Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
July 8, 1999
Turnbridge, England

First of all, I want to give my heartly blessings to Gopi-vallabha prabhu, Citra, Visakha, Madana-mohana prabhu, and all those who are making this very beautiful arrangement for hari-katha – with a very big pandal and facilities for all the devotees.

There may be some lacking here, but I think that you do not care about that. We have not come here for facilities. We have come to hear hari-katha; the pastimes of Krsna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Their associates. There may be some lacking, as there is in our Navadvipa parikrama, where more than 20,000 pilgrims gather, and where you can see only an ocean of heads. There may be so many things lacking there; so many pilgrims being hosted under trees; even without trees, here and there, with no attached bathrooms but only 'international bathrooms'. But you can take bath in the sweet Ganges there.

Thousands upon thousands of pilgrims go to take bath in the Ganges, and they never complain about anything – even regarding whether or not they had taken any prasadam. Sometimes there was even no prasadam, although usually there was plenty. Sometimes there was only kitchari, which is very beautiful and tasteful, and sometimes even sweet rice; otherwise all were satisfied with the kitchari.

So, here also there may be some lacking in the management, but we are managing only so that devotees may hear some hari-katha. We have not come for recreation on the shore of an ocean, or for holidays. We have come only to hear. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has brought me here so that you can become stronger and stronger in Krsna Consciousness.

Today is a very sacred day. It is the disappearance day of Srivasa Pandita. In this world a person's disappearance day is considered somewhat of a bad thing, so why do I call this a sacred day? If anyone dies in this world, there is suffering and lamentation; a feeling of separation. We are also feeling separation today, but actually, today is the day that Srivasa Pandita joined the maha-rasa of Krsna, or he went from this world to Vaikuntha to eternally serve his holy master there. He is so happy today.

Where did he go? Did he go to Vaikuntha, or to Ayodhya, or to Dvaraka, or to Goloka Vrndavana? Where did he go?

Sripad Asrama Maharaja: He went to Svetadvipa in the form of Srivasa Thakura, and because he's also Narada Muni, he also went to Vaikuntha.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Where did he go?

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: He's always in Svetadvipa serving Mahaprabhu, and always in Vaikuntha in the form of Narada Muni. In the form of Madhu-mangala he is serving as the cowherd friend of Krsna and joking with Him in Goloka Vrndavana. Where ever Krsna's pastimes and Mahaprabhu's pastimes are going on, in this planet and so many other planets, Narada is also there.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Narada Rsi has so many forms. As his worshipful Deity, Krsna, has so many forms everywhere, with so many manifestations, and Narada Rsi does as well. He is everywhere: in this world, in Vaikuntha, in Dvaraka, in Svetadvipa – everywhere. In the form of Madhumangala he is serving Krsna in sakhya-rasa, and he may serve Srimati Radhika as Naradi-sakhi. Srivasa Pandit is the same as Narada. As Srivasa Pandita, Narada Rsi serves Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Srivasa Pandita's wife is Malini-devi, who used to serve Nityananda Prabhu like a very little baby. Sometimes Nityananda Prabhu, quite naked, would sit on the lap of Malini-devi and drink her breast milk. At that time he was about twenty five or thirty years of age, but in relation to Malini-devi he always thought of Himself as Baladeva as a little baby. Once, when Malini-devi was weeping, Nityananda Prabhu came to her and asked, "Mother, why are you weeping?" She replied, "I had a silver cup full of ghee . A crow came and took it, and flew away." Nityananda Prabhu called out, "O crow, come on, come on. Return that silver cup." After a short time, that crow returned the cup.

Mahaprabhu once told Srivasa Pandita, "Tomorrow is Vyasa-puja. I know you are poor, but Vyasa-puja will be at your home, so try to make all the arrangements for Vyasa-puja. Srivasa replied, "No problem; by Your mercy, everything is available at my house. All the necessary items such as cloth, rose water, fragrant flowers, sacred thread (upanayana), ghee, betel nuts, and pan leaves are there in my house. I also have the book that describes how to do Vyasa-puja. With great fortune, I will celebrate Vyasa-puja tomorrow."

What is the importance of Vyasa-puja? It is the backbone of all devotees. It is the birthday of Srila Vyasadeva, of whom all gurus are manifestations. All knowledge comes from Vyasadeva – all transcendental knowledge. There was still something lacking after he wrote most of the Vedas, but Narada completed that by inspiring him to write Srimad Bhagavatam.

Vyasadeva divided the Vedas, manifested the Upanisads and so many Puranas, and even the Mahabharata, in which Krsna told Bhagavad-gita (Gitopanisad). He manifested all kinds of required knowledge, but still, he was not happy. His spiritual master, Narada, came and told him what was still lacking in his literary works. Vyasa had not told very clearly that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He had not clearly written that Krsna was controlled by the gopis. He had not written that Mother Yasoda tied Krsna to a grinding mortar, although He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One day she refused to take baby Krsna in her lap, saying "Oh, You are a naughty boy; always stealing butter and yogurt from the neighboring gopis." Hearing this, Krsna cried bitterly, rolling on the earth.

Vyasadeva had not written that Krsna used to perform the rasa dance with all the gopis, and that He was especially controlled by Srimati Radhika. Krsna had personally declared, "I cannot repay the gopis, and especially Radhika."

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjaya-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)

["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."]

Vyasadeva had not written about the pastimes Krsna performed in Vrndavana in places like Radha-Kunda. Narada told him that this is what was lacking, and that was why he was not happy. Following Narada's instructions, Vyasadeva then meditated in trance and took shelter of bhakti.

What is the meaning of bhakti? It means total surrender to gurudeva. We usually surrender to gurudeva only by words, not by action, not by pure heart, and therefore we may change our views about him. Sometimes we may even change gurus, just like a man divorces a lady – and you may do so twenty times. Sukadeva Gosvami never changed his guru, Rupa Gosvami never changed, and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami never changed. Every guru in our disciplic line is always in this line of Vyasa.

Vyasa followed his gurudeva, and thus he saw all the pastimes of Krsna from boyhood to the end in Dvaraka in his trance. His teachings were completed by this. So, the meaning of Vyasa-puja is to follow gurudeva as Vyasadeva followed his gurudeva, Narada.

But guru must be like Narada, not like a kali-yuga guru, a fallen guru who has no knowledge or realization of all the teachings of the sastras (Vedic scriptures). A guru must be like Vyasa – expert in all sastras. Such a guru can remove all the doubts of his disciples. If one cannot remove his own doubts, how can he remove others' doubts? If a guru says, "I can remove all your problems, but you should help by getting some money for me," he is not really guru. If he is dependent on his disciples, he is not guru. A real guru will clear all your doubts. He will keep Krsna in your hearts forever.

Diksa means: 'di' = divya-jnanam; transcendental knowledge will manifest in your heart, and then, 'ksa'= all kinds of problems, sufferings, and sorrows will disappear at once, just as all darkness disappears on the arrival of the sun. The service of such a guru is the backbone of a disciple.

So, Mahaprabhu ordered Srivasa Thakura, "You should observe Vyasa-puja here." Srivasa Thakura replied, "Though I am poor, by Your mercy everything is in my house, and tomorrow we will do it." The next morning all assembled there; only Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not there. Nityananda Prabhu was there, and he was also waiting for Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu finally arrived, Srivasa Pandita complained against Nityananda, "I requested Sripada (Nityananda Prabhu) to perform Vyasa Puja." The lotus feet of Krsna are called 'sripada.' "I said, 'Sripada, please begin Vyasa-puja.' But He simply made the sounds: "Hmmm...ummm...haaah...hmmm," like a crazy person. Mahaprabhu then requested, "Sripada, why are you not beginning the Vyasa-puja? You should do it." Nityananda became happy. He stood up, took a garland, and placed it around the neck of Mahaprabhu.

Srivasa Pandit had been requesting Nityananda to put the garland on the neck of Vyasadeva, who was represented by a picture, as Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's picture is here. He was also represented by a kalasa (pot) that held within it a coconut and mango leaves, and that had painted on it a sacred svastika. In order to invoke the presence of Srila Vyasadeva, during the arcana process wherein he would be worshipped, mantras would be uttered before it, like "Svagatam, svagatam, svagatam (Welcome, welcome)."

