Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Lecture, Holland, July 1997
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

[Dear Maharaja, Prabhus and Didis,
Dandavat pranamas. Jaya Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

This seems like a belated lecture, but actually it is completely timely. Many times during this tour devotees ask Srila Narayana Maharaja for his understanding of the controversy regarding Srila Prabhupada's omniscience— specifically in relation to what happened in gurukula. Some devotees say that he knew, and therefore he was guilty, and others say that if he didn't he was guilty of being a conditioned soul. Others say that a mahabhagavata devotee can be in ignorance like the conditioned soul, and therefore he is not guilty. In the following Holland lecture Srila Maharaja clears all doubts and gives great happiness to all sincere followers of Srila Prabhupada.

Your aspiring servant, Jadurani dasi]


I requested you all earlier to think over this question, and try to give an appropriate answer. Try to hear this question and then you can properly answer it. I think it is an important question. Some are losing their faith. What is the actual question?

Devotee: If Srila Prabhupada is a perfected soul, an associate of Radha-Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he can see past, present and future. He went to visit the gurukula, which was perhaps in Dallas at the time, and there were many bad things being done. There were teachers who were unqualified, and they were abusing the children. Just before Prabhupada would go to visit, the children were instructed to behave in a certain way— otherwise they would be punished. So they never said anything, and they made an external show that everything was going on nicely. Therefore Prabhupada said, "This is a very good school. We should send all our children to this school." This may raise some doubts that is he is a perfected soul and can see everything. …

Srila Narayana Maharaja: Besides that, he gave renounced order, sannyasa, to so many; and about 90% have fallen down. The doubt is whether he knew this fact or not. If he was sarvajna, all knowing, he should have known at that time. Why would he have given renounced order to bogus persons who would later on leave? Why? If he was sarvajna, he should first know a person's quality, and then give sannyasa. Do you realize this fact— that he was a saktavesa avatara?

Devotee: Yes.

Srila Narayana Maharaja: Do you have experience that he was? Do you know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? Have you realized anything? Are you speaking from your heart?

Devotee: I'm a fool, I have no realization at all, but …

Srila Narayana Maharaja: It is very hard. You can actually believe in someone if realization comes. Then you will be liberated and then you will have faith.

Brajanatha prabhu: The problem of the conditioned soul is that he cannot understand the activities of a liberated Vaisnava acarya. He will therefore have to simply accept— and this is very difficult in this situation. Many mothers and fathers of children in a particular gurukula are still suffering up to today because of the enormous feelings, the hurts, the unbelievable abuse which they experienced; and they cannot explain this in a logical way We need a deeper answer. The conditioned soul has four imperfections. He is in illusion, he has the tendency to commit mistakes, he cheats, and he has imperfect senses. Because of those inadequacies it is not possible to understand the activities or the words of the empowered acarya.

Srila Narayana Maharaja: It is true. Now you can tell your answer.

Devotee: From a broader point of view we can raise the same question about the activities of Krsna and His various manifestations. For example, Krsna is Himself the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He has love for every living entity. He wants them to be established in their eternal loving relationship with Him. So why did He order Sankara to preach Mayavada philosophy and establish his own conclusions, which were opposed to the Vedic conclusions and which turn people away from bhakti? Even today the influence of that philosophy is going on. People are still attracted or misled by these ideas. Krsna also appears as Lord Buddha, and people are thus misled to accept the path of voidism.

Also, when Krsna personally appeared with His confidential associates such as the Pandavas, they were put into so many tribulations. One could easily ask: "How could Krsna allow such a thing to go on?" Not only was He allowing it to go on; He was orchestrating it. The Pandavas knew this fact very well, and in spite of this they never lost their faith in Him—not even slightly. They always had so much strong faith in Him, and conviction that there is some reason that the Lord was doing this. They knew He had some larger plan.

Similarly, if we want to examine the activities of pure devotees —why they behave in different ways— then we also have to consider this greater question. And, in order to understand, we cannot see it in terms of an act that takes place in one moment of time. We have to see it in terms of a continuum; or in terms of a greater vision that he has; or a greater plan which will unfold in course of time.

