Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
San Francisco, California: June 14, 2007
[While Srila Narayana Maharaja was residing in San Francisco from June 12 14 (before his Bhakti-yoga Festival began on the 15th), he regularly took morning walks chanting his japa and also speaking with devotees. Then, upon returning from the walks, he gave a daily ten minute audience (called darsana) in his room, at which time he answered the devotees questions. The following is a transcript of one morning darsana:]
Offering flowers to Sri Sri Radha and Krsna before sitting on the couch for darsana
[Sripad Nemi Maharaja:] The first time you came to Western countries, you said that when devotees chant japa (chanting Hare Krsna on beads), they can divide their meditation into four parts one part remembering Vraja Mandal parikrama (visiting the holy places in Vrndavana where Krsna performed His transcendental pastimes)....
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] This instruction is for general persons. Those who have just begun chanting can remember Vraja Mandal parikrama. They can perform parikrama of Govardhana and Vrndavana in their minds, and they can offer flowers to all the Deities there. Those who are higher will meditate on the pastimes corresponding to Sri Krsnas different names.
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
[The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full timetwenty-four hours a dayin nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service. (Nectar of Instruction, verse 8)]
While chanting the name of Krsna, the name of Damodara, the name of Govinda, or the name of Gopinatha, they will remember the sweet pastimes of that Deity. When chanting the name of Govinda, what sweet pastimes should we remember? We should remember His rasa-dance with the gopis. What is the meaning of Gopinatha? The special feature in the rasa-dance is that Krsna is controlled by the gopis, and He is begging for their love.
It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.32.22):
na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
[I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.]
Krsna tells the gopis, I cannot repay you. This is Gopinatha.
Sri Krsna as Madan-mohan is very beautiful. He is the son of Yasoda and Nanda Baba, and the Cupid of cupids. One can remember that Mother Yasoda was trying to bind Him, and He was weeping. This is Madan Mohan. In this way we should remember Him.
Those who are more advanced can remember Sri Krsnas asta-kaliya-lila (His pastimes throughout each 24-hour period), and those who are still higher can remember something more. It is not that there is one instruction or meditation for all. Devotees should remember according to their gradation and qualification in bhakti (devotion).
[Savitri dasi (introducing a young man):] He is from Belgium. I met him yesterday at the laundry shop and spoke to him. He is doing meditation and yoga, and he understands the philosophy.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja (to the young man):] Can you meditate on my father?
[Young man:] I dont understand what you are saying.
[Srila Madhava Maharaja:] Gurudeva is asking if you can meditate on his father.
[Young man:] No.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Then how can you meditate on the Supreme Lord? Have you seen him?
[Young man:] No.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] In this Iron-age of Kali-yuga (the age of quarrel and hypocrisy),* begin from chanting the names of the Supreme Lord. Sri Krsna will then give you a glimpse of a vision of Him, and then you can meditate on Him. In Kali-yuga there is no possibility of meditation at first. It comes last.
Do you know a black boy, playing on His flute with His cows and friends in Vrndavana?
[Young man:] No.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja (to Savitri dasi):] You should explain all these truths to him. Teach him how to meditate and how to chant and remember.
Without chanting, you cannot be happy at any time in your life. Do you know who has created you? Who has given you intelligence?
[Young man:] Nature.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] No; not nature. Why has nature not given the same intelligence to animals as He has given you? The Supreme Lord is very merciful. You can chant His name, then meditation will come, and gradually you will develop.
Gaura premanande hari hari bol!.
Editorial Advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja, Sripad Brajanath dasa, and Sri Prema Prayojana dasa
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Proof-reader: Krsna-kamini dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
kalav asmin yuge janah
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah
O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.11)
kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet
My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.51)
krte yad dhyayato visnum
tretayam yajato makhaih
kalau tad dhari-kirtanat
Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Visnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvapara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.52)