Srivasa Pandita had been telling Nityananda, "Give this garland to Vyasadeva," but Nityananda Prabhu was only mumbling, "Hooo...haaa," waiting for Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Nityananda Prabhu wanted to show that Krsna Himself is jagad-guru. Although He is the real guru, husband, beloved and son of all, every soul has their specific individual relationship with Him. He placed the garland on the neck of Mahaprabhu, everyone present became so happy, and kirtana began.

Vyasa-puja means to take an account of how much of our heart we have given to our gurudeva, and to measure our bhakti, to see whether we are advancing in bhakti, or reducing. As businessmen check daily or weekly their gains and losses by reviewing their activities and their results, Vyasa-puja is the day disciples make 'cashbook and ledger.' Are you in gain, or in loss? If you are not taking this gain/loss account on the day of Vyasa-puja, it means you have no respect for your gurudeva, you have no belief in him, no belief in Krsna, and no bhakti. You are a 'show-bottle' devotee.

This Vyasa-puja ceremony was performed in Srivasa Pandita's house. Do you know how strong a devotee he was? He had four brothers, and throughout the whole day and night he would meet with them for kirtana. They would continually chant with their big karatalas, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare."

Some of the neighbors complained about Srivasa to the Muslim Kazi. They told him "He thinks he is better than Muslims because he is a Hindu. He is a culprit. If he and the other Hindus have to sing so loudly, it must mean that their God is blind and deaf; He cannot hear well. They spend their entire nights creating disturbances. We cannot sleep. What should we do?"

The Kazi ordered, "Take his house and throw it in the Ganges! Then the other Hindus will be afraid to carry on with their disturbances." He then went with his guards to Srivasa Pandita's house, where he broke the mrdanga, and that place thus became known as Khola-bhanga-danga, the place where the Kazi broke the mrdanga drum. He also threatened the devotees, "In the future, you cannot chant, 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.' You can chant 'Khuda,' 'God,' or 'Allah,' but not so loudly. Don't make so much noise. Don't disturb anyone."

But what happened? One of those guards came to the Kazi, the Muslim governor, only chanting "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna," as though he had become mad. He wanted to speak something, but nothing was coming out except, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna." The Kazi asked, "What happened?" The guard replied, "Oh, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna." The Kazi asked again, "What happened? Tell me." He replied, "Oh, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna. Just see how my beard has been burned." The Kazi asked, "Who burned it?" The guard answered, "I don't know who burned it, but it is burned, and now I can't say anything other than 'Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna.'" This strange thing happened repeatedly there.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu soon heard about the Kazi's breaking the mrdanga, and told His associates, "In the evening, burn torch-lights in every home. I shall give protection to everyone. Let us see what kind of Kazi comes to stop our kirtana." He called all His associates for sankirtana, after which hundreds of thousands of devotees came there. All had torches: sticks of wood, with the end wrapped in cloth dipped in kerosene oil and set ablaze.

They all accompanied Caitanya Mahaprabhu to the Kazi's palace, at which time the Kazi thought, "Oh, a rebellion! A revolution! So many are coming like dacoits; and it may be that they will kill me." Seeing this, the Kazi entered his house and locked the door.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu arrived, He said, "Oh, where is that Kazi?" The devotees totally uprooted the Kazi's garden. Murari dasa was laughing like Hanuman, and jumping here and there with a desire to burn down the Kazi's house. But Mahaprabhu stopped him and said, "The Kazi is like my maternal uncle," and called out, "O Kazi, please come. You are my uncle." [In Krsna's pastimes, the Kazi is Krsna's maternal uncle]

The Kazi came and opened the door, honored Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and they went inside for discussion. Mahaprabhu asked him, "Why do you kill cows? All Hindus consider the cow to be like a mother, because she gives milk to all. She does not discriminate whether one is Hindu, Muslim, or Christian. Hindus consider the cow as their mother and the bull as a father, but you kill them and eat their flesh. Why? Can you show me where in the Koran it has been written that you should do so?" The Kazi replied, "I cannot show you; it has not been written that we should slaughter cows. We should respect them."

Those whose breast-milk you drink are like mothers, and they should be treated as such. But, people all over the world take the flesh of these animals along with drinking their milk. I see here and here and there, especially in America, that those who slaughter cows have now become cows for slaughter. I once saw thousands of cows ready to be slaughtered. At first I became so unhappy, but at the next moment I considered, "Oh, they were previously humans who ate cows. And now, as a result of their actions, they have become cows." So, you should not consume meat, eggs, or wine, etc. Otherwise those animals will surely take revenge – and if they are not taking revenge, then Krsna will make you suffer. All living entities are eternal servants of God. We all belong to His family – brothers, sisters, mothers, an sons – so we should not eat flesh.

Thus, the Kazi told Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "After I went to the Hindu's house, broke the drum, and forbade the performance of congregational chanting, in my dreams that very night I saw a greatly fearful lion, like Nrsimhadeva, roaring loudly, His body was like a human being's and His face like a lion. He jumped upon my chest and began to scratch it. Placing His nails on my chest, the lion said in a grave voice, 'I shall immediately bifurcate your chest as you broke the mrdanga drum." I then prayed to Him, 'Save me, save me! I promise I will never do this again.' He was merciful, but He left the mark of His nails on my chest. From now on, no one in my dynasty will ever kill cows, nor will they create disturbance to the kirtana party." After this incident the Kazi's subjects all became like Hindus.

All this occurred because of Srivasa Pandita; the kirtana had taken place at his home. He was such a strong devotee.

I am seeing that if any small problems arise for you, even very small ones, you become like crazy persons and are bewildered as to what to do and what not to do. You may even give up your mala and kanti-mala. You should try to be like Srivasa Pandita.

After Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyasa, He would go to Jagannatha Puri every year for the Ratha-yatra festival. There Svarupa Damodara and Srivasa Pandit would discuss various subjects. Do you remember this? You should explain.

Syamarani dasi: This discussion takes place in the midst of the nine-day Ratha-yatra festival. Five days after Ratha-yatra starts, there's a festival called Hera-pancami. At that time King Prataparudra arranged for Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates to see a beautiful drama about Ratha-yatra. In that drama, Krsna of Dvaraka leaves the Goddess of Fortune in Dvaraka, which is represented by the Jagannath Puri temple, and He goes on the pathway pulled by devotees to Puri's Gundica temple, which represents Vrndavana. Lord Jagannatha, who is Krsna of Dvaraka, says to Laksmi, who represents Krsna's 16,108 queens, "I'll be back after a day or two." But now it's been five days and He hasn't returned, so Laksmi becomes angry.

This drama is performed by male devotees dressed up as the Goddess of Fortune, with very, very opulent sari and ornaments, and her maidservants. The maidservants carry Laksmi to Gundica on an opulent palanquin, and then they grab the servants of Jagannatha, tie them with silk ropes, arrest them, and force them to fall at the feet of Laksmi. Laksmi is thinking, "Why should Krsna, who has all opulence, all wealth, and all facilities in Dvaraka, leave all that and join a group of cow-herders in Vrndavana?"

Caitanya Mahaprabhu took great delight in this mock argument between Srivasa Pandita and Svarupa Damodara. Svarupa Damodara is Lalita in Krsna-lila, the most intimate girlfriend of Radhika, who helps facilitate Radhika's pastimes with Krsna. He takes the side of the Vrajavasis, and Srivasa Pandita, who, as Srila Gurudeva mentioned, is actually Narada Rsi, takes the side of the residents of Dvaraka. Narada Rsi's worship is in the mood of opulence. His worshipful Deity is Narayana, Dvarakadisa, Rama, and Krsna in the mood of opulence. Srivasa Pandita complains to Svarupa Damodara on behalf of the Goddess of Fortune, "Why are you so much favoring the gopis? They're just cowherd girls, and they simply boil milk. They're not opulent like my Goddess of Fortune. They just have some trees, some fruits, and some flowers; but no jewels, opulent bedding, gold, valuables, or palaces like my Goddess of Fortune."

Then, on behalf of the Vrajavasis, Svarupa Damodara said, "These cows are not ordinary cows; they're wish-fulfilling cows who fulfill all the desires of the inhabitants of Vrndavana. All the trees there are kalpa-vrksa trees, desire trees. Whereas the devotees in Dvaraka may have desires for opulence, the devotees in Vrndavana have no such desires. They simply want to take the fruits and flowers from the trees and offer them to Krsna. The grass and flowers that are growing in Vrndavana are not ordinary. Even the value of cintamani is surpassed by these flowers. The cintamani stones are worn as ornaments on the feet of the gopis to attract Krsna. Even more valuable are the flowers used by the gopis to decorate themselves and thus attract Krsna, enchant Krsna, and even induce Him to faint."

He explained that in Vrndavana every word is a song and every movement is just like a dance. The gopis far surpass any Goddess of Fortune; millions and millions of Goddesses of Fortune cannot equal the natural opulence, beauty, and sweetness of any one of the gopis. In this way he was defeating Srivasa Thakura, and Srivasa Thakura became so ecstatic because in actuality he also is familiar with the glories of Vrndavana.

At another time, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Krsna, said to Srivasa Thakura, "Give Me My flute." Srivasa Thakura said, "I can't; the gopis have already taken it," and he began to explain to Caitanya Mahaprabhu the beautiful pastimes of rasa-lila, honey-wine drinking, and playing in the Yamuna. In this way, he, too, takes pleasure in hearing and speaking the pastimes of Vrndavana. Therefore, when he heard this from Svarupa Damodara, he became greatly ecstatic and began dancing like a madman.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here, Srivasa Pandita is like Narada Rsi – very tricky. All the devotees of Krsna, especially those in Vrndavana, must be tricky like Krsna. Narada is also tricky, and a high class of devotee. He wanted to manifest this siddhanta, this true philosophy, that Krsna of Vrndavana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; not Narayana in Vaikuntha. Narayana has all kinds of opulence, and no one is His friend or parent. He is superior to all. He receives pranama (obeisences) from everyone, and blesses everyone, saying, "Mangalam bhavatu – may all auspiciousness be upon you."

It is not at all like this In Vrndavana. What will happen there? Krsna's cowherd friends Sridama and Subala say to Him, "Oh shala (a word used as an insult), what are You doing?! You are so naughty and mischevious." If His friends come to His palace and see that He is still in bed, they jump on His bed and say, "The cows are waiting here and there, and you are still sleeping!" They pull Him out of bed.

Sometimes Sridama defeats Krsna, who then smiles and tells him, "I have defeated you." Sridama says, "No, I have defeated You. When one is defeated, his back is flat on the ground." Here Sridama had defeated Krsna and was sitting on His chest, thinking, "I have defeated Krsna." But Krsna told him, "I have defeated you." Sridama asked, "How have You defeated me?" Krsna replied, "My nose is up, and your nose is down."

Can anyone in Ayodhya or Vaikuntha play like this? Never. There are no friends of Narayana, and no father and mother, whereas in Vrndavana there are thousands of fathers and mothers of Krsna. Krsna became the son of all the gopis and gopas during His Brahma-mohana-lila, and He became the husband of so many young gopis and the calves of all the cows. He can play in this way.

Narayana has one very chaste wife, Laksmi – actually there are three [Sri (Laksmi), Bhu, and Nila] but one is prominent, and that is Laksmi – but she can only massage His lotus feet, keeping His feet on her breast and always offering prayers. On the other hand, here in Vrndavana, Krsna has so many consorts, and all are greater, and more beautiful and sweet than Laksmi. They can all control Krsna. They can tell Him, "Oh, You should massage my feet," and Krsna will have to massage them. When the gopis are tired and perspire from dancing and singing during rasa-lila, Krsna takes His pitambara (yellow shawl) and wipes away their perspiration. This is a very beautiful scene; it is the affection and love of Krsna. Such love manifests in Vrndavana, never anywhere else. Who will be so foolish as to not serve Krsna?

Do you know Putana? She was a witch who came to kill baby Krsna by the poison on her breast, but Krsna sucked out the poison and her life, and gave her a position like a mother in her next life. So, who will be so foolish that, giving up Krsna, he will serve others? We must serve Krsna.

By his tricky behavior, Narada Rsi inspires Krsna to display various pastimes, and somehow or other he always manifests the glories of Krsna's devotees. We see in Brhad-bhagavatamrta how he glorified the high classes of devotees and incarnations of God. In this way, he discovered that the gopis are the best devotees, and that Vrajendra-nandana is the Supreme worshipful Deity. We should try to make Narada (Srivasa Pandita in Mahaprabhu's pastimes) our guru.

Do you know how strong a devotee Srivasa Pandita is? One day he was doing kirtana with many devotees in his courtyard, Srivasa-angana. While Mahaprabhu was dancing and singing with His associates, Srivasa Pandita's only son died. All of Srivasa's brothers' wives, and all the neighbors' wives, were weeping while Srivasa was attending the kirtana.

At that time Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "I'm not feeling so happy. Something is going on. What is it?" No one would tell Him the news because Srivasa Pandita had warned all those who were surrounding the boy and weeping, "If you weep loudly, and if the dancing and singing of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's kirtana is disturbed, I will jump in the nearby Ganges. They continued weeping, but not loudly. One of the devotees approached Mahaprabhu and whispered in His ear, "Today this boy has died, and inside they are all still weeping. The dead body is there." Mahaprabhu stopped His kirtana and asked, "Why did you not tell me this before?" He went inside and said, "O my dear boy, where have you gone? You are sleeping; at once wake up."

A very wonderful thing happened then. By Mahaprabhu's mercy life at once returned in the dead body of the boy. The boy stood up and began to talk. Mahaprabhu asked, "Why have you left your father and mother here? You were okay here."

The boy replied, "I was not happy here. I have had so many hundreds of thousands of fathers and mothers from so many births, and from the beginning of this creation I've been the father or mother of so many. Who is my father? I don't recognize him. I don't want to be here. I have so many facilities now. I want to go to where I have now taken birth."

In this world, those who have taken birth must die. You should realize that this body is not yourself. This world is full of so many problems: birth, death, suffering, and sorrows. Babies will, after some time, become old, like me, and after that, when they will be one hundred, they will not be able to walk. They will say with false ego, "I have become one hundred years old," but they don't consider that their one hundred years have passed. Young people are very energetic, going here and there, taking wine, eggs, and meat, and thinking that they will be very strong by that. But they don't know that very soon they will become old. Their hair will be white, their organs will all be weak, and after some time they will not be able to walk. The government will give them retirement pension, and after that they will have to go to old-age homes. Their children will not care about them, and after some time they will not be able to breathe properly. Overcome by coughing, they will have to die."

This human body is very rare. After millions of births you have received this body, so don't waste it. From this moment, try to become a pure devotee. Follow Krsna Consciousness, always chanting and remembering Krsna under the guidance of a very qualified, realized guru. Thus, come in the process of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami, and be happy forever. This endless chain of birth and death, the reactions of your past activities, bad and good, will be finished by chanting the holy name.

But it is essential to chant the name in the proper process in order that it will become the pure name. If you have any worldly desires while chanting, then your worldly desires will be fulfilled and you will be like zero. Do you understand what I have told? Suppose you are chanting "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna," but in your heart you are thinking, "Some money should come; wealth should come; a very beautiful girlfriend or boyfriend should come; I should have a very beautiful, powerful car and a very beautiful royal palace; I should always travel in a high-class airplane newly made in France that is faster than the speed of sound." In that case, your youth, and your life, will be ruined.

The son of Srivasa Pandita continued, "Now that I've taken birth, from the beginning of my life I will chant and remember Krsna, so I don't want to return here."

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Mahaprabhu's pastime is going on at Srivasa Pandita's house, and Srivasa Pandita is an associate of Mahaprabhu, so why leave that situation?

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Because he now took birth in Krsna's pastimes, which is the fruit of association with Mahaprabhu and His associates. He had taken birth from the womb of a gopi, and this was the causeless mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu; this is why he did not want to return. If that boy had gone to any other place, certainly he would have wanted to return. He was realizing that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was none other than Krsna Himself, and by His mercy he had come in the womb of any gopi. Therefore, that boy refused to come back.

Let us not waste our time. Let us be fully surrendered, with great faith in Krsna and His name. Krsna has invested all His power, mercy, opulence, and qualities in the name 'Krsna.' In fact, He has made His name even superior to Himself. No one can touch Krsna by any one of the mortal senses. But Krsna has performed a miracle, which is that anyone, even a very wretched or foolish person like Jagai or Madhai, can chant His name whether or not his chanting is pure. That name will become pure by the mercy of the name, as long as the chanter is not committing any offense. If you are not committing offenses, like criticizing a Vaisnava, and you have great regard for all, thinking, "All beings are eternal servants of Krsna, and I am as well," then you can have a relationship with everyone.

We should honor all; we should do pranama to all, as it has been told in Bhagavad-gita and Caitanya-caritamrta. Suppose someone is worshiping Krsna, and taking bath in the Ganges with the understanding that, "This Ganges water is a tirtha; the ocean is a maha-tirtha." Still, if that person is not honoring devotees, not thinking that Krsna is present in all living beings, and not regarding all beings, he is not a pure devotee. Rather, "Sa eva go kharah." He is an animal, and among the animals he is like a donkey. The donkey runs after his wife for sex life, and gets kicked by her hind legs.

When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard the boy's words, He said to his mother, "Do you want this boy?" She replied, "I have received my son - Yourself. I am happy for that boy. Now he can go anywhere he likes." Everyone became happy. This is a wonderful pastime of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but it was due to Srivasa Pandita.

If any problem comes to you, always be very strong like Srivasa Pandita. There are so many things to say about him, like how he took birth in his pastimes as Narada Rsi. He was already in Goloka Vaikuntha and Vrndavana, but in the very beginning of this creation, Krsna wanted him to come here. He therefore manifested from the throat of Brahma. What is the meaning behind this? Narada is always playing a very sweet sound on his vina as he chants Hare Krsna: "Narada Muni bhajaya vina, radhika-ramana name."

He is the master of all raga and ragini (Vedic arrangement of musical notes): sa-re-ga-ma-pa-da-ni-sa. All these sounds have come from the strings of his vina, on which he plays so many transcendental songs. From where did he learn all this? Srimati Radhika is his guru – ultimately all ragas and raginis come from Her ankle-bells. He learned from Radhika's ankle-bells.

So, he manifested in this world from the throat of Brahma, and began to chant, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna." Brahma told him, "O son, I want you to follow my orders. Where are you going?" Narada replied, "I want to follow my brothers, the four Kumaras: Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat." As soon as his brothers had been born from Brahma's mind, they were also always chanting Krsna's name, and they wanted to go to the forest to perform austerities. They left, and never followed their father's order that they marry and beget many children to fill the world with human beings.

Then Narada was 'born,' and Brahma ordered that he also enter married life, but he also refused. Brahma repeatedly requested him to remain at home, and when he would become mature, he would marry and have many children. Although Brahma warned him, "If you do not obey me, I will have to give you a curse," Narada did not obey him. He went to the forest to chant Krsna's name, at which time Brahma became very angry and said, "You will take birth in a family of Gandharvas (Heavenly singers) and Kinnaras. There you will have to marry thousands of Apsaras (heavenly angels), and you will be dancing and singing with thousands of wives." Narada replied, "I may go there, but I will not marry."

Thus Narada became a Gandharva of Heaven named Upabarhana. He was there dancing, but always remembering Krsna. One day Brahma ordered him: "I am going to Puskara, and you should come there with your whole family. You will have to dance there as an invocation. Narada went there and began to dance naked, and in a very wrong way. He wanted his father to be angry and give him another curse, so that he would be free from that life. Brahma surely became angry, and said, "You don't remember that I cursed you before, and you had to become a Gandharva? Now I will curse you again. You will go to the Earth now, and take birth from a sudrani, a low-caste woman."

Narada was then born from the womb of a sudrani. As a young boy he received the mercy of his brothers, who instructed him in Krsna consciousness. Soon after he was given a mantra by them, his mother was bitten by a snake and died, and he took this as an opportunity to leave home and go alone to the forest. He went to a very deep, dense forest and continuously chanted that mantra. After some time he became perfect, and Narayana, his worshipful Deity, gave him darsana.

You have been chanting for so many years – some devotees for fifteen or sixteen years, and some for longer – but you are not experiencing a change in your consciousness. You are very weak, always dependent on money or some position. You are not very surrendered. For thousands upon thousands of years you have been attached to family, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, and you are now also chanting, without the Krsna conscious result. It may be that some worldly happiness will come by such chanting. You can become Indra or a very wealthy person. Or, you can become like Bill Clinton and become attached to any office girl. You cannot control your mind, but still you are chanting "Hare Krsna."

Be like Narada. He was fully absorbed in his chanting, not knowing where he was or who his body belonged to. Krsna came to him, in the form of Narayana, so we should try to do like him. If you are engaged in one-pointed bhajana to Krsna, quite absorbed and having faith in your guru's and Krsna's words, Krsna will surely come and give you darsana. If one knows the mantra for charming a snake and he utters that mantra, a poisoned person's snake poison will go down. Why is our chanting of "Hare Krsna" not giving us perfection?

Krsna's name is so powerful; all powers are there.

namnam akari bahudha nija sarva saktis tatra arpita niyamitah smarane na kalah etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi durdaivami drsamiha jani nanuragah

(Sri Siksastakam, Verse 2)

What is the meaning?

Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Krsna has empowered His holy names with all transcendental sakti, potencies. There are no hard-and-fast rules for chanting these names. Out of kindness and mercy Krsna has allowed us to approach Him through these holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attachment to these holy names.

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here it is said that the holy name has no rules and regulations. We can chant it during the day or night, sitting on our bed, without taking bath or washing the mouth, in the morning, evening, daytime; at any time, such as when walking. But we should try to follow Srivasa and Narada.

Narada was initiated by his four brothers, the four Kumaras, and Srivasa Pandita was also initiated by a high class Vaisnava with all the symptoms written in the Vedas, Upanisads, and Bhagavatam. If at the time of initiation, you have received the holy name from a pure guru, then that name will be powerful and Krsna will come to you.

For example, Narada's gurus Sanat, Sanatana, Sanaka, and Sanandana gave him a mantra, after which he very easily received the darsana of Krsna. If your guru is like that, and you are following like Narada, then suddha-nama, the powerful transcendental name, will manifest in your heart. On the other hand if your guru is fallen, having no faith in the name and only chanting six rounds, or two rounds, or sometimes not chanting at all, and after some time he also falls externally, that holy name will not be so strong. No potency will be there, and without potency, your chanting can only give you a shadow of the name. Liberation may come, or worldly wealth may come. You will not get Krsna-prema.

Try to follow all these teachings, and be very strong like Srivasa Pandita, even if someone takes your whole wealth and position, and you become poor like him.

One day, Srivasa Pandita said to Mahaprabhu, clapping his hands, "One, two, three." Mahaprabhu asked, "What are you doing?" Again Srivasa Pandita said, "One, two, three." Mahaprabhu inquired, "Why are you doing that?" Then Srivasa Pandit explained, "We are chanting and remembering Krsna throughout the day, and doing nothing for our maintenance. If there is nothing to eat in my house today, then I will wait. On the second day I will also wait. If nothing comes on the third day, no harm; but if nothing comes on the fourth day, I will jump in the Ganges. I will not do anything but chant and remember." Mahaprabhu told him, "This can never happen to a devotee like you. The Goddess of Fortune, Laksmi-devi, may have to beg anywhere, but not My devotees or Krsna's devotees."

You must believe in this. Go on chanting. Krsna's name is more merciful than Krsna Himself; have faith in that. But that name should come from a reliable, or bona fide, guru.

Gaura Premanande!