Regarding the sufferings of the Pandavas, one could easily question why Krsna was allowing it. Only in retrospect can we understand the Lord's plan, and why things had to take place in a certain way. When the Lord performs one action, He accomplishes many, many activities through that. Similarly, when the Lord's empowered representative performs any action, there are many levels on which he is operating.

Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Srila Jiva Gosvami says that Krsna empowers His pure devotee with His own qualities. Krsna has so many qualities, and one of His best qualities is that He empowers His pure devotees with sarvajnata and mugdata: omniscience and bewilderment or lack of knowledge. What to speak of Paramapujyapada Swami Maharaja, all of the eternal associates of Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, like Srila Rupa Gosvami etc. They all have these two qualities simultaneously: sarvajnata and mugdata. And what to speak if them, these two qualities are also simultaneously in the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna Himself. On one hand He is all-knowing and on the other hand He is like a cowherd boy —sometimes bewildered and as though knowing nothing. In one of the Vedanta sutras it is stated that when any empowered acarya comes to this world he performs what is called naravata-lila. This means that he acts like a human being —otherwise the general mass would not be able to follow him. Although a perfect soul, he behaves like a human being. In this way anyone can follow him and profit from his advice.

Regarding gurukula, the children received good samskaras, that is, permanent impressions on the heart due to their association with a pure devotee. One day, maybe not in this lifetime, maybe in another lifetime, they will again come in contact with Krsna consciousness. In Sri Rupa Siksa, Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches Srila Rupa Gosvami that if one commits Vaisnava aparadha, his bhakti will be destroyed. However, if one is weak but not offensive, he will be able to revive his Krsna consciousness.

Syamarani dasi: I have been thinking of this question for the past couple of days. By thinking about it my faith in Srila Prabhupada actually increased instead of decreased. I am remembering Caitanya Caritamrta and Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu Bindu, wherein the larger picture is explained. Regarding the souls of the children who are in gurukula, they came from many, many millions of births of good activities to come to the point of being in gurukula and many millions of those births were also engaged in sinful activities. Because in their past lives they had performed so many spiritually pious activities, like visiting temples or going to Vrndavana, meeting pure devotees, and so forth, they came in contact with Srila Prabhupada and gurukula. Prabhupada sometimes came to visit them, they saw the Deity, took Krsna prasadam, heard the Holy Name, and came in contact with Prabhupada's books.

But Srila Prabhupada is not the Supreme Personality Of Godhead. Like all pure devotees he follows the flow of Bhakti Devi. Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He controls the material nature. When our body is changed into a spiritual body by pure bhajana, then it is no longer affected by our past karma and the laws of nature. Karmadi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti bhajana. However, as long as the material nature is still working, we are affected.

Srila Prabhupada has said that if we cut our finger we should think that our whole arm should have been amputated. Instead, because we came in contact with a great soul, because we accepted a bona fide spiritual master, we are only getting a summary punishment of the law of karma. Prabhupada gave the example of a rich man's son who knew the judge. The rich man's son did an abominable illegal act. Because he did that, he could have been fined $100,000. But he was a rich man's son, and the rich man was a friend of the judge. The judge had to fine him something, but he said, "Because your father is my friend, I am only charging you one cent." Similarly, when one comes in contact with the bona fide guru, even if he is not fully pure, he gets only a summary punishment of the law of karma.

We may consider what is happening, not only on this planet, but in millions of universes —how the living entity is wandering through so many species, how some living entities become meat to be eaten by others, how some people become lamp shades in World War II by the work of Hitler, how some so-called innocent people melted due to radiation in the Hiroshima battle, and how they all have to go on like that for many millions of births. One of the children in gurukula was put in a garbage can overnight by a foolish gurukula teacher and, although that little child was screaming all night, the teacher would not let him out. Of course this was terrible, but perhaps that child was supposed to have suffered many millions of births in wombs that he could not come out of. In other words, suppose that child had performed an abortion in a past life. Prabhupada said that those who do such a terrible act will not see the light of day for thousands of lives, because they will also be aborted again and again.

So the children were getting only a summary of the punishment they deserved— because they had come in contact with a pure devotee. By our good activities we attain the association of bhakti and bhakta, and by our past sinful or offensive activities we suffer.

