Part 2 of "From Another Group"
Berlin, June 25, 1999
[The following are excerpts from the lectures of Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, who wants the members of his international sanga, the International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society, to come to perfection. To that end, he wants his sanga to be non-sectarian. As he was inspiring members of other spiritual institutions years ago to be non-sectarian and to seek out and hear from any pure devotee in Caitanya Mahaprabhu's line, no matter what 'group' that pure devotee appears to be in, so his words of instruction and inspiration also apply now, to his own society. Last week we sent you Srila Maharaja's lecture called "From Another Group," and these excerpts below are called Part 2 of that.]
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If you want liberation, you can have that in a moment. If you want Vaikuntha, that is very easy. If you want to be a queen of Krsna in Dvaraka, He has 16,108 and He can make you the 16,109th or 10th – very easily. Any devotee in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejects this, thinking, "Krsna, I don't want this. I don't want to see You without Your flute and peacock feather. If You are Yasoda-nandana and Vrajendra-nandana, if You identify Yourself as a gopa, being a cowherd boy and following the cowherds, if You are with Radhika and the gopis, then I can worship You. Otherwise, You can stay in Dvaraka. I have nothing to do with You.
Having a relationship with Krsna of Vrndavana is called diksa. If this relationship is not there, there is no diksa. The aspiring devotee has only been admitted into the course of diksa – to have this diksa – and we should honor him.
Prema-prayojana dasa (reading aloud from Sri Upadesamrta Verse 5, translation by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja ): "One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of the Lord. One should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation..."
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Suppose one is not honoring a devotee who is initiated and is in Mahaprabhu's line and in the line of his own bona fide gurudeva, who is always respecting others, and who has so much transcendental knowledge. What will happen if one is not honoring him? It is a very great and dangerous offense. Nowadays we don't care for this, and that is why they are going to hell and becoming ruined. First thing is to honor all devotees who are chanting, whether or not they are initiated, and more honor to those who are initiated, and more to those... again read.
Prema-prayojana dasa (continuing to read aloud): "One should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation, diksa, and is engaged in worshiping the Deity. One should associate with and faithfully serve that pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others."
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should try to follow this instruction. If you are not following the instructions of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, you are actually not his initiated disciple - you are millions of miles away from him. You have actually never seen or related to him. First we should try to do this, and then we can say we are his disciples. Try to realize and practice these things. We should be very humble. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally told Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodara:
ye-rupe la-ile nama prema upajaya
tahara laksana suna, svarupa-rama-raya
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila, 20.20)
[Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "O Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Ramananda Raya, hear from Me the symptoms of how one should chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra to awaken very easily one's dormant love for Krsna."]
He explained how we can chant in such a way that the love and affection of Vraja will come. We are chanting, but no tears are coming and our heart is not melting. We should see in our heart. Bring a thermometer and see "where am I? How much water am I in? Are we on this path of bhakti or not? If we are really chanting, then a taste will come, our heart will melt, tears will come; a taste will come to hear and to respect all devotees. Easily all can come by this. If they are not in my heart, we should think we have done, and are still doing, so many offenses.
We have not come only to make a group, we have not come to make an institution, nor have we come to manage and control. We have come to be devotees – pure devotees. If Krsna consciousness is found anywhere, we can take it from that place.
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya
yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei 'guru' haya
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 8.128)
["Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra – regardless of what he is – he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna."]
It is not essential that the pure devotee from whom we hear is a disciple of my gurudeva. He may be a sudra, he may be a sadhu, he may be a sannyasi, he may be a brahmacari, or he may be like a Muslim, like Haridasa Thakura. Such a pure devotee is guru. There is no impediment by designation.
We have not come to make a group of devotees. We have come to realize all the truths of Krsna consciousness. We have come to honor devotees and to develop our devotion to Krsna.
There was once a well, and someone was thinking, "This well was made by my father, so I must take the water only from this well." After one or two years, that well became contaminated and infested with many worms. The Ganges River was very near, but that person said, "I won't go to the Ganges. I will take water from the well made by my father."
[In other words, a bona fide guru gives instructions. If the disciple is stuck on his early conception of a particular instruction and after many years cannot go deeper, if he cannot really understand that instruction in terms of his later spiritual needs, he will not make progress. In fact, he may deviate from the path of bhakti. After his bona fide guru's divine departure, in order to further advance, that disciple requires the association of pure devotees who know the heart of his guru. Another meaning is that after the divine departure of a bona fide guru, the members of the institution he created may become contaminated if they are bereft of pure devotee association. That pure devotee may or may not be from the same institution or group within the institution. – from the editor, based on Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja's lecture of May 30, 2000. -ed ]
What will happen in such a case? That person will become infected by so many diseases. The Ganges is there. You can go and take bath there, and you can drink water from there.
This is the line.
We have not come for any sectarian concerns. We have come to develop our Krsna consciousness. A real guru does not think that his disciples are his property. [*See Endnote 1]
Someone From Any Group
Australia: January 15, 2000:
"I want a revolution like this: we should come to the real path, in the real sense. Krsna will arrange for someone to come after me; and after that anyone else will come, and this will not be ruined. The world will be ruined, but this line is eternal. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said that this line is eternal. Someone from any group will come."
Always a Rupanuga Vaisnava
Translated by the Rays of the Harmonist team, "Jewels from the Ocean of Separation," Kartika, 2005:
"Performing bhajana with the inclination to serve Srimati Radhika is the best type of bhajana. It cannot be said that no one is qualified to perform this kind of bhajana. In this world there is always a rupanuga Vaisnava who is capable of doing such bhajana. Past, present and future – there will always be someone with this qualification. To say otherwise is incorrect, because the world would face destruction if it lacked the presence of such a qualified person."
Isvara Puri dasa: Gurudeva, our indoctrination from ISKCON was that the disciple is the property of the guru. But you just mentioned that the disciple is not the guru's property.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The disciple is not his property. The guru tries to make the disciple a very qualified guru like himself, so that very soon the disciple can attain krsna-prema and serve Krsna.
Brajanath dasa: You often say that everyone is the property of Krsna, and guru brings one to Krsna.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:Yes. Not his property, but Krsna's property – Krsna's servant, or maidservant. The bona fide guru thinks, "I must help this person. He should become qualified and be engaged in Krsna's direct service." Moreover, there is a service that is very mysterious, and that is radha-dasyam (personal service to Srimati Radhika). To whom Krsna is pleased, He will engage as a maidservant of Srimati Radhika.
Brajanath dasa: You have also said that guru becomes very happy when any of his disciples becomes more advanced by receiving guidance from others.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. He will not be envious.