BHAKTI AND MUKTI
(Holland, June 8, 2001, pm)
If one remembers the principles of bhakti, he will never be tired. Inspiration will always come to him. Bhakti will always pursue those who have guru-nistha (strong faith in guru), because guru-nistha is the backbone of bhakti.
You should know all siddhanta (established truths), be very humble, and honor everyone. If you are not giving proper honor to others, and instead you are thinking, "I know more than anyone," then you may even challenge your gurudeva. You may challenge Krsna, Mahaprabhu, and Rupa Gosvami. When you speak, you will take credit for yourself rather than giving credit to our acaryas. Don't do this.
Gurudeva is very, very humble and always says, "Oh, I have heard this from my Gurudeva, and I am only explaining to you what he has said." This humility should always be there. Give proper respect, even to kanistha-adhikaris. Srimati Radhika even gave great honor to the deer. Dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo 'pi harinya eta (SB 10.21.11). She would say, "I want to be harina, a deer (because they can easily get the darsana of Krsna, whereas I cannot)." Such humility was exhibited by Her.
Always be trnad api sunicena, more humble than a blade of grass. Persons with this quality will develop their Krsna consciousness. On the other hand, if one has false ego and thinks, "I know everything. Why should I honor all these bogus persons?" he will deviate. Try, therefore, to learn Vaisnava etiquette, follow properly, and honor all. Honor even those who are kanistha, and especially give honor to the madhyama, madhyama-uttama, and uttama-adhikari. Give honor to all, according to their development in bhakti:
krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta diksasti cet pranatibhia ca bhajantam isam susrusraya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya- nindadi-sunya-hrdam ipsita-sanga-labdhya
["One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation (diksa) and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others." (NOI text 5)]
Follow in this way.
[Devotees sang Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's 'Harinama, tuwa aneka svarupa' and then Srila Narayana Maharaja began to discuss that bhajana]
You should explain how this name is Yasoda-nandana, Kamsa-nisudana, Nanda-tanaya, and Rasa-kupa. What is the meaning of Rasa-kupa? Rasa-kupa is the well of endless rasa. Syamarani should explain something.
Syamarani didi: Srila Gurudeva explained this song by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Alachua just one week ago. He said that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura would spend his entire nights without sleeping, and he would be weeping while singing this song. It seems like a song of joy, but he was weeping, feeling separation from the service of Krsna in these forms.
This song is meant for entering raganuga-bhakti, following in the mood of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and weeping for the service of Krsna in relation to Srimati Radhika. We see in the last words of this song that Krsna takes His pleasure in the worship of Srimati Radhika.
There is one thing that we want to gain, and that is spiritual service. There are also some things that we want to get rid of, and they are our impurities, our sins, our offences, and the taste of the results of those things that impede our bhakti. In this song, therefore, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is praying to Putana-ghatana, the killer of Putana and so many other demons. These demons represent the impurities in our hearts. Trnavarta, as you know, was the whirlwind demon, and he made so much dust and straw fly around Vrndavana. This dust and straw represent the false arguments and logic against bhakti, and Krsna destroys them. When we hear that Krsna lifted Govardhana Hill, we think, "How is that possible? I don't see anyone with a form that can lift a mountain. Forms are so limited. Therefore, by my logic, I have come to the conclusion that Krsna is impersonal; God is impersonal. Impersonal things are more unlimited than personal things." This is an example of logic against bhakti, and Krsna destroys that.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: But when thinking that Aghasura was killed by Krsna, always know that Krsna is the form of this name. Here the name is prominent. All the activities and forms that are in this song are the actual forms of those particular names.
Syamarani didi: Gurudeva often quotes the verse, 'jayati jayati namananda-rupam murare.' This name, Murari, is the rupa or form of Murari. It is not a vibration of sound, Rather, it is actually the form of Krsna when He kills Murari and gives him liberation. There is one other song by Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: It is not the form of Krsna. It is the form of this name here. Everyone should try to understand this. 'Nama tuwa aneka svarupa.' What is the meaning?
Pundarika Prabhu: O holy name, You have so many millions of forms.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: All the forms described by the names are actually the forms of the name. Krsna is also a form of this name. Try to realize this.
Syamarani didi: Perhaps I can give an analogy.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: But you should also know that this is not for kanistha or madhyama-adhikaris. This is for Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who is an uttama-maha-bhagavata, and who is directly the power of Gauracandra. This is for him, but we should follow him. We are now chanting and singing this song, but actually only Bhaktivinoda Thakura and the pure Vaisnavas can realize it. This is a very important concept. Go on.
Syamarani didi: Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada, gave an example in 1967 when he opened his second ISKCON temple in San Francisco. Just after his disciple Rayarama had called him on the phone, Prabhupada told us, "The telephone line carried Rayarama from San Fransisco to where I am in New York, and I was actually speaking with him. If a mundane sound vibration can have form, then what to speak of the spiritual name. The form of the name is Krsna Himself."
This is Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's prayer and he is weeping. It is not yet our prayer, and therefore we pray to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, "Please, whatever was in your heart when you wrote and sang this song, please put those moods and realizations in my heart so that I can also weep when I sing these names."
We are praying to each Name, to the form of each Name, that, "Let me serve You in this way. You are getting rid of all the impurities and sins, destroying them and bestowing liberation. And on the other hand, You are Yasoda-nandana, Nanda-tanaya, Rasa-kupa, and You take pleasure ultimately in serving Srimati Radhika. So please let me serve You in Your unlimited forms of Your holy Names."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Thank you.
[Srila Maharaja began his class in Hindi, and then continued in English]: Throughout the Bhagavatam, Vyasadeva writes as follows: "Narada uvaca; Naradaji said." "Kapila uvaca; Kapiladeva said." "Devahuti uvaca; Devahuti said." When we speak or write, we should always give the reference of the guru and guru-parampara whom we are quoting. We should make it very clear that "I am not the speaker." Who am I? I am like a loud-speaker, an amplifier only. From where is the actual voice coming? It is coming from transcendental personalities. Always realize this, and then you will be humble. Otherwise, false ego may come. Be very humble and always begin your discourse with "My Gurudeva said," "My siksa-guru said," or "Srila Rupa Gosvami said," and quote their verses. Vyasadeva and Sukadeva Gosvami always spoke in this way, and you should follow them. Then humility will come, and then everyone will want to hear from you and pay so much respect to you.
Pundarika Prabhu (translating Srila Maharaja's Hindi): First of all, Srila Gurudeva offered his obeisances unto the lotus feet of his diksa Gurudeva and siksa Gurudeva, and then he continued from yesterday's class. We heard how the living entity who is bhagyavan, who is so fortunate, comes in touch with a pure devotee, a sad-guru. The sad-guru gives him the seed of bhakti-lata, the seed of the creeper of devotion. Guru does not plant that seed; he gives that seed to the sadhaka, or the disciple, and gives him the directions how to plant it and how to nourish it. He tells him, "First you should make the land properly clean and fertile. Then plant the seed and give water, and make sure fresh air and proper sunlight are available." Then what happens? When the sadhaka follows these instructions, the seed gradually sprouts, and two leaves manifest. Then, later on, two more leaves appear.
How is it possible for the creeper of devotion to actually grow? It is possible only when the disciple is careful to take bona fide association. If he is not careful about his association, this growth will not take place. First of all the guru has to be bona fide, coming in parampara, and then only the seed will grow.
The first two leaves are klesaghni and subhada. Klesaghni is the first leaf. Even if this leaf is not completely unfolded, it will eradicate inauspiciousness, anarthas and unwanted impediments which are blocking one's growth. When the second leaf unfolds, good fortune and auspiciousness will manifest in the life of the devotee. All the good qualities that are present in the pure devotee will gradually start manifesting in the disciple or sadhaka who is nurturing this creeper of devotion. When these two leaves completely unfold, the smooth inner side will manifest, and this signifies the presence of spontaneous loving devotional service, or raganuga-bhakti.
The next two leaves are moksa-laghutakrta and sudurlabha. Moksa-laghutakrta means that the fortunate sadhaka becomes so elevated that even the desire of liberation becomes completely insignificant. It becomes completely useless to him. He has no attraction for it. In this regard, we see the example of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. He used to wander in nirvisesa-brahma, the impersonal form of the Lord. However, when he heard the Srimad-Bhagavatam from Vyasadeva, his mind was immediately attracted towards the wonderful pastimes of Krsna. We also see in the lives of the four Kumaras, the sons of Brahma named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat Kumara, that when they received mercy from lord Brahma they developed natural attraction for the pastimes of the Lord. This happens when the moksa-laghutakrta leaf manifests in the heart.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Moksa-laghutakrta. What is the meaning of moksa? Tirtha Maharaja.
Tirtha Maharaja: When we are beginning bhakti-sadhana, two leaves appear, and they are klesaghni and subhada. When bhava-bhakti is coming, the second two leaves come, and they are moksa-laghutakrt and sudurlabha. When prema is coming, two more leaves appear, and they are sandrananda-visesatma and sri-krsnakarsani ca sa .
Srila Narayana Maharaja: I want you to explain only what is moksa.
Tirtha Maharaja: Moksa means liberation.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Always quote who has told what. We do not want to hear your version. That will not do. You should explain what is moksa and who has told this, or which guru has told this.
Tirtha Maharaja: Moksa means liberation. Lord Kapiladeva said, "O Mata, so many persons .
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You should know that Kapiladeva is telling his mother that detachment from this world is mukti.
Except for Vyasadeva, all the acaryas like Sankaracarya, Gautama, Kanak and Jaimini say that mukti means: 'atyantika-duhkha-nivrtti eva mukti'. They say that mukti is the cessation of material miseries; but how will it come about? In Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.6) it has been stated, 'muktir hitvanyatha rupam sva-rupena vyavasthitih.'
["Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies."] What is the meaning? 'Muktir hitvanyatha rupam.'
Anyatha rupam is this material body, both gross and subtle. Both comprise the body, and we are not this body. We are different from it. Now we are thinking that we are this body, and later we will realize, "Oh, I am not this body."
Mukti means to cross over all kinds of sorrow and suffering and to come out of the unlimited, endless chain of birth and death. But this can never happen without bhajana. The followers of Sankaracarya are aparadhis; they can never realize this mukti. It can happen only through bhakti. Even namabhasa can accomplish this.
[Srila BV Narayana Maharaja speaks in Hindi for some time and then returns to English:] Mukti means to be situated in our constitutional form. Madhavacarya has quoted from Mahabharata, 'visnu anghri labha'. What is the meaning? To serve, giving up all material desires. If you are detached from this world by meditating on serving Radha-Krsna, or Visnu, or Narayana, or even Ramacandra, and you are serving like Hanuman, like Jaya-Vijaya, or like others, then you are liberated. You are more than liberated.
Even while you are in this world, try to learn how to serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal. They are the extreme limit of visnu-tattva. To serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal and to realize something about them, even in the stage of sadhana, is called mukti. Giving up both material bodies (gross and subtle), situating ourselves in our constitutional form, and serving Radha-Krsna is actual mukti.
Sastra explains that by chanting and by hearing hari-katha, one becomes detached from worldly desires and sense-gratification. This is mukti. Even when devotees are apparently here in this world, like Sukadeva Gosvami, still they are detached. They are not attached to anything in this world. Even a madhyama-adhikari may be detached, and what to speak of an uttama-adhikari.
Bilvamangala was very much controlled by lust and he was attached to a prostitute. It was only when he was kicked by that prostitute, that he realized what a blunder he had made. He began to chant and remember Krsna, and he totally took shelter of Him. At that time he became detached from this world, and Krsna, taking him by his finger or stick, led him to Vrndavana. You know all these facts. When Bilvamangala was transformed and realized his soul, he began serving Radha-Krsna Conjugal. They thus became anxious to give him Their darsana, They gave Their darsana, and then They took him to Goloka Vrndavana.
You know that the sons of Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, were cursed by Narada to became trees. Later, by touching only the rope binding Krsna to the grinding mortar, not even touching Him directly, they were liberated by His energy transmitted through the rope. What was their outcome? They became Snigdha-kantha and Madhu-kantha in Goloka Vraja. They remained always in the council of Krsna, telling all His sweet pastimes there. Sometimes they were in the gopis' council and sometimes in another council. This is called 'sva-rupena vyavasthitih.' When we will be established in our constitutional form, we will be able to realize this mukti. This is mukti
Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.29.13) has stated:
salokya-sarsti-samipya- sarupyaikatvam apy uta diyamanam na grhnanti vina mat-sevanam janah
[SYNONYMS: salokya-living on the same planet; sarsti-having the same opulence; samipya-to be a personal associate; sarupya-having the same bodily features; ekatvam-oneness; api-also; uta-even; diyamanam-being offered; na-not; grhnanti-do accept; vina-without; mat-My; sevanam-devotional service; janah-pure devotees.]
[TRANSLATION: "A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation-slokya, sarsti, samipya, sarupya or ekatva-even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead."]
Narayana or Visnu Himself may come and tell someone, "I am offering you five kinds of mukti, liberation." Those who are following bhakti will first reject sayujya (oneness). They will never accept it, because it is like an offense. They will reject it immediately. In some cases, however, they may accept some types of mukti.
There are four other kinds of mukti. Sarupya means to have the same catur-bhuja, four-armed, form as Narayana or Visnu. Samipya means to became an associate of the Lord, sarsti means to have opulence like the Lord, and salokya means to live on His planet. Dhruva Maharaja was on His planet, but he is not serving.
Those who want mukti desire to be free from all kinds of suffering and sorrows. They want to taste in these various ways and they want to enjoy all opulences. A bhakta, however, does not want this. Some, like Jaya-Vijaya, like Hanuman, and others like them, will accept prema-seva-uttara. In some cases they will accept this, but anyone higher will never want to accept it. 'Diyamanam na grhnanti / vina mat-sevanam janah.' Those with a higher taste will only want to serve Ramacandra, Narayana, or Krsna in opulence. This is better, but some also reject this.
'Api tyaktva laksmi-pati-ratim ito vyoma-nayanim' (Sri Mana-siksa text 4). The more advanced devotees even reject the service of Narayana, as Laksmi serves Him. They even reject the service of Rukmini and Satyabhama, and they also do not want to serve like Sita. The followers of Sankaracarya misunderstand these actual truths about liberation.
In his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained about moksa-laghutakrta. If a greed for raganuga-bhakti comes, a greed to serve Krsna like the Vrajavasis, one then rejects all kinds of liberation as insignificant. Why? If one tastes gur (a type of Indian sugar) he will find it extremely tasteful. However, if you give that person a rasagulla, he will automatically give up the gur. Similarly, if one achieves the service of Krsna in Vrndavana, he will automatically lose his taste for all these lower attainments. This is moksa-laghutakrta. What is sudurlabha?
Aranya Maharaja: Srila Rupa Gosvamipada explains that one of the symptoms of bhava-bhakti is sudurlabha. This means that bhava-bhakti is very rarely attained. It is very difficult to achieve. If anyone is engaged in the process of karma, he can be elevated to the heavenly planets. This is not so difficult. If someone is following jnana-marga, he may gradually approach the platform of impersonal liberation. If anyone is doing yoga, they may attain yoga-siddhis. However, someone may be doing bhakti-sadhana for a very, very long time, and still this bhava-bhakti may not come unless he has very high-class association. By the mercy of that association, it may come. Therefore, this bhava-bhakti is called sudurlabha because it is very rarely attained.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Thank you. What is it that is sudurlabha? It has been told in Sri Upadesamrta that even devotees like Narada cannot attain that kind of bhava-bhakti. What is sudurlabha? To serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal like the Vrajavasis is very rare. Even for premi-bhaktas it is very difficult to attain this. 'Yat presthair apy alam asulabham'.
["Undoubtedly Radha-kunda is very rarely attained even by the great devotees; therefore it is even more difficult for ordinary devotees to attain." (Upadesamrta text 11)]
Even for those who have love and affection, this kind of bhava-bhakti, this raganuga-bhakti and ragatmika bhakti, are very, very, very rare. This is called sudurlabha.
In comparison, it is very easy to go to Vaikuntha. You know that Ajamila quickly went there. How did he attain this? He was only calling out the name of Narayana with reference to his son. By this chanting, namabhasa came, and then four associates of Narayana, holding sankha, cakra, gada, and padma in their four hands, came to him. They explained to him the glorification of these Names. We see here that even namabhasa is so high, and what to say of suddha-nama!
After their discussion, Ajamila returned to external consciousness and left his wife, children and everything else. He went to Haridvara where he took bath in the Ganges, and there he adopted the mantra and process given him by the four Visnudutas. By chanting and chanting, prema for Narayana came, and by this prema Ajamila went to Vaikuntha. It was not by namabhasa that he went there. No one can go to Vaikuntha by namabhasa. One can only attain that realm by pure suddha-nama.
Still, in Vaikuntha there is some opulence. Anyone can easily go there, but to go to Vraja is very high. Rupa Gosvami has explained all these things. The fifth leaf on the creeper of bhakti is sandrananda-visesatma. . What is visesatma?
Aranya Maharaja: The devotee, being in the stage of bhava, goes on hearing, chanting and remembering:
suddha-sattva-visesatma prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak rucibhis citta-masrnya- krd asau bhava ucyate (BRS 1.3.1)
One ray of the sun of the prema of a ragatmika parikara, an associate of Radha-Krsna in Goloka Vrndavana, comes down through the guru-parampara, through his guru and Krsna's associates, and it is reflected into the sadhaka's heart. At that time his heart begins to melt with various tastes. At this stage he has so many desires to meet with his istadeva, to serve his istadeva, and to have a very intimate relationship with his istadeva. This stage is called bhava, and as he goes on doing bhajana, suddha-sattva starts to flood his heart completely. From that stage he comes now into the stage of prema:
samyam masrnita svanto mamattvatisayankitah bhava sa eva sandratma budhaih prema nigadyateh (BRS 1.4.1)
Those persons who are intelligent have ascertained that just as when the heart was melting in the stage of bhava, now 'samyam masrnita svanto', the heart is totally liquidized, totally melted. 'Mamattvatisayankitah'. His heart is infused with very, very intense mamata, possessiveness, mine-ness for Krsna. Gurudeva always says, "Don't be minus mine-ness." Don't be without mine-ness. Now the devotee has so much possessiveness for Krsna. Then 'bhava sa eva sandratma.' Sandrananda-visesatma. The happiness, the ananda, he feels now is called sandrananda. It is very, very condensed. How condensed? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has explained to Sanatana Gosvami that when sandrananda-visesatma comes, the happiness of mukti or the happiness of brahmananda (realizing brahman) cannot be equal to one tiny atom of the endless ocean of this premananda. This happiness is so inconceivable; we cannot even think of it.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: But what is visesatma?
Aranya Maharaja: Visesatma is a special happiness which is in the atma of the ragatmika parikara.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: No. You should know this. You know sandhini, samvit, and hladini. ["The transcendental potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by which He maintains His existence is called sandhini. The transcendental potency by which He knows Himself and causes others to know Him is called samvit. The transcendental potency by which He possesses transcendental bliss and causes His devotees to have bliss is called hladini. The total exhibition of these potencies is called visuddha-sattva." Cc.Adi.4 purp.)] On the platform of sandhini, anything transformed by sandhini is called suddha-sattva. When the essence of hladini and samvit mix together and appear on the platform of sandhini, or suddha-sattva, this is called visesatma.
What is the meaning? Hladini is directly Srimati Radhika Herself, who is svarupa-sakti. The highest mood of that svarupa-sakti is the mood of hladini. This hladini mood in its highest stage, madana, is not even in Krsna, and it is this madana that Krsna wants to taste and realize. This mood is found only in the essence of hladini, who is Radhika Herself. The moods in Radhika, the moods of how to serve and please Krsna, is called maha-bhava.
What is bhava? Bhava is coming from samvit. Samvit is the potency of knowledge, but when that knowledge condensed, it is transformed into bhava, and bhava is transformed into sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and maha-bhava. This maha-bhava is the moods in Radhika. These moods are thus the essence of samvit and hladini, the moods of service Krsna in the highest way, and they come on the platform of suddha-sattva.
What is sattva? It is any transformation of sandhini. Within sandhini, any jiva who is liberated is called suddha-sattva, and Krsna and His svamsa or manifestations are called visuddha-sattva. Jivas are not visuddha-sattva, but they may be suddha-sattva. Asuddha-sattva are those who are not liberated, suddha-sattva are liberated, and visuddha-sattva refers to Krsna and His all incarnations including Visnu. When visuddha-sattva will combine with the essence of hladini and samvit and comes in a jiva, that essential mood to serve Krsna will be sandrananda-visesatma; otherwise not. This is very high-class. It is a very elevated.
What I have just explained is very hard to realize and to keep in your heart, but still I have told something. Some idea of this must come. You should know something of this in order for it to come in the future. Generally, ordinary preachers cannot explain these things. Those who will hear from and serve their guru will have the capacity to keep something of this in their hearts, and they can explain all these things. Otherwise, in this world this is very hard to do so. You are so much fortunate to hear this. Even if you can keep a particle of this in your heart, you are very lucky. Really you are lucky. Try to take all these things inside your hearts. What is next?
Madhava Maharaja: Sri-krsnakarsani ca sa.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: What is that?
Madhava Maharaja: Gurudeva has ordered me to explain the sixth leaf of bhakti, which is called 'sri-krsnakarsani ca sa.' We have to know what is sri-krsnakarsani. Sri Krsna plus akarsani becomes sri-krsnakarsani. Sri-krsna means Sri Krsna, and akarsani means 'who can attract Sri Krsna.' Who is a sadhaka? 'Sri-krsna darsane yogyata iti sadhaka bilvamangala adaya.' One who is qualified to take darsana of Krsna is called a sadhaka. When a sadhaka comes to the stage of prema and has the sense of possessiveness, thinking that 'Krsna is mine', at that time Krsna becomes attracted by his devotion. Sri Krsna is bound to be attracted to him. An example of this is Sri Bilvamangala Thakura. When he was on his way to Vrndavana, he again fell into the trap of lust, and therefore he pierced his eyes. When he arrived in Vrndavana, his love had become so condensed that Krsna was bound to come before him. Krsna did not come alone. He came with Radhika, and both of Them were greatly eager to give darsana to Bilvamangala. Together They were walking towards him, and Krsna was saying, "Radhika, be careful. Don't go further. You know that blind persons can catch anyone by the sound of their voice."
Radhika said, "Oh, I am so far away. How can he catch Me?"
Actually, Krsna was hinting to Bilvamangala, "Now be ready. Radhika is coming close to you. You must catch Her lotus feet." And Radhika was indicating, "No, I am still some distance away." That means "Don't try to catch Me now. When I come nearer, then try to catch My feet." They were both giving hints to Bilvamangala. When They came very close, Krsna announced, "Don't go further. He will catch You because he is very close by." Then Bilvamangala caught hold of Radhika's feet. Radhika said, "No, let go of Me. Let go of My feet." Then Bilvamangala firmly requested, "I want to take darsana of Your lotus feet."
Being very merciful, Krsna and Radhika placed Their hands on his head and he got his eyesight back. But these were not his material eyes. By these material eyes you cannot see Krsna. When he took darsana of the Divine Couple, They told him, "Our darsana is infallible, so please ask for any benediction."
Bilvamangala requested, 'Please make me blind again." They wondered why, and he replied, "Prabhu, with those eyes by which I have seen Your beauty, I don't want to see any more the beauty of this world. So I want to be blind. Then, by my heart, I shall always remember both of You; nothing else."
There is another example. When the purva-acarya in our guru-parampara, Sri Madhavendra Puripada, was doing bhajana in Govardhana, he never begged from anyone, "Please give some madhukari, give me some food, give me some rasada." His standard bhajana was so high that Krsna, being attracted his devotion, came disguised as a cowherd boy, with a pot full of milk, and said, "O Baba, why are you sitting alone and doing bhajana? Have you asked for any prasada from the Vrajavasis? You should go to Vraja and request some prasada." Madhavendra Puripada kept silent, and Krsna then gave this milk-pot, saying, "O Baba, please take this. Later I shall come to take this pot back."
When Krsna went away, Madhavendra Puri was thinking, "No voice of this material world is able to attract me, but today I cannot fix my mind in my bhajana. The sound of this boy's voice is continuously vibrating in my heart. What is the cause? I will wait until He comes back." That night, when Madhavendra Puripada was about to sleep, Gopaladeva came in his dream and told him, "O Madhavendra Puri, for a long time I have been waiting for you. I am hidden under the earth. Please dig Me up and serve Me." Then, after Madhavendra Puri served Him in His Deity form, Gopala told him, "Oh, I am feeling so much burning sensation. Please go to Jagannatha Puri and bring from there camphor and sandal-wood. Make a paste and smear it on My body. Then My body will be cool." Madhavendra Puri is thus so attractive by his love and his devotion that Krsna came and told him all these things.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Now we are coming down to sadhana-bhakti. Rupa Gosvami states: guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija (Cc Madhya 19.151). Today we have already explained so much about the bhakti-creeper. Now we will discuss the seed, the bhakti-lata-bija.
In the Caitanya-caritamrta it has been told that sraddha, faith, is the seed of the bhakti-lata. They are the same. When one hears from gurudeva, from the Vaisnavas, from any high-class devotee, a desire comes in the sadhaka's heart to serve Krsna. He understands that, "By serving Krsna, all my sufferings will go away and my life will be successful." This desire is the seed of the bhakti-lata. The symptom of this desire to serve Krsna is called sraddha. What is that sraddha? It is great faith in the words of guru, of Vaisnavas, of sastra, and of Krsna or His manifestations. Try to understand this: 'Sadhu-guru-sastra-vakya, cittete kariya aikya' [Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says that one should accept a thing as genuine by studying the words of saintly people, the spiritual master and the sastra. The actual center is the sastra, the revealed scripture. If a spiritual master does not speak according to the revealed scripture, he is not to be accepted. Similarly, if a saintly person does not speak according to the sastra, he is not a saintly person. The sastra is the center for all." (Srila Prabhupada's purport of Cc. Mad.20.352] This has a very deep meaning. When sadhu and guru are on one side, and sastra is on another side, then try to.
Devotee: Then the majority must be granted.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: It must be granted. You should show that sastra is always telling the same thing as the bona fide guru and Vaisnavas. If sastra and the Vaisnavas are of the same opinion, and the guru has some other opinion, then, if he is a sad-guru, a high class of Vaisnava, you should try to reconcile what he means. You can ask your gurudeva, "Gurudeva, why are you saying this?" If he does not remove your doubts, then don't follow his words. 'Guru na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat' (SB 5.5.18). ["One should not become a guru, one should not become a relative, one should not become the father, one should not become the mother, one should not become the husband if he does not know how to guide his disciple or subordinate to stop the cycle of birth and death."] You can apply this sloka here. You should reject the words of such a guru.
However, when the guru is very high, then you should reconcile his words. If sastra and guru are one side and the bona fide Vaisnava is apparently telling something else, try to reconcile all these things and try to weigh that which is in the majority. If the sadhu and guru are saying the same thing, this is the majority. If Vaisnava and sastra are telling the same thing, then you should consider and accept what they are saying. You should clarify this. What did I say? 'Cittete kariya aikya.' You must have complete sraddha in the words of hari, guru, and Vaisnava.
Dhrstadyumna Prabhu: If the sad-guru's words appear to be in contradiction to the words of sastra and Vaisnavas, then we should try to reconcile.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You should do that if he is a high class of guru. And what should you do if he is not a high class of guru?
Dhrstadyumna Prabhu: Then two out of three wins.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: You should reject his words. You should not follow him.
Dhrstadyumna Prabhu: In a situation like that, we have to do some reconciliation. If the guru is very high, then we should follow and try to reconcile his words.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: For example, Krsna has told us, "Don't follow Me. Follow My words and My instructions, and follow My activities only when they are in accord with My words." You should explain.
Syamarani didi: Krsna is saying, "If My personal activities and My instructions to you match, if they are the same, then follow me. If My activities are so high and My instructions are for you, the neophyte, then follow My instructions and don't try to imitate Me."
Srila Narayana Maharaja: Krsna instructs us through the sastra: "You should not perform any rasa-lila, even by mind. These are My activities, My pastimes. Do not attempt to follow them. Rather, follow My words. You should hear them with great honor. That you can do."
We should try to know all these truths and cultivate dhrdha-sraddha, firm sraddha.
khanda-khanda hai deha jaya yadi prana tabu ami vadane na chadi harinama (Caitanya-Bhagavat Adi 16.94)
[Srila Haridasa Thakura is saying, "Even if I am cut into thousands of pieces, still I will not give up chanting Hare Krsna."]
If that kind of sraddha comes, then even if one does not know so many arguments or so much siddhanta, he will not give up chanting the holy name or hearing. He will be so strong and will never give up devotion.