(Los Angeles, USA, May 31, 2000)
In our morning class we were discussing the eighth sloka of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Nectar of Instruction. In that regard we have explained, and we have also heard in the explanation of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja: we should know who Caitanya Mahaprabhu is, and for what purpose, for what mission, He descended from the spiritual realm.
Mahaprabhu is not different from Radha-Krishna conjugal. Krishna wanted to fulfill the sum of His desires - especially to relish the highest moods of Radhika which were not even in His own heart. He wanted to understand how She loves Him, and in what mood She serves Him, that makes Him controlled by Her. Krishna has love for Radhika, and in separation and other times He becomes mad for Her. But she becomes totally mad because of her adhirudha mahabhava. This subject matter is very deep. Even Krishna does not have adhirudha mahabhava, and that is why He could not be so mad for Srimati Radhika. Even Lalita, Visakha, and the other asta-sakhis have very elevated moods toward Krishna. Still, He cannot have that. This is because He is the object of love and they are the containers, the abodes, of love.
Krishna wanted to relish all this. And, because He was so merciful, He wanted to show the process by which we can achieve that service which is like that of the gopis. He wanted to give everyone this raga marga - this process of love and affection that the Vrajavasis have in their hearts. However, He could not give it, nor could He relish all these things. Why? It is because He does not have that mood of the gopis. Therefore, in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He went to the school of Lalita and Visakha, and He was trained there. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sacinandana Gaurahari, is the same as Krishna, but not the same - He is something more. He is Krishna combined with Radhika's mood and beauty. Now He is doubled. His mercy is doubled and His taste has been doubled. Now He has the mood of Radhika. As Krishna, He only had that Krishna mood. He was previously only the object of love, but now He is both. He is the object of love, and at the same time He is the abode of love.
This is the first reason Krishna descended from there - to relish that love. Secondly, He came to preach the process of high-level love and affection. He was so merciful.
We should try to know all these truths. If you are a senior Vaisnava, you should try to hear these topics. Why should you remain in the same class? Bhakti is a transcendental flow; she cannot remain in any one place. Similarly, the devotion in our hearts for Radha and Krishna, and for Mahaprabhu, is like a stream. It should go on gradually increasing. It should not be stopped at any place.
You should know who your Prabhupada is. You should know. Then you can glorify him, otherwise you cannot. He has also descended. He is an associate of Mahaprabhu, and He has descended to give that same mood and mission of Mahaprabhu. He has not only come to preach, "You should do kirtana, and add that to whatever you are already doing." He also did not come only to establish yuga-dharma. That is the job of Maha Visnu, not of Krishna. It is not Krishna's function. Who is Maha-Visnu? Sri Advaita Acarya. He is the amsa of the amsa of the amsa of the amsa of the Kala of Krishna Himself. He is a part of the part of the part of the part of Krishna. Being so far away, He can preach with kirtana, but He cannot give Vraja-bhakti. Never. He is not qualified for this. Only Krishna can do this. When He came, therefore, He preached through sankirtana that highest love and affection, as well as the process to achieve it.
So Srila Svami Maharaja was not an ordinary person whom you can know and realize. You have to come to his level, and then you can understand who he is and why he came to this world. He is not an ordinary historical person.
If you don't know who he is, how can you glorify him? Sri Svarupa Damodara can glorify Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Raya Ramananda can glorify Him, and Srila Rupa Gosvami can also glorify Him because their standard or level is the same as that of Krishna. They are always His eternal associates. So you must know who Prabhupada, your Gurudeva, was. He was not an ordinary devotee. He came to fulfill the desire of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He preached the same mission as told by Srila Rupa Gosvami. He is a follower of Rupa Gosvami, and he was very happy to say that, "I am Rupanuga". You should know what is Rupanuga. Even Srila Sanatana Gosvami, the Guru of Rupa Gosvami, felt very great happiness in thinking that, "I am a follower of Srila Rupa Gosvami. I should follow Rupa. He is so high."
So Srila Svami Maharaja came only to preach this mission. As I told before, however, he saw that the land was barren, not fertile. There were so many weeds and thorn trees here and there. Although he had to cut all these things, he actually came to give something else - the same thing that Rupa Gosvami came to give: "Sri Caitanya mano 'bhistam sthapitam yena bhutale. Because he understood the innermost desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world." Therefore first know who he is; then you can glorify him. You should not think that he was only a preacher of harinama. You should not think that he only wrote so many books, and published and distributed them. This is not his glory. What is his glory? He is a Rupanuga Vaisnava - serving Radha-Krishna conjugal in the same way as Rupa Manjari.
Prabhupada has written everywhere that we should know our aim and object. Although we don't know it at present, we can know it by hearing. You can see this in the dialogue of Sri Raya Ramananda and Mahaprabhu, in the dialogue of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Mahaprabhu in Triveni and Prayag, in the dialogue of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Sanatana Gosvami in Kasi, Varanasi, and you can see it in the dialogue between Sri Svarupa Damodara and Srivasa Pandit at the Ratha-yatra festival. These are very high topics. You should go deep and hear these topics from any realized person. Then you can know what is our aim and object.
We must follow Rupa Gosvami, whom Prabhupada followed. I think it will not be better to think we are "Prabhupadanuga". Don't discover any new thing. It will then be a new way and full of thorns. Following what he has given, we should go, closing our eyes, running, with no fear of falling.
We see that Srila Svami Maharaja was not happy in his last days. He had made so many sannyasis, as you know. If they had followed him totally they would never have fallen down. Hearing hari-katha from superiors, and following their instructions, a man cannot deviate. Why have so many disciples given up their sannyasa? Why have most of the brahmacaris who were doing arcana deviated? Why did the desire come to marry? Why? Are they happy? They think that they were with Prabhupada for a long time. They think that they served him and he has trained them in a special way. But what was that special training? That they should take sannyasa, and then give it up and go to hell? Did they receive special training how to fall down? I think this is not the case. We should try to know and realize all these things. If a man will serve Prabhupada, then he will be like him. If a person is serving him internally and externally, then he must be on the same level as him. After taking sannyasa Prabhupada never deviated. No worldly desire ever came in him. I think that this was not the training of Prabhupada. He was very worried for them, and he used to discuss all these things with me. I explained the sloka:
bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra caisa trika eka-kalah prapadyamanasya yathasnatau syus tustih pustih ksud-apayo 'nu-ghasam
["Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things - these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating." SB.11.2.42]
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami is telling hari-katha to Pariksit Maharaja. He gives the example that you are very hungry and you are taking maha-prasadam - one handful after another. One handful, a second, a third, a forth, and a fifth. If you are really taking it, three things will come at the same time. Virakti, tusti, and pusti. Gradually your hunger will subside. Some tusti, satisfaction, will come according to how much you are taking, and pusti, nourishment, will also come at the same time. When you fully take, then full satisfaction will come, you will feel strength, and you will have no desire to take any more. Three things. Similarly, if you are following anyavilasita sunyam, real bhakti in the real process, if you are chanting and remembering and hearing hari-katha through the proper channel and proper process, at once you will realize Krishna in that proportion, and detachment from worldly things and sense gratification must manifest. It is bound to come, and you will be satisfied. Three things will come: performing bhakti, realizing some rasa, taste, and detachment from worldly things.
You have been chanting and remembering for so many years - some of you for thirty years, but these three things are not coming. We are not realizing anything and we have no taste. Your hearts is not melting by chanting and remembering, tears are not coming, and you are not satisfied. You are always speaking about problems, problems, and problems, and higher and higher waves of problems. You are not happy and detachment from worldly desires is not coming. Why? There is some loophole in your process. Otherwise there is some loophole in your Guru with whom you are associating. It will be either of these two things. If your Guru is all right, then there is some loophole in your practice. We should realize this. Why is detachment is not coming? I want to make more money. I want to taste new, new wives, and new, new husbands. I am daily rejecting the old ones and taking new ones.
Why is this coming? Has Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, or any of our Gosvamis, done like this? Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was a naistika brahmacari from the beginning. Is there any example anywhere in scriptures or in the history of Gaudiya Vaisnavas? You cannot say. Never. Srila Svami Maharaja has not instructed like this. Has he said that we should go to the atheists' university? He has shown the way how to enter the school of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji and the university of Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura. We should believe that this is the first principle of bhakti.
sraddha-sabde-visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya
["Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in the duties of Krishna consciousness, he need not act in relationship to the material world with obligations to family traditions, humanity, or nationality. Fruitive activities are the engagements of one's reactions from past good or bad deeds. When one is awake in Krishna consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good results in his activities. When one is situated in Krishna consciousness, all activities are on the absolute plane, for they are no longer subject to dualities like good and bad. The highest perfection of Krishna consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life. This state is automatically achieved by progressive Krishna consciousness." Bg. 2.41 purport]
What is the meaning? You should know this.
