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[For the readers' ease – 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 Appreciation to the documentary statements will be in normal text.]


On Gita-govinda

Documentary Statement 2

"Sarasvati Thakura also did not allow his disciples to read such books as Gita-govinda, Ujjvala-nilamani or Govinda-lilamrta." 

Appreciation:

Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura 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.

 

A. Srila Sarasvati Thakura 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu’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:

 

"Sri Jayadeva Gosvami, the court poet of the Sena dynasty, has welcomed the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the auspicious invocation of Sri Gita-govinda (1.1):

 

'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 Yamuna River, 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.

 

"Sri Pujari Gosvami’s commentary on the above verse does not disclose the picture in its entirety. Here, Sri Jayadeva Gosvami has also revealed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura's articles, and it is a beautiful glorification of Srila Jayadeva Gosvami's work. In the Foreword, the writing is entitled "On Eroticism – Sacred & Profane":

 

"The 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 association. 

"The 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.

"The 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.

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu 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.

"…The 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.

"The 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu. 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.

            "Sri Radhika is not specifically mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But in the description of the Circular Amorous Dance, the rasa 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.

"But 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu, 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.

"This explanation offered by the Gosvamis is not opposed to the open treatment of the same subject by Sri Jayadeva Gosvami 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 Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Kaviraja Gosvami 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 the subject.

"Sri Sukadeva’s 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 culture.

 

C. From the Introduction to Srila Narayana Maharaja's translation and commentary of Sri Gita-govinda

Eligibility for reading Gita-govinda

"To 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.

"Some 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.

"The revered Jayadeva Gosvami 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.'

"Although Sri Jayadeva 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 Jayadeva Gosvami?

"The revered Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja 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.

"How many people can understand the depth of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja’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.

"The 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 10.8).'

"On 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.

"…Even amongst these great compositions, the excellence of Jayadeva Gosvami’s Sri Gita-govinda is unsurpassed.

"…The 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 Jayadeva Gosvami is the superlative devotional practitioner (sadhaka) and perfected spiritualist (siddha), with complete mastery of all Vedic wisdom.

"The 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.'

"…Svayam 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.'

"In these verses, Sri Krsna describes the characteristics of the genuine candidates for transcendental realization after first defining the disqualifications. Sri Jiva Gosvami 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 Sanatana Gosvami 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

"Sri Jayadeva Gosvami 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.

"…Therefore, although Sri Gita-govinda is a poetic composition, it is simultaneously the embodiment of the essence of all the Vedas. Sri Jayadeva Gosvami 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

"It is not by chance that Sri Jayadeva Gosvami 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 Vedas:

 

tasmad gurum prapadyeta

jijnasuh sreya uttamam

sabde pare ca nisnatam

brahmany upasamasrayam

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.21)

 

"'To know the Absolute Truth, one must take shelter of a perfect Guru who is fixed in devotion to the Absolute.' When Sri Suta Gosvami 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 Jayadeva Gosvami 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 Sukadeva Gosvami replied:

 

anugrahaya bhaktanam

manusam deham asthitah

bhajate tadrsih krida

yah srutva tat-paro bhavet'

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.36)

 

"'Sri 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.'

"Maharsi Vedavyasa was moved by compassion to write it down for the benefit of all, and the topmost devotee Sri Sukadeva Gosvami was also moved by compassion to preach it throughout the world. After that, the best of poets, Sri Jayadeva Gosvami, also mercifully reproduced it in the form of an even sweeter poetic composition.

"Now I 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,

Tridandibhiksu Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana." 

 

D. Srila Sarasvati Thakura did not prohibit his faithful disciples 

The narrator of the documentary stated, "Sarasvati Thakura 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 Aranya Chedini," 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura and said this for all his disciples or for all time.  

            Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada discusses the glories of Sri Gita-govinda in his purports on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi-lila 13.42):

 

            "One of his [Srila Jayadeva Gosvami'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."

 

            Srila Narayana Maharaja commented on Sri Gita-govinda in a lecture in Badger:

 

"Sri Gita-govinda is a 'jewel book' brought by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We all know that Sri Jayadeva Gosvami 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu 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 19, 2003)

 

            How will people come to understand? Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami 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:

 

"At 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu 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 heart.'

            "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, Srila Narayana Maharaja)

 

            Verses from Sri Gita-govinda are quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and translated by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

 

"In 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. Ramananda Raya 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 loving affairs.

"Although 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 30)

 

"Krsna 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)

 

"A 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)

 

"As 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, Srila Prabhupada 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 Raya Ramananda Samvada. According to Sripad Narasingha Maharaja's Introduction, this book was written by Srila Prabhupada, 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.  

            Our Srila Prabhupada 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."]:

 

"Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments in this connection that such feelings of separation as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu enjoyed from the books of Vidyapati, Candidasa and Jayadeva are especially reserved for persons like Sri Ramananda Raya and Svarupa Damodara, 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu. 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 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.

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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura 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 Sri Radha-Krsna's confidential pastimes. (Srila Prabhupada 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 Srila Prabhupada  

                Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja wrote at the very end of his Caitanya-caritamrta commentaries:

 

"I 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.

"I do 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

"It is 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."

 

 

 

 

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