Govinda Bhakata prabhu: It is said that the guru knows the heart of the disciple. Will Yogamaya ever sometimes cover the heart of the disciple from the guru— if the disciple wants to cheat him?

Srila Narayana Maharaja: No; this cannot be. You will have to understand how he is mughda and sarvajna. If the two qualities are not there, then he cannot help the persons of this world. That is why his nara-lila (human-like pastimes) are going on. At the root of nara-lila two things are there— mugdhata and sarvajnata.

Do you know that Krsna is the perfect Supreme Personality of Godhead? There is no doubt about this because it is written in scriptures like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vedas and Upanisads. Krsna is without doubt the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He is also sarvajna. Why, then, could He not control His environment? He knew that the war of Mahabharata will come. If He is sarvajna, He would have known that the Mahabharata battle would take place. He could have the warned the Pandavas not to gamble. Why did He not warn them? He could have thought, "I should tell the Pandavas, 'Oh! A big problem will come by this; so don't play this game.' He knew everything. If He had warned them, however, the Mahabharata battle would not have taken place, and Krsna's plan would not have been successful.

By this nara-lila He played so many games, and He did so many good things for this world. Bhagavad-gita became eternally manifest. He also gave a lesson to all persons not to play dice. Krsna knew that because of this dice game there would be an attempt to make Draupadi naked. Why did He permit this? We should consider all these thing.

Krsna knows what is true and what is false. Asvathama had not died, so why did Krsna declare that he was dead? Krsna requested Yudhisthira, "You should say that Asvathama is dead." Was it true or false? Only a rare devotee can know that it was true. Ninety-nine percent of the people will think that Krsna was telling a falsehood, and such persons are not qualified to realize what Krsna was telling. Actually it was true. Not only Asvathama—all were dead. Krsna showed Arjuna that all were in the mouth of His universal form, crushed within His teeth—and they were dead. Bhisma Pitamaha was dead, and all others were dead. Krsna and His devotes may do something that we consider improper, but actually His activities are always correct and proper.

A person will use one thorn to take out another thorn, a splinter, that is stuck in his foot. And then he will throw both of those thorns away. You should take this statement very seriously. You should know that Krsna also did this. Similarly, when very powerful devotees come, then, even if some persons are not qualified for certain positions, still he gives them positions, and through them he preaches everywhere and accomplishes so many things. After that he 'throws them out', and only devotees remain. Do you understand what I am telling you? There are thorns in our feet, and also thorns by which we take those thorns out. Both are 'thorns', and neither are actually devotees; but the guru has to play a role with them in order to preach everywhere. Krsna and Prabhupada were successful in this. If those in the gurukula are not offensive they will get some good impressions, samskaras, in the heart—by sadhu-sanga.

We see in Dvaraka that Samba and others were committing offenses to Durvasa, Narada and the other sages who were assembled at Pindaraka. Krsna knew everything. Why did He not warn all the boys not to be offensive? There is something we cannot understand in all this. Similarly, Srila Swami Maharaja knowingly did something like this for the gain of the whole world—, the whole universe. He has given krpa, mercy, to all.

Although some are not realizing this, still he will help them. If those who attended gurukulas, who performed bad activities in past lives, had not come in contact with Srila Swami Maharaja —and instead of going to gurukula they had gone to any other school —the same karmic reaction would have come to them because of their past impressions. In fact, much, much worse things would have happened to them, and they would not have had the good opportunity to associate with a pure devotee—to receive prasada from his hand, to receive so much mercy from him, and to have the chance to take up devotional activities later on.

We should never have any doubt in Krsna. During His manifest pastimes, Kamsa and Jarasandha, and also Duryodhana and his party, had so many doubts about Him. They thought He had a bad character: "He was playing with gopis, and even those gopis who were married came to Him— dancing and singing alone in the night. Besides this, He told so many false things to His mother and others." These demoniac persons demanded to know, "Why has He done this?" They criticized Krsna because they had no devotion, and therefore they could not realize Him.

Just as Duryodhana and others could not understand Krsna's activities, many persons do not understand the activities of Srila Swami Maharaja, who preached all over the world and distributed the Holy Name. He extended himself to lakhs and lakhs of persons who were drunkards and hippies. They were always with ladies —always, always —and lakhs and lakhs were turned toward bhakti. We should know very clearly that those who misunderstand and find fault with his activities are not devotees. They were never devotees.

Krsna can lift Govardhana and He can take the whole universe in His hand. He can eat poison and He can swallow fire— and He did this many times. He took so much poison when He was in Kaliyadaha, and then He played with the gopis. If you want to criticize Him for playing with the gopis, then you should also be able to swallow fire. First we will put some fire in your mouth, and then you should eat some poison. After that you should lift Giriraj Govardhana. Not Govardhana —only, 500 pounds of anything. You should take 5,000 pounds on your head. Then you can play with any lady, and then I will say that you are okay.

Considering all these points we can understand that Prabhupada did not do anything improper. He was sarvajna, and he wanted to do good for all. It was not the fault of Prabhupada; it was fault of their bad karma of past births and also this birth. We should realize this.

Ramacandra knew everything. He was sarvajna. So why did He pursue a deer who was actually the demon Marici? Apparently He was only thinking, "This deer is so beautiful." Sita devi requested Him, "O, bring this deer", and He pursued it. Laksmana told Rama, "It is maya; I know it. Brother, you should not go. Why are you going?" Rama replied, "No harm. I should go. It will be good for all". We certainly cannot say that Rama did something wrong, or that He was forced to act in worldly situations. We may think that He was covered by maya and He was doing everything under the shade of maya, but actually maya was not there. Similarly, we should not have any doubt in Srila Swami Maharaja or any pure devotee; or in Krsna, in Rama, or in anyone like Them. We should try to develop our Krsna consciousness, and then we will realize all these things.

We should try to learn a lesson from this. We may think, "Prabhupada did this, and I will also do like him." Don't do this; otherwise you will go to hell. You are not Prabhupada. First be like Sankara, and then swallow poison. Otherwise, if you are not Siva and you are still taking poison, you will be finished at once— without a single moment's delay. Do not think you can imitate your Prabhupada. Be very careful. Don't take all this weight upon yourself. These things are for pure devotees, powerful acaryas, and for Krsna.

Devotee: Gurudeva, some devotees are a little fearful to send their children to gurukula.

Srila Narayana Maharaja: If they are not doing well there, then you should not send them. Krsna has given you some intelligence, so try to utilize it.

Devotee: Because Krsna ordered him, Maharaja Yudhisthira called out that Asvatthama was dead. But I heard once in a narration, that Yudhisthira Maharaja was actually referring to an elephant. He said, "Asvatthama, the elephant, is dead." But nobody could hear the words, "the elephant". Is that story true?

Srila Narayana Maharaja: Yes. It is true, but it is also false. What Krsna told was true, and other things were all false. Yudhisthira was telling that Asvatthama the elephant is dead, and Krsna is telling that, "You should say that Asvatthama is dead." Krsna's words were true, and all others were false. Yudhisthira was false and Bhima was also false.

Syamarani dasi: How is it true?

Srila Narayana Maharaja: It was true because Asvatthama was dead. Actually Krsna made it like this. He had created the whole universe and he had created Asvatthama. He had killed all, and it appeared as though all were killing.

Are you are dead or are you alive? If you are thinking that, "I am this body", then you are dead. However, if you have realization of your atma and are thinking that, "I am atma", then you are not dead. All were thinking in that way: "I am this body, and Asvatthama is his body, and he is alive". But actually they themselves were all dead. Those who are alive think, "I am soul. I do not take birth, nor do I die. I have no sorrow, and no problem at all."

If you are realizing this, then there is nothing to preach, and no one to whom to preach. This is because you will think that all are serving Krsna. Narada thinks in this way, and also Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. He will not tell that anyone, "You should serve Krsna. He will never preach because he considered everyone is already somehow serving Krsna in this way or that way. Anvaya and vyatireka, directly or indirectly, all are serving. We are also serving, but we have no realization,. That is why we are conditioned souls. Our situation may be likened to a watch that is covered with a cloth. The clock is working; time is going on. However, although the clock is ticking, we see that nothing is there. Similarly, the atma is actually serving Krsna always. Srimad Bhagavatam tells that he has no bandha and no moksha, no bondage and no liberation. It is only kalpana, imagination to think otherwise. Soul is soul. Because he is citta vastu, of spiritual substance, he is serving Krsna.

These are high class of understandings. Although at this stage you cannot do so, you will have to realize all these true conceptions. We can realize little, —very little—, but it is a fact that all cetanas, living beings, are serving Krsna.

Since we conditioned souls cannot understand our own spiritual nature, we surely cannot understand the sublime transcendental nature of the mahabhagavata devotee. For example, Narada went to Kamsa and said, "O my dear disciple, my dear son Kamsa; all the demigods are making plans to kill you. So beware. Be careful. Kamsa replied, "O Gurudeva, you have saved me by telling me all these things. I will be very careful." Narada then went to Vasudeva and said, "Oh, you should be careful. Kamsa can do anything to you".

So Narada is thinking that all are serving. If there was no Kamsa, Krsna would have never come to this world and performed so many pastimes. Narada knows everything. He is a mahabhagavat, and therefore he does not come to preach that, "O, you should chant hari-nama." He knows that everyone is serving Krsna. This is very esoteric, but this is the thing. We will have to realize this.

Devotee: You said that Narada has no need to preach, because he sees everyone as already serving, but he preached to Maharaja Pracinibarhi.

Srila Narayana Maharaja: It was for others. Actually he was playing a trick. He is more tricky than Krsna because he is the disciple of Krsna. We cannot know how tricky and highly qualified he is. He will go to the East and say that he is going to the West. For him, East and West are the same thing. This is also the answer to that question. Prabhupada came as though he was in the stage of madhyama adhikari, as though he didn't know anything; and on a few occasions he said to certain disciples, "I am not sarvajya". Although he was preaching here and there, he is actually not a madhyama adhikari. He is more than that. A madhyama adhikari can do anything wrong, and it seems that he has done something wrong; but actually he has not. Everything that happened was okay, and it was for the gain of the whole universe.

Without hearing from a self-realized devotee it is not possible to understand the esoteric activities of Krsna and His associates. The Pandavas were trying to bring Krsna to Hastinapura. They were knowingly doing so many things to induce Him to come, and He came. Narada therefore went there and greatly glorified them. He told them, "Krsna always lives with you and takes your services. He has so many relationships with you. He sometimes becomes your charioteer, and sometimes He becomes like your servant. He gives His own sister in marriage to Arjuna, and He sometimes follows the orders of Yudhisthira, Kunti and others. So you are the best devotees in the world."

How did the Pandavas reply? When they heard all this glorification they began to weep. They said, "Actually we are not pure devotees."

Arjuna especially told Narada, "The whole world thinks that Krsna became my charioteer, He obeys my orders, and He also gave me unique teachings in the form of the Gita— teachings which He had never given before. They think that lakhs and lakhs of births before, He gave these same instructions to the Sun-god, and since then He hadn't spoken it to anyone else. But this is not true." Arjuna continued, "Why did He become my charioteer? It was not for me. If He had not become my charioteer, the Mahabharata battle would not have taken place and the demons would not have been destroyed. So Krsna purposefully became my charioteer, and when I said that I was not going to fight, He instructed me. He said, ‘O, I am here on your chariot, and Hanuman is also here. Why are you hesitant? I have already accomplished everything, and you will only have to be the instrument. Actually you have already conquered the other party, and My purpose is already served; but I want that you be My instrument.'

"Krsna has accomplished so many things, and it wasn't for me. It was for the whole world. It was for the demigods and for this earth— because the earth became a cow and went to Brahma. Then, along with Brahma, that cow went to Ksirodakasayi Visnu, and there Brahma entered into trance. In the form of Visnu, Krsna thus agreed to their plea and said, ‘I am coming.'

"It was not for me. Yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata, abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham. Krsna has not come for me, nor for my family. He has come to establish truth, yuga-dharma, and to do so many other things. It is not true that He was my charioteer. I was not willing to fight. He therefore sat on my chariot and instructed and inspired me.

