śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year 10, Issue 2
Posted: 17 March 2017
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Śrī Vyāsadeva - Part Three of Three
[Delivered by Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda on his 59th birthday, at Avidyaharaṇa Naṭya-mandira, Śrīdhāma Māyāpura 15 February, 1933]
[This is the third and final part in this series. The highlighted sections were found in an earlier version than what we have published before. The comparison is fascinating in its own right, and perhaps suggests that previously, some disciples couldn’t bare to publish certain passages out of humility and profound adoration for Śrī Gurudeva.]
We shall be enabled to realize our lasting good if only we place ourselves wholly under the protective guidance of Śrī Vyāsadeva. Note in particular a verse from one of the Upaniṣads that tells of having vision of the Golden Lord: “yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇam – The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, appears in a form the colour of molten gold (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.1.3).” Our lasting good will be the repercussion of learning to view that unlimited Entity by means of transcendental service, which links us to Him, engaging our thoughts in Him and seeking to attain knowledge of Him in loyal pursuance of the teachings of Śrī Vyāsa.
In the act of listening to discourses about the transcendental entity, the faculty of hearing will expand and acquire new powers. The transcendental word chanted by Devarṣi Nārada made His way into the cavity of Śrī Vyāsadeva’s ear. He was thus enabled to have a vision of the Absolute Personality. Under the influence of the domineering aptitude that prevails in this mundane world, we adopt the cults of hero-worship and apotheosis on the one hand, or, on the other hand, we become anthropomorphists, zoomorphists and the like.* By being infected with these respective modes of thought, Godhead will surely reveal Himself to us in just the way we chose to embellish Him.
* Apotheosis refers to declaring a mortal man to be God or a god, and conversely, anthropomorphism in this context indicates the tendency to mistake God as a mortal man (or animal as with zoomorphism).
If we abuse the prerogative of human life, if we choose to consider ourselves to be on an equal footing with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, then we shall fall into the snare of delusion and be consigned to perdition. The consequence of conceitedly supposing oneself to be master in one’s own right has been analyzed by Śrī Vyāsadeva in the verses “ye ’nye ’ravindākśa – those who approach the platform of liberation egoistically claim to be liberated, but they fall down again by neglecting the lotus feet of the Lord” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.2.32), “jñāne prayāsam – one should give up trying to know Godhead through the empirical process” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.3), and “śreyaḥ-śṛtiṁ bhaktim – the effort of cultivating knowledge that is devoid of bhakti is as useless as beating empty husks of grain” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.4). We are truly benefited by listening attentively to these discourses of his.
“Without any delay, Godhead enters the heart of one who constantly and faithfully hears and chants the narrations of His transcendental activities.” Our real good is assured if we have the good fortune to hear the word of Godhead at the lotus-feet of śrī guru. The divine master constantly chants the word of Godhead. He has no other function.
It is imperative that we listen to and accept the word chanted by śrī guru and yet, even after we have been enabled to receive the word issuing from the lotus lips of śrī guru, we still cannot retain Him for He tends to be eclipsed if He is not chanted to others. If we busy ourselves in any unnecessary pursuit by abstaining from chanting the word received from śrī gurudeva, we lose our connection to the eternal entity and render ourselves fit for welcoming sorrow.
tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
A person is entitled to the treasure of serving the lotus feet of Godhead, who redeems us of our worldly bondage, if he lives with his heart, speech and body submitted to Him and if, through his good vision, he truly sees the Mercy of Godhead in the sufferings he faces, which were brought about by his own deeds.
This śloka is found in the Bhāgavatam. May all of you be pleased to come to the samādhi of the lotus feet of my śrī guru on the bank of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa, where we may listen to the meaning of this śloka.
(The author, followed by the audience, then made his way to the samādhi. After circumambulating and prostrating himself before the samādhi three times, he proceeded with his discourse as follows):
There is no other way of being delivered from this world. Whatever Godhead does is for our good. We can be redeemed if we behold His mercy in every event and in every activity. But if we notice any defect in His work, or realize any cruelty therein, it is sure to result in evilness and difficulty.
All my difficulty is due to the fact that I happen to be engrossed in activities other than serving Śrī Kṛṣṇa. If my taste for serving Śrī Kṛṣṇa truly increases day by day, then I shall be blessed indeed. He who engages us in activities of this nature is certainly śrī gurudeva. The line of genuine gurus consists only of persons who are loyal followers of Śrī Vyāsadeva.
For this reason, may all of you, who constitute the order of my gurus, have mercy upon me that I may have unflinching devotion to the lotus feet of my śrī gurudeva.
Today is the day for the worship of the lotus feet of my śrī gurudeva. I am a most vile person, but he, indeed, accepted me. During the period that he was manifest in this world I did not assume the garb of renunciation; I wore the usual garb of the people of this world. I do not make any one my disciple.
All of you are the order of my gurus. I have accepted you as my gurus. Just by being touched by my śrīla gurudeva’s lotus feet, I lost all sense of this external world. I do not know if any transcendental agent equal to him in greatness has ever appeared in this world. How may those who are busy with the likes of lust and anger present in this world, ever know him?
May you accept the perfect meaning of the ślokas: “anāsaktasya...” and “prāpañcikataya...” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255–6): May you also consider well these words of the great person, "Empiric knowledge and fruitive work are both cheats. They entice and plunge me into the deep waters of the sea in the end."
May you ponder on the verses “jñānāvalambakāḥ kecit kecit karmāvalambakāḥ – Some are inclined to speculative knowledge and other are inclined to fruitive work. (Padyāvalī 58)] and “neha yat karma...” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.23.56).
Adapted from The Gaudiya Volume 5, Number 2 & 3
and Volume 47
by the Rays of The Harmonist team