point here is that in enumerating these different qualities, Srila Kaviraja Gosvami is not referring to our usual conception of them. From our mundane perspective, we may also detect the qualities of a Vaisnava that are listed by Srila Kaviraja Gosvami in persons who are not Vaisnavas, such as the followers of varnasrama-dharma. In truth, however, it is impossible for a non-Vaisnava to possess the qualities of a Vaisnava. Whatever is synonymous with the word vaikuntha, which denotes the abode of the Supreme Lord, is not limited, temporary and gross like the objects of this world. But everything else indicated by the words of this world is entirely worthless. Therefore, only extremely superficial observers will think that the qualities of a Vaisnava can also be found in non-Vaisnavas. For instance, Srila Kaviraja Gosvami has listed magnanimity (vadanyata) as a Vaisnava quality. An ordinary person can be “magnanimous” according to the conventional meaning (a jna-rudhi-vrtti) of the word. But this adjective cannot be applied to anyone except a Vaisnava when it is given its truest and most profound sense (vidvat-rudhi-vrttii).

Our Misguided Vision

But who will look out for the superlative quality of a Vaisnava? Only he who has realised its supremacy. In other words, only that person who has himself developed a service attitude will appreciate the importance of honouring this defining characteristic of a Vaisnava. Only to he who has surrendered without duplicity are all the virtues of a Vaisnava revealed in their true aspect. Such a person alone beholds the transcendental and extraordinary qualities of a Vaisnava, without likening them to mundane qualities and thus inviting offences.

But we are devoid of a service attitude; and therefore we cannot comprehend this secret of recognizing a Vaisnava by his Vaisnavata. All too often we are attracted by a Vaisnava’s other qualities, like his ample affection. We praise his patience, tolerance and other “external” virtues, but we should bear in mind that a Vaisnava’s qualities are not objects for our sense gratification. If the qualities I detect in a Vaisnava, like affection and patience, do not inspire me to engage in the service of Sri Visnu and the Vaisnavas, and do not lead me to become attracted to his Vaisnavata, then it should be understood that I have been unable see their true aspect. In other words, I have simply been trying to satisfy my senses.

All the qualities of a Vaisnava are certainly present in every Vaisnava. If according to our material vision we conclude that Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami Prabhu was a poet, but that Sri Sivananda Sena or Sri Govinda, the servant of Sriman Mahaprabhu, were not all that poetic, then we have not properly understood the Vaisnava’s quality of being poetic (kavitva). Rather, by considering Srila Kaviraja Gosvami to be an ordinary author, we merely see in him a rare and exceptional material talent – the gift of poetry.

Those with material intelligence are unable to judge a Vaisnava by his exclusive surrender to Sri Krsna (krsnaika-sarana). They consider him an ordinary person, and end up seeing his faults and assessing his Vaisnavata by looking at what is merely a semblance of his virtues. When they see the grave disposition of a particular Vaisnava, they will liken it to the gravity of a common man and praise him, considering this virtue to be the sole benchmark of his Vaisnavata. But if another Vaisnava conceals his gravity, they will not consider him to be a Vaisnava or, even if they do, they will say that he is not as grave as that first Vaisnava. Their words are as meaningless as the statement “a stone container made of gold”.

I begin my journey to hell by being envious of a Vaisnava, seeing in him the semblance of faults, which are unpleasant to my senses. And I suffer equally by being affectionate to a Vaisnava upon seeing in him the semblance of good qualities, which are pleasing to my senses. In both cases, my vision is limited to the mundane realm, and I am not fortunate enough to be able to recognise the transcendental Vaisnava. Hence, in trying to find a Vaisnava, we should not simply end up selecting someone who possessesmundane qualities or who is devoid of them.

A Concern
The mahajanas have stated: “Vaisnava cinite nare devera sakati – it is impossible even for the demigods to properly identify a Vaisnava.” This may lead me to wonder how I – a helpless and feeble being who is ignorant and foolish – can ever hope to recognise a Vaisnava? How will I be able to understand his Vaisnavata? As long as I remain ignorant of sambandha-tattva, the principle of one’s relationship with Sri Krsna, and continue to lack faith in the mercy of the Vaisnavas, I will be subject to various types of misgivings and be deprived of this mercy.

One Vaisnava has given a very beautiful and remarkably logical answer to this question. It is indeed true, he said, that the demigods themselves are unable to recognise a Vaisnava, but why should this be cause for concern. The emperor may be unable to recognize my mother, but that will hardly prevent me from being able to recognise her, even if I were but a tiny baby.

When I was an infant, I did not understand what relationship my mother had with me, nor was I able to realise her deep love and affection for me. Although I was ignorant, it does not follow that my mother was not my mother at that time or that I was deprived of her affection. I always remained related to her and did not forego her maternal affection, despite being unable to understand who she is. Nourished by her love I have now attained adulthood and am able to appreciate how she is related to me and what maternal affection is. During infancy, I did not understand my mother; therefore, I could not realise the sweetness of her affection, although she showered me with it. But I have now grown into an adult through her love and nurturing. By her affection and mercy, I am now able to realise who she is and have now developed a feeling of possessiveness (mamata) towards her.

When the practising devotee attains madhyama-adhikara, he is able to ascertain the eligibility of a Vaisnava and show him due affection. Only then is he able to receive the mercy of the Vaisnavas. It is also by the mercy of the Vaisnavas that one reaches the madhyama stage. Indeed, their mercy is at play at all times. Only by the compassion of the Vaisnavas does the jiva who is averse to Bhagavan and full of anarthas develop the tendency to chant the holy name of Bhagavan in the kanistha level. But the kanistha-adhikari is unable to realise this, and this is what makes him a kanistha devotee.

The Vaisnavas shower their mercy upon the kanistha-adhikari without his knowing it, and this mercy covertly and imperceptibly elevates him to the madhyama level. Then, only by the mercy of the Vaisnavas does he develop the ability to discern what level a Vaisnava is on and offer him due respect. We do not need to create our relationship with the Vaisnavas, for it is eternal. Our objective is simply to realise that relationship, and this is possible only by the strength of their mercy. Why, then, should we have any concern about being unable to identify Vaisnavas.

Have We Really Made the Vaisnavas Our Own?

The degree to which I have been able to make a Vaisnava my property and honour him can be measured by one criteria only: how indifferent or apathetic I have become towards non-Vaisnavas, realising that they have no relation with me. Unless one is wholly indifferent towards non-Vaisnavas, that is, has no relationship with them at all, one has no hope of ever developing a sense of kinship with the Vaisnavas.

Our conviction that the Vaisnavas belong to us develops in proportion to our feeling that non-Vaisnavas are outsiders. This is not mere talk. If I really wish to be related to the Vaisnavas, I must first renounce my attachment to non-Vaisnavas. If my mother, father, brothers, friends and so-called close relatives become hostile to the service of the Vaisnavas and to the supreme conscious Entity, then I will have to become wholly indifferent to them, regarding them as unrelated to me in any true sense.

This includes my very own body and mind. Until I attain such determination, to think of the Vaisnavas as my property is nothing but deceit. A person cannot have possessiveness towards or kinship with the Vaisnavas while considering non-Vaisnavas to be related to him – the two are mutually contradictory.

Translated from
Sri Gaudiya Patrika,
Year 7, Issue 2 (1956)
From Rays of the Harmonist, Number 14, Kartika 2004

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Dear Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Sri Sri Radha-vinoda-bihariji.

March 3rd, 2011, is Siva-ratri, the divine appearance day of Lord Siva. In celebration of this auspicious day, we are sending this lecture given by Srila Gurudeva in Holland, 1997. It was also published in the book, Siva-tattva:]

Once, the great sage Narada Muni traveled to the abode of Lord Siva and began to glorify him, saying, “You are very near and dear to the Supreme Lord Krsna. Not only that, you are Krsna’s manifestation; you are non-different from Him. You can give liberation and also Krsna-prema, the rare jewel of transcendental love for Krsna.”

Hearing Narada glorify him in numerous ways, Lord Siva became angry and said, “Your glorification of me is false. I am not at all dear to Sri Krsna.” Lord Siva is actually most dear to Sri Krsna, and therefore Krsna can give him services which He cannot give anyone else. When the demigods and demons were churning the Milk Ocean in order to obtain the nectar of immortality, the first substance produced was a powerful and dangerous poison, burning the entire world. The demigods appealed to Sri Krsna, and He advised them to request Lord Siva to drink the poison. Thus, they worshiped Lord Siva and prayed, “Please save us! Only you can protect us!” Lord Siva collected the poison and took it in his mouth, but he hesitated to swallow it, considering, “Lord Krsna is in my heart. The poison will affect Him.” He therefore kept the poison in his throat, which was burned, and his neck turned the color blue.

Now, out of genuine humility, Lord Siva told Narada: “I want to be His beloved devotee, but actually I am not. You know that I always wear ashes from the burial grounds, and a garland of skulls. All my associates are ghosts and witches, so I am not qualified to be Krsna’s dear devotee. If I am so dear to Him, why would He have ordered me to engage with the mode of ignorance in the terrible function of destroying of the universe? If I am such a great recipient of His mercy, why would he have ordered me to become Sankaracarya and preach a philosophy that is adverse to Him?”

Actually, although he expressed otherwise, it was because Siva is so dear to Krsna that Krsna was able to give him the difficult task of appearing as Sankaracarya. Many people had been worshiping the Supreme Lord only to fulfill their selfish purposes, thinking, “Simply by our worship of God, He will be pleased with us and satisfy all our worldly desires.” They worshiped Him only so that He would rapidly arrange for all of their needs, not to please Him. Lord Krsna thought, “This is very dangerous.” He called Lord Siva and instructed him, “Such false devotees will create great disturbances, so keep them far away from Me. Create a philosophy which teaches, ‘brahma satyam jagan mithya – the Absolute is true, this world is false.’ You should preach, ‘All souls are Siva; all souls are Brahma; all are one. You are brahma, the impersonal Absolute. There is no need to worship any other God; you are the Supreme God.’ ”

Reluctant, Lord Siva asked Krsna, “Can you please tell someone else to do this? I am not qualified for this service.” Krsna replied, “No, you will have to do this. In the entire world, I see no one else who is as capable.”

Feeling ashamed, Lord Siva now told Narada, “At last, I had to agree to follow His order. Appearing as Sankaracarya I preached everywhere, ‘You are brahma, you are brahma, you are the impersonal brahma. The entire world is false.’ I am so much regretting this. I know I have committed a great offence by causing so many people to be averse to Lord Krsna. Still, to carry out His order I spread this doctrine. It is clear by the fact that He sometimes gives me such orders that I am not His dearest one.”

Cheating the Cheaters
Lord Siva also expressed to Narada his regret in having given benedictions to Lord Krsna’s enemies. To fulfill his Lord’s desires, he had given benedictions to demons like Ravana, Vrkasura, Salva and Jayadratha, and thus he had performed many activities that were seemingly opposed to Krsna and krsna-bhakti.

Narada Muni said, “Master, please don’t try to mislead me. I know that whatever you do is to please Lord Krsna and to assist Him in His pastimes, for the benefit of all beings. You told me that you have many times given benedictions to His enemies. I know that His enemies, as well as the enemies of His devoted cousins, the Pandavas, worship you for ill-motivated benedictions. I also know that you grant them benedictions. But those benedictions are not foolproof; they always have some loophole. Actually, you cheat these beneficiaries in order to please Lord Krsna. You are undoubtedly His dearest friend.” Siva and Narada continued to discuss some historical incidents which, according to Siva, proved that he was not dear to Krsna – but according to Narada, proved the opposite.

A Loophole

The great epic Mahabharata tells of King Jayadratha, one of the many demons who received such a clever benediction from Lord Siva. Duryodhana, the paternal cousin of the five Pandava brothers, had given his sister Dushala in marriage to King Jayadratha, and therefore the king had also become like a brother-in-law of the Pandavas. Once, Jayadratha tried to kidnap the Pandavas’ wife, Draupadi, desiring strongly to make her his own wife. As he forced her onto his chariot, she admonished him, crying, “I am the wife of the Pandavas. When they catch you, they will punish you and kill you!”

Jayadratha’s arrogance prevented him from hearing her, and he continued his abduction. Meanwhile, the sage Narada approached the Pandavas and informed them, “Oh, I saw Jayadratha taking away Draupadi, and she was weeping!” Two of the Pandavas, Bhima and Arjuna, immediately chased after Jayadratha. Bhima dismounted his chariot and ran faster than Jayadratha’s horses. With his bow and arrows, Arjuna created a fire that surrounded the chariot of Jayadratha, who was then captured and could not move. Severely beaten by Bhima and arrested by Arjuna, Jayadratha was bound to the chariot and taken to where Yudhisthira Maharaja had been staying with Draupadi. Bhima and Arjuna spoke to Yudhisthira, their respected senior brother. Bhima urged him, “I want to kill Jayadratha. Please order me to kill him.” In support of Bhima, Arjuna said, “Jayadratha has performed a heinous act and should be killed.” King Yudhisthira replied, “The offense was committed against Draupadi. We should take the case to her, and we will do whatever she orders.”

When Jayadratha was brought at the feet of Draupadi, she mercifully told her husbands, “Don’t kill him; forgive him. He is our brother-in-law. If you kill him, your cousin-sister will be widowed and she will weep for the rest of her life.” Bhima and Arjuna then approached Lord Krsna and appealed to Him: “What should we do? We have vowed to kill Jayadratha, and now Draupadi tells us to forgive him.” Krsna replied, “For one who has been honored, dishonor is worse than death.”

Arjuna then shaved King Jayadratha’s head, leaving five patches of hair, and he shaved one side of his face, leaving the other side unshaven. Jayadratha felt humiliated, and after being released by Bhima and Arjuna he considered it better to have died. He thought, “I will somehow take revenge.” Thus absorbed, he went to Gangotri in the Himalayas and undertook a severe type of penance to please Lord Siva.

After some months he gave up all food, water, and bodily activities, and was about to die. At this point Lord Siva came before him and asked what boon he wanted as a result of his austerity. Jayadratha replied, “I want revenge against the Pandavas. I want to defeat and kill all of them.” Lord Siva told him, “You can defeat the Pandavas, but only Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva; not Arjuna.”

Jayadratha said, “If you cannot benedict me to my full satisfaction, then please grant that neither Arjuna nor anyone else will be able to kill me.” Lord Siva replied, “I can grant you this: if your head is severed and falls on the ground, the person who caused this will die immediately. Your life will be saved and your head will rejoin your body. You may be ‘killed’ hundreds of thousands of times, but you will not die. On the other hand, if your severed head falls into your father’s hands and he throws it on the ground, then you will die.” Jayadratha was satisfied, thinking, “My father would never do this.”

When the battle of Kuruksetra began, Jayadratha took the side of the Pandavas’ enemy, Duryodhana. One evening during the battle, as the sun was setting, Jayadratha’s father was absorbed in prayer and making an offering of water to the Sun-god. Arjuna saw this opportune moment. With the skillful release of an arrow, he severed Jayadratha’s head from his body and caused it to fall into the hands of his meditating father. Startled and without thought, Jayadratha’s father tossed the head on the ground. Then, opening his eyes he exclaimed, “What was that wet thing?” Seeing that he had just thrown his son’s head, he began to cry, “Oh my son! Oh my son! You are dead now!”

A Clever Benediction

Envious of Krsna and with a desire for the strength to destroy him, the demon Salva also took shelter of Lord Siva. He performed a severe type of austerity and ate no more than a handful of ashes daily. After one year, Lord Siva became pleased with him and asked him to beg for a boon. Salva begged from Lord Siva the gift of an airplane, saying, “This airplane should perform as I wish; it should be operated by my mind. On my order it should go to heaven or anywhere I desire. In summer it should be air-conditioned. If there are only two men, there should only be two seats, and if I want to travel with hundreds of thousands of persons, many seats should manifest. It should never crash due to mechanical difficulty, and it should be equipped with all varieties of weapons. It should be dangerous and fearful to the Yadus.”

Lord Siva agreed, and Salva was helped by the demon Maya Danava to manufacture a mystical airplane that began to destroy Dvaraka, Lord Krsna’s abode. Salva personally attacked from above, and his soldiers attacked on the ground. Headed by Pradyumna, the Yadu dynasty warriors fought with Salva and his army, but they could not defeat him. Finally, Lord Krsna personally appeared on the battlefield, and after much intense fighting on both sides and many mystic displays by Salva, the Lord took up His disc, cut off the demon’s head, and gave him liberation.

In this way, the benedictions given by Lord Siva to the enemies of Lord Krsna always have a weak point – a loophole. Lord Siva is extremely clever, and he is always serving his Lord, Sri Krsna. Narada knew this fact, and he wanted to publicize Lord Siva’s glories. Siva is very near and dear to Krsna, and non-different from Him. Try to always honor him, for he is
Krsna’s greatest devotee.

nimna-ganam yatha ganga
devanam acyuto yatha
vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh
purananam idam tatha

[“Just as the Ganga is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Acyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Sambhu the greatest of Vaisnavas, so Srimad-Bhagavatam is the greatest of all Puranas.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.16)]

The Principle of Siva
The principle of Siva – Siva-tattva – is extremely complex. The principle of Brahma is not as complicated, because Lord Brahma is always a jiva, a finite spirit soul. Sometimes, when there is no qualified jiva, Lord Visnu (Krsna’s expansion) personally takes the post of Brahma, but that is rare. Lord Siva is not like that; he is not a finite soul. After passing through the eight material coverings, and after crossing the Viraja (the river that divides the material world and the spiritual world) and the planet of Lord Brahma (the highest material planet), one comes to the planet of Siva. There he is known as Sadasiva, a manifestation of Lord Visnu.

Siva-tattva can be understood by the analogy of yogurt and milk. Yogurt is nothing but a transformation of milk. Milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. This analogy is found in Sri Brahma-Samhita and elucidated in Srila Jiva Gosvami’s commentary: “Just as milk is transformed into yogurt by contact with a transforming agent, Sri Govinda, Lord Sri Krsna, similarly accepts the form of Sambhu (Siva) in order to accomplish a specific purpose. The example of yogurt is actually given in order to convey the idea of cause and effect, not the idea of transformation. Sri Krsna is reality and cannot be transformed, so it is not possible for Him to undergo any kind of distortion. A wish-fulfilling gem manifests many things according to one’s desire, yet its constitutional nature remains untransformed.”

Ramesvara Mahadeva
When Sri Ramacandra was making the bridge to Lanka, he established a Siva-linga (deity form of Siva) called Ramesvara. All the common people began glorifying Lord Siva, shouting, “Ramesvara ki jaya! You are Rama’s isvara: you are the lord of Rama.” The demigods were unsatisfied by this and announced through an aerial voice, “Ramas ca asau isvarah: Rama is God, and Sankara is also God; they are the same.” Hearing this, the Siva-linga broke. Lord Siva emerged from the linga and told them all, “You are all foolish; you do not know my tattva, the established truths regarding my identity. Rama is my beloved and my God, and that is why I am called Ramesvara.”

Granting Perfect Love
Lord Siva eternally resides in Lord Krsna’s abode, Vrndavana, where he manifests many forms to render devotional services to Him. The form of Gopisvara Mahadeva was manifested by Lord Krsna’s desire. When Krsna desired to perform His rasa dance, Srimati Radhika, the embodiment of His pleasure potency, manifested from His left side and Gopisvara Mahadeva manifested from His right side. The form of Siva who lives in Kasi or Kailasa in the material world is a partial manifestation of the original Sadasiva in Vrndavana. The many other commonly worshiped forms of Lord Siva are expansions of Sadasiva. They are not the original. Partial expansions such as Pippalesvara Mahadeva, Bhutesvara Mahadeva, Rangesvara Mahadeva and so on cannot award the benediction that can be attained by the mercy of Gopisvara – the highest perfection of love, namely vraja-prema.

Sri Gopisvara  Mahadeva

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has composed a prayer in his Vraja-vilasa-stava:

muda gopendrasyatmaja bhuja parisranga nidhaye
sphurad gopirvrndair yam iha bhagavatam pranayibhih
bhajadbhistair bhaktyas vamabhilasitam praptam acirad
yamitire gopisvaram anudinam tam kila bhaje

[“I daily worship Gopisvara Mahadeva, who is situated on the bank of Yamuna. That very Gopisvara was worshipped with deep devotion by the gopis, and he quickly fulfilled their desire to attain a supremely precious jewel in the form of the embrace of the son of Nanda Maharaja .”]

Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the great Vaisnava saint who resided in Vrndavana near the old Sri Madana-Mohana temple, would go daily to see Sri Gopisvara Mahadeva at his temple. Once, in his older years, Sanatana Gosvami had a dream wherein Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared and instructed him: “Now that you are old, please do not go through so much trouble to see me.” Sanatana Gosvami replied, “I will continue to come. I cannot change this habit.” Gopisvara Mahadeva said, “Then I will come and stay very near to your residence, manifesting in Bankhandi.” The very next day, Sri Gopisvara Mahadeva appeared in Bankhandi, halfway between his original temple and Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s residence. Seeing this, Sanatana Gosvami became overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, and from that day on he visited Bankhandi Mahadeva every day.

Wherever he was, Srila Sanatana Gosvami could not live without his beloved Lord Siva – Gopisvara Mahadeva and Bankhandi Mahadeva in Vrndavana, and Kamesvara Mahadeva in Kamyavana forest. In Govardhana he would stay near his very dear friend, Cakresvara Mahadeva, who acquired the name when he served Govardhana Hill and the Vrajavasis by holding up his trident like a cakra, protecting them from the torrential deluge sent by King Indra.

Prior to this, Lord Siva had asked Sri Krsna for the boon to witness His childhood pastimes. Krsna ordered him to situate himself in Nandagaon in the form of a hill. Siva followed this order and became Nandiçvara Hill, and he thus became known as Nandiçvara. (Lord Brahma became Brahma-parvata, the mountain in Srimati Radhika’s birthplace, Varsana. Because Brahma is so near to Radhika, he is also our Gurudeva.)

We honor Lord Siva as a great Vaisnava and as Guru. We do not worship him separately. We observe Siva-ratri, Lord Siva’s appearance day, and we glorify him in connection to his relationship with Sri Krsna. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written in his Hari-bhakti-vilasa that all Vaisnavas should observe Siva-caturdasi (Siva-ratri). Lord Siva, in whom all good qualities reside, should certainly be honored by the observance of this day.

We offer obeisance to Lord Siva with prayers like this:

vrndavanavani-pate! jaya soma soma-maule
Gopisvara! vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te
(Sankalpa-kalpadruma 103)

O Gatekeeper of Vrndavana! O Soma, all glories to you! O you whose forehead is decorated with the moon, and who is worshipable by the sages headed by Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Narada! O Gopisvara! Desiring that you bestow upon me prema for the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vrajadhama, I offer obeisances unto you time and again.

By Siva’s Benediction

A brahmana in Kasi Varanasi once prayed to Lord Siva, “I want to give my daughter in marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money.” Lord Siva told him, “Go to Vrndavana and meet with Srila Sanatana Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your daughter’s marriage.” The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and there he asked the villagers there for the whereabouts of a person named Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his residence.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami was practicing bhajana near the Yamuna River at Kaliya-hrada, the former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Kaliya-hrada was close to the Yamuna, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand. Srila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a loincloth. He used to go begging door-to-door for a small amount of prasada (Krsna’s food remnants), and would take as his meal only one dry chapatti (flat bread), with no salt.

The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, “I went to Sankara Mahadeva, Lord Siva, and he told me to meet you. He said you will give me some wealth for my daughter’s marriage.” Sanatana Gosvami replied, “I have no possessions. You can see that I have nothing but a loincloth.” Then he thought, “Oh, Siva cannot tell a lie. He is my bosom friend.” Thinking of Lord Siva and contemplating further, he remembered a touchstone he had once disgarded and then forgotten. Now he told the brahmana, “Go to the Yamuna and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone. It is somewhere in the sand, though I don’t remember where.”

The brahmana found the jewel, touched it to iron, and the iron turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Lord Siva had told him to come to Vrndavana, and thought with gratitude, “My prayer has been answered by him.” On the way home, however, his greed for money increased and he began thinking, “Why did Sanatana Gosvami keep the touchstone in the sand? It had no use there. He must have still more valuable jewels.”

He thus returned, and Sanatana Gosvami asked him, “Why have you come back?” He replied, “I’ve come because I know that you have more valuable jewels than this.” Sanatana Gosvami then said, “Go and throw the touchstone in the Yamuna. The brahmana did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him, “Come here. Come here.” He gave him the mantra, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare” and said, “I do not have worldly jewels, but I have transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krsna and Sri Radha will come to you in a very short time. So remain here. Your daughter’s marriage will take place automatically. Stay here and chant Hare Krsna.” That brahmana followed his instruction and became a very elevated saint.

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Srila Gurudeva’s Auto-biographical Sketch


Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Mahar

Respected Devotees,

The following is a transcription of Srila Gurudeva speaking on February 23, 2003 in Olpe, Germany, on the topic of his own life history. It was kindly translated from his Hindi talk by Radhika dasi of Russia.

Devotees around the world accept Srila Gurudeva as an eternal associate of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We read in sastra that such devotees are tri-kala-jna and sarva-jna, meaning that nothing in the Lord’s material or spiritual creation is unknown to them. We read in Srimad-Bhagavatam: “A person who is cent-percent engaged in the service of the Lord is the emblem of all knowledge. Such a devotee of the Lord in full perfection of devotional service is also perfect by the qualification of the Personality of Godhead. As such, the eightfold perfections of mystic power (asta-siddhi) constitute very little of his godly opulence.”

Such pure devotees set an example for us by acting out the role of souls gradually advancing towards the perfection of devotion to Sri Krsna. By their own example, they teach us what to do, and what not to do, in order to advance. They teach by example the importance of acquiring sukrti (spiritual credits accrued by knowingly or unknowingly engaging in acts of devotion) and sanskaras (impressions on the heart attained from the sukrti of this and previous lives).

We can understand the divine nature of Srila Gurudeva’s pastimes from the words his own Guru Maharaja, nitya-lila pravista Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja: “The eternal form of the acaryadeva is composed of knowledge and bliss, and remains constitutionally unchangeable – just like a dramatic performer who appears to go through various transformations during his performance, but remains the same unaltered person.”

My Life History

I was born in 1921 on the amavasya (dark-moon) night in the month of Magha (January). This is what my parents had told me. My father’s name was Pandita Balesvarnath Tivari and my mother’s name was Srimati Laksmi-devi. They were both devotees of the Sri sampradaya, initiated according to all rules and regulations, and both were expert in devotional music. My father was also expert in wrestling, singing, and all types of social affairs. He was humble, well-bred, and most importantly, highly religious and conversant with Vaisnava principles.

At the time of my birth, our kula-guru (family guru) gave me the name Sriman Narayana Tivari according to the sign of zodiac, and since my birth I was very simple-hearted and innocent. My mother told me, “You did not cry, and you would remain seated wherever you were placed. For that reason everyone called you Bholanatha, (the name of Lord Siva meaning ‘god of the innocents).”

As my parents were very religious, I was also very religious from my early childhood. To be full with bhakti is not a matter of only one birth’s practice; it is a matter of many births. Throughout my childhood I always chanted, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama,” and I do not know since when I began. Thus, my fortune must have been the result of impressions in my heart due to good association and religious inclination in my previous births (samskaras).

As a child I used to attend religious festivals with my father and hear classes on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other scriptures. In the evenings, having finished his family duties, my father would sometimes personally recite to me Tulasidasa’s Ramayana, and sometimes Mahabharata – from the beginning to the end – and at that time many village people would also come and listen to him with faith.

I had such impressions that even in my childhood I would cry for hours whenever I read the Ramayana of Tulasidasa, and whenever I stopped crying, I would start reading again. I became especially immersed in emotions when I would read about Ramacandra’s exile, His abandoning Sita, and Sita’s entering Patala – so immersed that I used to see in dreams the battle between Räma and Ravana, along with Hanumanji and his variety of services. In one dream, at 4am, I saw Rama, Laksmana, Sita, and Hanuman descending from an airplane right before my eyes as their divine effulgence spread everywhere. But then, when I wanted to touch Their feet, They disappeared. I was so blissful at that time.

Throughout my school years I ranked first or second in my class in academics; and in sports, especially in high school, I would get first place awards in the one mile and five mile races, long jump, high jump, cycling races, and boating. No one dared enlist his name for a long race unless he planned to compete for second place, because everyone knew, “Narayana will be first.” I also participated in musical programs and debates in Sanskrit.

Once, when I was sixteen or seventeen, our kula-guru gave a series of classes on Srimad-Bhagavatam in our Tivaripura village. A great Sanskrit scholar, he would recite every sloka in a melodious voice and then explain its meaning to the crowd of pious listeners that had gathered from the neighboring villages. I had the opportunity to render him personal services on those occasions – decorating the lecture hall, preparing his seat, placing the Bhagavatam on his lectern, and then listening to his lectures very attentively. My father also contributed greatly to these programs, by organizing the daily arati of the Bhagavatam and then distributing prasad at the end of each program.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam classes were completed after one month, at which time a grand yajna was held, followed by a grand feast of the Lord’s maha-prasada. My kula-guru was extremely affectionate towards me for my services, and he left a great impression on my life. In this way I became increasingly immersed in the moods of devotion and gradually acquired taste for krsna-bhakti.

The Mahaviri Jhanda Festival (in honor of Hanumanji) once took place on the banks of Ganga near my Village, in Ahalyavali – the place where Sri Ramacandraji had liberated Ahalya from Gautama Rsi’s curse, where Visvamitra’s residence was situated, where Rama and Laksman killed the demoness Tadaka, and where Rama shot His arrows at Marica and Subahu in order to protect Visvamitra’s yajna. It was a great festival, with many thousands of people gathered. Various games and wrestling matches were played, with the attendance of numerous good sportsmen, and my father also participated as he had versatile talent.

It was at this festival that I heard and saw, for the first time in my life, a nagara-sankirtana in which thousands of people were dancing and singing, “Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare.” That nagara-kirtana had a great impact upon me.

When I was in class nine of high school, I received a book entitled “The Life-History and Precepts of Nimbarka Vaisnavacarya” as a prize for winning a Sanskrit debate. As I read about the acarya’s perfect Vaisnava demeanor, his deeds, his attachment for harinama, and his rigorous sadhana, I now began to acquire real taste for krsna-nama. It was from this book that I learned that all saktis, all the Lord’s potencies, are present in harinama.

I liked history very much, and I used to get the maximum grade in that subject. In one of the history books I once read a short description of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Seeing the picture of His long wavy hair and reading about His absorption in kirtana, I was very deeply impressed and influenced.

I was betrothed at the age of sixteen or seventeen, while I was still studying in high school. However, according to Indian custom a wife joins her husband only after the official marriage ceremony, when they are mature. Thus, when I became twenty-one or twenty-two years old a marriage festival was held for me, and at that time my wife came to live with me. But then, very soon after that, I left.

(As an aside) [*See endnote 1] You can write a bit regarding the time and place of the marriage, but not elaborating.

After high-school, because I was good at sports I was able to get a service in the police department without any effort. The police station was located in the Dumka district of Bihar, at a place on the banks of Ganga called Shahad Ganja. All the officers there were happy with me, including the chief superintendent, who was a Bengali and who was very religious.

Three years after I began my service at the police station, the chief superintendent was visited by a party of devotees representing Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti in Navadvipa. There were about ten devotees in that party, and among them were Prapujya-carana Sri Srimad Narottamananda brahmacariji, Sri Srimad Bhakti-kusala Nrsimha Maharaja, and Sri Radhanatha, who later became Pujyapada Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja.

The speaker, Pujyapada Narottamananda brahmacariji, narrated the life history of Sri Prahlada Maharaja in the superintendent’s house for seven days. Although at that time I did not know Bengali well, I would sit for the lectures, and in response to my faith Pujyapada Sri Narottamananda brahmacariji became very affectionate towards me. After each lecture, he would leave aside all food and drink to sit with me and speak hari-katha in English throughout the night.

[Sripad Madhava Maharaja added, “Pujyapada Narottamananda brahmacari did not know Hindi and Srila Gurudeva did not know Bengali, so all the talking was in English.”]

He was a very learned person, and he was especially a learned scholar in Srimad-Bhagavatam. After listening to his hari-katha for those seven days and receiving his affection, I became completely renounced in my heart. I wanted to leave my service and go with the party, but I could not get permission to leave because the chief superintendant and everyone else had too much affection for me to let me go.

The superintendant asked me, “Why do you want to go? Very soon you will be promoted.” I said, “True, I can be promoted in my service,” but then I gave my pretext to leave by saying, “I want to start my own business, so there will be no loss.” Then, when I added that in future I want to do krsna-bhajana, he asked, “Do your parents agree to this?” Understanding Guruji and the Vaisnavas to be my parents, I answered, “Yes, they do.”I then resigned and left that place, but I did not go home. I went directly from there to Sridhama Navadvipa to meet my Guruji.

I arrived at the Navadvipa-dhama railway station at twelve o’clock midnight, so I was wondering, “I don’t know the address of the asrama in Navadvipa, so how will I find it? And whom can I ask at this late hour?”

I didn’t know how he knew, but Guruji knew I would be coming that day, and Narottamananda brahmacariji also knew; so they had sent Pujyapada Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, with a lantern in his hand and accompanied by another brahmacari, to search for me. As I saw the two of them approaching, I became very happy. Together with them I reached the matha easily, at which time I saw Narottamananda brahmacariji and my Guruji and many other Vaisnavas. That day was the eve of the Navadvipa-dhama-parikrama.

The person in charge of the matha at that time was Sri Narahari Thakuraji, a god-brother of my Guruji and extremely dear to his Gurudeva Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. Because he took care of everyone in the matha, especially the children, he was affectionately called “Mother of the matha.” He would chant harinama throughout the day and night, and he would bind his sikha to a ceiling beam at night so that he would not fall asleep while chanting. Wherever he went during the day, he continued chanting harinama. I received so much love and affection from him.

Without anyone’s instruction or awareness, I began sweeping the floors in the matha, cleaning the cooking pots, and performing a variety of other services. Shortly after Navadvipa-dhama-parikrama was completed, I received both harinama and diksa initiations at the same time. Guruji soon became satisfied with my devotional services and saw my taste for hari-katha, and thus he began to keep me with him and engage me in his personal service. I began to cook for him and wash his clothes, and I listened to his hari-katha. No longer did I remember I had previously been a police officer. Everything from the past was left behind.

In 1945, just before the Kartika parikrama of Vaidyanatha-dhama [*See Endnote 2] began, I went with my Guruji to the Chinchura Gaudiya Matha, where I continued listening to his hari-katha and doing seva. It was there that I met Prapuja-carana Srila Bhaktipramoda Puri Maharaja, in whose personal service Guruji engaged me. I began rendering him so many services, such as cooking and giving him water for drinking and bathing.

One of my daily services was to accompany him to the nearby Ganga where he would bathe, and I would bring my lota, the last remaining possession I’d kept from my previous asrama. One day, while he and I were in the Ganga, my lota floated away with the current. I considered, “This is good. Now the last material attachment has gone.”

In the following year I again accompanied Guruji to the Vaidyanatha-dhama-parikrama. Later, after the parikrama was completed, Guruji continued to travel and preach. During that preaching tour, Ananga-mohana brahmacari, who was living and travelling with Guruji and who would also sing kirtana for him, fell severely ill with tuberculosis. At first it seemed mild, and I was appointed to his service. I would bring him medicines from a long distance and even clean his body after his passing stool. I took care of him in every respect. One day as he was sitting right next to Guruji, he began vomiting blood. I went with Guruji to bring him to a famous homeopathic doctor in Calcutta, and on the doctor’s advice we stayed nearby at Siddhavali. When that and other treatments did not work, Guruji admitted him to a tuberculosis hospital.

Some time later I met a cousin from our village at the railway station. He was working as a guard there, and seeing me sitting in the train, he immediately entered the train and embraced me. He said to me in great happiness, “It’s been so long since you left, and you haven’t sent us a single message. Where are you staying these days?” I then told him my address – I was so simple-hearted that I told him.

Immediately after leaving me he sent a telegram to my family, soon after which my mother, father, brother, friends, wife, and many important people of the village – a crowd of ten or fifteen – arrived at the matha and tried hard to convince me to return to them. My mother was crying loudly. Although I was ill at that time, I told them, “Don’t worry. I am immediately coming with you.”

Then, after offering pranama to Guruji, I went with them to the village. When I reached home, my mother and all other relatives performed puja to Bhagavan in great jubilation, while a band of musicians played on their instruments. Prasada was distributed, and the now-happy people from all parts of the village came to see me.

On the next day, my father invited several prominent scholars, as well as the heads of our village and nearby villages, who were wealthy, highly respected, educated, and knowledgeable. He organized a large meeting, which was attended by a great number of people, and especially my school friends came to see me with curiosity.

They all tried very hard to convince me to follow religious principles while living at home. Many cited examples from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Some said that Prahlada Maharaja was a grhastha, and that the Pandavas also performed bhajana-sadhana while living as grhasthas. Everyone recommended, “Do bhajana at home, as they all did.” “But there is no sadhu-sanga here,” I replied. “And no siksa by which my sadhana-bhajana can help me advance on the path of bhakti. This is unacceptable for me. I cannot live without sadhu-sanga.”

Others said, “Follow brahmacarya, then, while living at home. Be religious, and at the same time become powerful like your paternal grandfather. Your grandfather was so strong that he would remove bullock carts from the mud. He would untie the bulls and free the carts with his bare hands. Oh, your grandfather was so strong that when two big buffaloes would fight to take each other’s lives, he would take a stick in his hand and strike one buffalo on one side and the other on the other side, causing them both to run in different directions. Become like your grandfather.”

I replied, “The elephant is also strong. But what is the use of strength without bhakti? I do not want to become strong like that. I want to become strong in bhakti. Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.9.29) states that without bhakti life is useless:

"labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam arthadam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anu mrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat

“The human form of life is attained only after many, many births. Although it is impermanent, it can offer the highest benefit. Therefore, before the body again lays down and dies, an intelligent man must immediately try to fulfill his mission of life and attain his greatest well-being. He should avoid sense gratification, which is available in all circumstances, even in the animal species.”

My seventy-five year old paternal uncle, who was the head of one of the other villages, a very important man and a great scholar, then asked me, “All right then, tell me; since you have become a sadhu, what is visistadvaita-vada?”

I replied that in order to understand visistadvaita-vada, one must first know about kevaladvaita-vada and suddhadvaita-vada; not only that, but also one must know what is acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. Then, one by one, I began to define kevaladvaita-vada and all the other vadas, or theories. I told my uncle that kevaladvaita-vada, the teaching of Sankaracarya, is the worship of the nirakara, nirvisesa, niranjana, nirguna Brahman, the Absolute Truth devoid of form, speciality, qualities, and designations. According to Sri Ramanujacarya’s theory of visistadvaita, the jiva and the material cosmos are specialities of Brhaman; although all the energies of the Lord are one, each keeps its individuality (vaisistya). Madhvacarya’s conception is called kevaladvaita-vada, and it stresses on the five eternal differences: the difference between jiva and God, between jiva and jiva, between God and matter, between matter and matter, and between matter and jiva. Then, Sri Caita nya Mahaprabhu’s acintya-bhedabheda-tattva states the one Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself in many, and in this way all diversities are in Him and He is in all diversities although He is nevertheless different from all of them. Thus, by the transformation of His inconceivable potencies, everything is simultaneously one with and different from Him.

(As an aside) You can describe it fully.

I explained that all the other philosophies are vadas, theories, but acintya-bhedabheda is tattva, truth. This conception belongs to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It combines the ideas of all the other conceptions, and it is marked by predominance of pure bhakti. I told my uncle and all those present that acintya-bhedabheda-tattva is our conception, the conception of our Guruji.

Hearing my explanation, my uncle rose from his seat, embraced me, and said, “You have found a real guru. You have attained sadhu-sanga. Your renunciation is real and your knowledge of tattva, established philosophical reality, is complete. From now on I will not say a word to discourage you.” The meeting ended in this way, and all the people left.

That’s enough for today. Later I will tell more. No need to elaborate on any events other than those about my life in the line of bhakti. You can write about me as I have written about my Guruji. You can follow that example, describing my preaching. You can also discuss how, after coming to the matha, I went on so many pilgrimages throughout India, as I have written in my Guruji’s life history. I went to Badrinatha, Dvaraka, and South India two or three times. You only need the dates, the years, the what, and the where.

The End

[*Endnote 1: Srila Gurudeva was speaking to Prema-prayojana dasa, who he had ordered at that time to write his biography. Since that time he has also ordered other disciples to write it. For example, in a video that was recently shown on (spoken on November 25, 2003) he told Jayanta dasa (of San Diego), “What I have told; this, this, and this.

Thousands of classes are there. Everything is there. Afterward , you should do as I have done for my Guru; not like Satsvarupa Maharaja did. He only wrote: “He (Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja) went to this place and that place, and so many came and received him, and then there was Ratha Yatra.” Bas. His biography has hardly any tattva-siddhanta or tattva-jnana.”]

[*Endnote 2: A holy place famous for Lord Siva’s Jyotirlinga Temple in Deogarh (The abode of the gods), in Jharkand, Bihar]

Srila Gurudeva’s Last Instructions on Book Publication

Submitted by the Rays of The Harmonist team

Srila Gurudeva’s Last Instructions on Book Publication

[On the evening of Saturday November 13, Karttika 2010, in Govardhana, the newly published Hindi Srimad-Bhagavatam – Tenth Canto, Part One (Chapters 1–8), with commentaries – was offered to Srila Gurudeva. He was extremely happy to receive this publication and gave his full blessings to Sripad Tirtha Maharaja. Although Srila Gurudeva was speaking very little, because of his health, upon seeing this Bhagavatam, he enthusiastically began to instruct Sripad Tirtha Maharaja to continue with and complete his work on the Tenth Canto, presenting the commentaries in accordance with the siddhänta of our rüpänuga-guruvarga. Srila Gurudeva also gave his blessings to Sriman Jagannatha Punja Prabhu who financially supported this production of the Bhagavatam.

This conversation was translated and included in Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja’s report on November 14, 2010, posted from keep-in-touch.

Approximately half an hour later, Srila Gurudeva spoke further about the continued publication of his books. Present in the room were Sripad Madhava Maharaja, Sripad Siddhanti Maharaja, Sripad Madhava-priya Prabhu, Sundara-gopala Prabhu (England), Srivasa däsa (Canada), Prana-krsna däsa (Puri), and Gaura-raja däsa (kirtaniya, Mathura) and others.

The following is a translation of his instructions.]

Srila Gurudeva : You should continue to print my books with the same enthusiasm with which they are being printed now.

After I leave, also, you should continue to print those editions that are finished in the same manner.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja [In response to the words “After I leave”]: [Please,] you mustn’t speak like this; don’t speak like this. You have to live for a long time yet – many more years. There is so much work pending, so you mustn’t speak like this. If you speak like this, will not everyone’s mind become disturbed? You mustn’t speak like this. 

Srila Gurudeva: No. …. The continuous progression of our books should not break. …. I have said… already said, that it should fully continue.

Madhava-priya Prabhu : Please tell to rest now for a while. He has spoken so much today.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Today you have spoken so much. Now stop, otherwise you will become tired.

You can click this link to hear sound file.
Respected Harikatha Readers,

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga. All glories to the honored readers of Srila Gurudeva's harikatha.

As you know, the exclusive mission of

Srila Gurudeva's recorded lectures

is to send transcriptions of Srila Gurudeva's recorded lectures, morning walks, and darsanas. In the mail below we are making a special exception to this rule, due to its important message at this pivotal time in the history of Srila Gurudeva's International Society. Srila Gurudeva has many manifestations in this world: He is present in Krsna's holy name, in his own nectar-filled harikatha, in his authoritative instructions and books, in his picture, in his remembrance, in his samadhi, in our hearts - and he is powerfully present in the harmonious and unified manifestation of his International Pure Bha kti-Yoga Society. With regard to his Society, Sripad Yasodananda prabhu sends us this message:

Syamarani dasi

Dear Devotees around the world,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

By the mercy of Srila Gurudeva and the Supreme Lord Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, we have just joyfully completed Navadvipa parikrama, after which Srila Gurudeva's Bhakti Trust International, Sannyasi Council, and Open Forum meetings took place.

We are in the throes of writing a full report on events of those meetings. By Srila Gurudeva's mercy, these events were more than positive.

Maintaining unity and harmony, so much has been accomplished in a short space of time. However, time is needed. In order to properly honor all the events that took place, and all the devotees involved in the wonderful outcome of the events, the report needs to be compiled with care and reviewed and edited by others. This will be done and circulated to the entire sanga as soon as possible.

At this present time, we provide you with a few quotes from Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Maharaja, who participated in some of these meetings:

"The results of the BTI meetings were entirely successful in creating stability and order in our process of establishing a genuine, liberal, and sensitive authority structure.

"When the Maha-bhagavata is walking amongst us, this structure is not so important; but when he leaves, I believe we need some ordered framework and structure to keep us together and harmonious. I felt this harmony was most certainly begun in the last couple of days through the sincerity of the BTI members and their sensitive resolutions.

"Yesterday, March 21st, was exceptional. All the sannyasis met together, both Indian and western, for the first time ever. It was ground-breaking. So many doubts and misconceptions were cleared almost immediately, simply by coming face to face with each other. So many fears and illusions were dispelled. What had seemed to be contentious was resolved so easily, almost in moments, just by seeing each other's sincerity of intention and discussing the issues, which mystically had become dwarfed by our collective, congenial exchanges.

"Many of us directly experienced Srila Gurudeva's presence and potency flooding again strongly through our veins. Gurudeva said twice last Kartik that he would see us in Navadvipa, and this was the total reality many of us witnessed during that final meeting."

.…I feel so much relief and completely revived, and very confident that such a special future, endowed with all the gifts my Gurudeva has left behind, which actually, in fact, is all of us in this sanga, is moving to a very bright service opportunity."

We beg that you will remain patient until the final report is distributed shortly.

Aspiring for your service,

Yasodananda das

(Appointed by Bhakti Trust International as a member of its communications seva-team)


March 12-19, 2011

Our most worshipful Srila Gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spent the last fifteen years traveling the world and inspiring devotees in their bhakti – and everywhere he went, he invited his audiences to come for the Kartika parikrama in Vrndavana and the Gaura-mandala parikrama in Navadvipa. For example, in the Philippines, in 2009, he said, “Navadvipa-dhama parikrama is coming very soon – after one month. I am inviting you all. If you have no money problem and you can come, and I will be very happy.” On the last day of this past Kartika, 2010,  inviting all the devotees to Navadvipa, he announced, &l dquo;I will be there.”

And, he was. Everyone in attendence could feel his divine presence guiding and leading the parikrama, just as he had done for years and years. The annual Navadvipa-dhama parikrama was thus sucessfully held at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha on the island of Koladvipa, from March 12-19.

Srila Gurudeva’s Samadhi Mandira

At the head of the entire parikrama party was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, carried on a beautifully decorated palanquin by His servitors.

Just as Srila Gurudeva had inspired his sannyasis to lead the parikrama in past years, by his inspiration Sripad Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaja and Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja and other sannyasis daily led the 15,000 pilgrims to the holy pastime places and discussed the significance and pastimes of those places.

On the first day of parikrama the party went to Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha, where they had darsana of the samadhi mandira of Srila Paramgurudeva Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, as well as that of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami. Sripad Madhava Maharaja spoke about Srila Gurudeva there – how Srila Gurudeva was transcendentally born and raised by his Guru Maharaja in this temple, and how Srila Gurudeva had personally been the main spiritual nourisher of all the leaders who presently preside there.

From Devananda Gaudiya Matha, the parikrama went to take their parikrama vows (sankalpa) at the Ganga.

From Devananda Gaudiya Matha, the parikrama went to take their parikrama vows (sankalpa) at the Ganga.

There they chanted the glories of Ganga-devi, vowed to complete the rules and regulations in their daily parikrama, and prayed for the attainment of the spiritual goals aspired by them as a result of giving their heart to the parikrama.

Pilgrims at Nirdaya-ghata
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu blessing Jagai on the bridge leading to Nrsmahapalli on the island of Godrumadvipa

Pilgrims at Nirdaya-ghata
The devotees spent at least an hour at each pastime place, where they sang heartfelt kirtanas and bhajanas, and where the sannyasis and other senior devotees spoke in English, Hindi, and Bengali to accomadate the devotees various languages. In addition to the English-speaking devotees hearing on their transistor headsets the translations of the Bengali and Hindi speakers, the devotees from other countries, such as China, Russia, and Brazil, heard on their headsets translations into their own languages as the English speaking translator narrated.

All the speakers based their speeches on Srila Gurudeva’s Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama book as well as his translation of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Navadvipa-dhama Mahatmya. To save time, therefore, so that you can get this report sooner than later, instead of transcribing the speeches we are quoting an excerpt about Nirdaya-ghata directly from the Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama book:

“On a wintry night Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu jumped into the turbulent waters of the Ganga at this ghata, crossed the river and went to Kantaka-nagari (Katwa), where He accepted the renounced order from Sri Kesava Bharati. Then, via Santipura, He went to Sri Jagannatha Puri. Being very cruel-hearted (nirdaya) He left His widowed mother and His wife, and crossed the Ganga at this ghata. From that time on this ghata became known as Nirdaya-ghata.”

Sri Syama-kunda

Regarding the devotees visiting the Sri Caitanya Matha and the Samadhi Mandira of Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi Mandira, from Sri Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama: “Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura manifested Sri Radha-kunda and Sri Syamakunda next to Candrasekhara-bhavana on the banks of the ancient Sri Prthu-kunda, or Ballala-dighi. There, in a mood of deep separation, he used to perform bhajana of Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Gaurasundara. The mere sight of these two ponds causes memories of Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda in Vraja to arise in the heart.”

Devotees at Mamagacchi, the island of Modadrumadvipa

Devotees at Mamagacchi, the island of Modadrumadvipa
Sripad Sridhara Maharaja led a beautiful kirtana which made all the devotees dance in joy, after which the various speakers relayed the hari-katha about Lord Rama that was so dear to Srila Gurudeva. The pastime is written in Sri Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama as follows:
“Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura relates the following pastime in his Sri Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya: Once, as Lord Ramacandra was observing the extraordinary beauty of this forest, He began to smile. Sita asked Him why He was smiling, and Sri Rama replied, ‘In this forthcoming Kali-yuga, I will take birth from the womb of Mother Saci in Sri Jagannatha Misra’s house in this same Navadvipa-dhama. People will know Me as Gauranga, and I will charm everyone by performing a variety of enchanting pastimes. I will manifest the glory of the holy name and thus madden the common people with the chanting of these names. I will change the hearts of even the sinners and give them love of God, which even the demigods rarely attain. In My youth I will accept sannyasa, after which I will reside in Sri Jagannatha Puri. At that time My mother Saci-devi, who is none other than Kausalya, will weep, holding her daughter-in-law Visnupriya in her arms. You will be that Visnupriya. I will thereafter remain in Puri, and will also weep for you day and night.’
“Séitaji inquired, ‘Why will You perform such pastimes?’
“Sri Rama answered, ‘I will appear in this world as Gauranga, just to teach the living entities prema-bhakti. Prema-bhakti is tasted in two ways: meeting (sambhoga) and separation (vipralambha). In sambhoga-rasa the pleasure one receives in meeting is prominent. In vipralambha-rasa, in the distress of separation, one attains the happiness of constant internal meeting in which e verything external is forgotten. Only in separation do one-pointed rasika devotees attain the unlimited bliss of service. Without vipralambha, sambhoga-rasa is not nourished and instead tastes like vipralambha. Therefore in vipralambha, rasa is a million times more relishable than in sambhoga.
“‘When I appear as Gauranga, Mother Kausalya, together with Aditi-devi, will appear as Saci-devé, and you will be My wife, Visnupriya. Later, in this incarnation as Rama, I will find an excuse to abandon you, and send you to the hermitage of Valmiki. Then, in separation from you, I will make a golden Sita and worship you. In the same way, in My incarnation as Gaura, you will manifest a Deity of Me as Gauranga after I renounce My home, and you will worship Me in Navadvipa. Through the pastimes of Gauranga, I will teach the world the excellence of vipralambha-rasa.

“‘Çré Navadvipa-dhama is dear to Me, even more so than Ayodhya. This banyan tree will become famous as Rama-vaöa, but it will disappear at the beginning of Kali-yuga.’
“After staying here for some time, Sri Ramacandra, together with Sita and Laksmana, departed for Dansakaraëya. By the desire of Sri Ramacandra, His dear friend Guhaka, the King of Nisada, took birth here in the house of a brähmaëa as Sadananda Bhattacarya. Sadananda Bhattacarya had one-pointed firm faith in Ramacandra and was present in Sri Jagannatha Misra’s house at the time of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s appearance. When he took darsana of baby Nimai he saw Him as Sri Ramacandra. He later had darsana of Sri Rama, Sita a nd Laksmana, with Hanuman folding his hands at their feet.

“Sadananda Bhattacarya often used to come to the house of Jagannatha Misra to take darsana of the child Nimai. When, after some time, Mahaprabhu inaugurated His harinama-sankirtana, Sadananda performed kirtana in Mahaprabhu’s group and was overwhelmed with transcendental bliss.

Daily cooking, led by Sripad Premananda prabhu, for 15,000 pilgrims

Daily cooking, led by Sripad Premananda prabhu, for 15,000 pilgrims

Sri Gaurasundara’s moon on His divine appearance day [This is not a photoshop touch-up. It is the original photo.]

Sri Gaurasundara’s moon on His divine appearance day [This is not a photoshop touch-up. It is the original photo.]
The bathing ceremony

The bathing ceremony

On the evening of Gaura Purnima, at Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, Krsna-dasa adhikari and Tamal-Krsna dasa brahmacari led the now 17,000 devotees in singing from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila Chapter 13, verses 98-124, about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's birth. After that, the abhiseka (bathing ceremony) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu began, at which time the Deities were bathed with honey, ghee, water, coconut water, sugar, milk and yogurt. Then, after the abhiseka, arati and kirtana were performed.

Sri Sri Laksmi-Varaha, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihariji, and Parama-gurudeva Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Sri Sri Laksmi-Varaha, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Sri Radha-Vinoda-bihariji, and Parama-gurudeva Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Srila Gurudeva’s GVP Book Sponsorship program had just sponsored the printing of 5,000 Bengali Secrets of the Undiscovered Self, destined for free distribution by the Bengal village preaching parties, and distribution of that booklet also began at the festival.

After the parikrama and Gaura-Purnima Festival was brilliantly completed, there were a few days of meetings of Srila Gurudeva’s International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society’s Bhakti Trust International, followed by meetings of his Sannyasa Council comprised of all his Indian and Western sannyasis, followed by general meetings with all interested devotees. Those meetings were extremely successful, enlivening everyone with a great hope for the unity, harmony, and strength of Srila Gurudeva’s international preaching mission.

During a few of the spiritually enthusing evening classes, at which time further glorification of Mahaprabhu’s pastime places were narrated, Srila Gurudeva’s new publications were announced to the international devotee community. These publications include his Hindi Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam, Chapters 1-8; the gorgeous Vyasa-puja edition of his Harmonist Magazine; a booklet of his unique lecture, entitled The Speciality of the Gift of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; a compilation of excerpts of his lectures (given for the ever-increasing unification of his sanga) called Harmony; an interactive CD of the many beautiful artworks created under his scrupulous direction; and his small and large 2011 Vaisnava calendars. The devotees were pleased to receiv e these publications, and to pack thousands of them into their luggage in order to bring them back to their cities and countries.

Official Joint-Communiqué by the
Bhakti Trust International & the
Sannyasi Council

Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.
Srila Gurudeva has nourished bhakti in our hearts. We are extraordinarily blessed to have received his mercy.
His physical separation from us does not mean we have to “feel” separate.
There are many ways by which we can develop that intimacy with Srila Gurudeva, in separation. And one of them is to co-operate together in service to please him.
He wanted harmony, co-operation and no criticism.
This is our hearts’ desire.
This was the aim of the various meetings held after the Navadwip parikram. The Bhakti Trust International met. So did the Sannyasi Council. We also had a couple of “Open Forum” sessions during which devotees voiced their opinions and asked questions.
In honour of our Srila Gurudeva, we wish to continue to develop this sanga with transparency, openness and trust.
The link below gives you access to the decisions made during these meetings. We want to be of service and to be transparent in our dealings. Therefore, communicating openly is a key way to building relevance and trust in our sanga.
We aspire that devotees of Srila Gurudeva want to stay together because we can all feel his presence flowing through our sanga.
This is best accomplished if we co-operate with each other, build trust and openly communicate.
Please click here to read the PDF document, which includes resolutions of the meetings and other important documents.

Once you have read this, please
click here for our survey and answer four questions that will help us perform our service.
Many devotees couldn’t make it to Navadwip. We want to hear from every one of you.
As you will see from the documentation above, our actions in Navadwip were the result of instructions from Srila Gurudeva. Our ability to carry out his orders will only be successful if we are serving you and helping to facilitate devotional service around the world.
Your servants,
The Bhakti Trust International
The Sannyasi Council 

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Morning Walk Questions and Answers

May 28, 2009: Houston, Texas

[Respected Readers,
Dandavat pranama. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.
We pray that you relish Srila Gurudeva's eternal, ever-fresh, ever-purifying messages to all.
Your aspiring servants,
The hari-katha team]

Raghunatha Bhatta dasa: Gurudeva, I want to ask one question. Sometimes a disciple thinks that the guru cannot understand what is going on. Is this due to yogamaya (Krsna's spiritual desire potency)? Or, is guru testing the disciple?

Srila Gurudeva: If it is Yogamaya, then what will be the job of Mahamaya (Krsna's deluding material potency)? In this world there is no Yogamaya; there is only Mahamaya. There is no need of Yogamaya here. Yogamaya plays a part only in eternal, transcendental matters, like Krsna's pastimes, His associates, and His dhama. That very Yogamaya, when in the hands of Kamsa, became Mahamaya; and in the hands of Vasudeva Maharaja, Krsna's father, She remained Yogamaya.

Raghunatha Bhatta dasa: If the disciple thinks that the guru does not understand, then he himself is in mahamaya?

Srila Gurudeva: I don't think that all disciples feel this way. It may be that you do, but my other disciples don't think like this.

Kanhaiya dasa (a child): I have a question. In Vrndavana the devotees love Krsna a lot, and in Dvaraka they treat Him like a king. Is the love in Dvaraka a lot different from what it is in Vrndavana, or just a little bit?

Srila Gurudeva: By comparison, there is less love in Dvaraka. There in Dvaraka Krsna is a king, so He is beyond the reach of His subjects. His subjects offer Him pranamas from a distance, and they offer Him stutis, or prayers.
In Vrndavana the relationship is more intimate. Krsna's devotees embrace Him, and they play and joke with Him.

Atula-Krsna dasa: Gurudeva, thank you for coming to this planet.

Srila Gurudeva: Why thank me? Why not thank Krsna? Krsna sent me.

All devotees: Haribol!

Janardana dasa: Gurudeva, how many sets of clothes should a brahmacari have?

Srila Gurudeva: He should have the least amount possible; only two or three sets - two dhotis, two kurtas, and one cadar. Minimize all your personal possessions and don't engage in sense gratification. The more you can minimize your requirements, the better off you will be.

Ramacandra dasa (From California): Gurudeva, can you speak for a moment on the importance of book distribution?

Srila Gurudeva: By distributing books, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached throughout the world. His books went house-to-house; to all cities, to forests, mountains, hotels, trains, bookstores, and practically everywhere else.

I want my disciples to distribute my books in the same way. My books should reach every house, and every part of the world. (To Ramacandra dasa) Thank you for distributing so many books.

Perhaps Ramacandra is the #1 distributer?

Brajanatha dasa: On the days he goes out to distribute books, he distributes more than one hundred.

Srila Gurudeva: So why not others? Others should also try.

Sivananda Sena dasa: Gurudeva, you have used an example comparing Krsna to a bumblebee. You said that the bumblebee sometimes visits a very fragrant flower and becomes intoxicated. He becomes so intoxicated by that one flower that even when he visits other flowers that are not as fragrant, he thinks they are also fragrant. You compared this example with Krsna visiting Kubja. [Krsna became so intoxicated by the sweetness of the gopis love that He went to taste even the selfish love of the hunchback Kubja. -ed]

Similarly Krsna is visiting you, who are very fragrant and full of love for Him. I am thinking that since we are close to you, maybe in Krsna's mood of love for you He will visit us also even though we are not so fragrant. Is that possible?

Srila Gurudeva: What is your question? There should be questions, not lectures.

Ramacandra dasa (from Delhi): His question is that when Krsna is visiting you, will He visit us?

Srila Gurudeva: He has no time.

Govinda dasa (translating for a Spanish Devotee): At which point can one consider that the jiva is liberated from vanity?

Srila Gurudeva: (To Padmanabha Maharaja) Did you understand the question? You can answer.

Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: He is asking: At which stage of bhakti can the jiva be considered liberated from the false ego of identifying with his material body?

Govinda dasa: From vanity.

Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Vanity means false ego.
The answer is that when someone has reached the stage of bhava, he has no more identification at all with the body.

Srila Gurudeva: Even at the stage of bhava-bhakti there is some kasaya (obstacle); but when prema appears in the heart, identification with the body fully disappears. This is called atyantiki.

When the devotee attains prema, all kinds of anarthas are totally washed away, whereas the scent of some bodily identification may remain at the stage of rati or bhava.

Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: But in the stage of bhava-bhakti, hasn't the devotee realized his svarupa (his constitutional spiritual form)?

Srila Gurudeva: What I have explained is written in Madhurya-kadambini. *

Sripad Damodara Maharaja: Is it true that among all incarnations, only Advaita Acarya manifested old age?

Srila Gurudeva: What about Nityananda Prabhu and Mahaprabhu?

Sripad Damodara Maharaja: They did not become old.

Srila Gurudeva: What do you consider the age of forty-eight to be? It is not kisora (teenage).
Ramacandra dasa (from Delhi): He was forty-eight years old, but did He look like forty-eight?

Srila Gurudeva: Only Krsna is always kisora - nava-kisora-natabara (the ever-fresh and youthful teenage dancer. This is the nature of His transcendental body.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: When Krsna was in Kuruksetra during the solar-eclipse, still He appeared as a teenager. So, Mahaprabhu must be the same.

Sripad Damodara Maharaja: When Lord Ramacandra appeared, He also always had the form of a sixteen-year-old.

Srila Gurudeva: When His age was 11,000 years old, He looked like a full youth - not old, but not kisora.

Brajanatha dasa: Damodara Maharaja is saying that Advaita Acarya looks like an old man. So, what about other incarnations, like Vyasa?

Srila Gurudeva: Vyasa had the appearance of an old man. He had a long beard.

Mukunda dasa: As part of Lord Caitanya's pastimes, he brought the yuga-dharma for everyone in the world. We also understand from you that most people who come to Mahaprabhu's line are in madhurya-rasa, and sometimes in sakhya-rasa. So it appears that there is some conflict, or difference, in these two statements.

Srila Gurudeva: When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here from Goloka Vaikuntha the associates of Rama, Nrsimha, and all other incarnations descended with Him (within His body). Therefore, although most of His devotees were in madhurya-rasa, some were in other rasas. A few examples of this are Murari Gupta, Anupama, and Nrsimhananda Brahmacari; and there were so many more. However, those who actually followed the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu regarding the gift He specifically came to give were all in madhurya-rasa.

Devotee: But we have also heard that Mahaprabhu came for the whole world. How can both principles be true?

Srila Gurudeva: Yes, both statements are true. Vatsalya (parental love), sakhya (friendship), and dasya (servitorship) are all included in madhurya-rasa (amorous love). For example, those who are attracted to dasya-rasa, due to having dasya as their constitutional form, attain dasya.

It is not that all rasas are equal. One can withdraw from the bank as much as one has in his account, and there are so many thousands of devotees who have a great deal in their account.

Mukunda dasa: Srila Gurudeva, in a class in Alachua, some discussion came up about svarupa-siddhi (internal realization of one' spiritual form) and vastu-siddhi (one's actual spiritual) regarding this verse:

nirvrtya ksina-mangalah
tam eva paramatmanam
jara-buddhyapi sangatah
jahur guna-mayam deham
sadyah praksina-bandhanah

"For those gopis who could not go to see Krsna, intolerable separation from their beloved caused an intense agony that burned away all impious karma. By meditating upon Him they realized His embrace, and the ecstasy they then felt exhausted their material piety. Although Lord Krsna is the Supreme Soul, these girls simply thought of Him as their lover and associated with Him in that intimate mood. Thus their karmic bondage was nullified and they abandoned their gross material bodies." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.29.10-11)

You've said that it is not that the sadhana-siddha gopis gave up their physical bodies. Does this automatically mean that those who go to Krsna?s prakata-lila are already in vastu-siddhi, or are they still in svarupa-siddhi until they have the association of nitya-siddhas and then achieve vastu-siddhi at that time?

Srila Gurudeva: I have already explained this.

Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Gurudeva said previously that they have begun vastu-siddhi.

Mukunda dasa: So automatically, by going there...

Srila Gurudeva: Bas. Bas, bas, bas.

Vrajendra-nandana dasa: Regarding those devotees who already have a relationship with Nrsimhadeva or Ramacandra, do they not taste the mood of Vraja when they come in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's association?

Srila Gurudeva: All incarnations, including Narayana, are present in the body of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Brajanatha dasa: He is asking if Their devotees also taste the madhurya mood.

Srila Gurudeva: No, no, no. Never.

[*Endnote from Madhurya Kadambini, Shower Three: Now we shall talk further on the anarthas (unwanted desires) that crop up in the execution of devotional service. Unwanted desires tend to smother the natural growth of the creeper of bhakti. At first glance unwanted desires look like off-shoots from the bhakti-lata (the creeper of devotion), but in reality they are mundane desires for position, adoration, and opulence, which color and taint the practitioner's consciousness. Thriving in this way, these anarthas arrest the growth of the creeper of devotional service.

The four anarthas mentioned in the beginning of this chapter can be mitigated in the five following ways: i) eka-desavarttini (partially); ii) bahu-desavarttini (substantially); iii) prayiki (almost completely); iv) purna (completely); v) atyantiki (absolutely thoroughly).

The many anarthas stemming from aparadhas are partially destroyed in the final stages of bhajana-kriya (rendering devotional service under the guidance of a spiritual master). This is known as eka-desavarttini. When bhajana-kriya gains maturity it turns to nistha, or steadiness, in devotional activities. In this stage of development the mitigation of anarthas is substantial (bahu-desavarttini). Thereafter, on the platform of rati (attraction) the unwanted desires in the heart are almost completely absolved (prayiki). With the first awakening of prema, or divine love, these anarthas are completely removed (purna). Finally, the anarthas are totally uprooted (atyantiki) when the devotee receives the mercy and shelter of the Lord's lotus feet and is directly engaged in His personal service.]

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----- Original Message -----
From: Hari Prasad Das
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:54 PM
Subject: [sreecgmath] Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math Archives

Dear Devotees,
Hare Krishna!
On the holy occasion of divine apprearance day of our beloved Gurudev, Sri Srimad Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, we are starting onlive archives of Audio, Video, Books, Photos etc of Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math.
Please note currently the archives is at a very premitive state. We will be improving and add more info to it.
Books: - We have uploaded many english/hindi books for download
Photos: - Many high resolution photos of Srila Gurudev, Paramgurudev, and maths.
Audio: Hundreds of harikatha recordings in Hindi/Bengali/English, Kirtans, Kartik reocordings in MP3 format.
Video:  To be done
You may access it from our website (right-bottom side) as Archives.
Sri Gurukrpa-prarthi
Hari Prasad Das

Hare Krishna!
Hindi Vaishnava Calender for 2011-12 is available for download from:
English calender will also be available soon.
In service
Hari Prasad Das
Sri Sri Guru Gaurangau Jayatah!

Revered Vaishnavas,
Dandavat Pranams!

Srila Gurudev Om Vishnupad 108 Sree Sreemad Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami
Maharaj and His sevak team had reached New Delhi Math on April 16, 2011 after a grand Ram Navami function in Dehradun.

In the evening of April 19, 2011 at 7.30 PM, He will grace the devotees in Delhi
with Divine Harikatha in Hindi. We will bring it to all those outside New Delhi
Math through videoconference by His Grace. The live English translation will be
on the right channel. Please visit FAQ section, if you are unfamiliar with the
channel tuning. Kindly visit to attend the videoconference.

Sri Guru Vaishnav Kripa Prarthi,
Hari Prasad Das
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