Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year-1, Special On-line Edition
Posted: 14 October 2008
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Appearing in English for the first time
The Esoteric Meaning of Annakuta
by Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja
In the year 1949 Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, along with his god-brothers and disciples observed Kartika-vrata in Ayodhya.
On 22 October 1949, on the occasion of Annakuta-mahotsava, he delivered the following short discourse.
There is a mantra in the sruti that proclaims:
annam vai brahma
Food grain (anna) is identical to the supreme transcendental entity (brahma-vastu).
One must realize the meaning of sruti through vidvad-rudhi-vrtti*, a profoundly learned understanding of its direct meaning.
* The meaning of rudhi-vrtti is “direct or primary meaning”. When this term is further qualified by the adjective vidvad (learned) it becomes “the esoteric direct meaning”.
If we assume that this mantra simply indicates the superficial meaning of the word anna – food grain – it will only intensify our tendency to enjoy this world and maintain our aversion to Krsna, which is typical of conditioned souls like us. The food grain (anna) that is born of material nature can never be referred to as transcendental substance (brahma). Yet the foodstuffs that are offered to Sri Hari are “brahma-vat-nirvikaram hi yatha visnu-stathaiva tat – like brahma, devoid of any transformation; they are directly Sri Visnu Himself.”
The transcendental entity is certainly brahma, and in its form as sound vibration (sabda) it is received through the ears. For this reason it is known as sabda-brahma. Similarly, in the term anna-brahma from the above mantra, anna (food grain) can only truly mean hari-katha, for only hari-katha provides the soul with spiritual satisfaction and nourishment, dispelling the soul’s hunger. If we accept transcendental anna, or hari-katha, our soul will be enlivened as it blossoms into full maturity. This alone is the direct prasada, or mercy, of Bhagavan. We can make it our aim to accept hari-katha as our true bhagavat-prasada.
This anna in the form of hari-katha is certainly the Transcendental Entity (brahma), because hari-katha is directly Sri Hari. The perfect philosophical conclusions of the Vedic scriptures confirm that the meaning of the word brahma exclusively refers to Lord Visnu. The mahajanas of previous times along with our guru-varga, cause the jubilation of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda’s senses (go) to swell (vardhana) in ever-novel ways by making an anna-kuta, or mountain of anna in the form of hari-katha. They have worshipped Sri Sri Radha-Govinda in this way. Today on the auspicious day of Sri Govardhana-puja and the Annakuta-mahotsava, our sole activity is to glorify Sri Sri Radha-Govinda.
Sri Govardhana is the best of Sri Hari’s servants, hari-dasa-varya. Although Govardhana is asraya-vigraha, the abode of love for Krsna, devotees see him as visaya-vigraha, the object of that love, or Krsna Himself. The gandhaki-sila, or salagrama-sila, is directly worshipped as Sri Narayana. In the same way, the Govardhana-sila is worshipped as Krsna Himself. Govardhana-dhari (Sri Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana mountain) and Govardhana, are one and the same entity. Yet, that unmatched intense greed to please Krsna’s senses (go) known as krsna-kama or krsna-priti, which forever swells (vardhana) to new heights, is indeed Govardhana.
Instead of performing the worship of demigods like Indra or of demigoddesses, we must worship Govardhana in every way. These are truly the teachings of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika, Year 1, Issue 10, 1949
by the Rays of The Harmonist team