Aranya Maharaja: In the very first stage of bhakti, sraddha, faith will come. But what is this faith? Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvamipada has written this in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. Faith means the unflinching conviction that simply by rendering devotional service to Krishna, by hearing, chanting, remembering, and serving the lotus feet of Krishna, I have no requirement to perform any other activities. I have no other obligation. Everything will be achieved simply by rendering service to Krishna. There is nothing else and no other responsibility for me.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: We know that Haridasa Thakura never attended any school. Was he admitted in any school since his birth? Never. Yet, Mahaprabhu made him Namacarya Haridasa Thakura. Why? He was qualified to be a Namacarya. If anyone has faith in the Name, thinking that by chanting the Name his life will be successful, and he is chanting and remembering with this faith, then he has no need to go to any school, any college, or anywhere else. Has Srila Svami Maharaja told anywhere that you should go to this bad university or that bad university? What will be the result? Those who are going will be like historians. They will not believe in God. They will not believe in Name and harikatha. They will not believe that Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Goloka Vrindavana (Svetedvipa). They will think, "Krishna was not God." Gradually this belief will come. They will compare Caitanya Mahaprabhu with Buddha. They are bound to do so. They will not be able to have faith in Caitanya Caritamrta and in Srimad Bhagavatam.
Was Srila Sukadeva Gosvami admitted in any school? Yes, he was admitted. Where? In his father's school. His father instructed him, "You should hear Srimad Bhagavatam and you should chant and remember." By birth, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was a high class of brahma-jnani. But then he attained the mercy of his father.
atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim ittham-bhuta-guno harih
["All different varieties of atmaramas [those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self], especially those established on the path of self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls." SB. 1.7.10]
What is the meaning?
Aranya Maharaja: In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the sages of Naimisaranya asked Sri Suta Gosvami, "Oh Suta Gosvamipada, please tell us. Sukadeva Gosvami was absorbed in Brahman, he was completely self-satisfied, atmarama, having no desire, and no attraction to taste anything. He was completely self-satisfied. So why is it that he underwent the study of the Srimad Bhagavatam? There are so many verses. It is such an arduous task to study the eighteen thousand verses of Srimad Bhagavatam." In reply to this, Suta Gosvami spoke this atmaramas ca verse. "Even those who are liberated, those who are completely self-satisfied, develop a very intense attraction to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because He is filled with most wonderful and astonishing transcendental qualities which are all beyond the nature of this material world."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Krishna is so beautiful. He is so sweet. He is so fragrant. Even creepers, trees, animals were charmed. You have read in Caitanya Caritamrta that Mahaprabhu was going to Vrindavana and chanting Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna He, Rama Raghava Rama Raghava Rama Raghava raksa mam; and the animals were hearing on the way. Although they were very dangerous, somehow they touched the feet of Mahaprabhu and received His sweet powerful glance. At once they changed and began to chant, 'O Krishna, Krishna!' A mad elephant, taking his trunk, called, 'O Krishna, Krishna' in his language. The tigers forgot their malice and enmity with the deer and others. Serpents, snakes, bears and lions were all following Him at the same time.
You cannot believe all this now. But it can be, if you are not going to college and if you can hear all these things in the council of a high class of devotees. Then you yourself will also be able to do this. I am realizing this. So many 'tigers' and 'bears' are now following. Very intellectual giants have forgotten to quarrel and they are coming to us. We want those who have no regard, those who want to cheat others and play with their lives, to know their Gurudeva.
You should not stop at any point. My request is that you should try to open the blockage from your stream of bhakti. You should read Srimad Bhagavatam with very deep meanings. First try to hear. Then you will know what is your object, and then worldly desires will be gone. Only one desire will remain - how to serve Krishna.
I want this. I have come to remind you of all these things. Don't go in the stream of sense gratification. There is no harm if you are living worldly lives as householders. No harm. But from there, with your family, try to develop your Krishna consciousness. There were so many associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Krishna also, who were family men.
The Gopis have showed us how, even in worldly, family life, we can develop our love and affection for Krishna. The gopis are the only examples of this in this world, as are the associates of Mahaprabhu, like Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Rupa and Sanatana. They are all liberated, eternal associates, but they were practicing as though they were sadhakas. Why? To teach us.
What they were doing? Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasanikrtau. How pathetic (in the mood of intense separation) was the tone of your Prabhupada. He was weeping, singing with tears and so many other symptoms. Have you heard any of his bhajanas? The mood of his heart is coming forth. You should hear and think about what he is telling - how he is following bhakti. He has come to teach all these things, and I am requesting you all to follow.
You must know your aim and object: that the mood of the gopis is the highest. Something is there in the transcendental, constitutional position of those who are coming to the line of Mahaprabhu. Otherwise you would not have come to this line. Never. There is something there, and that is why He attracted You. You know that neither wood nor any other material can be attracted to a magnet. The magnet will attract iron - if it is pure. If you are pure or impure, if you have somehow come in the line of Mahaprabhu, then in your constitutional form there must be something of gopi-bhava. Otherwise how could you have come? There are innumerable persons in this world - but you are coming. Therefore I think you have some qualities to know all these things. If you are hearing from any bona fide Vaisnava and you are always in his guidance, then you must develop your Krishna consciousness.
So I think that you should try. One day, very soon, you will become old. Death is very near. Your power and beauty and your curly hair will disappear. Your intelligence and money will not be able to save you from old age and death. In the days that are left, therefore, try to achieve that goal, and be happy in this life and forever.
We can come to Prahlada Maharaja. This goal, gopi-bhava, is the highest; but how will we be able to follow this process from the beginning? You should read, under the guidance of any pure devotee, about the life of Prahlada Maharaja from the beginning. What was he doing? Although he had been put in a school, when his father asked, "What has your gurudeva taught you? What is the best thing you realized in your school?", Prahlada never said that he had learned something from the guru in the school. Why? Because his Guru is Narada, and he was taught by him when he was in the womb of his mother. So he was attending school, he was hearing their classes, but all their talks were going in one ear and out the other. Nothing remained and he never followed them. He always followed Narada. From the beginning of his life he was chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna are Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. He was going to school, but never accepting anything from his teachers. His father used to think, "He is demolishing all my work. He is against me. He is like an enemy." I want to ask you: can you tell what happened when Prahlada Maharaja was brought to his father? When his father asked him what he'd learned, what did he reply?
Govinda Bhakata Prabhu: Prahlada replied, "O father, tat sadhu manye asura varya dehinam." He very politely said, "Asura varya dehinam", "O best of the demons". He was congratulating him. "You are a demon, but you are the best of the demons." Hiranyakashipu was feeling very proud and happy that, "Yes, he knows my position as a great demon." Prahlada continued, "Those who have taken the vow to enjoy temporary material things in this world are always full of anxieties. They try in so many ways to enjoy, and they make a vow: "eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we may die. So now we should enjoy to the maximum." Still, they only experience anxiety. Such enjoyment is likened to one who falls into a blind well. Once there was a man walking in the forest, and he saw a tiger, and this very ferocious tiger started to chase him. As the man was running he saw a well, a ditch covered over by grass. He saw two branches growing out from the walls of the well and, holding on to the branches, he lowered himself down to get away from the tiger, who by this time was just looming over him. However, he saw that below him there were some very venomous cobras that were raising their hoods and extending their tongues. His legs were dangling just over the snakes. At the same time there were two rats - one on each branch. One rat was black, another white, and they were nibbling away at the branches. His situation was now very, very precarious.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Like ours.
Govinda Bhakata Prabhu: So our situation also is like that. At any moment we may die. Death is imminent.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: What do the tigers represent? They are roaring like death at the top of the well. The many snakes are our many problems - daily problems, problems, and problems. Go on.
Govinda Bhakata Prabhu: Death who looming over his head and at the same time there were problems coming from all directions. In the meantime the rats were nibbling away. The two rats, one black and one white, signify nighttime and daytime. In due course the karma of that life will run out. The rats are nibbling away at his duration of life. At any time the branch will break.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: And there was also a branch over his head.
Govinda Bhakata Prabhu: Above him there was a branch with a beehive, and there were some very beautiful, golden translucent drops of honey beginning to fall. As they began to fall, the man stuck his tongue out to catch them. He then began to enjoy, and he forgot the reality of his situation.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: "O, most tasteful." He forgot all the dangers. We know that our fathers and forefathers have died. And we know that all who were put to death were never happy. Still, we want that old age should not come to us, and that we will not die. We are always making efforts to make ourselves more beautiful, more powerful, and more intelligent. We want to be expert in sense gratification. But moment by moment the two rats are nibbling. One second, two seconds, three seconds; then one hour, then twenty-four hours, then a day, then seven days, then one month; and after twelve months, then one year, and then one yuga. In this way our life is diminishing, and still we never think that we will die. We are satisfied like mad persons. And what is the honey? It is the very beautiful, very sweet love and affection of wives, husbands and children. If not of husbands and wives, then of new, new, new girlfriends and boyfriends.
Brajanatha Prabhu: Today we saw a dog in a car, next to the driver. People love their dogs so much. This is also like honey.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: They are making hospitals and charitable funds for that dog. They think, "After my death everything will be for that dog". But when they will die, they will become dogs. They don't realize this. You should realize it. You can die at any moment. Day by day your longevity is decreasing. Second by second. We ask, "What is your age?" "Oh, you want to know my age? My age is one hundred." But this means that one hundred years have already gone.
First of all you should know that Sri Sukadeva Gosvami is speaking and Pariksit Maharaja is hearing. You should think that you are in the council of Pariksit Maharaja, and all the teachings are coming through Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. From where did he learn them? From Krishnadvaipayana Vedavyasa. From where has he received these teachings? From Narada Gosvami. Narada Gosvami received them from Brahma. And from where has Brahma collected all this knowledge? From Krishna Himself. These are the teachings of Krishna Himself.