Serving in Separation

His Divine Grace speaking on the day before Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj’s appearance day in 1988, just a few months after his departure from this world.

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dhyāyech chhrī-guru-pāda-padma-nikaṭe sevotsukañ chātmanaḥ
I am ever-ready to carry out the order of Srila Guru Maharaj. This is my position. This is my dhyan, meditation. What meditation shall we do before worship? This type of meditation. My svarup, my form, is very nice: with a clean and pure heart I am always waiting beside Srila Gurudev for his order. This is my svarup.
vimalatāṁ nityaṁ vahantīṁ tanuṁ
dhyāyech chhrī-guru-pāda-padma-nikaṭe sevotsukañ chātmanaḥ

এইভাবেতে সেবা করার বিধি শাস্ত্র এইটা বলেছেন । [In this way the scriptures have stated the rule for engaging in service.] In this way we can worship the Deities or do anything ordered by our Sri Gurudev.

Tomorrow is a very auspicious day. We have come here from so far for worshipping our beloved Srila Guru Maharaj. It is necessary to make ourselves ready in this way: “I can do everything for my Gurudev; I am ever-ready to carry out whatever order he may give.” This mentality gives us our destiny.

এ রকম মনোভাবই আমাদেরকে ভগবানের সেবার দিকে টেনে নিয়ে যেতে পারে । নিজের ধ্যানটা ভূতশুদ্ধিটা সেইটি হচ্ছে গিয়ে সর্ব্বাগ্রে দারকার । এই ভূতশুদ্ধি করতে গেলে যে preparation-এর দারকার হয় সে preparation আমাদের গুরু মহারাজ পরম কৃপা করে প্রথম থেকে আমাদেরকে জানিয়ে দিয়েচ্ছেন । সেইটা কি ? সেইটা হচ্ছে গিয়ে first preparation হচ্ছে গিয়ে শরণাগতি: surrendering mood, not challenging mood । আমরা গুরু মহারাজকে সাক্ষাৎ ভাবেতে যেটা দেখি সেটা কিন্তু তাঁর শুদ্ধ স্বরূপ আমরা অনুভব করতে পারি মুখে বলে যতই বলে না কেন যে,

[This type of mentality can lead us to the Lord’s service. Self-meditation, self-purification (bhuta-suddhi), is first of all necessary. Our Guru Maharaj most mercifully taught us from the beginning the preparation that is necessary when we go to perform such self-purification. What is that? That first preparation is saranagati, the mood of surrender, and not the mood of challenge. What we see directly of our Guru Maharaj is him, but we cannot perceive his pure form, regardless of whatever we may say or not.]
sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair
uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ
kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya
vande guroḥ śrī-charaṇāravindam
Bhagavan Himself has come very mercifully in this world in the form of my Gurudev. If I can take this conception closely in my heart, then I must be satisfied and successful.
Tomorrow we want to worship our Guru Maharaj, but for that we must peform bhuta-suddhi (self-purification), and then we can properly worship our Guru Maharaj. How is it possible? By the grace of Guru Maharaj, we have got so many books, we have got so many instructions from our Guru Maharaj’s tapes, and we have the living source of Guru Maharaj, the devotees who are always engaged twenty-four hours a day worshipping according to Guru Maharaj’s order. We can have some association, and we can understand and properly worship our Guru Maharaj in this way.
Srila Guru Maharaj wants to offer us to his worshippable beloved Gurudev, and in that way everything goes to the service of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna. But if we cannot maintain saranagati properly, then we also cannot worship Sri Gurudev properly. In the Gaudiya sampradaya we can see the highest example of saranagati, the surrendering mood. Before Mahaprabhu, we can also find the proper saranagati mood in the Ramanuja sampradaya. We can see that saranagati is very exalted there, and our Guru Maharaj quoted many slokas of the Acharyas of the Ramanuja sampradaya, like Yamuna Acharya and Kulasekhar Acharya, in the Prapanna-jivanamrtam scripture. Srila Thakur Bhakti Vinod also included their expressions about saranagati in his songs.
In Srimad Bhagavad-gita (18.66), Bhagavan Sri Krishna has glorified saranagati and given us super hope with the verse,
sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
[“Abandon all duties and surrender to Me.”]
And also,
yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 9.27)
[“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give away, and whatever austerity you perform, do that as an offering to Me.”]
Saranagati is the highest thing in our life. Guru Maharaj always told us, “If you can surrender yourself properly, you must get the feelings and seva of your worshippable Deities. Then it is necessary to think today that we must make some preparation for worshipping our Guru Maharaj, and we can do that by being ready to carry out his order. The only thing that he wants is the spreading of Krishna consciousness all over the world. We can also attain our auspicious fortune if we try to fulfil his order and serve him through his paraphernalia present here in Nabadwip Dham, Koladwip. We must be the gainer.
When Guru Maharaj was present, the final result of all the service in the Math would come to me. The devotees would report something had happened, and Guru Maharaj would think, “Govinda Maharaj has done it.” When I would express that I had not done it, but it was done by Hari Charan Prabhu, or Krishna Saran Prabhu, or another devotee, Guru Maharaj would say, “Oh yes, yes, you have done it!”
In this way I was sometimes very fortunate, and sometimes I was very unhappy. Another devotee did so much, but the pratishtha, the fame, would come to me. At that time I could not understand that Guru Maharaj had one line, and he wanted everything to go through me: “If Govinda Maharaj said it is okay, then it is okay.” If any devotee wanted to start something, Guru Maharaj would tell them, “Ask Govinda Maharaj.”
In this way Srila Guru Maharaj gave me an opportunity to do some seva, but at that time I was not fully conscious because I felt that Guru Maharaj was doing everything and we were his instruments. Now a heavy duty has come to us; we cannot say anything wrong now. At that time everything we said was right; everything belongs to Krishna, and everything was going to Guru Maharaj, and he would manage everything. He was my caretaker and everyone’s caretaker.
We had no fear at that time, but now we must be very conscious about our position in our transcendental Krishna conscious practising life. This is necessary, and we think that it is for this reason that Guru Maharaj disappeared. If Guru Maharaj is always present in front of us, then we are always depending on Guru Maharaj. Now Guru Maharaj wants to hiddenly see our activities. This is the thinking that has come to me now. Guru Maharaj gave me some charge, and he wants to see what I am doing now, and what is my progress report. This is not only for myself, but it is for everybody. He wants to know what our progress report is. He is hiddenly waiting.
If we can see Guru Maharaj properly, then we can see that he is present everywhere, in the form of his devotees, in form of his disciples, in form of his paraphernalia, and also in the form of my disciples. In this way he is looking to see how my progress report is going. This is the feeling coming to us in the absence of Guru Maharaj, and I think that it is a very correct and good symptom.
Good symptoms must come to us. It is very hopeful. Guru Maharaj was always in Krishna consciousness and Krishna Himself came for our benefit in the form of Guru Maharaj, but his whole life he practised Krishna consciousness in order to teach us. Then, when we were not fully conscious, he disappeared, and he wants to see what we learned from him. He left many things for our practising of Krishna consciousness. One thing is enough for us, but he has done many things for our devotional life. It is necessary to go forward very consciously now.
Guru Maharaj is always with us. When I was feeling very great separation from Guru Maharaj, the news came that the London Math was in some trouble. The London Math was Guru Maharaj’s Math: he did not claim any Math, but his Guru Maharaj ordered him to preach in London, so when an opportunity came for a centre in London, he thought, “This is my place; something must be there in my name.” In this way he felt, “The London Math in my Math.” Then when some difficulty came there, my mind was diverted from feelings of separation to the London Math. I could understand that this was Guru Maharaj’s policy: when I was feeling the deepest separation, I could not do anything and was only thinking, “Guru Maharaj is not here, Guru Maharaj is not here!” At that time Guru Maharaj said, “Guru Maharaj is not here? Guru Maharaj is always with you all. You think for seva.” Then Guru Maharaj created that seva. If we have this vision, then we can see everything as the mercy of our Guru Maharaj.
Guru Maharaj has given so many engagements to us. We are trying to fulfil his desire in Chaitanya Saraswat Math, in the Kolkata Math, in the Hapaniya Math, in the Puri Math, and now he has given us another duty for his Union in Separation Temple, his Samadhi Mandir. In this way Guru Maharaj is trying to develop our faith, and our transcendental thinking and practising life. He wants it to grow, and it must grow in this way. We are so fortunate if we can see the mercy of our Guru Maharaj in this way.
We have puppy brains: our nature is that we begin practising Krishna consciousness very fast, and then immediately come back and go in another direction. This is the position of our minds. From that position Guru Maharaj wants to take us for his seva and for our destiny, and for that reason he has given us his separation; but through his paraphernalia, through his Deity, through his disciples, and through his godbrothers, we can always feel union with him. If we try to see properly, then we can see this by the grace of our Guru Maharaj.
vāñchha-kalpa-tarubhyaś cha kṛpā-sindhubhya eva cha
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

Note

Spoken on 31 October 1988.

Reference

divyaṁ śrī-hari-mandirāḍhya-tilakaṁ kaṇṭhaṁ sumālānvitaṁ
vakṣaḥ śrī-hari-nāma-varṇa-subhagaṁ śrī-khaṇḍa-liptaṁ punaḥ
pūtaṁ sūkṣma-navāmbaraṁ vimalatāṁ nityaṁ vahantīṁ tanuṁ
dhyāyech chhrī-guru-pāda-padma-nikaṭe sevotsukañ chātmanaḥ

“Meditate that the Lord’s Temple (your body) is decorated with shining tilak, your neck bears a beautiful tulasī-mālā, your chest is adorned with the Names of Śrī Hari and sandalwood paste, you are wearing fine, new, clean cloth, and in your pure, eternal form, you are at the lotus feet of Śrī Guru, eager for service.”

To chant or not to chant

A complete transcript and audio file of this talk can be found here
Why do we chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra? We cannot chant, but if I say you cannot chant, you will be hopeless. If you see one śloka then you will understand what you can do and what you cannot do. This is the vital and main śloka about Harinām-saṅkīrtan:
ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: Pūva-vibhāga, 2.234)
[“Although Kṛṣṇa’s Name, Form, Qualities, and Pastimes cannot be grasped by the material senses, through the spirit of dedication they manifest themselves on the tongue and to the other senses.”]
You cannot chant, because your tongue, your lips, and your body is mundane. Nāmādi means Nāma, Rūpa, Gūṇa, Līlā—Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Name, Form, Qualities, and Pastimes: They are all transcendental, and your tongue is mundane. Nām nāmī abheda, Kṛṣṇa-nām and Kṛṣṇa are nondifferent: Kṛṣṇa is transcendental and Kṛṣṇa-nām is transcendental. This śloka mentions, na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ: indriyaiḥ means senses. Pañcha indriyaiḥ are the five senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Through these five senses you cannot contact the Name. Then how will you chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, can you tell me? You are chanting, ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare‘ through your tongue, and your tongue is mundane, but Kṛṣṇa is transcendental and Harinām is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ: and the scriptures say that you cannot chant, because you have no transcendental tongue. You can immediately understand through this śloka that you cannot chant.
Then what will you do? Will you stop chanting? What is the solution? Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau Svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ: you do sevā, and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is also one kind of sevā, because that order was given by your Guru. If you do sevā of Hari-nām in this way, then Hari-nām will appear in your heart. Then, as much as possible, you must try to chant. This is the main thing.
prabhu kahena, —’kṛṣṇa-sevā’, ‘vaiṣṇava-sevana’
‘nirantara kara kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 15.104)
Mahāprabhu said, “Service to the Vaiṣṇava, service to Guru, can give you that transcendental form, and through that you can chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra.” Then, it is first necessary to give your service to Guru–Vaiṣṇava, and through that you will get everything. Your form will become transcendental.
We also see in the scriptures, in Chaitanya-charitāmṛta,
dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa
sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama
sei deha kare tāra chid-ānanda-maya
aprākṛta-dehe tā̐ṅra charaṇa bhajaya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Antya-līlā, 4.192-193)
[“At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Kṛṣṇa accepts them to be as good as Himself. “When the devotee’s body is thus transformed into spiritual existence, the devotee, in that transcendental body, renders service to the lotus feet of the Lord.”]
 Then, nobody has received initiation from their Guru: the meaning can come this way. Dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa: when you take initiation from your Gurudev you surrender, ātma-samarpaṇa, and immediately Kṛṣṇa in the form of your Guru takes you and makes your body transcendental, and through that transcendental body you can worship Kṛṣṇa. This is the meaning.
Where is that consciousness? Everything depends upon the mood of service. You can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, but service is essential for Guru–Vaiṣṇava and Harinām, and service to Guru–Vaiṣṇava is more essential and more effective. Where is the proof for that?
In the scriptures we can see that Kṛṣṇa Himself said,
ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha na me bhaktāś cha te janāḥ
mad-bhaktānāṁ cha ye bhaktās te me bhaktatamā matāḥ
(Ādi-purāṇa)
“Who is My devotee may not be My devotee, but who is My devotee’s devotee must be My devotee. They are My devotee, I have no doubt. Ye Me bhakta-janāḥ Pārtha na Me bhaktāś cha te janāḥ: who is My devotee is not really My devotee, but who is My devotee’s devotee, they are My devotee, of that I am two hundred percent sure.”
Why is Kṛṣṇa saying that? Kṛṣṇa wants to satisfy His devotee. That is, the devotee is twenty-four hours a day trying to give satisfaction to Kṛṣṇa through their service. That is the nature of the devotee, and Kṛṣṇa naturally wants to give return to them. The rules in the mundane and transcendental world are the same: to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When Kṛṣṇa will take, Kṛṣṇa must give return; Kṛṣṇa will not digest that. But how will Kṛṣṇa give return to His devotee? The devotee is engaged twenty-four hours for the service of Kṛṣṇa Himself, and so Kṛṣṇa does not get a chance to give return to His devotee. Automatically Kṛṣṇa is feeling indebted to His devotee, and so He is in a hopeless position, “They are giving so much, they are giving all to Me, and I cannot give anything in return to them.” And what He is trying to give in return, that is coming in a double way return to Kṛṣṇa. So, who is serving the devotee of Kṛṣṇa gets the chance to serve Kṛṣṇa in that way, and Kṛṣṇa gives much encouragement to the devotee’s devotee, “Oh, what I cannot do, you can do that! Then really you are doing My job. What I want to do, you are doing that. Then I am your slave.”
Na pāraye ‘haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ, this śloka is in Śrīmad Bhāgavat (10.32.22), and if you discuss it, then you can understand this immediately: here Kṛṣṇa Himself says, “I cannot repay My debt to My devotee. But My devotee’s devotee is always serving My devotee. Then service to Harinām, service to the devotee’s devotee, is very essential, and Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur organised that in a very broad way. Saraswatī Ṭhākur gave much attention for the service to Vaiṣṇava, for the service to Guru.
Etat sarvaṁ gurau bhaktyā puruṣo hy añjasā jayet (“Everything can be automatically done if one engages in the service of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.). This is in Śrīmad Bhāgavat, and also:
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreyah uttamam
śābde pare cha niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.3.21)
[“Therefore (because there is no lasting fulfilment in the material world), those who are in search of the highest good should surrender to a Guru who is adept in Sabda-brahma (revelations of the Divine, the scriptures) and Parabrahma (direct experience of the Divinity), and who is an abode of tranquility (unaffected by anger, greed, etc.).”]
tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigachchhet
samit-pāniḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
(Muṇḍaka-upaniṣad: 1.2.12)
[“To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.”]
Through that sevā we can chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra. There is no other way.
We cannot stop to chant, however: that is also one kind of sevā. You can do sevā through your hand and through your mind, but you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa everywhere and all the time. Also, if you do not follow some minimum rules and regulations, then you will forget the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, and the tulasī beads will fast every day. You will try to make some excuse, “Oho, I cannot chant today because I have so much sevā!” For that reason Guru Mahārāj said, “You can chant a minimum of four rounds.”
Srila B.S. Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, speaking in Miami, USA, on 16 July 1992 during His Divine Grace’s first world tour.
~~~~~~~~~~~
This excerpt is in response to the following question:
Devotee: I would like to hear something from your lotus lips on a controversial topic: it is said that Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur asked his disciples to chant sixty-four rounds, and then sometimes we heard that it was down to thirty-two. Then our Swāmī Mahārāj Prabhupād said you should try to chant at least sixteen rounds. Now you are saying a minimum of four rounds. And I can see that these rules of the chanting is one thing, but you are stressing love and affection; not ignoring the rules, but indicating something above the rules. Maybe you can give us some understanding on how this all can be harmonised.
A complete transcript and audio file of this talk can be found here
 

Śrī Śrīman Nityānanda-dvādaśakam

Śrī Śrīman Nityānanda-dvādaśakam
by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Deva-Goswāmī Mahārāj
Recording of Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswāmī Mahārāj chanting these prayers
yo ’nanto ’nanta-vaktrair niravadhi hari-saṅkīrtanaṁ saṁvidhatte
yo vā dhatte dharitrīṁ śirasi niravadhi kṣudra-dhūlī-kaṇeva
yaḥ śeṣaś chhatra-śayyāsana-vasana-vidhaiḥ sevate te yad arthāḥ
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[1]
In the form of Anantadev, He continuously engages in Hari-nām-kīrtan with unlimited mouths. He holds the earth atop His head like a tiny particle of dust. In the form of Śeṣadev Ananta, He serves His master Kṛṣṇa in the forms of an umbrella, bed, seat, cloth, and so on. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
aṁśair yaḥ kṣīraśāyī sakala bhuvanapaḥ sarva jīvāntarastho
yo vā garbhodaśāyī daśa-śata-vadano veda-sūktair vigītaḥ
bramāṇḍāśeṣa garbhā prakṛti-pati-patir jīva-saṅghāśrayāṅgaḥ
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[2]
In the form of His expansion Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, He maintains all the worlds and resides within every living being. In the form of Garbhodakaśāyī the thousand-headed Lord (“Sahasra-śīrṣā Puruṣaḥ”), He has been praised by the Vedic hymns. In His womb, innumerable universes are situated, and in the form of the Lord of material energy, Paramātmā, He is the shelter of all living beings. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
yasyāṁśo vyuha-madhye vilasati paramavyomni saṁkarṣaṇākhya
ātanvan śuddha-sattvaṁ nikhila-hari-sukhaṁ chetanaṁ līlayā cha
jīvāhaṅkāra-bhāvāspada iti kathitaḥ kutrachij jīvavad yaḥ
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[3]
He performs Pastimes in the form of His expansion Saṅkarṣaṇ in Paravyoma Vaikuṇṭha. Known as Saṅkarṣaṇ of the original vyūha amongst all the chaturvyūhas in the plane of pure existence, He expands the pleasure found in the supramundane Pastimes of the Lord. He exists within the living being in the form of the ego, and in some places He performs Pastimes just like a living being. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
yaś chādi vyuha-madhye prabhavati sagaṇo mūla-saṅkarṣaṇākhyo
dvārāvatyāṁ tad-ūrddhe madhupuri vasati prābhavākhyo vilāsaḥ
sarvāṁśī rāma-nāmā vrajapuri ramate sānujo yaḥ svarūpe
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[4]
He resides with His associates in Dvārakā as Saṅkarṣaṇ of the original chaturvyūha, He plays in the plane above that, Mathurā, as a Prābhava-vilāsa form, and in the abode of Vraja as the origin of all Avatārs Balarām He plays with His Lord and younger brother Śrī Kṛṣṇa. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-premanāmā parama-sukhamayaḥ ko ’py achintyaḥ padārtho
yad gandhāt sajjanaughā nigama-bahumataṁ mokṣam apy ākṣipanti
kaivalyaiśvarya-sevā-prada-gaṇa iti yasyāṅgataḥ prema-dātuḥ
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[5]
He distributes the inconceivable substance made of the highest ecstasy known as Śrī Kṛṣṇa-prema by finding just the fragrance of which the sādhus throw away with disdain the liberation of oneness with Brahman described by the Vedas; such liberation and service to the Lord in His majestic feature are attained through His expansion’s expansions. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
yo bālye līlayaikaḥ parama-madhurayā chaikachakrānagaryāṁ
mātā-pitror janānā matha nija-suhṛdāṁ hlādayaṁś chita-chakram
tīrthān vabhrāma sarvānupahṛta-janako nyāsinā prārthitaś cha
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[6]
He manifest His extremely sweet childhood Pastimes in the village of Ekachakrā and delighted the hearts of His mother, father, and other relatives. After being prayed for by a sannyāsī, He travelled to all the holy places. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
bhrāmaṁ bhrāmañ cha tīrthān yati-mukuṭa-maṇi mādhavendra prasaṅgāt
labdhollāsaḥ pratikṣya prakaṭita-charitaṁ gaura-dhāmājagāma
śrī-gauraḥ śrīnivāsādibhir api yamāvāpālaye nandanasya
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[7]
While travelling to the holy places, He was overjoyed by the power of Śrīla Mādhavendra Purī’s association. He came to the holy abode of Gaura and waited in the home of Nandan Āchārya for Gaurasundar to manifest Himself with Śrīvās and all His associates. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
prāptājño gaura-chandrād akhila-jana-gaṇoddhāra-nāma-pradāne
yaḥ prāpya dvau surāpau kali-kaluṣa-hatau bhrātarau brahma-daityau
gāḍha-prema prakāśaiḥ kṛta-rudhira-vapuś chāpi tāv ujjahāra
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[8]
He received from Gaurachandra the order to liberate everyone in the Age of Kali by distributing the Divine Name and divine love. Even while He was bleeding after being struck by the two drunkard brāhmaṇ brothers (named Jagāi and Mādhāi) who were polluted by Kali, He liberated them out of His intense love. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
sākṣād gauro gaṇānāṁ śirasi yad avadhūtasya kaupīna-khaṇḍaṁ
saṁdhartuñ chādideśāsava-yavana-vadhū-spṛṣṭa-dṛṣṭo ’pi vandyaḥ
brahmādyānām apīti prabhu-parihṛta-kānām api sveṣṭa-pīṭaḥ
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[9]
He is the exalted avadhūt the pieces of whose loincloth Śrī Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu instructed His associates to hold atop their heads. Even if He takes hold of wine and outcaste woman, He is worshippable to Brahmā and the other gods and beloved to even the Lord’s dear associates. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
uddhartuṁ jñāna-karmādy-apahata-charitān gaurachandro yad āsau
nyāsaṁ kṛtvā tu māyā mṛga-manusṛtavān grāhayan kṛṣṇa-nāma
tach chāyevānvadhāvat sthala-jala-gahane yo ’pi tasyeṣṭa-cheṣṭaḥ
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[10]
When Śrī Gaurachandra manifested His sannyās-līlā to liberate the sophists who had lost the proper path as a result of exploitation and renunciation by inducing them to chant Kṛṣṇa’s Name, He followed Gaurachandra like a shadow through water, land, forest, and so on. He is the complete fulfiller of all Śrī Gaurachandra’s desires. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
śrī-rādhā-prema-lubdho divasa-niśi-tadā svāda-mattaika-līlo
gauro yañ chādideśa svaparikara-vṛtaṁ kṛṣṇa-nāma pradātum
gauḍe ’bādhaṁ dadau yaḥ subhaga-gaṇa-dhanaṁ gaura-nāma-prakāmaṁ
śrī nityānanda-chandraṁ bhaja bhaja satataṁ gaura-kṛṣṇa-pradaṁ tam
[11]
In the ecstasy of tasting day and night the sweetness of Śrī Rādhā’s prema, Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu ordered Him to distribute with His associates Śrī Kṛṣna’s Name. He then came to the land of Gauḍa and widely distributed the sādhus’ invaluable wealth: Śrī Gaura’s Name. O mind, always serve Śrī Nityānandachandra, the giver of Gaura Kṛṣṇa.
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-līlā-rasa-madhura-sudhāsvāda-śuddhaika-mūrtau
gaure śraddhāṁ dṛḍhāṁ bho prabhu-parikara-samrāṭ prayachchhādhame ’smin
ullaṅghyāṅghriṁ hi yasyākhila-bhajana-kathā svapnavach chaiva mithyā
śrī-nityānanda-chandraṁ patita-śaraṇa-daṁ gaura-daṁ taṁ bhaje ’ham
[12]
O leader of the Lord’s associates Nityānanda Prabhu! Please give this fallen soul firm faith and devotion to Śrī Gaurāṅga, the embodiment of the taste of the nectar of the sweetness of the rasa of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s Pastimes. If anyone neglects His lotus feet, all their practice and service (sādhana and bhajan) become false like a dream. I serve Him, the giver of shelter to the fallen, the giver of Gaura, Śrī Nityānandachandra.
English translation of the Bengali translation, by Sripad B.K. Tyagi Maharaj

The Land of Absolute Reality

From an address given by our Param Gurudev Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj in 1966 at  Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip, India, on the occasion of the His Divine Grace’s appearance day, in the presence of revered Vaishnavas, including Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj (ISKCON Founder-Acharya) accompanied by disciples from USA, Srila Bhakti Kamal Madhusudan Maharaj and Sri Bhakti Baridhi Sourindra Nath Sarkar.
You are aware that this body of mine is completing seventy-two years of its mortal existence. In a physical sense, my association with the maṭh is well over forty years, and out of that period of time I spent thirty-seven years of my life as a sannyāsī. Therefore you can see that I have had three different births altogether. Today I would like to present some of the teachings of that holy descent of the Lord, Oṁ Viṣṇupād Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Goswāmī who fulfilled the spiritual quest of this world through the Lord’s own ways, means and goals. He was the mainspring of my spiritual inspiration, and imparted to me a rare spiritual awakening and brought about a radical change in my life. His ever-merciful divinity bequeathed that I take this revered seat without any burden of fear and accordingly I sit here to fulfill his divine wish.
The land where he wanted us to become its denizens is the Land of Absolute Reality. In that land everybody sees each other as a divine entity in an abundant measure. This is the very nature of that world. When Lord Kṛṣṇa gave a building to Sudåmå, he received that with his ever service-centric mindset. It is a nirguṇ state of consciousness, a sort of position where external conditions cannot stake any claim whatsoever on it.
vanaṁ tu sāttviko vāso
grāmo rājasa uchyate
tāmasaṁ dyūta-sadanaṁ
man-niketaṁ tu nirguṇam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.25.25)

(“Residence in the forest is in the mode of goodness, residence in a town is in the mode of passion, residence in a gambling house displays the quality of ignorance, and residence in a place where I reside is transcendental.”)
There is no scope to attach any conditionality in that state. No claimant is found there. Whatever is available or given there is entirely free. This is the manifestation of a state of pure harmony, a condition where the duality of action and reaction is totally absent. Perfect autonomy is possible in such a conception because the forces of giving and taking never oppose each other there. That world, therefore, should be our destination. Everything there is divine. There, the master sees his servant as a divine entity and reciprocates his service in the same way as he received it from him. The master considers that it is but the kindness shown by the servant towards him. There everybody is showing compassion towards one another by way of rendering his service. In that state everything is possible. This is not an expression of indifference, but the manifestation of positive dynamic harmony, and, by virtue of its power anything can be done and accepted wholeheartedly.
Srila Prabhupad used to say that religion is but proper adjustment. In the celestial Goloka it is possible to have the finest and the highest form of adjustments. The cause and effect are not intrinsically associated there. It’s a free world. By means of Divine Love and radiantly divine service-centric life one can have entrance into that highest world. This is not just a story or history but a pure, sublime and infinitely superior promise of existence (artheṣu abhijṇaḥ svarāt). Theoretically the same thing exists in this terrestrial plane, if seen from that point of view. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākur has written,
ye-dina gṛhe, bhajana dekhi,
gṛhete goloka bhāya
(Śuddha-bhakata)

If we enter that world by means of such a realisation we too will be able to witness those things. Our sacred key is the divine consciousness. So, adjust yourself in that divine way. By his divine touch he wanted to give us that world where everybody is divine and worthy of worship. He used to address all his disciples in the most humble way as “Prabhu” (Master). He repays them respect in the same manner in which they offer it to him.
I cannot do all services in spite of knowing what is necessary. I owe much to the devotees for their pure desire to help me in performing my duties. I admit myself as one of the most worthless servitors of all. Once, my Godbrother, Rāmgopāl Bābu, found it difficult to understand a passage from Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, where a devotee is saying, “I will serve my Master exclusively; neither the Goddess Lakṣmī nor even Baladev will be allowed if they come to serve Him.” Rāmgopāl Bābu asked me whether or not the devotee is showing arrogance here. I read the śloka a couple of times and, by the grace of Prabhupād, I realised its purport. There is no arrogance in his attitude. There is no question of establishing his superiority as a servant over others. His attitude is that, “You are all worthy to be served, and I am the servant. You please wait; it is my exclusive duty to serve you. You are all my masters and I am to serve you all.” This very conception of considering oneself as a sole servitor promises us the celestial charm of the world of that highest realm.
Śrīla Prabhupād always said that it was his duty to do all the work, right from the cooking down to begging alms. Since he cannot do them all in spite of giving the best of his effort, he takes the help of the devotees in performing them. This is the philosophy of the celestial Goloka and also of the mahā-bhāgavat. There is nothing to rule over, all are showing mercy upon each other. There the master is requesting his disciples to shower their divine mercy by way of paying attention to his words. This is absolute reality; only love, devotion, compassion, etc., can substantiate that highest truth. The primary stage of those rarest of qualities is respect. The more respectful one is, the nearer he is to that world. He can even experience Goloka in this mundane world. The offering of service to Lord Hari that goes on here is not different from what is going on in Goloka. Śrī Guru tries to inculcate in us that great philosophy of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākur. Other concepts are all insignificant and ludicrous to the extreme. Some are making an inch of advancement but boast laughable assertions of reaching Venus and touching the surface of the Moon. They are ecstatically proclaiming that they have the ability to throttle God to death. What a progress of science! They claim it would be a matter of a minute or a second to achieve those feats. But is it possible to kill Him by pursuing this line of thought? “Space is infinite”, is there any possibility to make that infinite, finite? Besides, there are many factors aside from the factor of time. Thought encapsulates our mental space and time. The law of thought originates from this space and time. There is no doubt that myriad numbers of inconceivable riddles and mysteries of impenetrable dimensions are there at the centre. Those whose minds have the absolute vision of reality, to them these thoughts are but jokes, the dance of madmen. By lifting themselves an inch or two in their cage, they dance and give an ear-deafening cry, maddened by their so-called progress.
These things we came to know from Guru Mahārāj and they must be the subject of our discussion. There is actually no famine in this earth. There is only acute hunger and thirst for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No revolutionary set of concepts can become at par with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is ultra revolutionary, and it is without a second, for there are hardly enough people to justify the potential revolutionary essence within it. It is necessary to create loyalty and faithfulness, and it is sad to see rebellion. Opposing the all-conquering Divinity is the cause of this rebellion. So don’t rebel. You will see everything in its most serene glory. The ever sacred sweetness of holy kīrtan could save and sanctify all rebellious instincts and impulses in you, and assures the bounties of divine pleasures here and hereafter. Needless to say, the sacred vibration of the name of “Hari” in kīrtan brings about a feeling of reality in our existence, and it can bring about the attitude of proper adjustment. You will find all things are here in this world but we cannot claim them because we deserve them not. First deserve, and then claim. There is no scarcity of anything else in this world. The scarcity of all other things is nothing but the figment of our imagination. We are wrestling with our shadow and crying foul. There is a proverbial expression; “A bad workman quarrels with his tools.” The problems that you see are merely the creation of “bad workmen.” In Vaikuṇṭha everything is opulent in its pristine glory. It is possible by the grace of the Lord. How much do we know about our own selves? He is alive to my well-being. His Love is more than my love towards myself. Guru Mahārāj gave the inner essence of that transcendental world.
Today, we have Śrīpād Swāmī Mahārāj here with us and you can see two other souls have come to the lotus feet of Guru Mahārāj being attracted by his ineffable charm. Swāmī Mahārāj’s soft melodious talks on establishing Divinity, breaking the stubborn worldliness, inspire the people in large numbers from the far West to become his followers. They all are the unparalleled preaching and sanctifying grace of my Guru Mahārāj. The preaching sign of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj was to climb on the top of the tower completely.
Once, an advocate from Krishnanagar told us we should go the mountains and forests, instead of coming to the mundane people like him. I said Guru Mahārāj is not an ordinary saint to be disturbed by the existent mundanity of the place and so leave for a forsaken place for meditation. He descended from his celestial Goloka to capture this world by waging a totalitarian war in order to change it. He came to capture the forts of illusion. He came to overwhelm the moneyed people, the advocates, judges, barristers, kings, queens, emperors, and all the beautiful places of this world for the service of the Lord. He was fearless and ready to face any consequence. He said that whatever lesson I had learnt from the lotus feet of my Guru Mahārāj is to be given to this world and I have nothing to receive from here. Even an iota of his treasure would offer a sacred sublimity to this world. He said, pariṇāmitvād ā-viriñchyād amaṅgalam (SB 11.19.18), “What else can you offer me when even Brahmā, the creator of this universe, suffers for failing to reach Him through meditation?” Sva-dharma-niṣṭhaḥ śata-janmabhiḥ pumān
viriñchatām eti tataḥ paraṁ hi mām
, sudurlabhā Bhāgavatā hi loke, “Everything is within the periphery of my knowledge. How can you trouble me? What logic do you have to convince me? What protection would you vouchsafe me while being deeply absorbed in this worldly existence?” His knowledge of this world was vast, and he knew well what was needed in the context of all truths and realities.
When he went to Vṛndāvan after taking sannyās, he took two of his disciples in chaste Western dress. People jeered him and said that Vṛndāvan must be visited in utter simplicity, wearing only a piece of cotton cloth. In Vṛndāvan, he said that the piece of cotton cloth that you put on as a requirement for worship does not necessarily mean that you are qualified for worshipping the Lord. Worship of the Lord is not such an easy thing. Your dress does not speak whether you are as humble as a blade of grass, but your conduct, and that is what has to be achieved. Non-violence, according to Mahātmā Gandhi, is the weapon of the powerful. Although my Guru Mahārāj and all those revered Vaiṣṇavas possessed humility and renunciation, still they were opulent beyond measure. Even to see their humble clothing was a blessing to the eye. Such things cannot be attained by means of hypocrisy. They have the spirit to capture the world and they did that with élan (Rāja Rām Mohan Roy tried to stop that influence by quoting from the Upaniṣads, Brahma-sūtra, etc.). Nothing would be more beneficial than desiring intensely, from the core of one’s heart, to roll about in the dust of Vraja, even while ostensibly riding in a motorcar. It is dangerous if one is internally attracted towards sensual pleasures while pretending to be a picture of renunciation. What is the utility of dressing that way when the core of one’s heart craves for earthly pleasures? It is but depriving oneself from the realisation of the ultimate sense of the term. It would be unwise if one is unaware of the real purport of the dress, but puts it on just to follow its ritualistic significance.
Prabhupād radically cured the ailments of the Vaiṣṇavas and made them healthy. Like a surgeon he cut open the diseased part, removed the pus, and applied medicine to cure the affected area. He imparted a new vision to save and sanctify the values of the frail mortals in an age of chaos and conflict.
Those who are present here, many of them enlightened themselves by the touch of his golden wand. Knowledge is power, but Love is more powerful, and any price should be paid for that. All treasures can be sacrificed for attaining that blissful and sublime Love with which to enter that world of highest Divinity. We are unaware that we are caught in a web of fear (bhayaṁ dvitīyā-bhiniveśataḥ syād). We feel ourselves independent in spite of living without the liberty of Divine Love. In Śrīmad Bhāgavat this attitude of ours is stated as an act of committing treachery to one’s own self. Finite beings are all suicidal. More or less we are keeping ourselves busy in suicidal activities, and that is why he made an illuminative arrangement for the sake of redeeming the fallen, faithless, and servile creatures like us. His promise of the deliverance of this world and its living beings bears the stamp of the highest Divinity. Therefore to praise his lotus feet will bring us unimaginable benefit. His principle of all consciousness needs to be upheld with all its glory and spell. The web of illusions cannot entangle us if we uphold his philosophy of divine well-being; otherwise there is every possibility of getting lost in the vortex of worldly illusion. Tad Viṣṇoh paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ divīva chakṣur ātatam. Like the universal eye, the light-giving sun exists in the sky; similarly the lotus feet of Viṣṇu also spread across the realm above. To us, He is the Observer, not the object to be observed. He is the Knower, not the object to be known. If one’s mind is fully absorbed in selfless service towards the Lord, then he can observe that Observer and know the Knower.
He is in fact transcendental. The term ‘transcendental’ is a much-loved term of Śrīmad Bhāgavat, where materialism is dealt with in a scientific way and in accordance with the purest form of knowledge and not abstractionisms. It is said in the Bhāgavat that we must have devotion to that which is beyond the ken of our material perception (mṛyate anayā). The thing which is perceived within the range of inferior faculties of living beings are all gross. The transcendental is by its definition, beyond you (yato bhaktir adhokṣaje… adhah-kṛtaṁ akṣajaṁ indriya-jñanaṁ yena), it is far above matter. It exists prevailing over matter but remains inconceivable to our empirical minds. It is present like our guardian but our physical sense is unaware of its existence. Devotion is the path to transcend the barrier of our limitations, to have a tryst with that Unknown. Awakenment of devotion causes the evolutionary growth of the soul of the living being. And in the highest phase of evolution the soul’s supermost divinity will appear if the Lord is merciful.
It is said in Bhagavad-gītā,

ūrdhva-mūlam adhaḥ-śākham aśvatthaṁ prāhur avyayam
chhandāṁsi yasya parṇāni yas taṁ veda sa veda-vit
(Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: 15.1)
[“It is said in the scriptures that this material world is like a Peepul tree, roots up, branches down, endless, yet transient. Its leaves represent the nourishing verses of the Vedas. One who knows this tree is a knower of the Vedas.”]

 
“Who is the master of the Veda? He, who is able to offer such a conception of the world. What kind of conception? ‘It is like a banyan tree, whose roots grow at the top of it and spread themselves like a burgeoning coral reef at the bottom.’ It conceives of the eye as the birthplace of beauty and the ear, the birthplace of sound.”
Śrī Śaṅkarāchārya gave an example while explaining the Vedānta. He said that while strolling in a garden in a dream it appeared to the dreamer that he was long acquainted with the trees of that garden. Although the trees were only dreams yet they appeared to the dreamer as real. Accordingly the visible world is the creation of our minds. When our mundane mind gets trapped in myriad numbers of our partial thoughts and fragmented feelings, they all appear to us as stark realities.
In Manu Saṁhitā it is stated,
yadā sa devo jāgarti tadevaṁ cheṣṭate jagat
yadā svapiti śāntātmā tadā sarvaṁ nimīlati
“When that Great Being is in slumber then everything is in deep slumber. There is no creation, no destruction or anything else. With His awakening everything becomes active.”
These are the kinds of finest conceptions given by those great souls. We can make our life truly enlightened and enrich our existence here and hereafter by associating ourselves with these supreme understandings of the all-embracing reality.
It is the blessings of that Divinity that I am here with my friends. He deserves all the praises that you heap on me. If I deserve anything, it is certainly not for holding this mortal body, not for having material knowledge that I gather from this world, but for being a chosen emissary for carrying the messages from that transcendental world. Yes, there is justification for having your praise. As the glory of fire is expressed when iron becomes red hot in fire, similarly the glory of the highest Divinity is expressed when the light of divine consciousness enlightens a man. Therefore, I consider that the glory, praise, etc., that you shower upon me is actually made for the lotus feet of my Śrī Guru and I pray that by the touch of the lotus feet of his ever illuminant resplendent glory, the world will find the perennial stream of spiritual fulfilment of the highest magnitude.
This article was originally published in Sri Gaudiya Darshan (Vol 15, No 4) by Sriman Devashis Prabhu.

Imitationism

An audio file and full transcript of this talk can be found here.
Devotee: You told us an example of Gaura Kiśor Dās Bābājī, about the pregnant woman and a woman who’s not really pregnant but just imitating.
Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Imitation. Imitation is not realisation. We are to know it as a general thing that imitation, the outward imitation, is not proper realisation. One who takes the dress of a sannyāsī is not a real sannyāsī, but it is a mockery. That is rather offensive: to take a particular position without having realised it. If I take the dress of a king or a police officer I will be punished. If I take the dress of a police officer or anyone else to deceive the public I should be punished. In the spiritual world no such punishment is seen from this plane, but punishment asserts there on the higher plane. But now there are agents who make us careful about the imitationists: “Don’t mix with them. Try to understand what is the real symptom of a real thing. Don’t approach the sham, the adulterated goods. Don’t approach to purchase the adulterated things. All that glitters is not gold. Glittering is not the only qualification of gold, there’s something more.” Something like that. Do you follow?
Devotee: Yes.
Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: It is a general thing, but it is very difficult to understand the highly valued things. There is every possibility of there being imitation. Imitation comes in the market, why? To get more money. Highly valued things will have most, greater imitation; and the imitationists are more dangerous than the ordinary exploitationist.
You know of the Rāma Rāvaṇ Yuddha [battle between Lord Ramachandra and the demon Ravan]? Have any of you heard of Mahirāvaṇ? When Rāma was engaged in fighting with Rāvaṇ in Laṅkā, many of the heroes of the Rāvaṇ group had been killed, and then Rāvaṇ, disappointed, remembered that one of his sons was living underground in the lower world, a subterranean world. The son, Mahirāvaṇ, was informed of his father’s desire and he came to see Rāvaṇ and heard, “So many things have happened. Almost all the stalwarts are killed in the battle with Rāma.”
After hearing everything, Mahirāvaṇ also went to advise Rāvaṇ, “Why have you engaged yourself in this unfortunate battle? There is still time. You may be saved if you respectfully return Sītā Devī, His beloved wife, the only wife He has got. Generally the kings have got any number of wives, but He has got only one wife. How beloved She is to Him, and you have taken Her. It is very deplorable, father. You give Her back to Rāma and make a truce with Him.”
But Rāvaṇ was enraged, “What do you know? I have called you only to help me, not to instruct me.”
“Then of course, if you desire so, I am ready to sacrifice my life.” Mahirāvaṇ was a highly qualified magician and he planned to carry Rāma-Lakṣmaṇ to his subterranean palace.
Vibhiṣan, the brother who had sided with Rāmachandra, cautioned Rāma: “The most dangerous mystic hypnotist, magician, a son of Rāvaṇ, has come, and something inconceivable is going to happen. You, Hanumān, Sugriva, keep Rāma-Lakṣmaṇ in a very guarded position. I suppose he will try his best to steal Rāma-Lakṣmaṇ from our midst. I think his plan will be such, so guard Them in every way, especially in the night when They will sleep.”
Then with Hanumān they constructed a temporary room and Hanumān was guarding: he was on night guard always.
And Vibhiṣaṇ was surveying the whole battle position of the army and patrolling, and now and then coming: “Hanumān, are you ready? None have entered?”
“Yes. Some came to enter. One came in the form of Kauśalyā, Rāma’s mother: ‘I can’t see Rāmachandra. I can’t keep my life any more. Please show my affectionate son, Rāma.’ In this way I dismissed her: ‘No. Where has Kauśalyā been for so long, and only today you have come? I don’t believe in you.’ Then someone came as Rāmachandra’s father-in-law, Janaka; and in this, that, in so many forms.”
“Be very careful, even if your father comes don’t allow him to enter. Guard very strictly.” In this way Vibhiṣaṇ was warning, and patrolling the whole position.
Then, when so many had attempts failed, that Mahirāvaṇ had a new plan. He took the figure of Vibhiṣaṇ himself, and came, “Hanumān, are you looking very carefully? Very careful you should remain. If your father himself comes don’t allow him to enter.”
“No, no.”
“But are They safe? Are you sure?”
“Yes, They are safe.”
“Let me go inside and see whether They are in safe order or not.”
Hanumān thought, “Vibhiṣaṇ is my guide. He told about this mischievous plan and he is the most interested person.” He allowed him to enter.
Then Vibhiṣaṇ again came in his patrol, “Hanumān, are you alert?”
“What is this? Just a minute ago you entered the room and told—”
“Oh, we are finished, Hanumān, finished!” They went: no Rāma-Lakṣmaṇ there. “The demon has taken away those sleeping masters of ours. What to do, Hanuman? But there is the door, there is a hole, and if you can go there, there is a subterranean town.” And Hanumān went, and there is a story how he killed that demon and took out Rāma-Lakṣmaṇ on his shoulders here.
That Vibhiṣaṇ’s imitation: we want to aspire after the highest thing, but if imitation is there, what loss can be effected on us, on our fortune. So we must be careful about the imitation. And Bābājī Mahārāj has warned in a plain way that śuddha-bhakti is very rare, it is not very cheap. What we have come after by our inconceivable great fortune, it is not so cheap. We must try to follow, to be acquainted with the steps: Bhūr, Bhuvar, Svar, Maha, Jana, Tapa, Satya, Virajā, Brahmaloka; then Vaikuṇṭha, Paravyoma, then Goloka, in this way. We must not omit the steps, and must try to know something about the nature of those steps. Then, when the sound is coming we can recognise, “Oh, it must have come from that plane: it is a vibration which can only be produced from that plane.” In this way we must acquaint ourselves. The Name, the mantram, it may be everywhere, even in a book you can find, but why the sound comes from a Guru? Who is living in that plane, the sound of that plane will come from them, and that will come within us and awaken us. Just as with homoeopathic globules, externally they are all one and the same, but, nāmākṣara bahiraya batu nāma kabhu naya (“The Name does not appear within the letters of the Name”—Prema-vivarta). The meaning must have such depth which when it will exert, it will take me to Goloka.
brahmāṇḍa brahmite kona bhāgyavān jīva,
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

[“Wandering throughout the material universe, the very fortunate living entity who receives the grace of Guru and Kṛṣṇa receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”]
mālī hañā kare sei bīja āropaṇa,
śravaṇa-kīrttana-jale karaye sechana  

[“When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of śravaṇ and kīrtan, the seed will begin to sprout.”]
upajiyā bāḍe latā ‘brahmāṇḍa’ bhedi’ yāya
Bhūr, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Janar, Tapar, Satyaloka, brahmāṇḍa.
virajā,’ ‘brahmaloka,’ bhedi’ ‘paravyoma’ pāya
Vaikuṇṭha Paravyom, Nārāyaṇ’s domain.
tabe yāya tad upari ‘goloka-vṛndāvana’,
‘kṛṣṇa-charaṇa’-kalpavṛkṣe kare ārohana
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya-līlā, 19.151–4)
[“The creeper of devotion is born, and grows to pierce the wall of the universe. It crosses the Virajā River and the Brahman plane, and reaches to the Vaikuṇṭha plane. Then it grows further up to Goloka Vṛndāvan, finally reaching to embrace the wish-yielding tree of Kṛṣṇa’s Lotus Feet.”]
The creeper of devotion will grow and pierce through the different planes, atmosphere, and go direct to Kṛṣṇa-pāda-padma, Kṛṣṇa conception of Godhead, and there it will take its place and that will surround him. His holy feet, generally, at His feet means His own paraphernalia. And gradually Kṛṣṇa will locate him in a proper serving school and then give him engagement fully in His holy service. That is sambandha-jñāna.
Sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana: in three groups we are to understand the thing. Sambandha: place, purpose, position, all these things; and destination, prayojana; and abhidheya means the means to attain the goal. We are to understand under these three heads. Sambandha-jñāna, and prayojan, and abhidheya: under these three classifications we are to understand, we are to realise the nature of the whole thing which we aspire after.
Spoken by our Param Gurudev Srila B.R. Sridhar Deva-Goswami in Sri Nabadwip Dham, on 9 January 1982.

Sri Vaishnava Toshani: Srila Guru Maharaj's Centenary Edition

Sri Vaishnava Toshani: Srila Guru Maharaj’s Centenary Edition, Jan–Feb 1995, Vol 4 #1 is presented here.
pdf file
Contents
Brahma Gayatri—The Ultimate Presentation
by His Divine Grace Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
The Perfect Guru
by His Divine Grace Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
A Glimpse Of Nectar
by Sripad B.A. Sagar Maharaj
How Could We Live Without Him?
by Sripad B.P. Janardan Maharaj
The Representative Of Sri Shukadev
by Sripad B.K. Giri Maharaj
A Glimpse Into His Divine Personality
by Sripad Yudhamanyu Das Seva Vikram
Relief In The Time Of Our Greatest Need
by Srimati Jivana Devi Dasi
Experiencing Unforgettable Mercy
by Srimati Kum Kum Devi Dasi
I Cannot Give A Certificate
by Sripad Srutrasrava Prabhu
Previous editions uploaded:
Jan–Feb 1992 Vol 1 No 1
March–April 1992 Vol 1 No 2
May–June 1992 Vol 1 No 3
Nov–Dec 1992, Vol 1 #6
May–June 1993, Vol 2 #2
Sept–Oct 1993, Vol 2 #3

Beginning of Kartik

Srila Gurudev speaking on the first day of Kartik, 14 October 1989.

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It is my duty to serve the devotees. I can do that properly or improperly, but I must try to serve. Service is our life. Without service we cannot maintain our spiritual life. Srila Guru Maharaj gave us that responsibility, and then he disappeared. ‘Disappeared’ means that he is present within us, looking to see what we will do, if we will wholeheartedly try to maintain our spiritual life and try to practise proper Krishna consciousness. In the scriptures we can see many things for practising Krishna consciousness and one of the most valuable things is this month of Kartik. During this time we will try to closely engage ourselves twenty-four hours a day with our service and the program as given in the scriptures.
This month is called niyam-seva, which means that we will try to serve Kartiki Devi, and Damodar Sri Krishna and Radharani with their associates and paraphernalia with rules and regulations. This month is also called Damodar-vrata. We will try to offer one month of regular service to Guru Gauranga Gandharva Govindasundar, with time to time bhoga, time to time worshipping, and taking our prasad in a regulated way.
śrāvaṇe varjayech chākaṁ dadhi bhādrapade tathā
dugdham āśvayuje māsi kārttike chāmiṣaṁ tyajet
(Sri Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa 117.15, from Skanda Purana, Nagara Khanda)
[(While following chaturmasya) one should give up eating leafy vegetables in the month of Sravana (July-August). In the month of Bhadrapada (August-September), one should give up yogurt. In the month of Asvina (September-October) one should give up milk and in the month of Kartika (October-November), one should give up eating white dal.]
These are the rules of chaturmasya very shortly, but in Kartik month there are some special regular worshipping instructions in the scriptures, and you know that: we must wake up at 4 o’clock, 4.15 we start the arati, kirtan, bhajan, parikrama, etc. And we must regulate our principal diet, prasadam. Without prasad the devotee is not taking anything, but that is also regulated this month. But what is the regulation for? It is because the devotee does not want to spend much time for themselves: they mix dal and vegetables in a pot, boil, they are offering to the Deity and taking that. If we can maintain this nicely for the whole month it is very good, but our service to Guru and Gauranga and also Radha Govindasundar is always leading us and so sometimes we cannot properly maintain the whole month; and also in raga-marg that is excusable. But when something is excusable then always we want an excuse from the Deity, and that is not good. We shall try our best, but if it is not possible then it will be excusable.
In niyam-seva mas, the month of niyam-seva, we will always remember Damodardeva, Krishna, and the service of Radharani. The higher devotees are especially remembering the asta-kaliya-seva this month. The higher devotees are always remembering and trying to serve that way, but in this month they are especially trying to remember. And we heard from Srila Guru Maharaj that in his last days Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur spent this month in Jagannath Puri and every day would hear the asta-kaliya-lila. That is for the higher devotees, not the ordinary devotees like ourselves. Our duty will always be what Guru Maharaj wants, in that way.
We can only see twenty-four hours engagement in spiritual life in Vaishnavism. They have no other engagement: they are always trying to serve the Lord and the associates of the Lord and also the Vaishnavas. Mahaprabhu gave a very simple instruction to us: anything you do, you must do with Krishna-sankirtan, with the mahamantra, and that seva will be fulfilled.
We can also see in the vidhi-marg that when we are doing sacrifice, a fire sacrifice or another program in vidhi-marg, then lastly we are praying this way:
yadāsaṅga kriyā karma jānatā vāpy ajānatā
pūrṇaṁ bhavatu tat sarvaṁ śrī-harer nāma-kīrtanāt

(Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilāsa)
[May whatever offences I have knowingly or unknowingly committed be completely absolved by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord.]
“I do not know whether I have done this properly or not, but it must be fruitful if I chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra.” And the priest, or whoever is doing the sacrifice, will lastly chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra and then consider that it is fully satisfied. Everything that we do, we will do with Krishna Nam-sankirtan.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
With this mantram whatever we do will be fulfilled and satisfying to Krishna and Guru–Gauranga.
We are conditioned souls, and so our practice will start from a lower stage and go to a higher stage. This month, however, gives us the special facility to follow the higher devotees’ program. We are praying and we are chanting many things in this month: Radharani’s glorification, Krishna’s glorification, the glorification of Guru Gauranga, etc. The way in which the higher devotees are worshipping Radha–Krishna, we are singing that during this month. We are chanting the songs that Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur wrote that are related to this month. We are not always singing this song Radhe jaya jaya Madhava dayite, or Deva bhavantam vande, but in this month we are getting that facility, by the blessings of Guru, Vaishnava and Bhagavan. There are also many hidden lila of Radha–Krishna, which in this month we are getting a chance to chant. When we are getting the chance we must be cautious about that, otherwise sahajiyaism can attack us. Sahajiyas are always singing about Radha–Krishna lila; they are not very interested to sing the Vaishnava prayers, and are only interested to sing the Radha–Krishna lila, but that is pushing them to hell, not to heaven. In this way Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur preached to all the conditioned souls, “If you want to try to follow proper Vaishnavism, you must follow a good Vaishnava who is practising properly according to the guidelines of Vaishnavism. We cannot ignore the vidhi-marg, and ignoring the vidhi-marg is not good for the conditioned souls; but when the conditioned souls by blessings and mercy have fortunately received the qualification to worship the higher Vaishnavism, then they are doing that; and this month is giving that chance, to see and cautiously follow that higher Vaishnavism.
We must try to follow the vidhi, but Krishna’s nature is that he wants to break the vidhi, and this play goes on between the devotee and Krishna. In this mundane world that shadow is going: somebody wants to maintain vidhi-marg, and somebody wants to break that vidhi-marg. Krishna’s nature is that he always likes the raga-marg and he is the worshippable Deity of raga-marg. He doesn’t say “Don’t follow the vidhi”; Krishna is always telling “Follow the vidhi-marg”, but showing the raga-marg. For the conditioned souls it is very helpful to follow the vidhi-marg, but if we engage ourselves in vidhi-marg that may close our raga-marg future. Then, we shall follow our Guru and Mahaprabhu’s real followers, and then our activity must be perfect.
From this day we will start continuously worshipping and offering bhoga under our guardian, and guardian’s rules for worship to Guru Gauranga Radha Govindasundar and we shall cautiously maintain the proper intensity for that. After seven days Guru Maharaj’s appearance day is coming and we are expecting many devotees will come. We shall try to do some program every day.
This is the starting day of Kartik-vrata. In the time of Guru Maharaj we heard and we are always following this Kartik-vrata from purnima to purnima [Ed: full moon to full moon; some persons follow from ekadasi to ekadasi.]. And bhog tyag, tyag tyag; tyag means renunciation, the order of renunciation. For ourselves we must do some tyag in this month and that time we must engage for the service of our Lord and Guru Gauranga Gandharva Govindasundar.
We are singing many songs this month but it is necessary to carefully do that. I have seen the tendency within a few devotees that they want to know everything within one day. They are very eager to know everything. I do not know if you will believe it or not, but until now I have not read Ujjvala-nilamani, or Govinda-lilamrita, which are our worshippable books. I am in the position of an acharya, and it is necessary for me to read them, but I am afraid.
I was in a village where there were always many men discussing Radha–Krishna-lila, and so I know something about that from them. But when I joined Guru Maharaj’s mission, Guru Maharaj said it will come gradually in your heart, don’t try to forcefully catch it. If you do that you will not see the real thing, you will be cheated. We shall try to wholeheartedly practise our Krishna consciousness in a very humble way, and try to follow what guidelines our Guru Maharaj gave us, and we must be successful, with his blessings and mercy.
Today is a very auspicious day: it is also the disappearance day of Murari Gupta, Sharadiya Rasa Yatra, and also shonibar [Saturday], Mahaprabhu’s birthday. Then we must follow the guidelines of our Guru Maharaj, and every day wake up in the morning, early in the morning and worship, chant Hare Krishna mahamantra and engage in Nama-sankirtan.
This audio file was originally published on scsmath.com
 

Srila Swami Maharaj's appearance day

If Srila Swami Maharaj had not come to this world, where would we be?


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Talk by our Gurudev, His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami, on Nandotsav day, August 1988.
Today is the avirbhav day of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj, and also Nandotsav. Bhagavan Sri Krishna appeared in this world yesterday night with his paraphernalia.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-chaitanya prabhu jīve dayā kari’
svapārṣada svīya dhāma saha avatari
[“Being merciful to the souls, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya Mahāprabhu descends with His associates and abode.”]
“When Bhagavan comes to this world for the fallen souls, he brings his paraphernalia with him.”
You have seen that book, Loving Search for the Lost Servant: this is the main reason for Bhagavan Krishna Chandra’s appearance in this world, and in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu we can see that in a full-fledged form in this world. Mahaprabhu is patit-pavan avatar.
In Chaitanya-charitamrita Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami gives two reasons for Mahaprabhu’s descent: one is external and one is internal.
অনর্পিতচরীং চিরাৎ করুণয়াবতীর্ণঃ কলৌ
সমর্পয়িতুমুন্নতোজ্জ্বলরসাং স্বভক্তিশ্রিয়ম্‌ ।
হরিঃ পুরটসুন্দরদ্যুতিকদম্বসন্দীপিতঃ
সদা হৃদয়কন্দরে স্ফুরতু বঃ শচীনন্দনঃ
anarpita-charīṁ chirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śachī-nandanaḥ

(Vidagdha-Mādhava: 1.1.2)
[“He mercifully descended in the Age of Kali to distribute in full His own wealth of bhakti, the most splendid and exalted rasa (madhura-rasa) which had never been distributed before. May Hari, abundantly radiant with beautiful golden lustre as the son of Śachī, shine forever within the core of your heart.”]
“My obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Sachinandan who appeared in this world to give Krishna-prema.”
This is the external cause for his appearance. And the inner cause:
শ্রীরাধায়াঃ প্রণয়মহিমা কীদৃশো বানয়ৈবা-
স্বাদ্যো যেনাদ্ভূতমধুরিমা কীদৃশো বা মদীয়ঃ ।
সৌখ্যঞ্চাস্যা মদনুভবতঃ কীদৃশং বেতি লোভা-
ত্তদ্ভাবাঢ্যঃ সমজনি শচীগর্ভসিন্ধৌ হরীন্দুঃ
śrī-rādhāyāḥ praṇaya-mahimā kīdṛśo vānayaivā-
svādyo yenādbhuta-madhurimā kīdṛśo vā madīyaḥ
saukhyaṁ chāsyā mad-anubhavataḥ kīdṛśaṁ veti lobhāt
tad-bhāvāḍhyaḥ samajani śachī-garbha-sindhau harīnduḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Ādi-līlā, 1.6)
[“‘What are the glories of Śrī Rādhā’s love? What sort of astonishing sweetness of Mine does She relish? What sort of happiness arises in Her alone through experiencing My sweetness?’ Ardently desiring to fully appreciate these three mysteries, Śrī Krishna, enriched with Śrī Rādhā’s devotional mood (bhāva), appeared like the moon from the ocean of Śachī Devī’s womb.”]
These are the two causes, one inner and one outer.
Mahaprabhu said:
pṛthvīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāma
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavata, 3.4.126)
[“My name will be spread in every town and village on earth.”]
Village after village in this world, everybody will chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra. This was Mahaprabhu’s desire and prediction. And it has happened now: Mahaprabhu’s followers are going door to door in this world, and already everyone is chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Five hundred years ago Mahaprabhu appeared in this world with His dham and parsad, paraphernalia. And at that time He said that the whole world will chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra in the near future. We are so fortunate that we are seeing that and hearing that: all over the world the Hare Krishna mahamantra is spreading like thunder in this world. And through this mahapurus, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Mahaprabhu has done it.
You have seen the face of our Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj. I heard from him that one psychiatrist told him that he is very brave and fearless. That is, he doesn’t care about anything: where is Krishna consciousness, he gave his blessings there; otherwise he does not care about anything.
From my childhood we have seen his lotus feet, at 6 and 7 Sitakanta Banerjee Lane. We were living together with Swami Maharaj for eight or ten years in his house. He has much love for our Guru Maharaj, and he liked our Guru Maharaj. At that time Swami Maharaj was living grhastha life and he wanted to preach. But the Indian style is that they like sannyasis, and for that reason he would take Guru Maharaj with him and go many places for preaching.
In Bombay he also took Guru Maharaj and his party—Bon Maharaj, Goswami Maharaj, and others. Door to door he tried to preach in his grhastha life, household life. After that, wanting to fulfil the desire of his Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur, who is our Param Gurudev, he took sannyas, and alone he went to the West.
Prabhupad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur wanted to send our Guru Maharaj to the West but Guru Maharaj was hesitating at that time: he could not follow the accent of English men, and because he comes from a brahman family, he could not mix with the mlechchha society. Guru Maharaj was therefore hesitating and told Srila Prabhupad, “I am feeling very unfit for that. If you order me I must go, but it will be good if you send someone else to the West. Your preaching must be nicely spread in the West.” Prabhupad understood and knew Guru Maharaj’s nature as a ‘back pusher man’; so he did not give pressure to Guru Maharaj, and sent Aprakrita Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaj instead. He was a grhastha Vaishnava at that time.
Prabhupad’s desire was very clear: he wanted to spread Krishna consciousness door to door in this world, and when he saw anybody enthusiastic, he ordered him, “You are a qualified man, you can preach Mahaprabhu’s message to English men.” When Swami Maharaj first met him, at that time Prabhupad also told him, “Abhay Babu, you are a qualified man, a very qualified man, you can try to preach in the West and to Western people.”
Swami Maharaj always remembered this, and he was always very enthusiastic, very, very enthusiastic. We have seen this. He had no money, but whenever he got some money he would use that money for preaching. For that reason he could not maintain his business nicely. Whenever money would come he would spend it for Krishna consciousness. He would use that money, and his business went down. This was his nature. Lastly he thought, “I shall preach and this will be good for my life.”
He came to Guru Maharaj and asked Guru Maharaj for sannyas; but Guru Maharaj was very close with his family, and so Guru Maharaj hesitated, “If I give you sannyas, your wife and children will come and blame me. Immediately it is not good for you. You wait sometime: go to Vrindavan and wait six months or one year. Then you can take sannyas and go anywhere, and blame will not come to me.”
Swami Maharaj said, “No Maharaj, it is not possible for me to wait. I want immediately to take sannyas. And I shall go out from India.” Then Guru Maharaj said, “It is very difficult for me: Madan’s mother, your sister, will think it is wrong, and your family will also think something is wrong. You go to Keshav Maharaj: I gave sannyas to Keshav Maharaj, and you can take the mantram from there. Your desire will be fulfilled and I will be in a clear position.”
Then Swami Maharaj went to Keshav Maharaj. Guru Maharaj had given the title ‘Bhaktivedanta’ before to Swami Maharaj. After taking sannyas from Keshav Maharaj he went to Vrindavan. In Vrindavan he stayed at the Radha Damodar Temple, writing. He had previously written his Srimad Bhagavad-gita translation, while in Sita Kanta Banerjee Lane. Guru Maharaj had told me, “You go to Abhay Babu and every day hear Srimad Bhagavad-gita from him.” He was my master and I read Srila Swami Maharaj’s Srimad Bhagavad-gita in my childhood.
After taking sannyas Swami Maharaj thought, “I must go to the West.” And Krishna gave so much trouble to him. Krishna tried to examine him: “how much anxiety does he have for Myself, for spreading My Name and My fame in this world.” He wanted to know, for his lila. But Swami Maharaj was very determined, and without money, without his future maintenance, he started to go to the West. You know the history after that of Swami Maharaj; you have also read from his books, and you have seen so many of the preaching results of Srila Swami Maharaj.
When Swami Maharaj wanted to come back to India, everybody thought, “What will he preach? What he has already preached may also not be correct.” None of his godbrothers were enthusiastic to receive him nicely. Then he wrote a letter to me, “Govinda Maharaj, I want to go to India, and want to stay with Sridhar Maharaj in Nabadwip. Can you arrange it?” I told Guru Maharaj, and Guru Maharaj was very happy. Guru Maharaj told me, “You write immediately: he will come here and he will stay in this Math, in that Blue House. I am making the Blue House ready for him.” And when he came here Guru Maharaj was very happy. He came with two disciples, Achyutananda and Ramanuja. Many more disciples were in America at that time. He told the history of his preaching life, and Guru Maharaj was very happy. Guru Maharaj told me, “Can you arrange here a reception from the town people in Nabadwip?” I said, “Yes Maharaj, I shall try.” And I gave the first reception for Srila Swami Maharaj in this town hall of Nabadwip.
Then all of his godbrothers came. Every godbrother had some special affection and regard for Guru Maharaj, and when they saw that Guru Maharaj was praising Swami Maharaj then they also came to praise and give honour to Swami Maharaj.
Day by day Swami Maharaj continued spreading Krishna consciousness in this world. And you know how successful he was: now all over the world everyone is chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Who does not know Hare Krishna, what Hare Krishna is, they are also telling ‘Hare Krishna’. When people see the tilak, mala, and shaved head, then they are chanting ‘Hare Krishna’. When people see us in the road when we are going from Nabadwip to Calcutta, they are telling us ‘Hare Krishna’.
yāṅhāra darśane mukhe āise kṛṣṇa-nāma
tāṅhāre jāniha tumi ‘vaiṣṇava-pradhāna’
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, 2.16.74)
[Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu said, “A first-class Vaiṣṇava is one whose very presence makes others chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.”]
With the blessings of Swami Maharaj, everybody is now Vaishnava-pradhan! This is the blessings of Swami Maharaj. Guru Maharaj said that Swami Maharaj is not an ordinary Vaishnava, and not an ordinary man, but he is avatar-purus, and Bhagavan Nityananda Prabhu is spreading Krishna consciousness in this world through him. Guru Maharaj said, “Swami Maharaj is Saktyaves-avatar.” Who is Saktyaves-avatar? Vedavyas. Vedavyas is Saktyaves-avatar and spread Krishna consciousness in this world. After that Saktyaves-avatar we heard from Guru Maharaj that Swami Maharaj is Saktyaves-avatar. Some think it is a very low position; but they do not know what is the position mentioned here. You know Bhagavan Vedavyas; Vedavyas is Saktyaves-avatar. He made so many books for the jiva-souls, and glorified Bhagavan’s nama, rupa, guna, lila etc., and Swami Maharaj has also done that in this world. And Mahaprabhu said,
pṛthvīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāma
Through Swami Maharaj it is spreading, by Lord Krishna. Here there is no doubt.
Today is a very auspicious day for us. We have got our real path; we have got the consciousness of Krishna Chandra and Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Pancha Tattva etc, and we have got this through Srila Swami Maharaj. This day is that day, his appearance day. If Srila Swami Maharaj had not come to this world, where would we be?
One day when Swami Maharaj was staying in the Blue House here I was serving breakfast to him, and Swami Maharaj told me, “No, no, you also will be seated here, and Hari Charan will serve you.” Hari Charan Prabhu was there, and he was also distributing the prasadam: luchi, aloo bhaja, begum bhaja, some pakori, etc. I was there, and one table was there with Swami Maharaj, Achyutananda, and Ramanuja. But I was hesitating: I was thinking Swami Maharaj is a big Acharya, Swami Maharaj is a world Acharya, so how can I take at the same table as him? I was hesitating. Then Swami Maharaj told me, “You are thinking you will become mlechchha?” “No, no!” I told Swami Maharaj. “No, Maharaj. I can take the prasad of Achyutananda also, that is not the cause here. The only cause is that you are a big Acharya, and I am a very fallen soul. Then I cannot take with you at the same table. That is why I am hesitating.” Swami Maharaj said, “No problem, you take!” And I took the prasadam there. At that time the Indian mind was like that.
On one occasion some of Swami Maharaj’s godbrothers refused to take prasadam served by his western disciples at the Chandroday Mandir in Mayapur. When Guru Maharaj heard of this he said, “I shall take prasadam at the Iskcon temple in Mayapur. And who will go with me?” At that time Paramahamsa Maharaj was here. And Guru Maharaj said, “Maharaj, you want to go with me, to have prasadam, to Iskcon?” Paramahamsa Maharaj said, “Yes, if you go I shall go.” Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj was also there, and he said, “Yes, I shall go.” So Guru Maharaj, Krishna Das Babaji Maharaj, myself, Paramahamsa Maharaj, and one boy, Gautam, who you have seen here, all came. There is a photograph of that printed in a book of the life history of Swami Maharaj. And when Guru Maharaj took prasadam at the Iskcon Math then everybody thought, “It is okay, no problem, we also can take.” Guru Maharaj had this kind of relationship with our Swami Maharaj.
Today is very fortunate for us, Swami Maharaj’s appearance day. And on this Nandotsav day Nanda Maharaj held a great festival in his house. The day after Krishna’s appearance, on this day we are celebrating Swami Maharaj’s appearance with great joy in our hearts.
vāñchhā-kalpatarubhyaś cha kṛpā-sindhubhya eva cha
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
[“Again and again I offer my obeisance unto the Supreme Lord’s devotees, who are saviours of the fallen, oceans of mercy, and wish-fulfilling trees.”]
The Vaishnavas are wish-fulfilling trees, they know our heart. We cannot properly express our heart, but the Vaishnava knows everything, and he must be merciful. I am so fortunate because Swami Maharaj said in his lecture, “Govinda Maharaj is like my son.” This is my fortune.

The ontological conception of Vrindavan

Through service we live, and through renunciation and exploitation we die. That is our innate nature. We must adjust ourselves with that principle, and then we will be invincible.

An audio file and full transcript of this talk can be found here.
Our Guru Mahārāj used to say often in his last days, “Religion is proper adjustment.”
I always quote Hegel’s maxim, “Die to live.” We shall try to adjust, to realise, to understand this. Die to live: this is Vaikuṇṭha. Death is finished in this world, but in the eternal world where death is absent, there ‘Die to live’ means that by sacrifice we can become great. Here also partially, if one gives up money, he may get a life of fame. So ‘Die to live’, and, ‘Everything is for Himself.’ We are to adjust with this, that He is the enjoyer, and we are the suppliers of His enjoyment. That is our natural position and we can thrive only in that plane, in that attitude. By giving to Him we can thrive. We are to accommodate ourselves with this tendency. Through service we live, and through renunciation and exploitation we die. That is our innate nature. We must adjust ourselves with that principle, and then we will be invincible. None, nothing in the world can take away from this principle of life; if we can adjust properly with what is service, what is dedication, what is surrender, and how helpful that is to us, especially when we are in the midst of gross exploitation, and if not so, then renunciation of any type.
Renunciation and exploitation are the two general enemies of the devotees. If we can cross these two enemy lands, then there is Vaikuṇṭha, and the highest position is that of the automatic, spontaneous surrendering love of Kṛṣṇaloka. We are mainly to be acquainted with what is what in these few planes. Then we can maintain our consciousness in the plane of Kṛṣṇaloka, Goloka Vṛndāvan. What is Vṛndāvana, in the ontological conception? We must have such idea. And if we can adjust with this we can be invincible.
And we will be bold enough to announce to the world, to so many, to all the souls we find:
yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa,
āmāra ājñāya [guru hañā tāra ei deśa

kabhu nā vādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga,
punarapi ei ṭhāñi pābe mora saṅga]

(Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya-līlā, 7.128-9)
[“Instruct whoever you meet in the science of Kṛṣṇa. Teach them the instructions of Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā, and the teachings about Kṛṣṇa in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way, on My order, become a Guru and liberate everyone in the land. If you follow this instruction, the waves of materialism within this world will not affect you. Indeed, if you follow My order, you will soon attain My association.”]
Quite confident, strongly established in such position, to anyone I see I shall say, “Oh, what are you doing? Save yourself. Come in contact with Kṛṣṇaloka. You will be saved and prosper beyond your conception. Why do you lose your capital, investing in this mundane and filthy world of exploitation? Everyone is trying to exploit the vitiated world. Why do you put your energy, capital, in this filthy and mundane world? Go. Come. And put your investment, whatever little you have got, in such a bank; deposit in this invulnerable bank. It will come to you in time of need and immensely, beyond your expectation, you will have profit there.” In this way we are to approach one and all, whatever they may be.
Spoken by our Param Gurudev Srila B.R. Sridhar Deva-Goswami in Sri Nabadwip Dham, on 9 January 1982.

The Golden Sound

This beautiful collection was produced by our Australian community from recordings of Srila Gurudev made during one of His Divine Grace’s visits to Australia during the 1990s.
Sri Guru Arati Stuti

 
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu doya koro more

 
Bhaja bhakata vatsala

 
Jashomati-nandana

 
Bhaja hu re mana

 
Jaya Radha Madhava