Germany: December 12, 2001 (pm)
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
2004 is the divine disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura. The following is a lecture about his glories.]
Srila Rupa Gosvami has full faith in the mano' bhista of
Srila Caitanya Mahaprabhu:
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
"When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this
material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me
shelter under his lotus feet?"
Srila Rupa Gosvami inspired in the heart
of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the Saptam Gosvami, (seventh Gosvami)
the essence of all the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: that
is, Jaiva-dharma. Jaiva-dharma was written by Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura in very simple Bengali language. Written in the form of
dialogue, it is the essence of all the teachings of all the
Gosvamis, especially Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa
Gosvami. Now I am going to explain something about that essence.
If you want to advance in Krsna consciousness, try to read this
book again and again with very strong faith. In this book you can
very easily have the essence of all Indian literature, that is,
the Vedas, the Upanisads, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri
I first translated
Jaiva-dharma from Bengali to Hindi. When I had any difficulty to
understand, I went to my Gurudeva. I also went to Parama Pujyapada
Srauti Maharaja and all other very qualified disciples of Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura for consultation. Srila
Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja read my translation and
expressed his heartfelt appreciation, and now the same book has been
translated to English.
Thakura has written this book in the form of a dialogue, with
questions and answers. You would not be able to even think of as
many questions as Bhaktivinoda Thakura has presented there. As
many questions as are possible to be asked has been presented
there. No one else could have put forward such questions.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura begins the first chapter by
telling us that in this entire universe, this Earth is very
prominent. Why? On this planet, Vrndavana Dhama and Navadvipa Dhama
are present. It is only for this reason that the Earth is
prominent or superior.
Why is Vrndavana superior?
The gopis are present there. Why are the gopis superior? Srimati
Radhika is present with them, and wherever Radhika is present,
Krsna is also bound to be there. Why is Gaura-bhumi superior? Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu took birth there. Mahaprabhu is Krsna, having
taken the intrinsic mood of Radhika, along with Her golden beauty.
He appeared in Gaura-mandala, and that place is therefore the essence
of the entire universe. It is not less then Vrndavana. It is the
same as Vrndavana, and in some cases it is superior because of its
vaisistha (speciality). [Vrndavana Dhama considers offenses,
whereas Navadvipa forgives them.]
Lord Krsna and
Sriman Mahaprabhu are the same. As They are the same, although
different at appearance, Vrndavana Dhama and Navadvipa Dhama are
also the same. Some say that Caitanya Mahaprabhu's exalted
separation mood at the Gambira in Jagannatha Puri may be superior to
the moods in Navadvipa, but such persons are totally ignorant.
Because Subhadra, Baladeva and Krsna are together in Puri, it is
like Dvaraka. Nowhere in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta or the books of
Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami is it written
that Puri is Vrndavana. Rather:
bhumi, yeba jane cintamani
tara haya vrajabhumi vasa
who understands the transcendental nature of Navadvipa and its
surrounding area where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu enacted His
pastimes, resides always in Vrndavana."
of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)
It is written in
many sastras that Navadvipa is Vrndavana, but it has never been
written that Puri is Vrndavana. It may have been written that when
Caitanya Mahaprabhu was there, He sometimes used to see the sea as
Yamuna and Cataka Parvata as Govardhana. He saw that hill as
Govardhana, but it is not that it was or is Govardhana. Even when
He was going to Vrndavana on His way in Jharikanda forest,
Mahaprabhu used to see Vrndavana. That place is not Vrndavana, but
because of His own bhavas, He saw it as such. On the other hand,
Navadvipa is actually Vrndavana.
pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, which took place in
Navadvipa, are far superior to what took place in Gambhira, what
to speak of what took place in South India, on the bank of
Godavari, where Raya Ramananda and Mahaprabhu met and discussed.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells us that Surabhi
cow once came to Navadvipa and performed austerities and aradhana
there. Worship and aradhana are different.
Madhava Maharaja:] Worship is puja.
