Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana MaharajaDarsana After The WalkSan Francisco, California: June 14, 2007
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: The first time you came to the Western countries, you said that while devotees chant japa, they can divide their meditation into four parts – one part for remembering Vraja Mandala Parikrama (visiting the holy places in Vrndavana where Krsna performed His transcendental pastimes)....
Srila Gurudeva: This instruction was for general persons. Those who have just begun chanting can remember Vraja Mandal Parikrama. They can perform parikrama of Govardhana and Vrndavana in their minds, and they can offer flowers to all the Deities there. Those who are more advanced will meditate on Krsna's pastimes corresponding to His different names.
tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu-smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojyatisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugamikalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saramNectar of Instruction (Verse 8)
["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time – twenty-four hours a day – in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service."]
While chanting the name of Krsna, the name of Damodara, of Govinda, or of Gopinatha, such devotees remember the sweet pastimes of that Deity. When chanting the name of Govinda, what sweet pastimes should we remember? We should remember His rasa-dance with the gopis. What is the meaning of Gopinatha? It means 'He whose masters are the gopis.' The special feature in the rasa-dance is that Krsna is controlled by the gopis, and He is begging for their love. Krsna tells the gopis, "I cannot repay you." This is Gopinatha.
It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.32.22):
na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujamsva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vahya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalahsamvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation."]
Sri Krsna as Madana-mohana is very beautiful. He is the son of Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and He is the Cupid of Cupids. One can remember Him weeping as Mother Yasoda tries to bind Him. This is Madana-mohana.
Those who are more advanced can remember Sri Krsna's asta-kaliya-lila (His pastimes throughout each twenty-four-hour period), and those who are still more elevated can remember something more. There is no single instruction or meditation that applies to all. The devotees' remembrance accords with gradation and qualification in bhakti.
Savitri dasi: (Introducing a young man) Guru Maharaja, this gentleman is from Belgium. I met him yesterday at the laundry shop and spoke to him. He is doing meditation and yoga, and he understood the philosophy as I shared it with him.
Srila Gurudeva: (To the young man) Can you meditate on my father?
Young man: I don't understand what you mean.
Srila Madhava Maharaja: Gurudeva is asking if you can meditate on his father.
Srila Gurudeva: Do you know him?
Young man: No.
Srila Gurudeva: Then how can you meditate on the Supreme Lord? Have you seen him?
Srila Gurudeva: In this Iron-age of Kali-yuga (the age of quarrel and hypocrisy), meditation begins by chanting the names of the Supreme Lord. Sri Krsna will then give you a vision of Him, and then you will be able to meditate on Him. In Kali-yuga there is no possibility of meditation in the early stages of spiritual development. Meditation begins at a later stage.
Do you know a blackish boy, playing on His flute with His cows and friends in Vrndavana?
Srila Gurudeva: (To Savitri dasi) Please explain all these truths to him. Teach him how to meditate and how to chant and remember Krsna.
Without chanting, you cannot be happy at any time in your life. Do you know who has created you? Who has given you intelligence?
Young man: Nature.
Srila Gurudeva: No; not nature. Why has material nature not given the same intelligence to animals as it has given you?
Intelligence comes from the Supreme Lord, who is very merciful. You can chant His name; then you can meditate, and gradually you will mature in your spiritual life.
Gaura premanande Hari Hari bol!
prayenalpayusah sabhyakalav asmin yuge janahmandah sumanda-matayomanda-bhagya hy upadrutah(Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.11)
"O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed."
kaler dosa-nidhe rajannasti hy eko mahan gunahkirtanad eva krsnasyamukta-sangah param vrajet(Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.51)
"My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."
krte yad dhyayato visnumtretayam yajato makhaihdvapare paricaryayamkalau tad dhari-kirtanat(Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.52)
"Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Visnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra."