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On Srila Narayana Maharaja's Gita-govinda

Documentary Statement 4 – in the form of a visual

Some visuals were shown along with the narrator's statement: "Sarasvati Thakura 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.

Response:

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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura 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 Jayadeva Gosvami, the original author of Sri Gita-govinda, along with Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami (the authors of Ujjvala-nilamani and Govinda-lilamrta respectively) also stand inadvertently condemned.

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. 

            The 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 them. 

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.]

 

Gosai.com/Krishna-talk statement:

It is quite misleading that the publishers have posed Srila Bhaktisiddhanta as having written that article expressly for Gita-govinda…

 

Our reply:

Sripad Narasingha 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada for the Foreword. The publishers wrote in the subtitle of that Gita-govinda Foreword, "From 'Sri Caitanya's Teachings' Chapter 14."  "Sri Caitanya's Teachings" is a compilation of articles by Srila Sarasvati Thakura, produced over half a century before the publication of Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition.

 

Gosai.com/Krishna-talk statement:

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 Gaudiya Matha publications over the decades.

 

Our reply:

The article used in the Foreword was published in chapter 14 of "Sri Caitanya's Teaching" by Sri Gaudiya Matha 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 "Sarasvati Thakura" as the words of Prabhupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, 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 Professor Sanyal. 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 Professor Sanyal'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.

Regarding Professor Sanyal's Harmonist article, Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 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.

 

Gosai.com/Krishna-talk statement:

The so-called 'Forward to Gita Govinda' is actually Professor Sanyal's article with a two paragraph add-on at the beginning taken from a lecture by Bhaktisiddhanta wherein he speaks briefly about Jayadeva Gosvami.

 

Our reply:

There was no add-on. There are clearly two separate parts of the Foreword. One part contains Srila Sarasvati Thakura's 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 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura on Gita-govinda." It is subtitled as follows: "The following discourse was delivered in 1932 on the eve of the 446th commemoration of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's appearance." Also, it is eight paragraphs, not two.

For the 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. There is another book, called "Sri Krsna Caitanya," and that is by Professor Sanyal. 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, "Krsna Caitanya," is approved and authoritative…It will help us a great deal because my spiritual master has given his approval to this book."

 

Gosai.com/Krishna-talk 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. To the contrary, in doing so, the publishers of Gita-govinda have entered the domain of the Sahajiyas and shown us their true colors.

 

Our reply:

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.

Regarding 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura'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."

Regarding 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. Srila Narayana 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, King Citraketu, 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission and pastimes. He also discusses the glories of the Lord's incarnations and of our predecessor acaryas on their respective appearance and disappearance days.

            Finally, he discusses the glory and topmost krsna-prema of the gopis and especially Srimati Radhika. 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 sadhana). 

 

 

C. Regarding the title "Unconventional Teachers"

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, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saravati Thakura 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura’s article, "The Killing of Putana" (printed in the January l932 edition of The Harmonist, or Sree Sajjanatoshani):

 

"The Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya, 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 to all.

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. Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada clearly regards preceptorial guidance as UNCONVENTIONAL and therefore not subject to the formulaic compression of the simplistic motto.

 Regarding the 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura himself.

            This 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 to Goloka Vrndavana.

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.

We 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, because Srila Sukadeva Gosvami 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.

Our Srila Prabhupada, a follower of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, 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 Caitanya-caritamrta, he 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 Srila Sarasvati Thakura himself, from his article that was printed as the Foreword of Srila Narayana Maharaja's edition of Sri Gita-govinda: "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."

Another example: Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami are always of the same opinion. Srila Jiva Gosvami is always under Srila Rupa Gosvami's guidance. Outwardly, externally, it sometimes seems that they have different opinions, but they are actually never of different opinions. It appears outwardly that Jiva Gosvami tried to establish svakiya-vada, the idea that Radha and Krsna or Krsna and the gopis are married, whereas Srila Rupa Gosvami clearly established that Sri Krsna and the gopis are paramours (parakiya-vada).

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has reconciled this. He has explained in great detail how Jiva Gosvami is actually saying the same thing as Rupa Gosvami. We understand Srila Jiva Gosvami through the viewpoint of Srila Cakravartipada. Moreover, Srila Jiva Gosvami 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 Srila Rupa Gosvami.

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 and siddhanta.

As quoted above from Srila Sarasvati Thakura'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. Srila Sarasvati Thakura and raga-marga 

 

As all bona fide acaryas have done, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 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 mission is:

 

prema-rasa-niryasa karite asvadana

raga-marga bhakti loke karite pracarana

rasika-sekhara krsna parama-karuna

ei dui hetu haite icchara udgama

 

"The Lord's desire to appear was born from two reasons: 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, Adi-lila 4.15)

 

This mission is the same as that of Srila Sarasvati Thakura's father and spiritual preceptor, Saccidananda Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes in his Jaiva-dharma:

 

“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 vastutah   jadamukti (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 the jivas.

“As long as this condition is absent, human intelligence remains spontaneously attached to mundane objects." (Sri Jaiva-dharma, Chapter 3)

 

E. The Glory of Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura 

                In this regard we present three classes given by Srila Narayana Maharaja. The first is a discourse given in Vrndavana, India, in 1991:

HIS LAST DAYS

                "Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu 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 philosophical points.'

            "Saying this, his mood changed and his face became reddish. Then he spoke the following verse:

 

yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-

dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani

yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano 'pi

tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise 'pi'

 

["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)]

 

            "Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura then explained how Krsna is obedient to Srimati Radhika. He said, 'There is a nice verse by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami:

 

"'smara-vilasita-talpe jalpa-lilam analpam

krama-krti-parihinam bibhrati tena sardham

mitha iva parirambharambha-vrttaika-varsma

ksanam api mama radhe netram anandaya tvam'

 

["O 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, Sri Prema-purabhidha-stotra, text 4)]

 

            "'Sri Krsna is very obedient to Srimati Radhika. 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.

            "'Srimati Radhika 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.

            "Sri Krsna's priya-narma sakhas (His most intimate of cowherd friends) like Subala and Sridama are inclined towards Srimati Radhika. They are pleased when Radhika and Krsna meet. There are also some priya-narma-sakhas who facilitate Candravali's relationship with Krsna, but Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura was greatly inclined to Srimati Radhika, in favor of rupanuga. He was rupanuga. He wanted to distribute this idea of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: 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.

            "Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada'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 Srimati Radhika. 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 world."

 

GAURA-VANI PRACARINE

                The following is excerpted from another class by Srila Narayana Maharaja, given on Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's appearance day, February 21, 2003, in Olpe, Germany:

           

            "His (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada'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 (Sacinandana Gaurahari) preached, and what He inspired in the heart of Srila Rupa Gosvami – the glorification of the mood of the gopis and Srimati Radhika.

            "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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu discussed with Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Svarupa Damodara in the Gambhira, especially His hidden revelation of the meaning of the first and last two verses of Sri Siksastakam.

"Gaura-vani is also the love and affection explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, Sri Vidagdha-madhava and Sri Lalita-Madhava.

            "Our entire disciplic succession descended to this world from Goloka Vrndavana, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is one of the most prominent acaryas. If he had not come, Caitanya Mahaprabhu’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 Gaudiya Matha 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 midnight 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.

The pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna are transcendental. Only saintly persons like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami 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 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, our Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja."

 

THE GIVER OF MADHURYA-BHAKTI

Based on an explanation of Srila Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada'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. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given birth to the murtiman-vigraha of bhakti-siddhanta, the personification of the doctrines of bhakti. In Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura 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 Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. All the philosophical truths, of the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other scriptures, were embodied in Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. 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 Srimati Radhika. He is so very dear to Radhika in his form as Nayana-manjari. As Mahaprabhu's associate he is Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, 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 Srimati Radhika.

            "Thus, Srila Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has two forms. One form is as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate, not only in this world but also in Goloka Vrndavana, in Svetadvipa. And, in Vrndavana also, as Nayana-manjari she serves Srimati Radhika. You have seen in Srila Raghunatha 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 Goloka Vrndavana. 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 Goloka Vrndavana. 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 is eternal.

            "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 Srila Rupa Gosvami has written about in his books and which Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world only to give. 'Krsna is our beloved' – he came to give this and nothing else.

            "Srila Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada 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.

            "Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura 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 Rupa Gosvami, not worshiping Radha-Krsna Conjugal, not following the line of Rupa Gosvami, 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. Srila Prabhupada descended to this world, and all our disciplic acaryas also came, only for preaching this rupanuga Vaisnavism. But they had so little time.

"From 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 Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krsna.

            "So Srila Prabhupada 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 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. 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

 

In Paderborn, Germany, April 2006, Srila Narayana Maharaja was presented with the video/documentary statements 1 and 2, and commented:

 

"You should know that when they were doing Vraja Mandala parikrama at Radha-kunda, Srila Prabhupada 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 this line.'"

 

 

 

 

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