[This is the
full article. Please note that although the Appreciations and Response herein are
much more elaborate than those in the Summary, with an abundance of nectarine
katha from our acaryas, this full article has the same introduction as that on
the Home page. We have included it for the purposes of your downloading and
An Appreciation of the
Submitted by Syamarani dasi
Universal Teacher," a documentary on the life and teachings of SrilaPrabhupadaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura,
was recently produced by Sripad B.G. Narasingha Maharaja and his production
team Devavision. According to internet reports, the DVD
has quickly gained popular acclaim; at ISKCON Mayapura's first "Vaisnava
Film/Video Festival" it was nominated for best script, best editing, best music
score, and best graphics and special effects. It has been received in various
communities as a dramatic and, at the same time, accurate account of SrilaSarasvatiThakura's life and precepts.
of His Holiness B.G. Narasingha Maharaja and Devavision to glorify the Lord and
His pure devotee are praiseworthy. He and his team have shared with the world
so many of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura’s pastimes, associates, books,
articles and other details of his life, in a format which is at once pleasant,
entertaining and informative. The statements of caution concerning higher
topics are both deeply appreciated and essential to the healthy functioning of
our Vaisnava community.
no presentation can ever be complete, and every scriptwriter faces the dilemma
of having to be selective in his/her presentation. In the process, certain
issues are inevitably privileged and others marginalized. With this in mind, we
would like to present another side of SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura's
preaching, simply for the sake of balance and completeness. The following article is a humble attempt to
complement some of the historical details of "The Universal Teacher,"
in a similarway that footnotes qualify,
clarify and thereby beautify the original words of a text. Our aim is to
highlight the natural harmony that exists among all pure devotees, who are also
Universal Teacher" documentary shows photos of SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada,
Sri SriRadha-Krsna and Their beloved gopi
associates, as the narrator comments with the following statements in sequence:
1. "Unlike other, so-called
gurus and siddha-purusas of his time, SarasvatiThakura
did not allow his disciples to discuss the details of Krsna's amorous love with
the gopis, although SarasvatiThakura did indeed have many
highly qualified disciples. He was particularly disturbed if he heard of any
disciples discussing Rasa-lila."
also did not allow his disciples to read such books as Gita-govinda,
Ujjvala-nilamani or Govinda-lilamrta."
'Always worship the path of
raga-marga, spontaneous devotion. Do not rush ahead. Keep yourself a little
distant and below. One who transgresses these instructions will be cast down.
That was the motto of GaudiyaMatha.'"
4. A full-screen display of the
cover of Srila Narayana Maharaja's translation and commentary on Sri Gita-govinda
accompanied statement 2.
statements from the documentary might be prone to misinterpretation. An attempt
is made herein, to posit a broader context for those statements than the
restrictive format of a documentary for general public release would normally
allow. An investigation into the documentary’s suppressed themes will surely
enhance the faithful reader's conception of PrabhupadaSrilaSarasvatiThakura
and his mission.
the readers' ease, in the following article our writing will be in bold
letters; the statements of the documentary will be in italics; the references
in the form of quotes, articles and discourses given as the Appreciations and
Response to the documentary statements will be in normal text.
Documentary Statement 1
so-called gurus and siddha-purusas of his time, SarasvatiThakura
did not allow his disciples to discuss the details of Krsna's amorous love with
the gopis, although SarasvatiThakura did indeed have many
highly qualified disciples. He was particularly disturbed if he heard of any
disciples discussing Rasa-lila."
began his mission with a healthy, conservative
emphasis on the fundamental principles of
Documented evidence shows that as his mission
unfolded he began to reveal progressively advanced
topics, all the while making sure that the
foundation, guru-seva and nama-sankirtana, was
unshakably grounded. It is not surprising then that
we find historical accounts of his wise cautions and
prohibitions, most notably recorded in books of
selected statements by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti
Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, as well as other
statements, admittedly fewer in number, encouraging
his followers not to remain forever preoccupied with
The ultimate intention of the acaryas is, of course,
not to confuse us but to convince us that the higher
topics should never be taken lightly, cheaply or
independently. Rather, they should be received with
nothing less than the utmost respect. As Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has clearly remarked
(Dec. 24, 1969), caution is one thing but "it is not
that we have taken a vow to boycott the gopis."
A. Srila Sarasvati Thakura supported proper hearing of Rasa-lila
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura did not forbid his highly qualified disciples to speak, or to hear Rasa-lila from other bona fide devotees.
He must have forbidden beginners, especially from discussing independently.
However, he could not have made a blanket statement, prohibiting for all time his
disciples from hearing appropriately and from the right source.
The following is an excerpt from SrilaSarasvatiThakura's lecture, delivered at
Radha-kunda during Vraja-mandala parikrama in 1932. The lecture was printed in
"The Gaudiya" in 1934. In that lecture he gave these orders:
these days we have not spoken about lila.
But this is our most confidential asset. This is our only sadhya (perfection).
One should not make the mistake of thinking that anartha-nivrtti (overcoming
impediments such as lust and greed) is the prayojana (goal of life). One
thinking like this will never enter into artha-pravrtti (acquiring one’s actual
need). For this reason, I will now begin speaking about asta-kaliya-lila.
know that you are not ready to hear it, but we should know that such a
transcendental ideal exists within the realm of devotion. Beyond the realm of
anartha-nivrtti is artha-pravrtti, pure conjugal service to Radha and Krsna.
This is transcendental reality. If we do not know of this transcendental realm,
all of our efforts may end in nirvisesa-vada (impersonalism). Do not let your
day pass in simply trying for anartha-nivrtti. Artha-pravrtti is also necessary.
Anartha-nivrtti is necessary until artha-pravrtti has started. When
artha-pravrtti is present, anartha-nivrtti becomes unimportant and
artha-pravrtti becomes prominent.
who have chanted harinama for fifteen or twenty years should know such things.
The beginners need not hear these topics or they will misunderstand. These
topics are for certain audiences, not for all. Also it is said, 'apana
bhajana-katha, na kahibe jathatatha.' One should not reveal one’s bhajana to
others.' If we disregard this instruction of our previous acaryas, there may be
a permanent fall from the realm of devotional service.
removing the clothes of the gopis, Lord Sri Krsna obtained happiness; this is Sri Krsna’s sense
gratification. Suppose one asks, 'Why is He a sense enjoyer? Let us see Him
display the behavior of controlling the senses.' We cannot ask this, because
Krsna is not a slave to our desires. By His own will He can show us sense
restraint – and He did show it in His form as Gaurasundara. By this pastime, Sri Krsna is informing us
that no one has the right to remove the clothes of the gopis except Him.
duty is to cultivate devotional service. Do not think that asta-kaliya-lila
smaranam is the property of the sahajiyas. Actually it is our affair. We must
retrieve it from the hands of the sahajiyas. Our Sri Gurupada-padma heard these things from SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura. That is why he used to
tell us various confidential things."
Hankering for Perfection
The following is an article translated for
"The Harmonist" magazine (2005) from the weekly "Gaudiya",
Vol. 11, No. 14 (November 12, 1932):
1932 in the month of Kartika, the GaudiyaMatha
organized Vraja-mandala Parikrama, spanning eighty-four krosas, under the
leadership of Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.
Thousands of devotees from all parts of India participated. The first day
of the Parikrama saw a grand procession with nagara-sankirtana, as the pilgrims
visited the holy places of Mathura.
On different days, SrilaPrabhupada had his followers sing
various songs composed by the liberated mahajanas, great souls. Through these
songs, which are full of heart-felt appeal, SrilaPrabhupada
showed that their example of continuous hankering for perfection
(siddhi-lalasa) should be the sole purpose of all aspirants who have attained
the stage of anartha-nivrtti, in which unwanted obstacles are cleared. SrilaPrabhupada
personally selected the following songs by SrilaNarottama
dasa Thakura for the devotees to sing:
hari hari! kabe haba vrndavana-vasi
nirakhiba nayane yugala-rupa-rasi
O Sri Hari, when will I be able to live in
Vrndavana and be a real Vrajavasi? When will my eyes behold the beautiful forms
of the Divine Couple, Sri Radha-Krsna?
radha-krsna sevon mui jivane marane
tara sthana, tara
lila dekho ratri-dine
I shall serve Sri
Radha and Sri
Krsna in life and in death. I
shall behold Their transcendental abode and pastimes night and day.
Prarthana (Song 48)
hari hari ara kabe palatibe dasa
ei saba kariya bame, aba vrndavana
ei mane kariyachi asa
O Sri Hari, when will my life change? When will
I renounce all worldly affairs and make my way to Sri
Vrndavana-dhama? I cherish this
Prarthana (Song 47)
On SrilaPrabhupada’s direction, the
devotees also sang the following songs by SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura:
dekhite dekhite, bhuliba va kabe,
nayane heriba, vraja-pura-sobha,
When will I see that I have
forgotten my gross bodily identity and am beholding the exquisite beauty of
Vraja, full of eternal, spiritual bliss and cognizance.
vrsabhanu-pure, janama laiba, yavate vivaha ha’be
vraja-gopi-bhava, haibe svabhava, ana bhava na rahibe
I shall take birth in Vrsabhanu Maharaja’s town and
will marry in the nearby village
of Yavat. My sole
disposition and nature will be that of a cowherd maiden.
nija-siddha-deha, nija-siddha-nama, nija-rupa sva
radha-krpa-bale, labhiba va kabe,
When will I obtain, by the power of Radha’s mercy, my
own eternal spiritual body, my own realized name and dress embellishing my real
form? And when will I receive initiation into the techniques of expressing
divine love for Krsna?
As I go to draw water from the Yamuna, I will
understand the confidential mellows of Yugala-Kisora’s loving affairs. Being
captivated by prema, I will sing Sri Radhika’s
glories just like a madwoman.]
first verse was presented in the Harmonist article. The rest of the verses were
added by us, for the benefit of the readers who may not know the song.]
Gita-mala (Part 5, Song 2)
A small cottage in a grove on the
banks of Radha-kunda, Govardhana Hill, the banks of the Yamuna...
Saranagati (Svikara, Song 4)
(ami) yamuna-puline, kadamba-kanane,
ki herinu sakhi! aja
(amar) syama vamsi-dhari,
kare’ lila rasa-raja…
O sakhi, what did I see today! In a
kadamba grove on the bank of the Yamuna, a beautiful blackish boy holding a
flute was standing on a jeweled platform, performing pastimes as Rasaraja, the
monarch of all transcendental mellows...
on 8 October, at the end of a grand festival with kirtana, SrilaPrabhupada
began to speak to the assembled devotees in Mathura. On SrilaPrabhupada’s
instruction, Srimad Bhakti Vilasa Gabhasti-nemi Maharaja sang the prayer 'Hari
Hari Ara Kabe Palatibe Dasa' from SrilaNarottama
dasa ThakuraMahasaya’s collection of poems
called Prarthana. At that time, Sri DevaprasadaSarvadhikari,
former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University, arrived and, after paying his
regards to SrilaPrabhupada, sat down amidst the
gathering. SrilaPrabhupada proceeded to explain
this prayer of ThakuraMahasaya, one line at a time…"
B. He wanted his highly qualified disciples to inform the world about
Rasa-lila in an appropriate way
Srila Sarasvati Thakura certainly forbade some
beginners from hearing about Rasa-lila, but his order could not have been for
all devotees. For example, one of his most renowned disciples is our
diksa-guru, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. Our SrilaPrabhupada
is glorified by the documentary's narrator, as well as in many of the
interviews in the documentary, as a pure devotee and perhaps the greatest
instrument of SrilaSarasvatiThakura
in spreading pure Krsna consciousness all over the world. If it were not for
our SrilaPrabhupada, most of the world outside India (and even in many places in India)
would not even know the name, what to speak of the glories, of SrilaPrabhupadaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura.
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja
wrote a summary study of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, called
"Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." In that summary-study
there are six chapters concerning the amorous pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna,
including the Rasa-lila chapters. On our SrilaPrabhupada's
order, the Krsna book was distributed in many languages to millions of fallen
conditioned souls, and so many of them became devotees of Lord Krsna.
It could not have been a fact that SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiPrabhupada
prohibited our Guru Maharaja from discussing Rasa-lila with his peers, or with
those of his choice. The pure devotees' choice is the choice of Sri Krsna Himself.
C. His most renowned preacher supports appropriate hearing of Rasa-lila
The following are some quotes from Srila
Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja's translations and purports of
Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
as well as from his other books. The essence of his statements is that one
should hear rasa-katha from proper authority – not from mayavadis, sahajiyas or
professional reciters. One should not imitate the Lord's pastimes or think
oneself artificially advanced or perfect, but one should respectfully hear from
authority. Regarding hearing Rasa-lila, he writes:
of the Rasa-lila among people in general is not recommended because they are
affected by the Mayavada philosophy, but if one who is advanced explains and
people hear from him, certainly the hearers will be gradually elevated to the
position of Krsna consciousness and liberated from materially contaminated
life….Sukadeva Gosvami concludes this episode of Rasa-lila by pointing out that
if a person hears from the right source the pastimes of Krsna, who is Visnu
Himself, and the gopis, who are expansions of His energy, then he will be
relieved from the most dangerous type of disease, namely lust. In other words,
one who actually hears the Rasa-lila will become completely freed from the
lusty desire of sex life and elevated to the highest level of spiritual
understanding." (Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 33)
to CaitanyaMahaprabhu, the chapters of the
Srimad-Bhagavatam describing the Rasa-lila are not meant for ordinary persons;
they are meant for liberated persons only. Therefore these descriptions of the
Rasa-lila should not be described to ordinary people. Those who are advanced
devotees, liberated from material contamination, can try to understand Krsna’s
Rasa-lila. One must not try to imagine the Rasa-lila of Radha and Krsna in
"But even though ordinary hearers of
Srimad-Bhagavatam do not know the deep significance of Krsna’s Rasa-lila,
because they hear about Krsna’s pastimes they become purified. And if they hear
from authorized sources, they will be promoted to the transcendental devotional
platform. The disease within the heart is lust, the desire to enjoy, and by
hearing from authorized sources about Krsna’s pastimes of loving exchanges with
the gopis, the deep-rooted lusty desires in the heart will be completely
most people do not hear the Srimad-Bhagavatam from authoritative sources. They
hear only from professional reciters. Therefore they remain materially
diseased, full of lusty desires. Some become sahajiya, pretending to be Krsna
and Radharani and Her gopi friends. In this way they behave as if they were the
supreme enjoyer." (A Second Chance, Chapter 16)
"The conditioned soul should hear the Rasa-lila
dance from an authorized spiritual master and be trained by him so that he can
understand the whole situation. Thus one can be elevated to the highest
standard of spiritual life; otherwise one will be implicated. Material lust is
a kind of heart disease, and to cure the material heart disease of the
conditioned soul, it is recommended that one should hear, but not from the
impersonalist rascals. If one hears from the right sources with right
understanding, then his situation will be different." (Krsna, the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Chapter 33)
Lord is so merciful that He Himself descends to take the fallen souls back home
to the Kingdom of
Godhead, where the erotic
principles of Godhead are eternally relished in their real form, distinct from
the perverted sexual love so much adored and indulged in by the fallen souls in
their diseased condition. The reason the Lord displays the Rasa-lila is
essentially to induce all of the fallen souls to give up their diseased
morality and religiosity, and to attract them to the kingdom of God to enjoy
the reality. A person who actually understands what is Rasa-lila will certainly
hate to indulge in mundane sex life." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 4.30
specific attraction of His pastimes with the gopis should never be
misunderstood. The Bhagavatam relates these transcendental pastimes in the
Tenth Canto. And in order to reach the position to understand the
transcendental nature of Lord Krsna’s
pastimes with the gopis, the Bhagavatam promotes the student gradually in nine
other cantos." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28 purport)
In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 4.34) SrilaKrsnadasaKavirajaGosvami
quotes from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.36) on this subject:
anugrahaya bhaktanam manusam deham
bhajate tadrsih krida yah srutva
"Krsna manifests His eternal,
human-like form and performs His pastimes to show mercy to the devotees. Having
heard such pastimes, one should engage in service to Him."
In his purport to this verse, Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
writes the following:
rasa dance is arranged by Krsna’s internal potency yogamaya, and it is beyond
the grasp of the materially affected person. Trying to throw mud into
transcendence with their perversity, the sahajiyas misinterpret the sayings
tat-paratvena nirmalam and tat-paro bhavet. By misinterpreting tadrsih kridah, they
want to indulge in sex while pretending to imitate Lord
Krsna. But one must actually
understand the imports of the words through the intelligence of the authorized
Gosvamis. SrilaNarottama dasa Thakura, in his
prayers to the Gosvamis, has explained his inability to understand such
kabe hama bujhabo se yugala-piriti
"'When I shall be eager
to understand the literature given by the Gosvamis, then I shall be able to
understand the transcendental love affairs of Radha and Krsna.'
other words, unless one is trained under the disciplic succession of the
Gosvamis, one cannot understand Radha and Krsna…" (Caitanya-caritamrta,
Adi-lila 4.34, Purport)
In the above purport,
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes that one must hear these
transcendental subjects, but not from those who will misinterpret. He
translates the next verse, as follows:
"Here the use of the verb 'bhavet,' which is in the
imperative mood, tells us that this certainly must be done. Noncompliance would
be abandonment of duty." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 4.35,
D. He taught: Do hear; don't imitate
SrilaSarasvatiThakura is a pure follower of his predecessor
acaryas. His view is exactly the same as theirs. He would therefore not
contradict their words and make a blanket statement saying not to hear
rasa-katha. Rather, he would make a blanket statement not to imitate.His disciple, our SrilaPrabhupada,
"One should not be misled by
mental concoctions, supposing his material body to be perfect and deeming
oneself a sakhi. This is something like ahangrahopasana, that is, a Mayavadi's
worship of his own body as the Supreme. Srila Jiva Gosvami has cautioned
mundaners to abstain from such conceptions. He also warns that thinking oneself
one of the associates of the Supreme without following in the footsteps of the
gopis is as offensive as thinking oneself the Supreme. Such thinking is an
aparadha. One has to practice living in Vrndavana by hearing about the talks of
the gopis with Krsna. However, one should not consider himself a gopi, for this
is offensive." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 8.204-5 purport)
vinasyaty acaran maudhyad yatha
'rudro 'bdhijam visam
"In other words, those who are
not isvara, the Supreme Lord, who are powerless and subjected to karma, should
never imitate the Lord’s pastimes even within their minds. If anyone foolishly
imitates Lord Siva by drinking the poison generated from the ocean, he will
certainly be destroyed."
In the Introduction to
his translation and commentary of Venu-gita, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana
Maharaja summarizes the commentaries of SrilaJivaGosvami and SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura,
gist of Srila Jiva Gosvami’s and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s
commentaries on this verse is that living entities who are subservient to the
material body and who are anisvara – bereft of the controlling potency of the
Supreme Lord – should never behave in such a way even within their minds. What
to speak of actually performing such activities, one should not even desire to
do so. In other words, such acts performed by God in transgression of religious
codes should not be contemplated even within the mind...
in this verse, imitation of such behavior has been prohibited, yet in the verse
to come (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.36.) – Yah srutva tat-paro bhavet – it is
evident that not only devotees but even others who faithfully hear these
pastimes will become fully devoted to the Supreme Lord. This has been further
explained in the verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.39)."
E. His authorities comment on hearing Rasa-lila
Srila Jiva Gosvami, who is one of the
worshipful siksa-gurus of SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada, comments in his VaisnavaTosani
on the above-mentioned Srimad-Bhagavatam verse about Rasa-lila (10.33.36):
words anugrahaya bhaktanam manusam deham asthitah indicate that the Supreme
Lord Sri Krsna appears in His original human-like form and performs various
pastimes in order to bestow favor upon His devotees.
"Sri Krsna manifests all
these pastimes to benefit the devotees. By so doing, even ordinary persons
(other than the devotees) who hear even the more common of the Lord’s pastimes
become fully intent upon the Lord. Therefore, by hearing the supremely
ambrosial Rasa-lila, ordinary persons will certainly become exclusively devoted
to the Lord – of this there can be no doubt. This fact will be elaborately
discussed in subsequent verses such as vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca
visnoh (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.39).
"The words manusam deham asthitah may also indicate
that those jivas who have attained the human form of life are able to hear all
these pastimes, and thus they become exclusively devoted to the Supreme Lord.
This is so because the Lord incarnates exclusively on the earthly planets
(martya-loka), and it is here only that worship of the Lord takes on its
predominant form. Consequently, the human beings residing on the earthly
planets may easily hear these narrations of the Lord’s pastimes.
word bhaktanam appears in this verse. But in some other editions, the word
bhutanam is found in its place. In that case, the purport would be as follows:
the Lord incarnates only for the sake of the devotees. As a result, the
devotees are the root cause of the Lord’s appearance. The Lord also appears in
His original human-like form in order to bestow His favor upon the liberated
souls (muktas), the aspirants for liberation (mumuksus), sense enjoyers
(visayis), and all living entities in accordance with their relationship with
Lord’s compassion is therefore said to be the cause of His appearance.
Nevertheless, it must be understood that the Lord’s favor toward other living
entities is due only to their relationship with His devotees. In other words,
the Lord bestows favor upon jivas only because of their connection with
devotees." (Venu-gita, Introduction, Srila Narayana Maharaja)
Regarding the same
verse (10.33.36) beginning 'anugrahaya bhaktanam', SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura
– also the worshipful siksa-guru of SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura
– has commented:
Lord performs varieties of pastimes to show favor to His devotees. Having
adopted the human form of life, living entities who hear these pastimes become
exclusively devoted unto the Lord. In other words, they develop firm faith in
hearing the narrations of the Lord’s activities. What more shall I say about
the importance of hearing lila-katha?
this Rasa-lila, being fully imbued with madhurya-rasa, is eminently
distinguished even from the Lord’s other pastimes. Like a jewel, a mantra, or a
powerful medicine, this Rasa-lila is endowed with such indisputable,
astonishing potency that by hearing it, all persons in the human form become
devoted to the Supreme Lord. Therefore all varieties of devotees who hear the
descriptions of these pastimes will be successful and obtain supreme pleasure.
Can there be any question of doubt in this regard?" (Venu-gita,
Introduction, Srila Narayana Maharaja)
supports hearing Rasa-lila
SrilaSukadevaGosvami tells King Pariksit:
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena
"A transcendentally sober
person who, with faith and love continuously hears from a realized soul about
the activities of Lord Krsna in His rasa dance with the gopis, or one who
describes such activities, can attain full transcendental devotional service at
the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus lusty material
desires, which are the heart disease of all materialistic persons, are for him
quickly and completely vanquished." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.33.39)
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja comments on this verse:
"But actually, sastra says if one hears Rasa-lila,
then lusty desires will be finished: vikriditam idam ca visnoh
vraja-vadhubhir…hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah. That is the result. If
one actually hears from the right source, then this lusty desire of sex life
will be finished. No more."(Room Conversation, Vrndavana, September
is the faithful follower of SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura. SrilaCakravartiThakura writes in his
Srimad-Bhagavatam commentary on this same verse:
pratyayena hrd-rogavaty apy adhikarini pratham ataeva premnah pravesas tatas
tat prabhavenaivacirato hrd roga nasa iti premayam jnana yoga iva na durlabha
paratantras ceti bhavah….
"…The suffix ktva has been used in the formation of
the verb pratilabhya (obtained) as follows: prati + labh + ktva. According to
the rules of Sanskrit grammar, when the suffix ktva is applied to a verbal root
with a prefix, it is replaced by yap. Then the letter 'p' is dropped and thus
the final form of the word 'pratilabhya' is obtained. The suffix ktva is
applied to the first of the two verbs performed by the same agent to show
successive action (i.e., having attained prema he relinquishes all lusty
desires in the heart). In this case the first action is pratilabhya (the
attainment of prema) and the second action is apahinoti (renunciation of lusty
desires of the heart).
the suffix ktva in the verb pratilabhya indicates that although lust and other
evils still remain within the heart, prema-bhakti first enters the heart and,
by its extraordinary influence, destroys all vices to the root. In other words,
hearing and reciting Rasa-lila possesses such astonishing power that the lust
in the heart of the faithful sadhaka is destroyed and he attains prema. Though
these two take place simultaneously, the influence of prema manifests first,
and through its effect, all lusty desires of the heart are dissipated.
as a result of hearing and chanting the narrations of the Lord’s pastimes, one
first attains prema for the Lord’s lotus feet and thereafter one’s heart is
liberated from lusty desires and all other contamination. In other words he
becomes perfectly pure, because prema is not feeble like the process of jnana
and yoga. Bhakti is omnipotent and supremely independent." (Venu-gita,
Introduction, Srila Narayana Maharaja)
Swami Prabhupada states that the listener can be bona fide, even with lusty
desires still in his heart:
bona fide listener hears of Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis, which seem to be
lusty affairs, the lusty desires in his heart, which constitute the heart
disease of the conditioned soul, will be vanquished, and he will become a most
exalted devotee of the Lord." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.30 purport)
does not state that one who has anarthas should not hear. Rather, he states
that one should not hear from mayavadis and professional reciters:
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kama. This
is the result. Not that after hearing Rasa-lila, ‘Oh, let me imitate. Let me
also dance with young girls and enjoy.’ This is going on. Rascal mayavadis they
do that. Perhaps you know. There are so many instances. But actually, the
result will be this hrd-rogam kamam acirena dhirah. No more desire."
(Lecture, Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.9, Vrndavana, October 31, 1976)
pleasure potency is called SrimatiRadharani. The attraction of
loving affairs on the basis of sex feeling is the original feature of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. We, the conditioned souls, being part and
parcel of the Supreme, have such feelings also, but they are experienced in a
perverted minute condition. Therefore, when those who are after sex-life in
this material world hear about Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis, they will
relish transcendental pleasure although it appears to be materialistic. The
advantage will be that they will gradually be elevated to the spiritual
platform. In the Bhagavatam it is stated that if one hears the pastimes of Lord Krsna with the gopis
from authorities, with submission, then he will be promoted to the platform of
transcendental loving service to the Lord, and the material disease of lust
within his heart will be completely vanquished. In other words, such hearing
will counteract material sex-life." (Krsna, the Supreme Personality of
G. Atheists do not believe in SrilaSukadevaGosvami's verse
SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura further discusses the above verse beginning
"vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir" (SB 3.33.39), concentrating on the last
word dhira means pandita, or one who is learned in the sastra. One who refuses
to accept the claim of this verse and thinks, 'As long as the disease of lust
remains in the heart, prema cannot be obtained,' is said to possess an
atheistic temperament. One who is free from such a foolish, atheistic demeanor
is known as pandita or sober person (dhira). Consequently, only those who have
firm faith in the sastra are known as dhira. Those who have no faith in the
statements of the sastra are atheistic and offenders to the holy name. Such persons
can never attain prema.
only faithful sadhakas with firm belief in the statements of sastra, Guru and
Vaisnavas are eligible to hear the lila-katha of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is
saturated with rasa. And conversely, those who believe that only sadhakas who
are completely free from all anarthas are eligible to hear the above-mentioned
pastimes, will neither become free from anarthas nor obtain eligibility to hear
– even after millions of births." (Venu-gita, Introduction, Srila Narayana
Narayana Maharaja comments as follows in the Introduction to his translation of
in the heart of the sadhakas who firmly believe in the statements of the
sastra, faith arises by hearing Rasa-lila and other narrations. Only in the
hearts of such faithful devotees does prema manifest its influence as a result
of hearing lila-katha. Thereafter, lust and all evils present within the heart
of the devotees are destroyed to the root."
H. All GaudiyaVaisnavas believe in this verse
The Introduction continues:
point to consider is that if this argument is accepted (that one has to be free
of anarthas before hearing lila-katha), then we sadhakas who are still affected
by anarthas, although possessing faith, could never read nor hear the sacred
books of rasika Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas like Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila
Rupa Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura. Under such a circumstance, we would be forever deprived of the
extremely confidential and elevated truths of bhakti expressed by these
acaryas. There would be no possibility that the sprout of greed for
raganuga-bhakti would ever be awakened in our hearts. Thus we would be forever
cheated from that which was not previously given, the prema-rasa of the most
munificent Sri Sacinandana,
the bestower of krsna-prema. What then would distinguish the Sri GaudiyaVaisnavas
who have taken shelter of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu from Vaisnavas of other
Self-realized Gurus are the asraya-vigraha
manifestations of Lord Krsna Himself. Therefore they have the power and right
to know to whom to speak. In 1968, in Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s
lecture to relatively new devotees on the appearance day of Srimati Radharani,
he spoke about the Lord’s pleasure potency:
we have described about the Radha-Krsna loving affairs in our Teachings of Lord
Caitanya in page 264. If you have got this book, you can read it, how the
reciprocation of loving affairs of Radha-Krsna is there, transcendental."
I. Who will say not to hear?
The following is an excerpt from a lecture
given by Srila Narayana Maharaja in Wales, in July of 2000:
are four ways to tell others not to read Tenth Canto. The first is in ignorance.
Elevated and high-class devotees know all the reasons why CaitanyaMahaprabhu
descended to this world. Do you know why He came? If you are not reading and
hearing the Tenth Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam you cannot know. You will be cheated
of this knowledge. So you should try to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from elevated
Vaisnavas. Do not think, as some devotees may tell you, that we should not read
the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
"Good devotees know everything, and they may tell
you in the second way: 'You should begin from the First Canto, then the Second,
the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and thus you can go there.'
third way is to cleverly create curiosity. How will they do so? They will say:
'What is in my hands? Can you tell me what I have in my hands?' Others then
become curious to know. If anyone tells you: 'Do not read the Tenth Canto of
the Srimad-Bhagavatam!' this curiosity may come automatically: 'What is there?
I should know that!' In order to increase others' curiosity to hear and read
Srimad-Bhagavatam, devotees speak like this.
the fourth way the speaker is speaking exactly the opposite of what he means.
When Srila Rupa Gosvami writes, 'Don't go to the banks of the Jamuna where
Govinda is sweetly playing on His flute, because then you'll forget all about
your society, friendship and love,' he means, 'Do go.' For all these reasons,
devotees tell these things.
was a devotee in my village who used to go to the Ganges
river to take bath daily. Whenever someone came and called out to him, 'Rama!
Rama!' he acted like he was furious. Taking his stick, he looked like he wanted
to beat that person. Why did he do so? And why did all the boys from all the
villages call out to him in this way? Whenever they said, 'Rama! Rama!' he
would pretend to beat them. Why did he do so? In order to make them chant,
'Rama! Rama!' It was a kind of fun for them.
anyone is telling that you should not read the Srimad-Bhagavatam, there should
be a curiosity to know what is inside: 'There must be some jewel there.'
hearing and reading, especially without hearing the Tenth Canto
Srimad-Bhagavatam, you cannot decide the aim and object of your devotional
life. On the other hand, by hearing the Tenth Canto, greed may come to attain
Documentary Statement 2
also did not allow his disciples to read such books as Gita-govinda,
Ujjvala-nilamani or Govinda-lilamrta."
SrilaPrabhupadaSarasvatiThakura strongly opposed the independent
trespassing of unqualified candidates into our sampradaya's sacred treasures
such as Gita-govinda, Ujjvala-nilamani and Govinda-lilamrta. In this regard, we
find a consensus between all authentic acaryas. The subject of eligibility has
been addressed elaborately by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja in his
introduction to Gita-govinda (see section C below). Therein he stresses that
this book is not suitable or even understandable for everyone.
However, to postulate that an acarya would
banish all of his followers forever from their spiritual inheritance is
obviously a misinterpretation.
preached Gita-govinda's glory
The following discourse on Sri Gita-govinda was
delivered in 1932, on the eve of the 446th commemoration of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu’s
appearance. This discourse was later used in the Foreword of Srila Narayana
Maharaja's translation and commentary of the Gita-govinda. Herein is an excerpt
from that discourse in the Foreword:
the court poet of the Sena dynasty, has welcomed the appearance of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu
in the auspicious invocation of Sri Gita-govinda
'O Radha, all directions are covered by dense and ominous clouds. The
forest floor has been cast into darkness by the shadows of blackish tamala trees.
Krsna is naturally timid. He cannot be alone at night, so take Him home with
You.' Sri Radha turned Her face towards the bower of desire trees beside the
forest path and, bewildered by intense joy, She honored the words of her friend.
When She arrived on the bank of the YamunaRiver, She initiated her
love-play in a secret place.
May the sweetness of this confidential pastime of the Divine Couple be
victorious by manifesting in the hearts of the devotees.
commentary on the above verse does not disclose the picture in its entirety.
Here, Sri JayadevaGosvami has also revealed Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu
to the hearts of highly advanced devotees. The poet hints at the appearance of
Sri Radha-Krsna in one chamber of the great Yogapitha of Sridhama Mayapura; and
simultaneously, at the appearance of the combination of Their bodies as the
independent form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."
B. He wanted the world to properly understand sacred amour
The following writing of SrilaSarasvatiThakura is excerpted from an
article that graces the Foreword of Srila Narayana Maharaja's translation and
commentary of Sri Gita-govinda.
The publishers of Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition had taken that writing from
chapter 14 of "Sri Caitanya's
Teachings", a compilation of SrilaSarasvatiThakura's articles, and it is a
beautiful glorification of SrilaJayadevaGosvami's
work. In the Foreword, the writing is entitled "On Eroticism – Sacred
sexual principle is a misunderstood symbol of Reality. It can no more be
banished from our consciousness than consciousness itself. The male and female
forms are also not the sole and distinctive possessions of this world. There is
Reality behind them as well. The soul has a body which is symbolized by the female
form and which is absolutely free from any unwholesome material
ascetic’s repugnance to the female form prevents an unprejudiced examination of
the female sex that is a necessary factor of our conception of amorous love.
This amorous love is the highest subject of human poetry and the most powerful
factor in all human activities. Its worthlessness is not established by
refusing to recognize it as a part of our nature. It would be much more to the
purpose to try to understand what it really is. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is the
only book that answers this all-important question.
worship of Sri Radha-Krsna
is held by some modern thinkers to be dangerous, and even immoral. They
apparently take exception to the erotic element, which is the prominent aspect
of the highest worship of Sri Radha-Krsna.
teaches us that it is obligatory for everyone to pay homage to spiritual amour
that characterizes the highest service of the Divine Person. This is the
central topic of Srimad-Bhagavatam, which deals with the transcendental service
of the Personal Absolute.
"Spiritual amour is the highest service to Divinity
in His most complete manifestation. The real Nature of Divine Personality can
never be fully understood by those who are unable to appreciate the pre-eminent
excellence of His service by amorous love.
Personality of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is identical with and yet distinct from Sri Krsna. The Activities
of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are, therefore, also identical with and yet distinct
from the Amorous Pastimes of Sri Krsna. The Activities of Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu appear in the form capable of being received by the conditioned soul
without any chance of muddling by his conditioned judgment.
perfect chant of the Name of Krsna is available to all souls, and it is
identical with the amorous service of the spiritual milkmaids of Vraja. This is
the sum and substance of the teachings of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu.
Conversely, those who do not perform the congregational chant of the name of
Krsna in the manner that is free from offence are not in a position to realize
the nature of Divine amour. Those who miss such realization remain subject to
the abject slavery of mundane lust.
is not specifically mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But in the description
of the Circular Amorous Dance, therasa pastimes, Sri
Krsna is represented as leaving
the circle of the dancing milkmaids in the company of a female who is more
favored than all the rest. The milkmaids who were thus abruptly abandoned in
the very midst of the dance praised the genuine devotion of the unnamed female
who could induce Sri Krsna to prefer Her sole company to the combined
attractions of all the others.
although the Srimad-Bhagavatam mentions the above incident, the subject is not
further developed in that work. This has been explained by the Gosvamis of
Vrndavana, the apostles of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu, as due to a deliberate
resolve on the part of Sri Sukadeva,
who is the narrator of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, to avoid disclosing to his
miscellaneous audience the ‘hidden matters’ of the scriptures. The ‘hidden
matters’ can only be known by the special grace of Sri
Krsna and not otherwise. They are
not to be divulged to all persons indiscriminately.
explanation offered by the Gosvamis is not opposed to the open treatment of the
same subject by Sri JayadevaGosvami and other writers. In
spite of the Sri Gita-govinda
and its companion works, the subject of the relationship of Sri Radhika to Sri Krsna remains
shrouded in impenetrable mystery. No language can convey to the lay reader
anything but a misleading idea of the nature of the subject on which Sri Sukadeva maintained
such discreet silence. This result is hailed with unmistakable joy by SrilaKrsnadasaKavirajaGosvami,
author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
KavirajaGosvami pertinently observes that no joy
can excel that of the narrator of the hidden subject when he realizes that
unqualified persons are wholly and automatically barred from all knowledge of
"Sri Sukadeva’s hesitation
to divulge the secrets of the Vedas is well founded. The conduct of Sri JayadevaGosvami
in speaking without reserve is equally in order, if we remember that his book
cannot be understood at all by those who are lacking in the highest spiritual
C. From the Introduction to Srila Narayana Maharaja's translation and
commentary of Sri Gita-govinda
Eligibility for reading Gita-govinda
read a great literary work and understand it in terms of etymology is one type
of experience, but to appreciate the profound sentiments by which one is truly
acquainted with the work is a different experience entirely. Comprehension of
the literal meaning of words is generally a simple affair, whereas assimilation
of their underlying emotional significance is not so easy. It is impossible for
one who is not qualified to read a particular text to accept its internal mood
(bhavartha). Therefore all ancient scriptures traditionally begin by defining
the specific parameters of eligibility for their prospective readers.
deeply realized authors have strictly forbidden unqualified persons to study
their compositions and have even pronounced curses upon those who might dare to
delve into subjects beyond their comprehension. What is the need for such
strict prohibitions? The necessity arises because unqualified persons who read
esoteric texts inevitably misinterpret them. Thereby, potential benefits are
replaced by ill effects upon themselves and others.
revered JayadevaGosvami has clarified the subject
of eligibility in his auspicious invocation: 'If your heart yearns to delight
in remembrance of Sri Hari;
if you are hankering to contemplate upon Him with intense affection; if you are
overwhelmed with curiosity to know about His skill in amorous pastimes – then
by all means read this book. You will find my lovely poetry to be extremely
relishable. Although it is so emotive and mellifluous, if you are not possessed
of the aforementioned qualifications, then you must not read it. This
literature is not for you.'
clearly addresses the issue of eligibility, the unqualified sector of society
fails to understand him and goes on reading this poem with enthusiasm for its
charming linguistic embellishments. However, impelled by their inability to
grasp its real significance, they finally resort to insulting the crest jewel
of poets, Sri Jayadeva,
as if his composition were something crude. And so they must, for they do not
recognize the divinity of Sri Hari.
They are not even inclined to approach the precincts of sweet contemplation
upon Him. They remain confined to their experience of misidentifying themselves
with the physical body and considering sensual gratification to be the utmost
limit of happiness. What can such slaves to lust ever understand about the
affairs of transcendental love described by Sri JayadevaGosvami?
has stated in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
(Adi-lila 4.164–66): 'The characteristics of worldly lust and transcendental
love are completely different. If mundane lust is likened to iron, then
spiritual love can be likened to gold. The desire to give satisfaction to one’s
own senses is called lust. However, the desire to satisfy the senses of Sri Krsna is called pure
love, or prema. The goal of lust is one’s own enjoyment, whereas the purpose of
love is to please Sri Krsna.
Such prema is immensely powerful.
many people can understand the depth of SrilaKrsnadasaKaviraja’s words? Those who are
continuously absorbed in gratifying their senses are especially disqualified.
For them, the supramundane loving pastimes of Sri Radha-Krsna are nothing but the play of
lusty desires. If they could love someone to the point of completely abandoning
all social customs, Vedic religious injunctions and bodily connections, as Sri Radhika and Her
friends have done, then one day they might also have some idea about the
principles underlying these pastimes. Only after making such a sacrifice is it
possible to understand that unselfish prema can be expressed only by those who
do not cherish even the slightest ambition for their own happiness.
Vaisnava poets take up their pens simply for the sake of instructing us about
the glories of self-effacing, transcendental love. The lion amongst poets, Sri Jayadeva, has also
taken up his pen to show how the Absolute Reality
Sri Krsna is controlled by
unmotivated prema. He is always ready to fall at the feet of any devotee in
whom He detects even the fragrance of such affection and humbly requests, dehi
pada-pallavam udaram – 'Mercifully bestow upon Me the soft petals of Your lotus
feet.' (Sri Gita-govinda
realizing this, Sri Jayadeva Gosvami was greatly perturbed. 'How can I make
these words come from the mouth of Sri Krsna,
the supreme controller of unlimited millions of universes?' Many times he asked
himself, 'Should I write such a thing?' and many times he decided, 'Yes, I
should.' But even though he wanted to do it, he could not bring himself to
write this line. He conceived of Sri Krsna
as the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore the reverential mood checked
his pen. However, the Supreme Lord is always affectionate to his devotees.
Assuming the guise of Sri Jayadeva,
He completed the line by writing dehi pada-pallavam udaram in golden letters
with His own hand. Thus Sri Krsna
made a resounding announcement, as if by the ubiquitous beating of kettledrums,
to loudly proclaim His love for his devotees.
amongst these great compositions, the excellence of JayadevaGosvami’s
pastimes of Radhika and Krsna are the transcendental loving play of the
Omnipotent Divinity and His potency (Saktiman and Sakti). They have the power
to sanctify the whole world because they are completely free from even the
slightest trace of lust. One should make a diligent study of these pastimes, as
such study constitutes one of the limbs of bhakti-yoga. Although many devotees
are conversant with this conclusion, Sri Gita-govinda remains inaccessible to them
because they are not sufficiently acquainted with the Sanskrit language and its
implications. This present edition will provide them with sufficient help to
understand the meaning of the words and the emotions implied therein.
"…Sri Gita-govinda is the
very essence of all the Vedas and Sri JayadevaGosvami
is the superlative devotional practitioner (sadhaka) and perfected spiritualist
(siddha), with complete mastery of all Vedic wisdom.
readers of Sri Gita-govinda
will see that the author has remembered his worshipful Deity from the very
beginning of his auspicious invocation: 'radha-madhavayor jayanti yamuna-kule
rahah-kelayah. The inscrutable, secret pleasure pastimes of Sri Radha-Madhava on the
banks of Yamuna reign above all.'
Bhagavan Sri Krsna has instructed His intimate devotee, Arjuna, about the
eligibility and ineligibility to hear and speak Srimad Bhagavad-gita in its
eighteenth chapter, verses 67 and 68: 'Do not speak about this confidential
knowledge and realization to those unqualified persons who have no faith and
who are not engaged in pure devotion to Me. One who explains the supreme
mystery of my Gita to the faithful devotees is sure to attain pure devotion and
in the end he will come to Me.'
these verses, Sri Krsna
describes the characteristics of the genuine candidates for transcendental
realization after first defining the disqualifications. Sri
has also presented a clear analysis of the qualifications for hearing his
Gopala-campu. He has pronounced a curse upon faithless non-devotees who still
insist upon reading it. Similarly, Sri SanatanaGosvami
has strictly forbidden faithless persons to hear or read his
Brhad-bhagavatamrta. Other Gosvamis have also pronounced curses to prohibit the
unqualified from delving into their literatures."
The Substance of Sri Gita-govinda
thoroughly understood the nature of mankind in this present age of dissention
(Kali-yuga). He knew how easily they become bewildered by the sight of
superficial beauty. If they do not see an external covering of beauty, they can
overlook a potent medicinal herb, thinking it to be of no value.
although Sri Gita-govinda
is a poetic composition, it is simultaneously the embodiment of the essence of
all the Vedas. Sri JayadevaGosvami is compared to the sacred
decorative marking (tilaka) upon the forehead of the entire dynasty of poets
who are conversant with the principles of spiritual mellows."
Practical Realization of Sri Gita-govinda
not by chance that Sri JayadevaGosvami has employed a female
confidante (sakhi) in the role of a mediator to arrange Krsna’s meetings with
Radha. The purport is clear. Unless one is under the personal guidance of such
a sakhi and until one attains the help of the sakhis, one cannot attain Sri Krsna. All devotional
scriptures proclaim this conclusion. The help of a sakhi and the help of Guru
are one and the same. To be Guru one must take shelter of the disposition of
the sakhis, and to attain Sri Krsna
one must accept the shelter of a spiritual master who is perfectly situated in
the transcendental mood of a sakhi. Herein lies the essential message of the
tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
"'To know the Absolute Truth,
one must take shelter of a perfect Guru who is fixed in devotion to the
Absolute.' When Sri SutaGosvami began to narrate
Srimad-Bhagavatam in the sacred forest
of Naimisaranya, he
called it the essence of the Vedas; and the essence of Srimad-Bhagavatam itself
is the Rasa-lila. Sri JayadevaGosvami has the ability to
comprehend the essence of everything. Therefore he condensed the Rasa-lila even
further, just as one might perform the impossible feat of confining the ocean
within a jar. He was compelled by compassion to manifest the nectar of
immortality in the form of this poem for the upliftment of all living beings in
this age of Kali. In answer to the inquiries of Pariksit Maharaja, Sri SukadevaGosvami
manusam deham asthitah
bhajate tadrsih krida
yah srutva tat-paro bhavet'
Krsna performs the Rasa-lila to
bestow mercy upon His devotees. Yet the non-devotees are also naturally fond of
romance or Srngara-rasa. Therefore, when they hear the Rasa-lila they also
gradually become absorbed in thoughts of Sri Krsna. Bhagavan performs apparently erotic
pastimes on the surface of the Earth out of compassion for everyone – the
devotees and the non-devotees.'
was moved by compassion to write it down for the benefit of all, and the
topmost devotee Sri SukadevaGosvami was also moved by
compassion to preach it throughout the world. After that, the best of poets, Sri JayadevaGosvami, also mercifully reproduced it in
the form of an even sweeter poetic composition.
will tell you about this confidential methodology. The kunja-lila or Rasa-lila
of Sri Radha-Krsna
is extremely deep. Devotees established in the moods of servitude, friendship
and parenthood cannot even perceive it. None of them have eligibility to enter
into this pastime – only the sakhis are qualified. This pastime is expanded by
the sakhis. Without them it cannot be nourished and only they can taste it.
Therefore, there is absolutely no opportunity to enter kunja-lila without
taking complete shelter of the sakhis and receiving their help. Only those
whose devotional service is to follow the transcendental emotions of the sakhis
and remain under their shelter and guidance can attain the kunja-seva of Sri Radha-Krsna. There is
no way to attain this objective except for absorption in remembrance of the
sakhis while taking complete shelter of their lotus feet.
"Fervently begging for a
slight trace of the mercy of Sri Hari,
Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, destitute and worthless,
did not prohibit his faithful disciples
The narrator of the documentary stated,
"SarasvatiThakura also did not allow his
disciples to read such books as Gita-govinda, Ujjvala-nilamani or
Govinda-lilamrta." Srila Sarasvati Thakura must certainly have said this
for beginners, for neophyte disciples and for general people, but not for all.
In his book "Prakrta-rasa AranyaChedini,"
Sripad Narasingha Maharaja attributes a very similar quote to Parama-pujyapada
Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja. He writes: "From Srila Sridhara
Maharaja we once heard that Sarasvati Thakura did not allow his disciples to
read (study and discuss) such higher books as Govinda-lilamrta,
Stava-kusamanjali, Ujjvala-nilamani, and even certain portions of
Caitanya-caritamrta wherein the lila of Radha-Krsna is discussed. Whenever
Sarasvati Thakura heard that someone was reading those books, he took it that
an offense was being committed by interfering in the higher lilas."
We will never doubt
the words of our worshipable superior Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja.
Srila Sridhara Maharaja must certainly have said this for beginners. His words
to them are sanguine and in accord with all our acaryas. But he would never
have contradicted SrilaSarasvatiThakura
and said this for all his disciples or for all time.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
discusses the glories of Sri Gita-govinda
in his purports on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
"One of his [SrilaJayadevaGosvami's] famous books is
Gita-govinda, which is full of transcendental mellow feelings of separation
from Krsna. The gopis felt separation from Krsna before the rasa dance, as mentioned
in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the Gita-govinda expresses such feelings. There
are many commentaries on the Gita-govinda by many Vaisnavas."
Maharaja commented on Sri Gita-govinda
in a lecture in Badger:
"Sri Gita-govinda is a 'jewel
book' brought by Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu. We all know that Sri JayadevaGosvami
has written this beautiful Gita-govinda, but without Mahaprabhu it would have
remained locked like a pearl in the oyster shell or a jewel in a locked case. Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu
manifested the glories of Sri Gita-govinda.
Just as without Srila Rupa Gosvami no one would have known the inner moods of
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, similarly, by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu relishing the
moods of Sri Gita-govinda its glories became manifest for the whole world. I
have explained this very high-class philosophy, but only rare devotees in this
world can understand it." (May
How will people come
to understand? SrilaKrsnadasaKavirajaGosvami was considering whether or
not to write Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
– due to the confidential nature of the topics therein. He decided to write,
and he commented on his decision in Adi-lila:
the time of writing Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
a doubt arose in the heart of Sri Krsna
dasa Kaviraja Gosvami regarding whether he should present the discussion on
rasa-vicara. He questioned whether or not to include this topic in the book,
lest ineligible people may read it to their detriment. Finally he resolved to
include rasa-vicara in the book, expressing this in his own words in
Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila (4.231-235):
"'The esoteric and confidential conclusions
regarding the amorous pastimes of Rasaraja Sri Krsna and the gopis, who are the
embodiments of mahabhava, are not fit to be disclosed to the common ordinary
man. But if they are not revealed, no one can enter into this topic. I shall
therefore describe these topics in a concealed manner, so that only
rasika-bhaktas will be able to understand them, whereas ineligible fools will
not. Anyone who has established Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu
and Sri NityanandaPrabhu in their hearts will attain
transcendental bliss by hearing these conclusions. This entire doctrine is as
sweet as newly grown mango sprouts, which can only be relished by the devotees,
who are compared to cuckoos. The camel-like non-devotees cannot possibly gain
admittance into these topics. Therefore, there is special jubilation in my
"It is always inappropriate to reveal confidential
vraja-rasa topics before general people. However, there is every possibility
that this sacred mystery will disappear if it is not thoroughly explained.
Although neem and mango trees may be present together in the same garden, a
crow will sit on a neem tree and taste its bitter fruits, whereas the cuckoo,
who has discriminating taste, will sit on the mango tree and savor its sweet
sprouts and blossoms. Consequently, it is proper to present rasa-vicara." (Sri
Jaiva-Dharma, Preface, SrilaNarayana Maharaja)
Verses from Sri Gita-govinda are
quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
and translated by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
Gita-govinda there is a verse which states that the enemy of Kamsa, Krsna, also
wanted to be entangled in love affairs with women and thus simply took
Radharani away and left the company of the other damsels of Vraja. Krsna was
very much afflicted by Radharani's absence and, being thus mentally distressed,
began to search Her out along the banks of the Yamuna. Failing to find Her, He
entered the bushes of Vrndavana and began to lament. RamanandaRaya
pointed out that when one discusses the purport of these two special verses of
Gita-govinda (3.1-2), he can relish the highest nectar of Krsna's and Radha's
there were many gopis to dance with Krsna, Krsna especially wanted to dance
with Radharani. In the rasa dance Krsna expanded Himself and placed Himself
between every two gopis, but He was especially present with Radharani. However,
Radharani was not pleased with Krsna's behavior. As described in Ujjvala-nilamani:
'The path of loving affairs is just like the movement of a snake. Amongst young
lovers, there are two kinds of mentality – causeless and causal.' Thus when
Radharani left the area of the rasa dance out of anger at not receiving special
treatment, Krsna became very sorrowful to see Her absent. The perfection of the
rasa dance was considered to be complete due to Radharani's presence, and in
Her absence Krsna considered the dance to be disrupted. Therefore He left the
arena to search Her out. When He could not find Radharani after wandering in
several places, He became very distressed. Thus it is understood that Krsna
could not enjoy His pleasure potency even in the midst of all the gopis. But in
the presence of Radharani He was satisfied." (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter
is so beautiful, transcendental and attractive that He sometimes attracts even
Himself. The following verse appears in Gita-govinda (1.11): 'My dear friend,
just see how Krsna is enjoying His transcendental pastimes in the spring by
expanding the beauty of His personal body. His soft legs and hands, just like
the most beautiful moon, are used on the bodies of the gopis. When He embraces
different parts of their bodies, He is so beautiful. Krsna is so beautiful that
He attracts even Narayana, as well as the goddess of fortune who associates
with Narayana.'" (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 31)
similar statement can be found in Gita-govinda, wherein it is said that when
the enemy of Kamsa, Sri Krsna, embraces Srimati Radharani, He immediately
becomes entangled in a loving condition and gives up the company of all other
gopis." (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 44)
far as mana, or anger, is concerned, there is the following incident described
in Gita-govinda: 'When Srimati Radharani saw Krsna enjoying Himself in the
company of several other gopis, She became a little jealous because Her special
prestige was being dimmed. Therefore, She immediately left the scene and took
shelter in a nice flower bush where the black drones were humming.'"
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 44)
In addition to translating and purporting the
quotes from Sri Gita-govinda
in his edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
SrilaPrabhupada does the same with the many
quotes from Sri Ujjvala-nilamani
and Sri Govinda-lilamrta therein. In addition, there is a beautiful book called
"In Search for the Ultimate Goal of Life," published and edited by
Sripad B.G. Narasingha Maharaja, on the topic of RayaRamanandaSamvada. According to Sripad
Narasingha Maharaja's Introduction, this book was written by SrilaPrabhupada,
and Prabhupada's original manuscript was called "Lord
Caitanya: His Sannyasa and
Sankirtana Movement." Therein, Prabhupada refers to and purports several
statements from Ujjvala-nilamani and Govinda-lilamrta.
also quotes his Gurudeva's warning regarding those who are not fit to hear.
Kindly note that this is a warning to those who want to imitate and to pretend
they are already advanced in raganuga-bhakti. It is a warning for those who
don't want to hear under the guidance of a pure devotee. [This has also been
discussed in our Appreciation to Documentary Statement 1 (D), called
"Don't imitate; but do hear."]:
comments in this connection that such feelings of separation as Lord CaitanyaMahaprabhu
enjoyed from the books of Vidyapati, Candidasa and Jayadeva are especially
reserved for persons like Sri RamanandaRaya and SvarupaDamodara,
who were paramahamsas, men of the topmost perfection, because of their advanced
spiritual consciousness. Such topics are not to be discussed by ordinary
persons imitating the activities of Lord CaitanyaMahaprabhu.
For critical students of mundane poetry and literary men without God
consciousness who are after bodily sense gratification, there is no need to
read such a high standard of transcendental literature. Persons who are after
sense gratification should not try to imitate raganuga devotional
service." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 13.42)
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja
has given the world his translations and purports of Sri
Caitanya-caritamrta. Very often he
also quotes the commentaries of SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura
and his Gurudeva, SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiPrabhupada.
As previously mentioned, Srila Sridhara
Maharaja would never have quoted his Guru Maharaja in a blanket statement for
all, or for all time, in saying that he forbade all his disciples to read or
discuss "even certain portions of Caitanya-caritamrta wherein the lila of
Radha-Krsna are discussed." One point to note is that SrilaSarasvatiThakura himself wrote a commentary
on the entirety of Caitanya-caritamrta. Secondly, if this was a blanket
statement for all, it would have been an indirect criticism of Srila Prabhupada
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
The following is some of our Prabhupada's
translations from Caitanya-caritamrta regarding rahasya-lila, Sri SriRadha-Krsna's
confidential pastimes. (SrilaPrabhupada also ordered his
disciples to translate his books into all languages and to distribute them):
"Rather, they preferred to take the lotus feet of
the Lord and place them on their breasts. Sometimes they regretted that their
breasts were so hard, fearing that Krsna might not be very pleased to keep His soft
lotus feet there." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 13.136 purport)
"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, 'O wife of the deer,
Lord Krsna has been embracing Srimati Radharani, and the kunkuma powder on Her
breasts has mixed with the garland of kunda flowers decorating His body. The
fragrance of the garland has scented the entire atmosphere.'"
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 15.47)
"'The two very beautiful arms of Krsna are just like
long bolts. They also resemble the bodies of black snakes that enter the space
between the two hill-like breasts of women and bite their hearts. The women
then die from the burning poison.' In other words, the gopis become very much
agitated by lusty desire; they are burning due to the poisonous bite inflicted
by the black snakes of Krsna’s beautiful arms." (Caitanya-caritamrta,
Antya 15.75 verse and purport)
E. He blessed our SrilaPrabhupada
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja
wrote at the very end of his Caitanya-caritamrta commentaries:
think that His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is always seeing
my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. As it is said in
Srimad-Bhagavatam, tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye. Spiritual inspiration comes
from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His
Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. It
is to be admitted that whatever translation work I have done is through the
inspiration of my spiritual master, because personally I am most insignificant
and incompetent to do this materially impossible work.
not think myself a very learned scholar, but I have full faith in the service
of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
Thakura. If there is any credit to my activities of translating, it is all due
to His Divine Grace. Certainly if His Divine Grace were physically present at
this time, it would have been a great occasion for jubilation, but even though
he is not physically present, I am confident that he is very much pleased by
this work of translation. He was very fond of seeing many books published to
spread the Krsna consciousness movement. Therefore our society, the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness, has been formed to execute the
order of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu and His Divine Grace
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
my wish that devotees of Lord Caitanya all over the world enjoy this
translation, and I am glad to express my gratitude to the learned men in the
Western countries who are so pleased with my work that they are ordering in
advance all my books that will be published in the future. On this occasion,
therefore, I request my disciples who are determined to help me in this work to
continue their cooperation fully, so that philosophers, scholars, religionists
and people in general all over the world will benefit by reading our
transcendental literatures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta."
Documentary statement 3
hari-jane visaya range
raga patha gaurava bange
'Always worship the
path of raga-marga, spontaneous devotion. Do not rush ahead. Keep yourself a
little distant and below. One who transgresses these instructions will be cast
down.' That was the motto of GaudiyaMatha."
It was not mentioned by the documentary
narrator, but it is stated on one of Sripad Narasingha Maharaja's websites that
this statement is quoted from Srila Sridhara Maharaja's explanation of a poem
Srila Sridhara Maharaja did not intend his
statement to be the translation of the verse. His explanation given here
focuses on the phrase "pujala raga-patha," indicating that the path
of raga is worthy of our worship. The implication of this idea is that one can
gain a genuine entrance into raga-marga only by mercy from above. There is no
Such mercy will not descend upon those who
proudly think themselves qualified, but upon those who, realizing their
ineligibility, humbly worship raga-marga from a lower position.
It goes without saying that in practice it
is impossible to worship something that you are absolutely forbidden to hear,
speak or read about. So there must also be a preliminary stage before
raga-marga proper wherein one is exposed, in a limited capacity, to the tenets
of raga-marga. The rate of exposure is to be determined on an individual basis
by one's self-realized Guru.
A. Words of Caution by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
awaken the utmost respect for Radha-Krsna-lila in the hearts of aspiring
devotees by their cautionary statements. At the same time, they create the
atmosphere for a provisional stage of hearing the higher topics, under their
guidance and in their service, so that their followers may continue in the
right direction. By hearing under such guidance, one develops and increases
one's qualification for hearing. The overall effect of cautionary statements
along with a tentative exposure to lila katha is realized by the sincere
this regard, there is an article written about Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava
Gosvami Maharaja, the sannyasa-guru of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami
Maharaja. The article was written by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami's
disciple, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja who, after his Guru's
entrance into nitya-lila in 1968, became the revered Acarya and President of
his institution, Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. Srila Vamana Maharaja writes:
Gurupadapadma was an ideal Guru, and
was expert in krsna-tattva. He forbade
followers with anarthas to
remember asta-kaliya-lila and
imagine their siddha-deha (spiritual
form). He particularly attracted the attention of everyone by quoting
Jagad-guru Srila Prabhupada’s instructive words: 'Smarana will take place by the influence of kirtana, and then it is possible to
perform nirjana bhajana.'
"…One day a devotee was studying the
commentaries on rasa-lila,bhramara-gita and so on, and Srila
Gurudeva said, 'The qualification to hear topics such as rasa-lila will come when sri nama-kirtana has freed the heart
from anarthas, and suddha-sattva has appeared there.
Otherwise the transcendental pastimes of Sri Radha-Govinda will appear to be
the activities of a worldly hero and heroine, and will only give rise to false
ideas. The conception of rasa
is only possible in the siddha-deha, the
perfect state. It is impossible to perceive srngara-rasa in a material body. Only a person who is free from
the lower types of enjoyment and is in the stage of bhava is qualified to discuss sambhoga rasa.'"
this same article, Srila Vamana Maharaja reveals that while Srila Bhakti
Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja warns disciples regarding the eligibility
required to approach proper, unadulterated meditation on the Lord's
confidential pastimes; he also invites those entrenched in the material world,
in a provisional way, to sing about them:
ever-fresh and transcendental talent has been illuminated in his songs such as Srila Prabhupada’s arati,Sri Tulasi-arati and Mangala-arati. Following the
transcendental poet Sri Jayadeva’s Gita-govinda,
Srila Guru Maharaja’s Mangala-arati
gives an INTRODUCTION to the supreme and unequalled, sweettranscendental pastimes of Sri
Vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva, the eternally youthful Conjugal Couple of Vraja."
(Published in the book "Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami, His
Life and Teachings," by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, in the
section called "Srila Gurupadapadma’s Supramundane Character and
Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami's
Mangala-arati song is a meditation on Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's nisanta-lila, Their
confidential, pre-dawn pastimes. The following excerptfrom chapter seven of his biography explains one of the verses:
"This prayer causes the auspicious arati of Sri Sri Radha Krsna
Yugala to manifest in the heart of the raganuga-sadhaka.
Losing external consciousness of his body and this world, he sees with his
eternal form 'mayura sukadi sari kata
pikaraja mangala jagara hetu kariche viraja' (verse 5). The time of dawn is quickly approaching. In
some pleasure grove such as Sanketa, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna Yugala are still asleep, bound by each
others’ embrace. Afraid that everyone will soon wake up, Vrnda-devi inspires the birds such as peacocks,
male and female parrots, cuckoos, and papihas to awaken Sri Yugala. At that
time, all the birds in the water and on land start calling in their sweet
voices: 'mayura sukadi sari kata pikaraja mangala jagara hetu kariche viraja.'
personalities know how to foster eligibility in their disciples. They gently
and tentatively introduce us and invite us to that spiritual realm. This
experience is afforded only by their association.Without their association, it cannot be
gleaned from the pages of a book or any other media.
Narayana Maharaja, a beloved disciple of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja,
addresses the topic of eligibility in the following discourse.
B. Words of caution from Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Srila Narayana Maharaja fully embraces the
statement of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.39; quoted in Appreciation
"F" of Documentary statement 1), which states that if a conditioned
soul hears with faith from a self-realized soul about Lord Sri Krsna's pastimes
with the gopis, he will attain prema-bhakti and become free from lust. Srila
Narayana Maharaja also embraces the commentaries to this verse by his
worshipful superiors like SrilaJivaGosvami
and especially SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura.
At the same time, he also gives classes
warning followers to be careful not to imitate advanced devotees. The following
discourse was given in Australia
on December 3, 2002. The devotees had just sung the kirtana Sri Madhurastakam, and
then Srila Narayana Maharaja began his class:
bhajana, Sri Madhurastakam,
tells us that everything is sweet (madhura) about Krsna, the original Lord of
sweetness. His Yamuna is madhura, His nikunjas (groves wherein Radha and Krsna
perform their confidential amorous pastimes) are madhura, and His flute-playing
and sidelong glances are also very sweet.
is actually speaking about the sweetness of Krsna here? Is it Kamsa Maharaja,
Aghasura, Bakasura, or Putana? Radhika herself is telling this; She alone is
qualified to speak in this way. The history behind Her words is this:
"A sakhi once told Her, 'Krsna has left
Vrndavana. He now has 16,108 queens, and millions of others also want to marry
Him. Why do You have so much love and affection for that crooked Krsna? He has
no love for You and no love for Vrndavana. Give Him up and try to forget Him
forever.' SrimatiRadhika replied, 'O sakhi, what
you are saying is true, but I cannot forget Him. Everything about Him is so
like Kamsa, Jarasandha, Duryodhana, Putana, Bakasura, Aghasura, Kesi, Canura,
and Mustika were seeing that very same Krsna, but they thought of Him as a very
cruel, powerful and dangerous enemy. They did not see or experience His
you know why I am speaking in this way? These demons are against Krsna.
Therefore, instead of experiencing His sweetness, they simply experience their
own enmity. Similarly, if we imagine that we are meditating on Krsna's
asta-kaliya-lila and we have not reached the stage of rati, we will also not
experience His sweetness. Rather, we will experience our own lusty and other
material desires. In this connection, Kamsa and other demons represent our
material desires. Krsna and the realization of the sweetness of Krsna is our
goal, but do not try to 'jump up to the top of the tree.' Begin from the root
of the tree and climb up from there; then you can realize your goal.
must follow the proper process of his bhakti from the beginning: 'In the
beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will
bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually
elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual
master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of
devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of
the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains
steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the
Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.
This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness,
which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of
God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.
In the prema stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving
service of the Lord. So, by the gradual process of devotional service, under
the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest
stage.' (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.4.15–16)
must also be able to follow these principles: 'When the seed of ecstatic
emotion for Krsna fructifies, the following nine symptoms manifest in one’s
behavior: forgiveness, concern that time should not be wasted, detachment,
absence of false prestige, hope, eagerness, a taste for chanting the holy name
of the Lord, attachment to descriptions of the transcendental qualities of the
Lord, and affection for those places where the Lord resides—that is, a temple
or a holy place like Vrndavana. These are all called anubhava, subordinate
signs of ecstatic emotion. They are visible in a person in whose heart the seed
of love of God has begun to fructify.' (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila
"If you can follow these above-mentioned two slokas,
then you can realize something of the goal – otherwise not. I know, and I see,
that in Western and Eastern countries, here and there, many of the devotees
want to enter asta-kaliya-lila (Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's eight-fold daily
pastimes, from morning to next morning), although they do not even know what it
must be very careful. Our Gosvamis have warned us not to delve very much into
this subject matter. This topic is truly our goal, but we can only realize it
by following the proper process for advancement in bhakti. If a person has many
worldly desires and is attached to women, wine and wealth, how can he properly
meditate on asta-kaliya-lila? If one misunderstands his own identity and
considers himself to be his body, he will not be able to properly think about
"Suppose a man or a woman tries to think about
Radha-Krsna's pastimes at ,
for example. Suppose they try to remember how all the gopis left their homes
and met Krsna alone, and moreover how Krsna left all the gopis at night and
took only Srimati Radhika in a kunja, where They played together. What will he
or she think about it? Moreover, if such a man and woman meet together at night
'to discuss these topics', what will be the ultimate result of their 'love'? They
are bound to feel lust, and thus they will not be able to control their minds.
Their characters will be ruined and they will ruin their entire spiritual
lives. Do you understand what I am saying? We should not even think about this
young – or old – person may remember the following verse: 'O Govardhana! Please
grant me a dwelling near your side so that I can easily witness and serve the
youthful lovers Sri Radha-Krsna as They perform newer and newer secret, amorous
lilas within your many caves where They become completely maddened from
drinking prema. You are present and making everything possible.' (SrimadRaghunatha
dasa Gosvami's Sri Govardhana-Vasa-Prarthana-Dasakam, verse 2)
In this verse it is suggested that Radha and Krsna are
meeting together and embracing. If a devotee who is not very advanced tries to
meditate on this, a worldly conception is bound to come. Therefore, always be
careful. Sri SukadevaGosvami, who is a
maha-mahabhagavata, is so detached from material consideration and possessions
that he does not even wear a dor-kaupin (loincloth), nor does he even have a
bhajana kutira. He is totally renounced. For him, there is no difference
between the most beautiful naked lady and a dry wooden tree. He has no interest
at all in the affairs of men and women. Yet, that SukadevaGosvami
offers reverential pranama to Rasa-lila and asta-kaliya-lila. Although service
to that madhura Krsna like that of the gopis is our goal, we cannot pretend to
be close to it at our stage.
has written: 'Bhagavan Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna and His transcendental abode Sri Vrndavana-dhama are
my worshipable objects. The most excellent method of worshipping Krsna is that
adopted by the gopa-ramanis, the young wives of Vraja. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the
flawless and most authoritative scripture, and Krsna-prema is the fifth and
highest achievement of human life beyond dharma, artha, kama
and moksa. It is thus known as pancama-purusartha or parama-purusartha. This is
the opinion of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu. We have supreme regard
for this conclusion. We have no inclination or respect for any other, cheating
"The highest examples of love and affection in
service to Krsna are the gopis – but this does not apply to all the gopis. This
highest service cannot even be performed by SrimatiLalita
or SrimatiVisakha or by others like them. Such
service can only be executed by gopis like Sri Rupa-manjari and Sri
Rati-manjari. Lalita and Visakha
cannot enter a kunja in which Radha and Krsna are alone and engaged in Their
most intimate amorous pastimes, but the manjaris can enter without hesitation
and they can serve both Radha and Krsna there.
must be very careful. We should not discuss the confidential matters of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna
before the general public. Be careful. Otherwise, ladies, especially, will be
charmed by hearing from you – they will weep, they will run after you, and your
character will be lost.
Always try to follow the teachings of the Eleventh Canto
of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and try to follow SrilaRupaGosvami's Upadesamrta and SrilaRaghunatha
dasa Gosvami's Sri Manah-Siksa.
Then try to gradually come to the stage of rati, at which time all of Krsna's
pastimes will automatically manifest in a very pure form. Try to follow my
instructions. Follow the proper procedures delineated by SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura, by our guru-varga, and
especially by Sri RupaGosvami and SrilaRaghunatha
Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami have somewhat explained about
the goal of our life in the descriptions of the incarnations Matsya, and Kurma,
and in descriptions of Varaha, Narasimha, Rama, Parasurama, Vamana, and Kalki.
They have kept all the madhura-lila in the Tenth Canto, and there they have explained
our aim and object fully.
"Krsna Himself became each of the incarnations, like
Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Balarama and Kalki. They are all Him;
but He is playing the role of being Them. Sri JayadevaGosvami
sings in his Sri Dasavatara-Stotram:
sri-jayadeva-kaver idam uditam
srnu sukha-dam subha-dam bhava-saram
kesava dhrta-dasa-vidha-rupa! jaya
["O Kesava! O You who assume
these ten forms! O Jagadisa! O You who remove Your devotees' material desires!
All glories to You! My humble supplication at Your lotus feet is that You
please hear this Dasavatara-Stotra composed by the poet Jayadeva, because it
describes the essence of Your incarnations and is most excellent, bestowing
happiness and auspiciousness." (Sri Dasavatara-Stotram,verse 11)]
this connection, Kesava means Vrajendranandana Sri Krsna. That same Krsna is our goal. To
serve Him like the gopis is certainly our goal; but be very careful, otherwise
you will follow the path of Putana, Aghasura, Bakasura and Kamsa. You will be
bound to be like them. Sri SukadevaGosvami began speaking about the
topics of bhakti from its beginning stages, as well as the processes to achieve
the various stages of bhakti.
in the Eleventh Canto, they discussed Sri Narada Muni's explaining to Vasudeva
about the topics instructed by the Navayogendras to Maharaja
Nimi. For example, the
Navayogendras explained about the 24 gurus, including the air and the Earth.
From the air one can learn detachment and from the Earth one can learn
tolerance. In those texts, the processes to achieve the highest goal given in
the Tenth Canto have also been explained.
same goal of life has been expressed in a still better way in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.
In the very beginning of that sastra, SrilaKrsnadasaKavirajaGosvami
explained our ultimate aim and object as follows:
sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah
["May the Supreme Lord who is
known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi 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." (Caitanya-caritamrta,
["The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krsna are
transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although
Radha and Krsna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally.
Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri KrsnaCaitanya.
I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion
of SrimatiRadharani although He is Krsna Himself."
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.5)]
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso
svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso
saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah
kidrsam veti lobhat
["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 Sacidevi, as the moon appeared from the
ocean." (Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.6)]
especially explained the goal and process to achieve it in the fourth chapter
of Adi-lila and in Sri RayaRamanandaSamvada.
Also, Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu instructed the process
in chapters 19 and 20-23, respectively.
careful about being at the bottom of the tree and, from there, jumping to the
top. Do not go in the direction of fire; otherwise you will be burned.
not sufficient merely to speak about the proper established philosophical
truths (siddhanta) and processes of bhakti. Try to be actually realized in
this. If you do not follow, you cannot advance in actual Krsna consciousness.
a disciple is always glorifying Krsna and His sweet pastimes. That disciple is
always chanting, but he does not have very much faith in his guru. Suppose he
is chanting a hundred-thousand names daily and is always reading about the
pastimes of Krsna and glorifying Him, but he is not following his Gurudeva's
orders. He sometimes follows his Guru's orders and sometimes does not.
Sometimes he follows his uncontrolled mind and not the process and teachings of
and SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami, SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura, and SrilaPrabhupada,
and he does not behave as his Guru desires. What will be the result? He will
not get perfection.
yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
["Only unto those great souls
who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the
imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." (SvetasvataraUpanisad
wants his followers to truly enter raga-marga
one line, "Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange," teaches us the
authentic process of bhajana which is suitable for all aspiring sadhakas.
the path that leads to the transcendental service of the Divine Couple under
the guidance of their eternal associates, is not something one can enter on the
strength of one's own qualifications. If someone thinks that he is qualified,
he will be stranded without help from above as a reward for his arrogance.
Therefore "pujala" – the path is to be worshiped, "a little
distant, and below."
is not a ban on raga-marga, but the guaranteed method of entry. By considering
oneself unqualified and maintaining the utmost reverence for that path, one
becomes a candidate for receiving the mercy of Sri
Sri Radha-Krsna and Their
devotees. In Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.309), SrilaRupaGosvami explains:
"The mercy of
and His devotees is the only cause of attaining the path of raga. Therefore,
some refer to raganuga-bhakti as pusti-marga, the path that depends on
nourishment from above."
At the stage of raganuga-sadhana bhakti,
there is some degree of revelation of one's eternal identity. Such revelation
comes by mercy. Thus, one who tries to enter the path without endorsement from
the higher realm will have to resort to the fruitless technique of fanciful
Gaurava-bhange – awe and reverence broken:
The mood of awe and reverence is considered
incompatible with the prema of the residents of GolokaVrndavana,
so why "pujala raga-patha"?
vital not to mix up the internal and external aspects of raganuga-sadhana-bhakti.
Awe and reverence is an obstacle to internal service of the sadhaka, but when
the sadhaka is in external consciousness, it remains an essential expression of
his intense longing. As SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami has
illustrated repeatedly in the prayers of Sri Stavavali:
yadiccher avasam vraja-bhuvi sa RAGAm prati-janur
yuva dvandvam tac cet paricaritum arad abhilaseh
svarupam sri rupam sa ganam iha tasyagrajam api
sphutam premna nityam smara nama tada tvam srnu manah
"My dear mind, please hear me! If you are eager
to gain residence in Vraja on the platform of RAGA, and if you desire to obtain
the direct service of the Divine Youthful Couple, Sri
Radha-Krsna, then with great love,
BIRTH AFTER BIRTH BOW DOWN and remember Sri SvarupaDamodara,
Sri RupaGosvami and his elder brother along with
their other associates." (Sri ManahSiksa
internal mood of awe and reverence (gaurava) will abate or break (bhanga) upon
the influx of mercy from above – for those who deeply revere the path of raga.
this instruction only for a neophyte? SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura has recommended that a
sadhaka in the stage of bhava should pray "asam aho carana renu jusam aham
syam" (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.61, quoted in BhajanaRahasya
Chapter 6 Bhava-bhakti, text 24) "Alas! It would be a matter of great
fortune if I could take birth as a blade of grass, a creeper or shrub in
Vrndavana, and thereby receive the foot-dust of the Vraja gopis."
conclusion is that making an external effort to avoid awe and reverence is not
the process to overcome the internal obstacle of aisvarya-jnana. In external
consciousness, an understanding of the opulence of Vraja will always remain, as
illustrated by SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami:
yat kincit trna gulma kikata mukham gosthe samastam hi
sarvanandadayam mukunda dayitam lilanukulam param
sastrair eve muhur muhuh sphutam idam nistankitam
brahmader api sasprhena tad idam sarvam maya vandyate
"With great longing I WORSHIP all the living
entities of Vraja, including the grass, bushes, flies and birds, which are
filled with transcendental bliss. Their fortune is so great that it is aspired
for by personalities such as Brahma and Uddhava." (Vraja-vilasa-stava 102)
Another salient point to consider is that
it is not possible to worship a path about which one is forbidden to hear.
Consequently, there must be a preliminary stage in which a person who is
unqualified for raganuga-bhakti is exposed, in a limited capacity, to the katha
of raga-marga. The rate of exposure is to be decided by Sri Guru in accordance
with the eligibility of the disciple.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has
written a translation and commentary of Srila Rupa Gosvami's Upadesamrta,
called Nectar of Instruction. The eighth verse contains what SrilaRupaGosvami calls the essence of all
advice. In the purport Srila Prabhupada quotes his Prabhupada, Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who confirms that essence – one should mold
one's life in such a way that he can gradually come to the platform of
raganuga-bhakti under the guidance of a ragatmika-bhakta:
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has commented as follows upon this verse:
'One who has not yet developed interest in Krsna consciousness should give up
all material motives and train his mind by following the progressive regulative
principles, namely chanting and remembering Krsna and His name, form, quality,
pastimes and so forth. In this way, after developing a taste for such things,
one should try to live in Vrndavana and pass his time constantly remembering
Krsna's name, fame, pastimes and qualities under the direction and protection
of an expert devotee. This is the sum and substance of all instruction
regarding the cultivation of devotional service.
the neophyte stage one should always engage in hearing krsna-katha. This is
called sravana-dasa, the stage of hearing. By constantly hearing the
transcendental holy name of Krsna and hearing of His transcendental form,
qualities and pastimes, one can attain to the stage of acceptance called
varana-dasa. When one attains this stage, he becomes attached to the hearing of
krsna-katha. When one is able to chant in ecstasy, he attains the stage of
smaranavastha, the stage of remembering. Recollection, absorption, meditation,
constant remembrance and trance are the five items of progressive
krsna-smarana. At first, remembrance of Krsna may be interrupted at intervals,
but later remembrance proceeds uninterrupted. When remembrance is
uninterrupted, it becomes concentrated and is called meditation. When
meditation expands and becomes constant, it is called anusmrti. By
uninterrupted and unceasing anusmrti one enters the stage of samadhi, or
spiritual trance. After smarana-dasa or samadhi has fully developed, the soul
comes to understand his original constitutional position. At that time he can
perfectly and clearly understand his eternal relationship with Krsna. That is
called sampatti-dasa, the perfection of life.
advises those who are neophytes to give up all kinds of motivated desires and
simply engage in the regulative devotional service of the Lord according to the
directions of scripture. In this way a neophyte can gradually develop
attachment for Krsna's name, fame, form, qualities and so forth. When one has
developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Krsna
even without following the regulative principles.
stage is called raga-bhakti or devotional service in spontaneous love. At that
stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates
of Krsna in Vrndavana. This is called raganuga-bhakti. Raganuga-bhakti, or
spontaneous devotional service, can be executed in the santa-rasa when one
aspires to be like Krsna's cows or the stick or flute in the hand of Krsna, or
the flowers around Krsna's neck. In the dasya-rasa one follows in the footsteps
of servants like Citraka, Patraka or Raktaka. In the friendly sakhya-rasa one
can become a friend like Baladeva, Sridama or Sudama. In the vatsalya-rasa, characterized
by parental affection, one can become like Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda, and in
the madhurya-rasa, characterized by conjugal love, one can become like Srimati
Radharani or Her lady friends such as Lalita and Her serving maids (manjaris)
like Rupa and Rati. This is the essence of all instruction in the matter of
devotional service.'" (Nectar of Instruction, Purport verse 8)
The following is an
excerpt from chapter 14 (called Krsna-prema) of the book Sri
Caitanya's Teachings, which is a collection
of articles by SrilaSarasvatiThakura:
truth is that there is a real plane for the wholesome exercise of the amorous
disposition that is part and parcel of our soul. It is necessary to realize the
nature of this plane in order to be relieved of our harmful errors in regard to
sexual relationship. Some sort of conviction must precede the actual adoption
of any proposed method. The personality of Sri Radhika supplies the solution of this
problem. Sri RupaGosvami has offered the detailed
exposition of the subject in his monumental works…
is the highest form of prema, and an individual soul even in the stage of
raganuga-bhakti in the wake of the ragatmika-bhakti considers herself as a
maid, called manjari, under the guidance of the way of services rendered by the
dearest Rupa-manjari and Rati-manjari and others who, in their turn, are
subservient to Sri
Lalita-Visakha-Citra-Indulekha-Campakalata-Rangadevi-Tungavidya-Sudevi – eight
sakhis, who are the counter-parts of Sri Radhika. They are all engaged in the
aprakrta services of their beloved Sri Krsna
for His absolute pleasures and of none else. Their cent-percent satisfaction
lies in the absolute pleasure of their beloved alone.
a sadhaka in raganuga bhakti may be a man or a woman in this physical world. He
or she develops the aprakrta-body of a gopi, called a manjari, if his or her
raga is awakened in the wake of the Vraja-gopis. The physical body in this
world can never reach the feet of the Lord.
Vraja-gopi,] more technically a manjari, has a particular name, conception of
her form and beauty, her particular age, her costumes, her specialized service
or seva, and her grove (or kunja) where she receives and serves the Divine
Couple Sri Radha-Krsna. The individual in raganuga-bhakti meditates inwardly,
looking upon himself or herself as a hand-maid of Sri
Rupa-manjari, who is the
personification of the rupa, i.e., the beauty of Sri Radha, which beauty is, in its turn, the
projected absolute beauty of the absolute Lord Sri Krsna. Sri Rupa-manjari guides the individual
hand-maid in the fold of Sri Lalita-sakhi,
who in turn engages the hand-maid in the specialized services of Sri Radha-Krsna.
all over the world the teachings of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha with all your might. Our
highest ambition in life has been to turn ourselves into the dust of their
D. An interview with Sripad Madhava Maharaja
Madhava Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja.
He is a siksa disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, and
has been his personal servant and secretary since 1979. In the following interview of May 4, 2006, he was asked to
share his understanding regarding statement 3 of the video/documentary:
[Question:] "The narrator of
the documentary 'The Universal Teacher' quoted Srila Sarasvati Thakura
Prabhupada's verse, 'matala hari-jane visaya range, pujala raga-patha
gaurava-bhange.' Then he gave the translation, 'Always worship the path of
raga-marga, spontaneous devotion. Do not rush ahead. Keep yourself a little
distant and below. One who transgresses these instructions will be cast down.
That was the motto of GaudiyaMatha.'
"Can you explain the verse further?"
Maharaja:] "The English you quoted is not the translation. It is a
statement by Prapujya-carana Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja. He did not mean
for his statement to be the translation."
[Question:] "Then what is the
Maharaja:] "'Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange.' Raga-patha means
spontaneous devotion. What is spontaneous devotion?
iste svarasiki ragah
tan-mayi ya bhaved bhaktih
["When one becomes attached to
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his natural inclination to love is fully
absorbed in thoughts of the Lord. That is called transcendental attachment, and
devotional service according to that attachment is called ragatmika, or
spontaneous devotional service." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.272, and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
is the devotion situated in the hearts of the eternal associates of Krsna in
Vraja. Here, the word gaurava-bhange refers to the breaking (bhange means
break) of the awe and reverence mood (gaurava) by raga-bhakti. The word matala
means complete absorption. Such liberated devotees have only one visaya (object
of love), and that is Sri Krsna.
The word range refers to Sri Krsna's
many pastimes. Hari-jana means those who are the kith and kin or intimate
associates of Sri Hari
or Krsna. They are absorbed in visaya-range. Sri Krsna is the only visaya (the supreme
Enjoyer of His devotees' devotion), and all others are asraya (the repository
or container of devotion to Him). These devotees are absorbed in His pastimes.
"Because of the raga in their hearts, they
have no awe and reverence mood. In this world they worship raga-patha; that is,
the path of complete absorption in and attachment to Sri
Krsna. By this they also teach us
how to enter and then practice raganuga-bhakti.
do we want to worship this path? We are now aspiring sadhaka-jivas, and our
ultimate object is to attain raga-bhakti. For that we have to go step by step.
By following the correct process we will gradually enter raganuga-bhakti, and
then we will attain raga-bhakti."
of the beautiful verse
Sometimes this Bengali verse is found with
the words "visaya range"; and sometimes, as in the inscription on the
wall of the Sri CaitanyaSarasvataMatha,
with "kirtana range." In either case, the deep import is the same.
With "visaya range":
of Hari revel in satisfying His transcendental desires.
They worship the
path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is overthrown."
Internally the hari-janas are absorbed in their pastimes with Sri Krsna, and externally
they teach us by their example how to worship the path of raga. Raga means
spontaneous devotion, the devotion of Sri Krsna's (Hari's) friends, parents and
is the only visaya, the only enjoyer. As the enjoyer He has unlimited
transcendental desires. These desires are fulfilled by His associates, the hari-janas,
who are asraya. The hari-janas revel in fulfilling His desires. They are
maddened with the ambition to fulfil His desires.
Srila Narayana Maharaja explains that this verse applies to the
liberated associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this world, who have come as
raganuga-bhaktas. SrimanMahaprabhu appeared in this world
along with His associates. This verse refers to His associates who were with
Him during His time, as well as to all those who appeared after Him.
With "kirtana range":
of Hari revel in the chanting of the Holy Name.
They worship the path of spontaneous devotion, whereby awe and reverence is
F. The real existence of Bhaktisiddhanta
devotees say this verse originally manifested from the lips of SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura,
and some say it manifested from the lips of Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara
Maharaja. Either way, according to Srila Sridhara Maharaja himself, this verse
is the heart of SrilaSarasvatiThakura.
of Sripad Narasingha Maharaja's websites has a link to a very short, fifteen
second, audio statement of Srila Sridhara Maharaja referring to this
verse.We therefore had the good fortune
to hear his recorded voice: "Pujala raga-patha gaurava bhange. This is
Bhaktisiddhanta vani. The real existence of Bhaktisiddhanta [bhakti-siddhanta]
Documentary Statement 4 – in the form of a visual
visuals were shown along with the narrator's statement: "SarasvatiThakura
also did not allow his disciples to read such books as Gita-govinda,
Ujjvala-nilamani or Govinda-lilamrta." When the narrator said
the word "Gita-govinda," there was a full-screen showing of the cover
of Srila Narayana Maharaja's translation and commentary of Sri Gita-govinda.
Here we find an unfortunate lapse of
courtesy, which we prefer to think must be uncharacteristic of his holiness
Sripad B.G. Narasingha Maharaja. While mentioning Rasa-lila, he might have
displayed the cover of the Krsna Book, written by his own Guru, Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. [While writing in his own publication that SrilaSarasvatiThakura did not allow disciples to
read or discuss the most confidential parts of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, he might have
displayed his own Guru’s edition of the same.]
However, he decided only to present the work
of Srila Narayana Maharaja, along with a warning not to read it. Are we to take
this as a charitable act of free publicity? If so, we are grateful.
He could have mentioned that the Gita-govinda
on the screen begins with an extra thirty-five pages of warnings to support his
own warning. His failure to do so unnecessarily portrays the book and its
commentator in an objectionable light. By token of the same logic, Sri JayadevaGosvami,
the original author of Sri Gita-govinda,
along with SrilaRupaGosvami
and SrilaKrsnadasaKavirajaGosvami (the authors of
Ujjvala-nilamani and Govinda-lilamrta respectively) also stand inadvertently
Further, in a recent posting on his
Krishna-talk internet article, Sripad B.G. Narasingha Maharaja goes on to
confuse the act of publishing a confidential book with endorsing its
indiscriminate study, as if the two issues were the same. Little can be said to
address such non sequitur without running the risk of accrediting improper
logic with substance.
question may be asked in a general sense: Why do acaryas publish or even write
confidential books in the first place?They know that most of us are not qualified. Still, like affectionate
parents who bequeath their treasures to their beloved children on the condition
of their coming of age, our merciful acaryas leave the priceless transcendental
treasure of their realizations in books for their followers to relish when, one
day, those followers are mature enough in their bhakti to deeply appreciate
Are we to construe their generous provision
for our future an incriminating act of sahajiyaism? Better we accept it with a
properly adjusted sense of responsibility.
A. Reply to Krishna-talk statements
The following are Krishna-talk's specific
statements and our reply to each. Unfortunately,
these statements reveal the thoughts behind the documentary producer's
committing the otherwise simply tacit offense of showing the full-screen
pictures of Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition of Gita-govinda.
[Unlike the rest of our article, in this
section, "A," our words will not be in bold letters.]
It is quite
misleading that the publishers have posed SrilaBhaktisiddhanta
as having written that article expressly for Gita-govinda…
Maharaja is a very honorable Vaisnava sannyasi. We humbly request him to
reconsider his statement. The publishers of Srila Narayana Maharaja's
translation and commentary of Sri Gita-govinda
never suggested to the reader that the Foreword was written by SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada
for the Foreword.
The publishers wrote in the subtitle of that Gita-govinda Foreword, "From
Teachings' Chapter 14.""Sri Caitanya's
Teachings" is a compilation of articles by SrilaSarasvatiThakura, produced over half a
century before the publication of Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition.
It is a misnomer,
since the article presented there as a forward by Bhaktisiddhanta was actually
not written by Bhaktisiddhanta. The article was originally written by Professor
Nisikanta Sanyal and published in The Harmonist magazine volume 26 #6 in
November 1928 (it was later published as a small booklet in 1931). The article
was originally called "The Erotic Principle and Unalloyed Devotion"
and has been printed and mistakenly attributed to Bhaktisiddhanta in many GaudiyaMatha
publications over the decades.
The article used
in the Foreword was published in chapter 14 of "Sri
Caitanya's Teaching" by Sri GaudiyaMatha
of Madras. It
was edited by Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja and several other prominent
devotees. The title of that chapter is called "Krsna-prema." The same
article is presented in the huge "coffee table" Mandala Publication
"SarasvatiThakura" as the words of PrabhupadaSrilaBhaktisiddhanta,
with the title "The Erotic Principle and Unalloyed Devotion."
There is an
article from the Harmonist, later printed as a booklet entitled "The
Erotic Principle and Unalloyed Devotion" by ProfessorSanyal.
The first two paragraphs of the article in the Foreword of Sri Gita-govinda are
roughly the same as a section somewhere in the middle of ProfessorSanyal's
article, and that section is subtitled "The Sexual Principle." However,
the rest of the article is completely different, although the topic is the same.
Harmonist article, SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada certainly read and
approved in writing the statements therein, as seen by the Foreword he wrote
glorifying the article. It may be noted, however, that this is not the Foreword
of Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition of Sri Gita-govinda that Sripad Narasingha
Maharaja refers to on his website.
The so-called 'Forward
to GitaGovinda' is actually ProfessorSanyal's
article with a two paragraph add-on at the beginning taken from a lecture by
Bhaktisiddhanta wherein he speaks briefly about JayadevaGosvami.
There was no
add-on. There are clearly two separate parts of the Foreword. One part contains
article from the book "Sri Caitanya's
Teachings", edited by Srila Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Maharaja. The other part
of the Foreword has a different title, which states, "Foreword: A few
words from SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura
on Gita-govinda." It is subtitled as follows: "The following
discourse was delivered in 1932 on the eve of the 446th
commemoration of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu's appearance."
Also, it is eight paragraphs, not two.
information of the readers, there are two separate books in this regard. One is
called "Sri Caitanya's
Teachings," and that book contains the articles by SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada.
There is another book, called "Sri KrsnaCaitanya,"
and that is by ProfessorSanyal. Srila Prabhupada
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wrote in a letter (Mar. 14, 1967): "The late Prof.N.K.Sanyal was my god-brother and his
book, "KrsnaCaitanya," is approved and
authoritative…It will help us a great deal because my spiritual master has
given his approval to this book."
…It is indeed a
ruse when the publishers of Gita-govinda say that if the followers of
Bhaktisiddhanta do not translate and comment upon Ujjvala-nilamani,
Gita-govinda, etc. that these books will then be the exclusive property of the
Sahajiyas. To the contrary, in doing so, the publishers of Gita-govinda have
entered the domain of the Sahajiyas and shown us their true colors.
We are simply sad
to read this statement, which is an attempt to dishonor our worshipful
siksa-guru Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja by calling him a sahajiya. Our
Prabhupada quotes his Prabhupada on the subject of sahajiyas: "Such an
advanced devotee has nothing to do with the sahajiyas, who manufacture their
own way and commit sins by indulging in illicit sex, intoxication and gambling,
if not meat-eating. Sometimes the sahajiyas imitate advanced devotees and live
in their own whimsical way, avoiding the principles set down in the revealed
scriptures…The sahajiyas' understanding of the love affairs between Radha and
Krsna is not bona fide because they do not follow the principles laid down by
the Six Gosvamis."
We simply pray to
the honorable Sripad Narasingha Maharaja that he will be so kind as to
reconsider and then retract his statements.
Gita-govinda, he may kindly consider all the warnings regarding qualification
to read the Gita-govinda that are given in Srila Narayana Maharaja's own
Introduction, as well as the other front-matter of the book. It is interesting
to note the last paragraph of SrilaSarasvatiThakura's
article, which graces the Foreword in Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition:
"No idea of the positive nature of the function of the higher plane
corresponding to the sexual activity of this world can be conveyed to those who
are not completely free from the disease of mundane sexual desire. It is for
this reason advisable to abstain from all empiric study of the descriptions of
the amorous activities of the Divinity until one has actually been freed from
every worldly passion by the preparatory service of Sri
Krsna under the direction of a
bona fide spiritual master."
Narasingha Maharaja's statement, "…It is indeed a ruse when the publishers
of Gita-govinda say that if the followers of Bhaktisiddhanta do not translate
and comment upon Ujjvala-nilamani, Gita-govinda, etc. that these books will
then be the exclusive property of the Sahajiyas": It is worth noting Srila
Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada's lecture at Sri Radha-kunda in 1932, later
published in "The Gaudiya" in 1934. There he said, "We must
retrieve asta-kaliya-lila from the hands of the sahajiyas."
B. SrilaNarayana Maharaja
– a contemporary universal teacher
The respected reader is invited to log on to
Srila Narayana Maharaja's website, www.purebhakti.com.
There, one can freely read or download his books and hundreds of his lectures.
About 500 of his lectures are posted on his website, and from that it is plain
to see how he is carefully cultivating bhakti in the hearts of the conditioned
souls. For example, he discusses topics like Bhagavad-gita, Druva Maharaja, the
conversation between Devahuti and Lord Kapiladeva,
Prahlada Maharaja, Ambarisa Maharaja, Lord Krsna's baby and childhood pastimes, and Sri Siksastakam. He
discusses Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta's
explanation of the five types of uttama bhaktas, the history of
Srimad-Bhagavatam as given in the First Canto, and Sri
mission and pastimes. He also discusses the glories of the Lord's incarnations
and of our predecessor acaryas on their respective appearance and disappearance
he discusses the glory and topmost krsna-prema of the gopis and especially SrimatiRadhika.
Service to Her lotus feet is the goal of all our Gaudiya-sampradaya acaryas.
Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, he teaches that without knowing
the goal (the sadhya) no one can engage seriously in the bhakti process (the
C. Regarding the title
This section discusses
the reason for titling our article and website "Unconventional
Teachers." All of the self-realized acaryas in our disciplic succession –
from Lord Brahma to Srila Vyasadeva to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Srila
Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada to his pure followers of the present day – are
universal teachers and "unconventional teachers" at the same time.
We conditioned souls
inevitably try to "freeze" the teaching of an acarya in order to
promote it in the manner of a marketable commodity. However, SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSaravatiThakura
strongly challenged the conception of fixed rules that were to be applied to
everyone at all times.He favored the
very personal, adhikara-specific, unconventional guidance of a living acarya –
a point which is often hard to appreciate for today's self-taught, multi-media,
distance learning generation. The following excerpt is from SrilaSarasvatiThakura’s article, "The
Killing of Putana" (printed in the January l932 edition of The Harmonist,
"The Supreme Lord Sri KrsnaCaitanya,
in pursuance of the teaching of the scriptures, enjoins all absence of
conventionalism for the teachers of the eternal religion. It does not follow
that the mechanical adoption of the unconventional life by any person will make
him a fit teacher of religion. Regulation is necessary for controlling the
inherent worldliness of conditioned souls. But no mechanical regulation has any
value even for such a purpose.
"The bona fide teacher of religion is neither any product nor the
favorer of any mechanical system. In his hands no system has likewise the
chance of degenerating into a lifeless arrangement. The mere pursuit of fixed
doctrines and fixed liturgies cannot hold a person to the true spirit of
doctrine or liturgy.
"The idea of an organized church in an intelligible form indeed
marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical
establishments are the dykes and the dams to retain the current that cannot be
held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of
the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also
unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and UNCONVENTIONAL guidance of
the bona fide spiritual teacher." (emphasis is ours)
By describing spiritual guidance as
"unconventional", Srila Sarasvati Thakura, the universal teacher
himself, teaches that any one specific statement of his, such as "Do not
read Govinda-lilamrta" is NOT universally applicable at all times, all
places, in all circumstances and for all audiences. We cannot believe that our
most respectful superior Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja would quote his
Guru Maharaja as saying that such a statement universally and eternally applies
We all agree about the necessity for
caution with rasa and extreme caution with rahasya. But the non-publication of
rasa-sastra by one acarya does not preclude the publication of rasa-sastra by
another. SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada clearly regards
preceptorial guidance as UNCONVENTIONAL and therefore not subject to the
formulaic compression of the simplistic motto.
title "Unconventional Teachers," three syllables are identical in
syntax to Universal Teacher. Un + ve + al are common to both Unconventional and
Universal. Unconventional Teacher is immediately recognizable as an elaboration
of Universal Teacher. The words "unconventional teachers" was
inspired by the above-mentioned article written by SrilaSarasvatiThakura himself.
eternal principle of unconventionality gives rise to the apparent differences
in the approaches of all authentic acaryas – although there is no difference in
their message or mission. If only universal teachers could be cloned from the
stem cells of a few contextual phrases, we would not have to rely on prayer,
introspection and the causeless mercy of Sri Krsna to find genuine guidance on the path
Who can deny that there is a speciality in
the presentations in each of our acaryas? The perfect acaryas preach according
to time, place, circumstance and audience. According to these four, our acaryas
employ various strategies in their preaching. For this reason, no one can
demand a fixed, homogeneous meta-narrative.
find that the same audience receives different instructions from an acarya as
that audience matures in bhakti; there are so many examples of this.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was speaking
Srimad-Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit, who was a resident of Dvaraka and Sri Krsna's relative
there. In order to encourage him, Sukadeva Gosvami appeared to express the idea
that Lord Krsna is the true son of Devaki and Vasudeva and was carried by him
to the house of Yasoda devi, who had just given birth to a baby girl. Later,
wanted Maharaja Pariksit
to come to the understanding that Sri Krsna's
real parents are Nanda Baba and Yasoda-devi, he uttered verses containing the
words "pasupangajaya" and "jayati te'dhikam janmana vrajah"
in the 14th and 31st chapters of the Tenth Canto. This is
all explained in the Tenth Canto commentaries of our previous acaryas.
a follower of SrilaSukadevaGosvami,
did a similar thing. In Nectar of Devotion, one of his earliest books, he wrote
that Nanda Maharaja is the foster-father of Sri Krsna. Then, in his Tenth Canto
translations and commentaries, as well as those in Sri
established that Krsna is fully the son of Nanda Baba and Yasoda-devi, and only
partly the son of Vasudeva and Devaki.
Here is an example which shows that
different acaryas will say apparently different things to different audiences
of different qualifications – while there is really no contradiction in their
ideas. The example is given by SrilaSarasvatiThakura
himself, from his article that was printed as the Foreword of Srila Narayana
Maharaja's edition of Sri Gita-govinda:
hesitation to divulge the secrets of the Vedas is well founded. The conduct of Sri Jayadeva Gosvami
in speaking without reserve is equally in order if we remember that his book
cannot be understood at all by those who are lacking in the highest spiritual
Another example: SrilaRupaGosvami
are always of the same opinion. SrilaJivaGosvami
is always under SrilaRupaGosvami's
guidance. Outwardly, externally, it sometimes seems that they have different
opinions, but they are actually never of different opinions. It appears
outwardly that JivaGosvami tried to establish
svakiya-vada, the idea that Radha and Krsna or Krsna and the gopis are married,
clearly established that Sri Krsna
and the gopis are paramours (parakiya-vada).
SrilaVisvanathaCakravartiThakura has reconciled this. He has explained in
great detail how JivaGosvami is actually saying the
same thing as RupaGosvami. We understand SrilaJivaGosvami through the viewpoint of SrilaCakravartipada.
himself has clarified this in his commentary on Ujjvala-nilamani. There he
states that he was explaining something for the sake of unqualified persons who
could not understand the superiority of parakiya-rasa, but that his own
personal conclusion was the same as that of SrilaRupaGosvami.
In the same way, Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Pujyapada Srila
Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami
Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, and our Guru Maharaja Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are all in the same line. Outwardly, to some, it
may sometimes be seen that they have different opinions, but really this is not
so. Those who are not on their level see circumstantial, outward, and apparent
differences in opinion. In so doing, such persons may criticize one acarya and
glorify another – but wrongly, not understanding either of their actual moods
As quoted above from SrilaSarasvatiThakura's article, "The mere
pursuit of fixed doctrines and fixed liturgies cannot hold a person to the true
spirit of doctrine or liturgy." Or, stated otherwise, "You cannot be
my follower simply by quoting me to everyone."
D. SrilaSarasvatiThakura and raga-marga
As all bona fide acaryas have done, SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada has cautioned
conditioned souls not to imitate an advanced, raganuga devotee. At the same
time, he came to this world to inspire true raganuga-bhakti – and especially
rupanuga-bhakti – in their hearts. Srila Sarasvati Thakura is sri gauravani
murtaye, the embodiment of Mahaprabhu's teachings and mission. Mahaprabhu's
prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana
raga-marga bhakti loke karite
rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna
ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama
"The Lord's desire to appear
was born from two reasons: He 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 (raga-marga or raganuga-bhakti). Thus He
is known as supremely jubilant and as the most merciful of all." (Caitanya-caritamrta,
This mission is the same as that of SrilaSarasvatiThakura's father and spiritual
preceptor, SaccidanandaSrilaBhaktivinodaThakura. SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura writes in his
“The pure spiritual jiva’s
relationship with the material world is completely terminated when Sri Krsna wills. Until
this time, the jiva’s relationship with the material world can only tend toward
its eventual cessation (ksayonmukha). In the ksayonmukha stage, the jiva’s
intelligence attains freedom from matter to the extent of svarupatah jada-mukti
(bhava-bhakti), but not to the extent of vastutahjadamukti (prema-bhakti). When one attains
the stage of vastutah jada-mukti, the ragatmika-vrtti or mood of the
ragatmikas, is awakened in the pure jiva both in terms of his internal
spiritual identity (svarupa) and constitutional state (vastu). This
ragatmika-prakrti is the nature of the eternal residents of Vraja. The jiva who
in the ksayonmukha stage follows in the wake of the ragatmika nature is known
as raganuga, one who follows
the way of raga. This condition of raganuga should be ardently sought after by
“As long as this condition is absent, human
intelligence remains spontaneously attached to mundane objects." (Sri
Jaiva-dharma, Ch 3)
E. The Glory of SrilaPrabhupadaSarasvatiThakura
In this regard we present three classes given
by Srila Narayana Maharaja. The first is a discourse given in Vrndavana, India,
HIS LAST DAYS
knew that he would soon be going to his Master, and therefore he gave some
final instructions to his disciples. Our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana
Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, was there, as were Gosvami Maharaja, Bhakti Vilasa
Tirtha Maharaja and others.
"He told those in attendance, 'I am unhappy. I have
come for a mission – to give the things that Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu
came to give. He has ordered me to give the teachings of vipralambha (the mood
of separation) and gopi-prema. He ordered me to teach the reasons that He came
to this world, and to share His gifts.
"'However, most of my time was spent in cutting the
"jungles" of mayavada, sahajiya-vada, sakhi-bekhi and all other
non-devotional ideas. If there is a mayavada jungle, the seeds of bhakti will
not sprout. I therefore had to cut so many jungles, and still there are so many
jungles left throughout the world. Most of my time was spent in clarifying
"Saying this, his mood changed and his face became
reddish. Then he spoke the following verse:
tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise
["Obeisances to the direction
that faces Sri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction
playfully moves the edge of His garment, Lord Krsna, who cannot be attained by even the
kings of yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success." (Sri
Radha-rasa-suddha-nidhi, text 2)]
"SrilaPrabhupadaSarasvatiThakura then explained how Krsna
is obedient to SrimatiRadhika. He said, 'There is a nice
verse by SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami:
krama-krti-parihinam bibhrati tena
mitha iva parirambharambha-vrttaika-varsma
ksanam api mama radhe netram
Radha, who, without going anywhere else stays on the couch of amorous pastimes,
talking for a long time with Lord Krsna and embracing Him so strongly that Your
two forms appear to become one, please, for even a moment, delight my
eyes." (Sri Stavavali,
is very obedient to SrimatiRadhika. She is always full of
pride, because Krsna is Hers. She has madiya-mayi-bhava, which means that She
always thinks, "Krsna is Mine." Candravali has the mood of
tadiya-bhava: "I am Krsna's." Krsna is controlled by Radhika only,
because of Her madiya-bhava.
"'SrimatiRadhika is svadina-bhartrika. This
means Sri Krsna is controlled by Her. Svadina bhartrika is of two kinds: maitri
and sakhya. Madiya and tadiya are two parts of madhurya-rasa or paramour love,
and they are each divided into two parts: maitri-mood and sakhya-mood. When
love is slackened by sincerely requesting something, as in a prayer, that is
called maitri. When priti (love) becomes prominent and prayer becomes
secondary, that type of svadina-bhartrika is called sakhya. Candravali becomes
svadina-bhartrika with maitri as the prominent mood (bhava), whereas Radhika
becomes svadina-bhartrika with sakhya-bhava. At that time, Srimati Radhika can
order anything She likes from Krsna, and He will carry out those orders – He
will do so even if He gets a hint of an order. He will always be ready to carry
out an order, even if there is only a hint of it. Regarding Candravali's order
however, He will only carry out Her prominent orders; she must tell Him what
she wants. In this way, Radhika is most prominent among all the gopis.'
"Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
was ordered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to help all devotees understand that
Srimati Radhika is the most powerful among all the gopis, and that in order to
become Her dasi (maidservant), we will have to become rupanuga. Without being
rupanuga – without the guidance of Sri Rupa-manjari
– we cannot serve Radhika.
priya-narma sakhas (His most intimate of cowherd friends) like Subala and
Sridama are inclined towards SrimatiRadhika. They are pleased when
Radhika and Krsna meet. There are also some priya-narma-sakhas who facilitate
Candravali's relationship with Krsna, but PrabhupadaSarasvatiThakura was greatly inclined to SrimatiRadhika,
in favor of rupanuga. He was rupanuga. He wanted to distribute this idea of Sri CaitanyaMahaprabhu:
we want to be the servants of Sri Rupa-manjari,
so that we can serve Sri Sri Radha
and Krsna – not Candravali and others like her.
"SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada's idea was to preach
rupanuga-bhakti. Actually it was not to preach it, for rupanuga is not
preached. His idea was to inspire devotees for this service to SrimatiRadhika.
At the end of his manifest stay in this world, however, he told his followers,
'I could not do this, so I am unhappy. You should all gather and come under the
shelter of asraya-tattva (the principle of the pure devotee – the reservoir of
love for Krsna). Who is asraya-tattva? Guru is asraya-tattva. Living in such
shelter, you should serve the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha and Krsna under the
guidance of Sri Rupa-manjari.'
This was the root motive for all his activities – to give this to the
The following is excerpted from another class
by Srila Narayana Maharaja, given on PrabhupadaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura's
appearance day, February 21,
2003, in Olpe, Germany:
"His (SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada's) pranama-mantra
addresses him as gaura-vani sri-murtaye, the embodiment or personification of
gaura-vani, just as Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja is gaura-vani pracarine.
We must contemplate deeply to uncover the inner meaning of this. Gaura-vani
refers to that which Lord Gaura
(SacinandanaGaurahari) preached, and what He
inspired in the heart of SrilaRupaGosvami
– the glorification of the mood of the gopis and SrimatiRadhika.
"Sri Gauracandra told His associates, 'Oh
Nityananda, Oh Haridasa Prabhu, go from door to door and preach: bolo krsna,
bhaja krsna, karo krsna: chant the names of Krsna, worship Krsna and serve
Krsna.' This is gaura-vani.
"Gaura-vani is also what Sri
discussed with Sri RayaRamananda and Sri SvarupaDamodara
in the Gambhira, especially His hidden revelation of the meaning of the first
and last two verses of Sri Siksastakam.
is also the love and affection explained by SrilaRupaGosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu,
and Sri Lalita-Madhava.
"Our entire disciplic succession descended to this
world from GolokaVrndavana, and SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura
is one of the most prominent acaryas. If he had not come, CaitanyaMahaprabhu’s
mission would have turned into sahajiyaism, wherein all philosophy is
asat-sampradaya (outside any bona fide disciplic succession). If one is not
serving his Gurudeva, if he does not have strong belief in him and is not
following his line of thought, such a person is a sahajiya. This is taking
place nowadays. Because the actual message of our parampara is being preached,
such persons are somewhat stopped. But I do not know what will happen after I
leave this world. A very dangerous stage is coming.
"Many devotees left their Guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta
Swami Maharaja, and went to Radha-kunda. They wanted to remember
asta-kaliya-lila, the pastimes which Lord Krsna performs with His associates in the
eight periods of the day and night – not as gopis, but 'goopis' – and for this
offense they have gone to hell. They became 'babajis', keeping two, three, or
four widows, and they began to relish their so-called 'parakiya-bhajana.' They
wanted to jump over the authorized process; they did not want to practice
bhakti-yoga, the path of spiritual realization through devotional service to Lord Krsna. They wanted
to be gopis by paying two pennies to any bogus person who would 'give' them
siddha-deha (one’s perfected spiritual identity) and tell them, 'You are such
and such gopi.' Such cheaters give a name and other information about that
so-called gopi, and after some time their disciples imagine themselves absorbed
in Sri Sri Radha-Krsna's most confidential pastimes in the kunjas (secluded
forest groves). Do not go in that direction.
"Some persons of ill character who were rejected
from the GaudiyaMatha also go to Radha-kunda to
become babajis in that asat-sampradaya. Such loose-character and unqualified
persons imagine themselves absorbed in meditating on the asta-kaliya-lila of
Radha and Krsna in Their
and end-of-the-night pastimes. At those times Radha and Krsna meet alone in a
kunja, half naked and kissing each other. What will that 'meditator' think?
Material ideas will come to him. He is bound to see such pastimes as material,
and this is wrong.
pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna
are transcendental. Only saintly persons like Sri SukadevaGosvami
who was a brahmacari (a celibate, unmarried student) from his birth, Narada
Muni who is a liberated soul, or Lord Sankara
who is an ideal personality can properly think of asta-kaliya-lila.
"Offer obeisances to such pastimes and try to
practice bhakti-yoga as our predecessor acaryas have taught us. Begin from
the root of the tree, become qualified to climb, and then gradually reach the
top. At that time you can relish the fruits of the tree. Otherwise, you will
have nothing but false ideas. Try to follow SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura,
our Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja."
THE GIVER OF MADHURYA-BHAKTI
Based on an explanation of SrilaSarasvatiThakuraPrabhupada's
pranama mantra, Srila Narayana Maharaja gave a discourse on his appearance day.
This discourse was given in Singapore,
on the evening of February 13, 2001:
"This is the appearance day of Jagad-Guru Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and therefore we should discuss his glories.
"…Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale,
srimate bhaktisiddhanta-sarasvatiti-namine. In this pranama mantra it is
stated: bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati. SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura has given birth to the
murtiman-vigraha of bhakti-siddhanta, the personification of the doctrines of
bhakti. In BhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiThakura
there is all the knowledge that Krsna gave to Brahma, Brahma gave to Narada,
Narada gave to Vyasa, and thus, by disciplic succession, came through the
rupanuga Vaisnavas down to SrilaBhaktivinodaThakura
and SrilaGaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. All the
philosophical truths, of the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other scriptures, were
embodied in SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiGosvamiThakura. If any person came to
argue philosophy with him, that person was at once defeated and was bound to
accept all his teachings.
"Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale. He
was very near and dear to Krsna – very near and dear – in that male form. But
who is he really? In the second sloka of his pranama mantra it is stated: sri
varsabhanavi-devi-dayitaya. He is really the eternal maidservant of SrimatiRadhika.
He is so very dear to Radhika in his form as Nayana-manjari. As Mahaprabhu's
associate he is BhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiGosvami,
and as the associate of Radha-Krsna Conjugal he is Nayana-manjari. What is the
meaning of the name Nayana-manjari? As one's eyes are very dear to one,
Nayana-manjari, who is the personification of the eyes of Srimati Radhika, is
so near and dear to Her. She is always serving SrimatiRadhika.
has two forms. One form is as CaitanyaMahaprabhu's associate, not only
in this world but also in GolokaVrndavana, in Svetadvipa. And, in
Vrndavana also, as Nayana-manjari she serves SrimatiRadhika.
You have seen in SrilaRaghunatha dasa Gosvami's
Vilapa-kusumanjali how the manjaris serve Radha-Krsna Conjugal. Nayana-manjari
serves Them in those same ways.
"… Krpabhdaye. He is not called an ocean of mercy
only because he gave us harinama. He gave so much more. He brought GolokaVrndavana.
He brought the love and affection of the gopis to this world. If he had not
brought all these things, we would never have heard of them. He is therefore an
ocean of mercy.
"…Krsna sambandha-vijnana dayine prabhave namah. In
this world we have a relationship with our father and mother and our immediate
family. We think, 'She is my mother, he is my father, and he is my brother.'
But we are not satisfied with that. We want to be a husband or wife, girlfriend
or boyfriend. But still we are not satisfied.
"From where have these relationships come? They come
from GolokaVrndavana. There is actually only one
relationship – with Krsna. He is not a father there. He is like a friend, like
a baby, or like a beloved. In the constitutional form of our soul, there is a
relationship with Krsna. We have now forgotten this due to Maya, but we have a
relationship. All the relationships of these bodies are false and temporary.
They remain only for some days, but the relationship in our constitutional form
"We want love. We want something. We first loved our
mother, then our father, then our brothers, then other relatives, and then our
neighbors. But we were never satisfied. Then we collected wives or husbands,
and when we were not satisfied, we got divorced and changed the old ones for
new ones. But still we were not satisfied. You cannot be satisfied. No
one can ever be satisfied. When you meet with Krsna and serve Him, then you
will be satisfied. This is a transcendental relationship, and this relationship
is given by Guru. Prabhupada gave this, and this relationship will be
forever. It was for this end that he gave the mantra 'klim krsnaya govindaya.'
"Madhuryojjvala premadya sri rupanuga bhaktida. He
explained all these truths. He actually came only to give this
madhuryojjvala-prema, this gopi-prema, which SrilaRupaGosvami has written about in his
books and which CaitanyaMahaprabhu came to this world only
to give. 'Krsna is our beloved' – he came to give this and nothing else.
has written in his articles: 'I came only to give this, but my whole time was
spent in cutting jungles.' Pujyapada Srila Swami Maharaja also did this in
Western countries. He came to this world to give love and affection for Krsna,
but to whom could he give it? He was preaching to unqualified people, and
therefore he wanted to make a platform for this love, by cutting the jungles of
atheist and mayavada misconceptions. He thus fertilized the field by plowing
and cutting jungles, and most of his time went in this. He could not preach as
he wanted, but he stored so many deep truths about gopi-prema in his books.
also did this. In Radha kunda, in his last days, he said that if anyone is only
cutting jungles, cutting the arguments of mayavadis and so on, and not
accepting the mood of the gopis as taught by RupaGosvami,
not worshiping Radha-Krsna Conjugal, not following the line of RupaGosvami,
then even their chanting will not be sufficient to help them. After some time
they will become weak and give up all devotional practices. Then they will
become nirvisesavadis and mayavadis, as so many are now becoming.
"Sri rupanuga bhaktida. SrilaPrabhupada
descended to this world, and all our disciplic acaryas also came, only for
preaching this rupanuga Vaisnavism. But they had so little time.
the beginning, therefore, I was very alert to avoid cutting jungles – because
our guru-varga had already cut them down. I considered that I must do something
affirmative. I therefore accepted this and I preached it from the beginning.
Now, however, coming to the Western countries I began to think, 'To whom shall
I tell this?' Now I also have to cut down some jungles. When I am in Vrndavana
or Navadvipa, however, I mainly speak about the high class of sweet pastimes of
CaitanyaMahaprabhu and Radha and Krsna.
"So SrilaPrabhupada was like an ocean of
madhuryojjvala-prema. He wanted to distribute it, and he distributed it. If he
did not, then from where have we collected these things? All glories to SrilaBhaktisiddhantaSarasvatiPrabhupada.
All glories to all his associates. All glories to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
Maharaja. All glories to all the assembled devotees."
IN REPLY TO THE VIDEO/DOCUMENTARY STATEMENTS
Paderborn, Germany, April 2006, Srila Narayana
Maharaja was presented with the video/documentary statements 1 and 2, and
"You should know that when they were doing Vraja
Mandala parikrama at Radha-kunda, SrilaPrabhupada
gave a talk which is quoted in The Gaudiya. He said, 'Up until now I have spent much of my time cutting the
jungles of mayavada and all other philosophical misconceptions. But you should
not think that my hari-katha is only up to there. I want to tell you that what
our Gosvamis have described, what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu enacted in the
Gambhira, what Mahaprabhu discussed with Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodara,
Rasa-lila and other related topics are the main objective of our life. Don't
think that defeating mayavada philosophy is my main preaching. Try to come to
We pray that this repetition of our
worshipful acaryas' statements will be pleasing to them, so that they may
mercifully bless the entire community of aspiring Vaisnavas with a greater
level of clarity, forgiveness, harmony and respect for each other.