Narayana Maharaja:] Aradhana means uttering and meditating on the
gopala-mantra or kama-gayatri mantra. The aradhana for Krsna may
be done only by kama-bhija and kama-gayatri:
vrndavane 'aprakrta navina madana'
yanra upasana (C.c. Madhya 8. 138)
spiritual realm of Vrndavana, Krsna is the spiritual, ever-fresh
Cupid. He is worshiped by the chanting of the kama-gayatri mantra,
with the spiritual seed klim".
It is this aradhana
which she performed, and it was at this place that Pradyumna
Brahmacari used to worship Sri Nrsimhadeva and meditate. There, at
Pradyumna Bhajana Kutira, Prema dasa Babaji was engaged in
performing bhajana. Paramahamsa Prema dasa Babaji was the
siksa-sisya disciple of Pradyumna-Misra Brahmacari. It has not been
written by whom he was initiated. It has not been written who was
his diksa-guru. Why? He accepted the bhagavata-guru-parampara.
In our line (the Gaudiya Sampradaya) there is a
prominence of bhagavat-parampara. In our line, Srila Gaura Kisora
dasa Babaji Maharaja was a disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura,
and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a disciple of Srila Jagannatha
dasa Babaji Maharaja in bhagavat-parampara. Bhaktivinoda Thakura
was formally initiated by his family guru, Vipina Bihari Gosvami,
but he accepted Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, his
siksa-guru, as his actual guru. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura also never gave very much importance to the
diksa-guru-parampara. Rather, he accepted the bhagavat-parampara.
The bhagavata-parampara consists only of
siddha-mahatmas, realized persons, Lord Krsna's associates; whereas
the diksa-parampara, the parampara consisting of only diksa-gurus,
may or may not include that very high class of siddha-guru.
Besides Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, all the sastras
including Srimad-Bhagavatam have accepted this line, because the
diksa-guru-parampara is included in the bhagavat-guru-parampara.
Nowadays, so many are hearing from sahajiya
babajis. Because they are ignorant, they do not accept this truth
of bhagavat-parampara. I have given so many examples and clear vision
of siksa-guru, diksa-guru, bhagavata-parampara, and other related
topics in my book, Five Essential Essays (Prabandha Pancakam). If
one wants to know more about these topics, he can read that book.
Always be careful regarding these sahajiya babajis and others like
If you go deep in your reading of
Jaiva-dharma, so many new things will come.
Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that he read
Prahlada-caritra (the Srimad-Bhagavatam 7th Canto history of
Prahlada Maharaja) not less then 100 or 108 times, so I have read
Jaiva-dharma not less than 108 times.
Jaiva-dharma we read about the siddha-mahatma, Premadasa Babaji.
How was Premadasa Babaji engaged in bhajana? He was very learned
in all the scriptures, especially in Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri
Caitanya-caritamrta. He always resided and performed bhajana in
Navadvipa Dhama, especially in Godruma, where Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura also used to do his bhajana. There he regularly chanted
two hundred thousand holy names daily, and by such chanting he was
weeping and his heart was melting. He was offering thousands of
sastang-pranama daily, to each Vaisnava in our guru-parampara. He
also offered obeisances to all the important places of Sri
Vraja-mandala Dhama, Sri Navadvipa-mandala Dhama, and Sri
Ksetra-mandala Dhama. He regularly offered obeisances to
Bhandiravat, Rasa-sthali, Vrndavana, Vamsivata, Gopisvara
Mahadeva, Yamuna phulina (the shore of Yamuna), the associates of
Radha and Krsna like Lalita, Visakha, Citra and Champakalata, all
the sakhis, all the manjaris, and to all the vipaksa, tatastha,
and suhrt gopis. He offered obeisances to everyone, from top to
bottom, for hours and hours. He was not merely offering
namaskara-pranama (with folded palms), but rather he offered
sastang-pranama (obeisances with all the limbs of the body).
He also engaged in madhukari-bhiksa. It is said
that unless one performs madhu-kari in Nandagaon, he cannot attain
perfection. Even if he regularly performs madhukari in Vrndavana,
he must also do it at least one day in Nandagaon. Nandagaon is the
place of Mother Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and Srila Rupa Gosvami and
Srila Sanatana Gosvami stayed there at Ter Kadamba. Navadvipa is
non-different from Vrndavana, and in Navadvipa, Godruma is
When Premadasa Babaji had extra time,
he did not engage in gramya-katha (mundane talks). Rather, he used to
read Sri Prema-vivarta. Prema-vivarta was written by Srila
Jagadananda Pandita, one of the high-class associates of Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That book is full of transcendental mellows,
very elevated truths, and so many teachings. When Premadasa Babaji
read it, he used to weep bitterly. His heart melted and his bodily
hairs stood on end.
Do you read Sri
Caitanya-caritamrta like this? Try to do so. If you do, anarthas
will disappear and you will go deep in love and affection. If you
are chanting, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare
Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare" without a deep mood, tears
will not come. However, when you call out, "Hare Krsna Hare
Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare
Hare" with a deep mood of longing, then Krsna may come. He is bound
to enter our hearts, at which time our hearts will melt by taking
His darsana. Moreover, Krsna will not come alone. He will come
with Radhika. Moreover, Radhika will not come alone, but with all
Her associates. She will come with all of Vrndavana Dhama. Your heart
will melt if you chant in this way.
Premadasa Babaji chanted Hare Krsna, he always remembered all the
sweet pastimes of Krsna. All the neighboring persons would come
and hear from him, and those who came also used to weep. This is
reminiscent of the assembly of Srila Rupa Gosvami. All devotees
present there wept by seeing Rupa Gosvami weep, as he heard Srimad
Bhagavatam from Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami.
Those who have many, many worldly desires cannot weep. They can
weep only when there is a problem. Always engaged in looking after
their bodies, they have no time to weep for Krsna. You should be
very careful about this. Someone may be continually engaged in sense
gratification, in overeating, and in collecting all things for
sense gratification; and at the same time he may be thinking, "I
will do bhajana." This is not the process.
day, at about three 3 o'clock in the afternoon, after he had
completed his chanting, Premadasa Babaji was reading Prema-vivarta
and weeping. At that time, a person in the renounced order, a
sannyasi, who had come from Kasi, Varanasi began to offer him
his sastang pranama. That sannyasi did not rise up for some time, and
in the meantime Babaji Maharaja was totally absorbed in the mood
of Prema-vivarta. In Prema-vivarta, Sri Jagadananda Pandita was
remembering his association with Nimai Pandita (Sacinandana
Gaurahari) in Navadvipa. He remembered when, one day, both were
quarrelling, and Mahaprabhu came and found him weeping alone on the
banks of Ganges at midnight. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had
asked his associates, "Where is Jagadananda? Perhaps he is in a
sulky mood, and that is why he has not yet returned." Sulking in a
mood of transcendental loving anger, Jagadananda wept due to his
remembering Nimai Pandita, and he did not speak with anyone.
Mahaprabhu came and embraced him, also weeping, and said, "Oh,
Jagadananda, without you, I cannot remain in my room". Somehow
Jagadananda Pandita was pacified, and then both returned to
Jagadananda Pandita has
written that whenever thoughts appear in his memory, he writes
them down. He is not writing in serial or chronological
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] In other books
there is sequence, but in this book it is not so.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Babaji Maharaja was totally absorbed in
that mood, meditating on the reason for Jagadananda's anger and
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's pacifying him. And he was also weeping
as he remembered the pastime. When he came to his external
consciousness, Premadasa Babaji saw that sannyasi doing sastang
pranama and called out, "Ha (Alas) Caitanya! Ha Nityananda! Please
be merciful to me. Sprinkle your mercy upon me. He was trinad api
sunicena, more humble than a blade of grass, and he began to weep
very loudly. The sannyasi then rose up and told him: "I am so
fallen. Why are you mocking me? I'm not of that quality." And that
sannyasi again fell down at the lotus feet of Babaji Maharaja.
Babaji Maharaja then gave him an asana (small seat) on
which to sit. He was niskincana, without material possessions, and
was only able to offer an asana made of banana leaves. At that
time, the asramas of sannyasis were like that.
Babaji Maharaja asked the sannyasi: "What service may I render to
you?" Sannyasi Maharaja put down his kamandalu (water pot). He
had no lota. He only had a water pot made of the dry skin of a
gourd (a vegetable known as a loki). It was not made of gold
or any other opulent material.
He said, "For twelve
years I studied sankhya, patanjala, vaisesika, purva-mimamsa and
uttara mimamsa, all the Upanisads, and Vedanta written by Sri
Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva, in Kasi and other places. I was always
absorbed in practicing their teachings. I also took sannyasa from
Sacidananda Sarasvati in Kasi, Varanasi."
Sannyasi Thakura was a very learned person. He had read all the
sastras, like Veda, Upanisads, Vedanta and Nyaya, and he had taken
sannyasa from a high class of advaitavadi (mayavadi) sannyasi. He
continued, "I went to all the pilgrimage places in the Himalayas,
South India, and elsewhere, and I associated with elevated
mayavadi philosophers and sannyasis. There I passed the stages of
kuticaka, bahudaka, and hamsa." The first stage of a sannyasi is
kuticaka. In that stage the sannyasi makes a hut for bhajana and
lives there. After that comes the stage of bahudaka. In this
second stage of sannyasa, the devotee has no fixed place for
performing bhajana, and he drinks water from many different
places. After this comes the stage of hamsa. What is the essence
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] A swan can
separate milk from water and drink only the milk portion.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Similarly, this 'hamsa' sannyasi
knows the difference between worldly things and paramarthika
(transcendental or spiritual) things. He rejects all worldly things
and has no worldly desires at all. Sannyasi Thakura continued,
"Finally I entered the paramahamsa stage and I was totally
absorbed in 'Aham brahmasmi,' 'Prajnanam brahma,' 'Sarvam kalvidam
brahma,' 'Tattvam asi,' and 'I am brahma, brahma, brahma' (meaning
I am that God). Practicing in that way, I used to think that I
had realized Brahma. Yet, I was not satisfied."
Srila Vyasadeva was not satisfied by writing many sastras like
Mahabharata and Gita. He had divided all the Vedas in four, he
wrote the Vedanta sastras, he wrote the Puranas, and he was master
of them all but still he was not satisfied. One day, Narada
mercifully came and told him, "What have you done? You have
not glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and that
is why you are not satisfied. You should meditate in trance on
Krsna's pastimes, and after that, you should write His
What is that glorification?
Mother Yasoda is twisting the ears of that Parama-brahma. That
Parama-brahma is playing with the cowherd boys, and cowherd boys
are defeating Him in wrestling. They sometimes eat sweet
preparations and then put that same prasadam in the mouth of that
Supreme Lord. Sometimes that Supreme Lord prays to gopis, massages
their feet, and tells them, 'I will be indebted to you for My whole
life. I cannot repay you.' Have you written this?"
Vyasadeva answered, "Never. I don't know all these things."
Narada said, "So, what have you done? You have
Vyasadeva asked, "How will I come
to know all these things?"
Narada answered, "Oh,
pray in trance. Surrender yourself. 'Sarva dharman parijyata /
mam ekam saranam vraja.' The mantra that contains the word
'pracodayat' will help you. What is the meaning of pracodayat?
Praca-udayat. 'Please come in my trance and reveal to me how
glorious and sweet you are.' This is the proper prayer, and with
prayers such as this, you should surrender." Srila Vyasadeva then
totally surrendered and meditated in a trance of bhakti. Bhakti
yogena manasi. Yasyavai suyamame. He saw the Parama-purusa, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Purnam-purusam, the complete
feature of the Personality of Godhead.
In what way
did he see this? Radhika was there with Krsna and Her associates,
the sakhis. Nanda Baba, Yasoda, all the sakhas, cowherd boys, and
so many thousands upon thousands of cows were there. Vrsabhanu
Maharaja, Kirtika, and Sridama were also there.
Srila Vyasadeva also saw in that Purnam-purusa, Narayana, Nrsimha
Rama, Kalki and Vamana. He saw the entire universe and all the
jivas there. Those jivas who had forgotten Krsna were being
crushed in the chain of maya, birth and death, and those who had
accepted a sad-guru and were chanting and remembering Krsna, were
gradually going towards him. Vyasadeva then wrote what he saw in
his trance of meditation, and that writing was Srimad Bhagavatam.
He then became satisfied.
He called his son, Sri
Sukadeva Gosvami, and told him, "You should study." Sukadeva
Gosvami then studied the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. Although he was
atmarama, fully satisfied in his atma, still he studied.
Similarly, Sannyasi Thakura is saying, "I was a very
learned person in Veda, Vedanta, and all other sastras, and I was
practicing the utterance of 'aham brahmasmi;' but I was not happy. I
tried with great difficulty to realize ananda with 'I am Brahma.'
Brahma is anandamaya, Brahma is made of happiness, but I did not
realize any happiness at all." "Then, one day I saw in a
sadhu Vaisnava in Varanasi and that Vaisnava was weeping bitterly
and calling out: 'Sri Krsna Caitanya, prabhu Nityananda, Sri
Advaita, Gadadhara, Srivasadi Gaura bhakta Vrnda.' As that sadhu
wept bitterly, he was trying to walk, but he could not. Tears were
flowing from his eyes as he cried out.
merciful to me. Fie on me. I am a wretched person. Although I saw
him for only a moment, an ecstatic feeling came, but I cannot
express its nature. My heart realized that his mood was so much
greater than 'aham brahmasmi.' At that time I could not approach
him to ask, 'Who are you and what are you doing?' I avoided him
because I thought I was a paramahamsa, absorbed in 'I am Brahma. I
am brahma! So fie on me.
"After some time, I
realized my false position and began searching, 'Where is that
Vaisnava?' But I was not so fortunate to meet him. I considered
that because he was a Vaisnava, he must be somewhere in Vrndavana.
I left my position, my danda, my kamandalu, and everything else,
and I was searching in the lanes of Vrndavana. When I saw any
Vaisnava, he was also weeping bitterly, 'Ha Krsna, Ha
Vrajendranandana Syamasundara.' Then I thought, 'Sri Krsna
Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda. Oh, he may be in Navadvipa Dhama.
I therefore wanted to visit that Navadvipa
Dhama, to see why it is considered so glorious. By that curiosity,
I came to this place and heard about your glories. So many
Vaisnavas told me, 'Babaji Maharaja is so advanced. If you want to
hear something about Sri Krsna Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda, you
should take shelter of Prema dasa Babaji Maharaja in Godruma.'"
Saying this, Sannyasi Thakura began to weep and
offer his sastang pranama. Babaji Maharaja then embraced him, also
weeping, and cried out, "Oh, Nityananda Prabhu." Now, in a moment,
Sannyasi Thakura realized the transcendental happiness he could never
You can read so many books. You
can have thousands of books, and with those books you can make a
big library. But how you can make a library of these moods? How
will your heart melt? This is a main subject. Try to follow Srila
Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. "Rupa raghunatha
pade mora asa / caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsna dasa."
[Sripad Asrama Maharaja:] For the whole tour, Gurudeva,
please give classes on Jaiva Dharma.
Narayana Maharaja:] I cannot speak further. Try to digest this
much and follow. Try to give up your false ego entirely: your
kama, krodha, lobha, mada, matsarya, (lust, anger, greed, pride,
illusion and envy) and worldly attachments. Call out,
Vrajendranandana! Where is Vrajendranandana? Where is Caitanya
Mahaprabhu? Where is Rupa? Ha Rupa! Ha Sanatana!" We should try to
advance in this way. This is the essence of Jaiva Dharma.
Try to be like Sannyasi Maharaja. Follow that sannyasi
of Kasi, Varanasi. Give up all your learning and worldly sense
gratification, and be like him. Gradually we will discuss this
Gaura premanande hari haribol.
Transcriber: Srimati Yasoda devi dasi