Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami MaharajaMalaysia
[Dear Respected Readers,Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.You all may have seen the recent publication of Walking with a Saint, Morning Walks and darsans from 2008. We are now working on 2009 edition. Below is a morning walk from Malaysia as a sneak preview to the book.
Aspiring for the service of the Vaisnavas,Vasanti dasi]
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja) Please explain the meaning of 'anyabhilasita.'
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Now (laughing)?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Why "Heh, heh, heh"?
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: When I was explaining anyabhilasita sunyam last evening, I did not explain the details of what are favorable and unfavorable actions.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: So, can you explain the details now? I would especially like you to explain the meaning of the phrase:
anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtamanakulyena krnsanu-silanam bhaktir uttama
["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Okay. So, as you were saying to me last night, there is unfavorable karma and favorable karma.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What does anyabhilasita mean?
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Anyabhilasita means that one should accept what is favorable for bhakti and reject whatever is unfavorable. Sunya means...
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I know that you cannot explain it. Try to read Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu.
(To Tamal-Krsna das) You explain.
Tamal-krsna dasa: I am not qualified, Gurudeva. I cannot explain it.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can explain so much about magic. Why not these topics? I want you to be a good preacher. You can preach.
Tamal-krsna dasa: Thank you, Gurudeva. Thank you.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You are very bold, but you should know the meaning of bhakti. What is bhakti?
Tamal-krsna dasa: Bhakti is eternal spiritual bliss and devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is bhakti.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not the definition. You must learn what it means.
What is the idea of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu regarding our supreme object of worship? Do you know the verse beginning aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa tanayas tad dhama vrndavanam?
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanamramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargesa ya kalpitasrimad-bhagavatam amalam prema pum-artho mahansri-caitanya-mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah
["The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is to be worshiped along with His transcendental abode, Vrndavana. The most pleasing form of worship for the Lord is that which was performed by the gopis of Vrndavana. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless authority on everything, and pure love of God is the ultimate goal of life for all men. These statements, for which we have the highest regard, are the opinion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."]
Tamal-krsna dasa: No.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I know that in your old age you cannot memorize the slokas, but you should know the meaning of this sloka and preach about bhakti.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Bhagavat Maharaja) Do you understand?
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Yes. Anya-abhilasa. Abhilasa means 'desire.' We should not have any desires for unfavorable karma, jnana, etc. Sunya means 'we should be devoid of these unfavorable desires.'
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, this is not the meaning.
(To Giri Maharaja) What is the meaning?
Sripad Giri Maharaja: Anyabhilasita sunya means 'devoid of all desires other than the desire to serve Krsna favorably.' It means 'devoid of all material desires.'
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It does not matter whether the karma or jnana is 'favorable' or 'unfavorable.' We must give it all up. We must give up the desire for taking birth in the heavenly planets and for moksa (impersonal liberation), and for all things other than the service of Krsna.
But why has the word anyabhilasita been stated? Why not simply the word anyavilasa?
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Because 'ita' indicates special circumstances, as in the case of Draupadi. When Draupadi found herself in a situation where she had no other shelter, she called out to Krsna for His shelter. She did not do this for some material desire for protection, because Draupadi was completely surrendered to Krsna. This was a special circumstance.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: A life-threatening circumstance.
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: Yes, life-threatening. So she called out to Krsna.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes.
Prakasatma dasa: Yesterday we heard the story of Narada Muni and Dhruva Maharaja. Visnu manifested Himself to Dhruva Maharaja, who was a sakama-bhakta (one who performs bhakti in order to achieve some material benefit). Regarding Narada Muni, Visnu only appeared to him for a moment – and then disappeared because Narada had some attachment to sattva-guna (the material mode of goodness). Narada had a desire to meditate in the forest, which was a desire in the mode of goodness, and for this reason Visnu didn't show Himself to Narada. Yet, he showed Himself to Dhruva Maharaja, who had a much stronger material desire.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is the answer?
Sripad Bhagavat Maharaja: You once explained that for those devotees who want suddha-bhakti, pure, unalloyed bhakti, Krsna personally takes over their karma. He gives them more parabdha-karma to get them to the point where they can attain suddha-bhakti because their intentions are originally for suddha-bhakti. I think Narada Muni falls in that category?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Sripad Giri Maharaja) Can you explain?
Sripad Giri Maharaja: I don't know, Gurudeva. I'll be honest.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Dhruva was a sakama-bhakta (a devotee who performs his devotional activities with material motives); and from the beginning, Narada was a niskama-bhakta (a devotee who performs his devotional activities with no material motives). We should know that gold is more valuable than iron, and that the value of cintamani is so many more times higher than the value of gold. Similarly, niskama-bhakti is very high. Dhruva Maharaja performed bhakti only for a worldly kingdom, whereas Narada did not have such desires.
Narada had been performing austerities, but precious things cannot be acquired by the practice of general austerities. Therefore, it was in order to increase Narada's eagerness that Bhagavan told him, "You will not see me again in this lifetime." He did this because He wanted to make Narada more advanced in devotional service. He wanted him to be a rasika-bhakta.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Once you explained that even when Narada Rsi's mother expired, he did not concern himself with performing ceremonies for her. Rather he immediately went to the forest to do bhajana. On the other hand, even when Dhruva was seated in the transcendental airplane that was just about to take him to Vaikuntha, he remembered his mother, Sunéti. He thought, "How shall I go alone to the Vaikuntha planet and leave behind my poor mother? I will not go without her."
Sripad Giri Maharaja: Sakama-bhakta Dhruva Maharaja is an example of a karma-misra bhakta (bhakti mixed with the desire for fruitive reward). Who is a typical example of a jnana-misra-bhakta (bhakti mixed with the desire to merge into impersonal brahman)?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The four Kumaras, and also Sukadeva Gosvami in his first stage.
Sripad Giri Maharaja: What about Lord Siva?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Oh, he is so high – far superior to other devotees. He is the guru of all Vaisnavas. He is even Narada's guru.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: "Vaisnavanam yatha sambu – he is the greatest Vaisnava."
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is not under any rules and regulations, or anyone's control.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: In one form, Sivaji is Gopisvara.
Sripad Giri Maharaja: And Lord Brahma?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Brahma is a dasya-bhakta; adhikarika-dasya
Sripad Giri Maharaja: Is he a karma-misra or jnana-misra bhakta?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Adhikarika-dasya means that he has been given the order and adhikara (qualification) to create the world. He can create only by the power of Krsna, and he does so. Because he is creating by the order of Krsna, therefore he is called adhikarika-dasya.
Sripad Giri Maharaja: So, Brahma is always a pure devotee?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is a suddha-bhakta, but not a rasika-bhakta. He may become a rasika-bhakta in the future.
Moreover, there are so many Brahmas. Our Brahma has requested to Krsna that he become the foot-dust of the gopis in Vrndavana; this is not an ordinary prayer.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Brahmaji became a mountain in Varsana (Brahma-parvata) by performing worship of Radha.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. Sankara manifests in Nandagaon as the mountain, Nandisvara Hill, and Brahma as Brahma-parvata in Varsana.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Brahma prayed to Krsna, "May all Your pastimes with the Vraja gopis be manifest on my head," and he was thus blessed to become a mountain.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Brahma is our adi-guru (the first guru in our Brahma-madhva-gaudiya Sampradaya), not Sankara. In this way we follow Brahma, not Sankara.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Sankara is followed by Visnusvami of the Rudra sampradayas.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Padmanabha Maharaja) The color of your cloth is too dark. Better to reduce it somewhat.
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: I made a mistake – too much dye.
Sripad Damodara Maharaja: Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura wrote that even if guru makes a mistake, he is always right.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is the meaning?
Sripad Damodara Maharaja: I don't know. That's why I'm asking.
And the conditioned soul, even if he is right, he is always wrong.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If guru is wrong, he is not guru. On the other hand, if Narada or any bona fide acarya in our guru-parampara act as though they don't know about something, they are guru.
Narada Rsi approached the demon Kamsa and asked him, "What are you doing? Why have you excused Devaki and Vasudeva? I know that that the demigods had a meeting and discussed various ways to kill you. Those demigods have now appeared as Devaki and Vasudeva and their associates for that purpose."
After Kamsa heard this from Narada, he killed the sons of Devaki and Vasudeva and also began to harass Devaki and Vasudeva themselves. What is the significance of this? Although Vasudeva and Devaki are the father and mother of Krsna, Narada told Kamsa to harass them. Why?
Sripad Damodara Maharaja: He did it so that Kamsa would commit more offenses and Krsna would therefore appear sooner.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: What Narada did seems to be wrong, but it is not.
Sripad Damodara Maharaja: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also said that even if guru makes a mistake when reciting a verse, he is right; and the conditioned soul, even if he recites the verse correctly, he is wrong.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Our Guru Maharaja hardly ever quoted slokas; he mostly used logical arguments. Moreover, when he did refer to a sloka, he uttered only two or three words, not the complete sloka.
Sometimes guru's pronunciation may be incorrect, but guru is correct. In this way we can apply what you have quoted, but not where other matters are concerned. Guru can never do wrong.
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Srila Gurudeva, you told us that when you met our Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja in his final days, he told you, "I have made a mistake, because I preached against my god-brothers." Then you told him, "No, no. You have not done any wrong. We understand why you did what you did. It was to encourage your disciples, for preaching."
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, yes, yes. He knew the reality. What he did was to encourage his disciples, for preaching. What he did only seemed to be wrong; it was not. Guru says certain things due to special circumstances.
Markendeya Rsi dasa: Srila Gurudeva, today is your birthday. For your birthday, I am presenting you with some videos of your world-wide preaching.
Today I'm begging you to give me a little mercy so that I can develop the goal of life that you are distributing.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: My speaking should come in the form of books.
(To Padmanabha Maharaja) Do you understand?
Sripad Padmanabhu Maharaja: Yes.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What I am telling in my morning walks and darsanas should come in the form of books.
I have already told this to Padmanabha Maharaja.
Sripad Padmanabhu Maharaja: It should be made into books. Yes.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This should be done very soon.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Gurudeva, this devotee is from Nandana's apartment building in Kuala Lumpur.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Oh, thank you. Please attend our classes. And may you very soon become a pure bhakta. Very soon you will become old and have to give up this body, and not a farthing of what you have collected will go with you to the next body. Without bhakti, you cannot be happy in your life. So you should take up this process very soon, chant the Holy Name, and be happy forever.
Devotee: Thank you, Gurudeva. I'm trying very hard. I'm trying.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Don't delay.
[Devotees who have not been on the walk but who have been waiting at the door of Srila Maharaja's residence now sing "Happy Birthday" and "Govinda Damodara Madhaveti," and they present him gifts.]
Vrnda devi: It is also Janaki didi's birthday today.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (Throwing flower petals on Janaki dasi's head) Mangalam bhavatu, kalyanam bhavatu, krsna-bhakti bhavatu, radha-dasyam bhavatu (May your life be auspicious, may you attain pure devotion to Sri Krsna, and especially may you attain the service of Srimati Radhika).
[Devotees sing "Radhe Radhe Radhe, jaya jaya jaya Sri Radhe."]
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (calling out loudly) Jaya jaya Sri...
Devotees: (calling out loudly) Radhe!
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (calling out loudly) Jaya jaya Sri Radhe!
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: My darling daughters and sons, I'll meet you soon.