May 16, 2004: Los Angeles, California
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[Srila Narayana Maharaja
began his 2004 Summer World Preaching Tour by blessing the new Sri
Sri Radha-Govinda Gaudiya Matha in Los Angeles. Because of the
efforts of the devotees in Los Angeles, numerous new people had
been coming to the temple. Because of this, the local devotees
moved from their original small temple to a larger one a
renovated church a few blocks away. By Srila Maharajas mercy,
by Srila Prabhupada's mercy, and by the efforts of the local
devotees, over 500 devotees and guests now sat or stood in the large
temple room to hear Srila Maharajas class.
our knowledge, except for a three day hari-katha festival in
Sydney, Australia at the end of April, Srila Maharaja had not
give any formal classes since Gaura Purnima, so devotees have been
eagerly awaiting this class. Before his own talk, Srila Maharaja
called on a few of the senior devotees to explain in brief the
mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the same message preached by
Srila Prabhupada and Srila Maharaja, and then he called on Jagat Mohan dasa brahmacari, the Los Angeles temple president, to
[Jagat Mohan dasa:] Thank you everyone,
for coming here. Srila Gurudeva has ordered me to say a few words
to thank the many disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and to share with
you the ways in which they helped to establish this temple. I
think every devotee who is under 30 years old, or perhaps even
older, knows deep in their hearts how indebted they are to the
disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. We offer our
respectful obeisances to all his devotees.
their efforts and energies, serving their Guru Maharaja endlessly
and tirelessly, none of us would have been able to come in touch
with this divine transcendental philosophy. Especially in Los
Angeles, we are so grateful to Srila Prabhupada's many disciples
who have been like mothers and have given their blessings. Maybe
they havent picked up hammers and nails, but more importantly,
with their hearts, they deeply and sincerely wanted this temple to
be a success. Prahlada prabhu, Tirthapada prabhu, Ganga Narayana
prabhu, Upananda prabhu, Rsabhadeva prabhu and his wife Niscintya
didi, Niscintya prabhu and the traveling devotees are but a few.
There are also so many other devotees who I have not mentioned,
and we offer our thanks and pranamas to them.
are so fortunate that we have been favored by the previous owners
of this renovated church, Annette Bird who is a sculptor and her
husband Dr. Bird who is a psychologist. They had so many offers to
buy, because this is at such a prime location, and others offered so
much more money then we did. Still, they are so aware and so
liberal that they felt we were the best candidates to take on such
a property. Without them we wouldnt be here. So, so much thanks
One thing that is so important for a
temple to thrive is a very sweet and loving mood Without this
there is no need for a temple. We desire very sweet and soft
devotees to share their love with all the people in Los
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Why have
devotees from so many countries assembled here? I think it was the
purpose of Sri Krsna, in the form of Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari and
Sri Nityananda Prabhu.
prthivite ache yata
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama
["In every town and village, the chanting of My name will
be heard." (Caitanya-bhagavata, Antya 4.126)]
was the mission, but why? What was the reason for their coming?
If any senior devotees, disciples of Srila
Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja are sitting or standing in the back,
they should come and sit in front.
What was the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu,
Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivedanta
Svami Prabhupada? They all had the same mission, and I am also
coming for this same preaching mission. I am very grateful to
Srila Svami Maharaja that he took my service. I have known him
since 1946 when I think most of you here were not yet born. I
have been serving him since that time. As you may know, he and I
have so many relationships. He was my transcendental siksa-guru, he
was junior in sannyasa [*See Endnote] to me, and we were like
bosom friends. We have so many transcendental relations and you
can read about this in the book called My Siksa Guru and Priya
Bandhu, compiled by Mula-prakrti didi. Our mission is the same.
We are jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa
but we don't wish to be servants of Krsna. We dont like this.
Others should be dasa of Lord Krsna, but we want to be the dasis of
Srimati Radhika. This is the ultimate goal given by Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu and our entire guru-parampara, including myself.
But, from where do we begin? This is the question.
According to the stage of spiritual development of the devotee, he
should begin from the smallest fraction of bhakti bhakti meaning
the combination of the essence of hladini-sakti (Srimati
Radharani), and samvit-sakti, and which is called visesatma. This
bhakti is the mood of Srimati Radhika Her parakiya mood the
most elevated mood. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to preach this
mission, which is very high.
Mahaprabhu has said to begin with sraddha (strong faith), the
smallest fraction of bhakti. You should know the two kinds of
sraddha. We have explained it so many times and we will also
explain it in Badger the day after tomorrow.
from sraddha, and do not jump. Do not try to go directly to the
position of Radha-dasi. If you dont know the target of your life,
you cannot practice and develop. However, first apply the actual
process to attain it.
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta
["Sraddha is confident, firm faith that by
rendering transcendental loving service to Lord Krsna one
automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is
favorable to the discharge of devotional service."
(Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.62)]
desire or tendency to serve Krsna is called sraddha, and
saranagati (surrender) is the symptom. Have strong belief in
Gurus words. This human birth is not our first or last birth.
Millions of births have already passed. We have been hogs, pigs,
dogs, cats and so on. In all those births we have tried to fulfill
our desire for sense gratification, but we are still not
satisfied. This is a wonder we still want to be involved in
If you are 25 years old and
your boyfriend is 100 years old, you think, "No harm." You are
attached, like that of the hogs and dogs. I have not come here to
put oil, or fuel, in your fire. I will not come to fulfill
requests like: "Oh Gurudeva, can I have a son? What should I do?
Should I give a son? These are silly questions.
dont want any of you to be involved in maya, this illusory
material energy being absorbed in marriage and the like. Rather,
be involved in our mission, which is to serve Sri Sri Radha and
Krsna in this human life. Somehow or other you can also maintain
your life, but remember that this is our aim and object.
Begin your bhakti by following the instructions in
Bhagavad-gita. Why do you have fear? Is there anyone among you
that has no fear of old age, problems, neighbors, husbands or wives?
Very few souls in this world can say they have no fear. Only pure
devotees have no fear; those who have Guru's shelter and are not
engaged in sense gratification, whether they are householders or
in the renounced order.
Why do you fear? Do you
fear old age? Old age is bound to come. Do you fear that death
will come, or that so many diseases will come? Do you fear because
your neighbors are not favorable towards you? Or because you and
your wife, or husband, are not happy with each other? Someone may
say, "No, no. Everything is ok. But the problem is that there are no
sons." Or, "My children are not favorable." This world is a place
You should know this verse:
na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va
ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano
["For the soul there is neither
birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not
come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn,
eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body
is slain." (Bhagavad-gita 2.20)]
A problem was
raised by Arjuna in the Mahabharata War. He told Krsna that he
preferred to maintain his life by begging here and there, rather
than to live in riches as the result of killing his cousins and
other family members. How did Krsna reply? He told Arjuna,
"Foolish person, you are thinking that you are very intelligent by
your so-called philosophical words of compassion, but actually you
do not know ABCD. Why do you think you can kill your enemies on
this battlefield? Only ones physical body can be "killed" and
it is already dead. When the soul is not present in the body, that
body is understood by all as dead. But neither air nor fire nor
anything material can touch the soul. So why fear? You should think
that you are a transcendental servant of Lord Krsna. Have no fear
You fear when there appear to be
problems, and you fear that more problems will come. Why fear? Take
shelter of Krsna thoroughly.
ye janah paryupasate
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on
My transcendental form-to them I carry what they lack, and I
preserve what they have."
Krsna says here, "Those who have taken shelter fully, and
are always engaged in chanting and remembering Me and telling each
other sweet hari-katha I must maintain, them, and I must carry
their problems and paraphernalia on My head. So why are you worried?
Why not take shelter of Me?"
mam ekam saranam vraja
moksayisyami ma sucah
all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall
deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."]
Take shelter, and then you will not die. You will think, "I
will not die. I am eternal." The holy name is so powerful. Krsna
has invested all His power, all His mercy, all His sweetness,
beauty, strength and everything in His name. Death itself
fears His name. If anyone chants, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna
Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare," from the
core of his heart, what will happen? Death will go miles away, and
even then the deity of death, Yamaraja, will offer obeisances to
that devotee and desire to serve him. Why are you so anxious and
worried about material situations?
Perhaps you all
know this, but there are some newcomers who do not. In his last
days, in Vrndavana, Srila Svami Maharaja called me to see him. At
that time he had stopped talking to anyone. When he saw me,
however, he took my hands in his and at once sat up from his bed
and wanted to give me a seat there. I requested him to stay as he
Pure devotees are so humble. He told me, "I
have committed many offenses to you and to my god-brothers, saying
that they only sleep and take prasadam. I said they do nothing but
ring the bells in the temple. This was wrong. I know that you are
most qualified. I have not taken sannyasa from your Gurudeva
(Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja) as a formality, but
There were so many seniors,
like Pujyapada Sridhara Maharaja and Vana Maharaja and others, but
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada sprinkled so much mercy
on Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada by telling him, Your
English is perfect, you are a poet and preacher, you play mrdanga
and you can do everything so you are qualified to preach this
mission in the West."
Sarasvati Prabhupada thus sent his own "hand" to Western and
Eastern countries. In a couple of years your Srila Prabhupada
established preaching centers in American cities like New York,
New Jersey, Los Angeles and San Francisco, in European countries,
in Australia everywhere in the mountains, on islands in oceans,
and perhaps in every atom. You are spiritual atoms.
So he told me on that day, "Please excuse me; I have
committed some offenses. Please tell my god-brothers that they are
very qualified, and in some sense they are more qualified then I.
I have preached Sriman Mahaprabhus mission everywhere and I have
collected thousands of disciples throughout the world; but due to
their lack of capacity to receive, I could not fully train them."
And in Bengali he said, "I have collected some monkeys." He told
me this in Bengali, so that certain disciples would not understand
and thus become upset but the tape recorder played every
I told him, "You did not commit any kind of
offense. You told this to your neophyte disciples, because that was
what they needed at the time, for their inspiration to serve and
preach. There is nothing to excuse." He then ordered me, "You
should give me samadhi with your own hands. I want it done by you
not by anyone else." And I did so. He told me at that time to
help his devotees, and for that reason I have come here to the
West. I have come especially to help the senior-most devotees of
Srila Swami Maharaja. There are so many hundreds, like Padmanabha
Maharaja, Bhudhara, Bhagavata and Kriparama, and so many ladies.
They are all directly related to him.
I told him
not to be worried, because I would fulfill his order. I am coming
to the West to please him, to serve his order and to see his glory
how he preached this mission all over the world in a couple of
years in oceans, on the tops of mountains and hills, in forests
and in so many other places. I think that you have come to me by his
mercy through reading his books and hearing the hari-katha from
any of his disciples. I am successful in preaching because I have
a relation with him and he has accepted my service. In a couple of
years I have circled the world 16 times. He circled the world 14
times. By the mercy of the father, the son and disciple can appear
to do more than him.
We will continue to explain all
topics relating to bhakti. I am inviting you all to come tomorrow
to Badger If you cannot come, I am inviting you all to come in the
month of Purusottama (August 3-18) to Purusottama-ksetra,
Jagannatha Puri, where we will be staying for 15 days. If you
cannot physically come to Puri, you can come by soul. If you
cannot come to Puri, then you should come, surely and punctually, to
our Kartika festival of Vraja Mandala parikrama. And, I think that
those who come from very far away should then wait in Vrndavana
until Gaura Purnima, for our Navadvipa Parikrama.
[*Endnote Srila Prabhupada took
sannyasa from Srila Narayana Maharaja's diksa-guru, Srila Bhakti
Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, in 1959. Srila Narayana
Maharaja, already a sannyasi at that time, performed his sannyasa
Transcriber and typist:
Vasanti dasiEditor: Syamarani dasi