A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja
sannyasa day of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja

Singapore: February 11, 2001
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

[This year, 2005, the anniversary of the divine appearance day of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja is Feb. 27th. We pray you will kindly accept the following glorification, given on this same day, in Singapore, on Feb. 11, 2001.]

Today is the very sacred anniversary of the birth of my spiritual master, nitya-lila pravistha om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He appeared in this world, on this day, to fulfill the needs of his dearmost Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu, and Sri Gaura-Gadadhara. He came to help all the conditioned souls to come out of this jail. We are in jail – all of us. He came to save us from the jail of this world.

Our Gurudeva is the manifestation of jagad-guru Srila Vyasadeva. It may also be said that he is a manifestation of akanda-guru-tattva Baladeva Prabhu or Nityananda Prabhu. Since Vyasadeva is Lord Narayana Himself, we can surely say that Sri Gurudeva is a manifestation of Vyasadeva. Sri Guru sits on the vyasasana, the 'vyasa seat', the seat on which Vyasadeva used to sit. In other words, he sits on the seat from which Vyasadeva preached the glory of Radha and Krsna all over the world.

Today we will glorify him. We will also glorify guru-tattva and explain how guru-tattva descends from Goloka Vrndavana.

Don’t think that this bhakti philosophy is useless; otherwise you will be very weak and give up the bhakti line. I am hearing about this problem – daily. So many disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and other bona fide Gurus are giving up bhakti and becoming weak. They are leaving Krsna consciousness and accepting worldly family life. Why? It is because they don't know this philosophy.

You should try to know all these truths. If you do not know them now, one day you will have to know them. It may be after thousands of lives, but one day you will have to know all these philosophical conclusive truths. Don't think it useless to know them. If you don’t want to fall down, then learn all them very, very deeply.

My Guru Maharaja rendered so many direct services to Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, like massaging him and so on, and he was always with him for as long as he was present in this world. His glory is like an ocean. You have heard so many prabhus glorify him, but we can never complete His glorification.

You should know that the backbone of krsna-bhakti is guru-nistha, unalloyed faith in Sri Guru. If one has no guru-nistha, he has no bhakti at all. In Indian Vedic culture it is the tradition that one should accept a transcendental Guru. If he or she has not accepted Guru, no one will take any food prepared by him. No one will even drink the water which as been offered by him – not even his father or mother. Do you understand what I am telling? If a son or daughter is married, if he or she has not accepted a Guru, then his or her cooking or offering will not be accepted by his Vedic family. First one will have to accept a high class of Guru, and then he or she can cook and perform all related services. In Indian Vedic tradition from ancient times up to now, it was essential to accept a bona fide Guru. Nowadays, however, the Western breeze is also coming towards India, and thus India is rejecting Vedic principles. We are especially rejecting Guru. Instead we think, "What is Gurudeva? Gurudeva is nothing. There is no need of Gurudeva."

Minute by minute people are changing their wives and husbands. They divorce many times in one life, and therefore no one is happy. If you want to be happy you, should accept a qualified Guru and guru-parampara. If you do not do so, you will have to experience the miseries of old age and death. When you die, whatever you have collected in your life cannot be taken with you. Always remember that death is sure. No one can save you from death. What, then, will become of these palatial buildings and the many other things you have collected? Try to understand this. By guru-bhakti our lives will be changed and we will be happy forever.

What is vyasa? The line that touches the opposite sides of the circumference of a circle by going through the central point is called the diameter or vyasa. What is the meaning? Krsna is the center of all. Not only this one world, but so many millions upon billions of universes are in this circle. Srila Vyasadeva is touching Krsna, and then he is going to all the innumerable ends of material existence. Who is Vyasa? He who is preaching the glories of Krsna to all, teaching everyone: "You should serve Lord Sri Krsna. No one but He can save you from this endless chain of birth and suffering." Vyasa is he who is always serving Krsna, from one point to another, everywhere in this material world.

Vyasa took birth in between Mathura and Vrndavana, on an island in the Yamuna. Parasara Muni was his father, and his mother was Srimati Matsyodhari. Parasara Muni was going somewhere and wanted to cross the Yamuna. He called the boatman, but that boatman was very tired and he sent his adopted daughter in his stead. Because his daughter had been born from the womb of a fish, a fishy odor emanated from her, but at the same time she was very beautiful. He ordered her, "Take the ferry boat and help that Rsi Parasara". Ordered by her father, Matsodari took the boat and told Parasara, "You can come. I will take you across." When she reached the island in the middle of the Yamuna, Parasara looked upon her. At once she became pregnant, and in a moment she gave birth to a very tall, beautiful, blackish youth of sixteen years. Who was he? Vyasa. He had come by the mercy of Krsna through Parasara, but he was actually Narayana. He immediately renounced this world.

After some time he divided the Vedas in four – Rg Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. After that he wrote the essence of all the Vedas, and that was called Brahma-sutra, Sarika-sutra, or Vedanta-sutra. After that he wrote thirty-six Puranas: Puranas, Upa Puranas and Sakha Puranas. Then, for all people: for ladies, sudras, and all those who always lament and who are entangled in worldly intoxications, he wrote the Mahabharata. In that Mahabharata he gave the jewel-like Gitopadesa. Prior to this he gave the catura-sloki Bhagavatam, which Sri Narada had taken from Lord Brahma. There was yet no Srimad Bhagavatam, however, and so he was not satisfied with his life.

Sri Narada came to him and asked, "Why you are so upset"?

Srila Vyasadeva replied, "Gurudeva, I don’t know."

Narada then told him, "You have not glorified Lord Sri Krsna and His pastimes of Vrndavana, and you have not discussed how the gopis and all the Vrajavasis serve Him. You should glorify Him, His many devotees, His beloved gopis, and especially His beloved Radhika."

Vyasadeva then saw all the pastimes of Lord Krsna and His associates in his trance, and thus he wrote Srimad Bhagavatam and became happy. The essence, therefore, of all Vedic literature – Upanisads, Puranas, and Bhagavatam – is Vraja-prema and moreover gopi-prema, and especially the love and affection of Srimati Radhika, who controls Krsna and always keeps Him in Her heart.

A Guru can give these mysterious truths; otherwise it is not possible to understand them. He gives all this to his disciple, so that he can become happy. Ravana had so much opulence, and millions of servants who lived in palaces made of gold and jewels. All kinds of opulences were present in Lanka; no poor people there. Ravana had ten heads, twenty eyes, and twenty ears, and he had conquered the whole world. But he was not happy, because he could not control his heart or mind. He could not control his lust. Therefore, the greatest and strongest person is he who can control his six urges:

vaco vegam manasah krodha vega
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vega
etan vegan yo visaheta dhira
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

["A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world."]

If one cannot control his anger, his words, his tongue and his mind, he cannot do anything to help himself. You know the ex-president of America – Bill Clinton. He was so famous, and he was a very strong personality, but he could not check his heart and he became entangled with an office girl. Such persons cannot do anything productive. Therefore, if you want to be happy in this world, try to follow Vyasadeva. Try to follow a real Guru.

Previous to writing Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Vyasadeva made four disciples: Paila, Sumanta, Jaimini, and Vaisampayana; and he trained each of them in one of the four Vedas. Especially in South India, the Vedas, Upanisads and Sanskrit sastras are followed. Nowadays, however, especially those outside of India have gradually left their traditions. Something is in their blood; they believe in God, but they have given up all religious principals. They take meat, eggs, wine and so on. They cannot control the six urges.

Understanding the future, Vyasa gave one Veda to each of these four disciples, and he gave the Mahabarata and Puranas to Ugrasrava Suta.

Vyasa served his Gurudeva, Sri Narada. He followed his Guru’s teachings and he preached the glory of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna everywhere. He taught the supremacy of Krsna and Radha’s love and affection throughout the world. This is Vyasa.

A disiple is he who can serve his Gurudeva as more than his own life and soul. A disciple is not one who is simply satisfied with the thought, "Oh, Gurudeva has given me a name," but he does not chant, he does not realize anything, and especially he is not following the principles of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The principles of Mahaprabhu are the essence of all the Vedas:

trnad api su-nicena taror iva sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniya sada harih

["One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly."]

If you want to be a real disciple, you must be tolerant. If you do not have this tolerance, then when a mosquito comes you will make a hydrogen bomb to kill it. You will think, "How shall I save myself from this?!" The whole day and night you will be thinking about this, and krsna-bhajana will disappear. To protect and maintain our life is essential, but why is it essential? Not for living like dogs, hogs or pigs. If anyone is spending his whole time maintaining himself, his is like a dog and other animals. And actually, animals can do more than you. You are very worried about one child, but dogs can have fifteen or sixteen. Two times in a year they can have so many children, and there are many other animals that can have still more than this. So don’t think you are more advanced than animals in this way, or that you are so intelligent. They are more intelligent than you.

If you want to be actually intelligent, then always remember your death and your old age. Always remember that you cannot take anything with you at death, and, if you are not doing bhajana, you will be crushed by maya – thoroughly crushed. At that time you will lament, "Why could I not do bhajana? I’ve failed."

Srila Vyasadeva writes:

labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante
manusyam arthadam anityam apiha dhirah
turnam yateta na pated anumrtyu yavan
nihsreyasaya visayah khalu sarvatah syat

["After many births we have attained this human form; therefore before death comes, we should engage ourselves in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. That is the fulfillment of human life."]

The main object of this human life is to try at once, immediately, to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should realize, "Who am I? I am not this body." This is the teaching of Vyasa.

sa vai punsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihata
yayatma suprasidat

[“The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self”].

The purpose of this life is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, as stated in these two slokas which were preached widely by my Guru Maharaja:

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa tanayas tad dhama vrndavanam
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu vargena ya kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam pramanam amalam prema pumartho mahan
sri caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradaro na parah

["The Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, Who is known as the son of the King of Vrajadhama, Sri Nanda Maharaja, is the ultimate worshipful Lord of all Lords. Similarly His residential abode, the holy place of Vrndavana, is as worshipful as the Lord Himself. The ways of His worship may be various, but the one which was conceived by the damsels of Vrajadhama is unsurpassable by any other devotee. Srimad-Bhagavatam Puraëa is the unalloyed guidance for approaching the worshipful Lord, which is the ultimate goal of life. This is the sum total opinion of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We shall bow down our heads before His opinion, and not accept another."]

amanayaha praha tattavam harim iha paramam sarva saktima rasabdhima
tata bhinansansa ca jivan prakritir kavalitan tada vimuktansa ca bhavada
bhedabheda prakasam sakalampi harch sadhanam sudha bhaktim
sadhayam tata pritim eva iti upadesayati janan gauracandra savayam saha

["The authoritative knowledge of Vedas received through the bona fide
disciplic succession, establishes the following fundamental truths:
1. Hari is the supreme absolute truth.
2. He is omnipotent.
3. He is the reservoir of all mellows.
4. The living entities are His separated parts and parcels.
5. The conditioned souls are covered by Maya.
6. The liberated souls are beyond the influence of Maya.
7. The entire cosmic manifestation is simultaneously one and different from Him.
8. Suddha-bhakti is the only means to achieve love of Godhead.
9. The goal is to attain love of Godhead.
These teachings have been instructed by Gauracandra Himself."]

If anyone traverses this path, he must be happy. No one will be able to check his happiness.

The demon Hiranyakasipu was practically immortal. He had so much opulence. He used to control Vayu, the god of air, Indra, and all other gods and goddesses, but he could find no happiness. A new being – animal plus man – came to him pulled out his intestines and in a moment. If you do not follow the principals for advancing in devotional service, then from the beginning of your life, day and night, you'll only be thinking, "Money, money, money." Then, after death you will become money. Realize this. It is to give you this message that we have come here. We have come to tell you that you should always remember your death. Always remember Vyasadeva.

Especially those of you who are Indians should remember the place from which you have come. India was previously known as Bharata. What is the meaning of Bharata? 'Bha' means illumination, or light. What is that light? Tattva-jnana. You come from that land where Narada Rsi, Brahma, Sankara, and all the acaryas were present. Transcendental knowledge is everywhere in Bharata. I have come to help you. I have come to remind you that you are coming from Bharata. Don’t forget this knowledge. You can make some money for your maintenance, but what is the purpose of maintaining yourselves? It is to follow the teachings of Srila Vyasadeva.

In relation to Vyasa, there are four personalities who founded the four sampradayas: Brahma, Rudra, Sri and Sanaka. From them came the four sampradaya-acaryas, Madhva, Visnusvami, Ramanuja and Nimbaditya respectively, and they all made commentaries on Vedanta-sutra, or Brahma-sutra. Sri Sankaracarya wrote an explanation of Brahma-sutra called Sariraka-bhasya, or Brahma-sutra-bhasya, and his philosophy was known as advaita-vada, or kevaladvaita-vada. He claimed that brahma (spirit) has no shape, no power and no speciality, and therefore He is nirvisesa-brahma, the qualitiless spirit-whole. Sankaracarya gave all these negative ideas, but he never gave any positive explanation. He said, “Brahma satya jagan mitya. This entire world is false, and only brahma is truth, but that brahma is without powers. There is nothing in him. Sripad Sankaracarya's philosophy was therefore called advaita-vada or mayavada.

