Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja
Auckland, New Zealand: January 9, 2008
[We hope you will be pleased to receive the following two question-and-answer airport darsans with Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. The first one was in New Zealand and the second one in Fiji.]
[Devotee:] Several times you have told us that when we pray to Lalita, Visakha, or Giriraja Govardhana, they are not hearing us, and this is because we are not saranagata (surrendered) devotees. When I pray to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who is closer to us than Lalita or Govardhana, is he hearing us? Who is hearing us when we pray to them?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Gurudeva.
[Devotee:] Whomever we pray to, only Gurudeva is hearing us?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Gurudeva hears you and mercifully tells Sri Krsna. Krsna does not hear your prayers, because He is always engaged in pastimes with the gopis.
[Devotee:] But what if we pray to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura or Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, who are nearer to us? Are they hearing?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You should pray to all of them through Gurudeva.
[Devotee:] And Gurudeva tells them to kindly listen to that person?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Gurudeva will hear. That is why, in Deity worship (arcana), we give the bhoga (un-offered foodstuffs) to Gurudeva and pray, "Oh Gurudeva, please offer this to Srimati Radha, Sri Krsna, and others."
[Devotee:] So you are very important. We can't go to anybody except through you.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Through Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I am not qualified.
[Devotee:] Through him and you.
[Madhu-pandit dasa:] Can our acaryas hear our prayers on their appearance and disappearance days? Or, is it still only through you?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] First offer your prayers to Gurudeva. Offer your obeisances to him and take permission from him, and then offers your prayers and glorifications to whoever's appearance or disappearance day it is.
Fiji: January 16, 2008
[Devotee:] You have given so many prayers for us to say in the morning when we wake up. Are there any particular prayers that we should say before taking rest at night?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] There are so many - thousands upon thousands. You can recite verses to Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Gurudeva, Vrndavana-dhama, Navadvipa-dhama, and Sri Harinama (the holy names of Sri Krsna). To Harinama you can offer such prayers as:
jayati jayati namananda rupam murarer
katham api sakrd attam mukti-dam praninam yat
parama amrtam ekam jivanam bhusanam me
["All glories, all glories to the name of Krsna-Murari, the enemy of lust and the embodiment of divine bliss! It halts the cycle of birth and death and relieves one of all painful endeavors in practicing religion, meditation, charity, deity worship, and austerity. It awards liberation to one who utters it even once. Krsna-nama stands alone as the supreme nectar and sole treasure of my life." (Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrtam 1.9)]
And to Vrndavana-dhama, you can offer such prayers as:
jayati jayati vrndaranyam etan murareh
ramayati sa sada gah palayan yatra gopih
svarita-madhura-venur vardhayan prema rase
["All glories, all glories to Sri Vrndavana-dhama, where Sri Murari enjoys residing more than He does in the hearts of sadhus or even in Vaikuntha, where He forever tends the cows, and where, by playing sweet melodies on the flute, He increases the gopis' amorous love for Him." (Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, 1.5)
And to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, such prayers as:
kalah kalir balina indriya vairi vargah
sri bhaktir marga iha kanthaka koti ruddhah
ha ha kva yami vikalah kim aham karomi
caitanya pitah yadi nadya krpam karosi
["Now it is the age of Kali. My enemies, the senses, have become very strong. The splendid path of pure devotional service is blocked by millions of brambles. I am weak and agitated. Alas! Alas! Where can I go? O abode of Lord Caitanya, if now you will not give me your mercy, what shall I do?" (Sri Navadvipa Sataka)]
"Oh Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, if You are not merciful to me, where should I go? What should I do? I have nowhere else to go.
[Nirmala didi is asking] Whenever you come, so many new people get initiated, and then after you leave, they don't get trained. They hardly come to any programs, and the devotees themselves don't take much time to go to them. Nirmala didi wants to ask for your blessings that she can give classes and train people.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] She should take the responsibility herself. She should train others, because she is senior now. The wife of Jagannath Prabhu (Krsna-lila dasi) is also expert, so she should also give training. And Jagannath prabhu is more than any brahmacari or sannyasi; he is very qualified.
I give harinama initiation and then I leave for another place. Devotees then become somewhat weak and no longer have very much enthusiasm - but the seed (bija) is still there. This seed cannot be destroyed. Later the rains come, at which time that seed will sprout. In other words, when I come or other preachers come, such as Tirtha Maharaja and Damodara Maharaja, and when Jagannath Prabhu is here, this is like rain. When this ‘rain' comes, the seeds of devotion in the new initiates will sprout and grow. If one commits offenses to Sri Gurudeva and to Vaisnavas, then that seed will be destroyed - otherwise it cannot be destroyed.
There is also a type of grass that burns during the summer, but the root remains. Later, when there is rain, it grows.
Every evening, a businessman checks to see how much money he has made that day. He checks to see whether he has made any profit or incurred any loss. If he has made profit he is very happy, and if he has made no profit or loss, that is okay. However, if he has incurred any loss, he becomes concerned and wonders, "What did I do to incur this loss?"
Similarly before we go to sleep, we should consider whether our bhajana (devotional mood, chanting, and services to Sri Krsna) is improving, diminishing, or remaining at the same level. If it is increasing, that is good - it is unlimited, so it can always be increasing. If it has remained at the same level, we must consider how it can increase. If it is decreasing, if the mind is not attracted to bhajana and harikatha, and it is always running after material enjoyment, or concerned about maintaining business, the children's education, or getting a house, car, and other things, then we have to consider how to improve. So be careful.
[Devotee:] Some devotees say that only your small books, like "The Way of Love" should go to the public, and big books, like "Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu" or "Brahma-samhita" are only for devotees.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (with wide-open eyes and with emphasis):] No. For all.
[Devotee:] All of your books are for all people?
[Madhava Maharaja:] All books for all. Yes.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] All for all. Yes.
[Devotee:] They say that your big books (with all the Sanskrit terms and lofty concepts in them) might as well be in Chinese or any other foreign language, which no new person will understand.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Our books should go to all, whether they are nastika (atheist), astika (theist); religious, or not religious.
[Madhava Maharaja:] Srila Gurudeva said this before. All the books should go everywhere.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:]: All
[Devotee:] So even if they don't understand the language....
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No harm.
[Devotee:] They still get sukritis in their heart?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No harm (if they don't understand).
[Brajanatha dasa:] Somebody else will get it and understand.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] If they will keep the book, oh, our purpose will be served.
[Brajanatha dasa:] The books will find the right persons.
[Devotee:] Someone (the right person) will come to their house (the house of the person who took the book but did not read it) and read it?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (nodding):] Yes.
Editorial Advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja, Sriman Brajanath dasa
Translator of Srila Narayana Maharaja's Hindi replies at the Fiji Airport: Sriman Sundar Gopal dasa
Assistant Editor: Hariballabha dasi
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Kundalata dasi
Proof-reader: Krsna-kamini dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi