A Whirlpool of Love

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
(The first in the series of discourses on the book "Sri Prema-Vivarta")
Badger, California: June 17, 2008

Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja 

 

[On June, 17, before beginning his discussions on Srila Jagadananda Pandita's Sri Prema-vivarta, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja concluded his course on Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings to Srila Rupa Gosvami, from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, chapter 19, which comprises the first two pages of this transcription. Just after that, he began his explanation of Prema-vivarta. We hope you will enjoy it all:]

We are discussing the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Srila Rupa Gosvami. We discussed Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions in the matter of what is rasa, how bhakti becomes rasa, the symptoms in the presence of bhakti and rati, and also the development of rati into prema, sneha, maan, raga, and anuraga *[See Endnote 1].

sadhana-bhakti haite haya ‘rati'ra udaya
rati gatha haile tara ‘prema' nama kaya

["By regularly rendering devotional service, one gradually becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When that attachment is intensified, it becomes love of Godhead." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 19.177)]

Rati, or bhava, manifests by the performance of sadhana (regulative devotional practices) and therefore it is essential to always remember what sadhana-bhakti is. It is not like what you are doing. If you know what rati is, and if you perform sadhana by this body and senses in order to receive that rati, it will then be sadhana-bhakti, otherwise not. Simply chanting and reading and executing the other activities of devotion are not necessarily sadhana. It is essential to know what is rati (transcendental emotion; the preliminary stage of pure love of God) - how very, very rare it is, and how rare is real sadhana.

It is also essential to know that bhava is eternally in the heart of all jivas, and it manifests by the performance of sadhana; so try for that.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja called upon his speakers to talk about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions to Srila Rupa Gosvami regarding the various rasas. Then he himself continued:]

We should know that there is a big difference between mayavadis (impersonalists) and brahmavadis. Mayavadis are criminals and offenders. They don't accept the personal form of the Supreme Lord, nor do they accept that He has any qualities. Moreover, regarding their acceptance of the existence of Krsna, they think that He is brahma (the impersonal God) covered by maya (the deluding material energy).

Brahmavadis, such as the four Kumaras, are in the category of santa-bhaktas. Unlike the mayavadis, they don't think that Sri Krsna has a material body, and they accept that He is God. They don't have any worldly desires.

Rukmini, Satyabhama, and all the other Queens in Dvaraka are in madhurya-rasa. The gopis are also in madhurya-rasa, as are Laksmi and Sita. However, aside from the gopis, the love and affection of all Krsna's other consorts is mixed with the mood of opulence.

Once, Krsna was sitting on the bed of Rukmini-devi, who was personally fanning Krsna with a camara. Suddenly Krsna became apparently very grave and said, "O Princess, you are very beautiful, with all good qualities and a splendid golden complexion. On the other hand, I am black. I attract only poor people, those who are without any possessions. I want you to be happy. Therefore, please tell Me whom you love. I will take you to that person.

When Rukmini heard this, her chamara-fan fell from her hand and she fell to the ground like a banana tree struck down by the wind. Krsna became very upset. He took a piece of cotton swab and, putting if just under her nostril, He saw she was alive. He said in her ear, "My most beloved Rukmini. I was only joking. You thought my words were true, but they were said only in jest.

"Do you remember when I told you that I used to joke with the gopis, causing them to express their most exalted love for Me? Radhika used to say, ‘This black person should not come in My kunja (secluded grove). He should remain outside.' She placed Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari at the gate of Her kunja and told them, ‘If that black person comes, tell Him to get out.' I would then request Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari, ‘Please let Me in.' And they would say, ‘Go away. You are a great cheater. You cannot come in. Today, Radhika has taken a vow: "I will not look at anything that is black. I will not wear any black cloth, and I will cover My black hair." She is very angry.'"

yat-kinkarisu bahusah khalu kaku-vani
nityam parasya purusasya sikhanda-mauleh
tasyah kada rasa-nidher vrsabhanu-jayas
tat-keli-kunja-bhavanangana-marjani syam?

["O daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja, O ocean of rasa! The Supreme Lord, the
source of all incarnations, who wears a peacock feather in His hair, falls at the feet of Your maidservants and propitiates them with many humble and grief-stricken words to be allowed entrance into Your kunja where You engage in playful, amorous pastimes. If only I could become one stick in the broom used by Your sakhis to clean Your delightful grove, I would consider my life a success." (Sri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi 8, Prabodhananda Sarasvati)]

When Srimati Radhika orders, "This black person should not enter My kunja," Krsna places His head at the lotus feet of Rupa and Rati Manjari and begs them to allow Him entrance. Demonstrating the exalted love of the gopis, Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati prays in this connection, "I desire to be a stick on the broom that sweeps Radhika's kunja."

In Vraja, in sakhya-rasa, Sridama and Subala wrestle with Krsna. The opulence in Krsna's pastimes is extremely high there, but it is completely covered with sweetness.

In this way, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Rupa-siksa of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. After teaching him, the Lord embraced him and said, "You will realize all the topics I have told you." Just after this, when the Lord wanted to go to Varanasi, Srila Rupa Gosvami thought, "He is going to Varanasi, and He has ordered me to go to Vrndavana!" Overwhelmed by feelings of imminent separation from his beloved Lord, he fainted.

If you want to be a rupanuga-bhakta (a pure follower of Srila Rupa Gosvami), then, both by mind and external behavior, you will need to practice bhakti like Srila Rupa Gosvami and Rupa Manjari. This is very difficult, however, for it will be necessary to first rid yourself of the mood to enjoy sense gratification. This should be totally removed. Sri Krsna will see when it is cleared out.

Raganuga, or more specifically rupanuga-bhakti, is not so easy. If there is any worldly desire in ones' heart at all, even a slight scent of desire, this madhurya-rasa cannot be manifest there.

Sri Prema-vivarta

Today and tomorrow we will discuss Sri Prema-vivarta in brief. We will not have time to discuss the entire book.

Prema-Vivarta is written by Sri Jagadananda Pandita, whose nature was like that of Satyabhama, and somewhat like that of Srimati Radhika. One day he was writing about his remembrance of the very kind and heart-melting pastimes of Mahaprabhu:

"When I remember Mahaprabhu, I weep, and at that time I cannot control my life, or my body, or my mind. Continuously weeping, I considered that I must write something about the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to express the reason why I incessantly weep. Forgetting which of the Lord's transcendental pastimes came first, second, or last, I write whatever comes in my memory."

As he remembered, he began to write: "People call me Pandita (scholar or poet) - Jagadananda Pandita - but actually I am devoid of intelligence. Still, I yearn to write about the very heart-rending pastimes of my very dear Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."

In the meantime, Sri Svarupa Damodara approached him. Sri Svarupa Damodara is the beloved eternal associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He is Lalita-devi in Krsna-lila, so you can imagine how elevated he is. He asked, "Pandita, what are you writing? And why are you also weeping?"

Jagadananda Pandita replied, "I am writing about He whom I love so much. Without Him, I cannot remain alive. I want to write, and I want to keep my writing with me in a hidden way; not showing it to anyone."

Svarupa Damodara replied, "Very good, very good. Thank you. Yes, write. Anyone who reads your writing will be greatly benefited."

Jagadananda said, "I don't know what will benefit others. I am writing whatever I feel - whatever makes me happy." And he continued writing.

Sri Svarupa Damodara knew that Jagadananda Pandita was very talkative and would not hear him. He considered, "He does not even listen to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He does maan, (sulks) in front of Mahaprabhu, so how will he hear me?" Thinking in this way, Svarupa Damodara left him alone.

Jagadananda Pandita now thought, "Again alone, I once more remember Mahaprabhu and, all the while weeping, I continue to write. My heart weeps, my mind weeps, and my eyes weep in separation from the Lord. I have no control over this."

Beautiful poetry naturally emanated from him, like the flow of a river. He had no need to search for any word, because the words simply flowed from his heart.

He wrote: "One day, Sacinandana Gaura-hari (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) came to me and said, ‘You are a high-class queen of Dvaraka, and you are very intelligent. You know that I am a beggar, without any possessions, so why do you want to serve Me with such great affection? There are so many sannyasis and other learned personalities here and there. It would be better that you go and serve them - not Me'.

"I replied, ‘I know you very well. You are always cheating me. I am a most obedient maidservant of Srimati Radhika; yet You want to send me to Dvaraka?! I will not go there, no matter how hard You try for this. I know that You are a very great thief, for You have stolen the beauty of Radhika. I know that You are really not a sannyasi, but that cheater Krsna. Now You want to cheat me by sending me to Dvaraka, just so that You can serve Her alone.'

"I am remembering something of our exchanges: ‘Although I know that the wealth of bhajana is the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His instructions, I am very unlucky. In maan (a sulky mood of transcendental loving anger), I left Navadvipa and I am going to Vrndavana. How unlucky I am!'"

Why did he do maan?

Once, in Purl, Sri Jagadananda Pandita had brought a pot full of very fragrant Ayurvedic oil. He wanted it to be rubbed on Mahaprabhu's head because the Lord would sometimes faint due to ecstasy in Krsna consciousness. He brought that pot with great care, gave it to Mahaprabhu's personal servant Govinda, and requested, "Please put some oil on the head of Mahaprabhu daily." Govinda then told Mahaprabhu, "Jagadananda has ordered me to put some oil on Your head. This is a very powerful Ayurvedic medicine." Mahaprabhu replied very humbly, "Take this oil to the Jagannatha temple and offer it for use in the temple lamps."

The next day, Jagadananda asked Govinda, "Have you put this oil on His head?" He replied, "I could not." Jagadananda inquired, "Why not?" "Mahaprabhu ordered me to give this oil to Lord Jagannatha," replied Govinda.

Jagadananda became very upset and, taking the pot of oil, smashed it on the floor in front of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After all the oil splattered here and there, he angrily went to his bhajana-kutira and locked the door. He remained crying for one or two days, and did not come to see Mahaprabhu.

Mahaprabhu thought, "Oh, he is angry at Me because I've not accepted his offering. That is why he has not come." One day, two days, three days passed. Then, on the morning of the fourth day, Mahaprabhu went to Jagadananda's bhajana-kutira and knocked on the door. He called out, "O Jagadananda, O Jagadananda." But Jagadananda did not reply. He was simply weeping. Mahaprabhu said, "For three days I have not eaten anything. I have an empty stomach and now I'm so hungry. I'm going to take bath in the ocean, and I am coming back very soon. Please prepare all varieties of delicious foodstuffs for Me." Speaking in this way He went to the sea, took bath and returned after one hour.

In the meantime Jagadananda also took bath, changed his clothes and began to prepare many kinds of vegetables, rice, dal, capatis, tamarind chutney, and so on. He prepared over fifty-six preparations and served them all on two or three very big banana leaves. He then requested Govinda, "Please request Mahaprabhu to take prasada." Mahaprabhu said, "I cannot do so alone. There should be two seats and two leaves. I will sit with Jagadananda and we will take prasada together. If he does not take with Me, then I will leave here with an empty stomach."

Jagadananda replied, not directly, but to Govinda, "Tell Mahaprabhu He should happily take His prasada. After He finishes, you and I will both take His remnants together." Govinda then told Mahaprabhu, "Please take Your prasada. He will take after You. He will only take Your remnants."

When Govinda gave Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu the very big banana leaf plate full of prasadam - with hundreds of varieties of preparations like rice, dahl, ravari, curry, and many others - Mahaprabhu began to eat, and said, "It tastes very sweet. But I am not Jagannatha, so why are you are giving Me so much? I cannot eat so much."

Govinda replied, "You are not Jagannatha? Surely You are Jagannatha. In Puri, You take so many mounds of rice and so many malpuras. Why not here?" In this way, Mahaprabhu took prasadam.

One day after this, Jagadananda Pandita approached Mahaprabhu and told Him, "I want to go to Vrndavana. Please order me to go. Please give me Your permission." Mahaprabhu asked, "Why do you want to go?" Jagadananda replied. "I wanted to go with You for such a long time, but You did not take me. So now I want to go and take darsana of the Deities and the holy places there. I want to be there and serve the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Krsna."

Mahaprabhu replied, "You can go, but not for a long time. Go and see Vrndavana, and then return. Do not climb on top of Govardhana Hill. You are not qualified to remain there in Vrndavana for a long time. You may quarrel there, because you will see everything according to your knowledge of rules and regulations. You will inspect whether the Vrajavasis are taking bath or not, and what they are doing or not doing. You will judge according to your mentality, and you may therefore commit offences. So don't remain there for long. Return shortly."

Jagadananda then left Puri for Vrndavana, but when he arrived at the border of Vrndavana, he sat under a tree and thought, "Why did I make such a mistake? I have done wrong. I am a madman. With some remaining anger I told my dear Sacinandana that I will go to Vrndavana, but how will I remain alive without Him?

"But I have vowed to go. What shall I do?"

He fell asleep under a tree, and was thinking during his sleep about how kind Mahaprabhu had always been to him. Under the shade of that tree, he had a dream, and in that dream he was remembering his youthful pastimes with Mahaprabhu. He remembered that when he and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were students, they would go to Sanskrit school together; and there they would sometimes begin to quarrel and he would do maan. Once, in maan, he went to the bank of the Ganges in Mayapura, and there he wept the entire day and night, and fasted. Then, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to him with a fellow student, Sri Gadhadhara Pandita, and said, ‘O Jagadananda, give up your anger. Such anger is a very bad thing. You were weeping here, and I was weeping the entire night for you. In the meantime Gadhadhara Pandita came and I told him, "Let us go to Jagadananda Pandita." So we have come. My mother is waiting for you at home, and there we w ill take prasadam together.'

Jagadananda Pandita remembered that he was thinking at that time, "I could not neglect the order of Sri Sacinandana Gaurasundara. We went to His house along with Gadhadhara Pandita, and Sacimata gave us prasadam. I stayed there for one or two hours. In the morning, after Sacimata brought us milk and rice, which was very tasteful. We both took it, and then we went to school again."

In this way, He was weeping and writing: "I am writing whatever comes in my mind."
He wrote that, "One who has realized the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu cannot take Him out from his heart. He is so kind. He came to the bank of the Ganges in the night and took me with Him! Who can be like Him? Krsna is very cruel - not like Mahaprabhu. Radharani's mercy has entered Krsna, and now He is so merciful. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is my Lord - He is my life and soul, and I cannot live without Him. He is the very life of my life.

"I will embrace those who call out, ‘O Caitanya Mahaprabhu, O Sacinandana Gaura-hari!' That person is the best friend of my life. I do not want to see the face of those who do not call out my Lord's names. Rather, I want to hurl burning fire in their mouths - even if they are demigods. And, regarding those who discuss frivolous and mundane topics, avoiding the nectarean pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I do not want to see their faces. I will take a stick and beat anyone who, giving up Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, has more honor for other sannyasis."

Once, Jagadananda Prabhu was even ready to beat Srila Sanatana Gosvami because Sanatana Gosvami was wearing on his head the red cloth of another sannyasi. He was in Srila Sanatana Gosvami's bhajana-kutira - cooking. While outside, Srila Sanatana Gosvami took a saffron cloth from someone and wrapped it around his head like a turban, and then he returned to his kutira. In the meantime, the pot of kichri (rice and dal and some vegetables) was boiling on the stove, making a ‘taka buk, take buk' sound. Jagadananda asked Sanatana Gosvami, "You are very faithful to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. From where have you collected His cloth?"

Sanatana Gosvami simply told him, "It is not Mahaprabhu's. It belonged to a mayavadi. He gave it to me and I accepted it." "A mayavadi?" Jagadananda at once picked up the cooking pot as though he would throw it.

Sanatana Gosvami was very humble, and with a smile he said, "You are so attached to Mahaprabhu. I was testing you. I know that you have such faith in Mahaprabhu that you cannot tolerate seeing any of his devotees wearing the saffron cloth of mayavadis. Mahaprabhu has sometimes rebuked you, but what does that mean? It means He loves you very much, and thus He gives you the sweet transcendental mellows of rebuke. To me He says, ‘O Sanatana Gosvami, you are such an honorable person, such a high class devotee. You are superior to all others.'

Srila Sanatana Gosvami continued, "This is what I wanted to see. I have never seen anyone who has so much love for Caitanya Mahaprabhu." Hearing this, Jagadananda became ashamed and touched the lotus feet of Srila Sanatana Gosvami.

Now he writes: "I am remembering all these pastimes.

"One day, Sri Sacinandana Gaurahari was enjoying youthful play with Gadhadhara Pandita. Sacinandana took me and Gadhadhara to a forest full of beautiful trees. There were two parrots there - Suka and Sari (male and female) - each on a branch of a very fragrant bakula tree.

"Caitanya Mahaprabhu somehow caught the parrot and said, ‘Chant, ‘Radhe Radhe, Krsna Krsna.' But, the Suka parrot did not do so. Rather he chanted, ‘Gaura-hari, Gaura-hari.' Mahaprabhu feigned anger and said, "Go away! You are not chanting Radha and Krsna.' You are only chanting Gaura-hari." As the parrot continued to chant in a very sweet way, ‘Gaurahari, Gaurahari,' Caitanya Mahaprabhu became overwhelmed and said, ‘Oh parrot, why are you not singing ‘Hare Krsna or Radha-Krsna?' The parrot continued to sing, "Gaura! Gaura!" and began to dance. We immediately felt the stirrings of ecstatic emotions by hearing the parrot's wonderful song. The Lord again said, "O parrot! This is Vrndavana! Sing loudly the divine names of Radha and Krsna so that everyone can hear.'

"The parrot replied, ‘Now Vrndavana has come to Navadvipa. All the forests, Manasi Ganga, Govardhana, and all other pastime places are in Navadvipa. And Sacinandana Gaura-hari is Sri Sri Radha and Krsna combined. In this forest of Navadvipa, I only sing Gaura-hari, Gaura-hari. You are my Krsna, and Gadhai (Srila Gadhadhara Pandita) is my Radha. Both of You are here. Gadhai and Gauranga - both of You are my life.'

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘Oh parrot, I am a worshipper of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. When I hear names other than Radha and Krsna, I become sad. All right! Whatever you want to chant, chant!'

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then took the hand of Gadhadhara, and we all returned to Saci-mata's house.

"I offer obeisances and greatly honor anyone in whose hearts enter the sweet, ambrosial pastimes of Sacinandana Gaura-hari".

[Srila Narayana Maharaja then requested the devotees in his assembly to sing the kirtana "Gaurangera Duti-pada", after which he said:] What is the meaning of this song? One who performs bhajana of Gauracandra, that is, Sri Sacinandana Gaura-hari, and realizes all these teachings - only that person can know what is bhakti, what is bhakti-rasa, and what is the essence of that bhakti-rasa. We know bhakti, and we also know bhakti-rasa, but what is the essence of bhakti-rasa? It is the love of Srimati Radhika, whose love is the highest. She embodies bhava, mahabhava, ruddha, adhirudha, modana, and madana bhava. Hers is the highest of all rasas.

[Thus ends part 1. In a few days you will receive part 2.]

[*Endnote 1
Prema - love for Krsna which is extremely concentrated, which completely melts the heart, and which gives rise to a deep sense of mamata or possessiveness in relation to the Lord.

Sneha - affection

Maan - that stage of prema in which sneha reaches exultation, thus causing one to experience the sweetness of the beloved in ever new varieties (Ujjvala-nilamani 14.96), and when the nayika assumes an outward demeanor of pique which turns into transcendental anger and indignation arising out of jealous love.

Pranaya - that intensified stage of prema when maan assumes a feature of unrestrained intimacy known as visrambha, or confidence devoid of any restraint or formality. This confidence causes one to consider one's life, mind, intelligence, body, and possessions to be one in all respects with the life, mind, intelligence, and body of the beloved.

Raga - 1) an intensified stage of prema in which an unquenchable loving thirst (prema-mayi trsna) for the object of one's affection (Sri Krsna) gives rise to spontaneous and intense absorption in one's beloved, so much so that in the absence of the opportunity to please the beloved, one is on the verge of giving up his life; 2) when pranaya is experienced in the heart as immense pleasure. If by accepting some misery there is a chance to meet with Krsna, then that misery becomes a source of great happiness. And where happiness affords no opportunity to meet with Krsna, that happiness becomes the source of great distress.

anuraga - an intensified stage of prema as defined in Ujjvala-nilamani (14.146): "Although one regularly meets with and is well-acquainted with the beloved, the ever-fresh sentiment of intense attachment causes the beloved to be newly experienced at every moment, as if one has never before had any experience of such a person."

bhava - 1) loving emotions; a particular mood of love in which the devotee serves Krsna. 2) an intensified stage of prema which in Ujjvala-nilamani has been equated with maha-bhava, which occurs when anuraga attains a certain stage of exhilaration and relish. This can be experienced and relished only by anuraga itself and by no other bhava. When anuraga is adorned with the inflamed and exciting sattvika passions like molten gold and reaches its climax in Srimati Radhika, becoming identical with Her very temperament and dispositions, it is called bhava.

mahabhava - the most mature stage of prema.

Editorial advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja, Sripad Brajanath dasa, and Sri Prema Prayojana dasa
Transcriber and typist: Vasanti dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Proof-reader: Krsna-kamini dasi

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