Union in separation

This may be a very good and very auspicious day but separation of Guru Maharaj is also giving us pain, now and always. We can try to fulfil his desire, and in that way we can serve him and satisfy him. Now that is our only goal.

Download mp3 audio file

The following text has been taken from Srila Gurudev’s talk on the occasion of  Sri Sri Nitai Chaitanyadev’s installation in Puri Dham, December 1989.

Today is a very auspicious festival day because Guru Maharaj’s Deities have come from Nabadwip to here, and from today they will accept puja and bhoga every day in this Math. We are very happy to tell this, but in the meantime we are also remembering Srila Guru Maharaj.

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur’s Anubhasya, commentary on Chaitanya-charitamrta, was a very difficult work and it was his topmost writing. When he finished the Anubhasya it was a very glorious and happy day for him, but in the last chapter he wrote,

āji ei sukha-dine bhakati-vinoda vine
sukha-vārtā jānāba kāhāre ?
‘anubhāṣya’ śuni’ yei parama praphulla ha-i’
uru-kṛpā vitarila more [3]

[“Today, on this joyful day, to whom shall I convey this joyful news without Śrī Bhakti Vinod? He listened to this Anubhāṣya, was extremely pleased, and bestowed great mercy upon me.”]

When Srila Saraswati Thakur had finished and printed Anubhasya, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur had already disappeared. Bhakti Vinod Thakur had heard Prabhupad Saraswati Thakurs commentary, but when it became manifest in a book form he had already disappeared. A year or a few months before it was published Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur left. Then, in poetry in the last chapter of Anubhasya Srila Saraswati Thakur mentioned the date and his Guru-parampara, and especially glorified Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj. We can read there in his commentary,

āji ei sukha-dine bhakati-vinoda vine
sukha-vārtā jānāba kāhāre ?
‘anubhāṣya’ śuni’ yei parama praphulla ha-i’
uru-kṛpā vitarila more [3]

śrī-gaura kṛpāya dui mahimā ki kaba mui
aprākṛta-pāriṣada-kathā [7]

[“They (Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur and Śrīla Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī Mahārāj) are manifestations of Śrī Gaura’s mercy. What can I say about their greatness? They are divine associates of the Lord.”]

He also gave his own identification: Sri-Gaura-Kisora-Dasa, yara bhrtya—ei abhajana (verse 1).

On that very happy day and glorious day, without Bhakti Vinod Thakur present, Prabhupad thought, “To whom shall I tell this news? Today I do not see Bhakti Vinod Thakur in front of me. He was always blessing me and he was always merciful to me and distributing mercy everywhere. If he was here today, present in his transcendental body, he would be satisfied to see this, and that would have been more happy for me. But it is not possible.” In separation of Bhakti Vinod Thakur, Prabhupad was feeling both happiness and sadness at the same time.

Today I am feeling great separation from Guru Maharaj

This day is a very happy day no doubt because Guru Maharaj’s Deity has come here. Guru Maharaj was always lying down in his bed, sometimes seated, and would speak only a few words each day—but he was in his seat and in his Math, and through those few words he was distributing his mercy to us. He was always present. Now he is also  present, no doubt. He is seeing everything. The ordinary soul is not destroyed. He had a transcendental body and was the dearmost devotee of Krishna, so he can do anything and he can go anywhere at any moment, like Krishna. Then he is listening here no doubt, and he is very happy to see everything, I have no doubt about that—but today I am feeling great separation from Guru Maharaj,

We have been directed by him, however, “Chant Hare Krishna, do service to the devotees, and preach Krishna-nam. In this way you will feel my presence within your heart and in front of you.”

This manifestation, or abhishek, of the Deities is also a part of preaching. You have heard of navadha-bhakti [the nine practices of devotion],

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
archanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau bhaktiś chen nava-lakṣaṇā
kriyeta bhagavaty addhā tan manye ’dhītam uttamam
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 7.5.23-24)

These are the nine parts of devotion, and one part is archan [Deity worship].

We are trying to maintain our spiritual lives with these nine kinds of devotion. But the supreme practice is Hari-nam-sankirtan. Mahaprabhu Himself said that if someone cannot do any other practice of devotion, and He can only do Harinam-sankirtan, that will be fully satisfactory for the Lord. Sravanam and kirtanam: hearing and chanting in the proper channel. In Kali-yuga that is enough for the jiva-soul.

Mahaprabhu said,

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(Brhan-Naradiya-purana)

[“The Holy Name, the Holy Name, the Holy Name, is the only way. In this age of Kali there is no other way, no other way, no other way.”]

Also in Srimad Bhagavatam, 

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
(11.5.32)

In many places, supported by the scriptures and Lord Krishna, we find glorification of the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

mach-chittā mad-gata-prāṇā, bodhayantaḥ parasparam
kathayantaś cha māṁ nityaṁ, tuṣyanti cha ramanti cha
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 10.9)

Kathayantaś cha māṁ nityam: this is also showing Harinam-sankirtan.

satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś cha dṛḍha-vratāḥ
(Srimad Bhagavad-gita: 9.14)

Mahaprabhu Himself said,

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ

If we can do Nam-sankirtan properly, without offence, we will get everything we want through that. Mahaprabhu gave us eight verses for the conditioned souls; the first of those eight verses is,

cheto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
śreyaḥ-kairava-chandrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam

[“Sri Krsna-sankirtan cleanses the mirror of consciousness, extinguishes the raging forest fire of material existence, shines moonlight on the evening lotus of good fortune, is the life of paramour love for the Lord, expands the ocean of ecstasy, is the taste of full nectar at every moment, and soothes the entire self. May Sri Krishna-sankirtan be supremely victorious!”]

Sri Krishna-sankirtan is the highest thing in Kali-yuga, and we have no fear, and we are so fortunate no doubt, because we have received the mahamantram from our Gurudev, Srila Guru Maharaj. But we are also bound by his union and separation and we are always feeling that in our hearts. Separation of the Guru, separation of the Vaishnava, is very hard for the auspicious soul.

Separation from the devotee is the greatest pain in this world

In Ramananda-samvad of Chaitanya-charitamrta you can see Mahaprabhu questioning and Ramananda Ray answering. There is one Bengali sloka,

duḥkha-madhye kona duḥkha haya gurutara?

“What is the worst kind of pain?” and Ramananda Ray said,

kṛṣṇa-bhakta-viraha vinā duḥkha nāhi dekhi para

“Separation from the devotee is the greatest pain in this world.”

Then, this may be a very good and very auspicious day but separation of Guru Maharaj is also giving us pain, now and always. We can try to fulfil his desire, and in that way we can serve him and satisfy him. Now that is our only goal. And if Gurudev is satisfied, then Krishna is automatically satisfied. Gurudev has no separate interest. Gurudev is only seeing Krishna’s interest, and Gurudev is always, twenty-four hours a day, engaging himself in the service of Krishna, and whoever is helping him and serving him will get the supreme benefit in his life.

Gurudev’s position is like water, the disciple’s position is like a lotus, and Krishna’s position is like the sun.

You heard from Guru Maharaj and I think it is also published in the books, the example of the lotus, sun, and water. When the lotus is in water, the sun cannot burn him. The sun gives enthusiasm to the lotus and the sun himself is very happy to mix with the lotus. The lotus is also happy and blossoms nicely. But if we take that lotus from the water and put it in the earth, then the lotus will be burned by the sun. Gurudev’s position is like water, the disciple’s position is like a lotus, and Krishna’s position is like the sun. Without the connection of Guru, Krishna will burn, not help. If we think this way then we can understand what the relationship is with Krishna, the jiva-soul, and Guru. It is a very good example given by Jiva Goswami in his sad Sandarbha, the Bhakti-sandarbha especially. This is our position.

In the scriptures we can also see that when you go to worship the Deity, you must first worship Gurudev and satisfy your Gurudev, and then you can go to worship the Deity. You must first do puja of your Guru. We will get benefit from Krishna in this way. Krishna Himself said,

āchāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān nāvamanyeta karhichit
na martya-buddhyāsāyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.17.27)

Sarva-deva-mayo guruh: all the gods are living in Gurudev’s body.

The scriptures say that Krishna and Guru, Bhagavan and Guru, have the same position, sākṣād dharitvena samasta-śāstrair. Gurudev has his own practice, and that is always within the position of service to Krishna, but I must see Gurudev nondifferent with Krishna.

sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair
uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ
kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya
(Sri Gurvastakam: 7)

Here the service of Guru is mentioned: what Krishna wants, Guru is doing that. What is preferable to Krishna, Gurudev is maintaining his service within that. In this way Guru, Krishna, and devotee have their Pastimes.

Related

Serving in Separation

To Whom Shall I Convey My Joy?

Forced to drink nectar