May 22, 2004: Badger, California
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
I offer millions of humble obeisances unto the lotus feet
of my diksa-guru, om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava
Gosvami Maharaja; and the same unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru,
om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written in his Sri
krtartho yena vipro 'sau
["The glory of mahat-sanga is
super-astounding. By the influence of that glory, Jana Sarma's
life immediately became successful, like that of his Guru,
Svarupa. He became a personal friend of Sri Krsna by the
association of Svarupa, who was known as Gopa Kumara in this
world. That he immediately attained bhagavat-prema demonstrated the
immense value of association with a great personality. Just like
Svarupa, within an instance that brahmana felt fully gratified."
(the conversation between Srimati Devahuti and Lord Kapila), the
satam prasangan mama
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir
["In the association of pure devotees,
discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and the
heart. By cultivating such knowledge one gradually becomes
advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed,
and his attraction becomes fixed. Then real devotion and
devotional service begin." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.25)
Gradually, in mahat-sanga, first sraddha (faith in the words of
Guru, sadhu and the scriptures) comes, then rati (the preliminary
stage of love of God), and then prema-bhakti (pure love) will come.
If you are hearing about Krsna under the guidance of any
maha-purusa (self-realized soul) and then practicing and
performing the nine limbs of bhakti such as sravanam, kirtanam
and smaranam, your anarthas, that is, obstacles caused by
impurities, will go away and rati will appear. After rati,
prema-bhakti will come, and it will develop to madanakya-mahabhava,
the special mood in Srimati Radhika that is not even found in Sri
Krsna. You are very lucky to be hearing these explanations of
Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and the deep meanings of his explanations
that I have researched.
Dhruva Maharaja also prayed
for mahat-sanga. His bhakti was not very high, for it was not pure
in regard to anyabilasita sunyam (freedom from any other desire
than the desire to give happiness to Lord Krsna); it was covered
with jnana and karma. However, after some time, by the association
of a mahat like Sri Narada Muni, Dhruva became a Vaisnava. Sri
Narada is a touchstone whoever he touches will be changed, and
that person will not remain impure.
At the time of
departure from this world to Vaikuntha, the spiritual planetary
system, Dhruva wondered, "Where is my mother?" So he was not a
Vrajavasi bhakta or a bhakta like Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami
but he was a bhakta.
If one takes shelter of a
maha-purusa, and under the shelter of such a great soul one
worships and meditates on Lord Krsna, the Lord will mercifully
sprinkle His mercy upon him. All his anarthas will go away and he
will become a pure bhakta. If he has worldly desires, Sri Krsna
will smash those desires, for He is causelessly merciful.
Maha-purusas are those pure-hearted devotees who have no
worldly desires and are not engaged in sense gratification, and
who only have the desire to serve Sri Krsna (anukulyena krsnanu
silanam). Their meditation and service to Lord Krsna is like an
unbroken stream of honey. When we find out that there is a
maha-purusa telling hari-katha in any place, we should pray to
Krsna, "Please be merciful and send me there. I want to hear with
thousands of ears."
You may have a doubt, or you may
raise the question: Why not pray for purusartha (religion which
has material benefits, economic development, sense gratification
and liberation)?" Srila Sanatana Gosvami has revealed that if bhakti
is present, then moksa (liberation) automatically comes as an
incidental result. If you eat honey for taste automatically
sweetness and bodily heat will come as incidental results.
Similarly, if one prays for bhakti, then the four purusarthas,
svarga (heaven), and also all worldly happiness will come to him.
He will be happy in this world and beyond this world in Goloka
Vrndavana. Otherwise he will not be happy. So why worry for the
varieties of material happiness?
A brahmana in Kasi
Varanasi prayed to Lord Sankara, "I want to give my daughter in
marriage, but I have no money. Please give me money." Sankara
told him, "You should go to Vrndavana, to meet Srila Sanatana
Gosvami. You can ask him to give you some wealth for your
daughter's marriage." The brahmana went to Vrndavana, by foot, and
he asked the residents about the whereabouts of a person named
Sanatana Gosvami. As they all knew him, they pointed out his
At that time Srila Sanatana Gosvami was
doing bhajana in Vrndavana, near the Yamuna, at Kaliya-hrda, the
former abode of the very poisonous snake named Kaliya. Presently,
Kaliya-hrda is far away from the Yamuna, but at that time it was
close, and therefore its surrounding area was full of sand.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami wore only a kaupin. He used to go
for madhukari (begging door to door for a small amount of
prasada.) and would only eat at a time a dry chapati with no salt.
The brahmana arrived at his cottage and told him, "I went to
Sankara Mahadeva and he told me to come to Vrndavana to meet you.
He told me, "Srila Sanatana Gosvami will give you some wealth to
manage your daughters marriage."
Gosvami replied, "I have nothing. You can see I have nothing but a
loincloth." Then he thought, "Oh, Sankara can not tell a lie. He
is my bosom friend." He thus told the brahmana, "Go to the Yamuna
and remove some of the sand, and there you will find a touchstone.
The brahmana went to the Yamuna, removed some sand and he found a
jewel. He became so happy. He touched the touchstone to iron and
it turned into gold. He was very, very happy that Sankara had told
him to go to Vrndavana, and he was grateful that, "my prayer has
been answered by him."
On the way home that brahmana
began thinking, "Why has a person like Srila Sanatana Gosvami kept
a touchstone in the sand? It has no use there. He must have still
more valuable jewels than this." He thus returned to Vrndavana,
where Srila Sanatana Gosvami asked him, "Why have you returned?"
He replied, "I have returned because I know that you have more
valuable jewels then this."
Srila Sanatana Gosvami
then told him, "Throw the touchstone in the Yamuna." The brahmana
did so with all his power, and then Sanatana Gosvami told him,
"Come here. Come here." He gave him the mantra, "Hare Krsna Hare
Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare
Hare", and said, "I do not have worldly jewels, but I have
transcendental jewels. The jewel of Lord Krsna and Sri Radha will
come to you in a very short time, so remain here. Your daughters
marriage will happen automatically. Stay here and chant Hare
Krsna." That brahmana followed his instruction and thus became a
very elevated saint.
Where there is harinama, the
chanting of the holy names of Sri Radha and Krsna, everything of
value in this world and in the heavenly planets, moksa, and after
that Goloka Vrndavana, will also be present.
harinama, tuwa aneka svarupa
ananda-vardhana, nanda-tanaya rasa-kupa
Harinama, you possess unlimited forms, such as Yasoda's beloved
son, He who increase the bliss of Gokula, the son of Nanda, and
the deep well of rasa. (Harinama, Tuwa Aneka Svarupa (verse
Have strong faith in this. What you cannot
receive by your own efforts, services and jobs, will very easily be
earned in a second, simply by chanting Hare Krsna and by
mahat-sanga; so much money can be earned . I do not do anything
for money, but thousands of millions of dollars come to me. I tell
the money, "Dont come. Dont come", but still it comes. I see so
many grhastas and brahmacaris and sannyasis here. Why have you
come here to be with me? I am not giving money, or anything like
that, so why do you come? There is something special that I am
giving. I can perform greater magic than that magician. [*See
Endnote] I am Guru of so many magicians. That magician may be able
to transfer $5 into $100, but I can transfer it into millions upon
millions of dollars.
Sankara, Bhagavan Mahadeva, is
near and dear to Lord Krsna. Sometimes he appears as the
manifestation of Sri Krsna known as Sadasiva, whose transcendental
abode is in Kailash, near Vaikuntha, and sometimes he manifests as
Lord Sankara has said:
na svargam napunar-bhavam
martyanam kim utasisah
["The value of a moment's association with the devotee of the Lord
cannot even be compared to the attainment of heavenly planets or
liberation from matter, and what to speak of worldly benedictions in
the form of material prosperity, which are for those who are meant
for death." (Srimad-bhagavatam 1.18.13)]
sanga, the association of pure, exalted Vaisnavas is very rare
very rare in this world. Even half a moment with him cannot be
compared with the benefits of svarga (heaven), moksa (liberation)
or any worldly achievement. It cannot compare with anything lower
than Vaikuntha, what to speak of the attainment of an ordinary
kingdom. In this world we should pray only for the high class
associates of Lord Krsna, like Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sri Svarupa
Damodara, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Baladeva
Vidyabhusana, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and like Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja Prabhupada. Your Prahupada changed
millions of lives. I often say that if you have come to me, you
have come through him, through his teachings and by reading his
books. The Iskcon leaders cannot glorify their Guru, because they
do not know who he is.
Namaste Sarasvati devi gauravani
pracarine what is the meaning? They do not know the meaning, so
they cannot glorify him. (Addressing Syamarani dasi) I think you
should publish some books, very soon one on Jiva-Tattva, and one
on the meaning of Gaura-vani, to remove all the doubts regarding
these two subject matters.
In the pranam mantra of Your
Prabhupada's Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura Prabhupada, it is stated "Namaste gauravani sri murtaye".
This is the svarupa, or form, of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura. He is the embodiment of gaura-vani The glory of both
these acaryas is the same. You cannot imagine their greatness, but
in maha-purusa-sanga you can realize it.
sages Visvamitra and Vasistha were quarrelling. Visvamitra told
Vasistha, You should address me as Brahma-rsi, because I have
become an exalted, realized brahmana. Vasistha said, "I will
address you as Rajarsi, a saintly ksatriya, because you have come
from a royal family." He refused to praise Visvamitra as a
Brahma-rsi, because he considered he would become proud, and that
pride would not be beneficial for him.
then boasted that his performance of austerities was a great thing
greater than any other achievement. Vasistha disagreed. He
insisted that sadhu-sanga was the greatest achievement.
They went to Ananta Sesa-naga, (the great serpent
incarnation of the Lord on whose innumerable hoods millions of
universes rest) and presented their situation to him. Visvammitra
asked him, "Please, you decide if Vasistha is telling the truth or
am I? Am I greater than Vasistha or is Vasistha greater than me?"
Lord Ananta replied, "This is a very deep and heavy
topic. At present, I am carrying the burden of entire universes upon
my hoods. O Visvamitra, I am extremely tired. I want to rest one
of my hoods. Please take my burden for a moment, and then I will
answer. Please arrange that when I remove my hood, the universe
will not move from its position. It should remain unwavering and
not fall." Visvamitra said, "Oh, that is a very insignificant
task." He then gave the fruit of all his performances of yoga and
austerities, but he could not take the burden of Ananta for even a
moment. As soon as Ananta began to remove his hood, there were severe
earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Ananta then asked Vasistha, "Can you take my burden?"
Vasistha replied, "I am giving you the result of only half a
moment of the sadhu-sanga that I have attained. If I have had any
elevated Vaisnava association, then may the universe remain calm
and quiet and unwavering." Then, although Ananta removed his hood
from underneath the universe, it remained calmly in its place,
hovering in space without moving
Ananta said, "Now,
Visvamitra, I have given my answer, and you yourself can judge
what it is. Vasistha has given only half a moment's result of
sadhu-sanga, and by that I became free from the burden. You could
not arrange that for me.
So, even a fraction of a
second of sadhu-sanga may change your entire life and make you
happy forever. This is mahat-sanga.
the highest of all kinds of purusartha (material religiosity,
economic development, sense gratification and, at the end, the
attempt to become one with the Supreme). In fact, it dances on the
head of all kinds of purusartha. "O, Bhagavan, I know that when You
touched Aghasura, when You entered his mouth and stomach, he left
his body and became immortal. Because of Your touch, his dead body
did not emit a foul order. Rather its scent was like sandalwood,
and all the cowherd boys of Vraja used to play in it as though it
were a cave.
It is understood that those who have
attended the hari-katha of mahat-sanga have already achieved the
results of taking bath in the Ganges and in all the world's other
tirthas (holy places). They have performed all kinds of
austerities and given all varieties of donations. Moreover, all these
fruits can never be compared with a particle of that mahat-sanga.
Chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare
Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare with a strong belief in this.
The water touched by the lotus feet of the gopis is so high
even more so than the water of the Ganges. The gopis used to go
to the Yamuna to collect water. Not really water but the love
and affection of Krsna. They also used to take bath there. If
anyone touches that water and hears the gopis' hari-katha, he
becomes outwardly and inwardly pure. Such purification cannot be
attained by touching the Ganges water, or the water of any other
If you go to the Ganges to take bath and
you are hearing hari-katha, only then can you make a comparison.
Your heart may be changed at that time. I have seen that the
hearts of most people who go to India and visit all the
tirthas, such as the Ganges, the Indian Ocean, Sri Rangam in South
India, Kanya Kumari and so many other places, are not purified.
However, the heart of a person who had only half of a moment of
sadhu-sanga will be changed totally, and krsna-bhakti will come to
athanaghanghres tava kirti-tirthayor
syat sangamo 'nugraha esa nas
["My dear Lord, Your lotus feet are the cause
of all auspicious things and the destroyer of all the contamination
of sin. I therefore beg Your Lordship to bless me by the
association of Your devotees, who are completely purified by
worshiping Your lotus feet and who are so merciful upon the
conditioned souls. I think that Your real benediction will be to
allow me to associate with such devotees." (Srimad-Bhagavatam
"The Ganges water is celebrated as being
able to eradicate all kinds of sinful reactions. In other words,
when a person takes his bath in the Ganges, he becomes freed from
all life's contaminations. The Ganges water is celebrated in this
way because it emanates from the lotus feet of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. Similarly, those who are directly in touch
with the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who
are absorbed in the chanting of His glories are freed from all
material contamination. Such unalloyed devotees are able to show
mercy to the common conditioned soul. Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura
has sung that the devotees of Lord Caitanya are so powerful that
each one of them can deliver a universe. In other words, it is the
business of devotees to preach the glories of the Lord and deliver
all conditioned souls to the platform of suddha-sattva, pure
goodness. Here the word su-sattva means suddha-sattva, the
transcendental stage beyond material goodness. By his exemplary
prayers, Lord Siva teaches us that our best course is to take
shelter of Lord Visnu and His Vaisnava devotees.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.59 purport by Srila Prabhupada)]
Here, Lord Siva glorifies the sadhu, the maha-purusa, who
is sarala, meaning very calm and quiet, without any worldly
desires. This is one of his symptoms. Lord Siva says, "I pray, O Lord
Krsna, please give me mahat-sanga; for by that my whole life will
In Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto Five,
Jada Bharata tells King Rahugana:
tapasa na yati
na cejyaya nirvapanad grhad va
cchandasa naiva jalagni-suryair
["My dear King Rahugana,
unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the
dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the
Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by
observing celibacy (brahmacarya), strictly following the rules and
regulations of householder life, leaving home as a vanaprastha,
accepting sannyasa, or undergoing severe penances in winter by
keeping oneself submerged in water or surrounding oneself in
summer by fire and the scorching heat of the sun. There are many
other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute
Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great
devotee." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.12.12)]
Before Srila Narayana Maharaja began this lecture, his new
doctor-magician-disciple, nicknamed Dr. T., performed a magic
trick in front of the 600 devotees present at the Badger
hari-katha festival. Dr. T. told the audience that he was about to
give Srila Maharaja $100 for his temple construction project in
Navadvipa, and he hoped others who had the funds would do the
same. He then proceeded to turn a $5 bill into a $100 bill. His
shirt had no long sleeves. He first held out his hands to the
audience, to show the devotees that he had no bill between his
fingers, and he then took a $5 bill from Srila Maharaja and returned
to him a $100 bill.]
Editorial Advisors: Pujyapada Madhava Maharaja and Sripad
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti
dasiEditor: Syamarani dasi