Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
June 25, 1996
Srila Gurudeva: You should speak without seeing anything. I never use books. We are not dependant on books. Books should be here, in your heart.
Devotee: I can tell one little story that you spoke earlier.
Srila Gurudeva: No. You should tell everything I spoke.
The seed is there in your heart. But it will grow out after sadhu-sanga. What is needed? Why is a Siksa Guru needed? Have I told anything? Pundarika is here?
Vrajanatha Prabhu: He is behind you.
Srila Gurudeva: The Guru is supposed to be on a higher platform than the disciples. And, you should treat him like, “Saksat-hari.” You should always honor him. A disciple cannot sit on the same asana as Gurudeva. But, a Siksa Guru is also honored. Sometimes, he becomes like a bosom friend. You can embrace and joke with a Siksa Guru. But it is very hard to joke and laugh with your Diksa Guru. But you can joke and become a bosom friend of Siksa Guru; laughing together like Sridhama, Subala, and Krsna. Krsna jokes with His father’s younger brother. Nanda Baba has four brothers. He was in the middle. But, Krsna used to play with Nanda’s younger brother. He would joke, play, and bathe with him. So, a Siksa Guru may be like this–very, very near and dear. Hence, he can joke and tell many pastimes of Krsna that a Diksa Guru may not tell. So, Siksa Guru is also needed.
Diksa Guru may be Siksa Guru also, but he cannot mix with the disciples like one’s brother. Hence, Siksa Guru is also needed. He can speak things that our Diksa Guru may not tell. So, what did I say?
Devotee: You said how this was the kind of intimate love that Uddhava learnt when he went to Vrndavana.
Srila Gurudeva: So, Uddhava was sent to not just give consolation to Krsna’s father, mother, and the gopis. Rather, he was sent to learn their intimate prema. What else did I speak on?
Devotee: He saw how the gopis were controlling Krsna by their prema. They were sometimes abusing Him or criticizing Him. Yasoda would take Krsna on her lap and sometimes chastise Him. So, he was very astonished to see this intimate nature of their prema.
Srila Gurudeva: What did Uddhava realize when he went to Vraja and saw the love of the Vrajavasis?
Devotee: He felt very humbled. He was thinking of himself to be a great devotee of Krsna; a great scholar. When he came there he understood that he was very, very insignificant.
Srila Gurudeva: He also thought that Krsna is not fully in Mathura; He is only there partly. He realized that Krsna is solely and fully in Vraja. He also had one more realization. He realized how much prema the gopis had for Krsna.
But he wondered, “Why are the gopis suffering despite having so much love for Krsna? Feeling separation, they are always weeping. So, I should not be here. Otherwise I will have to be like so.”
Thinking like this, Uddhava fled away to Mathura. Then?
Devotee: You mentioned the verse, “Nigama kalpa taror galitam phalam.”
Srila Gurudeva: Go on. Don’t look at me. Look at the audience.
Devotee: So, Gurudeva was saying that Srimad Bhagavatam is Krsna Himself and how in the Gita, the knowledge of the atma is given. It is told that we are not this body. And how this body is just an external dress covering the soul.
Srila Gurudeva: The last instruction of the Gita is saranagati; surrender. But this saranagati is only the outer door to bhakti. And the Gita ends there. But Srimad Bhagavatam…
Devotee: So, this is just introductory knowledge and the Srimad Bhagavatam is giving higher knowledge. Gurudeva began to explain what the main problem in this world is. So, he said that now science is so advanced, technology is so advanced that we can while sitting in our living room here, we can watch the cricket game in India. By planes, we can travel all over in a very short distance. He said that the whole world is now within the palm of our hand. It has become so small; everything is so accessible. While sitting here, we can see President Clinton speaking. Gurudeva said that there is so much advancement in material amenities and science. But the real lacking is that there is no love; there is no prema between husband and wife; between children and family members. There is no love and trust. Everyone have separate bank accounts.
Srila Gurudeva: They don’t know that for how much time they can live together. A husband can give up his wife and the wife can also give up her husband. Children don’t know where to live. They don’t know what to do. So, everyone doesn’t have love and affection for each other.
Devotee: Then Gurudeva mentioned some examples of different sages from Vedic times. Such as Dadhici Muni, Maharaja Sibi, and Hariscandra, who sacrificed their body for the welfare of others.
Srila Gurudeva: Like the trees. What is the nature of the trees? Their everything is for others. Their barks, branches, fruits, shadow, and everything else is for others. So, you should also be like them if you want to do bhajan. Sibi, Dadhici, Hariscandra, and all others gave their everything for others. But we fear to give everything to Krsna. Krsna can repay more. But we fear and suffer.
A person thinks, “I should not give Him fully. I will give partly.”
Devotee 2: Gurudeva, I have one question about that. How to make a balance? Because we need time for bhajan and Vaisnava seva as well.
Srila Gurudeva: A day will come by gradually hearing. And, you will see that you have only come to serve Krsna and for nothing else. And Krsna is supporting and nourishing. And He will take care. So, there is nothing to fear. If you will hear and chant more, then you will realize.
If Narada Gosvami tells anyone, “You should die,” then that person will die.
If he says, “You should go to heaven. You should go to Vaikuntha,” then those persons will go to heaven or Vaikuntha.
He may say, “I will give a cintamani stone.”
Like Sanatana Gosvami had one such cintamani stone. So why to fear? Why should we gather so many things? Vaisnavas like Narada and Sankara don’t have anything. But, they can give anything anyone wants. Sankara doesn’t have a dor and kaupin; he is naked. But yet, he can give everything. So, Vaisnavas are like that. Why will they fear? Why should anyone do anything for them? By constant hearing, this realization will gradually come.
Devotee: So, Gurudeva said that no one is willing to make any sacrifice. What to speak of giving up one’s body for the sake of others? They won’t do anything unless you pay them. Even if you want your picture taken, then you will have to pay first and then, your picture will be taken.
Srila Gurudeva: I was searching for you? I searched and thought, “Where is Ananga Mohini?”
Devotee: So he said that now, the raksasa tendency is very prominent. This tendency has come in our hearts. Then, Gurudeva spoke about the affectionate dealings between the Lord and His devotees. He gave some different examples such as when Lord Rama went to Sabari. Although Sabari was an outcaste, out of her affection, before offering anything, she would taste it first to make sure that it was tasteful to offer to the Lord. But by some considerations this may be considered as improper and contaminated. But, because her mood was so full of love and affection that Rama was very happy to take that food, which was actually like her remnants.
Gurudeva also gave another example of Vidurani, the wife of Vidura. When Krsna came to her home, because of the prema she was experiencing, she became so confused that she offered Krsna banana peels rather than the bananas. They were very poor, so they had nothing to offer to Krsna except some bananas. But out of confusion, she offered the banana peels instead. Vidura came and he saw what was happening.
He asked his wife, “What are you doing? You can’t offer these peels to Krsna.”
But Krsna took that because it was offered with so much love. When He ate it, it was like heavenly nectar to Him.
Srila Gurudeva: He never tasted this even in Dvaraka. So, Krsna accepts anything that is offered to Him with love and affection. It is so pleasant for Him. We came here to this place. Here, we felt that there is so much love and affection for us. The devotees who have hosted us have so much love and affection for us. Krsna has never tasted something so pleasing even in Dvaraka. Although there were many delicious foodstuffs there; there was no such affection there. Why? Because Vidurani has nothing in her home to give. But out of affection, she forgot everything and only gave banana peels to Krsna. And Krsna took her offering. This is prema.
So, the religion of all the living entities is love and affection. If there is no love, then that person is like a stone. Love and service to each other or for this material body instead of the atma and paramatma is vikrita. This love is perverted and not real. It may be changed tomorrow if they quarrel among themselves. Then, in the place of love and affection, he will give slaps, abuses, and all other things. So, in this world, there is no real love and affection. The love and affection found here is perverted. This love will be real when it is directed to Krsna. Then we can have real love and affection for all the others.
Devotee: So out of affection for Krsna, Yasoda would sometimes chastise Him. Narada came and he was seeing this display that Krsna is Bhagavan; He is the Supreme Lord of everything. But here He is, crying on the ground. Yasoda is chastising Him.
Srila Gurudeva: Brahma and others call Krsna in their mind or heart by performing austerities for hundreds and thousands of years. But, even Krsna’s shadow doesn’t come there. Yet, Yasoda chastises Krsna. Why? Because she has so much love and affection for Krsna. Brahma cannot have this same love and affection.
Devotee: And the gopis are also abusing Krsna in so many ways. They tell Him, “Get away from here. You are a cheater.”
Srila Gurudeva: Would Krsna become angry by these words of the gopis?
Devotee: No. Krsna used to derive great pleasure when He would be abused in this way. These rebukes of the gopis gave Him far more pleasure than the prayers offered by Brahma and other great sages. Krsna would be enchanted when he would listen to the gopis speak.
Srila Gurudeva: After Sukadeva Gosvami took birth; he at once gave up his home. He gave up his father, mother, and everything. He only thought, “I am going to the jungle.”
Devotee: So, Vyasadeva was running after Sukadeva Gosvami. He cried out, “Oh my son! Oh my son!” and only the trees echoed in response.