After Sankaracarya’s time, Srila Ramanujacarya came to this world and defeated all his arguments. He taught that Sankaracarya’s ideas are not those of the Vedas. Rather, his ideas are against the Vedic principles. We should not follow this. Only demons can follow these ideas. No Vedic person can accept the theory that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no shape, no attributes and no power. Ramanujacarya defeated all of the arguments of Sankaracarya and called his philosophy visista-advaita-vada (specific monism). He taught that there are millions of jivas and millions of worlds. The Supreme Personality of Brahma has attributes. Innumerable jivas have come from Him, and this world also comes from Him. He exists, along with this world and the jivas. The practice described in Ramanuja's philosophy is bhakti, and the goal is service to the lotus feet of Lord Narayana. Ramanuja accepted the form of Narayana, His attributes, His power, and also His bhakti. He rejected the mayavadi philosophy of advaita-vada.

After Ramanuja came Madhvacarya. He established a certain portion of the Vedas, and his philosophy is called visuddhadvaita or dvaitadvaitavada. In this philosophical understanding there are five differences. You should explain the five differences.

[Aranya Maharaja:] Madhvacarya established the philosophy that there is a difference between brahma and maya, there is a difference between jiva and maya, there is difference between jiva and jiva, and between different manifestations of maya there are also differences. These five types of differences are called dvaitavada.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] His practice was bhakti and his aim and object was the service of the Supreme Lord in the form of Vasudeva. Which Vasudeva? He who has a churning rod in His hand. This form was also accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After Madhva came Nimbaditya, and his philosophy was visuddha-vedaveda, but svabhavika (natural). He preached that brahma has transformed, and it is from brahma that the whole world is coming. Brahma is alone, but still there are so many jivas and so many associates, like His father and mother. His abode is there, but as a transformation of brahma.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not like this. He took the essence of all the Vedas – not only part it. He fully took all the moods of the essence of the Vedas and discovered acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. He taught that it is not directly from Lord Sri Krsna that this world and the jivas have come, but rather from His energy. This philosophy is called sakti-parinama-vada, transformation of sakti, or energy. Caitanya Mahaprabhu adopted this philosophy because it asserts that everything has not come from Krsna Himself, but from the power of Krsna. Mahaprabhu defeated the arguments of Nimbaditya’s bhedabheda svabhavika and founded acintya-bhedabheda.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not like this. He took the essence of all the Vedas – not only part it. He fully took all the moods of the essence of the Vedas and discovered acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. He taught that it is not directly from Lord Sri Krsna that this world and the jivas have come, but rather from His energy. This philosophy is called sakti-parinama-vada, transformation of sakti, or energy. Caitanya Mahaprabhu adopted this philosophy because it asserts that everything has not come from Krsna Himself, but from the power of Krsna. Mahaprabhu defeated the arguments of Nimbaditya’s bhedabheda svabhavika and founded acintya-bhedabheda.

If anyone accepts this practice and goal, that person is in the line of Vyasa. We should try to realize this. Somehow you should know the essence of krsna-bhakti, that bhakti which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu brought from Goloka Vrndavana – gopi-prema. This is the goal of our life. If we accept this, then our Vyasa-puja is complete. The followers of Sankaracarya 'worship' Vyasa, but they don’t follow him. They say Vyasa was ignorant because he wrote that brahma is anandamaya-bhyasa, blissful. The followers of Sankaracarya reject this. They say that brahma is 'bliss', but He is not 'blissful'. In other words, He is not a person.

This is not service to Guru. A disciple must obey and serve his Gurudeva. Serving Gurudeva outwardly by worship and at the same time cutting the arguments and teachings of Gurudeva is not duty or service of a disciple. Yet, Sankaracarya did that.

Why did he do so? It was because Lord Narayana ordered him to do so, to save Himself from being disturbed by demons who came to Him in the name of bhakti but who really only wanted Him to fulfill their selfish desires. Narayana had told Sankaracarya, "You must preach in this world, ‘You are brahma.’ You must tell them to meditate on the conceptions: Aham brahmasmi (I am that impersonal God), sarvam kalvidam brahma (the impersonal God is everything) and tat-tvam-asi (you are also that)."

There are so many things to discuss, but somehow try to know this: If you want to be happy in this world, then accept an exalted, transcendental Guru who knows Gita, Bhagavatam, the Puranas and Vedas, who can remove all doubts, and who chants harinama sankirtana purely, following trnad api sunicena taror iva sahisnuna. Such a Guru practices bhakti as received from Vyasa, Narada, and all other bona fide spiritual masters. He serves and glorifies his Gurudeva throughout the world, as we see in the lives of Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Gosvami, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, and my Gurudeva Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. If you want to follow, you will be happy.

Gaura-premanande hari hari bol.

Typists: Kalindi dasi, Sulata dasi and Kanaka Manjari dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi