“Abandoning everything, I have come to Your feet”

Srila Gurudev singing Ki jani ki bale in the year 1989.
Download mp3 audio.
ki jāni ki bale tomāra dhāmete
ha-inu śaraṇāgata
tumi dayāmaya patita-pāvana
patita-tāraṇe rata [1]
I do not know by what force I have taken shelter within Your abode. Surely it is by Your mercy alone, for You are ever seeking the purification and deliverance of the fallen souls.
bharasā āmāra ei mātra nātha!
tumi ta’ karuṇā-maya
tava dayā pātra nāhi mora sama
avaśya ghuchāre bhaya [2]
O Lord! You are merciful. This is my sole hope. There is no one who needs Your mercy more than I. Certainly You will dispel all my fear.
āmāre tārite kāhāra śakati
avanī-bhitare nāhi
dayāla ṭhākura! ghoṣaṇā tomāra
adhama pāmare trāhi [3]
There is no one on earth who has the power to deliver me. O merciful Lord! It is Your declaration that You deliver the lowest, most sinful persons.
sakala chhāḍiyā āsiyāchhi āmi
tomāra charaṇe nātha!
āmi nitya-dāsa tumi pālayitā
tumi goptā, jagannātha! [4]
Abandoning everything, I have come to Your feet, O Lord! I am Your eternal servant, and You are my maintainer and protector, O Lord of the universe!
tomāra sakala āmi mātra dāsa
āmāra tāribe tumi
tomāra charaṇa karinu varaṇa
āmāra nahi ta’ āmi [5]
Everything is Yours. I am only a servant. Certainly You will deliver me. I have embraced Your feet and no longer belong to myself.
bhakati-vinoda kādiya śaraṇa
la’yechhe tomāra pāya
kṣami’ aparādha nāme ruchi diyā
pālana karahe tāya [6]
Weeping, Bhakti Vinod takes shelter at Your feet. Forgiving his offences and giving him a taste for the Name, kindly maintain him.
(Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur)

Chanting, chanting, chanting

Indra’s illusion

There is a story about Lord Indra: once he was cursed by some rishis and he got a hog’s body. He was enjoying in this material world, and then the curse finished and Lord Brahma came and said, “Oh Indra, come back to your abode.” Because of the illusory environment Indra had forgotten everything and was thinking, “I am a hog father and I have so many of my children and grandchildren here, so why shall I go there? And who is this man with such a big beard who is telling me what to do?” And he wanted to hit Brahma. Then Brahma thought, “Oh, he is completely in illusion” so he threw  all his children and grandchildren in the pond and told Indra “You also jump here and you will leave your body.” But Indra would not do that. Finally he and his wife were going to run away, but then Brahma took his wife and threw her. Then Indra thought, “Oh what happened, now I have nothing.” Then he gave some hearing to Brahma, “What you are telling, nonsense man?” Brahma said, “You are Indra, you have an abode in heaven and you are the master of heaven. You come here. Why are you suffering? Now your curse has finished. You jump in the pond and then you will see what you get.” Then Indra thought, “What shall I do with this body? My wife has gone and everything is gone, so I shall jump.” He jumped in the pond and left his body and saw his own form as Indra. Then he thought, “Oh ho I was in such a bad situation” and he paid dandavat to Brahma and said, “Prabhu, you rescued me. Please take my obeisances.” And Brahma said, “If you like you can take some of your children.” Indra said, “Don’t make me shy. I am very shy.”

“Please appear, please give your mercy”

In this way,
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
It is stated in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita by Krishna Himself, that when we get some real sense, when we get a connection with the transcendental world, then we will immediately feel that and we can immediately leave everything. Before that, it is necessary to do some sadhana. It will not be possible to chant the Holy Name without offence immediately. We will become habituated with chanting, chanting, chanting, chanting, and we will chant with the mood of calling, “He Hare, he Krishna, please appear, please give your mercy.” This is the calling mood, and we will not ask for anything.
nāmāparādha-yuktānāṁ nāmāny eva haranty agham
(Padma-purāṇa: Svarga-khaṇḍa, 48.49)

