sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!
Year 3, Issue 9, Amāvasyā Special Edition
Posted: 6 October 2021
Dedicated to and Inspired by
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Māhārāja
A Mine of Valuable Instructions
A Written By
Appearing in English for the first time
Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅgau Jayataḥ
Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha
Kaṁsa-ṭīlā P.O. Mathurā
Accept my affectionate blessings. I hope that by the mercy of Śrī Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga you are well in every respect. I received both of your letters dated 17.10.94 and of 14.01.95. I couldn’t reply to your first letter timely, because right after receiving it, I had to go to Mumbai for a health check-up. The doctors in Mumbai said that my disease has intensified and that I need proper rest and medicine. So thereafter, I went to Purī to rest for one month. My journey to Purī was good. I walked by the sea shore for a short time daily, and after one month, my health became almost fine. I returned to Mathurā on the evening of 24.01.95. I am happy that I talked to you on phone. Now I am responding to your letter.
(1) You have asked about the glories of the month of Kārtika. In the month of Kārtika many pastimes of Kṛṣṇa took place:
(a) On the very first day of Kārtika, that is, on [Śāradīya-]pūrṇma, mahā-rāsa took place in Vaṁśivaṭa in Vṛndāvana, and the supremacy of Śrīmatī Rādhikā was established.
(b) In this Kārtika month, Mother Yaśodā bound Kṛṣṇa to a grinding mortar with the rope of her love. Prior to this, in any of His other manifestations, no one was able to bind Kṛṣṇa.
(c) In this month, Kṛṣṇa lifted Govardhana and crushed the pride of Indra.
(d) In this month, on the day of rāsa, after Kṛṣṇa disappeared, the gopīs attained the highest state of prema in separation.
(e) When He reappeared, the gopīs bound Kṛṣṇa with Rādhārāṇī’s veil, and thus He is known as Rādhā-Dāmodara. The significance of Rādhā-Dāmodara is greater than that of Yaśodā-Dāmodara. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has shown this higher mood in Śrī Rādhā-Dāmodara in Vṛndāvana [through his verse in Stava-mālā*].
aṅga-śyāmalima-cchaṭābhir abhito mandīkṛtendīvaraṁ
jāḍyaṁ jāguḍa-rociṣāṁ vidadhataṁ paṭṭāmbarasya śriyā
vṛndāraṇya-vilāsinaṁ hṛdi lasad-dāmābhir āmodaraṁ
rādhā-skandha-niveśitojjvala-bhujaṁ dhyāyema dāmodaram
His dark bodily luster eclipses a blue lotus, His brilliant yellow garments rebuke the radiance of golden kuṅkuma, He revels in pastimes within Śrī Vṛndāvana, His chest is beautified by a splendid ;vaijayantī ;garland, and His splendorous left hand rests upon the shoulder of Śrī Rādhā. I meditate upon that Śrī Dāmodara.
(f) In this very month Akrura brought Kṛṣṇa to Mathurā, and in this month, on the Caturadaśī of the waxing moon, Kṛṣṇa killed Kaṁsa. In this month He killed Vyomāsura and the Keśī demon. In this month, on Bahulāṣṭamī, Rādhā-kuṇḍa manifested. This month is the month of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. She is also called Kārtikeśvarī (the Goddess of the month of Kārtika), or Ūrjeśvarī. Ūrjeśvarī implies energy (ūrja), that is, potency (śakti). Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the topmost potency (śakti) of Kṛṣṇa. And Her manifestations are the hlādinī-śakti (bliss potency), prema-bhakti, which can captivate Kṛṣṇa.
(2) [Regarding your question about Govardhana…] Govardhana is a bhakta-avatāra, or sevaka-avatāra, of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa would perform most of His pastimes at Govardhana. Mānasī-Gaṅgā is a part of Govardhana where Kṛṣṇa would have the cows and His sakhas drink water, and He would also drink water here. He used to perform various sporting pastime with sakhīs here, especially the boat pastime in Mānasī-Gaṅgā. He performs pastimes with His sakhas and sakhīs in the various kuñjas of this Govardhana. Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa in this Govardhana are like his eyes. Kusuma-sarovara is also within Govardhana. The gopīs would come to meet with Kṛṣṇa there on the pretext of collecting followers. Govardhana arranges for drinking water, the cooling shade of beautiful and fragrant dense trees, various kinds of flowers and fruits, various kinds of groves, pasturing grounds and a multitude of sporting areas, thus serving Kṛṣṇa, the gopas, gopīs, cows, etc. in every way. Govardhana is therefore called sevaka-avatāra, or bhakta-avatāra. Moreover, in one way, Kṛṣṇa Himself assumed the role of a sevaka, and in other way, He assumed the form of Govardhana and performed pūjā-arcana and offered bhoga to Govardhana. Therefore, Govardhana is also known as a manifestation (avatāra) of Kṛṣṇa. However, the gopīs and the devotees accept Govardhana as bhakta-avatāra and pray to Govardhana as a devotee. And indeed, he fulfils their prayers.
(3) By performing parikramā of the temple, one is delivered from the bondage to material existence. When one enters family life at the time of marriage, one has to circumambulate the fire counterclockwise, but the parikramā of Bhagavān, the guru, the Vaiṣṇava, the temple and tulasī, is performed clockwise. By performing circumambulation counterclockwise, one becomes bound in saṁsāra, and in performing it clockwise, one attains deliverance from saṁsāra.
(4) Performing parikramā of the temple and having darśana of śrī vigraha have their respective specialties and glories. Still the fruit of having darśana of śrī vigraha is greater than the fruit of performing parikramā of temple. In His pastimes, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu proved this to Śrī Advaitācārya. Śrī mandira is His house, and śrī vigraha is He Himself. Darśana of Kṛṣṇa is superior to performing parikramā of His home. Darśana of śrī mūrti and praying to Him easily grants kṛṣṇa-prema. Also, the sādhaka attains greed for entering rāgānuga-bhakti.
(5) Śrī Govardhana parikramā is to be performed with the aspiration of having darśana of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. At the time of parikramā, high class sādhakas search for Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in each and every kuñja. By performing Śrī Govardhana parikramā in this way, one attains his mercy and thus achieves prema, which in turn grants darśana of Kṛṣṇa.
(6) The word aiṁ is used for guru. Just as the word auṁ (oṁ) contains the letters a, u and m, similarly in aiṁ, guru gives pleasure to Kṛṣṇa or Krsnā (Rādhikā) or to both of them. This meaning is confidentially embedded in aiṁ. Everything related to guru-tattva is within aiṁ in a seed form.
(7) After sannyāsa, Mahāprabhu went to Jagannātha Purī. He wanted to go to Vṛndāvana, but Yogamāyā didn’t allow Him go to Vṛndāvana and instead sent Him to Purī. The mystery behind this is that if Mahāprabhu had gone to Vṛndāvana, the stimuli (uddīpana) there would not let Him keep hidden the fact that He is Kṛṣṇa, and His identity as Kṛṣṇa would have been revealed to all. Therefore, He concealed His moods for the welfare of the world and to relish rādhā-bhāva, He did not come to Vṛndāvana but went to Purī. It was not possible for Him to relish rādhā-bhāva in Vṛndāvana, as the mood of Kṛṣṇa would have manifested there.
Previously, when I wrote, I addressed you as āp [the respectful form of the pronoun “you”], you did not seem to be comfortable with that], so from now onwards, I will address you as tum [the informal form of the pronoun “you”].
You want to serve me in every way with your body, mind and words, and indeed you are doing so also. One’s mood should be like this and one should also have this same mood towards Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. What service can we sādhakas actually render Them? Nevertheless, such a mood should be maintained. When you return after completing your studies, we can ascertain through an exchange of thoughts what you have to do next: stay at home, reside in the maṭha, preach etc. We can decide at that time in consideration of your state of mind and disposition, how you can render maximum service to Bhagavān and perform sādhana-bhajana, along with earning a livelihood.
Your parents, Śrī Tamāla-Kṛṣṇa dāsa and Sucitrā devī, have given me the money you sent. Whatever finances for service you send from time to time helps somewhat towards book publications. For now you can continue with such service, as I hope more books will be published in the coming days.
Bhakti Rasāyana has just been published. Nectar of Govinda-līlā and Going Beyond Vaikuṇṭha have already been published. The next book is already at press. Veṇu-gīta is almost ready to go to the press. The manuscripts for Śrī Manaḥ-śikṣā, Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam and Updeśāmṛta are also near completion. As soon as time permits and finances arranged, we will try to publish them.
What else? The rest is all well. You again accept my affectionate blessings. Reply as soon as you receive this letter.
Your ever well-wisher,
Śrī Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa