Occasional Religion Should Melt Away

A Lecture on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Jaiva Dharma

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

Germany: Dec 14, 2001 (eve)


Namo bhaktivinodaya saccidananda namine gaura-sakti svarupaya rupanuga

varaya te.

[I offer pranama unto Saccidananda Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura who is the

foremost of rupanugas and the embodiment (prakasa) of Sri Gauranga

Mahaprabhu's sakti, Sri Gadadhara Pandita.]

One should understand the proper relationship between guru and disciple, as

exemplified by Sannyasi Thakura and Premadasa Babaji. One should understand

how Sannyasi Thakura followed and served his Gurudeva. One day, in the early

morning, as the reddish sun rays first appeared, the solor orb yet resting

below the earth, Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji was chanting harinama on his

tulasi beads, sitting in the sacred kunja named Madhavi-mandapa.

Madhava is Krsna, and Madhavi is Radhika. For transcendental remembrance, a

high class of Vaisnava like Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Santana Gosvami

will replicate Vrndavana, as they did when they lived in Ramakeli. There

they excavated two ponds, Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda, and they also made

many kunjas for doing bhajana. In Mayapura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta

Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura also developed Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda, and

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura created Svananda Sukhada Kunja in Godruma.

Similarly, in order to help in always remembering Radha and Krsna, Premadasa

Babaji made Madhavi-mandapa. The flowers and creepers there were very

fragrant, mild and sweet madhavi-lata, and bumblebees used to come there to

sing and take madhu (honey) from those flowers.

While Premadasa was chanting, he first offered pranama to nisanta-lila (the

end of night pastimes) of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then he remembered

Radha-Krsna's nisanta-lila and kunja-bhanga-lila [when Radha and Krsna have

to leave the kunja]. These sweet pastimes are the object of our life.

Service in asta-kaliya-lila is the objective of our bhajana, and the first

lila is nisanta-lila. All the sakhis, like Lalita, Visakha, Rupa Manjari,

Rati Manjari, and so many others were together with Radha and Krsna in a

kunja, sweet pastimes were transpiring, and Premadasa Babaji was remembering

those pastimes. A high class of devotee divides the 24-hour day into eight -

three hours in the night, three in the day, three the evening, three in the

morning - and they always chant and remember accordingly.

As Premadasa Babaji remembered that nisanta-lila, he heard an old monkey of

Radhika call out, "Jatila! Jatila is coming to reward You! O greatest lampat

(debauchee), she is very soon coming to reward you. Wait a little. She is

coming just now." Radhika and Krsna became alert and prepared to return to

their houses. All the sakhis were very, very, concerned and Sri Radhika

became like a mad person. She asked her sakhis, "Who am I? Where am I going?

What should I do?"

Extremely upset, the sakhis asked, "Why did this old monkey have to come and

disturb us?" At that time Sri Vrnda told the manjaris, or Rupa Manjari may

also sometimes tell them, "Make that monkey silent, please. Make him silent.

This disturbance is ruining everything." In the meantime, Yogamaya arranged

that Srimati Radhika could quickly, in minutes, enter Her house in Yavat.

In his internal gopi form, Premadasa Babaji was serving both Radha and

Krsna, with a leaning toward Radhika. Radhika was unhappy, thinking, "Where

am I? Where am I going?" She had forgotten everything in that deep mood of

anticipated separation. Premadasa Babaji was in a faint, weeping, in the

line of Rupa Gosvami. This is our object as well, but as far as we are

concerned, we waste so much of our time and energy in maintenance. Though we

are devotees, our whole time is entangled and we have no time for

remembering and chanting. We think, "If we give our whole time to devotional

activities, our business will fail. How, then, will we be able to maintain

ourselves?" We have no belief in Krsna, and we have no belief that He will

continue our maintenance. He is the main root of our maintenance. We think,

"I maintain myself. If I will give my whole energy to krsna-bhajana as this

Babaji did, then who will maintain my wife, my children, and my

paraphernalia?" This worry is endless.

Babaji was totally engaged in bhajana. He forgot that he was Paramahamsa

Babaji, and instead he was thinking, "I am the maidservant of Rupa Manjari."

He was able to see those nearby, like Sannyasi Thakura, but at the same time

he remained in that transcendental mood and called out, "O Ramana Manjari,

you should stop that old monkey." He pointed to the sannyasi and addressed

him, "O, Ramana Manjari!"

The Thakura thought: "My Gurudeva has indicated my constitutional form. I

firmly believe his words. I am a servant of Radhika. This is my

transcendental position. This is my form. Now I shall remember these


He still had no tilaka, no mala, and no Vaisnava dress, but internally he

was totally surrendered. We are not like that. We wear very big tilaka, and

big, big neck beads. Our japa mala is not less than 5 kilos, and we can even

spend $1000 to steal the mala of Haridasa Thakura from Puri. Someone once

thought, "If I can take that mala, my bhajana will be very high." He somehow

gave $1000 to a greedy Orissan pujari in Srila Haridasa Thakura's samadhi,

and the pujari later on claimed that someone had stolen them. This was a

great offence.

Someone else thought, "The very small beads that my Gurudeva has given will

not do." He therfore told his Gurudeva, "Gurudeva, a monkey has taken my

beads," or "I forget where I kept my beads. Oh, please, I brought very good

mala from Vrndavana. The price was $100." They think that simply having big

mala will suffice, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself used to count His names

on knotted cloth.

Pointing to the sannyasi, Premadasa Babaji said, "O sakhi, you should

silence that monkey." At that time Sannyasa Thakura became realized. A guru

will give his disciple that realization when he is free from all kinds of

unwanted and unfavorable habits, when he has nothing else to do, when he has

forgotten everything, when his heart is totally pure, and when he is serving

his gurudeva completely. In this way, Sannyasi Thakura's Gurudeva revealed

to him his real self.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has clearly written in the third part of Jaiva

Dharma that those who take vesa (saffron or white cloth of a renunciate),

danda, and copin in an immature stage, will give it up and fall down after

some time. The mantra of sannyasa and that of babaji-vesa is the same. The

mantra is to help the devotee do bhajana in a gopi mood. One should not

give, and one should not take, these things in an immature state.

When the devotee has complete greed to serve Radha-Krsna, he will be at

least in the stage of asakti or ruci. He will jump at once in this stage of

ruci. There will be no need of his first coming in sraddha, anartha-nivrtti,

and so on. Anartha-nivrtti is already accomplished. That devotee has passed

anartha-nivrtti. He has no anarthas. Sannyasi Thakura had become free from

anarthas at the time of attaining brahma-jnana, and now he was on the

platform of remembering Radha and Krsna's sweet pastimes.

You should know all these truths and try to develop like in this way - not

jumping beforehand and reading Govinda Lilamrta and Krsna Bhavanamrta. I

stand at a distance in awe, and fold my palms and offer pranama to both

books, but I know that all of you keep three or four copies of each. I am

waiting for my maturity. Some of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja's

disciples once came to me asking, "Please help us! Please give us

siddha-pranali." I replied, " I cannot help myself. How can I help you?"

These disciples then went to the sahajiya babajis at Radha Kunda. Those

sahajiya babajis then gave them 'siddha pranamli' for five anna paisa,

although they never knew the meaning of siddha-pranali. Real siddha-pranali

has been explained by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. I was searching for these new

babajis, and I have now heard that they are married. Don't be like them. Be

disciples like Sannyasi Thakura. A disciple like this Sannyasi Thakura will

never fall down.

Premadasa Babaji Maharaja then became silent, and from that very day this

sannyasi became known as 'Vaisnava dasa.' He was now chanting and

remembering Radha and Krsna and the eight parts of Their day.

One day Vaisnava dasa fell at the lotus feet of Premadasa Babaji Maharaja,

and asked a question. It was not actually a question, but a jijnasu. What is

the difference between a question and jijnasu? Jijnasu means 'humble

inquiry'. The disciple addresses his guru, "If I am qualified to hear the

answer, please tell me; and if I am not qualified to hear, I don't want to

hear. Please warn me not to ask such questions until I'm qualified." This is

the etiquette of a pure disciple. He does not say, "You must answer my

question, otherwise I will give you up." This is not the mood of a devotee.

Babaji Maharaja replied, "You are actually qualified. I will try to answer

your question according to my knowledge."

Vaisnava dasa said, "Prabhu, this is my question: I have heard for a long

time about dharma, religion. Dharma is glorified in all circles. All

cultures say that without religion, one is like an animal - like a dog, a

hog, or a pig. All scriptures and all religious books teach, "Dharma is

everything. We are doing everything for dharma. We can shoot the whole world

for dharma. Buddhists, Christians, Shaivites, Hindus, and Vaisnavas all say

that without religion a person is like an animal. However, their

explanations of dharma are different. If dharma is one, the explanation of

dharma should be one. But I am very worried that what I have heard from

various persons about the glorification, explanation, and meaning of dharma

are all different. There is so much difference in them. I cannot imagine

why, since if dharma is one, why are the meanings differ among various kinds

of religious persons. If dharma is one, then why do they not give one


What is the difference between sunyavada and sankaravada? Sankara's guru was

Gaurapada and his paramaguru was Govindapada. Gaurapada and Govindapada were

both totally Buddhist, and Sankara was a nirvisesa brahmavadi. He

established the Vedas with a brahmavada interpretation. Sarvam kalvidam

brahma. He said there is nothing 'dual' at all. Everything is God. He

preached the idea that the appearance of many different things is due to

maya. We ask the followers of this idea, "From where has this second thing

known as maya come? Sankara preached sat-asat anirvachaniya-tvat. The

Ultimate Truth is neither sat nor asat. It is neither existent nor

non-existent. It cannot be defined or expressed in words. It cannot be

contemplated. But this is also ultimately zero, just as is preached in

Buddhism. Nowadays Buddhism is flourishing. It is increasing very rapidly

because his friend Kali-yuga is helping so much.

And what is the Muslims' idea of dharma? They say that Allah has no shape,

no qualities, and no mercy. Then what is the use of Allah if he cannot

speak, he cannot realize our pain and worry, and he has no mercy, no form,

and no ears to hear. Their conception of Allah is the same as brahmavada or

Sankara philosophy. It is the same thing.

So, "Bhagavata kahe taha pan purna cale" Srimad-Bhagavatam (SB1.1.2) states

that all kinds of cheating religious systems are kicked out." This verse is

translated into Bengali:

prthivite yaha kichu dharma name cale

bhagavata kahe taha paripurna chale

" According to Bhagavata, whatever is going on throughout the whole world in

the name of religion is all cheating."

[Sripad Pundarika prabhu reads from Jaiva Dharma:] Nature arises from the

elementary structure of an object.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Any object, however created, receives its

intrinsic nature at the time of its creation. That inherent nature naturally

present with that object since its creation.

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ’tra krtibhis susrusubhis tat-ksanat


"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially

motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is

understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest

truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such

truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by

the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God

realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one

attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this

culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."

Srimad Bhagavatam revealed the eternal truth, not only five thousand years

ago, but before creation. Srimad Bhagavatam is transcendental. It never

changes. Like Krsna, it is eternal. Everything is there in Srimad

Bhagavatam. Those who say, "There is no God, or if there is God, He has no

form, no attributes, no quality, and no power," are propounding the same

falsity as Sankara did, or as Gaurapada claimed on behalf of Buddhism.

Vaisnava philosophy is real. There is one God, Krsna, and He has unlimited

manifestations like Rama, Nrsimha, and Vamana. He has so many vibhutis -

powers, like the demigods, but they are not brahma. They are servants of

Krsna, as are all goddesses. All truths are included in Vaisnavism. There

are so many new religions, and their proponents present so many books. When

Communism appeared, it spread everywhere like a forest fire, and after some

time it collapsed. All modern religions are like this. In India, Sikhism

originally began to protect Hindu or Vaisnava dharma, but now it is in full

motion as a totally separate thing.

Having heard the question of Vaisnava dasa, Babaji Maharaja offered pranama

to Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Radha and Krsna. He prayed,

"He krsna karuna sindhu, dina bandhu jagat pate…" and then he began, "Vande

ham sri guru sri yuta pada kamalam…" He then told Vaisnava dasa, "You are

most fortunate to have a question like this. You have reminded me of the

entirety of krsna-tattva, and in this tattva exists radha-tattva and all

other tattvas."

[Srila Narayana Maharaja speaks Hindi and Sripad Pundarika Prabhu

translates:] An object is called a 'vastu' and is eternal nature is known as

its nitya-dharma, or eternal religion. By Krsna's desire, when an object is

formed, a particular nature is inherent in that structure as an eternal

concomitant factor. This very nature is the nitya-dharma, or 'eternal

religion' of the object.