Srila Gurudeva: The trees said, “No one is one’s father or mother. Who is father? Who is son? Who is wife? Who is husband? Who is child? Who is mother? There is nothing really. There is only a shadow. So I am not your son. He is not your son. This is only moha, illusion. You will realize after some time.”
Devotee: As Gurudeva was just explaining, this is how the trees echoed back in response to Vyasa.
Srila Gurudeva: When you will become advanced in age, a lady will come and tell you, “I will marry you.”
Who is she?
Devotee: Jara, old age.
Srila Gurudeva: She wants to marry everyone. And everyone tries to fly away. But anyhow she attacks and catches hold of her victims. And then, she marries them. So everyone will have to become old. You are seeing so many ladies and young people, but they will have to become old. Old age will come and attacking us, she will marry us. She persuaded Narada to marry her.
Old age personified told Narada, “I will marry you.”
And, Narada began to run away. Narada fled to Goloka Vrndavana and she could not go there. That is why she could not marry Narada. So, if you will be the disciple of Narada, then she will not marry you. Otherwise, she will surely marry you.
Sukadeva Gosvami told this story to Pariksit Maharaja.
Devotee: He said that in Sanskrit, all words and names have so much meaning.
Srila Gurudeva: Presently, mostly everyone is like Hiranyakasipu because rather than having faith in Krsna, they have faith in wealth, money, and in gold. So, these are the symptoms of an asura. And those who believe in Krsna and who think, “If we will serve Krsna, then His mercy will come and we will be happy,” are like Prahlada. So, we should judge for ourselves and decide, which party we will follow—Hiranyakasipu’s party or Prahlada Maharaja’s party. Which party do you want to join?
Srila Gurudeva: Yes. She was not here; she was anywhere else. Where were you? You were thinking about something else. What was my question?
So, you think that when a class is going on, everyone is not here. So, try to be here, in the class. Otherwise? So you must be present. Or else all my words will disappear into the air. They will not enter your hearts. Don’t be like so. In which party do you want to go?
Devotee: Prahlada’s party.
Srila Gurudeva: Not Hiranyakasipu’s? And you?
Devotee 2: Prahlada’s.
Srila Gurudeva: But sometimes you want to go to Hiranyakasipu’s party by making money, is it not? But try to be in the party of Prahlada Maharaja.
Vrajanatha Prabhu: In your party.
Srila Gurudeva: Prahlada Maharaja was a very rich person. He had such a big kingdom. The kingdom of Hiranyakasipu’s was his. But he used everything in Krsna’s service. So, his gold doesn’t belong to Hiranyakasipu’s party. Do you understand this fact? Janaka Maharaja, Ambarisa Maharaja, and Yudhisthira Maharaja were all emperors. But, they were not in the party of Hiranyaksa or Hiranyakasipu. They were in the party of Prahlada Maharaja. So, we should try to realize all these facts.
Devotee: Gurudeva very nicely explained a story from the Srimad Bhagavatam about a man who hung from a tree’s branches and lowered himself into the well because of being chased by a tiger.
Srila Gurudeva: The branches represent our past activities, which were good or bad.
Devotee: The white rat represents day and the black rat represents night. So they are gradually eating away the duration of our life.
Srila Gurudeva: Daily—moment by moment. After the passing of every day and night, our lives are gradually coming to an end.
“What is your age?”
“My age is hundred years.”
This means that time has taken a hundred years of his life and only a few minutes remain for him to live.
“I am fifty years old,” what is the meaning? The rats of day and night have eaten fifty years of that person. This time has gone away. So, it is not a matter of pride when one says, “I am hundred years old.” This only means that the two rats have taken a hundred years of one’s life. The serpents present at the bottom of the well represent death. The serpent of death can attack us at any time and take us away. Death is present everywhere; in all ten directions. You cannot save yourself. And what is the honey?
Devotee: The sense enjoyment. The pleasure obtained by wife and children.
Srila Gurudeva: Husband. The pleasure obtained by worldly things. You don’t have any children. But by the grace of Krsna, a child at once came. And then, you will love that child so much. This is madhu or the dripping drops of honey that the man tried tasting. A conditioned soul thinks of this honey to be so sweet and delicious.
A man thought, “I was so ugly. I had no wealth. But yet, anyhow a very beautiful young lady came to me. She told me, ‘I will marry you.’ This is very sweet, very sweet.” So, these are the different forms of sweetness’. You feel so good when children come and sit on your lap. But what happened at the next moment? The boy grew and came of age. He left his mother and father. He then went with another kisori; like this. So, this is like honey and we are suffering so much. But when this honey comes sometimes, then thinking it to be very sweet, we forget everything.
A lady is with a person. But this man constantly beats her and gives her so much suffering. The lady goes to another man and thinks, “Oh I will be so happy with him.” And the husband also thinks similarly. Thus, the conditioned soul tries again to be happy and thinks, “Now I will have very good honey.” The world is going on while trying for this honey. But the honey never comes; never comes.
Devotee: And then, he explained how our lifetime is wasted. Fifty years is spent in sleeping. First twenty years is spent in just growing up.
Srila Gurudeva: Half of the life goes in sleeping. Fifty years is spent in this. Then?
Devotee: The first twenty years are spent just in learning how to walk, how to eat, and how to do everything.
Srila Gurudeva: Twenty years goes in becoming educated. One becomes a doctor, engineer, or a business man to earn money.
Devotee: And the last twenty years are wasted because one is invalid. The eyes become very weak. One cannot hear anymore.
Srila Gurudeva: It goes in becoming diseased. At this time, the person is quarrelling with death. He cannot walk without a stick. He is in such a miserable condition. We are seeing this daily in our lives. But no renunciation comes. One continues to have attachments. A person is then entangled in newer and newer attachments.
Devotee: And in between, many years are wasted by being entangled in householder life.
Srila Gurudeva: Ten years is left now. What to do in those ten years? A person becomes married. Children are born to the couple and much time is spent for the education of the children. Time is spent in making comfortable houses. Doing like this for many years, death then comes suddenly and attacks the person. So we should do bhajan from…
Devotee: From the beginning of our lives.
Srila Gurudeva: Then?
Devotee: After that Gurudeva spoke the history of the Sage Astavakra.
Srila Gurudeva: This history is very important. You should tell them.
Devotee: Astavakra Rsi was made fun of by the ministers of Maharaja Janaka for his physical appearance.
Srila Gurudeva: He questioned the ministers if they really had knowledge of the atma and brahma.
Devotee: After being laughed at for his physical appearance, Sage Astavakra said, “Now, I only see an assembly of cobblers.”
Srila Gurudeva: The Rsi questioned them on the atma and Bhagavan.
Devotee: He said, “With great difficulty I have come here. But now I can see that I have simply wasted my time.”
Srila Gurudeva: Janaka Maharaja seated Astavakra Rsi on the throne and said, “You are my Siksa Guru.” And he apologized to the Rsi. Everyone came to him as well and apologized for this act. The ministers said, “We are really like cobblers because we only see the leather, the external skin of a person. So, this is very low work. We have no knowledge of brahma, paramatma, and Krsna. Those who have knowledge of brahma are called Brahmins. They are Rsis; they are Maharsis.”
What we are doing is like this. We think, “He is golden colored. She is very crooked.” But all these observations are outwardly and not inwardly. So, we should try to realize this. We have come to this world to realize this.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: Rama was also Krsna; Krsna was Rama. Krsna descended in this world in the form of Rama to only establish maryada, proper rules and regulations for the society. He came to establish varnasrama-dharma. Then?
Devotee: Kausalya Devi, the mother of Rama, offered prayers to Him when He appeared.
Srila Gurudeva: There was no real vatsalya-rasa.
Devotee: But in the case of Yasoda, we see that she never considered Krsna as the Personality of Godhead.
Srila Gurudeva: Kausalya Devi considered Rama to be Bhagavan Himself, God Himself. She used to fold her hands and pray to Rama. But Yasoda never prayed like this even when Krsna showed all the universes in His mouth.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: You should teach your children the slokas of the Bhagavad Gita. You should respect everyone. You should see Krsna in all places. If a guest comes to your house, then you should respectfully receive him. If you have nothing to offer, then at least speak sweet words to him. The instructions of the Gita should be followed. You should realize that you are not this body. You should remember that death will surely come. So, all of you should chant Bhagavan’s names. No person in this world can be happy if he doesn’t have bhakti for Bhagavan. Therefore, you should at least have a little bhakti for Bhagavan.
I became very happy to see a temple here. A lamp is always offered to Bhagavan. You should not forget your culture.
Devotee: We have bhajan groups here.
Srila Gurudeva: Very good. Are you happy?
Devotee: I am feeling a little ill Gurudeva. But I am still happy.
Srila Gurudeva: Are you taking medicines? I am feeling all right because I heard so many nice stories of Krsna. This medicine will enter your heart and you will become happy.
Srila Gurudeva: Mangalam Bhavatu. Kalyanam Bhavatu.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Krsna should be merciful to this boy. Nrsinghadeva should also be merciful to this boy.
Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Srimati Radhika and Krsna should be merciful to this Patel Prabhu. By Their mercy, he should develop pure Krsna consciousness.
*Transcribed and edited by the Govardhana dasa.