Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Excerpted from: Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja's Nectar Sprinkles on Australia]

Now we shall continue our discourses from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Yesterday I recited one sloka from the mangalacaranam of Krsna-karnamrta by Srila Bilvamangala Thakura:

cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me
siksa-gurus ca bhagavan
lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayasrih

All glories to Cintamani and my initiating spiritual master, Somagiri. All glories to my instructing spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who wears peacock feathers in His crown. Under the shade of His lotus feet, which are like desire trees, Jayasri [Radharani] enjoys the transcendental mellow of an eternal consort. [C-c, Adi-lila: 1.57]

Here he first offers his pranamas to Cintamani who directed him towards Krsna.

He then offers pranama to his diksa-guru, Somagiri.

Cintamani also means that the guru is cintamani (touchstone), because he gives us Krsna. And Krsna is actually also his siksa-guru. How beautiful this siksa-guru is, with peacock feathers in His crown, with three-folds on His neck and on His abdomen, and with a three-fold bending form. He sings so sweetly. His lotus feet are kalpa-vrksa, wish-fulfilling trees.

His feet are like soft leaves (pallava) and His toenails shine very beautifully.

The tips of His toes are more beautiful than the rays of the moon (candrakirana).

The rays of His toenails are very fragrant. Lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayasrih. Jayasri means Srimati Radhika.

She gives Her heart, life and soul to Krsna. Offering Her life thousands of times over, She offers arati to the rays coming from His toenails, and by this She feels the same bliss as if it were Her svayamvara.

What is the meaning of svayamvara?

Devotee: A marriage ceremony where you choose your husband.

Srila Maharaja: Not quite. I will tell you about the svayamvara of Krsna. Once Draupadi met all the queens of Krsna-Satyabhama, Rukmini, Laksmana, etc.

at Kuruksetra. Draupadi asked the queens how they were so fortunate as to have gotten a husband like Krsna. Laksmana then told the story of how she became Krsna's wife. She was the darling daughter of a powerful king, who seeing her as an extremely beautiful and qualified girl, wanted to be sure to give her an equally qualified husband.

He placed a very high pillar in the earth and on the top of that he placed a spinning cakra. Above the cakra was an artificial fish. The king promised the hand of Laksmana to the one who, while looking down at a reflection of the fish in some water, could shoot the pupil in the eye of the fish with an arrow.

The world's champion archers were invited to attend: Krsna, Baladeva, Karna, Duryodhana, Jarasandha, Sisupala, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, Arjuna, and others.

Each was confident that he would marry the beautiful Laksmana. Bhisma also came; he was thinking that "if I will shoot that fish in its pupil, then this girl will be married to Duryodhana." However, everyone of these archers failed in his attempt.

Arjuna came forth very boldly, but his arrow only touched the tail of the fish.

Then Krsna stepped forward, and moved so swiftly that no one could see when He picked up His bow. He then shot the arrow and He pierced the pupil of the fish's right eye. Laksmana told Draupadi, "I became overjoyed, and my friends (sakhis) gave me a garland to place on my husband." To select a bridegroom from lakhs and lakhs 1 of suitors is called a svayamvara, a tradition in ancient India.

At Laksmana's svayamvara there were lakhs and lakhs of men who were the sons of kings (raja kumaras), and although they were very handsome and qualified, she had given her heart to Krsna, having heard His glories. When Krsna shot the eye of the fish, her face glowed with happiness, her hair stood on end, she trembled and began to fall as she gave a sidelong glance towards Krsna. And Krsna, Who is always searching for beautiful girls, glanced toward Laksmana. Receiving this glance, she became so overwhelmed that she could not raise her arms to place the garland on His neck. Her sakhis had to help her. She became so overjoyed that she lost external consciousness. This was the happiness of svayamvara.

Similarly, Srila Bilvamangala Thakura explained that Srimati Radhika becomes overjoyed to serve the rays coming from Krsna's lotus toenails. On the other hand, Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati, Srila Rupa Gosvami and the Vaisnavas in our disciplic line are not pleased to hear about Srimati Radhika serving Krsna.

Rather, they prefer that Krsna obtains His happiness by serving the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika. They want to see Krsna praying for this opportunity.

Who is Krsna? Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati writes: vamsi karannipatitam skhalitam sikhandam, bhrastam ca pitavasanam vrajarajasuno, yasya kataksasaraghata vimurchitasya, tam radhikapascirami kada rasena 2. Once, as Krsna was going to graze the cows, He saw Srimati Radhika in a beautiful grove peering at Him from the corner of Her eyes. Srimati's eyes were crooked, like a bow shooting arrows of prema. From this, Krsna lost control of Himself. His flute fell from His hands and His peacock feather fell from His head. He lost external consciousness and His body trembled. Seeing this, Madhumangala nudged Him and asked, "O friend, what are You doing? Nanda Baba, Yasoda maiya, and many elders are here. You can't behave like this in front of them." So Krsna immediately came to His senses. So Srila Prabodhananda Saarasvati is praying, "I want to serve this Srimati Radhika. Her veil, fragrant from contact with Her body, carries this fragrance to Krsna's nostrils, and upon taking it in, He loses all control."

The love and affection of Radhika is higher than that of Krsna. Although Srila Bilvamangala Thakura writes that Krsna is superior, those in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati desire that Srimati Radhika be always victorious over Krsna.

So Srila Bilvamangala Thakura is praying to Krsna, his siksa-guru. What kind of siksa-guru? Caitya-guru. In His pastimes, Krsna Himself comes as the siksa-guru.

For example, He became guru for Arjuna and the gopis. He is so merciful that prayers to Him will not go in vain. The first duty of the devotees is to have faith in Him. Srila Bilvamangala Thakura and Srila Rupa Gosvami are examples of those who possess such faith.

Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami often discussed the glories of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. On one such occasion, Srimati Radhika noticed that it was already midday and that they had not yet eaten. She came to them as a teenage girl (kisori) and said, "You have not prepared any foodstuffs today. Are you fasting? My mother has given me some milk, rice and sugar. You should make ksira for yourselves." But neither Srila Rupa nor Srila Sanatana had the time to make ksira, and so Srimati Radhika offered to make it for them. She brought some dry cow dung, and by Her mere desire a fire was manifested. In a moment She made very beautiful, tasteful ksira, presented it to Srila Rupa Gosvami and said, "Please offer this ksira to your worshipable Deity (ista-deva), then give some to your brother, and then take some yourself."

Now, Srila Sanatana Gosvami began to wonder Who the girl was. He questioned Rupa, "O Rupa, have you prayed to Radhika, requesting Her to come?" "No, I have not." "But She came and cooked for us. Taste this krsna-prasadam. It could only have been cooked by Her."

As they each took some ksira, they wept uncontrollably and cried out to Srimati Radhika, "Now You have disappeared, and our opportunity has gone. We did not offer obeisances or serve You. Instead, we have troubled You by having You cook for us." Then Srila Sanatana Gosvami told his brother, "Rupa, don't do anything like this in the future."

How marvelous their devotion is. Try to follow in their footsteps. Remembering pastimes such as this, we should try to serve the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.

Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja has explained that diksa-guru is the rupa of Krsna and siksa-guru is the svarupa of Krsna.

Although both are equal, sometimes siksa-guru may be superior, and sometimes diksa-guru may be, but all are liberated-uttama-adhikari.

Now he will explain Krsna's manifestation as bhakta:

isvara-svarupa bhakta tanra adhisthana bhaktera hrdaye krsnera satata visrama

A pure devotee, constantly engaged in the loving service of the Lord, is identical with the Lord, who is always seated in his heart. [C-c, Adi-lila: 1.61]

Diksa-guru and siksa-guru are non-different manifestations of Krsna.

Bhaktas are also not ordinary. They are the abode of Krsna. They are the asana (seat), vasana (clothing), and sayya (bed) for Krsna. Krsna can take rest in their hearts because their hearts are pure, free from worldly desires. In their hearts there are no sufferings or problems-as in the hearts of Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana. They don't want anything from Krsna. Therefore He can take rest in their hearts and sleep very peacefully. The hearts of jnanis, karmis, and yogis are full of material desires.

"O Krsna give me a very beautiful wife. O Krsna I have no son. O Krsna I want liberation (mukti)." But Krsna's pure devotees don't want anything for themselves. Their only desire is for their bhakti to increase-to serve Krsna more and more 3.

These six manifestations: Krsna, diksa guru and siksa guru, the devotees, the diverse energies, the incarnations, and the plenary portions, are all Krsna Himself, but manifested separately for His pastimes (vilasa). They are bheda and abheda-different and non-different. This is called acintya-bhedabheda-tattva.

Vadanti tat tattva-vidas, tattvam yaj jnanam advayam, brahmeti paramatmeti, bhagavan iti sabdyate. Krsnadasa Kaviraja is explaining who is Krsna. Please read from Swami Maharaja's purport.

Devotee reads: Text: "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth say that it is nondual knowledge and is called impersonal Brahman, localized Paramatma and the Personality of Godhead."

Purport: This Sanskrit verse appears as the eleventh verse of the First Canto, Second Chapter, of Srimad-Bhagavatam, where Suta Gosvami answers the questions of the sages headed by Saunaka si concerning the essence of all scriptural instructions. Tattva-vidah refers to persons who have knowledge of the Absolute Truth. They can certainly understand knowledge. [C-c, Adi-lila, 2.1]

Srila Maharaja: Narada, Vedavyasa, Brahma, Sankara, and Sukadeva Gosvami are all tattva-vit; they know the essence of the Vedic scriptures.

Devotee reads: They can certainly understand knowledge without duality because they are on the spiritual platform. The Absolute Truth is known sometimes as Brahman, sometimes as Paramatma and sometimes as Bhagavan.

Persons who are in knowledge of the truth know that one who tries to approach the Absolute simply by mental speculation will ultimately realize the impersonal Brahman, and one who tries to approach the Absolute through yoga practice will be able to realize Paramatma, but one who has complete knowledge and spiritual understanding realizes the spiritual form of Bhagavan, the Personality of Godhead.

Devotees of the Personality of Godhead know that Sri Krsna, the son of the King of Vraja, is the Absolute Truth. They do not discriminate between Sri Krsna's name, form, quality and pastimes. One who wants to separate the Lord's absolute name, form and qualities must be understood to be lacking in absolute knowledge. A pure devotee knows that when he chants the transcendental name Krsna, Sri Krsna is present as transcendental sound. . . .

Srila Maharaja: Yes. One thing you can remember:

yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane ekanta asraya kara caitanya-carane

"If you want to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam," he [Svarupa Damodara] said, "you must approach a self-realized Vaisnava and hear from him. You can do this when you have completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu." [C-c, Antya-lila: 5.131]

Do not try to know about spiritual life only from books. Everything is in Vedanta, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, and in the books of Swamiji; but the knowledge is under lock and key. A very powerful lock and key.

Because we are not so qualified we will not understand the meaning simply by reading. Yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane. There are two types of bhagavata-grantha-bhagavata (sastra) and bhakta-bhagavata (Vaisnavas). The grantha-bhagavata is under lock and key and the realized soul, bhakta-bhagavata will reveal its meanings.

By reading Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Swami Maharaja's books in the association of superior devotees, we can know their meaning and experience the ocean of rasa contained within them. Without the help of an advanced Vaisnava one may read these books many times and, as we have seen, still fall down. Why? Without proper association one is unable to take the essence.

Go to a bhakta-bhagavata. They are more merciful than Srimad-Bhagavatam, and under their guidance we can realize the mercy of Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Krsna.

Otherwise it is not possible.

Try to listen attentively, and take this into your heart. Those who know this tattva, like Narada, Vyasa, Sankara, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Srila Rupa Gosvami, etc. have concluded that nothing is separate from Krsna. Nothing is independent (svadhina). This is called advaya-jnana-tattva, and it is an essential fundamental truth.

Everyone is subordinate to Krsna-Baladeva and all other incarnations, all demigods and all living entities down to the ants and grass. Maya is also subordinate. The only one fundamental truth is Krsna, and all others are subordinate to Him. Is there a living entity in this world who is independent, in this or any other universe, or even in Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrndavana? No; only Krsna is independent.

All that we see is a manifestation of His power (kriya-sakti). Srimati Radhika is the power of Krsna, and Laksmi is the manifestation of Radhika. We jivas in this material world are also in Krsna, and this is called unity in diversity.

Those who are tattva-vit see this fundamental truth; that the Absolute Truth is Krsna. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja quotes this verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam [1.2.11]. Those with jnana see this Absolute Truth as Brahman. What is that Brahman? It is merely the perverted reflection of the rays of Krsna's toenail. It is without form, qualities, or pastimes. Paramatma is a part of Krsna's sat and cit potency. He is a small fraction of Krsna; He is not independent. So Krsna is called advaya jnana paratattva. Everything is in Him.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.

[Bhag. 1.3.28]

Krsna is that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Supreme Personality of Absolute Truth. Srimad-Bhagavatam and other sastras confirms this verse from Brahma-samhita: isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah, anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam. "Govinda, Krsna, is the cause of all causes. He is the primal cause, and He is the very form of eternity, knowledge and bliss." His manifestation is Baladeva Prabhu in Vraja. Baladeva Prabhu is non-different from Krsna. Only the color is different-one white, one black.

From Baladeva Prabhu, Mula Sankarsana, Maha Sankarsana, Maha-Visnu, Karanodakasayi, Garbhodakasayi, Ksirodakasayi, and Sesa have manifested.

So Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Absolute Truth, advents as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and His supreme power, Srimati Radhika, comes as Gadadhara.

After Krsna's pastimes at the end of Dvapara-yuga were completed, and He returned to His aprakat (unmanifest) Goloka Vrndavana, He began to think of the pure devotion that He wanted to distribute, even to the trees and creepers. Only Krsna would be able to give this. The yuga dharma, the religious principles for each age, can be given by Maha-Visnu (Advaita-Acarya), and this is His function, but He cannot give krsna-prema. Baladeva Prabhu also never gives it. He leaves it for Krsna to distribute. That very Krsna, who can give love and devotion to all, took the mood and color of Srimati Radhika, and became Sri Gauracandra. Why did He do this? Because His mercy is unparalleled and causeless. As the ocean of rasa, He wanted to taste the fulfillment of His three desires, and also bestow that krsna-prema, which had not been distributed to the jivas since the previous day of Lord Brahma.

anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah

May that 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 ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service. [C-c, Adi-lila: 1.4]

The meaning of this sloka is deep, and the complete causeless mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is within it. You should understand the essence of this sloka and become very beautiful, qualified devotees. Without understanding this properly, chanting Hare Krsna alone is not sufficient to receive the Lord's full mercy. By understanding this sloka the quality of your chanting will enhance. With a clear understanding of this sloka and its mood, we can focus internally while chanting-otherwise we will not be able to do so. Mayavadis also chant Hare Krsna, but they go to hell.

Karmis also chant, but with the desire to increase money, name and fame. But one who chants under the guidance of a highly qualified guru or Vaisnava will develop a high class superlative quality of chanting. Otherwise, this Name will fulfill your material desires, but bhakti will not come. Try, therefore, to understand the essence of these instructions.


1 A lakh is one hundred thousand.

2 From Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati Thakura.

3 Caitanya-caritamrta (adi-lila: 5.123) explains that Baladeva expands as the asana (seat), vasana (cloth), jara (vehicle or chariot), paduka (wooden shoes or sandals), chatra (umbrella), camara (fan), upavit (sacred thread), sayya (bed), and busana (ornaments) of Krsna or Visnu. Because bhaktas are manifestations of Baladeva Prabhu, they can also serve Krsna in these ways.

Nectar Sprinkles on Australia The Guru As Manifestation of Krsna/em>