Premadasa Babaji explained that the nature of an object becomes altered or

distorted when a change takes place within it, either by force of

circumstance or due to contact with other objects. With the passing of time,

this distorted nature becomes fixed and appears to be permanent, as if it

were the eternal nature of that object. This distorted nature is not the

svabhava, or true nature. It is that nature which is acquired through

long-term association. This temporary condition occupies the place of the

factual nature, and becomes identified as the svabhava.

For example, water is an object, and its svabhava or nature is liquidity.

When water solidifies due to certain circumstances, it becomes ice. The

acquired nature of solidity takes the place of its inherent liquid nature.

In reality, this acquired nature is not eternal. Rather, it is occasional or

temporary, arising because of certain external causes. When this external

cause is no longer effective, this acquired nature vanishes automatically. On the other hand, the svabhava is eternal. The object's core nature is not

distorted. It may appear distorted, but it still remains inseparably

connected with its object. The original nature will certainly become evident

again when the proper time and circumstances arise. The living entity's

eternal nature is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but because

of a certain cause or circumstances, he has forgotten his eternal nature or

duty - the service to the Supreme Lord. When the fortunate living entity

receives sadhu-sanga, in that association his eternal nature can again be


If you will understand these first two chapters, you can then understand the

whole book. The fundamental basis of the entire book depends on these two

chapters. The other chapters are comparatively very easy, and these two are

the most essential. You should not think, "What is the need of this

philosophy? We will distribute books, and very easily we will remember

asta-kaliya-lila. What is the use of these bogus things? It is too hard a

subject, and it is without rasa. It is a dry subject."

Premadasa Babaji Maharaja is now concluding his explanation of ‘vastu’. We

will have to know this subject matter one day. Your arcana and other

devotional activities will not help you if you do not know these facts from

your siksa-guru. One day you will have to become realized, surely, so why

not now? Why not today? You should try to begin, today, to realize these

truths. If you do not understand your transcendental nature, then your book

distribution, your reading, and even your sannyasa will not help you.

Sravanam is first. First hear.

The svabhava, true nature, of an object is its nitya-dharma. What is that

true nature? We are soul, coming from eternal Krsna. "Jivera svarupa hoya

nitya Krsna-dasa." This is our intrinsic nature. We are all Krsna dasa or

Krsna dasi, in any form. This is transcendental. It cannot be changed. This

physical body may be changed, but that never changes.

The aquired nature or nisarga is its nimittika-dharma or occasional religion

or function. What is occasional and what is transcendental? If one knows

this difference, he can do real bhajana and serve Krsna. It is therefore

essential to know these truths. We should not think, "I am the wife of that

person," "I am husband of that person," "I am from Nigeria," "I am from

England," "I am Christian," "Hindu," "Vaisnava." This will not do. Somehow

we must know these truths. Try to know. Even if you have no taste there is

no harm. Still you should try. Even if you have no taste in the name, still

you should chant. Even if you have no taste in hearing all these topics you

should think,

"I will be here, somehow or other, even if I have to take chili powder. I

must hear. I will go, again and again."

If one does not know what is the transcendental nature of the jiva, and what

is occasional, temporary, one is bound to think, "What I am now, this is

real." No one can help such a person. Krsna sometimes comes in the form of

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rama, and others, and He sends His own associates -

sometimes Hanuman, sometimes Bhima, and sometimes Ramanuja and others. He

sends our Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, Srila

Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami

Maharaja, and my Gurudeva. He sends such help to the conditioned souls.

Somehow that occasional religion should melt and go away, and the real

transcendental, intrinsic nature, to serve Krsna, should manifest. Try to

think, try to read, and try to follow. If you do not understand, again and

again serve your Gurudeva. Serve, and then inquire. Don't inquire without

serving. By that seva, Guru will be satisfied, and like a cow he will give

milk. His milk is hari-katha. You cannot have this without serving, and

therefore you should always remember this Gita principle.

tad viddhi pranipatena

pariprasnena sevaya

upadeksyanti te jnanam

jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from

him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can

impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth." (Bg.4.34)

That Guru should be tattva-darsi, a realized soul. If he is not a realized

soul, he cannot fully express all these truths to you. By his causeless

mercy, the bona fide guru will inspire you. He will give you the power to

understand and realize all these truths. Surrender to a soul like that.

Gaura Premanande.


Transcriber: Srimati Krsna Mayi devi dasi and Srimati Vasanti devi dasi

Editor: Sripad Rsabhadeva dasa Adhikari

Ass't editor: Srimati Syamarani dasi

Typist and proofreader: Srimati Radhika devi dasi