Divine appearance day of Srila Sridhar Maharaj

A very beautiful, inspired, and flowing discourse by our Gurudev, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami Maharaj, speaking on the divine appearance day of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaj in Soquel, California, 3 November 2007. Continue reading “Divine appearance day of Srila Sridhar Maharaj”

Avoiding Envy

by Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami Maharaj. Speaking on 16 January 2006 from Sri Nabadwip Dham.

“For two or three days I have been thinking of how I can say this to the devotees: I am trying as possible, and they must also try as possible; but the cheṣṭā, the trying attitude, must be perfect, otherwise we will cheat our own selves.”

We cannot say that we are always expert and firm in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but we are trying. That is the nature of the Vaiṣṇava. The Vaiṣṇava is always saying, “I want to be a servant of the servant of the servant.” It is necessary to be more and more conscious about this matter. For two or three days I have been thinking of how I can say this to the devotees: I am trying as possible, and they must also try as possible; but the cheṣṭā, the trying attitude, must be perfect, otherwise we will cheat our own selves. This is very exclusive, but important for everyone.

What is religion? This is the first thing. Religion has so many forms, because people have so many natures. Not only humans, but dogs, cows, elephants, lions, tigers, jackals—everyone has some nature, and the jīva-soul is living everywhere. But religion is one for everyone. That is very important to consider.

We cannot get the human body easily.

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 7.19)

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: so many births have passed before, and then by sukṛti, by good fortune, by the mercy of the servitors of the Lord, the Vaiṣṇavas, by the mercy of Guru—through so many channels the merciful rain has come to us, and we have got this human body.

There are 400,000 species of humans; but Mahāprabhu said,

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi-līlā, 9.41)

[“One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.]

Everywhere in this world there are many species of humans, but that is not sufficient: who has taken birth in Bhārat [India], where the earth is fertile for religion, where the Veda, Vedānta, and Upaniṣads appeared, where āmnāya—the knowledge that descends from the transcendental world through some particular qualified soul—appears, and where God, Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, appeared in different incarnations; who receives the manuṣya-janma, the human body, here, has more fortune. Mahāprabhu clearly told this to us.

We see that in India there are so many religious ideals: māyāvad, viśiṣṭādvaitavād, Vaiṣṇavism, Madhvāchārya, and so on—so many. Jungle religion, village religion, and city religion take different forms in India, but the pure religious ideal is given in the Vedas, Vedānta, and Upaniṣads, and in a historical form in the Mahābhārata. There is an expression: yā nei Mahābhārate tā nei Bhārate, yata āchhe Mahābhārate sakala-i āchhe Bhārate. “What is not in Mahābhārata, that is not in India, and what is in Mahābhārata, that is all in India.” Then, we can believe that religion is full-fledged in Mahābhārata.

Who has given that to us? We have got some consciousness about different ideals of dharma, religion, but the giver is Vedavyās. Through Vedavyās we have got the knowledge of the Veda, Vedānta, Upaniṣad, and so on. Finally, however, Vedavyās was not happy, because Vedavyās knew, “What I am giving is not palatable for everyone; it is the medicine for sick men, medicine for poor persons, but not medicine for healthy persons.” He did not know how to give this, and for that reason he was very unhappy. “I have given everything. I have given Mahābhārata: inside of that is Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, and we can say that the gist of Mahābhārata and the gist of knowledge is within Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. That has also been given.” But it was not given in a full-fledged way. In the battlefield you cannot say how the gopīs played with Kṛṣṇa! He indicated that as it was possible, but he knew it was not sufficient. He was thinking about this and then through telepathy his Gurudev Nārad Goswāmī came in front of him and asked,

“How are you?”

Vedavyās said, “Well, Prabhu, I am just thinking about your lotus feet, because I am not happy. I am not well. Physically I have no disease, but mentally I am unsatisfied.”

And Nārad Goswāmī said, “I understand that. For that reason I have come to see you, to give some nourishment to you.”

“What, Prabhu, you know my situation?”

“Yes, I know!”

jugupsitaṁ dharma-kṛte ’nuśāsataḥ
svabhāva-raktasya mahān vyatikramaḥ
yad-vākyato dharma itītaraḥ sthito
na manyate tasya nivāraṇaṁ janaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.5.15)

[The people in general are naturally inclined to enjoy, and you have encouraged them in that way in the name of religion. This is verily condemned and is quite unreasonable. Because they are guided under your instructions, they will accept such activities in the name of religion and will hardly care for prohibitions.]

“What can I say to you? You have given everything, but it has not properly manifested, and it will not enter into the heart of everyone, because they do not even know where they are living! You need to settle them; they need to stand in their own land, and then you can give them everything else. They have no land, they are refugees here; you have given them some food, some dress, etc. but they have not got proper accommodation.

You have given,

naiṣkarmyam apy achyuta-bhāva-varjitaṁ
na śobhate jñānam alaṁ nirañjanam
kutaḥ punaḥ śaśvad abhadram īśvare
na chārpitaṁ karma yad apy akāraṇam
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.5.12)

[Knowledge of self-realisation, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible [God]. What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilised for the devotional service of the Lord?]

When he received these special teachings from Nārada Goswāmī, Vyāsadev meditated; Nārada had also told him, “I am giving this mantram, this knowledge to you, and if you meditate on it, it will reveal itself to you.” Then Vyāsadev meditated and he saw,

bhakti-yogena manasi samyak praṇihite ’male
apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ māyāṁ cha tad-apāśrayām
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.7.4)

[Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service [bhakti-yoga] without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.]

