(Wales, UK, July 3, 2000)
[Just before beginning class, Srila Maharaja gave a short talk on the meaning of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Introduction to Saranagati.]
Sri krsna caitanya prabhu jive doya kori. What is the essence of this song? You should try to hear very carefully - but not only hear. There was once a guru and a cela, disciple. The guru ordered, "Bring me a glass of water. Are you hearing?" The disciple answered, "Yes, I am hearing." But he did not go to bring the water. The guru asked again, "Bring me a glass of water." The disciple heard this order, but he was still not going to bring the water. The guru then asked the disciple, "Why are you not bringing the water?" "Because you only asked me, 'Have you heard?' There is no need to be telling me so much; I am not deaf. I am hearing what you want."
This is not hearing. You should not hear like this. If you want to follow me, then bring me water. Gurudeva says, "O, have you brought water?" "Yes." "From where have you brought it?" "I brought it from there." "But it is not drinking water." Suppose it was a very cold day and the disciple brought very cold water; such a disciple is not a sevaka. He is only a baka. What is the meaning of baka? Crane. The crane stands on one leg, and although he appears to be doing austerities, his austerities are only to catch fish. He will see a fish and say, "Oh!" and catch it.
If you are following, then you can hear. When you are doing kirtan, try to think of the meaning of the song and follow it. Then all your problems will go away and you will be happy.
There was a dog, and he surrendered himself to his master. His master was very powerful, very rich and wealthy, and he had two or three guns and pistols. The dog had nothing to do for his meals or anything else. He had no pocket at all. Dogs, and those who have surrendered, have nothing to care about for their meals, for their sleeping, or for their anything. Whenever he went for a walk, his master also went with him. Once, on the way, there were some large and ferocious hound dogs. They wanted to attack him, but he did not fear. Why? Because he knew his master had some guns, and if they would come and attack, what will he do? Shoot. So that dog was jumping and also going to quarrel with them. Why? Because he knew that his master was carrying guns. Similarly, if anyone is surrendered to Krishna, he will know that Krishna is very powerful and thus he will be always happy. He will not have to maintain his life. His maintenance will also depend on Krishna, because he has fully surrendered.
In all ways, therefore, if any devotee surrenders by the six limbs of saranagati, (accepting everything that is favourable and rejecting everything that is unfavourable, having firm conviction that Krishna is his only maintainer and protector, having humility, and fully surrendering), why should he be worried for his maintenance or anything else? He will cut off his pocket, and he will cut off all his attachments to anything other than Krishna.
This dog, however, is not fully surrendered. The master has some chains. Why does he have chains? Although the dog is surrendered in so many ways, there is some defect. If he will be free from his chains, where will he run? To she-dogs. He will then forget his master and go there to enjoy. Therefore the very powerful master is also very clever and intelligent. Sometimes, at night, he lets him free to do night-guard. That dog was not worried at any time for his meals and other things, but if he were not chained, there would be something wrong -- because he is not fully surrendered.
Devotees, however, are superior to that dog, and they should at least be like him regarding their meals, their maintenance, and their bhakti. Everything will depend on the master, and the master is not ordinary. He is Krishna Himself, all-powerful and very merciful. He will protect you, save you, and give you anything you desire. If you are a surrendered soul and still worried about your maintenance, then there is no real saranagati. A person may seem to be surrendered, but when any trouble or sickness comes, he will call out, "Oh, save me! Save me!" to persons other than Krishna. Krishna is so powerful. He can dissolve all your problems. Why worry? If a devotee is like this, always chanting and remembering, he will be always happy. Jayatma samprasidati. If one is doing bhakti he must be happy forever, and therefore he will certainly be detached from worldly desires. This is because he has some taste. Suppose there is sugarcane and a rasagulla. The rasagulla is saturated with a high-class of rasa and a very sweet fragrance. Everywhere it is saturated with rasa. Will a person take the sugarcane or the rasagulla? Param drstva nivartante. (One who experiences a higher taste will naturally give up the lower taste.) Bhakti-yoga means rasa; transcendental rasa. If one is tasting that, why will he be attached to worldly things? He will never be. If you are chanting, remembering and advancing in Krishna consciousness, there will be no problem. Detachment will come and you will be always happy.
At present you are doing all things, but you are always very unhappy; very unhappy. Detachment from wordly desire is not coming. You want to collect all those nonsense things that rascals are collecting. What does this mean? There is no bhakti at all. You are cheating yourself, your Gurudeva, and Krishna. Actually, Krishna and Gurudeva cannot be cheated; they will never be cheated. Only you are cheated.
Bhakti is like a current. It should not be stopped. It should be flowing, flowing, flowing always. Otherwise the water will stagnate and become stale. Bhakti begins from sraddha, nistha, ruci and so on. It is always developing. As much as it will develop, all the qualities of a Vaisnava will come. Detachment from worldly things will also come and you will be much more happy.
THE RATHA-YATRA FESTIVAL
Today is the ratha or cart festival. What is the cart festival? Our heart is like a cart. Pray to Krishna that, "You should come and sit in my heart." The gopis were praying like this to Krishna in Kuruksetra: "You should come and sit in our heart. Our heart is Vrindavana."
From where does this upakyana, history, come? There was once a King named Indradyumna, and his wife was Gundica. He heard from devotees who had been here and there in all the holy places, and who for one night were residing in his kingdom, about the glories of Nila Madhava. He heard that if anyone has darsana of Nila Madhava, he will certainly be liberated and go to Vaikuntha. The King wanted to ask, "How can I reach Him?" They left during the night, however, before he could ask the whereabouts of that Nila Madhava.
The King decided to somehow search for the Deity. He called his priest, or rather the son of his priest, Vidyapati, who was very intelligent. He also called all his officials and commanders, and ordered them to each go in a different direction. He said, "One will go to the east, another to the west, another south, another northeast, another southeast, and so on. In this way he sent them 'to all four corners', up and down, in all ten directions, and told them, "You should return within three months. To he who will really search, and will tell me the whereabouts of the Deity, I will give so much wealth and position." He sent his priest´s son, Vidyapati, who was very young and very beautiful, and possessing all good qualities, to the east. They all started from Madya Pradesh, and he would be going to the eastern side.
After three months all returned except Vidyapati. The king was worried; no one could find out his whereabouts. What was Vidyapati doing? He was travelling continually, up to the ocean, on the east side. One day, while he was searching Nila Madhava, he saw a very beautiful village on the bank of the ocean, and a mountain with so many flowers and trees. The persons there were very high-class. It was now approaching night, and he wanted to stay in that village. He went to someone and said, "Tonight I want to rest somewhere." That person told him, "The commander of this village, Visvavasu, though a sudra, is very qualified. You can go to his house. Whenever any traveller or guest comes, he goes to his house. He is very humble and very liberal. You must go there."
When Vidyapati arrived there, he saw that the owner was not at home. Only his very beautiful 16 year-old daughter was there. She opened the door and said, "You can wait for my father. He is not here. He has gone out. He will come, and then he will arrange everything. So you should wait outside." After some time -- after two, three, four hours -- the father of the girl arrived. A very beautiful, sweet fragrance was coming from his body, and he was wearing very beautiful and fragrant tilaka. When he saw his guest he became ashamed and told him, "Oh, excuse me; I am late. Now you can come." His daughter also came. They both took that guest inside and said, "The arrangements are made for all things -- bath and everything."
He took his meal and rested there, but he was thinking, "Where did that beautiful fragrance come from? I have never smelled anything like that in my whole life. And that girl is also so beautiful."
Vidyapati was also a very beautiful young man, and the girl became attached to him. Her father therefore told her, "You should take care of this young boy. He is very beautiful, intelligent, and qualified, and he is a brahmana by caste. So you should take care of him."
The next morning her father again went out to the same place. He told his daughter, "Do not tell anyone where I go. Keep it secret -- very, very secret. In the evening he again returned, very fresh and very fragrant.
After some time, Vidyapati began to have so much love for that girl. He was married, but still he had so much affection for her. He was so attached that he requested her father, "I want to marry this girl." The father agreed to marry his daughter to him, and now he became his son-in-law. One day Vidyapati secretly told his wife, "O, I want to know where your father is going daily, and from where is this fragrance is coming. Tell me." "That I cannot tell." "You cannot tell me? You are one with me; you are non-different to me. You must tell me. I am your husband." "Then you must promise that you will not tell anyone" "A wife should not speak like this. I know you are a very chaste wife, so you must tell me." Then he was silent. "I will tell you," She said, "He is going to worship a Deity." "Which Deity?" "I promised not to tell, but yet I will tell you because you are my husband. He is going to Nila Madhava."
Hearing this name Vidyapati became very happy, and he began to show his love and affection to his wife in such a way that she told him everything: "My father goes in the morning, comes in the evening, and again goes." Then he asked, "Can you tell me in where he goes? Request your father that, 'You should take your son-in-law with you.'"
That night, when her father returned, she requested him: "Father; O father. I want that you take my husband with you to Nila Madhava. He wants only to take darsana." When he was not willing, she said, "I will take poison. I will die in front of you if you do not take him with you. This means that I am not your loving daughter." She became ready to take the poison. These are the most powerful weapons of ladies: "I will die. I will take poison. I will commit suicide." What, then, will a husband say? "Oh, you can take my everything." This is most powerful.
Her father said, "No; I do not want you to die. I will take him with me, but there is some condition: I will bind his eyes with black cloth." She told him, "Yes, you can bind his eyes with black cloth." When Vidyapati was seated on a bullock cart, Visvavasu put on the black cloth and took his son-in-law with him. Vidyapati's wife was very clever and also very intelligent. She had given him some mustard seeds and said, "Keep this in your pocket. Now it is the rainy season. If you will drop one-one-one-one, one after another, the whole way, after some time the plants of those mustard seeds will blossom into bright yellow flowers, and you will very easily be able to go there yourself. You will not have to ask your father."
Vidyapati took the mustard seeds, and one by one began to drop them on the ground -- and his father never knew.
[At this time Srila Narayana Maharaja noticed some devotees sleeping and said] Don´t sleep. Who is sleeping? Don´t sleep. Sit like this. Always keep your eyes open. When sleep comes, clap. Maya comes especially at the time of chanting Hare Krishna. She becomes so heavy on your eyelids; it is as though 1000's of mounds of stones are there. Maya is very powerful. I have come from so far to give you all these things, and you don´t want to take the nectar. So I will take my nectar and I will return. [He then resumed the class.]
When they arrived at the foot of the mountain, the bullock cart was kept there. Visvavasu took Vidyapati by the hands and brought him to the top of the hill. When they went inside the temple he took off his black cloth and saw the very beautiful Nila Madhava. He was four-handed, and carrying sankha, cakra, gada and padma. He was very beautiful but, unlike Nanda-nandana, He had no flute and no peacock feather. Nila Madhava was like Narayana. Narayana is not less beautiful. He is very beautiful, but Krishna is supermost. In this way Vidyapati saw him, became so much happy, and began to weep. His father-in-law told him, "Wait; I am coming. I am going to pick some flowers and get other paraphernalia. You should wait here."
While he waited, he noticed a very beautiful lake with lotus flowers, humming bees, and some sweetly singing birds. The branches of a mango tree were hanging over the lake, and a crow was sleeping on the branch of that tree. While sleeping, the crow fell down in the lake, and at once he left his body and became four-handed. Then Garuda quickly came, took him on his back, and they both went to Vaikuntha.
Vidyapati began to think, "Oh! Then why should I remain here?" He wanted to also climb a tree, jump in the lake, and thus be four-handed and go to Vaikuntha. When he began to do so, an aerial voice came and said, "Do not do this. No. You will have to do so many important things for the benefit of the whole world; so do not do this!" Thakurji also told Vidyapati, "O, don't commit suicide for becoming liberated and going to Vaikuntha. You should be patient. Everything will be done." In the meantime Vidyapati's father returned with so many flowers and other paraphernalia. He said, "Why you are doing this? You should not do this!"
This boy was now very much charmed with the glories of Nila Madhava. His father made candana and other things, and throughout the entire day he was worshipping, offering prayers, and engaging so many other devotional activities.
Visvavasu was known a dayita-pati, and all the residents of that village were known as dayitas. Dayita means those who are very near and dear to Krishna; very near and dear. Visvavasu was dayita-pati, master of all those who are near and dear. Although he was a sudra, still he was serving in this way, fully surrendered and always calling out, "Nila Madhava!"
When his services were completed, he again put the black cloth on the eyes of Vidyapati and they both left. Visvavasu then practically arrested him in his house. He could not go anywhere, and thus it was as though he was in jail. He told his wife: "You should help me. I want to return very soon. I have promised my king. The king wants to come with his whole family to serve Nila Madhava. Please help me. You are my wife; my half." She gave permission and said, "You can go. I will help you." She somehow made a plan, and he thus came out of his jail and proceeded towards the place from which he had come.
Vidyapati had been gone for six months or more, and now that he returned the king became very happy. The king decided," I must go with my wife, my kingdom, my wealth, and my soldiers and commanders. Proceeding, he reached there in six months. From where? From Sandipani Muni in Ujjain. He was the king of Ujjain, and from there he travelled to Puri, or rather a hundred miles south of Puri. By a miracle, however, he saw that the hill was not there, and there was also no village. The entire village was covered with over a hundred feet of sand. Everything was covered up to the hill, and Nila Madhava was not there.
Then the king began to fast. He took a kusasana, straw mat, and, facing the ocean, he decided, "If I do not get have the darsana of Nila Madhava, I will not take anything to eat and I will die. I came with my whole kingdom, my whole wealth, wife and family, but I did not get the darsana of the Lord. Oh, I must give up my life". An aerial voice then said; "He will not come, but do not worry. Nila Madhava will not be here to give you darsana, but you will be able to see Him. He will manifest in four forms, but now wait. I am sending Brahma. You should come with Brahma to Vaikuntha, and there you can take darsana of Nila Madhava. But Nila Madhava will not go to this world. His four amsas, manifestations, will go."
Brahma quickly came and took the king with him to Vaikuntha, where he could glance at Nila Madhava. He became very attached and began to weep. Brahma told him: "Let us go. He will not go to earth in this form, but He will go in four forms: Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra and Cakra Sudarsana. So we should go there and wait for him." In the meantime, while the king was gone, so many years had passed, and now the whole world was changed. Before going he had made a very big, beautiful and high temple, but now it was also covered. Although the sands had been taken off many times, still it became old and dilapidated. A new king had come and repaired it, and he had declared, "I am the builder of this temple!" When King Indradyumna returned, however, he said, "This is not yours. I have built this. I am the owner of this temple. You have only made repairs." Brahma agreed, "This King has built the temple. You have only repaired it." In this way, King Indradyumna again became the master.
They were now all waiting for the Deities. Somehow the king's wife was there by the mercy of Krishna. He had no child at all, so there was only he and his wife. While waiting, he heard about Bahki Mahana, somewhat north and east of Cakratirtha, on the shore of the ocean. Going to that placethe king saw a red tree-trunk which was marked everywhere with sanka, cakra, gada and padma, and conch, disc, club and lotus flower. He thus went there with his soldiers and elephants, and tried very hard to take it out of the water; but he could not do it.
At last an aerial voice said: "You should bring Vidyapati, your priest´s son, and dayita-pati -- those who first served Nila Madhava. And also bring his daughter." They were thus brought with honour on a chariot, and then Dayita-pati and Vidyapati and his wife began to pray to those logs. "O, please, please be merciful and come on our chariot." The logs now very easily came, and then they were brought to the place near to where the temple was situated.
A big sacrifice was then performed, and I have already explained how these four vigrahas were manifest there. The Deity ordered the king through an aerial voice, "You should make a festival for ten days, beginning from today. You should take this chariot to the Gundica Mandira and we will be there for so many days. Then you should take us back. You should perform many festivals like snana-yatra, candana-yatra, hera-pancami, and so on." During candan-yatra Jagannatha's whole body is covered with candana for many days. In narendra-sarvovara lake a very beautiful boat comes, and then His Deity of Madana-Mohana is brought there and nokara vilasa, boat pastimes, take place. Then comes snana-yatra. The Deity receives abhiseka, bath, from thousands of pitchers of water brought from all the holy places. He takes such a long bath that he becomes sick. His stomach becomes upset and loose motion comes. At that time Laksmiji takes Him to Her palace and closes the door for fifteen days.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot survive without Him, so He goes to Alvarnatha and cries, "Where is Krishna? Where is Krishna?" He becomes mad. He became so mad that when He touched the stones at Alvarnatha they melted. Wherever He did his pranams, wherever His hands, head, and other limbs were placed, their impressions became visible in that piece of stone. It is still kept there, and it is called angavasat. Only the dayitas can serve at that time; no one else. Who are the dayitas? The family of Visvavasu Sabara. Only they can become the servants of Jagannatha. Actually there are two kinds of servants. One is coming from the dynasty of the original brahmana wife, Vidyapatis first wife. These devotees will do arcana and seva. Those who descend from Lalita, the daughter of Visvavasu, are called supa. Supa means cook. Though they are of a very low-class of birth, Jagannatha has accepted them and they can cook. They cook not less than one hundred mounds of rice and dal, and so many various preparations -- very easily and very quickly -- and they are expert in using the many stoves. At least twenty-five earthern pots can be placed on one stove.
The king prayed, "O Thakuraji. I am serving you. I want a boon." "What boon do you want?" "I want that in my dynasty there should be neither sons nor daughters. I do not want any child. I know that you will give what I want." "Why don´t you want children?" "They will quarrel for money. They will have no interest in serving. So much money will come and they will think, 'This property is mine' 'Jagannatha is my property.'" Nowadays we see this all over India, and everywhere else. The disciples of my siksa-guru also think, "This is my property."
The King continued, "So I do not want that any one of my family members thinks 'Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra are my property, and all money that is coming as pranami is therefore mine to enjoy.'" These days devotees go to others and tell them, "Give me some money to serve my Gurudeva. I want to serve Thakuraji, Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. I want to serve Radha and Krishna. So donate something." Then, when they get that donation, they do not give a single percent to Gurudeva or to Thakuraji. They think, "Now I am the enjoyer!" and they keep the money in their pockets. Then they think, "Where is the bank so that I can make a deposit?" "You can go to Switzerland, it is the very best." "No, I want to keep it in India because I want to live there. So can you tell me which is the safest bank in India to keep my money?" They forget that they collected this money for Gurudeva. Would anyone give the money if they thought it was for you? And what will be the punishment? As yet Krishna has no hell that is good enough to give. He will have to create a new hellish planet where such persons can suffer even more. Krishna is therefore somewhat worried about where to make such a hell for them to be sent. This is a very big problem for Krishna. So you should be always careful about this. Otherwise bhakti will not come. She will know that, "This person is very selfish. He wants to be the master of his Gurudeva and Krishna also."
The king therefore requested, "I want that in my family there should be no child at all who will say, "I am the owner. I am the master of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra", and who will take even a single paisa. The managers should always be changed. There should be a servant, like a trustee. What is a trustee? He who you can trust to serve without any self-gain. The king of Orissa is always the trustee, and he has no child. After him someone else is selected. They are not actually king. They cannot take even a farthing or a paisa. If they will take anything they will be ruined.
The king then said, 'The dynasty of Vidyapati´s first wife will be the priests, and the dynasty of his second wife will cook. They will especially serve during the ten days of ratha-yatra. Nobody besides them can serve.
There are so many teachings in this. This evening I will tell you about Prataparudra Maharaja; how Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejected him and how he then accepted him due to his bhakti, and what was going on between Svarupa Damodara and Srivasa Pandita when Mahaprabhu was the mediator. So many questions were raised and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu solved them in a very good way. If you hear this, you will get the benefit of hearing the whole Srimad Bhagavatam and the essence of the whole Vedic literature. Love and affection will come, and thus your life will be successful. That is why my siksa-guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, took this cart festival here, there and everywhere -- because in the beginning we are only qualified to serve Jagannatha. He is patita-pavana. So you should discuss all these teachings and try to listen and follow them, and you will very quickly become a high class of devotees. There will be no doubt at all.