Whatever obstacles we have to chant will go through chanting and the Name will reveal in our heart. This is the prescription for the conditioned souls of this material world. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared for this as a yugavatar and bestowed His mercy through giving this mahamantra, and we are trying to follow in His footsteps.
040806-today-SGovM-japa-550xThis advice is for everyone, not only for this Vaisnava society. We can see some indication of chanting the Holy Name of the Lord in all religions. The Muslims are chanting  their Lord’s name, “Allah, Allah, Allah” and we have seen that they also do japa. The Christians also do japa. Everywhere they are chanting the Holy Name of the Lord. They know at least the transcendental vibration form of the Holy Name and they are chanting that, and it is very properly and efficiently revealed in this Vaisnava society. Vaisnava means, Visnur devata yasya sa Vaisnava: who is feeling that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krishna is a Vaisnava. He is not brahman, he is not sudra, he is not Australian, he is not American, he is not Indian, but he is a servitor of the Lord. That is his identity. He will chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra and he will get back his own identity.
Srila Gurudev, speaking in Byron Bay, Australia, 24 April 1999

Good news

Srila Gurudev singing Emana durmati, in the year 1989.
Download mp3 audio.
(prabhu he!)
emana durmati saṁsāra bhitare
paḍiyā āchhinu āmi
tava nija-jana kona mahājane
pāṭhāiyā dile tumi [1]
O Lord! I am very wicked-minded and have fallen into this material world, but You have sent a great soul, Your associate (to rescue me).
dayā kari more patita dekhiyā
kahila āmāre giyā
ohe dīna-jana śuna bhāla kathā
ullasita ha’be hiyā [2]
Seeing me so fallen and being merciful, he came to me and said, “O humble soul, listen to this wonderful message and your heart will rejoice.
tomāre tārite śrī-kṛṣṇa-chaitanya
navadvīpe avatāra
tomā hena kata dīna-hīna jane
karilena bhava-pāra [3]
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa Chaitanya has appeared in Nabadwīp to deliver you. He has brought many humble souls just like you to the shore of the ocean of material existence.
vedera pratijñā rākhibāra tare
rukma-varṇa vipra-suta
mahāprabhu nāme nadīyā mātāya
saṅge bhāi avadhūta [4]
“To fulfil the prophecies of the Vedas, He has appeared with a golden complexion as a brāhmaṇ’s son bearing the name ‘Mahāprabhu’ and driven all of Nadia mad with divine love in the company of His brother Nityānanda.
nanda suta yini chaitanya gosāñī
nija-nāma kari’ dāna
tārila jagat tumi-o yāiyā
laha nija paritrāṇa [5]
“Śrī Chaitanya, who is Kṛṣṇa Himself, has distributed His own Name and delivered the world. Go also and accept your deliverance.”
se kathā śuniyā āsiyāchhi, nātha!
tomāra charaṇa-tale
bhakati-vinoda kādiyā kādiyā
āpana-kāhinī bale [6]
O Lord, hearing this message, Bhakti Vinod has come to the soles of Your feet. Crying, he tells his story.
(Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur)
(prabhu) ei bār āmāy dayā kara
O Lord, give Your mercy to me this time.
patita pāvan nitāi-gaura ei bār āmāy dayā kara
O Saviours of the fallen Śrī Nitāi and Śrī Gaura, give Your mercy to me this time.
(tomār) śrī charaṇe śaraṇ nilām ei bār āmāy dayā kara
I have taken shelter at Your feet; give me your mercy this time.
tava dāser anudās kari’ ei bār āmāy dayā kara
Make me the servant of Your servant; give me Your mercy this time.
sapārṣada gaurahari ei bār āmāy dayā kara
O Gaurahari with Your associates, give Your mercy to me this time.
sapārṣada gaurahari ei bār āmāy dayā kara
O Gaurahari with Your associates, give your mercy to me this time.
hari he hari he hari he hari he
O Lord!
nitāi gaura hari he hari he hari he
O Nitāi, Gaura, Hari!

The ray of joy

Mahaprabhu said, “Why will you chant the mahamantra? We will chant because,
cheto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
We want to remove the dust of our mind and we want to see our own divine form, our transcendental form.
Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam: all inauspiciousness and difficulties will go. And, śreyaḥ-kairava-chandrikā: before the sun appears light comes in this world, and like that, before the Lord appears some light of the transcendent will come to us and we will feel what is day and what is night.
Mahaprabhu expressed this, and then vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam: finally Mahaprabhu said you will get service to the Lord in the transcendental world. Without feeling anything you will suddenly see, “I am there.” It is like our death: when death happens that man cannot understand, “I am going to die.” He may feel it is his deathbed but when he leaves the body he cannot feel it. He will see, “Oh ho, this is my body here and I am here.” Sometimes they try to go back inside the body but they cannot enter again. Our transcendental service connection will appear like that. Then we will be happy, and when we see our situation completely change we will see the ray of joy, the ray of sachidananda. Ananda, joy, ecstasy. We will try to go back quickly there and we will not wait.
Srila Gurudev, speaking in Byron Bay, Australia, 24 April 1999

“Gaurasundar sings in a sweet voice”

Srila Gurudev singing Gay Gora madhur svare, in the year 1989.
Download mp3 audio.
[gāya gorā madhur svare
Gaurasundar sings in a sweet voice:]
“hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare” [1]
gṛhe thāka, vane thāka
sadā ‘hari’ bale’ ḍāka
sukhe duḥkhe bhulo nāka
vadane hari-nām kara re [2]
Stay at home, or stay in a forest, regardless, always call out ‘Hari!’ In happiness and in sadness, don’t forget: chant the Lord’s Name aloud.
māyā-jāle baddha ha’ye
āchha michhe kāja la’ye
ekhan-o chetana peye
rādhā-mādhav-nām bala re [3]
Bound in Māyā’s net, you work in vain. Now, while you are still conscious, chant ‘Rādhā-Mādhava’.
jīvana ha-ila śeṣa
nā bhajile hṛṣīkeśa
ek-bār nām-rase māta re [4]
Your life is ending, but you have not served Hṛṣīkeś. Bhakti Vinod advises: once relish His Name’s nectar.
(Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur)

Spiritual bearer

We are only chanting the mahamantra with a  calling mood.
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
This is called the mahamantra. It is not only the Tarak-brahma-nama [mantra for deliverance from the mundane], but of all mantram it is the best—that is the mahamantram. The Lord Himself is living within this mantram, and we will feel His presence when we chant this mahamantra without offence. There are ten kinds of offences we must avoid, and then it will reveal in our heart. This tongue, this mind, everything is material and it will not appear on a material tongue. Where He will appear will be transcendental, and so first through chanting  I want to make myself  a transcendental receiver.
You see with the radio, television, etc. there is a receiver, and then the picture comes, sound comes, everything comes. Only some electronic things are inside there, but when they are set right then they can receive everything. I want to make myself as a good receiver. You have seen the power of ether. Here, within five minutes you can get an answer from India. If you push some button and make some question, then the signal will go there and within five minutes it will come back to you. And what is the bearer? The bearer is ether. We cannot see ether and we cannot feel it also, but we see that some action comes through ether, and it has been discovered by the scientists.
Ether is the super-bearer in this material world, and Harinam mahamantra, the nondifferent form of the Lord, is the spiritual bearer and will make me transcendental when He appears fully with me. He will make me transcendental and He Himself will dance in His nondifferent form. He will reveal in the heart and all inauspiciousness will go out.
Srila Gurudev speaking in Byron Bay, Australia, 24 April 1999

"Cooling like ten million moons"

Srila Gurudev singing Nitai-pada-kamala, in the year 1990.
Download mp3 audio
nitāi-pada-kamala koṭī-chandra-suśītala
ye chhāyāya jagata juḍāya
hena nitāi vine bhāi rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi
dṛḍha kari’ dhara nitāira pāya [1]
Cooling like ten million moons, Nitāi’s lotus feet soothe the world with their shade. O brother! Without Nitāi, you cannot reach Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Firmly grasp Nitāi’s feet.
se sambandha nāhi yāra vṛthā janma gela tāra
sei paśu baḍa durāchāra
nitāi nā balila mukhe majila saṁsāra-sukhe
vidyā-kule ki karibe tāra [2]
The life of one who had no connection with Nitāi passed in vain. Such an animal is very wicked. What will learning (aristocratic birth) do for one who was immersed in worldly pleasures and never called aloud, ‘Nitāi’?
ahaṅkāre matta haiñā nitāi-pada pāsariyā
asatyere satya kari’ māni
nitāiyer karuṇā habe vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa pābe
dhara nitāiyer charaṇ du’khāni [3]
Maddened with pride, forgetting Nitāi’s feet, I accept untruth as truth. When Nitāi bestows His mercy you will reach Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vraja. Grasp Nitāi’s feet!
nitāiyer charaṇa satya tāhāra sevaka nitya
nitāi-pada sadā kara āśa
narottama baḍa duḥkhī nitāi more kara sukhī
rākha rāṅgā-charaṇera pāśa [4]
Nitāi’s feet are truth, and His servants are eternal. Always aspire for Nitāi’s feet. Narottam is very sad: “O Nitāi! Make me happy. Keep me beside your reddish feet.”
(Śrīla Narottam Dās Ṭhākur)

The humility of Srila Jiva Goswami

We must always be humble. Maya will give many tests but we must try to tolerate everything and realise why such things are happening. Furthermore, if we want to remain peacefully we must give honour to others. If we do not disturb others but give honour to them, they will not disturb us. They will think, “This person is very innocent. He is not against me, furthermore he nourishes me by giving me respect, so I must not disturb him.”
Mahaprabhu always wants that His devotees have peace in order to practise spiritual life. Such peace is only possible if the devotees are humble and tolerant, and if they give honour to others. The devotee will think, “I do not want to see whether someone is an honourable person or not, but I know my own position is that of an insignificant soul who is aspiring to be a servant of the servants of the servants of Krishna. So if someone wants any honour from me I must immediately give it to him and not give him any chance to think me to be an enemy.”
We can see an example in the Pastimes of Srila Rupa Goswami who was approached by a digvijaya pandit, a big world-renowned scholar. Hearing of Rupa Goswami’s name and fame he went to him and challenged: “If you cannot defeat me then give me your certificate by signing a statement that you have been defeated by me.”
Rupa Goswami thought, “I have no time to talk with that man.” He therefore asked, “Where is your paper? I shall sign it.” He then wrote to the effect that, “This man is a great pandit and I have been defeated by him,” and he signed it. This is the nature of the pure devotees, they do not want to cause disturbance or trouble to others. They are well aware that everything here is a passing show. People think that what they have is their wealth, but we neither know when we shall die nor where we shall go after death. Our duty is to prepare ourselves for the service of Krishna, and *that* is the real wealth of our lives. Our only shelter is to serve Krishna, therefore we do not want to waste our time with worldly affairs.
This is one mood of the devotees, and another is shown by Jiva Goswami Prabhu. He wanted to rectify that digvijay pandit, and therefore chastised him: “You went to see Rupa Goswami but you do not know who he is. You think yourself to be a great pandit, but now I consider you to be very foolish. You went to the ocean of ecstasy but you did not receive even one drop of that ecstasy. You went there but came back empty handed, therefore I consider you to be very foolish. You do not know who Rupa Goswami and Sanatan Goswami really are, therefore you went to defeat them. You have made a great offence to them. I am their disciple and if you want to examine me then go ahead, by which you may understand something of their greatness.” Anyhow, that digvijay pandit received the mercy of Jiva Goswami and was defeated by him within a few minutes. He could understand he had made much offence to Rupa and Sanatan, and, by Jiva Goswami’s mercy, he left his ego. The pandit immediately returned to Rupa Goswami and Sanatan Goswami and, apologising, took shelter of them. Jiva Goswami was happy that he was able to do some service to his Guru by rescuing this digvijay pandit from illusion.
Following this incident, Rupa Goswami, in order to teach us, showed some unhappiness towards Jiva Goswami: “You have come here to Vrndavan but now it seems through this incident that you want to acquire mundane fame.” This, however, was not the desire of Jiva Goswami, his intention was to glorify his Guru, correct the digvijay pandit, and bestow mercy upon him. This lesson is from one of the many incidents in the lives of our Acharyas.
Excerpt from Dignity of the Divine Servitor, compiled from the talks of Srila Gurudev.

Bhuliya Tomare

Srila Gurudev singing Bhuliya Tomare, December 1989.
Download mp3 audio file
bhuliyā tomāre, saṁsāre āsiyā,
peye nānā-vidha vyathā
tomāra charaṇe, āsiyāchhi āmi,
baliba duḥkhera kathā 
bhuliyā–forgetting; tomāre–about You; saṁsāre–in the material world; āsiyā– coming; peye–experiencing; nānā–various; vidha–forms; vyathā–of suffering; tomāra–Your; charaṇe–at the feet; āsiyāchhi–have come; āmi–I; baliba–will say; duḥkhera–of distress; kathā–tale.
[1] Forgetting You and coming to the material world, I have undergone all sorts of suffering. Now I have come before Your feet and will express my tale of distress.
jananī-jaṭhare, chhilāma yakhana,
viṣama bandhana-pāśe
eka-bāra prabhu! dekhā diyā more,
vañchile e dīna dāse
jananī–of my mother; jaṭhare–in the womb; chhilāma–I was; yakhana– when; viṣama–terrible; bandhana–binding; pāśe–with the ropes; eka–one; bāra–time; prabhu!–O Lord!; dekha–sight; diyā–giving; more–to me; vañchile–deprived; e–this; dīna–poor; dāse–to this servant. 
[2] While I was bound in the terrible confines of my mother’s womb, You once revealed Yourself to me, O Lord! Yet since then You have deprived this poor servant.
takhana bhāvinu, janama pāiyā,
kariba bhajana tava
janama ha-ila, paḍi’ māyā-jāle,
nā ha-ila jñāna-lava
takhana–then; bhāvinu–I thought; janama–birth; pāiyā–obtaining; kariba–I will do; bhajana–service; tava–Your; janama–birth; ha-ila–happened; paḍi’– falling; māyā (māyāra)–of Māyā; jāle (phā̐de)–into the net (trap); nā–not; ha-ila–became; jñāna (jñānera)–of knowledge; lava (leśa)–a fraction (trace). 
[3] At that moment I thought I would engage in Your service after taking birth. Yet when I was born, I fell into māyā’s trap, and not a trace of such consciousness remained.
ādarera chhele, svajanera kole,
hāsiyā kāṭānu kāla
janaka-jananī- snehete bhuliyā,
saṁsāra lāgila bhāla
ādarera–of adoring parents; chhele–a son; svajanera–of relatives; kole–in the lap; hāsiyā–smiling, laughing; kāṭānu–I passed; kāla–time; janaka–of my father; jananī–of my mother; snehete–due to the affection; bhuliyā–forgetting; saṁsāra–family life, the material world; lāgila–felt; bhāla–good. 
[4] As a son of adoring parents, I spent my time in their laps, smiling and laughing. Because of my mother and father’s affection, I forgot You and took pleasure in family life (material existence)
krame dina dina, bālaka ha-iyā,
khelinu bālaka saha
āra kichhu-dine, jñāna upajila,
pāṭha paḍi ahar-ahaḥ
krame–gradually; dina–day; dina–day; bālaka–a boy; ha-iyā–becoming; khelinu–I played; bālaka–boys; saha–with; āra–more; kichhu–some; dine– after days; jñāna–faculty of knowledge; upajila (udita ha-ila)–arose; pāṭha– lessons; paḍi–I study; ahar-ahaḥ (dina dina, sarva-kṣaṇa)–day after day (all the time). 
[5] Day by day I grew into a young boy and played with other young boys. Later on my intellect developed, and I studied my lessons day in and day out.
vidyāra gaurave, bhrami’ deśe deśe,
dhana upārjana kari’
svajana-pālana, kari eka-mane,
bhulinu tomāre hari!
vidyāra–of learning; gaurave–on the strength; bhrami’–travelling; deśe–in country; deśe–in (another) country; dhana–wealth; upārjana–earning; kari’–doing; svajana–relatives; pālana–maintenance; kari–I do; eka–single; mane–with a mind; bhulinu–I forgot; tomāre–about You; hari!–O Lord! 
[6] Then on the strength of my learning, I travelled from place to place, earned money, and maintained my family with undivided attention. I forgot You, O Lord!
vārddhakye ekhana, bhakati-vinoda,
kā̐diyā kātara ati
nā bhajiyā tore, dina vṛthā gela,
ekhana ki ha’be gati?
vārddhakye–in old age; ekhana–now; bhakati-vinoda–Bhakti Vinod; kā̐diyā–crying; kātara–distressed; ati–very; nā–not; bhajiyā–serving; tore–to You; dina–days; vṛthā–vain; gela–passed; ekhana–now; ki–what?; habe–will be; gati–destination.
[7] Now aged, Bhakti Vinod cries in great distress, “Not serving You, I have passed my days in vain. What will be my fate now?”
(prabhu ei bār āmāy dayā kara)
Lord, give Your mercy to me this time.
(patita pāvan gaurahari ei bār āmāy dayā kara)
Saviour of the fallen Gaurahari, give Your mercy to me this time.
(tomāra śrī charaṇe śaraṇ diyā ei bār āmāy dayā kara)
Give me the shelter of Your feet; give me Your mercy this time.
(tomāra śrī charaṇe sevā diyā ei bār āmāy dayā kara)
Give me the service of Your feet; give me Your mercy this time.
(sapārṣada gaurahari ei bār āmāy dayā kara)
Gaurahari with Your associates, give Your mercy to me this time.
(hari he, hari he, hari he!)
Oh Lord!
(nitāi gauraharibol, haribol, haribol, haribol!)
Chant “Nitai Gaurahari”! Chant “Hari”!
The main text of the song here is taken from Sharanagati, by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur.