Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
11-12 May 1996
To listen to the audio file, please click on this link: http://sbnmcd.org/all_mp3/19960511_12BOVEN_LEEUWEN_T10B.mp3
Srila Gurudeva: So, remember Bhagavan who will uplift you from this drain. Except for Bhagavad-bhajan there is no other means. When Hiranyakashipu’s younger brother Hiranyaksha died… among the two, both are older and younger. In the womb of the mother came…
premṇaiva bhakta-hṛdayaṁ sukha-vidrutaṁ syāt
yāvat kṣud asti jaṭhare jaraṭhā pipāsā
tāvat sukhāya bhavato nanu bhakṣya-peye
[Ramananda Raya continued, “‘As long as there is hunger and thirst within the stomach, varieties of food and drink make one feel very happy. Similarly, when the Lord is worshiped with pure love, the various activities performed in the course of that worship awaken transcendental bliss in the heart of the devotee.’]
He tells, “If anyone has appetite, then food that is tasteless, will in turn be tasteful. But if there is no appetite, even very tasteful food will fail to arouse our attention.”
It depends on our appetite and not on tasteful, delicious, or bland food. Then a question arises here, “I will take food like bread, rice, if I have an appetite, but not otherwise.” Here, the example is opposite. Should this appetite be in Krishna or in the devotees? Are you making a note of these subtleties?
He tells, “If I have an appetite, I will eat, and feel blissful.” There should be the appetite in devotees, but the example is opposite. How is it opposite? It means if Krishna is pleased, we will be pleased. But here, he is speaking oppositely. If the devotee has the appetite to be happy by himself, then it is not bhakti but rather, it is kama (lust). Do you understand this or not?
Srila Gurudeva: To have a desire like, “I am serving Krishna, so I must be happy.” To serve Krishna for your happiness is not bhakti. If you have an appetite to serve Krishna and are worshipping Krishna, then you must realize ananda (bliss). Try to go deep. Desiring your own happiness is not bhakti. Worshipping Krishna with an expectation of material reciprocity is kama and not bhakti. Whatever we do, we should do for the happiness and benefit of Krishna and not for our satisfaction. Otherwise, our bhakti will weaken. What is the deep meaning of this sloka? When you have deep affection and love filled moods, with the conviction, “I will serve Krishna.” Yashoda thinks, “I want to give milk for Krishna.” Sensing His mother’s desire, Krishna has an appetite. Krishna is atmarama and aptakama. He has no desire to have anything from anyone. If a devotee is hankering to feed Krishna, then Krishna is unable to restrain Himself and an appetite develops in Him, or else not. Yashoda Ma wants to serve Krishna by offering Him her breast milk, and weeping, Krishna runs to her calling out, “Oh mother! Oh mother! I want to drink your breast milk.” Otherwise, Krishna has no need to drink.
If a devotee has the strong will that, “I want to be with Krishna,” then Krishna will indeed be with Him.
When Krishna went to meet Duryodhana, Duryodhana offered Him thousands of delicious food preparations in golden pots.
But Krishna said, “I have no appetite. You have no affection for Me. My mission has not been fulfilled, so how can I take what you offer?”
But Krishna became very hungry when he saw what Vidurani had to offer. Vidurani heard that Krishna had come and that He had not taken anything. She thought, “He must come to me and I will feed Him.” In her desire to greet Krishna, Vidurani grew extremely restless. She would intermittently walk, in and out of the room to see if Krishna was coming.
Krishna became desperately hungry when He reached Vidurani’s house. He requested Vidurani, “Oh mother, I am so hungry! I want to eat some food.” Soon, Vidurani got the bananas.
Vidurani completely forgot what she held in her hands when she heard Krishna speak. In her bid to feed Krishna, she handed Him banana peels instead of the fruit. Krishna was so happy to take her offerings.
At that time, Vidura arrived and asked his wife, “Oh what are you giving Krishna?”
Krishna told Vidura, “Don’t disturb. I don’t consider the offering; I only accept the prema with which it is offered. And she is giving Me her heartfelt love through this offering. I was so hungry but now I am fully satisfied.”
Krishna will not accept our offerings if we worship Him without prema. He will not be pleased and thus, you will also not be pleased. So anything we give Krishna, we should give with all our love and affection. He will gladly accept even a dry piece of straw, if you offer it with all your love. He will also take leaves and water, if we follow the prerequisites of offering them with all our love and affection. Otherwise, He will not take anything.
But this is Vaidhi bhakti. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Yes, yes. Go on.”
And then, Sri Raya Ramananda Prabhu recited a sloka. What is that sloka?
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate
Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 8.70
[“‘Pure devotional service in Kåñëa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price—that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.’”]
I will explain it on another day.
Gaura Premanande! Haribol!
[Maha-mantra kirtan is sung.]
Srila Gurudeva: I want to finish Raya Ramananda Samvad. I wanted to come here and explain all these tattva-siddhantas and lilas for one complete hour. But I could not. I wanted to give an outline of Sri Raya Ramananda samvad that will add to our sadhana-bhajana and help us advance in our bhakti. By this, you can know the mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raya Ramananda Prabhu, Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, and Srila Rupa Gosvami. I wanted to explain all these topics. Perhaps today we will have to go? Will we be here tomorrow morning?
Srila Gurudeva: Then tomorrow, I will give class for one hour. I request you all to assemble here and I will try to explain up to madhura rasa. If I give a summary, no harm, but I will try to explain more.
Gaura Premanande! Haribol!
*Transcribed and edited by the Govardhana dasa.