"It is stated:

sarvopanisado gavo
dogdha gopala-nandanau
partho vatsah su-dhir bhokta
dugdham gitamatam mahat

"This Gitopanisad, Bhagavad-gita, the essence of all the Upanisads, is just like a cow, and Lord Krsna, who is famous as a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. Arjuna is just like a calf, and learned scholars and pure devotees are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gita" (Gita-mahatmya 6). ‘Sarvopanisado gavo' means that all the Upanisads are like cows, and the teachings that Krsna took from all those Upanisads are called ‘Gitopansad'. It is the essence of all the Upanisads, and it is not only for calves."

The Gita was for the whole world. Arjuna is the calf here. We milk the cows and we take the milk of cows. The milk is not for their calves. The calves take only very little —to make the cows qualified to give milk. Similarly, Arjuna told Narada that Bhagavad-gita was not only for him.

Arjuna further expressed that what Krsna had taught him on the battlefield was third-class teaching. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, and He told that it is external. Gita is saranagati. Arjuna told Narada, "I am a bosom friend of Krsna. He gives these teachings for lower classes of persons, those who are not yet devotees. Saranagati is the doorway of bhakti. It is not bhakti, but the doorway. Those who follow saranagati will enter in the bhakti line; and then sraddha, nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava, prema, and all other advanced stages of love will develop. Saranagati is not bhakti, and yet Krsna told me, 'You should offer everything—your heart, mind, body, and senses to Me'. It is like an upahasa, a ridicule for Me. Sakhas are situated on a very high level of devotion, but this saranagati is still external. If someone wants to be a devotee he will accept saranagati. It is like a doorway, an entrance by which we can enter into bhakti. Yet, Krsna was teaching me that saranagati."

Arjuna asked Narada, "Do you think that I have no saranagati; that I am not the sakha of Krsna?" Narada replied, "O yes, you have crossed over all these things. You have crossed over saranagati. You are already in the realm of bhakti. You are not a sadhaka jiva, and therefore, nistha, ruci, asakti and bhava are all in you. You are perfect. You have no defect and no anarthas—nothing. Moreover, your bhakti is not a mixture of jnana, karma, yoga, and tapasya. You are an ekantika bhakta." Krsna's instructions in Bhagavad-gita have been told for sadhakas, not for siddhas. Arjuna is not a sadhaka; he is a siddha. He has crossed over that level. After this comes santa-rasa. Who are devotees in santa-rasa? Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanata and Sanandana. Arjuna has crossed so much beyond this. He's not like Sanatana and so forth. They are cannot even touch the dust of the lotus feet of Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva and Draupadi. The Pandavas are so high.

Also Hanuman. Hanuman can serve Rama twenty four-hours a day, and he is liberated. But Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva are superior to Hanuman. Hanuman is also not able to touch the dust of their feet. So Arjuna is saying, "Krsna is telling me to first take saranagati, and in this way He is ridiculing me".

If anyone comes to advise me, "You should go and choose any good guru, serve him and offer everything to him. And you should chant at least sixteen rounds". Is this proper, or not proper? Suppose I am chanting daily one lakh of Holy Names, I am always absorbed in bhakti, and hundreds and thousands of persons are inspired by me. Then someone comes and says, " Oh, if you cannot chant 16, then you can chant 8 rounds daily. And don't take eggs, wine, fish, and so on. And you should not have any girlfriend." If he tries to teach me in this way, it is ok? I will say, "Oh yes, yes, I will do that. I will follow you". Similarly, Arjuna is saying, "Krsna has taught me these things in the Gita." It is like this.

When Krsna sent Uddhava, and later on Baladeva, to Vraja, He told them, "You should ask the gopis, "Why are you worried? I'm everywhere. I am in their bodies. A relevant example is that of the clay pot. The pot cannot exist without the clay. The very construction of the pot is completely made of clay; the clay permeates the entire pot.

If anyone takes the clay from the pot, will the pot still be there? Never. Similarly, I'm in their senses; I'm everywhere in them— outside, inside, upside, downside, here and there. I'm always everywhere. So tell the gopis that I am always with them. Why are they worried? They should remember Me, chant My Names, and meditate on Me".

Hearing this the gopis said, "Oh, very good. You are like the sun, giving many good instructions to us. But by these instructions we are now getting so much heat—as the sun gives heat—and we are burning by Your lectures. We cannot properly follow your instructions because we are so fallen. Please give your lectures to the rsis and maharsis. We are so fallen. We cannot remember and we cannot meditate. That is why You are mercifully telling us to meditate. We also know that if one takes Your lotus feet in their hearts, all miseries will at once go, and he will be pure. But we are not like this. We are very fallen. Perhaps that is why You are teaching us to meditate and to chant and to remember—because we have never done this.

Actually You should know that we want to forget You, but we cannot. We want to forget you because You have forgotten us. We don't want to think, ‘O, where is Krsna? O, now He will be on the bank of the Yamuna'. Even though You are not there, our feet are accustomed to go there. Still our feet go; we cannot stop them.

"Our minds always remember You. Although yogis make so much effort to remember You, so many bad worldly things come in their minds and hearts. We, on the other hand, want to forget You, but we cannot. We were with You from childhood, when You and we were naked—like friends. So please be merciful to us.

"The minds of worldly persons are different from their hearts, but our minds and hearts are the same."

Our minds are now prominent, and our hearts are another thing. But the gopis are saying, "Our mind and heart are the same". What is the meaning? Our hearts are not Vrndavana, but the gopis are telling that their hearts are Vrndavana, and their minds and hearts are the same. In our body the mind is prominent. We think, "Oh, this is good, this is bad, this is this, this is that. Because we have so many doubts and anarthas, we follow the mind. But bhakti is not in the mind. It is in the heart. Krsna says we should give our hearts. Bhakti lives in the heart, and that heart cannot decide, "This is bad", "Oh, Krsna is bad", or "Krsna is better". It can only be charmed by devotional services. The heart has nothing to do. It will give at once, and never take in return. This is the activity of the heart.

The gopis said, "Our hearts are Vrndavana. You should come in our hearts as you do with yogis, but our hearts are Vrndavana. If You come to Vrndavana, then You are coming to our hearts. So please do like this.

"But we do not want to remember You, so why are You coming? Why are You always coming? We want to forget You, but we cannot."

For whom should these teachings be? They are for a conditioned soul at a very low stage. First he should do sravanam, then kirtanam, and then smaranam. But the gopis are above that. They have passed the stages of sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, and mahabhava. But Krsna is teaching the gopis something else. Then they say, "O, You want to cheat us", or, "You must be joking with us. This teaching is not actually for us. You should teach this to Duryodhana, Kamsa and others like them—, not to us."

So we should try to realize all these things. This is our object and goal. Even if I explain this for a long time you will not be able to understand very much. You will have to come to a certain level to understand. Krsna tells His mother, "Mother, I have not eaten clay or earth," and He asked Yudhisthira to announce that Asvattama was killed. Yudhisthira Maharaja considered that he was not killed, and he therefore thought, "Why should I speak falsely?" On the other hand, Arjuna accepted at once. In this case, therefore, Arjuna is superior.

So we should consider all these things. Don't look here and there to see what nonsense he or she is doing. Don't involve your mind in these things. Always concentrate your mind and be one-pointed to Krsna; otherwise you will be cheated. Try to take the path told by Srimad Bhagavatam. First, obey the Bhagavad-gita. We are not this body; you should actually realize this. Then, ‘sarva dharman parityaja'. Surrender to Krsna. Then try to enter the bhakti realm, and then follow Srimad Bhagavatam. Follow the teachings of the first nine cantos and, if you are qualified, try to gradually enter into the tenth canto. Be like a mother, (vatsalya rasa), be like a friend (sakhya rasa), and after that you can read Tenth Canto, chapters 29-33. On one hand we should not try to jump, but we will also have to see that there is some greed to know all these things. If greed and sraddha are there, then you are qualified to enter in the bhakti realm and hear Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto and all other books.

Try to develop in Krsna Consciousness. Try to read the books of Prabhupada; they are authentic. And you can also read my books. My books are actually not my books. They are of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami— like Manah Siksa, Upadesamrta, Siksastaka, and so on. Gradually try to develop.