Verbania, Italy: June 22, 2004
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[At 7.00pm on June 27th, Srila Narayana
Maharaja gave his farewell address to the over 700 devotees
present. He said he would be leaving Italy in just a few hours,
and he expressed his satisfaction that this, the largest European
festival to date, was a grand success in all ways. On the previous
days, just before his evening classes, he held darsanas (informal
meetings) for devotees from a few countries each day. On June 22nd
the darsana consisted mostly of devotees from England,
America and Australia, and the following is a transcription of
[Anandini dasi:] My situation is
changing, because my children are now grown up. You said three
years ago that the responsibilities would be completed in three
years. Now three years are over. I need to surrender to you.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Your children are still
dependent on you. I think you have already surrendered totally to me.
[Brajanatha dasa:] One of the devotees told me
he wanted to come, but he has so many other obligations.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and
Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami were married with very beautiful
wives, but they had no obligations. They considered that they had no
obligation other than to do bhajana. Srimati Gangamata Thakurani
was about to get married, that is, her father had arranged her
marriage, but she kicked out all her obligations and
responsibilities and simply chanted, "Krsna, Krsna." I also had so
many obligations to my mother, father, newly married wife and
children. But I became maddened with a desire to serve our
Gurudeva, and forgot that there were any responsibilities in this
world. I left home on the day of Amavasya at midnight. One should
realize his transcendental relation and responsibilities toward Guru
and Krsna. If, by sadhu-sanga, that responsibility will be
remembered and realized, then all worldly responsibility
disappears. Srimad Bhagavatam states that if one understands his
responsibility to serve Lord Krsna, all other responsibilities
will be automatically taken care of.
na kinkaro nayam rni ca
sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam
[O King, one who has given up all
material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of
Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the
demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends,
mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all
such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme
Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to
serve such persons separately. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.41)]
If you can forget all worldly responsibilities, I will be
very, very happy.
Srila Rupa Gosvami had so many
responsibilities, but he left them, as did Srila Sanatana Gosvami.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami gave a bribe to his jailer, although that
was not legal. He also told the jailer to speak lies, an act which
also was not legal. But for whom did he do this? He did it for
This is the difference between Maharaja
Dasaratha and Maharaja Vasudeva. Maharaja Dasaratha could not reject
his promise to send Lord Rama to the forest to be exiled for fourteen
years. When he was approached by Rama he was silent, and that
meant, "I will not directly tell you to go, but you should fulfill
my obligation. You should go to the forest and stay there for fourteen years."
The situation with Lord Krsna was
different. He told Vasudeva Maharaja, "You should take Me at once to
Gokula, to Nanda Bhavan (the home of Nanda Maharaja). Leave Me
there, take Yasodas baby girl, and tell Kamsa, 'We have begotten
a daughter.'" Vasudeva Maharaja had never told a lie in his life,
but when ordered by Krsna, he told Kamsa, "We have begotten this
daughter, not a son. Our eighth child is a daughter." For Krsna,
we can do everything. We cannot lie for ourselves, but we may do so
for Krsna. If you do not receive a direct order from Krsna, then
don't ever tell a lie We may cheat others only when it is actually
Try to attend all the classes. If you have
any questions you can come to me. If you have any problems or
questions, I will meet with you personally.
1:] When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami told Lord Caitanya he wanted to
leave home and be with Him, why did Lord Caitanya tell him to
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Because Srila
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was playing the role of a devotee who is
not mature in his bhakti. When one is mature in his devotion he
can leave, otherwise not. Many ISKCON leaders left home and tried
to be renounced when still immature; and now, even twenty five or thirty years
later, they are marrying. This is true even for sannyasis. So if
one is immature he may become weak and give up his renunciation. Sri
Caitanya Mahaprabhu told Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, "Go home and
mature there" After four or five years Srila Dasa Gosvami returned
to Lord Caitanya who then said, "You have come from the ditch of
stool. I never actually wanted you to be there. I told you to stay
only for some time.
[Devotee 1:] If we give up all our
responsibilities now, when we are immature
Narayana Maharaja:] Not artificially, my dear daughter. First you
must be happy in your devotional services and your chanting. Then,
being happy, when you are smiling from the core of your heart, all
material responsibility will be gone and they will never return.
[Pradyumna Misra dasa:] Now in Birmingham we are
studying the Bhagavad-gita, and one question keeps coming to my
mind. I have heard that when Krsna is speaking Bhagavad-gita to
Arjuna, especially in the tenth chapter, it seems as if He is
remembering Vrndavana. Does He always think of the Vrajavasis,
even when He is in Kuruksetra?
Maharaja:] When Krsna was in Mathura He was remembering Vrndavana,
and when He went to Dvaraka He was remembering Vrndavana. He sent
Baladeva Prabhu there. He went to Kuruksetra to fight. In the
daytime He was very very busy in the battle, but at night He
remembered Vrndavana - like Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu at night.
[Devotee 2:] I don't have so many responsibilities,
but I am really struggling to do my sadhana-bhajana.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You want to struggle, so you are
struggling. You are speaking externally, by your words only, that
you want to do sadhana-bhajana. You have responsibilities, but your
responsibilities should be like those of Hanuman. Then there will
be no harm. All the responsibilities of Hanuman are
responsibilities for Lord Rama, Sri Laksmana and Srimati Sita
devi. He carried all their responsibilities on his head.
[Devotee 3:] May I receive diksa?
Narayana Maharaja:] You can take diksa, but you will have to
shave. Not only your hair, but your worldly desires also.
[Devotee 4:] You have always told me to be under guidance
of older devotees when working on publishing your books. But I am
now confused about whose guidance I should be under. Everyone I show
an unpublished book to, they all say something different.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Offering alone will not do.
Something more is needed.
[Devotee 4:] Can I offer the
books to you directly?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:]
Gurudeva tells you, "Come on this path," but you are going by
another path. Externally, by mouth, you say, "I am always under
your guidance." This alone will not do.
Editorial Advisors: Pujyapad Madhava
Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typist: Anita dasi