Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja at the Jhulelal Mandir

Jaipur, September 19-24, 2003
By Krsna Vallabha dasi

Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja just completed his preaching in Jaipura from September 19-24, and for that one week about a hundred Western devotees as well as 500 Indian devotees felt elated by hearing his wonderful hari-katha. He gave two morning classes at the Jhulelal Mandir and then gave classes on Lord Ramacandra at the Hanuman Temple for the rest of the week. The Hanuman Mandira is in a very peaceful and wealthy area, and many educated and devoted residents of Jaipura came to hear his descriptions of Sri Rama-lila. Srila Maharaja spoke especially to the residents of the locality, who are very devoted to Lord Rama.

The Western devotees were lavishly hosted by the Jaipur devotees, in particular Nandana Prabhu (Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja's younger brother) and Santos Prajpot, who bent over backwards to take care of their needs. On the evening we arrived Srila Maharaja came directly to our darmasala for a short darsana, and to give us a report of his overwhelmingly successful preaching in Jammu. He told us that he was on television and in the newspaper every day and numerous books were distributed.

At one house program Srila Maharaja spoke about the superiority of Sri Krsna over the demigods like Lord Siva and Sri Hanuman. He first told the history of Yajnavalkya Rsi and his two wives. Yajnavalkya Rsi was the guru of Janaka Maharaja. After living in household life for many years he asked his wives for permission to go to the forest to renounce the world. His first wife gave him the permission, appreciating that her husband had given her all that she could ever ask for, and grateful that he was also going to divide his wealth between his wives before going to the forest.

The second wife wanted to ask one question. She said that her husband had surely given her wealth, children, and other riches, but can anyone actually become happy by having all these things? If they can make one happy, why would he be leaving them now? Yajnavalkya Rsi was very happy with the second wife, as nobody had ever asked him this question. It is actually impossible to become happy in this way. In this world everybody loves gold only because of the benefit it can give us, and similarly everything else in this world is loved only because of its value – nobody loves anything for its own sake.

Srila Maharaja said that he has come to give us the instruction that this material world is like a jail, and nobody can be happy in it. He said that only those who do bhajana of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna can be happy, and that we cannot do bhajana or anything else such as dancing or playing harmonium by our own mind. We need to learn from a sat-guru.

He told a story to illustrate the supremacy of Lord Krsna. Once during the British rule, the worshippers of Lord Krsna and Lord Siva were having a fight. They filed a court case to see whose deity is superior. Each party brought a picture of their deity to the judge, who was a Christian. He said that in the picture of Lord Siva he is meditating on somebody so he cannot be supreme. On the other hand, Sri Krsna is playing the flute and grazing the cows so He must be supreme.

The worshipers of Lord Siva generally want material benefit from their worship, and on the other hand it is thought that Krsna takes all material things away from those who worship Him. In fact, Lord Siva is sitting with no possessions; so his worshipers should follow him! The ashes on his body are from a crematorium ground. This is to remind us all that we will die, and that we cannot take anything with us at that time. All that is left will just be ashes.

Srila Maharaja made the point that we should begin performing bhajana when we are very young. If we think that "we will start tomorrow", we will keep putting it off and then we will die. One should not think that he will have to give up everything to engage in bhajana, or have to pay anything. One can chant Hare Krsna morning, noon and night, while working and cleaning. Srila Maharaja requested everyone to put Tulasi beads on their necks and to chant the Hare Krsna mantra. He gave his guarantee that all would become happy and all dangers and problems would go away.

In the evening classes, Srila Maharaja spoke about Rama-lila in a wonderful and sweet way. Rama is called Maryada-Purusottama, which means that he established, by his own example, the ideal way to follow rules and regulations and observe social etiquette. He teaches us how to follow such good behavior as obeying the orders of our parents – if the parents are religious. Our guru is also our mother and father, and we should obey him in an ideal way, as well as obeying scriptures such as Sri Upadesamrta.

Srila Maharaja explained that although Sri Rama appears as the son of Dasaratha Maharaja in the ksatriya class, he is Bhagavan and above all castes. In the same way the Vaisnavas do not belong to any caste. He told the lila of Rama beginning from the marriage of Dasaratha Maharaja to Kaikeyi, to Rama’s killing the demons Marici and Taruka, to the way in which Rama and Laksmana served Visvamitra Rsi, the svayamvara ceremony of Sita-devi, the marriage of Sita and Rama, Rama’s going to the forest in exile, and the passing away of his father.

He explained also that love does not exist in this material world between physical bodies. In English there is no proper word for "prema," pure love and affection for the Supreme, but in Sanskrit there are so many ways to express all stages of prema from its smallest particle, sraddha, to madanakya-mahabhava. Love is possible only between the soul and Supersoul. If one doesn’t have atma-jnana, knowledge of the soul, he cannot understand the love between Lord Rama and Bharata, or between Sri Krsna and the gopis. We can get this atma-jnana only from guru.

Under the guidance of Vaisnavas, the devotees went to several holy places in Jaipura. Many attended Sri Radha-Govinda and Sri Radha-Gopinatha’s mangala-aratika, had darsana of Sri Radha-Damodara and Srila Lokanatha Svami’s Sri Radha-Vinoda, heard the glorification of these deities, and honored Their mahaprasada. These deities are the original deities worshiped by the Gosvamis of Vrndavana, and who later moved their residence to Jaipur because of the invasion of the Muslim ruler.

We also saw Srila Jayadeva Gosvami's original Radha-Madhava deities in their temple in Kanak Vrndavana, heard hari-katha, and sang the song "Lalita Lavanga" from Srila Jayadeva’s Gosvami's Gita-Govinda. After this we went to Galta Gadi, which is the place of Galab Rsi who did tapasya so that the holy river Ganges would appear there. Now, all are able to bathe in the Ganges at this place. This is also the place where Sri Baladeva Vidyubusana defeated the arguments of the members of the Ramanuja Sampradaya so that there would be no confusion regarding the worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna together. He also proved the authenticity of our Sri Gaudiya Sampradaya by writing the commentary of Vedanta Sutra called Govinda Bhasya.

Editorial advisors: Pujyapad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Written by: Krsna Vallabha dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typists: Vasanti dasi and Anita dasi