Vyāsadev saw the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His paraphernalia, His devotees, His chit-śakti, His jīva-śakti, His māyā-śakti—everything. Then by the grace of his Gurudev Nārada Goswāmī, he composed the Śrīmad Bhāgavat. ‘Composed’ means that he explained what knowledge he received from Nārada Goswāmī. Then he wanted to distribute that knowledge to others, but he considered: previously he gave so much knowledge to everyone, and now he wanted to give something new, some correction, so who, better than him, could present this knowledge? Then he remembered Śukadev. Only that boy, strī-pum-bhidā na tu sutasya vivikta-dṛṣṭeḥ [“who is so pure that he does not distinguish between male and female bodies” SB: 1.4.5], only that boy can give it. Then he searched for his own boy, Śukadev.

Śukadev had forgotten everything. Pariniṣṭhito ‘pi nairguṇye: he was always existing on the platform of transcendental knowledge. But Vedavyās searched for him and gave him that knowledge, and Śukadev Goswāmī distributed that knowledge in Parīkṣit Mahārāj’s assembly; then Sūta Goswāmī spoke that at the meeting of 60,000 ṛṣis. Vedavyās then composed the full history of Kṛṣṇa-līlā, of that divine abode, and so many beautiful things. Vyāsadev collected everything and gave it to Śukadev; Śukadev gave everything; and then Vyāsadev composed everything and gave it to us, in the divine form of Śrīmad Bhāgavat.

Vyāsadev mentioned that Śrīmad Bhāgavat is the divine form of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead: padau yadiyau prathama dvitīyau (“The first and second cantos are His two feet.” —Padma-purāṇa), and so on.

kṛṣṇe sva-dhāmopagate dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha
kalau naṣṭa dṛśām eṣa purāṇārko ’dhunoditaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.3.43)

[“After Lord Kṛṣṇa departed for His abode along with religious principles and transcendental knowledge, this Purāṇa, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, has arisen like the sun in this Age of Kali to enlighten those who have no spiritual vision.”]

These are all historical matters, which you know already. What I want to say, what I have been thinking about how to present to you all for two or three days—and it is necessary to follow what I shall say now, that will be so important and so good for my friends—that is, dharma, what I started with: what kind of dharma are we practising?

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
(SB: 1.1.2)

[Here, the highest dharma, in which cheating is utterly rejected, is given for the sadhus who are free from envy.] 

That religion: we are the practitioners of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that divine form of religion. That is dharma. Projjhita-kaitavo: we have been given so many explanations from our preceptors, but the main thing we must avoid is kaitava, cheating. And, paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ: we must not be envious. This is the vital point. Paramo nirmatsar: be that kind of sādhu, that kind of practitioner. Envy is very bad.

We are searching for our spiritual life, which is clean from jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam [the coverings of jñāna and karma]. Ānukūlyena Kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā [“The highest type of devotion is cultivated according to Kṛṣṇa’s satisfaction.” Brs: 1.1.11]. We want to worship our Lord with love and affection. With love and affection: this is the very vital point, because otherwise we cannot be engaged fully, and that is necessary. This is the first thing. And the second thing is: do not be envious. It is harmful for our spiritual movement, our spiritual life. It is very harmful and you must avoid that.

You are all very qualified and very clean-hearted personalities, born in the Western world, because you do not know what is what but you have joined by your sukṛti. Your good fortune is behind you, pushing you, and you have joined in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness can reveal everywhere and you have all had this opportunity. But the obstacle is envy, so do not be envious of others, and always be affectionate and loving. Have a ‘loveful’ heart. Mahāprabhu said everyone should be merciful. Jīve doyā, Nāme ruchi, Vaiṣṇava-seva: serve the Vaiṣṇavas, chant the Holy Name of Lord Kṛṣṇa with love and affection, and be merciful to everyone. In this way proceed in the line of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the real religion of the jīva-soul.

Vedavyās said it! Projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām. This gives us the opportunity to receive more and more promotion from this environment. We can very easily cross the specific gravity of the illusory environment. Everywhere there is some specific gravity and we can avoid that specific gravity and that illusion.

Dh dhātu man dharma: dharma can hold us and give us firmness. Holding is necessary for any substance. Our position must be substantial, and that will develop if we can practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness with love and affection. Submission is the first condition and that is the launching pad from where we will throw ourselves. That launching pad must be substantial.

‘śraddhā’-śabde — viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.62)

[Sraddha means confident, firm faith that all activity is fulfilled through devotion to Krishna.]

This is necessary.

When I hear that other institutions are getting some joy in the line of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, I feel a joyful heart, and through that I think I have got some more nourishment from this world. Otherwise how is it possible that our Mission is spreading around this world, especially to some of the atheistic countries, like Russia, like Hungary, like China, like Poland?

My days are passing and I see and feel that I will leave very soon. All my friends and family and the devotees of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj are proceeding, but I want them to be very serious about their practising life. Within this religion that they have taken, Mahāprabhu’s three directives are living and they must follow these. There is no other way!

tṛṇād api su-nīchena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

[“The Lord’s Name is to be always chanted by one who is more humble than a blade of grass, tolerant like a tree, free from desire for respect, and who offers respect to others.”]

Hari-kīrtan is most essential. It is not necessary for us to capture a Ganges full of scriptures in our brain. At present Mahāprabhu has given us Hari-nām.

nāmaikaṁ yasya vāchi smaraṇa-patha-gataṁ śrotra-mūlaṁ gataṁ vā
śuddhaṁ vāśuddha-varṇaṁ vyavahita-rahitaṁ tārayaty eva satyam

 [If a devotee once utters the Holy Name of the Lord, or if it penetrates his mind or enters his ear, which is the channel of aural reception, that Holy Name will certainly deliver him from material bondage, whether vibrated properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, or properly joined or vibrated in separate parts.]

If we proceed with offence then the result will not come quickly, but if we will proceed in our line without offence we will get the result very quickly. Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu said this. Then we will try as much as possible.

Our religion is Bhāgavat-dharma, Vaiṣṇava-dharma, jaiva-dharma. That is our religion. There are eighty-four hundred thousand species in this world; we are one of those species and we have received a super-chance, because we have the lotus feet of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, who is the nondifferent form of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. At least we heard the name of Śrī Chaitanyadev!

We have this opportunity, and you are present here in Nabadwīp Dhām, so you must try to observe the mood of devotion of Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, His teachings, His divine mission, and activity.

Mahāprabhu said,

pṛthivīte āchhe yata nagarādi-grāma
sarvatra prachāra haibe mora nāma
(Śrī Chaitanya-bhāgavat: 4.126)

[“My name will be spread in every town and village in the world.”]

Now that is happening: everywhere, in every country, people are chanting and dancing. When I see the list of our ashrams worldwide I am surprised. You are all so fortunate and great, because Kṛṣṇa Himself has entered into your heart, and He will not leave you. You also cannot leave Him, whatever situation will come in your life. But you must be merciful to everyone and continue your spiritual life.

Beyond the Veda

by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Deva-Goswami

jadi gaura nā ho’to, tobe ki hoito,
kemone dhoritām de?
rādhāra mahimā prema-rasa-sīmā
jagate jānāta ke?

(If Lord Gaura had not come, then what would have become of us? How could we have maintained our lives? If he had not come, then how could we know of the glories of Śrī Rādhā and the topmost limit of ecstatic love of Krishna?)

madhura vṛndā, vipina mādhurī,
praveśa chāturī sāra
baraja-juvatī, bhāvera bhakati,
śakati hoito kāra?

(Who would have had the capacity to render ecstatic devotional service, following the mood of the damsels of Braja? Indeed, the clever expertise of the Braja-gopīs is essential for entering the supremely sweet forest of Vṛndā, Śrī Vṛndāvan.)

Śrīman Mahāprabhu said that Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the supreme gist of Śrīla Vedavyāsa. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj, expressed in his śloka,

yad amiya-mahimā-śrī-bhāgavatyāḥ kathāyāṁ
pratipadam anubhūtaṁ chāpy alabdhābhidheyā
tad akhila-rasa-mūrteḥ śyāma-līlāvalambaṁ
madhura-rasadhī-rādhā-pāda-padmaṁ prapadye

(Every word in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam glorifies Rādhārāṇī, but her name is not specifically taken there. Kṛṣṇa is the Akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti, the emporium of all rasa, and Rādhārāṇī is Śyāma-līlāvilamba, the reservoir in which Kṛṣṇa plays and tastes the full ecstasy of madhura-rasa. Rādhārāṇī is the controller of Kṛṣṇa’s heart, the madhura-rasa adhikāriṇī. Her service is the source of all of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s madhura-rasa prema.)

The name of Śrīmati Rādhārāṇī is not directly mentioned in Bhāgavatam, but we can feel her glories there at every moment.

We can also find Radhārānī’s name indirectly in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam:

anayārādhito nūnaṁ bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ prīto yām anayad rahaḥ


(“Certainly this particular gopī has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since he was so pleased with her that he abandoned the rest of us and brought her to a secluded place.”)

Śukadev Goswāmī did not want to take the name of Rādhārāṇī in the public meeting because it is the hidden treasure of Lord Krishna. Only Uddhava and that type of devotee can understand something. It is not for everyone and everyone cannot understand.

Bhagavān Krishna sent Uddhava as his own representative to Braja Dhām and Uddhava met with Braja-bāsīs there, and especially with the gopīs. Rādhārāṇī was present there and in the Brahmara-gītā (‘Song to the bumblebee’, SB 10.47) she expressed,

madhupa kitava-bandho mā spṛśaṅghriṁ sapatnyāḥ
kucha-vilulita-mālā-kuṅkuma-śmaśrubhir naḥ
vahatu madhu-patis tan-māninīnāṁ prasādaṁ
yadu-sadasi viḍambyaṁ yasya dūtas tvam īdṛk

[“O honeybee, O friend of a cheater, don’t touch My feet with your whiskers, which are smeared with the kuṅkuma that rubbed onto Kṛṣṇa’s garland when it was crushed by the breasts of a rival lover! Let Kṛṣṇa satisfy the women of Mathurā. One who sends a messenger like you will certainly be ridiculed in the Yadus’ assembly.”]

When Uddhava saw the prema of Rādhārāṇī and the Braja-gopīs, he was stunned, astonished, and very much surprised: “This is a hidden treasure in the heart of Krishna. No one knows of it but I am fortunate to understand something by the grace of Krishna.

Then he expressed,

āsām aho charaṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syāṁ
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ cha hitvā
bhejur mukunda-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.47.61)

This is a very famous śloka of Uddhava: “I want to be a small plant or blade of grass in Braja Dhām; if I get that chance I will feel that to be a super-fortune. The Braja-bāsins will walk on the grass, and so if I can stay in Braja Dhām in that plant form, if I can get a little bit of space to stay in Braja Dhām, then I shall get the foot dust of the Braja-gopīs on my head. This is my super hankering. I do not want to be a gopī but if I can get the feet dust of the gopīs I shall feel so fortunate.”

This is the conception of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam  that Śrī Chaitanya Mahāpabhu has given to us. As a guru Krishna gave advice to Uddhava. “Uddhava,

tasmāt tvam uddhavotsṛjya chodanāṁ pratichodanām
pravṛttiñ cha nivṛttiñ cha śrotavyaṁ śrutam eva cha
mām ekam eva śaraṇam ātmānaṁ sarva-dehinām
yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena mayā syā hy akuto-bhayaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.12.14–15)

“Leave everything. Whatever advice and ruling is given in the Vedas is not useful in this plane, in Braja Dhām, and you cannot practise it here.”

In the scriptures it is said,

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi- pañcharātriki-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate
(Brahma-yāmala; Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu: 1.2.101)

“The rulings of the Vedas, the law of the smṛti and Purānas, and the rules and regulations given in Nārada-pañcharātra: everything is for the practitioner, for their practising life, and if someone does not follow that, and shows that he is devoted to Krishna, he is actually not devoted, and he is like garbage of the religious ground. Who will not follow the śruti, smṛti, Purāṇa, and show, ‘We are religious, pious men’ is actually not religious or pious at all.”

Krishna, however, showed another quality to Uddhava. “This is another quality that I am showing to you. They are all vanaukasām: they are living in the jungle, and they are not following the rules of the Veda or anything else; but no one can understand their devotional property and how deep it is. You go and see and come back and tell me. And that is another world. That is not adjoined with Vaikuṇṭhaloka, not adjoined with the other part of Paravyom.” That was Krishna’s preaching style to Uddhava.

Then Krishna said, “Do you believe me now?”

And Uddhava said, “Yes.”

“Then it is my advice to you to not to tell this to everyone. It is not for everyone. You leave all the rulings of the Vedas, smṛti, and Purāṇas, and surrender to me.”

Mām ekam eva śaraṇam; yāhi sarvātma-bhāvena means, “With your heart, with your name, with your friends, with your family, everything. And when I shall give shelter and assurance you will be fearless from the whole religious environment.”

We can see three stages of religion: śruti, smṛti, and Purāṇa. But the Vraja-prema to Krishna is beyond that.

bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
kṣīyante chāsya karmāṇi mayi dṛṣṭe ’khilātmani
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.20.30)

The bondage of the heart with religion will be broken through this conception and all kinds of suspiciousness will go out. All questions will get proper answers through this conception. And all karma-bandhan, the binding law in this material world, the law that “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, will not work within this zone. That law works everywhere but it will not work within this zone. Here there is no question of reaction. Here there is only action and that action is serving the Lord and for the satisfaction of the Lord. He is the only enjoyer and all are suppliers of enjoyment for that supreme sweet absolute. Everything there is for the glory of Lord Krishna, Rādhārāṇī and Mahāprabhu. This is the supreme direction of Śrī Krishna Himself.

Once Krishna told Nārada, “I am very much attacked by a headache.”

“Oh, you are the Lord! If you are suffering, you know what the remedy is.”

“Yes, I know the remedy, but whether you can collect that I do not know.”

“What is the remedy? I can collect it.”

“The only remedy for this is the feet dust of my pure devotees. If I can take some on my head then the headache will go.”

“Yes, Prabhu, there are so many devotees in this world and I will collect some now.”

 “No, it must be from a pure devotee, who is a perfect, 100 percent devotee.”

“Yes, I am going.”

Nārada went but everyone he approached said, “We do not know how much devotion we have, but we are not pure devotees in any way.”

Then Nārada come back. “It is rare, very rare. How are you feeling now?”

“Oh, I am the same as my previous situation. Did you go to Braja Dhām?”


“Go to Braja Dhām, see there. There I have some pure devotees.”

Nārada went to Braja Dhām to the Braja-gopīs. Nārada thought that there must be some brāhmaṇs there but in Braja Dhām there are no brāhmaṇs except for Madhumaṅgal. No other brahman was there and so Nārada went to the Braja-gopīs. The Braja-gopīs said, “Yes, yes why didn’t you come here first? We do not know who is a pure devotee but we are devotees no doubt. You take our feet dust and give it to Krishna. There must be one pure devotee amongst us. Take it. Where is your bag, your plastic bag?”

Nārada was surprised. “You are not fearful? Do you know that Krishna is God?”

“Maybe your Krishna is God but our Krishna is not God. We do not feel that. He is,

vraje prasiddhaṁ navanīta-chauraṁ
janmanānāñ cha dukūla-chauram
chaurāgragaṇyaṁ puruṣaṁ namāmi

(Śrīla Bilvamaṅgal Ṭhākur)

We know him as a thief, a famous thief. You may know he is a god but we know he is famous as a thief. He has stolen our hearts, stolen our clothes, and stolen our food. Supremely, he is stealing the hearts of all devotees. Then will we say he is God? But it is not necessary to talk now: you take the feet dust and go.”

Nārada was surprised to see that.

yathā yathā gaura-padāravinde vindeta bhaktiṁ kṛta puṇya-rāśiḥ
tathā tathot-sarpati hṛdya-kasmād rādhā-padāmbhoja-sudhāmbu rāśiḥ
(Śrī Chaitanya-chandrāmṛta: 88)

(As much as you surrender to the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga, you will find yourself safely situated in the service of Rādhā-Govinda. Do not try to approach Rādhā-Govinda directly; if you do, there may be some difficulty. But the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga will take you there safely.)

When Mahāprabhu went somewhere a loving, auspicious environment manifested there. Wherever Mahāprabhu put his lotus feet Rādhārāṇī’s divine, ecstatic lotus feet fully manifested in that place.

Where there is no Rādhārāṇī, there is no Krishna.

sarvasya chāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭho
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ cha
vedaiś cha sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva-chāham
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 15.15)

[“I am situated (as the Supersoul) within the heart of all souls, and from Me arises the soul’s remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness {according to his actions}. I alone am the Sweet Absolute to be known through all the Vedas. I am the revealer of the Vedānta—Vedavyāsa, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”]

Without Krishna, the Vedic knowledge is useless. With Krishna everything is beautiful, and without Krishna everything is useless. Without Rādhārāṇī, however, Krishna has no charming power or attraction.

śuka bale, “āmāra kṛṣṇa madana-mohana”
śārī bale, “āmāra rādhā vāme yata kṣaṇa”

Without Rādhārāṇī he is not Madan-mohan [the enchanter of Cupid], He is only Madan, Cupid; and when Rādhārāṇī is with him Cupid will faint to see his divine form.

śuka bale, “āmāra kṛṣṇa chūḍā vāme hele
śārī bale, “āmāra rādhā charaṇa pābe bale

[Śuka says, “My Krishna’s crown slants to the left. Śārī says, “To touch my Rādhā’s feet His crown is slanted so.”]

Śrīla Guru Mahārāj said about Mahāprabhu,


Crores [tens of millions] of cupids faint at the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu when they see Him dance.

yākara charaṇa nakhara ruchi hera-ite murachhita kata koṭi-kāma
so majhu pada-tale dharaṇī loṭāyala pālaṭi na herinu hāma

This is a very deep expression of Rādhārāṇī: “If anyone will see Krishna they must faint. Krishna is so sweet, ecstatic, and beautiful that even crores of cupids cannot stand to see His divine form. And yet—He came to me and he took my feet and I did not look at him because I was angry with him. What nonsense I have done.” This is the meaning of this sloka.

Śrīla Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur simply told,

rādhikā-charaṇa-padma, sakala śreyera sadma

“What goodness have you seen within your religion? All goodness is colourless in front of Rādhārāṇī.”

rādhikā-charaṇa-padma, sakala śreyera sadma,
jatane je nāhi ārādhilo
rādhā-padāṅkita dhāma, vṛndāvana jār nāma,
tāhā je nā āśroya korilo

(The lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā are the abode of all auspiciousness, the supreme goal of life. One who in his life has failed to take shelter of that holy dhām named Vṛndāvan which is decorated by the lotus-like Rādhā,…)

rādhikā-bhāva-gambhīra, chitta jebā mahādhīra
goṇ-soṅga nā koilo jīvane
kemone se śyāmānanda, rasa-sindhu-snānānanda,
lobhibe bujhoho eka-mane

(…who in his life has failed to associate with the intimate of Śrī Rādhā who are deeply filled with Rādhā’s mood of devotion and who are greatly intelligent—how will such a person bathe in the rasa-sindhu, the ocean of ecstatic joy which is Śyāmasundar? You must single-mindedly understand this point.)

rādhikā ujjvala-rasera āchārya
rādhā-mādhava-śuddha-prema bichārya

(Śrī Rādhā is the exemplary teacher of the mellows of conjugal love. Pure ecstatic love for Śrī Śrī Rādhā Mādhava is what is to be considered and discussed.)

je dhorilo rādhā-pada parama jatane
se pāilo kṛṣṇa-pada amūlya-ratane

(One who holds tightly to the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā with great care will certainly attain the priceless jewels of the lotus feet of Krishna.)

rādhā-pada binā kobhu kṛṣṇa nāhi mile
rādhāra dāsīr kṛṣṇa sarva-vede bole

(Without taking shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā, one will never meet Krishna. All the Vedas say that Krishna belongs to the maidservants of Śrī Rādhā.)

choḍata dhona-jon, kalatra-suta-mita,
choḍata karama geyān
rādhā-pada-paṅkaja, madhurata sevana,
bhakativinoda paramāṇ

(Having given up wealth, followers, wife, children, family, and friends, material activities and intellectual knowledge, one should become absorbed in the divine sweetness of service to the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā as one of Her maidservants in madhura-rasa. This is Bhaktivinoda’s solemn declaration.)

Actually, we do not know anything about the glories of Rādhārāṇī, and what little we heard from our Guru Mahārāj we also cannot express properly because it is necessary to have some quality and qualification for that, but we are very much unqualified. What we know and what we are telling—everything is useless in front of the proper conception. But what shall we do? I told many times: if I have five dollars I will make my business with five dollars. I will not cheat others. I am not doing a cheating business, and that is my satisfaction. With what I have, I shall try to do.

This is an excerpt from an informal talk of Srila Gurudev, speaking in Italy, September 2000, on the day of Radhastami.

Unity in diversity

Śrīla B.S. Govinda Mahārāj speaks on the need for harmonious dealings between different groups and missions within Krishna consciousness.
Śrīla Jājāvar Mahārāj and Śrīla Guru Mahārāj had completely separate moods, but in one way they are the same. That is that both are practising Kṛṣṇa consciousness, both are good devotees of Kṛṣṇa, and both are very sincere. I am seeing this from the middle point, not as Guru Mahārāj’s disciple. As a disciple of Guru Mahārāj, I must see my Guru as supreme, but I am not telling this in that way. This is through realisation. Sometimes both would fight heavily—I do not want to tell about that type of fighting—but that reaction did not come to me, and this is what I want to establish in my friends’ heart.
Śrīla Guru Maharaj would debate with his godbrothers in a very high way. He would debate with Swami Maharaj in Kolkata, on some days up to two o’clock. And in Nabadwip, Jājāvar Mahārāj would come for discussion with Guru Mahārāj and stay for one month or two months in Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh, only for discussion in the matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj is an ocean of transcendental knowledge and Guru Mahārāj’s godbrothers knew that if they came to Guru Mahārāj, they would be satisfied. Until they reached satisfaction, they would debate with Guru Mahārāj, and heavily debate. The effect of that could come to us in a negative way, but it did not; that effect always came to us in a positive way. It is the mercy of Jājāvar Mahārāj and the mercy of Guru Mahārāj. You see my application of their names: first I gave the name of Jājāvar Mahārāj, and then I gave the name of Guru Mahārāj. Do you understand? This is the proper application.
Why has this mood come to us? It has come to us by the mercy of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. I am always giving my obeisance to Jājāvar Mahārāj, and always giving my obeisance to Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. They are showing different moods, but from those different moods, we are not getting any negative feeling. How shall I give this mood to my friends and brothers? I am always thinking about that. This is the only thing that can save us. Otherwise nothing can save us. I heard many things from Jājāvar Mahārāj, and I heard many things from Guru Mahārāj also. When they would debate they were fighting, but we did not lose our śraddhā, our faith, to Guru and Vaiṣṇava. We did not think that Jājāvar Mahārāj is bad and Guru Mahārāj is good. We would never think that, although they would take completely different lines. Sometimes one would take what could be considered a nastik, atheistic, line, and another would take a theistic line.
The godbrothers of Guru Mahārāj were all great paṇḍits and highly qualified, and they all came often to see Guru Mahārāj. We can name that Vaikhānas Mahārāj: he was a great paṇḍit and highly qualified. When they came, they would debate with Guru Mahārāj, and questions and answers were always going on, sometimes for the whole day. They would eat, rest, and then again go to Guru Mahārāj for questions and answers. Their discussion would go on in a challenging way, not an asking way: they wanted to know from Guru Maharaj. Some of them were senior to Guru Maharaj, but they would ask Guru Mahārāj. They needed some conclusion of the fact. They would debate scriptural matters and many things with Guru Mahārāj. But I did not lose faith with them: I have full regard for Goswāmī Mahārāj, full regard for Mādhav Mahārāj, and full regard for Vaikhānas Mahārāj. There were many qualified Mahārājs there, and they all looked at me as their boy. They were not thinking, “He is a disciple of Śrīdhar Mahārāj, he is a disciple of another.” When they came, they also brought some disciples with them. Somebody brought two disciples, somebody brought four disciples; but we did not feel at that time that, “I am one group, he is another group.” When Jājāvar Mahārāj’s disciples came we behaved with each other like twin brothers. We had very nice feelings between us. When any godbrother died, Guru Mahārāj was crying, and not only outwardly crying, but heavily crying. He would become sick. Guru Mahārāj had that type of affection for his godbrothers. When we heard that Jājāvar Maharaj’s disciple Bhaṭṭa Kṛṣṇa died, Goswāmī Mahārāj’s disciple died, and the disciples of other Mahārājs, then we would also cry for them.
Why can we not establish this type of relationship now? I do not understand. Actually, I know where there is a gap, but I cannot fill up that gap. I am trying to fill that gap. I went to the West, and I told this conception in another way. This morning someone said that I did not come with party feelings; I came to the West to establish our Gurus’ conception, and that is the supreme conception. I did not come for taking sides. I am not a campaign-man, and we have that feeling from our birth.
When I joined, the next day Kṛṣṇadās Bābājī came to see Guru Mahārāj, and Guru Mahārāj asked Kṛṣṇadās Bābājī, “See this boy. This boy told this, this, this, this, this, and you know about that. You examine this boy.” What good feelings! Kṛṣṇadās Bābājī examined me in many ways in song. At that time I had told that I know Vaiṣṇava songs, and Kṛṣṇadās Bābājī knew many songs, more than Guru Mahārāj.
He examined me in many ways, and he told, “Yes Mahārāj, he knows something.” They were happily talking.
When Guru Mahārāj heavily told something to Kṛṣṇadās Bābājī Mahārāj I was very sad, and I gave objection to Guru Mahārāj: “Why did you tell this?” I had a very close relationship with Guru Mahārāj and I could say anything to Guru Mahārāj. That was our relationship. I asked, “Why did you tell this to Bābājī Mahārāj? He is always helpful for our Mission, always affectionate with you, is keeping high regard in his heart for you, but you behaved like an ordinary man, and it is giving me pain.”
That was when Guru Mahārāj sent him out from the Maṭh; and Guru Mahārāj’s answer was very high thinking. Guru Mahārāj said, “I cannot make offence to my Guru. Prabhupād Sāraswatī Ṭhākur did not want that any of his disciples will go to hear sahajiyā kīrtan, and he is going to do that. He may be my best friend, but not more than Prabhupād.” This was Guru Mahārāj’s answer. “Prabhupād Saraswatī Ṭhākur did not like it, and he is my best friend. Why is he doing it? I told him many times, but he is not listening. Then, it is very difficult, very difficult to tell him, but I must tell, otherwise I will make offence to my Guru.” Guru Mahārāj was also crying, his heart was crying, but he could not ignore his Guru. We have got that type of feeling for Vaiṣṇavas, for Gurus, for godbrothers.
I received a letter this morning from a disciple of Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj, and he stated many times in the letter, “Your Guru Mahārāj and my Guru Mahārāj, your Guru Mahārāj and my Guru Mahārāj, your Guru Mahārāj and my Guru Mahārāj”. We are not habituated with this conception, and we are not speaking in that way. This is making differentiation, “Your Guru Mahārāj and my Guru Mahārāj.” This is not a good conception, but they are habituated with that conception, and that is the difficulty. It is necessary to remove this conception. We are all in one family. That conception should come first.
My father, my uncle, my grandfather, my uncle’s son, and my nephew—we are all in one family. Why will we quarrel? This is the first thing. The second thing is that if anybody is going a different way, we will try to keep them in our sampradāya with a harmonising mood. That will be good for our society. We are very few in this world: there are three hundred crores of people [one crore is ten million], but how many are we in Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Very few. There is no percentage, maybe zero point zero, zero, five (0.005%),  and if we quarrel, then how can we try to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Some persons took initiation from me in Guadalajara, and the Iskcon guru came immediately and talked with me and was happy with me. He said to me, “Mahārāj, those persons took initiation from you, but they are serving in our Iskcon Mandir. Now they are your disciples. Then what is your desire? They will serve Iskcon or not?” He directly asked me.
And I told him, “Why will they not serve Iskcon?  I cannot understand. They are doing service in Iskcon and I think it is very good. They can serve. But you also must be sober with them, and don’t abuse Guru–Vaiṣṇava in any way to them, and they will happily serve you.” This is the real conception.
Many of the sannyāsīs came to see Guru Mahārāj, and with those sannyāsīs many of the devotees also came, but we never abused their gurus and we never thought that they were outside of our society. We are thinking we are in one family: he is my uncle’s son, he is my brother, he is my cousin. Our friends are going in this mood, and sometimes the disciples of other Mahārājs are coming to our Maṭh to see me. Parvat Mahārāj, Goswāmī Mahārāj, Mādhav Mahārāj, Jājāvar Mahārāj: their disciples are coming to see me sometimes, and if you see our mood, you will be surprised. You cannot understand that he is not a disciple of Guru Mahārāj, and that I am not a disciple of his Guru. Our relationship is going in this way, and with this feeling, we are happy with our family.
I am always thinking, thinking, thinking of this, and every day this is my headache. Many letters come from the West, and all the letters are not very sweet. Some letters are a little bitter, some letters are a little sour. Many things are in those letters. The man who wrote this morning was inspired when I went to America. He was alone. Now he wants to come in our society and see my preaching mood. But his mood is always, “My Guru, your Guru, my Guru, your Guru.” It is first necessary to remove this. Guru is one. Our feelings will come that way and it is not necessary to take the name of his Guru, and it is not necessary to take the name of my Guru. We are all brothers.
The ‘Sonhood of Godhead’ is living in the middle. That is Mahāprabhu’s conception, the ‘Sonhood of Godhead’.  ‘Sonhood’ means that he has a father and a mother; he has uncles, sisters, nephews; he has friends, he has servants; he has many things. He is living in the centre and the family is around. That is the Sonhood of Godhead, and we are the servants of the servants of Godhead. That is Kṛṣṇa, Nanda-gopa-kumārāya: He is the son of Nanda Mahārāj, and we are worshipping Him. Then, it will be a very happy thing if we can make our relation with everyone harmonious and good.
This article has been prepared from an informal discourse given by Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj in Kolkata, India, December 1992. The original recording is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we67kgX_5k4&t=556s
And a raw transcript as well as audio file is available here:

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


Spoken on 31 October 1988.


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
“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

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
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

"I am nothing, but I have you"

The bhakta always feels, “I am very unqualified, but my Guru is highly qualified.”


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The bhakta always feels, “I am very unqualified, but my Guru is highly qualified.” This is their feeling, on two sides.
āpane ayogya dekhi’ mane pāṅ kṣobha
tathāpi tomāra guṇe upajaya lobha
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: 2.1.204)
“I feel I am very unqualified, I am a fallen soul, I have everything bad, but you are very glorious and you have all qualifications, you have transcendental power, and you can remove my darkness at any moment, so I do not want to leave your lotus feet. I may be a fallen soul, but from there I will see your lotus feet.”
Like the chatak bird: “I shall not go anywhere. I must see your lotus feet. I need your blessings.” We must always try to keep this type of faith in heart, and one day must come for our benefit. That day is our day, and we are waiting for that day. Then, there is no problem. I am always saying, “No problem.”
I know what is the problem for the conditioned souls. I am a conditioned soul, and so I know what is the problem for conditioned souls. But when I am looking at my divine master and his glory, then I can say, no problem. Within one second every darkness can go through his shining light. Then there is no problem. Only wait and see. Wait and see what Krishna’s play will be.
Sometimes fault can give us great benefit. Fault can benefit us but who is in garva-parvat [a mountain of pride] cannot get that benefit. A fallen soul may get very high benefit, but an auspicious soul may not get that, because an auspicious soul has some ego.
I am very satisfied with my Guru Maharaj. I am very satisfied, and I feel that that is sufficient for me. What feeling I have, I can say, but that will sound like a madman, so I do not want to say that; but if there is a chair, or a table, or a door in front of me, I will feel it. I will eat, and not feel it?—it is not possible. When I eat I must feel that my belly is becoming full, my health is becoming stronger, and my mind is going up.
Devotee: In Chaitanya-charitamrta there is the story of when Kalidas went to Jhaḍhu Ṭhākur and asked him for his prasad; Jhaḍhu Ṭhākur said, “You are a brahman, and I am not a brahman, so how can you take my prasad?” Then Kalidas quoted some verses about the position of a Vaishnava, but Jhaḍhu Ṭhākur said, “No, I am not a Vaishnava, these verses are not for me. What you are saying is true, but not for me.”
Srila Govinda Maharaj: His feeling must go in this way. Who is a Vaishnava, who is big, when he sees the very biggest thing he must think, “I am much smaller than this.”
Devotee: I know that with Harinam, if one has very bad samskar, it’s not important. But sometimes a person with bad samskar can be very strongly covered by maya, and so  sometimes I think that although Harinam is very great and the mercy of Guru is very great, because I am fool number one, a complete fool, Harinam and Guru must be keeping distance from me.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: Once this type of question came to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur from his disciple, and Srila Bhakti Siddhanti Saraswati Thakur thrice asked him, “You feel you have nothing, no bhakti, that what you are doing is not really beneficial? You don’t feel that you are getting anything—this feeling is very strong in your mind?” Then Saraswati Thakur said, “Then you are getting something, and it is okay for you. Go.” This was on the roof of Bagh Bazaar Gaudiya Math, I heard from Guru Maharaj.
na prema-gandho ’sti darāpi me harau
krandāmi saubhāgya-bharaṁ prakāśitum
vaṁśī-vilāsy-ānana-lokanaṁ vinā
bibharmi yat prāṇa-pataṅgakān vṛthā
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta 2.2.45)
[“I do not have even a trace of love for Krishna. Still, I cry to show that I have a great fortune. Without a glimpse of the face of that Flute Player, I carry on My meaningless, insect-like life.”]
When Mahaprabhu himself says, “I do not have even a little drop of prema for Krishna”, if Mahaprabhu is showing this feeling to us, then who are we? We must try to follow those feelings.
Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj speaking in December of 1989.
virachaya mayi daṇḍaṁ dīna-bandho dayām vā
gatir iha na bhavattaḥ kāchid anyā mamāsti
nipatatu śata-koṭir-nirbharaṁ vā navāmbhaḥ
tad api kila-payodaḥ stūyate chātakena
(Srila Rupa Goswami)
“O Friend of the needy, whether You chastise me or reward me, in the whole wide world I have no other shelter but You. Whether the thunderbolt strikes or torrents of fresh waters shower down, the chatak bird (who drinks only the falling rainwater) perpetually goes on singing the glories of the raincloud.”

In the playground with Krishna

Srila Govinda Maharaj

The gift of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

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no dīkāṁ na cha sat-kriyāṁ na cha puraścharyāṁ manāg īkṣate
mantro ’yaṁ rasanā-spṛg eva phalati śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmātmaka
(Padyāvalī: 29)
[“Sri Krishna’s Name does not rely upon (pancharatrik) initiation, pious works, or preparatory practices in the least; Sri Krishna’s Name produces results simply by touching the tongue.”]
With love and affection, and without offence, try to chant this Holy Name of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It will rescue everything—that power is with Kṛṣṇa-nām. The Lord’s Name is always so auspicious and can rescue everyone. But Kṛṣṇa’s Name has some speciality: He is attracting and giving His nectar. That is the speciality of Kṛṣṇa-nām. Other names of God are also so powerful and so beautiful, but Kṛṣṇa-nām is mixing with the hearts of the Kali-yuga people; it is the nearest and most extremely beautiful form of the Lord. That is Kṛṣṇa-nām.
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
There is no other alternative except Kṛṣṇa-nām. It is not necessary to do many things or anything else: only connect with Hari-nām, the transcendental divine form of the Lord. It is not my speculation, but all the scriptures have told this: in the Veda, Vedānta, Upaniṣads, eighteen Purāṇas, Mahābhārata—everywhere, even in the Āyurveda. Where is He not present? Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere.
In the Upaniṣads, that example of two birds is given: one is hearing, one is eating; one is sleeping, and another is watching. Paramātmā, who is watching, has some influence over all, and through that all the jīva-souls are getting some help. That is the special quality of Paramātmā. There is Brahma, Paramātmā, and then supremely Bhagavān.
Bhagavān means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, where we will find everything: love and affection. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu says, all divine forms of God have good qualification for the jīva-souls, but Kṛṣṇa is so special. If you want to embrace Kṛṣṇa, He will be very happy with you, but other Gods are sitting in the chair, and the jīva-souls are fearful of Them. This is not the position of Kṛṣṇa.
(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: Dakṣiṇa-vibhāga, 141–2)
[“Kṛṣṇa is like an ocean filled with waves of pastimes that evoke wonder within everyone in the three worlds. In His activities of conjugal love, He is always surrounded by His dear devotees who possess unequaled love for Him.”]
Everything in connection with Kṛṣṇa is very familiar for the conditioned souls. You can feed Kṛṣṇa, you can play with Kṛṣṇa, you can chastise Kṛṣṇa, and you can give your love, affection, and everything to Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa will always be very happy with you. That is the most palatable and suitable position for the jīva-souls.
We honour everyone and we must give our full daṇḍavat to everyone, but after that we will go to our playground and play with Kṛṣṇa in śānta-rasa, dāsya-rasa, sakhya- rasa, vātsalya-rasa, and madhura-rasa: servitorhood, friendship, parenthood, and even paramour love is possible with God. Who can believe it?
Kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe ko vā pratītim āyātu: to whom shall I tell, and who will believe? This śloka’s meaning is this. Kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe: to whom shall I tell? Ko vā pratītim āyātu: who will believe that Kṛṣṇa is playing with the Vraja-gopīs in the Kuñja-līlā, and playing happily in the courtyard of Nanda Mahārāj? There is no obstacle there.
kaṁ prati kathayitum īśe samprati ko vā pratītim āyātu
go-pati-tanayā-kuñje gopa-vadhūṭī-viṭaṁ brahma
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: 2.19.98)
The youthful mood of Kṛṣṇa; playing with the girls of Vraja and the Vraja-vāsīns; friendship, fatherhood, motherhood; the trees are giving palatable fruits, the cows are giving so much palatable milk—it is all a very joyful situation there with God, with the Lord. With our Divine Master it is possible, and Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu has given a connection to us through the Holy Name. It will reveal in our heart. We need to chant without offence, and one day we must be qualified, no doubt.
Spoken by His Divine Grace in Italy at Villa Govinda Ashram during his visit in September 2007.