Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
[We are presenting the following for the divine disappearance day of our most worshipable parama-pujyapada nitya-lila pravista Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Every year, during this Kartika parikrama, prapujya-carana Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja leads the devotees in offering their heartfelt presentations to Srila Prabhupada. This year, however, due to severe congestion, Srila Maharaja went to see his doctor in Delhi, and the devotees in Govardhana could not have his association on this day. They observed Srila Prabhupada's tirobhava tithi maha-mahotsava with his internal presence, both in the morning and evening, with great pomp and affection. Due to this circumstance, therefore, because we cannot send you Srila Maharaja's glorification of Srila Prabhupada this year, we hope that you will accept his glorification in the following lecture given in Badger in 1997, which was published later in the book "Their Lasting Relation", which can be found in it's entirety on the PureBhakti.com Library Download Page .]
Because of His Divine Grace
The following is an excerpt from a lecture spoken by
Srila Narayana Maharaja in Badger, California.
Not only here, but wherever I go throughout the world, whether in the East or the West, I see the result of the inspiration he has given. In a very remote place in Canada, in a deep forest in the mountains, I went to a devotee village named Saranagati; and I was so pleased to see the many devotees there following varnasrama-dharma and the principles of bhakti. I also went to a remote village in Australia, also among the hills, in a very beautiful setting. It often rained there, and it was always vasanta, springtime. Although this place is so far away from India, I saw that by Srila Swami Maharaja's grace, by his preaching, a very large devotee village had been established. Everyone there was so inspired: women, men, old persons, and very little boys and girls. All were wearing tilaka and neck beads - and everyone was dancing, chanting, and remembering in Krsna consciousness.
Even in India we don't generally see such exhibition of enthusiastic energy. But here I am seeing this everywhere, and this is the miracle of Srila Swami Maharaja. Without actually coming to these places and personally seeing what he has done, it would be difficult to imagine.
We should understand that backing Srila Swami Maharaja is his guru-varga, the disciplic succession - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Svarupa Damodara, Srila Raya Ramananda and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Acting as their hands, their instrument, Srila Swami Maharaja did not come here to propagate his own independent mission. He came to spread the mission of his beloved Radha-Krsna and Gaura-Nityananda, and particularly the mission of Srila Svarupa Damodara, Srila Raya Ramananda and Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Who is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Anarpita-carim carat karunayavatirnah kalau. After a very long period, after one complete day of Brahma, which comprises 1000 Kali-yuga cycles, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. He is Krsna Himself, but enriched with the beauty and mood of Srimati Radhika and Krsna. He is rasaraja-mahabhava. Perhaps you have heard this name before. It contains a very special and esoteric description of the form of Sacinandana Gaurahari, as given in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
Lord Caitanya advented in Mayapura, Sri Navadvipa-dhama, only to give a most confidential and hidden treasure. Even for greatly exalted devotees such as Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara, for Prahlada Maharaja, and even for Narada and Uddhava, this treasure is very mysterious. Lord Caitanya came to distribute this with His own two hands - not only with two hands, but with hundreds of thousands of hands. In other words, all the pure devotees of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were His hands.
The Lord's associates did not consider anyone's qualification, and even tigers, bears, serpents, creepers and trees became blessed. Whoever saw the lovely appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and whoever heard Him calling, "O Krsna, where are You? Where are You?" became devotees. They began to sing and weep, and they received krsna-prema. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has descended to this world particularly to give this prema. He did not only come to establish the yuga-dharma, or to simply act as bhakta-raksa, protecting His devotees from demons. The primary purpose of His advent was to establish this:
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
May the Supreme Lord, who is known as the son of Srimati Saci-devi, be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy, to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love. [Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.4)]
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come only for unnatojjvala-rasa. What is this unnatojjvala-rasa? It is the gopis' mood of service to Krsna, and particularly it is the mood of Srimati Radhika. Don't think that the use of the word gopi is sahajiyism. If this were the case, then Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja (the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta), Srila Rupa Gosvami (the author of this sloka), and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (the embodiment of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta) would all be sahajiyas; because this verse is the mangalacarana (invocation) and main verse of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
Unnatojjvala-rasa is of two kinds: the mood of Srimati Radhika and gopis like Lalita, Visakha, Citra, etc., and also the mood of the palya-dasis, the maidservants of Srimati Radhika. Her palya-dasis do not want to serve Krsna if He is without Radhika. If Krsna, alone, is calling them, they will not go to Him; and they do not want to personally taste Him in any way. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to distribute the mood of these maidservants, like Rupa Manjari and Lavanga Manjari, in their service to Srimati Radhika and Krsna.
Srimati Radhika's mood cannot be given; it is Hers exclusively. As Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krsna fully tasted Her three moods:
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva-
svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso va madiyah
saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat
tad-bhavadhyah samajani saci-garbha-sindhau harinduh
Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani's love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Srimati Saci-devi, as the moon appeared from the ocean. [Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 1.6)]
The pleasure that Srimati Radhika experiences in serving and seeing Krsna cannot be given to anyone, but the mood of the maidservant gopis can be given. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore come only to give this. Prior to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance, Sri Ramanujacarya, Sri Madhvacarya and so many other Vaisnava acaryas had already appeared. Incarnations like Lord Rama and Lord Nrsimha had also descended. All of Them gave a very special contribution to the world, but none of them gave this prema, called bhakti-rasa, which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave through Srila-Rupa Gosvami.
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam
When will Srila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?
Maha-Visnu or Mahaprabhu?
All the acaryas in the Gaudiya sampradaya - beginning from Madhavendra Puripada and Isvara Puripada, down to Srila Svarupa Damodara, and from them down to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja - have not come only to establish vaidhi-bhakti. Rather, they have preached about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's descending to distribute that prema, that vraja-bhakti, vraja-rasa. If they were preaching only vaidhi-bhakti, they would have been representing the Sri-sampradaya, Madva-sampradaya, Visnusvami-sampradaya, Nimbaditya, or any other sampradaya.
Sriman Mahaprabhu also established the yuga-dharma through nama-sankirtana. He did this through the medium of Maha-Visnu, Narayana, Nrsimhadeva, and the other avataras, who were all contained within Himself - within His own body. Because all the avataras were within Him, no other incarnation was required to perform the function of establishing the yuga-dharma and giving mercy to Jagai and Madhai. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did all this Himself.
He fulfilled the wish of Advaita Acarya that He appear very soon. He preached and gave krsna-prema through the chanting of the holy name. He tasted the moods of Srimati Radhika, and He fulfilled all His other purposes. Among all His purposes however, two were prominent, as described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta - to give krsna-prema and to taste the moods of Srimati Radhika.
prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana
raga-marga bhakti loke karite pracarana
rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna
ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama
The Lord's desire to appear was born from two reasons: the Lord wanted to taste the sweet essence of the mellows of love of God, and He wanted to propagate devotional service in the world on the platform of spontaneous attraction. Thus He is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all. [Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 4.15-16)]
Krsna is rasika-sekhara. Do you know the meaning of rasika-sekhara ? He is the taster, the enjoyer, of all rasas. He is the ocean of prema-rasa. Lord Rama has some rasa, but He is not an unlimited ocean of rasa. Lord Nrsimhadeva has one rasa. When He appeared, He was raudra, angry, and the entire world was fearful. But Krsna is rasika-sekhara, an endless ocean of rasa, and there is no limit to the depth of that ocean.
In a general sense, all scriptures glorify Krsna in this way. However, according to Gaudiya siddhanta (the disciplic succession coming from Lord Caitanya), Srimati Radhika is a greater ocean of rasa than Krsna. If He were to dive into that ocean, He Himself would not be able to fathom its depth.
Actually, the Srimad-Bhagavatam was only presented for the purpose of glorifying Srimati Radhika and the gopis. So many Puranas and other literatures were previously written to glorify Krsna. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, glorifying Krsna is not the supreme objective; rather it is to glorify the prema of the vraja-bhaktas.
Krsna is not the object of life. Krsna-prema is our object. Kamsa also had darsana of Krsna, but he had no prema and therefore he could not satisfy or serve Krsna. In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it has been revealed that krsna-prema is the supreme goal of all jivas, and that radha-prema is the supermost prema. Krsna, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, came only to taste that prema, and to give the moods of Rupa Manjari, Rati Manjari and all the palyadasis of Srimati Radhika.
The jiva cannot possess the mood of Srimati Radhika. He cannot digest more than the mood of palyadasis - but that mood is the highest position. Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and all the Gosvamis were absorbed in this internal mood of a servant of Srimati Radhika.
Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and all the Six Gosvamis chanted and rolled on the ground in Vrndavana - sometimes in Radha-kunda or Syama-kunda, sometimes in Vrndavana or Bandhiravana, and sometimes in Nandagaon or Varsana. They were weeping profusely and calling out everywhere, "O Radhika, where are you?" With very deep feelings, they daily chanted not less than one lakha of harinama. They were absorbed in thinking of Krsna's names and pastimes, and they were offering hundreds of thousands of dandavat-pranamas. They prayed: "O Radha! O Radha! O Krsna! Karuna-sindhu! Dina-bandhu! Jagat-pate!"
All of our acaryas are rupanuga Vaisnavas. They have not come to preach vaidhi-bhakti. They did so, however, in order to first cut the jungles of philosophical misconceptions, then to establish the yuga-dharma, and then to give these deeper conceptions. Without having done this preliminary work, no one would be able to understand.
The Essence of All Advice
Srila Rupa Gosvami states:
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
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 [Goloka Vrndavana-dhama] 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. [Sri Upadesamrta 8]
You should read Srila Swami Maharaja's splendid explanation of this sloka. He writes that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has descended to this world only to distribute krsna-prema. If you want this prema, you must follow the principles of this sloka. Here, Srila Rupa Gosvami has briefly given the sum and substance of the teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
If you want krsna-prema, then chant the names of Krsna. And what are the best names? The best names are those in relation to tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami - Krsna in Vrndavana, in relation to His dearmost devotees there.
he krsna karuna-sindho
radha-kanta namo 'stu te
O my dear Krsna, You are an ocean of mercy. You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the gopas. You are the lover of the gopis. You are the beloved of Radharani. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
The author is praying, "O Krsna, You are very kind, merciful, charming and beautiful. I beg you to bestow your mercy." If one is very dina-hina, humble, then the Lord's mercy can be obtained - otherwise not. Rain falls on the top of a hill, but it does not remain there. It eventually collects in a pit or a valley. The pit represents the humble devotee, and the rainfall represents Krsna's mercy. If we are not humble, then although mercy is always everywhere, we cannot gather it. The author therefore says: "dina-bandho! I am not qualified or humble, but you have so much mercy for everyone. Dina means fallen and I am certainly one of the fallen souls. I have so much false ego, however, that I don't consider myself a wretched person. Jagat-pate. I am in this world, but you are jagat-pate, master of the entire universe. You nourish and support everyone in the universe, and I am one of those you support."
The above names are names of Vasudeva-Krsna, and now the author calls out to Krsna of Vrndavana. He says "O Gopesa, You are the Lord of the gopas and gopis of Vrndavana, Vraja - but I am not among them." He wants to be among them, and therefore he now prays, "You are also the dearly beloved of the gopis." This name is more prominent, but the most prominent name is the final name of the prayer, Radha-kanta. Radha-kanta means that Krsna is controlled by Radha. So we should chant these names and remember the pastimes of Krsna connected with them.
If you chant the name Damodara, what will you remember? Yasoda-maiya is binding Krsna to the grinding mortar, and He is weeping because she is chastising and controlling Him. But there is also another Damodara - Radha-Damodara, or Krsna who is controlled by Srimati Radhika. One can remember how Srimati Yasoda controls Krsna, or how Srimati Radhika controls Him.
It is better to live only in Vrndavana, where these pastimes were performed; and if you cannot live there, then be there by mind. That alone is not sufficient, however, for Srila Rupa Gosvami gives still another rule. We will have to be under the guidance of a rasika tattva-jna Vaisnava, that is, under the guidance of fully realized souls like Srila Rupa Gosvami and his rupanuga Vaisnava followers who have complete knowledge of sastra and who experience their loving relationship (rasa) with Krsna. Otherwise, it is not possible to advance on this path.
Srila Prabhupada's Glory
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has come to give these elevated principles through the holy name. For less qualified persons he also gave vaidhi-bhakti through the name, but his innermost mood was to give this kind of krsna-prema.
As I explained in Vrndavana, Srila Swami Maharaja was not in the line of Advaita Acarya, Maha-Visnu, who comes in each Kali-yuga to establish the yuga-dharma of the general chanting of nama (which only awards the chanter vaikuntha-prema). Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu established nama with vraja-prema, and this was His speciality. It was also the speciality of parama-pujyapada Srila Swami Maharaja, so I have glorified him by establishing that he has come in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami. Just as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did, he has also established yuga-dharma, and he was a rupanuga Vaisnava, a follower of Rupa Gosvami, Rupa Manjari.