Murwillumbah, Australia: February 9, 2004 AM
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
[This year, 2008, February 24th is the appearance day of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the initiating and sannyasa guru of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and the god-brother and sannyasa guru of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. In honor of this most auspicious day, please accept this lecture spoken by Srila Narayana Maharaja in Murwillumbah, Australia, February 9, 2004:]
Today is a very auspicious day. It is the birthday of my spiritual
guru-padapadma, om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami
Maharaja. I have seen with my own eyes how he used to observe Vyasa-puja
on his birthday, by giving respect to all other Vaisnavas especially
to senior Vaisnavas but also to juniors.
The backbone of bhakti is guru-nistha (strong faith in ones spiritual
master), and those who have no guru-nistha can never develop in Krsna
consciousness. We have seen his guru-nistha. He wanted to glorify
his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada,
but he became overwhelmed simply by beginning to utter the name Prabhupada.
He would begin to weep loudly, and then he would call upon us
(Srila Vamana Maharaja, Srila Trivikrama Maharaja, myself and others)
by any signal to glorify his Gurudeva. Having heard from him about
his relationship with his Gurudeva, we glorify him in connection with
his absorption in his Gurudevas service.
This is also the way in which we glorify Lord Krsna. What is the glorification
of Krsna? It is the glorification of His associates especially
the gopis, and especially Srimati Radhika. If one glorifies Srimati
Radhika, Krsna is automatically glorified. Similarly, if Parama-gurudeva
(Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada) is glorified, the glories of
our Gurudeva will come; it is bound to come.
It may be that the liberated guru is not liberated in the eyes of
his god-brothers, but in the eyes of the disciple he is the direct
representative of Sri Krsna Himself. The disciple will always have
strong faith that, My Gurudeva is a special representation or
manifestation of Krsna. We have heard everything from him.
What is the symptom of a disciple who has guru-nistha? He will give
proper respect even to a dog that is related to his Guru. If he does
not give proper respect to everyone related to his guru whether they
are initiated or not, if he has no regard and honor for them, then
his honor for his guru is actually only for show. He has no real guru-nistha.
I have seen how my Gurudeva has served the mission and mood of his
Gurudeva. This service is called guru mano-bhistam.
sri caitanya-mano bhistam sthapita yena bhutale
svayam rupa kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
[When will Sri Rupa Gosvami give me the shelter of his lotus
feet? Because he understood the innermost desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
he was able to establish His mission in this world and is very dear
to the Lord. (Sri Prema-bhakti-candrika, Narottama dasa Thakura)]
Always have such nistha towards your spiritual diksa-guru and siksa-guru.
The diksa-guru may also be siksa-guru. If your diksa and siksa-guru
are the same personality, this is very good. In some cases a separate
siksa-guru is needed, as the disciple cannot always reveal his thoughts
to the diksa-guru because of a mood of great awe and reverence (aisvarya-bhava).
With the siksa-guru there is visvrambha-bhava (a mood of intimacy).
In visvrambha-bhava, the disciple may even quarrel with Gurudeva
for Gurudeva, for his service. Sometimes we used to quarrel with our
Gurudeva, for his service, and this is a symptom of guru-nistha. Another
symptom is always offering respect to superiors especially
to god-brothers. Nowadays, I see that god-brothers quarrel with each
other. They do not want to be together to glorify their Guru.
Gurudeva used to observe Vyasa-puja according to the book discovered
by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and edited by
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In that book there is an explanation of
the seven groups with five personalities in each group (the seven
pancakas), to be worshiped by the acarya on his birthday. These seven
groups are guru-pancaka, acarya-pancaka, krsna-pancaka, sanakadi-pancaka,
vyasa-pancaka, panca-tattva pancaka and upasya-pancaka. We should
try to have regard for all acaryas of the four sampradayas, the four
guru-paramparas: including Ramanujya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya
and the four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanat-kumara and Sanandana).
We should have regard for Sri Panca-tattva, and especially for Sri
Gaura-Gadadhara, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Gurudeva. Try to follow
all the details of this worship.
Gurudeva used to say, On my birthday I should give proper honor
to all guru-parampara acaryas, god-brothers and all senior Vaisnavas.
What I have and what I am preaching is not coming from me. It is not
that I am so intelligent or that I am preaching the credit
belongs to my Gurudeva. By the mercy of my Gurudeva I know the mercy
of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Rupa-Sanatana, Sri Rupa-Raghunatha
and other guru-parampara acaryas. I was sinking in the well of worldly
activities in material existence, but he took my sikha and dragged
me, and he mercifully engaged me in his service fully, not
partly. He did not tell me, You should be a householder.
He dragged me and engaged me. Sometimes desires outside the realm
on pure devotion came in my mind, and I asked him, How can I
be saved? He answered, Dont be worried; I will save
you. If one is sincere, Guru and Krsna mercifully save him. So dont
When he would perform his Vyasa-puja, he would first worship his Gurudeva,
and then he would give proper honor to all Vaisnavas and especially
seniors. During his manifest presence there were no seniors, because
he was the senior-most. He joined the movement of Srila Prabhupada
and became a disciple in 1916, so he was senior to others. Only five
or six had joined before him, like Narahari prabhu, Bhakti-vilasa
Tirtha Maharaja and a few others like the brother of Vasudeva, Bhaktipradipa
Tirtha Maharaja. At that time, when Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura would do arati, my Guru-Maharaja would ring the bell and Narahari
prabhu was also there.
At that time there was no Sri Caitanya Matha. Instead there were many
Muslim graves and Muslim influences. [See Endnote 1] My
Guru-Maharaja came in the night, took out all the graves and threw
them away. On that same night he planted a large garden of mango trees
and flowers. On the next morning, when the Muslims came to do their
Namaz, they exclaimed, Oh, Where is our place?
Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was very happy because Guru Maharaja
used to give his life and soul to fulfill Prabhupadas desires,
and this is very difficult for most disciples to do. Sometimes a disciple
does not obey his guru. Guru says, Dont do this,
for the betterment of that very fellow, and yet that disciple rejects
his gurus order. This is not a symptom of guru-nistha. We should
give our life to serve his every word. Our Gurudeva always used to
keep his life in his hands (a Hindi expression meaning
to be prepared to give ones life) for the purpose of Srila
Prabhupada. He even went to jail for him.
Once a person tried to defame Prabhupada [See Endnote
2] by writing, He is a tattva-jnani (knower of philosophy)
and not a rasika-bhakta (knower of Krsnas sweet pastimes). He
does not know the taste of mango; he simply sucks the seed. As there
is no taste in a seed, concentrating on philosophy without absorption
in Krsnas confidential pastimes is tasteless. He is like that,
and so he is a tattva-jnani. He does not know Sri Rupa-Raghunathas
line and he does not know the krsna-prema of the gopis. He especially
wrote these things. He is preaching tattva-jnana everywhere.
They were blind. They never actually saw him. By what his disciple,
my Gurudeva, preached to me and others, you can realize his position.
He preached under the cover of tattva-jnana. He did not expose the
confidential secrets of Krsnas pastimes and the philosophy behind
them. He preached for qualified persons, and he kept the highest truths
of Krsna consciousness covered from others.
My Gurudeva wrote against those persons, and for that reason they
filed a court case against him They managed to get big
qualified advocates to plea that Guru Maharaja should be put in jail.
Our Gurudeva then engaged an advocate from the high court in Calcutta,
and those persons were made to apologize.
By the grace of our Gurudeva, when I was in Mathura, I was the editor,
writer, translator and manager for his monthly magazine called Bhagavat-patrika.
I published it alone. I used to translate Srila Prabhupada's articles,
Gurupada-padmas articles, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakuras
articles and other articles.
Someone once wrote in a publication of the Nimbarka sampradaya [See
Endnote 3] that when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu met with
Kesava Kasmiri, Kesava Kasmiri defeated Him and gave Him the gopala-mantra.
Sriman Mahaprabhu was thus the disciple of Kesava Kasmiri.
This publication came to me and I showed it to my Gurudeva. His face
at once became red, he became angry and he ordered me to get a piece
of paper. He then dictated to me that there was no Nimbarka in our
history and no books of Nimbarka. He said that Srila Jiva Gosvami
and our other Gosvamis, Sri Madhavacarya, Sri Ramanuja, Srila Gopal
Bhatta Gosvami and all other previous acaryas never wrote about anyone
named Nimbarka acarya. The followers of this false person used to
say that Nimbarka Acarya lived at the time of Krsna. If that were
true, why have none of the acaryas written about him? Sankacarya never
wrote about him and Srila Jiva Gosvami never wrote about him in his
Sandarbhas. Thus there was no person named Nimbarka this false
persons followers had invented a story.
Guru Maharaja explained from the evidence in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
that Kesava Kasmiri came to Navadvipa and was defeated by Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, and then he received some teaching from the Lord. Gurudeva
wrote: The mentality I will conquer the whole world
is not the teaching of vidya, knowledge. Our paper was sent
to those persons involved in writing the misinformed article, after
which they became quite furious. Oh, there is no Nimbarka?!
They challenged, and they filed a case in court for defamation. Our
Guru Maharaja replied, I will prove my statements, so you should
file a suit for one million rupees for defamation. You should go to
court, and I am also coming. I am ready and will prove my points.
He proved all his points and the opponents apologized. They
promised, In the future we will never write like this.
If one wants to have guru-nistha, he should read my Guru Maharajas
biography and philosophy. This book has been appreciated all over
the whole world. In this biography I have tried to bring all the teachings
of our acaryas. If you read it, you will be able to understand what
is guru-nistha and what was the greatness of my Guru Maharaja. Parama-pujyapada
Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja did not take sannyasa from him
as a formality. He knew all the principles and philosophy of pure
devotional service. Since the time he joined the temple he had so
much honor for Guru Maharaja, for he saw what he was doing for Prabhupada.
He did not take sannyasa from him accidentally or to complete a formality.
Our Guru Maharaja took sannyasa from Parama-pujapada Srila Sridhara
Maharaja. Even though Srila Sridhara Maharaja joined the mission of
their Gurudeva after him, he was an elevated philosopher and a knower
of the established truths of bhakti, and his very name, Bhakti Raksaka,
means protector of devotion. He has also extensively glorified
our Gurudeva. To teach other devotees, they used to hold meetings
and defeat each others arguments in philosophy. Parama-pujapada Srila
Sridhara Maharaja would establish one thing and Guru Maharaja would
defeat all his arguments, and then at the next moment Srila Sridhara
Maharaja would defeat all the arguments of our Gurudeva. The entire
audience would hear them, enjoy their discussions, and in this way
learn so much philosophy.
All the sannyasis of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
had great regard for our Gurudeva. When Srila Sridhara Maharaja came
to Mayapura for the first time, his name was Ramananda Brahmacari.
He saw a young boy of about twenty years old sitting on a chair under
the shade of a jackfruit tree and keeping his feet on the table and
hands joined together. Srila Sridhara Maharaja saw from a distance
that the young brahmacari was wearing white cloth, not in saffron
cloth, and he was sitting in a very relaxed manner. At that time senior
and very qualified sannyasis would come and offer him their obeisances,
and they would ask him questions. Staying in the same position, not
getting up to offer obeisances, he would answer. Then, again offering
him their obeisances, they would leave.
Pujyapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja told this story to me personally.
He told me that he asked the devotees present there at that time,
Who is this young boy in white dress, to whom even sannyasis
in saffron cloth are offering obeisances? Who is it that in the same
position is answering their questions and they are leaving very satisfied?
Someone replied, He is Vinoda-babu. He managed the complete
Mayapura premise. Now there is no longer any influence of Muslims.
If you want to know more, you can read his biography and learn what
an influential and great acarya he was.
At the time of parikrama I have seen that when an editorial article
was needed, Parama-pujyapada Srila Vamana Maharaja would wait with
paper and pen to know what he wanted to write. Guru Maharaja
would be surrounded by thousands of persons at that time, so at the
same time he would dictate the required article and also talk with
those persons. If we would write any article, we would have to look
at so many books for reference, and we would have to carefully think
and consider. But Guru Maharaja had no need to think. Although continually
interrupted by others, he would speak and Srila Vamana Maharaja, who
was qualified like Srila Vyasadevas divine scribe Ganesha, would
take the dictation.
Read the biography and learn how to respect others and obey the bona
fide and transcendental Gurudeva. Dont wonder, Is what
my Gurudeva telling wrong or right? You may test him before
the time of initiation, not after. If he says, Jump in the ocean
and you can do so, that is good. We have seen so many qualified devotees
like Ananta Vasudeva and Sundarananda Vinoda prabhu who were vastly
learned; but they left their Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakura, because they were thinking, Is what he is
telling right or not? They thought that he was not qualified
for raganuga-bhajana and thus offended him. They took poison and went
to hell, and one of them literally took poison.
Try to think about these activities of my Guru Maharaja and be a disciple
like him. If Gurudeva tells his disciple to give his life and soul
to him, he should do that at once like Hanuman, who gave himself
for the service of Sri Ramacandra. The disciple thinks that Gurudeva
should not tell his to do this, however. He does not understand that
whatever Gurudeva says is for his benefit.
So today is his birthday and we are going to celebrate Vyasa-puja
guru-puja. We will do so in the way that was introduced in
our sampradaya by Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
[The following is from the book Acarya Kesari — Sri
Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami : His Life and Teachings
by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja:
Endnote 1 After
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu entered aprakata-lila and His lilas became
unmanifest, the Bhagavati Ganga changed course many times. Places
that had once been in Mayapura were relocated to the relatively high
ground of the west bank. The extensive town of Nadiya (Navadvipa),
which had previously been on the east bank, became situated on the
Gangas west bank, and the east bank became a deserted, desolate
place. During the reign of the yavanas (Muslims), all the sacred places
of the Hindus were destroyed, temples were demolished and the names
of the places of Mahaprabhus pastimes were changed. The temples
at the birthplaces of Sri Rama in Ayodhya and Sri Krsna in Mathura
were razed, and mosques were erected on their foundations. Their names
were changed to Phaijabad and Mominabad. Similarly, the Muslims changed
the name of Sriman Mahaprabhus birthplace from Mayapura to Miyampur.
Later, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura discovered Jagannatha Misra Bhavan,
the birthplace of Sri Gaura, and again called it Sridhama Mayapura.
In this way the name Sridhama Mayapura once more became known to the
Besides changing the name of Sridhama Mayapura, the Muslims
had also made a graveyard on the huge courtyard of Candrasekhara Bhavan,
which was very close to Jagannatha Misra Bhavan, and this was still
there when Sri Vinodabihari became manager of Sri Caitanya Matha.
He could not tolerate this atrocity and acted fearlessly and boldly.
One night, while all were asleep, he had all the graves in the graveyard
dug up and placed elsewhere. In their place he had large, beautiful
trees and foliage planted and overnight he made a beautiful park with
a wall all around it for protection. The next morning everyone was
astounded at what had taken place. The local Muslims reported it to
the police and filed a case in court. But police officials and governmental
investigators could not find any trace of the graveyard; they saw
only an old garden. In this way the devotees reclaimed Candrasekhara
Bhavan and no one was able to stop them. For this pious act the name
of Sri Vinodabihari Brahmacari will be written in golden letters in
the history of India.
[Endnote 2 On
another occasion, members of the sahajiya-sampradaya of Bengal wrote
essays full of apasiddhanta, opposing Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Srila
Gurudeva argued with them in a similar way, using abrasive words.
The opposition party actually presented a lawsuit in court against
Srila Gurudeva and other devotees, including the editor of Sri Gaudiya
Patrika. However, when they were faced with Srila Gurudevas
train of thought, they also had to bow their heads in defeat. They
begged him for forgiveness in the court of law and thereafter avoided
him. For these reasons, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisaranga Gosvami
Maharaja, who was Srila Gurudevas dear Godbrother and a leader
of the Gaudiya community, decorated Srila Gurupadapadma with the title
Pasanda-Gajaikasimha, the lion who vanquishes the elephants
[Endnote 3 Some
time in 1956, Srila Gurudeva came to Mathura to see Kesavaji Gaudiya
Matha. At that time followers of the Nimbarka sampradaya in Vrndavana
used to publish a spiritual journal called Sri Sudarsana. In one issue
they cast aspersions on Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, saying that He was
a disciple of Kesava Kasmiri. In other editions they insolently dared
to claim that Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas such as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti
Thakura were in the Nimbarka sampradaya. When I showed these editions
to Srila Gurudeva, he became extremely angry and immediately had a
short essay written for Sri Bhagavata Patrika. The headline was Sri
Nimbaditya and Nimbarka are not the same person. The purport
of his headline is as follows.
Nowhere in the scriptures is there any mention of a Nimbarka
sampradaya. The Puranas mention a vaisnava-acarya called Sri Nimbaditya,
and the Catuhsana (the four Kumaras) have accepted this Nimbaditya
Acarya as their sampradaya-acarya in the age of Kali. However, Nimbarka
Svami is a completely different person. Nimbaditya was a disciple
of Naradaji at the end of Dvapara-yuga, but Nimbarka Acarya appeared
much more recently. Great and eminent authors of scripture such as
Srila Jiva Gosvami have mentioned the names of the prominent acaryas
of all the other sampradayas, but they have not mentioned the name
of Nimbarka Acarya anywhere.
The Nimbarka sampradaya currently uses the Parijata-bhasya which
was written, not by Nimbaditya Acarya, but rather by Srinivasa Acarya
and Kesava Kasmiri. These two wrote this scripture and then preached
that it had been written by their guru. The scriptures of the Six
Gosvamis mention the names of acaryas such as Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva,
Sri Visnu Svami, Sri Nimbaditya and Sri Vallabha Acarya. If the Nimbarka
sampradaya had existed even to a slight extent at that time, then
they would most certainly have mentioned the name of Nimbarka Acarya
as well. None of the other sampradaya acaryas, such as Sri Ramanuja,
Sri Madhva, Sri Visnu Svami and so on have mentioned Nimbarka Acaryas
name in any of the scriptures that they have written.
When this essay was published in Sri Bhagavata Patrika, the
office directors of the Sudarsana journal announced that they were
making arrangements to prosecute for slander. Srila Gurudeva replied
firmly, We will prove each and every word that we have written
on the basis of evidence supported by sastra. When the prosecution
party heard about Srila Gurudevas immense scriptural knowledge
and his profound personality, they became absolutely silent, and from
that day onwards they did not dare to write any more nonsense.]
Editorial advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha
Transcriber: Mahesvara dasa
Typist: Anita dasi & Vrnda dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi